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.

Blyton's Famous Five.

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

The Glasgow Series: Hanoi Bike Shop

I think I’m going to start a little series on my blog called, as the title would suggest, The Glasgow Series. I am somebody who, I’m sure you’ll come to realise, LOVES food. I love cooking, eating, restaurants and all kinds of different cuisines. I also live in Glasgow which has so many amazing cafes, restaurants and bars. So it seems only right that I talk about some of the cool places I’ve gone to eat and perhaps some other places of significance!

The first place I’m going to talk about is the Hanoi Bike Shop on Ruthven Lane. Ruthven Lane is a pretty alleyway just off of the main street Byres Road. With fairy lights, restaurants and even a music shop hidden round corners it’s a super interesting place to have a stroll around! The first place you see when you turn on to the lane is the Hanoi Bike Shop, and it’s also the first thing you’ll smell too!

Contrary to what the name suggests this cute little nook is not somewhere you bring your bike to get fixed, but a vibrant Vietnamese eating extravaganza! I’ve lived in Glasgow for almost two years now and it’s taken me waaay too long to eat here. Seriously, if you’re ever in Glasgow and like Asian food GO EAT HERE!

The atmosphere is buzzing and the restaurant in general is bustling with waiters as it is designed to feel like an authentic Vietnamese street food experience. I personally really enjoyed the atmosphere even though it bordered on a little loud sometimes, I think that’s the way it’s meant to be!

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Onto the food. Me and two friends ordered a noodle soup (or Pho) dish each and a couple of sides to share. This worked out to be plenty for us and, surprisingly for a first try, we enjoyed everything we ordered! The noodle soups worked out at around the £9 mark, which for a main is relatively standard I’d say. Not cheap but not ridiculous!

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(Photo credit goes to Gaby Lemin (Alt-G), she’s awesome go have a wee gander at her blog! https://shutupgab.wordpress.com/ )

As you can see the soups were pretty impressive! They tasted absolutely amazing and honestly I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this place since we went!

Along with the soups we ordered a side of cauliflower and chilli fritters for £5.65 which were honestly TO DIE FOR! If I wasn’t sold on this place already (which i was) those fritters were enough to have me back for more.

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They came with a sweet chilli dip and a bed of salad and honestly, they look good but they tasted out of this world!

We also ordered Kimchi for £2.65 which we all tried and enjoyed but I’d imagine is quite an acquired taste? The great thing about this place is you can try loads of different sides though so I say just go for it!

Potentially the only drawback of the Hanoi Bike Shop that I can think of is the fact that there’s no cutlery on the tables other than chop sticks and a small spoon. Luckily for me I have been taught how to use chopsticks before and managed to work with them but I’d imagine for some there would be the awkward “can I have a fork please?” scenario. No judgement, certainly not from me anyway!

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Well that’s me for this blog post. As you can see I’m VERY enthusiastic about this restaurant. I think partly because most places selling Asian cuisine aren’t very authentic, so this was a really special find to me 🙂 please comment below and let me know if you have any similar places where you live. I’d love to know in case I visit one day!

Until next time,

J x

Click to access HBSmenus-NOV-2016.pdf

Urban Decay Moondust Palette

Hello!

Today I’m going to my first beauty post and as I’ve recently purchased the Moondust Palette by Urban Decay I thought I’d give it a quick review!
Since returning to uni in September I’ve often noticed my friend Milly having really cool sparkly eyeshadow looks. I always wondered what it was but never thought to ask, until one night I was getting ready for a night out round at hers and she brought out the Moondust Palette.
I was instantly intrigued by it because, let’s face it, the colours are super eye catching!

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One of my first thoughts when deciding whether or not to buy this palette was, ‘will i use all the colours?’. I had a think about it and spoke to my friends and decided that yeah I probably would use them all at some point, but even just buying it for my favourite few shades would be worth it to me (plus with a quick check on the Urban Decay website i found that buying a couple individually would cost more than the entire palette anyway)!

Speaking of price this palette comes in at £36, I will leave a link to the product at the end of this post. To some £36 may be out of their price range, to others a bargain, but as it ultimately works out at about £4.50 per eyeshadow I think it’s pretty good value for money. Especially  considering the price for individuals on the Urban Decay website is £15.50, seems pretty outrageous to me?

One of the first things I noticed when my parcel arrived and I first saw the palette was the insanely cool packaging. Like seriously plenty of eyeshadow palette’s have gorgeous packaging, but this is like the rockstar of eyeshadow palettes.

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It’s chunky, metallic, glittery box with statement ‘moondust’ indented on the front with a reflective mirror like effect in the lettering, and of course the main identifier ‘Urban Decay’ in gun metal grey in the top centre. Everything about this palette sparks visual interest, maybe one of the reasons why it’s such a well known and loved product.

However this isn’t the only reason for the success of the product. On first trying out the shadows on myself I found that the formulation of the eyeshadows are absolutely lovely and, most importantly, the pigmentation is second to none! I can’t imagine anything more disappointing than buying a super bright vibrant eyeshadow palette only to find that on application only a whiff of the original shade transfers onto the eye. Luckily this was completely not the case with the Moondust palette. I was able to achieve sparkly, intense eye looks with ease, and I don’t profess myself to be a pro at makeup application! The shades blend well and just generally look absolutely bloody lovely.

So how do I feel about the shades? Well, I’ll be honest, on first glance some of them looked pretty scary to me! Here’s a run through of the shades one by one.

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Specter

This is a gorgeous sparkly, shimmery rosy shade. Despite it looking very pink in the palette it comes off more like a highlight shade and looks absolutely gorgeous used on the inner corners to open up the eyes. When i first looked at my friend’s palette this was one of the first shades I was drawn to. Compared to some of the other, more dramatic, shades in the palette Specter is certainly one of the ones that would be more wearable on a day to day basis.Simply in terms of what I’m used to wearing this is probably the shade I was initially most comfortable with.

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Element

I would describe this shade as a rusty, coppery red. It looks more intimidating than it actually is. On the eye it comes off as a kind of reflective red glitter that is most noticeable when it catches the light. Of course if you want a more intense red it is buildable, but generally I like to wear just a hint across my lid to finish a look off. This is definitely one of my favourite shades in the palette. I’m sometimes cautious of reds, but Element is unique and gorgeous!

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Magnetic

This is a beautiful purple shot through with a silver sparkle. This shade is perfectly wearable and would suit anyone in my opinion, but looks especially stunning with green eyes as the colours compliment and enhance one another. One of my absolute favourite things about this palette is the duo chrome effect of most of the shadows. Although the colours may initially seem apparent, when you apply them to the eyes there’s generally another layer that reveals itself when the light catches it.

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Lightyear

Now, there’s no getting around it, this is not an every day shade. Nor is it the most wearable eyeshadow I’ve ever seen. This is probably the one I will reach for the least, however, I do think there are some really fun uses for it! This colour screams ‘party’ to me, and I feel like a party is the perfect place to wear wacky eyeshadow shades and have no one bat an eyelid. Personally I quite like the idea of using a slanted eyebrow brush, like the Mac 266, wetting it slightly and using this is an eyeliner, just above your usual black line. Perhaps I’ll try that out in a makeup look sometime and write a post on it.

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Granite

A fitting name for what is a very grey silver. This shade is stunning and just has the most intensely pretty sparkle. Do I really need to work hard to convince you that a sparkly silver shade is lovely? This can be used in so many ways: dramatic inner corner highlight, eyeliner, across the lid you name it. Despite being silver, probably one of the most common eyeshadow shades, Granite is unique. It has that kind of gunmetal grey base shade to it (which I personally love) and the brightest, light catching silver glitter through it. I was trying to think of a word to describe it and space dust popped to mind, then I remembered the palette is literally called Moondust, guess it’s just a really well named product!

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Lithium

Oh Lithium. You are my favourite. When something is called Lithium you know you’re onto a winner (cue Nirvana). This shade cannot be pinned down. Is it gold? Is it bronze? I think it’s probably somewhere in between, but whatever it is it looks amazing! It looks especially stunning on blue eyes as bronzey shades compliment blue eyes beautifully. I could rave about this shade all day, buy the palette for this shade alone (only half joking).

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Vega

Another one of the more intimidating shades in the palette. As a general rule I steer clear of blue eyeshadows, scared of repeating the 2008, preteen blue eyeshadow fiasco. It’s nearly ten years on now though and about time I ventured out of my comfort zone and tried out a blue shade (nervous laughter). I would recommend using a light hand with this shade, as intense blue is probably still a bit of a no go. That’s just me though, feel free to prove me wrong I’m sure somebody with better skills than me could make it look wonderful. For me though, I quite like to use it in a dark smokey eye. I use it over the darkest shade in the outer V just to smoke out the look and make it that little bit more glitzy and dramatic.

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Galaxy

Galaxy is really quite similar to Granite in terms of the base shade, however, Galaxy is shot through with a blue sparkle which looks stunning when the light catches it. This is a shade I haven’t used as much as some of the others, but brushed across the lid on a cool toned smokey look this shade looks great and, as with all the shades in this palette, unique! Another way this could be used, if you’re a little intimidated by it, is by sweeping Granite across the lid and just using Galaxy to highlight down the centre of the lid. This would give a slightly more subtle effect than using it all over the lid, but would still look lovely.

Well now that I’ve gone through all the shades individually, I’ll just show you a couple of pictures of swatches to demonstrate the pigmentation.

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I apologise for perhaps being the palest person you have ever seen! Specter is right at the top but doesn’t show up well in this picture, mainly due to my pale skin. So here’s another picture.

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As you can see all of the shades are beautifully pigmented, this was just one swipe of all of them so you are getting a decent product for your money (in my opinion).

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This is for sure the most exciting eye shadow palette I have bought in a long time and I hope you find this blog post interesting and are as excited about the product as I am.

Until next time,

J x

http://www.urbandecay.co.uk/en_GB/make-up-palettes/moondust/ud773.html

The Pretty Reckless

Here we go, my first proper blog post. I thought I’d kick things off with a concert that I went to recently – The Pretty Reckless at O2 ABC Glasgow on the 23rd of January.

Firstly I’d like to apologise for the awful picture quality. In future I’ll make sure to take better pictures, but at the time I didn’t know I was going to need pictures for a blog post so all of these are actually just screenshots from videos I took, sorry!

These days I feel quite comfortable calling myself a relatively avid concert goer but this was, without a doubt, one of the best concerts I have ever been to (and I’ve been to a fair few)!

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For anyone who’s a fan of The Pretty Reckless and is interested, the set list was as follows:

  • Follow Me Down
  • Since You’re Gone
  • Oh My God
  • Hangman
  • Make Me Wanna Die
  • My Medicine
  • Prisoner
  • Sweet Things
  • Light Me Up
  • Who You Selling For
  • Just Tonight
  • Living In The Storm
  • Heaven Knows
  • Going To Hell
  • Take Me Down
  • Fucked Up World

Personally I thought this was an amazing set-list. They’re currently touring their album Who You Selling For so there were plenty of exciting new songs but all perfectly interwoven with their old, nostalgic hits. The crowd went wild at the first note of every song and all the lyrics were chanted back in unison with the band. It’s safe to say the atmosphere was amazing!

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The bass was loud and reverberated throughout the venue, there were frequent dramatic guitar solos and catchy riffs and Taylor Momsen’s voice was raspy, crackling perfection! It was so good in fact that the two or so hours passed in what felt like half an hour, and I was left thinking about the concert for days afterwards. If The Pretty Reckless ever returns to Scotland, or even the UK, I’ll be one of the first to snatch up a ticket!

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I think one of my favourite things about the concert was its unchoreographed, free spirited nature. You could feel the band’s passion for their music and performing. It’s always far more enjoyable as an audience member when you can tell the band are also enjoying what they’re doing!

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To round off this post I think I’ll mention my favourite performances of the night which were: My Medicine, Light Me Up, Who You Selling For, Just Tonight, Going To Hell and Take Me Down (so about half of the concert by the looks of it). I think Light Me Up will always be one of my favourite albums, but The Pretty Reckless have always exceeded my expectations and I can’t wait for their return.

Until next time,

J x

P.s If you haven’t heard of The Pretty Reckless or any of the songs mentioned above, go listen to them! You won’t be disappointed!

I’m online!

Well it’s official I have my own blog. I now have the ability to type a load of words and send them out into the internet void at the click of a button! It was surprisingly easy as well, that is if you don’t count the hours I spent wrestling with the customisation settings (and even having done that it’s far from professional looking).

Anyway, I suppose some kind of introduction is in order. My name’s Jen, I’m 20 and I’m currently in second year of university in Glasgow. Over the course of my two years at uni I’ve become particularly talented at one specific thing, no not my subject, finding things to distract me from studying! I currently write for the Glasgow Guardian, our student newspaper, and write fiction in my spare time… I suppose starting a blog also fits this category. Instead of chain watching Breaking Bad or going out and, I dunno, meeting people, my chosen method of avoiding work is creating more work for myself. Nice one Jen.

I’m super interested in music, films, food and makeup (when I can afford it), so my blog will most likely be an amalgamation of all of those things. I hope you enjoy reading whatever’s to come!

Until next time,

Jen x