French For Cupcake

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It has been such a crazy fortnight. I can barely catch my breath and focus on one single memory, as I’ve crammed so much in that I’m still reeling. First up, I had a wedding back home in Yorkshire for my friend Jenny. It was the most magical setting I’ve ever been to, the ceremony took place in the ruins of Bolton Abbey with the rolling hills of the dales creating a dramatic backdrop. I LOVE her husband (he bought me Ghostbusters 2 on DVD, which means he has a piece of my heart for the rest of time) so it was a privilege to witness them starting their happily ever after together. Nick also made the perfect dashing date, and even got up on the dance floor! Jenny was such a gracious bride, and I nearly fell over when she informed me that the gingerbread “brides” on their baked-goods table at the reception were ones she had just “whipped up” that morning? The anti-Bridezilla.

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Wedding-season continued last week, as I boarded a flight to Belfast for another friends Pauline & Andrew’s wedding. Again it was an honour to be invited to her hometown for a really intimate celebration with friends and family. I arrived as a bit of a gooseberry, knowing no-one except the couple, and left with a phone full of phone numbers of new friends and promises to visit soon. In one of the best wedding-guests treats I’ve ever heard of, to transport us from the church to the reception venue, Pauline had hired a Belfast City Tour Bus! We got a bespoke tour of the Titanic Quarter, which despite visiting Belfast more times than I can count on my hands, I have never actually been to. The reception was so much fun and felt so personal; with the first dance being to drum n bass! I spent a little over 24 hours in total in Belfast and am already itching to go back to explore some more. In the precious time I did have, I met up with two of my all-time favourite blogging babes Claire aka French for Cupcake and Sarah aka Sarah Kane. We’ve all known each other for nearly a decade from our early internet days on Livejournal through to Twitter now, and nothing could beat getting to give them a proper hug and chat face to face over a coffee.

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On my flight home I was sat between James Nesbitt (!) and the tour manager for Leftfield, which made for an interesting conversation as we juddered through some stomach churning clouds. I had a huge rush of emotions and excitement as we bumped back down into Heathrow, as the next time I step foot on a plane it will be a one-way journey to Venezuela and the start of an entirely new chapter in my life! Talking of which… my new travel blog home is:

TWENTYSOMETHING BURNOUTS

Make sure you either email subscribe to get my updates direct to your inbox (fill in your details on the right hand bar) or add my blog to your Bloglovin’, reader, bookmarks or favourites to follow the adventure. I am a total travel newbie (and a bit of a princess) so it should be amusing rather than envy-inducing, I promise. We are hoping that with Nick’s male/travel fiend Vs my female/travel rookie perspectives on everything we experience – we will be offering something new to a pretty saturated travel blog market. Thanks to Katie who designed our Wes-tastic map-alicious chunk of the internet. Also, if you like what you see, please please share the blog. Tweet about it, send it to your friends, add it to your blogroll or links. We really want to provide an honest review of some incredible parts of the world and to do that we need as much exposure as possible.

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Amongst my gallivanting around to weddings, I also had my final two weeks in my current job. It’s been handover hell, with loads of my brain to download and things to check off to ensure there is a smooth transition as a new-me hasn’t been hired yet. I’ve had a farewell night out with my gal Kate (she is off to Canada soon so misses my last London week, another case of sad bad timing) where we strolled South Bank, ate everything in Wahaca, then shared a two-pint glass of “Twisted Zombie” which apparently has 12 ingredients and needs a specially trained mixologist to make. I think 90% of the ingredients were spirits judging by our precarious stagger over the Millennium bridge afterwards.

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Last night I had my final farewell to Craig. We sat in the window of Thirst in Soho, it was a super humid night and a weird silvery mist was settled all around us. We drank “silly hour”£5 cocktails (including one that we both agreed tasted like “Christmas gone wrong”) then we headed to Archer Street via Tesco for one for the road aka cocktail in a can, which was ridiculous as we were only walking one block so then had to lurk in an alley way downing them. Real classy! If you ever go out in London and haven’t been to Archer Street then you’re missing out. It’s swanky looking, but don’t let appearances deceive you. This place is fromage through and through. The music isn’t just 90s, it’s song after song that makes you gasp and say I REMEMBER THIS whilst simultaneously discovering you know every word to every lyrics. Highlights were definitely No Scrubs, Shine… shine like a star oooh shining so bright like the star that you are…, shake shake shake senora and Quit Playin’ Games With My Heart. The reason I really love it there though is that no one is pretentious. You look around and are greeted with a sea of smiling cheery cheeks as everyone indulges in their own tipsy nostalgia trip. No scowl or head-to-toe judgement looks here. We roamed through the night falling into bed at 2am and this morning we hugged in the pouring rain and now the next time I see Craig will be in Guatemala in 2014… Um, eek.

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I can’t lie, I’m feeling pretty weird right now. I’ve quit my job and I’m teetering on the edge of the biggest decision I’ve ever made in my life. I keep getting these waves of being about to cry, followed by a huge sense of freedom (such as deleting my work email from my phone FOREVER) and everything in between; rattles of nerves, cold sweat night panics, bursts of excitement, delirious happy… On Monday I go back to Yorkshire for a whole week of family and friend time which I think it just what I need to stop being quite so nutty. 

I think from then I need to focus more on writing and content for TwentySomething Burnouts. You may notice a dwindle over here, so just make sure you subscribe over there and then you won’t miss anything.

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This months spotlight is on a truley terrific gal from Northern Ireland – Claire aka French For Cupcake. Claires blog basically consists of all my favourite things – LOTS of baking, lots of recipes and lots of pretty dresses. Now when I say that Claire can bake, I mean she can really bake.  She could easily live off her skills in the kitchen department, as the magical things she conjours up are out of this world and oh so professional. I wish I lived close enough to pop round for a cup of tea and baked good!            

It’s my absolutely pleasure to be able to feature this very talented lady and I advise you to instantly add her to your reader; she never fails to put a smile on my face by immersing me in her magical world.

1. When did you start your blog & why? I started my blog in January 2009. I have kept a livejournal since I was 14 but I liked to keep that quite private so I wanted to find a more public platform for sharing my photos and a blog seemed to be the best way.

2. What inspired you in terms of content/theme/appearence? I have always loved documenting things, probably mostly boring everyday things that nobody would be interested in really! I worried for a while that my blog had no unifying theme and tried to stick to either fashion or food but then I realised others were just posting what they wanted and loving it so I decided to do the same. The appearance of my blog is very simple although I am in the process of redesigning!

3. How would you describe your blog in three words? Oh gosh, that’s hard. Probably sweet, creative and eclectic.

4. What do you love (/if anything hate) about your blog? I love when I get comments and emails from other girls telling me I have inspired them to have self confidence and feel proud in their own skin. That’s a big thing for me. To learn that I have taught girls that they can be beautiful no matter what their size makes me feel really happy. I don’t really hate anything, one thing I dislike about blogger, at least compared to livejournal, is that it’s difficult to reply directly to comments and I don’t want readers to think I am ignoring them! If anyone can help me with this let me know!


 5. What makes you the most happy and most sad? I am a girl of simple pleasures, the things that make me happy are films, a good cup of tea and or a night of dancing with my friends. What makes me sad? When my expectations of people are let down, I hate that.

 6. Who is behind French For Cupcake? Well I’m Claire, a 22 year old Masters student from Belfast in Northern Ireland. I love films (obviously) particularly French New Wave, and my focus of research is on gender theory within films, representations of women etc. I’m a true feminist and my academic writing tends to reflect that. I love folk and alternative music, my parents were complete hippies and I have been given their record collection (lucky me!). I particularly love Tori Amos, Edith Piaf, Martha and Rufus Wainwright, Joni Mitchell, Simon and Garfunkel, Carole King and Laura Marling.

   
 
7. What is the best fact you know? Oh god, I don’t know what the best one is! I giggled when I read about penguin prostitutes.
 
8. Which others blogs do you feast on? I have hundreds of blogs added to my google reader, but these are some of my favorites:

Messy Carla
Ulrikah
WishWishWish
LLYMLRS
Elinkan

9. What is your all time favourite outfit? My taste is constantly changing, at the moment I’ll pick this one; because I love the shape of the dress and how it flatters my curves. I got it in  A-wear, I wish they would make the same dress in all colours!
 
10. What is your blogging soundtrack? Right now it is a mix of Robyn (I love her) and Alessi’s Ark. I like to listen to cheerful music when I blog!

    

   

11. What are your plans both fashion and otherwise to survive the predicted snowy winter? Lots of tea, hot water bottles, dvds, books, scarves, boots gloves and my trusty panda hat!

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