The Things I'm Grateful For

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Last week was a bit of a write off in my eyes. Nothing particularly bad happened, I didn’t lose all of my possessions in a fire or had my head cut off, it was just a bit of a “meh” week that somehow managed to annoy me. It did make me grateful for a few things in my life and I figured there’s no better place to document those things than here! Let’s do this.

1. My Other Half

Ah yes, that male human of mine. I’m not entirely sure where to begin with him; there’s a lot I could say but I’m afraid of sounding like a cheesy, soppy loser. I never thought I’d end up in a relationship with him (when we initially met it was kind of wishful thinking) but I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am that we did end up together. He’s a very loving, attentive, compassionate, loyal, adorable guy and I’m extremely lucky to have him. Have I just described a dog?

2. My Parents

My poor parents must hate having to listen to me rant about various things (and rave over the latest NFL news) but they’re always supportive and know when to say the right thing. My parents and I have always had a great relationship but now that I’ve turned into an adult I think it’s even better. We’re not the type of family to say “I love you” to each other but we’re all safe in the knowledge that we all somewhat like each other.

Guess who wanted to break out the pro markers but didn't fancy doing a proper drawing!

3. My Brother

Another “my” thing here. My brother has lived in Australia for over a year now and we’re not exactly great at talking to each other on a regular basis. I don’t believe it’s deliberate, it’s just with the time difference and our working lives we’re not always high up on each other’s list of priorities.

We did talk recently and it reminded me of how happy I am for him to be experiencing new things and to be in a solid relationship. It’s a little weird not having him around but hey, maybe this will make me appreciate him more when he does return to the UK and we’re having an argument.

4. Really Bad TV Shows

Okay I know this sounds like a weird and superficial thing to be grateful for but honestly, I love watching awful reality shows and just switching off during them. I typically watch American TV only so anything like Vanderpump Rules and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is fantastic in my eyes. I don’t know about you but I love being able to turn off my brain in front of bad shows after a day of overthinking everything.

5. Exercise

I have been overindulging in junk food recently and it’s making me feel very guilty. Admittedly I have a slight fear of gaining weight so the best way around this is to exercise. I never used to like going for a run but now that I’m permanently surrounded by people it’s nice to disappear for half an hour with my headphones and trainers.

So there you have a few things in my life that I’m thankful for. Hopefully if I ever have a bad week again I’ll be able to look at this post and be reminded of how great some things I have are. Woohoo for somewhat sentimental posts!

Lush Whoosh Shower Jelly Review

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Since I have somehow collected a ridiculous amount of soaps, shower gels and shower jellies I’m only just getting round to using Whoosh; something I purchased back in November. I was initially attracted to Whoosh because of the gorgeous blue shade of it and because a shower jelly is way more fun than a shower gel.

Whoosh is my first shower jelly so I’m still very confused as to how to use it; I originally attempted to scoop a little bit out but I couldn’t get my fingers through the thick jelly. It took me 5 minutes of standing in water that was getting colder by the minute to decide to just tip Whoosh out of its tub and use it whole. I’m still unsure as to whether I’m using it correctly or not but hey, at least I finally figured out one method that works.

As Whoosh is a shower jelly it makes washing yourself with it a little difficult. I have fairly small hands which makes keeping a grip on Whoosh when it’s whole rather hard as it is but throw in the slipperiness of it and I have one big problem. I’m forever crawling around the floor of my shower trying to pick Whoosh up after it flies out of my hand. I feel like I’m remaking Flubber in my bathroom.

The bubbles that Whoosh creates when mixed with skin and water is similar to a standard shower gel. I wasn’t entirely sure what would happen when using a shower jelly but I’m pleased to say Whoosh cleans just as well as any other soap like substance I’ve used.

Lush claims that the citrus like scent of Whoosh will “blast away fatigue” but let’s be honest, when does a scent ever wake you up in the morning? Admittedly, the blend of citrus, rosemary and geranium oils makes for a rather beautiful scent but it doesn’t bring me out of my zombie state in the morning.

You can chill or freeze Whoosh but those options do not sound appealing to me whatsoever. I can’t comment on how a chilled and frozen Whoosh performs but the very idea of using a frozen jelly while showering kind of scares me. Maybe Lush’s idea is for us to all freeze ourselves awake.

Based on the fact very little of Whoosh seems to have disappeared since I’ve started to use it, I imagine this gorgeous blue, citrus weird goo will be in my shower for a long time. I’m sure it will be added to my Lush repurchase list at some point, maybe I should limit Whoosh’s uses to when I have enough time to chase it around the shower.

OPI Passion Nail Polish

Thursday, 16 April 2015

I’m back on the nail polish trolley and have been stocking up on some classic shades. Red and coral nail polishes are usually my go to choices but recently, I’ve fancied a little bit of pastel in my life. What I forgot about pastel shades is they’re impossible to work with and something I quickly give up on. Enter OPI Passion!

OPI Passion belongs to the Soft Shades collection and it is the pale pink to end all pale pinks. If you’re looking for a fully opaque nail polish you came to the wrong place. Although Passion is a gorgeous shade it’s slightly difficult to work with and a lot of layers are required for the colour to show up.

The issue with my nails and this nail polish is they’re not exactly in the best of states (thank you yellow nail polish) so trying to cover the hideous of my nails with Passion is pretty much impossible. This is what I get for painting my nails in Chargers colours every game last season; to think the Chargers’ season ended in December last year. Wait, what was I going on about?

When I do have the patience to add layer upon layer of nail polish Passion lasts for a day or so before chipping. Admittedly, I’m not always overly impressed with the formula of a lot of OPI nail polishes and Passion falls into the “underwhelming" category.

The whole pastel shade over my NFL stained nails was never going to be a good idea so who knows what I was thinking when I purchased Passion. I think I was trying to fit in with the pastel trend that always seems to vomit all over Spring.

Maybe Passion is life’s way of telling me that I should just be a little vampire and stick to black. You’d think life would tell me that without me having to spend any money.

Finding Alan Cumming

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

After months of saying we’ll go my other half and I finally visited the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh. I’ve wanted to pay the gallery a visit ever since the finale of Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year aired for one reason and one reason only.

Christian Hook, the winner of the 2014 series was awarded the chance to paint Alan Cumming and have his final piece join the permanent collection in the gallery. Christian Hook’s style had me interested right from the get go so naturally, I had to view his finished portrait in person.

The only issue was we couldn’t figure out which room the painting would be hanging in so we ended up looking at a lot more pieces than we originally anticipated.

The first exhibition we stumbled across was Beauty by Design: Fashioning the Renaissance. This has been advertised outside the Scottish National Portrait Gallery for lord knows how long so I was rather excited to see it. I wasn’t sure what to expect but what I was met with left me somewhat disappointed.

The idea behind this exhibition is to link fashion from the renaissance to the styles of today. The pieces shown were very intricate and beautiful and dare I say, ever so slightly gothic; if you made a few adjustments to each piece they’d sell incredibly well in the shops today.

It’s a great exhibition and perhaps I’m not appreciating it as much as it deserves to be. I just found the overall layout of the room to be awkward and mismatched which is what put me off in the end.

The next room we visited was arguably the busiest and my absolute favourite. This room contained the entries for the BP Portrait Awards 2014 and my lord were they breath-taking. There were a few paintings that didn’t really do it for me as the style was not to my taste but the hyper realism paintings were fantastic; Ben Ashton’s and Edward Sutcliffe’s paintings being particular favourites of mine.

The BP Award exhibit was probably the one that took up the most of our time. The majority of the other series of paintings were focused primarily on war and, although incredible in their own right, they just weren’t appealing to me. I think it is largely to do with the fact the paintings were created so long ago and were done in very similar styles that they became rather jaded after a while. One room of that style of paintings is fine but several rooms are too much for me.

A photography exhibition created by Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse had my other half and I very confused. Now that I’ve researched the photographs I understand the whole idea behind the exhibit but I really wish I had known what the concept was supposed to be on the day. It’s not a typical photography display but it is definitely thought provoking and well worth a visit (it ends on April 26th so be quick).

Despite all of the wandering around and admiring various pieces of artwork we never once stumbled upon the portrait of Alan Cumming. As it turns out the painting has been taken down temporarily as it will be moved into another exhibition beginning May 8th.

I guess we’ll just have to return to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery to eat the delicious rolls in the cafĂ©, be confused by more exhibitions and spend too much in the gift shop. Oh and finally see the painting of Alan Cumming of course.

Book Haul

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Reading hasn’t been high on my list of priorities lately. I say lately but what I really mean is for the last 7 years. As a child I loved to read, my nose was always buried in a book to the point where I was rereading every book I owned (and I owned a lot, trust me) on a regular basis.

When I grew into a moronic teenager my love of reading went down the drain. I think this was due to the fact a large chunk of my days at high school were spent dissecting various pieces of text and it took all of the fun out of reading for me.

Now that I’m a twenty something year old and no longer have to write copious amounts of essays I’m ready to get back into reading. The only way I can begin reading for fun again is by buying books to read hence this haul post. Shopping for a purpose!

The first in the lengthy list of books I want to tackle is Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr. Last Exit to Brooklyn was written by the genius who penned Requiem for a Dream, my all-time favourite book. Last Exit to Brooklyn is on my list of books to read partly because of who the author is and because it was so controversial in the 60s a ban in the UK was almost placed upon it.

Hillary Clinton’s Hard Choices is also high up on my list of books to read. Hard Choices deals with the 4 years Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State and I’m rather excited to read it. I’ll admit American politics interests me much more than British politics and I’m intrigued to read things from Hillary Clinton’s point of view.

After watching the film Gone Girl I decided to purchase the book. I did enjoy the film but I found some of it to be lacking in certain places and hoped the book would offer up something extra. This is the only book I’ve started to read in this haul and so far I’m not feeling it. I am in the very early stages of the story so I’m hoping things will pick up.

The Girl on the Train was purchased as I’ve seen so many people discussing it I figured I couldn’t go wrong. I am completely oblivious to the storyline of this book but judging from a steady stream of tweets I see about it I shouldn’t be left disappointed once I’ve finished it. The Girl on the Train is possibly the first book I’ve ever bought based on other people’s opinions so I hope I haven’t been led astray here.

Hopefully I’ll be able to rattle my way through these books without any issues and will one day have another book haul to post about. I just need to keep the TV off, the headphones on and the chocolate flowing. Bring on the first book!

March Favourites

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

I don’t know how it happened but the Easter weekend completely got away from me which means this post is rather late. I originally planned on working on this post over the long weekend but, as an energetically challenged person who somehow ended up with plans (I know, I was confused too) for every single day of said long weekend, that didn’t quite work out.

I guess this is a better late than never scenario. Oh well, let’s get into those favourites!

1. Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream

Daisy Dream was given to me for Christmas and it is absolutely perfect. I love Marc Jacobs perfume and Daisy Dream is quickly becoming my favourite scent. I guess you could argue that this is a fairly generic floral scent with a rather expensive price tag but hey, I didn’t pay for it so I’m not exactly complaining. That was a great explanation as to why this perfume is in my monthly favourites…

2. Lush Ocean Salt

Of course it can’t be a monthly favourites post from me without something Lush featuring in it. Ocean Salt is an incredible sea salt scrub and, although I found it to be a little too intense upon my first use, it’s now a prominent item in operation “look less zombie like”.

3. Estee Lauder Empowered

New favourite nail polish alert! Empowered is a stunning bright red nail polish with a hint of orange shimmer. It’s possibly one of the best nail polishes I’ve ever used formula wise and I cannot get enough of the colour. It’s classy but still oh so fun!

4. Michael Kors Watch

This gorgeous rose gold watch was given to me for my 21st birthday and I seem to go through stages of wearing it non-stop to abandoning it altogether. March was a month where I wore this watch on a regular basis and that has slowly progressed into April.

This watch is used more for accessorizing as opposed to actually telling time. I still hunt through my bag to find the time on my phone rather than glancing at my wrist whenever I wear this. Logic.

5. Pro Markers

These Pro Markers were another thing I received for Christmas (is this just a delayed Christmas post?) and I’ve only just started to use them. I really wanted them after seeing a guy on Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year create an amazing portrait with just Pro Markers alone.

I thought I’d be able to do something just as cool with them but so far that hasn’t happened. I have drawn some rather lovely straight lines with them though.

Now that my rambling has been published on the internet I think I will indulge in my leftover Christmas chocolate. I’m on the complete wrong holiday, where’s the selection box?
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