Posts tagged Best Of
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!
In February 2012, when Bewitchery was born, I decided to broaden my beauty horizons and try as many new products as possible throughout the year, without breaking the bank. In my mission to discover new favourites I came across many products which were less than impressive, but luckily I also found a great deal of fantastic ones, a fair few of which I have used time and time again, and will continue to do so. In this post I will give you a round-up of just a few of the best products I tried for the first time in 2012, linking to my review of each with a little extract of my post, just to give you an idea of why I love it!
“In terms of lasting power, this liner definitely has it. I have been wearing it now since this morning and it still looks as bright as it did when it first went on, and the line is just as clean. I’ve been rubbing my eyes a bit today too and it hasn’t smudged a bit – amazing!”
“The absolute best thing about this nail polish is the colour. My favourite colours are purple, turquoise and pink, and ‘Disco Mix’ combines turquoise and pink glitter to create a polish which looks purple at a distance. The glitter colours are SO bright and bold.”
“One of the things that drew me to this foundation was the fact that it is matte and claims to offer a long-lasting velvet finish. I suffer from an oily T-zone (especially during the summer months) and I don’t like the shine that the oil creates, so I am always looking for ways to minimise the shine. MUA’s Matte Foundation, as you would hope, does give a matte complexion, and it keeps most of the shine at bay.”
“The body butter itself is fantastically light and creamy and feels so luxurious on the skin. It is absorbed very quickly too, leaving no messy residue. The product contains coconut oil, shea butter and avocado oil to aid with moisturisation, but despite the oil content it isn’t at all greasy. The oils make the butter ‘Intensively hydrating’, and combine to give ’12 hour moisturisation’, and believe me, the softness really does last that long.”
“Though the tan didn’t give my legs an intense colour, it did make them look nicely, naturally tanned and lightly brown, and I am very pleased with the results. There are no orange blotches or dirty looking streaks in sight, and my skin tone looks very even and smooth. The difference is only minor, but it is noticeable, and that is what I wanted so it has done its job well in my opinion.”
“Not one of Montagne Jeunesse’s lip balms contain petroleum jelly, so they aren’t greasy at all. Rather, they are made from 100% natural beeswax and olive oil and are lightly creamy but intensely moisturising. The beeswax forms a protective layer on the lips making them long-lasting, and the olive oil gives them a subtle shine.”
“Northern Lights consists of a very fine dusky pink glitter, and is studded with delicate flakes of holographic glitter which shine purple, blue, orange, yellow and green in most lights. Even in the bottle, the varnish is breathtaking, and I have never seen anything quite like it before.”
“The primer leaves a smooth, non-greasy base on the skin, and since I’ve been using this I have found that my foundation smooths onto my skin far more easily and evenly than usual, without going patchy on any dry bits. The primer keeps my powder and blusher in place too, so on the whole my make up lasts a lot longer, which I think is down to the lack of greasiness.”
“The gel is very creamy and lathers into masses of moisturising bubbles quicker than any other shower gel I have ever used! Because of its impressive lathering abilities, a little goes a long way with these bubbles, so a £2 coin size is enough for your whole body.”
“The first time I used the roller I asked my mum to help me reach the tense areas on my back, and even though she used it over my clothing I was amazed that the roller was sensitive enough to pick out all the knots in my muscles. We could both feel them ‘crunching’, which sounds horrible but it meant she knew which areas to focus on. The shape and movement of the ball means that any focused pressure is distributed outwards slightly, so the knots can be worked out without any pain or discomfort.”
…and one that I LOVE and am going to review again because I didn’t write much last time…
“Unlike most nail varnish removers, this Sally Hansen offering smells lovely, almost like a body lotion, and doesn’t sting your eyes or nose with harsh vapours. It removes nail varnish quickly, with minimum effort, so you don’t need to sit for ages rubbing away to no avail!”
What were your favourite products of 2012?