Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Fashion Haul

I've been doing quite a bit of shopping lately (new year, new wardrobe?) so I thought it was about time for a haul post. I had a shopping trip here in Belgium and also picked up some things in a recent trip to the UK, so as usual it's half in pounds and half in euros - as is my entire life tbh. Also, apologies for the average to poor quality of the photos in this post, the weather has been so gloomy lately and my phone camera just can't cope!


First of all I did a bit of shopping in The Best H&M of All Time at my local shopping centre. There I picked up a stripy top (€12.95) in these really nice red, blue and beige colours, which I'm definitely going to get a lot of wear out of because stripy tops are my absolute go-to item of clothing and even though I have at least six thousand I can never have enough of them. Also, my hair is now the exact shade of red in this top so that's cool. I also got a teal slip dress (€9.95) which I wasn't expecting to fit me that well but surprisingly it did so I thought it would be really nice for a college formal some time next term. I'm always on the lookout for cheapish formal dresses! I'm not sure whether I'm quite brave enough to embrace the tops-under-slip-dresses trend but hey, you never know. Then I picked up this black pleated skirt (€19.95), which is one trend I'm definitely happy to jump on as I think they're super classy and can look amazing for formal occasions with the right top and a pair of heels. I tried on a couple including a very jazzy silver one in the sale, but the one I got is the perfect length to look classic without swamping me. Unfortunately they didn't have an extra small so I had to get a small which will need taking in at the waist a bit. Last but not least I got these black lace-up boots (€29.95) which I'm so happy to have bought because they're exactly what I was looking for, which is a pair of practical winter boots that I can walk long distances in. When I was visiting family the other day we went for a country walk after lunch and I wore them (which is why they don't look pristine in the pic) so I can confirm they are indeed both practical and comfortable!

While I was in the UK recently I also did a spot of shopping. In Topshop I got two tops which were both in the sale at half price: first this white one (£10) with a really interesting neckline (I love it because it's almost sporty with the mesh bit of course there's something very prim and proper about it because of the ruffle) and then this faded tapestry-effect one (£12) which I think will go really well with leggings.

Next I picked up a few bits in Primark, including this really chic black and white makeup bag (£3) which is great because I've been needing a replacement. Clothes-wise I got a really simple black zipped cardigan (£3) in the sale and a khaki green long bomber jacket (£5) also in the sale. Not gonna lie, even though I'm not the biggest fan of bomber jackets I just couldn't pass it up but I do like this one because of the length and plus it seems really warm. All in all you can't go wrong for £5!


Finally I got a couple of things in New Look. First I picked up this tartan tunic dress (£10) which was in the sale; I really like this style of dress as I think it's quite flattering on me and a little bit retro, plus I like the deep teal green colour running through the pattern. Last but not least I got this black backpack (£22.99) to replace a very similar one that I bought from New Look just over a year ago but which is sadly disintegrating slightly because it's made of a pleather-effect material which has started to crack. I like that this has different-sized pockets at the front because it makes it easier to organise my bits and bobs. Hopefully this one will last a bit longer!

And that's everything I got!


Wednesday, 4 January 2017

What I Got for Christmas 2016

Although the Christmas period is well and truly over I'm one of those nosy people who love finding out what other people got for Christmas, so I thought I'd follow the trend and show you some of the presents I received this year. Rather than including every single thing I've decided to be selective and instead choose my top five presents to show you in no particular order - these aren't necessarily the 'biggest' or most expensive ones, just my favourites that I'd like to share!

History book
I really love history and learning about the past so when I saw this in a bookshop a few months ago I knew I had to add it to my Christmas wishlist! It reminds me a lot of a similar book I had when I was little but this is much more orientated at adults and teenagers in terms of the topics and writing. The cover is stunning with really beautiful gold lettering, and it has great page spreads that are really engaging and dynamic with a good balance of text and photos to keep things interesting. It's absolutely massive too and weighs at least a couple of kilos, which is the only downside because it makes it quite hard to manouevre - the past couple of times I've been reading it in bed I've ended up pinned under it! Definitely one for the coffee table I think.

ChloƩ perfume
I've been wanting this for so so long and I'm so happy to have received it! I just love the bottle, I think it's so luxurious and obviously it smells gorgeous too. But as is always the way with expensive perfumes, I'm finding myself reluctant to spritz it and wanting to save it for special occasions! 

Marina & the Diamonds Electra Heart vinyl
This is the latest addition to my little vinyl collection which so far just consists of my favourite albums in vinyl form. Electra Heart is one of my favourite albums of all time so I've wanted it on vinyl for ages and it does not disappoint! It sounds really good even on my slightly crappy Crosley cruiser (I know, I know) and it includes all the lyrics on a separate piece of paper. There are actually two records in here, and they each have 3 or 4 songs on which is slightly annoying because you have to swap them around a lot but it's all part of the charm in my opinion! 

Paperchase washbag
It might seem a bit weird to have a washbag as one of your favourite Christmas presents, but words cannot express how much I love Paperchase's Gothic Garden range in any imaginable form. It's honestly the most me range I've ever seen; I love the darkness of it and the floral elements with the gold accents, it's truly beautiful. I think it was new in this autumn so it must be reaching the end of its store lifetime which is tragic but also brilliant because hopefully it will be on sale soon! I needed a new soft washbag as the one I currently have is huge and doesn't squash down very well even if it's not full (if that makes sense?) so this is a great replacement.

DVDs: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and Hamlet
I'm including these collectively because I just can't choose between them and they kind of go together anyway. The Grand Budapest Hotel has been one of my absolute favourite movies ever since I saw it in the cinema, and it's definitely one of my top 5 films of all time. I've also seen Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me before, but it wasn't great quality so I'm excited to watch it again. I'm slowly building up my Twin Peaks collection (I also got a book on it this Christmas) in preparation for the revival this year! And last but not least, this is possibly the only DVD production of Hamlet I haven't yet seen so I just had to get it. It's the 2000 version with Ethan Hawke and Kyle MacLachlan (aka Special Agent Dale Cooper) and it's set in contemporary New York City which is so interesting. 

And those are my top 5(ish) Christmas present picks for 2016!


Sunday, 1 January 2017

Charity Shop Haul

It's been a while since my last haul post so let's kick off the New Year with an exploration of my recent purchases. Since going back to uni for the autumn term my love of charity shops has been taken to the next level as I discovered that they usually have quite a lot of books and DVDs in addition to clothes. I'm not quite sure how I'd managed to miss this up until that point but there you go. 

As I think I mentioned in a previous post, I now take the bus most days to get from my house to lectures. In actual fact I take two buses, not because it's a particularly long way but because the bus routes don't go in an ideal direction so rather than going in a sort of full L-shape I have to take a different bus for each bit of the shape (if that makes any sense?). As a result of taking four buses a day I have ended up spending quite a lot of time waiting in the bus station where there's a really good charity shop that I pop into at least once a week so I have ended up with quite a haul! Here are the bits and bobs I bought in Durham over the winter term - they were about £2 each, sometimes £3 so really good deals all round:

I also visited family in Gloucestershire between Christmas and New Year and happened to go into an Oxfam shop while out shopping where I picked up three DVDs. Everything was half price that day so these came to a grand total of £4! Which is especially amazing as the 3-disc one was only actually £1. Out of these ones I've seen Moonrise Kingdom and Notting Hill before, but none of the others:

And that's my little charity shop haul for the past few months! Here's to finding more great bargains in 2017.


Thursday, 29 December 2016

An Oddly Specific Tag

I haven't done a tag in a long time, mostly because I feel like it's sort of a cop-out post which is almost like cheating in the blogging world, but hey I find these posts interesting to read when other people do them so here you go!

What colour is your room?
My room at home has two dark pink walls and two white walls, my uni room is a sort of slightly boring cream colour but there's not much I can do about that.

What color is your bedding?
Currently at uni it's this lovely purple and turquoise floral number which I think was from Argos, at home it's my usual white and pink bedding which matches the walls and pretty much everything else in the room!

How many pillows do you sleep with?
I usually have two while I'm just lying in bed reading or on my phone but just before I go to sleep I tend to switch to one.

What time do you go to sleep?
It really depends on the day but usually between 11:30 and 2am. If I'm asleep before 11pm it's an absolute miracle and I'm probably ill or something.

What time do you wake up in the morning?
Again it depends but the earliest I really need to wake up (i.e. for a 9am lecture) is 7:30, and I tend to wake up naturally before 10am without even setting an alarm. Although having said that I've been waking up at more like 11am these past few days at home but then it's Christmas so it doesn't count.

What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Cheerios and a glass of milk, same as usual. I keep meaning to make something more substantial for breakfast like pancakes or eggs but I can never be bothered when it comes down to it.

What time is it right now?

What is the latest you have stayed up?
When I went to Iceland with school our flight was leaving at like 3am or something stupid so we didn't bother going to bed, and then when I got home I just carried on with the day - so I suppose the latest I've ever stayed up is the following evening?

What is the latest you have woken up?
Probably around 1pm after DofE or some other equally horrific occasion.

Do you have plants in your room? If so, how many?
I have a few little cacti on my windowsill at home (which my mum was meant to be taking care of but they look suspiciously dead/dying) but sadly none at uni yet.

Do you have candles in your room? If so, what scents?
Nope! Pretty sure they would set off the smoke alarm if I lit any. Also I don't trust myself with matches.

Do you have posters in your room?
At home I don't actually have anything blu-tacked to the wall because I don't want to risk damaging the paintwork, but at uni I have a world map (and a massive photowall!). I just got a scratch world map for Christmas where you scratch off all the countries you've been to and I think I'm going to take that back to uni as well.

What is your favorite thing in your room?
I suppose my laptop? But obviously that's portable, in terms of things which are fixed in my room I really love my massive bookshelf at home.

What type of toothpaste do you use?

What type of toothbrush do you use?
I use an electric one, I think it's Oral-B.

How many times a day do you brush your teeth?
At least twice, sometimes more.

How many times a day do you wash your face?
Twice a day.

When was the last time you took a shower and washed your hair?
I took a shower last night but I didn't wash my hair, I did that the night before. I'm trying to wash my hair less because it's better for it and it means the colour doesn't wash out as quickly but unfortunately I can't stand it when my hair is the slightest bit greasy!

Do you wear makeup? If so, how often?
I wear something pretty much every day, usually concealer, eyebrows and mascara at the bare minimum. If I'm actually going out somewhere (like lectures lol) I usually put on eyeliner, blush and lipstick as well, and then if I'm going to a nice event I wear foundation, eyeshadow and highlighter as well. So it all depends really!

When was the last time you wore something fancy?
I went to a Christmas formal dinner in the last week of term and I wore quite a fancy-looking dress for that - but little did everyone know it was actually £3 in the Primark sale!

What are you wearing right now?
Black leggings and a white top.

How much data have you used on your phone recently?
Since the 7th of December I've used 278 MB, but I can only use that in the UK so none of that has been since I got back on the 17th.

What is your most used app?
Is there a way to check this on your phone? According to battery usage it's YouTube but that's only cos I watched a lot of videos on it last night which I don't normally do, so apart from that either Facebook, Instagram or Messenger.

What type of phone do you have?
iPhone 6 cos I'm basic like that.

Who was the last person you actually called and talked to?
Probably my mum or grandad.

Do you have snapchat? If so, what is your longest streak?
Yes! I actually don't snapchat individual people that much, I just tend to post to my story so probably not very long.

What is your favorite song by your least favorite band?
I don't particularly have a least favourite band, or at least not one I can think of right now.

What is your least favorite song by your favorite band?
I'm going to pretend Marina & the Diamonds is a band here (because it sounds like she should be even though she isn't) and say Hermit the Frog.

Have you ever told anybody a secret of yours?

What do you have on copy and paste right now?
These questions! So I'm not going to post them haha.


Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Life Update

Whoops would you look at that, somehow Christmas is over and it's already that slightly surreal period in the year where everyone is just waiting for the New Year to roll around and I still haven't published a post-first term blog post! Well obviously I have now that you're reading this but you know what I mean.

So yes, it's the end of another term and I'm finally back home recovering from the past few months, enjoying the Christmas period and trying to catch up on some reading in between Christmas TV and spending time with my family (which itself usually involves watching TV). It seems to me that I'm doomed never to simply have a boring drama-free term at uni: instead, it's always full of ups and downs in the form of absolute highlights and rock-bottom moments. When I'm at university I seem to experience everything in extremes, which is draining for someone like me who's an introverted perfectionist at the best of times. I suppose my uni years are just turning out to be a metaphor for life, which comes as a shock after years of living comfortably and averagely. But even though I'm getting quite accustomed to all the #drama, somehow it makes it all worth it that at the same time I've also had some wonderful days and unforgettable moments and ultimately made more friends than I've lost. It's definitely a goal of mine for 2017 to keep things in perspective and remember that I need to keep seeing the bigger picture and not let the extremes go out of focus.

On the plus side in academic terms things are going swimmingly, although I may regret saying that in a couple of months's time! But for the moment it's been great, as since I don't have to take any horrible physical geography modules I can now devote my full attention to studying things I actually care about. Part of this has involved the rediscovery that I actually really love learning: I love the challenge of not understanding something immediately and then going away and learning about it and gaining new perspectives only to come back with my own critical views on the subject. Also, the type of geography that I'm studying is really very close in subject matter to a lot of 'social justice' topics you see in non-mainstream news channels. Case in point: while scrolling through twitter the other night I came across an article from a feminist news site which essentially utilised and modernised the argument of an article from the early 90s that I was reading at the time. On that note I have resurrected my twitter to use for 'serious' academic purposes which means I'm following all my lecturers and interesting academic and news-related accounts and I just retweet stuff I find interesting. So please feel free to follow me if you like that sort of thing!

Anyway, I think that's all I have to say for the moment. In a couple of days I'm off back to England to see family and then back home for a week or so before I go back to uni for next term!