Monday, 30 April 2012

Book Quiz

I saw this on Blair's blog and had to do it.

Favourite book cover: There isn't a book that I instantly am drawn to because of its cover, so I have chosen this copy of Moby Dick which I bought the other day, even though I have yet to finish it. I chose to write on it for Uni, so obviously my interest in it waned about halfway through, which I plan on amending soon as I have officially finished uni for the year! 

What are you reading right now? I'm reading Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh. I haven't read anything by Welsh before, and I rewatched the film a few weeks ago which made me buy Trainspotting and Porno. I want to finish them before I buy Skag Boys. I'm really enjoying it so far! It's a bit difficult to read at first, simply because it is written in a Scottish accent, but once you get used to that. 

Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that? I have a ridiculously long list of books I have bought but haven't read yet. I think the first one I'll tackle may be Moby Dick by Herman Melville, or The Bell Jar, which I have read before but want to re-read, especially as I have chosen to write on it for my dissertation. I'll also read Porno soon too. 

What 5 books have you always wanted to read but haven’t got round to? There are a ridiculous amount! I want to read a lot more Classics than I have done. If I had to list five I would say:

  • Tess of the d'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
  • 1984 - George Orwell
  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy - J.R.R Tolkein. Another summer project
  • All of The Chronicles of Narnia - C. S. Lewis
  • The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

What magazines do you have in your bathroom/lounge right now? I generally don't bother reading many magazines anymore. I have a copy of Grazia, and do enjoy reading Elle once in a while.

What’s the worst book you've ever read? If I don't enjoy a book, I don't finish it, so I can't really single one out.

What book seems really popular but you actually hated? Lovely Bones. I just do not understand it. I read it once and half enjoyed it, but didn't understand the hype surrounding it. I reread it after seeing the film and hated it. Also The Catcher in the Rye. I won't go as far as to say I hated it, but I just didn't connect with Holden Caulfield at all. 

What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone? The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky. I read it for the first time a few years ago and just really, really loved it. It's written in an epistolary form and is really easy to read. I think most teenagers/young adults will be able to relate to it. It's just lovely to read.

What are your 3 favourite poems? I don't know anything about poetry. I didn't particularly enjoy studying it at school, and haven't enjoyed anything we study at university. I do love W.H Auden, particularly Funeral Blues, and I did love Tennyson at A-Level, as well as Anne Hathaway by Carol Ann Duffy. 

Where do you usually get your books? Amazon. I pretty much buy all of my books, I enjoy owning them, unless it's secondary sources for essays, which I get from the library.

Where do you usually read your books? Anywhere I can. I love reading whilst travelling either on the train or in the car. I read in bed, on the sofa. Anywhere really.

When you were little, did you have any particular reading habits? Not any I can remember. I always read before bed. When I was younger I loved reading Beatrix Potter, and loved being read to. My mum read The Hobbit to me when I was 10. It's just so relaxing. 

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down? When I read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It's only the second books of his that I have read (the other being Looking for Alaska) but I adored it. I read it in one sitting. I just could not put it down. 

Have you ever “faked” reading a book? No. I have skim-read books, such as ones I needed to for uni, but more often than not, if I didn't enjoy it, I didn't read it, which made life hard for myself. I haven't ever faked reading one though. Do people actually do that?

Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover? Not really. The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson caught my eye because of the cover but if I read the synopsis and don't like it, I won't buy it.

What was your favourite book when you were a child? Anything and everything by Jacqueline Wilson. I also really loved a series of books that were about dogs, I can't remember what they were called, but there were a huge amount of them and had red covers.

What book changed your life? I wouldn't say so. I've read fantastic books that affect me, such as The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, but I can't say anything has changed my life. Yet.

What is your favourite passage from a book? I'm sad to say that nothing immediately springs to mind. There are small quotations that I highlight on my Kindle, such as this from Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption in Different Seasons by Stephen King which really stand out to me

'Some birds are not meant to be caged, that's all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.'

What are your top five favourite authors? I'm quite varied in my tastes so I'm not sure if I have five different authors. I loved to read Jodi Picoult when I was a teenager, although her books can get a little samey. I enjoy how she acknowledges different issues in her books, but they all have pretty much the same format. My favourites of hers are The Pact, My Sister's Keeper, Tenth Circle and Keeping Faith.
I also love J. K. Rowling because she shaped my childhood. I haven't read widely enough in other authors to establish them as favourites yet.

What book has no one heard about but should read? I'm not entirely sure if there is anything that I've read that many others haven't. I know Perks is well known online, but I'm not sure how many people outside of the online world know anything about it. 

What is your favourite book by a first-time author? The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I believe it's Chobsky's first novel? I just love it. 

What is your favourite classic book? Jane Eyre. It's just beautiful.

5 other notable mentions? Wicked by Gregory Maguire, The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory,  Atonement by Ian McEwan, Looking for Alaska by John Green and Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.

Note: I really want to read some Charles Bukowski. Have any of you read any of his works? What would you recommend?

Also, what is your favourite book and why? Leave me some recommendations! I plan on reading my summer away! 

Thanks for reading x

Weekly Summary #11 (on a Monday)

Before a meeting, Best shoes ever, Sunset on the way back from York,
Going out with Abbey, Abbey's birthday night out, Pretty nails,
Lovely Didsbury, Evening in, Purchase for Dad

  1. This week, as always has been manic! It marked the beginning of my last week of university for the year so it's been a week of final deadlines. I handed in a rushed essay last week and got a crappy mark. It passed, but it wasn't what I wanted. It hopefully won't drag my mark down too much.
  2. I had yet another magazine meeting. I've been way too busy to do any actual work as of yet, but I'm going to get stuck right into it in the next coming weeks, which is exciting!
  3. It is Abbey's 19th birthday today and we went into Leeds on Saturday which was fun, as always. Lydia was out with her friends so we all met up and had a ton of fun. We ended up in a club called Bed. I don't recommend it. It was full of boys who stank of fake tan who kept taking their tops off. Ick.
  4. The weather (yes I'm going there) has been AWFUL hasn't it!? Unluckily I've had to go out a lot too so I've been caught in it. Fun. 
  5. I finally have the primary books for my dissertation research. I'm having a couple of weeks off from uni work but am going to get stuck right in with reading soon, because I'm so excited about it.
  6. My week has been pretty boring, but busy. Right now I am going to hand in my FINAL PIECES of uni work for the year. It's a bit daunting; it's ok, but not my best work. Too much work, not enough uni work over the past few weeks I think.
  7. Less uni does mean more blogging, so if I flood your blog feeds, I apologise ;)
Hope your weeks have been fun!
Thanks for reading x

Friday, 27 April 2012

Thought For Today

'If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.'
- Virginia Woolf

'The man who is aware of himself is henceforward independent; and he is never bored, and life is only too short, and he is steeped through and through with a profound yet temperate happiness.'
- Virginia Woolf

I have a bit of a love affair with Virginia Woolf. Recently I've been feeling a bit lost, so these quotations resonate. 
I hope you're all having a lovely weekend (so far). x

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Random Ramble: Decisions, Decisions.

Tonight I've made a decision about the direction I want my blog to go in (pretty sure this post is a bit anti-climatic. I apologise.)

I've been uhmming and ahhing about where I want my focus to lie, be it beauty, fashion, books, lifestyle. I've decided that I'm never going to be a 'fashion blogger' as I don't have the time, nor can I really be arsed to take daily OOTD photos. Although I do want to include a few in the future. If my sister will take my photos for me (Colette, if you're reading this...)

I've decided, upon reading Blair's blog that I want to focus a lot more on literature. I'm an English student, so reading is a huge part of my life. I'm really loving reading again at the moment, so I want to include it a lot more.

Basically, my blog isn't going to have one focus, there will be bits and pieces (hopefully) of all of the above, but I definitely want to focus much more on the literature/lifestyle posts. I want to start taking more photos (currently thinking of buying a load of disposables for summer, opinions please?!) and documenting things a bit more.

Obviously, when I buy new things/find a new product I like/wear an outfit I like, I'll post about it. I'm not an OOTD girl, I hate having my photo taken, nor am I knowledgable enough about beauty to be a beauty blog.
I'm a new blogger and want to share snippets of my life with all you lovely lot who read my rambles.

What do you think? Is this mish-mash a good idea, would you want to read more of my crap? (ha!)

I guess I'll just see where this takes me :)

Thanks for reading x

I've Been Naughty...

So student loan arrived in my bank account last Monday. I was feeling stressed with essay deadlines (excuses, excuses), so I did what I always do. I went shopping. 
It all started when I saw the below jacket on Jade in this post. I've been looking for a smarter jacket that I could wear on a day to day basis, as I live in my leather jacket. I have a couple of blazers, but nice as they are, they make me feel way too overdressed. This is also lovely and light and a complete bargain.
Jacket, £30 River Island, Cardigan, £5 Primark

I saw this cardigan ages ago in Primark, but didn't like the £12 price tag. I saw it last week knocked down to a fiver and bought it straight away. It's an 8, but it's massive so I can put a black hoody underneath it and it keeps me warm and dry if it's raining outside.

Jeans, £35 Topshop (with Student Discount), Dress, £18 Asos

As a general rule, I don't do jeans. Ever. Or trousers even. I'm very much a skirt/dress wearer. I own 3 pairs of jeans - a dark pair from H&M, some skinny purple cords (much nicer than they sound) and a pair from Topshop which bag off too much, so I've given them to my sister. I spotted these, tried them on an love them. I've worn them a couple of times and they don't bag off around the waist too much. The only thing is, they're supposed to be ankle grazers, but because I'm 5 ft 1, they most definitely are not. 

This dress is my favourite thing ever. It's actually a vest (like I said, I'm short) and I got it in the Asos sale. It looks a bit like a sack on the hanger, but one it's lovely. It is a fraction short at the side, but with thick tights and a longer jacket it's fine. It's beautiful. 
I'm really impressed with the delivery from Asos too. I ordered this on Wednesday evening, chose the free delivery, and received it on Saturday morning. TWO DAYS. Safe to say I won't ever pay for postage from Asos if the free deliver is that good!

Vest, £6 H&M, Skirt, £12.99 H&M

These two are just basics from H&M. I love H&M at the moment, it's really cheap and good quality stuff. The vest is really long, but tucked in to things it looks lovely. The skirt is cute too, I wore it to a magazine meeting last week. It reminds me of a Topshop playsuit I have, but don't wear often because the fit is off. I love the little hearts.

Billy Elliot DVD, £5 Amazon
Shutter Island DVD, £5 Asda
Full Metal Jacket DVD, £5 Asda
Revlon nail varnishes (Mischevious and Charming) 2 for £8 in Boots
Clinique Liquid Facial Soap £15(ish), Boots
Necklace, £8 Asos
Trainspotting, Porno and Daddy Long Legs, Amazon

As usual I went mad on Amazon. After watching Trainspotting for an essay I wanted to read the book. I'm reading it at the moment and really enjoying it. I've never read any Irvine Welsh before. I also bought Porno to read after I've finished. I generally buy all my books new/used on Amazon, unless it's cheaper to buy the brand new copy, so Porno has seen better days, but I kind of like it like that.

I bought Billy Elliot for an essay too, it's just a brilliant film and I own it on video, so it's about time I bought a copy on DVD. I saw Full Metal Jacket and Shutter Island for £5 each in Asda and I haven't seen either. Looking forward to watching FMJ with my dad.

I needed to buy a new Clinique cleanser as mine has nearly run out. It's not cheap, but works wonder for my skin and lasts a good 3/4 months. I bought my first one in January and still have a few uses left. The nail varnishes were cheap, Revlon varnishes are usually about £6.50 (I think) so for the extra £1.50 I bought another. The necklace is a choker style necklace that I bought to go with the dress.

Photo taken from Schuh website (forgot to photograph them)
Converse, £36 (with Student Discount) Schuh

Last but not least! My favourite purchase. I'm most definitely a Vans girl (4 pairs and counting) but I decided it was time for a change. I saw these, and seeing as I got them for the same price as a pair of Vans with student discount I went for it. I've worn them non-stop and they're ridiculously comfy. I've found that Vans are comfortable, but you need to wear them in, I didn't find that with these.

That's it! That's everything! I am definitely on a spending ban now (even though I have another order of books coming. They are for my dissertation though). I'm not buying anything unless I need it, seeing as I'm trying to get a decent amount of savings together before I begin my third (and final eek!) year of uni in September.

I'm hoping to do a couple of 'what I wore' or OOTD type posts soon, but I've misplaced my camera and it is consistently raining everyday at the minute.
I'm thinking of compiling a list of books I want to read over the summer and posting about it, what do you think?

Thanks for reading x

Also, sorry about the crappy photographs, I've lost my camera so these were taken on my phone.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Weekly Summary #10

Trip to Frankie and Benny's with Rose, New dress/jacket/Converse
New Converse (again), Best yoghurt,
Cheapest, nicest Beef Burrito from Font, my face avoiding essay writing

  1. This week has been manic as usual. I came back to Manchester on Sunday night with Abbey and stayed until Wednesday. I wrote an essay in less than a day. I think it may possibly be the worst thing I've ever written and I forgot to put a bibliography on it, but it's done now at least.
  2. I finally finished Wicked! I've bought so many books recently, I can't wait until April 30th when I have no more work to do. I can read for my dissertation and read all the books. I may do a post about what I've bought.
  3. I went shopping with my loan, Lydia and a very hungover Abbey on Wednesday. I didn't spend too much and bought quite a few lovely things. I also bought a few books and ordered a couple of things from Asos too. I'll do a post showing what soon. I want to do an OOTD style post soon, but I haven't got any spare time at the minute! It's absolutely crazy. When I'm not in Manchester essay writing, I'm at Ikea working or having meetings with the magazine team. It's definitely been a busy month.
  4. This week also saw me having a minor emotional break down. The stress got to me and I cried all over my dad and sister. I went out with Rose and then met with Abbey and chatted until the wee hours. I'm still a stressy mess at the minute, but hopefully it will subside once all my work is done!
  5. Also, you may have noticed the new layout! It's all down to Lauren at noirnouvelle. She sells her designs, and I saw she'd posted that she was taking her current ones out of her shop, so I checked them out and fell in love with this one. The pricing is reasonable and Lauren was lovely, helping me with any problems I had. I'm really happy with it! (I made the background myself on Gimp, using this tutorial. Surprisingly simple!)
How have your weeks been? Hopefully they've been less stressful than mine! I'll try and blog this week, but posts may be a bit sparse until the 30th.

Thanks for reading x 

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Booklust Review: Wicked by Gregory Maguire

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

This is the first of many (I hope) book reviews. Wicked is the novel which inspired the musical of the same name. I went to see the musical a few years ago, not realising it was based on a novel. When I found out it was based on a novel, my sister bought me the books (it is part of a quadrilogy) alongside a copy of The Wizard of Oz for Christmas. I've tackled Wicked a few times without ever actually completing it, so when I broke up for Easter I was determined to finish it. And I did woohoo!

Anyway, the review - I'll try not to include spoilers. Wicked centres around Elphaba, who becomes to be known as the Wicked Witch of the West. It tells the story of how she becomes 'wicked', beginning at her birth. You follow her through her life, we discover her relationship to G[a]linda (who becomes known as the Good Witch) and how they met at school. 

The following description is taken from Goodreads:

'Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability, and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to become the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly, and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.'

I was blown away by this book. It differs from the musical, so if you've seen that, I highly recommend this to you. Unlike The Wizard of Oz the book isn't aimed at children, and contains quite a lot of sexual content, which shocked me at first. It is a political and social commentary on the nature of good and evil, using the world created in The Wizard of Oz. There are issues about different races, religions and the way that the land of Oz is ruled by the Wizard.
Elphaba is an intriguing character to say the least. She begins life as almost feral in the way she acts, but she grows to be eloquent and inquisitive, but also very opinionated and always independent, due the fact that she has always been different.

I don't want to say too much else as I wouldn't do the book justice. It is multi-faceted and I'm sure that the next time I'll read it I'll notice things I hadn't before. I wholly recommend this book to anyone. If you haven't seen the musical, you definitely should too. Because it is AMAZING.

What do you think of the book reviews?

Thanks for reading x

Monday, 16 April 2012

Everyday Make-Up

Hi everyone!

I wasn't going to do this post until later in the week, but I've hit a wall with my essay, and have reached procrastination station, so I may as well post it tonight. It's just a quick post to show you the stuff I use on my face everyday. To me it looks like a lot of stuff, but it doesn't take me long to put it all on in the morning.

Top Row L-R: MAC eyeshadows in Satin Taupe and Naked Lunch, Benefit Powderazzi, Vivo Eyebrow Kit.
Middle Row L-R: MAC Mineralise Skin Finish Natural in Light/Medium, Topshop Cream Blush in Head Over Heels, MAC Pearl CCB, Maybelline Gel Eyeliner in Black.
Bottom Row L-R: Real Techniques Buffing and Contour Brushes, Ecotools Angled Brush, Cosmopolitan Foundation Brush, Revlon Angled Brush, Eyeshadow Brushes, Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum, Collection 2000 concealer.
I realise I haven't photographed a mascara, I like the Loreal Voluminous.

Bourjois Healthy Mix - shade 51 Light Vanilla
Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection concealer - shade Fair

I'm really pale, so struggle to find a foundation that matches my skin which doesn't cost an arm and a leg. I've been matched at Clinique but can't bring myself to spend over £20 on a foundation. I've seen this Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation all over blogs so decided to give it a go. I have the lightest shade and have been using it for a couple of months. I really like it! It doesn't make my face look like a mask and lets my freckles come through. The only complaint I have with it is that it's slightly yellow, but it isn't noticeable once it's all blended in; it's really cheap too, about £11. I apply it using the Real Techniques Buffing Brush which I love! It's so soft.
I use the Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection concealer in the lightest shade under my eyes and it's really nice. It doesn't crease or wear off and is easy to blend in. No complaints! I either apply it with my ring finger or blend it in with a brush. It's a complete bargain at under a fiver!

My fail-safe eyeshadow pairing is Naked Lunch and Satin Taupe. I wear Naked Lunch all over my eyelids and then apply Sating Taupe along the crease of the eye. It just looks pretty. I like slightly shimmery (not glittery though) eyeshadows. Satin Taupe photographed slightly browner than how it comes out on my skin, it definitely has a purple tone in it. It's just really pretty. MAC eyeshadows aren't something I buy on a regular basis, coming in at £10 a pop for the pan version. I bought a palette, which has a few shadows in so I buy the pans. They are great quality, but I just think MAC's pricing, on the whole, is ridiculous.

 MAC Mineralise Skin Finish Natural in Light/Medium
MAC Cream Colour Base in Pearl

I bought the MSF Natural in my first year of uni, so I've had it well over a year. I can't remember how much I paid for it, I think around £21, which is ridiculous. I'm not even sure why I bought it. It's a powder for goodness sake, but it is a good powder. I've only started using this daily over the past few months. I think this shade is slightly dark for me, as I wasn't matched properly. The girl at MAC was rude when I asked her to match me, she took one look at me and shoved this in my hands. I think I was interrupting her conversation. Anyway, it's a good powder, but I'm sure there are better ones that are cheaper, I won't buy it again. I dust this all over my face to set my foundation and concealer.

I then apply Topshop Cream Blush in Head Over Heels next (not sure why I haven't photographed it) to my cheeks using the Real Techniques Contour Brush. It's just a nice light pinky coral colour. I also apply Hoola from the Powderazzi palette under my cheekbones with the Cosmopolitan foundation brush to contour.
The Cream Colour Base is a recent buy, well I got it with a gift voucher my best friend got my for my birthday. It's not something I would buy with my own money, but it is lovely. It isn't a necessity and I don't use it everyday but when I do, I pop it on the tops of my cheekbones using my finger tips. It's a lovely light goldy highlighter. 

Last, but not least, I apply gel eyeliner using the Revlon angled brush. I like to do eyeliner with a flick and find the angled brush the easiest and quickest way. I think this eyeliner is about £8 and is so black, doesn't smudge and is generally just perfect.
I use the colour in the far right of the Vivo palette to fill my eyebrows in. I don't spend ages on my eyebrows, literally just go over my natural shade and then set them with the gel included in the kit. This was a bargain at a £5 and is available in Tesco.
I haven't photographed a mascara (I forgot), but I like to use the Loreal Voluminous, which is about £10 and just makes my eyelashes look really thick. My eyelashes are quite long naturally (I get asked if I'm wearing falsies quite a lot), so I just like a mascara to make them look thicker.

That's everything! A bit of a ramble, but there you go I decided to keep my face out of the post haha).

What are your go-to make-up products? Do you use any that I use, what do you think?
Also, would you like to see more beauty(ish) related posts? Let me know!

Thanks for reading x

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Weekly Summary #9

Driving back to Manchester
Lent is over - first bag of Skittles
Maya Angelou autobiography (see previous post)
All alone in the office

  1. I'm writing this post from my room in Manchester! I've been a bit down recently, missing Manchester and getting bored of being home, so seeing as I have an essay due in on Tuesday (eek!) I decided to come home and stay for a few days. I'm so happy to be back. Lydia also comes back on Tuesday, it'll be so good to see her again!
  2. I finished my work experience at The Press on Wednesday. It was good fun, but definitely cemented that I do not want to work in journalism. I spent my time writing up small pieces, and as fun as it was for the three days I was there, and even though the team were amazing, I can't imagine doing it full time. It's spurred me on into applying for internships though; I heard back from one place, where I had to do a test, but I don't think I've got it. 
  3. I've been working more at Ikea too, so I can build up my savings over the Summer, seeing as I currently have £0 in a savings account, which isn't good. I've been there for near enough 4 years and it is really grating. I know I complain about it all the time, and I'm lucky to have a job that is so accommodating, but I just want to concentrate on uni now.
  4. Tomorrow is a day full of essay planning and writing. Abbey is going to come pick me up and take me to Asda once she's finished uni, which I'm sure will be a welcome break. Tonight I'm waiting for my chips to cook, and am going to settle down in bed with a book, catch up on blogs and have an early night. We're also going shopping into town on Wednesday to try and find outfits for her birthday night out in a couple of weeks. Agh I love Manchester. (#mancophile ?)
  5. This week I'm going to brave it and do an 'everyday make-up' post, possibly with my mug in it. Maybe. If I feel brave enough. I'm also going to try and review Wicked seeing as I should finish that tonight, so that should be up after my essay has been handed in.

Shopping as a Pick-Me-Up

With my student loan arriving in my back account yesterday, and me feeling a bit glum I've done a bit of shopping. Well, a few things I bought during the week with a few spare pennies I had in my purse. There really isn't any excuse other than I felt a bit crap and wanted new things. I am definitely an emotional shopper.

Mary Angelou - I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Jon Ronson - The Psychopath Test
Nostradamus - Mario Reading

I bought the Mary Angelou book in Tesco (seriously one of the best places to pick up books on the cheap, RRP on this is £8.99 and I got it for just under £4). I haven't heard much about her, apart from the fact that she's mentioned in 'La Vie Boheme', a song from the musical, Rent. After I bought this I did a quick Wiki search and she seems like a pretty interesting character to say the least!
This is the first part in her autobiography (I believe there's six in total) and if I enjoy it I'll be buying the next installment.

This Jon Ronson novel was an impulse buy. I wandered into WH Smiths on my lunch break on Tuesday and ended up buying it. I hate WH Smiths, it's so overpriced and doesn't always have a wide selection of novels, so I don't know why I ended up in there. I usually buy books online for the cheapest price I can find so paying £9 for this nearly gave me a minor heart attack. Especially when I saw it in Tesco a few days later for £4. Nevertheless, the synopsis made it sound really interesting so I'm excited to read it.

The last book I bought was Nostradamus. This was a true bargain. I found it in a little book shop in Whitby and paid £4.99 for it (RRP £16.99). The book is hardback and comes with its own sleeve. It's a book of the 'Top 100 Prophecies', now when I first looked read that I was dubious, because to me, quite frankly, that sounds a bit daft, but when I opened it and saw the illustrations and the list of contents I was sold. Looking at the contents, I wouldn't call the tales inside 'prophecies', myths seems more appropriate. It is a truly beautiful book, and I'm a sucker for a beautiful book.

I may review these once I've read them. Let me know what you think.

Real Techniques Core Collection £21.99

I've watched Pixiwoo videos for quite a while now, and you'd have to be blind to not notice her brushes popping up all over different blogs, so I wanted to get my hands on some. I wandered into Boots this morning with the intention of buying the Stippling Brush from Samantha Chapman's collection of brushes. However, the stippling brush retails at £11.99, and the Core Collection retails at £21.99, so to me, it was a no-brainer to buy the core collection, where you get 3 extra brushes for a tenner extra. Bargain. I haven't used these yet, but I may pop up a review post, or do an 'Everyday Make-Up' post featuring these. 

I've also placed and order for this jacket after seeing it on Jade's blog (and may debut it in my first OOTD?!). I'm justifying it to myself with the fact it seems nice and light for the warmer months, and I only own my leather jacket and hoodies, so this is also a bit smarter. Other than these purchases I'm seriously restricting my spending - not putting myself on a spending ban, because that wouldn't work. But most of my loan (other than rent and bills) is going into my new savings account. I'm trying to be responsible. I even downloaded a money management app to help me keep track of my spending. Go me.

Have you tried the RT brushes or read any of the books? What did you think? 

I hope you're having a lovely weekend, I have an essay to start, but instead I'm going to read the last 75 pages of Wicked and have some dinner before going to work.

Thanks for reading x

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Whitby (a.k.a. the best place on earth)

WARNING: Picture heavy post!

On Easter Monday me and my friends decided to go on a trip out and chose to go to Whitby. I've been to Whitby loads of times before when I was younger (we had a caravan in Filey for a while) and it is one of my favourite places I've ever been. It's just beautiful, even in the drizzle.
It took us just about 2 hours to get there and it was crazy busy when we arrived at noon.

I'm going to make a bold claim and say that Whitby has the best fish and chips. Ever. We walked down the pier and stopped off to eat, they were bloody expensive though! Colette and I bought a portion to share, along with a can of lemon Fanta (who knew they had it in the UK?! I've only ever had it abroad) and it cost us £5.60! They were worth it though, the fish was delicious. I am biased though, fish and chips is probably my favourite meal.

We walked right to the end of the pier to the lighthouse. I find lighthouses fascinating and beautiful. There's something so safe about them. We had to walk along a slightly rickety bridge and Rose, who is scared of heights, freaked out a tiny bit so we turned back whilst everyone carried on. 


We went onto the beach, I love donkeys, these ones looked a bit pissed off though, imagine walking up and down with kids on your back all days. Especially all trussed up like that, no wonder.
The Fleetwood Mac fan in me couldn't resist taking a photo of this shop name. It's just awesome. The font and everything.

Just before I took a photo of 'Arguments Yard' a bloke was stood in it pulling a face and waving his fist while his girlfriend took a photo, it was hilarious. Whitby's just full of these little walkways. The bottom plaque was from the side of the lighthouse. 


We didn't pay to go into the Abbey (erm £6.20 really?) so I took this photo from over the wall. I don't think I've ever been around the Abbey. The 200(ish) stairs to get to up to the Abbey still killed me, even though there didn't seem as many as when I was 10. I'm just disgustingly unfit.
Yet another cute shop name. This lovely little vintage shop was adorable and sold the nicest clothes that I could never pull off in a million year.

The whole day was great, we wandered round the old part of the town, revisited the Lucky Duck shop, had our tea in a little pub at the bottom of the Abbey steps and did a little bit of shopping. I bought a book, some rock and biscuits for my dad, some blackcurrant jam and some fudge. The weather held off pretty much all day too, just drizzling slightly. 
We got back at about 9 and went straight to bed!

I've got some great news to tell you all, I'm just waiting to see if it all works out before I spill the beans. There should be a review post up soon too, I think it'll be a book review seeing as I've nearly finished Wicked. 
Posts may be few and far between for the next few days as I'm working a lot and have an essay deadline next Tuesday, but I'll do my best :)

How did you spend your long weekends?

Thanks for reading x

Edit: Oh, I also have instagram, my username is piuma_ Twitter: @aptpupil_ and Tumblr (bit of a warning though, my tumblr is a kind of diary, there are a lot of emotional ranty posts over there ha!) 

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Get to know me...

I saw this post on Meg's blog ages ago and have been meaning to do it for a while, so here goes!

I'm on the right.
Vital Stats:
Name: Nicola
NicknamesI go by Nicola, Nic or Nikki which old friends from school call me. Also: Nics, Naughty Nics, Nic-Nac or Nic Nic if my Dad wants to piss me off.
Birthday: 1st October
Place of Birth: Bradford Hospital, United Kingdom
Zodiac sign: Libra
Occupation: Literature Student and hot dog slave at Ikea
Hair colour: Red
Hair length: Short.
Eye colour: Very blue.
Best feature: I like my eyes and my hair.
Braces: In my early teens, my teeth have shifted though.
Piercings: Earlobes and nipple (tmi?). I did have my nose done too but took it out. 
Tattoos: 3 - a vine of shamrocks around my ankle, a feather on my ribs and cherry blossoms on my left shoulder.
Righty of Lefty: Lefty

Best friend: a girl called Eleanor and a girl named Katie. Eleanor moved away after primary school and Katie and I grew apart at high school
Award: Probably spelling or something? No idea. I do have few swimming certificates from lessons?
Sport: Nothing, I'm allergic to exercise. I danced from the age of 4 until I was 18, and loved it. Not that I was any good.
Real Holiday: First place abroad was Spain when I was 3 (I think). My first holiday abroad with friends was to Turkey last year. I want to travel a lot more.
Concert: Tina Turner. My mum is a huge fan, I've seen her twice or three times.

FilmForrest Gump.
TV Show: Masterchef? I don't really have one.
Colour: Grey.
Song: I couldn't say really. I love anything by Brand New and love A Little Time by Beautiful South.
Restaurant: Don't have one, I love Mexican food though.
Store: If I had endless funds, probably Zara.
Book: The Perks of Being a Wallflower is the first thing that comes to mind. There are many others.
Magazine: Elle UK or Grazia
Shoes: I live in my vans.

Feeling: Sleepy.
Single or Taken: Single.
Eating: Nothing,  far too full from ice cream and chocolate. 
Listening to: The news.
Thinking about: How little time I have, and what I'm going to wear for Whitby tomorrow.
Watching: The news
WearingH&M white t-shirt and jeans.

Want Children: I want 4.
Want to be married: Ideally, depends really.
Careers in mind: Publishing (hopefully!).
Where do you want to live: Somewhere close to Manchester, but I don't want to live in the city centre.

Do you believe in:
God: Yes. Born and raised Catholic.
Miracles: Partially. It's a tough one.
Love at first sight: No, it's a silly notion. You need to get to know a person first.
Ghosts: Not really.
Aliens: No
Soul Mates: I think there's somebody for everybody, but I'm not sure if that's a 'soul mate'.
Heaven: Yeah, I'd like to think so.
Hell: As above.
Kissing on the first date: No reason why not!
Yourself: I try my best!

Blogging Targets

image source: Google

I've already done a post about some personal targets I've set for myself here, and I've mentioned in a few posts that I want to introduce some new content into the blog. I've spoken a lot about what I do during the week and what uni has been like for me so far, which I've enjoyed, but now I'm pretty much done with uni for the year, I'm struggling to come up with new content.

I wouldn't class myself as a 'beauty blogger' or a 'fashion' blogger, but my first target is:

  • blog about a new beauty product/favourite beauty product at least once a month.
I'll be the first to admit I don't know too much about make-up or skin care, but I love reading beauty blogs and watching youtube videos.

My next target is:

  • blog more, but make each post different. So if I've already done a 'what I've been up to' type post that week, I won't do another.
I want to mix up content to include reviews (beauty, books or others), and other things. I'm a bit hesitant to do 'outfit of the day' type posts, because whilst I love reading them, I don't particularly like blogs that are just outfits. I like a mixture, and particularly like the way Jen writes her posts - there's a range of topics with excellent photography and they're just fun to read. I may do one or two OOTDs in the near future to test the waters (if I can get my sister to take my photos).

What do you think? What would you like to read? Any suggestions would be really helpful!

Thanks for reading x

Weekly Summary #8 - Happy Easter!

Tess being little spoon, Work, Best ice cream ever,
Arthur fresh from a nap, Henry teaching us about trains, Arthur looking like Hamlet loving hula-hoops,
Anita - West Side Story, Chicken pie, Geese crossing the road
  1. As you can see, I jumped on the instagram bandwagon! I'm kind of addicted. This week was busy, again, with work experience, a magazine meeting, working at Ikea and my mum going away to Lourdes yesterday. 
  2. The magazine meeting wasn't the best; we only had an hour but didn't discuss much at all. The team all seem really fantastic, but getting the ideas off the ground is going to be difficult. We have a plan(ish) set in place so given time, it should be good.
  3. Yesterday I went to visit my nephews, who are my favourite boys on the planet. Henry is 5 and Arthur is almost 2 and completely adorable. We spent the afternoon playing with duplo, reading about trains and dancing. I couldn't be prouder. Then Colette and I went and spent the evening at Rose's. We had chicken pie and cake and chatted and watched films. It was lovely.
  4. My sister, Dad and I went to Mass to celebrate Easter this morning (I haven't been all Holy Week and felt bad). The church was packed so we stood at the back. We watched all the kiddies go to celebrate Children's Liturgy, and there was one little guy, about 3 years old, who was all dressed up in a suit - a little navy number with a red tie. He was adorable and a character. I fell a bit in love with him.
  5. Tomorrow me and a group of friends are going to Whitby, which is one of my favourite places to visit. We used to go all the time when we had a caravan at Filey, but I haven't been in years. Colette and I have said that we want to pay a visit to the Lucky Duck shop and I want to visit the whale bones and climb the stairs. Fish and chips are a must for dinner too. Even though it's almost definitely going to chuck it down, I can't wait!
  6. Next week also marks the beginning of the end of my essays. I have 4 due in before the 30th April, which is quite daunting, two are relatively easy though, so they shouldn't take too long. Ikea have also upped my hours so trying to fit everything in is going to be difficult.
Right now, I'm making the most of a lazy Easter Sunday and watching the end of West Side Story and reading whilst Dad cooks pasta. Toy Story is on at 5.20, are you going to watch? I am. Love Tom Hanks!
I hope you've all had a wonderful weekend (and don't feel too sick).

Thanks for reading x

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Random Ramble: Exhaustion Strikes

at the pub quiz
Hey everyone,
Just a quick post letting you know what I've been up to. It's been a bit hectic yet again this week (so far). I've been at work experience, and writing a lot for the paper - only little pieces, but something might make it into the paper! We shall see. I have my second meeting with the magazine team tomorrow, which I'm excited about, I really can't wait to get started with the whole thing.

I also popped into Leeds on Monday and got pierced all by myself. I felt so proud ha! My friend was supposed to come with me, but he watched Wrestlemania(?!) the night before and didn't wake until 3pm. Lazy.
Some friends and I went to the pub quiz last night. We didn't win but it was a lot of fun! Even though about half of my old high school were there, it was odd seeing so many old faces again.

I'm back working my day job at Ikea tomorrow. It is honestly so draining I can't explain how pleased I'll be when I can leave, but as my dad says 'it's a means to an end' and I'm in no position to be quitting a job right now. I'm just exhausted with the magazine, work experience and working at Ikea.

I've also been looking at work experience placements in publishing houses. The only issue is all of the big publishing houses are in London, and I live just outside of Leeds. I'm going to try and get as much experience as I can this summer so I can concentrate fully on my studies from September so I'm going to see if I can work something out.

I'm a bit uninspired when it comes to post content really, I was thinking about maybe doing a few reviews or something? Just to mix it up a bit and add something new. I'm definitely going to be doing a few book reviews once I finish something (Wicked is amazing so far!). I should really be researching for an essay I have due in on the 17th though.

I'll shut up now,
I'm thinking about getting my shoulder tattoo extended down my shoulder blade, but can't decide. My sister thinks I should just leave it alone. What do you think?

Thanks for reading x

P.S. How amazing is it that Androids can now download Instagram?! (my username is piuma_)

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Weekly Summary #7

Absolutely HUGE iced finger, 
Best quesadilla from Chiquitos
Currently reading: Wicked, 
Professional set-up at my work experience.
Slightly scary photo of my hair cut.
  1. This week has been busy. I had my first meeting and started my work experience, which is going really well so far. Everyone in the office has a iMac, but I'm kind of on the reject computer that nobody really uses (I think), hence the fact that the monitor is stacked on two packets of paper. I'm enjoying myself though, and everyone is really friendly. I've been writing a few small articles, I'm not sure if they made it into the paper as I haven't read it yet. I had the super-huge iced finger as part of my lunch on Tuesday, when I was sat in the sun on my dinner break. They are my absolute favourites! Don't my pasty legs compliment it; I always have been, and always will be pale and freckly, not tan to be seen on my skin. I also had a hair cut, and finally go around to dying it. I love my hair when it's freshly dyed and back to bright red.
  2. Friday was pay-day. I went shopping, I think I might do a small 'haul' type post on the few things I bought. I didn't spend too much, but this month is still going to be tight, at least until my student loan comes through as I went out for a friend's birthday last night, and it's my best friend Ryan's birthday next weekend. My bank balance is seriously bruised, but as of next month, due to working more shifts at Ikea, I am attempting to save, save, save.
  3. After shopping on Friday, Rose, Colette and I went to Chiquitos, which I can honestly say was the highlight of my week. I had the spicy chicken quesadilla for my main which was delicious. I was nursing a serious food baby.
  4. I'm currently taking a break from University reading by re-reading Wicked. I say re-reading, but I've never managed to finish it before so I'm trying to get it finished. I love it. I have seen the musical which is fantastic and makes you view what happens in The Wizard of Oz in a completely different way. So good.
  5. This week is more work experience, another meeting with the guys from the magazine, working at Ikea and hopefully a bit of research done for an essay due in after Easter. Right now though, I'm curling up in bed after this exhausting week and reading until I fall asleep (or go watch Titanic, whichever). Tomorrow I might be going into Leeds with a friend, unless he bails, which is highly likely. Either way it's my only day off this week so I'm not doing anything unless I need to!
How have your weeks been? 

Thanks for reading x
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