Author: Sinead

Rain and Artrave

Met Eireann have issued a weather warning for this weekend, predicting thundery showers and gale force winds. Chances are I’ll get caught in it but I’m really not too bothered because we’re off to the Lady Gaga concert in Dublin tonight! She’s one of those artists that I’ve always wanted to see live so I’m really excited to be finally going! What are your plans for the next couple of days? Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, I hope you have a great weekend!

wpid-img_20141017_115857.jpg

My 5 Favourite Ways to Unwind

I’m so glad it’s almost the weekend! We had some stressful moments over the past few days which really made me think of how everyone has different things going on at any given time and how that can sometimes quickly get on top of us. I always think it’s so important to have time for yourself and we’ve made a few plans so I’m really looking forward to what’s ahead. While on the subject of relaxing, I thought it would be good to share my five favourite ways to unwind.

baking

Baking

Getting in to the kitchen; pulling out bowls and weighing scales and wooden spoons; mixing various ingredients and creating something delicious…so satisfying!

Music

I get on to Youtube on my phone, put in some earphones and just listen to a random mix of songs — pop is my favourite (hey, I never said I had cool taste in music!)

Cleaning

I was the messiest kid in the world and although I’m certainly no clean freak now; I love having a tidy home. It really stresses me out when the dishes are piling up, the laundry hasn’t been done or there’s just random clutter everywhere. It’s by no means one of favourite things to do (I’m not that crazy!) but giving my home a good scrub always makes me feel better.

Long hot showers

I think that’s just one of the best things in the world really! The rushing water and thick steam always clears my mind and it’s guaranteed to make me feel blissfully chilled out!

Quiet time

I consider myself very lucky to be living with my boyfriend. For around the first three years of our relationship, we lived far enough away from each other and there were times when we’d only get to meet up every couple of weeks. Now we get to hang out pretty much every day and I love it. One of my favourite things to do is for us to turn off the TV and put away the phones and just chat. Instead of being distracted by different screens, we can actually properly listen to each other and — even if it’s only for five minutes — it’s always worth doing.

The Halloween Tag

I absolutely love Halloween so I’m really excited that it’s that time of year again. I’ve decided to kick things off with a series of Halloween themed questions which I came on this blog. I tag anyone who wants to do it — if you post the answers on your own blog, be sure to leave a link below!

halloween-tag

1) What’s your favourite horror movie?

I can be squeamish so I’m really not a fan of the typical guts-and-gore horror movies. I love psychological thrillers though — they scare the hell out of me and I find them more satisfying that horrors. The likes of Misery with Kathy Bates…so good!

2) If you were in a horror movie, how far do you think you would get? (Five minutes, halfway, all the way to the end credits…?)

Hopefully ’til the end?! I’d like to think I wouldn’t be the one that runs up the stairs with nowhere to go….but then again, who knows?!

3) Favourite scary video game?

Pass — I don’t play video games.

4) Favourite scary story?

That urban legend of the woman who pulls in at a petrol station and becomes suspicious of the assistant’s attempts to get her to come with him. In the end, she drives off frantically before realising that he was just trying to warn her that there was a guy in her back seat…argh!

5) What’s one unusual thing that you’re afraid of?

Cauliflower…it just freaks me out! I think I had a dream where someone kidnapped me and used cauliflower to gag me…it probably doesn’t get weirder than that!

6) What’s your first memory of Halloween?

When I was in Junior Infants in school, we all had to dress up and the entire school had an assembly that day to showcase our outfits! I went as the Queen of Hearts — I had the most gorgeous burgundy gown and my mum made me a crown out of cardboard, tin foil and real jelly sweets for jewels!

7) What’s your favourite Halloween memory?

When we were kids and we’d go trick or treating; play apple bobbing; go down to the local bonfire…the good old days!

8) Best Halloween costume you’ve had?

Probably the Queen of Hearts?! But I also have to say that I love the Little Red Riding Hood outfit which I ordered online last year. With its little cape and puffy gingham skirt, I just think it’s so cute! I only wore it for five hours so I’m probably going to use it again this Halloween.

9) Worst Halloween costume you’ve had?

When I was little, I went as a witch almost every year — black dress and black pointy hat….not very imaginative!

WHICH IS SCARIER:

10) Werewolves or vampires?

Ooh…I don’t know! Probably neither — after the likes of Twilight and True Blood, I always think of werewolves and vampires as just being ridiculously good-looking creatures who don’t really want to hurt you…!

11) Ghosts or zombies?

Ghosts! You can’t hide from ghosts!

12) Creepy dolls or creepy clowns?

When I was a kid, I was more afraid of clowns that anything else. The first (and last) time I ever went to a circus, I ran out crying as soon as a clown appeared! Fortunately (!) I’ve grown out of that fear so I’m going to say creepy dolls are scarier now — especially the ones that look like they’re watching you!

13) Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers or Leatherface?

I always get these guys mixed up…whichever one appears in your dreams — I couldn’t cope with that!

Dulce de Leche Brownies

dulce-de-leche-brownies

Craving something sweet and indulgent over the weekend, I tried David Lebovitz’s recipe for Dulce de Leche Brownies. Dense and rich and intensely chocolatey like any good brownie should be; there was also the added bonus of thick caramel swirls in every piece. Believe me — they taste as incredible as they sound!

caramel-brownies

The recipe is so easy to follow and takes just about tens minutes to put together. The only thing I’d change is the baking time which is given as 35 to 45 minutes. I thought that might be a bit too long so I took my pan out after thirty minutes and even then, I was wishing I’d done that five minutes earlier! They could have been a bit gooier in the middle but they were still pretty amazing. I guess the lesson here is that all ovens vary and mine just seems to be particularly hot.

Lebovitz notes that these actually taste better on the second day and I can definitely vouch for that! Overnight, they become deliciously chewy and fudgy. Even on the third day, they’re just as good.

caramel-brownie

These are really the most decadent treat. I didn’t make many chocolate desserts during the hot summer that we just had so I think it’s time to start making up for that…and these are definitely a good way to go ;-).

brownie-crumbs

Laying Low

I can already tell it’s going to be one of those weekends where we’ll be laying low. I’m not sure why but I’m just feeling really tired and I’m craving a couple of cosy days at home.

Sleeping in, baking, pulling out the Halloween decorations, working on a few blog posts…I also got my hands on the latest Ross O’Carroll Kelly book (I love this series!) and I can’t wait to get in to it now. Throw in some tea, chocolate and fuzzy pyjamas and I probably won’t leave the house again ’til Monday morning!

book-and-chocolate

Have a great weekend :-)

Make-Up Clear-Out

I have a bad habit of hoarding cosmetics but I recently decided that enough was enough and it was time to do a bit of a clear-out!

make-up clean-up

I took the time to properly go through my collection. I didn’t want to start chucking everything away but at the same time; I knew I had to be strict and let certain things go.

Both the Garnier and Rimmel BB Creams were out almost immediately because I’m not a fan of either. I really disliked the sticky texture of the Garnier cream and — as was also the case with the Rimmel version — the colour didn’t particularly suit my skin-tone. There was also the few bits that are pretty but don’t get much use like the sparkly red Catrice nail polish. I have enough clutter around the house so I had to firmly bin anything that I wasn’t reaching for on at least a semi-regular basis. Also of all the magazine freebies I’d amassed, at least half got tossed — some because they weren’t the best quality and others because they just didn’t suit me.

Not all the products that got thrown out were bad though. The likes of the Essence eye-liner and the Rimmel pressed powder are amazing but I’ve had them for absolutely ages so they just had to go. I’d have no problem repurchasing these in the future — it’s always good to have some reliable products on hand!

At home, I keep all my cosmetics on top of my dresser. It’s now looking decidedly barer so the obvious solution is to start filling it up again! I’m particularly interested in finding a good (and affordable!) CC cream and blusher. If anyone has any product recommendations, I’ll be glad to hear them!

Daily Prompt: One-Way Street

In the mood to do something different on my blog today, I decided to refer to The Daily Post for some inspiration. The prompt is as follows:

Congrats! You’re the owner of a new time machine. The catch? It comes in two models, each travelling one way only: the past OR the future. Which do you choose, and why? 

 wpid-img_20140914_221508.jpg

Without a doubt, I’d choose to go back to the past rather than the future. It’s not that I’d use the time machine to change anything; instead I’d just love to observe how things were in a different time. I’ve always had a bit of an interest in history (I came so close to studying the subject for my degree in college but I chose to do French in the end!).

It would be pretty fascinating to see what life was like in the nineteenth, eighteenth, seventeenth (and so on…!) century. I’d love to see all the various customs and characteristics that different societies adopted over the years. After all, it’s the past that has shaped the world we’re in today. To see the way people lived — how they earned their money, the way they dressed, what they did for entertainment — would be such an incredible experience!

Just imagine having the chance to meet your favourite historical figures; the likes of Shakespeare or da Vinci or the Brontë sisters. Think of all the major events you could witness, be they revolutions or discoveries or inventions. Imagine even going back to a time before electricity and running water! I think it can be quite humbling to realise just how much has come before us.

One other small reason as to why I’d choose travelling back to the past rather than to the future: I figure that we’re better off not knowing what’s to come.  Why spoil the surprise? ;-)