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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

50 Things That Make Me Happy


I thought I'd make a happy list about things I appreciate in life. Just because I feel like there are so many little things in our days that we take for granted that we love. Writing them down only took about 5 minutes so there's clearly so much more out there that makes me happy that I barely acknowledge! 



  1. My family
  2. My dogs
  3. My cats
  4. Onezies
  5. Mexican food
  6. A warm bed when it's cold outside
  7. Books revolving around China
  8. My fellow gapyah wanka pals
  9. Waking up and feeling happy to go to work/uni
  10. Driving
  11. Reaching the end of a day with nothing bad happening
  12. Tea and biscuits
  13. Being allowed to put my Christmas tree up way too early (early December)
  14. Literally everything about December actually
  15. Ice cream
  16. Carrot sticks and dip
  17. Binge watching TV and not feeling guilty
  18. New bed sheets
  19. Walking somewhere pretty and sunbathing when it's nice
  20. My body shop Orange moisturiser 
  21. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival
  22. Holidays
  23. Reunions with old friends
  24. Rayman
  25. Fable 2 
  26. Perfume. So much perfume. 
  27. Long train journeys with no rush
  28. Knowing you can trust certain people
  29. Chocolate, obviously
  30. Smiling at strangers who smile in return 
  31. The German Market
  32. Making my scrapbook 
  33. Going out for dinner
  34. Going to the cinema
  35. Family time
  36. The days when I have fun at work 
  37. The Office US
  38. When a crush contacts you first (texts, phones, snapchats... who knows these days)
  39. Scarves, hats, gloves, woolly jumpers, jackets and boots!
  40. Giving little gifts for no reason
  41. Listening to new music for hours on end
  42. Baths
  43. People who aren't judgemental 
  44. Appreciating memories and not feeling the need to relive them
  45. Swimming in Loch's
  46. Harry Potter
  47. Pretty nails 
  48. Meeting lovely new people who change the way you see things
  49. New stationary 
  50. Making lists


    Take some time and think about what makes you happy.

    Enjoy your days, drive safe, get enough sleep and relax. 

    -Tessatata xoxo




Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Transformers Review

Transformers: Age of Extinction


I study Film and TV at Uni so, during summer, I figured I might as well keep taking the Uni's suggestions and write reviews of movies I see.

I went to see Transformers: Age of Extinction last night on a whim because there was nothing else on at the time we arrived. I had seen the first two of the franchise when they came out and I never really cared for them but I gave this a go anyway. 

The film revolves around an inventor, played by Mark Wahlberg, who stumbles upon Optimus Prime 5 years after the war in Chicago. He restores Optimus to working condition and then, basically, a lot of things happen to him, his beautiful daughter and her boyfriend because of their new found association with the Autobots. 

I enjoyed the first hour or so of the movie. However, I'm a pretty pathetically sensitive person so a few hours of constant action and suspense is just an overload for my emotions that I don't really care for. I did check my phone 1 hour and 30 minutes in thinking to myself 'Good, only another half hour left'. Waw, was I wrong. 

 The action packed aspect of the movie was constant throughout with occasional plot assistance and funny jokes. The comic relief aspects of the film were particularly endearing to me because I was rather bored of all the unnecessary violence. 

If you're happy to watch films with no substance because you just like visual effects and alien wars then go and see it. By now, I think we should all know what to expect from a Transformers movie. We shouldn't all expect to be moved by the plot or inspired by the characters. The Transformer movies offer 2-3 hours of exciting CGI work, a bit of protagonist heroism and action. That's it. Take it or leave it. 

Here's some Positive and Negative things I thought about the film because I've even gotten bored just writing about the film. Sorry!


Positives:

The only way the visual effects could have improved is if the transformers were real, came to Earth, had a little battle and Michael Bay had been there to capture it on camera.

Tessa, the character, was hot and a played by a better actress than her predecessors (In general, lots of female eye-candy with no real purpose were included).

I wasn't saddened at any point by the loss of a character I've grown attached to. (Is that a spoiler?)

There's a lot of bad ass cars to amuse audiences. 

Mark Wahlberg is actually pretty decent in this. 

I think Optimus Prime is a sweetheart.

Negatives: 

The plot lacked any real depth (but isn't that what you expect going in?)

It's about an hour and a half too long (really, it's exhausting after a while)

They randomly move from America to China... because they realise it's getting a little bit boring. So, why not just add funny cultural differences to lessen that bore factor?

They're clearly just manipulating the use of China as Hollywood's largest emerging market. 

A rather weak attempt to justify the use of dinosaur transformers (everyone knows they just wanted it to look more cool)

The ending suggested there's room for more films to be made. 


I started out writing this thinking it was a good idea, but it's so negative. I apologies for the negativity, this film just wasn't really for me. 



-Tessatata xoxo 


















Monday, 30 June 2014

My music for June!

Summer Playlist Faves! 


I use Spotify to listen to music which means I'm always discovering new music through the suggestions on the app, which I love. So I thought I would share some of my summer favourites with you. I have a few playlists with hundreds and hundreds of songs and artists on them so I have to be very selective!

My playlists are named: 

  • Disney (no shame, I love Disney tunes for cleaning up and cheering me up)
  • I'm 16 Again (songs I loved when I was younger in general)
  • R&B
  • Home (I made this playlist when I was travelling and felt very homesick and decided to listen to songs with the title 'home' in them)
  • Female Power (gotta have some Beyonce and Iggy in there)
  • Gym (motivational pumping iron stuff here, duh)
  • Summer Chill
  • anndddd TUNES (pretty much all new music goes in here)

I'm going to make this a monthly thing because I generally listen to new music all the time and sometimes I have it pretty seasonal. I like to go to a lot of gigs too, so sometimes I'll use my Bandsintown app (Songkick is really awesome too) to see who's coming to town and I'll have a listen and see if I like them. 




Lately I've been loving: (courtesy of my 'summer chill' playlist) 



  • Chet Faker





An Australian Electronica Musician, what's not to love? I've seen him live this year and he was amazing, he has such a perfect recording voice. Really chilled, calm (kind of sultry?) vibes from his music. Plus he has a beard, and beards are awesome. 

Here's a cover of no-diggity to ease you in: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1JsBhRCRH0

Here's one of my favourites: 






  • SOJA



An American group. I'm not good with naming genres but I don't know... I'd say they're reggae chilled awesomeness. That's the genre they fit into. I did actually google them just to see what genre they consider themselves but no luck pour moi. I listen to these lovely lads when I'm chilling in the sun or with friends on speakers. I'm also a fan girl for dreads and beards. 

Here's a super popular song: 


Here's my favourite:


  • SOHN



Sohn  (Real name Christopher Taylor), is an English musician, songwriter, and producer based in Vienna, Austri of the Electronic genre (Thank you wikipedia). I don't generally research musicians, I just listen to their music. I think SOHN's tunes are so so catchy and unique (to my ears). I could just listen to SOHN all the time. So summery, chilled, passionate and great. Definitely give him a listen! He's touring Europe at the moment I think. I'm seeing him in Croatia this summer and Glasgow in September, so if you like him see if he'll be anywhere near you! 

My favourite:


Super passionate and beautiful: (my my what a high voice he has)




  • Cas Haley


The runner up on America's got talent 2007. Don't let that put you off, the show did good! I personally think it's better not to win that show anyway because the artists disappear for ages before anything happens. He's a reggae rock musician and I love his vibes.

America's got talent link, why not see him years ago?


My favourite (I just love his covers):


  • Michael Franti


An American musician and poet. This man has the sexiest voice, but in a very strange way. He fits the genres of hip-hop, reggae, rock, folk and many more. What a lovely little variety. Yet again, a dreaded man. I honestly don't even know what artists look like when I listen to them. Maybe dreadlocks have some sort of magical musical power. 

His most popular according to the side bit on youtube:


My favourite. So chilled, I can't help put move to this: (I listen on spotify so this was the best I could find):


Another goodie (with his band), go on listen and be free:







  • John Butler Trio


An Australian man called John Butler and his band mates. I've loved this mad for years, so he fits every season to me. Alternative rock, bluegrass, blues rock, Reggae, and many more! He's so talented as a singer, songwriter and guitarist. He cheers me up with his tunes. I've seen them live this year and it was a great night. He used to have dreads and he cut them. None of his musical talent has been lost with the loss as far as I'm aware. Maybe the dreads create everlasting talent. 

Ocean, which is just him and a guitar for a long time and it's magical: (There's a 12 minute version of him live outside somwhere that is amazing, find it!)


One of my favourites:






  • Ben Harper


I discovered Ben Harper because when I was much younger I was pretty obsessed with Heath Ledger and they were apparently friends. Nowadays, I listen to him because his music is beautiful and chilled. Folk rock, blues rock, alternative rock, gospel, reggae galore! Listen to this beautiful musician and enjoy.

His most suggestion popular on youtube:


My favourite (it used to make me cry and I don't know why):



  • Jack Johnson





An American singer song writer and surfer fitting into the genres of folk rock, indie pop and surf. This cheery little chap has been around for years. Well, most of these musicians have but Mr. Johnson has been commercially famous for a while. He was my best friend's first ever album that she bought so that's my memory that I always associate with him. He is just so so summer and happy and chilled. His music makes you just sit and appreciate life and want to be a better person. So sit back, relax and enjoy.

One of his makers:


My favourite (I wish I could obey this song all the time, just listen to that rain in the background, mmmm):





That's it from me! This turned out to be a lot longer than I had planned but I just love talking about music. It also took a while to write because I had may have listened to all the songs I posted and chilled mid-way.

I'll see you for a similar post next month!

If you enjoyed this and want to see similar things in the future then please let me know in the comments!

Much love, have a beautiful day.


-Tessatata xoxo



Sunday, 29 June 2014

Watermelon Nails!



I've been drinking... Watermelon!


I've been embracing the colours I purchased recently and I've created a pretty watermelon look for my nails. All the colours and polished I used are shown in the picture above. They're mainly from Primark or the local drugstore and are all pretty inexpensive. 

I wish I was better at this blogging milarke, I haven't been able to show the step by step tutorial AGAIN because my camera is so heavy and I'm not the best at doing nails so it would have been disastrous. So, I'll type the steps instead! This is a lovely summery look and I have gotten a lot of compliments on them already!

Make sure to give each step time to dry before trying the next one! There's a lot of colour going over base coats and it'll just smudge if it's still wet! :) 

Steps:

I firstly used the pink colour and painted my nails up to the JUST before the tips (with two coats for everything because my polishes are cheap). 

I then used the light apple green and painted straight across the tips.

Then, I took a light pink (you can use white or any light colour really, I just used what I had lying around) and with a tooth pick I drew a line in between the darker pink and the green to create a more gradient effect. 

I then used a separate toothpick and dipped it into my black nail varnish and dotted a lot of pips on to each nail. You can do lots too or just 3 or 4 would be cute too, it depends on what you like. 

Then, dun dun dun, another toothpick was used to draw the thin dark green lines over the light green tips to give the impression of the watermelon outer (skin?) bit. 

I then took a clear glitter nail polish and used it over the tips of the nails to make them stand out a little more and create a super girly effect.

Finally, I used a clear coat to seal it all together and make sure that the watermelon nails last longer!


I did this look for four of my nails on each hand and then chose to have one nail entirely apple green with dark green stripes (and glitter!) to give a little bit of variety and edge to the look. You can pick any of your nails to be the green one, the thumb would be nice too. If you don't want to do that you can just have all of the nails the same, it's up to you. There's a lot of variety with your own nails!

Make sure not to rush this or it could end up smudging or going wrong! Do it when you have a little bit of free time set aside.

This took me 25 minutes (I watched Tangled and painted my nails which was a fun multi-tasking experience). 

If you like this look or have any suggestions for my next nail design then let me know in the comments!
Much love, I hope you have a really lovely day!

-Tessatata xoxo














The Fault in Our Stars Review!


Book and Film!Book: 

The first time I heard of The Fault in Our Stars (TFIOS) was in 2012. I was living and working in Xinjiang, China with two other girls. We taught English during the day and read a lot of books and watched a lot of films in the evenings! My two flatmates were big big youtube fans and loved the Vlogbrothers, thus their love for John Green's literature came very naturally to them.

I initially heard about the book when my flatmate got the 'pain demands to be felt' quote tattood onto her leg. Without any context that was an odd one for me to understand, so she told me it was from her favourite book (then my flatmates proceeded to talk about John Green for days) and I eventually got round to reading it. I love the book, I know a massive proportion of it's readers really connect with the story in lots of ways and I did too. 

The novel centres around two American young adults, Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters, who have both experienced Cancer. Hazel is living a long term  battle with lung cancer, which results in her being ill and unable to 'keep up' with others her age on various occasions in the book. Augustus Waters is a survivor of cancer who meets Hazel when he attends a support group as an act of solidarity for his friend Isaac who is about to undergo a life changing  operation. The story follows Hazel and Augustus as they fall in love with each other and face the challenges that many ill, or healthy, people experience in life. One of the main themes in the book is acceptance. I say that generally as it means acceptance of situations, other people and life in general. Augustus is determined that his life is only significant if lots of people remember and mourn him. Hazel is understanding of her lot in life and is happy with what she has. The story is (in my opinion) beautifully written, especially for teenagers enjoyment, and captivating from the start. It's witty, inspiring and sad throughout and I am very pleased to have read it (twice). 

Having read TFIOS, I have moved on to read many other of John Green's books because I enjoy his writing so much. I like that his characters are unapologetic in their forms and that their personalities have so many faults as well as pros. Overall, the book is a very easy read (In an enjoyable, positive way) and I highly recommend it. It'd be a really nice summer read by the pool or in the evenings sitting out in the garden etc. Though as a little warning (I'm a massively emotional person and my tear ducts have a mind of their own) I'd maybe stay away from the mascara when you're reading this! 

Film:


I went to the cinema to see this on Monday! I went on a nice outing with my brother and mum who have also both read (and loved) the book. The film was pretty honest and I'd say it's a close representation to the book.  I think the casting was pretty great. Hazel was a really close match to what I had imagined, so was Isaac. Augustus was a little more dreamy in my mind but having re-evaluated the situation I actually think he was fantastically portrayed and I have nothing bad to say about that casting choice! The mother in the movie was made really quite funny and I really enjoyed the interpretation of her. 

Sadly, I missed the first few minutes of the film (damn that lack of parking near Cineworld) so I can't be 100% accurate but I'm pretty sure the film missed out Hazel's extrovert friend and the lovely quote that explains the title of the Book/Movie. Other than that, I don't really have any massive flaws to mention. They kept the chronology of the book, which I'm sure many readers will have enjoyed. I don't want to give away any spoilers so I won't say too much but I'd say I'm really happy with the adaptation! 

If you haven't read the book then I'm sure you'll still enjoy TFIOS movie. It's cute, the acting is really well done and for a love story it wasn't too corny for me! (I sat throughout the whole of the Divergent film sighing to myself at the predictability and cornyness of the romance, sorrry!). I did shed a few tears at the film, not as many as the book but to be fair I had a horrifically annoying person behind me in the cinema shouting profanity at really emotional and lovely scenes which was a bit of a mood kill. 

Overall, I do recommend both the film and the movie but if you're only into one of those mediums of entertainment then just pick your favourite and enjoy a lovely story! 

If you've read the book or seen the movie do let me know your opinions in the comments, I love hearing other people's views! :)  You can also follow me on Bloglovin if you fancy <3 

That's all from me, I hope you have a really lovely day. 



-Tessatata xoxo 



Saturday, 28 June 2014

Lip stuff review: EOS, Chapstick, nivea and more!


My lip balms and sticks!


So, I thought I'd do a review of the lip balms (and some lip sticks) I'm using at the moment. I'm such a big fan of trying out lip balms because usually they smell fantastic and make your lips smooth, which is awesome. 

I apologise for their conditions, they're usually lying in my make-up bags which tend to have leaking powders or foundations, whoops!

Nivea Lip Butters



I got these lip butters in a Nivea gift set at Christmas, as you can see I haven't used them very much. They're both a bit too thick for me. I tend to apply lip balm A LOT throughout the day because my lips chap so easily. I also just like having my lips smell good throughout the day because I'm weird like that. The Nivea lip butters don't really work for me because when I put them over lipstick (which I wear every time I wear make-up) they decrease the lipstick's colour and intensity. I don't really have many positives to say about the original one. The Raspberry Rose does smell/taste really lovely though. If you're looking for a lip butter specifically for the scent and you require much healing then I wouldn't completely rule it out. I'm just not a fan of a thick feeling over my lips. The packaging is pretty handy though, they're in very thin little tubs that fit perfectly into your pockets or make-up bags! 

Rating: 2/5

Vaseline

Alo Vera and Paint the Town (Red lip tint)

I think most people have tried Vaseline, at least in the UK. It's a pretty standard go-to lip therapy product. These products have a lot of uses, you don't just have to use them for your lips! When my nails grow and I'm re-touching their roots I put Vaseline around the edges so to not get paint on my skin etc etc. Lots of people suggest putting Vaseline on your eyelashes overnight to thicken them, or using it as a moisturised for dry elbows (I have personally never tried either but why not give it a go if you fancy?).

Anyway, as for these products specifically. The Alo Vera Vaseline has a nice subtle scent which for some reason, to me, smells pretty healing. I do like this product, I think it does moisturise your lips pretty well. The only con I have for Vaseline tubs is the greasyness of the solution. If you don't have something to wipe/wash your hands with you might find the greasyness temporarily frustrating. If you're someone with long nails then then tubs for lip balm generally tend to get the product stuck under your nail which is a bit of a pain, but otherwise I do really like the product!

The Paint the Town Read has a really edgy/sexy design on the tub which is a nice touch. The product works really well and does moisturise your lips. If I'm having a particularly bad lip day then I'd say I have to apply this every hour or so. I don't know how often other people apply but I think that's quite regularly. I love the red tint, it gives a really subtle red edge to your lips. It's also not too strong that it overtakes your lipstick if you're wearing a red one, so you don't have to worry about your lipstick coming off! I don't 100% swear by this product like so many other people though, sometimes it irritates my lips a little ( I have really really sensitive skin!).

Rating: 4/5 

Chapstick

                                                  (Apple) 


This is my personal favourite lip balm in the world! I really love Chapstick's products. My favourite scent/flavour is definitely apple but they have lots to chose from! This product has SPF15 which comes in handy in the summer (or in general if you're lucky enough to love somewhere awesome and warm). This is my go-to product for healing my lips. I think it's so easy to use and handy to carry around and they taste fantastic. The taste lasts quite a while which is great because I've found with some other brands that the scent is only momentary. I usually keep this in my jean or jacket pocket and use it on the go. I've been using Chapstick for about 4 years and I can't fault it at all. It doesn't take away from your lip colour, so there's no concern there. I'm pretty sure the cherry and strawberry ones actually give off a tiny bit of colour too. Woo!  Big love to Chapstick <3 

Rating: 5/5 (I'm so biased here, sorry)

Eos Lip Balms




Orange = Medicated Tangerine
Red(ish) = Summer Fruit
Green = Honeysuckle Honeydew 
Blue= Sweet Mint
Pink = Strawberry Sorbet

I bought these products in a combined package after hearing so many good things about them from beauty gurus on Youtube. I ordered them from Amazon (up until now all the products have been drug store) because they don't sell EOS in the UK. I think part of the attraction to EOS was the fact that they're so rare in the UK. These are $3.29 on the EOS website each and I think I bought them online for £19. It seems so silly to spend that on lip balm but I've wanted to try them all for a while and prefer to spend money on lip care than other beauty products. 

So, the packaging (in my opinion) is so so cute. I love the little cases they are in. They have a screw top  and the lip balm is in a little egg shape. In general, the formula used is decent enough. It moisturises my lips for about an hour or so before I feel the need to re-apply. I noticed this in the Cinema because I was hunting around my bag for it mid-movie. The packaging means it's a little more difficult to keep handy in your pockets (jeans etc) but they're much easier to find at the bottom of your bag because they feel so unique! 

The Medicated Tangerine and the Summer Fruit are pretty renowned as love/hate scents. I'm personally not a fan of the medicated scent and I don't really feel like it has any more healing power than the others. The only difference seems to be a more rugged texture on the balm. I love the Summer Fruit one but not one other person who I've let try it has liked it at all!  As for the Honeysuckle Honeydew, it's a pretty light scent and tastes a little bit like watermelon. I use this one the least but for no particular reason. 


Now for my favourites! Sweet Mint and Strawberry Sorbet! I love love love the Sweet Mint lip balm. It's got a tingling effect so your lips feel a sensation when you put it on which I think is brilliant. The sensation lasts about ten minutes but the minty smell lasts longer. The Strawberry Sorbet is so sweet and delicious, I use this so much that I went and ordered another one (I gave that to my friend though because she loved it so much). 

The wear-ability of these products is pretty great. I've used the strawberry pretty much daily since February and I still have lots left. The main flaw is that they seem to actively remove your lipsticks if you put them on over lippy so I'd just use it on bare lips. Otherwise, they're pretty moisturising, cute lip balms that you can treat yourself to every now and then. They also seem to be a fun conversation started in the UK! Whenever I take one out in public someone generally asks me about them.

Rating: 3.5/5 (I'd give the Sweet Mint 5/5 just for the tingling though!) 

Some Lippy 


Elizabeth Arden (RoseBud)/// Lipgloss, Rimmel (170 Alarm)/// NYC 2in1 lipstick (425 The Red Hots) 

Max Factor (Dusky Rose 830)

Okay, so a really brief bit about some lipsticks! I have quite a few more that I won't mention here. (If you'd like a full lipstick collection and review let me know!)

The Elizabeth Arden Lip gloss was given to me by my aunt. I never usually wear lip gloss because I always wear my hair down and it's so windy in Scotland that it's just a massive annoyance. When I first tried this product I thought it was far too light, but it's really grown on me and I think it's a really cute finish on light lips for a simple summer look.


Rimmer 170 Alarm: I love this for a shocking red lip. It's so bright and dramatic which goes brilliantly with dark eye liner. I rarely use this because I don't go on nights out very often but when I do I think this is my favourite night time lipstick. It's also really long lasting (I'd say 6-8 hours of gabbing away before re-application)


NYC 2in1 Lipstick: This is my all time favourite. I originally bought this in Florida (and then re-ordered it online because I couldn't find it in the UK). It has two colours in the one lipstick which I find really handy. During the day I can go for a more subtle pink lip and at evening time I can just switch to the lovely red colour. I use this almost every day during University time (it's so subtle that no one thinks I'm even wearing lipstick, which to me is what I want at work/Uni). One of these lasts me around 6/7 months before the colours merge too much to be separately used. 


Max Factor Dusky Rose: This is my colour that I go for when I'm in something particularly girly or floral. It gives a really soft and pretty look to your lip and it's slightly less subtle than my NYC which I like when I'm actually making an effort with my makeup. Plus, the packaging is pretty cute. 

There you go! That's my very long blog post on lip balms and sticks!
If you liked this or found this useful at all then please do let me know in the comments. That's all from me, I hope you have a really lovely day, where ever you are :)



-Tessatata xoxo







Friday, 20 June 2014

Strawberry Nails!


Strawberry Nails! 


Okay, so I'm pretty terrible at doing nails. This attempt at Strawberry Nails was no better than usual but I still think it's a really cute idea and if you're decent at them! I have all the imagination and none of the skill!
However,It was really easy to do time and supply wise.

I just used:
  •  A cute pink/red colour for the strawberry body
  • An apple green for the tips
  • A white nail polish for the little dots
  • A clear glitter to give the tips a little bit more attention 
  • A clear coat to complete the look and keep the nails safe for longer
All of my nail polished were really cheap from Primark and Boots because I wanted to try this and see if it'd work. If I like a nail design then i'll invest in really good quality brands but for trials these are perfect.

Green, pink and clear nail polished are all from Primark

The Glitter and the White nail varnishes are from Christmas gift sets Boots 2013
Firstly, I put on a coat of the 'Rose Petal' pink and waited for it to dry.

Then, I used the 'Keylime Pie' green as the top of the strawberry. These polishes require two coats to look bright and vibrant. 

Once these had dried, I took the glitter and covered the green entirely to make sure it would stand out a little more and just to put in a little sprinkle of girlyness here. 

Lastly, I took a tooth pick and dipped it into my white polish and created the dots on the strawberry and I finished it all of with a clear coat. 





You could do this design with a black or yellow nail polish replacing the white for the dots, or darker base colours depending on what you like!  

I actually think it would be a little bit nicer if I had put the green at the bottom of the nails instead of the tips but I still think it looks cute.

If you like this design or want to see similar blog posts then comment suggestions and let me know! Thanks for reading :)

-Tessatata xoxo