Monday, December 30, 2013

10 New Year's Resolutions for all of us who think Wii fit counts as exercise

Here's my Happy New Year illustration... I did it when I got home
from the pub and was rather kettled... so I'm pleased that it came out okay!
Hello, toasters!
Be honest with me now, how many New Year's Resolutions have you made and actually kept for a whole year?
Nope, did think so.

The classic 'I will get fit' means buying an expensive gym membership, going once in January but find it too crowded because everyone else has had the same idea, consoling yourself with a bar of dairy milk and only going one other time in the year when you ran out of hot water for a shower.
So, I have decided to make my 10 New Year's Resolutions realistic, and also pretty do-able, giving me a much-needed sense of achievement as I struggle through my second year of uni, with only tears and pringles keeping me going.
Here we go:
  1. I will not name all of my files 'jghppiovdsksofjsd'.
  2. I will not spend three consecutive days in the same onesie.
  3. I will not share my life story with every subway worker, taxi driver and hobo whilst drunk on my way home from a night out.
  4. I will avoid using fandom-specific/meme references in front of my family- the time it takes to explain it to them is not worth it & makes me want to bludgeon myself to death with a blunt spoon.
  5. I will come up with more imaginative passwords.
  6. I will stop setting a 'lie-in' alarm. It makes me realise how snuggly I am and just gives me time to convince myself I don't have to do anything today.
  7. I will not eat all of my advent calendar chocolates in one go. I will wait to at least day three before I give up. Yeah, willpower!
  8. I will become less obsessed with Ru Paul's Drag Race... for those of you who haven't watched it, it's essentially America's Next Top Model for Drag Queens and it is fabulous!
  9. I will not fall into a black hole of despair when I finish a series. If I spend any more time immersed in Tumblr, my brain will turn to mushy peas.
  10. I will not Snapchat in inappropriate places. No-one likes a toilet selfie.
So, there we have it... my list that I will try to keep for a whole year!
What are your New Year's Resolutions? Let me know in the comments :)
Have a fantastic New Year everyone!

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

My Christmassy Week in Pictures

Hello, toasters!
It's that time of year again to attack random people in H&M for a pair of discount shoes (that didn't sell for a reason) and to desperately cobble together a New Years Eve plan.
And, for those of us who have just returned from visiting Grandparents who always have the latest bug, it's time to recover from the inevitable illnesses gained from their tropically-hot homes.
It seems that this year, besides smellies and new pots for my bonsai trees, my Grandma has also given me a winter bug.
Oh, you shouldn't have.
So at the moment I have a wicked sore throat, which is possibly a blessing in disguise as I'm losing the weight gained from Christmas due to the fact that I can't actually swallow anything.
Silver linings, right?
As I'm feeling foggier than Lindsay Lohan's head after a rough night out, I thought that today I'd post a picture-heavy post, summing up my Christmassy week!


So this week, I went to a pet store and fell in love with many small fury animals, made a chocolate santa sleigh,  constructed a train track around the living room to deliver presents and received some really thoughtful gifts!
From Dan I got a beautiful Swarovski crystal necklace (the real thing!) so now I actually have something really valuable to worry about if I ever get mugged...
He also got me a plushie of my starter Pokémon Snivy, who actually talks to me! This little sweetie has transformed me back into a 5 year old, as she goes everywhere with me and I even made her up a place at the table for Christmas dinner.
God knows how society expects me to function as an adult.
I fear for you all.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Westie Dog Speed Painting

Hello, toasters!
I hope you're all having a wonderfully festive Christmas Eve :)
For my Secret Santa present, I decided to paint my Auntie's dog, Jack, for her. She seemed to really love it, so that made me feel all lovely and Christmassy!
I thought I'd make a speed-painting video of it, and share it with you all to help you get through the drunk Uncles, indigestion and brussel sprout farts that you will have to face in the days to come.

Let me know what you think, and maybe i'll make some more :)
Don't forget to like, comment & subscribe for more.
1 sleep to go until Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Drunk thoughts...

Hello, toasters!
Hold on a second, I need to plug in my laptop as it's just told me I have '7 minutes of battery life left' AKA 'plug me in now bitch, you have 5 seconds'.
7 minutes my arse.
Drunk selfie is drunk. Go home, drunk selfie.
So tonight I went out with my friends from college, and it was great!
Although, I did end up drinking those awful VK drinks (the blue ones that almost exactly match the colour- and taste- of the stuff you put in the toilet) because they were on offer.
I feel like my mother, buying stuff I don't particularly want/ need just because it's on offer.
I don't know if it's technically a part of the human condition, but there's something about a 3-for-£5 offer that always gets me.
And now I have a blue tongue.
So, as I was sat in the pub, feeling fourteen again  with my luminous drinks, I got drunk. I don't know how, because no one ever gets drunk on alcopops- even though we all pretended when we sent that 'oops, that was meant for someone else' text to our crush even though we all know what you are up to, you are literally being as subtle as a gun.
But hopefully you cant tell how intoxicated I am from my grammar, but that's probably owing to the spell checker (God bless the spell checker!) more than anything else.
I've already used spell check more times than I would in an essay for just these few paragraphs.
Whilst I was in the car home, trying desperately to seem less drunk than I was, I couldn't help but question the meaning of life, which progressed naturally, to an internal debate about video games.
Why, in a world such as this, do we spend far more time playing QWOP than doing useful stuff like phoning grandparents and discovering where the fuck those scissors have disappeared to AGAIN?
It certainly cant be because it's easier. I find it far less painful to have a chat with a pensioner than to try and spasm my way to a non-negative score.
For those of you who haven't played QWOP, you need to re-evaluate your life.
Or Google it. Because, as we all know, Googling something is an alternative to actually doing something.
That's another thought... Google.
Now, we all love Google, and if it shut down we wouldn't know what to do. Especially with it's closest competitor being Bing.
(I love the fact that the most searched for thing on Bing is Google, and I wonder how many CEOs of Bing cry themselves to sleep at night over this fact)
But, as we all love Google, why does everyone seem to hate Google+ so much?
Yes, it was essentially forced on us through YouTube etc. but it's not so bad.
It's basically like Facebook, with more interesting groups stuff, less random people from Slovakia adding you and less annoying 'Your Mum' pages we haven't unliked yet from 4 years ago.
Oh, I hate those pages!
Remember when it was really cool to like all those pages with funny names?
Yeah, not so funny now.
I STILL get random posts from the occasional one in my newsfeed.
I should really get to bed now, and leave my liver to have a panic attack at my drinking three times more units than I should have.
I'm sorry, liver.
Wow, and now I'm talking to an internal organ.
New low-point reached? Check.
Until next time, toasters!
P.S. Only 6 more sleeps to go until Christmas!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

It's Chriiiiiiistmaaaaaas! (Slade Style)

Hello, toasters!
Only 12 days to go!
Anyone who knows me will probably agree that I'm basically a little kid wrapped in a 19 year olds body. So yes, Christmas is still a huge deal for me.
I mean, when else is it acceptable to wear itchy 'I-think-it's-supposed-to-be-a-snowman' jumpers and to have eaten 3 packs of After Eight's before noon?!

'Tis the season.... to wear funny hats with your mother in selfies

To me, 'Christmas Spirit' is made up of three things:
  • Cheesey Christmas songs (XFactor not included)
  • Pigs in blankets!
  • Buying presents for everyone
Now the first two always get my spirits right up as soon as they come on the scene. Who doesn't love singing along to Slade (did they actually do anything else?) and eating pork sausages wrapped in yet more pork?!

The third is a little more tricky, but definitely the most rewarding.
Honestly, there's nothing more exciting and excruciatingly painful than knowing you've got the best gift ever, and waiting to see what their face looks like when they open it.
But, not having much money, this has always posed as a challenge to me.

One year, I really couldn't stretch to more than £20 for the whole of my present budget.
And I have a big family. As in, more than the Kardashian clan big.
That year everyone received homemade cookies, and called me 'original', but I think they definitely saw through my 15-year-old broke ass.

This year I've had a little more money to spend due to savings from my summer job, so I've been able to splash out a bit.
I visited the Bournemouth Christmas Market the other day, and it was magical.
The Disney Princess inside of me was overjoyed- there were ponies in a pen, carol singers, ice skaters, the whole sha-bang.
Even the little kid who fell over on the ice looked magical as they were in a Santa outfit.
And it was also a great place for finding 'gifty' things that would have taken ages to find on the high street/ internet.
'Authentic' spell book for Tarot-obsessed step mother? Check.
Bright purple candle with interesting Islamic design for Bohemian grandmother? Check.
Minion stuffed toy for overly-consumerist little sister? Check.
I got more people ticked off my list in a shorter amount of time than it takes to decide whether just a hoodie or a full coat is better to face the weather outside. Is it just me, or do I always seem to dress wrong for the weather?!

But one thing I would say about the Christmas Market, is to go with your partner. I tried to go on my own last year, but just felt sad and lonely amongst the sea of couples that looked as if they'd just stepped out of an M&S advert.
But this year, that was me! Because I was holding hands with someone rather than being forever alone, I was the one who has just stepped out of the M&S advert! My hair even had a faint shimmer to it!

I also decorated the tree yesterday, which always gets me feeling Christmassy.
Before we begin, we always choose a radio station that plays all the Christmas classics as a backdrop. However, we couldn't find a station like that yesterday, so we plumped for some religious channel, which was having a 'debate' which was becoming increasingly heated and was, naturally, hilarious.
Now I'm not one for subtlety, so I always put as many lights and baubles on as possible. Because no-one ever died from too many Christmas decorations, did they?
Here's the finished article, which I am very proud of :D

Considering that me and my sister usually get on worse than Snape and Harry, I think we did really well and only had one argument! Which, strangely, was about a piñata rather than anything Christmas related so there you go.

So, toasters, I hope that you are all having a great holiday season and are getting into the Christmas mood!
Don't forget to comment & subscribe (because it's a time for giving, right?)
Fa la la la la, la la la laaaa :)
See you soon!
Sammie xoxo

Thursday, December 5, 2013

How Every Student Does Their Assignment

Hello, toasters!
So today I handed in my project I've been working on since September, and I'm genuinely buzzing with excitement.
Its either that or the two tubes of Pringles and six-pack of Diet Coke I've ingested over the past 12 hours or so. Either or.
So this past week I've been super busy- sorry for the lack of posts, but you know... I'm paying £8,600 a year for tuition, I may as well roll out of bed in the morning and try.
And by roll, I literally mean roll.
Boy, are all those Pringles coming back to haunt me now.
Like every student, I sort of procrastinated for the best part of 2 months, doing the occasional bit of work when absolutely necessary but nothing too tedious.
Instead, I decided to focus on the more important things in life, like buying new throw pillows and mastering the ancient art of cheese on toast.
I know right, pretty deep stuff.
But this got me thinking about how students do their projects, and looking around the room at hand-in, I noticed a pattern of vacant stares and yesterday's unchanged clothes.
So, I decided that whilst it's fresh in my mind, I'd go through the thought process of every student the night before a big hand in.
Here goes...

8.00pm- So I've got a long night ahead of me, with a slimmer chance of getting a 1st than the chance that Kim Kardashian will sort her life out. Better get some snacks, you know, for motivation.... yeah, motivation, that's it.
8.30pm- I'm a Celebrity is on, I've got plenty of time left, and I can DEFINITELY do work in the advert breaks.
10.00pm- Okay, so admittedly I didn't actually do any work during I'm a Celeb, but I had my sketchbook open on my lap, so I guess that's a step in the right direction
10.30pm- Right, need to find the perfect sound track to help me power through, lets take a quick look through my iPod
 11.00pm- Well, it looks like I don't have anything in my music library that will do. Time to look on YouTube for some music.
11.30pm- Oh look, a funny cat video!
12.00am- Oh God, I only have 8 hours left. Time to really knuckle down
12.05am- Phew, I've written 5 whole sentences, that definitely deserves a 10 minute break.
12.15am- Well before I can do anything, I need the right equipment. And who can do any sort of work without a nice sharp pencil?
1.00am- Alright, so that's all the pencils in a 5-mile radius sharpened to an OCD-level point, and organised in nice straight rows.
1.30am- Man, I could use a snack right now....
*remembers supply of processed crap enough to put an entire army into a coma*
Okay, so I'll just have one teensy tiny snack
2.00am- How the hell am I supposed to work with this huge food baby?! I think a quick power nap is necessary, just to get rid of it and re-energise me for work. Half an hour should do it, no more though!
4.00am- Why did I think getting into a warm bed was a good idea!?!? Now I have to sit in my room which has is colder than Piers Morgan's heart, and no amount of onesies will stop me shivering.
4.30am- 2,000 words, here we come. Okay Wikipedia, don't fail me now!
5.00am- Damn I'm going to need some references... I'm sure that book on Lucian Freud is around here somewhere, and he's always relevant. Essay on why pop culture is becoming an overpowering influence in society? Why, because women secretly want penises of course!
6.00am- I wonder if McDonalds start serving breakfast yet?
6.15am- Come on now, focus! How can I make the 1,200 words I have seem like a lot more? Time for some double-spacing and large font methinks.
6.45am- Okay, so here's last term's evaluation.... I'm sure if I just change a few choice words here and there it'll be fine. No one even reads these things anyway, right?
7.00am- Time to attempt to make this jittering wreck of a person presentable... enough to walk to uni, grunt hellos and dump my suspiciously large-fonted work into a box.

I don't know about you, but that last bit never works for me. I always look like a car crash, and its always a 50/50 chance as to whether or not I'm still wearing a pajama top.
I even have a pair on 'mum' jeans that I wear to each hand in without fail, they're just so.... understanding.
So for those of you who still have your hand-ins to go, I wish you the best of luck.
As for me, I'll be hibernating and playing on the Sims 2 for a month.
Don't forget to subscribe to my content using using the options on the right hand side :)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

How to get over a Break-up in 5 steps

Hello, toasters!
Break-ups are hard, we all know that.
The feeling of losing 'the one', who will undoubtedly become 'the one.... who I text on drunk nights out at 3am'
Trust me, it gets better.
But, one thing that everyone seems to overlook is the fact that you can use a post-relationship funk to pretty much eat/ do/ wear whatever the hell you want and no-one will judge you!
So, I challenge you to do these 5 things and to not feel at least a little bit better about being single afterwards....

  1. Don't bother to shave your legs. I mean, seriously, just wear jeans or tights the whole time. Shaving is annoying and quite frankly- dangerous (who's idea was it to rub a razor along your flesh in a slippery enclosed area?!) so just leave it! Enjoy growing an extra layer of warmth for the winter. Tip: This works especially well in student houses, where there's no heating.
  2. Have whatever food you want whenever you want. Oh, you love garlic bread but were too afraid to have garlic breath? Well, its not like anyone is going to be getting that close to your mouth right now- and if someone randomly is, consider a restraining order- so run to Tesco, buy 2 sticks of garlic bread for something gloriously cheap like 60p, stick Chocolat on the telly and pretend you're French.
  3. You can check David Tennant/Johnny Depp/ Tom Hiddleston out as much as you want and not have to hide it. Gone are the days when you have to come up with something reassuring like "It's okay, I prefer you to him any day. I mean, he's far too..... (desperately searches for a minor flaw in the Hollywood God you are currently admiring) I mean, look at those hands, they're so wrinkly!" and then you just hope your partner buys it. Nope, I recommend fully throwing yourself into a fandom on Tumblr and getting so involved in the 'feels' happening there, that your own life has no real relevance anymore.
  4. Buy that quirky necklace you've always wanted that they called 'a bit garish'. Buy it and wear it proud, and if you see them out and about, flaunt your gorgeous new accessory as a big old two-fingers to the douchebag. Note: They probably won't notice but you'll feel epic and defiant, like the people on the Money Supermarket adverts.
  5. If you can't stop thinking about them, unearth a really awful photo of them. You know, one of the ones where you'd hoped for a cute couple picture but for some reason they look like a Diglett Pokémon. Or a squid. Or they look like a paedophile. You know the ones I mean. Find that photo which you previously tried to skip over as much as possible, and set it as your background. Hell, print it on a cushion, so it's the first horrifying thing you see when you wake up. I know it sounds shallow, but constantly exposing yourself to a photo of them you really can't bring yourself to like can help you get fed up of them. You may want to get rid of any and all cushions/ merchandise with the awful picture on before another suitor arrives. You know, just looks a bit shrine-y. Because nothing say's 'I'm a keeper!' like a shrine to your ex.

Hope these work for you!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

10 Signs That You're a Music Snob

1. You shun anyone who even mentions Justin Bieber, but have secretly listened to all of his songs. You know, just to check how bad they are.... twice.

2. Even if you are late getting somewhere, you will stop mid-journey to find the perfect song on your iPod before even thinking about continuing, even if this makes you even later.

3. You'll defend anyone who you have ever liked, even if you haven't listened to them for years and have no idea about their new albums.

4. You have to watch Never Mind the Buzzcocks alone, for fear that a question will come up on that obscure band you pretend to like, you will not be able to answer it, and everyone will know the truth.

5. You instantly correct anyone who mentions 30 Seconds to Mars, curtly informing them that it is Jared Leto as in 'Leh-toe' not 'Lee-toe'. Bonus points for adding extra venom and a self-important attitude.

6. You wear your headphones slightly off one ear, to give out that cool 'yeah-i'm-a-DJ' vibe.
(Note- you look like a twat.)

7. You have a vinyl collection. Which, don't get me wrong, is pretty cool. But, you have a vinyl collection that you mention all the time, yet only use once or twice a year. Poser? Definitely.

8. As soon as a band 'makes it', you can't listen to them anymore. I mean, that's a given right? Because as soon as regular people that don't have your superior music taste start recognising their talents, they cant possibly be talented anymore... right?

9. You lecture anyone who downloads music, accusing them of 'killing the industry', yet you have no qualms with downloading a film.

10. If someone else does like a band you also like, you quickly try to one-up them by proving that you're the better fan.
(This can be very funny to watch, especially between two hipsters, as the conversation usually goes something like this:

Hipster 1: 'I really like this band, called Marshmallow on a Plane, but you probably haven't heard of them'
Hipster 2: 'No, I totally like them, I liked them before they were well-known.'
Hipster 1: 'Oh, well I totally have a special edition of their new album, only 5,000 were made'
Hipster 2: 'I saw them live and caught the drumsticks'
Hipster 1: 'I met them in London and we totally hung out for like 40 seconds'
*Hipster 2 realises he has been beaten, dons his ironic Raybans and walks off into the sunset, or tries to as much as his ill-fitting chinos will allow*
Have fun observing number 10- I recommend waiting around at a coffee shop or a gig for that conversation

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Money-Saving Challenge of the week: Not to spend ANYTHING

Hello, toasters!
So in one of my last posts I set myself the challenge of spending absolutely nothing for a whole week.
I survived, so I thought I'd share with you my findings from the past week...

This was when I decided to challenge myself to not spend anything. My bank had just texted me to let me know how poor I was, so I decided to try and be a super-scrimper on a 1-week trial basis.
I feel that maybe a reason that I was broke was because I'd become slightly addicted to Dominos pizzas, and at £10 a pop, its not the best thing to be having more than once a week.
I took my own lunch into uni (the healthy combination of golden niuggets cereal, a can of coke and an apple) which helped to keep the cost down, but I couldn't help but look longingly at the great-smelling hot food sold in the canteen.
Amount Spent:  Nothing
Mood: Determined to get out of my overdraft
Top tip of the day: When in doubt, take a box of kiddies cereal for lunch

Today was a bit easier, as I had 'independent study'... i.e. the teacher couldn't think of anything to do.
So as I didn't have to go into uni, I didn't have to worry about being tempted by the hot food on offer.
I had tortellini for lunch, and chicken & oven chips for dinner- just using up things from my freezer drawer.
If anyone else is a tortellini fan, I'd say avoid the Asda herb tortellini like the plague.
It has such a gritty texture, I felt like I'd swallowed a beach.
Actually, whilst were on the subject of tortellini, is anyone else currently angry with Sainsburys?
The bastards discontinued the four cheese tortellini I practically lived off last year.
Sorry, that was a bit off-topic, but its an important matter to me!
Amount Spent: Nothing
Mood: Chuffed that I had a four hour lie- in!
Top tip of the day: Avoid Asda where possible in the pasta department

Today was a truly great day for me... I saw Bill Bailey!
And as cool as he was (I was in the fifth row!) the arrival of my mum meant one glorious thing- FREE FOOD!
Usually, we just go to the Harvester, but I found out about this classy Chinese restaurant in town that I wanted to try.
It was incredible, and the best thing was is that it was all-you-can-eat, so we could try everything. Twice.
Having been given strict instructions from my housemates, I had sneakily bought 3 Tupperware containers with me in my bag, and so me & my mum made it our mission to not go home empty handed.
Honestly, I don't think I've ever laughed so hard as when mum came back to the table, proudly carrying a huge plate heaped with about 200 gummy milk bottles.
We managed to squish everything into the boxes, and we headed home with one box of sweets, and two rammed with lemon chicken.
Amount Spent: Nothing
Mood: It's Bill Bailey, from Have I Got-Never Mind The-Black Books-QI-for you!
Top tip of the day: Take plastic containers and be ninja-thieves when you visit an all-you-can-eat buffet

Okay, so it turns out reheated lemon chicken isn't great, so I've basically just been left with enough sweets to put anyone into a coma.
I didn't have uni today (I have so many days off! I mean, I love my course, but it feels silly paying £8600 a year when I only have 3 days in!!) so again, I wasn't tempted by the hot food on offer there.
Basic pasta for lunch, and a bit of everything from my freezer drawer for dinner- it was one of those nights where I though 'Hey, this mini pizza will go great with roast parsnips and a naan bread!'
I don't know how I got into that very dark place, but I am older & wiser now.
Amount Spent: Nothing
Top tip of the day: If you're mixing food types like this, you should probably take a day off. Or a week off, depending on how bad your sugar coma is from all those sweets.

Today I had a full day at uni!
I know, right?! A full day!!! It's like what I'm paying for is actually reasonable!
But having spent an entire day in the computer room, when it came to lunch time, I just couldn't bring myself to dig into the cereal I had bought with me.
I'm afraid I did a terrible thing- I bought a jacket potato
I couldn't help it! It was more tempting than a photo opportunity is to a politician!
But, it was the best jacket potato of my life.
Any and all inner turmoil I had going on about losing my challenge disappeared the moment I took the first bite. It was so soft, and exactly what I needed.
Amount Spent- £3.00
Mood: Bite me.
Top tip of the day: Maybe treating yourself once in a while is a good thing. But if you really cant spend anything, getting up 10 minutes earlier to make something more tempting than dry cereal is a good idea.

So I was definitely feeling guilty about my jacket potato, and found myself obsessing over whether I'm just a really weak person or not.
I came to the conclusion that in most things, I'm pretty strong.
But when it comes to food, sleep, exercise, or anything to do with owls, I'm weaker than the watered-down alcohol you get at weddings.
So to cheer myself up, for lunch I decided to make myself onion bruschetta! (Think really posh cheese on toast)
It was amazing, and the recipe is as follows:

1.      Chop 2 onions, place in a frying pan and put on the hob on a low heat.
2.      Add 2 tablespoons of oil, 1 of balsamic vinegar, and at least 4 spoons of sugar.
3.      If you have some red wine laying around, add that too.
4.      Simmer for about 40-60 minutes on  the low heat until the onion marmalade becomes sticky & soft and the liquid is soaked up.
5.      Cut crusty bread into inch-thick slices, drizzle on a little oil and sprinkle on some chopped garlic (1 clove does 4 slices)
6.      Spread the onion marmalade onto the bread evenly, and top with slices of cheese (cheddar or goats cheese works well)
7.      Put the oven onto the grill setting (or just a really high temperature) and pop the slices in.
8.      Grill for about 6 minutes, until the cheese starts to bubble.
9.      Serve immediately and enjoy the best lunch EVER :D
Amount Spent: Nothing
Mood: Aww yiss!
Top tip of the day: Definitely brush your teeth after eating these- they taste amazing but gives you garlic breath.

I spent most of Sunday with Dan, which was really nice. We watched a load of Firefly (best TV series EVER) and just had a pretty chilled day.
When it came to dinner, we really didn't fancy anything he had in his cupboard (no surprise there, he's a typical guy when it comes to food) so we went to Wetherspoons and he paid which was really sweet!
Usually I insist on going Dutch for meals out etc. but as this was my week of scrooge-ness, he treated me.
Amount Spent: Nothing
Mood: Very happy
Top tip of the day: If possible, have a nice boyfriend who doesn't mind treating you once in a while.

So throughout the  whole week, I only spent £3.00, which I think is pretty good going!
I wouldn't say that I've learnt anything in particular, but I know that my bank balance is looking pleased.
If this were one of those school science experiments that you had to prepare and write up, it would look like this:

· Question: Can Sammie go a week without spending anything?
· Hypothesis: Probably not.
· Observations: I did pretty well, but its fair to say I relied on my friends and family quite a bit.
· Conclusion: I can do it, it just requires more will power than I currently possess...

Have any of you challenged yourselves to do something like this? If so, how did it go?
Let me know :)


Monday, November 11, 2013

Compromises... from theatre lover to metalhead?!

Hello, toasters!
I have returned after a few weeks' hiatus- to those of you who read my last post about how I was planning on not spending any money for a whole week, do not worry! I did not starve!
I actually got on pretty well, and will post up my findings tomorrow evening.
For some reason, I had the blog post completely written up and edited, but I really just felt like some time off.
I spent the time settling in again to university, cooking some awesome food (and then cancelling it out by eating cheap drunk food) and most recently, going to the theatre with my boyfriend.
The play in question was called 'Female Transport', and was put on by the graduate acting students at my university.
I was excited to go because 1. the set and costume designs were done by members of my course, and is exactly what I want to do, and 2. it gave me an opportunity to show give my boyfriend Dan a little insight into my world & what I'm into.
Alas, I hear you cry! Why, oh why, after 10 months of dating, does he still know nothing about the world of theatre if he is dating a costume student?
My short answer to this is that he is a metalhead.
My slightly longer answer is that he is a metalhead who studies forensic science and plays ultimate frisbee in his spare time, and if that's not the furthest group of interests away from theatre, I don't know what is.

Me & Dan on a night out in Woking. This photo is my desktop wallpaper and the guy on the right
in perfect focus really annoys me because I have no idea who he is, and I literally see him every day.

I honestly don't know how we found each other, and I really cant comprehend how it works, but somehow it does.
Like mango chutney and stilton cheese, it just works.
But lately we've decided to try to get to know each other's interests a little more.
You know, to delve a little deeper than him putting up with my distinctly Sandra Bullock/ Rene Zellweger/ Ryan Reynolds-flavoured film-taste and more than me listing to Guns N Roses occasionally.
So, he came with me to see Female Transport, and we've booked a Trivium gig in London for February.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Trivium and metal music as a whole, its contains shouting which sometimes transcends into guttural roars, drums being beaten to within an inch of their life (think Rihanna) and lots of black leather and tattoos. One good thing about the genre though, is that the guitar parts are really quite good a lot of the time.
However, I am seriously scared that I will be punched in a mosh pit, and die. Or just be brutally injured, and have to spend the rest of my days on a life support machine. I don't know why I thought agreeing to this was a good idea... it may have been the Dominos pizza Dan bought me as he suggested it...damn Dominos pizza and its' persuasive aroma!
Anyway, back to Female Transport.
The set itself was incredible, with different levels and small spaces for the actors to hide in, which really emphasised the cramped life the female prisoners must have had as they made the journey to Australia- definitely very inspiring and made me want to design something like this even more before I graduate!
The whole thing was made infinitely better by sitting next to some of my lovely course chums (shout out to Brooke!) who definitely helped to take the mick out of Dan and his typical bloke-ish ways. Mwahaha!

Sidenote- why on earth do some guys think that its okay to use shower gel in place of shampoo?! Okay, if you have a buzzcut, it doesn't really make a difference... but where did boys get this false information from?!?

I was concerned that Dan wouldn't enjoy something like this play- it was hard-hitting and got really into each character's individual stories... a far cry from the local Pantomime most of us have as a light-hearted introduction to theatre as kids.
But he seemed to really love it, and I could honestly not be more thrilled.
So, my moral for this post is to just leap into something, like Dan did for me. You never know what you might find, and you should always try something once, right?!
...Except things like cocaine, and getting into the mafia. Stuff like that should definitely be avoided.
(I'm looking at you, people who say YOLO as an excuse for making bad life choices!)
Now I just have to take my own advice, don some heavy eye make-up and charge headfirst into that Trivium gig just like Miley Cyrus slammed into that wall of negative press.
Actually, bad example. I do not wish to be associated with foam fingers in that way.
See you tomorrow!

Monday, October 21, 2013

My Money-Saving Challenge!

Hello. toasters!
It's safe to say that my wallet is more than a little empty, what with student finance messing me around (I STILL don't have anything!) and me having to shell out for a new railcard and train tickets.
So, I have set my self the challenge of spending absolutely nothing for an entire week.
That's right... I will try my utmost to spend nothing at all, not on food, bus fares, or any cute vintage items that catch my eye on Ebay
(Yes, even if they are such a bargain)
I share my house with 5 other students and we split everything evenly, so of course bills and money for toilet roll etc. don't count for this challenge, so I definitely wont be the annoying 'can I owe it to you?' friend.
But aside from that, I will basically see what its like to run on empty for a week.
Hopefully I have enough pasta in the cupboard to last me...
I'll let you know how it goes!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Adjusting to life as a student

Hello, toasters!

I'm about a month deep into my second year of uni.
Especially since moving back into my family home for 4 months over summer, I have realised some of the things that make student life... well, studenty.

One thing you never have to think about when merrily living at home is doing the shopping.
I never realised how expensive cheese was!
And yes, you can get the £1 'cheese' from Iceland, but its so rubbery that if you drop it, it will bounce back up and punch you in the face.

Never before have I been quite so precious about nectar points.
So what if I only spent £1.27?
I need those points!
It's seriously becoming a problem- like as if I'm addicted to drugs.
The other day I spent £2.50 in Sainsbury's, walked halfway home before I realised I hadn't collected my points, and went back to get them!
What is my life turning into?!?!
And then, when you get home, you have to try and fit everything into your one little freezer drawer.
I can definitely say, that I have become a master of this.
It's like an expert game of Tetris in my freezer drawer.
Life Skill = Gained. Thanks, University.

Whilst I love my house, you do have to get used to some really odd combinations of mis-matched furniture.
In my living room for example, we have two sofas- one a forest green and one a brilliant red that makes your eyes hurt if you look at it in daylight.
I know that's not really a huge sticking point, but it does make you appreciate the purposefully styled rooms at your family home when you go back.

One thing I have learnt about myself is that I'm actually a pretty good cook!
(See a recent post here that has one of my recipes)
This came as a huge shock to everyone, as before my Dad used to joke that I could burn water.
But no, I actually buy fresh ingredients, combine them in interesting ways and I have never, ever eaten a pot noodle.
The worst thing that happened to me kitchen-wise was my very first attempt to cook when I first moved in as a fresher.
I was cooking a pizza (very simple, I know) and so I just put it in the oven and waited.
There were only two problems to this plan...
1. Our oven has no temperature markings. You turn the dial, but the markings have long since rubbed off. So, to start with, it was like a fun game. I think I must have turned it around to what I believe is about 300 degrees that night.
2. After I put the pizza into what must have been a furnace, I became distracted. I can't remember what I was distracted by, but as I am an art student, it was probably something like a butterfly or my own boobs.
So when I eventually remembered I was cooking something (probably about 40 minutes later) it came out looking pretty burnt.
And by pretty burnt, I mean 100x more burnt than the stereotypical English guy who falls asleep on holiday in Spain in the sun all day and has to go around looking like a tomato for 3 months after.
So if having a pizza that was blacker than a politicians heart wasn't bad enough, I only went and dropped it on the floor!
I think I may have cried at this point. Or again, became distracted by my own boobs.
I just know that I definitely missed the 3-second-rule time limit.
But still, I was just so hungry, I picked it up and ate the bits that were still recognisable as a pizza.
This, dear toasters, is a fact I am not proud of, so please don't judge me!

Doing the washing is also something that gets me.
Because my laundry basket is only being filled by me, it takes a long time to get full.
And even when it is full, you do the same thing you do with the bins and squash it all down so it will last a little longer.
So I'd say that wash day only comes up every 2 weeks.
But when it does come up, I do 5 washes (1 white, 2 colours, 2 black washes) in a row and EVERYTHING is hung out to dry in my room.
So for about 2 or 3 days, I cant move in my own room, it becomes a rainforest of clothing.
Sometimes, its kinda cool.
I can make a slightly-damp blanket fort out of the set of sheets I've washed and hide away from the outside world and the concept of 'doing work'.

I will leave you on this note- Internet shopping is your best friend and your worst enemy rolled into one!
Yes, you can get some amazing deals that make your life (and bank balance) so much better.
But, be warned.
The other day, I went through my Ebay purchase history and realised quite how much stuff I had bought.
And by stuff, I mean things that I love, but if I'm being very honest with myself, it could be classed as 'crap I don't need'.
For example, today my Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends DVD came in the post!
Now don't get me wrong- I loved this show!
But if I'm honest, the £3 I paid for this could have been spent on something a little more nessecary. Like stationary. Or a subway.

Oooooh, I want a subway now!

So my question to you all is this: What have you found to be the hardest thing about adjusting to student life? Let me know in the comments!
And don't forget to subscribe if you like my content, so you'll be notified when I post more :)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Why men have it easier than women every single day

Hello, toasters!
So yes, I am discussing a topic older than Bruce Forsyth himself, the age-old battle of the sexes.
Now, I may be a little biased in this argument, as I am, in fact, a girl.
Yes, I have boobs that jiggle and I can occasionally push small human beings out of a certain orifice. Not that that's happened to me in particular, but I do enjoy watching and laughing at the rednecks on 16 & Pregnant, so I know roughly how it works.
But I'm not going to write a classic 'we have to go through cramp and childbirth' post just to win by default.
Nope, I'm going to be talking about all those little things that happen every single day, that make a guys life so much easier than a girls.

First up- Guys don't have to shell out money for feminine hygiene products despite the hideous adverts that make you go into a cringe coma for three days solid.
We all know the ones I mean... I don't think I've ever seen one that makes me actually want to buy the product. And the worst thing is, I know that my purchase is going towards their profit, which will be spent on more horrific adverts.
No, please don't make a tampon fly through the sky, that doesn't actually prove anything.
And for crying out loud, don't give it a face and make it sing.
Now I'm not saying that they should change their tune completely and start making Sensodyne-esqe commercials. That would manage to be even worse.
My suggestion is to just stop the adverts completely.
We're going to buy the product anyway. We don't really have a choice.
So why do these companies need to spend loads on advertising where they turn a pad into a flower?

Secondly, men can fart in public and not have to automatically blame it on a squeaky chair.
Girls are just expected to be beautiful, mystical creatures all the time.
But come on, even a unicorn has to let one out at some point, right?
Now I don't know about you, but I didn't sign up for this debutante stuff. I don't particularly care which hand I hold my knife and fork in, or if my posture is bolt upright at all times.
Do you know how painful it is to hold in a fart?!
It kills!
But I'd definitely say I've mastered the art. I've been with Dan 8 months now and I've only ever let one out about 3 or 4 times. I'm pretty proud of that.
(Apparently you fart loads in your sleep, but I can't say about that)
When I was younger, I used to think that farting was brilliant. We'd used to have competitions and everything.
Where did that go? I miss sitting in a bath with your friend and making it a Jacuzzi.

Number three- men's clothing is far better suited to rolling-out-of-bed-and-heading-out days. Which I have often.
On the whole, I think women's clothing is far more interesting than mens.
Everything is less blocky, and more fluid.
But for dressing down, you cannot argue that guys have it easier.
Bra's are fiddly, tights have a tendency to shred to pieces as soon as you touch them, and don't even get me started on accessories.
They can just throw on some trousers, a top, and a hoodie, and it nearly always matches.
(There are exceptions, of course)
They also don't have to bother with hair and make up like we do... they're allowed to have a 'natural, rugged look'.
If I had a natural, rugged look, people would start offering me their change as I walked down the street.

Last, but not least- when it comes to romantic language, men are far easier to interpret.
I mean, come on, guys can do the extremely-old yet extremely-effective 'Gentleman' routine.
Namely- be polite, compliment us, and don't be a tool.
It really is that simple!
And this courtship technique has been around for years, meaning guys have had decades to get familiar with it.
With girls, we can't use the same flirting techniques our ancestors had.
Oh, excuse me whilst I drop my handkerchief daintily and cheekily flash my ankles.
We have to find new, innovative ways of communicating our interest, and most of them don't even work.
I mean, there's a reason why the stereotypical girl is hard to understand.
Maybe I need to stock up on handkerchiefs after all...

So those are some things that I believe make a guy's day a little easier than mine.
Of course, there is a flip side to this....
  • We're not expected to be good drivers- in fact, it's the opposite
  • We can chat to small children and be 'caring', where most guys in the same situation would look somewhat in need of psychoanalysing
  • We don't have to pay on the first date (it goes downhill from there though...)
  • We can follow fashion without having our motives questioned
  • On girls... bunny slippers are always appropriate

I know there's probably a huuuuuge amount of feminist writings on this subject, but I thought I'd offer up my own humble opinion.
See you soon,

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Boscombe Vintage Fair

Hello, toasters!
So yesterday, my housemates and I went to Boscombe Vintage Market!

My housemate looking around the Market...
Not sure that E.T. plushie is technically 'vintage'
but oh well...
It was actually recommended to us by our tutors, as for our homework task we needed to find vintage items from different decades- best homework ever, right?!

Despite the annoying bus schedule- there was only one every hour- we made it there in reasonable time and had a good look around.
It wasn't a massive market- probably about 20 stalls in all- but in true Vintage style, every surface was crammed with beautiful wares.
Now when going to a vintage fair, I feel the best way to approach it is similar to how the majority of us approach Primark- the trick is to sort through the crap.
Yes, that blotchy shirt may be from the 1970s, but there's a reason the guy is so desperately trying to sell it to you.
Just because it's old doesn't mean it's fantastic.
However, once you sort through the stuff that was definitely never in fashion, you get some pretty amazing finds.
For example, my housemate found an amazing dress that was an 80s reproduction of a 1950s evening dress- she has no idea where she'll actually be able to wear it, but it still doesn't detract from the fact that it's beautiful and only cost her £35!

My new baby! From now on, EVERYTHING will be
typed, even my shopping list for Lidl.
And I found a beautiful 1950s Princess 300 typewriter in fabulous condition! It came in its original case, which I can lock with a small key (to stop those oh-so-common typewriter thieves we hear about all the time) and it came with a typing course instruction manual which was published in 1963.
I had a quick look through the booklet when I got home, and as well as words that have fallen out of use- such as 'ist'- I found random derogatory racist terms scattered casually through the typing exercises... I just found it funny to imagine a man from 1963 tapping out the N word 10 times over to practice his typing and him not thinking anything of it! Definitely a sign of how the times have changed...
I need to buy some new ribbon, and oil the moving parts, but I am so happy with my find.
When I was little, I used to have a plastic toy typewriter, and I've wanted a proper one for years. I think the lady knew that it would be going to a good home, which also helped me get the price down from £45 to £35!
(The use of the 'I'm a poor student' plea worked wonders too)

The problem is, coming home from the vintage market, I now want to re-style my whole room to have a vintage feel.
The problem is, most of my room uses bright blues and reds, so it would take a little more than my student budget to cover it. (To the left is a scale model version of my student room to give you an idea of how it currently looks)
Also, I don't really dress in a vintage style, so I'd probably feel a little out of place.
So now my problem is this- how can I combine my existing room with new, inexpensive finds to give it an old-fashioned feel?!
I'll have to get back to you on that one...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Back to School... (and my new favourite easy-peasy recipe)

Hello, toasters!
This past week has been pretty intense, as I've moved back down to Bournemouth and had my first week of second year classes!
But although I'm a second year, I feel more lost than I ever did as a fresher because our classes have now moved to random rooms around the campus.
(I'm sure it's some kind of disorientation power play trick the teachers are using against us to stop us from getting too cocky)

These are the clothes I have bought with me
 for JUST the Winter Term...
One problem with moving back into a student house is the unpacking.
Now we all know how much I love to procrastinate, but I still have loads of  random stuff on the floor that needs to be tidied, and next to the ever-growing stack of pizza boxes, my room is starting to turn into a weird, studenty undergrowth.
Another problem with moving, is the fact I have to share a car with my mum for an extended amount of time.
Don't get me wrong- I love my mum to bits.
It's just always strange to be in what is essentially a travelling metal box for several hours together, especially when you need to choose music.
At home we're okay, because we both like the same local station, but when we get out of range, we're in trouble.
I prefer to put my iPod on, because then there's no adverts, but once we get through all of my Phil Collins stuff, that is when the true test begins.
The problem is not that my mum only likes pre-millennium music and thinks that new music isn't what it used to be.
Oh no, it's the opposite.
She seems to love Pink, Jessie J and other people like that.
The real issue is that I haven't been able to update my iPod in over 4 years.
So every time we go on an extended journey together, I spend the entire time trying to play songs that feel more up-to-date than they really are.
And I think she's starting to realise that songs like 'Meet Me Halfway' have long gone.

Another problem is deciding how to decorate the room!
Although I love my little house, the tidal wave of cream walls is really starting to get to me.
So this year, I thought I'd add a splash of colour with fabric hangings I've got from different countries... what do you guys think?
I'm planning on doing a whole Uni room decoration post soon, so keep a look out for it :)

The most stereotypical issue with student living (aside from arguments over the washing up) is cooking.
It really does get difficult to cook anything too complicated, as 1. you probably won't be able to afford too many ingredients and 2. you could be sharing the kitchen with up to 6 people at the same time!
But this week I got really lucky and had the kitchen to myself for a while, so I made homemade burgers with sweet potato wedges!
And it was really easy to make...
  1. Buy some fresh beef mince. (NOT the frozen pellets which look suspiciously like rabbit food)
  2. Finely chop an onion and a clove of garlic, and mix with the mince. Don't worry if there's loads of onions left over, you can fry them alongside the burger itself and have with the burger.
  3. Peel a sweet potato and chop it into 1cm thick circular pieces.
  4. Place them onto a baking tray, put a little oil on them and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Put into the oven at 200 C for 25 minutes or so.
  6. When the potatoes have about 8 or 10 minutes left, start frying the burger in a frying pan over high heat with a tiny bit of oil.
  7. Serve when everything looks about right (I'm not exactly a Michelin star cook, so I don't know a fancier way to put it)
Om nom nom.
And the best bit? Minimal washing up!

Talking about food, I'd better go and see what I can whip up tonight.
Although, if I'm honest, it looks like a night of re-heated pizza....


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Girlfriend/ Boyfriend Questions Tag Video

Hello, toasters!
So before I left for New York, Dan and I made a tag video!
It's been something I've wanted to do with him for a while now, and it was a lot of fun messing about and making this video.
I've literally had to cut out a solid 20 minutes of giggling and complaining about his awful handwriting, but here is the finished product....

Don't forget to like and subscribe, and maybe let me know how you'd answer any of the questions?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Top 10 things to do in New York

Hello, toasters!
I've just come back from a week-long break in New York with my Grandma, which was a huge life experience which I will never, ever forget.

Me and Mary at the top of the Empire State building

One thing that no one ever tells you is quite how big the big apple really is.
Everywhere you go, on every street corner, is something new and exciting that takes your breath away.
Except in Harlem.
In Harlem, every street corner holds a gang ready to take your money away.
(cue the torrent of abuse that will undoubtedly rain down on me for that statement)

Moving on...
Today I want to write about the Top 10 things to do in NYC
I mainly wanted to write this post because most of the articles I found online were either by companies trying to ultimately sell you their attraction, or just simple bullet point lists that didn't offer too much information.

So here is, in my opinion, the Top 10 things to do in New York City:

1. Walk around Central Park
Resting bang in the middle of Manhattan is Central Park. The really strange thing is how one minute you are standing beside skyscrapers in a bustling street, and the next you are in a tranquil, picture-perfect postcard. Personally, I usually avoid gardens and public parks, but I'd definitely recommend visiting this one- it's just so bizarrely peaceful. The most popular places there are in the southern half of the park (below the great reservoir) and I'd definitely advise you visit Belvedere Castle, the turtle pond, and the Mall- a walkway which you'll recognise from countless films. Unless you're a huge Beatles fan, I wouldn't go to the Strawberry Fields John Lennon memorial, because it really is just a simple mosaic on the floor, and the rest of the park has much more impressive sights.

2. Visit The MoMA
While I was in New York, I visited several galleries, including the Met and the Guggenheim. Whilst the Met was awesomely expansive (holding 2 million pieces) and the Guggenheim had some of the most astounding architecture (the building itself is a work of art and puts every piece it houses to shame), I found I enjoyed the MoMA best of all.
It was clearly being constantly updated to keep things fresh and interesting, and had 6 floors of galleries which covered everything from abstract installation work to Pop art.
One of the things I liked most was that I got to see some of the world's most famous paintings, including Monet's waterlilies, Salvador Dali's melting clock piece, Andy Warhol's Campbell's soup prints and Van Gogh's Starry Night. I always find seeing famous artwork in the flesh completely changes your preconception of it, so it really is worth a visit, especially for those with an existing interest in modern art.

3. John's Pizzeria
Found on 260 West 44th Street is America's largest (and possibly tastiest!) pizzeria. It's in what used to be a church, but has now been altered to fit 500 guests for dinner. You may have to wait about 20 minutes at the bar for a table, but its well worth it. While you wait, you can see the two old-fashioned brick ovens that cook the pizzas, and the chefs spinning the dough and adding the fresh ingredients to your liking. The pizzas taste indescribably good, and its pretty easy on the wallet too. Including tip, a large pizza and 3 or 4 drinks cost about $25-30.

4. Broadway Theatre
Whilst in NYC, you must do at least one Broadway show. It's popular for a reason, right? Right!
For many of the big shows you can pay up to $150 for a good seat, but there are half-price ticket booths and off-Broadway shows that cost less.
While we were there, we saw Pippin and Kinky Boots. Kinky Boots was really good, with witty music written by Cyndi Lauper, but Pippin was by far my favourite, and is now one of my favourite shows I have ever seen. As a costume design student, I've seen quite a lot of shows, so that's saying quite a bit!
Imagine the best acrobatics you've seen, and some of the best acting performances, and throw in some really catchy original songs and funny moments that has the audience in stitches for a good few minutes,  and you've got Pippin.
I was unsure before I saw it, as I hadn't heard too much about it, but now I just cant wait to see if they bring it to the UK.
My main piece of advice for deciding what show to see, is to not see something that's available in your own country. Why see America's version of Mamma Mia! when its available in London?

5. Going up Skyscrapers
I was lucky enough to go up to the top observation decks of two different buildings, as we had the New York Pass. I'd definitely recommend it, because it grants you free admission to many landmarks, galleries and boat tours. In fact, a lot of what we did in New York was due to the New York Pass.
We decided to go the Empire State building on our 2nd day, and we went quite early to avoid large amounts of people. There's a saying at the Empire State building- 'go early, go late, or be prepared to wait'- and it's definitely worth getting up a little earlier, because as well as missing queues, it means that less people are up on the observation deck, crowding your view.
We also went to the Top of the Rock (the Rockerfeller Centre) at night, to see the city in a completely different light, literally.
The last elevator up was at 11pm, and even the lift up was amazing as the elevator had a glass roof, so you could see the floors you were hurtling past.
I'd say it was really good going at two completely different times of day, as NYC seems to change completely between night and day.

6. Discovery Times Square
This is something a little different from the others- its an exhibition space which features many different types of shows. We had a choice between Body Worlds- an exhibition showcasing donated bodies that had been preserved via plastination, or The Art of the Brick. We chose the latter, as we had just eaten and didn't particularly feel like staring at fleshless bodies.
The Art of the Brick was an interesting and innovative exhibition featuring the works of Nathan Sawaya. Absolutely everything was made from Lego bricks, and it was fascinating to see how a simple child's toy could become such a complex work of art.

7. Sightseeing Cruise
We chose the NY Water Taxi as we could hop-on and hop-off all day, but there are loads to choose from. Most of the tours are about 90 minutes long and have a tour guide to tell you all about the city and it's surrounding Boroughs. It's fantastic to see Manhattan from the water, as you get to view many uninterrupted angles of the epic skyline. Most cruises also sail past the Statue of Liberty, and gives you the perfect photo opportunity. Did you know that the Statue of Liberty was a gift from France, and arrived in thousands of pieces? This was incredibly problematic, as the U.S. didn't have enough money to put it together, and almost had to send it back. However, fundraising took off due to a local newspaper printing the names of every donor on their front page, and it raised $102,000 so the project could go forward.

8. The 9/11 Reflecting Pools Memorial
It really goes without saying that this memorial is something you cannot miss. What struck me was the sheer vastness of the waterfalls, and it really showed you how big the towers must have been. Even just walking around each of the pools took a good 5 minutes.
Another thing you notice straight away is the care and dedication that has been put into making the memorial utterly beautiful and thoughtful,  saving it from being just another tacky tourist destination.

9. Dylan's Candy Bar
A complete haven for everyone with a sweet tooth, Dylan's candy bar offers three floors of mouth-watering goodies. From freshly made fudge, to bacon flavoured chocolate, to giant gummy bears, this shop really is the motherlode of candy stores. Upstairs is an ice cream bar, but most interestingly, an actual bar, serving alcoholic drinks with a sugary twist. I was gutted that I couldn't try any of them (the drinking age in America is 21) but I have been told that they are amazing.
Another great thing about Dylan's, is that their prices are really quite reasonable. And in New York, everything seems to be really expensive (thanks very much, Mr. exchange rate). So it makes this shop a great place to pick up some quirky and delicious gifts to take home that wont break the bank!

10. Stand in Times Square for 15 minutes
They say that if you stand in Times Square for 15 minutes, you'll see someone you know. Or at least, a doppelganger of someone you know. But the reason that this is on my list is because, despite all of the art galleries and amazing restaurants, what makes New York so special is the street life. Everyone is so friendly, and interesting, and bizarre, and the more you stop and just look around, the more you understand why so many songs have been written about the city. In Times Square, the hundreds of screens are completely mesmerising, set against the dizzying heights of the buildings behind them.
So my final thing I advise you to do in New York, is to open your eyes.
Take a look around, explore!
It's a beautifully busy melting pot of cultures and colours, and it needs time to be appreciated.

So there it is, my list of the Top 10 things to do in New York!
I hope you've found it useful and interesting, and if you have anything to add, please let me know!
See you soon,

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

See you next week!

Hello, toasters!
By this time tomorrow, I'll be in New York City!
I'm going for a week with my Grandma, and we intend to see all the sights and a lot of Broadway, and hopefully not get mugged in Brooklyn...
So my next post will be just after the 19th, just thought I'd let you know in case you get worried about my sudden silence!
See you on the other side!