Monday, 30 December 2013

30. Winter Warmers

Hello everyone, I did a post in summer about some of my favourite fashion finds and have decided to do a similar one for winter too. I love winter because it's nice to wrap up warm in lots of layers of clothing but I hate how my hands and feet are always cold no matter what I do. I went to see my GP about this earlier in the year and after several blood tests, they found nothing (surprise surprise) and they just recommended exercise. I am such a hypochondriac I know! I thought I would share my purchases with you because they are rather lovely and I've attempted to limit the damage to my bank balance :P

Last week, my Mum sent me out with THE most random shopping list ever so after doing some Prokaryotic Microbiology revision I decided to pop to our local Asda. She wanted fairy cakes, latex gloves, Lockets (cough sweets), tomatoes, chillies, Ribena and a melon! Whilst I was there, I remembered that I needed some slippers because I didn't have any and wearing bed socks gives me the most terrible foot cramps. These caught my eye as the red and white love hearts remind me of the heart shaped Haribo sweets. They're only £5 so you can't go wrong really! They are really cosy and appear to be good quality compared to some of the more expensive slippers I've seen on the high street. I like the fact that they're navy all over so won't get stained easily. The sole also has good grip.

 I spotted this next item in one of Zoella's videos when she went on a trip to Topshop with Tanya Burr. I love watching their videos so much! My big winter coat this year is a duck egg blue duffle coat but I was looking for a jacket but I didn't know what type of jacket to get but when I saw it, I knew it had to be this.The lovely Zoella's jacket is in the lighter wash but as my duffle coat is already a pale blue, I thought I would purchase the darker wash. I've had an absolute nightmare trying to find a nice scarf to go with my coat so I'm really grateful for this borg lined collar. Also, I love the fact it has 4 pockets and the bottom ones easily fit in my gloves and phone. As always with Topshop, the finishing is of a high standard so I can see this jacket lasting a long time and becoming a staple wardrobe piece making it worth the £58 (£52.50 with the student discount). I bought it in a petite size 12 and I'm 5ft 4.5 (yes the half an inch is important) and I'm a size 10-12 and it is a perfect fit and I've worn it almost every day this week.
Another Topshop purchase now- an Oh My Love oversized cardigan in wine. I absolutely adore this! It is a great alternative to a Christmas jumper because of the lovely colour and golden buttons which remind me of baubles. It can be dressed down with some Chelsea boots, a t-shirt and skinny jeans. It can also be worn on top of a pinafore dress with a shirt for a really cute look with some knitted tights and brogues or Chelsea boots. The cardigan was £35 but I just had a look on the Oh My Love website and it is now £15 and available in wine, cream and grey. I'm tempted to buy the other 2 colours now!


The next item is my Christmas dress! It is the textured knit dress from Next in the camel colour, also available in green and black too. This dress is really simple and versatile because you can accessorise it in different ways for different purposes. I wore it with tights, my denim jacket and green monk shoes for a casual look but for work or a formal occasion, you could wear it with heels, a belt and a nice statement necklace. It is a real staple piece and the colour just goes with everything. My only criticism of this dress which may be an advantage to others is that it is quite long. As you can see, it goes way past my knees but I'd say if you were about 5'6 or 5'7 upwards then it's totally fine. The dress was £28.


The final winter warmer I'm going to share with you is my favourite pair of boots this winter. They are the Red or Dead Summum boots in tan. I have worn them most days since I bought them back In October-ish and they are brilliant. The faux shearling lining keeps my feet toasty and as they are leather boots, my feet won't get wet in the Manchester rain either. You honestly can't lose with these boots and I would recommend them to anyone! Also, the sole has excellent grip so snow, come at me bro! I bought mine from Schuh and they are priced at £115 but again, if you are entitled to a student discount, they come in at £103.50. If you're going to buy a pair of boots this winter then it make it this one, I can't fault them.They will also go really well with the jacket and the dress above!
I hope this post has been of use to you and as ever, feel free to comment below and also share this post. Any knitted scarf suggestions will be more than welcome! Take care.

Love,
Mancunian Sheep x

29. Week 2 of the Christmas holidays.

Hello everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones and are looking forward to seeing 2013 out! As I promised in a previous post, I will do a weekly update during the Christmas hols and use it as a bit of a revision break. Hope you're all well. Truth be told, I've been revising everyday this week except Christmas so haven't had any fun days out with my friends like last week. I did however watch the Toy Story trilogy for the first time this week as it was on BBC One for Christmas. I must be the last child born in the 1990s to have watched them. They were fantastic and I can honestly empathise with Andy because I still have the vast majority of my childhood toys and I swear they are real. Especially as I am an only child, I have had so many fun times with them over the years. You don't know how deep and meaningful some of the conversations I've had with Peggy and Jenny over the years have been. 

This week  I managed to revise 12 virology lectures, 4 animal physiology lectures, 4 genetics lectures AND a partridge in a pear tree (haha, couldn't resist sorry). I haven't talked much about my degree on here so thought I'd tell you all a little about what it's like to revise when you're a biologist. In my virology course there seems to be a lot of content on HIV and as there are two types of HIV, we looked at how they differ in terms areas of evolution and geographical incidence which was quite interesting because it appears that HIV-1 is responsible for the HIV-1 global pandemic and is most likely to have entered the human population from the common chimpanzee or gorillas whereas HIV-2 is restricted to West Africa and is likely to have entered the human population from Sooty Mangabeys which happen to reside in West Africa. Revising virology also made me appreciate the diverse range of vaccines there is and how polio vaccines became contaminated by SIV (a virus similar to HIV found in non human primates) in the USA and meant millions of people were infected with SIV because the vaccines were developed using a cell culture from monkey kidney cells. We also looked at antiviral drugs and how difficult they are to develop due to viruses being so different to each other in terms of their genome and how they replicate. The only antiviral I have ever used is acyclovir (Zovirax) for cold sores which are caused by the alpha herpes virus. Did you know that once you are infected by the alpha herpes virus it will stay within your body forever? My lecturer calls it a friend for life. I'm not gonna lie everyone, I'm quite impressed by how much stuff I'm remembering from revision. 


Genetics is my least favourite module this semester and the lectures I revised this week were on procedures routinely performed on model organisms such as Drosophila (fruitflies) in the lab to determine gene function so I'm not going to make you all suffer. 


Animal physiology is great and makes me feel like Sir David Attenborough <3 This week I looked at reproduction. Interestingly, some fish can change sex and one such species is the clownfish (yay Nemo!). Clownfish are protandrous which means they are born as males but eventually become females when the highest female in the hierarchy of their group dies. You do known what this means don't you? Finding Nemo was all a lie! When Coral died, Marlin would have become Nemo's Mum!


The only day I took "off" this week was of course, Christmas Day. I made Christmas dinner all by myself for the third year running, woo, domestic goddess or what? Whilst preparing the vegetables, I discovered that carrots are more difficult to peel than parsnips but are easier to cut. Has anybody else also found this issue? So most of the morning was spent making the Christmas dinner which consisted of sprouts, carrots, parnsips, potatoes, gravy and chicken. We didn't bother with a dessert just because of all the chocolate boxes. I loved all the presents my friends got me as usual. I particularly liked how there were a few themes running among them. One example was my friend bought me a really cute teapot with cosy and my other friend bought me a magnificent box of teas from Whittards of Chelsea. My other friend bought me a really cute ceramic owl and photo frame with a photo of us in it which was great as I've been looking for some nice bits and pieces to decorate my room with since I had it done in summer. The owl, which I've named Andy, doubles up as a money box. He lives with my flock who have been very welcoming. Christmas telly was a bit of a let down this year in my opinion. The films on BBC One (blimey, how many times have I mentioned BBC One in this post?!) on Christmas Eve were all good. On Christmas Day, I thoroughly enjoyed the Doctor Who Christmas special and it was the first one I had watched with Matt Smith in it because prior to this year, I'd stopped watching after David Tennant had left. After Wednesday's special, I was  gutted that I hadn't watched more of Matt's episodes because his performance was just superb and I was in tears during his monologues and that moment Clara had with her gran- oh my word. I was crying into my hot chocolate when Handle died too- not a pretty sight. Clara and Matt had such a brilliant on screen partnership and I'm not sure how well that will work with Peter but we will just have to wait and see until autumn as I've promised to give him a chance after the regret I felt with missing out on watching Matt's reign.


Anyway, that's all for this week folks. I will be posting a fashion related post in the next couple of days so watch out for that. All the best for 2014!


Love,

Mancunian Sheep x

Sunday, 22 December 2013

28. Top fives of 2013!

Hello everyone, hope you're all ready for Christmas and have done all your shopping and wrapped and distributed your presents for everyone! As you all probably know, I love lists and as we draw closer to 2014, I thought I would look back at some of the highlights of 2013! The lists are ranked with 1 being the highest and 5 being the lowest. Enjoy :) 

Songs:

1) Arctic Monkeys-  Do I Wanna Know? - I'm just chuffed that the Arctic Monkeys are back and I really hope to see them live one day! Had this song on repeat and I enjoyed listening to it with my air guitar.

2) Macklemore and Ryan Lewis- Can't Hold Us - I don't usually listen to rap music but there's just something about Macklemore, he's really talented! I've not linked the official video because it's 7 minutes long and it takes ages to get to the song!


3) Lana Del Rey- Young and Beautiful - Love Lana's distinct voice and style and the fact that this is from the Gatsby soundtrack makes it even better :D


4) Jake Bugg- What Doesn't Kill You - I saw Jake live a few months ago and he was incredible. This song is short and sweet.


5) Bastille- Pompeii - I love all the Bastille songs that I've heard but this is just ridiculously catchy. Random fact- Dan from Bastille and I share the same birthday!



Purchases:

1) Cath Kidston bus pass holder- Stagecoach do provide a free bus pass holder which is very kind of them but sadly, it started to split in half so I bought this and it is really sturdy! 

2) Living Addington bookcase from Argos- I have well over 100 books and the main reason I had my room decorated over summer was so I could provide them with a proper home because they were in lots of various drawers in both my Mum's and my room before that and I felt sorry for them and was worried about bent corners!


3) Accessorize sterling silver deco turquoise disc ring- I have worn this ring almost everyday since buying it, it just goes with everything and because it is sterling silver, it will last!


4) Umberto Giannini Frizzi Miracle Worker With Argan Oil- I have very thick and long hair (call me Hagrid but I prefer Snape) and it is an absolute nightmare to keep under control but since I bought this, my hair looks nice (even though I might say so myself). I bought this and the John Frieda Frizz-Ease Thermal Protection Hair Serum during the same shopping trip and that was useless and made no difference to my hair.  Although this contains argan oil, it will not leave your hair feeling greasy whatsoever. This product smells wonderful, it can be used on both wet and dry hair but I tend to use it straight after a shower and then either leave it or blow dry my hair. It will last you ages! Even with my hair, I only need 1-2 pumps. The packaging is also great because the pump prevents any spills and ensure that the correct amount is dispensed every time. 


5) Adidas Originals Azurine Low Espadrille- these have to be the most comfortable summer shoes I've ever had. I wore them to death in summer and they are still in top condition. They are very comfortable and I literally walked in them for hours in the hot weather when I went to the RHS Tatton Park flower show and not a blister in sight! The laces hardly ever become undone. They're a really nice alternative to Toms and I love the print on them. A few times, I've been caught out in the summer rain in them and my feet did not get wet despite being in espadrilles. 



Moments:

1) Andy's win- of course it had to be this. I've been watching and supporting him at Wimbledon from the very start in 2005 and I am ecstatic that he's finally done it!

2) Passing my practical driving test- earlier this year, I gave up with driving. In March, I failed my third attempt and I was utterly heartbroken. I rang one of my closest friends and cried on the phone to her for 2 hours. I would just like to thank you Soleil for putting up with my snotty moans if you're reading this  :) I gave it my all and prepared to the best of my ability and when that wasn't enough I thought I am done with this shit, I am no longer wasting my time and money just to feel miserable and like a complete failure. In September, one of my other lovely friends, Michael, passed his driving test first time with the AA Driving School and he strongly recommended them. I thought to myself I either give this my best shot or risk losing my theory and having to retake that too(you have to pass your practical test within 2 years of passing your theory test and my theory test was due to expire in February 2014). I took the plunge and rang the AA and was astonished by how much my amazing instructor covered in a 2 hour lesson compared to my previous 2 instructors. He didn't knock my confidence like my second instructor or spend hours of lessons on the same route like my first. My AA instructor could cover all the manoeuvres in a couple of locations and cover 2-3 test routes. He balanced the time we spent on driving and manoeuvres really well. Having the perfect driving instructor made a massive difference but I also did a few things differently- I told nobody except my Mum that I had started driving again or when my test was to take the weight of expectation off my shoulders and I didn't fret over a mistake I'd made or if a lesson hadn't gone as well as the others.   


3) Meeting John Whaite- as regular readers are aware, I love baking and thoroughly enjoy watching Great British Bake Off. Last year's series was so good and I love John Whaite who was crowned champion so when he was doing a book signing at the Trafford Centre in April, I couldn't miss it! He was very humble and friendly when my friend, Soleil and I met him just as he was on screen. He's currently working on his second book (hoorah!) so I may go to his second book signing if he does one near me again- watch this space!


4) Passing my first year at university- I'm glad I made it to second year, I know I complain about university a lot but in all honesty, I'm not entirely sure what I would be doing if I wasn't there now. It was a relief that my hard work paid off. Let's hope it continues to do so until summer 2015 so I can graduate and enter the big bad grown up world, argh! D:


5) Raising over £160 for the Mental Health Foundation with some of my course mates at university in just one day! I know it doesn't sound like much but not only did we raise some money for a fantastic cause, we also spread awareness about depression at university by distributing depression symptom cards to staff and students. Many students suffer from the condition and I myself ended up rather depressed earlier this year. We had so much fun baking lots of goodies for the bake sale too. I've been passionate about charity and volunteering from a young age. When I wanted to pursue medicine as a career as a child, I dreamt of going to Africa and helping orphans. In Year 8, I spoke about Sir Bob Geldof being my inspiration in front of my entire year group during the public speaking competition. The charity do some amazing work in a society where mental health is often overlooked and stigmatized despite it being the 21st century. Please feel free to donate to the Mental Health Foundation. http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk


Films

1) About Time- this has to be my favourite film of all time (sorry Bride Wars). It was just such a beautiful storyline and I loved the time travel element which has never been done before in a romantic comedy, as far as I am aware. I'm so annoyed that this won't be released on DVD until February 2014! If you haven't already seen it then please do, I won't say too much because I don't want to spoil it for you.

2) The Great Gatsby- of course this had to make it to my top 5. Leonardo Di Caprio was definitely THE man to play Gatsby. The parties were just as extravagant as described in the book too. I am still on the search for the perfect flapper dress.


3) Catching Fire- this was my favourite book of the trilogy because the games were more shocking than ever with it being the Quarter Quell and also because I loved all of the new characters and how well they were integrated. The film was really good on the whole and there were some scenes like the poisonous gas where it was done exactly as I had imagined whilst reading the book. My only criticism is that I wish they had spent longer on the actual games rather than spend ages at the start showing the uprising in the districts.


4) The Bling Ring- I'll be honest, I only went to watch this for Emma Watson as I have no interest in Paris Hilton. It was a really funny film which I didn't expect with it being about crime but some of the quotes from the film are the best since Mean Girls. One highlight was Emma's character saying: "I wanna rob".


5) Run Fatboy Run- Okay I know that this film wasn't released in 2013 but I watched it for the first time this year and it's become one of my all time favourite films. It was just a really cute film, it was like a modern day fairy tale with the happy ending. It also reminded me of About a Boy a bit.


Books

1) Seventy-Seven: My Road to Wimbledon Glory by Andy Murray- go on Andy, topping yet another of my top fives! In all honesty, I've been busy with revision and catching up with friends that I'm yet to finish this book but from what I've read so far, it has not let me down. Andy shares some wonderful photos and gives his personal insight on his very successful 2012 and 2013.

2) The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald- I read it for the first time before going to watch the film and it is meticulously written. It is such a complex yet simple plot and reflects how cruel reality is. I'm looking forward to reading Fitzgerald's other works in Summer 2014 hopefully!


3) John Whaite Bakes: Recipes for Every Day and Every Mood by John Whaite. As I've mentioned previously in another post, I love the use of fresh fruit in many of the recipes and what makes John's book so unique is the way he has based recipes on moods which is brilliant for a baking student like myself when you can experience a wide range of emotions in a very short space of time!


4) The Fault in our Stars by John Green- this book really makes you value life. I am really excited for the film adaptation which will be out in 2014. Although it is aimed at teenagers, it really has a sentimental value appropriate to all ages. I strongly recommend it (I'm refraining from commenting extensively on the books and films because I don't want to spoil them for those of you who haven't read/seen them).


5) Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre. I read Bad Science which is Ben's other book a few years ago and loved how well he explains science to all audiences and how he has optional sections for those who would prefer some additional detail. He really highlights medical ethics which popular science books haven't previously done. Ben brings attentions to some shocking cases and I'm glad he names and shames such despicable medical practice and exploitation of patients. I really hope he writes more books.



Discoveries

1) Peep Show- I've only caught a few random episodes of this on 4Music late at night when I cannot sleep and it is hilarious. I can't say much about it but I plan on watching all 8 or so series over summer. Another random fact for you- David Mitchell and I share the same birthday.
This is so me.

2) Llamas with Hats- one word- KARL!!! This made me love llamas more than before, I typed llamas into YouTube and this was the first result. Remember- "Friendship is two good friends munching on a well cooked face together".


3) Nails Inc- I am slightly embarassed to share how I discovered Nails Inc but here goes- I was flicking through the TV channels during the Easter break and when QVC came on, there were some women painting their nails and I started watching and fell in love with the lush colours and the quintessentially British names.


4) A certain area in the university library- the university library is huge so my friend and I decided to go exploring so like Sheldon, we could find the perfect spot. I am going to be a bit mean and not mention where the spot is because if there is anyone reading who attends the same university as I do then I don't want my secret spot to be taken over by lots of people. It is nice to have found an optimum learning environment where I can spend hours studying efficiently during stupidly long periods between lectures.


5) Greg James' parody videos- I am a regular listener of Greg James' weekday afternoon BBC Radio 1 show and he is one cheeky chappy. Whenever he makes a parody music video, he goes all out and leaves me in tears of laughter. Here is my favourite one because the lyrics are so true and it is much better than the original :P

Phew, what a post! If you have managed to make it this far then give yourself a pat on the back and treat yourself to a mince pie (or a snack/ beverage of your choice). Have a great Christmas and all the very best of 2014. Thank you for reading and making 2013 Mancunian Sheep's most successful year yet. Take care.
Love,
Mancunian Sheep x

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

27. Hallelujah!

Hello everyone, hope you're all well and not too stressed out with Christmas preparations! I've still got a few more presents to buy but I'm not worrying too much as there are still 8 days until Christmas. I finished for the Christmas break last Friday and it's only day 4 but these holidays are going really well so far (touch wood). 
Firstly, I did my weekly weigh in and discovered that I've lost 18 pounds this year without being on any faddy diets or going to the gym. I'm now 3 pounds away from my target weight! :D Yes, I do realise that I'll probably end up putting it all back on over Christmas and comfort eating during exams but for now I'm pretty chuffed that my thighs aren't as thunderous and I'm looking forward to wearing my new dress for Christmas! 
Secondly, as most of you are already aware I am a huge Andy Murray fan so obviously I was over the moon when the cheeky chappy won the BBC Sport's Personality of the Year award on Sunday night. Nobody but him deserved it this year. A very worthy winner! Also, I love what Judy was wearing. It was hilarious when she had to step in for him to give a little interview as he was in the shower. On Saturday afternoon, I read the first 4 chapters on Andy's new autobiography in little over 2 hours. That just shows how good it is and if you're stuck on what to buy someone for Christmas, but them a copy of Seventy Seven!


To round off a pretty successful year for both Andy and I, yesterday, I PASSED MY PRACTICAL DRIVING TEST! When the examiner told me I had passed, I shouted "Hallelujah!". It's such a relief that I've passed because it's one more thing ticked off the adult to-do list I suppose. I was very nervous before my test and had a very restless night's sleep. When I measured my resting heart rate after breakfast yesterday morning, it was 112bpm! Luckily, during the test, I didn't feel nervous at all. I'd just like to say a massive thank you to the AA Driving School, particularly my instructor, John. If any of you are considering learning to drive then I strongly recommend them, they are worth every penny! I started taking lessons in September and nobody knew except my Mum so everyone was shocked when I told them yesterday :P Good luck to all of you taking lessons or with approaching theory/practical tests. Don't let the nerves get to you and keep at it :)
I have quite a busy few days because on Thursday, I'm going to watch the Jeremy Kyle show so you might spot me in the audience ;) On Friday, I'm catching up with 2 of my lovely friends for a Christmas Cafe Crawl and probably the last one of 2013 and I'm also meeting up with another of my friends to exchange presents and go for lunch at Teacup in the Northern Quarter. It's nice to have a bit of a social life after a hectic semester and before I really get stuck into revision for my five January exams :'( I'm easing myself in this week. If any of you have exams then best of luck and I hope your revision goes well!
I will do my very best to post a weekly update for you all during the Christmas break. Take care.
Love,
Mancunian Sheep x

Monday, 9 December 2013

26. Exciting news- summer project 2014!

Hello everyone! This post will be short and sweet because I'm in the middle of writing a 7 page lab report on antibiotics (Captain Fun Times, I know!). Anyway, whist reading scientific journals on E.coli, I had a brainwave so decided to post it on here so I couldn't back out.
I will leave you in suspense for a bit to explain how I came to this decision. For the past 5 years since education became really serious with GCSEs, A-levels and now university, I spend so much term time looking forward to summer so I can do lots of amazing things which never seem to happen. I mean don't get me wrong, Wimbledon will always be THE highlight of my summer (especially 2013) but I just wish my summer was more productive. I always seem to read a lot during summer and catch up with my friends but inevitably, I am getting older and want to get as much out of life as possible before I have to REALLY grow up. Think of this as a coming of age post. 
I have decided to take the plunge and start making YouTube vlogs. As soon as my final summer exam is over, I am going to buy a decent quality camcorder and start making YouTube videos.
Now you're probably thinking why are you telling us this, it's only December?! Well, I thought that if I shared it with you all then I wouldn't be able to chicken out. A few ideas I've had for videos include doing daily videos during Wimbledon (I've applied for tickets so here's hoping that I can actually film my trip down to SW19), baking and fashion hauls. For those of you who know me in person know that I never shut up so I think I'll have a lot of editing to do :P
You guys helped me come to this decision because as we edge closer to 2014, I've taken a look at the stats for my posts on here to see what is popular and that's helped me with video ideas.
Also, today I found out that 4 of my friends and I will be in The Jeremy Kyle show audience next Thursday. I wonder how many of you will spot the Mancunian Sheep on TV :P
Anyway, I best get back to this lab report. I finish for Christmas this Friday so expect a couple of festive posts but please bear with as I have 5 exams in January.
Take care.
Love,
Mancunian Sheep x

Saturday, 2 November 2013

25. Shameless Shepherd Selfies

Hello everyone! Hope you're all well. Sorry for not posting these past couple of months, I've just been really busy at university with labs, presentations, essays etc. It was Reading Week this week so I had a bit of a chance to relax. Apart from making lecture notes, doing lab and microbiology coursework and e-Learning assessments, here is what else I got up to...


I baked a cake! It is a chocolate finger cake as you can all see. The filling is chocolate hazelnut buttercream between the sponge layers. The rest of the cake is smothered in chocolate buttercream and I topped with fresh strawberries and melted 85% cocoa chocolate (not as sweet as the ones I devoured during Wimbledon, can't believe it will be 17 weeks this Sunday since Andy won!). Thanks to the lovely Chippy Cakes where I stumbled upon this brilliant recipe. Here's the link to the blog: http://www.chippycakes.com/ 

Ooh, I've also been watching the GBBO masterclasses with Paul and Mary. Their banter is second to none! Can't believe how quickly this series finished. I must admit that I did enjoy series 3 more than this one because of Cathryn, John and James. This year's final was good, I particularly liked the signature bake where Frances and Ruby made rainbow picnic pies but felt slightly underwhelmed by the wedding cake showstopper challenge. What did you all make of this year's series?


I've been listening to these songs a lot!


If you've not listened to them already (despite them both being everywhere currently) then please do, I highly recommend it. Lorde is just 16 years old, she is definitely going to be the next big thing. Well, I hope she is anyway, she has a lovely voice.

You're probably all wondering what the title of this post is referring to. It was Halloween last night but it's never been my thing so instead of going to a party (because that's what people my age do now because we're too old for Trick or Treat :( ), I stayed in with my beloved flock. I recently joined the Photography Society at university but unfortunately thus far I've been too busy to attend any events. Anyway, I had my room decorated in September so now that everything is back in its rightful place, some of my flock and I had fun with my digital camera in my newly decorated room. 


Clara and I and the printer box (I went to order my new bed this week too with my Mum).

Clara's ears kind of match the wallpaper. Not sure why ma bouche is open.
Yay bookcase. 

Love you long time Shelly <3


Shelly is incredibly photogenic!

Modelling is hard work so Shelly decided to rest, on ma tĂȘte.

Excuse my hair, it was wet from the shower and I was wearing my pyjamas (traditional Shalwar Kameez are so cosy in bed but my favourite pyjamas were some I had when I was 6-they were red and had sheep all over them. Yes, I was a shepherd from a young age.
Hope you've enjoyed this post. Please check out Lorde and Chippy Cakes. I will be posting an autumn accessories post very soon so look out for that. Should be up this weekend or next but bear with as I have mini exams and lab/lab assessments this coming week. Stay safe on Bonfire Night and hopefully it won't months before my next post. 



Take care,

Mancunian Sheep x

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

24. Wood Pigeon article

Hello everyone, hope you're well and if you're in education then good luck for the new academic year! I mentioned in an earlier post that I was writing an article on the Wood Pigeon and would share the link once it is published on the website so here you go:
http://www.gmwildlife.org.uk/wildlife/species/index.php

As one of my good friends would say, happy reading! As ever, feel free to comment below on what you thought of it. I'll be back soon with one of my usual, ridiculously long posts and I haven't forgotten that I STILL need to do my RHS Tatton Park Flower Show Post.

(See I am capable of a short and sweet post).

Until next time, take care!


Love,

Mancunian Sheep x

Sunday, 18 August 2013

23. My top 5 favourite cleaning products!

Hello everyone, as promised I am about to share my favourite cleaning products with you all. These are essentials that everyone should have in their cleaning cupboard. I honestly couldn't live without them.They have helped me through some tough stains. Even if you're not a complete clean freak like me (I couldn't go to sleep after my 18th birthday party until I cleaned the entire kitchen, took out all the mess like wrapping paper and hoovered up all the party popper streamers despite the fact it was past midnight and my gal pals had offered to help tidy up but I refused to accept as they were guests). I swear I will make this post reasonably short. Note: the items are not ranked in any order of preference, I have just numbered them for ease of reading and because I like lists :)

1) Dettol- It smells lush and I love the satisfaction of it being antiseptic and it just had to be in the list as I'd say Dettol is one of the founding fathers of the cleaning product world.


2) Cif- A total lifesaver and brings back things from the dead. I love using it for rust stains which are left behind by aerosols on bathroom shelves


3) Dettol Surface Cleaner- Unlike so many other spray cleaners, this one is odourless and colourless so doesn't leave a horrible apple/lemon smell after you've cleaned the kitchen. It leaves our cooker and worktops spotless :)


4) Mr Muscle Window and Glass cleaner- It is a gorgeous shade of green and I love how it leaves no streaks behind on mirrors, windows and the microwave/oven doors. An absolute essential when you have lots of windows like we do!


5)Vax Bare Floor Pro Steam Cleaner- A Godsend! My Mum has Parkinson's and I've always been wary of her slipping on a wet floor so after seeing this on a TV advert, I decided to be brave and invest. It costs £99.99, comes with a free 2 year guarantee, 2 bottles of detergent three reuseable mop pads which you can put in the washing machine and a stand. The steam mop is incredibly lightweight (it weighs 5.5kg), takes 2 minutes to assemble (trust me I am the world's biggest failure at flat pack furniture and even I managed it) and it is just so quick and simple to use. The detergent is lemon based but doesn't have that strong, sickly scent and the Vax cleaner kills 99.9% of bacteria for up to 7 days. I love it and wish I had purchased one sooner. The delivery was free and quick (only took 2 working days). There's no need to spend hours faffing about with a bucket and a mop, it's so neat and tidy!


See, told you it would be a reasonably short post. Hope you've all picked up some cleaning tips and found this post useful. Take care.


Love, 

Mancunian Sheep x


Thursday, 15 August 2013

22. Super easy okra curry recipe (V)

Hello everyone, it's the Mancunian Sheep. Slightly unusual post for you guys but earlier today I was cooking dinner for my Mum and I when I decided to share this recipe with you. My Mum started to teach me how to cook when I was 13 and I love it. Since she got Parkinson's a decade ago, there are a very limited number of activities that we can both enjoy together but we are very passionate about cooking and I've had countless hours of fun in the kitchen with her. I love it when she's well enough to cook or at least partially cook a meal because I don't really like eating my own food. Don't get me wrong, I haven't given anyone food poisoning (yet) and I've tasted far worse things (*cough* the chicken at the restaurant Rice in Piccadilly Gardens *cough*). This basic recipe is adapted from my Mum's but my method is slightly different from hers. I know several people who aren't very keen on Okra as they are quite slimy but I love their distinct smell, appearance and flavour. I've made this curry hundreds of times and it is foolproof! Anyway, I hope you give this recipe a go and if you do, comment below and feel free to add some photos. Enjoy cooking and eating this meal! :)

Serves:4

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Ingredients: 

  • 500g fresh okra (it does seem like a lot but like spinach, okra wilts a bit when you cook it)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 3-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil/sunflower oil/ghee/butter/olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (my Mum makes her own curry powder that contains extra hot red chilli powder, tumeric, ground coriander and ground cumin but you can simply purchase it from most supermarkets)
  • A handful of cumin seeds
  • Season to your own taste
Method
  1. Wash and the slice the okra. Peel the onion and slice it. Cut the tomatoes. I tend to cut each okra into 3 or 4 pieces and remove the top and pointy bit at the bottom.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and soften but don't brown. Add the tomatoes.
  3. To the pan, add the ground coriander and curry powder. Stir to form a curry paste.
  4. Add the okra. Combine the okra and curry paste by stirring and scatter the cumin seeds all over the curry.
  5. Cover the pan and leave for 20 minutes on a low heat. Stir halfway to ensure the okra at the top cook and the ones at the bottom don't burn and stick to the pan.
  6. Season and serve with chappati/naan bread.
So there you have it. My top 5 cleaning products and RHS Tatton Park flower show posts will be up very soon so keep your eyes peeled over the weekend. Also, let me know if you enjoy recipe posts and I will make it a regular thing (see also my apple pie recipe post which will be ideal now the weather is finally cooling down). Anyway, I am off to bed now as I have a busy day tomorrow because my best friend is coming over and we will be cooking a Mexican feast and watching Lord of the Rings. Don't you just love those Old El Paso kits? :D I am currently reading The Fault in Our Stars and it's really good so far, I've laughed out loud a few times despite cancer being the main theme of the novel. I finished reading A Street Cat Named Bob a couple of days ago and I must admit it completely changed my attitude towards homeless people having pets. Before reading the book, I used to feel really annoyed at homeless people who had dogs because I thought why are they making them suffer too but now I've realised that sometimes their animal companions are the only company they have and how they are a distraction to the miserable reality that they face on a daily basis with life on the streets and living hand to mouth. I am aiming to read three books a week during the remainder of my summer holidays. This week's books are A Street Cat Named Bob, The Fault in Our Stars and Life of Pi. Feel free to comment below if you've read any of them. Anyway, I had better stop rambling and get to bed. Take care everyone!

Love,
Mancunian Sheep x

Sunday, 11 August 2013

21. Fasting and fashion finds!

Hello all. You're already probably thinking what a weird title but all will become clear over the course of the post. I hope you're all well and those of you who are Muslims, I hope you all have a wonderful Ramadan and a beautiful Eid and make sure you carry that spiritual feeling with you and continue with the good habits you've picked up during the holy month. I'm guilty of this as usually I find it really difficult to wake up for Fajr (the first prayer of the day which is currently at ~4am) because I have to wake up to give my Mum her tablets at 2am and 6am so my sleep is disturbed anyway but I'm going to try my very hardest to carry on praying before sunrise all the time from now on. Also, Ramadan has really helped me to stop swearing and reduce my caffeine intake and I am going to keep that up as best as I can. However, I may treat myself to a cheeky Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks during Cafe Crawls and when I am studying hard for second year in the uni library :P I've surprisingly been quite busy and have managed to do quite a few exciting things whilst not eating for 18 hours a day for a month.  During Ramadan, I delivered three campus tours as a student ambassador. Admittedly, the days when I was working were the hardest fasts because I was just so thirsty from walking around for about 45 minutes so I salute all of you adults who work full time and people who work in industries like retail where you are on your feet most of the time because I don't know how you manage it. Apart from that, fasting wasn't difficult but it was really hard to eat something at 3am after eating dinner at like 10pm so most days, I just had water for Suhur (the meal which Muslims eat before sunrise to "close" their fast). Another difficulty I came across during Ramadan was when I injured my back. Being the genius that I am, I lifted a bin bag containing garden waste when we had the front garden cleared of grass and weeds but I didn't realise how heavy it would be and how high the wheelie bin actually was. Now I am quite curvy but my upper body strength is non-existent and if I'm honest, Jenny would have had a better chance of lifting that bag (of course I would never do that as I am against child labour). The pain was awful but praying really helped as even the GP told me to stay as active as possible. I'm reluctant to take painkillers and try and do some physical activity and use ibuprofen/codeine as a last resort because codeine tastes so bitter that it makes me feel like I'm having poison. Eid was on Friday and I have quite a busy week starting tomorrow but I'm going to try and fit in a run or two this week to see if I can manage a jog without too much pain. 

Apart from killing myself, I also read The Hunger Games trilogy which links to the fasting part of this post, obviously. You don't understand how excited I am for Catching Fire to be released in cinemas now. November needs to hurry the hell up! It was my favourite book of the trilogy as there were so many twists and turns but I felt the endings of Catching Fire and Mockingjay were abrupt because she completely changed the plot in one chapter and personally, the reader should have been eased into it more. For those of you who have read the books, what did you think of them? The ending of the final book irritated me too because it just seemed too unlikely. I also read The Great Gatsby which was amazing and I've been frantically trying to find a 1920's style frock online which is appropriate for a Muslim girl to wear without flashing the flesh but alas, I have had no such luck. My favourite character in The Great Gatsby is Jordan because she's headstrong and it's nice to see a successful sportswoman in an era where that wasn't commonplace. My favourite characters in The Hunger Games are Cinna because he is just so cool and composed. I also like Peeta because he is a baker :D and he's just so innocent and loyal to Katniss and he genuinely loves and cares about her. I love Katniss because like Jordan she's strong and her own person and I love how much she cares for her younger sister, Primrose. Who are your favourite characters if you've read the books mentioned above and if you haven't, what have you been reading and would you recommend them? Not to let the biologist in me disappear for almost 4 months, I also read a book called What A Plant Knows which was great. It walked the reader through the science behind the senses and gave some fascinating examples of certain species who contact the world around them in incredible ways like the Venus Flytrap which has to have two hairs touched in quick succession to snap shut and orchids which know what time of the day it is. I would recommend it to you even if you are not a life scientist because it is written in layman's terms. 


Aside from reading, I have been watching a lot of 8 out of 10 Cats. I love the special episode where 8 out of 10 Cats does Countdown. I love statistics so find it interesting, I've also realised that Jimmy Carr's wonderful, contagious laugh could cure you even if you were on your deathbed and I've realised how cute Jon Richardson is. Jon Richardson is my ideal husband, I love how he spent his twenties cleaning skirting boards and he used to be a chef too. Talking of cleaning, I bought a Vax Steam Mop for my Mum as an Eid present because I worry that she might have a fall when she's using a traditional mop and the floor is wet and slippery. It is great. I highly recommend it to those of you who love cleaning. I might do a post on my favourite cleaning products seeing as many other girls do blog posts on their favourite beauty products, why not cleaning products too? Here is Jon.

Mate, look at that face! What a cutie.
Talking of comedians, I know many people dislike Frankie Boyle but I love him because he is blunt. He's also an incredible man as he's doing a lot of campaigning to bring attention to the horror that is Guantanamo Bay. Please take a thorough look at this website and share it on your social media too: http://www.saveshaker.org/  Just take a minute to put yourselves in the shoes of Shaker and the other prisoners, their families and their friends. Is it right that in this day and age, innocent men are being held in what I call hell on Earth while murderers, paedophiles and rapists freely roam our streets? No it isn't. Frankie and many others are participating in a fast which relates to the hunger strike the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay started 6 months ago. They are being tortured and force fed and held without trial. Obama has "failed" to close this despicable torture chamber but there are 7 billion of us who can change that. I pray that Allah continues to give the prisoners and their loved ones their incredible strength and patience and I hope that their reward and freedom happen as quickly as possible. It's beyond me how the guards and the politicians sleep at night knowing what they are doing to Shaker Aamer and the others.

Now for the other topic of this of this post! I have recently done quite a bit of online shopping because retail therapy is the best therapy for my back and thought I'd share some of my fashion finds with you! Below, there is a link for the product, a short description and a photo that I took where available.


Ooh, two fashion favourites in one photo hey?! 

1a) Grey bird print scarf. Unfortunately, there isn't a link available for the exact scarf I am wearing because I purchased it from the Country Living exhibition at the RHS Tatton Park flower show (I am going to upload a separate post on the flower show as it will contain lots of photos and this post is long enough as it is) but as ever, I'm not one to disappoint so here is a link for a very similar scarf: http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/cherryandjoy/product/bird-print-scarf. I asked the lovely lady at the stall if the company allowed customers to purchase products online as they are based in Cambridge but unfortunately not. My scarf was a bargain at £9 and it will go with so many outfits!
1b) Tee and Cake periodic table sweatshirt. This has to be the best thing in my wardrobe. I saw it online and fell in love. I know I'm a biologist but the chemist inside me from my A-level days had to purchase this. When it arrived, I couldn't stop stroking it as the material is just luxuriously soft and it's so comfortable. I'm a size 10-12 and I purchased the jumper in a medium size and it is oversized but that's how I like my clothing. Here is the link to the jumper:
 http://www.topshop.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?searchTerm=periodic+table&storeId=12556&productId=10650316&urlRequestType=Base&categoryId=&langId=-1&productIdentifier=product&catalogId=33057
They also do a periodic table t-shirt if that's more your thing ladies! 

 2) Rope Hand Chain. I don't have a photo of me wearing this as I haven't actually worn it yet but when I do I will upload it onto my Instagram page. If you have Instagram and would like to follow me, my username is shazia_4. Talking of Instagram, it was where I was inspired to buy this item. I love Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, she is so beautiful and she and Jason make the cutest couple! Anyway, Rosie uploaded a photo of herself wearing a Jacquie Aiche hand chain and I can't afford one of those so I found this on Asos which was an absolute bargain and even cheaper with the student discount! :D 
http://www.asos.com//Asos/Asos-Rope-Chain-Hand-Harness/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=2749257
(I know I should shorten my links as it looks scruffy but I'm quite paranoid of shortened links because I'm wary of them being spam/a virus. I would never do that to you guys but for those of you who worry far too much like me, I upload the full link and will continue to do so).
3) Ugg Mosaic flip flops. I love my Ugg boots during winter and I know they are hardly the best looking shoes but they keep my feet so nice and toasty in the grim Manchester weather. Ugg uses materials of a fine quality which is why their products are always finished to a high standard and last long so that's why I bought these. Also, green is my favourite colour and I love the pattern too. I purchased mine from Schuh, however they have sold out unfortunately but here's a link to an alternative stockist: 
 http://www.littlewoods.com/ugg-australia-mosaic-flare-ii-flip-flops/1180769282.prd?crossSellType=pzone2&parentProductId=prod15760815

Well I hope you have enjoyed this rather long post (I swear I never intend to make them this long but I just love sharing things with you guys). Keep your eyes peeled for my RHS Tatton Park post which should be up within the next week. As ever, feel free to comment below and remember to follow this blog, my Twitter and Instagram accounts too. Before I go, I baked a White Chocolate and Raspberry Melting Cake for Eid from John Whaite Bakes which is the recipe book written by John Whaite, the winner of the Great British Bake 2012. If you haven't already bought his book then I highly recommend it especially if you love fruit like me as he has many recipes that include lovely fresh fruit. I slightly altered this recipe as John simply topped his cake with icing sugar but I used the leftover white chocolate ganache and fresh raspberries to decorate. 
Anyway, I am going to go and relax for the rest of this lovely Sunday evening and start reading A Streetcat Named Bob. Take care everyone!
Love, Mancunian Sheep x

Saturday, 13 July 2013

20. 19 things you probably didn't know about me.

Hello everyone! Ooh two posts in a week I hear you say, can't say I don't spoil you ;) As my 19th birthday is fast approaching us, I thought it would be nice to have a different birthday post this year. Regular readers will know that I usually share lots of photos and stories from my birthday party but this year, for the first time in my life, my birthday is in Ramadan so I won't be having a party as there is no party without food and I don't think the neighbours would appreciate a party between 9pm and 3am. So here are 19 facts about me that most of you don't know:


  1. My favourite food is spinach. I love it on pizza, in my Mum's spinach curry, in pasta. Can't get enough of the green stuff (ooh that rhymes).
  2. I have only ever been abroad once. At the time, I was 2 years old and we visited my Mum's family in Pakistan. However, I became severely ill and Mum vowed that she'd never go back :(
  3. When I was 4, I was hospitalised after a chicken tikka became stuck in my throat so I was terrifed to eat them until the age of 18.
  4. My favourite book is One Day and that was before Anne Hathaway played Emma in the film. I loved Emma and Dexter (except when he was a TV "star" and was behaving like a complete idiot) and felt like I was one of their closest friends. To Kill a Mockingbird, Little Face, An Offer You Can't Refuse, Silver Linings Playbook, the Harry Potter series, Fat, Bad Pharma and The Perks of Being a Wallflower are some other books I love and would recommend to anybody.
  5. Although my favourite animals are sheep obviously, I also love sloths (my best friend got me into them), llamas (my Mum loves llamas so she got me into them), polar bears, sea otters (one of my lecturers got me into them) and penguins. Until the age of 11, my favourite animals were dolphins and I really wanted a dolphin called Emily.
  6. I have alpha thalassemia and  found out at the age of 18. It won't affect me but if the man who I have children with has the condition too then our children may require blood transfusions.
  7. I hate cling film because I cannot use it.
  8. I despise marshmallows (just realised that this is the third fact where I have mentioned food- give me a break, just 90 minutes until I open the fourth fast of Ramadan 2013). They have the most pungent, chemical taste.
  9. My oldest and best friend is Peggy, I've had her since I was 2 years old and because I am an only child, she was like a sister. We did everything together and it feels weird that at one point, I was smaller than Peggy.
  10. My favourite flowers are bluebells because they are effortlessly pretty even though they are facing downwards. The colour is unique in that not many things in nature are that distinctive shade of blue.
  11. When I was 2, I was sat on my Mum's shoulders but I wasn't prepared for her sudden movement so I ended up crashing into the coffee table. To this day, I have a scar above my right eyebrow. I am basically Harry Potter :P
  12. My favourite song is Dancing in the Moonlight by Toploader and has been since it was released in 2000. It is such a happy song and as the lyrics go, it does makes me feel warm and bright. If I ever get married, I think that will be our first dance :')
  13. I love the feeling of new socks, it feels like I am wearing clouds for slippers.
  14. I was a vegetarian for 9 months when I was 17 and I would have carried on but my iron deficiency anaemia became worse so I ended up eating meat again. I think I will go back to being a vegetarian or at least, a pescatarian. To be fair, I don't eat a lot of meat because I don't really like the smell, texture or idea of killing animals for food when we have so much food on offer and no longer live in a survival of the fittest environment.
  15. I have very long eyelashes. It led to my friend calling me Vamel in secondary school (she crossed camel with Valerie, The Zutons song which we both used to sing). They run in the family as even some of my male cousins have them.  I am not being vain but after attending a single sex secondary school, most of my classmates had mentioned it once and just last weekend, the lady who served me in The Body Shop asked me if they were real. I have only worn mascara once when my friend tried it on me at Eid and I hated it. On that note, I don't wear make up (apart from a bit of strawberry flavoured lip balm from The Body Shop or painting my nails sometimes) because my skin is bad enough with acne and I don't like the idea of having bits of a poor whale smothered on my face. 
  16. My favourite subjects in primary and secondary school were English and French respectively. My biggest regret up to date is choosing AS Maths and not AS French in college because I probably would have ended up doing a Biology with French degree.
  17. My guilty pleasure/pick me up is a packet of biscuits. It really is the simple things in life, hey? If I am craving junk food or want something to indulge in during cold winter evenings then there is nothing better than a cuppa and pack of chocolate digestives. Once the pack is open, they won't last long and it won't be going back in the cupboard but the empty wrapper will be going in the bin.
  18. I've never owned a games console and I'm glad I didn't because I would probably wear glasses. The main reason for not having one was because I was an only child and I don't think my parents would have enjoyed playing Mario Kart with me.
  19. I cannot sneeze in public because it is so loud and I'm scared of giving someone a fright and making them spill their coffee on their laptop or something in the library. This is a fairly recent thing and I would say it kicked in about 5 years ago from what I remember.
I hope you have all enjoyed finding out more about me. Feel free to leave some random facts about yourself in the comment and if you have any stories that relate to what I have mentioned above. If you're reading this from the UK, enjoy the sun while it lasts and if you're elsewhere on Earth then enjoy yourself too whatever the weather.

Love,

Mancunian Sheep x

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

19. Summer summer summer time.

Hello all. I shall warn you now that this will be a beastly post.  I'm making up for the fact that I haven't posted for almost 4 months. I hope you've all been well and for those of you who had GCSEs, A-levels or university exams- best of luck for the results. I had 5 exams during the recent exam period in biochemistry, cell biology, labs, microbiology and pharmacology. I received my results last Friday and I'm pleased to let you know that I passed my first year of uni. Woo! :D That leaves 2, perhaps 3 more years for me in education. As my Aunt was saying when she came over recently, it's been a long academic journey but it has been worth it. We've already chosen our modules for second year and I'm really looking forward to them, particularly Organismal Genetics (can't beat a bit of Mendelian Genetics) and Animal Physiology. Having said that, I'm looking forward to all of my second year modules. We were given a lot more choice as we could select 7/8 of the second year modules compared to 4/9 first year optional modules. My other second year modules are Virology, Evolution, Plants for the Future, Immunology, Endocrinology and Histology. University finished in early June until September and truth be told, I miss it. I've been up to a fair bit but I miss having something productive to do.

Now I've updated you all on what's going on with my university life, time to tell you all what I've been doing for the past month with a lot of pictures, as usual.

1) Baking!

I'll admit I haven't been doing a lot because it's been quite hot and also because my Mum and I are both watching our weight at the moment so are on a bit of a health kick. Just realised that since my last post on here was in March, none of you (unless you follow me on Twitter; shameless plug or know me in real life) will know that my friend and I went to John Whaite's book signing! :D He is so nice! I've baked a couple of things from his recipe book so far. If you would like to purchase it, here's the link: 
http://www.amazon.co.uk/John-Whaite-Bakes-Recipes-Every/dp/0755365097/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1373388062&sr=8-1&keywords=john+whaite+bakes
 I'm intending to bake a couple of his cakes during/after Ramadan depending on the weather so hopefully I'll include them in my next post! I also made some Bakewell muffins but for some reason, Blogger won't let me upload the photo, probably doesn't like cherries and/or almonds.

John and I at his Trafford Centre book signing in April.

"Tropical fruit pavlova" from John's book. It should have
mango and passionfruit on it too but they didn't ripen in time.
2) Cinema!
I'm not a massive cinemagoer, as an only child I never really had anybody to watch many films with growing up. When friends ask me if I've watched a certain film and I 9 times out of 10 reply "No", their jaw usually drops. Feel free to leave a comment below asking me if I've watched a certain film (not any mentioned on the blog) and if I have, the person who asked will get a special shoutout in my next post ;) Anyway, to break a habit of many years, during the past couple of years, I've really tried to make more of an effort to go to the cinema. A few weeks ago, I went to watch The Great Gatsby and it was superb.The style and acting was great but for me, the modern music ruined it. Jay-Z is about as far away from the 1920s as you can possibly get. Lana Del Rey was slightly more suitable but the film could have done without such drivel. I love Leonardo DiCaprio (I mean who doesn't?!) and when Gatsby was shot, I almost dropped the popcorn! My favourite character aside from Gatsby was Jordan because she was her own person and not two faced -_- I've not actually read the book but it is next on my summer reading list. Last Friday, I went to watch The Bling Ring with another one of my lovely friends and it was brilliant obviously because Emma Watson was in it ;) I will definitely be purchasing both on DVD.
A still from my favourite scene, I loved how nervous Gatsby was and how he
kept storming in and out of Nick's house when Daisy arrived for afternoon tea.

I love how Nicki is a million miles away from Hermione.
Shows what a flexible actress Emma is.

3) Being a Student Ambassador

I wouldn't even call this work because I have great fun and meet the most amazing people! Recently I've worked at the university open days, a guest lecture for alumni, with year 6 pupils at a local primary school and year 9 students who visited the university. It's been a lot of fun and I've really felt at ease working with young people and their parents so I'm almost certain that I want to do a PGCE. However, I do have a dilemma as I'm not sure which age group to work with- primary, secondary or post 16? As you know, this year I've had a lot of experience with secondary school pupils due to mentoring so hopefully during second year, I can get some more experience in a primary and secondary school setting to help me decide before I apply for a PGCE in third year. I want to have a career which involves sharing scientific knowledge with others either by teaching or science communication but I feel that teaching is more suitable for me because I've always liked helping others. Talking of science communication, I am in the process of writing an article on the Wood Pigeon, once it goes online, I will share the link on here.

4) Being a fruit addict
Let me explain. During revision, I had a terrible craving for...
PINK LADY APPLES! :O
I recently bought a new perfume- Be Delicious by DKNY and the bottle looks like a pink lady apple so I'm almost certain that my craving had something to do with that. Anyway, none of my local shops had pink lady apples which is plain stupid so after my pharmacology exam, I went to a Tesco near uni with a friend who also loves fruit to satisfy my craving. Unfortunately, that was not the end of my first world problems. Since finishing uni, I've now moved onto Braeburn, sorry Pink Lady. Watch this space for my next apple craving. My fruit addiction doesn't end there, last weekend and this weekend, I got through TWO PUNNETS OF STRAWBERRIES IN ONE DAY. I can't even use "being at Wimbledon" as an excuse. By the way, I have no idea why I am sharing my fruit addiction with you, just thought you'd all like to know. Feel free to leave a comment below sharing what your favourite fruit is and your strangest craving. Maybe we could set up Fruitaholics Anonymous? :P

5) Last but certainly not least,  WATCHING WIMBLEDON!

I honestly could not contain my excitement whilst writing the rest of the post. Bet you all thought I wasn't going to mention Wimbledon- Bazinga! I apologise for the capital letters but it has only been a mere 48 hours since:
The moment Andy won and Wimbledon became Wimbledone.
ANDREW BARRON MURRAY BECAME THE FIRST BRITISH MAN TO WIN WIMBLEDON IN 77 YEARS ON 7/7/2013 AT 5.24PM AFTER BEATING THE WORLD'S NUMBER 1 IN STRAIGHT SETS. When Djokovic netted the last shot of the final, I screamed the house down, started crying instantaneously and hugged my Mum. I had the same reaction when Andy beat Verdasco in the quarter final after being 2 sets down. There could not have been a more worthy winner. Andy is such a fantastic role model, after everything he has been through, he has never given up and it has paid off because in the last 12 months, he has won Olympic Gold and 2 Grand Slams. He is a hero. Wimbledon 2013 was a tournament full of surprises with many of the top seeds going out in the first week including Azarenka, Sharapova, Williams, Nadal, Federer and Tsonga. I was so gutted about Tsonga Bear and wish him a speedy recovery on that knee injury. Due to all of the early exits, I was on edge more than ever about Andy but he showed us all that he wouldn't be another casualty. Talking of Serena, Lisicki the German sweetheart of SW19 defeated her so naturally, I was in tears during Saturday's women's final when she lost to Bartoli but I'm sure we will see plenty more of our very own Laura Robson and Smiley Sabine for many years to come as well as our Andy :D
Oh Judy! As Chris Simpsons Artist put it "We are all Andy's Mum"
 because we all felt just as proud as we would if he was our own son.
A national sigh of relief.

I don't think you realise quite how happy I am for him.
Look how beautiful they are! Kim has been a rock for Andy, such a lovely, talented young lady.
How very dapper?! It was so sweet when Andy dedicated his win to the legendary Ivan Lendl.

In other news, I have bought tickets to see both Jack Whitehall and Miranda who are my favourite comedians at the MEN arena in Spring 2014. I cannot wait! :D

I did promise this would be a long post to make up for my 4 month absence.  As ever, feel free to comment below on how you celebrated/are celebrating Andy's win (to celebrate I had a punnet of strawberries and some delicious birthday cake which my lovely friend baked for me himself), your fruit addictions, movies or anything else that takes your fancy . Until next time (which will hopefully be a lot sooner than November), take care everyone!

Love,
Mancunian Sheep