Review: The Sinner

Film & TV

Since starting at Kudos I have been told by about 5 different people to watch the series The Sinner. Now I don’t know about anyone else or if this is just me and my stubborn ways, but when someone tells me to watch something I am actually less likely to do it? Weird huh. But last weekend I finally bit the bullet and tried it out.

Unsurprisingly because of the persuasion I had to watch it, it was amazing; I watched all 8 episodes in no more than 24 hours.

What I love most about this series is that it is so niche. The basic story-line gravitates around a seemingly ordinary woman and her family, a mysterious act of violence and the past behind it all. Rather than being the classic ‘who-dunnit’ it is the journey of finding out why she did what she did.

From the first episode it is undoubtedly gripping. In the first 5 minutes you believe that Cora Tanetti is a loving mother, wife and more importantly – sane. Until a family beach trip turns sour and she murders a man. From this point onward, you know the show is going to be a roller coaster. I mean, it literally went from 0 to 100 in approximately 5 minutes.

The protagonists are Cora Tanetti and the detective looking into her case, Harry Ambrose. She instantly pleads guilty to avoid a trial which seems fitting considering we literally witnessed her kill a man in cold hard blood, but the detective won’t give up without finding an explanation for her actions. Meanwhile, Cora would rather spend the rest of her life in prison than examine what has happened to her to make her so troubled. Because she has no idea why she did it, she lies about her motivation until Harry forces her to relay her past to find the truth.

This is where another aspect of the show comes in. We see Cora’s young self whilst looking into her flashbacks as she tries to understand what she has done. We meet her perplexing parents and ill younger sister, and see her challenging childhood, battle with drug problems and a lot of sex.

Unlike a lot of other shows, the flashbacks don’t feel like void fillers. Each and every one plays a vital part in the reason for Cora’s burst of beach-side rage, adding a piece to the puzzle. And when you do finally see the whole picture, let me tell you it does not disappoint. The reveal is not only unpredictable, but genuinely jaw dropping.

The Sinner makes you feel sympathetic, disoriented and uncomfortable all at the same time. The only way it could get better is with a second season.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

 

Statement Season

Style

January-February has just got to be the worst time of the year. If it’s not feeling bad about how much you ate in December, it’s feeling sad about the fact that you don’t have a beau to spend Valentines with.

Fortunately, I have come up with the perfect solution.

Yesterday, I happened to get up earlier than usual which meant I had a little more time to make an effort with myself. Instead of sticking on whatever clothes were closest me, I methodically chose an outfit and applied enough makeup to make me look vaguely alive. As soon as I stepped out the door, I felt like I could take on the day. Without hesitation, I walked to the train station rather than waiting for the bus and even had enough time to grab some fresh orange juice; I felt like I truly had my life together. 

The reason I am explaining this is because I realised, just by consciously putting an outfit together that didn’t consist of jeans and a jumper, I felt so much more confident.

So the key to feeling kick ass? Looking it.

I have now made it my mission to find the most outrageous statement pieces I can find to add to my wardrobe and help me feel fierce in these trying times.

 

 

  • As soon as I saw this Topshop leather jacket I fell in love. There’s no way you couldn’t stand out in this. You could be wearing a bin bag and still manage to look sassy as hell with this over the top. Unfortunately it’s £195. But next payday, it will be mine. I plan on pairing it with a simple jumper dress and studded boots for an edgy but minimal look.

 

  • I’ve been seeing so many of these multi-coloured striped jumpers around lately and I am totally here for them. The one pictured above is from Topshop for £49 but a cheaper alternative can be found on ASOS. I can’t quite put a pin on why I like it so much but I can just imagine it making me feel much better on a typical Monday morning. I think I would wear it with a black vinyl skirt so I wouldn’t actually look 5 years old. Failing that, I would definitely pair it with a pair of my cutest denim dungarees.

 

  • These Lamoda thigh high boots are by far my favourite thing I have bought all month. For a little while I have been looking for the perfect pair of oversized over the knee boots. The majority are all either too slouchy or just not enough. I know I am going to have to be really careful of what I put with these as it’s highly likely I will get mistaken for a hooker if I make the wrong move. But with simple muted colours, a turtle neck jumper and a structured coat it could also look effortlessly elegant. For only £49.99 they were an absolute bargain and far preferable to the £235 pair from & Other Stories.

 

  • Lastly, I have another thing that will probably have to wait until payday. I am determined to make this unbelievable £1,790 Gucci bag my next high-end purchase. There are a lot of expensive bags that I wonder why on earth people spend so much on when you can get something similar in Zara. But this Sylvie mini bag has my heart. It is in the classic Gucci style, with the colouring and the adorable bow detail. I can imagine wearing this with anything and feeling like an absolute queen. Cross-body bags are also my favourite throw on accessory to look chic without having to make an effort.

 

I’m going to think of these as a Valentines present from me to me – you’ve got to love yourself right?

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie  x

 

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Spring Dreaming

Style

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about tropical heat, palm trees and strawberry margarita’s.

In a desperate attempt to persuade some warmer weather to bless London, I put on my prettiest, most floral dress today.

I’m also very aware that it is still freezing in England and unless I want to catch hypothermia, I still need to dress appropriately. I thought this was a wonderful chance to show you my typical transitional winter → spring outfits.

I got this adorable floral dress from Topshop in the sale for £15. It has muted colours so it’s not too spring-like to be wearing in January but it still makes me feel a little less dreary. It’s has a Victorian vibe about it which I love. The sleeves are slightly puffed and the neckline is high with ruffles. I feel like a little doll wearing it – so cute.

To make sure people don’t actually think I’m a 5 year old. I put on these heeled Ego boots; I prefer a squared toe with this outfit because I think pointed would look too harsh for the dainty dress. I love wearing sock boots with tights/bare legs because they’re so flattering. I’m also teeny tiny so the added height helps.

I threw on my new favourite thing – this Topshop faux fur coat. This isn’t the first time I have posted about this and I regret to say it definitely won’t be the last. I love how versatile this is; I can wear it with leather and look like a bad a$$ b*tch or with flowers and look like a sweet lil Daddy’s girl. The possibilities are endless.

I added my trusty Kate Spade and because I just love making myself look like a rich snob, I had to put this headband on to complete the look. Blair Waldorf would be proud.

 

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Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

 

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Lace and Leather

Style

In true Abbie style, I woke up on Sunday morning with the worst hangover. I went home at the weekend to see my friend for a ‘drink’ which of course ended in us staying out until 3am – I expected nothing less.

Despite feeling slightly under the weather, I had planned to go for brunch with my nearest and dearest Emily, and I couldn’t pass up the chance to do my favourite thing with my favourite person.

I figured that there is nothing that can make you feel better than lace and leather – possibly the most fierce duo there is.

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Surprisingly, I managed to style my matted hair and eye bags into an actual look. 

I wore some (faux) leather culottes from Stradivarius because as I have mentioned before, they are my go to when I don’t feel so great. The fact that these are leather make them look a little more fashion and a little less lazy mess which is ideal for me. This is actually the first time I have worn these out as I was a little dubious as to how I could make them work without being accused of wearing a bin bag.

I paired these with a nude lace top from Topshop to add a girly twist to the look. I love lace and leather together because they contrast each other so well. The trousers are very  bold, I wanted to add a touch of sophistication to them so I didn’t look like a complete goth.

To add another texture, I wore this (faux) fur coat from Topshop; I got this in the sale for £50! A! Dream! It’s so warm and ridiculous and over the top I love it.

Because I am so small, I have to wear a heel with this coat or I just look ridiculous. I was still slightly unstable from the night before, so I thought it was best to opt for these kitten heeled boots from New Look premium. A year ago I wouldn’t have even contemplated a kitten heel but these are one of my current staples; they are so classic and elegant.

Lastly, I threw on this Zara bag to finish the outfit. The chain and stud detail adds to the ‘biker chic’ look perfectly without make it too extra.

Speaking of extra, I really ought to stop going out like this in Kenilworth. It’s all well and good looking like a snobby rich b*tch in London but people aren’t as open-minded at home and I get a few odd looks from the local old people!

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

 

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Outfit of the Day → Night

Style

I have been so uninspired lately in terms of fashion. I find this time of year particularly difficult to dress for because everything and everyone is so miserable. I have been styling some serious January blues looks to work lately, wearing mainly culottes to hide the extra £££ and jumpers to cuddle when I feel sorry for myself.

We don’t really have to dress up at Kudos which is a blessing when I’m tired and grumpy, but it’s also proven to be quite difficult to find an appropriate outfit for work when I have something to attend afterwards.

Tonight I am going straight out for cocktails in Shoreditch so I needed to plan an outfit that wasn’t too extra for work but also looks super cute for me to get my drank on later.

DAY

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Topshop skirt / Topshop jumper / Topshop shoes / Topshop coat / L’oreal lipstick / Marc Jacobs watch

Undoubtedly, you can’t go wrong with leopard print for any occasion. This super cute leopard print mini skirt is probably one of my best buys of the month for only £20 in the Topshop sale. The print makes it sassy with a lil hint of sexy but the ruffle detail tames it to look elegant and sophisticated. I paired it with a ruffled high neck jumper which compensated for the skirt being a little on the shorter side. I would definitely wear some black tights with this alongside some chic and suitable slip on loafers. I opted for a fitted coat to bring the outfit together and make it look effortlessly chic. Because of the details, accessories weren’t really necessary so I just stuck to the staples. And will I ever wear leopard print without a red lipstick? Most definitely not.

NIGHT

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Topshop bodysuit / Topshop skirt / Public Desire boots

Me being me just couldn’t comprehend going out for drinks wearing a jumper and without wearing heels so I had to transform this outfit without bringing my whole wardrobe to work. Typically, I think a lot of people think it looks trashy, but there’s just something about leopard print and the colour red that I love. I simply added this red (very) plunging bodysuit to the skirt. This is pretty basic but it dresses it up nicely. It was also really easy to throw into my bag without worrying about it being bulky or creasing for later on. If I’m feeling brave enough to embrace the cold, I probably wouldn’t wear tights with this. I love the way sock boots look against bare legs so I chose these patent heeled boots. With the leopard, red and PVC this outfit looks the epitome of hooker but honestly, it works! To finish the look, I would wear the same coat I wore earlier thrown over my shoulders in attempt to look like Gigi Hadid. Nice try Abs.

 

I’m now going to consume lots of daiquiri’s!

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

 

 

 

How to Live Your Best Life This Year

Lifestyle

Last year I achieved lots of external goals; I moved out, travelled and got a proper job but despite this, I still haven’t – yes it sounds cliché  – found myself. In terms of understanding and loving myself, I’m not quite there, so I have decided 2018 is going to be my year for internal goals.

I feel as though the majority of us go through the year expecting big changes and big achievements, but self-development doesn’t have to mean losing 2 stone or moving across the world, it can be as simple as getting up in the morning without hesitation (ironically this would be a huge achievement for me).

I’ve written a list of things that I am going to try to do this year in order to better myself, they’re not resolutions, just healthy habits that can help to positively affect us all!

 

  1. Begin learning something new – learning is exciting and can help you to find enjoyment in things you might not have thought you would.
  2. Always have a fresh manicure – trivial and perhaps a little extra, but keeping fresh and clean always makes you feel flawless!
  3. Buy coffee for a stranger – although I do believe in selfish acts of kindness, that doesn’t mean it’s bad. By buying something for someone in need, you’re helping them whilst also allowing yourself to feel like you are here for a reason.
  4. Keep track of your finances – there is nothing worse than worrying about money, but also it can be pretty rough to put yourself on a strict budget. Just keep an eye on your spending habits so you know you can afford to do delightful things.
  5. Wear what you want! – live life like the party that it is, every day is an excuse to dress up. Wear things that make you feel happy, confident and ready to take on the world.
  6. Avoid procrastinating – I’m the worst at this one, but the less time you spend dwelling on doing something, the more time you’ll have to feel fulfilled once you have done it.
  7. Have a good chat with a family member at least once a week – life can get a bit hectic but always make time for the important people in your life.
  8. Nurture your relationships – I am particularly bad at creating and maintaining relationships with people which seems selfish and arrogant. But understand that some people struggle more than other and good things take time!
  9. Take your vitamins – a simple vitamin D tablet can do the world of good.
  10. Buy fresh flowers – it’s pretty much impossible to avoid technology but still make time to appreciate nature!
  11. Have a signature scent – find a perfume that as soon as you put on, you feel ready to take on anyone and anything.
  12. Manage your time wisely – by being in a rush, you are far more susceptible to anxiety. Always make sure you are organised and on time, no matter what the occasion.
  13. Wear floaty clothes and fabrics – the only way to look like a Princess is to feel like one. Treat yourself to cashmere and silk every now and again.
  14. Value a good nights sleep – make sure you get enough sleep but don’t follow the ‘nap queen’ trend! It may seem like a good idea but there is a wonderful world out there! Enjoy it!

 

In the words of Ron Swanson – don’t try too hard. Sometimes we focus ourselves so much on one thing that we forget the bigger picture. Let things come naturally and you’ll do great.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

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Food for One

Lifestyle

Something I have really struggled with since moving to London is food; I didn’t realise how difficult it would be to go to the supermarket, buy groceries and think of meals everyday. I definitely took home-made meals for granted – for the past 4 months I have eaten Sainsbury’s meal deals, soup and occasionally treated myself to pasta every now and again.

For quite a while I have had an issue with food, in the past I have really struggled with starving myself, then binge eating which is a major reason as to why I get down. I love the way healthy food makes me feel and I know that by having a more positive lifestyle I would feel far better in myself but chocolate has and probably always will be my vice when I’m in need of comfort.

Last night I finally realised that my bad habits needed to stop. As good as the oreo, nutella and banana waffle I ordered from Deliveroo was, it definitely wasn’t the epitome of a nutritious dinner.

One of my biggest problems when it comes to making meals is that after being at work and spending 12 hours out of the house, I just can’t be bothered. It’s far easier to order a Dominos, chill for 20 minutes, then have it on my doorstep. But honestly, I think my flatmates are getting fed up of hearing the intercom buzzer going off at the same time every evening, so something needs to change.

Tips:

  • Plan meals week by week so you know what you have to do as soon as you get home. Personally, I don’t really like the idea of ‘meal prepping’ as such. I can barely make one meal at a time let alone a weeks worth. Instead, I like the idea of just knowing what I am going to eat when I get home from work, so I can have the ingredients ready and plan my evening around cooking it. By doing this, I can psych myself up for the process so it’s slightly less painful.

 

  • Don’t go food shopping on the way home. By the end of the day, I am usually moody, hungry and exhausted. As you can imagine, that isn’t the best state to go food shopping in because I pretty much want to buy the whole supermarket. Whenever I go shopping after work, I always end up getting the quickest/most unhealthy option (hence the reason I have been eating so many Sainsbury’s meal deals).

 

  • Limit yourself to a certain amount of meals out a week. It’s understandably difficult to eat well when your entire life revolves around going to different interesting places to eat, especially in a big city. There are so many food choices in London, I want to try them all. But for the sake of my bank account and my health, I have decided to limit myself to 2 ‘meals out’ a week; it’s going to be tough considering brunch and afternoon tea are my favourite pastimes.

 

  • Don’t make things too complex. Unbelievably, despite all the fitness blogs and Instagram’s out there that portray otherwise, healthy food doesn’t have to be fancy, photogenic and pretty, and you don’t have to take out a mortgage every time you go to the whole foods supermarket. Simple, quick and easy meals can be good for you too – pizza isn’t the only answer!

 

Anyway, that’s about all the motivation I can give myself today. Please let me know if you have any more tips.

Now I’m off to have a hot chocolate.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

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Local Hero

Lifestyle

Happy 2018 everyone! Yes, I am slightly late but really, it’s an achievement I even made it out of bed to write this post.

Since coming back to London from my wonderful home in Kenilworth after seeing family for Christmas, I have felt super sorry for myself, hence why I have gone back into hiding and not written for a couple of weeks. I can’t believe I ever hated my home town so much, it’s quiet, calm and there’s nothing to do but go for dog walks and drink tea – IT’S LITERAL HEAVEN.

But, in an attempt to pull myself back together and into the real world, today I did the only thing that I thought could cure it – brunch.

I wasn’t feeling too adventurous so I just went down the road from Wimbledon to Kingston upon Thames. After a long walk bypassing about 3 Costa’s and 4 Pret’s, I luckily came across Local Hero – a coffee shop cool enough for me to sit in with my brand new Mac. Yes, I am officially a Londoner, I sat in a coffee shop with my Mac out looking as if I was busy concentrating on some heavy work – I hate myself.

Being the generic white girl I am, I ordered poached egg and avocado on sourdough bread. I’m not going to lie, if I go on to review my food it will literally just be identical to my last brunch post because really, every avo on toast tastes the same. Anyway, it was good and healthy which is the main thing considering the amount I have consumed over the past few weeks. I also had a hot chocolate which I will rate, because everyone deserves to find the best hot chocolate in the world and I want to make that happen for you. Overall, the bev was nice. A 7/10. Could do better. (I actually grabbed a Mcdonald’s hot chocolate before coming home and it was far preferable but obviously not as pretty).

Speaking of Local Heroes, whilst walking through Kingston and trying to avoid the Topshop sale *control yourself Abs* there were a group of guys busking. Obviously this isn’t out of the ordinary but I happened to read the sign they had written and it said they were busking for 24 hours in order to raise money for the charity Calm, an organisation dedicated to preventing male suicide. I really admired what they were doing, and being a cause close to my heart, it made me happy to see there is some good left in the world.

Now, I am going to go back to my cold, sad, little flat in hopes of mending my broken window and making the wifi actually work so I can continue pitying myself whilst watching Parks. Wish me luck!

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

P.S. Someone please tell me to snap out of it.

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