Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Blog love

I stole this list from Veevley, because I thought it would be interesting for myself and maybe for others who like blogs. I read a lot of blogs and I've been reading blogs for about 8 years now so although I'm not part of some kind of blogging community (I'm just too scared to comment on anyone else's blogs) I feel like I am an amateur blogger.

Screenshots of my Bloglovin, which happens to show two favourites: Essie Button and A Beautiful Mess.

What was the first blog you ever came across?
I can't remember but my favourite blogs back in the days were all very small and I can't find any of them anymore. A few that I have been reading for a long time are Milk/Signe and NioTillFem.

Favourite beauty blog reads?
My absolute favourite beauty blog is Essie Button. I'm just a tad obsessed with her.

Name a blog that enables your purchases.
Here's the thing. All blogs seem to be enablers to me. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I can't afford much of it. For makeup, Gemsmaquillage seem to know exactly how to make me buy any lip product that she shows. 

5 blogs everyone should be reading:
I'd rather not repeat myself, so excluding the ones I have already mentioned:
Vivianna Does Makeup, for being the expert in all things beauty.
Hello October, for a blog that seems to only include beautiful makeup, outfits and faces.
Vivatramp, for spot on book reviews and recommendations.
Maiedae, for cheerful snippets from her life, amazing house and now cute baby too.
Hey Natalie Jean, for writing such heartfelt blog posts + all the NYC pictures.

Your favourite way to read blogs.
Through Bloglovin (although it took me a long time to convert from Blogger, and before that, bookmarks! Crazy times.)

Bloggers that inspire you.
Tant Johanna, who posts pictures of interior decor that makes me swoon. Swooooon.

Favourite blog design/look.
ALO has such a sleek and contemporary design which makes the lovely illustrations even better.

What is your favourite thing about blogging?
Documenting everything that's going on. Being able to read back at what I wrote what I was 16 is hilarious and I hope that I'll be able to say the same when I read this in eight years. (Not likely, humour has gone downhill around here.)

Name a blogger you would like to see write a book in the future.
A Beautiful Mess have written several. What I'm trying to say here is that I need to own them too.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Reading Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

This sounds like the most depressive book ever. Which I'm assuming is exactly what the author Jesse Andrews was going for.

And surprise! It is not very depressive at all. Okay, tears may be shed at one point or another but most of the time it's just hilarious. I was actually grinning like a fool while reading this on the train. People glared at me, that's how happy I looked. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl revolves around this pasty, chubby 17-year old named Greg Gaines and that one time that his mom decided to force him to become friends with a dying girl. Greg is already busy doing his best to be as inconspicuous as possible in high school as well as building his career as a filmmaker. (His colleague is Earl. And Earl is absolutely insane.) Unfortunately Greg's mom always gets what she wants and Greg becomes known as the guy who hangs out with the girl with cancer.

This book is short. As in, really short. I finished it in three train trips and I don't have very far to travel. Also there is an interesting formatting approach where Greg uses script when retelling a dialogue (as he is a filmmaker, obviously). This is a little bit annoying at the start. Stick with it. It makes for some funny reading. The book also manages to keep things easy to relate to. I love that it didn't shy away from profanity or discussing stuff that you'd assume every teenager thinks about. Finally, despite being a book that sounds like it's about someone who has a terminal illness, it's actually not. It's mainly about being awkward in yourself, about having a passion, weird friendships and even weirder parents. And that is all I can say without spoiling more of the book. I wish I had more of it to read. (I would read it again but by the time that this review is posted I will have given this book to my youngest brother.)

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Week 20 - drowing in work

This is possibly the ugliest picture ever, but this is the reason for why I'm writing my weekly update on a Wednesday. (Usually, if I haven't written about my week by Wednesday, I don't even bother.) I have had so much work to do over the past week, several deadlines happening within a few days of each other on top of my usual 9-5. I just sent off my last email. The relief is... overwhelming. So that is all I really wanted to say because although I have written a couple of blog posts that should be showing up at random times, I won't be uploading a weekly update on Sunday. Because... SWEDEN is happening.

I'm in bed, watching youtube videos as I'm typing this. In a moment I'm going to do exercise, shower and then gather the makeup and skincare items that I won't survive without. That is the nice thing about travelling in the afternoon, there is so little stress involved.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

I feel the need, the need for organisation

... Is not what Tom Cruise said. But he probably should have. I rewatched Top Gun a while ago and was reminded of just how ridiculous that movie is. This has nothing to do with organisation. Lately I've wanted to buy lots of stuff to organise myself. I realise that I could probably do that without new stuff but you know. It helps.

1. First up, I'd love a simple gray wire basket to use to store bath towels in. You'd think wire baskets wouldn't be an issue to find at all. But it is. The universe is against me getting a wire basket.

2. In the bathroom I also want acrylic storage for my makeup. Every beauty blogger worth their name has this. For some reason I believe that if I get this I'll magically be able to contour and keep concealer from sliding off my face. Right?

3. In the kitchen I want this glass notice board. No explanation required.

4. Previous things have been more or less affordable. Unfortunately the Vitra Utensilo is not affordable. At. All. Not for me anyway.

5. Another wire basket! I have no imagination. But this is pink, and I'd keep it in the front room to store all those blankets that I have randomly strewn around the room. (I wish.)

6. Lastly, not so fun and not so pretty but oh so functional. I genuinely really want a filing cabinet because at the moment our office is more of a gaming room for Steve. Operation Take Back Office.

All of this is on my birthday wish-list. Go go.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Reading A Clash of Kings

Screenshot of our favourite Tyrion found here.

I just finished A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin and I'm pumped. You may remember that it took me a while to get into A Game of Thrones because I already followed the TV-show religiously over the past few year, making it difficult for me to return to the first book. Well, my sloth-like reading through-out the first book was made up for by the fact that I could not put this book down. I actually planned to read a different book before starting on this one but no, that did not work at all. Halfway through the other book I tossed it over my shoulder, reached for A Clash of Kings and shouted "For Winterfell!". Well, almost.

This is a second book and yet it holds itself so well, in my opinion. After the first book left things in a pretty dismal state (and trust me, sunshine is not going to appear anytime soon) our characters are scattered throughout the realm and we follow their stories separately. Any book with this type of narrative risks distancing the characters from the readers, yet A Clash of Kings skillfully steers us from story to story and I feel just as invested in all of them. The web of intrigues that was spun in the first book has become even more complex, revealing subtle nuances and fine details that are impossible to fit into a TV show. (Oh, this is why we all heart books.) Despite knowing the story I was at the edge of my seat. Who should rule Westeros? Is the rightful heir truly the right man for the job? When will Joffrey become less of a psychopath?

My biggest sorrow now is that I have promised Steve to not read ahead of the television series and GoT is only halfway through the third book! In other words - what is the best way to secretly read a book when you live with someone?

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

10 reasons to smile 24.0

It is Tuesday night (you know how I feel about Tuesday nights), I have an inflammation because of my wisdom tooth and there are deadlines all over me for the next seven days. You better believe I need one of these happy-posts.

Image from my Pinterest.

one - I'm in the university office tomorrow and because of a weird schedule I haven't been there for nearly two weeks. I'm actually looking forward to getting in early. Well actually no, not early. That was a lie.

two - My hair is growing! It's not long yet. (I don't know how I could expect it to be long after three months but somehow in my hair-growing-decision-making-madness that was my expectation.) But I can tuck it behind my ears and I kind of look like my mom in the late 90s.

three - In eight days I'm going to Sweden and I'm staying for ten whole days. I haven't been in Sweden for more than four days at a time for two years now. Planning to OD on time with family&friends.

four - The other day I was reading about some research in my research area and I thought "Hey, I already know this". It was amazing. Is this the enlightened moment everyone waits for in their higher level education?

five - I'm eating ice cream.

six - I'm so excited about summer. I'm not going on a summer holiday or anything but I'm just so flippin' excited about the prospect of having a little bit of spare cash this summer, for the first time in a very long time. Hello summer clothes.

seven - I have lots of good books to read, actual physical books. How quaint!

eight - In less than four weeks it's my birthday. I realise that I'm an adult (I'm turning 24, how did that even happen) but I still get excited for birthdays. Breakfast in bed + presents. That's the list of all my favourite things.

nine - In general I go to sleep much earlier than Steve on weekdays (because I need seven hours of sleep and he functions on about three) but lately he's been coming to bed a bit earlier and then we lie and watch stuff on the laptop together. If you're not rolling your eyes at this point, I have most definitely failed.

ten - After this weekend (during which I'm just going to do work) I have a weekend in Sweden, a weekend coming back and celebrating a friend's birthday and then a weekend with my birthday. Triple-festive-weekend-bonanza. Plus every one of those weekends is followed by a Monday with a new episode of Game of Thrones. There's just too much excitement to handle, right there.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Week 19 - office life

"Office life" is really code for "no instagram pictures". All of this week I was in the officey-office rather than in my university office, which means I get home slightly later. A lot of this week was really about getting back into a routine; exercising the full four times (!), making lunches (because I always want to cheat one of the days and buy chips), making sure that there's clean and tidy-looking officewear etc etc. Technically, I wasn't in the office the entire week. Monday was a bank holiday and me and Steve went bowling with some friends. I was crowned the world's most inconsistent bowler after getting a bunch of strikes and being way ahead of everyone else... to getting really tired in my arms and scoring 1s or 0s for the rest of the game. Way to go, Nicole.

This weekend was nice and quiet. I had work to do (although I didn't do nearly as much as planned) so we stayed in for the most part. On Saturday we ran a few errands and then we went for breakfast at a tiny local bakery. In the evening we got an Indian takeaway and then we watched Eurovision Song Contest and finished off by building Steve's new BBQ grill. You know, the usual appropriate stuff to do around midnight. Today we went for dinner at Steve's parents' house and the rest of the day I've been moaning about my wisdom tooth. It's been laying dormant for a while now but today it woke up and decided to attempt killing me. In other words, I've spent most of the day in bed (I even took a nap which hasn't happened in a long time) reading and requesting ice cream. Clearly the cure for wisdom tooth inflammation.

P.S. I feel ready for Monday. Monday means one day less until I go to Sweden!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Three things I'm loving

Sometimes I like to just sit and scroll through all the images on Pinterest on my own Pinterest board. It's like the ultimate Pinterest feed. Obviously I pinned them in the first place, therefore I love them. It's not particularly exciting though, I'll give you that. It is good for realising the patterns in what you like. Check out your own boards, take a step back and notice the patterns. (This is also good if you're decorating a new house but you're completely overwhelmed with what you want to do.)

This geometric, himmeli-style air planters. I don't know what they're actually called but I want one so badly. Do you even realise how good this would look in the corner of one of my room? So good. Plus, apparently air planters are the latest craze and they're not that difficult to take care of which is perfect for me since I am known to kill every plant I own. (Apart from my cacti <3)

Everything that's blue. Blue, you're so back in favour. Blue hallway walls, you're loved again. Despite the fact that you're not quite the right shade. I'm so sorry for threatening to paint you pink. 

Morrocan style rugs. This is not new - I have harboured a fierce want for these rugs for a very long time now and I just cannot accept the fact that I will never ever afford one. I can't even afford a rug from Tesco, nevermind these beauties.

P.S. Look at my Pinterest.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

April favourites

Ugh, so this is late. I'm just very busy... Hrm.

Image from my Pinterest. I've been kind of obsessed with Gwen Stacy lately.

favourite on tv/movie: Game of Thrones is back people. No need to make plans on Monday nights, ever. Or at least until season 4 is over. And it's just getting better and better.

favourite purchase: I've bought so many clothes that I absolutely love this month. From Topshop I got a pink shift dress (which I haven't worn yet) and a silky coral top that I am obsessed with. It was meant for work but I've just ended up wearing it out at least once a week.

favourite book: I decided to re-read one of my favourite books ever, Number9Dream and it is just so amazingly good. (By David Mitchell, my absolute favourite author.)

favourite music: I've felt very pop-y this month. It must be because spring is rapidly approaching. In my little "April 2014" playlist (yes, I have one) my favourites are Foster the People. Just because their songs cheer me up.

favourite food: This month I finally tried making red velvet cake and the first recipe I tried was beyond words, if I say so myself. However I'm crap at making buttercream frosting. Something to master in May.

favourite drink: I'm starting to seriously question the importance of this category. (But I did buy chocolate truffle coffee a while back. Minus adult points.)

favourite beauty item: I have been on a mission to get the glowiest skin on this side of the Atlantic. Now, I'm not entirely sure whether I'm achieving "glowy" or just the not-quite-as-good "shiny", but I'm really liking the No7 Instant Radiance highlighter that I mentioned in this post.

favourite blog: A Little Opulent is not strictly speaking a blog but rather an online magazine. (I'm not sure if there is a major difference.) It includes posts on makeup, fashion, food, organisation... Everything I love, in other words.

favourite event: Towards the very end of the month me and Steve went to Portrush to hang out with friends over the weekend and I really like that type of mini-holiday. Two days away from reality but with no pressure to spend lots of money.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Week 18 - Steve turned twenty-five

I have no idea how I'm still awake because my body is telling me that I need to sleep. This was a good week! Kind of. The good thing is that I was helping out in the practical classes for the psychology undergraduates and it was just so much fun. All those teacher dreams coming true. What's not so good is that ever since Sunday I've been ridiculously tired (with random bouts of feeling seriously ill) and because of this I only exercised twice. (I'm telling myself that once in a while the body needs a break.) Other than that I went to see a friend's new house, I bought a couple of birthday presents for Steve and that is basically it.

I also made the traditional peanut butter cake because today is Steve's 25th birthday and yesterday we had a birthday party for him. People arrived at 9pm and the last guests left today at noon. It was a long night. I got Steve a new pair of headset (standard gift that he gets from me every few years - would you stop sitting on them?), a new computer chair and a couple of t-shirts. There's also a sum of money put away because we want to take a little weekend trip somewhere after the money, so part of his present is that. The best present he got however was a BBQ grill from Bodum, the cone-shaped type and I love it. This is the no 1 reason to live together.