Wednesday, 25 May 2016

The Book Review ~ Villa America

Rating: 4+/5

I had no idea what Liza Klaussmann's new book was about. After "Tiger's in Red Weather" I saw this on the shelf of my local charity shop and grabbed it especially as it was on honeymoon reading list. However, I started it and then I left it on the shelf and its spine didn't crack until three days ago when I realised it was still unread and the honeymoon was only a week a way. I had been so excited to pick a book to take and fill my Kobo with some delights that I didn't want to take Villa America so I cracked the spine again, and I didn't put it down for the next 72 hours. 

Liza Klaussmann's writing is all absorbing. The characters and the settings just pull you in and they don't let you go until you are done. This particular story I had read before. Post World War 1, Europe and the artists. I had read 'Z' and "The Paris Wife" loving them both. Now was the turn of the Murphy's and their lives during this time and how it interwove with the Fitzgerald's and the Hemmingway's. This beautifully written semi-biopic book about the tragic love triangle of the Murphy's in the first half of the novel. Liza captures the age and the characters with utter perfection. I loved it which makes the last third of the novel so disappointing. 

The writing turns to correspondents among friends as the Murphy's story unravels into chaos. It is interesting, but it seems rushed. As if Klaussmann ran out of space and needed to close everything down. It got the job done. As in it closed the book down, but it lost its power. 

THEN, she pulled it all back with the most phenomenal ending that just broke your heart! The mystery trip that the characters continually mention during the heartbreaking times is finally revealed, and it is worth the wait. Klaussmann pulled it back from the brink and the rough middle part was forgotten. I just cannot wait to get her next book! 

Sunday, 22 May 2016

It all Begins!

I cannot believe this is happening! The countdown has officially begun! 
In TEN DAYS time I will be getting married!

 After chatting to my work colleagues about not having a Hen Night my amazing manager put together a great night with wine tasting at Love Wine in Woodstock, a delicious dinner at the Woodstock Arms,  then a bottle of prosecco in the King's Arms and cocktails closing down the crown! 
A true Woodstock Village Hen Night!  Thank you Ladies!

It was the first event so what did I wear?

Outfit ~ Pedlum Dress by Maurie & Eve with LK Bennet Black Heels

Makeup ~ Laura Mercier Mineral Powder, Nars Blush and highlighter, Laura Mercier Mascara and Blake Lively Loreal Lipstick.

Special Thank You to Cyrus Mower for photographing the Wine Tasting

Saturday, 21 May 2016

The Posh Gurl Rewrites

Firstly, I want to thank everyone for their emails. I received messages from friends and strangers and I am happy to say that despite the upset I won't give up just yet! 

Thanks to specific friends who reminded me that what I write is my art, and like art it is easily subjective. Therefore, what you think could be a personal attack is instead a social observation. Please don't take what I write personally. My blog is not my diary it's my art form. If you don't like it you should probably just not read it! 

Just for ABK I will repeat myself with her favourite line. Life is always ready to give you lemons, and its up to the individual to turn them into lemonade... not the annoying Beyonce kind but the yummy refreshing drink kind!

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Wedding Dilemma Deepens...

Apparently taking life onto a blog and letting it all out doesn't work in real life. Carrie Bradshaw can write endlessly about her sex life and bad relationships without any sort of comeback. Me, I write about the cultural  pressures of planning and living the perfect wedding and it bites me in the ass! Maybe its just the British ... they don't understand blogging and its rules. Maybe its just the fact people read what they want to read without seeing a point being made. I don't know what it is, but its close to censoring me out. 

After a hardcore Pilates reformer class and a bar of Galaxy chocolate I took it to the amazing ABK for advice! She calls for a clarification rather than a retraction so that is what this is. A "Clarification" for all those who need it in S I M P L E terms. What I was trying to get across in yesterdays post was cultural pressure and how it can take a perfect day and make it disappointing. How reality is completely skewed  by media representation. You don't need a Vivienne Westwood wedding dress to be a beautiful bride. You don't need the plaza hotel in New York for the perfect reception. Even though we know these facts we still let the reality of not having those things effect our reflection on the day, and  it can make us crazy with disappointed and ungratefulness. I am not saying everything will be perfect, (I once went to a wedding where the bride cried because the tablecloth on the desert table was ivory and not white) nothing ever is that is not what life's about, but it is the cultural expectation that it should be perfect that drives the bridal unrest, the ungrateful lashings out and the unhappiness. Instead, as brides we should just look at the day and all the preparation and pre-events and go, "Yes, this is not a clipping from Bridal Magazine, but I love him and this is what it's all about". Another amazing lady I am honoured to call my friend told me at the start of the wedding prep, right after we got engage to always keep in mind that this is about the marriage and not the wedding. 

So, going back to yesterdays post. It was a blog written to comment on the social pressure of wedding planning, and how the 'dream' of things put in your mind with movies, books and magazines actually gets in the way of you being super happy with what is objectively a great situation. No malice, no back-stabbing, just a cultural observation with a bit of real life thrown in. Hopefully this post will CLARIFY what I was getting at, and ease the mind of some readers who took offence. 

P.S. I will not be censored so if your offended get used to it or stop reading cause The Posh Gurl ain't gonna stop writing! 

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Monday, 16 May 2016

Jeans, Jeans Everywhere but Which Ones do I Pick?

I own exactly three pairs of jeans. 1 pair of distressed skinny boyfriends by 7 for all mankind, 1 pair of super skinny Kenneth Cole Reactions and finally a pair of J. Crew boyfriends. I want to clarify that by distressed I mean a few holes, but they are all patched, no skin peek-a-boo holes. Since when did jeans become so naked. Yesterday I was in a Banana Republic and a girl walked in wearing a pair of black jeans with large rips at the knee and calf. I could see her entire leg. The holes gaped so big she might as well have been wearing a bathing suit. I don't understand! I freak out when my Kenneth Cole's ride too low. In fact I only ever wear those jeans with my oversize tees that hang right over my butt just in case my Hanky Panky's come into view. And, yet there in the middle of a shop a girl was wearing 'jeans' but was pretty much naked. When did distress denim become something to cause distress! 
On the train home I picked up some fashion magazines and had a flip through. Inside my eyes were drawn to an article on the new denim trend, patchwork. I know all fashions tend to resurface but I was hoping the nineties would stay away. First there was the repeat of mom jeans and now patchwork. What is the world of fashion coming to that we are reusing trends that should never have been trends in the first place?

I really don't understand it, and yet I am strangely drawn to it! Fashion does weird things to a person. To me patchwork badges are best suited to a back pack of some grungy teen not the legs of a pair of designer jeans. 

What am I missing here? The cut of the jeans looks bad, the rips look bad, even the colour is bad. How is this a trend that is being ogled at and adorned over? Isn't it just bad taste. Which brings into question when does bad taste circle back around and become good taste again? Does taking something completely tacky and selling it at high prices mean it's suddenly stylish? 

I thought jeans were hard enough to buy with the multiple fittings, but now there is multiple styles completely throwing me. What should jeans be? I've always made sure to have a dress up and a dress down pair. One to wear for a casual dinner and one to wear when you want to run around London shopping! Now brings into question should I have an extra pair for 'trend'? What is the occasion that you would need or it would be appropriate to wear a pair of sequinned jeans stating to bow down? For me I think never! So I am just going to sit this one out!

Sunday, 15 May 2016

The Best Shopping Excuse Ever

I am a shopaholic. I wouldn't call myself Becky Bloomwood... perhaps during my early twenties! Now however, I know my style and there is nothing I love more than indulging. 

Over lent I purged my closet and now have a very minimal set of clothes. Mostly it is Lululemon sweaters, Banana Republic skirts and shirts, and a pair of 7 for Mankind jeans! ~ For work there is a pair of Michael Kors pants and a two 10 by Crosby tops, (both of which will meet the bin when I leave in July as they are pretty much covered in coffee stains)! ~  I loved purging my closet. It was the nicest feeling walking into our local Blue Cross Charity shop and handing it all over... a full car load to be exact. It was an amazing feeling. The minimalism of my closet has really helped me hone in on what I love and what I hate. On my days off I enjoy getting girly. My pleated Banana skirts with a nice fitting shirt is great for a lunch, but if I am feeling more casual I grab jeans with one of my long sleeve t-shirts, (I bought two gorgeous ones from Nordstroms by B when I was home). 

Living in the UK has definitely upped my enjoyment of winter clothes... there really is not much else to wear as you are pretty much in them 24/7 10 months of the year! So as I unpacked my summer closet from its winter hibernation spot I realised just how low my summer supplies had fallen. One very basic bikini, three tank tops, two t-shirts, a cardigan and three dresses was supposed to see me through a honeymoon in the south of Italy and then a move to Vancouver in August (where FYI they do get a summer)! So with that in mind... and to stop myself from splurging too much I wrote a list of what was needed. What the purge had taught me about my style was that I needed something casual to match the tops with a few girly extras to pad out the extra days. I would need Banana Republic, J Crew, Anthropologie and of course Victoria Secret, (what Honeymoon would be complete without a sexy bikini). Cross referencing this ideal with the knowledge that there would be two additional outfits to acquire for the wedding, (rehearsal dinner and morning after) I had it down packed. Exactly what I needed and the best shopping excuse ever!


Let's be serious about this. When one shops it is incredibly easy to fall into shoppers remorse. Especially when buying a number of outfits. Surely one dress can fulfil the purpose of three. If I get just this one I can wear it out over the summer. What is summer anyway it is over in two-three months! We have all been there. I fall into that state too. My sister taught me to shop. My mother taught me to feel guilty about it. Hence the best shopping excuse ever! Call me old fashioned but I plan to get married once. Remaining married to this one TidyBoy for the rest of my life. So when else can I grab my best walking shoes, jump on a train and blow some serious cash on the streets of London! Am I right?

When I returned from London the guilt did come into play, but it was easily averted. I had an excuse. I had a reason to shop. However, to ease the guilt I put in a stipulation. Everything I bought has remained in the wrapping paper, in their bags on the bed of our spare room, (except the dresses which are hung in a garment bag on the back of the spare room door to avoid creasing). Guilt avoided. Everything was bought for a purpose and shall remain unworn until that purpose has come into play. Which is in two very long weeks at the moment! I am Juliet rolling around on her bed lusting after Romeo talking about dresses... except I am lusting after dresses and not Romeo, (sorry TidyBoy).  This wedding cannot come quicker. My heritage denim Banana Republic shorts and floppy Anthropologie hat call to me daily from the gap under the spare room door. I can smell the scent of new cotton leaking from its garment bag... we won't even go into the leather of the new Coach mules I bought to accompany said outfits. 

I have found the best shopping excuse ever but implemented it with the worse strategy ever... Waiting! 

I am going to leave it there before I give away too much about my newly bought outfits for the pre and post wedding events!

Saturday, 14 May 2016

The Bridal Spotlight

I love being the centre of attention. In fact, when I told my sister one of our wedding surprises she said, "oh of course! Didn't expect anything less! Always the centre of attention!' Ask my best friend and she would tell you the story of drama audition when I was dancing around a hall pretending to be a cat and reciting T.S Eliot.

It is true. I will agree with both of my ladies and say yes I have never been one to shy away from the lime light. However, this wedding malarkey is shaking my confidence. There is no reciting poetry, or pretending to be a cat. It is time to show how I am truly feeling. When I stand centre stage at the wedding there can't be any pretending its just me as I am, will I be enough?

Every wedding I go to you are there to see the bride. Everyone wants to see the bride. What will she wear? How will she have hair?  I don't want to disappoint! I am terrified of disappointing! Every pimple that appears, even if it is under the skin I panic... running to the bathroom to cover it in toothpaste! Without fail my retainer is in my mouth from 21:00 onwards. I have even put faith in a ridiculous Italian commercial and bought Blanc X in an attempt to whiten my teeth!

The dress, the hair, the makeup, the jewellery, even the stick on bra and stomach holding in panties! I am preening and waxing, reforming and power walking. I feel like I have done more preparation for this way then for the sportive I did last year! 75 mile bike ride is a piece of cake compared to this.
The scrutiny is petrifying, and I haven't even mentioned my hands yet! Manicures, cuticle cuts and moisturising every second of every day. How many people will be taking note of my nail shape, my polish, the softness of my skin. Everyone will be looking at my left hand. And then there are my lips... I must have used four-five tubs of LUSH lip balm and the wedding is still 18 days away.

Before going to bed there is the parade of the creams! Eye cream, wrinkle cream, lip cream, foot cream, hand cream, nail cream, hair cream! How much does a girl need to do to impress! ... Apparently, when your the bride... a lot!

So on the day... please don't judge me.

Friday, 13 May 2016

#gettingmarriedsoon - that's soon but not soon enough!

Breaking news... life moves fast. It is ridiculous how fast. One minute you're getting engaged in the rain and talking about emigrating, filling in the forms. Then the next it is 19 days till the big day you have spent your entire life dreaming about and only a few months before you pack up and set sail to the 'big V'. This Sweet 2016 is rushing by and I am stood gasping for breath. How do I deal with it? I watch Sex and the City back-to-back, (that's after I have packed up the entire apartment five months before we are actually moving). So with many deadlines approaching, panic onsetting all I can do is sit in my pyjamas and watch TV! I ask you what the Hell am I doing?

I am waiting... waiting sucks! I have been waiting to use my new Nars and Laura Mercier makeup since January! Waiting to wear my new clothes and shoes that I bought on our shopping spree in London two months ago. Waiting to have a hair cut since February and it gets worse! Now I have to wait to get a wax, a manicure and my hair dyed all because of timing. Everything is down to a fine art of planning and I can't do anything to throw it off. An unscheduled wax could lead to a misshapen eyebrow in the wedding photos! Although everything seems to be rushing towards me there is nothing to do! The wedding is planned. I can't find a new apartment in Vancouver as the rentals for August are not released yet. And this waiting game is sucking me dry. Waiting that has lead me to the penultimate episode of SATC season 4 which interestingly is about Carrie starting afresh with "a new do" and a new job at Vogue. Jealousy stirs within me! 

A Letdown? Writing... Writer... Perhaps... Perhaps Not? 
One of my besties recently wrote an amazing article for an equestrian magazine and talked about the difficulty of writing after our degree had ended. Sure some people had other people to fund them for a few years allowing them to write constantly and get published... not that I am jealous or anything! In fact seeing a window display in town for a fellow classmate filled me with joy and totally did not make me feel like a failure! For me working in a job that is not my dream... or anywhere near my dream, planning a wedding and a move abroad makes me procrastinate happily. Yet I can't help but wonder am I letting myself down, or more to the point letting down my fiance who fell in love with a keen, aspiring writer and now has a boring barista who naps at midday and watches sex and the city all evening? I want to be a writer but I can't finish anything. Perhaps this is to do with the waiting game. I am waiting to become a writer, waiting for my new business to off and I seem to have packed all together into the idea that once I am married and moved everything will fall into shape. The real questions is will it though? Once I am married and living in Vancouver will I not just find more things to fill my time. Most likely... if my pinterest is anything to go by decorating our newlywed apartment! Oops. The beginning of the year had started out so well I was listing and ticking off that list daily and I had started a great new short. Now I am at Season 4... season 4! How did I get here? Even as I am writing this I can hear myself saying, 'when I get to Vancouver'!! This waiting game is messing with my head. I am waiting for literally everything... if you guys have any ideas on how to shake this up let me know!

Grab the Positives
So far this blog has been about the negative. How I am a record stuck playing the same phrase over and over again! 30 years old and it is the same day dream. However, there is one area of my life that I have finally got moving in the right direction! After two years of obsessing and a few fitness phases (cycling and alike) I finally found the figure I have always wanted through exercise I actually enjoy! After weeks of looking at the two beautiful "I want to be them" women who frequent the coffee shop I asked one for Pilate's classes, (don't panic she is a trained professional). Turns out she has a reformer studio in her house which is just across the park from me. So four weeks ago I started and I am MADLY in love! It is so much fun and what's more I am beginning to get some abs and my ass looks great! Once a week I go to the studio, (walking there and back for a warm up and cool down) and then at home I use my nifty Pilate's app 3-4 times a week. I am officially ready for honeymoon... however... guess what... I have to wait for that too, (well until 2nd June)! Another reason for this new figure is of course the limbo we are in. For about two months now TidyBoy and I have lived on a diet of bread and pasta with olive oil! Our schedules are so out of whack with each other that we are never around to eat together or shop together. So what do we do? I just don't really eat! He just eats junk food as he travels around teaching! 

What to do in the now?
Everything we don't use I have packed into boxes. Everything we do I have categorised and is ready for packing. I have planned a car boot sale and the items attending it with us. I have booked my Ottawa-to-Vancouver shipment, booked in the cat for her passport appointment and every private school and community centre in the lower mainland now has my business proposal. So what is a girl to do in the now when everything around her is in limbo? I feel like Matthew McConaughey in "Interstellar" as he falls into the black hole. He can see everything and knows everything but can only do so much. As 19 days turns to 18 I can see the light at the end of my black hole. Do I wait for the spaceship to gently pass through, or am I done with procrastinating?

Didn't Chanel say, "A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life". My change is booked to start on the 8th June 2016! But perhaps tomorrow I can open my Laura Mercier powder - small steps. Its all about the small steps... especially when considering the height of my new Jimmy Choos.