Saturday, 24 October 2009


I’m sorry I disappeared in the middle of the week there – I was packed full or work and uni stuff and will be at work from pretty much now until tomorrow night so there probably won’t be any posts on Monday. I’ll get something up.

I went and seen Saw VI before work last night. Awfully gory and icky. It was ok though – better than the fifth one.

No pictures or anything today. I’ve not done anything at all this week. I will be going shopping at some point next week though. Exciting!

I hope everyone’s well and has a good weekend.


Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Review: Dead Until Dark and Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris.

trueblood1 trueblood2

I mentioned that I bought these books a couple of weeks ago and finished both of them quite quickly – the first one within two or three days and the other one within the week since I was working and at university a lot. I don’t normally do book reviews, but I wanted to get my thoughts on these books out there – none of my flatmates have read them yet and it just needs to get out my head.

I’ve read Twilight. But then I’ve also read Interview With The Vampire. So it’s safe to say I know, and like, my vampire fiction – good and bad. I’m not going to get into my thoughts on Twilight in this post (good story, poor writer) or Interview (good story, amazing writer). This post is all about Dead Until Dark and Living Dead in Dallas – the newest vampire darlings, or TrueBlood.

I’m going to be honest – I was expecting something better. A lot better. There’s about 300 pages in each of the books but the font size is rather large – I could probably read a whole book in about 3 or 4 hours if I didn’t have other things to do. And the writing itself… well I can understand that Harris was trying to accurately portray the mind of a deep south waitress who can read minds. I really understand that. I don’t understand how she managed to get a 10 book deal with it though – I honestly think it’s worse than Stephanie Meyer’s writing.

The writing could also do with a bit more description and the story could do with being fleshed out a bit. Everything really happens quite quickly and there’s no explanation for it – one minute they meet and the next they’re boyfriend and girlfriend. There’s no in-between except for a poorly written sex scene.

But, and I hate myself for this, the story is good. It’s unique. The general public know about vampires and, to an extent, accept them. Add in a little bit of murder, mystery, synthetic blood and some action and you’ve got a story. The main character of Sookie is also a normal person who has normal worries – minus the mind reading thing obviously. You can relate to her in a strange way.

Would I recommend the books? Probably not unless you wanted a trashy read. I will admit that I’ve bought the next two and I’ve just finished the third one…

Has anyone else read them yet? Tell me what you think about them.


Monday, 19 October 2009

How to manage your time better.

timeSee the original by fullofbliss @ Flickr here.

A million and one things to do.
It’s about a month into the semester at most universities now – maybe a bit more, maybe a bit less for some. It’s at this point that tutors think “hey, let’s start handing out lots of essays!” and of course, they all think it at once. I have lots of university work to do without essays, never mind fitting in my actual work to make pennies and it can all get to me sometimes. I’m sure it can get to everyone. But it doesn’t need to. With a little bit of forward planning (and a bit of patience) you can make this buy time at university much more easy for yourself.

It’s gonna feel a little bit like high school…
Because in a way, you’ll be making a timetable for yourself. One that goes along with your university timetable, work rota and whatever else you have to fit in. Some of you will be able to only have to do this once a semester, or once a month. For people like me who get different shifts at work every week, I need to do this every seven days. So before we start, grab a pen and a piece of paper or open a new word processing document – whatever works best for you!

Back to the old lists.
I know, I know – whenever we do something like this I’m always saying make a list. For whatever time period your working within write down how many hours you’ll be a work (plus actual times), same for university classes and lectures and then all the assignments, essays and reading you’ll be doing. Obviously, with the university work it’s a bit of a guess for how many hours it’s going to take, but hopefully by now you know how long it’ll take you to write a 1500 word essay or read 50 pages of a book. Now make a second list of all the things you like to do and how long you tend to do them for, like reading, blogging, watching TV.

Put it all together.
We’re going to get a little picture happy here, but bare with me. Now’s the time for you to open up your spreadsheet programme or get out the ruler and felt tip pens. Create a grid with all seven days of the week along the top and then the hours you would realistically be able to give towards work, university and studying. For me that’s between 9am and 8pm before I finally lose focus. Then pop in all your solid commitments from the first list we made, the serious list – e.g. class times and when you will be at your work. It should look a little bit like this:


I’ve coloured mine to make it a bit easier to understand, but you don’t have to do this. So from this, we can see that the theoretical me has Monday afternoon and evenings free, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings free, Thursday mornings free, most of the morning and afternoon free on Friday and all day Sunday free. That’s a lot of time to fill.

Let’s say for my weekly tutorials I’ve been set

  • a small 1000 word essay to complete for the Monday morning
  • ten questions for the Wednesday afternoon
  • two sides of notes to be shared with the class on a Friday morning.

From the serious list, I have my guesstimates of

  • three hours for the essay writing (plus one hour in the library finding relevant books and journals)
  • an hour for the questions
  • two hours for the notes.
  • I will also need to do a combined total of five hours reading for all of my classes.

Let’s put all of these in what I think would be the best place for me:


Lots of new purple squares added there.You may have noticed that for the three separate assignments two of them are pencilled in for quite early in the morning. This is because that once you’re awake and had your breakfast and a nice cleansing shower you’ll do your best work. I don’t really know why it is, but I know I do better on my DS Brain Training earlier in the morning than later in the afternoon. Another point to note is that the essay has been split up. This is allow you to have another look at it after a break with a new perspective. You might find things to change when you’re finishing it up in that final hour – I know I do. Finally, I’ve spaced all the reading out because it’s easier to absorb when it’s in smaller chunks!

Remember that not so serious list of stuff we made? And see all those white spots up there? That’s where everything on the list goes. You don’t have to slot it in, I just brought it up to remind you that university isn’t all study, study, study – you have to do fun things too!

But how does this help me?!
Well ideally, once the hour is up, you stop reading, writing or whatever else you are doing. This only really works if you have your guesses right in the first place. But by setting yourself a realistic time limit, and working within them, you’ll be working yourself to your full potential and also more efficiently. Plus all the big white gaps can act as a good reminder that you have plenty of left over time in case you do need to give something that extra hour or two.

Hopefully this will help someone a little bit with the massive workload they feel they have, or maybe even help one of you work to your full potential. Please let me know how you all get on with this!


Friday, 16 October 2009

Friday Finds #7

friday findsHas another week really passed us by already? I can barely believe it – I’m shattered and more than ready for a relaxing weekend – I’m going to begin it by having a gander at these lovely sites all related to Halloween…

Halloween is really just around the corner now – it’s just over two weeks away! While I’ll probably be working over the spooky evening a lot of you won’t be, I’m sure. I’m also sure that most of us are too old for trick or treating – but everyone deserves a treat on Halloween so why not have a look at these disgustingly amazing Zombie Halloween Cupcakes! Don’t they look amazing? Why not try and whip up some of your own or another sweet Halloween treat and take them to a All Hallows’ Eve party and give everyone a sweet, but shocking, treat!

The perfect recipe…blood
For fake blood that is! I might have to dress up for work on Halloween and I’ve been racking my brain thinking of something which would allow me to move easily and not cause any knicker flashing moments. Of course the easiest way to go then would to be a zombie or murder victim or something similar in just normal clothes but with lots of blood. I Googled and found what looks to be a wonderfully gory looking recipe for your own home made fake blood here. I will probably end up adding a few more drops of black food colouring as it’s still a little bit too red for my liking. You can find glucose syrup in the home baking section of super markets – my normal sized Tesco definitely has it and it’s TINY compared to the superstores.

Halloween is coming! I hope everyone’s planning for it already – whether that’s scary film marathons or a party. Have a good weekend!


Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Affordable Fashion #6

dorothy perkins Decisions
I can’t decide if I love or hate this skirt. It’s black, which I like. It’s not super mini, which I like. It’s slightly high waisted, I can deal with that. It’s a pencil skirt with ruche-ing around the hip area; I cannot deal with that personally. My bum is big enough as it is thank you.

There will be some of you who are super skinny or have the perfect bum to body ratio to wear this skirt and wear it well. I like that it’s really versatile – plain enough to wear during the day to work with a jacket, but at night tuck in a vest and add some fancy accessories and you can go straight to the bar or club.

This skirt is from Dorothy Perkins and it rings in at a fairy even £25 – though if you have a student card you can get 10% off, bringing this down to £22.50. If the hip detailing puts you off, check out the rest of their skirts – there’s definitely a black pencil skirt there to suit everyone’s tastes.


Tuesday, 13 October 2009

A rant about jeans shopping.

riverislandjeansImage courtesy of

I know it can’t just be me.
Most females I know, of all ages, hate going shopping for a new pair of jeans – my self included. I hate it; I dread it; I probably have nightmares about it! Whether you’re tall, short, fat, skinny or just plain average it’s impossible to find a pair of jeans which fit. I wish that this was the ultimate guide to finding the perfect jeans for you, but it’s not – it’s my rant about jeans shopping.

I’m not a freak.
I’m about 5’6, maybe 5’7 if I don’t slouch. I’m not hugely fat – I wear clothes in 10, 12 and the occasional 14. I do have a slightly larger than average bust – but this doesn’t effect my jeans. What does though, is my inseam. All my height is from my legs – they have a 34.5 inch measurement barefooted from crotch to the floor. Add on a pair of normal flat shoes and I need a 35 inch inseam, at the least, to not look like a leper. Heaven forbid if I want to wear jeans with heels.

No solution.
I know a lot of you will just think “buy long jeans then!” or “buy from the internet!” and I wish it was truly that easy. Most high street shops long length jeans are 33 inches or 34 inches. The occasional shop claims to have a 36 inch long length jean in their tall section but most of the time it’s lucky if it’s longer than 34 inches – I’m looking at you New Look. River Island’s long length is long – most definitely about 35 inches, and I can wear them fine – some even with heels if I really wanted to. But in my local River Island (in a middle sized city, no less) I have never ever seen a long length pair of jeans. This is where buying on the internet is a hassle – not all size 10/12s are going to be the same – some will be bigger, some will be smaller. Even with in the same size there can be huge differences; isn’t that so TopShop?

The final rant.
I don’t want to have to get on a train and sit for 45 minutes while I go to Edinburgh or Glasgow to just get jeans. I don’t want to have to order online just to find they don’t fit and then have the hassle of returning them. I want to be able to go into the shop like all any normal woman, pick up a few pairs of jeans in my sizes and in long length and then be able to try them on. It’s infuriating not being able to have the simple human right of buying jeans quickly and easily, let me tell you!

How does everyone else cope with buying jeans? Or, do you have some sort of other item of clothing that you just have to try on to make sure it fits?


Monday, 12 October 2009

Film Review: Up.


Disney-Pixar have done it again.
Remember when Toy Story, Monsters Inc. and Finding Nemo came out and each time everyone got so excited and proclaimed it was the best film they had ever seen? That is exactly what the newest offering for the Digital Animation company is. They really have done it again.

It’s a TALKING dog!
I don’t want to give too much away because, really, everyone is going to have to go and see this film. Think back to the trailer – it was funny, light-hearted and laugh-worthy. While the film retains most of these traits it does have a much more emotional and grief stricken undertone. It’s about old age, loss, death and grief. Take tissues. Lots of them. I was actually very surprised at how adult some of the themes covered where.

It’s going to make you laugh. It’s going to make you cry. It’s going to make you gasp and hide behind your hands. And the new short at the start of the film will have you feeling all gushy and going “awwwww” repeatedly. The detail to each screen is amazing – the animators have really outdone themselves. I only saw the film in 2D, but I personally feel that if I had seen it in 3D I wouldn’t have enough it as much.

The end.
I know I haven’t really said much about the film – but I really don’t want to spoil it. Just go and see it. I promise that you will not be disappointed. It’s probably the best film of the year – yes, even better than Harry Potter.


Sunday, 11 October 2009

Week in words.

It’s been another busy week for me – of course it’s only going to get busier. It’s half term were I live which means I have to go to work a lot more, even though it’s not my mid-semester break. Go figure.

I’m actually spending today writing an essay for Politics (random module to do when I’m doing an accounting degree, I know.), and I have about a third of it done already. Just finding it hard to get relevant quotes from books – politics is all about the now and present and old books don’t help! I would much rather be reading my new books.


I finally succumbed and bought the first two TrueBlood books; Dead Until Dark and Living Dead In Dallas. So far I’ve read about half the first one (since they arrived yesterday!) and I dunno. I wasn’t impressed with the first dozen pages or so and had to text my friend who recommended them and ask if they got any better. Now that I’m so far in, I’m not sure if I’m reading because I’m captivated by the story or if I just feel that I have to finish it? I’m not all that impressed with the writing style either, but then most of the books I read to relax are trash anyways. One annoyance I have though is they’ve stuck massive round “TrueBlood on FX!” stickers to the front of the books and I bite my nails. I’m going to have to wait for my boyfriend to come home and peel them off for me.


Some of you might remember that I mentioned on Friday that I was going to see Up! on Saturday… what a confusing sentence. Anyways – I did go and see it, but I’m actually writing a post on that for tomorrow so I shan’t say anymore here. Don’t want to spoil it!

And finally – I bought the first part of the giveaway which will be happening during an extra special week some time in the near future. Follow me on Twitter (@notso_fab) and listen to me occasionally ramble about the super secret project – the first of it’s kind for Not So Fabulous!

I hope everyone had a good weekend!


Friday, 9 October 2009

Friday Finds #6

Not much I’m afraid this week – it’s been helluva busy and I’m so sleepy. And ill.

The Daily Puppy.
Do you love puppies? Do you love seeing cute puppies every single day?! I know I do, which is why I’m glad I found The Daily Puppy website. The name should say it all, but if it doesn’t – it’s a website which updates once a day with a picture of an extremely cute puppy and tells you a little bit about the critter. How adorable!

So long boys!
I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve been waiting for this film to come out for a very very very long time! It’s Disney Pixar’s Up! And today is the day it’s released in the UK in standard and Disney Digital 3D screens! I’m working tonight so can’t go and see it (though I had the chance to on Wednesday but was too ill), but I’ll be going tomorrow night, so I’ll have a little write up about it on Monday or Tuesday!

I hope everyone’s feeling much better than I am. Have a good weekend everyone!


Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Save, Spend, Splurge #2

I apologise for this first post of the week being made so late! Time has been running away from me again!

For this SSS I’ve decided to avoid clothes and head into the territory of face powders. I have tired both the Save and Spend in this category, but I’ll be leaving my opinions out of this one I think – you really need to try make up for yourself to see what you like, especially when it comes to anything that involves base make up.

The “save” face powder is the British staple of Rimmel. It’s one of the first make up brands a lot of girls use and it’s even a favourite amongst the older generations. I still use certain Rimmel products now, mixed in with my high end items. The product I’m using for today’s SSS on face powders is, of course, Stay Matte Pressed Powder. It’s available in 6 different shades from Boots, Superdrug and most other chain chemists. At the moment it’s priced at £3.81 in most places, however, from the looks of the Boots website they’re bringing out a new formula, package design and upping the price to £3.99, so look out for it in the near future.

I’m afraid this is the best picture I could find of my choice for the “spend” face powder, so please forgive me. For simplicity’s sake, it’s Boots No7 Perfect Light Pressed Powder. According to the Boots website it comes in four shades, however it does till up at a mid range price of £11.50. It does trump the Rimmel powder and made the price slightly more bearable when you remember that it comes in a compact with a mirror and face puff (though I don’t know anyone who still uses a face puff to apply powder…?), making it a good on the move powder and much more useful.

The last product in our line up is our “splurge” and girls - it’s a splurge. It’s the Chanel Poudre Douce Soft Pressed Powder. And it’s a splurge item because it’s going to cost you in the region of £30, maybe even a bit more. I’m not too sure how many shades it is available in – the official Chanel website is only showing three different shades, where as the Debenhams website is showing me six. I’m sure that if you go to your local Chanel counter in your choice of department store they will have a shade to suit you. This powder is, like the No7, a compact as well as a powder and has a mirror for on the go touch ups.

So whatever your budget, you’ll be able to find a powder which is right for you and won’t break your bank. I think I might do my next Save, Spend, Splurge on biscuits though…


Sunday, 4 October 2009

This week…

In my personal life has been so busy. I felt like I haven’t left my work for more than 12 hours at a time (though it was slightly more yesterday – closer to maybe 18) and that there’s always something niggling the back of my mind. And there is – it’s this very large pile of university work which is building up and I’ll need to tackle today and tomorrow. I’ve also not been sleeping very well, so that definitely hasn’t helped. a little bit of retail therapy always helps though.

Since I won’t get paid from my work until the end of October and my next loan payment won’t be in my account until later this week or early next week I have been buying little things. Yesterday I received Slumdog Millionaire in the post, as well as The Da Vinci Code. I’ve not had time to watch them yet, but I’ll probably pop on Slumdog later on after dinner. I’ve got a few other little things I plan to buy, but I’m waiting on an Amazon voucher being delivered into my inbox before I do.

I apologise for the lack of pictures, but I really haven’t done anything this week except working, going to classes and studying. And writing blog posts of course. I’ve been slowly, but surely, working away on the secret blog posts, though I don’t have a set date for them yet. However I will be doing a giveaway when I do finally post the series, so keep an eye for it.

I hope everyone’s feeling well!


Friday, 2 October 2009

Friday Finds #5

friday finds



Pantene Challenge.
Just do a short survey and pop in a few details for your chance to trial a 200ml bottle of the new Pantene Pro-V Repair and Protect conditioner! Simple and quick – and everyone loves a freebie! You can click here to be taken to the site. I haven’t heard back yet, but I’m hopeful! My hair’s been awfully dry recently and I’d love to try a new conditioner to see if it would do any good.


I stumbled across this blog by accident yesterday afternoon when I was just wasting time on the internet. It’s a Japanese woman’s craft blog (but it’s in English!) with lots of step by step photos and just general cuteness. The picture on the right is a little origami book make from one piece of square paper – isn’t it just adorable. I might try it out later on!

That’s it for this week, ladies. I hope everyone’s had a good week and has an even better weekend.


Thursday, 1 October 2009

Simple but Tasty #1


Something new! But it will be fairly infrequent. I just made the best sandwich and I had to share it with everyone. It’s healthy, tasty, cheap and so easy to make that anyone could do it.

Tuna and veggie mayo sandwich
You will need:
Two slices of bread (your choice)
One tin of tuna chunks
A cucumber portion
A small tin of sweetcorn
Some iceberg lettuce
Low-fat mayonnaise

What you do:
1. Open and drain your tin of tuna. Put it in medium sized tub or bowl and use a fork to break up the chunks.
2. Add a few spoons of sweetcorn – I use quite a lot, but it’s personal preference.
3. Chop up some cucumber into small cubes. Again it’s personal preference, but I use two or three thick slices.
4. Add the sweetcorn and cucumber to the bowl and mix it around a bit.
5. Add your mayo. I use a lot of mayo as I like everything to stick together – but it’s your lunch so use as much as you like. Mix it all together.
6. Break up some of the lettuce into strips and place it on either slice of bread. Spoon on some of your tuna mix and then sandwich everything together.
7. Eat!

I love how the cucumber and lettuce give a bit of crunch and refreshment to an otherwise boring sandwich. I could seriously eat all of the mix in one go, it’s so yummy. Sadly, I don’t have a picture of my finished sandwich, but I’m sure you can imagine how it looks. Enjoy!