Monday, June 30, 2014

Animal Crossing New Leaf // Bell Guide!

Hey guys!
So, as Animal Crossing New Leaf is pretty much my favourite game at the moment, and I have been playing it for over a year now, I thought I would write some guides to various in game things that people seem to struggle with. All of the things in this guide have been tried and tested by myself, multiple times, so I know for a fact that they work! Also, in my household we have 5 copies of New Leaf between us, so it means we have more towns to try things out in too :)
I decided to do a guide about the best ways to earn bells - the currency in all Animal Crossing games - as you need to raise a lot of bells over time. Bells are used for pretty much everything, from paying off your mortgages and decorating your house to paying for public work projects and ordinances in your town, as well as getting rewards from the post office as and when you hit savings milestones. At the time of writing this, I do believe that my balance is around the 30m mark, and the majority of that is from doing the various methods mentioned below.

This is both simple and effective, and best for those of you who enjoy catching bugs and fish on Animal Crossing. Once you have unlocked the island (I think it's roughly a week or so after you start the game, but I'm not 100% on that because I've not made a town for a while now) take a trip there - it will cost 1000 bells per trip. Once there, go outside and talk to Lloid, the gyroid (he's the brown thing near the entrance) and borrow the axe and shovel from him - these will automatically be returned to him when you either go on a tour or leave the island. (you don't get bells from completing tours, but you will earn medals instead, which is the currency on the island - some of the items on the island are rare and can only be found there, so it's well worth saving up some medals just in case - the cabana and mermaid sets are island exclusives, for example)
What you will need to do is chop down all the fruit trees that aren't coconut trees and dig up the stumps (you can leave one tree just in case you want to try your luck at catching rainbow stags, but bear in mind you will be spending a LOT of time chasing away fruit beetles and horned dynastid beetles) Once this is done, make sure all you have is palm trees on the sand - you can shake them and plant more if you feel like you don't have enough, but leave some space between them.
Once night falls in your town - 7pm - come to the island, and between then and around 7am, catch the bugs that land on the palm trees. They range in price from 6,000 bells for a goliath beetle to 12,000 bells for golden stags and horned hercules. Ignore the small bugs on the sand, and hermit crabs - they're not worth very much - and I usually ignore the butterflies, but an emporer butterfly is worth 2,500 bells. Once your pockets are full, go and put your bugs in the box next to the counter inside - if you don't do this, you will lose everything in your pockets when you go back! Repeat until the box is full, then go home and sell everything, and repeat as many times as you like.
If you prefer fishing, do the same as before, but look out for anything in the water with a fin sticking out. They range from an ocean sunfish, which is worth 4,000 bells, to a shark, which is worth 15,000 bells. Also keep an eye out for longer shadows in the water - sometimes they will be sea bass (which are next to worthless, so throw them back if you end up catching those) and sometimes they can be fish that will be worth several thousand bells.
Also, whatever you do, DO NOT SELL TO THE SMALL KAPPA INSIDE THE HUT. She does not pay very many bells for your items. Retail will offer you the best price for everything, and if you have the bell boom ordinance on, you will be paid around 20% more for your items!

Every Sunday morning in your town, between 6am and noon, you will see Joan, a warthog who sells turnips. Prices will vary from 90 bells per turnip to 110 bells per turnip. I usually buy mine for as low as I can, and usually end up spending around 1m bells in total (I store them in my wardrobe too)
Every day at Retail, there is an option to check the days turnip prices - it will change once a day, so it's different in the afternoon than it was in the morning, and you cannot check it on Sundays, as that is when Joan is around. Check your prices every day, and if you see a price you are happy with, sell - some of the highest I've seen are around the 600 bells per turnip mark! If you have more than one town, or play with other people, get them to check their prices too. You can also check online - one of my favourite forums, the bell tree forums, has a thread especially for people with high turnip prices in their town (you will usually have to leave a tip, but as you can make several million from selling, this will not be a problem - it's only polite, after all)

On the board outside Retail every day, you will see that they have at least one item that they will pay more for - the premium item. It changes daily, so don't worry if it's something boring one day, as it may be something amazing on others!
Sometimes, it is more generic, such as furniture (so if you have things that are high in value anyway, such as thrones, that would be the perfect day to sell those) but some days it's more specific, such as perfect apples or sea bass.
For me, the best days are the ones where perfect fruit is on premium - on one of my towns recently, I had perfect apples on premium, and in my backup town I have perfect apples, and lots of them, as it's mainly being used as a holding/cycling town at the moment (more on that either later or in another post) so I decided to try and earn some bells.
I shook all the perfect apple trees, and replanted all the ones that died (every perfect fruit tree lasts between 4 and 7 harvests before dying, and when it dies one fruit from each tree will be rotten - you can either throw this away if you have a trash can, or Retail will charge you 100 bells to dispose of it for you) then headed over to the other town to sell. Each pocketful  (16 baskets of 9 perfect apples) got me 860,000 bells, and I had multiple pocketfuls, so I earnt several million bells just from selling some fruit.

When I was active all the time on forums, I learnt that there are a lot of more "popular" villagers in demand, and that people are willing to pay crazy amounts of bells to obtain their dream villagers, especially the more popular and maybe harder to get ones. A good example of some of these villagers are Marina, Marshal, Diana and Beau, to name a few.
If you have one of the more popular villagers and you don't want them, when they tell you they want to leave you could make an account on a forum (if you don't already have one) and advertise that they are for sale - ONLY DO THIS WHEN THEY HAVE A LEAVING DATE, AS A LOT OF PEOPLE GET FRUSTRATED IF YOU SAY YOU HAVE A VILLAGER AND IT TAKES FOREVER FOR THEM TO LEAVE
Often, people will want to see proof that you have their dream villager, especially one of the more popular ones, so be prepared to allow them to visit your town to check that you do actually have them - some people rip others off by saying they have the villager, when in reality they don't, and they just steal their bells, so be careful.
Another way to make bells is to sell rare items to others - there are also different regional items a lot of the time, especially at events, so if you're from one region and someone from a different region wants something that's regional, they can either buy it from you or swap it with you. This can also be applied to items such as the hair bow wig (which used to be in massive demand) and certain furniture sets - the 7/11 set and the sloppy set are some that used to go for a lot, so if you have those you may be able to get some big bells!

My final tips for you are to collect the shells on the beach, shake trees and collect the furniture and bells that fall out of them (also, try and catch the bees if you can - if not, you can always sell the hives that fall out the trees too!) and sell any duplicate fossils once you've had them appraised at the museum.
Also - every day in your town, you will have a rock in a different place - hit it with your shovel, and ore will come out! Ore can be sold for up to 4,000 bells for a gold nugget. Every day, you will also have one rock in your town that will spit out bells when you hit it with an axe or shovel - you can get up to 32,000 bells on a good luck day, 16,100 on a normal day or 8,200 on a bad day!

So, those are my main tips to help you earn bells so you can make your Animal Crossing town as amazing as you can! If you have some other ways that I did not mention in this blog, please leave them below, as I'm always looking for new things to do in the game (I play most days, so I get bored of the same routine)
Also, if you enjoyed this post, please let me know, and I will do some more Animal Crossing and other gaming blogs soon!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Trying New Things

Hey guys!
Recently, I have been inspired to try new things, instead of sticking to doing whatever's in my comfort zone and familiar to me. I've been pretty sad recently, and I don't think it's helped that I've been stuck in the same boring old routine day in day out, so I decided to do a few new things and mix it up a little bit, instead of just mindlessly making my way through the day, pretty much doing what I need to do on autopilot.

One example of this is, when I went to Westfield a few weeks ago to see my best friend for a catch up, we decided to do the wing roulette at Nandos - we usually stick on plain (for her) and lemon and herb (for me) so we thought, why not do that and see whether we like any of the other flavours too? We also made it into a bet - whoever won got to send a tweet from the other's account. I won, as I'm more used to spicy food than she is, but she hasn't let me tweet off her account yet so I'm still waiting! It pushed us both out of our usual comfort zones and made us try something new, and we both had fun doing it!

Another first for me was trying bubble tea - I've wanted to try it for ages, and never had the chance, so when we found a bubble tea stand I decided to bite the bullet and try it - I opted for vanilla, as it sounded pretty nice. Unfortunately, I didn't really enjoy that flavour - I'm not sure whether it was the drink or the bubbles, but something left a really weird aftertaste in my mouth - but I would definitely try it again in the future (probably in a different flavour though) and see!

Another good example of trying new things - when I was younger, I used to absolutely loathe olives - whenever my aunt came to stay, my mum would get olives and other little snacky foods, and they'd offer for me to eat with them, but I could never stomach the olives because they made me feel sick with the smell, taste and texture. Last year, I bought a snack box, and it had green olives in, so I decided to try them anyway, and I loved them! (I still don't like black olives though, but maybe one day!) I think that, as I get older, my taste is changing - both my taste buds and my taste in everything else - so eventually, trying new things will become second nature to me, as I will outgrow a lot of things, and end up replacing them with others!

One final thing - since I was around 12, I have been dying my hair. I've been pretty much every colour - from bright red to platinum blonde to having a rainbow fringe - and I have never looked back, as on myself, I find more natural hair colours boring, and I just like to change up my look and experiment with new things - so that's a good example of a small change you can make to try something new, as well as experimenting with different makeup or clothing, or a new perfume!

So, what are some new things you have tried recently?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Blackpool, Beaches and Burning!

Hey guys!
Over the weekend, I was up north in Preston and Blackpool, so I had some posts scheduled so I didn't have to find wifi and stuff to blog. Now I'm back, here's my post about the weekend, with pictures included too! I hope you enjoy it!

On the journey up, I met one of my cousins, Carl, who was lovely and didn't mind me and my brother blaring out some Avenged Sevenfold on the journey (it was pretty much on full volume and he didn't mind, that's awesome in my book!) and he also didn't mind when I vetoed far too many service stations because they had Costa instead of Starbucks and I was craving a cool lime refresher (my all time favourite summer drink!) so the journey up on the Friday was mainly bearable, apart from the massive amounts of roadworks we seemed to encounter. When we finally arrived at the hotel, we only had time to chuck our bags in our rooms (and I quickly changed out of a thick sweatshirt and boots into a thin cardigan and plimsolls because it was so warm and sunny - when we left, it was cold) before we headed out to Chorley, so my dad could show us all his old haunts from when he used to live there, and so we could head into town and pick up some flowers, get a pie (yep, when you go up north you have to have a proper pie, apparently) and quickly look in a few shops! I ended up in Rymans (I am a stationery addict, whoops) and bought some pens, a sketchbook and a new blog planning notebook, as my old one didn't fit in my bag and this one is smaller! I also picked up some new earphones from HMV, as I've had my current ones for a while and I like to have a spare pair at all times.
After shopping, we went on a guided tour of Chorley, thanks to my dad, who pointed out all his old haunts, houses and more, before we headed out to have a small family get together. I met some of my cousins, who I hadn't met before, as long as uncles and aunties, and it was so lovely to meet them - I also have a soft spot for Northern accents (and I really wish I had one!) so it was nice to be surrounded by them too! We also had a LOT of family photos, which I don't usually like but these ones all make me smile. Eventually, we headed back to the hotel, but first we stopped for fish, chips and gravy (in my case) and steak and kidney pudding, peas, gravy and chips (for my brother and dad)
The next day, we woke up bright and early to head to Blackpool Pleasure Beach. When we arrived, the first thing me, my dad, brother and aunt did is queue for the Big Dipper, as we mistakenly thought it was the massive ride and we wanted to get it over and done with - as it happens, it was not, but it was a good warm up ride to go on! After that, we headed for the Pepsi Max ride - which was the massive, terrifying one - and my brother and dad ended up sitting at the very front, with me and my aunt sitting just behind them. It turns out that me and my dad got the short straw with seats though, as we ended up sitting on the side that dipped inwards, so I felt like I was falling out the whole time - it was terrifying but also kind of amazing, so I'm glad that I plucked up the courage to go on it, although never again! Next, we decided to go on the Wallace and Gromit ride (which was a welcome break from the bigger rollercoasters!) and I think I spent most of the ride laughing! The Wallace and Gromit shop was also amazing - I think I wanted pretty much everything, but I just ended up buying some Wallace and Gromit "Cheesy Moon Rock" instead - one for me, one for my dad and one for my mum. The final ride I ended up going on was the log flume, and got soaked in the process (mainly just my legs though) before we headed off for lunch (which I'm not really gonna write about because it was absolutely disgusting) and my dad and brother decided to go on InFusion - literally my two worst thing about rollercoasters were involved, dangling and going upside down, so I sat out of this one.
After that, we decided to head down to the beach for a while (mostly my idea - you can't go to the seaside without going to the beach!) so I took my shoes off and made my way down to the beach, where I sat and listened to my iPod while looking out to sea for a while before heading to the sea to paddle. The sea was surprisingly warm, and my leggings ended up getting soaking, so me and my brother just decided to go swimming in the sea - neither of us had swimming gear with us, so I went in my leggings and jumper (my family thought I was mad, but come on, the sea was warm and it seemed like a waste NOT to go in it) so we were in the sea for ages before eventually coming out and heading back to the car, as we had to head back to the hotel to get ready for the 60th wedding anniversary party. On the way back, we stopped for ice cream, and I also bought some cockles (another necessity when I go to the beach) and my dad and brother got some fudge.
When we'd all got ready and arrived, we found that we didn't know anyone at the party apart from immediate family, so it was a fairly awkward night, but it was still enjoyable and the entertainment was top notch - they also had a beautiful blessing, and it was touching and wonderful. We headed back before too late, as we'd all somehow managed to get sunburn and possibly sunstroke during the day, and we were shattered (I ended up watching tv in bed for a while, as I was sharing a room with my aunt and 2 cousins and they stayed for a while longer and I had the room key, so I couldn't go straight to bed)
The next day was pretty much just packing and heading home, so I won't bore you all with the details of that, but the weekend was amazing and I'd like to thank everyone I met and everyone that invited us up for the weekend - it was amazing, and I had a lovely weekend, despite the tiredness and sunburn - although I'm now constantly craving Starbucks and missing the Northern accent terribly! (as well as reaching the stage of peeling sunburn - yeuch!)
I also included some pictures below, so I can remember it visually and look back at the pictures as well as the blog and smile ^_^

 My place setting
 Panoramic view of Blackpool beach
 The sea
 Pools on the beach and the sea

 Wallace and Gromit ride!

 Me on the journey up (with red hair again!)
 Starbucks Cool Lime Refreshers - best summer drink in the world!
 Our pretty table ^_^

Sunday, June 22, 2014

TAG // Summer Bucket List

Hey guys!
So, I've seen a few bloggers doing a summer blogging challenge, and while I'm too late to do the first couple of challenges, this one caught my attention - my summer bucket list. It sounds like a good idea, so I decided to tag along and do this one, as I like doing posts like this and it helps me to stay motivated when I have it written down. Most people seem to have 10, but I decided on 7 instead! 
So, without further ado, here is my 2014 summer bucket list!

One - keep losing weight
I have been trying to lose weight for ages now, and I'm not going to go into details about how much I've lost so far, or how I'm doing it, but I need to keep exercising regularly and eating well so I can get down to my goal weight and stay there!

Two - see my friends more often.
What with jobs, college, uni and distance, I don't get to see my friends as often as I'd like to, so I'd love to see my friends a lot more during the summer, while there's more time and it stays lighter for longer. Even if it's just seeing them for a few hours, its something to look forward to!

Three - go blonde!
For years now, I've wanted to be blonde - but, with naturally dark hair (which I haven't seen in ten years - oops) it's really hard for me to get blonde, especially as I have fine hair too. I was temporarily platinum blonde in 2010, but because I got there so quickly with excessive bleaching, my hair was in really bad condition, so I had to dye it dark again. This time, I'd like to take my time and maybe go a few different colours in between, but by the end of the summer I'd like to be closer to blonde.

Four - go on holiday
I'm currently in the process of sorting out my passport, as I still had my child one (yep, I know - it's shocking how disorganised I can actually be) which means I haven't actually been on holiday abroad since I was about 13 (I'm not sure of my exact age, but it was ages ago). If I manage to get it sorted by the end of the summer, and save up some money, I'd love to get away on holiday somewhere, even if it's just something small like a long weekend in Paris or a week in Greece or something like that.

Five - write more!
I know that I blog a fair amount, both on here and over on Birds, but I'd also like to concentrate more on creative writing and fiction. I have so many random bits and pieces of stories I've started and haven't got very far with, and so many ideas and plans, but I never seem to be able to find the time/motivation to write anything else, so I'd love to set aside some time every week to do some more creative writing.

Six - learn a new skill
Even if it's something small, like learning how to cook something new (I have a few signature dishes I do extremely well, and then I suck at most other things), I'd love to learn a new skill - it may not sound very impressive, but if I learn a couple of new skills throughout the summer, it will keep me motivated and busy, and I will gain experience of new things!

Seven - read more
I seem to have stopped reading as much as I used to, and it makes me sad because I adore reading, but I keep putting off reading books I've had for ages - seriously, my room is like a library, it's so full of books, read and unread. So, I need to spend less time online and more time reading!

So, that's my summer bucket list - fingers crossed I can achieve everything (or at least most things) before the summer ends! What are some of your summer goals?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Changing Image

Hey guys!
So, since my last post, I may have had a slight image change...yep, that's right, after months of trying to grow out my previous hair colour, I finally gave in and stripped my hair with bleach the other day! I love having lighter hair for the summer, and I usually do this, so I felt like the time was right - plus, I hated the old hair colour on me, I get bored of dark hair easily because I had mine black for about six years straight.

I then let my hair recover for a few days - as this is always important after bleaching - and I deep conditioned it twice, as well as not using heat on it or excessively styling it. The end result of stripping it was orangey ginger at the ends, then getting progressively blonder towards the roots, finally ending with platinum blonde roots (where it was all my natural hair, as all my hair from about an inch or two down had a build up of dye so it was never going to take properly.)

Clearly, I couldn't leave my hair in that state (I liked it and disliked it in equal measures - on the one hand, I liked having lighter hair, and I felt I could nearly pull it off...on the other hand, it was practically floruoescent and patchy) so I dug through my *rather massive* bag of hair products - I'm constantly trying out new products, as I get bored of using the same thing all the time, plus it's good for your hair to try new things and not constantly use the same things day in day out - and I came across various pots of hair dye, left over from my last bleaching phase, when I had a rainbow fringe, and then a bit later on, various colours of dip dye. I debated dying it either pink or blue, as I have quite a lot of those left (to be fair, I still might when my current colour fades out enough, you never know) but then I came across a full tube of pillarbox red, and knew that was the colour I had to go. If you know me in person, you will know that I have a soft spot for bright red hair, and that it killed me a little bit inside last time I had to get rid of the bright red hair.

The dye I was using is quite thick and more like a paste, compared to other brands I've used in the past, so I decided to do what I usually do with my semi permanent dyes and mix it with conditioner - if you're looking to get a more pastel shade, then mixing a brighter dye with conditioner dilutes the colour and it means you can create a more custom shade. I didn't want to dilute the red too much, however, so I just added enough conditioner to the mix to make it a better consistency to apply (it was still thicker than I'd usually use, but it did help to mix it with conditioner) and I also added a bit of darker red I had left, just to make it more my own unique shade.

When it was on my head, I was panicking a LOT because it looked more the colour of tomato soup than anything else, and I didn't do a strand test because I needed to get it done (as I'm off to Blackpool this weekend for a family do, and I couldn't see/meet the family looking like I had a patchy tabby cat on my head!) and even my mum pointed out that it looked more orange than red. Luckily, once I washed the dye out, it ended up an amazing, vibrant bright red, and I am totally in love with it! So, it may be a small step, but if I keep making small positive changes like this, hopefully soon my whole life will start to fall into place too!
Also - keep your eyes peeled, as I have some products I've been loving to review coming up soon!

Friday, June 20, 2014

TAG // Dreams

Hey guys!
I decided to do another tag today, because it's relevant to my life at the moment as I have actually started to remember my dreams more and more recently. So, here is the dream tag. Enjoy!
I also have a few posts scheduled for this weekend, as I'm heading to Blackpool this weekend for a family do and to meet some family I've never met before, so that should be fun and I will possibly do a blog post about it next week :D so, I hope you enjoy! I tag anyone who thinks this tag sounds interesting, like I did 

Do you dream?
Yes, I do dream :) not every night, but at least once a week

What did you dream about last night?
I dreamt that I cried tiny pennies when my crush told me he was in love with someone else, and then I tore up his All Time Low backstage pass and turned into a unicorn...

How many dreams do you usually remember?
I usually have a few dreams in a night when I do dream, so I usually remember most of one and bits and pieces of the others, if I remember anything at all!

Do you have a dream journal?
Not a dream journal as such, but I keep a notebook next to my bed so I can write stuff down if I remember it and I have random bits and pieces jotted down in the notes on my phone too :)

How often do you have nightmares?
More often than I'd like to. Maybe a couple of times a month recently.

Do you lucid dream?
I do not, but it seems like it'd be pretty amazing to experience at least once! (not that I know how to lucid dream, but I'd love to be able to)

Do you dream in colour?
Yes, I don't think I've ever really dreamt in black and white...the occasional nightmare is in black and white, but not my happier dreams

Do you dream in first person?
Most of the time I do, yeah, but occasionally it won't be!

Do you have recurring dreams?
Very rarely, but there's been a few occasions when my dreams haven't finished one night and then they have some kind of conclusion at some point after that and then they're recurring.

Have you ever had deja vu?
Of course! Hasn't everyone?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Music/Scent Evoked Memories!

Hey guys!
You know when you're walking past a shop, or even just sitting at home watching tv, and a song comes on and instantly transports you back in your mind to a specific time, place or memory?

The other day, I was watching tv and randomly channel hopping, and suddenly some music caught my attention - I couldn't place it for a few seconds, and when I did it made me laugh because it reminded me of a sketch on my favourite radio show. Every time I hear Money On My Mind, it makes me laugh because of remembering my favourite YouTuber singing it really badly, and it just makes me giggle every time.

There are also some songs that make me smile because of the memories attached - there's a certain My Chemical Romance song, for example, that makes me remember being about 15 and staying at my friends for the weekend with my group of best friends back then, all lying on his bed and singing while they did my hair and makeup - for some reason, I used to be the one they made over, haha, I don't know whether to be flattered or offended. Bands such as Green Day and You Me At Six also remind me of being in my teens and going to concerts all the time, and hanging out with my friends at the weekends and also after school sometimes - I remember I used to listen to Green Day while I was getting changed out of my school uniform on the bus on my way to meet my friends after school, and one summer me and a group of people who used to be my best friends spent the whole summer at one girl's house, chatting, watching videos and learning how to play Wake Me Up When September Ends by Green Day on guitar. When I was at college, I was meant to sing Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana as one of my projects, but it hurt my voice too much so I had to change groups and sing something else instead, but whenever Smells Like Teen Spirit comes on, it always reminds me of hanging out with my closest friend on my course and just chatting and working together.

Also, the song that currently reminds me of my best friend is probably either Rather Be by Clean Bandit or Oath by Cher Lloyd because they're constantly on when we're around each other or listening to our favourite radio show, and also Oath is about best friends and having a good time together so it sums us up perfectly!

Unfortunately, there are also songs that now hold sadder memories for me, and now I can no longer listen to them because of the memories attached. The main example that springs to mind for me is Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley - I was listening to it when my dad called me to tell me that my grandad had passed away, so every single time I hear it now, it makes me want to cry - it's got to the stage where I have to leave the room or cover my ears if that song comes on.

It's not just with music, either - even things like smells can remind you of people and places. For example, the smell of Brut reminds me of a band I used to see all the time because their lead guitarist used to use it so it's all I used to be able to smell when I hugged him. Likewise, the smell of vanilla always reminds me of baking with my mum, and her letting me lick the spoon clean of batter, and the smell of chinese food always reminds me of going shopping in London with my friends and spending hours on end just wandering Camden and Oxford Street, buying random things.

So, do you also have smells and sounds that remind you of certain people?

Monday, June 16, 2014

DAY OUT // Westfield

Hey guys!
So, on Wednesday I met up with my lovely best friend Lisa for a slightly belated birthday celebration, and because I hadn't been in ages, we decided to go to Westfield in Stratford! 
There's so many exits to the station that we couldn't actually find each other at first (I was at one exit, she was at another, so we were like WHERE ARE YOU?!) but then eventually we found each other so that was cool. My dad was also in Stratford that afternoon, briefly, so we met up with him for a bit too, and decided on going to Nandos because none of us had eaten and we were starving! Me and Lisa decided to do wing roulette, as well as getting a chicken breast in pitta, and my dad went for half a chicken. Wing roulette was so much fun - I definitely would recommend it to everyone - and I won because I ate more of the wings than Lisa did, but she had the hottest wing - I still won though ;) and I'm still waiting for my prize of sending a tweet off her twitter (the forfeit we decided on for whoever lost)
After lunch, my dad left, and me and Lisa decided to just wander around the shops. First stop was Paperchase - which is always a bad idea when you're me - and I ended up leaving with a desk planner/calendar/to do list thing (as I'm rather disorganised a lot of the time) as well as some Paris stickers (I love pretty much everything to do with Paris), a blue unicorn and an owl tin (which I now use to keep my antihistamines in!) Lisa also got a unicorn, but hers is purple, and we decided to call them Dannicorn and Philnicorn! We also went to Primark, and I got a vest top and an adorable French Bulldog tote bag which is probably one of my new favourite things. A woman was standing outside a shop handing out fake flowers scented with incense, and she gave us one each - when we walked past again a bit later, Lisa pointed out that they were selling them from 3 for £1. 
We eventually decided to stop and get bubble tea - I'd never tried it before, so I really wanted to because I've heard nothing but good things about it, and Lisa wanted it because she really likes it - so we settled into an awesome little blue booth (even the bulb was blue!) and we both ordered a vanilla bubble tea. In all honesty, I'm not sure whether it was the bubbles or the drink, but something left a weird taste in my mouth, so I wasn't too sure about it, but I am definitely going to try it again!
We also went to Boots - pretty much my all time favourite place in the world apart from Paperchase - and spent a while in there smelling perfumes and testing makeup. One of the best things I found was the matte top coat by Barry M - simply paint it on top of any nail polish you are wearing, and it will mattify it! I've been looking for an affordable one for ages, so I had to buy one! I was also debating on the Genie lip paint, but decided against it even though it went a gorgeous corally pink on me.
After we left each other, I remembered there was a Boots at Waterloo, so I popped into there while I was waiting for a train, and they had the Genie lip paint again, so I tried it on again and just had to buy it, as well as some drinks for the journey home.
So, that was my day - we had an awesome catch up, plus she loved all her presents and the card I made for her, so that made me happy too! Did you all have a good weekend/run up to the weekend too? Do you have any other matte top coat recommendations?

 Philnicorn (the blue one) Dannicorn (the purple one) and vanilla bubble tea <3
 The remains of Wing Roulette at Nandos - I claimed my victory with my lemon and herb flag thing!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Animal Crossing // One Year Of Kittyton!

Hey guys!
So, if you know me in person or follow me on twitter (@amyhavok if you want to) you will probably know that I really love a game called Animal Crossing New Leaf - if you didn't, it's basically a game where you're the mayor of a town, and your neighbours (who are animals, hence the name Animal Crossing) suggest projects to you, and you can do jobs for them and pay off your mortgage to get a bigger house, and generally just improve your town - you can even set ordinances, such as the beautiful town or the night owl, so you can have some control over what time your shops are open, having less weeds and dead flowers, etc.
I got my copy on the 13th June, so I'm doing this post to celebrate a year of Kittyton (my town) because I like seeing how it's changed from when I first made it.
When I got my copy, it was a day or two before it was released in general, as I pre-ordered it, so I didn't know that when you first start, there is a choice of 4 random layouts that you can choose from for your town (yes, you even have some say in your layout!) so I basically just chose the first map because I didn't want to fill in all my details again, and I just wanted to get started playing! You also have to answer some questions when you begin, which determines what your face will look like, and I didn't look that up beforehand either but luckily I ended up with an okay face that I could live with! When the train pulled into Kittyton station, I was greeted by Isabelle - your assistant - and three out of 5 of your starting villagers - I can't remember exactly who mine were now, but I think it was Bianca, Maelle, Cally, Drift and Cole. Once I'd decided where I wanted my house, and Tom Nook gave me a tent to live in until I paid my down payment, I went round my town looking at everything and meeting all of my villagers, as well as collecting seashells and fruit to sell at the recycling shop in town, Retail - the different layouts also have the shop, town hall, plaza and river in different places, which I didn't know until later on. There was also a tree planting ceremony at the town plaza, which is basically the main square in your town where events are usually held, and all my animals attended, as it was basically my initiation ceremony as mayor as well.
As mayor, your first couple of days are spent trying to raise your approval rating to 100%, so that you can get the town development permit so you can start projects in your town to add things such as benches, bridges and more - more things are unlocked as you play more, as the villagers in your town will suggest projects to you, so don't worry if you don't like some of the things you start with, as eventually you will get nicer things suggested to you! Once I got mine, the first thing I decided to build was the campsite, as sometimes you will have a random villager camping in your town, and if you have space in your town you can invite them to move it - you can have up to 10 villagers at a time, and the least number you can have is 8 once you've started your town. Villagers are always moving in and out, and you can tell them to stay or go, depending whether you want them to stay or not, if you get there in time - they will usually give you 5 days notice, so be careful that you check every day, or every other day, to make sure someone you like isn't going to leave with no notice.
So yeah, I won't bore you with much more writing, but you can unlock badges by doing things such as writing lots of letters, saving lots of bells (the currency on Animal Crossing) and playing a lot - there are gold, silver and bronze medals for each category. If you spend enough money in the shops on Main Street - the high street, which is located just over the crossing next to the station, at the top of your town - you can unlock bigger and better shops with more stock, as well as improving your museum - if you manage to expand it once, you will eventually be able to unlock the cafe project, which I personally adore! You can also expand your house more every time you pay off your current mortgage, and there are many different exteriors and bits and pieces you can get for your house too - for example, my house exterior is all mermaid themed, but you can get lots of different things, including fences, doors and mailboxes. Once you have paid off your mortgage completely, you can also change the exterior to a cottage, castle, zen house and more, and if you complete room theme challenges you can also unlock all of the golden exterior items.
If you get bored, you can talk to your villagers, who will give you random jobs to do, such as deliver presents to other villagers, catch them fish/bugs, or sometimes they will invite you to theirs or invite themselves to your house! You can also go fishing and bug hunting for fun, and you will need to do this anyway if you want to fill up your museum. There are also small crosses on the ground every day, and if you get a shovel you can dig these up - they will either be fossils (which you can get identified at the museum) pitfalls (which you will fall down if you're not careful) or gyroids, which mainly appear after it has been raining/snowing - if you put them in your house, they will all move and make different sounds, depending on which gyroid it is.
The more you play, the bigger the tree you planted on your first day will grow, and eventually it will grow big enough for you to sit on the edge - when this happens, you can sit on it and the history of your town will scroll across the screen, so you can see when your villagers moved in, when your town started, when projects were completed and more.
There is so much more you can do, but I feel like I've rambled on enough for now - if you'd like to know anything else, please leave a comment below, and I will answer some more questions if you have any! I'm gonna finish off with some pictures of my town and an assortment of the projects I currently have, as well as pictures of my current villagers! Do any of you play Animal Crossing too, or has this post inspired you to buy it too?

 Bell and instrument shelter projects and a perfect peach tree
 Campsite, crossbred cosmos and a trash can/my town hall in the background
 My current path (I change it a lot) and fairytale clock project
 Hot spring project
 Flower clock project and refurbished fairytale train station, plus azalea bushes
 Flower arch project in front of my campsite
 Illuminated heart project, and some perfect peaches
 Stone tablet project
 Lighthouse, trash can and lots of flowers
 My house - castle and mermaid exteriors
 Modern police station and my secondary character's house
 Perfect peaches next to normal peaches - perfect peaches are rarer
 Finishing a project - the ceremony outside the station
 The Roost cafe
 Zen garden project and a waterfall
 Water well, my fruit tree orchard and a bit of Retail
 Sitting on my massive town tree
 Standing on the zen bridge with Fang
 Windmill project
 Sprites of my villagers
 My map

Friday, June 06, 2014

Charity Shops - Trash Or Treasure?

Hey guys!
I've always wondered what it is about vintage shops and charity shops that seems to make so many people so reluctant to shop in them, and make them feel uncomfortable even talking about them. From a young age, my mum has been taking me charity/antique shopping with her, and I have grown up learning how to haggle (which you cannot do in charity shops, mainly at car boot sales and antique fairs), and how to distinguish the good from the bad, finding many a hidden gem along the way. So, why do some people look so shocked when I tell them the cute top I'm wearing is from a charity or vintage shop, or my shoes? Sometimes they even look shocked when I tell them the book I'm reading is from a charity shop, or some of my furniture. I remember once at work, I told one of my co-workers that my mum worked in one, and he was shocked and pretty much slagged them off right in front of me, saying he'd never shop in them because he feels the clothes are dirty - which is a common misconception - and that everything was in bad condition - also a misconception, as charity shops do not put out anything that is in bad or unsellable condition!
Of course, a lot of stuff that gets donated to charity shops is in really bad condition, or cannot be used, so a lot of stuff may have to be sorted through and sometimes repaired, but it's very rare that you will find something shoddy in a charity or vintage shop, as they check everything thoroughly, especially clothing. Sometimes, you will even find some designer clothing and accessories in charity shops if you search hard enough, and they will of course be a fraction of the price AND if you buy it, it will be going to a good cause as well - it's a win win situation really!
Over the years, I have got many wonderful things from charity shops - from my favourite pair of flat ankle boots (they were unworn, my size and in pristine condition, and only cost £3 - who could turn that down?) to some beautiful vintage glass perfume bottles, to an amazing chest of drawers! I think a large part of the reason I'm so comfortable buying things from charity shops and being in them is that my mum has always been an avid supporter of various charities, and has worked in and managed several local charity shops in my life. From china dolls to books, when I was younger I used to love looking round at all the pretty, unusual things, and to this day I still love it when I find an amazing bargain. I'm lucky enough that my mum knows a reasonable amount about antiques and what's worth what, so when she's with me I know that I'll be in safe hands. Once, for example, she found some beads which the volunteers at her shop were going to throw away (at the moment she is the manager of a small charity shop down the road from us, and she is doing an amazing job, quite frankly), but she had an inkling about them, so brought them home and looked them up - her hunch paid off, and she ended up auctioning them for the charity and brought in a significant amount for them, so you never know what you may find - from first edition books to furniture in perfect condition, and you may even spy some designer clothes! A good example of this is one of my most recent finds - I got a pair of pretty much brand new MBT trainers for £30, when they retail for around £170 new, and they're in pristine condition.
I once wore something I'd purchased from a charity shop when I was going to a gig, and someone told me they liked my top and asked where I'd got it from - when I said the name of the charity shop, she looked shocked, then slightly disgustedly she asked me why I'd want to buy something from there, and said that they all smell like old ladies and that you never know if someone died in them or not. Firstly, things in charity and vintage shops are often washed before they get taken in, and if something is disgusting or in bad condition, they will often refuse to accept it or not put it out. Secondly, if you're that worried that someone died in it, then you can always wash it again before you wear it - I always wash clothes from a charity shop before I wear them, as it helps to soften them up more too. Most of the clothes I have bought in charity shops are brand new and unworn, often with the tags still attached, so I know I'm getting an absolute bargain!
So throw away any misconceptions you may have, and give it a go - you never know what weird and wonderful treasures you might find!

Thursday, June 05, 2014

TAG // Cheesy Friends!

Hey guys!
So I decided to do something a little bit different today :) I found an interesting tag online, and decided to do it with my best friend - so, here is the cheesy friends tag!
Her - L
me - A
I hope you enjoy it - let me know below if you do and I will do some more tags soon!

1 - how and when did you meet?
L - I met Amy on 14th June 2010 at a music video for the band Room 94 at Brixton Academy. I remember randomly speaking to Amy while we were at the filming, then we kept in touch via facebook/twitter and as time went on we spoke more and more and ended up being best friends. :)
A - pretty much that, haha. We met at a video shoot, then started talking more and more and got closer and closer and now we're best friends :D and I wouldn't change it for the world!
2 - describe your best friend in 3 words?
L - Awesome, Caring and Unique
A - Fabulous, Weird and Loyal 
 3 - what is your favourite type of cheese?
L - Cheddar
A - Mozzerella
4 - if you could go anywhere in the world together, where would you go?
L - Probably Paris because we've been spoken about how we'd both like to go there! 
A - I second Paris, and also we have spoken about a road trip around America as well so that'd be awesome! :D
 5 - what is your favourite time of day to eat cheese?
L - Lunch or Dinner! Definitely not for breakfast... 
A - I disagree, it's nice for breakfast if you're having an omelette or something but I do like it most for dinner!
6 - who takes longer to get ready in the morning?
L - Definitely Amy. I'm done in about 2 minutes ;)
A - haha, yeah...definitely me. I am not a morning person at all so I take forever to wake up and get ready, whoops! :')
7 - what is your favourite recipe that involves cheese?
L - I literally have no idea. Cheesecake?;)
8 - do you have anything matching?
L - We have matching phones now, although they're different colours. We've also got the same t-shirt (Dan and Phil! Our favourite Youtubers), and I bought Amy a present that I also got for myself because I really liked it and I thought having something the same would be cute! 
A - The present Lisa mentioned, we both have the same iPhone but mine is white (with Pokemon covers, oh yeah!) and hers is blue. We have such different taste that we don't really have a lot of matching things, I'm more girly than she is :D we once spoke about matching tattoos but that hasn't happened yet!
9 - what is their favourite song?
L - I'm annoyed at myself that I can't remember, though I know it's from the band AFI, and she also likes Fresh Start Fever, Be Who You Are & Carpe Diem from You Me At Six's new album Cavalier Youth (sorry, I think I've missed one out!), and there's a few others as well! I hope I'm right. :D 
A - At the moment, she loves Cold Night by You Me At Six, Little Things by One Direction and Do It All Over Again by Elyar Fox :D
10 - what is your favourite animal and does it like cheese?
L - My favourite animal are Meerkats. I'm not actually sure if they like cheese. I'm going to search it on google... *goes to look on Wikipedia*. I don't think they do eat cheese... 
A - I love pugs! I don't think that pugs eat cheese do they? Hmm...
11 - what's your friend's favourite tv show?
L - I believe Amy likes Hollyoaks. She likes Friday Download as well! 
A - Friday Download and All Over The Place!
12 - what is something weird you eat together other than cheese?
L - Something weird....we usually just eat chocolate, sweets, chicken, hot dogs and prawn crackers together. I don't know if that's classed as weird?! 
A - I don't think anything we eat is really that weird, although I think I did have sushi once and Lisa gave me weird looks because she doesn't like sushi and I love it :)
13 - if you could only eat one cheese for the rest if your life, what would you choose?
L - Cheddar! As mentioned further up I'd say it's my favourite. I haven't really tried any different ones actually...
A - Cheddar seems to be the most diverse cheese, so I'm gonna go for that <3 I hate cheese with fruit in it and also mouldy cheese apart from brie!
14 - best and worst thing about living far apart?
L - The best thing is that it makes it more special when we get to meet up, especially if it's been ages since the last time.
The worst thing is that sometimes you just want somebody close by to go and visit regularly. Sometimes spontaneous visits are the best and it'd be nice to know there is someone there when you need cheering up!! 
A - The best thing is that I usually get a whole weekend with her when I do see her, and we constantly chat via texts so it's good because we can still keep up to date with everything that's happening in the other's life.
The worst thing is, I miss her silly amounts because I'd love to see her more often and just do stuff like go window shopping, but I can't :(