REVIEW: Northern Girl on… Sh*t Faced Shakespeare

Me and Tom decided to have a date last Friday after securing ourselves tickets to the Leicester Square Theatre to see Sh*t Faced Shakespeare. We got our tickets on Time Out Offers so they were discounted to £14. Bargain.

We’ve been to  LST a few times already since moving here and I have to say we really like it. It’s incredibly tiny and intimate with stalls only seating for 400 (there’s also a second 70 seater lounge theatre) and the room itself has two bars at either side of the seats. They tend to hold a lot of comedy shows here but due to it’s limited seating you really have to keep an eye on the listings!

When we arrived at the theatre we simply had to swap our Time Out Vouchers for actual physical tickets at the box office which was a breeze and the box office staff are always extremely friendly and helpful. Once collected it was time to head in and enjoy the show.

We took our seats and had a quick view of the programme provided – great touch. Sat back and waited for the show to start. From that moment on, I don’t think I stopped laughing once. From the build up video right through to the final dance sequence was constant laughter.

 

For background info, Sh*t Faced Shakespeare are covering Much Ado About Nothing this summer with various shows throughout the year. There is a rotating cast of 10 classically trained, shakespearean actors playing 7 roles in each performance with one catch, one actor has been drinking for approximately 4 hours before the show. It is never the same actor on consecutive nights and they will never drink on more than 3 occasions in any given month (that is when they’re performing, I have no idea what they do in their spare time or after the show).


The show starts with the actor who is playing the compere/safety warden role warming up the crowd. Musical instruments and a bucket are handed out to members of the front row with the rules explained. If at any point the audience member with a musical instrument thinks the drunk actor is getting too sober; they sound their instrument, the compere comes back on stage and hands the drunk actor another drink. This can only happen on 3 occasions during the show so picking the right moment is key. The audience member with the bucket is told that if anyone shouts bucket at any moment they have to be alert and present said bucket – I think you can figure out why. The compere/safety warden then goes on to show the audience how much the actor has had to drink “ooooooh”. It’s fair to say our actor was truly shit faced. From memory I think he had consumed a can of lager, a bottle of cider and 2/3 of a bottle of Gordon’s gin; top effort. From there, the show starts.

One thing I think they did exceptionally well is they don’t actually tell you which actor is drunk and who they’re playing. Given that the opening scene starts with 3 out of the 6 characters you spend the first scene trying to work out which one of them is actually drunk. That was until the appearance of the other 3 characters where the safety warden/compere quickly appeared back on stage to replace a sword with a swimming noodle – safety first and all that. That moment in itself was just perfect hilarity and you now knew who the drunk was and what to watch out for in the show.

From the moments of confusing the characters in Much Ado to Macbeth, to calling the actors by their real name and discussing the actor’s watch which he forgot to remove – the actors are all in full shakespearean dress after all – the drunk Benedick provided some absolutely hilarious moments but what also blew me away was how incredible the other actors were to adapt to his drunken ramblings.

I don’t want to give too much away but I cannot recommend this show enough. It’s one of THE funnest nights in theatre I have ever had and I can’t wait to take literally every family member/friend who visits throughout the summer because the beauty of it is no two shows will ever be the same!

Just don’t sit on the front row if you don’t fancy making a spontaneous guest appearance… #otter

Have you seen Sh*t Faced Shake before? Let me know.

Ng x

Tickets available here: https://leicestersquaretheatre.ticketsolve.com/shows/873562224 The show is on until the 16th September 2017.

Northern Girl on… Instagram Pods

It seems the whole blogosphere is whispering about Instagram pods and “beating the algorithm” but as a new blogger I wanted to share my honest opinion on them.

What is an Instagram pod and how do they work?

It’s basically a lovely little bubble of fellow bloggers all in a group message on Instagram who will share a post when they’ve uploaded a new one to the group and each individual in the group will go onto their feed to find said post and like and comment. There are some rules such as the comments where possible must be a minimum of 4 words and not just be generic, some pods also introduce rules such as a maximum upload of 2 posts per day etc. but that depends solely on the person who has set up the pod and the rules they gave at the start.

Correct me if I’m wrong but in doing this, the post is bumped up in people’s news feed as it looks as if there’s a bit of hype and frenzy about it which Instagram LOVE and the post gets seen more easily.

Sounds great right?

For me, i’m going to say no. 

I will reiterate again that this post is my own opinion. I am in no way slating Instagram pods on their own as there are things I like. Where I’m struggling is more a reflection of my own life individually and is no way aimed at all bloggers in general.


(my Instagram feed @chlorebecca. It’s an ode to me and my life, a little bit of blog and a little bit of life.)
See, I work full time; in central London. I leave my flat at 7am and I return at 6pm. My journey requires using the LU ergo – no mobile signal except for the 10 second stops at each station where I may very luckily pick up WiFi. My boyfriend works shifts so when I get home if he’s home we will do things together. We will go grocery shopping, we will go to the driving range, we will go out for dinner, we will stay in and cook dinner, we will go for a run or we might even snuggle up on the sofa to watch Gilmore Girls. Then I will shower, and I will go to bed and I will do it all over again.

Now how many times during that did I mention that I looked on Instagram.

Oh I didn’t? How funny. Do you see where this is going?

Now I love discovering new feeds be it on Bloglovin’, Twitter or Instagram. Those promo tweets people put out asking to be Instagram friends? 9 out of 10 times I’ll follow. So the idea of discovering new people in a pod was super duper exciting and I have to say I love my Instagram feed all the more for it. However, I do this in my own time and at my own pace. I will hold my hands up now and say I am struggling, I am drowning in notifications of posts that I need to catch up on. I did not expect it to be this hard.

But that’s only one part of the problem because I try my hardest to catch up I really do. However I am also  struggling with what some people are posting. I am very aware that I am a new blogger, my instagram is not exclusively about my blog, nor is my twitter and maybe this will change in the future I’m not sure. So for me personally, I would never expect my instagram pod to comment on a selfie that is in no way relevant to my blog. I will only share with my pod the posts that I link to blog posts that I want to promote and given that I only post once a week at best, this isn’t that frequent. Unfortunatley not everyone does this and I get that this is what works for them BUT it makes me physically cringe if I have to put ” Oh my god you’re so pretty” on your third selfie of the day.

I am not a beauty blogger and I am not a fashion blogger. I do not follow the latest trends religiously and I do not burn out my bank account on morphe pallets and embroidered bomber jackets. I would much rather go out and buy some new running shoes or a golf club. That’s not to say I don’t love your morphe pallet/jacket/jeffree star liquid lip. I do, and when you put your post on about these I will genuinely be intrigued, where did you get it? What did you think? and my comments will reflect that. I have no issue in doing that because it is genuine. However, there are only so many times a day I can say how amazing that cranberry colour is in your pallet and how pretty I think your new Topshop boots are – FYI when I say there are only so many times I mean once. It’s because of this I feel like I would rather not leave any comment than a horrible, cringy, in-genuine one but I will still like your post because I still want you on my feed. This means I’m breaking the rules, and not to sound like a spoilt child, I don’t care. Sorry not sorry.

I know that blog traffic is all about promotion, promotion, promotion. I’m not an idiot and if you share a similar ootd/make up post a week later on your Instagram, I’m ok with that, I’ll still comment becuase I’m probably still lusting after your boots a week later and I’ll tell you that but I’ll probably get sick of them after seeing them 3 times a day for a week. Makes sense?

Maybe I’m not doing it right or maybe now’s not the time for me to be in an Instagram pod (I’m probably going to get kicked out of the two I’m in when people read this). 

What are your thoughts on them? Do you love or hate? Let me know what you think.

Ng x

*This was in no mean aimed at any individuals and is not intended to cause offence

Northern Girl On… My body image story..

I write this as I lie in my bed in a sports bra and leggings, it’s 10:15pm and I’ve just completed one of those 10 minute high intensity home work out things. If you’d have asked me about my plans for my blog, this was never in it. I’ve admired others who have but I didn’t think it was for me. But today, is the day I can say “I’m not okay”.
On the surface I’ve been able to pass the above, and the running and everything else as the ‘new me’ desperate to get fit and healthy now I’m ‘The London Girl’ and whilst that is part of it, it isn’t all. What the above actually is is the obsessive, controlling mind of an eating disorder sufferer. The mind that will not rest until it has punished the body in some way for the calories consumed throughout the day. The mind that can focus of nothing else but running, running until the body physically can’t take anymore because that’s what it deserves (and not in a good way).
It’s been a while since I’ve felt this out of control. I’ve been suffering with eating disorders on and off – mainly on – for what will be my 10th year this year. At my lowest weight in 2012, I was a little under 7 stone and over-joyous at the fact I was in age 12 denim shorts and age 9-10 leggings. And yes; they are ages, not dress sizes. I was 18 years old and ironically probably at my most confident with my body, 5 years since it all first started and i’d made it to that monumental under 7st mark or so I thought. That should have been a warning to me, but it wasn’t. See the issue was that I never felt unwell. I never bought size 4 clothes – size 6, yes but size 4 always seemed tiny even for me. And I was never hospitalised and fed through a tube. In the social media age I grew up in, it almost felt as though there were degrees of severity you had to reach to be classified as ‘ill’ almost like jumping through hoops and checking off boxes – go to a GP for these sorts of things and it literally feels like they’re reading a quiz off the screen “Do you have an eating disorder? Answer these questions now to find out…”
(an almost unrecognisable 2012 me in size 6 dresses that I couldn’t dream of wearing today)!
I don’t remember at which point I returned to a level of normality with my weight. If I were to look back at pictures, I would swear it came at some point in 2014 – a very significant year for me. But whilst my weight became normal, my mind has never once stopped. Every single meal for the past 10 years has been a pro/con list. Is it worth it? Can I work it off? Do I deserve the treat? Can I feasibly have a salad as my next meal to counteract it? And it has been F**king exhausting. A special shout out goes to my long suffering boyfriend who has put up with my horrendous moods because I just haven’t felt like eating that day, or when I’ve not been able to come up with anything to eat/where to go because that little voice in my head didn’t want the extra calories. There have been times when I have overcome the little annoying voice in my head. Where I’ve said F*ck it and I’ve had the nachos/cake/ice cream, but that voice has also come back chastising my decision, making me feel nothing but dread or regret and not many people in my current circle will now that this is as much an issue now as it was in 2012. 
The hardest part for me now is feeling I don’t have a reason for it. You could argue that back in 2012 I didn’t either but I am happy, healthy, with a career and life I absolutely adore. I should have it all – but I don’t.
(Summer 2013 – still secretly satisfied at how skinny I was – in the striped bikini)
There will be people reading this who have seen it all. People who knew the 13 year old me, who supported me through the start to the people who helped me through that hellish year and stuck with me and the people who will read this and will be surprised by it. It’s a very very difficult thing for me to post, partly because I feel embarrassed to be plagued by this and partly because I don’t want people to look at me differently. I don’t want to get treated with pity or looked at like a fragile doll because that isn’t me. I know I will bounce back from this again and I will hopefully one day find the strength – with the help of my incredible support network – to rid myself of my demons completely.
(The start to my summer 2017, a year of turning 23 and enjoying LDN)
There are so many great people out there who are incredible representatives for body positivity who I aspire to on a daily daily basis, but I decided to tell my story to let people know that in the word’s of Jessie J – “it’s ok not to be okay”. If I can even reach it out to one person who is suffering and help them admit that then it was all worth it.
NG x

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If you have been affected by anything featured in this post then please contact B.Eat (https://www.b-eat.co.uk/) or speak to your GP.

Northern Girl On… Homemade cocktails

With a long bank holiday weekend on it’s way – and another one shortly after – there can often be a pressure to go out and enjoy it by drinking all day and partying all night. Unfortunately for me, even this soon since payday I’m not wholly convinced my bank account can stretch to a 4 day drinking session so I’ve decided to share some of the recipes to my favourite home made cocktails. 


The Northern Girl’s take on Tinto Verano.

If you’ve ever spent any amount of time in the middle regions of Spain in the summer you’ll have probably discovered Tinto Verano – if you haven’t it’s sangria’s fruity and sparkling sister. Super easy to make, the fruitier the better. I was inspired to make this at home when I had some red wine left over from cooking.

The recipe:

  • 150ml San Pellegrino or similar lemon based sparkling drink. I find with this drink, the better the lemon the better the drink but you could use regular lemonade and add a dash of lemon juice
  • 50ml Red Wine. I’m not the biggest red wine drinker so this mix is perfect for me but feel free to add more red wine to your taste.

If gin is your drink… discover the mirrorball.

This little beauty is the perfect long gin mixer. Combining gin, lemon, elderflower before lengthening with soda. We currently have 2 bottles of gin sat in our flat which we picked up for £20 thanks to tesco’s offer but there are loads of great supermarket offers on spirits at the minute. We vary our drink by swapping between elderflower and regular gin.
The recipe:
  • 50ml gin
  • 50ml elderflower cordial
  • Top with soda water
  • 3 dashes of lemon juice – the kind you would put on your pancakes


Prosecco cocktails.

For my 21st Birthday Tom whisked me away to Milan and the Italian lakes for 2 weeks. In our first couple of nights we noticed that everyone seemed to be drinking this orange cocktail so when we saw a barman preparing one; we asked what it was and discovered the Aperol Spritz. The second he said it contained prosecco, I was sold. I will now order myself one EVERY SINGLE TIME I see it on any cocktail menu.

Aperol Spritz

The recipe:
  • 3 shots (75ml) Prosecco
  • 2 shots (50ml) Aperol
  • Top with soda
  • Garnish with orange
I had a few cocktails in Leeds with the girls at the weekend and Headrow House had a whole spritz section so switch it up and replace your Aperol with Raspberry Liquor or even elderflower gin for a different spritz flavour.

Gin Spritz

  • 200ml prosecco
  • 50ml Gordon’s elderflower gin
  • 25ml elderflower cordial
  • Top with sparkling water

Drinking out in London

It doesn’t have to be all drinking in this weekend. If you’re about in London, get yourself on to Drinki – an app that gives you free drinks in London. You can view the bars by map and it’s a great opportunity to discover new drinks. If you’re about for the Greenwich Tall Ships Festival, hit up Rum and Sugar in Canary Wharf on your way for THE best Strawberry Mojito I have ever had. Sign up with the link below and you’ll get two extra free drinks, exclusively for readers of The Northern Girl’s Guide to London! Already have the app? Input code NGGUIDE01.

http://share.drinki.com/northern-girls-guide

Free espresso martinis at all of the London Grind bars courtesy of Drinki

What are your plans for the long weekend? Leave me a comment to let me know what’s going on or what your favourite drinks at home are NG x

Northern Girl on… March’s beauty buys

  1. The Body Shop – Vitamin E Gentle Facial Wash £7.50 – I had been using the Clinique foaming face wash and was running low, knowing how much I liked the seaweed scrub I decided to give this a try. As my skin can be blemish-prone at times, I like to use a gentle face wash to counteract the strong spot fighting treatments I apply later in my skin care routine which was why I was using the Clinique foaming wash and I have to say once again, I love the Body Shop even more which I didn’t think would be possible! It’s so creamy and doesn’t feel like it dries out my face and at £7.50 an absolute bargain. I also love knowing that The Body Shop are all natural and cruelty free.
  2. The Body Shop – Seaweed Pore Cleansing Exfoliator £11 – I actually first bought this product in December because I had a 40% off voucher at Christmas and was running low on my Clinique exfoliator and I loved it. Even my sister who uses it when she visits loves it and this is the first time I’ve had to repurchase since December. I have combination skin so I like my exfoliators to be strong enough to feel like they are working but gentle enough to use every day and this definitely ticks both boxes. It foams up quite a bit which is unusual for an exfoliator but my skin definitely feels buffed afterwards, it’s easily my go-to exfoliator now and cheaper than some of the other brands I’ve tried (and a lot better too)!
  3. The Body Shop – Liquid Eyeliner £9 – This was more of an add on/emergency item. At the time of placing my order, The Body Shop were doing an amazing £10 off a £25 spend and I knew I was running low on my Soap and Glory eyeliner so decided to use this to top up my order and prepare for the inevitable day of running out. I’m yet to use it properly but so far it’s excellent to keep in my handbag and top up my eyeliner during the day at work. I’m looking forward to giving it a proper go when my current eye-liner finally runs out.
  4. The Body Shop – Lip Butter in Strawberry £4.50 – OK, this is a little bit of a cheat. I never actually paid £4.50 as I got it FREE! with o2 priority (o2 customers can also often get £10 off a £25 spend). I don’t wear anywhere near as much lip balm as I should and this smells divine. It’s perfect for once again keeping in my handbag and hopefully the smell with lure me in to using it more. I will say that the consistency of this is delightful, much richer and smoother than it’s “Born Lippy” cousin which in the past I have found to be a bit sticky. So if you’re in the market for a delicious smelling lip balm I would definitely opt for the lip butter for an extra couple of quid. I’ll probably write a full post at some point on my favourite store loyalty cards – I’m a sucker for them – but I love that The Body Shop have now launched one, each £1 equals 10 points and 500 points = a £5 voucher with an extra £5 voucher for your birthday!
  5. Clinique anti-blemish clarifying lotion £18 – Whilst I’m doing my best to save money, my little luxuries to myself will always be my Clinique skin care. It took me so so so long to find an anti-blemish range that worked for me that I almost don’t dare steer away so I have 3 Clinique anti-blemish products I can’t live without. I always try and purchase them from Boots so I at least get points on my advantage card and because I only ever need to purchase roughly every 6 months, I nearly always have one of my ‘point booster’ vouchers at the ready.
  6. Clinique anti-blemish all over treatment £21 – It had been one of those months where everything was either nearly running out or had run out already and I had been trying so so hard to live without this and use other moisturisers but as a result my skin has been suffering. Not only do I try and only purchase my Clinique stuff at boots, but I also try and hold out for a Clinique bonus time and luckily I got this during one.  Clinique run various offers throughout the year at various realtors where you qualify for a free gift with 2 or more purchases (1 being skin care or foundation), this time it was at boots and the gift set I have to say is exceptional this time round. If you’re new to Clinique and don’t want to make a huge spend commitment, the skin care sets qualify as skin care. As does the All About Eyes eye cream which has just been voted in The Evening Standard’s top eye creams for 2017. Failing that, I am a huge fan of the chubby stick lip balms in particular Super Strawberry and the darker colours. They give tint like a lip stick but in a really creamy formula, it’s my go to lip colour if I don’t want anything to fancy of committing like a liquid lipstick. They would definitely be my recommendations for finding your qualifying products for the freebies.

(inside the Clinique gift set)

  1. Rinse off foaming cleanser – I’d had this full sized from my last bonus time and I really really liked it. The only thing that stopped me purchasing again was discovering The Body Shop vitamin E cleanser. When it says you need a pea sized amount, you literally do. The tiniest amount foams up massively which means it lasts you ages. This will go going in my cupboard to dig out when I finish the vitamin E cleanser.
  2. Clinique Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturiser – I had been dying to give this a go so I was extremely excited to see this included in bonus time. I’ve started using it as a primer to sort of mattify my skin on the days when I’m not wearing foundation and at the minute I’m not sure. The smell is bordering on vinegary and the texture is odd, its very thick and not completely smooth which means like you feel as though you’re dragging it over your skin as apposed to blending it in. I’m going to persist until I’ve finished the tub, but I’m almost hoping it’s a dodgy batch and not supposed to be like this…
  3. Clinique Pep-Start eye cream – I had actually already purchased the full size version of this and I balance it between All About Eyes. It’s perfect for those mornings when you’ve not quite had enough sleep and haven’t had caffeine yet but I’m still undecided as to if I love it enough to purchase full sized again – luckily I don’t have to decide just yet and the miniature will be great to put in my travel bag.
  4. High Impact Mascara – This is pretty much a bonus time staple and I really, really like this mascara. The thick wand means you get the right amount of product, I’ve used other mascaras with a thin rubbery wand and end up with the mascara caked all over my eyelids but this doesn’t happen with Clinique. I have quite naturally long lashes (blessed, I know) and they genuinely curly up enough to touch my eyebrows when I use this mascara. I’m yet to purchase full size but thats only because these miniatures last for ages. I genuinely can’t remember the last time I had to purchase a mascara, it must be at least 3 years and that’s simply because the various bonus time freebies have lasted that length of time.
  5. Take the day off cleanser for lips, lids and lashes – Another staple in pretty much every bonus time I’ve ever received, it’s a great cleanser and as bonus time’s are always travel sizes I pretty much have one that lives in every single travel bag I own. I mostly use it when I’m travelling as a way of removing stubborn eye make up. It has quite an oily feel so I’m not sure I’d ever purchase a full size bottle but at the minute I don’t need to (I genuinely have about 6).
  6. Clinique Pop, lipstick and primer in sweet pop. I really really like the formula of Clinique lipsticks, I tend to sway towards matte liquid lipsticks at the minute but I do like to mix it up. The Clinique lipsticks are always very pigmented and the fact that this is a built in primer makes the colour last and feel great on your lips. I don’t wear anywhere near as much lipstick as I should but if I was in the market for lip stuff i’d definitely look to Clinique. I’m really intrigued to try their scrub/balm combos so they might be my next beauty treat to myself.
(such a dreamy, creamy formula)

Quite a big haul for me this month, what were your recent beauty treats to yourself? NG x