Manicure Monday #2

Monday, 23 December 2013

Ok, so it may have been two months since i last posted my nail art, but better late then never right?
This week I have gone all out christmassy! I think this time of year is just an excuse to have glittery nails. Even though it is an absolute pain to take off. Unfortunately I still haven't found an easy way and spend a good half an hour rubbing at my nails with nail polish remover.
So I have gone for shiny blue with little polar bears picking out all topped with a splash of glitter! Its really simple to do and, as much as i recommend getting nail art pens, it can be done with something as simple as a cocktail stick or a pin with a round end stuck into something.

Topshop 'Cosmic Karma'
Models Own nail art pens in white and black
Barry M 'Rose Quartz Glitter'


The Fratellis

Saturday, 21 December 2013

These guys have been one of my favourite bands for as long as I can remember. I was 12 when they released their first album and my dad used to listen to it. A lot of my early music taste was influenced by my dad! Except maybe Maroon 5… not sure he listened to them.
Since then The Fratellis have released two new albums with a very big gap in the middle. But during their hiatus I had Costello Music and Here We Stand on my ipod and learnt the words to pretty much all their songs. So when my housemate asked if I wanted to go see them because they were playing at manchester academy you couldn't have paid me to stay at home!

Sorry for the not so great quality phone photos!

They played about 50% from the new album and the other half were old classics. I did wish that they played a few more off the first two albums, I hadn't had a chance to properly listen to We Need Medicine yet, but it was still a fantastic set. They mixed it all up a bit and didn't play then exactly like on the albums but it just added to the charm! I loved that they came back on at the end to finish with Chelsea Dagger (surely everyone has heard this song!?) followed by A Heady Tale.
Last month I also saw Vampire Weekend supported by Noah and the Whale who were both pretty awesome. I absolutely love going to see live music, nothing can beat that feeling when you're in the middle of a crowd singing along with the lyrics of your favourite song.
What has the best gig or concert you have ever been too? Mine has to be Coldplay. I mean I have been to some amazing smaller gigs to watch some of my favourite bands play but watching Chris Martin and the rest of the band play on the stage at Etihad, with the whole crowd wearing flashing wrists bands, as the sky got dark, with my mum was pretty perfect I have to admit.



Wednesday, 18 December 2013

A couple of months ago Rosie from A Rosie Outlook came up with the wonderful idea to host a blogger book swap. Her idea was:

"I gather names and email addresses of people interested.  You then spend a couple of weeks trawling your local charity shops, second-hand bookshops, car boot sales, Amazon used - whatever - for two amazing books that you love. They must be good, clean copies - they don't have to be brand new but they have to be in what I would call 'very good condition' - not something that looks like it's been dropped in the bath! You then post both copies out to your allotted swapee, maybe with a little treat for them to enjoy their books with, just a suggestion!"

As soon as I read it I wanted to be involved! I have always loved reading. What is better than being completely immersed in another world where there is so much imagination and emotion? So I posted with my email address and blog and not too long later got an email telling me who I was swapping with.
My blogging partner for this little swap was Beth from The Cobalt Chaos and also The Granger Article. I have to admit that when I saw she wrote a book review blog my immediate thought was that I would never find a book that she hadn't read! But after a little thought about some of the books that I have really enjoyed and have made an impression on me I chose and sent off my two.
At the same time I received my parcel from Beth. I might have got a little bit giddy, I just love receiving post too much! Inside were two books, a small penguin book by George Orwell, a very pretty Barry M nail varnish and a lovely little postcard with her message on.
The first one I read was The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time. Now I have read this book before, but it was a long time ago and, actually, I couldn't remember what happened. But I do remember loving it so couldn't wait to read it again. It is such an interesting book. It is told in first person by a young boy with Asperger's syndrome or high end autism who finds a dead dog in his neighbours garden and decides to play Sherlock. He has a talent for maths and sees the detail in everything, but lacks insight into many simple things. Because it is in first person the writing style reflects this and that is the first thing I love about the book, it is so unique. The story itself is sad, funny, moving and heartbreaking all at the same time, it also feels so real. This is the kind of book that I could read again and again and still enjoy, I think I would find a new detail everytime I read it. I am very glad that Beth chose this book and reminded me of a childhood favourite.
The second was very different, but again had a unique writing style. It is written as a conversational monologue, it is simple yet effective. It is about a young Pakistani who went to the US to study went on to have a very impressive job and fall in love with an American women. He details the events of his life chronologically and the twists that happen to him post 9/11. The conversation is back in Pakistan between the main character and an American man and he meets, and has tea and food with. At first I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy it. The narration seemed slow but it definitely builds as the story goes on, and the way you get a personal view on such a national disaster left me feeling quite 'curious'. As you go through the story you feel like you have experienced so many new situations yourself because of how articulate the story teller is. On of the aspects I loved most was the detail of the square in Lahoré where the whole conversation is set. This is a book I would not have ordinarily picked out of the shelves to read but I fell in love with the story in this book and all the feelings behind it.

Have you read or reviewed either of these books?


It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Monday, 16 December 2013

University got the better of me again. Since I last posted I have watched Catching Fire, been to Manchester's christmas markets, seen the Fratellis live, spent a weekend at home, had a number of christmas meals and socials, been to a christmas ball and a panto and finally come home for christmas! I wish I could say coming home for christmas means a lovely holiday off university and away from work unfortunately it's not. I have 4 exams in January and the revision has already begun!
Over the next month though I am really hoping to write some posts about the things I have been doing each week. I love reading back about those things myself in the future, but it also makes me happy that I can share my experiences with others.
But to start with here are a couple of quick festive snaps. I cannot wait for christmas!!

Models Own - Pukka Purple with a top coat of Ibiza Mix 

Santas grotto in the Arndale! 

Elfie selfie! (credit to my mum for that one) 

Our house christmas dinner - very proud we managed to cook this!


Unwind Trilogy: Unsouled

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Kindle - amazon. Case - waterstones.

This is the last book is the Unwind trilogy. I started the trilogy last year and read the first two in a matter of days! They are the kind of book that you just can't put down. The final book came out this week and I ordered it straight onto my kindle and read it within 24 hours. I was not disappointed. All of these books fall into the young adult dystopian genre which seems to have taken off lately.
This book is set a few generations in the future where a new law has come to pass that, between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. The first one follows 3 main characters and their journeys against unwinding. As the trilogy goes you meet a number of other characters, each with their own background story, that entwine with the main characters.

The first thing I love about the book are the characters. Each one felt relatable. Each was unique and had their good and bad qualities. Each had relationships with the other that made me really feel for them. 
A second thing about this trilogy is the pace of it. I get hooked so easily into a fast paced novel. It leaves you feeling a little breathless. This one does that but at the same time is constantly make you think. Always tugging on those heart strings.

The ethical questions raised throughout the book may sometimes seem a little unreal, but when you take a step back I don't think that they are that far fetched from some of the problems we face today and have faced in the past. This book definitely raised ideas that made me think twice.

So if you haven't started the series yet I recommend you do! You will not be disappointed. I even enjoyed the ending of this book which is something that doesn't normally happen at the end of a series!


My Life In Photos #4

Monday, 18 November 2013

This past month I have been madly busy with second year university work, training and playing a lot more cricket and social activities one after the other and it feels like I haven't had a moment to stop. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love it when I have things to do and I have really enjoyed playing lots of sport and going out with friends. But sometimes you can't beat a good night in with a film or a book.
I find that when everything gets so busy I start to distract myself and my concentration just slides, which only makes getting work done even harder! So this weekend I had a break and it was lovely. And now I am getting back to working super (is that an acceptable word to use?) hard.

I said back when i started blogging again that I knew I wouldn't be able to blog all the time and that has been true. But it's still frustrating when I have a list of blog posts I want to write and not enough hours in the day to write them. Hopefully I will find time soon to show you my new purchases and christmas wishlists. For now you can look at my 'what i've been up to' photos.

1. Night out with my housemate
2. Bonfire night!
3. My facepaint for halloween
4. Celebratory meal for Diwali
5. My new hat
6. Fancy dress for an Alice In Wonderland themed night out
7. Waiting for the train when visiting my grandad
8. Trains getting involved in movember!
9. Sneak peak at a future post #bloggerbookswap


What time is it Mr Wolf?

Sunday, 3 November 2013

If you've read my blog for a while you will know that since I got my watch about 3 years ago for christmas it has never been off my wrist! I used to always check the time on my phone but having a watch just makes it so much easier. Plus it makes for some great arm candy.
Loads of high street shops have started selling branded watches now but the prices can be really high. The best place I have found is The Watch Hut which has the biggest range of watches and all the popular brands! And the best thing is the prices are so much cheaper. I have picked out a few of my favourites.

The casio is the watch that I have, except I have picked it out in a different colour for this because it wouldn't be a wishlist if I wanted it in the same colour! I think the burgundy face gives it a unique twist.   Two very well known watches are the DW and the MK. Rose gold may have had its moment but I still love it and think it adds a softer tone to a winter outfit. At The Watch Hut this Michael Kors watch is 16% off! The final two are fairly similar and are in the style I am lusting over. I would really like a classic leather strap analogue watch to mix up with my digital casio. I really think they have a timeless (get it?!) look and could be worn in years to come.


* This is a sponsored post, but reflects my opinions completely.

DIY: Photo Board

Sunday, 20 October 2013

I found this idea originally on pinterest and immediately had it down as one of my to-do projects for over the summer. Quite often I will find DIYs like this to do and never get round to doing them. Usually because it means going out and buying supplies which I just wouldn't know where to get from. But this time was different! I found a great craft shop in Manchester called Fred Aldous which had pretty much everything I needed (although I got a few bits from amazon because they were cheaper).
What I used:

Double sided tape
Tape measure
Sponge/foam brush
Your photos (I got free prints from Photobox)

Not included in this photo is the sponge I used. Rather than buying a pack of brushed I just used the foam part of a kitchen scouring pad. Much cheaper! 

The bit that took the longest was deciding on the layout of the photos and then measuring everything out. It was difficult to be able to include a mix of landscape and portrait photos but there were 2 portrait ones I really wanted to include so I made them the centres. I would suggest just choosing whichever photos you want and then having a rough play around with the layout.

Next, after measuring everything out and making small pencil marks for the photos, it is time to stick them down. I put a small piece of tape on each corner of the photo and then laid it onto where I wanted it. What I wish I had done is put tape along the entire edge of each of my photos! The problem I had after is that some of them lifted up off the board between the bits of tape.

Once all your photos are stuck down it is time to cover them with mod podge (instructions are on the bottle). This was the scary bit because I felt like I was going to ruin the photos! But it does dry clear after several hours so don't panic. My biggest tip would be to make sure that it is all spread flat because I have a few blobs of it over some of the photos.

And this is the finished product! I am still yet to put it up on my wall at uni because I need to buy some sticky pads that are none damaging (not sure the landlady would be too happy otherwise). But it makes such a great decoration and a way to display lots of photos at once. Would love to know if you ever have a go so leave links below!

My Life In Photos #3

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

1. Why are there christmas things in supermarkets already?!
2. A beautiful 7am sky
3. Listening to the football and eating chocolate
4. Fancy meal my housemate cooked us
5. Impromptu shoe shopping
6. Never too old for crayons at pizza hut
7. My latest nail art
8. Summed me up one evening
9. Sneak peek of a future post


Manicure Monday #1

Monday, 14 October 2013

Since I last stopped blogging back in February my nail polish collection has only grown and grown. I still love doing nail art, although often don't have enough time. But I though I would share on here when I did create a pattern or use a colour I like. My latest attempt is inspired by Caroline's nails from last month.

R-L: topshop 'green room', models own white nail art pen, seche vite dry fast top coat

It definitely takes a steady hand, and doing my right nails needs a bit more practice, but I love the finished look. I have had quite a few people compliment me on it the past few days. I went for one larger print on each nail and then filling in around it with dots or little patterns. It made it easier to fit everything onto each nail.
I am also loving the seche vite topcoat! I got it for my birthday over summer and use it all the time now and it has definitely helped to make my polish last longer.


Recipe Inspiration

Sunday, 13 October 2013

 Grown-up grilled cheese sandwhich
 Grilled halloumi salad
 Lentil and cauliflower curry
Broccoli and cheese bites
Halloumi and couscous stuffed roasted peppers

Since moving into my new house in september and actually having a nice kitchen I have been looking for new recipes everywhere! I have been a vegetarian since I was 8 and my favourite things to eat definitely have to be any cheese based dish and pasta. But lately I have started to use a lot more lentils and vegetables as the main part.
Pinterest is one of my favourite places to find great recipes and then I often adapt them to suit my tastes and budget. All of these photos look mouthwatering! And I seem to have developed a thing for halloumi.. I am doing a version of the salad recipe tonight and then think I will try the peppers next week. The lentil curry will be a perfect winter warmer in the next few months.
What are your go to dishes? And do you have a place where you keep all your favourite recipes to try?

A Gift, This Park

Monday, 7 October 2013

Yesterday was a really beautiful autumn day. It wasn't too chilly, there were only a few clouds on a blue sky and the sun was shining. I might have had a mountain of work to do but it would have been a shame to stay inside all day! So I took a little wander through the park which is a minute from my house.

I went with the intention of finding conkers to fill up an empty jar. I thought it would make a unique little decoration. But either the squirrels or other children beat me too it (pesky kids!). So instead I just have these pretty pictures.

 Love all the colours of the different leaves at this time of year. Would love to try this idea that I found on pinterest!

 What a cool way to get around!


My Life in Photos #2

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

1. Unconventional salad
2. Blackberry picking back home
3. Pancakes made by my housemates. Best hangover cure!
4. Our fancy dress for Pangea - Circle of Life
5. Primark snood
6. Chilled music to work to
7. A colourful stir fry for tea
8. My girls and me
9. I joined the university cycling club


Tesco Clothing Wishlist

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Online shopping is one of my biggest procrastinations so expect many of these now my uni work has started again! Tesco is a shop that I like to check back to every so often because I find that they have some on trend pieces at a fraction of the price of high street stores. And, since we are hitting A/W, I am loving the green blue red and grey tones inspired by my earlier mood board.

I haven't owned a checked shirt for quite a while but think that they are a great item to throw on with some jeans. Especially this fleece lined one, nice and cosy for the colder months! I think these jeggings (really don't like that word) seem very similar to Topshops joni jeans that I have been thinking about buying for a while. 

I can't get enough of of ankle boots at the moment either. I seem to spot them everytime I start shopping. I bought a black pair last season from asos that I still wear all the time but love the more detailed style of these. I also would love a pair in a different colour and these oxblood cutout boots from asos tick all the boxes!


Starting University

Saturday, 28 September 2013

I have just finished my first week back at university and, although I know most people will have already begun this academic year, I thought I would write a little post about starting university for the first time.
For most people it is the first time you will have lived away from home, the first time you will have to cook for yourself, the first time in a new city, the first time meeting such a huge group of new people and the first time studying on a university course. That is a lot of firsts and it can be really daunting, but also incredibly exciting! So here are a few tips:

1. Enjoy your first week. It may sound obvious but everyone is in the same boat. Don't be afraid to speak to people and make friends. There will be people in that you meet in the first week who you will be friends with for the rest of uni, and others who you may never really talk to again. Go out, experience what the city/town you're in has to offer because this is one of the few times you have absolutely no work to do!

Try and avoid sticking your tongue out in photos, it's not a good look..

2. Join sports clubs and societies. Try out new things. Go and sign up for that sport you've never heard of before! You never know until you try it out. Usually during freshers most clubs offer free or cheap taster sessions so there really is no reason not too. It's also another great way to meet people in different years and on different course and provides some of the best social nights of the year!

3. Don't go crazy on your first supermarket shop. I can promise that you won't need 6 different types of spices and there is not enough room in the cupboards for 5 packets of pasta! The temptation is there when you do your first own shop but my best advice is write a list when you go shopping and stick to it.

4. Actually attend your lectures and workshops. Self motivation is key at university. And it is so easy to not go to things if you're feeling a bit hungover or sleepy. But they really are valuable and the best way to learn what you need for your course. If you do go, try not to sleep through them..

5. Make use of your library and uni working spaces. I didn't do this until the end of my first year and wish I had done it earlier! There is space to work all over most uni campuses and you will soon find somewhere that suits you. Being away from your desk in your room means that there are fewer distractions. You can't get up and make some toast in the middle of writing that essay!

6. Find your nearest Nandos. They do great bean burgers and rice! And it makes a great place to meet up with friends and course mates outside of doing work.


My Own Space

Saturday, 21 September 2013

I moved back to uni about 2 weeks ago to start my second year. I still can't believe that I am already in 2nd year, feels two minutes since I moved into halls as a fresher!
This year I am living in a house with 4 of my friends from first year. We have spent most of our first weeks going out, sleeping of hangovers, eating and being mentors to freshers. I love being in a house now though and having a shared space and a big kitchen. Even if it does mean we have to take out our own bins and hoover the floors!
I have definitely made my room into my own little space. Having a double bed again is heaven and I am starfishing to the max. I am also slowly building a hoard of cushions to adorn my bed with. The only thing thats missing is some cute bunting or fairy lights to go round my walls.


Autumn Fashion Inspiration

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons. I love being able to put layers on and buy a new big warm coat. And, as much as a I love the pastels and brights of S/S, the more warm red, blue and yellow tones of autumn never fail to make me feel cosy.
I've got a thing for smock dresses lately have my eye on this one from topshop. Planning ahead, but they will be perfect to hide a food baby after christmas dinner! I think I will also invest in a huge material scarf, preferably in tartan. Then there are oversized jumpers, don't even get me started. I have so many jumpers that I couldn't even bring them all to university with me because there wasn't enough space. But I always seem to end up buying a new one.  I love the yellow of the knitted jumper in the pictures.
I can't wait for autumn to really start. Although looking out of my window now I think I had best go buy a new umbrella! I appear to have misplaced mine..