February 2016 | Monthly Wrap Up

Monday 29 February 2016

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February: a month that has been one massive bubble of happiness, fun and friends.

Favourite part?

West Side Story was incredible and the Nice trip was unforgettable. This month has memories that will last a lifetime. 

Best read?

This month I’ve read Emma by Alexander McCall Smith, which is a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic. Loved it, loved it, loved it. It added extra depth to the characters and made me rethink different aspects of one of my favourite novels.

Favourite tunes?

The West Side Story soundtrack. I’ve been singing it almost constantly even after the show had finished and I can’t get it out of my mind.

Found on cressonlake.com

What did I learn?

That I’m better at French than I thought and that the French Riviera is the most amazing place!

What’s happening next month?

I’m not actually sure. a hell of a lot of revision, that’s for sure.

What’s been on my mind?

French and music for certain. Becoming a better person in myself and living in the moment more than I do.

Favourite blogger/vlogger?

Anna of afabulousfeminist.blogspot.co.uk has been posting more on her blog and her content has been great! Also thisbedottie has been uploading more, which is always a great thing as I love her channel! Also congrats to the Fletchers - the arrival of Buddy Bob Fletcher and Carrie cutting off her hair and going over and above her initial fundraiser goal!

Favourite post?

I love How to Paint the World. It was really spontaneously written and I'm really proud of it. I also like West Side Story and Nice as they document the main parts of this month. (Sorry if I’ve mentioned these a lot. Oops…)

Biggest inspiration?

Hearing locals speaking French and seeing the amount of effort everyone put into the West Side Story production. I am now determined to become fluent in French at some point in my life! 

Any other favourites?

My Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette that I bought while in Nice. It’s so beautiful!! Also Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I knew the film was going to be absolute Marmite for me and it was: I loved it! I could go on for a while, but to spare you that I wrote a review of it. And turtlenecks have been a bit of an obsession of mine this month. I've bought about 5! I needed new clothes anyway... That's my excuse.

(Also happy leap year, day, thing!)

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5 Make-up Bag Staples

Friday 26 February 2016

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It’s no secret that I love make-up. I can’t ge enough of the stuff, particularly eyeliner. It’s fun and makes me feel happy and more confident - what could be better? So, I thought that I would share my 5 make-up essentials! (Shh, don’t tell anyone I’m not a beauty blogger!)

1. Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

I’ve only had this mascara for about two months after my friend Katie recommended it to me, but as soon as I wore it for the first time it became my all time favourite mascara. It has a curved brush, which is really useful. I use the longer, more curved side for my upper lashes and then the smaller bristles for my lower lashes. It applies so easily and makes my lashes look great!

2. Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation.

I love this foundation. It genuinely makes me look more awake when I actually am. It’s quite thin, but can be layered really well, so that you can get a thicker coverage if you want. A great foundation that I’ve heard many bloggers and bloggers rave about, so you probably won’t be surprised by thoughts on it. Will definitely be repurchasing this once I have finished my bottle.

3. No. 7 Powder Blush

I have had this blush for years, which is why it looks so battered. I’ve used it a lot and love the colour. I just love this blush, it's so pretty!

4. Rimmel Kate Moss Lipsticks

You’ve all probably heard me talk about my love for these lipsticks. They just make me really happy. They don’t last tremendously well, but they’re really pigmented and come in a variety of shades. Seriously, the range is huge. Love them, love them, love them.

5. Bourjois Line Feutre Eyeliner

If you look at any picture of me, it’s likely that I’m wearing eyeliner. It’s my staple piece of makeup and I think it’s the area of makeup that I’m most skilled in. I’ve been through countless eyeliners. I used to use Rimmel Scandaleyes liner, but I wasn’t happy with it. It smudged and wore off quickly, dried out even more quickly and I always got it all over my hands when applying it! Not good, but it was my favourite out of all the ones I had tried. Then, I bought this one as another attempt at finding a better liner. And I loved it. It didn’t smudge or wear off (well, only slightly, and it’s hardly noticeable). This liner is blacker and has only just begun to run out/dry out after I’ve had it for over 2 months. An all round brilliant eyeliner that I will not let go of easily.

What are your makeup bag essentials? I'd love to know as I'm always looking for new products to try out!


In other news: I now have Twitter! If you want to be more updated with my life and my blog then go give it a follow.

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The TMI Tag

Wednesday 24 February 2016

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My friend Katie (katieswaytohappy.blogspot.co.uk) tagged me to do the TMI tag created by Carrie Hope Fletcher. So here it is:

1: What are you wearing?

My school uniform. Exciting stuff.

2: Ever been in love?

Nah, lots of little crushes here and there but nothing I would consider actual 'love'.

3: Ever had a terrible breakup?

Never been in a relationship. So no.

4: How tall are you?

About 5 foot 4 last time I checked.

5: How much do you weigh?

No clue and I have no desire to find out.

6: Any tattoos?

No! But I’d love to have one or too small ones when I am older.

7: Any piercings?

Just my ear lobes.

8: OTP?

Just one?? Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, Romione, Tom and Gi Fletcher... Just to say a few.

9: Favorite show?

I’ve got loads of favourite at the moment, which is weird seeing as I’m a film person for the majority of the time. Dickensian, which has recently finished, was amazing! I’m so sad it’s over. I love Marvel’s Agent Carter. She’s so badass and I love her. I also love Death in Paradise, it’s so formulaic and Scooby-Doo like but I don’t care.

10: Favorite bands?


11: Something you miss? 

Seeing the beach basically every day.

12: Favorite song?

Friday I'm in Love by The Cure and basically anything by Dodie Clark, but this changes a lot.

13: How old are you?


14: Zodiac sign?


15: Quality you look for in a partner?

Good conversationalist, can discuss issues, likes books, likes Disney preferably. But if I like someone, I like someone.

16: Favorite Quote?

"Writers aren't exactly people... They're a whole bunch of people trying to be one person." - F. Scott. Fitzgerald.

17: Favorite actor?

I'm really loving Lily James at the moment. But there a loads of actors that I love! So many people are being amazing in all sorts of different roles.

18: Favorite color?

Deep red, the pink in the sunset, bright violet.

19: Loud music or soft?

Soft, it's easier on the ears.

20: Where do you go when you’re sad?

Bed, for a walk. Somewhere where I can think.

21: How long does it take you to shower?

Probably about 20 minutes if I don’t have to be somewhere, 10 if I do.

22: How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

If I sleep in, 20 minutes, if not… well, it depends how much make-up I’m wearing. On average probably about 40 minutes. I like to take an hour if I have time though.

23: Ever been in a physical fight?

Not unless you count fights with my brother.

24: Turn on?


25: Turn off?

Prejudice, or thinking that they're better than anyone else.

26: The reason I joined the blogging community?

To get my voice heard and for my writing to find an audience.

27: Fears?

Being replaced, not making a mark on the world and giving birth. 

28: Last thing that made you cry?

A Daniel Radcliffe documentary I watched last week. It showed the premiere of the Deathly Hallows Pt II okay... That always gets me.

29: Last time you said you loved someone?

To my mum this morning.

30: Meaning behind your blog name?

I like ranting and I like reading. I liked the sound of Another Ranting Reader. Yeah, it’s not some massive story.

31: Last book you read?

Star Wars: The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher. I LOVE this book - it's basically a mashup of Star Wars and Shakespeare, I can't even!

32: The book you’re currently reading?

Emma by Alexander McCall Smith - it's a retelling of Jane Austen's classic.

33: Last show you watched?

Let's be honest, probably the news, but other than that a Who Do You Think You Are ? on BBC iPlayer. I love having them  in the background while I write or organise stuff.

34: Last person you talked to?

My brother.

35: The relationship between you and the person you last texted?

My mum.

36: Favorite food?

Either my mum’s chicken and prawn risotto or a good chicken tikka masala.

37: Place you want to visit?

Paris, New York, every Disney Land, Nice again, Rome, LA, small towns in European countries, more places in Europe, Africa. I just want to go everywhere!!

38: Last place you were?

School. Before that Nice in France.

39: Do you have a crush?

I get loads of little crushes on random people, but no, not one definitive, proper crush.

40: Last time you kissed someone?

Probably my mum when I left the house this morning. 

41: Last time you were insulted?

Probably something my brother said today.

42: Favoruite flavor of sweet?


43: What instruments do you play?

Violin and the piano very poorly.

44: Favorite piece of jewelery?

Either my great-nan’s red bead necklace or the silver locket my brother gave me for my birthday years ago.

45: Last sport you played?

Uni-hoc in school PE. I'm doing pilates in about 2 and a half hours though.

46: Last song you sang?

I Feel Pretty from West Side Story.

47: Favourite chat up line?

If you were a vegetable, you'd be a cute-cumber!

48: Have you ever used it?

Lol no!

49: Last time you hung out with anyone?

My friends in school today, or else the lovely group of people who I spent 5 days in Nice with.

50: Who should answer these questions next? 

Amanda, who blogs at theamandaway.blogspot.co.uk and Nicole, whole blogs at thriftyvintagefashion.blogspot.co.uk. Have a look of their blogs - they’re both lovely and brilliant!

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies | Review

Monday 22 February 2016

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Those who have read my blog previously, you probably know that I am a massive fan of Jane Austen. She is one of my favourite authors - her and J.K. Rowling are probably tied at the top spot for me, seeing as Pride and Prejudice and Harry Potter are my two favourite stories of all time. So you can imagine how I felt when I heard that a film was being made with zombies in the mix! I had already heard of the book Pride & Prejudice & Zombies and it’s safe to say that I was appalled. I thought that it would just mess with my beloved Lizzie Bennet and Mr. Darcy in a way that I was not happy about. 

But then I had mixed feelings about the upcoming film. I thought about it for a while and then I saw the trailer and actually became really excited about it. There were some of my favourite things in there: Mr. Darcy, badass women kicking butt, Mr. Darcy, a good Netherfield ball and Mr. Darcy - did I mention him?

In the week leading up to its release I kept talking about it to some of my friends. I was so nervous that Jane Austen’s beloved characters would be morphed and twisted into something they were not but I had seen many good reviews so I was not as worried as I had previously been.

When I returned from my trip to Nice, my mum and I went to see the first showing of the film as was possible. And I have to say that we weren’t disappointed.

The opening line of the film was ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains,’ which I have to admit made me squeal quite a bit. Moments like this were echoed throughout the film whenever a direct book quote was used. Various lines were mishmashes around so that some characters said lines that originally belonged to other characters or said their book lines at a different point in the original story. But you know what? I actually didn’t care. It made sense with the added zombies in there and the plot changes that I knew were inevitable.

How about the characters that I was so worried about being unrecognisable to their Jane Austen originals? 

They were kept the same in essentials. Lizzy was her same old sassy self and Darcy was, well, Darcy. Bingley was still positive, not the brightest and the least badass out of them all, which was unsurprising as he’s exactly that in Pride and Prejudice. Sally Phillips was hilarious as Mrs. Bennet, who was as overbearing, silly and pushy as she normally is!

There were a few changes made to some characters, but even then I didn’t mind. Mr. Collins was less odious and smarmy, just a bit more stupid and clumsy. He was funnier though, which is always a plus. Jane was more badass and a bit brighter - again, great - and we didn’t really see much of Lydia, Kitty and Mary Bennet. 

And how did the zombies fit with my favourite book? 

Admittedly the presence of the undead meant that some of the plot had to change. I knew that was going to happen. But overall, it remained pretty similar, particularly when it came to the two main love stories. The zombie element added a lot of silliness, but I liked it. To be honest, the silliness was great - I really loved it and I laughed so much.

This is an opinion of a dedicated Janeite who would probably (definitely) follow Mr. Darcy to the ends of the earth. I would love to know what someone who isn’t as big of a fan of the original Pride and Prejudice book as I am. Did you find it just as good? Or was it me loving the fact that I was seeing my favourite characters in a different light?

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5 Days in Nice

Friday 19 February 2016

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1. Friday

Last Friday I made my way to school at 2 o’clock in the morning. Everything else was quiet except a small gathering of people inside the school gates. This group of people set off for Gatwick at 2:30, ready for our flight at 07:30. We arrived tired and hungry, ready for a second breakfast and a few cups of tea! Our flight ended up leaving about half an hour late but the view was well worth it when we eventually got to a higher altitude. The clouds simply looked stunning - they covered the earth in a carpet of fluff balls. It was breathtaking.

Coming into the Nice airport was also stunning. The sun was shining and the sea reflected two gorgeous defined shades of blue. Then, when we had properly landed and had exited the plane, it started to rain. It rained and it rained and it rained. Heavily. That day we were due to go to the Matisse museum after a picnic lunch. We had to walk there, all the way uphill and were completely soaked through by the time we reached our picnic destination. We found a little shelter and sat down to eat before heading to the museum.

2. Saturday 

The next day was probably one of the best days of my life. It was honestly so good that I can hardly describe. 

We woke up early, having slept like a log after the long day previously, and got ready for a day out in Nice. First of all we went to the Flower Market or Marché aux Fleurs. It was so beautiful and the sun shining made it even better. The stalls were simply fabulous. There were flowers everywhere and foods of all colours to match. Brilliant smells came from every angle coming from fresh fruit, flowers, spices, breads and cakes. Extra colour was added by artists selling their work on the street and cafés that lined it.

For lunch, my friend and I bought loads of the fresh food from the market as we were having another picnic lunch, this time from one of the highest points in Nice. We could see all over the city and out to see. It was beautiful and accompanied by warm sunshine and the gentle, constant fall of a waterfall jumping from the hill’s edge. I bought a crepe and ate it, along with the picnic, at a table that overlooked Nice.

Then, that afternoon, we went to the cinema to watch Deadpool. It was the first film I had seen in a foreign language without subtitles and I was surprised by how much French I actually understood - go me! It was a really good film, even though I didn’t understand every word they said and I feel like watching French films really helps to further my understanding of the language.

That evening, after having eaten again, we went to the opening night of the Carnaval de Nice, which was completely amazing! Before the carnival started some of my friends and I went on the ferris wheel. From the top of the ferris wheel you could see the whole of Nice, which was lit up with evening lights and carnival goers. Cans of silly string were being sold along the sides of the street and, of course, we took advantage of that to wage a full scale silly string war on each other.

Then the parade started and new noises and lights were coming down the street. New performers kept coming down the street and it seemed neverending. We had such a good time and were gutted when it had to end. Why can’t we have carnivals like that in Britain? Seriously! We need to get our act together.

3. Sunday

On Sunday we travelled to the nearby town of Menton, which was also right by the sea. 

While we were there the Citrus Festival was beginning, however, we didn’t go in to see it as you had to pay and was really busy. Even so, we saw lots of the floats which were made out of oranges and lemons, and we saw a ridiculous amount of citrus trees dotted around the town, which was really cool as it’s not something that you usually see in grey Britain.

We visited the Cocteau museum. I much preferred this museum to Matisse as the pieces were a lot more varied when it came to medium and they seemed to have more of style and skill about them. 

We ate lunch at a lovely restaurant in a small square in town. The pizzas were SO good. I can't even describe how yummy it was. We set off into the town to have a short explore before we were back with our school party to undertake a challenge of finding the tattiest tourist tat there was there. I think our group did pretty well, we bought a silly Valentine’s Day and Menton postcard and a little plastic surfer man whose hips wiggled if you moved him.

That evening some of the group went out for a walk in the town while the rest of us decided to stay in the hotel. I spent the majority of that evening in my friend’s room laughing and eating. What’s a better combination?

4. Monday

Monday was the day of Monaco. We visited the principality in the morning and stayed until late afternoon. We climbed the hill so that we came to the palace on Le Rocher. There were two guards outside and it all looked very impressive, especially when the guards changed and did all their fancy “walking about, moving around their gun” stuff. The scenes in Monaco were stunning. There were harbours and yachts everywhere and posh cars and buildings everywhere else. I’ve never seen so many designer brands in the same place before in my life! 

We visited the Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium. All of the creatures that they had there were really cool. Some of the jellyfish and sharks especially. At the end of the museum we could stroke some smaller sharks who were swimming around in a smaller, transparent tank that was a lot lower down. They felt so soft and smooth, it was an amazing experience.

Leaving the museum we split off into groups to have a picnic lunch in the town. My group decided to find a spot in the park to eat. The spot was right next to the sea; only a stone wall and a bit of foliage separated us from it. It was wonderful and great to have some added heat as well. 

After lunch and a peruse around the streets, we took a tour of the race track on a mini “train”. We saw all of the places that would usually be viewed from a TV screen and it was weird but cool to see it being used how it normally is for the vast majority of the year. 

Most of us then took to the ice rink and made our way around with varying degrees of capability. I felt like a bit of a Bambi at the beginning and have to admit that I fell over too many times than I would care to say but never mind! I definitely improved by the end of my time on the rink though! A plus if ever I saw one!

That evening we all went out for a walk into the city. We went on the ferris wheel for a second time, this time with more people who hadn't wanted to go on it previously. Next to the ferris wheel there was a pop up shop that had come with the carnival that sold candy floss and toffee apples and everything sweet! My friend and I both bought sticks of candy floss that were bigger than our heads and were inevitably shared out amongst our friends. 

5. Tuesday

Then came our last day in Nice. It was so sad seeing our rooms emptied and our bags fully packed once more. We left our bags in the hotel’s reception for the day and went to the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nice. This was my favourite museum out of the ones we had visited on the trip. There were so many different styles and mediums used and pieces that had great stories of how they were created. I loved it.

We then headed off to the market area again, where we had chance to explore bit more than we had done on Saturday. My group however, had collected money from all of the students on the trip and spent the vast majority of our free time finding small gifts for the teachers who had organised the trip and had taken their holiday time out to bring us to Nice.

After giving them their gifts, we went up to the high street where there were larger brands, bigger shops and a shopping centre. There were so many shops that I either hadn’t seen before or don’t have any stores in the UK, so it was quite overwhelming and we didn’t manage to get to everything, but we managed to get to a fair few. One of these included Sephora, which made us excited as soon as we saw it on the first day.  It’s so exciting going into Sephora, there’s so much make-up in there! If only it were a bit cheaper and I could buy more… I did buy an eyeshadow palette from there though. I bought the Too Faced Chocolate Bar, which smells and looks amazing! It’s so gorgeous and I can’t wait to wear them! When I got home I ordered some Real Techniques eye shadow brushes from amazon.co.uk as I had a £10 voucher that was given to me at Christmas.   The brushes were cheaper than they would have been in store and this meant that I only had to pay about £3 for them in total. Not bad.

Sadly all holidays have to come to an end and ours did that day. We recollected our bags at the hotel and waited for a little while until a bus came to bring us to the airport and we were once again being put through security and passport checks. We eventually arrived back at school at about 01:10 the next day. 


Thank you to all of my friends who made the trip so special and enjoyable, to the teachers for organising it and bringing us to amazing places, and to new friends made on the trip. It was really great. Ridiculously great. 

Some of you may have noticed Katie from katieswaytohappy.blogspot.co.uk in some of these pictures. Please go over to her blog and have a read of her posts about the trip! She's doing day by day instalments of the trip, and you can read about it from another point of view! Also, I've borrowed some of her pictures for this post so go over and check out her blog!

Jemima x

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