21 November 2015

Currently I'm...#23


Listening To:
Wolf Alice. So much Wolf Alice. I heard Bros quite a while ago and loved it, then heard Giant Peach back in February and, again, loved it. For some reason though, it wasn't until I heard You're A Germ a few months ago that Wolf Alice made their way onto my radar. I spent a couple of months listening to them on Spotify but when I was in HMV after uni the other day, I bought their debut album, My Love Is Cool. I'm in love. There's no way of properly describing Wolf Alice's sound but they somehow manage to get the perfect balance between loud and soft. They can be folk, they can be grunge, they can be indie, they can be rock. I don't know how they do it but whatever it is, they've mastered it. I love their sound so much and Ellie Rowsell has quickly became my new style icon and permanent crush. As a wee Wolf Alice starter kit, I'd recommend Freazy, Bros, You're A Germ and Silk. 

Reading:
I've really been letting the side down on the reading front because I haven't actually finished a book for quite some time now. The last book I read was Worn Stories by Emily Spivack which was just gorgeous in every way and insanely original. Now I'm reading Palo Alto by James Franco because I fell in love with the film adaptation a few months ago. It's pretty good so far. I had no idea James Franco could write but he sure as hell can. 

Watching:
I recently got into Him & Her and when I say "got into", I mean got mildly obsessed and watched three full seasons of it twice in one week. It's public knowledge that I'm a die-hard Russell Tovey fan and Him & Her has just increased my love for him. It's easily one of the funniest shows I've ever watched and the fact that it's all set in one apartment really impresses me for some reason. It's so simple yet so incredibly effective. If you haven't watched it, you really should. It's bloody great. 

Loving:
Wee bit mundane but I recently treated myself to a new desk because I'm a cool teenager with a buzzing social life. It's from IKEA, made of bamboo and is just really lovely. I went all out and bought a new desk chair while I was at it and I realised the desk didn't have storage so I bought a set of drawers too. And a new plant. And a candle. And a cat coaster that says 'Piss Off' on it. My room has never looked so good. As a uni student, I spend a sad amount of time at my desk so it was about time I got one that wasn't falling apart. 


I can't leave this post without apologising for yet another accidental hiatus. When I came back from my last blogging break back in August I really thought I was back for good and that things would go back to normal but life got in the way again and it just didn't work out. I started uni in September and it quickly started to take up pretty much all of my time. When I wasn't in uni or travelling to and from uni, I was sleeping or doing uni work at home. Even when I had time to myself I just didn't feel inspired to post. I'm really sorry but yeah, sometimes life just gets in the way and you've gotta let it do its thing. I'm not saying I'm back for good this time but I'll sure as hell start putting in some effort again. Thanks for sticking with me ♥

Catriona
x

25 August 2015

My Favourite Cookbooks


I've always loved cooking. I can actually trace my cooking-love back to an exact day when I was about 8: my guitar teacher recommended that I quit because my hands were too small (I'll never forgive him for that) and I was a wee bit heartbroken so my mum said that for the hour that I would've been in guitar lessons every week, she would teach me how to cook. I'd always watched her cook but I was finally old enough to learn for myself and I couldn't wait. No joke, I've been cooking and baking ever since. The past year or so, I've been cooking a lot more and for the past 4 or 5 months, I've pretty much taken over the role as family chef, cooking at least 5 meals every week. I freaking love it and I don't think my family mind it at all. I've made a couple of pretty crap meals but I'm getting better every day and I never get bored. To accompany my cooking-love, I've been building up my own little collection of cookbooks so I don't always have to use my mum's. Not including baking books (I have a lot of those from years and years of baking, especially when I was younger), I have 5 of my own cookbooks so I thought I'd pick my favourites and share them with you. Little side-note: I'm vegetarian so my cookbooks kinda fit with that. I'm also very gradually cutting out dairy.

First up is 'Hemsley & Hemsley, The Art of Eating Well' by Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley.  This is a gorgeous book full of super healthy recipes, with beautiful photos and a fair bit of really useful nutritional info. I actually just sat and read this when I got it which it a wee bit sad. It's not a vegetarian cookbook but it does have a good selection of meat-free recipes so it should suit most diets pretty well. My one complaint with this book is that it does have quite a few rare ingredients that I've never heard of let alone seen in supermarkets so I tend to substitute them for more common alternatives. Some of the recipes are on the more complicated side but they're explained clearly so it shouldn't be too much of an issue. My favourite so far is the Malaysian lentil and squash curry, but I used courgette instead of squash. It was lovely.

Next is 'Mildred's: The Vegetarian Cookbook' by Sarah Wasserman and Dan Acevedo. Another gorgeous book but I like this one a bit more than the last because it's really fuss-free and uncomplicated. It has some really different and interesting recipes in it but they make it seem really quite simple. Vegetarian cookbooks can sometimes be quite intimidating but not this one. The photos are beautiful and make everything look amazing, and I really like the way it's written. The ingredients aren't super fancy and it's all vegetarian which is a plus. It has an amazing guacamole recipe in it and a pepper and sweet potato soup which my full family loved. It's just great.

Lastly is my newest one but potentially my favourite: 'Keep It Vegan' by Áine Carlin. I've been looking into veganism for quite a while now as it just kinda seems like the natural next step for me, as I've been vegetarian for a couple of years (I was vegetarian between the ages of 7 and 12, then became vegetarian again 2 or 3 years ago). I like the idea of veganism and would love to be vegan but I think I would be best doing it gradually. I'm cutting out dairy a little bit at a time and starting to make mostly vegan meals. This book really makes being a vegan look a lot easier and less scary because it's fuss-free, doesn't use fancy ingredients and has over 100 vegan recipes that genuinely all look delicious. I'll probably keep you updated on how I get on cutting out dairy if that's something people want to hear about. Anyways, this looks like an amazing book and I can't wait to try out the recipes.

Do you have any favourite cookbooks? Have you tried any of these ones?
Catriona 

16 August 2015

You're More Than Your Label


For as long as I can remember, I've been called "the short one". That's my label: short. I've never really minded, I mean, it's said with affection and (surprisingly) I've never really been bullied for my size, but sometimes when I hear someone describe me as "the short one", I want to tell them that there's more to me than my general small-ness. Yeah, I'm only 5 foot 3 but there are other things people notice about me. Like, I have this pair of scabby walking boots that I've worn every single day without fail for well over a year now. I like to think that they're a part of who I am now. And I have a weird hybrid accent despite the fact that I've lived in the same Scottish town for 18 years. People notice that. I sometimes get called "the kinda english-y one" if the short label wasn't effective enough. I dress kinda differently. You could use that as my label if you want. I've been called flamboyant a number of times. I love that. Use that one. My point is, there's more to me than my lack of height. 

Labels are the worst. People like to label everything and everyone so they can sort stuff into neat little boxes and categories. People label themselves so it's easier for them to tell people who and what they are. Life can get very disorganised sometimes so it can feel comforting to be able to give yourself a nice little label but some labels get old very fast. You're so much more than your label. I was talking about this with a friend the other day and he said that "I think it all comes down to that fundamentally human desire to feel a part of something". I couldn't agree more. You might disagree. Maybe you have a label for yourself and you like that label. Maybe you find comfort in your label. Maybe you finally feel like you can be yourself because of you label. If that's the case, that's brilliant. A label can be a badge of honour. I just think it's vital that you know that you are more than your label because you are. You are so freaking complex and that's wonderful.

Catriona

12 August 2015

I've Been Book-Buying #5

Worn Stories by Emily Spivack 
The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It by Owen Jones // Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami 
 Important Artifacts and Personal Property From the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion and Jewelry by Leanne Shapton 
 Palo Alto by James Franco // Ayoade On Ayoade: A Cinematic Odyssey by Richard Ayoade

It's been quite a while since I did a book haul so I thought I'd come back with a collection of books that I've acquired over the past month of so. I say acquired because I bought a few of them but the rest were given to me by family because...drum-roll please...it was my 18th birthday on Saturday the 8th. I now feel very old. Everyone knows how much of a bookworm I am so I got a few really lovely books as birthday presents, including 'Worn Stories' by Emily Spivack. It's such a gorgeous book that shares little stories from famous people that are attached to items of clothing. It's amazing to see how a piece of clothing can bring back so many memories. We probably all have a worn out pair of jeans or a scabby t.shirt that remind us of a certain day. It's cool. Talking of hella cool books with interesting formats, my sister got me 'Important Artifacts and Personal Property...' by Leanne Shapton (I'm not going to write out the full title every time, it's crazy long). This book tells you the story of a failed relationship (between Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris) but it's not just another romance novel, oh no, it's set out like an auction catalogue and the story is told through the descriptions of the items. How amazing is that?! I can't wait to read this. The last book I got for my birthday is 'Palo Alto' by James Franco. I saw the film last month (then re-watched a few times) and really loved it so when I discovered that it was a book first, I was all over it. Should be good. 

I bought the others over the past couple of months: 'Ayoade On Ayoade' by Richard Ayoade has already been read and oh my goodness it was brilliant. So bizarre. I'm a huge Richard Ayoade fan and this book had made me love and admire him even more. 'The Establishment' by Owen Jones is a political one so it won't be to everyone's taste but I've heard great things about Owen Jones so I wanted to give it a shot. It's essentially about the group of people behind the government who really hold all the power, despite the UK being a "democracy". I think this'll be really quite interesting. Lastly, my first Murakami: 'Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage'. I've been meaning to read some Murakami for ages now and this one sounds like my kinda thing so I'm looking forward to finally joining the Murakami club. 

What have you been reading/buying recently? Have you read any of these?
Catriona

31 July 2015

2015's Favourite Films #2


A wee while ago, I posted about 6 films that I've watched and loved in 2015 so far - here. Now, I'm gonna tell y'all about another 6 films that I've seen this year which are, in my opinion, freaking fantastic and completely worth watching. 

Kill Your Darlings (2013): John Krokidas
If you like Daniel Radcliffe, poetry and/or killer 40s fashion, you'll love Kill Your Darlings. It's a film set in 1944 about the poets from the Beat Generation and it's insanely stylish but there's an amazingly dark, sinister undertone throughout and it's essentially a murder mystery so don't be fooled by the big glasses, cable-knit jumpers and tweed coats. I love the general aesthetic of Kill Your Darlings.

Mysterious Skin (2004): Gregg Araki
This is an odd one because I didn't think twice before putting it on the list yet I can't bring myself to watch it again. Mysterious Skin is such a powerful, brave film but it's disturbing. It sticks with you for months after you watch it which I feel like is the mark of an amazing movie. If you simplify it right down, it's about a male prostitute and a guy who's convinced he was abducted by aliens. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the part of Neil absolutely brilliantly and Gregg Araki directed it to perfection (I'm a big Araki fan). There are some really beautiful shots and gorgeous, vivid colours that contrast with the overall muted aesthetic, which sticks to the jewel-colour motif in the book it was based off of.  The full thing's just stunning. I'm finding it really quite hard to write about this film because it's so graphic but if you're old enough, give it a watch.

Heathers (1988): Michael Lehmann
On a slightly lighter note, Heathers is a true 80s wonder. I say "slightly lighter note" because it's still dark and twisted but it's hilarious so it's definitely some light relief after Mysterious Skin. This film just oozes 80s style which I absolutely adore and Winona Ryder kills it throughout (literally). Heathers somehow manages to mix crime and comedy to perfection, completely taking the piss out of what it means to be 'cool'. It has some great acting and one of the best plots to come out of the 80s. 10 out of 10, would recommend to a friend.

I Killed My Mother (2009): Xavier Dolan
Oh look at that, another post involving Xavier Dolan, what a shock. I Killed My Mother was Xavier Dolan's first feature film and, correct me if I'm wrong, I think he wrote it when he was 17 so that makes me feel like a massive failure. It's a semi-autobiographical film about a gay teenager with a complicated relationship with his mum. One of my favourite things about Xavier Dolan is his complete lack of fear when it comes to breaking the rules of film-making; he throws in some really weird shots that may or may not work and you spend the full film just admiring his guts. The dialogue and interaction between characters (especially Hubert and his mum) is ridiculosuly natural and believable, and the fact that it's in French somehow makes every word sound better. I love everything about this film.

Kaboom (2010): Gregg Araki
Another Gregg Araki film...I should've thought this through. Kaboom only has a 5.7 rating on IMDb which is a travesty in my opinion because I watched it in April and I still tell people about it on a weekly basis even now, 4 months later. It's potentially the most bizarre film I've ever seen. It makes no sense. I love it. I watched Kaboom one night after a really sad episode of Skins because I thought it would be quite light-hearted (and it has Juno Temple in it who's kinda my queen) but I was wrong...very wrong. I've never been so disturbed and confused by a film in my life. It's a sci-fi movie about a group of college students experimenting and trying to find themselves but it's honestly so weird and out-there. I won't say anything else because I don't want to ruin it at all but it's psychedelic, wacky and absolutely hilarious. Gregg Araki is a genius. 

Backstreet Boys: Show 'Em What You're Made Of (2015): Stephen Kijak
Bit of a wildcard to finish with but you probably saw this coming because it's common knowledge that I really like the Backstreet Boys. Like, really like them. This is a documentary about the backstreet boys but don't be fooled into thinking that they're just a superficial boy-band with killer harmonies and over-flowing bags of talent because this documentary is a work of art. There is so much more to the backstreet boys and everyone should love them as much as I do. I mean, have you heard Quit Playing Games With My Heart? It's genius. I cried buckets at this film, mainly when I saw how well Nick Carter had grown up. Just take my word for it and dedicate a day to this documentary.

Just a quick little apology for the lack of female directors. The film industry in general definitely supports male directors more than it does female directors but I should've made more of an effort to be more critical and watch films more diversely, and to feature a more diverse range of films in this post. Sorry! I'll work on that for future film-related posts.

Have you seen any of these films? What have been some of your favourites from 2015 so far?
Cat 

26 July 2015

Currently I'm...#22


Reading:
I've actually got 4 books on the go at the moment so feel free to hate me a little bit because I sure do. I really need to just dedicate a couple of days to getting all the books I'm reading finished so I can start a new one and focus on it. The 4 books in question are How To Be Both by Ali Smith, The Art Of Creative Thinking by Rod Judkins, Ayoade On Ayoade: A Cinematic Odyssey by Richard Ayoade, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling. I'm genuinely loving all of them so I'm not sure why I haven't finished any. I'm trying to re-read the first three Harry Potter books so I can get on with the rest of the series. I have a lot of reading to do.

Listening To:
I've been getting back in touch with my past wanna-be scene kid and listening to the bands I loved when I was 13 and 14. I actually made a playlist called 'That Time I Tried To Be Scene', including Sleeping With Sirens, Pierce The Veil, Mayday Parade, Death Cab For Cutie, You Me At Six, Boys Like Girls, All Time Low and a whole lot of Patty Walters covers. It's a real blast from the past and I freaking love it. I've also been getting back into Relient K and alt-J. It's been fun. 

Watching:
I don't usually talk about films in these posts but I watched Frances Ha last night and it was really brilliant so I felt like it needed a mention. Series-wise, I finally started watching Buffy and it's every bit as good as I was expecting, and I've been keeping up-to-date with season 6 of Pretty Little Liars but I'm not enjoying this season anywhere near as much as the past seasons. I'm a big PLL fan but I'm feeling like 6 seasons is verging on excessive. I'm kinda losing interest with who A is because it's went on for so damn long. I feel bad for saying that...sorry.
Loving:
Juno Temple.

What have you been loving recently?
Catriona

21 July 2015

Everyone Makes Mistakes


I know I've made mistakes and messed up multiple times in the past. I also know that I'll make mistakes and mess up multiple times in the future. I've finally come to realise that it's normal and you know what? People don't always care as much as you think they will. People forgive and forget and most things look a bit better after a cup of tea and a good sleep. I have a habit of blowing stuff out of proportion and feeling a lot worse than I should, I guess that's down to anxiety. What can I say? I've always been a worrier. When you think about it, what's actually important is that nothing lasts forever (especially the bad stuff) people are good and everyone makes mistakes, some more than others. Real life example time: in a few months, I'm going to think posting that photo is a mistake. And I'm covering a pizza stain on my jumper with the camera so that was a mistake, the pizza was good though. It's gonna be okay. Life's good.

Catriona

17 July 2015

2015's Favourite Films #1


I'm a huge film fan. 
I'm not sure where this stems from but for the past couple of years, I've had a real love for film. I can't just have a film on in the background anymore, I just need to watch every little detail and fully appreciate what I'm seeing. I can't just watch a film for the plot, I need to soak up everything and watch it fully. I watch films like many people read books; living in that world for a couple of hours and I can't stop thinking about it afterwards. I freaking love film. For some odd reason, I never really talk about film on my blog but that's gonna change right about now. To ease y'all into my film-love, I thought I'd share some of my favourite films that I've seen in 2015 so far, and hopefully you'll share my love for them too. 

About Time (2013): Richard Curtis
About Time's been around for a couple of years now but, for some weird reason, I only just got around to watching it last week. My mum and sister have been telling me to watch it since it came out in 2013, saying that it's amazing and I'll love it but, being the twisted person I am, I brushed it off and decided not to watch it. (WHY, CATRIONA? WHY?) I finally watched it and oh jesus it's wonderful. I'm not the biggest Richard Curtis fan but About Time is beautiful. It's slow and gentle but completely gripping. It sucks you in from the very beginning and makes you live every second as it happens. About Time is, funnily enough, about time. It's essentially a rom-com about time-travel but it somehow makes it seem completely possible and realistic. I was so impressed by this film (and I cried a hell of a lot). 

Palo Alto (2013): Gia Coppola
I watched Palo Alto on a whim a wee while ago, not knowing anything about it at all. All I knew was that it's directed by Gia Coppola, Sofia Coppola's niece. I guess that's all I needed to know. Palo Alto follows the lives and relationships of 4 teenagers (I know, sounds a wee bit shit) in an absolutely stunning, thought-provoking way. It hasn't got any crazy plot but you get completely enthralled in the lives of these kids as they try to work out what the hell they're doing. It has some gorgeous shots and realistic dialogue which is a nice change for a movie with teenagers in it. The acting is brilliant and it just has an overall beautiful aesthetic. Love this film.

Obvious Child (2014): Gillian Robespierre
This is another film that I watched on a whim with no pre-judgement whatsoever, I just stuck it on when I was cleaning my room but I ended up watching it fully and doing absolutely no cleaning so that kinda backfired. Obvious Child is about a stand-up comedian in her twenties, who is forced to grow up pretty quickly when she becomes pregnant. This film made me laugh to peeing-point whilst still being really emotional and heart-warming. The acting is seriously brilliant (Jenny Slate and Jake Lacy need to be in every film ever), the dialogue is crazy realistic and it's hella empowering. Highly recommend this film to literally everyone.

We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011): Lynne Ramsay
This film...ohhhh this film. We Need To Talk About Kevin slaps you round the face with style. It's done so well and what really impressed me with this film is the lack of dialogue, yet it somehow manages to say so much. It really shook me up and stayed with me for literally weeks after I watched it. Every single moment is used perfectly. Every shot is stunning. Every word spoken is purposeful. Ohhh my gosh, it's just brilliant. The plot itself is really quite disturbing (essentially evil child and a mother who really struggles to love him) and the film as a whole is incredibly stylish. Go on, watch it.

God Help The Girl (2014): Stuart Murdoch
I'm about to say something pretty out-there...you ready? I do believe that God Help The Girl is my very favourite film. Like, of all the films I've ever seen. Like, overtaking Fame (that's a biiiiig deal). I'm a life-long Belle & Sebastian fan, I love Glasgow and the three main actors (Hannah Murray, Emily Browning and Olly Alexander) are a few of my favourite people so it's kinda inevitable that a Belle & Sebastian musical set in Glasgow with those three actors would be my new love. It's just perfect. The music, the setting, the characters, the fashion, aaaarrgghh I love it all. Get it watched.

Heartbeats / Les Amours Imaginaires (2010): Xavier Dolan
Finishing up with a wee bit of a wild-card: Heartbeats is your classic love-triangle story but it's in French and it's directed, written and produced by Xavier Dolan, an insanely talented young director from Quebec. Heartbeats is crazy-beautiful. I'm a huge fan of Xavier Dolan as it is but Heartbeats is probably my favourite of his films. He just has such a distinctive, gorgeous style and this film really showcases it. It may be a wee bit heavy for some people and you have to be in the right mood to watch it but it's totally worth it. 

I think I'll do a part 2 for this post because I have quite a few more films that make the cut. 2015's proving to be a damn good year for films (even though none of these actually came out in 2015). 

Have you seen any of these? What are some of the best films you've seen this year? 
Cat

1 July 2015

18 Before 18

I turn 18 in under 2 months and there's a fair few things I want to do before I'm officially an adult. Some of them are really little but frankly I find it weird that I've never drank a cappuccino so that made the list. Think of this as a bucket-list with a really short deadline...I guess.  Now that I'll be putting it in writing, it's official: I'm doing these 18 things before I turn 18. I have until the 8th of August.


1. Busk again
I haven't been busking since last year and that sucks. I really like busking so it's about time I did it again and I'm thinking I might be better than I was last year which is a bonus. Time to dust off the handful of default songs that act as a security blanket. 

2. Climb a tree
I was about to say that I haven't climbed a tree since I was a kid but that would be a complete lie because it would imply that I was once the outdoorsy type and we all know that ain't true. The other day, I climbed a few feet up a tree but I'm aiming higher, I want to climb higher than the height of an average 18 year-old.

3. Buy a record player
We've played vinyl in the house since I was tiny but I would absolutely love to be able to play records in my bedroom. I love the way vinyl sounds. (Done!)

4. Hike
The last time I hiked, I was about 10 and I tried to run down the hilly-mountain thing once we reached the top and fell a fair distance so I feel like I should give it another go. Like I said, I'm not the outdoorsy type but I think even I could climb a big hill.

5. Drink a cappuccino
Pretty self-explanatory. I only started drinking coffee earlier this year but I'm yet to have a cappuccino, I usually go for lattes or just like...normal coffee (so technical). I wanna try a cappuccino.

6. Get my eyebrows done
I'm super reluctant to let anyone go near my eyebrows because I've always done them myself and it's a genuine fear of mine that I'll over-pluck them and have really sparse brows. I over-plucked between the ages of 13 and 16 and I'll never live it down - my eyebrows were quite thick but started incredibly far apart. It was tragic. I really like my eyebrows now but I feel like they would benefit from a professional shaping them properly. 


7. Take photos in a nice city
Since getting my DSLR, I've really been getting into photography. I want to spend the day in a beautiful city taking photos. 

8. Watch the sunrise
I've never done this. How sad. 

9. Go to the cinema alone
I can't decide if this would be sad and lonely or really nice and peaceful. My own company's pretty great so I think it would be nice. Besides, I usually struggle to find someone who will sit through weird films with me *cough* the backstreet boys movie *cough*

10. Start learning a new instrument
I've been in piano lessons since I was 6, took tuned percussion and drum lessons for a few years a while back, and I've been playing ukulele since 2012 but I feel like it's about time I tried something new. I bought a guitar a few years ago and am yet to properly try to play it so that's definitely an option, but I'm thinking I might give my sister's old violin a shot. 

11. Scrapbook
This is a work in progress. I'm tempted to tick this one off already but I don't think I've scrapbooked quite enough to justify it. I love keeping a record of good memories and I'm quite creative so scrapbooking seems perfect for me.

12. Swim in the ocean
I can't swim and I'm scared of deep water so this is gonna be interesting. I just like beaches and feel like me trying to swim in the sea would be hilarious for everyone watching so why the heck not?

13. Have bubble tea again
I haven't had bubble tea since last September. I need bubble tea.


14. Go for a really long walk
Contrary to popular belief, I really like walking. I want to just start walking and not have a set destination in mind and just kinda walk...for a long time. Not like days but a good few hours. This is probably one of those things that sounds really nice but turns out to be cold and painful and boring. Think I'll give it a go anyway.

15. Watch Dexter*
I've never watched Dexter but a lot of people have told me to watch Dexter and I want to watch Dexter.
*Dexter can be replaced by any of the following: Prison Break, Game Of Thrones, Buffy, Breaking Bad, Misfits, 30 Rock or American Horror Story. I get a lot of TV reccommendations.

16. Write a short screenplay
*In progress*

17. Get myself a uni-appropriate wardrobe
It's been quite a while since I bought new clothes and I feel like a lot of what I own doesn't really suit me and isn't who I am anymore. I really want some new clothes for when I start uni in September. I also kinda feel like where I live doesn't let me dress the way I want to dress but I'll be spending a lot of time in Glasgow when I start uni and people are so much more expressive and free with how they dress there so I can finally wear exactly what I want to and play with my identity a bit more. I can't wait.

18. Get a job
I'm trying so hard but no one wants to employ me. I don't get it: I'm cute and can knit fairly well so everyone should be fighting to employ me. Ah well...I'll keep trying.

What's on your bucket list?
Cat 

23 June 2015

Currently I'm...#21

Reading:
'The Art Of Creative Thinking' by Rod Judkins. I bought it without knowing anything about it whatsoever, just because it caught my eye in Waterstones. I love books about creativity and different ways of thinking so this one seemed like something I'd enjoy. My judgement was pretty much spot-on because I'm loving it so far. Creative thinking is interesting as it is but there's something about the way Rod Judkins has written this book that makes it even more interesting and the format makes it a really light and easy read. I'd highly recommend it (it helps that the book itself is hella cute). The last book I read was Alexa Chung's 'It' which was brilliant. Such a gorgeous book.

Listening To:
Clean Bandit, Catfish and the Bottlemen, The Neighbourhood and a whole lot of Years & Years. My love for Olly Alexander is getting to the point where I have tweet notifications turned on for him and only him, I'm slightly obsessed with Bright by Echosmith, and my June playlist on Spotify is filled with synth which is totally okay, Right now, I'm listening to Twin Atlantic because I bought their album, Free, this time two years ago so it always makes me feel really summery.

Watching:
I got season 3 of OITNB watched in three days and freaking loved it, marathoned season 2 of Ink Master and got all pissy about 90% of the eliminations before I remembered it's just a TV show about tattoo artists, finished Skins and got up-to-date with Pretty Little Liars. Now I'm watching season 6 of PLL, cycle 21 of America's Next Top Model, season 3 of My Mad Fat Diary, season 6 of Glee, season 4 of New Girl, season 2 of Silicon Valley and season 3 of The Mindy Project. Can you tell I have a bit of free time now that I've left school?

Loving:
Having short hair!! A month or so ago, I cut 5-ish inches of my hair off and got it chin-length. I've been wanting shorter hair for years so I finally went for it and I'm so happy I did. It takes no time whatsoever to wash and dry, it's dead easy to style, it has a lot more volume and I don't have to do that annoying hair-untucking thing when I put on a t.shirt/jumper/scarf/jacket. I don't even have to brush it. It's perfect for a lazy-arse like me. It's grown an inch since I got it cut but I still love it and literally haven't regretted getting it cut even once. Go on, cut all your hair off (but please don't hate me if you don't like it).

What have you been loving recently?
Cat

7 June 2015

Where Have I Been?

In the 8 years I've been blogging, I've never taken a break longer than a week or two. Now, I'm posting about the 6 month hiatus I accidentally went on. Not gonna lie, I'm not actually sure what happened. When I say "accidentally", I mean accidentally. I'm racking my brain and I can't for the life of me think of a moment where I thought "I'm gonna go on a hiatus now", it just sort of happened. 2015 rolled around and it was almost like blogging just didn't really make it into the new year. I kept posting but not very often at all and when I did, it was more out of necessity than anything. It's a really weird feeling when you realise you've been posting fortnightly at best, when you spent a full year previously posting three times a week. The weirdest part is, I don't even know why I did it. I really did just fall into a hiatus and vanished for 6 months...sorry 'bout that.

Right, so let's work out what I've actually done instead of blogging because I sure as hell don't know.

January got off to a shaky start after a bad NYE. I spent the first few days of 2015 in a wee bit of a mess but eventually came out of my stupid rut better than ever so I guess everything really does happen for a reason. It taught me a lesson. I started spending a lot more time with my friends and made a real effort to push myself and get out of my comfort zone more often. I got on a whole lot of public transport and put myself in situations that I probably would've panicked about a few months before. I took myself out for lunch. I went on day-trips alone. I went on day-trips with friends. I watched friends play beer-pong (note the use of 'watched'...I'm too much of a light-weight for that stuff). I re-joined my local library. I cut off a large amount of my hair. I taught myself how to knit. I started cooking for my family at least once a week. I got Netflix (both a blessing and a curse). You could say I got weirder than I already was but a massive part of this lesson was to stop caring what people think. I guess taking a step back from blogging allowed me to get out of my own head and stop over-thinking things quite so much. As a lifestyle blogger, it's really easy to get stuck inside your own little bubble because you're blogging about your own life. In my experience, I've been using my blog as a diary and a way to collect my thoughts so instead of being able to use my blog as an escape, my blog reflected my life way too accurately. I couldn't use my blog to escape my worries because it reflected every single one of them. I needed to take a step back from my blog if I wanted to take a step back from my anxiety, mistakes and worries. I'm only just realising this now. Blogging really is like therapy.

Don't get me wrong, I love blogging and I love my blog. I guess the problem was that I was using my blog in the wrong way. I was using it to record every little detail of my life - good and bad - and I thought at the time that writing it all down was helping me cope. Writing my problems and thoughts down is sometimes a good idea but I'm realising now that it's often better to leave negativity behind me and move on, learning from my mistakes. I'm also realising that having every single little worry I have out there on the internet to live forever may not be the smartest idea. This hiatus should help me take my blog in a slightly different direction. I just need to hope that you don't give up on me quite yet.

I'm not making any promises but hopefully this post will help me gradually come back to blogging and make my blog into the blog I want it to be. Thank you so much for all the support over the past 6 months. ♥

Cat

2 May 2015

I've Left School & I Feel Old


I can't quite believe I'm writing this right now but I've kinda officially left school.

This time last year, I wrote a post 'On Leaving, Growing Up & Missed Opportunities' and I guess that, in a way, this is the second installment. Last year, I was mildly freaking out about the old sixth years leaving school. It shook me up a bit and made me realise that, in a year's time, I would be leaving school too. I had always seen the sixth years as so much older and more mature than me so when they left school, it suddenly hit home that I need to be as old and mature as they were. I was a sixth year. They had been my safety blanket and now my safety blanket had been ripped from my arms and sent away on a train to Glasgow uni. Now, less than a year after that post went live, I'm out of school. 

It's funny, in a way. I spent all of this past school year saying to my friends that I'm not ready to leave and that I would never survive at uni. I can't count the number of mornings that were spent talking to Rachel about leaving school. All year, I was like "I'm not reading to leave right now but I'm sure I'll feel a lot more ready in May" but, unfortunately, that ain't true. It came so quickly and I'm still not ready to leave school, but it's too late. I feel like I'm on holiday but I'm not...I've left school. If this is brain mush then I don't know what is.

I genuinely feel so old. I'm turning 18 in 3 months. I'm looking into setting up a current account (whatever the heck that is). I'm applying to SAAS. I'm looking for a part-time job. I'm considering starting driving lessons. I even made a freaking chana masala the other day. I'm practically an adult. To add fuel to this fire, I went for a walk purely so I could listen to Bob Dylan on Thursday and I've taken up knitting. It's kinda like I'm skipping the full 'young adult' stage and going straight to being an old lady. Gonna get my OAP bus-pass soon. 

Right now, I'm studying for my exams. I've got 4 exams to sit during May, then a wee leavers day to attend and a leavers form to get signed before I'm an official school leaver. I have the hoody to prove it. Then in early September, I'm off to university. I tried to avoid it for the longest time but the truth is, I'm getting old. Ah well. 

Lots of love,
Cat

27 April 2015

Interview With Riikkii From Iridescent Noire


Hello Riikkii! A big warm welcome to Through A Cat's Eyes. Can you tell everyone a little bit about you and your blog, Iridescent Noire?        
Hi everyone! First of all, thanks for interviewing me on your lovely blog. I'm Riikkii, a lifestyle and fashion blogger. I only recently started my blog and I'm really enjoying it so far. I post anything that's related to fashion, style, photography, etc. I use my blog as a platform for creativity. It's basically an online moodboard (sort of!).

When did you start blogging and what motivated you to do so? 
I am really interested in fashion and I have been for a while now. To be honest, I didn't really read any fashion or style blogs until I started my blog. I've known about blogging for a really long time now so it was really just about time I was to start my own!

What and who inspires you with blogging?   
My blog is a place where I can write a share anything that inspires me. I am always on Pinterest looking for inspirations, patterns and almost anything inspirational. I think my life everyday can also influence the way I write and the topics I write about. I also post blogger 'how tos' and tips to help bloggers. They are inspired by what I was confused with when I started my first ever blog back in 2013.

The design of your blog is gorgeous, how did you learn web-design?      
Thank you! I'm really glad you like it. I learnt it by looking for tutorials online. When I started my first blog back in 2013 (I won't really mention it!) I had no design skills whatsoever. I had no idea what to do or how to do it. Luckily, I learnt pretty fast and began to design my blogs a little better. 

What would you say are the most important things to consider when designing a blog or website?      
Definitely think about what your overall design is going to look like. You have to have an idea about what colours you like, patterns, your layout, etc. Another thing to think about is usability. If I cant navigate or find the comment link, I'll probably leave and not bother. It sounds harsh, I know. But most people are like that.

What do you think makes a good blog/blogger?
If you are yourself in your posts, it will definitely show. I think blogging is something in which there are no rules for. If you want to post 3 times a week, great! If you want to post every single day, perfect! Just do what you want to do, it is your blog after all!

Check out Iridescent Noire here!

5 April 2015

D.I.Y Mood-Board


A while ago, a friend gave me a mirror she didn't want anymore and for the past few months, it's just been sitting on the floor next to my piano with absolutely no use. I'll sometimes use it when I'm doing my hair or something if I'm too lazy to stand up but apart from that, it was going to waste. Yesterday, I decided to get all Pinterest-y and make it into a mood-board when I was marathoning Gossip Girl and I'm actually really happy with the results. I scoured my Pinterest (which is wonderful, by the way) for some of my favourite photos and printed them off, then cut up some different wrapping papers and then just blu-tacked them all to the mirror. It took a few attempts to get the layout right but I love the way it turned out. It's kinda like a physical Pinterest board. 

When I was choosing the photos, I picked ones that inspired me and ones that reflect the overall aesthetic that I'm loving at the moment. Hannah Murray had to make an appearance, as well as Xavier Dolan. There had to be a photo of Copenhagen somewhere, and I needed to have at least one photo by the amazing Fanny Latour-Lambert. Because I used blu-tack, I can easily change the photos as my tastes and style changes but for now, it really reflects what I'm inspired by. What do you think? Do you have a mood-board?

Lots of love, 
Cat

20 March 2015

Note To Self


I've always been a note-taker and not just in the education way. Yeah, I always take notes in class and stuff but the notes that really matter are the ones I make at 2am when I can't sleep at night and the ones I take on the bus to and from school every day, when a random (potentially stupid) thought pops into my head. Sometimes I like to flick through my notebooks and note-apps and read over some of my past notes, reminding myself of bizarre business plans, good songs I heard on the radio and quotes that stuck with me. I might live to regret this but I think it's about time that I shared some of these notes with you. My current responses and comments are in square-brackets. 
Are you a note-taker? 

Date: Early August 2013
Goals for August...
Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid speaking against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
You are an explorer. Your mission is to document and observe the world around you as if you've never seen it before. Take notes, collect things you find on your travels. Document your findings. Notice patterns. Copy. Trace.
[might make these my life-goals, starting now]

Date: June 2014
Things I've Never Done...
Got a piercing, got drunk, smoked, tried an espresso, written a book, tried quinoa, drank Red Bull, been on a train alone, been on a date, went to Costa alone, written a song, went to the cinema alone, met my blogging friends, been to a meet-up/gathering
[some are still true, some aren't...oooh mysterious]

Date: unknown
"It's cool to not give a shit but people put so much effort into it, which rather 
defeats the case for the lack of shits they give."
 - Harry Hitchens
[still freaking love this]

Date: December 2014
Bucket List For 2015...
Get a drastic haircut/dye, busk again, meet someone I look up to, go to another gig (or many), do voluntary work, get a job, holiday/road-trip/day-trip with friends, meet blogging friends, go somewhere new
[it's a work in progress]

Date: unsure, maybe January 2015
Hey Catriona,
you don't have to be a sarcastic bitch to be funny, not everything is "just banter" and there's actually a line that kinda shouldn't be crossed ♥
[think I wrote this to myself after a bad day...true though]

Date: January 1st 2015
"NO ONE CARES" 
- J.D. 2015
[1st class advice from a friend, after a rough few hours, 
literally on the night of NYE. love it]

Date: February 21st 2015
I had such a good night. Like, such a good night. It's becoming more and more obvious that I have a wonderful group of friends and nights like this show that. I'm really bloody lucky.

A couple hours later
I've realised that I actually really like who I am, I'm finally getting really quite confident and I really don't care what people think of me (most of the time). This makes me pretty darn happy.
[I like notes like these]

Date: unknown
"I value people who walk into an image, rather than attempting to replicate another."
- Harry Hitchens
[easily one of my favourite quotes]

Date: February 2015
Couch-Table
A table-top that pulls out from the couch like, under the seat. Amazing.
[don't be stealing my idea. it's genius]

Date: August 24th 2014
"If you love something, let it go. If you don't love something, definitely let it go. Basically, just drop everything, who cares."
- B.J. Novak
[wow I really love this]

I have a number of super-amazing business ideas on my phone but I'm not going to share them incase someone sees them, thinks "gosh these are some great business ideas" and steals them before I have a chance to do it myself. All you need to know is that one involves tennis, food and puns.  

Date: April 2014 but it's constantly being updated
People I Want To Have Coffee With
Harry Hitchens, Matty Healy, Soren Hansen, Jesse Eisenberg, KickThePJ, Joseph Trohman, Patrick Stump, Hayley Williams, Mindy Kaling, B.J. Novak, Tim Gunn, Ivy Winters, Sarah Kay, Phil Kaye, Lizzie Velasquez
[I genuinely add onto this list on a weekly basis]

 Date: unknown
A combination of all the music-related lists on my phone (there's about 6)
To Check Out: Echosmith, Malory Knox, Lower Than Atlantis, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Cage The Elephant
My Jams: Superheroes, Dammit Janet, Science Fiction/Double Feature, all from Rocky Horror, BACKSTREET BOYS, Hello I'm In Delaware by City and Colour [no idea what this is]
Band Names: Flynnery [wow catriona so many ideas]
Mash-Ups What Would Be Gr8: Sing by Ed Sheeran + that Usher and Nicki Minaj song. Season Of Love + Love Is An Open Door.
[this is what happens on the bus in the morning]

The best thing on my phone is easily the track-list for the album I am most definitely going to make with my friend, Tasha, one day. We've had a 'band' since first year and we've already written a musical (an amazing adaptation of Brokeback Mountain), and multiple songs for our upcoming album. Again, I ain't telling you the name or the track-list incase someone sees it and grabs the amazing opportunity for global success.

My sincerest apologies,
Cat

16 February 2015

Currently I'm...#20

 
Reading:
Since the last update, I've finished How To Build A Girl by Caitlin Moran which I absolutely loved. I got through the majority of it in a couple of days because I was hooked. I know it won't be for everyone but I loved it and would recommend giving it a go. Then I read Wonder by R.J. Palacio which, in my opinion, wasn't as good. I've heard nothing but wonderful things about Wonder so I'm thinking that maybe I'm a bit too old for it. Saying that, it's nicely written and incredibly heart-warming because Auggie is a proper sweetheart. Now, I'm reading Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre and Venus As A Boy by Luke Sutherland, and I'm enjoying both so far.
 
Watching:
I'm not proud of this...but over the past few weeks, I've somehow managed to watch 4 seasons of Pretty Little Liars...each season having 25 episodes. Whoops. The first few seasons were re-watches but it's been well over a year since I last watched it so it was pretty much just like watching it for the first time. Also, my latest obsession is Skins. I'm trying to make seasons 1 and 2 last as long as possible so I'm re-watching more than I'm watching and really controlling what I watch so it lasts longer. I know that's weird but I really don't want season 2 to end. :'D I've also been watching a stupid amount of Say Yes To The Dress but let's just ignore that.

Listening To...
I've recently realised how freaking brilliant Sia is so I've been listening to her a lot. Also, I found that Beyoncé is the best music to listen to in the bath. If we're talking about individual songs, Sia's version of 'You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile' is incredible, Beyoncé's '7/11' is amazingly bad-ass, 'Tell Her You Love Her' by Echosmith is adorable, and 'Cocoon' by Catfish and the Bottlemen is quickly becoming my jam. Also, let's just take a moment to appreciate the absolute genius and raw talent that is American Beauty/American Psycho. As my all-time favourite band, Fall Out Boy can do no wrong but this album is incredible, even for them. Just as a side note, my Backstreet Boys love is growing every day. It's pretty darn powerful. 

Lots of love, Cat
xxx

8 February 2015

Where I Blog #3

 
'Where I Blog' has been a very irregular feature on Through A Cat's Eyes for quite a few years now but I recently realised that my desk has changed dramatically since the last time I showed you all. Not only has it changed appearance completely, but it has literally moved place in my room so it kinda couldn't be more different. It doesn't look like it but it's actually the same desk as in the last two 'where I blog' posts but a few months ago, I covered it in wallpaper. I couldn't be happier with my desk at the moment - it finally reflects me perfectly without losing it's practicality. I'm a sixth year student and a blogger so my desk is my most important piece of furniture and now that it's the way I want it, I spend most of my time at it. When I was re-arranging my furniture a year or so ago, I knew I wanted to move my desk to underneath my window, meaning that I get a load of natural light at it now. I just love my desk and even though I'm not blogging as much now, it's the perfect place for me to work.

Right, the photos are quite self-explanatory but, as you can see, I have my beloved laptop, fairy lights under the window, a Starbucks cup being used as a pen-pot (this has actually stayed constant through all three 'where I blog' posts), a photo of me and my friends from my 16th birthday in a frame from TK Maxx, a Yankee Candle (Lilac Blossoms), a couple of Edward Monkton coasters, my beautiful fern (I have a thing for ferns), organic manuka honey rescue cream for my stupidly dry hands, a stack of notebooks and planners, and a lamp from IKEA. There's usually a cup of tea there too but I tidied up for you. My favourite thing about my desk (and potentially my full room) though, is my CD artwork wall. It took a ridiculously long time to make and it's a hassle to keep up-to-date but it is so worth it. I made it last May and now I kinda can't imagine my room without it. It features 48 of my favourite albums which I update every few months, and is just made using the booklets from CDs with the pages blu-tacked together. I love it. ♥

Where do you blog?
Lots of love, Cat
xxx

17 January 2015

My Goals For 2015


I've never really bought into the whole 'new year, new me' phenomenon but I do like the idea of a fresh start and a new beginning so I find it difficult to end a year without making a few resolutions. Saying that, I focus more on goals than I do resolutions. There's just something about setting goals for myself that I've always liked - I enjoy having something to strive for, something to keep me motivated. I've set goals for myself for as long as I can remember and it's by no means just a New Year's thing for me, but I like to take advantage of the New Year's mentality and write myself a list of goals, aims and resolutions as the year comes to an end. This year, I thought I'd try something a bit different and share my goals with you lovely people, then maybe you can follow and share some of your own. I'd love to hear about them! ♥

Be more positive:
I'm a positive person in general - it's something I've really focused on over the past few years and I feel like I'm almost at the point of happiness and positivity that I want to be at. However, there are still a few things that get me down for no reason and I quite often catch myself over-thinking things until they're very negative which is something I want to work on. I really struggle to be around negative people so the last thing I want is to become negative myself. Cheesy way to kick off this post but what can I say? Positivity is damn important.

Read 25 books:
It's no secret that I love reading but I have a strong feeling that this year is going to be a busy one so I might not have quite as much time to read as I have done in the past. I read 38 books in 2014 so I thought 25 would be a nice, achievable goal for 2015.

Stress less, care less & have fun:
Pretty self-explanatory but I'm basically just sick and tired of holding myself back and stopping myself from having fun, just because of unnecessary worries and reservations. Last year, I finally realised that people don't actually care if you're having a bad hair day and ever since I started caring a lot less about the small, silly things like that, I became a whole lot happier. I want to keep that up and just focus on having a good time this year. 

Learn Dutch (complete Duolingo course):
In October of last year, I discovered the language app, Duolingo, and started to teach myself Dutch but life got pretty busy in November and December so it got pushed to the side. This year, I'm determined to get back on track with it and try to complete the course. I've always wanted to learn another language but I struggled with both French and Mandarin so hopefully Dutch suits me better. It's kind of a dream of mine to visit Holland in the future so I'm sure Dutch will come in handy one day.

Buy less crap & save more:
I've always been pretty good when it comes to saving instead of spending but I want to take this further in 2015 and only buy what I really need. Unfortunately, this might mean cutting my Costa intake down to once a fortnight instead of twice weekly... There's quite a lot I need to be saving for at the moment so I'm going to try to save a lot this year and spend less than I did last year.

Do more:
2014 was a great year as far as experiencing things and going places is concerned but I really want to push myself in 2015 and do even more. There are so many things I want to experience but I've been holding myself back (mainly because of anxiety) so I'm determined to change that this year and actually do things.

I have a feeling that 2015 is going to be a good year... I hope it treats you well!
Lots of love, Cat
xxx

6 January 2015

Currently I'm...#19



Reading:
A couple of nights ago, I finished reading This Book Is Gay by James Dawson which, overall, was pretty good. I don't know how well-suited I was to the book because I already knew 90% of what was being written about but it was still interesting and I can definitely see how it could really help out a lot of people. It's about time there was a book specifically about sexuality. Now, I'm reading How To Build A Girl by Caitlin Moran which I'm absolutely loving. It took a while to get into but I'm right into it now and it's brilliant. Get it read.

Watching:
I got quite a few DVDs for Christmas and in the sales afterwards so I haven't exactly been struggling for things to watch. The past few months, I've been mildly obsessed with John Hughes films from the 80s, especially The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful. I just love the way he worked. John Hughes just gets me... I'll slap myself so you don't have to. :'D Also, Pulp Fiction is a new love of mine (Tarantino is a genius when it comes to dialogue. I realise now that I didn't know what I was talking about before I saw Pulp Fiction) and I re-watched Once a few nights ago which reminded me that it's absolutely beautiful. There's something quite inspirational about Once if you know some of the back-story because it was made on a really small budget and the attitude of the cast and crew just seems to down-to-earth and humble. Other than film, I'd been re-watching season 1 of My Mad Fat Diary (for the third time) until a couple of days ago, then I moved onto season 2 (for the second time). 

Listening To...
A lot of Jamie T but that's not exactly a new development. Also, tacky 90s boy-bands but again, not really a new thing. I was writing my dissertation last night and I put on a playlist of boy-band anthems to get me through but I ended up writing precisely 2 words of my dissertation in an hour and a half because I was really getting into the music. Boy-bands from the 90s and early 2000's are devastatingly under-appreciated...

Loving:
I've been into spoken word poetry for quite a while now but until about a week ago, I only really knew about a few people including Harry Hitchens and Lucy Evenden. I know now that I'd really been missing out because I recently stumbled across Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye and sweet lord, they are genuinely incredible. If you follow me on twitter (@TACEblog or @CatHannnahXD), you've probably noticed me being extra pretentious and annoying recently by regularly tweeting lines from poems by Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye. Sorry about that... I'd highly recommend checking them out though because their poetry is absolutely gorgeous. I can't choose my favourites but An Origin Story, When Love Arrives, Repetition and B are probably a good place to start. 

Lots of love, Cat
xxx

1 January 2015

2014: One Of The Best


I can't quite describe just how good 2014 was. It's odd because as I was planning this post, I was getting annoyed with myself as I realised that, until about March, I did absolutely nothing. The thing is though, I didn't feel that way at the time and I was the happiest I'd been for a while. For the majority of the year, though, I was pretty busy. For me, 2014 was a year of getting stuff done and just generally achieving things as I pushed myself a lot more and made a real effort to get over fears and experience things I'd usually be scared to try. That made 2014 amazing for me and I can't wait for 2015 to come so I can keep pushing myself and doing all the things I've always wanted to do.  2014's made me realise that the world isn't that scary afterall and that my anxiety can't control me. I hope 2014 was amazing for you too - 
please tell me all about your year in the comments! 

January
The year got off to a slow start as I spent most of January either studying for my prelims or sitting in an exam hall, doing my prelims. It kinda sucked but luckily, I did well in my prelims and only failed one (maths, naturally). January also brought a blogging milestone as I hit 300 GFC followers so a massive thank you for that! I also went to a Jack Vettriano exhibition at Kelvingrove which was lovely and saw The Delivery Man with some friends for a friend's 16th birthday. I was serious when I said that the year got off to a slow start... Reading-wise, I got through 6 books that month: The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg, Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, Divergent by Veronica Roth, and Once and Then, both by Morris Gleitzman. 

February
February was another slow one as I pretty much just recovered from my prelims and fell back into the usual routine of waking up, going to school for 8 hours, coming home, doing homework then going to bed. February is usually a boring month, I find. Valentine's Day was a thing and, as always, it was uneventful (haven't got a card since I was 11, ha). Had a couple shopping trips with friends, saw a few films and read 5 books, falling back in love with Enid Blyton. I read Now by Morris Gleitzman, Stop What You're Doing & Read This, and The Faraway Tree trilogy by Enid Blyton which are easily three of my all-time favourite books. So yeah, an incredibly mundane month... It gets better, I swear.

 March
Now it picks up! March brought my school's science fair which I was helping out at, pi day which my maths teacher really threw himself into and a few prom-themed shopping trips. Rachel and I also hosted Divergent Week and I went go-karting with some friends for a friend's 17th birthday, where I came last and threw the marshal off the side of my kart... The highlight of the month was easily when I went to see Fall Out Boy on the 22nd when they came to Glasgow as part of their Save Rock & Roll Tour. FOB have been my favourite band for a good 7 or 8 years so actually getting to see them live was absolutely unbelievable. To make it even better, they were being supported by New Politics. Reading-wise, I got through Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher and The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. 

April
My adorable westie puppy officially stopped being a puppy on the 1st of April when she turned 2. She'll always be a baby to me, though. ♥ I also went to see Divergent which definitely lived up to my high expectations, and had a wee dinner out with my friends to celebrate the start of the Easter holidays. Unfortunately, I had my first Higher exam at the end of the month but it went better than I was expecting. Like with March, there was a massive highlight: seeing McBusted. It was a brilliant gig and although I don't really like McBusted now, it was amazing all the same. I only read one book in April because I was in a horrible reading slump; The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides.
Check out: Iconemesis iPhone 4 Case Review // Santoro London Review

May
May was literally just spent studying and sitting exams but when I was procrastinating, I read a whole lot. I read Daily Rituals by Mason Currey, Alex As Well by Alyssa Brugman, and The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Then I re-read Anna & the French Kiss and Lola & the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. Exam season was really quite stressful this year but it went relatively well and went quickly.

June
June was a good one. Once all my exams were over, I went back to school and moved up into 6th year which was both awesome and scary.  June also brought Wimbledon which, as always, was one of the highlights of my year. The TFiOS movie was released and like I've said before, it didn't quite live up to its expectations but was a great film all the same. I spent lots of time with my friends and ate 1kg of Greek yoghurt in 3 days (long story), then got a bus by myself for the first time which was a big step towards overcoming my fear of public transport. What was the highlight of June? PROM. It was such a lovely night and everyone looked so beautiful. In June, I read Breakfast At Tiffany's by Truman Capote, The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger and Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, which were all great.

July
Another good one, if not one of the best. I went to London with my family for a few days, mainly just to see Les Mis. The actual trip as a whole wasn't the best but Les Mis was absolutely amazing so it more than made up for everything that didn't go to plan. At the time, it was all a bit of a disaster but looking back, it's kinda hilarious. We'd planned to stay in York for a night before going home from London but there was a mix-up with hotels so we had nowhere to stay and ended up deciding to drive home, only to find that the motorway going North was shut, meaning that we were essentially trapped in the South of England. We needed to drive further South to get to the nearest hotel which was in Leeds. We then got ridiculously lost in Leeds and arrived at our hotel at 3am, after my dad had been driving for about 8 hours straight, but our rooms were on floors 14 and 15 and the lifts were broken so we walked up 30 flights of stairs with heavy suitcases at 3am. I think I peed myself laughing. Apart from that, July brought some awesome day-trips and a day out busking with my friend, Beka, as well as a drastic haircut and the one year anniversary of Cory Monteith's death. I also got to see Belle & Sebastian at the Kelvingrove Bandstand which was incredible. July was brilliant. It was a great month for reading too, as I got through 7 books: Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith, Educating Rita by Willy Russell, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick, and the Summer trilogy (The Summer I Turned Pretty, It's Not Summer Without You and We'll Always Have Summer) by Jenny Han, which I re-read every year.

August
The summer holidays ended in August but not before I got my exam results, The Great British Bake Off returned, I turned 17 and this little blog of mine turned 7! Results day was absolutely terrifying (as always) but I ended up getting AABBD which was a massive relief. I had a lovely birthday a few days after results day, then TACE turned 7 a couple of days later. I still can't quite believe that I've been blogging for over 7 years... To make up for the failure that was London, we went to Pitlochry for a weekend in August which was a lot more relaxing than the London/Leeds fiasco, then I went back to school as a 6th year. I was a bit of a reading slump in August, so I only re-read Amy by Mary Hooper and read One More Thing by B.J. Novak (one of my favourite people). Overall, August was the perfect end to a great summer.

September
September got off to a great start with the 3rd being one of my favourite days of the full year. I went up to Glasgow for Glasgow Uni's open day with a few friends, meaning that I had to get the train and the subway, another huge step towards getting over my public transport fear. The uni was beautiful and I left feeling a bit less nervous about the full uni thing, then we went to get bubble tea from Tempo Tea Bar before getting the train home. When I was in the uni, a lovely girl called Alison came over and said she reads my blog, which pretty much made my year. ♥ Later on in the month, I went back to Glasgow with my advanced higher english class to visit the Mitchell Library and Kelvingrove (my second home) which was another lovely day. Then my friend/wife, Nicole, turned 17 and had a house party, which involved me falling into a giant gift bag and cutting up my leg (definitely sober). I read one book in September: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, which was great.

October
October was a lot calmer and I only really went out a few times as most of the month was spent doing homework. My friend, Emily, turned 17 and had some friends over which was lovely, and I went to see 'Love, Rosie' with Rachel (such a cute film), but that was about it. I read three books in October, two wonderful ones and one really bad one (in my opinion): Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson, #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso and Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. I really didn't like Speak but the other two were absolutely brilliant.

November 
This was probably the busiest month of the year for me and I'm still kinda recovering from it because I'm not exaggerating when I say that I was busy every single weekend. I started off the month by having some friends over, then I had a weekend of parties when two of my friends turned 17. That weekend practically killed me (and my liver). Then it was Children In Need which is a massive event at my school where the seniors all dress up and organise a big show to fund-raise. I dressed as a fawn this year and we raised a good 9K for charity. The next weekend brought another house party for no real reason and the following one brought another house party...again for no apparent reason. One Saturday was a little photoshoot-day with Beka for higher photography, and another was a movie-night with a couple of friends. Then I went out for dinner with the girls to celebrate our friend, Emily, leaving school and moving on to an apprenticeship. I didn't actually finish a single book in November which kinda sucks but it was an awesome month spent with my friends. ♥

December
December rounded the year off nicely with another few parties and days out. It kicked off with a trip to Princes Square with my higher music class, the senior choir and the school's musical theatre group to sing Christmas songs to raise money for Quarriers. Before our slot for singing we were let loose in Glasgow to get lunch and go shopping so I went off with a few friends and we got lunch (and food poisoning), then tried to shop for a while but it became kinda obvious that we were all getting ill pretty quickly. We got back to Princes Square to meet up with some of the guys from our class, I passed my peppermint tea off to a couple of them and then we had to sing, whilst feeling like we were going to throw up. It was hilarious, to be honest. :'D It was a great day, despite the food poisoning. The following weekend brought another house party then it was the last week of school before the Christmas holiday. I had a Christmas-y night in with some friends on Sunday, then it was time for the annual Secret Santa exchange on Monday, before actual Christmas a few days later. A couple of days after Christmas, I had a friend's 18th which was brilliant and the year came to an end as I brought 2015 in with my friends.
Check out: Christmas 2014 

Lots of love, Cat
xxx

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