Thursday, 31 July 2014

Follow Me Down The Rabbit Hole




"There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, "Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late" (when she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket or a watch to take out of it, and, burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.
In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again."
Lewis Carrol
"Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" is my favourite book!  So when I saw this tee from Orphan's Arms for £15 (here if you want it and it's now only £10), I had to get it!
I've teamed it with my Topshirt skirt again!  Similar ones can be found here


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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Can You Survive A Long Distance Relationship?

Pretty personal post today but I thought I would write it anyway, especially with summer being almost over (eep!) and some people's relationships might be about to change with university and new jobs etc.  But be warned - coupley photos coming! 

So you might be wondering if you can survive a long distance relationship, and I'm here to say if you want to you can! 

Obviously every relationship is different and I'm not here as like some queen of long distance relationships (LDR)! 

My boyfriend and I have been LDRing it for almost three years, so it is totally possible to have a long term relationship when there's distance between you.  I'm in Scotland whilst he's in Northern Ireland so it's not even like we have an easy commute, it requires a plane or a boat to hop over the Irish Sea.  We have also had stints where we have had larger distances like when I was in China last summer and it will change again when I move to France for a year next month.  

So the prospect of distance isn't the kiss of death on your relationship - don't worry if you are moving away to uni or starting a job in a new city.  

Here's my tips:

Effort
Any relationship takes work and you will have to put the work in, but even more so when you are long distance.  Because you will have to make the effort to stay in touch and see each other, as well as all the normal relationship stuff. 

Trust
You need to trust, almost a blind faith in your trust in your partner.  Otherwise you will get worried and stressed out and then that isn't a healthy place to be in personally or for your relationship.  I don't mean being naive, but you need to comfortably trust and not worried about what the other person is doing, with who, where your relationship is going etc.  Which is closely linked to....

Communication 
You're going to need to communicate openly and honestly.  Don't bother with games, don't huff and puff and try to mess around with each other, you don't see each other enough to play those games and will leave a bitter edge on your relationship when you do see each other. 

Technology 
Use it.  Skype is amazing, but so is other tech like viber (especially when you are abroad), facetime etc.

Be busy
The times when a LDR can be hardest is if one partner has a really busy time- maybe exams or a busy period at work - and the other person doesn't.  This can mean that you might not be able to speak as much as usual.  I find that the best way to deal with that is to stay busy yourself, don't sit around waiting for a phone call.  It will make you miserable and put pressure on your partner, which is the last thing you want in a stressful time! 

Schedule
Have a schedule for when you will talk and when you will see each other.  It is comforting to know when you're next going to see your other half, especially if it has been a while.  You should also try and stick to the schedule, even if it means sacrificing other things.  We try to see each other every month so sometimes that means missing out on something at uni if I'm over in Northern Ireland.

Share time together and apart 
Matty and I have a lot of shared hobbies- we both shoot, this blog and travelling.  But we also have our own hobbies which means a) we don't get lonely when we are by ourselves and b) we aren't in every tiny part of each other's lives.  Which is good and healthy!  So even when you are in a LDR you don't need to spend every waking moment together when you do see each other - I know it's tempting but time off from each other, like going to the gym or a walk is also good! 

I hope this post might have calmed some people's nerves about long distance relationships, because it's really only a big deal if you make it!  

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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Barley Fields




Another kind of prancey post, which I apologise for.  But when it's summer and I'm at home I like to get in the fields to shoot look and when you're in a field it's only appropriate to prance.  Plus I need to make the most of it before I run away to a city next year.  

I'm wearing:

Black Milk A Tribe Called White Skater Dress

Boohoo Kimono - here for £15

Chain belt - lots here


 

And some behind the scenes shots of walking home!


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Monday, 28 July 2014

Whats In My Satchel?


Although I am on my summer break from university right now I realise that not everyone else is and people still need a handy bag for taking to school / work / whatever they do.  So I thought I would show you what I typically take to university or when I am on an internship. 

First up is the bag itself, which is from Zatchels.  I love it to death and it is such good quality, but I did have a few customer service issues with the company though - you can read about them here.  

Inside I have:

My laptop- it's perfect for student life since it's just bigger than an A4 sheet of paper and is super thin and light.  Kind of like a Macbook Air but without the frills, I really didn't need a Mac and this does me grand! 

My planner is my life source, it's what keeps me alive.  If left up to my own devices I would probably be in a duvet nest covered in food all the time.  Similar here which is mega cheap.

My diary (c/o of Viking), ever since I was in primary school I have written in a diary so like having a special notebook to fill it up.  I think this is like my 50th notebook or something!

Fancy pen (c/o of Viking), I always have a fancy pen to write in my diary and this is a really smooth rollerwriter so I love it! 
 

My kindle (here for £59) - I always carry it with me, unless I am reading a physical book at the time.  It's so handy!  I am currently reading all the Wizard of Oz books, what are you reading?  Kindle cover here 

For personal stuff I have my bee purse from Monsoon and the best lip product in the world- I kid you not!  This Clarins lip balm (here for £19- expensive but lasts forever) is amazing and takes me through summer and winter! 

What's in your satchel or work bag? 
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Sunday, 27 July 2014

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Blanx Whitening Toothpaste Review

Sorry I don't have my own picture for this post, but I threw it out when I was on holiday and I am clearly not a pro blogger.  But I just finished my tube of Blanx Whitening Toothpaste - which you can get here for £8.48.



The Good

I actually think this toothpaste works, I noticed a real difference when I used it - so did people who didn't even know I was trying a new toothpaste so that is always good.  I wish I took a before and after photo but it really didn't occur to me.  Since I have stopped using it I am really missing the effects of it.

I also like how it is non-abrasive so this means that it isn't too harsh on your teeth or gums, which is important to me as I am pretty teeth OCD.  

The Bad 

Because it doesn't go in all guns baring it does mean that it isn't a quick fix, and it certainly isn't the quickest or strongest teeth whitening on the market.  But to be honest, I am okay with that since I would rather not risk long term damage to my teeth when I am only a young 'un!  

It is also quite expensive - certainly not the cheapest option at on its way to a tenner.  But I justified it to myself as it is cheaper than professional whitening and it is not too expensive that I begrudge it.  

You do go through it quite quickly as well, so be warned! 

The Ugly? Or Not? 

Not ugly at all!  And I will be buying it again!  If you try it out, or if you have in the past let me know what you think! 
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Friday, 25 July 2014

Down By The River

And so we are here, down by the river again!  With weather like this how could we not be down by the river?  

I half did a look but this is more of a non-look post, I just thought I would share to you one of the places I really like coming to.  It's one of the places where I really like walking down with Tess, there's a bridge to sit and dangle your feet off and its a perfect place to throw sticks for Tess into the river - she loves bombing into it.  

So we wandered down to the river and sat on the bridge - don't I look happy and summery?  

Then I moved over to the other bank of the river to try and show you my outfit without the sun blinding the camera, it's pretty simple but I am wearing: 

H&M French Bulldog top

Thrifted / DIY shirt 

Black Milk Clothing Fairy Paint Leggings 


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Thursday, 24 July 2014

Commonwealth Games! #Glasgow2014

So what did we think about the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony?  I personally really liked it but I bet there are going to be really negative reviews about it so I thought I would get my one in first! 

Sadly I wasn't there to enjoy it in person but loved watching it from the comfort of my sofa! 

For all you non-Commonwealthers out there the Commonwealth Games are a multi-sport celebration of sporting talents from around the Commonwealth.  The Commonwealth derives from the British Empire, back in the day and is now like a big family around the world with the Queen at its head. 

It's the first time Glasgow is hosting the Games, although it's the third time it is being held in Scotland (the last two were in Edinburgh) and I think Glasgow 2014 is going to be special one!  

Tonight was the opening ceremony and it was all systems go, we had a whirlwind tour around Scotland, some great (and not so great) music, loads of people and a really special message!  

The first thing I loved about the opening ceremony was the people.  It was stuffed full of real, local people of all shapes, colours and ages.  The ceremony felt really inclusive, some of the dancing was simple and everyone could do it but it looked special being done on a bigger scale.  I especially liked when there was a sort of musical chairs scene with loads of people and lots of colours! 

Glasgow didn't try to compete with London 2012 and I think that's a good thing, it was never going to beat it on sheer scale and special effects but I think it captured a different spirit.  It felt like a really genuine attempt to represent Scotland and Glasgow and us, the people.  Yeah some of it was cheesy - like the Irn Bru bottles and dancing tunnocks tea cakes, but that's what these things are about.  It was a ceremony to show off all the little motifs that make Scotland Scotland and I think it was done pretty well! 

Part of what makes Scotland was also found in the various messages throughout the show which left me proud to be Scottish.  

Firstly, and mainly, there was the partnership with UNICEF which was given a pretty prominent role in the ceremony.  It was so prominent that Ewan McGregor even opened the show with a message about it!  Basically Glasgow 2014 have teamed up with UNICEF to try and contribute towards a fund for the children of the Commonwealth and throughout the show there was references to it, as well as little videos about the scheme in the six regions of the Commonwealth.  

At times I was worried it was going to be a little Comic Relief-ey where you are bombarded by harrowing images to make you donate, but it wasn't.  There was a pretty steady rhythm and I don't think it was too much.  

It culminated with Sir Chris Hoy and James McAvoy asking us to donate £5 to the appeal by texting "First" to 70333.  I did, did you?  I must say that whoever had the idea to put some eye candy in charge of making me spend £5 should get a back, since who would refuse them in kilts?  

There was also little things like a support of gay marriage (John Barrowman kissed a man live at the tour stop of Gretna Green).  This was a real snub to the 42 states where being gay is illegal in the Commonwealth and shows the support for gay rights in Scotland - there have been petitions to the Scottish Parliament for gay marriage since as early ass 2009 but they couldn't change the law as it is a power that still resided with Westminster.  There was also a homage paid to Nelson Mandela, which all contributed to the welcoming and inclusive vibe in the ceremony and I think it was really great that they were included.  

Now to my favourite part of any Games ceremony - the athletes' parade!  This one was really special because not only was it a home games so Scotland had a big entrance but also because I was on the look out for all my friends who are competing and part of the coaching team!  I spotted a few! 

I loved the Scottie dogs who led every team in, especially when they were misbehaving!  

The music was really great, it was such a good mix by Scottish DJ Mylo- modern but not so that it will seem dated in a couple of years.  

On to our outfits - everyone seems to hate them.  They've been slated for months, but I don't think they are that bad!  I think it's modern and colourful  and I am desperate for one of the girl's shawls!  Don't you want to steal it?  

I also really liked the Welsh girls' uniform - the dress looked lovely and they looked some of the most comfortable.  

I am really exciting to be watching the games and you should all try and tune in when you can, I know I will be!  I will be going up to some of the shooting events next week and will report back.  Sorry if you think this is boring but I think it is awesome, and such a great time for Scotland! 

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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Summer Skirt




Oh it's so nice to have this summery weather again!  Although I must admit I took this jumper off straight afterwards - I was way too warm after prancing about in our meadow with it on! 

You might have seen me prancing about in my behind the scenes look video which I posted on Instagram.  What do you think about it?  It was my first go at one of these sort of things, so I would love to know if you would like to see them now and then on instagram or not? 

We shot this look right outside my house (I'm from the country in case you hadn't noticed).  We haven't had any of our own animals on our land for a few years now but this is the first summer we've let it grow long and wild.  It looks messy but magical!  And there is another reason except from laziness- to help our local butterfly population.  

This meadow is our very own butterfly sanctuary and let me tell you there is now loads of butterflies hiding in our meadow!  So many different colours and sizes!  I will try and get some photos for you but they move so quickly. 

So I disturbed our butterflies while I pranced around, I wore: 

Topshop skirt 

Jack Wills jumper

ASOS headband 


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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

My Blog Roll

Blogging is a pretty big part of my life, writing and shooting for Liquid Grain but as well as that I read blogs - and a lot of them!  

Believe me, too much of my time is taken up by reading the lovely ramblings of others in the blogsphere!  So I thought I would share with you my favourite blogs I follow, but I would also love to hear about your recommendations or your own blogs!  So comment below and I'll check it out!

Fashion









Lifestyle 



Travel 


Food 



Home 


 
Beauty


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Monday, 21 July 2014

Moving To Lyon, France

Big news!  I'm moving to Lyon, France!  

It's very exciting and rather unexpected- I applied for a summer internship however heard nothing back until June when they asked if I could go over to France for nine months! 

This is really exciting and I can't wait to go over.  However it will involve a lot of changes for me, primarily moving to France.  And this is where I need your help - if you have any tips about moving to France and house hunting then please tell me, especially if it is Lyon specific!  

If you have any travel advice about Lyon I would also love to hear about it - where to go, what to see, everything!  If you want you can email me liquidgrainofficial@gmail.com or tweet me! 

The next couple of weeks will be a little hectic for me since I will have to get ready to move and find a place to live and learn French - sodds law at school I did German and Spanish and at university some Arabic but never French! 

Doesn't Lyon look pretty?  This picture is from The Telegraph and looks lovely! 

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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Dog Walking In Larne, Northern Ireland

This is a half look - half lifestyle post today.  You'll see what I wore (although it wasn't very exciting) but I also want to talk about one of my favourite places to walk the dog in Larne.  

I don't have my own dog right now, so when I go over to Northern Ireland I steal Matty's dog Tess and love going for walks with her.  

There's a really great walk in Larne - dog optional but highly recommended - which starts on sea side and ends up on a hill - but still with a sea view.  The walk is marked by a "keep fit" theme, with work out equipment dotted along the way.  The idea is to use them as you go but most people walk on by, but I like to give a few a go as I pass.  

I've just looked it up and the route is called Highway to Health - so now you know!  I would recommend taking on some or part of it - it totals 4 miles but does break up quite nicely.  

As you walk along the route you end up in Carnfunnock Park, which I really like.  Mainly because there is stuff to do - whether it's the walled gardens, maze (that's right MAZE) or the walk around it.  

The route we took on this walk took us up to a really old Ice House, which is where ice was stored during the year 'back in the day'.  It was a pretty neat little building, and somewhere nice to stop and take a break - or shoot a look.  


I'm wearing: Pink jeans (River Island / ASOS £30).  Grey vest (Similar here £8).  Green quilted jacket (John Lewis have some really great suggestions). 

My main accessory is the lovely Tess, and doesn't she look good in my sunnies?  Who is your four-legged walking partner?  Pictures get bonus points.



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Friday, 18 July 2014

#ToastOfTheTown Glasgow

Last weekend, on a rainy Glasgow day, some Scottish bloggers came together to take part in the #ToastOfTheTown event held at Millennium Hotel Glasgow.  The event was designed to celebrate the host of the 2014 Commonwealth Games - Glasgow!  

Glasgow is such a fun and vibrant city- prime shopping area as well ;)  So it was a really fun day to showcase Glasgow, especially with all the Commonwealth Games fever in the air.  

This is my photo to sum up the Glasgow Commonwealth spirit - mixed up with some old buildings and a seagull! 

But this was more interactive than just a normal event; we took part in a really informative photography workshop, had a Scottish themed feast and then hit the streets of Glasgow to put what we learned into practice.  Unfortunately my camera was still being a little crazy so I didn't get the best photos and had to rely on my phone.  But good news- PC World are replacing it for me so I should get another one on Monday! 

We started off by getting to know each other and then got stuck into the workshop where we were given some photography rules to follow and talked through a couple of modes on your camera.  I thought I would put together a little guide for some basic blogging photography so hopefully you will find it useful down at the bottom.  


For lunch we had some delicious Scottish goodies to nibble on.  Haggis bon bons, venison hotdogs and some veggie parcels.  Then a lovely desert with cranachan and shortbread.  So good!  The Millennium Hotel put on a really good spread, full of Scottish spirit!  


 In the afternoon we hit the streets to try and take some interesting photos!  It was really rainy but there was so much interesting architecture and statues in Glasgow so there was lots to snap!  We also had the mission of trying to get some street photography as well, so this is my attempt to be arty with some flowers as well.  


And this one is just someone enjoying George Square.


Does The Doctor recommend voting Yes in the referendum?


Top Tips 

- Aperture mode
For taking pictures of lipsticks, food, anything close up where you want part of the shot in focus and the rest of it nice and blurry pick the A mode on your camera.  I use this mode the most for my blog! 

- 1/2 - turn 
This was a tip from the guys, who said if you want your focus on an area which is not in the middle of the shot you should half press the shutter button with the chosen object in the middle, then while holding it down move your camera so it changes position.  Easier than faffing about with trying to move the focus area around! 

We had to use our thumbs to practice this- 


- Flash 
Don't use it, everrrr! 

- Rule of 1/3s 
If you split your screen into imaginary thirds you shouldn't position the object of your photo in the middle third.  It is far more appealing to be in either the top or the bottom third or left or right one! 

Centre - not so good 


Out on the side, much better! 


It was a really fun day out in Glasgow and it was so good to meet some fellow Scottish bloggers, I would love to meet everyone again.  Everyone was so friendly, which was great since it was my first ever blogging event!  Thanks to Millennium Hotel Glasgow for having us and toasting the town of Glasgow with us, although my photos don't do it justice at all! 

If you want to read Millennium Hotel's post on the event you should check it out here.  
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