Sunday, March 15, 2015

February Wrap Up

So super late wrap up post, considering we’re half way through March already. All will be revealed though!

February Wrap Up

Started- A new job! So this is the main reason I’ve been super slack with blog posts recently, what with preparing for interviews, starting my new job while also still working in my old one. I’ve been so busy juggling both jobs I’ve done barely anything this February. My new job is in a bookshop, which I think you’ll agree is perfect for me! I’m really enjoying it so far too.

Socialised- A very small amount. Definitely not as much as last month which was crazy! February consisted mainly of going to knit club and also going to the Love IWOOT event with Rebecca, which was lots of fun. I need to pack in more stuff for the upcoming months that’s for sure.

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Rebecca and me getting our selfie stick on!

Watching- James St. James Transformations. Drag queens and other artistic folk come on and make over James St. James. I quickly got addicted, it was perfect to watch while waiting for new season of Rupaul’s Drag Race. It also means I’ve been going around saying ‘Welcome to my face! I’m James St. James and this is Transformations’.

Knitted- This lovely grey and aqua heart hat. I haven’t really had the chance to do much more knitting, I spent my time at knit club knitting a cushion which I only finished last week!

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Reading- Here’s yesterday’s post on what I read last month

That’s pretty much it. This month was super quiet as I was so busy. I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things with blogging though, so hopefully you’ll see more posts soon.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

February Reads

Better late than never right?! Ill explain all in my next post but for now let’s get into what I read in February.

February Reads

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

to kill a mockingbird

I have FINALLY read it! Yes, after having it in my 2013 Reading Resolutions, my 2014 Reading Resolutions and this year’s Reading Resolutions, I finally picked it up. I started it on the Monday, on the Tuesday the announcement for Harper Lee’s second novel was made. I guess I’m magic like that.

Anyway, I feel like I shouldn’t even have to write anything about this book as it’s so well known. It follows the story of Scout, a young girl living in a racist town in the 1930s in America. Scout is a brilliant narrator, it’s great to see things through her eyes. I was hooked in by this book and devoured it.  I don’t know why it took me so long to read it!

 

Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes

pretty honest

I love Sali Hughes’ YouTube channel. I’ve mentioned her In the Bathroom series before on the blog. Sali is a no nonsense beauty writer for The Guardian. You know there is no bullshit from Sali, she has no problem speaking her mind. I’ve often seen her say that she hates when people put down women who love fashion and beauty, that heaven forbid that a woman cares about how she looks or that just because she loves lipstick she doesn’t have a proper opinion on more serious items. And she’s bloody right too! Sali’s book is packed full of all the tips and tricks she’s learned over the years. She makes sure not to come across too preachy, there aren’t many ‘rules’ that you’ll often see other beauty sources spout. Sali covers hair, makeup, face routines, bodycare and a whole host of other things. I especially loved her stance on hoarding ‘good stuff’. You know, that expensive bottle of perfume or jar of moisturizer, the stuff you keep for times that are ‘worth’ it, so not to waste it on the everyday. Sali says sod this, that nice things are supposed to be enjoyed and if you wait around, the item might go off or worse still, you might not be around to enjoy it. So enjoy it while you can!

 

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

hyperbole and a half

  I’d seen some Hyperbole and a Half comics online before and always laughed. When I kept coming across good reviews online, I decided to give it a go. I really enjoyed it. Some stories weren’t on par for me, possibly because I’m not a massive dog person and there’s a few dog stories. However the part on depression hit the nail on the head for me. I feel like people who don’t understand what it’s like to be depressed should read this as a lot of it resonated with my experiences. It’s not all doom and gloom. The story about the goose had me in stitches laughing, serious out loud, I-can’t-breathe-I’m-laughing-so-much laughs. So loud that my boyfriend had to come downstairs to see why I was laughing so much. And then I narrated the story to him and we both laughed. I’ll probably buy this book just so I reread that goose story. If you’re a fan of the online comics then you’ll definitely enjoy this

 

Fairest by Marissa Meyer

fairest

So the final book in the Lunar Chronicles doesn’t come out until the end of the year but until then we have Fairest, a bridge story between books 3 and 4. It follows the life of Levana, before she became Queen and what has made her the way she is now. It was interesting to see into the life of the villain, I feel too often in fairytales we don’t get to know much about the villain’s past and they’re often the most interesting part of the story! This book definitely makes you understand Levana more, possible even making you feel sorry for her at times, but she does pull off some pretty horrible things! If you’re a fan of the Luna Chronicles and want to know more about Levana, then check this out.

 

Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness by Bryan Lee O’Malley

scott pilgrim 3

The third volume in the Scott Pilgrim series, following Scott who has to fight all the evil exes of his girlfriend Ramona. Except this one is a bit more complicated as this ex is now the boyfriend of Scott’s ex girlfriend! It felt good to continue on the story but this is my least favourite so far. I will continue this series to the end though as there’s always little details that make me laugh.

 

 

 

Winter Siege by Ariana Franklin and Samantha Norman

winter siege

When I was first contacted by the publishers to review this book, I hesitated at first, as historical fiction is not really my thing. But I read the blurb and it stuck with me, so I decided to give it a whirl. It’s set mainly in 1141 in England and we’re introduced to Em and her family, when the men of the village are told they are needed to go fight in the war for the throne between Matilda, the daughter of the last king who has no brothers to claim the throne and wants to be Queen and her cousin Stephen who believes he should be king. One day red haired 11 year old Em is chased by a gang of mercenaries who are being lead by an evil monk who has a preference for red haired females. Gwil, another mercenary, sees this happening and prayers that the girl gets away. Later that day, when Gwil is taking sheltered in a deserted village, he comes across Em, half naked and half dead, clutching onto a scroll. Taking pity on her, he nurses her back to health, having her pose as a boy named Penda, and trains her to being an archer. They travel around the country with a group of performers but soon find themselves in the middle of the civil war. Em has no memory of her attacker or what happened to her, but Gwil knows the monk is dangerous and that he is on the hunt to retrieve that scroll and finish the job of killing Em. I really enjoyed this book, the reason I decided to give it a go was because there was a Ayra and The Hound from Game of Thrones vibe about the story. I liked the story and relationship between Gwil and Em, Gwil was especially fond of Em at times which was sweet. I also liked the story of the civil war, it kept me interested and helped drive the whole story on. At times some of the writing seemed a bit off for the time period. Not that I was expecting the writing to be very off or more in tune with the vernacular at the time but every now and again a turn of phrase through me a bit, but not enough to put me off the entire book. I liked the characters too and the monk was a great villain. If you want to read a historical fiction book that isn’t about being in the court of kings and queens of the Tudor times (at least, that’s where my mind goes to when I think of historical fiction!), then give this a go!

 

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris

let's explore diabetes with owls

This is my first experience with Sedaris, I decided to give the book a go as I it was available as an audiobook from my library. It’s a collection of essays where Sedaris makes observations about his life, from childhood to present day, without any real theme running through the book (which is fine with me either way). Sedaris is a witty writer, I did enjoy hearing about some of his quirks and about his childhood too (like the fact his father used to just take his trousers off after work and hang around his house in his underwear) but the book didn’t have me splitting my sides like I thought it would. Maybe because it was hyped up, maybe because I should have started with another book of his, who knows. Don’t get me wrong though, I did chuckle in places and overall I did enjoy it. Especially because Sedaris read it himself which I always enjoy in an audiobook and it hasn’t put me off him. I am looking forward to picking up other books of his so I’d gladly accept suggestions please!

February Stats

Number of books read- 7

Ratio fiction to non-fiction- 4:3

Male to Female authors- 5:2

Number of eBooks- 2 (Fairest and To Kill a Mockingbird)

Number of audiobooks- 1 (Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls)

Number of books borrowed from library- 4 (Hyperbole and a Half, Pretty Honest, Scott Pilgrim and Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls)

Reading Resolutions- Read To Kill a Mockingbird; Try more audiobooks

Fem-tellectual Book Club January Theme ‘Pretty Magical Ladies; A Book Inspired by a Fairytale- Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Reading Challenge Completed

A Pulitzer Prize winning book- To Kill a Mockingbird

A nonfiction book- Pretty Honest

A book with a One Word Title- Fairest

A graphic novel- Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness

A book by an author you’ve never read before- Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls

A book of short stories- Hyperbole and a Half

A book published this year- Winter Siege

That’s it for Feb! I’m pleased with the amount I managed, it feels like I’m getting back on track with reading again.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine’s Emoiji Nail Art

So I based this look off just emoijis! It was a fun idea, I went through the emoijis on my phone and picked these ones for my Valentine’s theme.

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Yellow I used was NYC in Lexington Yellow, with Barry M Black Nail art pen and Rimmel Rita Ora in Raw as Night for the red. Not quite as perfect as I wanted but I’m still happy with how they turned out!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Nude Valentine’s Nails

Another day, another look! Last year I did an anti-Valentine’s look, where I did a matte and glossy version of the look and so I wanted to do that again this year.

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I used OPI You’re So Vain-illa as the base, then just used my Barry M Nail Art Pen to draw in the letters. The red part on the ring fingers was supposed to look like roses but it looks more like leopard print and I’m ok with that too. Here it is glossy.

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Personally I prefer it matte but I’m really happy with how it turned out. Another toned down Valentine’s look which isn’t too in your face!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

#LOVEIWOOT Manchester Event

I was lucky enough to attend the #LOVEIWOOT event in Manchester on Wednesday night. IWOOT, or I Want One of Those, is a website that specialises in quirky and fun gifts. The event was held in the lovely Propertea by the Manchester Cathedral (which I am definitely going to go back and visit!)

propertea

I went to the event with Rebecca from The Lucky Rainbow and when we arrived we were given a lovely bubbly cocktail and a Selfie Stick! Talk about being spoiled. On the tables surrounding us were loads of different gifts, from big to small, something to suit everyone. The atmosphere was lovely and relaxed and the IWOOT and Propertea people were willing to stop and chat to you.

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IWOOT had a competition to picture your top 3 gifts for men and top 3 gifts for women. I had fun looking at all the products and picking out my favourites. I chose these 3 below for my gifts for men (though I based it around what my boyfriend would like).

Collage for men

From left to right: Microwave Popcorn Maker, Tetris Light and Chilli Hamper

For the gifts for her, I picked them based on what I’d like! It was hard to whittle it down to three items as I kinda wanted everything!

Collage for women

From left to right: Gummy Candy Maker, Old School Camera box and mug, Greeting Card Kit

The Selfie Stick was brilliant to have, it was fun seeing people taking selfies all around the room and laughing about it! Rebecca and I were so excited when we got it to work the first time! Also how pleased am I about those heart shaped scones? Thanks Rebecca for letting me use the picture!

           selfie  scones

I had a great night at the #LOVEIWOOT event and I think I’ll be getting future gifts from there as there is so much to choose from!

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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Bright Valentine’s Nail Look

I have several Valentine’s nail looks coming up on the blog, this being the first of them. I’m really excited about them actually! I did most my looks in January as I knew I’d be busy leading up to this time and I’ve wanted to share them since then.

As I said in my Recent Buys from Primark post, I am liking yellow at the moment. Which is surprising as I am not a fan of yellow normally! I picked up this nail polish in Boots for £1 after Christmas, I was delighted as I wanted it when it came out during the summer but never got around to getting it.

yellow with pink hearts

The yellow polish is No 7 Gel Shine in Lemon Drop, which was a limited edition for last summer. For the hearts I used Nails Inc in Draycott Terrace which I got as part of a mini set from Sarah for my birthday. I love this combo, I think the yellow makes it different from other Valentine’s looks and it’s a nice bright combo to bring us into spring.

I’ve done other looks for Valentine’s Day, so if you’re interested in seeing those click here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

January Wrap Up

Phew, January is over! And for normally such a dull month, I managed to do quite a lot of things!

Toured- The Corrie Studio! My brother was up at the weekend so I spent the last day in January on the famous cobbles. I also toured the Greater Manchester Police Museum in the middle of the month with my boyfriend and loved the place. Really recommend a visit.

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Watched- Birdman. On the same day as going to the police museum, my boyfriend and I went to see Birdman in the cinema. I liked it, I know he was on the fence about it. I loved how it was shot to look like one continuous shot, I thought it was done really well.

Socialised- A lot! Besides two knit club sessions, my boyfriend and I went to an All You Can Eat Ribs and Wings night in Morley Cheeks with some friends, we also had Sunday lunch together in Oddest. I went to the lovely Rebecca’s house (not before going to Bon Bon for a hot chocolate) and she cooked me an amazing dinner. Rebecca also took me into Fred Aldous for the first time and I returned a week later with my boyfriend to take photo booth pictures. Before going to the Greater Manchester Police Museum, my boyfriend and I had a brunch in North Star. And On Saturday after the Corrie tour, I met my uncle and aunt in Taps for dinner and a few drinks, before heading to Gas Lamp to meet a cousin and her boyfriend. I’m pretty impressed with what I did in a cold and rainy January!

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On the wall at Taps; Inside the Gas Lamp

Read- Only three books, you can check them out here

Listened- To a lot of 90s RnB! I made a playlist, which you can check here, expect a lot of En Vogue, TLC and Destiny’s Child!

Knitted- Quite a bit actually! I think part of the reason my reading numbers are down is because I’ve spent a lot of time knitting. I made two hats, a scarf and a pair of booties. I also started another hat but only finished it last night so you’ll see that in February’s wrap.

Jan Collage

Driving- That’s right, driving! For the first time since November 2013. I got put on my boyfriend’s insurance and while I haven’t gone far, I’m so happy to be back behind the wheel!

That’s it really! Let’s see if I can pack in as much stuff in February!

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