18 Struggles Of Having An Outgoing Personality But Actually Being Shy And Introverted

A frighteningly accurate description of me ! Great post for those of us who are ‘selectively social’ 🙂

Thought Catalog

This
 this is my soul song, people. This is my Vietnam.

1. You’re not anti-social, you’re selectively social.

2. At any given point, you have one (maybe two) best friends who are your entire life. You’re not a “group of friends” person. You can’t keep up with all that.

3. Social gatherings that are supposed to be “rites of passage” like prom and dances and other such typical nonsense is just
 not for you. You don’t understand it. You want nothing to do with it.

4. When you do choose to grace a party with your presence, you are the life of it. You’re dancing on the table and doing body shots until 3 a.m.

5. 
 You then retreat into three days of complete solitude to recover.

6. You go out of your way to avoid people, but when you inevitably have to interact with them, you make it


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And Now My Watch Begins.

**SPOILERS** **DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU HAVE WATCHED SEASON 4**

ANOTHER Game of Thrones post ! This may as well be a Game of Thrones blog to be honest. But after last week’s episode, and as we teeter on the edge of another season finale, how could I not dedicate a small post to the epic-ness that was Season 4, Episode 10 of my beloved GOT ?! Yep, ‘The Watchers on the Wall’ stayed faithful to the tradition of the penultimate episode being the most action-packed, and exceeded all of my expectations. In fact, on second viewing, I would even say that ‘The Watchers on the Wall’ was not only the best episode of the whole season, but possibly the best out of all previous episode nine-ers, of which include Ned Stark’s beheading, the Battle of Blackwater Bay, and the infamous Red Wedding.

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Like most people, I suppose I was expecting the showdown between the Mountain and the Viper (or quite possibly another event which hasn’t happened yet so I shall not give it away) to be the focal point of Season 4, taking centre stage in the penultimate episode. Of course, when I saw the title of Episode 9, how could I not have guessed it would instead be the ultimate face-off between Jon Snow and the Night’s Watch vs. Mance Rayder’s Wildling army. I think a lot of people were slightly apprehensive about whether or not an entire episode devoted to JUST the Night’s Watch would work – even I admit that whilst the Night’s Watch/beyond the Wall scenes are visually stunning, the action can sometimes be lacking in excitement and purpose, not helped by Kit Harington’s often wooden portrayal of our Byronic hero, Jon Snow (that guy has absolutely perfected the thousand-yard stare!) Yes, unfortunately, like the rest of Westeros who only regard the Night’s Watch as motley crew of outcasts protecting the realm from ‘grumpkins and snarks and all the monsters your wet nurse warned you about’, people often seem to ignore the band of Black Brothers in favour of Khaleesi and her fire-breathing dragons, or Arya and the Hound’s strange mentor-mentee relationship. I’m only generalising of course. But my point is that the prospect of a whole hour dedicated to the Night’s Watch was rather disconcerting at first. ‘The Watchers on the Wall’ proved the naysayers oh so very wrong. Very VERY wrong !

Anyway, I don’t want to give a whole review of the episode, I just wanted to share with you some of my favourite parts, as I really was blown away by how amazing it was. I mean, the effects and the filming were just beautiful ! That 360 tracking shot of the ongoing fight at Castle Black was pure brilliance, not to mention the jaw-dropping scene when the scythe was freed from its icy confines, sweeping along the wall to take out some rather eager Wildlings who were getting too close for comfort. Something else which I really really loved was Ser Alliser Thorne’s speech, both to Jon Snow and to the rest of the Night’s Watch – as a character who has done nothing but more or less bully Jon Snow throughout the whole series, letting his petty emotions and pride stop him from doing what was in the best interests of the Night’s Watch, he proved that he could indeed back up all his bravado. Unlike Janos Slynt, former commander of the City Watch (when will he SHUT UP about that ?! We get it), Ser Alliser did not turn his back on his brothers like so many would expect him to do. Instead, he proved that he could admit to being wrong, and gave an impassioned speech about defending Castle Black before leading the attack on the Wildling invaders, even taking on the one and only Tormund Giantsbane.

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My absolute favourite scene, though, was that heart-stopping moment when that massive giant, clearly out for revenge, ran towards the gate that was being protected by the ever-loyal Grenn and a few other brothers. Grenn has been one of my most beloved secondary characters – people always see Sam as being Jon Snow’s truest and loyalist friend, which I’m not doubting he is (I am a Samwell Tarly fan!), but I think Grenn deserves that position too. I mean, he was the first brother to volunteer to accompany Jon Snow to Craster’s Keep in order to kill the mutineers, and he went down to the tunnels to protect the gate on Jon’s orders without question, despite knowing that it would probably result in his death. I thought it was a brilliant, proud, sad, inspiring moment when Grenn stood before the charging giant, encouraging the others to hold their ground, whilst they all recited their oath and draw their swords, all because Jon Snow had told them to defend the gate at all costs. I was weirdly moved by this touching moment, and as we only really ever get to hear snippets of the Night’s Watch oath I thought I’d post the entire thing here 🙂

Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.

Unfortunately for Grenn (and dear old Pyp !), we must finish the oath with the words ‘And now his watch is ended.’

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BRING ON THE SEASON 4 FINALE ! From then on, it’s just another struggle to stay alive for the next year so that I may continue watching the awesomeness that is Game of Thrones.

 

 

Game of Thrones: A Beautiful Death

**SPOILERS AHEAD** **DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU HAVE WATCHED UP TO SEASON 4 (UNELSS YOU WANT TO)**

Yet ANOTHER Game of Thrones post everyone ! And, as always, there WILL be spoilers ahead but, to be honest, if you haven’t yet caught up to Season 4 I can only look at you in despair….the mind reels, it really does.

Anyway, whether you are a dedicated fan (the type who greets people with a friendly Valar Morghulis), or an eager newbie (the type who cannot BELIEVE they killed Ned Stark…like ohmygosh he’s the main character ?! WTF.), there is little doubting the sheer number of character deaths we see each season. The whole series is practically one big massacre. Proving his point with Ned Starks untimely beheading with his own sword, George R. R. Martin really does not care which of his characters he condemns to a grisly death. The tagline is supposedly ‘You Win or You Die’ but, honestly, the real message seems to be ‘You Win or George R. R. Martin kills you.’ We have seen wannabe Kings stabbed through the heart, actual Kings poisoned at their own wedding, colourful whores crucified on bedposts, and vengeful Prince’s literally crushed into bloody pieces. Yes, Martin is a monster……WHY ROBB STARK WHY ?! HE WAS SUPPOSED TO TAKE CASTERLY ROCK AND AVENGE HIS FATHER’S SPIRIT !!!

Ahem…..so…..yes, back to the point of this post. HBO have teamed up with artist Robert M. Ball whose artistic project entitled ‘A Beautiful Death’ gives a whole new meaning to the term ‘graphic’. Ball has taken the demise of each character, transforming their gruesome, soul-crushing deaths into literal works of art, inspiring beauty and imagination into a world full of pain, suffering, and endless homicide.

So far, he has produced 38 pieces (Yes, that many characters have died already!), and you can find them all here http://beautifuldeath.com Today, I would simply like to share with you a handful of my favourite ones 🙂

 

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The nation gasped when Joffrey demanded for Ser Ilyn to ‘Bring me his head’ – referring to the head of the ever-honourable Ned Stark. Throughout Season 1, we were led to believe that Ned Stark was the central character, the one that nothing could ever possibly happen to. Yes, despite a few scrapes and near-calls, Ned would always be safe. WRONG. Season 1, Episode 9 saw Ser Illyn, the King’s Justice, chop off dear old Ned’s head with his own Valyrian steel sword, Ice. I suppose the fact that he was played by Sean Bean was a dead give away….the guy has died onscreen in about 99.9% of his works. Anyway, I love that Ball has depicted Ned’s beheading as a symbol of peace – I like to think that the doves (I assume they’re doves and not filthy crows or pigeons) flying out of his severed neck represent not only his state of rest in heaven, but also symbolise that his love and honour are not gone, but flying about Westeros watching over his family 🙂 As IF GOT would ever be that kind in reality !!

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Ah, Khal Drogo, Dany’s ‘Sun and Stars’. I’m probably going to anger a lot of Dany & Drogo shippers right now, but I never bought into their relationship. I mean, the guy was a total brute ! Before he met Dany, he seemed to have no problem raiding villages, killing innocents, and raping women. Even in his mighty, ‘I’M GOING TO TAKE OVER WESTEROS’ speech, he mentions how he will ‘rape their women and take their children as slaves’ whilst Dany lovingly looks on ! What a proud wife she must have been. I mean, I love Dany, but how can she strut about as a feminist, a fair leader, and a ‘breaker of chains’ when she was quite prepared to let her husband shackle up innocent children and potentially rape their mothers JUST to claim her mad, serial-killing father’s throne back ?! BITCH. Regardless, I still enjoy Drogo’s ‘beautiful death’ poster – I like the pretty horse in the starry night sky. This is all.

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I LOVED Ros the whore ! I don’t know whether it was the actress’s beautiful face or her silky-smooth voice, but I thought she had enormous onscreen presence. She was a rather admirable character – she went from the peasant wench of Winterfell to Littlefinger’s PA in King’s Landing all within the space of about a year. What a woman ! Unfortunately, Ros’s attempt to play the game of thrones ended in disaster as she lost to a more cunning participant – Littlefinger himself. Yes, that sneaky Master of Coin with the suspicious goatee gave his red-headed jewel to King Joffrey who was clearly very eager to try out his new crossbow. True to her nature, Ros did eventually end up in Joffrey’s bed, only she was rather impaled on it by 3 or 4 crossbow bolts. Ros, we salute you.

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It’s been over a year and I still can’t think of the Red Wedding without feeling an enormous twang of pain – Roose Bolton may aswell of stuck the knife in my own heart after he was done with Robb. Those pesky Lannisters ! As Ball’s ‘beautiful death’ picture shows, the violin chords of ‘The Rains of Castamere’, a song about how the Lannisters crushed the once wealthy and powerful House Castamere, led to Walder Frey’s halls running red with the blood of 2 remaining Starks, a recently married Stark, and a potential baby Stark. Not to mention the loyal dire wolf, Grey Wind. Why the wolf, Martin, why the damn wolf ? That’s all I want to know.

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Petyr Baelish, nickamed Littefinger, is probably one of my most favourite characters to watch. He’s such a sinister looking man ! I would even prefer to take on Tywin Lannister than try and outsmart Littlefinger. Out of everyone on the show, from psychos like Ramsay Snow (Bolton now) to cold-blooded killers like The Hound, Littlefinger is quite possibly the most ambitious, most intelligent, most cunning and calculating man in Westeros. The only person who could challenge him, I believe, is Roose Bolton. Anyway, Ball’s ‘beautiful death’ representation of Lysa Arryn’s fateful fall from her own Moon Door perfectly captures Littlefinger’s position in the show as the ultimate puppet master who is pulling all the strings, making the entire country dance for his amusement all the while believing they are the masters. I also like the way Lysa is represented here; for the crazy, troubled, psychotic woman that she was, Ball has turned her into what looks like a wounded bird – a creature to be pitied. Of course, as Littlefinger’s sigil is the Mockingbird, Lysa here becomes the fallen mockingbird, murdered by her own husband. I really cannot wait to see what Littlefinger will do next !

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Prince Oberyn. What can I say ? What a brilliant character, beautifully portrayed by Pedro Pascal ! Having read the books, House Martell is one of my favourite Houses, so it was great to finally see a member of House Martell being introduced to us in Season 4. Then…..HE GETS KILLED ! Okay, so I knew it was coming….but I hoped beyond all hope that the shows writers would change this tiny detail ! But they didn’t. Nope. Oberyn had his teeth punched from his mouth, his eyes gouged out, and his skull crushed into one big bloody mess. Nicknamed the ‘Red Viper’, Balls ‘beautiful death’ pictures captures Oberyn’s descent into death – a once great warrior, the Viper ends up rotting underground like so many others who have attempted to take on the Lannisters. What makes it even worse is that Oberyn ironically sealed his own death, as Ball represents with Oberyn’s spear impaled on the Viper – The Mountain may have been the one to do the deed, but Oberyn’s arrogance and overwhelming need to hear The Mountain confess to murdering Elia Martell resulted in his untimely, very very gruesome, death. WHY COULDN’T HE JUST LET IT GO ?! THE MOUNTAIN WAS ALMOST DEAD !!! R.I.P Prince Oberyn Martell.

 

So hope you enjoyed 🙂 Check out Ball’s other ‘beautiful death’ pictures – they really are wonderful ! And keep watching Game of Thrones. It’s only gonna get better 😀

Disney Princess Collectables

Apologies for the lack of writing ! God knows who I’m apologising to as I think this blog gets something like 10 views a day ?! And that’s if I’m lucky ! But, anyway, for the sake of blog mannerisms….I apologise ! I’ve had a tiny case of writers block, not to mention the amount of hours I’ve been doing at work lately… Luckily some ideas have come flooding back to me and I’ll be working on them soon.

For now, I just wanted to share with you some of my favourite Disney Princess Figurines from the Disney Store 🙂 Not everyone’s cup of tea I know, but I’ve been a bit Disney-obsessed lately (more than usual), and it IS my birthday real soon, so, you know, just throwing it out there….you can never go wrong with something Disney Princess themed when it comes to me 😀 I will probably show this post to my boyfriend, just so he can correct it for grammatical mistakes and stuff….I have no other ulterior motive in doing this….

1. Disney Haute-Couture 

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So these 4 figures are part of the Disney Showcase Haute-Couture Collection. They are very artistic, quite modern, fashion-forward figurines. The detail on of them is beautiful ! I especially love the back of Aurora’s dress with all the flowers trailing down ! In fact, despite being a fierce Belle lover, Aurora is probably my favourite in this collection. I absolutely adore the colour clash between the pink and blue of her dress, just like in the film ! As always, the faces are SLIGHTLY creepy (except for Belle, Belle is beautiful), but at ÂŁ45 each, I think they are a valuable part of anyones collection 🙂 This Collection also did a Disney Villains line which I actually think are much more detailed and much more true to character, especially the Maleficent one, but I think if I woke up in the middle of the night and saw Cruella de Vil scowling at me I’d probably have a fit.

2. Disney Showcase Figurines

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These two are part of the original Disney Showcase Collection. As much as I love Ariel, I’m not too fond of this figurine’s hair…looks like she got a bit too excited buying beads from a Gypsy’s caravan. Rapunzel however is gorgeous ! I love Rapunzel anyway, but her hair here is simply FABULOUS ! Her face is actually quite pretty too. These are also ÂŁ45 each, so, you know, not too much to ask for…

3. Disney Figurines by Jim Shore

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Belle. Just Belle. Not much else to say really. Belle is clearly the best. Rapunzel is creepy. And Cinderella is basically holding vermin. Saying that, her dress is really really gorgeous….. Belle retails at ÂŁ18 whilst the other two are ÂŁ35, so, again, not exactly breaking the bank with these are we. The rose detailing around Belle and Cinderella’s platforms is simply stunning. It’s hard to believe you can get something so beautiful at such a good price really. Mind you I’ve never actually seen them in person. They could just be tacky crap. And what is Belle holding exactly ? Is it a book ? A bunch of roses ? A book with a bunch of roses emerging from the pages ?! Christ knows. Still, I love it !

4. Disney NAO by Ladro  

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Okay so the Ladro Disney figurines are by far my absolute favourite. My Grandma was a big collector of Ladro so I’ve grown up with a certain fondness for Ladro figurines, and these Disney ones are no exception. They’re so graceful and elegant. I absolute adore all 4 of them ! Snow White and Aurora are my favourites though, but at ÂŁ139 each, I think I will probably be waiting a long time for one of these beauties….

 

So there we go ! Only a short, simple post I know, but they’re too beautiful not to share 🙂 Look out for coming posts ! Which shall be much longer, more detailed, and far more interesting !

 

All pictures taken from www.disneystore.co.uk 

The 40 best quotes of Ernests Gulbis’ career

After another controversial week for the one and only Ernests Gulbis, it was great to look back on some of his past quotes ! The guy is a comedy genius !

The Grandstand

Ernests Gulbis has delivered some more quotable gems since winning the Delray Beach title in February, including several this week at Roland Garros. Here is an updated version of Gulbis’ best quotes.

10 additions since the original piece on February 27, 2013:

On what he needs to do to improve after losing to Gael Monfils at the French Open

“If I play my top tennis, you know, there is not going to be many guys who can compete with me.”

On if he would have rather played Monfils on Court 17 instead of Philippe Chatrier

“Court 2000.”

On the Big 4

“I respect Roger , Rafa , Novak, and Murray, but for me, all four of them are boring players. Their interviews are boring. Honestly, they are crap. I often go on YouTube to watch the interviews. With tennis, I quickly stop. It is a joke. It is Federer


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The Miracle Skincare Brand

So a few weeks ago I shared some of my own personal make up tips with you, and one of those tips was to always take great care of your skin. This is still true, but FORGET the products I recommended ! Okay well don’t forget about them completely, they’re still good products that do the job well, but I have found the PERFECT skincare products !

I’ve never really had a proper skin care routine. Hypocritical of me, yes I know. But I admit it – I would just moisturise every now and again, exfoliate every now and again, and cleanse every now and again. Shameful ! It doesn’t help that I’m an impatient person – I like to see results immediately ! Sometimes we start out with good intentions of washing our face daily, exfoliating, toning, and moisturising only to give up after a week or so when our face doesn’t start glowing like Jennifer Lawrence’s. I’m SO guilty of that – I’ll wake up one day, look in the mirror, or see a photo of me on a night out, and start frantically panicking about how dull my skin looks and how dark the shadows under my eyes are. Henceforth, I will more or less drink my own weight in water and ritually scrub my face in the shower every day and night. Then, once a week has passed, you’ll either find me back on the sweet sweet drug we call Diet Coke, or drunkenly collapsing on my bed with a face full of make up whilst my trusty facial wipes lay forgotten on the bedside table. Then, in another week, I’m flapping about my dull skin. It’s a painful cycle that never seems to end ! Until now.

So, not long ago, whilst satisfying my shopping addiction with my weekly trip to John Lewis, I happened to chance upon the Liz Earle counter in the beauty department. I vaguely remembered my mum going on about something with a similar sounding name a few weeks back, and, having absolutely no regard for the very little amount of money which sits in my bank, bought the recommended Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser without question. It came in a nice limited edition tin that also included two cotton cloths…how could I say no ?! Well, I am SO SO SO glad I didn’t as it is probably one of the best products I have ever purchased. I used it as soon as I got home as I had a particularly nasty acne rash on my cheeks (which I often get as I used to have a bit of acne when I was younger) and I wanted it to be dead and gone in time for my friends 21st on Saturday night. Honestly now, I’m not lying, it had literally VANISHED within a matter of days. I have been using it for over a week  now and my skin is looking the best that it’s been in a long time. Having decided I was perfectly satisfied with my purchase, and thus desiring to extend my Liz Earle collection, I yesterday purchased the Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic, the Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser, the Liz Earle Gentle Face Exfoliator, and the Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate. 

Although I’ve only used them altogether the once so far, I can see this being a skin routine that I most certainly will stick to. It’s an absolute pleasure to use these products as the smell is great, they glide on smoothly, and they leave your skin feeling super soft and super cleansed. The products themselves aren’t overly expensive either (well, I get 25% staff discount at John Lewis so WIN!), but I don’t think you can put a price on a good cleanser or moisturiser – you wouldn’t use crap to clean your teeth so don’t use crap to clean your face !! I’ll show you the products in detail so then you’ll be one more step towards becoming as obsessed with them as I am ! 

1.  Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser 

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So this is my first Liz Earle purchase, yay ! It’s a very important product to have as part of your skin care routine as you’re supposed to use it before anything else. This one comes in a limited edition tin to celebrate 150 years at John Lewis so, you know, you’re not just getting a nice cleanser, but a pretty box too ! The product has won over 100 beauty awards so you know it’s good stuff ! The first thing you do when using this cleanser is fill a basin with warm water (or do it whilst in the shower!) soak one of the muslin cloths in it, and then wring it out so it’s damp rather than wet. Afterwards, apply 1 pump of the product into your hands (the box says 2 pumps but I think this is too much) and use your fingertips to lightly massage all over your face. The product has a creamy texture and a tea tree oil-like scent (basically eucalyptus) so it should glide onto your face easy enough. Once you’ve done this, take your damp cloth and gently wipe all traces of the cream off, splash a bit of water on your face, then pat dry ! Seriously, this stuff literally takes ALL your make up off your face, and I mean ALL. Any traces of mascara, foundation, eyeliner etc are completely wiped out (little pun there incase it goes over your head). It leaves you with a totally bare face which is brilliant as your face literally becomes a clean canvas upon which you can start putting on make up 😀 RRP ÂŁ19.75 

2. Liz Earle Gentle Face Exfoliator

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After you’ve cleansed and polished your beautiful face, it’s time for exfoliation ! Once upon a time, it was typically recommended that you only exfoliate your face once a week, if that, as the rough texture of it would strip away all the natural oils in your skin and leave it feeling and/or looking raw. These days though, many exfoliators are much lighter and much more gentle meaning you can use them daily ! This Liz Earle one recommends that you use it as often as you need to 😀 I used it for the first time last night and it left my skin feeling ridiculously smooth – I know I said the cleanse & polish left it feeling smooth but this one is like DOUBLE smooth ! You can literally glide your finger across your skin afterwards and it just feels like silk. Seriously. Exfoliator is a good product to have and use because it strips away all your dead skin cells and exposes the nice, clean, glowing skin you have underneath. It’s also great for clearing up blackheads and blocked pores. Disgusting yes but we all have them !! Just gently massage the product onto your face (it feels like you’re rolling beads all over your skin. In fact, I think they are jojoba beads….) then rinse off 🙂  RRP ÂŁ14.50

3. Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic

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We all cleansed, polished, and exfoliated then ? Right, so the next step is to tone your skin and remove any particularly stubborn traces of dirt or make up which may clog your pores up again. Spritz a generous amount of the tonic onto a cotton wool pad and lightly wipe all over your face, concentrating on your forehead, nose, and eyes. Keep doing this, using as many cotton pads as you need, until there is no more dirt left on the pad. Some toners have a strong, clinical scent to them, but this one is very floral smelling (it genuinely smells like the massage rooms you get in spas), and doesn’t leave your face leaving taut and dry as so many others are prone to do. RRP ÂŁ13.25

4. Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser

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As I stated in my ‘Secret to Flawless Make Up’ post, moisturising is an essential part of any woman’s skincare/make up routine. Finding a good moisturiser that suits your skin type is really difficult. Well, I think so anyway. Personally I like a moisturiser which feels silky and smooth on the skin, but I find that a lot leave your skin feeling very firm and dry which I don’t like. I’ve only used this Liz Earle moisturiser the once but it is absolutely beautiful. I use the normal/combination type instead of the combination/oily. It’s both very soothing and very smoothing (is smoothing a word?!), and full of natural ingredients to protect your skin leaving it refreshed and hydrated. Apply gently onto face and neck after using the skin tonic 🙂 RRP ÂŁ19.25

5. Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate

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The last product, and final piece of your skincare jigsaw, is this absolute gem of a skincare product. It’s basically a facial oil intended to plump and even your skin. It’s a product that must only be used at night time before bed as not only does it work over night as you sleep, but the aroma is also so soothing and relaxing, sends you right off ! It’s a rollerball application but rather than roll it all over your face, you should roll a small bit in your hand, warm between your palms, inhale the scent, then smooth onto your skin. It recommends that you apply it before you moisturise, but I actually think that adding moisturiser on top is too much. Instead, I would only apply the moisturiser in the mornings and then only apply this oil in the night, not both (of course, always do the first three steps!). RRP ÂŁ20.00

 

So there we go – my Liz Earle skincare routine ! What I really love about this brand, aside from the fact their products are absolute miracle workers, is their dedication to using all botanical and natural ingredients. Nothing is better for your skin than natural extracts. They also NEVER test on animals ! As I’ve been researching more into the Liz Earle skincare range, I’ve discovered that they also do hair and beauty products…YES ! Will definitely give these a try and let you know my results and opinions 🙂 Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this, and let me know if it’s inspired you to try any Liz Earle products yourself and what you thought of them !

 

(All pictures taken from http://www.johnlewis.com)

Sansa Stark: Don’t Underestimate This Girl

**SPOILERS** DO NOT READ ON UNLESS YOU HAVE WATCHED UP TO SEASON 4 

In a land where bloodshed is rife, beheadings are the norm, and attendance at a wedding is practically a death sentence, the writers of Game of Thrones (yes that includes George R.R. Martin himself) could have easily taken the sexist route by having its female characters fall apart in this misogynistic medieval world, forcing them to become mere chess pieces in a male-dominated political game. They did not choose this route. Instead, in what is perhaps its most revered and compelling aspect, Game of Thrones is brimming with women who challenge their medieval conventions and constraints with their determination and strength, becoming formidable opponents to both men and women alike.

When we think of GoT‘s headstrong females, our mind is immediately occupied with images of Daenerys ‘Khaleesi’ Targaryen who is marching towards Westeros with a small company of loyal dragons, an army of 8000 highly skilled soldiers, and 3 men who are completely at her mercy. Or how about the impressive Brienne of Tarth ? The 6ft 3″ blonde warrior could even give the beloved Hound a run for his money in a duel. Not to mention Theon Greyjoy’s sister, Yara Greyjoy, the commander of the Iron Islands’ entire naval fleet, who, as we saw in last week’s episode, is pretty handy with an axe.

GoT Women

Yes, these female characters reject the stereotypical forms of feminism, for these women are physically well-built, display signs of overt masculinity, and are clearly uncomfortable when faced with ideals of femininity, favouring chainmail and steel over dresses and flowers. However, what is so great about this show is that the writers have not simply put a woman in a suit of armour, shoved a sword in her hand and said, ‘Hey look feminists ! We’ve challenged social expectations – our women don’t sew or cook, they fight and kill in battle !’ No. There are in fact many female characters in GoT whose lack of physical prowess and skill in battle is more than made up for with their cutting wit, subtle astuteness, and unparalleled intelligence. I mean, I would not want to be on the receiving end of Lady Olenna Tyrell’s sharp tongue, nor would I want to be caught in the middle of a political mind game between the menacing Cersei Lannister and the devious Margaery Tyrell !

GoT Women 2

I have recently introduced two of my friends to the Game of Thrones universe, and when I remarked to them about all the strong females in the show, they both said ‘Yes. Well, except for Sansa.’ Yes, sadly, whenever someone is asked who their favourite GoT character is, poor old Sansa Stark rarely makes the top of the list. However, having been a loyal fan of the books and an avid watcher of the television series from the very beginning, I can comfortably say that by Season 4, the beautiful Sansa has made it into my top 5 favourite characters to watch, and is, I believe, one of the strongest female characters on the show.

Sansa Stark

Ah there she is. With her stunning red hair, flawless bone structure, and beautiful physique, Sansa is the epitome of the perfect Lady of Westeros. She looks far too fragile to survive in such a brutal world as the one she lives in. The fact that her sister is Arya Stark doesn’t help her image. If you compare the two side by side, there is no doubting that Arya is the obvious choice when it comes to who is the most spirited and resilient – I mean, the girl is only 11 years old yet she can already wield a sword AND she’s killed THREE people with it ! Even when we are first introduced to the sisters in Season 1, Episode 1, we see Sansa happily enjoying her embroidery classes whilst Arya sneaks out to play bow and arrows with the Stark boys. If that isn’t juxtaposition then I don’t know what is. Okay, I admit it, even I was frustrated with Sansa at first; throughout Season 1, all she did was moan about how ‘Southern’ she wanted her hair to look, stuffed her face with lemon cakes, and spent her time daydreaming about marrying a handsome knight and being rescued from her wintery tower, all whilst rejecting her Northern roots, practically disowning her family, and pining after the psychotic Prince Joffrey. Yes, at first, Sansa seemed the stock ‘Damsel in Distress’ character, incapable of doing anything for herself or processing any thought which didn’t consist of pretty princes or gorgeous gowns.

Sansa Stark

However, we are currently on Season 4, and in that time Lords have been beheaded, Commanders have been exiled, Kings have been poisoned, and, yet, Sansa Stark remains. She is the Lone Wolf in the Lion’s Den (Starks vs. Lannisters reference incase you didn’t know….), but has so far managed to emerge with all her body parts intact – surely we have to give a teenage girl credit for such an impressive feat ! Seven Hells, even the brilliant Tyrion Lannister has felt the sting of the Lion’s claws, leaving him with a scar he will carry forever. Still, poor Sansa has had to withstand a lot of mental suffering during her stay at King’s Landing – she witnessed her father’s beheading, suffered abuse and humiliation at the hand of our dearly departed Joffers, was forced to marry Tyrion ‘the Dwarf’ Lannister, and silently endured the death of both her mother and her brother. Did she scream ? Did she run ? Did she drop kick Joffrey in the face ? Or call Cersei an evil, miserable bitch ? No. Sansa has never ceased to be anything but ladylike, graceful, and polite, but it’s not because she’s too brainless to do anything else, but because she understands that this is the only way to survive.

Brienne of Tarth once told Catelyn Stark that she had courage, ‘Not battle courage perhaps but, I don’t know, a kind of woman’s courage.’ This is exactly what Sansa has – her hopes and dreams may have been ripped to shreds and fallen to pieces around her, but she slowly learns to use her femininity to her advantage, wearing her innocence and naivety as her battle armour. Like Tyrion once said to Jon Snow: ‘Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.’ So Sansa Stark sits prettily in her little cage, repeating her curtseys, and singing like a little dove, but she endures. She learns how to play the game of thrones, and has blossomed into one of its leading participants, unlike so many of her other female comrades who have been eliminated (Ros the Whore, Catelyn Stark, Lysa Arryn, Talisa).

So there we have it. Sansa Stark is not a warrior, she is not a soldier, she is not a killer, she is not a rebel. But she is a survivor. Personally, I truly believe that eventually Sansa will be the one to reclaim Winterfell in the name of her father and House Stark. I mean, Bran’s off beyond the Wall messing around with direwolves, three-eyed ravens and strange blonde-haired boys, Jon Snow is a loyal brother of the Night’s Watch, and Arya, whilst a complete bad-ass, is slightly out of control. It’s all down to Sansa. LONG LIVE SANSA !

Sansa Stark

Also, the way Sansa bitch-slapped her ridiculously annoying cousin Robin in the latest episode was applause-worthy.