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Friday, 5 August 2016

The Netflix Binge List

Is there really anything more delightful than spending a chilly, summer afternoon curled up on the sofa, neglecting all adult responsibilities by indulging in a Netflix marathon? As the phenomenon of the streaming site grows so to does the immense amount of choice we have at our fingertips and now that Netflix is a prominent force itself in the production of increasingly expensive films and TV programmes, it appears that the selection available is only going to hike. Here are my top five programmes to lose a day (or 3) to...

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Crazy Ex is a relatively new find and, although there’s only one season available so far, boy is it a treat! Rachel Bloom is brilliant as Rebecca Bunch, a successful, yet deeply unhappy lawyer who declines a dream promotion and instead relocates to a sleepy town in California after a chance meeting with an old flame. Rebecca is immediately likable, in spite of her flaws, and her desperate attempts to win back her ex is soundtracked by a hilarious medley of satirical songs which perfectly parody modern pop.


Carrying on with the theme of lawyers, charismatic Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) is reluctantly forced to go back to community college when his degree is found to be fake. He accidentally sets up a study group in pursuit of a fellow classmate, Britta (Gillian Jacobs), and thus a beautiful (albeit dysfunctional) friendship begins. Community is laugh-out-loud funny, a term that is too often overused but a label that the sitcom decidedly deserves.

Gossip Girl

Oh, GG, the ultimate guilty pleasure. If you have yet to watch the amazingly extravagant show it focuses on a group of over privileged, elite Upper East Side teenagers acting years their senior. From royal weddings, sex tapes, trips to Paris, the Hamptons and LA, countless couture gowns, and more salacious scandals than gossip columnists could ever dream of, this is, quite possibly, the most ostentatious series (all 6 seasons of it!) available on Netflix.

Pretty Little Liars

Pretty Little Liars follows Hannah (Ashley Benson), Aria (Lucy Hale), Spencer (Troian Bellisario) and Emily (Shay Mitchell) as they try to pick up the pieces a year after their Queen Bee’s murder. But the girls have a tormentor: A, an anonymous harasser who knows all of the girls secrets and isn’t afraid to expose them. Thrilling and compulsive, it will make you think twice about who you trust...


Quite a departure from the polished, American shows focused on youth culture featured in this list, Skins isn’t that dissimilar to Gossip Girl (a group of unattended teenagers misbehaving), yet simultaneously it’s a stark contrast. Often labelled as gritty and edgy, the controversial show set in Bristol focuses on a different member of the friendship group each episode, offering us an insight into their often troubled lives. Growing up this was the show that everyone watched in the UK, and I suspect possibly not with parental approval.

What are your favourite shows on Netflix to binge watch?

NG <3

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Images sourced from the respective shows, Netflix UK, The CW, NBC and E4.


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Post Uni Blues

It's been a year since I graduated now. A whole year! That's a scary thought. But with this daunting reflection also comes pride when I see my friends graduating this year donning their mortarboards and robes as I scroll through my timeline. Never was the Facebook 'Love' reaction more applicable.

A few months after graduating I hit a wall and suddenly the question of what I wanted to do with my life kept me up at night. I'd always wanted to be a journalist but then came another worrying thought: how on earth would I find my way into the industry? That's the problem with negativity, one worry snowballs into another. Around that time I was feeling ever more nostalgic for my student days and I published this article on my Wordpress site.

I thought now would be a fitting time to reshare it. The moral of the story? Everything will be ok. It just takes a little time and perseverance to enter the big, scary adult world. I don't know a single person who fell straight from final year into their dream job. Sometimes taking time out to think and revaluate is invaluable. So many of my friends who graduated at the same time as me are now starting to settle into their careers and I couldn't be prouder or more excited for them. As for me? A year out has given me clarity and focus, and the determination to pursue journalism.

Originally Published September 2015:

Ahhhhhh. That’s the long drawn-out sigh of me coming to the realisation that now September is coming to a close a new set of freshers are currently embarking on the wonderful rollercoaster that is starting university life.
It has now been 3 years since I also made this transition from the mollycoddled security of sixth form and my parents’ home to become a newly independent, little fresher (and I use that term literally, for me Freshers’ 14 was unfortunately no myth). This September, however, for the first time I am not returning to formal education as the perpetual student status I held for 17 years will officially be redundant.

Quite frankly, it’s terrifying. No schedule. No one instructing you on what to do and when it needs to be done by. I always moaned about returning to school as a child but I secretly relished in it: the promise of a fresh start, the intellectual progression of moving up a year, and most importantly the trip to WHSmiths to buy that shiny, new pencil case. Essentially, September has always been more of my ‘new year’ than January ever has.

The preparation for the sudden halt to the conveyor belt of education has been slowly introduced over the years. First it started with free periods in sixth form. Expectation: Heading up to the library and spending an afternoon being oh-so-studious. Reality: Lounging in the common room playing Shithead (a card game) and hiking up the road to Macdonalds. Then came the uni days. Spending a mere 12 hours on campus was certainly a welcome shock.

Luckily I do still have an outlet to pretend I’m a student. This weekend I got to go back to my uni town and spend time with my friends who are still studying. It was then that I realised it is the student lifestyle I miss the most. I miss the “it’s ok, I’m a student” approach to life. Yes, it is perfectly acceptable to live off instant noodles, order another round (or five) of sambucas or spend all day in bed as a student. As an adult not so much. Unfortunately there is no student loan payment coming every 4 months once you enter the big, bad world.

I even miss the library. Yes, the library. Something I never thought I’d feel, let alone admit. Those times were dark: the all-nighters, the overpriced cappucinos, the many breakdowns when my laptop died and I forgot to hit save. But some laughs were had there also, especially when procrastination was the goal. I suppose it’s like a break up; you hone in on the positives. A big chesire cat smile comes across my face when I recall the nights that ended in the best way, eating questionably cheap pizza while having a heart to heart with my nearest and dearest. Yet I don’t quite seem to reminisce how awful I felt the following day. I look back with affection at my last student house, somehow forgetting the occasional slug infestation and icy atmosphere on a winter morning.

I heard a quote recently that struck a chord: “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened”. What a brilliant way to view life. University was undoubtedly the best time of my life so far, but it was only one chapter and there are many more to come. I will always have the memories to look back on but now it’s time to create some new ones.

So a word to the wise for this year’s freshers: enjoy it. Every last minute of it because it really will be the best 3 years of your life and it will be gone before you know it.

NG <3

Photo Credit: John Walker via Flickr.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

A Room of One's Own

I need a change in my life. I need to change my room.

I love my bedroom but I can't help but feel that I've outgrown it slightly. Up until last summer I'd spent the last three years of my life living in student accommodation, which isn't exactly famed for its chicness. My first year room, although lovely, wasn't far off a cell with its exposed, unplastered brick painted over with a dull shade of grey. I endeavoured to cover this with that oh-so-cliché Audrey Hepburn poster. Whenever I bought bedding I went for bright colours and prints to brighten up the place, the more mismatched the better.

My second year room was the worst. It was situated on the ground floor, the single-glazed window onlooking a busy street. I think I've spent warmer nights camping. This property came with a no posters on walls policy, meaning my big, empty room felt even bigger and emptier with this lack of stereotypical student decoration. So I went a little crazy in third year with the posters: Paris, New York, London, Thailand, maps of the world, basically any image that conjured wanderlust.

And now? I'm back in my childhood room. What once had a colour palette- baby pink, black and white- has now been taken over with my eclectic attempts to make drab uni rooms more fun. Take my bed at the moment for example; my aqua bedding is interrupted by splashes of flamingo pink and sunshine yellow in the form of florals and birds, decorated with a mismatched (yet all neatly placed, I'll add) cushions ranging from a fair isle knit style patterned owl to an Eastern inspired, gold and fuchsia beaded delight.

I love this fun approach to décor but I've lately found myself favouring a more minimal Scandi design with vintage, feminine elements.  The key word is cosy. Enter Pinterest with it's never ending display of #designgoals...

My current room is far from being Pinterest-worthy but for the meantime here is my wishlist...

Top row, left to right

Ikea Bed, £79
Ikea Map, £65
Next Flowers, £8

Bottom row, left to right

Next Candle,  £12

Primark Organiser Board, £5
Next Cushion, £10
Primark Picture Board £6
BHS Boxes, £14

But on second reflections my room isn't actually that bad. Sure it could use a lick of paint but it's my room, meaning my space and that's the important thing. It may be a treasure trove of eclectic design elements but these are the pieces I've collected over the years. Then again, I am quite the hoarder...

What are your interior design inspirations?

NG <3


Wednesday, 22 June 2016

We Were On A Break

Greetings, it's been a while. A very long while. On a whim I scrolled through NG a few weeks ago, partly out of curiosity, partly to indulge in nostalgia. I smiled as I looked through old posts, the connections established with fabulous bloggers from around the world and nostalgia soon snowballed into motivation; it's time to start blogging again.

I didn't stop posting for any reason, something reflected in my last post, dated 29th March 2016, a list of my favourite lip products. Life just got in the way. I hit third year and the work piled up, I became an editor for my student magazine and time that wasn't spent in the library or magazine office was spent with friends, enjoying our last year of all living together in Nottingham. When I graduated I had a summer deciding what I wanted to do with my life, researching different options, before eventually settling on my first plan of action, go back to uni and get an MA. I can't wait to begin this September.

I've missed blogging, having a platform to create a conversation, express your opinion, discovering new, exciting blogs. I'm wondering why I ever left.

See you very soon,

NG <3

© NG

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