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Friday, 30 October 2015

Ok, I've gone and done it. I'm sorry. I've combined two of my favourite things - Halloween and music. 

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But fear not - it's not corny! Well not too corny anyway. I mean I've thrown a few party ones in there and a couple of classics - I had to, I'm sorry, but I've tried to shy away from a playlist filled with the typical Halloween party classics and thrown in a few different ones to mix it up a bit.

I hope you enjoy. If you're having a Halloween party this year and left it until the last minute to create some playlists? Don't worry - I've got you sorted. Well with one playlist anyway. And if you're going out like me? Then just listen to it when you're getting ready to get into the Halloween mood.

Happy (almost) Halloween everyone! Enjoy!

What did you think of the playlist? Will you be busting out to it this Halloween? Are there any essential Halloween songs I've missed out? Let me know with a quick comment!

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P.S To read all more Halloween related posts, check out the Halloween tag for more posts!

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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

So in the past I've spoken about some of the worst b-list horror movies on this blog but I've never shared my idea of the scariest movies!

First up, a scary movie is kind of hard to define. Some films scare me as in they make me jump out of my skin. Some end up disturbing me a little and it's where my mind goes AFTER the movie that continues to freak me out. And some are just so damn gory that I get all squeamish. As a result of this, I probably wouldn't say there are a lot of movies that downright scare me so much that I simply cannot watch them again.

But for the sake of this blog post, I'm going to mix all of the above. So these are some of the scariest/most disturbing or gruesome movies in my opinion. Some of which you might not agree with and some of which you might. I guess we will see...

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The Fourth Kind in my eyes is hands down one of the creepiest and most disturbing films I've ever seen. I've seen it so many times now that some parts of the movie don't creep me out as much, but there are definitely parts that are visually scary as well as the whole film overall being creepy. It's all to do with the idea of alien abduction and preys on a persons vulnerability whilst they are asleep - after all, how are you supposed to know what's happening to you if you're not even entirely conscious?! The film itself is very interesting from a film fans point of view with fab editing effects and on screen transitions to help tell the story.

Okay, here me out. Before they started releasing millions of sequels that refused to clear up or answer any questions we had about the series, the first one (or two) was kind of really scary. I absolutely loved how it went back to basics and was, at it's heart, a film about a haunted house. There was no blood and no murders...just odd happenings going on around the house. It was extremely realistic and definitely freaked me out.

Both the original and the remake of this film are super scary with dark undertones and a seriously messed up killer. Whilst the remake takes on a less humorous approach then the original and is definitely more gory, the original has some real old school scares and pretty much set the path for the ever so famous slasher genre. The original might seem dated now but can still scare me silly, and there's always that underlining fear of Freddy Kruger visiting me in my dreams...

Insidious is another film that kind of goes back to basics and even does some serious throwbacks to those old, classic Psycho era horror movies, with the loud violins and almost medieval font when it comes to the title screen. Based around again, a haunted house and things that go bump in the night, this film draws you in and it's so easy to find yourself in the shoes of the main character Renai, stuck at home all day and a husband that doesn't believe her when she knows something is going on in the house. The film then takes a twist to include the idea of astral travelling (that's kind of like when someone goes to sleep and can travel to another realm in an out of body experience to me and you), which is so diverse and different - and certainly creepy. Insidious also draws upon the old horrors to build up the tension really well, so the perfectly timed jumpy parts in this film are bang on.

Teeth isn't scary per sa, but it's kind of creepy and again, a very original idea. If you have seen it then the less said about it the better really, although I do think it's a very good film, just not one I'd necessarily talk to my family about. If you haven't seen it, google it. Why does it work as a horror movie? Well, it's just the thought of it all really. Can you ever imagine being in her position and having teeth, well, there? No, me either, but luckily this film showed me what it would be like so I wouldn't have to think about it myself. But it did really bloody scare me.

And finally, Signs. Signs probably wouldn't be described as a horror movie - in fact, probably more so a family film or even a thriller (I lied. It described as a thriller on Wikipedia) - but it is creepy and disturbing and WILL get you thinking. My favourite scene is towards the end when a character drops a flashlight and the camera focuses on it, and all you can hear is the scuffle of whats going on. It's super freaky because of what you CAN'T see - it's your mind really that conjures up the worst. It's incredibly smart and the whole film will play on your emotions and make you believe in aliens. Ever wondered what creates crop circles? Well, now you know.

Not that the original wasn't good - because it was - but I watched the remake first and loved it. So much blood and gore! So many jumpy parts! So disturbing! I'm not really one for blood and gore - I agree, it works, but it makes me sad when films have to resort to that to become scary instead of using more classic techniques. But this film works damn well, even if it it's more of the type of film you'd see on a date in the cinema instead of at home by yourself hiding behind a cushion. And it has the sex god that is Shiloh Fernandez. That fact should sell the film to you alone.

These are just seven films that both tend to scare me AND be some of my favourite films but to be honest, this is just seven of many. Ginger Snaps scared me as a child, and even Tremors. 

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P.S To read all more Halloween related posts, check out the Halloween tag for more posts!

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Monday, 26 October 2015

It's officially six days to Halloween! Halloween is one of my favourite times of the year and I love everything about it - the scary movies, dressing up, the scare attractions..I seriously cannot wait until this Saturday. Lets face it though - if you don't have Halloween plans by now then you'll probably be tucked up at home with some good Halloween movies (not that I can blame you). But that doesn't mean you can't read about some of the best scare attractions around the world in the meantime or plan to visit them next year...

The story goes that this island became the home of creepy toy dolls when caretaker, Don Julian Santana, found a doll floating in the surrounding waters that a girl had drowned in previously. He hung the doll from a tree to show respect, and continued to do this with more and more dolls until he drowned himself in the same waters 50 years later. The island is now a popular tourist attraction as visitors travel from all over to witness the creepy dolls hanging in the trees.

Known as one of the most famously haunted places in the US, Waverly Hills Sanatorium has often appeared in paranormal media, such as Ghost Hunters and Most Haunted. Inside, room 502 is perhaps the most famously haunted, legend stating that a nurse hung herself with a light bulb wire outside of the room upon discovering she was pregnant by the owner of the sanatorium and that she had also contracted tuberculosis. It's also well known for its 'death tunnel' which was used to remove bodies discreetly from the building without other patients seeing. Visitors can book themselves onto tours of the buildings and paranormal investigations are also offered there. Plans are also being developed to turn it into a four star hotel come scare attraction.

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How scary is this?! Just further proof of the attention to detail at The 13th Gate

On the other end of the spectrum, this scare attraction may not actually be haunted but it's certainly just as scary. It contains 13 realms, ranging from a real life snake infested swamp, claustrophobic cellars and hidden subterranean passages. With out of this world attention to detail, the set design and make up effects often leave visitors unsure of whether what they're experiencing is even real or not. Not for the faint hearted, the haunt employs a year-round movie industry construction crew during off-season to help prepare for the Halloween season. It's perfect for anyone who loves a real good scare.

DEFINITELY not for the faint haunted, this creepy scare attraction is less haunted house and more torture chamber...and what's more, people seem to like it with over 24,000 people on the waiting list to endure the experience that can last up to eight hours. Brave hearts can suffer anything from being duct taped over their eyes and mouths or even being shoved into a clothes dryer. This manor - among many advertised along the lines as extreme attractions - features actors that can touch and shove you, shove things into your mouth. Other similar attractions force visitors to be gagged and bound, sometimes partially clothed. It's certainly not a walk in the park but I suppose I can imagine how bad ass someone must feel managing to survive an ordeal like this...

Closer to home, and perhaps a more suitable combination of a London Dungeons style scare attraction and extreme attractions - is probably more ideal for someone who wants a good (and funny) scare without going too far. Much like The 13th Gate, visitors make their way through different scenes and settings with amazing attention to detail (I went last year and entered a haunted woods complete with twinkling stars in the ceiling, a bridge over an actual water feature/mini river and a caravan we had to climb through) all whilst getting jumped out on and in general very scared. At one point I got chased around hay bales with a fake chainsaw and the sound itself freaked me the f*ck out - seriously, I bent down and covered my hands over my ears as this crazy man waved the chainsaw at my head. Looking back, it seems silly to be scared of something so trivial but at the time it was damn scary. However, this was the perfect amount of scare for me and I love horror movies so I think I'm quite brave when it comes to these kind of attractions.

So no matter what your dream plans are at Halloween - to visit an actual historic haunted location, to be borderline tortured in the US or simply a pretty scary - and beyond fun - mix between the two, these five are some of the best and most varied around the world.

Of course there are a lot more on offer, with new scare attractions popping up everywhere, each determined to be as scary as the last. But this is just a small pick of many.

Would you ever attempt any of these attractions? Let me know!

I love being scared but I think the attractions that are borderline torture may be just a TAD too much for me...

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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

On Friday, my sister and I finally headed down to Stylist Live, having booked tickets months ago. We were both really excited as the event itself was right up our street - inspiring talks from top people in the media, food and fashion industry, paired with some stands from big brands and the excuse to get pampered. What was not to love?

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Why oh why did I wear a Peplum top that made me look preggers...
We arrived bright an early on Friday morning and found ourselves immediately greeted by Edith Bowman and being handed a voucher for a free glass of bubbly - the perfect way to start the day. Our first talk was with Pixiwoo, the famous beauty vlogger duo.

Like with most talks throughout the day, I walked in feeling like the talk would certainly be interesting but not really knowing what I'd take away from it. This talk in particular was really interesting and included a live tutorial on stage, showing us how to perfect the smokey eyed look. This was perfect for me because I love this look but never do it because every time I try to, I look like I've been punched in the face. Instead we were shown how to use more neutral colours - browns and bronzers etc - to build it up for a more classic look, and then, if we wanted to make it a little more edgy, just add the tiniest smidge of a darker colour. 

I have to admit, this is something I'll be trying myself when I get the chance. 

One of my favourite talks throughout the day was with Lorraine Pascale who was beyond inspiring when she gave a talk about finding your passion in life. In hindsight, I was really looking forward to this even though I'm luckily enough to have always known my passion in life (and that's been writing, obviously, whether that's meant blogging, writing novels, interviewing hot band members, writing for my job etc...) and she didn't disappoint. She was so down to earth and lovely and just generally told us that it's more then okay to change career paths if you're miserable - and gave us some advice on the best way to do it.

The how to start a supper club talk with Alice Levine and Laura Jackson was fun - the pair were very witty and informative in the intimate talk and I loved it. Although I have no plans whatsoever to start my own supper club (I can barely cook for myself, let alone others), my sister loved it and it's definitely made me want to attend (definitely attend and not host) a supper club in future. Preferably theirs. Their dishes looked super yummy.

Finally, me and my sister split up for the last talks and I headed along to watch Anna Hart's talk on how to become a travel writer. Okay, so I'm technically already a travel writer, but I'd like to become a travel writer for my blog too so off course this was super helpful. I left feeling like I was confident enough to pitch ideas to magazines or companies (or even at work) and off course I left feeling inspired too.

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A delicious cocktail - one of the yummiest I've ever had...
Throughout the talks we had a mooch around different stalls - I bought a new book and some tea (that's me all over really) and I just had to try some of the yummy cocktails I'd seen about. And then when I got out of the last talk before my sister, I went on to 'try' another. Okay it was the same one. But it was really yummy...

All in all it was a really fun day, and the fashion show we saw had some fab stylish pieces too - all from the high street which I loved. It meant they were affordable and that we could actually re-create the looks myself if we wanted.

By the time we got home we'd been out for over 12 hours so we were exhausted and then my phone charger broke too, meaning I managed to save barely any photos from the day to show you all (I tend to add photos automatically to my snapchat and then save the ones I want to use later on) but never mind. 

It was an event that without a doubt left us both feeling inspired and next year we're looking into doing the whole weekend instead of just one day.

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Sunday, 18 October 2015

Sundays in my house - or at least for me, anyway - are for kicking back and relaxing. As a general rule of thumb, I have a varied list for how I like to spend my Sunday.

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Sundays are for..

- Under absolutely no circumstances getting up before noon. Okay sure, I can leave my bed to shower/grab breakfast etc but after that I have to spend the morning beneath the duvet catching up on TV and such.
- Some Sundays, a full duvet day is on order.
- Catching up on TV, lately it's been New Girl, The Returned and American Horror Story.
- Watching all those feel good films that don't deserve too much thinking power - the kind that even allow you to drift in and out of naps whilst watching if you so wish. Today it's been About Time.
- Catching up on blogging with a causal scroll through Bloglovin'.
- Just Netflix or NowTV in general.
- Laughing my arse off at It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Charlie's a babe.
- Planning for my week ahead - projects that need doing at work, blog posts that need typing up etc.
- Making birthday plans. When your birthday is two days before Christmas, you have to plan early before people are too skint or too busy.
- Stuffing my face with Dad's classic roast dinner. After eating all the chicken skin off course. Yummy.
- Relishing in the fact that I'm not hungover (for once) and that I don't have kids to get up for. Oh the sweet sound of peace and quiet on a Sunday morning that isn't spent puking up all of last nights alcohol..
- Using Pinterest to browse lunch ideas, makeup ideas and hairdo ideas.
- Telling myself I'm going to use my spare time to have a proper work out...and then not.
- But still managing to do about half hour of Yoga before bed and before Monday morning.
- Having a long relaxing jacuzzi bath before bed, complete with lush bath bombs and some candles burning.

And honestly? Doing barely anything else. Which is just how I like it.

How do you like to spend your Sundays? Let me know with a comment!

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Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Ever since starting my new job and spending my days writing about all the funky things going on around the UK or flicking through the magazine, reading all the reviews of cities, reader club trips and more, I'm falling more and more in love with the UK.

I've always been a firm believer that you don't need to go abroad to have a holiday - England offers many quaint places to quench your thirst, whether you're into hiking (The Lake District), seaside towns (Brighton) or just kicking back and relaxing at a good spa (Whittlebury), no matter what, you'll find it within a few hours on the train.

So I've decided to put together a wish list of all these places within the UK I'd love to go within the next year - if even if it's just a little list to look back on myself. It also turns out a few places I've already been to landed a place on this list but when you have such good memories of somewhere, you'd do anything to go back.
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Bath is an entirely new place for me, somewhere that has definitely been on my radar for a good few years now but I've never gotten around to visiting which is odd considering how it's not too far away. I've always been intrigued by the roman baths and the natural thermal rooftop pool...I also really love the fact that the whole city is oldly wordly enough to rival York (another beautiful place). Reading about Bath's stunning Christmas market all week has made me want to book a trip pronto and I think I may just have to go all that way JUST to see the market.

Canterbury. Oh my god Canterbury. I have not written one single word about this place like, ever, but lately I saw just one photograph of it and fell in love all over again. A few years ago I practically studied this place via Pinterest pictures, oogling at the many rivers and cobbled streets. I didn't even know what was there in terms of things to do. I STILL DON'T. I just want to go and get a little mini gondola down the rivers and fill my Instagram with nothing but pictures of it all from a waters view. I mean there are pubs practically next to the water. There is even a photo floating about of a sign hanging from a pub or a restaurant but on the water side so, y'know, you can see it as you sail by. AMAZING. Take me there now.

Well, while I'm on the subject of oldy worldy towns, I might as well throw York in there too. Yes, it's an obvious choice and yes, technically I've been before, but that just means I can vouch for the fact that it is damn amazing. First and foremost it's pretty. Like, really pretty. One of my favourite memories of the one time I went was walking through the shambles, arm in arm with the poor sucker I was dating at the time, eating chips as it began to spit gently and a random street band played somewhere a few feet away. It was a perfect moment and beyond romantic. My not so favourite memory was being forced to walk along the walls of York. Beautiful sights, yes. But not so fun for a lazy arse like me. My point being is that you don't have to do anything to enjoy York - just a slow stroll around is riveting enough. If that doesn't take your fancy, there's lots on offer. Madame Tussauds. The York Dungeons. The York Ghost Bus Tour and the sight seeing Bus tour. Hell, even the sight seeing BOAT tour. A huge indoor museum that has a whole Victorian Village inside. A train museum (sounds boring but is actually kinda interesting). Haunted houses. Ghost walks. Tea rooms. A Christmas shop that's open ALL YEAR ROUND. Need I say more? No? Good. Just go there and take my word for it.

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Edinburgh is one place I've wanted to go to since I was little and since spending perhaps less than 24 hours in the beautiful city a few years ago, I've always wanted to return. My friends and I actually crammed a lot into our brief time there - we visited pubs, clubs (one club is still one of my favourite clubs until this day), we saw some of our favourite bands live (and went on to party with them), took a stroll around some of the city's green spaces and even had time to kill a few lazy hours in one of Edinburgh's most popular attractions. I like to think we submerged ourselves in some of the best parts of Edinburgh's culture and managed to do a bit of everything, but it turns out there's still so much more to do. I'd love to visit again at Christmas one day and most definitely have a traditional Mahogany NYE in Edinburgh, but mostly I'd love to just go for a long weekend and have the time to do little else but stroll slowly around it's streets and explore in my own time. Edinburgh is one of those traditional places that you can just do nothing in and still fall in love because it's beyond beautiful.

Finally, the Cotsworlds. I mean sure, the idea of the Cotsworlds kind of makes me think of somewhere I'll one day go to retire - to me it seems like a proper old woman type of place - but damn it's beautiful. Half of it looks like it's been taken straight out of the pages of a fairy tale and it makes me dream of how beautiful it'll all look when the festive season rolls around. I'm not even sure there's much there - apart from the Christmas markets once a year - but that doesn't really matter. Just drive me there in the morning, let me have a mooch around to take some pretty photos, and then pick me up when it begins to get cold and/or dark. That's all I ask.

Off course there are tons of other places I'm sneakily adding to my UK based travel bucket list - most of which are actually bonkers attractions or really quirky museums - but for the prettiest towns in the UK right now (in my opinion anyway), these five top my list every time.

What places are on your UK travel wish list? Let me know with a comment below!

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Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Tonight's blog post is wishful thinking. I could lie and say I'm due a new winter coat - as we all are, every few years or so - but it was just last winter I bought myself a new super warm and cozy coat. So I definitely don't need a new one right now..BUT a girl can wish, right? Just because I don't need one and, even though I'm still in love with my old one, I can still look at others and lust after them...

Therefore, with the cold nights rolling in, I thought it was time to do a feature on five of the best coats from the high street right now.

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Woman's Cotton Mac, £30.00, Peacocks | Pink Faux Fur Coat, £89.00, Miss Selfridge | Grey Faux Fur Trim Blanket, £24.99, New Look | Reefer Jacket, £29.99, H&M | Premium Sleeveless Duster, £68.00, Topshop 

From left to right, we start with the classic. A lovely versatile brown mac that often reminds me that I wish I had the balls to one day do that whole thing where I turn up at a guys door wearing just a mac coat, heels and nothing else beneath..but alas, the brown mac is a time old classic because it always looks smart and it always looks classy. This number looks like it'll be super warm too and, with the belt, means that it's not quite a shapeless as it may look.

Next up we have the super-glam-over-the-top-blowout-coat. You'll feel like a total diva celebrity in this coat, like a VIP. It's beyond classy, it's the type of coat you can wear with ANYTHING to dress it up. On top of that, it's so fluffy and just imagine how warm it'll be. This isn't a coat for Christmas day, this is a coat for the run up to Christmas and that glam NYE you've always wanted.

The casual cape/kimono is next and again, this one is super versatile. Although it'll keep you warm in the cold weather, I think it's also suitable for the office or lounging around the house. It's that type of kimono you can just wrap yourself up in and almost, almost feel like you're back in the warmth of your bed instead of, y'know, elsewhere like at work or outside or whatever.

From H&M, there's the budget jacket which, like most things from H&M, looks a lot more expensive then it actually is. It's available in a few different colours and although basic, is still really sweet and cute. Pink is really in this season - especially when it comes to winter wear - so I'd definitely suggest this jacket in this particular colour. It's also quite a thick meaning it's practical too.

Finally, we have the super stylish one from Topshop. This long-length sleeveless coat is more about style then practicality but I daren't say as long as your arms are covered, it's probably quite warm too. Available in a sky blue, it'll spruce up everyday wear VERY easily, meaning if you can't be bothered with your outfit one day, you can just wear anything and throw this on over the top to look like you've put a lot of thought into your outfit. It's not cheap, but the price is more then worth it and how much wear you'd get out of it.

So there we have five of the best high street coats this winter (in my opinion anyway), ranging from the budget coat to the super stylish, the overly glam and more. Will you be buying a new coat this winter and, if so, what type will you be going for? Let me know with a quick comment!

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Monday, 5 October 2015

On my first day at my new job, I sat down at my own desk (my first ever own desk! Exciting!) and immediately tried to think of ways to make it my own. (Can you tell I'm really enjoying my job with all these work themed posts lately?!

It might sound stupid, but never having had my own desk before left me stumped in terms of what I thought I'd need on my desk. Obviously, I knew I needed the basic things like stationary, paper, notebooks etc but as I've become more and more settled into my new job, I've slowly began to add things to my little area to make it more personal.

These are, what I feel, the necessities to making a desk or work area really yours.

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Week planners are always beneficial...
Though I have yet to have a bad day, I know how important it is to have a nice photograph of those you love with you. Even when you're having a tough day, it can remind you that they're proud of you and you're doing this job to make them proud, that in most cases when the day is over you can go home and see them.

Such a necessity for when I'm tired or need a boost in the afternoon to get me through the rest of the day. I have a cute little emergency four pack in one of my drawers, ready and waiting for when I need them. 

I try to keep healthy snacks in my desk like breakfast bars etc but it doesn't hurt to have some chocolate or something cheeky like that hidden away for when you really need it. I'd also suggest things like tea bags and hot chocolate sachets for when those winter days really start rolling in...and, if you're like me and you're office is practically in the middle of nowhere and you can't yet drive, a spare lunch or something you can microwave is probably useful too, like a pot noodle or something in case you ever forget your lunch like I almost did last week.

Although I don't condone using your phone at work, having a spare phone charger lying about is always really beneficial in case of an emergency, like if you break down on the way home from work. I understand you can't predict this so would have to charge your phone in advance anyway, BUT, regardless of whether or not we think we'd need it, if our phone battery is running low and we have a charger to hand, we'll all still charge it at work, amiright?

Haha, just kidding. But I do have a little 'emergency' kit which would probably contain the same things as a morning-after-the-night-before-kit. It's just handbag stuff really - a body spray, chewing gum, hand/face wipes, dry shampoo etc. Just stuff that would come in useful in case I've had a stressful day and want to spruce up a bit, or I'm running late and don't have time to style my hair at home etc. Also, actual sort-of emergency items are really beneficial here too, like pain killers or plasters.

Technically this counts as stationary, which comes as a given, but highlighters are always necessary. The brighter the better.

Just for those days where the thought of going out for lunch is just too much. The office is cosy and warm, it saves time walking to the fridge to get your lunch rather then driving out somewhere and the thought of kicking back with a sandwich, a cuppa and a good book (albeit at your desk) is sometimes just what you need.

Depending on the feel of your workplace, you might be expected to wear smart shoes/heels. In my job, we sometimes have to go out and meet clients, so it's useful to have a pair of comfortable flats back at my desk for when I return. I can't ever imagine why I'd need fluffy socks but hey, what if one day it's peeing down with rain and I'm in flat shoes and they get ruined running from the car to the office? BAM. An excuse to wear fluffy socks. Which brings me to....

Like your mum always said, you should always keep one to hand. ALWAYS.

So there you have it. Will I even use half this stuff or miss it if I didn't have it? Probably not. But at least I know I'm prepared, my desk is fully stocked and that it looks damn pretty in the meantime...

Can you think of anything else I should have lying around in my desk - any must-have items? Let me know with a comment!

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