Things from June

June mainly consisted of the aftermath of May's McBusted and Arctic Monkeys (trust me, all I listened to for a good two weeks solid was old McFly playlists), birthdays, looking forward to holiday, and suddenly being home from holiday.

During the month of June I rediscovered two old favourites, and introduced two new additions into my life.

First up is Revlon's Nearly Naked Foundation. When I first bought this last summer, we didn't get on. I was convinced that the lightest shade was too dark for my face, and I was a little too fixated on high end foundations. However, over the past month or so, my mind has been changed. Nearly Naked has taken it's place as my favourite foundation of the moment. Maybe my skin-tone is a teeny bit darker this year, and maybe I'm appreciating the sheer, light coverage more. Whatever it is, I'm onto a winner with this one.

After going to see About Time in the cinema last year, I eagerly awaited the DVD release. I pre-ordered. It arrived. I watched again, shed tears, then placed it back on the shelf. I decided to give it another watch a couple of weeks back, and reminded myself what an amazing film it is. I love it. Everything about it. It really does make you think about how precious each day is.

Whilst enjoying the sun in Corfu for a week, I finally managed to finish Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, and wow am I glad I did. There aren't many words to describe how amazing this book is. I know I'm late on the bandwagon, but since finishing this book I can't seem to stop thinking about it.

Lastly is a new addition to my lipstick drawer. You'll usually find me perusing the same nudey-pinks over and over again, but I was drawn to this gorgeous Bobbi Brown shade after seeing Brittany post about it a few months back. Rosy stayed hidden away for a while, before I decided to brave the slightly bolder shade whilst on holiday. I can firmly say that it's my new favourite shade.

So there we have some things from June. Let's hope things from July might be as nice.

I did it again

I have a bad habit of getting my blogging mojo back for a few posts, then disappearing, and it would seem I've done it again.

Since my last post, which feels like eons ago, I've done a couple of things of note. First up I went to see Arctic Monkeys in Finsbury Park. Fantastic as always, but I don't think outside gigs are really for me, and god forbid I ever end up at a festival.

After that it was McBusted for the second time. Amazing both times but possibly even better the second. It was definitely a treat seeing my two favourite bands (I'm never one to deny that Busted are still my fave more than 10 years on) within days of each other. It also turns out that on the drive home we were driving behind their tour bus, only to realise a day later. Whoops.

I also managed to get round to filming a proper video, chatting about some of my favourite books. You can give that a watch here if you can put up with listening to me for over seven minutes.


I'm off to Corfu for five days a week today, and I cannot wait. All the trips I went on last year were quite 'on the go' sightseeing ones, so lazing around by the pool whilst reading a few good books is definitely overdue.

If you hadn't noticed, I started to move away from outfit post. I realised standing in my garden posing for a camera just wasn't for me, and I have yet to find a new way to showcase what I'm wearing. I miss posting about my clothes, I just need to work out a way to do it.

Ideally I'd like a big white wall with lots of hooks, which would be perfect for hanging clothes on and photographing. In reality, I have sloping walls and lots of wallpaper/clutter, so it's not happening anytime soon.

I suppose this was just a quick one to let you all know I'm still here. Let's hope I stick around for more than one post.

Life through a filter


This morning I enjoyed a particularly satisfying smoothie. But you see, not only did I drink my smoothie this morning, I proceeded to photograph it, spend a good few minutes picking an appropriate filter and then post it to Instagram. I made sure that the filter I had picked brought out the colours perfectly, and that the arrangement of the photo was up to scratch.

I love instagram. In fact I might even love it enough to say that it might possibly be my favourite form of social media. Sorry twitter, but there's just something so satisfying about mindlessly scrolling through pretty pictures of flowers and copious amounts of food porn. Yet sometimes I'll find myself looking at someone's pictures, and wishing my life was a little more like theirs.

There's nothing particularly wrong with photographing your breakfast, or your cat or all the things you just 'accidentally' bought in Boots. There's nothing wrong with mulling over the perfect filter, cropping and adding in various effects. There's nothing wrong with taking the time to lay out your cup of tea so that you can also get a glimpse of those fresh flowers you just happen to have lying around.

What I think people need to remember is that, in general, people are only going to post what they want you to see. So many lives can come across as perfect, and this is because their life has been 'filtered' - excuse the bad pun - to be Instagram worthy. It's so easy to see a shot of someone's perfectly manicured hands, their trip to New York and their colour coordinated wardrobe and think they have it all. Many a time have I scrolled through someone's photos and thought 'Wow, their life must be amazing.' Maybe it is but, then again, it's probably not.

The next time you find the Instagram jealousy kicking in or you think someone has it all, bear in mind that you're just viewing their life through a filter. You're only seeing what someone wants you to see, so enjoy it, but don't read too much into it.

I did a video thing

I've been toying with the idea of starting to make videos for a long time, and today I decided to just go for it. A year ago youtube would have been the last thing I'd have contemplated doing. I hate the sound of my voice, I'm not a fan of myself on camera, and I'm ridiculously shy. All that aside, I thought I'd give it a go.

Whilst I love writing, there's some things that I just think are easier to talk about than write about. I'm not even exactly sure what I'll be using this channel for, but here's a quick introductory video. There's also a lot of hair touching and looking in the wrong direction.
You have been warned.

 


Fern Goes To Brighton

Following on from my last post about appreciating my surroundings a little more, I took a trip to Brighton. Technically speaking, the trip was planned before I had my little realisation, but I think we can forget that for the sake of this post. 
I'd only ever been once before, and it had been on a very grey and miserable day, hence I didn't really enjoy it. This time the weather was absolutely perfect. We stayed in The White House B&B which was fantastic. I'd like to say it was the best B&B I've ever stayed in, but prior to this I hadn't actually stayed in one. In a nutshell: beautiful rooms, perfect location and fantastic breakfast.

I had planned on taking my proper camera to get some nice snaps but, no matter how many lists I made, I obviously forgot something and that something was my camera. For some reason, I chose to specifically take photos of crockery, flowers and not a lot else.

We had a walk down The Lanes, I found a lot of cute homeware shops and unsurprisingly came home with a new mug. We also took a stroll down the pier, and did a lot of walking. I'm not sure I can get onboard with the pebble beaches though, I think I'll stick to sand.

I'll definitely be heading back to Brighton, it was such a lovely place and even better to explore somewhere new!




The Little Things

At least five days a week I'll do the same drive along the cliff tops to work. At least five days a week I pay hardly an attention to my surrounding, simply stopping for pedestrians, not running red lights and making it to work on time. Then last week I came to realisation. It was no epiphany. There weren't any flashes of light or dramatic music, but for once I actually payed attention. It was 6AM, the sun was just starting to make an appearance and everything looked really beautiful.

Amidst a hectic week/month/lifetime of working extra hours, travelling to and from Bristol and interning, upon actually trying to have a life, sometimes I think I forget to appreciate the little things. I live in such a beautiful part of England, yet 90% of the time I forget. I work a two minute walk away from the beach, I live right next to a beautiful quay and I'm in driving distance of The New Forest.

Yet the last time I set foot on sand was almost a year ago, I can't remember the last time I walked across the park, and the only time I see The New Forest is on the train to Southampton. The pictures above were taken at least two year ago, which sort of solidifies my point a little.

I don't know what I'm doing in life, I might not be lucky enough to live somewhere this fantastic forever. From now on I've made it my mission to, for want of better phrase, stop and smell the roses a little more often. After all, I do really like flowers.

Things I Like: Mugs (and cups)

It's no secret, if you follow my instagram anyway, that I am a big fan of mugs. In fact up until recently, I wasn't aware you could get a 'mug fan', but you can, and one looks like me.

In the past few months I seem to have accumulated at least 8 new mugs, and these aren't communal mugs. No. These are mugs that sit on a unit that is now solely dedicated to my mug collection. Considering I still live it home, and there's already a cupboard full of perfectly nice, attractive mugs, my collection may seem a little excessive. 

It's not just limited to mugs. I think I've started to branch out into glassware too. The beautiful coloured glasses pictured come from Tesco. At Β£1 each and four more colours not in my possession, I'm not going to stop until I have them all.

Good news. When I eventually do move out, I definitely won't want for something to drink out of.

It's not just the mugs that you can see here. As I type I am currently drinking tea from a Tangled mug, a heart covered mug sits waiting to be washed up, and a couple more are sat in the dishwasher. I need to be stopped.

I'm Fern and I'm a mugaholic. 

Mugs in order of appearance: Initial Mug - Gifts & Pieces, Princess Mug - Tesco, Beatrix Potter Mugs - TX Maxx, Teacup - Topshop, Ariel Mug - Disney Store, Owl & Pussy Cat Mugs - Gift, Face Mug - Oliver Bonas 



The Re-Reads #1

Whilst there's few things better than getting stuck into a new book, a lot of the time I tend to re-read old favourites of mine. Maybe it's because I like knowing how things are going to turn out, I'm not the biggest fan of change, and I really don't like the 'bad bits' (forever fast forwarding past the bad bits in films). There's something comforting about picking up something I know I'll love.

The past couple of weeks I've been super tired, so opted for reading things that I don't have to pay too much attention to.

First off I picked up Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern. I first read this a good five or six years ago and loved it. The fact that it's all complied of letters makes it a pretty easy read, but a fantastic one at that!

Next up, after having re-watched Catching Fire numerous times since it's DVD release, I decided to re-read the last two in the trilogy. For reasons I can't quite explain. I read Mockingjay first, then went back and read Catching Fire.

There's something about he Hunger Games books that I love. Whilst they're incredibly easy reads, I can't help but be super interested in the whole futuristic world and city of Panem. It fascinates me. Whether it's reminding myself about what each districts trade was, or finding out a little more about each of the tributes. I really enjoyed re-reading these two books, and I really really enjoyed every scene involving Gale.

What books can you read over and over again?

Hands On


In my line of work, ooer sounds dodgier than it really is, it's hard to have nice hands. The combination of hot coffee, boiling water, cleaning products and the never ending cycle of burns, means that my hands aren't usually looking their finest.

I can't stand bad cuticles and dry skin, and considering mine are always in this state, I spend a lot of my time scrubbing away to try and make them a little more presentable.

I recently 'borrowed' the No7 Revitalising Hand Saviour from my mum, and I must say, it really lives up to it's name! A combination of exfoliation and moisturising, simply rub this into dry hands, then rinse off with warm water. Super soft hands in seconds. I'll definitely picking one of these up for myself next time I have a No7 voucher lying around.

My go-to hand cream has to be Soap and Glory's Hand Food. I've been through so many of these, usually picking them up in a 3 for 2 offer. I always buy the travel size as they're easy to throw in your handbag, but I definitely need to pick up a full size for home.

When my cuticles are looking a little worse for wear (all the time) I use Essie's Apricot Cuticle Oil. I've not tried many, so it may not be the best, but it works for now.

Technically speaking, nail polish isn't allowed at my job. Gone are the days of fancy nail art and pretty colours. I tend to use Essie's Ballet Slippers for day-to-day wear, the perfect semi-transparent nude. I've got through so many bottles of this in the past couple of years.

I long for the day when I can work a job where I can sport bright nails and have happy hands.

About

Hello. I'm Fern, 20 and from the South Coast of England. I make coffee for a living whilst interning part-time. I also spend a lot of time on trains. I started this blog back in 2011 as a place to document what I wore every day. Over time the outfit posts have got scarcer (mainly due to me being lazy) but DIY, life and beauty posts have popped up too.

I have a penchant for stripes, crochet tops, elephants and Arctic Monkeys. I also enjoy a good book and a good cup of tea, preferably together. 

Sometimes I write things and they end up on Nouvelle Daily, which is filled with a lot of fashion, beauty and lifestyle things, written by a lot of lovely girls. In other words, you should definitely check it out.

If you'd like to check out some of my other favourite reads, take a look at this page.

As I once said on my 19th birthday, after one too many drinks, 'I don't know what I want to do with life, but I know what I want to wear whilst I'm doing it.' I still stand by it today.


Any sponsored posts on here are few and far between. I only post about things that I am interested in and are relevant to my blog. If anything is sponsored, it will be disclosed with the use of an asterisk (*) 




About as subtle as an earthquake, I know, my mistakes were made for you.


Only three days after my last post, I seem to have found a tiny bit of motivation. The motivation comes in the form of this beautiful ASOS dress. Smock dress? Check! Gingham? Check! (excuse the pun). If I hadn't been working all weekend, this is definitely what I would have worn to enjoy the sun. Sadly as I spent most of the sunny hours making coffee, this dress was reserved for Sunday evening eating monster munch. 

The sun may have made an appearance this weekend, but I still don't think my legs are ready for the light of day. Or rather, the light of day isn't ready for my legs, they're so pasty I'd say they almost look a little grey. I think I might be clinging onto the tights for a little longer.

Jacket - French Connection, Dress - ASOS



I'm Still Here


I feel like I've abandoned my blog lately without intention, and I really miss it. I think a combination of being super busy at work, essentially blogging at my internship and being tired all the time has set me back a little.

Apart from the beautiful weekend just gone (although I wouldn't know much about it, I was making coffee for the entirety of it) the weather just hasn't been great for outfit posts. And, if I'm honest, I've not really felt 100% with myself and haven't fancied plastering my face all over the internet as of late. I can't pinpoint why but recently I've just been feeling a lot more anxious and overthinking everything.

I really miss blogging, but I never want to publish half-hearted content, and I suppose that's exactly how I feel right now, a little half -hearted. It actually took me around three attempts to even get started with this post. In fact, this post doesn't even have much of a point to it. But, if a blog is meant to be somewhat of an online diary, then where better place to ramble on about it?

I guess this is the result of me fulfilling my urge to blog but having no 'blog-worthy' content. I'm just stuck in a rut that no amount of motivational quotes can fix.

 So just a post to say, I'm hopefully, maybe going to be back with some good things soon.

I've Been Reading - The Confusion of Karen Carpenter by Jonathan Harvey


This is one of the many books recommended to me by my mum, who has perfect taste in books, so I knew it was going to be a good one.

The story centres around Karen Carpenter (no not the 70s pop star, as she mentions multiple times throughout) but a thirty-something teacher from Liverpool, living in London. It transpired at the begining of the book that her long-term boyfriend Michael left her just before Christmas. And, not only did he leave her, but he did it via post-it note in true SATC Jack Burger style.

We meet Karen's mum, loud, interfering and convinced there's rats in the attic and Karen's best friend Wendy. There's also various teacher associates including Meredith, P.E teacher, housemate and according to Karen's mum a 'lebian' and head of department and serial swinger Mungo.

There's the occasional flashback to Karen and Michael's past, but the lingering question is 'Why did Michael leave?' Karen wants answers, yet won't even return the phone calls from Michael's mother.

I'd definitely say give this book a whirl if you're up for a good humorous read. Also check out Jonathan Harvey's debut novel, All She Wants. I read it in the space of two days a couple of years back, when sad and alone and uni and it really cheered me up.

The Forever Face - Eyes, Lips and Cheeks

Following on from my series of favourite 'forever' products, I thought I'd share my current go-to picks for eyes, lips and cheeks.

When it comes to mascara, I'm quite picky. I don't like massive clumpy brushes, but I also don't like those plastic 'comb' type ones either. After finding out my favourite No7 mascara was being discontinued I had to find a replacement. This came in the form of Lancome's Hypnose Doll Eyes Mascara. It's the perfect mascara for every day, doesn't leave your lashes looking too heavy and it doesn't leave any annoying smudge marks.

I have finally found a product that works with my super light brows. Everything I'd used prior to the Anastasia Perfect Brow Pencil had either been too dark or too red toned for my hair colour. I picked u the shade Blonde the other week and, whilst I'm not actually blonde, it seems to work really well with my colouring.

It's not often I'll branch out into eyeshadow. It's only recently I've even started wearing it. It's definitely not an everyday thing, but if I do opt for something it'll either be my Naked Basics or something simple from the Naked 3 palette.

Up until last summer I had never really delved into the world of blushes. I have a quite a pink complexion and didn't want to draw any attention to that fact. However, I've managed to find quite a few that work, my favourite being the Stila Convertible Colour in Lillium. It's the perfect peachy pink  and I use a very light hand when applying, so that it's only just noticeable.

Finally, lips. I tend to be very safe when it comes to picking lipsticks. Think pinky nudes and definitely nothing too bright. In recent weeks I've put down my favourite MAC Peach Blossom in favour of Korres Lip Butter in Quince. The wind has been making my lips horribly dry, so I needed something that offered some moisture as well as colour. I love this shade and as it's in lip balm form it's not too bright at all.

Blogger Love Tag

I love to share a little blog love once in a while. When I saw the lovely Annabel pop this tag up on her blog, I just knew I'd have to give it a go! It actually took me a lot longer than expected to answer all the questions, apparently my mind goes blank when put on the spot.
What was the first blog you ever came across?
I've been reading blogs for ages and I remember coming across quite a few via tumblr too, but the first that spring to mind are probably Lily Melrose and Wish Wish Wish.

Favourite blog reads 
What Olivia Did, Charlotte's Web, The Briar Rose, Lisette Loves, Hannah Maggs

Best blogging friend
Im awful when it comes to actually making proper friends, although I chat to lots of lovely bloggers via twitter. I've known Shabna and Philippa for a long time and Joyce has started blogging recently too.

Name a blog that enables your purchases
Definitely Gh0stparties for beauty related purchases, and definitely trust Jenny Purr for any blemish banishing products. Clothing wise definitely Jazmine from Jazzabelle's Diary.

5 blogs everyone should be reading 
Only 5? Love Cloth, The Dust On the Ground, Vivatramp, It's Cohen, Nouvelle Daily

Your favourite way to read blogs
I follow blogs via bloglovin' but I'm most likely to read a post when the link pops up on twitter.

Bloggers that inspire you
Tori is one of the loveliest bloggers I've come across and Lisette is incredibly inspiring with her Thankful Thursday posts and general positive attitude.

Favourite blog design/look
I'm a big fan of quite minimal looks (yet for some reason I chose to move away from all white?) so The Private Life of a Girl has to be up there. I also love A Rosie Outlook, such a pretty design. I can picture so many lovely ones in my head but can't think who they belong to now, as is the way.

What is your favourite thing about blogging?
I think there's a really lovely sense of community (for the most part). I also love getting a feel for people's personalities through their posts, which is probably why I enjoy reading chatty/lifestyle blogs the most. I also love to write, and blogging is a pretty open platform for that. Without my blog I wouldn't have had the opportunity to contribute to Nouvelle and, without Nouvelle, I probably wouldn't have got my internship.

Name a blogger you would most like to see write a book in the future
I'm not actually sure to be quite honest, though I'm sure one will come to me after this is actually published. Is it totally wrong to say myself. It's one thing I've always wanted to do, and I have so many ideas that I just never put into practice.

The 'Forever' Face - The Basics


When it comes to beauty products, I find it very easy to get set in my ways. Once I find something I like I tend to stick with it until I either, can't afford to re-purchase or I've, shockingly, discovered something new. It's probably why I'd never make a very good beauty blogger, I find it hard to let go of products.

I received a couple of new additions to my collection of every day favourites, and have pretty much stuck with this routine since Christmas.

As my skin is prone to breakouts, I'm always wary of trying out new foundations and moisturisers, always worrying my skin won't like them. Over winter my skin got a little flaky and dehydrated. I switched up my previous offering of Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser for Normal/Combination Skin and opted for the Dry/Sensitive option instead. I really know how to try new things! 

My go-to base for the past 6 months or so has to be the Liz Earle Signature Foundation. I've raved about this before, so to save me doing so again, I'll link to said post. I apply this using the Sigma f80 brush, which blends like a dream! I tend to use this after the Laura Mercier Radiance Primer (not pictured because I'm silly). At first I didn't actually get on too well with the primer, but I think finding the perfect primer/foundation combo can really change things. 

Concealer wise, my By Terry Touchee Veloutee has seen me through almost 9 months of wear. It's nearing the end of it's lifespan and I'm still toying with whether I can afford to repurchase it. It's perfect for under the eye. I also like to use it along the bridge of my nose, as I find it almost works to highlight. The best concealer but it comes with a hefty price tag. For blemishes I've been using the Nars Creamy Concealer in Chantilly. Great consistency, not too cakey and an all round good one. 

Finally, after months of uhmming and ahhing, I received the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light. It works really well as a setting powder, and I find it works to combat redness a little too. I sometimes switch this up and use the Bourjois Java Rice Powder, although the shimmer in the second does put me off sometimes. 

I should probably try out new things more often, but these products have been working really well the past few months. I was planning to include my 'forever' mascara, blush etc, but I feel like this post has got a little long, so expect that one coming up next.




This Week's Loves #14

It's been one of those weeks. I'm a little tired and a lot fed up with train delays. I've got a very busy week or so ahead of me, but also a weekend planned for a friend's birthday, so here's hoping it'll be a good one.
Flowers
How pretty are the tulips pictured above? I'm getting to fed up of the horrid weather we've been having, but pretty flowers at least give me some hope for spring.

New Girl
So I'm only a few years late but I've finally got into New Girl. I'd watched a few episodes here and there but I picked up the box set and have been watching it non-stop. I'm now eagerly awaiting the arrival of my season 2 dvd. 

Blog Love
I'm not sure why I've not featured Rebecca's blog It's Cohen in these posts before, as she's been one of my go-to reads forever. There's usually some kind of good Arctic Monkeys reference knocking around, plus there's always a lovely outfit post with a little fancy photo editing.

I've Been Reading: Bed by David Whitehouse

I've been spending a good 5 hours a week on trains, meaning I've suddenly got a lot more time to read again. Not that I didn't have time before, but being without internet connection for a few hours really has its bonuses. I've got so many books on my 'must read' list, and now I'm slowly managing to work my way through them. Therefore, just incase any of you need a little book inspiration, I thought I'd do some quick fire reviews of what I've been reading.
"Every family has a story. Mal was ours."

I got given Bed by David Whitehouse for my birthday back in May last year, and had absolutely no idea what it was about upon starting it. 

Without giving too much away, it centres around the lives of two brothers. Mal, who weighs at least 100 stone, has not left his bed in over fifteen years. As a child he liked to take his clothes off in public. His younger brother, the narrator of the story, goes unnamed throughout the whole book and has spent his life living in Mal's shadow.

The story flicks between the present day and the brother's childhood. I'd say that it was quite refreshing picking up a book and knowing nothing about it. I really enjoy stories about childhood, and I really enjoyed seeing Mal and his brother grow up throughout the book. The constant changing between past and present definitely left me longing to know exactly how Mal ended up in bed.

It focuses on how Mal's decision has affected the family. His mother spends all her time caring and tending to Mal. His father spends all his time in the attic. His brother is hopelessly in love with Mal's girlfriend.

The chapters in this book are pretty short. Telling myself 'just one more chapter' really led to me reading four or five more chapters, before eventually putting the book down.

I managed to finish this book over the space of two train journeys, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'd definitely recommend as it's quite an easy read, but interesting and well written.




This Week's Loves #13


Bristol
This week saw the start of my internship. It also saw the start of me getting to spend lots more time with my best friend in one of my favourite cities in the UK. I'm hoping that by the end of it I'll have got to know Bristol a little better.

The Rosie Project
Spending a lot of time on trains over the coming months, means I'm going to have a lot of time for reading. This week I finished The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. I originally saw Bee post about it and, as I always trust the opinion of a book lover, I decided to download it for my travels. I was pleasantly surprised. Not a hard read but entertaining and a little different to your average 'boy meets girl' romance.

My Bed
It is no secret that I love my bed, but spending a couple of nights a week on a sofa has really made me appreciate it. This past week has flown by and I don't think I'm quite ready to give up my super cosy bed again for two nights. Goodbye Bournemouth.




Hello New Things

Apparently it's the weekend again and I'm not entirely sure how. Given that I can't recall anything of note from this week, apart from a fantastic game of Disney monopoly, my This Week's Loves post is not happening. Instead I'm treating you to a little life update - aka a mindless ramble from me.

As of Monday, I get to spend two days a week in Bristol for the next three months. I'll be staying with my best friend and her boyfriend whilst I start a part time internship. To say I'm excited to be spending less time making coffee would be a massive understatement.

I've packed my travel wash bag, filled out my diary and collected my train tickets. I was initially planning to drive up. Unfortunately, I'm a very anxious driver and, I didn't think driving on my own to Bristol would great for my nerves. Instead I'm planning on getting the train up for the first few weeks, then driving up for the first time with my friend when we go up for my friend's birthday weekend.

Fingers crossed there's going to be a lot less coffee in my life for a little while. Unless of course it turns out to be like The One Where Rachel Quits, and I end up serving coffee forever more. Let's hope not.