Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Homeware Haul

So I've just moved into my new flat and obviously that requires copious amounts of shopping for new bits and pieces. Now I will admit that I do have a slight shopping addiction, but some purchases were actually a necessity! I have an ensuite in my new apartment which means I *had* to buy a whole load of new bathroom bits and bobs because all I had before were mismatched towels! I already made a YouTube video on everything I bought and I'll leave that at the end, but I thought for my blog I would show you where I've put the items in my room and what I ended up using them for.

So since it was purchased for practical reasons lets start with the bathroom bits. Now you might find this very boring but its the little things in life that make me happy! This is my current bathroom storage situation. I bought the little set of two white wicker drawers from Wilko and I'm storing stuff like cotton wool pads, wet wipe, cotton buds and tampons (too much info?) in there, just to neaten up my shelf and keep them out of sight. The wooden box next to it was £14.99 for two different sized boxes (the smaller is listed later) and is what I'm using to put all my products in. I love it because everything is so easily accessible but it looks so much neater than just having all my products loose on the shelf.

I bought a little black pedal bin from Wilko for £3 - yep that's right, best £3 I ever spent! And I also bought a white wicker toilet roll holder since weirdly there is no toilet roll holder in my bathroom so I had to get a freestanding one.

I got a wooden white bath mat for when I get out of the shower because a) it requires much less washing and cleaning than a towelling one would and b) it looks awesome. This was from Argos for £9.99 so maybe a bit expensive for a bath mat but I love it so I don't care :)

I got this soap dispenser from Wilko too and I just think its so cool. All the other ones I saw on my massive shopping spree were either really boring or really cheap looking. Considering this was like £2 I'm really impressed that its proper ceramic and all embossed and stuff. There's a matching tumbler I want too but its out of stock at the minute - god damn!

The following item doesn't look as nice in the photo as it does in real life, its a very dark browny/red metal - real old fashioned iron work looking. Now I'm aware I have a lot of necklaces and it may look a bit messy, but believe it or not it is organised chaos even if you can't quite understand my system!

I also bought this letter E tea light holder which may seem a bit random since my name doesn't begin with an E, but you'll have to watch my YouTube video to understand the story behind it and the reason for its placement in my room!

I have wanted a knitted throw for soooooo long and this is by far the purchase which has made me most happy! The photo doesn't do the size of it justices because its all folded up but its a double duvet size and its super soft. It was £30 from Home Sense, which is pretty expensive I think but I've wanted one for ages and they are all pretty much the same price so I'm happy I finally bit the bullet. All I need now is some knitted cushions too....

I have also wanted a little black desk lamp like this for quite some time. It seems like a pretty basic thing, but I haven't really used a desk properly ever in my whole life, and I'm really trying to make the most of my desk in my new room - so far so good!

The box is the smaller half of the set which is pictured earlier in my bathroom holding all of my products, I wasn't too sure what I was going to do with this one but I really like the look of my candles in there and it also means I don't have to worry about wax going everywhere! 

Finally, I bought this cute little wooden box, holder thing from Home Sense just to hold all our cooking equipment in. Our drawers in the flat are pretty shallow and we don't have all that much storage in general so I thought it would look nice to have all this stuff on display and save on our drawer space.

So that's everything I've bought so far aside from a set of black towels, but I'm pretty certain I'll be doing another homeware haul pretty soon, I think I might even like it more than clothes shopping!? Is that even possible? I'll leave my YouTube video below so you can see the products and a bit more of a description about them, and you can find out why I bought the 'E'!


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Film: Pompeii

*****Includes Spoilers!*****

When I first saw the adverts for Pompeii I was so so so excited. I've been fascinated by the historical disaster since I saw it on an episode of Blue Peter as a kid, and the film looked right up my street judging by the trailer. Of course it helped that Kit Harrington was the lead male, and I haven't seen Emily Browning in a lead since SuckerPunch so overall I was brimming with excitement! Unfortunately, after watching it, I felt a little disappointed with the film. Now don't get me wrong, I did enjoy it, it just didn't live up to the expectations I had been building up in my head.

I've only ever seen Kit as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones and I am a massive fan of the series and Jon's storyline, but when I watched Pompeii I kind of felt like someone had just picked up Jon Snow and put him in a different setting. Kit plays Milo in Pompeii and the character is essentially the same: skilled fighter of few words with pretty hair and muscles who is constantly suppressed and underestimated by his superiors. Because of this Kit's acting starting to irritate me. I thought he was putting on a petulant, bad-smell-under-my-nose face for the character of Jon Snow because that's just who he was - turns out its just Kit's normal face. He evidently suffers very severely with chronic bitch face. I started to feel like maybe Kit only has one character in his acting ammunition, and this kind of ruined the film a bit for me. Now I won't lie, I did swoon pretty heavily when Milo first stepped onto the screen with his incredibly chiselled chest (see below), but after the initial jaw-drop it was pretty much downhill for me.

Aside from Kit's acting skills the film was pretty good. The storyline between Milo and Emily Browning's character Cassia is sweet, although I didn't really believe the passion and their story lines were pretty predictable, but then I wasn't really expecting many scandals in the love department from this film. The film's main genre isn't really romance, its an action film, the plot just happens to follow a couple. When you look at their story in terms of the big picture of what was happening in Pompeii at this time its just a small insight into how life was carrying on right until the end. Now here comes the spoiler. There was a time where it looked like Milo and Cassia might escape Mount Vesuvius's destruction and live happily ever after and this could not have irritated me more! In reality they had left it far too late to try and escape the carnage of the volcano and the film would have lost all credibility in my eyes if they had escaped. As it turned out they did die, and I did like the ending of the film....not just because they died when I thought they were going to get a fairy tale ending, but because the end scene is of the couple embracing as the ash and lava crashes over them, when it clears the couple are in the same position, set in stone forever. How realistic this is I don't know, but I like the sentiment as cheesy as it is!

Overall: 3/5


Monday, 26 May 2014

New Snack Obsession: Popcorn

So I don't know if you've noticed but recently popcorn is everywhere! Gone are the days when the snack was confined to overpriced paper bags at the cinema, popcorn is no longer exclusively for consumption when settling to down to a film night. Bloggers, as always, have been the first amongst us to latch on to this trend with the likes of Olivia from 'What Olivia Did'and Becca from 'Fashion Train' posting pictures of their Metcalfe's Topcorn deliveries on Instagram. So although I haven't been particularly quick off the mark in trialling this trend I recently decided to take the plunge and include popcorn in my regular Boots meal deal purchase, replacing my standard bar of KitKat Chunky with a much healthier option.

 (Photo Credit, above: @fashiontrain below: @livpurvis)

I have to say I am a massive fan of this new snack fad. Although traditionally I have always been a sweet popcorn kind of girl, I tried the Lightly Sea Salted flavour from ProperCorn and was instantly converted! While I do still have an insatiable sweet tooth, salty is a perfect alternative to crisps particularly in a meal deal. I think we can all agree that the most annoying this about meal deals is that you are restricted to only having one snack, when most of us given the choice, would want crisps AND chocolate with our sandwich! Popcorn feels like the perfect crossover snack and it will definitely be my go-to snack in Boots for the foreseeable future. 

There are a good few brands selling popcorn now, which means a wide variety of flavours and I'm dying to try all of them...particularly the ones which sound a little wrong. For example, ProperCorn do a Fiery Worcester Sauce and Sun Dried Tomato flavour - sounds amazing for crisps...but for popcorn? I have to say curiosity is getting the better of me, that's definitely the next flavour I'll be getting when I'm shopping for my daily Boots meal deal!!

Alexa Lauren Rose

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Be My Valentine?

Last year me and the Boy went all out for Valentine's Day, something I'm really not that into. I don't like the cheese, the stuffed teddy's, the flowers....the chocolates I will allow because chocolates are acceptable each and every day of the year! You can read about my experiences in my post here, and I do have to say I was slightly converted to the Valentine's ways, but I am relieved to be giving it a miss this year!

The Boy now lives in Leeds so its harder to see each other and we weren't actually supposed to be spending tomorrow together since I'm working. But I was in Leeds yesterday and missed my coach back to Manchester so I decided to stay until tomorrow afternoon. Since we weren't supposed to be together we have no plans for tomorrow and I'm happy about that! It's a relief not to have to make plans for a day of the year which means nothing to us as a couple and which is always crowded with lovey-dovey couples and red heart decorations.

We have actually made one plan....to go to the gym together! Can you all just pause and take a second for the romance of it all to really sink in?


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Online Lusting

I really want to take some outfit posts but unfortunately it looks like I won't be doing that for a couple of weeks at least. Its been so miserable in Manchester recently so the lighting in my room is appalling even though I have two massive windows which let in loads of light. Also I have ridiculous amounts of Uni work to do and very little motivation, which means it is very slow progress. So for now, until the light gets better and I have a bit more time on my hands I'll have to make do with alternative posts. This is an outfit I have been lusting after recently, I absolutely love this jacket from Promod and I definitely adding that bag to my payday wish list!

Casual-outfits #1

Dress: Misguided
Leggings: Misguided
Jacket: Promod
Boots: Ted Baker
Bag: Misguided
Bracelet: Promod
Earings: Tom Shot
Nail Varnish: Barry M (Peach Melba)

I normally love to do nail art on my finger nails, but recently I've really been loving the simplicity of just one colour all over. I think with short, square nails it can look so sophisticated. I have this shade of Barry M myself, and while I do love it, it does need quite a few coats to get a proper solid colour.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Monthly Minis

I recently saw a post on Lyzi's blog (Being Little) where she said she would like to make a feature of mini monthly goals. I think this is an EXCELLENT idea and really want to try it out for myself. It will help me keep on top of my goals in a manageable fashion and it will motivate me to blog more as I have a regular fixture I need to keep on top of. Also I think I would enjoy reading this type of post on someone else's blog because it would motivate me to order my own life a bit more, so I hope this can be a little bit inspirational for whoever reads it, and that you enjoy this kind of post too.

So with out further ado, January's mini goals:

University Work. By the end of January I want to have 6,000 words of my dissertation done, and one essay for another module which is due later in the year. (That's the boring and completely uninteresting one out of the way! It just feels better to have it in writing.)

Savings. Everyday I want to put £2 into a money jar. This sounds like a silly amount, but I'm going to see how well I stick to it in January, then if all goes well I intend to do it for the whole year. I'll put the money jar contents into my savings account at the end of each month and by this time next year I'll be £730 richer - not a ginormous amount, but for just £2 a day I think that's a pretty exciting yearly bonus!

Sell on Ebay. Every now and then I purge my wardrobe and sell things on Ebay, I haven't done it for a couple of months and I think that time has come again. I'll put a link to my ebay account on here when I start selling for anyone who stumbles across my posts and would like a nosey!

Homemade Lunches. When I go to work I tend to buy food on my break instead of taking homemade food in, this wastes money and tends to be unhealthier than anything I would make at home. So this month I only intend to take in homemade lunches to eat at work!

I've been so good with blogposts this week, I'm not promising I'll be able to keep it up but I am setting out with the best of intentions!


Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Filming My Face

So I've been umming and ahhing over doing YouTube videos for about a year, and I've finally built up the courage! I started watching YouTube a LOT more this year, its safe to say I've become addicted, and its even taken over my obsession with reading blogs. I did a video a few months ago about my beauty favourites but it was pretty poor quality and I wasn't brave enough to actually put my face in it. But I am now the proud owner of a MacBook Air, and I wanted to learn how to use iMovie, so I made a couple of videos (one of which can be seen below!) and started playing around with the features, I was so happy with the end product that I decided to publicise it!! There are still a lot of things I want to learn and so if for no other reason than to get my head around editing I will probably be producing a few more YouTube videos in the future.

Can't quite believe that the first video I decided to post on the world wide web features me with absolutely no makeup on at the beginning....but hey ho, that's my face no point lying about it! I've yet to reveal my voice to the internet but I'm sure I will soon.

Something I didn't mention in the video is that the L'Oreal Eyeline I use was a Christmas present and this was the first time I had used it, I think its going to take a bit of getting used to and I wasn't entirely happy with the wobbliness of the line (I normally have a very steady hand when it comes to eyeliner) but I think I might do a review on it soon because I was very impressed with how easy to apply it was and how smoothly it went on.

Hope you enjoy the video!


Monday, 6 January 2014

New Year, New Me? Yeah Right!

Around this time every year I convince myself, that this will be the year...the year I achieve my goals, the year I get fit, the year I become a new me...essentially the year of my life. But not this year! I have had years of convincing myself that I can become a new me, and in reality that's not going to happen, I am always going to be me and no amount of New Years resolutions will resolve that! But I am also less inclined to trick myself into believing that this will be my year since 2013 WAS my year! I have had the most incredible year, I travelled more than I thought I ever would in one year, I made amazing memories, I have been surrounded by the very best of friends and I have just generally been the happiest I can remember myself being. Yes there have been not so great times: I didn't get as good an overall grade in Uni in summer as I would have liked, there's been some family drama and a couple of disastrous nights out, but these moments have been completely eclipsed by the brilliant time I've had in 2013 on the whole.

Despite this I do still have New Years Resolutions so here we go...

Get Fitter. I have pretty much had a phobia of exercise since I was 16. But I have decided to have a more positive attitude towards exercise and have started jogging, sit ups and squats. There are also plans for regular swims starting next week. 

Eat Better. I am never going to be the kind of person who only eats salads, fresh fish, nuts and smoothies - but my main aims are to stop ordering Dominos (it is my one weakness!), eat less chocolatey and sweet things and make more food myself rather than buying things while I'm out, which will save me money too!

Study Hard. This resolution is going to be one of my most challenging because I am a master procrastinator, this blog for example, is being written when I should probably be writing my dissertation. But I suddenly realised come NYD that its only 4 months and two weeks until my life at University will be completely over, and I have to put all my efforts into making this experience worthwhile by getting the best grade I can.

Travel. Its going to be harder to travel this year...you know money's tight and all that! Also I don't really know where my life is going to be at after May, I might be in a job where I am unable to travel as much as I'd like or I might not be earning enough money to spend it on holidays. But that's not going to stop me from travelling as much as I can, even if its short breaks or just in England.

I know these are pretty much the standard resolutions that everybody (myself included) makes year in year out, but this year I feel like I'm making them from a good place. Particularly for the first two, I feel like I'm focusing on the long term rather than getting frustrated when I don't see results in two weeks. I want to say that I will blog more, since that is definitely something I haven't done as much as I wanted to this year - but at the same time I don't want blogging to interfere with Uni at such a crucial point. So unfortunately my blog might be on the back burner again for the first half of the year, but I fully expect it to pick up come May so keep tuned!!! In the meantime though you can always catch me on Instgram since it is definitely an addiction @alexalaurenrose

(Sneeky little photo of me and my housemate on NYE)

I hope you are all having a great New Year so far and that you can stick to your own resolutions for the year!