January Favourites

January Favourites

The beginning of the year has been a good month for favourites-new and old. From Summer must-haves, to earrings and the rest. Here's what I've been loving throughout January...

Self Tanning Foam  x Bondi Sands: I am a tanning NOVICE. I still make mistakes with it all the time but this product is a godsend. It's so quick and easy to use. It doesn't go streaky, it dries fast. I love it. Sure, I am not the best at applying it and give some of my friends great entertainment as a result. I am getting there though. If it makes my legs less 'translucent' then I am willing to persevere. 

Caramel Hydrating Lip Balm and Sugar Lip Polish x Fresh: I'm not sure if this heat or the matte lipsticks I seem to love are making my lips yuck*. This duo is setting about mending that though. I love this sugar scrub because it feels a lot gentler and is almost a touch balmy on the lips. The caramel balm though is the best! Not too heavy, or sticky and deliciously scented. It legit smells like butterscotch lollies and I LOVE it.

Florida x Lauren Groff: I really struggle with short story collections but lately I've found myself gravitating to them. Lauren Groff's collection, all set in Florida feature a host of flawed characters. As the unpredictable, heat-ridden, sometimes crocodile-laden landscape waxes and wanes around them, so too do their lives begin to unravel. With Groff's writing, you know that things are going to get grotesque but in a vivid, evocative way. I set myself the task of reading one story a day but oftentimes I'd find myself reaching to turn the pages on another story. Honorary mention for books this month: Winter** x Ali Smith, see my review here

Gold Earrings x Lovisa: Props to my friend Eve for the influencing here. Lately I've become kinda obsessed with gold earrings. These hoops are lush and I've been wearing them somewhat obsessively since buying them. Also on high rotation in the hoop side of things are my Hydrangea Ranger hoops, similar here

Caramel Melange Voyager Palette x Zoeva: Gosh dang Zoeva shadows are good. Like one swipe and you could be done levels of good. I love these shades. Paired with pressed glitter and lashings of liner and mascara. As JVN would say, "yass honey!"

Gratitude Journal x Kikki K: I'm sure gratitude journals are one of those things some people may find a little strange but I am all for them. Also for positivity in 2019. Anyway, this Kikki K one is designed so each day you write out three things you are grateful for. I am not going to lie, some days this comes more effortlessly than others. That being said I always make sure I do this each day, regardless of my mood, the day's events etc. Small steps but it's also a way to remember the smaller nuances of life you may otherwise forget. 

The Twenties Club: My go-to website for beauty, politics, fashion and basically, everything. If this twenty-something wants to read about it, Madeleine is bound to have an article already prepared for that. There's always fresh new things to read and I highly recommend you give her site a visit and subscribe to the newsletter whilst you are there.

-What have you loved during January?

*For lack of a better word.

**Review copy.

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The Writing Project: January '19

The Writing Project: January '19

So writing is a pivotal part of my life and for an age I've wanted to take it more seriously. I mean, in short, your girl wants to be published. I want to have my own book someday too but small steps. Anyway, I thought this year as a way to hold myself a bit more accountable, I'd share what I am up to with my writing. That and I thought for any other creative folk out there this might be interesting to see. And hey, it'll be even cooler if some of these things go a bit further than my notebooks and pixels...

what i've done in january: I've submitted two story pitches to different publications which is an achievement in itself because just this part in the process can be a bit nerve-wracking for me. I'm going to write them out in full beyond the rough outlines I submitted at some point. I also made a list of articles/columns/etc that I want to write. These are ideas I've had in the notes of my phone/rattling around in my brain for a while now. On the more personal side of things, I've done diary writing and also my gratitude journal every day. 

works in progress: At this point in time, nothing though I need to get on top of another pitch over the long weekend. I also want to start meshing out a longer form story this weekend. Seeing as it's a long weekend and all that.

next month: I want to have two autobiographical essays written. If you know me, you'll know I love this style of writing. I actually wrote a list of potential essays which again are hiding somewhere in one of my devices. I also want to maybe write some more poetry. I have written one poem called Nowhere Girl-title is a bit of a cheeky play on the name of a Beatles song but it needs a bit of tightening before I share it anywhere. 

*I hope you enjoyed some insight in to my writing dreams! Do you have a creative goal for 2019? Share it in the comments-maybe we can start a motivational thread going.
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summer reads

summer reads

The days seem longer, hotter, hazier and much slower paced. It's not unusual to find me reading, a lot at this time of year. As the heat warps and curls pages, I escape. Drink breaks happen intermittently. Books are mulled over. I thrust Normal People x Sally Rooney in to the hands of one of my girlfriends, telling her to read and enjoy. It moves to the top of her reading pile. Summer, you and the reading have certainly been kind. Here's the tomes whose pages I have turned this season...

woolgathering x patti smith: A revisited read. Reunited and it feels so good. Patti's words are wondrous and I love this thin slip of a book. Her photographs are interspersed with reflections of childhood and finding wonder and imagination in the world around us. 

winter* x ali smith: The seasonal juxtaposition which on the hotter days of reading had me yearning for cool, for coats and for coffee-piping hot. Winter showcases what Ali Smith does best; bringing together a host of eclectic characters who in many ways teach one another something whilst speaking to our present-day society. I love how these seasonal stories are so evocative and really capture the essence of the time periods they're written in. Roll on Spring which will be read in the last glimpses of this season. 

mayhem x sigrid rausing: The events of this book were much more publicised internationally, more so in Europe I believe. So to me I knew nothing of the Rausing dynasty, bar that Sigrid is Granta magazine's editor.  Side note: if you're reading this, it is worth doing background research alongside it, as I chose to. Her memoir looks at the painful, lifelong effects of addiction and self destruction. How it impacts the addicts and their personal worlds. It's brilliant, articulate and well written. Though it left me musing over the gaps and neglected details. Much of which Rausing explains. Yet it got me thinking about how we naturally subconsciously edit. Fiction or elements thereof are so intrinsically rooted in life nowadays. It's fascinating.

night photograph x lavinia greenlaw: An exquisite, haunting and ethereal collection of poems. This book was my first introduction to Greenlaw's words and the experience was magic. 

becoming* x michelle obama: This book became an instant bestseller and rightly so. Michelle shares her personal memories and musings from life growing up in Chicago, through to college, the White House and everything in between. Her not so typical upbringing. How she worked and works hard for everything she sets out to accomplish. How education is everything to her. How bettering the lives of the world's young, impressionable citizens is paramount to her. It is an inspiring and incredibly memorable read. The perfect book to commence the year ahead with.

and here's what I am intending to read throughout the rest of the season:

the accidental x ali smith: re-read, see my review here

too much and not the mood x durga chew-bose: re-read.

essayism x brian dillon

insomnia x marina benjamin

in the city of love's sleep x lavinia greenlaw

everything under x daisy johnson: half-read and demanding to be finished.. 

-What have you read during Summer?

*Review Copy

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More 2018 Favourites

More 2018 Favourites

One more favourites post, with feeling. I kinda stopped doing monthly favourites posts last year because I'd often just end up using the same products, listening to the same music and vice versa. Much of this list will probably come as no surprise but at the same time there's some things I want to draw more attention to. There's beauty, writing, things to listen to and things to watch. Enjoy!


My two most-listened to artists for much of 2018 were Florence and the Machine and Lana Del Rey. High As Hope was released, Florence's fourth album and I loved it. Candid, poetic lyrics. Melodies to bewitch. It remained in my car stereo for months on end. I cannot wait to experience it all live in a couple of weeks as well.

Lana Del Rey was more a nostalgic thing but her albums Honeymoon and Lust For Life were on high rotation. Honeymoon reminds me of Summer. Lust For Life, Autumn and Winter. I love her lyrics and their subtle nods to Hollywood and literature among other things.


The Good Place-I loved this show so much that I watched Season 1 and 2 twice during the year. It's clever brilliant comedy-bought to us by the creator of Parks and Rec which I also love so go figure. On a slightly nerdier level, I love the spotlight it shines on ethics and philosophy. Yass plz. Plus that casting of brilliant women: Kristen Bell, D'Arcy Carden, Jameela Jamil. The. Best.

Feud: Bette & Joan-Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange bought Bette Davis and Joan Crawford to life in this miniseries. Drama, glamour and fascinating viewing. As well as stunning costuming. It also shines a light on the uglier side of fame and relevancy+how that can in turn impact on families and the inner circles of Crawford and Davis. If you're in New Zealand, you can find this series on Lightbox.


*As an aside, I more or less stuck to products I used and loved this year so this category is incredibly sparse as a result. I recommend perusing the archives if you want more of an insight into the beauty products I use.

L'Oreal Paradise Mascara: I couldn't not mention this mascara. I LOVE it and went through multiple tubes of it throughout 2018. I may or may not have a backup waiting to be used too. Ahem. Anyway, this mascara is fuss-free, long-wearing, lengthening, volumising, love in a tube. You get the gist.

MAC Tan Pigment: An item that has been on my wishlist for years and I finally purchased it last year. I love it I tell ya. Rose gold-y, coppery, sparkly perfection. I love to apply this wet to really amp up the pigment and metallic finish. 


The High Low Show: Dolly and Pandora's podcast is my favourite. It's entertaining and fun. As well as the bigger issues, they always natter about what they are reading and watching too which I love. Actually I just love the whole thing let's be honest. Dolly and Pandora are the two friends we all want in our lives and their podcast feels like a weekly, intimate chinwag.

How To Fail: Failure is a word that carries a whole lot of meaning and significance. Elizabeth Day's podcast is about exploring the intricacies of failure and thus reframing them. She interviews public figures about their journeys and life stories. They discuss how they've failed and instead of focusing on it as a 'woe is me' kind of concept, Day and her guests consider how it has helped them. How failure in turn defines our present selves. Standout episodes, for me at least were Dolly Alderton's and Olivia Laing's. I'm looking forward to reading Day's upcoming book of the same name when it is released this year.


Dolly Alderton (yes I am a fangirl ok) and Caitlin Moran's columns for the times. I have the Times subscription for the free articles and once I wake I go in and read Dolly+Caitlin's columns. It's kind of a ritualistic thing for me really. They're always inspiring, entertaining and wise reads.

Oh Comely Magazine: My favourite magazine of the year was this UK gem. Always laden with great content and stories and women. I love how there are book reviews each issue as well as their seasonal playlists. Yes please. I love how they regularly accept submissions of work from near and far as well. It's a feel-good magazine and I bloomin' love it.

*What did you love in 2018?

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My Top 10 Reads of 2018

My Top 10 Reads of 2018

2018 was the year of reading. A lot. I read 74 books-including literary magazines. After a bit of tweaking I've managed to come up with a list of my ten favourite books read in 2018. It's not ranked by preference but these are all titles I read and loved during the year...

Everything I Know About Love x Dolly Alderton: How incredibly unexpected is this inclusion? Ahem. This hardback tome of Dolly's tales and wisdom was read and read with such joy. I laughed loudly in public reading excerpts, I cried. I wanted to wallpaper my walls and notebooks with Dolly's prose. This is such a special, charming, brilliant book and I look forward to reading it again soon. 

 M Train x Patti Smith: I read and reread a few of Patti Smith's writings this year. It was M Train, her love letter to writers, writing, coffee and contemplation that has stuck with me. I read this in Spring and it made me want to plan a writerly holiday and left me yearning for more of the beauteous thing that is solo travel. Patti Smith's writing is potic and whimsical and hums with quiet, understated charm.

Normal People* x Sally Rooney: Ahem, again how unexpected. Sally Rooney's writing makes my mind turn into the heart reaction emojis on Facebook+Instagram. She dissects every nuance of character and relationships with such finesse. The way in which her stories evolve and travel forward by dialect is just brilliant. Normal People resonates because Connell and Marianne are so believable. I see fragments of them all around me in people I know. Rooney's writing is so alluring and it's not surprising to me that this tile has been flying off the shelves.

My Year of Rest and Relaxation x Ottessa Moshfegh: A darkly brilliant novel about twenty-somethings. Existential crises swirl around unlikeable characters. This book about a faceless protagonist who sleeps for a year, occasionally surfacing for the odd shopping spree and Whoopi Goldberg film session, is dark but hilarious. The ways in which it commentates on loneliness and life unravelling are so poignant. While the novel is satirical, if you are feeling a little vulnerable, perhaps venture in to this one with caution.

The Cost of Living x Deborah Levy: An introduction to Levy for me. A book of loss, relationships spanning generations, writing sheds and contemplation. It all unfolds so seamlessly and Levy's writing is intricately detailed. 

Tinderbox x Megan Dunn: A recommendation from Kiran's blog feature last year. A book about the art of adapting Farenheit 451. Also a book waxing lyrical on Megan Dunn's days as a bookseller for Borders. Addicting, hilarious reading. I loved it.

How To Be Both x Ali Smith: 2018 was the year I also read a lot of Ali Smith's words. Rather than fill this list with her books, I've gone for the one that has stayed with me. A novel that plays with the concept of fresco painting. It is multifaceted. A story set across two time periods; the present day and renaissance Italy. It looks at two teenager's perspectives on love, art, loss, the passage of time. It's cleverly done.

Bluets x Maggie Nelson: So this is a reread but it's another book I think on often. Nelson's meditations and musings on the colour blue. How she sees it in her life and the world around her. Its presence in art. Beautifully written and a book I've scribbled annotations throughout.

Call Me By Your Name x Andre Aciman: Read last Summer in frenzied bursts on my commute to and from work. Conjuring memories of Italy and its gorgeous scenery and architecture. First loves, exquisite dialogue, peaches and Summer frivolity. Every bit as rich and lush as the film.

Crudo x Olivia Laing: This book is short and punchy. Written during 2017 through the lens of Kathy Acker as a narrator. It draws parallels with events from Laing's own life. Crudo is raw and a times I found myself needing to escape the heavy all too real prose. At the same time I love the truth and timeliness contained within its pages.

/ What did you read and love in 2018?

*Review copy
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Five Things: January

Five Things: January

Hello! Happy New Year. I hope 2019 is a year of good vibes and fun. Today we have five things for January. It's summery, imaginative and a little New Year-y...

Mary Poppins Returns: Oh my goodness. I LOVED this beyond words. Mary Poppins fills a personal, nostalgic corner of my heart and it just makes me so indescribably happy. The sequel with Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda buzzed with the same magic and wonder as the 1964 film. There are a lot of whimsical nods to its predecessor which made me emotional, naturally. It is wonderful and if you want something to fuel your inner child and imaginative streak, this is the ticket.

Back To Journalling: I really let my daily writing fall to the wayside in the latter part of 2018. Subsequently, I have very scattered musings to look back on as a result. I'm determined to get back into writing daily because it is such a brilliant tonic. I do love it as a means of unwinding at the end of the day. This year I am using a Muji notebook as my main journal, as well as this gratitude journal from Kikki K. 

The Water Cure: I cannot stop thinking about this book. I read The Water Cure x Sophie Mackintosh in the bath amidst turquoise waters c/o bath bombs, on a sunlit lawn, first thing in the morning with coffee, in rooms with friends reading the same book. Much like the evocative cover, it made me think of hazy mornings, blue, salt and gauze. It made me want to wear something sheer and traipse across sand, feeling the grit and the velvety waves. It conjured vibes of The Tempest and also The Virgin Suicides. Sisters devoted to one another, trapped yet powerful. Sophie Mackintosh's writing is a visual feast and I loved escaping in to this hauntingly beautiful prose. I'm already quietly assessing when I can read it again.

Round Towels: A random inclusion sure but one of my friends bought me one for Christmas and I am ob-sessed with it. For some reason these towels can get expensive but you can find them more affordably at Cotton On. Anyway, I love mine for chilling in the sun with books and music. Ok and maybe for dozing off. They'd be great for the beach and picnics+poolside too. The perfect Summer companion.

Decor Dreams: New year, sorta new decor. This year, as well as wanting to do some much-needed tech upgrades, I want to invest in a new bookshelf. I also want to mix up the prints on my wall and just make things a bit more cohesive and 'me'. I've already given my wardrobe a major declutter as well which gave me some more storage space. This point is probably of interest to nobody but because I like to get thrifty with decor, it may result in some blog posts.

-I hope you are all enjoying the early days of January so far. Stay tuned for a couple of yearly wrap-up posts coming next week! xx

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