Saturday, 28 February 2015

24 trends that all noughties teens will remember

I feel quite hard done by when I see teenage girls nowadays.  When I was a teenager, before I graduated into a fully-fledged, clued up female I had to go through the awkward phase.  We all had one - braces, bright orange unblended foundation, garish coloured eyeshadows, sparkly lipgloss that came free with Sabrina's Secrets...


There's no awkward, in between stage for teenage girls now.  New Look doesn't stock pretty butterfly t-shirts and colourful jumpers with flowers on in their 915 section - it's just smaller versions of the actual New Look stock.  Teenage girls today can get bodycon skirts, crop tops, high-waisted skinny jeans...the lot!!


 And there's no awkward make-up stage either where your foundation doesn't match and you've got the good old line down your chin.  Teenage make-up bag aren't filled with glittery goodies and freebies from magazines but Mac make-up and actual, real life brands.


The awkward stage seems to have been well and truly bypassed with them all diverting straight to pretty.  When I was a teenage girl, there was no avoiding the awkward stage.  It was a long and difficult slog working through the awkward stage of being a teenager - teenage girls these days should do their time like the rest of us did.


Here are some of my favourite awkward 'fashion', hair and 'beauty' trends experienced by girls growing up in the noughties...




1. Hair mascara
It was all the range to put a strip of coloured mascara through random bits of your hair. 



2. Coloured eye liner
And coloured mascara.  They really worked well with the bright eyeshadows...



3. A full head of teeny, tiny plaits
A 90s/00s crossover was the full head of plaits favourite by many noughties teenage girls.  This was a personal favourite of mine.  As was the crimped look once you took them all out the next day!



4. Denim mini skirts
With a lace trim around the bottom or some sort of coloured pattern on.  School discos and birthday parties were the perfect opportunities to whack out this staple wardrobe piece.



5. Layered tops
A black vest with a smaller white vest over the top.  Or a pink t-shirt with a different coloured vest over the top.  Or even a long-sleeved t-shirt with a short-sleeved t-shirt over it.  The possibilities were endless! 



6. Folded over the shoulder tops
Even if your top wasn't designed to fold over the shoulders you'd make damn sure it did.  I had a lovely brown jumper which over time I stretched enough to sit perfectly over my shoulders (which consequently were always cold!)



7. Halter neck tops
Tammy Girl (oh, Tammy Girl - RIP) was awash with halter neck tops - sparkly ones, sequin ones, slightly open-backed ones...



8. Crimped hair
I refer to number 3 - whether the crimped effect was achieved with the trusty Babyliss Crimper or plaiting your hair into dozens of tiny plaits, every girl loved a crimp.



9. Bohemian maxi skirts
They tied with a nice draw string and were very 'boho' - white and khaki green were the favourites.  Teamed with those sequin slippers (they literally were slippers!) it was a very popular look.



10. Hair tied back with those two little strands of fringe left down
A slicked back ponytail was all the range but if you had a long fringe and could leave those two strands at the front free you were cool. 



11. Black elastic neck chokers
These are back with a vengeance now, but every girl had one at one stage.  And they weren't just black - they were fluorescent, neon, multi-coloured...



12. Baggy flared jeans
There was none of this skinny and high-waisted jeans malarkey.



13. All jewellery was from Claire's Accessories
It used to be good, honest.


14. It was all about 'Livestrong' bands and various other charity bracelets
There was none of this Pandora, Links of London, Nomination - it was pure rubber and plastic on our wrists.


15. Most school bags were Warehouse or Jane Norman.
And a good carrier bag for your books and PE kit was always important.


16. Glitter hairspray
In fact, glitter everything - glitter moisturiser, glitter body wash, roll-on body glitter... We sparkled our way through the noughties.


17. Charlie body sprays
Charlie Red was a favourite in every school bag.


18. Clear mascara
Unsure of what the point of this was, but we all used it!


19. Velour tracksuits
Everyone wanted a Juicy Couture tracksuit with 'Juicy' emblazoned across the bum.


20. Baker boy hats
Keira Knightley set the trend in Love Actually and saw a rise in girls wearing these strange hats with even stranger outfits.


21. Belts that didn't need to be there
Particularly the brown, circular belt with the studs on (now made famous by Corrie's Deidre)


22. Maybelline dream matte mousse
Once you'd progressed from the orange, badly blended foundation the next step was dream matte mousse.  All hail Maybelline for saving teenage girls across the land.


23. GHDs were the new, big thing
So obviously everyone started straightening their hair every day - say hello to poker straight hair and split ends!


24. Combat trousers
Made famous by girl bands and typically teamed with a nice halter neck top.


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Thursday, 26 February 2015

How my bloke won me over with a Facebook poke

Once upon a time there was a princess who was locked in a dragon-guarded tower.  A noble prince rode up to the tower on his horse, slayed the dragon, rescued the princess and the pair lived happily ever after.

That, right there, is an example of a classic, traditional fairytale: female in distress, male rescues, happily ever after.

Fairytales these days take quite a different format, with many sceptical that there even is such a thing.  But every person's love story is special, unique and is its own fairytale.

For instance, the 'fairytale' that I call my own is a fine, modern-day example of what is quickly becoming the popular social media fairytale.

Once upon a time, there was a boy who lived in Howden.  He had big, bright blonde hair and an even bigger, bold personality to match.  Everyone at college knew who he was, and everyone who was about to start college knew who he was.

Upon finishing high school, a young, naive girl from Drax accepted a friend request on Facebook sent by said college boy.

A few months after starting college, the boy poked the girl on Facebook - classic 2008 for you, right there.

After months of 'poking' and the odd smile across the infamous 'fec', the first Facebook message came.  There was some flirting and a lot of attempts by boy to pursue girl, who played hard to get for a number of years.

University came and went and both kept in touch through the powers of social media.  Then last year, after we both swiped the right way on Tinder, we started talking regularly again.  I finally gave in to his persistence and we started going on dates and hanging out all the time.

Then, before we knew it, we were an item.

Six years after our first interaction on social media, it was social media that put us back in contact and brought us to the point we are at today.  There was no tower or dragon or horse, but instead a Facebook poke, a Tinder swipe and some Whatsapp messages.

Regardless of that, we are now living in our own house and engaged to be married.

We have now booked our wedding day - our parents got married on exactly the same day so we decided that, given that special link and coincidence, we should get married on that same date.  It just so turns out, that the date we have chosen is exactly eight years and one day after our first social media message was exchanged.  Little did I know after receiving said message that eight years later would be my last day as Miss Derham.



Fairytales used to be just black and white with the damsel in distress rescued by the knight in shining armour, but as times change so do people's ideas of what makes the perfect story and, as two people fall in love, they start their own voyage on their very own fairytale.

Some people's start in a club on a night out; others start in school or at uni; and others start on a dating app - but every one is special regardless of how traditional or different they may be.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Is there something wrong with me because I enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey?

It's received some stick from film critics across the world since it was released last week, but I am one of those who was not left disappointed by the world-wide phenomenon that is Fifty Shades of Grey.

Me and my other half went to see it on Valentine's Day - I was excited, he was sceptical and reluctant.  But as the film ended as sharply as the book, he turned to me and said: "I really enjoyed that! It can't end like that, what happens next?"  I get the feeling he won't be quite as reluctant to see Fifty Shades Darker when that is released.

Loads of people have been negative about the film and I was quite apprehensive about seeing it - I'd read the books and already had in my mind ideas of what each character would be like and how things would go.  Of course the film wasn't a mirror of the book, there's no way that much could be squeezed into 120 minutes.  I went into it with an open mind which is probably why I wasn't left disappointed.

Some critics have been quite cruel in their reviews, not only slamming the film but also the people who enjoyed it.  One reviewer said in her review: "I fear that what you think of Fifty Shades of Grey may say more about you than it says about the movie itself."  Unless all film critics are now turning into Katie Hopkins-esque characters and taking personal swipes at everyone who possesses an opinion different to theirs, I feel this is a little uncalled for.

It's a bit of an unkind dig towards those who enjoyed the film, possibly making them question what their overall opinion of the film must mean about them.  But who cares?  Just because you like something that others don't, doesn't say anything about you as a person.

I can see why Fifty Shades wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, but the world would be a very boring place if everyone liked the same things.  I thoroughly enjoyed the film and I don't want to spoil it for those who are yet to see it, so here are a few of the things I liked best about Fifty Shades of Grey:

1. The soundtrack.
This has very little to do with the story or the acting, but the soundtrack was definitely one of my favourite parts.  As soon as we came out of the cinema I'd downloaded it and I'm listening to it as I type (Current song: Haunted - Beyonce).

2. Jamie Dornan.
I wasn't sure at first whether he would be the right Christian Grey for me.  After reading the books a few times, I'd already built up an image of him in my head and he didn't quite fit that.  But, after 10 minutes of him being on the screen I was sold.  He played the part brilliantly and wasn't too bad on the eye either!  There have been criticisms that the chemistry between him and Dakota Johnson on screen wasn't great, but that's the character of Christian Grey.  If they had loads of chemistry, I don't think the character from the book would have come across as strong.

3. The tasteful nature of the sex scenes.
The book is raunchy, far raunchier than the film was and probably ever could be.  Those who said that there wasn't enough sex in it would probably be the same people who would say there was too much, had they included more.  For me, there was just the right balance.  Any more and you wouldn't have got any of the story, which is important, and it would've just been like a porn film.  The sex scenes that they did include were tastefully shot and acted as well.  Of course, you can only be so tasteful with BDSM but I thought it was done really well.

4. How easy it is to get parked in Seattle.
I've been in a similar situation to Anastasia Steele when she drove up to Christian Grey's offices to interview him and believe me, it is never ever that easy to find a parking space.  Bear in mind that I only visit people in offices in a small, northern town - not a huge, international city - and I can barely get parked outside a local primary school!

5. Ana's 'inner goddess' is nowhere to be seen or heard.
I'm all for a bit of narration in a book but her 'inner goddess' wasn't half annoying and ever so slightly cringey.  Her character was much more grown up and respectable without it.

6. Some of the awkward moments/lines in the books were left out.
Whilst I really enjoyed reading the books, and thought the overall story was great, the way they were written didn't blow me away.  Of course there are only so many words for a penis or a vagina, but I did cringe as I read some of the ways E.L James had written some moments.  It pleased me that much of this was left out.  "I'm fifty shades of fucked up" still made its way in, though!

7. The glider scene.
Her happy face and his little romantic side just made me feel all warm inside.

8. The camera angles which were obviously chosen to show Ana's perfectly pruned pubic area.
It was a very full bush and has definitely pushed the 'should it go or let it grow' debate into the forefront of people's minds once more.

9. When Christian bit the toast.
Eating toast has never seemed so sexy.

10. Her naivety when it comes to all things sexual.
There were some definite 'laugh out loud' moments in the film.  For example, questioning whether his 'xbox and stuff' were kept in his playroom and her facial expressions when he explains things to her.

11. The scene where they negotiate the contracts.
This was also my other half's favourite bit (or so he told me...) - the way it was filmed, the dialogue and the acting was probably the best bit.  It was also the first moment we saw 'sassy Ana'.

12. The game of 'Spot Rita Ora'.
Blink and you'll miss her, literally.  So much so that Tom didn't even realise that she had been in it!  Her character did have a much bigger part in the book, but she featured more heavily in the second and third books.  Something that I think Rita Ora has explained in interviews questioning her minuscule role.

Overall, I really enjoyed it.  I can see why people have slated it because, given its popularity as a book, everyone will have expected something different from it - that's the problem when you turn such a popular book into a film.  And when the author of said popular book insists on being so hands-on in the making of the film.

Some reviews, I feel, have been quite harsh.  Not only on the cast and those behind the film, but on those who have been to watch it and have expressed their enjoyment.  Whenever a big, blockbuster film comes out there are always going to be those people who have the sole intention of criticising it, no matter how good it is.

With Fifty Shades of Grey, I feel that many people are criticising it because they're trying to be unique and cool and not jump on the bandwagon.  They're the same sort of people who will immediately disliking a band because 'they liked them before they became famous and now everyone else likes them too.'

Personally, I think the trilogy makes for a really good love story which happens to include all the sexy bits that would usually be left out.  It probably could have been transferred from page to screen a little bit better, but the first book always was the weakest in my opinion.

I'm looking forward to seeing how they tell the story from the second and third books on the big screen and can't wait for another couple of hours filled with mostly topless shots of Jamie Dornan.


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Monday, 9 February 2015

I've crossed over onto the dark side!

One of the first ever posts I wrote on my blog was about Valentine's Day and my dislike for the occasion.  I've never had a significant other to spent Valentine's Day with, hence my less than favourable attitude towards Hallmark holiday.

After my best friend riding to the rescue in previous years and making plans with me, this year I'm batting for the other side.  No, I'm not now a lesbian, I am actually on 'Team Valentine's Day'.

I've stood in the card shops umm-ing and aah-ing over which card to buy, I've bought silly little presents and I am actually somewhat excited for the 14th February (mainly because I have a Saturday off work and we are going to see Fifty Shades of Grey!!).

Those foods high in saturated fats and the flowers which will be dead within a week, that I was so against in previous years, are now very much sought after (I've even got a shiny new vase in preparation for any...)  I no longer feel a pang of jealously or sickness when I see people getting excited for their Valentine's Day plans - and I'm sure I won't be dreading scrolling through social media on the big day itself.

There are still some aspects of Valentine's Day that I am not too keen on.  It shouldn't be an excuse to demonstrate the magnitude of your love for each other - or to everyone else for that matter.  It's a lovely opportunity and chance to spend a nice day/night together, but it shouldn't be something saved for just one day a year.

I'm excited for my first proper Valentine's Day with someone but I won't be 'that person' that I disliked so much as a long-term singleton - the one who bombards social media with photos of gifts claiming to be the 'luckiest girl in the world'.  The day should be about demonstrating your love to each other, not to your hundreds of Facebook friends and Twitter followers.

What I don't like about V-Day though, as a member of the pro-V-Day camp now, is how awkward it is to buy a present for a man.  Do they realise how easy they have it when buying for us?  Chocolates, flowers, anything sweet (heart-shaped cupcakes, cookies etc), perfume, bubbly, make-up, underwear, jewellery...the list is endless.  But what do you buy for a man?  Silky boxers was a suggestion by one of my friends but I think maybe I'll pass on that one!!

What is even more difficult is that it is still relatively soon after Christmas and a January birthday - meaning that they literally have everything they could want.

When walking through Leeds at the weekend I was gazing in the windows thinking how easy it would be if I was to be buying for a girl for Valentine's Day, but didn't say anything aloud just incase it sounded really weird/like I was turning.  But, when in Hotel Chocolat, my best friend said it for me and I realised I wasn't alone and that men just are hard to buy for.

Aside from the card exchanging and gift giving, I doubt this will be unlike any other Saturday for us both -  I maybe won't nag as much and Tom has given up going to the football.  In that respect, I imagine we both wish it were Valentine's Day every weekend!


You may also like: The emotional stages of moving in with a boy

Sunday, 8 February 2015

35 thoughts that go through your mind during an Instagram stalking session...

Let's be honest, we all do it - we delicately scroll through our smartphones, carefully trying not to accidentally like something from 67 weeks ago and then wonder 'how did I get this far?'

Yep, Instagram stalking sessions are a favourite amongst most active social media users.  It's a place where it's acceptable to spend far longer than normal scrolling through the feeds of old classmates, former work colleagues, people you don't like, and complete strangers.

I probably spend longer stalking the Instagrams of people I don't know/don't like/don't speak to any more than I do the ones of my closest friends and family - weird.

I'm sure that I'm not the only one who enjoys a good 'social media stalking session' first thing on a morning/during a toilet break/at dinner time/on an evening/before bed/basically any opportunity which sees my phone in my hand.  Here are a collection of thoughts I'm sure you'll have had, too, during an Instagram stalking session:


1. How is it possible that she can upload so many good selfies?  It literally takes me 20-odd attempts for my phone to replicate how cute I think I look.

2. I wish I had the motivation to go to the gym as much as they do.

3. Maybe they're not really going to the gym and have just got dressed in their nice Nike leggings, bright trainers and tiny crop top to take a photo and upload it to Instagram.  I bet they're sat there watching Friends re-runs and eating chocolate digestives really.

4. Do people actually, legitimately wear such skimpy outfits to the gym?  It's a while since I've been but I don't remember that being a 'thing' last time I was there.

5. Why hasn't anyone posted anything new in the last 30 seconds?  Maybe I need to follow more people.

6. I think someone went out last night *scrolls through pictures of every stage of their night*

7. Oooh Kourtney Kardashian posted a picture which featured no mention of Scott Disick out - have they split up?!

8. I'm not sure that some people understand the use of hashtags.

9. How have they got so many likes on their photo?!

11. I'm sure when they first posted that photo there were dozens of hashtags which have now miraculously disappeared since the post got over 50 likes.  How peculiar.

12. I didn't realise they even knew each other, let alone were friends... *stalks each person's photos to see how long this friendship has been forged*

13. Why is there so many pictures on here of girls with amazing figures making me feel bad?

14. If it's not 'fitspiration' pictures it's photos of 'food porn' - I CAN'T HAVE BOTH STOP TEASING ME!

15. I get that the point of Instagram is to jazz your snaps up with a filter, but #NoFilter means nothing anymore given the amount of filters you can put on a photo just from your camera roll.  Unless it's of a beautiful scene that doesn't need a filter, stop bragging about how naturally pretty you are.

16. I'm dangerously far down this feed now, best be careful not to accidentally like anything and give myself away.

17. What do some of those comments on Kim Kardashian's posts even mean?  First for first?  Am I really old because I don't understand this lingo?

18. The moment of joy when you see a good, unique quote that just sums you up at the moment.

19. Oh look, someone is having eggs benedict for breakfast - lucky them.

20. I want eggs benedict for breakfast.

21. I wish I lived in London.

22. I wish I lived in New York.

23. Are they really on holiday again?

24. Why doesn't my hair ever go as nice as that?  I wonder what products she uses?

25. I've just suddenly got 35 likes... Oh, it's the same person obviously on a mass stalking/liking session of my profile.  Let's see who they are then...

26. WHY IS THEIR PROFILE PRIVATE?!  There's always one who ruins the fun.

27. I wonder if there's anything new on my feed yet?

28. If I close the app down and then re-open it will that make a difference?

29. Some people really are terrible at taking photos.

30. She has really great eyebrows, I wonder if people ever think that about me?  Probably not. *Cries*

31. OMG *screenshots to send to best friend* - 'have you seen this?!'

32. What on earth is Kim Kardashian wearing now?

33. Where did Khloe Kardashian's bum come from?

34. I wish I was a Kardashian.

35. That escalated quickly *currently stalking a photo from 241 weeks ago* - maybe I better go do something productive with my day now.


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