Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Fresh starts and new blogs

This post has been in a long time in the making but, like most things you spend a lot of time thinking out, it rather difficult to put pen to paper - or in this case fingers to keyboard.

I've been blogging on Future Freaks Me, intermittently, for about four years. While I still love the blog it just doesn't feel like me any more. Over the last few years I've grown and changed a lot, and that left me thinking; what do I do about the blog? I wanted to keep blogging but knew that my current voice was no longer the same voice that started writing all of those years ago. I'm sure for a lot of people this progression comes very naturally and you grow with your blog, but for me I just felt disengaged with Future Freaks Me but still attached enough not to want to get rid of it.

After a lot of trying to fall back in love with Future Freaks Me and contemplating taking it offline I decided to create a new blog and start writing in a voice that felt more representative of who I am today - and so Santer's Grotto was born.

I'm still going to keep Future Freaks Me online but I won't be adding any new content to it - it's now a kind of artefact to look back upon and see how I've changed over the years. I'll still be carrying on with my 101 in 1001 challenge, so that will be featuring on Santer's Grotto.

I've been working on Santer's Grotto for a couple of months now and will be launching in the next few weeks, so until then I thought I would sign off here and give you all a heads up about my new blogging home.

I'm going to try and be organised and email all of my followers when Santer's Grotto goes live; so if you do get a random email in the next few weeks hopefully it won't be completely out of the blue!

Thank you to everyone who has ever read, followed and commented on Future Freaks Me. It really does mean so much to me and I appreciate all of your support. Hopefully I'll be seeing some of you on Santer's Grotto. Until then - happy blogging!

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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Wednesday Wish List

Jumpsuit - H! by Henry Holland at Debenhams | Hat - Topshop | Sunglasses - Giorgio Armani via House of Fraser | Shoes - Red Herring at Debenhams

Earlier this week, on my belated Mothers Day shopping trip, I may have treated myself to this gorgeous jumpsuit by H! by Henry Holland. Me and my mum were looking for a top for her to wear to her presentation evening at work so I decided to try on this jumpsuit. Whilst I loved the print I was convinced that jumpsuits didn't suit me so I was a little shocked when I put it on and fell utterly in love.

While the toucan and parrot print is definitely something I would wear, the actual jumpsuit is a long way out of my comfort zone. I'm still a little unsure whether or not I'll actually wear it, it might be a little much for me, so I'm trying to style some outfit ideas and get some opinions before I decide whether or not to keep it - outfit pictures will be up soon!

I really love how effortlessly glamorous this jumpsuit is. Maybe it's just me, but I couldn't help but feel awesome wearing this - although I haven't worked out the practicalities of wearing all day yet! I've tried to create an everyday casual yet glamorous look here, complete with an oversized hat and a gorgeous pair of sunglasses. 

I've been trying on these sunglasses pretty much everyday for the last month at work. They are so beautiful and effortlessly glamorous - you can't help but feel like a rock star when you're wearing them! I really want to get them in time for my trip to Paris but I'm not sure how far my budget can stretch for June creeps up on us. I'll just have to make do with trying them on and lovingly staring at them at work!

The final touch to this outfit is this beautiful pair of shoes! I found them whilst wandering around Debenhams after buying the jumpsuit and couldn't believe how perfectly they went together. I really like the chunky heel on these shoes and the colour is amazing - so perfect for spring/summer!

What do you think of the jumpsuit? I am desperate for opinions, I love it but I don't know if it's a little much for me.

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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

I'm going to Paris!

Last week Josh and I officially booked our trip to Paris and I am so excited! I've been to France twice before but I've never visited Paris, despite having had a fascination with the city for many years.

We've got a couple of months before we set off across the channel so I've been busying myself with planning our trip; working out wear we want to visit and what we want to do while we're there. So far I've got a list of sites I want to see as well as museums and galleries I'm keen to visit. Thankfully I've found out that a lot of places give people under the age of twenty six if you're a European Union national - which is fantastic!

I've also been gradually picking out places for us to eat, with La Laduree and Les Deux Moulins being at the top of my list.

Having never been to Paris I'm really keen to get some tips or recommendations from anyone who has been. So if you have any advice I would be so grateful! Is there anywhere that you would recommend visiting or eating, or even anywhere that you wouldn't recommend too highly - any ideas would be hugely appreciated!

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Monday, 24 March 2014

Book Review: Looking for Alaska

Book review John Green Looking for Alaska

After falling head over heels in love with The Fault in Our Stars my dad very kindly treated me to the John Green collection; a box set containing five novels including my latest read: Looking for Alaska.

Another young adult novel, Looking for Alaska follows Miles "Pudge" Halter; a teenager from Florida who is about to join Culver Creek, a private boarding school in Alabama. Despite his parents belief that their son is secretly very popular Miles' leaving party is an unsurprising disappoint with only two people briefly turning up before leaving and calling an end to their awkward conversation.

Shortly after moving into his dorm in Alabama, Miles meets his room mate known as The Colonel; a headstrong mastermind of mischief with a reputation for pulling off some of the most elaborate pranks in the history of Cluver Creek. In that first afternoon Miles in ironically nicknamed Pudge, and is introduced to the enigmatic and incredibly flirtatious Alaska. After surviving a potentially fatal Weekday Warrior prank on his night first at the school, Pudge finds himself swept away in a plot to take revenge on the wealthy half of the student population.

Over the course of his first year at Culver Creek, through a series of many pranks and counter pranks, Pudge is absorbed into the misfit group of friends and falls ever deeper in love with Alaska, despite her insistence that she is in love with her boyfriend. This tragic and yet hilariously funny story is simple and yet incredibly engaging as we learn to navigate the politics of boarding schools and watch as the class divide is bridged in an attempt to make Culver Creek history and honour those who have escaped the labyrinth. 

While Looking for Alaska didn't leave the same impression as The Fault in Our Stars, I really enjoyed this book. The characters are easy to relate to, capturing every teenagers fear of not belonging, and lead the kind of rebellious and yet slightly romanticised teenage life that I loved watching whilst growing up. 

Amongst many things I liked about this book, Looking for Alaska really gave me a chance to reflect on my teenage years and how I have grown in the years since entering my twenties. Between the main four characters John Green has managed to capture so many different realities of teenage life, making you empathetic to both their highs and lows. 

Like The Fault in Our Stars, this book also contains a lot of references to other literary works - largely through the life library of Alaska. While this doesn't appeal to everyone, I love reading about how influential text can be over people and, as in The Fault in Our Stars, John Green really manages to capture the power of literature and left me with a list of people to look up and books to read; this time I'm desperately keen to read The General in is Labyrinth by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Despite really enjoying this book and the increasingly risky adventures the characters embarked on, I struggled to grow attached to any of them individually. While I liked them as a group, as individuals I didn't feel particularly drawn to any of them. This isn't to say they weren't likeable characters or were poorly developed; they each had baggage they were trying to overcome and secrets they were trying to keep, things we gradually discovered as they began to open up to Miles, but something prevented me from becoming too invested in their lives. I think it was this lack of investment that made me feel rather distant from the story when disaster struck. 

Although I was keen to find out what was going to happen and how the characters would recover, if at all, I didn't feel as moved as I was expecting. In hindsight, I'm rather grateful. As I largely read this book at work I didn't fancy having another emotional breakdown like I did after reading The Fault in Our Stars, but I was hoping to feel a little bit more than the general curiosity that I was left with here.

Over all I really enjoyed this book and I think my issues with the story and my lack of investment to it is largely due to bad timing. Had I not read The Fault in Our Stars just a few weeks before or perhaps if I hadn't put John Green on such a pedestal, maybe I wouldn't have had such high expectations for this book.

Book review John Green Looking for Alaska

I would definitely recommend this book, it is a great read and very entertaining. So many people have recommended it too me and I will certainly be reading it again in the future.


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