Friday, May 31, 2013

Adventure Time

So if you follow me on Twitter, you know that I've been less than quiet about what's happening tomorrow morning.... 

Actually it has been a #TweetingOverload.

Tomorrow Alex and I head off to Egypt for a week!

(And please do not judge me for the massive typo in this picture. I didn't make it, nor could I find another version of it. It made me LOL and I needed to share it!)

I will be blissfully MIA for the next week on another continent! I'm excited to take lots of pictures; finally my underwater camera will be of some use! I might even vlog (do I dare?!) a bit while I'm there! No promises though; I think my voice is absolutely cringe on tape.

See you soon! xx

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Soon To Be Recent Reads

(In case you missed it, here is what I'd actually classify as Recent Reads if you're looking for something new!)

There are many (read: LOADS) of books on my radar at the moment, so I thought I'd share with you what's next on my list!

Look at me getting all artsy with the photo! #not

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling - I am super excited for this book! I love Mindy; I wish I was half as funny as she is. I got the sample (always get the sample... they're free!!) on my iPad and was cracking up within minutes. I can't wait to open this up sometime this weekend!

The Host by Stephanie Meyer - I was very skeptical to buy this. I'm like the anti-Twilight advocate of the world. (Okay okay, I read Twilight when I was 16 and loved it. And then my love just faded into hatred.) But I saw it for £3.99 at Sainsbury's and thought 'why not?' I also couldn't resist because it was made into a movie, and being on the pro-books side on the books v. movies debate I knew I had to give it a chance!

(Sidenote, I'm a few chapters in and actually had to re-read the back to figure out the plot. Totally did not start off the way I expected, but we'll go with it!)

1984 by George Orwell - Random. I know. I've been meaning to read it for a while now since it is the original book in this dystopian literature craze (can you call it a craze now?), but I'm kind of.... nervous. When I think of 1984 I think about required school reading (cringe. who ever liked those?!), except for the fact that I never had to read it for school! I did have to read Animal Farm when I was 13, and that wasn't so bad. So I'm giving this a shot. I'm not expecting Hunger Games/Divergent/Delirium/Matched type of reading. But I will give it a shot.

What do you have on your bookshelf waiting to be read at the moment?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Inside The Wardrobe: What? It's Memorial Day?

So in America it's Memorial Day weekend, which was always the best! You got the day off, went to BBQs, spent time with friends...

Here in England, it's just a bank holiday. If someone would like to tell me officially why we have Monday off, that would be great. However, I'm not complaining! (Especially not complaining because in one weeks time, I will be packing my bags for Egypt!)

So I really didn't need a 'Memorial Day' outfit, since I guess the holiday doesn't exist here really. However, weather pertaining, we could still have a very lovely 3 day weekend here anyway!

Last bank holiday/3 day weekend I actually got a sun burn.... IN ENGLAND! My Florida-native skin was confused. 

Anyway, the bikini maybe a bit overkill. With my luck this weekend will be filled with rain. But I can dream, right? I told you, I'm in Egypt mode already! I couldn't resist the scallops around the edges. I'm also trying out this new phase called 'dress like an adult' as opposed to 'dress in lazy clothes or college spring break get up'. I'll let you know how that goes. 

Happy 3 day weekend everyone!

What's your outfit of choice this weekend?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Care Packages Galore

We all know I am a massive fan of care packages, right? Right?! How great is it to get some of your favourite things in a care package from another country? And it's always good to show your friends and family that you are thinking about them even when you are far away!

Anyway, I just sent my sister and my friend Renee two different care packages using Parcelforce yesterday afternoon! I am beyond excited for them to get them! I've been buying lots of bits and bobs here and there (this sounds so British, doesn't it??) to send to them and finally they're off to the states!

Let me show you!

This one here is for my sister! When she came to England in February she fell in love (as did I) with the Coconut Kit Kats, hence why she is getting a bunch now! (And obviously I bought a bunch for myself at the same time... Ooops!)

Have you tried these yet?? They're call 'Marvellous Creations' and they are absolutely magical. It's just like something out of Willy Wonka! They have pop rocks IN the chocolate!

The wrapped pink thing is actually this cute little pencil from Accessorize; I had them wrap it up at the store for my 5 year old niece! The cat stickers are for her, too! 5 year olds like stickers, right? Those stickers plus the adorable sticky notes are from the Paperchase pushy cats line

This one is for my friend Renee! She collects 'foxy' things as much as I collect owls! Obviously, I saw those socks and couldn't resist! She's also going to get her fair share in chocolate from me; I hope she doesn't mind! I love how the chocolate I bought from Belgium actually says 'Belgian Chocolate' on it. Just in case you forgot! 

I had such a good time shopping for these care packages! I seriously can't wait to send some to other family members and friends this summer! Cheers to being in the 21st century and fast traveling parcel services!

Who do you normally send care packages to (or receive packages from)?? What types of goodies are normally in there?? 

Monday, May 20, 2013

My Life Is Complete

I held an owl.

Excuse the messy hair. Focus on cute owl on my arm.

His name is AJ. Although he looks thoroughly unimpressed, he really did enjoy my company.

It looks like we are deep in conversation.

 How was your weekend?? Did you hold any animals??

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Recent Reads

I am a book worm. (Second post in a week about books. Just sayin'.)

It started when I was about 7 years old and I had (what seemed like) an infinite supply of The Babysitters Club Little Sister books (Karen was like, my BFF) and I would keep my nose in these books for days on end. 15 years later, my obsession has not subsided (at all.) and I would still rather read in bed all day than go out and socialize with the cool people my age.

Sorry, I'm not sorry.

Anyway, I've read a bunch of books that have been absolute page turners over the past few weeks that I thought I would share with you guys! (Along with one of my many many many good quotes from each!)

1. Delirium Trilogy by Lauren Oliver - I heard so many good things about this series (and apparently they made a TV show pilot episode that was trying to get picked up by Fox... It didn't... Thoughts??) and was thoroughly impressed until the last chapter of the last book. I don't think I've ever been more angry at an ending. Regardless, it's a good concept and a good series. It's a dystopian series (think along the lines of the Hunger Games and Divergent) where love is considered a disease. Girls and boys are kept mostly separate until they're "cured" at age 18. Once you're "cured" by a brain intrusive medical procedure, you can't catch the 'deliria' (love). But it also changes your mentality; fun and old memories really stop mattering. You also get paired with someone (to marry) based on a personal evaluation. Affection really doesn't exist even with your partner and children. With this book, I like the concept (I'm just a sucker for dystopian societies... sue me!) and I like all the twists and turns throughout the series. This is definitely a page turner. I couldn't put any of the 3 in this series down. Don't let my hatred for the ending skew your judgement; most people would probably love the ending.

2. Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld - The only way I know how to describe this book is that it has "How I Met Your Mother" syndrome.... It's basically one long pointless story just waiting to find out the end. However, I still enjoyed it. (And I got it from the '3.99 or less' page on iTunes, so that's always a plus!) It's about a girl who goes to boarding school (on scholarship) for all 4 years of high school. And the reason I liked it so much is because the main character, Lee, is so ridiculously like myself, only more extreme! She's so socially awkward that you can't help but root for her, but you also want to just punch some confidence into her. Admittedly, there were times where I felt almost identical to Lee. I'm constantly people watching or just inside my own brain a majority of the time that I'm oblivious to everyone around me. And that's basically the entire book -- viewing the world from her introverted, prep school perspective.

3. Matched Trilogy by Ally Condie - More dystopian fiction. Gotta love it. Only this time, the Society controls everything. Everything. Food, clothing, school, work, recreation, and your Match. You get Matched at 17 to someone, and that's who you end up with. Simple as that. I liked this trilogy because I didn't feel like it was over the top. Yes, Society controls everything, and that's a bit extreme. But it wasn't like crazy fight to the death games or forced medical procedures or anything weird. It was the most normal (and least violent), futuristic form of dystopian society I think I've read so far. And the 3 main characters... All equally amazing. Even if you aren't into Hunger Games/Divergent/Delirium types of books, I'd still recommend this because it's the most realistic and natural.

What have you read recently that you enjoyed or would recommend? (And if you want to nerd out with me about any of these books/series, email me! As always, I'd love to hear your opinions!)

Monday, May 13, 2013

One Of My Best Kept Secrets

Okay, so it's not really a secret... But I'll fill you in anyway.

Recently, my book obsession has skyrocketed. I always joked how my addiction to reading was making me purchase books faster than I was financially capable of. And shhhh! Do not tell me to get a library card! I like LOVE my ever growing book shelf and admiring my collection. (Side note, does anyone want to buy me a bigger book shelf?) I think I would cry if I had to give a book back; we all know I am too good at re-reading them.

More recently, however, I've been buying books on my iPad. And thank the heavens I discovered the 'Great Books for $3.99 or less' page! (Oh and yes, I still have American iTunes... Oops!)

And there you have it, folks: My best kept secret.

See, I told you it really wasn't a secret!

If your looking for some good books but don't always want to splurge, definitely look at the 'Great books for $3.99 or less' page! They offer a bunch of different genres and they all have at least 20 books in the list!

This '$3.99 or less' page honestly changed my life. I'm not even kidding. Last summer I bought a book for 99 cents because, well, why not?! It was the first book in The Mortal Instruments series (titled 'City of Bones'), which is being made into a movie coming out in August. That series plus another series by that author are just below Harry Potter on my favourite books list. That's huge.

Since then, I've purchased many a cheap book off of iTunes, none of which I regret. So here are just a few tips if you do decide to check out the cheap option!

1. Check back often - They add and remove books from the lists quite often. This definitely keeps your options open!

2. Get the samples first - They're free! If you can't wait to read more once the sample is done, you know you are in for a treat!

3. Only go for a certain number of stars - Personally, I only really consider buying these books if they are over 4 stars. That sounds harsh; 4 stars is a great score out of 5 on iTunes. But from what I've noticed, there's obviously a reason why it's ridiculously on sale. So unless I've heard good reviews elsewhere, I won't buy a book from there unless it's over 4 stars.

4. Don't just buy it because it's cheap - I have to talk myself out of sale purchases all the time. Just because it's cheap, doesn't mean it's worth it. If you know you're not going to like it or get through it, don't bother!

5. Look at page numbers - Sometime on the list you'll find shorter books, such as 'midquels', on the list that are only about 40 pages long and go with another book you may or may not have read. So keep an on the page number. If it seems like a low number of pages, it's probably not a full fledged book.

Hopefully this helps your reading addiction like it did for me!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I'm Running Half Of London

Yep, I've got the bug.

I've watched people #RunForBoston while I've been busy and too tired to put on my sneakers (trainers? Yeah I forgot I'm in England.)

I've watched people run the London Marathon for themselves, in a camel suit, because it's their job or because they're proving to themselves that it's possible.

I've scoured the internet for the next big race that I'm as passionate about as Brighton.

Although it's not until September, I'm all signed up and excited to run the Nike Run to the Beat Half Marathon in London!

Remember, day month year! We're in England, here!

And it hit me last week that I want... maybe even need... to do more.

So that's why I decided that I'm running this particular half for charity. 

Over the past few years I've watched one of my best friends run her heart out and do it selflessly. And I always thought "Wow. The patience, the drive, the imagination, the passion she has for raising money for charity. I'm so lazy; I've never even tried."

So I started researching. Before I made my final decision, I wanted to see a list of all the charities here in England that I could run for. They had a search engine, so I just typed in "cancer". The very first name on the list was Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, and I was sold instantly.

I've never done this before. I feel like I can run 13.1 miles no problem! But the raising money bit, I'm going to need to get creative! I'm going to need all the help I can get!!

Have you even to raise money for charity?? How did you accomplish your goals??