30 May 2015

Friday Findings

I have decided to start using Fridays as a time for recollection. Whether that be serious news stories of the week, to more trivial eBay finds and music discoveries. I have a habit of making little mind notes as the week progresses, only to lose them all come the Weekend. 
Recently these mental bookmarks have become more virtual, which is a positive; however, when you're bookmarking 64 pages in just one week it doesn't exactly improve clarity. On that note, I thought I would use this post as a memory board of the week, in a quest to make my bookmarks page a little more comprehensible than the current state of the British weather… 

Listening


I love putting my iPod on shuffle. I never used to, but I found that listening to my favourite three songs on a continuous loop, ultimately led me to hate them. 

Songs are like Mean Girls, certain items of food that favourite jumper you wear every day in Winter; there is such a thing as overkill, which one day takes away the love altogether. For me, Sara Bareille's Gravity and *dare I say it* Let it Go have been two victims of this (needless to say I still feel unable to click the 'next' button when the latter song comes on; I can't quite let it go…) 


This week my shuffle spotlights are

Reverse by Gabrielle Aplin 
I adore the lyrics to this song, it's one that I am unable to ever hit the "next" button on.



"Send us back to the times before
we grew up and lost the novelty of
clear blue skies and climbing trees" 


Big Girls Cry by Sia
 As an avid viewer of Dance Moms (everyone is allowed a guilty pleasure… or three!) it feels a bit surreal watching Maddie in Sia's videos. Abby's protégée has made it big. I am #TeamChloe, but there's no denying Maddie is incredible. Sia's pretty good too…




Red by Lisbee Stainton 
I love the folksy feel to her music, and this song is one of the reasons I want to learn guitar. An English singer-songwriter who deserves more recognition!




What songs have you been listening to? 



Reading



The latest issue of Exeposé and my second issue as Features Editor. This week my co-editor and I made the move from two to three pages, which was slightly daunting, but I am so proud of the result. Ft. a controversial response to the "Beach Body Ready" campaign and a piece on Kylie Jenner and White Privilege. We also featured an essential dose of post-election reflection, in the form of a call for voting reform… 



Student Blogs 

Shock of the century, I mean beyond Exeposé. Huffington Post is the obvious one to go to, but right now I am really enjoying the Guardian and Telegraph student bloggers. 'Professional Revolutionaries' cost the left the election and Colour Me Political. Incidentally the latter piece was written by my co-editor for Features, who organised the "Picture Politics" campaign - looking at how the worlds of art and politics merge. It was such a brilliant idea and well worth reading into! 


Blogs and Articles


Why are SNP MPs strutting around Westminster like they own the place? Because they do - this piece in the Telegraph, by Dan Hodges, was sad but true…

Labour has to get over its Tony Blair problem - very wise words from Jonathan Freedland over at The Guardian. 

A reminder that your Instagram photos aren’t really yours: Someone else can sell them for $90,000 - a scary and sobering thought!

I have made a note of catching up on my favourite blogs, now exams are over. This week a rediscovered love was What Olivia Did - her style is impeccable and reading her blog never fails to put a smile on my face!

what reading links have you loved or loathed this week? 

Watching


I managed to catch up on the reruns of season 3 Dance Moms since I've been home - I swear Abby has only gotten more tyrannical as the show has progressed? I do love this show… never gets old! 

I am also a Game of Thrones addict - in line with my mum, dad and now sister. I'm pretty sure Millie loves it too, especially at the rare site of a diawolf. Even she jumps at times too.

DON'T READ ON IF YOU ARE BEHIND ON THE SHOW


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What's going to happen? I keep asking the same question… where is Bran?! My theory is that he is going to come back on Danny's lost dragon Drago, especially as season 4 ended with that man saying "you won't walk again, but you will fly"…


Is Danny going to accept Jorah back? I am desperate for her too, I really don't like Dario and am convinced Danny and Jorah are destined to be together! I am very worried for Stanis' daughter; to be quite frank I think her mother would like to be shot of her.
As for Arya… everyone raved over her storyline, but I am lost!

What are your theories for the rest of series 5? 


Styling


I was going to bid for several items on eBay, but I have decided to peruse the high street first for some style inspiration and possible sale bargains! I already picked up one bargain this week with a Grazia 25% off River Island - it lasts until Monday so go and pick up a copy! The sales assistant was lovely and actually alerted me to the promotion, resulting in my putting the item "on hold" while I ran to Boots across the road to buy the magazine! I also got a gorgeous navy pleased skirt in UO just after my last exam, mostly paid for with a gift card = very happy Sophie all round.



I have made a mental note of the items I would currently love to find, so I go in a shop with my organised head on! This top on the left was a bit of an impulse buy, but I have wanted a new skirt for a while so exhibit b was more 'economical'. My list as of present is….

Something suede - I am thinking a skirt? Livy has me onto this trend. 
Something midi -  can be skirt or dress, whatever catches my eye first.
Something pastel - Topshop incidentally has a pastel mint suede skirt... 

If only it were a midi… with a nicer price tag!

What fashion trends are you following this Summer? Or have you created your own? 



Trends come and go, but you last a whole lot longer. I do enjoy some trends, but I also know that things I wear, watch, read and do won't appeal to everyone. It's not the individual items in the basket that make you, it's how they all come together! Cheesy metaphor of the day over, here's a round up of my questions for the day…

What songs have you been listening to? 

what reads have riled or rejuvenated you this week?

What are your theories for the rest of series 5 GOT? 

What is your fashion calling card this Summer?
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24 May 2015

Sun Days


Recently, it seems Britain has developed a fondness for giving us a preview of the 4 seasons, in the space of 4 hours. That being said, occasional sun spells have come, and has definitely got me thinking all things summer: pretty dresses, iced lattes and new adventures… coffee ice cubes and culottes could be included in the latter, right?

Dressing


Last summer was all about the midi skirt. This summer? Trousers and culottes! Due to my height, this might be a tad optimistic… but after seeing bloggers such as Late Afternoon and WeWoreWhat channel the culotte trend, I am currently in pursuit of a (petite) pair to call my own. 





The other day I had one of those moments where I decided I had "absolutely nothing" in terms of summer wardrobe. However, I looked back through last summer's wardrobe, and managed to inspire myself again! I would like to find a couple of nice new items, particularly as I do struggle with "treating" myself to things such as clothes. However, I cannot wait to get out my Topshop skirt (far right), last summer's staple! If anyone can direct me to other lovely midi skirts out there, I will love you forever. 


Linking


100 years of the bikini - I love the 1930s; swimming costumes are underrated!

23 delicious skewers to make this Summer The mango-glazed shrimp (9) & butternut squash-scallop
skewers (15) sound delicious. I am  intrigued by the balsamic-roasted brussels sprouts though - this coming
from someone who has successfully avoided them for 20 Christmases… 
When it comes to BBQs, my mum's speciality is tabbouleh. Simply add lemon/lemon oil and mint to bulgar
wheat and you are good to go! What are your favourite BBQ items? 

This village in Wales is basically one big library - I NEED to go here. The photos blow say it all…
I am quite keen on visiting more literary-inspired places in general; there is an irony that I am one of the few 
people who doesn't love Austen, yet lives in Bath… I find the JK affinity to Exeter far more exciting!

source: buzzfeed.com
source: buzzfeed.com



Exploring



Hyclare Castle - Mum and I, as Downton Abbey fans, are desperate to visit the house where it is filmed.
Apparently the waiting list is ridiculously long though… Unless you're George Clooney. 

source: telegraph.co.uk

Dymock Walk - On my bucket list is a walk in the area where Robert Frost & Edward Thomas lived. 
They are two of my favourite poets, so the english student within me is unashamedly excited about this. 
The fact there is a route called "daffodil way" makes me know it's meant to be! That being said…

source: thetimes.co.uk
…you don't always have to search so far. With Bath Spa's Newton Loe Campus on my doorstep, we can always be ready for an adventure. 



Adventures also include the little things; namely continuing my quest to discover the best iced coffee.
After seeing it on a few instagram blogs, I have discovered a love for Douwe Egberts. 

I also discovered this glass in the back of our cupboard, which I confess makes me feel like I am drinking baileys so I find quite cool - I've do want to try baileys. Perhaps another for the bucket list?



I will keep you updated on my summer coffee ventures. At the moment, with the very muddled ecosystem, "to ice or not to ice" is still a very big debate. Reading this now, you could be wearing floral frocks or woolly socks. So I'll live you on a note of sunshine. I always try to look for those silver linings, as I so often say.

How will you place some sunshine into your summer days?








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4 May 2015

April: Link Loves and Loathes

I have seen a few of my favourite bloggers do link love posts for a while, so today I decided to take the leap and do one myself! From General Election, to the return of GOT, there has been a lot of link loving recently.

However, at the risk of being Negative Nancy, there has also been a bit of link loathing. Since the start of the year I have written 3 complaint emails to Mail Online, and a few other strongly worded tweets. Maybe rejoicing is more becoming than ranting, but I think both have a time and a place.

We can't always be picture-perfect Marjories and Sansas. Sometimes a dose of Arya is needed too…


Link Loves



Buzzing…


1. Things that turn sisters into best friends 

1, 7 and 11 are definitely my sister and I, in this buzzfeed link. Binge-watching Friends, H20: Just Add Water and Kartrashians will never get old. 


2. 26 Ways to Take your iced coffee up a notch

12, 13 (coffee ice cubes?!) and 23 sound pretty lovely, but not going to lie… I mainly loved this for the pictures of cute coffee cups! I am also quite in love with Douwe Egberts "enticing chocolate" instant coffee right now, with milk and ice it is the perfect pick-me-up.


3. 17 Onscreen Hairstyles you will want to steal now

12 - Who doesn't want to look like the Mother of Dragons? I will definitely be trying that one, along with Hermione's Yule Ball look. Sorry Vogue, although your April front cover would suggest you hold the same view too… 


photo credit: Vogue.com


Viewing...


4. Ballot Monkeys

Mock the Week meets Vicar of Dibley, is probably the best way I can describe this… if that doesn't entice you, I don't know what will! Scripted on the day, it follows the campaign buses of Labour, Tories, Lib Dems and UKIP - political satire as its best.


Bare With… Miranda's Stevie stars on the UKIP bus. Such fun!



Reading...



Game of Thrones + Monopoly? Childhood love meets adult addiction. Ever wondered if Mereen measures up to Mayfair? I for one would pick Winterfell over Kings Landing any day, which would evidently be an economical choice too. SNP take note… 



I've included this link - and referenced from it - in a couple of the posts from my Dear Westminster series. However, looks now like Lianne "Mother of Dragons" Wood has tough competition from a certain Happy Warrior. I also think Kingmaker Nick might resemble a Queen these days. She is beyond the wall no more…



7. Moseband mock-ups

Some of the best photoshops of Miliband's "6 commandment" unveiling.


8. Features Weekly Quiz

Well let's just say I won't be meeting Paxman anytime soon… my "don't get it? Guess it" strategy can only go so far. How will you get on?


9. Mocha the Week

One of my favourite ever series' from Exeposé Online, Cat and Emily's satirical coffee shop reviews provide much needed comic relief.
"It gained its namesake from the character in Herman Melville’s Moby DickStarbuck. 

A man of the sea, there is such correlation between the heroic figure of the novel and the 
green mermaid that graced the Starbucks symbol."


Link Loathes


10. The Russell IS for turning

I hate hypocrisy. You expect U-turns from politicians, not the man calling for "revolution". You told people not to vote, then suddenly call on them to do so AFTER voting registration has closed… You're basically addressing all the people who DIDN'T listen to you the first time!


 I am also fiercely opposed to not voting. How you vote is entirely your choice, but turning up to that polling booth is a democratic right everyone should exercise. If you don't like anyone, you can actively express this opinion through a spoilt ballot. Only 65% of the population voted in 2010. 35% of UK voices were unheard. That many spoilt ballots could send such a powerful message. It isn't just the ticked boxes that count. 


11. Evan Davis vs Nigel Farage 

This isn't about political views. I could find many critical things to say about Mr Farage. This about the importance of objective media coverage, and Evan Davis went down hugely in my estimation after this. His distortion of quotes makes him no better than many politicians. 

I'll give Farage credit for one thing - he stood his ground. Jump to 19 minutes for his best comebacks, among them Davis' "throwing in the word 'hate' as an off-the-cuff comment". If you're going to interview all leaders, do it impartially. 


#BringBackNickRobinson 

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Happy linking - comment your personal favourite below! 

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