Saturday, May 9, 2015

Films of the Month April 2015

I didn't watch many films at all in April. I'm not sure why! I've already broken the number in May, only a few days in.

Ah well, here's what I did watch.

1) X Men - Days of Future Past - I saw this in the cinema when it came out and have seen it a few times since. I love it! I'm not keen on the other X Men films but this one has James McAvoy in it so you know

2 Frozen - I have seen this before but I felt like watching it again. It's very sweet.

3) Toy Story - I watched this with Lee, they're all great aren't they?

4) Save the Last Dance - This is one of my favourite comfort films. I first saw it at university over ten years ago and I watch it fairly regularly. I love films about dancing, I love the soundtrack, I love Julia Stiles.

Like I said, I've already watched more films in May than I managed in April, so I'll be back next month to share them!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Books of the Months April 2015

Here's what I read in April. It feels like it was a good month!

My friend Leanne recommended this to me. It was interesting to see the author's life in the 50s and the utter drudgery of life, especially for women. I felt she was quite scathing of current feminism though. It is good though.

Sarah is the housemate of my friend Lucinda, and when Lucinda visited me at the end of March she brought me a signed copy. This is a Young Adult novel about a boy with motor-neurone disease. It's a very sweet story.

I bought this just after Christmas with some similar books. I really enjoyed it - there were twists and turns at the protagonist tried to work out how and why her husband was lying to her.

I picked this up in a charity shop in January and just picked it up out of the spare bedroom (so many books). I LOVED IT. I love crime novels and this, while hefty, was a really quick read with lots of great parts and a great serial killer. I have bought a few more in this series (Rizzoli and Isles) on eBay since

Filled with a rediscovered love of crime writing, I read this novella that was free on Kindle one day. It was good, I haven't read the author before

This was also free on Kindle (I use the app on my tablet) and I liked it a lot. It's a young adult novel about a girl whose sister has died tragically, and it's about how she picks up her life really. I lost my dad tragically when I was 24, so I really related to a lot of things in this novel. It was good research for my MA writing too.


I feel like everyone in blogland has read this book. I got it at the same time that I got Before We Met, and I feel like they're quite similar novels. I did enjoy it, but I felt like parts of it were totally irrelevant, and that the ending was just terrible.

Have you read any of these? What did you think?

Sunday, May 3, 2015

New Yours Clothing store in Huddersfield

On 17th April a new Yours Clothing store opened in Huddersfield. I saw it on Twitter and I was free, so I went along to the opening. I met my friend Gem there too - we've known each other online for about a year so it was nice to meet her and her daughter in person.

The first 50 people in the queue got a goodie bag with a Yours tote bag, a make up bag and some other bits in it, and one lucky person won £50 of vouchers to spend in store! There were lots of staff around on hand to answer questions and be of any help.

The store is in the Kingsgate centre next to River Island which is a prime location. It's bright and clean and spacious (much better than the Meadowhall store in that respect, although apparently that is getting a makeover this year) and I hope it does really well.

Here's some photos I quickly took. It was really busy and I'm glad!

Sometimes in Yours I feel like all they have on show is black, dark green, or purple clothes, so I was glad to see some bright colours on display here

I really like this dress and think it might have to come home with me soon!

Friday, May 1, 2015

April Photo An Hour - 19th April

Sunday 19th April was the last Photo An Hour day hosted by Louisa and Jane, and for me it was a good day because it was my grandma's 89th birthday! My aunt, uncle, one of my cousins, and his girlfriend came up to spend the weekend with us. On  the Saturday my uncle came to help me and Lee and my mum clear away our old kitchen from outside our house (more on the kitchen later - it's been a bit of a nightmare!). On the Sunday we went to my grandma's and had a big family dinner before my aunt and uncle had to leave.

I forgot it was Photo An Hour last month so I'm glad I remembered this time - I'd set a reminder! Here are my photos:

9am was much earlier than I wanted to be awake. I'm so beautiful.

10am, Lee was still asleep so I was reading on my tablet - a new book that I picked up on an Amazon deal, I'm pretty sure it was free.

11am and these are my grandma's presents. I bought her a Seaham seaglass necklace.

Noon and I was finally showered!

1pm at my grandma's house - this is her, then my cousin Rob, then Lee

2pm and dinner is served! My mum, my uncle, and Rob.

3pm and pudding - homemade apple and raspberry crumble, it was delicious!

4pm and I snapped this photo of my grandma's garden just as we were leaving

5pm and I was at my computer writing for my MA deadline. This is my plotting folder.

6pm - this crystal is new, I bought it to hang from the Velux window in my attic room.

7pm and these were the clouds from my attic window - just gorgeous

8pm and this was the part of my novel that I'm writing

9pm and I needed a glass of wine to lubricate the writing....

10pm was teeth brushing time

11pm found me in the same place that I started the day - in bed reading my book!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Swimathon 2015

I first heard of Swimathon when someone I know on Facebook signed up for it. I clicked across and saw that there are three levels for it - 1.5km, 2.5km, and 5km, and that the 1.5km and the 5km can be swum in teams. The 1.5km pool equated to 60 lengths of a 25 metre pool, so 20 each between me, my mum, and Lee. That seemed like an achievable goal.

My mum and I go swimming at our gym every week, but that's a 20 metre pool and to be honest I wasn't sure how many we usually swam. But I persuaded her we could do it and signed us all up. The website was fine for me to use but I have heard other people with complaints about it.

When my mum and I first went to our pool, we knew we had to do 25 of our lengths - and we did, easily. Since then, we've been each week and done at least 25, but up to 32 or 34. We were also doing it without resting or touching the bottom, even though by Swimathon's rules you're allowed to rest.

I was doing 25 lengths in 20 minutes by last week, so I decided that that was my aim for Swimathon itself - 20 lengths in the bigger pool, in 20 minutes. Lee was going first, then my mum, and then me.

We swam at Barnsley Metrodome and when we got there it was a bit of a shambles to be honest. I would definitely think Swimathon could do better with this - there was no one from the organisation there so all the Metrodome staff had to count lanes for us.

When it got to my turn I just got in and went for it. I smashed my target - I did 20 lengths in 15 minutes! I was so impressed! We did our 1.5km in an hour dead, which I think is great for us.

We each received medals and then we got changed and went out for something to eat - we were starving!

Here's some photos

My mum and her medal

Lee and I and ours

Isn't it great?!

Swimathon raises money for Marie Curie Cancer Care, and so far we have more than £700 for them, nearly doubling our target. If you would like to sponsor me too, you can do so here:

Next year I'm definitely going to do the 1.5km by myself. I think I could do 40 lengths easily, so with a bit of practice and maybe a rest or two, I'm sure I'll do fine!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Here's What I Would've Spent Challenge - Topshop

Here's what I would've spent in Topshop if they did my size. I've always liked Topshop's aesthetic, it closely matches mine. I've never really shopped there though; I think I got sized out of it before I was really old enough to go there. I sometimes pick up a pair of their shoes secondhand, because I just don't feel like endorsing them with my money since they won't cater to me. 

But, if I could, here's a few things that have caught my eye:

How amazing is this denim pinafore?

I LOVE the pattern of this dress, and the Bardot shoulders

I love the colour of this dress

I LOVE this skirt. I used to have a bag that looked like this. LOVE

I could browse Topshop all day. I so wish they'd make a plus size range. Get on it, Arcadia Group!

Here's the other lovelies joining in this challenge:

Friday, April 24, 2015

Recent nail polish I've been wearing

I've been trying to get into the habit of painting my nails all the time, and trying not to worry so much about putting a top coat on. I use Seche Vite and while I love it, it takes ages to dry and takes planning to do my nails. To this end, I've recently used a couple of matte polishes as they don't require a top coat.

This is a Zoya polish, it's called Phoebe. It's a gorgeous neon blue matte. I really love Zoya polishes

This is a Japanese brand called BK. I got a whole set all in neon colours. This is a fantastic highlighter pink colour.