October 2017 | Monthly Wrap Up

Monday 30 October 2017

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October, my love for you will never end!

Favourite part?

I’ve had such a lovely time this month, for so many reasons. Probably the biggest reason why October 2017 stands out, is my 18th birthday. Yes, I am officially now an adult. It was so weird to buy alcohol. Like what? Surely they should tell me no. I had a week of celebrations – a meal with my family and some family friends, then some drinks with friends and a meal with a different set of friends – all of which was lovely.

Before my birthday, my dad and I visited the University of Reading, which I was pleasantly surprised by and loved the Politics department! Then, at the beginning of half term, we spent 2 days in Glasgow to look at the University there. It was a great trip and we found some great places to eat – including Where the Monkey Sleeps café and The 13th Note, a fab (and cheap) veggie restaurant I would recommend to anyone.

During half term itself, I went to London, where I did work experience with the Fairtrade Foundation for the week. I had such an amazing time and feel like I really accomplished something. I’ve only been back for 3 days and I miss London so much already. Take me back there!

Best read?

I read Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin this month after SuperSamStuff recommended it in a video. I enjoyed it so much and thought it was really well written. I have also read more of GB84 and need to get on with finishing it for my EPQ! For my birthday, some of my friends got me the full Song of Ice and Fire book series, so I’ve started reading A Clash of Kings, but I doubt I’ll finish it quickly because it is bloody long.

Favourite tunes?

ABBA, of course. For my birthday, my brother got me Benny’s piano album, which is so relaxing and great to work along to.

Favourite watch?

Bake Off! Though it’s over this week and I still miss Mary Berry. I’ve also started watching Hunted (the celebrity version at the moment for Stand Up for Cancer), which is actually really funny. This time of year is defined by Strictly in my life. I have various documentaries to watch and also Gunpowder (which I have recorded) so I’ll catch up on those by next month’s wrap up.

What did I learn?

Honestly, so much. People aren’t going to stop you from buying alcohol if you have ID on you (you really are allowed to buy it!). London isn’t that scary. Working on something you care about makes the sense of accomplishment even bigger. So many acronyms and technical phrases.

What’s happening next month?

It’s a few of my friends’ birthdays, so we’ll be celebrating those. Otherwise, it’s a pretty quiet month I think.

What’s been on my mind?

University and the future – most particularly my personal statement and the application itself.

Favourite blogger/vlogger?

I watched loads of Lex Croucher’s videos and also Zannah’s (her new hair looks great in my opinion!).

Favourite post?

Me at 18 – definitely. I love this blogging tradition that I’ve made and it’s great to look back each year at who I have become.

Biggest inspiration?

Being around people doing useful things to help others.

Any other favourites? 

I have some more podcasts to add to my list of favourites: Strictly Come Dancing podcast and Reasons to be Cheerful with Ed Miliband and Geoff Lloyd. Strictly is self-explanatory, I think, but I would recommend Reasons to be Cheerful to anyone because of the accessible way they talk about politics and political ideas. I do wish there was a similar one made from a right-wing perspective just so I could get an idea about ideas not like my own, and get out of my echo chamber.

If you liked this post you might like: August 2017 | Monthly Wrap Up

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4 Musicals I've Been Loving Recently

Wednesday 18 October 2017

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Musicals are a big part of my music taste and I know that many people share my passion for them. I go through phases of listening to one musical almost constantly, and these have been some on my list lately.

1. Anastasia

The animated 20th Century Fox film Anastasia is my favourite animated film of all time, so naturally, when I found out they had made a musical version of it that was playing on Broadway, I had to find out more. For months I have been singing the old songs and the new. I love them all so much. Some of the songs, like Stay, I Pray You, are so personal and heart wrenching, then others like Learn To Do It are so fun and flamboyant. My favourites are In a Crowd of Thousands, In My Dreams and My Petersburg probably due to the images they conjure up in my head and what they reveal about the characters (especially Dmitri. I love Dmitri). I love how the creators have made the musical more historically accurate (despite the elephant in the room of Anastasia actually dying but whatever), it makes the History nerd part of me very happy.

2. The Addams Family

I saw this musical twice in July and I have been a little obsessed ever since (a bit beforehand as well but there’s nothing like seeing a show to become obsessed). The cast is amazing and I really wish an original UK cast recording happens at some point soon. *click* *click*.

3. Hairspray

I listened to this soundtrack (the one with Zac Efron) a lot whilst making notes and writing up my History coursework. The songs and their upbeat nature kept me going, particularly with any typing that I had to do (and I did a lot) and the subject matter related to my work (my coursework is on African American civil rights) so helped keep me a little more focused on the topic. 

4. Mamma Mia!

We know that I listen to ABBA all the time anyway, but ever since the announcement of Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again’s release in July next year, I’ve been constantly theorizing what’s going to happen and what songs they’re going use. I think Summer Night City, Angeleyes and the Day Before You Came so far.

What are your favourite musicals? I’m always looking for new things to listen to.

If you liked this post you might like: I Wish Life Were a Musical
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A Cup a Day Keeps the Tampon Away | New Series

Monday 16 October 2017

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50% of the population bleed monthly (on average, each of us is slightly different). That’s a fact. It’s just the way the female body works. So why shouldn’t we talk about it?

I’ve talked about periods on here before, but nowhere near as much as talk about them in real life. (Sorry not sorry to all the people who have to listen to me go on about it.) So, when I decided to get a menstrual cup (I’m so excited to use it!) I thought I’d make a series out of my experiences with it – taking some inspiration from Hannah Witton’s Hormone Diaries, which I would recommend everyone watch. It arrived last week (on my birthday no less!) so I’ve officially taken the plunge and put my money where my mouth is.

So, why did I get a menstrual cup?

In short, it’s the most ethical method of maintaining menstrual hygiene (with reasons that I’ll go in to more detail with later on in the series), and I thought why not. I’m not going to lie, the initial idea of using one does intimidate me a bit, but I know that if I can get the grip of it then it’ll be worth it.

I bought my cup from The Cup Effect. It’s a charity that works to provide menstrual cups to disadvantaged women across the globe in a way of ending period poverty as well as helping prevent further climate change. The type of cup they sell is the Ruby Cup. Having watched Leena Norms’ video (5 easy ways to improve 2017) where she discussed three different types of menstrual cup (the Mooncup, the Diva Cup and the Ruby Cup) and I was pleased to hear that she recommended the Ruby Cup as ideal for a beginner.

I have to admit that my cup does intimidate me, and I’m not sure how long it will take me to get it to work properly, but I’m determined to keep going with it until I have mastered the menstrual cup.

I’ll have another post up soon where I’ll discuss my first thoughts about the cup after I’ve used it. I have some exciting guest posts coming up as part of this series, so if you have any post ideas and want to get involved please let me know – I’d love to have as many people included as possible!

If you liked this post you might like: Why We Need to Talk About Our Periods!

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5 Items in my Cruelty-Free Makeup Bag

Friday 13 October 2017

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A year or so ago I became more conscious of how ethical the products I was consuming were. Since then, I’ve done my best to find out more about the makeup industry. I don’t know whether any of these are vegan or not, so if anyone could clarify that would be great

1. Revolution Arch and Shape Eyebrow Pen

This brow pen has changed the way I do my brows forever and I love it. On one end it has the pencil and the other is a felt pen, and I love this combination. I use the pencil for most of my brows, and then the felt pen to colour in the inside so that they look less like a block.

2. E.L.F. Studio Mineral Infused Mascara in Black

I was so excited when I saw that my local Superdrug had a new E.L.F stand, so when I needed a new mascara I headed straight over there. I picked this one up as it was cheap and thinking if it’s not great I’ll just use it and try one of the other ones. That didn’t happen. I think that I will be buying this mascara over and over again many times (as long as E.L.F. stay cruelty free or I find a better alternative). It makes my eyelashes look so long and so good with only a one or two coats.

3. GOSH Intense Eye Liner Pen in 01 Black

Eyeliner is the main aspect of my makeup routine – no matter what else I put on my face you can bet that eyeliner will be there. Always. It’s my thing. So, I take it very seriously. I’ve tried so many eyeliners. I prefer the pens as they’re so much easier to use (I do have one that’s a brush but that’s not for everyday use). I use the black liner and it’s so dark and lasts for a long time (just don’t accidentally sleep on it, guys, it’s not a good idea). However, I have found that it can be quite runny if left upside down for a long time (I've got into the habit of doing this from my old eyeliners) so do be careful with that. Otherwise, I would recommend. 

4. Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette

Too Faced have been a cruelty free brand for a long time, until recently when they were bought by Estée Lauder, who sadly aren’t cruelty free, so now this item relies on whether you take parent companies into account or not. I bought this palette from the Sephora in Nice before they were taken over by their new parent company, just to clarify. I love these shades. There are some that I don’t use much at all (like Candied Violet), but there are others that I use almost every time I pick up the palette (Salted Caramel, Milk Chocolate and Strawberry Bon Bon are my favourite combination). I use White Chocolate to scult my eyeshadow and then Champagne Truffle is my signature highlighter (it’s incredible), I use it on my cheekbones, the end of my nose, the inner corners of my eyes and udner my eyebrows.

5. Freedom Studio Brush Shower Antibact

So this isn’t technically a makeup item, but it’s an essential item for anyone who has makeup brushes. I’m one of those people who can never be bothered to properly wash my makeup brushes – it takes up time that I’d rather be spending watching Game of Thrones or writing a blog post – so this is ideal for me. You spray your brush once or twice, then wipe it on some kitchen roll or a cloth (I use kitchen roll, you can throw it away rather than washing it, makes life easier) and it leaves your brushes so clean. I would recommend this to anyone.

Do you have cruelty-free makeup recommendations?

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