I Have A Rose Gold Watch, Am I Grown-Up Now?

I get sent a lot of really gorgeous stuff as a result of my blog. I have to pinch myself sometimes, even after all these years, when I think that this is actually my part-time job. I don't feel "grown-up" enough most days for this to be true; sometimes I'm not sure if I feel like a proper blogger, a proper woman, a proper adult, a proper creative. I need help sometimes, from the little things that sit around my house and remind me, whenever I see them, how much beauty my online creativity has provided for me. Objects that make me feel somehow a little more together, a little more grown-up, a little more "here", a little more done.

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Watches are no longer really necessary for their practical purpose. Everyone tells the time by their phone. But we keep buying them because of what they mean, because of our learned material culture, because of aesthetics. We create ourselves, and those we love, with the things that adorn us. Being grown-up is ultimately just a matter of doing something with the time we are given, and trying to learn at the same pace as we wrinkle up. And making the most of our time is easier if we have a perpetual reminder.

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This is the first even-remotely "grown-up" watch I've ever had, at the ripe old age of 25. It's definitely one of the most beautiful objects that blogging has brought into my life. When I went to have it sized, the watch-maker said she had never seen one like it before, which pleased me a great deal. It's made from maple wood and rose gold, and was chosen for me and my style by the super kind and knowledgeable people at Jord. Clothes-wise I'm quite a laid-back person, and I tend to express my personality more through my hair, my makeup, my jewelry, my body, the way I speak with my hands. I have always been an over-sized watch and blue jeans type of woman inside, and now my exterior is in sync. I am a little more here, a little more done.

You can win your own timepiece by entering my giveaway. The winner will receive a $75 e-voucher to spend, and everyone who enters will win a $20 one to put towards a timepiece. The giveaway ends on the 12th of June. Good luck, everyone.

This post contains pr samples/sponsorship, please see my pr page for details

Wooden Watches For Sale

New Horror Funkos!!

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I have a theme for my Funkos. I like themes. I like a certain aesthetic consistency in most things; it helps me bring beauty and a stylised order to an otherwise hectic and disorganised life. It's one of the reasons I love blogging. I love to curate life, and gather together the bits and pieces that I feel can say something about me that I cannot express by pure, spontaneous, dirty living, which runs away before I can grab hold of it.

The theme I have in mind for my Funkos is this: Monsters, and the women who know how to handle them. At first it might seem like a strange way for a feminist to collect her toys, but let me explain the idea a little bit better first. Not all these "monsters" are male, (Ghostface for example, spoiler alert, is a female in Scream 4) and not all of them are even human; to me they symbolise the demons within us all. The reason I am collecting specifically female champions, warriors, fighters, slayers, rescuers, saviours, and yes, even victims, is because I'm collecting those that have meant the most to me, as a woman, and the ones I have most deeply identified with. The archetype of the warrior princess has always fascinated me. Over the years, certain characters have taught me how to handle the monsters in my own life, and those inside me, by applying reason (Dana Scully), by applying love and forgiveness (Belle in Beauty and The Beast), and when all else fails, by slaying (Buffy Summers, forever and always). I know it's all a bit deep for a bunch of fucking Funko Pops, but that's what I'm like. So I thought I'd share.

My Buffy Summers and Ghostface Funko Pop Vinyls were kindly gifted to me by Vanilla Underground, see my PR page for details 

Spring Fashion Haul

It's been an absolute age since I've done a fashion post, let alone a fashion haul. Lately I've been intentionally buying up new things for spring (and being sent a few by brands, lucky me) so it just NEEDS to be done now, I think. I feel like I'm making my way towards having more of a "capsule wardrobe" than I've ever had before. Usually I'm the most impulsive, novelty-driven consumer possible. I buy strawberry bags and mermaid earrings and watermelon shorts. But I've been actually trying to focus in on versatile pieces that are more deeply suited to my personality and lifestyle. I'll run through them for you now but I'm sure I'll style them in outfit posts soon also!

I started out with a trench coat, because not having one began to feel kind of ridiculous. I picked this absolute keeper from Gap, after looking around for months at different ones. I wear it pretty much every day now so I probably should have bought one sooner, to be honest. I mix it a lot with my new rose-gold trainers from New Look. On the website they call them "Stone" coloured, but in real life they look rose gold to me - perhaps my obsession is making me hallucinate.

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Continuing with the rose gold theme, I've been wearing my metallic headphones from Kanen every single day. You can find similar ones on Amazon if you want a more reasonable alternative to Frends. The dress you can just about see underneath my trench is by Rare but I found it on Depop, and I was thinking of styling it for an OOTD post at some point, as it is super-sexy in a Jessica Rabbit type way. 

I've been trying to wear earrings now that my ears are getting gradually more and more pierced and elf-like. I was kindly gifted these ones and these ones from Happiness Boutique to try out, and I love them both. The Red Wine Drop Earrings feel really high-octane, and I tend to wear them out in the evening with an LBD or something. The Lavish Bar Statement Earrings are lighter and have more of a hippie vibe, so they go with pretty much everything in my wardrobe. Oh, and if you wanted to pick up something from Happiness Boutique for yourself, you can use my discount code "witchcake" for 10% off on orders over £15o until May 27th.

I know it's kind of mean of me to include something that isn't available any more, but I needed to mention my Chanel evening bag, because I've barely photographed it until now and it's one of the most beautiful things I own! I always get it out more in the spring, simply because in the spring I tend to go more places that warrant a Chanel bag, ya feel?

This post contains pr samples/affiliates, please see my disclaimer here 

How I Got Rose Gold Hair

how-to-rose-gold-hairIf you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you will have already seen recent selfies of me with my new rose-gold, pinky peachy hair. I've been wanting to go this colour for months and months, and fawning over images of pretty metallic hair on Pinterest while I mulled it over. I finally committed to the process (and shelled out around £100 all in all - becoming a unicorn ain't cheap) and I am sooooo happy I did. Here's how the magic happened.

What I Started With: Before I began, I had waist-length, auburn hair. It had been tinted with semi-permanent dyes many months ago, and had a lot of virgin roots. It was quite strong and healthy, despite being in desperate need of a trim, and I felt confident it could withstand a bleaching. 

The Bleach: I decided to go to a professional salon rather than bleaching it myself, because the kind of blonde that I wanted was a warm, natural-looking blonde - a golden canvas for temporary rose, peach, and pinky dyes that I could play around with to make something quite deep and metallic. So I booked in to Bauhaus in Cardiff, where they use Aveda products - my favourite. They gave me an all over bleach with a stronger solution on my ends. At this point you will look like a CheeseString, until they tone your hair. They gave me several rounds of ash and natural toner until it was all a consistent colour (check out this selfie to see what I looked like).

 photo 72a1da99-3b3b-4f14-abb2-8f6826c9f224_zpsqetrbswn.jpgThe Cut: After I had my blonde sorted, I decided to cut off the dry ends of my hair so that it would be healthier and happier after all that bleach. I had very, very long hair, so I opted for layers, about four inches taken off the length, and a "horseshoe" pattern around my face so that it tapers at the back (think Zooey Deschanel). This also got rid of the darker-blonde ends of my hair so that the rose-gold would go on evenly, and give me less hair to dye!

The Rose Gold Tint: I started with one bottle of Rose dye from Bleach London (their products are all vegan and cruelty-free). I originally planned to mix Rose and Awkward Peach, but I had enough warm, peachy tones in my hair to be getting on with, so all I needed were cooler pink tones. With the first half of the dye I followed the instructions on the bottle and put it on towel-dried hair for 15 mintues, but after I did this, there was next to no colour on my hair. So I did a little strand test on DRY hair, which I left on for a couple of hours. The strand came out a beautiful, bright metallic pink. Happy with the strand, I went ahead and used the last of the bottle on completely dry hair, left it on for about one hour and a quarter, and then rinsed off the excess. I did not rinse until the water ran clear, like you would with regular dye, because that would literally leave no colour on you at all. When I was done I dried my hair with a black towel to avoid any stains getting anywhere!

And that's about it. You can see what I looked like immediately afterwards in this picture, and after a few washes, the colour fades to peach, ginger (like this) and then rosy blonde. If you have any questions about going rose-gold then please pop me a comment!

Why I'm Quitting Internet Dating

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I've been meeting men and women online for about three years. Sometimes it would turn into a monogamous relationship - but when things ended, I would always go back.

It began when I made the decision that I was going to find a Dominant. I wanted to see if I could get my needs met, somehow, with only a vague idea of what they were and what would satisfy them. I joined Fetlife, a networking site for kinky people. As a teenager, I was cripplingly agoraphobic and anxious. I don't know how I could best describe to you what it's like to possess both a crazed sexual drive, and a fear of talking to people I find attractive. The two do not easily coexist and used to push me to do dangerous and destructive things, in an attempt to break the periods of isolation that my fear of crowds and open spaces often confined me to. I would have moments of explosive, wild bravery, where my impulses would briefly overcome my fear, and compel me to take a desperate risk. When I joined Fetlife, it was the first time I was able to talk to others about my deepest desires on a casual, daily basis. I lost my shyness and extremity, and was quickly found. Within two weeks I was in a relationship.

Ten months later, when that relationship ended, I returned to Fetlife. This time around, I joined Tinder as well. At first it was thrilling to have limitless choices again, without the phobias and the shame that had tortured me. I explored everything I discovered, with a greater understanding of my own needs, and so much less at stake. But the words we use in matters of the heart are heavily recycled, and over the last three years, there has been hardly any original communication. A lot of those conversations could have been written by the same lover. I've used OkCupid, Bumble, Tinder, Happn, Fetlife, Whiplr, Her, SugarDaddy.com, and a whole host of other dating sites in the gaps where I was free to. I started to come across people I had already dated. Swiping past exes in my Tinder stack, I would laugh at the contrast between their profile and what I knew of their real self, re-writing them in my head. In my relationships, I kept finding little clues; flashes of deja vu come to tell me I was dating the same man, only in a different form. They appeared in odd combinations and in unexpected moments. The plain navy bedding. The Batman laptop stickers. That certain IKEA chest of drawers. The candle jar with the black paraffin soot up the sides, that stains my hand every time I light it. Them, crying, unable to cope. Me, silent and tired. The black sex toys. The belt. The empty bottles of whisky. The drunken phone calls. The morning light. The train station.

Growing detached and observant on dates, that feeling of repetition intensified, until it began to feel like a game of Guess Who. Except it was not a game, but my one and only romantic life. As time has passed, I have grown tired of that type of  person. The majority of people looking around online are not ready to find something. Especially something like me. 

I have changed since all this started. I'm openly kinky to all and everyone I meet, and I have a much larger circle of kinky friends now, who I can explore with, should I wish to. I no longer need the distance of a dating app in order to be honest about that. The usual rhetoric is that internet dating is just a convenient means to an end, because our lifestyles make it difficult to meet people organically. But I have come to believe that only truly applies to a small percentage. For me, it was about having very specific kinks that I needed to confess. And for all the men that I met, it seemed to be about disposability, and their incapacity to connect to another person in real life or otherwise.

The other day, after all these years, I deleted all my dating accounts. Not just the apps, the actual accounts. For a while I was afraid to do this, thinking my love life would be barren without them, but I needn't have worried. If anything, I feel more approachable in person now, more connected to the people around me. Should the dates become less frequent, I still think I will survive. I can't imagine anything worse than one day, as an old woman with grey and wrinkled hands, still leaning down to light a candle with paraffin soot up the sides of the jar, and not even caring who it's for.

Septum Piercing (And Re-Piercing, And Re-Piercing...)

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When I'm wearing it, my septum piercing is one of the first things people notice about me. I get a lot of lovely comments and questions about it from curious people or those who are considering having it done themselves, so I thought I'd put together a guide for you all to get the low-down. I'm not a qualified piercer, so this post is merely based on my own experience as a piercing-lover, and on things I've been taught by my piercers over the years. If you have anything more to ask after reading, just pop it in a comment - I'm always happy to talk about piercings!   

Does it hurt? All piercings hurt, in a way, but how you experience them very much depends on your own body and mind. I enjoy the process of being pierced, despite acknowledging that it's "painful" on an objective level. I like the feel of metal and of controlled, professionally-administered pain. Putting my masochism aside for a second though, I'd rank a septum as around a 7/10 on the ouchy piercing scale. It will make your eyes water, no matter how tough you are, so don't go and get your septum done while wearing false eyelashes, or even mascara if you can avoid it. I learnt that one the hard way.

How much will it cost? Mine was £15 in a tattoo studio in Pembrokeshire, but they can go up to around £30 depending on the location and jewellery you choose. To be honest, if they ask you for more than £25 including a piece of basic jewellery, I'd go somewhere else.

How long does it take to heal? For me it was about two months before I was brave enough to take my horseshoe out and try new jewellery. A septum piercing goes through a really thin membrane, not cartilage, so it's a quick healer compared to some other piercings. But don't rush it!

What kind of jewellery should I get? Always get stainless steel, sterling silver or gold jewellery. I've bought nose rings from places like Claire's that I assumed were stainless steel, and then had them go green and brassy and minging. Always check and double-check what material it's made out of. A regular septum piercing should be around 16g (g for gauge indicates the actual size of the hole) but make sure you ask your piercer, because they can vary. Obviously you will be able to wear things that are smaller (even though they won't hold your piercing at the right size for long) but you can't wear anything bigger until it's fully healed, should you wish to stretch it.

Will it close over quickly/how can I re-pierce it? I've re-pierced my own several times over the years, and it's easier than you'd think. If you haven't worn any septum jewellery for quite a while and it looks like the hole has closed over, sterilise a stainless steel ring (something sturdy that you can put some force behind) and get yourself in front of a magnifying mirror. With one hand, pinch your septum and pull outwards, so that the hole is as stretched out as it can be. Then take your jewellery and work it a little inside until you know you've found the right angle, and then gently but firmly push it all the way through, applying slow pressure. As you do this, you will see/feel the hole sort of re-opening, as if your jewellery is simply stretching it back open. Your eyes will water but it's not absurdly painful. When it comes out the other side your jewellery will have a bit of gunk on it, so just rub that off with a wet wipe or tissue and you're good to go. There shouldn't be any blood, but if there is, wet a bit of tissue with cold water and hold it there until the bleeding stops, and then clean it regularly as if it were a brand new piercing. 

How do people react to you when you have a septum piercing? Any change in our appearance will make people see us differently, and that's their loss, but that's how it is. Because it's a very visible piercing, I get a lot of comments on my septum, often from complete strangers. Comments include "you look like a bull", "doesn't it still hurt you though?", "I feel squeamish just looking at it", "what about when you have a cold?" et cetera. I also get a lot of random men telling me that they want to attach a leash to it and lead me around by the nose. So have a comeback prepared for that one.

Can I hide it for work/school? Yes, you can. Because it's all the way up inside your nose, you can get plain, short jewellery to hold the piercing for you, usually called a keeper. It depends on the structure of your nose, but I find that I can put in a regular spiked barbell, like you'd wear on an eyebrow, and it won't show at all.

my rose-gold septum ring is a pr sample gifted by Jewellery Box UK, and my lipstick is Mac Russian Red

Bedroom Jamz

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I wrote the first instalment of this post quite a long time ago now. I always liked the idea and kept it in the back of my mind in case I ever wanted to add to it. Most of the music I listen to is unapologetically sexual; I love stuff from all genres that deals with love, heartbreak, jealousy and desire. I like a lot of typical strip-club music for this reason, as well as old blues and classic rock. The playlist that I add to most often on my Spotify is called "Sex Magic" (for now it's a private playlist, but I might make it public one day if enough people ask!) and I am constantly harassing my friends for their bedroom tunes, because I know that those are the most likely to be the ones I'll enjoy. I've left out some of my go-to songs just because they are well-known already (like Zayn's "Pillowtalk" and The Weeknd's "Wicked Games") and instead focused on BDSM-themed tracks, or ones that create a nice atmosphere for kink. Most searches for that kind of thing just bring up Marilyn Manson, so I thought I'd share a more diverse mix for those who are that way inclined. 

Baseline - Miss Kittin

This is a catchy techno-pop song with slightly kinky lyrics ("baseline for your body/ let's talk about it/ message to you daddy/ I can talk to you") that is great for dancing and fun, high tempo activities.

Naked Wet Hot (Dimension Remix) - Junksista

Junksista is a pretty rad BDSM-oriented industrial artist that makes very gothic, thumping music that is perfect for intense scenes or dancing. The lyrics are always gloriously obscene ("I'm naked/I'm wet/I'm hot/ I'll do ya right here/ oh yes I am a slut") and in Junksista's amazingly sexy German accent, it's all a bit great.

Physical - Nine Inch Nails

One of the lesser-known NIN songs that I still think is one of their best, this is a brilliant tune for stripping, dancing and the like. Trent Reznor is forever bae.

Desire - Meg Myers

This might sound kind of loud and screamy to be sex music at first, but I've had it on the background on a lower volume and it works surprisingly well. The lyrics are intense, desperate and dramatic, so it's not one for chilled or low-key situations.

Leave The Lights On (DNTST Remix) - Meiko

This remix of a brilliant indie track by Meiko (about infidelity, oddly enough) is awesome for cuddles, aftercare, or romantic situations. I've put it on after a party to chill out to before and it works just as well for that too.

Work Song - Hozier

Hozier is always pretty sexy music, let's be honest, but personally I think this song is his best for bedroom situations. It has a gorgeous narrative and lyrics, and a really sultry feel. I sometimes play this in the bath to relax, just because the vocal is so lovely.

Waiting Game - Banks

Banks is yet another very "night-time" artist that I listen to a hell of a lot. This track is kind of darkly sexy and emotional at the same time, dealing with quite complex themes around relationships, jealousy and heartbreak.

Ring Of Fire - Lera Lynn

This is a cover of the famous Johnny Cash track, which should be a sacrilege but somehow isn't. Lynn does it justice with a totally re-imagined version that is much slower, sexier, and more sinister. No one is quite Johnny Cash, and she doesn't try to be, but makes an almost entirely new song. The only thing I have against it, is that they used it in a Pretty Little Liars love scene (spoiler alert look away now) between Spencer and Caleb, which I think we can all agree should never have happened.

(in photo: gold headphones by Kanen // bullet vibe was gifted by Lovehoney // lipstick is Russian Red by Mac)

A Non-Mother's Day

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My mother hasn't ever really been that bothered about Mother's Day. She's the kind of woman that finds meaningless ritual rather tedious, and if gifts or letters have nothing behind them other than obligation, then she'd rather not have them. And she wouldn't resent going without. She's a minimalist in taste and in sentiment. She adores getting gifts that really mean something, on any occasion or day of the year, and gives them freely all the time, but novelty or themed gifts are most definitely not her thing. She's also very generous and would normally try and find a way to spoil others on her own birthday. I ended up treating her to a few home things from The White Company a couple of weeks before Mother's Day, courtesy of the super nice people at Ocean loans as part of their Mother's Day campaign, and then going out with her on the day itself to get coffee. She loves simple floral arrangements so I got her some greenery to put in her new vases.

Going shopping with her always makes me want to start hauling the homeware. I've been eyeing up so many things in the Primark, New Look and H&M home sections lately. I am literally the worst for keeping plants alive (raising a succulent is harder than it looks, guys) but I still give it a shot far more often than I should. Maybe I should settle for having cactus-print sheets or something instead? Or maybe I could start watering that dodgy bit of damp in my bathroom? Idk. I'm not green-fingered. But I like the pots.

This post contains pr samples/sponsorship, please see my disclaimer here