Monday, 29 October 2012

Pumpkin party:

Last Halloween, I decided to be traditional and carve a turnip instead of a pumpkin.  When I was little, my parents would always carve turnips for us, and take us out guising in our costumes, not trick or treating.  It turns out that turnips are extremely difficult to carve, as you might be able to tell from my poor attempt in the photo below.  My poor little turnip was totally outshone by Craig and my old flatmate Liam's pumpkins.

This year, I conformed and carved a pumpkin like everyone else.  I found a few photos online for inspiration...

... but in the end I realised that I am not at all arty, and I would have to stick to something simple!  (And I have no piglets to put inside my pumpkin either.)

Mine ended up being the logo of one of my favourite (and Halloween appropriate) bands, Alkaline Trio, Craig's is a tribute to the Friday the 13th films and Tom's is a pumpkin within a pumpkin (pumpkinception!).

I'd love to see any pumpkins you guys might have carved this year, if you have photos.  Happy Halloween, everybody!

Halloween decorations:

I got overexcited about Christmas very early this year (thanks, ridiculous advertising!) and tried to distract myself with other holidays instead.  Somehow, even though we aren't throwing a Halloween party this year, the fireplace has ended up looking like this:

I'm not a horror movie person, and I jump out of my skin at the slightest thing.  I'm even still kind of scared of the dark, especially when I'm in on my own.  When I was around 13 I saw the American remake of The Ring and ended up so psychologically damaged that I slept with the light on for about 6 months afterwards...  In short, I'm a big chicken with a very over active imagination.  Still, I do love sweeties, cute (non-scary) decorations and Hocus Pocus, and I've always loved Halloween.

All of these decorations are from Poundland, which all students on a budget know is a goldmine for cheap Halloween party decorations.  If you're only going to have them up once a year (or aren't planning on reusing them at all) then there's no point in spending lots!

This little ghost guy is hanging in the hallway to greet people on the way in the door.  I got him in Poundland in Dundee last year, but he was also on sale in the Edinburgh branch when I bought my other decorations recently.

I took a daylight shot so you could see the Halloween tinsel I wound round ornaments on the mantlepiece.  I got the tinsel (one lot with pumpkins and one with skulls attached) from Poundland as well, and I know they have it every year because I've seen it before and specifically went in there to get it.  The gargoyle is Craig's own, and actually sits there all year round, but it's very Halloween appropriate!

I realise now that this seems like one big Poundland advert, but obviously a huge number of other pound shops will sell inexpensive Halloween decorations too.  If any of you were out for Halloween this past weekend, I would love to see some photos of your costumes!  If you're having a party on Wednesday, or this weekend, then hopefully this post has given you some decoration inspiration!

Friday, 26 October 2012

A brighter bathroom:

A few weeks ago (in this post) I mentioned that I'd bought a new shower curtain online and was planning on sprucing up my bathroom a little bit when it arrived.  It's not much (how often do I say that here?!) but here's what I've done so far:

The transparent parts of the shower curtain are great for letting more light into the bathroom because it can get pretty dark in there, especially on wintery days like this one!

I chose this loud hand towel from Next in an attempt to match the multi-coloured shower curtain and our collection of mismatched bath towels.

This hanging heart decoration was bought very cheaply in the homeware section of Primark, and I really like it.  They also had it in white, but this colour reminds me of driftwood, and I love bathrooms with a beach theme!

I still want to add a few more wall decorations and some nice storage to the bathroom, but to me it looks so much better now, even with just a few small changes.  Please feel free to share any bathroom decoration inspiration photos or sites with me, I'm always looking for ideas!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Small victories and baby steps:

The frame collage above our bed is slowly growing.

I can't hide my eternal love of Tintin!  This little display is next to my bed.  Craig bought me tiny Tintin from Paper Tiger, original Snowy was a gift from Belgium and the taller Snowy (from the recent film) is actually a Beanie Baby!

Even more Tintin memorabilia in the hallway...

This cross stitch sampler was a recent charity shop find that my friend Ruaridh bought for me because it literally has my name on it!  Well, my initials, anyway...  It has pride of place in the living room.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Winter Woollies - Boy Edition!

Seeing as my last post was quite girlie, I thought it was only fair to include any male readers I might have and get Craig to make his own autumn and winter clothes wishlist.  He is a fussy shopper, so this was quite hard work for him, but he did well in the end.  Bless!

1. Charcoal Wool Patch Peacoat by Topman - Me: 'What do you like about this jacket?'  Craig: 'What do I like about it?  [Looks panic stricken.]  It's... it's a jacket?'

2. Navy and Grey Knitted Bobble Hat by New Look - 'I just like it!  It reminds me of Home Alone.'

3. Brown Aztec Print Sweater by New Look - 'I like the print and the autumnal/wintery colour.'

4. Frampton Full Zip Hoody by Animal - 'I've always liked Animal clothing.  I think they have strong designs and the clothes are always good quality.  This isn't the kind of colour I'd normally go for, but oddly it suits the design the best.  I prefer zip up hoodies to pull over ones!'

5. Brown Poste Vibe Hiker Boots by Office - 'I like that these are boots, but look like hi-tops.'

6. Red Black Wool Skinny Peacoat by Topman - 'Wild card!  I just like this coat because it's different.  Red and black are also my favourite colours to wear.'

7. Charcoal Fairisle Knit Mitten Gloves by New Look - 'Gloves is gloves is gloves.  But I do like the design of these ones!'  (I like these too, and would probably pinch them! - Alex)

Friday, 12 October 2012

Winter Woollies:

I don't know what the weather's like where you are, but it has suddenly gotten very cold (and now rainy) around these parts.  As a result, I have been pretty much living in this woolly Primark cardigan.  I had my eye on it for a while before it actually got cold enough to justify buying it, and I love that it is a slightly alternative/punk rock take on the same old knitwear you see in the shops every autumn.  I'm hoping this is just the first of many cosy clothes purchases this season (bank balance allowing...), so here are some of ideas of what I'd like to get my hands on next!

1. Burgundy Tipped Formal Coat by George at Asda - Personally, as cringey as some people may find this revelation, I've always really liked the clothes at Asda.  Lately, I've noticed they've become a little more expensive, but the quality seems to have improved a lot as well.  I already have a shorter winter jacket that I love, but this year I'd like something that will cover me up a little more, like this smart maroon coat.

2. Sugar Red Origami Abstract Print Boots by New Look - I used to have some boots in a similar style to these, but in white (which quickly turned into a horrible muddy brown...).  It would be nice to have some comfy flat boots in a more practical colour, and I think this design would cheer up the winter months.

3. Aztec Chunky Knit Hat by George at Asda - I love the idea of woolly hats and usually end up buying them but never wearing them.  I just have too much hair to make them work!  Still, I saw this one in Asda the other day, and thought it was cute.

4. Aztec Neon Mittens by Topshop - If you haven't noticed, Aztec prints seem to still be very much in fashion this autumn and winter!  Although some of them are a little much for me, I especially like the black and white prints, and I think these mittens on a string (very practical!) are great.  There is also a matching beanie hat, if you are a successful hat wearer, unlike myself.

5. Burgundy Jumper by H&M - Sometimes you just can't beat a good cable knit jumper.

6. Dark Blue Cardigan by H&M - This is probably as loud as I would go in terms of Aztec prints, but this longer cardi looks cosy, and even has pockets for chilly hands.  The only downside is its lack of buttons.  We really need buttons on our cardigans in Scotland, H&M!

7. Arty Tan Leather Fur Cuff Boot by Miss Selfridge - I wonder where they come up with some of these product names...  Again, I had some similar boots to these a couple of years ago and I wore them to death.  Miss Selfridge seems to be the only shop still selling them in a similar style anymore, but please let me know if you have seen something like this anywhere else!

8. Patterned Jeans by H&M - Black and white Aztec patterned jeans!  To match my mittens, of course.  Skinny jeans are a staple in my wardrobe, and it would be nice to have a change from just black or blue denim.  To me, this print is a little bit Christmassy, so very winter appropriate.

9. Heart Earmuffs by Topshop - I'm debating whether or not to try out earmuffs as an alternative to hats.  I usually wear my hair up to work, and my ears have been getting pretty chilly at the bus stop!

10. Navy Military Coat by George at Asda - A slightly different style, but still a nice winter coat that would protect more of me from the cold.  The only thing putting me off this coat is the colour.  Are there still rules about wearing black and navy together, or am I just being old fashioned?

Monday, 8 October 2012

Instagram #3:

1. Strawberry and lime Rekorderlig with a real strawberry and lime in it!  (I am easily pleased...)  2. Lads on tour in St Andrews.  3. A pretty sky on the way home.

4. A tired and beardy boy!  5. A beardy, funny-faced tiger...  6. My new glasses.  It was hipster frames or nothing, guys.

7. Ready for a work night out far too early, and making stupid faces...  8. Uncle Craig and his cute baby nieces.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

I just bought this:
And I am excited!  Our bathroom is in serious need of a revamp, but seeing as I don't have the ability to rip everything out and start again (which is what really needs to happen, landlord!) I'm just going to add some nice accessories and hope it looks better afterwards.  I'll post some pictures when it's done!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Lately I have been:

Listening to:
Funeral (2004) by Arcade Fire - I bought this album recently with some birthday money.  Although I already knew the song 'Rebellion (Lies)' from it, I had never really listened to anything else by Arcade Fire.  I listened to the whole thing from start to finish (which is an extremely rare occurrence for me!) on the way to and from work last week, and I was pretty much hooked instantly.  The album is really strong from the beginning, and there is only one song on there that I'm not a fan of.  My favourite track would have to be 'Neighborhood #2 (Laïka)', mostly because it has my name in it, but 'Neighborhood #2 (Tunnels)', 'Une Année Sans Lumière' and 'Wake Up' are also definitely worth checking out.
As much LCD Soundsystem as possible - I have loved the dance-punk band LCD Soundsystem for a few years now, although (somewhat embarrassingly) I actually first heard them on the soundtrack of Gossip Girl...  Last month, I saw the documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits (2012) at the cinema, about LCD Soundsystem's very last, sell out gig in Madison Square Garden.  Seeing the film reignited my interest in their music, and now I can't stop listening.  If you already like the band, you will love the film, which mixes footage from the gig itself with clips of James Murphy (LCD's frontman) talking about why they decided to split up at the height of their success.  If you have never heard of them, I think watching Shut Up and Play the Hits might just convert you.
While you're waiting for it to come out on DVD, I would recommend having a listen to 'Losing My Edge', 'Daft Punk Is Playing at My House' and 'All My Friends'.

The Office US - My old flatmate got me addicted to the American version of The Office last year (I hated the original British show), and lately Craig and I have been re-watching it from the very beginning. 

Dead Rising 2 - I hate scary movies, especially gory ones, and yet at the moment I'm very much enjoying playing my way through ridiculous zombie apocalypse game Dead Rising 2 on Craig's Xbox.  I think this is probably my old flatmate, Liam's, influence as well...

How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran - I've been reading this book on and off for a few months now, after a recommendation on Lauren's blog.  It's very funny, but also thought provoking.  Moran is both convincing and funny, and rather than feeling lectured about feminism, I actually feel far more knowledgeable on the subject.  I hope to find the time to finish this book soon!

How about you?