what I be wearing

19 February 2018

I have always been an advocate for dresses for so many reasons.  After writing out the list I change my mind, it's only a few reasons but still good reasons.

1) They make it look like you've put in more effort than you have
2) They can be dressed up or dressed down
3) Equally, can be worn to match winter or summer weather
4) Comfy

dress: motel rocks  |  jacket: asos  |  shoes: underground
I've been looking for a baggy dress like this for ages, that can be worn by itself in summer or with something underneath but I found it hard to find the perfect dress that is baggy enough and doesn't cling to anything weirdly. To be honest, this dress isn't perfect but I love it. It's not perfect because the straps you have to tie up yourself, which is annoying as it is hard to find balance in the dress and also because there is pressure to make the two knots be balanced. Aka, when I first tried tying it up one bow was on the front and the other was on the back. I don't think this will be an issue if there is a helping hand though. In my head this looks perfect with a baker boy hat, and I ordered one which arrived as I was taking these photos, but the baker boy hat was either abnormally small or my head is truly as big as I thought it was. But envision this outfit with a baker boy hat- cute right. I just think this dress will be so good in summer with a short sleeved white top underneath or just by itself. It's easy and flowy and I am falling in love with it.

I paired this with a pair of glittery socks and my creepers, which you can't see but only to make the outfit a bit more funky as I am meant to be going to Brick Lane as I type this, but I have a feeling the plans are going to fall through. (future me- the plans sort of fell through but ended up being amazing. We drank wine and went to a fancy cinema in London where you can make the seats recline and we saw an incredible film and then went to Wetherspoons and got drunk, despite me having a 6:30am start the next day). I am trying to shop more ethically, but I am so lazy when it comes to leaving my house, however the dress is the only new thing in this outfit. Also the denim jacket is relatively new, but not overly new. To be honest, I'm only mentioning it to let you know that I now have a denim jacket which seems to fit me perfectly. Shout out to ASOS.


12 February 2018

The title makes it sound like I love the month January- I can't say I particularly do, but the January of 2018 actually bought quite a few favourites into my life. Usually I can't do a favourites post because nothing jumps out, but some good things popped up this month. It was a weird month, but then again most are, but in the months which feel stranger than usual it's important to find good things to help provide a mental place of refuge when thoughts and feelings get too much. Although, some of the things I'm going to say are extremely materialistic but here are some of my good things from January.

I've discovered I love pink eyeshadow and found a foundation even better than NARS
I was bummed out when NARS said they wouldn't be a cruelty free company anymore- I share the general view that it's such an outrageous shift to go from cruelty free back to testing on animals. I was in love with their foundation, however I got the Too Faced foundation 'Born This Way' for Christmas and I love it even more than NARS, and it's cruelty free. It makes my skin look absolutely banging. I thought the NARS foundation was the best ever, but trying this has made me realise the NARS one was way too runny and thin. 10/10 recommend Too Faced Born This Way, I don't really know how to review foundation but it makes my skin lookpopping. Although, I have found out that Too Faced were bought by Estee Lauder, which has now made the whole animal rights thing more complicated so I'm going to have to research more about what this means. Also, I got this Urban Decay palette ages ago, and I have become addicted to wearing pink eyeshadow. When it runs out I don't know what I'll do- I don't feel like I'm truly ready to go outout if I'm not wearing this pink eyeshadow.

New favourite songs and new favourite book
Book wise, well I read 'The Great Gatsby' and that has become one of my favourite books. I've already gushed about it quite a lot here, if you want to have a read. For the record, this isn't just a favourite of January (nor are the songs) this is just an ultimate favourite. It's not even one of those where I wish I could forget it and reread it and have the first reading experience all over again because each time, despite knowing what will happen, it's still just as amazing!

Song wise, I actually have so many new favourites, which kind of invalidates the meaning of the word- but I've discovered so many good tunes lately. I go through phases where I need background noise, and sometimes I need silence but lately I've needed songs in the background which is my prime discovering time and woah boy- have I discovered. Ultimately, I think 'The Wombats' are my favourite band, they've just always been in my life- I remember listening to their songs when I was in primary school and had no idea what the lyrics meant yet I just loved their sound and the band has just stuck with me since. They released a new song called 'Turn' lately and I think it's one of their best yet and despite the fact I'm trying to break the cycle of listening to the same songs over and over again, this song is an exception. If you have time, I recommend giving it a listen here .

Side note- I've also been loving Everything Everything, Whitney, Rex Orange Country and Yellow Days. I've linked each to my favourite songs by them if you fancy a listen. Oh god look how much I've written about music, whoops. So here are some good things January bought, new favourite songs and a new favourite book.

I discovered the true healing powers of lemsip
Before this month, I have only had lemsip once before, but it was just a sip because I couldn't stand the taste so I didn't bother carrying on. Clearly I was not ill enough, now when future me is ill, I will drink this by the bucket load (well, as much as is safe). I regard this drink as the bloody nectar of the gods. Something about the mixture of pain killers and hot water and lemon is magical and just cures you for a few hours. I felt as if I was drunk after I drank my first proper lemsip, that's how good it made me feel. If you're ill, don't be a baby about it- it may taste gross but just drink the lemsip.
(side note- I got lemsip max the other day, but I can't really say I felt a difference between that and the normal one)

Not going to lie, this was probably the worst part of Newcastle (and most disappointing waggamamas I've ever had) but it's the only photo I have
Made some great memories
-I had a date night with my friend Sophia, we went into London and drank the best rose of our lives, then went to a fancy cinema and saw Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri which absolutely blew our minds. I can't put into words how incredible this film was, no expectation was met- the film took so many turns and the interludes of happy country music didn't distract from the intensity of the film. Also, it was quite Wes Anderson-esque in the style it was filmed in my opinion- a lot of focus on the way the film looked combined with such an intriguing story line made for a great night. We wondered the streets of London aimlessly for a bit after as we couldn't come to grips with reality, then we went to Wetherspoons and had nachos and cocktails.
-I saw Katie in Newcastle and almost died walking up the stairs but didn't want her to know how unfit I am, and we went to bar that was so cute and I fell in love with Newcastle (as well as Katie's coat which I think I'll forever be jealous of to be honest)
-I then saw my friend in Newcastle and we had such a fun night out, with disco lights and smiles and groovy music. Newcastle was a very lovely experience, the city and the people. Also, everybody there is attractive.
-For the first time this month whilst me and my sisters were laughing my nephew done a fake laugh, just so he could be in on the joke. It was absolutely adorable and hilarious and I just love it, I don't know why I find it so funny he does this. Just because it seems such an awkward thing to do, like when you're older and you have to fake laughter it's just a bit uncomfortable, but seeing him do it was hilarious. Now he does it all the time when other people are laughing.

So there are a few good things from January, I hope you're all having a great February! I'm away at the moment, so if you comment I will reply when I'm back. Adios pals!

Travelling Thoughts The Night Before I Go

5 February 2018

This was written the night before I went away, but by the time this uploads I'll already be on a different continent. I don't feel as excited as I should. I feel pretty brain dead at the moment- which I'm thinking must be to do with nerves (despite not feeling nervous) but maybe my brain is blocking out all form of emotion to deal with some intense, unseen nerves and the only permitted feeling is tired.

I'm only going away for thirty days, or as I keep telling people '4 weeks and a bit' because it sounds longer, and for some reason people expect you to travel for ages whilst on a gap year- as if money isn't a huge barrier to that. I'm going by myself, but am meeting a group out there because I planned the trip with Gap 360- the trip I'm going on is called the IndoChina discovery and I go to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. I find comfort in the fact that the tour that I booked on to was fully booked, therefore meaning there will be a wide range of people so hopefully I will make some good friends. I don't get a list of the other people doing this and I'm not sure if that makes it better or worse- but I think better as it means no presumptions can be made. I know somebody else who went away with Gap 360 and made some amazing friends- I'm trying not to compare experiences but I really hope this happens for me. I was meant to go with a friend, but money was an issue and one night I just decided to book it. I also think it's easier to go by yourself in a way, as it means I can't get annoyed or anything.

At the moment I don't feel overwhelmed with excitement, but I can feel a small bubble of it in my chest. I'm just eager to get the first day over with, because my flight lands early and I don't have a contact number for my in land tour guide (which scares me a bit because I'm meant to have one). I don't know how I'll spend the day, but I reckon I'll be knackered and I'm hoping I can just stay in the hotel lobby. If not, I've heard the centre of Thailand is pretty westernised, so I can find comfort in something similar to home whilst alone. I do want to experience new things, but just not on my first day when everything will be so overwhelming. I'm most scared yet also most excited for Cambodia- I'm scared about crossing the border and because I think this country will bring me the biggest culture shock. But, I have a prepaid eVisa and will be with a big ol group of people, so it will be grand. There is so much history in Cambodia, and two people I know have told me it's their favourite place in Asia as well as (apparently) being filled with the friendliest people. I never thought other peoples words could bring me so much comfort, but before them another fear was that the people would intimidate me, but after hearing only good things that fear has now vanished!

I'm a bit ashamed, as I don't know the history for anywhere I'm going really. I plan on researching after I shower, as well as doing a few final packing touch ups. Writing this has been cathartic, the excitement in my chest seems to have swelled a little. That description makes it sound like it's an unpleasant sensation, but it's not.

I've scheduled some blog posts for whilst I'm away, but I can't guarantee how active I'll be- but if you leave a comment or anything I'll still see it and reply when I can. This feels strange, see you in March lads (as long as everything goes to plan aha)!


29 January 2018

This has been on my 'to-read' list for ages and it's a very strange novel, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's about a troubled young boy (Burt) who is in a mental institute, but the reason why is withheld for the majority of the novel. the whole novel is written from Burts perspective, but there are interludes where he reads letters between his Doctors notes which helps the reader understand things more. It's a really good book, I really like the way it's written and I Burts perspective of things is funny and very literal- sort of like in Submarine. Throughout the book I kept expecting to find out the reason why Burt was in the institute, and all of my guesses were wrong and when I finally found out I was shocked and it sort of changed the whole book for me. There are some really good bits of imagery in the book as well, and when I found out why the book was titled what it was, I just loved that part.

It's a classic in French literature apparently, despite the author being American. I read a lot of reviews and it's compared to 'The Catcher In The Rye' but I don't really agree with this comparison. Catcher In The Rye is more an aimless novel where Holden is finding himself where as this novel has a destination to meet. Both Burt and Holden have questionable mental stability though, and both those narrators had a certain charm to them but Burts charm was more explicitly the innocence of a child, where as Holdens is infused with adolescent questioning. Also by the end of the novel, I was frustrated at the charm I had felt from Burt. The only thing that frustrated me in this book is you're so desperate for a moment of reconciliation, but it never comes.

I don't really know how to describe this book, so I'm just going to dive in. I had seen the film before I read this book and let me tell you (although I watched the film ages ago) the film gave me very different vibes than the book. To me, the film felt more angry whereas the book was full of so much sorrow and was so tragic. I don't think the film captured the extent of the heartache that the novel seemed to have.

I think this may be one of my favourite books, for so many reasons. One reason being that, despite it being a classic, it wasn't difficult to read- although there were some references I didn't really understand but a quick googled sorted me out. Also, the characters weren't two dimensional at all. I don't really know how to explain what I mean but for every character I felt the opinion of them was so much bigger than just liking or disliking them. I can't imagine a world either where Gatsby and Daisy aren't recognisable either- they're timeless characters and the uncertainty of society portrayed in the book is also still relevant. The only thing I didn't like about the novel is how sad it made me, but I guess it's a sign of good book if it makes your heart heavy- it's just so tragic! But so beautifully written! And also there are so many interesting articles/critical essays about this book online which just makes rereading it so much more interesting. My only criticism of the book is that so many names were given and sometimes I would get confused who was actually being spoken about, but that was most likely just a me issue.

The writing style of this book was so impressive to me, usually I feel like descriptions can last way too long yet Fitzgerald captured the moment so perfectly. After reading more into the novel and seeing contrasting views on what Gatsby car is meant to portray, and the importance of weather (which wasn't over done at all sometimes I feel like I'm screaming at a book to leave the pathetic fallacy alone, but not in this!) and different things about the characters made the writing seem even more impressive. I like the way Fitzergald debunked the myth of the American Dream by the corruption induced by the pursuit of it, usually anything related to the American Dream sends me back to memories of year 11 English class, but the book captivated me enough to make me not even think about Of Mice And Men until now aha. On a different note, I have such a beautiful version of the book, then once I was on the train and read a line I loved so I went to underline it, but I was unaware my pen had exploded and then I got my grubby ink hands all over the front and back of the book, as well as over some of the pages.

This is very different to the other two books, as this is much more a typical teen romance, coming of age novel. It's about a mute girl who befriends a deaf boy. I am a sucker for books like this, but what I found better than most recent books that far into this category is the fact that the mental health topic doesn't seem to be abused. There is no sense of how falling in love can cure a metal illness, but how friendship and different relationships can help this, I don't know how to explain. The main girl, Steff, has anxiety and despite it being a focal point of the book, it's not done in such an obvious way that controls the book, if that makes sense. It's a really lovely, heart warming read. It's easy and light and I found it thorughly  enjoyable. It's not like the other two books where there are things to look out for, it is what it is and was just a very good teen read- in my opinion. If you need something light, I recommend this.

What good books have you read lately- please let me know I'm desperate for a good book to read whilst I'm away. Like I want a general good book that makes you think (like The Kite Runner) but not one that is confusing to read, also just want some general good reads. Not sure how much time I'll have for reading though to be fair. Either way, let me know any suggestions please!


19 January 2018

Recently, I have been a sucker for buying clothes with empowering quotes for women on them. My view of wearing feminism, is that in some way these tops with powerful quotes on them is to trigger something in peoples mind when they see these tops. It may not be an obvious thought, but just a gentle reminder that women are powerful and deserve to be listened to and that not all women have this privilege. It's not an overly active form of empowerment, but just a reminder to not underestimate women and the importance of women banding together in a patriarchal world.

I am lucky because I have always been surrounded by strong women and I've never really experienced an occasion where I felt overly disadvantaged at being a women. In my job there is no difference between women and men, I only work in Customer Care but I know in the greater offices for ASOS there are projects set to inspire women, plus they do a lot of workshops with girls about loving yourself and about powerful women in the industry. I know this isn't the case everywhere though. The only time I feel explicitly disadvantaged at being a girl, is when I became aware of my fear of men that seems to be ingrained inside me. When I am out walking and a man looks at me a little too long and when their gazes and words make me feel as nothing but an object to be looked at is when my femininity makes me feel weak. I'll give an example- once on a night out during when I had bright purple hair a man asked me for a blowjob which I declined. He then shouted at me, stating that my purple hair and face full of glistening piercings were all for attention, so why won't I accept the attention I am being given. His rant was littered with insulting words and swear words and this is one of the times I have felt most scared because I knew I couldn't overpower this man if anything were to happen. Things aren't always like this, sometimes they are more extreme, sometimes they are less but either way this is one of the few times I have felt scared of being a woman as I realised how weak I am compared to men. Although my natural daily behaviours should be enough to remind me of my disadvantage; I'm wary on public transport, I check my car every time before I get in it and am constantly thinking of things I can use as weapons if need be. Yet despite these natural moments, I forget the male dominance that still occurs in our world. So if me, wearing a top that promotes the equality of men and women and places females on a pedastool I will do it so in my moments of fear I remember that there are people rooting for women and that these slogans on our t-shirts aren't lies. Also, if me wearing a t-shirt can just trigger a little thought in someone’s mind, it makes me happy.

However, the things I wear are only clothes. Is it just a case of looking cool, or is it an actual (extremely) diluted form of rebellion against the patriarchal ways that still grip our society? It doesn't make an actual impact other than maybe creating a thought and it obviously doesn't help in places where the difference between men and women is so great that equality can only seem like a hope rather than a reality. I wonder whether these t-shirts also serve as a reminder for women to stick together rather than promoting equality and somehow distance the two genders even more. (side note- I know there are more than two genders, but for the sake of this post I am keeping it very black and white and I'm sorry if anyone feels insulted by this, it's just my basic views on feminism which I know stretch a lot further than just men and women). I also asked someone else their opinion on these tops and they said it seems to be a way of getting Instagram likes, which is understandable because the case of feminism does seem to be a way to publicity for some, so does these shirts actually invalidate the issue rather than help it? Personally,  I don't think so as even if people wear them just to get a few extra likes, it is still a way of raising awareness.

Despite the hope of raising awareness, I’m not entirely sure whether these material manifestations of feminism are created with good intentions. It brings me back to wondering whether they invalidate feminism by making it a little logo on a top- but personally I don't agree with this. It's easy to forget though that these items are being created within the fashion industry, meaning they are created with a capitalist agenda rather than with a political mindset. Is it really dressing for the resistance or is it just for fashion? The funds from these tops don't go to helping women directly but I don't know if raising some form of awareness through the tops is powerful enough to counterbalance the exploitation of feminism for fashion. I think it depends on who is wearing the t-shirt and if they are willing to elaborate on the importance of such an innocent looking item of clothing, but I believe anyone who wears a top branded with a feminist quote are ready to defend it and explain the reason they are wearing it.

On a different note, but one that always seem to cross my mind when thinking about feminism is whether these tops could somehow be detrimental to boys. If a boy were wearing a top calling him 'Empowered' he'd just seem like a bit of a twat, as ultimately his gender always have had the upper hand when it comes to power and it is hard to forget the history between men and the abuse of their self given power. However, if these tops serve to make us proud of being a woman and enlighten the world of all the great qualities women share with men (as we are all as powerful as each other) why can't a boy express their love towards their gender. I know it's because they have always had the privilege and that it is almost impossible to find a time in history where a man was disadvantaged at being a man, but do these tops highlight the hierarchal divide between men and women to young kids? Do they divide us further? These tops are worn by me to ultimately promote equality and make me feel good about being a woman, yet if a boy were to wear one of them he would be seen as showing off. This is going off on a tangent though, about where does feminism go too far and surrounding the questionability of whether self love is encouraged as much for boys as much for girls.

To round this off though, although the act of wearing feminism can be questionable depending on where your intentions come from, I wear it with the hope of evoking some form of reaction, no matter how minuscule and just to bring attention to the divided world. I know it isn't a major act of feminism at all and that the world has so far to go, but these tops act as a reminder that the societal imposed differences between men and women still exist. I hope that when wearing them they remind the world that women possess a strength as great as men and that we should never be made to doubt the greatness that being a woman is.

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