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Monday, 7 August 2017

Disney Addictions: Film Review

"Remember, when you go out not to put too much makeup otherwise the boys will get the wrong idea and you know how they are... " - Morgan (Enchanted)
 
I've decided to have a new type of Blog Post called Disney Addictions, where I will review some of my favourite Disney movies and just rant for about 700 ~ 800 words as to why I'm unhealithily obsessed with this £92 billon  industry which has been the foundation of my childhood and just made my life just a little more magical.




 
Star Rating: *****
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 49mins
Cast:
Amy Adams,
James Marsden,
 Patrick Dempsey,
 Susan Sarandon,
Timothy Spall,
 Idina Menzel,
Rachel Covey

 

 
Enchanted was released in 2007, making it 10 YEARS OLD! That's 3650 days or 521 weeks or even 5,256,000 minutes! That is an old movie. As they say old movies are usually classics, take Breakfast at Tiffany's for example, that was released in 1961 making that 56 years old; An absolute classic.
 
I would call Enchanted, for any of those who have not had the pleasure of watching it, a mixture of every beloved fairy tale to create a new one of it's own kind. With a fitting cast to portray the classic magic of which every Disney movie should possess.
 
So a little summary...

Banished by an evil queen, Princess Giselle (Adams) from a fairy tale world lands in modern Manhattan, where music, magic and the classic fairytale romance are sorely lacking. She is adrift in this strange new place until a divorce lawyer (Dempsey) comes to her aid. Giselle begins to fall for her flawed benefactor, but the storybook romace gets complicated when a prince from her world(Marsden) comes to rescue her.
 
SPOILER ALERT!

The first thing to disscuss is definitely the clever crossover between the conventional cartoon structure of a Disney movie with the contrasted live- action modern day fairytale. We first see Enchanted begin in the classic manner of being in fairytale form, with ogres, magic and music being seen as the main factors of this Disney fairytale. The story then quickly progresses to be able to see Giselle tackle life in modern Manhattan. Through this you can clearly see that this almost automatic switch of worlds is representitave of Giselle's need for a classic fairytale romance, however she will not find it in Andalasia (her cartoon home) but in modern day Manhattan, which for her is definitely not the ideal location for a romance.

Andalasia is a typical fairytale home for our pricess Giselle. The typical thing for a Disney movie fan to say is that to find the man you love, you should hang out in a forest; which is technically true. But without Andalasia, there would be no Manhattan. So maybe, this is a way of again presenting Manhattan as untypical for a princess to find love.

As all Disney fans do, we always analyse the princess of the story to see how she can portray the role of women. So this is my analysis. Giselle seems to present herself primarily as a ditzy and clueless princess, randomly reminding me of Daphne from Scooby- Doo: always having to be saved by a man. The typical. However, when she enters the live-action section we do see her progress becoming more independent even though she relies on Dempsey's character to be able to get around modern life. By the end of the movie, we see yet again another role reversal, where Giselle must save her prince Robert (Dempsey) from the evil queen. This evidently presents female empowerment to girls of a young age through the idea that frankly the stereotypical princess, for lack of a better word b***s**t. She manages to fight for herself and for what she wants.Giving girls a positive message of how to tackle the world on your own.

That's what I love about Disney princess movies, even though there can be said to be flaws in the princesses by a modern standard, they all individually have qualities within them which are highly admirable by anyone's standards. Take the classic princess Cinderella, she taught that kindness is an extremely important and aimiable within a person overcoming oppression from her unkind step- family. Modern movies such as Beauty and the Beast teach that love isn't just based upon good-looks (Gaston) but upon strength of character and personality (The Beast).

I suppose you could call Enchanted a movie that pays homage to every single classic Disney fairytale. The classics are the best, The classics are the ones which we all have watched hundreds and hundreds of times as a child and still love to this day. By incorperating all the old ones, it creates a new one which is just as loveable as the ones in the past.

Our next discussion, is Dempsey's role as an unconventional love interest for Giselle the princess.
I suppose the main aspect which makes Dempsey's character so unconventional is the fact that he is a divorce lawyer, which in turn automatically rules him out for the audience as a love interest because of his pessimistic view upon romantic relationships, especially marriage. We see Robert (Dempsey's character) unable to comprehend how Giselle could know someone for only a day and want to marry them. I think this again ties in with the idea that the stereotypical fairytale and reality of love are complete and polar opposites to one another. Dempsey's attitude towards Giselle's sudden outbreaks into song and dance also bring out the unenthusiastic side to his personality outwards because of her fixation on the ideal of a fairytale romance. His reluctance to be able to allow fairytales to become part of his daughter's life also shows his inhability to allow imagination to take over.

But somehow, like any fairytale they fall in love. This is where we welcome the most romantic and Disney-fied ballroom scene ever! It' so cheesy I love it! Within this scene she truly discovers how much she has bonded with Robert and how dearly she loves him. In true Disney fashion this takes place at some sort of 15th Century style ballroom with costumes and everything! Before you give this a watch, I'll just give you a little spoiler when I say that throughout the movvie he makes clear his reluctance to dance and sing. ENJOY!
 

There are no words to be able to explain why I love this film so much. It's just perfect. Perfect cast. Perfect Music. Perfect Costumes. Perfect storyline.

Actually speechless at the moment.

I feel like this post has just been me rambling for about 2 hours about stuff that probably makes you think that I'm a crazy b**** but I am.

Of course, I'm aware that Disney Movies aren't exactly reality and I'm usually quite knowlegable about that fact, but there's something about this movie that just makes me melt. I love every Disney movie, but this one just has that edge which makes it my all time favourite. I'll probably turn out to be a 95 year old crazy cat lady rewatching this movie three times a day no failure. That's how much I love it.

I don't know whether to apologize for the amount of appreciation I've given this movie or whether I should just tell you to give it a watch and evaluate it for yourselves!

Thanks Guys!









Monday, 31 July 2017

Room Tour

" Dysania (noun) - The state of finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning"


I feel like a bedroom as a teenager is an important place, not only as a way to design it yourself and express yourself creatively, but to also have a space in which you can relax and unwind, forgetting about the stresses of modern teenage life.

I thought it would be a good idea to do a post on my individual space to perhaps to give those of you who are looking for some inspiration to re-design or "jazz-up" your current space. So, I'm going to talk through some of the main items that I have filled my room with to maybe try and give you readers a little bit of insight into my living space.

Just a warning, my bedroom isn't filled with the most expensive items, but is more of a high-street find wonderland. For any of you that find any of my items interesting, I will leave links so you can go and check it out!

For a very long time I didn't get the chance to redecorate my room because of certain reasons, and was living in the world of a seven year old at the age of fourteen which wasn't exactly practical for sleepovers etc.

Now, I've redecorated and have slowly added little trinkets to be able to call my bedroom my own and I AM IN LOVE... if I do say so myself.



£15.00

I found this duvet cover in the homeware section of Asda, and I have to say, I really love it! I think it very much gives of a Kath Kidston vibe with vintage floral patterns being part of the main design. It has a reversible cover, so if you are like me, you will want a change every once in a while. The reverse side can be seen to have a sunflower pattern which screams summer vibes. So, to accompany this duvet cover, I also bought a coral/peach colour bedsheet to contrast the colours! I am a huge fan of new bed sheets!


£12.99


My obsession with the 1950's/60's Hollywood star Audrey Hepburn probably reached another level once I discovered this beautiful wallpaper. This wallpaper has been designed with various pictures of the press shots from her most famous movie Breakfast at Tiffany's. I bought this paper because I saw potential in it to become the perfect feature wall wallpaper and definitely gives my bedroom a modern/vintage vibe. Audrey Hepburn definitely does ooze the modern vibe that I love and I'm in love with this wallpaper. I decided that a black and white wallpaper would be perfect to glam up with other decorative items.

£12.99


To continue with my Audrey Hepburn obsession, I received this wall clock as a gift from a friend who I had made aware of my unhealthy obsession with Audrey Hepburn. I won't lie to you, but I only use this clock purely for decorative purposes because the noise that this clock makes Its absolutely deafening at 11pm in the night! It definitely gives an elegant finishing touch to my room
 which I love.

£19.75


I actually got this from a car boot sale, however, I have linked something very similar for you guys to take a look at. I thought that this canvas would look amazing on my walls because of the vibe I wanted to add to when decorating my room. Black and white things really do work for me!

£12 per shelf


For a very long time I have been waiting to put up some shelves because of my overwhelmingly large pile of books accumulating over time, but now I can sleep peacefully knowing that all my literature is in order. I chose the grey oak to complement the lilac coloured walls and to also complement the wallpaper! I think that the shelves are an extremely reasonable, but as I always say, "as long as you use it, it's worth it".

A room tour has been a blog post I've been wanting to do for a very long time! I hope you've enjoyed!!

Thanks Guys!











Monday, 24 July 2017

Things I Love...

"These are a few of my favourite things..." - Julie Andrews

Look! Another GIF!
List posts seem to be rather popular on blogs so I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon once again.
Seeing as my lucky number is 23, I thought I would list 23 of my favourite things for you nosey readers out there!

HERE WE GO! (In No Particular Order)

  1. Dogs/Puppies
  2. Notebooks
  3. New bedsheets
  4. Books
  5. Music
  6. Winter time
  7. Rom-Coms
  8. New Socks
  9. Croissants
  10. Audrey Hepburn
  11. Instagram
  12. Friends (obvs)
  13. Family (obvs)
  14. Cake
  15. Giraffes
  16. Stationery
  17. Waffles
  18. Patrick Dempsey
  19. Countryside
  20. Tea
  21. IKEA
  22. Yellow roses
  23. Blankets
So that is 23 things that I love so much that I couldn't live without! Judge for yourselves whether my life is exciting or mundane purely from this list of items. I personally believe my life is a pretty simple one.

For all you nosey readers out there, I hope I have quenched your thirst to get to know me a little bit better but what I want to know is:

What are your favourite things?

Feel free to leave a comment, because like you, I'm really nosey too!

Thanks Guys!


Monday, 17 July 2017

Instagram Goals

"No one's life is as perfect as their Instagram feed"- Anon
Recently, I've been loving my own Instagram feed. I know it may seem extremely self-centred to be so confident of my own creation, but, I really do love what I'm posting at the moment. SO I thought I would use this post to show you guys some of my favourite posts from my entire Instagram feed and hopefully give you some inspiration too!

Instagram makes our lives seem perfect, but can I remind you that Instagram is a collection of single moments in our lives, Not every post is as interesting as it is made out to be through social media. Not everyone is always at restaurants and parties making sure their social media is updated before actually enjoying themselves at the moment.

I personally believe even though I love my posts on the social media site, they are quite mundane.

I'd just like to say that these photos are not taken using a professional camera, but are all taken with the camera on my mobile phone.



I thought that this would make a good & quick post for you guys to look at on a Monday morning!

Heasd over for my Instagram page @life_as_abbie for more!

Thanks Guys!

Thursday, 13 July 2017

About Me: Living with Cerebral Palsy

"Despite my disabilities, I am as valuable as anybody else to the world" - Katherine Hayward
 This is a serious post. Well, when I say serious, I mean real.
So this will probably take a while.

I've been wanting to discuss this on my blog for a long time, and I suppose you could say that I've finally grown the balls to do so.

HERE WE GOO...

If you know me, you will know that I'm a huge fan of a show called "First Dates" where all kinds of people have a blind date in a restaurant in the hope of finding love.

You may be asking yourself what relevance this has to this particular post. Well, in one particular episode that was aired recently, we saw a man named David who was a sufferer also of the same form of cerebral palsy as myself.

Seeing him open up  having to go through the same things I am going through at this moment in time in terms of dealing with modern life and disability it made me aware that I'm not alone in this. Before that episode was aired, I had never seen another person in reality or through a TV screen walk the same way I walk. I'm not going to lie to you, it made me cry. In fact, David spoke of how when dating, people tend to notice his disability before they see him for who he really is. This is actually one of my biggest fears: being judged for something I cannot control. It is crazy to think how his fears about the future mirror mine quite accurately.

It's definitely not difficult to spot when someone suffers from such a form of the condition. You will see a major difference in the way you walk compared to the way I walk. If you know me, you've probably put this physical attribute the back of your minds because it's normal for you to see it.

The form of Cerebral Palsy from which I suffer is often know as Diplegia, which can be defined as "constant "tightness" or "stiffness"—in the muscles of the lower extremities of the human body, usually those of the legs".

The reason why this is so plain to see, is due to the fact that when I walk, my feet turn in on themselves causing me to walk very strangely in comparison to a normal person. This in turn effects my balance and my confidence while walking.

As a child, it never really effected me that much, but that's probably because I didn't exactly understand why walking on your tip-toes was so abnormal. I still walk on my toes now. As a child I just thought I had special treatment because I was a nice person, not because I had something physically wrong with me. By special treatment I mean I didn't have to take part in PE lessons, I didn't get to go on certain school trips and I couldn't use the stairs without help. I suppose you're thinking that not doing PE is the best thing ever, but when your a 10 year old who is full of energy is limited by their physical abilities it can be quite a downer on your confidence.

All through my school years, I had medical help to try and decrease the severity of my difficulties through numerous pairs of "specially adapted" insoles and "specially adapted" splints and physiotherapy that just wouldn't seem to rid of something that was really effecting my confidence quite largely. I think it was the subconscious feeling that having all these things such as physiotherapy would be an admission of the fact that there was something wrong with me. This is probably where my insecurities primarily came from.

There was one instance in which my doctor recorded my walking to see how exactly he could help me improve. It was only then I began to realise the obviousness of my condition. When watching back this recording to discuss what could be done, I got upset because  up to that point I didn't realise you could visibly see the differences in walking between myself and others.

In Comprehensive School, you could say that on the outside I tried to ignore my condition as best I could by being positive and thinking I could do anything and keeping up a brave face, with nobody in my school questioning the way in which I walked. However, once I did get asked outright by a pupil I didn't even know "Why are you walking like a weirdo?". That stuck in my head for quite some time, considering I can remember that word for word to this day, it obviously has effected me quite severely. Considering before then I never had anyone noticing my condition and I felt normal this was a huge reality check for me.

Since leaving school to move on to Further education, my confidence levels have gone up immensely and I now feel part of a 'normal' community living a 'normal' life unlike in the past. As I've grown up with the disability I've come to realise that it doesn't define me  at all.

When I feel low about it now I just think "F*** it!". I've come to realise that my disability is part of who I am and I've accepted it. If I didn't have my disability I reckon I would be a different person (and that's not good because I'm amazing!) *blows own trumpet*. Of course I have my down days, but less often than in the past. I've come to realise that this disability has no cure. I just have to "keep on swimming".

I think this change came when I read a book that I recently put in a previous post called "What the F*** is Normal?" by Francesca Martinez. Francesca Martinez suffers from a more severe form of Cerebral Palsy than myself but most the things she was able mention definitely resonated with me and my experiences with the condition. Her funny yet real explanation of life really did make me stop and think about how I was viewing my disability. There's a quote in this book that sums it up perfectly:

"The only power we have in life is the power to choose what we think"

This powerful and poignant line really did make me think that I can choose to either continue thinking negatively of my disability or start to think positively and be the person I really am and not the one people see as disabled.

I have to be honest, now I'm college, not everyone needs to know about it. I have a small group of friends who don't question it and I feel like this has definitely boosted my confidence. I think I have this feeling in college because it's a free environment, you can do what you want, which in turn has taught me to live my life without supervision like I have done in the past. Independence is a virtue.

I'm just going to take everyday as it comes and try not to think negatively of it because that will just effect me further in the long run.

I understand that this post probably did bring you down a little bit but I feel it was something that needed to be addressed. I've never really spoken about how I feel towards my physical difficulty before, so I'm sorry if you were expecting a book review or a cookery post. I thought now was the time to address this. I suppose now you know me a little better than before. So maybe I should do About Me posts more often!

To end this post I would just like to say how important it is to raise awareness of conditions like mine and for more information please visit The Disability Charity Website / SCOPE UK.

This is probably the first time I've talked about my feelings towards my condition, I would really like to thank anyone who took the time to read this particular post all the way through, it definitely means a lot to know that you guys are actually reading this blog!

Thanks Guys!




Monday, 10 July 2017

What's in My Makeup Bag?

Makeup can only make you look pretty on the outside, but it doesn't help if you're ugly on the inside, unless you eat the makeup" - Audrey Hepburn

I suppose you could call me a "late bloomer" in terms of the makeup thing. The only reason I started wearing makeup was because of the lovely and very influential 'Zoella' or Zoe Sugg as she's formally known. Before then, I was a spotty fourteen year old who thought lipsticks were more functional as highly pigmented Crayola's.

My first piece of makeup was from a magazine, a cheap unlabelled bottle of clumpy mascara, that probably could have given me a strong form of conjunctivitis. I suppose as teenagers we all have to face a phase of patchy makeup and hair mascara. My personal favourite, as a child would have to be the Girls World makeup set that was purposely purchased for you just to influence you into being outright feminine.

Today, as a seventeen year old, I could never imagine myself leaving the house without mascara and concealer to hide my imperfections. I suppose you could argue that makeup is a negative thing which influences women to hide themselves under three layers of Rimmel Full Coverage Foundation. However, I like to think makeup allows me to feel empowered and confident in a society that demands perfection.

But of course, over the years my skills and choice of makeup vastly improved knowing about the in's and out's of the makeup industry. I guess you could call me more of a high-street makeup shopper rather than a high-end connoisseur because after all, I am a student who spends more money on textbooks than the weekly shop.

I have some extreme essentials and must haves that must be included in my makeup bag otherwise, I will look tired and down trodden. I suppose you could call these the bare essentials of my makeup bag.

To be able to demonstrate what my desired look is for a usual day, I suppose I should insert a photo and from this in turn ,I suppose you can see the quality of the products I'm about to talk about.



Let's Begin...

In the words of Maria Von Trapp "Let's start from the very beginning a very good place to start..."
My first Bare Essential is of course the foundation, I understand many girls somehow find the time to go all the way and decide to use primers and all kinds of moisturisers but to be honest...

Inserting GIF shows my high quality technical skills coming in handy!

However, I tend to use a basic moisturiser that's probably around the £2 mark, just to hydrate my skin in the morning and get ready for the day ahead. Through using a moisturiser you can definitely see the difference on the way your makeup sits on the skin and makes it all the better.

My first key product has to be my Maybelline ' Fit Me! ' Foundation in shade 100/102. I turn out to be quite a pale shade in most foundations and being a pale shade is always risky. You can either turn out to look like a Geisha girl or a cast member of The Only Way is Essex. There's no in between.


I cannot speak highly enough of this foundation because It is truly amazing! It does give a full coverage and is very light when applied to the skin, allowing it not to show pores and thus not being of a cakey consistency. I'm very impressed considering I've tried so many high-street products, including both Rimmel and Collection Foundations. Considering I suffer from oily skin most of the time, it has the most long lasting wear I've ever experienced. I do not tend to use a concealer because the foundation gives really good coverage under my eyes and my dark circles are no more!

However, there is one negative issue with this foundation. The fact that it comes in the form of a 'squeezy' bottle, I find it extremely annoying and a very messy process. One thing I would ask of this foundation is to come in a pump bottle form to save my clumsiness from becoming a problem.



My next 'Must have' has to be the Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder, I usually use this in shade 004 "Sandstorm". I just use this to keep my foundation in place for the day and I find it very good in perfecting my base look. This also allows for a 'sun-kissed' effect which I love because I use a shade one shade darker than usual. It just sets my makeup perfectly and makes my skin look flawless. Definitely would recommend to first time makeup users! Affordability is key in my opinion, especially when you may not be able to afford high-end products such as MAC and NARS products.



On to the next item on my list: The Make Me Up: Too Nude Eyeshadow Palette. I tried to find a link for this one but because it its a dupe product it doesn't have a website or places you can buy it online which is extremely strange for a product like this. In terms of similarity, the most similar to this product that I have used, has to be the W7 Lightly Toasted Eyeshadow Palette. If you are a sucker for a neutral shades selection then these are the palettes for you. My go to look for the Too Nude Palette has to be a neutral shade with a shimmer. So I tend to use the shade "Nutmeg" all over the lid while blending into the crease. I then either use the shades "Rose Gold" or "Copper" in the middle of the lid to blend outwards.




I must say I truly love this palette because of it's range of nude shades. I think a nude shade palette is extremely important when using on a daily basis and is perfect for beginners who may be a bit scared to go for the brighter shades such as pinks and blues. Like I always say, less is more, hence why I usually use a neutral shade eyeshadow palette.

On to Lip Products...

I don't usually tend to use bright lip products because in all honesty, they scare the s*** out of me.
I love a nude lip, but because I'm one of those girls who deals with the hell of dry lips, I usually use lip glosses to stop the humiliation of a cracked lipstick.


 The products I tend to use most are the New Look Pure Colour Matte Lip Colours in the shade previously known as "Mink" but now is simply renamed "Nude Pink". I have these shades in a Matte Liquid Lipstick and a lip gloss. I just simply apply the lipstick onto a bare lip and then to finish apply the lip gloss for that extra shine. I only have one problem with the Liquid Lip Colour, that is, that because of it's high colour pigmentation it is extremely hard to remove from the lip due to its extra stay long wear. I love this shade because it's natural but then again, adds more colour to my final look. I stay in the safe zone when choosing lip products, normally shades that best match my natural lip colour so then I don't stray away into crazy colours which quite frankly, I cannot pull off.

So, that's what's in my makeup bag ( Well, the 'what I call' essentials anyway) I do believe that having a basic set of makeup products really does make it easier to decide what to wear on a daily basis rather than having tonnes and tonnes to choose from. Maybe I'm saying that because I'm ever so indecisive but it works for me!

I do hope you've enjoyed this post! Feel free to leave any comments!
QOTD: What are your "Must haves" in your makeup collection?
I would love to know to be able to give some new products a try :)

Thanks Guys!



 

Thursday, 6 July 2017

June Favourites 2017

"New Month. New Mindset."- Anon
Welcome to my first Monthly Favourites Post! 

I've been enjoying many things this month, but I've narrowed it down to a few key products that I've been using this month. There is a wide range of things which I've been enjoying from books to make up. These things I have chosen I really do love and I must tell you about them!

HERE WE GO!!

What the **** is Normal?
Francesca Martinez
Where to Buy?: Waterstones


This book. This book is absolutely amazing! Francesca Martinez, if you don't know is a comedienne who suffers with cerebral palsy. In this book she explains what it's like to live with the condition. I related to this book so much, being a sufferer of a mild form of cerebral palsy myself, and I felt like I really connected with the author on a personal level because of this. She talks of her insecurities and how her life carries on just like anybody else's while battling her cerebral palsy.

I must say thank you to Francesca for creating a book  that summarises all of the struggles a disabled individual may face within life in such a powerful and comedic way!  Through suffering with a disability myself, I truly understand what it's like to feel the way she felt through being pressured by society to be 'normal' but from this  book I have actually learned that there is no such thing as normal, and that I should take everyday as it comes and stick two fingers up at society's ideals over the word 'normal', because in reality, there is no such thing as normal!

Never have I related more to such an amazing book! I would highly recommend this to you if you are suffering from a disability and feel lonely in the world, because before reading this, I definitely felt like I was the only one suffering in this world, but YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I would also like others to read this who may have preconceptions about those who do suffer from a disability of some form, because I can promise you, living with a disability such as cerebral palsy is definitely not life limiting.

Stabilo Fine liners 10 Pack
Where to Buy?: STABILO.com



I actually received these as a birthday gift from a friend who knew of my addiction to stationery. If you know me, you will know I am a slight stationery hoarder and collector. I really love these fine liners due to the fact that they are extremely good quality and have a 'cap-off ' policy, in which you can leave the caps off for hours and they still work to a high quality. I also love them because of the depth and quality of the ink that is produced. They really do produce a deep colour which I find is perfect to be able to use on an adult colouring book (especially the parts that require attention to detail) as a past art student, I really find the quality of a product such as this to be key for me to be able to splash out on a product such as these.

I've actually ordered another set of these pens and another thing that just drew me towards this product is definitely the price. Now, I'm no millionaire and I don't receive any monetary reward for doing this blog. So if I buy a product it's because I think its a good quality. I'm pleased to inform you that I've just bought a pack of thirty of these fine liners because I love them so much!
I can't have hours of fun to colour with these and to also brush up on the aesthetics of this years revision notes. I would definitely recommend these to any students out there who love to inject a sprinkle of colour into their notes to help them revise.


 Soap & Glory Trio
Where to Buy?: Boots


Again, I received this as a birthday gift from a friend, and was absolutely star struck. I always seem to become star struck when I come across Soap and Glory products because of the fact that the quality of their products is just unbelievable. So this set is rightfully named "All the Right Smoothies". Whenever I'm in a high street drug store, I always find the time to be able to catch a whiff of everything on the bath product stand because of it's what I call ' Lush Store Effect ' where the scents are so strong, they cling to you for hours. My favourite scent over all has to be the sugar crush range because of the almond, coconut and lime scents that remind me of being on a tropical island which is where I'd really rather be right now! If you want to smell like a holiday, the Sugar Crush Range is for you!

I'm always amazed by the packaging of Soap and Glory products because their advertisement team must put so much time into art designs and tag-line like names for products which remind me much of the makeup line of Benefit because of it's 1950's pin-up girl vibe. It's safe to say, I'M IN LOVE.


OH WONDER: OH WONDER (2015)
Where to Buy?: Amazon


Yes, I am aware I've mentioned this previously, but this is definitely an all time favourite album of mine for the last couple of months. Before I actually bought the album I'd been using all my skips on my Spotify, to be able to listen to this album on repeat and streaming the life out of this album! This must be one of the first albums in which I love every single track equally. They are THAT good! For some reason, I do feel like this duo is definitely under-rated because of their lack of tracks in the charts. I do feel as if their quality of music shows through because of the fact that this, as their first album has dropped a whopping fifteen tracks. THAT IS IMPRESSIVE for a debut album.

Their next album: Ultralife is released this month on the 14th of July (I have pre-ordered, of course) I am very excited because I have never liked a band so much to be able to make the effort to pre-order music.

I find this all very strange because I don't think I've had a fangirl period over a band for a long time since around 2008 and the whole JLS obsession. I never really got on the One Direction bandwagon, which is strange because back in the day, I was their target audience (11 year old girls with teeny bopper obsessions).

Lion (2016)
Where to Buy?: Amazon


So, over the last few months the film 'Lion' has had so much reception because of it's success at the Bafta's. Being a fan of films that are a true story, I borrowed the DVD from a friend to jump on the bandwagon and give it a watch.

If you don't know the plot:
"Five year old Saroo gets lost on a train travelling away from his home and family. Frightened and alone, he ends up thousands of miles away, in chaotic Kolkata. Somehow he survives living on the streets and escaping all sorts of terrors before ending up in an orphanage. Eventually Saroo is adopted by an Australian couple and finds love as he grows up in Hobart. As an adult, Saroo hopes of finding his lost mother and brother. Armed with only a handful of memories and his determination, Saroo sets out to find his lost family and return to his first home."

I must say, I was sceptical of this movie because it could be either very good or mediocre. I must warn you if you want to watch this, you MUST invest in boxes and boxes of Kleenex. It is such an emotional story, which will make you cry throughout. Just to say, I was in tears ten minutes into the movie. With a star studded cast including Nicole Kidman this story is a very emotional and also uplifting and is overall INCREDIBLE.

 Dev Patel stars as an adult Saroo, portrays his character with such accuracy and emotion that he definitely deserved more than a Bafta, he needed an Oscar for the performance that he gave as a son who's lost his identity and his birth family.

I hope you've enjoyed my monthly favourites, because I know I have.

QOTD: What products have you been loving this month?

Thanks Guys!

Monday, 3 July 2017

My Summer Reading List

" I was born with a reading list I will never finish" - Maud Casey
As an English Literature student, I feel it's always important to have a reading list ready to know
what you want and need to read to stay ahead in the course. Reading Lists are something I always tend to make, but never actually stick to. So, this year I'm making a new resolution to read all the books on my reading list before the end of the summer.

I have a passion for reading, although I would call myself sometimes a victim of the whole "judge a book by it's cover", but I do think we sometimes all fall victim to that philosophy, it's human nature.

I'm going to try my best not to judge a book by it's cover and completely research these books that I want to read over the summer holiday period.

SO HERE IT IS...
(In no particular order)

Mrs Dalloway (1925)
Virginia Woolf
"You cannot find peace by avoiding life." - Woolf


So, the reason I've chosen this is because I'm quite a fan of pre-2000 literature and it is on my reading list for my English Literature course. Virginia Woolf herself, you may know, was a literary figure with very liberal and modern views on some of the prominent issues within society such as feminism and sexuality. I've read the blurb for this novel, and I feel as it has room to offer some extremely controversial opinions of these issues at the time. I'm very excited to read this due to the fact that I feel it will interest me because of the way it has been written in stream of consciousness which is in itself intriguing. Out of all the books assigned for me to read during the course of the year, this is definitely the one that interests me the most at this point.


More Moaning: The Enlightened One Returns (2016)
Karl Pilkington
"A slug is always on its own. It's a lonely insect." - Pilkington


As you can probably tell, this book is probably a lot less sophisticated and thought provoking as the works of Virginia Woolf, but I do like a variety of genres in my reading lists. In the past I've read many of Karl Pilkington's books and I am, of course a huge fan of his attempts at philosophical thoughts and theories. So this book is a humorous travel diary. He has had a series of these in the past but this is the only one I have yet failed to read. I cannot wait to read this instalment because I feel my love for his travel diaries will be restored. In a strange way, even though he isn't a very thoughtful man, he always has detailed thoughts of the places he visits and the people he meets, showing his true interest in the world and its inhabitants.

In Cold Blood (1966)
Truman Capote
"Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act." - Capote


I suppose you could say I've zoomed back to the classics. I have loved Truman Capote ever since I read Breakfast at Tiffany's. In Cold Blood is a later novel, with Breakfast at Tiffany's published in 1958. In Cold Blood can be seen to be a non-fiction novel about the murders of four members of the Herbert Clutter family. Now, I was first introduced to this book by my mother, who is also fascinated by murder/mystery novels such as these. Knowing that I too have a keen interest in topics such as these she recommended this novel. If you know me, you already know that I am a sucker for a murder mystery television series, but never have I read a novel of the same genre. This should be very interesting to see what I think of this.


Emma (1815)
Jane Austen
"There is something so amiable in the prejudices of a young mind, that one is sorry to see them give way to the reception of more general opinions." - Austen


The first Austen Novel I ever read was Northanger Abbey, I just fell in love with the female protagonist Catherine Moorland and definitely fell deeper in love with Mr Tilney!
That's what I love about Austen's novels, they all portray a different type of woman within society at the time but still you can make links between them all! Of course, Austen recently celebrated a 200th Anniversary which shows how influential her novels have been in terms of the stance of women within literature, those who follow her are the likes of the Bronte sisters and even modern writers of the 21st Century. Emma, weirdly is the only book of Austen's I have not had the chance to read, which is strange considering it is of course, one of her most famous. Emma Woodhouse, I have researched is the epitome of an excitable teenage girl who loves to try and play the role of matchmaker within her friendship group. I love Emma's suggested spirit for life and enthusiasm!

The Handmaid's Tale (1985)
Margaret Atwood
"War is what happens when language fails." - Atwood


This can be classified as a dystopian novel Set in a near-future New England in a Totalitarian Theocracy that has overthrown the United States government, the novel explores themes of women in subjugation and the various means by which they gain individualism and independence. This book has recently been made into a television series. I have not seen the television series due to the fact that I am a firm believer that the book is always better than it's adaptations. I love the sound of this novel because it can address some serious issues that may be faced by women in the future and really highlights the struggles that women can be forced to deal with in today's modern society. I'm guessing the whole idea of this novel is to highlight controversial issues and get people talking. I am very excited to get reading this one!

I understand that there is not much structure to this reading list whatsoever, but these are the top 5 books that I want to read over the summer because of the amazing reviews they've had all throughout social media and on bookstore websites.

QOTD; What's on your summer reading list?

Thanks Guys!


Thursday, 29 June 2017

Feminist Feelings #2: Who is Virginia Woolf?



“ I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them was often a woman” - Virginia Woolf

 So recently, I discovered the write Virginia Woolf through the wonders of my English Literature course. I thought I would share with you readers some of the information that I found out while I was doing some background research for my class.



Image result for virginia woolf  D.O.B ~ 25th January 1882                                                                     
    Died ~ 28th March 1941
    Spouse ~ Leonard Woolf (m. 1912 - 1941)
    Siblings ~ Vanessa Bell, Gerald Duckworth,
    Thoby Stephen, Adrian Stephen, Stella Duckworth, Laura Stephen

    Parents ~ Sir Leslie Stephen (Father)
    Julia Prinscep Stephen (Nee Jackson) (Mother)


  Early Life


Her father, Sir Leslie Stephen, was a historian and author, as well as one of the most prominent figures in the golden age of mountaineering. Woolf’s mother, Julia Prinsep Stephen (née Jackson), had been born in India and was also a nurse and wrote a book on the profession.
 Woolf was taught at home and utilized the splendid confines of the family’s library. Moreover, Woolf’s parents were extremely well connected, both socially and artistically.
 In 1895, at the age of thirteen, she also had to cope with the sudden death of her mother, from rheumatic fever, which led to her first mental breakdown and the loss of her sister Stella, who had become head of the household, two years later.
During this time, Woolf continued her studies at the Ladies Department of King’s College, London. Her studies introduced her to the feminist movement.
After her father’s death, Woolf met members of the Bloomsbury Group.

The Bloomsbury Group

An influential group of associated English writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists which included Virginia Woolf herself. Their works and outlook deeply influenced literature, aesthetics, criticisms and economics as well as modern attitudes towards feminism, pacifism and sexuality. The group became famous in 1910 for the Dreadnought Hoax, a practical joke in which members of the group dressed up as a delegation of Ethiopian royals, including Virginia disguised as a bearded man, and successfully persuaded the English Royal Navy to show them their warship, the HMS Dreadnought. After the outrageous act, Leonard Woolf and Virginia became closer, and eventually they were married on August 10, 1912.

Throughout her career, Woolf spoke regularly at colleges and universities, penned dramatic letters, wrote moving essays and self published a long list of short stories. By her forties she had established herself as an intellectual, an innovative and influential writer and pioneering feminist. Despite her outward success, she continued to regularly suffer from debilitating bouts of depression and dramatic mood swings. Unable to cope with her despair, she committed suicide on March 28th 1941.

"I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can't go through another of those terrible times. And I shan't recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can't concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don't think two people could have been happier 'til this terrible disease came. I can't fight any longer." - Virginia Woolf's Suicide Note to Husband, Leonard Woolf (1941)

When I first read this extract from her suicide note, I got emotional. Writing something like this must have been terrible. I suppose I found this poignant due to knowing that soon after she weighed her coat down with rocks and walked into the River Ouse and drowned. Her eloquent style of writing can evidently be seen through this final piece that she ever wrote and I find that to be most powerful.


Literary Works
The Voyage Out (1915)
Kew Gardens (1919)

Monday or Tuesday (1921)
Jacob’s Room (1922)
Mrs Dalloway (1925)

So in my English Literature class, we are going to be studying Mrs Dalloway, I'd heard of this book previously but never got round to actually reading it. So I suppose my English class is a way to kill that from my to-do list.


So the general summary of Mrs Dalloway is:

'Mrs. Dalloway covers one day from morning to night in one woman's life. Clarissa Dalloway, an upper-class housewife, walks through her London neighbourhood to prepare for the party she will host that evening. When she returns from flower shopping, an old suitor and friend, Peter Walsh, drops by her house unexpectedly.'

The reason why I've given you such a brief summary is because I don't want to give any spoilers away to myself or others who might want to give it a read! Once I've read it over the summer I will definitely give it a review slot on this blog. I've got a feeling that due to her explicit role in the forming of the Bloomsbury group that this novel will be able to tackle some very modern issues that are relevant in today's society.

Legacy
Although her popularity decreased after World War II, Woolf’s work resonated again with a new generation of readers during the Feminist Movement of the 1970’s and remains one of the most influential authors of the 21st Century.

Virginia Woolf instantly drew my interest due to the fact that she's a feminist. I feel like her strong views that were developed upon during her time at Kings College and the vital role she played in The Bloomsbury group definitely showed her as a contender for the fight for equal rights.

Hope you enjoyed this post!
Thanks Guys!