Saturday, 30 June 2012

New Home.


The bunnies finally moved out into their new house today so I thought I'd share the cuteness with you. Its the first time I've really been able to snap some proper photos of Squidge as it was too dark indoors for her coat to show up well enough. She's also a fidget and I haven't been able to train her to sit still for portraits like I have with Sawyer (he's a pro now, I mean just look at that last photo!). I'll miss their cute little faces staring at me whilst I make my breakfast every morning but they seem to be enjoying themselves so far..... even if they aren't besties yet!

Friday, 29 June 2012

June Film Roundup: Buy, Pass or Rent?

Snow White & The Huntsman (2012)
The first thing you'll notice about Snow White & the Huntsman is just how visually stunning it is, the colours and scenery are beautiful. Impressively its the work of a first time film director Rupert Sanders who I'm excited to see more from, including of course the planned Snow White sequel. As for the casting I have to say Charlize Theron in particular gave a great performance. With the three main actors not being British there were accents all over the place but I didn't notice it too much. I didn't know before I saw the film but the dwarves were actually played by various well-known British actors including Ian McShane, Nick Frost, Eddie Marsan and Ray Winstone which was a nice touch.
Both myself and my friend found the ending pretty unsatisfying but I'm sure its all a part of the plan to get people back to the cinema for the sequel.

Men In Black 3 (2012)
I went to see Men In Black 3 just a couple of hours after SW&TH and of course it was never going to live up to it in terms of style and direction. I was pleased to see that they did in fact have Barry Sonnenfeld, who directed the first two MIB films, return for this one. Having such a long period of time (10 years! That makes me feel old...) in between the second and third films it was always a possiblity that the style wouldn't match up so keeping the same director really helped the continuity to flow. I'd just like to say at this point that Will Smith looks exactly the same as he did 10 years ago too, how does he do that?! Josh Brolin did a great job of playing the young Tommy Lee Jones and there were a handful of funny moments throughout. All that was really missing was a catchy accompanying song from Will Smith himself. I was disappointed that he hadn't recorded a song for this installment, because let's be honest those appearing at the end of the old video tapes was just fun! Overall it was a really nice sequel to the previous films.

Like Crazy (2011)  Initially I was drawn to Like Crazy by the two lead actors Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones as well as Jennifer Lawrence in support. That may seem strange but I'm a huge fan of Charlie Bartlett, which was the first film I saw Anton in, and I remember Felicity well from the 2007 TV series Cape Wrath which she starred in alongside Tom Hardy. I genuinely didn't expect to like it that much but what I actually got was another aesthetically lovely, well directed and well cast film. To me it did have some slight Blue Valentine vibes in content and style, particularly with the improvised dialogue, but it's nowhere near as hard to watch. I haven't heard anybody talk about Like Crazy and I can understand why it wouldn't do well commercially however it did do well at Sundance last year winning two awards. I don't have much else to say about it except that I would watch it again and if you like the look of the trailer I'd recommend it.

Rent: Contagion (2011), Catch Me If You Can (2002)  
Pass: Dear John (2010), Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004), Guess Who? (2005)

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Weekly Style Inspiration 67


Pocket Shirt £36, Sleeveless Blouse £30, Tapestry Loafers £22 : Topshop
Leopard Boat Shoes $80/£51 : Sperry Top-Sider
Bear Trap Bangles £269.50 : Eddie Borgo
Grey Jumper £28 : River Island
Clutch £15.99 : New Look
T-Shirt £40 : All Saints

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man Nail Art

spiderman nails

Polishes used: Rimmel Rapid Ruby, Topshop Future, Models Own Sterling Silver, NYX Dorothy, Claires Accessories nail art pens
Here they are, my Spiderman inspired nails! A little bit of shoddy paintwork on the little finger nail but I just loved the idea of using NYX Dorothy (a grey base with red glitters) as part of this design. I didn't manage to snap a decent photograph of it but on my thumb nail I painted a base of half blue, half silver and then used a black nail art pen to draw on a spider design.

To be honest I'm cheating a little bit here, I actually did these about a month ago now but since The Amazing Spiderman film is released next week I thought today would be the perfect time to post them! I'm one of the, apparently very few, people who liked the original Spiderman trilogy so I've been looking forward to seeing how the new film differs, though honestly any cast that includes Emma Stone can't go far wrong. I don't think I'll be watching it until the DVD release (sadly I have no superhero loving friends to watch it with!) but if you do go and see it at the cinema I'd love to know what you think of it!

Monday, 25 June 2012

Week In Photos 59

Reading The Great Gatsby / Topshop's Valley nail polish / Seek peek of the sofa cover I've chosen for the new room / Adding the glaze to bunting necklace flags / Reading Emma & the Vampires /  The Lizzie Bennet Diaries / Food! 

This week I made it to ten books (aka halfway) for my 2012 reading challenge. I also took another trip to IKEA to pick out things for the garage once its finished and I've been working on some new items for the shop too. Alongside that I've been pretty addicted to watching The Lizzie Bennet Diaries which you should take a peek at if you haven't seen it already!

I've also watched About A Boy at least three times (I'm even watching it now!), the obsession is out of control, but somehow I still can't bring myself to buy the book. In the same way people worry films will ruin their favourite books I've become a little worried about the opposite happening since I learnt that the last third of the film was completely fabricated. If you've read it and are a fan of the film let me know what you thought and whether I should pick it up!

Tomorrow I have another (geeky) movie themed nail art post for you which I've been saving up for a few weeks now, hope you're going to like it!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Topshop Nails in Valley


The latest addition to my overcrowded nail polish collection is (surprise surprise!) another green. When new shade 'Valley' appeared on the Topshop website I knew I had to have it. Aside from the fact I love green nails, and green in general, Topshop are one of my favourite brands when it comes to polish. Something I haven't really seen from them before is this micro glitter, shimmery effect paired with a pastel shade. They do have some dark shimmers in their collection, Grunge and Galactic being personal favourites, but usually their brights tend to be cream finishes. From afar Valley looks just like a cream but up close it has a lovely subtle silver shimmer to it. As with all Topshop polishes I've tried application was good and the colour is opaque in two coats. I think I've found the perfect Summer polish for me; the girl whos been struggling to break her all year round devotion to wearing dark Wintery shades.

What do you think of Valley?

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Weekly Style Inspiration 66

Khaki Jumper £36,  Floral Shirt £42, Tee £14, Nail Polish in Valley £6 : Topshop
 Dress £45 (petites), Sleeveless Blouse £28 : Miss Selfridge
Studded Boots £24.99 : New Look
Haymitch Tee £35 (inc. shipping) : eBay

I'm surprised by my own geekiness with this week's post but a Haymitch t-shirt, I need that. More specifically I need it to not be limited edition, not in size 3XL and preferably not £35...
I'm also cheating a little this week as I bought both the jumper and nail polish yesterday. When I saw the jumper on the website I was confused, a khaki thick knit (aka my perfect jumper) in the Summer collection?! Being impractical for the time of year I didn't order it then went back later that day to find it was sold out, in every size. I managed to find it yesterday in store in the petite section and quickly snapped it up.

Even though last week's post was dedicated to shirts and blouses I still managed to find two more to include today but at least they're more season appropriate than the boots and jumper!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Week In Photos 58


001. Reading, reading and more reading: This week I finished Divergent my sixth book towards my 2012 reading challenge target and started reading Insurgent when I caved and got a Kindle. Out of curiosity I also took the faction test on Facebook once before reading Divergent and once after. Weirdly I answered the same questions with the same answers and ended up with two different results although I can't argue with the outcome as I wouldn't have the slightest chance of fitting in to the other three factions. I also now have The Great Gatsby lined up to read before the film comes out in December. Between finishing Divergent and getting the Kindle I also started reading War of the Worlds so those three will probably be the next ones ticked off my reading challenge!

002. Double feature time: Yesterday I was up before 7am to spend the majority of my day at the cinema, yes I am that dedicated to watching films. I saw Snow White & the Huntsman in the morning followed by Men In Black 3 in the afternoon. I actually really enjoyed both of them but I'll elaborate more in my June Film Roundup post so keep an eye out for that next week if you're interested!

003. New items for the wardrobe: Between my film watching yesterday I managed to sneakily pop to H&M and finally get my hands on their Riding Pant-esque trousers in my size. I did order the actual Riding Pants when AA were offering a 40% off discount but the shape of the H&M ones suited me much better, not to mention being a quarter of the price. I'd checked a few other stores already including my local one at least five times (I really wanted those trousers...) and even tried willing the smallest size they had in stock (two sizes too big for me!) to fit so I'm glad to finally have a pair that are perfect. I also gained a new UO cardigan which I actually featured in a previous Weekly style post when I discovered it was less than half price in the sale.

004. More baking: For Father's day I baked my dad a carrot and ginger loaf cake which although wasn't very pretty apparently tasted rather good. I used this recipe from the BBC website and it was the first cake I've ever made using oil rather than butter, very strange.

005. New necklace design: The bunting necklace is something I've been working on for rather a long time, trying to get the design right, the colours, the flag size etc Its taken a while but I'm now finally there and they will be available to buy as soon as the glaze arrives so I can finish them, hopefully in the next few days. I'm also thinking of doing some other patterns and colour combinations so let me know if you have any ideas you would like to see!

006: Kind feedback for Sawyer & Scout: Sticking with the subject of my little shop Ria & Daria, the winner and one runner up of my recent giveaway, both wrote seriously sweet posts about their prizes this week so I owe them big thank yous. If you don't already follow these girl's lovely blogs I recommend you head on over to them now and have a read!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

2012 Reading Challenge: Six Books Down!


So I just finished my sixth book towards my 2012 Reading Challenge and I wasn't planning on blogging this but I decided that it actually might be a nice series to do. In case you haven't seen me mention it before I'm taking part in Goodreads challenge where you set yourself a goal amount of books to read over the year. I didn't join in the challenge until May by which time I had only read three books (although I read them each twice!) so I had a bit of catching up to do and opted for a sensible target of twenty books over the eight months left in the year. I thought it might be a nice idea to do a roundup post with a little bit about each of the books, slightly mirroring my film roundups I guess although I know I'm going to struggle a lot more with writing down my thoughts on a book than I do with films.

The first book I read this year was The Hunger Games. I had been meaning to read it since way back when I was still working in an office and I read one day on my lunch break that Jennifer Lawrence had been cast in the role of Katniss Everdeen. However things got in the way and I completely forgot to pick it up until this year when I heard more about it again in the lead up to the film's release. I managed to read it before seeing the film and I really loved it (you can find my post on the film itself here) and swiftly moved onto the others in the trilogy; Catching Fire & Mockingjay. After reading the whole trilogy twice over a short space of time I concluded that Catching Fire was my favourite and I'm now that annoying fan who can be found complaining because she's convinced they're going to ruin her favourite arena in the film. Personally I thought Mockingjay was the weakest of the three but again I still enjoyed it enough to read it twice so overall a great series to start off the challenge with.

Next I moved on to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies which you'll notice that isn't included in the photograph. I found it really difficult to get into the style of writing and just generally not an enjoyable read. I was pretty disappointed as I'd been wanting to read it for ages and the concept was something I found particularly interesting and unique but after only 6% (according to Goodreads!) I put it aside and moved on with the intention of returning to it later and still with only three books checked off my challenge target.

After struggling with P&P&Z I opted for a nice easy read in Neil Gaiman's Coraline. I'd started reading it a long time ago and also began listening to the audio book but never finished either of them. I've talked before about how much I love the film which was so beautifully directed by Henry Selick. Stop-motion animation is something I find fascinating and looked at a lot when I was at uni. I also have The Art Of Coraline which I would recommend to anyone who is interested in stop-motion, animation in general or just in behind the scenes and how films are made, its a beautiful book. As for the original story it was just as I expected from a children's book, nothing challenging, a few interesting differences from the film but generally a nice little interim read.

Next I read The Beach which I borrowed from a friend when I lent her the Hunger Games trilogy. Obviously its another one which has been adapted into a film which I did see a few years ago but genuinely have no recollection of other than the fact I remember that I didn't like it. Even now after reading the book and watching a couple of clips on Youtube I still don't remember any of the film but the book was actually really good. Its definitely not something I would've picked out to read myself but I'm glad I read it as it gave a little variety to my selection and reminded me that just like with films I should branch out more often.

Whilst I was still reading The Beach I received Divergent in the post and was eager to start reading it. So many people have been singing it's praises recently I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. I ended up reading it over just two days, I only finished yesterday and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it. I didn't dislike it by any stretch but I didn't love it either and to be honest I was expecting to. I found the beginning interesting, the middle slightly frustrating and the end section involved an incident that unfortunately I couldn't help but think of Mockingjay when I read. I think as I read through it so quickly I really need to re-read it. I probably will do that once the challenge is over but for now it's off to live with my friend for a few weeks. Despite not being in love with it I'm keen to pick up Insurgent soon mainly so I can read it before the spoilers find me!

If you have a good reads account too you can find me here.

I do have a few in mind and some already purchased but if you have any book recommendations for me I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, 15 June 2012

Ombre Nails Part 2

Ombre Nails Part 2

Topshop Parma Violet / Nails Inc Bluebell / Topshop Pool Party / Barry M Mint Green

I first tried out Ombre Nails back in April, although it really doesn't seem that long ago (!) and I really loved them. It was so easy to create an such an eye-catching look so yesterday I decided I'd try out a new colour combination. This time I used four colours instead of three, mainly because I couldn't decide which of the four to exclude. Having tried the technique before they didn't take very long to do and luckily the clean up wasn't as bad as last time either. They turned out a lot brighter than my previous attempt but I really like the colour combination even if they are pretty bold for a typically dark polish wearer like myself!

You can find my previous Ombre Nails post here.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Sawyer Snapshots #5


Even though he pops up regularly in my week in photos posts I haven't done one of these snapshot posts since January! As you know since then I've also gained another cute bunny who really should have her own post too but as they're still not living together yet I'll make sure to start a 'Sawyer & Squidge Snapshots' series when they are! For now I'm just going to enjoy these cute photos of Sawyer playing yesterday.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Weekly Style Inspiration 65


Miss Selfridge £37, Topshop £30, River Island £22, Topshop £40, Topshop £32
Topshop £36, Next £26, Equipment £230, Miss Selfridge £35, Tibi £190

As you'll have noticed this week is all about blouses and shirts. I'm going through one of those phases where I'm finding it really difficult to choose items for these weekly posts. Sometimes there are so many things I like that I save them all up and use them over a few week's posts but recently I've been struggling to find enough items I like (fussy!). So when I went to put this post together and found I had collected about four blouses and a pair of shoes I decided to ditch the shoes and go with a theme. I actually consider this cheating slightly as I think I have actually featured a couple of these before but lets pretend we never noticed that! As usual Topshop have had some lovely (and rather overpriced) shirt/blouse offerings for Summer including my personal favourites from the selection above; the khaki chiffon and oversize check. I'm also really loving the geometric print on the Miss Selfridge* and River Island sleeveless blouses but I'm much happier with sleeves!

*now £17 in the sale! 

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

MUA Nail Polish Shade 23

 MUA nail Polish in shade 23, £1 from Superdrug

I recently picked up this pretty light khaki shade from the MUA stand at Superdrug because it reminded me a little of one of my favourites; Models Own Grace Green. For a smaller, cheaper brand the shade range available is quite impressive, with a wide range of colours and various finishes. I've previously tried shade 1 a unique dark navy/blue glitter which subtly shimmers on the nails.

As you may be able to see from the photographs in the bottle the polish was a little separated with lime/yellow specks at the top and a browny colour at the bottom but I didn't let this put me off spending my £1. After shaking it quite a bit they still didn't mix in completely but mixed enough to apply an even colour on the nails. Although the MUA polishes only cost £1 and I shouldn't have expected too much I was still quite disappointed by the quality of application. This particular polish was streaky and the colour didn't look smooth on the nails until I applied a clear topcoat. I managed to get an opaque colour as shown above with only two coats and the drying time was pretty average.

As you can see in the third photograph there was a stray hair sticking out of the brush but obviously that could be chopped off easily. As for the Grace Green comparison, well it turns out they don't look particularly similar on the nails. Shade 23 is darker, more brown based and has a less creamy looking finish.

I've recently been wearing my China Glaze polishes a lot and unfortunately this only highlighted the difference in quality. Although I quite liked the shade, this is the kind of colour I like to wear a lot, so I think I would rather spend out a little more on a similar shade by another brand. However if you're looking for a particular colour for a nail art or just like to change your polish a lot then the MUA range is worth a look.

What do you think of shade 23? Are you a fan of MUA nail polish?

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Weekly Style Inspiration 64

Propeller Ring £8 : ASOS
Shirt £21.50 ($33) : Sheinside
Suede Messenger Bag 29.99, Pumps £39.99 : Zara
Jeans £38 each, Nail Polishes in Flamingo Coral £5 & Lead £6 : Topshop

It may be sad but I was genuinely excited to see Topshop's Lead nail polish on the new in page this week. They originally released it in the A/W 2010 Heavy Duty collection and it quickly became one of my all time favourites but I wasn't able to pick up a second bottle while the collection was still around. I'll definitely be getting a backup now its in the permanant line!
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