Tag Archives: London

Instagram Diary…

I got a little carried away writing posts yesterday and completely forgot to upload my Instagram Diary. A day late but here it is.

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1. Vanilla Latte and the Book Thief. perfect train journey.

2. In London at Queens Theatre Shaftsbury Ave, wait to watch Les Mis.

3. Les Mis wall mural. 

4. Mine and Mamma Smith’s cheeky lift pic.

5. Can I just live here please? Lovely houses in the grounds of the Tower of London.

6. New Topshop Jamie jeans.

7. Chunky spiked necklace.

8. Oasis bag.

9. Pink floral notebook.

10. Lilac lipstick? Yes or no?

11. Barry M varnish in Teal.

12. Saturday selfie. 

Jemm xoxo

P.s. Look out for my #100HappyDays post later today.

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Instagram Diary…Christmas Edition

Well, the Christmas break is almost over. All that excitement and it’s over in a flash. How was the big day for all of you? What did you get? I hope it was fabulous. I figure the best way to beat those post Christmas blues is to relive the best bits in a picture post. So here is a sneak peek at this year’s festivities. Let me know what Christmas looked like for you via Tweeting, Facebook or commenting below!

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1. Kicking off the sparkly season with a bit of gold glitter. Trust me when I say it got EVERYWHERE.

2. Colourful chocolate wrappers mean Quality Streets and Quality Streets mean Christmas.

3. The desired destination of the gold glitter was actually my nails. Look how they turned out! I used Barry M polish and Topshop glitter.

4. Pre-Christmas purchase. Floaty New Look top.

5. Twas the night before Christmas and in the name of tradition, I’m watching a Christmas Carol, the Muppets edition! 

6. Letting my inner child take over on Christmas Eve by tracking Santa via NORAD.

7. The gifts awaiting me on Christmas morning. Almost to pretty to open. Almost.

8. My surprise present was Urban Decay’s Naked 3 palette. Very sneaky Mamma Smith!

9. Christmas selfie of my eye makeup, thanks Naked 3!

10. Fresh nails using my new Nails Inc Fibre Optic Effect glitter in Hampstead Court.

11. Only a few days after Christmas and a trip to Meadowhall was made to spend my gift cards. This wine coloured top is from Topshop, £38….

12.… As is this little stripy number £32.

13. I’m usually more of a pink lippy kinda girl but this MAC frost finish caught my eye. New York Apple. 

14. To top it all off I was very excited by the arrival of my train tickets to London for a March visit to see Les Mis on the West End. Let the countdown begin…

Find/follow me on Instagram @ JemmFrances

Jemm xoxo

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Instagram Diary…

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1. First attempt at Red Velvet Cupcakes…

2. They turned out pretty good! With a few subtle changes they will be even better next time.

3. Thanks to everyone that recommended Seche Vite top coat over on Twitter. The one that I had been using previously was rubbish!

4. Cheeky selfie on a Ruby Woo day.

5. This week on the blog I reviewed M L Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans. If you’re looking for a new book to read now the nights are drawing in read all about it here

6. Home baked scones fresh for a friends visit.

7. Glittered snowflakes over Big Ben. London inside a snowglobe.

8. Decided to give this Rimmel brow pencil a go in Dark Brown. Such a bargain compared to the Eylure one I usually use.

9. Hi pretty autumnal nails. Its been too long. So pleased I can finally paint my nails again. 

Find/Follow me on Instagram: JemmFrances.

Jemm xoxo 

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Instagram Diary: Week In Pictures

Well there wasn’t a Week In pictures past last Sunday due to it being a crazy weekend (and not in a good way.) This weekend has been decidedly calmer so this Instagram dairy includes pics from the last two weeks.mosaicf52dac0565e6023e45daa1f5985c6977c248666b

1. Love, love, love the new Galaxy Chocolate advert. Audrey Hepburn, Moon River and a chocolate bar all in one place? Perfect!

2. Costa feast with Mamma Smith.

3. Chips and gravy for tea. Naughty but sometimes necessary.

4. My best friend has been having a bit of a tough time these past weeks so last Sunday all the girls got together for a little tea party to let her know how much we love her. And how much we love cake. There was an abundance of cake. The cute cake stand filled with cupcakes and eclairs was just a small fraction.

5. So much cake was consumed at the tea party that we didn’t even get round to this beauty of a thing. Good job really as it would probably have put us in a cake coma. A smarties creation with Munchies and Rolos.

6. Bright pink nails with a hint of sparkle. Simple and quick,

7. Paid a flying visit to London on Wednesday for a job interview. Wish I could have spent more time there. Was very impressed with the new and improved Kings Cross Station especially the roof, very pretty!

8. Although my visit to the capital was a quick one you know that I found time to pay Oxford Street a visit, more specifically Topshop, where I purchased my very first Lola’s Cupcakes. They almost look too good to eat.

9. I have to say that my chocolate and white sprinkle cupcake was The. Best. Damn. Cupcake. I’ve. Ever. Tasted.

10. Snowdrops. Please let it be spring soon.

11. Love wrapping my hands around a warm Vanilla Latte.

12. Out for a Chinese with the family. It was a hair up kind of situation.

13. Obsessed with Chinese plain noodles and bean sprouts. Could eat these every day.

14. Cheeky Chocolate bar for film night.

15. Fortune Cookie. Some thing about a land of sunshine blah blah blah.

16. Freshly ombrèd hair.

Follow me on Instagram @ JemmFrances

Hope you’ve all had a good week/end! 

Jemm xoxo

 

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Week In Pictures

Since I take quite a lot of photo’s I’ve decided to do a new series of weekly posts detailing my week in pictures. 

I’ve included the pics from my trip to London last weekend as I haven’t been up to much this week apart from recovering from the trip!

L-R: Myself & Mamma Smith ready to hit LDN, Wizard Of Oz the musical, Thanks to which I now want to be Glinda the good witch, Topshop nail sparkle I couldn’t resist, Me at Tower Of London, Lunch (!), Visit to Kensington Palace, Queen Victoria exhibition, Wallpapper in the Diana exhibition, Jubilee cupcakes, Harrods, Tiramisu, Barbie Sketches in Harrods, Dad playing with his food, Frankie & Benny’s tea, JLS at Sheffield Arena.

Jemm xoxo

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Cities under siege

It’s been all over the news. It shocked communities up and down the country and the debate about the riots rumbles on almost a full 2 weeks after they started. To be honest it’s taken me this long to really process and understand what the hell happened, I wouldn’t profess to understand why.

The nations four days, or I should say four nights, of madness began in Tottenham, North London, following a peaceful protest against the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan on the previous Thursday. The public was lead to believe that the police shot Duggan after he fired at officers, this was later proven false. It was Saturday 6th August, and Tottenham was under siege. Rioters threw bricks, petrol bombs and any other kind of debris they could get their hands on. They fought, burned down buildings, looted businesses and terrorised communities. The violence and disorder spread to other areas of the capital including: Enfield, Brixton, Ealing, Hackney, Clapham Junction, Croydon, Camden, Bethnal Green and Lewisham to name a few. The city was reeling but it wasn’t the only one. Rioters jumped on the disorder bandwagon in other cities across the UK such as Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Reading and Kent.

I watched the news a lot over the week of the riots and this is what I took from it. I’m all for people protesting, as long as it’s peaceful. If you believe in something, if you stand for something, then that’s great. You have a right, protest away. What was glaringly obvious to me was that all of the violence, the looting and the burning had jack all to do with the death of Mark Duggan. These people weren’t protesting in his name, in fact 99.9% of these rioters wouldn’t even know who Mark Duggan was. They saw the chance to cause trouble and took it. They weren’t making a point, they weren’t standing for anything. It was opportunistic thuggery, plain and simple.                       

While listening to the news I heard one of the rioting youths say, “We want the police to know we can do whatever we like.” This just about sums it up in my opinion. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there is no deterrent against crime for young people in this country. The think they can do as they please without having to face the consequences.  

I had a bit of a difference of opinion with someone on my Facebook page over this issue. It was at the point where the rioting was at it’s peak and the police were discussing the use of plastic bullets. I put a status that said something along the lines of them arguing over plastic ones when they should use the real thing and get the job done. Harsh but true. The other person didn’t believe this was the answer and questioned where society would be if the police took such action. Under normal circumstances my status would sound extreme, I agree, but these were by no means normal circumstances. There was complete anarchy on the streets and a complete loss of order. Innocent people were loosing their lives, their homes, their business and their safety. In my opinion something drastic needed to be done. 

With rioters as young as eleven, certain people blame it on bad parenting, a lack of prospects, low aspirations and a failure in the education system. But I would hope that by the age of eleven you know the difference between right and wrong. I don’t hold with the care bears and cuddles approach. You might have a totally different opinion, and that’s your prerogative, but I don’t want to hear about how the youth of today is misunderstood, underrepresented and hard done by. The rioting youths that were interviewed on the news used the excuses of not being able to find work: well welcome aboard the same boat that thousands of other young unemployed people are sailing on. The vast majority of those weren’t burning down buildings and beating up on police officers. The thugs said they were tired of the gap between the rich and the poor. They repeatedly said they were sick of society disrespecting them. I’m just gonna let you sit with that last point for a moment.

Respect? They don’t deserve it. If they thought they were going to gain anything from their behaviour other than a criminal record and the nations shame they were very sadly mistaken. This might be a mind f**king notion but you gain respect by earning it.

So what have they actually achieved from all the trouble they caused? Do they think they’ll get a job now? Do they think they gained societies respect? Sure they got a bit of attention and a new stolen iPad but I doubt this will close the gap between themselves and the rich. Looking back, was it really worth it?

But what next? Where does the country go from here with the knowledge hanging over its head that at the next available opportunity its youth will take pleasure in terrorising their communities? Hundreds and hundreds of arrests were made but in all honesty what difference will this make? What lessons will be learned? Will it stop these kids taking to the streets in their hoods the next time an opportunity presents itself? Personally I doubt it. David Cameron promised that the rioters would feel the ‘full force of the law’ but with a majority of them being underage what exactly does this mean?

I want to see the people who have caused such destruction and fear punished. I want tough sentences to mean tough sentences. I want to see these people cleaning the streets and repairing the damage they caused. In short, being made to pay for the crimes they have committed regardless of their age. These youths were big enough and old enough to commit the crime they should be big enough to take the punishment. That’s how they will learn.

And what of the people who’s lives have been ruined? The victims who have had their homes razzed to the ground, their businesses left devastated by violence and looting? Who is going to replace all their worldly possessions, all their stock? Who is going to pay for the repair of the damage to their homes, their premises? How do these people move on? 

The good thing to come out of the riots was our nation was united in our outrage of the attacks and our sympathy for those affected. London and other cities across the UK were given the chance to show how strong and resilient they really are. Good, honest, law abiding people went out on to their streets to protect their communities, their property and each other. Within hours cleaning operations had been arranged and organised with people from near and far joining in. They refused to take it lying down. These cities have been beaten and scarred but hard working, decent people shouldn’t be ashamed of coming from where they come from. Be proud of your cities because I have no doubt that your cities are proud of you.

Jemm xoxo

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Feel the fear and do it anyway


Last weekend I paid a visit to my one true love, London. It had been far too long. While there I did some shopping, took in a show, visited some attractions, took some pictures and conquered a fear. So you know, the usual, as you do on a weekend. 

The little trip was a Christmas present from Mamma Smith to make up for the thoroughly  crappy Christmas I had to endure while my leg was caged up. Oxford Street was rammed, the sun was shinning, Topshop was manic, Madam Tussauds was fun, Wicked was, well, wicked and the tube wasn’t half as bad as I expected it to be. 

Yes that’s right fair readers, there is no need to put to use your contacts or spectacles, I said the tube wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be. Consistent readers of this blog or just readers with an impressive memory may remember a post I published about my love for our capital city (if you’ve never seen it or don’t remember it find it here.) In this post I identified three things about London, which I don’t love so much. These are; the expense, the pigeons, and the tube, which I said gave me the creeps. 

I would like to take this opportunity to renounce the latter claim. Let it never be said that Jemm Frances won’t admit when she is wrong. The tube is not at all creepy but rather an underground warren of wonderfulness! Who knew that in just a few short hours I would be able to face my fear and be shuttled all over London with not so much as a whiff of tearful panic attack?

Now for live in Londoners and regular users of the tube this might not seem like such an amazing feat. But let me break this down so you all understand. There are certain things in life that I am inherently crap at and fundamentally clueless about. The majority of these things I can blame on Mamma Smith, god love her. Like my total ineptitude to even comprehend anything slightly mathematical. If it’s got numbers in it or on it then keep it the hell away from me. Or how about my inherited denseness when it comes to anything geographical. The phrase ‘geographically challenged’ doesn’t even touch the sides. This means I have no map reading skills and absolutely no sense of direction. If you blindfolded me in my own back yard I wouldn’t be able to find my house. Fact. And what really takes the cake is that my twin sister has managed to escape inheriting either of these crappy qualities. Mamma Smith saved them exclusively for me. Bless. (But since I got the good looks this kinda evens it out.)

I jest. I jest. 

Mamma Smith and I

Bearing this in mind though, it shouldn’t be hard to imagine that up until last weekend the sheer thought of having to navigate the London Underground on my own (having Mamma Smith with me doesn’t count, she’s more useless than me when it comes to navigation) scared the Bejesus outta me. When faced with having to hitch a ride on the underground in the past I’ve left the responsibility in the hands of far more practical and capable people than I. Grabbed hold of whoever I was with in a kind of ‘close your eyes and hope for the best’ sort of way.

With my abysmal sense of direction and limited capacity for figuring these things out the tube always appeared as an impossible labyrinth, a hectic network I was doomed never to understand. Not being able to drive and with future hopes of making London my home this proved the teensiest bit problematic. So much as looking at a tube map made me panicky, it might as well have been in hieroglyphics for all the sense it made to me.

But on our little jaunt in London town I bit the bullet. It was long overdue. Being there with Mamma Smith meant that I didn’t have the luxury of leaving it to someone else. If we wanted to get the most out of our little trip instead of sitting in our hotel I needed to man up. So I did. (Metaphorically speaking.) I marched us down to Oxford Circus tube station, figured out the ticket machine and got us to Baker Street. Once this first little journey was complete FREEDOM WAS MINE! From here we went on excursions to Westminster, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester  Square and Covent Garden. I knew exactly where we needed to be each time. I figured out my Northbound from my Southbound and my East from my West. Never once did I get us on or off at the wrong stop. I followed the signs and neither the bustling crowds nor the entanglement of tunnels could confuse me. 

We stayed in Zone One on this first attempt, as I didn’t want to get over adventurous and end up putting us on the Eurostar at St Pancras instead. But I figure if you’ve seen one tube station you’ve seem ’em all. The little that I achieved in those few short hours has given me a new found confidence and sense of independence. And with this new confidence, independence and my trusty iPhone tube map I reckon, no screw that, I know, I could get myself wherever I wanted to go in London without fear, worry or hesitation. Fearless. That’s me.  

Dare I say it? I feel kinda proud of myself. On my first attempt, I’d managed to overcome something that’s been haunting me for years. Something I’d built up in my head to be so massively monumental turned out to be somewhat of an anti-climax. In fact, it was positively easy peasy. I kept my cool, used my noggin and cracked it. Hell, I didn’t just crack it; I was ALL over that shit. 

Proud me. So I’m gonna look in the mirror and give myself a little bow. Oh yes I am. One more obstacle overcome and one less thing to waste my time worrying about. Anyone else who has overcome a fear I suggest you do the same. 

The moral of this story? 

That nothing is ever as bad or as scary as it first may seem.

So go on. What are you waiting for? Climb that mountain, swim that sea. I believe in you, I know you can do it. Keep calm, carry on and conquer that fear, then take a moment to basque in your sheer awesomeness. Because you hear that clapping? That’s me applauding you.

**Disclaimer**

While I might have mastered the underground, my deplorable geography skills mean that I’m still f*cked above the ground. Oh well. One thing at a time eh?

Jemm xoxo

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