Friday, 29 January 2016

5 of my favourite films (updated)

A bit over 6 months ago I posted about my 5 favourite films at the time. Since then I’ve looked back at that list and gone ‘meh’. I realised that I’d forgotten some films that I really loved and that really should’ve been on that list. Now, I can’t remember all of those films, but that list has definitely changed in the 6 months so I thought I would still update you, even though I’ll undoubtedly forget some again!

5. Inside Out


I saw this for the first time last November - a new Disney film for me to watch! How could I resist? The whole concept intrigued me; characters as emotions living in the brain? I loved it already! And I have to say that when I finally saw it I wasn’t disappointed. I identified so much with Riley and cried a ridiculous amount throughout. Yeah, I kind of embarrassed my brother a bit… Well, a lot. But never mind! I loved it and he gave me the DVD for Christmas so we’ve watched it a few times since!

4. Star Wars 


Those of you who follow my Pinterest or know m win real life will probably know, or have guessed, that I have a budding Star Wars obsession. It’s snowballing everyday and I have no shame whatsoever. I just love it!

3. Into the Woods


Again, I can’t believe I didn’t watch this film sooner, it’s completely brilliant! It’s everything I love in a film: a musical that combines multiple fairytales and adds another plot line in to gel them together, tons of symbolic stuff, pretty great actors and characters that develop hugely, loads of weighted themes and subjects handled and tons of subverting the fairytale genre. Seriously, what’s not to love?!

2. Cinderella (2015)


I began watching this film with low expectations. I had convinced myself that it wouldn’t be as good as the 1950 original film and that I would watch it once then leave it, telling others that it wasn’t as good. Oh my how I was wrong! Lily James was a brilliant Cinderella and I feel the character was given more depth and grit than her 1950 counterpart. You can see her struggles and she nearly cracks at several points, whereas she remained serene for almost the entirety of the 1950 film. Richard Madden is a great Prince (Kit) as well and you can see them falling in love more - it’s a lot more believable then the original Cinderella and Prince Charming! Also, Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter - need I say more? I love the main message spread throughout the film: to have courage and be kind.

And please listen to the soundtrack, it’s beautiful and I’m obsessed!

1. About Time


Yeah, this one’s unchanged. I still am completely in love with this film. It has so many elements of a classic, normal romcom, but to me it’s so much more than that. I could go on for ages about this film - I just love it so much! Everyone time I watch it I go away feeling inspired.


Source


Source







Wednesday, 27 January 2016

January 2016 | Monthly Wrap Up

A new start to a new year and all that jazz.


Favourite part?


I was luckily enough to go shopping quite a few times this month. Once my mock exams had finished, I went shopping with my mum where I binge bought a load of books, something I had not done in months. And oh my god did it feel amazing! It was so relaxing and brilliant just to grab book after book and have that excited “new book to read” feeling. Plus knowing that I didn’t have to pay anything thanks to Waterstones vouchers helped as well. I also went shopping with 2 friends of mine last weekend and the day was so good. It was nice to spend time away from the house and browsing at stuff I wouldn’t normally look at (I had a gift voucher for Topshop, which I never normally buy clothes from due to their high prices, even though I love their clothes!)

I got some really lovely clothes that I’m kind of obsessed with and I know I will be wearing a lot!

Best read?


I’ve read 2 books this month: Every Day by David Levithan and The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doechler. I loved both of these books! Every Day was so original and I was so interested in the concept and I think it shows a lot about the struggles we can have when we know a relationship truly can’t work. And well, what can I say about The Empire Striketh Back? For those of you who don’t know, it’s Star Wars Episode V retold as a Shakespeare play. As soon as I saw this book on the shelf in Waterstones I fell in love with it; it was hilarious and combined two interests of mine. I actually laughed out loud several times, which is rare for me, and I truly loved the book’s silliness.

I’ve now bought Verily, A New Hope and can’t wait to read the rest of the series!



Favourite tunes?


I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve had the Cinderella 2015 version of the nursery rhyme Lavender’s Blue Dilly Dilly playing almost constantly. I’ve found myself singing it in odd moments and I think that it is both the lyrics and the melody that draws me to it. I just find it to be so beautiful! I even saved the lyrics onto a Word document the other day - I have no idea why but I just like them being there on my computer. Also go have a look at the whole Cinderella soundtrack, it’s so pretty and I have it playing in the background while I’m either writing or studying.

What did I learn?


That I get more panicky in some exams than others and that my mind tends to wander a lot during exam time. Also that I’m not as bad at maths as I think and that lipsticks actually do look good on me, even a bright red lipstick which I’ve been slightly obsessed with lately (more on that later!).

You can't see the lipstick that clearly but you get the gist!

What’s happening next month?


A weekend of West Side Story rehearsals and then a week of shows! I’m actually really been looking forward to show week and can’t wait to see how the stresses of practising Bernstein pieces have paid off! Following that is half term and 5 days spent in Nice with school! I’m so excited to see a new place! Look out for a post about my trip when I get back!

What’s been on my mind?


Rehearsals, relaxing and reading. The three Rs!

Favourite blogger/vlogger?


I’ve really been loving Hannah Witton’s posts lately, both on YouTube and on her blog. If you haven't looked at Mackenzie Johnson’s videos then I plead you to go and watch them! She’s so talented and gorgeous and her voice is super incredible! Maybe she should have been in the tunes bit… Oh well!



Favourite post?


I’ve really like 50 happy things, as it spread a lot of positivity and made me think about the little things in life. I also loved writing Heartbreak. and found it interesting to write My Advice to New Bloggers as it made em think about how far I had come in such a short space of time.




Biggest inspiration?


Everyday life. I just keep finding small things that really inspire me. They’re so small and seemingly insignificant but they’re brilliant. Think about the small things you get insured by, and I probably get inspired by them as well.

Any other favourites?


On my binge-book-buying, I bought a Jane-a-day 5 year diary. It’s not a feelings diary, instead I write done the main things that I’ve done in that day. So today will read something like: School. Late West Side Story rehearsal. Pilates in the evening. With a few added bits here and there, depending on what else has defined the day. The spaces are only short, so that that day can be written about 5 times, one for each year. I love this as I think it’s a nice way at looking at how I’ve changed and how my life has changed. Also I get really nostalgic and I think that this is a more unemotional way of being more nostalgic (depending on what has happened on one particular day). And it has a different Jane Austen quote for each day - how could I not love it?!

Throughout January I’ve steadily been plummeting into obsessions with both lipstick and Star Wars. Those of you who follow me on Pinterest will know that I have mainly been pinning Star Wars related stuff and I have no shame. I just love it.


The lipstick thing, on the other hand, is a bit more expensive, as I keep buying new lipsticks whenever I go into Boots or Superdrug. It’s getting really bad. It’s kind of an addiction by now…. My favourite lipsticks right now are Rimmel Kate Moss in shades 05 and 111 and The Only 1 Lipstick Rimmel in shade 300. They’re just so pretty!!








Monday, 25 January 2016

My Advice to New Bloggers


I’ve been blogging for nearly 9 months. 9 months! I can’t really be considered a new blogger anymore, I mean this’ll be my 96th post! Yeah, definitely not a newbie anymore. So I thought that I would share some things that I’ve learned along the way to hopefully help some of you who can still be classed as “newbies”!

1. You don’t have to fit a specific niche


My blog is a mishmash of whatever I want to write about. It doesn’t really fit into a niche, even though I may have tried sometimes, but I think that my readers now know what sort of content to expect from me: creative writing, 5 Fridays, opinion posts and personal posts, to put it more generally. As longs you’re writing about subjects you love and are passionate about and enjoy writing about, then your content will be the best quality it can be. If you enjoy writing about topics that would cover a wide range of niches, go for it. Call yourself a lifestyle blogger, it’s what most of us do if we’re honest here.

2. Comment and be an active blog reader


Learn about blogging through other bloggers. Meet and discuss things with new people from across the world and become part of the amazing blogging community. Pick up advice and tips from other bloggers that will make the whole blogging thing easier. Actually leave proper, thought-out comments on posts that interest you and make you want to share your opinion. Agree with the writer, disagree with them. Just participate. Some blog posts can change your mind completely on a certain subject and others can show you brilliant products that you may not have picked up before. 

I honestly think that the community element of blogging is one of my favourite aspects of it. I can chat with new people who have different experiences to me and support is always there if I need it. 

Commenting and engaging with other bloggers is a great way to boost traffic and follower count as well, even though that shouldn’t be the main reason you do it. But it does mean that potential readers are more aware of your blog’s existence - which can never be a bad thing!

3. Don’t worry, you will get a layout you are happy with eventually


It could take 1 try or 100, but you’ll get there. There are so many different ways of presenting your content that it can sometimes be quite overwhelming and HTML just brings added confused to the subject (I’m really trying with HTML but it’s just a load of gobbledygook to the uneducated mind!). Find something that expresses you in a way that a website layout can. Use colours you like and fonts you love! If you want you can buy a pre-made template from one of the various companies that sell them online (I’ve seen quite a few on Etsy, although there are loads of websites that offer lots of cool designs).

Your tastes will change over time but that’s good. You can keep changing and adding or taking away bits here and there. You don’t stay constant as a person, so why should your blog layout?



4. As hard as it is, try not to compare yourself to other bloggers


There are so many blogs that have hundreds of thousands of followers and have had millions of views, and that can be a bit intimidating if you’re just starting out. You see all these pristine and seemingly flawless blogs who have loads of comments as soon as they post and look all professional. But they’re just ordinary people like you. They started out in the same way you did: with a computer, a platform and an empty blog. They had no followers or views in the beginning but they wrote and kept on writing until people read what they wrote. The experimented and tried different things and they found the tips and tricks that worked best for them. And most of them starting blogging a few years ago when blogs were a much rarer species than they are now. 

Different types of blog will get different amounts of followers. For example, beauty and lifestyle blogs tend to get more traffic and followers. They’re just more popular. Book blogs can also be popular, but are often a bit more niche. My blog is primarily my writing - sometimes I like to think of it as my writing portfolio - and that doesn’t interest some people, so I don’t get as many followers as a beauty blog may get. But that’s okay, I want my readers to be engaged and interested, not there for no reason.

Don’t get intimidated and start doubting your worth as a blogger. You can do it, it just takes time.

5. Sometimes you will want to give up - DON’T!


For the first few months of blogging, I felt a little downhearted as I had had a surge of views in the first month which then died down a bit. I got Bloglovin’ and no one was following me. I had no comments. Frankly, it felt like no one was noticing my blog, let alone reading it. That’s not a great feeling, but it’s likely you’ll experience the same thing. 

My advice for this situation? Keep posting and keep going. Make sure that you carry on writing and improving your writing. People will read your blog as long as you put enthusiasm and effort into it. Growing a following, even if it’s only a small one, takes time. You can’t rush things.

6. Take pictures!


Photography is really fun, even if it’s just the odd silly selfie thrown into a post. You can dabble with photo editing and different angles and flat-lays and new, inventive backgrounds. It’s all so exciting! I personally love taking pictures - it’s just another way to be creative and that just appeals to me a lot! And plus everyone loves a blog with pictures, it makes it look so much prettier and more personal!

Good luck guys! Comment the link to your blog below and I’ll have a look at it!





Friday, 22 January 2016

5 Bad Organisation Habits We Probably All Need to Stop Doing

Last Sunday I decided that I needed to tidy my room - it was a mess. It’s still a mess, but less of a mess than it was a week ago. I sorted some things out so that I was tidier in my mind as well as my room (well, mainly desk), and I can tell you, it feels great! But there are some things that I have come to realise about my organisation habits, and I thought that I would share them with you.



1. I don’t put enough stuff away.


I have so many containers and boxes and things that are meant to hold other things, but most of the time they seem to be half empty! Well, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration but I still find things strewn all over my bedroom when they are supposed to be in a specific containers. It’s frustrating and I need to use the containers so that I don’t have stuff all over the place.

2. You bought those files for a reason, Jemima. Use them!


This is very similar to the lost one. About a year ago I was adamant that I was going to get organised, so bought myself some card files (one for each of my school subjects and one for D of E). It went well in the beginning, but I’ve gradually been leaving more and more sheets of music and homework etc. out on the floor or on my desk - not in the designated folders. And this only got worse when mocks hit. That was one of my goals yesterday, to sort some of those sheets out and put them back in their folders, which I actually managed to accomplish. There are still some bits left out, but I’m getting there; my desk is now clear, so some progress has been made.

3. I have way to many body butters, earrings and chocolate that I could ever need.


Too much chocolate? What?!! I am such a slow eater of chocolate. I seriously am. I was given a fair amount of chocolate for Christmas, and, as much as I love the stuff, I just find that if I don’t eat it straight away, then I just don’t eat it for ages. I see it on the side and I feel bad for not eating it, tell myself I must eat it, and then I forget all about it and do the same thing the next day. Just eat it, girl. It’s there to be eaten. 

I’ve also realised that I’ve accumulated enough body lotion and body polish to last me for about the next 5 years. Thank you to anyone has bought me them for various Christmases and birthdays, they smell amazing! But I’ve realised how often I forget to use them and I’m going to make it my mission this year that I will use body lotion after every shower/bath I have and that I’ll actually start using the body polishes. 

4. Please tidy up your bookshelves, Jemima, please…


Yeah, I just looked at my bookshelf yesterday and went “Oh.” I’ve got so much rubbish on them, it’s ridiculous. I have my entire snow globe collection (which is A LOT of snow globes) and some other ornaments on one shelf, which means that books that would normally go on that shelf are being squished on top of other books and that my snow globes are in imminent danger of falling off and smashing all over my wooden floor. Not good. (I actually found a smashed snow globe not long after I finished writing this post. Funny, huh…)

5. I just collect clutter…


To be I think that’s my biggest problem. I just have rubbish all over the place, and by “rubbish” I mean stuff I don’t use anymore that is perfectly good for someone else to use and then actual rubbish and half dirty clothes that are waiting to be worn again before they are washed. Again this comes down to me actually putting things away and where they should be. 

--------------

Do you have similar habits? How have you solved them (if you have solved them!)? I really want to know so that I can help my own organisation improve!


Monday, 18 January 2016

Heartbreak.

There are many different types of heartbreak. There is the obvious,in your face, romantic heartbreak that is the type usually associated with the word. When we hear of heartbreak, we automatically conjure up an image of a romantic relationship gone wrong, empty tubs of ice-cream and a bed that hasn’t been left for days. The famous kind of heartbreak.

But that type of heartbreak is much rarer to us as individuals than there types are. The heartbreaks we feel every day. Some of us have never felt a heartbreak that has occurred as as result of a romantic relationship ending. I, for one, haven’t, and I know plenty of other people who haven’t either. But you still can’t say that we haven’t felt heartbreak; it’s just been in a slightly different manner.

We feel heartbreak at even the tiniest of things:

Eagerly going to a cafĂ© or canteen to get something in particular for lunch, only to find it’s sold out unusually early. Trying on a dress or skirt, or some other item of clothing that you absolutely love , only to find that it doesn’t come in your size. Losing a favourite book. Locking yourself out of your phone and having to wipe it clear of everything (including years’ worth of photos) in order for you to get back in it.

All little heartbreaks caused by little hiccups in every day life.

A video of Carrie Hope Fletcher’s, posted about 10 months ago, focussed on this same subject and what she said really resonated with me. The message she left with me was that I shouldn’t be embarrassed by any heartbreak I feel, no matter what the cause would be. It meant that I cared enough about something to feel that. 

Even though the examples I shared may seem a little silly and too insignificant to even be thought of for long. Of course, I’ve had bigger heartbreak than that caused over not getting the sandwich I wanted for lunch.

Leaving primary school (more the friends I had there) was a big deal for me then and I was really upset for about a day or two, maybe a few more, until I was over it and looking forward to secondary school. I cared about primary school a lot but new things were happening that took over from that, and it didn’t last long.

I think that my biggest heartbreak happened when I moved. My heart was aching for the place I considered (and still kind of do consider) “home”, for months after I had left it. In fact, I can’t quite pin point the day that my heart stopped aching for it; it left so gradually that I was really unaware of it happening. It was unlike anything I have ever felt before and I’m sure that I developed a lot as a person because of it. I would even go as to say that I’m proud of that heartbreak, because I know that I really cared for the place I moved from and can now appreciate it a lot more than I did while I lived there.

I guess that I wanted to pass on the lesson I learned from Carrie: You should never be ashamed of any heart ache that you feel. You should never feel embarrassed of what caused that heartache - if it’s over something small or something big. Your feelings are valid, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.



------------------

Would you believe that I've already hit my 2016 Bloglovin' target?!! How amazing is that?!? I want to say a seriously big thank you to everyone who has followed me, it's a really great feeling knowing that people are reading my content! Thank you again, I'm really astonished that I've completed one of my yearly goals already!

Jemima x



Wednesday, 13 January 2016

50 things that make me happy!

1. Earl Grey tea
2. Re-watching old Doctor Who episodes
3. Familiar romcoms
4. The smell of books, old and new
5. Conversations with my cat
6. Oversized, baggy jumpers, preferably “borrowed” from my dad
7. My mum’s chicken risotto
8. Beach days with friends



9. Cinema trips
10. Concerts
11. Rainy days
12. Ferraro Rocher (I mean come on!)
13. The Fletchers
14. Those rare days when I know I don’t have anything to be handed in or revised for.
15. Clean bedclothes
16. The predictability of Death in Paradise
17. Starting a new notebook
18. Sudden moments of inspiration
19. Finally getting that idea onto paper
20. Disney films
21. Jane Austen books



22. Murder Mysteries
23. Singing along to musical soundtracks
24. Strictly Come Dancing
25. Dodie Clark




26. Cheese, biscuits and chutney
27. Perfectly baked cakes
28. Everything Harry Potter
29. Making someone else laugh
30. My family
31. My friends




32. Writing down every thought that comes into my mind
33. Cleverly written books
34. Foyles bookshop
35. Cardiff arcades
36. My characters
37. Getting comments on my blog posts
38. Playing my violin
39. Lipsticks!
40. Cool stationary
41. Crossing the Severn Bridge
42. My great-nan’s red necklace
43. Welsh beaches



44. Welsh cakes!
45. When my cat makes that chirrup sound
46. Impromptu writing sessions
47. Knowing that someone else values me
48. Going to rugby matches
49. Chick-lit novels
50. Instagram


------------

I have always loved seeing this post on other blogs and, even though I'm not sure if it is definitely a tag, I'm doing it anyway. I just love the way it's so positive! If you want to do this tag (is it a tag? Please tell me because I'm really not sure!) then please go ahead and spread some more positivity!

Monday, 11 January 2016

To The Lost Girl by the lipstick stained gum | A Poem



Lipstick stained gum is all I see,
Stuck to tiles in front of your feet; 
Before those boots that shiver so,
And jeans that have been ripped to and fro.
A smudge of blush upon your cheek,
A lone light among a complexion so bleak.
The winter does you no good, my dear,
I see it in your eyes, You fear
The odd time inevitably come,
Where your brain turns dumb
And your soul grows dim,
So that there is no more light left within
That pretty little person I love so well,
Who stands where the lipstick stained gum fell.
You fear, my love, I know you fear
That that day should draw near.
You brace yourself - you’re ready.
As if it has arrived already.
That day when you shall be gone - 
The human star that shone
So bright among us all.
You eclipsed us, my love,
Like the Sun would hide the Moon up above;
Yes, we were dark and there all the while,
But you were the Nile
Just as we were the Egyptians surrounding - 
Depending on the life you always brought around.
You have no reason to fear, my girl,
I do not consider you to have unfurled.
For to me you are, and shall always be,
The one who gave happiness to me.





---------

I haven't posted a lot of poetry before. In fact, this is the third poem ever to go up on my blog. I would really love it if I could get some constructive criticism on my work as I really want to improve my poetry writing. Hope you all enjoyed!



Friday, 8 January 2016

5 books to read in 2016

This year I have set my reading target at 20 books. This is less than half of the books I read last year, but I have set a lower target so that I can do other things rather than worrying that I won’t complete my goal. I can focus more on my schoolwork, my exams, my blog and my novel. 
Obviously I will still be reading a lot (I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t), it just means that I can enjoy reading more without the added pressure.

So although I’m planning to read less books, I have got some books already on my 2016 TBR pile, and I thought I would share them with you guys:

1. I Am Malala by Malala Yousfzai with Patricia McCormick


I picked this up on the 30th December and I seriously can’t wait tot read it. I have been a fan of Malala ever since I heard for her. She’s so brave and inspiring. I am just so excited to read about it properly, rathe than from news stories caught every now and then or posts on social media that don’t go into detail about specific events.



2. Wicked by Gregory Maguire


In the Easter holidays last year, I went to see the production of Wicked in the West End and oh my word it’s amazing!!! I fell in love with the way the characters were portrayed, the symbolism and foreshadowing that was thrown in pretty much constantly and I kind of became obsessed with the soundtrack. Even now I am singing along to it while writing blog posts or doing chores around the house. The show was so good that I knew I had to read the book. I picked it up in the October half term and haven’t had chance to read it yet, so it’ll have to be a job for 2016.

3. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens


In December, the BBC started to air a series called Dickensian, in which all of Charles Dickens’ characters are in the same place and are all part of the same story. Someone I know described it as “a Victorian Eastenders”, and that’s precisely what it is.

I know some Dickens characters well, but that’s down to TV programmes, films and musicals, rather than my having actually read the books. I have been recommended Great Expectations a few times and I am intrigued by the characters in Dickensian that I know to feature in it, so I plan to read it in the coming year.

4. P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern


I am such a fan of Cecelia Ahern’s work. I love the way her characters come to life and the imagination put behind her stories. However, I have only read a fraction of her books. She has so many I want to read but simply haven’t gotten round to reading yet. One of her books I’ve had on my shelf but never read is P.S. I Love You, possibly her most famous novel. It needs to be read after sitting there for so long.




5. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie


I have been listening to the radio play of this with my dad for the past few days and I love it! However, the radio play version is abridged and I haven’t reached the end yet. I have missed certain bits of it and want to catch up properly, with all the details of the book. As I haven’t found out who the killer is yet, it’ll be better for me to read the book spoiler free.


--------------

What are you planning to read this year? Have you set a reading target for 2016?