January 2019 Favourites

Favourites

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I hope everyone has had a good start to the New Year (even if you have had a few cheat days on your resolutions!), I can’t believe January is over already, I always find that January is such a sad month, Christmas decorations have come down (Bournemouth gardens almost looks like a war zone!) and everyone is either really motivated to start afresh or a little saddened because the new year isn’t as they had hoped. Its all just a bit cold and wet really. Anyway, despite some January blues, here are a few of my favourites from film and books to clothes and beauty from this month…

Lets start with movies as due the cold and wetness mentioned above there have been quite a few cosy days snuggled up watching a movie whenever I can get the chance…

  1. I watched ‘The Favourite’. Overall it was a cleverly done film, a very alternative take on the period drama – certainly not something I had ever seen before! Some people will love it and others will hate it – it was a bit weird and wacky so if thats your thing I would definitely urge you to go and watch it. Emma Stone and Olivia Coleman were superb in it; definitely worth all the nominations.
  2. NT Live: The Tragedy of King Richard II – this really is theatre rather than a movie but I saw it in the cinema as I couldn’t get up to London to see it. I am a huge fan of Shakespeare’s plays – particularly the histories- and so it may not be to everyones tastes but I loved it. Simon Russell Beale gave a sublime performance as Richard, I thought he was also incredible as Falstaff in The Hollow Crown. It was a different, more modern take on Richard II, really emphasising the timeless themes of the play.
  3. Mary Queen of Scots – I actually really enjoyed it although it has not had the best reviews from critics (scoring 63% on RottenTomatoes), I thought Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie were excellent as Mary and Elizabeth, respectively,  playing the roles as ambitious women who were torn between their heads and their hearts. I have not yet seen such an action packed period movie with female leads in it and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

When I was not quite in the mood for a movie, these were the books I read…

  1. The Song Of Achilles by Madeline Miller – I cannot rave about this book enough. I read it in just over two days, it was incredibly captivating and a really fascinating take on the Iliad story telling the tale of love between Achilles and Patroclus. (For a full review see my last blog post)
  2. I finished The Handmaid’s Tale; I would recommend it for what it is about but not really for it as an enjoyable or captivating read. It’s dystopian so it is supposed to make you feel a bit uncomfortable and make you question where society is heading.

I have now started reading Millers second book ‘Circe’ which I am really enjoying so far.

I have also had the opportunity to go to the theatre this month and saw Hamilton! Everyone has been raving about this musical from its debut on broadway and the musical was amazing in London – I learnt so much about American history that I might otherwise never had known whilst listening to rather catchy songs.

Talking about songs, here are the new music releases that my ears have been loving…

  1. Florence + the machine, Moderation.
  2. I’ll come to, James Blake
  3. By the way I forgive you, Brandi Carlisle

On to what I have been wearing…

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I LOVE these Office Boots, they add a bit of ‘rock & roll’ to what my sister likes to call my ‘Victorian ghost’ outfit.  They are relatively comfortable but certainly not a shoe I would like to be walking around all day in (they have a pointy toe and have a slight high heel after all!)

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Beauty…

I haven’t really tried out anything new in beauty this month, I am, however, continuing to love the Origins Face mask I mentioned in my 2018 favourites.

Food:

Had a delicious lunch whilst in London at Tom Kerridge’s restaurant – my family didn’t love it so much, they say you can judge any restaurant by the taste of their chips and they weren’t up to their standards! However I really enjoyed my fancy English breakfast style dinner – if breakfast is on the dinner menu, then it is a great restaurant in my eyes!

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Thanks for reading! What were your favourites from January?

10 Gift Ideas For Any Occasion

Beauty, Fashion, Favourites

With Christmas just around the corner you’re probably thinking about what to get for the special people in your life. It can be difficult buying presents for people for any occasion particularly if you are under a tight budget. Here are a couple of my favourite unique finds…

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For the Tavel lover – Scratch Map

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They can scratch off the places they’ve been on the map and plan trips they hope to go to. The idea is that they will try to scratch off as many places as they can. I have one of these my self and I love it.

If they are a student there are loads of gap year and bucket list books by lonely planet that you can get on amazon or any good book store.

For the book worm – Book cover locket

I think these are so unique, they do a variety of book covers so you could find their favourite classic novel to put on to the locket.

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For the film lover – popcorn machine and bags

I mean it is their own cinema at home!

or for the person who wants to get into movies… a scratch off 100 bucket list movies poster 

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(photo from amazons website linked above) 

For the music lover – (if they have vinyls) a vinyl frame, new earphones or portable speaker. For the person who I into hearing all the classics there is also a scratch off 100 albums bucket list poster.

For anyone – books

I don’t think anyone can go wrong with a book, it can be about anything they are interested in from gardening to traveling. There are loads of thoughtful books on Urban outfitters if you need some ideas.

 For the fashion aficionado – The new fashion rules by Victoria Magrath

I have followed Victoria’s blog for a long time now and she has the most amazing style and knowledge of fashion – definitely something a fashion lover would love to delve into.

For the Make up addict – Makeup storage or a set from their favourite brand. ASOS do some great ones by a variety of brands or if you want to go more upmarket SpaceNK do some beautiful sets as well from bath and body to lipstick and eyeshadows.

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For the foodie – something for the kitchen or you can get books of the best places to eat in different cities.

For the sentimental – A photo book

I recommend Snapfish as I have used them before – the quality is really good and they are the cheapest company I can find that do them. I did one for my Dad documenting all the places we had travelled to and adventures we had been on. You can customise the pages yourself, adding text, changing the layout of the pictures and the background.

For anyone – Candles or bath things

Everyone likes gifts that they can use to relax. My favourite bath oils are from Aromatherapy – they can be a bit pricy but smell amazing.

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I hope this little guide helps! Do you have any go to or unique gift ideas that you love? Tell me in the comments 🙂

Thank you so much for reading!

5 Tips for festival packing

Travel

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Last weekend I went to RiZE festival in Chelmsford. It had an amazing line up – Stereophonics, Liam Gallagher, Bastille, Rag n Bone Man, James bay… the list goes on. Whilst there my friends suggested I wrote this post as they both couldn’t believe I had brought so little with me. So here are a few of my tips for festival packing…

 

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1. Pack light.

For RiZE festival I took a pair of trousers, shorts and 2 tops so I could mix and match my outfits. Then I recommend bringing a couple of jumpers, one you can use as a pillow by putting it inside a pillowcase and another if it gets cold at night in the tent or in the evenings although to be honest, when you’re in the crowds of people dancing its pretty warm anyway.

2. Check the weather.

If it’s not going to rain you will only need a couple of pairs of shoes. I just wore my timberlands because I knew it wasn’t going to rain all weekend, if theres a slight chance I would bring flip flops because then if your feet get muddy you can just wash them off. However if you know its going to rain its time to bring those wellies out.

3. Remember toilet roll and hand sanitiser.

At any festival the toilets are always a problem, they usually run out and its much easier if you have your own.

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4. Bring a small bag.

If you have a big bag they are unlikely to let you into the arena, and if you only have a small bag and have packed lighter it will take less time getting through security.

5. Invest in a bum bag.

They don’t cost very much, Im pretty sure mine was the cheapest one on amazon but they are incredibly handy – you don’t have to worry about someone stealing your bag or leaving it anywhere and you can keep all of your valuables close to you.

These are only a few tips I have found that work for me but, obviously, you may have to pack more if its longer than a 2/3 night festival. But  I hope you have a great time at what ever festival you are going to, they are such a laugh and amazing fun particularly when you are with a good bunch of people and there is a great line up – have the best time 🙂

 

July Favourites

Favourites

Its almost August! I hope you have had an amazing July and been up to some exciting things. This month, I thought I’d share with you some recent favourites as I have not done a post like this in so long and there are some incredible films, theatre and books i’d love to share with you.

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Beauty:

To be honest, I don’t tend to mix up my beauty regime very often; I wear the same makeup every day (if any at all) and have had the same skincare routine using the Proactive 3 step regime twice a day and it has been the best skincare products I have used to date so I stick with it. However a couple of months ago was my Birthday so my sister Kindly got me the IT pore perfecting powder which I have been loving adding to my everyday makeup particularly as it’s getting so much warmer to set my Makeup on those days I do decide to wear it.

Fashion:

My most worn item of clothing this month was probably my grey Timberlands, which I brought in the sale the month before (sometimes it’s good to be a size 8 haha) because they are the comfiest shoe I’ve owned, I’ve got the lightweight ones so they are not heavy and you can walk around everywhere without getting sore feet.

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Films:

I have managed to tick a few movies off my movie bucket list this month; King Lear (A new adaptation of it that recently came out with Anthony Hopkins) , About time (what a thought provoking story!) and The devil wears Prada (I can’t believe I hadn’t watched it till now, it’s so funny). Unfortunately I hadn’t managed to get to the cinema last month but there are loads of film I really want to see.

I did, however, go to the theatre and finally got to see The National Theatres production of War Horse. It was absolutely breathtaking, It was so well done and really captured the emotion of the book. The book was my absolute favourite as a child, I remember reading it before the Steven Spielberg film came out and because the words of the book were so fresh in my mind (being from Joey, the horses, perspective) thinking the film was rubbish (having rewatched it more recently I could fully appreciate it) and worried the theatre production would be the same but it was so clever with the puppets and incredible set design.

Series:

The Hollow Crown: I know this is not a new series, but I have only recently discovered it and have loved it. If you haven’t seen a lot of Shakespeare so far but want to get into it i’d definitely recommend The Hollow Crown – the acting is superb and the storyline is really understandable even though the language is that of the Elizabethan era. I particularly liked Henry IV part 1, following the story of Henry IV (played by Jeremy Irons) and his son Prince Hal (played by Tom Hiddleston) and the journey and commitment it took to be on the throne.

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Books:

This month I have read The Da Vinci code by Dan brown, A Dolls House (a play by Henrik Ibsen) and have just started reading a Handmaids Tale and Angels and Demons (the prequel to the Da Vinci Code). I really enjoyed The Da Vinci Code,  I have read a couple of Dan Browns’ novels before and I love them because despite an incredible thrilling story you also learn a lot about symbols, cultures, history and architecture along the way which is really interesting and puts you into the mind of this highly intellectual Harvard professor.

A Dolls House was also excellent, admittedly it had a bit of a slow beginning, but the ending is incredibly powerful – Ibsen explores the wife and husband dynamic and treatment of women in the 19th century. So far Angels and Demons is very similar to The Da Vinci Code story line but it may get better as I’ve only read the first couple of chapters, and the Handmaids Tale beginning is very captivating, diving straight into this dystopian world Atwood has created. Ive seen the first series of the BBC adaptation which was good although a little confusing so i’m looking forward to how the book pans out.

Overall I’d 100% recommend The Da Vinci Code and A Dolls house and i’ll keep you updated on the ones I’m currently reading on twitter, instagram and on here.

Music:

Tom Odell’s new song ‘If you wanna love somebody’ came out recently so I have been loving listening to that and I very much am looking forward to his new album that comes out in October.

Next month I have got a few things I’m looking forward too, hopefully going on holiday somewhere with my family and going to RIZE festival with a couple of friends.  But I have just got back from Pub in the Park in Bath; Tom Odell was playing and there were lots of yummy food stalls from some very talented chefs, pubs and local food stores.

Thank you so much for reading!

What have been your favourites this month?

Book club: On My 2018 To Read List

Book Club

One of my resolutions was to read more. I have always loved reading but over the last couple of years schoolwork seems to have taken over and my passion for reading diminished a little. I am currently reading Origin by Dan Brown, an author whose books I have come to love, I’m about half way through and I’m hooked. Now it may be reading over schoolwork!

This is my  ‘to read’ list for the rest of the year…

Sense and sensibility – Jane Austin

I’ve been wanting to read one of Jane Austins novels for a while, I’ve seen the films and I really enjoyed Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and Jane Austin apparently writes in a similar style. Its also one of those classics that I think will be really interesting to read.

Hidden Figures

The film was incredible, Looking at the women in Science who were behind making the Apollo mission possible but were never recognised at the time. Its supposed to be a really empowering read and a compelling look back into history.

Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine

This is currently one of the best sellers on Waterstones and looks like a thought provoking story line.

To kill a mocking bird

This is one of my friends favourite books and she’s been urging for me to read it for a while. Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the thirties through one man’s struggle for justice.

The Da Vinci Code

I am currently reading Origin, which is Dan Browns newest book of the Robert Langdon series, and I read inferno last year but I have never read the earlier books so I really want to read the first book to see where it all started. A lot of people say this is the best one too so really looking forward to reading it later this year.

Wild

I really enjoyed the film and it was a really poignant story about a woman who backpacks across America to find herself. I had wanted to read it before watching the film but I never got round to it – better late than never… right?

The Road

I think I am going to be reading this in English next year along with A handmaids tale and its always good to be ahead 😉 haha

A pair of silver wings

My dad recommended this book to me – he claims it to be one of the best books he’s ever read so i’m looking forward to seeing if I find it as good as he claims it to be.

If you have any book recommendations please let me know! It is such a struggle to find a good book and I hope that my reading list may have helped you. For my other recommendations please see my ‘book club’ section xx

 

How to get an A in GCSE Art

Art

Art. Art is not as easy as many think it is, there is a lot to do and a lot to think about. I looked at a lot of blog posts and videos whilst doing my GCSE art about sketchbooks and how to achieve the best grade which is why I wanted to do a post like this to see if I can help anyone doing GCSE art now because it can be tough. These are a few of my tips and a little look into 2 out of 4 of my sketchbooks over GCSE, I got an A in both of the ones here and my earlier ones are B grade.

Our exam topic was Beginning and or end, my final piece was a portrait of my friend shouting ‘ maybe you should change your perspective’.

Our mock topic was Past present and/or future. This was one of my favourite topics because I could be more creative with it and explore different ways I could portray people. I painted on people, experimented with palette knife painting and began to find myself more as an artist.

And then we had two other topics; Object and structure. Object was my worst sketchbook because I hadn’t really got into the flow of GCSE structure, by year 11 I had a bit of a routine; Artist, photography, responses. Sometimes I wold respond directly from the artists work to get the colours and techniques more accurate.

My top 5 tips:

  1. Take lots of photos.
  2. Develop your work until you don’t feel it can get any better or have a better idea.
  3. Explore lots of different materials; sewing, painting, drawing, ink, texture etc.
  4. Choose a subject matter you enjoy painting. For me it was people but yours could be anything from flowers to city scenes to cars.
  5. Write about your thought processes as to why you choose this particular artist and about what you like or don’t like in your own work – be critical.

best of luck if you’re doing GCSE Art, I’m sure you’ll do amazing! Just keep doing what you love above anything else, if you love what you’re doing it will show in your work xxx

Have you got any tips for doing art at gcse?

Why it is important to believe in yourself

Advice

Believing in yourself is so important and I never really realised that until recently when I realised that my self doubt was getting in the way of achieving my goals and aspirations. Being your biggest critic can be a good thing when you want to improve yourself however it can make you doubt yourself and discourage you away from your ambitions. I realised I was beginning to let a fear of failure get in the way of moving forward.
Its strange because my parents would often tell me how confident and presumptuous I would be as a child, that I would say I could do everything – hurdles? Yep I could do that. Learn the piano? Easy.
Recently its been the complete opposite.
So after this epiphany, I am going to start believing in myself again. My own self doubt can no longer be the wall between me and my goals.

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Self belief is the most important thing ‘If you don’t believe in yourself no one else is going to believe in you’. There is not a single person who has succeeded in their aspirations who haven’t believed in themselves. With each set back it is their self belief that brings them over that hurdle and get back up again. Don’t believe me? Here are a handful of celebrities stories: (this is all information I found online, in other posts and in interviews)

Ed Sheeran is one example. He wasn’t the singer he is now when he was younger but he believed he could do better and had the passion for music that he became the artist he is today. He was also homeless for a while and was busking on the street but continued to believe that one day his aspirations and dreams would be a reality.

I recently watched an interview with Taron Egerton about how if he hadn’t believed in himself he wouldn’t be an actor. He didn’t get into drama school the first time round but this didn’t knock him back, he still believed he could be an actor and tried out the second year. And GUESS WHAT? He got in. His film “Eddie the eagle” also seems to focus on the topic of believing in yourself and proving everyone wrong. There are many other films, too, that focus ambiguously on self belief such as La La Land and Bridget Jones to name a few.

More Celebrities who believed in themselves and never gave up including J K Rowling and Emily Blunt:

https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-famous-people-who-will-inspire-you-to-never-give-up

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Saying I will start believing in myself is one thing but actually believing in myself is much more difficult. So I’ve looked up a few ways that can help you to stop self-doubting and helping you to believe in yourself.

  1. One way is to write down all of you achievements. Write down everything from the smallest accomplishments to the larger ones.

2. To talk to yourself like you have won, like you are the best, to say to yourself all the time that ‘you are going to succeed’ ‘you are the best’ etc. The same goes if you have issues with loving yourself to say stuff like ‘I look beautiful’ ‘I look great today’ etc.

3. Create a vision board; put everything on it that you want to achieve, everything that you want your life to be like and use it as a constant reminder that that is what you are going to achieve and the you can achieve that. One way to do this online is through Pinterest, you could pin photos of things that inspire you from motivational quotes to photos of places you want to travel to things you want to be able to achieve.

4. People can stop believing in them selves when they start comparing themselves to others. I am guilty of doing this sometimes but then I have to remind myself that my achievements are personal to me and cannot be compared to someone else’s. ‘IntheFrow’ has done a really lovely post about why it’s not worth comparing yourself that you can read here.

For some more ways to believe in yourself visit these useful posts:

http://jackcanfield.com/blog/how-to-believe-in-yourself/ 

https://www.wikihow.com/Believe-in-Yourself

A few quotes to think about:

“Doubt kills more dreams than Failure ever will”

“Be fearless when it comes to life and Be Careless when it comes to what people say and think about you’

“Prove them wrong”

“I can’t think of any better representation of beauty than someone who is unafraid to be herself” – Emma Stone

“the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” – Eleanor Roosevelt

‘Believe you can and you’re halfway there’

Thank you for reading! I really hope that this post has helped you in same way, please remember that you can do anything you set your mind to, believe you can and you will be able to achieve it. Never let self doubt had you captive, believe in yourself and break free from your own limitations. Dare to be you. Believe in you.