reading

4 Very Different Books on Lurrrrve

9:00 am

Source: Tabbed Books
Essays in Love/On Love - Alain de Botton

'The telephone becomes an instrument of torture in the demonic hands of a beloved who doesn't call.'


de Botton's semi-autobiographical semi-fictitious work Essays in Love (On Love in the US) details the beginning of a relationship and its tumultuous journey as it moves forward. It begins, as it always does, in the most mundane of locations: an aeroplane. Although it is called a work of fiction, the main character is in fact Alain himself and I'd argue that no-one could write a book on love this well without it being based on some sort of truth. I'm a big fan of his non-fiction works and this novel didn't fail to impress me, having read it in about a week.





Source: Goodreads




The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera

'...loves are like empires: when the idea they are founded on crumbles, they, too fade away.'


Kundera's famous novel details the loves and lusts between Tomas (brain surgeon and prize asshole), Tereza (wife and photojournalist), and Sabina (mistress). It's deeply philosophical so doesn't make for light reading (I took it on a beach holiday to read, big mistake) and talks about how we each only have one life and what occurs in this one life will never happen again, the opposite of Nietzsche's theory of 'eternal recurrence'. I wouldn't be put off by the theory behind it, it's a very good read. There's also a film version with Daniel Day Lewis but I only ever got about halfway through. 




Source: Repeat Fanzine

Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte


'Nelly, I am Heathcliff - he's always, always in my mind - not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself - but, as my own being.'


Yes, Wuthering Heights, the non-love story. There's always so much argument over whether this is a love story, or a Gothic story, both, or neither. I'm on the side of both. It's a Gothic romance filled with ghosts, death, longing, tears (lots of tears) and violence. Heathcliff and Cathy are one of THE literary couples that people bring up, drenched in lust, obsession and unrequited love. It's a classic that should be read purely for its drama that resonates through generations and generations of the novel's characters, like a modern-day soap. 






Source: The Lightning Tree


Stardust - Neil Gaiman

'A philosopher once asked, " Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?" Pointless, really... "Do the stars gaze back?" Now that's a question.'

I'm a massive fan of the film that was adapted from this book and had seen it 10+ times before ever reading the book. I finally picked it up over Christmas and finished it within a few days, it's so beautiful but so different from the film. Whereas the film is certainly for families, the book is much more explicit, with sex scenes and quite a surprising amount of violence. The relationship between the two main characters is much more believable and hinges less on the 'fairy story' type tale that it first appears to be. I adore this book and I adore the film, both making me sob even when I know the story inside and out. Neil Gaiman is a master at his craft.

beauty

Oh Look, Another Haul...

9:00 am


Okay, I'm aware it looks like I do a lot of shopping. Truth is I'm just really bad at scheduling posts. I picked up a few things a couple of weeks ago when I was #feelingspendy (to quote Amelia). A couple of haircare items were purchased which is unusual for me as I wouldn't call myself much of a haircare fanatic, but there were a few things on my wishlist catching my eye.

Denman Dressing Out Brush: I picked this up after seeing Alix's video on how she styles her hair. I'm a huge fan of how gorgeous hers always looks, so I thought I'd give teasing a bit of a go. Obviously, I was not as successful as her, but I'm getting the hang of it.

VO5 Give Me Texture Instant Oomph Powder: Now, this is helping with the teasing process even though it is an incredibly weird product. When I paid the checkout woman even asked what on earth this was because the container is so tiny and weighs next to nothing. I expected it to be similar to a dry shampoo but when you apply it to the hair and give it a ruffle, the texture changes into a gritty texturising...thing. It's a bit of an odd one and, again, I think I'll need to give it a few goes before I get the hang of it.

Trevor Sorbie Volume Thickening Spray: I'm yet to give this a go, but anything that promises to thicken my hair is dropping straight into my shopping basket. Plus there was a 3-for-2 deal in Boots on haircare so I couldn't pass another item up really.


Onto the fun part - make up! As you can see I went for some offerings from The Body Shop, my first delve into their beauty range. I'm pretty pleased with what I've found.

Colour Crush Lipstick in Shade 14: I can't find this exact shade on the website but they had plenty when I was in store, so I wouldn't worry about it going out of stock. This is an incredibly glossy pretty pink colour, perfect for the summer. It's very bright, but good for everyday wear as it's fairly sheer. The formula is pretty good for a highstreet lipstick and it smells of roses, which is always a bonus!

Colour Crush Eyeshadow in Brownie & Clyde: First of all, totally adorable name. Second of all, this was another 'curse' of the devious 3-for-2 that people threw at me that day. I've been wanting a dark brown eyeshadow for a while as the deepest brown shade in my Naked Basics palette wasn't dark enough for the smokey eye I wanted to create. This is really pigmented with quite a bit of shimmer in it, but easy to blend out if you apply too much. 

Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder in Light Matte: I've heard a lot about this, mainly from Estée, and thought I'd treat myself as summer is creeping round the corner. This is definitely more pigmented than any other bronzer I've used so less is by far more. It's such a gorgeous shade though and looks totally natural on the skin when you get it right.

The final beauty item I purchased was back in Boots and it was the Bourjois Paris Color Edition 24h Eyeshadow in Prune Nocturne. I'm never really one to wear a shadow that's anything other than neutral, but this colour is beautiful. It looks very purple in the pot, but when swatched it comes out a lovely creamy brown with a hint of shimmer and a lot of blending power. I can't wait to give this a proper go as it looks so, so promising. 

Last but not least, I couldn't leave The Body Shop without picking up a new fragrance. This time I chose the Vanilla Body Mist for days I don't fancy wearing a heavier perfume.


I hope you enjoyed my little haul, I certainly enjoyed the shopping part! Let me know if you've treated yourself to anything lately.
M x

music

Mixtape #4

9:00 am

This week's theme is lurve, lurve, lurve in the words of The Beatles. Hold your loved ones/cuddly toys/pet/duvet close and feel the motions of just being human.


M x

lifestyle

Daily Doings #1

9:00 am

'I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.' Okay, that's a line from a book. I write this sitting at my desk, sipping a Three Cinnamon tea after a long day of packing and walking. Some of you may know already, but I'll fill everyone in for now. I'm moving out of my university house in a week's time after three years of living in a city away from home. It's been an amazing experience and such fun, but now it's time to head back down south to the homelands. Packing is already an absolute nightmare as I left it THIS late to realise I only have one box for packing. And it's already full. Oops. That didn't stop me from dismantling my bookcase though. 

Yes, the photos are all going to be on this level of dull.

Don't even bring up packing clothes. I've managed to just about fit half of my wardrobe in one suitcase. We'll ignore there's also a whole chest of drawers worth of clothes to pack up. Cue another stunningly exciting photo, or maybe two.

Toodles, winter clothes.
Finally taking down the Halloween decorations that've been up for two whole years
Empty walls.

Strangely the worst part of moving out so far has been trying to empty my food cupboards, fridge, and freezer. Yes, I know, food should be fun but unless I find some new, exciting recipes soon, these odd food combos might be the death of me. Although I did just eat half a tub of frozen yogurt and a chunk of cheese, so I'm not really complaining yet. 

And that concludes the most boring post I'll ever write, but it's pretty much all that's going on at the moment!
M x

personal

Growing Some Guts

1:00 pm

Source: Tumblr
Over the pasts few weeks I've been experimenting. I've been experimenting with what makes my blog 'my blog'. I've been posting slowly about things I care about and have an interest in, rather than just beauty products and clothes. Blogging about simply those two things always felt a little like I was lying to myself and projecting some false image of something I'm not. I'm not an expert, I'm just talking about things I do and don't like, and this though is what's opened something up for me. Lifestyle blogging is just that: blogging about life. And life is multi faceted. Life isn't just about one person liking one particular thing. Life isn't a stereotypes. Stereotypes are for high school. In real life, people like things. People like a lot of very different, very fun things, but sometimes in blogging its hard to put that over. It's often said about bloggers that you should stick with one thing, stick with what you know, stick with beauty or fashion or lifestyle. But why? Why not stick with LIFE?

So this is what's happening. Hepburn's Pixie Crop is here to stay, for sure. But it's going to be different. I'm not limiting myself to hauls and outfits and wish lists. I'm going to write about life. Books and comics I've read, events I've been to, people I've met, food I've eaten, things I aspire towards, emotions I'm feeling, journeys I've been on, podcasts I've listened to, makeup I've loved, skincare I've loathed, jumpers in the perfect shade of blue. One day's post won't be anything like the next, but that's just how life is. You never know what's round the corner, and that's half the fun of it. So I hope some of you will stay with me as I give this thing a proper, honest go. Life is what we want, so life is what we're going to get. 

M x

music

Mixtape #3

9:00 am

This week's theme is the mind, thinking, and knowing. Get lost in your brain with this one.


Excelsior!
M x

lifestyle

Sunshine, Sushi & ...Food Poisoning?

6:59 pm




I feel a bit queasy just writing about this, but I'll give it a good go! It's a bit of a sad story. Not 'boo hoo' sad, but 'what a waste of food' sad. Today I went out for a lovely late lunch with my old work mate Lilly whom I love very, very much. Sushi was obviously on the agenda so we checked out a small Japanese restaurant that was local to us (not disclosing the restaurant's name for reasons that will become obvious, or already are if you read the post's title...). Being the greedy pig I am I chose a set meal that gave me a massive tray of various selections of lovely food (see second photo) including tempura, California rolls, lots of rice and some chicken teriaki, as well as a little bowl of miso soup. Absolutely delish! Lilly got a huge bowl of udon noodles with some sushi on the side. All-in-all, a brilliant selection of delectable goodies. It was a lovely day and the weather was gorgeous, I got my legs out for the first time since last summer! I also had a barbecue planned for the evening with some friends off my course, so the day was pretty jam-packed, something I'm totally not used to. 

All was well and good until I came down with the lovely symptoms of food poisoning a few hours later (TMI?), destroying both my appetite and my plans for the rest of the day. Boo hoo. Not a good ending to a nice day, but I guess we just have to deal with these things. I'm now tucked up in bed with some bad TV, craving cheese puffs (whether they'll say down if another question entirely) and feeling a bit sorry for myself. 


I'm hoping you're all having a much better day than I am and feel in tip-top condition! 
M x

P.S. Obligatory Friends reference when we saw unagi on the menu.


music

Mixtape #2

9:00 am

This week's theme is summer sunshine. There's a huge variety here so hopefully there's something for everyone!


Shine on!
M x

P.S. There's still plenty of time to enter my giveaway I've got going on!

personal

Goodreads and Not-So-Goodreads

9:00 am

For all of my readers who use Goodreads to track what they're reading, have read, and want to read, you can follow my account using the link below! I'd love to follow some of you back too for some recommendations so either follow me or leave your account name in the comments.
Happy reading! 
M x

P.S. I've got a giveaway going on at the moment, take a look!

giveaway

Giveaway: An Adorable Lemonade Print from The Print Kitchen!

9:00 am




Today I am giving one of you lucky readers a chance to win a gorgeous screen print from the lovely Karys' 'The Print Kitchen'. Above is a picture of one of her lovely works that I was lucky enough to be sent (she only makes four of every design so you get something so unique!), and I'd love for one of you to get something just as beautiful, so I'm running a giveaway starting today and running for a month (9th June) so you have plenty of time to enter. The winner will be receiving this adorable lemonade bottle and straw print below which is perfect for the summer sunshine we've all been craving! Karys has also given me a discount code for all of you lovely readers to get 10% off your order with The Print Kitchen, with a free bunny print thrown in at no extra cost. See more details below the Rafflecopter widget!



For more about 'The Print Kitchen', here is Karys' story in her own words:

'I graduated from University with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art in 2012 with a keen interest in print making. To keep creative whilst working an office job I started making prints in my spare time. Now I work as an Art Technician for a University College helping students learn to screen print and build on their own art projects. I run Print Kitchen from my own kitchen, and in the sunshine I take the workshop outside! I absolutely love screenprinting and try to keep it fresh by only making a maximum of 5 of each design so you are always getting something a bit unique and never a reproduction! I hand paint all my stencils straight onto the screen so the have a very illustrative feel as oppose to graphic/photographic stencils, with a lot of prints also hand finished in drawing inks.'


Sounds wonderful, doesn't it? Here are some photos of Karys at hard work!


Giveaway Rules

The giveaway is a chance to win the lemonade and straw print seen above.

The giveaway will run between 9am on 9th May 2014 until 9am on 9th June 2014.

You must be living in the UK to enter.

If you are under 16, ask permission from a parent or guardian before entering.

You entry will not be valid if the deadline for the giveaway has passed.

The winner will be notified via Twitter/email if they have won and must respond within 3 days of being notified before the prize is given to another entrant.

The winner's details will be passed on to Karys as soon as a response has been received, and she will send you the prize print!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good luck everyone!
M x

P.S. As an extra bonus, Karys has given me a discount code for all of you lovelies to use to get 10% off any orders from The Print Kitchen's Etsy store. The code is PIXIECROP10 and she's also going to throw in a free bunny print to anyone who checks out with that code! How gosh darn lovely.

music

Mixtape #1

9:00 am

The start of a new series! I've always loved making playlists, so I thought why not share. This first one doesn't really have a theme, just ten songs I picked out at random. I'll try and stick with a theme for each following one however.


Enjoy!
M x

film

Fictional Bucket List - TV and Film Tag

9:00 am

I saw this fictional bucket list tag on The Finer Things Club back in March and absolutely loved it so have finally given myself the time to have a go at it! Knowing me I'll forget every single film I love, but here we go.


Go on an adventure with the Little Miss Sunshine family.


Have tea with Matilda and Miss Honey.


Be a total badass with Arya and The Hound (minus the death and destruction).


Spend a day off with Ferris, Cameron and Sloane.


Drink at Rick's bar from Casablanca.


Swap hats with the Howling Commandos from Captain America.


And finally, of course, go shopping with Blair and Serena. It would be rude not to.

Tagging you all to do this too! Send me your links if you do.
M x

advice

Trouble Sleeping?

9:00 am

As yes, sleeping. One of those things that's both so wonderful but sometimes so hard to achieve. For an unfortunate number of people, sleep is elusive, tricky, and just plain unfair to them. Luckily for me, I don't have these experiences, but hopefully some of the methods I use to get to sleep more easily will make the journey a little less difficult for one or two of you lovely readers. 

Step One: Bathe. Step one is always bathe. Wash the day off (cleanse your face and brush your teeth while you're at it), use a bubble bath or bath salts especially made to relax your muscles and your mind. Sip a bedtime malt drink or a soothing bedtime tea. Turn the lights down as low as you can, light some candles so it's not pitch black (we don't want any accidents now, do we?). Embrace the silence, the darkness, and the warmth. It's like being back in the womb, only less weird. If you want, put on some music, something relaxing but not too wallowy. We don't want to go to bed feeling sad. Bedtime is happy time.


Step Two: Dry off, slap on something to make your skin baby soft (back to the whole womb/baby metaphor again, I see), and crawl into your softest pyjamas, preferably freshly cleaned (wash your bedding whilst you're at it, unless you don't want irresistible comfort and marshmallowy goodness?). Here is where we need to focus because you can't sleep if you're not cuddly, it's scientific fact (don't quote me on that). Now is the time to finish off your skincare routine too, so get your tone/serum/oil/moisturise on, gurrrrrrrl.


The Body Shop Vanilla Bliss Body Butter - Christmas Limited Edition
Primark Miffy pyjama bottoms

Step Three: Create bedtime nirvana, AKA turn your bed into the ultimate den. I'm talking blankets, cushions, pillows, cuddly toys, anything that'll stop you from feeling tense and uncomfortable. We want to be soft and squishy, but supported (like boobs, if we want another weird metaphor). Spritz some scented spray over your bed (preferably something marketed for bedtime use, or something with lavender/camomile) and take some lovely deep breaths. If you still need to wind down, pick up a book that requires little effort to read, maybe something you've read millions of times before. The comfort of knowing what happens will put your brain in a sense of ease.


Hans Christian Anderson's 'Fairy Tales'

Step Four: When you're feeling ready, pop your head down, close your eyes, and think of wonderful things. Crackling log fires, soft baby animals, heavy rain. Whatever makes you feel calm. If you're still struggling, don't underestimate the effectiveness of some yoga (check out Tara Stiles' playlist of yoga for beginners) or meditation (take a look at calm.com and Headspace for a simple start). An important point is not to get frustrated with yourself if you can't nod off straight away. It's better to try, fail, and then get on with something else than lie tossing and turning all night getting wound up.

What methods do you use to get the best nights sleep you can? I'd love to hear some.
M x

advice

How To Survive Your Degree 101 (ish)

9:00 am



Source: Pinterest

1. When you have free time, plan! Plan your next essay even if you don't want to. You'll get things out the way earlier and be stress-free whilst everyone else is rushing to write four things at a time. Even if you don't start writing straight away, getting the planning done, quotes chosen, secondary sources found, etc, you'll save so much time later in the year. Most of the time you have assignment details and deadlines given to you at the start of the year, so you can immediately schedule these deadlines down and see what needs doing first. You'll really thank yourself. I did this and ended up finishing my degree a few weeks early, giving myself an even longer summer and a well-deserved break. (This also means you can get all of the important books out of the library early so you don't sit around unable to make any progress because you don't have the books you need.)

2. For goodness sake, keep check of your eating habits. My personal experience wasn't a fun one, forgetting to eat, getting sick and stressed out, then inevitably very emotional. Plan yourself time for meals and keep notice of when you're hungry. You won't work well if you haven't eaten enough food, so taking half an hour out to make a nice meal for yourself will end up doing more in your favour than spending the rest of the day hangry and unproductive. 

3. People will always tell you to get a diary and write down important dates. We all know this doesn't always work. You get one, you use it for a week, you forget about it. If you know you're a person that'll just ignore a diary, get some post-it notes instead and stick important notes and dates onto your wall above wherever you work. I've found this much more effective, and the satisfaction of taking them down when you've sorted out that task is much better than crossing one off in a diary and seeing millions more things you have to do. At least in my opinion anyway!

4. TAKE THE EVENINGS AND WEEKEND OFF. This is a rule I didn't follow myself and meant I ended up never having any free time, or felt guilty if I did something that wasn't work-related. A good piece of advice I was given was to treat your degree like a 9-5 job, or as close to it as you can. Get ready for the day, lightly do work until lunch, take an hour off to eat and watch some telly/read blogs/snoop about on Facebook, then carry on until dinner time. You don't need to work yourself to the bone, do light tasks inter-dispersed with essay writing and class prep. You can plod through some reading you have to do for class the next day, anything you want as long as it's productive. Then you can spend your evenings and weekends like they're supposed to be spent, RELAXING TO THE MAX! You'll enjoy it so much more too knowing you've worked hard during the day.

Are you starting your degree soon, or in the middle of one? What advice do you have for people in this position? Leave me some comments below!
M x

film

April Cinema - Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Amazing Spider-Man 2

9:00 am

April was the month for both superheroes and polar-opposite films. Here's what I thought of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Be sure to drop me a comment letting me know if you've seen either of these films and what you thought of them!


Captain America: The Winter Soldier is an incredible film. That statement is enough to describe the entire film but I'll go into more detail for interests sake! Now, if you know a lot of Captain America's history comic book-wise, you were probably very excited to see what happened in this film as it takes a very major storyline from his past. I don't want to give anything away as it really is a brilliant story, and the film does a great job at balancing it with backstory that'll keep you interested as well as strong character development. I was really happy to see both Black Widow and Maria Hill becoming more detailed characters during the movement of the plot. A very strong story that kept me hooked even though, as a comic-reader, I knew what was going to happen. Definitely excited to see what's going to come next for Steve in Age of Ultron!

8.5/10


Now, I don't want to be a Debbie Downer, but my honest opinion of this film is what it was rubbish. Well, maybe not rubbish, but incredibly mediocre. I know there was a large worry from fans that this film would be messy due to the huge amount of villains (three isn't huge, but stick with me) being introduced in this film. We've got Rhino, Electro, AND Green Goblin being introduced to this series in this one film, making it difficult to develop these characters properly, but oddly enough that wasn't the issue of the film for me. It was very messy, but for story more than character. I felt too much was shoehorned into this film for it to keep me interested and however much I like every actor in it, I wasn't really bothered by what happened in their story arcs. My one positive comment is on Dane DeHaan's performance as Harry Osborn, but I'm happy with DeHaan's performance in anything (check him out in Chronicle if you haven't already, bloody awesome film!). I'd say give this film a try, but don't expect anything...'Amazing'. (Sorry.)

5/10

What films have you seen this month? Have you seen Cap or Spidey 2, and what did you think?
M x