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

 

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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?

The next step

Lifestyle, Thoughts

So I now have just started sixth form! I realize that I never actually seemed to do a post on the end of GCSE’s or what the exam season was like for me but i’ll include it in this post (better late than never, right?).

Year 11, for me, was really just like any other year up to that point just a lot more boring and a little more revision. Boring because you don’t really learn anything new and its pretty much recap than a whole load of exams. However I didn’t find it stressful; I just went through the year thinking my whole school life I’ve been doing exams – why should I treat this any differently? I just made sure I did as much revision as I could fit in, then I know that that is the best I can do. If you have just started year 11 then my biggest piece of advise to you would be to keep calm and stay organised. Treat yourself after a few hours of revision and make sure to keep emergency snacks of choice at hand!

Our school gave us a meal plan of the best foods to eat during exam season for ‘optimum revision and focus’ but lets be honest we need something to get us through and I definitely was not planning to have a salad after revising all day. Pizza and chocolate were my go to’s and they definitely helped 🙂

If you are anxious or stressed read this blog post on a few of the ways that work for me to relax and unwind. The biggest thing is to try and have a balance between revision and doing other things you want to do like meeting up with friends or going on a walk. To read this post click hereeeeeeee.

And to view my posts on studying and a couple of revision tips click hereeeee and hereee

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Results day- oh what a joyful word haha. To be honest, results day is actually okay, everyone is in the same boat and has different expectations of themselves, My tips to remember on results day are:

  1. remember you have your own expectations of what you can do. Some people are happy simply to pass others will not be happy unless they get straight As. Everyone is aiming for something different,
  2. On that note also remember to not compare yourself to anyone else! I knew a few people with pretty much straight A* s but that’s fine, I was really pleased for them and I was also okay with my own grades because I  knew I had done the best I could do.

So now its A levels! Already I know that they are such a big step up from GCSE. Most people told me that A levels will be the most difficult 2 years in terms of education and exams, even more of a step up than university.

I am taking chemistry, Biology, art and English literature.

I chose 2 sciences because at the moment i am thinking of studying veterinary medicine at university but I am torn between doing something in science or doing something more creative so there is no way I wouldn’t do art. And I think i’ll drop English lit at the end of the year.

AFTER GCSE you have the choice to go to a sixth form, college or do an apprenticeship as you have to stay in education until the age of 18. I chose sixth form because I know that they normally get better grades. The sixth form is also a part of the same school as my secondary school so i already know most of the teachers and where i will have to go etc. its not a massive change to get used to like going to a whole new school will be.

whereas in college you get a lot more independence but that can sometimes mean that a lot of people there might not care about what grades they get and that’s fine too. Its also great because everyone there has a chance of a fresh start. Its all down to personal preference.

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So A levels… i have been studying my subjects for around 4 weeks and i do have to admit it is so much work! everyone told me that the step up from GCSE  to A levels would be really difficult and they were right. Particularly as at our sixth form you have to study 4 subjects in the first year whereas it seems in many other schools now you only have to study 3. They don’t do AS level anymore either so it feels like we are doing a lot of hard work for nothing! Hopefully ill get used do all the work  soon aha

Have you just gone back to school/ sixth form / uni? if so how you finding it? x

I really hoped you enjoyed this post, just a little update of my student life haha, please like and subscribe! Id also love it if you have any suggestions for future posts,  just let me know in the comments 🙂

 

 

Happy New Year!

Advice

2016 has been a great year despite the many losses of amazing celebrities. But now its time to welcome in a hopefully incredible 2017! as the saying goes; tomorrow is the first page of a 365 day book, write a good one!

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Photo taken in New York

Most of us make resolutions to make the year even better and to create an even better ‘you’ but we also are not likely to actually keep these resolutions and I am definitely guilty of this! So here are a few ways we can stick to our goals:

First, I am investing in a planner! This is probably something everyone does to be able to schedule and keep up with important plans throughout the year. But I particularly want to get a bigger planner this year that I will actually use so that I can manage my time more effectively. I have never been good at time management but with my exams in the summer of 2017, mapping out my time is going to be very important; I don’t want to be stressed out with the fact ‘I haven’t scheduled enough revision’ or ‘I haven’t written a blog post’ or any of the above. The planner I have got this year is the ‘gold marble diary’ on Oliver Bonus that I got in the sale (money saving may be a resolution haha) -which you can get here.

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Another resolution I’m going to try and achieve next year is to have fitness routine that I am actually going to stick to. I know that a lot of peoples’ goals are to ‘lose weight’ or ‘to drop a dress size’ and a lot of people don’t keep up with this goal by the time May rolls around, a way I’m going to try to actually stick to a routine as by scheduling when I will have time for a workout in my planner and by doing a form of exercise I  enjoy doing so i am more motivated. At the moment I do exercise but it’s more in occasional bursts rather than sticking to a routine so that I really feel the results of feeling healthier, stronger and more flexible. So I will do exercise such as yoga, dance cardio and cycling because this is what I enjoy whilst being challenging enough and potentially giving me the results I need. You can tick off those days that you’ve done any form of exercise in the yearly overview section of your planner, this way you can look back at the end and realise how much effort you are putting in and how much you can improve and weather you need to mix up your routine.

Also if one of your goals is to lose weight (although I am by no means a fitness expert) you need to break down that goal so that you know HOW you are going to achieve that goal. Break it down into you food plan; Are you having a balance diet? Are you eating too much etc. and plan out how you will improve your eating because that is an important part of achieving that goal. Than break it down into exercise; How much do you do now? How much time do you have to do exercise etc. Make sure you do research on those goals too so you can really achieve it and more.

I hope you all have an amazing 2017 and a new post will be up in the new year! I really want to work on my blog next year, what kind of posts do you want to see?

Happy New Year!!!!

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Photos taken with a GoPro and iPhone 7…

Link to Boxing Day blog here…

 

 

Dare to be different- My GCSE Art short film

Art

Art is definitely my favourite subject in GCSE, As part of our topic of Past,Present and/or future I decided to experiment with art in the style of Alexa Meade; Painting directly onto people to transform them into a painting.

Thank you so much to my friends for being my models and letting me cover you in acrylic paint ! If you give this a go please make sure to only use PA approved paint otherwise it will have harsh chemicals in it! i found it a lot more effective with just 2 contrasting colours but i did gradually add dome colour to one of them to show change through time (also demonstrated through the changing of seasons).

The main message I wanted to get across was that women need to empower each other, there is so much media out there that causes conflict between friends and jealousy is often the root cause. I named this ‘dare to be different’ to show that its ok to be different, its good to step out of your comfort zone, its amazing that we areal so unique. The other message was to show stepping into reality, when they step out of the painting and into the  ‘real world’ it demonstrates the unknowingness of will there be a brighter future? to show curiosity and exploration.

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TO see the whole video click here…. tell me what you think 🙂

(my video editing skills definitely need working on though haha)

practice interviews?

Advice, Lifestyle

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if you live in the uk you will probably have to do a practice interview at some point, its not something all schools do but it was in hindsight a great experience so that you can get feedback and know what an interview is like before doing it ‘for real’. I know a lot of people (including myself) get anxious coming to to an interview even if it is ‘just a practice’. Here are my life lessons (haha) from having a practice interview and other advise I’ve been told from employers:

  1. first, breathe! if you’re anxious and this counts for any situation, breathing is always the best way to calm yourself down. For me if i know am overly nervous i know that i am more likely to go blank if they ask me a question and i won’t think clearly so breathing really helps to get out of that mindset.
  2. act confident, interviewers like to see that you turn up with a smile on your face, good posture, a firm handshake and seem like you know what you’re talking about.
  3. I speak really quickly so a definite tip to my future self is to take it a little slower next time!
  4. Have a career\ life goal in mind. The most my practice interviewer wanted to know was what I am planning to do with my life, that i can set goals for myself and how i am going to achieve those goals.
  5. If you a student really take all the opportunities you can, i know that there are so many people who come to having an interview and have nothing to say for what they had done at school and what responsibilities that had taken on. This could be work experience, volunteering, helping out the school in some way or generally getting involved in anything your interested in

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I am by no means an expert in career advise, i have only done a practice interview but this may help those who are about to have there interviews.

For our school we had to find a smart outfit to wear so all the boys wore suits and girls wore dresses or suits. It was a good experience as my interviewer gave me advise at the end and thoroughly went through my cv as to what was good and what i could add or remove.

what advise do you have for interviews?

have you ever had a bad interview experience?

The Kanken rucksack

Fashion, Style

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Recently I brought the Fjalraven re-kanken backpack in sunflower yellow. It was pretty expensive at £70 but I really wanted a backpack that was going to last me a long time and a bag I could bring with me anywhere, it only made sense but to buy it in my favourite colour-yellow.

It is big enough to fit my a4 folder and all my school books in it which is really useful . I went for the re-kanken instead of the original because one; it is better for the environment being made out of 100% polyester plastic bottles and using eco friendly spin-dye technology (ohh how eco i sound) but two; I also liked that the logo blends in with the bag giving it a more contemporary feel in my opinion, I was debating though as I equally like the 90’s feel of the logo being more on show.

I love that backpacks are becoming more on trend now, they are so much more comfortable to carry around with you. it is a bag that would be great for travelling too and ill definitely be seen in a crowd! I’m really pleased with the choice of colour though as I  was concerned with it being too bright which I’m not too keen on, It is a lovely between mustard and bright yellow colour which will probably get nicer and a little more faded over time. Yellow also adds a bit of colour to a minimalistic outfit and is a positive colour too.

what backpacks do you like?