Goodbye December, thanks for the memories

It's that time again where another month moves on in the blink of an eye and we're left wondering why do they go by so fast? 


Christmas in Spain
This was the first Christmas that I spent with my whole family (well excluding one of my cousins and his family plus my aunt and her husband). I was a bit disappointed at first, as my mum wasn’t going to be there. Or so I thought! On the 24th I opened the door to see my mum and it was a moment filled with tears on my part and laughter on hers. The whole family had kept it a secret from me. Over three years I hadn’t been able to see my mum and that day was what made Christmas extra special for me.

Special gift
Each year, months before Christmas the boyfriend and I exchange lists. Neither of us ever really follows the list, which makes it even more fun on Christmas day. This year I had it planned to make him a scrapbook. I filled it with all the letters that we exchanged, cards that we gave each other and memorable photos. While I didn’t give it to him on Christmas day, I gave it to him before I left to spend Christmas in Spain. I enjoyed watching him with apprehensive eyes on my part. His eyes watered when he read the special letter pasted on the very first page and each turn of a new page made him cry a little more. Needless to say, this gift was well thought off and one of his favourites.

Best Friend Reunion

It might have been a short week but it was memorable. We met in middle school when I was living in America and from that moment we were inseparable.  After graduation we went our separate ways, which left us with very few moments spent together. December was made extra special because she was planning a trip to Croatia and on her way she was going to stop in London to spend a few days to catch up and see what London had to offer. Each day together was left with immense laughter and a lot of catching up plus selfie mania. I cannot wait for the next time we get to see each other.

Christmas has gone and past, with that it'll soon be time to say goodbye to 2015. So how every your year went I hope you were able to fill it with lots of memories and that you 2016 will be just as memorable.


Wonder Woman Art of War DC Collectible Review

There are two things that I obsess over, one being penguins and the other being Wonder Woman! She's my heroine. The woman that I look towards when I need inspiration or motivation. For years I've been wanting to own a Wonder Woman figure. This Christmas I was surprised by boyfriend who bought me this DC Collectible Wonder Woman Art of War figure.


Created by Adam Hughes this beautiful sculpture measures at 7.25" tall and comes in a beautiful box. She's a limited edition out of 5,200 and was sculpted by Tim Miller. Beautifully painted, she stands proudly on her platform while gazing out into the distance. 


What I truly love about her is the fact that she hasn't got her cape. The outfit she wears is from her appearance in the 80s. Unlike many other female figures out there the creators have been sure to keep to the way she is and not over sexualised her appearance. A single downfall to her is that she missing her golden lasso, a Wonder Woman essential as she's usually hardly every seen without it. 

Breath taking from the front as from the back. She is a perfectly scaled replica of the Amazon Princess and I'm proud to be the owner of this DC Collectible.

Best Friends Reunited Part Two

Day two was pretty chilled. Flying 40 hours left her drained and change of time zones didn't help either. I've been there myself so I thought maybe we should take it easy today.



Our wonder around London led us to the Natural History Museum. Anyone who truly knows me can understand why after visiting the place a million times, I haven't gotten tired of it to this day! Glad that we did visit as they have started on renovations and a stop in the mammal department showed us that they were truly going to get rid of Dippy. It astounded her that the museum was free! Our chatter brought about memories of visiting museums as kids in Detroit, Michigan and how horrible they were in comparison to what London had to offer. 






It wasn't long till the jet lag settled in once again and we were headed back to Central to grab something to eat. Since before she arrived in London she had been going on and on about fish and chips. That took us Leicester Square. We found a good looking place and lucky for us (though I didn't like the situation) we were also faced off with a large crowd of people as they were hosting the Star Wars premier. We got out of their before it hit off and had enough time to enjoy the lights once more before heading home.




When Best Friends reunite in London

It finally happened! After 3 years two best friends were reunited. It meant a week of laughter, memories and sight seeing. Introducing her to British foods and teaching her the British terminology. 


There wasn't much to be done on the first day. She was travelling from America and it was a long flight with many pitstops. Once we picked her up and got her back home, she refreshed and we decided to head out for a meal and to show her the lights in Central London. Chaos ensured! Got caught in the rain with only one umbrella to share amongst three people. Not a great way to welcome back a friend but at least she got to see the lights.





It's time for...a blog revamp!

I can't do it! This blog as it is...it's just not starting to feel like it truly expresses me. December 4th marked the very first anniversary for my blog. I started off not knowing what I was doing and just writing about things that I thought I was interested in. More like a chore than anything. Blogging was starting to be not fun like it used to. So it's time for me to say...


Sure I'm interested in what I blog but it's not what I'm passionate about. What's the point of taking the time to write if it isn't what really floats my boat? With realisations I've discovered that I shouldn't be ashamed of what it is that I really love. Each blogger has something that makes them excited to write and it's that which makes people want to read what they wrote.

In terms of revamp it's not going to be a whole new layout just new content. It might not seem like a huge thing for some but for me, I think it's a step forward. It'll include me being more active on my Facebook Page, YouTubeInstagramPinterest and Twitter. I want to be get out there more as well. Can't keep using college as an excuse to not go out and discover things.  

What's the plan for the revamp?

  • New content - ideas ranging from reviews to fashion posts to adventures in London
  • Be active - arrange a schedule and stick to it.
  • Engage - take part in blogger twitter chats, engage with other bloggers and make some new blogger friends
  • Don't be afraid - share what I know and love!
  • Wordpress - decide to merge or get rid of it
Through the month of December I'm hoping to get these revamps started on so after the new year I'm up and ready to start blogging all over again. Of course I'll try to get the odd post up now and again.

Any of you gone through a revamp? Got any tips or tricks to share? 




Brushes, keeping them clean all year round

Everyone has their own methods of keeping their makeup brushes clean. Theirs the easy version of getting the special shampoo for them and there are various youtube videos of how you can keep them clean at no expense.




Usually after a week of using my brushes they get filthy and nasty. At the end of week it's time for them to get a good wash. So I gather all of them (even the unused ones) and head off to the bathroom.



First round is using anti bacterial soap. This will ensure that all the nasty stuff collected on the brushes is gone! One round will usually do but two will also work given how bad they are.



Round two I then use coconut shampoo and conditioner. The soap will usually dry them which means prickly hairs (very uncomfortable). These will return all the moisture that were lost. Don't need a lot, about a penny sized amount.



Extra liquid squeezed out then all that's left is for them to dry. I never keep them, bristle up! It lets what little water that wasn't squeezed out to make it's way to glue. Over time the hairs start to come off. At one point the whole bottom part of one of my brushes came off (so lessoned learned). I keep them laying down on their sides.

Here's a tip! Don't have any of this then no worries. Go ahead and use fairy liquid! It works a treat. Just mix it with a small amount of olive oil or baby oil and that's a two in one.

How do you look after your makeup brushes?

I'm looking forward to December

Hello 1st of December!!! I've been waiting for this month for so long just because so much is going to happen. Here are the top 5 things that I'm looking forward to this month.


1. The time that I've seen my best friend is too few of times. After graduation, I moved to London and she went through with studying at uni to become a nurse. This month she's off to Croatia and was able to spare a few days in London to see the sights and hang out with her best chum. In two weeks she will arrive and boyfriend will be coming down as well (he's eager to meet this very much talked about friend of mine). Our antics will be great and our adventures amazing. Sure there will be loads of photos and laughs shared between us.




2. Week after she leaves I'll be flying off to Spain. I can't remember the last time I spent Christmas with the family so I look forward to it but at the same time I don't. This will be the first Christmas where there will be one less person at the table. 


3. My return to London! I will be heading back to the boyfriends to spend my last couple of days of  freedom. We'll be doing our late gift exchange (can't wait to see what we got each other) and catching up.


4. A new year will be here to greet within the blink of an eye. Although my Christmas wasn't spent with boyfriend at least we'll be able to say goodbye to the old year and welcome to the new.

5. Revamp! My motivation of writing has been quite low. Now I can say this is due to not having time because of college but instead I'm going to say it's because this blog doesn't really show who I am. The content is few because I'm never sure what to share along with the fear of exposing the type of person I really am. That will change! When will the revamp start...maybe while I'm on holiday so it's ready for the new year...

Months...STOP RUSHING BY WILL YOU!!!

Lip colour to die for!



I can't help it! Starting to turn into one of those people who has to own every colour out there. It's strange because I don't really like wearing lipstick but here I am buying new ones out of the blue. My newest colour is purple. Yes, you heard me right, purple. Now it might seem like an unusual colour but it works! For me at least. The shade is light when applied, so the more layers that you slap on, the brighter the outcome.

It's so fuzzy I could die!



I'm a winter girl through and through. I love bundling up in layers and what better way to bundle up than to throw on a big fuzzy jacket. When my dad came to visit last month he was adamant that I needed a proper jacket. Pull and Bear is a new store that a friend introduced me to. Each day I thank him because if he never did then I wouldn't have ever walked in and found this coat. It's big, fluffy on the inside and on the outside (on the hood only). It makes me giggle each time I wear it because the hood just slips over my face making it seem like I'm wearing something way to big for my size. Hurray for fuzzy coats!

I'll be eating this forever.



Newly converted (not converted so much as choose to become) vegetarian right here! So that meant going on the hunt for tasty recipes. Easy ones preferably with no work behind them. Low and behold, I encountered this very tasty toasted gnocchi salad. By chance I found Amuse Your Bouche and it has become my go to site. Easy, quick recipes and all of them taste amazing! You should give this one a try especially. My all time favourite.

Guess it's back...for how long though?




Thought I had retired from it. That it had been a stage that's been long gone and never to return. However it has. I'm talking about gyaru makeup. For those who don't know what that is, gyaru is a style that originated in Japan. It involves drastic makeup, crazy hairstyles and amazing clothes. Now hairstyles and clothes aside so far it's just the makeup that has decided to come back. How long this will last...well...guess that only time will tell.

What are you looking forward to the most about December?

The mystery within

Allow me to introduce you to my bag and the mystery of what can be found within!


My bag is this beauty. It's a faux leather bat gothic bag which I found on ebay. I'm not a fan of bags to be honest but this shoulder bag goes everywhere with me (with the exception of college). Typically these are the items that I carry when I've got to do a shopping run or meet up with a friend.

1) Samsung tablet
It goes everywhere with me these days. Long train rides and bus rides, I'm able to catch up on my tv shows on the go. Don't really use it for anything else. Except when I take it to college. I'll then use it to do research and waste time during break. By the way...can you guess what show I'm watching?

2) Ipod touch and nano
Music everyday and everywhere! I can't live without it! It's impossible! On my nano, all the music is from tv shows (mostly all different anime's) then on the touch it's various english artists. My Ipod touch also has loads of games to keep me entertained. 


3) Lipgloss and lipstick
My lips get chapped way too easy which is why I carry a small pot of vaseline. Most of the time I think it's a waste because as soon as I put it on, I then end up rubbing it off. If I'm in a lipstick kind of mood, my colour of choice will be in my little make up pouch along with my eyeliner. The eyeliner is in there even when I'm not wearing it for the day.

5) Card holder
I'm not a purse/wallet sort of girl. I like to make life difficult for myself so that's why I have this little card holder. I received it as a gift and it's the perfect size to stick all my cards, keys, and phone (it's a tiny phone, a samsung S3 mini) in. Never leave the house without it!

So that's all of it! Yeah...not a lot I know but each girl is different when it comes to what's in their bag. That being said what's in your bag?

Goodbye dear Yamaha R1

I can still remember how ecstatic he was when he got his new Yamaha R1. Couldn't wait to go out and see what power it held. Since the moment it got into his garage, it was all about that bike. With Yamaha's mention in the coming year of the brand new Yamaha R1M, he jumped on the opportunity to trade his R1 for the newer bike. It wasn't without a heavy heart that he said his goodbyes. A photoshoot opportunity arose and I couldn't pass on the moment of taking some good shoots before the truck came to collect it. So goodbye R1, you made one motorbike rider a happy sole to have them in their life for such a short amount of time. Hope you're next owner treats you as well as he did.





Duprasi, what an odd tail...

Algerian (male) Duprasi photo: Algerian Duprasi algerianfemale.jpg
Image courtesy of [nigelsmum] at photobucket.com


Also referred to as the fat tailed gerbil, the Duprasi is not an animal that you will commonly see in a pet store. I personally don't know of many people who own one not to mention never have I ever encountered one. 

This animal is a common sight in desert areas such as the Northern Sahara. Living till around 5-8 years in captivity, they are about 10cm in length with an additional 5cm of tail. The tail...that weird looking thing looks the way that it does as it stores water within it just as camels hold water within their humps.

Duprasi should be kept alone in a good size cage. Unlike hamsters the bedding should be thick enough that they are able to burrow. They need a level cage with very little climbing obstacles as they're not built to climb. Their diets are similar to those of gerbils but care should be taken to be sure that they don't receive too much moisture with their diet. 

Calm and docile, Duprasi make a great pet for those looking for a mix of cute and strange. 

A budding photographers wish list


I'm a budding photographer, always wanting to improve my skill and knowledge. Dream of being able to take photos that will mesmerise those who look at them. Last year I got my Nikon D3300 and it was the most amazing gift I received in years. Since then, it hasn't left my side. Given time I have been able to sit down and look at items that will help me to become the photographer I have envisioned.


Photography for beginners
1) Camera Cleaning Kit for Optical Lens and Digital SLR: Amazon.co.uk:... - Any and all photographers need to have the proper equipment to care for their beloved camera. This camera cleaning kit is ideal for those given situations.

2) DURAGADGET All-Weather SLR Camera Rucksack For Nikon D: Amazon.co.uk:... - I've got a messenger that I bought for my trip to Sri Lanka. It's good but this bag would be more useful. Compartments to store my lenses, someplace to carry my tripod, and room for anything else that I could possibly need to carry with me.

3) Nikon D3300 From Snapshots to Great Shots - Snap and shoot! It's a good method but for there are some many different techniques that can be used to help improve your shot. Those who are on a budget and like to learn at their own pace, a book like this would be a great assist.

4) How to Photograph Absolutely Everything: Successful Pictures from your... - There's so much that can be photographed and this book does exactly what it says. I borrowed it from my local library and it helped me to take some pretty decent shots.

5) Social Photography Make All Your Smartphone Photos One in a Billion - As a blogger, photography is a great way of getting others attention. My Nikon might travel everywhere I go but so does my smartphone and Ipod touch. With instagram, twitter, facebook knowing that I can take a great photo without the use of my Nikon is great use. A book that can explain how this is possible is even better.

Are you a photographer with your own wish list? 

#silentsunday




#shareasmile She'll love you no matter what


A photo posted by Lorraine (@ra1nex) on

No matter the situation, no matter the fact that she's still a baby and likes to grind your gears whenever possible. This little lady will always stay by your side to offer a good cuddle session.


If I could....

I wasn't tagged to do this tag but as I liked the idea behind it so much I thought it would be good to do. Please feel free to do this if you haven't. Gives a great insight into the writer behind the blog.

If I could live anywhere…..
My dream lately has been to move to Australia. I believe that would be an adventure in itself. Somewhere for me to look forward to once I have become a veterinary nurse. With so many exotic animals there, I would have the time of my life.
If I could have any home…..
I'm not one for big over sized houses. It has to be comfortable, maybe medium sized with a big garden to run around and relax in during the hot weather. The outdoors is a big point for my future home. Big enough to explore, to have three dogs running around and maybe a horse or two. Inside...meh...not really bothered.

If I could have any garden…….
Open space, green grass, big trees and lots of freedom. I don't care for flowers as much as trees just because I'm no green thumb. A simple, minimal care sort of garden would work for me.
If I could be on holiday right now……
It's hard to choose one place but all that I've been able to think about lately has been Australia. Maybe it's because that's what I dream to be in the future. Warm weather, sandy beaches and animals galore. 
If I could have any job…….
I would love to be a world renowned veterinary nurse. Known for my skills and how much I have helped the animal community. 
If I could have any talent…..
Sketching everything and anything would be an amazing talent. It's a side hobby of mine but it's a skill that I've had to work on very hard each day. Having the natural talent would be that at any given time I could come up with something. Be able to sketch out ideas without any groans of frustration.
If I could live any day again……
The last time I saw my cousin. I would do it all over again, be sure to spend more time with her and do things together. Even though she was ill and unable to do much I felt like the time we had together was too short. I didn't talk to her enough, laugh with her enough, cry with her enough. I would want to do that day all over again and do it right.
If I could have any superpower…..
I would want to be able to understand animals. Think it would be interesting to know what's going on in their minds. Not just in the minds of my pets but when working with them, it would be helpful to know what they want exactly and how I can help them even better. 

Vegetarian vs. Meat



For as long as I could imagine I have been an omnivore. Enjoyed my burgers, pizza and all other meaty dishes. Of course I went through my phases where I attempted to become vegetarian (which failed miserably). Went six months of being pescatarian but then returned to my meat urge. 

September brought about the start of college. I delved into subjects that I never knew about and my teachers told us stories of their experiences. My zoology teacher is adamant in having his students minds open up to what happens around us, behind closed doors. Animal handling theory brought about subjects that were touchy and videos that made you cry. To me, it brought about a stronger realisation of what I've been eating and a greater understanding behind the animals I'll be setting out to work with. 

An incident at my trial day with a chicken made me unable to enjoy Nandos chicken and working with the college Kune Kune pigs made me stop loving my pork sausages. Animal handling theory had me facing issues when it came to buying battered cod.

Do I regret going into this course? Not at all. Do I feel lost now that I can't enjoy the foods that I love? Well at the moment I've been able to survive without my chicken or pork. Cow and lamb aren't off the menu but if offered a plate of it would I eat it? Not sure.

I'm doing fine without the neat to have my meat feast pizza and fish fingers. Not had any urges or faced any second thoughts about the path I'm slowly going down. If anything, this is making me feel better about myself.

Living without meat, can't see that being a bad thing. 

Meet the Sugar Glider

As an animal care student I'm given the chance to work with a variety of animals. From rodents to birds to exotic species. Within three weeks I care, learn and handle animals in our given section. My last three weeks was spent in the rodent room where I made loads of new furry friends. So let me introduce you to one of them.

Image courtesy of [think4photop] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sugar Gliders. Small, big eyed with a long tail and wings. A nocturnal marsupial that I hardly ever see. As a pet, never thought that such a cute critter existed as they are originally from the rainforests of Australia and Indonesia. 

Guys this is not a RODENT!!! They're marsupials (they carry their young like Kangaroos). Their typical lifespan can range from 12-15 years and they're fairly easy to take care of. As humans, we love the exotic and never before seen but I wouldn't keep one as a pet. 

Their diets mostly consists mainly of sweet fruit and veg (we feed the ones on campus the occasional jam or yogurt as a treat) and while easy to look after they require a fair amount of space. Having only one is not an option as they are social animals. 

Housetraining is not an option unfortunately which means that they're enclosure does tend to smell as they smear their feces wherever they are (not as bad as cleaning compared to the ferrets enclosure). Tame Sugar Gliders make great companions but mind their nails cause those can be pretty sharp. Once you become friends with them, their your friend for life.  

What do you think of the Sugar Glider?

Christmas reflection #MySundayPhoto


A photo posted by Lorraine (@ra1nex) on

My last two christmas were spent with the boyfriend and his family. This year we'll be separate and though it will feel strange, I'm kind of glad. Sometimes we need time apart to appreciate what we have in life. To reflect and assess how things have gone. This christmas I'll be spending it with my family in Spain. This year, there will be one less person at the table. This year...we could become closer as a family. Whatever happens, christmas will be celebrated and new memories will be made.

OneDad3Girls

My Daily Routine (Health version)

Good morning everyone!!! I thought to take a spin on things and do a my daily routine post (the health version). This is what I go through on my 6 days of the week when I workout and keep an eye on what I eat. Routine wise, the only difference is the exercise video I choose to use and of course the meal for the day. With that out of the way onto my daily routine.

1) Morning Cardio. 
Every morning after I have breakfast, I head out the door to get some light cardio in. Whether it's running or walking (at a medium fast pace). It gives me a chance to clear my mind and just get out of the house for a while.

2)Draw a plan.
Returned home, time to come up with my exercise plan for the day. This also gives me some time to chill out and cool down. I'll have a look at some of my favourite health sites such as Blogilates and Tone It Up to see what I can pick and mix to create my own routine for the day. Before I use to follow just one of the calendars but my body has picked up on the same repetitive moves so got to mix it up now. One day would be an abs and legs day, another might be a HIIT day.

3)Snack.
After cardio is a good time to get in your carbs for the day because it helps with recovery and muscle growth. My carbs would be a bowl of cereal or toast with yogurt. I'm no health expert but my research and many words of advice tell me that it's best to eat your carbs in the morning and after a workout. First thing in the morning is a good time because you've just woken up but if like me and you're doing a morning cardio session then go for a shake instead cause then that way you're burning fat instead of fuel.

4)Relax or get things done.
Until afternoon, I use the time to get things around the house done.  Check emails, work on a blog post and such. Once I'm back at home then I'll start prepping any food needed for dinner. Lately I've been buying small packets of vegetables and making a soup for dinner. The perfect light meal for the end of the day. Lunch I will stick with protein based meal so that would be fish and veg, meat and veg.

5)Workout time.
After I've let my meal have time to work it's way through and I'm energised once again then it's onto part two of my workout. That would be my list of workouts that I've compiled for the day. I'll move furniture around and grab weights if needed for the routine. I'm not a big fan of using weights and always prefer to use my own body weight.

6)Recover.
What a workout! I'm probably sweating like crazy and feeling puffed out. Yet I'm filled with a great sense of achievement. As my heart rate goes back to normal I'll put everything back and then decided bath vs shower. Either way I'll start prepping, get my towel, PJs, face cleansing products and give myself time to stop sweating. I find that jumping straight into the bath or shower makes me feel less relaxed without my chill out time.

7)Day has come to an end. 
End of the day, all that's left to do is have dinner. This is my favourite part of the day where I can do as I please and crawl into bed feeling accomplished.

That's my routine for each day (with the exception of my rest days). Do you have a health routine?



Wordless Wednesday #1


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November Already?!

I'm late!!! But you'll forgive me right?! Here's what made my October enjoyable. 

Image courtesy of [fantasista] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Short Story

My kindle has rarely left my side these days. On my journeys to class, I'll pull it out and settle down to a nice read. Searching through Amazon kindle I came across a short story titled 'The Doll' by J.C. Martin, this short story has given me a second perspective on dolls.

TV Series






I've been weary of starting to watch this series again but I just can't stay away from it. I'm talking about Doctor Who. After having an in depth conversation with a friend of mine who convinced me that Matt Smith didn't portray a bad Doctor, I finally decided to pick up from where I left.

Bag



As a college student, there's a lot of things that I need to take with me. At first I used my adventure bag but the single shoulder strap was causing me grief and pain carrying all those workbooks. Investment time! It meant that I was on the look out for a new bag and lucky for me I found it! This bag goes with me everywhere now. It's beautiful, unique and screams out my love for animals.

Game



Valiant Hearts is a puzzle adventure game which takes you through a heart warming story based during World War 1. Filled with lovely art and interesting facts, this game has been my go to every morning.