June Verbs

Can you believe we’re in the second half of the year?  As I mentioned in ‘Summer So Sneaky’, it only feels like a few weeks ago I was snuggled in my onesie with candles and a cuppa.  But no, 6 whole months have flown by in the blink of an eye.  My ‘Verbs’ feature has actually really help me keep a track of what I’ve been up to!  Here’s June:

Watching: Gossip Girl

I’m guilty.  I craved.  I’m watching Gossip Girl for the THIRD time.  I just can’t get enough.  Every time I think I remember the storyline or what’s going to happen, there’s a twist, a new character, a new plot, or just something I didn’t see the first time around.  It’s addictive.

These Guys

These Guys

Reading: Blogs

Just cause I’ve been away from the blogging scene, doesn’t mean I haven’t been checking up on it.  I use a website called BlogLovin to keep up to date with all my favourite bloggers and writers who post about all sorts of topics, from all over the world.  I’d encourage you to sign up to not only keep up to date with my blog, but to see who I follow and discover some new and exciting authors.

A seriously good idea.

A seriously good idea.

Listening To: Ella Henderson – Ghost

I seriously can’t get enough of this song.  I was a huge fan of Ella during her time on the X Factor and her debut single is an absolute winner in my eyes.  For those of you who don’t know, I love to sing, so I’ve made a cheeky cover of this track.  Whilst I am by no means confident enough to share it with you, my style is quite similar to Ella (if I do say so myself!).  Have a listen and I guarantee it’ll be in your head before you know it!

20140430100120!Ella_Henderson_-_Ghost

Wearing on my body: Nine West Sandals

These beaut Nine West Sandals cost me around £60 three summers ago.  So the way I see it, that’s £20 per summer.  Not bad.  I can be seen wearing these in a few of my summery #OOTD posts, including my Cyprus series from last summer.  Comfy, cool and colourful.

Such a beaut brand.

Such a beaut brand.

Wearing on my face: Nothing

This June, I’ve ditched the foundation and been baring all.  There’s nothing worse than achieving a gorgeous summer glow and then not having correct make-up colouring to compliment it.  To stay on the safe side, I’ve barely been wearing any make-up thus far.  I’m allowing my skin to breathe and becoming naturally bronzed in the process!

makeup-quotes-eye-bags

Eating: Tesco Feta Dip and Bruschetta Snacks

Everyone knows I’m a bit of a cheese fanatic so when these beaut snacks of feta cheese joy landed in my local Tesco … I bought the lot.  I think I’m over my addiction now, but it certainly wouldn’t stop me buying them in the future.  Sweet, salty, tangy and bursting with flavour.  Go on, buy!

Seriously good!

Seriously good!

Drinking: Water

Lately, I’ve been getting quite bad headaches when I’ve been dehydrated.  So, I’ve been making sure I’m always carrying around chilled water reading to sip, glug or chug whenever necessary.  My skins clearer and my headaches have practically disappeared.

What did you get up to this June?

 

 

 

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May Verbs

I’m seriously late in the game.  Again.  Well, crisp and clear apologies and onwards and upwards we go.  May has mostly been spent toodling around Paris followed by a swift return of the double Ds (dance and dissertation, don’t you know).  Here’s what I got up to this May:

Watching: Orange is the New Black

Another Netflix cracker.  Different though, because this series has been made and produced exclusively for Netflix (i.e. the show never has, and never will be on regular TV).  Which I like, makes it kinda exclusive.  It basically involves a lot of crazy women running around prison getting up to prison antics.  Its dark, sarcastic and very very funny.  Definitely worth a watch.  (Plus, Season 2 came out yesterday!)

#OITNB

#OITNB

Reading: Literature

Nothing too exciting kids, just about 100 journal articles and 50 books, all working towards my Literature Review for my dissertation.  #MastersLife

Life

Life

Listening To: Regina Spektor

So this is connected to my watch: Orange is the New Black.  The titles include Regina Spektor’s ‘You’ve Got Time’ and since then I’ve been hooked, all over again on her.  My 2009 phase loved Regina and the likes of Imogen Heap, and they’re well and truly back in force.

Babe

Babe

Wearing on my body: Primark PJs

It got to that point in life where you look in your pyjama draw and just think ‘its time for a clear out’.  You know the feeling.  So off I toddled to Primark and got 4 beaut colourful and comfy sets of summer PJs for just £5 each.  I work from home a lot, unashamedly in my PJs, so I was basically investing in work wear.  Sure.

Pit of hell or entrance to heaven?  You decide.

Pit of hell or entrance to heaven? You decide.

Wearing on my face: Benefit High Beam highlighter

The dance world has taught me a few of life’s great make-up lessons, one of which is contouring.  Benefit High Beam highlighter was made for this, and can really change the shape and angles of your face.  I use this highlighter just above and below bronzer to enhance my cheekbones, it also gives me a real glow.

benefit highlighter

Eating: Clean

This month, I’ve been attempting to eat clean (as the new craze would say).  I’m not in any drastic weight loss attempts, it’s just nice to have a colourful and healthy plate full of veggies that keeps me full and does wonders for my hair and skin.  It also makes me feel better about life when I have a Camembert craving.

Fruity Word-Art.

Fruity Word-Art.

Drinking: Bootea

With my ‘eat clean’ and ‘Teatox’ it really looks like I am out on a healthkick?!  No.  Bootea is titled a ‘Teatox’ (they so clever) but has done nothing really of the sort for me.  It tastes mediocre, performs none of the detoxing effects it claims to and the teabag tab is too short.  The best thing about it is the packaging.

Not worth the hype, madness or money.

Not worth the hype, madness or money.

What did you get up to this May?

February Verbs

What a month!  I’ve been so bogged down by assignments I’ve barely had a moment to check my emails let alone blog!  How are we all?  This month I’ve mainly been working, but my load has freed up a bit now so I can sit down with a cuppa and say ‘Ahhh’.  Here’s what I’ve been up to this month:

Watching: Jonathan Creek

Or J Creek as I’ve affectionately nicknamed it.  This utter beauty appeared to me on Netflix in a moment of pure genius, and I haven’t looked back.  I’ve watched every episode since 1997, and am almost squealing with excitement at the return to our screens tomorrow night (FYI BBC1 at 9pm, Friday 28th February 2014).  Alan Davies makes me all giddy, I love the format, it makes me giggle and it’s so ridiculous it’s just excellent.

J Creek

J Creek

Reading: Ideal Home Magazine

I’m in the process of collecting different colours and patterns to create a decopauge of a very plain and boring wooden mirror.  So instead of cutting up my monthly mag and popping it into my scrapbook, the vast array of wallpaper samples, paints and cushion covers will be appearing via decopauge on my new mirror.  I’ll let you see the outcome soon!

Ideal Home Magazine

Ideal Home Magazine

Listening To: Clean Bandit

Everyone’s heard ‘Rather Be’, but not everyone has heard their full Spotify set list.  Well I encourage you to, now!  It’s no secret I love a bit of classical music, and this album combines classical with the electronic genre to create something quite wonderful.  Most definitely worth a listen.

Clean Bandit

Clean Bandit

Wearing on my body: New Henry Holland coat

I bought my new Henry Holland beauty in the Debenhams sale and absolutely love it!  It’s the perfect coat to see me through this in between weather, when it’s too warm for a winter coat, but too cold for a jacket.  I love the different detailing and its waist clinching abilities work well for my figure.

Henry Holland at Debenhams Coat

Henry Holland at Debenhams Coat

Wearing on my face: Estee Lauder Mascara

I got this mascara as part of my Boxing Day present (an amazing box of Estee Lauder make up goodies).  It’s taken me a few months to get used to it because it’s so different to any other mascara I’ve used.  The wand is much larger than average meaning it can form clumps quicker and faster, which you have to work through with the wand.  Meaning it’s a bit of extra faf, but the finished result is amazing with long, clean and separated lashes.

Estee Lauder Mascara

Estee Lauder Mascara

Eating: Soup

I first received a ‘Soup’ recipe book for my birthday last year, but its only in the last few months I’ve really got into it.  I make it fresh with stock and any veg I’ve got, buy it fresh from the supermarket, or have tins at least once a day, every day.  Whilst some people hate pureed food, I find soup is tasty, eases digestion and is a great healthy and filling meal, perfect for lunch time.

The Soup Book

The Soup Book

Drinking: Wine

After my January stint, my favourite poison of white wine has reappeared as a firm favourite in the liquid stakes.  I’ve had some glorious ladies lunches with white wine, some beautiful food or a quiet evening in.  The perfect accompaniment to my February!

White Wine

White Wine

What have you been doing this February?

 

January Verbs

Welcome to my new feature!  I’ve decided to combine my loves and likes of style of life, beauty and fashion and create a cheeky new feature about my doing activities for every month.  Here’s hoping I stick to it, and can give you all some inspiration for stuff to do for the month ahead.

Watching: 24

24 is a series (FYI Series 1) I think boyfriend and I began in 2012, but we got very bored and neg about it.  Whilst the real time idea is genius, it’s also tedious, and quite frankly, the storylines are just ridiculous.  Nevertheless, we persevered, finally finishing Season 1 of 24 a few nights ago.  I’m pleased we did, there were definitely a few heart pumping moments in the last few episodes.  Netflix does however inform us there are a grand total of 193 (which isn’t even a multiple of 24?!?!?) episodes on Netflix, which is a frightening concept, so we’ve decided to leave 24 for now.

24

24

Reading: The Racketeer by John Grisham

This book (crime/law/whodunit genre) is completely outside my reading comfort zone.  I actually found it brand new on a train with no owner in sight, so decided to give it a loving home.  A couple of weeks ago I spotted it on my shelf, and needing a lightweight book for the commute, grabbed it and left.  It was excellent!  I really enjoyed it; it was so interesting all about the ‘justice’ system in the States and with a real twist at the end.  I’m definitely going to read some more Grisham books in the future.

The Racketeer by John Grisham

The Racketeer by John Grisham

Listening To: Spotify Top Lists

This is such a great playlist, it really is.  I’m a Spotify free user (I can’t quite part with the monthly outgoings when all I have to endure is a WKD advert interrupting my Kesha flow) and quite frankly, haven’t got round to making my own playlists.  I like pop and I’m not ashamed of it, it’s like a permanent updating UK Top 40, for free!

Spotify Top Lists

Spotify Top Lists

Wearing: My new Mantaray Cardigan

I’ve been wearing a beautiful new, cream knitted cardigan I was given for Christmas (but actually picked out last June!).  Because it’s cream it goes with every outfit, and it’s big, oversized and is so good to snuggle into when it gets cold!

IMG_3133

Wearing on my face: No7 Bronzer

In this dull, drab weather I keep clicking through old holiday photos where the weather was warm and beautiful.  Thailand, Australia, Cyrpus, Turkey … sigh.  Since body fake tan looks utterly horrendous on me, I have to do what I can to fake it on my face.  My trusty No7 does the trick, and with some sneaky contouring tricks I learnt backstage at the dance show, my face looks slimmer (I hope!) with more colour.

No7 Bronzer

No7 Bronzer

Eating: Pickled Onions

I’ve recently come to realisation (albeit 10 years too late) that unhealthy snacks are not only really bad for you, but they’re also really expensive.  Pickled onions are a great snack and satisfy that need to crunch on things.  Drained from all their vinegar, they’re cheap and healthy.  Healthier than Pickled Onion flavoured Monster Munch anyway!

Pickled Onions

 

Drinking: Twinings Mint Humbug

My university campus is a 5 minute walk away from Twinings Tea Headquarters.  I went in there a couple of weeks ago for some free samples and couldn’t resist buying the Mint Humbug tea bags.  They’re in the style of Teapigs, with a netted pyramid shape tea bag and the flavour is just unreal.  Healthy, great in taste, and a good alternative to wine on cold evenings!

Mint Humbug

What have you been doing this January?

Confessions of a Gym Convert

I’m sitting on the sofa, with a glass of vino and a magazine whilst boyfriend ogles at football.  All of a sudden this crazy thought runs through my head .. ‘I’d rather be at the gym.’  Shocker.  Those of you who know me well, will know that my idea of exercise is my weekly dance class (swiftly followed by a four pack of Red Stripe), busting a move past midnight or walking to and from the kitchen for a cuppa.

Since I’ve moved back to the ole’ hometown, I’ve been greeted by my fitness fanatic besties whose daily chants of ‘Join the gym’ and ‘Oh it will be SO much fun when we can go to the gym together’ got me quite mad.  So mad, I got a lift to the gym, got a tour, induction and handed over my direct debit details quite simply to shut them up.  But by golly did that one backfire.

In first year I joined the gym at University.  I went twice.  TWICE.  And one of those times I got so frightened because I didn’t know where the changing rooms were I spent the whole 45 minutes on a treadmill in a t-shirt and jeans.  Nightmare.  I frolicked by the next two years of Uni dancing thrice weekly, dancing the night away fourice (not a word really, is it?) weekly and hoping that was that in the ‘Health and Fitness’ department.

But something has happened since I’ve come home.  I’ve grown up (gosh, but that’s for a WHOLE other blog) and started taking this whole health thing a bit more seriously.

I find exercising dull.  I do!  Really, really dull.  Dancing, fine, great, y’all know that’s a hefty passion of mine but anything else?  Flipping boring to be honest.  Or so I thought.  The gym I attend has these fabulous machines with a TV on them, a fantastic circuits machine that hiss water pressure at you, these amazing swing things that look like they belong in a bondage bedroom and wait for it .. a climbing wall.  I walked in, and quite literally, excitement overload.  I had no idea what any of these things were and like a kid in a candy shop, felt ever so excited to give it all a go.  And day by day, week by week, that’s exactly what I did.

I always thought people that went to the gym were right idiots.  I mean, if you want to go on a treadmill, go on a flipping run!  If you want to lift weights, I’ve got two cans of baked beans you can borrow.  I thought that if I walked in in frayed tracksuit bottoms and a ‘Graduate 2013’ t-shirt I’d get the ‘you shouldn’t be here’ looks, like when I order a large glass of Pinot at 10.55am (it’s 5.55pm somewhere).  But there isn’t any of that.  If anything, people look at you with respect, silently applauding, ‘well done you’ looks.  It feels good.

For about two months now I’ve been experimenting with all the bits and bobs and every day I find something new.  Today, I even went on a SKIING machine, can you believe that?!  My bum feels fabulous.  From ‘gym’ being a dirty word, it’s become a word of excitement, of enjoyment.  It’s something I look forward to, a break from an essay, an evening out with my friends, or just an hour of Bella time.  I’m not on any crazy mission to lose weight, or even tone up.  I just feel good after exercise.  I feel good after finding a new machine or finding a new muscle in my body I didn’t know existed.  Going to the gym feels good!  So, I’ve somehow transformed from a girl who ate pizza 5 nights a week, to a woman who respects her body and her health, and my good old friend the gym has helped me do that.  My advice?  Find a FUN gym!  One with sex swings, trampolines and climbing walls.  You never know what else will come with it. 

Image

Still True

What Happened In March

1)  Loughborough!  An absolutely stunning weekend.  Read the post here: https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/loughborough-2012/

2)  I found gin, in a hopeless place.  Well, in Aldi.  On a standard food shopping trip I stumbled across a £4 large bottle of gin and since I’m trying to be a bit healthier, and consume fewer calories, so gin was the only option; obviously.  Here’s me trying out Marks and Spencers canned gin and tonic.  See point 6.

3)  Amsterdam!  Again, just absolutely stunning.  Read the post here: https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/dam-madness/

4)  Here is a beautiful picnic I had on a train journey.  Unfortunately, not the nicest train journey.  I was on my way back from Gatwick Airport after spending the weekend in the Isle of Man, due to Andrew’s grandmother passing away.  It was a sad and stressful weekend, so wine cheesy bites were a must.

5)  Aha!  One evening, one of my housemates Hannah and our friend Nancy took it upon themselves to make cupcakes … of everyone’s faces.  See mine in the bottom right hand corner:  Bella, with a bottle of wine.  It’s lovely to know my friends know me so well!  Other’s included chocolate covered fairy cakes for our friends Fatima and Tashan, a housemate Jan sporting an abnormally large nose and Andrew, in the top right hand corner with his big lips and chipped teeth.  Bless.

6)  My twitter review of point 4; the M and S gin and tonic.

7)  Oh goodness!  I thought Andrew was over with scaring the life out of me.  But no, March brought two trips to the Minor Injuries Unit and one to A and E.  First was pretty minor, a potentially broken foot which turned out to only be ligament damage.  The next trip was potential spinal fluid squiring out of Andrew’s nose, which turned out to just be snot.

8)  This is a beautiful picture of my rents, which I found under my bed when I came home to Woking for the Easter holidays.  Was so happy to see it after a year or two!

9)  I sold plenty more things on Ebay, including this gorgeous Topshop Unique Peter Pan Collar dress, which sold for £8 in the end.  I was sad to see it go, but alas, with growing up and into a woman, you physically grow too.  I earned £30, score.

10)  Ideal Homes Show, again, stunning.  Read about it here:  https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/the-ideal-home-show/

Hope you’ve all had a glorious month :)

Meet Me Halfway

(I wrote this last night when wordpress was down.  Hence the NOW uploadage.)  So that’s it.  I’m officially halfway!  3 down, 3 to go.  Such an incredible feeling.  Between flitting in and out of college for revision sessions I’ve had a Tesco clothes shopping spree, seen my girls, hung out at the pub and had boozy bbqs galore.  It’s going good.  With an entire subject completed and out the way I revise nonstop, just less of the subjects.  Silly Annabel just thought the revision would let up, apparently not. It’s okay though, the subjects are relatively enjoyable and my ridiculous rainbow of revision notes keeps me going throughout the day.

I’ve also come to rely upon cottage cheese on crackers (thanks Rosie) and copius amounts of salami, combined with standard coffee, jelly beans and poppadoms.  Yes, so whilst my revision diet has been growing profusely, so has my stomach.  Refer to previous post ‘Empowered’ but I’m definitely going to try and eat healthier.  Today I went on a run, an actual run.  It was beyond excruciating but now I feel lovely!    So hope you’ve enjoyed my miniature blog about what I’ve been up to, I’m off to blow my burnt calories on the World Cup and beer.  Laters!