Sunday, 28 December 2014

80. December Favourites

Hello everyone and welcome to my 50th and final post of 2014! Firstly, I just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone reading, The Life of a Mancunian Sheep has had almost 4000 hits in 2014 which is incredible. I hope you've all had a great 2014 and would like to wish you the very best for 2015 and now it's time for my final favourites post of this year! There are 12 favourites as it is December so you're best off grabbing a hot beverage (good word, beverage isn't it?) and some leftover chocolates/ biscuits from Christmas because this is likely to be a long post.

1) Gogglebox- the first of my television favourites this month, December is always a good month for television don't you think? Every year around January exam season, I become addicted to a random television programme, last year it was Four in a Bed and this year it's Gogglebox. I love everyone on the show (except Reverend Kate who I for some unknown reason find irritating, sorry Kate) particularly Scarlett who I find hilarious. I think my favourite moment so far was when they were watching the programme about Tatler and the posh woman was really excited in Poundland and Scarlett said: "Just wait 'til she finds Aldi or Lidl, she'll have a heart attack her" - I was crying with laughter!

2) The Apprentice- my other television favourite. I loved this series and think it was the best for years. I was a bit disappointed that Roisin didn't make it to the final because she excelled in so many areas as shown by her great record in the weekly tasks but, I've noticed that the best candidates often don't have very good business plans like a guy in the Young Apprentice a few years ago called James who wanted to use the money to pay his tuition fees. I think anyone that watched this series has to agree that the best moment was Solomon's interview with Claude, it escalated so quickly! Also, I'm gutted that Nick is leaving because he has the best facial expressions. I do hope Claude isn't his replacement because he is the best interviewer. 

3) Me Before You by Jojo Moyes- Apart from watching Gogglebox and The Apprentice, I read Me Before You this month which was fabulous. It is about Louisa who works in The Buttered Bun Cafe which is unfortunately shut down leaving her job hunting. She ends up becoming a carer for Will who used to work in the city but ends up quadriplegic after being hit by a motorbike. I highly recommend it to anyone but especially to other carers because it really makes you empathise with someone who has a long-term disability. What I really loved about the book was how realistic it was because it portrayed the demands of caring and how different each day can be extremely well.  For anyone that has read One Day, you'll end up thinking of Louisa and Will as two close friends like you did with Emma and Dex. Me Before You is much more than a romance novel as it covers so many issues including euthanasia, unemployment, relationships and teenage pregnancy. I really couldn't put it down once I got into it and read most of it in 5 hours. There is going be a film adaptation of it too starring Sam Claflin :D

Rating: 5/5 

4) The Mockingjay movie- I braved the cold today (I say that but wore my Me to You slipper socks to the cinema, shh don't tell anyone) and finally got round to seeing this with my lovely friend, Sammia. Apart from the part where I almost dropped my nachos because I jumped when Katniss slammed the table at the start, I thoroughly enjoyed the film. Despite there being less action in the film compared to the first two, the storyline was still strong and set up the ending for the next film well. It was sad to lose Philip Seymour Hoffman earlier this year because his performance in Mockingjay was outstanding. I also liked Effie without her wacky wigs as she looked much better and Haymitch was just as hilarious sober. It was adorable when Katniss asked President Coin to let Prim keep Buttercup and when Prim and Gale went to get Buttercup during the evacuation however, the scenes where we see Cinna's designs and Peeta strangling Katniss made me sad.

5) Desk planner- I went to my local Calendar Club store to buy our 2015 calendar and spotted this beauty. It has a whiteboard attached to the calendar which is exactly what I need for to-do lists during a very busy time like the final year of university! The best thing was it only cost £2.99 so was an absolute bargain. I love how a dry wipe pen was provided and the cute foxes are a nice touch too.

6) Sloth phone case- regular readers will know how much I adore sloths so this has to be one of my favourite purchases ever!

7) Local businesses- a slightly random favourite but I was thinking how The Life of a Mancunian Sheep should really include some more Mancunian based content which is something I intend to change in 2015 so watch this space! Anyway for now, we have had an absolute nightmare trying to find a reasonably priced handyman and gardener for months but I got lucky in December when I found both on the same day. The gardeners are based in Ashton-under-Lyne but do cover the Manchester area. They mowed the lawn, cleared the leaves and pruned the trees. They provide a free quote, are reasonably priced and take away the rubbish which won't fit in your green bin. Trevor and Jenny are very friendly and offer a range of services ranging from gutter cleaning to gardening. Here is a link to their website. The handyman was from MSK construction and they are again reasonably priced, provide a free quote and a variety of services. They repaired the hinge on my cupboard, sorted out my bedroom door which didn't close properly after being painted and also fixed a mirror back onto my Mum's wardrobe. Despite being stuck in traffic for 4 hours on the way back from Hale, they still turned up and cleared up after themselves! MSK Construction also cover the whole of Manchester.

8) Aurora- Tanya Burr Lip Gloss. I have been intending to try Tanya's products for months and this was worth the wait. Aurora smells delicious (like strawberry laces/ candy floss), has long-lasting pigmentation and is smooth not sticky. I don't wear a lot of lip gloss but the next one I do buy will definitely be one from Tanya's range.

9) Red or Dead Geography boots- Since buying these boots, I've worn them almost all day everyday because they are just so warm. Unlike other winter boots, they aren't heavy which makes them so comfortable. I like to think of them as "outdoor slippers". They go with everything and are also available in tan. 

10) Lego Cloud Cuckoo Palace- I re-watched The Lego Movie earlier this month when I bought it on DVD and it made me want to play with Lego. It has been more than a decade since I last played with Lego but I am proud of the construction skills I have retained, I am a master builder because I built the Cloud Cuckoo Palace in just over an hour of it being delivered by the postman (yes, I know I am a 20 year old child).

11) Ainsley Harriot Couscous- With my Mum in hospital, there isn't much point cooking large meals and because I've been busy with university, I've found couscous so convenient. The roasted vegetable and Moroccan Medley flavours are my favourites and others are available. All you do is add boiling water, stir and wait for 5 minutes. A serving contains less than 200 calories, who said fast food couldn't be healthy? I like to have mine with falafel, hummus and salad.

12) Roasted parsnips- my other food favourite this month is my favourite component of a Christmas meal. I love roasted parsnips so much and will definitely be having them more often as I prefer them to crisps.

Enjoy the last few days of 2014 and see you in 2015!

Until next time, take care.
Mancunian Sheep x