A Book and Film Blog

Friday, 24 March 2017

Winter Rewind: films + TV I watched this season


-  Really moving story telling  thanks to chilling performances from Denzel Washington and Viola Davis . The film is really Troy's (Washington) story and I felt we weren't given the space to mourn Rose's (Davis) losses, which I suppose was deliberate. I really enjoyed it but I couldn't get over the fact that it wasn't cinematic - at all. You could tell this was a play as in, the entire film is pretty much set in a backyard, there are so many monologues and the camera actually moves in the same way we see the camera sort of circulating the cameras in one of the National Theatre Live screenings.

Sleeping with Other People
- An underrated rom-com and Alison Brie at her best.

Collateral Beauty

The Danish Girl 

Demain Tout Commence

- Logan is a sort of sci-fi/western hybrid and executes both sides of the genre so well ugh. I also loved that it used the comic books to move the plot along - nice touch. I can't even say i;s the best superhero film I've seen because it just didn't feel like that, at all. It was in it's own lane. Also, watching it made me realise how immune I've become to violent scenes in film I bloody love it - when it's done well. Overall a must see I reckon.


Sleepless in Seattle
First time watching it and I have to say, a bit overrated. I just don't feel that connection when the love interests meet, at the end of the film.

La La Land
- I loved the film's ending actually and thought it was the most appropriate. If Mia and Sebastian had fallen in love, Sebastian wouldn't have  opened his jazz bar. Not that I think you necessarily have to make sacrifices like this but it's a an interesting spin on the typical romance narrative we see in films and musicals. It was by no means perfect and I did roll my eyes a bit at the whole white man trying to save jazz storyline. But I like that Damien Chazelle explores the sacrifice and passion one can have to make your dreams a reality. I 'm excited to see more from him.


A Series of Unfortunate Events
- Did not finish. This was so disappointingly underwhelming. Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf was not convincing, or scary, at all. All the word definitions work well in text, but break up the pace of the show on screen and, the tone was all off. I didn't really understand what the show was trying to be or who it was aimed at.

Chasing Cameron
- I started watching this when I had nothing to watch on Netflix and I was hooked. I was really surprised at how honest of a documentary this was. It's produced by the Cameron Dallas and the guys from MadCon I'm sue had input in how it all came together, and yet noone came out looking good in this. There are moments, some people have them more than others, where they come across as entitled, spoilt brats.  Fascinating. Go watch.


The Fosters

The Mindy Project 


Iron Fist 
I have too many feelings about this so I'll do a whole post for next week.

My immediate to watch list this Spring is; Beauty and the Beast, Elle, Doctor Strange and GRACE AND FRANKIE which is on out on Netflix this TODAY!

Monday, 20 March 2017

films I watched to pick me up this week

I've been feeling so unsure of myself recently, particularly this week. What am I doing after uni, why don't I have a life plan, am I eating okay, my French isn't as good as it should be, feeling insecure in my body, feeling insecure about this blog and blah blah blah. It's been not fun and emotionally uncomfortable. But, I think I'm coming out of it.  I've been recently reminded of God's complete love for me that is unconditional and secure! So I've been basking in it. Baskinggg. I also watched these carefully picked films, back to back - which really helped. All the characters have issues with insecurity which they thankfully overcome.

The Devil Wears Prada
This film is so good and I feel like not many people really caught that on until later? I mean Emily (Emily Blunt) is one of my favourite on-screen characters - ever. Anyway the film is of course about Andrea (Anne Hathaway)  who, basically feels very unsure of herself in this world of fashion. But she blossoms (having a psycho boss was arguably a catalyst) into this complete Girlboss with her life together and without even realising. Which, is like real life, right?! I mean we don't see when we're making progress, but we are!

The Princess Diaries
We've got a bit of an Anne Hathaway trend going on here. Princess Mia again doubts she'll be a great princess and to be honest, she should. The only reason she ends up being great is because it's a film and someone could write it that way. But the point is, being different is what makes her amazing.
On another note, isn't the plot of The Intern, again with Anne Hathaway? Is she okay?

Legally Blonde
You know what, this is wrong because Elle is already confident and sure of herself, from the beginning. But then other people's insecurity makes her doubt herself. Ugh. Anyway, she proves them wrong and stays true to herself in the end. All is well.

The Duff
In Bianca's case, there are just a tonne of bullies basically. The situation isn't right but it forces her to be more confident and by the end, she's a much more confident version of herself.
Side note - both the book and the film are great and on-par, but they're two completely different creatures. I'd recommend both.

Friday, 17 March 2017

The Weekend Edit: a roundup of my favourites

Saturday mornings are my new favourite thing about my life. For the first time in a long time (and probably never again so making the most of it), I sleep in and wake up with nothing to do - glorious. Once in a while, I'm going to share everything I like reading, watching and listening to on my duvet Saturdays, while eating and semi-sleeping in ma bed. A bit of inspo for you, when catch a break too 

When I wake up, but I'm not fully awake, I love catching up on my podcasts.

Anna Farris is Unqualified: ep86 with Lauren Graham
I've rediscovered this podcast and the roleplay they did on this ep with Lauren Graham and Anna Farris being the needy obsessed fan was comedy gold.

Ctrl Alt Delete: ep66 with Imriel Morgan
Every chat on this podcast leaves me feeling more inspired.  This interview with Imriel really gives you a sense of the inspiration, passion and groundbreaking work behind The Shout Network. Mostly Lit is my go-to book podcast + I recently discovered Melanin Millennials and i just makes me so proud that we live in a world where this network exists! To give a platform for voices that haven't previously had a place in our mainstream media. 

The first posts I read are often beaut outfit style posts. The posts on Sea of Shoes, are always beautifully curated and always with a good story behind the outfit. 

As someone who would like to travel a bit more but doesn't really lust after it in the same way it seems many millennials do, Harriet's post is refreshing and honest, in the sea 

C'est la vie Mon Cherie 
Spring is here! Well, spring sales are here and Liv's style is pretty close to mine. I feel like I'd wear anything she puts together. I love this outfit and in generally love perusing her site for outfit inspiration.

Top Ten Books on My Spring 2017 
Every month I buy 4 books. Rather than reading individual reviews, it's nicer to have a comprehensive list.

The Big Generational Divide? 
You all know I love a long juicy post mentally stimulating post. This one about the generational divide I think is an extension of a podcast episode Emma had a few weeks ago. This time round, Emma gives more insight into the relationship millennials have with the digital world and how, its becoming quite an empowering thing for a lot of young people. Good one to check out.

The True Cost
Where our clothes come from has been weighing heavily on me over the last few months. When you start to realise your shopping habits are feeding into an industry that exploits mainly women and children? Ew. I say read this, if you're not convinced.

What's on your bookshelf? with Nicola
Shameless plug. But I'm so proud of this post! It was such a good chat and there are more to come so read this in the meantime.

By the time I've finished going though my blog posts, I make myself some breakfst and retreat to my bed where I catch up on YouTube, check out stuff on Netflix ... Yes these mornings are like a 4 hour affair. 

A group of friends that just talk through what they'd do in different situations. This is the most recent video and as always, this friendship group come out with the funniest one liners. It's just makes for chilled, fun watching.

This is the first YouTube channel I ever watched and subscribed too so it's so great to see how far the channel and Patricia has come :')

And of course, IRON FIST IS OUT ON NETFLIX TODAY. I'm going to try and pace myself this time round. I'll try.

Happy Weekend! xo


Friday, 10 March 2017

What's on your bookshelf? with Nicola from itsneecola. We talk Self Help, Spirituality + Khloe Kardashian

I’m prefacing this by saying that this is a brand-new series.  I sit down with people doing cool things and ask them what’s on their bookshelf and what they read. I don’t know if what you read is a reflection on your character …? But I’m nosy and the first thing I do when I go round someone’s house, is gravitate towards their bookshelves. So this is that, in blog post form. I know I’m not the only one who does this, so I hope this gives you reading inspo and/or just satisfies your curiosity – it definitely satisfies mine.

Like I said, I wouldn’t say what you read is a huge eye-opener into who you are to the core, but I do think some of our choices can be explained by maybe memories we hold onto, our character, what we’re passionate about etc etc etc. And at least that’s what I’d say looking at my own pile of books right now, and what I found to be the case with my friend Nicola from the blog, itsneecola. Our shelves are pretty different and I thought they would be; which just made the conversation so much more interesting. Because as someone who reads pretty often, you think you have and know about this whole world of literature and, all these books influencing you. And when you talk to someone else about what they read, you realise you haven’t even scratched the surface.

Nicola started as a beauty blogger but that’s since expanded to lifestyle and self-development. Her posts are informative, inspirational and encouraging and a must read It should then come as little surprise then when we were chatting about why she started reading, it was at a time “when my mental health wasn’t doing so great and I wanted to read something calm and relaxing to read before bed”. Her go to books of choice? The Number One's Ladies Detective Agency, of which her mum has all 17 and counting, and passes them down to her.

*Queue a little fangirl moment on my part*

This is possibly my favourite book series ever. And to be honest, I couldn’t quite believe I know another person (irl) who also loves these books! In case you have yet to hop onto this bandwagon, the series is set in Botswana and is about a Mma Ramostwe , 'a traditionally built woman' who runs the country’s first and only female run detective agency. “They just have really simple problems and like, logical solutions … I just find them so relaxing to read … "It also really made me want to go to Botswana”. I've never been to southern Africa, but I too can attest to this. The people, food, atmosphere and culture seeps through these books.

Speaking of worldliness and travelling, a while back I read a post by Nicola called Be Your Own Coach , about how not everyone can have access to a therapist but, how  you can still be your own self-help coach by making use of the many resources available to you, such as books. Nicola actually reads quite a lot of self-help and it’s definitely something we delved into.


"A few years ago I was working with a network marketing company, whose ethos was about self-development and I think that’s how I started getting into it.” Before this chat I’d say I knew nothing about self-development books. I always thought they had a reputation of being quite out-there and not giving very tangible or helpful advice. But Nicola hasn’t "personally had any bad experiences or read any *bad* books". And one thing I did take away from our conversation is that there is sort of a scale when it comes to self-help books. Here are some books Nicola isolated:

Strong Looks Better Naked by Khloe Kardashian. Which we had a bit of a giggle about because it’s one of those books where, if you judged it by the cover or the fact that it’s by a Kardashian, you may not gravitate towards it. ... No shade. But it's actually been really well received. "It’s not really mystical self-help. It’s more of a case of, she went through shit, she got through shit and here's how she did it". And the book is divided into 3 sections, body, mind and heart – which is surprisingly quite practical considering I thought it was more of a biography.

How to Make Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

“It was the first self-care book i read and it kick-started my interest in those sort of books ... I'd say it's a solid self-development book"

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
As always "the book is definitely better than the film, and you’ll get a lot more out of it practically, if you read the book first”.

The Skeleton Cupboard by Tanya Byron

“I'd recommend it for anyone considering a career in mental healthcare or counselling. Or actually for anyone and everyone who has been through/experienced or simply needs to learn more about mental health. It offers a very honest and real view.”

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

"It reads quite nicely but maybe it’s a bit more *hard core* self-help, because it’s about Taoism”

The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success by Andy McNab
“It is actually really good, but I don’t think it reads or flows quite as well. It’s also really long.”

We then had a bit of quick fire round: 
If there's one book on your shelves/in your collection, that you'd recommend straight away, what would it be?

“It depends on the person and the situation [they’re in] so I’ve got a couple”
What's So Amazing About Grace by Philip Yancey

"I wouldn’t say I'm a religious person but I think I'm spiritual. And if there's things you want to know about God, the world, and you just want to sort out things out in your head, I’d recommend this one."

The Shack by Wm Paul Young
Nicola's passion for this book, legit makes me want to read it, like right now. "It is so intense. The main character just goes through some horrific things. But I think if you're going through stuff, this is the one. But yeah, it's very intense."

You're on a desert island and you can only take 2 books - what would they be and why?

“If I was stranded and about to die, I’d probably read The Shack - just as an inspirational one and to you know, know that everything would be alright in the end. Or maybe The Number One Ladies Detective Agency again? I’d want something relaxing and quite light. … Or maybe I'd burn an encyclopaedia to make a fire.” – Keeping it practical. Also, remember encyclopaedias?! What a throwback.

The Passion Flower Massacre by Nicola Morgan

“I'd say it was my first ever "favourite" book as a teenager and was my go-to recommendation to anyone for years and years!”

What’s next on your list to read?

This question opened an unexpected can of worms because Nicola has super organised TBR, on a Word Document, that is 5 pages long, and is ever impending and ever growing. #goals

Hot Feminist by Polly Vernon is one of them, which I thought was interesting given it’s been quite controversial. “This whole question of whether we can be feminists and love make up and care about our appearance - obviously, I think we can, but I want concrete answers”

“I’m also looking for books that give concrete answers on the relationship between religion and astrology. I want to know the thought process behind things like star signs and also whether religion and astrology are compatible? … I also want to read the Lord of the Rings books. I love the films but I’ve never read the book. Just in case I ever wanted to get a tattoo or something from Lord of the Rings, I’d want to really know my stuff.”

I learnt so much from this chat. Nicola's smart, self aware and; her recommendations, especially on self-help books, definitely broadened my horizons. You know, past Cheryl Strayed. 

Posts to check out on itsneecola:
Invisible Illness


Friday, 3 March 2017

Currently Reading: Blog Edition

Since late last year, I really got back into reading and following blogs! I think discovering the Blogosphere magazine has been a big reason behind this too. It's just so nice to find out about new blogs, and read posts without staring at a screen. That said, my favourite thing to do on a Saturday morning is still, clicking on that Bloglovin' plugin and scrolling through my news feed to catch up on my subscriptions. Here are the one I currently find myself going back to: 

Nomadic Matt 
This travel blog is the thing of dreams. Matt, it seems, has been everywhere and if like me, you don't travel a lot but would like to, there are so many helpful bite size tips and guides.  It's all very practical, easy to navigate, and his goal is to show people how they can travel, when they don't have much money.  

Be Cloumar
This might possibly be in my top three blogs of life. Ever. Her voice is so raw and honest and genuine and funny. I live for the rants on this blog. And the posts on self-care and mental health. And the rants.

Emma Gannon
Sometimes, you just want a juicy long blog post. You want it to challenge you, but also be helpful and insightful. And you want these posts to be a regular thing. This is where you find such posts.

Reality Steve
I come here just to stock up on The Bachelor spoilers. I like knowing who's won - 3 months before it airs. I like knowing all the tea that The Bachelor producers decide to cut out *cough Vanessa and Rachel had a huge fight in Bimini and for some reason, no-one saw it cough*.

The Graphic Foodie
I live in Brighton (#bestcityintheworld) and this food blog is the quintessential guide to eating in this city. She checks out every new little spot here; from the well-known to the hidden.

Style Memos
Everything from the photography, to the stripped back vibe of the blog, to the classiness is just lush. And though I can't afford a lot of the clothes here, it's inspired me to have a few more investment pieces. Every outfit is so well thought through and put together and stylish - but not in a generic fashion blogger way? I'm not describing this very well. Just go and have a look.

Jasmine Talks Beauty 
This is probably, the only beauty blog I actually read consistently. It is so aesthetically pleasing and yet a very practical and easy to navigate site. I trust her reviews because she really knows what she's talking about. Her posts are regular which again, I appreciate seeing as regularly check my Bloglovin' newsfeed and really creative. It's also nice to read a beauty blog with a good balance of low, mid and high range beauty and makeup.

So there you have it, a bit of weekend reading-inspo for you. Oh and don't forget to give this blog a follow on Bloglovin.

Happy Weekend!
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