Sunday, 15 September 2019

Instagram Honesty (4).

I enjoy social media; it's brilliant, clever and connects us all. It's also terrible, toxic and at times dangerous. I know a lot of people who go through phases of ‘detoxing’ now and again for self care reasons, and others who have actually deleted any themselves from every platform. Which is really quite sensible, when one thinks about it… 



Since being inspired by various bloggers, vloggers and encouragers (an alternative term the lovely Lexie invented to replace 'influencers', which I maintain sounds a little manipulative and menacing) who have been so open about their social media platforms being just a highlights reel and not always a clear view into their actual lives, I have written three posts like this one. You can read the others HERE. 

Now, let me be honest with you about a few of my latest Instagram uploads. 

Monday, 9 September 2019

Grace's Guide to Personal Hygiene (a book review + stories)

I recently read 'A Girl’s Guide to Personal Hygiene: true stories, illustrated', by Tallulah Pomeroy. It was gifted to me by the babes at Scribe, but that in no way affects my opinion that it is absolutely hilarious, and totally bang on in a lot of allegedly disgusting ways. 



'Women aren't as ladylike as people would like to imagine. Using secrets collected from hundreds of them, this exquisitely disgusting illustrated book rewrites our definition of femininity.

When artist Tallulah Pomeroy asked people to anonymously submit anecdotes about the weird, unruly things they did with their bodies, she was inundated. From tampons and trapped wind to ear wax and pubes, stories flowed in from a community of hilarious, radically honest women, who, by admitting to things they had thought were shameful, no longer had to feel ashamed. 

Sunday, 8 September 2019

3 of the biggest wedding worries SOLVED!



*This post was written by a contributor*

Friday, 16 August 2019

Cool Auntie Grace!

Recently, an old Black Eyed Peas song came on the radio and I found myself singing as I drove along Hastings seafront; a flashback hit me suddenly, of me and some of my best friends at secondary school, dancing and singing along to this particular song. I let the memory fill me up and realised, as a smile stretched across my face, that those friends of mine – who I once sat with in English and Maths lessons, doodling all over our exercise books and sampling sachet lattes brewed by our beloved Drama teacher at break times  are now in serious relationships and have all very recently had babies. 


(Photo: Rebecca Brooker)

Yep. I can honestly say three of my close friends from secondary school  the ones I'd sing in the car with and wander in the park with and spill sugary coffee all over myself in fits of laughter with  are now happily engaged and each have a baby. How crazy is that? 

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

A quick Where and How? with Cat Clarke, author of 'Letting Go'!


I am delighted to be posting this cheeky little interview with the wonderful author Cat Clarke, about her latest publication. Let's not waste any time –  dive in!

Hey, lovely Cat! As you know, I am a certified Clarke super fan, so imagine my excitement finding out you made a novella with a publisher I truly love, Barrington Stoke!? I am jazzed af. Anyway, here are your quick fire questions about 'Letting Go'


Friday, 2 August 2019

Using social media for good; chronic pain, invisible illness, mental health and MORE!

I am so thrilled to be giving a teeny talk at a social media workshop held by The Brain Tumour Charity today; it’ll be great to share my wisdom with the Young Ambassadors and the rest of the team – also, let’s face it, social media and that brilliant charity are equally enormous things in my life, so put the two together and OOOFFTT.

So, here’s what I plan on saying at the offices in Farnborough (we’ll see if I actually manage to deliver it coherently)…  I’m calling this little presentation ‘The Importance of Using Social Media for Good’


(Photo taken by Mama)

Thursday, 1 August 2019

43.

Hi, I’m Grace.


(Photo: Rebecca Brooker)


I have a new found love for antique/second hand furniture and home wares, ‘Toy Story 4’ made me cackle and cry, days on the beach make me so happy and chill; throwing a frisbee, walking and swimming are the only means of exercise I really enjoy, I’m getting better at the whole eBay thing, my last tattoo for a while is in a few days, a G&T with strawberries in is quite magical, I now use biodegradable vegan condoms, I want to properly learn tarot, I recently posted my first ever AD on social media, I’m planning a big trip next year, I turn 26 today, and I am just about ready to tackle my mid-to-late twenties.

I love that people still read these, and want to know more about me. 



Monday, 15 July 2019

How, What, Where and When? with Sophie Cameron, on 'Last Bus to Everland'!

I am thrilled to welcome the lovely author queen Sophie Cameron back to the blog, this time for the new series How, What, Where and When

Sophie’s debut novel ‘Out of the Blue’ captured my heart, and now her second has been released, ‘Last Bus to Everland’ and, folks… it’s pretty epic. 




Monday, 8 July 2019

It's totally fine.

My brain is fine. 

The scanxiety came on strong recently; it always does around this time of year, because April/May/June is when I always seem to get sick. I was both depressed and stressed for the 10 days between scan and consultation with my wonderful neurosurgeon, partly due to the aforementioned Time of Year Fear, but also because before the scan I’d got blood test results over the phone from my GP, that my endocrinologist had requested after our last appointment, and they indicated my Cortisol (stress hormone) levels were high, and my Thyroxine (thyroid hormone) was normal BUT working really quite hard to be normal. After I got these results, I hung up the phone and immediately dropped into an old familiar resigned state; the ‘something’s wrong, they don’t know what yet, but it’s definitely something bad’ vibe.

But, no. My brain is fine. 


(Photo: Rebecca Brooker; jumpsuit gifted from JOY)

Friday, 5 July 2019

How, What, Where and When? with Valentina, aka Occhi Ovunque.

I am so thrilled to be branching out a little in my new How, What, Where and When series, and have got an absolute star answering my questions in this post. If you haven’t caught up with the others yet, you can find them all HERE!

Today's interviewee is the lovely Valentina, aka Occhi Ovunque, the magical Italian illustrator. She works freelance illustrating and writing from her holiday house on the Amalfi Coast. She tells me (via email) that in Italian, 'Occhi Ovunque' means 'eyes everywhere', and is the name of her curious Pomeranian that becomes a sweet fox in her drawings and stories. 

Occhi Ovunque is also the name of Valentina's blog, a space where she mixes illustrations with recipes and tales of gastronomic adventures. 


Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Instagram Honesty (3)

I enjoy social media; it's brilliant, clever and connects us all. It's also terrible, toxic and at times dangerous. I know a lot of people who go through phases of ‘detoxing’ now and again for self care reasons, and others who have actually deleted any themselves from every platform. Which is really quite sensible, when one thinks about it… 

But then I know folks who have made careers out of social media. This includes me. New job titles have come into being in the past few years at the most major companies and small businesses; places that suddenly need a social media presence and someone on hand to manage it. Then there are also the bloggers and ‘influencers’ (still hate that term), who are suddenly invaluable to brands and marketers, pushing products in #ad posts and live streaming comped events they’ve been invited to. 



Thursday, 13 June 2019

How, What, Where and When? with Lex Croucher, on 'You're Crushing It!'

I am delighted and only a bit baffled to have the lovely, pink-haired, dungers-wearing sass queen Lex Croucher on the blog for the latest instalment in this series! This brilliant YouTuber, ethical buyer and vegan queen has written a book, called You’re Crushing It


View this post on Instagram
Well, shit. My book comes out a week tomorrow. I’ve felt so many feelings about this book and this process over the past couple of years that my brain shuts down a bit when I try to confront the fact that I AM NEARLY A PUBLISHED AUTHOR. My sister and I used to take new notebooks on every holiday we went on as kids so we could write stories; I used to write and illustrate my own very blatant Jacqueline Wilson rip-offs in felt tip pen, and then run out of pages to finish them. This has been a dream of mine for as long as I’ve known I could do it, and I’m hoping that at some point I’ll realise I’m living it, because right now I’m just in a state of shock. ANYWAY, LAST CHANCE TO PRE-ORDER MY BOOK PLEASE?? The link is in my bio. Pre-orders help so much and I want my publisher to like me. Thank you. Bye!!!!
A post shared by Lex Croucher ✨ (@lexcanroar) on


Hey, Lex! Thank you so much for taking the time to A my Qs. I’m so excited about ‘You’re Crushing It!’ – I think it’s the book we all need, right now.

Planning a luxury getaway...


* This post was written by a contributor *



Wednesday, 12 June 2019

42.


Hi, I’m Grace.


(Photo: Rebecca Brooker; knot wrap from LUSH, dress gifted from JOY)



I love to collect pin badges but rarely wear them, I’m finding Fathers Day shopping really fun this year, I have so many TV binges on the go right now I just can’t, my hair is currently tinged with ginger, super salty crisps are my weakness, I am really missing weekly counselling, I’m ridiculously passionate about recycling, my days in Stargazy are the happiest days, Greg James recently told me to start a podcast and because of that I feel I am obligated to, I’ll never wear gold jewellery or a black top, I could talk about the truly evil dairy industry and how human consumption of animal products is horrendously awful all day, and I’m happier in my pants than I am fully clothed, but I look fabulous either way. 


I started these little posts when I was at uni, in a time when I was truly learning about myself. I still am. It’s funny how big a response this series has received; maybe because others are particularly curious (/nosy) about me as a person, or maybe because we’re all constantly getting to know ourselves, and it’s strangely captivating learning more about those around us, seeing if we can relate somehow.


Tuesday, 11 June 2019

How, What, Where and When? with Tanya Landman, on 'One Shot'.

I’m so thrilled to welcome the absolute dream that is Tanya Landman to the How, What, Where and When series! I asked her a few questions about her recent release with the babes at Barrington Stoke, ‘One Shot’; the story of Maggie, a young girl who, after losing her beloved father, seeks to support her family doing what he did – hunting. She horrifies her family and the locals by doing this, is branded ‘unladylike’, and subjected to a young life full of cruelty. She soon learns the only person she can count on is herself, and begins to fight for survival. 

Sunday, 9 June 2019

The perfect city break - on a budget!


* This post was written by a contributor *

Friday, 7 June 2019

What I've watched: grief, ugliness and a dominatrix.

I often lose confidence writing regular ‘series’ like these, because despite them getting a fair bit of traffic and the odd comment, they always feel a bit forced after a while. My Recent Reads posts have built up many loyal readers over the years, which is lovely, but sometimes having to write reviews regularly makes me worry I’m not getting through books and putting them up on the blog fast enough. Then there’s the new How, What, Where and When series, which is off to a gentle start, as I’m trying not to put any pressure on myself… but I have big plans for it. 

These 
semi-regular collections of TV recs (or non-recs), however, are just for fun. And I won’t lie, I really enjoy being perfectly succinct and honest in my mini reviews. 

I know the last post was almost entirely negative, but don’t worry, I have some good eggs in this one… 


(yes, I have broccoli patterned bedding. And what?)

Friday, 31 May 2019

'Numbers have colours', and other things my brain has decided for me.

Oh, what’s this? Another peek inside my head, that you definitely did not ask for? You bet your sweet, healthy brains it is! Today we’ll be learning about my experiences of Synaesthesia. Hope you enjoy… 


(Photo: Rebecca Brooker; watch gifted from MVMT, dress gifted from JOY)

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

How, What, Where and When? with Keren David, on 'The Disconnect'.

I am delighted to have Keren David appearing in my (still sort-of new) series, How What Where and When! In this post, the queen herself will be answering my Qs on her new Barrington Stoke book, ‘The Disconnect’

'The Disconnect' is about Esther and her peers accepting a challenge to go without their mobile phones for 6 weeks, with the promise of cash and a job at the end of it – I mean, is there a downside to that…? 


Hey, angelic Keren! Thank you so much for being part of this series. 


Hi lovely Grace! Thank you so much for asking me to do this. 

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Mental Health Awareness Week, 2019; a peek inside my head.

Back when I was at sixth form college – around the time this blog started, because I was bored between lessons and had a lot of FEELINGS that needed to be expelled – we did this exercise in A Level Drama called ‘automatic writing’. This involved us sitting (or more likely, lying) down on the floor of the black box theatre and just scrawling non-stop in our notebooks or on scraps of script we were meant to be learning, either as ourselves or as characters. We’d tap into our own internal monologues, pull them out and onto a page; it helped us get more in touch with the people we were playing in our upcoming performances, or just get out of our own minds in a time when it felt like all the pressure was on us to do well, get good grades and make our families proud, blah blah blah.


(Photo: Sophie Mayanne for Girlgaze, Dove & Getty Images #ProjectShowUs)


Well, for the past few days I’ve been trying to conjure up a post for Mental Health Awareness Week, and I’ve realised the only way I can write honestly and without fear is if I do it, hilariously enough, without thinking too hard. So you’re about to read my automatic writing. Enjoy – I hope it helps some of you, somehow…
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