Thursday, May 30, 2013

"This one isn't just any old horse"...

Last Friday, Ben and I headed up to London to watch War Horse. We were given tickets by Ben's parents as Christmas presents, and I've been waiting in anticipation for the last five months for the day to arrive! Having seen the film, I had some idea of the storyline/what to expect but, all I really had to go on were people's rave reviews.

Image from
The first brilliant thing about the production is (probably quite obviously) the horses. As you may know/can guess, there are no real horses in the show, however, the puppets that are used are incredible. Manned by three actors/puppeteers, the plywood/foam rubber horses are spectacular. The skill the 3 actors have at making the horses twitch, breath and become real is unimaginable; they even provide the noises for the animals. I was skeptical as to how good a puppet could be, but wow, I was wrong! Throughout the performance all I saw was the horse, the actors proficiency at controlling the puppet made them fade into the background and truly brought Joey to life. 

Image from
I particularly enjoyed the interactive feel to the show. The cast regularly made use of a gang way between isles D and E, bringing the action right into the audience. The singer-come-narrator's country-toned melodic voice rang out, setting the scene as he meandered around the theatre throughout the performance. 

Sion Daniel Young's portrayal of Albert Narracott was particularly strong. I was touched by the relationship he created with the puppet horse Joey, and felt his despair at being parted from his beloved animal; the acting in general was on top form. I enjoyed some of the dialogue being in French and German. Although I wasn't 100% sure on what was being said, it truly immersed the story in it's war time setting. 

As is my general opinion, live performances are always so much better than film versions and, War Horse is no exception - I now can't wait to read the book. If you get the chance to head to Drury Lane, be sure to stop off and pay Joey and Albert a visit! 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Surprise, Surprise...

Being the amazing boyfriend that he is, Ben arranged a surprise trip to Barcelona last week as a little treat for completing my degree ♥. I cannot believe that he arranged it all and managed to keep it a surprise, he's normally really bad at keeping secrets! I've wanted to visit Barcelona for a little while now as I've heard that it's such a beautiful city. Having now been there, I can safely say that the city does not disappoint!! We were there for three days, arriving on the Monday morning and flying home Wednesday night. It was the perfect length for a city break as it gave us enough time to explore what we wanted but also the opportunity to go back in the future and still have more to see. 

Parc de Ciutadella
 On Monday, we spent the afternoon wandering around the city getting our bearings as well as taking in the beautiful sights. The city is famous for all it's Gaudi architecture  but the place in general is so picturesque. We spent the evening on the top floor of the hotel in their restaurant admiring the amazing panoramic views. 
At the bottom of the MNAC Museum
On the second day we decided to visit the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, the olympic stadium and botanical gardens as they were a short metro ride form our hotel. The whole morning was filled with lots of walking, stunning scenery and breathtaking views. The city is incredible and has a very relaxed feel to it - it was nice just to meander along and take in the Spanish culture. We also got the cable car up to the castle in Montjuic before spending some much needed time in the hotel spa.
You can't go to Spain and not have tapas!
On the final day we decided to hire bikes and visit the remaining touristy places we wanted to see before having to head back to the airport. I'd definitely recommend cycling around the city, it only cost us 10 euros each to hire a bike for the whole day and the city is very cycle friendly. There are plenty of cycle lanes and the man in the bike hire shop drew the best routes for us to take onto a map. We cycled for about an hour to get to Parc Guell, a beautiful park designed by Gaudi. I wouldn't say I'm particularly interested in architecture but there is just something about Gaudi's work that draws me in. The somewhat unusual shapes, the colours and the intricate details are just incredible!

Some of Gaudi's work in Parc Guell
We then cycled off to see the famous Sagrada Familia. Wow, what a building! It's incredible to think that construction started in the 1800s and it is still years away from completion. The sheer size of the church is unbelievable and adds to how impressive the architecture is!

Outside the Sagrada Familia with my hired bike
Overall, the city is one of the best places I have been fortunate enough to visit. The general chilled feel of the place was the perfect antidote to all the stress I've been feeling over the last few months. I'd definitely recommend visiting Barcelona, it's the perfect mixture of culture and sun.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

The End...

The day has finally arrived. Today I packed my bags and left uni. It's safe to say that I've had a  mixed relationship with the whole uni experience but there is no denying that it's been life altering. 
1st year looking ultra cool in halls
In the last few days I've been in quite a reflective mood, I guess there's nothing like leaving something forever to make you reminisce! As much as I'm happy about leaving the dirtiness of student living behind, I will miss the last three years. I got to do something I love everyday of the semester, I met new people who I wouldn't otherwise have become friends with, I left the comfort of home and started to discover who I truly was. There's so much that uni has taught me and I'll forever be grateful for the experiences I have gained because of it. 

C1's last ever technique class :(
To celebrate the end of our three years at Chichester and for my housemate Danni's 21st we all headed to the SU for one last time. The annual Beach Party was the perfect way to end my years at uni. I got to spend it with my housemates and those that have made up my time at Chi. It still hasn't really sunk in that I'm not going back. 

Channeling 'Festival Chic' at the Beach Party
People say that uni will be the best years of your life, I'm still not sure if that is the case for me. Now that it's over I am appreciating the experience more but homesickness will always cloud my memories (not necessarily in a bad way though!). I think the best way to approach uni is to not try and apply other people's ideas and experiences of what it is to your own. At the end of the day uni is a personal experience for everyone and it's ok to love it but it's also ok to hate it at times.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Summer Ball...

On Friday it was my last ever uni Summer Ball :( 
Like last year, I raided my sister's wardrobe and decided on her gorgeous TFNC purple dress from House of Fraser. I love the beaded detailing around the waist, it makes me feel utlra girly! As it's on the short side and the night was going to involve fun fair rides, I decided to pop on my black dance shorts just to be on the safe side! I teemed the dress with my favourite New Look black chunky heels and my Republic purple clutch.

Recently I've been loving flowers on my nails so decided to keep this theme going for Summer Ball. I decided that I wanted one accent nail so opted for my ring finger. I  used Barry M Berry Ice Cream for the base then topped it with a thin layer of Barry M Silver Glitter. Once that was dry, I used a pencil to dot on the five petals again using trusty Barry M in the colour Raspberry. To finish it off, I dotted Natural Collection's Nail Tip Whitener in the middle. For my other nails, I decided to use the Natural Collection white as I've never really tried an all white nail before and wanted to give it a go! I quite like the way these have turned out, there's something about a white nail that seems to draw my eye. 
Even though the weather wasn't exactly summery, it was still a brilliant night! It was bittersweet though as whilst I was having fun, I was constantly remembering it was one of the last uni events I'll be attending :( In less than a week I'll officially have finished university for ever - that is one scary thought!! But, there's still plenty to do in the final week, a course leavers meal, a house leavers meal/drinks and of course the legendary end of year Beach Party :)
Me and my beautiful housemates ♥


Thursday, May 09, 2013

Taming the Mane...

Over the years it's safe to say I've struggled with my hair. If left to its own devices, it generally turns into something that can only be described as a massive frizz ball! Even after blow-drying it "straight", my hair still resembles something from the eighties. Now after umpteen years of battling the mane, I've finally found products that work with my hair. I'm not very loyal when it comes to shampoo/conditioner, I like to change brands regularly. But post-hair wash, I've settled into a routine with products that I absolutely love!

1. John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Spray
When I was little, I used to have white blonde hair but, as I've grown older it seems to have gotten darker and darker. Sometime last year, I got fed up of the colour my hair had become and wanted to go back to my roots (no pun intended!). I didn't really want to star dyeing my hair all the time or pay for highlights so I opted for this quick and easy solution. I love using this spray as it truly does lightening my hair but in a way that looks natural. As it's a spray, I can control the amount of product that goes onto my hair and where abouts I want to put it however, I don't use it after every hair wash as it does contain a bleaching agent. On the packaging it says this product will permanently lighten the colour of your hair but I've found that if I stop using it for a few weeks, my hair starts to go back to its original duller shade.  Overall, for £6.99 I think this is an absolutely brilliant product for any blonde who wants to keep their golden locks golden. 

2. John Frieda Frizz-Ease 3 Day Straight Spray
This little beauty has been somewhat of a life saver for me. My hair is a mixture of frizz and curls so I'm always having to straighten it with my trusty GHDs. In the past, my hair would often need to be straightened everyday as sleeping on it/putting it in a ponytail or bun would cause it to kink. Then I found this miracle spray! The wonders at John Frieda have made my life so much easier as simply spritzing my hair with this product keeps it straight for so much longer than before. Even after simply blow drying my hair I notice that it's tamer and less frizzy. I don't know what is in the formula that makes it work so well but, I couldn't live without this spray! Again at £6.99 it's a steal, especially when Boots do their 2 for £8 - it makes this spray and the Sheer Blonde one £4 each!!

3. TRESemmé Heat Defence Spray
I use heat on my hair 95% of the time I wash it so, I need to use a heat spray to try and protect it. I don't really have a particular reason for picking TRESemmé other than my Mum bought it for me once and I've just stuck with it. I like it as it's a light spray so doesn't weigh my hair down and it also smells pretty good! It protects hair against up to 230 degrees as well as helping to prevent damage, control frizz and seal in shine. I think the £5 price tag is pretty good considering the protection it gives your hair and 300ml should last quite a while.

4. Aussie Luscious Long Leave-In Conditioner
This is a new product that I've started to love. I've used Aussie shampoo and conditioner in the past and always loved how soft they've left my hair as well as their gorgeous smells. I decided to try this product out as my hair can become quite dry from all the styling tools I use. If anything, it was the eucalyptus and avocado oil that drew me to this conditioner, it smells amazing! Overall I'm pretty pleased with this product, it leaves my hair feeling so soft and healthy. The only thing to be careful of is to not put too much on your hair as it can leave it looking a little greasy if you're heavy handed! Again, for around £5 what more could you ask for?

Have you found any holy grail products that tame wild hair? I'd love to find more products to try out :)


Monday, May 06, 2013

A House Without Books Is Like A Room With No Windows...

A selection of my 'chick-lit' books
I'm a self confessed bookworm. 
I love nothing better than to delve into the pages of a good book and lose myself in another world for a good few hours. I'm not really picky when it comes to reading, I like pretty much everything but, I do enjoy a girly romantic novel. Something about the book covers just seem to grab me every time I go to the library. I'm starting to build up quite a collection of second hand books!

One particular author that I find myself going back to again and again is Jill Mansell. Jill is a British romantic comedy author who's stories are endearing, funny and an easy-going read. She mixes the right amount of romance with surprising plot twists creating heart melting story lines. I think my favourite book of her has to be Rumour Has It. This particular story centres on Tilly Cole who, after visiting her best friend in the village of Roxborough, quits her job in London and moves there. She's determined to stay out of all the local gossiping and rivalry for the infamous Jack Lucas. That is until she meets him. What ensues is a tale of rumours, reputations and romance that melted the hopelessly romantic heart of mine. If you're looking for a light read that contains a few unexpected hiccups along the way, then Jill Mansell is definitely your woman! I can't wait to read her latest book Don't Want to Miss a Thing!

Have you found any authors that you can't resist going back to?

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