Friday, 30 October 2015

Room Revamp

Recently I decided that, now I've grown into a 17 year old working woman, I was going to treat the hell out of myself. As you saw previously, I took a day to town to do just that. But there was still one thing missing, still one thing that bothered me each time I woke up in the morning and when I went to bed at night; my bedroom.

The icky lime and hot pink walls covered in finger marks and blue-tack stains from old posters about my favourite books or TV shows, the worn carpet splotched with unknown stains here and there, the run down old chest of drawers and the overflowing bookcases. Something had to be done. 

So during this week that I was off school for half-term I decided to take it upon myself to do a little bit of DIY. So I threw on some old trackies and a comically over-sized shirt and got to work on painting the ceiling and painting the walls which took forever and idk how I'm still alive.

After some tears, a lot of sweat and a little bit of blood I finally finished painting. The colour I decided on was the beautiful Chic Shadow from Dulux which is primarily grey but has subtle purple undertones. Perfect, I know. And it's leaps and bounds better than those putrid colours 12 year old me decided on.

Next came the trip to IKEA. Who doesn't love IKEA? All that possibility squashed into that little flat pack of happiness. And how can you not love the market place? So many itty bitty little bits and bobs to fill your already brimming trolley ending with a Swedish meatball or two. 

The only furniture I really needed to change in my bedroom was my chest of drawers because I may or may not have had an accident involving some fire. So, keeping with my current colour scheme of white, I bought the Malm chest of drawers with 4 drawers. I also bought some extra shelves for my two Billy bookcases because I'm a bibliophile.

I will fill that shelf

It was very hard for me to contain myself when I got to the market place, and this was where I spent the majority of my time. Because I removed my fairy lights from my wall I needed a new light, and because I have a late night reading problem, I needed one beside my bed, so I went for the this Tertial floor lamp. Also, as I removed an old picture from my wall, I got this awesome and quite contradictory picture.

To decorate my new chest of drawers  I got some little LED tealights, (batteries not included, I learnt that the hard way) because of the fire thing and three mismatched candle holders; this little lantern in silver, this marble beauty in black and a flower wire design. I also bought this candle holder/plant pot to keep my makeup brushes in.

Finally, as a bit of an impulse buy, I decided on these three little cacti which I have fondly named after my three favourite prickly fictional characters. So I'd like you to meet (from left to right) Coin, Valentine and Draco! gahh I'm so weird

Sorry that there was a bit of a gap between this and my previous post but interior design is very time consuming it may seem. I hope you guys enjoyed it and, as always, tick a box and leave a comment!

N x

Sunday, 25 October 2015

'Hollow City' - Review

(a spoiler free review)

NAME : Hollow City

AUTHOR : Ransom Riggs

SERIES : Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children (#2)

RATING : 3/5

REVIEW :  Being a fan of the the first book and having read it when it first came out on recommendation by a friend, I was looking forward to the release of the second. However months went by and I read many more books in that space of time that I began to forget the excitement I had when reading Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children. I let the release of Hollow City pass me by and it went to the back of my mind.

That is until the announcement for the release of the third and final book in the trilogy, Library of Souls. I remembered reading Miss Peregrine's Home... and was thoroughly disappointed in myself that I didn't read Hollow City sooner.

The book is set in 1940's England, and picks up directly after the events of the first book. The children are on a boat in the middle of the ocean with their Headmistress, and protector, Miss Peregrine, still in the state she was at the end of Miss Peregrine's Home... 

The story progresses as the peculiar children, each one blessed with a peculiar gift ranging from creating fire with their hands to having control over the bees that live in their stomach to being completely invisible, attempt to evade capture from the enemy wights, who are out to catch and kill all peculiars and their protectors, and visit more time loops in an attempt to save their beloved headmistress. 

Just as you believe the story is about to conclude, a twist arises that is almost unbearable and you must pick up the next book ASAP to see what happens, as I did.

The use of creepy, antique photos throughout the series really does heighten the reading experience, for me at least, as you are able to in vision with absolute clarity the scenes and characters, creating a uniquely original form of art that combines perfectly with the story.

I would give this book a 3/5 rating, as although the story did carry on in a smooth manner, the photos I believe may have been a slight limitation as to where the story could have gone, but I definitely recommend this book besides.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Shuffle That Music

This is a fun little tag that I found a few weeks ago and have been excited to do. Basically, I put my music on shuffle and post what comes up! 

Before I start, however, I have to warn you about my music taste. I'm not apologising for what I enjoy because it's not bad music, it just might not be up to everyone's styles or standards. The music I generally enjoy is almost exclusively associated in some way to a TV show or a film. I know, weird right? But hey, that's just me, weird.

[click on the name of the song to have a listen]

1 : 'Girls And Boys In Love' - The Rumble Strips

My first song is a British classic, used in the background of The Inbetweeners and is in the film Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging. I really love the beginning of this song and it never fails to make me smile.

Again, this song is used in The Inbetweeners, but it was just one of those songs that everyone (in the UK at least) always seems to know the words to.

The Inbetweeners again... I know, I'm a bit obsessed but since I love The Wombats I can't not love this song. It's really upbeat and expresses how happy you can be even in the worst of times.

I began listening to Fall Out Boy for a few reasons. My friends loved their music, and I heard their song 'Immortals' in Big Hero 6  and fell in love, so of course I had to find more of their music. Also, one of my friend had one of the lines as their Tumblr header and I'd always though it was just plain cool.

5 : 'The Strokes' - Reptilia

To be honest, I have no idea where I found this song, it might have been on an 8tracks playlist, but I fell in love instantly.  I really enjoy the guitar riffs and the indie rock feel to it.

Again, no association to a show or movie and I definitely found this one on 8tracks, but it has so be a pretty damn fabulous song to break my TV/film mould, as this one is.

I love love love this song! This was the first Fall Out Boy my friends played for me and I fell in love instantly because of the inclusion the theme tune from The Munsters. I recognised it instantly because I loves that show so much when I was growing up and always watched it after Top Cat on a summer morning. Love it.

I started listening to The Kooks because of (you guessed it) The Inbetweeners, but this is one of the songs from their newer albums and I couldn't not download it because it's so their style and so mine. I 100% recommend giving this one a listen.

9 : 'Zombie' - Jamie T

This is an 8tracks find but I'm pretty sure I've heard it before somewhere... a bit weird but the chorus sums up my entire life right now.

10 : 'Boomerang' - Relient K

Last, but certainly not least, is this little beauty from Relient K. I found out about this song from Youtuber Dodie Clark (or doddleoddle) when she did a video not so long ago about her favourite songs. Also, He really likes them so it's a win win.

I hope you enjoyed that little post, because I really enjoyed making it, and I hope that you found some new music to listen to! As always, feel free to leave a comment and tick a box to give me some feedback!

N x

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Treating Myself

Today was my first Saturday off both work and volunteering since my birthday (in July) so, naturally, I was going to make the most of it. And by make the most of it, I meant going into Belfast and treating myself... because I'm worth it. Sorry, I couldn't help it. So I hopped on the train by myself because all my friends work weekends and off I went.

There's something so rejuvenating about taking a long train ride by yourself. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but I think it has something to do with having the ability to plug in your music without being rude and turning it up full volume, looking out at the world speeding past and just having time to think. It's beautiful.

The journey ended too soon for my liking even though it was like 45 mins and I was thrown back into the drastically swift world of the city. My first stop, after Paperchase that is, was Lush. I haven't been to Lush in over a year, regretfully, so I decided that I had to buy at least one thing before I was allowed to leave. I was wandering around aimlessly when one of the employees thrust a rather large beaker under my nose and told me to smell. It was Christmas in a jug. Perfection. He asked me what I was looking for, and under my request he showed me the moisturisers. I was treated like a queen. When I eventually left 20 minutes later I exited with plenty of free samples and the nicest smelling moisturiser ever. 

I then made a beeline for one of my favourite places: Waterstones. For those of you who read my blog and don't know what Waterstones is, firstly, shame on you, and secondly, it's basically the British version of Barnes and Nobel. Sadly on this visit I didn't buy any novels, but I did however buy a beautiful notebook that I cannot wait to fill with whatever takes my fancy.

Since I ended up staying in Waterstones for much longer than I anticipated (as per usual), I decided to head upstairs to their little in store cafe where I had the most beautiful strawberry cream filled muffin with a cup of coffee. As I always have a book in my bag, I just whipped out Hollow City by Ransom Riggs and sat in quiet contentment for an hour and watched the world go by. 

I then decided that I should actually buy something to show for my trip, so I headed on into my favourite shops, namely H&M, Topshop and New Look. I bought a cheeky little mustard coloured sweater, because autumn, and a new pair of ripped black jeans.

My final (and favourite) place in Belfast is this iconic little second-hand bookshop called Keats & Chapman down one of the city's backstreets. It's one of those shops that has no order and has books piled right to the ceiling in stacks that are sure to topple if you move the wrong book. After a good half an hour of searching, I found and bought myself another copy of The Great Gatsby that I could annotate and make notes all over without feeling guilty about it. It was the perfect ending to a great day.

That's all for now guys! I hope you enjoyed reading this little post and I'd really appreciate a comment or a tick in one of the three boxes below to give me some feedback!

N x

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Reasons I Love Autumn

Extra warm beds in extra cold houses. The thought of not having to rise, but being able to keep snuggled in among the pillows and covers with a hot water bottle and a cup of coffee. Being able to balance your laptop on your knee and discover the new shows slowing waking and coming back to life, eagerly anticipated.

Drawing back the curtains to be met with a day bathed in dimmed golden light as the sun struggles to brighten the world beyond the mountains. Those first chunky rays breaking through the branches of the ever emptier trees to cast rich shadows across the dew dropped petals and blades of grass.

Crisp cold mornings that can be cut with a knife. Layers of cool air beginning to creep between the folds of your clothing leaving you no choice but to layer up with thick woolen sweaters and scarves that wind their way up your neck and down your chest. Breathing out and watching the air swim and swirl in front of you before vanishing into nothing, and being filled with anticipation as you suck in your next breath, wondering why you ever wanted to stay in bed.

Trees and flowers and birds preparing themselves for the months ahead. Watching as trees grow silent, allowing their noise to be whisked into the air and dropped to the ground beneath. Golden browns and rusted reds littering the pavement and leaving no option but to crash through with wellies and delight. The fruits of their labour swelling and plummeting into the high grass, cracking and splitting to reveal the shiny conkers within.

Consuming hot drinks from take-away cups, fingerless gloved hands wrapped around the styrofoam cup, absorbing every ounce of possible heat. Or sitting curled at the window of a coffee shop with a book in your lap and a pumpkin latte sat next to you, the perfect scent for autumn.  

Walking home under skies that grow ever darker. Being absorbed by the night.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Morning Routine : Autumn/School Edition

I'm not a morning person. There's no way that anyone can enjoy pulling themselves out from under a warm, snug duvet into the frigid cold that is an unheated house. But alas, it must be done, so I'm going to tell you guys a few of my little tips and tricks that I have incorporated into my school morning routine to help you through the cold autumn mornings.

First thing's first; set more than one alarm 'cause honey, you're going to need it.

I usually set 3 alarms 15 minutes apart when trying to wake myself up, as it gives a little time to doze in between, but you're not able to completely fall back into a deep sleep. Also, when choosing a song/sound for your alarm, don't choose your favourite song, or any song really, because you will start hating it so much you'll probably end up with some form of PTSD when you hear it on the radio. Instead, pick a sound that starts of quietly and gradually gets louder to prevent any rude awakenings from those sweet dreams.

Next, throw on a dressing gown and some fluffy socks to keep all that heat in your body. Theses are a must for cold mornings.

After that, I would usually make a beeline for the bathroom where I brush my teeth. I know some of you might find it weird that I brush my teeth before eating breakfast, but I do it again after (I promise), I just really hate that morning breath taste. I'm currently using, and loving, Colgate MaxFresh.

Before leaving the bathroom I will exfoliate and moisturise my face. This is probably the part of the routine that wakes me up the most and makes me feel the most refreshed. To exfoliate, I use the Clinique Sparkle Skin and for moisturiser I'm loving Clinique Moisture Surge.

Now it's time for breakfast. Do not skip breakfast. Ever. None of this "oh but I can't eat in the morning" crap, 'cause you can. Grab something, anything; an apple, a yogurt, a piece of toast with jam. You don't have to eat it seconds after you get up, but as you get ready it's always good to have something to munch on, just make sure you eat. (Also, drink coffee because coffee.)

The next thing I would do is probably my make up for school. I don't usually wear a lot of make up to school because frankly, I can't really be bothered, however when I'm feeling in the mood I'll put on some foundation and concealer with a bit of eyeliner and mascara. I can't go too OTT because my school is quite strict about makeup, but now that I'm in the senior school they're a bit more lenient. If you want me to do a full school morning routine post, leave a comment below.

Finally, I get dressed into my uniform and so any homework I didn't get done the night before (ATTENTION : I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS. BAD IDEA. ABORT. ABORT.) and hop on in the car and off we go!

I hope you enjoyed this little post, and if so please leave a comment and give it a share, it would be much appreciated!

Song of the day : 'A Certain Romance' - Arctic Monkeys

N x

Monday, 5 October 2015

Let's Talk About Boobs

Okay let's get this straight from the go. This is not a pornographic post, nor is it for any sexual entertainment or weird fetish. I'm making this because when I was going through my own insecurities I had nowhere to turn to help me. I want to make sure that no one else has to go through that and think that they have no one to talk to or that they are "imperfect". This is mainly for those of us cursed blessed with boobs, however it will do no harm, actually it will probably enlighten, those who don't.

Glad that's out of the way.

Everyone has insecurities. Everyone. It could be the way you look physically, the way you feel mentally or the way you act emotionally, but everyone has insecurities. One of my biggest insecurities are my boobs. Always has been. I hated the way they looked, the size they were and the way they made me feel. I always covered myself when I was changing for PE, never looked at myself in the mirror and closed my eyes in the shower. I hated them.

We all have this image in our head as to what way we have to look to live our lives in the best way possible. We think that if we don't look that way, we will never truly be happy. We're wrong.

I'm going to say the same thing that so many people have said before, but so many people have said it because it's true: the media is melting our minds.

The first image I ever saw of a woman's breasts were on the front of a male magazine in a newsagents when I was 6. 11 years ago, my innocent little eyes saw what has shaped my view of myself for years to come. So when I began developing my own, I was shocked to realise that they were nothing like I expected. They sat a weird way, were too pointy, too... wrong. They looked nothing like what I thought they would. But 12 year old me simply shrugged, still too much of a child to let it bother me much, thinking they would sort out themselves, thankful that I already had bigger boobs than my mum.

When I turned 14, I began to put on weight, fast. One of the first places I put weight on is my middle, so my boobs began to get bigger, and face more downwards than the woman on the magazine. This is when I began to become unhappy, and the more upset I got, the more I ate. This continued until I was just 15 and a half and I was taken to the doctor because it was affecting my health. I was not obese, simply overweight for my age, and it was making my tired and sluggish and anaemic.

This was when I began to become interested in boys, and wanted to look good for them. But when I looked at myself in the mirror, all I saw was this imperfect body that I believed no one could ever love; especially my boobs. In my mind, boobs where what boys loved and if I didn't have good boobs I would never be loved. Lorde, I want to slap younger me.

I wanted to get a boob job. I began almost obsessively looking up before and after pictures, reading what men thought of women with "saggy" boobs, calculating how much I would have to save to get the procedure. The more I read, the more upset I became and the more upset I because, the less I would look at myself and the more I wanted the op.

Until one day I came across this website, and I started to feel like I wasn't alone. I began to realise that there are other women out there, many other women, who felt exactly the way I did.

Then, a few days later, I came across this tumblr post with the comment:

"Yeah, news flash people, boobs generally only look “perky” while in a bra. There are super lucky people who have naturally perky boobs, most don’t. And this is because, SURPRISE, boobs are intended to feed babies and it’s hard for a baby being cradled in mum’s arm to reach a nipple that’s on the other side of the boob from where its mouth is.

Think of a soda fountain machine. The spouts are all pointing down, right? So you can put soda in a cup being held under the spout? If the spout was sticking straight out, it would be really hard to get a soda out of it.

Babies need to be able to reach a nipple easily so they can eat. Ergo, nipples are usually lower and angled more downward on a naturally hanging boob, both so it’s easier for a baby to reach and so gravity can do its part in pulling milk toward the nipple.
So there you go, outright ANATOMICAL proof that boobs are not there for the benefit of men."

I had become so obsessed with the way that a man would view me that I completely forgotten their true purpose; to give life. I started to think more about how amazing their function was rather than how they looked on the outside. Who cared what men thought? I could give life to another human and sustain it. I began to get more confidence in myself, even looking at myself in the mirror before hopping in the shower, and I have never looked back.

Yes, of course I still have days when I think gosh I'd love perky boobs like your woman from 50 Shades Of Grey but then I remember that I am perfect exactly the way I am.

So here are a few things to remember:

Yes they feel pretty good and yes they can be fun to play with, but if a guy you're with tells you he doesn't like the way you look, honey you get right up and walk right out and don't look back.

That's amazing.

This is a must. I guarantee that you are not the only one in your friend group who feels this way or has boobs they aren't happy with. My friends helped me a lot, and by talking truthfully to them I discovered that not one of them was happy with they're own, so we all help each other out. If you're not comfortable talking to a friend, talk to your mum or aunt or granny. If you don't want to talk to anyone you know, I'm always here. Sometimes it does help to talk to an anonymous person, and I'm truly happy to help. Just don't go delving into the deep dark world that is the internet, because you'll end up feeling worse than you did before you went in.

Probably not the thing you wanted to hear, but it does. However, losing it (just not too much) can help you to feel a lot better in yourself . When I started losing the weight I had gained I began using this cream to help keep them as good as possible, and it really works.

This is one of the hardest things to get your head around, but it is completely true. The more you begin to love yourself the more self confidence you have, which in turn makes you love yourself even more. It's hard to see what natural bodies look like with all the propaganda thrown at us, however I have always found the most natural beauty in those who don't do anything with themselves and who always have a smile. A perfect example of this is if you google women in tribes who wear scarcely anything, yet are so comfortable in themselves because they know nothing less than the natural body they have been given, and they are incredibly thankful, and so should you be.

I hope I have been of some use to at least a few people as this is a post I have been wanting to do for a while now and now that it's here I feel quite scared to press the publish button, but I know that if I can help at least one person then I have done the right thing.

Leave a comment as always and I hope to talk to you guys again soon. Remember, I'm always here if you need me.

Song of the day : 'Young and Beautiful' - Lana Del Ray

N x

Thursday, 1 October 2015

September Favourites 2015

It only felt like yesterday when the first of September came plummeting around the corner to bring summer to an abrupt  and painful end for me and James S. Potter who rode the Hogwarts Express to his first year at Hogwarts *squeals*, yet here we are, October already. But do not despair, because October means 2 things: Autumn and Hallowe'en.

However, now it is time to lament the rude beauty that was September and to share with you guys a few of my favourite things from this last month.

The first was my only read in September (only cause it was so motherf*ckin' big) and was the infamous 'A Game Of Thrones' by the great, yet somewhat creepy, George R. R. Martin. 

I was a late arrival to the GoT fandom, but I've decided to make up for my tardiness by reading the series that inspired the show. It has to be said that I wasn't expecting great things from this series, having watched the show and seeing how well it was dramatized, however I was pleasantly surprised to realise how wrong I was. 'A Game Of Thrones' is a beautifully written, well thought out piece of literature that depicts an easy to follow story (if you pay attention). 

The writing style is not what I expected at all, and the character descriptions are slightly different from the way they are on the show, but what page-to-screen adaptation isn't? There is stunning imagery and beautiful descriptions that allow you to create the perfect image in your mind's eye. My personal favorite line, and the one that sticks in my memory the most, is this - "Black and white and grey, all the shades of truth" as it so, well, true. For me, this was a definite favourite and I urge you to pick up the series, TV or book, if and when you have the chance. (FYI there are some raunchy scenes so DO NOT listen to the audiobook when your parents are within listening distance...)

My favourite music from this month is an older album, but has to be the masterpiece that is 'Glitterbug' by The Wombats.

If you regularly read my posts, or have seen a previous one of my own, you may have noticed that I do a Song Of The Day at the end of each post. I have used some of The Wombats songs there before, but I think now is the time to give them a proper tribute. 'Glitterbug' is the band's 3rd album and my favourite so far. Some of you may already know some of their songs, as they are used as background music for TV shows like The Inbetweeners, and that's exactly where I first found them. This is a definite favourite for me would be right up the street of anyone who likes the older, alternative indie brit pop. I'll leave a link to the album sample at the end of the post, and I highly recommend you give it a listen.

A TV show that I have been loving this September is Doctor Foster shown on BBC1 on Wednesday nights at 9pm. 

I know not everyone who reads my blog is British, or has access to British TV, but if you ever happen across this show online I would definitely recommend giving it a watch. It's a six part drama surrounding the life of Dr. Gemma Foster, who recently found out her husband was having an affair. It follows the complete upheaval of her life, and how she reacts to the news. Next Wednesday is the season finale and has been set up for a heart-wrenching and climactic finish which promises to keep the audience on the edge of their seats until the end.

My finale miscellaneous favourite of September simply has to be my favourite piece of stationary; my pencil case.

Now I know this seems like a silly thing to have as a favourite, but when I found it in Urban Outfitters (£8) I could not stop laughing. It has gotten me some pretty funny looks (by teachers especially) but it was totally worth it - I laugh every time I take it out of my bag. It's always the simple things...

And so that concludes my September favorites for 2015. Thank you very much for making it to the end of my rambles, and as always, a comment and a share would mean a great deal.

Song of the day : 'Glitterbug : Album Sampler' - The Wombats

N x