Saturday, 30 July 2011

The Saturday Salute 30.07.11

Image thanks to slumberingheart

Woah now. We've reached the end of July already? I guess the way time flies by must mean, at least, that I'm having fun! I certainly am this weekend because - as you read this - I am (hopefully) sunning myself at Womad, sipping a cold cider (really, Megan? At 9 o'clock in the morning? Okay, maybe not yet...) whilst listening to a wonderful array of world music. I'll be back on the Charade beat next week to begin, dun dun DUN, Archive August!.

For now, let's get linky with it. (A close variant of 'getting jiggy with it'.) NA-na-na NA-na-na NA.

// I'm moving into a new flat soon. Five words: prospective house-warming gift, please.

// I love Chloe Cook's illustrations

// How to easily stencil your own t-shirts. Will certainly be trying this when I reach that mystical, far-off bubble of time where I can sit around all day and craft. Sob. 

// I want someone to make a vegetarian version of this!

Adios, mi amigas! Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Is the Universe Preparing Your Upgrade?

Image thanks to steve jurvetson

"A new life begins for us with every second. Let us go forward joyously to meet it. We must press on, whether we will or no, and we shall walk better with our eyes before us than with them ever cast behind."
Jerome K. Jerome

So you lost it. Lost out. Lost direction. Maybe things look a bit dismal, a bit disarrayed, a bit – dare we say – disappointing. I wrote a while back about trust. Lately I’ve been thinking about upgrades.

In your heart, I think that you know what you lost wasn’t quite living up to the ‘dream’. That maybe it wasn’t meant for you long-term. That maybe it was simply a lesson that came to an end.

Here’s what I’ve been wondering: what if maybe, just maybe, the universe decided that you deserve better?

With that in mind, instead of looking regretfully over your shoulder: you can turn forward. You can wait the new opportunity about to be placed in your path. You can expect an improvement – aware that there is space for that now.

You can recognise the message on your screen for what it might really be:

Closing all current programmes... 
The Universe is installing your latest upgrade. 
This may take some time...

You choose to look at your circumstances as a complete shutdown, or simply a restart. There is only so much space in our lives to be filled, and sometimes we need to clear out in order to welcome in more. Sometimes we need to uninstall to upgrade.

Yes, there will probably be a gap between losing the old and receiving the new – a gap that can feel cold and empty. But it’s up to you to dance in those gaps; to use the time to focus on what you really want; to open up your eyes so that you are ready to, first perceive, and then receive, the next gift.

Make space for your upgrade.

Commit to the possibility that things are always getting better, whether it appears that way or not.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Charade Turns Three: Time for a Birthday Throwback and Your Chance to Win!

Image thanks to yvette

From Monday it will officially be Archive August here on Charade. “What’s that all about?” I hear you ask. Well, August marks the three year anniversary of this’ere blog (the big day is the 14th). I’m approaching 700 posts (I know!) and I thought it was about time I dug up some golden-oldies and gave them a new lease of life. I’ll be re-posting with new pictures, doing a spot of proofreading, and finally updating my Explore page. Hopefully, you’ll get to see a few articles you never spotted before, and I’ll give myself a fuzzy-proudzy feeling. WTLB and my Salutes will go on as normal.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So how do I WIN?

Ah, funny you should ask! Seeing as I haven’t done a giveaway in, oh, roughly half a century – and you are the most deserving of audiences – I thought I’d get in the Birthday spirit and whip something up for you.

I am giving away a free place on my upcoming (ee!)Course AND two of the original Charade 08-09 Annuals AND a goody bag. Oh yes: that’s four chances to win! (I’m making up for lost time.)

How can you enter?

♥ For the chance to win a totally FREE place on my eCourse:

Post any feature article from the Charade archive onto your own blog with a little introduction as to why you chose it, and add this tagline at the end: Post originally written by Megan. Part of 'Archive August' on Join in the fun and win! (with a link back to this post, please!)

♥ For the chance to win the goody bag (which will be a bit like a Christmas stocking, only without the red and green theme, or the boring Satsuma), including something sweet-smelling, something edible (not a Satsuma) and something wearable:

Just gimme a Tweet! Say something in the manner of “Help Megan & celebrate their third birthday and join in the fun of 'Archive August': (link) Re-tweet to win!” Or whatever you can squeeze into 140 characters!

♥ For the chance to win a FREE 08-09 Annual:

Recommend a friend on Facebook. I’ve set up a topic and all you have to do is each post a comment which includes both of your names, so I know you’re pals! e.g. “I’m Jane recommending Jill” + “I’m Jill recommended by Jane.” The winning pair will each receive a signed copy.


You can enter for any or all of the prizes, and the winners will be picked at random. However you decide to enter, leave me a comment here or drop an email to and let me know what’chu did! Any questions - email me and I'll get back to you next week.

You have until the end of August to enter, so there is absolutely no hurry (and you can bet I'll keep reminding you, 'cos I'm annoying like that.)

Loving you long time, whether you’ve been here since day one or just popped in last week for a cup of tea and forgot to leave.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Graduation Elation!

Here are the pictures of my graduation that I promised you! I was awarded First Class, no less, and I am a very happy bunny. We celebrated in the sunshine with champagne and smiles. Now, time to tackle the real world...

Monday, 25 July 2011

Words to Live By #151

Image thanks to slumbering heart

"Mother, the ribbons of your love are woven around my heart." 

I would like to wish a very happy birthday to my wonderful mum, Tamsin, who is forty-eight years young today. Love you mum!

Saturday, 23 July 2011

The Saturday Salute 23.07.11

Image thanks to widerbergs

Hi there. So I graduated today, pretty neat! Wanted to share a picture with you but I don't have the right wire to connect my dad's camera to my computer. Watch this space...

Linky-time. (Said with 'Hammer-time' enthusiasm).

// Also kind of loving this one.

// Oh, and this one.

// ...this one.

// aaaand this one.

That is all. Kiss.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Come Rain or Shine: 4 Festival Outfit Ideas

So, did I mention I'm going to Womad? I did? Oh well, I'm kind of relishing the novelty as this will be THE FIRST festival I have ever been to. Yes, I am a 22 year-old festival virgin. Try not to feel too sorry for me, won't you?

But all that's about to change. And, in the waves of excitement, I've been thinking up some outfit ideas. Whilst the £135 ticket means I won't be rushing out to purchase anything new to wear, I still had fun rustling up these bad boys. Hopefully they will inspire you too, whether you’re a festival virgin or veteran; shimmying at Shambhala or serving lemonade at your local village fĂȘte!


If the sun doesn't happen to shine at your festival of choice, you can still let your stylish-side shine. With floral prints, & pink, & polka dots, you're really spoilt with this one. And the rain drop earrings might just make light of less-than-ideal weather conditions... Item details here.

For that picnic-in-the-park vibe, you could do worse than this red-and-green-dream! Just don't get any grass stains on your white culottes. Item details here.


A little bit Lolita and a lot of fun. Your friends won't loose you in heart-shaped sunnies and polka dot playsuit! I love these short red wellies and that bow straw hat is a real winner in my world. Item details here.


Slightly more low-key, this little brown and black ensemble will still get you noticed for all the right reasons! Sleek black wellies worthy of Kate Moss, and complete with sweet touches of gold - a girl needs a bit of glamour even if she is wading through mud and using a portaloo! Item details here.


Which festivals will you be going to this summer, and (more importantly) what will you be wearing?

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Make more mistakes!

 Image thanks to nicki

You are young. You’ll regret the things you didn’t do. Mistakes rule-out. Mistakes check the box. Mistakes are experience: the very act of living.

So why, oh why, are we all so afraid of making them?

  • Your finger hovering above the ‘Send’ button of that email you’re afraid is a mistake.
  • Putting off that phone call that might be an even bigger mistake.
  • Avoiding a confrontation, afraid you might say the wrong thing.

And what of the mistakes we’ve already made? They cling to us like the plague. That boy you shouldn’t have dated. That outfit you shouldn’t have worn. The job you should never have done.

Word to the wise, kids: c’est la vie. That’s living in all its glory. F**k ups; face-ups; flops.

It’s your choice if you now want to turn all of that into your FORTUNE. Your wealth of experience. The gasoline you need to go FULL SPEED ahead into making more marvellous mistakes.

I say:

Multiply your mistakes.
Magnify them.
Make more.

It is when you make mistakes that you know you are wringing every last drop out of life; trying all avenues; dancing all the dances; tasting everything on the menu to see if you like it.

"What do you first do when you learn to swim? You make mistakes, do you not? And what happens? You make other mistakes, and when you have made all the mistakes you possibly can without drowning - and some of them many times over - what do you find? That you can swim? Well - life is just the same as learning to swim! Do not be afraid of making mistakes, for there is no other way of learning how to live!"
Alfred Adler

A few bumps and grazes are surely worth the adrenaline rush of running straight at life, rather than pacing around it in tentative, shuffling sidesteps?

And remember: a trip-up often throws you further forward than a simple step.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Words to Live By #150

Image thanks to jane

"Follow your inner moonlight; don't hide the madness."
Allen Ginsberg

I just watched Howl. Damn good is all I've got to say.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

The Saturday Salute 16.07.11

 Image thanks to danielle

So I am back in fair Wales, though it's gone from super sunny to wet and windy. Boo! BUT it is my graduation next week, and then I'm hopefully going to Womad, so it's not all bad. These might keep you occupied if it's a bit grim where you are:

// Do you need reading inspiration?

// Be still my beating heart: the world's most romantic travel destinations.

// Awesome.

// How to Be Happy Anytime from ZenHabits.

"Life will suck if you are always wishing you’re doing something else. Life will rock if you realize you’re already doing the best thing ever."

Have a lovely weekend, rain or shine!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Bee-a-utiful Birthday Celebrations!

This is what my weekend looked like celebrating my good friend's birthday - also known as lovely. Check me out in my shirt, shorts and bracelet, all charity shop steals!

Monday, 11 July 2011

Words to Live By #149

Image thanks to robb
"Faith is not simply a patience that passively suffers until the storm is past. Rather, it is a spirit that bears things - with resignations, yes, but above all, with blazing, serene hope."
Corazon Aquino

Saturday, 9 July 2011

The Saturday Salute 09.07.11

Image thanks to poppy thomas-hill

Hello you virtual vixens & cyber sauce-pots! 'Tis the weekend again and, as you read this, I am steaming my way towards Bristol for a friend's Birthday party and a week of general revelry (every week should be a week of general revelry). What are your plans?

//  Make the world's easiest skirt from What Would a Nerd Wear.

// The Wars of Adventure from Jodi is brill. One for printing and sticking on the fridge?

// Nubby says Do What You are Meant to do Now. I second that!

// Toni Morrison on value.

Have a whale of a weekend, whatever you're up to. Hasta pronto.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Pale and Interesting: Reasons To Avoid Sunbathing

While it might be really enjoyable, sitting in the garden and having a snooze in the sun or relaxing by the pool on holiday can cause serious health problems. Too much exposure to the sun can be dangerous and here are just a few of the many reasons why you should stay out of the sun.

Risk of skin cancer

When you are exposed to the sun, you begin to develop a tan as your skin creates a pigment called melanin to protect it against UV rays. Although you think a suntan makes you look healthier, even the slightest hint of golden glow may indicate sun damage. When the skin cells are unable to repair themselves they may become cancerous and this is a real concern.

Premature ageing

If the risk of skin cancer wasn't enough to put you off sunbathing, there are plenty of other reasons to avoid staying out in the sun. Exposure to the sun can age the skin, causing it to become wrinkled and leathery. Ageing is a natural process but with around 90% of skin changes being caused by the sun you can protect your skin by avoiding excessive skin exposure.

Cold sores

When thinking of the problems caused by the sun, cold sores might not be at the top of the list. However, the lips are very delicate with only a thin layer of skin and little melanin protecting them. This means they can burn very easily and people carrying the herpes simplex virus have to be particularly careful as sun exposure can cause breakouts of cold sores.

Cold sore symptoms include a tingling or itching sensation around your lips before small blisters develop, but creams might provide a certain level of relief.


Your skin and lips are not the only parts of the body affected by sunbathing – the eyes can also suffer damage from too much exposure to the sun. UV radiation is thought to increase the chance of developing cataracts; symptoms of which include loss of transparency and blindness. Cataracts can be cured but they damage the eyesight of millions of people every year. If you are out in the sun, look after your eyes by wearing UV protective sunglasses to reduce glare.

The next time you think about stepping out into the sun, remember these health concerns and ensure that your health always comes first.


Featured: JD Williams

You know that guilty pleasure of flicking through your mum's favourite catalogues at the kitchen table with a cup of tea? Secretly rejoicing in the comfy-looking and reasonably priced clothes that can be delivered 'right to your door'... No? Is that just me? Ahem... let's forget I said anything.

Come on. We all do it (at least I'm hoping we do...) And I know that for the lovely, curvy girls among you, catalogues can often offer a lot more choice than the highstreet. That's where JD Williams might just come in. 

With everything from jersey basics, to formal dresses and even cruisewear (ooer!) in sizes 12-36, JD Williams is sure to fill you with that warm and fuzzy catalogue thrill.

Although it isn't quite the season (despite how the English weather has been warning us of Autumn the past few days...) you'll also find a rather noteworthy selection of womens jackets from JD Williams. And they start from a gasping £12. Bargains ahoy!

♥ ♥ When the season of pink noses does eventually roll around, pair this duffle coat with a crochet hat and knee high argyle socks for a bit of Gossip Girl flair.

♥ ♥ It genuinely warms my heart to see brightly colourful coats amid the usual sea of black and grey ones and you'll certainly turn some heads in this one. Wear with a white beret and red tights if you're feeling bold.


I know there will probably be a lot on the site that won't interest us young, hip and trendy types (picture me totally not keeping a straight-face as I attempt to bundle myself into that bracket!) but there are certainly some bodacious bargains to be had, so take a peek! Failing all that, isn't your mum looking for a new catalogue?

Have a lovely Friday!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Stay Smiling: Recognise the Magic Moments

Image thanks to poppy

One powerful tool for manifesting and maintaining positivity and happiness in your life is to wake up and smell the proverbially coffee-scented moments of magic that occur daily in our lives.

The other day, my sister’s boyfriend and I went to collect a table and chairs that I’d bought for a steal on eBay, armed only with a Nissan Micra and a screwdriver. Things did not go smoothly. We got lost in an area where we were offered a stolen bike. We got stuck in traffic. It was raining. When we did find the right place, the chairs wouldn’t stack as hoped, and the screwdriver had the wrong bit on it so we couldn’t dismantle the table. It was one of those times where you could just grab your hair and scream. But, instead, we laughed at the comedy of it all and stayed positive. We'd come all that way and decided to just do our best, despite it being seemingly impossible to get the whole lot into the tiny vehicle. We manoeuvred the chairs and whole table out of the apartment door, down two flights of stairs, and out across the wet car park. We opened the boot of the miniscule car, gave each other a hopeful glance, and set to work. After five minutes of laughing and sighing and gasping with wonder – we clicked the boot shut. The whole set was in. Somehow we’d done it. It was pure magic.

It made me realise these moments happen a lot: delights disguised as dramas, where life is actually busy joining up the dots for you – you just can’t see it. Like when you think you’re horribly late, but the concert starts just after you arrive with near-perfect timing, with no waiting in queues. Or, when you royally f-up a trial shift for a new job, only to get a job you love a few weeks later. Or, when you miss your bus, but then get talking to the impossibly wonderful girl who missed it too, who will become one of your very best friends. (All of which have happened to me.)

When a situation seems bad, give the universe the benefit of the doubt and stay smiling. You might just find that life is filled with moments of magic. And, if you listen, you might even hear the sparkling chimes of the universe on your side, working to give you all the things you’re dreaming of.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011


Shoes. Shoes. What can I say about shoes? Well, compared to some, I wouldn't exactly call myself a shoe girl. Bags have always been more my thing. And yet, even I can't deny the lovin' feeling that pervades you when you slip on a brand-new pair of heels, booties, or brogues. If that's your thing, I think you might want to ask someone politely to hold your purse prisoner whilst you peruse the rest of this post...

Cue sighs of lust for this saucy selection:

♥ ♥ I'm imagining these worn with a cream trapeze dress and opaque black tights, no? With impossibly smoky eyes and a beehive?

♥ ♥ These are just something else. And by something else I mean something seriously good. I'd wear them with super-skinny black jeans and a vintage pussy-bow blouse.

♥ ♥ For those casual days skipping about town, buying yourself flowers, and hanging out in second-hand bookshops with your best friend, these would be just the thing! I'd rock them with cream tights and a floral dress. 

Which are your favourites? See more Viva La Diva designer shoes.

Don't worry if you're a devout-bag girl like me, Viva La Diva also cater to your needs! Go and check them out.  


Monday, 4 July 2011

Words to Live By #148

Image thanks to poppy

"To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance."
Oscar Wilde

Saturday, 2 July 2011

The Saturday Salute 02.07.11

Image thanks to i.anton

I know everyone is saying it but... can you believe it's July already? This is turning out to be one lightning fast year. I have to say, however, that the second half is looking to be a lot better than the first, with a whole load of great things coming together pour moi. I kind of don't want to jinx anything by announcing them all... but I promise to spill all the proverbial beans a.s.a.p.! Though you know my eCourse is going to be one of them.

Links, glorious links!

// How to Be Bigger Than Yourself is warm&fuzzy reading material to the max:

"...For energy to radiate. For revolutions to transpire. For what we once perceived as separate to be known as is in this state of unity that our collective answers surface, allowing us to be incalculably bigger than ourselves."

// Danielle is on fire lately, with another bangin' article, this time on using your psychic telephone. I did it and it genuinely worked, who'd've thunk it...

// You tell'em Emerson: Give All to Love.

// Simple Destops is too good. My favourite.

// My travel bug is already hopping around on my shoulders, and tugging my hair, and whispering naughty things in my ear, and this isn't helping: the best places to stay from great neighbors around the world.

Have a lovely weekend (I know you will!)

Friday, 1 July 2011

TOP SECRET INFORMATION (that isn't really secret because I just, you know, announced it...)

I'm creating Charade's very first eCourse. It's about being happy. Not just happy "ha ha", but ludicrously, deliciously, ambitiously happy, and it sho'is hawt.

Aptly, I've decided to call it Ambitious Happiness.

People seem to be searching for a lot out of life these days: toe-curlingly fulfilling relationships, sky-rocketing careers, snazzy homes, hot bods and all that other stuff that sells those pesky magazines. But life isn't a check-list of getting what you want; it's being fulfilled by life itself, whatever it throws at you. I call this being happy and I really, truly believe it's getting happy that gets you all the stuff in the magazines (or, at least, the stuff you still find that you want once you are rip-roaringly happy!)

In other words: forget the career ladder, climb the happiness ladder. Forget finding prince charming, find happiness. Forget losing weight, lose the obstacles in the way of your happiness... okay, okay, you get the picture. The point is: all those things come out of who you are, inherently, and if that you isn't happy, you'd better fix up, look sharp, and start getting your joy on.

You dig?

I haven't been this excited about something since whispering word of my Annual way back in 2009.

I was sorta' kinda' hopin' that... you might be a little bit excited about it too?

And that, if you were... you might want to hear a lil'bit more about it?

I was right?! YIPPEEEE!

SIGN UP HERE and things will start cooking! In other words, I'll  send you timely emails with more information... :D

NOTE: Due to the nature of the course, places will be very limited - I'm talking counting the participants on your hands, people - so it would be a good idea to get on the list if you think you're going to want to come and play.

Can't wait to hear your responses, I hope you are as thri-hilled as I am!