This Week I Have Been Mostly….

this week i have been mostly

February has hit with a smash and a bang. Just as we’re trying to get used to the New Year, to the new “President” (I kinda like writing it that way) and longing for the Spring, we’ve been greeted with February. The groundhog says it’s going to be a long winter, but I’m hoping he’s just rodent with a long shadow.

I seem to be on a never-ending spending spree, and every weekend congratulate myself for a whole week without buying something, only to remember something I just bought or to go out a treat myself. This needs to stop, but at the same time there’s always something I need or want.

This week ColourPop got me with a new range of lip products called ‘Blotted Lips’.

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I knew I needed to get them, but with ColourPop being so hard to ship to the UK (not to mention expensive) and with the sting of customs charges, I didn’t think it would be on the cards. But then my American friend told me she was heading to visit family in a couple of weeks and would I like her to pick anything up for me. I knew this was meant to be so asked if I could ship something to her parent’s home. She said yes! So I filled my basket and got everything I’ve been lusting over for the past 6 months. This included a heap of lip products and one highlighter. I’m planning on doing a ColourPop video once it’s arrived. I’m so excited!

I’ve been really enjoying filming and uploading to YouTube and though I haven’t got many followers and there’s so much competition, I’m really enjoying the process and the comments I get from my viewers.

I babysat for my Niece this weekend, just past, and she gave me this picture she’d made for me:

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Apparently the night before she’d been so excited that her YouTuber aunty was going to be in her house and babysitting for her. She’s told all her friends I’m a YouTuber – which is technically true – I YouTube, so I’m a YouTuber! I love that I’ve got a fan!

I’ve also started working on a new series of blog posts called ‘Why I….’, the first of which will publish in a few days. It’s all about why I have made certain life choices and the affect it’s had on me. I hope you’ll enjoy reading them, and I look forward to seeing any discussion they stir up.

Having recently completed binge-watching the second series of The Man in the High Castle (awesome!) we had a TV void to fill, so we’ve just started watching The OA on Netflix.

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I’ve seen a few of Brit Marling’s films and though I find them self-indulgent, they’re incredibly interesting and unique, not to mention intelligent. We’re part way through and I’m hooked. I’m really interested in seeing how it ends – no spoilers please!

The week to come promises to be cold and icy, and all I long for is some sun, warmth and not to feel so pasty. I hope Spring comes soon, but until then I’ll just look at instagrams of tropical islands and pretend I’m there. Bring on Summer.

If you’d like to see my latest YouTube video, that went live this weekend, then go ahead below. It’s one for book worms – all about my favourite books!

ColourPop image copyright to ColourPop. OA image sourced via Google Images.

This Week I Have Been Mostly….

this week i have been mostly

You guys, we did it! We survived the first week back after the Christmas holidays.

Christmas seems like so long ago now. The trees and decorations are down. There are tell-tale fir-needle patches outside driveways up and down my street where the bin men have taken away old trees. Lights are being removed from houses this weekend, and all of a sudden there seems to be a lot more space in my living room.

I always miss the tree and lights in my sitting room, and as such we have two sets of fairy lights which stay up all year around. One on my mantle and one around a mirror in our hall. It’s lovely to light these on a long summer evening and it looks like fire-flies in the balmy warmth (I wish things were a little warmer right now). That being said, I usually make myself feel bad by flicking to the weather forecast in Orlando, however this weekend the weather has gotten down to 3 centigrade there so maybe I don’t feel so bad right now.

This week we’ve had -4 degree weather at points. In fact the day it got to -4 it was -2 when I woke up, -3 when I left the house and had reached -4 by the time I’d arrived at work.

Even though it was a 4 day week it managed to feel 7 days long, and my sleeping pattern has suffered due to the 10 day break. I’ve been tired all day, and felt that for sure I’d be dribbling on the sofa and ready for bed by 9:30pm – but alas I was feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as soon as I got into bed. I have also been waking up around 5am and needing to pee desperately and so getting back to sleep has been a massive pain in the bum. I usually fall into a gorgeously deep sleep about 10 minutes before my alarm and then feel rotten when I need to get up – thereby starting the cycle again. Awesome!

Anyhow, despite this, work was good and I even managed to get some more blog posts written. I’ve really enjoyed blogging this past year. I’ve written a separate blog all about my past year in blogging, which you should keep an eye out for if you’re interested.

I also decided I didn’t spoil myself enough in the sales and so spent an obscene amount of money on makeup this week. More on that when it all arrives….. I also treated myself to some hair products from Grow Gorgeous and a new blog planner, which I’ve already started using and can see it being really useful. But again, more on that in that blogging post coming in the next few days!

The last couple of things I picked up were books, which had been priced crazy low on amazon. I bought a cook book for £4 which I’m glad I only spent £4 on because on getting it home and flicking through it I don’t see anything I’d like to make, so far. Poopies. I also bought the Adnan Syed book ‘Adnan’s Story’ which was on my Christmas list but no one bought for me. It was only £5 and I didn’t want the price to go up so I hit ‘add to basket’!

This weekend, other than shopping irresponsibly, I have watched another couple of Netflix documentaries. Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer is about Aileen Wuornos the female serial killer who murdered 7 men in the late 80’s and was given multiple life sentences. I’d seen the film Monster about her year’s back and it was very interesting so thought I’d give the documentary a try.

We also watched Audrie and Daisy about young girls in America who had been sexually assaulted by their peers and the aftermath. This was an incredibly powerful and also frustrating watch. I highly recommend it. I actually found myself crying at the end over both the strength of the girls and also out of frustration of the world and the people in it. Please watch it if you get the chance.

Something I’ve been promising for a while is my Walt Disney World video – I’ve been putting it off for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s a massive job – I’ve got quite a lot of footage, not a lot of face to camera stuff so I need to work out how I’m going to link it all. But probably the most important reason I’ve been putting it off is that once it’s done, it kind of puts a close to our Florida holiday. And I’m not ready for that yet. So it will happen, and hopefully soon, but it’ll happen when I’m ready. I really can’t wait to watch the footage again if I’m honest, but it’ll be bittersweet!

So that was my week. I’ve been fighting off the urge to hibernate and come out for Spring, but as it happens I’ve been managing to peel myself from my cosy bed and go out into the freezing cold world. Speaking of freezing cold – I’ve been really enjoying watching the Instagram stories of the people I follow. So many people have had snow all over the world and watching their videos of snow falling, wintry walks and calm white vistas has been magical. It’s for that reason I’m so pleased that social media outlets exist like that.

What have you been up to this week?

December 7th

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Today I’m going to share with you my favourite Christmas books. I like to read short books over the Christmas period. They’re all Children’s or Young Adult books actually, but that suits me fine.

A new one to this year is Another Night Before Christmas by Carol Ann Duffy and illustrated by Rob Ryan.

I was drawn to this book because I love Rob Ryan’s paper cutting work. I have his calendar this year and intend to get next year’s too. The words he puts in his work are sometimes a bit odd but often so moving and inspirational – I recommend you check his work out. Anyway, this book was described as an updated version on The Night Before Christmas. I saw it discounted on amazon so bought it for just a few pounds. It’s an adorable take on a familiar story written by the 2009 appointed Poet Laureate. If you get the chance to read it then do.

The next is The Smelly Sprout by Allan Plenderleith. I came across this book whilst browsing the book shop one day and read it as I stood there. It’s such a cute tale that I had to buy it. It comes off the shelf every year. I have a soft spot for sprouts.

The last is a book I mentioned in a previous post, that I read every year. It’s not a cute or an easy book to read. It’s a deep thinking, thought-provoking and sometimes very sad book. It evokes the feelings of Christmas and reminds you to count your blessings. It feels snowy and magical, yet deeply emotional all at once. Through a Glass Darkly by Jostein Gaarder isn’t a walk in the park but it’s not a difficult book to read. If you’re familiar with Gaarder’s other books (Sophie’s World, The Solitaire Mystery) you’ll know what I mean. If you can, pick it up. It’s a beautiful book that remains just as beautiful with every read.

So those are my Christmas book choices, but I’m willing to add to the collection. Do you have any books that you like to read every Christmas?

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Pretty Words all in a Row #3

I’ve said this in previous posts, but this year I’m really struggling to find the time for reading. This makes me sad because I love getting lost in a good book, but I’ve been fitting in running and now with the new job the last thing I want to do after spending all say staring at a screen is to pick up a book and do more reading. It’s a shame but I’m going to have to admit I’m not going to hit my Goodreads target.

That being said I’m not going to give up on reading and I’ll still be finishing books, but at my own pace rather than racing to a finish line. I will, however, still be updating you guys on the books I have completed! So here’s part three of books for this year.

In part two I wrote that I was reading a book called Our Holocaust, and that I thought it was a little hard going. Well it was, so I moved on and decided I needed something a little less serious:

  • Dark Places  by Gillian Flynn (who wrote Gone Girl) was a perfect easy read. She writes fairly intelligently but you don’t have to think too hard when you’re reading it. The story was interesting to follow. There was a nice twist near the end – but not as big as in Gone Girl. This was Gillian’s second novel.
  • The Death of Bees  by Lisa O’Donnell was one of GoodReads 2013 suggestions early in the year and I found it didn’t disappoint. Written from the perspectives of two young Scottish girls who had to contend with their freshly dead junky parents. Sounds weird and heavy going but was a very interesting read. It reminded me a bit of The Wasp Factory.
  • I heard about The Uninvited via a book blog I used to read and liked the premise. It turned a bit weird sci-fi throughout so I was a little disappointed but it passed the time sufficiently!
  • Running Like a Girl was a gift from Gary. Written by British journalist Alexandra Heminsley, she described her journey from new runner to marathon runner. It was a good read but the first half was more interesting to me since there was a lot of description on how she struggled at the start but then jumped quickly from training and learning to running marathons easy peasy. Still an entertaining read, which I would recommend to any woman starting out running.
  • Hunger is an Amazon Single (their equivalent of a ShortRead). Written by Susan Hill (who wrote Woman In Black and a few of the other books I’ve read over the last year and a half) I was very disappointed. It was so short it started to go somewhere and then was wrapped up as if she was told half way through that she had to stick to a word count.
  • Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn was her first novel (I obviously like to do things backwards!) and a really good read. I like her writing style and her books are always interesting to read. This one again had you guessing all the way through and ended up with an uncomfortable twist, similar to Gone Girl in it’s sinister roots. I really recommend this one, especially if you liked Gone Girl.
  • Apparently I didn’t learn from my last Susan Hill Single but I downloaded Crystal (for free I might add) and gave it a crack. Oh dear. It was worse than Hunger. I won’t make that mistake again. I think I’ll stick to her ghost stories……
So that’s where I am now. I have started and stopped a couple of books since then and I do have a few on the pile that I’m looking forward to starting. Yes, I’m 5 books behind on my challenge, but now I have admitted to myself I won’t achieve it I can relax and take my time reading the books I want to read, and even re-reading some. And as G Man said:
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(Oops…. that photo may have given away my exciting news….. ah well ;D I’ll blog it in full when it’s final!)
More when I have it!

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Shutterbug Q&A

Having seen this post at The Pace of it All, I really liked the idea of doing a Q&A – mostly because I wanted to see what people would ask! So I hopped onto Twitter and also Musings on FB and gave a shout out for people to ask questions. And questions I got! So here they are with the answers!

What’s your favourite book? Movie? TV Show?

Ooh that’s a toughie! I used to always say that my favourite book was The Time Traveler’s Wife. But it may have been pipped by Life of Pi which I read this year. I was so rewarded by it since I’d struggled so hard with it at the start. Of course I love the Harry Potter series and (shame!) Twilight – but as standalone books go Life of Pi trumps them all!

Movie – I have loads of favourites. I really love Empire Records and that will always be my classic favourite. But I have go to movies that I can watch over and over, like When Harry Met Sally. I love the Scream Quadrilogy and the Kill Bill movies. It’s hard!

TV Show – always The West Wing, hands down!

What’s your favourite cheese?

Haha! Vintage Cheddar. Tesco do one in their Finest range which is almost on the money. I’m coming to terms with the fact that it will be a lifelong search for the best strongest cheddar – until then Tesco are doing a pretty decent job!

What would be your ultimate last dinner on Earth? (also asked by someone else -What foods would you choose for your last meal?)

That’s a really tough one. I think it would have to be some kind of melon starter (because I’m a child of the 80’s!) Steak main with really good chunky chips or mash. Pudding would be pecan pie with pouring cream. I’d need some cheese after that so vintage cheddar and maybe some fruit with it. Then an Irish coffee. A nice full-bodied red to go with the steak. Mmmm sounds good!

What is your earliest memory?

I remember being in my push chair which had a cover over it. The cover was all brown except for a small square window which I could look out of. It was raining outside and I remember feeling so cosy and dry inside my push chair!

When was the hardest you’ve ever laughed?

I remember having a lot of times where I’ve laughed so hard my stomach hurt or my cheeks felt like they’d burst. I do remember one particular summer holidays when my sister was home. We sat in, played cards and ate pot noodles for lunch. I remember having such a good time that when my friends came knocking for me to go out with them I declined because I wanted to stay and carry on having fun with my sister. I remember being stupid and laughing hard a lot of that summer!

What songs make you the happiest?

Pop songs can make me awfully happy. Two songs exist that can get me moving singing and dancing no matter what mood I’m in. They are I Wanna Dance with Somebody by Whitney Houston and Hummingbird Heartbeat by Katy Perry. They are just 100% my happy music. I get happy listening to The Sunday’s album Static and Silence but that’s more like a calm and contented happiness. Let Down by Radiohead makes me feel that way too. But when you wanna get up and dance it has to be the first two. Ultimate happy!

What has made your marriage successful?

I’d say being realistic. G Man and I always said that we wanted to be married but we also knew that in 20 years something may have happened that means we can’t be married any more. We both know it wouldn’t be because either of us had cheated or been abusive, but other things happen. I think this is really important. Neither of us want this to be the case but we put it out there. We work at our relationship. We talk about important stuff and we laugh about the unimportant stuff. We know how to defuse an argument but without brushing it under the carpet. Yes we have problems but we knew we would when we said our vows – we’re not naive enough to think we won’t. I think that the success of our marriage so far has definitely been down to ‘keepin it real’!

How did you and your husband meet?

We first met at a house party when I went with a friend to her new boyfriend’s house – she wanted a chaperone meeting his friends for the first time, but me and him didn’t really talk much. I didn’t properly meet Gary until a few months later when we were both at Glastonbury music festival and again were brought together by mutual friends. We spent two days together over the three-day festival and afterwards were pretty much inseparable. We met up again a few days after the festival and then about 5 days later he had a shock meeting my whole extended family when I invited him to my Sister’s wedding reception!

How did you get started in Photography?

I’d always been interested in taking a good photo. My Dad was into photography and so was my Grandad. I started taking rolls of films which were dolls and cats. I also took photos of my cousins which family would say were good and have blown up for their walls. I tried to be creative with my first art photograph entitled ‘Banana on a door mat’ – and it was just that. I followed this up later on with ‘Mango on a door mat’. I liked to take whole rolls of film of clouds too – it was rather expensive and since you had to send the films away and would get them back about two weeks later, it was kind of disappointing to find it was all crummy clouds. I didn’t pick photography up again until after my wedding. I was so disappointed with the quality of the shots taken by our photographer and I knew I could have done better! I found Flickr in late 2006 and the rest is history! I was so inspired by the people on there. I started my first 365 project in 2007 and a second 365 project in 2009. The second one was more successful as I had the experience of the first, and I made it into a table book so I have it to keep forever! My photography has taken a back step in the last two years due to life and commitments but I hope to have my second photo book published soon, after having my first published in 2010 (which you can buy here!)

So that’s it! Thanks to Ari (@thepaceofitall) Sarah (@STApollo84) Beckie (@beckietran) Carrie (@being_ladylike) and Mum (via FB) for the questions!

That was kinda fun 🙂

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Struggling to Keep Up!

I’ve been struggling this year at keeping up with my reading challenge – or just reading in general. Things have either gotten in the way or I’m just not enjoying the books I’m reading.

Until two days ago I’d been struggling with a book about the Holocaust. It seems it was a little too heavy to dip in and out so I have decided to spend a little money on some books. I’ve been only reading books I can get on 99p Kindle deals or for less than £2.00, but I realised I’m buying books that don’t really interest or grip me.

Today I had a book delivery (I love Amazon Prime!) of two books I’ve had on my wish list since before they were published in the UK. One is The Death of Bees and the other is The Uninvited. I also downloaded Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, onto my Kindle. She wrote Gone Girl which I read earlier this year, and I figured that if I read something where I’m already familiar with the writer, it might help me to get into the book more easily. It seems to be working and in my first sitting I read 7% of the book. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into something good again!

This week I have two days off in a row (today and tomorrow) and I have decided I need to set aside some time specifically for reading  – and try not to fall asleep instead!

If anyone has any good recommendations for books I should try out next, please do! I’d love to hear what’s out and about 🙂
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Pretty Words all in a Row #2

It’s been a while since I updated you on my reading so here’s part 2 of my reading challenge of 40 books in 2013. If you missed part one it’s here!

Finding the time to read, of late, has been tricky. I would usually read a lot on my lunch break but there always seems to be a distraction so it’s been a slog, I can tell you. But now I’m back on track and have read 7 books since the first update!

Fin Family Moomintroll and The Exploits of MoominPappa are the next books in the Moomin series of novels. Interesting but sometimes a little sickly sweet I decided to take a break from the Moomin books after these two, and return to them in places over the year.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I had seen this recommended to me a few times on amazon, and a fair few of my Goodreads friends had read it so I was interested to read it. I didn’t realise this book was about cancer when I bought it and I found it hard going to start with because cancer is effecting my family directly at the moment. That being said the characters were written well enough to allow me to feel their plight without it speaking directly to me. I’m familiar with John Green’s writing style having read Paper Towns last year, and so I was used to his colloquial youthful style of writing, but this might grate on others, as it sometimes did with me. I’m pleased I read it and I found it very enjoyable, though I wasn’t moved in the way others were. I would recommend reading it.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel. My regular readers will have seen me mention this book throughout some of my posts and will know I struggled hard through the first quarter of the book. But having been spurred along by both my Mum and some of you guys I persevered. And by golly am I glad I did. I’m still thinking about this book AND I’ve seen the movie twice (2D and 3D – very worth seeing if you liked the book) The imagery created by the author is intense and wonderful. It’s written well and despite my struggle at the start I would read it again. Bought for 20p on my Kindle – the best 20p I’ve spent this year.

Tom’s Midnight Garden was suggested to me by a girl at work. It’s a short book and it popped up on my Kindle lending library so I thought I’d give it a go. I was in the mood for something quick and non taxing to help bump up my book numbers, because I was lagging. I skim read most of it, but still found it entertaining and the end was very interesting.

I started Moominsummer Madness directly after the last Moomin book I completed but needed to change-up my reading genre or my mind would turn to mush. So I revisited this book after Midnight Garden and completed it next. Entertaining but again more like bubblegum for the mind.

The Woodcutter by Kate Danley was on a 99p deal in the Kindle store and seemed to get good ratings so I bought it. I enjoy fairytale based stories and this one was original despite being based around very familiar stories. It was a fairly quick read but had a lot of twists and turns. I think it’s aimed at young adults but wasn’t too bad for me either!

I’m currently reading Our Holocaust by Amir Gutfreund which is beautifully written and even though I’m only 4% in I can tell it could be pretty hard going. But it’s going to get my brain working and that’s rarely a bad thing.

So I’ve completed 13 of my 40 books for the year and I’m on track. Have you read anything you want to shout about? I’d love to hear your suggestions and your thoughts on any of the books I’ve read so far!

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Pretty Words all in a Row

So peeps, I cannot believe that it’s February already!! Things are flying by so fast at the moment, it won’t be long before I’m writing about Christmas again (surely not!).

My reading took a slow start. I was struggling with the book I’d started because I was too tired to make a good go at it, and kept having to put it down. But on one of my days off I decided that I would just suck it up and spend a good few hours reading. And I finished it!I’m so pleased that I did it, because I’m now well and truly back into the swing of it, and have so far completed 6 books towards my 40 challenge.

Comet in Moominland was a quick read which helped me get back into the swing in order to finish the next book I will talk about. This is the 2nd book in the Moomin series. The first of which I will also talk about in a bit. I keep saying I will write a blog about the Moomins, and I will, but I want to read through all 9 of the books before I do that – so stay tuned.

Gone Girl was amazing once I gave it the chance it deserved. The beginning was a slow burner for me and I thought I had it all worked out in my head. But as you read you realise that you have no idea what’s going on, and the whole book is nothing like how you thought it would be. Such a good read, I recommend everyone gives it a go. There’s a reason it’s been so popular!

A Winter Book came up as one of the Kindle deals of the day a few weeks ago. It’s written by the same author as the Moomin books, and was already on my wish list, so it was a given that I would download it. (Amazon know me so well, it’s scary.) This is a collection of short stories written by Tove Jansson throughout her childhood, adult life and elderly life. The mood changes are so intriguing. She bares her soul in everything she does, as if she leaves her heart on the pages she writes on. I really enjoyed reading this, and I’m looking forward to reading the book which precedes it, ‘The Summer Book’.

A Gathering Light is a young adult novel that I picked up at the book warehouse I visit sometimes. I was intrigued by the idea that it was based on a real murder that happened at the turn of the century. I found this book a little light on substance. The murder was a very vague subplot and it seemed that the author had been so effected by this event that they wanted to involve it in a book in any way they could. It was interesting enough but not moving and you didn’t really care what happened to the characters. It was a shame, but maybe it would be better suited to a teenager as it was intended.

The Man in the Picture is the 3rd book by Susan Hill (author of The Woman in Black) I have read. What I love about her books is that they are written in a way that makes you assume it is set in the times of bustles and carriages but then you’ll see mention of mobile phones or something similar. It’s because of this that you get the eerie sense of a traditional ghost story, and this picture is painted only by the style of the words used. Susan Hill’s ghost stories are short but never lacking in substance. They are never obvious and always harrowing and often will give you chills in exactly the right places. They are clever and thoughtful and never over the top. This book was no exception. If you enjoyed reading Woman in Black then I would definitely recommend this and the other novel of hers I have read, ‘The Small Hand’. Give them a go!

The Moomins and The Great Flood (Moomin book #1) was written in 1945 but was only translated and published in the UK last year, hence why I read the other book first. This copy is hardback and beautifully illustrated by Tove herself (naturally). The story isn’t the strongest due to it being the first, but it sets the tone and introduces you to the characters. It illustrates the power of friendship and family and the perils you face along the way. It is almost a metaphor for the feelings of family estrangement during a post war Europe. Fear of nature and separation. There really is some beauty in these books.

You’ll need to expect a lot more from the Moomins on my reading list for the first part of the year at least. There is so much to read between the lines, and I really do recommend you investigating into them if you feel so inclined.

I’d be interested in your thoughts on any of these books if you’ve read them, and also any recommendations for books you think I might like!

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Bits and Bobs

bits and bobs
O.P.I Mariah Carey Liquid Sand range//Stay The Night//The Impossible//Nanny’s stew//Chocolate Cake//Goodies

I don’t know if you know this, but I’m a real sucker for nail varnish. I like all the new innovations that have come about in recent years like shatter, magnetic, matte and now textures – leather, caviar, cement, suede. I recently bought the new OPI Liquid Sand range which was created with Mariah Carey. It’s a pack of 4 minis in blue, red, purple and black with little glitter bits in it, and it dries to a matte sandy texture It doesn’t require a top coat either. Pictured are two of the colours and I hope you can make out some of the texture from the photos.

They’re lovely to put on. I’ve layered both the colours I tried with a similar block colour underneath so that I don’t have to keep layering – they’re like a jelly texture so fairly opaque, and they dry really fast. I can’t stop running my fingers over my nails because they feel so strange – but it’s a pleasant feeling! I’m really looking forward to trying the other two colours, but I’m wearing The Impossible at the moment and it’s lasting really well so far. I might see how long I can keep it on!

During our week off, G Man and I went to see his parents and he asked his Mum to cook a family favourite they call Nanny’s Stew. I’m sure you can work it out, but it’s called that because it was something their Nanny would make! It’s an Irish stew with beef and veggies and I’d been craving it for months. I pretty much inhaled it as soon as it was put in front of me, and went back for seconds even though I was stuffed. I also had hot chocolate fudge cake afterwards, but who’s going to say no to that, ‘eh? I’m hoping one day I’ll get the recipe for the stew so I can make it for G Man and any kids we might have one day!

At the end of last week, one of my oldest friends came to visit. We have a very bad habit of buying each other presents for birthday and christmas and then not seeing each other for 8 months. We then have to meet up and give presents to each other at odd times of year (see this previous post!) So we met up and swapped Birthday and Xmas presents (except I’d only bought her a Birthday gift….. red face!) I’ve said we need to stop getting each other stuff! Anyway, she came up trumps with my presents this year and she bought me an Orla Kiely recipe box with cards inside and a box full of Essie nail polishes. I love it all so much! 3 colours, a top and a base coat. I couldn’t believe it. She said she just trawled my Pinterest to see what I like at the moment – so it seems masses of unnecessary over-sharing does pay off 😀

If you read yesterday’s post you would have seen that I have been struggling with reading so far this year and not really getting into my current book ‘Gone Girl’. So yesterday afternoon I decided to pick it up and read about 250 pages. I’m hooked guys and gals. It’s a very intriguing read! So glad I persevered and I have not a clue what’s going to happen! On the subject of reading, today’s Kindle deal of the day on amazon.co.uk was A Winter Book by Tove Jansson for 99p. She was the same author who created The Moomin series and (as I previously said) I will write a blog soon about The Moomins and Tove (who, incidentally, illustrated the Swedish translations of The Hobbit – they’re worth a look!). Her first adult novel The Summer Book is on my wish list but I couldn’t not take up this offer! I’m really looking forward to reading it. I also got The Complete Sherlock Holmes for free and The 100 Year Old Man who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared for 20p. It’s been suggested to me for a while so I figured 20p was worth it! So now I have an Everest of books to choose from. I really have to get onto reading them!
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This Week I Have Been Mostly….

For the last few days all I have wanted to do is eat and sleep and hide from the weather! Yes, boys and girls, snow hit the UK and everyone became afraid – very afraid. Though I went back to work on Sunday and apparently shoppers are not afraid! Even though people have been out and playing in the snow, I am not a fan of being cold and wet, so I have been hibernating. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Eating: All I seem to want at the moment is healthy fresh fruit and veg and salad. I have been starting with a good breakfast when I can.
breakfast

pancakes

porridge

Blueberries seem to be my new craving, although I bought bananas yesterday (I hate bananas) and had one sliced on toast which had been spread with honey, this morning. It was very good – like having a desert for breakfast which can’t be bad.

Watching: Over the last few days we watched some more movies. In fact we watched 5 movies on Saturday! On Friday we found all our old home movies from when we first met, including our trip to America for our honeymoon. Seeing our Niece and Nephews so small was amazing! Our recent movie marathon included three new films worthy of note.

This Is 40 was hilarious and so good I want to watch it again already. It’s a sequel to Knocked Up but without Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl, and is based around Katherine Heigl’s sister’s family who featured in the original (Paul Rudd is the husband and I LOVE Paul Rudd films). I wasn’t a massive fan of Knocked Up but found this other family so entertaining in it I couldn’t miss this. As a married woman (of 6 yrs) I found a lot of the married stuff very relatable and entertaining. There is NO throwing up in this movie – a big plus. And Lena Dunham and Ryan Adams are in it too – more big pluses for me! definitely worth a watch, I’d say.

Silver Linings Playbook was on our ‘must watch’ list already but since its Oscar Nomination we really thought we ought to check it out. It was definitely worth the watch. The only part I didn’t enjoy so much was near somewhere in the middle where they all start talking in sport metaphor and I found a plot error which is really small but grated on me (and I won’t go into here because there’s no point) BUT the whole thing was just great. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence were really good in it – and it all gets a bit Pulp Fiction (in a dance way – not guns and drugs) near the end. I’m desperate to know what shade and make of nail polish Jen Lawrence wears all the way through – does anyone know?

I saw the trailer for Safety Not Guaranteed a while back. It’s based around a want ad placed in a paper

WANTED: Someone to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You’ll get paid when we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before.

I knew I had seen this before, I think it floated around Pinterest for a while – and apparently it was a real placed ad but was designed to just fill space. Until someone decided to use it to make a movie. And a great movie it is too – it has an independent feel about it, but it slightly more polished than that. It’s not complicated but moves at a brisk but un-rushed pace. Entertaining and intriguing. I would definitely watch this again – if you get the chance to see it, then please try it out!

Listening: I get to hear music that suits my tastes more in my new job. I find myself going to the music box and writing down song titles and artists as I hear more music which interests me. Of late I have been really liking the music of JD McPherson. His music is like old-fashioned rock and roll from the 50s. The recording is not clean and crisp but is gritty and grimy and sounds muffled – but in a good way. If you can, please check him out. He’s actually playing in Oxford on Wednesday night if you can go and see him do! It’s, like, £12 on the door – a  bargain and I’d love to go if I could. Have a listen:

Not Reading: It’s actually been a real struggle to get back into reading this year – I’m part way through Gone Girl which I was told was a ‘can’t put down’ read. Well I keep putting it down. I’ve read one of my Moomin books and I have 5 more to read so I’m going to keep going with those and then go back to Gone Girl. I have so many books I want to read. But I’m so tired at the moment and when there’s a good opportunity to read, all I want to do is watch mindless TV. I’ll get it back, I know, but after having read so well last year, I hope I’m not losing my mojo.

Taking Photos: You have no idea how much I am loving taking pictures, and looking at other’s pictures, again. It’s so easy to just pick up my camera and take a shot. Obviously having last week off work helped because I had the time and inclination to go places, but it’s kick started me, and already I’ve taken about double the amount of photos I had in the whole of last year!

So that’s what I’ve been up to in the last week. How was yours?
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