Sunday, 27 September 2015

The ULTIMATE book tag

tea books eyeliner

After a very stressful few months in which I really didn't have much time or energy for reading. I thought it was time to break up the monotony of random book reviews and travel posts here and there and give you a sizeable bookworm post to sink your teeth into. I chose the 'Ultimate book tag' questions because I think they give you a pretty good idea of the kind of books I like to read, and hopefully you can get a few recommendations from me while you're at it. There are a LOT of questions and it took me ages because I'm an indecisive human, so here you go!

Book Q&A Rules:
1. Post these rules
2. Post a photo of your favourite book cover
3. Answer the questions below
4. Tag a few people to answer them too
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you’ve tagged them
6. Make sure you tell the person who tagged you that you’ve taken part!

1984 Orwell

What are you reading right now?
I'm currently reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. It's my first Gaiman experience and while I'm only 60 pages in I can already tell why he's so popular. Such a distinctive style!

Do you have any idea what you'll read when you're done with that? 
I have a few in mind. I keep wanting to read Elizabeth is Missing but I can't seem to get myself into the right mindset. I think it's going to upset me! 

What 5 book have you always wanted to read but haven't got round to? 
I don't know if there are 5 but White Teeth by Zadie Smith comes to mind. I love post-colonial lit. I also really want to read The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway, and The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson. I'll probably go and order all of these tonight now!

What magazines do you have in your bathroom/lounge right now? 
I go through fits and starts with magazines these days. Some months I look at the shelves and they just don't grab me and right now is one of those times, so the closest I have to a magazine is the George home catalog!

What's the worst book you've ever read? 
During my university studies I had to read a very chunky novel by John Lanchester called Capital, and I'm sorry to say I absolutely hated it! I can't put my finger on exactly why but the whole thing felt so contrived and just too topical to be believable!

What book seemed really popular but you didn't like?
I'll have to be obvious here and go for 50 Shades...I actually gave it a shot but the quality of writing (the structure, the descriptors used, everything) was just so poor. It might have been good as fan-fiction but I can't believe any editor let it go to print like that. The promotion of abuse also left me feeling pretty stale.

What's the one book you always recommend to just about everyone? 
Either The Hunger Games Trilogy or The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Both changed by perspective in some way and I think anyone of any age can find meaning in these books.

What are your three favourite poems? 
The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe, for it's classic horror feel, The Lady's Dressing Room by Jonathan Swift, because it's hilarious albeit kinda gross, and Ode to a Nightingale by John Keats, because I love his work.

Where do you usually get your books? 
Mostly online but I do make a habit of buying things in bookstores when they grab me. I can't afford to pay £12.99 for every book I read but it's nice sometimes to go in and pick up a hardback.

Where do you usually read your books? 
I used to read on my commute but these days I drive to work, so if I ever get time for a lunch break I'll read a chapter or two, but mostly these days I read at home on the sofa at the weekends.

When you were little did you have any particular reading habits? 
Only if you count writing my name (badly) in the inside of the cover!

What's the latest you've stayed up reading? 
When I was reading Mockingjay I stayed up until half 3 to finish it. That's saying something for me cos I like my sleep!

Have you ever 'faked' reading something?
No - I don't get that. I really think it's fine if you haven't read a certain classic or very popular book as reading is a very individual thing.

Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover?
Not solely. Often a pretty cover attracts me to read the blurb but if it's of no interest to me I'll put it down.

What was your favourite book as a child?
Well I got started on the Potter pretty early and we all know how that ended up!

What book changed your life?
I'll refer you to the above...

What is your favourite passage from a book?
'Together, they would watch everything that was so carefully planned collapse, and they would smile at the beauty of destruction.'

What are your top five authors? 
J.K. Rowling, Sebastian Faulks, Daphne du Maurier, Suzanne Collins and George Orwell

What book has no one heard about but should read? 
The Bone People by Keri Hulme is such an amazing read and I never would have encountered it if t weren't for my uni course. It's set in New Zealand and is primarily a tale about domestic abuse and parental love but the story also draws deeply on folk culture, to the point that there's a sort of Kiwi dictionary in the back. It made me cry my eyes out.

What three books are you an 'Evangelist' for? 
The Book Thief, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Station Eleven. Look 'em up.

What are your favourite books by a first-time author? 
I cant actually think of any although I'm sure I've read some! I think Anita and Me was Meera Syal's first novel, which sticks out as something I really loved. It paints such a vivid cultural picture.

What is your favourite classic book? 
Probably either Dracula by Bram Stoker or Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, Both turned out to be total page-turners when I was expecting them to be drab and old fashioned. Everybody should read them.

Five other notable mentions? 
Regeneration by Pat Barker, The Woman in Black by Susan Hill, A Summer of Drowning by John Burnside, Saturday Night & Sunday Morning by Alan Sillitoe and Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell.

I found this tag on a few blogs while hunting for something fun and bookish to write for this post, but they were all from over a year ago so I reckon most people have done this already. Hooowever, if any of you lovely lot have yet to do so, I'm tagging you all! Please make sure you link to your answers in the comments below so I can have a cheeky ganders!


Friday, 25 September 2015

Everyday skin care for oily/blemish-prone skin

When I started blogging two years ago my skincare routine consisted of face wipes, harsh scrubs and a moisturiser that was less than suitable for my skin type. Fast forward to the present day and I've learned so much from all you beauty bloggers out there that I finally feel like I've cracked it. My current combination of products is NOT a miracle cure, there's just no such thing, but they do help keep things under control. It's no secret that I have incredibly oily skin and especially at this time of year I battle large, red spots that seem to hang around for weeks on end.

Micellar Water - I don't actually remember what I did before I found this stuff, other than rubbing at my eyelids with wipes until the skin was raw. There are plenty of more expensive brands of micellar water out there but the Garnier offering lasts months and really gets the job done. It's not at all greasy because it's basically science water (google how it works!), and also not in any way stripping. I find it gets even waterproof mascara off and lifts makeup and oil from the skin instantly. I don't use this as a one-step cleanser like some but rather use it to loosen up dirt and product.

A balancing gel or balm wash - I used to use really harsh facial scrubs and washes twice a day, then wondered why my skin was over-producing oil and basically crying at me. Harsh products even gave me dry patches despite my skin type! These days I usually prefer something gentler, like the Balance Me Cleanse and Smooth balm, or a tea tree wash.

A chemical exfoliant - These products used to terrify me, until I tried the astringent lotion from the La Roche Posay Effaclar range. It's kind enough on your skin to use daily, but can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. To combat this I use an SPF foundation and usually sweep the exfoliant over my face after cleansing at the end of the day so it can work on my skin at night. It's really reduced the dry patches I get on my temples, my pores don't look so logged and I swear my face has never felt softer.

A moisturising step - For oily-skinned girls a thick moisturiser is totally off the cards and will only clog your pores and leave things feeling greasy. Instead I've replaced my moisturising step in the morning with La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+, which helps fight blemishes and improve marks while adding a balancing touch of moisture to the skin. I have seen a dramatic reduction in the amount f time a spot hangs around on my face since I started using this and they are usually (time of the month permitting) a lot less angry these days. At night I just use a plain, light moisturiser - none of this night cream business!

An eye cream - While the rest of your face might be OK without too much moisturising, the skin around the eyes is a different story. I find if I wear a lot of makeup over the course of the week my eyelids and undereyes get dry and sore, so a vitamin E eye cream like the one I'm using at the moment from Boots works absolute wonders to combat this. This eye cream is my favourite so far and is helping to plump things up amidst the appearance of a few fine lines (boo hiss!). Annoyingly I can't find it online but it's in most stores!

A spot treatment - I used Panoxyl gel for years with no problems and it really did help control my spots, however a year or two ago I noticed it seemed to be giving me really bad dry patches and actually making scars darker! I think they may have changed the formulation. I had seen the Clinique Anti-Blemish Clearing Gel recommended by loads of beauty bloggers and while it's pricey I took the plunge. I don't use this constantly, just on bad breakouts. It makes a massive difference, even overnight, and reduces both size and redness without parching the skin. If you struggle with spots or even mild adult acne, give this a try.

A weekly mask - Something I've learned is a vital part of any skincare routine is using a weekly (or bi-weekly) mask treatment. One of my favourites is a green tea and mint number by Cattier, which s very calming and also helps control oil production.

What are your favourite everyday skincare products?

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

5 ways to handle rejection like a pro

Rejection happens in every corner of life. Fact. Whether you've been rejected for a promotion or a job you applied for, rejected by a university, a competition, a friend, a loved one, it's never easy. Also a fact. I've had my fair share of bad luck lately, and while I'm definitely not prepared to launch into any details (this would also be highly unprofessional of me) I have been forced to learn a thing or two about handling rejection.

1. Be graceful - When you get bad news or are are told something you were hopeful for is no longer happening, it can be tempting to fly of the handle and react badly. Remember, what ever the circumstances, this may be this person's last memory of you. Try to keep calm (easier said than done!), accept the situation as it is in that moment, and if you're being rejected in a professional capacity be sure to give thanks for the opportunity.

2. Ask for feedback - You have a right to know why this wasn't the right time for you, or why you weren't right for the job/person/project. Politely ask for feedback so that you can understand what the problem was.

3. Learn from the situation - While it can be easy to feel hard done by when you've been rejected, chances are there is something you can take from what's happened and learn from it, or develop a skill further. Perhaps you could have done more research, need to develop your presentation skills or need to be more tactful when answering difficult questions. Find something you need to work on and build your skillset every day going forward.

4. Think of the bigger picture - There will be other opportunities that are just as good if not better. You may have to go out and look for them and they may not come straight away but come they will. A minor setback is not ideal but it's important to focus on your goals and ambitions in the long term.

5. Remember, this does not define your worth - I found it hard to stop going over in my head what I may have done wrong, what I should have changed, and it made me feel terrible about myself. When you're rejected it can feel very personal, but the thing is, it rarely is. The moments that define us are not when we fail or are dealt a rough hand, but when we tackle these things head on and push to bounce back again. If you're finding it hard to get past what's happened, write a list of 5 positive things about yourself or that you've achieved every single morning for 1 week and then go back and read what you've said. You'll definitely surprise yourself!

What are your top tips for handling rejection?


Monday, 21 September 2015

Paris in black and white

Something on our visit to Paris last week really struck me. Everything about the place is so timeless and classic, but my over-saturated photos didn't seem to match the autumnal atmosphere. When we got home I set about choosing some favourites and editing them into black and white. I try not to crop or change travel images too much once taken as it takes away from the snapshot of the moment, but something about these images once transformed into greyscale actually seems to add to the mood. Here are my personal favourites: 

Tourists crowd around the Mona Lisa at the Louvre

The Carrousel du Louvre shopping centre, beneath the museum and home to the famous 'La Pyramide Inversée'

Napoleon III Apartments, Louvre

Taking in the view from the Napoleon III Apartments, Louvre

Looking across to l'Arc de Triomphe

A mother and son play with birds in the Jardin de Tuileries

Notre Dame Cathedral, side view
Candles lit in prayer by visitors to Notre Dame

Skulls line the walls of the underground Paris catacombs

All images taken by myself, all rights reserved. 

Sunday, 20 September 2015

A lil' Paris beauty and skincare haul

So I went to Paris for a few days this week (more on that to come) and being from the currently Sephora-deprived UK the first thing I did was head to their massive store on the Champs-Élysées. I also dragged Mat around CityPharma on our last morning for some skincare goodies. As we did the trip on kiiind of a budget, I was restricted to hand luggage only and just used backpacks for our 3-day stay, so had to be picky about what I brought home. Here's what I picked up:

Sephora Cream Lip Stain in 13 'Marvelous Mauve' - A cream lip stain was coming home with me whatever happened, as I had heard so much about them. I opted for a safe shade as I'm not a bold lip girl, but was surprised how pigmented and long-lasting these are. I didn't touch up once and the finish is super matte. It's such a lightweight formula so I had no idea it was even on. If I get the chance I'll get the classic red next as I'm sure it's just as divine.

Sephora Green Tea Face Mask - I am a sucker for packaging and these colourful masks caught my eye. This one promises help with blemishes and oil control so hopefully it'll sort out my current facial problems (thank you, womanhood).

Sephora Nail Polish - I hadn't seen these on the website but I couldn't resist picking up a couple to try as they were very cheap. I went for 'Sea, sun and sand' which is a blue that reminds me of Baker Street by Nails Inc and 'Time to Rock' which is a deep, purpley wine colour. I've only used the purple so far and while I found the application a bit sticky it dried very quickly and even without a top coat didn't chip.

Claudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Tinted Moisturiser in 01 'Light'- I fell in love with this stuff about a year ago after receiving a sample tube in a Birchbox, but my god is this stuff pricey over here at £27 a tube. I found it in CityPharma for 21 euros which is about £15 so this was obvs coming straight back home with me. It offers light coverage that evens out skin tone and adds a lovely glow, as well as boasting a broad spectrum SPF of 20.

Claudalie Hand Cream - So I got sucked in my this while queuing for the tills, who hasn't done that before? I was in need of a hand cream anyway and the wet and windy Paris weather wasn't doing my dry hands any favours. This stuff smells so lovely and fruity and doesn't leave your skin feeling greasy at all.

Avène Cleanance Mask-Scrub - This was on offer in CityPharma and I've heard a lot about the Cleanance range, so I thought I'd take the plunge. I'm not sure I totally understand the concept of thermal spring water but anything that might sort my skin out is a welcome new adventure.

What are your favourite French skincare brands?


Saturday, 19 September 2015

9 important things you learn during your first term at uni

It's this time of year when I begin to feel a bit granny-like and also pretty jealous, as a fresh flock of hopeful young humans descend upon Cambridge. There are plenty of things I wish I'd known when I first went off to university as a round-faced 18 year old without a care in the world, so here are 9 vital life lessons for nailing your first term as a student.

1. Fresher's event attendance is crucial. Even if you're the shy and retiring type, try and get chatting to people and head out with your flatmates more than once during Freshers week. Remember, you're all in the same boat and having the events of the night before to joke about the next day will really break the ice (aka awkwardness) that comes with having to live with a bunch of people you've never even met before.

2. You'll probably make some risqué changes to your clothes/hair/appearance. Within my first year at uni I had changed half my clothes, got a fringe, dyed my hair purple, then black, then purple again, stretched my ears and added a further 2 tattoos to my repertoire. I'm not advocating stretching your ears because ouch/job prospect limitations, but making style choices that reflect your personality is an important stage in the identity crisis that comes from being at uni - if you're not naturally confident it can be hard to stand out so making a statement with your look can actually be helpful in cementing yourself as an individual and connecting with others. Plus your mum isn't there to tell you you look ridiculous. Werk it.

3. The crew with the best customised bar crawl shirts is where you need to be. You've paid your £10 and made sure all your mates are in the same colour group as you, so now's the time to grab the scissors and sharpies and get to work. 0 points for penis drawings, 100 for originality. 

4. You don't need to drop major £££ on fancy dress. Loans and grants don't stretch as far as you might think, so instead of ordering that sexy Alice in Wonderland outfit from an overpriced party shop, head to Primark and Poundland for all your eighties, superhero and Halloween needs.

5. Just because the drinks are £1 doesn't mean you need 20 of them. Rein it in girlie. I will never forget the morning I woke up after a Fresher's £1 night in a dried up puddle of my own sick. Not only did it scare the absolute shit out of me because it's hella dangerous, but I had eaten curry the night before so sweeping up those stinky grains of rice with the mother of hangovers will haunt me forever. Have a good time but try to be aware of your limits and make sure you kip in a friend's room if you feel really ill. 

6. There are activities you can get involved in that don't involve getting absolutely steaming. Leading on from the above horror story, remember if you're not big on drinking and clubbing there are so many other activities on offer. Go to the societies fair and sign up for something interesting or unusual. You'll make friends and learn cool new things. At my uni they had roller-blading society, a fencing club, a student newspaper and radio station, and I even ended up signed up for a zombie run. Spoiler: I got bit. 

7. You will make weird spur-of-the-moment dietary choices because your mum isn't doing the food shopping. Why get one dessert when you can have two? The fresher's chub is real, as is the slow, hungover crawl to KFC at 1pm on a Wednesday to get your breakfast.

8. But you'll also go through phases of attempting cheap, healthy cooking from scratch, mostly because the oven will be your only heat source in the winter months. Basic and value brands are your friends, as are places like Lidl, and any local fruit and veg markets. If you're a n00b in the kitchen there are a tonne of easy to follow student recipes on BBC Food and Food Network.

9. There is actually a lot of hard work involved. It may not be true for every course at every uni and students get a lot of stick for having too much fun, but my degree was essay/reading list overload in that first term. It can be overwhelming and tricky to balance work with getting filthy drunk and watching One Tree Hill marathons - I remember having a little cry that first Christmas because I had SO much to get done over the holidays. but if you get into a habit of getting the work done first it will totally pay off. Don't forget to have fun though!

What are your top tips for freshers survival?


Sunday, 13 September 2015

My favourite creepy classics

I was brainstorming some book-related post ideas the other day when something struck me: I'm not a massive fan of stereotypically 'classic' literature. Austen doesn't do it for me at all, Virginia Woolf sends me to sleep and Hardy is not my friend. Sorry-not-sorry. God, it feels good to get that off my chest! Generally speaking regardless of a writer has done to shape literary history, I need a story to have either some kind of sinister/mysterious element or a lot of forward momentum for it to really hold my interest and entertain me. After a poke around my bookshelf I realised that all the classic reads I really love are actually pretty creepy tales. Here's the stellar line up:

1. The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe - This gorgeous Barnes & Noble volume was a Christmas present from Mat a few years ago and something I whip out every Halloween, because girl's gotta get Gothic on October 31st. Being an American writer Poe is not someone we generally study in detail in the UK, however his work featured on both Gothic modules I studied and there's something about the carefully crafted moodiness of his stuff that just hooks me. My all-time favourite short story is The Tell-Tale Heart, which you might remember from a Simpsons episode, but seriously - give it a read.

2. Dracula by Bram Stoker - If you've never thought about giving this a read you're missing out. I wasn't sure I'd like it as some of the screen adaptations of this classic legend are very old fashioned, but the writing is snappy and fast-paced. This book features on a lot of my reading lists - read more about why in this post.

3. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde - This fable is a book that I find pretty creepy. If you've read it or seen the film you'll get what I mean. There's something about the way Wilde writes though that is to beautiful and poetic that you're kind of guided gently through what at the time was a fairly scandalous moral tale.

4. The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson - This is a weird one because not only is this Victorian novella really short, it's not quite what I expected it to be. We read it at university as part of a theory module and straight away I could see why the story was such a classic and why there are so many derivative works out there.

5. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James - Again when I read this it was easy to see why the story has been adapted for screen and re-appropriated by other writers so often. This tale is the one that scares me the most - it's so creepy and the use of light and shade when the house is described and the creepy children just give me the ultimate in heebie-jeebies. The fun (or frustration, depending on your view) of The Turn of the Screw is that you aren't supposed to know for sure whether the ghostly goings on are real, or a figment of the protagonist's imagination. It's the stuff of nightmares I tell you.

6. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens - Hear me out guys. I know this isn't a typically scary story, but there's something about Dickens, and Great Expectations in particular, that I find so inherently Gothic. It's a character novel at heart, and those that stick out to me all have something fundamentally awful about them: Mrs Joe and her domestic violence, Mrs Havisham and her sinister home, Estella and her cruel ways. The landscape is also bleak and haunting and adds so much to the story. It's no horror story, but there are plenty of ghosts if you read between the lines,

What are your favourite creepy tales to read?


Saturday, 5 September 2015

How to improve your blog writing skills and develop a clear blogging style

At a time when it seems like there couldn't possibly be room for any more bloggers on the internet, new sites seem to be springing up everywhere. In all the noise it can be hard to stand out, and even harder to think of things that haven't been blogged about before. There are some badly written blogs out there, full of spelling mistakes and bland, unexciting content, but there are some brilliant ones too, so I've learned a lot in my 2 years on the scene. A well written blog can take you from strength to strength. so here are some of my top tips for improving your blog-writing style.

Never stop reading - My whole life I have repeatedly been told that the best way to learn, develop and grow is to read. Read widely and diversely. Read at random. Hell, read a cereal box packet if you're so inclined. I found when I went to university my literature course exposed me to so many different kinds of writing that even though I wasn't consciously trying the quality of my own work sky-rocketed. There's such a wealth of material out there on the blogosphere and each of us has something to learn from the other.

Develop a distinct style - Over the time that I've been blogging I've slowly developed a writing style that (I hope) is individual to me, and is consistent post-to-post. Some really great examples of this are Hannah Gale, who injects every post with some train of thought and TMI goodness, and Anna over at Vivianna Does Makeup, who might be one of the sweetest bloggers in all the land. Their styles are very distinct, to the point that I could tell who they were by if you read them to me. I'm not saying you have to give any private details away, but try to give a little of your personality to every post, whether it's a line or two about life or a little humour. Your readers will identify with you more if they feel like they know you.

Proof every post twice before publishing - I cannot tell you how many blog posts I've read on very established, professional sites that contain spelling mistakes, don't quite make sense or go on for way, way too long. Before you hit that publish button read through and edit your post at least twice. Have you spelled the product name correctly? Have you said the same thing twice? Could you cut out some of the rambling? Every paragraph should tell the reader something new or present a new point - if it doesn't, cut it out. I've written many a late night post before only to go back to them the next day to find I went way off-piste and sound like a madman. Editing your posts will dramatically up the quality of your work.

Use more than one post format - Someone who does this really well is Dana over at Wonder Forest. She balances blogging and design tips with posts about makeup and style, health, fashion and more and often switches up between classic blog post format, lists and image-based posts, all while ensuring the written style is consistent across the board. If you feel like your usual type of post is getting boring, switch it up a little.

Write passionately - Bridget at Deer Circus is one of my favourite bloggers because she writes about precisely what moves her or is on her mind. Depending on what your blog is about, you may not want to splurge your thoughts onto the page, but it's important that you feel passionate about your subject. If you're writing about something you love and enjoy. this should come across in your posts. Let people know why what you're writing about is important. Some of the best blog posts I've ever read haven't even been about anything at all, the blogger was just moved to write, and as a result I was moved too. Not everybody is confident about their writing, but you don't have to be the next Shakespeare to write an interesting, meaningful post.

What are your top tips for improving your blog writing skills?


Friday, 4 September 2015

3 ways to 'autumn up' your makeup on a budget

This time of year is that weird transitional phase where lighter colours are on their way out, but the darker hues of autumn and winter aren't quite ready to come out yet. It's a time when I slowly start to ditch the bronzer and let the paleness prevail, and it always leaves me wanting to amp up and darken my makeup and nails a tad. Here are my affordable picks:

Where lips are concerned, a classic red like Rimmel's Kate Matte in 107 is a lovely transitional shade with blue undertones - it could honestly suit anyone. If you want to take the plunge and go full berry, shade 030 in the Rimmel Kate Lasting Finish range is the one for you. It has more of a sheen than I usually like as I tend to prefer mattes but a dab with the finger and a little translucent powder and it's perfect. The Kate lines are so long lasting and always have great colour pay off.

I don't think the world is quite ready for my full-on smoky eye for daytime wear just yet, however I do tend to ramp up the eyeliner. I'm a sucker for cat-like wings and my favourite for this has to be the Soap and Glory Supercat pen. It's sooo easy to use, even with my shaky hands, and doesn't transfer at the top of my oily eyelids! If I wan't things to get a bit smudgier, for a kind of worn-in, smoky-ish weekend look, I whip out the Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Liner in black. It's highly pigmented so takes a little getting used to applying but is soft and smudgy and generally great.

Nails are also a great way to bring in some more seasonal colours, and my favourite for this time of year has to be Essie Bordeaux. It's such a rich colour and not too pinky, plus Essie have the best shaped brushes! I've also acquired a dark green Barry M Gelly nail paint that when used with a base coat doesn't leave any stain underneath, which is a revolutionary find for me. The Bourjois So Laque range also has some lovely colours - I've fallen for their Blue Asphalte shade recently which is a lovely purpley-grey.

What are your favourite transitional shades for September?


Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Hello September, I've been waiting for you

September for me is a month that rolls around unexpectedly, but one I welcome like an old friend. The temperature drops slightly, the nights start to draw in and the first amber hues greet us on the leaves of a few selected trees, before the whole landscape becomes awash with vibrant autumn colours. To me this change in seasons is synonymous with cost nights in, a dramatic increase in latte consumption and that feeling of a fresh start that lingers from my school and university days (I always raid the back to school section for new stationery too!). I'm such an autumn addict that I keep a Pinterest board just for the occasion, so I thought I'd share some of my faves:

Cold, wet weather and dark evenings are the perfect excuse for us bibliophiles to snub socialising in favour of a good book. I don't know about you but I've got my reading list sorted already!

I love this autumn picnic idea! Too many of us snub our local green spaces when the weather takes a turn but parks are beautiful this time of year.

Speaking of, how dreamy is this shot of Central Park. One day I'll actually go and I'll be purposefully planning to go when the leaves are turning.

Autumn/Winter fashion is my favourite - if I could dress in boots and jumpers all year round, I would. Chunky knits and pretty collars are at the top of my radar this year, with some Pretty Little Liars inspired colour palettes and of course a laid back, loose hairstyle. 

What are you looking forward to about autumn? 

All images and their sources can be found on my Pinterest board here.
© kelly anne rist

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