Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Polyvore and Camera lust

So I have been messing around on Polyvore recently. I am not sure I am very good at putting together but I really like this set I made. This is a selection of cameras I am currently working towards. I gave Dave the blue wide and slim because they had the purple one on Four Corner Store so I ordered myself that with some money I made selling bits on ebay. The other 3 are from Lomography so I have used almost all piggies for these!
Cameras 2

Monday, 30 January 2012

Monday morning music

Here I am again on a Monday morning with another treat for you all. This is from a hopefully up-and-coming band called 'To Kill A King'. These guys are great and have worked really hard on their music the whole time I have known them. Three of the band members used to be in a ska type band around 2007 which is when we became their neighbours. They were great fun and we hung out lots that year, going to their gigs, having BBQs in our quiet little street and so on. Back then they were called Kid Id but they when they moved to London a few years later they changed their style and got a new name. I am not just saying this but they are the kindest, loveliest hardest-working and dedicated guys I have met and if anyone deserves to make it big then it is them. Here is their new song and video. Please, if you like it, share it around!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Not so wild in Birmingham

So I went to the Lomo event in Selfridges in Birmingham on Thursday evening. We had already seen the new products on the website on our way down - they are gorgeous!!! We got to Birmingham in good time and went right to Selfridges. The pop-up stand looked fab!!! All nautical and turquoise. The beer was indeed free, and the lovely Jo who works there had made camera shaped cookies for the occasion. There were loads of people there and Dave and me really enjoyed chatting to people. Plus Tony made it down from Derby with all his old soviet cameras and it was great to catch up with him. The beers flowed all night, and were free. And it was pretty strange getting drunk in Selfridges whilst it was still open. There was a lot of buzz around the Lomo event so I hope it got some good reviews off both the public and the press. My only issue with the evening was that they didn't have the new products!!! I was so gutted I didn't get to see the beautiful Diana Mini in the flesh. I got over it pretty quickly however and had a great night. I am looking forward to seeing my pictures when I get them developed but for now here are a few Instagram images I snapped.  I felt a bit guilty really using an iphone app designed to emulate Lomography at a lomo event!!!

The decor, the sign in the centre of the store, and Dave walking on the lomowall floor (well I guess, since they don't have walls!)

It was a super night and we got to see my Mum and Dad afterwards - they picked us from Coventry station and made us a picnic for tea! It was nice to see them, even though it was a bit of a flying visit. Dave had a great time too, he even got his Kiev out for the event and as he hasn't used it for ages, I was glad to see it make a rare appearance as it gets great shots.

Dave's beautiful Kiev 88
I think the funniest thing about the whole weekend was, after waiting for the megabus for an hour in the cold, we got on and sat at the front. There was a man by the door who had got off to have a cigarette and as he was about to get back on he said to the driver "there is a lady running to the bus", the driver said angrily "well why is she running now? We are an hour late" and then my mum appeared at the door of the bus waving a Sainsburys bag at me!!! She had been shopping whilst we were at the stop and she had bought me a gorgeous top and cardigan and wanted to give it to me! Ha - it was hilarious! Good job I don't get embarrassed easily! Do your parents ever do batty things like that or is it just mine?

Saturday, 28 January 2012

E.L.F. Sale Haul

Whilst I don't aspire to be a beauty blogger, I do thoroughly enjoy reading people's opinions of items and I have discovered a lot of new companies since I started reading blogs and things. I have therefore decided I will do reviews on occasion (not that I buy a lot of beauty items anyway) where I have bought a few bits and pieces. 
Since I discovered E.L.F. last year I have stopped by and bought a few bits off them. As someone who doesn't wear very much make-up, I don't have a huge need for high end stuff, and because I change my mind all the time, the prices at elf are really attractive to me as well.   After Christmas I was emailed some voucher codes to use online at E.L.F. and given that they had a sale on last weekend as well, it seemed foolish not to make the most of it. I opted to use the free shipping if you spend over £10 voucher so everything you see below, including postage was £10.40 which I think is super for 6 full size items. 

All 6 items - zit zapper, lipstick, lip plump gloss, matt lip colour, blusher and make-up mist and set

First of all I got a make-up mist and set spray from the studio collection as it was on sale and I have heard good things about it elsewhere. I always feel that my make up has virtually disappeared by 11am on a work day and I never think to go and re-apply so I am hoping this will change my life! 

I also got a zit zapper which I have had before and I really think it makes a difference. I have quite problematic skin at the moment (it has been this way since I came off the injection about 18 months ago) and if I can feel a breakout coming on, I roll this on in the morning and it seems to calm everything down. I have had my last one for 8 months and use it daily, it is only just running low so a real bargain. Here are some colour swatches of the other items.

blusher, lipgloss, lipstick and matt lip colour (not sure the lighting is the best here I am afraid)
First of all, the blusher. I don't wear blusher generally as I am so rosy cheeked anyway. However, I have been using Benefit's "You're bluffing" and "Bluff Dust" recently to calm this down and it can leave me a bit on the pale side. I wanted just a cheap and light blusher to make me feel better and I think this is the one. The shade is coy and although pink, it is a brown-y pink and has a lovely shimmer to it, which I like. It is not super pigmented so if you were after a dramatic look you might be better with a studio version. 

Now first of all, the lip gloss. It is a double ended plumping glaze with the clear end meant to add volume and then the coloured end to add, well colour really. I have 2 darker shades of this already and wanted something a bit more spring-y. I chose 'peach passion' and would describe it as a feint coral colour. It is very nice and goes on lovely. I also think it has good staying power. The other end also goes on nicely and gives a good shine. I am not too sure about the "pumping" properties but then I never am, I have yet to use one that has given me Angelina Jolie lips! Anyone have any recommendations for me?
Then there is the lipstick. I like elf lipsticks because they are not very pigmented so I don't feel silly wearing them to work (I work in a pretty causal environment). They also have nice staying power. I was a bit worried when I saw this as it looks super brown and very dark. however as you can see from the swatch it is a nice brown and not too dramatic. The shade is called 'fantasy'.
The matte lip colour is interesting. It is a darker brown, the shade being 'praline'. I think I really like this and as it is from the studio collection I think it is a slightly better quality and I am excited to try it on my face.
Do you have any other elf recommendations? 

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Pop 9 and Redscale XR

So after my exciting developing day on Saturday, I thought I would share with you all a couple of shots from a roll of film I had developed last week and tell you a bit about it. I decided to do this because as Lomography becomes a bigger and better part of my life, I seem to share it with fewer and fewer people I haven't put any film photos onto Facebook since I got back from New York, and believe me when I say I have had a fair few rolls developed!
So I have had a Lomography Pop 9 camera in gold more or less since I started analogue photography and although I initially used it loads, because of the very distinctive look it gives, I then ended up loading a roll in Chester in December 2010 and only just removing it last week - which is rubbish I know. Plus the roll itself is Redscale film and I hadn't realised that because my camera is held together with electrical tape after one night out too many and I couldn't read the film type. Sadly this means I have used it in a lot of totally inappropriate situations over the last 14 months or so. Below are 3 of the shots I actually like from the film

I like the juxtaposition of an analogue photo of a DSLR

This is Dave on a beach in Portsmouth from April 2011 - love the blue tones

This is hard to see, and it has a light leak, but it is my dad fishing in Portsmouth, which is his favourite thing to do. Not many photos of him doing it though
So despite my initial disappointment that I had accidentally put a redscale film in, I got a few shots I was happy with. Although there is quite a bad light leak down the centre where I opened as I thought it didn't have a film in. I will try and do a little post like this every time I get a roll developed because it is nice to share. 
I am off to a Lomography event this evening in Birmingham. It is all a bit vague but I got invited through my role as a CitySlicker (basically LSI asked for students to write set articles about their home town and I got picked to cover all things Leeds) to go to the press launch of the pop-up store in Birmingham Selfridges. However since then it has been advertised on the lomography website that every store is having an event that day to unveil a new mystery product. It all seems to be animal based as a lot of the adverts say "Zebra. Leopard. Snake." and "Come to the wild side" etc etc. I haven't a clue what to expect - but I have purchase some little animal ears on a headband all the same!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Watch this video and smile

I have literally been sharing this video all over twitter and FB so I thought I would pop it on here for you all to enjoy. Plus it is a Monday morning and this video makes me smile every time I watch it. Enjoy.

Are there any videos you watch to get you going at the start of the week?

Sunday, 22 January 2012

My new friend - Ilfosol

I wanted to write a bit about my super day yesterday where Louise came over and we did our own black and white film developing. Dave has been nagging at me for ages to get onto it because B&W film is so expensive to get processed and scanned, plus we have a scanner so it kind of made financial sense. Also at the moment I find that I try hard to not shoot too much B&W due to the cost and having to send it off somewhere to get it done. Dave used to develop and print at college and Louise was well up for it as well so last week we all shot a shit-roll (a roll with no important photos on so it didnt matter if we messed it up) and today the three of us learnt what to do. We got this starter kit from thedarkroom.co.uk as it was a reasonable price and said it had all we needed in it. Although we have now learnt we don't need stop bath and are going to reuse the fixer so we can just buy the developer from now on. 
I was still a bit apprehensive as one of the things I enjoy about analogue photography is the going to collect your photos, not remembering what was on them and so on. Having said that, I was pleasantly surprised by today's experience. It was a lot easier and less stressful to do than I thought. Even the standing in the dark trying to spool your film isn't too scary. We also had a right laugh and didn't argue about the best course of action or anything like that so it was all good. I am now getting ambitious and wanting to do C41 colour developing and all sorts!!!

dave getting excited as his first roll was a success

negs hanging to dry in our utility-come-darkroom

Does anyone else here do home developing? Any tips for a newbie you can share?

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Must have broken a mirror

I joked that I should have written in Dave's anniversary card that I must have broken a mirror as we have now been together for 7 years!!! Ha - I actually chose to write something nice and soppy instead! We had a lovely evening, although we went out early as we have a lot to do tonight/tomorrow. We met at 4:30 having starved ourselves all day (so there would be plenty of room for yummy dessert!). We went to our favourite Japanese restaurant in Leeds - Little Tokyo. Time for some food porn. . . 

Clockwise from top left - exterior / my chicken terryaki bento box / interior (bridge over the little carp filled river) / my dessert of flame grilled brownie with lychee ice cream.

Yeah we love Little Tokyo and I always end up ordering a bento box because it is really good value and contains quite a variety of food. You get a fresh ginger salad, your meat/veggie dish (chicken terryaki for me, salmon/prawn for Dave), some tempura vegetables and sticky white rice. It is pretty much faultless! Then of course it was time for presents, fortunately Dave loved his, he is carrying the speaker around with him as we speak.

these are my gifts off Dave, sorry the quality is pants! I prefer instagram pics these days.  Clockwise from left I got from Dave a little mini tripod for my cameras, a gorgeous wooden skull necklace, a very chunky charm bracelet and some origami crane earrings. 

I loved the presents Dave got me. Although the bracelet is particularly chunky. Although bless him, he did try and choose me one with all my favourite things on. Plus he got all the jewellery from some little handmade shop but he wont tell me where it is as he says I will buy everything in there and he wants to use it for all my presents from now on!!!

P.S. I wrote this last night but after our internet broke I couldn't actually post it when I wanted to! Boo.

Mystery Package

So this is a little tale about something that happened to me a few days ago. I got to work and not only were my Amazon packages for Dave on my desk, but also a mysterious bag addressed to me. I thought it might be something work related, as I do a lot of purchasing for the office, but instead I found these beauties

On the left is a Superheadz Golden Half camera in the "zebra" pattern and on the right a Superheadz Wide and Slim in the Blue Ribbon colour.

So of course I thought maybe someone had bought them for me and had a ring round my nearest and dearest. No-one claimed them as gifts from themselves. The bag had the name of a company on it, but I had never heard of it, and there was no delivery note. Then I put the bag they came in into my handbag to bring it home and look into and it has disappeared! And I can't remember the name of the company. Even stranger is that both of these cameras (in varying colour options) were on my Amazon wishlist before Christmas! I am thrilled to bits wherever they came from so Thank you somebody!!!!

Have you ever received a mystery parcel like this? Did you ever trace the sender?

Thursday, 19 January 2012

To fringe. . . . . ?

So generally my fringe looks pretty untidy. I have to straighten the hell out of it, and that is not good as my hair is so thin at the front. Mum is trying to pressure me to grow it out and move to a side parting (which she has pretty much been doing my entire life!). I am considering it however, because my fringe is not one of those thick ones that always sits right where I want it. But I haven't found a style yet that I want to go for that is fringeless. Plus I tend to think that when I drag my grown out fringe to one side I kind of look like Hitler. Then when I went out on NYE, I was trying to send a photo to Dave, and I took the picture below, and I love my fringe in it!!!! Now I am in a right quandry! What do you guys think - to fringe or not to fringe?

Wednesday, 18 January 2012


I think I have found a new favourite poem!!!! I rarely like modern poetry (apart from Twat by JCC, which is pretty old nowadays and the poem I posted last April by Itch from The King Blues) but I saw this on TV last week and I absolutely love it. Aside from the fact that Tim Minchin is one of my biggest crushes EVER, I generally find his little songs very very intelligent, funny and I like how they push boundaries of what it is acceptable to sing about (particularly in a country music style). I hadn't heard any of his poems until the other night when I heard this 9 minute beat poem named Storm and fell in love with it right away. 

I don't think many people could commit to 9 whole minutes, ranting about something with such a cool background tune, and also he is tackling some issues people really believe in, which again is a brave move. Plus, there aren't many men I could take seriously with no shoes on, but yet Tim, I can manage.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

The Reading List

I decided one of my resolutions this year would be to get back into reading for fun. And no "Pick Me Up" does not count. So I got a book off my Dad for Christmas that I have started and am enjoying, and so I definitely want to read at least one a month throughout 2012. I enjoy reading, and I used to have such a great imagination, but that has suffered a bit and I am not as good at conjuring up images as I used to be. I think this is, in part, due to my lack of reading. And I am not going to do anything outrageous and get a Kindle. Not that I have anything against Kindle users, but I like to read in the bath for a start, and I know from physics lessons in school that water + electronics = bad. Plus I love the way books feel in your hands, and how my eyes never have to strain to look at a page of a book - I look at a screen all day every day and it does get to be a bit much. Anyway, my first 5 books are going to be these:-

this is what I am reading right now, I got it for Christmas and am a third way through. It is a very well written crime type thriller and apparently it has a big twist!

Love Russell's sense of humour and I read Booky Wook about 2 years ago. I got this as a birthday gift last year so must try to read it this year, otherwise number 3 will come out and I wont be at all prepared!

Think I have mentioned before that I followed the Kercher case pretty closely, and was shocked when Knox and Sollecito were acquitted last year. Plus I have a real interest in true crime so I got this book in the sales last week.

I saw the remake of the movie at the cinema last week and to be honest it is totally my kind of thing. I now want to watch the original film, as I have heard it is loads better, and of course, read the book

This was recommended to me by my BFF and her chap. They both know me pretty well so I have also bought this when it was on sale - and used my new Waterstones points cards, it is a bit like Boots, great value! I think it is a sort of sociology/politics text book or something so I will let you know how it goes!

So tell me, are there any books you think I should add to my list? Have you read any of the ones already on my list? Let me know what you think!

Monday, 16 January 2012

The 7 year itch

When I was little, I used to think that a "7 year itch" was an exaggeration, meaning a physical itch on your body that you have had for quite a long time. Once I realised it was something to do with having been in a relationship for 7 years and getting, well wanderlust essentially, and forgetting what is good about what you have right there in front of you. Well I think that is it. Hang on. . . . 

According to Wiki Answers it refers to a period where relationships are most likely to end, with partners keen to leave or cheat around this time. This is all a bit of a concern as Dave and me celebrate 7 years together on Thursday 19 January. Hang on though, having read further down the page on Wiki, it is now thought that this happens way before 7 years for most couples - phew, I reckon we are safe. Apparently some now refer to it as a 3 year glitch, because that is how long the average marriage lasts before divorce proceedings commence, according to some sources. 

Anyhow, we like to have a little celebration around this time and I myself much prefer it to Valentines Day as it is ours and ours alone. This year we might go out for a meal and give each other little gifts rather than anything major as we are still saving up for our Schwinn bikes. I have got Dave 2 presents:-

They are both on order from Amazon.co.uk so I am really hoping they get here in time. The first one is a speaker. It is honestly the best sound I have ever heard come out of something to small and portable. They come in loads of different colours, cost just £15 and fit neatly into a handbag and they weigh next to nothing. They charge through a USB and one charge gives 11 hours play time. A woman at work has ordered a few as presents and I can really see myself buying these for loads of people this year. Highly recommended. 
The second is a one line a day journal type thing that lasts for 5 years. In a way this is a joke present as I am always having a go at Dave for turning into a grumpy old man but equally I hope he actually fills it in as he does suffer from stress rather a lot and I am hoping that if he writes down just one happy thought every day then he will become a more positive individual. Sometimes when he is angry or sad he writes a little journal but he ends up throwing it away as it makes him sad to look back at it. I hope this is almost something he is proud to show me and enjoys completing it each day. 

What would you get your other half as an anniversary gift? 

Scrabble and Quality Street

For the last week it is fair to say I have mostly been just playing Words With Friends OBSESSIVELY and eating a lot of Christmas sweeties. We are almost out of chocolate from Christmas now except we still have loads of Quality Street, both at home and at work. Although I would previously have hailed them as among my favourite chocs, I think I am a bit sick of them now. I have even started to munch on the pink ones, despite not liking fudge at all, just for a bit of variation. 

And the other thing I have been doing far too much of lately is playing Words on my iphone. I got it a few months before Christmas, but for some reason my old iphone 3G didn't seem to like it very much and I often had to give up because my games wouldn't load. Now I have my lovely iphone 4S however, I have got about 20 games on the go at once. The thing is, I am getting a bit annoyed with it really because I have barely won any games at all. I don't mean that as big headed as it sounds, but I have a good vocab, and I play good words, but I am rubbish at putting them in the right places to get loads of points, and I always leave the board open for others to get a load of points off the back of my words, like in this example:-

My friend Chris there got over 120 points for a 4 letter word!!! That would never happen to me and one of my aims over the next few months, has to be get better at this bloody game!!!!! Do any of you have any tips for me?

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Christmas post (with photos)

So I realise I have missed the boat a little bit with Christmas summaries but as I was AWOL at the time, it seems a bit rude now not to just catch up with the things I did and the presents I got. First up, I was away in Barcelona for Dave's birthday on Mad Friday (the night when most people break up from work for the holidays and everybody ends up in town drinking. Whilst I wasn't too sad to miss this, I did miss the office visit from Santa Claus, the elf and the present fairy so when I returned to work the following week I got my "Secret Santa" gift which I was thoroughly chuffed with!

somebody knows me far too well and got me this from Urban Outfitters

And then Dave started raving about how much he wanted a onesie (I think he was basically just jealous of my slanket!) so when I was out Christmas present shopping and saw this one on sale in Primark, I had to get it for him, even though it is technically a woman's!

Dave, always happy when he is cross-dressing!

Then of course, once it hit the evening of 23 December, it was time for me to travel down to my parents on the coach, alone because for the 7th year in a row we spent Christmas day apart. This is because his family don't have much of a Christmas routine, so I am reluctant to alternate with my huge family, all who make a massive effort over Christmas and we have a lot of traditions. I don't expect Dave to come down with me as this would be unfair, but equally I wont give up a Christmas at my parents to not really do much here in Leeds. Anyway I digress. The first Christmas tradition we always hit up is the Carol Service at Coventry Cathedralon Christmas Eve afternoon. None of us are religious at all but it is a lovely service aimed at the kids mostly, so they all dress up and sing along, it really is lovely. It gets me right in the Christmas mood and who couldn't feel uplifted somewhere as beautiful as Coventry Cathedral.

some instagram shots of the inside of the cathedral

And then it was Christmas morning, which I really love at my Mum and Dad's house but miss my Nan a lot - she used to be so excited just to see me open my gifts that she'd be up at 5am!!! I got some amazing presents, I was really spolit this year, here is a selection of the things I woke up to.

Clockwise from top left - Build your own pinhole camera from my bff (I will do a post once I have built it), a gorgeous leather doctors style bag from Dave - love it, an iphone 4S from the parents - I actually could not believe this, they buy us so much throughout the year, my jaw hit the floor when I saw it, then there is the crap family gift, which I got off my aunt Tracey this year. It is basically a stick with a light up Santa on, covered in rubbish tinsel that plays a tune but sounds like it is dying constantly. I will have to pass this on next year - target is Uncle Barry.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

First post of the year!

I am literally THE worst blogger ever! It has been like 7 weeks with no posts from me! And my last one was a bit political so that's not good. This is meant to be my fun place. Anyways, I have an iphone 4s which I got for Christmas and I am using it loads to take photos for instagram and stuff so I am really going to try much harder this year. I will be spending this weekend in, alone as Dave is working so I will dedicate myself to blogging - meaning a catch up of Christmas, some New Year's "positive changes" (not resolutions as these seem to be all broken by Feb 1st!) and some photos of mine and Dave's trip to Barcelona for his birthday - hoorah! For the last 2 weeks I haven't done a lot really other than get used to being back at work properly. I did take a trip to the new Lomo store in Manchester last week with Louise from work and met Darren and Becky there. This was a really great day and I got a new viewfinder for my LC-Wide as the one that is built in is hugely out (thanks for that LSI).

Taken on my LC-Wide outside Urbis in Mancheter
Then this week I feel as though all I have done is care for Dave, his brother and his brother's best friend Andy who is having a hard time as his dreams of moving to New Zealand forever fell through and he had to come home after just 3 months or so. This has involved a lot of drinking and movie watching. And nowhere near enough time spent with Dave, or with my cameras!

Taken on my LC-Wide after a hangover breakfast at Maria's this week
Anyway as they have now returned to their respective parts of the country, normal service can resume here in LS6 - hoorah!!