Thursday, 30 July 2015

How to Style: Fruit


Today I have another 'how to style post', this time centred around fruit - see the last post here. Lately I've noticed a lot of fruit-themed clothes and accessories in shops and generally in internet fashion, not least from the gorgeous Kailey of Mermaidens blog, who is the undisputed queen of fruit (and ice-cream) motifs. Here are a few ideas for incorporating the fruity feel into your outfits this summer.

1. Fruit prints don't have to be overpowering - they can still be cheeky and fun. These shorts with the banana pattern are perfect for creating a playful summer look, especially with the simple blue and yellow colour palette. I also love the sunny sunnies.

2. It's been scientifically proven that sporting fruit makes you cooler in all senses of the word, making it perfect for sporty looks. According to tumblr mustard and platform shoes are very in right now, so this is really a triple whammy.

3. Fruit motifs don't have to mean looking like a 5-year-old - you can make it work for a smarter look, for instance by pairing a simple monochrome outfit with one accent piece like this citrus clutch. It adds a pop of colour and makes for an interesting conversation starter all in one.

4. If there's one way to really work the trend, it's by transforming yourself into an actual piece of fruit with a one piece like these watermelon dungarees. They are quite simply fabulous in my opinion, and go nicely with some very plasticky-looking accessories. What was that I was saying about looking like a child...?

Thanks for reading!


Monday, 27 July 2015

Review: The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling


I'm going to be honest: I wasn't expecting to like this book. I was expecting to be wildly disappointed in the lack of magic, and in the departure from the extraordinary world that is the Harry Potter universe. I was expecting to feel betrayed by the very idea that J. K. Rowling, the woman who wrote a series of books that had been fundamental in shaping my childhood, had dared to jeopardise the credibility of said universe by revealing that she was, in fact, merely a writer, by actually writing something else.

But I'm glad to say that none of my fears materialised and I enjoyed this quaint little book (I say little, it's over 500 pages but definitely very quaint) a great deal. Granted, my childhood was ripped to shreds when I spotted the first use of the f-word, among many other unexpected bombshells - but I soon realised that J. K. had decided to go all out with the shock factor and luckily the impact wore off after the first fifty thousand occurrences.

The book begins with the death of one Barry Fairbrother, a man in his early forties who dies unexpectedly of an aneurysm, ultimately triggering the events of the rest of the book. This is because he held a seat on the Parish Council of the tiny, picturesque English West Country town of Pagford - and as soon as this casual vacancy in the council appears, the other inhabitants of the village either rally their forces to continue his work or seize the opportunity to take his place, resulting in two opposing factions.

What I want to know is why my school didn't include this as an English set text for the theme of 'family and community ties' that we were assigned over these past two years, because there are some seriously complex and many-layered bonds between families and communities in this novel. The relationships between parents and children, husbands and wives, old and new members of the community are stretched to breaking point, directly or indirectly because of the divisions that occur as a result of the council election. At one point I actually had to sit down and draw a diagram showing all the links between the characters because I was losing track of their respective family groups, their alliances and above all where they stood on the central bone of contention that divides the town: the matter of the Fields housing estate and the question of its continuing association with the village of Pagford versus the nearby city of Yarvil. This whole issue is immensely complicated so I won't go into it to much, but it really is central to the story.

What struck me most about this book was how accurately J. K. Rowling captured the essence of a small, rural English town and its inhabitants. To draw perhaps the only possible comparison with Harry Potter requires returning to the opening paragraphs of The Philosopher's Stone, which I have included below for your convenience:

Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you'd expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn't hold with such nonsense. 
Mr. Dursley was the director of a firm called Grunnings, which made drills. He was a big, beefy man with hardly any neck, although he did have a very large moustache. Mrs. Dursley was thin and blond and had nearly twice the usual amount of neck, which came in very useful as she spent so much of her time craning over garden fences, spying on the neighbours. The Dursleys had a small son called Dudley and in their opinion there was no finer boy anywhere.

Add a generous helping of adultery, abuse, drugs, jealousy and mental health issues and you have the decidedly more grimy vibe of The Casual Vacancy, but the nitty gritty is essentially the same. Pagford is a small town where everyone knows everyone, and everyone is concerned with everyone's business. News is a currency, and people store up gossip and wait until the right moment to deliver it with maximum effect. Long-established political factions engage in subtly-veiled warfare in their bid to take control of the council and decide once and for all the fate of the Fields estate.

This novel, terrifying in its ordinariness, is quite an extraordinary feat. Rowling takes such a mind-numbingly dull idea and setting, and over the course of the story manages to deeply invest the reader in local politics and fictional feuds, to the extent that I found myself eagerly anticipating both the outcome of the election and the new council's first meeting afterwards. Poorly written, this book would have been incredibly tedious and boring - but as it stands, and in the highly capable hands of the author, The Casual Vacancy is a curious mix of comfortably familiar, scandalously realistic and oddly thrilling. Above all, it offers a fascinating insight into the intricacies of human nature: the characters are so real, their thoughts and passions so absurdly commonplace and relatable, the setting so nondescript, that the town of Pagford could quite easily be any small country town. But that doesn't stop the intricate web of loyalties and vendettas the author weaves between the inhabitants of Pagford being any less fascinating.

I read a review somewhere that claimed the pacing was slow and that it only picked up around page 300. While I don't disagree, I think the first more slowly-paced section is necessary for all the characters to be introduced and to establish the rhythm of daily life in Pagford. Action or adventure are not words I would ever use to describe this book, but there is a certain sense of crescendo in the final chapters as it builds towards the epic conclusion (which left me feeling a bit teary, I have to admit).

All in all I very much enjoyed The Casual Vacancy (I gave it five stars on Goodreads), but I'd be wary of recommending it to everyone. If you pick this up thinking it's going to be like the Harry Potter series in any way, I'd suggest you think twice and at least read the blurb before starting it. If the story of a small town appeals to you, go for it, but don't read this just because J. K. Rowling wrote it.

Please let me know if you've read The Casual Vacancy and what you thought of it!


Saturday, 25 July 2015

Internetspiration #1


Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with all the visual inspiration the internet has to offer, especially when it comes to tumblr which has a staggering quantity of content uploaded each day. I tend to save pictures to a folder called 'inspiration' whenever an image strikes me as particularly unique, interesting, or just aesthetically pleasing, and the other day I realised I had a wealth of what I consider to be inspiring images saved up that I might as well share!

all images sourced from (I realise that's not great sourcing but hey)

The original caption is 'A Shrine to Emotional Stability' by Emily Kendall - I love this concept

Meadham Kirchhoff LFW FW14

Lily-Rose Depp's shoot for Chanel, there are no words

Possible hair goals?

60s students in Amsterdam

Twiggy looking fabulous

Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2015 details


Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Recent Reads #2


Today I thought I'd dash off some thoughts on some of my recent reads, as since school ended I've had a whole lot more time to dedicate to the pursuit of literature. There's nothing I love more than just lazing around on a summer afternoon with a good book, and I've made quite a lot of progress on my mission of reading everything on my bookshelf before the end of the year. Some of the books I've read recently and I'm going to prattle on about here are The Girls by Lori Lansens, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith and Ophelia by Lisa Klein.

The Girls by Lori Lansens
This book was really quite remarkable and I enjoyed it a lot. It tells the story of a pair of cranipagus twins, which means that the two girls, Rose and Ruby, are conjoined at the skull. This was really interesting in itself and there was quite a lot of time dedicated to the difficulties of living with your sister attached to your head, but what I loved was that the characters were so much more than their condition. The story is told through alternating chapters, as Rose is a budding author and wants to tell the story of her life, but soon realises she can't tell her own story without telling her sister's and asks her to write a few chapters too. Their narrative voices are distinctly different and complement each other, as Rose writes like a writer with metaphors and imagery, while Ruby writes plainly and takes a matter of fact approach.

The chronology is a little hard to follow, as Rose goes backwards and forwards in time as she relates episodes of not only their life together but the lives of their adoptive parents (or aunt and uncle), who are colourful characters. The details of their childhood on Aunt Lovey's family farm really brought the place to life, but there was no danger of romanticism as we also hear about their physical challenges and particular Ruby's severe travel sickness which takes its toll on both girls. I really enjoyed the part about their trip to Slovakia, their uncle's homeland, as it took the girls out of their comfortable community and addressed a lot of issues about how conjoined twins are perceived in different cultures.

All in all The Girls was a truly fascinating and educational read. Not too far into the book it is revealed why Rose has a sudden urge to recount her life, and this makes for an emotional and heart-breaking end. I would recommend this to everyone.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Published in 1943, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a tale of poverty and hardship, but also of hope and coming of age, which in fairness redeems the depressing side quite a bit. I read this on the beach on holiday and the story really was quite at odds with the setting of palm trees, blue sea and sun! The main character is Francie Nolan, born in Brooklyn at the beginning of the 20th century to a relatively poor Irish-Austrian family - over the course of around 5 years we see her grow up from what can only be described as a street urchin to a young woman ready for college. Francie has a vivid imagination and loves to read, so through her thoughts, ideas and feelings we build up a distinct image of her character.

This book has been compared with Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt, which I read for school last year and enjoyed a reasonable amount. Thankfully the poverty of the Nolan family isn't quite as devastating as the McCourts: they work hard and struggle to pay the rent and feed themselves, but there's more of a focus on hope and social progress, as Francie moves to a better school than the local establishment and gets a well-paid job before finally getting the chance to attend college. I only realised after finishing this that it's considered an American classic, and while I think I can see why and enjoyed it overall, I don't think I'd quite rank it up there with such works as To Kill a Mockingbird and The Catcher in the Rye.

Ophelia by Lisa Klein
In retrospect perhaps it was a little too soon after exams to read anything Hamlet-related for fun, but I did enjoy this despite the memories of revision it dredged up. As the title suggests, this is Ophelia's story, spanning from her childhood through to the events of the actual play and (spoiler alert!) beyond. In my opinion the last third of the book (which takes place after the events at Elsinore) was the weakest, because the author took the story into her own hands and invented that section entirely - but I'm probably extremely biased.

As a dedicated Hamlet connoisseur (hah) I was immensely sceptical of this before reading it, but in fairness it did manage to paint a convincing picture of Ophelia's side of the story. The author imagines her childhood in the nearby village of Elsinore, where the little Ophelia prefers a bit of rough and tumble with the boys of the village to any ladylike activities. Soon her family is elevated from their poor status as Ophelia and Laertes's socially ambitious father passes valuable information to the king, and as a reward they go to live in the castle. Ophelia is then noticed by Queen Gertrude and becomes one of her ladies in waiting, which accounts for her presence in the royal court.

What this book essentially does is fill in the gaps, and there are, notoriously, a great deal of them in Shakespeare's longest and perhaps most famous play. It provides answers for some of the biggest questions raised, which in turn can affect your reading of the play and the characters' motivations - so while I enjoyed having these little theories fictionalised to complement the actual story, I think it's important to remember that that's all they do and that they ought to be distinguished from the original play so as not to influence one's understanding of it. In short, I'm glad I didn't read this before my exam because it would have confused the story for me, but it was certainly interesting to read afterwards. I think a certain knowledge of the play is essential for a deeper reading of this book.

Thanks for reading, and let me know if you've come across any of these!


Sunday, 19 July 2015

Topshop Dresses Picks


The other day I was browsing the Topshop website intending to do a general picks post, and fell completely in love with so many of their dresses that I figured I may as well dedicate a whole post to my favourites. I wear dresses all the time, from floaty summer ones with sandals in summer and thicker fabrics with tights and boots in winter - I love that they constitute an entire outfit and can often create quite a statement, also requiring minimal effort. Here are my current top picks from the Topshop website:

Tiara Dress by Motel / €46 x
I nearly bought this earlier in the year as I had a Topshop voucher I'd got for my birthday, and I'm kind of regretting not getting it because I love it so much. The cut is similar to the one I eventually got, which I love, and the print is just so cutesy. It's really versatile-looking, I feel like you could wear this all year round with the appropriate shoes and accessories.

Ice-Cream Dress by Motel / €52 x
This would probably look terrible with my complexion but look how awesome it is?? All over sequins, and such a delicate pale pink - it really does remind me of ice-cream.

Elephant Print Dress by Band of Gypsies / €55 x
I really like ethnic prints like this. I would probably wear this with just fringed sandals and a simple gold necklace, as the print is quite bold and interesting already.

Cecil Slip Dress by Motel / €46 x
This simple slip dress would be perfect for lazy summer days as it's loose, breezy and easy to style. The floral print has almost vintage vibes and I love the cornflower blue.

Crochet Bodycon Dress / €36 x
I had to include this because I think it's just so fun and odd-looking, with quite the 70s vibe if I'm not mistaken. I like it a lot but to be honest I have no idea when I'd wear it or what with.

Jersey Swing Dress by Glamorous / €26 x
This paisley print is definitely one for the autumn, as the colours remind me of fallen leaves. I think it has the potential to be dressed up or down - also it's the cheapest of the lot!

Colour-Block Cami Slip Dress by Unique / €117 x
The simple block colours of this dress are really visually appearing to me, especially in contrast with the rest of the patterned ones in these picks.

Folk Print Shift Dress by Glamorous / €38 x
What was I just saying about pattern? This actually reminds me of a similar dress I tried on in Primark last year with the colours and baroque-ish print (I say ish because that's what my brain is telling me but I don't think it's 100% correct).

Angie Velvet Minidress by Unique / €225 x
I love anything velvet, and I feel like this would be the ultimate little black dress - perfect for dressing up or down and nice for cooler weather.

Mia Lace Dress by TFNC / €60 x
This is perfect wedding attire in my opinion, and the skirt looks like it would flare beautifully. I only wish I'd seen this in time for my cousin's wedding back in April, or indeed for graduation as I think it would have been ideal for that too.


Thursday, 16 July 2015

Holiday in Corfu


This past week I've been on holiday with my best friends in Corfu, Greece, as a celebration of the end of exams, the end of school and indeed the end of an era, as come September we'll go our separate ways to university. Most people in our year tend to go on holiday in groups at the end of school, typically to a hot destination in Spain or Greece, or on a city trip somewhere closer to home. We opted for the former, and since we booked the trip much earlier this year we'd been looking forward to it immensely, especially in the middle of what seemed like never-ending exams.

We booked a package deal, which in retrospect was a really good idea as it meant we were picked up from the airport and taken to our hotel, which otherwise would have been complicated as none of us can drive yet. Unfortunately, the flipside of the deal was getting up at 3am to catch our flight at 6:30am, just in time for a beautiful sunrise over Brussels airport.

On the first day we were mostly recovering from the early start but still found time to explore the town a little and spend a few hours by the hotel's pool.

The view from our room was 50% picturesque, 50% wasteland.

On a few evenings we walked the mere 50m to the beach to watch the sunset, and of course took a few obligatory cheesy photos.

During the week we did quite a bit of exploring in the beach area and found a few beautiful spots to watch the sunset from.

The town we stayed in was definitely on the touristy side (most restaurant menus were exclusively in English and the souvenir shops were numerous), but it had a lot of charming details that redeemed it somewhat.

All in all it was a lovely week, and such an adventure as it was the first holiday we'd been on completely by ourselves, and a new destination too. Even though I'm not the biggest fan of the beach and heat for extended periods of time, it was really nice to just soak up the sun and try to eliminate all memories of exams from my mind. I even added a few Greek words to my extremely limited repertoire, which otherwise consists of mostly swear words and insults picked up from people at school! I know I'd definitely like to go back to Greece someday, especially to the historical sites and to learn more about the fascinating history and culture.

Just for fun, I also took a disposable camera with me and took a load more photos which I'm going to try and get developed as soon as possible - I'll probably share them on here too.


Tuesday, 14 July 2015

The Bookworm Tag


Recently I came across the 'bookworm tag' on a couple of different blogs and decided it was absolutely perfect for me. I tend to call myself a bibliophile (hence bibliophilia) which refers to a love of books specifically as opposed to someone who loves read, but I suppose both terms apply really!

Do you remember how you developed a love for reading?
My mum taught me to read when I was very young and before that she used to read to me every night, so I suppose it was around then that books became a very big part of my life. I can't really remember a time where I didn't love reading!

Where do you usually read?
I mostly read in bed before I go to sleep at night, but I also love reading on long car journeys to make the time pass faster - luckily I don't get travel-sick. I quite like reading by the pool on holidays, but I get paranoid I'm going to drip water on the book or drop the whole thing in!

Do you prefer to read one book at a time or several at once?
When I was younger I often used to read several at once because I got bored very quickly, but obviously these days the plots tend to be a lot more complicated so I think if I tried to read more than one at once I'd forget the story and get it all mixed up in my head.

What is your favourite genre?
Historical fiction is my current favourite, and I especially like anything set in the 15th and 16th centuries. I really like gothic stories too, and kind of mysterious modern fiction, if that makes sense.

Is there a genre you will not read?
I tend to avoid anything overly supernatural or with dragons in it, as well as typical lovey-dovey teen fiction. Also anything that depicts vampires/zombies/immortal being as poor, misunderstood tortured souls.

Do you have a favourite book?
I don't have one all-time favourite, but ones that stand out at the moment are Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys, The Moth Diaries by Rachel Klein, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov and of course The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin.

What is your least favourite book?
Unfortunately I accidentally deleted the post I did on my least favourite books of all time, but I'm pretty sure it included A Series of Unfortunate Events, the Immortals series by Alyson Noel, The Owl Service and a couple of others.

What is the longest book you have ever read?
I'm not sure about page length but just by looking at my bookshelf I'd say that Breaking Dawn, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and The Sweet Far Thing are all contenders.

What was the last book you bought?
See this post!

Do you prefer library books or buying books?
I much prefer buying my own books, not because I like to destroy them or anything but I just love to know that it's my book and in a way I partially own the story, although of course I don't at all, haha. However this does end up quite expensive, but I always think books are worth spending money on - plus there isn't really an English library anywhere near where I live.

What are you currently reading?
I'm about halfway through The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite by Beatrice Colin, after that I will probably start A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.

Where do you buy your books?
Mostly on Amazon to be honest, but I like to check the list of previously owned books and find a good deal if possible rather than buying the latest edition straight off. I also get quite a few books at the biannual secondhand book sale at my local English shop.

Do you ever pre-order books?
I haven't ever, no, but I do have a spreadsheet of books that I desperately want that aren't out yet, including the release date, which I consult regularly.

How many books do you buy a month?
It really depends on whether I'm going to England at all, as to avoid the extortionate delivery prices to Belgium I tend to have stuff sent to my grandparents' house which is much cheaper all round. I can easily buy upwards of ten at one of the secondhand sales, so it depends on that too.

How do you feel about second hand charity shop books?
Personally I love secondhand books - I always find that in among the numerous copies of The Da Vinci Code and Fifty Shades of Grey there are always a lot of interesting titles I never would have come across on Amazon or in an actual bookshop. I've found lots of absolute gems that way.

Do you keep your read and to-be-read books together?
Yes, I have them all on my bookshelf (which is reaching bursting point, I've added two shelves in and an extra top section, plus a half-width one next to it and I still can't fit everything on). I used to mark my to-read books with sticky notes, but it got a bit ridiculous as at one point I had more to-reads than reads, so these days I just mentally keep track of them all.

Do you plan to read all the books you own?
Of course! I'm dedicating this summer to making some headway on this mission, and I've made some considerable progress already.

What do you do with books you own that you know won't be re-read?
If I know I'm not likely to re-read books I store them in boxes in the attic, but I'll never get rid of any. This is mostly because I'm planning on giving them to my children, in the same way that my mum gave me her Malory TowersThe Twins at St Clare's, and The Famous Five books when I was younger.

Have you ever donated books?
Not really, as I said I keep everything.

Have you ever been on a book buying ban?
I try to be because it really was getting ridiculous when I was buying them much faster than I could read them, but I always manage convince myself that this Amazon order doesn't count as I'd definitely have bought them at some other point anyway... I don't see the logic either.

Do you think you own too many books?
I don't think it's possible to own too many books! I know I'll be collecting them for my whole life, so maybe one day I'll have enough to turn a room into a small library,

Hope you enjoyed reading my answers!


Saturday, 11 July 2015

Sales Shopping Haul


Since my last haul post I've actually been shopping again a couple of times, but I thought I'd combine what I got on the two trips into one post so as not to overwhelm you with hauls. The sales are on in Belgium and have been since the 1st of July, and while I love nothing more than a good bargain I find it tricky not to fall into the trap of buying things purely because they are on sale! In addition to everything below I also got a bikini and some underwear, but I've decided I draw the line at showing that on my blog, haha.

Playsuit from New Look, €19

You probably saw this playsuit in my post about graduation, as I got it last week. I really love it, especially the colours which are very me, and it fits more or less perfectly. I think I'll probably get quite a lot of use out of this!

Bags from New Look, €9 and €7

I'm a sucker for little bags, so when I saw these two on sale in New Look I had a proper dilemma of which one to get. In the end, as you can see, I went for both, and I'm really glad I did because I know they're both going to be so useful. So far I've only used the white one, which is kind of like a Tardis since it really does fit a lot in! The black one is decidedly less roomy, perhaps because it's very structured, but I really like how it looks and you really can't go wrong with a little black bag.

Top from New Look, €7

This top was kind of one of those 'buy it just because it's on sale' purchases, but I do still quite like it. As my friend pointed out, it's very me with the plaid pattern and the dark colours - obviously one to put away until the colder months, but I think it has a lot of potential.

Top from Jennyfer, €5

I'd been looking for a little crop top thing like this for a while, so I was pleased to find this one in Jennyfer. I always cringe massively when I go in that shop because it's just so trashy, but I thought this was about as inoffensive as it gets. I'm taking it on holiday where it'll be really useful to wear with patterned skirts.

Accessories from H&M, €1 each

At this point in the shopping trip I was conscious of exactly how much money I'd spent already this month, but then I found the sale section in the accessories in H&M. Most things were just €1 or €2, so I picked up these little purse/bags for just a euro each! I have no idea what I'm going to use them for, but I thought the shiny coppery one was really unique and the black one is just plain useful. Plus, there was no way I was going to be able to resist dark pink and purple velvet scrunchies.


Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Fashion Fancies: Daisy Buchanan


Today I have a new instalment in my 'Fashion Fancies' series, in which I take a fictional or historical character and put together some outfits I imagine they would wear. Previously I've created looks for Catherine Howard, Cathy Dollanganger, Wednesday Addams and Mia Thermopolis, and I honestly can't believe I never thought of Daisy Buchanan before now! She's absolute ideal as a character because of the period The Great Gatsby is set in, that is to say the roaring twenties. I love twenties fashion, and when I did my history project/essay on the history of European fashion last year it was by far my favourite decade to research and write about. It's so opulent and decadent, all the more so when you remember that the 1910s and 1930s were both relatively austere and functional.

Daisy Buchanan is not the main character of The Great Gatsby, but she's very much central to the storyline. A beautiful young woman from a rich family, she fell in love with Jay Gatsby during the war and promised to wait for him to come back from fighting but then married Tom Buchanan, a man from an aristocratic family who could promise her a wealthy lifestyle. Her cousin, Nick Carraway, eventually finds out that the extravagant parties that the mysterious Mr Gatsby puts on at his mansion in New York are all to impress Daisy, in the hope that she might decide to come to one of them. Daisy is rather notorious for being an unlikeable character. She's shallow, vapid, excessively indolent and seems to care for nothing other than parties and beautiful dresses - which makes her wonderful to dress.

1. Let's go into town
One of the major 'episodes' towards the end of the narrative only happens because Daisy insists they go into town on one sweltering day. I think she would probably have worn something practical yet opulent, such as these amazing velvet shorts and chiffony top. Accessories are of course essential - a black cloche hat, for instance, and practical flat t-bar shoes.

2. Party at Gatsby's
This dress is probably the most authentically twenties of the lot: it has the distinctive drop waistline and medium length, with elaborate beading and details. The shoes match perfectly and again are a classic t-bar style with low heels. To me this screams partywear like nothing else and it's exactly the kind of thing I imagine Daisy would have worn to finally attend one of Gatsby's famous parties.

3. Night out in East Egg
This was kind of an invented outfit since there isn't a part in the story where they all go clubbing or anything, but I like to think it's a modern take on the twenties vibe. To be honest anything with sequins or geometric patterns fits the bill, especially this glitzy top. And I bet Daisy would have gone wild for a perfume with her name, like the Daisy by Marc Jacobs scent!

4. Moonlit walk on the dock
Even with such an enormous house to wander around in, I'm sure Daisy would have had nights where she couldn't sleep and decided to go for a walk in the grounds. The green light at the end of the Buchanan's dock is hugely significant as a symbol of hope in the novel, so I like to imagine she might have wandered down to the dock to stand by the green light so that Gatsby, on the other side of the bay, might have been able to make out her silhouette.

I could probably write a whole fanfic on Gatsby mini episodes or Things That Might Have Happened In The Novel, ahahaha.


Sunday, 5 July 2015

Two Year Blogiversary


Exactly two years ago today on a sunny day at the beginning of summer, I decided to take the plunge and start a blog. It wasn't such a great leap as I'd been a contributor for a couple of Stardoll-related blogs before (oh the young innocent days of my youth), but this was going to be the first time I was completely in control of a blog, and would be able to choose the appearance and content. I'd been thinking about it for a while and was waiting til the beginning of the holidays before I committed to anything, but I think the thing that really pushed me to create this blog was having quite a few photos I'd taken during my two weeks of work experience that I wanted to share. You can see them here and here.

I'm really proud of what I've achieved with this blog since then, despite a few pretty significant breaks that I took due to schoolwork. I've met a lot of lovely people who have been so supportive of my efforts, and discovered a heap of really great blogs too. I've also learnt a lot, such as how to stay active on the internet and how to take decent photos. Since Christmas I've been a lot more regular with my posts and I joined Bloglovin, which has helped me amass another handful of followers. I never intended my blog to be about collecting vast numbers of views and followers, and I like that today it's still exactly what it was two years ago: a place for me to share my thoughts, opinions and favourite things.

Here's to another year of blogging!


Saturday, 4 July 2015



Yesterday was my graduation ceremony, or as we call it the 'proclamation of the results' since we also got all our final exam results. It was a really lovely occasion, as everyone more or less dressed up despite the terrible heat. The ceremony was held in the gym, which was made to look relatively fancy with plants dotted around and a blue carpet leading up to the stage, where we all had to get up on to get our diplomas. We all sat in alphabetical order, which meant I was nowhere near my friends, but I suppose it was kind of necessary to ensure some order in the proceedings as there are roughly 250 people in my year! Lots of important people made speeches (including our headmaster who we see all of once a year, but anyway) mostly focusing on the advantages our school system has brought us, such as a broad education and an appreciation for cultural diversity. Then there were a few performances by some of the students, including one of my best friends who was simply fabulous.

Of course, the big moment for everyone was when our names were called to go up and receive our diplomas. I was wearing heels, but they weren't massively high so I was fairly confident I wouldn't trip or anything, but it was still kind of nerve-wracking! Anyway, I got my diploma, shook hands with all the important people, was given a rose because why not indeed, and went to have my photo taken. It was only when I was sitting back down that I got the chance to open it and find out that I'd got the grades I needed to get into my first choice of university, which I am immensely happy about!

Afterwards we all milled about outside where there was food and drinks, just chatting to people and coming to the slow realisation that this was the end: we survived the Bac and we had the diplomas to prove it, and meanwhile this was the last time we were going to see some of these people and walk through this school as students and not visitors.

With the best friends - I seriously need to learn how to smile in photos, but anyway
I've been at my school for 12 years, and for me they've truly been 12 wonderful years. I've met the best people and received an education that is excellent and quite different to what I would have had if I was still living in the UK. While I know it's time to move on to bigger and better things, it's still hard to realise that my time at my school truly has come to an end, and that I won't be going back to those familiar orange buildings come September. This post is beginning to sound very much like the one I wrote about my last day of school so I won't repeat myself too much, haha.

There have been so many endings over the past 2 months: Bal du Bac (prom), the last day of lessons, Bacday (in which we trashed the school and attacked people with water guns and shaving foam - it's a tradition I swear), the end of written exams, the end of oral exams and now finally graduation, which really is the definitive end as now we all go our separate ways. I'm so excited, but the nostalgia is strong!


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Summery Haul


Today I did that thing where you walk around a shopping centre for hours and look through racks of clothes on sale and end up spending a lot of money. Actually it was less than I imagined at the end of the day because sometimes sales prices do that wonderful thing of being lower than it says on the tag, which is always a nice surprise. Since my local shopping centre is pretty limited in the options I mostly bought stuff in H&M, which is currently really good for cheap summery stuff, and summery stuff is definitely what I need right now given that it's 30+ degrees outside and I'm sitting in the dark with the blinds down trying to keep the heat out.

Long-sleeved top / €3

Admittedly this isn't the kind of thing you want to be wearing in 30 degree heat, but I really like the colours and lace bit at the bottom. And for €3 you really can't go wrong.

Blouse / €7

Again, not exactly beachwear but I really like the monochrome pattern and shape of this blouse, I think it'll be nice just over jeans when the weather's cooler.

Tank tops / €9.99 each

These tank tops were exactly the kind of thing I'd set out to get - simple, flowy, perfect with shorts and definitely summery!

Dress / €7

This pattern does look quite scary on the hanger but it looks a lot better on. Besides, I'm only planning on wearing it around the house or to the beach.

Yellow skirt / €5 and Striped skirt / €3

I kind of fell in love with this yellow skirt, which is odd because yellow is one of those colours I tend to avoid like the plague when it comes to clothing. Neither am I generally a fan of ditsy prints but this was just adorable to pass up. The black and white one is a bit less daring (ha) and I think I'll wear it a lot.

Shorts from Pull & Bear / €9.99

Even though I have more than enough pairs of shorts, I couldn't resist these ones! They are one of my favourite colours and will go with a lot of things, I'm hoping.

Sunglasses / €6.99

Ahahaha excuse the awkward selfie, but how cool are these sunglasses? I was on the lookout for some round ones and I spotted these, which are not only round but have awesome mirrored bits. I have no idea if they suit my face or not and I don't really care to be honest! Also I dyed my hair yesterday, it's a very dark red but I'm not sure if that comes across on the photo.

I'm actually going shopping tomorrow as well so I may well have another haul soon!