Monthly Archives: December 2014

Film: The Great Gatsby

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Despite the fact I studied The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, in English Literature for about a year; I never got the opportunity to watch the 2013 movie. But, alas I finally have.

gatsby‘In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. “Whenever you feel like critizing anyone, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages you’ve had.”’ This is my favourite quote from the novel and was also the opening line to the film, with Tobey Maguire, who plays Nick, saying it. The film hooked me then and there.

The film, from this beginning, continues with a very swift pace. This makes the film seem quite rushed, however, this matches the cinematic quality exhibited in Fitzgerald’s writing and therefore, I like how well The Great Gatsby 2013 has managed to stick so closely to the book. Of course, it does follow the book quite well, with entire scenes reading exactly as they do in the novel.

Although, the way in which the film was framed, through Nick’s therapy, I suppose, was not at all in the book. In the novel, Nick does write the story of Gatsby but not because he needs therapy from it. Not that this is a complaint. I actually really liked the way it was done because when Nick gets closure and is able to sleep, after being an insomniac, it gives the audience closure after such a pivotal moment in the narrative.

The characters and setting in the film were exactly as I had imagined them while reading the book. I know that other people wouldn’t be as easily pleased, but I thought it was extraordinary, as if I was watching my imagination play out in front of me. I think a part of why the characters were so good was because appropriate actors were cast. Tobey Maguire plays a perfect Nick; his style just suits how Nick was written, as does Owl Eyes’ character in the library, and Gatsby, as played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Other amazing actors in the film were: Isla Fisher, Amitabh Bachchan, Elizabeth Debicki and Joel Edgerton.

The soundtrack for this film is brilliant; I love how modern songs were made to sound like the songs of the time and just fit into the film as if they were classics from the 20s. I also like the onscreen edits with text running across the screen at specific parts of the movie; I think it just added another layer to the film.

I really enjoyed The Great Gatsby (can you tell?) and I do really recommend it. I also recommend reading the book first because Fitzgerald crafted an amazing novella, and I think that there will be a better understanding of the themes, such as decadence and hedonism, that are shown throughout, by doing this.

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Disclaimer – I do not own the picture, it is from: http://operagasm.com/download-of-the-week-23/

Quote: Christmas

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‘Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.’ –Calvin Coolidge

‘Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.’ -Dale Evans

‘It’s true; Christmas can feel like a lot of work, particularly for mothers. But when you look quoteback on all the Christmases in your life, you’ll find you’ve created family traditions and lasting memories. Those memories, good and bad, are really what help to keep a family together over the long haul.’ –Caroline Kennedy

‘Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store.’ –Dr.Seuss

‘The excellence of a gift lies in its appropriateness rather than in its value.’ –Charles Dudley

‘Christmas in Bethlehem. The ancient dream: a cold, clear night made brilliant by a glorious star, the smell of incense, shepherds and wise men falling to their knees in adoration of the sweet baby, the incarnation of perfect love.’ –Lucinda Franks

‘I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.’ – Charles Dickens

‘The two most joyous times of the year are Christmas morning and the end of school.’ –Alice Cooper

‘I love Christmas, not just because of the presents but because of all the decorations and lights and the warmth of the season.’ –Ashley Tisdale

‘Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice.’ – Dave Barry

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Disclaimer – I do not own the above picture, it is from: http://www.invyn.com/love-christmas-quotes/  The quotes were found on: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_christmas.html

Christmas: My Christmas Traditions

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Hello! It is the 8th of December and nearing the time when we start repeating all of our favourite Christmas traditions. In this blog I’m going to talk about a few of my Christmas traditions in an attempt to inspire you if you’ve not yet gotten Christmassy…

Leading up to Christmas:

Before December even starts, my first Christmas tradition is to attend the Christmas Tree Lighting in my village. I always go with my best friend and we take part in a fire lit procession from our Church to where the tree is stationed, we sing some carols and then the lights are turned on. After this we visit the nearby park where the most incredible firework display is held every year. This Lighting Event is held on a Saturday and so we always try to get the Christmas decorations up around our own house the same weekend.christmas-tree

In the first week of December, I have usually finished my Christmas shopping which means I finally get to wrap up the presents I have bought my friends and family. I leave it until this time just in case I buy anything else or forget what I’ve decided to give people.

I also write all of my Christmas cards, and I’m usually ready to give them out in the second week of December. I never know when to actually give out my Christmas cards – is it still too early in the second week? Every year I take the time to write a personal message in my cards to those that especially mean a lot to me – this usually means a good load of soppiness and a bunch of inside jokes.

Lastly, on the 1st of December until the 25th I open my advent calendar. This year I have a MerryTeaser calendar.

Christmas Eve:

Not necessarily always on Christmas Eve, but always a few days before Christmas, my Dad and I go in the car and drive around our village and any neighbouring places to look at any Christmas lights that people have decorated the outside of their house with. I always make sure that this tradition is kept because it’s something very personal to our family and not something that everyone else does.

Christmas Eve is usually a very chilled and quiet day for our family. The day is pretty much just spent being excited, waiting for the following day. The one tradition I try to stick to on this day is to fall asleep before midnight because even though I no longer believe in the magic of Santa Claus I still feel like the magic of Christmas is lost a little if I stay up until two in the morning.

Christmas Day:Nativity_tree2011

In my house we don’t rush to open the presents. I’m an only child so I’m the youngest in the household and I don’t have to fight with any siblings. I typically try to drag the day out a little and therefore I will wake up at a normal time, say 9am or 10am, as opposed to 3am or 4am. At this time I’ll go on my laptop, wish everyone a Merry Christmas and then grab my phone and text my closest friends and family a little Christmas message too. I’ll then go downstairs to ensure my parents are up and then I have breakfast and wait until they’re ready. During this time I’ll play with my cats and dogs, who although don’t understand what is happening, get equally excited.

After all of this, I finally start to move the presents from under the tree and begin to pass them to the people they belong to and open my own presents. Once presents are finished, I properly open any packaging on my gifts and start to really examine/use what people have bought me. Then we have our Christmas Dinner. This consists of turkey and vegetables, except I don’t have the turkey because I’m a vegetarian.

The rest of my Christmas is spent watching TV (programmes such as Doctor Who, Miranda and Strictly Come Dancing – all Christmas specials), using my gifts whatever they may be and eating tonnes and tonnes of chocolate.

Boxing Day:

In the UK, we celebrate Boxing Day on the 26th of December. My family always goes to my Grandma’s house on this day to celebrate her birthday. My parents, my cousins and my aunt and uncle attend along with myself. We eat food, give Grandma her gifts and generally converse.

And that’s pretty much all of my traditions during the festive season. I hope this didn’t bore you too much. Merry Christmas!

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Disclaimer – The images in this post do not belong to me, they are from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas and http://www.madenimitliv.dk/2012/12/rigtig-glaedelig-jul-2.html

Christmas: YouTubers Doing Vlogmas

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It’s Christmas time, there’s no denying that and typically in the run up to the big day, many YouTubers take part in an event called Vlogmas. This means that they take the pledge to vlog daily until the 25th of December. I love watching these videos because it increases my own excitement and allows me to see Christmas in different places such as New York, London and Los Angeles. In this blog post, I want to recommend ten channels, with their first vlogmas video to get you equally excited for the special day.

1. Fleur DeForce – On Fleur’s vlogging channel ‘FleurDeVlog’ – Welcome to Vlogmas

2. Giovanna Fletcher – On Gi’s only channel ‘GiovannasWorld’ – We’re Sick!

3. Tom Fletcher – Giovanna’s Husband and member of McFly/McBusted – Get Over It

4. Jenna Ezarik – On Jenna’s main channel ‘ItsmeJennae’ – Not Crying

5. Ingrid Nilsen – On Ingrid’s vlogging channel ‘TheGridMonster’ – Vlogmas 2014 is here

6. Justine Ezarik – On her main channel ‘iJustine’ – I woke up like dis

7. Jim Chapman – On Jim’s vlogging channel ‘EveryDayJim’ -Vlogmas Day 1 – The BFAs

8. Tanya Burr – Jim’s fiance – Insane Handbags and British Fashion Awards!

9. In addition to Ingrid Nilsen’s vlogging videos, she is doing a series of festive videos on her main channel – MissGlamorazzi – DIY Cute and Easy Holiday Decor Ideas!

10. Meghan Camarena – On her main channel ‘Strawburry17’, she is doing a series of videos on her main channel – The Naughty List

Enjoy!

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Christmas: Gift Guide (Male|Stocking Fillers)

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 For today’s gift guide I want to show you some potential stocking fillers for under £10. This one is going to lean more towards male appropriate gifts but that isn’t to say that you can’t buy a female some of these2 things. To be honest, I pretty much love everything in this blog post for myself and I’m a girl. If you want to see my l1ast three gift guides, from Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, just scroll down on the home page. To find the items I’m recommending, click the orange links that will be displayed on certain words.

Wilko’s have a really great Christmas range this year and so I’m going to be recommending quite a few products from them. Let’s start with the Urban Boom Box Speaker for £10. It works with any smartphone and is shaped like an 80’s boom box, hence the name. In the same ‘Urban’ range is this USB Light for £5 which comes in the shape of a stage light.

For the DIY king, you may 3want to get your male relative or friend the Mr Multi-4 Tool (‘compiled of 1x pliers, wire cutter, serrated blade, handy knife, flat head & cross head screwdriver with LED torch’) for only £3. From the same ‘Classic Gentlemen’ range you could also buy a Mini Pool Table for £5.

For the aspiring writers you may feel like a journal is the best 6stocking filler, I’ve found one, A6 in size, from Debenham’s for £8. Alternatively,  for when they fee5l stuck with writer’s block or just want a good rage you could give them Wreck this Jou7rnal (‘to create is to destroy’) for £6.29 from Waterstones.

For the more fashionable of men, you may want to buy them this edgy Urban Male Black Leather Necklace with Feather Skull Pendants for £6.74 from Tesco Direct.

Next, this item from IWOOT is quite simple but will provide hours of fun. It is Tetris Magnets – perfect for those of us who are easily entertained or for those who want to leave interesting images on their fridge door8s for their house mates. 9

Finally, my last stocking filler is the Lynx Attract Duo Pack since every gift guide needs an example of this years bath/fragrance stuff. The one I found is from Wilko’s for £3.65.

Hopefully, this has helped you if you want something fun and affordable to put into your friends and relatives’ stockings.

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Disclaimers:

1. Some of my inspiration came from Fleur’s gift guide:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbW1GFlZLzM

2. All images in this post came from the links already inserted – I do not own these pictures.

3. I am not sponsored by any of these companies nor have I been asked to comment on these products.

Christmas: Gift Guide (Female|Stocking Fillers)

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For today’s gift guide I want to show you some potential stocking fillers for under (or just around) £10. This one is going to lean more towards female appropriate gifts but that isn’t to say that you can’t buy a male some of these things. If you want to see my last two gift guides, from Monday and Tuesday, just scroll down on the home page. To find the items I’m recommending, click the orange links that 1will be displayed on certain words. 2

 I’m going to start with jewellery. I’ve found some really great jewellery on the Tesco Direct website and this Pink Resin ‘Apple’ Pendant is adorable. It is such a perfect stocking gift for only £4.10.

For girls and women, make-up is usually a staple for the stockings. I have quite a few 3examples to show you: The Barbara Daly Eyeshadow Bon Bons for £3.75 which contains some really nice neutral eyeshadows. Next, Bd Trade Secrets Eyeliner Pencil, an ‘ultra blendable’ eyeliner pencil for only £2.99. If you haven’t got an angled eyeliner brush, you are really missing out and the So Eco Angled Eyeliner Brush seems perfect to fill that gap in your brush collection. My final make-up stocking filler is the Maybelline Colossal Mascara Cat Eyes, a great voluminous mascara for £4.99.4

If giving bath sets and fragrances as a main gift isn’t your thing, perhaps buying your loved ones these stocking fillers will do instead. First I have found two lovely looking sets from The Body Shop: One is the Frosted Cranberry Treat Box (Shower Gel, Body Butter and a Bath Lily) for £7 and the other is the Japanese Cherry Blosom Mini Gift Set (Eau De
Toilette and a Body Lotion) for £8. Moving onto perfume, I’m recommending the Revlon Charlie White Eau de Toilette Spray since I really love the Charlie body sprays. This perfume costs only £5. Another perfume I found is the Accessorize Passion Eau De Toilette for £5.33.

For those of a more accessory-liking attitude,6 there is the Pink Funky 7Floral Headband (£4.95) and Black Knitted Pom Pom Hat (£4.99). Both of these are from Debenhams.

Many women like their candles, perhaps a massive generalisation, but hey, how can you not love this super stylish candle set of Fragranced Votive Candles? They look like great decorations, I bet they smell 8delicious too and they only cost £10.

 The last couple of things are a bit more exciting, for me anyway, and I think they’ll be great as unusual stocking fillers. The first is a set of Nail Varnish Shaped Highlighters from IWOOT. Stylish and fun. The last thing I’m going to recommend are these Glass Photo Coasters which come over the £10 price slightly at £11.49.9 ‘These fantastic Glass Photo Coasters will make enjoying a cuppa that little bit more personal. The Glass Photo Coasters are a novel way of displaying your favourite snaps.’

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Disclaimers:

1. Some of my inspiration came from Fleur’s gift guide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbW1GFlZLzM

2. All images in this post came from the links already inserted – I do not own these pictures.

3. I am not sponsored by any of these companies nor have I been asked to comment on these products.

 

Christmas: Gift Guide (Male|More Expensive)

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Today’s gift guide is going to consist of some more expensive gifts with a male orientation. This doesn’t mean, of c1ourse, that some of the gifts can’t be given to women. To see the gift guide for Males but with less expensive gifts visit my blog again on Thursday. To find the items I’m recommending, click the orange links that will be displayed on certain words. Enjoy!

Males are often notoriously hard to buy for because it’s not as simple as buying an eye shadow palette or a necklace. Typically men also buy2 what they want when they want it. But I’m here to offer you a starting point. You can take my ideas for your brother, father, son, nephew, best friend – any male you need to buy a holiday present for but have no idea what. When it comes to males think gaming, gadgets, watches, tablets, grooming and experiences.3

 Let’s start with gaming, since all of my male friends right now are raving about all the new consoles and games that have come out recently. I have found three console bundles that may help you if you need inspiration for presents for your male friend 4or relative: First, the Mario Kart Wii U Console Bundle for £235. The second bundle is a PlayStation 4 Grand Theft Auto 5 Bundle for £339. My last bundle is the most exciting in my opinion, and it is the Xbox One Special Edition Sunset Overdrive Bundle for £349. All of these can be found for these prices on the Tesco Direct website.

For a similar price, you could buy your male friend or relative a 16gb, iPad Mini 3 for between £319 and £399. 5

 All men need to shave so you could buy this super stylish set, The Modern Gent’s Shaving Kit, from The Body Shop for £25. It contains Macaroot Shaving Cream, Razor Relief and a Shaving Brush. In addition to buying a present, you’ll be 6providing a child with the money to go to class: ‘The Body Shop is teaming up with War Child, the global charity for children affected by war, to grant children the wish of education. Every specially selected gift you buy, no matter how big or small, will enable a child in a country affected by war to attend a class.’ Alternatively, you could buy a fragrance such as the 7MontBlanc Emblem Eau De Toilette, £24.65 for 40ml from Feel Unique.

For fashion, you could buy this Herschel Heritage Backpack in Dusty Blush Colourblock for £55 from ASOS or this super trendy Red Doubled Sided Check Woven Scarf for £14 from TOPMAN.  You could 8even buy your friend or relative a Pebble Steel Smartwatch for £179.95 from Argos, if you wanted to spend that much.

For another gadget idea10, you could buy a 3 in 1 Powerbank, Torch and Handwarmer for £17.99 from IWOOT which is ‘designed to work universally on any phone’.

From Urban Outfitters, I have found the Globe Bantam ST 23 Inch Skateboard for £75 – this is a personal favourite of mine from this gift guide.

Lastly, if you are struggling to find the perfect gift, why not try finding the perfect experience? Tesco Direct offers several, from driving (from £38) to paint balling (£15).

Hopefully, this has helped you if you are still struggling finding something for your male friends and relatives.

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Disclaimers:

1. Some of my inspiration came from Fleur’s gift guide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1Md_vBiMLk

2. All images in this post came from the links already inserted – I do not own these pictures.

3. I am not sponsored by any of these companies nor have I been asked to comment on these products.