Aloha Skincare and Wellbeing!*

Aloha everyone, on this horrible, rainy day in the UK! In today’s post I am working with superfood gurus Aloha to bring you a selection of my tips and tricks to help keep that summery glow to your skin even during the coldest, darkest days of winter.

Even though I spend most of my time indoors (what?! It’s where my laptop is!) I still take the time to maintain my skincare routine, and I do it in a variety of ways. Skincare is doubly, triply important in the winter as not only do you have the harsh cold winds and snow outside to deal with, there’s also the increase in central heating or air con in homes and offices, and sometimes, your skin just can’t take it and will break out. I’ll never forget how horribly dry and rough my hands got last winter when I was working in an office which had over-zealous air con.

My tips and tricks range from skincare techniques to diet and include a bit of health and wellbeing help to keep your skin glowing and ready for the winter!

1.) Silk pillowcases

Some time ago, I went to a sales pitch interview, and while I was there, I met a woman who swore by silk pillowcases for skin and hair-care. She had the most perfectly clear skin and perfect hair I’d ever seen, so it must work! Her theory was that silk allows the skin to breathe properly at night, rather than get stifled by cotton or polyster. The soft threads of the case also promoted skin’s natural cleansing process, and allowed skin to rejuvenate overnight. I’ve been itching to try this technique out ever since I met her as it seems to really work!

2.) After you’ve washed your face, rinse it in cold water

This tip comes from my Dad, who has the clearest skin of anyone I have ever met (if only he passed the genes on!) and my gosh, does it work. After you’ve gone through your skincare routine using hot water, your pores will be wide open. If you leave it like this, it’s much, much easier for dirt to get in them and give you a nasty outbreak! However, if you splash your face with cold water, you’ll close your pores and have clearer skin and keep that glow.

3.) Use a moisturiser with sun cream in

A beauty tip from the beautiful queen of Burlesque Dita Von Teese, moisturiser with sun cream (or at least some SPF) is a lifesaver. Dita Von Teese has gorgeous porcelain skin all year-round, and this is one of her tips. Even during the winter, the sun is still shining and sending harmful UV rays at your skin, so any type of protection is important. Using SPF keeps your skin from burning (yes, it can happen during winter!) and helps keep your tan just that little bit longer. As far as moisturisers with SPF go, I would recommend Superdrug’s Vitamin E Day Cream with SPF 15, or their B Confident CC Cream with SPF 45 (!)

4.) Tea Tree Oil

This tip comes from fellow blogger Beverbeee (she is the loveliest, check her out!) who swears by tea tree oil for skincare related woes. Feel a bump of a spot coming on? Put a dab of tea tree oil on and leave it, and it’ll calm right down! As someone with problem skin this tip has saved me many times! Even better, the Body Shop has a tea tree line which is pretty fab and suits most skin types.

5.) Drink lots of water

This is so important! Keeping hydrated is one of the most important things to maintain a healthy glow.  The best way to make sure you’re drinking enough water is to set reminders on your phone (the app Waterlogged for  iphones sounds pretty great) or just get a big bottle, fill it up and keep it near you! If you think the taste of water is pretty bland, you can always get one of those fancy infusion bottles and throw some fruit or veggies in there for more taste and more health benefits!

6.) Eat plenty of fruit & veg

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This is where Aloha comes in! Their website has loads of healthy, delicious recipes to help you on your way and they all incorporate plenty of healthy food. I plan on trying out homemade Twix bites (Twix = life) the strawberry and banana fruit smoothie, and superfood donuts (who said eating healthy was boring?) to add a bit more fruit and veg to my diet. Aloha has loads of recipes for meals at all times of the day and snacks and all of them feature straight forward recipes and instructions. Heavenly!

6.) Stress relief

I feel somewhat hypocritical mentioning this as I am not good at stress relief. However, this is where you can learn from my mistakes! Stress makes the body freak out. It doesn’t cope well with it at all. So, if you have a good method of stress relief which you find works, you’ll see the effects in your face and your within your mind. Whatever your method, keep it up to maintain that glow from your carefree summer!

My thanks to Aloha for reaching out to me to share my tips for maintaining that summer glow! Check their website out for some superb healthy recipes and food. Sadly, they don’t deliver to us folks in the UK just yet, but to all my American readers, I strongly recommend it. They offer a free trial of protein bars for only $2.50 shipping which is well worth a look.

October Tag: Autumn Wishlist


I realise, that as I sit writing this, I am channeling the autumn pretty hard. I’m wearing fuzzy socks, my favourite jumper and am wrapped up in my tartan blanket. All I’m missing is a delicious hot drink!

Today’s prompt for the October tag is autumn wishlist. I nearly always have an autumn wishlist; as most of the clothes and stuff I buy I spend very little on, they tend to last about one season before they have to go to the big wardrobe in the sky. every year I always hunt for the perfect pair of military boots, and once again, they’re making an appearance! I had an amazing pair last year (which I bought from the 9-15 section in New Look, score for tiny feet!) which last about 4 months until the heels came off. They were so perfect…

Onto the list! Click-through for product details on their respective sites!

1.) Military boots

Look at these tartan babies! The scot in me is going crazy for them. Military boots have been a big part of my autumn/winter wardrobe for the last six years or so, and I think they’re the perfect thing to finish an outfit off. A cute jumper, skinny jeans and these beauties would make for a cute outfit, right? New Look boots have always been solid choices and are always hella comfortable.

2.) A new scarf/snood

“But Ari,” I hear you ask me. “You can buy a new scarf from pretty much anywhere on the high street!” This may be true, reader, but it’s that one I specifically want. Partially to wardrobe cosplay my video game bae Cullen from Dragon Age Inquisition and partially because I’ve never had a snood before and really want to try one. They look so snuggly and warm, and you don’t get that little pocket where the scarf isn’t quite tied properly and the cold air hits your neck. With a snood, that would not be a problem. With this snood, I could emulate my Templar babe.

3.) Good fitting jeans

I’ve been wearing skinny jeans on and off since I was a wee teenage emo, and it’s only after not wearing them for a year and a half and coming back that I’ve had problems finding a good pair. Simply put, my hips and waist disagree with jeans, and it can be nigh-impossible to find a good pair that fit and flatter. I’m currently wearing the Boyfriend-Wonder’s jeans and they fit more or less okay. Jeans are an essential staple for autumn, especially if you hiding your legs away from the cold winds that whip up! I’d team the skinny regular jeans above with the military boots above, a cute tee or long-sleeved top with a leather jacket, and then some delicate jewellery or badges on the jacket to soften the look a bit.

4.) Hoodies

Hoodies are autumn/winter essentials. Must-haves. I do not own any hoodies that even remotely fit me! I have zip-up hoodies and a big red hoody my Dad gave me several years ago, but none fit particularly well. The one above is catered to ladies sizing (hello flattering fit!) and is from my current favourite game. Morrigan is by no means my favourite character, but until they release the Templar hoodie which I spied in the Bioware fashion show over the summer, I’m coveting this. Looks super snug, right?

5.) Plenty of things to keep me occupied!

A selection of items from my Amazon wishlist! For full list, view here.

A selection of items from my Amazon wishlist! For full list, view here.

I love autumn, but dealing with the cold can be tricky. I mentioned before how I am one of those people who is always really cold, and autumn/winter makes it worse! Accompanied with a boyfriend who doesn’t do well in the winter, I need more reasons than ever to stay indoors, where it’s warm. So, I (and the Boyfriend-Wonder) need plenty of things to do inside! Books, board games, video games… Whatever happens to catch our eye. My wishlist on Amazon has a mishmash of games and books to keep us occupied over the cold, dark coming months.

What items are on your Autumn wishlist? Are you craving a cute snood, or some military boots? Let me know!

The October tag is a blogging/Instagram challenge put together by me,Danie and Steph. If you want to join in, tag us on Instagram or Twitter!

9 Happy Things

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Oh 9 Happy Things. I’ve missed posting you so much! I’ve always found these posts to be the best way for me to decompress at the end of the week and try to make something positive of it- even if it’s been a bad week. So, I’m happier than ever to bring them back with a vengeance. Here are some of the things that have been making me happy recently…

1.) Internet

Thanks for that BT…

I know, I know. It’s bad. Being without internet for so long was kinda weird, but it made me realise just how much time I waste endlessly scrolling through Facebook- which was far too much! With the time I spend on Facebook, I could do a day’s housework and probably write at least one blog. I just need to better organise myself! Anyway, internet is back, and everything in C+C HQ is back to normal. The Boyfriend-Wonder is sitting next to me playing Smite and talking nonsense, and I am able to see what my friends are doing on Instagram and read my favourite blogs. Life is good.

2.) October!


It’s October! It’s the month of Halloween! Yay! This year I plan on actually having some sweets to give out to the local kids, rather than ignoring them and then buying candy canes for myself like I did last year… Whoops! As you may already know, Danie, Steph and I have put together this awesome little blog/Instagram tag for everyone who enjoys the season as much as we do to get involved in. I’ve gotten off to a shaky start, but I’m really excited to try some of the make-up related ones and start using Instagram again. If you want to join in, please do! Just tag me, Danie and Steph either in your post or on Instagram and we’ll share it. Happy Halloween, friends!

3.) The new Chvrches album

I absolutely adored their first album and their new album is just as good! I am all about that Scottish electro-pop. Nothing gets me working and hyped the way Chvrches do! I really love this album and I can’t wait to hear more from them.

4.) This gorgeous planner from Paperchase

Don’t you just love stationery? I sure do! I’ve been itching for a proper planner after bullet journaling didn’t work out overly well for me, and when I was browsing the new collection in Paperchase the other day, I saw this babely creature and fell in love. It has segments for everything! Calendar, budget, meal plans… Everything! Using that in conjunction with the multi list book would equal perfect organisational skills for me. Roll on my birthday when I can justify buying it for myself…

5.) House

While the Boyfriend-Wonder and I have had no internet, we’ve been extremely limited in terms of what we can watch. As I’ve thinned out my DVD collection considerably since moving, the only series I really hung onto was S1-3 of House. I used to love House. In fact, I used to love medical dramas in general (but not Grey’s Anatomy. Never Grey’s Anatomy) and House was one of my favourites. I loved the crazy diagnoses, and the Sherlock-Holmes-sleuthing that went down… As well as Hugh Laurie’s frankly incredible performance. Rewatching part of S3 (or watching over the Boyfriend-Wonder’s shoulder while I play the Xbox) has partially brought back my love (or at least my appreciation) for it, and after discovering that Netflix has 8 seasons of it, we’ll have plenty to watch!

6.) Lush’s new seasonal collections

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Click to enlarge!

This is just a few of the Halloween products they’ve released, but cool are these?! As well as being spoopy as heck, they sound amazing! I would absolutely love to try Sparkly Pumpkin, and the pun ‘The witching shower’ makes me want to buy a lifetime supply of Heebie Jeebie Bat. I’m very jealous that Danie is going to a release night at Lush Nottingham in the upcoming future to check out these products, and I am eagerly awaiting her blog about it!

7.) Dragon Age Inquisition


OH MY GOD YOU GUYS, THIS GAME. THIS GAME. I have not been this hooked on a game since I first played Fallout 3 way back when. DAI just stomps all over it. Initially I got into because it’s what the Boyfriend-Wonder would play during the day and I just fell in love from there. To me, this game is a breath of fresh air. There’s no pointless shooting or explosions. Every decision is made by you and you have to agonise over these decisions and how they’ll affect your game world. You can actually become friends (and even lovers) with people on your team and your advisors, and it feels like all of your input into the game really effects it. While there is some degree of linear play to it, there’s so much that can be changed due to your decisions and I absolutely love that. Fallout New Vegas was fun and all, but at the end of the day, it was a power vacuum that got solved by a few well placed murders. In comparison, it doesn’t even stand up. I’d not played any of the Dragon Age games prior to this but it made me want to! Also there is nothing cooler than seeing a character who looks like you being badass and saving the world! In case you’re wondering, I sided with the templars, kept the Grey Wardens and romanced Cullen because Cullen is bae. I can’t believe I just wrote that, but here we are. He’s dreamy.

8.) My bestie Lawrence

Yesterday was October 3rd, and as always, my bestie Lawrence text me asking what day it was. He’s a keeper, that one.

9.) Some Like It Hot 

I watched this for the first time a few weeks ago on insistence from the Boyfriend-Wonder, and I love it! It’s the first film I’ve seen with the remarkable, irreplaceable Marilyn Monroe in and she was perfect. She just lit the screen up every time she came on, and her energy is unlike anything else. Aside from Marilyn Monroe, the film was hilarious! It was so, so funny and I can’t believe how long it took me to watch it. There are a lot of films which owe Some Like it Hot major lip service.

What have you been enjoying recently?

October Tag: Autumn Essential Items


I LOVE autumn. No more summer, there’s a chill in the air and you don’t get funny looks when you tell people you haven’t left the house in a week. I love the change of the leaves, and the crunching sound they make when you walk over them. Autumn is where it’s at, and here are some of my essential items for enjoying/enduring the season.

  1. Blankets

Blankets are for two reasons; number one, for sweet blanket cloaks and for nesting. The other year I bought some super soft, really cute patterned ones from Primark at £3.90 a pop, and they’re perfect for keeping warm. I’m one of those annoying people who are always cold, even when they’re bundled up, so blankets are a must have for me. When I was a teenager and still living with my Dad, come winter I would put every single one of the eight heirloom blankets we had on my bed and I’d be extra toasty. It was perfect! I’d recommend just about any high street shop for good blankets, but especially Primark for affordability and warmth. For more high market options, check out T K Maxx.

2. Hot drinks!

Starbucks. Costa. Caffe Nero. Any café anywhere. I love me some hot drinks, and autumn is the best time for them (hello PSL!) but I like to have a large selection of drinks on hand. My new favourite is Morrison’s own brand hot chocolate, which with a dash of milk and sugar is absolutely divine and warms you right up.

3. Loungewear, in spades

Loungewear is important. You don’t always have to go out every day, and when you get back from work, who wants to stay sitting around in your uniform all evening? Even when I worked at my internship (which I loved!) whenever I got home it was off with the officewear and on with the loungewear. For Christmas, the Boyfriend-Wonder’s Mum got me some super cosy Hello Kitty PJs (of course!) and they’re perfect for the changing season. Boux Avenue‘s selection is heavenly, but I’d also recommend New Look‘s selection for affordability and I highly recommend their cuffed PJ sets.

4. Hot water bottle

Again, this is linked to my always-being-cold, but around about the start of October, there’s a definite drop in temperature. It gets much chillier at night, and is there anything worse than getting into a cold bed? This is where the hot water bottle comes into use! In fact, last night I fell asleep hugging the hot water bottle while the Boyfriend-Wonder watched The Hobbit. I got mine from Primark (their home section is pretty good!) and it cost me around £3, and has a cute owl pattern on the case. George at Asda have some cute options, and so do Matalan.

What items are essential for you in Autumn? Do you opt for majestic blanket cloaks like me? Let me, Danie or Steph know on Twitter or Instagram!

October Tag: Goals

Exciting project time! Danie from Spiked Black Tee, Steph from the zombie said and I have brainstormed an awesome blog challenge for you all! This tag can be done on blogs or on Instagram as you choose, and as long as you tag one of us (on Insta we’re spikedblacktee, thezombiesaid and ariellalphabet respectively) we can check out what you post! I’m endeavouring to use both Insta and my blog to post for this, so keep an eye on both to see what I have to say.

Yesterday’s prompt was October goals, so here are a few of mine…

  1. Start yoga!

This is something I’ve been wanting to do forever. I am very, very bad at handling stress and I really think that yoga would help, as well as keeping me that little bit healthier throughout the winter months. I’ll be teaching myself from home, utilising a bevvy of YouTube videos and channels (any recommendation or advice for noobs would be highly appreciated!) which should be an adventure in of itself.

2. Learn to cook more meals

I’m one of those people who is not good at cooking. At all. My piece de la resistance is Shepherd’s Pie, which should give you some indication to my skill! Currently, the Boyfriend-Wonder does most of the cooking (bless his heart!) and I help, but I’d like to be able to make something good and treat him once in a while.

3. Decide what I’m doing with my hair

Oh, hair. Just what am I doing with you? You’re an incredibly fine, red/blonde/brown mess in need of direction and dye. I’ve been itching to change up my style for a long time and so I’m going to dedicate some time to decide just what I’m going to do with it this month. I plan on keeping it red still (I’ve been that fake redhead since I was 17 and I don’t plan on changing it!) but I need a style that suits me and will accommodate glasses. Your help and suggestions would not go amiss!

These are my goals for the month, what about yours? Do you have any big goals you want to work on? Let me know and we can cheer each other on!

Life Update

It’s been roughly six weeks since my last blog! Eeek! As some of you may have guessed, I finally moved house. After two and a half months living with the Boyfriend-Wonder’s parents, we found the perfect little flat in Sheffield and promptly moved in. It’s much further out than we were used to, and it’s not without its quirks, but y’know what? I freaking love it. I cannot believe how happy I am living with the Boyfriend-Wonder, the funny, gracious, caring man I love who will endlessly talk about video games and films with me. Life is good, and very nerdy.

Onto why I haven’t been online, boring you with weird details of my day- BT are downright awful. The Boyfriend-Wonder and I moved into our new place about halfway through August, and we were promised to be connected in the first week of September. As you can probably tell, we were not. We had a phone line installed, but weren’t connected to broadband. After many angry phone calls, they set further dates throughout September, but never delivered. It was only yesterday they actually did something and finally connected us. It’s been a colossal pain in the ass, and I would strongly advise any of you not to switch to BT for internet if you’re looking for a new provider, unless you want to be screwed around.

All rage aside, we’re connected now and life is getting back to normal! C+C HQ is feeling more and more like home every day, and I’m actually feeling like an adult, rather than a coddled baby like I was at university. I’m living in a flat for the first time, and have a downstairs neighbour as well as next door neighbours, and its taking some getting used to! No more stomping around like Godzilla in downtown Tokyo for me, and definitely no more putting the washing machine on at night.

The move itself went mostly alright. Everything got grabbed from my storage unit with Armadillo Storage in Sheffield (I would definitely recommend them if you ever need storage- fantastic customer service and affordable prices) by the moving company, and brought to our new home. However, if moving was a simple endeavour, I could have just ended it there. Alas, it is not! The way into my flat is by a very tight, narrow staircase which has the staircase for the attic bedroom above it, so there is little wiggle room for anything- as such, my sofa couldn’t fit up the stairs! Believe me, I tried (or rather the removal people tried) pivoting. It was not to be, and now I have no sofa. Sad times! the Boyfriend-Wonder and I ended up building a seating area out of pillows, a spare quilt and my blanket collection which isn’t too uncomfortable.

Anyway, life stuff aside, I’m back and will be blogging frequently again. I have been working (when I could leech wi-fi of the pub behind our house) with Dani of Spiked Black Tee and Steph of the zombie said to put together an October blogging challenge! Despite not posting yesterday (stress and general frazzle got the better of me) I plan on posting every day for it.

I’m very, very glad to be back! Also, someone please talk with me about Dragon Age: Inquisition. I am OBSESSED.

#Blaugust Day Eighteen: Tips For Student Starting Uni this September


This post is part of the #Blaugust blog challenge put together by Bel at Aggronaut. You can read the rules here, and you can see what the community has been posting in our Nook forum.

As some of you may know, I recently completed my degree at Sheffield Hallam University in Film & Screenwriting. It’s been one hell of a ride, and I have plenty of advice and tips to share with you- a combination of learning from my mistakes and things I found helpful.

  1. Get an NUS card. NUS cards are the holy grail for students, and they offer a huge range of discounts for students, including to Amazon, Co-op, and a ton of clothes shops. The little 5%, 10%, 20% and more can really help save your buns and save you pennies on the way.
  2. Learn your city. I honestly can’t stress this one enough! When I first moved to Sheffield, I’d only been a handful of times, and didn’t know where anything was. Thankfully, my housemate Robin gave me a tour of the city, and after a few false starts (read: I got lost) and now I’m pretty comfortable getting around. However, if you’re moving to a city you’ve never been to or don’t have friends there, get out and explore for yourself! Google some places of interest, put some comfy shoes on and and get your feet on the street. Don’t just rely on Google Maps though; you might miss out on a darling café for ages because it’s not listed.
  3. If you want to meet people, sign up for societies! If there’s one thing all universities have, it’s societies. My uni has societies for tea drinking, circus skills and Capoeira! I can just about guarantee that whatever your interest, you’ll find a society that caters to you. If there isn’t? Take initiative and set one up yourself! Not only is it a great thing to put on your CV & on job application forms, you’ll meet loads of like-minded people.
  4. Make the most of your university. My uni has several gyms, sports classes and the like at a discounted price for students. They also offer language courses you can take alongside your classes and you can start anywhere from beginner to advanced. There’s also careers assistance (which I cannot talk up and stress the importance of more) and student services for pretty much anything else you’ll need. Universities have tons and tons of resources available to their students and its definitely in your best interest to use it.
  5. Try not to get too bogged down by your work. I wish, I wish someone had told me this when I started. If you spread your work and assignments out and keep in constant contact with your tutors, you’ll find your time at uni will be MUCH easier. You DO NOT want to be like me, staying at the library from 5-10 every evening for a week because O put everything off and got lazy. The deadlines and work will be hard, but it is manageable.
  6. Be careful with your money. Around September/October (i.e. payday), all the shops in university cities go absolutely bonkers and offer a bevvy of discounts and lock-in events to students, and they always look mega appealing. However, the thing is the money you have has to last you. Take it from me, who lived off noodles, rice and cereal for 3 weeks, it’s incredibly easy to spend your money on what look like good deals (“10% off this £80 coat? How could I not?!”) and then later find yourself having nothing and either missing out on fun times or just eating rubbish until its payday again. Work out a budget, and if you can, pay your rent in large chunks so you know its taken care of and you don’t have to send creeping emails to your landlord/estate agent.
  7. You will be on your own, and that’s okay.Confession: the first week I moved away, I cried every single night due to homesickness. I was surrounded by my friends who I’d known since secondary school, but I just felt so, so alone. But, that’s okay. It does happen. After a week away and several phone calls to my family, I felt better. Moving to uni is such a big step in life, and it’s more than okay to falter a little bit. You have to remember that your family is always on the other end of a phone line, a Skype call, a letter… However, if you’re feeling homesickness really badly, get in contact with student services and request to speak to someone about it. They will help, I promise.
  8. If your classes request you to do additional viewing/reading, do it. As I mentioned in my introduction, I did a film degree and you better believe there was a ton of additional reading and viewing. Boy, was there. Most of the time, I just didn’t do it. Call it laziness or stupidity, but I skipped out on further study and missed out on an important part of the university experience; personal learning and personal-led development. Also, if you’re sat in a class of 20 people, none of which who have read or watched anything, it’s gonna get your lecturer mad AND cause several very awkward silences. A few hours a week to watch or read extra things isn’t too long out of your gaming/sleeping/drinking time after all.
  9. If you’re not happy on your course, you can drop out or move. A friend of mine went all through college, got her a-levels, got to uni and within a few months, realised she didn’t like it. So, she dropped out, picked up a job in her hometown and whenever I see her now she is the happiest, smiliest person! You don’t always have to drop out, but you can switch your course or even your university. It’ll be one heck of a huge paper trail and whatnot, but that is an option available to you.
  10. Importantly; have fun! University is not just a time for studies and embracing the next step of adulthood via education, but it’s a time to have fun. It’s a time to meet new friends, partners and make long-lasting memories and have an incredible experience. No two people’s uni experiences are the same, but I can guarantee they’ll have had an amazing time regardless.

Did you enjoy your time at university if you went? What other advice would you offer?

#Blaugust Day Seventeen: On ‘real gamers’


This post is part of the #Blaugust blog challenge put together by Bel at Aggronaut. You can read the rules here, and you can see what the community has been posting in our Nook forum.

As you may know or have worked out by now, most of my friends play video games. It’s been part of what has held us together and has made for many good times, be it playing awful games with the Boyfriend-Wonder or co-oping Halo with Gina, video games have always been in my life and I’ve pretty much always considered myself to be a gamer.

However, when I was staying at Lawrence‘s over the weekend, he told me something which his brother, an amateur streamer/playthrough video maker told him; “Because you [Lawrence] only play things like The Sims and story games [Gone Home, etc] and not GTA or COD like me, you’re not a real gamer.”

My reply?

Bull. Shit.

As long as I’ve known Lawrence (which is 10 years now) he’s always gamed. We’ve played together, we’ve played apart, we’ve played different games and we’ve played the same games. He’s tried so many more games than I have, and flourishes in sandbox/story games. He has a sense of determination unlike anything I’ve ever seen in games like those. And just because he doesn’t play popular games is no right to question his relevance in the community.

And just what exactly makes someone a real gamer? It’s almost like the whole ‘fake geek girl’ nonsense again (for a great video and interesting argument, check out ALB) wherein people within an already active community start trying to act as gatekeepers to keep people out, for whatever reason they may have. It’s stupid and pointless. For a community that has bonded over a shared love of an interactive art form, we sure are fond of pulling each other part, when instead we should be celebrating our community and being excited to let new people in.

However, by no means am I ignoring the hardcore vs casual gamer argument; it absolutely does exist. There are hardcore gamers (check out any popular streamer for any game and you’ll see they play upwards of 15 hours a day) and there are casual gamers, who game every now and then. The thing is, they’re both gamers. They both play video games, albeit in different ways. But who’s gonna say that the other isn’t real because they both clearly exist, and they’re both well-known phenomenons.

Returning to Lawrence’s brother’s argument; ‘you don’t play games like I do so you’re not a real gamer.’ seems somewhat defeatist. If everyone has to play COD & GTA to be a ‘real’ gamer then heck, I’ll hand in my badge at the door. I don’t put hours into those games, but I do to others. It’s hard to argue my 350 + hour playtime on Diablo 3 somewhat cements my status as a ‘gamer’ and I’m cool (and proud) with that.

The status of ‘real gamer’ is a strange one. Anyone who plays games is automatically a gamer as far as I’m concerned. Why push people out of something they enjoy due to your own fake superiority complex?

For other thoughts on this topic, I highly recommend Asmongold’s video on gamer culture. It’s fascinating and offers a pro’s insights onto this and similar arguments.

#Blaugust Day Sixteen: 9 Happy Things


This post is part of the #Blaugust blog challenge put together by Bel at Aggronaut. You can read the rules here, and you can see what the community has been posting in our Nook forum.

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Last week was a bit poopy, but this week has been out of this world! Here are some of the things that have made me happy this week:

  1. This gif

Lazy cat is lazy.

2. More news about Legion, the new WoW expansion

So it’s not big secret that Legion is the new expansion for World of Warcraft. As a lapsed player, I’m actually pretty hyped! I got real bored of WoD after a while (let’s be real, the Garrison was just Farmville on steroids)but all the Q&As, the concept art and models for the new artefacts are super exciting. I really hope that WoW can reinvigorate itself with Legion, as it does need it.

3. The seaside!

Screenshot 2015-08-16 19.02.30

My best friend Lawrence took me to the beach yesterday! I stayed at his on Friday night, which we spent playing Resident Evil 4 and snacking and stayed up all night. We were up bright and early Saturday morning for beach adventures, and after an hour and a half drive, we arrived in Skegness! I used to holiday there all the time with my grandparents when I was a kid, and there was so much nostalgia! Lawrence and I went through all the arcades, walked along the beach (I picked up some seashells and looked out for mermaids. There were none) took some awesome photos (see mine & Lawrence‘s Instagrams) and generally had a lovely day out! I’m incredibly grateful to Lawrence for taking me out and I can’t wait for our next adventure!

4. Yorkshire Wildlife Park



My adventures this weekend have been pretty crazy! This morning, the Boyfriend Wonder and his family went out to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, which is a zoo populated by animals who were liberated from other zoos or places. It’s not a regular zoo, with animals in cages; it’s a place where ‘domesticated’ wild animals aren’t mistreated and have the chance to have a bit of freedom. I saw sleepy lions, sleepy tigers, playfighting polar bears and a lot more! It was a really fun day out, but sadly, it was quite warm, so by the afternoon most of the animals were snoozing in the heat. The wallabies and baboons were still a riot to watch.

5. We got a move-in date!

Sorry about the outrageous gif, but it just sums up how I feel right now! After 2 months of trying to find somewhere back in beloved Sheffield to live, the Boyfriend Wonder and I submitted our application and fees and  we got approved and given a move-in date. As of this Thursday the Boyfriend-Wonder and I will be back living in Sheffield and will have our own space again. We just have a few more forms to sign, and then Thursday is the Big Day! I’ll be without internet for a while, but at least I’ll have all my books back <3

6. Finding more cruelty free make-up brands and cosmetics

Ever since I started actively making the switch to cruelty-free brands, I’ve found myself hitting a fair few brick walls. A lot of the brands I used to love and use were NOT cruelty free. However, in this last week, I’ve discovered that top-notch make-up brand Soap & Glory are cruelty free and the brand I Love… which do incredible smelling bath products. I plan on trying out the lip gloss (if I can find a place that sells it) and some bath bubbles when I’m all moved.

7.  This beautiful planner from Ohh Deer 

I’ve seen a bunch of other bloggers showing off their beautiful new planners and dammit, I want one too! My battered old diary and abandoned bullet journal have been put aside in favour of coveting this beautiful journal. It’s only a 12-month diary for next year, but it’s so pretty! It comes with pockets, a pen slide and all sorts. I love it!


I’m very new to ASMR and I haven’t actually experienced the telltale tingles you get, but goddamn, it chills me right out. Watching the video above a few nights ago put me to sleep in less than 10 minutes. Put simply, ASMR is sounds that make you feel good! For me, I get tingles when I gently scrape my fingernails across textured surfaces, or when someone else touches and brushes my hair. It relaxes me, and chills me right out. If you have trouble sleeping, or are feeling stressed (I wish I’d known about this during assignment week!) it’s a really good method to let you unwind.

9. Drama Time with Preach

This is very much a gaming/WoW specific video, but oh my lord. Preach’s Drama Time video with Ghost are hilarious. People send in their weird adventures and interactions with people in MMORPGS (usually WoW) and he does dramatic readings of them. Part of what makes it funny is that Preach’s laugh is so damn contagious and the stories are just so wild. I was crying with laughter watching these videos this week, and I strongly recommend them to any other MMO fans. As well as Drama Time videos, Preach does some superb class guides and covers pretty much everything in the WoW universe.

What’s been making you happy this week?

#Blaugust Day Fifteen: Five Fandom Friday- Five Fictional Pets I’d Love to Adopt


This post is part of the #Blaugust blog challenge put together by Bel at Aggronaut. You can read the rules here, and you can see what the community has been posting in our Nook forum.

Five Fandom Friday is a blog link-up put together by The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick and each week, we write things based around the prompts they give us. It’s a ton of fun and is great way to connect with other bloggers! The prompt I’m borrowing is all about fictional pets and which ones I’d adopt. For me, it was pretty easy…

1.) Puppycat

He’s so cute! He’s so surly! He’s… kind of a magical girl? The Luna to Bee’s Usagi, Puppycat is the megacute maybe-a-dog-or-a-cat from Natasha Allegri’s Bee & Puupycat series. He helps save Bee’s butt many times and has a VERY mysterious backstory, filled with love, betrayal, and magic. I’d probably spoil him rotten.

2. The Perky Pug from World of Warcraft 

I love pugs. I put up with PUGging. You can get this little cutie in World of Warcraft by dungeoning with up to 100 other players, but each dungeon is only 5-man, so it takes a while. Added bonus: you can get outfits for him and use him in pet battles…. Or just have him running around after you as you quest through Azeroth. I usually opted for the latter.

3. A Direwolf from Game of Thrones

Direwolves are essentially big, fluffy loyal wolves. This is why I love them. I love the relationship the Stark children have with their Direwolves (and it’s especially interesting in the books!) and the loyalty of them. Just look at how close Jon Snow and Ghost are. I like to think as well as being patient guard dogs they’d also be playful to some degree… Or at least put up with me constantly fluffing them.

4. Marie from Aristocats

I love the film The Aristocats. Partially for singing cats, partially for Disney nostalgia, but a lot for Marie! She’s cute, quite contrary and has some of the best lines and long-lived quotes in the film- “Ladies don’t start fights, but they do end them.”

5. Eevee from Pokémon

I love Eevee in whichever form its in, and it has always been my favourite pokémon, ever since Blue. I like having the option to evolve into a variety of different types, and I can only imagine how tricky it must be to get Sylveon in the new games. It must be said, Sylveon is definitely the cutest!

Which fictional pets would you adopt? Let me know in the comments!