28 October, 2012

My Instagram Weekend: @HanPod

I have always been instarested, but up until recently have only watched from admiring afar as other better equipped individuals uploaded images of leaves, cakes, shoes, people. It all looked so kitsch and nostalgic, while I had to make do with a Blackberry Curve ‘camera’ with no flash and the inspiration of a plank of wood.

Oh Instagram. What’s not to love about a photo that was taken digitally 5 seconds ago, but looks like it has spent 40 years fading on your grandparent’s mantelpiece? An arty way to show off our lives, it’s the perfect partner for creative exhibitionists. Ahem. But come ON. What scenario doesn’t look better in ‘Toaster’, ‘Sierra’ or ‘X Pro’? With Instagram you can take a burger and literally make it look like steak. Your eyes are bluer, the leaves are redder, the cakes are prettier. It’s Insta-grande and it’s making all our lives even better.
So, having recently (finally) acquired the essential key to the Instagram world (I mean an iphone, I haven’t got the door code to their headquarters) I have gone Instagram mad (3 years later than everyone else) and can currently be found creating an HD version of my life in iform pretty much 24/7. It’s my narcissistic and creative fix, all in one.

So today, instead of crossing my T’s, dotting my I’s and putting apostrophes in the wrong places (my bad) I’m going to treat us all to some Instagrammar – all the imagery with none of the wordy nonsense. Lovely.


I love starting the weekend feeling refreshed, so I spent Friday evening turning my bedroom into a haven - the Fairylights are new (£10, Wilkinsons, Christmas range) and the rest has been a work in progress since I moved in 18 months ago (DREAM letters B&M £3, Bedcovers a Christmas gift from my Sister, heart-shaped photo holder £10 Mookau Eccy Road, Cards from Best Friends Saying I am Awesome - priceless!)

I bought and put up my own curtains for the first time ever on Friday night - it was a massive achievement for me and a Right of Passage into adulthood! It took me an hour but was well worth it. So proud! Love the Aubergine colour (Wilkinsons, £40 - bargain!!)
I used ALL these spices in one recipe on Saturday morning...I loved how they looked all lined up - this is the 'Toaster' setting on Instgram which emulates the SPICE!
Another 'first' for me this weekend, I made my first EVER chilli! I am more of a baker of cakes but sometimes I do love to cook proper meals too. My boyfriend and I both needed a high protein meal, so went for this Jamie Oliver 'Good Old Chili con Carne', which uses 5 of the above 6 spices and includes chickpeas. Was absolutely delicious and I served it with these nachos. Full and happy boyfriend, done!

NOM NOM NOM! Saturday Sin.
My third debut of the weekend, I had my re-styled on Saturday - partly because I could afford it for the first time in months and also because I like to change my hair with the seasons (a haircut for me is usually a bi-annual event!) Usually I stick to the same old blonde with sweeping fringe, but fancied  a change so (having nearly decided to go fully RED a la Florence Welch) had some red low lights put in as well as highlights, plus a full fringe for the first time since I was about 8! Nothing too drastic but for me a big step as my hair is so important to me. I really like my natural hair colour so don't want to lose it and I don't have the colouring for anything too drastic. But I love what my hairdresser did, I was so fussy and she got it spot on. Would recommend them - The Hair Rooms, Eccy Rd, £60 for the whole shebang! I feel shiny, new and autumnal, however the fringe takes my morning hair to a whole new level!

Lazy Sundays with Gareth are my favourite thing in the world and we don't often get to just totally chill out just us two, so whenever we can do, we make it extra special with a big yummy brunch! I am a feeder so always make him way too much food, but today's scrambled eggs, bacon and muffins were needed and hit the spot. Especially after the casual 12 HOURS sleep we had with the clocks going back. He needed the food and the sleep as he works a lot of nights so I hope this has set him up for another week. I am such a mother.
This book - How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran - was recommended to me by @Littlesweetpeas and then read the same recommendation in @cosmopolitanUK. Both trusty sources I ordered it as soon as I got paid and it turned up this weekend. I haven't had a chance to read it yet as it turns out but can't wait to get stuck in tonight! Will report back on this one!
Saturday night we went to see Dry The River at Leadmill. I first saw them at BBC Introducing in Manchester a year ago and fell in love. It's been amazing to watch them do so well since and it was even more awesome to see them on 'home' territory at Leadmill. Was the perfect venue for them as it was intimate and charged.  Their encore was something else as they stepped into the crowd to perform acapella stylee. Unbelievable atmosphere and massive thumbs up to Leadmill and the band. We're lucky we get to watch from the DJ Box because of Gareth's job, so our view was priceless!
Dry The River's debut album Shallow Bed is available to buy now and highlights include 'No Rest' and 'New Ceremony'.

This weekend was a really chilled one with Gareth and it felt really special. No running,  no friends, no drinking, no work, just us.  We're both quite busy people so the times we chill out together in our own bubble are always dead special. I get as excited now as I did when we first met, running around making everything just right for him. He deserves it as he works really hard and we both have had cause to celebrate recently. We don't have many photos of the 2 of us but the ones we do have are always meaningful  and seem to remember a special occasion - this is one I took when messing around on Instagram yesterday and I think it will go down as one of my favourites!
I haven't been able to excercise this weekend as I started feeling unwell on Friday (timing much!) so spent the time baking instead. Definitly the fatter option but more fun sometimes, especially on icy weekends like this. I baked Parkin (no image included as it is boring to look at!), Gareth's favourite cheesecake (2nd attempt at it, yet to get it spot on but I WILL make it as good as his Mum does!) and finally these Apple and Oatmeal cookies. They're from @Hbbakery (hummingbird bakery) Cake Days and are easy to make, plus they're really filling and sort of healthy as they have oats and apples in...? Am taking them in tomorrow for the work girls. I think in order to have a good week, it has to start with yourself and if you give a little something to cheer everyone up early on, it can go a long way and see you all right through to Friday on a positive note.

Am really looking forward to all those Instagram'd Pumpkin pictures this week, I am always fascinated by how creative people can be with the squash family! It's @HanPod on Instagram and @HannahRuthPR on Twitter if anyone wants to share their Halloween images. 

My favourite tweets of this week:

"@HannahHindmarsh: Be inspired, take every opportunity"
Sometimes tweets like this appear on your timeline just when you need them to. Hannah writes a great blog too: www.hannahsbow.co.uk

"@HayleyToothill: It's stories like this that make you realise just how lucky we are to live in the UK: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-20000997"
This was a tweet early on in the week, it made me sad but man did I appreciate every single thing last week - from running water to a warm bed. Everything else is a bonus. 
"@CosmopolitanUK: Act like a lady, think like a boss #CosmoQuoteoftheDay"
 I read this in an article of theirs not long ago and it stuck, it can be tough being an emotional girl in a business world and this helped me become stronger.

"@excercise_mad: @StPancras Just about to Choo Choo to Sheffield to see @HannahRuthPR"
 This was a personal highlight as one of my oldest bestest uni mates, Niall, came to visit and it was the first time we'd seen each other in over 6 months (possibly the longest it's ever been!) Love how with your oldest friends you can so easily slip back into it being like old times - never awkward, always great.

"@DavidChild: Is Louis out yet? Or is it just generally accepted? #xfactor"
 I wish I knew!! I love how Twitter shows you thousands of stangers hundreds of miles apart are thinking the same of you. It's comforting isn't it?

"@LeadmillGareth: The crowd at the Leadmill show last night were amazing. Silent in the right parts & then singing along at full volume. Epic"
Biased choice, but sums it up perfectly!

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