Photography- Natures paintbrush

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

 I just love using my camera to capture the colours of nature.
Sometimes watching the sun set and seeing the colour stream through the window glass can make you go into a reflective mood. You just begin to think of the world, and who else is watching  the same sunset.

September Series : Writing a Personal Statement

Saturday, 20 September 2014

That time of year has come around again, where everyone seems to be heading off to different places around the country for university. I imagine many of you are in that group of people, or are at least thinking about it in the future! It is also that time of year where UCAS starts up again for those of you wanting to apply, so todays post is dedicated to an area of the application that can be a bit of a challenge.
Now even mentioning the words 'personal statement' can sound terrifying and daunting, but if you know you will soon have to write one, don't worry! I was so nervous about how it would make me look or even if I was including all the right information, but if you do your research, make loads of drafts and get feedback, it will all be fine. Here are just a few tips from my experience to help you get started!
Begin on paper This really helps in the planning stages.
Make a list. Of Everything you want to include, and what each paragraph will feature.
Spend time of your opening sentence. I cannot stress this enough.

In a personal statement your opening sentence is vital, try to make it unique and interesting, or just straight forward. One piece of advice I was repeatedly told was to never begin with "Since the age of ... I've always wanted to study..." or "For a long as I can remember I have loved" because it makes your statement sound very generic. Here is what I used for my first sentence, as I really wanted to communicate my love of literature. I think it is good way to begin if you show enthusiasm for your chosen subject.

Whether being captivated by Lewis Carroll’s vivid, nonsensical fantasy world as a child or intrigued by Sylvia Plath’s compelling narrative voice as a teenager, literature has never failed to engage, fascinate and stimulate my mind, or make me less determined to become a writer.
It's also a good idea to look around the internet of personal statement examples, however only take INSPIRATION from these examples as UCAS can track anything you have copied from the internet and then reject your application. Look at these examples to see how to structure your statement, and if you're including the right information.
It's important you include more information other than your school achievements, I included a small paragraph.
Through working in a retail shop, a residential care home and babysitting from a young age I have had to communicate with a variety of people, which for me, have been very valuable experiences. They have all helped me increase my confidence in my ability to help others in vastly different circumstances and improve my communication skills, something vital for a working environment. By balancing work and school I have been able to manage my time well which again will be useful in higher education and the future.
You want your university to know a bit more about you, such as your determination and work ethic! I wasn't really sure how to end my statement, but I think I good technique is to mention the future, like what you would like to achieve at university etc. I chose to mention my Gap year.
I also love to travel and have the desire to see more of the world, which is why I have decided to defer to 2015, and hopefully obtain even more invaluable experiences by travelling and taking a teaching volunteer placement.
Everything said in this post of course is only my opinion based on my own experience of writing a personal statement, however I think most this advice can be applicable to many different subject based statements all wanting a place at university!
Hope you found it helpful!

LFW SS15 : The Topshop Unique Experience

Monday, 15 September 2014


Dazzling: Looking for the perfect party dress? Topshop has them in abundance and Cara and her crew (including Lily Donaldson), show us how to work the look

Look who it is! Cara Delevingne, who is the face of Topshop, lead the stellar model pack in today's Unique show, which served up some seriously sartorial options for SS15

Ready for her close up: Cara is worked on by Hannah's team who created a fresh faced, youthful and natural look for Sir Philip Green's show

When I reached that age of when you are becoming aware of fashion, clothes and style, I would always try to save every penny to buy something special in TopShop. From a day dress to a jumper to the perfect pair of skinny jeans (which I still own), Topshop always had something I felt that I absolutely had to have.
So when Topshop Unique made its debut at London Fashion Week, like the rest of the fashion world I was undoubtedly excited. The autumn/winter shows are still remembered for their military themes and everyone, including Rihanna was seen loving their Cleopatra inspired collection.

So this year, all eyes were on the Topshop Unique Catwalk, and the show didn't disappoint. Models of the moment Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn and Hailey Baldwin paraded the collection described as " faded glamour of the British seaside, from pier to Pleasure Beach" by head designer Emma Farrow to the public. The collection featured elements of sports luxe in a young, fresh way and beautiful barely-there cocktail dresses embellished with interesting applique.

Full of muted, spring colour the collection breezed down the catwalk in a completely effortless way, oozing the cool confidence that Topshop is famous for. Minimalist prints, colour and accessories makes this collection such a statement show at LFW because it brings out the best of London fashion, cool street style mixed with elements of luxe high fashion.


On the FROW there was everyone from the ultimate IT girl Alexa Chung to Anna Wintour, and the usual pack of fashion week bloggers such as BryanBoy and Tanya Burr. The crowd of people transfixed by the show added to whole effect that Topshop Unique rightfully deserves it's place as one of the shows you have to see at LFW.
So, what was your favourite piece from the collection?

September series : The Best Coming of Age/High School Movies

Friday, 12 September 2014

No matter how much you hate school, there's always another teen-highschool movie that you feel you need to see. Whether that being 80's classics directed by John Hughes or featuring a time travelling Delorean, to the phenomenon of Mean Girls that I think has changed most of our dialogue forever. I love these kind of movies, despite them being so misleading compared to most high school experiences...

The Breakfast Club (1985)
Ahh, where do I begin persuading those of you who haven't seen to go and see it now. One of my favourites, directed by the iconic John Hughes and starring golden girl Molly Ringwald, you will not find a more perfect 80's movie. Showing a group of teenagers stuck in a Saturday detention, each character shows the different struggles of being a teenager. It's such a great movie and even my parents still remember seeing it back in the day and loved it, so that just shows its enduring popularity.
"You see us as you want to see us - in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal. Correct? That's the way we saw each other at 7:00 this morning. We were brainwashed."

Cry Baby (1990)
If you want a definition of the most eccentric/weirdest film ever, then I think I've found it for you. This movie is just plain crazy, but I love it. It mocks the whole idea of 'the teen idol' or 'teen hearthrob' which is what at the time Johnny Depp was becoming, so this movie was his attempt at throwing people off. However 25 years later we are all still in love with him, and this was the movie where the hype surrounding him began.
"Grandmother, Uncle Belvedere, you've made me the happiest juvenile delinquent in Baltimore! And guess what? I met a girl!"

Clueless (1995)
Clueless is just simply a classic. Cher Horowitz is still a style icon today like she was in 1995
"So okay, I don't want to be a traitor to my generation and all but I don't get how guys dress today. I mean, come on, it looks like they just fell out of bed and put on some baggy pants and take their greasy hair - ew - and cover it up with a backwards cap and like, we're expected to swoon? I don't think so."

Foxfire (1996)
Another one of my favourites, however this film is one that NEVER gets talked about EVER. Starring Angelina Jolie pre-Oscar/Brad Pitt/army of children and during her wild child days, this is the ultimate girl gang movie. After beating up an abusive teacher, the girls form a bond that gets the whole town talking. Led by 'Legs' who turns up out of the blue, the girls hide out in an abandoned house, give each other tattoos and steal cars. It's probably the greatest film you've never heard of, so please all you feminists out there watch it now!
"If you ever put your hands on me again, I'm gonna snip your little nuts off
with my toenail clippers!"

Mean Girls (2004)
So how could I not include mean girls? I remember watching it for the first time when I was young enough to not really understand a lot of it, but I loved it. Every friend I've made over the years could probably recite at least half of this movie, which is why its the best 21st century coming of age flick.

"Calling somebody else fat won't make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn't make you any smarter. And ruining Regina George's life definitely didn't make me any happier. All you can do in life is try to solve the problem in front of you."

I hope you enjoyed this post, and please leave any recommendations below!

Books- favourites 'The Bell Jar' by Sylvia Plath

Monday, 8 September 2014

Sylvia had become something of a cult figure, which can be damaging when reading something of hers to just simply read it and not judge it based on her status in society. I had no idea what to expect from the Bell Jar, not even knowing what the bell jar was, all I really knew was that it was semi-autobiographical, and considering what happened to Plath, I wasn't expecting it to be a particularly light read.
And I was right in a lot of ways. The bell Jar is not a book that you can finish in one sitting. Its not very long but it took me weeks to get through, but it was worth it. Narrated by Esther Greenwood who is working at a job in New York that most people would kill for, she can't help but feel disillusioned. We follow Esther through flashbacks in her life from college to a graphic account of losing her virginity, and when it cuts back to the present we realise her mental health is declining.
I really loved this book and connected so much with Esther's thoughts and her confusion about where her life is going. The metaphor of her life being like tree branches, and setting off in different directions like "motherhood" and "career" is one of the reasons why this book has become a feminist staple, and it rightly deserves it's place as a must-read-before-you-die. Let me fine tune that statement, it is a book every teenage girl should read when they have absolutely no idea what they're doing with their life, like me!

September Series: Back to School

Friday, 5 September 2014


Socks from American Apparel.

Photos by Petra Collins for
So this September is slightly different for me, as I'm not going into another year of full time education. Instead I'm taking a gap year, before heading off to university next September to study English Literature. One of my main reasons for taking a gap year is that... A-levels nearly killed me. Not literally of course, but the last two years of school were pretty tough. I'm not the only one who felt this way, pretty much all of my free periods were taken up by frantically writing an essay on a Shakespearean scene from a play we hadn't even read and hearing everyone complain about...well, everything.
It didn't matter who was studying for what or who had the most exams, everyone was having a hard time either dealing with the coursework load or those bits of information that just won't stay in your head. It's a challenging time, but I thought I'd include a few bits of advice in this post for those starting college, GCSE's or just another year beginning. 

Yeah fictional characters have a tough time too, channel Ducky from Pretty in Pink or Violet from American Horror story.

Something I wish had been more advised: get yourself organised. Towards the end of the summer begin getting all the supplies you will need, as for A-level, organisation is key. Here are a few things I would advise picking up:
-Folders-different colours for each subject
-Plastic wallets- to separate work so it’s easier to search through
-USB stick- especially if you are taking a coursework based subject.
-Big bag- yes we are aware you can wear what you like, but having a bag that will break in the first week and only carry two books will do you no favours.
-A4 pad- they don’t give you exercise books.
-Homework diary-You may get given one of these, but be prepared to get one (trust us, you may be in Post 16 but homework is still hard to keep track of!)
-Revision cards- these really come in handy in every subject.
-Highlighters, post-it notes etc- anything with colour to make note-taking clearer to understand when revising

The first term of anything is just about getting started. You won’t immediately be thrown in the deep end with coursework and impossible deadlines, but this term is important as you’ll soon realise what the next year will involve, and whether you are capable and defiantly want to do it. Here are a few tips I suggest.
-Do all homework set- don’t get behind all ready.
-Attendance- Make sure you go to all lessons as it’s more difficult to catch up than in previous school years.
-Ask questions- Yes it’s an obvious one, but it’s better than writing down something you don’t understand and then having a panic attack when you see it in an exam!
-Take notes on everything- For nearly all subjects, many students regretted not taking down more notes for when it came to revision, so note down anything you know you’ll want to remember!

Now, you will have gaps during the day without any lessons. Although every now and then you will deserve a break, it is vital that you make the most of these free hours. If you don’t, you’ll soon regret it on Friday evening when you realise your weekend will be full of completing homework tasks. Here’s what the students have to say:
-Make the most of a library- Textbooks, internet and printing to use in a quiet environment. And don’t worry about looking like a geek or whatever; it’s usually full of students!
-Study room- If your college/school has one, perfect if you’ve got a lesson in the building next…or if it’s raining and you don’t fancy running to the library.
-Avoid the common room when you actually need to do work- It’s usually to noisy to do any actual work, and you’re bound to get distracted, so maybe avoid the common room when the work needs concentration!

But remember! You’re supposed to have breaks as well !
Thank you so much for reading, please comment or share the post if any of it was helpful, and good luck for the first day!
Stay tuned for more in the September Series!

Goodbye August, Hello September!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Ok first of all, I cannot believe its September already. Summer cannot be over yet. Second of all, the English weather seems to know that summer has ended therefore meaning that the quality of the photo above is not fantastic, due to the miserable grey day outside. However, todays post is dedicated to a few things I've enjoyed in the month of August.
I bought a few things on my recent trip to London, and this dress from Forever 21 was something that I just couldn't walk away from. A very versatile dress that can be worn with any shoe, bag, cardi you name it, and I love the neckline! It's such a flattering dress as the long sleeves reach a nice point on the arm and the elastic on the waist stop it looking shapeless. It's an all round great dress that I will be wearing constantly in the colder months.
I'm also currently wearing the Essie Polish in Eternal Optimist. It is such a beautiful shade as the pink is not overly girly, and is the perfect balance between pastel and dusty. I was looking for a shade like this for so long to just wear daily as a neutral that goes with everything, and I think I've found my go-to polish!
I read a few books in early august but recently have been slacking off, however I still adore The Fault In Our Stars. As you can tell from my review I was really unsure about the book however ended up really enjoying it, just like the rest of the population.
Music wise, although I've been listening to some of The Black Keys and Royal Blood, I still can't really get into any brand new releases. Therefore I delve into my older stuff, and this month I have been listening to John Lennon back to back. I've always preferred the music to the man, and I just can't seem to get enough of 'Instant Karma', 'Woman' and 'Watching The Wheels'.
What have you been loving this month, and is anyone else obsessing over the new series of Project Runway?