Friday, 30 December 2011

What are you doing New Year's Eve?

I came across this the other day and thought it was a perfect way to say 'Happy New Year'! For all you fans of 500 Days Of Summer, I'm sure you will love this...

Happy New Year for tomorrow night/Sunday morning :)

Sarah x

Monday, 26 December 2011

Deborah Lippmann Nail Varnish in Razzle Dazzle

This shade is perfect for the festive season! I'd imagine lots of people wore this shade to Christmas parties etc. Although it took 3 coats to get it to look this colour, I've had lots of compliments on it (even from my Grandad of all people!). I know glitter varnish can be a bit of a mare to get off, but this seems pretty hard wearing, especially with a clear topcoat on top, so I think it'll be worth it.

I got this nail varnish in my December Glossybox and it is probably my favourite product of the month!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas day and are enjoying your pressies today!

Sarah x

Saturday, 24 December 2011

It's Tradition!

So here we are, it's Christmas Eve! You'd have to be a bit of a Scrooge to not be feeling Christmassy by now! I definitely think the build-up in the weeks before the big day is just as much fun and I've got to admit I still haven't lost that 'night before Christmas' excitement. Christmas Day in our house is often quite hectic, especially when the grandparents are staying, so rather than trek to church in the morning, we go to the crib service the night before. Even though this is aimed at children, it's a great chance to sing some carols and immerse yourself in the festive feeling.

Christmas day in our house hasn't changed much since we were children, and I love that! My little sis (not so little really, she's almost 18!) still insists on dragging us out of bed at some ungodly hour - while this used to be 7am, we've managed to push her back until 8.30am! I've never exactly been a morning girl, but somehow it seems a little easier when you know that Father Christmas has been!

After presents from Santa and breakfast, we head out to our local beach for a short walk on the cliffs. My friends all say they can't think of anything worse, but I love doing this (especially last year when it was a white Christmas). It blows away the cobwebs and gives you a chance to work up your appetite. We also often bump into people we know, so it's a great time to wish people a 'Merry Christmas'.

The cliffs last Christmas Day
Once the turkey is in the oven and we've had a light lunch (usually soup), it's into the lounge to open all the presents under the tree. My sister and I used to love choosing and handing out the presents and it's become our job for the afternoon. We usually have some nibbles and a glass or two of champagne while we open our pressies, which always goes down well.

After presents it's time for dinner and boy does my ma know how to put out a good Christmas spread!

I hope everyone has a lovely Christmas and has a chance to relax and spend time with the people they love. Have a great day everybody!

Sarah x

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Book Review - 'All My Friends Are Superheroes' by Andrew Kaufman

A really little book (weighing in at just 108 pages) with a lovely story!

I was loaned this book by a friend and decided to read it on the long journey home for Christmas. Since it's such a short little book it didn't take long to read, but I must admit I really enjoyed it!

'All My Friends Are Superheroes' tells the story of Tom, whose marriage to The Perfectionist unravels when she is hypnotised by an ex-lover into believing he is invisible. As she boards a plane to move to Vancouver and leave her sadness behind, Tom follows her and has until the plane touches down to convince her to see him again.

The superpowers described in the book are a far cry from those normally found in comics and on the big screen - examples include The Stress Bunny (who absorbs the stress from a room), Falling Girl (who can't help but fall off everything) and Copycat (who can mimic someone's personal style so well that her subject ends up appearing as a less successful version of themselves). Although a few of these are a little hard to get your head around, I found myself wanting to hear more and more about the different superpowers! I've never really been a superhero/comic book kind of girl, but I really enjoyed this!

At times 'All My Friends Are Superheroes' is a little heartbreaking, but Andrew Kaufman's novella is a wonderful little love story and it is almost impossible to stop yourself rooting for Tom. This is a short and quirky read...a perfect way to pass an hour or two (or a journey home!).
Sarah x

Friday, 16 December 2011

Looking Forward, Looking Back #3

Looking Forward
It seems like an obvious one but...CHRISTMAS! As I said a while ago, I'm not one for getting festive early, but with only just over a week to go I'm now in full present-wrapping, carol-singing mode! I went to a 'Carols By Candlelight' concert last week and it truly put me in the mood. It's easy to see why so many people love the Christmas season and there is always that lovely feeling in the air in the build-up to the 25th.

Of course, December does have its own little stresses - crossing our fingers we won't get snowed in, trying to plan that perfect dinner, present buying and wrapping and making sure everyone gets along. It's so important not to let those little things ruin such an important time. I know Christmas has different meanings to everyone, but it is essentially a time to have a little break and appreciate how blessed we are. No matter how much they drive us up the wall, it's a chance to hang out with the people we love. I hope everyone gets to have a little time with family and friends this Christmas :)

Looking Back
Before heading back home for the holidays I was able to have some lovely Christmassy time with my friends. We had our own little 'Christmas Day', with mulled wine, party games, a secret Santa and (best of all) lots and lots of FOOD! My best friend is a total domestic goddess and managed to make one of the nicest Christmas dinners I think I've ever had, complete with every trimming possible (although I'm still not convinced by Brussel sprouts). After the stresses that the end of the has brought for a lot of us, it was nice to be able to come together for one day and forget about our problems. As I said above, Christmas is all about being with those you care about and this was a perfect opportunity.

I hope you're all getting ready for a lovely Christmas!

Sarah x

Monday, 12 December 2011

What a Twit

Stay safe online!
I'm not a total social media addict, but I must admit I like Facebook and Twitter as much as the next person. I think they definitely have their value (especially in the blogging world), and make keeping in touch easier than ever. Despite this though, sometimes social media can go bad. Here is a little story of something that happened to me recently...

One evening I got a missed call off an unknown number. This isn't anything out of the ordinary - a lot of market research companies (all those annoying calls asking if they can just have five minutes of your time) and other businesses hide their numbers so you answer the phone. I thought nothing of it. However about twenty minutes later I got another call, which I answered. I won't repeat what was said to me but it was pretty vile and so I hung up. I then received 17 calls from the same unknown number within the space of 10 minutes, none of which I answered. It was getting late and my phone just kept on ringing, which creeped me out a little bit so I eventually got a male friend to answer and ask the person to stop calling.

It basically transpired that this person had found my number on a Facebook group that a friend made after she lost her phone and tried to get everyone's numbers again. I try never to post any personal details on the internet, but for some reason I'd never really thought about groups like that.

I would thoroughly recommend that people avoid putting their phone numbers or any personal details anywhere on Facebook or other social media sites. I know that the calls I got were just from some pervy low-life with nothing better to do, but it was horrible all the same - stay safe guys!

Sarah x

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Forms, forms, forms...

Right now my life seems to revolve around filling in form after form after form! I'm busy applying both for a Masters course and jobs, and it is all one long application form. It's one of those boring things in life that noone enjoys doing, but who knows it could lead somewhere amazing! I must admit, sometimes I do get a little tired of filling in every qualification I ever achieved (although I'm definitely still proud I managed that A* in GCSE Welsh!) and it often seems a little never-ending. Nonetheless, I keep reminding myself that it'll all be worth it.

Since my house is so chilly I've taken to working wrapped up in my duvet and have busted out the lovely woolly socks little sis bought me last Christmas. Although I sure do wish my room wasn't quite so icy, there's something quite nice about being all cosied up with a big mug of tea. 

Where there's tea, there's hope
I don't mind the cold weather too much, or even a light dusting of snow - as long as the trains are running I'm a happy bunny! A low point last year was heading home for Christmas and spending 3 hours stuck in Birmingham New Street because of the snow. I don't think I've ever been so relieved to get home!

I know everyone is already super excited about Christmas, but I'm one of those people that refuse to consider any present-buying, decorating, turkey-stuffing, etc. etc. until 1st December. My favourite part is definitely the music and I've got some good stuff lined up for a listen - I have been recommend 'A Very She & Him Christmas' and I can't wait to get stuck in! I'm sure I'll blog something ridiculously Christmassy when the time is here, but for now though I'm staying shtum. 

Hope you're as cosy as me!

Sarah x

Monday, 21 November 2011

Recipe: Cajun Chicken with Pineapple Rice

My friends threw a little 'Come Dine With Me'-style party the other evening and we all had to take a dish. Now I am not the niftiest in the kitchen, but had a crack at it and this was the dish I made! I must admit I was pretty pleased with it, as it's tasty and actually quite healthy (although the mountains of yummy pudding after certainly weren't!). The only thing this bad boy doesn't win any points for is looks - I actually won 'Least Aesthetically Pleasing'! But anyway I though I'd share the recipe:

Cajun Chicken with Pineapple Rice – serves 4

·         Olive oil
·         1 red pepper
·         1 small tin of sweetcorn
·         2 tbsp Cajun spice mix
·         250g long grain rice
·         1 chicken stock cube
·         1 small tin pineapple chunks in natural juice
·         Chicken (standard pack)

1.      Heat oil in pan and fry diced pepper, sweetcorn and half of spice mix
2.      Mix up stock cube in 700ml of boiling water, then add this and rice to pan.
3.      Bring to the boil, gently stir in and then lower the heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
4.      Meanwhile, cut chicken into chunks and rub in the remaining spice mix.
5.      Heat oil in a separate pan and fry chicken.
6.      Gently stir in pineapple chunks and juice into rice and allow to simmer for a further 3-4 minutes.
7.      Add chicken and serve.
8.      Enjoy!

It's also great cold if you fancy taking the leftovers for lunch the next day!

Sarah x

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

No. 17 Ruby Gem Nail Varnish

Another pretty quick fix from No. 17's Fast Finish collection. I am LOVING all things berry-coloured this autumn and Ruby Gem is a gorgeous addition! Like all the Fast Finish nail varnishes, this doesn't really last that long (no more than 2 days chip-free), but I always feel a little bit glam when I have painted nails (even when they are my little stubby ones)!

Ruby Gem - a lovely berry colour!
I've definitely been guilty of buying waaay into the berry trend at the moment - nail varnish, a cardigan and 2 dresses already!

Hope you're enjoying the autumn sunshine!

Sarah x

Monday, 14 November 2011

Back with a Veg-ance

Don't think that title really worked did it? Never mind, sorry I've been off the radar for a while, things have been so busy! But here I am once again.

I HAD to share my Innocent Veg Pot experience! I am not a vegetable lover at the best of times, and really struggle to try and get my five a day in. Recently I've been making a big effort to try and eat properly, as I know I'll always feel so much better when I've had plenty of fruit and veggies. One of my problems is that I find just plain old veg so boring (and broccoli is just plain horrible), so when I spotted this little pot reduced  in my local shop, I couldn't wait to try it!


I had the whole pot for dinner and it was delicious! I'm not a huge fan of spice, but it was perfect and although there were no noodles/rice etc., it was still really filling. For people like me who don't drool over healthy stuff, this is the perfect solution. I must admit, they're not cheap so I would only buy them reduced, but if that's your bag then I thoroughly recommend!

Well done to the lovely Innocent people :)

Sarah x

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Looking Forward, Looking Back #2

Well it is definitely time for another one of these! I've been having a bit of a rubbish time lately, so time to refocus I think!

Looking Forward
I had a cheeky little ASOS shop and so am super excited to try on my new purchases once they arrive! It's not just parcels, I love receiving pretty much anything in the post, so also did a little search for some free sample, so I have some of the new Bailey's Biscotti Flavour heading my way too - a little random, but if it's free then why ever not?!

Looking Back
Looking back is kind of hard, since I must admit I've been having a pretty darn tough time recently, but in the spirit of Looking Forward, Looking Back, I accept that there is always stuff to be thankful for! One of my best friends has really taken me under her wing and done everything possible to cheer me up - I even arrived home to find she had baked me a cake yesterday! That girl is an absolute sweetie and I love her to bits, so looking back I am super duper thankful for her.


Sarah x

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Shh, it's a secret...

One of my favourite time-wasting things to do is faffing about on Stumble Upon. It usually produces a lot of rubbish, but yesterday I came across this video. It's about the Post Secret phenomenon, in which one man asked people to send in their secrets on a postcard. In this video, the same principle is applied, but this time it isn't'd be surprised how honest some people are!

PostSecret: Confessions on Life, Death and God from Frank Warren on Vimeo.

My favourite part is the couple telling each other a secret.

Sarah x

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Looking Forward, Looking Back #1

Life isn't always easy and sometimes it can be super tough to find stuff to be thankful for. I know I can certainly be prone to bouts of the grumps! So when I heard about 'gratitude journalling' (a fancy way of saying writing down stuff you're grateful for) I though 'why not?'. So, I've decided to try and do a regular little post entitled 'Looking Forward, Looking Back'. I'll look forward to something coming up - even the toughest times are easier when you've something to look forward to, no matter how little! Then I'll look back and find something great to be thankful for. Sounds simple enough right?


So here we go with my first 'Looking Forward, Looking Back':

Looking Forward
My mum always says Autumn seems awfully sad, with everything dying and hibernating for winter. But what a pessimistic view! Personally, I think that this time of year has a certain sort of glamour - not the out-and-out 'woo let's wear a bikini' sort that summer has, or the delicate new life of spring, but instead everything gets a little mysterious. Sunset is earlier and everyone disappears into their lovely new coats and scarves. Plus, tights are my best friend...I'm about as white as they get and I just don't enjoy faffing around with all that fake tan! Now if finally being able to put the pasty legs away isn't something to look forward to, then I don't know what is!

Looking Back
I've had an absolutely fab summer! It's been the perfect combination of holiday, productivity and just chilling out. I feel completely refreshed and ready to hit October hard now! I was really lucky to be taken on holiday to France by my parents, which was amazing - great weather, lovely day trips and most importantly lots and lots of food and wine! Definitely something to be grateful for.

So there we go, my first 'Looking Forward, Looking Back'...and ya know what? I feel better already!

Sarah x

The Flip-Flops' Last Hurrah

Until next summer dear flip-flops!

What an unexpectedly lovely sunny day! Well not entirely unexpected, I know the weatherman has been going on about potential good weather this week, but I never that them raise my hopes! Especially not when apparently they're forecasting snow for the second week of October (or so a taxi driver told me - those guys are fountains of knowledge). I spent a little time out on a picnic blanket reading my newest book ('The Red Tent' by Anita Diamant) and, surprise surprise, got about half way through! It's just so easy to lose time when the weather is gorgeous and you're lost in a great book.

I must admit I am going to miss being able to go outside without piling on the layers, so it was lovely to be able to just spend some time relaxing outside.

I hope everyone has had a minute or two to enjoy the sunshine!

Sarah x

Monday, 26 September 2011

Book Review - 'When God Was A Rabbit' by Sarah Winman

I have an awful habit of getting so absorbed in a book that I finish it in a matter of days, and I must admit that 'When God Was A Rabbit' is definitely one of those books that I did this with!

Told in the style of a two-part memoir, this book is narrated by Elly, who tells the story of her relationships with family and friends. The most central and formative of her relationships are with her elder brother Joe and odd classmate Jenny Penny, and as the novel progresses we see how they impact upon Elly right through into adulthood.

The first half of the book revolves around Elly's childhood experiences and is told with a childish wonder - so many events are described perfectly through a child's eyes and it is often not until the second adult part of the book that the reader, alongside Elly, comes to fully understand them.

There are plenty of subtly shocking moments in 'When God Was A Rabbit', and Winman does not shy away from difficult issues such as terminal illness, abuse and murder. Nothing, however, is ever included purely for shock factor and it is fascinating to see how Elly and her family cope with the many events throughout the book. Despite the inclusion of several upsetting events, this is not a depressing novel - quite the opposite in fact! There are plenty of uplifting and beautiful moments, and the ending, although a little inconclusive, leaves the reader satisfied. The book's blurb claims that this is "a book about love in all its forms", and that is certainly what it achieves.

Overall: A really lovely and though-provoking book, perfect if you need a little heart-warming but don't fancy the typical love story.

Sarah x

Saturday, 24 September 2011

All Tangled Up

I'm having a bit of a mare as my jewellery addiction is coming back to bite me! I've been maltreating my accessories a little recently and just chucking them all together in a bag and of course it then takes an absolute age to separate them again. The necklaces especially are a pain because of the chains getting all tangled together. So, I decided to have a look for a little inspiration for a nice jewellery holder to make. I must admit I was amazed at how resourceful some people can be!

Here are some of the ideas that I found on Pinterest...

Kitchen Grater

Garden Rake

Antique Typeset Tray

Branches and Twigs

Alas until the time when I manage to find some way as lovely as this to sort my jewellery I'll have to continue throwing it in a bag and then getting irritated as I spend twenty minutes trying to separate out the necklace I want!

Sarah x

Friday, 23 September 2011

Specs Appeal?

A little post today that was inspired by Selin over at The Tuesday Girl, who posted about making peace with her glasses. Apparently today is 'Proud Of Your Specs' Day, at the behest of Gok Wan. Now I certainly don't feel proud of my specs, in fact I do just about everything I can to avoid wearing the things. I can't wear contacts and so my life is, for the most part, a rather blurry experience. Apart from driving and times when I need to read at a distance, my glasses stay firmly in their (admittedly very pretty) Cath Kidston case. Some people manage to work the geek look, or even just look downright hot in their specs, but I'm just not one of them. Looks aside they always slip off as well. I know life would be easier if I just put the darn things on my face every now and then, but I don't! There would certainly be a drastic reduction in cases of mistaken identity but I'm used to the embarrassment by now, and this would of course provide most people in my town with a lot less entertainment.

Nope, I'm afraid I still don't think I can pull off the sexy specs look, but in the spirit of 'Proud Of Your Specs' Day I will at least let my glasses have one little outing...

Happy now Gok?
There you go, the glasses are outed! One day we may finally reconcile our differences, but until then I'll just pop them back in my handbag...

Sarah x

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Art of Distraction

So in an attempt to distract myself from all the important things I should be doing, I hit Boots for a teeny bit of retail therapy. Here's a pic of my purchases...

Okay, so I lie the toothpaste (yawn) came from the Pound Shop. But these are a few things I've been wanting to try for a while. The shampoo and conditioner were on offer and after borrowing a little of my friend's 'Nourish Me Truly' conditioner I was hooked! I'm a little sceptical of the'adaptive' technology, but hey they were on offer and I've nearly finished my current shampoo. Also I barely ever use conditioner so I thought it would probably be a good habit to get into, since my short hair often requires heat styling etc. The Garnier 'Miracle Skin Perfector' has also been on my list of things to try, as I've heard a lot of hype about 'B. B.' creams. I have quite a lot of scarring and unevenness in my skintone, so will be interested to see if this truly does what it says on the tin. Finally I've been hunting for little skin treat and after reading Zoella's review of Soap and Glory's 'The Fab Pore' I figured I'd give it a little try, since I had some Advantage Card points going handy (gosh I love those things!).

I'll maybe give a little review of these things, so stay tuned!

There was also a food and drink festival on in town, so I couldn't resist getting myself a little lunch. I had a samosa platter from an Indian stall, which had vegetable crisps, chickpea curry and a samosa...absolutely delicious!

I'm off to see Slow Club tonight and I am SO excited! I've waited so long to see them live and after they postponed their May show, I can't believe I finally get to see them. I'll be reviewing them for a music website I write for called Soundsense Online (, so I'll post that when it's done for you music lovers. 

Sarah x

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Everything's Beachy

After spending almost the whole of yesterday being forced into watching football, I really fancied getting out and about today. This time we headed to Sea Palling near Norwich for a day at the beach. We took a walk on the beach and even a paddle in the water, until this dreaded black clouds which had followed us all the way finally burst! Thank goodness I had my new duffel coat with me...

Wrapped up but still going for a paddle!
We took a little packed lunch, but alas had to finish it in the car as the rain got heavier and heavier, but I had a great time anyway! It was definitely a little chilly, but nothing a cup of tea didn't solve when we got in.

Those ominous black clouds just before they burst
There's nothing like a day at the beach...even if it all gets a little wet!

Sarah x

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Afternoon Tea

I am a self-confessed tea addict (it really is true that a cup of tea solves everything!) and so when I went on a trip to Norwich yesterday I was keen to find somewhere for an afternoon cup of the good stuff. I can't remember where I first heard about Biddy's, but after a little hunting around Lower Goat Lane we finally found the tearoom. It was only a small upstairs room, but it was a great set up. There was music coming from a gramophone in the corner and the mismatched antique chairs gave the tearoom a lovely vintage quality. There were also plenty of pretty finishing touches such as old books turned into menus and proper china tea sets.

All sorts of vintage fare on offer - even old fashioned fizzy drinks!

I chose to have afternoon tea, which consisted of a sandwich, scone and pot of tea for £6.75 and came served on a cute tiered stand. I chose a ploughmans sandwich (always tasty) and a spiced sultana scone, which came with lashings of clotted cream and jam - exactly as it should be! It was a perfect amount of food for a late lunch. There were so many different teas to choose from that I felt a little boring just having plain old normal tea, but it is my favourite after all. However, for those who love trying different teas, Biddy's would be perfect!

Biddy's has a lovely atmosphere

Biddy's was such a cosy and intimate little place, I can imagine snuggling up there in the winter months after a hard day's shop in Norwich! Apparently it is also available to hire out for functions, which I bet would be fab. Definitely one to visit again and I highly recommend it!

Sarah x

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Goodbye Summer

Well I took a walk this afternoon and I think it's time to finally give up any hope of an Indian summer and accept that Autumn is well and truly here! It always makes me a little sad to admit defeat and dig out the tights again, but Autumn does have a little charm of its own (even when it's often just full of drizzle, a la U.K.).
A little hopeful?! (   
Of course there are some plus sides to the colder weather...for a start I can at last debut my new duffel coat! I saw it in Topshop for a while already and after finally laying my trusty old one to rest, I went a purchased the new one! It's really lovely and warm (very practical, wouldn't my mother be proud!) and I was especially happy to see it available in Topshop's petite section. Most coats end up with sleeves that are miles too long for me, so it's great to be able to find one that fits properly. I shall be warm all summer long!

Cosy new coat ( 

 Stay warm!

Sarah x

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

No. 17 Baked Cherry Nail Varnish

This is the shade I'm currently wearing and it is gorgeous! It's one of the No. 17 'Fast Finish' range, which I love as they're nearly always on offer in Boots (there's often freebies involved and hey, who doesn't love them?!). The only downside to this range is that they don't often last past two or three days, and even less if you occasionally have the dreadful habit of having a chew every now and then! But nonetheless the colours are always on trend and cheap, making it a great range for those who like to have a pop of colour on their nails for a few days.

Apologies for the state of my nails - cut short for guitar!

'Baked Cherry' is a lovely pinky red

Have a great Monday!

Sarah x

Sunday, 11 September 2011

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Sarah x

A lovely weekend and some new music

I've just spent a really lovely weekend in Hereford for my Grandma's 80th birthday, full of great food, wine and family! We all had a fab time and my Grandma was particularly taken with the cake we had made for her - she adores walking (and can still beat me up a mountain any day, so jealous) so the lady who made the icing crafted a little icing walker which bore an uncanny likeness to Grandma!

What a cake!
Baking is always something I've wanted to get into, and although I don't think my skills will ever match those above, it would be great to be able to produce some cute cupcakes etc.

I was also very excited when I got back to see that my new Slow Club album, ' had arrived and I'd completely forgotten it was a special signed edition. I adore these guys and am going to see them live in two weeks time - perfect timing to have a listen to some new stuff! For anyone who loves lovely folky harmonies these guys are a MUST!

'Paradise' - Slow Club
What a nice weekend!

Sarah x

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Very first post!

Well hello blog world!

I'm completely new to this, so it might take a while to get things up and running. I hope you enjoy the  finished product however!

This will just be a place for me to collect my thoughts on all sorts of things, but you might see me write about topics such as beauty, health, food and music...who knows! It's all very exciting.

I can't wait to get stuck in.

Sarah x