- Thursday, 27 March 2014 -

Book Review: Love and Loss

Hello my lovelies, hope everyone's having an enjoyable evening! This particular post is for all you hopeless romantics out there, these books will make your heart melt. I'm not notably fond of romance novels, however these books do harbour a common theme - the joys and miseries of life. 


Me Before You - Jojo Moyes: This is one of those books that stays with you long after being read - it's poignant, passionate and painful. Our quirky protagonist Lou is lacking in life direction, that is until her world collides with Will, a man who's life was turned upside down after a fatal motorcycle accident. Will is a victim of his own body and can't walk, can't feed himself, can barely live. That is until Lou enters his life in a riot of colour and becomes his carer. Lou has hardly lived at all, still inhabiting her parents house and working comfortably in a cafe, she is the polar opposite of Will, who was once a thriving businessman, relishing life's every experience. As fate would have it, their paths cross and both their lives are changed forever. This book left me in such an emotional stupor, that every time I think about it, my heart aches. In a nutshell, this novel is about both love and loss - the love that blossoms between these two unlikely entities and the loss of life, being alive but not living. 


One Day - David Nicholls: I'm just going to put it out there first and foremost - the movie itself did not do this wonderful book justice. From the moment I picked up this novel, I was completely besotted by it. Corresponding with Me Before You, Dexter and Emma, our protagonists of One Day don't seem to have much in common apart from the fact that they're madly in love with each other. It's the classic case of extrovert boy meets introvert girl and their lives are altered forever. After having originally encountered at university, Dexter and Emma decide to dedicate one day a year together in order to preserve their memory of first meeting, the 15th of July. The remaining days of the year are spent in a struggle to find themselves, be that in work, other relationships etc. Because the book has a yearly narrative, you truly do feel like you're growing up with them, watching their love mature before your very eyes. One Day made me laugh, cry and question the complexities of life itself and how two differing souls become so easily intwined together forever.

"Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance." - One Day.
What good books have you read recently?



 

- Sunday, 23 March 2014 -

I don't care what you think as long as it's about me


Hello my lovelies, hope you've all had a wonderful weekend! Mine was especially eventful because on Friday I was lucky enough to see Fall Out Boy live (be still my emo heart <3). I've been a mega über super duper fan of Fall Out Boy since I was a tiny preteen, lamenting life and pondering it's general complexities and finding solace in their album Take This To Your Grave. Their music has always been like poetry to me so I was absolutely ecstatic when Martin bought me tickets to their concert for my birthday back in October! As bleakly clichéd as it sounds, their music really did get me through some tough times in my younger years, their music made my heart dance and the world to disappear and over a decade later, I'm still in love with them.

I've only seen them once before in concert, a number of years ago with my bestest friend in the world and all I remember was that I was crying hysterically with happiness. Well, I'm glad to say that they haven't changed a bit! The concert possessed no gimmicks, no over-theatrical occurrences, it was just them singing their hearts out raw and real. 


From start to finish, the gig was incredible. They commenced with The Phoenix to get the party started early, and the crowd went wild! Martin and myself quickly wormed our way to the front with a little trick I learned a while ago where you put your hands up, as if you're looking for someone and scream a random person's name in the general direction of the crowd where you want to be standing - I like to improvise a bit too, exclaiming things like "awk, I can't see her, maybe she's further up..." whilst I push my way past all the people helpful and eager for me to find my lost friend. Admittedly, I felt like a pensioner amongst the youthful sea of people due to there being quite the influx of young teenagers, but once the music began, there was no one else - just me and my (Fall Out) boys. 


 The set list was absolutely fantastic, and I was so delighted that the majority of their songs were old classics like Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy, Sugar We're Going Down and Saturday - which they closed the show with.  


'So, what's your favourite Fall Out Boy song?' I hear you ask. This question may be hard for some, because let's face it, all of Fall Out Boy's pieces are so deliciously addictive, but I've personally always loved Dance, Dance. Some hipsters out there may now exclaim 'oh, it's not even a song that hasn't been released off an album, how unoriginal of you!' Dance, Dance for me is my happy song. It's so catchy and I have so many memories attached to that song that I can't help but adore it! Also, back when I was absolutely positive that myself and Pete were meant to be, I also learned that there's a secret recording woven within the song of Pete talking to Patrick that they didn't want to edit out, where Pete says "we're going into D minor," which is also actually displayed in the music video! (There's your wee factoid for the day!). Oh yeah, and I totally learned Pete's dance towards the end of the video...


Now, for the best bit. Just like their last concert, they ended on the song Saturday, where Pete customarily comes out into the crowd standing at the front. Yes, dear readers, Pete was right on top of me and I was holding his hand. Needless to say, it was complete mayhem in the crowd, when a tide of teenagers were forcefully swaying back and forth, trying to get a piece of my man. Because of this force and pressure, my other arm with pinned to my side so I sadly couldn't get my camera out for a quick snap. Ladies and gentlemen, I held on for dear life, and thanks to Martin, who had a strong hold of me to keep me from losing balance, it was one of the best moments of my life.


Are you a Fall Out Boy fan?



 

- Friday, 21 March 2014 -

Martin and Claire

Hello my lovelies, and a very happy weekend to you all! We've been having some pretty bipolar weather recently, but when the sun finally peeks it's shining head through those clouds, I'm out happily prancing and dancing away in the good weather. So, onto the situation at hand - this post! Some of you may have been aware that I've been in a relationship with a wonderful guy named Martin from the age of 19 - we've been through the good, the bad and the ugly but here we are, celebrating our third year anniversary together and I couldn't be happier to have him.


Let's back up a little bit to when and where this love story unfolded. On the 26th of February 2011 I was miserable. I had completely lost my way in life and had no clue what direction I wanted it to take, so what does one do when they find themselves being void of purpose or plans? They go out drinking of course! So, I headed to our local watering hole - The Gas Lamp, to find my happiness at the bottom of a bottle, but I found it elsewhere this time.

I had no idea who he was, but I knew instantly that there was a spark there. And of course, what does any guy do in an attempt to grab a girls attention? He downright insults her. We were both at that euphoric, tipsy stage of the night when he came stumbling over to me saying, "you think you're tight, don't you? With that lip piercing and your big hair?" Treat her mean, keep her keen, eh? And we simply took it from there, there were several texts exchanged, a handful of dates experienced, but it wasn't until only about a month of knowing one another that Martin playfully pinned me down on the bed and declared it to be made official.

Without a shadow of a doubt, Martin helped me find myself and sort my life out - he helped me to discover what it really was I wanted to do with my life, and I mean this literally - there were numerous nights where we both sat down in his room browsing all the various universities and courses I could possibly attend - in short, he helped me get my shit together. Coming from an only child background, as can be imagined I was useless fending for myself in the kitchen and Martin actually taught me how to cook. And, in times of dire stress, worry and woe, he was my rock, the soothing support that I needed so desperately to get me through my troubles.

In the past 3 years together, we've definitely learned a lot from each other, and I know I wouldn't be the person I am today without him.


 

- Saturday, 15 March 2014 -

Our heads are just houses without enough windows


Hello my lovelies, hope you're all having a wonderful weekend! This particular post is dedicated to happiness, that positive emotional euphoric state we feel, where for once, everything seems right with the world. Everyone wants to be happy. That is a simple universal truth, though the ways in which people perceive happiness is not universal. Some individuals may find happiness through simply listening to the rain bash against the roof at night whilst you lament comfortably in bed, others may attain happiness however with achieving goals at work, putting in those tedious hours and finally getting something out of it - happiness. Happiness can thusly come in various guises, and through times of hardship you may sometimes question the existence (or lack of) happiness, but it's there, trust me. You just have to go out and discover your own.

For a long time, I couldn't find happiness, I looked everywhere for it but it chose to remain hidden. I could achieve contentment - where I got stuck in a comfortable, unchanging rut - but it never sated my hunger for true happiness. Then one day, the world became less of a frightening blur, and I found my happiness. So, it's my absolute pleasure to share with you this little list of things that make me truly happy, the moments I relish in and the times I just wish I could bottle...


When children look on in awe and wonder over my brightly coloured hair, and I see a smile unfurl on their tiny faces

Being spooned spontaneously by your significant other

The feeling of standing in an airport, so flustered with excitement and anticipation of the journey ahead

Being at home, alone, when a thunderstorm hits and all the electricity goes off. That feeling of oneness and serenity amidst the mounting chaos outside

When you take that first, glorious sip of tea or coffee in the morning where you can feel your body waking up and your senses coming to

Buying a new book and gingerly sniffing the pages inside

After scouring the internet in desperate search of an item of clothing, when lo and behold you find the last (or only) one in a clothes shop or charity store

When you leave a room for a while that's had a scented candle burning in it; when you return, you're hit with an intoxicating aroma

Sitting down to a dainty cup of tea accompanied by the loveliest slice of cake or pie

Lounging inside all toasty in the midst of winter with some old friends, reminiscing about old times, sipping mulled white and nibbling away on shortbread biscuits 

Spontaneously heading into the Disney store amongst all the children and purchasing your favourite plush Disney character

When you receive a letter or email bearing good news and you read it and study it over and over again in excitement

Having freshly cut or dyed hair and feeling like a new person

When you find yourself finally completing that illustration you've been working so damn hard on and just simply taking it in in all it's completeness

Adding more newly found additions to your growing collection (of cute, kitsch ceramic animals for me)

 Spending the entirety of a day curled up in bed with blankets hugging you whilst you watch a copious amount of episodes of your favourite series 

Getting up early to run errands, finish work and be generally productive and when you finish, you peer at the time and it hasn't hit noon yet - that feeling of having an entire day in front of you

Talking to your pet to the point of where you're positive they understand you

When I return home for the first time in a long time and seeing the faces of my mother and grandmother well up

After purchasing a new video game and instantly starting it when you arrive home - and additionally creating a new character to your liking and controlling their lives like you are god

Listening to music outdoors when it's a sunny, glorious day

Rediscovering old photographs which you've otherwise completely forgotten were taken

When you're out in public and you have a lovely, spontaneous conversation with a stranger that leaves you smiling long after they've left


What makes you happy?



 

- Tuesday, 11 March 2014 -

Doll houses, nail polishes and pastels

Hello my lovelies! Hope the weather's glorious wherever you are and that you're soaking up the lovely sunshine! Admittedly, this post is a tad girly as it features doll houses, nail polish and pastels! *swoon* As the weather's been getting ever warmer, I've noticed that my nails have been growing at an extraordinary rate, so last week I went out hunting for some spring-appropriate nail polish to decorate my talons with. 


With the days becoming dreamier, I thought it'd be nice to invest in some pastel polish, and that's when I stumbled across the new Ciaté Doll House Collection. I am a sucker for all things cute and quirky so I couldn't resist buying it! 


The attention to detail is absolutely adorable, from the little windows coloured to reflect each individual nail polish to the dainty door at the front - I just wish I had actuall dolls to play with! The box opens so neatly and is so aesthetically pleasing, that'll it'll make an enchanting little nail polish display in itself.


Pastel hues and tones are everywhere at the moment, with candyfloss pinks and minty greens taking the fashion world by storm. The Ciaté polishes come in 'Dollface,' which is similar to a light coffee tone, 'Paper Doll,' a fresh, crisp white, 'Baby Doll,' a lovely coral pop, 'Poppet,' a whimsical lilac and 'Sweet Pea' which is perfect for all you mint lovers out there!



The polishes are a part of Ciaté's quick dry, porcelain polish range, so when applied, they not only dry rapidly, but they also give this wonderful powdery matte finish, so you really feel like a dainty little porcelain doll! At an immensely reasonable £18 for 5 polishes plus the beautiful packaging, I'm so pleased with this pretty little purchase! I'm actually at a loss as to which polish I prefer the most, so I might just in fact mix it up and wear them all at once! 


What nail polishes are you lovin' for springtime? 


 

- Sunday, 9 March 2014 -

Spring has sprung!

Hello my lovelies, hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Can't believe it's March already, it feels like I blinked and time shifted from January to March. March is such a beautiful time of year, with the flowers blooming and the air getting that bit milder, spring has sprung! So, with March's dawning, I thought that this would be the perfect time to invest in a lovely new piece of jewellery.

Now, what you may not know about me is that I wear rings religiously - I always have my fingers blinged and decorated with some gypsy gems, however that is ALL that I wear. I've never been too fond of earrings, considering I'm always wearing my hair down, and I can simply never remember to put on a nice bracelet! So, over the years, where birthday's and Christmases have been and gone, I've amalgamated quite a little collection of poor, unused jewellery, gathering dust in the corner of my room. So, considering spring has arrived, I thought that this would be the perfect time to purchase a new piece of jewellery that I can wear throughout the season.

So, I wove my way through etsy.com, scouring through all the gorgeous unique items they have to offer, when finally I stumbled across something that was the epitome of springtime - a beautiful bunting necklace! What says picnics in the park and hazy lazy afternoons more than bunting?

The little shop, entitled Jackdaw, is owned and operated by the lovely Christina Winstanley, who was such a pleasure to do custom with. Her items are made with lots of love and care with pieces predominantly being made from acrylic, decorative papers and resin. 


Christina's pieces are so affordably priced that I'm surprised I didn't just add everything of hers to my etsy shopping cart! Additionally, the dispatch time was phenomenal, considering I had my necklace customised a tad! And just look at this beautiful box it arrived in, and the personal touches she gave with the inclusion of the little tag! Absolutely beautiful.


The necklace itself is so gorgeous and because it was made from acrylic, it's very sturdy and not flimsy in the slightest. Previously, I mentioned that I got my necklace customised, well, originally Christina sells these necklaces with only four little bunting pieces to each necklace, however since I'm a tad OCD-ish about having numbers is 5's (yes, you did read that right), I asked her if this was possible. And not only was she so accommodating as to do this, but she also sent me pictures of what patterns I'd want on my extra piece! So, I obviously opted for the beautiful purple floral pattern that can be seen on the top left. 


I absolutely adore my new necklace and would greatly recommend buying from Christina's quirky cove of treasures on etsy. It's such a dainty, pretty little piece that definitely puts me on the mood for summer, let alone spring!


What's your springtime statement piece of jewellery?



- Friday, 7 March 2014 -

A short and sweet update!

Hello my lovelies, hope you're all keeping well and happy weekend!

This post is going to be short and sweet as it's just a brief explanation of what's been going on recently. As you've probably noticed, my blog's had a bit of a makeover! My last template was causing me a lot of grief and was greatly bugged, so after spending tortuous hours attempting to remedy it's problems by tackling HTML by myself, I decided that I'd prefer to leave it to a professional, as I was getting nowhere. Now, I know what you're thinking, I dabble in web design, so why don't I just create a new template for myself? Good question! Well, firstly, I'm generally more of an arty/creative person so web design hasn't always been my forte and secondly, with work and my internship proving so hectic, I knew I simply wouldn't find the time to develop my own! 

However, something that I HAVE created on my own is my *drumroll please*... New blog button! I hope you all like it, I was tempted to reflect my little blog with the some daft illustration of a cute and charming ghost, but I think that the floral look is far more appealing (which is what I want, people who WANT to press my button to my blog!). What I'm also excited about is this also means that I can now decorate my blog with your lovely buttons too! So, please feel free to grab away at mine, and I'll be speaking to you again soon!


My button and button code:

<center>
<a href="http://dainty-ghosts.blogspot.co.uk/"><img border="0" src="http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae290/Tiglaire/floralwreath-1.png" /></a></center>