Tuesday, 31 July 2012

My Birthday

It was my Birthday yesterday and I was not looking forward to turning 24 at all, but this year is turning out to be really great. I spent the day with my mum, she bought me lunch and dessert and then I went home and had a quiet night in with Chris and Max. Despite Chris being a man he managed to get me some thoughtful presents; a foot spa because my feet hurt so much after a day at work and some personalised stationery with "Sarah Flight Creative Writer" engraved on it. If I wasn't already thinking I was lucky, Lorna came over today and brought some lovely presents, though really that wasn't very surprising because she knows me so well she always gets me things she knows I will love. So she got me a pedometer, so I can see how much I really do run around at work, a little picnic blanket for when I go and read in the park, a knitting basket that looks really nice and has pockets for needles on the inside and she also painted me this, which I put straight on the wall of my living room. I absolutely love it, it's the best present anyone has given me for a long time.


And here I am relaxing with my foot spa in front of the TV which is amazing


I am feeling very lucky right now.


Friday, 27 July 2012

Let's Get Lade by Thomas Amo

I have been twitter and blog buddies with Thomas for a while now but sadly have only just got round to reading some of his actual work! Blah blah everyone knows how much I read for uni blah - but yes! It is finally summer and we have finally had some good enough weather for me to spend a couple of lazy afternoons lying in the sunshine. So, I decided to finally have a read of his work and I have to say I was very impressed.

Book Description

It's New York, February 6, 1964. The Beatles are making their first American appearance on the Ed Sullivan show in one more day. The Plaza hotel is crazy with the preparations. Desk clerk Alex Fraser has secretly let his brother Freddie use the penthouse suite for the evening so he can wine and dine the girl of his dreams. There’s just one small problem—the secret service are using the same room to hide spy novelist Henry Lade. Lade's most recent novel has attracted the attention of the Soviets and East Germans who believe Lade may have secretly discovered their plot to bomb Fresno, California. They’ve dispatched assassins to kidnap or kill Lade, which ever is easiest. Worse, just like Alex and Freddie, Henry Lade and Secret Service Agent John Parker don't know that the penthouse suite is already a bit crowded—with John, Paul, George and Ringo. ~ Come Tomorrow, everyone will be wishing for yesterday!

What I think

This was the perfect read for me to shut my eyes off to the world and just escape into some fun and frolicking for a few hours. I did really, really enjoy it because the whole book was just so funny! Right from the start the book was funny, lighthearted but still incredibly witty, particularly with some of the remarks that the characters came out with about each other. It really in a way reminded me of real life; the way that each character had a story that wove into the main plot and not only made sense to the reader but came across as very funny, as we get to watch all the characters failing to see the craziness that they have landed in. 

I would say that this book would be perfect for a quick summer read, it only took a few hours for me to read from start to finish and I do read fairly slowly, in a way I wished it was slightly longer but at the same time I wanted to get through it because I was enjoying it so much. The book flowed brilliantly and because of this I can't really complain about it being too short; it was just right for the plot but I suppose that I have got used to reading longer novels.

One thing that I must mention is that a lot of the time when looking for a cheap read via the Kindle, you stumble across a good story, but unfortunately the English and the way it has been written is lacking. This is something I was very pleased to see in Let's Get Lade; not only was the story very imaginative but the book was superbly written throughout and I certainly could not find any mistakes. This is great news for me because badly written books really do offend me. A lot! 

I wouldn't normally read a lighthearted book like this, usually if I want a summer read I tend to pick up something more girly and for that reason I would give this book a rating of 4/5 - it would be 5/5 if the style had been perfectly suited to what I enjoy. I am glad that I did read this as it really was incredibly funny. If anyone is looking for a quick, humorous and cheap read for summer I would certainly recommend you try this book for yourself. You can find it on Amazon here and if you would like to get in touch with Thomas Amo here is his twitter and of course his blog.

Friday, 20 July 2012

"Spring Clean" exercise routine

As I have taken up tennis as a form of exercise and a hobby and I've been working 4 or 5 times a week I haven't been hitting the gym as much as usual. I know that working doesn't seem like much of an excuse but I walk 30 minutes there and 30 minutes back again every shift and also working in a clothes department store is very demanding on the legs it really tires me out. I'm constantly stood up and running around taking clothes to and from the shop floor, so by the time I'm home at 7pm I'm really knackered. I have been wanting to get some exercise besides this but I have a knee injury from when I used to run every day a few years back and when I do a lot of walking or running around, my knee hurts a lot and going to the gym just hurts it more. So I have been considering what I can do to help myself get some light exercise on the days that I work as well. Lucy recently blogged about how amazing and relaxing she is finding pilates at the moment and I thought, that could work. It is mainly stretching so my knee won't be stressed out; I did some more research and discovered that pilates alone does not help you lose weight but added to a good diet and some cardio a few times a week it can certainly aid it and make you leaner. That was all I needed to hear and so went out and bought myself a pink yoga mat. There's loads of videos on youtube so I will be looking there to find some beginners moves. 

My motivation for all this is that I want to be smaller by the time I go back to uni the last week of September.  I am very lucky that I like my hourglass figure; just at the moment I would like it a bit smaller.I recently sorted through all my clothes and threw a lot out (stuff that I used to wear clubbing when I was a single teenager.... say no more!) but I still have lots of clothes, particularly dresses, that are slightly too small for me at the moment, that I would love to wear autumn/winter as I love wearing dresses with thick tights and accessories like scarves (particularly the home made ones). Here are a few of my favourites.


They are only a little bit too small for me so it shouldn't take much effort to get back into them - some of them have barely been worn so this is a great inspiration for me.

 I think it's important to always update your exercise routine if your day to day life changes to make sure you don't fall into a rut and "forget" to workout - which can be done very easily as I discovered last year at uni when I gained some weight! Wish me luck with the pilates - hopefully I won't feel too much of an idiot doing it.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Inspirations

A couple of things have happened today that have made me consider how many different types of inspirations can strike someone, particularly a creative "someone".

First and most significantly, I was at work today on the tills in the men's department, and every so often you get a chattier than most customer. Today an old man was asking me if I had any plans to go away this summer, so I told him that seeing as it's my last summer before graduating I am trying to work and save some money up, and hopefully I will be able to go away next year. He of course asked what I am studying and when I told him English and Creative Writing he suddenly got excited and told me that he loves to write as well, and told me that the words "just come to him from above". While I find this notion weird because I don't have a religious bone in my body, it made me consider that so many different people write or do other creative activities for different reasons. I do it because I'm good at being creative, and I love being creative. But for some people it truly is something that they get from something else way more important than enjoyment. This is something that I had actually forgotten; uni teaches you almost to suck the creativity out of writing, to write a particular way to ensure you bag the best grades. Meeting someone today who clearly didn't care about the standard of the work, just the reason behind the work in the first place really was something that I needed. It reminded me to always make sure I write what I want to write, rather than what I think people will want to read, because that is truly where the enjoyment of writing comes from. No wonder a creative writing course can put you off writing at times.

The second occurance was a lush thunder storm. For some reason storms really make me chill out, stop for a moment and just watch life and nature flash in the distance from my window. It just makes me think about life, how lucky I am and reminds me to do whatever makes me happy. It also rained really hard for about 5-10 minutes which I absolutely adore, listening to the rain outside while snuggling up inside reading a good book is just a fabulous feeling. I have given up complaining about the terrible weather we're having this summer, I'm making the most of it by working as much as possible and filling my spare time with knitting, reading and cracking on with some dissertation research. And on that note, I'm off to get into bed to snuggle up and read a bit before dozing off to sleep.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

A chance to write

So, a chance has popped up for me to get into writing over the summer. I know that I always have this chance to write about anything I want, but at the moment I am actually really busy. If I can get overtime at work I would rather do that at the moment than anything else so I can save a little bit of money up. But when an opportunity stares you in the face well you've at least got to try haven't you?

A competition to write a 10 minute radio play for a local radio station has presented itself to me. Not only is it short enough to not take too much time away from me but as anyone who has been following me for a while knows, I studied radio plays at uni last semester and am quite comfortable with writing in this format. Not only that but I actually enjoy it. I will have to write something new though as the winning script will be played on the radio and has to be child friendly due to the time it will be airing. Needless to say, I have no child friendly writing, at all, ever. I have dark stuff inside me that tends to appear while writing which is weird, seeing as I'm not really "dark" at any other time in my life. I suppose these things are deep inside all of us somewhere (I hope).

Anyway, I will keep updating on how this is going - I haven't even got an idea for it yet. In other news Lorna is coming to play tennis on Thursday after I finish my 4 hour shift and then Chris' younger sister will be coming to stay with us for a few days. She hasn't stayed with us for ages so I'm actually looking forward to that, especially because as she gets older I seem to be getting on with her much better. I also finished the pink and cream scarf I have been knitting on and off for months and have started on a deep purple one. I'm hoping to get a few done for Christmas to use up wool and save money - it is less than 6 months to go now so it doesn't seem quite so bad to plan so far ahead now... to me at least anyway!


Thursday, 12 July 2012

Asos £100 challenges

There's a competition over at The Discount Coder blog to win £100 worth of Asos vouchers - all you have to do is put together an outfit for less than £100 from the asos website, so here is my entry





shoe boots £35


bag £15

necklace £6

bracelet £8

earrings £6

Total £98

I wanted to do something classy but stylish and I'm really into leopard print at the moment so I decided to use this skirt as my first purchase and then built the rest of the outfit around it. I absolutely love the shoe boots and I would definitely wear this outfit myself.


Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Venus & Serena we are not

Yes, for the first time in ages, Lorna and I attempted some real sport. A far cry from dreading P.E lessons as a teenager, I have been growing bored of the gym and wanting to start some organised sport. There's 2 outdoors tennis courts at the university campus and it is completely free to play. Not to mention it is summer so uni is deserted at the moment. Brilliant, a free sport that we can get involved in. This morning we were so in the mood that even the pouring showers of rain every 5-10 minutes didn't stop us - although strangely, once we got to the tennis court, the sky suddenly turned blue and we had some very nice weather indeed, although the cool wind was there to stop us feeling hot. And it did a great job because I have just noticed that I actually managed to get some sunburn - but only on one shoulder?! I look ridiculous! 



Anyway, it was really great to get outside and get some great exercise while actually having fun. We both had a blast and we plan to start playing regularly - once or twice a week. Not only do we want to get fitter but we are also finding ourselves wanting to improve. Which for me seems crazy as I have never been a fan of partaking in sports as such; I always chose the gym or to go running at my own pace. It's really nice to enjoy a sport and we are even considering joining a club at some point once we have improved slightly (a lot). It is easy to assume that it costs a lot of money to play a sport, but I'm sure if there are free tennis courts at my university there must be others that have similar facilities. I have checked and the campus grounds and tennis courts are open to the general public so I would suggest to anyone interested in partaking in sport but not wanting to spend a fortune, check out any local college's or uni's and you might find just what you're looking for...


Monday, 9 July 2012

50 shades of Grey

Don't worry guys, I haven't gone crazy and decided to read this shit, I just wanted to put my thoughts and feelings down about it. It really makes me laugh that everyone who I'm friends with on Facebook (apart from the obvious uni friends) absolutely loves it, and everyone on my Twitter feed says it's awful. It really does show the difference between the types of people who I went to school with and the types of people who I choose to befriend via blogging or Twitter.

What bothers me about 50 Shades of Shit is that it is actually written incredibly badly. Even the people who have read it and enjoyed it usually admit that the writing quality is bad. I don't understand why anyone would read something that they know hasn't been written very well? The next is that from what I hear, it doesn't even have a proper story line. Why would anyone read a book with no story? Is it just because it's erotica? If so then are people really so clueless to not know that there's a lot of erotica out there? A lot of which is actually very well written. It saddens me that this might be the case.

I suppose at least 50 Shades of Gash is getting people who wouldn't normally read to open a book. Although to be honest, in my opinion I would rather people don't read anything than read bad stuff that makes no sense - as this isn't going to help them with their reading skills in the future, in fact if anything it would probably make it worse.

I know that these opinions are very much based on what I've heard seeing as I haven't read the book(s) but I see reading work as giving the writer my recognition - and I really do not want to do that. I know that I may come across as a bit of a book snob, but anyone who knows me knows that I do love to sink my teeth into a good bit of chick lit when I want to relax, particularly in the sunshine. But the types of books I read are genuinely well written - my favourite "chick lit" author is Marian Keyes who writes very well rounded characters, good story lines and also at times makes chick lit a bit darker than the average writer.

My point to this post is that I wish people would be a bit more informed and instead of picking up the same book that everyone else is reading, research what styles and genres they really do enjoy and find a good writer in this area. There really are brilliant writers out there who don't get anywhere near the amount of recognition that they deserve because people are too busy picking up 50 Shades of Vomit just because society tells them they should.

As an aspiring writer, this is something that really bothers me about writing and reading. It seems that a lot of the time success doesn't come down to talent; it's just pure luck and hype.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Countdown to new bed: 4 nights

Can you tell that I can't wait? I am so over crawling up off the mattress on the floor every morning. I'm also over the huge mess of broken bed parts that's slowly engulfing the bedroom. It will be so nice to not have to get down on the floor to get into bed.

Tomorrow I am working a 10 hour shift instead of my usual 4. It seemed like such a good idea to get more money when I was asked last week but as it gets closer I dread it more and more. 4 hours drags at times so spending the best part of my day there I imagine is going to be awful. I keep telling myself to think of the money. I know that it will seem worthwhile once it's done and I can look forward to getting paid next week. I should have a tax refund come through as well which will be nice seeing as it's the pay right before my birthday. £135 extra will definitely be nice. I think I will use some of it for this "treat" that I spoke of a couple of posts ago. I think I have decided to buy myself a dressing table. In our old flat there was barely space for a double bed, a bedside table and a decent wardrobe, but our bedroom here is absolutely huge and there's so much space. I've decided that I'd really love a dressing table where I can put all my makeup and products and not have to worry about tidying them away once I've finished with them. If/when I get one I will upload a picture as it will definitely be my pride and joy.

Do you remember the pink scarf I started knitting for a friend ready for next Christmas? Well I've been picking it up and putting it down for months but it's almost finished. I'm so pleased that I decided to get crafty through the year for presents as I have so much wool floating around all in different colours I may as well use it and save money by not only giving a cheap/free but thoughtful present. I also found another bit of knitting that I had started and obviously forgot about. It's a lovely deep purple colour and the ball of wool is huge - it just so happened that another of my friends wore a jumper almost exactly the same colour as it the other day so I will be continuing that one once the pink one is completed. Hopefully I will have that done within the next few days and of course I will post a picture.

I have to get up early tomorrow so I will have to be off now - for those of you not working have a great weekend.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Getting older & skincare

My 24th birthday is lurking just a few weeks away and it is certainly making me consider a lot of different things about getting older. I know that I am by no means old but birthdays have certainly lost their excitement and knowing that I'll be 25 next year is a bit scary. How on earth did I get to this age so quick? Although I must say I am loving absolutely everything about getting older. There was a time when I was dreading it but knowing that I have a great future ahead of me certainly helps. Most of my friends are settled in their own places with boyfriends/husbands/fiance's and some are even starting to plan starting their own family. It feels like such an exciting time.

However, my main point to this post is caring for your skin. When I was younger I used to have the mindset that it didn't matter what my skin looked like because I could cover it with foundation and concealer, but as I get older this has definitely changed. I have now learned that as long as I care for my skin, a lot of the time I don't actually need to wear makeup. And the main point is realising that "caring for your skin" isn't at all time consuming like I always thought it was.

My "routine" consists of:


  • Cleaning my face with a sensitive face wash cream - the one I use is Clean and Clear. I do this in my morning shower so it only takes a minute.
  • Applying sensitive moisturiser once I am dry and dressed. I am currently using the Simple range.
That is pretty much it. The only other rule I have is to always take makeup off before bed and take it off as soon as possible once you know you won't be going back out that day. Every so often I will treat my skin to a face mask and it really does help to revive it, especially after a stressful month.

Of course everyone has different skin and different needs, my cousin, Lorna, for example tends to get spotty quite easily, but she discovered that by applying a thin layer of Sudocrem to her face once a day cleared her right up. That's a great tip for anyone who suffers from acne - a really cheap solution and apparently it gives a great base to your makeup.

What I am now wondering is, when do I start my anti aging routine? Some people think I'm mental for even considering it at my age but I am a firm believer that it's better to prevent than to try to fix issues once they arrive. I am considering swapping to an anti aging moisturiser once I hit the age of 26 - I'm not talking spending lots of money on different lotions and potions just looking at the ingredients of what I buy and trying to consider which ones would help keep my skin looking fresh and young as I start to age.

As usual, if anyone as any opinions or thoughts please leave a comment!



Tuesday, 3 July 2012

My bed broke

And whenever I tell anyone this news I get this strange look that I can only describe as a "wink wink nudge nudge" look. And it only gets worse when I tell them that said bed was only a month old. It is honestly nothing like that, so you can stop giving me the look!

We needed a new bed and as usual, while trying to save money we went for a bed that was half price in the sale. We had to wait almost 30 days to have it delivered as it was and when it finally arrived it was just so nice to sleep in a real bed instead of on our mattress on the floor. We were bitterly disappointed with the quality when it did finally arrive though. I helped Chris assemble it and he said several times "I don't know how long this will last" but we persisted and it was just so nice to actually have a bed. The parts of the bed that were on display looked really nice and were good quality, the underneath and the frame however were shocking. I really don't understand how they got away with selling this bed for the full price. Anyway we had it for about 4 weeks and then got into bed, on Chris' birthday (which doesn't help with the wink wink face issue) and suddenly, it collapsed in the middle. So after only a month of having a bed, we suddenly found ourselves back at square one.

My point about this post is in this situation you absolutely must complain. The next day I phoned them straight away to complain and they were very kind and let me order another different one (I chose one that had plenty of reviews say that it's sturdy!) instead and they will be coming to collect the old shitty bed at the same time. It's not getting delivered until next week and I just so can't wait to have a bed again, and hopefully a much nicer one that lasts for longer than just a month!

There's still so much of my stuff that I need to sort through and find a home for, but this will entail buying bits of storage which will take me time to save up money for. I am buying piece by piece at a time when I can afford it. I really do love my new home. It's not just so much bigger but it also feels so much more like a home. Perhaps one day when I've bought everything and things have a home I will take some photos to put up here.

Have any of you ever had any furniture disappointments?

Monday, 2 July 2012

2nd Year Passed

Yay! I passed my 2nd year of uni! Which means that in only a years time I will be finishing my degree - and I'll be honest, I'm shitting myself! So much so that I am actually taking it upon myself to start my work for my 3rd year early! A few people think I'm mental but I just really want to make sure that I do as much as I possibly can to make sure I get the best grade I can. Today I have started research for my 10,000 word dissertation which I am thinking of focusing on the violence and villainy in Shakespeare plays.

Work is good at the moment - I have been doing a lot of overtime whenever I can get it so I'm looking forward to pay day this month! I Definitely will need to treat myself to something even if it's something very small.

On another note, I have started a new daytime obsession. I have started watching absolutely terrible TV - The Real Housewives of Orange County and The Real Housewives of New York City. What's up with that? I know it's terrible and yet I can't stop watching! I just love watching these spoiled rich women and what they do with their lives. It's very odd.

Anyway, I'm going to go and do some more research, but before I do here is a batch of chocolate cupcakes that I made for Chris' birthday last week