Riches to Ruins: Budapest Hen Weekend


🛳🍾🛁 👯‍♂️ As soon as we arrived in Budapest, I felt more relaxed (the generous G & T’s…and proseccs on the plane may have helped) it felt we’d picked a winner of a location and could just crack on with the weekend’s aghenda. Aside from the indirect demand that we leave the country, the hen only had one other specific order – ‘Sophie, I just don’t want a stripper. Do NOT get me a stripper’. I’ll just mention that my Mum used to say to me ‘I want never gets’…as b2b would learn, the opposite is also true.

As well as obviously getting suitably ‘Pest’, we also wanted to appeal to the hen’s geek streak and try and soak up some culture whilst we were there as well. This meant that we managed to straddle ‘completely civilised’ and ‘completely uncivilised’ over the weekend.  Some of the highlights are below:

Szimpla Kert Ruins Bar

Address: Kazinczy utca 14, Budapest 1075, Hungary (open daily, until late)

Anyone that had been to Budapest before (and TripAdvisor who reckon it’s the No.1 Nightligfe attraction in Budapest) told us to go here and we followed their advice…twice. in one day.   We went there for drinks as soon as we arrived, ticking off our first cultural point on the agenda by having the hen knock back a shot of pálinka (a typical Hungarian shot – sort of like a fruity brandy) on entry. Beware, of having too many of these – it’s quite potent and will blow those light-up willy earrings right off.


Once you’ve gotten over the prices (it’s so cheap, it’s scary), you’ll realise you’re already probably quite merry. Szimpla Kert wasn’t completely taken over by tourists, some locals next gave us a warm welcome, but there was a very generous smattering of stag with only a ‘hint of hen’. If you’re not the bride to be and are one of the single hens – this is kert-ainly a great place to head if you’re on the pull (word of warning: just avoid the Stag, he’s probably the one that’s been dressed in the nylon wedding dress since Gatwick). Drinks and potential szimpla snogging aside, this bar as the names suggest is one of the most famous of Budapest’s renowned ‘Ruins Bars’. An eclectic junkyard of old, new, weird and wonderful, you really have to see it to appreciate it. We had a few ‘bar snacks’ as well – they sound a bit random, but they’re great. The chicken and the cheese salad were the perfect antidote to our missed lunch and lined the stomachs just the right amount. No hen, stag or visit for that matter to Budapest would be complete without at least one trip here. Even two visits will leave you Hungary (lol) for more.

Széchenyi Thermal Bath

Address: H-1146 Budapest, XIV. kerület Állatkerti körút 9-11 (open daily, until 10pm)

We originally debated going here on Saturday night to experience one of the infamous Budapest ‘SPArty’s’. That said, the ‘sausage-fest-bodily-fluids-everywhere’ style reviews put us off (still have a look on Instagram, they look incredible). We did want to go to the Széchenyi Thermal Baths though, if only for a cool dip out of the 33 degree heat. We headed there, a little delicate obviously, on Saturday afternoon, feeling culturally optimistic in light of it being the largest medicinal baths in Europe. We’d pre-booked tickets (about £30 each) for 15 of us and with our booking print-out, all of us got given a locker key/fob thing and directed down to the changing rooms really quickly (defs book before you go – some travel sites also offer skip-the-line Spa entry and a dinner river cruise). I’ve always been more “book clever, socially stupid” and the changing rooms presented some practical challenges for me: my friend asked why I was trying to fasten my locker fob round my ankle when everyone had them round the wrists. I guess I just like my feet. Then actually figuring out how to lock the locker with the fob was a bit of a minefield. Once successfully sorted out (by my minders friends) we headed up to the Baths and given the July weather, opted for the cold one.


If you want to swim, you have to wear a swimming cap/any hat actually and we had a lol at a couple of the gals donning their sexy red caps and getting involved. A local youth orchestra were playing at the side of the pool. It was a bit of a change from our last ‘pool party’ – Miss Dynamite and Tinie Tempah at Ushuaia in Ibiza – but absolutely brilliant. I’m thinking of taking up the Triangle as a professional hobby. We stayed in the pool for an hour or two and some explored the indoor saunas and Jacuzzis before heading down to the changing room. Handy tip here – when you finally figure out how to lock your locker, remember where it is and what number it is…then you don’t need to spend ages searching for it and trying your luck with other people’s . Word of warning, the showers aren’t for the prudish – there’s a no door policy (as opposed to open door) and anything but full nudity seems somewhat inapprops.

New York Café 

Address: Erzsébet krt. 9-11, 1073 Hungary (open daily 8am – Midnight)

The late July sunshine dries you off from the Spa pretty quickly and after a quick make-up refresh c/o world famous M’s Salon, we dried our hair en route to Afternoon Tea at the New York Café  which bills itself as ‘the most beautiful café in the world’.  It may well be found guilty of tooting its own horn, but it’s not far wrong.  At the turn of the 20th century the New York Café (New York Kávéház) was the most beautiful and as history tells it, the most beloved café in Budapest.  It has a history almost as illustrious as its’ décor and in the interest of time, we’ll fast forward to 2006 when it was restored to its former splendour.


It’s not a place for plastic penises perhaps, but it doesn’t take itself too seriously. The staff are warm and friendly and with the ornate gold columns and intricate painted ceilings, there’s no room for stuffiness.  There is happily however, plenty of room for cakes, champagne, chocolate and typical Hungarian pastries. They offer a very reasonable champagne afternoon tea menu which we pre-booked a couple of weeks before heading over.  You leave feeling satisfied but not sick and a little on that lovely woozy drunk-but-not-hammered feeling you get after being on the bubbles. We headed back to the apartment after – some opted to have a Disco Naps and some started to get ready for the evening ahead which held the promise of being a lot less civilised, but no less brilliant.


Boat Party

So back to the apartment we had gone for some organised fun (Mr. & Mrs/Hen video premiere). We then set off around 9.30pm for our boat trip. In the style of Buz Luhrmann: If I could recommend one thing to do in Budapest, whether you’re on a hen do or note, this would be it.  We hired a boat just for us and also extended the invitation to a male ‘dancer’ who joined us for half an hour or so at the end.  The boat was ma-hoo-sive.  A split level boat, we had our own bar downstairs, took control of the music and danced on the deck (some of us, in just our knickers) to what felt like our own private Fireworks show in front of the Hungarian Parliament Building.  You see what I mean with achieving simultaneous cultured & debauched: watching a pyrotechnics masterclass light up the sky in front of an iconic European landmark whilst dancing on the deck of your own boat….to Sisqo’s THONG SONG. It simply DOES not get better than that.


We booked this through Hen Nation and whilst I’d had reservations (no pun intended) that it might be a bit on the tacky side, it was everything we wanted and more. It was reasonable, the boat was the size of a small cruise ship and the bar was well stocked.  Well, I say it was everything we wanted.  We all wanted most of it – the bride could have done without our dancer.  We stopped for a ‘refuel’ (aka the stripper joining us on board) and the bride didn’t appear to clock on despite us only being on the boat for an hour (hardly worthy of more fuel) and the stripper-collective Hot Chocolate/Genuwine playlist blasting out on the upper deck.  Cue an excellently timed dropping of 10 glasses aperol spritz’s (thanks Esme) we said to the bride, we needed to head downstairs whilst they cleared up the shards.  Downstairs we headed and then we were joined by our dancer – boxing along to Eye of The Tiger in a silky dressing gown (and with the groom’s face mask on). Needless to say, some loved it…the bride hated it.  Everyone remembers it. For better or worse until death do us part.


And so there you have it…from riches to being ruined with a ‘refuel’ in between…you and your hens can’t really go wrong in Budapest.

Finally, it’s definitely worth me mentioning the Dionysos Taverna where we had dinner on the first night. We were very fortunate to make it to dinner after the taxi driver parked the car on an incline, nobly leapt out of the car to let the ladies out of the back…without remembering that the handbrake existed.  Thank God I’m so practical is all I’ll say. Anyone, safely in the Taverna for some fabulous Greek food (great for big groups sharing) washed down with copious amounts of Rosé- much needed between visits to Szimpla Kert.  It’s located right on the Danube river and the toilets also have some very jazzy ‘automatic’ features…if that’s not enough to entice you, I don’t know what is.  Book a table here:



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My Hidden Treasure Chest: #MrsPToBudapest

hungaryWhen I wrote this, we were two weeks away from another of my bezzie’s weddings. Like the last one, she’s little, called Laura and was gearing up to marry another Mr. P. With one little Lozzy P already down the aisle and another to go, we needed to maintain our hen do ‘game’. #MrsPToBeefa had been such a runAway success (no successes were had on that runway, I assure you) that I worried that #MrsPToBNumber2 might be a little disappointed with her own weekender. We decided therefore to make more of a deal of the disclosing the location…

#MrsPToBudapest was the result and we intended to tell to the bride the night before departure.   Having never been to Budapest, we had to do our research. As fate would have it, whilst filming our Mr. & Mrs. video interview it turned out that Budapest had actually been Mr. & Mr’s P To Be’s first trip away together. As well as leading the b2b to believe that we had planned it that way (we hadn’t), it meant the Groom gave us some handy tips and ‘private jokes’ that we could make reference to in the big reveal!

As well as being unbelievably competitive, b2b is a fan of treasure hunts, wordplay (no wonder we’re pals) and cryptic clue solving. As such, we decided a poem was the best way for Laura to find out where we were heading for the hen do. Other rejected ideas for reference are as follows:

Notion 1: Plant speakers behind her bed and fiancé to wake her up to George Ezra’s ‘Budapest’ blasting out and offer her a shot of pálinka.

Status: Rejected – b2b isn’t clued up on her music and wouldn’t get the reference to the song. Doesn’t love shots either and didn’t want her to vom before we’d even set off.

Notion 2: Drape fiancé in Hungarian flag to wake up b2b.

Status: Rejected – bit weird and also didn’t want her to get overly excited about possible Tuscan dream by mistaking it for similar looking Italian flag.

One of b2b’s requests, along with ‘Do NOT get me a stripper’, was that her husband-to-be didn’t do her packing. We figured a boozy dinner the night before leaving would be the best bet for letting her know where we were going. This would give her a little time to pack and get some drinking practice in ahead of the weekend.   The poem had some references that only she would know – c/o her fiancé. It only took until the “reverse pike perch reference “for her to guess where we were going…here it is:

Little Laura and another Mrs. P To Be

We’re really excited for you hen, even if it’ll be totes low key

There’s been many a close call, but the cats stayed in the bag

Don’t worry; we’ve got the unwashed mankini from your stag

Tomorrow @ 7.30am, Soph C will collect you from Dulwich Road

And get you onto the train, where at Stansted you’ll unload

Fear not, there’s no easyJet flight on the aghenda

But we will be heading abroad for this weekend’s bender

You do like ‘going on holiday’, that was no subtle hint

But advice from your future husband – ‘do not dare avoid the drink’

We know you like your planning, so don’t forget your first aid kit…

And also pack your bikini, day dresses and an ‘out out’ outfit

All that remains is for you to work out the #HarvstersHen location

Well, the next few lines might give you a better indication

An old man stalker with a walrus moustache,

Whilst some do the ‘reverse Pike Perch’ in the public baths

Let’s put your cryptic clue-solving to the test…

Have you guessed that it’s…


P.s. if anyone else though the opening lyrics to George Ezra’s tune was ‘Miles from Budapest, my frozen treasure chest’…allow me to clarify that it’s actually ‘MY HOUSE in Budapest, my HIDDEN treasure chest’. You’re welcome.


Ryanair, BA and easyjet already have flights available to book for your Summer 2017 hen do’s and you can search and compare flight times and routes here.  From Stansted, Heathrow and Gatwick, you’re only 2 1/2 hours away from Budapest.  More on the city/do itself to come…

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Can’t get Feta ‘Thon’ a Melon Salad


I visited a friend in France earlier this month and it was boiling!! I’m not known for my love of healthy food (although I do maintain that I’m not a fussy eater) but this salad was incredible and deserves to be my much-anticipated (Image result for eye rolling emoji) first food blog.

In Winter time, I really don’t think you can beat a cheesy feast;  whether it be crusty  baguette dipped into roasted Camembert or buttery new potatoes being dunked into the Gruyère cheese fondue – just thinking about it is making me want to fast forward to ski season…or rewind to that Birthday Fondue (suitably washed down with homemade-in-the-dishwasher Toffee Vodka).  What else?

The Lodge Pop-Up, Clapham,  11.11.15

I don’t want to discriminate against Cheese but in the 33 degree heat of a French summer, a bubbling melting pot of fromage is not what you need.  And that’s where you say Bienvenue to Chef Becca and her Watermelon, Tuna & Feta salad, inspired by the Body Coach.

It’s fair to say I’m not exactly a whizz in the kitchen (my role in the Christmas Dinner prep is that of ‘Kitchen Porter’ – I’ve only just graduated to being trusted to open the prosecco) but this is easy even for an amateur like me.

Becca had found it in her Lean In 15 book  by the Body Coach, Joe Wicks.  He’s popping up all over the place at the moment and you can even find his recipe books on ASOS here.

Lean In 15 The Shape Plan Book £16.99, ASOS
Lean In 15 The Shape Plan Book £16.99, ASOS









Ingredients for 4 People (all available from Waitrose):

Tuna Steak (steak de thon) £6.99 for 2 steaks, you’ll need 2 packs for 4 people

Watermelon  (pastèque) £3.49 (1 will do the job)

Feta Cheese (feta) £2.29 (1 will do the job, unless you love cheese, in which case get 2 more)

Baby Spinach  £1.39 (2 packets for 4 people)

Basil (basilic) £2.00 

Walnuts (noix – apparently this is the Frenchie’s ‘national nut’) £2.35 per bag

Tip: If you buy your tuna steaks on a Friday, you’ll get 20% off as part of Waitrose’s ‘Fish Friday’s’.  You can also take advantage of their ‘Pick Your Own Offers’ which as the name suggests means you pick your own…offers.  You simply select 10 of your favourite products and you’ll get 20% off all of them when you shop using your Waitrose card.  More information can be found here.


Tuna Steak: depending on thickness, cook for 2 minutes on each side for optimum ‘seared-ness’

Watermelon: chop into chunks or if we want to sound more authoritative ‘cube’

Feta: same as the watermelon

Basil/Spinach: Tear into big bowl and mix

Drizzle over some olive oil to finish & sprinkle on the nuts and you’re done

To Finish It Off:

It goes really well with a Rosé Wine – I’d recommend a couple of French ones, in keeping with this post that are currently on offer, 20% off, from Waitrose.  This meal isn’t exactly a stomach liner, so if you’re wanting to get casually drunk – it’s perfect. Depending on your three other dinner guests, 1 bottle per guest should do the trick.


Mirabeau Pure Provence Rosé Was £12.99, now £10.39


Bijou Cabrieres Cuvee Sophie Valrose £8.49 (and buyer’s choice)



A refreshing and surprisingly filling salad that hits the spot on a Summer’s Day.  The combination of melon, feta and tuna is ridiculously (and weirdly) good and the basil and spinach helps to mop up the juices.  Not only that, but tuna is known for its heart health benefits: totally off-setting your bottle or two of Rosé.  I’m Image result for heart emoji‘n it even more.

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Head of MercHENdise


So, we’re back from #MrsPToBe’s Ibiza hen do now and my face is actually stuck like the ‘bawling my eyes out and hungover to f**k’ emoji. Please just STOP fancying me and try and focus on the rest of the post…


In early May, I was appointed Head of Merchandise and Organised Fun by one of the bridesmaids. I’m not saying I let this great responsibility go to my head but I’m nothing if not dedicated.  My first (self-directed) job was to proactively adapt my new job title to ensure it was sufficiently pun-ny.  I’m so pun-ny and self-absorbed that I ended up giving myself two titles:

  • Head of MercHENdise and GAME-ing
  • Director of Parrott-phernalia* (the Hen’s new surname will be Parrott)

*You can just call me Soph if you prefer.

The role was only a short secondment and so now I’ve completed my Balearic-based duties, I feel it’s only right that I share my experience to benefit any future purveyors of plastic penises.  Here are my top tips:

1. Get Personal!

No hen wants a completely ‘generic’ or ‘tried and tested’ hen, no matter what they try and protest.  From your hen do hashtag to the bride-to-be’s (b2b’s) sash, tailor accordingly.  Our hen was super helpful in marrying a Mr. Parrott but names might not work for everyone.   Get all your private jokes into the mix and make it special and unique for that bride.  Definitely take along a mask of the groom, especially if you’re going to be rocking a bikini….#mindboggles  The hen do comedown is pretty atrocious too, if you’ve done an all-nighter in Pacha (almost me) or fallen off a pavement and sprained your ankle (definitely me), you’ll be ever so grateful for your personalised hen do hangover care kit. have some options but it’s probs just as easy to create these yourselves and put in some of your  favourite things.


 2. Boring Logistics

Set your budget and consider your location.  As we were going to Ibiza, we couldn’t really ask anyone to cough up for a parrot poncho, novelty sunglasses and flashing cock earrings on top of flights & accommodation.  That said; don’t underestimate how far such props will go. It’s amazing how an adult version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey (unnecessarily renamed as Pin the Willy on Billy) can cheer up some twenty-something’s stuck in an airport overnight.   Outside of the games, 17 of us stayed in a villa and I would say that the most boring items paid for themselves a few times over – the beer pong cups for example travelled light and saved us washing up (or breaking) any glasses on the hol itself.

 3. Get Interactive!

Hen Do’s can be made up of pals from all different parts of your hen’s life so all games should aim to get everyone involved and whether you be a sibling, school pal, work wife or Uni beb – everyone has equal rights to a willy straw. I highly recommend doing a video Mr.  & Mrs.  I met up with the Groom one work lunchtime to question him over pizza (and a large beer) on their sex life.  I filmed the footage, kept the outtakes, sourced a HDMI cable and took it to Ibiza where we could hook up the game to the villa’s TV. The first round asked the groom him or her questions – e.g. ‘Who is the most intelligent?’(You have to start tame). To get everyone involved, everyone had to pick a side of the room – Bride or Groom – according to what they thought the groom would have said.  If you didn’t match what the groom had said, you drunk.  Round 2 was more traditional and just involved getting the b2b battered.  Job done.  If you want to be really high-tech, get him on Facetime and do the live version so he can have a few bevs too (If anyone’s interested, the groom thought he was more intelligent and the bride agreed).

 4. Sharing is Caring…

If you’re one of these people who subscribes to the ‘get off Social Media and enjoy your holiday’ philosophy, then bore off – I’m not going to RISE to your criticisms anymore.  I promise I will enjoy my holiday more if I spam your Instagram feed with fittingly filtered photos of me and my friends floating around the pool on a giant inflatable unicorn.  Obvs, I’ll do a few Boomerangs of the entire party bombing into the pool too…and what?! It’s the best holiday of my life and I want the girl that I went to playgroup with, who emigrated to Australia in 1999, to know about it.  Get your collaborative album ready to go and when you’re still suffering from your post-hen blues, pass the time ‘lol’ing’ through it. It goes without saying that your hashtag needs to be communicated in advance of the holiday – make sure you’re 100% happy with this and that nobody else is appearing on your ‘keywords’.  I wouldn’t change anything about #MrsPToBe but there were a few imposters knocking about on Instagram and I kicked myself for only coming up with #MrsPToBeefa two days into the holiday.  Bad day at the office.


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“I got so many clothes, I keep some in my Aunt’s house”


The title of this post is perhaps slightly misleading.  I don’t have that many clothes but some of the items that I  do ‘got’, would perhaps be better off in my (Great) Aunt’s house.  Lucky for me, I have some very honest ‘friends’ who over the last few years have clubbed together to get me the following birthday presents:

  1. Blow Dry LESSON at Aveda Institute, High Holborn
  2. Make-Up Application LESSON at Bobbi Brown, Covent Garden
  3. Personal Shopping Experience/LESSON @ Topshop, Oxford Circus (x5)


Despite my friends having hushed, condescending conversations with the hairdresser about my inability to wash the shampoo out, I enjoyed the blow dry.  My locks looked in top condition that day but it’s all gone Pete TONG  (lol) since then.  As for the make-up application, the closest I get to recreating the ‘smoky eye look’ is the morning after I’ve fallen off the Marlboro Light wagon and haven’t taken my mascara off before going to bed.  I try not to wear too much make-up anyway as I’m still scarred from that time in 2013 when a (disturbingly fit) colleague introduced himself to me at an industry awards do- we’d worked together for over a year, he just didn’t recognise me in my full face of slap. Awks.  Being honest, I didn’t really recognise myself either…in a good way.

Anyway, I’m getting distracted.  The gift that has kept on giving has been my introduction to Kat who works as a Personal Shopper in Oxford Street’s Topshop.  I was first introduced to Kat through one of the ‘hints’ my friends dropped me (disguised in the usual birthday pressie format) on my 25th Birthday.  I’ve not looked back.  The Personal Shopping service takes away the stresses and sweating of your regular shopping trips. You simply book in (plan in advance, as it books up quickly) and send over a ‘brief’ of what you’re after and Kat will have a dangerously good rail ready and waiting, all in your size.  She’s also honest – if it doesn’t suit you, nobody at Topshop will be there telling you otherwise to get you to part with your cash. There’s no pressure to buy which results in you just wanting to buy everything even more!!

Harvs & Hazzle checking out our racks 😉

As an Ibiza virgin and a self-certified Fashion Victim, there was no way I could contemplate my holiday wardrobe alone.  I mentioned earlier that our #BeefaThreads were selected by committee and this was facilitated amazingly well by Kat and the Topshop Personal Shopping team at Oxford Street. We booked the b2b and a few more of the hens in for an evening after work.  Not only did we have some amazing picks – totally geared towards our different Ibiza plans (Tinie Tempah @ Ushuaia, Basement Jaxx/Bob Sinclair @ Pacha and Blue Marlin Sunday Lunch) – we were also treated to prosecco and sushi in what was essentially our own ‘wing’ of Topshop.  Two sizeable changing areas plus a ‘living area’ made for the perfect holiday shop setting.  Obviously, I was confronted by my dreaded b-i-k-i-n-i shop and felt fat|flabby|pale all at once.  Instead of letting me drown my sorrows in the prosecco and continue to gobble up the gyoza, Kat took me for a walk around the store and picked out some additional bits to try.  The ‘less is more’cossie is something I never thought I’d wear (particularly when my sister said it reminded her of the ‘Punky Fish’ brand – popular with pre-teen Emo’s about 10 years ago) but in the end, it was one of my fave outfits – if you can’t get away with that little fabric in Ibiza, when can you? Here’s some of the bits that we ended up putting in our suitcases:

Slash Detailed Swimsuit, £34 and Denim Shorts, £28 @ Topshop
White Top, Metallic Pleat Trousers (£32) and Black WEEKEND Espadrille Wedges (£49) – All Topshop
Petite Structured Bardot Top in Orange, £32
Dresses now out of stock but B2B wears PETITE Cutwork Lace Skirt,£38

Disclaimer: the black floral print dress doesn’t fare well if you fall off the giant unicorn and into the pool…probs wear a strapless bra underneath it too unless you want to give your fellow dancers more than they bargained for…

13528696_10101465267316588_7605254506206878770_ndress  13516748_10101465267331558_4935605832656182715_n

Where’s my f***king clap, where’s my encore? xx


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Agadoo-Do-Do, Push Pineapple…

…Shake The Tree pineappleemojipineappleemoji

It’s no accident that the pineapple was part of the original ’emoji’ line-up…it just needed to wait for its moment.  And I think its fair to say that pineapples are now having their moment. The ‘coalesced’ (cheers for that new adjective Wikipedia) berries are making tropical trendy and they started my not-so-closeted fruit fetish a few months ago.

Fate brought me and this small decorative golden pineapple together last September.  I spotted it in the John Lewis AW16 range last year and kept going back to the site, and the shop for that matter, to admire it.  I’ve been re-targeted (chased around the internet with pictures of it) so many times, I actually have come to think of it as a permanent desk decoration.  Here ‘he’ is in all his golden glory:


John Lewis Decorative Gold Pineapple, £30

Since then, I’ve had to deter myself from buying the Pineapple Inflatable for our Ibiza trip (we’ve already got too many some tropical inflatables and I can’t add more hold luggage  or my bank account will be even less buoyant than it is now). This very lilo was on last night’s episode of Love Island too…I think it’s a sign – there’s still time with next day Click & Collect…decisions.

Sunnylife Inflatable Pineapple, £45

My phone obviously got the message as well and is now safely encased in a deliciously sweet…you guessed it…Pineapple Case by Skinny Dip.  The pineapples even come with googly eyes…what more could you ask for – an eye-phone 6+? #dadjoke.   If you’re more salad dish than fruit bowl, the avocado one is pretty amazing as well!  I’ve seen that Kylie Jenner has this one in her recent Instagram’s but don’t let that put you off.  Topshop have them handily next to the tills on -1  @ Oxford Street but they’re sold out online – Urban Outfitters can still give you some of your 5 a day though:

Skinnydip Googly Eye Pineapple iPhone 6 Case, £15

My passion for the pine didn’t stop there and I’ve now added a Scratch & Sniff (gross) pineapple necklace to my quite limited jewellery collection.  I’m especially smug about this as they’ve since sold out on Topshop and it’s become something of an accessory staple – I’m still going to wear it poolside with my pineapple bikini (sourced a couple of years ago from Debenhams on one of those dreaded shopping trips).  I was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t actually the necklace that was pineapple-scented but at least the perfumed cardboard it came on made my handbag smell nice for the day…

Freedom by TOPSHOP Pineapple Rhinestone Necklace
Freedom by TOPSHOP  Scratch & Sniff Pineapple Rhinestone Necklace, £8.50

There are still some fruity necklace options available in Topshop but the strawberry offering  feels a bit sad compared to my ‘rhinestone’ pineapple.  Whilst the tastily scented watermelon necklace left me wanting, my sister is actually a big fan (here she is dressed up as one –  Her’s will be wigging its way to Australia in time for her birthday – sorry Scrag for spoiling the surprise.

Watermelon Imposter
What’s this Watermelon imposter?                     Not For Sale. #Priceless 😉

If for you, like me,  perfection is in the pineapple, Topshop can helpfully send you an e-mail when it comes back into stock. If you’d prefer to splurge,  Alex Monroe sells a very similar gold-plated piece on John Lewis for £120.00 – it doesn’t come with the scented cardboard though…

Alex Monroe Mini Pineapple Pendant Necklace in Gold, £120

If, unlike me, you actually have some financial control and wouldn’t consider impulsive purchase – then, firstly, Well Done – keep it  up! Secondly, save your pennies in this Sass & Belle Pineapple Money Box

Sass & Belle Pineapple Money Box @ ASOS, £15
Sass & Belle Pineapple Money Box @ ASOS, £15

I’m hoping I have enough loose change saved by Christmas to buy the usual array of non-essential novelty gifts.  At least the standard Christmas gift of socks can also be given the pineapple treatment – I’ve got a very healthy interest in this fruity pair from ASOS.

ASOS Sheer Pineapple Ankle Socks, £4
ASOS Sheer Pineapple Ankle Socks, £4

That said, I’ll probs have finished pursuing the pineapple by then and have started chasing the Clementines –  they’re more festive.

GorangemeojiorangemeojiDBYE FOR NOW! xx

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The B-I-K-I-N-I Shop

The Bikini Shop (this should be followed by a crash of lightning)


Just the thought of it…






It should be the happiest of times.  The time when it’s acceptable to have an alcoholic beverage other than a Bloody Mary or a Bellini for breakfast is drawing nearer. Putting your OOO on with an especially emphatic and smug click of the mouse can only mean one thing.   It’s holiday time.

I’m going to Ibiza in a few days time for one of my best friend’s Hen Do’s…A LOT more on that later.  This has been on the cards since she got engaged in 2014 – flights have been booked, the villa has been paid for, our club nights have been chosen and most of the holiday wardrobe has been selected (by committee).  This time of excitement however is in danger of giving in to a feeling of heightened trepidation, fear and self-loathing.  In my own experience this kind of disgust in oneself can only be brought about by that most hideous of tasks – the  B-I-K-I-N-I shop.

I have quite big boobs.  I’d thought how I could write that without sounding full of myself but the fact remains…it’s a fact. Back in my high-heeled sandal and secret platform days, I wished for a pair of boobs.  I looked on my M&S floral crop-tops with disdain and traded them in for bras before I had anything to merit putting in them.  My 28A Gel Bra changed my fourteen year old life – those were the days. Be careful what you wish for is the moral of this story.  My boobs arrived out of nowhere, just in time for my first ‘big girl exams’ and are now so far down the alphabet, there’s barely a GCSE qualification to award them.

I think you’ve got the gist but just in case, allow me to accentuate (a word you often hear in this search). I believe that the most dreadful of shopping experiences – the b-i-k-i-n-i shop- is really the most dreadful for those ladies who are more developed in the chest area. I’m fairly in agreement with the wife-pleasing adage ‘More than a handful’s a waste’ but if someone dares mention that during bikini shop season – I’d have to hold myself back from nipple-twisting them.   I’ve tried various tactics over the years.  None of these guarantee success but I’m hoping some can empathise with the desperate measures one has to go to:

  1. Buy the Size 18 top (when you’re usually a size 10) and then quickly swap the hanger on the bigger bottoms for your ‘actual’ size. Do this as if you’re committing the crime of the century too.  No – don’t do it, it doesn’t work – one (or is it two?) word.  Sideboob.
  2. Buy a maternity swimming costume. Seriously. It hides your tummy as well as providing more ‘support’ to your two, frankly unwanted, holiday guests. My favourite cossie from last year is a size 14 maternity costume from NEXT – you don’t have to be up the duff to wear it and it actually looked relatively trendy with a pair of high-waisted denim shorts.
  3. Only go on holiday where topless sunbathing is welcome. Buy yourself some ‘fun’ bikini bottoms in all the nice patterns & colours you wish you could find a matching top in.  Note of caution here – your boobs don’t tend to get out much so make sure you apply the SPF 50.  “Fried egg tits” is a label that should really be exclusive to our flatter-chested friends.  We’ve got enough to contend with.
  4. Spray Tan before you go. If it’s going to hang out – better tanned than transparent. Don’t be ashamed if you have to ask the lady doing your spray tan if she minds doing under your boobs (and bum for that matter).   If you’re a curvier girl beyond your mid-twenties, there’s no shame in subscribing to the ‘if you can’t tone, tan’ mantra.

In general, I’ll tell you what looks nice, even sexy, on your average sized pair of boobs is guaranteed to look similar to your Nana’s soft-furnishings on anyone bigger than a D cup.  Kelly Brook did a nice range for New Look a few years back but other than that, I struggle to find bikinis that fit well, look good and do not cost the price of your holiday flights & two-weeks accommodation.  Everyone is quite good at making underwear – why can’t the same happen for swimwear?  Retailers – hear my plea, please make some affordable bikinis in bra-sizes.  I’ll buy them.

Ahead of my next holiday though, I’ve approached the b-i-k-i-n-i shop with a ‘less is more’ attitude.  This is very much true of the costume I bought from Topshop – I’d need to have a fair few Dark & Stormy’s before uploading that to Instagram.   Seeing it on the hanger, it didn’t look like it was going to work.  And maybe it doesn’t.  Maybe I’ll look like a grill when I finish my first hour of sunbathing with those cut-outs. Maybe it’s too slutty.  But it’s happening.  And if it doesn’t work, I’m going with friends, so it’ll be back to my favourite polka-dot bottoms.  That itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny bikini might not be the one for me and the bikini shop (there I said it) might never be the dream but it felt good to get that all off my chest.


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I’m just Totally Shoeless.

It used to be so easy.  The choices were simple.  Now, I’m totally and utterly shoeless.

Where is the bare foot emoji?!
Where is the bare foot emoji?!

The Nineties: You’d go to Clarks and have your school shoes fitted and this would see you through at least the Autumn and Spring Terms. Then the sandals would come out for Summer…obvs with the frilly socks with the trim that matched your green/yellow/red/blue/pink dress #ginghamgalore. As you progressed from Junior School to Secondary School – that  heel on the sandal would inevitably appear and proceed to get, in the words of Jackie Wilson, higher and higher (try and get that song out of your head now).

You’d also probably get some trainers for P.E. and if you were lucky, you might get the flashy light-up trainers for your weekends at SuperBowl and Cineworld.  I even had a pair of Dr Martens before I went to Secondary School.   Clearly, I peaked early.  That said, I never really did get off on the right foot with shoes: our relationship has been tarnished since I fell off my friend’s secretly borrowed platforms in a car park on the way to an 11th Birthday Disco Celebration.  Strutting your stuff to Whigfield’s Saturday Night and the Macarena is difficult with a broken wrist , particularly when you’re a stickler for following the routine (a severe lack of rhythm means you must).
The Noughties:  At the age of 16, that aforementioned high(er and higher) heel on the sandal made unwanted contact with bits of me that I never expected, nor I should clarify, wanted, a sandal to make contact with, after I fell down the stone steps of the Sixth Form Common Room.  I didn’t ”meet my first boyfriend” until I was 17 and I was never really one for horse-riding (the boots were far too difficult to take off) but that sandal paved the way. I will never confidently wear a pair of sandals again, in much the same way as I will never take a bag of frozen garden peas out of the freezer without painful memories coming flooding back.   Onto University and I opted for flat and comfortable – lucky for me that Ugg’s were the order of the day.  Canterbury tracksuit bottoms or pyjamas tucked into your Ugg’s were everywhere.  I started tame and had my black Ugg’s before I went a bit wild and opted for ‘Tomato Orange’ (otherwise known as Hot Pink) in my final year.  Both pairs succumbed to the persistent bullying of my big left toe and were left (or the left boots were left anyway) with holes.  I had to part ways with them eventually – the hole in the toe not coping well with the NE Climate but the hole in my Ugg-less heart took longer to heel (*heal, I can spell – I just couldn’t help myself).

NOW:  Shoe Shopping is. a. nightmare. What goes with what? I’m positive one foot is bigger than the other but I’m 28 years old and my Mum doesn’t want to (/shouldn’t really have to) accompany me to the start-rite machine that stops at Size 13 (confusingly smaller than any adult sizes!) I turn to my friends in despair.

Trainers, they’re cool now apparently.  What are the high tops?  (don’t get me started on the correct pronunciation of  Nike). Am I cool enough to wear those?  I don’t think they’d match what’s in my wardrobe though…would they? Do things need to match?

Converse? “Everyone has a pair of converse”.   My friend at work comes in with some New Balance and everyone is a fan of these – can I just copy my colleague? No, it’s too tragic – I don’t know if she’ll appreciate my wearing her shoes to the office every day but she’d be too nice and polite to say anything.


A friend finally recommends that I get some Stan Smith’s…I resolve to check these out. I did like that album the other year and the Bond cover song for Spectre isn’t all that bad.  Now, it’s just a case of where to buy them…my friend tells me Office have a 20% code at the moment. Maybe I’ll go there? #MoneyOnMyMind

Office have also very helpfully offered some styling tips on how to where what I’m led to believe is very much a ‘shoe of the moment’….you’ll see me in my pink culottes and Core White Green Stan Smith’s supporting Murray in his next Wimbledon bid soon.

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I’m Sophie, I’m 28 and as you are likely to discover, I struggle with what to wear.  I also have issues in getting myself to the gym, washing the conditioner out of my hair and saving for holidays…or saving for anything full stop.  I typically buy one pair of shoes and wear them constantly until they’re ruined.  I’m hoping that this blog and anyone who reads it can help me on my way to becoming a stylish, healthy, calm and responsible lady…

Thanks for popping in!

Soph xx

*maybe not that responsible!

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