Nail Fail

So you get to go home early because a lesson is cancelled. What do you do? Catch up with some homework? Use the extra time to study? Nope, you do your nails. Well I’m not exactly endorsing it but that’s what I did…
I’d seen a nail design on Pinterest where you drop nail varnish into a bowl and then swirl it to make a tie dye effect. Well, let’s say things on Pinterest always look easier than they turn out to be in real life.
1. Okay so first I painted on my white base coat and put sellotape around all of my nails so I didn’t get the nail varnish all over them
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2. I then dropped the nail varnish into a bowl of water (the clingfilm is just so I didn’t stain the bowl). This was my first obstacle: the nail varnish started to either sink to the bottom or just spread out and not mix with the other colours.IMG_1181

3. Even so, I persevered and place my nail on top of the swirly mess I’d created so far.
This was the best nail:

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You can see by middle finger that the rest were not so successful and I took it all off straight away and went for this more simplistic design instead:

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The moral of this story: Don’t underestimate the difficulty of things put on Pintrest. I’ve tested it and failed.

Katie

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German Bears and Rubber Ducks – Part 2

From one capital city to another. If you’ve read my first post about my summer holiday then you’ll know that I went to Germany for 10 days this August.

I believe we’d only got to Day 3, so this will be a (really rather long) rundown of Day 4-10.

Day 4

Nikolaiviertel, Berlin. Statue of George slaying the dragon.

Nikolaiviertel, Berlin. Statue of George slaying the dragon.

In Germany, they have this incredible shop full of hundreds of different chocolate combinations. Hence why there is a picture of me next, what I can only assume, are giant chocolate bar replicas.

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Remainders of the Berlin Wall.

Day 5

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At the station, before getting on a train to Munich.

After our final day of sightseeing, the next morning we headed to main station in Berlin, to catch our train to Munich. Over the course of the 6 hour train journey (which we were very nearly late for because the timetable said it left 20 minutes later than it did) I finished An Abundance of Katherines and managed to get some of my summer work from college done. After arriving in Munich, we headed straight to the hotel and out for dinner.

Day 6

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On our first day in Munich we visited the famous Hofbräuhaus which is one of Munich’s oldest bear halls, founded in 1589. My mum and I obviously didn’t have one of their massive 1 litre house beers, but did get to enjoy our soft drinks in beer steins. We also got to meet some of the locals – well some of the slightly tipsy locals shall we say. A German man came to sit next to us on one of the long tables in the beer hall and introduced himself as Pete (very disappointingly un-German). He then continued to talk to us for the next half an hour, playing the game “Guess the English celebrity I’m thinking of” with my parents whilst I got intensely stuck into reading the guide-book – did you know they repainted the roof in 1972?

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On to another trip to Starbucks, no name on my cup at all this time.

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Day 7

We woke up to pouring rain so it was time for Science Museum number 2! No windmills this time, but there was a planetarium. So almost the same… After that we went to the German version of Pizza Hut where they put little Pizza Hut shaped chocolates on our desserts which I found amazing.

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Day 8

You may have heard of Bayern Munich. Well the clue is in the name – their stadium is in Munich, so we went to visit. Not so much a fan of the football, my mum and I decided instead to take pictures of ourselves. We have no idea about this photo either.

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DSC_1359We then headed back into the centre and visited Olympiaturm which is at the Olympic park built for the 1972 Olympics. As you can see we climbed to the top at 955 ft.

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I was taking a photo of the Olympic Stadium and my dad thought it would be hilarious to step into the photo just as I was about to take it. This is the result of that…

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We spent the majority of the day walking around the park and enjoying the beautiful weather. Also, when we had gone back into the centre for dinner I noticed these incredibly creepy mannequins. Seriously…bleughh.

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Day 9

Day 9 took us on another train, to another country. After getting to the station at 9:30 we booked ourselves on a guided tour around Salzburg in Austria. There were 7 people on our tour including us – the other 4 were Americans from Chicago (I just wanted them to keep saying my name because I loved the way they called me ‘Kadie’ instead of Katie).  So we had a tour guide who directed us to our train which took roughly 2 hours to reach the centre of Salzburg.

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Like many other places now, this is a bridge across the river has loads of padlocks locked onto it with people’s names engraved on. Its a tradition that people will write their names on the padlock, lock it onto the bridge and throw the key away into the river below.

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After our tour, the guide gave us some free time to visit anywhere we wanted before catching the train back to Munich. She had told us about a shop that sells handpainted chicken eggs. Intrigued, we went to have a look. They have literally thousands of individually, and beautifully I might add, painted eggs so we bought one as a Christmas decoration.

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Day 10

Our final day of holiday was spent mopping up all the last things we wanted to see in Munich before flying back to Heathrow. I ingeniously named it ‘Moperation’ (a combination of operation and mopping up).  First stop was St. Peter’s Church tower where you can get a brilliant view of the whole city.

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Admittedly, I did take this with a zoom lens but this the Münchner Kindl who is the symbol of Munich.

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Lunch was much needed after our trek up to the top of the tower and around the city so we went to one of the parks that has a massive outdoor beer garden selling food as well as their famous beers. We opted for a stereo typically German meal as it was our last day.

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In the gardens they also have an artificial wave maker in the river that surfing experts are allowed to use. The river has a very strong current making it perfect.

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Then it was onto our last Starbucks of the holiday with a better version of my name than they’d managed to do in England on my cup.

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Now to solve the mystery of the Rubber Ducks part of the title…

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Katie

My Apparent John Green Obsession

As many of you probably also experience, summer is the best time to get lots of books read without pretty much any interruptions. Whether it’s sitting on a plane going on holiday, sunbathing on the beach batting away sand or just at home in the long hours of the days where all of your friends are on holiday – I find that I can read three times as many books in 6 weeks as I can throughout the rest of the year. Although an enthusiastic reader when I get into a good book, I am not a very fast one so reading 4 books over the holidays is a major achievement for me.

Book 1

Uglies Now if you’ve read a post I wrote back in April, you’ll know I’ve been trying to finish this book for a very long time. However, finally, whilst in Devon I triumphantly read the last page and congratulated myself for finishing a 450 page children’s book after over 6 months ( I told you I was slow). Honestly, it’s a good book and the time it took me to read it is no actual reflection on the quality of the book – it just kept getting interrupted by school work. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who enjoys books like The Hunger Games and there are several in the series so you can read more if you enjoy it.

Book 2
The Fault in Our Stars
This another book I wrote about all the way back in April. Even then I thought I was going to cry at this book and wow was I right. It’s an absolutely brilliant book and I don’t see how anyone would not find it emotional to read. It is one of the best books I have ever read, and if that doesn’t tempt you enough there is also a film being made of it currently so if you’re not the reading type then you can always go to see that. However, even being a non reading type of girl, I read this in about 6 hours which, compared to 6 months, I found pretty impressive.

Book 3

An Abundunce of Katherine I began to read this on the way to my second holiday of the summer (which you will be hearing about very soon) and really got into it. I felt almost obligated to read this as a fellow Katherine to know what it was all about. Although if you read a lot of reviews online, many people say this isn’t one of John Green’s best books, I completely disagree. I think since The Fault in Our Stars has become such a cult book (if that’s a thing) quite a few of his early books are being overlooked slightly. As I would with any of his books, I would recommend this to everyone. It’s still very much written like TFIOS, which I feel is one of the main attractions to this authour.

Book 4

Paper Towns Now you may be detecting a pattern here. I may or may not have developed an obsession for John Green books. Since reading these I have also bought every other book he has written. I don’t think that’s obsessive as much as….ah who am I kidding I love him. This book proved to me just how much as it was written absolutely beautifully. Not only is the story intriguing and makes you want to devour it in one sitting, it really makes you think – without trying to be intellectual and being very hard to understand. Overall, I would say this is my favourite of the books I’ve read this summer and if you have not yet jumped on the bandwagon I urge you to leap on immediately because you will not be sorry.

If you know nothing about John Green you can check out his YouTube channel that him and his brother Hank post on because they are honestly brilliant.
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Katie

Alan Partridge – The Film

Yes, they actually made a film out of it. I actually paid to see it. And I think I actually might have enjoyed.

Firstly, you should probably take a second to watch the trailer, so here it is:

In case some of you are trés confused right now, this has come from a BBC sketch show about a radio DJ who’s frankly, a bit of a weirdo.

In the film, he becomes the in-between man in a hostage situation at his radio station, which, if we’re being realistic, is the worst hostage situation I’ve ever seen. There’s one man with a gun against 10 or 15 hostages who could easily take him down. But we’ll allow them some artistic license.

If I’m giving an honest review, then I’d probably say, only go and see it if you’re a fan of Alan Partridge as the TV show. Obviously, if you hate the TV show then you’re going to hate the film, but if you don’t watch the TV show at all, it may seem a little dull. I went with my brother because he really loves the TV show and needed someone to go with him. I wasn’t really bothered about it but just assumed that it would be quite funny. And don’t get me wrong, there are a lot funny moments, just also a lot of seriously-nothing-has-actually-happened-in-the-past-half-an-hour moments.

There’s definitely a lot more jokes than … action.

But I guess there’s no other film where a guy has a masking tape hat on for the majority. (But can I just say, when it’s removed, his hair isn’t harmed at all. What’s that all about?!)

Hannah

Instagram Favourites

If like me you are an avid user of Instagram, then you will know about the Weekend Hashtag Projects or #WHP. I try to take a least one photo for it every week and would like to share some of my own favourites from that and other general favourites with you (sorry if that’s a bit big-headed):

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Starting from the top left:

The photo I took of my slippers was for the WHP #WHPfromwhereistand. I know, it seems like a strange thing to take a picture of but I do love my slippers…

I must say, this one is one of my absolute favourites. It was so simple to do as well, but looked really effective.  I’m not going to lie to you and say I did all by myself, I found an app called HeartBooth (maybe?) and it gives you loads of different shapes you can make with little photos.

The top right and bottom left were another 2 did for a WHP which was #WHPdearphotograph. Now this one I must say was absolutely brilliant – but surprisingly difficult! It takes inspiration from an account called @dearphotograph which posts pictures of old photos against their original setting. They look really good if done properly, but I must have spent over half an hour on each photo to get them lined up exactly!

The last photo I took just by luck really. I was sitting in the car when we were on holiday in the Lake District and my dad had got out to take photos of the lakes while my mum and I stayed in the car because it was freezing; I just wanted to see the view and, being lazy, I took a photo in the wing mirror of it and it turned out really well!

Instagram Accounts I love: 

(If you want to check them out, I’ll link to their account, just click on the name)

  • @dearleila – This is a photography account from a woman from Hawaii living in London, a very popular account but well worth a look!
  • @pixiepolish – Definitely one to check out if you like nail art! She also has a YouTube channel that gives you a tutorial on how to create the designs yourself.
  • @do_or_diy – Again, a very popular account with over 475,000 followers but I am addicted to it! It’s a DIY account that reposts pictures of fun and useful things to try out yourself, some of them are absolutely brilliant.

My Instagram account:

I will put my Instagram here if you want to take a look at the pictures above properly or just have a browse. Just click on the picture below…

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Katie

Concrete Colours

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This is the third colour nail varnish I bought when I disgusted myself by shopping in Claire’s. I’m sorry. I’m also sorry about the shoddy brush-work displayed here. As I said in my review of the other two colours I bought, the brush is not the greatest, but I admit it was a rather rushed job.

I’m not really sure if I like the colour. I don’t particularly like dark nails and this colour reminds me of concrete when it’s still wet? Definetely not a colour for spring, but it could look nice used for a design on top of a lighter colour.

You can read my review of the other two colours I bought here.

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Hannah

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Owl Necklace

I meant to do this post so long ago, but better now than never right?

The other day *cough week* I was in Tesco waiting for my parents to finish looking at kettles – it was a fun family day out. Bored, I wandered off with strict instructions from my mother not to look at clothes. Apparently I have too many …

Sadly for her, there was no instructions concerning the jewellery stands. Silly woman.

I often find that Tesco actually has quite nice jewellery, and it’s pretty cheap too. Anyway, I looked around a bit, then fell in love with this little guy. I’ve named him Marco.

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He’s beautiful isn’t he? Very loud though. He’s kind of like one of those bells they used to put on cows, but I think his face makes up for it.

Don’t tell him but I actually saw a better looking version in Accessorize. He looks a lot less loud, but he’s a whole £7 more expensive. I don’t like expensive birds.

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My Film Wishlist

*Sorry for the layout of this post, nothing seems to be sitting right*

I’m a big filmwatcher. I’d choose a film over tv anyday. I don’t care if I’m at the cinema, in my living room or sitting with my laptop, two and a half hours will beat 30 minutes hands down. Maybe that’s just because it wastes more time of my day, but I think it’s just that I need a more complex story in order to keep my concentration, unless it’s How I Met Your Mother of course.

My favourite filmy website at the moment is IMDb. It lets you know what’s coming, what’s been and what other people thought of it. So here’s a little list of the films to be released in the near future that I will definitely be off to see:

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1) The Great Gatsby

Released: 16th May 2013 (UK release)
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio
Carey Mulligan
Joel Edgerton

It’s Leonardo DiCaprio, need I say more? And he’s looking fine. It’s set in the 1920s but after
that I’m not entirely sure what goes down. Something involving war, parties and Leo
looking sad. But let’s be honest – it looks amazing and Leo looking anything makes it worth
seeing.

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2) 2 Guns

Released: 2nd August 2013 (US release – there’s no UK date yet)
Starring: Mark Wahlberg
Denzel Washington
Paula Patton

Now this one looks amazing. My favourite films are the ones that have car chases and gun
fights mixed in with a little humour, and this looks like it has it all.
I already have a favourite bit:

“So we’re working together?”
“No not like we’re working together, like we’re working in the same … city”
“Together?”
“No, in the same … area code.”
“Together.”

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3) Now You See Me

Released: 31st May 2013 (US release – there’s no UK date yet)
Starring: Morgan Freeman
Jesse Eisenberg
Mark Ruffalo
Who doesn’t love a bit of magic? This one’s about a group of magicians who rob banks as
part of their acts. If we’re being honest, the magic they’re using does look like it would be
more at home in Hogwarts, but we’ll allow them some artistic license. And it has Morgan
Freeman in it and he’s awesome.

 

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4) Peeples

Released: 10th May 2013 (US release – there’s no UK date yet)
Starring: Kerry Washington
Craig Robinson
David Alan Grier
Here’s a little comedy to mix in with all this drama. It’s a pretty obvious storyline. A guy
wants to marry a girl but has to get the permission of her scary father first. It’s probably
quite obvious how it’s going to end too, but the bits in between look pretty funny.

Favourite part of this trailer is definitely when he puts on the headdress and does some sexy
dancing.It kind of reminds me of King Julien XIII from Madagascar.

Epic5) Epic

Released: 22nd May (UK release)
Starring: Amanda Seyfried
Beyoncé Knowles
Josh Hutcherson
Okay this looks quite good – I mean, the slug is my new favourite thing in this world, but let’s
be honest, I kinda only want to see it because I want to listen to Josh Hutcherson’s voice for
a few hours. I don’t even need his face to be able to be slightly in love with him. Oh, and
Beyoncé’s in it too, and that can only make a thing better right?

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6) The Kings of Summer

Released: 31st May 2013 (US release – there’s no UK date yet)
Starring: Nick Offerman
Moises Arias
Nick Robinson

Three guys run away from their parents and live in the woods instead. Kind of like when I
was little and would run away to the bottom of the drive until the Tweenies came on. It does
look kinda funny though and there’s even some bare chestedness which I wouldn’t say no
to. Favourite trailer bit:

“Did you wear the blue shirt today, not the one with the pocket?”
“Yeah”
“Woooh, rope in the attitude mister, this is your mother you’re speaking too. Who’s he
putting on a show for?”
“Oh girl check, girl check. Checking for a girl in a bikini.”

Any other suggestions for me to add to my worryingly large list?

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Don’t judge me …

In the words of Britney Spears, ‘Oops, I did it again’ …….. I bought more nail varnish.

I promise, I really didn’t mean to! And in fact, it’s all my friend’s fault because I bought it from a shop that I would never usually step foot in.

My friend (Becca, if you’re interested) came up to Birmingham from London the other day to visit me and a few others. She’d never seen Birmingham before so we took her on a tour of the best parts; the jelly bean bull; the Bullring’s best loos; slut alley; all the big tourist spots. Anyway, she is still in the age bracket where you are allowed to shop at Claire’s, and wanted to go in.

Ahh, remember the day’s of going into that shop and looking at all the fake hair, multi-coloured hairbands and people crying in the corner as they got their ears pierced. It was exactly as I remembered and I wondered round pretending to be all highbrow and old, when I found a whole wall of nail varnishes.

This can’t end well.

I asked my friends to stop me doing it, but I still came away with three new ones, trying to pretend that I didn’t just buy something from a shop where I was served by a woman wearing a pink, fluffy tiara.

I didn’t really expect them to be very good, but I was pleasantly surprised when I tried the first two out:

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 Good points:

  1. They’re both really strong colours and the only reason I had to do two coats was because of the brush
  2. The turquoise one actually says it’s chip resistant and they really are. It’s actually the best polish I have in the way of chips. There are literally none and they’ve been on for days now.
  3. Cheap! This was one of the reasons I allowed myself them. They were on offer AND only £2-something

Bad points:

  1. The brush is crap. It doesn’t give you an even coverage at all, meaning you have to go over with a second coat

So if you’ve never tried Claire’s nail varnish, go investigate! But only if you’re below the age of 15 and/or with someone under that age. Because otherwise, it’s just not acceptable to be wandering around the land of glittery handbags.

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