Sunday, 30 March 2014

A Vlog?!...

Hey everyone

So for this week's book-related post I decided that instead of a review (even though I've got a few of them to post!) I'd share with you the books that I bought in March.

Now, I will be the first to admit that I went a tad crazy with book buying in March - personally I proportion the blame two-fold; partly the {spending ban} and the discovery of the booktube community on youtube.

side note: if you're a bookworm like me then the booktube community will be like your heaven - seriously.

In the spirit of booktube I decided that it could (possibly...maybe - on second thoughts this could just go terrible wrong!) be a fun idea to vlog my haul instead of just photographing it...

...and here we are. Me posting my first ever youtube video for all of the world to see. Awkward hello, sketchy editing and countless "erms" and all.


Well, I hope y'all enjoy it!

So, yeh - there's that.

FYI - I'm going to go hide under my duvet after I've posted this out of cringe-y-ness.

aHm xoxo

Friday, 28 March 2014

Nail Care 101...

Hey everyone

When I was younger I used to have the terrible (and disgusting!) habit of biting my nails (bleh!) but a couple of years back I finally kicked it and since then I've had to work pretty hard at keeping my nails in good condition and looking nice (otherwise I know that I'll just revert to picking at them and make them horrible again!)

So today I'm sharing my 'nail routine', if you will, that I use every time that I paint my nails (so a couple of times a week) that keeps my nails is a condition that means I wont end up destroying them absent-mindedly! 

side note: I tried a new set up with this photo today - I used my tripod and set up a background and some lights - I'd love to know what you guys think of it so pretty please leave me a comment to let me know!

Antibacterial Hand Gel - I only recently became obsessed with these - I plonked this bath and body works one on my desk after Christmas when it came free with a candle that I bought and I've ended up reaching for it all of the time! I can't do anything with my nails until my hands feel clean - it just feels counter-productive to me!

Nail File - my first job when I start tackling my nails is to file them - any hangnails or uneven patches are just prime targets for me to start picking at my nails so they need to be sorted ASAP!

Nail Cream - this {NuNale} one is my absolute favourite nail cream - I think that it really softens my cuticles before I deal with them but also manages to strengthen my nails at the same time! Plus it smells really nice - very clean and not overly scented with fruit/floral (I'm not a big fan of anything with those scents)

Cuticle Remover - using a cuticle remover before I push back my cuticles just makes that whole traumatic step a whole lot less painful! Mine is the {Sally Hansen} one purely because it was the only one I could find in boots when I was looking to pick on up but it works great :)

Cuticle Stick - a pretty self-explanatory tool to deal with raggedy cuticles - as annoying as this step is it does make your nails look considerably longer so that's always good!

Nail Magic - now, if you only take notice of one product in this whole post (it's okay, I won't judge you :P) it should be {this} one. Trust me. This stuff is actually incredible. I have no idea how it works but you just paint a layer of this on as often as you can (you just layer it up) and it makes your nails so much stronger and grow much faster. It's awesome! The only down side I have to this is that when you first start using it it really stings your nails (I had a mild burning sensation), I presume because your nails are likely to be pretty weak and porous. I found that it stopped pretty quickly and the results are so great that I can deal with a bit of stinging!

Hand Cream - I like to finish off with a hand cream to make myself feel fully pampered. I'm using this {Creighton's} one currently and have no complaints - I like how quickly this one sinks in. I also like the classic {Soap and Glory} one - the smell of that one is simply divine! If my hands are feeling super dry (particularly if I've been in the lab for long periods of time and have had to wash my hands multiple times) I swear by this {lush} one - it takes a while to sink in and doesn't have the nicest smell in the world but it leaves my hands a million times more moisturised after!

So, that's how I take care of my nails - this routine is one of my favourite study break activities! 

How do y'all take care of your nails - what are the products that you swear by? Lemme know in the comments, please!

P.S. I'm trying to improve the quality of the photos on my blog so had a whole tripod/background/lights set up for this one - I'd love some feedback on it please!

aHm xoxo

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

MWIP: 65/104...

Hey everyone

This week was my last week of (my last undergrad) dead(line) month so it was insanely busy but here's what I got up to (aside from tons of studying!)...

...used Rosie's {The Londoner} blog as a way to de-stress at the end of every day - she literally lives my dream life *le sigh*!
...found some macaroons in the freezer section of our local supermarket so picked them up to try them - I fully expected them to be pretty tasteless but they were actually really good! Of course they were a patch on my fave Laduree ones but for being from a supermarket freezer I was very impressed!
...fell in love with the packaging of the latest Joules catalogue - I love the combination of the navy and coral!
...decided to stop neglecting my iPad and pick it up more often - so I dabbled into reading magazines on it - it's my new favourite way to spend a few minutes! I never read an actual paper-copy magazine all of the way through because I hate how dog-eared the pages get as soon as you open it - this doesn't happen with the iPad, it's perfect!
...found some more super cute pjs on sale - y'all know how much of a sucker I am for pjs, especially matching sets!
...gave myself the afternoon off after a particularly stressful deadline in the form of catching up on my blogreads and enjoying a cuppa!
...finally developed an appreciated for animal print/tortoise shell - it has taken me long enough, right?! That trend has been around for ages!
...bought myself this super cute glass bottle - hopefully it will encourage me to drink more water!
...had my usual Stabs #obvs :P
...took an #ootd before going out shopping with Ma - I loved this outfit :)
...spent a morning in bed catching up on blogreads (again - this week has been so hectic that I've felt like I've been playing catch up with everything!) with a pastry and some tea - my favourites :)
...found my {new favourite local restaurant} that served incredibly stunning burgers!
...finally got around to trying out the new Barry M gelly in Huckleberry - I love a good mint polish and this one is a beaut!
...felt very spring appropriate in this outfit - with my bright jumper and wellibobs :)
...finally built up my Disney Pixar collection to all films currently released bar one - I'm nearly there!
...was very saddened to find the weather decidedly less spring-y than it was {last week} :(

I hope you all had a fabulous week - as always I'd love it if you linked up via the widget & button below to share what you got up to this week!

 It'd absolutely make my day! 


Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Top 5 Tuesday: Spring Must Haves...

Hey everyone

Just Peachy

I'm linking up (just about on time! - blame my crazy third year deadlines!) with Rachel from {Just Peachy} today for Top 5 Tuesday

Today I'm gonna be sharing my top 5 Must Haves for this Spring - last week we (in England) definitely were treated to some Spring-like weather which got me all excited and made me start compiling a list of all of the new Spring-y items that I 'need' in my life - sadly the weather has reverted back to being really miserable and wintry so now I'm just dreaming of Spring!

Anyway, here we go...

Coral Skinny Jeans - Over the last couple of spring/summers I've gotten really into the whole coloured denim trend and have ended up collecting a boat load of pastel colours and this beautiful coral colour are the next pair I have my eye on to add to my wardrobe next!

Wellibobs - Now, these may not appear to be the most spring-like item but here in England spring is notoriously rainy (even more so than any other season if you ask me!) and these mini wellies are super cute yet still functional :) I especially love this striped pair!

Yellow Jacket - I saw this stunning jacket on Ally Valentine's {blog} and absolutely fell in love - I love how bright it is - I imagine that it would make me so happy whenever I wore it!

Mint Nail Polish - I'm known among my friends as being obsessed with mint polish - my collection of mint colours alone is seriously out of control! But I just love how mint nails look in the Spring - it's  enough of cool and pastel-y change from the dark colours of winter but still allows scope for bright colours for summertime!

Sunglasses - I swear that just slipping on a pair of sunglasses (even if it's just for driving!) that puts me in a happier mood! Ray-Bans are my absolute favourite - they are just so classic!

What are your Spring Must Haves? 
I'd love to hear them so please leave them in the comments!

aHm xoxo 


Friday, 21 March 2014

Smokin' Joe's...

Hey everyone

I'm a massive fan of American barbecue food - as y'all will remember from my ravings in {this post} when I discovered {The Perfect American Restaurant} not so long ago!

Well, a couple of weeks back a new restaurant opened in the next village over from mine (how much of a country bumpkin do I sound saying that?! Haha!) and imagine my excitement when it was revealed to be an American Smokehouse!!

Needless to say I was super excited and couldn't wait to get my mitts on the menu and try it out!

So, today (to finish off a lovely girly shopping trip with Ma as a late lunch) I'm sharing that wonderful experience with y'all...

We perused the menu for quite a while - it's not extensive (apart from the burgers and dogs section!) but everything sounds so good that we just couldn't decide!

Anyone who knows me, knows my obsession for pulled pork - I'm forever on the search for the perfect taste! So obviously I made sure that we chose the pulled pork and cheese nachos to share as a starter. 

What I was most surprised about was the fact that the nachos were handmade - I thought that was a really lovely touch that most restaurants overlook - they were certainly more tasty than the usual ones I receive when I order nachos!

Now, I'm a massive fan of the pulled pork from {Hickory's} - it's absolutely stunning! - and this one was sadly not in the same league. I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy it, because I really did, it's just that it's not comparable to the one from Hickory's. This one is a lot less smoke-y and barbecue-y (which I like!), plus the pork from Smokin' Joe's is shredded less and tastes a lot more meaty.

I will definitely be ordering this again next time!

Okay, now onto the main event - please prepare yourself...

I love how it's presented - no fuss and no frills - letting the food speak for itself - just how I like my burgers to come!

I have to acknowledge the fact that the fried were served in a little bucket - how cute?!

I feel like the burger deserved it's own shot - just look at that beauty!

I (after much deliberation) went for the 'Juicy Lucy' (what a name - and it totally lived up to it!) - two delicious melt-in-the-mouth beef patties that had a delightful little surprise contained inside them...

It was only a big hunk of delectable molten cheese-y goodness!

Now, that's the kind of surprise I like!

Sadly (and unsurprisingly!) after all of that I couldn't fit in even so much as a morsel of dessert - which is a shame because I had my eye on trying their Mississippi Mud Pie. 

Alas, I suppose that means I shall just have to go back for another visit to try it! Along with some more of their pulled pork and possibly a chilli mouth is watering already!

So there we have it, my own little slice of American Smokehouse Barbecue food right on my door step! How lucky am I?!

aHm xoxo

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

MWIP: 64/104...

Hey everyone

This one has been a hectic one (again!) so here's what I got up to...

...was surprise by the bf with a breafast sarnie in bed - I love how he cuts them up for me!
...put new bedding on my bed - I love the quotes on it :)
...officially converted to my spring Starbucks order because it was so sunny - gotta have my venti mocha frap with two shots of vanilla as a treat!
...was not impressed with the foggy mornings we had this week :/
...was so happy to get my iPhone camera accessories in - I got a tripod, remote and a couple of lenses (I really want to step up the photos on my blog but don't want to invest in a camera - plus I want to try to start to dip my toes into the whole vlogging thing!)
...was super excited to be named 'Batister of the week' thanks to my new found love for the Batiste XXL volume dry shampoo - it's seriously amazing!
...was treated to a lovely costa by Lauren over at {Princess of Pretty} when we had a catch up
...was super happy to find the most perfect vintage champagne saucer - I've been trying to find some for ages and I'm so glad I waited to get these ones!
...took a #shamelessselfie because my hair was in a fabulous mood!
...was sad to see one of my favourite trees in our garden to be gone - it was the tree that I spent every day of the summer sitting in its shade reading :(
...finally finished my second dissertation! The fact that I'm graduating is really starting to hit home!
...had an awful (and first) migraine for a good couple of days this week - I literally had to sit in complete darkness!
...was super happy to see a horse and carriage driving through campus :)
...realised just how lucky I am to have a bf who is a chef - this is just a simple sarnie but he's made it look so fancy!
...was super surprised to be treated to these luxurious face wipes by Ma to celebrate finishing my dissertation :)
...finally got my hands on the new Barry M spring releases for their gelly polish range - y'all know that this is my fave range of polishes ever and these colours are just perfection for spring!

I also spent some fun time with the fur babies (ponies) this week :)

I decided to try and lunge my little old man for the first time in years and it was hilarious - I've not seen him with so much spirit and move so fast for ages! 
Plus he was super cute after because he was just following me around the field - he used to do this when he was younger, I taught him and he's never forgotten!
Dolly was super good as well, she's getting on really well with her schooling to get her back into the swing of work after her winter off!

I hope you all had a fabulous week - let me know what you got up to in the comments or if you fancy writing your own MWIP post then here's the button and pretty please link up using the widget below so that I can go check your post out!

 It'd absolutely make my day! 


Top 5 Tuesday: Favourite TV Shows...

Hey everyone

Just Peachy

I'm linking up (albeit it a day late - blame my crazy third year deadlines!) with Rachel from {Just Peachy} today for Top 5 Tuesday

Today I'm gonna be sharing my top 5 TV shows - this was kinda a difficult one for me because I don't really watch TV all that much - the bf and I tend to binge watch shows instead of keeping up with them every week!

Anyway, here we go...

Sherlock - To say that I'm a massive fan of Sherlock is an understatement. Let's be honest, once you watch just one episode of this incredible show you are hooked! I love everything about this show - the characters (ohh Sherlock he's so cute! And John is so funny!), the plots (the keep me guessing all of the time!), the theme tune (it's been stuck in my head for days!). The only complaint I have re. this series is the fact that the series are just too short - 3 episodes is not enough to satisfy my Sherlock needs!

Ripper Street - I only recently discovered this show and I became obsessed with it - I binge watched the first series in like four days #sorryimnotsorry! I usually don't like anything to do with Jack the Ripper but I gave this ago (because I couldn't find anything else to watch!) and I'm so glad I did! It's set in Victorian England and it's basically a detective show - I love a good crime show :P I love the characters (it's got Mr Darcy in it! Well, the actor :P) and the stories are really interesting and well presented! Again I only have one issue with this - right (prepare yourself for a long explanation), I've had a subscription with LOVEFiLM for about a year now but recently it changed over to Amazon Prime Instant Video so now I've got a partial subscription to that so Ripper Street was the first show that I watched after the big switch over so I became obsessed with the first series and went to go watch the second, only to discover that they wanted me to pay per view per episode - so unfair! So, I'm refusing to watch it with them and probably am going to buy the DVDs instead. Phew!

Atlantis - I nearly forgot to include this one because it's in between seasons at the moment but in the winter I loved this show! It was such a fun and unique concept - it reminded me a lot of Robin Hood which I was obsessed with when that was on! It was fast paced and action packed with witty dialogue and a sprinkling of magic - a really good watch on a Saturday evening!

The Musketeers - this is a relatively new show, it's just about to be finished with its first series and I'm totally hooked on it! I love it - again it's similar to Robin Hood and Atlantis in that it's set in a historical time and is all action-y but I just love it. I look forward to watching it every Sunday night - it ends my week on a really good note!

Duck Dynasty - this show just cracks me up! I love it - it literally makes me laugh for the whole two hours (we get a double episode) that it's on! My life goal is to become a Robertson - I just love them all! Especially Jase, his humour is just perfection!

Again, like {last week} I'm giving an honourable mention to -

Gossip Girl - this show will always hold a special place in my tv show faves, it's just so darn good! I'm yet to watch the final series because I can't bring myself to admit that it's over! This is a show that I've collected the series DVDs of so binge watched them (so good! I'm doing the same with The Vampire Diaries!) and I love just dipping in and out of the series to watch an episode here and there. I think that my absolute fave (so far) are the episodes from series two set in The Hamptons - so much perfection!

I'm always on the look out for new TV show recommendations so please leave your fave shows in the comments!

aHm xoxo 

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