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Showing posts with label friends. Show all posts
Showing posts with label friends. Show all posts

Sunday, 15 February 2015

A home made beauty box

cosmetics gift box

An embarrassingly long time ago (hey, I've had no internet, okay?), my blogger pal Angelica (who blogs over at One Little Vice) made me my very own beauty box. When she presented it to me, I nearly cried in the middle of the tropical luau-themed bar where we were attending a Bloggers Love event. Not half an hour before, I'd accidentally strode into the middle of a catwalk scenario where lean, sparkly women were gliding up and down a makeshift runway. My hair was a wild wintery mass of windswept fuzz, I had three bags with me, and I was bundled up in an enormous duffle coat. Some guy shouted at me and I retreated into the first secluded spot I could find, which happened to be the behind-the-bar area. Someone was wiping a crate of glasses, and shot an accusatory glance at me as if to say, "Trespasser!"

I found Angelica and Charlotte (better known online as Ch-ARGH-ley) and we became a three musketeers (or perhaps three Macbethian witches) kind of gang, setting up camp in the far corner of the event. Charley got her hair done by the lovely folks at Umberto Giannini (who gave us some great styling products to test out, which really came in handy over the holiday period), and Angelica gave me this little black box...

The box itself was recycled from a subscription beauty box she'd received in the past, but instead of the customary couple of sample products you normally get in this kind of box, this one was completely stuffed with amazing treats. Some of them were makeup bits she no longer wanted, such as the Body Shop Honey Bronzer, or the NYX blush (which I think looks more like an eyeshadow, personally). Other products were samples she had acquired over time. I was especially excited to try out the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery serum, and I squealed with delight when I saw the Demeter Fragrance Library perfume. I've wanted to own one of these for years now. These days, you can buy a selection of them in Boots, but back in the day, you had to ship them from America without ever having smelled them.

It was such a treat to be given so many lovely products, especially by someone who REALLY knows their shizz when it comes to cosmetics. Angelica is the kind of person whose opinion I trust a lot when it comes to beauty stuff. Yeah, a couple of the products are second hand, which might gross some people out, but it's all stuff that can be cleaned and it's not like she's a stranger off the street, offering me a gummy old eyeliner. A lot of beauty and fashion bloggers end up with way more products than they can feasibly wear, and often a really good quality product won't agree with a particular person, so I think that gifts among friends are a fantastic way to sort this out. I'm thinking of planning some kind of clothes swap party at some point, to get rid of a lot of clothes and accessories that I don't wear anymore. I'd much rather see my friends enjoying my old things than feel guilty when I see bundles of my unloved clothes in the bottom of my wardrobe.

lanolips flatlay

As predicted, I loved the Demeter perfume (which smells fresh and grown up), and the Midnight Recovery oil was super luxurious to use, although the jury's out on the skin benefits. I found it quite difficult to tell which products have been working for my skin lately, as I've changed up my whole routine (which is another post for another day, I think). The Korres lip butter has a gorgeous pinkish tint to it, and the cherry blossom l'Occitane shower gel has an addictive fragrance. I've had an excellent time trying all of these products out, and I'm so grateful to Angelica for giving me the chance to try out being a beauty blogger for a brief moment. I'm definitely not turning this blog into a beauty blog - I don't think I'd be able to do this full time, but I'm sure there's room for a leeeetle bit more beauty chat here. After all, messing about with makeup and fun moisturisers can actually be quite enjoyable. My teenage self would be very confused if she heard me say that, but there you go - character development.

cat interrupting blogging

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Friendship after university

white people on a log
Leaving university means it is much harder to see your friends. It’s one of those sad facts about growing up, and like all of the sad facts of adulthood, whilst you know they’re going to happen, it still comes as a bit of a shock.
That said, you soon realise, once you no longer live in the same house as all of your friends, that you can still love them and be close to them even if you live far apart. For the last three years, we’ve all either lived, or spent a lot of time in London, so despite the initial shock of not living together, we’ve not been all that far apart. But by the end of the summer, we are all going to be living in different towns, and that’s kind of scary. Still, think of all the housewarming parties, and mini-roadtrips we get to take in order to visit one another – got to look on the positive side, right?

We went on a little trip back to Cambridge to bid farewell to a few old friends and professors who are moving on to bigger and better things. While we were there, we took a lovely trip to the Botanical Gardens to frolic among the flowers and pose on tree stumps and so forth.
Sunny Cambridge
UK Women Short Hairstyle
Pinecone hunting fun
Sensitive man with animals
daisy Cambridge Botanical Gardens
Save the bees Cambridge
Reservoir Dogs in Colour
Some of the photos in this post were taken by the legendary musical and photographic polymath, Francis Knights. Some of them were taken by my dear friend Dr (OMG!) Dyer. The dress I’m wearing is from Joy, and the cardigan is from H&M.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

A Whimsical Hen Party in Brighton

Like many people, I chose to have my Hen Party in Brighton. Unlike the vast majority of the hens to be seen in Brighton on a Saturday night, I grew up there, so I feel like my reasons for "henning" there may be somewhat more sentimental - perhaps I'm wrong.
Initially, I wasn't going to have a hen party. The idea of running about blind-drunk, with novelty penis items adorning my body isn't really my idea of a jolly day out. I might be wrong, but I think that a lot of the people who end up having hen parties like that are just doing it because it's the "done thing" rather than because they think penis-shaped deely boppers are the secret to festivity. That said, I have absolutely nothing against people who go all-out and have a traditional booze-up for their hen party - as long as that's what they want to do!

flowering tea in brighton
In case I hadn't already made it obvious, that sort of hen party isn't my cup of tea! I was incredibly lucky to have my perfect hen party organised by my whole group of bridesmaids! Oh, and I should mention, THE WHOLE THING WAS A SURPRISE. I mean, I knew there would be hen activities, but I had no idea what they'd be! We started the day with a beautiful afternoon tea at Metro Deco in Kemp Town, which is a part of Brighton. Each of us got to pick our own tea from an incredible list.
afternoon tea hen party brighton
Tilly looks particularly elegant as she pours her tea! We were then treated to what can only be described as a feast! There were tiny sandwiches, macarons, eclairs, and scones with clotted cream and jam...! The meal was rounded off with some Prosecco in vintage Babycham glasses.
afternoon tea girl brighton
I was overwhelmed with delight, as you can see. Our next stop was Queen's Park, where we had a picnic, despite vowing only half an hour earlier that we'd never be able to eat again after such an amazing cakefest. After our picnic, we had a quick game of croquet, overseen by Bridesmaid Eleanor (who is a very talented set and costume designer as you can see).
hen party picnic brighton
croquet hen party brighton
 photo croquetinbrighton_zpsfd115366.jpg
All the while, I was convinced that the day couldn't get any more perfect, which was pretty much as wrong as I could get! Once our game of croquet was finished (I can't remember who won!), we had a cocktail or two at The Mesmerist, a retro-cool bar/venue in central Brighton, before heading down to the beach for an epically whimsical hen party finalé!
sky lanterns on Brighton beach
sky lanterns on by the sea
We all wrote well wishes and good lucks on the lanterns before sending them off out to sea (no, we didn't burn anything down, we were very safe and sensible, before anyone asks!). It was a completely unbelievable day, and I can't believe how perfectly it went! Big thankyous and eternal gratitude go to Tilly, Eleanor, Emma W, Emma D (a couple of the photos in this post are actually from her camera!), Sharon, Michaela, and Bex for making it such a wonderful day!
sophisticated hen party brightonI'll leave you with this last photo taken by some friendly tourists on Brighton beach.
My Dress: Dorothy Perkins (Old)
Tights: H&M
Gold Shoes: Schuh (Old)
Michaela's Spotty Blue Dress: Vivien of Holloway

Monday, 11 June 2012

Belated Eurovision Post!

Owing to the fact that my Teacher Training dissertation is due in on Friday, I've been holed up for what feels like a million years! I've had these photos all ready to go for ages, but I haven't been able to sit down and write a post.
That said, I probably shouldn't be writing this now, but I've left this long enough, and I really need to stop making excuses - feel free to slap me virtually on the (virtual) wrists, if that's what floats your boat!
On to the show! For those of you who do not know what Eurovision is, it is a song competition that's been held every year since 1956. The countries allowed to compete are primarily European countries as you might expect, although there are a few non-European countries allowed to compete. Whilst some countries seem to take this competition really seriously, a great many of the acts could very easily be described as 'comedy' songs. On the whole, the spirit of Eurovision is about cheesy, fun, outlandish, 'Eurotastic' songs. Here are some of my favourites from the last few years:



I could spend this entire post linking you to a plethora of youtube clips of various Eurovision songs, writing about how much I love them, and lamenting the fact that Eurovision is over for another year (In case you didn't notice, I love Eurovision a LOT), but I think that I ought to move on to show you my outfit.

In honour of my favourite Eurovision entry of all time, I came up with my closest approximation to the outfit worn by Lena Meyer-Landrut for Eurovision 2010. Oh okay, I'll link you to ONE MORE video. Fine... if I must...
(This doesn't show the entire song, but you get the gist, I'm sure!) Lena is an absolute beaut' and we were all obsessed with her at university for quite some time after this particular Eurovision... So here is my take on Lena's "LBD" look:
I look pretty damn moody in this picture, don't I? In actuality, I was probably just trying to focus my eyes without my glasses on! My LBD isn't as sexy as Lena's, what with it being from the H&M basics range, and being essentially a long black T-Shirt, but when it was new, it was quite fitted!
And there's ma sexeh face! If you remember, I have recently purchased some lovely new makeup, and this was simply another photo of me trying said makeup on, for our Eurovision PARTY! Dan and I invited our lovely friends Emma and Other Dan over for Euro-themed food and fun. Designing a Eurocentric menu was pretty difficult, as so much of the cuisine of mainland Europe is very integrated into our every-day meals, and so it was hard work finding stuff that felt like party-food and felt Eurotastic! Eventually, it ended up being a mish-mash (Sorry, Antipasto of various European/Middle Eastern foods, accompanied by Mojitos - I know, they aren't ACTUALLY Spanish, but Shhh!!!). We divided Europe into categories of 'Mediterranean', Northern Europe, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and 'Middle East' (a nod to Azerbaijan, the host country for this year!). The highlight was probably the baked Camembert we ate in honour of France... the low point for me might have been the very oily stuffed Aubergine from a tin...
I created 'score cards' (Yes I know, I'm a big geek) and then I forced everyone to fill them in. This one is Dan's. I think that the gaps were when he was making mojitos for the rest of us! The categories were 'Artist Aesthetic' (a combination of 'Are they physically attractive?' and 'Has an effort been made with their costume?'), 'Background Aesthetic' (use of setpieces, pyrotechnics, light shows, props, etc.), 'Music' (speaks for itself really - did we like the song?), 'Lyrics' (points were awarded for gems such as Moldova's classic "You do not know how looks the trumpet"), 'Eurotasticism' (my own creation that simply asks you, "Is this fun, cheesy, over the top, and quintessentially 'Eurovision'?") and the final category was just an overall "What did you think?" sort of affair. I love making scorecards... SUCH FUN!

*SPOILER ALERT*

Sweden won Eurovision 2012, and I think the song was super Eurotastic, and a well-deserved win. The UK came second from bottom, which was a disappointment, but there you go. Can't win everything I suppose! It was a great night, and I can't wait for next year's Eurovision!

Here's the winning entry:


Stay tuned for cat-updates, folks!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

BEDA late than never! HAHAHAHA.

I crack myself up.

So, I've been enjoying five days of BEDA (Blog Every Day in April) posts, mainly from people who I enjoy watching on the Youtube community, such as Kristina Horner, Hayley G Hoover, and Kayley Hyde among others. I tried so hard to be a successful Youtuber, a few years ago, and became incredibly disheartened when my most popular video was removed, due to copyright violation. I had made a video about my favourite French Language songs, and had a really good response in the comments, with hundreds of recommendations, and people telling me that I have shown them new songs that they now love. I didn't realise that promoting songs constituted copyright violation, so it was a huge blow when my video got taken down.

I still feel depressed when I watch videos made by prominent members of the 'Youtube community', because I feel like that's something that I want so much to be a part of, from which I am mostly excluded. I watch the videos nonetheless, because like so many others, watching them makes me feel a little bit like I am a part of these people's lives.

Of course, I have enough of my own internet friends to keep me going. I have my own internet community, where I have made some of the best friends I could ever wish for. I spend so much of my time thinking about my friends, and writing to them, that I sometimes take them for granted. I realised this last night, as I perused another internet forum, this time one about teaching. Everyone on that forum seemed to be bigoted, closed-minded, and conservative. It really upset me, how so mahy of them seemed to be there simply to practise their sarcastic teacher remarks on each other. I retreated to my usual forum, and felt the warm glow of a community who understand and accept one another.Here are some of my beautiful friends, when we met for the first time, last summer. So much has happened since then, and I can't believe we have only been friends for such a short time. I am a very lucky lady indeed. I have learned so much from these wonderful people, and I have become a nicer person for it. I am still so jealous of Vic's clothes, Annis' pink hair, Rowan and Claire's enthusiasm for academia, and Ruby's sense of humour!

A couple of years ago, if you'd told me that I spend my time on an internet forum, chatting to people I'd met online, I'd probably have told you that "I'm not that kind of person". I cringe at my naive outlook now, as I've probably spent more time interacting with my internet friends than with my 'real life' friends. I have put 'real life' in inverted commas, because I despair at the thought that your internet life isn't your 'real life', and that somehow every interaction you have on the internet is invalidated by the fact that it isn't face to face. Almost all contact that humans have, aside from face-to-face conversation is mediated by some form of digital device. This includes telephones, and in some ways, even letters, if they are printed from a computer. So in what way are our 'real life' friends any different from our internet ones? I've met most of my friends from the internet, so are they now 'real life' friends too? I certainly enjoy meeting them, but I don't think that they are any more 'real' now that I have. I e-mail and text my 'real life' friends just as much as I see them, so are they 'virtual' now?

There is a huge misconception, (one that I shared, before I had really experienced an online community for myself), that there is a hierarchy of human interaction. This is probably because of the novely and relative infancy of technological communication and digital media. I want to break this misconception down. The internet has facilitated my friendship with people all over the world. I have now met people with whom I can be myself, and with whom I CHOOSE to spend my time. We often can't choose the people with whom we spend our time physically, for example at school and work, we are forced to spend time with people with whom we share no commonality apart from our geographical location. The internet allows communication and relationship building with people we actually care about! I am not intending to reverse the hierarchy of human interaction, by asserting that internet friendships are somehow more valid than those which begin face to face, because similarly, I have plenty of friends whom I first met in person, and love to pieces. I just want to break down people's prejudice against the way I form some of my frienships.

So, faithful few readers, tell me about your friendships. Do you have more internet, or meatspace friends? How do you tend to communicate?

I need to go and do some dissertation writing now. If only the words flowed so freely there, as they do here!