Saturday, May 31, 2014

#BEDM Wrap Up


Last day of May and therefore last day of Blog Every Day in May. Yay, I managed to stay on track!! Delighted that I stuck to this and stayed on track, even if some days were a bit of a rush to get the post up. I thoroughly enjoyed this challenge and I’ve gained so much out of it. I enjoying using the prompts some of the days and writing about things I might not have thought to write about, such as the Museum Day one, so I’m going to keep an eye out in the future for things like that to write about. Here are some other things I’ve gained from doing BEDM.

-To stop slacking when it comes to writing posts. Seriously, I did so many things last year that I wanted to blog about and never got around to. This really resonated with me when I posted the recipe for the Tiramisu Bundt Cake that I made back in October 2012!

-Speaking of slacking, I’ve enjoyed doing all the bookish posts I’ve blogged about. I’ve actually got a list of ideas for future book blog posts and I’m really excited now to do these on a more regular basis.

-I’m hoping to be more organised when it comes to writing up posts and from planning my BEDM posts, I think I’m going to try and have a weekly plan in place for what I want to post.

-Helped me be more confident about my blog. I even started up a Facebook page!

-I’ve just loved the social aspect of this! I’m so glad I made a Twitter for the blog and using the BEDM hashtag has helped me find some amazing bloggers and given me the opportunity to chat to them on Twitter. I did my blog shout out post a few days ago which you can check out HERE to see some of the new blogs I’ve discovered.

And I’ve decided to do a round up of some of my favourite posts.

My Favourite Things About Being a Child

5 of My Favourite Blog Posts

Favourite Beauty Vloggers

My Favourite Museums for Museum Day

My Favourite Decade

20th Century Book Tag

Thank you so much to Elizabeth from Rosalilium for organising this, I had such fun and I’m looking forward to the next one!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Who is Tom Ditto? by Danny Wallace Book Review #BEDM

tom ditto

 Who is Tom Ditto? was a book I first mentioned on this blog in my 2014 Releases I’m looking forward to. I’m a huge fan of Danny Wallace’s work and have been for years. Yes Man is one of my favourite books (I got very excited about his cameo in the film adaptation!) and I enjoyed his first fiction book, Charlotte Street, back in 2012.

As with Charlotte Street, the book has a beginning that simply lures you in. Tom, an early morning radio news presenter, returns home one day to find a note from his girlfriend reading

                       I have not left you. But I am gone.
                                                                     Please carry on as normal.
                                                                     Love always,

This immediately intrigued me, as I was now really curious about what this meant and where Hayley was gone. Tom frantically tries to find any answers, ringing up Hayley’s old friends to find out if they knew where she was gone. In doing so, he discovers that she may not be all she thought she was. Tom finally comes across a phone message from a man called Andy, telling Hayley about a meeting at ‘the place’. Eventually Tom finds out that ‘the place’ is a meeting for a group called CC, or Carbon Copiers, who spend their lives following people in order to experience life through other people. Freaked out by this, Tom leaves, only to discover later he’s being followed himself. Enter Pia, a very kooky character who eventually becomes friends with Tom. Pia uses following to experience new things, which leads herself and Tom drinking in an exclusive members only club with Britain’s most famous actor, to getting a rickshaw to Chinawhite to tag along with a minor reality TV star to enjoying a cocktail on the balcony of the Oxo Tower. Pia helps Tom comes to terms with Hayley’s disappearance and to heal.

Overall I really enjoyed this book, I loved the characters. Pia definitely has a Manic Pixie Dream Girl thing going on but she’s really interesting and has her own story. I really enjoyed Tom’s work place scenes, especially with Cass as it was nice to see him grow in his workplace. I loved how the book flowed and Danny’s writing is so fun and conversational. I wasn’t hugely keen though on the few flashback scenes peppered throughout the book (flashing back to an interview with Ezra Cockroft, the man who invented following). This book is satisfying in that all the mysteries throughout get solved, so nothing leaves you frustrated! It definitely has a Danny Wallace vibe, it’s something I could see him doing. It’s got elements of Yes Man and Join Me and Are You Dave Gorman?, mixed with a bit of Gone Girl meets Nick Hornby and a dash of Charlotte Street! I really enjoyed it, even more so than Charlotte Street. If you’re looking for something fun, fast and funny to read this summer, I’d recommend picking up a copy of this book and giving it a whirl!

I got a copy of this from NetGalley to review. Readers who are approved for titles from NetGalley are under no obligation to post reviews. I chose this book to review, wasn’t asked to review it, and I definitely would have read it anyway (come on, it was on my 2014 releases list!). All opinions are my own, I think it’s important to be honest about items you review.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Wish List #BEDM

It’s been almost a year since I’ve done a wish list on here, to celebrate the launch of Frillseeker. I had planned to do this as a topic for BEDM anyway, so decided to wait until the same day as the topic prompt. Here we go!

Right let’s get the inevitable out of the way, the flamingo stuff! I’m a big flamingo fan as many of you know!

swim suit      makeup bag      henryholland

Liz McClaron Swimsuit; Tory Bruch Cosmetics Case; Bomber jacket H! by Henry Holland

And let’s not forget the cats! I just want all the Pusheen stuff really.

pusheenkeyring   cat shoes  Pusheen notepad

Pusheen keyring; Cat shoes by Vans; Pusheen notepad


I could probably do a whole post dedicated to what nail varnishes I want, but for now I picked 3!

No.7   zoya brigitte  butter london bit faker

No.7 Summer Collection; Zoya in Brigitte; Butter London in Bit Faker


Some more fashion and accessory items!

donut  tshirt  trex earrings

Donut necklace; What the Fluich t-shirt; T-Rex earrings

Some things for the home

knives  my little pony  Pineapple cushion

Sorted knife set; My Little Pony mug; Pineapple cushion

Of course, I want ALL the books! I could even start to list them here but a good place to begin would be this list of books releases I’m looking forward to this year. But the pile is never ending!

What I REALLY want though is to get a job. That’s number one on my list, so I can start saving for a holiday and start feeling good about myself again. Things are looking up though in the job front so fingers crossed something happens!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Blog Shout Out #BEDM

This will be my second shout out during Blog Every Day in May, the first being the Beauty Vlogger post I did. This one I’m going to focus solely on bloggers I’ve discovered during BEDM, even though there are plenty more I love! Those other non BEDM ones can be found on my blog roll on the right.

Plastic Rosaries

This is the first BEDM blog I checked out. Beth mainly writes a lot of book reviews and literary blog posts (which, as you can guess, is something I love!) but there are other fun posts as well. I love how she has a list of reviews based on the authors country down the left side of the blog, I WILL be coming back for ideas on my Reading Resolution to read more diversely!


Bee Happy and Healthy

Clare writes a lifestyle blog that focuses on being happy and being healthy. There’s other posts and topics covered like crafts. Clare comes across as really fun and bubbly in her posts, they’re lovely to read and have put a smile on my face.


Everything But the Cabbage Stick

Emma lives on Jersey with her husband and two daughters and in this blog she documents their life together. There has been some beautiful pictures of Jersey in some of the posts, it’s really made me want to go. I know I can be put off by blogs that write a lot about children (so called ‘mommy blogs’) but this doesn’t have that vibe and that’s why I love it. It’s just a lovely account of family life, with extras added too.


Fluffy Owl’s Adventures

Amy is another bibliophile! I was very excited to find more book lovers during BEDM. She also posts crafty items and baking recipes as well as experiences of being a Brownie leader (hence the blog name!).


Twenties Chic

Twenties Chic is a lifestyle blog for 20-somethings who want to get their life into order! There’s loads of different posts from frugal living to being fit and healthy to following your ambitions to just things for fun!


And that’s it! There’s loads more I’ve enjoyed dipping in and out of during BEDM, this is just a handful I’ve regularly visited. I’ve really loved the BEDM has made me discover these blogs as well as helping me interact with some of the writers too on Twitter.

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Banana Bread #BEDM

I love banana bread and the fact you can easily mix it up and make it something different. I was looking at some recipes on Pinterest and decided to mix two together to make a cinnamon chocolate chip banana bread. Sounds like there’s a lot going on, but trust me it all works! I snapped a picture of it for my Day in the Life post a week or so ago.


Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Banana Bread


2 large or 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed up

1/3 cup melted butter

3/4 cup caster sugar

1 egg, beaten

1stp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1tsp baking soda

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1/2 – 1 cup chocolate chips (depending on how many you want)

2tbsp sugar and pinch of cinnamon, mixed together


1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F

2. Butter and flour (or line) a loaf pan, I used an average sized one, not too small but not too big. Probably 9 x 5

3. Mix together the melted butter, mashed bananas, caster sugar, egg and vanilla extract.

4. Sift the baking soda and flour into the mixed ingredients and add salt. Then gently fold in dry ingredients, being careful not to over mix. Then add in the chocolate chips and stir gently.

5. Add 1/2 the mixture to the pan. Sprinkle about 1 tbsp of the sugar and cinnamon mix evenly over the batter. Add the remaining batter on top and then sprinkle with the rest of the sugar and cinnamon mix.

6. Bake for 50-60 mins. Keep an eye on it, if using a different sized pan it might take more or less time so adjusting accordingly.

7. Leave to cool on a wire rack before cutting in. I usually always try when it’s still a bit warm though!



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Inside and Out Book Tag #BEDM

Another day, another book tag! I just love doing book posts. I saw this tag on Alley Hope’s blog, another BEDM blogger. I liked it so much I decided to do it myself.

Inside flap/back of the book summaries: too much information or not enough?

Usually it’s enough for me. I prefer the blurb to be on the back of the book instead of on the inside cover. Drives me nuts when there is no blurb, either on the back or the inside cover! Just seems to be inconvenient not to have one.

New book:  What form do you want it in? Be honest - audio book, e-book, paperback of hardcover?

Physical books are my preferences, first paperback than hardback. Then e-books and then audiobooks. I am trying to give audiobooks a better chance. I used to think audiobooks don’t count as reading properly but then I realised it takes a considerable amount of time to actually listen to an audiobook, sometimes more than reading it!

Scribble while you read?  Do you like to write in your books, taking notes, making comments, or do you keep your books clean?

No, I don’t generally write on books. I have, of course, written on textbooks for school and college. I can think of one novel off the top of my head I’ve written in was Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen, I got it free in J-17 magazine!

In your best voice, read for us your favourite first sentence from a book.

Well, seeing as this was originally a YouTube tag, this makes sense. But I don’t have a favourite first line. Well, I do, but I can’t remember what it was or what the name of the book is. I know it was something like ‘It all started the day we decided to kill our mother’. It wasn’t a dark book as far as I remember, it was YA. But I just remember reading that line and thinking ‘woah, what a first sentence!’.

Does it matter to you whether the author is male or female when you're deciding on a book?  What if you're unsure of the author's gender?

I don’t really take it into consideration. If I book sounds interesting to me, I’ll want to read it, regardless of who wrote it. I am a little bit more conscious these days though about wanting to read more diversely, not just white authors, to branch out of my comfort zone.

Ever read ahead?  Or have you read the last page before you get there?

No, never! Though if I’m in an exciting part of the book, I might skim it to get to the really exciting part!


Organised bookshelves or outrageous bookshelves?

Organised chaos. I like having my books on shelves, but I stack them on top of each other to make sure they all fit!

Under oath: Have you ever bought a book based on the cover alone?

Of course! Couldn’t tell you what book right now though, nothing stands out, but I do know covers interest me.

Take it outside to read or stay in?

Inside mostly, as I don’t like to go out much. But I’ll read when out and about. On trains and planes, in cars, in waiting rooms and sometimes just outside lying in the sun.

That was fun! I’d love to see you do the tag too if you’re interested, I’m mainly looking at you Behind Green Eyes, Nurse Fancy Pants and Cuti-CLUE-less!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

My Favourite Things About Being a Child #BEDM

Another one of the Blog Every Day in May prompts. Today’s one is about the best things about being a child. So I decided to make a list of some of my favourite memories.

-Imagination. Being child, you have so much more imagination. I used to pretend to be a gymnast, doing cartwheels and balancing on things. And you the warning they used to have at the end of the TV show Gladiators? About not replicating anything at home? That message was totally for me as I used to pretend I was playing Gladiators. I used to have a playhouse out the back of my house and my friends and I would bring down all sorts of things, old telephones, books, blankets and play all sorts of games. Or sometimes we’d stay inside and do things like pretend to be hairdressers.


-Computer games. Yes, I LOVED computer games when I was a child. My Dad was given an old Amiga computer and a ton of games of floppy disks. I still have hankerings to play Zool, Rick Dangerous and Switchblade. Then we got a Super Nintendo, we had so many cool games but unfortunately we gave it away once we got a PlayStation. Still regret that as I want my own SNES!



-Christmas. Now, Christmas can be fun as an adult and you can certainly enjoy it but Christmas was so much more magical as a child. All that excitement!


-Taping songs off the radio. Ah, kids these days will never know the agony of radio presenters talking at the beginning and ending of songs and ruining your recording! A friend and I took it a step further and recorded our own radio shows on tapes! I really wish I still had a copy of that today.



-Smash Hits. I LOVED that magazine! So much so that a cousin and I made our own version called Mashed Bits.

Mashed Bits


-Jumble sales. In my neighbourhood, every now and again kids would decide to sell some of their toys and set up a jumble sale on the wall of their garden. There was always such excitement about nabbing a bargain! Also, once a year my school would do a big jumble sale, it was like the neighbourhood one times 100!


-Spending so much time outside. Nowadays I don’t like to spend that much time outside but as a child I could spend hours without going inside. Saying that though, I could also spending hours in my room reading as I was am a massive bookworm.


-Fat Frogs. Apple Jacks. Postman Pat sweets. Desperate Dan bars. Banana Bubbles cereal. When Freddos were originally Taz bars, Starburst were Opal Fruits and Smarties came in tubes with collectable tops.



-Henry Hippo money box



-Zig and Zag. And kids TV in general. Art Attack, Live and Kicking, Power Rangers, Animaniacs, TOP 30 HITS!



-Toys in cereal



-NOW That’s What I Call Music CDs. My first being NOW 36. I still have it!


Things I Like About Living in England #BEDM

So a while back I did a post about what I missed from home. I’ve decided I should do a post to counter that about what I like about living over here in England.

-Postage from online is so much cheaper! Sometimes even free (though since moving here Amazon and now ASOS have scraped their free shipping to a price restricted one, boo!). Though it has opened up the number of eBay accounts I can order to now. It was so annoying to find something you wanted, only to see if shipped to the UK only!

-On a similar note, there are so many more competitions that I can enter! No more UK only.

-Crumpets. And the fact that they are a lot more readily available. I used to have to wait to go to M&S in Galway to get them, though often they were sold out. Sometimes you’d luck out and find Kingsmill ones in Dunnes. Now, I am solely devoted to Warburtons.


-More reliable public transport. Public transport just wasn’t an option for where I lived back home, it’s too rural. You get one bus leaving in the morning and that same bus comes back in the afternoon. You just had to have a car to get around. Here, there’s a bus every 10 mins at the bottom of my road.

-Happy Hours!! Not legal in Ireland but here? 2-4-1 cocktail promotions!


-The fact that being here opened up the opportunity for me to go to the Pinterest Bread Event in Birmingham, which I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do living in Ireland.

-Bigger library = more books I want to read!

-The friends I’ve made so far. I really enjoy going to knitting club, even if I’d rather be talking than knitting!

-The excitement of finding Irish food items in supermarkets, never gets old. Now if only they had PROPER Taytos.


-The English mix of optimism and pessimism. Specifically what I’ll see during the World Cup, those who really think that England have a chance and those that know they will crash out (1966, Never Forget). It’ll be fun to be here for a World Cup, much better of course if Ireland was in it but never mind, I’ll cheer on Cameroon (team I got last World Cup in a draw, I feel loyalty towards supporting them!).

There’s probably more but at the moment I’m distracted to listening to election coverage from back home!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Claire’s Accessories Splatter Effect Top Coat #BEDM

In my Favourite Beauty Vloggers post, I mentioned MissHollyBerries. In one of her videos, she mentions a Hare Polish, an indie polish brand, in the shade Flight of the Flamingos. I fell in love with it but there doesn’t seem to be any on sale at the moment. So when I saw this top coat by Claire’s Accessories (in the shade Sequins) , I thought it might give a similar effect over a nude polish. But I actually think I like this more as I like the black pieces and how versatile it is.


It looks amazing over brights, it’s a really great shade for summer as it really pops. This is over my new favourite polish, Nails Inc Royal Botanical Gardens.


It looks good over pastels as well, still bright but a bit more muted than above. This is over Essence in Hello Marshmallow!


The whole reason I wanted to buy this, to put it over a nude colour. This is Ciate Cookies and Cream.


Lastly, I love the colour combo of grey and pink, so I decided to put this over Catrice Hey Dirty-Lilah!

I will say that some of the strand pieces can stand up, so a top coat over this is highly recommended. There are other colours available, which I’d love to get my hands on, so I’m keeping an eye out for an offer in Claire’s!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Out Of Your Comfort Zone #BEDM

So I knew I wanted to do this topic for Blog Every Day in May, but I just wasn’t sure about what I wanted it to be about. I had thought maybe posting a topic that wasn’t really my thing but I can’t think of anything really. I had also thought about doing a vlog but the lighting in my house isn’t that great and I still think I’m a bit off doing a vlog! So I decided in the spirit of Tuesday’s Being Adventurous post that I’d do something that has been on my mind for a while, setting up a Facebook page!

Even though I’ve had this blog for almost 4(!) years now, I haven’t told many people about it. I’m not entirely sure why, most likely as I was afraid to be criticized or laughed at. But over the years I’ve become more comfortable with sharing with people, wanting more feedback from my friends and family. I set up a Twitter just for this blog not so long ago, hoping to talk to people more and network and I’m really enjoying that so far. So the next logical step was a Facebook page.

Please say hi if you’re new here or if you have any feedback, I love getting comments.

If you’d like to follow me on my various social media sites, the links are down below.

Twitter Page

Facebook Page



YouTube Favourites #BEDM

I realised I hadn’t done a regular YouTube favourites in a while, so I thought I’d take a chance to show you some of the videos I’ve enjoyed in the past few months.


Who can resist a dog that does parkour? Especially one on a skateboard?! Not me anyway.


I was a HUGE Crystal Maze fan as a child and this spoof made me laugh, it’s perfect, right down to the harmonica!


I spoke about how The Little Mermaid is one of my favourite films in my favourite decade post and when I saw these Threadbanger shoes the other day, I fell in love!


Thought Marmite’s Love It Or Hate It philosophy was just for humans? Think again! Big cats in a sanctuary were given small samples of Marmite and I just love their reactions. Especially the ones who make a face after as if to say ‘WTF?!’



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Being Adventurous #BEDM

I’m glad this was a topic for Blog Every Day in May because it’s something that’s been on my mind for a while. I’m not an adventurous person by nature, I’m a home bird and I’m pretty cautious. I don’t like spicy foods, not a huge fan of surprises, I generally like having a plan when going somewhere, I nearly always order the exact same thing at a takeaway. I’m quite safe. But I wasn’t always! I think pack to childhood and how I’d have no hesitation to climb a tree, to explore new areas, to hop on a skateboard or cycle with no hands. I used to close my gates and walk across the top and pretend I was a gymnast! The other week I scared myself half to death trying to stand on a table to fix the curtains! Basically, as I got older any sense of adventure or bravery just seemed to melt away. This is probably because it’s a by-product of growing older, becoming more aware of dangers and how to survive them.

But the past few years have seen me lose my sense of fear and assertiveness. A few months ago, I had a list of things I’m afraid or hesitant to do. Most are very mundane and ridiculous really, but I made an effort for a month to be a bit braver. And I did get about half the stuff crossed off the list! But then I kinda forgot and I’ve slipped back to my normal sense. So I’m going to make a pledge here to be a bit more brave.

1. Try and stop being so scared to make phone calls.

There’s almost nothing I hate doing more but ringing strangers. I know, sounds ridiculous, but it really makes me anxious and I have to plan what I’m going to say so I don’t sound stupid on the phone trying to find the words to say something. So I put it off and it makes me feel even more anxious. I’m going to try and nip that in the bud!

2. Be more brave with make up looks.

I never wear bold colours on my lips, in fact sometimes I just don’t wear anything. Though I have tons of different shades in my makeup bag. I’m really conscious of how small my lips are but I’m going to try take my cousins advice on this. When talking to her about her bold lipstick and why I don’t wear it, she said life is too short to give a damn and worry. And she’s right. So I’m wearing a bright shade this evening when I go to knitting group!

3. Stop being afraid to make bread

Ya, sounds ridiculous again but I’m so hesitant to make yeast breads as I’ve failed before and the whole process is daunting. But I need to realise that I won’t get any better if I don’t practice! Same goes for candy making and using sugar thermometers.

4. Stop being a wimp when it comes to food

Yes, I need to try some food I’ve never tried before. I have been better these past few years, especially compared to how fussy a child I was, but I still should try new things, especially seafood. But will I ever be able to order anything but a korma from an Indian?! Who knows, I am in love with kormas.

5. Be more crafty

I like crafting but because I’m not great at it, I hesitate as I don’t want to ruin perfectly nice materials! Which is crazy. I also hesitate because mine doesn’t turn out perfectly (case and point these bird magnets). I have a long list of Pinterest projects I want to try and that I’m going to try.

6. Go with the flow more

Be more willing to be fast and loose, to not have a plan. It can lead to fun things and new adventures.

To round this out, I do want to point out that I’m not a complete wimp! I have gone on many rollercoasters and rides despite not liking heights (something that always surprises my boyfriend as he doesn’t think it’s really ‘me’), I talk to strangers when out and about and I’m not afraid of it, I tried surfing 2 summers ago, I jumped off a huge height into the sea when exploring an island last summer, I put a snake around my shoulders despite being afraid of them and I used to going on adventures with friends, where we’d drive around exploring and finding new places. I suppose I just need to exercise my adventurous side more often!


Monday, May 19, 2014

The Goodreads Tag #BEDM

I was tagged by Chloe over at Nurse Fancy Pants to do the Goodreads Tag. I was going to follow her example and do a post about why I use Goodreads (check out her post HERE), but I’ll do that for another day. For those that don’t know, Goodreads is a site that lets you keep track of what you’ve read, what you’re currently reading, explore genres and see what your friends are up to as well. I’m a big fan of it.


What was the last book you marked as read?

Off the top of my head, I thought it was The Diamond Thief by Sharon Gosling, but it was actually Cress by Marissa Meyer. I’m so forgetful these days!

What are you currently reading?

I keep a few books on rotation, I’m not one for reading only one book at a time. Currently I have The Second Book of General Ignorance by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson, This Is Improbable: Cheese String Theory, Magnetic Chickens and Other WTF Theories by Marc Abrahams, Electrified Sheep by Alex Boese and Britty Britty Bang Bang by Hugh Dennis. All non-fiction, all information heavy, which is probably why I’m getting through them so slow. Though I only pick up the first two books every now and again as they are that kind of book. I do have Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and The Gathering by Anne Enright on my iTunes to listen to but I haven’t started them yet. I also have Who Is Tom Ditto? by Danny Wallace on my phone but again I haven’t started it, mainly as I’m trying to plough my way through all the physical books I have.

What was the title of the last book you marked as ‘To Read’?

The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: And Other True Stories of Trauma, Madness, Affliction, and Recovery That Reveal the Surprising History of the Human Brain by Sam Kean. What a title! In terms of fiction, it was The Hive by Gill Hornby, after reading Beth from Plastic Rosaries rate it on Goodreads.

What do you plan to read next?

Well, I’ll start that Danny Wallace book next I think. After that I’m not sure. I have slowed down on ordering from the library so I can concentrate on reading some book I own. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and The Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson are the ones looking most appealing to me on my bookshelf!

Do you use the star rating?

I do but honestly I wish sometimes there was half stars. Voting something 3 stars can mean a variation of things for me. If I read a book and liked it but wasn’t crazy about it, I’d probably want to give it 2.5 but since I can’t I’ll rate it 3 instead of 2. It can be frustrating at times but I do appreciate seeing star ratings of others, especially if I know we have similar tastes in books, as it’s helpful for me to decide if I want to read that book.

Are you doing a 2014 Reading Challenge?

I am! I did 100 last year and just about hit that goal. Towards the end, I felt like I was more reading for the sake of reaching the goal instead of enjoying it and it felt like such a chore. I set my challenge at 30 originally, which I’ve already hit, so I put it up to 50. If and when I reach 50, I’m unsure if I’ll move it again, I guess we’ll see!

Do you have a wishlist?

Does my To Read list of books count?! I do have an Amazon wishlist but I don’t put every book I want to read on there, just ones that I’d really like. Though not many people use my wishlist anyway (which is why it frustrates me when my boyfriend complains that he doesn’t know what to get me, yet he knows I have a wishlist!).

What book do you plan on buying next?

As much as I’d love to buy loads of books, I can’t really afford it. Though after the huge debacle to get my hands on The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith from the library last year, I think I’ll buy The Silkworm, the next book that is out soon.

Do you have any favourite quotes? Would you like to share a few?

“But luxury has never appealed to me, I like simple things, books, being alone, or with somebody who understands.” Daphne du Maurier

“The closed mind is a disease. You need to have an open mind; otherwise life will just pass you by.” Danny Wallace

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

“A library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life-raft and a festival. They are cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination. On a cold rainy island, they are the only sheltered public spaces where you are not a consumer, but a citizen instead” Caitlin Moran

Who are your favourite authors?

You can find my most read authors here, though a lot of them are children’s authors. Though if I were to pick my favourites I’d say Mary Roach, Danny Wallace, Dave Gorman, Ben Aaronovitch, Jon Ronson, Marian Keyes, J.K. Rowling, Rainbow Rowell and Jenny Colgan.

Have you joined any groups?

Yes, I have! I’m part of the Booksplosion Read-Along, The Rory Gilmore Book Club (though I don’t really participate in this one, it’s more so I can remember the Rory Gilmore book list) and another group for a forum I’m on.

And that’s it! If you’d like to do this tag, please do, it’s great fun if you like books and reading. You can check out my Goodreads page here, add me if you’d like.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

My Favourite Museums for Museum Day #BEDM

I love museums. There is always something for everyone, so there is no excuse to call them boring. The first time I remember going to a museum was when my aunt brought me to the Natural History Museum when I was 8. I just remember being in sheer awe at the dinosaurs on display. And the real life sized replica of a blue whale. Though my favourite section was the gemstones display, all the pretty, shiny stones. I was especially impressed with my birthstone, the opal!

I’m going to write about a few of the museums I’ve been to over the years, some with pictures. I’m also going to put my want-to-visit list at the end too.

1. Museum Row, South Kensington, London

Museum Row has something for everyone. You have the Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Science Museum. It’s the perfect location if there’s a big group of you with different interests. The fashion section in the V&A is my favourite, I love looking at all the garments. And I once saw an exhibition there featuring Penguin Books and their covers which was amazing. Best thing about all three of these are they are free!

2. British Museum, London

Last year was the first time I went to the British Museum. I was actually supposed to go there with my aunt but it was closed or something the day we got there so she took me to Natural History Museum. This museum has loads of different artefacts that most people will recognize by names. The Rosetta Stone, an Egyptian mummy and an Easter Island head are some of the things to see there. This one is also free.

British museum

3. London Transport Museum, Covent Garden, London

This museum is one for people who, like me, are fascinated with the Underground! I’ve been here three times. You have to pay for a ticket but that ticket is then valid for a year, which is great if you live in London or visit often as the exhibitions sometimes change. I saw an exhibition last year about poster designs for the Tube, which was amazing. You can also step back in time and step into old fashioned Omnibuses, old Tube carriages or sit in the driver seat of a bus.

             flamingos London Transport Museum

4. British Film Museum, Covent Garden, London

Just around the corner from the London Transport Museum is the British Film Museum. It’s a small one but I loved it. Free entry, you can see loads of different props from famous British films. The Spice Girls Union Flag Mini was my favourite! There was also this film reel showing clips of different films set in London, that highlighted the diversity of the city.

British Film Museum

5. The Beatles Experience, Liverpool

This is a must see for any Beatles fan, but even if you’re not a huge fanatic, you might still enjoy this. There’s so much to see there, but my favourite (besides being in a Yellow Submarine) was some of the memorabilia. Beatles tights anyone?!

Beatles tights

6. Museum of Brands and Packing, Notting Hill, London

This museum is amazing! I really loved it and raved to people after. It takes you through the history of packaging and advertising from the Victorian era to present times. Then there’s sections where they take certain brands and lay out their packaging from the beginning to current times, like Coca-Cola and Johnson’s Baby Powder, it was great to see the subtle changes in packaging. There’s also a section on different products in other countries (like the crazy flavours of drinks you can get in Japan) as well as a section on the idea of copyright and how own label things often try and mimic the packaging and names of the branded item (like instead of Penguin bars, having something like Puffin bars). This is a trip down memory lane, packed full of things to look at. Well worth it!

Ok, I could go on and on about museums I’ve been to. I mentioned here that I was recently at the Museum of Science and Industry here in Manchester but I barely had time to look around as we got there pretty late. I’ve been to many a museum in Ireland, including Bunratty Castle, Craggaunowen, King John’s Castle, A Day in the Bog, West Clare Railway, Titanic Experience, Dysert O Dea Castle to name but a few I remember! I haven’t actually been to any in Dublin, at least not off the top of my head (and if you don’t count Guinness Storehouse, which I actually think does count).

And here’s my museum wish-list, things I want to go to in Ireland and UK. I thought the list would be too long if I included other countries as well!

1. Dino-Snores for Grown Ups

This is an event at the Natural History Museum which is a sleepover for adults in the museum. You get to sleep under the dinosaurs! It’s packed full of events and fun things to do and I just think it sounds fantastic!

2. Baked Bean Museum of Excellence

I mean, how can you not want to go to this?! I read about it in a book that I reviewed here, where the author goes around the UK to quirky interesting museums. As a bean lover, this has interested me!

3. The Old Operating Theatre Museum

This one is fascinating. Built in the garret of St. Thomas’s Church, Southwark, there used to be a hospital attached next door, where the garret connected to. When the hospital moved in 1862, the garret laid unused until discovered in 1957. It’s the oldest surviving operating theatre in London (1822), has a big herb garden as well as various old instruments inside.

4. V&A Museum of Childhood

This V&A museum is situated in Bethnal Green. There’s currently an exhibition on there that ends June, so unfortunately I won’t see it, but it’s a cabinet of all toys confiscated by teachers in school. There’s also an exhibition on Jacqueline Wilson, which my inner child would love to see!

5. Crime Museum (Black Museum)

Museum of crime at Scotland Yard, featuring all sorts of grizzly items and artefacts. Famous murderers, Jack the Ripper, Notorious Poisoners. Unfortunately, though while this sounds fascinating (to me anyway), it’s not open to the public. Boo. There is however a police museum in Manchester that I will be checking out at some stage!

6. Wellcome Collection

The website says it’s a ‘free destination for the incurably curious’. Sounds like my kind of place! I became interested in going here when I saw an exhibit by them in the British Museum. Also along this vein is the Hunterian Museum, set in the Royal College of Surgeons, which I think would be interesting too.

7. British Lawnmower Museum

Another museum that was mentioned in the book I read about odd museums, though I had heard of it before. In 2007, I was at a wedding around that area and my aunt said she was interested in going. Unfortunately we never went but it’s been stuck in my head since!

Look, I could blab on and on about museums, the ones I’ve been to and the ones I want to go to. But I’ll leave it here for now. Have you been to any of the ones above? Have I skipped anything interesting? Let me know below!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

My Favourite Decade #BEDM

I actually didn’t see this topic the first time I looked through them all and had planned to write something else today but I read over all the topics the other day and thought ‘How on earth did I miss this? It’s right up my alley!’.

I had debated doing the 90’s, as that’s the decade I mainly grew up in and it would be full of nostalgia. But I knew that if I asked anyone what my favourite decade was, they’d look at me crazy and say ‘Why are you even asking, the 80s of course!’.

Ah, the 80s. I must admit I have a soft spot for it. I do love a lot of 80s things. And of course my childhood through the 90s was influenced from time to time by the 80s. Like these toys.

     80s overtherainbow


And this awesome keyboard with an even more awesome demo! I think Wake Me Up by Wham! is one of my all time favourites and this keyboard is probably why! Other 80s music I like include Duran Duran, Madonna, Bananarama, Blondie, Elton John, Jimmy Sommerville to name but a few!

The 80s produced two of my favourite films. One that I was obsessed with during the 80s (The Little Mermaid, apparently I used to watch it on video at least once a day) and one that I discovered much later (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off). Special shout out to the Annie movie too, I still love that!

    Ariel-the-little-mermaid ferris bueller


The 80s crept into my reading when I was child, as I particularly love the Sweet Valley series by Francine Pascal. If you haven’t read Red Lemonade’s Sweet Valley Revisited, I highly suggest you do. The first few books have been reviewed and they are very funny.


Of course, you can’t mention the 80s without talking about the fashion! Yes, some of it was truly awful but a lot of it is very popular right now. Especially jelly shoes, they are a big trend for this summer.

Heeled-glitter-jelly-shoe6 forever 21

Primark jelly heel; Forever 21 nailing jelly shoes with another 80s classic, neon

Primark also has a lot of kitchy t-shirts featuring 80s favourites like My Little Pony and Carebears. Though it’s not just high street fashion that’s currently loving the 80s. Crimped hair was spotted on the runway of Giorgio Armani for AW 2014.

    pony Giorgio-Armani-Fall-2014

Primark outfit; Giorgio Armani AW 2014

I could wax lyrical for hours about all things 80s. Rubik's cubes, androgyny, men wearing make up, shoulder pads, the crazy make up, Girl Just Wanna Have Fun, jelly bracelets, legwarmers, Super Mario Brothers. I’ll leave you with this picture of me dancing with a friend at an 80s party I once helped organize.


80s (1)

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