Modern Pin Up

The thing I love about modelling is the versatility, some models identify in to a set category be it fashion, glamour, fitness, pin up, alternative or one of the many other divisions and to start out with, I very much fell in to the glamour classification but during my time at drama school, I took a break from modelling and after I graduated, I found that with the meteoric rise in social media and girls posting all kind of images for free, the glamour industry had almost died out with the end of the ‘lads mags’.

After a couple of years concentrating on trying to be a ‘serious’ actress, I missed being in front of a stills camera so I got back in to shooting lingerie and swimwear, I shot a lot of horror to coincide with the fact that I’d somehow fallen in to being predominantly a horror actress (scream princess) and although I still shoot all of these things, I’ve over the past year or so found myself shooting more and more pin up.

I’ve always loved vintage styling and it’s no secret that I feel like I’ve been born in to completely the wrong era, I love old fashions, mainly from 1940’s and 1950’s (but also have a soft spot for 1970’s), vintage and retro decor and generally the way of life (it’s also not a secret that I’m no feminist).

I love the way so much effort was put in, from housewives to pin up girls and the measures that were taken by all in getting ready each day, the hair, the make up, the lingerie, stockings, suspenders and petticoats, the dresses and of course no ensemble was compete without a matching hat and gloves and a coat of red lipstick.

As much as I’d love to live the vintage lifestyle the whole time, I have no idea how these women did it, or the women who embrace the vintage way of life fully today. 

Firstly, I’m still trying to master the art of putting in rollers, I really should have paid more attention to my Nana who put them in every night and wrapped her hair up in a headscarf without fail before she went to bed every night, and how is it even comfortable sleeping in rollers?

You’d literally have to get up at the crack of dawn everyday just top perfect your brush out or your victory rolls and that’s before you’ve even painted on your face or fiddled about trying to fasten your suspenders.

These women not only had to go through these rituals every day, they were also expected to run a perfect house, make sure their kids were fed and their husbands were kept happy! It must have been exhausting.

I have to admit, there’s no way I could do it every day, I love lounging around in jeggings and a t shirt too much.

Instead I’ve adopted a more modern pin up style but I have got the red lipstick bit down, it totally makes any outfit look that little bit more glam!

Photography by Portrait’s & Pin ups.

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Cancun

I’ve never understood people who go on holiday during the Summer, I mean, I get it if they have kids and can only holiday when the schools are out but otherwise it just makes no sense to me that people leave England when it’s actually warm, it baffles me, it surely makes much more sense to stay put and enjoy the British Summer and then when it gets cold again in the Autumn and Winter, escape for some Winter Sun doesn’t it?

Well, I have to admit, Mexico had never been top of my list of places I wanted to visit, I’m a big fan of Margaritas and Chihuahuas and I like the odd fajita but when it was decided that we’d be going to Cancun for Xmas, I went along with the flow.

We finally arrived, no thanks to the ridiculously long and inefficient passport control and security at Houston as we had to change, note to self, always pay the extra and take a direct flight where possible and NEVER EVER go to Houston airport again, we could also have avoided having to get last minute ESTA’s if we hadn’t transited through the US.

Cancun’s ‘hotel zone’ is perfect if you want an all inclusive, resort style holiday but if you’re just heading out to Coco Bongo Island then it’s pretty much a tourist trap, drinks prices are inflated to the equivalent of that if you were drinking cocktails in London’s West end and you don’t get the feel of Mexico, you could just as well be in Vegas and trying to browse peacefully in the markets there isn’t going to happen, you have vendors constantly harassing you making it a painful experience.

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We stayed in Downtown Cancun, only about a 10 minute bus ride to the Hotel Zone and the beaches, buses run every few minutes and you can get from one end of the strip to the other for 12 pesos.

I was impressed with the majority of Cancun bars having gotten rid of single use plastic straws in a bid to keep the oceans plastic free and protect the wildlife but disappointed and saddened by the amount of ‘captive dolphin experience’ parks advertised.

To visit Mayan ruins and Cenotes, you can either book guided tours or to save money brave the public transport and go it alone. One of the best ways to travel from Cancun to the surrounding areas is by Collectivo, or shuttle bus, they run 24/7 and are much cheaper than the ADO.

We decided to go it alone on our first trip to the Mayan ruins at Tulum, a Collectivo from Cancun to Playa Del Carmen and then another from Playa Del Carmen to Tulum worked out around 85 pesos per person each way, there are boards to read as you walk around to learn about how the Mayans built their villages so it was quite nice for this one walking around alone, we spotted lots of iguanas basking in the sun and a family of coati’s.

We then used google maps to walk about 2km to Cenote Calavera for our first Cenote experience which is the closest one to the ruins.

Only a small sink hole but an amazing experience, you can jump from the edge in to the water or like me, use the wooden ladder to get down to the water, the water is crystal clear and at first it’s a little weird and tickles when the little fist start to nibble at you but once you get use to them, it’s fine and once you swim in to the cave, you have bats roosting and flying about above you, if like me you’re a big fan of bats, it really is a magical experience.

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Our second trip to Coba was an extra bus ride away, we were told there wasn’t a Collectivo from Tulum to Coba so we got an ADO for that part of the journey, at the ADO stn, we were also told by the ADO ticket seller at Coba that there was only one pick up time coming back so we didn’t get time to visit a Cenote along with Coba and then he sent us to the wrong place to get the bus so missed it and wouldn’t refund our tickets, I think he knew what he was doing and wanted us to pay again but as it turns out there is a Collectivo so my advice would be to steer well clear of the ADO rip off merchants and stick with the shuttle bus and reasonably priced cabs if you want to visit a Cenote after your Coba trip, just negotiate your fair before you get in your cab.

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Coba itself was incredible, being more difficult to get to and therefore less popular with tourists, it was one of the last Mayan ruins that you cold actually walk up and we were lucky enough to be amongst the last people to able to climb to the very top as from the beginning of 2019, climbing the ruin has been stopped. The views from the top were absolutely breathtaking though, jungle as far as you could see with vultures soaring high above.

Being vegan in Mexico is tough, it’s like being vegetarian was in the UK 10 years ago, very little, if any options on what you can eat on the menus, if we’d have gone with one of the all inclusive resorts then I dare say that eating would have been easier but we wanted to experience the real culture and cuisine of Mexico so I pretty much survived solely on mushroom tacos, mushroom quesadilla and mushroom tortillas for the first week and a half by which time, Montezuma was taking his revenge on my stomach and I was all tacoed out.

We did however find a hidden gem in La Dolce Vita in Downtown cancun, an authentic Italian restaurant, with a few vegan options for me and then a nice surprise when you get the bill and it’s nowhere near as expensive as you’d expect, amazing service, great food and definitely one to seek out if you need a break from Mexican cuisine.

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We took a day trip to Isla Mujares on a catamaran with drinks, snorkeling and parasailing included and a buffet lunch at a beach club but we weren’t left with much time to explore the island or sunbathe at the beach club and the buffet wasn’t up to scratch, neither of us fancied the snorkeling and unfortunately we couldn’t parasail from the catamaran on the day we went as apparently it was too nippy – although it certainly didn’t feel nippy so I don’t think you really get your dinero’s worth with the tour and my recommendation would be to take a speed boat over to the island from the marina first thing and another back in the evening so that you can explore at your own leisure rather than booking a tour for this one.

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I did manage to get some footage at the beach though of a group of brown pelicans diving for fish.

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We decided to save the best for last and visit Chichen Itza, one of the new seven wonders of the world on our last day and for this one we decided to book as a tour as  with travel along with a stop at a Mayan shopping village, entrance to Cenote X’Cajum and lunch thrown in it worked out more cost effective and we’re glad we did.

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We went with Amigo tours and our guide Rodrigo Cat was just brilliant, a very knowledgeable archaeologist of Mayan decent, he was so informative, we definitely came out feeling like we’d learnt a lot  – including how to say hello in Mayan (ma’lob kiin) and have a new found fascination with Mayan history.

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Centoe X-Cajum was much, much bigger than Cenote Calavera, open to the sky and 35 metres deep, you can hire life jackets if you want to but the water is still and we were comfortable swimming without despite the depth, no bats but some slightly bigger fish swimming about and I’m sure even bigger ones to be seen by those wanting to scuba dive.

There are an estimated over 6000 Cenotes in the Yucatan but only 2400 of those actually studied and registered, swimming in the Cenotes was one of the highlights of the trip and if I were to go back, I’d definitely seek out some more, places so tranquil yet were once along with the temples, places of sacrifice – eek.

I loved Mexico, learning about the history and culture, the colour, the wildlife, (I have a particular soft spot from the great tailed grackle, as common as a blackbird is here and only a little bigger but with a longer tail, feathers a deep shade of blue and a peculiar melody to their call) and up until a certain point, the food.

It helps to know a little basic Spanish as in a lot of the street food vendors and waiters in the more authentic restaurants don’t always speak much English. I learned the word for ‘mushrooms’ on my first day so that was pretty helpful for me and I started learning Spanish on Duolingo (I don’t know why I didn’t think of that before I went) from then on and by the end of the trip I was happily booking tables and ordering my food and drink in Spanish.

It surprised me how quickly I was picking up the language and as a result, one of my new years resolutions is to stick with Duolingo and be fluent in Spanish by the end of 2019. 

I can definitely see myself visiting again one day, maybe staying further towards the Riviera Maya rather than Cancun.

A perfect Christmas in the sun.

Guilt Free Glitter

It’s Christmas, and if ever there was an excuse to wear glitter (not that I need an excuse) it’s Christmas!

I’ve always been drawn to anything that sparkles, maybe because I was a unicorn in a past life, all my friends have come to accept that when they see me, they will somehow end up finding glitter on themselves for days and I have to admit, up until now, I’d never really given much thought to where glitter came from and what harm it could do to the environment, I mean something so pretty could hardly be bad right? Well, apparently, that’s not the case.

I guess with it’s metallic facade, I thought it was probably tiny little flakes of metal, I definitely never thought about it being a microplastic getting in to the ocean and putting marine life at risk.

Glitter in cosmetics, when washed off, in the same way as microbeads for which a ban will come in to force by the end of June 2018 find their way down plug holes and in to the ecosystem, it seems glitter is litter!

I can’t imagine my life without glitter, and  thanks to my friend Zoe Disco (yes that’s really her name, I was at her wedding when the new surname was revealed) a life without glitter isn’t something I had to contemplate for long!

Her company eco twinkle stocks ethical, biodegradable glitter made from sustainable plant derived film and contains no plastic. Packaging is recycled and refillable.

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Fine and chunky glitter comes in lots of different colours and is available in 5mm or 10mm pots. A little bit really does go a long way so depending how many Christmas parties you go to, the pots should last for a while .

For this look I have the chunky silver glitter underneath the eye and the fine on the brow bone.

For more details check out http://www.ecotwinkle.com

Hunting For Fairies

When one of my girlfriends sent me a message to see if I wanted to go fairy hunting, of course my immediate reaction was a great big YES!

Next thing I know, train tickets are booked (Little did I know at this point that this expedition was going to be a 2 hour train journey from Paddington) and three of us are off to The New Forest, Furzey Gardens to be precise. Luckily, we somehow managed to get a First class upgrade on the train and there was Prosecco so along with good company the journey actually wasn’t that bad.

Now I love trees, I even downloaded an Woodland Trust app a few weeks ago to try and identify a tree in my garden and was more than overjoyed when I was successful.

So what’s better than trees? Let me tell you, trees with fairy doors hidden in them, that’s what!

Living in London for the past 10 years, I do love to get back out to the countryside and appreciate nature, the tranquility and the colour.

Did we find fairies? No (Surprising actually considering the Prosecco) but walking through this enchanted forest, we did find lots of the hidden doors spinkled with fairy dust.

Definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in The New Forest. 

I’m not sure about Blood. Sweat & Glitter though, it was more MUD, Sweat & Glitter, I ruined a pair of leopard print pumps, it you go, wear wellies!

 

 

Miss Dani Teeze

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m quite partial to a cocktail or two whether it’s out in a bar or at home experimenting so imagine my delight when High Roller Cocktails created a cocktail and named it after me!

Introducing the ‘Miss Dani Teeze’ featuring some of my favourite flavours and of course completely vegan.

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Of course I had to go out and get ingredients to make it straight away, and as I couldn’t get the Malibu with passion fruit, I added Passoa in to the mix (which actually probably made it a little bit more alcoholic, but that’s not a bad thing right?).

 

Nothing Quite So Sad As A Girl Who Can’t Shop!

Imagine the excitement when I woke up a couple of weeks ago to an email saying that one of my favourite online retailers, Lindybop was having a flash sale – one problem, I’d lost my bank card, a replacement card was on order but with it being a bank holiday weekend it had taken longer than usual for my new card to arrive.

I found four dresses I really liked and added them to my shopping basket ready for when my new card arrived, I waited for what felt like forever, and then the day came that my new shiny piece of plastic arrived in the mail, I excitedly went online ready to complete my purchase only to find out two of the dresses were no longer available in a size 8, I bought the other two that were still available and went off to work, but no matter how hard I tried to convince myself that two dresses are better than none I couldn’t seem to shake the feeling of discontent.

I got as far as my first break and went back online and managed to find two more dresses, one in the sale and one new stock that had flamingos on it and after purchasing both of those I managed to get through the rest of the day feeling less traumatized.

Moral of the story, take better care of your bank card!

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Burlesque

So one lazy afternoon somewhere on the middle of 2016 I was curled up on my sofa with the dogs watching the movie Burlesque, I’d seen it before numerous times but for some reason that afternoon I felt inspired to look online for burlesque classes, I’d done a few drop in classes in the past at Pineapple Studios but was looking for something more advanced and stumbled across an amazing deal with Burlesque Baby for their stage 1, six week course, before I’d really thought about it, I’d clicked the book now button and entered my payment details.

Six weeks flew by and once I’d finished stage 1, I’d been bitten by the glitter bug and soon booked up on the stage 2 and then stage 3 courses under the guidance or the amazing Peggy De Lune.

I graduated in December at Freedom in Soho with my first act, 2 Hearts (it was obviously always going to be a Kylie song) and have bookings already for the start of this year!

Coming up with a showgirl name was tricky, obviously you want something original, I tried Ruby Slippers but when I googled it, it was already taken so in the end I decided not to stray to far from my own name which I’ve used for both modelling and acting, keeps things simpler so Keep an eye out for Miss Dani Teeze!