Thursday, 30 December 2010

From redhead to brunette

So after several months of laziness I have finally got round to dying my hair again. I first dyed it in May and topped it up in July but after summer I just got all swept up with uni and other things so my hair ended up growing out. I kept it for Christmas but woke up this morning with the urge to dye it, which I promptly did.

I'll be honest, I was a bit nervous as usually my friend at uni dyes my hair for me and I'm ultra paranoid about these kind of things when doing them alone but it worked out okay.

This is the pack I used. Loreal Paris in shade 5.15 - Chocolate Brown. It's a gorgeous colour and weirdly I actually prefer it to my natural hair colour. Don't get me wrong, I love my red hair but I think I suit a brunette more...

How strange!

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

30 day blog challenge: day 30

Wow I can't believe this is the end of the challenge. A few things aside (illness and Christmas, perfectly good excuses!) I've been pretty good at doing this so I'm quite please with myself. Anyway here is the final entry for the challenge...

Day 30 - A photograph of yourself today + three good things that have happened in the past 30 days.

It's a lot of effort to hunt down batteries for my camera so here is a photo taken most recently of me (and a bunch of my friends). Literally taken last night so it's close enough to today to count in my opinion. I'm the one on the end of the front row in the red cardi and the slither of my skirt you can see.

Okay three good things that have happened to me in the last thirty days...

  1. I found a brilliant way to control the crazy frizzy mane I call my hair
  2. This guy popped up into my Youtube viewing life.

His name is Alex Goot (the guy on piano) and the guy on guitar is Tyler Ward. Both are amazing but Alex Goot is the one I've found (thanks to this cover) in the last month. Seriously check out his songs. His covers are amazing and his original songs are beautiful (best two: read my mind and breathless)

3. I've been pretty good with my writing this last month and on top of things work related. I've sorted out my portfolio and essay for fashion journalism and have whipped out a couple of articles as well as progressed rather well (if I do say so myself) on a project I'm working on.

And those are my three. Hurrah!

30 day blog challenge: day 29

Day 29: Something you could never get tired of doing

Being creative is something I've long loved doing - be it writing, singing (possibly badly, usually loudly in the car or home alone), acting or playing an instrument (piano or keyboard) - it's the thing that's always allowed me the chance to escape or express myself. In person, I'm quite horrendous with saying the right words, and my timing is often terrible too, but writing is altoghter a different story and the biggest creative outlet for me.

I love the concept of being creative because absolutely anyone can do it. My neice is being creative when she's playing shop with her toy till in exactly the same way I'm being creative when writing a poem, or cutting a top into a waistcoat. It's one of the purest and most free things we have going for us. I know that, without a doubt, I'd be absolutely miserable if someone told me I wasn't allowed to write anymore.

Monday, 27 December 2010

What's that you say, Harry Potter themed jewellery?

As past readers of my blog will know, I do enjoy rather a lot of Harry Potter related things. So, much to my delight, I have managed to pursuade my mother to purchase such an item for my birthday (12 Jan) alongside my O.C. season 2 boxset and the 2 disc edition of Taylor Swift's Speak Now album. I was gutted when the Hogwarts Acceptance Letter necklace I had my eye on got sold but I was browsing through etsy today and found this:

That's right, it's a Time Turner necklace. It was also the last one purpleadee had listed in their shop and it is now (technically) mine as I helped my mother through the buying purchase half an hour ago. Excitement abounds.

Now, who knows where I can buy a ginger cat called Crookshanks from?

Sunday, 26 December 2010

30 day blog challenge: day 28

Day 28 - Your favourite movie

I have two favourite films and it depends on my mood. These two are the ones I go back to time and time again...
1. Edward Scissorhands

I love me some Johnny Depp and Tim Burton collaboration. I remember seeing this film on T.V., falling in love with it and spending full on months searching for a copy of it in HMV, Virgin/Zavvi, charity shops and car boot sales to no sucess. I also remember my pure joy when my mum came home from work one day having found it in some random shop for about £4. Best surprise gift ever. It's so beautiful and I always shed a little tear for Edward at the end.

2. The Notebook

And from slightly unexpected to a slightly more expected slushy, girly film. I love this picture, it's one of my favourite scenes in the film. I saw this when my brother bought it a while back and I was curious after hearing a lot about it. I instantly adored it and knew I had to get my own copy, which I did. I also got the book earlier this year (finally) and fell in love with the story all over again. This is one of the few book-film adaptations that isn't ruined by differences in plot. They work so well seperately and each ending is heartbreakingly lovely. I usually watch this film if I need a good cry and to restore my faith in love/people in general.

Also it has possibly the most wonderful and romantic quotes. So here's two of my favourites from it which make me fall for Noah everytime I watch this film...

Noah: I am nothing special; just a common man with common thoughts, and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who's ever lived: I've loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this has always been enough.


Excerpt from a letter from Noah to Allie: "The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. And that's what you've given me. That's what I'd hoped to give you forever."

30 day blog challenge: days 25,26 and 27

Day 25 - What's in your purse?
Day 26 - A photo of somewhere you've been to.
Day 27 - A picture of you last year and now and how you changed since then?

Whoops, another catch up session. However, it has been Christmas so you can't exactly blame me for not being on my blog the last few days! My mum and I (after my illness delaying it by a day) went to stay at my grandma's place in Nottingham where we spent Christmas and got back this afternoon.

Right then... day 25 - What's in your purse?

This is as close a picture I could get to my purse (I'm not on my laptop so connecting my Blackberry to get a pic is a no-no). Anyway, as always it boasts a lot of cards (including my now vital waterstones card...a bit like a boots card or tesco clubcard but for the hugely geeky), some old bank statement receipts, a few odds and ends and the £20 my grandma presented me with upon announcing we were leaving this afternoon.

Day 26 - A photo of somewhere you've been to.

This particularly tranquel looking spot is in Belek, Turkey where I went on holiday in 2007 with my dad, step-mum and step-sister. The day before this was taken my step-sister fainted with dehydration so she was back at the hotel with my step-mum and it was just myself and my dad on the day out the next day. This was taken at a little secluded spot with a natural waterfall and it was gorgeous. We also went to a Turkish jewellers where my dad treated us girls to something each (gold ladybird charm bracelet for me thanks!) and a Turkish market town for a bit of shopping where a rather creepy older man tried to chat me up as soon as my dad was seperated from me. Scary times! Creepy man aside, Turkey was beautiful and I absolutely loved it.

Day 27 - A picture of you last year and now and how you changed since then?

This is me last year at a Taylor Swift concert (yay for Taylor!) At Shepherds Bush arena, it was the first of two Taylor concerts we (my friend Mish and I) went to after she came back to do the full American version of the Fearless tour. Proudly sporting my Taylor Swift "Love" bracelet here!

In the year since this photo was taken I think I've changed a fair bit. I've lost a bit of weight, and dyed my hair to a more brunette colour. I've also become more outgoing and confident - somethign starting uni 200+ miles away helped with - and I'm generally happier.

Right then, that's me all up to date with this!When the Internet on my laptop isn't so unstable I've got some Christmas pics to come up on here including my Christmas outfit and a circle of racing penguins.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Sick days

So it turns out that after several months of uni living my body is now rejecting "rich foods". I'm actually gutted about this. Last night my mum and I had a Chinese take away from the same place we always do and we had exactly the same food. But I've been up all night and can't even keep water. Fun times! So I've been rejected to my sick bed (where I'm typing this now) and have been here (checks time) oh about sixteen hours.

This also means plans to go to my grandma's have (at least) been postponed to tomorrow. We were meant to leave today but mum doesn't want to risk me making my grandma sick, which is fair enough. I'm really hoping I'm better tomorrow so we can go then as I've always gone to my grandma's with my mum for Christmas and I haven't been able to see my grandma since last Christmas, which is unusual for me.

We'll have to see tomorrow though, so until then I'm in bed with my season 3 boxset of the O.C. on DVD (Seth Cohen makes all things slightly better, and Summer is awesome), my Itunes and a big bottle of water to attempt to stay hydrated. I'm refusing to go downstairs as I'm not allowed food and I don't want to be downstairs watching people eat when I can't. Haha.

I've also plumped for ultra comfort though. I've got on my most comfy pj top and a pair of mum's old jogging bottoms. The only downside to being in my room is that my Christmas dress is taunting me in my illness. Grr.

30 day blog challenge: days 22,23,24

Howdy readers! Okay so due to various reasons I've been unable to get on here (whoops) so here are the missed three days of the blog challenge...

Day 22 - A letter to someone who has hurt you recently.
Hello you,

I'm bored (and quite frankly annoyed by) your constant stream of negativity. You don't actually know well enough for what you're saying to be even close to the truth so how about you get to know what you're talking about better before making a silly judgement. Thanks!

Day 23 - 15 facts about you.

  1. I store up any change smaller than 50p in a money jar at uni. It's saved my budget more than once.
  2. I love finding new music, and frequently find them on Youtube's recommendations
  3. I'm somewhat of a spelling and grammar nut.
  4. I dig creative guys...write me a poem, or a song, and I'll be your friend
  5. In the same way some girls are "shoe girls" or "handbag girls", I'm a headband girl.
  6. I have close to 40 nail varnishes
  7. I'm 20 in a few weeks but still get excited by things that are supposedly childish
  8. My niece is one of the funniest people in my life
  9. I'll take any excuse to dress up
  10. I'm bit of a sci-fi lover
  11. I'm fashion and beauty editor for my uni's online magazine (
  12. I very rarely wear heels (to be fair, I'm tall enough at 5'7.5")
  13. I've spoken to my boyfriend every day for the last three years (how long we've known each other)
  14. I loved the time I spent as a Sunday School teacher before going to uni
  15. I get dehydrated quite quickly, which makes me cranky (being dehydrated, not how quickly it happens)
Day 24 - A photo of something that means a lot to you.

This is a photo of a Bible somewhat similar to mine (camera and Bible are downstairs and I'm not going downstairs at the moment). I was baptised three years ago (16th December) and about a week beforehand one of my friends came up to me and asked if I had a Bible. Well technically I did but it was a fairly old version which I didn't really understand, it was my uncle's when he was little and when he died it ended up in our house. Anyway, I explained all this to my friend and he ended up buying my Bible. It's actually one of the most beautiful books I've ever been given. It's absolutely huge too (think the full-size Oxford English Dictionaries and you're about there).

This is probably the number one object I'd save if my house was on fire.

Monday, 20 December 2010

30 day blog challenge: day 21

Day 21 - A photo of something that makes you happy.

Ta-dah! Okay so I, unfortunately, don't actually own this chair. How amazing is it though! I love curling up with a good book. I take it upon myself to re-read old favourite books at random points. I re-read the Harry Potter series a few weeks ago. It took me about half the week reading after uni but I did it quite quickly which was good as I was kinda, sorta meant to be reading for essays instead. Whoops! I got both done so it turned out fine.

This isn't restricted to books though. I love lying flat out on my bed or curled up in a comfy armchair with some sweets and a drink to one side and a bunch of magazines to read. I usually get all the monthly magazines at once and spend a few free hours (I buy a lot of them) at once. The favourite/more recent ones live under my gorgeous bed-side table at uni. Back home they live all over the house, much to my mum's aggravation!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

30 days blog challenge: day 20

Day 20 - The meaning behind your blog name.

The short meaning is this picture:

These, my lovely readers, are a sweet known as chocolate cups although I, being unable to remember their name, call them foil cups. Basically they were my favourite sweet when I was little and these lovely sweets were penny sweets (those were the days!). Good memories abound and were brought back in the form of the sweet shop down the road from my flat. No longer penny sweets these are £1.20 per 100g but so worth it.

Anyway, I needed a name and had just found these, casually snacking away on them in my room, when I decided to use these as my name. No real sense but I was tired and ill at the time. I haven't changed it since because I like it and it's not a common name for a blog so hurrah for me!

30 day blog challenge: days 18 and 19

Day 18 - Something you crave a lot.
Day 19 - Another picture of yourself.

Okay so I'm terrible with this, having missed two nights posting. However I have been travelling home for Christmas from uni, and I got caught in the snow last night after Christmas shopping so going near a computer was the last thing I wanted when offered warm food and a hot shower.

So to make up for my brief absence, here's a catch up post!

Day 18: something you crave a lot
Costa hot chocolate with whipped cream, marshmallows and chocolate on top please! And I wouldn't say no to their delightful chocolate muffins either. I love the fact my uni now sells Costa hot chocolate!This was my Tuesday treat (I'd walked in all last week to justify spending my limited budget on this) and I was thrilled they had the Christmas Costa cups. Sad, I know.
I'm generally always up for a Costa, I definitely prefer it to Starbucks (sorry Starbucks fans!) as their hot chocolate just tastes a lot richer, which is something I love. I'm kind of limited with hot drinks. It's hot chocolate, green tea if I'm in the mood for it, or Turkish apple tea which is delicious and the only good thing that came from being accosted by a Turkish market guy.

Day 19: Another picture of yourself
Well, aren't we a nice little egotistical blog challenge! So here's a very recent picture of me (merely days old) wearing the gorgeous headband my friend Amy bought me for Christmas. Check out half my Doctor Who poster in the background there. That's Matt Smith's neck ladies, limited space cut out David Tennant. Anyway, this is just before my flat's Christmas meal (which was lovely and £4 each between the four of us) and I'd decided to get dressed up. My hair is also a lot less frizz-tastic than it usually is. Thank you Toni and Guy boost-it mousse and hair serum!

Friday, 17 December 2010

30 day blog challenge: day 17

Day 17 - A photo of you and your family

Okay so technically this isn't my actual blood family. However I don't have any proper family photos lying around or stored on my laptop...which I could've sworn I did :\ So here's one of my unofficial family. This is the group of people I'e known about 5 years, some have left and new ones have joined but this is my second family!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

30 day blog challenge: day 16

Day 16 - Your celebrity crush.

A fairly bog standard post tonight. My celebrity crush is Gerard Butler. No huge reason why. I fully blame P.S. I love you for making him look so darn adorable and showing off his accent. Plus he's funny. Us ladies do love a man who can make us laugh.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

30 day blog challenge: day 15

Day 15 - Something you don't leave the house without.

So there's three things I don't leave the house without. All very practical really.

1) My phone
My phone always goes everywhere with me. It's ultra handy now I have a Blackberry because I can keep track of my emails when I'm travelling between home and uni (for example) meaning I can email contributors for the uni magazine or email my tutors a sudden, pressing question regarding an essay.

2) My purse
Unless I'm so hideously poor that I don't need it of course. This beauty was given to me by my grandma a while back - at least a year and a half ago - and is brilliant for storing all the junk I like having in my purse. Examples of said 'junk' include the mini statements you get when you withdraw cash, deal cards for an amazing hot dog stand back home, my Waterstones card and the cards taxi ranks give out (because I always forget to store them on my phone!) Also I tend to have big bags so a giant purse like this makes it easier to locate when I'm going to pay for something.

3) My keys
Again, another obvious one. No point leaving if you can't get back in. My keys are ridiculously big for the amount of keys I have. I have *counts them* three, four if you include the padlock one I have for the kitchen cupboard (food thief) and a whole bunch of keyrings. Admittedly, as with my purse, this makes them easier to locate. Each key ring means something to me. I also have one of those trolley coins (in lei of an actual pound coin) with Bagpuss on it, which comes in handy more than I expected it to.

And tah-dah! Those are the things I will have on me (or in one of my giant bags) if you bump into me on the street.

Monday, 13 December 2010

30 day blog challenge: day 14

Day 14 - A TV show you're currently addicted to.

Easy. Gossip Girl.

Ah lovely picture of Chuck and Blair (aka Ed and Leighton) for you there. Beautiful Ed. It's so funny watching interviews with him and everyone's excited he's British while I'm sitting there going "HE'S FROM STEVENAGE!HE WENT TO MY COLLEGE" as if the American presenter can hear me.

Anyway, I've loved Gossip Girl since I first saw it. I can't actually remember why I watched it, I think it was through a friend's recommendation. But since then I've been hooked on the storyline, the fashion and the wonderfulness that is Blair Waldorf's character. I've firmly always been a member of team B.

I've never read the books (a first for me) and I'm kind of reluctant to, because I know they're different to most of the T.V. series. I don't want to be disappointed by either medium. So I'll just be content with the T.V. show and feel taunted as it's not on for a while now. Looks like my DVD boxsets will have to do!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

30 day blog challenge: day 13

Day 13 - Your favourite musician and why?

Again, I'm going to ever so slightly bend the rules to this day's post. I have two favourite musicians so both will feature.

Artist number one is Alexz Johnson. She's a Canadian singer and actress who I first stumbled across in t.v. show Instant Star (follows the winner of a talent contest similar to the X Factor with a rather attractive ex-boy band member as her mentor), when I was fifteen. I was instantly amazed by her vocals. Add in the fact she wrote a lot of her songs for the series and I was hooked. She released her first solo album this year and it's simply brilliant. My favourite tracks from it are Mr Jones, A little Bit, Taker and Boogie Love although I could easily just list all eleven tracks. I'm waiting for the day I can afford to go see her in Canada/America or for her to come over here.

Next up is Taylor Swift. This is a kind of obvious one for those of you who know me. I've seen her live twice so far, but I'm going again at the end of March for her Speak Now tour. I'm so excited! I love the way she expresses herself through her music and I have mega respect for where she writes her own lyrics and music. Plus she's totally funny, the kind of girl you can imagine being friends with and goofing around with (youtube her general videos, they're hilariously silly).

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Memorable Moment in Fashion 2010: Luella Bartley

L-R: Luella Bartley in her Mickey Mouse ears, auctioned off for charity
"Hearts, Prints and Bows", Luella's Spring/Summer 2010 collection
"Luella's Guide to English Style" book, out now

For several years I had been a fan of Luella's clothing. Her designs had a fun, quirky side to them which I loved, not to mention the great colour palette she used. So imagine my horror when I heard her financial backers had pulled out and, unless a new one came forward, Luella the label was going to fold. I hoped one would come forward, but none did and so the Luella sale began. Anything left for sale on her website was made available at a heavily discounted price. Come January of this year and, with a small bit of my loan and the majority of my birthday money, I managed to get my hands on a hot pink Luella handbag for a mere £120 including delivery.

My mother went mental when I told her the price, thinking I'd gone crazy. But I knew this may be my only chance to own a piece of the Luella collections; something I'd been wanting to do since I first saw the collections.

As it was, all the items were sold and Luella ceased trade. Not, however, before some high street stores and supermarkets with clothing ranges whirled out copies of her latest collection (pictured above). I say supermarkets because, one summer's day drawing close to the autumn months, I was browsing through Tesco's clothing sale rack when I came across this dress:

It was a few sizes too big, and it was missing it's belt. However, it was a darn good copy of the Luella dress and had been reduced to £10. Rationalising that I didn't need another belt as I already had plenty, and one such belt could be used with this dress, I snapped it up. Yes I didn't have a lot of money at this time but hey, it was the last one!

Best bargain ever, people remark on the likeliness and owning a decent copy is often the next best thing when on a limited budget.

But Luella was not ready to leave us yet (hurrah!) and a few months after my wonderful find, she released a book. I was desperate for said book and practically stalked my local Waterstones (it took them about a fortnight to actually get it in stock and even then they only had three copies!) for it. It took me about two days of reading - fitted around uni commitments of course - to finish it and it was worth my manic searching of Waterstones on a regular basis. It's not a "how-to" book but more Luella's musings on how we as British birds like to dress, spanning through the generations and different style clans we may align ourselves with. Well worth £20, or a quick plea to Father Christmas.

30 day blog challenge: day 12

Day 12 - A photograph of the town you live in

Well this one isn't going to be all that interesting. I'm afraid I don't come from a picturesque village or anything. My town used to be a farming area but after WW2 it got turned into what it is today for workers commuting to London everyday.

The old town is remarkably more beautiful than the town centre so I've got a picture of each.

Stevenage old town high street at Christmas

Stevenage town centre

Friday, 10 December 2010

30 day blog challenge: day 11

Day 11 - What's in your make-up bag

I don't really have a make-up bag as my make up tends to be littered around my bedroom at the best of times and shoved in a wash bag when I'm travelling. However I have a set lot of products I use so I'll just be listing those beauties instead...


Products l-r:
-Barry M mascara
I use the waterproof one as it just tends to wear better, and last longer. I've tried various brands but I generally find this one, or Boots' Natural Collection mascara the best one, in brown/black.

-Benefit eye bright
I got this product free with a magazine (I do love me some freebies!) and was going through a particularly bad patch of not sleeping well, so thought I'd give it a go. It's amazing. Just put a little bit on, blend it in and you look wide awake even if you don't feel like it. It made me look more human many a time during my first uni year!

-Barry M trio eye shadow
I do enjoy me some Barry M product. I have all eight of these eye shadow trios. The one pictured is called 'Delicious Diva' which is my favourite one. I find these, as with the mascara, have the best staying power although this is sometimes a detriment for when trying to remove it. However the colours are really striking which means you don't need to wear loads of it. Hurrah!


Products l-r:
-Lush Bubblegum lip scrub
This amazing product saves my lips from literally bleeding and peeling during the winter months as well as generally. It's basically a lip exfoliator, which smells and tastes (don't worry, it's safe to eat as it's made from caster sugar) absolutely brilliant. A little bit goes a long way and it looks like I've barely used mine although I have.

-Burts Bees beeswax lip balm
It smells of mint (yummy) and, when used just after the lip scrub, keeps my lips lovely and smooth. This also lasts a lot longer than most lip balms and doesn't have that gunky feel to it of say Vaseline (sorry!) which saves you from eating your hair as soon as you leave your house on a windy day.

-Boots No.7 Mouisture Drench lipstick in shade 55; Pink Crush
I'm not a huge lipstick fan but every now and then I do like to slick a bit on. I was previously using a special edition Boots one from the summer which was more of a nude tone but I dropped it and it broke leaving me with none left to use so I'm on to this one now. I like the colour as it's just enough to make a difference but not so much that I look ridiculous. Hurrah. I also use No.7's red lipstick when I feel like vamping it up

So there you go, there's my make-up bag!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Holiday Wardrobe

Let me state from the beginning, this is not going to be me telling you girls what you should wear over the Christmas/New Year period. This is simply me showing off what pretty dresses I have indulged in earlier this year to wear myself. If you like them, buy them, but I'm not going to go on at you to. I simply want to show off my wares.

I love dressing up for occasions. Be it a party, or an important meeting, or a date - give me an event and I'll put together an outfit for it. Now, I'm on of those people who enjoy planning outfits to wear for Christmas and NYE (New Year's Eve), I always like to have a particular outfit put aside for these days even if it's not anything particularly fancy.

Chronologically, Christmas comes first and that's (conveniently) also the order I bought these dresses in, however unintentionally it was. This lovely dress is from Peacocks and cost me £25 before my student discount (20% at the time, brilliant). I've never been one to hanker after dresses with embellishment and such just under the bust, but this one intrigued me with its soft fabric and gorgeous colour - I've always been a sucker for pastel pink/purple - not to mention the full length sleeves, meaning I could cover my arms without need for a cardigan. As it turns out any caution I had about the embellishment around the bust was dispelled as soon as I'd tried it on. It fits like a dream. I've already worn it a few times, unable to resist it's simple and beautiful charm hanging in my wardrobe, to a uni event and the Christian Union Christmas meal/party last week. The next time I shall wear it is definitely Christmas though.

From Christmas to New Year in a matter of days. How fickle we are to flick from one celebration to the other so quickly! I don't even know what I'm doing this year. Last year I spent it at my boyfriend's house and the year before that it was a friend's house party. However, I definitely know what I'll be wearing. A month or so ago, New Look had a sale on their party wear. Most pieces had about 20% knocked off their original price and I had been hankering after a new dress for a while for such purposes. So off I ventured and came across this piece within seconds of entering the shop.

I wasn't sure at first, I hadn't seen the dress before and wasn't sure if it would work for me. But I took the precaution of trying it on in the changing rooms and adored it. I love the flapper vibe I get with this and I can easily pair it with heels, ballet pumps or boots. This might even be my birthday dress a few weeks after NYE! I can't remember exactly what this cost me, I think it was close to £20. It's been reduced further to £10 in the sale New Look are having but they only have a few sizes left, and are sold out of anything I could fit into, so I'm glad I got mine when I had the chance!

And there you have it, that is my holiday wardrobe.

30 day blog challenge: day 10

Day 10 - A photo of your favourite place to eat

Well, I can't get a picture of my grandma's house (she is one of the best cooks I've ever known!) so here's second best...

I am a sucker for all foods that can be considered "hearty". I love a good roast, or pie and potatoes or something pasta based. Hence I will very rarely say no to a meal at Frankie and Benny's. Their bbq chicken pizza is amazing, as are their pasta dishes. The only downside is the birthday song. It happened 13 times during one meal out there. For those of you who have experienced it, I'm sure you feel my pain. There's only so many times you can hear Cliff Richard "Congratulations" without wanting to scream/hurt someone/both.

That aside, it's a lovely place and I've had many good group meals/dates in the one pictured (back home) or the Newcastle and Sunderland ones up here.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

30 day blog challenge: day 9

Day 9 - A photo of the item you last purchased.

Okay so it's a lot of effort to get up and go to my kitchen right now and unlock the cupboard (food thief) to take a photo and upload it on here so this is just from Google...

I do love a good hot chocolate and Aero bubble hot chocolate is immense. I love that it's a water hot chocolate as well rather than the whole milk route because I very rarely have milk unless I'm baking something involving it as an ingredient because I don't like milk as a drink, nor do I enjoy cereal. Thus milk is generally redundant and it's a bit silly for me to be spending my money on milk just for the odd hot chocolate.

It's a bit pricey at £2.40-ish at most shops but it makes over 20 cups/mugs of hot chocolate and tastes gorgeous!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

30 day blog challenge: day 8

Day 8 - A song to match your mood.

The song is "It's You" by Annie Stela. This pretty little song popped up in my Youtube recommended videos one day and I like to give new songs a listen. I fell instantly for it, I love the piano at the beginning. Also, the lyrics kind of resonate with me...

"You said, "Ohh I may be young"
But I know when I love someone
When I love someone
And it's you

Our ankles intertwine
And then your hands are a beginning to my body's end"

I'm 19 and I'm in love but some people don't seem to take what we have seriously sometimes. Talk of the future generally gets met with "that's nice" in a tone that says "if it happens it'll be nice" and until recently one person, admittedly of a different generation but still, called it a "special friendship". This was after a year and a half, pretty long time in my book!

Whoops, apologies for the mini rant there! Anyway, this is the song that matches me mood at the moment.

Monday, 6 December 2010

30 day blog challenge: day 7

Day 7 - Your dream wedding.

Okay so I'm not one of those girls who have had their entire weddings planned since they were like seven and were just waiting for their groom to stroll into their lives. However, I'm not going to lie and say I have no idea of what I would like. So here is my, quite basic, list:

  • It would be held in a church that both my groom and I belong to
  • I get the white dress
  • My dad walks me down the aisle
  • Immediate family is involved
  • I have two/three of my best friends as bridesmaids

And that's it. I told you it was fairly basic. No demands for five-tier chocolate cake decorated with crystals or dozens of butterflies and doves released when we've finished our vows. None of that crazy stuff. I'd just want a fairly small wedding complete with the above list. Nothing fancy or expensive, focus instead on the actual meaning of the wedding, rather than the performance, and what it's leading into - the rest of my living life as a married woman.

30 day blog challenge: day 6

Day 6 - A photo of an animal you'd love to keep as a pet

I've only ever ridden a horse once but it was amazing. I've loved horses since I was little and when I was younger I wanted to own a farm/stables and have my own horse. I pestered my parents for riding lessons when I was younger but they split up before it could happen and it just never happened. It is, however, on my to-do list to have horse riding lessons.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

30 day blog challenge: day 5

Day 5: A photo of yourself from two years ago...

Not quite two years ago but only a few months off so I figured I'm allowed it. This is me and my friend Becky (on the left) dress shopping for my 18th. I adored the one I'm wearing in this but didn't get round to buying it before they sold out of my size. Booo. Well, until tomorrow!

Friday, 3 December 2010

30 day blog challenge: day 4

Day 4 - Your favourite photograph of your best friend

Okay so technically I'm breaking the rules here because there are four pictures rather than one. However I tend not to have just one best friend so from left to right...

First up we have my church family. I love these people so much. This was taken a few years ago now at a birthday party for one of them (I'm second from the end on the left there, grey cardi and green/blue dress. Man my legs looked good. I miss that dress. It got too big so I gave it to a friend but I still miss it.) Anyway, this night was a lot of fun and even though I'm away from them a lot with uni now I always slot right back in to the big crazy family at church.

Next up are my main two friends at uni, Emily (middle) and Katie (right). This was taken at a great night out in February of this year. We went to Leeds with some other people (let's not endure that memory again) on a mini bus to see a few local bands (local as in Sunderland where I go to uni). It was at a place called Brudnell social club which Emily was very familiar with and she ended up getting into a bit of a struggle for Frankie and the Heartstrings' drum stick. Amazingly hilarious to this day.

Next up are my friends from school. Well a bunch of them anyway. This was taken during the last few weeks of school of year 11 where everyone went on a giant "WE MUST DOCUMENT EVERYTHING WITH A PICTURE" rampage. Ourselves included. We went for a nice group one but in typical us style it never happened that way.I don't think there was ever a group photo where someone wasn't doing something silly. But they make great memorable photos.

Finally we have the newest group of friends. These lovely people at the dining table are my Christian Union friends and, in our own way, we're kind of like our own little family. This was taken during a weekend away to Kesick in the Lake District so not everyone is in it as not everyone could come, but it was a lovely weekend nonetheless. I've met some of the loveliest people ever through CU and although I missed a weekend away at church back home for the CU one, it was definitely worth it for the fun we had.

And so comes an end to the slightly changed day 4 blog challenge

Blog challenge: day 3

Day 3 - Your idea of the perfect first date.

Okay so this one is actually quite short. I like being able to talk to my date so a drink in a Costa/coffee shop or a bite to eat in a cafe/restaurant works really well for me.

This is pretty much drawn from experience. The first time I met up with my now boyfriend, we went to Costa where we spent about three hours talking and, upon realising how late it had got when we were about to be thrown out of Costa because they were closing, moved on to dinner. He then walked me home before leaving to get the bus back to his own house. It was brilliant because we spent so long talking. And he quoted lines of Romeo and Juliet and various poetry. Which I loved and made me even more smitten than I already was. Thus, perfection.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

One party outfit, one store

Okay so I decided to see if I could put a party outfit together using the items from just one store. I chose Asda mainly because of its prices and managed to get a dress, pair of shoes and bag for just over £40 (I hit £41). Not too bad though given that's technically an entire outfit as most people (myself very much included) like to recycle jewellery.

First of all, apologies for the teeny tiny pictures. It's ridiculously difficult getting pictures from Asda to save well so this is the best I've got.

The dress. Red is one of the go-to colours this time of year, plus its a colour that can suit anyone. The strapless style may not be one comfortable for everyone but if you don't like your arms there are lots of beautiful shrugs and wraps out there for you to cover up with. The drawn in waist does wonders for a girl's figure and it's a flattering length for your legs to look extra lovely. Dress, £17

Now these shoes look quite plain and black here. However if you find them on the website and look properly, you can see they have lace detailing. A/W 2010 ♥s lace and in small doses so do I. The ankle strap keeps your feet secure for hours of dancing and the heel isn't so ridiculously high that you'll be crying when you leave for home. Lace detailing heels, £16

And finally the bag. Well, the clutch if we're going to be very specific. Every outfit needs a bit of sparkle. Nothing too crazily over the top before you go and roll around in a glitter pile, just a little hint of something sparkly is brilliant. And if you plan on leaving jewellery well alone for this outfit or want just a pair of earrings rather than a full jewellery set adorning you all night then this sparkle clutch bag is perfect. It's black which keeps it a staple piece for numerous other outfits/parties, looks big enough to fit the essentials in (spare tights, purse, keys, etc) and gives you that little hint of pixie dust we love so much this time of year. Or all round if you're me. Bag, £8

Total cost of outfit: £41
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