Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Let's Look Back at 2014 - Fictional Favourites

As the year quickly pulls to a close, most people like to look back and reflect on all the wonderful things they have done. But I've already done that, so now I've decided to look back on my favourite fictional things as inspired by Currys. Although I started writing book reviews on this ol' blog, it hasn't really touched the surface on how many books I read this year. As Goodreads allows you to set yourself a yearly target, I managed to reach mine - and surpass it - with flying colours. After looking back at my year in reading, I decided that my favourite book of 2014 is A Tale of the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki.

A completely surreal story, following the life of Nao, or at least the life she writes about in her diary, which is found washed up hundreds of miles away by Ruth. At completely different stages of their lives - as one is a bullied and misunderstood girl in Japan, the other a woman struggling with writer's block on the other side of the Pacific - their stories weave together in such an unusual way. Ruth starts to struggle with the concept of time, as she has no idea how far apart each entry in Nao's diary are, and starts to pace herself with it. I felt the same as Ruth in this respect, as at first I just wanted to devour the entries, but realised I needed to savour them to understand how significant each development in Nao's character is to the novel. 

Although some of the science theory in this novel completely passed me by, I found it completely engaging and unlike anything I've read before. I would definitely recommend this, and in fact I've already loaned it out to a trusted friend. 

Honourable mentions
- The Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness
- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I have to admit, not all of my free time has been spent reading. Due to the wonder that is Netflix, I have spent many an hour flicking through the rows and rows of suggested viewing watching some top quality television. I really took it in my stride and went American Sitcom mad. First, The Office US (my second time round), then Don't Trust The B**** In Apartment 23, the hotly anticipated Orange is the New Black series followed by many, many others. I've got to say though, my standout TV show in 2014 has definitely been Arrested Development.

The series originally started in 2003, and had three successful seasons before it was sadly cancelled in 2006. Luckily for me, Netflix decided to revive the show and that's what brought it onto my radar. I'd never really been a huge fan of Jason Bateman before, but I really loved his portrayal of Michael Bluth, just a normal guy trying to keep the family business afloat whilst his father is in prison for some dodgy business malpractice. All of the characters are perfectly acted - I could not imagine anyone other than Will Arnett as part-time magician Gob Bluth - and the straining relationships between family members is hilarious to watch.

Honourable mentions
- Game of Thrones
- Damages (not from this year, but Glenn Close?!?!)
- Parks & Recreation

Did either of these tickle your fancy this year? What was your best read this year? Any TV shows I need in my life? 

Chelsea xo

*this post is my entry to the #CurrysFiresideFiction competition*

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Way to go, 2014!

On January 1st 2014, I posted this about what I was excited about for the year ahead. I thought it might be fun to have a look back and see if it all went to plan! 

Ah, the quest for silver hair... *sighs* As much as I love my new 'do, I miss it every day!
January - go back to uni, Joe's birthday, meet Leona
Well, I didn't meet Leona as the weather decided to go mental and destroyed the whole section of railway lines between us two! Which we were gutted about, of course, but natural disasters aside, I think January was an alright month for me. 

February - go and see my family, trip to London
I did both of these things! My surprise valentine's trip to London was to go see Foals perform - which was amazing! Seeing my family was also fantastic, and it looks like we'll be seeing them again in Feb 2015. Why must I live so far away?! 

March, April, May - uni deadlines, decide future
A year ago I was mulling over whether I would take my third and final year of uni. I think it's safe to assume you all know that I did go for it in the end. Sadly, there are still some areas of uni that could be vastly improved, but I'm hoping to make some sort of change with my role as student rep. We shall see. 

June, July, August - anniversary
I basically had no plans whatsoever for the summer, but wanted to do something nice for our anniversary in August. It's safe to say that we did, and I wore my super cute yellow dress. We also moved in July, so that was pretty awesome. 

September, October - festival, birthdays!
Well, what d'ya know, Dylan and I both had our birthdays, just like we planned! Dylan's was very Batman themed, including a Batman cake that I decorated all by myself - screw you, Asda! I had a really great birthday, we went to the BEST restaurant ever, and then a few days later I celebrated with my uni friends and fell asleep on my train home! Not my finest moment, sure, but fun all the same! 

November, December - Christmas
Apparently I had really high hopes for Christmas and had hoped to spend it with my family. Obviously, I'd clearly forgotten that I'm married to a chef and that he will basically never get any time off during the whole of December. Maybe next year if he can get a job in somewhere that closes on the big day!

That was fun! Maybe I should write another post like this for 2015 - would anyone be interested in that? What did you get up to in 2014?

Chelsea xo

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Me, Myself and I (and I)

My most heartfelt apologies to anyone who didn't expect to see four versions of my face in the feed, but I need your help. That's right, it's time to pick some new glasses! For some really bizarre reason, I haven't edited any of these images (except to put them into a collage, obviously) but blogger is making them look like I've blurred the life out of my face. I haven't, but yeah. 

Chelsea - Malcolm
Nancy - Betty
I'm kind of cheating a bit, as I already own the bottom two frames. The Nancy style is the beloved frame I won from a giveaway on Amy's blog earlier in the year. I absolutely love them, but sadly Dylan snapped the leg off and now I can't wear them. They're included in this line up as I'd like to know if you think I should re-order a pair! The other pre-owned style is Betty - my purple retro cat-eye style lenses. As much as I like these, they hurt behind my ear a little bit as I think my head has expanded since I got them. 

So really what I'm asking you, dear reader, is this - which style do I go for next? Do I re-order my broken Nancy or do I stick with Betty? Should I be the Chelsea wearing Chelsea or should I opt for a (not so) macho frame like Malcolm? I must point out that the Malcolm's are also tortoiseshell, which seems to be a firm favourite with me. Black glasses look way too harsh on me, and with this current hairstyle, I imagine would morph me back into an emo-tastic 2004 version of myself. 

What style should I go for? Who wins, you decide! 
(I really hope you said that last bit in your best Geordie accent!) 

Chelsea xo

Saturday, 13 December 2014

It's Christmastime, Feeling Greedy?

If you'd have asked me a month ago what The Greedy Book is, I would have definitely thought it was some sort of recipe book - maybe with pies and cakes being the main feature. As amazing as that would be (and perfect for a pie and cake fan like me) it's actually a brilliant website, designed to store up all those items you've found online and completely love.

Essentially, The Greedy Book is an online wishlist - but it has a really great twist. You can add comments to each item you include. So, on that lovely £140 coat from Seasalt (first spotted on Ruth's blog) my note is "see if it goes on sale first!" as I'd much rather have a few lovely things off of my list, rather than have Santa spend all my Christmas allowance on a coat! 

Another favourite feature, is that you can create as many 'books' as you wish. This is great, as it means I can create a greedy book for myself - which I can sneakily leave open on my browser, or send a link to anyone who asks me what I would like - and I can create one for Joe, Dylan or any other member of the family! This is superb for me, as often I see something online, usually in another blogger's wishlist, and I think "wow, Joe's sister would love that!" so I heart it on bloglovin', but then forget all about it. The Greedy Book means I can save every little link to it's own book, and that way I'll always know where it is. Even better, I can choose if the book is private or not, which means when I share my own gift book, Joe won't be able to see what ideas I have saved for him. Perfect! 

Overall, I think The Greedy Book is a really lovely idea. I'd first spotted it on Becky's blog, when she went to their launch party. The team behind TGB really seemed so nice, and had given such amazing attention to detail for the launch party - something that really comes across on their website as well.  You can follow them on twitter and facebook as well, and they're usually posting beautiful items that you'll most certainly be adding to your book. I'm definitely going to use The Greedy Book for all my gifting needs from now on! 

So what do you think? Have you ever heard of The Greedy Book?

Chelsea xo
*The Greedy Book is an excellent small business, but I haven't been paid to share it! I just really love it!*

Friday, 12 December 2014

Book Club #9 - The Rosie Effect

My last book review was of The Rosie Project which -spoiler alert- I really enjoyed. I was pretty excited to find out that a sequel was to be released, and made sure I got my hands on it as quickly as possible. Luckily for me, I got it for my birthday and I ended up reading it last month.

The Rosie Effect - Graeme Simsion. Also, hello new bedding!
Set almost a year after The Rosie Project, The Rosie Effect jumps straight in with Rosie and Don now happily married and living in New York. All is going well for the couple - as Don works as a professor at Columbia University, where Rosie is also studying for her MD qualification - until Rosie drops a bombshell. That's right, she's pregnant. 

If you read my review of The Rosie Project, you'll know that I really enjoyed reading the first book. The characters were endearing, funny and easy to like. Which is great news, but often means writing a sequel is a hard task for any author. Luckily, I whizzed through The Rosie Effect and didn't feel like it was lacking at all - that Graeme Simsion has done it again!  

Excuse the shoddy editing on this one. Despite being taken only moments after the first image, it was apparently taken at nighttime. *shakes fist at camera*
Those familiar with the characters will know all about Don's quirks. His overly-logical nature and social awkwardness haven't been dulled in this second book, and if anything, are really put to the test when he finds out he will become a father. The Baby Project commences almost immediately, and he manages to get himself into tricky situations that only Don could find.

I really enjoyed reading The Rosie Effect but the ending was probably my favourite bit. It wrapped up the whole story in the best possible way - full of Don's blundering ways and a ridiculous twist. If you've read The Rosie Project, I really recommend grabbing the sequel and soaking it up over the holidays.

Have you read The Rosie Effect? Did you think it lives up to The Rosie Project? 

Chelsea xo

Monday, 8 December 2014

Christmas Wishin'

The Miniaturist - Penguin jumper - dotty dressing gown
Christmas Eve candle - white Converse - house charm
With only a few weeks until Christmas, I felt like the time has come to post a wish list. As far as I'm aware, Joe hasn't started his Christmas shopping yet - which is bad news for me! It took me forever to create this wish list, as I'd already planned to buy myself some treats in the Boxing Day sales. However, I've been after a dressing gown for age and this Joules one is just lovely. It looks like it would be really soft and snuggly, and to be honest I don't own enough polka dots. Next on my list was the rather general 'books'. I've already been book shopping recently, and picked up four new books under the guise of some of them being on my uni reading list - well, one was, but it was the second in a trilogy, so I had to get the whole set! I'd love to own this beautiful edition of The Miniaturist, the cover would look fabulous on my bookshelf. 

Christmas isn't the same without a novelty jumper, and it seems like penguins are in vogue this year. I love the mint colour, as it makes a nice change from the usual reds and greens. This one is from New Look, but they have so many different designs, I'm sure you'll find one you love. Another Christmas essential is a festive Yankee Candle! This year, I'd love to receive Christmas Eve - maybe as our traditional early present? That way, I could open it on Christmas Eve and enjoy the scent on the intended day. 

Would you believe me if I said I'd never owned a pair of Converse trainers? It's true, I was always more of a Vans kind of girl. Anyhow, I really fancy a white pair, and love how these are completely white. I think Converse have had some sort of re-brand recently, and that's why they don't have the blue and red stripes along the bottom. I could be wrong on that, though. Last up on my list is this lovely little house charm from Pandora. I've wanted it since July, to celebrate us moving away from our awful last place. Of course, if Joe (or anyone else reading) would prefer to get me a different charm, I have a wish list as long as my arm on the pandora website haha! 

Do you like any of my picks? What have you asked for this Christmas? 

Chelsea xo

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Welcome to the family!

Yeah, so today we bought a hamster. Despite growing up with pets for my whole entire life, I've never actually owned a hamster before. We went to the pet store to book Monty in for a Senior dog check up and I usually try to drag Joe around the fluffy small pets when we visit, much to his dismay. For some reason, Joe fell in love with the hamsters and declared that we should adopt one. And so we have. He's named Émile, like Remy's fat rat brother in Ratatouille, because Ratatouille is great and stuff. 

We've had to leave him to settle in, as moving can be quite stressful for hamsters, but it's so funny to hear Joe cooing him from across the kitchen. Joe didn't grow up with pets, and considers Émile to be his first - as I got Monty before we moved in together. I can sense a growing friendship blossoming between them and now I'm definitely outnumbered by males in this house! 

In other news:
- I handed in one assignment on Monday, one more to go for this term! 
- Dylan has been given the role of Angel 6 in the nativity. It's better than first lobster, I guess... 
- I made an excellent treacle tart using this recipe. You've probably seen it on instagram
- I finished reading The Rosie Effect - hopefully I can get a review up after my deadline! 

What's new with you guys? Any fun hamster stories? 

Chelsea xo

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Wellbeing & Fitness - time to change

Boycotting the traditional New Year's Resolution, I have decided to change my life for the better a month or so earlier than the norm. I've always struggled with NYR as I hate feeling like I've let myself down - which is inevitable, really - so I want to make a change that isn't tied to that feeling. I mean, any sort of resolution has pressure to it, but by doing it when I like, and not on a day when everyone in the whole world is doing it as well, then I feel like I can ease myself in and maybe stick at it. 

This time, I want to sort out all the areas of my wellbeing. As a mother, I am hugely aware of how unfit I am. Dylan is forever trying to get me to run around playing football with him, and it's just something that I can't do. For his sake, I want to get myself at a comfortable level where I can run around and play all those crazy make-believe games with him. Hence the trainers. I actually asked Joe to get me them as an early Christmas present, how depressing is that? My plan is to wake myself up a little earlier than usual - even on weekends :( - to either run or do some xbox fitness stuff. I'd like to alternate on the two, but no doubt I'll probably dance more when it's raining outside.

Fitness aside, I also want to improve my health - which is were the Bimuno Immunaid Probiotics* comes in. My immune system is shocking, and I am always catching the latest cold because of it. Funnily enough, when I was little I managed to convince myself that I would die from scurvy because I had such a bad immune system from not eating oranges and lemons. Pretty sure we were studying 'life at sea' around the same time, but nonetheless, I guess I've always been aware of my constant bugs and colds. I'm hoping that the immune system boost will be the start of a healthy eating process for me. I've never been a fan of green food, so it's taking a lot of time, trial and error to find healthier food that I like, or at least can grow to like. 

The This Works pillow spray is another thing that I think will help my wellbeing - as I often have trouble sleeping. They say that you need 8 solid hours a night to allow your body to repair and your mind to rest, but I probably get around five or six hours, and even then it is interrupted. It smells heavenly, and I'm pretty sure it's been a huge help to my sleep the last few hours. 

Now, I just need to persevere and hopefully by the time January 1st rolls around, my resolution will be to "keep going" rather than to "make a huge change". 

Have you started a wellbeing regime lately? Anything else I need to consider?

Chelsea xo

Monday, 24 November 2014

My awesome new journal & an update!

Just a short update to show off my pretty new Frankie journal. Isn't it wonderful? I can't wait to start using it! It even has a pen holder thing! Excited! Other updates include:

- I have two huge deadlines coming up in the first week of December - panic! 
- I am around halfway through my Christmas shopping, oh yeah be jel.
- Joe has had this week off work as we're going to see The National and Wild Beasts on Wednesday - more excitement! 
- This also means we're going out for tapas on Friday! 
- And probably burgers in London on Wednesday!

How are you? Gimme the latest in your best short form style, go! Can you recommend any great must eat places in London?

Chelsea xo

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Wandering around Bath.

On Wednesday, I played tourist in Bath. It's was quite funny, really. As I'm always rushing off for trains and the like, I've never really wandered about. Sure, I've got lost a few times back in first year (and maybe at other times too, don't judge), but I've never just walked for the sake of it. That last image is from the inside of the Assembly Rooms - aren't those chandeliers wonderful? Trying to convince Joe that we need at least one in the house now. 

We're studying Persuasion by Jane Austen so we headed off to all the Bath locations in the novel, with my lecturer and an English lecture giving us the guided tour. Did you know, if you go into a city and there's a Cheap Street, chances are that prostitutes used to live there. See, don't say I never teach you anything! Of course, Bath is a beautiful place, and whilst I knew that before, it was really interesting to find out more about that lovely golden city I call my university home.

Have you visited Bath before? Have you been on a literary trail? 

Chelsea xo

Thursday, 13 November 2014

The 1989 Tag!

Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll know Taylor Swift has a new album out. Some genius decided to make a tag out of the song titles, and after I saw Jennie had posted it, I fancied a go too! I've only had one listen of the album, but it's definitely a top pop album. Plus, in her new video she stands on a horse, so yeah. On with the tag! 

1. Welcome to New York. If you could live in any city, which would it be and why? 
Ooh, snap answer with Jennie on this one! I'd love to live in Edinburgh, as we nearly did! Somehow, we ended up in Somerset, but the Scottish half of me would love to return north of the border.

2. Blank Space. What is something that everyone thinks is true about you but is actually false? 
Erm, I have no idea? I think a lot of people think I'm quite good with spelling and stuff because of my copyediting and proofreading skills (the joys of publishing!) but I'm actually really bad. So bad, that I used to get bullied because of it. Yeah, I went to a weird school... 

3. Style. What is one item in your closet that makes you feel unstoppable? 
The playsuit I bought for my birthday. It was such an extravagant purchase, but I feel like Kate Bush in it, and that can never be a bad thing. 

4. Out of the Woods. What is one thing that you're afraid of?
Not getting a job when I leave university. 

5. All You Had To Do Was Stay. Who is someone you wish was still in your life?
It's not really answering the question, but all of my family. I hate living 300 or so miles away from them, and really hate how much they miss of Dylan. 

6. Shake It Off. What is something you have had to shake off?
I'm trying really had to be less miserable around Joe. Stuff sucks at the moment as we have hardly seen each other due to my late lectures, so I don't want to dwell on things around him. Sure, discussing problems is fine, but after that I just want to have a cup of tea together and feel good

7. I Wish You Would. What is something you'd like to happen right now?
I would like my assignments to be magically completed and of a super high standard. Too much to ask?

8. Bad Blood. Have you ever had someone stab you in the back? 
Yeah, but it was all high school drama. I'm not proud of it, but I'm sure I did plenty of backstabbing too. I'd like to think I'm a much nicer person now, and that I've surrounded myself with pleasant, friendly people. 

9. Wildest Dreams. What would you like to be remembered for? 
My celebration cakes. I'm sure my legacy will be some milestone in my career, or how well-rounded Dylan becomes, but I do bake a pretty awesome cake when I give myself enough time. 

10. How You Get The Girl. What is your favourite pick-up line?
I don't have one. Joe and I bonded over a love of Prince, The Smiths and The Tallest Man on Earth. 

11. This Love. What is something you got back that you never thought you would?
A chance at a decent career. I went to university right after finishing my A Levels and bloody hated it. I was completely miserable, studying something that I had fallen out of interest of, and living with the nastiest housemate imaginable. Although on paper getting pregnant at eighteen wasn't the most desirable life choice, it gave me the courage to try a course in Publishing at a university in the other half of the country, relocating with the little family I'd somehow created. 

12. I Know Places. Where is one place you always feel safe? 
As corny as it sounds, with Joe. I like knowing that he always has my back. 

13. Clean. What is an important lesson you have learned in life, and how did you learn it?
You can put your trust in someone to do the right thing, but some times they just will not do it. You can't blame yourself for their failure, and you shouldn't punish yourself for being too nice, caring or hopeful. 

So there's the T Swift tag, I now challenge you all to do it! :) 

Chelsea xo

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Books for Dylan.

For the past few days, every time I have sat down to write a post, I haven't been happy with the result. On Wednesday, I tried writing a home wish list, but got frustrated because all the shelves I could find were hideous. Friday I tried writing about the Lena Dunham fiasco, but realised I don't know or understand enough. Seriously, every paragraph had 'I just don't understand' in there somewhere. Today, I tried wanted to post a life update, but then I remembered basically the last three posts have been life updates, and not a lot had really happened. 

Luckily, I think I've found some sort of groove, when a Book People catalogue fell through my letterbox. I love The Book People. I'm not 100% sure how ethical it is - I mean, those prices are so cheap, surely someone's losing out! - but they've got really good feedback, and I've always had a pleasant experience with them. Today, I want to share with you some books I'm intending on getting Dylan for Christmas. One of my 101 in 1001 Days things is to get Dylan 10 books I loved as a child, so when better to get him books than at Christmas? 

50 book Ladybird collection - We're Going on a Bear Hunt - Guess How Much I Love You
The Jolly Christmas Postman - 10 book Julia Donaldson collection

I think you would be daft not to buy this collection. It's got 50 classics from the Ladybird archives and it's only £30. It contains basically all the fairytales we know and love, including Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Beauty and the Beast. The books cover a wide reading age, as well, so while at the start I will read them all to Dylan, by the time he's 7 he should have them all sussed! That's excellent value for money, if you ask me! 

Next up we have We're Going on a Bear Hunt, which I always loved at storytime. I can't believe it's actually 25 years old! I used to love pretending to splish-splosh about when having this read to me. I think Dylan would love it as well, as he's pretty messy and would no doubt love the pretend-play this book brings. 

Guess How Much I Love You is also celebrating an anniversary, it's 20 years for this one! I never actually had this one as a child, but all my cousins did - maybe my parents were trying to tell me something! Anyhow, this one has a very sweet sentiment, and Dylan's quite fond on bunnies so I'm sure this one would be a hit. 

I love all Allan and Janet Ahlberg stories, but The Jolly Postman was always my favourite. Well, until they released The Jolly Christmas Postman! I mean, seriously, what more do you want? Great story, great images, and even better - you get to read everyone's letters to Santa and family members! As a nosy child, who loved Christmas, reading and always wanted my own letter writing set, this was the perfect book for me. I'm definitely getting this one for Christmas, whether I share it with Dylan or not is another matter entirely... 

Lastly, we have the awesome 10 book Julia Donaldson collection. Dylan is a big fan of the Gruffalo and Stick Man, so this collection would be a huge hit with him. Plus, it has Room on the Broom, which is apparently one of Donaldson's best - so I'm pretty excited for that! For £10, this seems like a bargain in my eyes. 

So there we have it, some books I'd love to share with Dylan! 
Did you read any of these books as a nipper? 

Chelsea xo

Saturday, 1 November 2014

For The Love of Books

Can everyone remember way back, when I said I wanted to blog about books more? And then I practically fell off the face of the earth? Yeah, me too. Through no fault of my own, I haven't been able to read books as quickly as I can buy them, which is a real shame, if you ask me. As it was recently my birthday, the lovely Joe bought me these two books after I stood about in a bookstore gushing about how much I loved The Rosie Project - it clearly paid off! 

I'm hoping in the near future that I'll be able to post a review of them, but we need to see how badly my academic reading gets in the way of reading for pleasure. You may have already seen me complain on twitter about having to read a Jane Austen novel - hey, I go to uni in Bath, of course I have to read a Jane Austen novel - and apparently it's her worst one. Joy of joys! If you missed my rare tweeting, I'm reading Persuasion. Well, I started reading Persuasion, but after one measly chapter I wanted to end it all. If you've read this book, please tell me it gets better. Even if it doesn't, I need some ray of hope in my life! 

What are you reading at the moment? Anything I need to add to the ever expanding book wishlist? 

Chelsea xo

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

It's What I Go To School For...

I know my last post was a round-up/taking stock kind of post, but as I'm currently super busy, I thought I would give you another catch up with me. Otherwise it'll probably be no new post for another week or so, and we wouldn't want that! 

A good book day.
So, why am I super busy? Well, I am currently working on the legacy team for Bath's Digital Festival. If you can't read between the lines, the Bath Digital Festival is a ten day festival about all things digital. If you're into coding, want to know how to create better content, or interested in how digital can be used for good (and evil!) then the festival really has something for you. Plus, their mascot is a robot, so who doesn't love that? As part of the legacy team, my role is attending events and then writing articles or press releases for them, which is not what I expected, but good all the same. 

I spent all of Tuesday morning in Bath covering some events, and then hopped on a train to Exeter to meet up with Leona! We had the *most* romantic meal you could ever imagine, and then headed to the cinema for a screen date with McBusted. Gosh darn it, we just love those guys. 

Other stuff of interest:
- I'm finally reading the final book in my Goodreads challenge, but so far I hate it. YAY.
- I'm expecting a delivery from Bimuno Prebiotics to help boost my crappy immune system.
- I received an awesome parcel from Danniella which just totally justified how freakin' awesome she is. Be jealous that she likes me more than you *smug face*
- I finally got my hands on the Tracey Emin Books Are My Bag bag. HAPPY DAYS.

Chelsea xo

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Lately, been thinkin' 'bout you, baby...

I know I posted t'other day, but I really feel out of the blogging loop. Since the start of September, my Bloglovin' feed has been stuck in the 800+ unread - which is pretty daunting, but I'm working on it - and I've only really posted once a week, ish. I'm hoping to rectify this, as I miss y'all, and what better way to do that then to steal a post idea from the delightful Michelle*?

So let's have a look at what I've been up to recently...

My beautiful playsuit <3 in my friend's messy room

Making a big deal out of my doctor's appointment, when I shouldn't really.

Cooking very little.
Drinking far too much - stupid birthday cocktails!
Reading - On The Road, still, or at least trying to...
Wanting a holiday, hey Michelle why don't we go on one together?
Looking like I haven't slept properly in ten years.
Playing on Animal Crossing more!
Wasting the hours when I should be tidying the house.
Deciding that I need a nanny to help me tidy the house.
Wishing I were a more organised gal...
Enjoying time with friends.
Waiting for Christmaaaas!
Liking my Food Writing classes, as someone always brings in cake!
Wondering how hard I need to work to kick uni-ass!
Loving some of the completely bizarre phrases Dylan comes out with.
Considering the next step...
Watching Damages, I'm hooked I tell you!
Hoping I start to feel more motivated for my assignments.
Marvelling at how I haven't died from scurvy.
Needing to up my vitamins as it's flu season.
Smelling like all my lovely new bath bombs!
Wearing my new comfy H&M jumper. It's my life.
Following so many twitter feeds...
Noticing how all my uni friends feel as worried as me, it's kind of comforting.
Knowing I need to start booking my driving lessons again :(
Thinking about how much I miss the North :( :(
Feeling like I need to rant.
Admiring my sister-in-law on her trip to German and Switzerland - pretty brave at 15!
Buying a few Christmas presents, and then deciding to keep them for myself...
Getting to grips with daily trains, again.
Bookmarking various boring websites for uni research.
Opening birthday presents!
Giggling at Dylan waking me up and saying "yoo hoo, hi family!"

*there is no better way!

So, what have you been up to?

Chelsea xo

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Simple Student Hacks with Virgin Media

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think I've ever mentioned that I'm a student. A third year student, at that. What? You mean I have? Oh, silly me! Of course, we all know that I'm a student. I've even blogged about it a few times. As I'm in my final year, I feel quite lucky that I haven't had to deal with any usual student woes (apart from Student Finance, but that's a different story) as my housemates are my little family, and I've never had to dine on beans as Joe's a fancy chef. 

As I'm in a student minority, I felt like these Virgin Media student hacks might not apply to me, but it turns out I was wrong! That ring-pull life hack is a bloody genius idea, and it's definitely one I've started applying to my wardrobe. Finally, I can feel (slightly) proud about my fizzy pop addiction! 

My friend from work has just gone off to university, so I've made sure that she knows all about these - I'm convinced it'll make her time at uni a bit easier to manage! Have a look at some of the vines below...

Check out the rest from Virgin Media

So, what do you think? Will you be applying any of the student hacks to your life? Or do you have an amazing hack I need to know about?

Chelsea xo

Friday, 17 October 2014

The To-Read List #1

If you use Goodreads, you'll know that you can set up little challenges, to help you up your reading game. Luckily for me, I'm 4 books ahead of my reading challenge, having read 19 outta 20 books. Now, after congratulating myself for such a great feat, my brain has now decided it doesn't want me to finish reading that illusive last book. *shakes fist at brain* 

I'm currently reading On The Road, which is a classic, and Joe's apparently read it twice. I'm about a halfway through, and I'm giving myself the mini-challenge to finish reading it by November 1st. Who doesn't love a challenge within a challenge?! Once I've finished, I can happily delve into my to-read list, yay! 

I've already read High Fidelity and The Curious Incident before, but I'm looking forward to rereading them. I asked for Pullman's Grimm Tales last Christmas, so I'm hoping I can dip into it before Christmas is here again. Considering the amount of books I ask for, I really need to read what I already have! I bought Landline and Wonder in the same shopping trip, a few months ago, when I also bought The Knife of Never Letting Go. I lapped up the Chaos Walking series - and you should read it too - but these got left on the bookshelf. Never fear, though, as I'm determined to make these books the last reads of 2014! 

Have you read any of these books? Do you have a to-read list?

Chelsea xo

Saturday, 11 October 2014

My Favourite Christmas Experience!

Despite living in the Somerset countryside, I am a Northern girl through-and-through. I've spent the vast majority of my life living up North, and to tell you the truth, I miss it dearly. All of my family still live up there, and I'm counting down the years until I can move back up. One of my favourite things about the North East, is it's love of history - and what a rich history it has. If you're historically inclined, then you need to visit the Beamish Open Air Museum. As a family, we always had yearly passes, as we would visit as often as we could. Surprisingly, I had never visited at Christmas - so a few years ago when my best Northern buddy asked if she could take me and Dylan out for the day - how could I resist? 

Who says you can't pose with a small baby attached to you?!
My very own Li'l Sebastian <3
Santa's Sleigh! 
That face.
I'd thought I had actually taken more photos than this, but obviously I was having way too much fun. We met Santa, and he gave Dylan the loveliest little mouse teddy, which he still has now! This will always be my favourite Christmas memory, I think, as it was Dylan's first taste of the season, and it just reminds me so much of home. Although this is nearly three years ago, I think it will keep it's hold on my heart for many years to come. Someone take me back!

What's your favourite Christmas memory?
Chelsea xo

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

1001 in 101 Days #6

Is it really time for my sixth update?! Crackers. My little bucket list is over a year old now, and I can't really say I've made hugely impressive progress. I have made some progress though, so let's have a look at what I've ticked off lately... 

020. Make a playlist of 'our' songs - in progress
Well, this is very much in progress, as I've only just started it. I've got about eight songs though, which is good going if you ask me. 

024. Finish the second year of my foundation degree and upgrade to a real degree! - completed!
Yeah, boiiiiii! You so know I'm in my third year (and in high demand, if my tutor is to be believed!) so expect me to drop off the face of the blogging planet as soon as my deadlines start rolling in. 

063. Go to a festival each year - in progress
For our second year, we went to Festival No.6 again! And what a weekend it was. I'm sure you don't need me to tell you all about it again, but we've got our fingers crossed for next year too! 

065. Join the local library - completed!
Hurrah for libraries! I actually found out that I've joined every library in the county, so big thumbs up for me there. Do I get an extra point? Or extra cake? Cake would be better. I'm going to get some cake. 

078. Read 20 books a year - in progress
I'm on 19 books for this year, so I'm pretty confident I'll be able to read this target. A lot of my set texts for this year are actual novels, so I'm going to be super cheeky and include them. 

083. Buy a decent camera - completed!
I did it! I have a decent camera! Now, all I need to do is learn how to use it... 

Do you have a bucket list? I'd love to know what you've crossed off lately!

Chelsea xo

Monday, 6 October 2014

Book Club #8 - The Rosie Project

The Rosie Project had been on my to-read list ever since it came out. It became one of those elusive books that I wanted, but never got around to buying, which is always a shame. This carried on for some time until I spotted it on my local library shelf - in hardback, no less! I whizzed through it pretty quickly, which is always a good sign! 

Cor, look at the off-centre, creasiness of that! 
If The Rosie Project hasn't caught your eye before, the gist of the story is that Don, a middle-aged autistic professor, sets up the perfect solution to his Wife Problem - a detailed questionnaire to filter out all the women who are a waste of time. But, hold your horses, readers! This isn't an anti-feminism novel, or anything absurd like that, but a fun and intelligent look at how someone like fictional Don might go about finding a wife. 

Does something plot-twisting happen in chapter 10? Or did I just flick open at this page? Only time will tell...
Despite the fact that everyone was telling me how great this book is, I was a little sceptical. Surely no book about dating or questionnaires could be that funny, or that captivating? As it turns out, The Rosie Project was all kinds of wonderful, and I even laughed out loud at a few points. I felt like all the characters were well thought out, and were given enough of a history to understand, and the blunt remarks from Don were always perfectly placed. 

I would definitely suggest reading The Rosie Project to anyone and everyone. 
Have you read The Rosie Project?

Chelsea xo

Friday, 3 October 2014

Things That Make You Go...


You know the feeling, right? You're just casually minding your own business when something catches your eye and then immediately makes you wish you could crawl into the deepest pit of the earth, never to return again? Please tell me I am not alone in this. 

For those lucky lot that have no idea of the horror I am describing, let me explain. Sometimes, in life, things happen beyond your control. These things can shock you, unnerve you and even make you burst into tears. As rational human beings - and British - we often find the politest thing to do is to just die on the inside, rather than telling someone of the horrific visual crimes they are committing. You need an example? Oh, I've got plenty of examples...

- Yesterday, I saw a grown man (I'm guessing mid thirties?) wearing a t-shirt which said LEGOver and had some lego figures 'doing it'. Hey, I'm no prude, but dude, my three year old loves Lego and started pointing in sheer joy at your ridiculous t-shirt. 

- Sometimes, you can be in a really civilised conversation with someone, and then they go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like, 'I read in the Daily Mail...' No, honey. No. Let's not. Nuh uh. 

- I work in a shop. It's a popular high street brand, and our rival store is pretty much directly across the street. Occasionally, when helping a customer, it might dawn upon me that we do not have whatever it is they need in stock. This is no big deal, I can order it in for you! Or I could check to see if it's in another store? But no, there will always be one angry customer who takes pride in telling me that they'll go across the road and take their custom over there. Well, fine by me, but why be so rude? 

- Living in a less than desirable town, I will often see parents with small children dashing around, looking flustered. I'm not judging here, of course, as nine times out of ten, that parent is me. However, I will judge you, if you proceed to give your toddler a whole bottle of coke to themselves, a share bag of skittles, and then scream at them when they pull faces or let go of the pushchair. It's not good.

Honestly, I could go on. I'd actually wrote down a few other things, but I seem to have misplaced my list. Bet your bottom dollar that I'll be posting the sequel to this post in good time. 

So, is it just me? Should these things not bother me? What makes you lose faith in humanity? 

Chelsea xo

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

I don't know about you...

But I'm feeling 22! Except not really, as I'm turning 23 soon. In fact, I thought I would dedicate a whole post to the materialistic desires I have. It helps Joe out with the present buying, you see. I'm pretty thoughtful like that. I thought I'd actually posted a wish list for my birthday last year, but it turns out I didn't. Maybe I'm not as materialistic as I thought? Anyhoo, let's see what beauties have caught my eye, shall we? 

Khaki Skirt - Hotel Alpha - Busby Jazz shoes - Hexagon Necklace
Let's start with the skirt. I love khaki for autumn, and I think I'm one of those people who suits khaki (if there is a type of person who suits it) and I just love the look of this midi skirt. The pleats are divine, and well, for £17.99 it's a bit of a bargain if you ask me. I think I would need to try this on first though, as New Look sizes are always a bit weird with me. Who knew you could be three dress sizes at once?! 

Hotel Alpha featured on a previous wish list, but I didn't get around to buying it. Mark Watson was actually doing a book signing for it, but unfortunately I couldn't get to Bristol for it. Sadtimes! Luckily, birthday's and other celebrations are a good time to ask for books, so I would be very happy to receive this. I mean, look at the cover! Isn't it lovely? Of course, there are plenty of books on my wish list at the moment, so if you're feeling inclined to buy me a present, head to your local bookstore and find me a treat.*

Oh, Clarks, can you do no wrong? I managed to snag myself a pair of their S/S brogues - which a lot of bloggers also got, damn them - and they are incredibly comfortable. I'd love to get these grey Busby Jazz shoes and just walk around feeling all snazzy. Having said that, every time I've typed 'busby jazz' I feel like a bit of a ding, but I'm sure the comfort and admiration of the shoes would outweigh that feeling. Right?

Possibly saving my favourite 'til last, this hexagon necklace is the stuff of dreams. I have been regularly checking the Oh My Clumsy Heart website for absolutely ages, just seeing if it's still in stock. Sure, some might find that borderline stalkerish, but I just really love it, okay?! It's so pretty, and I think I'd probably choose the 16" or 18" inch chain, so that it stays in view at all times. Something that is so simple, and so lovely gets a big fat 'yes' from me. 

So, spot anything you like on my wish list? 

Chelsea xo

*I jest, of course, but books really do make me happy. 

Friday, 26 September 2014

Wildest Moments

Happy Friday, guys! Just a quick post today to show you all my new hair do. It was a planned 'spur of the moment' thing, if that's even possible. I'd booked myself in at the hairdressers, only to find out she needed to cancel as she had an emergency doctors appointment. Feeling fired up for a change, I managed to get myself a 'walk-in' hair appointment, and voila. I'm basically a different girl! 

Please excuse my face, in it's red and grimy glory!
You might also notice that I've dyed my hair back to brown. It's kind of horrible, as I used a 'new-to-me' dye, Olia, and it's pants. It was really patchy, and hard to mix. I don't really want to go over it again with another brown dye, as this new cut signifies a kinder, less chemically damaging version of my hair. I guess I could just tell people that the patchiness is to match my tortoiseshell glasses - people would believe that, right? 

So, what do we think? (Be nice!)

Chelsea xo

Monday, 22 September 2014

Be Seeing You, Festival No.6...

Did I mention I was going to Festival No.6 this year? I don't think I did mention it. Oh, I did? Are you sure? Well, if you say so... (This is quite a long one, I do apologise!)

If you've blocked me on twitter or are a new follower, Festival No.6 is a majestic festival, located in the stunning village of Portmeirion, Wales. The village itself was built to showcase the beauty in life, and Festival No.6 is a breathtaking way to experience this for one weekend in the year. 

After enjoying last year's festival so much, I made sure I snapped up tickets for us to go again this year. Sure, I took a risk and ordered early bird tickets, but by the time the line-up was announced, there were plenty of great acts to see, which was obviously very pleasing. Joe and I spent the entire weekend laughing, dancing and drinking crazy amounts of swedish oaty non-milk milk...

We arrived on the Thursday, as we wanted to grab a decent camping spot - last year we arrived in the pouring rain, and had to pitch up near the loos! - and were blessed with the most glorious weather this time around. The sun was out all weekend, and with the temperatures raised, you really did feel like you were in a Mediterranean beauty spot. As there were limited acts on the Friday morning, we had plenty of time to explore the village and just bask in the sun. Lovely!  

On Friday, we managed to catch some really good acts, including Patrick Wolf and Los Campesinos! who were brilliant. Patrick Wolf was so charming, and really humble, despite the fact that he's been making music for absolutely years! And, he only went and played the bloomin' harp! He's such a talented guy. Los Campesinos! are a really fun band to see live, and their music is so energetic, you can't help but dance/jump along. Before seeing them, I thought LC! were an okay band, but seeing them live really changed my view on them. I'd recommend seeing them live to everyone!  

We managed to catch a number of comedy acts, including Henning Wehn, Tony Law, Phil Key (bloody mental, but you need to see him!) and Robin Ince. My favourites, out of these, were probably Phil Key for his omg-that-can't-be-true storytelling, and Robin Ince for his Brian Blessed impression. We also managed to catch Letters Live, which was a handful of carefully selected letters from Letters of Note read aloud by famous people. They were perfectly chosen, I felt, and are what spurred me on into buying the rather lovely book. Which, of course, I urge you all to do as well. 

The Sunday headliners were Pet Shop Boys, and it was simply amazing. They obviously put so much into their live shows, and everything about it was incredible. Luckily for us, The Brythioniad Welsh Male Voice Choir were invited on stage to perform Go West - to celebrate the choir's 50th anniversary. It was spectacular, and even PSB's named it as a career highlight. It was such a great way to end the festival, and it was definitely the highlight for me. My only gripe was that they didn't play my favourite song, Heart, but they did play Always On My Mind - which I cried at, obviously - so I can't complain much. 

All in all, an amazing weekend. What do you think, would you ever go to Festival No.6? Did you go to any festivals this year? 

Chelsea xo

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