Sunday, 29 July 2012

Pinning bedroom ideas

Still hopeful that a townhouse will show up and just fall into my arms (although no such luck so far). So to subdue my internal cravings I'm watching the Olympics and pinning home decor. Trying to decide what I want our bedroom to look like. I want something soft and neutral with geometric patterns perhaps.

All images can be found here.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Saturday afternoons with romantic comedies

You've Got Mail snapshot from The Jane Austen Film Club, which is great, incidentally.

Windy Saturday afternoons, perhaps the kind that is visited by rain from time to time, must have been made for watching romantic movies from the 90s. There is just no other decade who do romantic movies as well in my opinion, not as pretentious as the 21st century, not as cheesy as the 80s. I am aware that there is a string of decades that occurred at some point before that as well that also made some pretty good movies (partial to a bit of Breakfast at Tiffany's here myself) but they're not that kind of movies. The kind that leaves you just feeling great, preferably with 90s fashion in heaps, at some point a bouncy Meg Ryan and New York surroundings. So if you have no plans for today I'd suggest getting a hold of the nearest copy of You've Got Mail and a giant bar of chocolate. Enjoy. (I also suggest Four Weddings and a Funeral, Meet Joe Black and anything by Nora Ephron really.)

Yesterday me and Steve went to Ten Square to use his drinking voucher that he received when he graduated. Let me tell you this: At Ten Square you won't get more than a cocktail, a vodka with lemonade and two pints for £20. In fact, it wasn't even enough. Ridiculously expensive considering that we're in Northern Ireland, although they tasted nice and the place has got a nice buzz about it. Also the bars around Belfast city centre will always be more expensive I guess. When we were done with our drinks we went back home and then we got sweets and midnight burritos. Not too shabby at all. Tonight I'm going out with two friends of mine for a girls' night out!

Friday, 27 July 2012

My thoughts about Paper Towns

One of my favourite paragraphs in this book. After reading Looking for Alaska and as a result feeling emotionally unstable yet wanting more, I borrowed Paper Towns by the same author, John Green, from a friend. I finished the book in two days and while this may say more about the book length and/or my lack of stuff to do during the days, the fact that the story keeps you from putting the book down definitely played a big part.

Paper Towns is set shortly before the end of high school when Quentin one night is dragged into Margo Roth Spielman's plans. Margo is Quentin's neighbour as well as object for love from a distance and the two of them have not shared much in common since they were nine years old and found a dead body in the park. The morning after a night of pulling pranks and helping Margo get even with her former friends, Margo has mysteriously disappeared and Quentin is left to follow the clues.

As with Looking for Alaska, the main character is this typically ordinary boy who falls in love with an extraordinary girl. I have a weakness for these common boys (and particularly when they're nerdy, such as this one) because they're easy to like. After a few pages, you feel like you've known them all your life and to a certain extent, as if you're alike. I love Quentin's friends and the friendships he has (just like in Looking for Alaska - I keep referring back to this book because they're very alike) and I fall in love with Margo, just like he does. Whilst Looking for Alaska has a very philosophical manner throughout the book, it only comes across at certain parts in Paper Towns and it has this mystery incorporated instead. Where is Margo? I loved following the clues, I kept holding my breath when Quentin seemed a little bit closer to solving the mystery and I was just as disappointed when there was a setback. In short, this was a great book although not as good as Looking for Alaska, in my opinion. Then again, this is not as slow-paced and might suit some people better. Read it.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Ten great reasons to smile 3.0

Last night I felt slightly down and although I feel better today I still thought I'd cheer myself up. And I realised that I only ever did two "ten great reasons to smile" posts and the last one was in April despite them being so good for my mood. So here goes another one. (The picture was taken in Sweden. Just a general happy moment.)

One - I have a job! In a week I will be working for two months, full-time. That means by the end of my summer holidays I will have worked for exactly half of my summer.

Two - I have gone over almost all of my driving theory, excluding the million signs that I still haven't properly looked at. Tomorrow.

Three - I had a whole bunch of people who I was worrying about, but within like a two-day span everything sorted itself out. Major reason to be happy.

Four - Steve got paid today. This might seem like a very greedy thing to be happy about, but there is something so soothing about the sound of bills being paid on time.

Five - My mom arrives in two weeks, staying for five days. Cannot wait.

Six - The plan is that in five weeks we should be living in a bigger and cheaper home than the one we have now. I'm imagining a life without having to eat dinner without a kitchen table... With a separate room for Steve's computer so I don't have to look at that dust-collecting beast... (So we don't actually have a house yet. But you know, these things work out.)

Seven - Going out for a girls' night on Saturday. Cocktails!

Eight - I'm planning to buy lots of vegetables and eat some kind of salad for lunch each day at my new job. As a girlfriend of the vegetable-nemesis I don't get nearly enough daily greens, but I shall change this!

Nine - There's cake in my fridge. (This really shouldn't be following health-based-reason no. 8 but nevertheless, it makes me smile.)

Ten - Steve and me are going out for drinks in Belfast tomorrow. Mini-celebration for no reason at all.

Friendship bracelets

I decided to make friendship bracelets the other day, following this tutorial to make advanced heart-shaped ones. I didn't have embroidery thread as instructed but I had yarn and I didn't care because hey, I wasn't exactly going to wear it. Turns out I liked it so much that now I have to buy embroidery thread and make ones that actually last. (Mine nearly dissolved after a few cleaning sessions). The one on the picture was my first try and looks slightly rugged. Also possibly because of the lack of embroidery thread. I sweetly asked Steve if he wanted friendship bracelets too and he said yes, as long as he never has to wear it. Not even in private. Boo.  I'm going to interpret that as him admiring the fine craftsmanship but not enough to abandon that all-important manliness. 

Edit: Look at my giant hand! What a freak.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

My thoughts about Looking for Alaska

(I hope none of you are sick of my amateur book reviews!) Above is one of my absolute favourite quotes from the book. Unfortunately, I bought the book through my Kindle app and so it's impossible for me to take these pictures myself. This quote can instead be found on my pinterest. (There is a part of me who despite the reality of saving money through buying kindle books loathe it. I love new books, I like squeezing them into my bookshelf and I like catching the book title of a particularly good book in the corner of my eye when I'm doing other things. But then saving money catches up with me again.)

Looking for Alaska was written by John Green and I happened to see a quote from the book and immediately felt compelled to read it. (Quote-addicted.) The book is split into two parts - Before and After, which adds an element of thrill as you're reading it, ready to find out exactly what's going down at the point where the book splits. The story follows Miles, also known as Pudgy, a 16-year old boy who has no friends and likes to memorise famous last words. Sick of his life, Pudgy decides to attend boarding school, ready to find his own Great Perhaps.

There is really nothing more I can say about the story because I'd rather you were thrown into it the same way I was. However I can promise you that the story is amazing. I read this book in two sessions because I could not put it down. The book is perfectly written but more than so, it pulls you in and stirs you in ways that few books can. The characters are funny but realistic, and so are the friendships being portrayed. As some of you may know, I am a sucker for novels about teenage boys who grow up into adults to the point where I fall in love with the fictional characters a little (whilst crying out 'oh why am I not a 16-year old girl living in this book' but that's just the pathetic aspect of me). If you have nothing else to read, I recommend this full-heartedly.

I went to see a friend last night and she borrowed me another book by John Green, Paper Towns. I'm really looking forward to reading it.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

An ode to cooking shows

So I'm well aware that it's a bit random to suddenly write a blog post about cooking shows after approximately three weeks of complete silence, and I do have reasons for not writing. They started off being just busy whilst also landing from spending a week with my family in Sweden and ended up being me not being in a particularly "writey" mood.

When I lived in Sweden I never watched cooking shows. Then again, I never cooked either. Once I moved over here and started dating Steve, I noticed how he'd watch an alarming amount of them. At first they bored me, when I thought they'd teach me something I was intrigued, and now I love them. Only a certain kind of cooking shows. They need to be beautiful, with soothing music and lovely surroundings (a reason why I don't like The Hungry Sailors - I don't care how funny you are if you're going to cook in a dark cabin, Hello Claustrophobia) and in general ooze an atmosphere that I want to be surrounded with.

When I watch cooking shows it doesn't matter that I will never in my life prepare a lobster linguini because frankly, I don't think I've ever learnt a single thing from a cooking show. I just want to drink in the surroundings and pretend that I have a kitchen that is just as fun to cook in as Nigella does. And at Christmas I find myself in a holiday festive mood, whilst during summer watching famous people preparing breezy salads for hot summer days actually make me feel slightly warmer (meanwhile in Northern Ireland, the rain is pouring down, unstoppable.)

So without further delay, my favourite cooking shows are anything with Jamie Oliver (because he is so sweet and his cooking in general does seem doable), Nigella (you find yourself sort of hating her but that's okay when her food looks so scrumptious), Sophie Dahl (because she provides the ultimate sensory experience and is also likeable), Lorraine Pascal (who makes me want to make perfect cakes preferably while living under her kitchen table), The Hairy Bikers (they have funny accents and cook outdoors) and Saturday Kitchen (which has different chefs each time but it's so cozy to drink a cup of tea and eat breakfast while watching other people having to cook).

So, as she has successfully managed to make me love her shows although I can't stand her and as she inspired me to make pancakes tonight, here's everyone's favourite Nigella.