Friday, 31 January 2014

Reykjavik, Iceland.

It's my birthday and so I decided to go on a long weekend break with my boyfriend to Iceland! Our main destination was to visit the Blue Lagoon- simply because I have wanted a swimming pool in our hotels whenever we've gone on holiday, but I've never been able to get one at a decent price/location ... so I made this holiday into a swimming one!! 
However, we were asking a couple for directions when we got into Reykjavik, and when we responded that we were mainly here for the Blue Lagoon, they scoffed! ... the type of scoff I would do if someone said they traveled all the way to London to see Big Ben.

We stayed at Apartment K, which is a boutique hotel just off the main street in Reykjavik. To our amusement, there wasn't a door to the lovely stone-walled bathroom ... well, there was a little sliding glass door (that did not sit flush against the wall), so there may as well have been NO door! The hotel room was super clean and self catering as there was even a stove! I loved the little SMEG fridge, the only one I will probably ever get to use in my lifetime (because they cost a bomb) ... and I actually loved that there wasn't a mini-bar because I don't even drink, so we were able to just go out and buy exactly what we wanted and had space to keep it in without the fear of being charged loads of money for a tiny bottle of orange juice.
Below is the staircase of Apartment K ... it was so nice to stay in a hotel with character! ... and I liked that it felt like there was nobody else there most of the time as your room isn't cleaned/bed isn't made daily, only when you leave. I never once saw anyone who looked like a cleaner and actually, we're all adults so we should be able to tidy up after ourselves.
The main street is filled with many coffee shops/bars and small Icelandic boutiques. I didn't see a commercial brand in site, which was so nice!!
When I walked past the Lebowski Bar, I had to go in! Not that I am a huge fan of the film, but more for the fact that it was a bar with a film as it's main theme! 
The inside was like a retro bowling alley, with two big screens playing films from the 80's and also a stream of 80's music ... it was great!!!
As previously mentioned, the Blue Lagoon was the main purpose of my holiday, and it did not disappoint!
I can't describe how strange it is to be swimming around in heated water while there is snow and rain falling from above and not being able to see more than 2 metres in front of you because of the fog/steam in some areas. We ended up staying here for around 3 hours and I was a little trigger-happy when it came to using the silica mud on my face - note: don't go rubbing it into your face thinking it is smooth mud, it has many granules and I ended up giving myself a rash for being too rough!
I absolutely loved coming to the Blue Lagoon and will definitely be returning just for it! 
The other thing my boyfriend and I did, that we didn't plan, was to attempt to see the Northern Lights. Apparently there were super clear skies with a high chance of seeing them... but did we? No.
Of course nobody is to blame and it really is to do with luck, but seeing them would have been a perfect topping to the holiday.
We spent a couple of days walking around Reykjavik, which isn't very big, and I just totally adored the coloured buildings. Like our hotel, these had so much character, and they were everywhere!
Overall, I loved visiting Iceland and I was genuinely surprised at the fact that everyone spoke English and very happy that I did not need to tap into my phone bundle once as there was free WIFI absolutely everywhere!!! Highly recommended.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Film Review: After Earth (2013)

I wanted to watch this at the cinema, but with the ridiculous prices that London cinemas charge nowadays (or it may be more of a case of being older, being wiser blah blah), I have found myself becoming EXTREMELY picky with what I pay a premium for to watch at the cinemas now.
I eventually watched 'After Earth' in the comfort of my home and although it was actually a pretty good film, I was glad to not have spent a lot of money watching it.
The plot wasn't exactly original, but I have to admit that the presence of father and son in a film again (they were also in The Pursuit of Happiness), did have its novelty appeal... but probably more because the thought of me being in a film with a family member fills me with a stir of giggle fits... so I really do admire this with the Smith family!!

Will Smith was great... I've always liked him as an actor and I think his son, Jaden, also has huge potential.

Jaden is the main character in this film, he plays Kitai,son of General Cypher (Will), who, to put it plainly, is a bad-ass. They live on Nova Prime, a world away from Earth and are threatened by the Ursas, which are large, but blind creatures. General Cypher has perfected his technique of killing them called 'ghosting', where he feels no fear, thus disabling the Ursas from sensing him, and allowing him to kill them. 
If I had read this beforehand, I think I would have thought it was totally absurd... but Will translated it on screen pretty well, and made it look quite cool! 
When Kitai accompanies his father on a mission, the plane crashes onto a now inhabitable Earth, killing everyone but father and son (a little far-fetched). General Cypher is injured and requires Kitai to travel across the land to retrieve the emergency beacon which is in the tail of the plane. 
Kitai faces many dangers and overcomes them (not too easily) and then of course, a little predictable, reaches the moment where he too, needs to perform 'ghosting'. 
I actually really liked the run up to him doing this even though it was quite predictable... but, and I don't know if it's because I am slightly feminist, but I did keep wondering how much better it may have been if his sister, Willow, had played his role. All in all, a nice family film.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Comb-bound notebooks.

I love making things that can be made with my own hands... and I find myself jumping from one thing to another, which, is fun and spontaneous but also leaves a lot of unfinished projects! However, I've been desperately trying to break out of this, and ensuring I finish things before the next jump, and I'm happy to say that it has improved! One of my tasks for this year was to totally revamp my handmade books and to update the zodiac traits ones. 
I decided I wanted to make them more unisex, so I got rid of the calligraphy font and the ribbon spine ... replacing them with a neat typewriter font and clean comb binding. 
I started and finished all 12 signs in one smooth go, without starting anything new in-between! You can see/buy them here.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Matt & Nat.

I'm not much of a bag person because I get bored very quickly, so I usually need to use very simplistic ones, not brightly coloured or printed ones that I may tire of after a few days... but, once I find a brand I like, I tend to obsess over it a little! 
Recently, I came across 'Matt & Nat', which are a vegan accessories brand and I bought the large messenger bag to hold my iPad and all other bits and bobs when traveling. However, my little sister spotted it the day I bought it and begged to have it as it was 'the only bag that will fit all my school books'...so, seeing as I am so kind, I let her 'borrow' it...
Anyway, I of course, felt a little dissatisfied that I found a lovely brand where the design was so simple but totally functional for me (lots of pockets inside etc) ... that I proceeded to hunt for my own Matt & Nat bag, this time, it was 100% going to be MINE!
Shortly after, I came across a smaller version with so much space inside and I loved the little outside pocket. Being a designer, I naturally notice the little details, and I have to admit, that I really loved the architectural piece of stamped branding that also synced with the zip pull... this little touch really did make me feel like I had bought something so much more special than on the High Street. Will definitely be keeping my eyes open on this little label!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

nuvonova nebula.

I just wanted to introduce 'nuvonova nebula' which is an offshoot of my main Facebook page which is geared more towards films, gaming, and other boy-like things... I guess you could say it is my darker/tomboy side which definitely needed its own page!

You can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/nuvonova.nebula

...but I do still have my usual Facebook page which is more about my shopping finds, my creations, Fashion.. and other girly things I guess! https://www.facebook.com/nuvonova

Friday, 3 January 2014

Film Review: Only God Forgives (2013)

I recently watched 'Only God Forgives' after missing it at the cinema, and I'm glad! I hadn't realized it was directed by Refn, who directed 'Drive' ... therefore the fact that Ryan Gosling says three words throughout the whole film suddenly made more sense!
The film is extremely stylized and in the same vein as 'Drive'... you really need to be focusing on what's going on and making your own opinions of the plot, for it to make any sense once you reach the end.
Ryan Gosling plays Julian, a guy in Bangkok who runs a Muay Thai gym, which also acts as a drugs operation. I guess the Muay Thai part of it made me interested in watching the film, although there is hardly anything of it in the film.
The main plot is that his brother rapes and murders a prostitute, who is avenged by her father. Julian's mother who is brilliantly played by Kristin Scott Thomas (and as I work in fashion, I instantly saw how her character is amusingly based on Donatella Versace), seeks revenge and insists that the father be killed. Julian does not believe it is the right thing to do while his mother later discovers that a Thai lieutenant with a sword (very random, but very cool) allowed the girl's father to kill her son (are you following?). Donatella Versace lookalike then orders her son to kill the guy-with-the-sword .. and then it all gets a bit confusing and by this point I am trying so hard to stay awake because although I have described the plot in 4 sentences, the entire film is VERY slow-paced with lots of other things happening in between.
However, it finally gets exciting and my eyelids perk up when Julian challenges the Thai-lieutenant-with-a-sword to a Muay Thai fight!! The fight was brilliant but I just wish it was longer!!! I haven't been to my Muay Thai sessions for months and watching the fight definitely wanted me to resume! Part of me was hoping that Julian would not win because that would be WAY too farfetched. Of course the Thai guy is going to win! .. and boy was I pleased that he got beaten the **** out of.
Overall, it wasn't a mind-blowing film and maybe if I wasn't so tired that day, I would have enjoyed it a little more... but, good effort I guess.