September 2013tori's tales: September 2013

30 September 2013

101: I wish it were Sunday

Credit: Nicola Odemann
Morning all! I saw this beautiful photo and thought, goodness, wouldn't this be a great way to start the day?!!

Today marks my first day back at UoN and I'm spending the whole day there - seminar at 10am and lecture at 2pm (my first Psychology, I'm really looking forward to it!) and society meet and greets between and after - so thought I'd send a quick 'Hi, hello, how are ya?' message to let you know that's what I'll be up to, but also to just mention that this weeks 'Senses' will be a little late (which will probably throw tomorrow's 'tales of the week' off too. This is mainly due to my inadequate organisational skills yesterday (last day of freedom for a while and all that) for which I am totally sorry about. But, life, you know? I'll get them to you when I can (and I'm sure you're not all that bothered anyway!).

I hope y'all have had a lovely weekend and that you have a pleasant (because they're never really fun, are they? Pleasant seems the most one could achieve) Monday!!

28 September 2013


In honour of me reaching my 100th post (holy moly!) I thought I'd share 10 'top ten's' (or rather, ten lots of 'these are ten random things I could think of at this moment in time') with you to celebrate. Hopefully it'll be of some interest to you! (a big massive thanks must go to Chloe who suggested the idea for this post. She's a star!!)

Thank you to everyone who visits this little space and reads my words. You and your kindness makes every post special.

Ten posts
Ten film favourites

Romeo and Juliet

The Virgin Suicides

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days

Never Been Kissed

50 First Dates


Mean Girls

American Beauty

30 Days Of Night

Ten book recommendations
Credit: found at
The Time Traveller's Wife 
(the one thing I must say to you is that if you are at all interested in this story is, please, read it.
Don't watch it. I beg of you!)

The Lovely Bones
(same as above, it's a lovely - albeit very sad - read but the film? Ick)

The Casual Vacancy

War and Peace

The Fault In Our Stars

Your Voice In My Head

The Sense of An Ending

Any and all Harry Potter's

When God Was A Rabbit

Plea Of Insanity (random pick!)

Ten blogs I love to read
Credit: Kitty Gallannaugh, Searching For Tomorrow

Ten albums that mean something to me
Credit: Domino Records
Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I am, That's What I'm Not

It is a massive toss up between all of their albums as to which one has had the most impact, but I think it's got to be this one. I had no knowledge of Arctic Monkey's beyond 'I Bet You....' (a song I am not a big fan of nowadays thanks to the rather large amount of times its been rammed down my throat at Monkeys gigs!) when I met the boy back in 2009 but, as a firm favourite of his, I was introduced to it very early on in our relationship and fell hook, line and sinker. If you've never listened to it, where on earth have you been? My favourites have got to be Mardy Bum (of course!) and A Certain Romance, although the whole album has so many deliciously-worded songs that it certainly is a hard choice to make.

Amy Winehouse - Back to Black

I can't remember when I first listened to this album but I do remember loving it from the word go. The boy and I are known to whack this on loud and have a good top-of-our-lungs sing-along, especially when travelling. I can still remember when we heard Amy had died - we were in Regensburg, Germany and had the radio on. Hearing her name mentioned among others belonging to the '27 Club' made my heart skip a beat, and our playing of the album that night was met with rather large tears (from me) and toasts to her talent.

Panic At the Disco - A Fever You Can't Sweat Out

Oh, Brendon. You stole a piece of my heart back when I popped AFYCSO on my MP3 for the very first and you've had hold of it ever since. Of course, any plays nowadays of 'Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off' will forever be tainted by your daring to get married to a bloody beautiful Katy-Perry-lookalike (sigh).

Bloc Party - A Weekend In The City

Another album introduced by the boy, way back when. I'm now a big fan of everything BP touches, but this album is the pinnacle, for me. Put it on, lads and lasses, and have a hop-around-the-living-room dance sesh.

Paolo Nutini - These Streets

I used to listen to this album back when I was a Nanny for a rather special little monkey and I remember dull bus and train journeys mellowed and smoothed by Paolo's scrumptious tones. Seriously, is there anything more gorgeous than him singing Loving You? ARGH.

Lady Gaga - The Fame

Oh Ms Gaga, you certainly made my job as a cleaner a far more enjoyable one. Cue Thursday mornings back in 2009 when I would spend time singing along to Gaga's first offering whilst hoovering and cleaning sinks. 

Outkast - Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

An odd addition for me because I can't really remember playing this all too often - I'm not sure when I would have had the chance - but anything that includes the ass-shaking-fabulousness that is 'Hey Ya' (can you please just take a minute to swallow the information that is that this album and song was released TEN years ago?!!!) surely has to be on such a list (and let me just say, it was all about The Love Below for me, Andre 3000 can really do no wrong).

TLC - Fanmail

I'm don't know how I managed to get my hands on a copy of this one (it being parental advisory and all) but back in 1999/2000 this rarely left my, uhm, portable cd player. Many a night was spent listening to their rather, ahem, grown-up lyrics, and me giving it the old booty shake action and imagining myself dancing along to 'No Scrubs' on the MTV VMA stage (I'm not sure why but it's the one awards show I've always wanted to attend!). I had no idea, really, what an impact their message would have on me but I can say, hand on heart, that was a positive one. Even now, as I type this, I have a feeling of female empowerment wash over me. TLC, you were some badass mo's. 

Maximo Park - Our Earthly Pleasures

Nosebleed. That is all.

The Maccabees - Colour It In

I can remember when Toothpaste Kisses came out and just thinking 'who are these people?'. Their music was unlike anything I'd ever come across before (thanks to growing up in the land of Pop music) and I remember being intrigued enough to head to HMV and pick the album out pretty soon after my first listen. Yes, Wall of Arms is no doubt my favourite of theirs, but Colour It In is truly something special. First Love? Who didn't fall?

Ten of my favourite travel-spots
Our apartment in Mui Ne (excuse the dodgy photo!)
I've definitely made this hard for myself, but here it goes...









Mui Ne, Vietnam
(the apartment above was gorgeous, in a beautiful area, right on the beach, surrounded by fabulous little eateries and came with a scrummy breakfast included. We paid $30 a night. Crazy!)


Ten telly faves (old and new)
Credit: Impawards (I love how old this looks because it makes me realise just how old I am!)
Ally McBeal
(if you've never watched it, please do. Honestly, it's so good. Robert Downery Jr is in it, in case you need a shove. You can click through above to listen to him sing)

Sex And The City

CSI (the original, Las Vegas)

Orange Is The New Black (a recent fave)


Peep Show (a forever favourite)

Phoenix Nights

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Arrested Development

Modern Family

Ten random facts about me
I am a mature student at the University of Nottingham, 2 days away from starting my second year of a Philosophy degree.

(now the boring one is over and done with....)

I bloody love watching stand-up. The ruder, the better!!

I am not a great flyer and used to have to take a form of Valium to calm me down before doing so.

I really dislike card shopping. I don't know what it is, because I actually really like cards, but shopping for them puts my teeth on edge.

I have joint hyper-mobility syndrome, a not-so-fun illness that causes daily pain and makes things like brushing my teeth a major event.

I only wear odd socks. Life's to short to be matchy-matchy from head to toe.

I adore Walt Disney World, Florida. I very much would move there tomorrow if I had the chance, although I'd be doing so without the boy because he doesn't like Disney or theme parks.
(I know, right?!)

I am very much a morning person. I'm happier to wake up early than I am to stay up late.

I have a little, almost lighting-bolt-esque, scar underneath my bottom lip.

I don't like picnics because I hate food that's been hanging around, even if an icebox is involved. Bleurgh.

My top-ten Autumn wishlist
L-R Top row: Dress, Backpack, Blanket, Tee
Middle row: Scarf, Bag
Bottom row: Tee, Quilt, Boots, Dress
Ten of my all-time-everything favourites!!
My bedroom wall back home
Peter Pan

Cookies that are warm and soft in the inside but have an outside crunch!

A hug from my boy

My (family) home

Home cooked egg-fried rice

My brothers laugh

Painted toenails

New York

Gross-out comedy's 

You. All of you.

24 September 2013

99...Tales of the Week 2


It's my second week of sharing some lovely bloggy treats with you, all of which come in varying shapes and sizes and cover an abundance of subject matter, from food, to films and ootd's. You ladies certainly didn't make it an easy pick for me thanks to a rather splendid week of post offerings (bloody fabulous lot that you are!) 

So, without further adieu...(as before, all photos from the blogs whence the came!)

Tuesday 17th

Bella's recommendation made me want to get on the subtitled-film-watching malarky

Wednesday 18th

Emma had me wanting to take a breath

Thursday 19th

Irela had me wishing for a rainy day just so I can follow her survival tips!

Friday 20th

Steph left me with a craving for my very own little red dress

Saturday 21st

Rosie had me toying with the idea of giving up wheat

Sunday 22nd

Ella got my lips smacking

Monday 23rd

Lisette made me thankful for her wonderful existence

23 September 2013

98: Senses 3

Third week (are you as surprised as I am that I'm managing to keep this up?!) of senses-sharing with you. It's a day later than planned, thanks to my having a bit of a poorly day yesterday, hence the early morning (yes, 9 am IS early!) posting today!

Tori Saw
Credit: Deliciously Ella
- First up are a couple of Pageant-related posts/vids (I'm behind on all things Honey Boo-Boo related, etc. etc. so please bear with) that I randomly stumbled across this week. I'm sharing them because a) they creep me out and b) they creep me out. If you want to spent a short while watching/reading something with wide eyes and a slack jaw, please, go ahead.

The article that started my search:

Other things I found:

- That one of the girls from Toddlers and Tiaras (which I've never seen) seems to be some sort-of big world-wide-web star. Look what you find when you pop here name, Edin Wood, into a search engine... 

The fact she is only 8 terrifies me. Grant it, I don't watch this programme, so I don't know anything about her/her family/the show itself (other than, I'm guessing, the obvious - that it features toddlers, or thereabouts, in tiaras) but, and I hate to say it, the overly-grown up make-up/hairstyles/outfits etc echo those of a little girl whose story I've followed since I first read her name back when I was barely a teenager (sensitive subject matter) and that can't ever be a good thing:

- Other webby articles that took my fancy this week (thank you to Kelly for highlighting the awesomeness that is The Oatmeal in her Friday Favourites):

How much do cats actually kill? (it's a comic, go with it!)

How and why to use whom in a sentence (because I never, ever know the correct usage and, at 27, feel I


- This week I found the most gorgeously taste-bud tantalizingly scrummy looking blog that is Deliciously Ella. I stumbled across it thanks to a retweet (oh guys, twitter really does do all sorts of good) and, after making the decision to try and cut a few things out of my diet (see below), I'm going to do my best to follow Ella's beautiful recipes and whip up something 'free from gluten, dairy, sugar, meat and all refined and processed ingredients'.

- Last night I finished reading The Casual Vacancy by J K Rowling and, I must say, I really truly enjoyed it. The buying of said book was prompted by Becky's review here - if you fancy finding out more, do click through. I'm not the best at reviewing so I'll happily leave this one up to Becky!

Tori Smelt
An out-take from our Peak District adventure (more shaggy-haired sheep!)
- My boys shampoo (it smells better on his head than it does mine).

- This weeks freshly washed duvet/sheet et al. That I remembered to hang it to dry in the landing (normally I leave it in the lounge and it ends up smelling of food and thus is like sleeping in a bloody kitchen) was a miracle. A sweet-smelling miracle.

- The freshest of fresh air on our midweek trip to the Peak District (which you can read about here).

Tori Tasted
Veggie Paella w/ Saffron & Orange
Credit: Veggie num num
- I've followed a recipe from our Student Veggie handbook (or whatever) for Spanish Veggie Stew twice now and Saturday's little number, even if I do say so myself, was particularly lovely.

- I've decided to try and cut down on my dairy dependency (glass of milk every evening with dinner and lots of cheese daily, as well as the usual butter with bread - at breakfast and lunch - and milk in tea) so as to see if doing so will benefit my skin (decided upon after various convos with multiple lovely ladies). I started with vegan butter (a little too marg-like for me, unfortunately) and soya milk I found at Asda (sweetened, couldn't find anything else!) and think I will do fairly well with that (she says - I've yet to do it properly because of what I've been up to this week - come the cutting out of cake/biscuits, feel free to ask me again). I think, however, the giving up of cheese will be the hardest of it all!

Tori Felt

- This week is a bit of a negative one (sorry, sorry, I try) because I've been struggling with joint pain (I have joint hyper-mobility syndrome, a description of which is probably best left to another time!) that has now spread to my fingers. I intend to go back and speak to my doctor/chase up my physio appointment for the second time because it's actually rather worrying - I mean, I use my hands all the time and, although it doesn't stop me from doing anything, I am entirely and always conscious of pain/aches in my wrists and finger joints. As you can imagine, I'd prefer if I wasn't!

(and no, I can't play the piano, I just felt the picture was, well, rather fitting!)

Tori Listened To
Guys, cupcake headphone. Cupcake ones. Cupcakes. Anyone else as excited as me?!!
- The fabulous album that is Rumours by the equally fabulous Fleetwood Mac

This 'Immortal' number which I sang at the top of my lungs when the boy was working Saturday

Oh, and a randomly-youtube-picked collection, some of which you can find below:

How can you mend a broken heart? - Al Green (any Ally McBeal fans out there?!)

The Virgin Suicides OST (this may deserve the trophy of best soundtrack ever, although probably because it's the only one I've ever listened to all the way through)

And there we have it for another week. Happy Monday!!

22 September 2013

97: For a friend

This morning I wanted to pop up a little post wishing my very dear and incredibly sweet friend Megan a momentously, magnificently-magical WEDDING DAY!!!

I am incredibly excited that Megan's beautiful #CornishFairytale will today be coming true. Please do join with me in sending the biggest of congratulations via twitter, her blog, facebook - wherever you are able! I am just so bloody happy for both her and Grant - today will see the culmination of much love and hard work (go check out all the progress on Megan's instagram!) and I, for one, can't wait to hear all about it!!

Lots of love to you, Megan and Grant. May this day be the start of a (married!) lifetime of happiness together.

20 September 2013

96: Meet me at the Prancing Pony

They didn't quite get it right with the name (I'm guessing copyright got in the way) but they ran with the theme!
On Tuesday, late afternoon, the boy and I made our way over to Eric, ready to pick him up for a trip to the Peak District. Not having yet visited the area together, we thought it'd be nice to spend two nights at a randomly-chosen campsite (ok, ok, the slightly LOTR/Hobbit-esque name may have had something to do wih it) and spend time walking through the Peaks to see what it had to offer us. 

Turns out, it had plenty (including the incredibly British, ever-changeable weather) ....

Don't sheep look incredibly cute and cuddly when they haven't been shorn? Like shaggy-haired pups!
The colours really were this bright and jewel-like!
Mr Sunshine, saying hello
'You're going the wrong way!!' (hindsight is always ever-so unhelpful)
Hills and dales for miles
Yes, that is the boy, and yes, he is indeed 'running up that hill' (ok, fine, he's running down it)
Evening sunshine
My effort at being artistic!

17 September 2013

95: Tori's Tales Of The Week 1

I introduced this feature way back when but, like so many other things in my life (over-dramatic sigh), it fell by the wayside and I completely forgot to pick it back up again (hello dreadful memory, pleased to see you are taking your role as seriously as ever!) - until now. 

As I've remembered I did, in fact, have a plan to publish this on a regular basis, I've decided to reintroduce the feature and make it a weekly 'thing' (possibly not a Tuesday but the boy and I are heading to the Peak District today for 2 days and I'd like to get this published before I leave!). The idea is (well, it's pretty self-explanatory really) to share with you all the posts that I've loved reading over the past week. What will they be, you ask? Take a little gander below and you'll find out....(all photos taken from the blog whence they came!)

Tuesday 10th

Charlotte showed me why disposable is the way forward.

Wednesday 11th

Kitty melted my heart, yet again, with a stunning collection of photographs and just ever-so-beautiful words (she's absolutely one of the best). 

Thursday 12th

Rosie asked me what I see when I look in the mirror (you can find out her response here)

Friday 13th

Sophie got my stomach grumbling and my taste buds tingling. 

Saturday 14th

Bee took me along on her seaside adventures.

Sunday 15th

Lyzi had me marvelling at her story of a beautiful vintage wedding. 

Monday 16th

Hannah made me aspire to have a hobby!

15 September 2013

94: Senses 2

Happy Sunday y'all and a huge welcome to the second post in my 'Senses' series. I knew this week I'd need to get myself into a more assembled state of mind to be able to share with you good folks so, yes, I made me a little bookmark folder and bookmarked everything I thought would make a good addition to this post and that's why, fair friends, the below combination of questionable words (taken from a equally questionable collection of jumbled-up thoughts) and, I'm sure, the inclusion of a solid number of brackets, exists....(I think that may have been one long sentence)

Tori Saw (Read. Watched. Et Cetera)
stars and stars and stars and
Image Credit: John Hill
- I'm kicking this off with 'Educating Yorkshire'. Being without a telly means I only ever hear about programmes via Twitter and, in response to a few tweets I read after the first episode, I decided to head on over to 4OD to find out what they were talking about. It wouldn't be something I'd normally plonk myself in front of but I found myself watching it purely out of twisted curiosity. Remembering my school days, back to the behaviour dealt with then (when mobile phones at school were still a relatively new concept and, in those days, were used mainly for txin - no internet mobiles then, readers) - which, at times, bordered on the terrible (chair thrown across the class? Making the teacher cry? Check and check) - even after all that I am still flabbergasted by what the teachers at Thornhill have to put up with. I'm not sure anyone really had the guts a lot of these children seem to have (where does that come from?!) when I was at school. Yes, I don't entirely agree with the methods employed by the headmaster (mate? Hmmmm), but I'm more than sure that I wouldn't, if faced with the same children he is faced with Mon-Fri, be able to respond in quite the controlled, yet informal, manner both he and his staff employ. (Guinness? Guinness?!!)

- A documentary, I think originally aired on 5, entitled 'The Girl In The Box' about the true crime story of Colleen Stan who was kidnapped in 1977, at the age of 20, and held captive as Cameron Hooker's sex slave for 7 years. It is - as I'm sure you'd imagine - an incredibly sad and scary story. Recounted by Colleen herself in an interview, the piece is punctuated with (at times weirdly uncomfortable thanks to her sister's over-the-top enthusiastic responses) additional interviews with family members and police officers who dealt with the case. You can find it here if you are interested in hearing Colleen's story. The amount of control Cameron managed to administered over Colleen was astonishing, culminating in him letting her visit her home for 24 hours, 4 years into her plight (what was awaiting her on her return - and yes, she did leave again with him - was a horrifying 3 years in which she was kept in a box under his bed for 22+ hours a day).

- I often find myself darting from one site to another, watching videos and reading articles prompted by the watching and reading of others. Here are a few videos and articles that, this week, have struck a chord (please be aware Louis CK is NSFW!):
  • This Medium article by Rachel Cramer (and from there a few others, which I'll leave to you to search for if you are interested in further reading!)
  • I'm not sure how, or why, I came to find these posts but I spent a fair time pouring over them and their responses before going on to read around the subject (sensitive topic related to pregnancy):
    • Original Babble article from Dad
    • Mum's response 
    • Some of the additional reading I did, which can be found here and here
- I've just become the owner of 'The Fault In Our Stars' by John Green and 'The Casual Vacancy' by JK Rowling and have made a start on the former. In the last few hours I've read nearly 200 pages thus have felt the need to put it down and force myself to do something else for fear of reading it too quickly. It's a great feeling when I find a book I adore and wish to swallow down in one sitting but the loss felt when I have to put it down for good isn't so great!

Tori Smelt
Glistering Rain
Image Credit: Wesley Nagelmaker
- The fresh air after rainfall. There's nothing quite like it, as if the day has been given the opportunity to start anew. Autumn is most definitely upon us people.

- My new face wash and moisturiser, both from Good Things, both very fruity. The blackberry in my moisturiser lingers for a good while after I've rubbed it in and I very much like it!

Tori Tasted
Vegetarian Spaghetti Bolognese
Image Credit: Trudy, Veggie Num Num
- A lentil bolognese I very much threw together (I didn't have Puy lentils, nor could I find any, so I chucked some green ones in instead) on Friday. I hated it. The boy thought it was really nice. Our tastes differ A LOT at times!

- Cadbury's new Cookie Nut Crunch bar. Meh, didn't like it as much as the squishy one (aka Jelly Popping Candy Shells - yeah, like I'm ever going to call it that). Funny smell. Next to try? The sweet n' salty combo that's Cola, Pretzel and Honeycomb (say whaaaat?!) 

Tori Felt
Image Credit: Jessica
- The negative impact of a shopping trip which resulted in a midweek loss of confidence and attack of self-loathing. This is to be the topic of - fingers crossed - my next post. I recorded myself talking about the situation and am mid typing-up what I had to say. I really do hope I organise myself enough to publish it as I really would like to know what you all think.

- The cold air of a new season lingering in the evening, stretching out into the morning hours. Our bedroom is starting to get a little nippy and memories of last Winter keep flickering in my mind as a result.

Tori Listened To
Arctic Monkeys
Image Credit:
- AM, in it's entireity, again and again get it, I'm sure

- These bad boys:
  • Is there any more perfect a video than Coldplay's Strawberry Swing? Love the album, too
  • Some soft rock in the form of Extreme's More Than Words. Ever the classic. 
  • My favourite Swim Deep track from their album Where The Heaven Are We?