Monday, 26 November 2012

How to Ace Graduation.

I've been waiting for this moment for a long, long time. Ever since primary school in fact when a teacher told my mum that me and my sister could go to University.

Since then it's kind of been a one way ticket to Graduation. Having completed my degree in the summer, getting a modest class degree in what people appear to think is a weird subject for me to do (Criminology with Psychology), I feel pretty darn proud I must say.

And the best part was the day. One of those few days when it feels like it's all about you. For normal people, this is every single birthday, however, being a twin this has never really been the case. It's always OUR birthday, and always will be, so that ones out of the picture.

Only this day I got to share it with my fellow coursemates and friends, and my family, and had a lot of fun.

So, the outfit. That's what people want to know about, right? And whether I tripped. I can tell you that I DID NOT trip, surprising as that may be.

This is what I wore:



On knowing that the gown had purple on it, I went and clashed it with my bright yellow dress. Well, you have to stand out don't you? (However you can barely see the yellow, which is probably a good thing as it could easily blind you.)
A tip would definitely be to wear something that goes with the colour of your graduation gown. Most people wore the basic black and white, or both, but some wore blue which worked really well.
However others wore red and burgundy (Oxblood) and it just looked terrible.

I think the picture shows that stage and amount of people watching rather well too. My heart was beating ridiculously fast.

So here are the tips for Ace-ing Graduation:

1. Bring safety pins and hair clips. You'll probably need them to keep the gown and hat on. Most people did.

2. Give yourself plenty of time to get there. Because it's bound to be busy, especially in a city like mine. Also, time to get your gown and make it to the venue. We left 3 hours before the start of the ceremony and I think we probably should have left a little earlier (that is including 30-40 odd minutes to get there though).

3. Don't worry. You'll be told everything beforehand, so you'll be fine. I'm a worrier anyway though, so even on stage I was worried about my handshake.

4. Don't forget your camera! Take loads of pictures, because this may be the only time you graduate. I don't think I want to go back to education any time soon. I didn't get nearly enough pictures of my day.
Do the hat toss. I didn't and I am slightly disappointed in myself for it.

5. If you're a woman, don't wear shoes you can't walk in (and/or that don't fit properly) because you will regret it. For my sisters I wore shoes that rub a little. Not good when you're walking and standing up a lot.

6. Have fun! or, if everything is going completely wrong, which it most likely won't,  keep smiling.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Special: Food for Thrifty Thought

Image from Google
So this is the food special.

Welcome.

Please sit back in your chair, preferably with a mug of tea (or coffee, but being quintessentially British, it's usually tea), and of course some biscuits, and relax.

So food shopping on a budget is always difficult. Theres countless tricks that the supermarkets and other food sellers use to trick you/ force you/coerce you into buying food you didn't need.
So when you get back and sort out your shopping you think 'Did I really put that in my trolley?'... and the answer is usually yes, unless you have children, or a person decided that you really really needed some Spam.
So Here are a few helpful tips the next time you feel like saving some money on food.

1. I think the first thing is to give yourself a budget for each week's food. (Or two weeks, depending how often you food shop.) So write up, or remember, how much you'd like to spend each week on food, and try to stick to it. I gave myself a budget of £10 per week for dinners for two people. I pretty much stuck to it, and we had some left over for the next week too! So, from experience, it can be done.
Also, only buying what you need is very helpful. Maybe making a list of what kinds of things you (and your family, partner, housemates) eat most weeks, and stick to that.

2. Price comparison guarantees. Supermarkets now offer money off your next shop if it was more expensive than at another supermarket. Which is great! The problem is it only compares on brands, and if you don't buy many brands, it won't make much difference. So it's worth looking at which own range is generally cheaper.

3. Supermarket's own ranges like Tesco Value, Smartprice and Essential Waitrose are always cheaper, and usually they taste just as good, but there are some things you just don't scimp on. Pasta tastes pretty much the same no matter what price it is. However I've found I just can scimp on tea bags.. or soup. Both taste bad on the cheap.
Freezer sections are always a good bet too, because you can use the same things for a few different meals each week.

Farmers Market, Image from Google

4. Poundland is NOT always cheaper. I've noticed that a can of Heinz Soup is smaller in Poundland, and the normal size is currently on offer at Adsa for 50p. I think you know which one is better value. If you have enough time (26 minutes) watch The Secrets of Poundland. Please.

5. If you're after fruit, vegetables, cheeses, meat and other groceries go to a market. Farmers markets happen at least once a week in many towns and cities in the UK. Please utilise them. They offer a good price on quality produce, with the added benefit of it being local, so you support local economy. Bonus!

So I hope these tips have helped you in terms of food, and here, as usual, are some useful websites related to saving on food shopping:
http://www.localfoods.org.uk/
Local Food Advisor - Bloggers, Markets
Saving Money on your food bills
Lovemoney.com

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Special: Beauty on a Budget

One of the most expensive things out there for us women is beauty products.
But it doesn't have to be that way.

One of the easiest ways to cut down on spending on beauty is to buy shop own brands. They'll work pretty much as well as high end brands, and be far, far cheaper. One example is Boots makeup brand No.7, or superdrug's own brand. Or you could go to superstores (I happen to know that Asda does good nail polishes at £1-2). A few cheap brands of make up are: Miss Sporty and MUA. MUA is great for most products, but the nail polish brushes aren't the best quality.

There are also some great deals online, for example on amazon, so don't forget to look there if you're after something specific. As well as this, it's worth looking at your local market. The other day I got a magnetic nail polish by w7 on a market stall for £1. Impressive.

As always, using the internet is one of the best ways of saving money. And shopping around. There are some wonderful health and beauty tips on Pinterest, and in blogs and websites all over the Internet. Mostly, it's cheaper to make things yourself.
Image from Google

Here's a few homemade how-to's to get you started:
1. Channel 4 Homemade Beauty recipes.2. All Natural Beauty recipes
3. Beauty on a Budget.
It would also be worth having a quick gander around these websites, I'm sure they have all sorts of useful tips!

Here are some more awesome websites for your perusal:
1. Pinterest - Beauty Budget boards
2. My Health and Beauty board on pinterest
3. 4Beauty - generally a great place for tips on health, beauty and your wardrobe.

Hopefully you'll be more thrifty in your beauty buys from now on. :)
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Thank you for reading!
(I apologise for the link-heavyness, and I'm afraid all my specials may be pretty link-heavy)

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

How To Be Economically Friendly Online.

Well Hello.
I haven't posted in a while, I've been pretty busy. Evertything seems to be happenning all at once.

I've been working on a series of blog posts all about saving your money. This is because I'd like to work on some about organising your house, but I would be very, very hypocritical if I were to do that. So instead I've decided to write about something I know about. And I'm starting today, with some general tips for anyone who might want to save a good few pounds.

Image from Google
I have come to be a saver from not having much money to begin with. I was taught from a young age not to spend too much, and since going on Education maintenence allowance for college, and having a student loan from university, I've learnt a good few things about how to be frugal.

Look out for these upcoming specials:
-Holiday
-Christmas and New Year
-Clothes and Accessories
-Beauty
-Food Shopping
-General Tips

But the first is online. There are some great ways that you can save by going online.
I challenge you to do something frugal with them this week.

Tips !

One very easy way is to use websites to their full potential. Joining comparison sites like comparethemarket, moneysupermarket and gocompare are great for a comparison of insurance and credit cards. But don't forget to look out for ones that aren't on it, like directline. Also it's a good idea to search the web each year to find yourself a better deal on things like gas and electricity. There's usually an even better offer just waiting for you.

When buying on the Internet, whether it be clothes, food or tickets for that show you want to see, always compare, and look out for discount codes and vouchers. Just do a google search, or join a voucher website, like wowcher. An example is codes for H&M and Boohoo.com, and Dominos Pizza. Also, you can get great online deals for tickets for shows and concerts if you go on opening night. I did this and got a very good discount for a theatre show.

If you're a person who likes to reuse items, or update your wardrobe by adding some embellishments. or just generally like homemade things, I suggest you join Pinterest. I have my own pinterest account full of tips and things to do, how to make cheap gifts, make your own beauty remedies and re-purpose items. It's also a pretty cool way of planning things, like your next staycation or party on the cheap, or maybe just places you'd love to go when you've saved up enough money. Check out mine here.

Don't forget, there's always freecycle, to find items for free in your area. And also gumtree, for pretty much everything. Or your local freeads.

Image from Google
Another idea is to use bloggers and blogs as a resource. They'll give feedback on items and how well they have worked and try out ideas for you to see if they're any good.
Recommended blogs:
A Thrifty Mrs
Diary of a Frugal Family
Frugal Queen

Here are some really useful websites I would also recommend.
1. Tips on being frugal (50 ways.. pretty comprehensive)
2. Frugal Living
3. Top 25 personal finance blogs.
4. Best of the web - Shopping
5.Arts and crafts? try this one.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Question Time

I could go all deep on you, and ask what the question of the universe is. Or question about life, gods and death. Or perhaps question why people are cruel.

But instead I'm going to not think depressing thoughts and answer some more jovial questions, and maybe some big ones at the end. This is basically, an opinion piece.

These questions were set by Kyra of Beautyetc and Raves, Rants and Random Ramblings, and I'm pretty sure some are put in there just to embarrass me.

Image from google
1. What's your favourite TV show? I have many. It's probably going to be Doctor Who. But then there's Misfits, and Heroes, and Andrew Lloyd Webbers talent shows, once Upon a Time, Criminal Minds, Being Human and so on.
2. Do you have any really annoying habits? Um.. being messy? I don't take much notice of my annoying habits to be honest.
3. How many colours have you dyed your hair? Ohhh, a lot. if we went for shades. As it is there's been brown, blue-black, red, ginger, I tried blonde once (it didn't work), purpley-red. So that's...6?
4. Do/ did your parents/friends have any embarrassing nicknames for you? Oh yes. Many. I think the worst was Pidgeon. It sounds cute. It wasn't. I get called Ace by my dad, which i like. And get called many names by my boyfriend.
5. If you could keep one object (that is currently in your room) for the rest of your life, what would it be? I'm not sure, because there are so many things I would love to keep - gifts from friends, family and my boyfriend, paintings, holiday trinkets, some gorgeous clothes, my camera. But It might have to be a gift from someone. Not sure if I can decide which one though.
6. Do you have any collections, if so, what are they? I have a lot of Disney films. And buttons. But I don't really collect any more. Unless you count my nail polishes. Thats a pretty big collection. I used to collect both coins and pots.
7. Which meal would you say you are a pro at cooking? Pasta bake. I'm pretty good at it.
8. Whats the coolest thing you've been for Halloween? I haven't really been very cool at Halloween. I guess the best thing was last year being the Queen of Broken hearts with an outfit my sister's boyfriend's mum made for me. (The Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland).
9. If you worked for yourself and money was no object, what would you be doing? If talent were no object I'd be singing. Unfortunately, I'm not blessed in that department.
10. Who is your favourite author and why? I have a few favourite authors. My favourite books are the Inkworld trilogy by Cornelia Funke. So I guess it should be her. The reason being because when I read one of those books the world just jumps right into my head.
11. What specialist subject would you choose on Mastermind? It might have to be Disney Animated Classics. Quite Seriously.

------------
Now for some kind of serious ones.

What is the meaning of life? I don't know. If I had to guess.. to learn to be the best we can possibly be. Personally, I have reason to believe the some of us aren't doing our best. But only because were bogged down with things like money and jobs.

Do you believe in God, Spirits or Voodoo? No, but I'd like to. Yes. And no.

Are we alone in the universe? The chances are.. no. Probably not. We are probably like bacteria to the other beings out there. Either that or we're like gods. I know which one I prefer.

Monday, 27 August 2012

It must be love, love, love.


Well, I must say I've looked at this award before and thought, 'well, that looks like fun'. Luckily I didn't have to pay someone to nominate me, as Hannah at Daisies and DMs did! (And Hannah, I'd like to see your answers to my questions too! )
And, I'm pretty excited.

So, I'll copy and paste the guidelines, so hopefully the people I nominate (although I barely know anyone) will know what to do. I barely know myself to be honest.
The Liebster Award. - What to do.
- list 11 things about yourself
- answer the 11 questions the tagger has set for you
- create 11 questions for your nominees
- choose up to 11 bloggers linking them to my post and telling them about it (only nominating blogs with less than 200 followers, and no tag backs.)
 
Right, well, lets go!

Things about yourself
I always find this difficult. Not in choosing things to say, but in thinking them up.

1. I have a massive collection of nail polishes. They're like a comfort, because even when things get tight, I can always paint my nails or get a cheap new nail polish.
2. I hate text speak. HATE it. When people use it on facebook it drives me mad. Texting isn't so bad, but still, I prefer people using full words.
3. Most of the dresses in my wardrobe are black, black and white, or blue. In fact, most of my wardrobe is black and blue. However, I do have two red dresses, one yellow and one green dress.
4. I very much dislike the film 'Groundhog Day'. I don't usually hate films. Except this one.
5. Today I noticed that none of my hobbies involve sports. Although I will get into badminton and hopefully archery soon.
6. I also noticed that most of my celebrity crushes are in their thirties, or very close. I'll give you a few: James Marsden, Jared Leto, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Henry Cavill, Tom Ellis, Matthew Gray Gubler, and Garrett Hedlund (27 is good, but it is getting close to thirty). if you don't know some, look them up. Please.
7. I love quirky Jewellery. From Battenburg Earrings (which I really want) to stamp neacklace (which I have). Love it.
8. Board games. I love them. My favourite is Balderdash.
9. I would like a hamster. It's the only pet I think I could keep.
10. Being thrifty is something that I enjoy. Any excuse to make things and buy good items at bargain prices is right up my street.
11. I can do a five-strand plait. And am very proud of the fact that all of my plaits always turn out well.

Questions to Answer
These are a good set :).
1. What was the first cd (or, if you're old school like me, it might be a tape cassette or something else cool) that you remember loving?
Well, ther was a tape that was always played on long journeys, and that was Aqua's Album 'Aquarium'. It had such classics as: 'Barbie Girl', 'Doctor Jones', 'My Oh My' and 'Turn Back Time'.
2. what's your latest music purchase/download that you're loving?
To be honest I haven't bought or downloaded music in a long time. I usually only buy CDs that I really like. I think the last one was probably Michael Buble. Not in a music phase at the moment.
3. What's your signature scent?
I love fresh, fruity fragrances. So my favourite that I own is Ice Sheers (pear scented) - by Avon. However, I don't think they do it anymore. I also love DKNY be Delicious. It reminds me of Apple and Cucumber. Lovely and fresh. Another that I wear sometimes is Avon's Tahitian Holiday, which smells like coconut and holidays.
4. Have you got a passion or hobby that not many people know about?
I love to write. Stories, poems, lists, ideas, logs. anything. I just enjoy it. I'll always have a pad of paper and multiple pens around in case inspiration hits me.
5. What's the worst job you've ever had and why?
I really did not like having a paper round. It was the middle of summer.me and my sister went on a very long walk complete with newspapers. We braved letterboxes and dogs, and peoples open front doors. And it was awful. At the end our hands would always be black with ink.
6. Let's pretend last night you won the lottery. What are you going to do with the money?
I'd be sensible. Pay off my student loan, put some in a bank account, help my mum and boyfriend pay off their mortgages. Oh, and have a small shopping spree for when I move in with my boyfriend, sofas and all. And clothes. And shoes. ok maybe not so sensible there.
7. Are you a messy or a tidy person?
I am exceptionally messy. You walk into my room, and it's like a nuclear bomb has gone off in a very small space. You WILL trip over things. If you need any proof, please read my blog on how bad my handbag is - The Handbag of Hell.
8. Do you have any tattoos, or any tattoos planned?
Ahh Tattoos. I have six now. Six.
1) My phoenix, on my left shoulder blade.
2) An ivy leaf on my left wrist.
3) Flowers and bugs on my right ankle.
4) Three dots on my neck, on the spine.
5) A key on the right hand side of my torso.
6) A book with an infinity symbol on it behind my left ear.
I kind of pride myself in being able to keep most of them under wraps when I need them to be.
i think I'll always want more.
9. Marmite: love it or hate it?
I'm one of those annoying people that this doesn't work with. I like it. Don't love it, don't hate it. I have it thinly spread on a piece of buttered bread. On occasion.
10. What's your favourite disney film?
Either Hercules or Mulan. I think hercules usually comes first because of the mythology, but I love the story of Mulan. And I love the strong female characters in both. But Hercules is adorable.
11. What would your ideal house be like?
Fairly tidy, but lived in. With random little gadgets, games, films when you want them. Airy and light, with lots of brightly coloured things dotted around. Like a yellow toaster and a red lamp. And cute and bright art on the walls. But mostly it would have to be comfy, and have lots of room for delicious things like marzipan.

Well. Now that's done, I would love to nominate Ed from Empire500, Kyra at Beautyetc, if she looks at this, and Cari from Cari's Book Blog. And I really don't know anyone else. So, if you come on here and find yourself thinking, like me, 'That looks fun!' then YOU ARE NOMINATED to do it. But only if you have less than 200 followers. And tell me you're doing it so I can read your blog :D

The Questions I would like to ask are:
1. What's your favourite food?
2. What's at the top of your wishlist at the moment?
3. What's your favourite movie, and why?
4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
5. If you had lots of money, what's the first thing you would spend it on?
6. Where would you most like to go as a holiday destination?
7. Do you have any celebrity crushes? Particularly embarrassing ones?
8. If there was a film of your life, who would you want to play you?
9. What's your favourite season, and why?
10. If you had to be an animal (real or mythical), what would you be?
11. If you could choose a sense to be heightened, which one would you choose?

I hope people blog with this.
Thanks for reading, and

Friday, 10 August 2012

The 10 Day you Challenge : 1 Picture of Yourself

For the last day of the challenge, it's a picture of yourself.

Well, instead of posting an actual picture (not a good idea for me) I decided the best way to show how I view myself is to write and draw things that I love, and to do a small self-portrait in the middle.

I don't think picture's really show who you are, they're more how you were in that moment, or the face you put on. But drawings and paintings.. and a collage maybe. that really shows what you love.
So I gave myself a little project and this is what I came up with:



I just went ahead and drew it in biro quickly, but I hope it sums me up well. (Reminds me of a childs drawing, but I can't draw people at all.)

To sum it up a little, I'm holding a phone, theres a cupcake, a pencil and paintbrush, lots of nature, a laptop, a book, a handbag, a DVD, some musical notes and a host of random words. oh, and a badly drawn nail polish in the corner. There should be a camera, a holiday and loved ones on here, but I couldn't fit it on the piece of paper (and can't draw them). This shows the things I enjoy, without being too nosy. :)

Thank you for taking your time to read my post, and possibly even the whole challenge (if you did that I'm impressed).

Thursday, 9 August 2012

The 10 Day You Challenge : 2 Songs

Thinking of only 2 songs is very difficult, so I'm saying two songs that I always love, and sing when I feel good.

1. Play that Funky Music by Wild Cherry.
This just makes me crack a smile every time, and I nearly always have a dance to it.
Wild Cherry on Youtube.

2. Your Song by Elton John.
I think it became a firm favourite after watching Moulin Rouge. Because although Elton John is wonderful, Ewan McGregor sings it with a kind of purity that I can never forget.
The Moulin Rouge (Image from Google)
Elton John on Youtube.
Ewan McGregor on Youtube.

And some bonus songs that never fail to make me happy are:
- B52s - Love Shack
- Phil Collins - Invisible Touch
- Michael Jackson - Man in the Mirror, Beat It, Black or White
- Jerry Lee Lewis - Great Balls of Fire


If you were thinking modern you were sadly mistaken, I very rarely do modern. It's 80s and beyond predominantly.

Tomorrow is my final post in this challenge, and I'll be sad to see it go. But I'm sure that I'll be doing another challenge very soon (if not, straight after).

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The 10 Day You Challenge : 3 Movies

Movies is also so very difficult. there's a plethora of wonderful movies out there and you want me to choose just three? I'd better make it excellent ones then.

Image from Google


1. Back to the Future 2. My ultimate favourite movie. Better than the first one because it's more complex, and includes bits of the first one. Though I have to say the Johnny B. Goode part is awesome.
I love films that are futuristic. Some favourite ideas from the future come from Minority report and The Fifth Element.

2. Mulan and/or Hercules. I just can't decide which one I prefer, but there has to be a Disney on this list. Both have good, strong women characters, and awesome male characters so I'm happy. For songs though, Hercules wins hands down.

3. Inception. Because the ideas in it are mind-blowing, and I'm a Joseph Gordon-Levitt fan. I could watch it again and again.

Other films I thought about, but didn't quite make the top three are:
- Big Fish
- Up
- The Princess Bride
- Captain America
- Star Trek

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The 10 Day You Challenge : 4 Books

Choosing 4 books is difficult, so Instead I've given myself 4 books, or book series's. Books are a major part of my life, so this is going to be hard. So what I've done is chosen a few favourites and two that I think are very thought-provoking.


Image from Wikipedia
1. Inkworld Trilogy by Cornelia Funke. Because these books are about a love of books. And they're about adventure. Two of my favourite things.

2. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. Because when I read them I'm always thinking 'God, that's so right, and weirdly true', even though it's supposed to be a nonsensical book, it just makes complete and utter sense to me. Carroll writes in a very rare way. (possibly to do with the drugs he was on at the time, but the writing speaks for itself). And who wouldn't want to go to wonderland?

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusack. Also a book about loving books, told from Death's perspective. It makes you think, laugh and cry.

4. The 5 people You meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom. This is a thinking book, and I love it more with every read. It's about exactly what it says on the tin, but the thoughts that go into it are wonderful. Read the Review Here.

The Book Thief image from Google
There are so many that are wonderful, I couldn't leave these out:

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Divergent by Veronica Roth
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore

Also a special Mention to Neil Gaiman's books, Gregory Maguire's Books and Terry Pratchett's books.


Monday, 6 August 2012

The 10 Day You Challenge : 5 Foods

By now, I think everybody knows I have a sweet tooth. A ridiculously sweet tooth. But I'll try to make some of my 5 savoury.

Marzipan Fruits - Picture from Google.
1. Marzipan and Sweets. I've already talked about marzipan, and I love Sugared Almonds too. So I'll just make it simple: Sweet things are my weakness.

2. Cakes. Not all cakes though. No chocolate cakes, no thick icing cakes, no butter icing, no coffee flavouring. Pretty much everything else though.
Churros is delcious, but it's more of a pastry.

3. Pomegranate. So, so good. in fact, most fruit is good. Except Kiwi.

4. Pasta bake. I make a mean pasta bake, and I love it. Lots of cheese, peppers, onion and pasta with a nice creamy tomato sauce. Mmm.

5. There's just so many, I can't choose a fifth. There's Ice cream, Pizza, Chips, delicious Cereal, Chocolate, Paella, Tortillas and Tacos.. So, so many.

Give me any of this and I will always be so very grateful. (Well, I made one savoury.)

Sunday, 5 August 2012

The 10 Day You Challenge : 6 Places

I have a rather large list of places I want to go to, some of them are even fairly close to home. I mostly want to go to these places because of the sights and the culture.

1. Peru. And Venezuela, one after the other. For Macchu Picchu, Lima, and the Angel Falls.

2. Norway. To see the Northern Lights and hopefully stay in the Ice Hotel.

3. USA Tour. With special stops in Honolulu and of course Los Angeles. And I've been told that Vermont in autumn is goregous, so there too.

4. Spain and Gibralatar. Gibraltar is where half of my family is from, and I've never been. So that would be nice. And Spain is on the way, so I'll just take a small trip around the beautiful coast.

5. Italy. Verona and Rome in particular. And lets not forget the ruins of Pompeii.

6. Greece. With trips out to lots of islands. But mostly to go to Athens. And Corinth, and possibly have a look at Mount Olympus.

A seventh would be going back to the German Christmas Markets. Because I love them. Gluhwein and Bratwurst? YES.

If I had an eighth, it would be home. Because England is wonderful... and I really want to go to the lake district.

There are lots os places I want to go to, but these are top priority.
Others include Edinburgh, Ireland, New Zealand, Isle of Skye and so on.

Friday, 3 August 2012

The 10 Day You Challenge : 7 Wants

These are a few things off of my life to-do list. Oh yes, I have a life to-do list. I have a lot of small, random things on it, and it makes me happy to know that some day I'll have done all of them. At least, I hope I will.

1.  Travel. A lot. I'll be putting the top 6 on my 6 Places list. I also want to go on a hot air balloon ride.

2. Get a great job. This is a big one, and will allow me to do pretty much everything else on this list.
My Gorgeous Guitar, now to learn to play it.

3. Learn to play my guitar. I have one in my room, but have yet to learn it. However, I can play the first few bars of Smoke on the Water.

4. Finish my Epic Poem. I'm in the midst of writing an epic poem. I have been for a while. I've got a storyline problem. But one day I will finish it.

5. Learn Pottery or Glass Blowing. Just things that I've wanted to do for a while.

6. Have a Tarot reading. I've always been interested in spirituality and everything that goes with it, so this would be really interesting.

7. Go to a very fancy restaurant. Well, why not? You see those tiny delicious dishes that people make on TV shows in fancy restaurants? I want to eat that. Especially the desserts.
In fact, I do want to go to a restaurant and just order a dessert sometime.

This one has been pretty easy, because all I had to do was look at my to do list, the problem was narrowing it down.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

The 10 Day You Challenge : 8 Fears

Day three, 8 fears.

Fears are something I never really thought about, they didn't really bother me unless it was late at night and I got thinking about something terrible.
That was until I read Divergent by Veronica Roth. It deals with facing your fears in a way I couldn't have imagined. It's a great book so do read it. So now I'm trying to remember what kinds of fears I thought I had when I read that book.

1. Death. Of myself and the people I love. Of course, this is a common answer. The worst death I could think of would be by fire, but I think by stab to the gut would be second worst.

2. Failure. Any kind of failure. It's not a good feeling.

3. Disappointing others. I can't stand looks of disappointment of people's faces. To be recieving that look would be terrible.

Image from Google
4. Not being able to do everything I want to do in life. I suppose this is related to failure, but also because I have so many things I'd like to do and see, and I hope I'll have the time and the money to do them at some point.

5. To be at war again. It does scare me. Because I know what people went through. If something even sounds like the sirens in the Blitz I grimace.

6. Injections and blood-taking. Needles, fine. I have tattoos, they only graze the surface of my skin. Things going into or out of my blood vessels? NO. It makes me feel sick. I'm surprised and impressed that I got through A Level Biology without passing out.

7. Struggling Finacially. Or not being able to pay for myself. I prefer to pay my own way. So being unemployed is a struggle. I worry about using up my savings and having to lean on others to support me.

8. Getting really ill. Because I don't want to be a burden on anyone. And it would generally be horrible.
Well, this has been slightly harrowing, but the best way to conquer fear is by facing it.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The 10 Day You Challenge : 9 Loves

There are so many things to love in the world. To pick just a selct few is hard. So, there are probably far more than this, but heres my (probably) top 9:

1. Family, Friends and my Boyfriend. It has to be top of the list. The rest are in no particular order.

2. Stories and Reading. Anything. I just soak it up, take it all in and think about my view on the subject.

3. The Smell of the Night. you know when it's about 12/1 in the morning and you go to shut your window, but instead you lean out of it an just breathe in the night air. i love that. it's my absolute favourite smell.
I have a thing with smells. I often come out with "It smells like a good night". And it really does. I know what I mean.

4. Interesting Jewellery.  I have a penchant for weird jewellery. One of my favourites is one I bought from a stall at a craft market. It's a vintage-look necklace with an old American stamp inside it (picture of it, left). I'm holding out for some battenburg earrings still.

5.  Marzipan. Everything marzipan. I will get a whole block and sit there eating it as a treat. So fattening, but sooo good. Unfortunately you don't see many marzipan fruits around England these days, but I WILL have some soon.

6. Tea. Glorious tea. I'm drinking some now in fact. No wonder us British love it.

7. Films. Films are a passion. If I've seen one I'll usually know who's in it, and what else they've been in. It's a talent that has very little use.

8. Shopping. Don't most girls? Pretty dresses, gorgeous nail polishes, delicious food treats, killer shoes : heaven.

9. Nature. Because what's more beautiful than nature? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. My particular favourite item in natture are forests. Big, English, woody, mushroomy, bluebell-filled dappled sunshine forests. With cute baby rabbits and deer.

Yay!

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

The 10 Day You Challenge : 10 Secrets

Picture from Greenestmermaid.blogspot.com
After seeing this Challenge on a friends site (check her out here, she has an amazing sense of style), I was rather intrigued. There are a lot of things on here I haven't really thought about. At least, not for a while. So I'm thinking over the next ten posts I'll be doing some soul-searching and discovering, along with you.

The first is 10 secrets.
I'm not a secretive person as it happens. Usually if I don't want someone to know something I'll sidestep it. I don't like outright lying. But here goes. (This might take a while).

1.  I'm a book addict. It's not much of a secret, but it's a huge part of my life. When I'm not reading a book it doesn't feel right. I have to have a book on the go. To this end I also have a very large collection of books, and have trouble deciding which ones I should throw out/ give to charity because I always think that I might want to read them again.
I also have an amazon wish list the size of Kent.

2. I don't like Cats. At all. Kittens, fine, but not in the flesh. Cats, just no. They're pure evil. As mentioned in my post, Cats are Pure Evil. Of course, not really much of a secret, as I have posted about it before.

3. I worry that I'll never find a job I really enjoy. This probably has something to do with the fact that I'm unemployed. It's also rooted in fears that I can't get at the kind of job I want just yet, because they're not really recruiting in my field at the moment.

4. I love mythology and folk tales.  Pretty much always have. I prefer to read books partially based on them too.

5. I want a Herbs and Spices Rack. Because I enjoy using them in cooking quite a lot. Most of the time it turns out alright, but I have been known to overdo it with the garlic and the basil.

6. I had a goth phase. A very goth phase, in my early teens. Let's not go into it, my fashion sense hasn't really improved that much, I still manage to wear more black than any other colour. I noticed that the majority of my dresses are black and white, or navy blue. And oh, look, I'm wearing a black t-shirt today.

7. I like being alone. Sometimes, you just need a time-out. An hour or two being fully alone is like a small haven. I can watch what I want, read what I want, just think about things or listen to music. Perfect.

Image from Google
8. I cry at films really easily. The top contenders for crying: Titanic, Tangled, Moulin Rouge, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, The Green Mile. Yep, a Disney Film makes me want to cry.

9. I always have a craft/sewing project on the go. Or an idea for one. At the moment it's a bag made from an old top and jeans. I made the jeans into shorts and am using the leftovers. This time I'll be giving it a go of lining it with a lovely soft fleecey material.

10. I used to write angsty poetry. Now I write epic poetry and alternative fairy tales.

An extra secret, or thing that people don't really know about me, is that I'm an organ donor. i just wanted to mention it as I think it's something people should think about doing.

This has been a lot more difficult than anticipated, and more embarrassing.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

How to Survive Living With Parents After University

This summer is the end of my Uni year, and after these first few weeks I can tell you that I already know thatit's going to be the same as the last few summers. There have been arguments, and there will be more no doubt. So I'm pretty sure my mum doesn't really want me or my sister to be living back at home either. Not least because we also pose a threat to her privacy and can be pretty annoying. So you see, I feel both my pain and my mums.

I think the first tip here has to be patience, and talking things over, and then moving out as fast as you possibly can.
They need to see that you're an adult and do things your way now, and you need to try to give them the benefit of the doubt. I know it's hard, experiences over too-long summers and Easters have shown me that living with parents after an extended time by yourself is, for lack of a better way of saying it, a pain in the ass. However, there are perks.
Image from Google
Perks Include:
- Not having to do all your washing or cooking anymore. More people, more chances of taking it in turns. Although I still very much intend to do my own washing. Now the only person I want touching my underwear is me. Well, when I'm washing them.

- Your mum's (or dad's) roast dinner. As a student, this was a no-go area. Now all you have to do is eat it, and scrape off the greasy tins afterwards (which is THE worst job ever).

- More channels on TV. WIN.

- A nicer house. Probably cleaner, too.

Reasons not to:
- Be prepared to strip away any independence you had at Uni. Now you'll be expected to do what is asked of you again. Your parents always want to know what you're up to. It's only to see if they can help, or to know you're safe, but after so much independence it gets old fast.

- Nagging. You never had to deal with people caring what you did at Uni, now it'll feel like more than ever before. Now you need to get a job, clean, do errands and so on, because now you're not at Uni every day. note to parents: this doesn't mean we're not trying our best to get a job. You know what the job market is like nowadays.

- Less space. There's always less space. Your room now doesn't feel like a haven of solitude because it's stuffed full of the contents of your Uni room. This means that you're forced to go downstairs and be around the 'rents whenever they're in. Tip: go out more.

- Your parents probably don't want you back either. Sure, they weren't happy when you went, called you up most days and silently wished that you wouldn't like it at Uni, but their bird has flown the nest now. Now they've got over that little bit of oddness, and revel in their own independance.
Image from Google
So, as an overall account of living with your parents after Uni, its probably best not to. You WILL annoy eachother. Everyone needs their independance and privacy. But if you have to, just remember it won't be forever, and to try to be as nice as possible.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

I might be pinterested...

Lately I've been a little bit obsessed with Pinterest.

from Pinterest.com
For those of you who don't know, Pinterest is an online pinboard. You just sign up and whack on some pictures, quotes, ideas for clothes, stories, places to go, people you'd have liked to meet in their heyday, animals looking stupid... you know, that kind of thing.

So I've been obsessed with the 'places to go' boards, and trying to put on all my favourite things. This is because generally, I try to write stories and poems, and it never really works out, so I'm trying to get some pin-spiration (get it??) . Right now I'm pretty sure I have about 12 destinations on my online pinboard, all of which I seriously want to go to. They look utterly beautiful. Top of my list, though, is:

1. Norway (on a cruise, to see the Northern Lights)
2. Peru and Venezuela (Macchu Picchu, Kuzco, Lima and the Angel Falls)
3. Hawaii : specifically  Honolulu. It just reminds me of everything wonderful when I look at that place.
4. Spain and Gibraltar (it's where hlaf of my family come from)
5. The German Christmas Markets. Because I went there when I was 15.. or was it 14.. and never got over how amazing it was. And because I love Kinderwein and Bratwurst.

My current favourites are also marzipan fruits, quotes (mostly Einsten and Lewis Carroll) and some music that I adore (ie. Play that Funky Music by Wild Cherry, a bit of Queen, some Elton and a pinch of Stevie Wonder).

I reckon if I carry on like this I just may find myself organising a full blown party. Seriously, so many food ideas and handmade decorations, fashion inspiration and so on. It seems only natural to plan a party, your ultimate round the world trip, your dream home, your wedding and your funeral. (I would not be surprised if people do that on there).

So, if you're interested in joining me in this love of Pinterest, please visit me at My Pinterest Site.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

The Handbag of Hell.

This post will be owning up to a lot.
After reading a friends blog about what's in her handbag (to be nosy, you can look at her post HERE) , I've been inspired to write about what's in my handbag. Now, you might think its not that bad, but if you know me, then you'll know I carry a lot in my handbag, and it's actually got better over the years.
At college I had an absolutely enormous bag that literally had everything in it.
Now I've whittled it down to a fairly normal sized handbag, but I still cram stuff into it.

For many eons the modern woman has had her handbag. She cradles it in her arms every single day of the year, almost never letting it out of her sight. The trusty handbag is almost more important than the not-so-trusty boyfriend (but we love them anyway), but not quite, because it can't give you hugs and kisses, or make you tea. But over the centuries of dependence we have filled our handbag with more and more useless stuff. Now is the time to reveal all of this stuff, and take a hold of our handbags with pride! (And empty out all of those receipts and tissues).

Of course, there is that thing that a girls handbag can tell you a lot about her. The look of it and what's inside. As you'll see my one says that I think of a lot of possibilities that are unlikely to happen, take precautions for everything and get ill quite a bit.

If I emptied it out it would look like a rubbish dump. And here's a picture to prove it.
So now, just like every woman should do at some point every ten years, I've got my bag on my bed, and I'll guiltily list the contents (and try to justify them).

- My mobile phone. I went without my phone for a day and the most annoying thing was that I never knew what the time was. And not being able to know what other were doing, so not good.
- My Glasses. They help me see, I need them.
- Three pens (red,black,blue) and a notepad. This is Uni's fault, plus I always find i need to write things down at the most inopportune moments.
- My Purse Well, this ones a no-brainer, but I could probably do with getting rid of the receipts inside.
- An endless supply of tissues. Who knows when you'll need them. As I have a massive cold at the moment, I need lots. As well as my lozenges, throat spray and so on.
- A Mirror. This is where the uselessness kicks in, although it is good for checking for food in your teeth.
- Paracetamol and Ibuprofen Always carry pain relief (I get headaches easily).
- Also Hay fever tablets.
- Hand Sanitiser - for unruly toilets.
- My Camera (currently). Because it's nice outside and I keep meaning to take random pictures of pretty things.
- Some plasters. You never know.
- Hair band X2
- A Comb
- Tweezers
- Batteries (for my camera)
- Make up. Don't ask me why I have so much of it yet don't use it that often. (Includes 2 eyeshadow sets, 2 lipsalves, mascara, lipgloss, 2 lipsticks).
- Reciepts and lozenge wrappers, maybe a sweet wrapper or two.
- Packets of beechams and decaf coffee. People find this one weird. This is because I don't want to get caught out without a Beechams, and in case there is no decaf coffee at someones house/out and about.
- Ear plugs
- Chewing gum
- A random button.

Please feel free to gawk at the sheer amount of crap shown here.

And that's the entire contents of my bag folks. Mostly useful things, but a couple of weird things and rubbish things thrown in for good luck.
Hopefully everyone can be as honest about the amount of pure crap that inhabits their bags.
Please.
And for the sake of everyone's sanity, we should tidy them up a bit too.

Friday, 4 May 2012

How to blag University.

Blagging University is not as easy as it sounds. Upon almost finishing my third and final year, I have learnt a lot about the art of blagging, how to avoid salespeople, looking like you're doing something important when you're not, spouting words that sound good when you have no idea what you're talking about, and going to lectures after having hardly any sleep and probably still being a bit drunk.
I'm pretty sure anybody who has been, or currently goes to University knows the feeling.

You will need:
-One very powerful liver.
-An excessive amount of patience.
-A can-do attitude (if you do not have this you will need more patience).
-Skills in lying, personal defence, hypochondria, insomnia amongst others.
-To overcome the hatred of the library that school and college inflicted upon you.
-Knowledge of microwaves and washing machines (or copious amounts of credit on your phone so that you can ring your parents/friends/999 for help).
-A good imagination (for when you're asked any questions at all).


In order to be a good guide on how to get through Uni without failing at life, I will now tell you a few how to's that you will need. Definitely.

1. How to make yourself sound knowledgeable when you don't know what you're talking about.
- Use long words, with complex sentences. (maybe by spending a few minutes wikipedia-ing some awesome sounding words, maybe even something to do with your subject.)
- Go on about it for a few paragraphs. This way everybody gets a little confused and probably won't bother with you again for a while.
There is a downfall to this approach. You may be asked to say it again in simpler terms. If this happens, I have a fail safe:
- Change the subject. You can do this by saying something along the lines of 'As relevant as that is, I think this...' And then hope you get away with it. Or, you could say that it is irrelevant because of something else, then make something up again.

Of course, this is more useful if you have a good imagination. If you don't, I suggest you try to know the answer to the question. or something about the subject.


2. How to eat junk food and not feel guilty.

This one is easy. When you're drunk you don't feel guilty at all.
The other option for the more health-conscious of you is to balance out your meals. Be sure you include lots of fruit and veg so you don't get scurvy and such, and allow yourself a 'treat' of something outrageously delicious and fatty every few weeks.
If you're like me and have a sweet tooth, eat something savoury and a bit more healthy first. You'll feel better. I promise.
Another option is to be ridiculously fastidious and eat healthily all the time. Then you have absolutely no need to feel guilty in the first place.

3. How to get yourself served quickly in a bar/club.

Girls: Lean over the counter a little, preferably with some boob showing if you want to get served by a man. Give them the eye too. And smile. Don't forget to smile.
This doesn't work on other girls, gay men or straight men that prefer flat chested females, they will just think you're a hussy and won't serve you.
With other girls, gay men or straight men who prefer flat chested girls, just wait there and smile when they come your way.


Guys: Acquire an air of not caring whether you get served. This way you might start to believe it.
To be quite honest I'm not sure there's a way to get yourself served quicker than usual, unless you've got some rippling muscles tucked away under a tight shirt. As usual, this won't often work on straight men, or on women or gay men who prefer men who aren't ripped. If you aren't that muscular, you're in with more of a chance with them.


4. How to get rid of stress.Stressed? I'm not surprised. Well, to be honest i can't help you. Just calm the hell down and don't give yourself a hernia. But, I will give you some useful websites. I'm not all bad.
DeStress - a website for all your stress-free needs.
Unconventional (ie. Weird) ways to de-stress. 
Keep Calm Gallery.
Get a Reality Check - Seriously, the universe is huge, and you're worrying about one tiny exam?

And there you have it. A not so useful guide to blagging University.
You will get through it, I promise.
But if you can't you can always drop out.
(Just don't forget you'll owe the government some money.)

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Weather you hate rain or not, this is for you.

I've been reading some weird news articles yet again, And have found an interesting one.

The Nubrella, from Inventorspot.com.
First things first, it would have been incredibly handy over the four day weekend, when on occasion it completely peed it down with rain. It is a completely hands free umbrella, found HERE.
The article its self boasts that the Nubrella can resist winds of up to 50mph, and is secured by shoulder straps to protects the face, head and shoulders. I can't help but think that it won't protect the rest of my body. It also says that it slips back like a hood, so you won't have to lug it around when you're not using it either.
I reckon I would buy one, because it's an umbrella for the average lazy person, and that sounds a little like me. Also, I break my umbrellas in low winds, so one that resists high winds should be a good investment. It is also said to NEVER invert, which is how I break my umbrellas.
Look out Nubrella, you may have a customer.

Personally, I reckon they should also invent a material that looked really good and was completely weatherproof. This includes not being too hot in the sun, not getting drenched in rain or snow, not being hurt by hail stones and so on.
Then everyone could buy a full length coat and we'd all be happy.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Apocalypse, Now?

At the end of this year, according to Mayans, the world is going to end.
You know, poisonous gases, massive explosions, the world flooding and us having to cram ourselves into and Ark again, maybe some giant hailstones and a meteorite, a random government deciding to assassinate the whole of Europe, or an alien invasion. The whole shebang.

But whatever conspiracy theory or apocalyptic episode is going to happen, it's supposed to happen loudly and rudely. In our faces.

There's nothing quite like spreading a panic throughout the entire world.
Recently there have been more and more of these ideas. Ranging from post-apocalyptic dystopian novels to films involving a world-wide epidemic (Contagion), a giant flood and general weather disasters (2012) and zombie apocalypses (the up and coming Warm Bodies, based upon a book, and World War Z). Oh, and aliens (Skyline). 
The four horsemen, courtesy of Wikipedia.
But the ones in Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's
'Good Omens' are far superior. Sorry.
But then, there are always these kinds of fears. Take swine flu, bird flu, climate change, terrorist attacks and so on..
It's all out there, and since when are we affected by it? Some people are, I know. It's happened in the country I live in, yes. But generally, these things don't happen to laypeople.

It's a lot like Crime. People don't tend to get murdered very often, but people still worry about it when they're out at night, walk past a dark alley and so on. I do it too.
But I take a large umbrella to defend myself in case it does ever happen. (It's very useful, not only for the occasional blast of rain).

We don't need to worry so much.

So to get to my eventual point. Please, don't worry. Enjoy your life because you don't know when the time will come that you can't. Although It'll most likely be quite a way into the future. 

And if the world does end later this year, at least we'll all be able to see 'The Hobbit' before it does.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Cats are Pure Evil.

I hate Cats.

It's true. They are the incarnation of pure evil. They loiter in alleyways, trying to size you up, licking their lips and claws, ready to pounce.
They leap at you, trying to shred you to death with their knife-like claws, and purposefully cause you bad luck by walking in front of you. (And it IS purposeful, mark my words).

Cats also hate us. They do. You can see it in their eyes. They think we're pathetic- this is why we must banish them from our houses.

Their only use is to eradicate vermin smaller than themselves, that's is when they're not lounging around, stealing our rays of sun and eating our food.

The one exception in the cat world happens to be an animated cat, voiced by Antonio Banderas. He is also exceedingly annoying, but nevertheless Puss in Boots in the Shrek films is the only cat that I like. This is probably because he is animated, and therefore not real. It is also probably because he has a Spanish accent, which is always nice. And then there's the cute face. Nobody could resist that face.
The fact is, real cats do not have that face. If they did, they wouldn't use it either. This is because they don't care.

Then there's Cat Man. But he cannot be classified as a cat, because he is really a human. So we like him, as he's pretty awesome.

Ancient Egyptians have a lot to answer for really. They loved cats, worshiped them and so on. Frankly, it's weird. Although, Cats are mysteriously regal, so I can see what they were enamored by. (Which would also explain why they always seem to be looking down their noses at us.)

Please join me in disliking Cats. I would deeply appreciate it.

Jog on, Kitties.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

How To Make a 'Bangin' Pasta Bake.

I feel extremely big-headed saying this, but I make the best pasta bake in existence. No other pasta bakes can compare. So I'm going to share with you the secret of the best pasta bake in the world.

There are two secrets. One is in the sauce, one is literally heaps and heaps of cheese.

So. You will need (roughly):
- A mound of dry pasta (in any shape you like, but I like the bows or the twizzles) about 3 cups worth.
- 1 jar of Homepride creamy tomato and herb pasta bake sauce.
- A pepper, or a third of three different types of peppers. Personally I enjoy green, red and yellow.
- One small onion.
- a pinch of garlic powder/ a tiny clove of garlic.
- Lots of cheese.
THIS is how delicious your pasta could look.
From nomoneynocry (link at bottom of page)

- a medium sized saucepan
- a strainer
- a grater
- a shallow ovenproof dish.
- knife, spoons, cutlery to eat with, etc.

This recipe feeds two very hungry people.

1. Cook the pasta, with water, in a saucepan. Pretty obvious, but most recipes don't tell you to do this. I find it's much easier and tastier when the pasta has already been cooked before it's placed into the ovenproof dish.

1+1/2. preheat oven at 200 degrees Celsius.

2. While the pasta is cooking chop up the pepper/s and onion. Plonk it in the ovenproof dish, add some garlic powder and any other herbs and spices you think will go down nicely.

3. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and then mix it in with the vegetables in the ovenproof dish. Now pour in the sauce (it's delicious) and stir.

4. Grab your cheese block and grate it away over the top of the pasta/vegetable/sauce. Make sure to cover it all over. Lots of cheese makes it so, so good.

5. Place your dish in the oven and leave until the cheese has melted and gone a goldeny colour. Usually takes about 20-30 minutes.

6. Eat the most amazing pasta bake ever. You won't regret it. I promise. (That is, unless you don't like an ingredient in it.)

----------------------------------------------
For other Homepride Recipes, there are lots on the website.
Click HERE for further details.

Picture: http://knowmoneynocry.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/pasta-bake.jpg
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