Saturday, 31 May 2014

5 Looks for Summer

Even though summer here in the British Isles consists of more clouds than sun, I'm still really excited for spending the next few months relaxing on the beach in the sun. More excited than usual and I think it might have to do with my passion for this seasons trends. From pastel florals to rocking kimonos, I'm in love with summer fashion. Needless to say, being a blogger and all, I instantly wanted to create a summer look book. So, after getting through all my revision and waiting for some decent weather, I set out to create this for you. Hope you enjoy.

I've really warmed up to the traditional floral trend this year. So, paired with my love for playsuits, this look is a firm favourite of mine. The pastel blue and pink flowers create a gentle yet bold pattern and the lightweight material avoids the black fabric from becoming too much in the heat. I've accompanied the look with light blue converses and white frilly socks to continue the cutesy theme. Add a leather bag to toughen up the look and you're ready for an adventure.

The view of Castle Cornet from here was stunning.

Playsuit: Miss Selfridge | Socks: Dorothy Perkins | Shoes: Converse | Bag: Primark

How do you soften a leather look? Floral accessories. However, I'm aware that the floral crown may be a tad over the top. 

Necklace: Eclectic Eccentricity | Floral Crown: Miss Selfridge | Rings: New Look

Leather is still cool in the summer too, but you have to style it cleverly to bring it into this season. Pairing this pleated faux leather skirt with pastel colours and floral accessories gives a light summer vibe to a heavy appearing material. Ankle boots and frilly socks continues a more smart-casual look. Finishing the look is the latest jewellery craze, midi rings. I'm not usually a fan of rings as they tend not to fit my misshapened fingers but these ones are cute and simple and don't fly off whenever I move. Yay!

Top: Top Shop | Skirt: Miss Selfridge | Boots: New Look | Socks: River Island

I have developed a slight obsession with kimonos this year. As spring proved to be mighty chilly here in Britain, I fear I might be layering up a fair bit this summer. And there is no better way to do so in the summer than with a kimono. Loose and lightweight, these bad boys float effortlessly over a summer dress and can easy add a pop of colour to any outfit. I particularly love the beautiful pattern of this kimono and the colour, although not a usual choice for me, has really grown on me. I decided to keep this look simple with a grey skater dress and a few accessories to allow the kimono to take centre stage.

Dress: Miss  Guided | Kimono: Lipsy | Belt: New Look | Necklace: River Island

I was so scared that I was going to get my feet wet in the freezing cold water.

Retro fashion has a firm place within my heart and this season the coolest way to rock the retro look is with a pair of stunning shades. The bigger the better and these are huge! The classic cat eye style screams class and sophistication and deserved to be style accordingly. This white lace sixties style playsuit gives the chic look a slightly playful twist whilst the red lips keep the retro vibe going. Finishing with a cute pair of monochrome bow pumps and a little red bag completes my sixties inspired look. I feel this look is perfect for day to night, maybe adding a leather jacket on a breezy summer evening.

The lipstick I'm wearing is from Top Shop in the shade Hazard and I am absolutely in love with it. As a little bit of a red lipstick addict, I really couldn't resist this one when I found it online (Top Shop deliver to Guernsey now, hooray!). The creamy texture is just luxury and the colour is truly stunning. 

Playsuit: BooHoo | Sunglasses: Accessorize | Shoes: Primark | Bag: New Look

 I am a massive music festival fan. I love everything about them; amazing live music; super crazy dancing and, most importantly, the fashion. Anything goes and the wackier the better. My kimono obsession spills into this look with what I feel is a more hippie style outfit. Light wash shorts and coloured vest keeps the look simple yet not plain, allowing the kimono to make a statement. Converses are essential festival footwear and my favourite necklace ties the look together. Finishing the look, although I'm not sure how visible they are in the photos, are my pink dream-catcher earrings which I feel just sums up the look perfectly. Now all I need is a live band and some friends to dance around with...

Kimono: ASOS | Vest: Primark | Shorts: Top Shop | Necklace: Eclectic Eccentricity | Earrings: Dorothy Perkins
Shoes: Converse | Socks: River Island
And my summer look book is complete. I've used as many items that I've picked up recently so you can get an idea of what's out there which I know will be helpful for some of you who want to go on a summer haul. Which look is your favourite? Let me know in the comments below. Now all we need is the sun to hang around for a little while longer for my summer holidays to begin.

Tasmin x

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Exams, Stress and a Lode of Revision

I've not posted for two weeks, I know and I'm sorry. 'Where have you been, Taz?' I hear no one ask. Well, like thousands of students all around the country, I've been dwelling with the revision blues recently. 

Despite only having five exams for a total of two subjects (my other two are purely coursework based), I've really been struggling. I thought having fewer subjects and fewer exams from GCSE, I might find it a little easier and less stressful. But boy was I wrong. My brain feels like it's going to burst with the amount of information I've been attempting to cram into it this past month. (Side note: cramming is never a good idea. Don't do it.) I'm just a little overwhelmed by it all and needed a way to vent and get everything off of my chest. Cue blogging...

Lets start with maths, shall we. A dreaded subject for many, but I used to be rather good at maths. I got an A in my first year of GCSE despite being told I would struggle to get a C (really didn't want that to sound braggy, sorry), so naturally thought taking it as an A Level was a no brainer. But my ability seems to be slacking and the Core 2 exam on Thursday was the absolute worst, an opinion shared by most of twitter by the looks of things which makes me feel slightly better. However, I'm doubting that a fiddle with the grade boundaries is going to save me on this one. As soon as I opened the paper I could feel my heart sink. I didn't know how to answer half the paper. All the studying, tears and stress headaches now amount to nothing but failure and it feels like I might as well of just spent the last year doing nothing. It's just so disheartening that a few nastily structured questions can control the route you take from results day to, well, the rest of your life.

Psychology seems like the most interesting topic in the world, and in a way it is, until you have to study it. Re-reading all the theories that sound completely bonkers and wrong to you; the pointless and, in some cases, horrifically unethical case studies that supposedly support said theories; and the self conducted studies that you have to reconstruct just to figure out what on earth you were actually trying to find out (an unnecessary step if you have lovely, legible handwriting) all can become physically draining. The AS course is huge and there is so much to remember. And, ironically, studying memory really didn't help me remember the mountain of revision that joined learning the subject. So much revision in fact, that I often breezed through smaller topics in much less depth than needed just to get through it all. And, typically, these smaller topics are the ones that turned up in my exam. I mean, I know I was warned that there was a little bit if Biology in the course, but I feel I should of been properly informed, since I struggled with Biology at GCSE,  that a fifth of the course is dedicated to the subject. I feel like I was doomed from the start. Hormones though, how was I meant to remember hormones on top of all the actual psychology material? Give me a break man!

What do exams prove anyway? Your ability to regurgitate a number of facts on a select few topics of a  large and varied subject? It shouldn't be this way but it does feel like that's the case. Exams appear to only test memory rather than actual ability on only a small fraction of the course that you have spent hours, weeks even, trying to memorise. It's all just very unfair and stressful, isn't it? You spend years in education and are forever told that your whole life depends upon a piece of paper representing you in a number of grades that do not translate into actual skills necessary or desirable in the real world. 

Is it that obvious that I'm in favour of coursework? Seriously though, one exam does not justifiably show your knowledge of a subject you have studied for a whole year, or two years in the case of some GCSE's or IB. It's too much pressure on young people. We just want to stalk celebs on twitter, not revise information that will be of no use to us in the future. I just feel like sometimes it's all just a waste of time that could be better spent learning skills that I will actually need in the future, like how to open a bank account or how to write a CV (I know careers lessons are supposed to cover everything job-related but I've still never written a CV). 

I really hope this doesn't put people off studying A-Levels. That really isn't my intention. I actually enjoyed year 12, minus the revision of course. I just feel overly stressed about a piece of paper and I'm not taking to failing all that well. I know that you can not possibly know or predict your results until you receive them, but then you also weren't in that last maths exam... 

So, for those of you who still have exams, what are you doing reading my mess of thoughts? Get revising. But seriously, good luck and I hope you achieve the grades you want. I have my final maths exam in two weeks so I'm still with you on the revision front. It'll all be over soon and then we will all have a glorious summer and an amazing time in the sun. I think all this revision and lack of socialising has gotten to my head. I'll leave now before I bore/scare you anymore.

Tasmin x

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Bournemouth Travels Part 3

This is my third and final installment of my Bournemouth Travels so if you haven't caught up yet, where have you been? You can find part 1 here and part 2 here.

WARNING: If you have tickets for McBusted and want the show to be a surprise (highly recommended option) I'd  stop reading now before I spoil it for you. (I jump straight into the action as I originally wrote this in part 2 but realised it was becoming a mammoth sized post, so I hope this still all kind of makes sense to you.)

My sister and I before the gig being silly wearing the merch. Also, there's a leg growing out of my armpit, fail!
The show kicked off with Young Brando, the first of three support acts of the night. Followed by E of E and then The Three Dudes, my favourite. These American brothers, only 13-14, really got party started and the crowd responded really well to them, I was jumping. Plus their version of Ballroom Blitz rocked. Search for it on YouTube if you're partial to a bit of rock. I think we will be hearing more from them in the future.

I think this is the only image I took myself of the lead singer of Young Brando.
Onto the main act, and the crowd went absolutely crazy as the intro played on the screens. They played the Busted break-up announcement (why are you trying to make me cry guys?) followed by a little skit introducing the tour. Basically, future James Bourne runs to past Matt Willis after the split to tell him that they have to go 'Back to the Future' (the references to this film just never get old). They get in the famous time travelling car, complete with the McBusted number plate, and set up the date to April 22nd (the day we went! Ahhh!). Meanwhile, Mcfly are backstage getting ready for the show. Then something goes wrong with the car and they can't get it started. The future starts changing and the tour program turns from McBusted to Mcfly. I think I speak for everyone in the audience when I say I was slightly concerned that Busted actually weren't going to make it and this was their approach to telling us. After everyone's little freak out (onscreen and audience) James gets the car started. Mcfly run to the side of the stage and The last thing we see is the McBusted time travelling car drive into the distance.

Then lightening struck...

The first thing I see is the car floating down to the stage, with passengers James and Matt in the front seat (I could see a lot more than I originally thought). As soon as they step out the car, Mcfly spring board onto stage one by one. And the crowd goes absolutely mental as they start to play Air Hostess.

I think mental is a pretty accurate description of the whole night. The epic beginning kick started the biggest nostalgia fest of them all. Every hit from both bands, I think it was a 50/50 split between the songs too and all were played to perfection. I don't think I stopped dancing and I sang along for most of it too. Now would probably be a good time to apologise to the guy in front of me who suffered the worst if my screaming and horrendous singing. I'd also like to say sorry to the girl behind whose feet I kept jumping on in nearly every song. I am really sorry. Saying that, I really enjoyed myself despite being so far back and having a slightly restricted view. The whole atmosphere was amazing, especially being a small arena the crowd really worked up a riot. And by riot I mean crazy festival vibes minus the deadly mosh pits. 

Thank you to my lovely mother for taking these shots. Only 5ft so how she managed to get anything is a miracle.
My view for most of the night... short people problems!
Yes, there was a parody of THE wedding speech. Epic.
However, there is always someone that has to try and ruin the night. On this occasion, two rather drunk girls decided that I had the perfect spot fairly near the beginning of the main event so rammed me out if the way. Being fairly small, I'm used to being the shoved target when there's little room but, since the show had already started, I was quite shocked to be so rudely dismissed out if the way. The temptation to have a go at them right there and then was nearly too much to control but I knew I didn't really stand a chance against them so continued to enjoy the show from my new position. After disregarded the surrounding crowd, forcing my Mum to dance with them and throwing their beer everywhere, they moved on. Everything always works out in the end.

My favourite songs of the night were Sleeping with the Light On, Star Girl, Obviously, Brittany (I had that song stuck in my head all day so couldn't believe it when they started playing it), 5 Colours in Her Hair, Crashed the Wedding (Matt came on in a wedding dress and gave Dougie a piggy back whilst they played the same guitar, insane!) and Year 300.  The little chats and videos inbetween the songs were funny too and Matt and Dougie were sent to the naughty step, well naughty tower (they really are naughty boys!)
As I've mentioned on this blog before, it was a childhood dream of mine to see Busted live in concert and I absolutely love Mcfly so I can't thank the McBusted boys enough for putting on such an incredible show and allowing me to fulfill my childhood dream. It's a night I'll never forget.

Tasmin x

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Macro Photography: Dandelions

There's nothing better to do on a sunny Sunday afternoon then a little bit of photography and today was no exception. I decided to dig out my Macro tube and practice some macro photography in my garden. Our garden is full of dandelions at the moment. That's probably not supposed to be a good thing but I kind of like them. Especially when they start to seed, they look so dainty swaying in the gentle spring breeze. 

As you can probably tell, I'm fairly new to macro photography but I'm hoping for nice weather this summer so I can some serious practice in order to use this technique in my A-Level coursework next year. But what do you think, are you a fan of Macro photography? Let me know in the comments.

Tasmin x

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Bournemouth Travels Part 2

Forgot to add this to the last post but here's the stunning view from our hotel straight from my Instagram.

If you missed part 1 you can find it here. Caught up already? Here's part 2! 

Day two and it was Easter Monday, the weather had greatly improved and it was time to head up to Poole. I've driven through Poole several times but never really had a wonder round before so we decided to pop on the train for the day. We spent the whole day at the Dolphin Shopping Centre as well as wondering the surrounding streets. Being a typical fashion blogger, I absolutely love shopping and this day went incredibly quickly. So quickly that I missed almost every photo opportunity for that day. Didn't really have hands free for photos with all my shopping to be fair, but it was a lovely area, helped by the beautiful spring sunshine. 

I've included sneaky peeps of some of the items I brought when on holiday, all will most likely feature in an OOTD in the near future.
Tuesday was the third and final day of my Bournemouth travels, also referred to by me as McBusted Day, and we spent the morning mooching around the back of the BIC (Bournemouth International Centre) where the tour buses were parked. I promise I'm not a creep. I have no idea if the guys were in the buses but the windscreens were covered and it was fairly early, around nine I think. For all I know they could of been sound asleep only meters away from where I was standing. I would also like to point out that I wasn't the only person in the area at the time, many people were walking around and it's not like I was attempting to sneak on the bus, no matter how tempting it was. I didn't stay long either, I felt like a massive stalker and a bit of a creep. The closest I got to seeing the band was hearing someone scream Tom, or at least that's what it sounded like, and seeing a man get out of one of the tour buses (not someone I recognised as any of the tours many band members, McBusted or support act). I guess I may never know if they were on those buses or not. A girl can dream/pretend.

As the shops were all open we spent most of the afternoon shopping in Bournemouth's shopping area. As Guernsey has so few shops, being in England with your huge variety of famous brands that you see and hear on TV all the time felt like I was in some sort of commercial dream. Top Shop, Zara, Primark, River Island, every fast food chain on the planet, the list could go on forever. Us islanders just don't get to go in these shops which makes trips to England very exciting, and damaging to our bank balances. But mostly exciting.

Evening quickly rolled round and before I knew it we were in a manic queue waiting to go in to the show. At the risk of making Guernsey sound even more duller, we don't really get live music from majorly huge bands often so crowds like this previously only existed on my computer screen. I have seen live music before, I've been to local music festivals and the O2 in London, but nothing really compared to the crazy atmosphere here. People just kept piling in from everywhere. It was only a small venue, how could all these people fit in here?When we finally got into the arena, we were situated near the back of the crowd. We were standing. I'm the tallest in the family and I'm only 5ft 3. My optimism for seeing anything was pretty low, I can not imagine how the rest were thinking.

To be continued...

How's that for a cliff hanger? Part 3 will be up very shortly. 

Tasmin x