Posts tagged 2013
With only a few hours left of 2013, I thought I’d put together a reflective post of my ‘Best Ofs’ from the last twelve months, both blog-related and things that I’ve generally enjoyed this year. 2013 has been fairly eventful for me, what with getting starting to keep rats again after a five-year hiatus, finishing university, working more regular hours, and moving my blog to its own domain, thus growing its success. Luckily I’ve also had a lot of time for leisure, and managed to fit in some exciting trips and weekends away. So without further ado, here is my Best Of 2013.
TV Show: Breaking Bad
Now, I’m only three seasons in to Breaking Bad, so I haven’t yet seen the final one which aired this year, but Breaking Bad is easily my favourite TV show of 2013. I’m not usually one for following series (I’m more of a documentaries kinda girl), but I started watching Breaking Bad a month or two ago, and nothing on television has ever got me as hooked as this has. I genuinely have no idea what I’ll do without it.
Film: Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
Out of all the films I’ve seen at the cinema this year, ‘Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa’ stands out as the best. There’s nothing like a good British film, and it had me laughing all the way through. Admittedly, Alan Partridge as a character is an acquired taste, but I’ve always been a fan and I think the film did him justice (others I know would disagree, however).
Theatre: War Horse & Sweeney Todd
I was lucky enough to go to the theatre several times this year and I found it hard to pick a winner, so there are two. After years of wanting to see it, I saw the stage version of ‘War Horse’ at the Birmingham Hippodrome, and it was more beautiful than I had imagined. The puppetry was incredible and I shed many a tear. I would love to see it again, perhaps in London next time.
Source: Birmingham Hippodrome
I also went to see the Curve Community Production of ‘Sweeney Todd’ in August, at the Curve in Leicester. I’m not usually a fan of musicals, but I love the story of Sweeney Todd, and the quality of both the acting and the set were so high that I was instantly transfixed. My fiancé’s sister was in it too!
Book: Stonemouth by Iain Banks
‘Stonemouth’ by Iain Banks was actually published in 2012, but I didn’t get round to reading it until this year. I’ve been fond of Iain Banks’ writing ever since reading ‘The Wasp Factory’ when I was a teenager, and ‘Stonemouth’ is a classic Banks story. The characters are well developed and I couldn’t put the book down, which is always a good sign! I won’t say too much about it as to avoid spoilers, but I’d definitely recommend it to those who like fiction set in the real world. Unfortunately, Iain Banks passed away earlier this year after a short battle with cancer (RIP), and I for one am really sad that he is no longer here to write any more brilliant books, but at least he can live on in his existing literary legacy.
Gig: Sleepwalk City by 65daysofstatic, Sheffield
I tend to go to quite a few gigs every year, and 2013 was no different, but the best gig of the year wasn’t a straightforward one. It was actually a live sound and visual installation called ‘Sleepwalk City’, in an art gallery in Sheffield, performed by my favourite instrumental post-rock band 65daysofstatic. In short, the idea was to become immersed in sound, and the 30 minute performance for a select number of people was one of the most interesting and overwhelming musical experiences that I’ve ever had.
Celebrity: Aaron Paul
Aaron Paul, aka Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad, is my absolute favourite celebrity of 2013, for many, many reasons. As BuzzFeed quite rightly said, Aaron Paul Was The King of 2013, Bitch, so visit the article to find out why!
Eatery: Spanky Van Dyke’s & Cornucopia
Spanky Van Dyke’s is a bar on Nottingham which sells some of the best burgers I have ever tasted. Their homemade fries and desserts are amazing too! I’ve been there countless times this year (usually before heading to a gig), and I always enjoy it. My menu recommendation is the Shroomaloomi burger, which is stuffed full of flat mushrooms and grilled halloumi, mmmm.
Another of my best eateries of 2013 has to be Cornucopia in Dublin. I can honestly say it is hands down the best vegetarian/vegan restaurant I have ever been to. It’s a little on the pricey side, but the atmosphere is relaxed, the food is all homemade and they experiment (and succeed) with unusual ingredients, so it’s well worth the money.
In September my fiancé and I went to Dublin in Ireland for a short holiday, and we had an absolutely lovely time. The city itself has so much to offer – so much to see and do, and I’d love to go back to see and do what we missed the first time! Whilst there we did the touristy thing and went to Dublin Zoo, Trinity College, the Guinness Storehouse and Croke Park, but we also spent a lot of time relaxing in the local parks (and pubs!)
Achievement: Becoming a Master of the Arts
After two years of studying hard and writing essays, and a summer spent writing my 20,000 word dissertation, I finally finished my Masters degree in Modern Literature in September. I passed, with Merit, and I am so, so happy and proud. Bring on graduation in January 2014!
Blog Post: Interview Review: Superdrug Colour Rewind Hair Colour Remover
After looking at my blog stats for this year, my most popular blog post, with the most views, is the Interview Review I did with my sister about Superdrug’s Colour Rewind Hair Colour Remover.
Giveaway: JollyChic $100 Fashion Giveaway
I’ve ran a few giveaways in partnership with several companies throughout the year, but the one with the most entries has been the JollyChic Giveaway to win $100 to spend on fashion. The giveaway is actually still open, and is running until January 12th, so if you want to enter click here!
PR Product: Helvin DUO Boots
I received a lot of gorgeous PR products and samples this year, and I found it difficult to choose a favourite, but in the end these Helvin DUO Boots triumphed. They’re top quality and look fantastic on – you can read my full review here.
Fashion Item: Primark Winter Coat
The best fashion item I have purchased in 2013 has to be my winter coat from Primark. As my review says… ‘Every year I end up trailing around shops for hours, trying on coats that just don’t look or feel right, before eventually settling for something that I don’t particularly like. This year, however, was different. I walked into Primark, picked up the first coat that caught my eye, tried it on and, much to my surprise, I loved it! And, to make things even better, it only cost £25 – a third of what last year’s coat cost me.’
Beauty Product: INIKA Certified Organic Liquid Foundation
I struggle to find foundations to suit my skin tone, let alone ones that are natural, vegan and cruelty free, so when I discovered INIKA’s Certified Organic Liquid Foundation I was very happy, as it fulfils all of the above criteria! You can see my swatches and read my review here.
Skin Care Product: Eucerin Dry Skin Intensive Hand Cream
My favourite skin care product of the year is one I haven’t got round to reviewing yet – Eucerin Dry Skin Intensive Hand Cream. Every winter my hands get so dry that they actually crack and bleed, but this year I found the cure. At £9 for a 75ml tube it’s not the cheapest, but it actually works and that’s what matters! I’ll be reviewing it next month so keep an eye out if you’re interested in hearing more.
What are your 2013 ‘Best Ofs’? I hope you all have a happy new year!
I hope you all had a great Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year. My Christmas was spent at home with family, as is traditional, and was filled with lots of food and games!
I was very lucky this year and received a lot of lovely gifts, some that I’d asked for and some that were a complete surprise. I love being nosy and seeing what other people got for Christmas, so I thought I’d do a similar post and share my haul with you too!
Dove Gift Set / Snow Fairy Shower Gel / OPI Nail Lacquer x 2 / The Body Shop Body Butter / 17 Nail Polish / Ghost Captivating Perfume / Scholl i-Pop Massager
Snood / Butterfly Hair Clip / Socks / Kitty Slippers / Owl Mittens
Monsters University Shower Set / Monsters University Glow in the Dark PJs
Agate Necklace / Amethyst Silver Ring / Copper Spiral Amethyst Pendant
Black Stud Bag
Ratty Compact Mirror
Kurt Geiger Sally Ankle Boots / Kurt Geiger Brace Wedges
Sugar Skull Money Box / Owl and Star Photo Frame / Salads Recipe Book / Dinosaur Cushion / Rocket Tea Infuser
The Dark Knight Manual / Batman Arkham Asylum Anniversary Edition Graphic Novel
Breaking Bad DVD Box Set / Skullcandy 50/50 Earphones
Rats 2014 Calendar / 2014 Button Diary
Lots of chocolate!
What did you get for Christmas this year?
Good news, beauty fans! BeTrousse are currently having a January sale and ALL of their Beauty Kits are selling for just £9 each!! That includes the Christmas Beauty Box, Pretty Beauty, Summer Break, The Must Haves, Organic & Natural Beauty and Spring Beauty. Every box is packed full of full-size products (not a sample in sight!), so at £9 you really are getting an absolute bargain. In fact, my favourite box is the Pretty Beauty Box which contains NINE full-size items, working out at just £1 each with this offer – amazing, right?
If you want to know more about each box before you decide to buy, here is what I thought of each one (except for the Spring Beauty box, which I didn’t receive)…
To take advantage of this incredible saving, you can view the full selection of beauty kits here. Fingers crossed they’ll be launching some new, exciting kits in 2013!
Happy New Year everyone! Whether you spent hours partying or had a quiet evening at home, I hope you all had a wonderful time last night. I’m not usually a fan of celebrating the New Year, but last night I enjoyed spending time with my fiancé’s family; eating food, playing games and watching the children put on puppet shows.
2012 was a successful year for me in many ways. I finished the first year of my Masters degree and started the second, I got a new job as an Academic Support Worker at a university, which I really enjoy, and of course, I started blogging and have gained lots of writing experience and ‘met’ lots of lovely like-minded people! So, I’d like to thank every single one of you for all your support throughout 2012, and here’s to another exciting blogging year!
There is one thing I think 2012 was lacking though, and that’s fun! With my new job and my degree taking up most of my time, I didn’t get a chance to go on holiday, I rarely had enough money to go to gigs or on days out, and I forgot how to relax. I didn’t even make it down to London which I do every year! So, I’ve decided that this year will be different. I have a dissertation to write which will obviously take up a lot of my free time, but that doesn’t mean I can’t take a few breaks! I’d like to go on holiday, and I definitely have to visit London to shop and see an exhibition or two. I also want to go to Brighton and Whitby at some point. There are few smaller things I want to do in 2013 as well, things I’ve never done before. Nothing overly exciting, just things like bake a soufflé and read a Stephen King novel, because it’s always good to expand your knowledge!
I don’t usually make New Year’s Resolutions, and this year is no different. There are things I want to do, but they’re not resolutions as such. 2012 was an exception however, as I vowed to change my lifestyle for the better, both in terms of eating and exercise. And you know what? I did it! I lost two stone in weight, stopped eating so much rubbish and started doing more exercise. I even ran the Sport Relief Mile in March which I was very proud of. I want to run it again this year too, this time with my fiancé, so we better start training!
2013 might be an ugly number (it just doesn’t have the same ring to it as 2012), but I’m hoping it will be full of good surprises. I’m particularly hopeful that I will make more of Bewitchery this year! What’s on your ‘To Do’ list for 2013?
I’m not usually one for caring about what other people are wearing, but this year there seems to have been an influx of fashion trends which, for various reasons, I find really irritating! I have tried my best to ignore them, but they are everywhere, and have been for months now. My sister backs me up on most of these too, so I don’t think it’s just me being irrational. So, without further ado, here are six fashion trends I wish would fizzle out…
1. Toms Shoes
There’s something about Toms shoes that disturbs me, especially when worn by a man and paired with ankle grazers, and it’s the ability to see the veins on top of the feet and, as my sister’s boyfriend put it, ‘the outline of the big toe’. I’m funny about feet and I have the same issue with flip flops – I just don’t want to see those shapes, it’s obscene! The fold in the canvas at the toe looks ridiculous too, like a pair of slippers or something. Not only that, Toms are horrifically impractical and an absolute rip off. £35 for a piece of canvas which, quite frankly, won’t last 5 minutes in the UK, what with all the rain. I don’t think so…
2. Moustache Print
At first I thought the trend for moustache print was quite quirky, but now that it’s everywhere it has lost its charm rather quickly. Okay, it’s alright for Movember, but it’s gone a bit overboard now. Last week I saw a mannequin in a shop dressed in moustache leggings, a moustache top and a moustache cardigan – a bit heavy on the moustache methinks! I just don’t get it, I mean, you wouldn’t walk round with a beard or a goatee emblazoned across your chest, so why a moustache?
3. Nerd Glasses
Whenever I’m in town I seem to be surrounded by teenage girls wearing nerd glasses. It wouldn’t be so bad if they actually needed them for poor eyesight, but most of the glasses I see don’t even have lenses in! I’m sorry, but it’s not cute and it’s not clever – the only person that can pull them off in my eyes is Johnny Depp, so please let’s all leave him to it.
4. Tiny Shorts
It’s now almost winter, the country is flooding and it’s freezing cold, yet there are STILL people walking round in tiny shorts, so short that they might as well be denim underwear. Chafing and potential hypothermia are not good for your health, so girls, for your own good please stop wearing them!
5. Leggings as Trousers
Don’t get me wrong, I love leggings and I wear them myself with long tops or short dresses, but leggings should not be worn as trousers. They’re in the same realm as tights I reckon, not skinny jeans. There seems to be a trend at the minute for wearing leggings with a thong underneath, and a short top and jacket on top… Believe me when I say that clearly seeing someone’s bum cheeks through stretched leggings is not a pretty sight!
6. Nude Shades
I don’t actually have an issue with nude shades – I quite like peaches, creams and pale pinks, they just don’t suit my skin tone. I am a big lover of colour, so whilst this trend for nude tones exists, I am finding it extremely difficult to find new clothes in colours I want to wear. Boo hoo.
So, there you have it, six fashion trends which I hope will disappear soon! Sorry if this post is especially ranty – it’s meant to be a bit of fun and isn’t intended to offend!
Which fashion trend would you love to see fizzle out? Do you disagree and think any of these trends should be here to stay?