inspiration

Send Yourself a Love Letter

1:09 pm

Source: Instagram

I've found myself in a bit of a funk lately, despite all the amazing opportunities I'm having and a bright future ahead. Being pretty much jobless with nothing to study since May really takes its toll, but that's totally natural when you're in one place for an extended period of time with no 'goals' so to speak of. The worries about the way I'm feeling have passed and I'm ready to move on with a more positive attitude, these two things giving me the idea that I had last night. 

I remembered long ago in my internet past the service that came about where you could email yourself in the future and it always seemed like such a novel idea, but now I've definitely found a good use for it. So last night I sent myself an email, for a year into the future, detailing where I am now, who my closest friends are, and what I hope to achieve in the next year. The idea is, basically, to motivate my current self to strive for these things, and to remind my future self how far they've come in a year. I've asked myself questions, too, like 'which of your close friends are still around?' I've given myself prompts like 'send this person an email/message/text asking how they are' or 'tell this person how important they are to you'. 

It feels like such a good idea to me and it's definitely sparked a new source of motivation in me. I'd definitely recommend yourself to do the same if you've been uninspired and in a bit of a funk, like me. This time next year we can all be surprised by these emails from ourselves and be proud of all we've achieved. 

I used FutureMe to do this, but there are so many services around where you can do the same. Maybe send one to your friend telling them how much they mean to you, or a family member with funny little anecdotes spread through the year! 

Spread the love,
M x

personal

Take a Vacation...

9:00 am

This is just a quick update just to let you lovely people know I'll be taking a short blogging break over the next few weeks. I've got work experience coming up, and I should probably start preparing for my masters, so planning blog posts isn't really at the top of my schedule at the moment. Thank you for sticking with me though, I really appreciate it, and I'll be back before you know it! 

While I'm gone, and on a vaguely song-related tangent, is anyone else still getting over Ryan and Jon leaving Panic! at the Disco? That happened FIVE years ago. Here's a cheerful summer tune from The Young Veins, the band they formed after they left. Ryan never did marry me. How rude. 

M x

beauty

Some Kiko Finds & My Perfect Blush

9:00 am


I popped into Kiko a few weeks ago not intending to buy anything at all and ended up leaving with a bag of goodies. But isn't that the way things always go? I was on my way back from a really good job interview and was riding the wave of good vibes, which is why I ended up treating myself to a few things. Spoiler alert: I didn't get the job. But I did find my perfect blush.

Rock Attraction Blush in Pop Apricot - £7
They had a lot of reduced stock in a collection by the counter and this is where I picked up most of my purchases. The first thing that caught my eye is this pink blush which I picked up as my blush collection is quite lacking. Swatching it on my hand, it's such a perfect colour for my skintone, and when I tried it on my cheeks at home later I discovered this is the IDEAL shade for me. It looks incredibly natural.


Street Fashion Eyeshadow Palette in Addictive Song - £9, Boulevard Rock Eyes Brush - £5
My next picks were an eyeshadow palette (when is an eyeshadow palette not a good idea?) and a duo fibre eye brush that cost me a mere £5. The palette really stood out to me with its mix of neutrals and then pinkier shades that I'm not a regular user of. You can see in the swatches below that the colours aren't anything too bright and offensive, ideal for if you want to use colour without going OTT.


I also picked up one of their Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadows in Shade 05, a lovely shimmery bronze. These products are pretty well known now as dupes for the By Terry Ombre Blackstar eyeshadow sticks at a fraction of the price. I picked up mine for £6.90 and the shade is just gorgeous. Unfortunately I forgot to swatch it, so sorry about that.

I've been very pleasantly surprised by all of the things I picked up from Kiko and definitely would be open to trying some more! Have you tried any of their products before? Leave your recommendations in the comments!

M x

interiors

Secret Mess

9:00 am

Ah yes, secret mess. We all have it* and we hide it because bloggers always have gorgeous, pristine (or so it seems), organised homes. But I think it's time for us to reveal this secret and share it with the world. Here, below, is my not-so-secret-anymore mess.





Welcome to the real world!
M x

* Even Monica has it!



diy

A New Hobby

9:00 am



You may have seen a little while ago if you follow me on Instagram a snap of one of these pages. Well, this is a new hobby of mine. I'm not even sure where I got the idea from but I've always been a lover of two things. 1. Collages. 2. Colouring in. Combining these two things has given me, well, these pages you can see above. It's the perfect hobby because it doesn't really have a POINT. It's just fun, it helps me wind down, and I get an end product I'm really happy with. This post doesn't really have a point either, I just wanted to share a fun pasttime with you all, and wonder what you do when you want to wind down or be creative. Feel free to leave me a comment below!

M x

fashion

Boohoo Cut-Out Buckle Boots

9:00 am


As you may have seen in my recent shoe collection post, I had to mourn the loss of my favourite Topshop Chelsea boots, sob. However I have found a suitable replacement for time being thanks to Boohoo, my first ever Boohoo purchase I believe (although there's a large chance I may be wrong, uni was a blurry and expensive time). These are the Livia Cut Work Ankle Boots, a very cheerful £20 purchase and a very pleasant surprise. They don't feel or look cheap in my opinion, although nowhere near as tough as the long-departed Topshop pair, but they're doing the job for now. I've worn them on several occasions and there's very little heel wear. However I am finding when the actual outside of the heel gets scratched, it does leave a white mark as if it's wearing away a layer of paint. It's odd but I'm hoping it's just a one-off. All in all I'm liking these boots. The cut-out buckle design seems to be 'the thing' with boots at the moment, but I like the almost 'worn' look of the buckles on this, making them a little less shiny and trendy than others I've seen. Plain and simple, just the way I like it.

M x

P.S. They also come in tan!

blog love

Fashion Bloggers to Follow

9:00 am

The title of this post is a bit of a misnomer. Basically, this post will be my favourite bloggers who either mainly post about fashion, or produce gorgeous fashion posts then they choose to even if it's not their main 'topic'. I hate the idea of confining a blogger to one topic, because I personally would hate to try and fit into one category. So there's a little explanation for something I felt that needed to be addressed before continuing!

Helen - The Lovecats Inc




First of all, how brilliant is her blog name? It makes me smile whenever I see it. If I had to quickly sum up Helen's style it would be as follows: clean lines, monochrome with colour splashes, and the best shoes you'll ever see. 


Zoe - Zoe London




I'd be surprised if you haven't already heard of Zoe, or at least seen her with her spectacular blue and green ombré hair. She oozes unique style and certainly knows how to rock the festival look. Effortless cool. 


Amy - The Girl in the Bowler Hat




With a beautiful collection of hats and 60s dresses, Amy constructs the sweetest and most inspiring outfits I've seen in a while.



Olivia - What Olivia Did



Gorgeous long hair and, yes, more glorious bloggers with hats. Olivia's blog isn't just wonderful outfits, but cooking posts, lifestyle, and all of the best parts of life. 

Toni - Fashion Your Seatbelts



Probably my favourite fashion blogger of them all, Toni is an absolute dream. Her hair, her glasses, her always-perfect combination of shoes and socks. Seriously, just check her out if you're ever tentative about grasping onto your real personal style and running with it. She rocks any outfit.

Where do you go for fashion inspiration? 
M x

poetry appreciation

The Emma Press & an Anthology of Mildly Erotic Verse*

9:00 am





The thought of creating my own publishing house fills me with massive excitement and jitters. It's such a beautiful idea, choosing what pieces of literature, poetry, whatever to send out into the world and how you want it to be presented. You can give people the chance to have their work read, people who might be quickly overlooked by the big publishing houses focused on huge income and readership. When I heard about The Emma Press at a talk I attended during Birkbeck's Art's Week, I immediately fell in love with what Emma and Rachel were doing with their business. Business feels like such an ugly word to me and doesn't feel right to describe the stunning things they produce. 

In Emma's own words, the press is 'dedicated to producing beautiful, funny books' and she wants to 'publish the kind of writing that makes people laugh and cry and text extracts to their friends because it inspires such a strong response in them'. This is right up my street. She founded her press in 2012 and co-edits the works she chooses to produce with her friend Rachel. She designs and illustrates all of the books herself, giving them a beautiful, handmade look that reminds you that real people are behind the creation of the books you lay your hands on. So many publishing houses have resorted to such a clinical, corporate look for their books as they line up on shelves. It's a shame because literature has such a vast variety, it shouldn't all look the same. 

Emma was kind enough to send me a copy of their popular 'Anthology of Mildly Erotic Verse'*, a title that never fails to make me giggle. This anthology was smartly published around the recent boom in erotica (thanks 'Fifty Shades of Grey'...) and showcases the poetry of nineteen poets from around the world. It shows that eroticism 'isn't just about sex: it's about anticipation, desire, intimacy, and romance', and that sexuality is nothing to feel shameful about (remember all those people openly reading 'Fifty Shades' on the tube?) My favourite piece from the anthology is Amy Key's 'Tight Dress' which details the thoughts that can pass through your head during a hook-up (Is my bed made? Who undresses first?). It's a beautiful way of showing how self-conscious we can become doing something that should come naturally and I keep finding myself reading it over-and-over because the imagery is so distinct. 

If you get the chance, I'd recommend with my whole heart The Emma Press. Their books are beautiful and give you the chance to discover new writers and poets with every single one of their publications you pick up. There's even the opportunity if you're a writer or poet to submit pieces for their pamphlets and anthologies. You can follow The Emma Press on Facebook here, or Twitter over here if you like. 

Happy reading! M x

Products marked with a (*) have been sent to me, but all opinions expressed are my own.

personal

Inside My Zara Mini City Bag

9:00 am

What's in my bag? A load of crap, that's what.  



A furry little someone definitely wanted to know!



Cute puppies aside, I thought I'd do my own 'what's in my bag' post, mainly so I actually know myself what lurks in the depths of my bag. As you'll see, some of it was quite surprising to me and a bag clean out was definitely in order. There's no fancy makeup bits here, just things I need when I'm getting the bus or train.


First up there's my pink & Other Stories purse that I've actually written a blog post about. It's my first purchase from them, but I'm in love with pretty much everything they sell. It's got space for my cash, coins, and many, many discount and loyalty cards for coffee shops. I was pleasantly surprised to see I had a book of stamps in there, because I'm rarely that prepared (I lie, I'm the most prepared person I know). Next to that is a very bashed up water bottle that I'm temporary using as my hard-wearing Paperchase one started smelling funny...

Special mentions go to my tangled headphones, a handful of Tictacs, and Nuxe Reve de Miel for any dry skin disasters that come my way. I'll try not to start yet another rave about this product, but it really is a wonder balm.


Here's where things get REALLY exciting. My Juice Cube (a portable phone charger if you didn't know) which is a lifesaver for long days when I need to get the train, a pen, a wonderful Penguin Books notebook (with apparently another pen inside it), and the cover for my umbrella which is currently MIA. I'm very bad at keeping tabs on my umbrellas, and if I do find one I usually end up breaking it. Umbrellas are probably my most frequent outgoing payment.


I was wrong. HERE is where it gets exciting. My house keys, a perfume sample strip, a 12-sided dice, a bobby pin, and a lollipop. No explanation needed.


Here comes the beauty bit! Soap and Glory's One Heck of a Blot for shiny noses, Cuticura antibacterial hand gel (it smells of cucumber, which is wonderfully refreshing), Maybelline Baby Lips, Paul & Joe Lip Treatment, This Works Deep Sleep roll on (for stressful trips and moments of panic), 4Head, a nail file, and a hair clip for long days. I seem to have an issue with accumulating half-used lipbalms and never finishing them.

Well, wasn't that an exciting journey! 
M x

comics

Comic and Graphic Novel Recommendations #2

9:00 am

As my first comic and graphic novel recommendation post went down so well last month, I thought it'd be a good to post another! I have a growing collection and am so happy to be able to talk about them. It was wonderful to hear how many of you are also fans of comics, so I'm really glad I actually decided to put the post up on my blog. So here are my recommendations this month:




This is a very recent acquisition for me. My parents and I were wandering around Forbidden Planet on my graduation day, me in my robes looking like a fool, when I saw this and decided I couldn't leave the shop without it. Comic strips about a cat and a meringue in a boat. How can anyone turn that down? It's a beautiful hardback copy of published web comics by Nich Angell, backed by a Kickstarter campaign, which is wonderful to see. I also managed to pick up a signed copy with some luck! They're such sweet comics lined with witty humour and intelligent references, but every strip is also accompanied by a (often hilarious) note from the illustrator. I've chatted to Nich on Twitter too and he seems like a lovely guy, so I'd really recommend reading some of Cat and Meringue, as well as his other comics!


Nelson - ed. Rob Davis and Woodrow Phoenix

Nelson is a collaborative graphic novel, a concept that really intrigued me when I first picked it up. It tells the story of Nel, a year at a time, with each year of her life illustrated by a different creators. It's a brilliant idea as it gives every year and every change in her life a different mood, simply by it being drawn in a different way. The story starts in the late 1960s and ends in 2011, so you get a fun changing of the decades along with the tale. You'll feel such a range of emotions reading this book as it grasps onto the major issues everyone faces as they grow up.



 Every comic fan has probably heard of Sandman, and every reader has probably heard of Neil Gaiman. It's a bit of a no-brainer to recommend Sandman to anyone interested in getting into graphic novels, but the positives of this series could not be emphasised enough. If you love myth, legend, old stories and new, you'll enjoy Sandman. Every tale is a reference, whether Shakespeare, Cain and Abel, or simply the myth of a personified Death. In an internet age increasingly growing interested in meta TV shows (Community), books (House of Leaves), or films, Sandman sits strongly still as one of the greatest and most influential comic series of all time. As a quick summary, Sandman is the story of Morpheus, or 'Dream', and his capture. He eventually is released and learns how the world has changed, having to accept that things can't always stay the same. The stories can be very, very dark at times, but their beauty is something that can't be ignored. 

I hope you've found something new to read through this post, and feel free to recommend anything to me to read as I'm always on the hunt for something!

M x

inspiration

Mid-Week Hurrah #11

9:00 am

Some nice and cheery pretty images found on Pinterest this week for our newest Mid-Week Hurrah. I adore the pink sofa with black and white accessories, it is making me want  a pink throw for my sofa so at least I can fake it until I make it!








All images have clickable links through to their Pinterest sources.

interiors

What's On My Desk?

9:00 am

I'm always interested in people's 'Whats in My Bag?' posts and videos because, naturally, who isn't? A peek into the everyday workings of someone else's life seems to be becoming the core of what blogging's about, so I thought I'd show you what's hanging around the place I'm found for most of the day: my desk. As you can see below, I'm a bit of a Paperchase fiend, and proud. They manage to make their products cute, yet functional and not too sickly sweet. Who doesn't need a notecard shaped like a pretzel, I ask. 







Where do you spend most of your day? And do you surround yourself with lovely things? I'd love to know! 
M x

beauty

All-Time Favourite Nail Colours

9:00 am


As with many people, I have a horrible weakness for nail polishes. I've been doing a really good job lately of not picking up three bottles every time I step into Boots after putting myself on a spending ban (I bought exactly the same colour polish as one I already had without even realising, it has to stop). Through lessening my stash and only using the ones I already have, I've noticed a few I always pick up when I'm feeling uninspired. 

Essie in 'Bahama Mama' - A lovely plum shade that always makes me feel more sophisticated when I have it on. It dries really quickly, and two coats gives the perfect plummy shade that I'll never fall out of love with. Revlon's 'Vixen' is a pretty good dupe for this colour-wise, but the formula is nowhere near as good.

L'Oreal Color Riche in 'Boudoir Rose' - A newish offering from L'Oreal, this dark-pastel pink colour is wonderful for the spring and summer. Again, it has a really good formula and dries in no time at all, which I always look for in a go-to polish. I hate things that take ages to try, especially if you need more than one coat to get a decent colour. I'd love to try some more from this range once my spending ban is lifted as I really love the formula.

Rimmel Space Dust in 'Total Eclipse' - This is a purely winter wear for me as it is both dark and sparkly. I love the textured effect as I'm a big fan of textured anything when it comes to livening up an outfit. I now the 'Aurora' shade of this formula is popular so that's definitely going into my Boots basket when I've got a few more pennies.

Rimmel 60 Seconds in 'Instyle Coral' - I picked up this polish from my mum after trying it out on my toes on a visit and she was planning on throwing away her stash. I nearly always have this on my toes now as it's a gorgeous coral shade and dries in, shockingly, sixty seconds. Plus it has a really good brush which is a massive factor when it comes to nail polishes. Small thin brushes are an absolute no-no.

What are your favourite polishes in your collection that you couldn't bear to part with?
M x