We recently had a manga event at work, which had a Pokemon theme. To mark the occasion I decided to make some pokeball cookies! Now, I had made some before years ago for a friend when I was in university. But I couldn’t remember how I did it or where I got the inspiration from. I just remember it took forever to make the icing black. So this time round, when I decided I was going to do this, I had plain vanilla sugar cookies in mind, with red, white and black royal icing (thinking I’d make the black icing chocolate to get it as dark as possible before adding black food dye). However, then I came across this video from Nerdy Nummies, which made the cookie dough and split it in half and coloured one half red. Then the dough was chilled, cut in half and the two different halves glued together with egg wash. It was soooo much simpler to do it this way (mine was a bit of a disaster as it didn’t glue properly and kept coming apart when I cut but luckily once the cookie is cut off the cylinder, a cookie cutter is used to make it perfectly round). In the end I used a premade black icing from Lakeland for minimum stress and used mini marshmallows as the white dots in the centre. They were a hit on the night and tasty yummy, if I do say so myself!
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Monday, May 11, 2015
I bought 5 polishes when Model’s Own had a half price sale at the end of January. This is one of the polishes I bought. I had wanted it when it first came out but held off getting any. I did like the purple one too but alas I limited myself during this sale.
Sunday, May 10, 2015
I always love a good wishlist post every now and again. Though this time around I was a bit stuck. My no-limit wishlist is a holiday, a car, a new laptop and new phone, in that order. I haven’t been on holiday for ages, we are currently without a car, my 5 year old laptop is on its last legs and my second hand 5 year old iPhone is just a bit sad. But they’re all manageable really. Oh and I want someone to clean my entire house!
I have put together a smaller wishlist, of bits and pieces I’d like. Of course, there’s some nail polish in there. There always is! I posted these in my Confessions of a Nail Polish Addict post the other day but here they are again.
Clockwise from top left: Butter London Bit Faker, Candy Lacquer Licorice Allsorts, Hare Polish Flight of the Flamingo, Revlon Whimsical
My bag is a really cheap Primark satchel which I love but the handle is beginning to break and I haven’t had it all that long either, a few months. I need to get another Vendula London bag. I had one for years and it lasted me well. I like the look of this one.
Umbrella messenger bag by Vendula London
I want a bath. A nice, long, hot bath. Not having a bath in my flat really makes me crave a bath! I have lots of lovely products I could use but Lush recently opened a new flagship store on Oxford St in London and there’s over 200 products you can only buy there. Including The Comforter Shower Gel. I LOVE The Comforter Bubble Bar and can’t wait to get my hands on this.
Working in a bookshop, I want ALL the books I see. There’s so many of them, especially in the cookbook section that catch my eye. I’ve wanted Tequila Mockingbird for ages now, I might have already posted it in a previous wishlist. I think I’ll treat myself next payday!
That’s it! Pretty short wishlist for me and shockingly no flamingos! Though I still want all the flamingo things. I’ll always want all the flamingo things.
Saturday, May 9, 2015
So last year for BEDM I did a post for Darkness Into Light 2014. In case you don’t know what Darkness Into Light (DIL) is, it’s a 5km walk that starts at 4am in the dark and by the time you finish, the sun is rising and it’s beginning to get light. The walk is in aid of Pieta House, who raise awareness about self-harm and suicide and provide services for those that need it.
Last year I did the walk in London with my brother and this year, my fourth year walking it, I was joined again by my brother and my boyfriend. We did the walk in Manchester ,starting at the Irish World Heritage Centre. It was the first time the walk had many international locations besides London and Sydney (which happened for the first time last year). The Irish communities in England, Scotland, USA, Canada and Australia came together to do the walk and raise awareness. Overall, this is the seventh Darkness Into Light Walk and there’s no sign of it stopping!
At the beginning of the walk with my boyfriend
As I’ve said before, mental health awareness is so important. There needs to be more acceptance so people can feel like they can talk. If you had something physically wrong with you, say a sore foot, there’s only so much suffering you’d endure before getting it checked out. The same should apply to mental health, don’t feel embarrassed and carry that dark cloud with you for longer than needed. There’s always someone you can talk to. Parent, sibling, partner, friend, family member, teacher, doctor. Don’t suffer alone in silence.
If someone comes to you with problems, then please just listen. Sometimes people need someone to just listen to lighten their load. Don’t dismiss them and tell them ‘Get over it’ or ‘Just lighten up’. If you don’t think you can fully help them, then direct them to services such as Pieta House. You can donate to Pieta House here.
Banner of Hope; Breakfast!
Friday, May 8, 2015
I originally saw this polish in JessFace90s video showing all the China Glaze Electric Nights collection. This one stood out to me, a matte glitter neon topper! Perfect for summer (and perfect for my matte glitter topper obsession).
I put Point Me to the Party over Models Own Hypergel in White Light. I LOVE this look, I’m a big fan of looks over white for summer and this neon polish is amazing for it.
Thursday, May 7, 2015
I saw this tag on Brit Nails and thought it looked like fun. So here we go!
1. What nail polish are you wearing on your nails (and toes) right now?
I have a different colour on both hands! I had planned to take swatch pictures today but got a bit lazy. I put Barry M in Ballerina on my right hand, there was a 3 for 2 when I was in Superdrug the other day and bought these Maybelline Top Coats and Ballerina became my third choice. Today I got a polish I have LONG lusted after in the post. A-England in St. George. I swiftly applied it to my left hand, it’s GORGEOUS!! Swatches of both to follow in future posts. As for my toes? Nothing, I haven’t had something on my toes for ages.
2. What is one nail product you can't live without?
I have 2 or 3 bottles of Essence Studio Nails Ultra Strong Nail Hardener lying around, I love this stuff! It really helps my weak nails
3. What is your favourite nail brand (mainstream and indie)?
Essence is probably my favourite mainstream brand, it’s cheap but good quality, they have lots of colours and change things around quite a bit to keep things interesting. Barry M are fantastic too though. Out of the big three (or what I think the most popular) China Glaze, OPI and Essie, I prefer China Glaze.
As for indie, I don’t have many indies which is a shame. I think the only one I have is a Dollish Polish but I do love it!
4. What shape nail do you wear (short or long)?
Squoval mainly. My nails grow quite square shaped but I try to soften them a bit. I wear my nails long. Or long for me anyway! I will cut them short enough every now and again though, either because they are weak or one breaks and I want them all even.
5. What is your go-to colour?
I really like purples and teals. Though I do go for white quite a bit with a fun coloured top coat. White was one of my go tos last summer.
6. What is your favourite nail polish finish?
I do love a creme finish. Though I also love a crelly (creme and jelly) finish too. I’m a sucker for matte glitter top coats too!
7. What’s on your nail polish wishlist?
Where to start! I’m mainly lusting over Candy Lacquer Licorice All Sorts, it’s beautiful. I’d also love Hare Polish Flight of the Flamingos, Butter London Bit Faker and Revlon Whimsical. As well as raiding an American drugstore for stuff we can’t get here!
Clockwise from top left: Bit Faker, Licorice Allsorts, Flight of the Flamingo, Whimsical
8. When do you usually paint your nails (morning, afternoon or evening)?
Afternoon or evening time, though I try not to do it too late as I end up with sheet marks! Never the morning, ewww.
9. What’s your top nail tip you swear by?
Oh, I don’t really have any! I’ve been trying to give my nails and hands more moisture to improve the quality.
10. What nail polish do you regret buying?
I don’t think I have any really. I don’t buy a lot of super expensive nail polish so even if I don’t really like something, it’ll only be a few pounds for me. And I can give them to my sister!
11. Neons or pastels? Brights or darks?
I probably prefer pastels over neons but then again, I go through phases like others. Pastels for spring, neons for summer, darks and glitters for autumn and winter.
12. What is your holy grail white, black and nude polish?
White is Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine in Coconut, black is from Wet n Wild, no idea if they still do it anymore though, I need to pick it up if I can find it. If it’s black for nail art, I like the Barry M Nail Art Pen. For nude, my favourite at the moment is OPI You’re So Vain-illa but I also love Nails Inc Basil Street.
13. What is one brand you want to try but haven’t yet?
Just one?! Don’t think so. Hare polish, KB Shimmer, Candy Lacquer, Deborah Lippmann, Chanel. So many!
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
So I was in Superdrug the other day and these two new top coats got my attention. According to the woman who served me, the Maybelline rep had been in the day before so I had my timing just right!
This is Pave the Way over Nails Inc Royal Botanical Gardens. The top coat is full of black and white square and other shaped pieces. It caught my eye as it was different to the usual circular top coats. I did find it a be problematic though. There didn’t seem to be a lot of clear polish on the bottle, so when I was trying to get the pieces out it was a bit awkward. And if you don’t get them to stick down properly, the corners can poke out. A clear top coat over this can seal them in though. I will give it another go as I do love how different the shapes are.
This is NY Lover over Models Own Hypergel Naked Glow . This topcoat has small round white pieces, larger red glitter pieces and white hearts. I would have LOVED this around Valentine’s Day as it was just what I was looking for. I love it over this nude colour and I’m looking forward to trying it over a bright colour.
Apparently the European editions of this collection have these two polishes and 2 other ones. I don’t know if we’re going to get the other ones here but if we do, I’ll let you know! These were £3.99 if I recall correctly.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
NOW 47 contains 10 UK Number 1s, which is quite impressive. Again, looking at the track listings, I seem to have preferred Disc One over Disc Two.
Disc One, track one! I was a big Robbie fan and really loved the song. It's still a great song to listen to but the video turns very weird towards the end.
Lady (Hear Me Tonight) is from French house duo Modjo. I love the funky vibe of the song, which is mainly due to the guitar sample from Soup For One by Chic. 13 years later and another French duo along with the help of Nile Rodgers hit the number one spot (I'm talking of course about Daft Punk and Get Lucky). It's kinda cool to see that my love of that song and type of music probably started by liking a song like Lady (Hear Me Tonight).
I always think I don't like dance music but when I go through the NOW CDs, there's always some dance hits that I love. And this is no exception. I still love to listen and dance to this one, I love the energy! This NOW has a song from Spice Girls (Holler) and three solo songs (I Turn to You by Melanie C, Out of Your Mind by True Steppers and Dane Bowers ft Victoria Beckham and Tell Me by Melanie B).
Like many Irish girls my age, I was a massive Samantha Mumba fan. Just listening to this one now makes me want to go listen to all her songs. Body II Body samples Ashes to Ashes by David Bowie. Gotta Tell You is probably my fave song by Samantha Mumba but this follows in second. Though like many Irish people, listening to this song probably reminds you of that car safety ad. While those ads are effective they ruin the songs associated with them!
This is the song I heard last week that reminded me of this particular NOW CD. It makes me want to listen to all the garage songs I loved around this time!
Another Robbie song on the same disc! Just shows how popular he was back in the day. This is his duet with Kylie Minogue, who I started to like when Spinning Around came out (I bought the single if I recall correctly!). This song is pretty raunchy! I think I knew it at the time but looking back I probably didn't fully realize it. This song works so well though as Robbie and Kylie have such fantastic chemistry.
This song is from Coyote Ugly, which I didn't see at the time it came out but saw it a few years later. My current self appreciates Tyra Banks being in it and I want to rewatch it again because of her! The song is great to belt along to, I still remember the words!
I almost typed It's Gonna Be May when typing out the name of the song! I don't remember being a massive N SYNC fan back in the day but I did enjoy some of their songs. I think I appreciate their music more now actually! This video is fun but a bit weird too. Though we do get to enjoy some classic ramen haired Justin.
I saved probably my favourite til last! Though that is a hard choice considering there are loads of songs I love. I love the music, I love Anastacia's voice and I love singing along! I like to think I can sing like Anastacia but let's get real, I definitely can not! It's my favourite song by her as well.
There are others from the CD that I enjoy, like Pure Shores by All Saints, but I've decided to leave it at 10 songs from today. I'll of course post a link to Sharon's post later on, I'm really looking forward to her one! Any of these bring back memories? Would you have picked other songs from NOW 47 as your favourite? Let me know in the comments below!
Monday, May 4, 2015
Let’s get into how April went!
Socialised- April was quite a busy month! Spent a good amount of time with Sarah, we went to Tea Hive at the beginning of the month, spent to our regular knitting session in Oddest as well as a new weekly one at Ziferblat (which is a cool pay as you stay cafe with free tea, coffee and goodies) and Sarah came to mine one Friday night where we had new strawberry Pimms! Following my boyfriend’s sister being over for the last weekend in March, my boyfriend’s brother was over Easter weekend, along with a friend. I got to spend a small amount of time with them, mainly as I was working (though not Easter Sunday as my shop was closed!). Speaking of work, I had a staff training day in the middle of the month and then after went for some for a drink in Allotment and dinner in SoLita with two of the guys from work which was lovely.
Clockwise from top left: Strawberry Pimms, Ziferblat, cocktail at Oddest, graffiti in Northern Quarter
Knitted- Two hats. Well, I completed one (just need to attach a pom pom) and I’m almost finished another baby hat for a relative who just had a beautiful baby this month. I will put up pictures at some stage.
Watched- Game of Thrones! Who hasn’t been watching GOT?! I also went to the cinema with my boyfriend to see The Avengers: Age of Ultron which I enjoyed.
Baked- Some Anzac biscuits for an Australian friend at work. It was my first time trying them and I was told they turned out alright! I also made mini Easter Eggs for the first time and will definitely need more practice there.
Bought- I bought a few things really but the most exciting was this pin I bought at the ZiferMarket at Ziferblat, a Penguin books badge! It was made by Jon Turner.
Now onwards to May, which is already turning out to be a busy one!
Sunday, May 3, 2015
I’m not usually a fan of yellow but it is slowly growing on me and I find myself turning to it more and more. This yellow is No.7 Gel Shine Look in Lemon Drop (limited edition I think). I love how it looks with this Angelica topper in Boom Pop, the colour combo is just so bright and fun! I love how the yellow is on the pastel side, but the topper just freshens up the idea of pastels for spring.
What are your favourite colour combos for spring? Let me know below in the comments.
Saturday, May 2, 2015
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas
This is the second book in the Throne of Glass series, following straight on from the first book Throne of Glass. Celeana is the king’s personal assassin though she has a secret that if anyone was to find out, she would be killed. Celeana is still stuck in a bit of a love triangle between the prince and the captain. I don’t want to go too into this but it is a good follow up to the first book. It’s nice to see Celeana work as an assassin instead of fighting the battle to become the king’s assassin. We find out a bit more about Celeana’s back story too, but just enough to keep us curious and wanting to know more. Overall if you enjoy the first book then you’ll probably want to get your teeth into this one too!
Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins
Sticking with the theme of kick ass girls, Miss Mayhem is the follow up to Rebel Belle, which saw Harper gain some super strength fighting skills to become Paladin (protector) to her former nemesis David, who is the Oracle. Think Buffy but set in the South! I can’t go into this one too much as it’ll spoil stuff from the first book but needless to say there’s still some awesome fight scenes as well as Harper, David and friends trying to stay ‘normal’ despite what destiny has decided otherwise. I did find it a bit of a let down compared to Rebel Belle, it wasn’t as long and it felt a tad filler at times. As well as predictable. I will read the final book once it’s out as I want to know what happens with the story but I think it just fell under the curse of the boring second book in a trilogy.
Scott Pilgrim Gets it Together by Bryan Lee O’Malley
Book 4 in the Scott Pilgrim series. I don’t really know what to say, another book, another evil ex to fight! I am enjoying the series though, there is always some fun quirky details if you look properly which keeps in interesting.
Academy Street by Mary Costello
This one was recommended by someone at work, who said it was a beautiful but sad story. It starts in Ireland in 1940s at the funeral of Tess’s mother. Tess is seven and this death has a massive impact on her childhood. The book follows Tess as she grows up, moves to America and what happens to her there, up until she is an older woman. At times it reminded me a bit of Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín but there are massive differences. Brooklyn follows a shorter time span while Academy Street follows Tess’s whole life. What struck me most was Tess’s loneliness, which starts as a child when she loses the ability to speak and no one can understand why. Despite having people in her life while in America, she still remains lonely, an outsider, unable to properly connect with people. She does have a lovely friendship with Willa, another woman who lives in the same building on Academy Street which I was glad Tess had, it stopped the book being a complete tragedy! This novella is a sweet melancholy at it’s finest.
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
So I technically finished this yesterday but only because I couldn’t finish it Thursday night as I was too tired. I’m adding it to April’s reads because it’s the Fem-tellectual Book of the Month pick. The theme was a book by a business woman so I picked the only book that interested me, Lean In. It’s something I’ve wanted to read for a while so it was the perfect opportunity. This book is the reason I was slow to read this month. I did find it interesting but as it’s non-fiction is slowed my reading down a bit, especially because I wanted to take it all in properly. The book has some interesting points which all women (and men) should consider. I might my own copy so I can dip back in and out of it in the future.
Number of books read- 5
Ratio fiction to non-fiction- 4:1
Male to Female authors- 1:4
Number of eBooks- 1 (Miss Mayhem)
Number of books borrowed from library- 4 (Crown of Midnight, Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together, Lean In and Academy Street)
Fem-tellectual Book Club January Theme ‘Pretty Busy Ladies; A Book Written by a Business Woman- Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
Reading Challenge Completed
A book with a love triangle- Crown of Midnight
A book set in highschool- Miss Mayhem
A book that made you cry- Academy Street
So I didn't get one challenge for every book this month, something that I'll need to up my game about for the last few tricky challenges towards the end of the year.
Overall, I think I need to do a bit better and hopefully I will in May. I feel like I have so many books I need to read but not enough time. I do have enough time, I just need to prioritize more!
Friday, May 1, 2015
So #BEDM is back again! Last year I participated in Blog Every Day in May and really enjoyed it. I discovered new bloggers and friends and challenged myself. I was on the fence about doing it this year, partly because I’m really distracted at the moment but decided I’d at least give it a go, there’s no harm in trying! And I need a massive kick up the arse when it comes to putting in some effort around here!
I’m 27, an Irish expat currently living in Manchester with my long term boyfriend. I work in a bookshop and I love it, the challenges it brings, the people I work with and of course the books! When I’m not working or reading, I enjoy knitting, baking and being with friends. I wish I was a bit more adventurous at times but I never have been and I know I never will be. Doesn’t stop me from trying to challenge myself or try new things but I do like my comforts and I’m a big home bird! Saying that, I haven’t been properly abroad (not counting going back and forth from Ireland and the UK) since 2008 when I went to Prague, so if someone wants to give me a free holiday that would be great!
Things that I like: Cocktails, cakes, flamingos, fancy dress parties, soft yarn, the seaside, Duolingo, Nutella, cats, nerdy jokes and puns, nail polish and nail art, pancakes, Twitter, blusher, bright coloured clothes, Rupaul’s Drag Race, London Underground, 80s music, getting and sending post, Capri Suns, 9s nostalgia, cat eye sunglasses, weiner dogs
Things I don’t like: Look, I could be here for ages listing these so let’s just skip it for now!
If there’s anything else you’d like to know, you can check out these two Liebster posts (one and two) where I have some random facts about myself. Feel free to ask some questions too in the comments box. Or find me on Twitter.
If you want to do BEDM, there’s still time! There’s a page of prompts on the Rosalilium page for every day to help inspire your post. I will probably dip in and out of these prompts as I go along. Happy BEDM everyone, may the odds be ever in your favour!