25 December 2014

Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014 was a year for musicals, 80s films, modern classics, vintage, and tacky 90s pop so it's pretty clear that my friends and family know me incredibly well. In fact, you could easily take "Christmas" out of that sentence and it would sum my year up nicely. I feel so ridiculously lucky and I'm so grateful that I'm able to spend Christmas with such amazing people every single year. I love my friends and family a stupid amount and, although I feel that every day of the year, it becomes extra clear round about Christmas. This year's Christmas is kinda tinged with sadness for a couple of reasons but it's been a lovely day anyway, if not quite reflective. I hope you all had a wonderful day with the people you love and that New Year treats you just as nicely. Tell me how your Christmas was and what your plans are for NYE! 

Merry Christmas! ♥
Lots of love, Cat

20 December 2014


It's ridiculously close to Christmas and one thing that got me in the Christmas spirit was taking part in a teen blogger secret santa, organised by the wonderful Holly and Orli. Unfortunately, I missed the live Twitter opening last Thursday because I was singing cheesy Christmas songs with my music class in Princes Square. Then I missed the post upload date on Friday because...well, because I'm hopeless and kinda fell asleep at 5pm. Better late than never, I guess. So without further ado, here is what my super lovely Secret Santa got me.

My Secret Santa was Zoe from Books For Birds - thaaaank you, Zoe! I put in my wee bio (we were all sent a little survey to fill in with our book preferences etc.) that I really want to read The Outsider by Albert Camus and I think I said something about loving non-fiction books about creativity so Zoe really hit the nail on the head with my present. She got me Neil Gaiman's 'Make Good Art' speech which is genuinely one of the most original and beautiful books both content-wise and when it comes to design. I read it today and absolutely loved it. My sister's actually been telling me to read it for months because she's kinda in love with Neil Gaiman so I'm sure she'll be happy now. I haven't read The Outsider yet but I'm looking forward to it. As for the chocolate, that was gone long ago... Thanks again, Zoe. ♥

Lots of love, Cat

15 November 2014

Currently I'm...#18

Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern (previously published as 'Where Rainbows End') after falling mildly in love with the film. I know what you're thinking - "you should've read the book first omg fake fan" - and I agree but I didn't know the book even existed until about a week before the film adaptation was released. After seeing the movie with Rachel a few weeks ago, I knew I had to read the book. I started it last Sunday and so far it's pretty good but I'm struggling to get into the style as it's a compilation of letters and emails. Hopefully I'll get used to it. 

Listening To:
A mixture of the Once soundtrack, Dreamgirls soundtrack and Submarine soundtrack. I have a huge soft-spot for musicals and killer soundtracks... Once is absolutely amazing so if you haven't seen it, get that fixed, and the music is so beautiful. Dreamgirls is a bit different because I haven't actually seen the full musical and when I did watch a bit of it, it was in 2nd year drama so, to be honest, I pretty much just talked through it. The music from it, however, is freaking brilliant. Submarine is a brilliant film (and book) but I only realised a few weeks ago that the soundtrack is all original songs by Alex Turner. It's really great and suits the movie perfectly. Favourites from each soundtrack are easily Falling Slowly, The Hill, Listen, And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going and Stuck On The Puzzle (respectively). 

A lot of costume make-up tutorials when I was trying to decide what to dress as for Children In Need at school on Friday. My school always puts on a big production thing for CIN and the seniors all dress up and organise the event. Last year, I was a zombie (boring, I know) and this year I ended up going as a fawn which I like to think was a bit better. It was an amazing day and we raised a good 8K for Children In Need. ♥ The tutorial I used for my make-up was this one by FreshBlush. 

The selfies I took with my dog when I got locked out after school on Friday. Not even ashamed of that.

Lots of love, Cat

12 November 2014

Secondary School Survival Guide

I'm in my final year of school before I (hopefully) go off to university and I feel like, after 6 years of secondary school, I've finally got to grips with it. I'm not going to go as far as saying that I've mastered the art of surviving school but I'm not too far off. As obscene as it may sound, I don't actually hate school. When I started secondary school back in 2009, I was terrified and for about 3 years, I dreaded going to school everyday. Now, I go to school feeling pretty happy and come home feeling good after a decent day. I can't remember the last time I had an especially bad day at school and although it's stressful, I feel like I'm quite good at managing everything that gets thrown my way. I recently had a conversation on twitter with Holly, Lucy and Fi about school and it became apparent that a lot of teenagers really struggle with school so I thought that, although I'm by no means an expert, I would try to give you all a little bit of advice regarding high school and how to get through it with as little pain as possible. Here we go! ♥

Not everyone will like you and that's totally okay
The first step when it comes to surviving school is working out how to cope with the people there. You're not going to get along with everyone you meet and not everyone there is going to like you, no matter what you do or say. You can be the nicest person in the world but there will always be someone who doesn't like you. The sooner you realise that and work on being happy despite it, the better. It took me a good few years to come to terms with some people not liking me but as soon as I accepted it and moved on, school got a lot easier. Last September, I did a full post about this which you can see here

Some people are annoying
Another thing that I personally use to struggle with was dealing with inconsiderate, disruptive people in classes. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the most patient and tolerant person in the world so I used to get so frustrated with people in my classes who wouldn't just sit down and work. All I can really say to help with that it is to hold out and just wait for them to either settle down or drop out of school. In my experience, by the time you get to the senior end of high school, you're only with people who want to be there. Just wait it out! 

 Just do you (haters gonna hate)
I recently did a post about image, self confidence and personal style (here!) and that was kinda just the tip of the iceberg because I'm a strong believer in doing and wearing whatever you want and blocking out all the hate. I've been like this for pretty much my full life but even more so since I started my final year of school. Since August, I've been the most confident I've been in years and I really think it's because I'm finally feeling happy with who I am. Being confident in yourself gives you one less thing to worry about so you can focus on school and not constantly worrying about what people think of you makes school a lot more enjoyable. Go for it. Experiment. Make mistakes. Think about the people you admire: I bet they push boundaries and stick to what they believe in. Why not do the same?

Get super organised
Ring-binders, highlighters, flashcards and notebooks are literally your best friends when you're going through school. Those people you call your friends? Scrap 'em. It's all about stationary now. I find that getting lots of pretty stationary makes it all a bit more enjoyable (maybe I'm just a stationary geek). Seriously though, getting organised is the first step towards clearing your mind and dealing with stress. 

Ew exams
Exams are a thing and although they absolutely suck, you might as well stick it out and do your best. I really feel like exams are an awful and unreliable representation of how intelligent a person is and, at the end of the day, it's not all about how textbook-smart you are when you get out into the real world. Despite this, everyone has to do exams and you might as well try your hardest when the time comes to set them. I'm coming up to my third year of exams and over the years, I've tried out both ways of studying: gradual bit-by-bit revising, and last-minute cramming. Both ways actually worked out quite well for me so it's really just about finding the best way for you. Just try to stay calm and don't push yourself too much. Exam-season is stressful for everyone but you'll be okay. Stay positive! I might do another post about studying and exams in the future, if ya want.

Getcha head in the game (gotta getcha getcha getcha getcha head in the game)
It's really important to remember why you're in school. Yeah, it's important to make friends and have s social life - that's a huge part of being a teenager, after all - but you're there to get an education and get the experiences and skills you need to go onto higher education or get a job when you leave school. Stay focused and keep on top of your school work. Do the homework, get stuck in and build up your CV for when school isn't there as a safety blanket anymore. Don't overdo it and push yourself to the point of destruction, just stay on top of it all and focus on getting through school with good grades and as little pain as possible. You can do it!

Give yourself things to look forward to! Make plans with friends and family for the weekend and after school so even if you're having a crappy day, you have something to look forward to later. Give yourself enough time to get your homework done and keep on top of your schoolwork but remember that your weekends are for relaxing. It's so important to unwind and keep yourself healthy and happy - get plenty of sleep, eat healthily and don't neglect your social life. I have a general rule that I don't work after 9pm (this tends to go out the window during exam season, though) and I always make sure I have plenty of time to meet up with friends and relax during the weekend. It's all about finding a balance between school and leisure. It may take a while to get the balance right but once you do, school will be a lot less stressful.
Are you in school? If so, how's it treating you? If not, how did it treat you? Tell me your school stories!
Lots of love, Cat

10 November 2014


You might remember a week back in April, hosted by myself and Rachel, which was completely dedicated to Divergent. During this week, we had challenges, lots of awesome stuff and hinted at a possible giveaway which never happened...UNTIL NOW. That's right, we're hosting a Divergent giveaway! One lucky person will win a copy of 'Inside Divergent: The Initiate's World' and a copy of the official illustrated Divergent movie companion book. Now for the rules - I'll keep this brief:

  • UK only! This is just due to postage etc. so apologies for those of you who live outside the UK,
  • You have until midnight on the 24th of November to enter,
  • The winner will be emailed (or tweeted) on the 25th of November and we'll take it from there,
  • Enter using the Rafflecopter gadget below,
  • You can enter whether you participated in Divergent Week or not!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!
Lots of love, Cat

3 November 2014

Book Guilt #3

I've always had a problem when it comes to reading: I read a lot but I actually seem to re-read more than I read, meaning that I just don't get through my TBR pile and there are a load of very popular books that I own but haven't read yet. Some of the books on my TBR pile have been there for well over a year (sometimes two) and I feel pretty damn guilty about it. The concept of 'book guilt' isn't new here on Through A Cat's Eyes - I've done this post another two times since the start of 2013 (here and here) but I felt like it was about time I did an updated version which is hopefully much better written and edited. Here are 15 books I've never read. I have book guilt.

Geek Girl by Holly Smale
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Across The Universe by Beth Revis
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
Life Of Pi by Yann Martel
One Day by David Nicholls
Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Perfume by Patrick Suskind
Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Feel free to express your outrage and disgust in the comments below. I won't take it too personally... What books have you had on your TBR pile for months on end? Do you have book guilt? 
Lots of love, Cat

29 October 2014


"I value people who walk into an image, rather than attempting to replicate another." - Harry Hitchens

I feel like that quote pretty much sums up everything I have to say. I'm inspired by Harry Hitchens on a daily basis and things he's said before run through my head as I do the most mundane tasks, but it's that quote in particular that I really love. Until a couple of months ago, I was struggling to work out who I was and who I wanted to be and now that I think about it, I was putting way too much thought into it. It was only when I heard Harry Hitchens' spoken word "I'm tired of posers", that I realised I'd been over-thinking everything. I'd been having a bit of bother with image and personal style but when I heard him say "I value people who walk into an image, rather than attempting to replicate another", I literally paused the video and just sat and thought about it for a couple of minutes. I'd been doing it wrong. I'd been thinking about who I wanted to be and was trying to manipulate my attitude, style and life in general to suit this image, when I should've just been doing whatever I wanted to do. Image comes naturally and it's the people who simply "walk into an image" that wear it best. For the past couple of months, I've been doing whatever I feel like doing, wearing whatever I feel like wearing and giving no thought whatsoever to 'image'. I'm more than happy to do this because I know it'll come in time and when it does, I won't think twice about it. 

Lots of love, Cat

25 October 2014

Review: MAC Ultra Darling Sheen Supreme Lipstick

MAC's Sheen Supreme lipstick in 'Ultra Darling' - £16.50

I always have similar problems when I'm writing make-up reviews because I really feel like make-up is very personal and subjective. Everyone has completely different opinions when it comes to make-up and I sometimes wonder if there's much I can say which would be of any use to anyone. There's more to life than lipstick, after-all. Saying that, I do really like this lipstick and it feels pretty good to put this on in the morning before I go and tackle real-life stuff. Makes me feel more put together than I actually am. I feel like a kick-ass business woman even though I'm just going to school or out to get a chai latte. That's the most important thing you need to know about MAC's Ultra Darling: it makes you feel like you could become the CEO of a major corporation. Okay, so that might be a slight exaggeration but this is one empowering lipstick.

When it comes to lipstick, I tend to lean more towards the matte end of the spectrum but Ultra Darling is the complete opposite of that and, surprisingly, I love it. I got it for my birthday in August from a friend and have been wearing it at least a few times a week ever since. It's a very wearable, everyday shade of medium pink with no shimmer or anything. The 'sheen supreme' formula makes it lovely and moisturising and although it isn't as long-lasting as a matte lipstick, it still lasts for a good couple of hours before you need to top-up. Unlike a lot of glossy lipsticks, this one doesn't slide all over my face and my hair doesn't stick to it which is definitely a bonus. Overall, I really like this lipstick. There's not much more I can say: it's a lipstick.

Lots of love, Cat

22 October 2014

Recent Reads: September & October

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart // Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson // Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins // Matched by Ally Condie // #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso // One More Thing by B. J. Novak 

I've been in a bit of a reading slump for the past couple of months so I haven't actually read very much. What I would usually read in one month has taken me three... At the end of the day, it's about quality, not quantity and I can definitely say that the books I've been reading recently have been of a pretty high quality. I have a feeling that a lot of you will have read some of these because there's a few really popular ones in there. Let me know if you've read any! 

A couple of weeks ago, I did a full review of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart which you can see here but the bare-bones of the review are that it's brilliant, full of mystery and suspense and is unlike anything I've read before. It's not amazingly written and the character development is lacking but I genuinely didn't even notice that when I was reading it. It's a great book and just a quick read so I'd highly recommend giving it a shot.

I mentioned this next book in Currently I'm...#17 so you can have a look at that to hear a bit more about what I thought of it but, basically, Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson is the ideal book for a lazy weekend, when you just want something light-hearted and kinda romantic. It's nicely written and has a great, pretty original plot. I actually enjoyed it a bit more than I was expecting to and will probably re-read it in a year or so (I think it would be a lovely book for Summer). 

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins is another book which has a full review a few weeks back, so if you want to read a post full of brain mush, with me just rambling about how much I love Stephanie Perkins, you can see that here. I will undoubtedly be re-reading this, probably a good 5 or 6 times over the next few years. Anna, Lola and Isla are three of my all-time favourite books and I genuinely believe that Stephanie Perkins is the Queen of YA. 

I'm really late to the party on this one but I finally got round to reading Matched by Ally Condie. Not much to say about it, just that it's a really quick read with a great plot, pretty good writing and nice characters. I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads and I don't see myself re-reading it but I'm glad I gave it a go and, overall, I really enjoyed it. 

The next one is a good one. A really good one. Again, I've talked about it more in Currently I'm...#17 so you can check that out to hear more of my thoughts. I'll keep this short: #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso is one of the best books I've read. I've never been so inspired by a book before... If you haven't read GirlBoss yet and are a little skeptical because it's not what you'd usually read, I'd really recommend reading it anyway. Such a good book.

I've already talked about One More Thing by B. J. Novak in two other posts: Currently I'm...#12 and I've Been Book-Buying #4 so again, I'll keep this short. I'm a massive fan of B. J. Novak (Ryan's my favourite character from The Office. Controversial, I know) so I was super excited to read his book and I'm happy to say that I wasn't at all disappointed. One More Thing is absolutely brilliant and freaking hilarious. You should definitely give it a shot. :D

What have you been reading recently?
Lots of love, Cat

20 October 2014

Currently I'm...#17

In Currently I'm...#16, I said that I was in a reading slump and hadn't picked up a book in a good few weeks. Luckily, my reading slump ended pretty quickly after the post went live. Since then, I've read Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson and #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso, both of which were absolutely brilliant. Since You've Been Gone is the ideal book for a lazy weekend because it's a quick, easy read but it's still well-written. I got through it in a few days and enjoyed every second. #GirlBoss was even better, though. I can't remember ever being so inspired by a book before and it has literally altered my outlook on life. Dramatic? Yes...but I'm being serious. If you haven't read it yet, you really should. Now, I'm reading Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.

I'll let you in on a little secret: I go through my YouTube history when I'm writing these posts because I literally can't remember what I've watched over the past few days. One video in particular that I really loved was Tom Law's most recent video about his views of social media and how he is kinda (but not really) leaving it all. It really made me think and I've cut back on my social media use since watching it. You can see it here.  Also, Glue. It's on E4 on a Monday night (9pm or 10pm, I think) and it is honestly one of my all-time favourite shows. So good. Oh my gosh.
The other day, I was researching some photographers for my higher photography unit when I came across Larry Clark and found out that, as well as being a photographer, he's a director. I watched his 1995 film, Kids, to see what his style is like and I'm not exaggerating when I say that I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since. Kids is literally one of the most thought-provoking and slightly disturbing films I've ever seen. It's just shocking, to be honest. I've said before that I love being shocked by a film, TV show or book and Kids really delivers with that so, naturally, I loved it. I really wouldn't recommend watching Kids if you're under 16 (and that's pushing it) because it really is shocking. I'm not trying to be a kill-joy; it's just genuinely very mature. Saying that, Larry Clark is one talented director and is pretty damn brave to make a film like Kids.

 Lots of love, Cat

15 October 2014

On Abusers Returning To YouTube

The fourth post in a series about YouTube culture.
The 1st: Losing An Idol

Imagine that you're a shop-keeper in a quiet little corner shop, in a tight-knit community. Everything's going on as normal until, one night, someone comes in and robs the till, threatening you with a gun. You're left feeling terrified and unsafe, and continue feeling this way for months (if not years). Then one day, 6 months later, that same person starts to come back to the shop as a customer, like nothing ever happened and no one tries to stop it from happening. How would you feel? You'd feel unsafe and threatened, wouldn't you? Now apply this to YouTube. YouTubers like Alex Day, Ed Blann and Jason (VeeOneEye) were all outed for being sex offenders and are now coming back to YouTube like nothing ever happened. The people they hurt are seeing the person who abused them making videos again, manipulating thousands of people. It doesn't take a genius to work out that sex offenders shouldn't be allowed to return to a position of power but, unfortunately, there's nothing to stop them.

Recently, Alex Day posted a half hour-long video called 'The Past', where he danced around the subject of the abuse allegations and talked about how he's a better person now. He kept saying how he's in a good place now and is 'content' and, in all honesty, some of what he said made me forgive him, until I realised who I was watching and what I was buying into. Since making that video, Alex has continued to post videos every few days and it's becoming incredibly obvious that he just wants people to talk about him. He doesn't care how negative the opinions are, he just wants people to talk (funnily enough, he's actually screening negative comments). You can watch the videos if you want but he's monetizing them so it may be best to read a transcript or watch response videos. A lot of people are saying that they're just happy to have him back and I can partially relate but if I can move on from Alex Day, anyone can. 

It's not just Alex Day, though: Jason (VeeOneEye) recently posted a video about his new tattoo, essentially turning the whole situation into a sob-story and saying that YouTube is all he has. It's almost impossible to feel no sympathy whatsoever for Jason after seeing that video but just remember that that's his intention. Ed Blann has also made a return to YouTube and is making videos like the past year never even happened. Unfortunately, I'm also pretty certain that Sam Pepper will return in no time at all. I can understand why you'd be happy to have your favourite YouTuber back but please just stay level-headed and really think about what's happened before you jump to forgive them. 

As always, I'm going to direct you all to some brilliant videos about this issue because I'm really not in the position to go into any real depth about it. Neafcy made a great video about why he doesn't believe Alex Day, where he analyses what Alex says in his video - here.  ThisIsNotHolly made a video back in June, specifically about Ed Blann returning but it now fits the general situation of abusers returning to YouTube - here. The Third Pew made a video addressing the YouTube abuse situation as a whole - here - and Gary C made one which is more aimed at the victims of sexual abuse - here. BriBry made a video about Jason, who he shared mutual friends with - here. And finally, TheGeekyBlonde made an amazing video about the YouTube abuse situation back in March which is honestly one of the best videos addressing it - here. If you're not up to date with the whole issue, you can have a look at the master-post.

Like I said, I'm not really in the position to talk about this in any real depth but it's so important that people keep talking about this. It can't just be swept under the rug and ignored because it's a real-life issue which is hurting people. Just keep talking about it, keep yourself up-to-date and educated, and stay safe on the internet. 

Lots of love, Cat

13 October 2014

Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret. Lies upon lies. True love. The truth.

Quite an empty synopsis, I know, but I really feel like it's best if you go into this book knowing very little about what it's about. There was a ridiculous amount of hype surrounding We Were Liars but as I picked it up, I realised that I knew next to nothing about the plot. All I knew was that there's a twist and it's well-loved. For that reason, I'm going to be super vague in my review of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.

First things first (I'm the realest...), this book is unlike anything I've ever read. It's a slow-burner and the first half isn't anything special but, for some weird reason, I was enthralled and couldn't put it down. Although it was pretty ordinary to start with, there was a kinda promise and I could just tell that it was all leading up to something. I kept reading and finished the full book in one sitting. As I put it down, I was literally trembling and, even now, I don't know why. A few weeks have passed and I still don't know exactly what I think of We Were Liars. It's so weird but it's only when it's all over that you realise how much you cared about the characters. It really is unlike anything I've ever read. 

That's all I'm going to say about this book because I really don't want to ruin it for anyone who hasn't read it yet. If you have read it, though, and want someone to fangirl with then I am very much available. Just DM me on twitter or something and we can ramble about it together.  

Have you read We Were Liars?
Lots of love, Cat

11 October 2014

Letters To Autumn

Dear Autumn,

You're my favourite season. I hope you feel loved because, recently, I've been realising just how important that can be. I've been having moments where I start to doubt my importance to people but I snap out of it when I realise that I have the best family and friends a girl could wish for. The other night, I had a down moment as I scrolled through Snapchat and saw everyone out getting drunk, as I lay in bed teaching myself Dutch. It was only when I woke up the next day that I realised I had forgotten what is really important. I had let my priorities get all twisted and Autumn, you're gradually straightening them out. 

Lots of love, Cat

 (Inspired by the wonderful Carrie Fletcher)

8 October 2014

Currently I'm...#16

This is absolutely terrible but I've got to admit, I haven't picked up a book for a couple of weeks now...unless you count my dissertation books or Antony & Cleopatra for AH English, which I totally do. I'm studying The Catcher In The Rye and The Wasp Factory for my dissertation which are two of my favourite books so reading them isn't exactly a chore. I'm really hoping that this reading slump ends soon because I'm so sick of not being able to get into any books. 

The Mighty Boosh. A lot of The Mighty Boosh. I've loved it for years but for some reason, I kinda just forgot about it for a while. A few weeks ago, I 'borrowed' the DVDs from my sister and have just been watching them non-stop ever since. The Mighty Boosh is amazing and so freaking weird so if you haven't tried it yet, you really should. Vince Noir is pretty much my style icon and role model. 

Listening To...
I actually made an Autumn playlist last night with 70 songs I'm loving at the moment. I do this every year because I feel like there are certain types of music that just scream 'Autumn' to me and this year's playlist is pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. Obviously I won't list all 70 songs here but it has a lot of Bombay Bicycle Club (especially stuff off I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose), some George Ezra, Jamie T, Fall Out Boy (obviously), lots of Jimmy Eat World, some TEAM, a bit of 5SOS and, naturally, The 1975, along with a load of other great stuff. ♥

I recently got a Breville Blend-Active so I've been drinking a lot of smoothies recently. It's an amazing blender and is so easy to use which is definitely encouraging my smoothie-making. I make a lot of smoothies...

The fact that it's Autumn, basically.

Lots of love, Cat

6 October 2014

Ticked Off The Bucket List - See A West End Musical

That's right, I saw Les Mis. I didn't realise just how much I love it until I saw it on an actual stage with actual professional actor people in an actual theatre in London. I also didn't realise how much I was going to cry until my face was soaking wet after a mere 20 minutes of being there. Words can't even describe how amazing it was and although it still isn't my favourite musical (because nothing will ever replace West Side Story), I can now safely say that it's my second favourite musical, and potentially my favourite soundtrack.

When I saw the film version of Les Mis, I didn't actually cry. Now don't get me wrong, I loved it and did feel really emotional afterwards but for some reason, I just didn't cry. This definitely wasn't the case when I saw the stage production because, although it's obviously the same musical, it is so different in so many ways. I was completely sucked in and for a few hours, I was just utterly enthralled in what was happening on stage. It's an amazing experience. The acting and singing was flawless, the staging was absolutely breathtaking and the feeling of sitting in a building as stunning as Queens Theatre is just wonderful.

I really wasn't expecting to love it as much as I did but oh wow, it really was unlike anything I've ever experienced. If you ever get the opportunity to see Les Mis (or any musical) on stage, take it. I really feel like everyone should get to see a musical on stage at least once in their life. And yes, I did get to see Carrie Fletcher as Eponine. She was amazing. ♥

Lots of love, Cat

4 October 2014

Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart. Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, √Čtienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

It's no secret that I am a massive fan of Stephanie Perkins. I've raved about Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door a ridiculous number of times and since reading Isla, I've mentioned it on all the social medias... To me, Stephanie Perkins is the Queen of YA.  In Anna, my favourite character is Josh (a bit of a weird choice, I think) so when I heard that he was going to be the main guy in Isla, I was incredibly happy. He doesn't get anywhere near enough attention in Anna and the French Kiss but we finally get to know him in Isla and the Happily Ever After. Talking of characters, Isla is one of my favourite female protagonists; she is absolutely hilarious, she's strong and independent, and she is so real, unlike a lot of female protagonists in contemporary YA. Stephanie Perkins is amazing at building up her characters and Josh and Isla are no exception. 

Needless to say, Isla and the Happily Ever After is beautifully written. I seriously adore the way Stephanie Perkins writes; she sets the scene perfectly, develops every character seamlessly and creates simple yet beautiful plots that pull you in from the first page. I love Anna, Lola and Isla equally, all for different reasons and I know that I'll be re-reading these books for years to come. A very easy 5 stars.

Lots of love, Cat

1 October 2014

September 2014

Overall, September has been quite a stressful month. I've had to start looking into university, going to open days and dealing with the whole process of UCAS, despite uni application deadlines being in January. It feels like I've just started 6th year and I'm having to think about uni already. I'm just having to keep reminding myself that the future is more exciting than it is scary. 

I kicked off the month with a university open day in Glasgow (full post here). The actual open day was great; the uni was beautiful and it made me feel a bit better about university in general but it was everything else that made the day so wonderful. I've always struggled with public transport but that day, I got the train and the subway and felt pretty damn proud of myself afterwards. It was just a generally lovely day. To top it all off, a lovely reader recognised me at the uni and came to say hello. ^_^

On the 6th, I went to a party for my friend's birthday and had a freaking brilliant time. I messaged Holly when I got home but I couldn't even understand the voice messages when I listened to them back the next day... Who knows what she thought was going on with me. :'D

I had another lovely day in Glasgow when I went on a trip with my Advanced Higher English class. We went up for the Mitchell Library but my teacher had planned it over freshers week so we could pass as students and get free food... We went to the library, a beautiful bookshop called Voltaire & Rousseau (which is seriously amazing) and Kelvingrove, which is easily my favourite art gallery/museum. I love Kelvingrove and have done since I was really little so it was super lovely to go with my English class.

I hope September treated you well! Happy October ♥
Lots of love, Cat

29 September 2014

Currently I'm...#15

I haven't really been making any reading progress recently, partly because of school and partly because I've been in a bit of a reading slump since finishing We Were Liars a couple of weekends ago. I loved We Were Liars and just haven't been enjoying anything since. I did manage to read Matched by Ally Condie a while ago which was pretty good but I'm struggling to get into anything else. Suggestions?

America's Next Top Model (both cycle 20 and re-watching cycle 17), Glue, The Mindy Project, Gogglebox and The Great British Bake-Off. TV is freaking fabulous at the moment. YouTube-wise, you've probably heard about Sam Pepper and Jason (VeeOneEye) already so I've mainly been watching videos about them and about sexual assault in general. The YouTube community is a mess at the moment and it's made everyone even more aware of the issues with the power-balance. Please just be careful and don't put YouTubers up on a pedestal. There have been some brilliant videos made about the whole issue with Sam Pepper including this one from ILikeAlison and this one from IckleNellieRose. Then the amazing AniaMags made a video outing Jason. She's so brave and her video is going to help so many people feel more confident and comfortable to come forward with their stories. You can see that one here. George from Veguntold then uploaded his response to Jason's 'apology' and, again, raised some really important points. You can see that one here. Then, if you have a spare 110 minutes, Chelsea, Jimmy and Harry Hitchens did a live-show last night which has been uploaded to YouTube, where they address the whole YouTube abuse situation. You can see that here.

Listening To:
Jamie T...a whole lot of Jamie T. I've actually been a fan of Jamie T since 2009, when I heard Sticks 'n' Stones for the first time. I probably shouldn't have been listening to Sticks 'n' Stones at the age of 12 because he's pretty damn vulgar. For some reason, I didn't think to look for any other Jamie T stuff until December 2013 when I went to show the video for Sticks 'n' Stones to my friend. Ever since, we've both been hardcore Jamie T fans. It's almost impossible to pick favourite songs but I think I'll go with Calm Down Dearest, Emily's Heart and Zombie.

Lots of love, Cat

24 September 2014

One More Thing...

Photoshoots with me are by no means easy

I cry every time I listen to C'est La Vie by B*Witched. 
Until last year, I was convinced that Boris Becker and Boris Johnson were the same person. As it turns out, one is a tennis player and one is the mayor of London.
My phone has been in the shoe of a boy I barely know.
I am hopeless at identifying accents, much to the amusement of my family. 
I honestly think that I could live my life, just listening to Jamie T and Fall Out Boy exclusively and it wouldn't be half bad.

Once, a stranger sneezed in my face. 
According to a ridiculous amount of people, I look like Martha from The Great British Bake-Off.
Back in 2010, I laughed solidly for 40 minutes at a photo of a shaved llama. I cried a lot and almost threw up because I was laughing so hard. It wouldn't have been so bad if I wasn't at school at the time. To this day, I can't look at the shaved llama without crying a little bit.
"I'm about as flamboyant as a bagel".

This one time, I fainted and pulled down a window display.
 This one time, I fainted in a doctor's surgery when she suggested doing a blood-test, then fainted the next day when I came back for the blood-test, then fainted after the blood-test, then fainted on the way home from the blood-test, then fainted when I went back to get the results.
This one time, I fell into a big gift-bag when I wasn't entirely sober and cut my leg but didn't notice until the next morning when my leg was covered in dried blood. Oh wait, that was only a fortnight ago... Let's move on, shall we?

When I say 'Jeremy' and 'germy', they sound the same.
When I saw Fall Out Boy in March, I bruised the palm of my hand by using my phone to clap along to Save Rock & Roll.
Once, I asked my sister to pass me a Chunky KitKat and she threw it at me with a full-force over-arm throw. It bruised me both physically and emotionally.
I once took a selfie with a stranger at a gig.

When asked, I say that Jim and Pam or Klaine are my OTP but, deep down, Laura and Almanzo from Little House On The Prairie are my OTP and have been since before I even knew what an OTP was.
Very recently, I told a stranger on Twitter that he is 'pretty damn attractive' and then realised that normal people don't do that.
I freaking love Kian Egan.
Once, I started crying as I scrolled through photos of Darren Criss. Who am I kidding? I do that everyday.

I cried at the One Direction movie.
I had never been to a gig without my parents until this year and in that time, I've seen New Politics, The Pretty Reckless, Fall Out Boy, E of E, Young Brando, McBusted and Belle & Sebastian.
I've only had a black-eye once in my life and it was caused by a rubber colliding with my face. I'm so hardcore.
My dream is to be in a Danish twee-pop band.
Whilst go-karting, I threw the marshal off the side of my kart.

Basically, I'm a walking disaster.
Lots of love, Cat

22 September 2014

Falling Into Autumn

Autumn is on it's way so it felt right to get outside and do a little photo-shoot with the lovely Rachel. It's not like me to do photo-heavy posts but there were some real gems from Saturday that I wanted to share with you all, in the hopes that they'll help everyone get in the Autumn-spirit (if you're not in it already). Autumn is by-far my favourite month. I seriously struggle to dress myself in Summer because my wardrobe is mainly jeans, boots and jumpers, and layers are my specialty. Everything about Autumn just makes me happy; the colours, fashions, candle scents, seasonal drinks in Costa, knitwear, movie-nights, blankets, boots...just, everything. Typically, it was a super sunny, warm day when we had our little photo-shoot but it felt like Autumn was right around the corner. I just can't wait for it to be in full-swing. ♥

All photos were taken by myself and Rachel (hers are the best ones!) and there's another two posts from the same day, on Rachel's book blog (here) and her personal blog (here). They're both gorgeous and you should follow her when you're over there if you haven't already! 

I hope you enjoyed this post! It's a little bit different for me so let me know what you think and I might do more like this in the future. 
Are you looking forward to Autumn? What's your favourite season?
Lots of love, Cat

20 September 2014

Soap & Glory: Peaches & Clean Deep Purifying Cleanser

Soap & Glory's Peaches and Clean, 3-in-1 Wash-Off Deep Purifying Cleanser 200ml - Boots, £8.00

My skin threw a little hissy-fit a couple of months ago so I decided to mix up my skincare routine a bit, hoping that a change in cleanser would sort things out. I did some research, read a lot of blogs, then headed to Boots to pick up Peaches & Clean which had came out on top out of all the reviews I'd read. I've been using it every night for a couple of months now and I really feel like it's improved my skin in that time. I still get the occasional break-out but the overall feel and appearance of my skin is a good bit better than it used to be. So that's fab.

One of my favourite things about this cleanser is the scent. It literally smells of minty peaches which is oddly nice. I personally love cleansers that are slightly minty because they leave your skin feeling super fresh and clean (also kind of like you've washed your face with toothpaste). It's not an overpowering scent so it should be alright for sensitive skin. Texture and consistency-wise, it's a lovely thick lotion which feels both cleansing and moisturising. You just massage a pump (I use half a pump) into your skin when it's dry, then rinse it off. Once it comes into contact with water, it turns into a slightly more milky cream but doesn't lather up, keeping it moisturising. I know it can be tempting to use a super-foamy cleanser - especially if you have oily skin - but it really is best to stick to lotions and oil-based cleansers. What I really love about Peaches & Clean is that it helps to break down make-up, meaning that you don't actually have to use a separate make-up remover. Unless you're wearing slightly heavier eye make-up, this should do a pretty good job. 

Overall, I love this cleanser and have seen brilliant results over the past couple of months. I'll definitely keep using it for the next few months and might even repurchase it in the future which is pretty much unheard of for me. I'd highly recommend it but bear in mind that everyone's skin is different so what works for me might not work for you! 

Lots of love, Cat

15 September 2014

Currently I'm...#14

Last weekend, I read We Were Liars by E. Lockhart and wow...just, wow. I had high expectations for We Were Liars because it's been hyped up beyond belief and is being talked about constantly on YouTube and in the blogosphere, so I was quite nervous about reading it. In all honesty, I wasn't really expecting to like it. Luckily, I was very wrong and I ended up absolutely loving it. It's beautifully written, so original and pretty shocking, and I would highly recommend it. Now, I'm reading Waiting For Godot by Samuel Beckett and Submarine by Joe Dunthorne (I've been reading it since the start of August but I keep putting it down to read other books). 

Listening To:
Ooh this is exciting. In 2010, I had a moment of madness and gave my beloved Fall Out Boy CDs away, thinking that I was too cool for FOB now that I was in secondary school. I'm not kidding when I say that I've regretted it every day since. This means that, for the past 4 years, I've only had Save Rock & Roll and whilst I freaking love it, I need their older stuff in my life too. Weeellll...this finally changed on Saturday when Infinity On High and Folie √° Deux arrived in the post. I actually shed a tear when I opened the parcel. I just haven't had the money to re-purchase all the old FOB CDs until now and I'm still waiting for From Under The Cork Tree to arrive (Take This To Your Grave was too expensive so that'll be bought later (and An Evening Out With Your Girlfriend is pretty much impossible to get)). I'm so happy to have them back in my life. ♥

You're probably getting sick of me listing the same TV shows in every Currently I'm... post so I'll just talk about YouTube today. Basically, I've been looking into university quite a lot recently and dealing with UCAS and all that stuff, so I've been (re)watching a few videos about university. My favourites are KickThePJs University Q&A, and MeowItsLucy's videos about starting uni, eating at uni and uni advice with Hannah Witton.
I've actually done some pretty awesome stuff so far this month; I went to the Glasgow Uni open day (post here), tried bubble tea, got on the subway for the first time, went to a party for my friend's 17th (and cut my leg somehow (no idea how) which then bled through the night but I didn't realise until I woke up the next day and it still hurts a week later) and went to Costa with the girls after school one day to have a huge chai latte. It's been nice. :3

Fall Out Boy's new song. Centuries, Their new song is Centuries. It's so good. Centuries. Oh wow just listen to it.

Lots of love, Cat

13 September 2014

My YouTube Experience

The third post in a series about YouTube culture.
The 1st: Losing An Idol
I like YouTube. 

Since I was 11 - in 2009 - I've been watching YouTube videos pretty much daily, subscribing to channels and being a 'fan'. I started off with Bubzbeauty; watching her make-up tutorials even though I was yet to start wearing make-up. It's ridiculously vivid in my mind; I remember talking on webcam to my friend, Blair, on MSN and him asking me what I was watching on YouTube. I said Bubzbeauty and then made him watch make-up tutorials... I still love Bubbi to this day.

After that, I experienced what I expect a lot of people experience (probably like, the full population); I went through a hardcore Ryan Higa phase. It was a slight obsession; I watched his videos for like, 6 hours every day, re-watching videos and watching his channel pretty much exclusively for a few weeks. It was a weird time in my YouTube life. :'D I stopped watching Ryan Higa after a couple of months and haven't watched any of his videos for about 5 years. Then came the Charlie McDonnell discovery... 

Charlieissocoollike is kind of a household name now; he's the original 'British vlogger' and started the trend of cute English boys with flicky fringes making videos from their bedrooms (a trend I have no issue with, whatsoever...love a good fringe). Again, I remember this way too well. I found one of his videos one night through the YouTube homepage and then proceeded to watch all of his videos in one go. I couldn't stand up after it...my legs had seized up. Like with Bubbi, I still watch Charlie's videos now, just not quite as obsessively. :'D

A week or so after finding Charlie, I stumbled across Mr Alex Day. I watched his videos religiously for a good few years, bought all of his music and merch and even travelled for hours to meet him very briefly when he released Lady Godiva. He complimented my jeans and was absolutely lovely to me, then I fell asleep in the car on the way home, leaving Beka alone with my parents for a few hours as I slept... Now, it's all changed and I've lost all respect for Alex Day. I did a full post about the situation which you can see here so I'm not really going to talk about it now. Shortly after discovering Alex, I found Liam Dryden, Tom Milsom and KickThePJ.

Like with Alex Day, Tom Milsom used to be a huge inspiration to me but he also lost my respect earlier this year (also spoke about here). I found Tom through Alex and instantly fell in love with his crazy individuality and amazing musical talent. I watched his videos and listened to his music for years and only stopped a few months ago. On a more positive note, Liam Dryden was my next YouTube love and I still freaking love him now, a good 4 or so years later. He's so inspirational and I really feel like he's a great role model for young adults and teenagers. He's absolutely wonderful. Similarly, KickThePJ is one of my very favourite YouTubers and is, in my opinion, one of the most innovative and creative people online. I found him pretty randomly around the same time as Liam Dryden and have loved his content ever since. Next up, (don't fangirl too hard) were Dan and Phil...

I'll be surprised if you haven't heard of Dan and Phil before because they are now incredibly well-known. I found Phil first, via the YouTube homepage and watched his videos for a few weeks before being introduced to Dan. This was 4 years ago so yes, I've watched Dan from the very beginning. :'D I'll admit, I don't watch their videos quite as much now but I have a lot of respect for these guys because they don't take YouTube too seriously and have done so freaking well from it. I mean, come on; they're now Radio 1 DJs.

In the year or two after that, I subscribed to BriBry, Emma Blackery, Carrie Hope Fletcher, MusicalBethan, Doddleoddle, Jack Howard, Dean Dobbs, OMFGItsJackAndDean, Evan Edinger, Patty WaltersEssiebutton, ChewingSand, FashionRocksMySocks, MissGlamorazzi, Tom Law, WOTO, Ben Cook, Daniel Dobbs, Ophelia Dagger, Emma Pickles, SprinkleOfGlitter, Zoella, Vlogbrothers, ViviannaDoesMakeup and a load of other amazing YouTubers. I fell in and out of love with various people, went through countless phases and have eventually fine-tuned my taste in YouTube. A lot of the bigger, more well-known YouTubers I once loved have now moved aside for smaller YouTubers and I'm really pleased with the content I now watch.

More recently, I subscribed to the likes of JonBeHere, MeowItsLucy, Tom Rosenthal, Rusty Clanton, Tessa Violet, ThisBeDottie, ThisIsNotHolly, Alex Bertie, Jake Edwards, RadHaggis, Savannah Brown, TheThirdPew, Olly Newport, Mike Falzone, Mark Ludford, Mark Robb (he's a wonderful human but has taken a break from YouTube), Jackson Perkins, Harry Hitchens and Veguntold. There are so many amazing content creators out there and I really feel like the lesser-known people like these should be getting so much more credit for what they do. ♥

I don't doubt for a second that YouTube will be in my life for the foreseeable future. I love how it supports new creators and lets anyone be creative and share their work. It's a new kind of media and I personally think it's fabulous.

Lots of love, Cat

8 September 2014

Recent Reads: Summer 2014

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick // Educating Rita by Willy Russell // Girls Meets Boy by Ali Smith // Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro // Amy by Mary Hooper // Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell // The Summer I Turned Pretty // It's Not Summer Without You // We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han (the summer trilogy) 

Summer was a great reading season for me, especially July. I read 5 books in the first 3 days of July, read a few more over the rest of the month, then fell into a little bit of a reading slump in August. Luckily, I got to read some of my favourite summer books before the slump, and ventured into a style that I've never really explored before by reading Educating Rita, an amazing play.

For me, summer is all about re-reading old favourites. The 5 books at the bottom of the pile are all re-reads and I loved them all just as much as I did the first time I read them. I've said this before but I read the summer trilogy by Jenny Han every single July and have done for a few years now. They're not amazingly written or anything but they're lighthearted fluff and in summer, I love fluff. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell is a blogosphere favourite and that was the second time I've read it. The first time around, I loved it a lot. This time, it made me quite angry... It's strange because, although it made me want to punch a wall, I still loved it. I just grew so attached to the characters. I have a real love/hate relationship with Eleanor & Park. :'D Amy by Mary Hooper was one of my favourite books when I was 10 so it's always nice to read it again. 

As well as the re-reads, I read 4 new books during the summer. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro was my London read; I read it in the car on the way to and from London and a little bit when I was actually in London (I said London way too many times). Never Let Me Go is a gorgeous, unique book and I'd highly recommend it. Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith was a recommendation from my sister and, although I did enjoy it, it didn't really live up to my expectations. I thought it was pretty average but it might be to other people's tastes; my sister absolutely loves it. Educating Rita by Willy Russell is the first play I've read in my own time so I was quite apprehensive but I ended up adoring it. It's hilarious and so original. Whether you like plays or not, you should give Educating Rita a go. :'D The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick was my Pitlochry read and I seriously loved it. I laughed a lot and cried a lot... It actually turned out to be even better than I was expecting which is always nice. :3 

What did you read this summer?
Lots of love, Cat

6 September 2014

Currently I'm...#13

On the 28th, a certain book arrived in the post which pretty much made me cry with happiness. I'd ordered it a few days before and had decided to save it for the weekend and spend Saturday reading it. This book, of course, was Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. Holly and I have named Stephanie Perkins the Queen of YA and she definitely lived up to that with her new book. I read it last Saturday and every word was absolutely beautiful. It's just as amazing as Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door which are two of my all-time favourite books. I'm sure I'll be re-reading Isla in the near future. ♥ 
Today, I'm planning to read We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. 

Listening To:
The usual stuff but because I'm back at school, the bus journey playlist has made a comeback.  On the way to school, I usually stick to either quite relaxed music like Bombay Bicycle Club and Haim, or slightly more moody stuff like Jimmy Eat World and The Smiths. Then, when I'm coming home from school, I stick on some 5SOS, New Politics and Paramore. If I've had a terrible day, I just listen to F*ck This Sh*t by Belle and Sebastian on repeat. :'D

Same old, same old: University Challenge, Virtually Famous, Glee, America's Next Top Model, Silicon Valley, The Mindy Project, and The Great British Bake-Off. Speaking of GBBO, since it started 5 or so weeks ago, I've been told pretty much every day that I look, act and speak like Martha. I've literally lost count of the number of people who have said this to me at some point and when I was re-watching it with my mum and sister last night, they were both screaming "OH MY GOD THAT'S YOU" at one point. I don't really see it but I'm taking it as a compliment. :3

I tried bubble tea for the first time on Wednesday and pretty much did a full post about it here. :'D I got mine from Tempo Tea Bar in Glasgow and it was the vanilla-berry milk tea with strawberry boba. If you haven't tried bubble tea before, I'd highly recommend it (especially from Tempo Tea Bar). 

Lots of love, Cat

3 September 2014

September 3rd

Today was good. Like, really good. 
I'm 17, meaning that I'm starting to look into university for when I leave school next year. It's all a bit scary - UCAS conventions, uni websites, open days - but I'm gradually beginning to look forward to it a little more and the thought of going to university isn't quite as scary as it used to be. Don't get me wrong, I'm still adequately terrified. :'D Today, I went to my first open day at Glasgow Uni.

If you've been reading TACE for a little while, you'll probably know that I have a fear of public transport, especially trains and the subway or just unfamiliar public transport in general. It freaks me out a hell of a lot but, recently, I've been getting better. Like, back in July, I got 4 trains. :3 Anyway, today started with me going to a train station to get on a train (I guess that's why you go to train stations) and I actually coped pretty well. We got to Glasgow at 10ish then went to get the subway - wait what? The subway? Yeah. I got the subway. I've never got the subway before but the thought of it has always terrified me. It wasn't exactly fun but it was way better than I was expecting and again, I coped pretty well. ♥ 

Scary transport stuff done, we headed to Glasgow uni and oh my goodness, it's absolutely gorgeous. I've heard a lot about how beautiful Glasgow uni is but it was even more majestic than I was expecting. Although I'm not mad about any of the courses, the campus and city alone are enough to make me want to go there. I love Glasgow so much... We wandered around a bit, cried over how bloody gorgeous it is, explored the 12-floor library, then headed to a cafe on Byres Road to get lunch before getting the subway back to Buchanan Street. Then, we got fro-yo and listened to a couple of amazing buskers for a while.  I realise how pretentious I'm starting to sound but just bare with me. :'D Just before we got the train back home, we stopped off to get bubble tea. I've never had bubble tea but it's such a weird concept and I've wanted to try it for a stupidly long time. Thankfully, I wasn't let down. Bubble tea is goooood.

Now the super-awesome bit. At the start of the day, I was standing with Rachel in a tent-thing on campus when a girl (who I later found out was called Alison) came up to me. She asked if my name was Cat and I said yeah, then she said I have a lovely blog. THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED. If you're reading this, Alison, you seriously made my day and it was so nice to meet you! 

Lots of love, Cat
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