Monday

Primark Haul Video


After nearly 2 years of blogging, I thought it might be fun to start doing Youtube videos. I was never really into them but I've started watching them more lately and wanted to join the party! I did create a couple of videos last summer but they were pretty rubbish, to be honest, so I've created a brand new channel called, imaginatively enough, Becky Bedbug! For now, I think I'm going to post a video every fortnight and see how it goes. 

After spending 11 hours on my first video, I eventually uploaded it. It's not perfect- I spent ages editing it so that it was a consistent style to my photos. It was absolutely perfect but then, after taking 2 hours to export, it became so pixelated that it was unusable.

I've settled on it for now, but I'm going to be doing a lot of work to find out how to edit it perfectly. If you have any tips for editing, please do let me know! 

September in review


Favourite outfit
 My Black Milk Marauders' Map dress is my favourite thing EVER! 

Favourite book

I was pleasantly surprised by The Casual Vacancy

Favourite day out

Helen and I went to The Making of Harry Potter.

Other favourites

I dyed my hair green

On classism and grammar

Candy Yum Yum is my new favourite lipstick! 

The tale of my five engagement rings

Look what I looked like as an emo teenager

Word of the month

So... I didn't achieve a single one of my goals this month. Whoops! Maybe next month! 

Sunday

101 in 1001 XI


The first month of the academic year is always so busy. Unfortunately, this means I haven't had a lot of time to achieve my 101 in 1001 goals. Nevertheless, I've worked towards a few. 

#31 Visit Warner Bros Studio Tour
I visited The Making of Harry Potter again! This time with Helen. I know it was August, but it was the very last day and I didn't have time to put it in August's 101 in 1001 post. 

#96 Read 75 books
I can't say I was enthralled by any of these books. 

#101 Watch the backlog of films I've downloaded
I haven't seen this film since about 1998. I used to watch it every other week or so when I was a kid, and it was so lovely to get lost in it again! 

Saturday

What's in my purse


Can you believe that I squeezed all of this rubbish in my little purse? It's from Accessorize and it really needs to be replaced! I haven't cleaned it out at all (well, now I have!) because I wanted you to see what it honestly looks like. 

1. Rubbish beauty cards that I don't use- Superdrug and Debenhams. My Boots card, the one I actually use, is in Rich's wallet at the moment.

2. Out of date discount cards from Elle Magazine.

3. Slam Dunk Festival tickets.

4. Coke name labels. I got a different one every time I bought a bottle so I liked to keep the ones I got. I'm weird, I know.

5. Lots of Warner Bros Studio Tour tickets. I'm not sure why I have so many as I've only been twice!

6. The important stuff- my debit card, credit card and driving license.


7. A taxi card that was given to me by a very nice Australian man on the train when I couldn't get hold of a taxi.

8. My online banking card (I don't even need this anymore), National Insurance number and my Art Pass.

9. A Yo! Sushi leaflet.

10. Punktured and Nando's loyalty cards. I know how to live!

11. Pizza Express Christmas voucher for free ice cream. Clearly I never used it!

12. £4.40 exactly.

13. A really old New Look gift card that I didn't know I had (I have no idea if there's anything on there), my library card and the travel money card I used in Amsterdam and Madrid. 

Erm, I left out the number 14!

15. An obscene number of bus tickets and receipts dating back to 2nd July 2012.


When I was putting everything back (minus the rubbish, which is now in the bin), I found these train tickets from Amsterdam and a Nemi strip that I ripped out of The Metro. I really love Nemi!

What do you have in your purse? Please tell me it's as messy as mine! 

Harrods and Hyde Park

I've become one of those people who attends lectures for fun. Seriously. I paid money to attend a lecture back in August but, as it was in London, I figured I'd get there a little early and spend the day wandering around with no particular aim.

After a stop off at Yo Sushi for lunch, followed by a trip around the shops at Waterloo and a mini Lush splurge, we headed to Harrods. I stopped off at MAC first, so I could buy some lipsticks and, unfortunately, experienced my first rude MAC employee. I know they've got a reputation for it but I've always found them to be very helpful. Sebastian, however, was certainly not helpful! 

We were a little thirsty so decided to find a restaurant for a posh drink (well, a Diet Coke but do you know how expensive a simple Coke is in Harrods?). I suddenly remembered that there was a Ladurée in Harrods and I've always wanted to visit one. We figured that there was no time like the present and eventually hunted it down in the maze that is Harrods! 

It is beautiful! Seriously, look at it! The window displays are insanely pretty too!

There are signs everywhere saying photography is not permitted but you know I couldn't resist! I used my phone to take some sneaky snaps, with Rich taking the role of lookout. 
The menu is super pretty on the outside but the inside is a little cheap. All wrinkled where it hasn't been glued in properly. For £3.50 per glass of Coke, I expect more from the menu!

They make up for it with pretty napkins and sugar sachets though. Rich decided that, as we were paying so much, he'd get his money's worth and take them home!
The tables and chairs are really pretty! For some reason, the chairs are really low to the floor but I liked this. Rich says it feels like being in primary school. Maybe that's why I liked it- I'm used to sitting on kiddie chairs all day! It also felt cute and intimate, until I stood up and whacked my head on the low-hanging lamp!

We ended up buying four mini macarons. It is pretty pricey- £2 per mini macaron (and they mean mini!)- but they are delicious and surprisingly filling! We split the macarons into two so we could taste each of the flavours we chose- Salted caramel, lemon, chocolate and ice mint. The mint and chocolate ones were my favourite, so I ended up spending too much money buying some to take home! 
After a nice relaxing rest, we headed up to my favourite place in Harrods: Christmas World! It opens in July which, if you ask me, is the perfect time to start Christmas celebrations! There's Christmas decorations and trees everywhere, it's filled with the scent of festive candles and Christmas songs chime out across the speakers. The most exciting place ever!
Red and gold is the only colour for Christmas decorations! 
Christmas baubles everywhere!
Baubles the size of my head!
Red and white is acceptable for Christmas trees too. These decorations are so beautiful! 
After playing with this little fella for a while, we had to buy him! I didn't want a repeat of the regret I felt after not buying the clip-on bird at Winchester Christmas Market
After all the excitement of Christmas, we popped along the Picadilly Line one stop to Hyde Park. I've always wanted to play with a Boris Bike and we decided to finally do it! After Rich struggling to release his bike forever, we eventually got going. Of course, I managed to release mine on the first attempt without any fuss whatsoever!
It turns out I'm pretty rubbish at cycling so we had a rest on some deckchairs alongside the river. 
There were cute little squirrels frolicking in the tree in front of us. At least there were, until a couple of tourists came over and scared them away!
How many squirrels can you spot?

Friday

FF LIX


Leanne's post on the double standards of sexuality is definitely worth a read! 
Funeral for a Friend are releasing their 2002 demo and I can't wait to get hold of a copy! 
Danielle visited The Madonna Inn and now I really, really want to go too! 
Rich showed me this earlier in the week because it is me through and through! 
Ally had the sweetest gift in the post after returning to uni! 
This list of awesome teachers (not as awesome as me though, clearly!), make me wish we had yearbooks in our school! 
I am insanely jealous of Stef's shelving decoration
This story, about a piglet rescued on his way to a slaughterhouse, made me cry happy tears! 

Other stuff
This article about the design of Lolita book covers is so interesting! 

Book review: 1984

Nineteen Eighty-Four^- George Orwell
 We've had this book in the house for about 3 years but, although Rich read it when we bought it, I've never got round to it. After finishing Murakami's 1Q84, I thought it was high time to see what all the fuss was about and crack this one open.

At first, I loved it! It was so prophetic and relevant to today. How could Orwell possibly have had such a deep understanding of the future? I was completely sucked into the world that he created, where residents are watched at every moment of the day, fed media lies and brainwashed in every area of their lives.

Then Winston, the protagonist, meets Julia, who, like him, works for the political party that controls the citizens' lives. Boom! They fall in love. I really struggled with this. Due to the intense surveillance everywhere, they couldn't have a real conversation. They just met, then suddenly they were in love with each other and meeting up in secret. 
There was also a lot of filler. I mean a lot! This book is 325 pages long but it would probably have been a lot more effective at half of that. For example, Winston reads a book about the party and leader Big Brother. As the story has progressed, we've already learned all about the party, but Orwell still includes a 40-page chapter telling us what we already know. What's the point of that?

Not to mention that the plot is predictable and almost obscenely simple. Winston is unhappy with his life, falls in love and then things go wrong. There are no surprises, no twists, no complexities. Just one long, drawn-out tale. 
I guess everyone should probably read this at some point in their life. It's just one of those books that you should have read. Just don't expect anything amazing. 

^Affiliate links have been used in this post.

Thursday

On classism and grammar


Deep breath. Ok, this might be long. Before I start, let me tell you that I have a massive chip on my shoulder about class. I grew up on a council estate, in a broken home, on free school meals with a summer birthday. For this reason, I am passionate about defending equal opportunities for the working class, and let me tell you, I mean passionate. I'm also passionate about written English, as I demonstrated in my Grammar for Bloggers post. I strongly believe that it is a key skill for life and that everyone should leave school competent in spelling and grammar. I also fight doggedly for educational opportunities for children of other nationalities, especially Pakistani children. 

Now, I saw a tweet this evening that made me giggle, so I retweeted it. It read:

"I don't judge people based on their race, gender, colour, or sexuality. I judge people based on spelling, grammar, and sentence structure".


Let me make this very clear: It is a tongue-in-cheek comment, clearly aimed at those people who speak English. (I'll start by saying that people with learning difficulties or special educational needs are obviously exempt from this as they do have real barriers that could- although not necessarily- become a barrier to their learning). However, within a couple of minutes, I'd received a tweet saying that this was a "classist and potentially racist" comment. The reasoning behind this was that people from working class backgrounds don't have as much access to education. 

I'll admit that I have never considered that people might use incorrect grammar because they're poor. I've probably never considered this because it's a ridiculous assumption. Education is free, and has been since 1944. Therefore, all children can attend education up to the age of 18, and not have to pay a thing, regardless of their background. 

The implication that people may have bad grammar because they're poor is an offensive and damaging one. It assumes that people from working class backgrounds are less able to achieve and that, therefore, there is something inherently wrong with their ability to learn, since we've already established that they have the same access to education as anybody else. It does nothing but perpetuate the stereotype that the working classes are uneducated. 

Middle class and rich people can have poor grammar just as much as working class people can. The view that poor people are more likely to be uneducated throws up all sorts of logic puzzles- What if you're born rich but some problem results in a loss of family earnings? Or what if you're working class through and through but win the lottery when you're 16?

Let me put it this way: As already mentioned, I grew up about as working class as you can get. I achieved well at school and college, and eventually graduated with a first class honours degree. I am not the exception to the rule. There is no rule. 

I never once considered that my background might be a barrier to my learning, and I will never have lower expectations of those children from poorer backgrounds. In fact, I've never even thought that it might be a barrier... because it's not. Every child can achieve just as well as any other and I will defend this for my entire life. 

Quickly, let's mention the fact that there is no racist element whatsoever. I teach a mix of children, from Pakistani to African, Polish and White British. In all my years of teaching, there has never been a correlation between race and attainment. Of course people who don't speak English as their first language might find it tricky, but that's nothing to do with race. There's a difference between race and nationality, but we won't go into that now. 

We are all human beings. We are all born with the same chemistry and the same ability to learn. The balance of our parents' bank balances play absolutely no part in this. 

Review: Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream


Yesterday, I posted a review of the Benefit It's Potent! eye cream that Daniella sent me. She also sent this little sample of Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream. Apparently it contains caffeine, ginseng, magnolia and "natural optic brighteners", whatever that's supposed to be. You know how these companies bombard you with made up stuff to make it sound fancy and sciencey! So let's talk about what I actually observed. The real stuff.
The cream has a really lovely pink tone with a slight shimmer to it. This does look really lovely on the skin, especially in the light as it's reflective. I had a little bit of a dilemma about whether to apply before or after make up. It seems a bit counterproductive to apply it after make up, but I lose that shimmer when I put foundation on. Very confusing! 

It smells really nice- Very refreshing and zingy. It's subtle though and it doesn't smell overpowering, especially when it's applied. 

I'm not really sure whether it worked to de-puff. I didn't really notice any difference at all which is a shame. I won't be purchasing a full size pot. 

Wednesday

Review: Benefit It's Potent Eye Cream


A couple of weeks ago, during the #bbloggers chat, I asked for eye cream recommendations. I'm in my mid-twenties now so, you know, I need to start fighting off those wrinkles! After a few suggestions, Daniella from Famous in Japan, very kindly offered to send me samples of both Origins GinZing (check back tomorrow for that review) and this mini pot of Benefit It's Potent Eye Cream. She also included a lovely little letter, in which she actually felt the need to explain her grammatical error. Whoops, I'm getting quite the reputation! It's ok, Daniella, I let you off!

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that I'm a massive Benefit fangirl. I love their Total Moisture moisturiser so I was very excited to try this eye cream. It's in such an adorable little pot but do remember that this isn't full sized! This is only 3g, whereas the full sized pot is 14.2g so it's quite a bit larger. I can tell from this though, that it's very well made and sturdy. I'll have no worries about it exploding in my bag.


On opening the pot (with asecure screw-on lid), I notice the smell is a strongly, alcoholic scent, very similar to whisky. Not exactly the most enticing fragrance! As it applies, the scent seems to fade although maybe it's just that my nose gets used to it. 

The consistency surprised me, but I like it. It's very light and a little goes a long way. I really only needed a teeny tiny bit to cover my entire under-eye area. It leaves my skin really soft afterwards, if a little whisky-smelling!
It didn't seem to make any difference to the appearance of dark circles and, as you can imagine, it's pretty hard to measure the results on the improved elasticity that it promises.


All in all, I'm pretty disappointed for Benefit. I'll keep going with it and see if it gets any better. I'll let you know my findings. This is like a scientific experiment! 

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