Friday, 29 July 2016

It's gonna be a bitchin' summer

Day 1 (Friday night)

After school on Friday, lots of my friends and I arranged to go to out for milkshakes to celebrate the end of a school year. Thankfully, the weather was scorching which made this the purrfect choice. Later in the evening on Friday I went to a charity event held for a past member of my drama club who has passed away. It was a very successful evening held by two other ex-members, Alice and Chelsie, and altogether we managed to raise over £800 for Papyrus which is a charity for prevention of young suicide.

Day 2 (Saturday)

On Saturday I went to a friend's house for a few hours before going to town with my family. I renewed and took out a few books from the library then went on a very bimbly walk home. Our car is currently in service so that means my weekend is going to mostly consist of such walks. Not a problem :) Here's a very snazzy photo of Fin and I in my tree.

Day 3 (Sunday)

I spent most of Sunday morning clearing out and tidying as we're trying to gather some stuff to sell at a car boot sale in a few weeks time. After dinner I spent a while using Jay's new watercolor pencils which are extremely cool and watching The Simpsons Movie (classy) with Fin.

Day 4 (Monday)

Monday morning was particularly uneventful and mostly consisted of pinning things on Pinterest and taking a quick walk. It was whilst I was trying to lessen the pile of homework in my room that I had an idea, seeing as the area around my tree is in such a state with litter, why not do my part and clear it up? So I dragged Fin away from watching The Simpsons (it's becoming a real problem) and headed off down the hill with a bin bag. Let me just say, it was disgusting and we managed to fill the whole bag. The whole area is looking a lot better though which I guess is a start.

What did your first weekend of summer hold?

Wishing you all health and happiness,
Marti xx

Friday, 22 July 2016

Come on and shake it up baby now

 Pssssst, notice my lazy cat in the background?

I'm not the best at cooking. I like to leave that one down to my family who are admittedly a lot better than myself. I can however, put ice cream and biscuits into a blender and take some snazzy photos to make it look better than it really is. Seeing as the sun has finally decided to make a grand appearance and most of the country has broken up for summer I've had an idea, how about I write some fool proof recipes involving very minimal cooking? If you've never tried biscoff in any form, I very much recommend you get your hands on some like, right now! It's like a much sweeter and creamier sister to almond or peanut butter and tastes amazing in cakes, on toast or *cringe* straight from the jar. Guilty as charged.

You will need:
  • 3 spoons of vanilla ice cream
  • 1 spoon of biscoff Spread
  • 200m of milk
  • 5 biscoff cookies, divided and crushed
  • Some straws and pretty glasses 
  • A blender

  1. Firstly gather your ingredients and *try* to refrain from eating them. The best part about making milkshakes is that this is the hardest part. This recipe can also be altered to suit different diets such as using almond/soy milk and dairy free ice cream to cater for  lactose intolerance and vegans.  
  2. Next add 200m of milk, 3 spoons of vanilla ice cream, 1 spoon of biscoff spread and 5 biscoff cookies into the blender and blend blend blend! We found that these measurements worked well for us but you may want to alter them to suit your preferences.
  3. Pour a small serving into a glass and test it to see if you need to add any more/less of any ingredients. 
  4. Repeat step 3 until satisfactory then serve into the fanciest glasses you own. Make sure to take a few sassy Instagram photos and you're done!
Wishing you all health and happiness,
Marti xx

Friday, 15 July 2016

When life gives you lemons...

This week has been so hectic and therefore I apologise for the last minute blog post but hopefully it shall be a bit of a change from the usual.

So Ti, what have you been up to that has consumed so much time? I'll answer that one: revision, revision and guess what, more revision! Over the last few weeks I've spent most of my time after school with my French teacher, trying to pass a bloody speaking exam. The actual exam wasn't until Wednesday at 12 pm and to be perfectly honest with you, I spent all day worrying about it haha. Once I started going it wasn't too bad though, and sir was hopeful I wouldn't have to resit. We got our new timetables for school on Monday which marks the start of year 10 work, whoop, whoop! On Friday (while you are reading this) I'm going to Robin Hoods Bay as part of my geography coursework. After we've finished our work (honk if you love bin counts and environmental surveys as much as me haha) we are allowed to do what we please. I was determined to download Pokemon Go and see if we could find any Pokemon around the beach but unfortunately you need IOS 8 or later. I'm sure other people will have theirs though haha. I have nothing planned for this weekend but I know that my brother and one of my sisters are coming home for the weekend. We break up for summer next Friday which I cannot wait for! It means I have so much more time to do fabulous things like writing.

Wishing you all health and happiness,
Marti xxx

Friday, 8 July 2016

How to be a snazzy pen pal + giveaway update

Snail mail is honestly one of life's simplest pleasures. Nothing can beat hearing the clattering of the letterbox and knowing that amongst the electricity bills, bank statements and charity collection bags there is a gem waiting to be opened. A handwritten letter that is.
Write often and stick to it. Snail mail gets it's name from the fact that it can take ages to arrive (especially abroad!) but don't let that disparage you. When I receive my reply I try my best to respond and get posted in a week at the maximum. This way neither of you will be waiting very long and the quicker you get posted the quicker (hopefully) it will arrive. Win win.

Don't be afraid to ramble! Honestly, snail mail is that one opportunity where you can write everything on your mind and know that the receiver will be thrilled that you've taken the time to write at such length. Leading on from this, make sure to ask lots of questions for them to answer too. It's rather hard to respond to two pages worth of what YOU did over summer haha.

Use colours and differentiate between them. This part is my favourite because it means you can make your letter look snazzy and colour code each paragraph with a different hue. You can also, if you choose, write on funky note paper or decorate it yourself with stickers and washi tape. Let your creativity go free and don't worry about blinding the receiver; it's all about the aesthetics! Oh and glitter bombing your friend's house is always a good move.

This comes down to personal preference but I always like to include the date. People usually keep letters a long time so it's nice to include a date so that they know when it was written.

Finally, another personal touch is to include little gifts and snippets of you. It doesn't always have to cost money either! You can send them anything that will fit in the envelope but be aware of weight restrictions. Sending coins is a great idea, especially if your pen pal lives abroad but be warned that it will cost you extra. Previously I have both sent and received coins, polaroid prints, drawings, sheets of stickers and receipts or used tickets from something I/they've enjoyed doing. 

After randomly drawing a name from a hat the winner is.....Rosie! 

Congratulations! Please contact me with your details when you're able.
Wishing you all heath and happiness,
Marti xx

Friday, 1 July 2016

Little Giveaway + Celebrating Books

I love getting to know you lot better. 
Honestly, however cheesy it sounds, I have met so many incredible people through this little space on the internet (and hopefully many, many more to come) that giving something back to you guys just seems compulsory. That's why I've decided that another giveaway is overdue. It's going to be very different to my January Giveaway though because of the way both my readers and I have changed. Firstly I must mention that I didn't specifically go out and buy the 'prize' that I am giving away. It's the original paper back version of 'Dizzy' by Cathy Cassidy and was the first teen fiction book I ever read. Cathy Cassidy, along with Roald Dahl, Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo ect, inspired me to start reading and pick up book after book after book. The words on each page have been brought to life so many times that I would apologise that it's not in perfect condition, but why should I? Books are supposed to be read, not cased in glass cabinets. Unless that is, you have a very unique way of storing you books haha!

It seems like these days nobody reads anymore. So few people can recall the satisfaction of picking up a book and getting lots among all the words and feeling like you are part of the story. If this generation won't read- what hope do we have for future generations with rapidly improving technology? If this book is not for you, consider a sibling/friend or younger family member that could be interested. Reading is for everyone, and is honestly something that sticks with you for a while. 

The way you enter is also going to be rather different and hopefully more straight forward than last time. All you need to do is drop a comment telling me why you read (don't fret none Google+ users, just pop me an email instead) :) The giveaway is open internationally and will be picked from a hat at a later date. You will receive your book with a handwritten note through the post which is why I must ensure that you are comfortable directly messaging me your address should your name be chosen.

On the topic of reading and celebrating books, I was in the library yesterday and decided to do something I've been meaning to do for months. I read a blog post a while back (I think it could have been written by El) about random acts of kindness and one of the things she suggested was to leave little notes in library books. I thought this was such a thoughtful idea and if it actually gets to the reader (what I mean by this is, if it doesn't get dismissed as rubbish) it would make their day. I decided to leave it in a copy of  An Abundance of Cathrines by John Green becuase it's a book that I'd really like to read but I've got so many other books to read before then. Hopefully the reader will enjoy the note almost as much as the book!

Good luck!
Wishing you all health and happiness,
Marti xx

A few issues..

Okay, this post is going to be very brief but is something that needs to be voiced. I've had lots of trouble with Google+ in the past (what with all my images disappearing) but now we are faced with another issue: it isn't letting people comment.  This is something that has been troubling me for weeks and after millions of google searches and conversations, the only way around it is to disable Google comments. Doing so, all my previous comments have been deleted. This has really saddened me as I've had so many lovely words said but is something that was compulsory. Out with the old and in with the new like they say. 

However, looking at the bright side of things, it's possible for anybody to comment now! Hopefully this means a new era of Pink Smarties and that we can embrace this change.

Wishing you all happiness and health,
Marti xx