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Now I'm 29

Pinstripe jumpsuit

And so I enter the last year of my 20s.

28 was the most difficult year of my life. There's no gentle way of describing the shitstorm that has ensued over the last 365 days, and I also don't want to dwell on it, but from September 2017 to now, I had to battle a lot. A diagnosis of anxiety and my first experience of panic attacks and therapy (the latter, by the way, I cannot recommend enough because just talking to somebody impartial is so cleansing); crippling self-doubt and lack of confidence brought on by a mentally-destructive relationship finally coming to an end; and, worst of all, losing my dad unexpectedly just over three months ago.

I don't want to talk about these things in detail. Not because I'm ashamed or in denial, but because writing about them here isn't how I've learnt to live with them. There's plenty of hard work that I've put in away from the internet, along with the unwavering support of family and friends that continues to help me every single day, but really, I feel like 29 is going to be an exciting year for me.

Over the last year, I've seen two of my best friends get married, one of them has had twins, and another two are pregnant. Multiple others have got engaged and bought houses, whilst others have broken up long-term relationships and/or moved to other countries. Everybody is making changes, and as cliche as it sounds, I've learnt SO much about myself in the last year, from all of their experiences as well as my own.

I understand what I'm willing to put up with and what I deserve in relationships, friendships and in my career. I still know that travelling the world fills me with so much joy, but I know that I don't have to go alone - instead, I can just choose to if I fancy it. But along with engagement and pregnancy announcements everywhere, I'm also bombarded with people telling me that they DON'T want those things, and for a while, I felt bad for being single and not wanting to be.

I realised through time alone, various online dating exploits, and just being honest with myself, that it's OK for me to want to get married one day and have children. I'm not failing feminism or being overly dependent on somebody. In fact, dating for the first time in almost eight years allowed me to be brutally truthful about what I do and don't want, as well as understanding my own worth. Turning people down and being turned down myself was a well-needed lesson in just getting to know myself and it meant that when I met an incredible man, the feeling of 'Ooooo maybe this is a bit too soon' pretty quickly gave way to 'Hell yes, I deserve him and he deserves me!'. I don't give a shit about standard timelines or what everyone else is doing because my god, I have never felt so incredibly loved.

And really, if we're going to get super soppy, 28 has been a year of knowing wholeheartedly that I am SO loved. From my housemates who listened to me rant after every shit date, my beautiful Bangarang girls who spoiled me with a Lush spa treatment when I got back from Jamaica, my unbelievable family who dropped everything in order to support me every single time I needed them, my best friends, whether at home or abroad, who called me every day when I was at my lowest, and my boyfriend who, despite only meeting me in January, understands exactly what I need 24/7 (insider fact: it's mainly hugs and double raspberry Magnums).

Tomorrow I'm flying to Hong Kong to meet my best friend's twin baby girls for the first time, before jetting off to Japan a few days later. Those squidgy, little bubs signify so much exciting change and hope, and I'm already so in love with them. They, along with everything over the last year, just go some way to making me who I am and I'm genuinely hopeful about what 29 might bring.

What I'm wearing as a super grown-up, sassy 29 year old

Pinstripe jumpsuit
Pinstripe jumpsuit - Look of the Day* / Trainers - Look of the Day*

A Magical Evening at the Launch of Wizarding Wardobes at Warner Bros. Studio Tour

Horace Slughorn armchair pyjama suit

OK, so maaaaaaaaybe I have a slight obsession with the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Leavesden. The thing is, they keep reeling me in with shiny new exhibitions, giving me even more insight into the Harry Potter movies that I love so much. This time, there's a focus on the costumes and make-up that bring the best-loved (and hated) characters from the films to life, with Wizarding Wardrobes*.

Codebreaking and Cocktails at The Bletchley, London

Secret entrance to The Bletchley

Throughout my childhood, I went on approximately 18 million school trips to Bletchley Park. It's the only place of real historic importance within my hometown of Milton Keynes, a city that celebrated its 50th birthday this year, and as it so happens I used to go to school 10 minutes down the road from the famous WWII site. So obviously I was intrigued and slightly baffled when I heard about The Bletchley, a pop-up centred around codebreaking, devised by the team who ran the recent Breaking Bad 'meth lab' bar.

On Not Going Away For The Bank Holiday Weekend

Bedford embankment river ouse

For the first time in a long time, I didn't go away for the bank holiday weekend. My original plan was to go to Lisbon, which is very much still on my to-visit list, but when my friend found out she had some clashes with work, I decided to do what the majority of people do on a long weekend: nothing.

Finding Inspiration in the Little Things

Fashion blogger in camo jacket, pink tshirt, jeans, khaki boots

I've got that feeling again where I need things to be shaken up. I fancy change, but not of the big life-changing, quit-my-job-to-travel sort like I did last year (although that is always tempting); more of the small tweaks and updates to my life to inject some newness into everyday mundanity.

Exploring the Forbidden Forest at Warner Bros. Studio Tour

Acramantula in the Forbidden Forest

Being a Harry Potter fan is the gift that keeps on giving. The magic of the books kept going through film, and even though it's been six years since the final movie there has been so much to keep us Potterheads obsessed. It doesn't have to be a brand new West End play (although I could talk about Cursed Child alllllllllll day every day), because the Warner Brothers Studio Tour evolves throughout the year. I've now visited four times and there is always something new to explore, and this time? It's the out-of-bounds Forbidden Forest.

Laters 2016, It's Been Weird

Pan Pacific glass roof elevator

I'm not the first to say that 2016 has been an odd one. Globally of course it has been a total clusterfuck, but personally it's been a totally mixed bag. I've experienced the most change since I graduated and moved to London almost seven years ago, but actually it's all ended up incredibly positive - even if it didn't necessarily feel like it at the time.

Added Extras #50

Lifestyle blog round-up

Well! I've finally hit the 50th edition of Added Extras and what a day to do so because today I fly to South Africa! Ever since I came back from The Big Trip in June, I've been saving and waiting for my next adventure and I am so excited to go to Africa for the first time.

Added Extras #49

UK lifestyle blogger montage

Tomorrow is my last day in the office until 16th January and I am ready for Christmas please and thank you. I don't know if the dark mornings, my empty bank account or the fact I haven't really eaten a vegetable in weeks, but December is taking it's toll and come Wednesday I'll be on my mum's sofa, with my baby sister (who's actually 21 this week HOW IS THAT A THING?), watching Scrooged and finally feeling festive.

Added Extras #48


It's been another couple of weeks of mayhem, with everything being stupid busy at work, my festive social life ramping up, and as a result, I've got my annual December cold. It's been here for a week now and frankly, I'm fed up of it. I spent most Friday and all of Saturday in bed trying to shift it, but it's persisting and I've got too much to do so I'm just cracking on. I've got just over a week of work left until I head home for Christmas and then I'm not back in the office until 16th January. Woohoo!

Six Reasons to Visit Bankside, London

The Shard, London

Lying on the south side of the river is many a tourist trap. The Southbank draws in the crowds for the London Eye, but it's the hidden second-hand book stalls and graffiti covered skate parks that keep locals coming back. Similarly, London Bridge has the Shard and Borough Market, but walk 10 minutes down towards Southwark and there's a new area undergoing renovation. Here's the things you should check out down at Bankside now, before the crowds sniff it out!

Added Extras #47

UK lifestyle blogger

It's only Tuesday and this week is already proving to be a giant pain in the arse. Every year when things start getting festive, I promise myself I won't book in too much but somehow it happens without me even realising. Add to that a hectic time at work, Christmas presents to be bought, the wedding of two of my favourite people and an upcoming holiday to South Africa, I don't really have time to do anything.

Added Extras #46

UK lifestyle travel blog

Hiiiiiiiii! A few Tuesdays have passed and I've fallen behind on these weekly instalments again. The main reason being that I'm trying hard to not force myself into doing things I don't want to do and just enjoy some down time. I love writing this blog, but when I'm tired from work and still maintaining an active social life, typing posts and editing photos has had to take a back seat.

How to Spend a Day in Victoria, London

Townhouse in Victoria, London

There's a whole heap of guides out there on the hidden gems of London, and I love to explore my city to find the weird and wonderful. Recently though, rather than one shop or cafe that I happened to stumble upon, I found the quirky charms of an entire area and one which I've visited numerous times in the years I've lived here.

Added Extras #45

UK lifestyle blog

Oh dear. I'm very behind. It's just that October was a bit of a weird one; it started off horribly, had a very interesting middle and ended a bit....meh.

Life Drawing Class with Nude Life (NSFW)

Life drawing class sketches

Planning a hen party is a stressful business. You suddenly question everything you know about one of your best mates because the fear of arranging something she will absolutely hate is so very real. And I've already got my bridesmaid dress sorted, so I had no intention of being kicked out of the wedding just yet.

Added Extras #44

Best lifestyle bloggers UK round-up

In the immortal words of the poet that is Ronan Keating, 'Life is a rollercoaster.' Except, the one I'm on is making me so damn exhausted. There's been a lot of changes going on and they're definitely all for the best, but please can I just skip forward to 27th December when I'm on a plane to South Africa, hurtling towards sunshine and AWAY from real life for a bit.

Added Extras #43

Weekly round-up from London lifestyle blogger

This last week I've been living the quintessential London yuppie lifestyle. Sushi and brunch and shopping and theatre - I'm basically a Kardashian. Except, all that frivolity means I'm now poor and tired but it was all worth it. I was dreading my birthday this year but my fabulous friends made sure that being away from my family wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. I'm a lucky gal.

Lumos Charity Gala at Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Lumos Charity Ambassadors with Evanna Lynch

Sometimes, something amazing will drop into my inbox. Over and above the 15% ASOS discount for my birthday (although let's not lie, I totally used that) and the general newsletter nonsense that I forget I've subscribed to, there is an email to stop me in my tracks, throw down my phone and do a happy dance in my chair. And that's how I began my journey with Lumos.

Added Extras #42

Weekly round-up by London lifestyle blogger

I have no idea how it's the 20th September AGAIN. The day just seems to roll around quicker every year and insists that I get older with it. Today I turn 28. I don't really have much to say on the subject because as much as I'm still getting my shit together as a fully fledged adult, 27 was a bloody hard year and I'm not all that sorry to say goodbye to it. Plus I have an excuse to eat cake, I get presents just for being alive, and I have a monster bottomless brunch planned in for the weekend. I'm already smashing this shiny new age of mine!
As of 20th November 2014, any products marked with an asterisk (*) have been provided as a sample for unbiased review