Sunday, 29 September 2013

Lorde

Bonjour,

So almost another week has gone by without another blog post, sorry. But today I'm posting about a new favourite artist of mine: Lorde. Quite a lot of Australian people I follow on Polyvore have been raving about her music for quite a while, so I finally decided to see what all the hype was about, and I really regret not doing so earlier.


Wikipedia says:
Ella Yelich-O'Connor (born 7 November 1996), known by her stage name Lorde, is a New Zealand singer-songwriter. She released her first EP, The Love Club EP, in March 2013 and her second single, "Tennis Court", in June 2013. The artist's d├ębut album, Pure Heroine, was released on September 27, 2013.

I love the feel of her music, it's so mellow and deep, though her genre is supposed to be electropop - I've heard her likened to a cross between Lana Del Rey and Marina & the Diamonds, two of my absolute favourite artists. But the lyrics are just out of this world - I can't even describe how beautiful and evocative some of them are, not to mention the fact she's only 16! Her song Tennis Court is my absolute favourite of all time, I can't even express my love for it.

Here are my favourite songs of hers - enjoy!

Tennis Court

Royals

Team

Million Dollar Bills

Bravado

Thanks for reading!

xx

Monday, 23 September 2013

Green Tea Can DIY

Bonjour,

Yes, I'm aware I haven't blogged in over a week, but things (aka homework) have been so hectic recently and the weekend seemed to slip away so quickly that I didn't get round to writing any posts. But I'm here today with a quick DIY!

So when I was in the supermarket the other day, I happened to buy one of those Arizona green teas, mostly because I'd never tried green tea and I wanted to know whether I liked it or not. I was going to get a bottle of it, but the can was just too gorgeous to resist...


My opinion on green tea aside (not sure if I'm a fan or not), I decided the can was too pretty to just throw away, so I came up with a really simple DIY to turn it into a pretty decoration for your room.

You will need:
♥ an Arizona green tea can
♥ any sort of liquid glue, kids glue works fine
♥ nail varnish
♥ sequins & sparkle


1. Wash out the can to make sure it's completely clean, and then leave it to dry.

2. Paint the bottom rim and the top with nail varnish. I used a bright Barbie pink colour from Topshop because it matches the flowers on the can exactly - plus I would never wear it, so at least it's been put to some good use!

3. Stick sequins onto the branch on the can, to add dimension - it looks best if done randomly.

And hey presto! This is the kind of thing I think I could easily go to town on - it wants glitter and wire flowers and silver doodling, but I kept it quite simple for a first go. Who knows, perhaps I'll have to buy another few cans to try out more ideas with.


Oh, and if by any chance my photos look better than usual, it might be because I discovered the 'auto-fix' option on my phone - what a hidden gem! But I should be getting an actual camera for Christmas anyway, so hopefully there'll be a more noticeable improvement then.

xx

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Books Haul

Bonjour,

Today has been a lovely, rainy September day, and I've spent it sitting at my laptop wearing a big woolly jumper and furry socks - alright, so I've been doing my homework all day, but who's counting?

Anyway, today I'm posting a book haul, as a huge box arrived from Amazon yesterday, and this is my portion of the goodies.

A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels and The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

Firstly, I got this trilogy by Libba Bray. I really can't remember where I first heard about these books, but they haven't actually been on my wishlist all that long. Set in 1895, the main character is Gemma Doyle, who is shipped off from her life in India to a boarding school in England, where she discovers her power to attract the supernatural. I think was interested by the odd mix of historical fiction, school story and fantasy these seem to involve - they're also described as Gothic novels "touched by modern conceptions". Despite (or perhaps because of) this bizarre mix of genres, I think I'm going to enjoy this trilogy a lot.

Bright Young Things and Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen

Surprise, surprise - it's historical fiction. I first read Anna Godbersen's series The Luxe a year or two ago, and I remember being thrilled to find out she had written another similar series set in the 1920s. Especially after reading and watching The Great Gatsby, I think it's safe to say that the roaring twenties are a favourite period of mine, so I really hope these books live up to my expectations. I got the first two books from the series because these were both available for about £2 each, and the next one was over £5, so I'm going to wait for it to go down in price.

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Rose Under Fire is Elizabeth Wein's second novel set in World War II, after Code Name Verity which was an incredible read that I reviewed back in July. It's about an American ATA pilot who is captured and sent to the Ravensbruck concentration camp - if it's anything at all like Code Name Verity, I cannot wait to read this!

On a bit of a departure from the historical fiction theme, Glow is about two teenagers called Waverly and Kieran who are part of the first generation born in space. The blurb gives very little away about the rest of the plot, but that was enough to convince me! I saw this in a bookshop in the UK over the summer and decided to buy it online. To say one more thing about it, I just love the cover - it's so beautiful and it has a really tactile, waxy feel to it.

Untold Stories by Alan Bennett
Greek Tragedy

These are actually two books I need for school, but I thought I'd include them here anyway. I don't know much about Alan Bennett, but this book has some raving reviews on the back cover so I assume that means it's good, ahaha. The one on Greek tragedy is because we're going to be looking at tragedy and comedy over the next two years, and as my English teacher said "You really can't talk about tragedy without going back to the Greeks, can you?".

And that's it! Even though I promised myself I wouldn't buy any more books until I'd read everything on my bookcase, I have made some decent progress over the summer and I just needed something to keep my spirits up in the face of a whole year of school. I spent less than £20 in total (not counting the ones for school), so I'm pretty pleased with myself for getting finding them for such good prices. I'm really excited to get stuck into all these - I may review one or two if they really catch my interest, so look out for that.

x

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Emilie Autumn Obsessions

Bonjour,

Even though it's only the second week back, school is keeping me more than busy and I realise I'm not going to have a whole lot of time for blogging, to say the least. But I will try my best to keep it up, even if I only post short things - such as this post.

Emilie Autumn is only of my favourite artists of all time, and after a Marina & the Diamonds stint I've recently got back into her music. I might do a full post about her and what I love so much about her music at some point, but today I just want to post a few songs I'm utterly addicted to at the moment.

Rose Red

306

I hope you enjoy the above - please comment if you know Emilie or love her music too!

x

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Top 5: Science Fiction Novels

Bonjour, 

A while ago I posted about my top 5 contemporary teen fiction books, and today I'm doing something similar with my favourite science fiction books. I'm counting science fiction as separate from dystopian fiction, which is coming soon, and also I haven't read a huge amount of sci-fi so I'm not all that knowledgeable on the subject. But anyway, here are my top 5:

The H-Bomb Girl by Stephen Baxter

First up is The H-Bomb Girl by Stephen Baxter. It is essentially a science-fiction novel, but told in such a way that sets it apart from the rest of Stephen Baxter's more high-tech, futuristic novels. Set in Liverpool in the early 1960s, The H-Bomb Girl is the fictional account of 14-year-old Laura Mann and her role in the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. The story starts off fairly normally and is easy to follow, but before long the read is thrown into a jumble of potential bomb-threats, parallel realities and criss-crossing timelines (which Doctor Who fans will know is something to be avoided at all costs). I won't give away much more, as it's hard to do this incredibly confusing yet also fantastically brilliant novel.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by the comedic genius which is Douglas Adams always has been and always will be one of my favourite series ever, regardless of genre. There are five of the original books (the trilogy of five), as well as another instalment penned by Eoin Colfer for the thirtieth anniversary of the books. The story follows Arthur Dent, who wakes up one morning to find his house is about to be destroyed to make way for a motorway. Soon he has bigger problems, when he finds out the Earth is about to be destroyed by a fleet of vogons to make way for a hyperspace bypass. Along with his old friend Ford Prefect, who he suddenly discovers to be from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse, Arthur travels the universe armed with only his trusty towel, in a series of books universally acknowledged to be one of the best works of sci-fi comedy ever written. If you haven't read these books, you won't regret it!

Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness is the first in the Chaos Walking trilogy. I remember before I read these books I kept seeing The Knife around all over the place, as it has won various awards, and never really knowing what it was about. It's the story of two characters: Todd Hewitt, who is running from his home town to escape the Noise and the secrets being kept from him, and Viola Eade, whose spaceship has crash landed on Todd's planet. There's a lot more to the story than that, but I've only read this a few times so the details escape me - but it was very, very good, I can tell you that much.


172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

172 Hours on the Moon, by Johan Harstad, was recommended to me by my lovely friend Elisha. It's been over forty years since man first landed on the moon, and the interest in space travel is slowly fading. NASA decide to launch a worldwide event where three teenagers are chosen to travel to the moon for a stay of 172 hours. But there's a reason nobody's gone back to the moon before now, and something evil and destructive waits in the darkness... 172 Hours is easily the most chilling, disturbing and generally terrifying book I have ever read, which is quite some achievement. It actually reads very much like an episode of Doctor Who, even to the point where I found myself hiding behind a cushion while I was reading it, which I'm aware makes no sense. If you love an eerie sci-fi novel bordering on thriller, this is definitely for you.


0.4 by Mike Lancaster

I first read 0.4 by Mike Lancaster because I was intrigued as to why a book would have a number as a title - several chapters in, I got my fairly satisfactory answer. Kyle Straker has a story to tell, and an editor's note tells us that the book is a transcript of tapes recorded by Kyle in the early part of the 21st century. One perfectly ordinary day, Kyle takes part in a hypnotism act, but he wakes up to find the world has changed, big-time. 0.4 is one of those books which is very difficult to talk about without giving away the ending, so I won't try to. What I will say is that this is one of the most I-can't-put-it-down books I have ever read, and I finished it in a couple of hours. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.

And that concludes my top 5 science fiction novels. You'll notice that none of this could be classed as hardcore sci-fi, and that most of them are aimed at a YA audience, but I've only ever read one heavy duty sci-fi novel (Space by Stephen Baxter) which I wasn't a huge fan of. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed another top 5 post, please comment down below if you've read any of these!

x

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Bizarre Mini Haul

Bonjour,

Last weekend I went shopping with my friend Joolz, and as the title suggests I bought an odd mix of things - usually I get some clothes or shoes, but although we went in a few clothes shops, I was totally uninspired. I'm also trying to limit my shopaholic tendencies by only buying stuff off a list every time I go shopping, which probably accounts for it as I didn't find anything I set out to get. Anyway, here's what I ended up with:


Burgundy tank top from H&M, €4.95
I wanted a plain, simple tank top in a reddish/purple, as the one I have has stopped being stretchy and gone a funny shape. I just love this colour for autumn and winter, and it goes with a lot of my clothes.

Hair doughnut from H&M, €2.75
I've always been fascinated by these, but I never really understood how they worked. My friend Joolz quickly educated me, so I decided to buy one and have a go myself - and I have to say, it took me several tries before I even remotely got the desired effect! But I love how it looks, and I know this is going to be my new favourite hairstyle for autumn.

Sparkly nail varnish from New Look, €3.99
This is perfect for giving your nails a snazzy top coat - it's clear with added glitter, and it looks amazing in the bottle.

Stick-on gems from HEMA, around €3
I'm going to use for craft projects and cards, as I finished up my last packet a while ago.

Wire beads from HEMA, around €3
This was a bit of a strange purchase, but it was that kind of shop. I originally thought these were those little beads you can assemble into shapes and then iron to create a kind of plastic design, and it took me a while to realise that the idea is to customise the wire on your earphones, by attaching the little beads to it.


Here's what the finished effect looks like:


I absolutely love these! I haven't seen them anywhere else, and it's such a fun and novel idea. I slotted mine on fairly randomly, but you could do it in a pattern if you so desired.

And that's it for my slightly random haul!

x

Monday, 2 September 2013

Last Hurrahs of Summer

Bonjour,

I go back to school tomorrow (Tuesday). I know that lots of people have already been back for a while, but I decided to put together a quick list of 'Last Hurrahs' for the summer holidays, or just summer itself. Why not spend your last days of freedom and/or sunny weather doing a load of stuff to make the most of summer? Enjoy!


Have a picnic
Chase butterflies
Go blackberrying
Watch an old movie
Tie-dye an old t-shirt
Have a movie marathon
Go for a walk in the forest
Build a den in your garden
Bake something with fruit in it
Play Monopoly with real money
Go to the park and read a book
Eat as many ice lollies as you can
Make covers for your school books
Have a mini fashion show in your bedroom
Draw a picture that represents your summer
Make a scrapbook page about your summer
Challenge a friend or sibling to a game of Mario Kart
Go shopping and challenge yourself to spend under €/$/£20
Put a bikini on and run through the hosepipe spray in your garden
Make a PowerPoint presentation of your favourite summery photos
Draw on the patio or the pavement outside your house with coloured chalks


(pictures from Polyvore, not my own)

x

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Back to School Oufits

Bonjour,

As I said not too long ago in my Back to School Advice post, choosing what to wear for the first week back at school can be tricky, but today I came up with a few outfits that I think would be good for wearing at school. I put the outfits together on Polyvore, and I've done four ideas each for warm and colder weather.


Outfit 1
This outfit is for quite cold weather, as it includes a winter coat. Creepers are some of my favourite footwear for school, as I find they go with anything, especially the black ones, and add a touch of grunge to any outfit. I love the colours here, and I hope the items go well together without being too matchy-matchy.  

Outfit 2
I am a huge fan of these kind of loose trousers I've been seeing a lot in shops lately. I have a pair myself from Pull & Bear, and I love them so much! They're ideal for the back-to-school time of year when summer is just turning into autumn, and they come in a huge range of colours. I love the brown satchel bag too, and the black jellies (which could be worn with socks) are a quirky finish.

Outfit 3
I've been shopping a lot in the past few weeks and I've noticed a lot of tartan clothes, particularly in shops like Bershka and New Look. I personally love it, and I think these shorts are a great way to wear it - a statement piece, yet without being over the top. Paired with a simple t-shirt and Dr Martens, the result is a comfy autumnal outfit which I think would be fab for school.

Outfit 4
This combination of leggings, a simple top, a shirt and lace up boots just screams practical school attire (or it does to me at least!). I think every girl should own at least one pair of brown or black lace up combat style boots, as they go with almost everything. I love the skeleton print leggings oh-so-much, and I've been looking for something similar to them for absolutely ages.


Outfit 5
This is so girly and feminine, and lovely for just before the weather starts to turn. Denim shorts are a foolproof choice for school, and the knee high socks add a slightly vintage twist.

Outfit 6
I love everything and anything with the USA flag on! I also like clothes with the Union Jack, but I prefer the stars and stripes for school as it's a bit more neutral and doesn't single me out as being British. Anyway, I love the lace shorts, which being black with go with so many different things, and could be worn with tights underneath in colder weather. The shoes (Jeffrey Campbell Coltranes) probably aren't everyone's cup of tea, but I absolutely adore these, and if I had a couple of hundred dollars to spare, I would definitely buy them and wear them to school!

Outfit 7
Another thing I keep seeing in the shops is this slightly rococo/baroque print, and in thin, floaty material shirts. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet, but I think this particular shirt (or indeed any other patterned shirt) would look great under a pair of dungarees. I love the shiny bag, although it would probably be too small for school, and look, more jellies!

Outfit 8
Last but not least, this quirky style is something I've been loving recently. It's all about bright colours, denim, glitter and crazy elements (which pretty much describes my Tumblr, actually) and everything about it screams summer. I put yet more jellies with this outfit, as I think they characterise this style perfectly.

I hope you enjoyed my back to school outfits, or at least found some inspiration. I would personally wear all of these to school, but then again I'll wear just about anything :P

x