Pick of the Year: 2009


  1. 50 Cent – Get Up
  2. Kanye West – Heartless
  3. Lady Gaga – Just Dance
  4. Kevin Rudolf – Let It Rock
  5. Lily Allen – The Fear
  6. All American Rejects – Gives You Hell
  7. Flo Rida – Right Round
  8. Katy Perry – Thinking of You
  9. Noisettes – Don’t Upset The Rhythm
  10. Eminem – We Made You
  11. Black Eyed Peas – Boom Boom Pow
  12. Veronicas – Untouched
  13. Little Boots – New In Town
  14. Kasabian – Fire
  15. Jordin Sparks – Battlefield
  16. Take That – Said it All
  17. Paloma Faith – Stone Cold Sober
  18. Chipmunk – Diamond Rings
  19. JLS – Beat Again
  20. Pink – Funhouse
  21. Just Jack – The Day I Died
  22. Lady Gaga – Love Game
  23. Dizzee Rascal – Holiday
  24. Jay-z – Run This Town
  25. Taio Cruz – Break Your Heart
  26. Jay-Z & Alicia Keys – Empire State of Mind
  27. Robbie Williams – Bodies
  28. Cheryl Cole – Fight For This Love
  29. Cobra Starship – Good Girls Go Bad
  30. Florence & the Machine – You Got the Love
  31. Kesha – Tik Tok
  32. Leona Lewis – Happy
  33. Lady Gaga & Beyonce – Telephone
  34. Rage Against the Machine – Killing in the Name

What I Wore – Christmas 2017

‘The older I get, I guess I wear less sparkles’ – Blake Lively

There was a time in my life, long ago as is may seem, where I used to go out every Friday night without fail, however now i’m well into my 30s I’ve very much swapped rolling out of Blu Bamboo at 2am and lime bacardi breezers for Netflix and red wine. That is of course apart from December, where all bets are off and all the festive celebrations are in full swing. I probably go out in December more than the rest of the year combined and finding stuff to wear has always been the bain of my life.

Luckily 2017 was a little different as I changed jobs in October which meant i could re-wear a lot of my previous party outfits, in fact the only thing i bought new was a Christmas jumper from Tesco!

So here’s a run down of my Xmas 2017 wardrobe:

Girls’ night out – Friday 1st December, Destiny’s Child Tribute at Wylam Brewery 


I really struggled with what to wear for this as I knew i’d be dancing all night and wanted to be comfortable. Tempting as it was to throw on the trusted ‘jeans and a nice top’ combo, this was essentially one massive hen do of a night and all my friends were wearing dresses, and i suffer from severe FOMO. As it happened this dress was super comfy and even though i had to swap shoes with Steph at the beginning of the night because hers ripped her big toe to shreds,  still managed to dance the night away!

Work night out number 1 – Thursday 6th December, dinner at Miller &Carter followed by drinks


This was the big work night out so if I was going to buy something new for a night out it would be this one. How funny then that this skirt and top are probably the two oldest items in my wardrobe. The black satin skirt i got in Primark for New Years Eve 2010 and the white blouse (Oasis) i got in 2009 when I followed a girl into the toilets in Chase to ask her where she got hers from.

Girls day out – Saturday 9th December, Bottomless prosecco at No28


I was lucky to be invited back to No28 to update my review of their bottomless prosecco deal and seeing as it was officially the coldest day on record anywhere on earth ever I thought I’d go semi festive. I cannot even describe how much this jumper is up my street and only £6.99 to boot (from H&M) position for favourite Christmas jumper now filled.

Work night out number 2 – Thursday 14th December, dinner and drinks in Eastbourne


I was pleased this do was a bit more low key as i didn’t fancy dragging my sequined Kate Spade number all the way down fro Newcastle to Eastbourne and you can never fail with the ‘jeans and a nice top’ approach (or JNT as it will now be known – it’s a fashion rule my friend Carrie & I live our lives by!) The jeans are my faithful Rosie jeggings from Matalan which I have in every colour and the top is from River Island. On this occasion I was thankful for the Premier Inn in Eastbourne who found me a safety pin to fix the top to mt bra otherwise my new team would have gotten an eyeful of my beestings.

Christmas Jumper Day – Friday 15th December


I was embarking on the 6 hour journey home on Christmas jumper day so wasn;t able to take part in the annual works photo but I was still repping from my seat. It was Steph who brought this jumper to my attention, which is from Tesco, knowing my love for Dachshunds. And Sequins. And Christmas. And Jumpers.

Christmas Day – Sunday 25th December

I said last year that gone are the days when i would be bothered about my Christmas Day outfit – which to be honest was always just a JNT affair anyway. These days i’m all about the novelty t-shirt and the stretchy expandable jeans for my burgeoning tummy. This t-shirt I got from Primark a few years ago – i think t’s actually a mans, but is super comfy and hides all the pre christmas lumps and bumps I acquire during December

Everything you need to know about Impostor Syndrome

‘I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.’  – Maya Angelou

One thing I love in life is definitions, almost too much, I love it when I hear or read something, and i think ‘oh my god that’s so me’ I’ll be honest, usually it’s the lyrics to a Pink song. One thing that I keep on coming back to, and that not many people seem to know about, is the theory of Impostor Syndrome.


Also known and fraud syndrome or the impostor phenomenon, impostor syndrome isn’t actually classed as a mental disorder or even a distinct personality trait (I tend to disagree on that one) but is something probably 99% of us have suffered from at some point in our lives and is a phenomenon that’s been highly researched.

I genuinely think for me, it is a distinct personalty trait of mine and is something that’s been inbuilt in me since I was born. For me, it’s so much more that simply just a lack of confidence, it’s the constant fear that despite evidence to the contrary I’m convinced i’m a fraud and that i’m going to get exposed in some way.

I’ll be honest most of my feelings of being found out or uncovered as a fraud relate to my work life rather than my home life, i very rarely find myself worried that I’m going to be uncovered as a bad friend or wife however at work I constantly have a feeling of ‘flying under the radar’ and that eventually it’s going to get discovered that I don’t have a scooby doo what i’m doing and will be given the boot. I’m also not good with praise, and if someone pays me a compliment I’ll often tell them why they’re wrong, if if someone likes my top i’ll tell them how it was only 99p on eBay, although I concede that’s less about impostor syndrome and more about me loving a bargain.

I’m a real sucker for over reflection and dwelling on anything i consider myself to have failed at or if I’ve made a mistake and I brush off any success as luck, or good timing. Honestly think to yourself, how often do you find yourself thinking ‘phew got away with that one’ when really you probably didn’t get away with anything, you succeeded because you did the right thing and the right outcome occurred.

If you look into famous people who have admitted to being sufferers, they’re all women, and yes there is a theory that it’s a particular trait of high achieving females (woohoo) I don’t really buy into that all that much because I know my husband, brother and dad all suffer to varying degrees as well, in fact I think i get most of my worried or anxious traits from my dad. I just don’t think men talk about it as much.

So being someone who loves to label themselves I was thrilled when I found out there was a name for all these horrible fraud like feelings I’d felt my whole life, the problem is, having a label on something doesn’t make it go away, sometimes getting what you want isn’t always the best thing in the world, because once you get what you want you then have to figure out what to do with it.

There are a couple of things I try and remember when I’m feeling like a particular big old fat fake to try and feel a bit better about myself:

  • If you’ve made a mistake and you’re dwelling on it, all you’re doing is keeping that mistake alive and present. How often do you go home and think about mistakes other people have made at work? What makes you think other people are thinking about you?
  • Mistakes are things you’ve done, not who you are. Making a mistake doesn’t make you a fraud, it just makes you wrong.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others. As Baz Luhrman says; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind, the race is long, and in the end it’s only with yourself’. Things may be shit right now but they won’t be shit forever.


  • Have one person who doesn’t allow you to wallow in self pity. I’m lucky, I have several who encourage and reassure me but also keep me in check when I need it!

If it is not addressed, victims can develop anxiety, stress, low self-confidence, depression, shame and self-doubt

Particularly common in high achieving women

Brushing off praise

Fear of failure

Being self deprecating


Pick of the Year: 2005



  1. Scissor Sisters – Filthy/Gorgeous
  2. Rooster – Staring At the Sun
  3. Ciara – Goodies
  4. Chemical Brothers – Galvanize
  5. Athlete – Wires
  6. Ashanti – Only You
  7. Eminem – Like Toy Soldiers
  8. Doves – Black & White Town
  9. Lil John – Let’s Go
  10. Kaiser Chiefs – Oh My God
  11. Verbalicious – Don’t Play Nice
  12. Britney Spears – Do Somethin’
  13. Phantom Planet – California
  14. Feeder – Feeling A Moment
  15. Gorillaz – Feel Good Inc
  16. Destiny’s Child – Girl
  17. Killers – Smile Like You Mean It
  18. KT Tunstall – Other Side of the World
  19. Rob Thomas – Lonely No More
  20. Gwen Stefani – Hollaback Girl
  21. John Legend – Ordinary People
  22. Green Day – Wake Me Up When September Ends
  23. Missy Elliott – Lose Control
  24. Backstreet Boys – Incomplete
  25. Mario – Here I Go Again
  26. Kanye West – Diamonds from Sierra Leone
  27. Inaya Day – Nasty Girl
  28. Roll Deep – The Avenue
  29. Daniel Powter – Bad Day
  30. Simon Webbe – Lay Your Hands
  31. Gorillaz – Dare
  32. Pussycat Dolls – Don’t Cha
  33. Coldplay – Fix You
  34. Bowling for Soup – Almost
  35. Kanye West – Gold Digger
  36. Backstreet Boys – Just Want You To Know
  37. Will Smith – Party Starter
  38. Crag David – Don’t Love You No More
  39. Darren Hayes – So Beautiful
  40. Oasis – Let There Be Love
  41. Robbie Williams – Advertising Space
  42. Nizlopi  – The JCB Song

10 of the Best: Quotes for an Overthinker

‘I admire the linear and decisive way a certain kind of man thinks, to my curlicue boundless overthinking’ – J. Courtney Sullivan

I tried really hard this year not to make any resolutions because they’re always the same, eat better, exercise more etc etc but one thing I have been consciously trying not to do this year is not over think everything so much. Last year was bad for my overthinking, whether it be at work, with friends or saving money, I seemed to be constantly getting myself into a tailspin trying to imagine every and any possible outcome to whatever minor problem was on my troubled mind at that time.


But you know what? 99% of the time, in fact no, 100% of the time, none of those far fetched scenarios ever happened, and everything worked out absolutely fine. Now, I know as well as anyone that just saying ‘i’m not going to overthink any more’ simply doesn’t work. You need to practice it. I’ll probably always be an overthinker, it’s in my wiring, but I have found these useful quotes, which do help me put things in perspective, (in reverse order of favouritism) the last one being such a particular fave of mine I have it on my desk at work!


‘Some questions should never be asked, because they have no answer, and the questions themselves serve only to haunt with grinding guilt and second guessing’ ― Bobby Adair

‘Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action comes, stop thinking and go in’ – Napoléon Bonaparte

‘The more you talk about it, rehash it, rethink it, cross analyze it, debate it, respond to it, get paranoid about it, compete with it, complain about it, immortalize it, cry over it, kick it, defame it, stalk it, gossip about it, pray over it, put it down or dissect its motives it continues to rot in your brain’ – Shannon L. Alder

‘Thinking will not overcome fear but action will’ – Clement Stone

‘Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere’ – Emma Bombeck

‘Be where you are, stop over-thinking, and focus on what you are doing’ ― Roy T. Bennett

‘Don’t get too deep, it leads to over thinking, and over thinking leads to problems that don’t even exist in the first place’ ― Jayson Engay

‘You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute’  ― Tina Fey

‘Don’t worry about the future or worry that know that worrying is as affective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind’ – Mary Schimch

‘The world is full of people who will help you manufacture tornados in order to blow out a match.’ ― Shaun Hick


Four Lane Ends

Back when we lived in Cramlington, Four Lane Ends was the closest metro to us, so anytime I didn’t feel like sitting on the Arriva 42 bus which seemed to go via Berwick to get into the centre of Newcastle, we would drive down to ride the rail. Like Haymarket and it’s one of the few stations on the network which has been granted ‘interchange’ status, which, from what i can tell basically means there’s also a newsagent and a bus station there.


An interchange that boasts almost 900,000 passengers flowing through the vacinity annually you expect there to be a pretty decent watering hole for at least half of those people right? Right!


If you exit the interchange via the main doors and round the corner onto Front Street, in a couple of seconds you’ll stumble across The Benton Ale House. Now, with a names like that you’d probably be expecting a swanky pretentious hipster Brewdog knock off where you can play a game of ‘spot the man bun’ however, thankfully, the Benton Ale House is none of those things. It’s seemingly naming itself an ale house in the truest sense, a good old fashioned pub that does real ale (and a glass of wine for the ladies) at reasonable prices.


The one thing that struck me most, was how massive it is inside compared to the size of the bar, which seems to sit slap bang in the middle of the pub with different sections circulating around it; a bar to the left, a lounge to the right, and a larger lounge round the back. There was live music on when we called in around tea time on a Sunday; a really good Beatles acoustic band incidentally, which only added to the atmosphere as from memory, it’s the only pub on the WBMT Tour that’s had live music on. And I love a bit of live music.


They had a decent selection of real ales and lagers on tap (well, they are an ale house after all) and any regular reader will know that when it comes to my wine, i like it large and cold, of which this was both; i also quite like it when i get a choice of grape too, however I’ve never yet met a glass I didn’t like so this is less important. And for two pints, a large glass of wine and a lime & soda it was under a tenner.

On first glance I found the Benton Ale House a little intimidating; it looked from the outside a little too local for me, kind of ‘the juke box will stop playing as you walk in’ kind of local however, it’s proof you should ever judge a pub by it’s facade. I could have happily stayed all evening listening to the music and discussing the best Beatles song ever*


Benton House Front Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7XE, 
*It’s She’s Leaving Home in case you were wondering
Find out where else we’ve been on our metro pub adventure here

South Hylton

I’m not shy about admitting that anything south of Central Station if pretty much uncharted territory for the Newman clam and South Hylton is pretty much as far down the line as you can get. Still, at least it’s still on the airport line, which is direct from our dwelling in Bank Foot, so thank heavens for small mercies.

South Hylton station opened as part of the Sunderland extension in 2002. It is quite literally the end of the line and *fact fans* boasts the longest platform on the whole network (at 122m long). If you exit on the right, as, lets be honest you’re not going to be coming form the other direction are you? and turn right you’ll see the Jolly Potter on your right.


It’s a reasonably sized pub which looks inviting enough from the outside, it was reasonably quiet when we visited with friends on a sunny Saturday afternoon however still got a warm welcome and took a seat in the spacious lounge near the pool table. Their website boasts that they were awarded CAMRA Potteries Pub of the Month in May 2016 however sadly, a member of our party was right when they said that they feared this end of the track would be a real ale desert, as the only beer available when we visited was Fosters or Carling.

That said the beer was cheap (£6 for 4 halfs) and the music on the juke box was good so not really a great deal to complain about. It’s not the the kind of place that will blow your socks off but how can you not view fondly a place where ‘Annie’s Jugs’ are only a tenner and you can get a ‘PRONstar Martini’?!


Address:  Railway Terrace, City of Sunderland
Tel: 0191 534 4867
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thejollypotter

Find out where else we’ve been on our metro adventure here