Thursday, 4 February 2016

Lit Nit Wit: Before I go to sleep

Surprise Surprise I'm reading a book that was made into a movie. Even though it was made into a movie I wasn't sure I would like it, I think jut cause Colin Firth is in the movie, which of course is a terrible reason not to think a book will be good, I was very surprised as a result though so Yay

Christine wakes up beside a stranger, then wanders to the bathroom to see she is not the early 20s woman she was expecting to see in the mirror but a woman in her 40s. In the bathroom there are photos of her, none of which she can remember, her screams from the sight of herself have woken the man up, who introduces himself as her husband. He tells her she had an accident years ago and has been unable to retain any memories past her early 20s sometimes even before that, she has to relearn everyday when she wakes up her age and who this man is, and every night when she goes to sleep it is all lost.

When Ben leaves for work Christine receives a phone call from a doctor informing her she had a diary and they were working together to try and work on her memory. The majority of the book is diary entries, where everyday she receives a phone call from the doctor, and she reads the diary and relearns who she is and learns how the doctor is trying to help her,
I felt a deep unease reading the book, a concern for a character of a book. I try and guess what's going to happen, and the first thing that occurred to me was how can she trust a diary? How can she trust the doctor, who has told her not to tell Ben about the diary, and how can she trust Ben, still a stranger, and on the first page of the diary it says DO NOT TRUST Ben. There is also a passing issue on consent that occurs a couple of times in the book, which I find interesting, cause CONSENT IS IMPORTANT!!

I really enjoyed this book, more probably cause I wasn't expecting it to be great, for no reason, I literally judged this book by its cover! There was one turn I was not expecting and I was so shocked I think I gasped, I highly recommend it!!  

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

What I got in Lush recently

This year before Christmas I went to London mostly to see the Munster-Leister match (let's not talk about it) and while we were in London, my brother and father went to The Winter Wonderland (I wasn't allowed in cause I had an open bottle of JD in my bag...) after we walked to Oxford street and I happened upon the Lush on Oxford street and could not be dragged away from the place. Also my lovely housemates gave me some lovely products for my birthday ( I arrived home after a few drinks and saw the bag and I was so so so drunkenly thrilled.

I think Ill mention what I got for my Birthday from my housemates first.

Popcorn Lip Scrub: This is an amazing lip scrub, simply wet your finger and scrub against your lips, only the smallest amount needed. I love licking my lips after and getting a taste of sweet and salty, remember to apply a lip balm after.

Rosy Cheeks; This is a fresh cleansing  mask with calamine powder, I'll be honest in saying it's not my favourite mask but I'm still using it and utterly appreciate my housemates for getting it (It's in one of those Bring back 5 get a fresh mask pots so really its a win win).

Dream Cream: I get dry hands, from washing my hands so much at work. I keep this pot beside my bed, so I can apply it while I'm watching Netflix, there are a lot of oils involved and it takes work to get it to sink in but its phenomenal. You can use it all over but I just keep it to my hands.

Right so London; I have never seen so many good looking nice people working in one shop before and of course it smells amazing. There was two main reasons I went to get, the navy lipstick that I saw Abbey Williamson has and I wanted The Comforter, as I've only ever had Rose Jam and everyone talks about how much they love The Comforter. The first thing I went for was the lipstick, its called Secure, I'm fairly sure is a Oxford street exclusive, a lovely french assistant person came over and we went through them and I swatched a few and got it. I started looking for The Comforter and again my lovely lush friend ( I kinda want to marry him) came over again and I said I was looking for The Comforter, and he showed me where the bottle was, and he washed my hand with it and I nearly died of happiness, he also actually recommended that I try the Yuzu and Cocoa shower gel which is a moisturising shower gel and sometimes (nearly all the time) I don't use body lotion enough, and double jobbing is the way to go.

When I had those two picked out, I started to wander around, to see what else caught my eye. I ended up near the hair things, and stumbled upon the avocado co-wash. Again there are so many people around helping, I asked about it, its 80% conditioner, 20% shampoo, I was interested to try it so I bought a chunk. I've used it a couple of times, yes I thought I was doing it wrong as it didn't froth up and I looked up reviews on youtube (it turns out that's a thing, don't know why I was surprised, I was also happy cause I realised it def wasn't supposed to).

The next thing I bought almost purely for the smell and it turned out I really like it. This beauty is Queen Bee. A hair honey to rub into your hair, the one thing I'll say is keep it not in a cold bathroom, as it can be hard and it makes it more difficult to melt it between your hands. Again I saw a review online and she raved about it.

I was in line all happy with my things and I realised there was one more product I wanted. Could I think of the name of it, no! Another of the most helpful people ever came over to help and it was established I wanted the rough and the smooth, the sugar body exfolliator. OH MY I'm in love, sometimes I forget to bring it into the shower, cause of course it will dissolve if left in shower, but its so good, its not scratchy, it feels like its really doing what its supposed to, if you were going to buy one thing I would say that

Recently I had five empty tubs and wanted to exchange them for a fresh face mask. My skin was and is still being a brat and my jaw line and neck and chin are having flare ups. I was recommended Cosmetic Warrior, its anti bacterial and I really enjoy it.
The last tub was a cleanser so of course I had to get a new one, I like trying a new one each time, to see which one I like the most, and my skin doesn't react to things, yet at least. This time I chose Dark Angels, which contains charcoal and is hence black, and I like it, its slightly exfolliaty, but nothing too harsh, and I don't use it to wash my face everyday so I haven't found it to be stripping

The last thing I got was a bit of an impulse buy, but I'm enjoying it anyway. The King of Skin is a solid moisturiser to be used in the shower,( I have this at my work house and the shower gel in my home house ). You rub it all over, at the end of the shower and then pat dry your skin to keep the product on your skin. I love it, I need moisture for my  AGING SKIN, ok  not really but I feel good when I do it

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Lit Nit Wit The Martian

Right OK I had not heard about this book before the movie came out
I'm fairly sure. Before I read it I heard from Hank and John Greens Podcast that this was a book made to be a movie but I knew I wanted to read it before I saw it which I thought was interesting and actually made me want to read the book more (cause really I might never see it, I'm awful at seeing movies, I always say I'll watch more but I never do). It was put firmly on my Amazon wish list/ list of books for my brother to chose to buy me for Christmas ( I give a list he picks one, that way there is still some surprise Christmas morning) but then just as I was leaving the library with two other books (reviews to come) and there it was looking at me, I promptly borrowed it also, I was very excited as I did kinda want the other books on my wish list slightly more than this one.....and also if a book is being made into a movie, it usually is an alright book......mostly.

This book follows Mark Watney, a botanist/astronaut (yes the botanist side is important) who is mistakenly thought to have died on Mars, and so is left behind again ON MARS. Thankfully (stay with me on this) the trip to Mars was cut short so there are quite a few left over supplies and a lot of the mechanical things are working, except the communicator of course. A lot of the book is written in log form from Martins perspective. He's a funny man, he swears a lot for an astronaut, I'd probably swear a lot if I was left on Mars so it is understandable. I really liked his character, he explains everything he does (because he thinks he'll be dead by the time the log is found) and somehow has humour, he never blames the others for leaving, they were only following protocol after all, but he is forever looking at ways to do things, whether its trying to find a way to communicate with earth or ways of extending his food rations further (yes I have read the way he did it wouldn't work, this is not a how to survive in Mars handbook, it's fictional)

Without putting major spoilers in this, when it is discovered he is alive (not a major spoiler) the political aspect of his rescue I found very interesting and things lost and sacrificed for the greater good, the life of the botanist is more important than an entire countries glory I suppose.

I still haven't seen this movie but again I have heard that the science/engineering side of the book does carry over into the movie and the movie just won two Golden Globes for Best Movie and Best Actor. I would recommend this book, even with a science/ engineering/ botany jargon, it doesn't go over my head very much. I'm very glad I read it

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Last day of being 24: A reflection

Today is the last day I shall be 24, from tomorrow I'll be in the 25-31 group on surveys (The horror).
I'm in my room chilling to Justin Bieber thinking about my last year( Never thought I'd say that ha).

Life: In the last year I've moved into one of the best homes, this place could be called the united nations with the spanish french German,Argentinian, Nordic (don't know that counts as he was here for 4 days and then kicked out) and of course Irish. I was a bit worried about living with students, but then I remembered I don't exactly act my age and my previous housemates weren't exactly begging me to still live with them when my previous lease was up. But we all get on  well and somehow I get referred to as the mam and am pulled aside to take up dresses, which I had utterly no idea about but together we managed it.

Work: In terms of work the year has flown. I've stopped working in the pub, so I can work more Sundays which frees up another day in my week. There's been a few dodgy days with both patients and staff but I've enjoyed my job. I'm in the middle of filling in my UCAS, just waiting on my
reference, which I have to chase up  tomorrow.

Working out: Fracturing my elbow was clearly not great for my working out. Joining the gym was not something I thought I was going to do this year, but it was really a good thing. I'm in an alright place with my body, of course I'm not 100% happy with it but...I had this dress that made my back look super strange, and I tried it on recently and it fit perfectly  (whoop whoop). Also, when I joined I wanted to work on my arms (running can't improve them that much, it turns out ) and its almost a gun show altogether ha ha not really, but over all I've enjoyed it.

Travelling; My carbon footprint is terrible and I know it. Seems like a million years ago since I was in Barcelona. I highly recommend the place. I'm trying to do more things with people as much as I like travelling on  my own, so I said yes when my friend asked did I want to go to Iceland in February so I have something really lovely to look forward to. Next year I hope to be traveling permanently to London, something I don't want to think about until  I have definite plans which I don't yet.

Love: Its funny as I write this Earned it from the Fifty Shades of Grey is coming on, which is the movie I saw the day I said goodbye for the last time to someone I had a complicated relationship with. I'm proud to say I only looked him up on Facebook once since and that was this week. It is not easy for me to find someone who "gets" me, and I seem to have a thing for those  who aren't in a place where they can have relationships, double points if they're foreign double points. My friend asked do I actually try and I do, but sometimes its easier to go out and have a nice night with someone, but I did try, like really try over the summer, so at least I can say that, and I did have a good time with him, even if it was for  short time, if I learned nothing from Dan Savage its that a relationship doesn't have to last forever to be successful.

Entertainment: This year could be referred to as the year of the podcast. I'm subscribed to  almost 30 Podcasts of all types, serious, pop culture, fact and fiction,a lot of different things, depending on what I want to listen to. Late as usual I finally downloaded the Spotify app, just the free version and I love it when I don't want to think about what I'm listening too much. The author Louise O'Neill has blown my mind in November and I keep recommending it to everyone, either of her book read read READ them!!!

All in all 24 was a good year, got my heart punched in the face, made some really cool friends from all over the world, found out I like the fact I can lift more than my weight with a leg press, and finally that donating your hair is the ultimate humble brag, and you will get absolutely sick of saying it yourself which I think is a good thing. I don't want to have too many expectations for next year, I hope to continue to develop as a person, keep the friends I have, eat really good food and appreciate what I have and what I am doing

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Buy Irish: Blank Canvas Cosmetics

MAKE UP!! I have quite a lot! Not on a absolutely stupid amount but a good amount. I'm not the worst in all honesty, I have gone past the sticking the eyeliner brush in my eye, though sometimes I end up with said eyeliner on my socket as it hasn't dried, and I like to give some of the blame to the actual eyeliner product.......There has been a fair amount of mishaps but I am working on it, by watching lots of other people apply make up, of course. I love make up tools, in Barcelona I bought a beauty blender I have an eco tools eyeshadows set and in college I had the Real Techniques core kit which someone I lost, how does one lose four brushes?

Anyway my main issue is eyeshadow. I mean I can put it on basically, but anything elaborate, proper blending colours into each other and really nice glam look, I try, but they always look the same. I was half on the look for a proper packing brush, I feel like I don't put enough on my eye and a small blending brush, to create a crease like all the youtubers do!

So I'm in a pharmacy in my hometown, and overheard Blank Canvas Cosmetics. I've heard of them before from Irish youtubers and I've previously been on their website before. I looked and saw they were eight euro for eye brush so after looking and  reading the back I chose the E35 flat shadow and the E42 pointed crease brush. They are both super soft and the E35 is vegan, though I don't think the E42 is, if you're that way consious. On the box of the E35 it says the brush is also suitable for concealer which I tried and, now, I want to buy another one so I can have one for each purpose, with them being 8 euro its not much and good brushes are something I'd like to have

Monday, 23 November 2015

Lit Nit Wit: An ode to Louise O'Neill

The last two weekends I've been working with the same patient in the hospital. There has been a lot of card playing, silly jokes and quite a bit of reading. Last Saturday morning, on the patients tray was a book named Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill. Instantly the name Louise O'Neill jumped out to me. I remember her interviewed on the radio, and my cousin took an Instagram shot of her other book Asking for it. After the assurance from my patient that I could finish it in one day I got to it.

This book is a dystopian future originally for the YA, but has been re-released for all after the publication. I have read a lot of YA in my time, usually after I was deemed a YA truth be told. In this future, women are bred in artificial wombs and raised in special schools to get chosen at 16 by a male also 16 as a wife, if not chosen as a wife, the leftovers become concubines, or are left in the schools to raise the other up and coming girls. The boys continuously watch the girls, over the 16 years and rate them, and nearly always the top ten get chosen by one of the boys. The girls are bred to be pretty with ipads strapped to their hands, social media even though they get the same food and can only see each others feeds. Everyone sees everyone's day and everyone is judged and judged and judged. As Freida and Isabel turn 16  and enter in their final year, pressure builds, tension rise, weights are monitored. I did finish the book in one day. I did cry. This is an utterly heartbreaking book. the patient has to give me a teddy to cuddle as I was so empty after finishing this book. It really looks at an extreme future, where social media presence, looks are the only important thing. The girls only saw pens when the ladies in charge were drawing red circles on the girl who had gained some weight.
There has not been many books where days later I think about the characters and their actions and the whats ifs and if only.

During the week I was again with the patient who had a book voucher and she talked her visitor into heading to the nearest book shop to buy Asking for it, the new Louise O'Neill book. Lucky me I was put with the patient myself again for the weekend, who at one stage refused to speak to me until I had finished the book. This book follows Emma, a very pretty 18 year old before and after an attack on her. It examines societal judgement on women, victim blaming and looks at why so few women go forward after a sexual assault. The thing I most like and appreciate is that I did not like Emma. She knows she's pretty, she takes things from her friends homes. She gets them in trouble and doesn't give a fuck. She is forever in competition with the women around her, just as her mother is. I'm from a small town, maybe not as posh as the one Emma is from, but in every town there are these guys. 19-30, never left the place, maybe went to college near by but hopped back ASAP, haven't a notion of going to Australia or London.They play grand hurling or football, but their not good enough for county. Girls 5,6,7, years younger than them are infatuated with them, if they get any attention off the lad, they become instantly cooler, the only reason they have gotten the attention is cause all the girls that chaps age are in relationships or have left. Those men always annoy me, the biggest case of big fish small pond you'll ever see.

The town is fictitious but the town is in the same county that I live in, so the mention of the clubs and pubs and eventually the mention on the Cork Rape Centre are touches to the book I really like and the term shift, (which means to snog, or make out in other countries).
Cecelia Ahearne is known to write fairy-tales for adults. Im going to say Louise O'neill is the direct opposite. I had to stop reading Asking for it several times cause I knew something bad was going to happen, but I was hoping it would all end "well".  These books should be required reading for everyone of any age. Please read them and tweet at Ms O'neill (@oneilllo) and tell her how traumitised you are, and she'll probably tweet you back

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Lit Nit Wit: How to Build a Girl

In the last few years I was never mad about Caitlin Moran, I'm pretty sure it was because of some tweets mocking people about liking something or someone, clearly it wasn't an utterly big deal or I would remember. I once last an eye over her  autobiography and it really didn't draw me in in all honesty. Recently though Guy Branum of pop rocket shared an article she wrote to men about how women feel about them and it just captivated me with its brutal honesty that men don't know and more than likely don't want to know. When I was last in the library I saw her fictional book how to (blank) a girl and thought I'd sit down and see if her fiction was more to my taste

I have read a lot of coming of age books in my time, usually after I have come of age usually and I am too old for, books such as Perks of Being a Wallflower, and The fault in our Stars and I've always been to old for them. This book on the other hand, is the coming of age book for adults, I never thought I'd see the day. 

This is a first person account of life in the 90's in post Thatchers disembowelment of Wolverhampton and The Midlands in general (I've also recently seen all the episodes of This is England so I know it wasn't a good time to live there, also I utterly recommend all of the This is England episodes, and the Movie). 
The main character is Johanna, the second oldest and only girl of five children who live with their failing pop star of a dad and a post partum mother. Her father has been trying to break the music industry to get them all out of the area and eventually Johanna after believing she has royally ruined her families income decides to write for a music magazine reviewing bands ( the millennial in me scoffed at the fact she knew no one in the magazine and just mailed in reviews for weeks on end and landed a job in no time, and of course worked wearing a top hat).

This story looks at young people trying to figure out who they are,and how they try to be how other people want them to be and expectations from people, which all of us have experienced. Her experience with her sort of boyfriend, as in if I do this this and this that maybe he'll stick with me. It slightly came across as maybe kink shaming a sight but in the book, if you want to do those things you go right ahead, but it shouldn't be done only to keep someone else interested in you. On a separate note it was lovely to see her having a pure enjoyment day with a musician just chilling out feeling pure friendship love for  I have to say her experience of cystitis is so funny, as someone who has been inflicted with that once or twice myself. I would utterly recommend this book,.