Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Jesss' Dinner Party

I got the idea for this post off Alex's blog a couple of weeks ago and have been trying since to come up with some interesting ideas... And the time to fit it in here!
The post is about 'The Dinner Party Game' - If you could invite five people to a dinner party, who would you choose? The twist with this version of the game is that they are book characters.
There was a peculiar amount of soul-searching for this, since reading was my first love, and I came up with literally hundreds of potential options, mostly from random books I read years ago which no-one else will ever have heard of. After some a lot of careful consideration, these are the five I came up with.

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Harry Potter. An obvious, choice, maybe, but nonetheless there's not much I wouldn't give to invite Harry to dinner and be able to cross-question him on everything magical. On top of that, he'd have plenty of exciting stories to share!

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Hercule Poirot. I've loved every Poirot book I've ever read (most of them!) and love Agatha Christie's work. I think Poirot would be a fascinating friend and it'd be interesting to see what he'd make of my other dinner guests. If I'm completely honest, this choice is at least half fuelled by my interest in crime and psychology.

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Kate from 'Old Magic' by Marianne Curley. This is my concession to 'books no-one else has ever heard of' so if you're familiar with it, please let me know! This is one of my favourite books from my teenage years - I took it out of my high school library probably about thirty or forty times over the seven years I was there and it never got old. I love the story and I love how passionate and real Kate is. She'd make an honest and intriguing addition to my dinner party.

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Samantha Sweeting. The main character from Sophie Kinsella's 'The Undomestic Goddess', Sam was appealing with her mental schemes and chaotic personality. I enjoyed her transformation through the book and would appreciate her views on my cooking!
And last but not least...

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Winnie-the-Pooh. A. A. Milne's books were some of my favourite as a child, and Winnie-the-Pooh would certainly make an interesting dinner guest. His optimism and fabulous philosophies on life would make him more than welcome at my table, and I'd be interested to hear any honey-based recipes he could share...

Who would you guys choose for your dinner party?!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Cheerful Tuesday #5

Morning lovelies! Hope you're well this week and all had a good Bank Holiday Weekend!
I've managed a bit better with things that make me happy this week as I've generally been feeling a bit better about everything. I spent the weekend celebrating my housemate's birthday and then having a day out with my mam and brother to watch him racing in the British Triathlon Club Relay Championships in Nottingham. It was a good laugh, I really enjoyed spending some time with my family and best of all mam treated us to Pizza Hut on the way home!
So, here it goes, more things that make me happy.

037. Ben & Jerry's. Especially when it's half price at Tesco!
Managed to resist eating it all in one go!
 038. My bed. So warm and cosy and mmmmmm...

039. Pretty nail varnish. Even if I do proceed to chip half of it off changing a wheel with my brother because I am too stubborn to let my mam call the AA to change a bloody tyre...
Barry M Special Effects over an unknown shade of Jessica
Custom Nail Colour.
 040. Vegetables! My dad sent me a huge bag full of veggies he's grown - carrots, potatoes, onions, plums, pears... :D
Roasted veggies with Quorn "fish"cake. Nom!
 041. PostSecret. I'm an obsessive PostSecret reader.
Click for source.
 042. This picture. Literally still making me laugh about a week after I first saw it.
Stolen off my friend's Tumblr.
043. Flamingos. How can anyone not be cheered up by a pretty pink birdie? Interesting fact - did you know flamingos are only pink because of the crustaceans they eat?
Click for source.
044. Serial Killers. This is a bit of an odd one. Obviously serial killers themselves do not make me happy, but reading about them and trying to understand the way their minds worked definitely does. I'm pretty sure everyone has this kind of macabre, morbid interest, it's just that most people won't admit it ;) I'm currently reading this biography of Charles Manson, which I've really enjoyed. Another interesting fact - when Manson was arrested, he was booked under three names: 'Manson, Charles, M.', his real name; 'Benson, Charlie', a pseudonym he'd been known to use; and 'Jesus Christ, God', the name his followers were thought to refer to him as.
Click for source.
045. DNA. Another slightly odd one, but the structure of DNA makes me very happy.
Click for source.
046. Wednesday 13. Mainly the lyrics, which are really clever, and the use of puns in his song titles.
Click for source.
And I think I'll leave it there for this week, although I am having great fun Googling things that make me happy and looking at lots of lovely photos...


Monday, 29 August 2011

Wish List: If I Wasn't A Poor Student

A current bank account balance of -£1,268.47 (Thank God for interest-free overdrafts on student accounts!) is stopping me buying anything other than essentials now, at least until loan day (21 days to go!), which is of course making me want to buy EVERYTHING I see. I decided to indulge these urges a little with a 'Wish List' type post - I always enjoy these on other people's blogs, so let me know what you think of my wantings.
Wish List 29082011
Pretty dresses - Impractical eyeshadows - CK Summer perfume - Leopard print boots - Hedgehog earrings - Teal-coloured jeans - Hello Kitty purse - Alexander McQueen chain belt - Sheer blouses - Animal rings

What's on your wish lists at the moment?


Sunday, 28 August 2011

Sunday Songs #5: Amy MacDonald

This is a song off Amy MacDonald's first album 'This Is The Life' and it's my absolute favourite of her songs. I've seen her live twice - once in Liverpool and once in Leeds, and her performances were amazing both times. Having met her in Leeds I can also say she is a lovely person, and stunningly gorgeous! I hope you enjoy this, and check out her other songs too - I recommend 'Spark', 'Mr Rock & Roll' and 'Don't Tell Me That It's Over'.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

We Should Feed Our Jewellery To The Sea...

In a fit of boredom the other day, I decided that what I most needed to do in all the world was to re-organise my jewellery box. Then I thought, I could prolong the entertainment this provides by taking pictures of everything to share with you guys!
The top layer...
Bottom layer.
Watches and bracelets.
Some of my favourite necklaces.
More necklaces and random earrings.
Elephant bracelet, malachite necklace and ostrich egg
shell earrings.
My pocket watch - originally for a Steampunk-themed
fancy dress party but I love it!
Rings and more earrings.
Plus the jewellery I was wearing - charity shop ring!
Friendship bracelets.
Random bracelet set, it was a present...
So that's some of my jewellery collection, a fair bit of it is at home so not included, and I've just realised I forgot to photograph my necklace as well, but these photos should give you an idea of what sort of thing I wear. I was going to try and tell you my favourites but I can't actually choose!
Do you guys have a favourite piece of jewellery? How do you store your treasures?


(Title: From 'Northern Downpour' by Panic! At The Disco)

Friday, 26 August 2011

Foodie Friday #5: Black Bottomed Cupcakes

In my head, this always goes to the tune of 'Fat Bottomed Girls' by Queen... "Black bottomed cakes, you make the rockin' world go round..." Ahem, anyway, yes. This is another recipe from  my beloved Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, possibly my favourite of the recipes I've tried from it so far - but then I'm a fiend for both chocolate and cheesecake so you'd expect it really.
This is basically a chocolate cupcake with a blob of vanilla-y cheesecake in the top - otherwise known as Heaven. The book recommends topping them with cream cheese frosting but I tend to just go for plain vanilla buttercream to avoid cream cheese overkill!

Mix 190g plain flour, 40g cocoa powder, 120g caster sugar, and 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda until well incorporated. Whisk together 40ml sunflower oil, 125ml water, 1 1/2tsp white vinegar and 1/2tsp vanilla extract, then slowly add to the dry ingredients, beating constantly. Beat until thoroughly mixed, then spoon into paper cases.

For the cheesecake: Mix 140g cream cheese, 1 egg, 60g caster sugar, a pinch of salt and 1/2tsp vanilla extract. Don't worry, it looks gross at first... Once it comes together, spoon onto the top of the cupcake mix in the cases.

Bake for 20 minutes at 170°C, then allow to cool completely whilst you prepare the frosting.

Beat together 250g icing sugar, 80g unsalted butter (at room temperature), 25ml milk and a couple of drops of vanilla extract, until light and fluffy. Spoon or pipe onto the tops of the cupcakes, and dust with cocoa powder to finish!

These ones unfortunately didn't work out as well as they have in the past - I think this may be down to my having used reduced fat cream cheese, so as a tip I recommend using full fat!
Have any of you guys tried these cupcakes? I seriously need a trip to the Hummingbird Bakery to try one of theirs!

[Post contains affiliate links.]

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Model's Own 50% Off Sale!

I know I'm a bit late to this party really, but let's call it fashionably late, eh? ;)
So, the Model's Own 50% Off Sale in celebration of them having reached 50,000 fans on Facebook - An ideal opportunity for me to try out a few more things from their range. I've just clicked 'Checkout' on my order and received a confirmation, so here is what I have treated myself to.
First up, eyes:
The 'Black + Green Sparkle' and 'Orangeade' shades of powder eyeshadow, usually retailing at £5 each.

The 'Phantom Black' and 'Mash-Up Mauve' shades of cream eyeshadow, again usually £5 each.

The Glitter Eye Pencil in 'Too Turquoise', also normally retailing at £5.

And 'Green Mist', a powder eyeshadow duo which normally sells for £5.

Next, nails:
Nail polish in 'Green Grass', another item which will normally cost you £5.

The Pink shade of Smash Up nail polish, usually selling for £6.

I've also treated myself to a Nail Art Pen, normal price £6, and the 3-in-1 base coat/top coat/gloss polish since I've nearly used all of my existing base and top coats.
Altogether, this little lot would normally come to £52 but with the discount, it was a mere £26, which includes free delivery as I was over £25! I am now anxiously awaiting my goodies' arrival and will no doubt be sharing some of them with you all very soon. (Dead links removed, apologies for any inconvenience caused.)
Have any of you guys taken advantage of the massive Model's Own sale? What bargains have you been snapping up?


Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Eyeko Graffiti Eyeliner

As I mentioned a few days ago, in with my Eyeko goodies I got the Graffiti Eyeliner pen in purple. I really like this and thought I'd share a few pictures with you guys.

Nice fine tip which makes it easy to get a good line.
And on my face...

I love how easily and neatly this goes on, and it lasts really well too! The Eyeko Graffiti Eyeliner pens can be bought from the Eyeko website for £5.50 each and are available in Black, Purple and Navy Blue. I for one am hoping there will be more colours added to the line soon! (Dead link removed, apologies for any inconvenience caused.)


Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Cheerful Tuesday #4

I've had a bit of a crappy time this last week or so, but here are a few things that have been (mostly) keeping a smile on my face. Enjoy!

031. Taking off my makeup after a long day. It's so nice when your skin feels like it can breathe again!
 032. Kinder Eggs. You're never too old!
(Not my thumb)
033. Candles. Pretty and these ones smell vanilla-y and lovely :)
Also my pretty candle holders :)
 034. Hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows. It may be the middle of summer but there's nothing quite like it to cheer you up.
So... Much... Sugar!
035. Katy Perry. Because, erm, who wouldn't!?
036. Re-reading Harry Potter books. Again.
(Click for source.)
That's all I can come up with this week - Like I said, I've not a great few days but things are hopefully looking up now so I'll do better next week!
Hope you are all doing well :)

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