Sunday, 31 May 2015

The Sunday Files: Vol. 10

Time to amalgamate the best of the last seven days...

Reading: The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan. This book is a collection of stories and essays by a Yale student who sadly died in a car crash five days after graduating. The work in the book is honestly some of the best written stuff I have ever read and her non fiction pieces seriously made me question almost everything. I was sat on a train at 9.30 in the morning having an existential crisis after reading 'Why We Care About Whales'. It is honestly one of the best things I have ever read and you need to pick it up.

Listening: Life Of The Party by Shawn Mendes. This is a really chill, acoustic-y pop song and I have listened to it about fifty times in the last five days. It was the first thing I had ever really heard of Shawn and it led me to listen to his last album...this is still my favourite but it is generally a pretty good set of songs.

Eating: At The Creperie in Brighton. This is my favourite place to go during exams because what relieves exam stress better than a dark chocolate and marshmallow crepe. Nothing that is the answer.

Doing: Spending way too much time in the library (help me!) but asides from that I'm been running a lot because I've starting training for my first ever half marathon later in the year. If you know me then you know that I've literally never run in my life so this is a big deal for me. I've also been spending a little time at the beach and in the Pavilion gardens, just generally enjoying being back in Brighton.

Loving: The Nike running app because although the woman's voice may get kind of annoying when you are dying and she chimes in to tell you that you have only completed three miles, it is actually a really motivating app. You can set a distance or just run and it will tell you your mile pace and distance run. After the run you can chart the weather, how you felt and what sort terrain you were running on. However I think my favourite part is when you turn the phone on it's side it will give you your run's in graph form. It is really encouraging to see your distance go up and up, makes me feel like I'm actually making progress.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Stressed out chic?

wearing: tshirt from superfruit, jeans from topshop, shoes from primark.
If you read my last post then you will have seen that for the last two weeks all I have wanted to wear is oversized men's tshirts and skinny jeans. I like to call it stressed uni student chic. I think it is partially that I'm spending countless hours in the library (so comfort is key) and partially because I've been looking at a lot of men's fashion. I'm inspired.
This tshirt is one of my favourites at the moment because you know black but also it's a nod to the Youtube channel Superfruit (two of the guys from Pentatonix obviously because when do I ever not talk about them).
In other news I think I've seen too many late nights in the library recently (1am should be for sleeping not learning about centrifugation) and this trend will continue for another couple of weeks until all my uni exams over and I can finally collapse into summer mode (think actual outfit posts and going outside). I honestly cannot wait.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

I don't have a style

This may be a rather ramble-y post so beware.

In life people are categorised into groups a lot: whether they are a goth, a chav, a hipster or whatever a person's music, fashion and lifestyle choices often leave them with a label. I have met many people who fall pretty much perfectly into the label they have been assigned (whether by themselves or others) which makes sense because these stereotypes wouldn't be around if there wasn't someone to fit them. However, I know many people (myself included) who just don't really seem to fit anyway.

I've always been a bit of a flitter in life - moving from friendship group to friendship group, changing hairstyles every 35 seconds and having a new obsession every other week. I think it is part and parcel of having a borderline addictive personality. I find something and hook to it until sometime soon I find something else and move on (I'm glad to say this doesn't happen with friends) so I find it very hard to pin point a style within myself.

Everyone I know has music they love and music they hate, I on the other hand enjoy pretty much any genre of music you can throw at me. I mean a look at my most played songs will show you that I delve into PC music, cheesy pop, indie, folk, jazz, alternative, drum and bass, experimental pop and country on a regular basis. Many of my friends find this hard to understand because they have a genre or two that they love and pretty much stick to (that's cool for them) whilst I can put on almost any song and gleam enjoyment out of it.

The same goes for fashion I think, I move frequently from wanting a classic, androgynous, monochromatic wardrobe to wanting a boho chic wardrobe full of clashing patterns, bright colours and oversized gem rings. It is a problem that I think may fuel my shopping habit because a week after I buy something it doesn't fit my 'aesthetic' any more. I'm influenced by so many conflicting sources that my life is constantly flying between extremes.

However (there is a point I promise) I don't think I would have it any other way because I can never be pigeon holed in my choices. If someone says I only like pop music I can reel off a list of acoustic/rap/dance artists I like. If someone says I dress like a hipster I can remind them that for the last three weeks all have been inclined to wear is oversized black tshirts with slogans and ripped jeans (true story).

This post is mainly just cathartic for me but I wanted to say that you shouldn't feel pushed into one genre unless it is truly only what you like, feel free to rock out to Justin Bieber one day and to listen to Foo Fighters the next. Embrace the fact that you can slip into different versions of yourself because that is being true to yourself and allowing yourself to grow into a unique human who is influenced and enjoys whatever the hell they want. We are constantly allowed to reinvent ourselves, we can act feminine and girly one day then feel much more masculine the next. This process is part of life and if you enjoy (or even just appreciate) everything like I do then I think it allows you a lot more options.
People always say 'find your style and you will feel more confident' but I believe more in 'absorb everything and decide what you like, if you like it all then channel it all and be a person who changes daily'.

It's normal not to have a style...and it's more fun believe me.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

The Sunday Files: Vol. 9

Time to amalgamate the best of the last seven days...

Reading: Dazed and Confused magazine. I've been really interesting in this magazine for a while but nowhere I know in my home town sells it. Since being in Brighton I have been meaning to pick up a copy and I finally go around to it in the last week. I love the writing in this magazine and their online content is so good that I have their website saved to my phone homepage for easy access. If you like interesting articles about art, obscure pop culture and designer fashion this is definitely a read for you.

ListeningThe Inevitable End - Röyksopp. This album came out last year and loved it from the start but recently I have been listening to it again and I think I love it even more than before. It is a high-energy album full of dark electronica and the production value is so incredible. Every little detail is exquisite and combines to form highly enjoyable tracks. A standout on the album for me is the track Sordid Affair.

Eating: (I really should make a separate drinking section...) Original daiquiri's. I've been out for cocktails a few times this week and I've really been hooked on this concoction of white rum, lime juice and sugar. It's a pretty strong and acidic mix but the sugar on the rim of the glass really balances out the sharpness. If you have never tried it (and you are of legal drinking age) I suggest you go out right now and get one.

Doing: Watching a lot of Mary-Kate and Ashley movies. Hear me out on this one. I've been spending a lot of time with friends before I enter 24/7 exam mode and one of our favourite things to do is watch films that are so bad they are good. One of the classics of this genre is New York Minute starring the Olsen twins and watching this spurred us on to find other, rather worse films with the twins in them. Try watching a few I assure you that you will highly enjoy how awful they are.

Loving: My Boots steam inhaler. I suffer from a lot of sore throats and some pretty aggressive tonsil issues so when my friend said I might benefit from one I ran out almost instantly to get one and I have not been disappointed. Essentially it is a contraption in which you put boiling water (and nasal inhalants if you so desire) and breathe in the stream via a funnel that covers your mouth and nose. It's an interesting experience but it seriously does clear your throat out amazingly. I've also been informed it is a must for singers as it stops their vocal chords from drying out with too much singing (not a need for me really, my singing is extremely mediocre so it will not be a career choice I make).

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

The only five lip products you need

mac lipstick in peach blossom, sephora lip cream in red, bourjois colour boost lip crayon in orange punch, mac lip liner in boldy bare, rimmel kate moss lip stick in 01.

I'm such a creature of habit when it comes to makeup. I'm not the sort of person who has seven foundations, five different bronzers and thirty seven blush choices. This is partly because my student definitely would not stretch that far but mainly because I just know that I would pick the same product every time. I mean I've been using the same eyeshadow combination pretty much everyday since January. 
The only deviation from this curve though is lip products. I still keep to a small selection compared to some but I do mix it up day to day. Above are my five current favourites and I think these encompass just about every social situation. There are a couple of reds for going out or if I'm just feeling more fancy, a peach-y nude for everyday, a coral if I'm feeling summery and a nude/brown lip pencil for when I just don't want to think about my makeup all day. 
I recently went to a Sephora for the first time when I was in Spain and I instantaneously headed for the lip creams and picked out this red immediately because it is raved about by pretty much every blogger, Liv Purvis and Lily Pebbles especially. I can honestly say this is the most long lasting reds I have ever worn, so much so that I would happily wear it for a three (or four or five) course dinner without even thinking about having to reapply.
The others are all older favourites but I can't seem to bring myself to ever use anything else.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

The Sunday Files: Vol. 8

Time to amalgamate the best of the last seven days...

Reading: Unfortunately nothing much except revision notes, I have been really getting into the Stella magazine in the Sunday Telegraph though - going to start saving the little black book feature in case I ever go travelling somewhere.

Listening: Hero - Family Of The Year. This song is just a really chilled out folk pop track and it has been perfect to listen to on quiet mornings whilst making breakfast or for the few times I've been able to sit in the garden recently it (and all their other songs) makes a great soundtrack.

Eating: Earlier in the week I took my friend Ethan out for his birthday and we went to my favourite italian restaurant in my area called Topogigio's. I had an amazing seafood & garlic tomato dish, sparkling rosé and then rounded it off with dark chocolate mousse for dessert. It was such a lovely evening and the restaurant even gave Ethan his pizza for free as it was his birthday.

Doing: Apart from revising? Yesterday my mum and I went to see Pitch Perfect 2 in the cinema and it was incredible. I enjoyed the first one but never thought it was as good as everyone made it out to be. However I think the second film was so much better (maybe a little bit because Pentantonix have a cameo) as I just think the jokes are funnier, the songs are better and everything is a hell of a lot more surreal. I seriously recommend you go see it if you are into comedy films and crude jokes.

Loving:  My new Beyoncé merch Tshirt. I've wanted Beyoncé merch for the longest time but I have never really been able to justify paying for it to be shipped from America and I'm definitely into buying fakes but I saw the 'Fresher Than You' 7/11 Tshirt and just had to have it. I have pretty much worn it everyday since it arrived on Tuesday.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Katy goes outside: The Pentatonix concert

So I'm starting a new sporadic series up on the blog where I actually go outside and report back on interesting things I do. The first event of this series is obviously one of the best things I have done in May and possibly the whole year really which was go see Pentatonix live in Birmingham. If you have never heard of this group (have you not been on the internetin the last three years) they are an American five piece acapella band who have blown up on the Youtube scene after winning a niche acapella TV show in 2011.
They are mainly know for their super original renditions of other people's songs but are increasing creating amazing original content. Probably their most notable success to date was when they recently won a Grammy for their Daft Punk mash up.

I have loved Pentatonix for a while now and they are one of my favourite bands (I admit the fangirling was extreme when they were performing/walking through the crowd right by me) so I jumped at the chance to head half way up the country (under pretences of visiting my sister) to see them perform. I was so excited and had high expectations, knowing what they could do, but these were blown out of the water with how good they actually were. Their show was presently essentially as a high energy pop concert but without even a hint of any instruments. I was so impressed with how they could fill a three thousand capacity venue and make it seem like they had an entire band with them. However, I think the most special part of the night was when they sang their original Christmas song (yes I know it was May but who cares) without microphones. I have never heard a crowd be so quiet in my life. It was truly a moment I will treasure.
Overall, they are some of the most talented people I have encountered and as soon as it ended I wanted it to happen twenty times more (dancing alone in my kitchen to their cover of Aha! will have to do though) so props to Scott, Mitch, Avi, Kevin and Kirstie for being incredible and slaying the scene as I knew they would.
I urge you to look them up on Youtube and I can guarantee you will fall in love with all of them.

Sounds like May

The one problem I have with film is that sometimes it gets ruined and half photos don't come out as anything. This is what happened to the disposable camera I took to Spain and the Pentatonix concert. Out of twenty seven photos only ten were salvageable and none of the concert pictures came out at all. It's annoying how the thing I love most about film, the unpredictability, is also the thing I hate the most.
As I can't produce a full Spain film diary I decided to make a playlist of some songs I have been loving in the last few weeks accompanied by a few of the photos that did work. Hope you enjoy my May sounds.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

The Sunday Files: Vol. 7

Time to amalgamate the best of the last seven days...

Reading: The Taylor Swift issue of Glamour (June 2015). It is no secret that Taylor Swift is possibly my favourite celebrity so when this magazine issue came out I had to pick it up straight away. Packed with articles written by the lady herself it is a must read if you love the pop queen as much as I do.

Listening: Lemonade by Sophie. This is a PC music genre song produced by the DJ Sophie and he loves to use odd beats, sounds and samples to create really interesting sounding tracks. This song (and all his others) are definitely not for everyone but give it a listen over on my Soundcloud and make up your own mind.

Eating: Ok so not a food but a large quantity of gin and tonics. By that I don't mean one after the other but I have pretty much been to the pub with friends every night of the week and this has been my drink of choice (feeling pretty grown up for this now).

Doing: Spending days lazing (gin and tonic in hand) by the quay in my town which is just so pretty when the sun is out as there are such great views across the harbour to the islands. Yesterday I went with my friend to get her another tattoo and then we sat watching the boat parade and the sunshine glistening off the water. It was blissful. 

Loving: Acne studios. I have spent many an hour scrolling their website for stark minimalist shoes and thick neoprene sweatshirts. They are one of my favourite designers at the moment and I just love how they create unusual and androgynous shapes for woman while allowing them to fit the female shape absolutely perfectly. 

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

April Instagrams

So in April I got a little bit snap happy, I think it may have been the good weather and then my trip to Spain (where there was more good weather). Without further ado here is my April Instagrams.

1) We went to the smallest pub in Bath and had pies and mash that were the best. I was obsessed.
2) You have to take a selfie in the expensive spa robes don't you.
3) Pretty floors make my day (little things eh)
4) Bath is such a gorgeous place to wander around.
5) The sunsets are phenomenal in my home town, this is why I love where I grew up
6) Chilling outside the Easter house.
7) Me and my mum working the camera in my home town.
8) I went to a dinner party at my friend's house and she homemade the guacamole which is just my dream.
9) I spent an evening sitting in a tree after a great barbecue with friends.

1) Taking outfit photos on Hove beachfront.
2) The sea was so pretty that I had to take a picture of a stranger standing in it.
3) The west pier is such a classic Brighton landmark and I love seeing it out in the sea.
4) It was a hot day so I wandered back through the North Laine and had to get some of the best fudge I've ever tasted.
5) The air pollution was gross but it did make for a pretty sight when I couldn't see where the sea ended and the sky started.
6) I got one of the new candyfloss ice teas from Bluebird tea company.
7) My favourite part of flying is watching all the landscape flow beneath you and the flight to Valencia was no exception.
8) I caught some rays on the Spanish beaches.
9) My sisters and I drank wine in the coolest tent (it was inside a building) ever.

1) Pretty floors again (such a cliché I know).
2) Nothing like palms to tell you that you are in a hot country.
3) I got a little bit too excited when my sister showed me all this astrological equipment in the city of arts and sciences. I loved using the sun to work out the date and other such activities.
4) We ate chocolate ganache tarts and green tea at this beautiful cafe in the Rufaza area of Valencia.

1) We walked up to the top of the cathedral (there were SO many stairs) but the view was so worth it.
2) We kind of snuck into an open air club because pretty palm trees.
3 & 4) We climbed up a giant hill to a beautiful castle which had amazing views of craggy rocks and hillsides.
5) The city of arts and sciences was like future city.
6) A product of my shooting earlier in the month.
7) Had  day in bed processing all the photos from Spain and doing uni work.
8) Another photo from Spain: with my sister's enjoying the Spanish architecture.
9) Bubbles from a street performer over a sunny Brighton.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

The Sunday Files: Vol. 6

Time to amalgamate the best of the last seven days...

Reading: I've been quite ill for some of this week so instead of revising for university exams I have been watching a lot of documentaries about ballet dancers (is this normal? I just find it pretty interesting) which led me to reread Bunheads by Sophie Flack. It is such an easy book to read but it gives a pretty real seeming insight into what it is like being in a professional ballet company and the struggles/sacrifices the dancers make to dedicate themselves. It's a pretty good read if you find abllet as compelling as I do.

Listening: Everything Pentatonix. I am currently in Birmingham for the weekend so I could see them perform live last night and let me tell you they were incredible! It is amazing how they can transform an acapella show in to what feels like a rock concert. I've spent all week listening to everything they have ever sung to hype myself up for last night and they really did not disappoint.

Eating: Sweet potato's are possibly one of my favourite foods and I think they taste best in the fries form. Ed's Easy Diner do the absolute best sweet potato fries (incidentally the first place ever tried them  few years ago) and if I could I would eat them everyday but that wouldn't be good for my bank account or my waistline.

Doing: Lying in bed a lot (I hate having to stay in bed when ill) and dreamily internet shopping on Nastygal and Free People. If only I had the money.

Loving: I recently got my own Netflix account after scavenging off friends accounts for years so I got straight down to business and started watching Community which is a show I have wanted to watch for ages but just never got around to it. This show is so funny and at 20 minutes long an episode is perfect as a revision break. As well as that because it is not a show that needs you to be super involved watching it (Game of Thrones I'm looking at you) I can put it on in the background while doing my makeup or cleaning.