Saturday, February 23, 2013

YouTube Pick of the Week

It feels like it’s been ages since I did one of these!

First video is a Breakfast Club/Avenger mash up. I’m a sucker for them and love this one!

I’ll admit, the very first thing that popped into my head when the Pope said he was going to retire was this old Gift Grub Pope Idol sketch!

Here’s VSauce’s defence for Comic Sans. I can’t help, part of me really likes it! (don’t hate me, please!). However I do realise that it’s not completely appropriate for every occasion. I thought this video on the history of Comic Sans was interesting. Now I’m off to watch Helvetica to redeem myself!

This Heineken interview video stuck out to me. It was a very interesting concept. And also reminded me of a story my English teacher always told about interviews, that there was company that used to keep a knocked down brush outside the door of the interview and kept note of how many interview candidates took the time to pick it back up. Not sure if it was true but it’s stuck with me for all these years!

Stumbling around Tumblr one day, I came across a GIF for the scene above and searched for it on YouTube. It’s one of my favourite’s from Toy Story. After watching Toy Story 3 on TV last weekend, I must rewatch the first film again.

Finally, the last video is a piece of old Irish music nostalgia, Sunburst by Picturehouse. So happy and uplifting!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine’s Day Nails

I had fun thinking up nail ideas for Valentine’s Day! I had a few more ideas but didn’t have the time (and I don’t think my nails would have thanked me for it!). So here’s what I came up with.


No flash


With flash

Hand painted hearts. I love the colour combo!

Base colour- Catrice Hollywood’s Fabulous 40s in The Nude Scene

Heart colour- Catrice Ultimate Nail Lacquer in Wrapped Around My Finger


No flash


With flash

Here I tried some nail stamping, it wasn’t the best but again I do love the colour combo, as well as the idea. I just need to practice nail stamping more!

Base- Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Polish in Rose Libertine

Heart- essence nail art stampy polish in matt black (I applied a top coat to make it shiny but I really liked it matt as well)


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With flash

This time I used electrical tape, cut off a bit, folded in half, cut out the half heart shape, unfolded and stuck on my nails so it could be used as a stencil. Scotch tape would work too, I wouldn’t recommend Sellotape though.

Base- Catrice Ulimate Nail Lacquer in CO2 Reggaeton (Cucuba Limited Edition)

Heart- Models Own in Pink Fizz

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Romantic Chocolate Puddings

I made these chocolate puddings last year for Valentine’s Day and complete forgot to blog about them! They are too delicious to not share though!


Romantic Chocolate Pudding

Adapted from


50g dark chocolate (or make a mix of dark and milk if you aren’t the biggest fan of dark chocolate)

50g butter, softened

100g caster sugar

50g self raising flour

2 medium eggs

1/8 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Pinch of salt

For the sauce

75g dark chocolate (or again a half and half mix of dark and milk)

23g butter

1 Crunchie Bar (optional)

Serves 4


1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Chop or break the chocolate into pieces and then melt, along with the butter, either in the microwave or in a heatproof bowl of a pan of boiling water. Once melted, leave to rest and cool on countertop.

2. Beat the eggs and sugar together until thick, pale and airy (best to use an electric beater to do this unless you have strong arms!). Gently fold in flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt.

3. Fold in the melted cooled chocolate mixture, divide equally between 4 ramekin dishes and bake for 25 minutes.

4. To make the chocolate sauce, melt the chocolate and butter the same way you did the first time and then drizzle over the cooked puddings. Crush up some Crunchie (easiest way to do this is in a sandwich bag) and then add to the top of the puddings.

5. Enjoy!


Monday, February 4, 2013

butter London Fiddlesticks

I’ve drooled over butter London polishes several times online and when I came across a few of there Lips & Tips sets in TK Maxx last week, I leapt at the chance of buying one. There were several shades there, a ruby red, a gold, a silver, a pink and a rose gold shade (which I was very tempted to get!) but Fiddlesticks stuck out to me. It’s a beautiful raspberry pink glittery shade and I’m a sucker for raspberry shades so I nabbed the last one there!



Without flash



With flash

It has an almost jelly like consistency, the glitter in it doesn’t feel glittery when on the nail if that makes any sense?! It definitely needs a top coat to make it extra shiny. I’m very impressed by it, I will definitely check out more butter London in the future!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

January’s Reads

If I keep up at the speed I was reading at in January, I’ll definitely hit over 100 read mark! In January I managed to read 12 books (almost 13 as I was over 75% finished another book). Here’s a look at my book shelf!

The Science Magpie by Simon Flynn

This is a collection of science related stories, facts, poems, jokes (I love science puns and jokes!) and diagrams. If you’re a little nerdy like me you’ll appreciate this. Nothing too heavy, the facts do not bog you down like other non-fiction books. I got a kick out of reading it and it was the perfect way to kick start the year!



Dolores Claibourne by Stephen King

dolores claibourne

The first book read off my Reading Resolutions list! Which means it’s the first time I’ve read a Stephen King Novel. I don’t know why I’ve never read one before, probably because I was put off by the fact he writes a lot of horror books. If this is the same reason you’ve never read one of his books, then this is the perfect introductory book for you, more in the mystery genre than horror.

This one was recommended (and bought) for me by a friend. It’s the story of Dolores Claibourne, a woman in her mid-sixties who has been accused of murdering Vera Donovan, the old lady who has been her long term employer. The entire book is narrated by Dolores while she is being interviewed and while she denies that murder, she does delve into the depths of her past to explain why she murdered her husband years ago. I could barely put it down!

84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

84 charing cross road

I’ve had this book for a long time, I got it for Christmas after reading The Guernsey Litary and Potato Peel Pie Club. I fell in love with books written in the form of letters and Amazon recommended 84 Charing Cross Road. It’s a true story of Helene Hanff, a New Yorker, and her relationship with the staff of Marks and Co., the second hand book shop at 84 Charing Cross Road, where she first writes to order some books. The book shows years of letter correspondence and my copy also included The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street, which was the book written after 84 Charing Cross Road and the success of the book and Helene’s eventual visit to London. A quick and charming read!

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

1 EleganceOfHedgehog

I have had 84 Charing Cross Road for years and never tried to read it until last month. And the next book I’ve had for years but I have tried several times to tackle it and failed. I bought The Elegance of the Hedgehog at the same time as The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Club in 2009 and it’s taken me that long to finally get it finished. The problem with is that for the first 100 pages or so, the build up is slow and I hated the characters. After the introduce of a certain character who becomes the catalyst for change, I warmed to the characters and did enjoy the book. It is however steeped in lots of philosophical musings which frankly bored me (so much so that a skipped some of it shush!). If that sounds like your kind of thing then this book could be for you.

Never Suck a Dead Man's Hand by Dana Kollmann

never suck a dead mans hand

Back to another non-fiction! Never Suck a Dead Man’s Hand is a true life account of a Crime Scene Investigator. It isn’t all like the CSI TV shows! It was an interesting read but I thought it would grab me more. If you’re curious about this kind of thing, then this could be for you. It is of course pretty graphic in areas, don’t say I didn’t warn you!



Uglies by Scott Westerfeld


I decided to read this book after I saw this article about books people might enjoy if they liked The Hunger Games. In Uglies, once people turn 16 they have an operation that makes them a Pretty. Their only responsibility as a New Pretty is to party and have fun before having to get a job. Tally has been dreaming of becoming a Pretty and then she meets Shay, who decides she doesn’t want to become a Pretty. Tally is given an ultimatum: find Shay and bring her home or never become a Pretty. Suddenly Tally discovers there’s an ugly side to being a Pretty and that it’s not all cracked up to be.

I enjoyed this book and if you liked The Hunger Games, then this Young Adult, dystopian future novel is one you should enjoy too.

Dark Lies the Island by Kevin Barry

dark lies the island

Dark Lies the Island is a collection of short stories by Irish author Kevin Barry. Most are set in Ireland. I did enjoy the books, especially the darker stories but there were a handful I didn’t like. But overall it was a good read.




Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster (eBook)

bright lights, big ass

This is the second book by Jen Lancaster (the first being Bitter is the New Black). In this book she writes about the ups and downs of city life, that it’s not all swanky cocktail parties and shopping sprees. I decided to give this book a go as I had warmed to Jen’s character by the end of Bitter is the New Black. I like Jen’s style of writing, so much so that the next book I read was almost on of hers!


Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster (eBook)

such a pretty fat

In Jen Lancaster’s third book, she tackles the pitfalls of diets and losing weight. It’s a refreshing, honest read about what often goes on in a woman’s head when she’s trying to get fit and healthy! Here’s the first page:

Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels- A Weight Watchers axiom

Weight Watchers can kiss the fattest part of my ass- A Jen Lancaster axiom

With a beginning like that you know Jen Lancaster will not hold off in telling you how she feels! A funny and honest memoir.

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld (eBook)


This is the second book in the Uglies series. I won’t give away too much as it might spoil some things. I did enjoy it and I’m looking forward to reading the next book. The only annoying thing is the Pretty slang, lots of references to being ‘bubbly’, ‘bogus’ or ‘pretty-making’. It does seem to be slightly over used but it is part of the Pretty characters.


Strawberry Shortcake Murder by Joanne Fluke (eBook)

strawberry shortcake murder

This is the second book in the Hannah Swensen series. Hannah is the owner of The Cookie Jar, a bakery in the small town of Lake Eden, Minnesota. Hannah has a habit of stumbling upon murders and against detective orders she always decides to investigate! In this story Hannah gets a call from Danielle, the battered wife of Boyd Watson, the basketball coach at the local high school. Danielle has found her husband dead in their garage and rings Hannah to help her. Hannah must find the killer so Danielle is cleared off the suspect list. Was it a contestant in the Hartland Flour company’s Dessert Bake-Off that Hannah and Boyd had judged or are there other secrets in Boyd Watson’s life, secrets that could get him killed? An enjoyable read, I like the characters and the book comes complete with delicious recipes.

Blueberry Muffin Murder by Joanne Fluke (eBook)

blueberry muffin murder

In Joanne Fluke’s 3rd book, Hannah Swensen, owner of The Cookie Jar, is tasked with showing America’s ‘Cooking Sweetheart’ Connie Mac around Lake Eden, in preparation for the Winter Carnival. Hannah soon discovers that Connie is not as sweet as she appears on TV. After Connie’s cake is ruined while being delivered, Connnie takes over Hannah’s kitchen to bake a new one. The next day Hannah opens the shop to discover the kitchen in a mess, as well as Connie’s dead body. Hannah rushes to find the killer so she can reopen her shop which has been closed as it is a crime scene. It was an easy fun read but I did have an inkling of who the killer was! These books are like the baking equivalent of Nancy Drew!

January Reading Stats

Number of books read- 12

Number of fiction to non-fiction read- 7:5

Number of eBooks- 5 (mainly because I was stuck in a hospital with my mother all day Monday and Tuesday)

Number of books borrowed from the library- 1 (Uglies)

Number of books from Reading Resolutions- 1 (Dolores Claibourne)

Not a bad start to the year! A long post, I have a feeling the rest of the months won’t be this long though!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

YouTube Pick of the Week

I’m back! Thought I’d ease myself in with some YouTube picks.

Oh how I laughed when I heard R. Kelly was bringing out a book called ‘Soulacoaster’. And how I laughed even more when I watched this video of Gary Oldman reading about a time R. Kelly had a conversation with 2Pac.

If you’re Irish and haven’t seen the clip of newscaster Aengus MacGrianna caught applying make up before broadcasting the news, then your head must be in the sand! Of course, the clip immediately brought Anchorman to mind and someone has rather cleverly put some Anchorman clips in a video along with some of Aengus MacGrianna’s other bloopers.

Another video doing the rounds in Irish internet land is the Pulp Fiction video dubbed with thick Kerry accents. In this clip, Graham Norton shows Quentin Tarantino the video and we get to see his response.

This video is the first in the Ask a Mortician series done by Caitlin Doughty from Order of the Good Death. Caitlin’s aim is to bring realistic discussions of death back into pop culture and this series is perfect as she answers some questions without it being too morbid. I personally find it fascinating anyway!

If death isn’t your thing but music is, CDZA might be something you’d like! They’re a group of musicians who post different interesting videos, from a History of Whistling (songs that contain whistling), to playing songs under street signs of famous musicians to this, the Human Jukebox, where people donating money dictate what is being played.

Biggest lesson learnt from this video? Never trust a woman who has never seen the inside of a cake tin.

Finally, in honour of tomorrow’s Super Bowl, I present ‘The NFL: A Bad Lip Reading’. Enjoy!

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