Monday, 30 June 2014

READ: Will Grayson, Will Grayson


I adore reading. I always forget to mention it when people ask about hobbies and pastimes and things because I tend to re-read the books I already have rather than go out and buy a new one. Except, I've had an iPad for nine months and iBooks for eight of them.

Bit skeptical of the whole reading-on-a-tablet thing? So am I. Present tense. Apart from the time I'm reading on it, I don't associate my iPad (my frontline offence for stalking on Facebook) with the delicate sport of reading. It's only when I think 'hmm what else can I do' that I think yeah alright, I'll give the book thing a go, again.

I bought Will Grayson, Will Grayson on a bit of a gamble. For £1.99 from the iBook Store (also available here) I thought it wasn't so bad, for £1.99 I also wanted it to be an epic purchase the weekend before payday. It turned out to be both.

It's got love, depression, weirdness, celebration, happiness, aww-ness. It's one of those where you love it/hate it in equal parts which makes it a superb book and it ends on such a crescendo. I'd love to give a low down, but I think that would spoil it. The way it's written makes it. Hats off to Jon Green. Lege.

(ps. and if this one doesn't tickle your fancy, try the Fault in our Stars)

Friday, 27 June 2014

THREE THINGS: To be grateful for


1. The weekend
2. Good health
3. Little things (like catching a baby bird in the warehouse at work)

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

BAKE: Chocolate Brownies



Firstly, I'm allergic to chocolate cake. It makes me super sick and I don't like hugging toilets so I avoid eating it. No chocolate birthday cakes for me.

However, a little while ago, whomever was picking my online Tesco order a few weeks back gave me two milk, two white and two dark chocolate bars rather than three milk and three white. Cheers, love. I hate dark chocolate. Trying to make my snacks healthier? Cheers again.

But the other day I decided 'hmm, I'd really like to eat some brownies'. Not a thought I think everyday so I acted upon it pretty fast.

This recipe is from the Good Housekeeping Baking Book and I tweaked it a bit so I was more likely to be able to eat it and keep it down:

2 bars of really cheap dark chocolate
A spoonful of a malted drink
50ml oil
4 eggs
150g light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g plain flour
Quarter tsp of baking powder

1. Melt the chocolate.

2. Bash the eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and whisk until it gets thick. Sift the flour, baking powder and malt drink into the mix and fold altogether.

3. After letting it cool for a bit pour the melted chocolate into the mix and fold it in with a metal spoon until it's just got to a consistent colour. Don't overmix.

4. Pop it all into a shallow tin lined with grease proof paper and bake for 20 minutes at 200 degrees C.

5. Cut into squares before it cools and nomnom it down (preferably with ice cream)!

Saturday, 21 June 2014

WEEKENDER: June


Today is defiantly one of those days where 'meh' has returned. We've done loads of things today. Big important things, but I still feel like we did nothing. Blergh.

One of the things we did was go on a walk. We usually drive to a scenic walking place, but this time we just walked straight out if our street and down the road. I have never walked down the roads we visited today before. Seeing the buildings from stood still compared to zooming last at 30mph is like waking up and the sky being red. So weird, but so good!



Thursday, 19 June 2014

REVIEW: Collection Illuminating Touch Concealer


I've just repurchased this beauty. The writing rubs off pretty fast so I've taken a quick snap and thought it best to share why this concealer is so great.

I use this concealer as an all rounder. Spots, under eyes and redness. I think it tackles redness/discolouration best. It doesn't disguise dark circles to the 'n'th degree, but it makes me look more perky and evens out my skin more. I use this under and over foundation or sometimes on it's own. Depends what I feel like really.

It's a reasonably thick formula that's easily patted into the skin - I find it works better with fingers than a brush. It lasts longer that way too, although makeup tends to slide off my face within a few hours anyway. It's a nice layer to have worked into a makeup routine.

I like it mostly because it's an easily blended product that works well on my skin tone. Winner.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

LIFE: Kirstie Allsopp Versus University


I think the one revelation of growing up is that you will never know everything. You might know a lot, but every day is one that you've never seen before and so you're still learning as much as you were when you were five.

When you were five, you thought that twenty was really old, that people became policemen and nurses and firefighters. You're learning basic maths and spend a lot of time running around screaming and playing.

Now you're in your twenties, you know you don't want to be any of those, but don't know what you want to be either. Twenty is really young. You're trying to figure out mathematics for the logistics of flat sharing. You run around mentally screaming at other people about how slow they're moving.

You will always be five years old.

You'll just add more and more years.

I've read a lot about Kirstie Allsopp's article on the pressure on young women to be the most that they can possibly be. I wholeheartedly agree. I would change so many things in the past to sculpt my life into what I'd love it to be right now. I think most people would change at least one thing of their past, however trivial. I said the other day that the thing I would change would be to never go to University, but now I think that's not true. I'm glad I went, I just wish I'd studied something different. University gave me Student Loans, Bursaries and Grants that I saved up and bought my kitchen with. It helped me buy my current car. It gave me the means to move out of my parents house forever.

But, if I'd gone straight into working, I would be where I am now, just more financially secure and ready for the future. Prepared, if you like.

I will tell my children to be who they want to be. If they want to go to University then they will. But, I will make sure that they know that it's not their only option like I thought it was.

The only thing I would change about Kirstie's article is that it's not just women that need to know that. Men, boys, lads need to know that Uni isn't the only way. My Lad went to Uni twice and failed twice. He's done more for his future in the three years since getting a proper job than he ever did wasting his money there.

University will be the route for some people - no doubt - but for others, that crucial pivotal point in their lives should be spent figuring out what they want to be when they grow up without the price tag of Uni.

LIFE: Oh, hello mojo.

Anyone ever had that feeling where they're just meh?

It's been clinging onto me for dear life for months now. Some days it feels like it might have gone forever, today is one of those days. Happy days are what I live for.

They are days where:
I put on three washes, and hang them out, and get them dry, and bring them in, and put them back away.
I manage to get (what seems like) 728,481,484 things done and ticked off my To Do list.
Have time to sit and admire what I've done (or eat what I've baked)
Don't feel fat (I know I'm not actually fat, but everyone can feel it sometimes).
Feel lighthearted - anything can happen and I still feel okay (who cares if I just ripped the sofa with my hair grip).
I don't NEED to do anything. Today is the first day in 15 days I haven't had to leave the boundaries of my garden for work or family things.
I start a project or finish an old one.

Happy days are good days.


Tuesday, 3 June 2014

LIFE: To Family

This month is a month of celebration.



Yesterday marks the eighth year since my Grandma died. I miss her everyday, but I'm glad that she's not in any pain now. Although I will always cry on the second of June every year, I also celebrate her life. She was/is a great woman.

On Thursday, it's my other Grandma's birthday. She's 79! We're getting the china out for this one.

Later in the month it's my brothers birthday. He's 22. I feel so, so old saying that. No china will be present at that event.

I'm sure we'll find time to celebrate every day in some way though. Hopefully, it'll be because I'll have managed to eat all the cake and not get fat.

I can but hope.
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