Why Do We Worship Beyoncé?

Now don’t get me wrong, I love Crazy in Love as much as the next person, but when Beyoncé announced she was pregnant with twins a couple of weeks ago I was taken aback by the world’s reaction. ‘Queen Bey’ was pregnant with twins and the whole of social media knelt down at her feet. People on my timeline were going hysterical, claiming that this was just what the world needed.

Do people forget that Beyoncé is just a mere human being like the rest of us? Yes she’s a celebrity and undoubtedly a great performer but her babies are not going to impact our lives, unless they dance out of the womb and kick Trump out of the White House.

Don’t get me started on the Virgin Mary-like photo she posted on Instagram. Can you imagine feeling that self-important? What’s worse is that people feed into it, over 10 million people have now liked it. Do people forget that only last year her Lemonade album detailed her husband Jay Z’s infidelity? But of course everyone has moved on from that now and the Carters are viewed as the perfect family.

This is celebrity worshipping to the extreme and it’s probably only going to get worse.

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Book Battle: The Fault in Our Stars vs. Me Before You

*Spoilers*

This might sound a bit morbid but Tragic Romances are one of my favourite genres of literature. We have all experienced love in some form but not all of us have had it torn away from us in a tragic manner; this is likely why this genre is so popular as it plays on our emotions and presents us with one of the worst experiences imaginable- losing the person you love. For this Book Battle I am going to compare The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and Me Before You by JoJo Moyes. These are two very heartbreaking books, but which is better?

Relatability-  Lou lives a very normal life with a dull job and an even duller boyfriend. In comparison, Hazel lives an unimaginable teenage life made up of endless visits to and from hospital. Fortunately, the majority of real life teenagers will not suffer from cancer, however I am guessing most people are at some point, in their younger (ish) years, stuck living with their parents and carrying out a lousy job. Winner: Me Before You

Male lead– Will Traynor definitely grows on you throughout the book, let’s face it at the beginning he is a moody git and makes Lou’s life a living hell, but the reader learns to understand Will’s behaviour and makes allowances for it. I don’t think you can deny that Gus is a more likeable character as he does not drown in his sorrows like Will does, but then maybe Will’s character is more realistic as who wouldn’t find it difficult to be in his position? This is a tough one but if we’re basing this on likeability then… Winner: The Fault in Our Stars

Film Adaptations– In the film version of The Fault in Our Stars, Ansel Elgort does a great job in portraying Gus’ optimistic and high on life attitude early on in the film. Also, I think his chemistry with Shailene Woodley was spot on, they couldn’t have got it better casting-wise. I felt that the chemistry lacked a little between Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin in Me Before You. I like both actors separately but for some reason it felt like there was something missing and I did not feel as emotionally invested in the film as I did with the book. Winner: The Fault in Our Stars

Emotional impact– Gus’ death comes as a bit of a shock as we do not learn his cancer has returned until well into the book. On the other hand, Will’s death is anticipated throughout Me Before You. The fact that Will wants to die is a very sad thought but at the same time you have to respect that that is what he wants. In The Fault in Our Stars, it is heartbreaking to see Gus lose his fight with cancer, but then you could argue that Will lost his fight a long time ago when he succumbed to his paraplegia. I think because of the shock factor Green’s book edges it slightly. Winner: The Fault in Our Stars

Romance: To begin with, Hazel and Gus’ relationship is a bit fairytale-like. On meeting, they have an instant connection and then they become best friends and then later boyfriend and girlfriend. Me Before You has a more complex presentation of relationships as Will and Lou are quite mismatched and they argue for a long time before they become friends. What makes it even sadder is that after all that they go through they never become an official couple, perhaps adding a more realistic feel to the the book. Winner: Me Before You

Overall Winner: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

This was a really hard one to call as I love both these books and their authors. Do you agree with my winner?

Xxx

 

My Netflix Favourites

Hello everyone,

I thought I would write a post today about my favourite Netflix programmes/films. I have a UK subscription so if you are from elsewhere in the world then your content might differ slightly. My favourites are all quite different in terms of genre but I think they are all addictive/compelling/strangely interesting in their own way…

Stranger Things- This was 100% my favourite programme of 2016, so much so I have probably watched it about 3 times *don’t judge me*. The cast of the show is made up of fresh faced talented actors and actresses, as well as the already well known Winona Ryder who it is great to see back on the screen. I have never seen another programme like Stranger Things and that is one of the reasons Netflix is thriving at the moment, they are producing unique content which you would not see on TV. I cannot wait for season 2 which comes out on Halloween of this year, here’s hoping Nancy and Jonathan get together in this season and that Eleven returns (which undoubtedly she will).

Pretty Little Liars- Who wouldn’t want to watch a bunch of pretty youths solve murder mysteries? This is one of those addictive US programmes that you could easily spend a whole day watching. There is only half a season left of the popular series, which won’t be coming to Netflix until sometime this summer, so you have plenty of time to catch up!

The Crown- I think I mentioned in a previous post about being a fan of historical dramas, so obviously I was a fan of The Crown. This one is a bit of a slow burner and in some episodes not much seems to happen (a bit like Downton Abbey), but the acting and excellent casting make up for that. My favourite storyline was the love story between Princess Margaret and Peter Townsend, which was actually pretty heartbreaking.

Brooklyn- I have been a fan of Saoirse Ronan since Atonement and I absolutely love her performance in Brooklyn. This is a really sweet, but different, love story with a 1950’s New York backdrop. Tony, who plays Ronan’s character’s love interest, is just the loveliest man and I definitely found myself rooting for him throughout the film.

Whiplash- When I first heard about this film I remember thinking how dull it sounded, how could you have a whole film about drumming? But this film was a very pleasant surprise and I ended up loving it. The film is full of passion which in turn evokes a strong response out of its audience. J. K. Simmons fully deserved his Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in this role; his performance alongside Miles Teller was really special, although very disturbing! This film is definitely worth a watch.

A Series of Unfortunate Events- I used to be a massive fan of the book series and the original film when I was younger so when I heard they were making it into a series for Netflix I was a bit intrigued. This adaptation is more comical than the film version and it is also more similar to the books as it is very, very odd which I know not everyone will be into. We also get to see more of the books adapted to the screen as this first series has two episodes for each of the first four books.

What are your current favourites on Netflix?

Xxx

Banana and Blueberry Smoothies

So I finally got around to trying out another smoothie recipe! I have to admit I think this one is twice as delicious as the last one I tried so I would definitely recommend it. Like last time, I made this up as I went along so if you want to add any little changes then feel free and tell me about it in the comments section.

Ingredients: 300 ml semi skimmed milk,  2 bananas, 25 g of blueberries and 2 teaspoons of honey.

  1. Firstly, pour your milk into the blender. I usually use almond milk but I had run out so I used normal semi skimmed for this recipe.img_0301
  2. Cut two bananas into small pieces and add to the milk. Mix this for a minute on a low setting.img_0302
  3. Measure out your blueberries and then cut them in halves (this is so that there are not too many lumps in the drink). Add to the blender and mix for a further minute.IMG_0305.JPG
  4. Finally, add the teaspoons of honey and give the drink one last quick blend. You are now ready to pour the mixture into a container and refrigerate. I would leave this in the fridge a couple of hours before trying it as it is a lot tastier when it is cold.

I hope you all enjoy trying out this recipe. As I said before it is a really yummy one!

Xxx

Tips for a Bad Day

Sometimes our day doesn’t go as we had planned it too. When little things start going wrong it is easy to just give up on the day, declare it as a failure and binge on chocolate and Netflix for the night, but when we put things into perspective are they really that bad?

Yesterday, the final straw for me was my printer breaking. It has been playing up for a while now but I always manage to get it working, but this time I couldn’t and I needed to print off an important document for my sister.Okay this must sound a really petty thing to get frustrated about, but there had been other problems earlier in the day which led to the printer incident becoming the end of the world!

Here are some tips to get you through a bad day…

  1. Take a breather. Go outside and breathe in some fresh air for a couple of minutes; for some reason the outdoors really helps me clear my head and think more clearly.
  2. Vent your frustrations. Call a friend or family member and tell them all about your shit day because talking about it makes it so much better. Remember, a problem shared is a problem halved. Also, you could even end up laughing about your day because sometimes you can’t take life too seriously.
  3. Be healthy. It’s easy to grab the chocolate when things aren’t going well, but eating healthier can make you feel better about yourself rather than feeling tired and bloated. Also going for a run,or exercise in general,really helps to relax the mind.
  4. Have a good nights sleep. Don’t continue the trend and start tomorrow off badly. Wake up the next day feeling energised and ready for the day ahead.
  5. Think about the positives in your life. Organise something with friends or family so that you have something to look forward to. Most importantly, try not to dwell on the negatives unless you feel you can change them into positives.

I hope this has helped those of you reading this stay positive and motivated!

Xxx

Blackberry and Apple Smoothies

This week I decided to try and make some smoothies as a nice and healthy alternative to artificial fruit juices. I am hoping to create some different flavoured smoothies over the next couple of weeks but the first one that I tried out is Blackberry and Apple flavoured. I will admit that I made this up as I went along…but the outcome was pretty tasty.This recipe is also suitable for vegans.

So to start with you will need 500ml of almond milk, 150g of blackberries, 2 tablespoons of oats, half a small apple and a teaspoon of honey. You will also need a blender to make these smoothies.

  1. Firstly, wash and prepare your fruit. Dice the apple into small squares.
  2. Set up your blender, I used the Cooks Professional Mixer and Blender. Pour in the almond milk and then add the blackberries. Blend on a low setting for one minute.

    3. Once the blackberries have completely blended into small pieces, add the diced apples. Blend for a couple of minutes until the apple has softened and there are no large chunks.

4. Next, add the oats. This helps thicken the mixture and also adds a nice texture. Blend for a couple of minutes until all the oats are incorporated in the drink.

 

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5. Now it’s time to add a bit of sweetness to the mixture. Add one or two tablespoons of honey and then give it a blend. Have a taste and add more if you feel it is needed.

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6. The smoothie is now ready. I poured mine into a storage jug which is really handy when making drinks like this, you can get them cheaply in places like Wilkinsons or large supermarkets. This one has a clip and lock spout so you can pour it out of the jug as well as keep it safely contained.

Now all you need to do is chill the mixture in the fridge and serve when required. I hope you enjoy them! Xximg_0253

 

My 2016/17 Winter Favourites

For me, winter is all about comfort. When it is cold and dark outside all I want to do is snuggle up with a book, enjoy a steamy bath and eat comfort food, this blog post illustrates just that!

My first favourite is the recipe book ‘Nadiya’s Kitchen’ by 2015 Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain. Since finishing University I have tried to be a bit more adventurous with my cooking and Nadiya’s book has been perfect for this as it has some really unique recipes. I have highlighted a lot of recipes which I would like to make in the near future, but I have already made ‘Fruit Cake Flapjacks’ and ‘Cod and Clementine’. The flavours of both these dishes were insane; the flapjacks were rich and fruity and the Cod had this amazing sweet, tangy taste which I have never tasted with fish before but it was really lovely. For me, these dishes are great for serving in winter because of their warm spices and also, the flapjacks are made using leftover fruit cake so it is the perfect dish to make after Christmas. 

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When I think of winter I think of sitting by the fire, wearing my fluffy slippers and sipping hot chocolate. I also tend to think of ginger and cinnamon aromas because most Christmas treats seem to be made with these spices. I honestly have such an obsession with cinnamon it is ridiculous- I would literally buy anything if it had cinnamon in the title! I have been lucky enough to have my room smell of these gorgeous scents since late November and this is because I bought the Zoella Gingerbread Village Reed Diffuser. I really like this diffuser because it is not overpowering but you still get a nice spicy scent from it.

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I always get really dry skin in the winter so I use moisturiser religiously. I love the Simple range because it is great for sensitive skin like mine and it does not make my skin feel greasy. I have been using the Simple Kind to Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturiser on my face and neck. 

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My friend lent me her Outlander Series 1 DVD and I have become a bit obsessed with it. I really look forward to nights where I get to curl up in bed with a cup of tea and watch a couple of episodes. If you enjoy watching historical dramas then this is definitely one for you to watch.

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I love having baths in the winter time and this is made even better when I have products to use in the bath. This winter I have been using The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Bubbling Bath. The bubbles from this product are amazing and you really don’t need to use a lot of the liquid to have a decent amount of bubbles. I like that the mixture (which has nearly run out!) is a gold-ish colour, as well as the packaging, which makes it seem more luxurious.

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Since University I have not been reading as much as I would like to but I did buy a couple of new books in November. I have been reading We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver for the last couple of months and I have been really enjoying it. It is written in epistolary format, so it is made up of letters from the main character Eva to her husband Franklin. The book follows the upbringing of their son Kevin, who Eva struggles to form a bond with from an early age. What I like about this book is it creates discussion over the nature versus nurture debate as it questions whether it is Kevin’s detached relationship with his mother that leads to his psychotic and violent behaviour later on.

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I hope you have enjoyed this post. What have been your favourites this winter?

Xxx

My Goals For 2017

Every 1st January I see the phrase ‘new year, new me’ plastered all over social media. Let’s face it, a new year is not going to magically change you into a different person and nor should you want it to. I see new year as a time to be thankful for the good aspects in my life; I also see it as an opportunity to set goals for what I would like to achieve in the year. Here are a few goals that I have for 2017:

  1. I want to be a bit selfish. OK this sounds bad, but bare with me. Reviewing the last few years I feel like I was constantly trying to please other people, which is not totally bad, there is nothing wrong with being a considerate person. Sometimes when you are in a relationship you start to lose a bit of your individual identity and you can forget what is important to you. Going into 2017 as a single young woman I want to look after myself a bit more and treat myself every now and then.
  2. I want to pass my driving test. This hopefully shouldn’t be too difficult to achieve as I have been having lessons for a few months now. For me, learning new things is all about confidence so I want to try and believe in myself more.
  3. Thirdly, I want to get a job that relates more to my degree. If I can get a job where I am writing or editing or reading and so on, then I will be a happy bunny.
  4. Finally, I want to travel a bit. There are so many places I’d like to visit but unfortunately I don’t have an unlimited supply of money! In this country, I would like to explore Brighton and Bath; I would also love to visit London again as it is one of my favourite cities. I just remembered as well that I have an urge to go to a west end show as I haven’t seen one for about 5 years now. Ideally, I would also like to go on holiday abroad somewhere;this year I am not going to be too fussy about where I go,as long as it is hot and there is a nice beach then I am there.

I am going to leave it as these 4 main goals as there is no point overloading myself with tens of targets that I will never be able to reach! It is important to realise that it is OK to not achieve everything that we set out to do, after all there is only so much that we as human beings can control in our lives. As most of us have realised, the perfect life does not exist! So, do not be too hard on yourselves if you do not achieve your goals straight away, even just having targets and aspirations is a great start.

Good luck to you all for 2017! Do you have any goals for the new year?

Xxx