22.8.16

FASHION | How I Style Printed Summer Shorts


Going on a late summer holiday? Make sure to pack this summer essential - printed shorts. When you find that perfect pair and style them right, they can be worn again and again.

I was meant to post this about a month ago, but everything blog and YouTube just got thrown under the table following my holiday in Greece, as I was getting ready for Irish college (post all about my experience will be up soon). I'm back on track though (I think)!

While in Mykonos, I wore my Boohoo floral flippy shorts on many evenings out since they were so easy to style.

These shorts are very bright and colourful. There are hints of green, yellow, pink, black and white. I decided to style these shorts with black and white tops. And so, I created multiple outfits for the hot Greece evenings while only swapping one top for another.

Have a look at the different ways I styled them...


THE FESTIVAL CROP TOP
Hollister


THE OFF THE SHOULDER TOP
Miss Selfridge


THE SASSY ONE
Brandy Melville


THE STRIPED TOP
Victoria's Secret PINK



THE FLOWY WHITE ONE
Unknown



17.8.16

TRAVEL | A Week in Mykonos - The Island of Dreams



Back in July, I spent a week in the beautiful Greek island Mykonos with my parents and sister. It was a week of relaxation, sun and good food. 

I had always wanted to go to Mykonos after I had seen pictures on Zoella's blog of her holiday on the island. It was just as picturesque as I expected; with its white houses, pink flowers, blue sea and sunsets, Mykonos is the island of dreams.

We stayed in The Residence Hotel, which was so amazing. The four of us had our own pool for the week, and we used it a lot because Mykonos is pretty hot! It wasn't too bad, the heat, since it was usually quite nice and breezy. Oh my, in the evenings though, the wind was crazy; I always had to tie my hair back in the evenings so it wouldn't get messed up! :D


MYKONOS TOWN
On one of our first days, we explored the main town of Mykonos. There's so many little short turns and paths; you could easily lose yourself in a cute, white, summery maze. There's lots of trees blooming with bright flowers, and adorable colourful stairs leading up to homes. The main colour scheme for a lot of places in Mykonos is blue and white, like the Greek flag.

After that afternoon of exploring, we returned quite often to Mykonos town in the evenings for meals out, and on our last full day I got vanilla ice cream with Oreo bits in the Trio Bambini ice cream parlour - so refreshing on that warm day! From one of the many souvenir shops in the town I bought a white and blue Mykonos beach bag - I love the simplicity of it.


THE EVENINGS AND THE FOOD
Evenings were windy, as mentioned, but they were peaceful. Sunsets were so scenic it was hard to believe they were real. After a day at the pool or beach, we would venture out to find a restaurant near our hotel if we weren't off to the town. We were really lucky with our finds - two places I particularly remember were Markos Tavern, a seafood restaurant where I got mussels, and Nesaea - where I had some delicious shrimp with gnocchi. Altogether, the restaurants we went to really gave us the overall taste of Mykonos.


THE BEACHES
We went to two beaches - the quiet one outside our hotel, Kalafatis, and the party-loud Kalo Livadi beach. I preferred Kalo Livadi over Kalafatis, simply because there was a huge slippy rock you had to walk on in the sea at Kalafatis (you can see that in the picture above), while it was just smooth, soft sand at Kalo Livadi - ahhh.

One of the moments I really cherish from my trip to Mykonos is floating and swimming around in the warm sea. At first, when getting in, its super cold, but in a nice, cooling way. I just didn't want to get out - I felt so relaxed each time I was in the sea.

We rented out sun beds for the two beach days, and it was very calming lying under the tweed / thatched / straw ?? umbrellas, listening to some Against the Current and Don Broco, I must say.


DAYS BY THE POOL
We spent most our time in sunny, hot Mykonos at our lovely pool. Messy bun, Triangl bikini Penney's dupe, reading material and good-smelling sunscreen and you have Jane on a pool day!

When not jumping into the pool and splashing around the place, I read my Jess Glynne issue of InStyle, which I read cover to cover; I listened to my summer playlist on my Spotify (Heathens on repeat); I read books on my Kindle - The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting by Holly Bourne (intense and amusing), Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings (a short, action packed book by my fave BookTuber, Sasha!), and I started Insanity by Cameron Jace (Un. Real.); and during all that reading and jamming out, I always had some Piz Buin SPF 30 slapped on as that Piz Buin stuff smells amazing - seriously, I could sniff it all day.


I definitely experienced most of what Mykonos has to offer when I visited, and I wouldn't hesitate to visit again; I had such a wonderful week. Maybe next time I head to the Greek islands for a sun holiday I'll check out Santorini or Crete. 

Stay tuned for my thoughts on my three day trip to Athens!

24.7.16

UPDATE | I'm at Irish College!


I am doing a three week Irish course in the Gaeltacht in Connemara - that means no phones or wifi for three whole weeks! Well, not entirely the whole time; on Sundays I'll be leaving the college for the day, phone in hand and head down. Despite my absence, there will be the occasional YouTube video uploaded or blog post published in the up and coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled!


17.7.16

MAKEUP | Face of the Day - Hot Grecian Nights



Highlight, blue waterline, simple smokey eye and neutral lips for a dinner in Athens in Greece...

These past few weeks of summer have been so busy!

Here's a quick update since this post; I got a medal for my Speech and Drama exam (!!), I had a lot of fun during my french course, and I am just back from my trip to Greece with my parents and sister.

We spent seven nights on the beautiful Mykonos island, then another three in hot Athens. This makeup look is from one of those evenings in Athens city. I didn't wear makeup during the day at all throughout the whole trip (constant sun, heat, pool, beach ≠ any cosmetics whatsoever). Since I brought an extensive amount of products with me, I had to make the most of them every night for our meals out. This was the generic look I sported on those Grecian evenings, and I thought I would share with you what products I used to create this look!


To prime my face, I applied my Smashbox Photo Finish primer, and then I put my Kiko Eye Primer on my eyelids. I buffed my Mac Face and Body Foundation into my skin, and applied my Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer under my eyes and on my blemishes. Usually, I use my face powder to mattify and set my makeup, but I'm into the dewy skin look right now, so I gave the powder a skip. I left my brow products at home annoyingly, but it was all good as my sister lent me her Browzings set from Benefit, which I really like. When I've used up my brow pencil and mascara I may check out Benefit's updated eyebrow products and give them a go!

At night, I loved using shimmery greys and whites for my eyes. This Kiko Colour Fever Eye Shadow Quad in Grey Night Blue that Sarah got for me (thanks Sarah ;D) is a dream - each shade is so pigmented and the quad just looks so pretty! I applied the white colour to my lids, then blended the  grey shade into the crease. For a pop of colour, I drew my Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil in Electric (not pictured) onto my waterline. I lined my eyes with my Crown Ultra Skinny Eye Marker and put on my trusty Urban Decay Perversion Mascara.

From Evelyn and Lauren for my birthday I got some Tanya Burr products, including this adorable Peachy Glow Cheek Palette, and I've been using the 'Champagne Shimmer' highlight like crazy. Under the highlight I lightly brushed on my Clarins blush in Soft Peach. To finish, I slapped on some Flormar lipstick in Cinnamon Tea.


I'll be letting you all know about my recent trip to Greece soon; stay tuned!

30.6.16

RECENT READS | Books That Made Me Think (+ My Summer Reading List)



I love reading. It's one of my favourite ways to escape from everything and get engrossed in captivating stories with memorable characters. However, I occasionally seem to lose my motivation to pick up a book and get stuck in. This happens quite often when I don't seem to have much time, or when I'm more into watching YouTube or Netflix, or simply when the book I'm reading just hasn't got me hooked.

You know it's a gem of a book if you keep thinking about it throughout the day, and you take every opportunity to have a read of it. You also know if it's a good book if it makes you think. 

And I mean really think. Hard.

These three books are favourites of mine that I've read in the past few months of 2016, all because they made me think about certain things differently, and they educated me and broadened my horizons on major topics. They have been mentioned in this year's Favourites videos, but in those I described them pretty briefly, and because they are such fantastic books I thought I would delve into them more here and discuss their important messages.


THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME
Mark Haddon

Christopher Boone loves prime numbers, but hates the colour yellow. He is incredibly smart and logical, and has a passion for maths and science, but he doesn't understand human emotion or excel in everyday interactions. Christopher has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome -  a condition on the autism spectrum that affects someone's ability to socialise and communicate well. Everything in his life seems great until his neighbour's dog has been murdered. He decides to solve the mystery of Wellington's murder and document it.

This interesting book is in first person, and this one of my favourite things about it; we get to see and somehow understand the world through Christopher's eyes. It's the definitely the strongest aspect of the story - I remember feeling a tiny bit unsatisfied with the ending, and some of the other characters' behaviour. However, I still really enjoyed this novel because of its strong character, and it made me think differently about how other people can think.

"I do not like people shouting at me. It makes me scared that they are going to hit me or touch me and I do not know what is going to happen."

'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time' is not really a mystery novel about a dog, to me anyway. It's more of an insight into an alternate way of thinking, someone else's method of going about their daily lives. Most novels written in first person don't really consider that everyone's brains are different. Each of our brains is unique, in its make up and in its functioning, and one brain can be slightly unalike to the next, while another brain can be so completely alien to its neighbour. 

I found the narrative very interesting because Christopher thinks differently to me, and while I couldn't relate to him or his brain or his condition in any way whatsoever, I empathised with him. That's good writing. And when I realised I had started to really empathise towards Christopher, it just made me think. It was kind of an intense intellectual read, not just because of the maths and science Christopher rambles on about, but because it made me notice that not everyone thinks the same, and it also helped me understand autism that bit more.  


I AM MALALA
Malala Yousafzai

We all know her name. Malala Yousafzai - the girl who was shot by the Taliban and survived. The one who is fighting for female education and children's rights.

But did you know any more about her than that?

I certainly didn't know much about her at all. And I definitely didn't understand what was going on in Pakistan until I read her story.

This book is the 'Teen Edition' to her autobiography, which I didn't realise until a while after I bought it. I'm not sure what they censored out of it, but it was still so educational as well as eye-opening. 

Malala Yousafzai is such an inspirational girl. At only 18, she has won the Nobel Peace Prize and spoken at the UN. But she's just your 'everyday girl'. She likes Ugly Betty, finds her brothers annoying and her favourite colour is pink. These are just the little things you learn about her when reading her novel. It's hard to think she's even real - she's done so much good at an early age, survived a bullet shot to the head and has started a fund. She's famous - for the right reasons.

She goes through her past before the Taliban, and her country sounds like a beautiful, wonderful place. And of course, she writes about her time when the Taliban attacked Pakistan. I couldn't believe the suffering she went through during attacks. I couldn't believe the things the Taliban have done. I couldn't believe any of it. I find it so heartbreaking that there are families out there suffering and scared for their lives, while I sit here and cry about the latest death of one of my favourite characters in Downton Abbey.

And Malala stood up to them, the terrifying Taliban. Hr bravery and courage to speak up for an important made me feel inadequate, but also encouraged to stop myself feeling inadequate and do something.

"One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world."

That quote leads me on to another thing that Malala's book made me think about; education. Malala and many people around the globe speak out and fight for the right to get some sort of education, while I sit in a classroom with teenagers complaining about homework and studying. Malala loves school. She treasured her school books and was happy to go to school every day. She did all she could to get her education back when she lost it. Malala made me realise how lucky I am with my education. I do really like school myself, but I should give it so much more appreciation than I already give it. Education is key to anyone's life, and to think some children and women don't have any access to it appalls me. 

'I Am Malala' truly taught me so much - not just about current affairs and politics, but about how to appreciate life more. It got me thinking about what I should do to make a difference in the world. Malala is just an 'everyday girl', and so am I, so surely I can make a change, right...?

I'm a feminist - I believe men and women and everyone should be equal. I believe in peace and education and happiness. I don't believe in war, racism, animal abuse, damaging the environment. But what am I doing about any of these issues? Nothing. I just talk the talk.

But every time I see I Am Malala on my shelf, it gets me thinking again. Soon, I'll do something. 



ONLY EVER YOURS
Louise O'Neill

Set in a dystopian future where men, truly and fully, rule the world, 'Only Ever Yours' is a dark, disturbing yet intriguing story that will make you frustrated and flabbergasted, but will make you want to keep reading.

Specifically designed women named eves only serve one purpose - to please men and raise boys. The eves grow up in the school where they spend sixteen years learning to be 'pretty', 'good', always 'happy go lucky', to end up being chosen to be a 'companion', 'concubine' or a 'chastity'. 

The world of 'Only Ever Yours' is scary, but also slightly believable. It's believability could be due to the gift of Louise O'Neill's writing, or it could be because how women are treated these days around the world can be compared closely to O'Neill's brilliant debut novel.

The book is so captivating that when reading it, I would now and then almost start thinking like the eves, and find their habits normal; they must have the perfect bodies, the perfect weight, to be the prettiest, to be chosen by men. They must always appeal men, always look presentable, always please them. It's a trap. I sometimes snapped myself out of it, then continued to read.

“All eves are created to be perfect but, over time, they seem to develop flaws. Comparing yourself to your sisters is a useful way of identifying these flaws, but you must then take the necessary steps to improve yourself. There is always room for Improvement.” 
^^ utter, utter nonsense! ^^

When I did snap myself out of it and realise 'THIS FICTION WORLD IS SO WRONG. WOMEN ARE NOT MEANT TO BE LIKE THIS.' it made me think about society today and how there are a lot of pressure on women; to be a certain weight, to have flawless skin, to have perfect lives, perfect Instagram feeds, to be always be appealing to men (or women, whoever they're attracted to). Some women can't even get an education (referring back to Malala) or they believe they have to be housewives their whole life. Well, guess what? They don't have to be!

And it also made me think; at least it could be worse. In first world countries, women do have a lot of freedom. Yes,  the first world is still quite patriarchal, but at least it's not literally ruled by men, and women's only purpose in life is to make men happy. At least we can get an education and a job, and have our own lives.

Louise O'Neill, you've frightened me with this novel. It got me thinking about how lucky and unlucky I am at the same time. It was still a gripping storyline with fascinating characters!


So, they are the three books that made me think so much that I had to write out all the random, deep thoughts about life, women's rights education and other's people's brains on this blog.

This summer, I think I'll take a break from the intellectually challenging books to some more enjoyable, simple reads. Here's my summer reading list!


MY SUMMER READING LIST

Eleanor and Park - Rainbow Rowell 
(currently reading - enjoying it so far!)

Zenith - Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings

The Manifesto on How to be Interesting - Holly Bourne

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Insanity - Cameron Jace

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky

The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde 



What books are you reading this summer? Have you read any perspective changing books recently?

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