On… Things I Like Right Now

Sea Salt Soap – the divine Lydia sent me a great stack of these as an early birthday present and I ADORE them. Anything with sea salt is pretty much guaranteed to be on my ‘fuck, yeah’ list.

(Image via @thesocialvixen)

Salty Caramel icecream from Steve’s Ice Cream. See above re: sea salt.

Per-Fekt Skin Perfection Gel in Luminous.
Let’s ignore the ridiculous brand name, shall we? This is like being airbrushed. By God.
In the UK you can buy it here.

Barleans Greens. If you drink this once a day you never have to eat a fruit or a vegetable again.

(Okay, that is a lie.)

These old man pyjamas. Fox, if you are reading this, I would like these for my birthday.

(Actually, can someone please forward this to him? Thank you.)

The Darlings by Cristina Alger. A Madoff-inspired tale with brains, wit and compassion. This book continually surprised and charmed me. Loved it. Just a damn good book.

This bikini
. Almost everything that Nasty Gal makes is too slutty-hipster for me, but I adore it anyway. Actually, Fox, can I have this bikini for my birthday too, please?

Le Fashion blog. I would wear anything this chick told me to wear.

Superbus. My band du jour.

You know what I don’t like? The new Blogger interface. It just took me half an hour to make the images and text line up for this not-awfully-impressive-anyway post. Ricockulous. Am I doing something wrong? Or does anyone know if I can do back to the old way? And how are you guys, anyway?

Edit: It turns out I was using the Blogger thingummy in HTML rather than straightforward Compose. I’m just gonna bite my finger and stare into space bashfully for a while, okay?

Share Button

On… Errol aged 9 months



He’s just so goddamn cool.

Share Button


Okay, ladykats (and gentlemankats). I need your help.
We’re trying to name my new book series. And it’s HARD.

Naming a book is like coming up with a new name for your best friend. You know your friend so well – how can you possibly pick a name that sums up everything they mean to you, so new people meeting them will think ‘ooo, great name, I bet she’s cool/funny/nice/interesting’, too?

So naming a book SERIES is twice as hard. Make that twenty. Because you can’t just describe one character, or one plot, or one theme. You need to come up with a sort of umbrella title. Like Sweet Valley High, or The Babysitter’s Club, or The Famous Five, or whatever. It has to be big, it has to encompass everything, it has to be memorable and have a little bit of magic.

Then, after you’ve named the series, you need to name the individual book titles. Which is, of course, easier – as you can use that particular book’s plot as a jumping off point. So I’m not too worried about them.

Okay, shall I tell you a little about it?

The basics: It’s a series about five best friends sharing a house as they navigate their early 20s. They’re starting adult life, figuring out what they want to do and how they’re going to do it, having relationship meltdowns, throwing parties, getting drunk, making mistakes, you know. All the good stuff. (And yah, I know about the damn HBO series GIRLS. I first pitched this series idea two years ago*, goddamnit, way before that idea was a twinkle in Lena Dunham’s eye. And mine is way funnier. Way. Funnier.)

The personality: It’s an action-packed wild ride of new adulthood, starring girls you’d want to have a drink with, dudes you want to slap or salivate over, and the kind of storylines that make you gasp and weep and bark with laughter and above all, turn the page. (Is that overselling it? Screw it, let’s run with it.)

Each book in the series is narrated by a different character. So she’ll have her own exciting story to tell.

We’ve been calling it UNION STREET up till now because, well, we just did. But it’s not very exciting. And then for a while I wanted to call it ROOKIES, but I am the only person who is dancing to that particular tune, which is never a good sign. I’m also toying with my original title for it, which was TWENTYSOMETHINGS, what do you think of that? And THE BEST OF ANYTHING, which is a play on THE BEST OF EVERYTHING, which I have loved forever. I fear none of them have that zingthwack! that happens when you hear the right title. Like A GIRL LIKE YOU. That title had an immediate zingthwack! (THE DATING DETOX, not so much. But that’s another story.)

Any ideas, dearest readers?

*It takes a long time to launch a book series. A VERY LONG TIME. Planning and writing it is just the half of it. So, thank you for your patience, my loves, I have been working my ass off, and soon I will have SO MANY books for you to read that you’ll be sick to death of me. In a good way.

Share Button

On…. NARS Carthage


Despite owning more makeup than I could ever, ever wear (so much in fact that it’s slightly shameful, and friends of friends sometimes say ‘can I see your makeup drawer?’ when they come over, because they’ve heard through the grapevine just how excessive it is), I just bought a new lipstick.

NARS Carthage.

My first thought, after ‘oooo I look nice!’ was ‘hot damn, this would look great on my friend Amy’. Then I thought how great it would look on Susan, and Sarah, and Catherine, and Kirsty, and Lydia, and Andrea, and Trini and Maddy and Eleanor and Victoria and Kat and Fi and my sister and my mother and my agent and oh my God pretty much every woman I know.

Allegedly Emma Stone is wearing it in this shot. She is cool.

It’s a bright hot pink with red and coral in it, super-opaque, smooth, long-lasting. Yah, it’s bold, and yah, it takes a smooth chap-free lip (Lansinoh or Vaseline and an old toothbrush will sort you out). The kind of lipstick you would wear if you were one of those bathing beauties in an Esther Williams movie. It’s incredible with pale skin (I am still pre-fake-tan this year, so I’m milky-white. You know, the kind of white with a bit of blue in it? Yah that’s me), and I saw a very bronzed girl trying it on and she looked breathtaking. It would look amazing on Asian skintones and phenomenal on darker skin. It makes your teeth whiter and your eyes brighter. It’s hopelessly devoted to you. Like a young Olivia Newton-John.

So for Pete’s sake stop reading my stooopid blog and go and buy it. Or at least try it on.

PS Yah I am a writer. Yah I have no right to talk about cosmetics. Yah I’m going to do it anyway.

PPS The other day I found this photo of James Spader on my desktop. How did it get there? I don’t know. I like to think that it found me. Let’s just run with it and bemoan the fact that in this day an age it’s almost impossible to find a man who will rock a sockless loafer, pale grey suit, open-neck shirt, Lady Di hair and come-hither eyes, a lit cigarette and a glass ashtray balanced so perfectly on his knee. I need to re-do my website this year, and get some photos taken, and honestly, I’d be delighted if I could pose EXACTLY like this.

Share Button

On…. hello New York

I was going to tell you guys every detail about our first week in New York, about jetlag and flights and writing stuff and baby admin and you know, all that sort of thing. But do you really want to hear about my lost morning in Buy Buy Baby? I think not. Let me sum it up: we’ve spent the week settling in and New York is just big and beautiful and sunny and gorgeous and generally double-fist-pump-in-the-air perfect. I feel very happy and lucky and thankful. And hungry.
I shouldn’t be hungry, we’ve eaten ricockulously well since arriving. And as you probably know, I like restaurants. I like bars. I like eating. I like drinking. I like talking to people whilst eating and drinking in restaurants and bars. (You see where I am going with this.) And I thought you guys might like to know where I’ve been so far…

The Mermaid Inn

Met up with a lovely friend Susan. We sat at the bar, drank prosecco and ate blackened catfish. Highly highly recommend.

Saxon + Parole

Dinner with Fox and two of our guy friends in NYC. Mike was thrilled to find out that I’m using his last name in my next book. He was less thrilled to discover that it’s a girl’s last name rather than a totally awesome dude. Anyway, I had beet and goats cheese salad followed by an excellent pork belly.


My new favourite cocktail bar. I drank Two French Sisters. I’m not the biggest drinker in the world since Errol was born, unsurprisingly, so after one I was a giggly wreck.


The fried chicken sandwich. I DIE.

La Colombe

Best coffee I have ever tasted in Manhattan. Errol likes the brioche.

Cool Italian in the Bowery Hotel. We had breakfast there. Baked eggs. Apparently you can bake them. Who knew? (And yah, it was totally named after me. Shh, don’t tell anyone.)


Went with BFF Sarah and her husband. Sarah is preggers, by the way, and I hadn’t seen her since she got preggers, and in fact we haven’t even lived in the same country for about nine years, so I thoroughly embarrassed myself by bursting into happy tears when I saw her for the first time. I am tres uncool. The company was exceptional, but the food was meh.

Coming soon: food adventures in Brooklyn.

Share Button

On… B*tches In Bookshops

I like everything about this.

Share Button

On… Gold On The Ceiling

Your instructions:
1. Pop your collar.
2. Put on your darkest sunglasses.
3. Leave the house.
4. Put this song on your iPod.
5. Swagger.

The world is your bitch, my friend, and you are its daddy.

Share Button

On… New Girl

New Girl might be the best sitcom ever.


Because Jess is a Real Girl.

Unlike every other female twentysomethingish ensemble sitcom character that I can think of, she’s not simply the Hippie, the Ditz, the Princess, the Nerd, the Tomboy, the Slut, the Bitch, or the Neurotic.

She’s just a Real Girl. She’s sometimes a bit of all those things, and she has a soupcon of hipster kook, but she’s also silly and quick and warm and vulnerable and confident. In other words, she is complex and she surprises you. She’s a Real Girl.

And best of all, she’s funny. Very very funny.

Now, of course, all sitcoms rely on archetypes for laughter and conflict, and I get that. So does chicklit, after all. But it just feels so good to have a heroine like this. Someone I can actually identify with and genuinely like. A female character who gets to be funny, intentionally and not intentionally. For once, the joke isn’t always on her.

The archtypical female sitcom favourite, and up till now, the character most likely to not have the joke always on her, is the Cool Girl With Balls.

The Cool Girl With Balls is the character that Rachel from Friends turned into after being a Princess for the first few seasons, the kind that the girls in How I Met Your Mother compete to be, the kind that the dumb blonde on The Big Bang Theory is turning into, in fact, the kind that all alpha female sitcom characters evolve into eventually. A sort of watered down Suck-My-Dick-Sexy-GI-Jane type with a penchant for put-downs as punchlines.

But here’s the thing: Cool Girl With Balls is competitive, cold, insecure and no fun at all. You wouldn’t want to be her friend. Hell, she doesn’t make friends. Every woman I’ve ever known who pretends to be a Cool Girl With Balls is actually miserable and constantly wondering why she feels so sad and lonely. (Here’s a hint, sweetie: you’re acting like a bitch.)

New Girl knows all this, of course. In a brilliant middle finger to those sitcoms, the ultimate Cool Girl With Balls character turns up in New Girl, as the cold-as-ice-and-way-too-skinny-lawyer chick that Nick is dating. She refuses dessert, ‘doesn’t have a lot of female friends’, refuses to be warm or bond with Jess, ridicules her girliness as though it was an act, in summary: acts like a Cool Girl With Balls. It’s so brilliant I kept breaking into cheers.

Here’s Jess’s speech from the end of that episode, defending herself to the Cool Girl With Balls. It’s perfection.

I break for birds. I rock a lot of polka dots. I have touched glitter in the last 24 hours. I spend my entire day talking to children, and I find it fundamentally strange that you’re not a dessert person. That’s just weird and it freaks me out. And I’m sorry I don’t talk like Murphy Brown, and I hate your pant suit and I wish it had ribbons on it to make it slightly cute. And that doesn’t mean I’m not smart and tough and strong.

Join me in a fist pump, my friends. God, I love that speech.

Because I am a girl, too. I like lipstick and manicures and romantic comedies. I have a sewing kit with lace and pearl buttons in it. I can spend half an hour talking to my sister about eyebrows. Flowers make me happy. Sometimes I skip. I don’t like kittens and I don’t like polka dots and I hated The Notebook, but that’s because I’m not a cliche of a girly girl. I’m just me. I am what I am and I like what I like.

I know a lot of girls like me, and you know what? We’re fucking awesome.

I would like to buy Liz Meriwether – the showrunner and head writer for New Girl – a drink.

Share Button