Saturday, 30 June 2012

Self-motivation Pep Talk

image source: I'm guessing Rudy Francisco(?) but I found it on Tumblr, as always

A bit more of a personal post I guess. This past month hasn't been my personal best; I've let a lot of things that wouldn't usually bother me get to me, I've had a crisis of confidence and just generally felt a bit down. July is going to change that, it is the month of motivation and hard work, because I am flat out refusing to say 'I can't do this' anymore, because I CAN, I'm pretty sure I'm boring my friends by being a mardy arse a lot of the time too.

July means sticking my nose in books and actually reading. I have read one book on my list of books I wanted to read over summer. One. How pathetic. I am also going to keep nagging the people who have said they'd give me work experience to give me start dates so I can get prepared!

This month I have been bored, which has led to wallowing and lack of motivation. I am ridding myself of envy, and having a little bit more faith in myself, because I can do this, I can live the life I want to live and be ridiculously happy doing it!

I got my second year university results and achieved a 2:1 in all of my modules apart from one, which I predicted anyway, and I am overall extremely happy. I cannot wait to go back so I'm going to start my dissertation studying next week to give myself a kick-start. I also booked my driving test today.

A bit of a ramble I supposed; sometimes I find it necessary to write things down to actually motivate myself. Plus I really loved the image of definitions, how cute is it!?

What do you do to re-motivate yourself and get yourself out of a slump? 

Thanks for reading xx


image source: Tumblr

A little bit different for this month's post - I was inspired by Meg to choose my highstreet picks. I got paid yesterday, so I've made a set on Polyvore of an outfit I want to put together. I wanted this dress the first time it was in stock, but missed it; I tried it on yesterday but it was too big and they didn't have the smaller size in stock. I will try it! The other item I really want is a rucksack/backpack, not necessarily this particular one, but something similar, so if you know of anything similar let me know! I've also been tempted by the American Apparel shawl cardigan, but we shall see!

June has been somewhat of a lacklustre month, what with it being a dreaded five-weeker (my bank balance cried with joy on payday though). A few personal things also happened which weren't the best, so lets hope July is better - and warmer! I want to wear sandals and not worry about getting frostbite or trenchfoot.

Playlist for June has been:

Here's to a sunnier, warmer June! x

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Featured: Aesthetic Magazine

I just wanted to quickly write about a new project I'm involved in. I'm sure you've all heard of Aesthetic Magazine and one of its creators, Michelle, but I just wanted to say that I will be writing book reviews for the magazine. Me being me, I am so excited about it! I finished my first piece today, where I've reviewed two books, (hence no book review posts on this blog recently.)

I am so happy to be involved in this project as it is a blogger-focused magazine, where all the team are bloggers, from writers, to illustrators to photographers. I can't believe I will be featured alongside some of my favourite bloggers, including Vicky and Lily, to name only two.

I also submitted a photo of myself (argh) to one of our extremely talented illustrators, Katie, who will be drawing images of all of our contributors, which I think is such a lovely twist on the usual head shots you see in magazines.

I am excited (how many times can you say excited in one post Nicola?!) to see the finished product, which should hopefully be completed and printed sometime in July, priced between £4 and £5 (I think, check the magazine blog page to make sure!)

Will you be reading Aesthetic Magazine?

Also, let me know of any books centering around a theme I can review in the future - your favourite Classic novel for example. I want to hopefully review more than two books per feature in the future (if any of you read the book reviews in Elle UK - a bit like that) so let me know!

Thanks for reading x

p.s. sorry for the all text post!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Wardrobe Organisation

After reading this post on The Average Brunette (seriously gorgeous blog) I was inspired to show you guys how I organise my wardrobe. Especially as I had just finished cleaning and sorting out my room from top to bottom.

I share my room with my twin sister, so we don't have a lot of wardrobe space. We have three wardrobes - one each and then one for coats/jackets to share.

This is my wardrobe. I can fit quite a lot of stuff in quite a narrow space. The top rail houses any dresses, tops and nice jackets that I don't want to get creased. Underneath the rail I have four baskets which slide in and out. The wardrobes, drawers, rail and separators are all from Ikea.

I have hooks on the door which I hang my scarves/jewellery on. I don't own much so the door still shuts comfortably.

The top drawer holds all of my beauty stuff - make up etc. The front box doesn't really belong in there, it's from my house at uni, but it fits in there quite nicely for the time being, until I move back to Manchester in September. Behind that is a box which holds nail polishes and my daily make up bag. Behind that, in the two smaller boxes, there are little personal nick nacks that won't fit anywhere else in my room. Things like old gig tickets etc. To the right of the basket is my skin care bag (at the front) and a bag which holds the rest of my make up I don't wear as often. I don't own a lot of make up/skin care. The little separators are really handy and help keep everything organised - really cheap too.

The next three drawers are all full of clothing. This is just one, which holds my tops and skirts. The one beneath that holds trousers and shorts, and the one below that has my underwear in it.

It's a bit of a squeeze in there, but everything (just about) fits, and when I keep it organised, everything is easy to find. I'm pretty happy with it.
I store my shoes in a row under my bed. I'm not a shoe girl, so don't own many.

I now must stop procrastinating and get reading for something I'm working on for Aesthetic Magazine!

Thanks for reading x

Monday, 25 June 2012

Beauty Review: Summer Legs Combo - Soap and Glory Breakfast Scrub and Ekos Cacau Leg and Foot Cream

This morning the post man knocked (rather aggressively) at my door and handed a box addressed to me. I hadn't ordered anything so I was ridiculously surprised, to say the least, when I saw it was another Joliebox ( which I am 100% sure was a mistake, but I'm not complaining!) 
I opened it up and inside were pretty much the same products as the ones shown in this post, bar one. So I thought I'd talk about that as I was seriously impressed with it when I used it this morning.

Personally, I do not tan. Ever. I am a whiter shade of pale and covered in freckles. I have tried false tan a few times, mainly when I used to dance and had to wear it on stage and it does not suit me. Especially with my red hair, it looks quite ridiculous. However, in summer my legs and arms get really dry and flaky, especially after I've burnt, but I've found two products that seem to combat the scaly effect.

Soap and Glory Breakfast Scrub

I'm a bit of a cheapskate when it comes to body products, and this pot of exfoliator costs £10, so I was wary at spending so much on it, which is daft when you think about it as you kind of have to look after your skin, don't you?
Anyway, I love it. I had tried an FCUK scrub, but found that it left a greasy residue on my body which felt gross. The Breakfast Scrub doesn't leave a residue, has quite large particles, but isn't overly abrasive, and smells seriously delicious. Like honey. This is only my first tub, but I use it twice a week and bought it way back in January, so it has lasted quite a while, well worth the £10. 
This body scrub leaves my skin really soft, slightly red after use, but I take that as I sign it has done its job, and I colour up quite easily anyway. It is seriously lovely.

This is the product I received in the Joliebox this morning, the Ekos Cacau Foot and Leg Cream. I have never heard of this brand before, but I do like cocoa butters when it comes to moisturising so I thought I'd pop this on my legs after a shower this morning. It is quite a thick, white cream, but blends into the skin really easily and absorbs quickly. I am yet to use it on my feet though.
It smells like cocoa butter, but much more natural smelling, compared to say Palmer's Cocoa Butter range, which can smell quite synthetic and strong. 
My legs can get quite dry so this is excellent for drier skin.
I also really love the packaging of this product. After a bit of googling I found out that all of the packaging - box, metal tube, plastic cap - are all 100% recyclable. 

I think I've found my combination for super-smooth legs this summer!

What is your go-to combination for smooth skin?

Thanks for reading x

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Weekly Summary #19

Coffee with Abbey, Lunch, Joliebox from Meg's giveaway came!
Dropping James off in Sheffield, Tess staring at me, Eurgh,
Face, Birdies, Midnight snack and Steve Zissou

  1. This is going to be short because I haven't done much this week as it has, quite frankly, been shit. Wednesday was a nice day - it was sunny and I relaxed all day, but other than that is hasn't been my week.
  2. My friends have been brilliant this week, cheering me up. Abbey and I went to Manchester on Thursday to empty her flat and also ended up cleaning my kitchen and living room top to bottom.
  3. Rose picked me up on Friday after I had a minor melt down (drama) at work and came home early and we drove her friend home to Sheffield. It took over 2 hours. For a usually 1 1/2 hour round trip. The traffic was mad, but it gave us plenty of time to chat. She's fantastic.
  4. This upcoming week I'm finishing reading books for copy for Aesthetic Magazine and starting dissertation reading (oh hai Sylvia Plath). I get paid on Friday (YAAAAY) which means I can buy my reading lists for uni. I love buying books, and the modules I'm taking next year sound fantastic. Next step: stationery shopping.
I hope you have all been having lovely weeks! and that the weather picks up a bit!

Thanks for reading x

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Beauty Review: Joliebox - Meg's Giveaway Box

Meg recently posted a giveaway on her blog, in which a few people would win a Joliebox. Having never subscribed to any of the beauty boxes, I decided to enter to see what the fuss was about and was picked as one of the winners! 
I tend to read Meg and Estee's reviews of the beauty boxes as I trust their opinions, but there are so many posts about them all over the blogosphere (I hate that word) it can get a bit tedious.

The box arrived this morning and I wasted no time in ripping it open to see what was inside.
The packaging is lovely, quite compact and I thing the little bag on the inside is great! It could come in handy when travelling - could act as a little wash bag or something.

The only thing I was slightly disappointed in was the fact that this wasn't a UK box (I don't think), as the magazine was written all in French. It's a very well laid out magazine, I just wish I could understand what was written inside!

My box contained (from left to right) Lierac Initiatic anti wrinkle cream, Dr. Hauschka Rose Body Oil, Roger and Gallet Creme Sublime Bois D'organce hand and nail cream, Clarins Glass Prodige lip gloss and Science et Mer makeup remover for face and eyes.

Overall I'm pretty pleased with what I got as they are all products I would never buy myself, which I think is the point of the beauty boxes - to try out new things. I have given the Lierac cream to my mum as it isn't suited to my skin (and she said if there was anything I didn't want to give it to her). I did open it though and it is a pretty thick cream which rubs into the skin quickly and doesn't really smell of much.

I have no idea what I'm going to do with the Dr. Hauschka body oil to be honest. I rarely moisturise anywhere other than my face due to laziness, but my legs have been a bit flaky from where they burnt in the sun a few weeks ago so I may try this out on them. It smells of rose, which isn't something I'm overly keen on, but it smells more fresh than grandma-esque so I don't find it too offensive.

This Roger and Gallet hand and nail cream is gorgeous. I never ever use hand cream as the ones I have tried in the past have left my hands greasy for ages afterwards. This contains argan oil and evening primrose oil which are supposed to be nourishing so hopefully this will help keep my nails strong. I put this straight on this morning and it rubbed in so easily. It smells absolutely gorgeous, I can't pinpoint the scent, it isn't orange, which is what I was expecting. It is slightly floral, but nothing too strong. It's beautiful.

The Clarins lipgloss is a lipgloss. It isn't overly sticky or anything, but I'm not a lipgloss wearer, so this may just get put on when I go on a night out or something. There isn't much to say about it really. It's not an offensive, unwearable colour so I'm sure I'll give it a go at some point.

I'm really pleased I got an eye make up remover in the box as I've been after one for ages after running out of the Bioderma a few months ago. This one isn't a micellar solution, but a very light gel-like cream. It doesn't smell of anything, so shouldn't irritate my skin.

Overall very pleased! When I have some money (ha!) I may subscribe to the Joliebox as I had such a good experience with this one. 

Are you subscribed to any beauty boxes? Are they worth the money?

Thanks for reading x

Friday, 22 June 2012

Severe lack of people skills.

image source - google

I want to apologise for not posting much this week. In stark contrast to my previous post (oh the irony) this isn't going to be an overly happy one. My week has been crap, and I want to write about it.

The beginning of the week wasn't too bad really, but it has gone downhill. Yesterday I found out that I have been removed from the magazine team I was working on. Now, this would not be an issue if I had personally done anything wrong, but I haven't so I am, understandably, annoyed and hurt.

The issue is that the (now ex) editor has apparently decided to leave the magazine, but didn't tell anyone and has not been responding to emails, which is slightly immature and unfair on the team to say the least. However, he also helped me get some work experience at romania-insider, where I have been writing articles for the past few weeks. The founder of the magazine was not happy with this fact as he felt that he did not want any further connection to the (ex) editor. I was stuck in the middle, although I explained I do not have contact with the (ex) editor when working at romania-insider, and even if I did, I would not compromise the magazine in any way, shape or form and it has no relevance to anything at the website. He tried to make me choose between working at the magazine and continuing my work experience at romania-insider. Now, I would have an issue stopping my work experience, however it has proven to be extremely valuable experience to me and I hope to continue working there until I start back at university in September.

Unhappy with the fact I would not choose between the two, the founder of the magazine decided it would be best for me to leave. Even though I have done absolutely nothing wrong. I got caught in the middle. The founder continued to call the (ex) editor a 'shady character', which, in my opinion, is over dramatic, he just behaved unfairly, so I understand why the founder is angry.

But like I said, I have done nothing wrong in this situation. Many angry emails were sent by me and all I got was the same response - a ramble about what the editor did, nothing about my own personal actions.

I feel I was treated appallingly, and have had to miss out on what could be a wonderful project to be a part of. I wish the rest of the team well and hope it is successful, but if the creator carries on treating people the way he has been, because he doesn't like the way they work/express themselves, especially when, like me, they did nothing wrong, I can only predict a bleak future.

I do apologise for the rant, it has been a tough week and I am still upset. Please let me know what you think, even if you think I'm overreacting. I am still angry and extremely upset.

I hope your weeks are a bit better than mine, I promise to resume normal posting soon!

Thanks for reading x

Monday, 18 June 2012

Five Steps to Happy

image by Marc Johns

When I feel a bit down there are a handful of things I do to try and get myself back into a positive frame of mind. I haven't been feeling tip-top recently, but now I'm feeling more like myself again.
  1. Take a long soak in the bath. I always have a long pampering session in the bath. I exfoliate my body, get my hair squeaky clean and relax. I try to make myself feel as pretty as possible. I don't think anything ever feels as bad after a long bath.
  2. Cry if you want to. I'm not much of a crier. I internalise my feelings a lot of the time, but sometimes you just feel sad, and you just want to cry. I found myself crying on the train the other day, just because I needed to. Bottling up the need to cry is never good, in my opinion. I just let it out. There has been many a time where my dad has looked at me and asked what the matter was, and I've just said 'I feel sad' and cry. There's no rhyme or reason to it, just let it all out, even if that means sticking on P.S I Love You and crying over the fact Gerard Butler dies. Wallow in it, for just a little bit.
  3. Play happy music. When I've finished wallowing (I don't like wallowing, I give myself an hour or two before I try to snap myself out of it) I put on happy music. For me it's Motown music, or something like Rilo Kiley, something you can dance to. Find me a person who is sad when listening to Motown, and I'll give you a liar. You just can't be sad whilst listening to The Drifters, or Otis Redding. It's impossible.
  4. Sleep it off. To be fair, sleep is often my solution to everything. A good night's sleep always makes things feel better. The cliche things always look better in the morning is a cliche for a reason, after all. Even if it's just an hour's nap, or a 10 hour mega sleep, nothing can be quite as terrible after some shut-eye.
  5. And if all that fails, ESCAPE. Get out of the house, even if it's to go for a walk by yourself where you stick your headphones in, walk and cry until it feels better. Just escape your sadness for a little while. It may be there when you get back, but it won't be as strong. Get out, eat nice things, jump on a train and go somewhere new. I come to Manchester a lot when I want to escape, it's my little place where I feel happiest and most content. Talk to people - even if it's not about why you're sad, just talk. I'm not often on for sharing my sadness, but sometimes it's all that helps. Escape yourself for a while. Have fun. Focus on the good things in your life. There are better things out there than what is making you sad. I promise.
This is just what I do, because most of the time, the reason why I'm sad isn't worth being sad about. It is trivial. If it's down to a person, it's their loss, if it's something else, it probably isn't that important anyway.

Thanks for reading x

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Weekly Summary #18

Mojito Monday, Venti coffee which ended up all over the floor, Alton Towers,
Nap time on the way home, :'(, Lunch,
Beginners, Outfit for coffee, Coffee,
Faves, Rum Truffles, Archers and Lemonade

  1. This week has been interesting and exhausting to say the least! On Monday evening I went on an impromptu night out with three of my favourite male friends from high school and had a good catch up. I didn't get in until 3am though, which wasn't the best idea when I was up at half 6 on Tuesday to go to Alton Towers. I also realised I really don't like mojitos.
  2. Speaking of Alton Towers, it was the first time I've been and I had a lot of fun. I'm not the biggest fan of rides, but I went on quite a few and it was a good day out. Even if I was exhausted. 
  3. I worked at on Wednesday and Thursday this week, and I think I'm finally becoming more confident with my writing. The editor keeps telling me I'm doing well, so we shall see. I have loads going on in terms of contributing to different projects, I really need to get my act into gear.
  4. After a bad shift at work yesterday I decided to come back to Manchester for a few days. I just needed to get away from people and have a break. Even if the pressure on the shower is messed up. I spent last night having a few Archers and lemonades and watching films. A friend also came to see me, which was nice. 

Tonight I plan on doing more of nothing, just watching the Royal Tenenbaums and sleeping lots before getting up tomorrow to go to the library to hand books in and go back home. My lovely friend Abbey is meeting me for coffee and we're going to have a chat as we've both been a bit down. I'm coming back to Manchester on Thursday for the day which will be nice. I love this city.

I hope your weeks have all been lovely.

Thanks for reading x

Friday, 15 June 2012

Kindle Regrets

I'm just going to say it. Spending £80+ on a Kindle has been the biggest waste of money. Not because it's particularly bad, or that it is even expensive for what you get, I just don't like it.

I originally bought the Kindle because I thought it would be good for university - I could keep my set books all in one place, and there are features where you can highlight quotations etc, which is extremely useful for an English student, however, it didn't quite work out that way. 

It's quite simple really, I prefer books. For me, there is nothing quite like cracking the spine of a new book, making notes (in pencil of course) in the margin. I love turning the pages, which obviously you can't do with Kindles. I don't find them easier to read on, in fact I find them more difficult because the task seems much more clinical. There is nothing quite like the feel of a book in your hands.

Don't get me wrong, the Kindle is really good for certain things; I can download PDFs onto it, which is excellent and saves me printing off a 20 page critical essay, but it is hard to make notes on, I prefer to highlight and scribbled notes all over essays so I can easily go back to certain things. There are also no page numbers on Kindles, which is difficult when referencing books for essays.

I'd say the Kindle is good for the avid reader, as kindle editions of novels are generally slightly cheaper than paper copies, it can store thousands of books in one place, and is very lightweight, which makes it good for travelling.

I just like having books and reading from books. It's that simple really.

Do you have a Kindle? What are your thoughts - are e-readers over-taking books?

Thanks for reading x

Monday, 11 June 2012

Farewell, Westlife

What I wore - Top: Urban Outfitters, Bandeau (underneath): Asos, Skirt: Topshop, Shoes: Topshop
(excuse the messy bed)

Support band Lilygreen and Maguire were a brilliant opening act, playing a mixture of their own music and a medley of songs, including No Woman, No Cry by Bob Marley.

I've been a Westlife fan since the very beginning, ever since they were a five-piece called 'Westside'. On Saturday 9th June my mum, Colette and I went to the final Manchester date of the Farewell tour. We've seen them before about 8 years ago in Sheffield, they didn't disappoint then and they definitely didn't disappoint on Saturday.

We had really good seats, quite high up with a view of the entire stage. so we could see everything that was going on. The show opened with 'What About Now', which was brilliant. The perfect opening song.
The boys played all of their biggest hits, including their cover of 'Uptown Girl', which is one of my personal favourites. They also played a 16 minute (I recorded it) medley of a ton of different pop songs, including: 'Tonight's Gonna Be a Good Night' 'Party Rock Anthem' 'Don't Cha'.  It was so much fun, and there was hip thrusting aplenty. Brilliant.

In between the songs were clips from an interview with the boys, talking about what it felt like to be finally disbanding after 14 years together. It was too bloody emotional! Colette and I cried many times throughout the show.

I am beyond gutted that Westlife are splitting up. They may not be 'cool' anymore, because they are a boyband, but I'll forever love them. They just seem really nice! They currently hold the record for the most sold out shows in Manchester's MEN Arena, having sold out 33 times. That's over 2 sold out shows per year in the MEN alone. Crazy to think about.
The final show, which is in Dublin, will be shown in various cinemas nationwide. Colette and I are booking tickets already.

Thanks for reading x

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Weekly Summary #17

Tidy room, Started watching Twin Peaks, Sneaky photo of Abbey who always refuses photos,
Outfit to go see my best friend, Urban Outfitters order, Outfit to go see Westlife at the MEN,
Seats at Westlife, Starbucks overload, Cinema date with my girls

  1. This week has been an interesting one. I've had more time off work, after being told that everyone in the department's hours are being restricted to their contracted hours (I was working over 20 hours/week and have been cut back to my 8 hour contract - money ouch) so that was a bit of a blow.
  2. Driving is still going well, reaaaally need to book my theory, no idea why I'm putting it off. My instructor keeps bugging me about it. I should probably get round to it tomorrow.
  3. I started Twin Peaks. I've reached the second season now but haven't had a time to really sit down and continue yet! I saw an old friend on Thursday for the first time since about Christmas and had  a good catch up. He's the greatest person ever and everything is going well for him, I'm so glad.
  4. I saw Westlife last night. The band I've adored since I was about 7 years old are splitting up and I'm absolutely gutted. The show was amazing, I wish I could see it again. They played all the best songs - including Uptown Girl - did a medley of a ton of songs (including Don't Cha by the Pussycat Dolls. With hip thrusting. I died.) Colette and I cried a lot. I'm still in shock to be honest! The black top I wore was half of my Urban Outfitters order.
  5. Today I returned one of the tops from my Urban Outfitters order - it was like a crocheted nightmare - got a Starbucks (or two) and spent the rest of the day with my best friends. Rose's parents bought us a Chinese for tea. It was lovely, I adore Rose's family. This week I'm visiting Alton Towers for the first time ever. Being 5ft 1 may prove to be a hindrance though!
I hope all your weeks have been good, even if it's being raining!

Thank you, as always, for reading x

Thursday, 7 June 2012

What's in My Handbag?

I'm an incredibly nosy person, so even though I'm probably incredibly late to the party on this one, when I heard about I was pretty chuffed to say the least! I love watching 'What's in My Bag' videos on youtube, and love reading blog posts all about the contents of a bag. When written down it sounds a bit creepy doesn't it?

Back to the point. Whatsinmyhandbag is a beauty website, it doesn't just focus on the contents of bags (although that is admittedly my favourite part). You can create your own 'bag', you can also register to try feature trial sizes of products, shop from certain bags - there are links to where you can purchase certain beauty items. You can also build up a virtual beauty cabinet by clicking on products and selecting 'have this' or want this', basically creating wishlists.

It's a brilliant website, and I'm yet to explore all of it (I only joined yesterday in a state of procrastination from writing). It's just perfect for all the other beauty obsessed nosy parkers. It is completely free to join too, if you want you can use my link - it's like an invitation service - if not just go straight to the website :)

Now the juicy stuff, what's in my bag?!

I'm not one to carry a ton of unnecessary crap about in my bag, I generally just go out with my keys, phone and purse if I'm just nipping to the shops.
The bag is one I've stolen from my sister, I believe it was from Next originally, it's an Alexa-a-like, but I just like it because I like black satchel bags. All of my bags are black come to think of it. I use a black Cambridge Satchel for uni, which is my favourite bag ever. This bag is brilliant because I can use it to lug my uniform to work too. I work with food, so have to get changed into my uniform at work, which is a massive pain in the neck.

My purse was £5 on sale in Urban Outfitters and is full of crap. So many receipts/cards I don't need anymore. My glasses case is from a little Chinese shop in Berlin and cost me TWO EUROS. Best bargain. Lydia made me buy it, and I'm glad she did.
My phone is a Samsung Galaxy SII and I constantly get stick because it is massive. Most of my friends have iPhones, but I prefer my phone, even if it is huge.
Headphones and my work clock-in card - photo down because it is 4 years old and hideous.
I always have my keys, self-explanatory really, and some sort of food or drink (tropical juice from Tesco today). I've also stuck Elle in there as I haven't finished reading it.
I generally have a notebook and a book in there too (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), but I've been writing and reading today, so I took them out.

Like I said, nothing exciting really, I used to carry the world about with me, but seeing as I don't go anywhere too exciting, I just take the basics now. Anything else I need, like lip balm or chewing gum, I just shove in my pockets.

Do you have anything interesting in your bag?
Thanks for reading x

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

My 'Books To Read Over Summer' List - Part 1

I've had to split this post into two parts as I have quite a few books on my 'to read' pile next to my bed. It's getting ridiculous actually, I have put myself on a book-buying ban as otherwise I'll never get through them all - my friends keep saying to me 'why don't you read the books you have first' - makes sense I suppose. I highly doubt I'll read all the books I want to over summer as it is!

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson
This is the book I'm reading at the minute. I haven't seen the film, and all I knew about it was that it's  semi-autobiographical and contains a lot of drugs. It's boggling my mind , very good though.

Game of Thrones
 - George R. R. Martin

There has been loads of hype surround this series, and after watching the first television series (need to catch up with the second) I definitely want to give it a go. I read a couple of chapters a few months ago but haven't picked it up again since.

The Hobbit
- J R. R. Tolkein
This i s technically a re-read. I haven't read The Hobbit since I was about ten years old, and with the film coming out in the latter part of the year I definitely want to rediscover the story. I also want to try and read the Lord of the Rings trilogy as I haven't yet (shocking I know). I adore the films so I can only imagine that the books will be amazing. 

Love in the Time of Cholera
- Gabriel Garcia Marquez
This is one of those books that I picked up, read most of it, and then put it back down without finishing it. It is a love story set, where a man tries to reconnect with his first love, about 50 years after they first met, after her husband dies. From what I remember it is beautifully written. I'm excited to read it, and hopefully finish it.

The Picture of Dorian Gray
 - Oscar Wilde
I feel almost ashamed to admit that I have never read any Oscar Wilde. I have attempted to read Dorian Gray many times when I was younger but never managed more than about ten pages. I think it is definitely time to try again, now I have time to kill.

The Virgin Suicides
- Jeffrey Eugenides
Yet another 'I've seen the film so I want to read the book' scenario. I got this in HMV alongside Fear and Loathing (2 for £10). I bought it partially for the cover, but  after reading  The Marriage Plot (review) I definitely want to read more Eugenides.

- Jose Saramago
This is a novel I bought after Meg showed it in a haul video on Youtube. It is about a town where blindness isn't a disease per se, but spreads as an epidemic. After doing a module on disability and representation last year in Uni, I think it will be an interesting read and offer a different perspective.

- George Orwell
This is another first time read. This particular edition has the creepiest cover, it freaks me out slightly. I want to read it to review for Aesthetic Magazine. I'm pretty excited to read it, all I really know about it is that it brought about the idea of a 'Big Brother' society. Definitely interesting and intriguing.

Daddy Long Legs
 - Jean Webster
I know very little about this book. I think I saw it in a Youtube book review/haul video of some sort. It sounds to me like an Annie-type situation - a girl is given a benefactor who pays for her schooling upon the condition that she writes to him. Sounds like a sweet, quick and easy read, but who knows!

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
- Jonathan Safran Foer
I think you'll have had to have been living under a rock to not have heard about this book recently. I think it has been made/is being made into a film, so before I see that I want to read the book. Saying that, I don't know too much about the plot other than it is written post 9/11 from the view point of a young boy who has lost his father. I'm almost putting off reading this one as I know it's going to cut me up into bits and I'll be a crying mess for weeks.

Moby Dick
 - Herman Melville
I have a love/hate relationship with this novel. I chose to write an essay on it (and got pretty good marks!) but I never actually got more than halfway through. Writing on books makes me fall out of love with them slightly, so I'm going to attempt to read it at my own pace this time, instead of cramming it into my brain. It's very long and quite dense so this one may take a long time. 

That turned out to be slightly longer than intended! I am going to write reviews on each of these once I have finished them.
Have you read any of these? Which would you recommend?

Part Two will be coming soon!

Thanks for reading x

(p.s. I noticed yesterday that I reached 40 followers on GFC, thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoy my little space of the internet! Much love xxx)

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Words to Live By

all images taken from Tumblr

'Let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences'

At least I strive to.

edit: these prints (and others) are for sale on Etsy here

Weekly Summary #16

new purchases: Barthes 'A Lover's Discourse' and The Science of Sleep, sunburny legs :(
Pub quiz after a Nandos on Tuesday, Lunch at Teacup on Thomas St, Smoked chicken soup,
CAKE, Red Velvet cake (that we couldn't finish), New Rilo Kiley print,
The National print for Lydia's birthday present all framed and pretty, Tattoo half finished, Waiting for the train home

  1. This week has been ridiculously fun! I spend Tuesday catching up with and old friend with a picnic (resulting in the sunburn). It was lovely to catch up with her as I haven't seen her properly in a few months. I've also made plans to get together with my best male friend from school in a few days as we keep missing each other, which is silly considering we live about 20 minutes away from each other.
  2. I also saw Moonrise Kingdom (review here). Recommend me your favourite Wes Anderson film? Have you seen it, what did you think?
  3. I spent Thursday with Abbey in Manchester. We went to tidy and clean up her flat so she can just nip back and collect her stuff next time we go. It only took us and hour between us to completely upend the kitchen (think pulling every compartment out of the fridge and scrubbing the oven), whilst simultaneously dancing and singing along to the music channel on the tv. We then went shopping for my housemates' birthday gifts and had lunch. We went to Teacup on Thomas St. in the Northern Quarter, which I've been wanting to visit for a while. It was delicious, and not too expensive either. We were defeated by the yummy red velvet cake though. We then went to the gallery next door, where I found a couple of prints - one for me and one for Lydia's gift (which she loves!)
  4. On Friday I got my back tattoo started, and blogged about it here. It's only half finished at the moment, with colour still to be added in a few weeks, but do let me know what you think! Are you pro/against tattoos?
  5. Yesterday I went back to Manchester to celebrate Lydia's birthday. It was a brilliant night, with all of her friends from home. We went to 42nd Street (as always) and danced our feet off. It was great to be back again, I miss it and can't even contemplate the fact I have one year left as a student :( This afternoon a few of us went for a Nandos (second this week, and I didn't pay, it was great), and then headed home. I caught a ridiculously packed train which went the long way home. Not amused. 
Tonight I think I'll stay in bed with books and films having a late night as I get a lie in tomorrow! 
I hope your weekends have been as lovely as mine :) Happy Sunday!

Thanks for reading x

p.s. Oh, if anyone knows of a cheap place that sells custom sized frames could you drop me a comment and let me know? That Rilo Kiley print is proving awkward to frame!

Friday, 1 June 2012

Tattoo Session Number 1 (and a few tips)

I've been posting about it for the past couple of weeks, but today I finally had my first session on my latest tattoo. I now have four in total, with this one being my biggest.

When I had my consultation and booked in, I gave my tattooist the brief of a lighthouse with crashing, Japanese-style water, which was to be in the middle of my upper back (no tramp stamps here). 
He has done one of my previous tattoos, and I wouldn't go anywhere else, so I fully trusted him with the design.

He came up with this:
This is obviously the basic outline, overall I was ridiculously pleased with it. I'd looked online at lighthouse tattoos, and obviously it's difficult to come up with one that is totally unique, but I think that the little details Gazz has added have really made it a bit different. I love it.

I was initially want a quote running along the bottom of the design, but for now I think I'll leave it as it is.

I had my first two hour session, and this is the tattoo so far:
excuse the back fat/bra

The first hour was the most painful, as the outlining is definitely the most painful part of any tattoo. For me, getting tattooed isn't really overly painful, it's more like an itch I can't scratch, but the lining, especially near my spine did hurt. The shading felt like nothing in comparison - more like being tickled, it was pretty relaxing actually!

I am so pleased with it, it's going to be about 6 weeks until I can get it coloured, unless a cancellation comes up, I really can't wait. I find lighthouses beautiful, whenever I told people what I was getting, they looked at me like I was a bit mad, but there really isn't any other reason than I wanted it because I find lighthouses beautiful. Simple.

I'll do another post once it has been finished.

A few tips (from my own experience):
  • Look around different shops before settling on a tattooist. Look on websites at portfolios etc to see if the style is what you are going for. 
  • Don't always go for the cheapest or quickest option. It is worth paying that little bit extra, and being on a waiting list a little bit longer in order to get a decent quality tattoo. They have to stand the test of time, after all.
  • Listen when it comes to design advice. Understandably, you want a tattoo that you;re going to love, but tattooists really know their stuff. Tattoos are made to fit the contours of the body, so if you take in a design and the tattooist doesn't think it will work, listen to them and see if you can adjust it so it will. In my opinion, custom tattoos are worth the effort, if there is something you don't like in a design just tell your tattooist. Some may look tough, but they don't bite!
  • Listen when it comes to healing advice. There are many different ways to heal a tattoo; I personally leave my tattoo to air out ant apply savlon or bepanthen cream. Some people don't use creams at all and dry heal, others apply creams and then wrap up the tattoo. Bodies work in different ways, so listen to advice. Also, if it scabs, don't pick at it.
  • GO TO A PROFESSIONAL! It sounds almost silly, but tattoo machines and kits are easy to buy online nowadays. There are people who tattoo out of their homes, which is just ridiculous and unsafe. Go to a professional. Please. Just do.

My tattooist is Gazz Hunter and he tattoos at The Integrity Tattoo Lounge in Ossett, West Yorkshire. I may be biased, but he's brilliant, so if you're up this end, check him out.

If you'd like me to do a post about my tattoos let me know and I'd be more than happy to :)

I hope this has been helpful!
Thanks for reading x

DESIGNED WITH LOVE: Noir Nouvelle Designs