Monday, 26 September 2016

On Getting Older

I saw this the other day in a pub and it really tiggled me!

Do you feel these?!

Sunday, 25 September 2016

On Sundays

Boyf and a couple of my friends from university moved out into London this week. Two of us ended up going to Ikea, mainly for the meatballs...partly for practical reasons. But mainly the meatballs. I got twenty. I felt no shame! 

I am spending today celebrating with my family for my Nan's birthday; afternoon tea here we come! Les parents went away this week and I have barely spoken to Mother since Monday; I am looking forward to a good catch up! (She doesn't have a phone - I know.)
 I hope you're all having a good Sunday!

Bobbi Brown writes a letter to her younger self. This is really lovely and inspiring.

Want to see inside Kate Spade's apartment? Now you can!

This video from Oprah. It is so motivating. And only a minute!

How female staffers in Obama's cabinet got their voice heard.

Avoiding 'like-chasing'; I didn't realise this was a term, but it's so true.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 24 September 2016

On Graze

Graze boxes are by no means a new thing. I first tried them when I was back in school (at least 7 years ago!) Obviously at the time I couldn't really afford to be paying regularly for a box of snacks to be delivered to my door on a regular basis. 

Yet it was still something that the novelty didn't really wear off. I still got excited about the box arriving. I still got a little thrill wondering what the box was going to contain (sweet options all the way please). So when I retried the service a couple of weeks ago I couldn't wait for it to arrive.

The system over the years has obviosuly changed and adapted and I think works really well now. You can much easily choose exactly what kind of foods you want and you can schedule them to arrive exactly when you want them. (I scheduled mine for when I knew I would be in to avoid disappointment; or worse, someone else eating it!)

The selection of food that they now have has also increased massively; there are so many options. And to my biggest surprise, they are still cheap and affordable! Not to mention they have a really good loyalty programme in which you get your 5th and future boxes free. They also still send you vouchers for your friends! 
What is also great is that you can cancel your subscription and restart it at any time, hassel free. This is normally an issue with subscription boxes, that you get stuck in the automatic renewal. But not with Graze! It is so easy to get out of, but also back into as well.

If you are prone to snacking on rubbish food, or just like to have some good quality and tasty nibbles around I would definitely recommend giving Graze a try! 
I also think that they are perfect for all ages! Student, workers, families, you name it! 
They have also upped their packaging game which I love. Everything is really cute. Which is always an added bonus.

Would you try Graze?

Friday, 23 September 2016

On Books | Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

I am trying not to make a habit of this, but I borrowed this book from my Nan who has never read it and it was a gorgeous copy. Leather bound and only with the writing in gold embossed lettering on the side. Yet I returned it without a photo. I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

I am just going to start this by being completely honest. The cover was probably my favourite part about this book. It had been on my list for years and years. It is known as one of those books; you know, if you haven't read it, what have you read, type of thing.
And it was just plain weird. 

The story follows Humbert Humbert, a fully grown man who has quite a piqued interest in what are referred to as nymphets, young girls. He then falls in love with Lolita, the daughter of the womant hat becomes his landlady and eventually his wife. At the beginning, Lolita is 14.
I have not given away any huge spoilers here; you can see it all happening. But for a large majority of the book I felt quite uncomfortable reading it. Humbert is an academic, a highly intelligent and respected man, yet the book follows him stumbling through sex and relationships with teenage girls. 

The writing was very good, albeit at times hard to follow what was actually happening. The story also jumped around and had a tendency to become confused. 
At the end of the book Nabokov writes himself that Humbert will probably not be liked as a character, but that this was not his intention. And it is true, he is not particularly likeable, yet there is something about him that is entertaining. 

What was really nice about the book were the references to literature, and the wittiness behind Nabokov's writing. However the story itself was just plain weird and uncomfortable. Considering that this book was writtin in the 1950s, to an audience that was far more close-minded than what we have today, I find it very surprising that my views seem to be in the majority.
I am glad I have read it, however I would not particularly recommend it. Lolita contains good writing and good character building, but much of the book makes for some uncomfortable reading (especially as a woman!) 

Yet, I can see that this book makes for good discussion. Nabokov writes Humbert's character as one that should repulse and offend. Yet he doesn't all the time. It is only when you really think about what you are reading that this does come across. The relationship and how it is developed between him and Lolita is an in-depth study of the workings behind adult-child relationships. It is merely that this one is very unconventional and not my by any means normal. 
Nabokov has managed to write a psychologically problemed person into someone that does pique our interest. Despite this, I cannot say that I particularly enjoyed the book. 

I have looked into this book a lot and would be interested in opinions and thoughts if you've read it!

Have you read Lolita?

Thursday, 22 September 2016

On Empties | The Body Shop - Early Harvest Raspberry Body Scrub

I bought this when it initially launched (I spent so much money in The Body Shop during my second year of university I could have had shares I'm sure). After going on a little scrub frenzy and trialling a whole load of others this one got a little lost. 
However upon rediscovering, I rediscovered my love. 

First things first. The smell. The look also. They are both exactly like raspberry jam. If you know me well, then you know that I love jam. I have been known to eat it straight from the jar with a spoon. And aside from not actually being edible, this is basically raspberry jam. It smells so good. With this in mind, the 'scrubbing particles' are also just like seeds. There are bigger ones and tiny ones and together these do such a good job.

You only need a tiny little amount and this spreads (haha no pun intended...) so far and really does scrub away all of that dead skin and grossness! It leaves your body feeling incredibly smooth. As with all The Body Shop's products you know that what you are getting is a high quality product using only the best ingredients, and this is no different. 

This was released as a summer collection and after my trawling, it now seems only available in the US (!!). If you can get your hands on this, I would definitely recommend it if you are a fan of very natural based and natural feeling scrubs. And ones that really work! 

The Early Harvest Raspberry Body Scrub can be found (on sale!) here.

Would you try this?

Edit - It's okay; The Body Shop have reaffirmed and it is just out stock currently! :)

Sunday, 18 September 2016

On Sundays

I had my first PSL the other day. But as it's been so hot here this week, I went with the frappe version which I had never tried! Definitely the best combination between summer and autumn! I'm spending the day chilling with my parents today; I am so happy for a peaceful day! 

Have you heard of Book Marks? It's like Rotten Tomatoes but for books! It rates books with a grade making it easy to choose your new favourite. 

Glossier. This company is literally doing so well. This article about it was really interesting. And this one! (P.S. Please start shipping internationally!)

We have recently started using the app Wunderlist. It's so handy for making any sort of list, and sharing them! 

The Dog Story. Made me actually lol. (P.S. I have a great dog story!)

Cake Mascara making a comeback?

I did not know that Meghan Markle was behind The Tig !?!?

I loved this video from Louise Pentland aka Sprinkle of Glitter.

Have a good Sunday!

Saturday, 17 September 2016

On GOMO (Going Out More Often!)

I am a big advocate of being a tourist in your own home; there is always more to do than you think! We seem to currently live in a world of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). How many times have you sat at home on a Friday night flicking through your insta feed, looking at everyone else and had that feeling that they are all doing something and you're not? #FOMO :(

This is something that we all seem to be feeling way too much. So I have been inspired by Eventbrite to give you some ideas and motivation to go out more often! Eventbrite want people to stop with all the Netflix and Chillin' and instead to go out and do something. This way, not only are YOU getting out, but you're also not missing out! (Sorry to everyone obsessed with Stranger Things...)

It may now be September but it is warm here! So maybe summer can last a little longer...and in the spirit of that, why not spend your money on some quality time with your friends and family? This will come as no surprise to those that know me, but I love food. I eat a lot. (It's really something that needs to be seen to be believed...) 
So I have put together a list of great eatery places in London that you need to go and try. As in, go and book them now and go asap. They are all different cuisines and types of food so should cover all likes and dislikes!

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Pitt Cue - 1 Devonshire Square, EC2M 4YP

Boyf and I went here back in June and we have wanted to go back ever since. Honestly, this is one of the best meals I have ever had. The meat. Ohmyword. Mouth wateringly beautiful.
I actually reviewed here at the time, which you can check out here.

Cutter and Squidge - 20 Brewer St, W1F 0SJ

I ended up here by accident the other day, but everything in there is adorable and so different to your normal cupcake kind of place! I'm not even sure really how to describe their food, but it's bloody good! Expectations combinations between biscuits and cupcakes; what could be better?!

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Shake Shack - Covent Garden, Westfield Stratford City, Bloomsbury

I first went to a Shake Shack in Chicago and have since had to go to the London ones. Everything they have here is so good. It's like your typical fast food type place, but so much better. Their burgers are delicious and the shakes. Monthly specials; need I say more!?

The Brass Rail, Selfridges

Sadly, this lovely outlet in Selfridges no longer has the neon pink signs. The d├ęcor may have changed but the food is still just as good. It is a summer tradition in my house to go here at least once. Their salt beef is incredible; they have a selection of breads and mustards which is all cut and prepared as you ask for it. Not to mention you can get a whole pickle! This is a great place for a quick bite or for a bit bigger lunch. 

Fire and Stone, 31/31 Maiden Lane, WC2E 7JS

This is a pizza restaurant with a bit of a twist; all of their pizzas are based (no pun intended) around cities. They have cities from all over the world and all of the flavours are inspired by them! It does make for some hard choosing though!

Hopefully this post has given you some ideas and motivated you to get out more often and to try some new eats! 

Eventbrite also make it really easy to organise and plan events. You can check them out here.

What are you going to do for #GOMO?

Friday, 16 September 2016

On Iced Coffee

I think I might have perfected at-home Iced Coffee. Using Mother's trial method, I have upped the game ever so slightly, and I am telling you, these are just what you need in this weird September heat we are having here. Not to mention they are so easy!

Here's how you can make yours!

Coffee - Use about three teaspoons of coffee and and with boiling water make a tinytiny amount. By tiny amount I mean half espresso size. It needs to be really strong!

Cold Water - If your cold water tap is anything like mine, have it running for a little bit about now just to make sure it's cold; you want it cold!

Milk - Pour in a lot of milk. Almost fill the glass with it.

Cold Water - Now top up with the aforementioned coldcold water.

Ice - Add in some ice cubes (ours are Storm Troopers, just sayin')

Flavour (Optional) - I sometimes add in some caramel syrup just for that extra touch, but these are good without as well!

And boom diggidy you have the perfect iced coffee all crafted by your owns hands! The key thing to remember is make it strong! 

Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, 15 September 2016

On Barbeques

Beer Can Chicken. BEER CAN CHICKEN!!!

Boyf and his family are really big into bbqs. Now I am going to preface this with the fact that I had never really had proper bbqs, thus my opinion of them was pretty narrow minded. All I had ever really had were sausages and burgers cooked at parties. Not proper meals just your typical British trying to be outdoors despite the weather bbq nibbles.

Boyf mentioned early on that he is a big bbq fan and I thought oh...hmm. (He may also have mentioned that we would have some issues if I wasn't :') ) But now I can happily announce that I am a fully fledged barbeque convert. BBQ steaks, bbq paella, bbq spatchcock chickens, BBQ BEER CAN CHICKEN (DID EVERYONE ELSE KNOW THIS WAS A THING!?). I want it all! 
Roast Sunday dinner with bbq lamb? Yes please. 
Lamb Kofta with halloumi? Yes, three please.
They make everything, meat, vegetables, cheese, just taste so good. Not to mention the, of course, smokey flavour that they add to everything. They are definitely a way to spice up your meals if you feel like everything has become a bit meh.  

I feel like I was the only one not on the barbeque bandwagon, so my attempts to convert anyone else will be futile as I was the one in the minority. Now if only my parents could get onto the barbeque deliciousness... 

Are you a barbeque fan?

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

On Homemade

A little while ago Boyf made me this washi tape holder (yes, that's right, a washi tape holder) and this little box! We had been planning the tape holder for a little while and trying to design it. The box however was a complete surprise! 

I love both of them, and they look really nice together on my desk and are so different to anything else that I have. Not to mention that nobody else at all has them! Homemade things are definitely some of the best. 

Do you have anything homemade?

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

On Books | Water For Elephants - Sara Gruen

Having watched the film around when it came out, I had never gotten round to reading the book Water For Elephants. I generally always, always, read the book before the film but this time that just didn't happen! Boyf's mum lent me this book and I got through it so quickly!

The story follows Jacob Jankowski in present day and during his youth. Jacob, now in a carehome, continues to reminisce about his younger days when he ended up working as the vet on a travelling circus. Following the tragic and sudden death of his parents, Jacob never quite finishes his final exams and with little left for him at home he, for want of a better word, runs away. He launches himself at a passing train, without knowing that he has landed in a carriage of the circus' train. 

As Jacob gets situated within the circus, he becomes close with one of the trainers August and his wife Marlena, one of the best performers on the circus. Jacob, as you can imagine, ends up falling for Marlena, which of course, is not without consequence. 
The circus eventually ends up taking on an elephant called Rosie. Jacob becomes extremely attached to her, yet she is difficult to train despite being seemingly very intelligent. Jacob watches over whilst August roughly and harshly attempts to train her to perform with Marlena. Yet August is very troubled and more often than not, things go wrong. 

Gruen writes at the end of the book how she ended up writing a book about circuses and the involvement of elephants. She references a lot of real life tragedies and amazing events that happened in the early 20th Century. Her story developed from real events and she writes in a very accurate way, describing the ins and outs of the circus as if you were watching it. (I have a crippling fear of clowns, but don't worry, they aren't involved; it's all about the animals here!) 
The story, despite having some harrowing scenes, is a very sweet and wonderfully written tale. It almost felt like it could have been a memoir of Jacob. Although not always lighthearted, the story has some beautiful moments in. 

If you are looking for a nice, well written, easy read, then I would definitely recommend this! Just be prepared that there are some aspects of animal cruelty and abuse, which are of course in this case fiction but do bring an awareness of the tragedies that did occur. Not to mention, Rosie is a completely loveable elephant!

Have you read Water for Elephants?

Monday, 12 September 2016

On Making The Bed

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Making your bed everyday is one of those things that when you're growing up you are always told to do. Not to mention how often you hear about having a tidy bed and tidy room makes for a tidy mind. I had never subscribed to any of this. Thus, I never made my bed. 

When I was little I shared my sisters room and had the top bunk. No way was I going to even attempt to make that. When I finally had my own room there just never seemed the need to make my bed. I would be getting back into it, why bother making it? 
For the past few years my bed has been against the wall, meaning that trying to tuck the wallside in was just nigh on impossible. During my time at university I was pretty much always in my bed (student houses are freezing and heating is expensive, so cosy bed it was!) What was the point in making it?

So many people said to me that maybe making my bed was the way forward with trying to be organised and feeling better about yourself. My response was always 'How on earth would making my bed do anything like that?'
Well, at the age of 22, I have finally succumbed. I have begun making my bed everyday. And you know what? It is really nice and refreshing. It is so nice to come home from a long day, or if I have been at Boyfs for the past few days to come back and see my nice, tidy, made bed. It almost feels like it is a fresh, clean bed every night I get into it. 

I can't quite say that it has changed my life in any dramatic sort of way. Do I feel anymore organised than normal? Not particularly. Do I feel better about life in general? Yes, but I can't put that all down to the bed making process! Am I glad I changed my ways? Yes!
So if you were like me and never made your bed, get up tomorrow morning, go have your breakfast, make some tea. Then make your bed. And see how it feels when you get home tomorrow evening. I promise it will be worthwhile!

Do you always make your bed?

Sunday, 11 September 2016

On Sundays

This week has been pretty crazy and intense! I have barely stopped for one reason or another; nothing that I want to mention just yet... but we shall see! I'm just trying to spend this Sunday relaxing and catching up on tv that I've missed this week.
Have a good weekend!

How often do you call your mum?

I've tried cute new cupcake places lately; Cutter&Squidge and Sweetheart. I need more recommendations!

I loved this post about the things no one tells you about friendship. 

I recently signed up to Claire Carusillo's newsletter. I already love it.

A great post about changing your eyebrows.

I am in love with a journal; but two different prints! This one and this one; I can't decide!

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 10 September 2016

On Viola Beach

Viola Beach were set to become amazing this year with their debut album being released in July. Tragically, the band and their manager were all killed in a car crash in Sweden, February of this year.
The tragedy led to their single Swings and Waterslides becoming huge. (I, personally, would not even say that this is the best song on the album!)

I got their album when it was released and it is sososo good. I don't know that if it is one of those things that it is made even better by the tragedy of it all, but honestly, it has quickly become one of my favourite albums. I have recommended it to so many people and had it on repeat for weeks.

If you haven't listened to them before, go listen now!


Friday, 9 September 2016

On Empties | Garnier Ultimate Blends - Honey Treasures

There was a fair amount of hype when these were originally launched, about 18 months or so ago. Yet despite that, I never really heard that much about them good or bad. The only things I did hear were that people weren't keen on the packaging, but that isn't something I have found particularly offputting! 

I originally got these as they are often on offer in Boots (currently buy one get one free!) I needed new shampoo and conditioner and thought I would try these. I was drawn to these ones in particular because they smell so good. I love honey and honey products anyway, so after smelling these I was pretty much sold. 
Since then I have pretty much used these solidly and rebought both the shampoo and conditioner because I knew I would want more of them! These ones are sold as being Strength Restorers for fragile hair that is prone to breakage. I wouldn't necessarily say my hair is fragile, but it is quite fine so can damage easily, so this one has definitely suited me! 

Firstly, I rarely get my hair cut. Maybe twice a year (for various reasons). The last time I got my hair cut was around March/April time. Normally my hair after about this length of time needs cutting; it gets dry and the ends soso damaged. However my hair currently looks nearly as good as when it was cut! The ends are in extremely good condition and it is not at all dry.
Secondly, I have had so many comments on how healthy my hair looks. And it's true! It feels so soft and looks really shiny and glossy (not to my blow my own trumpet here!) and it is all down to the hooney goodness!

I really cannot fault this shampoo (nor the conditioner but that is thankfully not empty!) I can only speak for the honey versions of these, but if you haven't tried any of them and feel like your hair needs a treat, definitely look into these!

What ones would you try?

Thursday, 8 September 2016

On Graduating

Being now about seven weeks since I graduated (!!!) I thought that it was now a good time to share some of my thoughts on Graduating with you all!

Graduation Day is a really strange, but fun and exciting day. It is from your point of view, basically all about you. You get to wear the robes. You get to wear the hat (which is nowhere near as fun as the robes). You get free beverages. You get to walk across a stage and get your certificate. 
Everything about your degree culminates on just that one day. It's kind of a big thing. 
And then suddenly it's all done and that's that. 

Before you graduate, but once you have finished exams and everything, you are officially termed a Graduand. The period of time is pretty great. You are on a high and loving life. You have just finished some of the best years of your life, you may not know what you're doing and the world seems all ahead of you.
Then you graduate. 
And all of a sudden you are in a whole other world as a Graduate. You need a job. You need somewhere to live. You need income. And it can take a long time for everything to properly settle down; for you to decide what you're doing and where you're going. It's exciting and terrifying all at the same time. 

My status for a siginificant chunk of my Graduand/Graduate period was 'doing nothing'. Then the reality sets in and you really should start doing something. It's a time of change, and getting rid of old things and bringing in the new. It's weird, and wonderful all at the same time. 

So essentially, I'm looking forward to this whole new chapter, but I have no idea what it entails. Which both excites and terrifies me! 


Friday, 2 September 2016

On The Beach

Nothing quite like a day at the seaside when the weather is nice! 

Happy Friday!