Wednesday, 29 June 2016

June Wrap-Up: The Month of Women (called Sara)

June has been an odd month, with much of it filled with politics and all the excitement, disappointment, heartbreak, and annoyance that politics brings. If you follow my social media you'll know how hurt I've been by the referendum and truth be told I still can't fully articulate how I feel. With that in mind, this month's wrap-up will be a classic reading report.

Spill, Simmer, Falter, Wither by Sara Baume

About an old man and his dog, this book broke my heart a little. It speaks heavily about loneliness, isolation, and touches on emotional abuse, too. The book is written in first person as if the reader was the dog in the story and it is done beautifully!

The Shore by Sara Taylor

This is a book that speaks a lot about the female experience and male violence against women - this book definitely has trigger warnings for tale, assault, and all manner of other abusive behaviour. I loved this book apart from the 11th and 13th chapters, which for me spoilt the whole experience somewhat. 

A Book For Her by Bridget Christie

This book is funny with a number of pigment moments but for me it missed the mark - mostly because my expectations of if were mismatched to the reading experience. This book is an incredibly interesting insight into the writing process of a feminist comedy show and highlights a number of important social issues along the way however I expected it to be much more of an exploration of feminism than it was. That said I laughed a hell of a lot and had a very enjoyable reading experience.

Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill

With trigger warnings for all manner of eating disorders and body image issues this is an exceptionally powerful book and I raced through it in a matter of days. Set in a dystopian future, this book reflects an awful mutation of what society could become. 

Animal by Sara Pascoe

As you can see I'm only part way through this but already I am LOVING it. Scientific and hilarious this book is simply wonderful. 

With the exception of the first book, all of the books I've read have been centered around the female experience, which I have been really enjoying. Three of the books have also been written by a Sara, which is a bit of an unexpected theme! 

I've been planning a whole host of new projects which will hopefully come to light over the next month - I can't wait to share them with you!

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

#ootd - Office Attire #1 - Matilda Wormwood Inspired

If you were a follower of my blog 18 months ago (well done you if you were) then you might remember my 'Library Looks' series of badly lit photos documenting some of the outfits I wore to the library. Sadly my days of spending (often up to) 10 hours a day 7 days a week in the library are over and instead I've spent the last 12 months in an office job. This hasn't changed my style as much as you might expect - I'm lucky that I work in a very casual office, so much so that I wore a blazer and was mocked all day for being 'too smart'. I was still in jeans.

I miss my days of doing OOTDs, so I thought I'd start sharing some of the outfits I wear to work! This particular number was inspired by the 1996 Matilda film - let me know if you recognise which moment in the movie this outfit is from.

Top - Miss Selfridge, Jeans - Vintage (similar here), Shoes - Converse

This  look was inspired by Matilda Wormwood and, since I take a book with me to read on my lunch break, I though I'd share what I'm currently reading: The Shore by Sara Taylor

I also couldn't help but get a shot with the lady herself!

Hat - Accessorize (similar here)
I hope you enjoyed this Matilda Wormwood inspired #ootd! Let me know if you'd like more similar posts, because I really enjoyed making this one.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Spring Empties 2016

Since my bag of empties was getting fit to burst I thought it was high time to show you all the products I've been using over the past three months. 

Confession time: there is one product in this list that isn't cruelty free - Bioderma Miscellar Water. I bought it whilst I was in South Africa when I desperately needed something that would remove my eye makeup without burning my eyelids and I had very limited options! I haven't got on with this product at all, either, so I definitely will not be recommending it on any counts!

Hair Care Empties:

As usual this is my biggest category. I've used and reviewed these products many times before, but an honourable mention goes out to Lush Rehab Shampoo - mostly for its blissful scent! Simultaneously fruity, minty, and herbal - if I could smell like this all day I would!

Face and Body Empties:

Once again I've spoken about most of these before, but I will reiterate my love for the Superdrug Tea Tree range and I have repurchased both of these products already!

Are there any cruelty free products you think I should try? Let me know in the comments or via Twitter - I'm @VickiMaitland everywhere!

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The Intimidating TBR Tag

I'm usually pretty good at keeping my TBR low and I hardly ever DNF books, but after my week at Cornerstone I've been left with a pretty hefty TBR pile so I thought it was high time to take on the intimidating TBR tag.

1) A book that I haven't read: 

As you can see I've actually started this book and I really enjoyed what I have read so far. I just need to actually follow its advice before I progress any further!

2) A book I haven't had the time to read:

I love Darling magazine but I tend to preference books over magazines when I grab something to read! I really need to make the time to have a proper flick through this to fully absorb its beauty!

3) A book I haven't finished because it's part of a series: 

I really enjoyed The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, I battled through The Girl Who Played With Fire but, 150 pages in to this book, I was so done with Lisbeth. It felt like she changed everything about her that was great and I wasn't down with that - although it has been over five years since I put this down so I could be remembering incorrectly! I don't think I'll be picking it back up anytime soon...

4) A book I haven't read because it's brand new:

This was one of the many books I got from my time at Cornerstone and I can't wait to sink my teeth into it!

5) A book I haven't read because I don't like other things written by the author:

If you've read this blog for a while you'll know that The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan is one of my all time favourites but, as I don't tend to buy books by authors I don't like I really struggled with this category. However, this book is based on a character from Will Grayson, Will Grayson who I actively disliked, so I'm taking my time in picking this one up. My sister has read it and really enjoyed it, though.

6) A book I haven't been in the mood for: 

One of my reading goals was to read more classics and another was to read more books by women of colour. This book ticks both categories but I simply haven't been in the mood for it!

7) A book I haven't read because it is so big:

This actually isn't the biggest book on my list but it is one that I anticipate will be time consuming and its part of a series, so committing to this book is actually committing to three books!

8) A cover buy that I've yet to read:

I am normally good at reading my cover buys but this has been a big exception! It was second hand, however, so I don't feel so bad about leaving it unloved.

9) The most intimidating book on my TBR:

This book. I am halfway through it and have been for the last two years. I really need to start it over again because I've forgotten most of the plot but it's actually more like reading two stories at once and ahh! It is an intense reading experience, with lots of pull out bits and bobs and notes in the margins - maybe this will be the year I finally finish it!

Look at that stack! Wish me luck - what does your intimidating TBR pile look like?