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Last Week #2

♥ T H E  G O O D ♥

TV Roundup: Game of Thrones, New Girl, Dr Who: *spoiler alerts* *spoiler alerts* 

Well Game of Thrones season 3 is here!! There was a huge buzz about its return and I think the first episode didn’t disappoint! I’ve only recently become addicted to this series but as you can probably tell I can’t stop raving about it. Definitely one of the best television shows out there at the moment and I do stand by my belief that atypically for its genre it appeals to a wide audience so if you don’t think this will be your cup of tea you may be surprised. Me and John become so engrossed each episode that we are often literally shouting at the screen and you feel such a huge rush of pride when one of the ‘goodies’ triumphs! (Although the line between the ‘goodies’ and the ‘badies’ is always thin in GOT.) Things I cant wait to find out in the upcoming series, When will Daenerys (who I did love but seems to be quite a brat recently) make it to Westeros and will she have any allies? Will Jon Snow become a traitor or will there be a allying of the Wildlings and The Wall as they fight the white walkers? P.S best quote from him in S3E1: “I want to fight for the side that fights for the living.” Also how is Arya going to get on and Bran (they’re two of my favourite characters)?! I’m thinking I have to start reading the books, they seem right up my street plus I just want to know more about the world and the characters. The only downside to the return of the show on TV means I can’t watch them back-to-back anymore, a week is so loong (yes I’m impatient).

Other things I’ve been watching this week are the latest Dr Who episodes. I quite like Clara as a side kick. She seems brave, curious and kind-hearted  (and I’ve got a bit of a girl crush >.<). Plus I’m very interested to find out about her parallel versions. I also caught up on New Girl. I kinda get why they are dragging out the Jess/Nick romance, (its hard to imagine where they are going to go with it’), but I think it opens up a lot of avenues and am rooting… so just happen all ready! Schmidt still continues to deliver epic quote after quote: (to Nick) “Here are some things you want to hide about yourself on tonight’s date–you’re cheap, you’re a heavy drinker, you’re broke, you have a problem with anger” (S2E21).
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Socialising: For the past month I’ve been being good on the weekend and staying in, trying to save money, and except for my trip to Cornwall for Lucy’s birthday, I’ve been achieving this. However with Lucy out over the weekend and John back in his hometown Oxford I thought I better get out and about and see some friends. Surprisingly I managed to have two really great budget nights! On Friday I went in to Leicester Square with my friend Charlie and we had a few (4 large each…) glasses of wine at Yates. It was one of those nights where it was just really fun to get drunk together and have a natter about whats been happening in our lives and it was only £6.30 a round (which Charlie mostly bought because she’s amazing like that.) I ended up falling asleep on the last train home though which is never fun! On Saturday I met up with my ex work colleagues (and beautiful friends) who worked with me in my last restaurant. It was a guy’s birthday which he had reserved an area for, there was wine, there was jugs of cocktails and there was prosecco… yum! Here’s some piccys from the night! I stopped myself getting a taxi back and went for the night bus home so all in all a pretty cheap night : )

♥ Saturday Night | Friday Night outfit: Skinny Jeans, heeled boots, denim shirt done up, grey vest | Bus Friends
| Make up Friday | Birthday Present | Cecilia & Vlad | Me and Beautiful Tara | Make up Saturday | Birthday Boy & Us ♥

♥  T H E  N O T – S O – G O O D  ♥

Hangover Hell: With the joy of going out and having a good time usually comes the dreaded HANGOVER day! Of course you can argue that days such as these would easily be avoided if you didn’t drink to excess the night before, but in all fairness I don’t think I do. Sometimes I can escape with a minor headache, or a general grotty feeling but both nights out this week left me feeling rotten the next day. The hangover miracle cure I swear by is drinking tonnes of water, (in fact I’m a bit of a water obsesso in general), but as always I don’t always follow my own advice. Instead I stupidly passed out in bed as soon as I got home, no water was drank, no make-up removed (ouch poor skin). This meant I missed out on a really nice day Saturday, I stayed in bed all day mewing and feeling sorry for myself watching too much YouTube and New Girl until I finally dragged myself to Tesco. After some Lucozade, Innocent raspberry and apple juice, tea, soup, bread, pringles and dip (I always have the weirdest cravings when I’m hungover) and a shower I felt marginally better and dragged myself in to town for round two. OH the things we do to our poor bodies! It’s safe to say I’m going to be taking it easy this week and making sure I’m being a bit more healthy.

Window Shopping: Is the only shopping I can do right now *cry* I had a browse around Urban Outfitters in Spitalfields the other day, so many cute things I want! Nice mugs (I love buying mugs) nail polishes, coasters, candles and quirky books (don’t even get me started on the clothes!) Oh well a girl can dream.

Buses: Neither good or bad but I found it quite amusing when I was walking down The Strand the other day and saw seven buses in a row… you know the saying >.<

Do you have any miracle hangover cures? Have you been watching any of the TV shows mentioned, thoughts please! : D

photo credits ©:  BBC | HBO | Fox Broadcasting

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Hand & Nail TLC

My nails are not in the best shape, they are flaky and brittle and every time they get close to having a respectable “white” tip they crack and break. It’s a very frustrating cycle to be in! Last year I worked in waitressing which meant I put a lot of pressure on my nails. I was often polishing glasses and cutlery, cleaning surfaces or washing my hands, (nails HATE water), which meant even if I tried to look after my hands at the start of a 12 hour day they were a bit worse for wear by the end. In saying this you don’t have to give up on achieving your dream nails if your job (or other aspects of your life) take their toll on nail maintenance! As much as I blame my old job for the state of them, I equally blame myself and how I would always slip out of the ‘get-nice-nails’ routine that was giving me results. Anyway this is what works for me, it may work for you too if you’re struggling.

Know your hands/nails:
I have friends who have gorgeous nails no matter what, (some even worked in the SAME job as me), this is just the way it is. Sometimes they look after their nails more (hand cream, base coats, more calcium, vitamins) but unfortunately it can just be in your genes, (I say unfortunately because I’m jealous, of course). Anyway my point is, know which type you are. Are your nails falling apart at the seams because you’re neglecting them? Overworking them? Or are they just naturally weak? The cracks in my nails began through neglecting them and now the condition they are in perpetuates the cycle. Once they start to creep over the edge of my finger the splits and layers say NO and I will inevitably end up breaking them. I have brittle nails that I need to work on strengthening, directly linking to this I often get dry hands which I know adds to the problem, a lack of moisture in the hands can lead to a lack of nail growth (plus it doesn’t feel or look too good either).

Moisturise and Condition:
Once you establish the key problem areas invest in a good hand cream (or a few). I have about four hand creams on the go, partly because they have different strong points but mostly because I like to make sure I have a tube with me at all times and I am notoriously bad at leaving things in different places, if I took my handbag hand cream out I would most definitely end up leaving it beside my bed when I went to work. I think it’s good to have a light hand cream you can top up throughout the day, I use Vaseline Healthy Hands + Stronger Nails or for a treat I use my Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk Hand Creme because it smells delicious (even from a distance!) I believe it’s also good to have an intensive hand cream to really work into your cuticles, bare nails (especially after stripping them of polish) and between the fingers, which is where I get dry patches. In the past I’ve used The Body Shop Almond Oil Nail & Hand Cream and I’ve tried Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream (which leaves hands SO soft). Don’t just take my recommendations, there are so many creams out their to get your hands on (haha) so go experiment, not much can go wrong apart from some may be a bit greasy for the day time and some may not tackle dry spots efficiently. Look for something that smells great, absorbs quickly and leaves a soft finish then apply it REGULARLY! My biggest sin in this department is being too lazy (isn’t that always the biggest beauty sin!?) I’m lying in bed and I can feel my hands are dry from washing up or cleansing my face, but my hand cream is somewhere else in the room… so I just fall asleep. It sounds silly but times like these bring me back to square one and it’s important to always maintain the routine that helps your nails to strengthen and grow.

Base & Top Coat
I’ve always heard good things but only started using O.P.I. Nail Envy base coat a couple of months ago and I LOVE it. It really does work wonders, not only has it greatly improved my nail condition and length, it dries in seconds and is really nice and glossy for a nail strengthener. Although it is important to let our nails breathe I try not to stop regular coats of Nail Envy because when nails are bare they can split really easily. When I wear coloured nail polish I make sure I’ve always got this on as the base so it can be working its magic beneath. Which brings me on to my latest purchase (recommended by my flatmate Lucy) which is the Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. Seeing as I’ve only just started using this I shouldn’t be on the best authority to start dishing out recommendations, however, you only need to work this in to your routine once to see the benefits. It keeps nail polish chip free for a LOT longer and helps you avoid ruining freshly painted nails, plus it adds a healthy shine to any coat of colour. All well and good, but how does this actually help the condition of your nails? Well for me it means I don’t have to be stripping my nails of all their polish so often. Whereas before my nails would be chipped the next day (meaning the ends would be venerable to water damage and cracking) and I would have to put my nails through the ordeal of being stripped down with remover. However, now my polish lasts so much better, I get a good 3/4 days out of polish – sometimes longer, I can give them a rest.

ETC:
There are other reasons why our nails suffer. It could be something lacking in your diet, your nail polish remover might be too harsh or it can even be certain other things that our hands come in to contact with such as washing up liquid or a harsh cleaning product. Try swapping different aspects of your daily routine to see if there is any changes, use the Fairy Liquid that is kind to hands, or even better wear washing up gloves. Get some more calcium, zinc, Iron and B-12 in your diet (try looking up which foods these can be found in, or opt for supplements) as nails love a dose of these vitamins and minerals.

Get some incentive:
Treat yourself to some new nail colours, It’ll give you a boost that may just keep you on track with your nail care routine. These are my favourite picks for spring (All Barry M – Normal/Gelly). Pease share your nail care secrets as I’m still on the search for the best tips and tricks to ensure healthy, vital nails!

1.Papya     2.Prickly Pear     3.Berry     4.Mint Green     5.Coral

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I ♥ cute things – Spring / Happy / Yellow

iheartcutethings

Here’s a little sample of a few things currently on my Artbox wishlist! We’ve been trapped in this endless cycle of bitter, winter nastiness for the past 6 months (doesn’t it feel like forever!) so I think it’s about time we got some S U N S H I N E in our lives. The colour yellow is uplifting so it is inspiring this little cute mood-board.

I love buying things for my kitchen (or more often lusting over things for my kitchen) hence the cute mug and bowl (would make cereal and tea a bit more bearable at 7am!)

I couldn’t resist adding the panda T-shirt and adorable socks and the Mario toadstool rucksack, well that’s just a bit of fun (think beach bag!) Ahh I want spring to finally arrive.

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It’s not just you…

I had a great time reading Thought Catalog’s  humorously entitled “15 Things That Make Us Paranoid… Or Is It Just Me? Crap, It’s Probably Just Me!”  Whether on not we all share the same irrational niggles in the back of our minds there are always some that overlap. I find there’s a great sense of community in reading personal anecdotes or thoughts from others that make you want to turn and nod to anyone nearby whilst you virtually scream ME TOO!!! in your head. I often feel that same sense of shared experience from stand-up comedians who focus on everyday life (their wives, children, commuting politics) as opposed to extreme comedic anecdotes that are more fiction than fact.

Glamour Hey It's Ok

This is me…

The quips they follow with vary from the self-indulgent: Hey, it’s OK to laugh at your own jokes…they’re hi-larious the irrational: Hey, it’s OK to be a little offended if he’s not completely all over you every single time you get undressed to those habitual, guilty things we find ourselves doing: Hey, it’s OK to switch off instantly the second
someone says, “I  had such a weird dream…

Best of all they make your actions feel completely excusable! Enjoy some more below courtesy of the Glamour Pintrest page! I’m thinking I might write a few posts detailing some of my own guilty confessions and irrational habits!

hey its ok starbucks

hey its ok audrey

Hey Its Ok to...

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The Host

If you are a twi-hard fan then back in the day you may have read Stephanie Meyer’s other novel, The Host (2008). However you may have stumbled across this book just as a lover of Young Adult sci-fi as it’s a pretty damn good read. I ended up flying through this book in one of those intense all night reading sessions after I’d bought it for a mixture of the two reasons above. It caught my eye because of the publicity it received, being from the author of the Twilight sensation, but it also fell into a genre I had a tendancy towards already.

There’s been a huge surge in dystopian fiction aimed at teenagers, to name just a few novels that have recently been gracing the ‘Top Seller’ lists internationally: The Uglies, The Maze Runner and Divergent. The genre, bench-marked by classics such as Orwell’s 1984 or Huxley’s Brave New World, has exploded in fiction aimed at young adults. Perhaps its popularity stems from a fascination about the state of our planet and a growing awareness of political and social fractures that might cause a modern-day dystopia. However not all dystopian themes mirror a future that could be possible many steering towards a very fantasy or sci-fi direction and might serve as pure escapism and indulgence in some pretty dark themes. Either way the genre is open to a lot of different themes and interpretation and if your looking for some good reads to ease you in then check out my recent post on some dystopian fiction I read when I was younger.

The Host is set in a future where a race of parasitic alien ‘souls’ have taken control of the majority of humans left on Earth, all except for small pockets of resistance. It is in the journey to find such a free community that the still-human protagonist Melanie is captured and taken over by a soul. The narrative centres on the battle of free will as Melanie refuses to completely lose herself to the ‘soul’ whose mission is to inflitrate the resistence and also the soul’s own conflicts of conscience. Along the way there is naturally love and heartbreak and a touch of action. Due for release later this month (March 29th 2013) I’m intrigued to see how they’ve adapted the novel for the screen.

In a similar vein the hugely successful trilogy The Hunger Games hit the big screens with its first installment last year. I always have mixed views when a novel I love is made into a movie. “They don’t look like that?! what happened to that bit!” are phrases that will often pass my lips after I’ve watched a movie adaptation. Preconceptions are shattered and that indulgence you share with a book in being able to visualise the words and characters and themes in your own way is ultimately gone. I’m not against it completely and there will be movies I watch where I’ve yet to read the novel and perhaps later do and enjoy in a different way. However for the most part I tend to seperate them as best I can. I personally felt that The Hunger Games movie was not a touch on the novel but can see why. There is afterall a complex world and fast paced plot to capture in 90 minutes or so.

Whilst The Host may be one I save until DVD release (which seems to come around so fast these days) I’m keen to check it out and hopefully be plesantly surprised! You can watch the trailer below.

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Tumblr! “Motivation”

I have a Tumblr account which I use sort of like Panda Pop but with less structure and as and when I feel like it! I’m thinking about sharing some Tumblr posts on here every now and again. Here’s an example of a typical ramble you may expect from me…

Motivation?

Where does it come from, and more importantly where does it go. Just when I feel like another rare day off is slipping into night, (when so little has been achieved that getting out of my pyjamas has definitely NOT been accomplished,) It suddenly overcomes me. Not for long mind, just a sudden urge to do one thing on my seemingly endless “Things to do” list. Today of which was número uno, TIDY MY ROOM. An obvious objective to find neglected on a to-do list but one that I’ve been neglecting for just a tad too long. (Think dead monster spiders under every item of clothing I own – on the floor.) So I won’t lie my intention of getting out of bed was at first to vacate to the sofa bringing with me my laptop for last night’s TOWIE and with a feast in mind. But once up, I just felt this sudden drive. To do one thing today seemed necessary. So I start cleaning a corner of my room, I clean my rats out – an unpleasant to-do also long overdue. I Hoover, I dust, and I can’t stop until I’ve finished. Believe me there was plenty of moments my bed called back out to me, whispering my name like the comfy temptress it is. But I carried on. And hooray because the feeling after is so satisfying, and as I sit down for TOWIE, I feel like it is a reward. And as for my feast it is now deserved. I can unfortunately say these bursts of motivation don’t come around too often. I am a serial putter-offer, an offender of the organised. Weak minded or perhaps just lazy! But whichever way I look at it I’m glad they appear once in a while if not to keep me sane then at least to keep my room non-toxic and habitable! 🙂


www.tumblr.com/siobhanalford

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World cup 2010 here we go…

Its only a matter of hours until we’ll be cheering our lads on to the pitch, fresh and ready to take on the Yanks in the first England match of the tournament. I’m no football fanatic, hell I’m not even a fan, but its hard not to be whizzed along with the wave of world cup madness that is engulfing the nation. I have to wonder now where I even was in 2006 because my interest never peaked then – all I knew is that we were knocked out by those pesky Portuguese in the quarters. But the hype that surrounds the 2010 world cup is intense. Social networking site Twitter is alive with avid tweeters and football fans alike tweeting predictions, reporting live on the matches and offering support to their teams. The world cup kicked off with a spectacular opening ceremony yesterday followed by South Africa vs Mexico (1-1) and then Uruguay vs France (0-0) But what we are all waiting for is the first England match and I’m looking forward to my first football-watching-in-a-crowded-pub experience! I would say wish me luck (you know amid all the testosterone and beer) but I think its safe to say all of the country’s luck today lies with the England squad! 🙂