Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tootin' your horn!
If you've read Think Pink, then you'll know that I totally advocate tootin' your horn. Because telling the world how fabulous you are doesn't have to mean you're a mucho-big-head-girl - far from it!

If you do stuff of fabulousness or someone pays you a compliment, don't be coy or brush it off, celebrate it, bathe in it - toot your horn!

In fact I'm gonna go right ahead and toot right now because as well as writing books, I'm agony aunt for Mizz magazine, the bestest magazine for girls here in the UK, ever. I also write features for the magazine too - yep, author, agony aunt and writer - I really do have the best jobs in the world.

Anyhoo, I just got an email from my ed-lady at Mizz - hey Julie - attaching some completely ah-mazing feedback about some features I've written recently. They were all hoogely complimentary and made me make eye water and everything.

I often get told that what I do is frivolous fun, and to some extent it is, but as my ed-lady Julie says, 'frivolous makes people laugh and that's the best thing ever.' I also get told that teen mags have a negative impact on teen girls and that all they care about is boys and looks - now, while there are mags out there that are like that, Mizz most deffo isn't.

Mizz rocks.

I'm not just saying that because I work for them, in fact, it's the reason why I do work for them. They're not afraid to tackle hard hitting issues like coping with death and eating disorders and positively encourage, more than any magazine I've ever read, self-respect through features about boosting confidence, how to make friends and celebrating you-niqueness. It offers up relevant information to help readers make informed choices about their lives, which personally, I think is pretty freakin' awesome!

Teen mags often get a hard time for their content, generally from people who 1. aren't teens, 2. wouldn't know how to communicate with teens if their lives depended on it and 3. have never actually sat down and read a teen mag cover to cover.

Everything I know about life - puberty, sex, boys, make up, confidence, how to feel good about myself - I learned from magazines. Just 17 was my mag of choice and is the absolute reason why I'm doing what I do today. Which brings me back to the fact that by doing what I LOVE - writing positive, feel-good material for girls - I'm making a difference.

That's deffo worth tootin' my horn about!

Your turn...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I've seen it.

I LOVE it.

In fact, I've seen it three times this weekend and that's not even counting the sing-along version!

I'm talkin' High School Musical 2, peeps!

I watched it for the first time yesterday with my 9 year old niece Joanne, and her pal Summer. This was cool 'til I caught Summer watchin' me out of the corner of my eye.

I looked at her and asked, "What's up?"

She gave a li'l confused frown and said "I've never actually seen an adult who likes kids things before are you an adult child?"
"Well Summer," I explained, "I guess I am."
She seemed okay about it and for the rest of my visit made me sing 'Fabulous' a lot. As an 'adult child' I was given a VIP pass to the world of tween.
Most importantly, I was included in very important discussions. Like, what we would do if Zac Effron knocked on our front door, right now. Summer would declare undying love, Joanne would ask him if he wanted a cup of tea and Summer informed me that, because I was in my 20s, I would be able to actually marry him. I was really rather pleased with that.

Zac 4 Lisa. IDST.

Whilst watching HSM2 with my target audience was very insightful and all, there really is nothing better than watching it in the comfort of my own home without being laughed at for my lack of singing ability.

It's mucho fun, and just as good as the first, which I thought would be pretty much not do-able. The Man watched it with me at lunch and we are now pretending our life is in fact, HSM2. We've been singing instead of talking all afternoon and whoever gives in has to do the washing up - our neighbours must think we're right outta freaksville, but I won't give in, for one I HATE washing up and two, I love my life being like HSM2!

And if you don't think I'm crazy enough already, I have taken up knitting.

It's something I do every autumn. When the dark nights come in, I have a huge-ass urge to be a craft girl, so I visit my mumma - queen of all things craft, she starts me off with a reminder lesson because I forget how, and then I knit.

Scarves generally.

This time though, I have a project.

This is the big time.

Scarves, schmarves - bring on the knitted bear!

Yep, my gal pal Manda is havin' a bubba, so I'm making the new bubba a bear - it involves stocking stitch and everything.

I'm officially a hardcore knit girl - I'm averaging 4 rows an hour at the moment.

Like I say, hardcore.

In other news: Friday, Peace day, was all kinds of fabulous-o.

This is me eating yummy cake at the Peace Cafe.
I'm in a playpen. I don't think that's the official terminology, but you take your shoes off and climb in. Brilliant.

It had edible glitter.

Seriously, what's not to love 'bout edible glitter?


Tea and cake. Two of my most favourite things.

Met this cutester at the cafe, just as deelish as the cake and v.v.funny. This is Ben and he should totally be on Hollyoaks.


Met with Swanks for a belated b-day dinner a little later on in the day - I'm sucha shocker, his birthday was a whole month ago, but we went for posh Indian and I'm hoping that made up for it.

See? He really is Swanks, he wears suits and everything, even to socialise. Less Swank boys should take note, this dude is all about the style, at all times. He's also lots of fun to hang with. We laughed. A lot.

Then after dinner, I met with these two bee-you-tiful boys. These are 2 of my bestest buds from college, Ad and Rich, and it was Rich's b-day celebrations (he's the one on the left - isn't he adoreable?) They were going on to a club to throw some shapes on the dance floor. I was a lightweight and was missin' The Man, so I headed home before shape throwin'!

Just realised this blog entry could be renamed 'a gratuitous excuse to post pics of hot boys I hung out with on Friday night!'

Today however, I've been all about the knitting and HSM2 re-runs.

The rest of the week, and this is for the benefit of ed-girl just in case she's reading, is all about Lola and The Pink Ladies I promise!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Happy peace day, peeps.

Yep, today is officially World Peace Day - you can find out all about it at www.peaceoneday.org - my gal pal Sarah, is helping to host an event at the aptly named, Peace Cafe here in Portsmouth, so I will be spending my Friday afternoon doing the following:
* haiku and poetry readings
* making my own trinkets and bracelets
* getting a massage
* tea-tasting
* having a tarot and psychic reading
* making a Wish for the World

I feel a bit bad actually, because what with it being a fight-free, no-raised-voices, all-about-the-peace day, I know that I really shouldn't have argued with The Man.
Still, as I've pointed out a million, gazillion times, I am a work in progress and it's only 9am, so I've got a whole day to put matters right.

He is making the biggest song and dance out of doing the hoovering.
This is his job. Along with cooking.
Mine is cleaning and washing up.
I do not like doing these things, in fact, I would much rather eat my own feet sometimes, but I know they need to be done and I do not complain. I am so positively fabulous and angelic and decide to make my tasks fun by using pink feather dusters, be-jewelled washing up gloves and Cillit Bang, because it comes in a pink bottle. (Thankfully, minus that annoying shouting man on the advert. Shh shouter.)
The Man does not embrace his tasks.
He fights them and makes them more difficult than they need to be. This makes him red-faced and aggro.
I mentioned this might not be the way forward, what with it being Peace Day and all, apparently that wasn't the right thing to say.
My bad.

But because it's Peace Day, now the hoovering is finished and The Man is now less stressed, I am making peace with him, because lets face it, if we don't get our peace on, then what chance have we got at persuading those big, control freak dudes that fighting is not cool and that peace is most deffo the way forward?


Sunday, September 16, 2007

I've nicked this book meme from the lovely Diane...

What are you reading now?

I always have A LOT of reading material on the go at the same time - have just read Notes From The Teenage Underground by Simmone Howell - which I LOVED. I'm now reading the latest Elle and Spirit & Destiny magazines, the third in the series of Rowan Coleman's Ruby Parker - Hollywood Star - so good, and in grown up books I'm reading: Belinda Jones - Love Academy and Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert - which I just can't put down right now!

do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that?

I recommend books ALL the time - I think just coz I love them everyone should - I recommend authors more than individual books - authors you should totally read are: Rowan Coleman - her adult books are among my absolute favourites, SARK - I love her style and how all her books make me feel like a big kid, YA author Rachel Cohn - her book Gingerbread is AWESOME and ANYTHING by Francesca Lia Block - I'd say she was my favourite author of ALL time, ever.

admit it, sadly the librarians at your library know you on a first name basis, don’t they?

They do, but not for the reasons you think, I'm a total shocker for taking books back and currently have a £40 fine! That's bad innit?!!

is there a book you absolutely love, but for some reason, people never think it sounds interesting, or maybe they read it and don’t like it at all?

Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block. It's my absolute most favourite book in the world, but adults think it's for kids and kids think it's for adults so lots of people miss out on Weetzie Bat - which is sad because it's the best.

do you read books while you eat?

I do, is that bad??

while you bathe?

I do, 'cept normally I read a magazine in the bath coz I don't like to get books wet, I'm a bit of a book geek like that!

while you watch movies or tv?

Not at the cinema - it costs blimmin' £7.50 a freakin' movie - why would I pay that then read? That would be silly! I do read while the TV is on though, especially if The Man is watchin' borin' snorin' news and I don't want to leave the room!

while you listen to music?
Of course, I do everything while listening to music!

while you’re on the computer?
Er...No. I don't know how you could??

when you were little did other children tease you about your reading habits?

Yeah, a little, but I read mostly because I was teased, it was the perfecto way to escape real life - who's laughing now, eh?!!!

what’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down?

Oh, Necklace of kisses by Francesca Lia Block it's about Weetzie Bat now she's a grown up - it was magical and beautiful and I went straight back to page one and started it all over again when I finished it!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

It's been one of those weeks.

Tuesday night was fab obv.

Wednesday I went to visit my stepdad in hospital and got asked if I was pregnant.

I know.

Had to explain that 'no, I just like to eat chocolate.'

The nurse tried to assure me that this question is asked of everyone who visits a cancer ward 'coz of all the radiation and what-not, but by then, the damage had been done, I was in a grump.

This lasted for only a nano-second though, because when I looked around me, I figured I was one very lucky lady to only have a podgy tummy to worry about.

In showbiz news...did anyone see the VMAs?

Poor Britney. It was like car-crash TV.

Then there's the unbelievable amount of brutally harsh press that has followed.

I used to really heart Britney - what was that film she did? I blimmin' loved that...Crossroads, that's it.

I still do heart Britney very much I just don't know why she's playing this whole lot of crazy out in front of the media. Why are her peeps letting her do this?

In a new segment of the blog I've imaginatively titled 'Things I've read lately that you might love too...'
I highlight things I've read lately that you might love too - clue was in the title really wasn't it?!

Notes From The Teenage underground - Simmone Howell - there's a few rudy,nudy moments in places so it's not for the v.young readers, but this YA fiction is by far the best book I've read in ages. The story follows Gem, a 17 year old outsider girl who loves films, she defines herself through the movies she sees and uses them to outcool her friends - it's a story of wrong boys, lost souls, fractured friendships and acceptance. Totally recommend it!

Sugarpaper Zine - gorgeous girls Selena and Kandy who I met on Myspace, have created the very best zine you'll ever read!
I LOVE zines A LOT.
I love a glossy mag too, but zines are just 100x cooler and this one even comes with a felt-purse to make - I'm still trying to master blanket stitch but I have totally got my Tracy Turnblad backcombed hairdo going on!!

In other news... The Man and I went to see Atonement yesterday. Save your pennies, don't go, unless you've read all about it and think it's something you'd like to see obv. Otherwise I wouldn't bother. James 'yummy scrummy Mcavoy is indeed hot, but he is hotter in Finding Jane and that film is really, really good. Keira is great, but she's better in Pride and Prejudice another really, really good film. This film, the storyline sucks and the ending. Total copout.

Am enjoying Hell's Kitchen far more than I thought I ever would - I've been trying not to watch too much TV but LOVE HK! I LOVE Brian Dowling, I used to work with him on SMTV for a while, he was fab, The Man has a picture of him with Brian.
It's his favourite picture ever.

It's even sapped into our everyday life because when pals Vix and Martin came round in the week, while Vix and I sat and chatted, The Man and Martin got their Marko on in the kitchen!

Martin wore my rather fetching Lady Luck skull and cross bones scarf as a bandana and The Man wore his KPS skull hat, it was a cross between Pirates of the Carribean and Masterchef!

They made delicious s'getti bol and shouted things like 'fingers are for burning' and 'let me take you on journey' v.funny.

Am lovin' Scouting for Girls as recommended to me by Miss Stephanie - thanks chica - I've been singing 'she's so luv-er-lee' all week!!

Oh, and I'm having a love/hate affair with my Kate Nash album - first I think I love it, then her cok-er-ney accent makes me cringe a little, then I like it again. Might listen to something else today.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I've started a new exercise - not the kind where you get all sweaty, I don't like sweating - no, this kind is quite simple, I say thank you!

It's not that I wasn't a polite girl before because I totes was - just ask my Pops, but in an attempt to boost my daily happiness, each night before I skip off to the land of Johnny Depp-filled dreams, I've started to get thankful for the li'l things...

Each night, in a really cute notebook that I've decorated with things I heart, like cupcakes and Marilyn, I write at least three things I'm thankful for that day.
Yep, even the days that seem so, so unbelievably sucky - especially on those days in fact, it really helps to find the good things and celebrate 'em! You might have to look super-hard, but you will find 'em - the fact you've got running water, how good it feels to soak in a bath full of bubbles, the slice of chocolate cake you ate to make you feel better, the new HSM soundtrack for example!

I even say thanks for things I want and don't have yet, like my fabulous pink Nissan Figaro - I so want one of those - in the hope that I trick the universe into making it happen!

So, don't wait for Thanksgiving day to get your thanks on, do it now and get happy!

The things that make me happy right now are:

The new ish of Elle magazine - I LOVE Elle.
Bubble baths
Friends - in real life and online - support, love, fun and laughter - it's the best!
Sugar Paper zine - you get a free purse to make, it's ace!
Getting to hang with Lola Love each day
Buying books
Getting decorated, packed-to-the-brim snail mail - I love real life letters
My Portabello Pink nail varnish
HSM2 soundtrack
Buying myself Lillies - I ADORE Lillies especially the ones with the pink inside. Sigh.
Listening to my ipod on oversized headphones
Accessorising - especially my brand new pink beret (haven't got it yet, but I know it will make me happy!)

I will make this a regular part of my blog entries too, nothing wrong with doublin' up the goodness - what makes you jump in the air happy??

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I am just back from a weekend in Glastonbury - never been before and the place really has magic in the air. I was there for a 'Goddess' weekend run by my gorgeous friend Cordelia and I am now filled-to-the-brim with fabulousness and am channeling my inner goddess which consists of a heady mix of my inspiro-girl icons past and present - Wonderwoman, Madonna, Oprah, Beth Ditto, Nigella, Kirsty Allsop, Marilyn, Betty Page, Audrey...ahhhh!

For most of my life I've been a girl with lots of boy mates.
My relationship with girls was not good.
Girls were bitchy, girls were nasty and at my school, girls hurt me with words.
Boys didn't judge me, they laughed with me and felt comfy with me, like they didn't have to do all that bravado stuff that's involved when you're trying to impress a girl you fancy. Obviously at the time, this was tortuous. As a teen girl I was all about crushin', but while they may not have fancied me, they made fab friends to laugh with and to hang with - I did not join in any ball games though, that would have just been silly.
Girls couldn't work out why the cool boys wanted to hang with the fat girl, so as if they needed it, I un-intentially gave them more fuel for their dislike of me.

Obviously now, as an agony aunt and lifecoach, I can see that those girls were threatened by me.
Li'l ol' me.
They were so eaten up with their own insecurities that the only way to feel better about themselves was to make other people feel bad.
That's really sad.

Now, as a girl in my 20s, my relationship with girls has done a complete turn around.
I can't pinpoint exactly when the turn around happened, but I know it was about the time when I stopped letting their words hurt me.

Y'see, I believed what those girls were saying. I thought I was worthless and that no boy would ever fancy me.
But when I realised that was their insecurities, their hang-ups, I dumped those thoughts and started re-programming new ones.
I found it hard to love myself, but I deffo started to like myself and when I did, life became sweeter.
And for the record, turns out boys did want to kiss me, and before I met The Man, let me tell you, I kissed A LOT of boys.

I've now attracted some of the most fabulous members of girlkind that I can now call friends and this weekend has attracted another 5 fabulous ladies to my circle. I write books for girls, I work with girls, I run workshops for girls, I celebrate girls because there really is nothing better than spending time with, celebrating, being inspired by, other fun, fiesty, fearless and fabulous girls, so:
Next time you see a girl with a fab bag, tell her.
Next time you think someone looks gorgeous, don't try and find faults, just tell her.
Next time you pick up a trash mag where they circle the bad bits of a celeb girl, don't buy it.
Show some love to fellow girlkind, because let's face it, when us girl's team up, we freakin' rock!

In other news:
Not wanting to be one to jump on the bandwagon, but I am LOVIN' Delilah by Plain White Tees.

The front man, Tom, has more than a touch of the cuteness about him too, not that I would ever let a cute guitar-playing singer dude with a John Lennon-esque hair-do sway my musical tastes. Ahem.

Also, I love September.
It marks the beginning of Autumn, which is basically Lisa Season here in pink world - I'm itchin' to purchase autumn/winter attire - gorgeous Pink Lady Carla has got me all excited about berets. I want to work a fuschia pink one with my black bob and pretend I'm all Paris-girl-chic - any ideas where I can get one?