June Favourites

So much for the end of exams meaning a slow descent into summer relaxation.. it feels like June has flashed past my eyes in a blink and has held host to one of the most hectic months of my life- and it doesn’t stop here. From partying on the sunny beaches of Spain (which you can read about here) to attempted skydiving (we couldn’t go up because it was too cloudy ugh) and what seems like endless university open days, June has been exhausting in the best possible way.

As I’m sure you’ll have figured out by now, I can’t last a day without delving into a good book, and holidays are absolute prime reading time in my opinion. Spain was no exception and my holiday read (well, one of the four) was a recommendation from a friend- More Than This by Patrick Ness. Without giving too much of the plot away, the novel follows the story of teenager Seth who drowns and wakes up alone in his childhood town, which he finds completely abandoned. I am terrible at describing books without revealing the whole story, but let’s just say there’s a bit of sci-fi, a bit of romance, but all done in a very atypical and totally not cliché manner. Go read, now.

Even though the sun has finally graced us with her presence, this hasn’t stopped me from dragging my laptop outside to watch the next episode of my new obsession.. yes you guessed it, it’s Game of Thrones. If you read my last monthly favourites, you’ll know that I’ve been wanting to start this show for yonks but had to painfully restrain myself until the end of exams.. but now that they’re over I have definitely grasped the opportunity with both hands, managing to get through 23 hour-long episodes in a couple of weeks. It’s totally not my usual kind of thing and I only decided to watch it after not-so-gentle coaxing by a certain obsessed friend of mine, but I totally love her for it. One tip, I wouldn’t suggest watching it with your parents.

Whilst watching said tv show or reading said book, I’ve been snacking on the same things pretty much every day this month- Penn State Original Sea Salt Pretzels, fresh raspberries and orange and cranberry juice.. absolute heaven for the hot weather, nothing more to say. And what music is playing in the background, you may ask. Well, the answer to that one is easy. Recently I’ve fallen in love with acoustic covers, and I found this one a few weeks ago, fell head-over-heels in love with it and haven’t taken it off repeat since. It’s a beautiful version of one of my favourite songs- Kids by MGMT- that is deconstructed and remolded beautifully by US band Lady Danville (listen to it here) and is absolutely perfect for summer.

In terms of the whole beauty thing, I am seriously loving the Revlon ColourBurst Matte Balms. I have the colour Audacious which is a pretty scary looking coraly-orange, but is just the most incredibly vibrant and gorgeous summer shade and I wore it to death when I was on holiday. Although being a matte balm, meaning they have the tendency to show up any flaws on your lips (bit of an issue for those with dry lips like me), they are actually really moisturising compared to others of the same type. I would still definitely recommend using a lip scrub first though.. coincidentally I am planning on writing a post in the next couple of days for my favourite homemade scrub recipe so that’s a good place to start (nice subtle self-promo there Beckie).

Now that I’ve got 3 weeks off work for various things, I can actually paint my nails, which may sound like a small thing but when you work in a kitchen three times a week, it’s bliss not having to use up gallons of nail varnish remover on perfectly good, day-old nails. What a first world problem. For perfect summer shades, the Barry M Gelly Nails are definitely the place to go, with such a fab shade range and a salon-looking finish. I’ve got the colours Blueberry, Almond and Papaya, and there’s definitely quite a few more I have my eye on!

As I mentioned earlier, the month of June has been completely packed with university open days, with the most recent being the University of Leeds last Friday. Now, I’ve only ever been ‘up north’ twice in my life and never to Leeds, so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect.. but I was most definitely pleasantly surprised. I’m not sure if having a city as a favourite is allowed but it was just too beautiful to not give a mention to, with the university itself comprising of endless beautiful red brick buildings that are overwhelmingly reminiscent of the typical American colleges that you see in films. Now it’s just the small matter of getting the three A’s that they’re asking for..

So I think that’s it- I could be here for hours rambling about my favourite things but I guess this is just a snapshot of what I’ve been loving this month.. if you can call 800 words a snapshot that is. Now I should probably mention before I post this that for ten days starting from Tuesday I will be at a summer school at Eton College which is pretty intensive, so I’ll say now that it’s unlikely I will find time to post next week! Never fear though, I’m sure I’ll hit you with my thoughts on the experience, no holds barred, as soon as I return. Try to contain your excitement.

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May Favourites

So it’s that time again where I wonder at how fast time is going, complain about the British weather’s apparent disregard to this, and ramble about the things I’ve been loving recently. This month has been centred around the dreaded exams and not a lot else, so anything that has acted as a form of distraction or relaxation has been greatly appreciated.

My primary source of procrastination is, of course, a good book. This last week I have started reading Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and it’s just one of those books that immediately grips you; it may be confusing but the characters manage to make a seemingly boring story line so much more complex and intriguing. I’m awful at describing books but long story short (I’m going to ignore that perfect pun opportunity), I really like it and know it won’t be long until I finish it, and will probably end up writing a full review if I can think of some more literary-related adjectives. I find Virginia Woolf such an interesting woman and reading her work really starts to give you an insight into why she was such a leading figure and Mrs Dalloway is definitely one of those books that everyone should read.

I am one of those people that can’t revise without music playing in the background, and this month I’ve been loving a whole load of summery indie pop/rock kind of songs that can’t help but put a smile on your face. I have my summer playlist on Spotify including songs from the likes of Crystal Fighters, Young The Giant and The Mowgli’s, but probably my newest and biggest obsession is New Politics. Their song ‘Harlem’ is without a doubt one of my songs of the summer that gets me shamelessly dancing around my AS Politics notes and you can listen to it here.

I have to be honest and say that I don’t have a TV favourite this month at all as I’ve been trying my best to actually do the revision thing and I know that as soon as a start a new series there is no way of preventing myself from watching twenty episodes a day. I have so many lined up to watch as soon as my exams are over (next week, praise the lord)- the first being Game of Thrones, so that might well end up making it’s way into my June favourites.

In terms of films, I have to give a mention to one of my favourite films that is probably the biggest teenage white girl cliché ever, but it’s just one of those movies I can watch over and over and it makes me laugh and cry every time. Perks is a beautiful book and the film really does it justice as far as it can, making a perfect post-exam watch. Plus it has two of my favourite actors, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller, so what’s not to love?

On to beauty, and the Soap & Glory Peaches and Clean Deep Cleansing Milk has been my savior for bad skin reversal; since using this my face has got a whole lot clearer and it’s definitely down to this. I never really hear people talking abut this particular product in the beauty world, but for me it’s just perfect and has the most gorgeous smell.. and not to forget their ever-adorable packaging! Sticking to the skincare theme, my super dry skin has completely turned around this month thanks to the wonderful shop assistant in The Body Shop who spent a long time trying to find the perfect product for my skin, and eventually settled on the Aloe Soothing Day Cream. If a moisturiser could be described as thirst-quenching, this would be the one. As is typical when coming into summer, I’ve been loving using salt spray for that kind of beachy I-just-woke-up-this-fabulous look, and this month I’ve especially been liking the L’Oreal Matt & Messy Shine-free Salt Spray. It’s super cheap, super volumising, and just an all-round summer essential for me.

I’m sure most people already know about Graze boxes- but for those that don’t, they are small boxes that you can order one-off or regularly that are filled with delicious and healthy snacks that are literally heaven to snackers like me. Now, I know that these are pretty expensive for what they are which is why I sadly stopped my regular box, but through the exam period I’ve found myself craving these delicious treats and keep ordering boxes.. oops. My favourites of what I’ve tried so far have to be the black pepper popcorn and the boston baguettes.

Last but not least, my final two favourites are places that I’ve been recently with my dad, step-mum and half-brother and sister who are four and the most adorable yet patience-testing creatures known to man. With the nice weather (ish) we’ve been to both Westonbirt Arboretum and Cotswold Wildlife Park in the past few weeks, both of which are beautiful places to get outside with the family. I find that especially when I have exams, I spend way too much time indoors and it’s incredible what a few hours of fresh air can do for not only your physical well-being, but also your motivation and general mental state. And that’s coming from someone who generally prefers the company of YouTube videos to venturing into the outernet.

 

April Favourites

Another month down and I swear the weather has gotten even worse- so much for thinking summer was on its way. I’m sorry for not posting a review this week but my life has become pretty consumed with revision recently seeing as my exams start this week and saying I am unprepared is an understatement! Anyway, seeing as April has drawn to a close, here are some of the things I was loving throughout the month.

 

The-Great-British-Sewing-Bee-Book1TV show- The Great British Sewing Bee

I know that many of you will think this is an odd choice for a 17 year old girl, but this has to be one of my favourite programmes on TV. I am a huge fan of sewing, I took GCSE Textiles and considered it for A level, but ended up just doing plenty in my spare time. I’ve been obsessed with the American tv show Project Runway for years, and I guess this is our version of it. It’s incredibly British, surprisingly funny, and just pretty fab. I’m rather upset that it’s over and I’m not ashamed to admit it.


IMG_1957Book- Popular by Maya van Wagenen

I heard about this book from my mum actually, who has been invited to the book launch for this and I’m lucky enough to be going with her, so I thought I should probably read the book first. It’s written by 15-year-old Maya who lives in Texas and is a true story about her discovery of a book written in the 1950s about how to be popular, with chapters ranging from makeup. Maya, a social outcast, decides it would be a fun experiment to follow a chapter each month of the year to the letter, and see whether there was any wisdom in this book that was still relevant 60 years later. Whilst this may sound like the plot of many a Disney tween movie, it’s surprisingly funny and well-written considering Maya’s age. Considering I read it not expecting much, I enjoyed it surprising amounts and ended up finishing it in about 3 hours without stopping.


IMG_1852Makeup- Bourjois Delice de Poudre Bronzing Powder

I bought this finally a few weeks ago after wanting it for ages thanks to Tanya Burr’s love for it, and I can totally see why. First off, it looks like chocolate and smells delicious, so that’s always a bonus. More importantly though, they actually do it in a colour pale enough that my ghostly skin doesn’t look like it’s been rubbed in mud and instead just looks nicely sunkissed. Plus the ‘glints of sunshine’ which it claims to be filled with give your skin a really beautiful glow, so for the price I think it’s a pretty fab product.

 


IMG_1764Hair Care- Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Luscious Long Deep Treatment

Well that’s a heck of a name. I bought this a while ago because since I’ve been growing my hair it’s become horribly dry at the ends, so I figured a deep treatment was the way forward. I know Aussie is well-known as a great brand of hair products, but I hadn’t heard much about this product in particular so it was a bit of a blind buy. I must say I love it though; I’ve definitely noticed the difference after applying this to the ends of my hair instead of my usual conditioner. They do loads of different variations depending on your particular hair type and issues, which is great. Plus, it’s super cheap.


crystal-fightersMusic- Crystal Fighters

I’ve loved Crystal Fighters for quite a while, but this month I’ve found myself listening to them non-stop, especially You & I. It’s the perfect mix of genres and reminds me so much of summer. It’s just one of those songs that makes you happy every time you hear it, so what’s not to love about that. Moreover, the cover art is just the most beautiful thing. (ps I’ve started a summer playlist on spotify so if anyone is even  slightly interested you can click here)


220px-The_boat_that_rocked_posterFilm- The Boat That Rocked

I know I’m very late to hop on the bandwagon for this one, but I watched this film for the first time when it was on TV last week and totally fell in love. For some reason, I had it in my head that it was a completely different kind of film so I was very pleasantly surprised. It’s hilarious, heart-warming and incredibly feel good- after the credits rolled I just sat there for ages with a huge grin on my face. Has to be up there with my favourite films of all time, and I don’t say that lightly.


IMG_1783Place- Boston Tea Party, Bristol

When I went to Bristol a couple of weeks ago for Record Store Day, I knew that brunch at Boston Tea Party was a must. Even though I’ve heard they’re awesome, I’d never actually got the chance to visit one and I immediately loved it. The decor is so completely me and the food is fabulous. I introduced my friends Hannah and Shona to pancakes, bacon and maple syrup (what kind of weirdos haven’t tried that before) which as you may know, is my favourite breakfast of all time. Big love for this place, I could see myself spending a lot of time there.


IMG_1820Food- Easter Eggs

What else could I possibly put for my food favourite in Easter? Although the amount of chocolate I got kind of stressed me out, it was a lovely day full with the family and the Easter egg hunt was super cute. Although I wanted to put in a photo of my egg from my mum, which was the most beautiful thing ever, I realised I ate most of it before taking a photo… oops. So have an adorable basked of mini eggs instead, and a belated happy Easter!

So there you have it: some of my favourite things this month which I couldn’t help but share with you. Make sure to check the stuff out because I don’t just obsess over things for nothing. I apologise in advance if my posts become less frequent or worse quality in the coming weeks; starting on Tuesday I am in exam season until the middle of June so will be in full-on stress mode. Of course, I’ll still be posting as much as I can because ultimately this is what I love and exams can sod off if they think I’m giving this up for a month!

 

March Favourites

So somehow it’s nearly the end of March, which is pretty scary considering the fact that I have exams in six weeks, even though it feels like year 12 only just started.  I know that making monthly favourites videos is something more likely to be found on YouTube, but I love watching other people’s and I see no reason why it wouldn’t work just as well on a blog. I figured I would sit down once a month to tell you my favourite book, film, makeup, etc of the moment; so here are the some of the things I have been obsessing over in March.

 

mmfdTV show- My Mad Fat Diary

I know I’m not the only one that was extremely excited about the return of MMFD after a fantastic first series, and I can honestly say it’s every bit as good as hoped, if not even better.  For those who don’t know, it’s a series based on a book that follows the life of Rae Earl, a teenager struggling to survive the nineties under somewhat extenuating (yet somehow relatable) circumstances. It manages to cover a wide range of mental illnesses in an accessible way without being patronising or alienating and whilst still being hilariously brilliant, which is a pretty impressive feat it must be said. Unfortunately the series is over, although the finale was so fantastic and full to the brim of feels (I won’t spoil it because it doesn’t actually air on tv until tommorrow). If you haven’t seen it, definitely go find it on 4od or you are missing out.

sex & violenceBook- Sex & Violence

I found this book when I was searching for good reads, bored by my AS English Lit set texts and needing something to lose myself in. This had great reviews, saying it was a fantastic coming-of-age type novel but with a bit of originality. I downloaded it on the kindle store because I’m lazy and needed something to read urgently, and managed to finish it in a couple of days. I must say that I really did enjoy reading this; I’m not sure that it lives up to all the hype that surrounded it and I was bitterly disappointed at the ending, but it’s definitely worth a read and certainly has something deeper behind it than so many other books of the genre.

IMG_1709Makeup- Rimmel Colour Rush Balms

I don’t want to write too much about these as I’m planning a more in-depth post sometime soon, but I couldn’t help but mention these wonderful balms that I’ve worn pretty much everyday since I bought them. I have the colours ‘Keep Mauving’ and ‘Raspberry Kiss’ which I love both of and it’s great to have a more neutral as well as a bolder colour for variation. At £5.99, these long-lasting and hydrating balms they are definitely worth it.

IMG_1704Body Care- Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub 

I think I actually got this body scrub for Christmas, but I only dug it out of the cupboard recently and I already love it. It’s the perfect texture on the skin leaves it feeling like a baby’s bottom. Plus the combination of brown sugar, sweet lime, almond oil and macademia smells divine.

supermodel-album-cover_1_Music- Supermodel by Foster The People

As some of you may have seen, I wrote a blog post earlier this week about FTP’s new album in which I went into detail and rated it very highly, so I won’t blabber on too much this time. Lets just say it’s different yet still very Foster, in the best way possible. Best tracks are Fire Escape, Pseudologia Fantastica and A Beginner’s Guide to Destroying the Moon.

weneedtotalkaboutkevinFilm- We Need To Talk About Kevin

Last week I had a few of my friends stay over, and at 1am we wisely decided to watch this film, not really knowing much other than the basic plot line (Demented kid. Kills loads of people.) Having been in love with Ezra Miller ever since first watching Perks, it was great to see him work so perfectly in a totally different role. The story line is shocking, heart breaking, but also incredibly well written. All in all, this has to be one of the best films I have seen in a long while and I can see why it receives so much attention. Really need to just read the book now.

breakfast clubPlace- The Breakfast Club, Brick Lane

Once again, I’ve already written a post on this so I won’t go into too much detail, but this place teams the best breakfast I’ve ever eaten with the coolest interior known to man. What more is there to say?

Picture1Food- Drumstick Squashies

My friend actually introduced me to these on a trip to the co-op after an exhausting day at work today and I’m hooked. Remember those delicious drumstick lollipops that we all used to love in primary school? Well these are the same, but minus the sticks and a bit less chewy. As close as you get to heaven for 49p.

So there you have it: some of my favourite things this month which I couldn’t help but share with you. Make sure to check the stuff out because I don’t just obsess over things for nothing.