Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Good things and bad things

The first essay is nearly done, ignoring the fact that it needs to be restructured and I am in desperate need of making it slightly shorter. Once I've done that I have a break from studying until tomorrow, thankfully.

Other happy news are that I received my dress from Topshop late last night, I am not sure how it got there but Steve found it outside our door, and I am very pleased. For people like me who are quite pear-shaped (heavier on the hips than around the waist) it is amazing! The top part of the dress is very stretchy and so it follows your body contours perfectly, until it reaches your waist where it flows outwards. Great for giving big bums lots of room. Considering it's "just" a good-value summer dress, I am very pleased. I wore it today with a knitted sweater on top and matching tights and turned it into a modest skirt for activities such as.. Oh, I don't know, meeting with an important person perhaps...

Bad news are that I think I might have an ulcer again. Although I don't feel much pain in my stomach, I have a very uncomfortable feeling and the best way to describe is that it feels like I have a hole right where my ribs meet. I felt the exact same way about a year ago, and a year before that. Both times I received tablets from the doctor that worked wonders. So I guess another visit is due.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Updating and apologising

Let's face it, I haven't been much fun lately. No pictures, very little of anything really. At the moment I have one giant group project and two essays that need to be done. Meanwhile, I have tons of reading that I'm falling behind on. At the start of next week a lab report is added on top of that. So you can see why I have to be a little bit boring... But do not fear, because in less than four weeks time all of my coursework will be done and I will have three weeks of holidays. (It's not really holidays, because I have a 5000 word lab report to do as well as getting a headstart to studying for my exams in May.)

On another note, I ordered a little something from Topshop last week (yes, I'm addicted to online shopping) and my order says it's delivered to my mailbox but it is most definitely not there... Back to reading about opioid receptors.

Monday, 27 February 2012

About spending too much money

Hey Asos,

Could you please stop having all these amazing offers on? You're twisting my arm to spend some money here.

So I was practically forced to buy a bunch of stuff when I noticed that Asos had 20 % off their collection. Not great for my bank account but I got a pair of bikini bottoms to match my bikini (the original bikini bottom has a tendency to fall off... I learnt this the hard way), a pink lace headband and a white dress that wasn't on offer at all but I've been dreaming of it for a good few weeks now and as I was looking around Asos I noticed a little sign saying there wasn't many left. And so I panicked and realised that this was my only chance to buy it. I just had to!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

About my Saturday

I was going to sum up what I have done today, but unfortunately it's quite late and it's already Sunday. So this post is actually about what I did yesterday.

My day didn't start until quite late, around 11am or so. I got up, couldn't bring myself to eat breakfast quite yet and so instead I cleaned our kitchen and marinaded chicken for our tea. Then I made my own scrambled eggs mess, which is literally just scrambled eggs with loads of chopped tomatoes, mushrooms and ham. I call it a mess because it looks like the least appetising meal in the world, but I still love it. We also received our Star Wars poster which I ordered a week ago from Etsy. It's the first time I've ordered anything of Etsy, but definitely not the last. (In fact, I've now spent a lot of time looking for more stuff to buy online... Oh-oh.)

The afternoon went by in a flurry of me getting two participants to fill out my questionnaires and organising for more people to fill it out by tomorrow. I also managed to have a Skype-conversation with my dad as well as with one of my brothers. With the latter one I discussed a link about the top 90 albums released during the 90s (I have a certain love for music from this decade) and how there are several albums that we haven't even listened to properly yet. So we decided to pick an album, both listen to it and then review it later. First out was If You're Feeling Sinister by Belle & Sebastian. I have only listened through it three times today but so far I think it's an amazing album. Personally, my favourite songs are Seeing Other People, The Fox in the Snow, If You're Feeling Sinister... I love almost all of them all really. My brother really likes Me & the Major, which is the one song I feel uncomfortable with. I can't explain why.

After that I went to Tesco with Steve and we got groceries and a few things that we needed for tonight. When we got home he played computer games and I made KFC style chicken with chips that suited Steve's diet as well as craving for KFC. I even mixed BBQ sauce with the baked beans the way they do at KFC! Steve said that the food was even nicer than the chicken at KFC since there's lots of taste but without the grease. I think that's a brilliant comment to get. After that I made a squidgy chocolate cake with a recipe from the same website. Unfortunately it looked great when it came out but at some time after that the cake just... flattened. It went from being several inches high to barely one. My cake-tasting companion said that it tasted really nice considering it's a healthy dessert... but that it did taste like a chocolate omelette. Slightly disappointing.

Once we had eaten half of our chocolate-cake-gone-omelette we watched True Grit. Recently Steve got persuaded into trying LoveFilm and so I've ordered a pile of movies that we never caught when they were out in cinema. True Grit seemed really good, and I was right, it was. Since the movie ended I've spent my evening reading blogs and surfing at Etsy. I also bought If You're Feeling Sinister because I'm aware that my Spotify-minutes will run out at any given moment. Oh the horror.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

About The Woman in Black

So for no reason at all a bunch of friends (who live out in the countryside) decided to drive up to Belfast to go bowling. Unfortunately, we once we got there we were told that it was not possible to go bowling until half ten because all the lanes were booked up until then. (At this point the majority of us asked the organizer of the event why he hadn't booked a lane beforehand.) And so we decided to go to the cinema instead. The only two movies that were showing were Safe House and The Woman in Black. A coin flip later we were nervously waiting for the horror to begin.

The Woman in Black is about a lawyer (played by good-looking Daniel Radcliffe) who has to visit a small gloomy village for a business trip. He hasn't been there long before the village is struck by a tragedy, and the young lawyer soon discovers that this tragedy is just one of many over a long period of time. They all have the same thing in common - a woman in black is seen.

I can honestly say that I am not a big horror fan, mainly because of consistently bad plots and terrible acting rather than being scary. This movie, however had a good story, decent acting and I was so scared that I could barely watch. At one point a slap was delivered by me to Steve's arm, that's how scared I was. And all of my friends agreed on this movie being one of the scariest movies we've ever seen. The movie has a good build-up, enough "jumpy" moments to satisfy those scare-cravings but not so many that you grow accustomed to them. The movie also revolves around children a lot, which is a great way to scare both people who find kids scary anyway as well as scare people who genuinely care for children.

No trailer being linked here guys, I am too scared to look it up. Time to cure myself with some Mad Men.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

About ironing (yes, really)

Steve had to iron his clothes today. (I couldn't be bothered ironing his clothes on top of all of mine, but I don't want him to look like he's homeless. So I forced him to do it.) After a substantial amount of time I noticed that he was only halfway through the smallest pile of clothes possible. When I asked him how he could be so slow he replied:

"It takes a long time to first iron the outside of the clothes, and then turn them inside-out and iron the inside."

Ironing the inside of the clothes? Surely no one irons the inside of their clothes? This was originally a post dedicated to making fun of Steve and his crazy ways, but now I'm uncertain. Am I the only one in the world who thinks ironing the inside of their clothes is the most stupid and unnecessary thing ever heard of?

P.S. I'm not saying that everyone has to iron their clothes, but we really do. I think it's because we're so scruffy-looking in general, we have to iron our clothes to look presentable. 

P.P.S. The essay has been started, sort of.

Help me choose a drug...

For my essay, that is. (I can't help but smirk when I think of all the readers I just lured in, craving for a bit of juicy blogging about drugs. Sorry, I am no way anywhere nearly as interesting as a druggie.) I have an essay for my Biological Psychology module rapidly approaching and I need to talk about a drug and its effect on behaviour. Anyone reading this will also understand that I am procrastinating for dear life here.

I also need to somehow recruit a dozen of participants for a research project that I am doing for another module. Life is tough. No more blogging (or reading blogs) until I have gotten a start on this essay. Looks like another Saturday night will be spent doing studying...

Speaking of something completely different, this song is amazingly good. I even got my brother to like it.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

About the Muppets

I totally forgot to say what I think about The Muppets when I saw it at the cinema for Valentine's Day. I loved it, but then again, I am all about singing and dancing puppets. The Muppets definitely made sure that they targeted both their older, crying-from-nostalgia audience as well as their new audience, today's children. This meant that I didn't laugh during the movie as much as I did when I watched Toy Story 3, but perhaps it is a better story overall for children. And let's be honest, that's who should be watching The Muppets.

The Muppets is about a young boy (who looks suspiciously like a muppet) and his brother, played by Jason Segel, who find out that an evil businessman is buying The Muppets' studio because, apparently, there's oil underneath it. The only way to save the studio is if the Muppets reunite and do one last show to raise enough money to buy the studio back. One thing that annoys me immensely is when humans get too much attention in a movie that is about puppet and so I have to add that the entire storyline about Jason Segel and his girlfriend was more annoying than funny. To me. I'm sure that others will enjoy it and the movie was still very funny. You should go see it.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

My busy-but-in-fact-lazy-Pancake Tuesday

Today has been a busy, busy day. Before I continue with a complaining post I would like to clarify; this is a an unusually busy day for me. Generally my busy days are busy because I have to do a lot of studying but this is something that can be done near or preferably in bed accompanied by minimal physical exercise. But today was busy because...
1) I had class first thing in the morning. (I got up at 7am today, excluding mornings before exams, getting up that early hasn't happened for a year or so)
2) I had class until the afternoon without a break but at which point I went straight to do an hours' memory exercises on the computer for the sake of a research project belonging to a classmate of mine. Mentally draaaaained.
3) After that I had to go to city centre, get my fringe cut but found out that my hairdresser has changed days that she works, buy a bunch of t-shirts because I knew an offer was on but then start a fight with a cashier as apparently the offer was wrong (I won), and then I had to buy these shorts from Topshop. (Okay, so maybe I didn't have to buy the shorts or get any of these things done today... but it was really all I could do to cheer myself up!)

Best to not tell anyone about the fact that I had a two-hour nap when I got home and didn't wake up until Steve entered the flat with Chinese take-away... I am now going to do some studying (or at least make a plan for it), possibly some knitting and later have a few pancakes to celebrate Pancake Tuesday. They're not even homemade, we bought pancake mix yesterday. Shame on me.

Speaking of something completely different, I have taken photos of our bedroom but unfortunately they are... crap. It's too dark in there and so the pictures turn out grainy. This won't do for the sake of my beloved baby blog. (Yes, this is how I view upon my blog. Something for me to take care of since I don't have a cat.)

Monday, 20 February 2012

About how decorating is a serious challenge for our relationship

In this post I am taking a break from flaunting my beloved apartment but I am sticking to my general favourite subjects; decorating and relationships.

Living with another person can be difficult in many ways. The issue could be that your better half wants to eat spaghetti and bolognese three times a week (in my case I am the spaghetti-lover, although I compromise a lot) or perhaps that he/she does not like any vegetables at all. It could be that one of you are messy and the other one borders on having OCD when it comes to cleaning. And unless you have separate noise-cancelling earphones, you're gonna have to get used to listening to someone else's music taste. Me and my better half has overcome all these obstacles (yes, we do indeed have noise-cancelling earphones) apart from one; decorating our home.

Everytime we proceed with making a change in our flat, no matter how small or big, it is followed by a heated discussion. And at this point I have to stick up for myself, I'm not in any way going crazy with typical feminine colours and fairylights with ruffles shaped like ponys on our walls. I could step onboard the generalising-boat and say that it may stem from a culture clash but honestly, I think it's mainly because his taste just sucks. I will give you an example of how our conversation regarding our bathroom went.

Our bathroom is a standard bathroom which is completely white. The only thing that we can change are the hand towels that are hanging on the wall and the bathroom carpet, as well as a few small things like the mug where we keep the tooth brushes etc. Fairly boring, you get the idea. I wanted to incorporate a lot of dark gray textiles as a contrast to the white suite and then compliment it with a few orange "pops" of colour. A bright orange mug on the sink perhaps. In case you don't know what I mean, below are examples of the colours that I wanted in our bathroom.

The pictures are from Douglas Friedman via Trendenser.

I am sure that a whole bunch of people probably disagree with my taste in interior design and don't see the charm in these pictures at all. I am genuinely alright with people disagreeing with my taste, but then I want the person to suggest an alternative. Some people don't want an alternative, they like things the way they are. Undecorated. Steve is one of these people. He said no to orange. He said no to gray. He said no to all of the other colours that I showed him. Eventually I asked him what colours he thinks are okay in a bathroom.

"... Nothing but blue?" I asked him.
"If you want to be crazy, I can stretch it as far as teal. But no more than that."

You see what I have to live with?

Eventually, we did what we always do. We compromised. We have spaghetti once or twice a week. We try to always clean at agreed times. We listen to our own music in noise-cancelling headphones. And our bathroom is now a mixture of dark gray and teal.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

About our living room and kitchen

In this post I would like to present to you my living room as well as kitchen. Yes, it is in fact one room that functions as both as we live in a very small flat. Although the pictures look very different they all show the exact same room. The big difference is that I took different pictures at different times of the day and so a few of them were taken with morning sunshine and a couple of others later in the day. Trust me, it's not just my own crappy editing that caused pictures to look either pink or yellow. The first picture shows our couch which is positioned against the wall to the left when you enter the room. The second picture is a close-up of our cooking books and cards that we keep to the right of the couch. (It used to be Christmas cards, now it's Valentine's Day cards.) The third picture is a close-up of our two posters above our couch. I am picky with what I like on my walls, to the extent that I've actually spent about six months searching for the exact kind of posters that I want. Unfortunately they don't seem to exist yet, so on Friday I grabbed a poster at IKEA that had the colour scheme that I was after and that will have to do until my perfect posters are made. £6 well spent. I also went home and wrote "thinking of you is my favourite thing to do" in fake calligraphy style and put in another frame. It couldn't possibly look more home-made (and the quote couldn't be cheesier) but at least it's made with a lot of love... Hrm hrm.

Below you see a picture of our "kitchen corner" and the door that leads out to the hallway. The reason why our washing machine looks like it's melting onto the floor is because of the sun shining brightly through the windows. I would also like to stress that I am genuinely not trying to position the flowers so that they are a part of every photograph I take, I just tend to move them around a lot during the day so that they're not in the way of cooking, eating, watching TV etc. The second picture is what you see if you stand right next to the washing machine, in front of our door. You may have noticed that our room is certainly not big and especially not when we have so much stuff. The wooden table is our dining room table although Steve has claimed it for his beloved monster PC. I'm not kidding, in the event of a fire the PC would be saved before me. Third picture is a close-up of our kitchen area and the last picture is of our fridge. The pictures are a few years old by now but I haven't gotten around to convincing Steve to take any new pictures of us. There you go - half of our flat has now been presented to the blogging world.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

My flowers

Today has been such a good day so far. I took a couple of pictures but most of them have Steve's nieces on them and I'm weary of putting pictures of children on the internet. Even more so when it's not even my own, ha! I also took a couple of pictures of our flat. Unfortunately the only time you get good pictures are when I don't need to use the flash on my camera, and that requires natural sunlight. Most of you probably think "how hard can it be to get some natural sunlight" but guess what - I live in Northern Ireland. Headquarters for the Rainy Days Association, if there was such a thing. We had about four minutes of sunshine earlier today and I got two good pictures. I am now pacing back and forth across our windows, waiting for another patch of sunlight.

Until then, enjoy these pictures of the lovely flowers that Steve got me on Valentine's Day. You can even see the man himself if you look carefully.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Pinning food ii

This is how I like spending my Friday night. Pinning food that I can't make at the moment anyway. Also, this is what I really miss - chocolate. Cadbury highlight sachets just aren't doing it for me anymore. 

Earlier today I went to IKEA and bought a bunch of stuff. I took a few pictures earlier tonight but it was too dark and the pictures just wouldn't turn out well. But hopefully I'll get a few pictures tomorrow instead. And tomorrow a few of Steve's nieces and nephews are visiting us for lunch. 

Images all found from pinterest, but the original sources are:

Thursday, 16 February 2012

About Eternal Law

So the other day when I made a list of TV-shows that I watch I completely forgot to mention Eternal Law. Eternal Law is a TV-show that just finished airing on ITV and I watched the last episode tonight. I originally heard about the show on This Morning (yes, I occasionally have been known to put on This Morning while I'm having breakfast) and decided that the concept sounded interesting.

Eternal Law is about angels who come down to Earth to help people, more specifically to help as lawyers. Somewhere around here people will shake their head and say that a show couldn't possibly sound more crap. But I think it's a story with potential. The show follows two angels, Mr Gist and a newbie, Tom, as well as Mrs Sheringham who acts as their guide. (With a "dark" secret - predictable from the first episode). The show is quite funny at times, there is plenty of blasphemous jokes to be made and the characters are not bad at all. 

The disadvantage of Eternal Law is its' predictability. In every episode there is a case that needs to be solved and I found that I knew exactly what would happen within the first fifteen minutes. There is also a few of the actors/actresses that are simply not up to scratch. Others are very good though. Steve could not stop making fun of me for watching the show when I told him about it, but a few episodes in he was looking forward to watch the next one. And now that I watched the last episode I found myself looking forward to a second season. (If there is one.)

Overall this is a decent show to watch if there's nothing better to do. It won't change your live. But it's great to watch while you do your ironing. 

Update: Valentine's Day and my week

Firstly I would like to apologise for the blogging-pause that occurred because of university work and other important matters that crept up and occupied me for a while.

On Sunday me and Steve visited his parents out on the countryside to have a lovely dinner as well as raid their freezer on chicken breasts, salmon and noodles. On Monday I came home from university and expected to have a nice and quiet evening with my books (and perhaps blogs) but instead I met Steve and a couple of our friends. They had convinced Steve to go out for the night and somehow they convinced me too. We went to the Bot (actually called The Botanic Inn) and later to Filthy McNasty's (which I've written about here). It was a long night and I didn't get to bed until after 3am.

Tuesday was spent cleaning, after I had surprised Steve with his Valentine's Day gifts. I didn't get him anything fancy, just a nice checkered going-out shirt and a few essentials. He, on the other hand, got me the biggest bouquet of flowers that I have ever received. It is huge! It's so big that I don't even have a vase to fit it. I had to take sweets out of a big jar and hopefully that'll do until I get a vase. In the evening we had Chinese take-away and then we went to the cinema in Lisburn to see The Muppets, which we both enjoyed. All in all, it was a very nice and cozy Valentine's day and I couldn't have asked for more.

Yesterday was RAG day and I have no idea what that means or why we have it, but I do know that thanks to it we're off university that day. So my free day was spent lazying about (and to be fair, doing some more cleaning) until in the evening when two of my classmates dropped by. We watched Milk, which we are doing a social psychological analysis on in a few weeks, and had a couple of beers. Then I got into long and deep discussions with my friend and suddenly it was 4am and I had to go to bed. Not surprisingly, I'm very sleepy today but I still managed to go to an extra pointless class, attend a meeting as well as do some studying when I got home. And now I must watch some TV before preparing dinner. The life of a university student is hard!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

About trying to get nice curls and other things

Today I have:
1. Cleaned and planned for dinner tonight. (Spaghetti with bolognese, I think.)
2. Pretended that I care about football.
3. Made a very late breakfast/brunch.
4. Admired my curls I made last night before going to bed (I spun hair around ribbons and slept with them on. Yes, I looked like a freak and nowhere near as cute as this girl does)
5. Took a gray-coloured walk with Steve and stopped at Tesco to get Company, my favourite magazine. (This week has Zooey Deschanel on the cover!)
6. Pinned.

The curls turned out quite alright in the end, although not like the girl's curls in the tutorial I linked above. I think I have too much hair for it to work on mine. (You can also see my beloved button t-shirt that used to belong to Steve's sister. I call it vintage now.)

Friday, 10 February 2012

About how we make pulled pork

Third post in a day, that has to be some type of record. But I'm slightly bored and thought I'd post a picture of my dinner. Yes, another picture of my dinner. I have done pretty much everything that I planned to do today (apart from the laundry) as well as put on makeup a second time and try out different ways to put my hair up. I've also chosen lots of clothes on Asos that I would like but that I won't ever afford. My latest obsession is that I would like to colour-coordinate everything that I have. It's something I regard as very British (and in fact, used to hate) but it is growing on me. Unfortunately my wardrobe is not the least colour-coordinated as I constantly change my mind on what I like. This means that colour-coordinating it means that I need to buy a lot more clothes. Back to the dinner-topic. The issue with being on Slimming World is that everything that I love (one-pot type of meal, lots of meat thrown in some type of unhealthy sauce) is banned and so you need to figure out other ways to eat meals without them being boring.

So me and Steve make a lot of pulled pork. Pulled pork is really just a piece of pork (we always use pork shoulder but I'm sure it works with other parts of the pig as well) that has been cooked in its own sauce for around eight to ten hours. We do it in a slow-cooker but it can be done in an oven as well. When you take it out the meat it should be so tender that it easily falls apart and looks "stringy". We do different dry rubs the night before and let the pork get infused with it overnight. Our dry rubs are based on lots of different recipes and now we generally just use whatever we have in the cupboard that sounds nice. Although the pork on the picture below looks a bit dry and gross, I can ensure you that it was delicious. It's also really easy because it means that dinner is organised in the morning and then you're free to do whatever you want in the evening time. The potatoes are garlic concertina potatoes which I found at Slimming Eats, the brilliant blog I've mentioned before. Basically, they are potatoes made in the oven with loads of garlic slithers pressed down into the potatoes. The tomato slices are there because I originally made roasted carrots but managed to burn them all and so the only vegetable I had was that one little sad tomato.

About good TV

I was always the type of person who watched a lot of movies but very little TV. Until I moved over here. Firstly, there is a lot of good TV being broadcasted although it's mainly comedy shows. Secondly, Steve is an expert at finding good shows and he has made me addicted to good TV. However I realised today that I seem to have a serious personality flaw. I can never stick to watching just one show at a time. These are the shows that I am currently following and that I haven't ever missed an episode of so far (watching one or more episodes a week that is, I also watch It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but only one episode every two months or so):

1. Fringe series 4
2. How I met Your Mother series 7 
3. Mad Men series 1 (yes, I know. I must be the last person on Earth to start watching Mad Men.)
4. New Girl series 1 (which is becoming surprisingly good.)
5. Terra Nova series 1 (only a couple of episodes left.)

Mad Men, New Girl and How I Met Your Mother. All pictures are screenshots.

About having the perfect morning and happiness

Do you ever wake up and have a perfect morning? Mornings when there is no stress and yet you manage to get everything and more done before leaving for work or school. I had that type of wonderful morning today and it made me realise what a big difference it does for the rest of the day. Although I am quite lucky, there is no point in denying it. I start around 11am most days, which means that the earliest I have to get up is around 9am. A 9am start to the day couldn't suit me better. So this morning I got makeup and hair done, made breakfast (a fried egg and button mushrooms with two pieces of crispbread with ham and tomatoe on - yum, I could never give up breakfast) and ate it in peace and quiet, put our piece of pork shoulder in the slow-cooker (it'll be done around 6pm) and then I managed to squeeze in five minutes of hugging a sleeping Steve and I got the dishes and the bed made before leaving. The last part is more than an achievement, it's a miracle.

And I am willing to give this morning all the credit for my mood being so good today. Even though our second lecture today was unbelievably boring, I am still in a great mood. In a few of our lectures last year we discussed happiness and the fact is that some people are just happier than others. That doesn't mean that their lives are better than ours in any way, they just happen to be happier people than the rest of us. That's okay. It's okay to not be happy all the time as well and this makes me feel so much better about myself. I live with one of those happy people - he is never in a bad mood and he is always content with what he has. If something bad happens to him he gets a wrinkle in his forehead and a little sigh escapes him, but he would never complain. I will always admire that quality... But my point is that if I never had a bad day I wouldn't appreciate days like these as much as I do.

My happy list of things to do today:
1. Watch an episode of Mad Men.
2. Write a list of all the TV-shows I am currently watching.
3. Search for a recipe that would go with slow-cooked pulled pork shoulder.
4. Finish the laundry (we only just managed to fix our washing machine - clean clothes, hurray!)
5. Look at clothes online.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

My thoughts about The Descendants

As I mentioned in a post a couple of days ago, I went to the cinema on Friday with my friend Kathryn and saw The Descendants. I hadn't heard of the movie before and so I didn't know what it was about at all but after a quick check on reviews, I decided to give it a shot. 

The movie is set in Hawaii and follows a man, played by George Clooney, as he deals with the fact that his wife is in a coma. He is left alone with his two daughters, the youngest being the odd one in school and the oldest partying away at boarding school, and realises that he doesn't actually know them as well as he should. As he re-evaluates his relationship with his daughters he also finds out more about his relationship with his wife. While the situation unfolds, there is a second storyline playing out. Matt is responsible for the decision of selling a vast amount of land on one of the islands of Hawaii, to the advantage of his relatives. 

There is really very little I can say about the movie without telling the entire storyline. I have a feeling that to appreciate it you should watch it with as little expectations as possible. Therefore I would also recommend to stay away from any trailers, although if you feel that you would like to get a "feel" of what the movie is like you can watch the one at the bottom. However, stay away from the first official trailer. It is awful and makes the movie seem a lot worse than it is. The main strengths of the movie is the acting and the dialogue. The actors feel genuine most of the time and the conversations between the characters flow smoothly. There are a few moments when you can't help but chuckle, but calling it a drama-comedy is taking it a step to far, I think. One of my favourite parts of this movie is that it is set on Hawaii but gives us an insight to what life is for people who live there, rather than what a tourist would see. 

Overall this is a good movie if you enjoy slow-paced stories but with a nice feeling to them. If my dad reads this: You should see this movie, you'll appreciate it.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

About my exam marks and dinner

As I haven't actually written anything about my life for one or two days, I felt like this blog was due a my-not-very-interesting-life-update. University is fine, as usual. I received my marks for last term yesterday! At a first glance I felt a little bit disappointed, I was basically one % away from receiving the mark I really wanted and so I sulked for the first fifteen minutes or so. But the more I thought about it, the more pleased I was with myself. I do realise that I am a bit crazy and I always put myself down instead of actually congratulating myself with doing my best. And the upside is that although studying in English can be a challenge, it makes me feel so much better about myself when I do well! The thought that I am continuously noticeably improving is also very uplifting. Perhaps even writing in this blog will improve my essay writing?

I made a promise to myself, I'm going to try to take more pictures of what's happening around me so that I can make this blog a little bit more colourful to read. It just makes the blog more visually appealing and although a part of me dislike reading blogs that put all focus on pictures rather than the writing, even I know that essay-long texts about my life is not what everyone would prefer. This is not becoming a food blog, because I cannot cook, but at this moment food is the most exciting thing happening around here. With this explanation over, I present mine and Steve's dinner for tonight. This is homemade french fries (or 'chips' as Steve calls it) with burgers topped with grilled mushrooms, onions and cheese. In the corner of the picture you can see our remote, this was not part of our dinner. I was just too lazy (and hungry) to set up the scene properly before taking the picture. This dinner is also completely free according to the rules of Slimming World as long as the small amount of cheese is used as your healthy dairy product of the day. For anyone else who happens to be on this diet I would recommend visiting Slimming Eats, a great blogger who posts almost daily with tasty food and recipe suggestions. 

About my blog transformation

You may have noticed the recent transformation of my blog. This occurred yesterday when I found myself yearning for something a little bit more "fun". Do not worry, I won't go more crazy than this. I am quite pleased with the new design, I think it's still very minimalistic and little bit dull (just like me!) but not quite as bland as it used to be. And I would also dare say that it feels a little bit more cozy as well as girly now. I feel like there is a clear statement; this is not a blog for me to get famous. This is a blog for my friends and family to read. (Obviously I won't kick you out for reading if you don't know me. Please do continue to read.)

I started off by downloading a free template by PuglyPixel (which is a wonderful blog about blogs for bloggers) and then proceeded with changing... everything. I realised that what I wanted was the layout but other than that I wanted different colours and different everything really. (But I am still very grateful, because I wouldn't have gotten anywhere by first downloading her template. She also linked other websites that I found very useful). I feel like I might have copied a couple of my favourite blogs completely, but then again, all great things copied earlier great things. Now my only issue is that my images are far too wide. I will have to sort that out at some point later. Next step is to take a photo of me for my profile. Dear readers, let me know what you think.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

My thoughts about The House of Tomorrow

So between Friday afternoon and Sunday afternoon I started - and finished - reading a new amazing novel, The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni. Following is my own fumbling try of writing a review.

The novel is set around this day and age (but possibly in a parallel universe) where a 16-year old boy lives with his grandmother in a big glass dome. The reason why Sebastian (which happens to be the name of the boy) and his Nana live there is because they believe in the ideology of "Bucky", a prominent futuristic philosopher who is long gone but his ideals continue to live through Nana and she teaches them to her grandson. Sebastian grows up being taught to never dwell in the past and to only look forward, alone with his grandmother in the dome. One day Nana gets a stroke and when this happens Sebastian encounters a family with a boy the same age as him. Jared shows him the world of punk rock, grilled cheese sandwiches and girls. As the story progresses it becomes clear that Nana wants everything to go back to the way things were before the stroke... But can Sebastian let go of his new life?

Cheesy description of the contents of the novel over and done with. I am definitely a sucker for these "coming-of-age novels". There is something so innocent and fascinating about the transformation from child to adult and this story includes a whole bunch of rather familiar events: the discovery of music, the first romance, breaking free of the chains of a well-meaning but suffocating adult... Yet this book does it in a different way. The book is written in a rather simple way. This does not by any means mean that the book is badly written - it is most certainly not. But it is written with the purpose of transporting you to a time and place and then carrying the story forward, rather than winding itself into long descriptions of the surroundings. It is written so that it is effortless to read, which has it's drawbacks as well as advantages. Of course, being a story about a 16-year old boy, maybe it targets itself towards a younger audience of the opposite sex and I'm just pathetic for loving it.

I jumped ahead of myself in the last sentence of the previous paragraph there - I love it. There is no point in denying it. The book has a couple of minor flaws and it may not be everyone's cup of tea but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can see myself enjoying it even if I was a few years younger (and I would most likely fall in love with our fictional hero) but the book also discusses philosophical views upon the world and our current lifestyles. As soon as I finished the book I darted towards the nearest device with an internet connection and started googling it. I was hoping to find it translated to Swedish and if I did I would send it to my youngest brother Elias as a late birthday present. Unfortunately it is not translated to Swedish (yet) and I suspect the english version will be too much effort for him to read. (Especially since he is not an avid reader. Yet.)

Lastly I would like to recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Number9Dream by David Mitchell or When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman. This book is just as humoristic but without any of the heaviness that the previously mentioned books had. I also recommend visiting Peter Bognanni's website, He has a hilarious blog.

Monday, 6 February 2012

An entire post about what I had to eat this weekend

Sorry for the brief blogging-pause, I've been away from Friday and only arrived home to my beloved flat last night. The time in between was spent at Steve's parents' house in the countryside, the reason being that I had moviedates and birthday dinners to go to, while Steve was at a former-stagdo-weekend-trip in Newcastle (Newcastle in England, not the crappy seaside town in Northern Ireland). 

So my weekend started with helping Steve pack the last few things he needed for his trip and trying to only slightly convey my jealousy of him travelling around the country. Then I went on a 40-minute train trip and met up with my friend who drove us to the cinema in Lisburn. There are cinemas closer to us but this one happens to be very big and surrounded by nice little restaurants. Before the movie we decided to have dinner at a Chinese restaurant (the name has escaped me, apologies) and it was delicious! Before I go on describing the food - beware. This blog post may talk far more about food than it should. So anyway, as I'm still on the same diet as Steve I decided to try and stay as healthy as possible. Although the diet encourages "treating" ourselves once in a while, I know myself quite well. I need to stay on track because if I slip up to often I will just give up on the whole thing. And that would be awfully cruel towards Steve who really needs and wants to continue on his diet. Now, back to the food. The restaurant served a buffet, which is an excellent idea. Unfortunately pretty much everything was battered. I love batter, but it doesn't work well with diets! So I made a mental note to visit once I'm no longer on a diet and then I got loads of noodles and (non-battered) chicken in blackbean sauce. This alone was delicious but it made me yearn for the unhealthy food, which is no doubt even better. The brilliant thing about a buffet is that you pay slightly more than you would if you just got a take-away, but then you can eat about three times more than you should. 

On the Saturday I was invited to a birthday dinner, which I have mentioned previously in the blog. My friend seemed to like her present from me (which was a little box with nail polish, lip balm, hand lotion, a mini-bottle of perfume etc.) and then we went to The Viscount, a restaurant in Dungannon. The Viscount is actually a church that has been rebuilt, which is a concept I love, and it is full of tacky decorations! There are weapons and flags on the walls, suits of armor and giant moose heads all over the place. In a way I think it's quite funny and playfully decorated but a small voice inside my head says that whoever decorated this place did not do so in an ironic way. The food however was lovely. I decided that there is no point in going to a fancy restaurant and choosing one of the more budget-friendly meals on the menu (such as risotto) and instead I decided to have duck breast. This was a great choice I must say, and it came with a roasted potatoe (that was square for some reason), carrot puree and some type of au jus. I also ordered the Viscount side, which was potatoe cubes, bacon and onion. It was very nice although completely unnecessary as I could barely finish my main dish. For dessert I had a chocolate brownie with ice cream and a white chocolate and whiskey sauce. I was slightly worried about the sauce being too potent, as I hate whisky, but it was only enough to give the sauce a bit of a kick. I wish I had taken pictures of my meal but I have a feeling my dinner company would've thrown me out. 

On Sunday I played with Steve's nieces and went back to Slimming World food. Salmon, stir-fried vegetables and noodles is not bad in any way but it can't be compared to my pigging-out earlier in the weekend. Right now I'm making a chicken and potatoe curry in our slow cooker. Not bad at all, if I may say so myself.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Twin Peaks - my greatest love

I finished watching Twin Peaks last night. This is my excuse for not blogging, I was too distraught to be able to do anything but stare into the wall for an hour or so. First of all, Twin Peaks is a brilliant show from the early 90s in case you're not familiar with it. But you have to be aware of a few things if you want to start watching it. It is, originally, a show about a murder and a killer on the loose. As the show goes on more and more sci-fi elements are added to it. Personally I don't mind this at all but I do know that a lot of people would dislike anything unrealistic, especially in a show that starts off like a twenty years older version of any other thriller series. Secondly, this is a dark show and if you couldn't watch anything but lighthearted stuff, then this show is not for you. It is actually very scary at times and there are characters in it that could give me nightmares.

Speaking of characters, this is a great strength within the show. The characters are amazing! Apart from being downright hilarious, you feel like you get to know them - and they develop as the show goes on. Not too common in many shows nowadays. This is a list of my top-ten favourite characters:
1. Dale Cooper
2. Audrey Horne
3. Albert Rosenfield
4. Leland Palmer
5. Harry Truman
6. Hawk
7. Benjamin Horne
8. Gordon Cole
9. BOB
10. Shelley

Time to watch the Twin Peaks movie: Fire Walk With Me.

Dale Cooper - one of the best characters ever on TV.

Audrey Horne - my girlcrush as well as object of raving amounts of jealousy.