Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Slowly creeping into 2014...

As its New Years Eve and I'm home alone with no plans (sad), I'm going to take this opportunity to do a little blog reflecting on the past year and looking forward into 2014.

To be honest, 2013 hasn't been significantly good or bad. It started out alright and has had its ups and downs but generally it hasn't been anything to write home about. I have had some awesome times in Huddersfield this year, and some extremely stressful ones too. From epic nights out, to chilled nights in, gigs with friends and gigs with my boyfriend, I have made some really great memories this year. But towards the end of the year, I have also been incredibly stressed and at times, a nightmare to deal with, due to the demanding workload and stresses of final year.

This is probably the most cliche thing I've ever said but I guess in some ways, 2013 has been a year of change. Both my boyfriend and one of my closest friends moved out of Huddersfield this year which was initially quite daunting and really hard for me to get used to. The thought of having these two no longer within arms reach was really hard to comprehend at first and I for one, did not like it! However, they didn't just get fed up of me, they actually both left to pursue their placement years and I am very proud of both of them. My boyfriend moved to Leeds at the beginning of the year which upset me a bit but he managed to get himself a cracking placement within the university, meaning I still get to see him a hell of a lot as he is always in and out of Huddersfield. He seems to be enjoying the placement overall and it has given him some great experience and opportunities which is fantastic and I am really happy for him. My friend, Hannah, moved back home for her placement year and has had two placements up to now, both of which have been extremely beneficial and the opportunities she has been given from both have been phenomenal and I am super proud of her and even though it absolutely sucks that she no longer lives with us and I cried my eyes out when she left, I am so happy that her placement year is proving to be so valuable and worth while.

Everyone around me seemed to be so focused and driven this year, that I, personally had a minor breakdown. For ages I found myself thinking "What the hell am I actually doing with my life?", and "Why aren't I as successful and switched on as everyone else?" Obviously I am still in university and working towards a degree but to be completely honest, I still don't have the foggiest idea what I want to do with my life after uni. There are so many people that I see in uni everyday that seem so mature, ambitious and focused and know exactly where they want to be in five years time. Whereas I still feel like a teenager and am no wiser as to what I want to do, than I was when I first started uni, which is a little worrying. I still have a huge passion for writing but that does not necessarily mean I want to be a journalist, as I just don't have any interest in nitty gritty and edgy stories, I much prefer light-hearted things. I also have no ambition to pursue a career in PR, like many other people in my degree area, as I don't have the self-confidence, charisma or ballsiness required to be a success in that area. I find it hard to put myself out there and talk to people I don't know or people I might be intimidated by, which causes me great problems in uni, as I am often expected to interview or approach random people. I experience a lot of anxiety when it comes to this sort of thing and tend to put things off, which I have found to be a huge setback this year, as it stops me from reaching my full potential with assignments. This is the main reason behind the lower parts of this year and because of this, I have decided to give myself some resolutions for 2014. Now I know that resolutions are there to be broken and I will no doubt forget about them, but I am going to give them a try anyway.

2014 is the year I (hopefully) will graduate from uni and although that is a massive achievement, it also leaves me feeling quite sad as it means I have to join the real world and stop living the student dream. I honestly believe that I will be on a huge downer after graduating because I have loved just about every minute of uni life. I have met the best friends in the world and I can't even cope over the Christmas holidays without them all, so god knows what I will be like when we all leave for good. They better get the Prozac ready cause I will definitely need them come July 2014! There has been talk of me potentially getting a flat with Jade, one of my uni friends, after we graduate but that involves a lot of saving up, so we will have to see what this year brings and hopefully we can make it happen, but if not, I hope we will all definitely still keep in touch.

Until then though, I am going to try my best to get through the next few months without too many stresses. To do this, I aim to:

- Take control with my assignments and don't let myself get so easily distracted
- Try my best to grab opportunities by the balls instead of being scared and anxious in certain situations (easier said than done!)
- Spend less and give myself a weekly budget (also easier said than done!)
- Stay out of other people's business
- Enjoy my last few months as a student

This post had a lot more feels than I initially anticipated but hey ho, I'm going with it! I hope everyone has a much more eventful New Years Eve than me, and I hope your resolutions stay in tact longer than mine probably will!

Happy new year!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Christmas preparations at C7!

Its getting super festive in my flat at the moment, so I thought I'd share some of our Christmas preparations on my blog.

We've had our Christmas tree up for a few weeks now (it was a welcome essay distraction!) and I for one, don't want to take it down after Christmas is over. Its so pretty! The angel on top is pretty special too, as we acquired a 'make your own angel kit' in first year from Wilkinsons and have had that same angel on our tree for 3 years now. She's sentimental!

We've got other Christmas decorations dotted around the flat, as you can see below. Giant glitter snowflakes, paper snowflakes, paper chains, fairy lights and home-made Christmas cards are adorning our humble abode at the minute!

We also stayed up til 1AM one night and made some lovely salt-dough Christmas decorations...as you do.
You can find recipes/instructions online to make these but we simply used 2 cups of plain flour, 1 cup of water and 1 cup of salt. Then all you do is mix it up as you would any other dough, give it a good kneading and roll it out ready to cut out your shapes. Once this is done, you can either pop them into the oven until they are solid or leave them out overnight to harden, before painting them and adding decoration. They make great presents or sentimental family Christmas tree ornaments.

Ours are yet to be painted but they are already looking adorable!

Definitely getting excited about Christmas now. Can't wait to spend some time with my family, stuffing my face with some festive foods, lounging about to the likes of Elf and The Grinch and enjoying the home comforts of a nice bubble bath and a comfy sofa.

Feel free to leave links to your own Christmas posts, I'm intrigued to see how other people are getting into the festive spirit!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Crikey, third year is NOT a walk in the park...

Wow, the last few weeks have been a rollercoaster. Slowly but surely, I am starting to realise just how difficult final year is. With the sudden realisation of just how little time there is left in uni and an array of deadlines creeping up, my head has been quite a mess.

Earlier this month I noticed just how little time I had to do so much work and it really freaked me out. Having said this, I didn't exactly jump into work mode, but instead spent time doing fun things with my flatmates or failing that, lazing around not doing much at all. Its hard to find the right balance in third year for work and social activities, especially when you are dreading leaving university and therefore want to spend every last minute enjoying yourself. Because of this, I started to leave a lot of important things til the very last minute.

While we might be getting nearer to Christmas, we are also getting closer and closer to deadlines, meaning I am currently in panic mode. Over the last few weeks, it has dawned on me just how much time I've been wasting and because of that, my stress levels have been through the roof. Due to the stress of upcoming deadlines and the fact that I found myself doing a module that was completely and utterly out of my comfort zone, I was feeling very overwhelmed. For the first time in three years, everything got a little too much and I actually wanted to leave it behind and go home, which is something extremely out of the blue for me.

After a minor mental breakdown and a bit of crying in various tutors offices, I decided to drop the module that was causing me issues and change to something that I am actually interested in and have quite a passion for. I also decided it was time to knuckle down and try to get some work done on the essays that have deadlines lurking around the corner.

It never occurred to me that I would feel so down and to be honest, depressed, with uni, but I think once in a while, every student has a bit of a rough patch and becomes unexpectedly overwhelmed with what is expected of them. I'm happy to say that the rough patch has gone and I am now feeling much better.

My tutors and some of my coursemates were very reassuring and told me that they've been in the same boat, which made me feel a lot better and less pathetic for crying in the first place! It felt as though everything was getting on top of me, but since then I have took control, made a start on some things and generally been more positive.

I don't really know what I'm aiming for by writing this in my blog but I know I've been a bit absent in writing for a while and to some extent this is why. I'm sure there are many other student bloggers who have felt similar or many who have just started their studies and will at some point. So I guess this post could help them in some way.
The morals of the story in short are:

  •  Don't let things get ahead of you, take control
  •  If you need to cry at someone, then don't feel daft, just let it out, everyone gets stressed from time to time
  • And more importantly if you do feel like this, don't let it hinder your university experience because its just a very small bump in the road of what is otherwise a fantastic journey and adventure.

So with all that in mind, I should get off my blog and do some more quote-hunting and research (Fun!)

Before I do though, I should probably mention my boyfriend in this.
He recently got the urge to jump on the blogging bandwagon and decided to start a blog and post something everyday. I initially teased him for stealing my turf but to be honest he has kept up with it pretty good so far and actually posted more recently than me! He doesn't have a specific topic or subject area, its just a diary entry style blog, but he's committed to it and it will definitely be interesting to read back over everything in a few months time. So why not check out his blog here and maybe give him a follow? Go easy though, he's new to this!

To anyone with upcoming uni deadlines, good luck!
And to the rest of you, you don't know how bloody lucky you are!

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Birthday Madness!

Last Sunday I turned 22 (ew), so I thought I would give an insight into what my weekend was like and a brief look at some of the things I got from my friends and family.

On Friday night, me and my flatmates enjoyed a pre-birthday Nandos, courtesy of some freebie vouchers from Freshers Fair. After a busy day of uni, a chilled out delicious slice of per-peri goodness was just what I needed. In true C7 style, we all grabbed a childrens colouring book and started scrawling away while waiting for our meals. Yes we do know how old we are...but when life hands you crayons, you've just gotta colour in...no matter what age you are!

My free half chicken which was b-e-a-u-tiful
After this we were all stuffed and went back to the flat for a chilled out night, which consisted of tanning, plucking and nail painting ready for Saturday nights shenanigans.

Saturday morning was a bit hectic for the rest of the flat, but not so much for me, as I was being held captive in my room while they decorated the flat and baked me a cake. After a while, I got cabin fever, and they let me out just in time for my best friend Hannah to arrive. While the girls carried on making a secretive baking masterpiece, me and Hannah were forced to play Mario Kart to take my attention away from what they were doing.

About an hour later, in true birthday style, the lights suddenly went out and I was being treated to a "tuneful" rendition of Happy Birthday and presented with possibly the best cake Jade and Beth had ever made. I was truly amazed at their hard work and instantly forgave them for locking me away!
My birthday cake consisting of all my favourite things: Matchmakers, Snickers and a hell of a lot of chocolate - Well done girls!
After the cake, I cracked open my first Strongbow of the weekend and put some pizzas in the oven to make it really feel like a birthday! Shortly after eating we started getting ready. For some reason I decided for my Last birthday in Huddersfield, I would go all out: eyelashes, false nails, tan - the whole shabang.
That was until I started getting ready and quickly realised, theres a reason I don't wear any of these things....they just do not suit me! I abolished all the fakery and began to feel a bit strange as nobody ever comes in my room yet the whole flat was in and out, making me wonder what exactly was going on...

Nevertheless once I was ready, I grabbed my laptop and speakers and went into the living room to start pre-drinks with my best chums. Only when I actually got there I was surprised again, to see that not only were all my flatmates there, but they had also sneaked in my boyfriend and his bandmates who were all hiding around our tiny living room, waiting to shout 'surprise!'. My friends are literally the best.

After a few drinks at our flat we headed to town where my boyfriend's band High State were playing as part of the Oxjam festival. It was all a little hectic and if I'm honest a bit poorly organised (not due to the lovely Oxjam crew, but more the bar that was hosting it), but we still enjoyed it regardless. I was over the moon that the band were playing on my birthday night out because I always have so much fun at their gigs and so do all my friends. Although I'm starting to think we embarrass them a little when we constantly dance the Macarena to all their songs! Jade and Hannah emerged out of nowhere with two massive cocktail jugs, so it was obvious we were going to have a top night!

We had a laugh and although it didn't quite live up to my expectations after my last two epic birthdays in Huddersfield, I still had a great time with the best friends and boyfriend in the world. Here are some snaps of our night (all very blurry as it was dark!):

Sunday was my actual birthday and after waiting aaaaages for my boyfriend to wake up, I finally got to open my presents from him and my friends. 

Been waiting for this for so long! I absolutely LOVE Roald Dahl books and read and had them all when I was little, but somehow lost them. So I had been really wanting my own special collection, and my boyfriend listened and bought me this - I love love love it!

My very own Mike Wazowski! I bought my little brother one of these for his birthday but was very reluctant to give him it because I wanted it for myself! But now I have my own thanks to my boyfriend!

My Breaking Bad mug, aka my new favourite mug from my boyfriend. Aaron Paul is a babe and a half!

He also got me the Katy Perry Killer Queen perfume which I'd been wanting for ages. It smells so good!

My lovely friends put together and got me this gorgeous Freak of Nature dress from Topshop, which I had no idea about but they obviously know me incredibly well because this dungaree style dress is right up my street!

One of my best friends, Jade is super talented and made me my very own cushion with a sugar skull on it, all handmade by her, shes so effing clever! If you like this or fancy something for one of your loved ones, visit her page.
An abundance of cute cards from my friends and family!

Some other gifts, mainly from my flatmates Tash and Sunnie - can't wait to down that alcohol!

My friend Beth got me this cool little gift - a Los Pollos Hermanos pot complete with candy meth! Which tastes really good actually!
In the afternoon my dad and sister visited and took me for a coffee, which was lovely as I'd not seen them for a while, and I do love a Costa's Iced Lemonade! We chatted for about an hour or two and then they dropped me back off at my flat.

Later, me, the girls and my boyfriend headed to Wetherspoons accompanied by Jade's sister, Jenna who had visited us for the afternoon. I enjoyed a beautiful meal, courtesy of my boyfriend and it was the perfect end to a hectic but lovely birthday weekend.

If my friends, family or boyfriend read this, thank you all for making it so nice. You are all amazing and I love you dearly!

Also if any of you fellow bloggers are celebrating a birthday this month, I hope you all have a fantastic day too!

My sincerest apologies...

I absolutely promised that I would keep up with this blog and I have failed miserably, so please accept my sincerest apologies.

I had the blogging bug over Summer when I was living alone and didn't have much to do other than my part-time job, and I wrote tonnes of posts and really started to build up my blog.

Then bam! Before I know it, its the end of October and I haven't done a post in over a month - oops.

Everything is madness around here lately. All my flatmates are back and we've been having the time of our lives, making the very most of our final year. We seem to have had more nights out in this past month than we have in the last two years put together! (Freshers aint got nothing on us!) I've really enjoyed getting back into the swing of things with my best pals, hence the lack of posts.

Not only this but uni is SO demanding this year. I have already been swamped with stress thinking about all the things I have to do this year.

I have been drafting up dissertation proposals, book lending and racking my brain trying to come up with an idea for one of my projects and all of a sudden, its two months til Christmas (WHAT?!)

So, I guess this is another plea from me, to promise that I will try and do more posts. However, at least if I do go AWOL again for a while, you know that I haven't disappeared off the face of the Earth. The real reason will be that university has taken me hostage!

Friday, 20 September 2013

OOTD: 20/09/2013

My first outfit of the day post! Will hopefully do more of these in the future :)
Picture quality isn't fab. Its a miserable rainy day, so my room is like a cave, even with the lights on!

T-shirt - Vintage Fair
Pinafore Playsuit - Glamorous
Leggings - H&M
Frilly Socks - Primark
Vans - Office

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

I Wish: Urban Outfitters

So lately I've been ridiculously skint, and even though student loans are due next week as well as payday....so is my rent, meaning I'm likely to stay penniless for quite some time. 

Therefore I can't go on my usual "FUCK YEAH ITS LOAN DAY, LETS SPEND IT ALL NOW!" shopping spree :( 

So instead, to fulfil my need to online shop, whenever I get the urge to buy something, I'm just going to post a wishlist and not actually buy them. 
That way, you lot can buy them and I can live vicariously through you! 

All these items are from Urban Outfitters, which is one of my absolute favourite shops. I would kill to be able to go into the Leeds store and spend about £200 like I normally do on loan days! But nevermind.

These are just a few of my favourite things from there at the minute.

1. / 2. / 3.
I really like tartan print and own quite a few items adorned with it, but I like how relaxed and comfy both the shirt and the dress look. 
One of the reasons I love UO is because their prints are beautiful, and while I have dresses and leggings from there, I've yet to own a skirt - this could be the one!

4. / 5. / 6.
I absolutely love turtles, and I have another turquoise turtle pendant from UO so it'd be nice to own this one too! 
I've seen this watch loads of times and have been eyeing it up for ages, I love the map on the face.

7. / 8.
I've got a bit of a thing for fairy lights at the moment but my cheap Poundstretcher and Dunelm ones have just about seen their full potential so I need to upgrade to something a bit more girly like this. 
The hipflask is actually on my birthday list, so hopefully if I've been a good enough girl, I might just get it? Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Arctic Monkeys - AM

Arctic Monkeys have been one of my favourite bands since 2006, when my dad reluctantly lent me his copy of Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. Of course, I'm extremely biased, as they hail from God's own back garden, Yorkshire, like me. But that aside, I think they're fantastic and like many other fans, I have been patiently awaiting the release of their fifth album, for almost 2 years.

When they burst onto the music scene with their triumphantly successful first album, they were just shy adolescent boys that most of the country, let alone the world, could barely understand - five albums later and they are arguably one of the biggest bands in the world at the minute, with a hugely dedicated fan-base.

Over the last year, Arctic Monkeys have cleverly teased fans, rationing them almost, by drip-feeding new material and live performances bit by bit. The release of R U Mine? back in February 2012 sparked early excitement for the new album, showcasing not only a sharp new look, but also an interesting and incredibly appealling new sound for the band. Their next single Do I Wanna Know? was released early this year, ahead of their amazing headlining set at Glastonbury, which reminded us just what it is we love about Arctic Monkeys.

(Image found @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Arctic_Monkeys_-_AM.png)

A few months later and we finally have what we've been so eagerly anticipating, their fifth studio album, AM. On first listen it is apparent that those mere adolescents who introduced us to I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor have grown up a hell of a lot; presenting us with an edgier and much more matured sound. Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme, who collaborated with Arctic Monkeys on this record, describes it as "a really cool, sexy, after-midnight album" and you can certainly understand his point as there is something undeniably cool about this album. The album opens with Do I Wanna Know? -  a single that I personally have over-played this Summer, because of its catchy beat and dirty sounding riffs. Following this is last year's hit, R U Mine?. I love both of these songs but I have to admit, opening with 2 big tracks like this, obviously leaves the rest of the album with a lot to live up to.

Like most albums, there are some tracks that I instantly liked, and others I wasn't so sure of, but after a few listens some of those songs have grown on me. Personal highlights for me include Knee Socks, I Want It All and Snap Out Of It - three of the faster songs on the album. The band had many different influences during the production of this album, from Black Sabbath to OutKast. While these are at opposite sides of the music spectrum, they have helped Arctic Monkeys create an album that contrasts sounds of rock and hip-hop. As mentioned earlier they had one particular collaborator who helped to nurture this sound, the only man who could ever make being ginger cool as fuck, Josh Homme. He is reported to have worked specifically on One For The Road and Knee Socks but I find his influence to be apparent in many of the songs. Badass QOTSA-esque harmonies and riffs accompanied by Alex Turner's kitchen-sink lyrics and broad Sheffield twang are a winning combination and pure pleasure for the ears.

While I find some tracks on this album to be completely different to anything Arctic Monkeys have done before, there are a few bluesy tracks on AM that also wouldn't sound out of place on Suck It and See, such as No. 1 Party Anthem and Mad Sounds. Alex switches into crooner mode on these two tracks, which have a soft vintage sound in comparison to songs such as Do I Wanna Know? and Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?

"I wanna be your Ford Cortina, I will never rust" 
"Let me be your leccy meter and I'll never run out"  
 - I Wanna Be Yours. 

One thing I really love about Arctic Monkeys is how real they are. Since their first album, they've told life exactly how it is through their songs. Alex has a real knack for creating lyrics that are effortless but absolutely genius. And this album is no different. I also love the constant references to popular culture in their songs, such as "Shes got a Barbarella silver swimsuit" from Arabella and the reference to Mean Streets and The Ronettes in Knee Socks. 

While there are bound to be many mixed reviews of this album, due to people's opposing opinions on the Arctic Monkeys and their development as a band, I personally found AM to be a gem. It fulfilled the Arctic Monkeys shaped whole in my life, and I'm currently playing the hell out of it. Some songs can be easily overlooked, but the rest are modern masterpieces, and I have no doubt that many of them will be big hits (especially Arabella). To put it simply, this album got me through a twelve hour night shift, and that is all the judgement I need. 

Safe to say, I've always believed the hype!

Friday, 13 September 2013

A few Friday favourites!

As its Friday and I have an unheard of but very well deserved day off work, I thought I'd do a small review and share some of my current favourite products!

Boots Coconut & Almond Intensive Hair Mask - £1.99
The first product is not actually a 'recent' purchase, I've been using it for over a year now, but I've never raved about it other than to my close friends. Boots Coconut & Almond Intensive Hair Mask retails at only £1.99, which is amazingly cheap for such a brilliant product. I use this as an alternative to regular conditioners and have found that it not only smells beautiful but it also leaves hair feeling light, clean and silky soft after every wash. The reason I initially bought this is because my hair was in need of a deeper treatment than regular conditioner as I had been dying and bleaching my ends for quite some time, leaving it in a dire condition. However, after using this product a few times, I found my hair had been repaired somewhat, feeling much more nourished and a lot less frazzled! Since then, I have carried on using it and I can't see myself changing back to conditioner anytime soon. I have recommended it to all my friends and some work-mates who have also bought it and had the same results.


Lee Stafford Treatment for Hair That Never Grows Past a Certain Length - £7.99
The next item is another hair product, which I'm sure most bloggers will have heard of by now, if not tried for themselves. Lee Stafford Treatment for Hair that Never Grows Past a Certain Length, is a treatment that promises to 'fertilize' hair follicles in order to help hair grow to its full potential. It is quite an expensive buy, at nearly £8 and I had read many mixed reviews before purchasing,  but with such a promise, I felt the need to test it out for myself. I have hair that struggles to get past my shoulders and therefore flicks out really annoyingly, so anything to give it that little push is worth trying in my book. 

With this product, you shampoo your hair as normal, and then whack some of this on and leave for about 5 minutes, massaging it into your roots and ends while you wait. You then rinse it off and condition as you normally would. The instructions suggest that after using it for a while, you should decrease usage to once a week, but I have been using it with just about every wash for the last month or so because I wanted to see results. While I knew I'd be waiting a while before I saw any growth, the condition of my hair improved instantly, leaving my hair feeling glossier and healthier after the first use. 

Now to the vital part - has it made my hair grow at all? To be completely honest, I do feel that it has grown a little. Some days its really noticeable and others not so much, but thinking back to when I first started using it, I believe that it has grown more than it usually would. I'm not in any way claiming that after using this you will suddenly be a rival to Rapunzel, but for me personally, there has been a slight change. I have just about finished this tub now and if I can conjur up another £7.99, I will be repurchasing, so hopefully after two tubs, I will be able to give an even clearer indication of hair growth. Overall, worth trying if you can afford to do so!


T-Zone Clear Out Nose Pore Strips - Around £2.99 (I could be mistaken) 
I found these at work (Poundstretcher) and decided to give them a go, as I have massive pores that often get clogged, especially around my t-zone. With this product you simply wash your face, making sure its sufficiently soaked, and place one of the strips over the top of your nose, leaving for about 10 minutes or as long as it takes for it to dry. As the strip dries, it becomes quite solid and stiff, which might alarm you, but this is how it drags the bacteria out of the clogged pores. You then quickly peel off the strip like pulling off a plaster. If like me, you are a little bit gross, you can see just how much grubbiness the strip managed to pull out by looking at the other side. I was amazed to see just how much bacteria these strips pulled out, and because of this, I now regularly use them after showering. Because of the great results these strips gave me, I am dying to find something similar but for my whole face. If anyone knows of any cheap face masks made of a similar material that can be pulled off in the same sort of way please let me know! But in all seriousness, if you also have blocked pores around the nose, give these a go.

Soap and Glory 'The FabPore' Cleansing Wipes - £3.00
On the subject of pores, I came across these Soap and Glory cleansing wipes in Boots. They contain something called 'Poreshrink-4' which is supposed to help minimise pores for a fresher face. I am already a big lover of Soap and Glory products so I decided to try these wipes out, as like I said earlier, I have huge pores which could definitely do with minimising! The instructions tell you to use the wipes in any areas which cause problems blemish and spot-wise, but I just used them all over like a regular face wipe. After about 2 minutes my face started burning a little which alarmed me at first, but after reading the packet, it does warn that the face might tingle due to the presence of 'Poreshrink-4'. Despite the tingly feeling, once my face dried, it did feel really soft and fresh. I have only used these a few times up to now, but I really like the softness of my face afterwards. As for the minimised pores, I will have to report back after more regular use, but I have every faith in these beautiful smelling cleansing wipes.


Seventeen Off the Wall Graffiti Nail Effects in 'Monochrome' -  £3.99
The final product I've been loving lately is one that I only bought this week, but I have used it 3 times already! This Nail Effect paint from Seventeen is a clear polish with big bits of black and white confetti in it, which makes for a great effect over your favourite nail colour. Here are some examples of colours I've teamed it with:

I love the finish of this polish, and would love to see Seventeen bring out a bigger range of these Graffiti Nail Effect paints, such as a gold/silver or a pastel one that would look great over black polish. The only criticism I have of this is that it is an absolute nightmare to get off. Like glitter polishes, it takes a lot of scrubbing. But other than that I really like this and if you're a polish collector like me, you should definitely invest!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Telly Obsession: Orange Is the New Black


( Image found at: https://www.facebook.com/OITNB )

A couple of weeks ago, after watching episode 9 ('Blood Money') of Breaking Bad on Netflix, I sat slumped across my bed, feeling gutted that I had to wait another week to watch the next installment of my favourite tv series. In true Netflix style, something random started playing all of a sudden and instead of getting up to turn it off, like I normally would - I found myself intrigued by what I was seeing.

It was the promotional trailer for a new Netflix original series called Orange Is the New Black. After watching this trailer, I decided to give the series a whirl and before I knew it, I found myself binge-watching episodes everyday until the ungodly hour of 4AM.

I would describe Orange Is the New Black as an American version of the UK hit show Bad Girls, only slightly less harrowing and a lot funnier.

OITNB follows the life of Piper Chapman, who is uprooted from her 'normal' happy life with her fiance, Larry Bloom, when she is summoned to serve a 15 month sentence for a crime she committed in her earlier life. The series focuses on her time in prison and the trials and tribulations she faces when trying to 'fit in' with her fellow inmates and earn their respect. Piper makes some friends straight away such as Nicky Nichols and Lorna Morello, but others prove harder to connect with, and Piper finds herself out of her depths when trying to build friendships with them. In another unexpected twist, Piper finds herself face to face with her ex lesbian lover, Alex Vause, who is also serving time in the same prison. Alex was the reason for Piper's arrest, as they were both involved in an international drug smuggling scheme, and therefore Piper is initially raging when she sees her. However, over the course of the series, sparks fly chemistry-wise and the two find themselves seeking solace in each other.

What I personally love about this programme is the complexity of it. While Piper Chapman is the main character, and we follow her story, we also get to know the personalities of other characters within the prison. You will find yourself loving even the scariest of characters as you are shown their background and upbringing in a series of flashbacks which show the reason for each inmates arrest. My personal favourite characters are Tasha 'Taystee' Jefferson and Nicky Nichols. Yet I find myself enjoying the crazy and slightly scary characters of Suzanne 'Crazy Eyes' Warren and god-fearing Tiffany 'Pennsatucky' Doggett.

While Orange Is the New Black has some fantastically funny moments, it also explores themes like rape, drug addiction and homelessness in a realistic manner through its clever intertwining stories and flashbacks. Each character tells a different story but when stripped back, many of them are very similar. Because of this, the series also contains inner morals and values which become apparent when a character has a lesson to be learnt.

OITNB is one of those programmes you will be glued to. I found it impossible to watch just one episode and am now lost after finishing series one. While no date has been set for series two yet, it has been reported that Netflix commissioned a second series before the first had even aired, and we can expect this sometime in 2014.

I would seriously encourage anyone who is a fan of dramedies to give this show a chance. Even the opening theme 'You've Got Time' by Regina Spektor is incredibly catchy and will be stuck in your head for days. Get yourself a Netflix account - or borrow a friends like I do - and get watching the first series, I guarantee that by the end, you will be itching to watch the second!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

My long weekend in Scarborough

Last Summer, I spent five days visiting one of my best friends, Jade, in her hometown of Scarborough in North Yorkshire, (blog post here) and I had so much fun that I decided to visit her again this year.

Scarborough is my absolute favourite seaside town, don't ask me why, but I just love it! And for some reason, everytime I visit Jade, we get lucky weather-wise and therefore get to do loads of fun things. I stayed with Jade from Thursday to Monday and we did something different everyday.

My chosen journey soundtrack, High State - Tear the World Apart (buy it here), Scarborough's South beach looking from St Nicholas Gardens and one of my favourite things about Scarborough - a lemon twist ice cream from Harbour Bar

On the Friday, we went to Whitby, another quaint little seaside town in North Yorkshire. Whitby is well-known for its intriguing sights such as Whitby Abbey, but also for its cute little boutique shops selling everything from seaside souvenirs, Whitby Jet jewellery, confectionery and even home-wares. I hadn't visited Whitby since I was a little kid and my family used to go on Sunday day trips, so it was really nice to come back and reminisce.

A steam train on the way into Whitby, holiday makers enjoying the Sun on Whitby beach and the entrance to Whitby Harbour

Friday night was the highlight for me, because we got to see McFly at Scarborough Open Air Theatre. Anyone who knows me will know I'm a massive McFly fangirl (or Galaxy Defender for any fellow fangirls/boys) and have been for 10 years since they first got together. I've seen them so many times, but never at a venue quite like the Scarborough OAT which is situated outside, and features tiered seating and a lake/pond in front of the stage. Its a really unique venue but I really like it, as you can see perfectly from anywhere in the arena and its incredibly easy to get up and get a drink from the bar at anytime, while still enjoying the gig. The gig wasn't my absolute favourite one that I've been to but its the first time I've been slightly intoxicated at a McFly show and therefore made for a very interesting night! McFly played a fantastic set as always, even though they were only on for a short period of time compared to most shows and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

McFly doing what they do best and me and Jade in front of the stage loving every minute of it!

On Saturday I was feeling a little fragile following Friday night's events, but it was nothing a bit of breakfast and some fresh air couldn't sort out. After coming back to life a little bit, we went to a beautiful waterfall called Falling Foss situated in the North Yorkshire Moors national park. We had a walk through the forest and saw the waterfall which was beautiful but the highlight was Falling Foss tea-gardens. The tea-garden is a small cafe situated in the gardens of a cottage in the heart of the forest, with lots of outdoor tables and seats and a small cabin which serves tea, coffee and freshly-baked cakes. The garden is beautiful and has lots of activities for kids such as a wooden play area and giant jenga. With it being hidden in the depths of the forest, many people probably aren't aware that it exists but anyone who visits should spread the word because it is such a pretty place to sit and take in the surroundings with a warming cup of tea.

The two pictures I did manage to get of Falling Foss

On Sunday we stayed indoors and recuperated while Jade did some university work and I watched trashy telly, accompanied by a beautiful Sunday roast made by Jade's mum - just what we needed after an exciting weekend!

Before I left to catch my train back to Huddersfield on Monday, we hit the beach for a few hours. We indulged in some of our favourite seaside traditions - spending too much money on 2p slot machines, a massive plate of fish and chips from the best fish and chip cafe in Scarborough - The Harbour View Cafe, and my final Harbour Bar ice-cream of the weekend. The perfect end to a perfect weekend.
A couple of snaps from my final day: Scarborough Spa bridge, boats in the Harbour, Scarborough Lighthouse and the best prize in any 2p machine ever - Fun Snaps!