Thursday, 31 May 2012


image source: Tumblr

I am still shocked by how quickly this year is flying by. It is insane. 
May has been a lovely month, after a wet March and April, the sun came out to play which definitely lifted my mood!

I'm finally beginning to feel summery - cue Essie's 'Cute as a Button'

June promises to be a good month, apart from the fact I'm working the Bank Holiday (ugh)
Tomorrow is tattoo day (ahhhhh!), and at the weekend I'm popping back to Manchester to celebrate my housemate's 20th birthday. 

My playlist for May has been:
The Temptations - My Girl
Rilo Kiley - Portions for Foxes
Rilo Kiley - Teenage Love Song
Kids In Glass Houses - Church Tongue
Big Mountain - Baby, I Love Your Way
Otis Redding - Wonderful World
Bob Marley - Redemption Song

Have a lovely June! x

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

On Film: Moonrise Kingdom

All images taken from Tumblr

Tonight I went to see Moonrise Kingdom. In short, I loved it. 
It is essentially a love story between two 12 year olds, who have be communicating via letter for a year before deciding to meet and then run away together. Sam is an orphaned Khaki Scout, often described as 'emotionally unstable', and Suzy is rebellious, the eldest sibling and only daughter in a highly dysfunctional family, where her lawyer parents barely communicate, and her mother is having an affair with the local police officer. It is comedic, but also dark and almost disturbing in some ways - Edward Norton's facial expressions are fantastic. The relationship between the protagonists is cute, the soundtrack is brilliant, as always. I thought the casting was brilliant - especially as it included Tilda Swinton, whom I adore a ridiculous amount. 

I'm no Wes Anderson expert, having only seen two of his other films (The Royal Tenenbaums, which I loved, and Rushmore, which I really need to rewatch), in fact I only really got interested in seeing Moonrise Kingdom after seeing Jade (follow her blog, she's fab) tweet about it. However, I'd say this is very distinctive as a Wes Anderson film. There are the same themes and techniques applied, such as the framing of the shots, Bill Murray and Jason Swartzman included in the casting, the absence of a parent and the yellow titles. The settings used in the film are beautiful, I really loved Suzy's house with it's reading nooks and numerous bookshelves. When we were watching the film my friend said to me 'Nic, she is YOU!' about Suzy (in a particular scene she unpacks numerous books, but no extra clothing or food).

Moonrise Kingdom is almost a 'coming of age' story, as the runaway children force the adults in the film to recognise their faults, which definitely isn't a bad thing. The children are mature and serious, although naive and innocent, constantly fighting to escape and go on adventures. It is simply a beautiful, adorable story and I definitely want to see it again. 
Three reviews I read and found interesting can be found here, here and here, the first two being particular interesting to a Wes Anderson novice!

Any recommendations for which Wes Anderson film to watch next would be fab!

Thanks for reading x

Picnicking in the Sunshine

After finding out that the weather is going to turn in the next few days, yesterday I spend the afternoon at Oakwell Hall with my old friend and her new puppy.
Emma is living in Northallerton over the summer now she's finished uni for the year, so I took advantage of her being home and we packed up a picnic. I made chocolate chip scones (recipe post here) and a tortilla (recipe here) which both went down a treat.

We also went to Tesco on the way and bought some more treats, I mean what kind of picnic is it if you don't have strawberries?! It was all so tasty!

Meet Herbie (and Emma). Herbie is possibly the cutest thing I have ever met. He is an 11 week old Springer Spaniel puppy. He's also partially sighted, but he is so docile and gentle! Emma and I sat and chatted for hours, and he just laid there, drinking some water and relaxing. He is ADORABLE! He sat on my lap all the way to Oakwell. We did lay out a bit too long (and I didn't put sun cream on, even though I burn like crazy) so I ended up looking like this:

The breeze was deceptive! I had a lovely day yesterday, catching up with Emma and meeting Herbie. I also went out for a Nando's and to the pub quiz with work friends. It was brilliant!

I hope you're enjoying what is left of the sunshine! It's apparently going to get  bit greyer soon, it's definitely clouded over where I am anyway! Here's hoping it stays warm though.

Thanks for reading! x

p.s. I've bought a few things I want to show you, so I'll do a post on that soon, and also a book post. Promise!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Weekly Summary #15

Freckling up, Oakwell walks, Yummy ice cream
Finished this (review here), blogging, night in
New dress from River Island for a friend's birthday (linky), Lobster ravioli (gross), Oakwell Hall at sunset

  1. This week has been making the most of the sunshine, hence not too many blog posts. It's been seriously hot around here, about as hot as I can cope with! I'm not made for warm weather at all! It's been lovely to be able to go out without tights on though!
  2. I've bagged myself even more work experience too! It's ridiculous how much I'm doing, but I just want to do the best I can. I'll be working at Manchester University Press in November for three days in three different departments which will definitely help me to decide which route I want to go down regarding my career. I have been thinking about doing a Masters, but I'm not sure. I'll have to research more. If you've done/are doing one let me know what you think!
  3. It's my Dad's birthday today, he's 64, an oldie, but a goodie. We got him some Pete Posthelwaite books and some whisky, seeing as we had no idea what to get him. We went out for a meal tonight, and I had that lobster ravioli. It was disgusting.
  4. After the meal tonight, a friend from work texted out of the blue and a few of us met up at Oakwell Hall where we played a game of touch rounders girls vs. boys which just ended up with us all chasing each other and rolling around on the floor.
  5. This coming week is going to be yet another busy one. I plan on getting a 'To Read Booklist' post up this week, but I'm hopefully meeting a friend on Tuesday, who I haven't seen in forever, working all week, and then getting my tattoo started on Friday (!!!!) so we'll see. Overall this week has been good.
Have you enjoyed the sunshine? It's apparently supposed to rain in the latter end of the week so I'm going to be outside in the sunshine as much as possible!

Thanks for reading x

Friday, 25 May 2012

Booklust Review: The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

I put off buying this book for quite a while, mainly due to the cover art, the title and the synopsis on the back. Three pretty major parts when it comes to buying a book I guess. However, my preconceptions about this novel were completely wrong.

At the base of the story is a love triangle: Madeline: a bright and pretty English Literature student, Leonard: a ridiculously intelligent 'charismatic loner' and scientist, and Mitchell, a theology student, although not initially religious.

The novel is so much more than a love triangle though. I haven't read anything else by Eugenides (I know he wrote The Virgin Suicides, I've seen the film and bought the book recently - it's on my list) but I realised that there must be more to the novel than the synopsis lets on.

It begins at graduation at Brown University, 1981, and then travels through the stories of each of the protagonists. Each section is narrated by a third person, omniscient narrator, but also from the point of view of the character.
There's love, marriage, a divorce, reconciliation and a whole lot of other experience. Mitchell goes travelling to India whilst Madeline tries to decide what to do with her life. Ultimately, she is the only character who does make a decision, a conclusion. Each go on a 'journey', metaphorical, and in Mitchell's case physical.
It ends with a slightly open ended-conclusion, but I think that if there was a true reconciliation it would make the book cheesy, which is definitely not needed here.

The novel is ultimately a 'coming of age' tale, however, the way it is written makes it much more thought invoking, much more mature in a sense.
I just really, really enjoyed it, probably because I can definitely relate to Madeline in some ways, I even bought one of the books she is obsessed with after reading this novel.

Have you read anything by Jefferey Eugenides? What did you think?

Thanks for reading x

Thursday, 24 May 2012

My University Experience - Completing Second Year

This series proved to be pretty popular, so I decided I'm going to keep up with it, posting at milestones throughout the rest of my university career!
I'm going to try and keep this one short and sweet!

Second year was definitely much more difficult than first year; there's the higher work load, the pressure of this year actually 'counting' towards your degree, which in turn creates more stress, or it did for me.
The beginning of second year was actually pretty relaxed, there wasn't too much work to begin with, so it was all about settling into my house with my new housemates and making myself at home. Manchester really began to feel much more like home this year, and I didn't get the homesickness I had in first year, I felt much happier and much more settled, I hated coming home!

The courses I chose this year (Autumn Term - Modernism, Critical and Cultural Theory and C19th American Lit and Culture. Spring Term - British Cinemas, Researching English and Disability and Representation) were definitely much more difficult than any I took in first year. There were a few I didn't enjoy, which made the work labourious and dull, however, I also really found my niche in terms of study this year. I now know what works for me and how to organise myself - post here.
I would say that second year is all about directing yourself with where you want to go; you may not like some modules (I learnt that I really cannot write about cinema, and the 19th Century is definitely not my favourite era) but it's all a learning curve, you just have to work a little harder and push yourself into your studies. It's as simple as that. There was one result with which I was really unhappy with, as it's going to bring my grade for that module down, but it was fully deserved as I didn't work hard enough.

When it came to Spring Term a lot of direction regarding dissertation was offered. I really enjoyed Modernism, and decided to go down that route (kind of) when writing my proposal. When it comes to your proposal, talk to your tutors about your interests; I spoke to at least three different tutors who each gave me excellent advice about texts to look at. It's what they are there for.

I didn't have any exams, as I specifically chose modules that didn't include them as I am terrible in them, so I can't offer any advice on that.
I know many people are still at uni completing their exams, good luck!

Thanks for reading x
(this is about as short and sweet as I get I'm afraid!)

In the Heat of Summer Sunshine

I think everybody in the UK is amazed by the gorgeous weather we've been having! It's definitely been a welcome change from the grey and drizzle of the past few weeks. I had planned to do a couple of OOTDs and a book post or two this week, but the weather put a hold on that, so I'll just give you a little update as to what I've been up to instead.

The past couple of days I have literally spent as much time outdoors as possible! Tuesday Colette came home so we took the dogs for a walk (the first four photos - apologies for my messy room/instagram snaps). I had work experience that morning too, which went well, I just feel that I'm not getting the experience I wanted, I want to be included in editing and learning how to edit, instead I am being given short pieces to write. I guess you have to learn to write in order to be able to edit though.

Yesterday I sacked off work experience after waking up feeling ill, so I had a lie in and took the dogs out again. We live about 10 minutes walk away from Oakwell Hall which is a lovely little country park, and is always filled with young children whenever the sun shows its face.

Today I had a driving lesson which went well. I just need to book my theory test and pass that now. I went for a walk and bought some ice creams; Colette and Abbey picked me up and we went to Oakwell and sunbathed. I say sunbathed, I was covered in Factor 30 (I usually wear 50, so I have burnt a bit, boo). All my freckles are coming out to play again. I know some people hate their freckles, I love mine, and my pale skin. That ice cream was delicious too. We then drove around and visited a few shops. 

I've been listening to a lot of Say Anything and Kids in Glass Houses to get in a lovely, summery mood!

I'm going to try and get a book post up tomorrow, and take advantage of having Colette around and take some outfit pictures today, seeing as my Asos order arrived today!

How have you been spending the sunny days?
My evening includes reading, eating a prawn sandwich and then tackling my mess of a room :(
I hope you're week has been good so far, it's back to normality  and work for me tomorrow.

Thanks for reading x

p.s. sorry about the cheesy Corrs reference in the title!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Weekly Summary #14

Shopping in Leeds with Rose, Ted Baker changing rooms,
Rose looking beautiful, sculpture on Briggate,
Coffee break, Working out graphs for Work Experience,
Waiting for the bus, Sausage and kidney bean casserole,
Mango for breakfast, Pizza for lunch,
Rain on the way to work, More coffee,
Tesco book deals are a killer, Bunny love,
More bunny love,
Outfit going to see Rose, 'To Read' list is a bit excessive!

  1. This week has been eventful! I went shopping with Rose to find a dress for a ball at her university. She didn't buy the yellow one, isn't my best friend stunning?! Leeds is a brilliant place in the sunshine, I haven't spent loads of time there recently, but I spent most weekends between the ages of 14-17 in Leeds. It's so lovely.
  2. I went to Manchester on Tuesday to meet Abbey for tea, and then a magazine meeting. I got there and Abbey rang me saying her car had been broken in to, so I didn't end up going to the meeting, we sorted out her car and then I made us tea. Luckily nothing expensive was taken (the idiots even left the sat nav and took about £5 in coppers) it was just a bit crazy.
  3. Work experience is still going well, and I may have secured an internship in Manchester in August/September. Fingers crossed for that one, I'm going to email the lady back this week. As for work at Ikea, that's the same as always. It's crazy how busy I am recently even though I don't feel like I'm getting much done.
  4. I finally told my mum about getting tattooed. She wasn't happy (as expected) but I'm not dead, so that's a plus. I just need to sort it out with work (even though I've told them I can't work) that I get the hours I need. It's getting silly really.
How were your weeks? Hopefully this week marks my first OOTD. Colette is coming back on Tuesday giving us plenty of time to attempt them. She's the only one I can get to take photos. 
If you haven't completed your university years yet, good luck! Same goes to those with A-Levels etc to take. Work hard and you'll be fine!

Thanks for reading x

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Beauty Review - Clinique Skincare

L-R Rinse off foaming cleanser £15.50, 7 day scrub cream £17.50, Liquid facial soap £14, Clarifying lotion £15, Dramatically different moisturising gel £29.

 I first started using Clinique skincare in January. I was after a new routine that didn't cost the earth as my skin had broken out massively, and just wasn't getting better. I wrote a first impressions post about Clinique here.

The first things I bought from Clinique were the Liquid Facial Soap and the Clarifying Lotion as I couldn't justify spending the £29 on the moisturiser. The facial soap is lovely and foams up a lot; after cleansing, I rub it between my fingers and then in a circular motion on my face and then buff it away with a face cloth. 
I follow up with the Clarifying Lotion. I pour a tiny amount onto a cotton pad and sweep it all over my face. I've seen it described as a toner, but when I had my skin consultation, the lady at the counter described it as a very mild liquid exfoliant. If it comes into contact with broken skin, it does sting, so avoid any blemish areas etc. 
I bought the moisturiser on the ferry when I went to Berlin, as I got it in duty free (a.k.a. cheaper). It's a light oil-free moisturiser which sinks in really quickly. It's just a nice moisturiser, and I've had this bottle about 3 months and have barely made a dent in it.

When I bought the Facial Soap and the Clarifying Lotion I got a free little goody bag, which included the cleanser (below), the All About Eyes eye cream, and a few other samples. I don't know about reducing dark circles, but when I used this is definitely felt like my eyes were refreshed and less puff, especially on a morning. I am thinking about splurging on the full size (which is about £25-30 I believe *gulp*) but I'm not so sure yet. 

The Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser does exactly what it says on the bottle. I use a pea sized amount, rub it all over dry skin, rub in a bit of warm water and then buff off with a face cloth. It takes off all face make-up really easily and quickly, in a similar way to the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish. The only downside to this is that you can't use it on your eyes, so you need a separate eye make-up remover. I'm not sure I'd buy this myself as it's just a make-up remover for me. I always use the Liquid Facial Soap afterwards, so I may just buy a cheaper alternative.

The 7 Day Scrub Cream was another duty free purchase and cost me £14.50. I don't mind spending that on an exfoliator, as I use them at most two times a week, so I know it's going to last. It's a very creamy exfoliator with tiny beads in it. I don't find it abrasive and it rinses off easily, leaving my skin baby soft.

I am really enjoying using the products I have from Clinique. I know it is often a company that receives mixed reviews, but it has worked wonders for my skin. It doesn't prevent me from breaking out, but when I do, the spots very rarely come to a head and clear up quickly.
My skin type is oily/combination with dry patches in between my eyebrows sometimes. 

If you were considering Clinique I would definitely recommend getting a consultation and asking for samples, as the products aren't the cheapest, being, on average, £15 a pop. Saying that, I have only just repurchased the Liquid Facial Soap and Clarifying Lotion, so they have lasted about 4 months. The Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish (which I still love) costs about the same, but lasts me, at most, 2 months. For me it's a no-brainer.

Have you tried products from Clinique? What did you think?

Thanks for reading x

p.s. Sorry about the ropey photography!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Wishlist #1

I love looking at people's wishlists, but tend to shy away from doing them myself as I usually end up with way more than I'll ever be able to afford. I have a bookmark folder full of things I want, so I thought I'd sort through it and decide what I really actually do want.

Me being me, there's always about a million books I want to buy. I've been interested in reading some Bukowski for a long time after seeing quotations of his floating about the internet, and was recommended Love is a Dog From Hell. The Moby Dick journal is something that's been in the folder for ages, and I'd love to keep a proper journal/scrapbook. I may purchase this in time for summer adventures. I think writing in this and sticking disposable photos in it will be a great way to remember summer.

I'm writing on Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf in my dissertation next year (argh!) and am just generally fascinated by the women in general, especially as Plath cites Woolf as one of her inspirations. I'd love to read their diaries (that sounds nosey doesn't it!) so these two may have to be bought and read some time soon.

I saw this top on Asos ages ago, priced at £32, which I wasn't willing to pay for a t-shirt. However, it has been reduced to £14 so come payday I may have to treat myself. I saw the dress on Michelle's blog recently and kind of fell in love. It's like the grey marl Topshop dress, but nicer. I've tried that one on and looked like a sack of spuds in it. I doubt I'll buy it though.

Have you bought/read any of this? What's currently top of your wishlist at the moment? 
Also, recommend me some books to read, I'm always on the lookout for something new :)

Thanks for reading x

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Booklust Review: Fifty Shades Of Grey Trilogy by E L James

Fifty Shades of Grey is the first book in the trilogy. I'll just say that I wasn't expecting any greater literary art in these novels; they are not really the type of novels I go for.
The first novel introduces us to Anastasia Steele who has just finished her degree. She is sent to interview Christian Grey, a huge billionaire business mogul, on behalf of her friend Kate who is ill.
Anastasia has an effect on Christian, who is a secret Dominant (yes, the sexual kind) and wants Anastasia, a virgin, as his next Submissive.

Throughout this novel, basically, Christian seduces Ana and they try to figure out the Dominant/Submissive relationship. Christian is 'fifty shades of fucked up' and hasn't had a girlfriend. He hates being touched and likes being in control. Ana tries to break through the barriers and wants more. A normal relationship. She falls for him. I won't spoil the ending.

It's a good book, nothing groundbreaking, and when my sister told me that it originally began life as a Twilight fan-fic (not sure how 100% that information is) I can't say I was surprised, there are obvious parallels. It's completely absurd and ridiculous, but a fun read. Oh, it's also full of sex. Seriously. I'm not a person that is overly affected by sex in novels, but this is pure filth.

Fifty Shades Darker is the second novel. I previously said that these novels are ridiculous, and I still stand by that, but there is something captivating about them. I finished the first novel at about 2am and immediately bought the Kindle version of the second installment so I could start it straight away. This sees Christian and Ana try to work through the aftermath of the ending of the first book. Ana starts her new job, where her boss is a sleaze. A real, solid relationship commences, not a Dom/Sub pairing. Christian continues to struggle, slowly opening up to Ana. This novel is basically Ana and Christian working through their issues together. Not as exciting as the first installment

Fifty Shades Freed is the final, and weakest (for me) installment. It's more of Ana and Christian working through their issues. It is tedious. The writing is repetitive, it's almost as if the author has run out of steam. The sex scenes are thrown in wherever possible. There is a scene in here which basically mirrors a scene in Breaking Dawn, making it boring. I enjoyed this volume the least, but I can't leave a series unfinished. Ana has successfully changed Christian, who is still controlling, but also more accommodating and less selfish. The growth in characters is quite entertaining to read I guess, but it just felt forced to me. I didn't really know where it was going. A few scenes seem to be included for the sake of it. Definitely the weakest book. The ending is cute, if completely predictable.

Overall, the books were ok. I'd recommend them if you could get them cheap like I did (two for £7 in Tesco), but I wouldn't say rush out and buy them. The writing is infinitely better than Twilight, but the relationship of Christian and Ana mirrors that of Bella and Edward, but with a lot more kinky sex, to put it bluntly. I read all the books in about 4 days, which says something. They were a good, brainless read, which makes a change from the usual novels I go for. Although, they did irk me slightly, if I read through a feminist lense, as the sexual themes, even after Christian relinquishes being a Dominant, are unequal. And I'm all for equality, but I could go on about that forever, so I won't.

Let me know what you thought of the books if you read them.

Thanks for reading x 

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Weekly Summary #13

Visited the nephews, Arthur, favourite poem from my A-Level anthology,
Tattoo appointments booked! reading material, interesting article in Grazia (see previous post)
Lunch, outfit featuring short shorts, an article I wrote for the paper!
New watch, me and Scrawny bunny, Scrawns who is being given away today :'(
Chocolate fudge cake and prawns at the pub, new book .

  1. This week has been an exciting, but tiring and stressful one. The launch date for the magazine is creeping ever closer, and I haven't actually started writing anything yet (eek!) But I've had a good couple of ideas to get started with, so plenty of emails have been sent. I'm starting my first blog post on Monday! It's all really exciting.
  2. Sticking with work experience stuff, I started working at on Tuesday. I work Tuesday and Wednesdays 9-1 and help with content creation and editing. It's my first time having any experience in editing so I'm slightly out of my depth, but the editor-in-chief is lovely and helps me with any queries. It's a slightly bizarre experience as we communicate purely via email, as she is in Romania. It's great though. I'm really enjoying having the opportunity to write. 
  3. I'll also be working on another magazine with Michelle in the coming months. She created a magazine (read it here) as part of a university project, and has decided to take it further. There was a post on the magazine's blog asking for people to collaborate. I will be writing about books (yay!), doing reviews around certain themes etc. I think the first theme may be 'Cult Classics', using Trainspotting and 1984 as examples. I need more books along this sort of theme to read, so if you have any suggestions please share! I'm really excited to be a part of Aesthetic, as I've read Michelle's blog for years and love it. The magazine is fantastic too.
  4. I have my first driving lesson in almost a year on Monday afternoon. I have failed three tests. I love driving, but put me in the test situation and the nerves kill me. We'll see how it goes I guess.
  5. I've started making plans for over Summer this week. I was talking with Abbey about visiting Scotland as I've never been and really want to visit Edinburgh Zoo and see the pandas (ARGH). She wants to revisit her Grandad's old house, which isn't far from Edinburgh so we're planning a trip there. I also want to visit Durham, Liverpool and Copenhagen. I think I've grown out of beach holidays, although I wouldn't say no to a week off in the sun relaxing, so I want to explore different places. I've also booked my tattoo sessions in, so my upper back will be lovely and decorated by the end of July. I have my first session in just over two weeks and still haven't found a way of telling my mum yet, oops.
How have your weeks been? I have some posts planned out for this week, any feedback on what you would like to see more of would be helpful! :)

Thanks for reading x

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Men - Victims of Sexism?

I am a feminist. However, this does not mean I hate men. Vocal feminists are often viewed as women who don't shave, and as bra-burning crazies (which is ridiculous, I happen to love wearing bras and having smooth legs). For me, feminism is about equality of both sexes, not about man-bashing. Inequality isn't a new issue.

I was reading Grazia this afternoon and this was one of the articles. It's written by a man about men being victims of sexism, the headline being 'Hey ladies, stop the man bashing!'
A very provocative headline for sure, but once I read the article, I'm inclined to think that the writer, Chris Bell, definitely has a point.

I posted the photo on Instagram, and a girl replied saying 'that's like a white person writing a book about reverse racism smh' which I personally happen to disagree with, although opinions are just that, opinions. 
However, racism is a whole other kettle of fish, obviously still a very relevant one, so I won't go off on a tangent.

I also posted the image on my tumblr, where a different girl reblogged it and wrote:
 Is this news? Why is it controversial? Of course men are victims of sexism too - where women are favoured in child custody cases, and the way society defines masculinity (as it also does femininity).
This is one of the ways feminism is so often misunderstood - we’re not trying to turn the patriarchy into a matriarchy because that wouldn’t solve anything, it would just reverse the problems. Modern feminism is about questioning the way our society works and the way people (of both sexes) lose out because of it, just as much as it is equality.

In this article, Chris Bell talks about the battle for female equality, which is obviously still an on-going battle, but he also highlights how certain things that have been said to men, using real-life isolated examples, and how, if they were said to women, there would be uproar. And I happen to agree with him. One man states how he, and his only other male colleague, are left out of work meetings because their female manager said 'men are useless at organising, so it'd be a waste of time'. Fair enough, these are isolated incidents, but they still happened.

It is true that sexism exists, but I do not feel that it is only women who are victims. Women are possibly more openly objectified, examples including being beeped at walking down the street, being judged on what clothing we choose to wear etc. Only today, when I chose to wear a pair of (rather short admittedly) denim shorts with tight, I found myself being openly judged by people, men and women alike, looking me up and down.

There are advertisements stating that 'it's so easy even a man can do it', which if say a power-tool ad had the same tag line, only replacing man for woman, there would be a public outcry. 

I believe that it is an issue, although I doubt many men will be as vocal about sexism as women are. My own naive thought is that people, regardless of their gender, should be equal. It isn't a difficult concept. In the same way that women shouldn't be judged if they choose to wear a short skirt, men shouldn't be judged as being incapable.
Caitlin Moran, for me, comprehensively outlines feminism in her book How To Be A Woman (an excellent, hilarious book).  She talks about her choice to wear a bra, what she calls her vagina, but she also talks about aspects of her career. It's purely brilliant, and I recommend it to anyone, male or female.

So anyway, basically, I believe Chris Bell has a point. He highlights that men, as fathers, are often side-lined in terms of access when it comes to their children, that although men's wages are slightly higher (an issue I could talk about for days, so I won't start as it is ridiculous), they also work on average more hours per week. He talks about how jokes about men are commonplace, Jo Brand being an excellent example of a comedienne who routinely uses male-bashing in her stand up, with her favourite kind of man being a 'dead one'.

When put down in black an white, it's obvious that sexism is something that affects both genders. In the same way that the objectification of women, amongst a plethora of other things, needs to stop, so does man-bashing.

What do you think about this? Have any of you read the article? Do you think Chris Bell has a point?

Sorry for the rant, and as always, thanks for reading x

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Who Are You? An Identity Crisis.

My first printed article in the local newspaper

Bit of an open question I know, but recently I often find myself wondering 'who really am I?'. I've fitted into a lot of different boxes growing up, and whilst I don't like the idea of labelling somebody, labelling gives a solid identity which I feel I have lost whilst growing up.

People are sectioned off because of their music or fashion tastes, their sexual preferences and even their race. At the moment I am finding it difficult to define myself and figure out where I want my life to go. I think that I am a pretty eclectic mix of many different things, I don't have set interests, I would say that my main 'likes' are books and discovering new things, whether that be a pointless fact on the internet, or sat in a lecture theatre learning about Walt Whitman. I have a vast music taste, and don't really have a set 'style'; I'm forever trying out new things.

Upon completing the second year of my degree (sob) I'm trying to figure out where I want my life to go. I still feel like the little 15 year old girl from high school who was shy and used too many exclamation marks, not the 20 year old who is studying for, and in a year will have completed, a degree (and still using too many exclamation marks). It's both exciting and terrifying. I feel like I should be much more grown up than I am, although, if I look objectively, I am probably a lot more capable than I think I am too. I was once told off by a teacher who told me to stop being so down on myself and comparing myself to everyone else. I think she had a point.

At the moment I'm having an identity crisis. I think I know my career path - publishing - but it is difficult to decide when I can't seem to secure any 'proper' work experience. However, having completed work experience placements where I had to write articles, which I dreaded as I have never felt myself to be a decent writer, I found myself enjoying it, I squealed when I saw that an article of mine had been printed in the local newspaper, and was even happier when, after my first day of a new work experience placement, I saw that my first article had been put on the website almost instantaneously (link here). I can't see myself in a job where I will have to solely write, I still feel like I want to immerse myself into the world of publishing and copy-editing. I'm literally taking any opportunities that happen to pass my way. I enjoy writing, hence this blog, but I struggle when it comes to writing about things I have no interest in, or no knowledge of.

As for image consciousness, I am trying to be a bit smarter, but as a girl that wore band t shirts and jeans for about 3 years, it's proving difficult. Whilst being a Uni I have discovered my 'style' I guess. I just find it difficult to merge a sense of professionalism and a sense of myself in my clothes, it's an over-used cliche, but I always dress for myself. I fear looking boring.

At this moment in time I am stuck between wanting to remain a student and live an easy life and growing up, finding a fab job and eventually, starting a family. I'm focusing on building my CV so I can find my dream job, and studying hard.

How would you define yourself? Do you ever have days where you have a crisis of identity? How do you get through it?

Thanks for reading x

Booklust Review: Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh


We've all seen the film, we all know it is fantastic, if not to everybody's taste. This novel by Irvine Welsh inspired the 1996 film starring Ewan McGregor. I will say that if you have seen the film, then you know the general plot line of the novel. There are obviously things that differ, but I won't put in any 'spoilers' in case you haven't read the book but want to

This is the first novel I have read by Irvine Welsh, shocking I know. I do own Glue but never got around to reading it (let me know your thoughts on that one). For those of you who don't know, Trainspotting is set in Edinburgh and centres around the life of Mark Renton and his friends, mainly Sick Boy, Begbie and Spud. Renton and many of his friends are heroin addicts. 

Trainspotting is narrated by many different characters, each with their own distinct voice and accent. That is one thing that took me a while to get used to. Welsh has written the novel in a Scottish accent, and being from Yorkshire and having never visited Scotland (it's on my to-do list), I found myself speaking out loud to understand the dialect. Once you get the hang of it it's easy.

I read this book remarkably quickly, for me anyway, which is the testament of a good book: if I can't wait to pick it up again. I enjoyed the way that the different events were seen through the eyes of a number of characters, unlike the film, which focuses only on Mark Renton's experiences.

One thing I wasn't keen on however, was the number of narrators, it seemed that a few random characters popped up and narrated a chapter, and were then scarcely mentioned again. I found it difficult to keep a track on each different character, especially as they all have nicknames too.

Overall, Trainspotting is a brillantly entertaining read. I would definitely read it again. It definitely questions drug abuse and addiction, and makes you question certain characters' actions. If you have seen the film, I urge you to read the novel, there is such much more to unfold and discover, which makes you understand the characters in the film a bit more.

I loved this so much I am now reading Porno, the sequel to Trainspotting. So look out for a review on that some time soon! 
Leave me a comment with your favourite book below :) I'd love to have a read.

Thanks for reading x

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Beauty Review - Bioderma

Bioderma Crealine H20 has been popular on beauty blogs for ages now, but I still thought I'd put my two pence worth in. 
Bioderma is a micellar solution, which I believe is basically a water solution which has tiny droplets of oil suspended in it, making it an excellent gentle make-up remover.

I know everybody raves about this stuff, and yes, it is amazing. All you need to do to remove all traces of make-up is soak three cotton pads in the solution; hold one over each eye for about a minute and then gently swipe away, revealing lovely fresh, clean eyes. Use the other for the rest of your face make-up. It takes make-up off gently and quickly, and when followed by a cleanser makes your skin feel lovely. However I have two qualms with it.

  • It is hard to get hold of in the UK, with ebay being the best bet (link to the seller I used here). This doesn't particularly bother me, as this is my first bottle that I only bought to try out, but it is really good, so I want to repurchase. Which leads me to my second point.
  • The price. I believe that you get what you pay for, so the price tag isn't really what irks me either, I would happily pay £15 on ebay for the big size. However, it just doesn't last that long. You need to soak three cotton pads in the stuff every night. That uses up quite a lot of product. That small bottle only last me about a month. And I won't lie and say I used it religiously. I don't mind paying for a product if it lasts, for example, the Clinique facial soap I use costs £15, but I bought my first one in January and I still have about a week's worth of product left. That's 4 months. 
So yes, it is a really good make-up remover. But that's all it is. There are cheaper alternatives out there, I believe that Boots Botanics does an excellent eye make-up remover for about £4, and La Roche Posay also do a micellar solution, which is more widely available.
Before I splurge on the big bottle, I think I'll go back to my old routine of using a face wipe and then cleansing with my Clinique cleanser, which works really well and just takes a little bit more time. 
For me, Bioderma just isn't worth the money, even though it is great.

What do you think about Bioderma? Do you find it worth the money?

Thanks for reading x

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Weekly Summary #12

Derby Day in Manchester, Before going to meet Lottie, RENT,
The Imperial War Museum in Salford from the Lowry, Bye bye Manchester, Shifts at work,
Wasting time on Pottermore, Before work, Ben drinks only the classiest stuff.

  1. Hi everyone! I feel as though I haven't posted much at all this week, but I've probably posted more than usual. It's odd. I'll say what I always say: this week has been busy. I've been back and forth from Manchester, but it has been very productive.
  2. Exciting news #1 I have more work experience! It may not be exciting for anyone else, but I'm over the moon. I get to work from home and just have to be online 9-1 Tuesday and Wednesdays. I'll be proof-reading and writing small articles for a website.  I'm spending this summer building up my CV, so every little helps.
  3. Exciting news #2 I am planning another tattoo. Again, probably not exciting for anyone else. Literally every single one of my friends are far from impressed, because it's pretty big and they think I get them too often (my last one was in July last year). Abbey is coming with me on Tuesday to price up my design to see if I can afford it. I won't reveal the design I have in mind, but it includes a line from this poem, 'As I Walked Out One Evening' by W.H Auden. It isn't the line 'you shall love your crooked neighbour with your crooked heart' either. It's one of my favourite poems.
  4. I went to see RENT at the Lowry with my friend Lottie on Tuesday. I got to take my first tram out of Manchester. The performance was really, really good. There were some fantastic voices. 
  5. I also had a night out with my uni friends on Tuesday night, got pretty drunk and revealed my gymnastic capabilities. It's embarrassing. It was such a great night and I hate that it's probably our last till September :( I miss living in Manchester so much.
  6. Tonight it's the work party. It's fancy dress. The theme is 1980's. I hate fancy dress. I'm kind of channeling Madonna by wearing a black lace dress, a hair tie, neon beads and lace gloves. It's as far as I'm prepared to go. I really hate fancy dress. 
I hope your weeks were fun-filled and interesting!
I have a few posts planned for this week, so keep an eye out :)

Thanks for reading x

Friday, 4 May 2012

Album of the Day

image source: google

Almost Here - The Academy Is...

Today I woke up in a really good mood. After a long term of not being well rested or relaxed, a good night's sleep all I wanted to do was have a long relaxing morning before having to walk up to work later. 
This album is one of my all time favourites. My taste is music is quite varied and I go through phases of listening to different bands; The Academy Is... are a constant favourite.

I first discovered them probably about 6/7 years ago, when I was about 14/15. I've seen them numerous times (at the Cockpit in Leeds, if anyone is familiar) and just love them. I met Will Beckett after a show and being the nervous little fan girl I was (read: still am), I fell over in front of him, he helped me up and I swooned my head off.

It's just a fun album which is lovely to listen to. The band broke up last year (I think?!) after making a few albums, this one is my favourite though. It just makes me feel all happy and summery, even if it is dull and grey outside. 

Favourite tracks:
Slow Down
Skeptics and True Believers
Black Mamba
Down and Out

What is your favourite 'pick me up' album?

p.s. I've had some good news that I want to share with you, I'll probably put it in my Weekly Summary post on Sunday!

Thanks for reading x

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


May is officially here, it's absolutely terrifying that we're almost half way through the year already. April was a busy month, as it meant the end of second year. I am no longer 'in a state of near-constant meltdown' as I handed in my final essay on Monday! I am free of work! Although I will miss living in Manchester over summer. When I go back in September I am resolute to find a job (preferably in a book shop, I can dream) so I can stay in the city and not have to slave at Ikea back home every weekend.

Anyway, that was a tangent. May means summer, if the weather behaves itself. Summer means freedom to do what I want, which means working a lot of hours in the blue box and saving for a(nother) tattoo. I almost know what I want and where I want it, it's going to cost a pretty penny though.

I also really want these trousers, but I'm trying to curb my spending:
I've seen them pop up on a few blogs lately and I love them. My sister has the navy with black spots version and after initially hating them, they've grown on me.

I'll keep this short and sweet.

All through April I was listening to:
Childish Gambino
Brand New
The RENT Soundtrack
Coheed and Cambria

And reading:
Wicked - The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh

I hope your months were lovely, apart from the hideous weather. Fingers crossed May is better!

Thanks for reading x
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