My boxset picks of 2012

Hmmm hopefully it will be warm enough soon to watch boxsets al fresco

Long winter evenings are made all the more enjoyable by a great boxset. I am only a recent devotee of boxsets having been introduced to them through The Wire which ate into my sleeping hours with its cliffhanger episodes.

But over the last few months I have been loving The West Wing, I know it’s old but I had never seen any of it and it is so clever, sharp and well written. In fact fiction was mirroring real life as I watched episodes featuring the NewHampshire caucuses only to then watch them on the news after. It was created by Aaron Sorkin who also wrote The Social Network among other movies.  In total there are seven seasons and 22 episodes per season so it is a big investment of time but for me a great investment. I finished it last night and am now feeling a mixture of emotions saying goodbye to the end of this era.

So in a bid to stave off withdrawal pangs I have started compiling a list of what boxsets to watch next. This is based on personal recommendations from friends, colleagues and strangers alike and will be making their way into my sitting room hopefully in the next few months.

Would love to hear of any more?!

My 2012 Boxset Picks

The Killing: The Danish one, not the American one I am told by well informed sources. There are stark differences beyond just subtitles including different endings and the Danish is apparently far superior. It starts with a murder investigation led by a smart and tough female detective, Sarah Lund. Each episode is a day in the case. Addiction rating: 8/10

Borgen: From the same makers of the above Killing, this is again Danish but a political drama instead. Following on from the international success of The Killing, the producers penned this and it’s apparently The West Wing in Danish. Addiction rating: 8/10

Homeland: Described as an American psychological thriller series which focuses on a CIA agent (played by Claire Danes) investigating a prisoner who she believes has turned to the other side and now is a threat to national security. Addiction rating: 7/10

Downton Abbey: British period drama series which seems to appeal to viewers across every generation. Not usually my type of series but bought season 1 & 2 for my mum for her upcoming birthday so might look to borrow it after. Also Shirley McLaine is now set to join the cast for the third season. Addiction rating: 7/10

Treme: This has been on my list for a while now. Set in New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina, it follows residents trying to rebuild their lives. It’s currently on its fourth and final season. Addiction rating: 8/10

Breaking Bad: Only heard about this yesterday so it’s fresh off the press and a bit of wild card but I am assured it’s very watchable.  It follows an underachieving chemistry genius turned high school chemistry teacher who when informed he has terminal cancer, turns to using his expertise in chemistry to provide a legacy for his family… by producing the world’s highest quality crystal meth. Addiction rating: 8/10 (no pun intended)

So these are my picks to get me over the bereavement of finishing West Wing, would love to hear more if you have them!

Bright Idea

I don’t know about you but it has been raining here for almost 48 hours but as my mother always said ‘the flowers need it more than us’

With this in mind I came across this great DIY idea for hanging flowers decoratively using old lightbulbs. You may have an orchard of trees or a solitary branch like me but I think this brightens up any rainy day

Now that’s what I call a flash of brilliance <ahem>

The Reading Nook – Jeffrey Eugenides

I love this reading space, can see myself lounging here all day!

 

I have to confess, I was more than a little excited when I read that Jeffrey Eugenides was releasing a new novel late last year. I became hooked from the first time I read The Virgin Suicides, a potently short novel employing a Greek chorus style of narration it packed a punch that lingered long after.

I followed this up with Middlesex. This is a multi generational tome with a central character with a difference. A wonderful read, in fact I would put it in my top list of all time favourites. I chose it for my book club (which has been going for three years now) and recently many of us were agreeing that in those three years it still stands apart from the crowd.

So The Marriage Plot is the latest to hit the shelves. Well I was one of the first to pick it up and settled into in with more than trepidation. My expectations were very very high following Middlesex but I wasn’t disappointed. The Marriage Plot is a very different style to Middlesex and I applaud an author who has the guts to write something really different as a follow up to a previous bestseller. Some similarites persist  – As always Eugenides gets into the head of characters like few others can, in this case a searingly honest look inside  the tortured world of a manic depressive, a young religious studies student dreaming of unrequited love and searching for answers to universal questions and a young bright woman whose greates flaw is that she is a hopeless romantic. I don’t know if fans of Middlesex will think this better or worse – for me I am nto comparing them. The Marriage Plot stands alone and once again Eugenides has proved he is one of the best contemporary fiction writers out there at the moment.

Would love to hear anyone elses thoughts?!

Spring Daytime – Fashion Picks

Spring Daytime

TIARA silk blouse
$245 – reissonline.com

H m blazer
£25 – hm.com

Skinny jeans
£38 – topshop.com

Ankle booties
£125 – lkbennett.com

Mango zipper bag
£40 – mango.com

Mango bracelet
£8.99 – mango.com

River Island floppy hat
£25 – riverisland.com

Pretty picks

Really like the tailoring of Reiss pieces and feel they wear well, my mother is a great dress designer and makes all her own outfits. She has taught me the importance of fabrics and cut which are the Holy Grail when shopping. My picks for this week are the following:

I love this top from Reiss, it’s so fresh for spring and girly. It’s GBP129 on the website.

But River Island have a very similar one below for only GBP25 so a big difference in savings!

 

There are some other alternatives like this one below at H&M for 24.95 euros.

River Island also have this pretty Victorian looking blouse.

And Penneys has a selection of blouses in creamy and nude tones for spring so get hunting!

My Weekly Picks

Hi there,

I spend a lot of time reading blogs and online content on everything from music to reviews of gigs and theatre. Coming up to pay day or some big event I always look at fashion blogs to see what’s out there and what the latest beauty crazes are. Also being a total bookworm I am always looking for recommendations on books to read and to share with my book club. I’m also working my way through some great boxsets and movies and some not so great ones. This is all the stuff I love looking through so I hope to bring it all together here and share my favourite picks of the week from movies and TV to books, cultural stuff going on and beauty and fashion (with a particular weakness for shoes…)

If you like what you read please feel free to share, I would love to hear from you – Nicole