Well it’s certainly been a while hasn’t it. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind lately what with working full time and running around the country for various things and it’s certainly been an eye-opening experience, so I thought I’d share a little about what I’ve learnt from these recent weeks.
Firstly I had the interview for the job of my dreams which I came tantalisingly close to, which was the epitome of a double edged sword. Although it would’ve taken a lot of sacrifice it would’ve been the biggest stepping stone to getting the career I want, but the silver lining was that despite my disbelief I now know that at least I’m capable of getting myself on that track.
The next week was a blur of Birthdays (guess who’s finally 22) and interviews, by the end of which I’d managed to land myself a social media internship. Perhaps it was a result of my eagerness to prove that I was still moving forward, that I eagerly accepted the role without properly considering the overall requirements. The following weekend I headed to Manchester to see one of my best friends which was a chaotic yet lovely trip, which combined good food and friends (not to mention a few blog photos)!
But when I came back and started the internship, although the nature of it meant that luckily I could work from home as I had explained that I had a full-time job, I found that a lot more was expected of me than initially indicated. I worked at it for a week but it meant that I was at my job all day then working for the internships all night before heading to bed to do it all over again. I was putting so much work in at both jobs that I was burning out and without any feedback or encouragement I was really struggling. Considering the amount of work I was putting in for the internship for no pay or even contact, I felt that I was being put in a position where I was being taken advantage of, and gaining no experience or chance to learn in return. After a lot of thought I decided that it wasn’t worth it and that I had to quit, as I was burning out and as a result things that I loved like this blog were being abandoned.
It’s weird that you can learn so much in so little time but that’s why I wanted to write this post as I guess as this is my place on the internet where I feel I can write about these types of things. Plus I don’t know whether it’s a result of being 22 and a full blown adult now but I’m proud of the fact that although it was hard, I was able to make the decision to quit and have faith in myself that it was worth the risk. Only time will tell whether it was the right choice but it’s something that I would definitely preach as a life lesson to anyone my age or anyone who is struggling to make their way that as cheesy as it is, there’s nothing more important than knowing your own worth. It takes a lot of courage to not being afraid to make the hard and scary decisions and fingers crossed that this time it pays off for me in the end. But at least in the mean time I’m looking forward to getting back to the things I love namely this blog. Thank you for reading this little ramble, I know it’s a little more personal than the things I usually write on here but I hope that it’ll be something to relate to or some help if any of you are ever in a similar situation. Now to get back to the job search…
My favourite time of year is finally upon us, Halloween! For those of you that don’t fancy venturing out this year I thought I’d suggest some of my favourite spooky films to get you in the Halloween mood. There’s something for everyone from classic horrors, an indie take, one for those who aren’t a fan of scares and some blasts from the past, so let’s get cracking.
A cult classic and one of the few original horror films that still stands the test of time in delivering heart-stopping moments, so a perfect one for true horror fans. Not to mention as the title suggests, it’s perfectly suited to watching at this time of year, although not one I’d recommend watching alone (trust me on this).
This is one of my standout films of 2015 and one of the few films I’ve seen recently that’s genuinely scary. It’s a great choice for hardcore horror fans that are looking for something different although I warn you after seeing this film you’ll probably never want to have sex again…
Possibly the most famous Halloween film of all time, and trust me it’s a cult classic for a reason. With songs, magic and brilliant 90’s fashion it perfectly epitomises everything that’s good and fun about Halloween and makes you wish you could go trick or treating again.
This is one of those films that although being a children’s film it is deceptively scary. Playing on the classic scary neighbourhood house idea, it’s about three kids who find out once they get trapped inside it that it quite literally has a mind of its own. It’s the perfect mix of being brilliantly creepy but with a heartfelt story at its core and is definitely one that people of every age will love.
Another lesser known spooky film starring Johnny Depp (when he was still making brilliant films) and made by Tim Burton which should give you an idea of how brilliantly Gothic it is. With Christina Ricci (who holds a large place in my heart due to Wednesday Addams), some swoon worthy costumes and lashings of blood and beheading it treads the balance between gore and guts and a genuinely good storyline at its core.
I hope this post has given you a couple of ideas of what to watch this weekend and let me know what your favourite Halloween films are as I’d love to know. Finally I just hope that whether you’re staying in or heading out tomorrow night you have fun!
Finally I’ve got round to doing another favourites post! I think this is one of the best times of the year for favourites posts as the transition from Summer to Autumn is perfect for trying new things, so I thought I’d do a round up of some of the things that have been changing my life for the past month.
Thisworks Deep Sleep Pillow Spray
Although I’m lucky that I’ve never suffered deeply from sleep problems, I’ve recently found it harder to wind down in the evenings since starting work full-time and this has been a life saver. A natural combination of Camomile, Lavender and Vetivert it smells incredibly comforting, and I’ve found that by spraying it on my pillow before I get ready for bed creates a really relaxing routine. Not to mention that by inhaling the scent as I go to sleep has left me having better quality of sleep and feeling a million times more refreshed in the morning.
Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Cream
Not the most glamorous entry on the list this month but with my move to full-time work I’ve been enjoying any little pamper time I have. In true Burt’s Bees form it’s amazingly moisturising and unlike other foot creams I’ve used. It’s not sticky like others plus the coconut scent smells amazing and makes application feel incredibly indulgent.
Cinnamon, Fig and Oak Candle
This is one I picked up in New York last year but it the flavours meant it just didn’t feel right burning it in Summer. It’s the perfect mix of Autumnal scents that combined provide a perfect warming, Wintery smell to any room, and it is one I’ve been burning regularly to get me into the seasonal mood.
Paris Street Style
I received this as a thank you gift from the lovely girls at The Blogger’s Market but up till now I haven’t been able to put it to the use it deserves. In my attempt to create something resembling a capsule wardrobe for Winter this has been invaluable for providing inspiration and advice for classic pieces to buy that will work all season long. Plus did I mention the pictures are really preeeetty.
Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Cherry
I’ve been really loving Burt’s Bees this month, can you tell? This lip shimmer is something that I was given as a gift, and considering I’ve never tried any of their coloured lip products before I was blown away! The pigment is amazing for a lip balm and its lasting power is really impressive, plus it does the Burt’s Bees name proud in providing a huge amount of moisture. It’s great Winter prep for those like me who need some moisture on their lips but also can’t live without a pop of colour. Now to collect the rest…
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation
I rediscovered this recently in my makeup stash and I’d forgotten just how much I loved it. Now Make Up For Ever is available in Debenhams I thought I’d make a repurchase as the range of colours available is brilliant, and it’s the perfect consistency for me in that it’s a medium to full coverage formula, which is buildable yet feels light on the skin. I’d definitely recommend a primer beforehand, but it’s got fantastic staying power so that I find myself needing minimal touch ups during the day. Basically it’s a win win!
Recently with day trips to places like Brighton and Lincoln I’ve been realising how much of the UK I haven’t seen, so I’ve been making plans to change that! I’ve never really been a fan of day trips before but I’ve realised that with a little planning they’re perfect for a kind of ‘best bits’ style holiday, so I’ve made the resolution to travel more in the next few months starting with Manchester for Halloween! So wish me luck and I’ll be sure to keep you updated with how it goes.
I hope you liked this collection of my favourites this month and it gave you some ideas of a few new things to try, and please share with me what you’ve been loving this month too!.
There’s something about Autumn that conjures thoughts of thick jumpers, crunchy leaves, hot drinks and curling up in front of the TV. With the change in the weather there’s no better feeling than staying inside and escaping into a great film with a cosy blanket. So I thought it was the perfect time to share with you some of my favourite films that really get me in the Autumnal mood.
500 Days of Summer
Although the film takes place throughout the four seasons, without spoiling the ending, if you’ve seen it you’ll know exactly what makes it perfect for the transition to from Summer to Autumn. Not to mention the soundtrack is perfect at encapsulating the hope and reflection that Autumn brings.
Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone
It could be argued that every Harry Potter film is perfect for Autumn but I think it’s the detailed, extravagant Great Hall scenes in the first film that really emphasise all the beautiful seasonal colours. Plus who doesn’t feel festive when they hear the Harry Potter theme tune?
Dead Poets Society
This is one to spur you on as you start the new school year and leave you wishing every teacher could be as inspiring as Robin Williams. As an English graduate I love this film on a deeply nerdy level and the autumnal setting will leave you wanting nothing more than to make the most of those beautiful Autumn days.
When Harry Met Sally
This is one of the great Rom-Com classics that epitomises the romantic element of Autumn in Harry and Sally’s beautiful walk through Central Park. Although the pinnacle of the film takes place on New Years Eve it’s those autumnal scenes that you remember and who doesn’t love a bit of romance on these cold Autumn nights.
Fantastic Mr. Fox
In true Wes Anderson style this is one of the most beautiful films on the list to watch with its entire spectrum of oranges, reds and yellows creating the perfect Autumnal world to escape into. One of the best adaptations of Roald Dahl’s books it’s a heartwarming tale mixed with adventure and a great one to watch with family and friends.
Another Wes Anderson entry but what can I say, when the man picks an aesthetic he runs with it. Jason Schwartzman plays precocious student Max Fischer and although it’s not a film for everyone’s tastes, it beautifully covers the whole Autumnal season through to Christmas. Plus it has Bill Murray in it, and who doesn’t love a Bill Murray movie!
St Elmo’s Fire
Another one that is very close to my heart as it is about a group of recent college graduates, and is one of the most often forgotten 80’s movie for no good reason. The final scene where they walk off into the night perfectly reminds you that there’s nothing better than wrapping yourself up against the cold, and that no matter what you always have your friends to count on.
I know, I’ve finally got round to writing another music post! This past year seems to have been one of the best times for Pop music with so many great songs being released, so I thought I’d share with you again the songs that have been getting the most play on my Ipod right now!
Demi Lovato- Confident
I have been a hard-core Demi Lovato fan since her Camp Rock days and I am so happy to see her back on form looking happier and healthier than ever. Cool For The Summer was pretty much my Summer anthem and Confident is definitely going to take me through to Autumn. The perfect pre-party song guaranteed to make you feel like an absolute bad-ass, it’s another sultry, powerful song like her previous single and has left me counting down the days till the whole album is released.
Rachel Platten- Fight Song
I’m definitely on a bit of an anthem song hype at the minute which is largely down to this song. Rachel Platten has been trying for years to hit the big time and it’s so obvious by the raw emotion behind the lyrics which are so passionate and uplifting, it makes me smile everytime I hear it. As a recent graduate I’m definitely at one of the most uncertain times in my life and as cheesy as it is, this song makes me believe that it’ll all be okay in the end.
Ellie Goulding – On My Mind
This is the newest release on the list but from the first listen I have been absolutely hooked and had it on repeat ever since. Whether it’s about Ed Sheeran or not it’s the perfect revenge song, while the guitar melody and Ellie’s haunting voice perfectly combines with the r&b style beat to create a sexy, yet club ready anthem.
Selena Gomez- Same Old Love
Another example of my childhood as a Disney fan-girl here but I have been obsessed with Selena Gomez’s new mature, adult sound, which is evident in this song. Much like Good For You it’s a more understated melody focusing on her voice, and while I don’t think it’s the best song she’s ever done, the message is one everyone can relate to. Trust me after one play you’ll be singing it on repeat for days.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post as I realise pop music isn’t to everyone’s taste but I hope I’ve encouraged some of you to give something new a listen, and as always I would love to know what songs you’ve been loving this month!
I know this tends to be a bit of a cliche when writing these posts but seriously, where did July go?! I can’t believe Summer’s almost over and although I love Autumn and everything it brings, it seems sad to … Continue reading
Raise your hands if you’re guilty of overworking… yep me too. I am one of those people that finds it almost impossible to turn my brain off, instead choosing to worry and stress about every little thing going on in my life. It reached a peak during my final months at university when I was struggling to juggle work, university exams and trying to find a job as well as day to day dramas. It left me unable to sleep or relax and created huge tension in my back which resulted in a doctors trip and physiotherapy. It became clear to me that although this was a time of great change in my life and many important things were happening it was ridiculous that at the age of 21 the stress of it was affecting me so badly. The physiotherapy was the last straw as I decided something had to be done as living under so much self-enforced stress wasn’t healthy for me mentally or physically. I would like to mention now that I am by no means any sort of expert on this topic but I just thought that I would share with you guys what worked for me in the hope that it might be helpful for one of you now or in the future.
The first thing I tackled was sleeping as I knew that with a decent night’s sleep I’d at least be able to tackle my issues with a clearer and more rational head. I decided to stop reading university related articles before bed as this often left them plaguing my mind as I slept, and instead chose one of the many fictional books I had gathering dust on my bookcase. This helped almost immediately as my mind was occupied on the fictional events on the page not to mention it majorly improved the subject matter of my dreams as well! I also stopped using electronic devices in bed as I read that the blue light they give out is a major issue in achieving deep, peaceful sleep (here’s the article which will better explain it than I ever will). I stopped using my laptop in bed and limited myself to one Instagram check before I started reading to make sure there was enough time for it to not affect my sleep as much, and the improvement was incredible.
Exercise was the next big one as I was often spending all day either at the library or running around at work, giving me very little time outside. I started by attempting at least a half hour walk outside every day which slowly increased to an hour or two or even a short run. It gave me time to think outside of the stuffy work environment, as well as giving me some fresh air and a chance to enjoy the nice weather. This provided me with an escape and a chance to gain some perspective, as well as helping to tire me out just enough to help improve my sleep.
The last is a much simpler one and I think the most universal and that is simply just taking the time to relax. Whereas before I would feel guilty about taking a long bath or some time out to have a cup of tea and read a magazine, by emphasizing to myself that I deserved it slowly allowed me to relax and enjoy it. It was difficult to begin with but once I’d acknowledged all that I had achieved and accepted the fact that no matter how much my brain may have been whirring away no work was being done for the next half hour, it helped to alleviate the stress massively. It also helped physically as I hadn’t realised how tense my body had been until I was able to relax and loosen up. Not to mention once you’ve learnt to enjoy the act of relaxing it becomes a treat that you can look forward to and actually helped my productivity as I wanted to feel that I had deserved my reward. My current method as you’ll see is a hot bath with an assortment of bath bombs and bubbles, lighting a candle (my current favourite being my Jo Malone) and reading my book with my bath pillow at the end of the day.
It’s like they say in one of my all time favourite films Zombieland “Enjoy the little things” and I think that’s what I’d recommend more than anything. Whether it’s a walk in the park or a coffee with friends it’s the little things that make the bad things not so bad, so don’t be afraid to make the most of them because it’s the only life you’ve got. I know this is a little deeper than my usual posts but it’s something I really wanted to write and I hope you enjoyed it or it at least encouraged you to take a break because you deserve it.
Nerdy as it is, one of my favourite things about Summer is the freedom that it gives me when it comes to my reading, with no school work or set reading to distract me. Not to mention the opportunities there are to read whether it’s on a beach break, a city escape or simply in your own backyard, it’s the perfect way to relax while finally getting round to read that book you’ve had on your nightstand for months. I thought I’d take the opportunity to share with you some of the books I’ve been loving that I think are perfect for a summer break no matter where you’re headed.
The Goddess Guide It seems now the markets are overwhelmed with lifestyle guides but this is my absolute favourite and one of the originals. From picking the right pair of jeans to secret city spots it is the perfect guide for any modern woman, not to mention it’s so beautifully designed it’ll be one of the prettiest reads you read this summer. It’s a great alternative for people who aren’t big readers or aren’t a fan of the traditional novel and it’s so interesting you’ll find yourself rereading it again and again.
The Maze Runner I was a big fan of the film last year and before the release of the second installment this Autumn I thought I’d try to get ahead of the curve and start the books. I’m a massive young adult book fan and since The Hunger games I’ve been searching for the perfect replacement and I think this is it. We start with Thomas who arrives in a glade who has no idea who he is or his past. He’s welcomed by a group of boys who live together in the glade which is at the centre of a mysterious giant stone maze. They too have no idea of their past of what has happened to the world outside. Every day they try to explore the maze but have to make it back by sundown before the doors to the maze close and the monstrous Grievers patrol. Then one day a girl arrives and everything changes. It’s one of the most gripping young adult books I’ve read so much so I devoured the first four books in record time, and perfect for those who like a bit of escapism in their reading.
American Psycho This is by far the weirdest book on my list as it’s definitely one of the most violent and gruesome books I’ve ever read, but also one of the most profound. The novel is a stark comment on the capitalist consumerism of society which was highly controversial when it was initially released, but has since then become a cult classic, It follows the murderous investment banker Patrick Bateman as he struggles to control his insanity as well as his fascination with his material possessions. I really do feel the need to put a disclaimer on this as it’s the most sickening book I’ve ever read in regards to the detail on how Bateman dismembers women, so I really wouldn’t recommend it for those under 18. But the deeper meaning to be found in the novel means that if you can move past the violence, there is an incredible comment being made about society as a whole that makes it a great holiday read for those looking for something a bit different.
The Great Gatsby I thought I’d include a classic for the more old-fashioned readers amongst us and this is my absolute favourite. It’s perfect for those who want a lighter option before they start tackling the more heftier classics, not to mention it’s one of the easiest classics to read. It has love, murder, beautiful imagery as well as a deeper discussion on the American Dream and perfect for those who like a bit of history in their fiction.
Paper Towns Another young adult read I’d recommend before the movie comes out later this year which is a perfect choice for those who were a fan of A Fault In Our Stars. It’s about Quentin “Q” Jacobsen who after a mysterious night with his old childhood friend Margo Roth Spiegelman finds out the next morning that she has disappeared and sets out to find her. Unlike The Fault In Our Stars this is more of a mystery story, but again a story that every teenager will be able to relate to in one way or another. I’d definitely recommend it for any John Green fans or for a reader wanting to try one of his novels as it’s one of the easiest and most enjoyable reads I’ve had.
Yes Please If you don’t know Amy Poehler by now then shame on you. Star presenter of the Golden Globes with Tina Fey for the past three years, past SNL cast member and star of the brilliant Parks and Recreation she is a pretty damn funny and impressive woman. She was already one of my number one woman crushes but after this book she moved to number one, as it is one of the best celebrity books I’ve ever read. It doesn’t take the form of a usual biography, instead she uses her past experiences as anecdotes to explain what she’s learnt from them in the funniest way possible. It’s the perfect book for those who aren’t a fan of fiction but still want a laugh along the way.
So there’s my selection of my favourite summer reads, I hope you like them and that I’ve maybe given you some ideas of some new books to try. If you have any favourite books that you like to read on holiday let me know as I’m always on the lookout for new books to try. But more importantly, enjoy your summer where ever you’re going!
As a result of finishing university and leaving my lovely well paying job to my tiny, sleepy home town means I’ve had to become extremely creative when it comes to keeping myself amused while I try to get a job. Seeing as many of my friends seem to be in the same boat I thought I’d share some of the ways that I’ve found are most effective when it comes to staving off madness, in the hope that it might help some of you guys too. Although I have to warn you it’s a wordy one so better grab a cup of tea and get comfy because you’re in it for the long haul…
Exercise Now for any who knows me this point will show just how bored I have become, as I am one of the most unathletic people you will ever meet. But since my move to warmer climates I have been trying to make the most of it and have been taking my bike out for a spin. I’ve even been on the odd run! Now while I am extremely lucky to be living in an especially green and picturesque town making said exercise much easier and more enjoyable, the effect I’ve noticed to my peace of mind is so great that I would encourage everyone, no matter what your local settings to take it up. Plus if you’re lucky and tan, it’s an excellent way to up your vitamin D intake!
Reading As much as I have enjoyed my degree it has meant that the amount of what I call ‘fun’ reading has steadily declined over the years as I’ve tried to keep up with my workload. I came back home with over 30 unread books which were added to the many more I was unable to take to university in the first place, so I decided to make the most of my literary freedom and try to tackle the mountain. I’ve barely even started but already it’s made me realise just how much I love reading and has meant I’m finally getting round to reading those books people always tell you “you have to read”. So don’t be too surprised if there’s a Summer book guide appearing soon.
Home Projects An inevitable result when you come back home with eight huge boxes of belongings and nowhere to put them, I decided to tackle my room and update it from the Twilight posters (yep I admit I loved it) of my youth to something I little less mortifying. Although I am the least crafty person ever I’ve enjoyed being able to plan and decorate my room and uncovering some hidden gems that I’ve kept from childhood. Although there has been a throw out worthy of an episode of Hoarders, I’ve also found some items worthy of a home which has led me to attempt scrapbooking, but more on that later. Not to mention how nice it is to have a new, adult feeling room that is not only a lovely place to work, but a space of my own to relax and unwind in.
Reconnecting One of the hardest parts of moving to a university in a different country is that travelling home became a pretty expensive procedure. Although I was extremely lucky to have some best friends who made the journey over, there were some equally good friends that I never got to see. So now with all of us heading home for the foreseeable future at least, I’ve really enjoyed catching up with them all and whether we’re going out for a coffee or having a cosy night in, it’s become one of my favourite ways to spend my days.
Get Outdoors I am a sucker for sunny days especially as they’re so rare in the UK, so when the sun pokes its head out I try to get out as much as I can. As well as my bike and my (very rare) runs getting me outside, I’ve been on the lookout for events in my area like the local town festival which is free to attend with free concerts and cheap rides and attractions.Having a look in your local paper is the best way to see what’s going on in your area and you never know, you might be surprised by what you find!
Write! As a graduate intent on finding my place in the ever-changing, highly competitive world of publishing and journalism this is the most important item on my list, and one I’m actually really looking forward to doing. I’m planning my posts on here properly this time to attempt to ensure regularity as well as trying to make the most of the weather to up my photography game to hopefully make this blog better for you guys as well as for me.
This is only an initial list as I know I will most definitely lax on at least one of these (let’s face it it’ll probably be the exercising) but for the mean time I feel lucky enough to have this time to relax and refocus on what I want. I do hope this list helps give some of you some ideas of ways to enjoy the Summer without breaking the bank, and if any of you are in the same boat please do share any of your tips and we can try to keep our sanity together!
I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve written one of these posts! I did warn you all that when I first wrote these posts that cool new music is not my strong suit but I’ve finally emerged from my music hibernation so I thought I’d share some of my recent favourites.
Charlie XCX- Sucker
Okay so this is kind of cheating as this is more of a whole album love as opposed to a specific single but it’s just so good! You’ve probably heard the hits such as Boom Clap and Fancy with Iggy Azalea, but the album is where Charlie XCX really comes into her own. It’s full of bubblegum pop hits with a 90s punk edge that provide the perfect Summer soundtrack. It’s one of those albums that just by listening too makes you feel like a bad-ass and I’ve found myself having to resist the urge to sing it out loud when walking down the street . My personal favourites on the track are Body of my Own, Break The Rules and Breaking Up but as a whole I think it’s really strong and will definitely be taking up most of the space on my Summer party playlist.
Rita Ora- Poison
Rita Ora seems like one of those artists that creep up on you and while one minute your enjoying the odd play of her music you hear on the radio, the next thing you know you have her album on repeat. While she’s kept us waiting for her new music releasing only the Calvin Harris written I Will Never Let You Down last year, it’s her role as a judge on the UK Voice that cemented her into my heart as one of my top girl crushes and Poison becoming my number one choice to screech along to as I’m driving with the windows down.
Tove Lo- Talking Body
This Swedish singer has been on my radar since her song “Stay High” and my love affair is continuing with this song off her albums Queen of the Clouds. Again continuing in the tradition of most of the songs on this list it’s another anthem perfect for Summer, not to mention her dreamlike, indie melody yet refreshing honest lyrics make it a relationship anthem that for once is truly relatable to your life in every gory detail.
Little Mix- Black Magic
You can probably guess by now that there is a pretty strong pop vibe running through my playlists at the moment and Little Mix are the epitome of this, the guilty pleasure pop that you can’t get out of your head. I really didn’t want to like them after seeing them come through the X-Factor and their bubblegum image, but the fact they managed to produce pop hit after pop hit slowly wore me down and with the release of this first single off their new album I am fully converted. It’s another perfect Summer tune that will get you going whether you’re driving in the countryside or running in the gym, the only thing is I apologise when you find yourself singing 24/7 as it is that infectious.
So these are the currents songs I’ve got on repeat at the minute, hopefully I’ll sway some of you to give these a listen as I always think life’s too short to pretend you don’t love a bit of pop music! Hopefully the next of these posts won’t take quite so long but in the meantime I’d love you know what you are all listening to and as always I am desperate for recommendations to expand my (very narrow) music horizon!