Sunday, 30 May 2010

Life takes a new turn - good times

I can only apologise for my lack of blogging recently as you can probably tell (title of post being a MASSIVE give away) changes are on the horizon! Very good changes of course, but changes that require my time and energy nonetheless.

My lad or TB (The Boy) has got himself a job in Caerphilly (South East Wales) so that means we are moving to Cardiff. We are going to be city boys and girls :D Hurrah!! I am very excited on many levels, TB gets to do a job that will challenge him and further his career in Marketing, we get to resume our lives together in a cosy flat (hopefully) AND we get to live in a city! A city that's getting more vibrant and cosmopolitan by the day.

It's a sort of Gavin and Stacey story... even better!

So.... in the quest to find a cosy love nest in a matter of weeks, have an operation (blog post for another day) and contemplate hauling my ever growing personal belongings or junk to a new place I will blogging intermittently.

Until the next post, Ciao my lovelies.

Love, SGS xoxo.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Guilty Pleasure: Slush Puppie

Nice, ice, baby....

I have a sweet tooth... you may have noticed. Many of my blog posts involve food and sweet, childish stuff in particular - my love of peanut butter, jaffa cakes, werthers originals and anything remotely fizzy, e number laden and would appeal to young 'uns, is what I crave.

I don't think even when I was younger I craved sugar as much as I do now. Without a form of sugar during the day I literally slump, slur my words and resemble those adorable zombies from 28 days later.

You can imagine my delight when it was announced in work that there was a new shop on the High Street that sold Slush Puppies. It has to be one of the weirdest little shops I've ever been in and it's stock looks like it was recently taken off the back of a lorry.

If you need a selection of cards, banners and party accessories (inc. willy head boppers) or tutus and womens lingerie -you're in luck. Also if you're ever in the mood to buy one a pair of childs boots  or one pair of womens heels then you've hit the jackpot.

Luckily it's redeeming quality is the gleaming Slush Puppie machine that sits on the counter and what with that cute dog licking his chops after devouring a slush, who I am to resist?

Slush Puppie de jour was red and blue mixed - c'est magnifique. Go on, treat yourself and remember to truly revert back to being six again - poke your blue/red tongue at strangers :)

Lots of love, SGS xoxo

Monday, 24 May 2010

Sun Lovin' Odd Behaviour or SLOB syndrome: Are you affected by it?

Sun cures all ailments*

Don't you just LOVE a bit of sun? I certainly do.

There is something about the sun that makes normally glum Britain a happier place, we forget our moans about tax, mortgages, David Cameron and Jedward and skip outdoors en masse to BBQ, sunbathe, buy ice cream, paddling pools, drink copious amounts of cocktails and Pimms and generally act a bit mad.

I think there is a syndrome attached to this behaviour, there must be or we wouldn't all dramatically alter our behaviour when the Sun pokes its brilliantly shiny head from out of the clouds. I will call it Sun Loving Odd Behaviour or SLOB for short.

Here are my findings:

Cause of SLOB syndrome:

High pressure, sunshine and soaring temperatures over 10 c

Publics affected:

SLOB syndrome affects the majority of the British population from all ages.

Typical SLOB syndrome behavior:
  • People's general appearance changes dramatically - Many men decide to walk around topless, physique is not an issue ripped or rotound they get their torso out. Girls of all ages wear demin shorts that barely cover their bottom cheeks. Flip flops are the only footwear considered by all genders. Older men decide that string vests and handerchief hats are appropriate.
  • Many famillies decide that all meals are to be eaten outside and many of the meals are in BBQ format. Food items not normally consumed regularly are eaten in large quantities eg. Corn on the cobs, meats on skewers and every condiment known to man. 
  • The sentiment "I never burn" suddenly applies to the majority of Britons who decide not to apply suncream in the unusual heat and therefor turn into walking Lobsters and red people.
  • The media cover any temperature change high or low in extreme details. Headlines such as 'Britain Sizzles' appear frequently on newspapers, while cheery looking news presenters do outside broadcasts from parks, fountains and beaches.

SLOB syndrome can only be treated by rain - pouring, torrential rain.

Am I suffering from SLOB syndrome? I'm off to a BBQ for tea, wearing flip flops, denim and will be applying no suncream whatsoever after burning on the weekend... you decide

Enjoy being a SLOB syndrome victim while you can

Love, SGS xoxo

*not factually proven

Thursday, 20 May 2010

GaGa + Glee = Ecstatic Me

There have been some fabulous combinations in recent years...

Ant + Dec, Reggae Reggae sauce + Subway, Kenan + Kel, Milli + Vanilli and Kate Moss + Topshop.

However, there is something so special about the next combination because if there is only one thing I love more than Glee and Lady GaGa it's Glee and Lady GaGa together.

On May 24th the Glee cast pay homage to the Queen of Pop and Avante -Garde (sod off Britney) Lady Gaga, 9pm on E4.

This union is extra special for me because I do LOVE them both. Glee is a ray of sunshine on an otherwise glum and painful Monday night and well GaGa... she inspired to me to go blonder and have a fringe you know.

The recent Madonna episode of Glee was genius, the production on Glee is always top notch but they took it too a whole new level for this episode. The songs, choreography and storyline was superb and Sue Sylvester's portrayal as Madonna in a shot for shot copy of 'Vogue' will hold a special place in my heart for a long time.

I have high hopes for the GaGa episode, and although there are already videos and the songs are climbing the iTunes chart at a terrific pace... I am waiting for it cold turkey, no videos or clips. I will not substitute for the real stuff, the sweet, sweet injection of pure Glee + GaGa directly into my corneas and eardrums on Monday night.... Arghhh I need a fix.

Not watched Glee before? Think it's stupid? Well, why not watch Monday's and tell me you didn't enjoy the production of at least one of the songs... you'll be a Gleek and a Little Monster in no time.

Ra ra ra ah ah - Ro ma Ro ma mah - Ga Ga Oooh la la - Want your Bad Romance*

Love, SGS xoxo

* For those that think I might have a had a stroke and fallen on the keyboard, it's actually Bad Romance by Lady GaGa - get with it!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Marina and the Diamonds: Gig Review

Marina and the Diamonds came to Cardiff's Millennium Music Hall on Sunday, May 16th.

New act Spark kicked off the night, a very talented 18 year old lady from East London who for me sounded like a fusion of Marina, Ellie Goulding with a pinch of Ke$ha and Lily Allen cheekiness but ultimately her lyrics and vocals held their own.

Spark was up against it initially, the crowd were impatient and standing almost two hours without anyone on stage took it's toll but she completely won me over and my aching feet were forgotten about. I can safely say she won over the crowd too and her set was short, but very, very sweet. 

Highlights were 'Shoot Out The Moon', 'Blow' and 'Revolving' which included wind up doll movements from the glamorous Sparks, always a winner! I predict this lady is going to not only Spark but Ignite the music world very soon (vom-tastic). Check out her MySpace page and Twitter @sparkthemusic.

Eventually a projector kicked into life with some Marina visual concept images and the lady herself bounded onto stage to belt out 'Girls'. The self beaded tights were a massive hit and her energy lifted the whole crowd.

Marina pronounced she was glad to be finally be in Cardiff and was sorry that she didn't have a Welsh accent, think I can forgive her on that!

The lights went blue for 'I am not a robot' and lit up Marina's neon lipstick, hair and plastic hearts with the crowd belting out the chorus.
What really shone through the performance was Marina's excellent vocals, not only has she got a good range but her voice is unusual and powerful.

Marina exited the stage for a swift costume change and delighted the crowd with a great rendition of 'Hollywood' aptly wearing Mickey Mouse dungarees and oversize heart sunglasses that Sir Elton would gladly give the nod to.

The tone of the evening went from energetic to peaceful as Marina played on the keyboard and tenderly sang 'Obsessions' and 'Numb' with the eager fans as supporting vocals.

Another swift costume change and one of the highlights of the night was when Marina performed a cover of 3OH!3s 'Starstrukk' feat. Katy Perry from her recent appearance on Radio 1's Live Lounge. Her vocals were top notch and the crowd happily added the whistling parts.

Suitably, Marina ended her performance where it began with an energetic rendition of 'Mowgli's Road' and the crowd barely needed encouragement to 'Cuckoo' on cue - anything for Marina! 

Marina only dipped her toe into the realms of performance art and set design for this gig but I'm sure we can expect far more from her concerts in October. This was Lady GaGa's Monster Ball Tour on a budget, but still excellent and effective.

What I love and admire about Marina is on her stage presence, she is captivating and fun to watch, she clearly loves performing and delights and endears the crowd with her energetic dancing, close to perfect singing and ability to get the audience excited effortlessly. 

This was everything I wanted from seeing Marina and more... so worth the hours of standing, up close and personal body contact and bad singing from the girl behind me.

Love, SGS xoxo

Monday, 17 May 2010

101st Blog post - pop those corks

Hurray I made it!

I meant to write a blog on my 100th post... ummm it didn't happen :( so I'll write on my 101st instead.
I can't quite believe I've reached this point, this really started as an outlet for my feelings and thoughts and I'd like to think I've got some funny stories/observations to make and blog about things that interest a wide variety of people - Music, Fashion and Film reach a lot of people in many different ways.

I'm proud that I blog regularly and have kept at it, as we know life is unpredictable and some weeks are just not made for blogging but I've had at least one post every week since starting so I'm really pleased.

So for now I will continue my quest to post things of an interesting nature and gain some more followers...

Love, SGS xoxo

Friday, 14 May 2010

Boo hoo shoe: (Not) keeping the Faith

Lately, do you ever get the feeling you're in the midst of a horror movie when you're in some shopping centres?! There's an eerie quiet, a few people pottering around and shop fronts are shuttered or covered with '50% OFF SALE', 'CLOSING DOWN' and 'LAST FEW DAYS'. I'm just waiting for some knife wielding crazy person run towards me (I have an over active imagination).

The economic downturn has hit retailers hard over the past few years and sadly some brands and stores just haven't weathered the storm.

Fashion stores in particular have been hit pretty hard in the retail world. USC, Elvi, d2, Adams, Barratts, Bay Trading, Qube have all closed their stores. In 2009, Fashion Group, Mosaic, who owned Oasis and Warehouse went into administration but luckily were saved and remain on the High Street today.

So as I walked into a fairly busy Swansea shopping centre today the familiar shop front window caught my attention.... '20% OFF ALL STOCK' was plastered on posters on the windows and rather than a knife wielding pyscho, there were some glum looking shop assistants and racks of shoes. Faith footwear retailers are set to be the next shopping chain to be axed from the High Street after going into administration.

I felt so sad looking at the shoes, prices marked down and looking for a home... yes, I do seem mad but I absolutely LOVE shoes and do feel a bond to some of my mine - blame SATC, not me!

Debenhams may look to buy Faith to broaden it's footwear range but until then, go to your nearest and Faith store and give a pair of shoes a home... you  know you need them ;)

Love, SGS xoxo

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Tunes for a Tuesday - new and old

After spending a whole hour last week watching some great past performances in the Radio1 Live Lounge I decided that every week on Tunes for a Tuesday I should put an 'oldie but a goodie' video as well as new music.

This week I'm doing the electric slide to....

Katy Perry - California Girls

A slice of pure pop heaven from the soon to be Mrs Russell Brand (yes, it's still on amazingly). Katy Perry is back with 'California Girls' soon to be released on her second album and I love it! It's instantly anthemic and catchy with a electro-pop type beat...think Ke$ha but better.  Brilliant to sing along to, for us Brits we will just have to pretend we are in California*... Croydon Girls doesn't have the same ring does it?! *as I type it's raining :(

JLS - The Club Is Alive

As I write this I am listening to this new JLS track, and I'm still not convinced.... I just think everyone should hear it once. It's chaotic, jumps from rnb beats to almost trance/dance and with voice distortion... almost Taio Cruz inspired, again an artist I'm not sure of. What you will also immediately notice that the first words are 'The club is alive, with the sound of music'.... and there are no hills, Von Trapp family or Julie Andrews figure in sight. Maybe it's a grower... sort of shows progression for the JLS boys, I'm sure it'll delight their fans... unless their video consists of them grinding on Julie Andrews... ewww.

Blast from music past

Lupe Fiasco - Superstar (Live in the Radio 1 Live Lounge)

Lupe Fiasco has got to be one of my favourite rappers, his lyrics are original and emotive. He is smart, you don't hear many 'bitches' or ho's' in his cleverly constructed verses and his musicality is fantastic. What I love about this performance is that Matthew Santos delivers a great vocal on the chorus and the song, already brilliant, seems even better performed acoustically. 

Love, SGS xoxo

Monday, 10 May 2010

The interviewer v The interviewee

On the other side of the table...

I am no stranger to interviews, infact I have had more than a few interviews in the last year or so that sadly haven't resulted in a new job. I can't say I'm a pro at them (clearly I'm not or lets face it.. I would have a new job by now) but I'd like to think that I have picked up some good techniques and know how to prepare for them. I find it pretty easy to tell when I've completely pulled the pin or interested the interviewers.

My job situation is strange, for two days I work as a Communications Officer and I have recently been employed by the same organisation to work another two day as a Development Volunteering Officer. Yes, you are probably bewildered... so am I really, but that's four days of paid work so I can't complain (too much).

My new role requires me to have a Clerical Assistant, "Great" I thought, that might make my task easier... until they asked me to be involved in the recruitment process. So now I have to be a Line Manager and be involved in the recruitment process, I must admit I pouted like a child at the news. I am a creature of habit and fear change as much as I fear being stuck in a lift with Piers Morgans, that's loads!!

I am used to being the interviewee, researching the company, practising my answers to common questions, reading over the job and person specification and ironing my suit (or not, my Mam does it). No way did I want to be on the other side of the table.... I would feel like a fraud, pretending I was important or in any way comfortable with asking questions.

Me highly strung?! Never... anyway, after going over the questions and marking systems, viewing the applicants and then setting the interview date and times I felt only slightly less pouty and ready for the task. I do realise that being able to say I have been a Line Manager and been involved in the interview process is a very good thing for my career, another sentence to add to the CV but if you refer to paragraph 3, you can see how stubborn and awkward I can be.

Interview day, the bell tolls at 10.15am ready for the first candidate and she doesn't show.... half past..... quarter to... she's a no show. 11am looms and we wait for the next candidate.... a leaf blows outside the glass panelled door - no sign of the boy... 11.15... nothing.... 11:20 he arrives late but nonetheless takes the computer test and enters the room.

I have assembled my score and question sheet and try to put on a 'I'm a professional' smile and appear relaxed, luckily I am joined by a board member and other member of staff so we take it in turns to ask questions and after careful consideration he is hired. The third candidate failed to show... the leaves kept on tumbling.

What advice can I give to an interviewee from this experience?

  1. Try not to be too nervous, chances are there is at least one person on the interview panel that has little or no experience in interviewing and feels nervous too

  2. Do be on time or if you know that you are going to be late phone ahead, it's not great to leave the organisation uninformed

  3. The questions are designed to find out more about you, your past experiences and how you match the role - don't forget to look at your CV, the job and person spec beforehand

  4. It's important try and keep eye contact with your interviewer, looking at your hands or at the floor is never good

  5. Being as honest as possible is important, if you have no direct job experience of a task or action asked then don't make something up completely false... try your best to relate it something you've done in your personal life.
Think I'll go back to being the interviewee now... phew...

Love, SGS xoxo

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Use your vote: You've got until 10pm

How could I not comment on the General Election on polling day?!

I don't claim to be an expert on politics, I have more general knowledge about things that make barely any difference to the world at all.... Sex and the City, Twilight and Louboutins, oh yes I'm very much a Heat generation kinda gal.

I do recognise the importance of using my vote, we 'the people' don't often get the power to voice our opinions on a national stage. Ok, so we can vote for our favourite wannabe on X Factor, but choosing an airhead with a decent voice hardly has a dramatic impact on our day to day lives does it?

The next leader of Britain has a very tough job on their hands, the recent economic situation will have impacted everyone, whether it's redundancy, mortgages, house prices or even petrol costs. The war in Iraq is a topic where everyone has an opinion and something that has seriously dented the chances of another Labour government. There are so many issues that impact our lives in one way or another, and it's up to us to decide who we think is best capable of tackling them.

If you are unsure who to vote for then do what I did and try this website Vote Match. It'll give you statements from policies of the parties and determine who best to vote from your answers, my results were exceptionally close to one another but I think it confirmed what I had already been thinking.

Remember: Use it, Don't lose it!! 

Love, SGS xoxo

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Guilty Pleasure: Beyonce turns Betty Draper

Even though Beyonce is meant to be on a break from the music scene she's just realised a video for 'Why Don't You Love Me' off her album 'I am... Sasha Fierce'.

The video shows Beyonce as B.B Homemaker a 50/60s domestic goddess and home make with a man problem. Cue heels, curls, smokes, eyeliner, lipstick, drinks and underwear as outwear... I love it!

Obvious comparisons are with 60s sweetheart Betty Draper from series Mad Men, set in 1960's New York where men rule and women are oppressed. Betty is a housewife, mother, beautiful, likes chain smoking and looks effortlessly glamorous when horse riding... yet it's not enough for her philandering handsome, Ad Executive husband Don, the b******.

So Don, Why don't you love me? (ahem.. Betty!)

Love, SGS xoxo

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Radio 1 Big Weekend in Bangor: Pob lwc I fi.

If you're not a Radio 1 fan then perhaps you won't know, but they are holding their annual Big Weekend event on May 22nd/23rd in Bangor... yes that's Wales, North Wales (Google map it). As a person from South Wales I can say that I've never been to Bangor, I've been to New York, Morocco and Edinburgh but never Bangor.

I'm not a festival person, I like the idea of Hunter wellies and a summer dress but not after sleeping in a tent and disregarding your personal hygiene. So that's why this is perfect for me, it's one day and is fully commutable to (very annoying I could get to London in the same amount of time it would take to get to Bangor).

I've registered for tickets for Sunday, after an agonising decision whether to go for the Saturday or Sunday that is. In credit the line up for both days (minus some shite) is very good. Common sense prevailed and I decided I didn't want to be slobbered on and/or eaten by Justin Bieber fans on the Saturday in the miniscule chance I actually win tickets.

The full line up can be seen here. To give you a taste here are the line ups for the Main Stage:

  • Florence and The Machine
  • Dizzee Rascal
  • Alicia Keys
  • Lostprophets
  • Cheryl Cole
  • Justin Bieber
  • Chipmunk
  • 30 Seconds To Mars
  • Scouting For Girls (shite)
  • Rihanna
  • Pendulum
  • Biffy Clyro
  • Ke$ha (shite live - auto tune it please)
  • JLS
  • Paramore
  • Jason Derulo (pure shite)
  • Pixie Lott
  • Paolo Nutini
Fearne Cotton has just announced the acts that will be performing in the Live Lounge tents:

Saturday: Florence, Lost Prophets, Example and Joe McEldry (he has a mangina*)
Sunday: Taio Cruz, Kate 'bit-ah' Nash, Diana 'claw' Vickers and Biffy Clyro

I'll let you know on Thursday.
Love, SGS xoxo
* not confirmed