8 Ways To Celebrate High As Hope

8 Ways To Celebrate High As Hope

It's an exciting time for Florence & The Machine fans. Their highly anticipated fourth album, High As Hope is being released eleven days from now. She's starting up a tour and releasing a book next month. In order to get into the mood, I thought I'd compile a list of ways to celebrate the new album in the days and weeks leading up to it. The best kind of celestial fangirling...

Revisit the Old: Start at the very beginning with Lungs, spend the evening dancing around a dimly lit room to Ceremonials and go on a road trip with How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful blasting through the speakers. 

Don some Florence-worthy jewels: One of the easiest ways to channel a bit of Florence Welch magic. These shell earrings give me Ceremonials vibes and also remind me of that time Florence sang in a half-shell on the Chanel runway. I also reckon she'd love a bit of Zoe and Morgan. Their starry earrings and moon pendants especially. 

Read some Between Two Books titles: For those not in the know, Florence has her own book club. Established by dedicated fans, Florence oversees the club and recommends her own books, alongside other women of note. My picks are; Fates & Furies, The Goldfinch, Too Much & Not The Mood and The Great Gatsby. Check out their Instagram for the other titles.

Listen to this cover: Tiny Dancer is already a brilliant song but this reinterpretation takes it to another level. No, I wasn't tearing up when I first heard it, that was just a bit of dust in my eye. *ahem*

Pre-Order Useless Magic: Florence's upcoming book of poetry, lyrics and art is being released at the beginning of July. July 5th I believe. Might I suggest you pre-order it? I think in the US if you do you can get some free postcards with your book. I've ordered my copy through Time Out here in Auckland. Cannot. Wait. 

Read Patti Smith's writing: There's a song on High As Hope entitled Patricia named for Smith. Another great musician and artist. To tide you over, why not give the slim volume of musings on childhood, Woolgathering a perusal? Just Kids her book about her time in New York and Robert Mapplethorpe was a past Between Two Books pick as well. 

Treat Yo'Self: These shirts though. I know Liv has one of these and it looks freakin' rad. I really need the 'Florence' one in my life. Even though it's not tshirt weather. That's what jackets and cardis are for, right? There's also her Liberty collaboration which I've just found.

Read some interviews: This one is a good 'un. The Sunday Times have a great one as well. There's also some gems on YouTube as well. Get hunting.

-How are you celebrating High As Hope?

Read More
Books To Read In June

Books To Read In June

I feel like Winter is prime book-reading time. The days and nights are colder and it's simply rude not to stay in with a book, a hot chocolate or a glass of wine and all the blankets. I promise I am writing this blog post at a dining table and not from the comfort of my bed. Anyway, today I have a lil' quartet of books I plan on reading and in some cases re-reading. They'll probably cross over into July as well because we all know I am a classic book diver but I hope to at least make a good dent in these ones...

Fates and Furies x Lauren Groff: Oh my gosh, this novel. Why has it taken me so long!? I am only seventy-ish pages in so far and already so much has happened. The characters are well-formed and I love the way Groff writes. That's not the most eloquent of opinions but ugh, it's intoxicatingly good. I'm loving this novel immensely. 

The Lonely City x Olivia Laing: Laing has a new book coming out soon, a novel, which prompted me that I own this and should really pick it up to read. It's about travelling alone and an exploration of artist's works on the topic. I think she's done a similar book on alcohol+authors so I'm guessing this may take a similar approach. I will keep you posted.

The Secret History x Donna Tartt: I started reading this again last year, got nearly 200 pages in and then was clearly swayed by some other book. Insert that girl doing the facepalm emoji here. Anyway, this feels like the perfect Wintery read. American college campus, classics students, a mystery and eloquence in both prose and sartorially. This book is intoxicatingly good so I need to get back into it. 

The Cost Of Living x Deborah Levy: A recommendation straight from Kiran's Instagram, side note, check out her Women+Their Books feature here. Another volume of essays and musings from a brilliant writer.  I've only read the beginning of this book and already know it's going to be one of my favourites and one I'll go back to and annotate the life out of. Read that enticing blurb on the Time Out website if you need further persuasion. 

-What have you been reading lately? 
Read More
Five Things: June

Five Things: June

My roundup of five things is back for June. This month we have; a couple of online reads, some things you should watch, a book you should read and some earrings you should send me on the sly in the post. All jokes aside on the last point, if I win Lotto or something-these are mine. 

The Royal Wedding According To Caitlin: "The prince who goes against all narratives of masculinity, and is brave enough to speak openly about his own emotional and mental problems, and revolutionises the way we think of a heavily stigmatised illness. The prince who rejects all the nice, blonde English girls he is supposed to marry and finds a woman from a different continent and culture, a woman who is emotionally stronger than him, brighter than him, more confident than him-and gives her, in front of a global audience of two billion people, his platform, to show her world." Caitlin Moran wrote a brilliant piece for the Times about the recent royal wedding. She expands on some of the many brilliant comments she made on Twitter but also provides a refreshing insight into the occasion. If you think you're sick about hearing about *that* wedding, I suggest you read this before giving the idea of it a rest.

Heartburn: Nora. Freakin'. Ephron. Why has it taken me so long to read her work? Much like the decadent, rich meals she describes in Heartburn, I devoured this over a few sittings. A story about marriage and betrayal, told with humour and candidness. This semi-autobiographical novel could easily have been bleak and depressing but Ephron tells it with such brilliance. I highly recommend you give this a read.

A Starfish For Your Ears: Showing my 00's girl movie history here but these earrings remind me of Aquamarine when starfish adorn the mermaid's ears. Well that's how I remember it at least. I like star motifs so naturally that extends to starfish. It helps of course that they're under Alexa's banner as well but yeah. I wouldn't be upset if these were in my life.

Should I Buy This?: I love these chatty blog posts that Leandra and Amelia do. That and I just like seeing what people are buying+thinking of buying. I prefer this format to people's hauls on YouTube, maybe because it's easier to digest? Anyway, I digress. While this post is seasonally off, for me at least, it's still giving me inspiration for next Summer and beyond.

What Olivia Vlogged: My girl Liv always uploads fantastic content but I've particularly loved her videos lately. I don't really tune in to anyone's channels anymore but Liv's is one I always visit. Her office tour in particular had me all *heart eyed emojis* but if you're planning a wedding and aren't sure where to start, her recent video showcasing Kikki K's bridal range is worth a watch too. If you get wedding guest anxiety like me, she has some tips in there too for guests of the couple.

Read More
The Female Persuasion x Meg Wolitzer

The Female Persuasion x Meg Wolitzer

I wish I could tell you where and when I first heard about this book but the truth is, I cannot remember. I have an inkling it was in the pages of Vogue, forecasting upcoming books for 2018 but either way I made note of it and went so far as to pre-order the book. That mightn't sound like a big deal but I hardly ever do this with books. To cut a long story short, it is safe to say this was one of my most highly anticipated reads of the year. If you're time poor, it didn't disappoint. If you're after the details, keep reading...

When I think of the novels I enjoy the most, they seem to have factors in common; elements of escapism yet also enough to resonate. Whether that's in a character trait or even just a sentence that provides some sense of association. I don't need to see myself in the pages but I think having aspects that perhaps provide some glimmer of meaning only better the reading experience. I certainly found this with The Female Persuasion. The story really centres around Greer Kadetsky, and the journey she goes on in the aftermath of her meeting female powerhouse and feminist icon, Faith Frank a visiting speaker at Ryland College. She ends up working alongside Faith at her foundation Loci and we see her come into her own. We are also introduced to Greer's boyfriend Corey and her best friend Zee and they all form pivotal parts of the story. It explores topics of feminism, ambition, self-discovery, friendship and family among others. 

One thing I really liked about this book was the way it took you through Greer's perspective but it also looked at the backstory of Faith, Corey and Zee in a bit more detail. They each probably had a chapter or so dedicated to them but I felt like adding those additional voices alongside Greer's didn't detract from the story and instead enhanced it. I also love that all the characters are flawed and remain so, despite overcoming conflicts they may face. Particularly when it came to Greer and Faith. Without giving away any spoilers Greer in a sense places Faith on a pedestal. Perhaps without realising, perhaps because of her age and subsequent perceived wisdom. Anyway, when Greer learns that Faith is in fact human like everyone else, it's somewhat...refreshing. I'm probably explaining this badly but just the way we can sometimes idealise people, whether it be because of their age or something else, we in a sense dehumanise them. So to see a character go through that experience and in such a poignant way was brilliant. 

The Female Persuasion was a ride from start to finish. Admittedly it took me a little while to get into because I have a fantastic habit of attempting to read multiple books at once. I did really enjoy it though and found myself wishing the train trips I found myself on were longer, just so I could read more before having to go back into the real worlds of work or home. If you've been considering giving this a read, I highly recommend it. It's a rewarding read. 

"...there would be people you would meet who would affect you and turn you ever so slightly in a different direction. Suddenly you knew what you were working for, and you didn't feel as if you were wasting your time."

Further Listening: NPR PodcastThe High Low (Meg Wolitzer comes in partway through this episode).

Read More
May Favourites

May Favourites

Another month, another round of beauty+lifestyle bits I've been loving. I feel like May has gone 'blink and you'll miss it' fast. It's been mostly good but a lil' not so good. Anyway... During May I've found a few new beauty loves, rediscovered some things from times past and finally read a book I'd avoided for years. May Favourites, here's lookin' at you. 

Eyeko 'Eye Do' Eyeliner: I used to use this eyeliner back in the day, after I purchased it in a set with the Eye Do Mascara, designed in collaboration with Alexa Chung. It's still alive and well and thankfully so because it's a bloomin' good liner. Easy to use, blacker than black, budge proof. There's not much more to it than that really. 

The Body Shop Adriatic Peony Bath & Shower Cream*: Peonies are some of my favourite flowers so I was probably bound to love this. Regardless, I feel like The Body Shop do bath+shower products well. Their shelf-lives are reasonable for starter. This one is available in a travel-friendly size too. Always a bonus. This is essentially an in-shower body moisturiser. It does have a slight lather as well and the scent is divine. It's not overpowering and is perhaps only detectable to the wearer post-spritz but I don't mind that in the slightest. 

How To Build A Girl** x Caitlin Moran: So I admittedly held off on reading this book for ages. By ages, I mean years. I think I had it in my head that Moran's fiction wouldn't live up to the greatness of her essays. A very misguided prediction. Safe to say I loved this 'semi-autobiographical' novel about Johanna Morrigan, an aspiring music journalist who dreams of seeing her name in print and a life of notoriety in London. She gets that and more, although perhaps at a cost. Such is the nature of being young and making mistakes. This book is hilarious, moving and captivating. Caitlin's fiction didn't disappoint me. I cannot wait to read How To Be Famous, released in July. 

MAC Extended Play Mascara: So I finally grabbed this after hearing Sam sing its praises in her videos for years. Worth the hype and it looks amazing layered up and worn with curled lashes. I know mascara's such a subjective thing but I believe this is one of MAC's bestsellers so that probably speaks volumes on its own. I think I might have found my dream mascaras in the last two months. It's only taken me a few years. 

Moleskine Notebooks: Way back in the Uni days, these were my notebook of choice. I had them in varying sizes and colours. Well I've gone back to these ones and they are so good. I use them for journalling, keeping to-do lists, noting down podcast recommendations and of course the not so exciting grocery shopping lists. I love that they're well-made, relatively inexpensive and have a back pocket for stowing away random scraps of paper and the like. 

Coco Mademoiselle Intense: The original Coco Mademoiselle is a staple in my perfume lineup, see this post for evidence. So when I spritzed and had the new incarnation sweep me off my metaphorical feet, I needed it. Think of this as a more longer lasting, powerful version of the original. It's my new MVP perfume.

-What have you liked during May?

*PR Sample

**Review Copy
Read More