Wednesday, 30 April 2014

May Day Wish list

I'm not sure Brits celebrate any sort of May Day traditions anymore. Unless you live in a quaint little village, the bank holiday is just another excuse for many to hit the pubs and have a merry ol' time. Naturally, as a woman with a toddler responsibilities, I couldn't possibly sit in a beer garden all day - even when I really, really want to - and so here I am, writing out this wish list. You might remember I wrote a wish list in January, and despite it being super simple, I didn't end up with anything! Well, I did get a new pushchair for Dylan but that totally doesn't count... This time, I'm hoping to treat myself to a few things, god knows after my stressful few months I deserve it (even if I do say so myself)!

Gretta Dress - Gwenna Pinafore - Harper Bag
I seem to have stuck to a spring pastels colour scheme here, haven't I? I don't think I need to explain why I've included either of these dresses - the striped yellow dress is simply perfection and the teal pinafore is equally beautiful. I love that it has pockets, too! I'm trying to change my style a bit, and I've always dreamed of wearing dresses pretty much every day so these two would contribute to that change. I'm hoping to shift a little weight so if I can manage that I'll definitely treat myself to these. 

If you asked Joe, he would instantly tell you that I don't need anymore bags. He might even say I have too many bags, which is just absurd. This cornflower blue Fiorelli bag looks so soft, I almost want to smush my face into it. But I will settle for owning it and stroking it on every possible occasion. If money were no object - and Joe wouldn't find out - I would also treat myself to the mandarin colour as well. A girl can dream, right?

Up Phone case - The Smiths Print - Peacock Charm
After watching Up again for the millionth time - and getting ridiculously upset over the sad start, more so than usual! - I started looking at phone cases. Yep, that's how my mind works, friends. I currently have a super boring black rubber thing on my phone at the moment, and I'd love to inject a bit of my Disney-mad self onto it. I love the design of this case, although there were plenty to choose from! Next up, I picked this The Smiths Print. There's currently an offer in which you can buy all four album art work pieces for the price of three, which is a bargain if I ever saw one. Again, I would maybe have to lie to Joe about the cost and whatnot, but sometimes you've got to do that sort of thing to get what you really, really want. 

I feel like I always chuck a Pandora charm onto my wish lists, and why not? I've got the bracelet and it has plenty of room. This peacock one has actually featured on a wish list before, so it seems like a crime that I don't own it! The gems are so pretty - my favourite colours, don't you know - and would really compliment my new bag and dresses. 

Do you like my pickings? Or can you think of something else I need to add to my wish list?

Chelsea xo

Monday, 28 April 2014

An Ode to Clarks

Hotel Image brogues ℅ Clarks
I'd been sulking for ages about the sorry state of my shoes and couldn't believe my luck when I was asked to pick a pair from the Clarks Spring Summer '14 range. I'd been eyeing these beauties up for a while and it looks like they've been pretty popular in the blogging world too! I went for the Hotel Image brogues in Cotton leather, although for a while I was being swayed by the Mushroom leather style too.

Originally, I'd been hoping to feature these in an outfit post, but sadly my photographer was feeling a little grumpy when I asked him and I now have five blurry images to show for it. Nonetheless, I'm hoping to wear these for all occasions from now on, so fingers crossed someone in a chirper mood might take a snap of me wearing them!

I can't praise these shoes enough, they're so comfy and they feel like a dream to wear. I've already worn these with a number of outfits and I'm pleased to say they seem to go with everything. Polkadot tights? Yep. Cute frilly socks that are so in at the moment? Yep, those cut out details just compliment everything.

How would you style these brogue babies? Would you be interested in an outfit post from me?

Chelsea xo

*Disclaimer: I was kindly given a voucher to put towards buying these shoes, but all thoughts and feelings are my own* 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Summer Read... Makes Me Feel Fine

If you don't know what song I'm referencing, then I'm afraid you are too white/young/cool for my blog. So, if I haven't alienated you completely, grab a cuppa and let's have a look at the books I'm hoping to tick off my reading list this summer.  

Wonder - R.J Palacio
First on my list is Wonder by R.J Palacio. I have wanted to read this for an absolute age but something or other has got in the way. I've seen positive reviews of this on Becky's and Tori's blogs, (I think it was them, anwyays!) and as I trust their judgement completely, I feel like I will like this book. It might even move me. I hope so, anyways. 

A Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin
Annoyingly, I already have this book but Joe decided that he wanted to read this first. Even more annoyingly, he has only read about 100 pages as he's so bloody busy with work. We're hoping to go Up North at the end of May so if he takes a week off, he can get a few hundred pages under his belt and soon it will be miiiiiiine... to read. Ahem. I don't really have to explain why I want to read this, do I? The TV show is awesome and I'm a firm believer that the book is always better than it's adaptation. Just one more thing: People ruining the tv show on the basis that these books have been around for a long time (or simply because they're twats) are awful. I don't want you in my life if you think it's okay to ruin something for anyone else. It's spiteful.

On The Road - Jack Kerouac 
For reasons unknown, I haven't read On The Road. It's a modern classic and was recently turned into a film, but I completely missed it. Set in 1950s underground America - but not physically under the ground of America, you understand - On The Road looks at the search for personal freedom, which is something many have associated with America and their American dream. I'm sure this will be quite gritty, with some naughty behaviour thrown in for shockingly good measure, and if you ask me, there isn't a better time than summer for that sort of thing. Now, all I need is someone to get me poolside so I can live in my own personal freedom...

The Girl Who Saved The King of Sweden - Jonas Jonasson

Last up on my list is The Girl Who Saved The King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson. I read The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared and really enjoyed it, so I'm hoping to enjoy this one too. Apparently this book will be released on paperback tomorrow which is odd, as I was sure I'd seen it in my local Waterstones. As it turns out, I had actually seen another book which is by another Swedish author. I'm not entirely sure if the cover design for that one is supposed to look similar, but it nearly had me fooled, that's for sure. Anyways, I would also like to read this book as I enjoyed THYOMWCOofWaD so I would be interested to see what Jonasson's other books are like.

Phew! Here's hoping I get an abundance of free time to read these. I've been picking up a lot of books recently and ticking them off my to-read list, which is massively satisfying. I've basically got no plans whatsoever for the summer until September so that gives me a lot of free time to just sit about reading. Who needs to go out and adventure when you can stay in and read about somebody else?! 

Have you read any of these books? What are you hoping to read this summer? 

Chelsea xo

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Everyday Is Like Sunday

With the first week of my easter holiday drawing to a close, I thought I'd take a little time out and reflect - before I dive headfirst into mountains of Irish History and layout designs. 

As a publishing student, I find it quite odd that reading books for pleasure takes a back seat. It's not that we are given lots of texts to read - although my reading list is quite long, they're mostly reference books and style guides - but every subject seems to forget that they are not your only subject. Which is a fancy way of saying they give us a truckload of work to do. Luckily, I've practically completed one subject out of three, so now I'm hoping to concentrate fully on my other two modules. 

As you can see, I take my reading choices very seriously
Recently, I've spent a lot of my spare time reading, which is great. As a wee one, I loved climbing into bed, knowing I could probably squeeze in a chapter or two before bedtime, and felt like it would influence my dreams or ambitions. A little worrying when I started to get into crime thrillers, but a nice sentiment nonetheless. These days, I often have to steal away a few hours during the day to read but it's still something I don't manage to do enough. However, after really struggling to get back into the reading habit at the start of the year, I've now squirrelled away at a few shorter books in my collection. Yay, me!

This week I have also started to develop some mixed feelings about my hair. It just never seems to go how I want it to, or look how I want it to. My lofty ambitions to be a fair, grey maiden are pretty much all but dashed thanks to some stubborn bits that won't lighten beyond an ashen blonde. Odd strands that are hard to lighten without damaging the more obediently coloured strands. Which results in an overall mish-mash look, and not one I'm relishing in. It's pretty difficult, this do-it-yourself business, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. 

To leave on a lighter note - Monday sees Joe's brother's 21st birthday so I'm hoping to maybe bake him a cake, obviously, but I'm not sure. I made Joe a guinness and chocolate cake a few years ago, so it may be time to recreate that... Any suggestions for boy-appropriate cakes? 

Chelsea xo

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

H is for...


I have always loved to laugh. Just, you know, in general. Despite the fact that I usually sport a frown - chronic bitchface at it's best - when I laugh, I really go for it. Growing up, I had one of those weird laughs that sounds a bit like crying so my family would always get confused. I was just awkward, I guess. I had a few topics in mind for H - homes, Homes Under The Hammer, hammers - but humour won that mini battle.

I've left this as a smaller image as it was taken in a dark theatre and instagrammed.
Plus Steward Lee will hate being on the internet.
I put on my 101 in 1001 list that I wanted to see 5 more comedy acts live. I find it crazy that I've only been to three comedy shows in my entire life. Well, three that I'm aware of, who knows what crazy stuff my parents thought would class as entertainment... My three acts include Mark Watson, Stewart Lee and David O'Doherty. I loved all three of these acts, and I think they show my 'range' of humour, if you will. I don't know if humour has a range, but that's what I'm going with. I consider myself to be a fan of 'clever' humour - darker, more satirical shows - but sometimes you can't beat an Irish man with a keyboard.

I like to think I am a funny girl, I definitely didn't rely on my dashing good looks at school so naturally I had to let my hilariousness shine through. Of course, I wasn't one of those naughty kids who thought they were funny - no, I refused to laugh at them - but the kinda nerdy, making jokes about maths in a mathematical way kind of funny. These days, I stay away from math jokes and just rely on my own witty punning. You've probably noticed it if you follow me on twitter (or if you've ever read anything I've ever posted on this blog) so I hope you think I'm funny too.

As I said a paragraph ago, I want to see more comedy acts live. As I set my own 101 in 1001 rules, I think I can allow myself to re-see people so I definitely want to see Stewart Lee, Mark Watson and DO'D again. I'd like to see Daniel Kitson, Richard Herring and Sarah Millican (I am human, and Northern) and I'm not sure who else, really. I should have probably thought that through a bit better. 

Do you have any suggestions? More importantly, do you think I'm hilarious?

Chelsea xo

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Book Club #3 - We Need New Names

I wasn't sure I would review We Need New Names on the ol' blog, but here I am, typing away... We're friends here, so I won't lie. Short listed for the Man Booker Prize, I wanted to read this book so I could look a bit intellegent. It is one of the shorter stories that made the list, so it seemed like a good one to start off with. Plus the cover is super eye catching and that really pulled me in.

That's a pretty cover, amiright? Also, yes I know, you've seen this insta-pic before.
We Need New Names follows the life of Darling and her friends in Paradise, a village in Zimbebawe. From the very start, you know that this is a story of a broken village, a broken family and a broken childhood. And really, it is a horrific story. By the second chapter, you realise how awful it is for the children and it really shocked me. This novel is so graphic, and as it's from Darling's point of view, it is all the more harrowing. It definitely shocked the lady reading over my shoulder as we pulled out from the train station, let me tell you.

 I am not sure if We Need New Names is semi-autobiographic or not, or if stories of something similar have been passed around, but I really hope not. When I would get home - feeling a bit grumpy after having my train delayed - and read a chapter, I instantly felt like an ungrateful swine. And I basically hated people.

One thing I didn't like about this - apart from how it made me feel as a privelidged white person - is that there no real speech marks. The children often play a game in which they pretend to be someone else, and this gets really confusing after a while. At times, I also didn't know whether the dialoged had stopped or if Darling was talking to herself, as she often does. 

A really gripping read, but not one for the lighthearted! Let me know if you're read this

Chelsea xo

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

A Week In Progress

So exactly a week since my last post, I thought I'd better let you all know that I've managed to tick a few things off of my April To-Do lists! Yay me, and it's only nine days into the month!

From my Super Important Stuff list, I managed to 'finalise my stupid portfolio' which was due in today, and I even handed it in a day early. Crazy or genius, only time will tell... The other thing I managed to give an imaginary tick to is finishing We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo - who, incidentally, doesn't need a new name as that one is fabulous - AND I even read another book in the form of One Day, which I finished in, errr... two days. Well, it was definitely less than 24 hours of reading but maybe I'm just clutching at straws here.

No other things have been ticked off the ol' lists yet, which is worrying as I have to practise my presentation still, and write an article. I also have to work on my publication front cover, which although is due in after the easter holidays, my lecturer likes to set us all mini-deadlines to make sure we aren't all neglecting it. Which is nice, I guess, as I would totally be neglecting it (more than currently...) and then stressing like mad in the week running up to the final, official deadline. Deadlines are scary. 

*such* a 90s kid...
What other stuff do I have to tell you? Erm, I'm going to the seaside today to spend some time with Joe's older sister as she recently moved away to become a live-in nanny for some rich so-and-so. I've really missed her as she was practically my bestest friend in this town, and now she's gone... *sniffles*. But really, I'm happy for her and it means I get to go to the seaside! Double yay. You can probably tell from the above photo that I'm a big seaside fan. And on that note, I shall depart and get my beach towel ready! :D 

Have you been up to much this week? Any trips out in the sunshine?

Chelsea xo

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Here's Looking To You, April

I thought I would post this today, rather than yesterday, so that you didn't think I was going to pull your leg with some witty April Fools. No, sirree, today I'm going to get all deep and dirty with my goals for April. As I said in my last post, I have quite a few deadlines and quite a lot of uni work to do this month, so let's see what made it on to my 'must do' for the month ahead!

Started reading on 17 March. Bad form, Chelsea, bad form.

Super Important Stuff
- write and practise a presentation, due on 11/04
- finalise my stupid portfolio, due on 09/04
- continue working on Visual Design stuff, due after Easter hols

Quite Important Stuff
- when feeling stressed out, take a breather
- try to finish reading We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
- finish writing my article on Justin Bieber (that got you interested!)

Other Stuff
- drink more water (as always)
- sort out silly, niggly annoying matters
- try out a super awesome Easter bake instead of buying crappy eggs. Or buy an amazing egg. Either or, really

So that's my month ahead! All summed up quite simply in a sentence or two, so hopefully they'll be less daunting and therefore more doable. Is it wrong that I'm looking at the list and thinking the Easter bake should be higher up? I think it might be...

What are your plans for this month? Anything fun, or boring deadlines like me?

Chelsea xo
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