Call Me Monthly // DECEMBER

I've been considering sacking off these monthly roundups for a while, but in typical Amy fashion I just couldn't stop mid-year because it would have felt incomplete. So here we are in December and it feels like a nice time to stop. I'm thinking of doing something similar but condensed on my Instagram stories in 2020 instead.

I have to say I am most definitely looking forward to 2020 and getting out of probably the worst (yet paradoxically also the best) year of my life. I've been much much happier for a good few months now, but there's something nice and fresh about an actual new year isn't there? (Cliche I know).

Anyway, I'll stop rambling on and give you a roundup of December:

Bastille // Hangin'

Maxence Cyrin // Where Is My Mind

Billie Marten // In For The Kill

RIVVRS // Walk In The Wild

Blossoms // Your Girlfriend

Bill Withers // Lovely Day

The Stranglers // Golden Brown

Artist of the year: Bastille

Listen on Spotify

Non-Stop // It's definitely film over TV series weather, although I can't say this was a particularly festive one. It's about an Air Marshal (Liam Neeson) who receives messages on a flight from someone threatening to kill passengers. Very much recommend and it's on Netflix at the moment, you are welcome.

Jumanji (and Jumanji 2) // Don't judge me, but I'd never seen Jumanji before so when they did that challenge on I'm A Celebrity I had no clue what it was all about. So I watched it, I like it, and that's about it really. (Also, side note, I always thought Jumanji was a giant ape, kinda like King Kong.)

TV of the year: After Life

The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes // This book follows four women as they travel on an aircraft carrier ship from Australia to England so they can be with their husbands who they married during the war. I found it fascinating as I always do when a book is based around something that actually happened. Hooked from the beginning 4/5.

Book of the year: The Tattooist of Auschwitz 

Amy x

The World Is Changing And I Can't Keep Up

I have some confessions to make; sometimes I shop in Primark, my KeepCup has been hibernating in my locker at work for at least three months and I still haven't got round to buying a new reusable water bottle after my old one broke. Oh and occasionally I even forget to take my own bag to the supermarket and end up having to buy a plastic one.

The world is changing and certainly for the better; sustainable living has zoomed to the forefront of modern culture, meaning we're all being more mindful of our waste, less frivolous with our purchases and hopefully kinder to our planet. But boy is it changing fast.

It seems that in the space of a year (I know it's longer than that before anyone jumps down my throat, but humour my exaggeration for the point of this post thank you) we're suddenly all supposed to be zero-waste, cruelty-free vegans and if we're not, well we should feel pretty damn awful about it.

Don't get me wrong, obviously I'm 100% behind living a more sustainable life; I'm already vegetarian and cruelty-free and realistically I'm doing the best I can to live more ethically. But it still doesn't feel like enough. It doesn't feel like enough because there's always something new I should be doing, something I should be putting in my washing machine to stop plastic from my clothes reaching the sea or a new faraway shop I should be visiting so I can put all my pasta in jars instead of buying it in bags (to be fair I was totally up for the latter until wise Matthew pointed out it would probably use so much petrol to get there it wouldn't be doing the environment much good anyway).

With all this change comes a huge mountain of guilt. It's almost embedded in the human way of thinking isn't it? If we can't do absolutely everything then we're never doing enough.

I can barely complete my own to-do list for the day, never mind complete the to-do list for saving the planet.

Answers on a postcard?

I'd like to hope that despite not doing absolutely everything, the fact that I am doing something counts for, well, something. One thing I've learnt this year is I definitely need to stop beating myself up so much (although saying that and doing it are two rather separate things aren't they?)

Here's to everyone who also can't quite keep up with sustainable living, but are trying their damn best.

Amy x

Dublin Q&A

I haven't used the 'ask me a question' sticker on Instagram very many times, so when I used it to see if anyone had any questions about my recent trip to Dublin I wasn't prepared for the questions to mainly consist of random strangers saying 'hi' and someone asking me what my favourite song is (although irrelevant, it's Truth Is A Beautiful Thing by London Grammar by the way).

Anyway, yes, I recently went to Dublin for the first time (bar a visit aged three which for obvious reasons I can't remember). It was actually a surprise birthday trip from my lovely other half and I wasn't originally planning on writing about it, but we did so much good stuff and had such a grand old time I thought it would be a darn waste not to.

As is often the case with travel posts, this is obviously only my (possibly limited) experience of Dublin so it's more of a 'what we did' rather than a 'what you should do'. Many thanks for your understanding.

Where did you stay?/Best area to stay?

We stayed in an Airbnb, which is a good shout anywhere really in my opinion (although obvs make sure you read the reviews and go verified kids). We stayed in Dublin 7 (I believe the districts are split by postcodes), which was North Central. Everything was in walking distance and it was nice enough for inner city, but our favourite area was around the river and the Temple Bar district, so if we went again I think we'd stay closer to there (saying that it's probably horrendously expensive round there so I may eat my words).

Best things to do?

When I'm on holiday one of my favourite things to do is just wander. This probably means we missed out on some of the typical Dublin sights and we didn't do any of the museums, but I love how it gives you a real feel for a place and also means you stumble across things you may not have done had you actually planned a bit more and were dashing from place to place.

The Guinness Storehouse is an absolute must. It was so much better than I expected, really well done and interesting and also we got our faces printed on a pint so why would you pass on that?

Even if you don't like pubs (would be a real shame if you don't when in Dublin) then the Temple Bar district is still well worth a wander just for all the pretty pub fronts; they're bloody beaut I tell you. Also most of them have (good) live music from 1pm every single day and the atmosphere inside them is absolutely fab. Grab yourself a hot whiskey and put your Irish dancing shoes on.

Is it expensive?/How much money should I take?

Dublin is cheap to fly to from the UK (quick pause here to shoutout the 1903 lounge at Manchester Airport who kindly gave us a complimentary visit so we could fuel up on breakfast and early morning drinks), but yes once you get there it's very expensive. It's no more than you'd expect from a capital city, but with the exchange rate being constantly pretty poor too we ended up spending around at least £200 between us across three days.

Would you go back?

I would 100% go back to Dublin, it's a fab place for a mini break and the atmosphere was just amazing especially as it felt so festive this time of year!

Have you ever been to Dublin?

Amy x

Dublin, Ireland

Call Me Monthly // NOVEMBER

In a month where I've once again spectacularly failed in writing anything much on here, here comes another monthly roundup to keep my blogging brain ticking over. December may be fairly quiet on the blog post front too, but in the New Year I'm definitely going to be making more of an effort to put fingers to keyboard and get some of the ideas in my head actually written down! Lucky you eh?

It's been a pretty casual month clothes-wise; winter always does that to me because comfy and warm is the best thing ever ain't it?

I've got a fair few gigs on the cards at the moment so this short playlist is pretty much me listening to the artists I'm seeing on repeat.

Charlotte // All My Life

Charlotte // What Is It My Love

Liam Gallagher // Be Still

Liam Gallagher // Glimmer

Miles Kane // Don't Forget Who You Are

Miles Kane // Loaded 

Lewis Capaldi // Bruises

Bastille // Joy

Bastille // Million Pieces

Listen on Spotify

I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here // Currently about ten episodes behind due to a trip away combined with late shifts, but I'm much more hooked on this than I thought I would be after not having properly watched it for a fair few years. I personally think I'd be a Jacqueline in there.

The Wall // Started watching this as a bit of a joke, started doing Danny Dyer impressions and somehow now watch it every week. November's telly choices are probably my most trashy yet... 

Star of Light by Patricia St. John // I read this as a child, but wanted to re-read it before I gave it to a charity shop. It's quite a heartwarming story, but extremely old-fashioned in terms of writing style. 2/5.

Amy x

AD // The Perfect Christmas Dress // LOOKBOOK

Some of the items in this post were kindly gifted to me by Oasis, but all opinions and questionable poses with Christmas trees are my own.

I'm not really one to invest in a typical Christmas party dress; I'm forever thinking of price per wear and the sparkly sequin numbers that usually hit the high street at this time of year don't fare very well on that scale.

So when  I was challenged by Oasis to create three different party looks with the same dress I decided to test whether I actually could get more than just one wear out of a Christmas party dress. Turns out, yes I can. Who knew? (Lots of people I suppose or there wouldn't be any demand for Christmas party dresses, but humour me yes?)

So here are my three different looks featuring the absolute dreamiest star print dress (oh and if you're interested, you can get 15% off that and all partywear at Oasis with the code CALLMEAMY).

ALL OUT PARTY // For a proper out out Christmas party this is the kinda look I'd go for; I've gone all out with the stars here because dedication. Dress, heeled boots, sparkly clutch bag, but yes still tights because guys it's cold out there okay.

CHRISTMAS DRINKS // The dressed down version; add a denim jacket and a baker boy and you're ready for some casual Christmas drinks, star style.

CHRISTMAS MEAL // I stole the idea of popping a polo neck underneath this dress from Violet and I have to say I bloody love it as a way of making it a bit more casual. I swapped heeled boots out for chelsea boots too and you've got a daytime christmas meal look sorted, still with the same excellent dress. I'll be getting lots of wear out of you cute thing.

Amy x
Hull, UK

Ten Bloggers, One Villa, Much Wine

This post contains gifted experiences. Our villa on the Mansalto estate was kindly provided by Bookings For You.

Ten Bloggers:

Myself (hello I'm Amy)
Violet (organiser extraordinaire)

One Villa:

We stayed in Villa Le Tornaie, which was located on the Mansalto estate between Siena and Arezzo and was about two hours' drive from Pisa Airport. You do need a car to get to the villa, especially if you want to visit anywhere else during your stay and luckily we had four willing drivers (myself included) between two cars and aside from a rather traumatic rocky hill experience the driving was pretty plain sailing. 

The villa itself was the perfect chill out hideaway, complete with swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room, courtyard and huge communal eating space. On our first night we were kindly treated to homemade pizza by Paolo from Massimo Ristorante Belvedere in the dining area, which was the perfect way to settle into the villa and much needed after a very long day.

Tuscany really seems to be a win win region of Italy; you can spend the day completely relaxing within the comfort of your villa, surrounded by idyllic views, you can explore nearby cities such as Florence or Siena or you can discover the history of the area, which is what we did on our first full day of the trip, with help from Arte Al Sole.

After a tour of historic Certaldo (which you need a funicular to travel to - much fun), we were treated to some drinks and nibbles at sunset at Chiosco Ai Renai (which was just the absolute dreamiest location imaginable) before a paper marbling class with Jennifer Leo (can confirm that paper marbling is highly addictive and the kind of thing I'd easily lose hours trying to create the perfect pattern).

One of my absolute favourite things about Italy is, of course, the food. After cooking us pizza on our first night, we spent our last night at Massimo Ristorante Belvedere, just a short drive away from the villa, making (and then eating) our own pasta. Despite a spectacular fail in the form of leaky eggs all over the floor I did manage to make some vaguely acceptable pasta and have even made it again since I got home (considerably more successfully this time I have to say). The pasta making was actually one of my favourite activities of our whole trip and a skill I'm very pleased to now have!

Much Wine:

Our villa was set within the vineyards of the Mansalto estate, which makes wine and olive oil, both of which we were lucky enough to sample during our stay. Not only were we left with a couple of bottles in our villa to sample, we also took part in a wine tasting as part of a tour of the vineyard and cellar (can confirm that fermenting wine smells much nicer than fermenting beer).

We all left with a new favourite red wine and are just waiting patiently for Mansalto to start selling their wine in England!

Have you ever visited Tuscany?

Amy x

A special thanks to Bookings For You for providing us with the villa for our stay and to Violet for being an super organisation machine.
Tuscany, Italy

Call Me Monthly // OCTOBER

At a time when I've not been particularly good at posting anything these monthly round ups certainly come in handy, seeing as the organised part of my mind wouldn't really be able to cope with me skipping one; it would just send everything out of whack wouldn't it?

October has been quite a lovely month actually; it began with a week away in Italy with some other blogging gals (which I will get round to writing about properly soon I promise) and I'm ending it with a few days away in a lodge in Yorkshire with Matthew's lovely family.

Anyway, enough about the finer details of my life; here's what I've been wearing, listening to, reading and watching throughout the month:

I'm having a piano/jazz phase.

Yann Tiersen // Comptine d'un autre ete, l'apres-midi

Ludovico Einaudi // Nuvole Bianche

Bill Withers // Lovely Day

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong // Cheek To Cheek

San Cisco // Too Much Time Together

Blossoms // Your Girlfriend

Count Basie // Splanky

Benny Goodman // Sing, Sing, Sing

Duke Ellington // Take The 'A' Train

Listen on Spotify

After Life // Oh me oh my, if you haven't watched this Ricky Gervais series on Netflix then you really need to get on it. It's the best thing I've watched this year at least. Just prepare yourself for all the emotions; one moment you're laughing your head off and the next your heart is absolutely breaking.

The Angel Tree by Lucinda Riley // I always enjoy books by Lucinda Riley and this was no exception. She always manages to tell two stories in one (one past, one present) but it's never confusing and always keeps me hooked. 4/5.

You by Caroline Kepnes // Yes that's right, I read two books in October. I've watched the first couple of episodes of this on Netflix and quite enjoyed them, but actually found the book a little poor and now I know the (disappointing) ending I don't think I'll bother watching the rest of the series. 2/5

Amy x

BLOGGING // An On And Off Love Affair

Next month will mark five years since I decided I was bored of life and needed a new hobby, so sat down to write my first blog post (I'd appreciate it if you didn't go back and read any of my early posts; yes they're still there for nostalgic reasons, but I promise they're really rather bad).

In that five years I've discovered that if you're in it for the long haul, blogging really is a love affair.

There are plenty of times when I feel like I've 'fallen out of love' with blogging and often spend far too long wondering what I could, or should do differently.

Is nobody reading my content because I've been writing purely for myself?

Am I a sellout for writing posts that make me a little bit of dollar?

There's not really a right or wrong with blogging, and I've learnt that I can write posts both for myself and that make me a bit of money without compromising myself or my blog.

In terms of the love affair, I'd say me and blogging are a little on the rocks at the moment. That doesn't really worry me anymore though because we've been here before; the inspiration and the motivation, along with any real desire to write at all, just aren't really there.

It's easy to become disillusioned with blogging, to question why I even bother when there are a hell of a lot more important things happening in the world than what I wore this week. But then I didn't start a blog with the aim of changing the world, or with the aim of doing anything other than occupying my own little mind.

I know we'll be back on soon, blogging and I; the inspiration and motivation will come charging back with full force, the desire to write will hit me like a ton of bricks and because of that, I won't have time to be disillusioned.

Because when you're truly passionate about something, you ride it out through thick and thin.

When In Tuscany // LOOKBOOK

This post contains gifted items.
My trip to Italy was courtesy of Bookings For You, who provided us with a beautiful villa for our stay on the Mansalto estate.

Hello you dreamy lot, I'm fresh from a five day trip to Tuscany, Italy where much pasta and wine was consumed, impossible looking craggy hills were conquered and a freezing cold swimming pool was braved for the sake of outfit photos (but more of all that in a future post).

For now I'm bringing you a lookbook of my outfits from the week, shot mostly by the lovely Liv with a bit of input from my gals Ashton and Violet. Most of the images were shot within our beautiful villa and the surrounding estate.

Outfit One // Dress - Vintage

Outfit Two // Dress - Asos (here) / Sandals - Boohoo* (gifted) / Sunglasses - Chinese Laundry

Outfit Three // Trousers - Chinese Laundry / Jacket - H&M (here) / Sandals* (as above)

Outfit Four // Jumpsuit - Matalan* (gifted - here) / Hat - Asos (here) / Sandals - Asos (here

Outfit Five // Dress - a Violet Glenton special / Sandals - Asos (here)

Amy x

Tuscany, Italy

Call Me Monthly // SEPTEMBER

This post contains gifted items.

It's certainly starting to feel like autumn isn't it? I've been rediscovering my warmer jackets and jumpers and wrapping up more. I even bought a woolly hat! (Feel free to congratulate me on being so wonderfully organised).

I've also been making a bit more of an effort with jewellery; I was kindly gifted the above gorgeous ring from Carrie Elizabeth from their moonstone rings collection and it's not left my finger. Rings are definitely my thang.

Liam Gallagher // Be Still

Blondie // Call Me

London Grammar // What A Day

The Stranglers // Golden Brown

Rancid // Fall Back Down

Liam Gallagher // Glimmer

Two Door Cinema Club // What You Know

The Last Shadow Puppets // My Little Red Book

Listen on Spotify

How I Met Your Mother // I've seen all of these before, but on the hunt for something easy and binge-worthy to watch we decided to do it all over again. I forgot just how funny they are and because I've only really seen them all once I've actually forgotten a lot of what happens.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris // An extremely powerful read, although one I'd have liked to have been a bit chunkier. It's one of those that really really hits you as it's based on true events and I found the sections at the end really interesting where you can read about the process of the book being written. 4/5.

Amy x

Travel Dreams And Absolute Scenes

Press event // I was kindly invited to an evening of cocktails, food and entertainment by but all opinions are my own.

Growing up America was never high on my travel wish list. Speaking of, I'm finding it increasingly difficult to have any sort of travel wish list because as soon as I hear someone speak about somewhere new/see photos on Instagram I immediately decide I'd like to go. 

But yes, growing up I was very keen on seeing a lot of Europe and much less enthusiastic about seeing anything else of the world; in fact I'll shamefully admit I many a time uttered the phrase 'I'm not really bothered about America'. It's safe to say I can now eat my words as that's well and truly changed, with not only a lot of America, but also New Zealand and Canada being fairly high on that extremely long list.

It just so happened that a week or so after discussing how dreamy a West Coast America trip would be I was invited to an event hosted by eShores based on their USA multi centre holiday to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas (ello there's a £100 discount for you if you book a holiday with them quoting USA/LeedsEvent you're welcome).

Now, I could tell you all about the tasty food we ate (tofu satay you were amazing) or talk you through the ingredients in our cocktails or I could tell you want really happened at the event (heavily featuring Violet and Ashton sorry gals).

16.40 // Each armed with one heavily overpriced drink from the station shop, we got on the train from Hull. I was that annoying person painting their nails and filling the carriage with fumes, Ashton was that annoying person doing her makeup on the train and Violet...well Violet just filled out a survey for the train guard so that's quite nice of her really isn't it.

18.00 // Arriving at Lambert's Yard we were told to 'drink drink drink' by the lovely Jennie because it was free cocktails for an hour. Violet and I politely obeyed and guzzled enough gin to make us do things such as...

18.30 // ...imagining that our main girl crush Chloe Plumstead had turned up to the event and proceeding to poke a little fun at ourselves by doing fan girl impressions of us meeting her. You don't want to hear them.

19.00 // Heading upstairs for food and realising there was wine served with it a bit of bartering and a scuffle ensued before a gin and wine swap was agreed between myself and Violet (am obviously joking about the scuffle but she is feisty so who knows what could have happened).

20.00 // I held my spoon in my pudding for a very unnatural amount of time so Ashton could take an action shot of me eating it. #forthegram

20.30 // I pretended I was sober enough to actually pay attention to the magician. I believe he made Victoria's engagement ring appear out of a piece of fruit?

21.30 // We decided it would be a good idea to take outfit photos on the station platform, resulting in us almost missing the fact our train had changed platforms.

22.00 // Well fed, bleary eyed and content, we were much sleepier and less annoying on the train ride home.

Amy x

P.S. Quick shoutout to Jennie for always organising such fab and fun events. 

Second shoutout to Elouisa for the photo of Violet and I boomeranging.

Leeds, UK