Sugar & Spice & All Things Nice!

I always re-read my previous post before writing my new post. I like to think what was happening in my life when I wrote it, where I wrote it, what time of the day etc. and gosh, SO much has changed since my last post. I love that about life, one minute something is so important to you, the next you can barely remember what you were fretting about. However, bittersweet that may be.

Firstly, I’m an Auntie to a beautiful bundle of glitter and fairy dust. She is perfect and delicious, all I want to do is maul her face with kisses all day long. Although, she is the biggest time waster and I photograph her like she’s going out of fashion. Yes, I’m turning into one of those annoying people who wants to show everyone and anyone how cute my niece is. The storage on my phone is running out swiftly! But she’s so worth it. Honestly.

Secondly, I’m back at university for my last, first semester. My dissertation is in full swing and third year is incredible stressful already, but this is what I expected.

There have been so many things over the past two months that I’ve been meaning to blog, from dinners at yummy restaurants such as, The Wolseley, The Caviar House, Benito’s Hat and so on, to my weekend at LFW with my best friend seeing KTZ! I’ve been a rubbish blogger and promise to get better. Starting with my review of Gone Girl, which I’m aiming to finish by Friday as I’m desperate to see the film. Have any of you seen it or read the book? I’ve heard the film is meant to be fantastic.

I hope you’re all well and enjoyed the end of the summer. All those starting their dissertation, good luck! All those who have finished their dissertation or didn’t do one, I’m green with envy.

Take care,
B x

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Being a real-life Intern…

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Exams are done and dusted, all that is left now is the painful wait to find out my results, which plays on my mind every now and then. Resulting in a mad panic, sweaty palms and my mother telling me to pull myself together. On a lighter note, my summer holiday is booked, only three weeks to go. My best friends are nearly all on their way home to join me and best of all I’ve started my four month internship at CATO Music, which is bloody amazing.

Let me set the scene for you – I arrive to a beautiful Georgian house just off of Upper Richmond Road, (which was owned and lived in by Mick Jagger and Jerri Hall, then it became the Rolling Stones’s recording studios!! Does it get any better than this?!) it has pink flags and black, wrought iron gates, I get buzzed in and am greeted by a very bubbly and smiley team. As an intern, I can’t tell you how rare that is, you’re usually met by a few young people, dressed to the nines, predominately females, looking you up and down there’s then a mumble of, ‘Oh yeah, hold on let me call…‘ and a shrug of the shoulders, not forgetting a huge sigh. But CATO is different, I can’t really explain what it is they actually do, they have a lot of fingers in a lot of pies in the music industry – from touring and production, to opening their own music academy for young people. This was one of the main reasons I was so attracted to them! I’m so excited to learn and however cliché it sounds, develop here, in a personal way and hopefully in terms of a career. 

So, my first day – Queen are in the recording studio next to me (I can hear Brain May as I type) and Amy MacDonald is in the other studio CATO own down the road. Now, I know it all sounds glamorous, fast-paced and , don’t get me wrong it is both of those things and more. But as an intern be prepared to get your hands dirty, literally, from making cups of tea, filing, to emptying bins. Say yes to every task, no matter how boring or small. Short term pain, long term gain! You learn a lot from everything, and from everyone around you. Anyway, enough with the lecture. 

So, what did I wear? Because it is the arts industry, I’m not required to wear anything too fancy, smart/causal is the general consensus. I opted for, my Jamie black skinny jeans from Topshop, a black Victorian-esq shirt from Zara, my camel waterfall coat from Oasis, Alexander McQueen scarf and a pair of converse. I completely forgot to take some photos, so will ensure I take some photos of my outfit for my style diary over the course of five months. 

Hope exams are or have gone well if you have any. 

Take care,

B x

A Silent World

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After watching This Morning, this morning, I felt compelled to write a blog post about Joanne Milne. Joanne was born profoundly deaf, it wasn’t until she was two-years-old when her mother was clapping in the garden, and Joanne didn’t react that they knew something was wrong. She was later diagnosed with having Usher Syndrome, and went on to attend a specialised deaf school until the age of seven, she then attended a mainstream school where there was a deaf unit attached to it. Joanne underwent speech therapy lessons, she learnt to lip-read to an extremely high standard and various lip patterns to try to speak in a similar way to those who are able to hear.

As I’ve mentioned before, my twin brother, Frazer has a high-pitch hearing loss, so this interview, of course hit home. My brother underwent the same operation for a cochlear implant, when he was just five-years old. This operation has enabled him to hear like you or I. Although his preferred way of communication is Sign Language, as hearing for him is something that takes a great deal of concentration. Watching the video of Joanne hearing for the first time, made my family and I feel so emotional, as we could relate to it. After my brother was implanted, the doctor was tapping a toy car on the table. For the first time, Frazer turned around to the doctor, put his finger to his mouth and went, ‘shhhh!’ as you can imagine my mother was in tears. As Milne said in her interview with Holly and Phil, ‘words cannot describe how overwhelming it was to hear for the first time.’ 

Joanne came across as such a lovely and bubbly lady. She tries not to see her disabilities as negative. It was interesting to get an insight from someone who hasn’t been able to hear for nearly 40-years, highlighting just how much we take for granted; sounds such as – your own breathing, a ticking clock, the birds and radio playing. Unfortunately, with her Usher Syndrome means she is also going blind, which is devastating. This is why she decided to take the big step to have an implant, so that she will no longer live in a silent world.

Here’s the link so you can watch her hearing for the first time, http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/mar/28/deaf-40-year-old-women-hears-sound-first-time-video 

I need to be more appreciative of what I have, we take these things such as – hearing, sight, smell etc. all for granted. I have been amazed and inspired by her and my brother! I hope you are too.

I’m off to start writing my university, manifesto on pornography. Yes, I did just write pornography, I love my degree. Haha.

Hope you’re having a good week.

Take care,

B x

Every man I meet wants to protect me. I can’t figure out what from?

So, my second semester is nearly over, which means – no more rush hour travelling, no more seeing George (my Starbucks waiter, who remembers my order!), no more running up the stairs at Oxford Circus because I’m going to be late and no more temptation of wanting to buy something every time I head to university, hopefully my bank balance will look better for it! A girl can wish.

Whilst travelling into university, etiquette crossed my mind, in particular chivalry. It got me thinking, a lot of people complain that chivalry is dead, and I kind of strongly disagree. I say kind of, as of course at times, with certain men, I wonder how they’ve ever been kissed let only got married by the way they behave towards women. However, on the whole I think most men are pretty traditional. Now, I am a slight feminist, don’t get me wrong. I believe in equality BIG TIME and that someone shouldn’t be discriminated by their gender, race, ability etc. But I’m such a sucker for being flattered and swooped up by a man. It most definitely, is not outdated.

Just last week, rush hour was in full swing, which usually means no manners from anyone. Merely grunts and sighs, but I was pleasantly surprised. While waiting for the tube doors to open, I was surrounded by about four men, all of which let me onto the tube first and one man even offered me his seat. I was chuffed, and it restored a bit of my faith with men. I love watching men help women with prams, with children, heavy bags, shopping, you name it. I think it’s a really lovely gesture and quite primal, protecting the so called ‘weaker sex’ I mean yeah, physically most of us are weaker. But I don’t mean in general.

Here are some of my favourite examples of chivalry –

1. When a man opens the door for you

2. When a man pulls the chair out for you

3. When a man makes you walk on the inside of the pavement

4. When a man is loyal/protective

5. Standing when a woman leaves the room

Don’t get me wrong, from taking a module at university on feminism, power and women it has completely changed the way in, which I view the world. The organisation Miss Representation, opened my eyes to the opportunities we are given, due to our gender. It has made me more passionate about equality for women and how we have come so far since a traditional society, but we have so far to go! There’s a difference between being oppressed and being respected, at times it goes from one extreme to the other. Walking past a group of builder (yes I know I’m stereotyping) shouting sexist remarks at you, to then a nice gentleman taking you out for dinner. I think a lot of it is to do with your generation and how you’re brought up. But listen up guys, women love chivalry, it won’t go unnoticed and will probably earn you some brownie points.

Easter is fast approaching, I cannot wait to finish. Although, I have two pieces of coursework to write and two exams to revise for. But I’m looking forward to catching up with my friends, eating countless Easter eggs and hot cross buns, oh and sorting things out for the summer. Eeeek! The dilemma of which festival to go to… Any advice?

Hope you’re all well.

Take care,

B x

PS. my quote is by Mae West

The Psychopath Test

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I’m a book whore to put it nicely. I love books; small books, big books, old books, photography books, cooking books, second-hand books, poetry books, even the Bible, you name it, I have it or want it. I am terrible, I won’t even have finished one book, but I’ll have my next lined up. And probably the one after that.

I now have a kindle and although I feel guilty using it a lot of the time, it’s so handy. However, I don’t quite get the relationship with it which, you have with a proper book. You don’t get the feeling and smell of turning the pages, or the memories you conjure up when looking at it since you read it, like the sun and water damage it got from your summer holiday to Portugal three years ago. But don’t get me wrong, I’m growing to love my kindle.

My first book on the kindle was, The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson. I’m obsessed with the brain, I read a lot on psychology just for fun and due to my degree, so I thought I knew what to expect. Not at all. I’ve had a considerable number of people recommend the book to me over the years, but it always seemed to be one of those books that slips your mind to buy. I ended up downloading it by accident, as I bought it for one of my best friends for Christmas, and she thoroughly enjoyed it. So I thought I’d give it a go too.

I started reading in the bath, where I read the most – and it gripped me from the beginning. I imagined it was going to be more factual but it was more of a story about Jon and his experiences of psychopaths first hand. It was a brilliant insight into the mind and down right scary to think how many people are probably psychopaths. I even felt myself think, ‘I do that’ which is never good. The book is well written, he’s a wonderful story teller and it held my attention all the way through, I wanted to keep reading and find out more. Overall, a great read I can completely understand why so many people recommended it to me. The next book I’m going to start is My James: The Heartrending Story of James Bulger, by his father, which is going to be harrowing. I’ll write a review of that when I finish it.

My best friend came home from Nottingham this weekend, was so lovely to see her. Sometimes you don’t realise how much you miss someone until you see them again. But university seems to be flying bye, I break up in just under a month, which means second year is basically over, apart from exams. But if I’m honest, I cannot wait to graduate now, I’m bored of learning and exams. I know, I know, I shouldn’t wish my life away, but still. Nonetheless, that means I’ll have to get a job. I’ve started looking at graduate programmes already, which is really exciting. Fingers crossed!

I hope you guys had a great weekend and that you caught a glimpse of the sun for the day on Saturday.

Take care,

B x

PS. If you’re into psychopath and sociopath things, try the Channel Four test and watch some of their documentaries. They’re so interesting.

Lancôme Review

I thought I would share with you one of my biggest allies in my beauty regime, my Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra, 24Hour foundation. Now, I’m an absolute sucker for new makeup. I have no loyalties, apart from my BareMinerals. But all in all, I am an advertisers dream and will try anything once. Anything that will make me look flawless or like Charlize Theron, I’m SO there.

So, when I was coming back from Berlin what else is there to do whilst waiting for your gate number to appear; yes, that’s right girls – look round the beautiful world that is, duty free. I am immediately drawn to the bright lights and pretty advertisements, (as I’ve told you all before) this is honestly no exaggeration I probably spent about an hour and half looking at makeup. Good job my flight was delayed! Finally, after lots of umming and arrring, picking products up, putting products down, I decided on my three gems. All from Lancôme, the foundation, Artliner Eyeliner and Caramel Gospel Juicy Tubes.

I don’t have particularly bad skin, I’m like most young people, getting the odd spot or blemish. But I have quite oily skin, and usually get a shiny face throughout the day. The 24Hour foundation promises to help control this, and create a matte appearance, so I have been putting it to the test. I’ve worn it all day to university, which involves getting on the train and tube, and sometimes walking home. I’ve worn it all day to work, on a night-out and just generally throughout the day. I can safely say this foundation will NOT budge, whether you want that or not is up to you. I do. I hate reapplying makeup, I want something on my face to stay there and for me not to worry about touching up or it sliding down my face. This foundation will make you look airbrushed, even if you break a sweat or there is a thunderstorm (perfect for right now), you’re guaranteed to have a perfect complexion. Although, it doesn’t always stop my face being shiny.

This foundation is so good that even after a night-out I cannot just remove it with a makeup wipe. I have to properly wash my face with a toner and cleanser or with a facial wash, which can be a hassle if you’re a tad intoxicated! However, I would recommend this foundation for someone with a busy life or someone who like me, doesn’t like retouching their makeup. I don’t wear it everyday as I can feel a little claustrophobic, as it is for long-lasting coverage. I do love my BareMinerals, it makes me feel like I’m not wearing any makeup and is filled with good chemicals for your skin. But if you want something a little more reliable, then Lancôme are your guys.

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It’s that time of the year again, assignments are mounting up. Second year is in full swing and God, am I feeling it! I cannot wait for mid-March to come so my madness can calm down. Michel Foucault and I are sleeping together regularly, in the hope that his words will be absorbed into my brain whilst I drift off. I think the worst thing is starting an assignment, I honesty don’t know where to begin, it feels like I have a mountain to climb. Not to mention trying to hit a solid 2:1 – people underestimate how stressful university is, juggling everything and still having a life is WAY more difficult than it looks. But BBC 6 Music are helping my through this hard time! Give them a listen, they’re probably the most underrated radio station.

I hope you had a great Valentine’s Day and were spoilt rotten by your other half, or had a woozy night with your friends.

Take care,

B x

PostSecret

The last few weeks have been pretty maniac with university assignments and presentations, as well as settling into the runnings of work. So right now, I’m doing the things I love – laying in my comfy bed, drinking a hot chocolate, blogging and internet shopping, whilst listening to the pitter-patter of rain on my windows. Bliss. 

I thought I’d dedicate this post to one of my favourite things – PostSecret, for those of you who have never heard of it, it is an organisation set up by the artist Frank Warren. Where people from all over the world can send in their deepest secrets, all anonymously, then a certain amount are published in his books or on Secret Sundays. They vary from funnier secrets such as – “I give decaf to customers that are rude to me.” or darker secrets, “My mom killed my dad, long before he killed himself.” – they hold a special place in my heart as my Alevel drama group and I devised our final piece of drama on several secrets and because they make me have faith in humanity every time I read them. Even the really harrowing and distressing ones, we all have secrets, just some of them are easier to share, than others. Even if it anonymously.

When I was on the tube earlier I was thinking about this, whilst reading my book and looking around the carriage at rush hour (I love people watching). No one really knows what our lives are like. We see things at face-value but actually don’t know what someone is feeling or going through. It is one of the most rewarding feelings when you feel like you know someone, what makes them tick, their stories, their birth marks, their favourite Disney film and best birthday present. Everything. So, if you have someone like that in your life, I’d say hold onto them. They’re a rare commodity, and you’ll probably not find another, you’re one of the lucky ones. 

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And yes, I have sent my own secret in. Shhh. You should too! 

Wrap up warm, winter is definitely on its way. 

Take care,

B x