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 Pok√©mon. 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!