Saturday, 28 February 2015

The Netflix Tag

Although I'm terribly snobbish with books, I also love myself a bit of tv. When I saw this Netflix Tag, I couldn't not do it. Netflix has been the saviour of many long, boring evenings for me - what with Joe working crappy shifts and not even having Dylan for company come bedtime. So without further pause, let's judge my favourite shows!

What are your favourite series to watch on Netflix?
Without a shadow of a doubt, it's The Office US. I've already watched it countless times and I've recently gone back to it. I'm on series three and just loving life.  

What are you currently watching on Netflix?
Aside from The Office US, I've recently started House of Cards, but I'm a few episodes ahead of Joe and he needs to catch up. It's bloody excellent so far, so I can't wait to get back into it. 

If you could have any seres, old or new, put on Netflix, what would it be?
I wish The Mindy Project was on there, or that Park and Recs would be put onto the UK version. It's not fair that other countries get the best stuff!

What is your one peeve about Netflix?
My pet peeve is the interface for xbox. I hate the 'you watched xyz so you'll like this...' as it *always* recommends utter tripe. 

What are your essentials for a perfect night in with Netflix?

I like snuggling up on the sofa, with my slipper shoes on. That's pretty much it. Throw some snacks or a glass of wine into the equation then it's basically the best night ever.

Recommend one series or film for someone else.
The Office US? Dylan's really into Ben 10, so maybe try that. Brooklyn Nine Nine is bloody brilliant, too.

What has been the most overrated series you have watched on Netflix?
I'm not sure, to be honest. I take a lot of time picking a program, and if there's nothing good enough to catch my eye then I just put a tried and tested show on.

What is your guilty pleasure on Netflix?
I'm a dick and don't believe in guilty pleasures. But I get my cheese fix from 4OD in the form of Come Dine With Me. I'm guessing Netflix is too high brow for that madness.

Are you gunna do the Netflix tag? Link me up if you do!

Chelsea xo

Thursday, 26 February 2015

The Week That Was #8

Well, well, well. This week has been a funny one. On Monday, we had to do group presentations at uni for a little competition thing. It was pretty awkward, as one member couldn't be there so we needed to use a video and had some sound issues, and then two members of the team were SO nervous about speaking in front of everyone. I always think I'll be okay when I speak in front of people, but I did get a bit weirded out this time. So yeah, if you haven't guessed yet - we didn't win. I guess this means I pretty much hate everyone at uni now, as the winning team brought in brownie and usually I bring in the brownie. Rookie error, which cost me the title as best person ever. Luckily, this meant that my week could only get better. Right? Right?

Here's a cute picture of Dylan for no reason whatsoever.
To answer the question, on Tuesday, I went to work. Fun times. The wind was absolutely diabolical and of course, Joe was working the breakfast shift and I needed to drop Dylan off at childcare. You can probably all picture me right now, pushing a pushchair up a hill, with the wind blowing in the opposite direction to me. To say I was thrilled would be an understatement.

Yesterday I was in a bit of a weird mood, if I'm completely honest. I managed to get to lunchtime without having any breakfast and so ended up pretty hangry later on in the day. I had to send myself to bed at 5pm to calm my wee self down. Moral of the story - eat all the time, yo! Anyhoo, despite being a bit mean to Joe, he had prepared beef wellington for tea which was SO YUM. I really love that guy.

So yeah, pretty wild week for Chelsea. Today I'll be mostly getting on with some uni work, and reading a set text. Nay, I shall be finishing reading the set text! That's literally my only goal for today. Then, on Friday I'm going on a uni field trip to Salisbury to climb the spire which inspired William Golding's The Spire. Pretty cool, ey?

What have you guys been up to this week so far?    

Chelsea xo

Monday, 23 February 2015

Book Club #11 - We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

I'd seen We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves on countless 'must read' lists so when I received it for Christmas, I was pretty pleased. I actually received a mammoth seven books for Christmas, but I quickly dove headfirst into this one.

Apologies for the instapic. Forgot to take a fancy one before I posted this off to my friend! #bloggerproblems
From the blurb, you know that there's been some sort of family tragedy, which changed narrator Rosemary's life completely. Once a loud, obnoxious child - weren't we all? - she eventually learnt to keep herself to herself, and became known as the quiet girl on campus. Now, I felt that Rosemary was a somewhat unreliable narrator, often telling the reading that she was keep certain information to herself. At one point, she mentions that her father told an awful joke, but she wouldn't share it with us in case we judged him too harshly. Okay then. She's actually pretty harsh on her father as well as other characters, which made it difficult for me to feel anything for them.

There's a pretty big plot twist, which really does make this book unlike any I've read before. I don't want to spoil the surprise, but once it had been pointed out, I felt it was actually a pretty obvious twist. I did enjoy reading We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, but I did find it to be quite difficult to follow.

I feel like this is a really terrible book review, as obviously I've tried to avoid the major plot twists, but honestly this didn't grip me as much as I hoped it would. Maybe I'd let myself build it up into something, due to all the hype it's received, but it just wasn't as great as I'd hoped.

Have you read We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves? What did you think? 

Chelsea xo

Thursday, 19 February 2015

The Week That Was #7

It's finally reading week! Yay! The week all students can rejoice over, and relax a little before the realisation that you need to get a job in a few months, not fail your exams and shit gets real. Wait, what!? 

As it's third year, I've had no such thing as a relaxing reading week. In fact, I've actually gone to university (and suffered the 'packed with kids enjoying half-term' trains) twice. TWICE. Dedicated, or crazy, I shall let you be my judge. I feel like this week hasn't been as noteworthy as the one before - no rushing to meet deadlines, and no results back yet. But it's hasn't been too shabby either! I've been spending more time with Dylan this week (as his childcare place is term time!) and hitting the gym slightly less than usual. But it's okay. What else have I been up to?

- I bought myself Dylan some Tsum Tsums! It was really sweet actually, I let him pick one so he grabbed Eeyore and said "this one is for Dylan, and this one is for mammy!" grabbing the neighbouring Winnie The Pooh. Love that kid!
- Watching more of The Office instead of reading a set text for my module - whoops.
- Trying to decide what to do with my hair. Everyone said that I really suit it at this shorter length, but my true hair love is flowing and long - like Leona's amazing hair - so I've been umming and arring about that.
- I feel like you should know that autocorrect changed umming to bumming. Thank me later.

That's about it, I think? Woo! Crazy week! Next week, I'm going to an open event at a publishers, so I'm quite excited about that. What have you been up to? Looking forward to something?   

Chelsea xo

Monday, 16 February 2015

A Jar Of Sunshine

I can't remember if I've mentioned this on the blog before - I'm sure I have - but last year I started a happiness jar. You might have realised that I basically love complaining, so I'm generally a negative Nancy. I felt like I should make more of an effort to be cheerful, so the jar was born. Now, I've got to admit that somewhere along the line I forgot to keep adding stuff. I think it was due to moving, and misplacing my coloured bits of paper, but that's a terrible excuse, isn't it? 

Those bits of paper were actually an accidental purchase. I'd bought them thinking they were post-it notes, but it turns out that nope, just coloured squares of paper. Awesome. Anyways, I had a really nice time opening out all of the little notes and although I didn't complete the year I'm still chalking this as a win, yay me. I'm looking for a new use for my little jar, and I think I might make it into a To Be Read jar, as I've seen a few posts on them. When Joe and I merged our book collection (the true sign of love, if you ask me!) I realised that I really buy books on the slightest whim. 

Of course, this is excellent for me, as it means I usually always have a book that someone recommends to me, but also really bad as I've ended up buying duplicate books as Joe already had them. Whoops. 

Do you have a happiness jar? What should I put in it next? 

Chelsea xo

Saturday, 14 February 2015

The Week That Was #6

Hola lovers! There's no denying that this is a super late edition of TWTW, and I do apologise. I was considering backdating it like the absolute sneak that I am, but in the end decided against it. In all truthfulness, I've been pretty busy doing nothing. I mean, I have a deadline due in for today, so I've been working my butt off trying to get that polished up. I managed to hand it in yesterday, which was a huge relief for me and now I don't have any deadlines for aaaaaaages! Expect to see a lot more on this ol' blog, as I work my way through the millions of post ideas I've started but not had time to finish. 
Happy Valentine's Day, you bunch of babes!

What else have I been up to?
- spoiling Joe rotten with tickets to see Stewart Lee in April
- we went for a meal out on Thursday and it was rather nice
- I found out one of my recipes is going in the print edition of our student mag, yay!
- I've become completely addicted to Disney Tsum Tsum. I need more friends on there, add me!
- trying to use my journal daily so I can add all these crazy meetings and deadlines for final year
- I also found out my graduation date, from July I'll no longer be a student. Bit scared, to be honest!

What did you get up to in the last week or so? 

Chelsea xo

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

A Sneaky Valentine's Wishlist

Always one to bend to traditions, I'm quite fond of valentine's day. I know a lot of people are quite cynical about dedicating only one day to show your love and appreciation to someone, but not me. As you all know Joe's a chef, and I'm a super ninja student/mother/part-time worker, so we really struggle to spend time together with just the two of us. Tiny violins all around, right? As he'll be working on valentine's this year, we're going to celebrate early and hopefully have a wonderful time together without the inflated valentine's prices!

I've put together a little valentine's wish list, although I'm not sure Joe even needs it. Last year, he whisked us away to London to see Foals play, and gave me a tiny horse necklace which, of course, made me ridiculously happy. I'm not expecting him to be going to such efforts this year, so let's have a look at what would make me smile on the big day - even if Joe is working a split shift!  

Polka Dot Mug - Pom Pom Maker - Chevron Point Necklace - Favourite Song Print
I've stolen a few of these things from my Greedy Book account, which if you don't know, is an excellent way to save all those links to your favourite items. Gone are the days of scrolling through your bookmarks to find that elusive gem! I had a similar mug on there, but it seems to have been limited edition. A quick online found this lovely monogrammed mug from Gifts & Pieces. I love the little lilac polka dots, it looks so cute! We already have a huuuuge mug overload, but I'd happily cull some of the naff ones for this beauty. 

Next up, I have some pom pom makers! I've decided that 2015 is the year I'll be crafty, but ain't nobody got time to make pom poms. I've seen these featured in countless places, so here they are on my list. You get a big one and a little one for £5.99 which just seems like a crazy bargain to me. 

This is a valentine's exclusive necklace colour way from Wolf & Moon, but I'd be pretty happy with anything from the website. I first heard of them at a little marketplace tent in Festival No. 6, and I've been regretting leaving empty handed ever since. They've got some excellent pieces on there, so do check them out. 

Lastly, I've been keeping my eye on this gorgeous favourite song print from Not On The High Street. Obviously, I would have a Morrissey or The Smiths song - probably not This Charming Man, but out of all the pictures to post on here, I went with that! - and it would be interesting to see if Joe can remember my favourite song. He probably can, he's definitely the better spouse between us! 

So there we have it, my valentine's wish list! Of course, I'd be pretty happy with these anytime in the year, but let's see how generous Joe is feeling this weekend! Would you like any of these items?

Chelsea xo

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

The Week That Was #5

Another rather dull week for me, as it suddenly dawned on me that one of my deadlines is a week closer than I had thought. Cue blind panic, absolute procrastination and the desire to do ALL THE OTHER THINGS but I am slowly getting my work done. Very slowly. 

Happier times up north when my deadline seemed miles away!
As I've been a complete bore, I thought I would list a bunch of things I hope to achieve in February. I think I've probably missed some things off here, as you know, my brain should be writing an essay, but nevertheless - here's my hopes for the month ahead! 

- hand in my assignment, and be proud of it's quality
- visit the library
- read three books
- go for afternoon tea
- go to the gym at least twice a week
- do something nice for Joe on Not Valentine's Day (as he's working on the day)
- blog at least twice a week, even draft up some posts if I'm feeling cocky

What do you have planned for February?

Chelsea xo

Monday, 2 February 2015

Book Club #10 - The MaddAddam Trilogy

If you've never read Margaret Atwood before, it can be tricky to know where to start. A highly acclaimed author, she has many accolades and has even been inducted into the Canadian Walk of Fame, which sounds nice. The MaddAddam trilogy, which starts with Oryx and Crake, is an excellent place start reading Atwood's work. The novels - which she calls speculative fiction rather than science fiction - are so well thought out, and are easily the best books I've ever had on my university reading list.

The MaddAddam trilogy 
Set years into the future, Oryx and Crake opens with Jimmy, who is seemingly the only human left on the planet after a man-made pandemic takes over. Through flashbacks, we find out that Jimmy's dad worked on creating animal splices - such as a Pigoons, which are pigs with human tissue so that they can be used to grow five or six transplant kidneys. It's through these flashbacks that you realise how 'developed' the future has become, with weird splice animals and plants generally overtaking the place of 'natural' animals and plants. The first book mostly looks at Jimmy's relationship with the title characters, Crake - real name Glenn, and Oryx, a beautiful woman that Jimmy misses the most. 

The Year of the Flood, however is written from the prospective of two female characters Ren and Toby. Both women believe the other to be dead, just like the rest of the population, but are linked by their pasts. Ren, a trapeze dancer in a gentleman's club, and Toby, a manager in day spa, were both members of God's Gardeners, a religious group that believed God would send waterless flood to rid the world of all it's unnatural chaos. Which conveniently ties in with the pandemic that basically kills everyone off. 

While the first two books run together simultaneously, the third and final book MaddAddam, told through mostly Toby's narrative, jumps straight into the action. Now living with some other post-pandemic survivors, and trying to keep safe from some vicious killers on the loose, Toby and the gang must start to rebuild civilisation, which is no easy task. Like the first two books, this one also relies on flashbacks, which delves into the creation of God's Gardeners, and their involvement in the man-made pandemic.

Overall, I really enjoyed this trilogy. It was no easy task to read them, as it's quite a bleak look at the somewhat distant future, but Atwood's writing style was witty and dry enough to keep you from falling into despair. I really liked how Atwood used the flashbacks to reveal certain things, and then worked them into the 'now' timeframe. I would definitely recommend these books to anyone and everyone, as although it is fiction, it does make you think a lot about real-life issues. 

Have you read the MaddAddam Trilogy? 

Chelsea xo

Sunday, 1 February 2015

The Secrets of Life an Death - Book Review*

A girl is found dead in a train station, with strange symbols drawn all over her body. Professor Felix Guichard is called in by the police to help them identify the symbols. The story switches between the modern day investigation and 1585, where Elizabeth Bathory is dying and it is up to Dr John Dee and his assistant Edward Kelley to save her or die. Pretty gripping stuff, ey?

The links between the stories are revealed slowly, but at a pace that keeps you interested. I really enjoyed learning about the magic in this world. There were a number of twists that kept my attention and I really did enjoy the ride. The characters were interesting, although it was hard to connect with them as there is a lot of jumping around between time periods, but I felt that for the most part they were nicely played out.

Unfortunately the romance was a tad bit wooden, and there wasn't a lot of spark going on. It seemed almost thrown in just because why not? I think it could have been improved, or left out entirely and the book would not have been affected.

It is a short read, but if you love a good paranormal mystery with a whole lot of magic, you may enjoy this book. I was lucky enough to read an ebook of this via blogging for books, but all thoughts are my own!

Chelsea xo
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