Women & Their Books: Amy Foulkes

Women & Their Books: Amy Foulkes

Today we have one of the best ladies in my life taking over the blog. My long-distance bestie Amy. I say long-distance because she now lives in Cairns with her hubby and gorgeous cat Earl Grey. I miss her a ton but we message and essentially speak in some capacity daily. That being said, I really do need to pay her a visit sometime soon. It's been two years since we last saw each other IRL and that is not okay. Along with a love of banter, #goals aesthetic-y dreams, dreamy scents and movies, we also share a love of books. Amy reads quite different books to me so I always love hearing what she's reading. Now we can all share in that love because she's sharing her answers to my questions about her books. Enjoy! 

-What are you currently reading? 
Rich People Problems x Kevin Kwan. This is the final book in the series and I'm obsessed! Think Pride & Prejudice meets Gossip Girl set in Hong Kong and Singapore. There's drama, social climbers and the richest of the rich. Kwan does such a good satire of the affluent circle he grew up in. I highly recommend!

-What is your most read book? 
I really had to think about this one. I'm that girl who continually rereads her favourites *same, tbh, gazing guiltily at my shelves right now*, they are like both my family and my mental comfort food. I am going to have to say The Voyage of the Dawn Treader from the Chronicles of Narnia series. I must have reread it well over ten times, I love the growth and journey of the characters and all the magical little details. Just writing this makes me want to read it all over again.  

-I'm not sure if everyone knows this but you studied marine biology at university. *I've added in my notes "yass smart cookie. yes I fangirl over my friends. Moving on....* Was there a book or an author that inspired you to study marine biology? 
I'm obsessed with Madeline L'Engle. She was the author that acted as a catalyst for my obsession with science as she portrayed it in a way that was intriguing and almost magical. She had some amazing female scientist characters that were strong, sexy and empowered which made the field appeal to me as an adolescent. Her novel Troubling a Star probably inspired me the most. It features a lot of marine biology and oceanography and a good dash of drama and political intrigue. 

-You recently spent a bit of time in New Mexico. *Go look through her Instagrams peeps, it looks stunning*. Did you read any books whilst you were there? 
I read The Roanoke Girls x Amy Engel on my journey home as I had a long stopover in LA. I booked a hotel room for the day, ordered room service and binge read in the bath. The story is very dark and has some intense subject matter but it's intricately woven, full of twists and turns. A very shocking but excellently written story. 

-What is your favourite book by a New Zealand author and why? 
I feel like a terrible kiwi because I haven't read nearly enough New Zealand writing as an adult. *Same, tbh* My childhood favourite though was Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy x Lynley Dodd. As a child I was (and still am) obsessed with animals so I drove my preschool teachers crazy, asking for it to be read over and over. 

-You're in the process of building your first home. So exciting! Do you have any books you've been seeking out for inspiration?
  The Kinfolk Home! It's one of the most beautifully curated and presented design books and I never fail to get inspiration from it. I love the Scandinavian and Japanese inspired minimalism featuring lots of light timber, hidden storage and stark white walls. We're incorporating these features into the house and got our main texture and colour palette ideas from homes in the book. 

-Is there a female writer whose words have left a lasting impression on you? 
I just love Jodi Picoult. Her stories have such beautiful characters who say such raw and deep things. One of my favourite quotes is: "Forgiving isn't something you do for someone else. It's something you do for yourself. It's saying, 'you're not important enough to have a stranglehold on me.' It's saying, 'you don't get to trap me in the past. I am worthy of a future.'

-Finally, if there was one book you'd recommend every woman has on their shelves, what would it be and why? 
First of all, have as many books as possible on your shelves! Secondly I think Little Women x Louisa May Alcott is a necessary staple for every bookshelf. It's a tale of the value of sisterhood and the importance of our minds and substance of our personalities and character over the superficial. In a world that bombards us, telling us our value is in our appearance and that being different is a problem-we should all read more books like Little Women. 

-Thanks so much Amy for answering my questions. I am undeniably biased but thinking of questions for Amy was so much fun and I had just as good a time reading her answers. Amy has a blog, Tea and Sage which is on a lil' hiatus but Amy posts regularly over on her Instagram @teaandsage and I suggest y'all go give her a follow and swoon over her dreamy photography. 

*Images c/o Amy's fantastic photography skills. 

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Books To Read In Autumn

Books To Read In Autumn

-Image via free people, image on the right x me

Hello and welcome to book week. Yes, I'm aware two posts don't really equate to a week but let's just roll with it shall we? While I don't make monthly reading lists nowadays, if only for the eventual disappointment I felt not finishing everything, I did want to try to make seasonal reading lists a thing. There's a lotta material here and given one of the books clocks in at well over seven hundred pages, I may not make it through everything. They're all titles I do want to read in 2018 though so I am sure I will get to them eventually Perhaps most surprisingly, almost all these inclusions are novels. Don't worry, my memoir-loving self hasn't run away. I just seem to be having a good run with fiction right now and want to make it last. Anyway, books for Autumn incoming...

Enigma Variations x Andre Aciman: After reading and loving every inch of Call Me By Your Name, this made its way on to my to-read list. I've actually requested this from the library. Like CMBYN it looks at the nuances of romance and the way in which our relationships shape us. I'm expecting more vivid, beautiful words. Here's hoping it delivers. 

The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath: So I am currently reading this, as touched on here and am taking my time with it. If only because I find it's the kind of book I want to immerse myself in for a while, hence dragging the reading process out. It seriously blows my mind that Plath was 18 or 19 at the beginnings of these journal entries. Her writing is so profound and captivating. I've been marking sections I like with a black ballpoint pen to return to later. In fact I can see myself revisiting this one a lot. 

The Female Persuasion x Meg Wolitzer: Honestly, I can't remember where I read about this book now but it's one of my most-anticipated novels for 2018 because it just sounds flippin' fantastic. I mean, read that synopsis if you need convincing further. 

Everything Ali Smith: The Ali Smith obsession continues, right now I am reading How to be both for a book club I joined and I am loving it immensely. This was the first book of Smith's I attempted to read and I gave up on it pretty quickly yet I knew it was a book I wanted to try again in time. So glad I persevered. Anyway, I also have Winter, Artful & Girl Meets Boy to read so this lil' literary love affair will continue for some time yet. 

The Price of Illusion x Joan Juliet Buck: A candid, refreshing memoir from a former editor of Paris Vogue. Naturally the subject matter appeals but I've heard this is brilliant. Also, Kristin Scott Thomas is a fan which makes it all the more enticing. 

The Muse x Jessie Burton: Emma loved this book which reminded me I also had it on my shelves and really need to get to it soon. Like How to be both, this is a book about art and paintings, set over two different time periods. In fact, the whole centreing around one painting gives me Goldfinch vibes too, which is a book I want to reread but anyway. This has been on my bookshelf for way too long so I will be reading it sooner rather than later.

The Catcher in the Rye x J.D. Salinger: In my quest to read more classic literature, this book finally entered my life recently. I deliberately don't know much about it, other than it's a classic, coming-of-age novel and I'll be getting to it very soon. 

*Well isn't this asterisk a little blast from the past... Longtime readers will know I used to conclude posts with my 'life rambles' as I call them. This isn't really one but I thought I'd do a quick little PSA to say blog posts are going to go up every Monday and Wednesday for the time being. There may be extras on a Friday but I've not really had a schedule for ages and I want to reinstate it. This may fall to the wayside as I'm in a bit of a creative block right now-not entirely but it's definitely there in the background. The struggle is a bit real sometimes but it's hardly surprising given I've done nearly 1100 posts here now. Anyway, just thought I'd update y'all. Have a great week!
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Magazine Marvels & Long Distance Pen-Pallery

Magazine Marvels & Long Distance Pen-Pallery

I suggest you settle in with a coffee or whatever beverage takes your fancy right now because it's going to be a long one. Myself and one of my Internet pen-pals Liv bonded over our love of many things; magazines, stationery, the She & Him Christmas album, just to name a few. It is the first item on that list though that inspired a lil' magazine exchange. I think this may be something we try to do more often because it was a fun time and who doesn't like getting snail mail? More so magazines from faraway places. Quite literally the other side of the world. Liv got all her picks for me spot on and I badly wanted to spend all day long reading them but as we all know, the magazine-reading experience is best savoured. Anyway, details....

Lionheart: Liv is actually one of Lionheart's contributors and I'd been meaning to track down a copy of this for ages but somehow never did. *taps wrist*. Firstly, I love the handbag friendly size of this one. I've been slipping it into my bag between notebooks and the book I'm reading. Yes I don't pack light and never will. It's crammed with inspirational, positive, uplifting articles, interviews, stories and ideas,. It is wonderfully designed and quite simply an exquisite publication. This issue has a feature on books too so that of course has me sold. There's florals aplenty too which I love.

Sunday Girl: Another magazine I'd heard about through Liv. I actually found the previous issue in, of all places, the newsagents near my work. The last issue felt a bit more zine-y and this feels a bit more grown up but still just as inspiring. In fact, seeing as some of you will be reading this on International Women's Day (March 8th), might I suggest you track down a copy of this. Published biannually, this 'fashion magazine for intellectual girls' doesn't scrimp on the important issues we women face and makes time for the fun vibrancy of fashion and art that we love. Case in point; these beautiful images you see above. 

Oh Comely: I bloomin' love Oh Comely and have made it my unofficial mission to get more people on the bandwagon this year. Fun fact; when I was in the UK almost eight years back, I stumbled upon an early edition of this in WH Smith. I no longer have it because it met a sad demise in a bathtub and I couldn't find another copy. Trust me, I tried to track one down. Anyway, flash forward several years and I'm back in love with this gem. This issue in particular is brilliant, with an essay on the art of dress up by Rosalind Jana, interviews with Scarlett Curtis and Dolly Alderton, the fantastic story you see above on self-love and kindness, their regular book feature which I always love and more. I'm seriously considering subscribing to this one, if only because my impatience at waiting months for the newsagents near my house to get their stock in frustrates me no end. That and I love it and wouldn't be upset to see it arriving in my mailbox. Ever. 

Cherry Bombe: Not sure if Liv saw my tweets contemplating buying Cherry Bombe but either way I kinda did a metaphorical dance when I say this included. When I worked in a magazine shop I always made a beeline for this and it is a beautiful magazine. Yes this is one for the foodies; the enthusiasts, the eaters and of course the makers. Lately I've really been getting back into making things; food and otherwise so I think this magazine will really inspire me in that regard. That and it's just beautiful design-wise. I've actually ordered the Cherry Bombe cookbook from the local library too so my fix can last a little longer.

-Thanks so much to Liv for these stunning magazines! I've already finished+loved Oh Comely but cannot wait to get into the others because I know I'm in for a treat. Let me know in the comments if you've read these and what you think of them.

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New in Beauty: Autumn '18

New in Beauty: Autumn '18

Another month, another lot of beauty newness. While my beauty magpie tendencies seem to be somewhat on the backburner these days, I do still love a new addition to the lineup and especially with the changing of the seasons, I enjoy mixing it up a bit. In saying that, I had a few days last week where I just threw concealer on because leaving for work an hour earlier than usual=less care factor about makeup. Sorry not sorry. Anyway, if you want to hear me wax lyrical on the new, fantastic foursome, keep reading...

Majolica Majorca Mascara: A makeup-loving friend of mine bought this back for me from her travels and I'm not one hundred percent certain if you can buy it in New Zealand. I'll update this if you can. Anyway, I have a feeling Anna may have tried this too, maybe. Either way it was new to me and I love it. The brush is quite unusual, being more like a comb you'd use in your hair with bristles of differing thickness. The mascara itself has a tubing formula I believe which lengthen your lashes like nothing else. The beauty (ha) in this mascara though is really in the wand. At first I was rather perplexed by it because it is so unusual but whatever it is, works. Again I feel mean showing y'all this because I'm not sure how accessible it is but I will do some investigating. 

Soap and Glory Rushower Dry Shampoo: My friend and fellow blogger Cass loves this dry shampoo. In fact I know it often makes an appearance in her empties posts because she's repurchased it a few times. Anyway, it's cheap as chips, I love dry shampoo (don't tell my hair stylist) and there's not much more to it than that. I'm yet to use it-but I have high hopes. 

Glossier Cloud Paint in Beam: I am not a cream blush person usually but these ones I am totally here for. Pigmented, yet easy to blend away to something less intense, long-lasting and flattering on the cheeks. As someone who deals with adult acne, bane of my freakin' existence, cream products that don't draw attention to uneven texture are the best. You can even use these on the lips too, with a bit of balm and I know Fiona's experimented with them on the eyes as well. 

Stila Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow in Twig: My love for the glitter and glow shadows is well documented around these parts so when I saw that Stila had new additions to the family, well, I did not hesitate. These are definitely less glittery and more metallic in finish, you'll understand if you swatch them. Still absolutely stunning though. This deep bronze reminds me of a limited edition paint pot I used to own called Eclair. It's going to get a thrashing in Winter when I decide to make my eye makeup dark like my soul and the weather perhaps. 

-Have you tried any new beauty bits 'n pieces lately?

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Five Things: March

Five Things: March

March has arrived. So crazy! It's also the beginning of Autumn here in NZ although given how humid it still is, I can't see crisper temperatures on the horizon any time soon. This month for March we have a few digital things to enjoy, books because of course and another movie I'm smitten with. Enjoy.

The Fringe of It: So in case you're hiding under a rock. The lovely Liv and Charlotte have launched a podcast. The title is naturally inspired by their current matching face framers. Each episode is centred around a topic; so far they've looked at friendship, confidence+comparison and defining success+ambition. All incredibly relatable discussion points. They also talk about what they've been watching/reading and buying-particularly in the fashion realm. It's a good time and a new episode drops every Tuesday. It's my Wednesday morning ritual to listen to the new ones at work and I'm not going to lie, I love it. 

Lady Bird: Probably my most anticipated movie of 2018, so far, is this one. Over the weekend I went and saw it with Albertine. It did not disappoint. As I said on Twitter, the film perfectly captures that time when you're nearing the end of adolescence and are on the cusp of adulthood. The way you feel everything in extremes and the future looks unclear but hopeful. Saiorse Ronan is amazing as Christine aka 'Lady Bird' but Beanie Feldstein was a scene-stealer as her best friend Jules. I think this film is resonating so much because it is so relatable and everyone sees a bit of themselves in one or more of the characters. That and the cinematography is exquisite. A must-watch. 

The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath: I feel like not a lot of people know this so correct me if I am wrong, Unity Books in Auckland+Wellington have a loyalty card system. For every book you purchase, they'll write the amount & stamp your card. When you get ten, they average the total cost and you are able to redeem a book to that value. Anyway, long story short-I've been wanting to read this for ages and redeemed it with my credit. It's looking a bit battered because I have been carrying it everywhere. Underlining passages and losing myself in its pages. Plath's writing is brilliant. As this is over 700 pages I will be absorbed in it for a while but I don't mind because it is so captivating. 

Anyone Girl: To be honest, there's not a ton of NZ specific publications that I read and like but I'd been wanting to grab this for a while. It was while perusing the shelves in The Bread and Butter Letter that I found it again and snatched up a copy. Shamefully I am yet to read this (still) but this issue and all its contents look dreamy and wondrous. 

Anxiety: young women & this silent epidemic: Emma was one of the original bloggers here in NZ, writing under the Rag Pony moniker and she now writes for her own website among other places on and offline. Anyway, she has written this brilliant piece on anxiety and its impacts on young women. Please read it. As someone who personally still feels like these topics aren't always given enough airtime, I applaud those who write or speak about them and do it well. 

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