- I’ve been reading a lot. More than usual probably. In the last two weeks I’ve read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth and Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen.
- I’ve been looking up recipes for lunch I could take to college. Not really finding much due to the fact that I’m just too lazy to make an elaborate lunch the night before, so I think I’ll just stick to my simple salad in a lunchbox or sandwich for now.
- I’ve been re-watching Grey’s Anatomy from the start. No matter how many times I re-watch this show I could never get sick of it! I enjoy taking 40 minutes out of my day to watch an episode with my afternoon cup of tea.
- I’ve been looking forward to college starting again. Summer is nice and I love having all this free time, but I’m looking forward to having something specific to do five days a week, and it will make me appreciate my free time even more.
- I’ve been listening to Snow Patrol’s album Eyes Open, to this song in particular. Such a lovely song, i just had to add it to my ‘Sleep’ playlist on my iPod!
- I’ve constantly been applying for jobs with no luck. After four years of rejections and failed interviews, I think I’m done job hunting for a while. It’s too upsetting.
- I’ve been loving my short hair. I got a good six inches or more taken off my hair in March so it was just below my collarbone, and it took some time to get used to it, but I’ve been getting so many compliments on it I may just keep my hair short for a bit longer.
- I’ve been seriously craving a Domino’s pizza for weeks now but I’ve been good and resisted!
- I’ve been thinking a lot about the death of a member of my class. It happened a few weeks ago, and I still think about that whole situation often. We weren’t particularly close but it still has affected me.
- I’ve been spending time with my sister’s puppy. She’s the baby of the family, and she has everyone wrapped around her little paw! I didn’t think a dog could bring this much joy to someone, she’s constantly entertaining us and making everyone laugh. It’s also nice to have someone get excited everytime you walk down the stairs.
This is my first beauty-type post, so I apologise for how bad/awkward it may seem. The truth is, I don’t really wear a lot of make up. My usual every day look is just eyeliner to be honest. lately though I’ve been trying to ranch out; I bought my first MAC lipstick (although I picked a subtle colored one), I’ve tried liquid and gel eyeliners (not my cup of tea, I’ll just stick to my pencil) and I have three Urban Decay palettes which I do tend to use frequently when I’m in college, not so much during the summer though.
However, I do have my favourite skincare products that I do like to splurge on the way other girls would like to splurge on make up. Soap and Glory products are a must have for girls in my opinion. Not only do they all smell amazing, but they genuinely do what they say on the packaging! I’ve tried so many of their products over the last few years, so I’m going to list a few of my favourites that I always end up coming back to.
- Hand Food: As said on the tube, this product is a non-greasy hydrating hand cream. It contains shea butter, marshmallow and macadamia oil, and is scented with S&G’s Original Pink fragrance. I always make sure I have Hand Food right beside my bed and apply it every night before I go to sleep. You only need to use a little bit of it, and you can feel the difference after one use. It also comes in a handy travel size, which is great if you like to apply hand cream during the day because it’s small enough to fit in a bag.
- The Scrub of Your Life: This product is a body exfoliater. It claims to make your skin smoother, particularly getting at those annoying bumps on the back of your arms, dry skin and rough elbows. This body scrub really does work, it leaves my skin unbelievably smooth, and if you apply body butter/lotion after you use it it leaves your skin extremely soft. This product had scrubbing beads in it and also contains the Original Pink fragrance.
- Heel Genius: This is one of the best foot creams I’ve ever used. The product contains allantoin, glycerin, macadamia oil, menthol, bilberry, orange and lemon fruit acid smoothers, and believe me when I say you will not regret using this. It leaves your feet unbelievably soft, hydrated and smooth the day after using it. It says on the bottle to apply to your feet, put on cotton socks and let it soak in while you sleep. I like to apply it right after a shower, I feel that it soaks in better and leaves my feet a little bit softer.
- Peaches and Clean 3-in-1 Cleanser: Like I said earlier, I don’t really wear much make up, but on the few occasions that I do wear foundation this product ensures my face is squeaky clean and has no left-over make up on it before I go to sleep. This cleanser re-energises skin, is rich in antioxidants and vitamins A and C and contains a natural cleansing agent. When I use this and I apply toner to my face afterwards, not a single bit of make up comes off on the cotton ball, showing that the cleanser does its job. It smells fruity and comes in a handy bottle and doesn’t dry your face out at all.
- The Righteous Butter: I have tried many of the S&G body butter/lotions but I always end up coming back to this one. I apply this after a shower, and it leaves my skin smooth and hydrated. It works even better if you apply it after using Scrub of Your Life. This body butter contains aloe vera and shea butter and is scented with Original Pink. It’s great for people who suffer from dry skin, it’s my go to body butter!
So there you have it, my first beauty post. If you don’t think it’s too terrible I may end up doing a few more. I would definitely recommend Soap and Glory products to anyone who likes to pamper their skin – they may seem a little pricey but they always have offers on in Boots stores such as Buy 3 for the price of 2, which is good value in my opinion!
So I saw someone tweet earlier this week that because they bought a book they have no life. Usually I would just ignore a comment like that, brush it of, but it really annoyed me. Why do people think buying a book means you no longer have the same social life that you did before?
This annoyed me because I have always been a reader, as have my entire family. I used to beg my parents to take me to the library for new books when I was younger. I remember going to the library on a Saturday, coming home with three books (most likely The Babysitter’s Club) and reading all three books within a few days. My parents have shelves and shelves of books, as do I and my sisters. Many books have been given away to charity as we grew out of them. I have to re-read my book collection because I can’t really afford to get a new book every time I finish one.
I really don’t mean this in a bragging way but I’m a very fast reader, which is only natural since I’ve been reading books since I was 4 years old. I’m always reading a book, to me there’s nothing better than curling up with a good book and cup of tea on a rainy day. Reading is a natural part of who I am – but does being such an avid reader mean I have less of a life than those who don’t read? No, it just means I spend less time watching endless hours of tv or playing video games.
There are so many benefits to reading actual books, newspapers and magazine articles, not just Facebook updates and tweets. Reading can be great at reducing stress. Had a bad day at work? Curl up with a good book and get lost in an amazing story, which will make you forget all about your bad day and relieve tension. You’ll also gain more knowledge: when you read you learn so many new things, you become aware of what it was like to live in different era’s, different ways of life and different places. You can even learn things from fiction books – new concepts of magical worlds or new societies. You might even become more self-aware and identify with a character or situation, and learn how to deal with a certain situation. The more you read, the more new words you are exposed to, and those words could make their way into your every day vocabulary. Being well-spoken can be a great help in many expressions, and can increase self-confidence. Being exposed to more words will also help you to develop your writing skills, as you see many different writing styles and structures from different authors.
Those are only some of the many benefits of reading. I really hope that this idea of readers being snobs or not having lives will soon stop, because that is not the case. Why should we be looked down on for reading when we don’t look down on others for spending 7 hours a day watching tv or playing games? Another thing that annoys me is when film adaptions of books come out and people are saying things like “I can’t believe we have to wait a whole year to find out what happens next!” Well you know what? You don’t have to wait a whole year, seeing as there is a book that tells you what happens next, and it is probably better then the movie itself! Reading the book of a film gives so much more insight to a character and their thoughts, so when you finally see the film, you actually know what they’re thinking and going through, which makes the film so much better!
Anyways, enough of me ranting. I’m off to find another book in my small collection to re-read. Until next time everyone!
Everyone seems to be going crazy for “teatoxes” these days so I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and try one, as I’ve been trying to build my fitness back up lately. I chose BooTea because they use 100% natural health ingredients in their teas, and many people seemed to see results with it.
BooTea claims to:
- Increase your metabolism
- Burn calories and convert food into energy
- Burn fat and counteract fat storage
- Regulate blood sugar levels
- Suppress appetite
- Assist in the digestion of food
- Improve skin health
- Improve quality of sleep
- Cleanse and detoxify
- Allow you to reach your health/weightloss goals
As I ordered the 14 Day Teatox I got a package with 14 daytime teabags (ingredients: Chinese Oolong tea, Maté leaves, Ginger root, Fennel seeds, Lemongrass, Dandelion leaf, Ginseng root, Gotu Kola leaves, Nettle leaves) and 7 Bedtime Cleanse teabags (ingredients: Senna leaves, Peppermint leaves, Fenugreek seeds, Liquorice root, Burdock root, Hawthorn leaves, Valerian root, Psyllium seeds) to be taken every other night starting on the first day of the cleanse.
I’m just going to say right now that this detox and cleanse did nothing for me at all. I was extremely disappointed seeing as I spent €28 on it in Holland and Barratts, and other people claimed to have really good results with it. I didn’t do this specifically to lose weight; I wanted to clear out my digestive system because I’ve been feeling horrible for this past while and I thought this would help me get on track with a new healthy lifestyle. It did not. My quality of sleeping did not increase, in fact the opposite happened. I found myself unable to fall asleep for a few hours, and when I did sleep it was a very restless one, which resulted in me feeling sluggish the next day. It also destroyed my skin. I rarely get spots, and if I do it’s only one or two. But when I started this I had a horrible outbreak (horrible for me anyways considering I rarely get them) and my skin often felt dry despite the fact that I drank a lot of water, as you’re supposed to, throughout this detox. For the first week it did suppress my appetite, but for the second week I was constantly hungry. The Bedtime Cleanse gave me horrible stomach cramps for the whole day after I took it. I didn’t lose any weight at all, despite eating way healthier than I used to and exercising at least 5 times a week. BooTea have an eating plan on their website which claims to help optimise the detoxification process. I didn’t follow the plan because it has no meat or poultry, and I have to have at least one of those things with my dinner. It’s also unrealistic to follow an eating plan like that when you’re broke, live at home, when your family aren’t trying to be healthy like you and your mam insists on cooking your dinner. I just ate a lot more fruit and vegetables than I usually do and I cut out the few biscuits/pieces of chocolate that I allow myself to have with my afternoon cup of tea, but still, nothing.
I can’t believe I actually spent €28 on this, it was a complete waste of money, and I regret buying it because I have so little money in the first place. I don’t feel healthy and energised at all, and I’m really disappointed with this product as I thought it would help me start a healthier lifestyle, but it didn’t.
What it’s about:
The Book Thief is set in Nazi Germany, and is narrated by Death, who notes that this was a time when he was very busy. It tells the story of a young girl, Liesel, and her relationship with her foster parents (Hans and Rosa Hubermann), her next door neighbour Rudy, other residents in her neighbourhood and a young Jewish man, Max, who hides in her basement in the build up to World War II.
What I thought:
When I was in school I enjoyed European history, so the fact that this story centers around a major historical event kind of drew me to it. I liked the fact that this story is told by Death, who has stated that he is extremely busy around the time of World War II. Death is portrayed as a somewhat gentle being who feels sympathy for his victims. Throughout this story we meet different type of Germans: committed Nazis to Jewish Germans to people like Hans Hubermann, who stands up for what he believes in and hides a Jewish man in his basement so he can avoid the concentration camps. I love how loving the Hubermann’s are, even if they don’t particularly show it. Rosa is often shouting at other people in the book, yet we see moments where she truly cares about her husband, Max and Liesel. Hans is the person who Liesel loves the most – he teaches her how to read, write and sits up late at night with her when she has nightmares. He takes care of Max even though he is a Jew, the whole family risk their lives to keep Max safe. It’s nice to see this kind of love and kindness in a book that is set in such a horrible, devastating time in history. I loved the friendship between Liesel and Rudy – they accept each other and they really are best friends. I’m sure it broke many hearts when Rudy died without getting a kiss from Liesel – something he’s been pestering her for ever since she began living with the Hubermann’s. Liesel is ‘the book thief’ in this story – her passion is stealing books and reading them with her Papa. Despite the fact that stealing is wrong, I like seeing Liesel take control of her learning, and I like the fact that she is so desperate for something to read that she resorts to stealing.
The Book Thief is a book that offers hope in the form of Liesel, who has suffered and lost so many people in her life, and turns into a good and decent person despite the time and place in which she grew up. She stands up for what she believes in, and wants to take care of the people she loves. Some people may not like this book as it takes a while to get into, but it really is well-written, and the structure is easy to read for those who don’t like long chapters. It gives us a bit of history and an amazing story of one young girl in just 552 pages, and in my opinion, it is one of those books you definitely need to read at least once. The film adaption came out last year, but I don’t think I’ll watch it. There are some stories that only have a certain power and give you a certain feeling in book form, and I feel that this is one of those stories.
I’m a huge Disney fan, however I’m a bit weary of these new, un-animated takes on classic Disney films. I just feel like they won’t be able to capture the magic of the classic films, or change the story or characters. But I was really excited to see Maleficent, due to the fact that Angelina Jolie looked amazingly scary in all the advertisements and trailers for it. Usually I’m not an Angelina fan (Brad and Jennifer shipper here) but I really do think she was brilliant in this film.
Maleficent tells the story of a fairy, who is the strongest fairy out of them all. No humans live on her land, just magical creatures, and they are not ruled by a king or queen, they just simply trust each other. However, the land across the moors contains humans, and they have a king. The human child Stefan and the fairy child Maleficent meet and become friends, with the relationship growing as they get older. Due to the fact that Maleficent is the strongest fairy, she becomes the protector of her land, while Stefan works for the king. Some years go by without them having contact with one another. The king foolishly tries to cross over the moors in order to extend his kingdom, but Maleficent stops him, which makes him furious. As he is dying, he claims hat anyone who is brave enough to defeat maleficent will be his successor. Stefan is ambitious, and has always wanted to be king, so he travels across the moors to see his “childhood sweetheart”. They spend a night catching up, but he slips Maleficent poison to make her fall asleep, and then cuts off her wings to bring them back to the king. We hear and see Maleficent’s reaction to this, and it really is heartbreaking. She is devastated, and takes to wandering the land by herself. She employs a crow/man Diaval to be her wings for her. He brings her the news that Stefan has had a baby girl, and that there is to be a christening. There, three fairies, looking to bring peace between the two lands, bestow gifts of beauty and happiness onto Princess Aurora. Maleficent makes an appearance and curses the baby, so that on her 16th birthday she will prick her finger and fall into a deep enchanted sleep. After King Stefan begs, she states that Aurora will only awaken after true love’s kiss, which she believes doesn’t exist. Aurora is sent away to live with the three fairies until the day after her 16th birthday, in an attempt to keep her safe. Meanwhile, Stefan becomes obsessed with seeking revenge on Maleficent. Maleficent watched the girl grow, making sure no harm comes to her to ensure that the curse will come into effect. However, she begins to love Aurora, who believes that Maleficent is her fairy godmother. She meets Prince Phillip in the woods, who is in his way to Stefan’s castle. When Aurora learns of the curse, she heads to the castle to see her father, who locks her into a room and shows no warmth towards her. Aurora pricks her finger and falls into a deep sleep. Maleficent is desperate to revoke the curse, and hurries to the castle with Phillip so he can present true love’s kiss to her and save her. However when he kisses Aurora, she does now awaken. Maleficent tells her that what she did was unforgivable and that she loves her, then kisses her on the forehead. Aurora wakes up, and they plan to go back to the moors together but are stopped by King Stefan and his guard. Aurora releases Maleficent’s wings that Stefan has kept after all these years, and she is reunited them, and manages to escape the army’s attack, although Stefan dies in the process. The film ends with Maleficent (restored to her previous good fairy self), Diaval, Aurora and Phillip celebrating the the forest with all the magical creatures.
I loved seeing more of Maleficent’s story! In the Disney film she genuinely terrified me, and we didn’t really know much about her, but in this film we get to see her background and why she became evil. Angelina Jolie makes an excellent Maleficent, she can portray her grace and cruelty brilliantly. I liked getting to see the good and the bad part of her, but as I’m a sucker for a happy ending, I’m glad she was back to being a good fairy in the end. I was horrified that Stefan cut off her wings, it really was so sad when she woke up and realised that he betrayed her. And the fact that he was trying to seek revenge for her placing a curse upon Aurora, when really she was just seeking revenge on him destroying her, and turning her into an evil fairy. It was all his fault in my opinion. This film was PG, but I kind of wish it was a bit more emotional and went into depth about what Maleficent was going through. I understand why it didn’t though, young audience and all that. Another thing to note is Lana Del Ray’s cover of Once Upon A Dream, which actually gives me chills every time I hear it, it’s so hauntingly beautiful. I recommend this film to any Disney or Angelina Jolie fan, I really did enjoy it and it was worth the wait.
Even if you aren’t a fan of celebrity news or you don’t watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians, I’m sure the whole world knows that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have gotten married over the weekend. It’s hard to not know this piece of information, considering it’s all over the media, and especially social media. And we now all know that they’re having their honeymoon here in Ireland. How do we know this? because someone took a photo of them (not sure if the photo is real or not though).
I’m sorry, but am I the only one who thinks it’s rude to take photos of newlyweds when they’re on their honeymoon? Or to fly helicopters over the actual wedding in the hopes that that catch a glimpse of the bride or guests, and not give a damn about the fact that they’re ruining someone’s ‘big day’? Yes, they’re well-know. And yes, one of them is a ‘reality’ star. But that does not give the public the right to know every single thing about them, or their lives. Everyone is entitled to a private life, and that should include having time alone, in public, without people scrambling to get a photo of them. Why would someone care that ‘Kimye’ are walking down a street in Ireland, when hundreds/thousands of people walk down the same street every day? It’s so sad that people consider that piece of information more newsworthy then actual news. People wouldn’t want the whole world to know every detail about them, so why should you know every detail about someone else? Talk about hypocritical.
And the whole Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin “unconscious coupling” thing – these people, no matter how famous they are – are going through a painful separation, that is probably horrible enough without everyone wanting to know exactly what is going on. People also need to think about their kids, who have done nothing to be in the spotlight apart from having famous parents. They can read newspapers and online media and see all these nasty comments about their parents. How do you think that makes them feel?
I am sometimes sickned by this celebrity-obsessed world we now live in. Famous people are still people. When we come home from work, or go out in public in our free time, we’re not expected to still be doing our jobs. So why are famous people expected to entertain the world and always be on form and tolerant of photographers who make their lives hell? Just something to think about.
I am a huge fan of Ben & Jerry’s Cookie dough Ice Cream so I was so excited to try and bake cookie dough cupcakes, and to my delight they turned out pretty good! It’s an usual, sweet treat for anyone with a sweet tooth. And the cookie dough is kind of gooey for a while after you take the cupcakes out of the oven, so nice! This recipe makes 12 buns.
- 115g/4oz of butter
- 70g/2.5oz Caster sugar
- 85g/3oz soft light brown sugar
- 140g/5oz plain flour
- 2 tablespoon milk
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Chocolate chips (however many you want)
- Pinch of salt
The cookie dough needs to be made the night before you plan on making the cupcakes and frozen. First, combine the sugars with the butter until light and creamy. Then beat in the milk and vanilla extract. Mix in the flour and salt and keep mixing until the mixture is nice and smooth, then add the chocolate chips. Shape the mixture into small, round balls (remember to put flour on your hands before you do this), place them on a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper and put it into the freezer.
- 170g/6oz butter (softened)
- 140g/5oz caster sugar
- 155g/5.5oz plain flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 fl oz milk
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180c and line a cupcake tin. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in one bowl. In another bowl, cream the sugar and butter. Put the milk, eggs and vanilla extract in a jug and whisk together. Alternating between the flour and the liquid, add the mixtures to the butter/sugar mix. Whisk it all until it is nicely combined. Fill the cupcake cases 2/3 with cupcake mixture, then place a ball of cookie dough in the middle. Pop the tray into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes!
- 150g butter (softened)
- 275g icing sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat the butter and vanilla extract in a bowl until light and fluffy. Sieve icing sugar into the bowl and beat until the mixture is smooth. Decorate the cupcakes when they cool down and add a few chocolate chips of mini cookies on top!
I really am the worst blogger ever lately. I was so determined to finish the 30 Day Movie Challenge, but between finishing the last assignments of the semester, studying for exams, and being extremely sleep deprived I just haven’t been able to blog. And then there’s the fact that I was puppy-sitting for 10 days.
I didn’t have a pet when I was growing up. In fact, I was afraid of dogs until I was around 14 years old, purely because i wasn’t used to them and didn’t know how to act around them. My sister and her boyfriend got a puppy back in February, and she is just the sweetest little thing ever! Because she’s too young to be left alone all day while her humans are at work, I’ve been watching her every Friday, and it really has been such a fun experience.
My sister went on holidays for 10 days, so the pooch stayed with us. One thing I learned from that experience: puppies are exhausting. And not just because they have to be walked once or twice a day, they’re just exhausting in general (but their cuteness makes up for this). If the pup woke up and realised it was light out, and she wanted to go outside, she would howl until someone woke up. And if someone was walking around at night and she heard them, she would jump at the door and whimper, hoping they would come and play with her.
Oh, how she loved to play. Although it was always when I sat down with my afternoon cup of tea that she would run up to me, tug rope dangling from her mouth, and giving me those puppy-dog eyes. It worked every time, I just couldn’t say no! Anytime I was willing to play with her she was either more interested in chasing birds out the back garden or sleeping. When I actually had something to do, like finishing the last assignment if the year, she wanted to play.
Walking her was also an exhausting ordeal. She’s the friendliest little thing, so of course she wants to jump up n everyone who walks past her and attack their face with puppy-kisses. She can’t understand why people don’t stop and pet her, and she sometimes cries a little when we walk past several people who won’t do so, it’s a little heartbreaking. But she’s pretty strong now, so between trying to pull her leash and stop her chasing after a bike or jumping up on people or running after a pigeon, I got a pretty decent workout.
Despite the exhausting side, I really did love having her. She’s just so funny, and had the whole house in love with her. Even though I’ll still see her a few times a week, I still miss her. The first morning after she went home it was weird not having her run excitedly up to me when she first saw me that day and turn on her back (her not so subtle hint) so I could rub her tummy. And it’s weird eating a meal without a little nose nudging the side of my leg, looking for extra food. So I’ve now decided that I want maybe 20 dogs (probably unrealistic) because the house is just too quiet without one, and they really are a man’s (and woman’s) best friend.
“At least you won’t have to leave your job to do work experience.”
No, I won’t have to leave my job. Because I don’t have one. Thanks again for reminding me.
“You must have so much free time!”
Yeah, I do have a lot of free time. It’s a shame I have to spend it all by myself, reading or watching tv, because all of my friends don’t have any free time due to their jobs.
“At least you know what it’s like to not have money, the rest of us will be so un-prepared when we have to quit our jobs next year.”
Now this is just plain rude. Actually telling me to my face that I’m poor, and trying to make it seem like it’s a good thing because I’m used to it, unlike everyone else.
Saying these type of things to me does not make me feel one bit better. In fact, it just reminds me of how broke I am, and how other people realise it. It’s not fun having to say no to going to the student bar for end of semester drinks with my class because I can’t afford it. And it’s not fun that all of my time is free time, meaning I never appreciate free time, and that I mostly spend it alone. All of these things that people say to me really annoy me. Yes I know what it’s like to not have money for myself, but it’s not a good thing. It’s really upsetting. And reminding me of it all the time makes it more upsetting. I just wish people were more considerate when they talk to unemployed people.