Monday, 19 November 2018

OUTFIT: GIRLS ON TOPS

Have you heard of Girls on Tops? A t-shirt celebration of female voices in film, this tee brand started last year when a small group of friends wondered “wouldn’t it be cool if women in film were treated like rock stars…if Greta Gerwig and Annette Bening had their names on t-shirts too?". Why, yes, yes it would be.

Recognisable as clean white tees with simple black type, Girls on Tops have taken the world of film by storm, popping up on red carpets, and becoming the unofficial uniform of film festivals worldwide. Edinburgh International Film Festival was no different - it was so cool to spot staff, filmmakers, industry guests and audiences in them everyday, and I was chuffed to wear my love for Laura Dern very proudly on my chest.

Unofficial EIFF uniform:
Tee - Girls on Tops
Skirt - New Look
Boots - Primark
In the short space of a year, Girls on Tops tees are sold nationwide, and have been worn by Lynne Ramsay, Greta Gerwig, Rooney Mara, Timothée Chalamet, Laura Dern, Annie Clark and more. But what's even better, is that money from t-shirt sales now goes towards funding female-lead film projects and commissioning female-lead film writing.

Did you know that women only make up 16% of film screenwriters? That 78% of reviews from 205-2017 were written by male critics? That British cinema's gender imbalance was worse in 2017 than 1913? The film industry is dominated by men, so I am very here for anything that shouts about and celebrates women's achievement in film, and helps people break into the industry. And if I get to look cute doing so? Yes please!

Monday, 12 November 2018

SOBA THE HEDGEHOG

It's fair to say I didn't know what I was doing when I first got Soba as a pet. I had only recently found out that you could even get hedgehogs as pets, and I made the decision to buy him one late Friday night in the pub, several drinks down.

Fast forward a few weeks later and I had just collected the grumpiest little hedgehog, who huffed and puffed the whole journey back to Edinburgh on my lap. His first night I woke up to the sound of tiny footsteps running through the hall, as he'd already worked out how to get out of his house. The second night, he fell asleep on my lap (the only time he ever fell asleep on me!) and I knew we'd be alright.


Hedgehogs take patience. They're wild animals, and they haven't been kept as pets that long, so they aren't naturally tame. They're covered in spikes and pack a nasty bite, although hedgehogs are unlikely to bite through aggression, instead smell and taste are how they explore the world (so you've got to keep an eye out in case a curious hedgehog wants to find out how you taste!). They are nocturnal, so you can only hang out with them at night, and there's no guarantee they'll ever be happy to be held. But oh, they are adorable.

It took, literally, years to get Soba to like me. But bit by bit we got there. He learned the sound of my voice, and that I wasn't a scary predator out to get him. He'd be patient enough to be held, but was always happiest when he was running. He litter-trained himself (what a clever hedgehog), so he got free run of the living room at night, going in or out of his house as he liked, via a giant cardboard tube that was the perfect size for him. We made mazes and hedgehog obstacles for him to play in and explore, and he was brave and curious and perfect.


Soba was almost 4, and I was starting to worry about what might happen at the end. African Pygmy Hedgehogs on average live around 3-6 years, and I just hoped, whatever happened, would be quiet and pain-free. It was not to be. Older hedgehogs can have trouble with their eyes, and within a very short space of time poor Soba went blind in one eye, and then scratched the other in a small injury that suddenly turned very dramatic.

In the course of a week, everything changed. Our little pal stopped running, he lost a lot of weight, and his world wasn't going to be the same. The vet was very kind and helpful, but it was quickly very clear that there was only one thing to do.

It's hard to explain the bond with a pet, never mind the bond with a small, spiky animal, but I'll try. He fitted perfectly into my life. He was curious and so, so cute, and worth every minute it took to win him round. He was a wonder, and in the end, he learned to be patient when handled by people he didn't know, who were so pleased to get the chance to hold a hedgehog for the first time. He was little, but I loved him so, and I am so incredibly sad that he is gone.

For such a little thing, the flat feels so quiet without him. It's been weeks, and I still go to check on him at night, and spot phantom movements in the corner of my eye that look just like an exploring hedgehog. There's no sound of small paws pattering on the floor. I know he had a good life, but I miss him so.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

HALLOWEEN BAKING IDEAS

I'm a pretty lazy baker these days (my previous applying-for-Bake-Off-self wouldn't be proud), but if there's anything that's going to motivate me, it's Halloween inspired baking. I just love themed things!

I've been busy on pinterest, picking out the creepiest cakes and the most devilish of desserts, which would all be a delight, whether you are throwing a party, hanging out with pals, or just want to creep out your colleagues.

I'm particularly in love with the brushstroke ghost cake (so cute! so on-trend!), the blood-splattered cookies are simple, but very effective, and I have a sweet spot for gory things, so the gruesome anatomical heart cake is definitely a showstopper (ahem, and I'm possibly biased because I baked that myself). Whatever you choose to do, have a delicious Halloween!


Top row

Middle row

Bottom row

Monday, 15 October 2018

HALLOWEEN WISHLIST

It's the most wonderful time of the year! I'm a big fan of Halloween (which you'll see if you scroll through my old Halloween tutorials), and I always love it when October rolls around.

October means ghost stories, scary films, dark, cold nights, witchy dressing and spooky accessories, so with that in mind, I've put together a wishlist to celebrate the creepiest time of year...


1. Who you gonna call? I love this ghostbusters-inspired tote bag, which is perfect for this time of year!

2. I have long had my eye on a pair of beautiful Rogue Matilda brogues, but look how beautiful (and perfectly Halloween themed!) this black patent pair are.

3. Award-winning poet Amanda Lovelace muses on the magic of women in the witch doesn't burn in this one - a collection of poems mixing mysticism and lore. It's been called a "fiery, accessible call-to-arms in a time where young women need every rebellious spark", which sounds pretty magical to me.

4. One of the best 90s Halloween movies, I love Hocus Pocus! Put a spell on everyone with this cute slogan sweatshirt.

5. Some people don't like the clocks changing, but I'm a fan of properly dark, crisp nights. Perfect for lighting candles and cosying in, so what better than a smoke & musk candle - a bespoke blend of green balsam fir, with wood smoke and deep, musky patchouli.

6. Tatty Devine have a whole range of halloween-themed jewellery (that anatomical heart brooch!) but I'm very into their witchy magic hands necklace, inspired by protective charms.

7. Lasercut wonders Black Heart Creatives have an full Season of the Witch collection, with shadows, shrines and crescent moons. I like these tiny cat earrings, a sweet nod to the season.

8. Show your love for everyone's favourite paranormal duo with this cute Mulder & Scully collar clip set.

9. And finally, how adorable is this tiny bat enamel pin

Monday, 8 October 2018

SHORT HAIR DIARIES

It's been eight months (!) since I cut all my hair off. I chopped a pixie cut on a bit of a whim, after having a long bob for ages, and it's the first time I've ever had hair this short. So, how am I finding pixie life?


The Good
Overall, having a pixie cut has been the BEST experience. 

I'm a lazy person, and a pixie cut has been a game changer. It's SO easy. I have so much time! Washing it takes seconds, and as it's so short (and I barely touch it), it stays cleaner for much longer, meaning I basically wash my hair every 4-5 days now. I don't dry it or use any heat on it, so my hair's much happier, and I don't even brush it, I just roughly style it with my hands and use a tiny bit of product to give it definition. I've easily shaved 30 minutes off getting ready each day, which is amazing. I can't imagine returning to the horror of having to dry and straighten my hair in the morning.

And pixie cuts are cool! People say nice things to me about my hair the whole time, which is such a joyous little boost when you're just going about your day. I had slightly worried if I had the 'right face' for short hair, because I'm not a chisel-jawed model, but I'm so glad I didn't dwell on insecurities and just went ahead and chopped it. I've liked having it super short, and I'm liking having it a bit scruffier, and that's the cool thing with pixie cuts - they grow so quickly, it's easy to play around and find the right version for you. 


The Bad
I realise that I've always used my hair as a bit of an accessory. I loved wearing it curly or doing interesting plaits, or even just wearing it up in a big messy bun with a headscarf. You can always change up your look when you have hair, and it's weird not having that option - every day my hair pretty much looks the same. It's the same when I'm going to a fancy red carpet event, and it's the same when I am slumming it in my pyjamas on a Sunday.

That's both good and bad. It is SO nice not having to worry or think about your hair ever. It used to drive me mad when I wanted to look nice and my hair would frizz up in the heat - now, there's no hair to frizz! And if you're rushing to go somewhere after work, it's a total delight to not even think about having to do anything with your hair - pixies look cute at all times of the day. 

I'll admit to having two major hair pangs - once when I came across a photo of me with a curly bob, and instantly missed the feeling of having swooshy hair (I haven't swooshed in months!), and on holiday, when it dawned on me that no hair also meant no magically-perfect-seasalt-holiday hair (my secret best hair move). It's been weird at those points realising that I am VERY FAR AWAY from  having princessy locks again.


The Ugly
And the worst bit currently? If I brush my hair into a centre parting, I literally have 90s boyband curtains. I look like a scruffy version of A1, which isn't exactly on my pinterest board. I've been getting my hair cut every two months, which is just enough to curb the risk of a mullet, although I should probably go a bit more regularly - this isn't a haircut you can cut it and then leave to grow out happily (luckily my hairdresser is great, and I'd go all the time if I could afford it, but I know not everyone is as snip-happy as I am). 


Would I recommend it?
Without question! The things that annoy me about it are minuscule compared to how much I've loved this haircut. Convincing people to cut their hair off has been added to my regular soapbox topics (along with: why hedgehogs make the best apartment pets; why Star Trek Deep Space Nine is actually one of the best political dramas of our time; and how Mamma Mia 2 is the best film of 2018). You should do it!
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