Thursday, 27 January 2011

Valentine's day: a do or a don't?

Now, before I go into too much ranting let me just state: I'm generally not a cynical person who likes to reign on parades.

That aside, Valentine's day has often annoyed me. At first it seems like a fairly harmless holiday: once a year you show your loved one that you care about them. Seems simple enough. That is, of course, until you factor in commercialisation, expectation and competition (I've known it to happen).

Those who know me well enough will know I'm a huge romantic sap. I will happily watch The Notebook multiple times and certain scenes will still get me the millionth time round. I adore a good love story. That probably contributes towards my lacklustre approach to Valentine's day: surely you shouldn't need a specific day to let someone know how you feel about them?

The following happened today in Wilkinsons with my boyfriend, who wandered towards the Valentine's bit not noticing what exactly the displays were selling so desperately...

me: that's the Valentine's bit, the kitchen stuff is over there *points in opposite direction, further up the shop*
him: (shocked) oh...Valentine's day stuff! But it's not even February yet

There was a slight pause and he turned to me, a look of panic on his face, "are we doing anything for Valentine's day?"

To be honest, I hadn't considered it. The year before we'd just written each other a letter and swapped it when he visited me at uni. Simple.

My thoughts on Valentine's day are pretty much this:

if you want to do something then do it, if not I'm not fussed. I'm not going to show up at your flat demanding flowers, chocolate, a stupidly ornate card and a giant teddy bear before you take me out for a romantic candle-lit dinner where you shower me with compliments...

...because that's just not me.

To me the smaller, more everyday things are what I appreciate rather than dictated shows of affection. For instance rather than Valentine's day why not have a date night once a week, or simply spontaneously do something nice for your other half like make their favourite cake or buy them their favourite sweets?

Another thing that bugs me with Valentine's day is the way it makes single people feel. I went through it year after year: the pitying looks from loved-up friends as they lugged around their card/teddy bear/chocolates/ jewellery (you get the picture...they got stuff) and I had nothing. The expectancy that because you don't have a boyfriend/girlfriend your life is empty and you feel dreadfully lonely and pitiful.

When the reality is that the majority of the time I was single I was quite happy about it. Valentine's day didn't bother me then and even as part of a couple I'm not of the thought that "I must have the most amazing, ostentatious, romantic day EVER or my life/relationship is doomed" because it's far too dramatic and ridiculous.

So, this Valentine's don't worry if you haven't got vans of flowers waiting on your doorstep, or even a little present because you don't need one day to make you brilliant. Look at the rest of your life: there's a lot of it that you love and a lot of people you care about, right? So enjoy those things as usual and appreciate those people. Go out with friends, hang out with your family, blast Beyonce's "Single Ladies" if you must but don't mope, please.

If you're in a relationship, heck you could do these things too. Or you could do something low key and sans presents with your partner. Or you could have a non-Valentine's day where you do something specifically romantic but without the fuss and Clinton Cards shoving red glittery hearts down your throat every time you walk past.

all images from weheartit

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

H is for Happy; week one

Hello lovelies! I've shamelessly pinched a weekly post idea from Vivatramp called "H is for Happy" which basically means I give you a list of things that make me happy each week. I'm determined to stick with this as I can easily get caught up in negativity so this should make me think and be grateful for what I have.

I'm planning on picking five things for each week and just seeing as long this goes on for. So without much further ado, here is week one:

001; Home ware: it sounds silly but I do get distracted buying things for my uni flat. I went in Wilkinsons today to replace some stolen forks and was entirely distracted by numerous vases, pillows, mirrors and pictures.

002; Nail art: I'm not as amazing at this as Kerri but I do enjoy to dabble in decorating my nails. I did the ol' polka dot pattern with Barry M mint green as a base and Barry M berry ice cream for the dots.

003; Seth Cohen: he's just hilarious and cute in the dorkiest way ever. His quotes are one of my favourite things about the O.C.

004; Painting with my niece: she's two and has got the art bug. My brother bought her an easel for Christmas and she's obsessed with it. The two paintings on my uni wall are testament to this fact.

005; Weatherpersons Belgian waffle: nom is all I can say. My favourite foody thing to get when I go there ♥

all pictures from weheartit

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Wardrobe additions

So as I mentioned in my previous post the last few weeks have been a bit spend-heavy. I've been using birthday money and loan to full advantage and adding a few new pieces to my wardrobe I know I'll wear to death. I haven't put all of them in here because some are simple vest tops in various shades of blue and pairs of coloured tights, which aren't all that interesting in looking at...

However, I do have for your eyes the two dresses I bought for my birthday (I do believe I tweeted about my dilemma) as well as two new pieces from New Look.

Firstly we have this daisy print tunic/dress from Topshop. This was quite a momentous occasion as it was my first ever clothing buy from Topshop. I don't usually shop there because the sizing is, to be honest, quite ridiculous and I've never been able to fit into things properly through stiff material etc. Plus the prices can be pretty crazy too. However I was helping a friend find nice things and pulled out this. It was roughly my size and stretchy material so I decided to risk it. I'm so glad I did because it's a brilliant piece and formed my outfit for my birthday meal out.

Next up is the runner up in my birthday outfit choices. I originally went into Peacocks looking for their Kate Middleton engagement dress copy (which they didn't stock, boo) and saw this peeking out from a rail as I browsed the shop. It was the colour that originally caught my eye as I am partial to green and then the dress itself is tailored well. The long sleeves with elasticated wrists are brilliant because it means I can wear this in summer without having to worry about a cardigan and getting too hot. Always a bonus.

Finally, and I'll deal with these together, are my more recent purchases from New Look. Apologies for the picture quality, the New Look website is notoriously awkward for getting pictures from and at quarter to four in the morning I can't be bothered to faff about with my camera to get decent ones on here.

Anyway! The first is a dip-hem top (according to the website). Basically it's longer at the back, eradicating chances of builder's bum issues. Hurrah! The price slash to £9.99 and the coral colour of this top caught my interest and well, I'm always looking for lovely tunics and interesting tops to wear with jeans. I tend to avoid proper t-shirts. Awkward I know!

Also purchased with this top was something that had been on my wish-list for a while now: an oversized cardigan without the awkward buttons. I had originally wanted this in grey but it was impossible to find a cardigan similar to this in that colour - they were all really thick knits which I didn't want in the slightest. This one is brilliant though. The sleeves are slim fitting meaning they cling around my wrists rather than go all strange and baggy like some of my other cardigans and the neutral black means I can practically live in this cardigan which makes me happy because I'm partial to a good cardigan. I have been teaming it with my PJs the last few days because I'm embracing a week of laziness by padding about in my PJs from pretty early in the evening.

Hurrah for a life of (semi) leisure!

Catch up

Wow, hello! Sorry times a million I've been extremely absent as of late. I've been caught up with birthday celebrations and uni deadlines. However I handed everything in Wednesday and now have a full week off before next semester starts. Random, but very welcomed indeed!

So to start off with, here's a very quick picture-filled post to let you lovely, nosey people know what I've been up to...

  1. To kick things off, I turned 20 on January 12th. I had a memorable birthday meal at my local Frankie and Benny's complete with waiter-induced surprise birthday desert (aka he put candles in my brownies and dimmed the lights without being asked too...bless).

  2. A bit of a blurry shot but these are my Harry Potter necklaces courtesy of my mum and friend Amanda. I'd asked my mum for the time turner necklace (read: I'm a huge Harry Potter geek and secretly want to be Hermione) so was obviously thrilled with it. Then Amanda presented me with the second necklace which is a mini Prisoner of Azkaban (my favourite from the series) book. ♥

  3. I have spent a lot of time watching the O.C. in the last week and a bit. I've worked my way through season one (Seth's coffee cart and public love declaration = possible favourite t.v. moment of all time) and got onto season two a couple of days ago. I have 3/4 of the box sets and plan on completing the set ASAP

  4. My lovely dad gave me money for my birthday which promptly went on a second-hand Luella baby Gisele bag in pink from ebay. It's got marks on the handles and shows signs of wear and tear so I got it for a mere £45: not bad when others are going for £300 odd! Plus a bag is meant to be used!

  5. I realised, as I tried to find room for my birthday presents, that I had so much stuff I never used. CDs I never listened to, DVDs I got but never watched or just aren't that fussed about, ditto for books. So I set up a playtrade account and have sold about 4/5 things this week so far, giving me just over £10 profit after's admin fees and postage. Not bad for a week.

  6. Finally, anyone who knows me well will know that I am partial to the lure of new stationary. It was the best bit of going back to school for me and it's continued despite being 20. I literally drift towards Paperchase when I go over into Newcastle and this week has been no exception. As well as a notebook which is being used for recipes, a pen and metal flask I bought this apron from there this week. How cute is it?! I've wanted an apron for a while and I've been doing a fair amount of cooking/baking the last few weeks so I decided it was also needed.

A pretty shopping based fortnight for me but I'm having to stop for a few days which can only be a good thing. I used my card in a machine being investigated for fraud (card reading devices etc) and Natwest fraud department called my mum back home last night. I've had to cut up my card and have a new one sent out to me, which I won't get until about Thursday. I'm far too lazy to walk down the road and queue up to get money out from my local branch so I'm determined to hibernate and only leave when necessary.

On a lighter note...Natwest fraud department's hold music is Olly Murs thinking of me. I hope the man I spoke to didn't guess I'd been dancing around my kitchen to it with my friend!

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Wish list item achieved: LOVE ring

Okay so a few weeks ago I blogged about some things I wanted for my wardrobe and I have got a Peter Pan collar dress...just not the New Look one, so it doesn't really count, but I hadn't quite managed to have a proper look for the bracelet or ring I was looking at which is quite lucky considering...

A parcel from Accessorize came for me in the post this week, courtesy of my aunt who reads this blog (hello!) and got me the LOVE stack rings for my birthday (yes, I'm now twenty).

Cue me promptly squealing in excitement and instantly ripping of the packaging to stack them on my hand. Definitely good times.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

My last day as a teenager in pictures

From top to bottom: nutella on toast ♥, the article I have to analyse for the essay due tomorrow (last few paragraphs!), shorthand to practise for tomorrow's lesson (at 9am, bleurgh!)

From top to bottom: potential birthday dress from Topshop, potential birthday dress from Peacocks, Lauren Conrad Style which shall be my reading treat once I've finished my work, cooked dinner and picked a dress for tomorrow night

As you can see, not much going on today. No lessons today and no need to go outside after a giant shop yesterday with friend/flatmate Emily made my cupboard space and fridge drawer crammed full of food and drink. I woke up at about half 1 when Emily came to talk to me about something (in my defence I was up until half 2 in the morning putting things on for sale) so nutella on toast was a bit of food to keep me going until dinner after my quick lunch (aka stomach demanding food) of soup.

I've been putting the finishing touches on my essay ready to get it in tomorrow between shorthand lessons. I'm so happy this one is nearly out of the way as it means I can put full concentration on my magazine writing one where we get to pick the question (best essay idea ever in my opinion) as opposed to reading the books for it and drafting in the five pads of paper I have scattered around my room but not forming the actual essay yet. Plus this essay has been a bit of a beast to work on compared to my fashion one and what is yet to come of the magazine one.

Finally I'm so torn between these two dresses! I went shopping after uni yesterday with my friend Lisa to find the Kate Middleton dress copy Peacocks have but it wasn't stocked in that shop and delivery wouldn't be here in time for my birthday so there was no point ordering it online. After a bit of a paroozle I found the green peter pan collar dress (usually I don't go for Peter Pan collars but this is such a gorgeous shade of green) and ended up buying it intending to wear it tomorrow night.

Then Emily got back here from home and we did a brief shop scouring for her. We ended up in Topman where she wanted a jumper, then drifted into Topshop. As per usual I sort of just followed her about as - thanks to Topshop's sizings - I can never get into their stuff so I don't bother looking at the clothes. I was helping her look for nice stuff and came across the blue daisy dress, noticed it was a size 16 and the material was somewhat stretchy (but not in that horrible stretchy but clingy sense which I hate) so decided to have a go in the changing rooms. It fitted really well, which led to me getting excited and showing Emily. I bought it. First Topshop thing to ever fit me and it was the last one in the shop. Win ♥

But now I'm torn between the two dresses! Typical me really. I might wear the Topshop one during the day for uni and going to see the boyfriend for a bit of lunch/the afternoon before coming back here and changing to the Peacocks one for dinner with the girls...

Any suggestions?

My last day as a teenager

Argh it feels weird just writing that! Anyway, my minor panic aside, I turn twenty tomorrow. Nope still feels weird. Haha. I've been quite reflective over the last few days as I consider the loss of my teen years as demonstrated by a conversation with my mum Sunday before I came back to uni:

me: it's really weird thinking I'm going to be twenty soon
mum: why?
me: well, twenty seems more grown up somehow. I know technically eighteen is the adult phase but I still felt really young. I just suddenly feel like a grown up. It's weird.
mum: well twenty means you're not a teenager any more, technically you are a grown up. You have to grow up

Okay so maybe I won't grow up as such (young at heart and all that jazz) but I'm waving goodbye to my teen years. They were mostly good to me:

  • I fell in love
  • I dealt with issues that had haunted me for years
  • I made some amazing new friends
  • I got to study a new language
  • I wrote more than I probably ever will again
  • I saw my work published online and in a magazine
  • I was a bridesmaid
  • I danced with the boy I liked at prom
  • I walked home past midnight after an amazing date feeling like I was floating
  • I met Kate Nash (!)
  • I interviewed a band
  • I became an editor
  • I became an aunt - twice!
  • I saw Taylor Swift - twice!
  • I got baptised
  • I became President of my uni's CU
  • I moved over 200 miles away from my family
  • I went to beautiful countries
  • I bought my first (and only) designer handbag
  • I found a great vintage shop
  • I grew closer to my parents
I'm not going to deny that there's been pants times too - arguments with friends, having them leave and never hear from them again, losing family members and pets, crying solidly through the night feeling like your heart is going to break, being turned down and having days where staying in bed seems like the best option for life - but overall I've loved my teen years so I'm a little bit sad about saying goodbye to them in a mere 11 hours (I was one of those lovely early in the morning babies).

I'll be posting a few pics from today including two contenders for my birthday dress. I'm having dinner with the girls at Frankie and Bennys and actually cannot decide what to wear so once I've got work out the way I think a bit of dress up is in order!

Friday, 7 January 2011

Lose the hate, not the weight

"making self-conscious girls even more demanding and critical, reminding them it's not okay to be fat and to be a plus size."

"Tell me what you ate today and I won't listen as you've eaten too much. To be thinner, skip Dinner"

"I'm cruel to be kind. Fat people aren't taken seriously. Skinny people will always be fashionable..."

If I'd posted the above tweets, the majority of my friends who read my tweets would probably be at my door/on the phone demanding what's going on in my head and why I'm being such an ass.

As it is, I haven't posted these tweets. Someone else has. This person shall remain nameless to avoid further publicity which they seem to rely on like water (although watching them get rejected by the celebrities they're reaching out to is rather funny) but I'm sure some of you who read this know who I'm talking about.

If you're on Twitter and you follow worldwide trends you'll also be aware of this (most likely). Thankfully, there's a whole trending topic and a cry of outrage against what this person is saying.

It's sick that someone out there is actively encouraging girls to diet to the extreme levels of simply not eating. At all. They're pursuing girls to adopt a form of something they call "managed anorexia"

Because encouraging girls to develop and pursue an full-blown, deadly dangerous, disease is possibly the purest form of idiocy. This person is playing a dangerous game. Fair enough, if they want to pursue this delusion of theirs but people who are already ill with an eating disorder or who feel low about themselves and latch onto their promises that being thinner will make you happier can take this further than anyone ever should. This person is, perhaps inadvertently, playing with people's lives with their bigoted views.

Oh and also, I'm a size 16/18. I study fashion journalism, I'm fashion and beauty editor at my uni magazine and my friends tell me they consider me fashionable. This Twitter menace's argument is now invalid.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

New Year, New Wardrobe Wants

Forget the sales, January is when the shops restock and offer us some gorgeous pieces. Here are three items I am seriously considering indulging in when my uni loan comes in...
First is this New Look animal Peter Pan tunic. At £16.99 it's one of the shop's cheaper options, which is always a plus. I know these collars were quite big last year (wow it feels weird writing that) but, if New Look's mini collection of Peter Pan collar tunics are anything to go by, they look set to hang around for a little bit longer. I wasn't really interested in this kind of collar previously but this tunic might just be an exception for me. I blame the print and the tunic's colour - the black one with this collar really didn't do it justice - as they work really well together.

Next up we have a LOVE tile stacking ring which goes straight for the Scrabble-loving, word-geek that I am. At £8 it's a bit pricey for a ring but given how amazing it is and the fact it's from Accessorize (not looking so pricey now when you look at some of their other pieces) it will be a worthwhile £8.

Finally is this bracelet. I adore these kinds of things - I've never really been one for a delicate, intricate chain adorning my wrist - so this is definitely right up my street. It is £8.50 but as it's from Dorothy Perkins I do get 10% student discount which knocks a bit off. Also, I have a feeling I'd wear this to absolute death as it would go really well with my casual uni day wardrobe, as well as living up a party dress. Always a sign of a good accessory.

And these are my three "oh my goodness I really, really, really want these in my life" pieces of the high street's new 2011 stock.
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