Goodbye 2014…

Seeing as I’m not doing anything for New Years Eve tonight (I have to be up at 6am for an away trip to Manchester City!) I thought I’d write a bit about my year.

As some of you might know, my dad passed away in November 2013, two years after my mam passed away, so although the start of the year was pretty tough, I’d like to think my dad had a hand in how brilliant 2014 has been.

2014 was my 10th year supporting Sunderland, and was by far the best!

We went into January bottom of the league, having been bottom at Christmas, and only one team had survived relegation before after being bottom at Christmas, but as D:Ream, and the adopted Sunderland chant would say, things can only get better!

In December, we’d beaten Chelsea 2-1 in the Capital One Cup, meaning in January we faced Manchester United in the semi finals. The semi finals! Even just reaching that was an achievement given how bad our league form had been. The first leg was at home on a cold Tuesday night, where we won 2-1, thanks to an own goal from Ryan Giggs, and a Fabio Borini penalty.

The away leg was on January 22, and has to be one of the most stressful and draining football games I have ever been to! Ex Sunderland player Jonny Evans started the scoring, bringing it to 2-2 on aggregate, until former Manchester United player Phil Bardsley scored deep into the second half of extra time, 1-1 on the night, and Sunderland through 2-3 on aggregate. However, being Sunderland, we don’t do things the easy way, and Javier Hernandez scored in the dying seconds. 3-3. I thought that was the game over, I’d totally lost track through all the drama, and thought United had won in until one of my friends pointed out it was penalties. I only have bad memories of Sunderland and penalty shoot outs, so I was dreading it, but after some heroics from Vito Mannone, Sunderland won 1-2 on penalties, and were off to WEMBLEY! 9,000 Sunderland fans going absolutely crazy at Old Trafford! We booked our trains and hotel on the way home, and I literally didn’t stop grinning the whole journey!

February 1, and an away trip to St James’ Park for the second Tyne Wear derby of the season. We went into this game having won the previous two derbies, the one at St James’ we’d won 0-3, and was the first time I’d seen Sunderland win there. Amazingly, once again despite how poor we’d been doing in the league, we managed to win 0-3! Three in a row! Of course this was the game that caused mass riots throughout Newcastle City Centre, including the unforgettable scenes of a man punching a horse – poor Bud!

March brought one of the best weekends of my life. A trip to London and Wembley. We had decided to go down on the Saturday, and come home on the Monday. We were staying in an apartment in Greenwich, with amazing views over London.

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On the Saturday night, we knew there was going to be a party in Covent Garden, so we headed down and it was crazy! A few thousand Sunderland fans singing in the streets, tourists had no idea what was happening, we met up with one of my friends, George, and we were having a few drinks with him and a few other North East journalists when former Sunderland player, chairman, caretaker manager and general legend Niall Quinn turned up. George is good friends with Niall, so we were lucky enough to be invited up to the flat above the pub where Niall was, and we were able to stay and chat with him and his family for a good few hours. He even insisted I had a couple of glasses of champagne, even though I was already a little bit tipsy! It was a pretty amazing night, one I definitely won’t forget!

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Sunday we headed to Wembley, with a mixture of nerves and excitement. I was lucky enough to have visited Wembley before with my dad, and England game against Germany, which Germany won 2-1, but I couldn’t help feeling sad that my dad wasn’t there with me. He’d seen Sunderland at the old Wembley a few times, but never at the new Wembley, and I’d never seen us there.

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The atmosphere was incredible, 30,000 Sunderland fans singing their hearts out. Even thinking about it now it gives me goosebumps! Fabio Borini scored the first goal of the game in the 11th minute, and the place went wild! I watch a lot of games of football, and not many fans go as crazy as ours do when we score, you end up hugging random strangers! I always end up with a lot of bruises caused my celebrations!

Unfortunately we went on to lose 3-1, which I don’t think reflected the game, but nevertheless, I was incredibly proud to support Sunderland that day, even though I was a little heartbroken. Maybe one day we’ll get back there again.

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The game after the cup final, we had the chance to book a spot at Wembley again for the FA Cup semi finals, but a very disappointing game at Hull and a 3-0 defeat left us with the league to concentrate on.

At the end of March, it still looked very likely that we’d be getting relegated, with 8 games left, against teams like Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United. Staying up seemed impossible.

However, something changed mid-April, a 2-2 draw with Manchester City away, where victory was snatched away from us with a couple of minutes remaining when the ball rolled under Vito Mannone. A tough trip to Stamford Bridge followed, Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, who had never lost a game at home.

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Incredibly we managed to win 1-2, with a Fabio Borini penalty ending Jose Mourinho’s 78 game unbeaten run.

We won our next game 4-0 against Cardiff, and climbed out of the relegation zone, albeit on goal difference alone.

May, three games left, starting with an away trip to Manchester United, where a Seb Larsson goal ensured our first league win at Old Trafford since 1968, and left us three points clear of the relegation zone. We followed this up with a 2-0 victory at home to West Brom, and secured safety. Unfortunately we lost the last game of the season, but thankfully it didn’t matter. Gus Poyet had pulled off the great escape!

Miracles happen, Gus!

This season hasn’t been quite as exciting yet, but Adam Johnson gave all us Sunderland supporters the best Christmas present when he scored in the dying minutes at St James’ Park to take our derby victories to four in a row!

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Thank you Sunderland for giving me a fantastic 2014!

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Happy New Year everyone!

Lyndsey 🙂

Christmas Jumper Stamping

I got this stamp in my recent order from Born Pretty. I’m not brilliant at stamping, but I decided to give it a go and I was really happy with how it turned out! The only issue I really had was stamping the design on straight!

I’d also wanted something red and white, as it was the first Tyne Wear derby of the season on Sunday, which Adam Johnson nicked in the last few minutes to give Sunderland the 0-1 win, meaning we’ve now won four games in a row against Newcastle! It would be nice to make it five in April, but Adam Johnson has certainly given us all a fantastic Christmas present!

I used piCture pOlish Monroe as a base, and the white Konad special polish to stamp.

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Lyndsey 🙂

World Cup Nail Decals

Hello everyone, I’m back (again!) I haven’t really done my nails much over the last month, I’ve been letting them recover after finishing my acrylic and gel courses (I’m now a qualified nail tech!) I’ve also been trying to make some progress tidying my house out so that I can redecorate one of the bedrooms. A couple of weeks ago I sent THIRTEEN bags to a charity shop!

Obviously I have a lot of swatching to catch up on, but I have a lot of posts planned for the next few weeks.

First up, World Cup nail decals! The 2014 World Cup kicked off in Brazil last week, and as I was so busy I totally forgot to do some sort of nail art for England’s first group game. Then I remembered that I’d bought these decals a few months ago from Born Pretty, so I put them on today, for England’s crucial game against Uruguay later. Hopefully they’ll bring some luck!

The polish I used is Models Own HyperGel White Light and Red Lustre.

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Capital One Cup Final

Today is the day. The day I get to watch my beloved Sunderland play at Wembley, in a cup final. Something I never thought I’d see. But here it is! Win or lose, I’m so proud to be a Sunderland supporter today. Days like these don’t come around too often for us, and I will be savouring every minute of it. The walk down Wembley Way, which I last did 7 years ago when my dad took me too an England game. Sadly, my dad isn’t here to see us in the cup final, hopefully the lads can win it for him. Buying any piece of tatty memorabilia I can find, singing my heart out as the lads walk on to the pitch. I can’t wait.

Being my first cup final, I had to do something special with my nails, something which I have been planning since that emotionally draining semi final against Manchester United back in January. I ordered some water decal paper from craftycomputerpaper, along with some acrylic spray, organised the pictures I wanted in a word document (it took a few attempts to get them the right size!) and printed them on to the special paper, then sprayed it with three coats of acrylic spray.

The finished result isn’t perfect, I probably should have practised first, but I still love them!

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Have you ever tried making your own water decals?

Lyndsey 🙂

Ha’way The Lads!

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Old Bond Street

I’ve had such a hectic week this last week! Last Tuesday, I went back to college, to start at Nail Tech course, 8 weeks for gel nails, followed by 8 weeks for acrylics. I could have cried when I was told I’d have to have a couple of my nails filed down to practise the tips on each other, even the girl filing them down felt bad! I’m trying to stick with my right hand so I can keep my left for my swatches! I don’t like wearing tips, and broke one off pretty badly last night, so I soaked the other off, leaving me with two very short nails 🙁

Then, Wednesday. We travelled down to Manchester for the second leg of the Capital One Cup Semi Final, Manchester United v Sunderland. We were winning 2-1 on aggregate, and I think I went through every single emotion going that night! Just before half time, ex-loanee Jonny Evans scored, meaning that if we didn’t score, in normal time or extra time, United would go through on the away goals rule. Extra time came, and I could feel my Wembley dream slipping away, until the last couple of minutes of extra time, when Phil Bardsley scored against his former club, six years to the day since leaving them to join us. Bodies flying everywhere in the away end, we were going to Wembley, until about a minute later, when Hernandez scored, taking it to 3-3 on aggregate, and penalties (I’d lost total track of the score/away goals, and thought we were out at this point!) I certainly wasn’t looking forward to penalties, I only have bad memories from important penalty shoot outs, and it was time that changed. Obviously, being Sunderland, they missed the first two. Darren Fletcher gave United the lead, Alonso responded, Mannone saved Januzaj’s kick, Kiiiiiiiiiiiii scored. Phil Jones then missed his, meaning Adam Johnson could send us through, but De Gea saved. Thankfully it didn’t matter and Mannone saved Rafael’s penalty, sending us to WEMBLEY! Almost a week later and I still can’t believe I’m going to a cup final at Wembley, I’ve hardly stopped smiling!

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Saturday, we had another cup game, this time the FA Cup 4th round, against Kidderminster, which was a terrible game, but an early goal from Charis Mavrias secured our place in the 5th Round.

All that has given me very little time to swatch, but I should hopefully get a few done this week! Before I started college on Tuesday, I got a tweet from BeautyBay to tell me I was one of their winners for their #ShowUsYourNails competition, and I won the Nails Inc Autumn Winter collection.

This is the first one I tried from the collection, Old Bond Street, and I am in love. A stunning deep inky violet blue, with a glossy finish. My pictures show three coats, but I could have gotten away with two.

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Lyndsey 🙂

Derby Day Nails

It’s that time of the season already. Derby day. Sunderland v Newcastle. It’s been a while since I mentioned football on my blog, mainly because I’m totally fed up with it. But, derby day calls for some red and white nails, even though I’m pretty sure we’re going to get thrashed. Hopefully they’ll prove me wrong and I’ll be over the moon again like last time.

I just went for something simple this time, OPI The Impossible with Solitaire as an accent nail, topped with two coats of HK Girl.

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Lyndsey 🙂

Gradient Tutorial

On Sunday, I was in London again for the last game of the season (boooooooo :() Tottenham v Sunderland. Unfortunately we got beat (and I missed the goal!) and now I have a long summer with no football. No doubt I’ll spend even more time doing my nails! I had an hour to spare when I got to London before I had to meet everyone in the pub, and managed to spend that whole hour in Victoria’s Secret! But I did get a free umbrella, worth £70! (I don’t know why anyone would pay £70 for an umbrella!)

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Its been a while since I first did gradient nails, so I decided to give them another go, and do a quick tutorial while I was on, even though there’s probably much better tutorials than mine!

Start off by painting your nails white, I used two coats of Models Own Snow White.

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I use a make up sponge, they’re cheap to buy, and don’t have any large holes in like other sponges sometimes do. I then cut it up so its just larger than my nail.

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Paint the sponge with the polish, you need to be quite generous, as it sinks into the sponge. I used Barry M Greenberry, Models Own Lilac Dream, and Pastel Pink.

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Dab the polish onto the nail, side to side, and then slightly up and down to blend the colours together.

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It is very messy! But that’s quickly cleaned up with a cotton bud, brush and pure acetone.

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I also added some tribal nail art using the Barry M nail art pen.

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Lyndsey 🙂

Clowning Around

The party with Paolo continues! It’s 10 years since I first started going to watch Sunderland, and I don’t think I’ve ever been as excited as I am at the minute, even though the season is nearly over! Today, I was back at the Stadium of Light for Everton v Sunderland. It’s crazy to think the last time I left the SoL three weeks ago, Martin O’Neill was sacked and everything was looking gloomy. Paolo turned up, and beat Newcastle on their own turf for the first time in 13 years. Next up, Everton. A team we haven’t beaten at all in TWELVE years. Not once. So, I had never seen us beat Everton. Surely Di Canio couldn’t beat both Newcastle and Everton in the space of 6 days? Of course he could! Another lovely goal from Stephane´Sessegnon secured the three points, and we’re one step closer to safety. The passion Paolo Di Canio has brought to Sunderland is incredible, and I think everyone is proud to be a Sunderland supporter again. There’s still a month left in this season, but I already cannot wait for next season!

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Picture: Sunderland AFC

On to my nails! The second polish from my Lush Lacquer haul, Clowning Around. This polish is all sorts of amazing. Who could not love neon glitter? Clowning Around is bright, multi coloured, different sized hex glitter in a clear base. The glitter went on really nicely, some of the large pieces were a little stubborn, but they were pretty easy to fish out. My pictures show two coats over Models Own Snow White.

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I’m also very excited because my new Barry M nail art pens arrived this morning! (Grab all 4 on Nail Polish Direct for £17.95) so I’m going to be testing them out over the next few days! Has anyone else tried them?

Lyndsey 🙂

Spun Sugar & Derby Day Delight

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What a crazy 16 days it has been to be a Sunderland supporter! 16 days ago, Sunderland sacked manager Martin O’Neill after a 1-0 defeat to Manchester United. The following day Paolo Di Canio was appointed as manager, and a media storm followed. Di Canio’s first game resulted in a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, but everything felt a lot more positive after a good performance. April 14 was a day I’d been dreading for a long time. This year is the tenth year I’ve been going to watch Sunderland, and in those ten years, we’ve only beaten Newcastle once, and there has been a couple of humiliating defeats. In all honesty, I had prepared myself for another defeat, any last bit of confidence left me when I saw the team line up and Connor Wickham was out through injury, meaning we were left with Gateshead-born Danny Graham, who once said he would stay as far away from Sunderland as he could if he club ceased to exist.

I took my seat high up in the sky, with my legs still feeling like jelly from climbing 14 flights of stairs, and my stomach doing somersaults with nerves, and my fear of heights.

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As expected, the atmosphere was brilliant, lots of singing, but you could feel the nerves! After a couple of penalty shouts, and a nasty, dangerous challenge by Gouffran on Adam Johnson, the breakthrough came in the 27th minute, a great finish from Stephane´Sessengon. Cue wild celebrations in the crowd, and from Paolo Di Canio!

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Credit: FeintZebra

A couple of minutes after taking the lead, Simon Mignolet pulled off a brilliant save from Papiss Cisse, and Sunderland went into the break at half time winning 1-0. I still wasn’t confident. On our last trip to St James’ Park, we were winning 1-0 at half time, and Shola Ameobi came on to score the equaliser in the 90th minute. I’d have been even more worried if I’d realised Shola Ameobi had come on to replace Gouffran at half time, but I only found this out today when I watched the game again on TV.

Around 10 minutes in to the second half, Elliot came on to replace Krul, after the Newcastle goalkeeper landed heavily and dislocated his shoulder. An hour into the game, Cisse had the ball in the back of the net, but to our relief it was (wrongly) disallowed for offside. Alan Pardew’s reaction when he finally realised it had been ruled out was priceless. This was luck we usually don’t have, especially in derby games.

With 15 minutes left in the game, Adam Johnson went on a brilliant run and fired the ball into the top left corner. 0-2!

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Credit: FeintZebra

Another crazy celebration from Di Canio!

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Credit: FeintZebra

I began to believe that we could actually win. There was still the chance that we could implode, but as the seconds ticked by, this became less likely. Just over 10 minutes until full time, and I was happy celebrating a 2-0 victory, when BOOM! An absolute beauty of a goal from David Vaughan sent us wild once more, and gave us the victory, along with those incredibly important 3 points. I nearly burst into tears!

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Credit: FeintZebra

I have never seen any Sunderland manager since I’ve been going show such passion for us, and going so crazy on the touchline. Even when we sang ‘Paolo, give us a wave’ he gave us a wave and then a fist pump!

I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder of the players than I was yesterday. Players that will now be spoken about in years to come. People still talk about Gary Rowell’s hat trick against Newcastle in 1979, Niall Quinn’s header in the rain at St James’ Park in 2000, Keiron Richardson’s free kick at the Stadium of Light in 2008. In years to come, we’ll still be talking about those three brilliant goals, and of course, Paolo Di Canio’s wild touchline celebrations. Thank you Paolo, for instilling passion and belief into the players and fans once again.

Away from football now, last Thursday I had 6 inches chopped off my hair! It feels super short at the minute, but it’s made a huge difference to how knotted my hair gets, even when tied up my hair before would end up with massive knots in it. I was out in Durham again for my friends birthday, and wore a spiked pocket leather skater dress from missguided.

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For my nails, I attempted spun sugar for the first time, using Ciate´Mistress, and Barry M Matt White. Spun sugar was actually harder than I expected, mainly getting the polish to the right consistency. But I loved the finished look, even though it’s not perfect.

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I did have to add a top coat, just to make sure it lasted for three days. The 3D effect disappears with top coat, but I still loved it, and it lasted until derby day, even going crazy I only chipped a tiny bit off!

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Lyndsey 🙂

Swimsuit… Nailed It!

Swimsuit… Nailed It! is part of OPI’s Miss Universe collection, which was released in 2011. I love blue nail polish, so when I spotted this on eBay, I had to get it! Swimsuit… Nailed It! is a stunning electric blue foil polish. There aren’t enough words for how much I love this polish, it might have even overtaken Baker Street as my favourite blue! The formula is brilliant, and I only needed one coat! You do have to be very careful not to get it on your cuticles though, as it isn’t easy to get off!

Pictures show one coat with top coat.

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So, this weekend is the big Tyne-Wear Derby, Newcastle v Sunderland, obviously I need red and white nails. If you follow me on Pinterest, you might notice I’ve been pinning a lot of red and white manis recently for inspiration! I’d love to hear some more suggestions!

Lyndsey 🙂