Friday, 29 March 2013

A Is For...

All Good Things - Mandy Moore
I adore this song. This was on the first Mandy Moore album that I ever listened to, and I fell in love with it immediately. It was bought for me by my sister, of course. She introduces me to so much of the music I love! And while I do like some of the songs from her more recent album, Amanda Leigh, these are the ones I keep coming back to. It's one of those albums that never fails to cheer me up (Few Days Down is particularly good for this) and it's also full of good memories. It was one of the few albums that I took with me on my first trip to New York at the age of 19 with my boyfriend at the time, and I remember sitting on the subway back from Manhattan to Queens, exhausted after a day of walking around a city so new and huge, so full of excitement, this song filling my head.
This is one of the songs that I can't help but belt out in the shower!

Anne Of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery

And Anne of Avonlea, and Anne of the Island, and Anne of Windy Willows, and Anne's House of Dreams, and Anne of Ingleside. I'm a big fan of all of the Anne books. I've read them all countless times, and I never get tired of reading them. I remember my Dad reading them to me when I was young, and I could almost recite along with him as I knew them so well. If you haven't read them it's a travesty, and you must! They contain the stories of a red headed orphan who comes to live on Prince Edward Island. Anne is full of imagination and always running into adventures and one scrape or another. There is joy and tragedy and magic in each book as Anne grows up, goes to college, becomes a teacher, gets married and has children.

She is definitely a kindred spirit of mine.

You can read a wonderful synopsis of the story, written by Margaret Atwood, here and another shorter piece here.
Ally McBeal

I don't think I need to explain this... Ally McBeal had too many hilarious moments to recount, but this video gives a little reminder of the Barry White dancing which happened throughout the seasons. Watching this video made me want to rewatch Ally all over again!


“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” - Henry James
For me, the word afternoon conjures up wonderful images of afternoon tea complete with scones and tiny pots of strawberry jam and clotted cream. Afternoon tea at my parents house with tea and biscuits, a daily staple. Long afternoons in the summer, the sun slowly descending, the shadows getting longer, playing croquet and sitting on the lawn before dinner.
At the moment, working nights means that the afternoon is when I start my day. But I'm looking forward to a time in the future when I can reclaim my afternoons. And until then, when the clocks change on Sunday, maybe I can get up early and enjoy some afternoons at the park across the road over the next few months.


I promised to write something about me for each letter of the alphabet, so I thought I'd start with a little about my ambitions. When I was younger, I wanted to be a writer, a lawyer, all sorts of things. At the moment, age 23, I'm working in a bar to make ends meet. It's fine for now and I'm grateful to have a job at all, especially a one that is full time, but I hope that in the future I will either own my own small business (my main ambition, career wise) or have a job that is fulfilling in some way.
I would still love to become a writer someday too.
I hope that Colm and I can finally move into our own flat in 2013. Living with another couple is great money wise, but it would be lovely to have our own home. And I hope that one day we will own our own home, and have a family together.
Other than that, I just want to be as happy as possible, and healthy, and I want everyone that I know and love to be happy and healthy too. That's not too ambitious, is it?
I hope you've enjoyed the first post in my new blog series. Lots more to come!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

A to Z

... A new blog series! I started thinking about it after I read one of the brilliant 'Things I Love Thursday' posts from Kaelah of Little Chief Honeybee which mentioned some of the blog series that she was currently enjoying. I liked the idea of something in the form of a list, and alphabetical seemed like a fun idea. It reminded me of the childrens game where you have to write different categories across the top of a page and then have to find something for each category with each letter (Insect, Food, Place: ant, apple, Austria).  
So from now until the end of the alphabet I will be doing a new list each week, starting with A (surprise surprise) in the next few days, with a new letter and five different categories: a favourite song, TV show or film, and book; something about me; and something random. Hopefully it will be a bit of fun and something a bit different. I'm already finding it hard to choose what to put on the list... some letters have far too many choices!

Are any of you planning anything similar?

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Haircare Dilemmas

This is the current state of my hair.
At last it has grown to a length that I love, but cutting it all off three years ago and proceeding to dye it very blonde has wreaked havoc on my poor hair. I really need to get it trimmed, but I don't want to lose any of the length, so for now I am trying to give it as much moisture as I can until it grows a little longer.
I needed a new conditioner last week and decided to go for one from a childrens range, Tantrum. So far I love it: it's really creamy, smells great, and completely detangles my curly locks. Have any of you tried it? It's also free of parabens, and I figure that anything for childrens hair must be pretty gentle. Although I don't remember needing conditioner when I was a child!
I was using Organix Moroccan Argan Oil conditioner but although I liked the product I wasn't impressed with the packaging: after the first few uses it got really hard to squeeze the conditioner out, which led to me trying to balance on one foot while squeezing the bottle as hard as I could with both hands onto my knee so that I could scoop it back into my hands and onto my hair... it really shouldn't be this hard!
I also use the Toni and Guy Nourish Reconstruction Mask every once in a while and it seems to help a bit, even though I don't really believe that my hair CAN be reconstructed at this point!
The shampoo I use is a medicated one, Stieprox, and try as I might I can't wean myself off of it: my scalp gets so tight and dry without it.
So do any of you have any tips for undernourished hair?

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Swamplandia by Karen Russell: Book Review
Swamplandia! was a Christmas gift from my sister. When she asked me if there was anything I would like I looked at my 'books I want to read' list, and this was near the top. When I read a review about it somewhere it looked fascinating. I finally read it last week and I was not disappointed.
Swamplandia! is Karen Russell's first book and is set amidst Florida's Ten Thousand Islands, where Ava Bigtree, age 13, lives with the Bigtree clan: her father, brother and sister. They live in their alligator themed amusement park which the book is named for. After Ava's mother, the star of the park, dies, and a major new amusement park opens on the mainland, Swamplandia falls apart and the children all try to cope in different ways. Isolated from the mainland completely now that the tourists are no longer arriving every day, Ossie, the sister, becomes romantically involved with the paranormal, and Kiwi, the brother, is desperate to escape the park completely. Ava embarks on her own journey, first to try to become the new star of the park and then a search through the desolate and lonely landscape of the Islands with the Birdman, a haunting journey which lingers in the mind.

With alligator wrestling, a crazy grandfather and a library boat, I couldn't put Swamplandia! down: if you like a well written, slightly magical story with a variety of intriguing characters and an unusual setting, I think it's a very worthwhile read. 

Monday, 18 March 2013

Camera Obscura

On our day off last week we went to the Camera Obscura in Edinburgh. Perched near the top of the Royal Mile we had seen it many time but never ventured in. Then one of the regulars from work gave it a rave review so we decided it would be worth a try, even though it is a bit pricey.
We loved it! It's all so interactive and exciting, and the views from the top are amazing. From the camera obscura itself to conducting electricity and all of the magic mirrors, we spent well over two fun filled hours there. I would definitely recommend it as a great spot to visit.


Friday, 1 March 2013

Dotty About Flowers

I've been busy with work this week as usual, so I took the opportunity to take a few photos on my day off after a delicious late lunch at Wannaburger (cheeseburger, fries and a chocolate shake: perfection)with one of my friends. Hopefully now that the days are getting longer I'll have more opportunities to take photos in daylight! I love this pretty tshirt: in the summer when it's a bit warmer I wear it without another top underneath.
Last weekend I went to the Scottish Bloggers Valentine's Party at Hemma Bar on Saturday night: it was lovely to meet some other bloggers and I had a great time. Hopefully we'll all be able to meet up again in a couple of months.

What I'm wearing: tops and shoes from Topshop, jeans from Gap, bag from Miss Selfridge