LIFESTYLE | SEPTEMBER PAWSOME BOX


After witnessing first hand how much of a hit the first Pawsome box Fischer (my Yorkie) tried was, I was super excited to check out another month's and be surprised with a new collection of goodies for him. If you didn't already know or catch my first unboxing, Pawsome box is basically a monthly subscription service for your dogs (I go into more detail in this blog post) and the lovely folk there were generous enough to send us over September's box* which included:

1 toy cap
1 packet Kelp Care Sprinkles
1 packet of Trixie Sushi Bites
1 packet of Fish & Cheese Mini Bites
1 tyre tug toy
1 dog brush


Let's cover the edible items first. I've mentioned before that Fischer is quite a fussy eater so I was pleasantly surprised when he loved absolutely every treat given in the last box. Unfortunately the streak ended here as this month's 'Sushi Bites' (which were basically dried fish pieces) did not appeal to him at all. That being said, he did devour the fish and cheese Mini Bites so it was not all a losing situation. Last but not least in the nutritive realm we had the Kelp Care Sprinkles which came with a handy measuring spoon inside and a guide to the amount to intake depending on the size of your dog. The sprinkles looked and smelled like dried seaweed but once poured over Fischer's dinner, he didn't mind them at all and finished his bowl like usual. Apparently this kelp mixture helps to boost dogs' immune systems and is a good source of pre-biotics for digestion and a healthy skin and coat, so we'll have to see how this works in the long run. 


The chew toy in the shape of a cap was a bit of a strange concept to behold at first (why a hat out of all things) and the size and half dome made it a little bit difficult for him to pick up. Once he got familiar with it though, he was straight to running around with it in his mouth, and is even now currently playing with it as I type this. Fischer is quite easy to please with rubber or plastic toys but does tend to get bored of a particular one quickly so it's always handy to have a few to switch around. Moving on to the tug-o-war toy, which is usually always a winner with dogs so no exception for Fischer here (this tiny rascal gives quite a good fight actually). The quality of it seems good and the rope strong so hopefully this will stand the test of time (and teeth), especially with larger dogs as well. The final item is a brush with thin, bent metal bristles. I'm not sure of the exact science behind the bristles but it does run through Fischer's thick coat quite easily whilst detangling efficiently. He has quite thick and fluffy fur compared to other Yorkie's so regular brushes will usually get caught and make him feel uncomfortable (that is a yawn of contentment in the above photo). We were previously using a Tangle Teezer on him but this one feels like the bristles are able to reach deeper into his fur so no spots are missed.


So a bit of a miss on the food this month but overall everything else was great!
Have you tried out Pawsome Box or a similar pet subscription box before?

*September box has been sent free of charge courtesy of Pawsome Box but all opinions and love of animals are my own.

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THEATRE | GOOD CANARY STARRING HARRY LLOYD & FREYA MAVOR


"John Malkovich is directing a play at Rose Theatre!" My friend excitedly told me one day, and though admittedly that name didn't seem to strike as much within me as it seemed to her (perhaps I'm too young), I was nevertheless intrigued as to why such a well known and established American actor was directing a play, not only on the other side of the pond, but in little ol' Kingston of all places. Now don't get me wrong, I adore Kingston, but you've got to agree, the situation seemed out of the ordinary. Anyhow, I was more than happy to be offered tickets* to watch the play by the lovely people at Rose Theatre and then even further enthused when they cast Harry Lloyd in the lead role. Harry's been one of my favourite actors since his all too brief yet memorable turn in Game of Thrones and it's definitely been a while since I've seen him on stage. Good Canary was written by American writer Zach Helm, but this is actually its first English language production (having previously been adapted in French and Spanish).


An intoxicating tale of love and destruction, read the posters plastered along the Underground as I made my way from London to Kingston. Perhaps that is what Good Canary was in its simplest reading, but I can't help but feel like this description barely scratched its surface. The story tells of a young American couple, Jack and Annie Parker (Harry Lloyd and Freya Mavor respectively). Jack is a writer, who's recently finished book is on the verge of commercial success whilst Annie is a stay at home wife, though not for reasons you would expect. Annie is deeply troubled and suffers from a numerous amount of mental illnesses. She's bulimic and on top of constantly purging, she relies on drugs to suppress her appetite. These drugs in turn make her anxious and often amplifies her irrational fear that Jack will abandon her. Unfortunately she feels like she can no longer function without them and her addiction starts to mess with Jack's career and their relationship. 

It's quite touching to witness just how much Jack loves Annie. It seems like everything single thing he does is ultimately for her and he really tries his hardest to take care of her. Now Annie loves Jack too but communicating with someone who is suffering from addiction can be difficult and perhaps to a lot of the audience, as it first did to me (I've never experienced drug addiction or been affected by someone close to me having it), Annie can come across as just plain selfish. This is where it really gets eye-opening for me: how can we judge someone if we've never stepped in their shoes? It becomes clear that Annie only wants what's best for Jack despite her riddled actions that often result in opposing consequences and the truest test between the two has nothing to do with any form of substance abuse. It all comes down to trust.


For Good Canary, the humble Rose Theatre stage is once again completely transformed. The stage design and overall production is quite unlike anything I've ever seen before. The backdrop is digital so it's able to change with each scene or moment and the actors can also appear to interact with it, which gave an extra element of entertainment. Personally, I'm usually not one for flashy staging, sometimes to me it distracts from the actors' performances instead of enhancing it but with this particular production, it works rather well to set the tone of the glitzy New York facade. Tracks on the floor serve for motorised props to wheel themselves on and off stage, which I thought was a fun and unique touch. A haunting piano track played in the background of many of the more emotional scenes, cut across the silence of the audience and attempted to slice my heart in two, over and over. The entire production design is just A+ in my opinion, major props (no pun intended) to everyone behind it. There was one particular scene that really stood out to me in terms of execution: the actors were completely silent and didn't utter a single word to each other whilst acting, and the dialogue was instead written on the screen as it unfolded. It made for an astonishingly powerful sequence.

In my opinion, Harry Lloyd does some of his best acting to date. He's been great at portraying all manner of psychotic or sociopathic villains but with Jack, there's a fine line that he easily flips between his vulnerability and guilt, to his ambitions and dreams. You can literally feel the constant struggle that he's under and that ticking time bomb. That being said, I think the standout performance is that of Skins alumna Freya Mavor. I thought she definitely gave this year's Olivier's Best Actress winner Denise Gough a run for her money. I never thought I'd see the day where I'd feel sympathy for a drug addict and I was sort of right, but even more wrong: she made me feel empathy. Halfway through the play, suddenly I was in Annie's shoes and I felt as if I understood completely where she was coming from, how much she wanted to be the person Jack wished her to be yet how impossible it actually was for her, and it was heartbreaking. I felt that sense of helplessness and impending black hole. I felt her fear. Freya took me on the biggest emotional rollercoaster of my life and I truly hope she gets recognised for this amazing performance. Not least the audience gave a standing ovation and my hands were red from clapping at the end of the show. An honourable mention to Ilan Goodman who was so great as Annie's drug dealer, a welcome bit of comic relief in an otherwise dark couple of hours.


Just before the intermission, the audience was thrown with a complete game changer of a plot twist that further proved that you just never know what is going on behind closed doors, and as the play continued to unfold, Jack and Annie's relationship grew more turbulent through all the trials and tribulations. Piece by piece, pill by pill, until time ran out and the caged canary that Jack gifted Annie at the beginning becomes a very clear and sad metaphor indeed. Good Canary was quite a difficult and uncomfortable watch, but an excellent exploration of what it means to be human and free. Intense and amazing, you won't be able to tear your eyes away from the stage for the entire duration of the play and it leaves you with plenty of food for thought long after it's ended. One of my favourite plays of the year, I'd highly recommend catching this particular bird before it takes flight.

Good Canary is at the Rose Theatre Kingston until 8th October. Tickets and more information can be found here.

PS. Thought I'd also include my annual selfie with Harry because a) he's awesome, b) it's fun to document our ageing process and c) why not?


*Complimentary press tickets to watch this play were given to me courtesy of Rose Theatre but all thoughts and opinions voiced are my own. 

 

OUTFIT | LACE UP LONGLINE BOMBER

Story of Lola longline bomber jacket / ASOS x Megan top / Topshop Binx jeans / Adidas superstar trainers

Guyyyyzzzzz... apologies for the unexpected week long hiatus. As you all probably know, London Fashion Week SS17 has come and gone, and although this was definitely not the busiest season for me, I was there for all five days and am now consequently ready to kick my feet up and take a looong breath out. I won't be writing full posts on the shows I attended this time, but you can catch all the real time action on my snapchat and the glossier snaps (as well as all my looks) on my instagram. My birthday was also on Sunday, though it was a relatively quite occasion as I spent the entire day working, I did go out for dinner with my closest friends and my parents came over to visit for a few days, which was really lovely.

Now onto le outfit... Safe to say the weather in London has been pretty all over the place this past week, we've gone from a 32 degree heatwave to a rainy 19 degrees literally overnight. That's not to mention the entire four seasons we seem to experience each day so I never know how to dress before I step out of the house in the morning and as the day progresses I find myself either sweating and regretting or frozen to the bone. That is until the day this longline bomber jacket entered my life. It hangs by my door so I can just throw it on over every single casual outfit. Somehow the material makes it a sufficient windbreaker whilst still being breezy enough to keep you cool. I really don't understand how it achieves this but it's true. Also I've been loving this sort of peachy nude along with blush nude tones at the moment as they're so on trend yet neutral enough to go with absolutely anything and everything.


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COSPLAY | SAILOR NEPTUNE

Only my childhood friends know this but I was actually really obsessed with Sailor Moon growing up. In fact, learning to draw in Naoko Takeuchi's style when I was seven years old is what I believe led to the start of my interest in illustration and fine art in general. My older cousin had just handed in her final year project which took the form of a Sailor Moon encyclopedia that she'd meticulously hand-drawn and written all by herself and I remember reading through it and becoming entirely immersed in the magical yet at times quite dark imaginary world. Anywho, background story aside, it was super nostalgic for me when I decided to make the most of my teal hair and do Sailor Neptune as my next cosplay (anything to avoid wearing a hot, itchy wig for an entire weekend convention). Sailor Neptune was always my favourite of the planetary guardians, probably due to the fact that my favourite colour since I was a kid has always been turquoise. I found almost all of the outfit elements on Etsy, except for the shoes, which I conveniently already owned (and have appeared in some older blog posts already if you recall). The makeup was a bit more of a challenge for me since I've never been one to experiment and venture out of my everyday neutral look. I attempted to follow some 'manga eyes' tutorials on YouTube where you fill in the waterline with white eyeliner to give the illusion of larger, doll-like peepers and drew in some bottom lashes with black liquid liner. The eyebrows of course, had to be an entirely different colour so I used a teal eyeliner to fill them in and since my natural brows are quite sparse to begin with, I didn't need to erase them with anything beforehand. The look was finished off with liberal amounts of cool toned pink blush right on the centre of each cheek and a rosey lipstick. 

I had such a blast cosplaying as Sailor Neptune for Hyper Japan and it was coincidentally super comfortable and cool in this outfit as there was a heatwave that weekend. I also got stopped for photos more than I've ever experienced before so that was awesome, thank you so much for the love on this cosplay both in real life and on social media, it really does make my day. I'm definitely getting more into cosplaying now and it seems that since this is going to become a regular thing, I've already got two more characters planned for Halloween and the next Hyper Japan in November. Super excited to show you guys!

Do you cosplay and if you do, what was your last one?