July Music Favourites!

Again this is slightly on the late side so sorry about that but this is a round up of what I’ve been listening to recently 🙂 I have to admit that over the past month I’ve been listening to slightly less music. I’m not really sure why that is but it might be to do with work and other commitments like trying to watch Game of Thrones right from the beginning 🙂

 

Ariana Grande – Sometimes

To be honest I’ve been listening to all the songs on Dangerous Woman. Ever since the Ariana’s massive charity concert in Manchester following the terror attack at her concert I’ve had a newfound respect for her as a person, and that seems to have affected me love of her music. She’s the queen of pop at the moment and every time she releases a single it’s a hit. Sometimes wasn’t released as a single but to me its one of the standout tracks on the album. Right from the get go with the “la la la” vocals (by an unknown person) I was interested to see where the track would go. It was something a little bit different, and more mellow, compared to the other big tracks on the album. Instead of being a cynical ballad about a failed love or a high paced hit chronicling flirtation and sexual tension, this song is unashamedly optimistic and is about a love that lasts. Sometimes it’s nice to listen to something like that 🙂

Tom Odell – Wrong Crowd

On a different note Wrong Crowd by Tom Odell is decidedly melancholic. It reflects on a turbulent childhood, failed relationship and essentially an inner turmoil that results in both a mentally and physically unhealthy lifestyle. The whistling and melody at the start of the song is what really captivated me (much like Sometimes) but Tom Odell’s effortless, understated vocals are what really carries the song and adds depth to his, already emotional, lyrics.

Twin Atlantic – No Sleep

I listened to Twin Atlantic a fair amount in July in the lead up to Belladrum Festival (which my last post is about, click here to read). They’re a Scottish rock band (with very noticeable accents) and are really pretty popular up here. I’m not sure of their success outside of Scotland but every time I’ve seen them here the venues have been packed out. No Sleep is my favourite song from their album GLA because of the roaring chorus. It feels quite epic, particularly when performed live. There is no getting away from the cringey lyric “I take pills and I drink alcohol”, I mean way to be subtle about it. Other than that though, I like this song very much.

Oasis – Don’t Look Back in Anger

Ever since I watched the documentary Supersonic about Oasis’ career and the… difficult relationship between Noel and Liam Gallagher I’ve been listening to Oasis a lot more. This was heightened when I began following Liam on twitter, I think I followed Noel as well but let’s be real Liam’s twitter is far more entertaining. Liam’s nickname ‘Potato’ for Noel ‘because he looks like a potato’ is pretty much perfectly catered to my sense of humour and I’m trying hard not to laugh writing this. Other than making me laugh these two have created some classic hits over the years. Despite Wonderwall probably being their most referenced hit I’ve been listening to Don’t Look Back in Anger and Rock n Roll Star a lot recently. Liam’s rendition of Rock n Roll Star at Ariana Grande’s One Love Manchester concert was the most exciting part of the evening for me and, as per usual, his percussionist skills were impeccable (tambourine AND maracas).

Niall Horan – Slow Hands – wasn’t a fan of other song

I didn’t really have high hopes for Niall Horan’s solo career, probably because he always faded into the background of One Direction somewhat (at least from my perspective). When he released his first single This Town I wasn’t blown away. I found it quite forgettable and didn’t really make much further effort to keep up with his music. Then I heard Slow Hands on the radio once and it got stuck in my head. The guitar riff is catchy and I found myself thinking I had an old rock ballad stuck in my head, only to remember it was actually little Niall. Despite thinking it was “Small Hands” for a few weeks which, in hindsight makes absolutely NO sense and is pretty hilarious, I not have the lyrics right and enjoy this easy listener.

Harry Styles – Sign of the Times

Sign of the Times is just an AMAZING song. I couldn’t have imagined that Harry would release something like this. I firmly believe that he has the strongest career prospects of any of the One Direction leavers. Also after seeing Dunkirk for a second time last night I am massively impressed with not only his vocals and lyrics but has acting skills as well (who knew). I actually think Sign of the Times and Dunkirk have quite a few things in common. Mainly, they’re both understated and rely on the sheer quality of the content they’re based on (in Sign of the Times case, strong chorus lyrics and Harry’s vocals and in Dunkirk the raw, real story being told and the astounding direction). There’s no unnecessary eccentricities to either of these works and, in my opinion, that is the best thing about them.

London Grammar – Strong

I think I’ve spoken about London Grammar before on this blog but that’s because they are unique and brilliant. Hannah Reid’s clear vocals manage to make every song far more thought provoking and memorable than they perhaps would have been. Live, they are touching and a sight to behold. Hannah stands relatively still by her microphone throughout the performance and the boys (Dan and Dominic) do not move around much either. Their concert is a display of pure talent with no need for bells and whistles. I’ve been listening to every song on their album If You Wait but Strong (their most successful single) is the song I always find myself humming in my head and wanting to go back to the most.

I hope you enjoyed having a little peruse of what I’ve been listening to the past month. Please let me know what you’ve been enjoying as well, I’m always looking for recommendations!

Until next time,

J x

Film Review: The Shawshank Redemption

Spoilers ahead.

I struggle to know where to begin when trying to write a review of this film. The 1994 Frank Darabont film has gone down in history as a classic, despite initially not making as much money as some other films of the same year (Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump etc). This film is now wildly popular and I can COMPLETELY see why, it’s one of my favourites.

I love this film for so many reasons, one of which being my slightly strange morbid curiosity about prisons. It’s directed effectively, the narrative is strong and progresses the plot nicely, the casting is brilliant and, let’s not forget, the film is based on an incredible and gripping story by Stephen King.

I’ll start by saying if you have not seen this film and are interested in movies or the history of film at all GO WATCH THIS NOW (it’s on Netflix so you have no excuse). Seriously, I wish I’d seen it sooner. I feel like it’s the kind of film I could put right back to the start as soon as the credits start rolling and watch all over again.

Frank Darabont’s direction is excellent, he really captures what the microcosmic society of a prison is like and what day to day life can be like for inmates with different positions within the system. Not only this but Darabont forces viewers to empathise with protagonist Andy Dufresne in his most harrowing moments, whether they want to or not. An example of this is the tunnel scene towards the end of the film.

Andy Dufresne crawling through the sewers in The Shawshank Redemption

The camera is positioned inside of the tunnel opposite Dufresne. This really emphasizes the claustrophobia, desperation and panic of the situation and, personally, made me feel super on edge!

Another triumph of this film is the casting of Morgan Freeman as ‘Red’. Red narrates the film allowing the plot to progress just at the right speed. The fact that the story is told from a perspective other than Dufresne himself is effective in many ways but most of all because it protects the climax of the film which is, consequently, pretty shocking and exhilarating to watch as a viewer. Obviously, a large portion of credit for this goes to Stephen King, but Morgan Freeman’s performance achieves, in my opinion, a very difficult thing. It manages to be down to earth yet poignant and affecting at the same time. I can’t imagine anybody else being able to strike this balance so well.

I’ve heard people argue over whether the final scene of the film needed to be included or not. Whether is was effective or unnecessary. For me personally I found that final scene incredibly gratifying, and if it wasn’t shown I would definitely feel like I was missing out. So it’s just another positive really!

For me what elevates this film above the norm is its nuance. It hits the mark for me emotionally at every turn. It’s heart warming and devastating and awe inspiring all at once and isn’t that really what films are all about? Plus there’s just nothing like a great story of friendship 🙂

Hope you enjoyed this little review!

Until next time,

J x

 

June Music Favourites!

I know it’s late and it’s already pretty much halfway through July but I’m here and ready to deliver my music favourites!

Early this month I was at TRNSMT festival (another post on that soon) which was a festival in Glasgow taking place over three days and hosting a LOT of awesome bands. SO what I was listening to in June was influenced quite heavily by this as I knew it was coming up!

Catfish & The Bottlemen – Kathleen

This is my favourite song from their album The Balcony and potentially my favourite song of theirs overall? My main reason for loving this song is the strong chorus. I love the kind of shouting/scratchy vocals from Van McCan and the strong guitars. It sets an rhymically upbeat yet decidedly uncheerful atmosphere when played, and I love it!

My Chemical Romance – Sleep

Before you say it I KNOW this is a blast from the past but I can’t help it and as I say, this list is a representation of what I’ve been listening to the past month, definitely not what’s been released! This song just sounds sinister, the lyrics, the strength and emotion of the vocals and the minor chords throughout. My Chemical Romance were known for being one of the main champions of the “2000’s emo movement” so it’s unsurprising that their lyrics aren’t exactly brimming with positivity. I genuinely think that pretty much every single song of theirs is amazing as it’s own entity, I’ve never heard one and thought “that’s a filler track”.

Miles Cyrus – Malibu

Firstly think this is a lovely, pensive summer song. Unlike something like This Is What You Came For by Calvin Harris, you’d probably listen to this later on in the evening as the suns setting and everyone’s already pretty tipsy. I’m not necessarily the biggest fan of Miley’s country voice but I think the chorus is brilliant and not enhanced when you consider the real life context surrounding the song (Miles Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth’s relationship).

Paramore – Let the Flames Begin

This song is iconic and I go through phases of kind of forgetting about it and then remembering it again. The “oh glory” lyric sounds ominous when sung by Hayley Williams and overall the song is just thrilling to listen to. The fast paced chorus and defiance in the lyrics is basically just super empowering and epic! Paramore can really do no wrong in my eyes and I’m constantly impressed by Hayley Williams’ vocal ability.

Radiohead – Glass Eyes and Lucky

Radiohead were the headline act on the first night of TRNSMT so I’d been listening to them a fair bit in the run up. I’m a big fan of A Moon Shaped Pool and Glass Eyes is my favourite! It’s just so beautiful and dream like, if you’re ever struggling to get to sleep and need a relaxing lullaby like song to listen to, TRY THIS ONE! Lucky is from Ok Computer, perhaps Radiohead’s best known album and Lucky is a melancholy ballad (or at least that’s how I’d describe it, probably not technically correct). Listening to the two one after the other really demonstrates Radiohead’s ability to completely change everything about their sound, and that’s my favourite thing about the band.

Kasabian – Underdog

Kasabian headlined TRNSMT on the second night so I’ve also been listening to them a lot. By far my favourite song is Underdog. I can’t even think of any reasons why I love it other than I just really like the sound of it. It’s an awesome song about defying expectations and sometimes that’s just what a person needs to hear!

The Kooks – (Junk of the Heart) Happy

How lovely is this song? It’s just about really wanting to make someone happy right? If there’s some double meaning to it that I don’t know about that’ll blow my mind. It’s so summery and sounds great on single carriageway roads with the windows rolls down. That’s all I can ask for 🙂

Stormzy – Shut up

This is the kind of angry, defiant song that’s just really great for when you’re in the gym. Whether you’re into this genre of music or not you have to admit, it is energising and empowering. The way Stormzy repeatedly spits the line “shut up” does make me chuckle as well!

Marina and the Diamonds – Valley of the Dolls

Haunting music is Marina Diamandis’ speciality, with songs like Immortal and Savages to back up that statement. Valley of the Dolls is, presumably, inspired by the 1966 novel by Jacqueline Susann of the same name and depicts the feelings of dissatisfaction and constantly yearning for something more, only to be routinely faced with disappointment. A starkly realistic and familiar emotion for many of us but, nonetheless, makes for a beautiful song.

So these were my picks for June, I hope they’re of interest to you. As with last month I have created a Spotify playlist with a few more choice tracks (clearly fancying myself as a bit of a DJ, that was a joke).

June Playlist

Until next time,

J x

Spring Highlighters

Hey! Sorry I’ve taken a bit of a break from blogging just because I was finishing up with exams and then after that I’ve basically been sleeping and/or seeing my friends and actually having some fun! The weather has, surprisingly, been really quite nice up here the past few weeks though and it’s got me in the mood to wear my makeup a little differently. One of my absolute favourite makeup items is highlighter, so I thought I’d review a couple of the ones I own today.

The first real highlighter I ever bought was:

MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle £24.50 (Link here!)

I absolutely love this product because it has a natural, peachy, pearly shimmer and catches the light very nicely without being too intense (although is that really a thing?)

mac soft and gentle highlight

This is what it looks like on (apologies for the messy bed spread). Also, side note, it’s really hard to get highlight to show up in a picture without piling it on! This was the best one I could get but as you can see it gives you quite a nice glow 🙂

My most recent “purchase” (I ordered it and it never showed up so I got a refund and then it magically came through my door, don’t tell!) was:

Sleek Solstice Highlighting Palette £10.00 (Link here!).

This is my favourite of the moment, not only is it significantly cheaper than the Mineralize Skin Finish, you get four different shades! There are three powders and one cream highlight, so surely it’s all you could need? My favourite is the peachy shade in the bottom right of the palette. It has quite a high shine and I love the way it looks on!

Again it was difficult to get the highlight to show up in pictures but this was my best attempt. All of the shades in the palette has a similar level of shine. The cream was obviously more dewy and natural looking so would be great for a hot day.

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I swatched each other shades on my hand, the far left is the MAC and the rest are from the Sleek palette.

I also own Nars Albatross, however, for me personally it comes up a little yellow on my skin (probably because I’m so pale). So it’s not one of my favourites. All three are great products though and at the end of the day it comes down to personal preference. MAC has more of a natural shimmer, Sleek a little more intense and glitz.

I hope you enjoyed this, it was just a quick one because I’m not the best at beauty posts but I thought I may as well try as I do love makeup! Please comment below telling me about your favourite makeup products and highlighters 🙂

Until next time,

J x

The Blue Sky Tag

Unfortunately finding a blue sky can be quite hard in Scotland but I looked back through my pictures and found this one from the other day. There’s a bit of blue sky!

I was recently tagged by Mew (click here to visit her blog!) to do the Blue Sky Tag. After reading her post I was excited to answer the questions she set so thanks for tagging me Mew!

THE RULES

1. Thank the person who nominated you
2. Answer their 11 questions
3. Tag 11 people
4. Give them 11 questions to answer

What inspired you to start blogging?

I have started a few blogs in the past but for the most part I either didn’t take them seriously or they just documented my day to day life which, sorry to break it to you past self, no one really cared about. Recently, however, a few of my friends started up blogs so I decided if they could do it why couldn’t I? So here I am.

What are your top 3 favourite songs right now? 

Frank Ocean – Chanel Listen here!

Lorde – Green Light Listen here!

My Chemical Romance – Dead! (throwback) Listen here!

What is your favourite go to outfit? 

My favourite go to outfit, the one I wear when I can’t be bothered thinking through an outfit and just want to be comfortable, would be my black Y Rise Ivy Park Leggings (Topshop, £40). A vest top and my oversized checked shirt which was also from Topshop but a few years ago now. Unfortunately I don’t have a full picture of the outfit, but it is super casual!

What is the last thing you bought?

I recently bought a pair of Chelsea boots for £20 (Link here) and a pair of dungarees for £25 (Link here) from Boohoo.

casual dungrees outfit

Sorry you can’t see the boots very well!

If you had to dye your hair a crazy colour for the rest of your life what would that be?

I’ve thought about this before and if I had to dye my hair an out there colour I would dye it blue/black. Something along the lines of what Jade Thirlwall from Little Mix had a few years ago!

Do you have a favourite fashion designer, illustrator or artist?

Sadly I am not as into art as I would like to be. I like classic Chanel pieces although I could NEVER afford them. In terms of illustrations I was always a big fan of Beatrix Potter’s illustrations (particularly Peter Rabbit). I like some of Banksy’s work and one of my favourite art pieces is Van Gogh’s The Starry Night.

What is your dream job?

At this point I’m not entirely sure but I know I want it to be something to do with writing. Whether that will be journalism or more creative writing I’m not sure at this point. I absolutely love blogging too but it is, of course, just a hobby.

Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter… Which season is your favourite? 

I feel like every time I new season comes along I love that season the most but if I had to pick a favourite it would definitely be autumn. Some of the most beautiful colours appear in autumn and usually the weather is still relatively warm and the evenings quite long. I love everything about autumn, and it’s the season of halloween!

Pineapple on pizza: yes or no?

Unfortunately no, but maybe some day I will come around to it!

Who is your favourite youtuber right now? 

Of the moment, Emma Blackery. I never used to watch her videos but I’ve just found myself clicking on a lot of them recently. I find that she makes videos about topics I’m really interested in at the moment.

Of all time, danisnotonfire. I have nothing more to say.

Have you been good to yourself this week? What did you do to treat yourself? 

I was on a weekend break to Yorkshire earlier this week with my cousin. We ate nice food and drank way too much (whether that’s me being good to myself or bad to myself is up to you).

There you have it! If you read this and would like to do the tag yourself please feel free to!

My eleven questions are:

  1. What are you reading at the moment?
  2. What are some blogs you’re loving at the moment?
  3. What is your favourite place you’ve ever visited?
  4. Do you like spicy food?
  5. What is your favourite album of the moment?
  6. Rate the Harambe meme of 2016 out of ten. Quality meme? Or a shit stain on the face of the internet?
  7. Where would you like to live one day?
  8. Could you recommend us a book?
  9. Subbed or dubbed?
  10. What’s your favourite meal?
  11. What’s your favourite type of weather?

I am going to tag:

Alt-G

IWantToBeAPaperBackWriter

LifeWithLilRed

AHandfulOfPassion

HannaAnanas

JessicaJadeBeauty

Notoriouslaylow

PainfullyFictional

BookDustMagic

WanderLustingDaisy

ImaginaryLea

Thank you for reading and please comment below if you like/want to do this tag.

Until next time,

J x

Book Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is one of my favourite books for many many reasons. I read it about 3 years ago when I was in my last year of secondary school. I read it along with The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger and wrote my “dissertation” (technically what it was called but it was only about 4,000 words long) on them.

Some books stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page and, for me, The Perks of Being a Wallflower was one of those books. It was the first book I ever cried my eyes out at (despite everyone calling me heartless for not crying at Rue’s death in The Hunger Games).

Charlie is an introverted adolescent boy just starting high school in America. Throughout the book, which is written in epistolary (letter) form from Charlie’s perspective, we slowly start to understand the somewhat unusual way Charlie sees the world. He is incredibly passive and, in many situations, goes completely unnoticed by other characters, simply witnessing other people’s lives and never really living his own. Patrick, one of the other main characters, remarks on this at a party and says:

“He’s a wallflower. You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand.”

This is, of course, where the book gets it’s name. After befriending Patrick and Sam Charlie begins to grow in confidence and his letters become more positive. The book explores many topics such as abuse, sexuality, mental illness and the role of authority in young people’s lives.

Ultimately the exploration of all of these themes boils down to one overarching message, which Chbosky puts very succinctly:

“We accept the love we think we deserve.”

This line struck me because, at least in my opinion, it is largely true. I know so many people who have allowed themselves to be treated badly due to low self esteem. When Charlie reiterates his teacher’s poignant words to Sam there is a kind of quiet clarity. The entire purpose of the novel becomes apparent and all of the different character’s stories are put into perspective.

Chbosky’s writing is simple, easy to understand and almost child like at points. His art, however, lies in his subtlety and his ability to write an enamouring, emotionally driven novel.

The Perks of being a wallflower book review

I can’t write a review on the book without mentioning the movie. The script was written and directed by Chbosky, which means it remains very true to the book. The film is incredibly nostalgic, as is the book, referencing old TV shows, songs and films throughout. It is, of course, set in the 90’s so the fashion is always eye catching (if at some points questionable). The sets are colourful and traditionally American which, even if you’re not from America, adds a sense of familiarity.

Emma Watson - The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Lastly, the casting of the film could not have been better. You may not know this yet but Emma Watson may be my favourite human on earth, so as soon as I found out she was going to be in the film I was SOLD. Logan Lerman played Charlie with the nuance and emotional complexity that was necessary for the role and I can’t imagine anyone else playing the part. Ezra Miller, who played Patrick, has been known for his impressive performances in other films like “We Need To Talk About Kevin” and he proved his diversity as an actor in this film, portraying sweet-natured yet exuberant Patrick perfectly.

Well I think that’s just about all I have to say for now (other than if you haven’t read this book GO READ IT NOW). I hope you enjoyed this and thank you for reading. Comment below if you also love this book or want to suggest any other books I might like 🙂

Until next time,

J x

The Travel Tag

Hello!

I was recently tagged by Mew (her blog is really cool go have a look, https://love-mew.com/) to do the travel tag. It seems like a fun tag and because I love travelling and am going on holiday in a few days I thought now would be the perfect time to write it! Hope you enjoy!

1. What is your favourite place that you have visited?

Prague

Prague, Czech Republic

I went to Prague in August 2014 with some of my friends. This was my first proper holiday (not just down to Glasgow for the weekend) with my friends and it was absolutely amazing. Prague had the perfect mix of restaurants, nightlife, beer gardens and beautiful architecture. It was the perfect place for us to go on holiday at that particular time as well, we’d all just turned 18 so we could drink legally! It was also really cheap out there, you got so much for your money!There were so many cool attractions in Prague like paddle boating on the river…

Prague

Exploring the local attractions…

Prague

and, of course, checking out the famous ice bar!

Prague Ice Bar

2. If you could visit anywhere tomorrow where would you go?

Perhaps it’s a popular choice but it’s been on my bucket list forever, New York City! A few of my friends have been to New York over the years and I am just SO jealous. I want to eat in all the cool cafes in Manhattan, try real New York pizza, go to the top of the Empire State Building and the One World Trade Centre building. I want to visit Liberty Island, Broadway, Central Park, Times Square and the Met. The list could go on, I’d like to spend weeks there to properly explore everything and get the full NY experience!

3. Would you rather go on a city holiday or a beach holiday?

Don’t get me wrong there are awesome things about both beach holidays and city holidays, but for me at the stage of my life I’m in at the moment there’s no doubt in my mind that my answer is city holidays. There are just way too fascinating, culturally rich cities so close by to go see. So far I’ve been to quite a few interesting cities: Prague, Krakow, Paris, Bruges. There are so many more on my list though such as Budapest, Berlin and Rome to name a few.

Krakow Poland

Krakow, Poland

Eiffel Tower Paris

(as I’m sure you all know)
Paris, France

Brugge Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

4. My top 3 holiday essentials are…

SUN CREAM

The worst mistake you can make is going on holiday without sun cream because if you get burned you will remain burnt and flaky for the rest of your trip (should also probably mention the danger you’d be posing to your health)! No one wants to look back on pictures of them on holiday and only be able to think about how red they look, do they? I’ve been there and I cannot stress enough how important sun protection is when you’re away even for a few days.

CAMERA (or any photo taking device)

I know some people aren’t the biggest fans of getting the camera out whenever they’re doing something interesting or cool, but I absolutely love looking back on photographs and remembering what I was doing and how I was feeling that day. I think you can be immersed in the moment and still take a few snaps to look back on later 🙂

A MAP

Of course you can access this pretty much anywhere now on Google Maps, but it’s really important to be able to get your bearings wherever you are. You don’t want to be wandering aimlessly the whole time you’re there, especially if you’re not there long and want to cram in all the local sights! Another thing a map is good for is finding your way back from all the exciting places you’ll be exploring, there’s been more than one occasion where I’ve been pretty stumped as to which cobbled street the hostel I’m staying in is down!

5. Are you an over packer or an under packer?

Unfortunately I have to admit I’m an over packer. I’m always pushing the weight limit on my hold luggage and usually have to take a pair or two of shoes out. I’d be so nervous if I only packed the essentials because I’d be worried there would come a desperate need for that fifth pair of shorts or that moisturiser I never even use. Better safe than sorry!

6. What is your favourite thing about going on holidays?

This one has to be split into two for me. Number one, is exploring new places. I absolutely loved visiting Krakow as it was so rich with history, museums and of course the Jewish Quarter which was incredible to visit. The other would be spending time with whoever I’m with, whether it’s friends or family. Going away on holiday and taking a hiatus from day to day life is the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with those close to you.

Port De Polenca Majorca

Majorca, Spain

7. Would you rather go on holiday with friends or family?

This is a difficult question to answer because I love doing both, however I am at a time in my life at the moment where I am going on holiday with my friends more than with my family so I’d have to say friends for now. I have so many wonderful memories of holidays with my family from growing up through and would love to go on many more holidays with them in the future!

8. What is the most adventurous dish you have ever tried from another country?

I visited Shenzen, China in 2008 and tried quite a few interesting foods while I was out there, but I can’t specifically remember what any of the dishes were! The first thing that pops into my head other than that is when i tried Lobster when I was in Florida (wasn’t such a fan) and when I tried dumplings in Krakow last summer (definitely was a massive fan).

Polish Dumplings

They may not look massively appetising but I can assure you there were DELICIOUS! Me and my good friend Rebecca polished off the whole lot and a bread basket just to ourselves!

9. Who do you want to do this tag?

Anyone who wants to do it. Hearing about and getting travel suggestions from people is great! I don’t know that many bloggers as of yet so I’ll leave it at that for now but everyone is invited to do this tag by me 🙂

Please comment below if you’ve been to any of these places or would like to, and with any suggestions of places you’ve been and loved! I will also be going to Amsterdam on the 29th and will most likely put up a post about it shortly after I arrive back so stick around to give that a read!

Until next time,

J x

Drug Store Faves!

Hey! I felt like doing a little beauty post today because I’ve been really enjoying doing my makeup recently, sometimes I can’t be bothered haha, and noticed that I keep reaching for some cheap(er) products that I consider to be absolute staples. So today I’m going to give you a run down of my absolute favourite drug store makeup products, I hope you enjoy 🙂

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Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum – £10.99

I am always somewhat sceptical about drug store foundations because I have incredibly dry skin and don’t want to put anything on it that will irritate it. Having said that I decided to give this one a shot after hearing many good things about it from friends and online and I’m so glad I did! At £10.99 it may not be as cheap as some other foundations you’ll find in Boots but compared to some of the high end foundations I’ve shelled out for in the past it’s great to have a slightly cheaper alternative for when I’m a bit skint! I would say this is a medium coverage foundation and the shade I buy is Light Vanilla (the lightest shade, as usual) which matches my skin really well and doesn’t look orangey at all thankfully. The only negative thing I will say about this foundation is that when left on the skin for a while it can begin to look quite greasy, but for the price I can forgive it that.

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Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder – £3.99

Everyone’s favourite, the old trusty Rimmel Stay Matte Powder, well loved and packaging faded. If you’re experiencing problems with shiny skin like I mentioned above this is the product you need. I prefer to use the Transparent shade because sometimes I find that powders with a bit of colour in them come up looking orange on my skin. Don’t think I really need to say much about this product as most people I know own it but it deserved a mention in my favourites! I do have dry skin and sometimes this can be too drying, but to set makeup it works really well.

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Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer – £5.49

I haven’t gotten to the stage yet where I can justify myself spending over £20 on a concealer so I’ve tried my fair few of drug store concealers. This is potentially my favourite. Although I do love the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer, I do sometimes find it difficult to blend and a little dry. The Wake Me Up concealer glides on and blends super easily and does a nice job of brightening up underneath your eyes! The shade I use is 010 Ivory, again the lightest, sometimes out of stock which makes sense given I live in Scotland and we’re all fluorescent up here.

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Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24 Hour – £4.99

I really enjoy using cream products, particularly cream eyeshadows as they look dewy and very pigmented. These Colour Tattoo’s are such a good price for what is a very good product. My favourite shade is On & On Bronze, but couldn’t find it today 😦 so here’s a picture of Eternal Gold which is also a gorgeous shade. They blend out very nicely and are easily buildable. As I’m sure you can tell by the name of my blog I’m a bit lazy (a bit is maybe an understatement)! If I’m also being lazy with my makeup I love to just apply one of these to the lid and blend them out around the edges. Takes all of ten seconds and actually looks very nice.

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Bourjois Liquid Eyeliner – £6.99

I, along with many others, have ALWAYS struggled with doing winged eyeliner. I’ve tried so many different eyeliners, drug store and high end, and this is the best one I’ve ever used! The thin brush applicator allows for a really precise line which is good because I don’t like dramatic eyeliner on myself. I use the shade Ultra Black and it really is ultra black and applies very smoothly. For the price I think it’s an amazing product, especially given how expensive some other eyeliners are. Mine is drying out a bit now but I will definitely be repurchasing it!

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Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Khol Kajal – £3.99

Continuing with eyeliner, these eye pencils by Rimmel are great! I have the shade Nude pictured above and as you can see it’s in desperate need of a sharpen. This shade is perfect for lining your lower waterline, it opens up the eye but isn’t as dramatic as using a white pencil. For £3.99 you really have nothing to lose giving these a go but I can vouch for their quality, they are very creamy and don’t drag on application which is something I’ve experienced with a lot of pencils in the past.

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Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara – £5.99

Mascara is another one I struggle with sometimes. For some reason my eyelashes on one eye just don’t like to separate out and look nice with a lot of mascaras. I’ve bought expensive ones in the past and been disappointed but this one really separates out the individual lashes and lengthens them. It’s definitely not the only mascara I use but it’s one I always go back to. Mine is in the shade Black, of course.

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Rimmel Lasting Finish By Kate Lipsticks – £5.49

These lipsticks are very popular and for good reason. There is a gorgeous and vast range of shades that are all incredibly pigmented when applied to the lips. Of course having Kate Moss’ name on the packaging probably boosts sales a bit, but I think people come back for more because of the quality. The shade pictured above is shade 38, a beautiful peachy pink. I am also obsessed with shade 1 which is a dark, blood red. Not to bash high end lipsticks as many are absolutely beautiful, but if you are a bit short of cash and want to buy a new lipstick I’d highly recommend these guys!

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Barry M Gelly Nail Paint – £3.99

Barry M nail paints are some of the only products that I used to buy at around aged 14-15 and actually still buy now. They come in SO many shades and finishes and for the price the product is great (I mean it’s £3.99, come on). One of my favourite things about them is the shape of the brush, it’s quite flat and fits well with the shape of my nails. The product is a good consistency and glides on nicely. Pictured above is the shade Black Grape, it’s basically all I’ve been wearing recently. As much as I’d love to be sporting pretty nude nails I’m just obsessed with this nearly black shade!

Well that’s the round up of my favourite drug store products, I hope you found it interesting. Let me know in the comments if you also love any of these products or are interested in trying them out. Also sorry if some of the products look a bit dirty it’s just because they’re well loved and they’ve been crammed into a makeup bag that’s way too small!

Until next time,

J x

Childhood Reading Tag

Hello! I was stood in the kitchen the other day waiting for my pasta to boil, scrolling through my reader on WordPress and I was seeing so many cool, interesting posts people had written about books they’ve read or are reading. It got me thinking about everything I’ve read over the years and I thought of an idea for a tag! I’m not under any illusions that this is going to become a thing. I basically just wanted to do it for myself, but if anyone does want to do it then go ahead I’d love to see what other people read throughout their childhoods!

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First Love – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

I’m sure this is one that pretty much everyone can relate too. Harry Potter was one of the first things I read (or had read to me when I was really young) and it’s remained my ultimate favourite ever since. I absolutely love high fantasy in which you can just become completely immersed and forget about any troubles you may have had at school that day or that deadline that’s fast looming over you that you should really be working on instead of reading Harry Potter… Not that I’ve ever done that haha.

I don’t even know what else there is to say about one of the best selling book series’ of all time. I’m sure you all have but if you haven’t read them DO IT! I firmly believe everyone should read these books before they die. Recently my gran told me she hadn’t seen the movies and I could not contain my horror.

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Oldest Reading Memory – The Famous Five by Enid Blyton

These books take me right back to my oldest memories of reading as a child. I don’t think they’re books I would particularly enjoy reading now I’m 20, but back in the day I loved a bit of Julian, Dick, George, Anne and Timmy. The one I remember the most is the “On Kirrin Island Again” book. I think I must’ve read that one over and over again. As much as looking back the characters’ speech is quite comical, I used to get pretty swept up in the drama of these guys’ summer holidays.

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School Reading Memory – The Magic Key by Roderick Hunt

I’m not sure what everyone else read in the early years of school but I know that everyone at my school read a lot of books from The Magic Key series. I didn’t properly decide that English was my favourite subject until the end of secondary school but I definitely remember looking forward to reading what happened next with Biff, Chip and Kipper. This was so long ago I can hardly remember the individual storylines but I guess this series was pretty instrumental in me learning how to read, so deserves a mention in my opinion!

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YA Favourite – Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

This is another super high fantasy series. I was really invested in the first book, then went on to read Inkspell and the start of Inkdeath. Unfortunately I think Inkdeath was either too advanced or too slow paced for my young mind but I remember absolutely loving Inkheart. A film adaptation was made of the book but unfortunately it wasn’t received very well and the sequel was never made. I’m not sure if it was the budget or just the wrong time, but I think that some amazing films could be made out of these books. Especially given the rise of the internet, fandoms and the popoularity of fantasy series’ like The Hunger Games.

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Guilty Pleasure – My Diary by Liz Rettig

Well I can’t exactly claim that this was academically challenging or anything but I’ll be honest with you, I loved these books. At the end of the day reading is reading and sometimes it’s just fun to read something a bit silly. These books contained the over dramatic internal monologue of Kelly Ann and I lapped up every page until, full disclosure, I was probably too old for it to still be acceptable. Oh well, that’s why it’s a guilty pleasure, not ashamed!

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Honourable Mention – The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

I can’t finish up this post without mentioning The Chronicles of Narnia. I can’t quite place in my mind what age I was when I started reading these books but I think I was quite young. I remember watching the 1988 BBC TV series with my best friend Megan when we were children and later seeing the movies. As I’ve said previously I love fantasy series’, it seems criminal that I still haven’t read the Lord of the Rings series (I know) but I will get around to it! Obviously when I was younger I never understood the heavy religious themes of the books (Aslan is literally a thinly veiled lion Jesus), but to me Edmund was the original bad ass and he just couldn’t deny himself that turkish delight! A classic.

Well that’s everything from me just now but please do this tag if you enjoyed it! I felt really nostalgic writing it but probably forgot so many things that I read when I was younger.

Until next time,

J x

Update: thought I would tag a few people who’s blogs I’ve been enjoying recently.

Random Picture Tag

Heeeeyo I thought I’d do a really old tag today because why not? I’ve been looking at quite a few peoples old blog posts recently and this seemed to do the rounds back in the day.

Premise is you go onto your pictures pick a random folder and choose i think the fourth or fifth picture in that file, share it and explain it! If that’s not exactly how you’re meant to do it I apologise but that’s how I’ve done it for the purpose of this post.

Well I’m the kind of person who has all their photos saved into different folders entitled things like ‘Christmas 2012’ etc. So I decided to pick a folder from a time where I actually did quite a lot to increase my chances of actually having an interesting photo to share with you!

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That’s 17 year old me on the left looking pleased as punch about something! This picture is called ‘mcdonalds’ on my laptop, so as the name suggests this photo was taken in McDonalds. It was taken in Late July 2014 in Plymouth, so the weather was nice and warm! I’m not from Plymouth but I was down visiting my cousin Ellie (middle) during the summer.

We were on our way to an outdoors concert by Mad Dog Mcrea (props if you’ve heard of them, they were a local band), but someone needed the toilet so we all popped into McDonalds to wait for them. I wouldn’t usually dress up to go to McDonalds (and I also don’t normally look quite so thrilled about it either)!

Anyway this was just a short post because I thought it was quite a fun and interesting tag. If anyone wants to comment below doing the same consider yourself tagged!

Until next time,

J x