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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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.

 

No Place Like London

I don’t think I would be a true Brit if I didn’t say that I love London; it’s the symbol of our country and let’s face it, it’s an incredible city. There’s a guy called Samuel Johnson that said “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford” and I have to say I agree with this. It’s a place filled with the prospect of great things-a place where dreams happen, as cliché as that sounds. My favourite thing about London though, is the variety which you find. No matter what kind of person you are or what your idea of fun is, you’ll find it in this fast-paced city that never sleeps.

I actually got the chance to go to London with my mum and stepdad yesterday, hence my decision to write this. As someone who goes to London a fair bit and loves to find new places to obsess over, I thought it might appropriate to share some of my favourite places that I went to yesterday..

 

carboot

 

1) The Classic Car Boot Sale

As my mum and stepdad run a vintage clothing and homewares business, every place we visit involves vintage fairs- without fail. This trip was no exception, so we found ourselves at the Classic Car Boot Sale, outside on the most beautiful day of the year so far. It was a lovely morning and they had loads of really interesting stalls. As you can see above, they also had some beautiful old cars, bikes and scooters- half of which I wanted to take home with me. With thousands of visitors, music playing and the beautiful weather, there was a great atmosphere and I really enjoyed myself even though I didn’t buy anything. Although this was only the second one of these fairs that has been done, they are definitely worth checking out to find the next date if you like this kind of thing!

 

tea and crumpets

 

2) Good & Proper Tea Company

I love tea as much as any other English girl, so when I saw a van advertising tea and crumpets I didn’t hesitate long in going over and ordering a cup of darjeeling and a fresh sweet  crumpet with rhubarb jam.  At 10am this is exactly what I wanted and the woman who served me was the cutest and most helpful thing ever, she helped me decide from their fantastic range of teas (getting excited about tea makes me sound so sad but I don’t really care ok). They set little timers to ensure your tea brews for the optimal time which, as a sucker for effort, I find adorable. Plus the crumpets are to die for.

 

south bank

 

3) Southbank

Famed for it’s skating park, Southbank is a lovely stretch of London along the River Thames. With beautiful views across London and right next to the London Eye, it seems to be almost the central point of the city. There’s also always stalls and other things going on which makes it a lovely place to walk along, especially on a beautiful day like yesterday.

 

breakfast club

 

4) The Breakfast Club, Spitalfields

This next find is thanks to Carrie Fletcher, whose video a few weeks ago told of how much she loved this place, and after googling it I really wanted to check it out. As if being named after one of my favourite films wasn’t enough, this place serves breakfast (my favourite meal of the day) all day- what could be more perfect? Selling everything from full English to Spanish specialities to American pancakes and berries, this cafe can’t go far wrong. Unsurprisingly for those who know me, I opted for the latter option with extra bacon of course, and a virgin apple mojito (both pictured above). Although I felt ready to burst afterwards, it was hands down the best breakfast I have ever eaten. Team this with the fact you have to get to the toilets (wallpapered with My Little Pony and years of graffiti) by going through a fridge, and you might have an idea about how cool this place is. Aside from moving in, the next best thing you can do is go visit one yourself and see what all the hype is about. Find them at http://www.thebreakfastclubcafes.com/

 

brick lane

 

5) Brick Lane

Brick Lane, apart from Camden, is probably my favourite place in London. It’s basically vintage heaven, with about 3/4 shops packed full of gems at pretty good prices for the most part. Aside from this, it’s a beautiful place full of street art, which is one of my favourite things about London (I’m determined to get a street artist to paint the inside of my house when I am older). It is an area full of creativity and youth; always full of depressingly cool and beautiful people.

 

shops

 

 

 

 

 

 

6) Beyond Retro & Blitz London

These are my two favourite vintage shops in existence, and they both have branches on Brick Lane, which makes me love them even more. I first found Beyond Retro when I was in Brighton with a friend a couple of years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since, going every time I am in London. Both of these shops are great for building up essentials, with hundreds of similar items in varying colours, it’s dead simple to find way too many things that you want to buy. Definitely worth visiting if you like that sort of thing, find them at http://www.beyondretro.com/en/ and http://www.blitzlondon.co.uk/

 

There are many more places I could rave about; London is full of hidden treasures that just need searching out. These are just a few that I visited yesterday and wanted to share with you, some of which I wouldn’t have known about without the likes of Carrie so what kind of person would I be if I didn’t pass them on? I’ll probably post some of these photos on my Instagram too so go check that out if you want to, otherwise that’s it until next time!

Beckie x