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. 

 

 

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.

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30 Things To Do After 30 – A Bucket List for Grown Ups

For most people, the bucket list is reserved for before you turn thirty. Everyone seems to want to cram everything in before this milestone birthday to feel that renowned sense of achievement. But why? What happens when you turn thirty?  

30 things to do after 30

When the hotel tries to romance you on your birthday. 

I turned thirty on 4th June and I spent the first few hours hungover in Palma airport with a cut knee, waiting for a second flight having missed my first (in my defence it was also my hen do). In this moment I realised I am not quite the person I expected to be at age thirty. However, having got over my hangover and made it safely back to the UK I have since realised I’m totally fine with that – and not just in a Ross from Friends kind of way – genuinely content. 

30 things to do after 30

View from my balcony in Palma (my hen / 30th holiday)

I never made an official bucket list before I turned thirty – so I’m doing one now and it doesn’t have a time limit, so feel free to pinch some ideas if you are looking to also create a no-pressure-bucket-list. So here it is  – my bucket list, after 30 – including travel experiences, goals for personal improvement and plenty of life ideas that are just plain sensible. 

30 Things To Do After 30

  1. Write a book. 
  2. Write a blog for Huffington Post.
  3. Learn to surf in a surfers paradise e.g. Hawaii, Gold Coast, Malibu… etc
  4. Win a bet in Las Vegas. 
  5. See the pyramids in Egypt.
  6. Learn another language.
  7. Quit smoking.
  8. Be a success in my own right (i.e. actually consider myself successful career-wise).
  9. Have a child or two. And raise them well. (Note to mum: remember this has no time limits). 
  10. Raise money for charity and / or give time to charity. 
  11. Eat sushi in Tokyo.
  12. Fly something better than economy class. I’m realistic: it might not be ultra first class, but a step up would be great. 
  13. Get really fit. Stay fit. 
  14. Save some money. Spend it on something worthwhile. 
  15. Read lots of the classics (in addition to all the other crap I read). 
  16. Swim with sharks in the Maldives. (This was a childhood one and I am already regretting adding it). 
  17. Go white water rafting in Canada. (Another one from childhood but I would do this tomorrow. Can you say: ‘The River Wild?’)
  18. Salsa dance in Havana. 
  19. Spoil my partner with an expensive gift or lavish holiday. 
  20. Learn to play guitar. (I own a guitar but don’t know how to play it. Got the first step down, just need the main step covered now).  
  21. Buy a piece of art that makes me feel happy.
  22. Print and frame lots of family and friend photos.
  23. Ruthlessly clear out entire wardrobe. And general possessions. If you haven’t used it in the last year – bin it (or charity shop of course). 
  24. Say ‘yes’ more. Events, gigs, holidays, a night out – whatever it is just saying yes could lead to so much more. 
  25. Call friends and family more. 
  26. Be an absolutely awesomely badass auntie (nephew coming soon…).
  27. Make fresh pasta. Ohhh yeahh.
  28. Deep clean the house more regularly. Not just when guests come. 
  29. Be more knowledgable about politics and world news. 
  30. Take my make up off every night. 

30 things to do after 30

Buy more flowers for the home? Nearly made the list, but that’s a job for other people. Like when it’s your birthday. 

The point is, turning thirty has not been a big deal, but it has made me realise how much more important it is to collect memories instead of things. So having a bucket list might just help me on my way to pursuing a fulfilling life – or at least, one without regret. 

What’s on your bucket list?

Garden Life: Outdoor Styling to put a Spring in your Step

Outdoor Accessories for a Stylish Spring

As Brits we are renowned for premature BBQs, flip flops and even public displays of shirtless torsos on a sunny day. But so what? We don’t have the best weather in the world, so when the sun does shine we make sure we max out the outdoor lifestyle. 

The sun has already shown it’s big bright face a few times this spring, and so far I have:

  • Sunbathed milk bottle legs in denim shorts once.
  • Had two BBQs.
  • Worked outdoors with squinty eyes and a laptop on a few occasions.

AND I AM LOVING IT. One thing we don’t do as well as other cultures is styling our outdoor spaces. In Scandinavia they live and style by the concept of hygge, Asian living has given us the balanced zen styling and in the UK we are just starting to catch on. With all these popular styling trends, an idealistic way of living is the driving force behind it. It’s not about tshirt tans and burnt sausages, but a much more holistic lifestyle that sees the outdoors as another space in the home that should be used regularly.

Here I’ve picked out a few outdoor accessories that will make the outdoor lifestyle even more appealing, come rain or shine. Because whatever the British weather we should all be reaping the benefits of a bit of fresh air and nature from time to time. 

Dial up the Decor with Garden Accessories

Edward and Erica the Elephant Planters – Next – £70 (Erica) and £40 (Edward)

Planting flowers in elephant shaped pots just seems a lot more fun than regular plant pots. Plus, Next have named theirs, which somehow makes them even more desirable. I now have the urge to create a miniature herd at the end of the garden…

outdoor accessories

Light it Up with Outdoor Lanterns

Orb Hurricane Lantern – London Garden Trading Co. – £59.95

With the right lighting you can party all night long outside. Just don’t disturb the neighbours, unless of course it’s a block party! This lava-like lantern looks a burning ball of fire, which is both awesome and practical. 

outdoor accessories

Heaters, because, you know, England.

La Hacienda Moda Lime Firepit – Homebase – £79.99

Being realistic it only stays warm outside in British springtime whilst the sun is out, and even then it’s hit or miss. This stylish firepit looks great, keeps you warm and gives you purpose – you can make a fire, gather round it and heat up marshmallows on sticks. Best. Day. Ever.

outdoor accessories

 

Grow your Own with Herb Planters

Multi Herb Wall Planter – Urban Outfitters – £50

If you don’t have much space outdoors you can make the most of wall space with a wall mounted herb planter. If you have no outdoor space at all (then this post is probably a tad annoying) then you can even use this herb planter indoors – bring a touch of the plant life inside. It’s not just a feature either – get cooking with your freshly grown produce.

outdoor accessories

Outdoor Comfies with a Giant Waterproof Bean Bag

Leda Tribal Transform – BeanBagBazaar – £149.99

Bean bags are not just for kids. This unique bean bag floor cushion can be used indoors and outdoors making it great for lounging away on for perfect lazy, sunny sunday. Caution: you may forget to get up again and lose hours of time. 

outdoor accessories

 

Three Benefits to Being Outdoors

Don’t wait until summer to get outside, it’s too good for your health to pass up the chance of some time spent in the Great Outdoors. 

  1. Vitamin D: it’s essential for a healthy immune system with serious supplies coming directly from the sun. Just keep it safe with factor 30 or higher.
  2. Fresh air: indoor pollutants are far worse than outdoor pollutants. Plus, if you are living in the countryside you are already winning by avoiding the inner city smog. 
  3. Eye sight: artificial light from electronic devices and staring at screens all day is bad for your eye sight and health. Get outdoors and look around occasionally, feed your eyes some natural light.

 

YOU’RE FULLY ENGAGED, WEDDING TARGET IS LOCKED IN

I am engaged. It’s a wonderful, yet strange feeling. One I haven’t quite fully comprehended yet. I have a fiancé!! (I haven’t quite managed to say that word yet without sounding like Del Boy attempting a French accent).

I feel a bit guilty though because I’m sure you are supposed to feel completely elated to the point of skipping and singing everywhere you go, and don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly happy and lucky to be Peter’s wife one day, but my issue is solely to do with… “The Wedding”.

Getting engaged is the fun part; you have a movie-perfect, surprising and romantic moment with someone you adore, you get a serious bit of jewelry, and everyone is really nice to you for at least a couple of weeks with cards and gifts etc – it’s like a really good birthday.

But then come the questions; “when are you planning the wedding for?” “What sort of venue do you think you’ll pick?” “Are you getting married here or abroad?” “Thinking summer or winter wedding?”

I’m told many people – women in particular – have a vision of their wedding right from being a child. I have not. I think I’ve probably imagined a wedding several times throughout my life, particularly after meeting Peter, but the vision is forever changing, much like Madonna’s style, if you please. So now that it is here and it’s a reality I feel lost as to what to do or even where to start.

I also get anxiety when I think about the number of people attending, seating arrangements, who comes to the day event or the night event and even who will be part of our actual wedding party.

I’m renowned for struggling to make a decision; even choosing which flavor packet of crisps I want can be a laborious task (one of the many reasons I’m thankful for Peter; his patience). I also worry a lot about what other people will think, which is why the thought of letting anyone down with my wedding is terrible.

Maybe I just need to think of a wedding as not such a bit deal; its just one day – sign some papers, get pissed, go home. Then it won’t stress me so much. But it is a big deal, isn’t it? Possibly one of the most important days of your life…?!

Luckily, I’m marrying someone who is very grounded and rational. Peter doesn’t worry about what others think and wouldn’t let something so personal stress him out.

In fact, I think I’ll just let him plan it. Ooh maybe we can do it through ‘Don’t Tell the Bride?!’

Problem solved.

anna sheffield engagement ring

Anna Sheffield ‘Bea’ engagement ring suite