Reading Challenge: Stephen King Part Two


I am extending my Stephen King reading challenge. If you didn’t read my initial post, I set myself the challenge of reading twelve of the authors books in a year and I didn’t reach my target. I blame IT (1116 pages) and Needful Things (790 pages) which I read one after the other.

I am giving myself until the end of 2017 to complete this challenge, with the below books making it onto my shortlist:

7) Stephen King Goes To The Movies 12/04/17

8) Pet Sematary 24/04/17

9) On Writing

10) Full Dark, No Stars 29/04/16

11) Insomnia

12) The Stand

The Stand is a book I picked up around seven years ago and didn’t finish, the story is incredibly compelling and the only reason for the break is that I can never put my hands on it! I tried to read Pet Sematary as a young teen, but disengaged after Church’s death. I aim to read this from cover to cover this year. The other stand out book on this list for me is On Writing, I found this in a charity shop last year and am looking forward to sampling some of King’s Non-Fiction.

Let’s see how I get on this year! You can find me on Goodreads and I will update my progress there. Technically, I’m on my third King novel of the year already with Full Dark, No Stars.*


Excluded from the original list: Doctor Sleep, The Dark Half, Christine. Though knowing how The Dark Half fits into the Alan Pangborn story line that may find its way into the main list. I also reeeeeeally want to re-read Cujo.

– Emily

* I have read the first sixty pages of Full Dark, No Stars so far…

Styling a Pyjama Top

I haven’t reached into the Pyjama top trend on a big scale, I picked up a slightly garish Hawaiian style version when the trend first hit the high street, and this sleek ASOS number made its way over to my doorstep a couple months ago.

This top is fairly loose fitting and flowy. Like you would imagine with a normal Pyjama top, it’s styled around comfort and movement. One of the things that really drew me to this top is how forgiving it is of the middrift area. With a fastening under the bust, this has almost an empire line finish hitting the slimmest part on me. Presently I wear this with either a black or lacy vest top and I may need to add a hook and eye to this, to keep the finished look demure, it cuts quite low on the bust.

The loose fit of the top means it is best paired with a more fitted bottom half. Be that black jeans, or a pencil skirt. My work wardrobe either comprises of these jeans or a lovely cropped pair of Monsoon trousers (similar) which, as a look, commits to the full trend.

My hair tends to live in a braid of some form, so adding a sleek hair style and a very bright lip lifts this look. I also adore chunky heeled shoe boots, so will wear them whenever I can. Even if I do end up covering them in the floor of the wooded area we were shooting…

– Emily

Boots – Primark – Jeans – New Look Curve here – Top – ASOS Curve Silmilar – Lipstick – MAC Pickled Plum link

 A note to say my waist is definitely smaller in this than it is in reality. Lens Distortion and Photoshop correction for you.

Currently Obsessed With…

I should probably start by saying that if I find something I like I get obsessed with it. I have been known to listen to the same band non stop for 6 months and watch the same film twice in one day. I can’t help it, it must be how I’m wired. So, I go in and out of phases of being obsessed with certain things and I thought I would share what’s currently got my undivided attention.

 

1. The Gilmore Guys podcast.

gilmore guys

As you probably already know Gilmore Girls is one of my many obsessions (I’ve seen every episode at least 7 times). But, recently I found of a way of revisiting the whole series without having to commit to another complete run through of all 7 seasons. I stumbled upon The Gilmore Guys podcast a few months ago and it has become the soundtrack to my 2 hour commute to work and back everyday. Demi and Kevin are hilarious and its really made me think a little deeper about a show I have loved for so long. I am a little late to the party (it started 2 years ago) but I am so loving the journey so far and can’t wait to make it all the way through, I’m on season 3 so only 4 left to go.

 

2. The River by Bruce Springsteen.

The_River_(Bruce_Springsteen)_(Front_Cover)

A young Bruce Springsteen may just be my idea of the perfect man, he is bae! But this album in particular has been my soundtrack to the last couple of months, when I haven’t been listening to podcasts. Its perfect blend of upbeat dance alongs like ‘Hungry Heart’ and more thought provoking slow songs like ‘Independence Day’ and songs I must have at my wedding like ‘I Wanna Marry You’ work together to create an album that has everything you could ever need on it. Bruce fan or not, this album is everything.

 

3. Films starring a young Tom Cruise.

2310screenshot

Recently I have watched; A Few Good Men (pictured above), Rain Man, Top Gun, Risky Business, Jerry Maguire and Cocktail. Not only was a young Tom Cruise just the most handsome man in all the land, but this is also when he did some of his best acting work. Cocktail will forever be in my top 10 movies of all time and A Few Good Men is just sublime. Cruise’s early work was phenomenal, he was funny and charming and powerful and sexy and had gravitas. Do yourself a favour, and if you haven’t watched any of the films mentioned watch them, and if you have rediscover them. He’s allowed to jump on couches like a loon with a filmography like that.

 

That is basically it for the time being, but believe me it takes up a lot of my time. Let me know if you get obsessed with things too and what you’re currently in to. Now if you’ll excuse me I feel like I’m about to go deep into a young Robert De Niro phase, if anyone needs me I’ll be watching The Deer Hunter.

 

Thanks for reading. Speak soon – Sally 🙂

A Theatre Review: The Here and This and Now

Going into a show with the lightest understanding of what it may entail, definitely leaves for an interesting experience. What I took away from my brief reading of The Here and This and Now on the Theatres website, was a comment on society, and our reliance on things to experience life (never rely too heavily on a Kindle related comment for context). The play itself was a layered look at the business world, and the effect it can have on the physical world, interspaced with character discussions of thier experiences with happiness; past, present and potential happiness.
The plays core revolves around McCabe, a pharmaceutical company who specialise in “Me To” lines of drugs. Products which were revolutionary months ago, and now have a slight spin to separate from the original. Products that rely upon Salesmanship and “likeableilty” to succeed in a saturated market. It tracks those connected to the company Pre, during and post- event. The story begins at break neck speed with four characters yelling “CAPTIVATE” and “DESTROY” whilst moving around the stage before moving directly into a two person conversation, I found myself focusing on Nial in an attempt to add any context or back story to what I was hearing.

 

The story has three key segments; The Away Day, Helens Presentation and McCabe’s Promotional Video. It’s a plot I don’t wish to decode too explicitly, as I feel it’s intended to impact you on a unique and personal level. There are elements of Orwell and King in the second part, and parallels to stories like Never Let Me Go in the final section, or in the least the ethical questions contained within Never Let Me Go.

There are parallels to what Black Mirror has attempted to do with its comments on society. Sometimes dark and poignant, very human and current. It’s difficult to pin down and define, calling instead for dissections and debate over drinks directly after. I worry that it is dreamlike, in that the more you try desperately to grasp at what you experienced in the last two hours, the more it escapes.

Tickets for the show come in at £15 (£11 for concessions), with it running until March 25th.

– Emily

The Theatre Royal Plymouth gifted these tickets as part of thier Blogger Scheme, as always the words and opinions are completely my own.

White Chocolate and Stem Ginger Fudge Cookies

I love fudge, two of my favorite really indulgent bakes are my Chocolate Fudge Brownies, which I brought with me to my first blogger event, and a Chocolate Fudge cake heck, Fudge was one of my recommendations in last years Fathers Day Gift ideas post. When the opportunity to work with a local fudge brand on a baking post presented itself I jumped at the chance.

I was given a couple bags of The Devon Fudge Company Stem Ginger Fudge, and when playing about with ideas I settled on a sweet  and gooey cookie with white chocolate. I felt the flavor pallet was subtle enough to really hero the Stem Ginger Fudge.

I flicked through my go to baking cook books: Saved By Cake – Marian Keys and The Humming Bird Bakery Cookbook. I settled on the White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies (with a few small alterations):
Recipe:

300 g Sugar

400g Flour

2 large Eggs

1/4 tsp Baking Powder

250g Butter

1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

100g White chocolate

125g Stem Ginger Fudge

Instructions 

  1. Preheat your oven to 170 C
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and light yellow in colour, gradually add the eggs.
  3. Add the vanilla extra. And slowly fold in the flour and baking powder.
  4. Fold in the white chocolate, usinf an ice cream scoop portion out your cookies on a baking sheet. Add pieces of chopped Fudge to the cookie’s, avoiding the edges.
  5. Cook for 12-15 minutes. Less time allows for a gooier cookie, and longer allows for a more solid biscuit.

A couple small tips:

– I used any sugar I had left, the benefit of demerara/brown sugar is the sweetness and the colour it adds to the bake. I’m a lazy Baker, so on occasion I make do. The original recipe called for a 100g caster sugar to 200g light brown sugar.

– adding the Fudge at the end allows for an even distribution amongst the cookie’s, avoiding the edges stops any Fudge escaping out of the cookie.

– I omitted the pinch of salt from the original recipie, your call.

I actually Instagram Storied the whole baking process when I made this on Saturday, Im loving Instagram Stories right now (evidenced here) and if you wanted to give me a follow I’m over on: Maytooctober

What do you think? They went down very well, my family made thier way through the batch in about three days!

– Emily

Thank you to the Devon Company for the gifting of thier fudge. If you haven’t tried them yet, they run competitors where you could win a bag of fudge over on thier Twitter from time to time.

Things every photographers girlfriend knows

This post is very inspired by 11 Things You’ll Only Know if You’re a Bloggers Boyfriend

on the lovely Nicoles blog. The post made me giggle, and I thought rather than mimicking the post completely I’d put a different spin on it.

So, here we go:

  1. You will become a full blown assistant. I helped with one wedding many years ago, and I’ve already booked three days off for week day weddings.
  2. You’ll become a model. Not necessarily the fun sophisticated type, but the lighting/new techniques/ new lenses kind.
  3. You’ll learn about Composure, Rules of Thirds, Typespace and all sorts of other things you won’t be able to explain.
  4. You are a gofer / packhorse. I carry lenses, tripods, go searching for a bouquet or father of the bride on a fairly regular basis.
  5. You’ll really appreciate photoshop. Not the body morphing version, but the perfecting-each-image from-so that a couple will just be happy. Goodbye fire extinguishers, blinking eyes and assistants in the background hello; flawless images.
  6. You know how to rock layers. After many sunset and star scape shoots you know how to wrap up warm, and stay warm. It is completely worth it when you are alone on the moors, with the stars overhead and meteorites flashing across the sky.
  7. There are more photos of you, than there are of the pair of you. Until you force him to take approximately 726 selfies with you.
  8. You pimp his business endlessly to your colleagues, friends, strangers you meet in a bus stop….

– Emily 


A few of my favourite Instagram Story Creators

I love Instagram stories.

It’s small, daily doses of why I love youtube so much, in an organic manner. Today’s late post is a curated list of the instagram stories that make me smile. Ivehyperlinked all the accounts below so you can check the, out too, if you fancy.

   
MillyDayDreams

Milly is an absolute girl boss. From blogger mail to little snaps of her day as a blogger, mum, and her work with a men’s fashion brand. She is unbelievably lovely in person and her stories are a real highlight.

   
HannahRuthTea

Blogger, student, tea enthusiast and social media guru, Hannah is a force of nature. Hannah never really stops and embraces every opportunity that comes her way and this really comes across with her stories, alongside with a glimpse at her tea collection.

   
HannahGale

Another Hannah, but one I only stumbled across late 2016. Fashion, lifestyle and a peak into the behind the scenes of a self employed blogger are what you get in these stories. Hannah’s Boomerangs are always my favourite.

   
LivPurtis

Nicole introduced me to Liv, and I love her content. She has a great eye for style, shares little looks into her day and has the most adorable Westie Maggie. Dogs and style = 👌🏻
   

CarolineHirons

I’ve only been following Caroline a week or so, and I can’t get enough of her stories. Alongside really knowing a thing or two about skin care, she is hilarious and has an incredible wit that makes her easy to watch.

   
MikeDeForce

The other half of FleurDeForce (another favourite instagram stories-er) Mike is very funny and a natural story teller. I go to his feed for the animals (they have 3 dogs and two cats), food and just general Mike-ness.

   
Waterstones

The only brand to make my list, Waterstones have me screenshoting books with their teeny curated stories. Sometimes these will be themed around an author, possibly an event, or just a topic of their choice. One for the book worms!

   
Clumsybaby

This is the account you need for healthy food goals. Lauren has the snack game down, and always gives me food envy.

   
HelloOctober

Suzie is a blogger/youtuber with a great sense of style and a perchance for liquid eyeliner and premium/luxury style pieces. I love her feed for inspiration, and a glossy look into how social influencers live.

   
If you are a fan of Instagram stories too, please share a few accounts I should follow below.

   
– Emily