December Wrap-Up & Mini Reviews

Why hello, wonderful inhabitants of the internet space and welcome back to this aged and dusty blog. Surprisingly, I have survived through the turbulent months that have passed and am attempting a swift revival. So in the spirit of that, I am sat alone in the middle of the night with a mug of coffee and work in the morning – writing a post.

Super worth it.

These books are in no order whatsoever, much like the rest of my life, which means we can kick this into gear.

  1. A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOWAR) by Sarah J Maas – 4.5/5

I finally grew a pair, dove into another Sarah J Maas series and immediately had conflicting feelings about it. One part of me loved the experience of the story, which is a Beauty and the Best retelling; and another just tore at the pages where females were treated as objects, which was almost every single one. I guess that balanced it out. Faeries, kingdoms, love squares and a pretty okay female villain? Classic YA fantasy.


2. Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling – 5/5

I mean, how much do I realistically need to say here – it’s Harry Potter. The legend, the wizard, the child from under the stairs makes a fantastic return in my life. I’ve been meaning to re-read the series for what seems like years and in actual fact really was years, so we’ve finally made that a thing. Thank God. I mean, thank Rowling.



3. The Shock of The Fall by Nathan Filer – 3.7/5

What a rollercoaster of emotions this piece of work was, I mean Jesus on an ice cream stick! The book is a set of self-addressed confessions and letters from the mind of a nineteen-year-old who is battling schizophrenia and a dark incident in his past. You’ll feel his own pain, his own wandering thoughts and his own guilt. You’ll feel the need for other to bring help and also stay away. You’ll just feel a lot, okay?


4. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu – 4/5

I know what you’re thinking – are you on about the refreshing carbonated drink, Meggie? No, fellow nerds, I am not (although I’m sure it’s unrivalled). This is a feminist book for young adults, which is set in the best times known to man (and woman) – high school. If you were ever angry with the inequality of gender treatment in the education system, get ready to be really fucking pissed. This will get your pigtails in a twist. I’m still untangling mine.


5. York (The Shadow Cypher) by Laura Ruby – 3/5

I didn’t enjoy this novel. Plain and simple. I gave it three stars purely because I thought the plot was great and had a lot of potential to be fantastic. Except it wasn’t, it was just fine, like a semi-deflated yellow balloon at a bar mitzvah . After “Bone Gap” by the same author, I had high expectations for the quality of this read and something about it just didn’t click with me, maybe it was the seemingly slow plot, maybe it was that I didn’t like any of the main characters. We’ll never know.


6. Lumberjanes Vol. 1 – 4.7/5

If you’ve been on my YouTube channel before, you know I had a tiny rant about wanting to be a cool kid again and touch base with my graphic novel roots. And honestly, as far as starts go – this was a damn great one! Imagine Gravity Falls, except set in a camp for kids who are wandering the magical forests freely. This is what Lumberjanes is like, no word of a lie. It’s awesome. Pick it up for the kids, pick it up for you, pick it up for your pets and neighbours, pick it up for Ramona from work.


7. The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi – 5/5

I knew I was a fan of Tony before I endeavoured into the world of WondLa, because one of my many childhood obsessions was The Spiderwick Chronicles. In this epic sci-fi adventure we find ourselves in the company of a child, a robot mother and a roadie alien who are searching for human life. The illustrations truly make this journey worth your while as they showcase all of DiTerlizzi’s extraterrestrials and brain babies as they were meant to be seen, which is extraordinarily imaginative.


8. Wildwood by Collin Melloy – 2.5/5

Remember how I said I wasn’t a fan of “York”? Well hold on to your chair, because this was way worse. I keep saying this in every review that I make for this book, but by God, it’s so very hard to make a fantasy novel for children so mundane and boring, but congratulations to Melloy for fucking nailing it. The protagonists were average, the talking animals were average, the battles were average. Everything was average.


9. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – 6.5/5

Best book of the decade. That is all.

No, I’m joking. But seriously – this piece of literature is one of the most heartfelt, well-written, cinematic and magical stories that our generation has the pleasure of reading. The plot, the characters (no matter how small or big they were), the settings and the unravelling of every mystery, felt intoxicating. Brilliant book, a must-read for any human life form. Heck, read it to your pets if you have to!


What an emotional month, eh?

Stick around for some more articles on books, films, television and general life things. One article a week, folks. We can do this!

Meggie x



Movember: The Story of Growing Your Moustache Through Film

The business of growing a moustache is an international affair during the month November. Why? Because people around the world are raising awareness to battle prostate and testicular cancer in men. That’s right, we’re campaigning the Tom Selleck way and loving every hairy second of it! The Movember Foundation (which you can visit here) is also putting up a stand against the high numbers of suicide among our XY-partners, stating a  frightening rate one man per minute worldwide.

As a lady, I can only grow so much of a moustache, but that does not mean participation is a no-go! Instead, I choose to honour this great month in the only other way I know how to – through tireless film talk. So, let’s trace the adventures of one moustache in a land of many other moustaches, from incubation to graduation, kick-starting the party with a classic motion picture, one that has stood the test of time – “Spaceballs”.


Mel Brooks is showcasing the initial stages of a stash through this newbie-friendly arrangement. It’s the barely there look, which is perfect for anyone starting a fresh batch of face fuzz. There may not be much of it at all, but whatever’s managed to manifest is proudly there. It may seem daunting to glance for progress every two hours, but remember – no Gimli has started with a Selleck.

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I know it may seem like quite the leap here, but transitioning from President Skroob to “Napoleon Dynamite”‘s Kip is more about building coverage and filling up the empty spaces, rather than generating actual thickness. This takes patience, we’re still constructing a Taylor Swift, so we shouldn’t be rushing into a Nicki Minaj. Be happy, you’re making a serious commitment to the mission now and we’re all rooting for success.


Give it another week or two and your bristle companion will be looking meaner, stronger, fuller, more Jack Black-ier than ever before! We’re ready for expansion, we’re no longer trying to break through the moustache game, we’re slowly gaining speed, zooming past its levels like a wrestler body slamming his opponents on a rink of hairy fire. The empty patches that Kip sported are nothing but history.


See how those ends are flicking down, trying to make a daring escape into the chin area? This is the point where you can freely purchase a gun in the state of Texas, no questions asked. Also, I think I’m joking, but I’m not entirely sure, so please don’t quote me to US authorities. Josh Brolin is nailing the classic lip jewellery in “No Country for Old Men”, keeping perfect foundation, curve and body.


Notice how the violence in film posters increases in direct proportion to the facial hair volume? Danny Trejo’s mouth handle in “Machete” has surpassed Llewelyn Moss’s notable number, creeping further into the uncharted territory of southern regions. According to scientific research, this particular design is classified as “Vigilante Mop” under the “Crime Avenger” category.


There’s no return when you’ve committed to Colin Farrell’s distance, which spans vertically and more than halfway into sworn beard realms. Now, beards are forbidden according to The Movember Foundation’s web page, so this is borderline rebellious behaviour. Did that stop Luke? Did it stop Obi-Wan? No, of course not. Be proud of your progress, you’ve got all the elements for a proud cocaine lord stew and they’re brewing together.

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This is the end result of your downward venture, beautifully demonstrated in detail by assassin Jules Winnfield in cult classic “Pulp Fiction”. Warning: not all face shapes can handle the handle, so handle yourself right when handling this issue. One may think they’ve reached a moustache’s full potential at this point, but don’t let a lack of imagination stunt the progression.


Emperor Ming lives on a rogue planet called Mongo, where advanced face caterpillars are only reserved for tyrannical overlords with Nike logos for eyebrows. Ad well as body, we have now conquered the length variable of our moustache equation, elevating the entire creation to space villain heights. Where could we possible go from here? Surely the sides don’t just continue into a long spaghetti-style braid, right?


CORRECT! According to laws of nature that I made up half an hour ago, the moustache takes a defying move and springs up into a fine curl once it reaches certain breaking points. As Dustin Hoffman proves in “Hook”, this design can be both classy, comedic, merciless and for best effect – pulled into a tandem with a matching seventeen century wig.


Moving forward – literally – we’re now concerned with structuring a good 3D impact to your lip crown. The bristle length is clearly increased and a professional twist is required to reach Daniel Day Lewis’s memorable appearance in “Gangs of New York”. You look in the mirror and remember the days when Nacho Libre was your proudest achievement, as you comb down those luscious waterfalls.

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It’s practically impossible to create a suggested evolution of the human moustache without including Tom Selleck with an honourable spot. After all, the man is famous for his enviable mouth locks,  situated neatly between two gorgeous dimples and on top of a voice box ready to narrate action movie trailers. Remember when I said Nicki Minaj was a long way to do? We’ve just reached her.


The only person who can beat Tom Selleck without resorting to any trickery of the curl, squiggle, vertical drop or parting variety, is Ned Flanders himself. A firmly religious man, who loves a good, trimmed stash as much as he does Jesus Christ. This majestic wall of hair doubles up as a face coat in winter and soup storage for fall.


We’re almost at the final stages of the growing your lip jewellery. We’ve slowly built the foundation in “Napoleon Dynamite” and “No Country for Old Men”, we’ve poured in the concrete in “Gangs of New York”, and now, crowning one cult classic’s nod-wrothy accomplishment – we have “The Big Lebowski”. Sam Elliott has a specimen of worthy proportion, which will leave any observer in jealous awe.


Your finished product (obviously we’re expecting this result by the end of Movember) should look something like a Dr. Seuss character, especially a woodland spirit, who wishes to preserve a magical wilderness. The Lorax combines length, body, hang and even stylish layers, while being appropriately voiced by Danny DeVito – a man of admirable moustache skills.

But of course everybody’s genetic pool has slightly different fishes swimming around the hair growth centre, so keep that in mind while comparing your progress with other stash buddies. Movember might equate to Kip at best for some lucky fellows, while others could reach a full Llewelyn Moss without a breaking a sweat doing it. You’re all beautiful, and you’re all raising awareness for a great cause, which is the most important part of all.

So, go out there, gentlemen and show the world just how beautiful your face bling can be, and to all my lovely ladies – take up another challenge from the Movember Foundation web page and fundraise for the future of our other gender.

Much love and a happy November to all!



15 Actors Who Happen To Be Vegan

The vegan community is having a worldwide celebration today in honour of the cruelty-free lifestyle, which protects both our planet’s animals and environment. A noble cause, which has been a part of my life since early April this year, when I first began making steps into joining the vegan team. Although having a diet with no animal products is not something new to our history, or a revolutionary idea of the twentieth centuries, it is only now gaining friction with larger audiences through social media and documentary campaigns. So, to join the awareness day, I have compiled a small list of film actors and actresses, who may surprise you by being vegan!

Here we go:


Whether you are a vegan or not, today is a great opportunity to throw some love into the universe and give animals a surprise cuddle! Unless those animals are venomous or super dangerous, in which case, like, send them kisses from afar.

Happy Vegan Day!

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Halloween Fever: 17 Classic Films

October is the month of falling leaves and warm, pumpkin pies. A season of windy mornings, when you can almost catch a whiff of that chilly winter air, and one of rainy afternoons to sooth the stressful, busy day. As Halloween is on our doorstep, I wanted to lay out a list of my all-time favourite classic fright flicks and hand it over to you under the cloak of witching hour.

So, here we go – embarking on a journey through the land of nightmare fuel.

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Film: “Beetlejuice”

Year: 1988

Let’s start with the king of Hallows’ Day characters – “Beetlejuice”, just be careful not to call his name three times! Otherwise, Michael Keaton will appear in your mirror and probably get super annoyed you’ve summoned him away from home. A highly imaginative, snappy and funny flick, which is not afraid to make you sit through a naughty joke or two. Tim Burton puts life into very memorable characters, creating a film that has lasted the ages.

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Film: “Edward Scissorhands”

Year: 1990

I wasn’t even around when this fan-favourite came around cinemas, but I sure do love it and so does everyone with a semi-good DVD collection. Brace yourselves, children, for this list features Tim Burton creations multiple a-time, and although his latest films haven’t exactly hit the sweet spot in box office terms, once upon two decades ago he was a true master of the craft. Sweet, heartfelt and well-rounded movie, which will make you weep and giggle!

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Film: “Ghostbusters”

Year: 1984

A film praised for its dry, snappy humour and nifty effects, we all know Venkman’s legacy one way or another. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Sigourney Weaver are the leads of a ghost-fuelled adventure around New York City, which takes them to ancient spirits and fat, green blobs alike. Watch out for the impending invasion of otherworldly creatures that only our band of geeks can prevent. An additional bonus is are the animated effects, which truly send your head into the eighties.

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Film: “From Dusk Till Dawn”

Year: 1996

For the lovers of swear-ridden dialogue and George Clooney’s face, I present to you the Tarantino Delight! Crime, bar fights, weapons, gore, exotic dancers and vampires – everything a spicy Halloween party needs is mushed together in “From Dusk Till Dawn”. Plus, it will give you an immediate excuse to watch the spin-off series on Netflix, which has been gathering friction. You get the movie and the episode binges, too! Win-win. Also, everyone gets street cred for making outdated Tarantino references, right?


Film: “Hocus Pocus”

Year: 1993

In case your Halloween party has been infested with little goblins, otherwise specified as human children, which… Let’s face it – highly plausible scenario… Then “Hocus Pocus” is here to save the day! I mean night! Three Salem witches are resurrected on the night of many terrors and and only a funky group of local teens can restore peace. It’s witty and exciting in a very charming way, so for the sake of the young ‘uns – give this film a chance!


Film: “Bram Stoker’s Dracula”

Year: 1992

Now, we’ve already patted Burton’s back (and shall do so again), we’ve shaken Tarantino’s hand, but one mustn’t forget legendary filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, who directed this  film back in the early nineties. It stars Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins and Winona Ryder, which should tell you how compelling the story must be, and how the looming torment is perfected. We’ve seen vampire renditions everywhere, so why not catch a glimpse of their origin – ancient Dracula himself.

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Film: “Sleepy Hollow”

Year:  1999

Nine years after Depp and Burton collaborated on “Edward Scissorhands”, this dark fantasy was born into existence. The familiar tale of a mysterious horseman who chases straying locals in search for his long-lost head, the evil demon who swings a heavy axe and reeks of death itself – brought to life on screen. Turn the lights off and grab an apple cider for the ultimate villager experience.


Film: “Corpse Bride”

Year: 2005

Let’s play a little game called guess the director and then another one called guess the lead actor, too! No, I’m not sorry this is on the list, because it’s yet another Burton/Depp bromance brain-child, which has rightfully earned a place on the Halloween list. Honestly! I’m not being sponsored by Tim here, although I’d take a sponsorship should he like to give a film nerd some gentle endorsement. Watch the story of Victor, who accidentally finds himself married to… You guessed it! A corpse bride. Will he choose the world of the living or the side of the dead instead?


Film: “Carrie”

Year: 1976

Stephen King should be a part of any good fright fest and here we have a prime example with the original cinematic experience of “Carrie” – the girl with telekinetic powers whose Christian mother and mean-hearted school mates push the bar on her sanity. The reason I am recommending this above the 2013 re-make is that 1976 wasn’t trying to over-glorify the story! They made a realistic and psychologically torturing film, as opposed to a pile of over-chewed shock factor production design. Also – boobs.


Film: “Interview with The Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles”

Year: 1994

Tom Cruise’s young seduction years and Brad Pitt’s adorable baby face really pulled through on the visual perfection side of this film. The horror and beauty of eternal life are explored deeply in “Interview with the Vampire”, alongside diverse questions of morality and the nature of humanity, which leave the spectator repelled and fascinated with the lives of these modern monsters. A classic for a reason, people! Also, I didn’t know there was more to the title, too, don’t worry.

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Film: “ParaNorman”

Year: 2012

Whoa, this list actually features something from the past five years, what an absolute turn of events here! I remember seeing “ParaNorman” in the cinema when I was in college and loving every second of it. A stop-motion animation which genuinely makes you feel like a kid again, from zombies and old curses to supernatural adventures and a group of young misfits, who come together in an unlikely battle against evil. It’s colourful, fast-paced, childish, charming and funny.

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Film: “Ginger Snaps”

Year: 2000

This is a classic audience splitter. I’ve heard both ends of the magnet, some say they hate it and other say they love it, so beware “Ginger Snaps” might be a bit of a gamble if you have a larger group in your party. I, for one, quite like the werewolf flick, which tackles high school life, love, family, suicide, depression and… Periods? Yeah, you heard me right. I guess blood makes us all a little crazy sometimes – she said, howling against the Halloween moon.

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Film: “Young Frankenstein”

Year: 1974

Why would you watch a seventies film that is  not just black and white, but also made to look like a nineteen-thirties mishap? Because it’s positively hilarious! An original parody of the overused drama in motion pictures of the past, filled to the brim with one-liners and convention twists. Mel Brooks’s baby will bring you cinematic joy in ways that you have not experienced in perhaps a very long time. Plus, one must never have  Halloween without science’s king monster – the unnatural(ly funny)Frankenstein creation itself.


Film: “Scream”

Year: 1996

Here goes to one of the slasher world’s favourite franchise starters – the original “Scream”, hailing once more from the rather successfully creepy nineties. Bloody knives, the raspy voice of a violent stranger stalking you over the phone and Ghostface’s manipulative obsession make this thriller a Halloween winner. Wes Craven has been a legendary name in the film community, so including him in your celebration can only be the right decision. Also, knowing this film can open your eyes to so many references in surrounding culture, you’ll be stunned to the attic and back.


Film: “Halloween”

Year: 1978

Speaking of slashers, I couldn’t possibly compile a Halloween list without the actual “Halloween” movie, could I? Another horror and another legendary director – John Carpenter, whose efforts in this flick have made it a timeless piece and a part of many collections around the globe. Here is the origin of the scream queen culture, led long and proud by Jamie Lee Curtis. I would recommend hot cocoa for this particular choice, so as to lower the fear factor.


Film: “A Nightmare on Elm Street”

Year: 1984

Yet another franchise starter by the talented mind of Wes Craven, here comes Freddie to haunt your Halloween night and following dreams altogether. We step into a realm of non-reality where a serial killer preys on young flesh for harvest. The eighties meet horror, meet high school, meet murder. Great opportunity for drinking games galore, take it from the master!

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Film: “Shaun of the Dead”

Year: 2005

Let’s end our list on a bright note, shall we? All this slasher talk is making my neck cold, so Simon Pegg and Nick Frost burst into the scene, waving a set of random weapons around, hoping to rectify the situation! Mundane everyday life is suddenly made complicated for two best friends, when they stumble upon a zombie in their shed. From then on, we are dragged into a run for our lives and the love of Liz, ending up in an old Victorian pub called the “Winchester Tavern”. A hilarious trip into an endearing story of friendship!

And thus concludes the classic Halloween film list! But of course, all titles mentioned above are a personal choice, so if you think I’ve missed a crucial movie, please let me know. Some honourable mentions to this article include “The Exorcist”, “The Wizard of Oz”, “King Kong” and “Bride of Frankenstein”, which hold a place in my heart, but simply didn’t make the cut. I have tried my very best to not make a horror-exlclusive list, because that would just be… Well, a horror list, and to me Halloween is more than just jump scares and blood – it’s fun, costumes, family, friends and candy.

Have a very scary Halloween and always stay safe!

(and never, ever say that you would be back into a room)

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3 Summer Face Masks for Clear Skin

I adore summer. Let me preface this article with an honest appraisal for the hotter months, because there’s nothing better than a walk on a warm night or some healthy napping on a breezy beach. It’s my favourite time of the year, I have said it before and shall continue to do so until the end of time itself However, with perks come down sides and today I am going to bring you a solution to a major one – acne-prone skin.

What happens when my body becomes overheated is that pores widen and stuff gets in their way. Naturally, this means combination skin gets a tad drier in some places and a splash oilier in others. Everything shifts into proportions that I am not a fan of, which prompted me to look up some effective recipes for home pampering. The following three picks are the remedies that made biggest results on my face. They are light and fragrant, not too heavy for summer and fun to prepare.

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Thank you so much for reading my article today! If you try some of these recipes out and want to leave any feedback, please do so in the comment section! But even if not – have an amazing summer. Everyone is beautiful. Much love.

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10 Tips for Holiday Preparation

It’s finally the heat of summer! Good, old June has rolled up on our calendars once more, making way for tank tops and sun lotions. Well, if you live anywhere outside of London, that is, because all we get here are less clouds and more rain! But anyway, the perk of June is that most of us begin planning holidays and beach retreats. Dreams slowly surface of careless, sunny days next to the water, where a good book and a cold drink are the only worries you’d possibly have. So, inspired by this, today’s article is designed to allow for your ideal trip to happen smoothly. Being a forgetful bunny is something I, myself, suffer from, so the importance of good prep is always priority numero uno.

Here are ten of my tips for a better holiday preparation!

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1. Checklist everything!

In fact, make a checklist of the checklists you need to make! Okay, maybe that’s a bit excessive, but a few simple reminder notes are always welcome. I normally make a clothing list, an equipment list and a necessities list, because those make a nice foundation for eliminating any mishaps and forgotten chargers! But go nuts, twist your lists around the specific holiday requirements you have and start filling those out.

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Bonus tip: Start your checklists early! I begin mine a whole month before departure, just to make sure I have enough heads up if purchases need to be made, or if specialised equipment has to be acquired. Giving yourself space is the best addition to a complete checklist.

2. Weigh your suitcase. 

Most airlines allow for 20 kilograms of luggage, and that sounds like a great, big variety of stuff. Absolute mountains to pack, right? But consider this – a suitcase could weigh up to 7kg, which pretty much takes up a fourth of your overall allowance. Now, most of you could easily skip this step if all you’re packing are bathing suits and kaftan dresses, cause those are like negative weight. But should you plan on carrying diving accessories, wetsuits, shortboards or any potential objects that could end up shifting the scale – I’d recommend knowing your numbers.

Bonus tip: Soft suitcases with aluminium handles are some of the lightest ones on the market and they are largely available in travelling stores. If your present luggage bag ends up being a hefty bite, save it for smaller trips and invest in a skinnier one. They are also better for bulky packing in the winter ski season!

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 3. Check the health boards.

Sometimes there could be a flu that you need to be aware of, or a specific virus making its way around your holiday spot. So to avoid catching it, make sure to read up on any news or information concerning outbreaks in the area. That way, if you need a quick boost to your immune system, there’s plenty of time to supplement with vitamin C. Alternatively, depending on how exotic you’re aiming for, check if any vaccinations need to be made. Equatorial regions tend to have a slight bug and mosquito problem, which is another point to bare in mind. Nothing ruins a good trip more than itchy spots all over your body! Plus, they don’t tan well. Do a bit of research and save yourself a basket of unwanted trouble. Seriously.

Bonus tip: A good place to do research is the Travel Health Organisation website, which has live outbreak alerts and country-specific data. Check it regularly before the trip and all should be swell.

4. Get yourself a countdown.

Countdowns are great should you need a gentle reminder of time. If you’re going on a physically challenging trip, such as a hiking trail or a long sail, a great idea would be to bulk a little and prep your body for the strain. Keeping an eye on your regime is made much easier by paying attention to the weeks or days that you have left to train. Trying to chisel the perfect beach booty? Great! Set regular goals in your countdown and experience first hand just how motivating they can get.

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Bonus tip: The best place to keep said countdown is an in-your-face spot, which means either cell phone or desktop computer. For my mobile (Android), I normally use Countdown Days by SMSROBOT LTD. It has very nifty widgets and looks pretty!

5. Leave a key behind.

This tip is more concerned with the safety of your home while you are away than anything else. Call up your best bud and ask if they could harbour a key to your house or flat, just in case any documents have to be acquired during your holiday or if you are waiting for an expensive package. It also allows them to water your plants, DVR your favourite shows and make sure everything stays nice, clean and safe!

Bonus tip: When I say leave them a key, I do not mean hide it under the mat or over the door frame, okay? That is the absolute opposite of safe and beware of the claws! Hang it on a pretty keychain, maybe the one you got from Italy when you were on that family retreat, and hand it over in person. There, emergencies avoided!

6. Spring clean.

Talking about house and garden, why not have a little clean-up in the week before you leave? That saves a tonne of trouble when you get back, because the last thing you’d want after a long flight and heaps of heavy luggage dragging… Is to come home and worry about the laundry and dishes. Do future you a favour and keep things presentable. The next time you shout home, sweet home, it’s gonna be for a happy reason, not a daunting one.

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Bonus tip: If you’re willing to take the extra step, get all washing machine and home clothes on stand-by. That minimises the efforts even further!

7. Get your tech in check.

If you’re like me and one camera is never enough, or maybe there’s an entire bag dedicated to electrics and accessories, then make sure to double up. Stock up on extra batteries, film roll, brush up on your lenses and screens, make sure everything has caps and appropriate cables. Any power banks that you like to carry around should be fully charged and ready, tripods should have their plates and screws, water housings should be sparkling clean. Those are the basics, don’t be afraid to spread your wings and be the tech geek, I know you can be. Just make sure no necessity is left behind.

Bonus tip: I use a USB cable with multiple extensions such as this (put here for demonstration purposes, I actually own a different one) with my power bank. It saves you trying to untangle all of your larger, separate cables on the go and they are usually very light and compact!

8. Budget planning.

You’re already splashing out on a great vacation and an exotic location. There’s no need to splurge beyond the point of no return, because that would only cause you stress along the way. So, in order to prepare for the trip, do a little finance maintenance. Calculate the maximum you’re able to spend on the entire duration of your holiday, and then split it around your days accordingly. Some days might need more, others could need less, it’s up to you to decide. But, for anyone wanting to be mindful of their savings – this tip is a must.

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 17.34.40Bonus tip: Portion your money in envelopes labeled with the days they correspond to. Don’t unseal a new envelope unless its day has come. Doing this creates an amplified sense of boundary, which is helpful when keeping on a lower budget. Obviously, shall emergency cash be needed, rip those things up, but in other scenarios – stack them tidy in your luggage.

9. Familiarise yourself with customs.

Knowing the local community can make your holiday much more rewarding and joyful. A habit perfectly acceptable in England could be offensive in Thailand or Greece, even if it happens to be a minor one such as pointing a finger. Do you slurp your food or do you eat quietly? Should you be barefoot or are shoes a sign of respect? Different cultures might have different answers to those questions, so sit down one morning, sip a cup of coffee and spare a few minutes for some healthy research.

Bonus tip: Basic interactions are also a good area to explore. What I mean are things like how much to tip your waiter and how to compliment your butler. When you make other people happy, simply with professing knowledge of their culture, you will make yourself happy, too.

10. Weather check!

I left this tip for last, because it seems very obvious to me. I’m going to Cuba in September, so it should be hot, right? Or I’m heading for some ski adventures in December, the Alps always have snow. Here’s where you could very easily slip into disaster. For example, summer means hurricane season for a lot of tropicScreen Shot 2016-06-14 at 17.41.00al and equatorial areas, so it would be a grand idea to have a look at those rain prognoses! Heading for a snowboarding feat could be hard if it has ceased to snow or there are raging storms. Connect this tiny research exercise with my previous tip and you’ll be good and ready for a great holiday.

Bonus tip: Sometimes, weather forecasts could be very vague if you’re having to check them months in advance. What I do in these cases is pay a tiny visit to TripAdvisor and read up on other people’s experiences in that time of the year. Maybe they could prep me even better for what’s to come.

Well, here we are at the end of my tips. Hopefully these inspired you even a little bit to go book a gorgeous holiday right this instant! Everyone deserves a time to enjoy themselves and relax away from the world. You should do the same!

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A Carnivorous Traitor: My Choice In Veganism

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Rewind the tape back seven whole days, when the plate on my table consisted of chicken strips, spicy wings and mayonnaise dips. You’d find me munching on a Five Guys burger or a Domino’s pizza, blissfully ordering KFC cheesecakes for dessert with a hefty side of milkshake. A diet, which had been hammered into my brain since early puberty, when I’d reach for anything cheap and easy, as opposed to forming consideration in nutrition.

As Dr. Alejandro Junger would gently put it – I had stopped eating food and was instead surviving off of food-like products.

Now, going back into my family history, we find an abundance of farms and countryside traditions. I grew up in a small town, where everybody had animals and most suppers consisted of according derivatives. We had cold, harsh winters where grandmothers would stack beef cutlets and can chicken soups to attempt and preserve our warmth. This lifestyle had been passed through generations for hundreds of years. Our animals were treated with respect until the day they were too old or too ill and would have to be put down. Only then did we find a reason to consume them. Mostly, cows, pigs and chickens were a part of the community’s agricultural system, limited as it was, and they helped us grow tomatoes and potatoes. Whenever a herbivorous friend passed, we couldn’t afford to waste their food source. Grasping only what the Earth gives you can be an exiguous find, especially high along the mountain ranges. Long story short – we made do and that meant meat.

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Today I find myself in London, among twenty-three million other citizens. An overcrowded city, which is struggling for air and space. Supermarkets and independent sellers have to compete with their prices in order to feed as many people as possible. This means that sometimes their farms turn into factories and morality becomes a weakness, rather than a strength. Large hangers equate to increased simultaneous production per single farmer, which thereby reducing labour costs. Push safety laws to their very brink and you can feed the “produce” hormone-infused supplements, rather than natural ingredients like grain, seed and plants. This forces animals to grow faster and bigger, making them suitable for market early, which once again speeds up the manufacturing process. We no longer put them down, we slaughter them by the hundreds of thousands.

The result is a dark room with a sea of chickens, whose breasts are so big and swollen, they collapse to the ground, unable to carry their own weight. Cows fed and milked in metal cubicles, where all bodily functions can be made in one standing position. Pigsties left ridden with feces, kept perpetually dirty despite their confinement. These are some of animal farming’s severest cases and I would like to acknowledge that not all holdings are like this. To me, the very idea of such existence, even on a small scale, is more than disappointing – it is increasingly frightening. But I shan’t make this article about cruelty, I don’t wish to make it a propaganda-like piece or word it to be perceived as such. This is merely my own journey and reasoning to change.

If you are interested on learning more about this side of the topic, however, I could recommend a few good watches, which are conveniently available on Netflix. Some of them include “Hungry For Change” (2012), “Food, Inc.”  (2008) and “Food Matters” (2008). Probable exhibition of unethical animal treatment is present, so do beware if you are on the squeamish side.

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My lengthy opposition to becoming vegan was that plants are also organisms. Just like us, they breathe and rest, they feed and grow. So what justifies killing a vegetable more than it does a cow? One argument, which has been presented time and time again is that flora has no brain. It has no thought process. Despite this, we need vegetation to survive on this planet, because we rely on the oxygen it produces for us. Do those two balance each other out? Maybe.

Another is that humans were designed to be primarily herbivorous. Let’s take a look at our distant cousins – the chimpanzees, who have a similar digestive system to ours. They are omnivores, meaning to feed off of anything their habitat provides. Upon closer inspection, we see that equates to the vast variety of plants and fruits available to them, alongside small insects. Occasionally, chimps have also been known to hunt mammals, the key word here being, you guessed it – occasionally. We are wired in a very similar way! Another mammals’ meat could be eaten often, but not as a primary source of protein and nutrition. It is a part of our evolutionary make-up to hunt and feast, but that does not mean there are no other options for humans to be healthy as a species and even gather benefits from a plant-oriented existence.

For me, frankly, there is no winning side. Animals get treated badly, plants have been notoriously abused with chemicals for a multitude of years, humans incorporate both of them into the production machine. However, I cannot expect to survive with longevity and vibrancy on a diet purely consisting of meat. So, the scales have weighed in the opposite direction, which now makes me a vegan.

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It all boils down to one accident, which happened not so long ago in a kingdom called England. I was standing in my kitchen, contemplating some late lunch recipes, when I decided to make roast chicken. It would feed me for at least two days, which meant I could concentrate on other things in the meantime. So far, so good, I have made roast chicken with sea salt a million times before. It is perhaps the easiest way to make a delicious and simple meal.

I took the whole chicken out of my fridge and went to wash it off in the sink. But as I opened its packaging and ran the cold, tap water, a sudden wave of emotion came over me. I felt sad. No, I felt horribly sad for this poor animal, who I had never known or been friends with. I hadn’t grown up with it or pet its feathers. It was a chicken, which had never seen me either, who now lay dead in my hands, because I wanted a quick bite for lunch. I felt strangely ashamed and selfish, but I carried on with my day as if nothing had happened at all.

I lived with meat for another few months, until last week came around, when I woke up in the morning and decided that today was one of change. I would begin a new lifestyle, supporting animal rights and dignity the best way I knew how to – through caring for them and not consuming them.

Please, do not take this as a call for action. No one in my family or friend circle is vegan or vegetarian and that is okay. I am not here to attempt and convert anyone into a new non-dairy, non-egg, non-animal religion. I respect your choice, whatever that may be. Supporting animal rights can be done in many different ways, being vegan is simply one of them. And when I look back through the years and wonder how it all started, I’ll come back to this article and remind myself why I began and where I was headed.

Thank you for sticking with me this Tuesday!

See you next week.

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Top Picks: ASOS’s Girl Boss

There’s something about the phrase “girl boss”, which makes it sound powerful. We are the “she wolves” of the business empire, progressively climbing on a pair of sharp stilettos. For all of my ladies who show up at the office turning heads, and everyone who simply enjoys the elegance of a formal outfit, I give you my top picks from ASOS! Being constantly busy on your feet means less time browsing the malls for a good deal. ASOS is a convenient and quick way to catch a few much-needed pieces, which is why I have chosen to use it for this “inspiration” post. Enjoy!

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We’re starting off simple. Everyone needs a classic, black dress. It’s easy to style, you can match it to almost any new trend and mostly, it’s just a thoughtless fix to a hurried morning. Number one, we have a basic shirt dress. They have been coming in for a while and January is a good time to extenuate that style! Pair it with some screaming booties or a collection of long necklaces for a perfect everyday look. Second, comes a more casual outfit – a stressed & dyed denim piece. High heels make it elegant, a long trench gives it formality. Lastly, we have a textured black dress, which would go perfectly with heavy jewellery, anything chunky – throw it on.

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Texture, texture, texture! I am mad about different textures this month, which goes to explain choice number one. Comfy, cut leg and tailored waist? Yes, please! Next up, we have a military-inspired look, which is vamped-up by its greys, making it not as harsh and definitely work-friendly. The very last model is more of a beige colour than a grey, but it deserved a spot on this list for being so darn cute. Perfect mixture between its first two companions.

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Trousers are a wardrobe staple because of their endless practicality! No “girl boss” is complete without a pair of snazzy leg warmers to show off those toned limbs. Throw this with a timeless rusty shade and you’ve got yourself a winner. The first pair is a more statement one. Pair it with a colour block shirt, something red or white, plus some matching kicks. The second and third are both sheer, flowing design, which will slim you down and amp the comfort levels sky high. High heels are the way to go, bet on deep blacks or nudes.

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I don’t have much to add about a red dress. These fashion titans are self-explanatory and every lady comes to a point in her life where one is needed. The Paisie model is a solid red with some subtle sleeve detailing and a cut out collar. Life’s too short not to experiment with collars, people! Get to it. Secondly, we have a more velvety, long dress with a wide cigar bottom. The v-slice in the middle is a dead-on charmer! Thirdly, faux leather for my badass girl bosses out there. They have some rough stitching around the sleeves and neck, which give it a boost of rocker-chick vibe, while still keeping its formality. Definitely my number one pick from this set!

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Why, I wouldn’t dream of making a workaholic pick list without a set of gorgeous bags! We need somewhere to stick the tablets and cell phones, among spread sheets and a billion pens. First off, starting with a Fiotelli crab, which is the most affordable out of the three! However, its design, featuring that sweet and banging leopard print front, is to kill for. Post that, hashtag it, live for it! Second down, Love Moschino’s quilted tote. Style and more style, this tote screams sleekness and success. Black and gold is always a good combination. Always. Last to go, A Paul’s Boutique classic bag. It’s spacious and conservative, except for the fun twist of colour in its straps. This one’s for my minimalist ladies. Dig it.

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Shoe maniac speaking, let’s get down to business! Whether you’re wearing shorter trousers or the mentioned jumpsuits, this first pair of ankle boots is glossy and ever-so-slightly grunge. The buckle on top makes me blush. Gorgeous design at a sick price! Secondly, here come the red shoes to match that red dress! I couldn’t possibly forget a good outfit opportunity, could I now? I absolutely adore the cut out middle, combined with the stick-thin top strap. Ugh, look at those arching peepers! Lastly, voting for a comfortable classic. The Chelsea boot is an old companion – style them with any outfit and enjoy a day in an out with warmth! Yes, thank you.

So, enjoy the office days, or shall I say the elegant lifestyle as a whole! Please comment which pieces you like most, or if I managed to miss any good picks, do slide them in! I would love to read them.

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Mango’s Killer Jacket Game

To all my peeps in London, with love, comes this highly targeted post on the topic of jackets! We have been experiencing what I could only imagine is an Arctic chill and there is no sweeter escape than spending some cash on a new coat. It’s a matter of survival, after all. Let’s be real.

Wanting to sniff some lucrative deals around, I embraced on a journey through the new collections. What I stumbled upon was a treasure chest. The same golden nugget we are sharing here today – Mango’s amazing spring/summer jacket line! Obviously by some sort of cruel mistake, I seem to have ignored this brand for a number of years, only to re-discover it this month. Just in time for the perfect, little splurge! Here are some of the apparel feasts, from the fashion gods, passeth down to us – mortals!

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What I’m looking for in a new jacket is specific shades and colours! This season I’m betting on the all-neutral wave with a random pop of colour, first of all, the black and white hype second, and thirdly – an unusual pattern style. As I mentioned in my “Fashion Block” this month, tiny, repetitive structures are in, being accompanied by equally exaggerated imagery. While the first set of coats were a more beige and brown tone, I’ve picked the second stack in greens. Both of them will give you a little elegant note, while remaining the signature fresh rebellion stamp.

Next, we move on to the blacks, followed by pieces with floral detailing. I think I’d be wise to invest in both. My finances argue.

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Top Picks: Topshop’s Karlie Kloss Inspo

Imagine you had a day off. Maybe it’s the weekend, maybe you called in sick so you wouldn’t have to face Susan from accounting, the possibilities are endless. It’s pouring rain outside, thus creating the conditions for a cosy afternoon in bed. You make an obligatory, slash complimentary, mug of coffee and sit on your computer. From then on, the browsing of clothing and make-up begins. Am I right? Totally.

So, having found myself in precisely that situation this morning, I went on Topshop. My intentions were to check what they have in the new collections. Turns out, to my excitement, that they are doing a Karlie Kloss collaboration! Without further ado, here are my top inspiration picks!

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Here we are. If only clothes from online retailers could magically appear inside of my closet, this world would be a slightly better place. By slightly I mean a lot.

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Fiction. Food. Film.