Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Adult Colouring Books | | Review

The colouring trend is well and truly in full force, they are everywhere -  in book shops, craft shops and many multi-purpose shops you will most likely find a colouring book. When this trend first began I couldn't believe me - an adult - could enjoy colouring with as much enthusiasm as I did when I was 5. I was wrong. Going out stationery shopping is thrilling, even more so when you have something to colour in. Remember when you were young and you'd colour so carefully as not to go over the lines? The nostalgic feeling of selecting a felt tip pen to use and carefully colouring in those lines is enough to make me run to Tesco and buy all their colouring books. The concept adult colouring saves you the judgemental cashier who witnesses you buying the child's Frozen themed colouring book, it allows you to be a child in a socially acceptable way and I endorse it.

Not only is colouring a bit of fun, it is a proven method of mindfulness and meditation, it de-stresses you and takes you away from anything you might be over-thinking. It is essentially therapy without the need to talk to anybody else.

The two colouring books I've received recently are 365 Days of Colouring - Creative Calm for Every Day of the Year which is my favourite because sometimes with colouring books each page takes a lot of time and sometimes you just need a little break, a little task and this book has a small pattern every day to colour in - beginning on the 1st of January. Yet to start it (Obviously) I feel the method of colouring is more effective because it's a tiny task but nonetheless a task that will give you time to chill out.

The second book I received is Keep Calm and Colour On which is a beautiful collection of geometric, nature and aesthetically pleasing patterns. Keep Calm and Colour On is a special one, each page features a quote from a collection of artists including Pablo Picasso, Mother Teresa and Vincent Van Gogh "I sometimes think there is nothing so delightful as drawing." These quotes are intended to motivate you not just creatively but within your mind, finding happiness in little things like colouring.

So if you don't ever want to grow up (Like Peter Pan) then treat yo' self to a fresh colouring book and a pretty set of pencils and get colouring. What do you think about the colouring trend? What are your favourite colouring books?

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Men Want to Gain, Women Want to Lose

I am talking about weight. We live in a funny little world where more often than not women are obsessed with remaining small, thin, slim and men are found with Tupperware pots of rice, chicken and broccoli and a protein shake in hand. It's sadly natural of women to desire to be as small as they possibly can, the size of their body defining who they are as a person, defining their friendships and their social status.

Deep rooting in our minds is the media's presence. Women see a thin model in a magazine and that's their new goal - with said model's figure printed out and stuck on your fridge to prevent midnight snacking. (I, for one, fully encourage midnight snacking). This is not a bias post, men are in the public eye for body image too. "Do you even lift bro?" comes into mind, although often used as a joke, body image for males is an issue just as much as it is for women. Men want to be big and muscular, they do not want to resemble pre-puberty skinny boys (Not that there's anything wrong with a male being thin) and can be found eating copious amounts of high complex carbohydrates, chicken being their main source of protein and excessive gym use. Perhaps this ideal of a man is down to the stereotype of males having to be strong, whereas a female is skinny thus needy and requiring the support of a man. However although men can be obsessed with bulking up there is the 10-15 percent of men who suffer with either anorexia or bulimia.

A massive topic spoken about in 2015 is body image and positivity. The idea of being strong not skinny has become an intense focus with the growing trend of women being socially accepted using weights in the gym rather than obsessing over shrinking their waist and cardio machines. More men have come out and spoken about how they feel about themselves and the pressure to remain the perfect image of man. The body positivity spark of 2015 is important, I have seen so much love and confidence spread on social media, regarding people's bodies. I have seen bodies of all shapes and sizes and nothing but praise has come from it (Minus those crap people who are obviously so uncomfortable with the human form that they can't say one good word and accept people's body confidence).

I am currently reading An Apple a Day written by Emma Woolf (Great-niece of Virginia Woolf!!!!) documenting her battle with anorexia through her twenties and trying to stop the stigma of mental illness which sparked this post. Emma doesn't sugar coat what anorexia is, although it can be a different experience for every sufferer just like any other mental illness. I don't speak about my own eating habits often however reading this has reassured me, and soothed me that I'm not the only one with unusual eating habits. (I won't delve into that, maybe another blog post?? Who knows?)

Can we please discuss, why do women want to be small and why do men want to be big?

Monday, 7 December 2015

19 Things I Learnt Whilst Being 19

My 20th birthday is upcoming, in 20 days to be accurate. There's already too many numbers in this post and I feel uncomfortable. Anyway, in a matter of weeks I will officially no longer be a 'teen'. A fully pledged adult you would assume. I'm one of the oldest students in my classes, it's weird because a lot of my friends are only 17 or just turning 18. I have been an adult for two years - I have been able to buy alcohol for two years yet I still make my parents go to the tills for me because I fear the cashier will never believe my ID.

This year has been a funny year for me, a combination of the best and the worst possible things have happened. Through-out the last couple of months I've been writing ideas and thoughts in a notebook about the things I've learnt whilst being 19. I worry that these kind of posts seem clich├ęd but I enjoy reading other people's lists so..

1. Don't let anyone tell you you're eating too many jars of peanut butter.

2. Quitting things that make you unhappy is okay and you don't need to justify your actions.

3. You are so so so intelligent. (Finally passed AS level bitches.)

4. You don't give yourself enough credit for anything you achieve.

5. Boys probably most likely aren't worth it yet. (Side note, I'm not putting all males into one category. Scrolling through my Facebook feed, most girls I know are now settling down into long-term relationships and having children. No thank u sir, not for me)

6. Carbs are not the enemy. My diabetes may say so but get out??? You think I'm going to stop eating bread, bagels, pizza and pasta??

7. Eyebrows are apparently a very important, defining feature.

8.. Low maintenance friends are the best kind of friends - the kind that you don't see for months but when you finally do you pick up exactly where you left off.

9.. Don't let anyone tell you Nicki Minaj isn't the hottest gurl on Earth.

10.. Starbucks will become your second home and soya cappuccino's will become bae (Now you know my coffee order, when's our next date?)

11.. Bae is an acceptable word.

12. Joining the gym and engaging in regular exercise will make you feel better both physically and mentally. 

13.. Becoming a vegan was your best idea this year.

14.. Books, books shops and libraries provide you with a perfect tranquillity.

15. Family are the most important thing in the world. Especially my mum.

16. Health comes first.

17. Weight gain doesn't define who you are as a person and definitely doesn't change your personality.

18. You're allowed to be a bitch if necessary.


This post sums up my year, bit wild, bit full of reality TV and stress, coffee and books.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Christmas Book Gift Guide

The month of December is upon us. Today you'll be opening the first door of your advent calendar and it's socially acceptable to listen to Christmas albums. It's the time of year Michael Buble re-appears on Earth for a month and everything smells of cinnamon or gingerbread.

If you haven't already figured (seriously if you haven't then are you even reading my blog?) I love books. I enjoy book stores, new books, old books, hardbacks, paperbacks, libraries and words and paper. The smell of new books entices me, it's like candy to a child in a sweetshop. Books are my sweet, sticky fudge. 

I've read plenty of books this year, my goal was 40 and I've gone beyond. So it feels natural to put together a few Must Have Books or Books to Buy For Someone Who Reads. Considering most of you are in the process of Christmas shopping, this is a perfect gift guide for a reader, or even if you want to treat yourself to a new book (Tom Haverford would say treat yo' self)

The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton
"Every woman is the architect of her own fortune"

A tale set in 17th century Amsterdam in a period where your marriage suitor was chosen for you. A trader meets his new wife Nella; she's young and impressionable. The trader Johannes Brandt presents Nella with an irreplaceable, beautiful and magical dolls house. It's a perfect replica of their home, but strange things keep happening. The compartments and contents of the furniture inside the dolls house changes, hints at things and makes Nella think she might be going insane. The dolls house is a focal point to the novel, however along the way there's twists and turns, foul play, love and death.

Yes Please - Amy Poehler
"Short people do not like to be picked up"

Poehler's autobiography/memoir recalling her journey through performing, writing comedy sketches and the births of her children. Absolutely hilarious. A story of everlasting, passionate friendships, rejections from TV shows before finally coming to Parks and Recreation. She re-counters the turmoils of succeeding in media whilst maintaining a home life with two children and also going through a divorce. Poehler is an incredible feminist woman who will make you feel slightly less embarrassed about doing stupid things.

The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
"You cannot be afraid, Read the book. Smile at it. It's a great book- the greatest book you've ever read"

Liesel Meminger is an orphan in the second world war. She moves in with the Hubermann family during Nazi Germany, a tale of battling the loss of childhood innocence. Liesel has been through a lot, she unfortunately can't read or write resulting in her being bullied in her classroom. So,  Hans Hubermann to the rescue. The emotional relationship that forms between Liesel and her adoptive father Hans is one of the most moving bonds formed in literature. Hans struggles to read and write also but he takes the task upon himself to teach his adoptive daughter how to read and write; devoting hours to learning words, repeating them and writing them in paint on the basement walls. However, not everything is a chirpy as it sounds, there's a war going on. The Hubermann begin hiding a Jew in their basement and Liesel takes a shining to him!

IT - Alexa Chung
"Nobody goes through life without having their heart broken and one day you'll wake up and it will okay"

Every fashionista's must have book and will complete the aesthetic of your bedside table. Chung is the sister you never knew you needed. She offers her advice and guidance through make up, fashion and boys. With a gorgeous mixture of Polaroid photos and illustrations, this book would be a beautiful addition to your bookshelves. She writes about her style icons, her go-to fashion items (Come on, what girl doesn't want to know how Alexa Chung lives and breathes?) and relationships.

My True Love Gave Me to Me - A Series of Authors

A collection of Christmas themed, young adult, short stories that will immediately make you feel festive. Funny, sad and cute. Stories from Rainbow Rowell (Author of Fangirl and Eleanor and Park) David Levithan (Author of  Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist) and Gayle Forman (Author of If I Stay). 

A Little Something Different - Sandy Hall
"He's like a cesspool in the midst of my creative writing oasis"

A cute romance novel surrounding the lives of Gabe and Lea; two students in the same creative writing class that everyone is rooting for to get together. Told through some strange perspectives - you hear the voice of a squirrel who sits on the bench next to the budding couple. It's one of those typical love stories that everybody can see the chemistry between two people BUT them. 

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J.K Rowling
"There is no good and evil, there is only power and those too weak to see it"

There is no need for me to summarize this amazing piece of literature. Harry Potter is without a doubt the greatest series to exist. (Harry Potter nerd in me is revealing itself) Buy this book even if you already own it because there's a few new editions that are all beautiful and if you're buying this book for the first time, I'm a little shocked.

I hope this guide is a little helpful and gives you some ideas for what to buy your book loving friends!

Do you have any book recommendations for me to read during December?