Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Favourite Moments Of 2015...

At the end of 2014 I wrote a piece rounding up my year, and the result was a ridiculously nostalgic post written when I was honestly really sad after battling through a bad breakup and a generally bad end to the year. And that's not what I want to do this year.

Truthfully, 2015 has been another difficult year, but I didn't want to do a self-depreciating "new year, new me" post, so instead I decided to look back through my instagram and share some of my favourite moments from the year!

Technically this photo was from 2014, but last New Year's Eve was easily one of my favourite moments as I got to ring in the new year with two of my absolute besties and it really helped me move into the new year feeling happy and hopeful with my gals by my side.

2015 was the year I met Rachelle, who was such a  positive ray of sunshine in my life right when I needed it. All my memories with Rachelle consist of being overly hyper, going to strange local gigs and laughing so hard my eyeliner was cried off. Rachelle is the perfect example of why female friends are essential and I'm massively thankful for her.

Read post about this necklace HERE
One of my favourite part of this year was the opportunities this blog gave me such as having the chance to collaborate with This Material Culture, an absolutely lovely brand that gifted me this necklace. It was so nice to work with such sweet people and honestly it made me feel so appreciated as they wanted to work with me and my teeny tiny little blog. And this arrow necklace has become my safety blanket, I couldn't love it anymore.

Read post about my haircut HERE
Before this year I was always super nervous about changing my hair (or really changing anything) but as the year went on my hair decisions have become braver and my chops have been going shorter and shorter (as my hair dresser says, "you'll come in one day and just ask me to shave it off!") But since having shorter hair I can't imagine going back to my long-lock days, I bloody love it! Possibly one of the best decisions of 2015.

This year I've become much more politically and socially aware. I spent a lot of time reading articles and re-searching issues that seemed to go amiss from mainstream media. I've learnt so much about the transgender community and issues they face, the massive issue of police brutality in America, struggles women face around the globe and I think I've generally become a more knowledgeable, aware person. I can't suggest enough that you take 5 minutes daily to read some articles on twitter, you'd be surprised how much BBC news doesn't tell you!

One of my favourite parts of 2015 has been my friendship with this lady. Immy has been my ultimate besties since we were in nappies but this year our friendship has become so insanely strong and we've supported each other through anything and everything. Love this gal all the world, the best friend a girl could have! Yay for strong female friendship!

Obviously being in the presence of queen Taylor in Hyde Park was a highlight. This was definitely one of my favourite moment of 2015 as not only did I get a sunny weekend in London, but me and my sister got to absolutely lose our cool over Taylor Swift (and Kendall Jenner, Karlie Kloss, Martha Hunt, Cara Delevingne, Gigi Hadid, Serena Williams). She was insanely amazing and the day was magical, long live Queen Tay Tay.

One of the best things I did this year was get the chance to work with Daisy-Chain Scott and have the chance to write lots for her blog. Learning more about political and social issues massively impacted my writing as I started to focus more articles about politics, social injustices, movements that weren't getting enough media attention etc as well as specifically focusing on the work of teenagers doing amazing things in an attempt to prove that we aren't all lazy slobs. I loved loved loved having the chance and the freedom to write all these pieces and sadly Teenage Mysticism no longer exists, but you can visit Daisy's new blog HERE.

See more photos HERE
In the summer I re-decorated my bedroom. It may seem trivial, but to me this was a big step in leaving the past behind (deep) and coming into myself more as my new bedroom feels way way more me. I now love my bedroom, it's so calming and cosy I never want to leave it.

Starting KILORAN was easily the best thing I've done this year. At the start of 2015 I was determined to start actually acting on my dreams, so in the summer I started my own online magazine working with the most incredible team of writers/photographers/creators. We've now released two issues of the mag and I've never been this proud of anything. So much hard work went into these two issues and seeing the result and having people say lovely stuff about it has been absolutely amazing. Also, KILORAN introduced me to some ridiculously talented people and helped me surround myself with amazing, creative people. I can't wait to see where KILORAN goes next year and if you ever want to contribute, don't hesitate to get in touch!

2015 was the year I passed my driving test which is a big milestone in anyone's life! I looove driving and since passing my test everything has been a lot easier so woo go me! (also 2015 was the year crazy snapchat filters took over my life)

This year Things The Books Forgot got a makeover that was long overdue! Since re-designing my blog banner I've felt so much happier with the site and it's helped me focus more on creating what I want to create and not what I think my blog should consist of. I'm hoping to really branch out in 2016 and include more social/political, culture kinda posts as well as more about films, lifestyle and fashion. Again, super excited to see where this blog goes in 2016 and I'm hoping it will keep on growing. Massive thank you to everyone that's been reading my silly rambles this year, I adore you all!

I think if I had to give 2015 a theme it would be 'loss and growth' as this year I really struggled as a lot of my closest friends in 2014 were no longer in my life in 2015, however I think this year has forced me to become a healthier person in that I've learnt that it's okay to walk away from negative situations/people and learnt how to treat myself better and care for myself when things get difficult, something that's been so beneficial this year, and my friendships have become a lot stronger and more valuable.

But on a whole, 2015 has been a year that’s hard to pin down as for most of the year I haven’t really felt it go back. The majority of this year has been spent focusing on specific things- working towards being happy after the negative event of 2014/early 2015, revising hard for my AS levels, throwing all my efforts into projects like KILORAN, this blog and writing other things. Looking back it’s been a strange year and honestly I'm glad it’s over! The last couple weeks of 2015 have been super happy and thinking about all the exciting things to come in 2016 like going off to uni makes me feel so hopeful!

I hope you all had your happiest year yet and if not, I hope your 2016 brings you nothing but strength and joy! Thank you all for sticking by me and supporting my tiny baby of a blog, and I hope to see you all again in 2016.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

My Soundtrack ~ 2015...

2015 has been a big year for music as I've seen my taste change about 1000 times and made some absolutely phenomenal playlists (if I do say so my self) But as the year draws to an end I thought it was time to share my favourite albums of the year...

Currents ~ Tame Impala

Unguarded ~ Rae Morris

How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful ~ Florence & The Machine

Communion ~ Years & Years

Work It Out ~ Lucy Rose

Wild ~ Troye Sivan

Purpose ~ Justin Bieber

Light Up The Dark ~ Gabrielle Aplin

Singing For Strangers ~ Hudson Taylor

Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful ~ Flo Morrissey

God Help The Girl Soundtrack

5AM ~ Amber Run

This year offered up some amazing new albums, however, my love for vintage artists has absolutely taken over this year as I furthered my undying love for artists like-

  • Stevie Nicks & Fleetwood Mac
  • Jeff Buckley
  • Joni Mitchell
  • Joy Division
  • Bob Dylan
  • Crosby, Stills & Nash
  • Pulp
  • and many many many more!
And if you want to hear what a year in my music taste sounded like, I've complied a mega playlist of all my favourite tracks that I've been listening to this year (and remember to follow me on spotify for a million more playlists!

What have been some of your favourite albums/artists this year?

Monday, 21 December 2015

4 Trends To Invest In Before 2016...

There's been some big big trends this year and it looks like some of them are set to sail on into 2016 with us. So here's 4 things I think you should invest in before the new year (if you haven't already)

Mom jeans have been a big trend for a long long time now but they're still going strong and they're still an absolute essential for me. Since buying some mom jeans late 2014 I've struggled to wear anything else as I love them so much! They're so easy to style and such a versatile piece which looks good with everything from crop tops and vest tops to big baggy jumpers and oversized coats. Easily one of my best investments and if you haven't already got yourself a pair, go get some!

If the baggy style isn't really your thing, take a look at ASOS' slim mom jeans which have the classic high waist mom jeans style, but with a skinny jean leg. So if you prefer a simpler shape but still want to get a vintage kinda vibe, definitely take a look on ASOS. 

2015 was the year of the highlighter as not only did contouring make its way into everyday make-up routines, but also strobing became a massive, totally beautiful make-up trend. Therefore, before you welcome in the new year, make sure you have a darn good highlighter at hand! My all time fave is MUA's Undress Your Skin highlighting powder, it's the prettiest iridescent pinky/nude powder that instantly adds lifts the complexion and brings out your cheekbones (and it's only £3!) However if you want to try your hand at some full-force strobing in 2016, try a cream or a liquid highlighter like Topshop's Glow Pot or collection's new Speedy Highlighter stick. Glowing dewy skin looks like its here to stay, but remember beautiful skin starts with good skin care!

The 70s trend was HUGE this year and trend forecasters say it's here for the long run. So stock up on some 70s inspired shapes and textures- A-line skirts, suede, paisley and floral prints, boho shirts, flares and high boots. I love love love this trend and I'm so happy it's joining us all in 2016, hurray for more time to channel my inner Stevie Nicks and Joni Mitchell!

My dungarees are easily my favourite thing I've bought this year, and it seems like a lot of people feel the same. Long denim dungarees are a trend that seems to have come out of no where and blown up as now I see them all over instagram and blogs. My fave thing about this trend is that it's unisex and loads of boys are rocking dungarees as well so get your brothers/boyfriends/dads involved! They're surprisingly simple to style ever and move so easily through the seasons as you can layer t-shirts or jumpers under, so I think some long denim dungarees are the perfect investment for the year to come. If you're after some long dungarees, Topshop have loads in a variety of shapes and colours. 

What trends do you hope carry on into the new year?

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Benefit Advent Calender ~ Weeks 2 & 3 Reviews...

The past couple weeks have been super hectic with college, coursework and I went on a weekend trip to Dublin (which was amazing!) so I apologise for the lack of posts. However, I've been keeping up with my Benefit advent calender and I'm back with some more mini reviews!

Week 2

They're Real ~ Mascara

I was a little disappointed when I opened this at the start of week two as I've tried this mascara before and I've never been a fan. It's definitely one of those products that's very hyped up in the blogging world and a lot of people swear by this product, however, for me, I find it leaves my lashes looking long but sparse as it only lengthens which I prefer a more 'does it all' lengthening, volumising, feathering mascara. Although, one big plus of this mascara is that it stays on for agggges to the point where you have to really battle to take it off, so if you're after a long-lasting lengthening mascara, definitely try this one out! But not the right product for me.

Sugarbomb Ultra Plush ~ Lip gloss

I'm really not a lip gloss wearer as I always opt for a matte lip so instantly this isn't a product for me. However, I've been slightly converted due to how moisturising this lip gloss is and how pretty the colour is. The gloss is a shimmery pinky nude so it layers really nicely over my everyday nude lip. Although I don't think I'll wear this gloss on its own, it might creep its way into my lip routine.

Lollitint ~ Lip & Cheek Stain 

As a lip stain, I absolutely love this product! The colour is subtly yet really super pretty and it lasts quite a while before fading to a more delicate colour. Love love love it! However, as a cheek stain I found it really hard to work with as the product seems to dry instantly and I find myself left with streaks of it stuck where I applied it. Maybe you just need a super fast blending technique but I find it tricky to apply properly. But as a lip stain oh baby it's pretty.

Week 3

Watt's Up! ~ Highlighter

Week 3 started on a high with Watt's Up a product that seems really loved and I've wanted to try for a while. After falling in love with Highbeam in week one I was interested to see how this highlighter would match up. Benefit knows how to make a beautiful highlighter as once again I was in love. Watt's Up is a more sheer champagne coloured highligher that's more subtle than Highbeam but it's so pretty and really brightens up your face and lifts your complexion. I've been loving using Highbeam on my cheek bones then Watt's Up on my cupids bow, browbone etc. Super pretty and I really recommend trying this product out it you're after a subtle yet beautiful highlighter. 

The Porefessional ~ Primer

A lot of people I know absolutely love this product and now I see why. I think I'll be investing in a full size one of this primer as it glides onto the skin so nicely and really helped my make-up stay all day as well as helping to perfect my complexion before putting my make-up on. It's just an all-round good primer!

BADgal Lash ~ Mascara

Honestly I hadn't heard much about this mascara but I liked it instantly as the brush is really big and full so it leaves your lashes looking so full and amazing. As I said before, I like a 'does it all' mascara and this definitely does it all as it lengthened my lashes but also made them so fanned out and full. However, this mascara didn't last as long as They're Real and I did feel the need to add another coat later on in the day. So as much as I do like this mascara, I think I'll stick with my No.7 one.

Let me know your opinion of any of these products!

Monday, 7 December 2015

Benefit Advent Calender ~ Week 1 Reviews...

I was the absolute luckiest to receive the coveted Benefit advent calender (thanks mum and dad!) And as there are only 12 doors to open, i'm opening one every other day so I thought I would give you a little review of each little gift in case you were thinking about treating yourself to some new make-up either as a Christmas present for yourself, or after the holiday when you're suddenly rolling in Christmas money!

Ooh La Lift ~ under eye brightener 

This was the first product in the calender and it started off on a good note. Firstly, the product is so soothing and refreshing on my sad tired morning eyes, and although on its own I didn't notice a massive brightening effect, but layered under my concealer it seemed to really lighten up my under-eye and reduce those dark circles. 

However, as the week drew on (and my dark circles became darker and bigger) the dewy/shimmery cream only seemed to accentuate my tiredness and make the appearance of my dark circles worse as the shimmer drew attention to them. But this may just have been because no amount of brightening cream could hide my tiredness. 

So although at first the cream was super refreshing and did appear to work, I don't think it's worth the £17.50 retail price, my £5 concealer did just as good of a job.

Total Moisture ~ facial cream

I've been wanting to try this moisturiser for a while as the packaging is so so cute and I've heard really good things about it. Yet, on my first day trying it I was instantly put off by the scent which is almost lemony, also I think the thick texture is slightly too dense for everyday use on my skin. However, I used the cream on the evening two days ago on a troubled dry area on my face and it was instantly so moisturised and refreshed! So I think for me, the thick cream is perfect on specific areas but possibly not my whole face.

I don't think I would pay £29.50 for this product as the scent put me off (and made me think that it probably contains a lot of unnatural ingredients, whereas I prefer slightly more neutral/natural products) and it's slightly too dense for my oily skin. But if you have dry skin and are in need of a super luxurious thick moisturiser, definitely try this one out!

Highbeam ~ highlighter

I was so so so happy to find this behind the third door as I've been eyeing this highlight up for absolutely ages and I've been desperate to try a liquid highlighter. And oh my it hasn't disappointed!

Firstly, it's the most beautiful shimmery silvery/pink shade which I think really compliments my uber pale skin. And the creamy liquid allows you to blend it in really well so the highlighter can be as subtle or dramatic as you want it to be. Also the shimmer is delicate enough that you can use it on all the high points of your face- brow bone, nose, cupid bow etc- without ending up looking like a glitterball! So soooo beautiful!

Think I might be a liquid highlighter convert!

What are your fave Benefit products? And let me know your liquid/cream highlighter recommendations!

Saturday, 5 December 2015

KILORAN ~ Issue 2...

You may know that as well as running Things The Books Forgot, I'm also the founder and editor of an online magazine called KILORAN which released its first issue back in the summer and now boast a list of contributors from all across the UK as well as internationally. The reason I started the magazine was to get the chance to work with all the amazing, talented people I know or encounter daily on social medias, but I never could've imagined developing such an incredible team and such a lovely response to the first issue.

And so I'm proud to announce the realise of KILORAN issue 2...

Drawing by Sonja Katanic
Photo by Hope Naisbitt

This issue is massively different from the first, as rather than letting the contributors run wild, I set a simple brief- "Create a letter to anything, anyone, or anything." And oh baby were the responses amazing, ranging from letters to little brother's before their first date, letters to nature, love letters to the world told solely through photographs, and letters to the universe on a whole. Every new piece I received blew my mind with the level of talent.

The months spent making this issue have been weird ones for me and I found myself feeling the need to 'cleanse' my life of toxicity and negativity, and as a result I've found myself feeling so much more creative and focussed and driven as a writer beyond this blog and the magazine. So I really wanted to present the creativity of others, something beyond an article on politics or a film review, something that meant something to the creator and would hopefully make someone feel something when they read it. In short, I wanted to create something deeper (as cliché as it sounds)

And so I couldn't be happier with the end result, containing work from some of my favourite people and the people I admire most. In my Editor's letter in the issue, I refer to issue 2 as the soul of KILORAN, and it couldn't be more true.

So please please PLEAAAASE check it out, settle down with a cup of coffee and take some time to soak in the talent from the contributors.

I really hope you like the issue and that it makes you feel something, and I hope you remember to write thank you letters to all those who deserve them (and remember a love letter is always more effective than liking someone's selfie on instagram)

Find Kiloran-

Instagram- @kiloranmag
Twitter- @kiloranmag

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

The Rose Affair...

Everyone knows how much I love music and how much I love finding new bands, so when I stumbled upon The Rose Affair on YouTube a while back it was true love. Almost a year later the band have become one of my faves as their eclectic collection of songs provides a track for every mood possible, as well as becoming a band I'm a huge cheerleader for after interviewing them way back in the summer and then having the chance to work with lead singer Lucas (absolute coolest guy ever) for issue two of Kiloran.

A little background on the band- hailing from Cambridge, The Rose Affair have been building up their sound since brothers Lucas and Matt started writing together as children. They've been steadily building up a fan-base on YouTube and gigging round Cambridge/London; And after promising to release an EP in May, they're finally released one…in December…

I was lucky enough to be allowed to listen to the EP early, so I've spent the last week or so listening to it on repeat and honestly it’s great, its perfect. I love albums/EPs that clearly tell a story and Lucas explained to me that the EP is essentially a product of all his favourite films and his obsession with that Hollywood concept of love and he really wanted the songs to tell this story when you listen through them. Well the band definitely achieved that, listening to the EP from start to finish mirrors that emotional roller-coaster that films take you on, and I guess the sort of instability of extreme highs extreme lows you feel in that ‘Hollywood’ kinda love.

I think the main thing I love about The Rose Affair is that their lyrics are the sort of lyrics that punch you in the heart and wound you for a couple days. This is massively the case on the EP with the first track Alba providing many killer lines and ‘Elisabeth’ is a real lyrical tear-jerker. Every song is so perfectly crafted with poetic lyrics and incredible beats. I’ve been listening to nothing else for a week and I have yet to skip a track as each song brings something new to the table ranging from the super upbeat indie pop ‘Kill us when we’re famous’ to the slower, darker ‘xo’ . (basically all five songs are 10/10)

I can’t recommend enough that you check The Rose Affair out, whether that be buying their EP for only £3.95 or giving some of their you-tube videos as listen as they have a super impressive catalogue of tunes (listen to Napoli, that’s my fave) They’re a rare gem of a band with the perfect  blend of really honestly descriptive, poetic lyrics and guitar riffs that make you want to throw away all your work and hop on a plane to new York and go dancing- A beautiful fusion that only comes from passion and clear talent. And as the band are planning loads of shows for 2016, so if you fall in love with the band like I did, you might even get so see them live next year!

Find The Rose Affair-