#Pokemon20

Yes, I know Pokemon 20 was actually on Saturday, but I was having a really shitty day on Saturday and spent upwards of eight hours lying in bed staring at the ceiling. I wish I was kidding. Happy Pokemon 20 to me.

For those not in the know, Saturday (February 27th 2016) marked the 20th anniversary of the release of Pokémon Red and Blue – the first generation of Pokémon game for the original Gameboy – in Japan. Once Pokémon crossed international waters a year later, it’s safe to say the franchise blew up. As the developers at Game Freak released new editions of the handheld game (moving between Gameboy, Nintendo 3DS and all the models inbetween), fans have been treated to corresponding series of animé, trading card games, toys and movies. Despite buying into the whole lot – thanks Mum and Dad – it’s undoubtedly the games that captured my imagination the most, and still do to this day.

On Saturday I spent a while reading through the comments on Pokémon’s official Facebook page, getting stuck right into the nostalgia that came flowing from users around the world sharing their stories. So, at the risk of sounding trite and predictable, here’s my own to add to the pile.

$_35My first Pokémon game was Pokémon Gold. I received it on my 7th birthday, along with the Special Pikachu Edition of the Gameboy Color – something I was secretly chuffed about, because I’d been so jealous of my brother Jack’s see-through purple Gameboy Color and Pokémon Yellow he’d been given for his 8th birthday the Christmas before. Taking pretty much everything my big brother said and did as gospel as most 7 year old baby sisters do, I was so excited to have an adventure of my own to go on. I can even tell you that Totodile was my first starter!totodile

I would go on to ask for Red, Blue, Silver, Sapphire and Pearl over the years, receive them all as Christmas and birthday gifts, but still never see a single gen to completion. Jack, however, completed every game he owned (Yellow, Crystal, Ruby. There are two kinds of child – those with attention spans, and those hopelessly without.) I’ve since beaten the Elite Four once, actually, with Pokémon Y, and I came damn close in a copy of LeafGreen that I’m still not sure how I acquired. Experiencing the Champion’s procession and seeing the credits roll for the first time was definitely a full-circle, embarrassingly emotional moment for me, even though I was 21 okay yes ssh.

My dad bought us the cheat books for Generation 1 (red/blue/yellow) and 2 (gold/silver/crystal) that you could pick up in Game, which told you exactly how to puzzle your way through tricky mazes, find which region the Pokémon you needed to complete your collection was hiding in and extra little tips. I’m not exaggerating when I say I spent *hours* perusing these. I read our Gen 2 edition so much the cover fell off – but as a result had every extra Berry, Pokémon Egg and Trainer phone number going.

Seeing as I’ve grown up with Pokémon, I finally took the plunge and re-bought into the Nintendo family with my 2DS (third-hand, mind you) last summer, because I was just too curious to see what X&Y could offer. While I bought Y, I convinced Polly to buy X and we sort of played alongside each other, fangirling over the incredible graphics, soundtrack and new features that have brought the franchise into a more modern setting without losing all the authenticity and the charm of those first games back in ’96.

So thank you, Pokémon, for everything you gave my tiny imagination to explore and enjoy. It’s been lovely and I’ll treasure the memories forever.

Until tomorrow (lol maybe),

Emma x

On Independance

Something I’ve been wanting to write about for a while. Bit of a funny topic, but Lentmas would just be boring if I didn’t write about funny topics. Also I wrote this while watching the Brits, so if it’s a bit disjointed and blah blah blah blame my short attention span.

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I’ve always been a fiercely independant person. Growing up, I never had a best friend, singular – according to my Mum, the closest I ever got to a best friend in primary school was with a girl who had a different best friend of her own. I’ve always been what you’d call a ‘floater’ (hold all your poo jokes, please) in social situations: I hate the idea of a clique and will always make the effort to befriend as many people as I can. I hate the feeling of being tied down to a select group of people when there’s so many different personalities to get to know! As a result, I’m sure I come across to some as two-faced or superficial. Honestly, I just get a little bit claustrophobic in my relationships sometimes, I guess. There’ll be a psychologist somewhere who would *love* to pick my brains, hearing that. I love all the friends I surround myself with and everything they’ve done and continue to do for me, but that goes without saying.

I’ve also never had a real, serious relationship. Hand-holding in Year 8 doesn’t count, funnily enough. Seeing the vast majority of my friends from school and college grow up and find themselves find their person, if you know what I mean, has been weird for me. All along I’ve just assumed things will fall into place and that I shouldn’t be getting antsy, but it’s hard not to sometimes! I’m sure if you’re in the same boat as me you’ll know what I’m on about.

At every opportunity I’m looking to prove myself – to love interests, friends old and new, lecturers and employers – and I’m not sure whether this attitude precedes my independance or is preceded by it. A bit like the classic ‘what came first, the chicken or the egg?’ question. (I know it’s the egg, it’s got to be the egg, but whether the egg is my independance or my disposition is still up for debate).

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Having been this way for 21 years, nearly 22, I do secretly worry sometimes that I’m going to find great difficulty in changing. I’ve gone through so much in my short little life by myself (by which I mean, without a ‘person’). I’ve managed 12 GCSEs, 3 A Levels, 3 jobs and a degree. I’ve been through fallouts, losing my Dad and dealing with my Mum’s troubles without ‘a person’ – and I’ve done it all myself. I don’t know how to share ‘me’. I don’t know how to give up personal space. I can’t text back for shit, and I sure as hell don’t have the money to be buying a significant other £300 worth of presents every birthday and Christmas. How do you all do it?

When finalising the arrangements for my Dad’s funeral, I remember excitedly telling my Mum that I was so happy and grateful to have people there who were there just for me, for once, and that really struck a chord with her. It’s lonely being me sometimes. That being said, though, while I envy people who have that closeness, and I’m sure it ‘feels like warm’ to be that way with someone (romantically or not), I’ve become so used to my default ‘cope’ setting that I’m not sure I wouldn’t find it smothering.

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Not really sure what my point is with this one. Just know if you’re in the same weird independance limbo, you’re not alone and it’s not weird. I don’t think.

Until tomorrow,

Emma x

Londoning! The Book Of Mormon! 6 HOURS OF TRAIN TRAVEL IN ONE DAY!

Oh my God, oh my God. I’ve broken Lentmas. The SHAME! The shame. In my defense, I took up an 8 hour shift at work on Sunday and had a roast dinner waiting for me at home, then I was so knackered I treated myself to an early night.

You know why I was so tired though? I went to London on a spontaneous day out!

Mum and I were sat at home on Friday night wondering what to do with our weekend. It’s so rare that I have a Saturday and a Sunday off, so we wanted to make the most of it! I was perusing WhatsOnStage just for a bit of fun, and found a pair of tickets for The Book Of Mormon for £150. Considering in New York Anna and I met a man who’d scored two tickets for The Book Of Mormon on Broadway for $500, I was so shocked to find these so cheap! So in a moment of madness we booked them.

Where we live in Worcestershire is miles away (not to mention a 3-hour train journey) from the hustle and bustle of London. We got in at about 11:50, just in time to grab some lunch before we could pick up our tickets at 2. Off the back of a recommendation from one of Mum’s friends, we headed to Covent Garden in pursuit of the Brown’s there. We had a Brown’s in Reading, but I never made it there in my three years as a student. Start as you mean to go on, apparently, because we didn’t find it on Saturday either!

Instead, we found a lovely pub below the market called Punch & Judy. I had an Aspall’s to drink and chicken & chorizo pie with chips and peas. Unusual, but 10/10 would eat again. I don’t have an Instagram-worthy photo of my food to insert here because it was actually raining all the way through our lunch and we sat in the outside seating area so everything was a little bit damp and windswept.

After wandering the markets a bit (Mum bought a lovely silver sunflower ring from a lovely lady on one of the stalls), we made our way to the Tube station and onto the theatre. This wasn’t before discovering the perils of Covent Garden tube station, where we climbed the 193 ’emergency’ stairs and realised *just* how far underground the trains run! It was more than enough exercise for at least the next 47 years.

So, the show. It was INCREDIBLE. South Park is my favourite TV show, but to have the minds of Trey Parker and Matt Stone in musical form was something I didn’t know I needed until it was right in front of me. I get that their sick sense of humor is not for everyone, but if you get your laughs from things a little off the cuff (read: a musical based entirely on mocking the Mormon faith, with gags about genital mutilation, homosexuality and AIDS throughout, among others) then you’ll really enjoy it. I’ll hold my hands up and say I did!

I’ve learned to appreciate everything other than the story too, when it comes to theatre – the artistic talent that goes into building the sets and the fluidity of the crew interchanging between them was a pleasure to watch. I don’t know much about the technicalities behind the scenes, but The Book Of Mormon used these devices to its full advantage to create some sharp, laugh-out-loud moments with perfect comedic timing.

Finally, the music. Although some of the songs need to be seen and heard in the context of the plot to be appreciated fully, I do have a few favourites that are funny, catchy and have been going round my head for the past four days. Here’s my current favourites: Take It Off and All-American Prophet:

Once the show sadly came to an end, we headed straight back to Paddington to grab a Nero’s (I will forever make the most of the employee discount) and get the 6pm train home. Turns out spontanaity takes it out of you a bit, and we were both knackered. Next time, we’ll get up much earlier and actually make the most of our time in London, because I always have so much fun there!

Anyway. Until tomorrow,

Emma x

 

 

Just A Quick One

…purely so I don’t end up breaking my Lentmas promise.

There won’t be a proper post today, as I’m not long back from a spontaneous day in London with my Mum. We went to see The Book Of Mormon after booking tickets literally last night, so as people who don’t often venture to the capital we’ve both been running on nervous energy all day.

I’ve had such a lovely day but I’m absolutely pooped. Check back tomorrow and I’ll tell you all about it. Promise!

Until tomorrow,

Emma x

Bloody hell | Lentmas

Tonight I’m going to be rehashing a topic I spoke about on my old blog. Sorry if you feel as though you’ve read this before! You might just have. It’s still an important topic very close to my heart, which deserves to be talked about again and again.

give-bloodAnyway, I wanted to talk about something worthwhile that I really really support. As of 21st October, 2013, I’ve been a blood donor. My blood type is O+ (fun fact: I share my blood type with 38% of the donor population, and my blood can be safely given to a patient of any other blood group*), I have a tendancy to feel faint whenever I donate and I’m currently awaiting my 7th blood drive.

I thought I’d give you a bit of a low down on the blood donating process, in case there’s anyone reading who has always considered joining the register but hasn’t done so yet, for fear of the unknown. Trust me, I was exactly the same at first – had it not been for my friend Katy heading into town after a lecture at uni to donate and me tagging along out of curiosity, I’d probably be in the same boat!

So, you can donate once every three (men) or four (women) months, all being well – tattoos, piercings, or even just travelling out the country can affect this, but you’re given a quick Q&A assessment to get all that out the way upon your arrival. You’ll be directed to a booth to have a chat with a nurse (are you pregnant? Do you have three heads? blah blah) who will do a haemoglobin test, which feels a bit like having your finger stapled. Haemoglobin in the blood carries oxygen from the respiratory organs to the rest of the body, providing you with enough energy to power your metabolism. If you haven’t got the right haemoglobin levels, your blood won’t be able to provide poorly people will the right amount of nutrients to get their body back to normal. If you ever find yourself prohibited from giving blood because of your haemoglobin, a trip to the doctor’s can sort you out and usually you’ll be back to donating in a number of months.

The donating itself is surprisingly uneventful. Once your nurse is happy you’ve had enough to eat and drink (there’s free chocolate, crisps and squash everywhere and it’s fantastic), you’re sat in a chair, your arm is pumped up to get the blood flowing and wake your veins up and the needle is in. After that, you’ve just got to sit and wait! The nurse will give you some circulatory exercises to have a go at while you’re donating to stop light-headedness (speaking from experience, not ideal) – but they’re only small, like clenching your fists and twirling your ankles. Once you’re done, you’re rewarded with more food and drink and a chat. Last time I went, all of us in the ‘aftercare’ area struck up a conversation about Harry Potter, the new Star Wars film and the like. It was fun!

I would seriously recommend looking into giving blood if you can and aren’t already. It’s completely free and, having seen the life-saving effects of successful blood transfusions, I can guarantee it is completely worthwhile. My Dad was given an extra 19 years of happy life thanks to his back in 1996. It’s not even as if you’ll be needing the pint (or so) that you donate each time, as your body regenerates the blood in no time.

Visit blood.co.uk to get yourself clued up, or just have a nosey through @GiveBloodNHS on Twitter – a place where donors and receivers share their stories and you can see for yourself how just an hour of your time can be so massive to someone in need.

Until tomorrow,

Emma x

 

YSL Touche Éclat Le Teint Foundation | Review

Let’s begin this review by setting the record straight – I’m in no way a beauty blogger. In the past year or so, I have just taken an interest in more expensive makeup from higher quality brands. As I don’t wear makeup every day, I’m more willing to invest in something that’ll last me ages – doing a full face also feels a bit more special when you can see and feel the difference.

12722494_10208318131088120_1277028033_oSo, this foundation. I bought it based off a single review I’d seen on a beauty blog. The reviewer (can’t remember who it was now, whoops) described Touche Éclat Le Teint as lightweight and long-lasting, which was exactly what I wanted. Upon visiting the YSL counter to be matched and immediately finding a shade that was spot on, I knew I was making the right choice.

At £32.50(!!!), it’s not the cheapest foundation I’ve ever owned. For years I caked myself in Dream Matte Mousse for the sake of paying something like £9.50, even though I’m sure my skin hated me for it. The acne scars that grace my entire right cheek serve as a bitter reminder.

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With just one-and-a-half small pumps, the foundation manages a light, even coverage that doesn’t cake in the creases of your nose or pick up every single imperfection on your face (as some foundations so annoyingly do). Along with the primer I’ve used on my face first, the end result is a soft look that is just really peachy and nice with a bit of blush (I’ve never been one for contour). This bottle is going to last me ages. You can tell from my before and after, too, that it doesn’t drastically change the colour of my face – I don’t have the tell-tale orange line around my chin.

For me, Touche Éclat just ticks all the boxes. I paid a similar price to being matched with some MAC foundation last year, but was so disappointed by the gloopy, oily consistency of theirs and the poor job of matching me the sales assistant did (once away from their yellow-tinted mirror lighting I was left with a really yellow-toned, satsuma-esque shade. Not cool).

Your bank account may take a bit of a beating, but I would seriously recommend taking the plunge and investing in YSL’s wonderful offering. This is coming from possibly the biggest stinge you will ever come across.

Until tomorrow,

Emma x

 

Things I Swear By

You know how some fitness/beauty/lifestyle Internet personalities have little chestnuts that they live their lives by? I’m by no means throwing shade at anyone, but everywhere you see the phrase ‘I swear by…’ cropping up in vlogs, blog posts and Instagram captions. I thought, seeing as I technically fit the description of ‘Internet Personality’ with this here blog, I would divulge some of the things I swear by.

Prepare to be not at all surprised.

I swear by the end pieces on a loaf of bread. They taste the best and are worth squabbling over.

I swear by decaf coffee. I have never been one to use coffee for its caffeinating(?) benefits – I just love the flavour of coffee and the warmth of having a hot mug of…something.

I swear by easy listening, ‘middle-of-the-road’ music. Think James Blunt, Westlife, Snow Patrol: pretty much any slightly less cool variant of Michael Bublé. Being as into music as he was, my Dad would be turning in his grave (if he had one), but if I need to relax I want something soothing with a simple hook to listen to. Don’t look at me like that.

I swear by buying books and then either not finishing them or not starting them at all. This is regardless of whether I’m enjoying the book or not. The Time Traveller’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger? Loved it! I think it’s plot is incredibly clever and driven and I enjoyed getting invested in Clare and Henry’s story. Did I finish the book? Of course I  didn’t! (Do I know why I do this? Not a fucking sausage!!!!)

I swear by making fairly lavish purchases, for someone on practically minimum wage with a pitiful amount of hours some weeks, then only totting up how many hours I’ll have to work to re-imburse myself afterwards. Thank God I’ve not tried to do this for the 40 grand (or so) of debt I’ve amassed getting my degree.

There are countless other things I swear by that are a lot less tragic if we call them ‘quirks’. Yes, over spending and listening to Westlife. So…quirky.

Ha ha.

Until tomorrow,

Emma x

 

A Day of Coffee (Lentmas, Day 6)

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Evening all! It’s been a very long Tuesday for me. I’ve been sat here, racking my brain for interesting post ideas, but I’m coming up short so here’s a little day-in-the-life. Specifically my life, on the 16th February 2016. Heh.

My day started at 5am, at which point I woke up sort-of hungover with a mouth like sandpaper. My brother, cousin and I went out for a drink last night, but ‘a drink’ quickly became 3 large glasses of wine and as I am a big fat lightweight it went straight to my head. So at 5am, I decided to start my day – by dozing until 5:45am when my alarm went off for work.

After walking to work because Mum had forgotten to put the car keys back where I could find them, I had a fun shift where time seemed to just fly by. My favourite thing about my job is definitely the bunch of people I work with; I’m always having a laugh whoever I’m on shift with and there’s nobody that I don’t get along with. I also like working a morning because it’s when all our regulars are in – it’s lovely just to see so many familiar faces and have easy small chat as opposed to dealing with huge families or stiff-upper-lip types who tend to show up in busy periods.

We have two branches of Caffé Nero in my town and I’d volunteered to do some sick cover at the other one for a few hours after my shift this morning, so I headed straight down in the car (after sitting at the main traffic lights on the way for 10 minutes – who thought doing road works and having 4-way light control in half term was a good idea?!) and had a relaxed, fairly quiet 3-hour shift there. Got an orange hot chocolate to go on the way home. If you’re anywhere near a Nero and love a Terry’s chocolate orange, seriously give our new drink a go. It’s so so good.

Now I’m back home and have eaten some delicious Covent Garden soup for dinner, their Goan Chicken and Spiced Lentils flavour from the skinny range. Will definitely be buying this again. I was meant to be heading out to Aqua Zumba tonight, but considering the class starts in 10 minutes and I’m still vegging out on my laptop in my work uniform I feel like it’s not gonna happen.

Hope you’ve all had a good Tuesday! Until tomorrow,

Emma x

 

25 Facts About Me (The Narcissistic Blogger’s Dream)

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Happy Monday! I thought it’d be nice to make today’s Lentmas post a ’25 Get To Know Me Questions’ tag, and after reading Megan‘s set here I thought they’d be perfect. Plus, who didn’t love these sorts of things on Bebo and Myspace back in the social media dawn of time?!

 

 

 

1. What is your middle name?: If you hadn’t already guessed, it’s Robyn. I think it’s so pretty.

2. What was favorite subject at school?: I really took to Philosophy A Level, so much so that I now have a degree in the bloody subject. But during my GCSEs I’d say my favourites were Business Studies and English.

3. What is your favorite drink?: Big lover of a black coffee (on a bit of a decaf streak at the moment and it’s working for me), a peppermint hot chocolate if I’m treating myself or blackcurrant squash as a bit of an all-rounder.

4. What is your favorite song at the moment?: I’m glad this says ‘at the moment’ otherwise we’d be here for hours! I have two: Hymn For The Weekend by Coldplay and Check Yes Juliet by We The Kings, purely for nostalgic purposes.

5. What is your favorite food?: Agh. Steak (rare), chips, mushrooms, onion rings and peas with peppercorn sauce is my all-time favourite meal. As for food by itself, I am biiiig on green pitted olives.

6. What is the last thing you bought?: Last Friday I had a bit of a ‘treat yoself’ trip into town, and £70 later the last thing I bought that day was some YSL Touche Eclat foundation. Game-changing.

7. Favorite book of all time?: I always say Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman. No book has ever stayed with me or changed my perceptions on reading – and the world itself, on a bigger scale – more.

8. Favorite Color?: Earthy green. Probably not it’s official name, but you know the sort of green I mean.

9. Do you have any pets?: Yes! My little pudding Corky is 10 next month and still the hostile bitch she was the day we brought her home. But she’s my baby.

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10. Favorite Perfume?: Jo Malone’s Mimosa & Cardamom.

11. Favorite Holiday?: It’s a toss up between New York last year and Guernsey in summer 2002.

12. Are you married?: As the perpetually single gal I am, I’m not going to dignify this with a response.

13. Have you ever been out of the country, if so how many times?: I’ve been to Wales, Scotland, Guernsey, France x2, Germany x3, Crete and New York.

14. Do you speak any other language?: Nah. Wish I could. Ain’t got the brain space.

15. How many siblings do you have?: Just the one! My older brother Jack is 23.

16. What is your favorite shop?: TIGER, Wilko (yes, really) and any clothing shop that can get me into a 12 without making feel like I have to work for it. I love little nik-nakky, independant shops too, but I don’t have a particular favourite that I can put my finger on.

17. Favorite restaurant?: Boston Tea Party and Las Iguanas, but really any restaurant with a round table.

18. When was the last time you cried?: Fuck I don’t know. I nearly cried at work yesterday, but properly it was probably a couple of weeks ago now?

19. Favorite Blog?: MINE. mwahaha (nah actually go check out Polly she’s great)

20. Favorite Movie?: Growing up it’s always been Monsters, Inc., but The Theory of Everything really packed a punch for me.

21. Favorite TV shows?: I’m not a big TV watcher! South Park is one of my all-time faves, but I’m generally more into UK comedy panel shows and game shows. I’ll have to pick out A League Of Their Own and Pointless as highlights.

22. PC or Mac?: PC PC PC (although if anyone has a spare macbook going it wouldn’t go amiss)

23. What phone do you have?: iPhone 5s, and I will do until May 2017 when my contract’s up. Then, who knows what iPhone we’ll be on by then.

24. How tall are you?: 5 foot 1 and a half. The half is crucial.

25. Can you cook?: Depends what you want to eat. My speciality is beef, chorizo and rice stuffed peppers. Ask me to whip up a roast dinner and I’ll probably just panic.

So there we are! 25 facts about me. I hope you feel like you know me a little better now. If there’s anything else you want to know don’t be afraid to ask!

Until tomorrow,

Emma x

Feeling loved (and tired. So very tired)

Tonight we are having issues with the Internet. For whatever reason, my laptop refuses to stay connected to the Internet for more than about five minutes at a time – yet my phone’s Internet is working just fine. So, yep, I’m meticulously writing this on my phone! I couldn’t let Lentmas slip on the fourth day. That’d just be rude.


Today has been long. I spent the morning at my friend Hannah’s having a beautiful Valentine’s brunch: ham, avocado, tomato and egg on rye toast, followed by croissants with pomegranate seeds and champagne-infused strawberry jam. The girl knows how to treat me! It was a very bright, fresh morning here today so the sun was streaming in and it was lovely. Who needs a traditional Valentine anyway?!

Work, however, was another story entirely. For some reason it is the done thing to bring either your significant other or your whole family for a panini and a coffee on Valentine’s Day – although, actually, more people than not are drinking hot chocolates with cream and marshmallows at the moment, so I’m sick to the back teeth of making them. I’m absolutely rubbish when it comes to busy days at work. It’s one of my worst traits; I will 100% let my stress take over when we’ve got a demanding queue and I’ll suddenly let *all* my stress pile up until I’m fighting back tears while making a cappuccino. It’s really not my best look! I’d say it’s something I need to work on but I’ve been a worrier ever since I was tiny, so that ain’t gonna change.

But, as all days do, it eventually ended and I was welcomed home by my Mum and a round of cheese on toast. She’s been in Scotland for a few days visiting a friend so it’s really lovely to have her back. It’s also really lovely to be lying in bed as I type this with the knowledge that I have a day off tomorrow!

 

My Valentine’s Day effort stretched as far as wearing red lipstick to work.

Until tomorrow,

Emma x