Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Favourite Things #2: My Windowsill

Right, seeing as it's a horrible wet, dull and generally October-like day here, I decided to show you some of the things that I love to have around me when I'm sitting at the kitchen table blogging/tweeting/creeping browsing on the laptop or doing my cross-stitch. My kitchen has two medium sized windows - one that holds all the usual kitchen bits-n-bobs - washing up liquid, kitchen roll, chopping boards, knife block, etc. The other window is the one right next to where I park my ample behind and ramble away to all you lovely people. That window's MINE. It's my little corner of "me" in the kitchen.

I'm not generally someone who loves a lot of clutter - I love different things, like the old 80s oxtail soup bowl that sits on top of my cooker; the retro coca-cola storage tin that lives on the worktop; or the fairy lights that I leave on top of the units all year round. I have random little bursts of my own personality dotted around the house, and this window is one of them. Here are a few pics of some of the things I love to have around me when I work:

The top left picture is my Griffin oil burner. I don't use it for oil, I use it to burn Yankee Candle tarts. They're absolutely my most favourite candles in the world, and I always keep a stack of them in the press - I'm convinced that there's no better cure for a miserable day than lighting a Yankee Candle. I adore them. My favourite one is called Witches Brew, but I think it's usually only available around Halloween and I completely forgot to look last year, so I'll have to stick to the old faithfuls -  Sandalwood and Midsummers Night until then. If you've never tried Yankee, then now would be a pretty good time - are having a 40% off sale until August 23rd. Oh, I almost forgot - I got this burner on eBay.

The figurine on the bottom left is from Nemesis Now, and I got her online last year and I love her - the detail in Nemesis Now figurines is always excellent. The bottom right picture is the right corner of the window - that ceramic pot was one that my other half dug out of the ground when he was making a pass up to our shed - ancestors of his had once had a house there and we've often come across tiny little china cup handles or clay pipes, but nothing this well preserved before. I cleaned it up and I use it to store my incense sticks - it makes me happy to think that it's still being used for storage after so many years and so many generations have passed. There are also a couple of books there - I like to read at night.

The top picture has my mini weather station in the corner - I don't even use it for the weather, I just use it for the clock, because the clock on my computer seems to be wrong all the time - and my little pot of incense cones. The plant pot houses an Aloe plant, which is brilliant to have nearby for any minor cuts or burns. It came in really handy a few weeks ago when I got really badly sunburned! The little plate is full of various stones, shells and crystals that I've bought or collected over the last few years.

The top right picture is another eBay buy, it's a little mini jewellery box, I use it to hold all my stud earrings. The next two things are on the portable tv behind me (I sit with my back to the telly when I'm on the computer) and they're an oil burner that my other half got me (I was SHOCKED when he got me the set with this in it, I didn't think he passed much heed on the kind of stuff I was into) and my little miniature Titanic model that I made from a set I bought myself in Argos one Christmas. Self-gifting - love it. The bottom right picture is of my holey stones - my Mum has had loads of these in the house ever since I can remember and when I moved up here she gave me some. I love them, they remind me of going to the beach as a child in the summer.

Since I took the photos, I've bought another Nemesis Now addition for the window - a gorgeous dragon incense burner from eBay - here's a pic from Google:

What do you like to have around you when you're working/relaxing?

S xx

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Movie Pick #1: Grease 2

I am, once again, going to indulge my passion for list-making and organizing and start another series on this blog. Please, PLEASE bear in mind that I don't have the most mainstream/popular taste in movies, I mean - I thought Citizen Kane was a load of balls and I hated Knocked Up and The Hangover. My favourite movies tend to be either cheesy, 80s, disaster, horror, or action. And I love a good showtune :)

With this in mind, and due to my current obsession with this movie, I present: 

Image: Wikipedia

Released: June 11, 1982.

Grease 2 is set in 1961, two years after the first movie. Now, let's get the issue of the first Grease out of the way - I adore John Travolta (Saturday Night Fever is one of my favourite John Travolta performances) and as much as I used to run around the garden in a nightdress singing Hopelessly Devoted To You or puff on a candy cigarette and stamp it out with my Mammy's sandal, I have to say that I prefer Grease 2. 

First of all, the lead character was called Stephanie. My sister is named Stephanie. The only other Stephanie we'd heard of up until then was Stephanie Beacham, who at the time was starring in Tenko as a POW. Not exactly something you want to emulate, to be honest. But this Stephanie - played by the awesomely beautiful Michelle Pfeiffer - we fought endlessly over who wanted to be her more. She was gorgeous, she was cool, she was popular, she could sing, she could dance, she was the leader of her group - basically, she was the ballsier version of Sandy from the prequel. She was the female Danny Zuko. And she ROCKED.

Stephanie's love interest in the movie was Michael, played by Max Caulfield. Michael was utterly, hopelessly in love with Stephanie and would do anything to get her - so in a reversal of the first movie, where Sandy changed for Danny, in this one - Michael changed for Stephanie. I'm going to completely ignore the blatantly wrong message being sent out in both instances, because I love this movie, and nothing will ruin it for me. Not even the diabolical bunker scene. So, getting back to Michael - he finds out that Stephanie isn't at all interested in his quiet, studious self - instead she wants hell on wheels. In what is one of the absolute best songs from the soundtrack, Stephanie spells out to Michael (through song, naturally) exactly what she wants in a man. And it ain't him.

Actually, I've realised in the past that Mad Max probably wasn't to blame for my, eh - slight - interest in leather-clad bikers.  It was Michelle Pfeiffer, up there on the stepladder, singing about how she desperately wanted Mr. Hell on Wheels to come and whisk her away. So, in true movie-land style, what does Michael do? He transforms himself into said Mr. Hell. Anonymously (don't linger too much on the anonymous part - he basically pulls a Clark Kent and wears leathers and an eye mask and nobody knows it's him until the big reveal). *cue gratuitous mysterious biker pictures*

So, does it all work out in the end? Will Stephanie find out that her mysterious biker is actually the shy studious Michael whom she refused to date on several occasions? I don't think you have to be Sally Morgan to work that one out, in fairness.

A Grease sequel wouldn't work without an ending about all being together, and although this one isn't quite as catchy as the one in the first movie, at least there's no poxy flying car.

If you're after a funny, sweet movie with a bit of fantasy, a bit of good-old-fashioned High School antics, and a catchy song or two, then check this out.

S xx

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday Night Song #6

Tonights SNS is Always the Last to Know by Del Amitri.

* Note: I can't find the original video on youtube but it's here on

Who: Del Amitri were a Scottish pop-rock band formed in 1983. Teenager Justin Currie had been in a band at school (with Donald Bentley and James Scobbie) and wanted to continue it, so he placed an advertisement in the window of a record store asking for people who could play instruments to contact him. The band was formed with Justin on bass and vocals, Iain Harvie on lead guitar, Bryan Tolland on guitar and Paul Tyagi on drums. Justin and Iain are the only members of the band to remain throughout its history. Despite the fact that the band had several top 10 albums in the UK, they never had a Top 10 single, but one song did chart in the Top 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

What: The band became popular on the local music scene in Glasgow, and after getting their demo played on John Peel's radio show on BBC Radio 1, they were signed to Chrysalis Records in 1984. Their debut album was released in 1985, and despite appearing on the front cover of Melody Maker magazine and supporting The Smiths on tour, the album and singles flopped. They were dropped by Chrysalis, and later signed by A&M Records in 1987. After two years and a few line-up changes, they finally had success in the UK in 1989 with the album "Waking Hours", which reached No.6 in the UK album charts. Their biggest success came in 1992 with the release of the album Change Everything, which reached No.2 in the UK and gave them a hit with this single (No.13 in the UK, Top 40 in the US). Off the back of this album, they were invited to play Woodstock '94 in the US. They released another handful of albums, none reaching the success of the earlier efforts, and after a somewhat lukewarm comeback with their final album in 2002 Can You Do Me Good?, they were dropped by Mercury Records (who had taken over from the now-defunct A&M). The band have never officially split up.

When: Always the Last to Know was released in 1992, from the Change Everything album. It charted at No.13 in the UK, No.30 in the US, No.12 in the US Pop Chart, and No.42 in Canada.

Why: This song was another of my Atlantic 252 memories. It was the entire inspiration for my "Music Memory" series on my old nostalgia blog. I still remember listening to it in the early 90s on the old battery radio. I always thought Del Amitri were one of the most underrated bands in the history of pop-rock music - their songs are catchy, their lyrics are clever, and they had serious talent. It's a shame to look at some of the stuff in the charts now and see what passes as successful in 2011 - I'd still rather listen to music like Del Amitri. They had the talent, they just didn't have the longevity unfortunately. This is one of those songs that makes me sit back and remember the early 90s, and if you're not going out tonight, take a half an hour and cast your mind back to 1992 - Michael Carruth winning an Olympic gold medal in Barcelona; Linda Martin winning the Eurovision; the Bishop Casey revelations - what were you doing in '92?

S xxx

Monday, July 18, 2011

Water Disaster

Tonight I decided that I'd try out water marbling on my nails. For those of you who have never heard of it, basically, you get a container of cold water and drop little drops of different coloured nail polishes into it. You tape your fingers off, leaving only your nail exposed to pick up the polish. You can swirl them around with a cocktail stick, but be really careful that you don't end up picking all the polish up. Then, you dip your nail in and voila - lovely swirly multicoloured patterns. Repeat for every nail and add a top coat. Here's a YouTube vid that explains it better than I can:

Unfortunately, I was so excited to get going, that I forgot one very vital part of the process. Perhaps, the most important part. I forgot to... *cough*... tape my fingers off. I'd like to say that I realized this after the first nail, but I had all ten done before I thought - "that's a heck of a lot of polish on my fingers, that'll be murder to get off...."

Not exactly murder, but 38 cotton buds, four capfuls of nail polish remover and a nail remover pen (Essence, you are a Godsend) later, this is what I was left with:

Not bad for a first attempt!! I used Essence, Missguided and Barry M polishes. I don't know how I managed to end up with three extremely psychedelic nails, but such is the joy of water marbling - you never know how it's going to turn out.

Try it yourselves! But for christsake, tape your fingers off....

S xx

Harper's Bizarre?

Post deleted because I sound like a wanker

Friday, July 15, 2011

Everyday I'm Shuffling

So, I just saw this post on Chloe's blog, which you should all go and follow immediately, by the way, and I knew I had to shamelessly steal it do my own version. I've been playing a version of this game in my head for years - when I was younger, I'd think of a question, and then put the radio on and use the first line I heard as the answer.  This was pre-internet, for all of you who are laughing at me. I'm old. Anyway, due to my super-duper healthy new and recent lifestyle changes, my iPod has changed from something I rarely update to something I now can't leave the house without - I solemly believe that if I didn't have music, I'd crack up. Right, let's get to it: The idea is, you put your iPod/mp3 player/song library on shuffle, ask a question, and then go forward for every question. Got it? You will. I'm over-complicating this... This is my baby:

Image: http.//
*Disclaimer: I have been walking. I need beats. Pitbull might put in an appearance. Also, I changed some of the questions as some weren't applicable to me :) NO CHEATING!!

Q1: How am I feeling today? Beat it - Michael Jackson (could not be MORE accurate).
Q2: Will I get far in life? Harder to Breathe - Maroon 5 (hopefully not an Asthma warning).
Q3: How do my friends see me? Out in the Fields - Thin Lizzy (a bit literal, that one hehe).
Q4: Where will I get married? Mirrors - Natalia Kills (Hall of Mirrors? Eh, pass).
Q5: What is my theme song? Common People - Pulp (what you tryin' to say, iPod?!).
Q6: What is the story of my life? Modern Love - David Bowie (sing it, David).
Q7: What was High School like? Just a Dream - Nelly (I bloody wish it was just a dream).
Q8: How can I get ahead in life? On the Floor - JLo ft Pitbull (I hope you mean dancing, and not...)
Q9: What is the best thing about me? Sweat - Snoop Dogg & David Guetta (yeah. My sweat rocks).
Q10: How is today going to be? Ready to Go - Panic! at the Disco (yup, rearin' to work all day!!).
Q11: What's in store this weekend? Blind - Ke$ha (hopefully nobody will be blinded).
Q12: What song describes my parents? Inside Out (remix) - Imelda May (love you inside out - aw!).
Q13: What song describes my sister? You and I - Lady Gaga (aww another sweet one!)
Q14: How is my life going? Gotta be Somebody - Nickelback (there is, and I've found him :D)
Q15: What song will they play at my funeral? Iris - Goo Goo Dolls (they better NOT play that).
Q16: How does the world see me? Friday I'm in Love - The Cure (yay! a love song that's not smushy!).
Q17: Will I have a happy life? Whatever you Want - Status Quo (shut up, it's a brilliant walking song).
Q18: What do my friends really think of me? Don't believe a word - Thin Lizzy (hopefully NOT?!!).
Q19: Do people secretly lust after me? Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns n Roses ( Child indeed!).
Q20: How can I make myself happy? Lipstick - Jedward (SHUT UP!! Lipstick makes me VERY happy).
Q21: What should I do with my life? Last Friday Night - Katy Perry ( Thanks Katy!).
Q22: What is some good advice for me? Sex on Fire - Kings of Leon (I'll just leave that one there...).
Q23: How will I be remembered? Here I go again - Whitesnake (big hair, bit of a rocker, yahoo!).
Q24: What is my signature gig song? Save the World - Swedish House Mafia (epic! Love this tune).
Q25: What do I think my theme song is? Uprising - Muse (g'wan the rebellion!).
Q26: What does everyone else think my theme is? Lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off - Panic! at the Disco (so, a slut? Cheers!)

What's on your iPod?

S xx

Ich Liebe Dich!

Hey guys & girls, this post has been sitting in my drafts for far too long now, and please excuse the length of time it has taken me to finally get around to choosing and finishing it!!

When I logged on a while ago, I saw that the lovely Cornflakegirl had included me as one of her Liebster Blog winners. The Liebster Blog Award is designed to bring well deserved additional recognition to those bloggers with less than 300 followers. If you receive the award, you link back to the blogger that nominated you and nominate three more blogs.

This means a lot to me, it's lovely to think that someone likes this little rambly place enough to include it in something like this, and I am very thankful and greatful to cornflakegirl for thinking of me - sincerely, THANK YOU! If you aren't following her blog already, please do - it's a gorgeous blog, full of variety and interesting reviews, with loads of great photographs.

I have to admit, I thought that choosing 3 blogs would be easier than it was - but I've picked the three that I always try to read most often, and the 3 that I keep going back to. There aren't many blogs that can hold my attention right back to the first post, but I've gone back that far on all of these and continue to enjoy them regularly. These are in no particular order, by the way - no favouritism here!!

1. Sarah's Vanity.
Sarah's Vanity is an Irish beauty blog, run by the very talented Sarah who blogs about make-up, skincare and haircare. I love her wearable silver smokey eye post, and have gone back to it a few times to make sure I'm doing it properly! Sarah sets a very high standard on her blog with her clear instructions and fab pictures. Love it!

2. Just Alex.
Alex describes himself as a thirtysomething man who tries to see the positive in everything, and that's one of the reasons why I like his blog so much. You never know what you're going to get, and I LOVE that - Alex covers everything from cross stitch to cemetaries, and he's just as obsessed about Halloween as I am. His photography is also excellent - in particular, this one about a tour to Cooranbong Cemetary - I'm not being at all biased because of the Irish connection in this post....:)

Well, there's my pick of the three (four, including Cornflakegirl) blogs that I always read - there are many, many more, and you can check them out for yourselves on my profile page. Sorry for the delay in getting this up here, but hope you enjoy it!

S xx