Wednesday, 14 October 2015

THINGS AS THEY ARE (or: how to accept process and progress)

Well. First things first, a hiatus of over one month (jeez) was never a part of any plan. I personally dislike it when bloggers start posts of apologising for their lack of posting - I mean, life happens, things happen, things fall apart, things prosper - because a blog is just a blog. Now, don't get me wrong, there are numerous people out there who treat their blog as their job (and rightly so! for a selected few it even is their main or sole source of income), but to me I feel more comfortable treating it as an outlet for ideas and thoughts, and then let the possible advantages of it career-wise remain secondary. What happened was I attempted to plan my blogging weeks in advance and do specific types of posts that supposedly drive more traffic to your blog - long story short, I got caught up in the idea of making my blog a business before I even had time to shape and polish the blog itself.

Bad idea.

So this post is me returning to the basics of blogging: sharing things I like and find interesting, as well as snippets from my life.

To kick things off, let's see what I've been up to lately via my Instagram (you can follow me @phraseologies here):
I've been:

  • working on my dissertation and been amazed at all the information and science us humans have actually put into words and conveyed to each other.
  • reading. a lot. mostly for university, a bit for leisure. I've particularly enjoyed 'the selfish gene' by r. dawkins, 'colourless tzukuru tazaki' by h. murakami and 'the martian' by andy weir (not pictured, review coming soon!)
  • drinking coffee. lots of coffee.
  • taking baths. consequently: spent loads of money in lush. lush is my kryptonite.
  • starting third year (!!! how did we get here) and been putting in roughly 6 hours of work 5 days a week to stay on top of the crazy amount of readings and research expected. (and surprisingly enjoyed it so much that I am now more or less completely set on doing a master's degree next year).
  • getting back into the swing of things.
Hope you're all doing well and enjoying the 'newness' that comes with fall.
xx
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Wednesday, 9 September 2015

SEPTEMBER READING LIST


Today has truly felt like the first proper day of autumn. The temperature is under 15c outside and the weather is rather grey and dreary, in other words the perfect day to withdraw to a cozy sofa or armchair with a nice read and a hot drink (alternatively, draw a bath and treat oneself to a nice Lush soak while catching up on a telly show or youtube). Then comes the question - what to read? This month I've chosen mix of - to me - autumn-y reads and set texts for my university course. So let's see what's on this month's agenda for me:


  1. First up is a classic that to me is the perfect read for grey days like today: Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights. I'm also reading this for university, and at the moment I'm about 1/3 through it. So far it's been an interesting read, and I'm definitely enjoying it.
  2. The second book on this list I actually finished right before writing this blog post: Yes Please by Amy Poehler. I would call myself a semi-fan of Ms Poehler; I thoroughly enjoyed what I've seen of her at SNL, she's Regina's mum in Mean Girls (which means I adore her; I even did a presentation about Mean Girls and ideology for my degree last year), and she's just a very funny woman. I liked Yes Please and read it in merely two days, partly because it's an easy read and partly because I enjoyed reading it. I nevertheless gave it 3/5 on goodreads, simply because I feel her book is perhaps more suitable for a more invested fan as it contains a lot of references to people she's worked with that I simply don't know who are which makes it hard to relate to the book.
  3. The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi. If I'm being 100% honest, I am reading this book for university and have no idea what it's about. I'm gonna let Amazon tell us: 'The hero of Hanif Kureishi's first novel is Karim, a dreamy teenager, desperate to escape suburban South London and experience the forbidden fruits which the 1970s seem to offer. When the unlikely opportunity of a life in the theatre announces itself, Karim starts to win the sort of attention he has been craving - albeit with some rude and raucous results.' I have, however, heard from a friend of mine who did the same course last year that it's a rather shocking and rude read so I'm quite excited for this one.
  1. I've been wanting and meaning to read Sylvia Plath for ages now. Where better to start than with The Bell Jar? Semi-autobiographical, The Bell Jar tells the story of Esther Greenwood who wins an internship with a New York fashion magazine, but who slowly finds herself spiralling into depression. I am beyond excited to finally be reading this, as I'm sure there's a good reason they call it a modern classic.
  2. After seeing it appear on numerous Instagram accounts, I ordered The Martian by Andy Weir last week (thank you Amazon for prime and your 3-for-£10 offers). Apparently there's a film adaptation of this coming out next month, so what better time to read the book. The plot is simple and intriguing: Protagonist Mark Watney is stranded on Mars. To me, that's all I really needed to be drawn in.
  3. Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale is another modern classic I've been meaning to read for ages but never got around to. So I've naturally included it in this month's list! In Atwood's novel, there exists 'Handmaids' whose only function is to breed. Perfectly dystopian and - I'm guessing - with a kick-ass female protagonist.
  4. Yet another read in preparation for my final year of my bachelor's. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a 'study of the problem of European colonialism in Africa: 'The Nigerian Okonkwo recognizes the cultural imperialism of the white men and tries to show his own people how their own society will fall apart if they exchange their own cultural core for that of the English.' I'm neither excited for nor dreading this read, so hopefully it will be a positive surprise!

What are you guys planning on reading this month? Also, do you tend to plan your reading in advance?
x
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Monday, 7 September 2015

MY WEEKLY ODE TO... #5

Photo is courtesy of That Grace Girl and is linked through to source.

So here we go again. Albeit one day after schedule, but nevertheless here: my weekly ode to nice things that has happened on the internet.
  1. Meg Biram shared her 2015 Reading List Update  and it's just such a nice read as well as being aesthetically pleasing. I'm sucker for reading lists - I always want to know what others are reading! - and this is a particularly nice one.
  2. Grace is my beauty guru. Her blog That Grace Girl is effortlessly chic and inspiring, and her writing style is incredible. She's hugely inspirational to me and consequently I devour her every post asap after they are published. Her post 11 Beauty Products Every 20-Something Should Own is probably my favourite post in the beauty blogosphere for a good while. It's on-point, not at all preachy, and has basically made me add 11 new items onto my wishlist (not ideal for the wallet, but I digress).
  3. Mariell shared the contents of her fridge with us earlier this week: in my fridge. and I absolutely love it. I am nosy by nature, and adore seeing the bits and bobs from other people's houses/lives that aren't normally shared online.
  4. Donald Trump Says 'China'. Need I say more? The people over at Huffington Post has made a video compilation of Trump saying 'China' an astounding 234 times. All serious politics and agendas aside, if nothing else it is at least an entertaining watch.
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Sunday, 6 September 2015

THIS AUTUMN I WILL...


eat / burritos in all forms and shapes. typical oven dish-meals: mac&cheese, enchiladas, cannelloni, lancashire hot pot, moussaka.
drink / earl grey with milk. copious pots of Atkinson's 'honey bush' tea. <3 cappuccinos.
become better at  / praising and complementing others in real life. it's so easy online, so why not try and transfer that into real life?
learn  / my goal is to be able to have a very basic conversation with my boyfriend in German. I'm also wanting to learn to read notes.
try  / yoga. re-learning indesign.
play  / handball.
finish  / all essays and coursework at least two days before their deadlines, so that I can take a day off before coming back to re-read and edit. it honestly makes such a difference.
read  / lots. I have about 3 novels/week to get through for university, and then there's leisure reads on top of that. at the moment I'm mostly excited for Margaret Atwood's new novel in October.
remember  / that it always gets better. that things are never as bad as they seem. to be more grateful for everything around me.
wear  / bold lipsticks. my trusty trenchcoat. keep working on my capsule wardrobe (post on this coming soon!) so that eventually there is (hopefully) not a single day where I have nothing to wear.
bake  / tray bakes. in all shapes and flavours. coconut&blackcurrant, caramel shortbread, peanut butter shortbread. also want to try to replicate the most amazing, moist chocolate cake with raspberry&cream filling and topping I had at a café in town a few weeks back.
work  / after lists, efficiently, and hopefully within some sort of set work-hours.
travel  / home for christmas (<3). hopefully on a weekend-break to edinburgh. to birmingham to visit friends. to austria to visit my boyfriend's family.

This list has been borrowed and translated from mariell/hjartesmil. 
x
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Thursday, 3 September 2015

NEW YA RELEASES I'M EXCITED ABOUT | FALL 2015

While I am in the midst of reading about Darwinism, enhancing evolution, and bioethics (with the occasional Brontë and Achebe to lessen the workload when term starts again), I thought I'd share with you a few of the new titles I am excited to read this fall in between essays and dissertations. I was intending this post to merely contain titles that haven't been released yet; however, going through my Amazon wishlist I realised there are so many books released throughout 2015 that I am dying to get my hands on. So this list therefore consists of books from throughout 2015. Let's dive in:


First up on the list is Ruth Ware's In a Dark Dark Wood. To me, this sounds like a typical thriller particularly aimed at females (slightly sad that 'female' books are still a thing, but if it gets people reading I can't fault it too much). From the Amazon description: 'Nora hasn't seen Clare for ten years when she is suddenly invited to her hen do - but something goes wrong. Very wrong.' While the plot is neither groundbreaking nor super exciting, I've heard good things about this book and have seen it appear on numerous Instagram accounts, so I still have high hopes for this one!
(P.S.: the hardcover of this is currently only £7.00 on Amazon!)







Ah, Rainbow Rowell. I loved Eleanor and Park. Fangirl was partly like reading a story about myself five-or-so years ago (I used to be hardcore into the fanfiction scene online). I love Rowell because she writes high-quality young adult novels, which are a guilty pleasure of mine, so naturally when I came across Carry On on Amazon it was just too easy to click that pre-order button. From what I've gathered, Carry On is the story Cath writes about Simon Snow (a pseudonym for Harry Potter if you ask me) in Fangirl. I'm well excited to receive this in early October and cuddle up on the sofa with a warm drink and freshly baked cinnamon buns (or some other equally delicious bakery).



What can I say, t'is the season for thrillers and mysteries. Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver sounds to me like the perfect mix between young adult fiction and Gone Girl-esque mysteries. I'm beyond excited to get my hands on this as it's supposed to have an amazing twist towards the end and the story itself is apparently strangely narrated but nevertheless addictive. In other words, my cup of tea.


I cannot actually believe how excited I am about this book! I only found out about its future existence a few days ago, but Orbiting Jupiter by Garry D. Schmidt has already got a hold on me. Sadly, it is not released until early January 2016 (*sobs*), but you know what they say, good things come to those who wait etcetera. Labeled 'a heartbreaking story', Orbiting Jupiter tells the story of two young boys Jack and Joseph, the latter of which was incarcerated for trying to kill a teacher. Following this, he ended up living with Jack's family. It turns out Joseph - despite being a mere fourteen years of age - has a daughter he's never seen, and so the two boys set out on a journey to find his daughter. I mean, the description alone is enough to make me slightly teary-eyed.




Are there any new releases (or old, for that matter) you can't wait to get your hands on? Let me know, as I'm always looking to expand my Amazon wishlist.
x
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Monday, 31 August 2015

WHAT I READ | END OF AUGUST

To be frank, the title of this post should probably be 'What I Ate and Read' rather than merely the latter, as this last week of August has truly been a week of delicious snacks as well as great reads. Nevertheless, I thought I'd show you what I have been reading this past week (and what I've been nibbling on while doing so!).

I started the week off with still-warm cinnamon buns from my local bakery and The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis. I watched the movie adaptation of Ellis's novel a few years back and absolutely hated it, so I have to admit I came to this novel with a negative spirit. Regardless, I ended up loving it. I say love not as in 'this is the best book I have ever read', but rather in a 'none of the characters are likeable and they all do horrible things yet I need to find out how it ends'. Because truthfully, I hate everyone in The Rules of Attraction. And I think that's the charm of it, in my opinion anyway. The novel tells the story of three college students whose lives overlap from time to time, at a campus on America's East Coast where drugs, sex, and wallowing in self-pity are the main activities. I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys campus novels and the likes; I found that TRoA in many ways resembles and at one point even directly refers to Donna Tartt's The Secret History.

(P.s.: Here is a list of the '50 Best Campus Novels Ever Written' according to Flavorwire.)

Rating: ★★★★★

Mid-week, I was suddenly in the mood to bake something and ended up making red velvet cupcakes. I enjoyed them with milky coffee and Aldous Huxley's classic Brave New World. I was primarily reading this for my bachelor's dissertation, but thankfully found it to be an amazing read. Brave New World is a wonderful mix of dystopia and utopia - depending on who's looking - and portrays an exaggerated future wherein every human is designed and produced rather than born, and where independence is given up for the sake of community. A classic novel I am glad to have finally read.

Rating: ★★★★★

Lastly, I've been reading the incredibly interesting Freakonomics by S. D. Levitt and S. J. Dubner and snacking on some ridiculously tasty millionaire shortbreads. I mean, look at that caramel! Drooling aside, Freakonomics is a highly entertaining and eye-opening read; I found that I almost flew through the 200-or-so pages. Levitt and Dubner 'explore the hidden side of everything' and a lot of what they discover is rather surprising. I would recommend this book to anyone! It is an easy read, and I believe we can all learn an interesting fact or two from this book.

Rating: ★★★★☆

So what about yourselves, what have you been reading lately? I'm always looking for new things to read, so if you've read something good (or even bad, but entertaining, I'm not awfully picky) recently, please let me know!
x
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Sunday, 30 August 2015

MY WEEKLY ODE TO... #4


  1. Bank Holiday weekend calls for some tasty snacks. This weekend I've had homemade pizza (courtesy of the boyf) and also made Millionaire Shortbread based on hjartesmil's recipe. So ridiculously easy to make and delicious! (Yes, I made these the same day she posted the recipe, not even going to lie!)
  2. Rachel of Currently Rachel wrote an important reminder about the amazing functions of the female body and the ridiculous 'hygiene' standards we are subject to. In Can We Please Talk Openly About Vaginal Hygiene? she pointedly challenges the problematique of addressing the female sexual organ using 'nicey-nice pseudonyms like 'hoo ha', 'lala', and 'sensitive skin'.' The perpetrator in question, Femfresh, a brand selling products designed for vaginal use, has recently sponsored several beauty bloggers to recommend their (arguably) unnecessary products. I think Rachel's post is interesting in numerous aspects, as it tackles both the notion that vaginal soaps are essential for a woman's hygiene and the cringey, childlike tendency to create pseudonyms for something as natural as the vagina.
  3. As if growing up and into adulthood isn't hard enough on its own, there is often a tendency in other adults to 'warn' you of the harshness of becoming an adult. Katie of Scarphelia addresses this in her post 'Don't Grow Up, It's a Trap', writing cleverly about the falseness of this phrase and how awesome it actually is to grow up.
  4. Lastly, Nothing, except that everything will be fine. by Lovisa Ranta and 'här. nu.' (here. now) by Jennifer Stroud; just two posts simply yet profoundly portraying love and relationships in few words. Because we all need some love in our lives.
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Friday, 10 July 2015

THINGS WE DON'T TALK ABOUT: BREAKING UP WITH A FRIEND

A couple of weeks back, Swedish blogger Sandra Lundin wrote an important post about breaking up with friends. I featured it in My Weekly Ode to a week or so after her posting it. Additionally, From Roses posted on dealing with not having a lot of friends only yesterday, adding to my thoughts on the topic.

I personally think this is an important topic to discuss, particularly since it is one of the many things we simply never discuss because it's considered taboo or makes us uncomfortable. Well, please consider casting aside your sense of comfort because breaking up with friends who do not contribute to your happiness but rather drains it from you is one of the most difficult and important things you can do to improve yourself. (As a cautionary note, I would like to specify that during this post I will in no way be referring to friends who are struggling/going through hardships that put strains on you as well. It is so so important to be there for your friends in need.)
So how do you know if it's time to perhaps considering ridding yourself of a friend? This will naturally differ from person to person, but I feel like there are a few tell-tale signs:

Your friendship is one-sided: you always have to adhere to their wishes and wants, while yours are constantly ignored by them. Basically, who wants to give and give and never get anything in return? Relationships, romantic or friendly, should be based on mutual respect and input. While this might seem obvious, it is hard to address this in relation to a friendship. No one wants to be alone. I myself am guilty of holding onto friendships that are more draining than fun; rather that than having no friends, being the general idea. Please do not obsess about the number of friends you have, focus instead on how your life is improved by the friends you choose and are lucky enough to have in your life. If your friend is being a bad friend, you are allowed to let them know!

Your friendship is destructive. Would you hold onto a boyfriend or girlfriend who talked down to you, belittled your interests, and generally criticised your ideas and thoughts? Of course not! Then why surround yourself with friends who bring you down? We are usually our own worst critics, and your friends should be people who lift you up and empower you rather than people who fixate on your (imagined) worst qualities.

You have nothing in common/your conversations are merely 'filling the silence'. Sure, often in life we all have to deal with people we do not have a lot in common with. Many of these you might still get along with perfectly well; they might even become your closest friends. It is, however, problematic when the only reason you stay friends is because you have been friends 'forever'. That is not to say every conversation you have should be grade A content, but if every conversation is full of complaints or unnecessary critique of others then maybe you should reconsider either the friendship or your go-to convo subjects (unless complaining and critiquing are your favourite things in the world, then obviously go for it).

You are scared to tell your friends about your ideas and thoughts. If you only take one thing from this, please let it be this: if your friends regularly put down or ridicule your ideas to the point where you're scared to say anything because of it, please stop talking to these people a.s.a.p. If you are in this situation but it's not a regular thing, please speak to your friend(s) about it and tell them to get their act together and start being more supportive. (Note: there is a difference worth noting here, between friendly joking and actual ridiculing. I am sure you are able to differentiate between the two, and if in doubt - address the issue.)

Friendships can be difficult, however there is no reason they need to be. I think most of us are occasionally guilty of disregarding our own wellbeing in order to please those around us. My best tip would be to stop doing this; at least try. I 100% understand it can be challenging, especially at first, but would you not rather surround yourself with people who both give and take and whom you feel blessed to have in your life? I know I do.

Have you ever broken up with a friend?
x
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Sunday, 5 July 2015

MY WEEKLY ODE TO... #3


  1. The amazing Fashion Slave wrote a post on How to Reject Unwanted Advances the other day, and to me it was really eye-opening and empowering! Particularly her encouraging women not to use the 'I have a boyfriend' excuse because if you're not interested, you're not interested, boyfriend or no boyfriend. Simple as. Additional reading: Stop Saying "I Have a Boyfriend" To Deflect Unwanted Attention. I know I will personally stray as far away from that excuse as possible in the future.
  2. Career Girl Daily wrote a post on the 7 Books That Should Be On Every Career Girl's Bookshelf. A good selection of empowering and motivational books, I particularly like #girlboss (who doesn't) and A Room of One's Own.
  3. If you're only checking out one of these links this week, make it this one. Tumblr-blog Eponis gives realistic advice on how to deal with life when Everything is Awful and You're Not Okay. It is genuinely the most uplifting piece I've read in a while, and applicable to almost any situation. Instant bookmark from me!
  4. Lastly, a blogpost that has entirely intrigued me: Byrdie tells us How To Get Rid of a Headache in Two Minutes Flat. Too good to be true? I have (fortunately) not been struck by any headaches since reading this post, however next time it comes around (hopefully not any time soon) I will put this tip to use!
So what about you guys? What have you been loving online the past week?
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Saturday, 4 July 2015

JULY READING LIST

Another month, another pile of books! For the month of July I have put together a nice pile that consists of a nice mix of compulsory reading for uni as well as more leisurely reads. So here are my picks:

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley: The dystopian cult classic I have embarrassingly never read. I'm hopefully using this for my dissertation next year, so fingers crossed I will get on well with it. However, I can't imagine that being a problem considering my ever-lasting love affair with dystopias...

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde: I am primarily reading this gem for my module on Victorian Gothic next year, so luckily I am enjoying it so much I am already halfway through it! I believe I'm correct in assuming most of us know the story of Dorian Gray, the man (boy?) who is reluctant to grow old and wishes for a portrait of him to bear the signs of aging in his place. A classic that has positively surprised me!

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig: I mentioned this book in my June reading list post, but I just never got around to reading it. It's been constantly waiting for me to open it though from its spot on the bookshelf, so this month I will fulfill its wishes. Still very excited to read this, despite my failing to do so in the past month.

July's book selection below my beloved massive The Great Wave off Kanagawa poster.

One Day by David Nicholls: So I already started this and I LOVE IT! It is such an entertaining read. It follows two people, Emma and Dexter, on the same day every year for twenty years. Their relationship is a complex mix of romance and friendship, and it is a really nice portrayal of life after university and the hardships of growing up.

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides: I probably bought this book almost two years ago... And I have still not read it! That is ridiculous, especially considering I absolutely adored The Virgin Suicides, and the plot (no pun intended) of this sounds like exactly my cup of tea! Coming of age stories rank very high on my list of attractive reads.

Human Nature after Darwin by Janet Radcliffe Richards: Now this one is a bit different. I'm reading this for my third year module on Darwinism, but also because Darwinism is ridiculously interesting! I believe this one is technically a textbook, however considering the topic I am confident I will enjoy it immensely nevertheless!

So what about you - what are you all reading this month? I'm always wanting to expand my library!
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Wednesday, 1 July 2015

BOOK REVIEW: THE GUEST CAT BY TAKASHI HIRAIDE

In the heat of the summer (aka. the English summer that seems to have been compressed into approx. four-five days this week), I often find myself reaching for slightly lighter reads than usual. I'm the same with food to be honest; all I find tempting when the temperatures exceed 25C are cold (lukewarm at most) meals, cold fruity beverages and lots of mindless entertainment. That is not to say The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide is by any means a simplistic book.
Rather the opposite, this short novel (story? semi-biographic tale?), consisting of merely 136 pages, is a pure gem. The Guest Cat tells the story of a couple in their thirties who work at home as freelance writers and have arrived at a certain point in their relationship where they are, to put it bluntly, out of ideas and thoughts to share with one another. This, however, changes when a neighbour cat invites itself into their lives. The cat Chibi serves as a common interest between the couple, and consequently The Guest Cat in many ways reads as a pet memoir. Which it in many ways is. However, it is also lined with musings on philosophy as well as interesting thoughts on the world as a whole.

The Guest Cat is a lovely tale about a cat and its positive influence on those around it. I think Hiraide's publisher Kris Doyle says it best:
Yes, it is ostensibly about a cat, but it's more than that. It's about how to manage your relationship, how observant we are in the world, in nature. The scenes of them playing with Chibi in the garden remind us how beautiful the world can be, and how much we miss of it when we keep our heads down at work. The whole thing has a fabular quality to it.
In other words, a book not to miss.
Rating: ★★★★

Have you read The Guest Cat? If so, what were your thoughts on it?
If not, order yourself a copy here!
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Monday, 29 June 2015

A ROOM OF ONE'S OWN


'Why does Samuel Butler say, 'Wise men never say what they think of women'? Wise men never say anything else apparently.'

A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf, page 34 (1929).

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Sunday, 28 June 2015

My weekly ode to... #2

Happy Sunday! Håper dere nyter en deilig, avslappende søndag som forhåpentligvis markerer slutten på en fantastisk sommeruke. Her i Lancaster er været relativt midt-på-treet om dagen; det regner nesten ikke, men det er samtidig veldig lite som tyder på at det straks er juli. Men man tager vad man haver og forsøker å gjøre det beste ut av det hele. Jeg har jo tross alt sommerferie uansett vær! Så her kommer noen av mine internett-favoritter den siste uka:
  1. Flora delte her om dagen et nydelig smykke hun hadde fått av sine foreldre, og lenket heldigvis (eller uheldigvis, avhengig av andel skattepenger/feriepenger en har til gode) til Jane Kønig sin hjemmeside. Jeg tror hennes smykker utgjør en perfekt graduation-gift eller bare til noen som fortjener litt ekstra oppmerksomhet.
  2. Denne sykt interessante og absurde saken. It blew my mind først, men så fant jeg dessverre ut senere at det ikke var en sann historie - uansett gir den er skikkelig forvirrende og imponerende bilde av vanskelighetene rundt å oppklare en død.
  3. Mariell skriver fantastisk bra om nett-troll og om problematikken rundt å være en offentlig person en og enhver føler seg rettiget til å kritisere.
  4. Ceridwen Dovey sitt innlegg i The New Yorker 'Can Reading Make You Happier?' om å bruke litteratur som terapi.
  5. Sandra skriver så gjennomtenkt og fint om å avslutte vennskap som er destruktive. Et utrolig viktig tema som er alt for tabulagt å snakke om; personlig ser jeg ingen grunn til å tviholde på venner som ikke får meg til å føle meg bra. (obs obs! handler ikke om venner som går gjennom vanskelige perioder som man absolutt burde støtte uansett)

*translation:
1. Flora shared the link to this gorgeous necklace the other day. 2. A super bizarre (however sadly fictional) crime. 3. Mariell writes about internet-trolls. 4. An article on using literature as therapy in The New Yorker. 5. An amazing blogpost on the difficulties and necessity of ending destructive friendships.
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Saturday, 27 June 2015

A SUMMERY BEAUTY WISHLIST

Nord-Englands mangel på sol og temperaturer over 18 grader stopper meg absolutt ikke fra å ville investere i en mengde sommerlige produkter. Her er noen av mine most desired items:


1. Jeg har bursdag i slutten av juli og kommer nok til å ønske meg denne parfymen fra Jo Malone. Earl Grey & Cucumber høres ut som en drøm i parfyme-form.

2. Mangel på en faktisk sjø og saltvann gir litt abstinenser når jeg ser venner og bekjente legge ut feriebilder på sosiale medier, og jeg tenker derfor at Surf Foam Wash Shampoo fra Bumble & Bumble kan være en midlertidig løsning til jeg reiser til Norge og Østerrike i slutten av juli.

3. Denne foundationen har jeg faktisk allerede kjøpt og I am in love. Foundation er kanskje ikke det mest sommerlige du kan tenke deg, however, Wake Me Up fra Rimmel lukter som solkrem i tillegg til å ha små skimmer-partikler i formulaen. Lukten alene er nok til å ville sikre seg denne, mmm.

4. Fancy gullglitter-såpe fra LUSH som i tillegg støtter en god sak? Yes, please. 

5. Benefits Hoola Bronzing Powder er et bronzing pudder som i følge de fleste beauty bloggere er et 'holy grail' produkt. Slikt må jo nesten bare testes ut. Dessuten er det fint med litt falsk summer glow når det mangler på faktisk brunfarge.

6. Jeg har tidligere blogget om Sweetie Pie fra LUSH, en shower jelly som bokstavelig talt er en dusjsåpe i gele-form. Det er både rart og morsomt å bruke disse geleene. Hver gang jeg er innom LUSH lukter jeg på Whoosh, men forlater som regel butikken uten den. Den skal være utrolig forfriskende, med andre ord perfekt for varme sommerdager, så jeg tror jeg må ta den med hjem neste gang jeg stopper innom.

7. De fleste som leser noen som helst beauty blogger har nok hørt om dette produktet allerede: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush er noe så simpel som, vel, en blusher. Med en prislapp på £28 (ca 350 kroner) er det lite tvil om at dette er et produkt litt utenfor en students budsjett. Den havner likevel kanskje i posten på vei hjem til meg rundt bursdagstider. Hvem vet. (I så fall blir det fargen Ethereal Glow.)


*translation:
My beauty wishlist for July. So many enticing products on offer. All links are to webpages that ship to the UK.

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Monday, 22 June 2015

BOOK REVIEW: THE SECRET HISTORY BY DONNA TARTT

Så. Denne boka, altså. Med sine 629 sider og et ikke-akkurat-mysterisk mord i bunn, forhekset The Secret History meg allerede i løpet av den første siden. Jeg tror tekstforfatterne hos Newsday beskriver det best:
'Donna Tartt has discovered not the usual collegiate mix of sex, drugs and rock and roll, but a heart of darkness as stony and chilling as any Greek tragedian ever plumbed [...] a thinking person's thriller.'
I romanen møter vi hovedpersonen Richard, som nettopp har flyttet til et nytt universitet, Hampden, hvor han ønsker å fortsette sine studier innenfor classics og gresk. Problemet er at det bare er én lærer ved Hampden som underviser i disse fagene, og han er svært selektiv: hans nåværende klasse består nemlig av kun 5 elever. Richard bestemmer seg derfor for å forsøke å få innpass i den mystiske klassen ved å bli venner med enkelte av dens nåværende elever.


Det lykkes han med, og etterhvert er han også blitt en del av den hemmelighetsfulle klassen. Det hele ender, oppsiktsvekkende nok, med at en av de andre elevene blir drept av sine medelever (dette blir avslørt allerede i løpet av de første sidene, så ingen spoiler) og romanen er derfor mer en why-done-it enn who-done-it. Dette hvorfor-et driver hele plottet, og det er virkelig ikke et kjedelig øyeblikk - selv om boka er relativt slow-moving.

Jeg tror jeg kan gå så langt som å si at dette kanskje er den beste boka jeg har lest på flere år, da den har alt jeg ser etter i en god bok: spenning, intriger, mysteriske karakterer, og en handling som får deg til å ønske at boka var dobbelt så lang og vel så det. Not to mention:


Tartt's fantastiske språk og evne til å formulere seg! Altså, for meg så var denne boka en utrolig opplevelse hvor jeg til slutt var så obsessed med historien at jeg ville droppe ut av uni og begynne å studere classics og gresk og latin samt bli en chic hobby-alkoholiker uten noen form for døgnrytme. Alas, det får bli med tanken for nå.

The Secret History har også en mentor-slash-indirekte-villain i læreren deres, Julian. Hans rolle er virkelig perfekt og oppsummerer egentlig den stemningen som eksisterer både innenfor og utenfor classics-elevene.


I tillegg til å være en intenst underholdende roman om å begå et mord og de påfølgende konsekvensene, skildrer den også livet som en fresher ved et nytt universitet veldig realistisk. Vi får bli med hovedpersonen Richard på flere ulike eventyr, enkelte mørkere enn andre, og være med på hans ekstremt interessante første år ved Hampden.




Rating: ★★★★

*translation:
I read The Secret History by Donna Tartt and it was all kinds of amazing. Feel free to use google translate to translate the entire post or to merely enjoy the amazing quotes above.
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Friday, 12 June 2015

A DAY IN THE LIFE

La oss prøve på nytt. Etter mye frem og tilbake har jeg bestemt meg for å skrive denne bloggen på norsk, med engelsk oversetning i slutten av hvert innlegg. Det er nemlig en god måte for meg å opprettholde språket mitt ettersom jeg sjelden bruker norsk i hverdagen her i Storbritannia; det ville jo være veldig synd å glemme bort sitt eget språk.

For en knapp uke siden fikk jeg storfint foreldre-besøk hjemmefra, og da måtte vi jo selvsagt gjøre litt stas ut av dagene. På mandagen mens de var her tok vi derfor turen til Ashton Memorial.



Det virker som sommeren (eller varmen, i det minste) endelig har ankommet nord-England, og det må man såklart utnytte til det fulle. L og jeg fikset litt hjemme (ettersom vi holdt på å flytte inn i ny leilighet) før vi dro ut i varmen og mot kanalen.


Hvor disse to fine ventet på oss! Etter en ti minutters tid hvor vi bare nøt nøt nøt sola, begynte vi sakte men sikkert på turen opp til Ashton Memorial. Memorialen ligger på et av de høyeste punktene i byen, men heldigvis er gåturen dit gjennom en av de fineste delene av Lancaster, så det gjør liksom ingenting alikevel.

Omtrent tolv minutter senere vandret vi gjennom en slags skogs-park hvor trærne sakte men sikkert avslørte vårt mål:





Altså. Så himla fint.


Fornøyde. Så satt vi oss ned med en is hver i solsteken, før vi en liten stund senere vendte snuta mot sentrum for litt obligatorisk shopping og snacks i solen. Finfinfin dag.

I dag skal jeg straks handle nødvendigheter for kveldens innflyttnings-party i vår nye leilighet og drikke litervis med Pimm's! Så pepp.

*translation:
On Monday I brought my parents to Ashton Memorial and around town, doing only things which allowed us to soak up as much sunlight as possible. Today I am going shopping for our moving-in-party later tonight and plan on consuming copious amounts of Pimm's!
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Sunday, 31 May 2015

A LITTLE TLC / LUSH SWEETIE PIE

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What are Sundays for if not a little TLC? Since my last post (a whole week ago, yikes), I've flown back home for a few days for some relaxation and catching up, while slowly getting more excited about my upcoming move into a new flat (we're getting the keys tomorrow!). A vital part in the past week's TLC has been LUSH's Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly. As I currently don't have a bathtub in my house (one of many reasons I am so excited to move into a new flat), I've been sourcing LUSH and the likes for fun and shower-friendly products. While I must admit that I feel like the funnest products are mostly aimed at people with access to bathtubs, there are nevertheless numerous fantastic products for us shower people, as well.

Sweetie Pie is a dark purple, glittery 'jelly baby' shower jelly, which you can use as a whole or cut up into smaller chunks. Personally, I prefer to cut it up as it gets ridiculously slippery when wet. What drew me most to this particular jelly was the combination of a blackcurrant-like scent and the inclusion of glitter. I mean who can resist this glittery gorgeousness:
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It smells amazing, feels great on the skin and one tiny chunk is enough for a shower, what's not to love? I've also been slowly but surely getting through The Secret History by Donna Tartt, and despite only being 1/3 through I can tell it's going to be one of my favourite reads in a while. As always, the review will be up as soon as I get around to finishing it! For now I leave you with the opening paragraphs of it:

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Sunday, 24 May 2015

JUNE READING LIST

After some well-needed TLC and lazy mornings post-exam period, I finally begun warming to the idea of doing something more brain-consuming than merely re-watching FRIENDS and the Mindy Project. So I went to the library and got out 5 books for next year's modules and dissertation (never felt so over-prepared in my life to be honest), as well as examining my ridiculous pile of unread novels to decide what to read first. I ended up with a list of no less than six books I plan on reading throughout the month of June:

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Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro: I am reading this mostly as dissertation-prep, but also because I absolutely loved the film adaptation of it and I find its plot extremely interesting: in this parallel world, specially selected humans are raised purely for the purpose of using their organs for transplants to the 'real' humans. Very eerie and very moving.

Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher: This young-adult novel appealed to me as it's revolving around a mystery as well as being one of those books that are constantly instagrammed. I've actually already begun reading this, and so far I quite like it even though it is very typically YA.

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig: I picked this book up with J. K. Rowling's Very Good Lives a few weeks ago, and like Rowling's newest publication, I have a feeling this is going to be a light, but motivational as well as educational read. I am really looking forward to starting this as I've heard such good reviews.
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The Expelled and other Stories by Samuel Beckett: Now this I picked up from the library as it's required reading for one of my modules next year, and I genuinely have no clue what to expect of this. Which is often more exciting than knowing what you're about to read in my opinion, anyway.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt: This has been my 'currently reading' book for a few weeks now, as I had barely any time to spend on reading during my exam revision. I am nevertheless about 100 pages into and so far so good. This is my first meet with Donna Tartt and so far I am impressed. There will be a book review up on here as soon as I finish this one!

Chuck Palahniuk's Burnt Tongues: I picked this one up ages ago purely because it is written by Chuck Palahniuk and I love me a crazy Palahniuk story. I love having a go-to-author whose books I am always sure I will enjoy.

So that's my reading list for June, let's just hope I'll get through them all!
What are you planning on reading in June?
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Saturday, 23 May 2015

BOOK REVIEW: VERY GOOD LIVES BY J. K. ROWLING

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Happy Bank Holiday Weekend! Today I wanted to share this little gem of a book with you. Very Good Lives is J. K. Rowling's commencement speech to Harvard graduates in 2008, now in book form. The book is a short, relaxing read, as well as being very aesthetically pleasing. It's got wonderful illustrations throughout:
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I personally finished this on a single busride to uni, however, it is definitely the kind of book one goes back to later on when in need of some cheering up or just general motivation. It's the perfect pick-me-up book or just when you want a very short, but intriguing read.

Rating: ★★★★☆
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Saturday, 16 May 2015

THE HUMANS

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"As well as religion, human history is full of depressing things like colonisation, disease, racism, sexism, homophobia, class snobbery, environmental destruction, slavery, totalitarianism, military dictatorships, inventions of things which they have no idea how to handle (the atomic bomb, the Internet, the semi-colon)".


The Humans by Matt Haig, page 77 (2014).

phraseologies
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Friday, 15 May 2015

A Love Affair with No7 Matte Lip Crayon

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Ever since I picked this little gem up from Boots a couple of weeks ago it's been on my mind (and lips). I feel like No7 is one of those under-appreciated brands that people tend to disregard in their search for the perfect shade. I know this because I used to be the same. However, after trying their Beautifully Matte Foundation last year and being rather impressed, it is now one of my go-to stops in Boots when I want to spend a bit more. That's not to say that No7 is a particularly pricey brand, I personally find their prices completely reasonable.

Back to the matter at hand. No7 Matte Lip Crayon in Raspberry Red (their only matte colour, sadly) is a gorgeous shade of well, raspberry red. To me, it's the perfect colour for those of us who aren't quite brave enough to sport very dark or bright colours. It's also incredibly wearable, as it's just as appropriate for daytime wear as nighttime. It applies easily and stays on well. I genuinely can't find a fault in this lip crayon! Now if No7 would produce more colours in their matte range I'd be a very happy customer.
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What's your experience with No7?


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