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!

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!

Saturday 17 August 2013

Is there such a thing as shopaholics anonymous?!

During July, I spent the whole month flitting between work and an empty flat. I had no exciting plans, no money and I was in dire need of human conversation with someone other than a customer. The month seemed to drag on forever and I couldn't wait for it to end so that I could look forward to all the fun plans ahead for me in the following month.

Now we are 2 weeks into August and as predicted, I have been rushed off my feet! I have been to Leeds, Manchester and of course in and out of Huddersfield which is where I live. I have met up with friends, seen a lot more of my boyfriend and just genuinely had a lot more fun already this month. One of the things I have been doing a lot of, is shopping. So much so, that I am now ridiculously skint and worried that I may have an addiction to buying things! With this in mind, I decided to show off some of the things I have been buying lately.

Most of these items have already been worn, so I'll do my best to remember the prices, or at least give a rough idea.

This first outfit is something I wore to my boyfriend's gig in Manchester earlier this week. The top is a simple black lace crop top which was around £5 from Primark. I was thrilled to find this, because I recently bought a similar one from Topshop and had to return it, as it was too tight and didn't fit nicely. This top however, is a great alternative for a fraction of the price. The leather look skater skirt was also from Primark at around £5 - a complete bargain when most places are selling them for £15 upwards. To finish off the outfit, I wanted some flatforms and luckily I managed to find these little bargains in Primark for £12. They are black with a suede/velvet feel, and have a dainty little ankle strap, which takes emphasis away from the chunky platform. I am in love with these shoes as they are so comfortable and will go with any outfit. Flatforms are great if you are useless in heels and can only cope with a wedge, like me. I just know these will be my go-to 'going out' shoe from now on.

The next item I bought from Primark is pretty basic but I am so in love with it, that I bought 3! (ooops!) It is simply an oversized batwing sleeved jumper, in a marl purple colour. The reason I bought 3 of these is because they are incredibly comfortable and look great over a pair of plain black leggings. They were an absolute steal at £5 each and have a lovely fitting, which comes lower at the back and sits slightly off the shoulder.

The next item is from an ebay shop called punk-never-dies which sells a wide range of band t-shirts, vests and dresses. They stock loads of artists and bands from Justin Bieber to Alice Cooper, so if you're into music of any kind, you might just find something to suit your tastes. As you can see, I bought a Black Sabbath vest as I recently became quite a fan of theirs after seeing them live at Download Festival last year. My boyfriend has loved them for years and my mum is also a fan, so after being converted myself, I decided to buy this vest ready for when I see them again in December. (Super excited!)

In keeping with the music theme, I also visited one of my favourite stores - Pulp. I always love having a browse at all the alternative clothes in this store, but rarely buy anything as I'm always skint! However, this time they had an offer on any 2 band t-shirts for £25, which I thought was fantastic, because some places sell one for that price. So me and my boyfriend took full advantage of the offer; me with this Metallica tee and him with a rather obscene Johnny Cash one. We got two t-shirts that we both love for only £12.50 each - bargain!

The next top I bought was again, from Primark. I saw this and shoved it straight in my basket because I just thought it was really cool! A tiger's face on a galaxy style background - whats not to love?! I also love the cutout back on this vest and it was only £6 so I didn't even think twice about buying it.

Apologies for how creased this blouse is! I have worn it to death over the last week! This isn't something I would normally buy but for some reason I just love it. It looks really vintage and 80s, but it was actually from Primark. It was £10 which in comparison to some of the other Primark things I have bought, is a bit more expensive, but I have probably got my moneys worth out of it already!

This lacy shrug is from Primark and was £6. I picked it up because I thought it was a nice alternative to a cardigan on a night out or just to put with a nice dress. I love how floaty and wide the sleeves on it are. Plus its lightweight enough to fit in my bag if I'm out and don't want to wear it. Primark had a few other nice shrugs in other styles so its worth having a look even if lace is not your thing.

Finally something not from Primark! These are both from Urban Outfitters, which is one of my favourite shops. I actually did quite well buying these two as they came to less than £25 with student discount and I am notoriously known among my friends for my Urban Outfitters sprees. The vest is a pinky purple colour with a cool pattern and is quite small and lightweight, perfect for Summer. It was only £12 which is really cheap for UO. The necklace was quite expensive at £14, but its a turquoise turtle for the love of God! I love turtles and I'd been eyeing this up for quite a while so I had to have it!

The final thing I'm going to post is possibly my favourite. It is considerably more girly than all the other things I've bought lately but its so pretty, and fits so nicely that I just love it. I saw this on Facebook by a page called Bows Boutique which I was unaware that I had 'liked' so it was more than a pleasant surprise when this came up on my timeline. The print on the dress is really nice and Summery. The actual dress itself is also really flattering. It is a skater style dress, and also has a little padding on the bust area which is great for me. I haven't had the opportunity to wear this out yet but I can't wait til I do as its beautiful.

After writing this post its suddenly very obvious why I am so poor at the minute! This is not even half of the things I have bought lately but I would be writing this forever if I featured everything.

There are also a few things I have bought which I'm not too sure on, so there could be another Ebay session very soon!

Hopefully its not just me that can be this reckless when it comes to shopping!

Sunday 28 July 2013

Big kid with a passion for being creative? Look no further...

After being given a £100 Amazon voucher earlier this year, I had a bit of a crazy moment and for some bizarre reason, wasted it all on things that wouldn't be out of place in a ten year olds bedroom. For example, a lifetime supply of Fun Snaps, Lego Creationary and the focus of this post, a Wreck This Journal.

Wreck This Journal is a book created by Keri Smith. The book is kind of like an activity book, in that there are instructions on each page and you are meant to interpret the instructions in whatever creative way you wish. When I first came across this on Amazon, I decided to search for it in YouTube to get an idea of some of the instructions and how people had interpreted them and was pleased to find videos of people flicking through their own completed books. After I'd seen some of the cool things people had done on each page, I decided to forget about the fact that I'm actually 21 and not 10 and buy one.

When it arrived I felt like a kid at Christmas and was glued to it for about a week, where I just sat in the corner of the living room surrounded by pens, pencils, paints, PVA, and random things I had collected around the flat. Two of my flatmates study arty, creative subjects at uni and are always sat painting or drawing and I get incredibly jealous that my course only allows me to write essays and not do anything quite as Art Attack-esque. So for this reason, I was super excited to do this journal because it meant I could finally join in! (And it gave me something else to procrastinate with, when I was meant to be doing assignments...)

I've had my Wreck This Journal for a few months and have finished a few pages in it but there are still many left to do. However, I thought I would share some of my pages and talk about the journal on my blog because personally, I don't think enough people know about this book and I would've loved something like this as a kid.

So here are a few of the pages I've done, and please bare in mind, I cannot draw to save my life and to be honest, had I given the book to my 6 year old sister, she probably would've done a better job, but I've had a blast doing it so I don't care!

I cant wait until its finished and I can do this bit!
After seeing how excited I was about my journal, my flatmates also went on to buy similar books from Keri Smith's range such as Mess: The Manual of Accidents and Mistakes and The Pocket Scavenger. I also bought another of her books entitled This Is Not A Book, which is similar to Wreck This Journal but with a different spin.

Page from This Is Not A Book
These books are a great gift idea for any creative child, or anyone who is a big kid at heart like me. They would also be a great activity for the summer holidays, when struggling to find things to occupy them, and will be fun to look at in years to come. Wreck This Journal and all the other books I have mentioned are available on Amazon for less than £10 each, so grab a bargain and have some fun with it!

Thursday 25 July 2013

Recent Cosmetics Haul and Review! Barry M, Rimmel, Revlon & Lime Crime

I've been somewhat AWOL for the last couple of months in terms of blogging. This is down to a number of reasons such as university assignments, my job, enjoying time with friends and a simple lack of anything interesting to write about!

However, once again its Summer, which means my flatmates have deserted me for a few months and in between working and spending time with my boyfriend, I find myself EXTREMELY bored. Therefore, I have vowed to try and keep up with this and write a few blogs over the next few weeks/months. At least then I will have spent my time off doing something slightly productive and also when I go back to uni in September, I won't be a complete writing spazz because I haven't entertained a keyboard in months.

So here goes!


Small Cosmetics Haul and Review:

Me and Boots haven't been the best of friends lately as I stupidly lost my Advantage Card a few months ago and therefore stopped going in on a daily basis (probably for the best!). However, I have been in on a few occasions accompanying friends and instead of walking out with a basket-full of cosmetics each time, I have just bought the odd item here and there, so I thought I would start my new blogging lease of life with a review of the products I've purchased!

The few cosmetics I have recently purchased
First up - nail polishes:

The first polish I bought was Rimmel Lasting Finish in 700 (Block Your Green). It is a vibrant greeny blue colour, perfect for Summer nails, and as part of Rimmel's Lasting Finish collection, it glides on easy enough and takes no more than two coats to achieve a good, solid colour coating. The picture below doesn't really do the colour justice (I really need to invest in a camera!), it isn't as teal as the image makes out. It is impossible to capture the exact colour but it has more of a green undertone and just screams Summertime.

Rimmel Lasting Finish in 700 (Block Your Green)
The nail polish is a great consistency and goes on your nails in the exact same colour you see in the bottle (unlike many!). As a lover of black and red nails, it is unusual for me to wear bright colourful shades but this is one that I definitely don't mind wearing. However if I had to say one bad thing about this particular polish, it would be that it is a nightmare for staining, so you really need a base coat underneath. I was channeling The Hulk for a few days after removing the polish, as it stained the tops of my fingers really bad and wouldn't come out of my nails for a while either. All in all a great purchase at the measly price of £2.99, and I will continue to wear it over the Summer months regardless!

The second polish I purchased has fast become my absolute favourite. I was already smitten with Barry M's Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paints, as you can tell from my earlier posts, but after buying another in the shade Blood
Orange, I am truly, madly in love.
Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Blood Orange
Even though the name suggests it is an orange shade, it is actually a really vampish deep but bright red. And I adore the colour so much, it is now my go-to red nail polish. Like all the other Gelly Hi-Shine polishes, this is good to go in two coats and I personally don't even bother with a base or top coat as it doesn't stain and the finish you get with these polishes is phenomenally shiny. I can see this polish being used up very soon and I will most definitely be re-purchasing it, as they are only £3.99 yet leave you with a perfect salon finish.

Onto the lipsticks:

As well as nail varnishes, I have recently become a bit obsessed with lipsticks too. The first two I picked up were from the new Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede range. I bought two shades, Backstage and Trendsetter.
Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede - L: Backstage, R: Trendsetter
Backstage is very much my colour, as I am really into dark lipsticks and this is a mahogany/plum shade. Trendsetter on the otherhand is quite girly for me, as it is a red shade with pinkish undertones, however I also really like this shade on myself. 

Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede swatched on the back of my hand, L: Trendsetter, R: Backstage
As someone who accidently rubs off her lipstick all the time, I actually found that both lipsticks stayed on for quite a long time, even in the sun and whilst eating and drinking. Not only this but they were quite moisturising, and had a nice feel, in that they weren't too dry or too wet but you could tell that they were still on your lips, which is good for me, because it indicates whether or not I need to reapply. Which in this case I didn't. I got both these products when they very first burst into Boots and I think (but I could be wrong) that they were on offer for £6.99 but recently are around £8, which is a little pricey for a lipstick but I personally love them and think its worth it.

Last but not least, I watched a few Youtube videos about the Lime Crime Velvetines lip glosses and was intrigued to try one of them out for myself. I purchased Lime Crime Velvetines in Red Velvet from an online seller, as I think it is an American brand (?), for around £15, which is a lot, but I felt the need to invest.
Lime Crime Velvetines in Red Velvet
Before even opening the product, I fell in love with the packaging, because it was so girly and pretty, so major kudos for that one, Lime Crime. Now, I'm not a fan of lip glosses as they tend to be a bit girly for me and I don't like the stickiness of them, however this one is extremely different to any other. The promise of Lime Crime Velvetines is that while they are technically a lip gloss as they come in the form of a wand and are shiny and extremely pigmented, once they have actually dried to your lips, they are completely matte.

Has all the traits of a lip gloss but actually dry on completely matte
I had been trying to find a specific deep vivid red for quite some time in Boots and Superdrug but can never come across one that suits my skin tone, so thats why, I opted to try out this offering from Lime Crime.
Beautiful red shade
I love the colour, it is exactly what I'd been looking for, however I personally couldn't get to grips with the consistency and application of this product. Because initially it goes on very shiny and extremely pigmented, you have to take great care applying it, and for someone with really small lips, this proved quite a task and it didn't suit me personally at all, which is a massive shame. If you have fuller lips and don't have any difficulty applying lipsticks/glosses with care then this would probably be a great investment, however if you're like me, unfortunately this one can afford to be overlooked.

And there you have it, my recent cosmetics purchases.
I did not expect this to be so long, but I hope I have given any cosmetics lovers out there a fair and decent review of each product.

I have also just finished uploading a few bits and bats to ebay (everything from games, dvds to clothes) so take a look at my items and see if anything takes your fancy: ebay: terri-leigh123

And I hereby pledge to do some more posts in the coming weeks and not leave my blog unattended for too long this time!

Adios! :)