The nights are darkening, the leaves are turning red and gold, the air is cooler. Autumn is coming...
Autumn is one of the most loved and fashionable seasons of the year. Out with the bright and vibrant pinks and yellows and blues of the summer, in with the golds and burgundy and forest greens. It's the favourite season of many vloggers and bloggers, and this blogger is no different. So I've decided to tell you about my top 5 essential items for autumn.
My first autumn essential is lipstick. Now it has to be said that I'm not really a lipstick kinda gal, but I've made an exception for this Maybelline beauty. I have it in the shade 725 Tantalizing Taupe and it perfectly matches the shade of my lips, allowing me to wear it to school unnoticed. It's colour allows it to beautifully compliment almost any outfit, and as the cold air starts to settle around us it is very effective in keeping your lips cute and hydrated.
My next essential is this Body Shop body spray in the scent Vanilla. It has to be said that vanilla is one of, if not my favourite scent, and although it can be seen as a summery fragrance, I find it adds a quirky finish to any outfit. There are many different scents available, but for me it's a signature staple, and fits perfectly into your handbag to be used whenever!
Now I know that a tank top doesn't seem to be like an autumnal item, however when you live in a cold country like I do, a tank top is the perfect thing to place under a shirt or blouse to add that little extra layer to keep you warm and cozy. I got this tank in grey as it perfectly compliments the majority of the clothing I already own and won't look out of place. This top, and others like it, are available in almost any clothing shop, however I got this on in New Look for £2.99.
There was no way I would be able to complete an autumn essentials post without including a scarf. Scarves are the perfects autumnal accessory, and as the new season of clothes comes into the shops, scarves are among the most loved. When buying a scarf, be sure to keep in mind the colours you have in your wardrobe and try and find the best one to suit you. Also, it must be soft and warm, it just has to be, don't question it. I bought this scarf from New Look for £9.99 and it will go well with any colour coat or jacket.
Finally last, but certainly not least, everyone needs a pair of ankle boots. These gorgeous brown boots are again from New Look (I know it seems like I'm a bit obsessed with this shop, but I got everything on pay day and it's the closest fashionable in my town) for £19.99, and once again, they will compliment the clothes I already own, yet still scream 'Autumn!'.
And that's it for this post guys! I hope you enjoyed my first of probably many autumnal posts, and I would really appreciate a comment or a spread to let me know what you think and what you'd like to read about next time!
For those of you who don't know what A levels are, count yourself lucky. For those of us who do... you'll know what I mean.
Here in the UK, A levels are what we study in the last two years of school, ready to sit exams in either 3 or 4 subjects at the end of Year 13 and Year 14 to get into Uni. I have just started Year 13 and when people tell you there's going to be a running jump up from your previous year, believe them. I've been back at school 3 weeks and I've already handed in two 35 mark essays, completed an entire topic and have had a test. This is not GCSE. This is Hell.
So I've decided to compile a list of study tips to help keep on top of homework, independent study and class exams, whichever year you're in, before you slowly get the urge to eat glass or gauge your own eyes out or do both at the same time.
1.Do Your Homeworks The Day You Get Them, Not The Night Before It's Due
This will help you more than you know. There is nothing worse than leaving an essay to the day before and soon realising that you will be working into the wee hours of the morning. This will inevitably make your writing worse and just lower your overall opinion of the subject it was for. Instead, try and at least begin your homework when you get it, either in a study period or for half an hour at home, to lighten your work load. Believe me, it helps.
2. Begin Studying For Exams Now
I know this sounds absolutely ridiculous, but it helps. If your school is anything like mine and you don't get study leave before exams during this year, you will thank yourself so much. It's not as hard as it sounds either. Simply write good notes, draw a spider diagram, make a mind-map every time you have a test in school or an end of topic test. Eventually these will build up your database and save you from wasting time on making notes just days before your exams.
3.Make Yourself A Clean, Organised Working Environment
As the saying goes, a tidy space makes a tidy mind, and it's so very very true. Spend time making your desk beautiful and practical, take pride in making little motivational posters, don't be afraid to spend money to make it perfect. The end result will be a cute, unique little space that you will be happy to go to at the end of the day to begin homework or study and you'll want to spend as much time there as you can.
4.Find Out What Works Best For You
Whether it be making flashcards or lists, mind-maps or diagrams, pictures or words, it's never too early to find out which way your mind works best and accommodate to it's needs. Figure out if you need silence or music to study to, and if so what type of music you need. My personal favourite music to listen to whilst studying is film scores and orchestral music (link to my study playlist at the end of the post).
5. Take Breaks
Do not try and do everything at once. I repeat do not try and do everything at once. This will only drive you to insanity and stress you to the max. Break down your study time into manageable blocks, usually between an hour to an hour and a half, and allow for breaks for half an hour to an hour. Make yourself a snack, take a shower, go for a drive, watch some TV, do anything to take your mind off your work. This will allow you to wind down and have a breath before returning with a fresh mind and new perspective as to what you were working on.
So that's that! I hope I have given you some ideas as to how to make your life a little more manageable, and I wish you luck in all your school/work/homework/life and I'll talk to you again soon!
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I this is going to be a bit of a filler post, but still relevant nonetheless.
I've just signed up for Bloglovin' and I would really appreciated it if you could maybe follow me there. If not, it doesn't matter, I'll be making a proper post soon enough, but as I said before, I would really appreciate it.
That long monotonous cycle of sitting down, (barely) listening to the teacher, writing notes and being released by the bell only to move onto your next class and repeating the same process over and over again until that final bell rings and you rush from that damned building only to realise you have more work waiting for you when you get home. It's shit.
So to make that dreaded homework just a little less shit, I've taken the time to compile some of my favourite soundtracks and film scores together into one playlist to help pass the time. From racing dragons to tipping the Black Pearl, dancing fireside with Oz and discovering the secrets of Hogwarts with Harry, this playlist is sure to make you smile through the pain and give you that little extra nudge through the final battle just before the freedom.
I recommend you play this playlist through earphones as it heightens the experience entirely and blocks out the rest of the world so it's just you and your fight songs.
As I'm new to the whole blogging thing, and because one day I hope at least one person will find my page full of ramblings and take the time to sit and read what I have to say, I guess you'd probably like to know a little about me.
Yes, I know that I am one of the last people to participate in this tag, but really, I've never had much use for it before. But now I'm here and I'd like to share a little about myself...
1. What are you wearing? My school uniform and a hoodie because the house is freezing and I'm only home
2. Have you ever been in love? No, but hopefully I will be one day
3. Have you ever had a terrible break up? That would be hard because I've never actually been on a date with anyone
4. How tall are you? 5ft7"
5. How much do you weigh? That's TMI even for me
6. Any tattoos? No, but I hope to get one next year
7. Any piercings? Nope, piercings never appealed to me
8. OTP? Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood
9. What is your favorite show? Don't get me started... Right now, probably Game of Thrones
10. Who are your favorite bands? The Kooks, The Wombats, The Fratellis, Two Door Cinema Club ect.
11. Something someone you miss? John
12. Favorite song? Wonderwall - Oasis (original I know)
13. How old are you? 17
14. Zodiac sign? Cancer
15. Quality you look for in a partner? Trust
16. What is your favorite quote? "I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life" - F. Scott Fitzgerald
17. Who is your favorite actor? Benedict Cumberbatch
18. Favorite color? Purple
19. Loud music or soft? Both
20. Where do you go when you’re sad? Under my duvet
21. How long does it take you to shower? 10-30 mins depending entirely upon the shittiness of the day.
22. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? 30 mins
23. Have you ever been in a physical fight? I've been floored by a rugby ball if that counts?
24. Turn on’s? Good music/literature taste
25. Turn off’s? Obnoxiousness
26. The reason I joined blogger? To be heard, I guess
27. What are your fears? Frickin' spiders. Creepy little buggers with all those eyes...
28. Last thing that made you cry? All The Bight Places - Jennifer Niven
29. Last time you said you loved someone? To my best friend in school earlier
30. Meaning behind your blog name? I'm yet to be defined as a person.
31. Last book you read? Shatter Me - Tahereh Mafi
32. The book you’re currently reading? Unravel Me - Tahereh Mafi
33. Last show you watched? New Tricks
34. Last person you talked to? My mum
35. The relationship between you and the last person you texted? Grandparent
36. What is your favorite food? Ice cream
37. Place you want to visit? NYC
38. Last place you were? An ice cream parlour
39. Do you have a crush? Yes
40. Last time you kissed someone? Last year I think? But technically they kissed me.
41. Last time you were insulted? Idk I block out the haters
42. Favorite flavor of sweet? Blackcurrant
43. What instruments do you play? Piano
44. Favorite piece of jewelry? An opal necklace
45. Last sport you played? Badminton
46. Last song you sang? I made similar noises to that from'This Is Berk' from HTTDY
47. Favorite pick up line? Haven't a clue
48. Have you ever used it? I've never used any pick up line
49. Last time you hung out with anyone? Last period during school today
50. Who should answer these questions next? Anyone who feels like it
That was a very basic cover of random things I'm into or experiences I've had, but I'll probably reveal more about myself in other pieces a write. It's inevitable.
I'm lucky enough to write creatively without much persuasion or effort the same way as some people can play tennis really well or know how to fit in with new people in that envious way they do, and I am eternally grateful for this. I have been given a gift that enables me to create something out of nothing and have it sound good, and one day I hope to be able to share my gift with people in the same way that so many have shared theirs with me.
To me, being an author, fact or fiction it doesn't matter, takes a great deal of time and patience and hard work and dedication just to finally hold the finished product in your hand, let alone trying to get someone make your little black words into a book, and another step entirely to get people to read it. It's a damn hard thing to do.
This is why when I tell someone that I want to write for a living I don't want them to say 'Aww! That's cute!' (as they have so many times before) like what I have to say is trivial or irrelevant. I have been made to feel inferior because of my dreams because they don't seem to understand how hard they are to achieve and it makes me feel weak. It makes me feel like I'm throwing my life away. It makes me feel as if they are saying 'Aww! She's still following her childhood dreams? I wonder when she's going to realise that the world isn't made of childhood dreams.'
Well you know what?
The world should be made of childhood dreams.
My entire childhood was dedicated to reading the nearest paper or the newest Jacqueline Wilson novel, to writing stories about mermaids in the pond at the bottom of the garden or Christmas trees that came to life each year. My childhood was filled so entirely with words it's a wonder I can't spell better today. Those stories impacted me more than I knew then and more than I know now and I want to give someone the opportunity to feel the way that words felt to me, to inspire them to follow their dreams because we only have one chance at getting our lives right and if we don't do what makes us happy then what's the point?
So this goes to everyone out there who thinks being an author or being a writer is a trivially 'cute' job that anyone can do. The next time that someone tells you they want to write for the rest of their lives because it's their dream, don't demean their choices because it isn't what you would choose to do. Don't make them feel less of a person because they don't want to be a doctor or a social worker or a psychologist. Don't make them feel like they won't ever help or inspire people the same way other jobs would, because I don't know where I'd be without them.
(Shoutout to those coming from Mrs Speciale, leave a comment :))
'Listen' is a piece of creative writing I initially wrote at 2 am on February night over a year ago. I left it unfinished until I was given an assignment for English and the rest of the pieces sort of fell into place.
This piece has been inspired by an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote from one of my all time favourite books, 'The Great Gatsby'. The quote comes from the section of the book where Nick is at Tom's hidden flat with Myrtle and he looks out onto the city and writes "I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of human life".
(All words in this have been written by me, and if someone happens across it, please ask for my permission before placing it anywhere) Listen
The melody came as it did every night, soft notes floating out of the window of the neighbouring apartment to rise up into the night sky and play amongst the stars high above the lamp-lit streets below, barely audible above the sounds of the illuminated city, but present nonetheless.
They come as clockwork every night, just after the chime of the hour that connects night and day, singing sweet songs of love and loss, happiness and sorrow. The melody seems to pierce the frozen night air, like shockwaves of sounds sending cracks across the crystal sky.
Minutes before the stroke of the hour I have taken to unlatching the window in my room and sliding up the glass ever so slightly, just enough to allow the sounds and smells of the city to ebb through the miniscule gap between window and ledge and envelope my senses, but not enough to wake the other occupants of the flat.
The city is a magical place at night I have discovered, filled with endless secrets and opportunities to witness something extraordinary, although few have the patience to wait. Even though many may hate the idea of living in the centre of a world that never sleeps, surrounded by the living at all times, I see it as magical – a version of Wonderland that few have discovered. There is too much to witness, too much to see thank if you lived away from the bustle and noise.
The piano has played every night for as long as I can remember. I have listened to it as often as I can, having memories of myself as a young child creeping out of bed in the dead of night and leaning against the frame of the window, pressing my ear to the cool glass in an attempt to catch every sound, every wisp of fairy-tale that the melody carried off into the night.
However sometimes it can be difficult to discern the tinkling of the piano keys over the cacophony of noise that blends together on the streets below. The blare of sirens and screech of car tyres have become almost natural to my ears, so much so that without them I fear I may never sleep peacefully again.
Along with the chorus of traffic sailing past some seven floors below, crowds of late night commuters weave their way amongst one another, as loud and as full of life as if they were travelling by daylight. They dance their way around one another, effortlessly avoiding the touch of their fellows of they can. Their angelic movements can lead one to believe, if witnessing their movements for the first time that it had be choreographed.
The ‘click click click’ of hundreds of heeled shoes cascading along the pavement out of sync, and the shrill laughter and drunken slurs of the passers-by mixed with the chorus of car engines and electro music escaping from the doors of drinking dens in the world below collide in an almost musical din – the night time anthem of the city.
But that’s below. They are the sounds of the people who walk the earth. I have grown to love the sounds that float closer to home. The gentle whisperings of lovers reassuring one another that they will be forever, more sophisticated music than that which proclaims from the streets below, finding a way to escape the room which it is contained and rising towards the heavens. And of course; the piano.
I do not know who plays the music I have grown so accustomed to hearing over the years, still decidedly unaware from which section of the building we share it is coming. It’s quite sad really, to be unable to greet and thank the creator of such beauty, but alas, it is one of the few downfalls of the city. You are unlikely to meet all of whom you wish to meet purely for the vastness of it all.
The sounds aren’t the only thing that draw attention to the window every night, the sights are equally as breath-taking, equally as mesmerising. The colours below blend together into an almost uncontrollable spectrum of lights, a kaleidoscope of such fluorescent beauty it’s almost blinding, yet you cannot look away.
Once again however, I am drawn not to the enveloping brightness below, but to the lesser, more golden lights that outline the city’s tall buildings and that stretch above the ruckus below.
These are the lights that hold secrets.
Being in possession of an ever thirsty curiosity I came to own a set of binoculars that may have once belonged to a great grandfather, or a long lost uncle, or may have simply always been there when needed by someone completely ordinary. These binoculars were always an accompanying friend when I journeyed to the window each night.
The butterflies filling my stomach as I press the cold rims of the device to my face are as constant a companion as the binoculars themselves. It may seem peculiar to those who do not understand, but I have no morbid intrusiveness into the lives of my opposing neighbours, I am instead filled with inquisitiveness and wonderings into the lives of those whom I know I will never meet. The comparison of human lives and interactions are forever able to fill my imagination with never-ceasing perhapses and deliver me into unachievable dreams that I know I can achieve because I have witnessed them.
With the music of the pianist guiding my thoughts, I peer through the glass of the binoculars and begin my nightly search for something to dream about.
The first window I happen upon is one I have seen many times before. The room behind could be a living room or a bedroom, but it is hard to tell as it has been plastered from top to tail with papers of all sizes and colours. There is no discerning order to the pages littering the walls and furniture in the room, but it is clear they make sense to their owner.
Many a night I have seen her tracing the walls, her fingers dancing lightly across the words and sketches that are inked onto the paper. Sometimes, I pretend I can hear the slight rustle of the pages as her fingers skim over them, and convince myself that it’s not just my imagination. On other occasions however, I have simply watched as she sat on the floor and stared up at her masterpiece.
I drag my binoculars away from her beauty to another familiar window. In this room stands a solitary chair, upon which a balding man sits, head bowed low over the cello resting against his leg. I am mesmerised as I watch him gently stroke the strings with the delicate bow, pretending I can hear the deep rumbling notes echo through his apartment. His fingers rhythmically press the stings against the strong wooden frame. This man sits in his own world, allowing nought but the music to wash over him and sweep him into bliss.
Sometimes I have hours to watch him at his work, sometimes only minutes. I have as long as the piano plays.
I don’t mind being led so intensely by the piano’s melody, but I believe that, it being the reason that I rise from my bed each night, it must too be the reason I return to it or I fear I may still be awake to hear the sun paint its first rosy strokes across the sky.
As the melody begins to draw to an end, I too draw myself back to reality, a reality that I cannot escape so much as a musician can escape the urge to play.
But I am not sad, for there is nothing to be unhappy about. I will return again tomorrow, and the next night, and the night after that as sure as a beating heart, to resume my journey of wonderings.
With the final note pressed and held upon the piano, I shut my window and return to silence.
It's been longer than I would have liked between my first and now second post, but between reading and working and TV (I know, not the best excuse) summer just ran away leaving me in it's wake with a fresh bunch of exam results and a lot of new stationary.
Classes have started again, and new faces have started appearing both in the form of first years and new classmates, whether permanent or temporary, in among my old classmates. And He's back.
Before I go on I should probably explain Him. He is a boy (obviously) who suddenly appeared on my radar Christmas last year. He sang and played bass at a school concert and I started noticing. Simple. Only not really because I'm utterly, utterly confused.
He's my type, I think, seeing as I've never actually dated anyone in my entire 17 years of existence. I've not even technically kissed anyone, as the first time was an accident (and with my female best friend (not that way inclined)) and the second time was not my decision and was instead made by my drunk friend (?) who decided to shove his tongue down my throat before I could stop him. But if I do happen to have a type it would be tall, thin, blonde and musical.
I smile at him between classes and in the sixth form room, He's caught me looking a few times before I could turn away, and I've caught him looking too, but we've never spoken, and he's not in any of my classes because He's the year above me in school. I think I like him (again I don't know because I've never liked anyone before) and I've imagined kissing him and it always makes me smile. But I just don't know.
Basically, I've returned to a very confusing environment with a mixture of new and old faces, new and old subjects, and new and old feelings and I don't know if I should feel excited or nervous.