Monday, 19 May 2014

An Insight...

Hello there!

I mentioned in yesterday's post about how I'm currently drowning in university work so I thought I'd explain what it is that I've been doing to make that bearable. As a first year Literature student, we tend to only get essays twice a year, once at the end of each semester. Sounds easy right? Except every module gives you 2 essays to write and not-so-coincidentally, the deadlines are all in the same week. (Which is next week for me!).

I'm currently in Reading Week, the week designated to us to catch up on work and reading before deadlines, and I'm usually one to go home during this week but this time I haven't been able to. So since I'm stuck here until Thursday,  I've been trying to have as much fun as possible (whilst doing work..):

Making essays a little more bearable with Twinings Blood Orange and Cranberry tea and a pretty dress (from here)
Tucking into my favourite chocolate and reading a childhood favourite: Heidi
Enjoying a little revision break walk. For an outdoorsy soul like me, this was invaluable

I hope you're all having a lovely Monday (well, as lovely as a Monday can be!) and I will catch up with you soon. I would love to hear about how you've been enjoying this beautiful weather, tell me in the comments below if you've been up to anything exciting!

Until next time, all my love,

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Listen & Love Vol. 3

Hey guys! Sorry for the quietness, exam/essay season can creeped up on me and taken me by surprise so I've been relentlessly essay writing all week! So, in order to help out you guys studying too, I thought I'd do a "Listen & Love" Volume dedicated to instrumental songs (from soundtracks of TV shows and films mainly) to listen to whilst you're studying!

  1. I Am The Doctor // Murray Gold (Doctor Who Series 5) (x)
  2. Potter Waltz // Patrick Doyle (Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire) (x)
  3. The Quidditch World Cup //Patrick Doyle (Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire) (x)
  4. Liz on Top of the World // Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Pride and Prejudice) (x)
  5. Two Figures By A Fountain // Dario Marianelli (Atonement) (x)
I hope these help you a little bit with your studying (or relaxing if you're lucky enough not to have work to do!). I've decided "Listen & Love" posts should be a little less frequent than weekly so from now on I will do them as soon as I've found some new music that I want to share with you all!

Happy relaxing!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Bear's Den @ The Ruby Lounge (and other Manchester adventures)

(( Please excuse the photo quality of these posts, I forgot my proper camera and so relied on mine and my dad's phones, both of which didn't handle the low light particularly well. This'll teach me to remember my actual camera next time!! ))

On Thursday night I had the pleasure of being able to head to Manchester to meet my Dad and go and see one of my favourite bands, Bear's Den. The night as a whole, including the gig itself was one of the best nights I've had in a really really long time.

I arrived in Manchester after a day at university and headed straight to the hotel Dad had booked for us to stay in that night so we could both enjoy a few drinks without worrying about getting home. We  both got ready at a record pace as food was calling and we were desperate to get out and get the evening started! After a recommendation from my Mum who used to work in Manchester (and is therefore a pro in all things regarding places to eat/drink/visit) we headed to a rather unassuming place called The Bakerie. I must admit, after having looked at the menu before arriving I wasn't that excited but when I'd sat down and got myself settled, the thought of a hearty stew and some freshly baked artisan bread was incredibly appealing.

I had the chicken and chorizo stew and my dad had a beef stew and my goodness, it was heavenly!! If you're ever down in the Northern Quarter of Manchester I would highly recommend heading there and checking this place out because it was genuinely so good (and they gave me a bucket of wine too which was an even bigger plus!).

Once we'd finished eating, it was still a little early to head to The Ruby Lounge so instead we headed to Black Dog Ballroom, a place we are both familiar with and like. 

Another glass of wine later (the first couple of way too many) we decided it was time to head down to the venue and catch the support act, a lovely gentleman called Christof. In hindsight I wish we'd headed there to see the whole of his set because he is an incredibly talented artist and I could've stood there and listened to him all night. 

Next up was what we'd been waiting for. Bear's Den came on stage and the (intimate but clearly very passionate) crowd received them with tumultuous applause. The set was a variety of songs, old and new, performed flawlessly. The guys were amazing in their performance, it's rare to find a band that sounds just as good, if not better live than they do recorded.  

And if this gig couldn't get any better,  the guys even came into the audience to perform "Bad Blood" acoustically, right there in front of us!

The set was over all too quickly, and everything about it was perfect.

The advantages of being a fan of artists who play small venues is the chance of meeting them is so much higher, and lucky for us both Christof and Bear's Den were selling their merchandise and were having pictures with us fans. Now I'm quite a shy, reserved person but after 6 wines and a night of excitement, the thought of missing this opportunity wasn't sitting well with me so I asked for photos and signed albums from both the band and the support and both of which I got! (And for a girl who is a self-confessed beard lover, being surrounded by that much facial hair made me stupidly giddy. No shame. Also, excuse my appearance in the next few photos, I'd been rained on, had too much wine and been dancing so I wasn't looking my best!)


To end a perfect night, Dad thought he would treat me to a cocktail or two at the Alchemist, a very well known cocktail bar that I had been dying to go to for ages. I'm not a big drinker in general but I can never pass up a rather exciting sounding cocktail, and exciting they were. I had a Rose Bud cocktail (with actual rose buds in it) and a Passionfruit Meringue Martini and wow, they were amazing! I would 100% recommend heading down there :-)

If you've read all the way down to here you deserve a medal. All in all it was an absolutely phenomenal night and I would recommend listening to Bear's Den and Christof wholeheartedly as they are some of the best live acts I've seen.

I hope you're all well! What are some of the best live bands you've seen? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below.

Until next time!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Style Crush: Modcloth

Now I know that typically style crush posts are usually about people who's style I particularly love (and I will be doing a few of those), but I thought I'd kick off my style-related posts with a slightly broader approach. Modcloth is one of those online shops that I will only ever be able to dreamily scroll through, as on a student budget I can't really afford the dresses (or the shipping costs) but I still adore absolutely everything on there all the same. Below is a selection of a few of my favourite dresses (as I am an eternal dress wearer, it's rare to see me in anything else!) and links to buy them if you, unlike myself, can go and order everything you like.. Something I can only dream about!!

(from left to right)

Top row: 
  1. Your Lucky Daisy Dress (This was actually worn by Jess Day in New Girl, isn't it dreamy?!)
  2. Tea Cupcake Dress
  3. Woman in the Office Dress
  4. Garden Home Tour Dress
  5. Heirlooms and Blooms Dress
Bottom row:
  1. Little Vacation House on the Prairie Dress
  2. Woods I Ever! Dress
  3. Come Crochet With Me Dress
  4. Summer Study Break Dress
  5. Tell Me A Secret Garden Dress
Happy shopping/swooning!

Monday, 5 May 2014

Life Updates: Current Life in Verbs

I had the inspiration for this type of post whilst reading someone's blog but for the life of me, I can't remember who's! But I think it's a wonderfully concise way of updating you guys on where I am in life, what I've been doing and loving and reading etc, without rambling on too much (which I know I have a tendency to do!). This is going to be a fairly regular addition to my blog, perhaps not weekly, but when I feel like I have had enough going on to write about!

reading // I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith, one of my dear friends and penpals mailed this book to me out of the blue because she knew I'd love it, and then one of my best friends at university also informed me that it's one of her favourite books too! I've only just started it but I can tell already that it's going to be a wonderful read.

listening // Aaaaaall the Disney soundtracks. I'm having one of those "Nope, I'm not a grown up, I refuse to accept my responsibilities" weeks and those kind of weeks are commonly accompanied by an awful lot of Disney. After all, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, right?

hoping // That all the work I have to start this coming week with deadlines at the end of the month will miraculously do itself. Either that or I'm suddenly blessed with the brain of someone greatly more intellectual than myself so it'll be less of a slog when I finally get down to doing it all.

watching // Disney films and Doctor Who. The urge to watch Disney films is completely induced by the aforementioned complete denial of my adulthood. Doctor Who however is one of my great loves, and for some reason I haven't watched much of it for a little while. However whilst I was eating my tea last week, an episode was on the TV and suddenly the urge to watch it came back and hit me. This week I've been ploughing through Series 7, although the next episode is The Angels Take Manhattan and I haven't been able to watch that since it aired due to the immense emotional trauma it caused, so wish me luck!

writing // My Creative Writing module portfolio. This is basically how we're assessed, so I've been working on a couple of poems that  I'm not 100% sure about yet, but I've also decided I want to write a short story based on a song called The Fog by Rachel Sermanni (who I'm going to see live in a few weeks, eeek!) because it's a really thought-provoking song and every time I listen to it I'm dying to know the story behind it. So I figured if I'm never going to find out the actual story, I may as well write my own!

anticipating // Home on Thursday to go and see Bear's Den with my dad and then getting to spend the whooole weekend at home until having to come back to university for my final week of lectures as a first year. Well hasn't that come round quickly!

What's been happening in your week? I hope it's been considerably more exciting than mine!
Until next time, all my love

Sunday, 4 May 2014

A Midsummer Night's Dream Ball

On Thursday myself and my best friends and fellow English Literature students attended a Midsummer Night's Dream themed ball to celebrate the end of the university year (only a few weeks left of being a first year, help!!). It was honestly so much fun, we got to dress up like princesses and eat a three course meal and then dance the night away to many a cheesy tune.

Jess, Bethan, Rosie (who sadly couldn't make it to the actual ball) and myself all got ready in my flat, we pinned flowers in each others hair, danced to Taylor Swift and ate our weight in fig biscuits and lemon cake whilst washing it all down with copious amounts of tea. If you ask me, it was a much better way to get ready for going out than "pre-drinks" and we sure did have an awful lot of fun. It made me even more excited to be living with those beautiful ladies come September. We also couldn't resist a few photos before we left too!

 ..and finally a serious one:

When we arrived at the venue, we were all pretty thrilled at receiving a free drink and getting to recline on wonderfully marshmallow-like sofas whilst listening to a harpist play for us all. We then got to our tables and were even more thrilled to find small paper bags of sweets for each of us, plus a page from A Midsummer Night's Dream and most exciting of all, bubble-blowers (!!). 

So with all this excitement, lovely though slightly delayed food.. (we only finished eating at past 10pm) followed by dancing to questionable, highly cringeworthy yet thoroughly enjoyable music, we decided to call it a night. And a wonderful night it was too!

All my love,