rubyscarlett: Millie in The Bletchley Circle (Default)

I miss having new TV show episodes to watch. I really love Parenthood but right now it's the only show still airing which I seem to enjoy. I used to have a steady rotation of 3-4 shows to look forward to a week but I've been seriously deprived since we have no period dramas at the moment. Trying to find shows to enjoy. Perhaps I should resume Game of Thrones. Or Once Upon a Time. God, I don't want to. 
The only show I look forward to besides Parenthood is Masters of Sex (I'm predictable).



I'm just enjoying the last weekend before the beginning of term. I don't know what my life will look like this year. I feel excited and anxious about starting my first year of teaching (as you'd expect). I know everyone around me is expecting me to collapse after a few weeks but I know my only chance of ever making my dream come true is to be successful at teaching. No pressure.
I bought a lunch box, a few more work appropriate outfits and I did some serious decluttering so that I have less to carry once I decide to move out. 
I scheduled a ton of blog posts, my pantry's fully stocked, so is my freezer, it's time to start working!
rubyscarlett: Millie in The Bletchley Circle (Default)

We're going to a seafood restaurant tomorrow - I can't wait, seafood is my favourite kind of food. I've already looked at their menu and I think we'll be sharing a platter of lobster, oysters and assorted shellfish. I might have a starter too - their homemade fish soup looks incredibly tempting. I just hope it's not too salty as that's the reason why I can't buy store soup anymore.
Speaking of soup, I'm going to make courgette soup for tonight and have that with a couple of eggs. I find that planning my meals in advance makes a world of a difference for my stress during the day.

I'm spending a lot of time scheduling posts for my blog. Ideally, in the future, I'd like to have a week's worth of posts scheduled at all times. I'll have to work that into my schedule - some require more time than others.

I received some teas I'd ordered from Mariage Frères and Dammann Frères recently (both French tea companies). The bulk of it consisted of blind buys which I thought I could swap if they proved terrible (Dammann's Oolong Châtaigne is going to have to go) and I'm enjoying sampling them all. 


I'm so pleased I read Temeraire as the fandom for that seems to be bursting with activity and there's lots of potential for good fic. I tend to rotate my books as opposed to reading all the books in a series back to back but I'm almost tempted to read all of His Majesty's Dragon in August so I can go explore the fanworks out there.

I saw A Royal Affair recently, which was really beautiful and heartbreaking.  I'm still working my way through Poirot and Sailor Moon. I ditched The Worst Witch as the first season is really the best and I can't stand Sybil and all the wizards in the second one. I also gave up on Sabrina - it's really best to stick to the first three seasons, it's all downhill from there. I also stopped watching the two animes I was working my way through as they were becoming really repetitive. 
rubyscarlett: Millie in The Bletchley Circle (Default)
Beauty (makeup and skincare) YouTubers are really the bulk of my subscriptions. I started wearing makeup in 2010 when I was 21 years old and didn't even know there such a thing as foundation. I've come a long way since! I used to watch everyone and everything and mainly younger people but my tastes have evolved significantly. Makeup is my only creative outlet and it shows my personality as much as my clothes. To me, it's also strongly linked to glamour and sophistication, something I got from my obsession with old Hollywood. When I was discovering makeup, I was happy to test out as many drugstore products as possible but I've now reached a happy point when I'm way more interested in high end products - makeup is a whole experience for me and the one area of my life I'll glady fill with luxury. This is reflected here, of course - most of these YouTubers have a marked interest in higher end makeup. I should also warn that I strongly lean towards warm colours (pink needs to die) and I'm about NC10 so extremely fair and I tend to watch YouTubers with a skin similar to mine as it makes it easier to know how a product is going to show on my skin.



Lisa Eldridge - Lisa embodies sophistication. She's so lovely and knowledgeable, she really puts all other channels to shame. The very fact that as a famous makeup artist she's decided to not only set up a channel but upload entire tutorials, series of basics and general tips for free for the benefit of the masses speaks to her incredible generosity. I've learned so much from Lisa and she has a very heartwarming personality and a great approach to makeup. If you only subscribe to one channel, make it this one.


jemorjerrica - I think of Jess as my lipstick enabler. Her hauls and fav videos are some of my very favourites, she has impeccable tastes, a preference for corals and nudes (two of my preferred shades) and often talks about little-known high end gems, like the Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited lipsticks nobody talks about.


redheadphd - Lauren has a great selection of videos and any new video from her really makes my day. However, I think she really shines when she talks about perfumes - she's way more knowledgeable than I and talks about it so passionately. She's also really good at mentioning niche makeup or just that one shade in an obscure collection from a little-talked-about brand that's amazing but that you may have missed. I really value her opinion.


Flowerbomb31 - I love Nathalie, she's enormous fun because she's extremely passionate about the products she talks about and I find that her videos are some of the most original out there - she doesn't do just hauls or tutorials but has a variety of choices ranging from top 10s to starter kits, celebrity makeup, etc. Her enthusiasm is really contagious. She features a little too much pink for my tastes but I can't really fault her.


MakeupMLC - Michele is a makeup artist so her tutorials are always worth watching. She has really excellent tastes in makeup and brushes and is often one of the first to feature a high end collection which is a huge help when you want to buy new products but aren't sure about how they perform. Her reviews are in-depth and I really trust her judgement. She's also my go-to for nude makeup.


debbick1 - I love her for the same reasons I love Michele which makes it sad for me because she doesn't upload as much. She always has a careful selection of products and basically does the culling job for you. It's like having a beauty editor at your fingertips.


kristingehm - Aw, I love Kristin, she makes me smile :) Again, I really trust her judgement. You can't help but love her warm sunshine personality. She features a mixture of drugstore and higher end and I love that you can always expect a video from her on Tuesdays. She's really awesome to watch and would be one the people I'd miss the most if she decided to stop making videos. 


blushingpixie - Martha is so incredibly gorgeous and I absolutely love her voice. She's also one of the few people I'd watch regardless of whether or not her shade picks suit me. I trust her to point me in the direction of good products and then I'll adjust the shade according to my skintone. She's very honest and I know she won't have any problem saying a higher end product really doesn't work. 


makeupTIA - Again, Ashley has a careful selection of products and a very professional presentation. Her skintone is identical to mine (extremely fair, oily and acne-prone) so I can really go buy her recommendations (at least those that aren't pink ;) ) without thinking twice. She's really beautiful and I just love what little snippets we get of her home decor and fashion style (random, I know).


amodelrecommends - Ruth!! God I would miss her so much too if anything were to happen. She's so good with skincare and lifestyle (I would love more cooking videos from her). Her Christmas guides are amazing and she's a rose fanatic like me. She has a unique perspective on the beauty industry due to her job (she really is a model) and she's just knowledgeable about all sorts of things. I can't talk about her without mentioning her cat Mr Bear who's absolutely stunning and here's proof


Lips So Facto - I don't know if Meg intends to upload more often in the future or whether she's good with that schedule or even if she's thinking of just focusing on her blog (which is also really good and not just a companion to her videos) but her videos are always of quality, especially regarding skincare. Her skincare posts involve a lot of research and are well-thought out and if you read Caroline Hirons (my very favourite skincare person, who's to skincare what Lisa Eldridge is to makeup) and Meg you're pretty much covered when it comes to that.

Do you have any favourite beauty YouTubers? Please share if you do, I'd love to find out about them.
rubyscarlett: Millie in The Bletchley Circle (Default)
I watch videos about food for two main reasons: inspiration and actual cooking. In the future, I plan on posting a month-long food journal to have a record of what my eating habits are like on average. Most of my meals don't require a recipe and I usually have a salad for lunch and a plate of vegetables with some protein for dinner. Mornings and snacks change frequently and I'm always looking for ideas. I believe in having a nutrient-dense diet, i.e. packing as many nutrients per calorie as possible but I'll watch absolutely all kinds of recipes and this is reflected here.




Danispies : I like Dani's health-conscious approach to food which is in tune with my own. Her recipes are colourful, filling and nutritious but I almost prefer her 101 videos which always inspire me to try a new way of cooking a favourite piece of food. She's also great for general inspiration as her recipes are very simple and use a lot of fresh ingredients which you can easily swap for your favourites.


Laura in the Kitchen : Laura has an awesome, extroverted personality and her enthusiasm for food is really contagious. She's great as background noise and I absolutely love marathoning whole playlists of her videos. Her strength isn't in nutrition or originality but rather in classic, homey, comfort dishes made extremely well and looking so mouth-watering I find her impossible to watch past a certain time or I'll rummage the hole contents of the fridge. She's powerful. She's sassy. She'll make you want to make something from scratch. She will make you crave pasta.


Entertaining with Beth : Beth has the most professional videos I've ever seen on YouTube. The editing alone will blow you away. She really shines when she creates recipes for when you're having people over and want to show off a bit - her dishes are absolutely beautiful to look at. My very favourite videos of hers are her longer ones which show you how to prepare an entire party - this playlist is here on Kin Community (also an awesome channel, which is a bit of food and lifestyle combined, Beth is just my favourite contributor), she'll show you everything from the preparation of every dish to how you can organise yourself the day before and the day of the party. I really like her more personal videos too, like this one she did about her garden. Beth is easily the person I'd nominate for the 'Deserves Way More Subscribers' category. With quality like that, who needs TV?

Please comment below if you'd like to recommend cooking/food-related channels you love to me. I absolutely love these videos and I'm always looking for more!
rubyscarlett: Millie in The Bletchley Circle (Default)
I've been watching YouTube videos for many years and I've seen the beauty community especially grow from a niche of bad quality content to a phenomenon with quality rivaling big budget productions overnight. I used to subscribe to whatever I happened to stumble upon and the more I watch videos, the more I've learned to cull and select the best. This, in my opinion, is the best YouTube has to offer for beauty, fitness and food. Some major names are missing, not because I'm not aware of them but because I've stopped following them at some point for various reasons (turning into videos infomercials comes to mind as being one of them, lying to viewers, being subpar in their category compared to other channels, not offering me anything I didn't already know about, etc).




ToneItUp : I've been a Tone It Up member since April 2012 and it's one of the best decisions I've ever made regarding nutrition. This deserves its separate post and I will write it some day. Their channel is packed with free fun workouts and their website has a ton of printable routines. I printed them all and stuffed them into protective sheets to have them in a binder. They're colourful, fun to do and target all areas of the body. Their Beach Babe DVDs and their nutrition plan deserve their own post so I won't mention that. Their playlists are organised so that you can choose a workout for your thighs, abs, arms, booty or your whole body and follow special series (I really enjoyed the Bikini Series this year especially).


Livestrong Woman : It's a shame they only post sporadically as Livestrong Woman is a channel that has many contributors of value. I love the videos ToneItUp does with them of course, but I also love Tara Styles' yoga routines. I'm still at beginner level but I'm enjoying them tremendously. Again, check out their playlists.


FitnessBlender : These are raw workouts - no music, no fun intended, it's pure sweat. One of the pros is that you can just blast your own music if you need any but you need to find your own fun while doing the moves, which are very straightforward - no cute names, no sugar-coating it. That doesn't mean all their workouts are maximum intensity for the major draw of this channel is that they have a tonne of free low and high impact workouts, ranging from 1500-calorie blasting workouts to warms ups and everything in between and you can choose your workout depending on the equipment you own (a couple of dumbbells will get you very far and a lot of the exercises are body-driven and don't require a single piece of equipment). A tonne. I'd pay for FitnessBlender, frankly, but they give it all away for free. Just check out their playlists again. I find that I prefer FitnessBlender for cardio, but Tone It Up for strength training/toning. The couple behind Fitness Blender is also all kinds of awesome and encourages a healthy lifestyle. I also appreciate that they don't promote gender essentialism in sports - anyone can do anything regardless of gender. ToneItUp is also good with that and it's refreshing to see women lifting weights in videos.

Recommendations are extremely welcome as I'm always on the lookout for more.
rubyscarlett: Millie in The Bletchley Circle (Default)
I've been absent from online (and IRL if I'm honest) social places for too long and I feel like it's time to reconnect. I must warn you I usually give up on my journals/blogs about a year in and I don't see this one being different but it may surprise me.

Need to get on with The Plan. Involves breaking up with boyfriend, moving out, completing internship year, saving up, applying for jobs in London and finally moving back. Not sure I'll manage in this lifetime but there's relief to be taken from the fact that I haven't given up trying and never will. Let's call this Operation 2011 Revisited.

Currently watching a lot of things - Poirot (rewatch), Maria Sama ga Miteru (an anime, unusual for me), Sailor Moon (rewatch), Parenthood (just done with all that's aired, can't wait to see the rest), Hyouka (another anime, just started), Friday Night Lights (not excellent but enjoyable) and Sabrina The Teenage Witch (rewatch). I may ditch Sabrina seeing as it's all downhill from Season 4, which I've just reached. I might replace it with The Worst Witch (rewatch).

Haven't read fanfiction in years but I'm currently rereading Harry Potter and I really feel the need to see some great fanworks. 

August 2013

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