Getting ready for Halloween - My Costume

I absolutely love Halloween. I haven't been able to celebrate it properly for a while, purely because I have a load of other things happening at the same time, mainly because it's my birthday the day before! This year, I'm going to be celebrating my birthday at the Musical Bingo Halloween Party and as there are prizes for the best costumes, I really should make an effort.

I have decided as I'm going to go as the corpse of a girl and it takes more than just makeup to really make an impact so I've gone through the effort of making my own costume and here's an how to on making your own, you know, in case you're stuck for ideas!

Obviously, for something like this, you're not going to want to ruin any of your clothes, unless you have something absolutely perfect! I went to my local charity shop and bought myself a white dress for a grand total of £3.75! When the lovely lady at the till was complimenting my dress and saying how pretty it was, I didn't have the heart to tell her that it would be a completely different story a few hours later!


To do this you need some pretty basic things. I started off with a bowl of tea and the tea bags, some fake blood and a sponge. You'll also need a hair dryer at some point!

First of all, put the dress on and mark where you think it should be ripped. For the rest, make sure you lay it on a towel because you're going to make one hell of a mess!





Where you've made your marks, cut slightly then tear along the lines. You don't want it to look perfect so tearing will be as messy as possible.


Bit blurry as this was in motion!

Your next step is to use your tea. we have all used this technique at school to make things like parchment so it's perfect for making your dress look as destroyed as possible. Along your tears, apply the tea bags for a little longer to make them look darker.



Ta-da!


As I was going along, I thought that there was so much more I could do. After all, I wanted to make it look like I had been dead for a while and just crawled out of my own grave. In the end I grabbed some coffee and rubbed it into the fabric, as I used powder (fancy coffee) rather than granules it made the dress not only look a bit muddier but also mouldy where the granules had all stuck together into the fabric. Awesome.




Before you do any more, give the dress a quick blast with a hair dryer so you can see if the dress is going to be the colour you want. This way if you want to make it a bit darker you can do so quickly rather than having to wait for ages.


The next step is the most fun part. Take your fake blood and out it wherever you want. I focused around the edges of my tears and in random splatters using my finger tips. I made such a mess.



Another quick blast with the hair dryer and you're all done!! the blood won't dry completely so you'll have to leave it over night just in case. 





What do you think? Have you started on your costume yet?


What I Wore: Trying this whole Autumn thing

As you may have noticed, it's getting colder. It's not very nice but I'm still not ready to stop wearing dresses on a daily basis. However there's only so much tights can do to keep you warm and surely everyone wants to be able to still look good while keeping the cold at bay.

I've seen this look a couple of times on Pinterest and YouTube videos but never thought of giving it a go myself until someone at work said I could probably pull it off. Why not give it a try then?

Dress: New Look (can't really see it)
Scarf: H&M
Cardigan: River Island
Belt: New Look
Shoes: Office
Hat: Urban Outfitters

It's the simplest thing in the world and I do love a good scarf so there are lots of different combinations I could go for. This time it was emerald green with vertigo shoes! I love it and will be definitely doing it again, especially since it helps keep me warm in an office that's pretty much the arctic!

Have you tried this look or would you give it a go?

Nailing it: Halloween nails #2 - dripping blood

Something a little gorier this time! I have tried something similar before but this time it's in reverse and looks so cool.



Unlike previous tutorials I have done, this requires hardly any tools. All you need is a base coat and red polish plus a dotting tool and a brush. If you don't have either of these, you can do the blood detailing with a toothpick.



1. Base coat

As there's going to be hardly any colour here, you need to make sure you have a nice base to paint on and also a nice finish to your nails so do not skimp on the base coat. I used two coats of the Barry M Top and Base coat for an extra shiny look.

2. Start with the tips

One of the joys of this design is that it doesn't have to be tidy. This is idea for me because I used to bite my nails as a child and now they're far from straight!



Either use your art brush or the bottle lid-brush-thing to paint around your nails, similarly to a french tip. I used the brush because I found the tip easier to apply as my nails are tiny.

3. Drip, drip, drop

Use your dotting tool and red polish to create the 'droplet of blood'. I used the biggest one I had and made three dots on each nail but it's entirely up to you how far you want to go with this.



4. The last touch

Finally, use your brush/tooth pick to join the 'droplets' to the tip of your nails. This doesn't have to be neat either, the wobblier the better. 




And you're all done! Other than that pesky top coat that everyone seems to forget about...



Have you tried any Halloween nail art yet?

The Book Blogger Tag

I saw this come up earlier in the week on Water Painted Dreams and thought I should give it a go myself! Even though I don't solely blog about books, I read a hell of a lot and books have featured in previous posts as I love to chat about what I have been reading and finding new books to read which is always a pleasure.

So here we go, answering all the questions!

Which book did you recently not finish?


I hate not finishing a book! I always force myself to the end if I can no matter how much I hate it. I think the last book I didn't finish was The Passage, purely because I had borrowed it off my cousin and never got around to buying a copy for myself.

Which book is your guilty pleasure?


I love young adult books and am not ashamed to say that I will happily read The Hunger Games trilogy over and over again!

Which book do you love to hate?


This is a tough one because I either love a book and will happily read it again or I'll never want to see the thing again... 

I'm sorry, I can't answer this question.

Which book would you throw into the sea?


Gone Girl. In a heartbeat. I'd probably set it on fire first. My hatred for the thing isn't exactly a secret!

Which book have you read the most?


Hmmm. It'll probably be the Harry Potter series, Little Women, The Chronicles of Narnia or To Kill a Mockingbird.  Bit of a collection, I know but I make sure I read these every year and my life wouldn't be complete without them. You'll definitely need to throw Wuthering Heights in there too!

Which book would you hate to recieve as a present?


I absolutely hate chick lit, you know the kind of thing chocaholic meets the boy, loses the boy then gets the boy again while breaking her Jimmy Choo shoes, that nonsense (yes, I totally made up this title). I'm not enthralled by these desperate tales that women feel they HAVE to read purely because they're a woman. I want something that grips me from page to page and doesn't make my soul die a little with every chapter.

Which book could you not live without?


Probably Little Women, I've read it too many times since a child and had to get it on my Kindle because after so many rereads and being partially eaten by my dog Jet, it fell apart last year and I didn't have the heart to buy a new physical copy because that one was so cherished.


Which book made you the angriest?


Already mentioned (again) but it's definitely Gone Girl. I hated the characters, felt no sympathy towards them, hated the ending, hated the way it was written... generally hated it. I felt like I had wasted a part of my life just by forcing myself to finish it in the hope it would get better. It didn't.


Which book made you cry the most?


Yet another difficult one. Possibly War Horse or The Shock of the Fall. Both books made me burst into tears on the tube on my way to work, to the point where I was sobbing uncontrollably and didn't care who saw me. I had just been on an emotional journey god damn it!


What book cover do you hate the most?


Book covers aren't usually a problem for me although, saying that, something extemely pretty will capture my attention. The only thing I can think of is I'm not a fan of the American covers for the Harry Potter series. They just seem wrong to me.

That's it!! I nominate Charlie from Shopped and Dropped :-)

Want to keep up with what I'm reading? You can follow me on Goodreads.

Nailing it: Halloween Nails #1 - Jack and Sally

It's approaching Halloween (and therefore my birthday!) and I couldn't be more excited. It's been forever and a day since I did a nail art tutorial... in fact it's been forever since I have done ANY nail art! To show off how much I love Halloween and how excited I am about it I've decided to do a couple of nail tutorials to show you how easy it can be.

Last night I experimented a little bit with patchwork and pinstripes, inspired by Jack and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas and it was so easy I might do patchwork nails again.

Apologies but I was in my pyjamas when I did this. Please don't judge my bright yellow Spongebob dressing gown!

For this you need black white, blue, yellow and pink nail polishes. I striping brush, a small brush and a large dotting tool. Plus top coat if you want it to last! I find myself in the awful predicament of needing to replace a lot of my nail polishes so I used a variety of brands, however the Models Own ones provided much better coverage.

Excuse the mobile photo... it was late when I did this.


 1. All the colours!

Obviously you need to start with your base. Decide which nails you want to be pinstripe and which you want to be patchwork. Paint the pinstriped nails white and the patchwork should be half pink, half yellow.



Leave this to dry for about 5 minutes then apply the blue at the tip slightly diagonally.



2. Stripes!!

Stripes an be a right pain, especially if you don't have a steady hand, I know I don't. Use your striping brush and apply the stripes in one go. I noticed that if you hold your breath, the stripes come out a little steadier.


3. The detail

Use your tiny, brush and black nail polish to line along the edges of the colour for your patchwork with two small lines half way between each to look like stitches,



4. Jack!

Obviously you don't need to do this part but I had Jack nails last year and loved them so I thought I'd do them again. Yours will probably turn out better than mine though as it just didn't seem to want to work this year!

Use your dotting tool and black polish for his eyes and use the tiny, tiny brush to add the extra features. It's nice and easy but I failed at it this year!

All finished!!


There you go, all finished! Keep an eye out for my next Halloween nail tutorial over the next couple of days.

Did you have a go? How did it look?


A celebration of Oscar Wilde

Every one has heard of Oscar Wilde, he has become a synonymous part of British Literature but as with some of the greats, he does go unappreciated. He will never be taught in schools (well, I don't know of him ever being so) and many people only know him because of his life choices and the controversy over his sexuality.



I have been brought up with Oscar Wilde and still have the massive, large print, hardback copy of his short stories that I was bought as a child. I have numerous copies of The Picture of Dorian Gray because a couple are falling apart and I refuse to throw them away. I have taken many of his quotes as a mantra throughout my life and that's a true testament to his brilliance, how he can affect someones life even over 100 years since his death.

I was going to share my top ten quotes with you but I got a little excited. So here's my top 13 in no particular order:

Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary

You don't love someone because of their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car but because they sing a song only you can hear

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance

Be yourself, everyone else is already taken

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all

One can never be overdressed or overeducated

Life is far too important a thing to talk seriously about

The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars

The truth is rarely pure and never simple

If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all

Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way in moonlight. and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world

With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?


Obviously there are many more but I did have to stop somewhere.

Along with The Chronicles of Narnia, Oscar Wilde's collection of short stories has stayed with me since childhood and one of the first things I remember loving, so much so I had my favourite one, The Nightingale and the Rose inked on me for life a couple of years ago. Not just because it's a pretty image but because it's a constant reminder of the beauty and tragedy of love and the trials we go through. Just by looking at it, you can tell it was worth the seven hours of pain!



Oscar Wilde's genius has spanned beyond the written word with his own play The Importance of Being Earnest still being performed world wide, numerous film adaptations of The Picture of Dorian Gray, his own biopic where he was played by Stephen Fry and this short featured in one of my favourite films, Paris Je t'aime, directed by the one and only Wes Craven



I'm pretty sure that y love for Oscar Wilde will never die and I'm just waiting for the day where I can go to Paris and kiss his tomb stone in the most fantastic shade of red lipstick.

Thank you Oscar.

Wednesday Wishlist: Time to wrap up!

That's it, summer's gone. The nights days are getting colder, nights are appearing before we even know it and the ground's covered with fallen leaves. That's my favourite part!

It's been a while since I have done one of these but every year, I refuse to admit that summer's gone and still insist on wearing skirts and dresses. I have somehow got it into my head that if I wear tights with a mini skirt, I'll still be warm. It's totally not the case. I'm always freezing.

As it would appear I have learned my lesson after all these years, it's probably about time I updated my winter wardrobe. Obviously I mean start a winter wardrobe...

Boots

First on the list is a nice pair of boots. I always seem to buy a cheap pair that never last me more than a year. It's about time I forked out and invested in a nice pair that will last.

I love melissa shoes, I have several pairs and my favourite pair of brogues lasted 5 years before they gave up on life so I really wouldn't mind spending more than £100 for these. The only problem is, I can't choose between the plum or black ones!

Melissa Soldier Boots - £130

I don't know which I prefer!!

Jumpers

I don't have enough jumpers and now I don't live with Charlie anymore, I can't borrow any at the last minute! There have been loads of jumpers I have spotted recently while window shopping and I'm currently in love with the new Lu Lu Guinness range at Uniqlo. I saw Charlie wearing this one the other day but my favourite out of the collection is this.

Lu Lu Guinness for Uniqlo - £19.90

It's also available in black with red lips but I think this colour scheme is more me and I have a lot of outfits it would go wonderfully with. Plus at £19.99 it's totally affordable.


Ted Baker Wispy Meadow jumper - £119

A little further up the price scale is this from Ted Baker. I have the t-shirt version that I ended up getting really cheap in House of Fraser and I wish I could wear it everyday but as it's getting older I wish I had this. The pattern's amazing and I've been admiring it in the shops for a while and it's so soft!

Blazers and Jackets

My office is always cold because people still insist on putting the air on on (IT'S OCTOBER PEOPLE!) so I'm looking for blazers that I can wear to stay warm and still look smart. I bought a blazer several years ago from Topshop and foolishly put it in the washing machine so I'm really need a new one.

There are two so far that I really like, again at different ends of my budget! First is this one from Topshop. It's simple and sleek and, as an additional bonus for me, it comes in tiny people sizes thanks to their wonderful petite section.

Georgina Blazer £49


This one from Ted Baker I probably couldn't afford but I can dream. I love emerald shades but am always convinced I'm too pale for them but this is something I couldn't say no to. Here's hoping it goes into some variety of sale!

Ted Baker Nariana Blazer - £249



Yet another coat...

I have no idea how many coats I have now but I jut cant stop buying them! I'm always cold and seem to buy a new coat every year. It's a bit of a problem. I normally go for the 'little red riding hood' look so it's about time I went for something different.

This one from Joy is a little different and I love the contrast with the pattern and fabrics. Plus it looks so warm and comfy.

Miss Real Contrast Sleeve Coat - £75


What's on your wish list for A/W 2014?

Dates with Charlie: I got to see KYLIE!

Oh yes, I know you're all seething with jealousy... I know I would be. Oh wait, I WAS THERE.

It's not every day you get a phone call saying someone has got their hands on last minute tickets to Kylie for that night. I got so excited I did a little squeal at the office and had to remember I was at work and people probably didn't appreciate it.

Not only did I get a ticket, I got a VIP ticket. I've been to the O2 many times for gigs and I'm always either squished right at the barrier or right in the heavens looking down and convinced I'm going to fall. This time we got a booth! There were only four rows of seats in our booth so we could always see, the seats were so much more comfortable than usual and there was a bar directly behind us just for us. A barman could even take orders at our seats which makes a nice change to having to force your way through a crowd just to get to the bar and by the time you get back you've missed three songs!

The view from our box, look at that crowd!
This show was the first pop gig I had been to since Take That reformed in 2006 and before that I went to Steps when I was very very tiny (7?) so I had no idea what to expect. It was pretty much as spectacular as you'd expect and slightly erotic in parts. Kylie clearly knows how to play for her demographic!

Throughout the show there was a massive screen behind the stage that was pretty much Kylie's face and body parts throughout and occasional shots of dancers with sexual paraphernalia around their necks. The dancers flitted between wearing latex body suits (slightly gimpy) or next to nothing!

Then there was Kylie herself, at the start of the show she appeared through the floor on a giant set of red lips, performed dance routines and went through an impressive eight costume changes throughout the two hours she performed to her screaming fans. She was absolutely perfect and I now wish I was her and Charlie has decided if she could be anything in life she would definitely be a gay icon.

AND IT BEGINS!



The only down side for me was that the performance was pretty much a light show and I'm epileptic. I'm proud of the fact that I've been able to survive many Nine Inch Nails gigs since my diagnosis just over two years ago (I think...) but this made Nine Inch Nails light shows look tame and they are already pretty mental. As a preventive measure against any brain farts Charlie gave me her Miu Miu sunglasses to wear for the rest of the show. I was that idiot wearing sunglasses indoors but it was worth it a I got through the show seizure free. I did have a massive headache for the whole of the next day though...


Preventing seizures in some amazing glasses!
Seeing Kylie in concert is definitely a massive tick off my list and cosidering VIP tickets were only £56 through yplan I'll be keeping an eye out for Beyonce tickets next time especially since I have spent around the same price for standing tickets before!

Did you get to see Kylie too? What's your next concert?
(all photos are courtesy of Charlie)

Geeking out in Primark

I completely lost it when my friend sent me a Snapchat of the coolest collection of pyjamas I have ever seen. My automatic reaction was to get my arse over to the Tottenham Court Road branch (Marble Arch is hell on Earth) and spend ALL the money. Slight exaggeration but may as well be true.

One of my favourite things in the whole world is Harry Potter. I'm completely obsessed and am working hard to get my boyfriend into the same boat - it's not really happening right now...

Obviously, I only went in with the intention of buying a single pair of pyjamas but when I saw all the geeky things. It really didn't happen.Their current range includes but is not limited to Harry Potter t-shirts and jumpers (BY HOUSE!!!), Game of Thrones t-shirts and even Hunger Games stuff. I was seriously in my element.

Annoyingly, being the tiny person I am and knowing there are seemingly endless Harry Potter fans out there, they didn't have my size in the pyjama top in stock no matter how much I hunted with the last remaining size 6 trousers clutched tightly to my chest.

Luckily, I remembered seeing Hogwarts t-shirts on the ground floor so I ran as fast as my little legs could carry me. Success!

Totally ended up watching Harry Potter in my Harry Potter pyjamas...
 It didn't stop there though, I insisted on going back upstairs just to have 'another look' and all of a sudden these bad boys jumped into my basket... I mean, who could resist minion pyjamas?? Obviously, these are not the exact matching pair but I decided to mix and match because I couldn't choose between the two!

Banana...
I ended up forcing myself away because it was just getting silly when I also ended up picking up Bugs Bunny slippers but that didn't stop me from going back a couple of days later and coming home with this because they actually had it in my size. I insist on wearing it to the office all the time. It's totally office wear.



Well done Primark, you have made me one very happy geek.


Off to the Theatre: Seeing Les Mis at Last!

I have been wanting to see Les Mis for so long but because of various reasons (including falling out with my music teacher at school) I haven't been able to go. Until last week the closest I've been to appreciating its joy is the soundtrack, playing the music in orchestras and, of course, the movie.

My boyfriend and I have been together for a year now. I'm not one to do anniversaries or anything, I'm pretty laid back about the whole thing, but he really does so on Wednesday morning I got woken up and told that I had a ticket to see it that evening. It was all very exciting.

We started off our celebrations at Wahaca. It's not the fanciest place in the world but I love all the food and their passionfruit margarita is to die for!

Excited face #1

All day I couldn't stop thinking or talking about it and when we arrived my excitment exploded ten fold. As I'm sure you understand.



It turns out Gary hadn't just got me tickets to see Les Mis, he'd got me tickets in the second row! We treated ourself to the typically expensive beers and took our seats, just waiting for that curtain to rise.

Excited face #2


Isn't this theatre absolutely beautiful?

When the curtain opened I could barely contain my excitement, I know all the words (obviously) and what quietly singing along, hopefully I didn't bother the person sitting next to me too much! The cast was absolutely incredible. Javert is my favourite character because he is such a badass and 'Stars' is possibly by favourite song in the whole thing. Michael Gant who was Javert that night played the role spectacularly.

As some of you may guess if you've only seen the film, Les Mis is emotionally draining. I can't remember what point I started crying but after 'A Little Fall of Rain' I lost all ability to be emotionally stable and had my face buried into Gary's shoulder for a while sobbing like someone with an actual broken heart. I was even listening to it in the shower this morning and had a mini breakdown!

I cried so much, just look at the state of my face... yuck

I was so exhausted after all the crying I ended up having a little nap on the tube home. A little bit tragic.

Once home, Gary was lovely (as always) and decided the best way to make me feel better was with a cup of Assam tea in my new 'One Day More' mug that's about the size of my face and I couldn't have been happier.


Thank you Gary.

What's your favourite West End show?