Of Course Social Media Isn’t Real – But Social Image Never Has Been

In this day and age (hey grandma), social media and online personalities are constantly coming under scrutiny for presenting a dangerous, unrealistic image to the entire world.

Instagram accounts of skinny girls with perfect hair and perfect eyes encapsulating everything we think we want to be – none of it’s real, and recently, more and more people are piping up looking to be given credit for announcing that oh my effing gee, they used a filter on their Instagram photos. Shock.

The internet is packed with ‘inspirational’ declarations from those coming clean about how their life isn’t as perfect as it seems on social media, how much they were paid to post something to their multitude of followers, and the plethora of deep seated problems behind each and every inch of that golden glowing skin that’s splashed across their Facebook page.

What I want to know is, why did we ever think any of the bullshit that we present to those who judge us ever was real?

Think about it.

Before social media, generation Z and the likes, loves, follows, OMGs and every other public reaction we’re now surrounded by, we were never honest about who we really are.

Take cars. One of the most expensive things most of us will ever buy in our lifetime, yet not a single penny of return on investment. Your white Mercedes plummets thousands of pounds/dollars/yen/monopoly money the second you drive it off the lot, so why do we buy them?

They are an expression of our wealth. And yes, nowadays we display that on social media.

So shoot us.

Before social media, we still would’ve told our friends about it incessantly, snapped pictures on our (albeit dodgy) camera phones or disposables, and showcased our gleaming beacon of glory and success in any way possible.

Because that’s how humans work.

Nobody buys an expensive car purely to get from A to B. We have an inherent need to evoke envy in others.

Hey, for all anyone knows you could’ve landed a killer job with a six figure salary and bought the car with your hard earned cash. You could also have scraped together a down payment and be paying the car off monthly and barely making rent.

If you’re in the latter boat, you’re hardly going to surrender the truth to the world and drive around in a clapped out blue Nova with three wheels just so you’re being honest with the world, are you?

Let’s look at birthday presents, just in case I’m losing you.

Sure, birthday hauls are hella annoying on social media. But we’ve always been doing it. Just because it’s not scrollable, doesn’t mean it never happened.

At school when your mates asked you what you got for your birthday, of course you’d lead with the sassy Miss Sixty jeans and Hooch hoodie, and not with the Blue Tac you needed for your room or the boring old socks from ya Nan.

We’ve always wanted people to think the best of who we are.

That pretty girl you see on the street. That guy who’s just purchased the cool TV. Those friends who go on three holidays a year. Social media or no social media, these things are the very best of who we are. We don’t stand in the street with a sandwich board on shamelessly declaring the bad things about ourselves.

“I ate three doughnuts not one”.

“I got dumped last night”.

“I’m a size 14, not a 12.”

“I’m broke. I’m barely making rent because I earn minimum wage.”

“I have anxiety.”

“I didn’t make many friends at Uni.”

“I miss my ex.”

We’ve always wanted the outside world to think the best of us. It’s how we’re programmed. There’s actually nothing wrong with wacking a bit of Rise or Amaro on our Instagram pics, upping the saturation on our selfies and waiting for the weather to be perfect before uploading that on-point holiday snap.

Really, how is that any different to getting our eyebrows done before a party, wearing makeup and omitting that rainy day from your account of your beach vacay?

Sure, some people on social media take things too far. Some people in real life take things too far, too.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, we need to stop blaming social media for demonstrating an unrealistic expectation of who we are.

It’s not social media’s fault. It’s our own. We were naïve to think the world was ever an honest, upfront place. All social media has done is magnify the audience for our rose tinted reflection of our actions.

The only thing unrealistic is expecting ourselves to be completely honest about who we are 100% of the time.

So let’s wake up. Stop dreaming of the ‘honest’ world before social media, because frankly, there never was one.

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Literally a Blog About a Soap Dispenser and Life

This baby does exactly what it says on the tin. This is a blog about a soap dispenser. Literally.

This is quite a fitting post for today, as I’ve literally been through all the feels a twenty-something working from home can possible feel on a Friday.

I woke up feeling good. I made myself a grapefruit and a jasmine green tea and sat in a state of motivated calm on my yoga mat, before concluding I should probably wait until the Foxtel man has been before I start downward dogging my ass off. (For my UK readers, Foxtel is basically Sky TV but it’s not called Sky because, ya know, Straya)

Before the guy arrived with all his installation wires and ting, he called me to host the most awkward conversation that I totally wasn’t prepared for at 9.30am. He called to tell me he couldn’t find a parking space.

Ummmmm. Ok? What do you say to that? “Oh okay bro no worries don’t sweat about installing the box we’ll just live without it so you don’t have to go through the struggs of finding a parking space kay, bye.”.

Obvs not. So it was a pretty silent phone call with a very awkward hang up at the end when we both realised we had truly reached a stalemate.

He eventually rocked in after an equally awkward encounter on the video intercom. (Our building has an entrance gate and then each tower has it’s own set of doors, so people have to buzz us twice to get let through both doors. Fine for pals, not so fine for pizza delivery guys/Foxtel men/any other category of stranger ‘cos you end up having the awkward ‘second hello’ dilemma when you don’t know whether to be super familiar because you feel like you know them so well after the first buzz, or whether to act surprised when they buzz again. Legit.)

He was wearing a San Francisco 49ers SnapBack and I was totally torn between pretending I hadn’t noticed it, and running to put my New Orleans one on and asking him if he wanted sack off his Foxtel career to chill here and fist bump and talk about the SuperBowl.

Spoiler: I stuck with the former option.

Anyway, post Foxtel, my motivation for a day of yoga and work subsided, and I sunk into the couch to explore the jazzy features and catch up and box sets and omfg unlimited movies and sports and HELLO Sex and the City box set lemme just cancel allllll ma plans and fester here for all eternity.

So I watched some SATC and THEN mustered the energy for yoga. By this point it’s noon, just FYI.

15 minutes in I got all shaky and weird and hot and flustered and oh wow my 2 weeks off running is really taking it’s toll on me. I think my iron levels are low at the mo too because I’ve been focused on loosing some kgs before holiday lately and my stores of all kinds of stuff tend to take a hit when I’m doing that. So yeah.

So I got all scared and toddled back off to bed and lobbed a big red iron pill down my neck and messaged Jess for comfort and sympathy.

He suggested I ate something and my growling belly did concur with that notion, so I had this wild idea of allowing myself bread as a treat. But nah I ended up making a one pan bake thing with tomatoes and bean mix and tuna.

I then realised I’d had no coffee yet so scuttled downstairs to caff-up. I felt like I regained my colour on the first sip, so I’ve learned my lesson never to skip coffee and jump straight to green tea. Always coffee first. Always always always.

Because I’m guilty of Googling allllll the health woes, I Googled how I was feeling and turns out feeling sicky after drinking green tea on an empty stomach is TOTALLY A THING.

Anyway this soap dispenser. You can tell how all over the place I am by the structure of this blog. This is hardly an advert for my copywriting credentials. Soz and that.

This week I got my hands on a marble and copper soap dispenser that I have honestly wanted for about 2 months because ummm, rose gold is everything. It kept selling out from Kmart (for UK readers, basically a shitter version of Primark. Homeware is on point, clothes look like Tesco before they got swaggy) and when it was online it wasn’t letting me order it for pick up and the delivery cost three times the cost of the soap dispenser. So I was avoiding that option until I was sure it was my only option.

I had to schlep deep out into the ‘burbs this week for an appointment, which meant a whole new realm of Kmart branches that may in fact have it in stock – and OMFG THEY DID. $5 for the best soap dispenser ever. It matches the little plant, candle and random geometric copper basket thing that really has no purpose but is so totally Pinterest that it just HAD to take pride of place in our kitchen in our new apartment.

Here she is in all her glory (feat. the aforementioned plant and geometric piece of weirdness) – though the marble effect is more subtle than I expected and is hardly captured when you take photos of it but STILL. It’s still so beautiful.

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All bow down in her glory. You’re probably thinking wtf that’s so average but I’ve wanted it forever and it’s taken over my thoughts and dreams so just be happy yeah?!

Anyway it’s now 3pm and I’ve made no dent I wanted to achieve today sooo yeah.

Toodles xxx

 

 

 

24 Things All Girlfriends Hear When a Game of Fifa is Being Played

This post comes to you live from my den of procrastination, aka my entire life. I’m still high fiving myself after executing a sublime swerve on a fatty subway breakfast this morning after ducking in for a bottle of water and allowing the sweet sweet smell of all the meatball subs set up camp right inside my nostrils.

It was a near miss, to say the least.

It’s moments like this that remind me that I really need to get my head out of my arse and stop telling people I’ve ‘changed my relationship with food’. I clearly have not.

Anyway, Fifa.

This post has been a long time coming, but I’ve realised enough is enough. Women of the world need to share the mutual despair of that feeling you get when your sweet, loving, (in my case quite shy) boyfriend turns into what appears to be a raging maniac on bail for GBH. The victim to such: the Playstation controllers. Poor bastards. Thrown across the garden, slammed on floors, cursed at the world over.

If I’m honest, I never thought my boyfriend playing Fifa would bother me. I’m not a football hater, far from it. I support Liverpool *bows head in shame and sheds a tear for what could have been* – I was even hella good at Pro Evo, but I’ve now learned that those two words are utter blasphemy, because somewhere along the line Pro Evo got shit and Fifa got good. Well I must’ve had my head firmly wedged in a jar of peanut butter because nobody told me.

Anyway, here’s a bunch of shit my boyfriend does when playing Fifa.

  1. “I’m going to play Fifa for a while”. Translate: I’m about to become as aggressive as Grant Mitchell off Eastenders and make you wonder why we’re together.
  2. *Plays Bayern Munich against Bayern Munich*. Wtf?
  3. “ARGHHHHHHHH.”
  4. “FUCKS SAKE.” U ok hun?
  5. *throws Playstation controller*. “I should never have bought this Playstation. You read my mind.
  6. “WHAT A WASTE OF FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS.” Cost per hour you’ve played it is about 1p so not really.
  7. *punches couch* Mind my upholstery god dammit.
  8. “GET INNNNNN.”
  9. “FUCK YEAH IM FOUR NIL UP”. Good for you huni.
  10. “Great tackle”. Modesty is key, I see. 
  11. “Arrrgh the other player quit the game because I’m winning.” WHO DOES THAT. You. You do that.
  12. FUCKS SAKE I’M FOUR NIL DOWN IM QUITTING. See.
  13. Me: “I am dying/bleeding/am in labour/will have sex with you/am making you dinner/am crying”. Response: “Huh? I can’t pause I don’t have the ball.” Ok kl I’ll just die then.
  14. “I’ve just got Wimbledon FC into the Champions League”. Expect a call from the FA any day now baby.
  15. “ERRRR THAT’S A FOUL!” Was it though?
  16. “FUCKING REF.” Yep defo his fault.
  17. “Ooh yay free kick.”
  18. “FUCKING LAG.” Wtf is lag?
  19. “Fucks sake stupid Playstation.” Oooooor you’re just shit.
  20. “World Class is too hard. I’m going down a level but don’t tell my friends.” I will definitely tell all your friends.
  21. “Woooooo I’m so good at Fifa.”
  22. “Oh WHAT.”
  23. “NOT THERE.” I’ve learned that this is shouted when the console goes on a mad one and apparently doesn’t read your mind and switch you to the player you wanted. 
  24. Me: “Because I’m so totally awesome I spent $80 on a second controller so you can play when Tom comes over.” *Has Tom over to take it in turns to stare at each other playing online on ONE controller.” All the clothes I coulda had with that $80. Sigh.

Gals, the struggle is real. I feel ya.

Ciao x

jay

 

58 Thoughts I Had While at Meditation Class

So recently I went to a four-part meditation course with a friend. We both suffer from a bit of anxiety and stress so thought it might be a way to release the fears. Thing is, I’m in no way ‘woo-woo’. Or particularly capable of being something I’m not. What I learned on my Introduction to Meditation is that I don’t wish to read chapter two. I’m a runner. I relax by going for a run. That clears my mind. Sitting does not. I appreciate meditation is a great release for some people. The analogy of the water and soil in a glass, I get that (basically the soil cant settle until the water is completely still). But maybe I like a bit of soil in my life. Perhaps that’s what keeps me on my toes, maybe that’s how I thrive. I have always worked quite well under pressure. Basically, stillness is not for me. I like to move. I like to shake out the dirt, rather than let it settle. If you’re in any way like me – that is, somewhat uptight (though I like to call it energetic and passionate) – you might relate to some of these thoughts I had while meditating. And by meditating I mean being my usual cynical self while sat in a Buddah-like stature.

meditation

  1. This is going to be awesome. Maybe I’ll stop being a stressed, uptight bitch all the time.
  2. Maybe I’ll be able to get a headache without assuming it’s a brain tumour. Or have an itchy finger without Googling ‘finger cancer’.
  3. Wow. I just paid $20 to sit.
  4. We’re all sitting cross legged on carpet. This feels like school.
  5. Ah school.
  6. Seriously, remember school. I feel like a huge giant overhead projector needs to be wheeled in.
  7. Wow I totally zoned out then. Am I nailing this meditation thing?
  8. “Don’t let your mind wander”. Oh shit. I’m not
  9. Wow, I don’t think I’m thinking about anything. Oh wait. I’m thinking about that.
  10. “Let your attention fall towards your jaw. Your ears. Your forehead.” Can anyone feel their forehead?
  11. God I feel like I’m swaying.
  12. I wonder if he’s looking at me swaying.
  13. Ok I’m actually not swaying.
  14. Maybe this is meditating?
  15. Nah don’t think so.
  16. “Walk yourself back through everything you did today”. Seriously? I can’t remember what happened ten minutes ago let alone the entire day backwards.
  17. WHAT DID I DO AT WORK TODAY.
  18. WHAT THE HELL DID I HAVE FOR LUNCH.
  19. Oh yeah salad. Fucking salad. Why am I reliving this again?
  20. God my posture is shit.
  21. I think I can hear someone hoovering.
  22. Gosh I must hoover the apartment.
  23. Focus.
  24. Well, focus on not focusing.
  25. Ommmmmmmmmm.
  26. God I need to sneeze.
  27. *sneeze*. This instructor now thinks I am an idiot. Zen people don’t sneeze.
  28. My nose has never been more itchy in my life.
  29. I wonder how long we’ve been sitting here.
  30. My leg is numb.
  31. Yep, and my foot.
  32. Yay pins and needles.
  33. I wonder if I’m meditating yet.
  34. “So you should now be reaching mid-morning in your journey back through the day”. Oh, really? Everyone else’s day was clearly more eventful than mine then. Reliving sitting in my desk chair chomping on a lettuce leaf didn’t take me long.
  35. “Think about how to be relaxed instead of stressed. For example, when you lose your keys. Just calmly walk your mind back through the day to when you last had them.” Seriously? If I can’t find my keys and Nando’s is about to close I’m gonna tear the house apart like a crazy ass freak of nature until I find them, okay?
  36. I’m definitely too uptight for this.
  37. I think I’m falling asleep.
  38. Wow I’ve never felt my vertebral discs before. But there they are. Individually burning one at a time.
  39. I’m definitely slouching.
  40. I’d do anything to open my eyes right now.
  41. Shit I’m meant to be meditating.
  42. Why am I out of breath?
  43. Oh my god we’re chanting. I’ll just mime along.
  44. How does everyone else know the chant and I don’t?
  45. This is nothing like Les Mills Body Balance.
  46. Please stop talking about my past life.
  47. “Just 2 more minutes”. FUCK YEAH nailed it.
  48. Though all I’ve done is think.
  49. Idiot.
  50. I’m hungry. I wonder if everyone can hear my stomach rumbling.
  51. WHY DO I SWALLOW SO LOUDLY? Nobody else is swallowing.
  52. He’s going to know I’m not in a state of zen.
  53. Why can’t I do this shit lying down.
  54. My bum is more numb than after a RyanAir flight.
  55. God this is a long two minutes.
  56. “Okay, open your eyes slowly”. How do you feel?”
  57. The same. Just with pins in needles in limbs I didn’t know could get pins and needles.
  58. I’m definitely not zen enough for meditation. I’ll just stick to swearing and crying every now and again.

 

Anyone else felt like this?! Tell me I’m not alone, would ya?! Until then, I’ll be, most likely, in a frenzy somewhere – though I truly believe that frenzy will set me on the path to the greatness to follow. It’s called being driven.

Over and out,

Coco x

So no one told you life was gonna be this way: things that happen when you realise you’re in your mid twenties

Okay, so I’m 24 now. Yep. Twenty bloody four. Half of my friends are 25, the other half are 26 – and I even went to a 30th birthday this month. That’s it, folks, life ain’t no Wacky Warehouse anymore. It’s all rent, promotions, soda water, appropriate skirt lengths and running for the last train home – with the most desirable asset in our sights being a mortgage. Picture this: Ooh gosh, Martin and Amy have bought a house. They’re going to owe ten times their annual salary for the rest of their lives. I’M SO JEALOUS. Legit.

It’s that time of our lives when everybody is at a different point along the timeline, and every time someone else moves their counter one step forward or one step back, you start evaluating exactly what’s going on with your counter. But that’s not all that happens when you hit your mid twenties, now is it?

  1. When ticking age specific boxes, you’re often closer to 30 than you are 18.
  2. The TV screen reads, “Jenna, 18, Student”. Ooh wow she’s only my age. NO SHE IS NOT.
  3. One day it dawns on you that people out in clubs were born in 1997.
  4. You start to realise you actually don’t understand what younger people are talking about. Seriously, wtf is Yik Yak?
  5. You realise that you’ve had to start evaluating whether trends are “too young” for you. Yeah, lace up tops, I’m talking about YOU.
  6. On that note, you also have to decide whether a skirt length is “appropriate”.
  7. You’ve likely become as bitter and grumpy as an 80 year old man who fought in the war battling with his teenage neighbours.
  8. You’ve said the phrase “kids these days”. Usually in reference to witnessing a newborn baby fully competent in the usage of an iPad, which is basically considered the next stage after breast feeding.
  9. In conversation with a younger friend or colleague, you’ve had to consider whether or not they’ll know what you’re talking about when referencing the past. Sadly, there are actual walking, talking humans out there who were barely out of nappies on that fateful day when Gareth Gates didn’t win Pop Idol in 2002. So sadly, no, they don’t remember how many days they cried for.
  10. You rush to the Boxing Day sales to look at sofas. Or kitchenware. Or bed sheets.
  11. You wish Tupperware parties were still a thing.
  12. You’re coming to the realisation that your rail card discount is ending.
  13. You then start to strategically plan your final application so that your last card is granted the day before your 26th birthday.
  14. People area getting pregnant and are happy about it.
  15. People have started calling their boyfriends/girlfriends their “partner”.
  16. You give yourself a mini high five when you manage to stay out past 2.
  17. You feel the need to present your case with evidence in Zip Loc bags when telling someone about the shit you used to pull when you were 18 or 19, purely because you’re such a relic now, there’s a genuine risk they won’t believe you.
  18. When describing something that happened, you have to add in that there aren’t any photos on Facebook because, wait for it…….FACEBOOK WASN’T INVENTED THEN.
  19. Similarly, you’ve ended a conversation with “I just wish there had been camera phones back then”.
  20. You gaze from afar at young kids drawing on their tablets and wonder if they’ll ever know the true joy of drawing a fake road on the pavement with a piece of chalk.
  21. You realise you’ve been driving for seven years. So yep, you can hire a car, test drive a car, AND BE FULLY COMP ON SOMEONE ELSE’S. Our driving capabilities know no bounds.
  22. When people’s kids bump into you in shops, the parent says “mind the lady” and you’re like “umm soz but I’m actually a hot, young predator who just so happens to be shopping for anti ageing cream and Bio Oil.”
  23. You can often quite easily drift through the checkout at supermarkets with a bottle of wine without having to present ID. That’s because the shop assistant knows that you’re actually using it for your Coq Au Vin dish for your own version of Come Dine With Me – and not for the King Cup in Ring of Fire.
  24. The shop assistant probably knows this because your accompanying items are more along the lines of portobello mushrooms, soy milk and blueberries, rather than pot noodles, Glen’s vodka and a bag of basics pre-grated cheddar (because come on, you had wayyyyyy to much on your plate at Uni to even THINK about grating your own cheese).
  25. You now do grate your own cheese because “you just don’t know what preservatives are in the pre-grated stuff”.
  26. You’ve had the heartbreaking task of removing your Saturday job from your CV to make space for your exec role.
  27. You’ve also thought “but I want employers to know I was a hard working individual from the fresh young age of 15”.
  28. You’ve started booking holidays based on reviews that say “not many clubs nearby”. Sorry, Aimee from the West Midlands, but your sad face rating on Trivago has given me the green light to get this shit booked.
  29. One day you’re eating white bread as a one off, the next day your jeans don’t fit. That’s just life now.
  30. Your idea of chic interior decor is more along the lines of neutral photo frames and candles than a messy photo montage with a multitude of wristbands and a penis keyring pinned to it.

I’ve probably missed a million things, but, you know. There’s always room for a part 2.

Over and out,

Coco x

tupperware

 

 

 

40 goals for 2016

After my last post unveiling things that happened in 2015, here’s a bunch more shit that I’d like to achieve in 2016:

1. Stop assuming every twinge in my body is the beginning of my journey to death
2. Eat more grapefruit
3. Stop snoozing my alarm
4. Devise a shorter response to the question, “so what are you doing now?” to avoid trapping people by having to journey back to “so I met this Australian guy” circa 2013
5. Moan about Taylor Swift less
6. Never play beer pong when Captain Morgan is being added to the shit mix
7. Try a different club on Chapel St that isn’t Revellers
8. Moan about Metro Trains less
9. Actually decide whether or not to stick to soy milk
10. Stop buying specific individual items that I’ll never wear, just to recreate an outfit I saw on Pinterest
11. Stop thinking I like baking
12. Stop spending days baking and then throwing a tantrum that I can’t eat the cakes because I’m fat
13. Accept that Shapes aren’t a healthy snack
14. Remember that Kiwi fruits are a natural laxative before going into work
15. Learn when not to make jokes
16. Remember to buy my passion pop in advance of wanting it so I bag it for the reasonable fee of $4.90 and avoid the tantrum in the local bottle shop upon seeing that they’re charging $10 for it
17. Throw less tantrums – a newly added item after writing this list and realising I have them too often for a 24 year old
18. Don’t try on new clothes after a big dinner and then cry about being a pig and storm off to the gym
19. Join a gym with air con
20. Actually do my posture exercises and try to sit up straighter to get off the road to being a hunchback
21. Try to accept that just because I have a headache, the chances are it’s not a brain tumour
22. Stop telling people the story about how David Lloyd wouldn’t let me join the gym over Christmas
23. Accept that Starbucks in Australia tasted like crap and stop buying it
24. Decide whether or not to buy an iPad
25. Decide what type of writer I want to be
26. Take a digital marketing and SEO course
27. Stop thinking that my financial management elective and my AS level in accounting is enough, and just get an accountant
28. Either stop telling people I can speak Spanish better than I actually can, or learn it properly
29. Stop insulting Australians
30. Accept that I’ll never be able to pull off “sick” as an adjective
31. Find something new to be cynical about now that Downton Abbey is over
32. Get more manicures
33. Stop comparing how much things cost in the UK
34. Tell more people about how cork hats were designed to keep flies out your face
35. Skype friends more
36. Mention my boyfriend’s dad in more blogs because as it turns out he bloody loves it
37. Actually use insect repellent
38. Stop offering to bring a dessert to family dinners and then end up in tears after failed tart number four slides shamelessly into the bin
39. Understand that it’s really not the right time to get a Corgi yet
40. Stop boring people with talk about what visa I’m applying for

I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and are still yelping in physical pain on your sofa at the sheer volume of food you ate. Good job. New Year is coming, so drink to a brilliant end to 2015 and a year ahead of health and happiness to all.

Love always,

Coco xx

soymilk

43 things that happened to me in 2015

Wow, what a crazy year. I thought no year would fly by as fast as 2014, but hey there 2015, you’ve gone and trumped it. It’s been a great year for me – here’s some things that happened on the ride:

  1. I finally realised I’m too old to remain in love with One Direction. Zayn’s departure didn’t break my heart the way it should have done, and I came to the sad conclusion that I could’t really give two shits about them anymore.
  2. I accepted that a bowl of bran flakes and four Ryvita crackers is not sufficient nutrition for the day.
  3. I realised how much I truly hate winter. I used to sort of love the cosiness of it all – the jumpers, hot chocolates, fluffy socks and layered clothing. But at some point around July in Melbourne, rain-sodden and snivelling, I announced I could not go on. My search for eternal sunshine began in Northern Queensland, where I had two tantrums and shouted at my boyfriend declaring that the cloud that had appeared on our second day was his fault. Obviously.
  4. I ate wallaby… and enjoyed it.
  5. I gave up red meat (a very recent development – for those of you who are questioning whether or not you did in fact see me chug a burger two months ago).
  6. I stopped lying to myself about enjoying clubs less than I used to. I started to realise I was getting too old for it when I stopped recognising the music, and I’m now 100% certain that I am over the hill.
  7. I made my peace with Aussie television.
  8. I learned the truth about Australian winter. No. It absolutely is NOT like our summer.
  9. I learned to drive an automatic car without flapping my left foot about in search of a clutch.
  10. I learned that sucking tea through a Tim Tam has to be done incredibly quickly before it all goes soggy and plummets to the ibis that is the bottom of your teacup.
  11. Apparently having a headache doesn’t always mean you have a brain tumour.
  12. I become a professional writer after years of writing content for free (yay me).
  13. I allowed my boyfriend to see me removing my upper lip hair.
  14. I discovered I am truly dreadful at market research interviewing.
  15. I survived an 8 hour drive to Adelaide (and back) without a freak out (bar one tiny blip on the final 3 hour stint of the return journey when we were further from McDonalds than we thought).
  16. I realised I don’t actually like Victoria’s Secret stuff that much.
  17. I sent so much stuff home from Melbourne over the year that the man in the Post Office said “to England?” every time I went in with a parcel.
  18. I realised I need to know more about politics.
  19. I discovered the true need to wear socks with my running shoes.
  20. I found a hairdresser that actually cuts off the amount you want, and doesn’t ask me how I blow dry my hair when she knows the answer is I DON’T.
  21. I found that when you exercise a lot, your hair and beauty game takes a serious hit.
  22. It seems that 5k in a beachfront race feels a lot further than 5k on the treadmill.
  23. It turns out I don’t like chia seeds. Or cacao powder.
  24. But against all odds I do like courgetti and natural peanut butter.
  25. I finally found the perfect eyeliner brush.
  26. I started saying no to cream on my Starbucks Christmas drinks for the first time EVER.
  27. I learned both verses of the Australian National Anthem.
  28. And upped my level of defence and respect for The Queen.
  29. I discovered that working from home is not always the dream your 9-5 office job leads you to believe it to be.
  30. I realised I’m over Lucy Watson.
  31. But made my boyfriend follow her on Instagram.
  32. Despite having fallen somewhat in love with mine and boyfriend’s long distance, novel-worthy existence, seeing some couples popping round to each other’s houses for the evening and having mutual family gatherings made me realise I do sometimes wish it was normal.
  33. I found that I will forever compare every mode of transport to The Tube.
  34. Taylor Swift got too cool for me. Bring back the country pop, gal.
  35. I heard the phrase ON FLEEK and quickly developed a seething hatred for its entire being.
  36. When I was new in Melbourne I made conversation with someone by telling them I thought I was allergic to my toothpaste.
  37. I learned never to make conversation by telling someone you think you’re allergic to your toothpaste.
  38. I cried at The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.
  39. I also cried at Masterchef Australia.
  40. I realised how sad I am that the early-twenties stage of my life where you live with girlfriends is over.
  41. I realised that Corgis are my spirit animal. And that I must have one.
  42. I went to JB HIFI and Harvey Norman in excess of one hundred times with my boyfriend while he stared at the same TV for hours on end. That’s love.
  43. I discovered the reason I am so unhappy after going to Pancake Parlour is because I don’t actually like pancakes that much.

2015, you were pretty rad. Bring on 2016.

Coco xx

fleek

Another Year Over…

Hey there. So here we are, at the end of another year, ready to raise our glasses, stuff our faces, and fester neck deep in turkey and Quality Street for a solid week – before vowing to lose weight and hit the gym in 2016, of course. And by 2016, we mean from the first Monday of 2016, because the few days preceding one’s return to work are nothing if not buffer days to delay the new and improved selves we vow to muster.

My transition into from 2015 to 2016 is going to go a little something like this. For the next few days I’ll be sailing through a limbo period of my healthy eating and gym routine, where I’ll more than likely rise feeling great, make my usual brekkie of oats or fruit, hit the gym, grab a coffee, and come home and write (often interspersed with a brief social encounter). Then, almost as the laptop closes, the lid to the biscuit tin magically lifts itself from grip, clinks down on the table, and those chocolate dipped beauties that we get graced with but once per year will fly into my mouth with little hesitation. Before I know it, Christmas Day and Boxing Day will roll around, also known as THE DIETER’S HALL PASS. That’s right. The gym is closed. CLOSED. I’m not allowed in. The sign on the door may as well say “bathe in turkey” because quite frankly, the six letter word they opt for translates as such in just about any tongue I have ever known. Yuhuh. I plan to eat what ever I can cram into my mouth, barely stopping for breath for the entire 48 hours, before I crawl back to the gym on the 27th with my tail between legs, ready for the meat sweats.

Anyway, enough about my – albeit somewhat problematic – eating habits. Once the colossal feast is over, I’ll be packing my suitcase and dragging my poor mother off to Heathrow AGAIN to drop me off for a tasty 9am flight. 9am you hear? Not bad, right? Weeellllll, when you live two hours from the airport and overestimate the timing of everything, a 9am flight is actually code for “hey Mum, I think we should leave at 3am”. Oh, and don’t forget those magic four words – JUST TO BE SAFE. Leaving 6 hours before your flight, at a time of day when traffic is incredibly unlikely, is absurd. But. I’ll be doing it anyway.

I’ll be rocking into Melbourne at the even tastier hour of 1.55am (so my poor Mum isn’t alone in the awkward airport drop off/pick up time warp). That’s right, boyfriend. Come on down.

As a sufferer of intense jet leg (the kind where you wake up at 4am, lay in bed restless and then race out to the kitchen the second you hear movement because the prospect of eating toast with your boyfriend’s Dad is simply SOMETHING TO DO), the prospect of landing in Melbourne on New Years Eve fills me with dread. Fly in for New Year they said. It’ll be fun they said. FALL ASLEEP AT THE PARTY THEY SAID. Let’s face it, it’s going to happen.

So post pyjama party (not everyone else, just me), the reality of 2016 will set in. Both my mum and boyfriend are cracking on with brand spanking new jobs, so they’re both killing the classic ‘new year, new start’ mantra that drives multimillion pound marketing campaign for the entire globe every year. But here I am, heading back to Melbourne, to an incomplete life. After having to leave my main contract job due to visa restrictions, I’m somewhat of a nomad again. Roaming free with little purpose, I’m already beginning to get flashbacks of when I first arrived in Melbourne – though granted it’s much less of a culture shock as many aspects will have remained constant while I soaked up the balmy fifteen degree ‘heatwave’ England had on offer.

So, I decided to make myself a killer New Years Resolution. Well, my main one is to be able to do ten push ups. Proper boy ones. It may sound like nothing to some people but my upper body and core strength is nowhere where near what it needs to be (partially due to an old injury, partially due to me just having the natural strength of a artichoke). But a better one. A fun one. One that’s actually a bit backwards. Yeah sure, I’m taking 2016 as my second chance to keep my fitness up while I’m overseas, but I wanted a fun resolution, too. Over my 8 months in Melbourne I slowly piled almost a stone back on of what I had lost in 2014 – and lost A LOT of muscle, but I’ve been working hard to kick 8lbs of that in the past 6 weeks and I intend to keep it that way. By the way, those of you who nailed the “What? What weight? You look the same to me” charade – your Oscars are in the mail. Top drawer.

ANYWAY GET TO THE RESOLUTION. You’re all thinking it.

Drink. More. Champagne.

Yep, drink more champagne. And prosecco. And bellinis. Basically anything bubbly in a flute. Why, you ask? Why is this weirdo vowing to drink more champagne in the same breath as vowing to keep her fitness up?

I’ll tell you why. Champagne, in the literal sense is utterly divine (and I do whole heartedly intend to actually consume more of the bubbly stuff, in moderation, of course) it’s more of a metaphor for the celebrating I intend to do. I’ve realised I’ve got a hell of a lot to celebrate, and I don’t glug the proverbial champagne as much as I should. Everything’s pretty damn good, so for 2016 I intend to raise my glass to everything I love more often. Sure, sometimes that glass will be full to the brim of Moet & Chandon, sometimes it’ll be filled with Passion Pop; sometimes it’ll be an empty hand fist pumping to mark the end of a great run, and sometimes it’ll be a high five for completing a killer piece of writing. Either way, the champagne – however real – will be consumed.

Here’s to a great 2016. Enjoy the last few days of the “It’s Christmas” excuse, make resolutions you want to keep, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to change next year. Quite often, it’s the things you’re doing right that deserve some recognition.

Over and out.

Coco xx

drinkmorechampagne

 

27 things you will have said if you’re from Ringwood

Bonjour. I’m bashing this post out from my warm, toasty couch on a Saturday evening full to the neckline of prosecco and cheese after a corker of a lunch at Renoufs in Westbourne – so please excuse any omissions in grammar perfection, won’t you. For anyone who saw my recent Facebook status, you’ll know where the inspo for this has come from. On my way to lunch today, I was pootling along the forest roads out of Ringwood when me and my little Peugeot were reduced to the hair raising speed of 5mph – because two horses were trotting along the side of the road. As I was picking my friend up from the train station, I was concerned I was going to be late. Chuckling to myself, I thought, wow, I’m going to have to say I’m late because of a horse. Yep, a HORSE. This got me thinking – what other hilarious sentences come out of the mouths of those of us from Ringwood? Here they come:

furlong

Image via thenewforest.co.uk

  1. “Sorry, I’m late, I was stuck behind a horse on my way here”.
  2. “I GOT A PARKING SPACE AT WAITROSE ON A SATURDAY.”
  3. “Well Jules, I was going to pop to HSBC yesterday but of course, I couldn’t – it was market day!”
  4. “Gosh, The Furlong is really coming up isn’t it.”
  5. “I just don’t understand how TOYS is still in business.”
  6. “Remember when Caffe Nero was Cosmetique!?”
  7. “Oh, that car mechanic is in Parkside” Where’s that? “You know, off Christchurch Road.” Nope? “Near Texaco.” Nope. “Where the carnival starts.” OH YEAH THERE. 
  8. “Remember London Discounts?”
  9. “Well the problem was, Jemeima’s friend Molly was out of catchment for Ringwood school. She ended up at Twynham”. Oh gosh how terrible for her. 
  10. “I saw Howard [Donald] yesterday” Oh really, where? “Waitrose”.
  11. “You’ll never guess who I saw yesterday – John Clees!” Oh wow, where? “Waitrose”.
  12. “I had to pick up some lightbulbs, masking tape, a watch battery and a dog toy, so I popped into Johnny Junks”.
  13. “Whoops, I mean Ringwood Surplus Stores!”
  14. “FREE PRAWN CRACKERS FROM THE CHINESE. GET IN”.
  15. “I STILL just can’t believe it’s not a 50mph limit on the A31 yet”.
  16. “I still look at Iceland and think of Woolworths.”
  17. “Christmas just isn’t the same without Woolworths is it?”
  18. “I knocked my exhaust off going over the cattle grid last week.”
  19. “Well we were going to book Disneyland for September but of course it’s Carnival isn’t it.”
  20. “I miss walking round the corner, seeing Cat Weasel and almost crapping my pants”.
  21. “Don’t get me wrong, I like the new Framptons, but I miss the old one”.
  22. “Who actually goes in Jaeger?”
  23. “Where are you watching the Carnival?!”
  24. “Those public toilets have come a long way since there used to be diarrhoea up the walls”.
  25. “I’m surprised the back entrance of Boots lasted so long! Woolworths had to shut theirs because of break ins incase you didn’t already know!!!!!”.
  26. “The Santa parade has been called off due to bad weather”.
  27. “I bloody love Ringwood!”.

C xx

What ‘plus size’ looks like according to 5 retailers

So, there I was, fresh off the boat (and by boat I mean Qantas Airbus) from Australia, ready to sink my teeth into some good old British high street shopping (and by high street I mean not outside, not on a street, and definitely inside my bed).

“I’m back in the world of next day delivery”, I thought to myself gleefully. The sheer size of Australia means waiting 3-5 business days for something (on a good day)… AND there’s no post on Saturdays. It’s as though they think I plan my outfits in advance or something. Anyway, primed with my MasterCard and ready to plonk a hundy in my cart (£100 for those who need translation), I scrolled through the likes of Asos and Missguided with a grin from ear to ear. Until I saw this. APPARENTLY PLUS SIZE MODELS ARE SKINNIER THAN I AM.

Now this struck a nerve with me in particular as I spend most of 2014 on a treadmill shedding the lbs. Despite slowly but surely tronking my way through enough hamburgers to pile 11lbs back on in Australia, I was still proudly stomping about in a good dress size or two less than pre-treadmill love affair, so I still considered it a mild victory. That was, until I saw myself exposed to some slender little filly with a great big plus sign plastered across her face on a website. And not just ‘a’ website. The shock of the first exposure lead me to explore a few other similar sites, and I didn’t like what I saw.

‘Sizes 16-24’ they claim. Funny that, did you haul the clothing in at the back with a giant bulldog clip as you photographed it on this size 10 rack of ribs I see before me? Why are brands taking the credit for providing a plus size range, yet promoting the clothes on a girl who is far from the size range? Here’s what ‘plus size’ looks like in five different UK online retailers:

ASOS CURVE: Claiming to cater to the curvier lass, the Curve range comes in at a size 18-30. Which is why it obviously makes total sense popping this LBD on a girl no bigger than a size 12. Exhibit A. SHE PRACTICALLY HAS AN EFFIN’ THIGH GAP.

AsosCurve

 

MISSGUIDED PLUS: Probably the worst of the bunch, these cheeky little buggers have slipped this olive skinned stunner into a teal tea dress claimed to be for a size 16-24. As suspected, not a thunder thigh in sight. *crys into size 12 jeans*.

MissguidedPlus

BOOHOO PLUS: Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, OH HELLO BOOHOO. This little chica is wearing a crop top (YES, A CROP TOP) and maxi skirt and claims to be a size 16-24. Well. Let me just crawl into a hole and weep, then, because if that’s a size 16, then I sir am Camilla Parker Bowles.

BooHooPlus

NEW LOOK INSPIRE: New Look faired slightly better in my assessment of their choice of models for the Inspire range for women sized 18-32, but there of course was one or two stragglers. Presenting the furthest thing from a size 18, ladies and gents. Chunky knees? No. Bingo wings? No again. Yet here I am rocking both, thinking I’m a size 10. Well, more fool me. Here she comes:

NewlookPlus

H&M+: Ah, the Swedes. Known not only for their tasty (if not somewhat horsey) meatballs and creative furniture naming skills, they also spat out our old fave H&M. Our go-to guys for a pair o’ leggings or a quickie outfit for a last minute night out, and oh, oh, YEAH YOU GOT IT IN ONE – an inconceivably slim ‘plus size’ model. Their selection of girls for their +18-28 range was commendable, but it what have we learned today? It wouldn’t be a plus size range without an absolute corker of a skinny bitch in there would it. As promised, here she is. Probably a creative who sips skinny capps while painting on her balcony WEARING SIZE 12 CLOTHING:

HMPlus

Food for thought, women of the world. Before this post gets completely misconstrued and I get trolled for hating on plus size women, that’s totally not what this is about. It’s about retailers supposedly supporting positive body image by providing a plus size range, and then totally wrecking it by using models that fit a size that the range doesn’t even carry. Sort it out!

Love (and now probably doughnuts) always,

Coco x