GIRL TALK

Girl Talk is the place where women celebrate each other’s achievements. Read articles about inspiring women, the latest female-related debates and commentary on women’s representation in the media.

If you’re looking for something new to listen to here’s two podcasts for women that make you feel like you’re hanging out with your girlfriends, even if you’re listening solo. 

podcasts for women

I’ve recently started getting into podcasts, especially on a drive home from work. It becomes the perfect time to unwind after a stressful day and depending on my mood I can choose the kind of patter I feel like listening to. 

I’m going to start sharing posts on podcasts, as and when I come across good ones. So, to kick it off, here are two that I started with and still listen to today. I’ve got lots more to share that I’ve been listening to so keep checking back for more podcast suggestions. 

Podcasts for women: Guys We Fucked

podcasts for women

If you’re on a car journey and your nan / in-laws / boss is in that car, maybe don’t offer to stream Guys We Fucked. However, if you want to be transported to Brooklyn, and be led by two New York women that don’t hold back on sex, politics, feminism and more, then Guys We Fucked should be in your downloads.

Known as the anti-slut shaming podcast with Krystyna Hutchinson and Corinne Fisher, who are both comedians, Guys We Fucked is opinionated, gritty and raunchy. The comedy duo’s dynamic works brilliantly together and often guests invited on to the show are comedians as well. As you might imagine this makes for a very entertaining podcast with lots of laughs and stories reminiscing about first times, worst times and the most recent times. 

And yes they talk about the guys they slept with (quite often they get said guys on themselves to interview them. Conversations often delve deep into the psyche behind why people behave certain ways in relationships and why people have certain sexual kinks. It’s very intelligent and interesting – and refreshing to hear people talk so openly about relationships, love, lust and psychology. Plus, they say ‘fuck‘ a lot. 

Podcasts for women: Table Manners with Jessie Ware

podcasts for women

Now, if the loud and proud Guys We Fucked isn’t really your thing, then jump back across the pond for Table Manners with Jessie Ware – the very polar opposite! Quintessentially British and quite frankly a sheer delight, Table Manners is something everyone of all ages can revel in. 

Jessie’s star power as a singer-songwriter means she is able to draw on her network of superstar friends as a guest list. With Table Manners, the topic for discussion is food, so make sure you are either cooking whilst listening or at the very least, snacking – otherwise prepare to feel very hungry. Guests, who have so far included the likes of Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Annie Mac and George Ezra, are invited around to Jessie’s mum Helena’s for a home cooked meal, a glass of wine and a good chat about their favourite foods to indulge in. 

Expect whimsical trips down memory lane with all the famouses talking about what their mum used to make and their favourite places to eat. If you’re from the North East or planning a trip to the North East, skip back to Sam Smith’s episode as he shares his favourite haunts of Whitley Bay, where much of his family are from (something I never knew!) And if you need me I’ll be hanging around Rendevous Cafe casually waiting for Sam to drop by for his favourite cup of Horlicks…

Also be warned: the episode with Will Young talking about prep school and tarte au pomme is possibly the most middle class thing I have ever heard – maybe even more so than Overheard in Waitrose. They say ‘darling’ a lot. And, come to think of it, ‘fuck‘ too, actually. 


podcasts for women

That’s all for now but I’m still listening to lots of random podcasts for women regularly, so when something stands out I’ll report back here so you too can feel like the lady above (maybe). What are you listening to? Do you have any recommendations to share?

Like this? You should try the Woman Crush Wednesday roundup for more inspiring females to follow. 

 

 

Looking for ideas for hen do abroad? This post has all the details for having the perfect hen do holiday in Hvar, Croatia. 

When people talk about the holiday blues, they have no idea. Unless they have been on the best hen do ever in Hvar, Croatia, of course! Looking back over the photos from this trip nearly made me cry. It’s. Just. So. SO. PRETTY! I remember I said every single day we were there (much to everyone else’s annoyance, I’m sure) that I felt like I was in a romantic movie from the fifties. I kept expecting to twirl around and see Audrey Hepburn next to me with a willy straw in her mojito and a ‘bride tribe’ sash slung over her shoulder. Alas, no, just me good old mates from Dartford. 

hen do hvar

Why have a hen do in Hvar?

hen do hvar

If you’re looking for hen do abroad with a difference then Hvar in Croatia is the one. None of us had been before but it was on all of our hit lists. It’s also a good time to go as although it is growing in popularity with British tourists, it’s still relatively untouched compared to most of our typical European holiday destinations. Think glittering turquoise seashores that grow a deep inky blue as you plough out into the ocean, on your way to the next hotspot. 

hen do croatia

This trip was all planned by my good friend Maddie who was pregnant and therefore, unfortunately, couldn’t even come along for the ride! Follow Maddie’s careful planning for a hen do in Hvar, and you can’t fail to have a good time amongst Croatia’s pure Adriatic bliss. 

Split to Hvar Airport Transfer

OK, so first things first – the absolute best thing about a hen do in Hvar? The need for water taxis. And unfortunately the best way to travel from Split airport to Hvar is by speedboat – I know, how tragic? Flying about on boats is what really made this trip so spectacular. We booked our transfer with Dalmatia Express, which also included a bus from the airport to the jetty, and cost 720 Euros for a private return hire. It kicked party proceedings off on the perfect note. After being delayed by EasyJet by over four hours in Stansted, then arriving to then step out on to our own private speedboat pretty much set the tone for the next few days. Arms in the air everyone! (Sorry for the cheese, if you were there, you would have too). 

hen do croatia

Pharos Bayhill Hotel Hvar 

We stayed at the Pharos Hotel which was a little walk up a hill through the trees – so don’t bother unless you can pack lightly! However if you can, it’s worth it. It’s a very modern and stylish hotel with a bar, pool and dining – all you need really. The views are pretty breathtaking – BUT – be warned – unfortunately for different reasons, so was the faint whiff of sewage around the pool area! We shared our stay with a biker club, which made a nice surprise to be greeted by rows of gleaming motorbikes upon arrival (and so began the Hollywood movie vibes). 

Daytime Party in Hvar

Word on the Hvar party scene was that Carpe Diem Beach was the place to be – for day time and all through the night. AND you had to get a boat there – check! So we got glammed up to the eyeballs with all the traditional hen do clobber (body glitter, willy paraphenalia, sashes etc) and headed down to the marina to find the water taxi rank. Now, I will say the first two local ladies we spoke to were very confident – I will give them that. However, their confidence did lead us to believe that Carpe Diem was shut during the day. It wasn’t. Luckily, we didn’t take their word for it and eventually managed to find a water taxi driver who brought us to the Carpe Diem shore.

On the other hand, one thing the ladies didn’t get wrong, was that it was slightly out of season when we were there. So it wasn’t the jumping party atmosphere we had expected, but it was so very idyllic we didn’t mind at all. We spent the day laying on sunbeds, eating fresh seafood and pasta, listening to laid back beats and drinking lots of cocktails and shots before catching the last boat back into the Hvar marina. 

hen do croatia

hen do croatia

Hvar Nightlife

I believe we managed to sample a good selection of the nightlife Hvar has to offer (hic!). There were three main bars we visited: Kiva, Hula Hula and Pink Champagne. 

We stumbled upon Kiva on our first night. After enjoying a civilised beverage (civilised for a hen do in Hvar) next to the marina we asked the waiter where was good to go, he said nothing livened up until about 11pm. So we ordered another drink and waited. A little later we took a stroll to find another bar and heard distant music – and quickly decided to follow that beat! This lead us down what at first seemed like an alleyway but was in fact Kiva Bar!

As it got later the alleyway got packed and the bars either side were rammed with people doing their best lunatic dancing (me included). Music-wise you can expect crowd pleasers and sing-alongs here – so make sure you’ve warmed up with a few cocktails beforehand. There were plenty of other bars near here if you fancy crawling through them, so head to Kiva then work your way up past the marina towards Pink Champagne.

I didn’t actually go into Pink Champagne myself. I’m not really a nightclub kinda gal anymore. I was also well past my prime and thought it best to give it a swerve that night. However, some of the girls did go here and if you are looking for a proper nightclub experience this is the place to go and it leads on nicely from the bars around the marina. 

Sunset Bar in Hvar

hen do croatia

My favourite place, which unfortunately we spent the least amount of time at, just because we discovered it late, was Hula Hula Beach Bar. After talking to other tourists on the previous night out, we found out this bar, nestled on a perfect point of the bay, was THE spot to watch the sunset. The day we went it was a bit cloudy – but the view was still impressive – as is every vista around Hvar! Now, if I’m honest I can’t really remember the style of music, but there was a DJ and I think it was a bit more dancey, classy and cool than Kiva bar… don’t take my word for it though. It was an ideal stop off for a hen do in Hvar. 

hen do hvar

Travelling to Split from London

We flew from Stansted as we were travelling on the end of May bank holiday weekend. At the time of publishing this article, the cheapest flights start from £35, flying with Norwegian Airlines, from Gatwick, in early October (when the weather is still good). 

Travelling to Split from Newcastle upon Tyne

Flights to Split from Newcastle upon Tyne start in June. At the time of publishing this article, the cheapest flights start from £31, flying with EasyJet, from Newcastle, in late August.

A hen do in Hvar still not your thing? 

Check out my other post for a trip to the classic hen do destination, Ibiza… READ: An Ibiza Hen Do – Totally Off Season, but Totally IN

January 2018 – Aiming for Happy

2018

New Year, new me… fresh starts for 2018… resolutions…giving it up for lent… Scrap it all.

I’m making 2018 the year of adventure, love and happiness. I want to experience as much as life has to offer. Because if there’s one thing that 2017 taught me, it’s that life and love is precious and should never be taken for granted. So instead of cutting things out of my life, I plan on adding things in (positive, healthy things of course) and living life to the fullest – something The B-Line has always been about; ‘a direct line to a life without regret.’

So until the end of January, The B-Line will be running The Happy Line theme. Check back for small sparks of joy to be found in the depths of January (when will this month end?!) and read on for some alternative ideas to the usual self-loathing resolutions we hear each year.  

Four Alternative Resolutions for 2018

Dry January / Marvellous Moderation

There are 3.1m women in the UK taking part in dry January this year. This is very commendable, and for that I raise my large glass of New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc to you. Rather than going without completely, why not enjoy alcohol in moderation? There is a lot of joy to be had in a nice glass of wine – don’t torture yourself until the 1st Feb for the sake of saying ‘I did Dry January’ – because well done, but unfortunately no one else really cares. 

relax

Lose Weight / Join Fun Group Workout

New year polls remind us annually that one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. Losing weight has its important health benefits, but it’s the attitude towards doing it that could feel a lot better. Rather than calorie counting, cake swerving and restaurant ducking and diving, why not try joining a new fitness class where you learn something fun, make friends and just happen to lose weight while doing it? Winning. Focus on your health not your scales. 

Spend Less Money / Save and Splurge

This is a normal one for people in their 20s and 30s, and racking up debt certainly does not lead to happy folk. However, rather than spending money every week on endless crap only to get to the end of the month and wonder where it all went (no you’re not a victim of fraud), why not make a list of goals for the entire year, places you want to see or experiences you want to share, and save up for them? Then, when it comes to spending on your goals, you can do so guilt-free and revel in all the happiness. 

save

Get a Promotion / Spend More Time with Family & Friends

Work goals are what drive most of us in life, and if you are lucky enough to be in a job where you work on your passion every day then you are already in pretty much the best position you can be, so pat yourself on the back. Now, fixating on a promotion or pay rise may make you happy in the short-term, but don’t wear yourself out trying to make it happen. What we should all try and make happen are moments getting together with friends and family. Put more of your effort into that and you’ll never regret it. 

Make 2018 about Finding your Happy

laugh

If you’re still looking for a resolution for 2018, look no further than happiness. Plan a trip with friends, have deeper conversations, tell your loved ones you love them, and laugh. Laugh until your belly aches.

 

Woman Crush Wednesday – October Roundup

Woman Crush Wednesday – The October Roundup

Every Wednesday on The B-Line’s Instagram I share a post on who I am loving following on social media at the moment. And here I am doing the first ever roundup from the past month of who featured and why.

So let’s introduce this random bunch of awesome women. Check back every month for more inspiring women doing weird and wonderful things. 

Baddie Winkle

  • 3.2million followers on Instagram
 

It’s all good 🌈🦋🌼

A post shared by 💞 BADDIE 💞 (@baddiewinkle) on

Baddie is bad aaassss. She has inspired a huge social media following with her unique sense of style. She wears what she wants, looks incredible doing it and never stops having fun travelling the world showcasing her iconic looks. Baddie even had a campaign with Missguided in the UK last year. Her fresh attitude towards dressing in your later years teaches us to never lose our sense of individuality and to remember: you can wear whatever you feel – whatever your age or size. It’s your body after all, so express yourself how you feel is right.

Jessie Ware

  • 226,000 followers on Instagram

 

 

When I realised I was being photographed for a men’s mag 🤣

A post shared by Jessie Ware (@jessieware) on

Jessie is class, sophistication, outspoken and talented, topped off with a down-to-earth sense of humour. 

Everyone loves music and everyone has their own connection with it – Jessie’s songs come straight from the heart. If you ever need to get in touch with your emotions put on some Jessie Ware and you’re there! Her new album Glasshouse saw her work through becoming a mum and in her own words:

The past couple of years have been eye opening and intense. Wild highs and nerve-wracking lows. I started a record, decided to become a mother, and then kind of restarted the record. This became Glasshouse. 

I’m now looking forward to seeing Jessie in March 2018 at the O2 in Newcastle (tickets arrived this week!) Having never seen her live before I’m looking forward to her chatty approach to connecting with the audience and unbelievable vocals!

Malala

  • Not on Insta – don’t worry about it she doesn’t need to be.

woman crush wednesday

This was a special #WomanCrushWednesday as it happened to also fall on #internationaldayofthegirl. As someone who has done so much for girls all over the globe there was no one better than Malala for this special edition. Earlier that week Malala started her course at Oxford University with a powerful message to girls everywhere: 

5 years ago I was shot in an attempt to stop me from speaking out for girls’ education. Today I attend my first lectures at Oxford.

It’s so important to remember there are girls in every country of the world that do not have equal opportunities to other girls elsewhere or their male counterparts. Malala does her best to remind people of that and work towards change for the better.

Polly Nor

  • 774,000 followers on Instagram
 

Long days & Short Nights

A post shared by POLLY NOR (@pollynor) on

Polly’s artwork explores the secret world of women and their inner demons. Sounds interesting right? Ohh it is interesting! Think drawings of women unzipping their skin to reveal their inner demons carrying out their private habits (check it out!). Polly’s work is now turning into a cult movement with a clothing line and fans even committing to getting tattoos of her artwork. 

I haven’t gone that far myself but I do now own the tshirt. Probably going to invest in a printed illustration at some point too. And would love to visit one of her interactive exhibitions. But no tattoos. Yet. 

View Post

Entering a magazine writing competition was something I never thought I’d do. If you’re thinking of doing it – here’s why you should go for it. 

A Glamour Magazine Dream: The Perfect Prize and the Losing Entry

The UK’s leading lifestyle magazines regularly run competitions and giveaways for luxurious beauty products, limited edition fashion accessories or trips of a lifetime, but they rarely run competitions to see your article in print. When I saw Glamour magazine was offering up resident columnist Dawn O’Porter’s full page of prime space within its glossy sheets, I thought: “This. Is. It.”

After toying with a few ideas, I set to work on an article that seemed to fit the brief of ‘a lesson to live life by,’ as well as suiting the Glamour mag readership and my own aspirations as a writer. Unfortunately, this opportunity wasn’t the one for me (*sniffle) and Lucy Florence Wilson‘s honest and inspiring article was picked as the rightful winner. Still, not to throw mine in the bin in a tantrum, I thought I would share it with you lovely people right here! So here  it is, the first article I wrote for press (rejected) that is also the story of the inspiration for me starting The B-Line. 

Photo by Tai Jyun Chang on Unsplash

Childish dreams are not for the fainthearted

A gymnast, a police officer, a witch and an archaeologist. This isn’t the start of a joke; these are a few of my dream jobs from my childhood. 

All of them are really respectable career choices (maybe less so the witch, and you can blame that extraordinary teen, Sabrina for that one), but I ended up in PR. Now don’t get me wrong; PR is also a very respectable career choice, but believe it or not, it was never something I played make-believe about as I was growing up. So what happened to all those dreams? And is that all that they were, just dreams? 

In today’s fast-paced society it’s easy to get bogged down with sticking to the path that’s laid out in front of you. But what would happen if you reached a fork in the road and wanted to head off in an exciting new direction? Do you have the guts to jump tracks without being able to see what’s ahead?

Well I did exactly that, and it sure felt gutsy at the time. I had a steady career, working alongside interesting and talented people with the opportunity to grow. So what did I do? I quit. And with no other job to go to, I might add. It sounds drastic, and it was, because I didn’t really know what I was letting myself in for. I just knew that if I wanted to live a dream life, to create my own path, then I needed to make a big change and fast.

So I set out as a freelance copywriter and content marketer with the aim to only work with brands that I bloody loved. And being freelance is great – you can catch the gym when its dead quiet and Skype calls in bottom half pyjamas always feels satisfyingly smug. There are also plenty of sucky days to be had as a freelancer too to keep you nicely grounded: such as maintaining a steady cash flow (current challenge). But on the good days, the days when you make a real, positive impact on someone else’s business, it can give you a buzz that makes you literally want to fist-pump the air. It’s helped me experience my ultimate high in self-worth, as well as my ultimate low – because working alone means your success is all on you.

What going freelance also showed me was just how passionate I was about writing. With more freedom to manage my time I was able to take evening and online classes in creative writing. I started my own blog. I’m writing this article right now for goodness’ sake!

Being a published writer is now my new dream. A couple of years ago I could have passed this ambition off as a childish whim, unnecessary to my career path. For now, I can only hope that by continuously putting myself out there, something good will come from it. After all, you only get out of life what you put in – the world owes you nothing, honey.

So, on that note, I would recommend letting your inner childhood dreamer speak out occasionally – listen to what she has to say. Her innocence to the world can only mean that her hopes are pure. Be as true to her as she was to weaving your dreams, and that way you never have to look back on life with any regret.

I may not be able to perform a double backflip with a half twist, or identify thousand-year-old fossils or even change my outfit simply by pointing a magical finger, but you know what? I’m happy and I hope I never stop dreaming, ever.

View Post