Tuesday, 30 September 2014

September favourites

It's October tomorrow?! I'm so content with life right now.

Image from my Pinterest.

favourite on tv/movie: Downton Abbey recently started again and is it really too much to ask to be the lady of a manor somewhere in England?

favourite purchase: I'm quite partial to our shelves in the living room because I have waited for so long for one of my rooms to feel complete and now it kind of does. It only took 18 months. (Speaking of rooms that feel complete, the guest room actually feels like it might be on minus towards completion.)

favourite book: It was always going to be The Bone Clocks and we all knew it. (Review coming soon!)

favourite music: In my September playlist I've loved FKA Twigs (which is not at all like me) and also Engineers (which is exactly like me).

favourite food: Probably the food at the little Italian restaurant which me and Steve went to at the start of the month. Overpriced, but so good.

favourite beauty item: Not strictly a beauty item, but I did buy the Origins Energizing moisturiser and I have no idea how I survived without it. My skin instantly looks better after I've used my moisturiser and yes, I realise it's some type of shimmer in the cream which tricks me into believing that my skin glows but I don't even care!

favourite blog: I've really been enjoying Marias Beautybox lately, which is a Swedish beauty blog. I feel like the Swedish blogging scene has been severely lacking in beauty blogs and way too full of fashion blogs so it's nice to find someone who is so knowledgeable when it comes to beauty and writes in my native language. (Which I seem to have forgotten how to speak lately.)

favourite event: Me and Steve had a weekend away since it was our fifth anniversary and the night included huge amounts of pasta and falling asleep in front of a movie. The telltale signs of a very good night.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Week 39 - babysitting over the weekend

All images are from my Instagram.

I've had a busy week. My cold is still lingering. I need to be asleep in a few minutes. In other words, I'm going to make this a quick post.

  • There was a conference at my university on Friday and I won an award for my presentation. (Out of eight people... but still.)
  • I haven't exercised all week and I've been so unhealthy too. 
  • We were babysitting Steve's nieces all weekend and so there's been a lot of video games, baking and watching classics such as "The Parent Trap". 
  • Steve's sister got me a lovely print as a thank you for helping out this weekend!
  • Autumn clothes shopping has begun. Oh yes. Seven out of my eleven pieces have been bought. 
  • I can put my hair up in a tiny, weird ponytail.
That is all for this week. 

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Reading Running Like A Girl

Things have been a little bit hectic/sickly lately. Hence the severe lack of blogging. However, I will remedy that and I'm starting it by typing a blog post at 1am in the morning. Prioritisation, I know all about it.

I am definitely that person who doesn't read many non-fictional books. Mainly because I feel like what is the point of non-fiction unless it's definitely fact and most non-fiction books will state all kinds of things without any type of source. (Where is the peer-evaluated study people?!) But I had heard such good things from my friend and various blogs about this book that I decided to pick it up anyway. And it was good.

Alexandra Heminsley takes you through her journey from a complete beginner runner, to someone who's done more than a handful of marathons. That enough is awe-inspiring but she does it with such an honest voice, never shying away from discussing the many times that she lost motivation, mentioning both good runs and bad runs and consistently doing so with a hilarious narrative. I ended up having it on my bedside table and reading it a little bit each night before I was going on a morning run, it was that inspiring. On top of her journey, you also get a whole bunch of useful tips and tricks. Finally, although the title originally had me worried I found none of that "working out to get skinny"-hype. Instead it was all about setting yourself a goal, pushing through it and becoming a stronger, more healthy person in the process. It was a refreshing book to read and now I want to read more books about running!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Week 37 & 38 - surviving a cold

There was no weekly update last week because I was feeling a bit under the weather. Anyone who knows me also knows that I'm a bit of a hypochondriac and I have a tendency to whine a lot. I felt better at the start of this week... And then the cold came back. In other words, I have done very little apart from surviving work. I finished the book The Bone Clocks (and it was just as good as I expected it to be) and yesterday me and Steve went to Lisburn to buy a couple of small things for the house. (Essentials like toilet brushes and yankee candles, obviously.) Today we visited Steve's sister and then we made French toast when we got home. All in all, a good Sunday.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

10 reasons to smile 28.0

Image from Pinterest.

one - I'm currently in the middle of a phase where I do a lot of just typing in my study, which I can do from home. In other words, I'm going to set my alarm for 7am and then just spend an hour in my bed, reading. (Don't hate me.)

two - Our new bed linen from H&M arrived and our bed is looking so fresh in its plain gray hue.

three - Running at 6am and then going into work is the latest thing. I can't decide whether it's gratifying or just purposeless and stupid.

four - I had a great work-related meeting today. As a PhD student getting even slight attention is like taking drugs. Cool drugs.

five - Currently I'm reading The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell and it is so good.

six - I love this time of the year, students are back in class, everything's so pretty around the university area and I feel so revived and Downton Abbey is back on Sunday <3

seven - There's only a week left until payday! I'm excited for my autumn capsule wardrobe now. (Yes, I think of very little other.)

eight - In less than six weeks my mom and Elias are visiting!

nine - My hair is slowly growing. So slowly. But it's growing at least.

ten - I finally got Steve on board with getting a cat! Problem is, now he's really enthusiastic and I have to be the sensible one who wonders if we really can justify having a pet when we both work so much and are saving money for other things. This is why being an adult is just no fun.

P.S. September 2013 and September 2012. My favourites do not seem to change whatsoever.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Reading The Road

This week's read was a depressing one.

If you have seen the movie version of this book by Cormac McCarthy, you'll know that it's not a happy story. We follow a man and his son (known only as the man and the boy throughout the story) as they walk through a post-apocalyptic America, with the goal of getting to the coast. There are few people left and the ones that have survived are dangerous. Constantly battling starvation and trying to not be found by others, it is a grim world to have survived in. 

This is definitely not a book if you're feeling even slightly down and if you thought the movie was gruesome, this is even worse. It's a book that makes you lose all faith in humanity. But it's also interesting and beautifully written at times. (I say at times because it's quite disjointed and sometimes the narrative feels like reading off cooking instructions, but other times the expressions flow beautifully.) All in all, I think it's something quite different and well worth reading. 

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

More capsule wardrobe planning

I'm so tired.

Less than three weeks until purchasing for autumn capsule wardrobe 2014 begins! I can't believe I've made it this far. (I don't know why I'm acting as if I've won an Oscar... but for me, not buying clothes in three months kinda feels like I'm eligible for some type of award...) Presenting six things that I want:

1. Printed trousers for work. (Or maybe just gray.)
2. Colourful trainers now that I'm a super-sporty person. I own a book about running and everything.
3. A tartan scarf because I'm all about accessorising.
4. Warm headwear. My hat from last year should be burnt (I hate it so much) and instead I am taking my time and picking a nice hat this year.
5. A flannel shirt for a wood-chopping look. (Or chambray?)
6. Plain gold bands.

Accessories aren't included in the capsule wardrobe limit so I might go ahead and buy the scarf at some point soon. Like an appetizer for my grand shopping award at the end of this month.

All images are from my Pinterest.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Week 36 - anniversary and home stuff

This felt like a very busy week. I had a good and productive Monday at work (which absolutely flew by!) and it happened to be mine and Steve's anniversary. Unfortunately it was also a day during which Steve had to go for a work trip and he ended up arriving home after 8pm although with flowers and chocolate. The other nights I saw friends, attended a wedding reception and then yesterday me and Steve drove up to Enniskillen to have a more "proper" anniversary celebration.We went out for candlelit dinner at a ridiculously nice Italian place with napkins that cost more than our food and today we did absolutely nothing apart from take a walk down to a local ice cream place. (The only reason to ever leave the house on Sundays, if you ask me.) I finally got my shelves up earlier this week and I love it! The only thing missing from my front room is a rug and a small cushion for my armchair. Apart from that, I feel like I can finally call one room in my house "complete". 

I also went running twice this week, both times before work! The long run was on Friday and I managed to run 5 miles (8 km) which is the longest run I've ever done. My pace was 10.22/mile so I was happy with that too. Before you start applauding me... Those were my only two workouts apart from a couple of walks and I've been incredibly unhealthy all week. Happy, but unhealthy. Take-away on Wednesday, buns with my friend on Thursday, pulled pork burgers at the wedding on Friday and a giant portion of pasta carbonara yesterday. And I'm pretty sure we're having take-away tonight because I'm exhausted after all this relaxing... Eh, tomorrow is a new day.

P.S. The red mail box is a picture of me sending my vote for the Swedish elections. And then realising that I hadn't put a stamp on it. Only me.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Reading The Great Gatsby and The Bell Jar

Another two (short) classics!

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I'm going to be completely honest here. I only read The Great Gatsby because the book was free in the Amazon Kindle store. Don't judge me. The book has been very hyped lately because of the movie and the world's general revived obsession with the 1920s. I'm all about the twenties, I get that. We follow Gatsby who every Saturday holds the most extravagant and indulgent parties in the area, through the eyes of his neighbour Nick. To him Gatsby is a mystery, a man without a background who appeared out of thin air and made himself a fortune. Through Nick, Gatsby is reunited with his long lost love who has since married another man and it is through the love story that we solve the mystery.

I can definitely see why this book is so well-liked. The characters were interesting and I became just as fascinated by the love story (which at the time was probably not as cliche as it is today) as the book had set out for me to be. It is also well-written in quite a dreamy way. However, it wasn't until halfway through the book that I actually got sucked into the story! Nevertheless, a good read.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Contrary to my reasons for reading The Great Gatsby, I had been planning to read The Bell Jar for a long time. Not that I knew much about it other than that it was about "the decline of a young woman's mental health", which sounds exactly like something I'd be interested in. The young woman is Esther Greenwood and we join her in the story when she temporarily lives in New York and for the first time becomes unsure of what she wants to do in her life. During the summer she experiences a breakdown due to her worries about her future, the pressure of the expectations on her both in her writing and personally as a woman.

I really liked this book! Many people have criticised it for being depressing to read (and oh my god, it is depressing) but surely a book about depression cannot be anything but depressing. There has also been complaints about the main character but I found her refreshing, not content with living life typing shorthand and marrying a successful man which is what everyone else wants. I was amazed at how current the book was despite it being written in the 60s (and how it focused on women's issues that are being debated today) but most of all it was beautifully written. The only criticism is that there was a number of events in the story that felt like they were left unexplained and never properly hashed out which is frustrating, but I would still recommend people to read it, especially if you only read up on Sylvia Plath after you've finished the book.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

August favourites

Welcome September! (I love this time of the year so much.)

Image from my Pinterest, via Augusta Jeorgia.

favourite on tv/movie: I went to see Boyhood in the cinema with a couple of friends and it was a great movie.

favourite purchase: I finally bought a little chair for my living room! I am so pleased with it, it's the perfect size and just makes the room slightly more interesting. Towards the end of the month I also bought shelves but as I'm typing they have yet to be assembled.

favourite book: I managed to squeeze in quite a few books during the month of August, about seven of them in fact. Although The Bell Jar (review coming soon) and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time were both strong contenders, I especially loved We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. My type of book, down to a T.

favourite music: I have really enjoyed Phantogram's electro-pop music (especially Black Out Days and Fall In Love) and as a polar opposite, Real Estate which is a dreamy indie-band. Special mentions go to Talking Backwards and Crime.

favourite food: We have been eating out quite a lot lately! I'm not entirely sure when it happened (possibly right after my hair disaster) but one of the days me and Steve went out for breakfast at one of our favourite places and I had pancakes with blueberry jam. Quite possibly the best pancakes and the best blueberry jam I have ever, ever tried.

favourite beauty item: The first day of August I bought the Stila eyeliner and I haven't looked back yet. This eyeliner is so easy to use and has the perfect black shade. So as you might already have guessed, I have been wearing the exact same eyeliner look all month...

favourite blog: As we're approaching autumn I have rediscovered my obsession with Augusta Jeorgia and her tumblr. So. Much. Fall.

favourite event: I loved being off for a week and being able to do weekend-type of things with Steve everyday. I had a great weekend where we went to a wedding in Enniskillen and then we went up to the north coast the day after. It was a good few days.