Saturday, 28 September 2013

My Favourite Novels

With the internet being such a prominent feature of so many of ours lives, it can be hard to find the time to immerse yourself in a good read, or chose a book over your fave vloggers' latest video. But reading is so valuable, it can open your eyes to new perspectives, cultures and styles, or further you fondness for a place, person or time... it sounds cheesy, but it's true! There are three books that particularly stand out to me personally, and that I could read over and over again.

The Catcher in the Rye
If I had to pick an all time favourite book, this would be it. It's probably quite a common choice, being such a famous classic, but I don't care - I adore it. I feel that we can all relate to the character of Holden Caulfield in some way, and understand his disappointment at the world as he begins to see it through a young adults' eyes. I love the conversational style of the novel, and the colloquial language it uses - it feels unpretentious, honest, and completely unforced. New York City fascinates me and is on the top of my "places to go" list, and so the setting of The Catcher in the Rye appeals to me also. It's funny, sad, truthful, simple and reaches me personally, I can't recommend The Catcher in the Rye enough.  

A Patchwork Planet
Anne Tyler is a wonderful writer who manages to make reasonably normal, real life stories incredibly adsorbing and thought provoking. I have a big soft spot for the laid back, black sheep  character of Barnaby, and enjoy reading from his perspective. Although you could describe this novel as seemingly simple, it weaves thoughts on life and death, family and love together beautifully. A Patchwork Planet is such a rewarding read, without being dramatic or about anything out of the ordinary. 

Starter for Ten
This is an easy read that appeals to everyone who had/is going through an awkward, cringey, or up-and-down youth (isn't that pretty much everyone?!). I especially like it because it follows the main character of Brian through his first year of university... which I will be doing in the not too far off future! It's set in 1985 which gives it a sort of retro charm and is around the same time that my parents went off to university... I hope I don't make them feel old by calling the time period "retro" - but you know what I mean, the 80's is seen as being cool and evocative! I didn't realise that it had been made into a film when I first read it, but apparently it's worth a watch :) I hope it's true to the novel! 

What are your favourite books?


Friday, 27 September 2013

Loving Lately List #5

1) Dove Go Fresh Deodorant
I love this deodorant! It smells so lovely (pomegranate), nothing like the usual strong chemically deodorant smell, and is moisturising too! It's like a deodorant revolution ;)

2) Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
I'm a huge fan of Tennessee Williams. I feel like his work was incredibly pioneering for the time it was written, and it's so tense and absorbing, but it's just about real life! I highly recommend his plays. 

3) Maybelline Mega Plush Mascara
I'm not a massive make up person and my looks are always pretty minimal, however I am a mascara advocate and this one is fab! I can't stand fiddly mascaras that leave you with a wedge of clumpy lashes, but I find this one to be easy to use and it can give you a natural or more dramatic look depending on how many coats you do. My lashes are fairly long, but naturally straight, but I think this mascara makes them look pretty good :)

4) Peanut Butter and Nutella
Who doesn't love a tasty spread?! I eat peanut butter with apples and it's delicious - salty and sweet. I could literally eat a whole jar of Nutella by itself, but I like to slaver it on digestive biscuits... how indulgent. 

5) Social Life!
Many of my friends are turning eighteen soon and that equals party time! I haven't been to a "do" in a while... I'm ready to boogie ;) 

What have you been loving lately?


Follow me on Twitter! @JanesJumbles

Sunday, 22 September 2013


Trousers - River Island, Top & Shirt - H&M, Scarf - Oasis, Jacket - Republic, Boots - Asos

Happy Sunday! I'm currently chilling in bed with a cup of tea and a huge to-do list... bit of a contradiction there. I hadn't worn this adorable kitty scarf for ages and so I pulled it out of my bottom drawer on Wednesday and threw it on... and now I love it. It's such a lovely length and adds so much warmth. I'm a big advocate of layering too so it pretty much ticks all the boxes. Apparently, my school's heating is being activated on the first of October, so only a few more days of reading Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in a fridge and fumbling to turn the pages with numb hands. I'm sure some classrooms are colder than outside! I've been going to university open days lately and it's suddenly hit me that this next next year, I will have moved out and will be with a totally new set of people - crazy. I'm already feeling nervous about it, but I'm excited to have a fresh start too. Having said that, I want this last year of high school to go by slowly so that I can savour it... I genuinely think I will miss school a ton, even though I have complained about it so much in the past! Anyway, I'd better round this post up now and force myself out of bed! 

Have a great day guys! :)


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Instagram Snaps #4

Apple pie | Trying to be productive | Salsa | Coffee | Cambridge | David Byrne!!

Cookie and ice cream (so good) | September | Sunset | Bargain trousers | My kitties | Salad

Hi guys, long time no see! I'm so sorry that I have neglected all things blog for over a week! I've been having blog withdrawal symptoms and I'm ready to leap back into posting as regularly as possible :) I was hoping to continue posting on a daily basis (as I did in the summer), but with A Levels and university applications to stress about, I'm can't promise that I'll be posting every single day :( 

The weather has definitely cooled off... I've been feeling chilly for the past few days and extra layers have been required. I actually think that this is the coldest time of the year at school because it's too early for them to put the heating on - the drama studio is like one big ice block! My friend, Tilly, wore her huge parka today in preparation for acting in Arctic conditions. I don't think it's quite cold enough for me to bring out my new winter coat though, so for now it's staying in the cloak room just waiting for its big reveal ;)  

I'm not a huge tv person, but I've been impressed with a few shows lately. Bad Education really makes me chuckle. I admit that it's fairly immature, but Jack Whitehall is brilliant and it's just a good laugh. I seem to enjoy programmes set in schools, because I've been loving Educating Yorkshire too. It's interesting to compare a different school to your own... the teachers are very brave to have all the drama and gossip watched nationwide! And Peaky Blinders was fab - although perhaps I'm biased because I'm a Brummie... I'm just pleased that Birmingham is finally being used as a setting as it's often so overlooked. Wow, that was quite a long chat about tv considering I'm not a huge tv person! 

What are you favourite things to watch on telly?


Follow me on Twitter! @JanesJumbles

Tuesday, 10 September 2013


Trousers - Topshop, Blouse - H&M, Shoes - Cath Kidston

These trousers were a complete bargain, £5 in Topshop, the only pair left, and in my size - couldn't believe my luck! I wore this outfit last week when the weather was still fairly warm, I don't think I'll be wearing it this week, it's turned quite chilly! I'm currently wearing a cosy hoody and my mom even put the extra heater on earlier! Perhaps that was slightly excessive, but this cooler weather feels so much sharper after a long summer. This week is my first full week back at school and I'm already drained, and it's only Tuesday! I have to begin drafting my personal statement, and it's turning out to be quite a challenge, if any of you have some tips, they'll be greatly appreciated! There's some fab stuff on the tv over the next few days though - The Great British Bake Off tonight and Educating Yorkshire plus Peaky Blinders on Thursday. I'm extra excited about Peaky Blinders... there's hardly ever BBC dramas set in Birmingham, and as a huge local history nerd who is especially interested in the 19th and 20th centuries, it's totally my kind of show. The Peaky Blinders were a real gang too! Ooooo I'm looking forward to it so much :D such a geek (a geek and proud). 


Follow me on Twitter! @JanesJumbles

Monday, 9 September 2013

A few tips for school...

Hi guys! Sorry I haven't posted since Thursday, I have been feeling a bit down, but I'm hoping that getting back into the swing on blogging will cheer me up! Seeing as many of us have ventured back into the world of education in the past few weeks, I've created a list of pointers that I think will help me to be more organised and keep school stress to a minimum. Now, I'm definitely not a perfect student... I procrastinate and complain and can't be bothered etc etc etc, but ultimately, I care about my grades and always get the work done (somehow). This school year, I'm going to utilise my own tips and hopefully I'll have a more leisurely time! 

  • Make Lists - When feeling totally overwhelmed by work and bits and bobs that are hanging over you, I find that writing a simple list can put everything into perspective and clear your head. At school, I like to write a list of tasks to do that evening - it feels lovely to tick them all off and then be free to do whatever you like :)
  • Set time limits - When revising or doing homework, I choose what time I'd like to be finished by and set an alarm on my phone. This forces me to get a move on and get work done! Also, working for long periods of time can be of no benefit as you loose focus, whereas setting a time limit makes sure that you take breaks and don't overload yourself. 
  • Set yourself realistic goals - If I say to myself that I have to do homework for three hours in one evening, I'll never stick to it. I would much rather do one hour of focused work and get an essay done to a high standard, rather than waste three hours of dull, inattentive scribbling. 
  • Prioritise - It's so easy to do the fun stuff first and leave the revision you're dreading till last, I'm guilty of doing this countless times. However, it's best to get the tough work done first, when your mind is fresh. I need to work complete homework as soon as I get it, rather than pushing it to the back of my list of priorities and rushing it the night before... why give yourself the stress?!
  • Ask for help - I often put off asking teachers questions. I remind myself when I get to school, and then go through a cycle of "I'll ask them next lesson, I'll ask them in my free, I'll ask them tomorrow..." I don't know why I do it, it's not like I'm scared of my teachers! On Friday, I remembered that I needed some personal statement help sheets, and rather than asking for them on Monday (which I was so close to doing), I pulled myself together and got them there and then - no problem, no fuss, no stress. I seriously do not know why I put little things off! It's so much better to get things done as soon as you can :)
My tips are by no means original, but I hope they're of some use. I definitely need to take my own advice and get more organised! 

What are your tips?


Follow me on Twitter! @JanesJumbles 

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Thoughts for Year 13

I can't quite comprehend that I'm in Year 13 - top of the school, the very eldest, a few steps away from university... wow, it's scary. Year 12 was mixed. I enjoyed my classes, but I found the lack of freedom at my sixth form and inconsistent teaching to be incredibly frustrating. When you're lower down in the school, a few doss lessons here and there are fun - a novelty, but by the time you're in sixth form, you want to be productive and feel confident that you can pass your exams. There's not much time for messing around... unfortunately. 

Although a seventh year at high school, a seventh year of coursework, exams, stress and cramming, seems like something not to be excited about, I want to appreciate it. Despite what I've said, I do have a fondness for my school. It's very laid back (perhaps too laid back for it's own good sometimes), and the teachers are always up for a laugh, they care about you, as well as your grades. School years can fly by, but I hope this one doesn't. I always wonder, how exactly do you make the most of something? And I'm pretty sure that there's no right or wrong answer. This year I'm aiming for less complaining, less procrastination, more laughs, more passion and dedication, to take each day as it comes and live in the moment. So here's to a new school year :)


Sunday, 1 September 2013

David Byrne & St. Vincent

Image from Google via Love This Giant

David Byrne is my all time favourite musician, and my hero in general. On Wednesday, I went to see his Birmingham stint of his tour with the brilliant St. Vincent (Annie Clark), with my brother and good friend Lauren. I can honestly say that it was the best, most exhilarating performance I have ever seen. Here are my most memorable moments:

  • Giggling uncontrollably before the conncert began because I was so excited.
  • Turning to Loz and squealing "that's him!" when David came on stage,
  • When the band launched into Who whilst David was mid sentence, and surprising Loz and me (in a good way!).
  • Loz and me looking at each other in awe when realising just how good David sounds live.
  • David cheerily saying "hey hey!" to the audience :)
  • Screaming when This Must Be the Place started and the man next me saying that I'm "too young to remember this song!".
  • David's awesome dance moves during This Must Be the Place - so unique and quintessentially Byrne. 
  • David and Annie calling us Brummies :)
  • The combo of David's abrupt but groovy guitar, and Annie's cutting and bold guitar in The Forest Awakes.
  • The Karaoke style arrangement of Wild Wild Life - I loved seeing snippets of the band members' personalities.  
  • The awesome choreography in general and whole ensemble feel.
  • Hearing David having a few gulps of water in loud detail because of his microphone, him realising, laughing and saying. "Ahh, the sound of refreshment!" :) 
  • Not being able to find David before Lazy because he was lying on the stage.
  • David joking about having a personal masseuse in their crew.
  • Feeling empowered and able to scream and clap and cheer as much and as loud as I could, because I love David so much and wanted him to feel appreciated! 
  • David exclaiming "these are drums!" when introducing the drum player.
  • Two men on a balcony waving their arms gleefully to The One Who Broke Your Heart. 
  • Throwing some serious shapes during Burning Down the House - it was like an out of body experience... I was so happy and excited to hear one of my favourite old Talking Heads songs, played live by my hero. I also sang as loud as I could along to Burning Down the House and Road To Nowhere - by the encores, everybody had stood up and loosened up, although I was bobbing my head and mouthing the words from the very beginning!
  • Cheering and clapping for what felt like donkey's years to get David, Annie and the band to play more after the first encore.
  • Feeling so incredibly content and at home during the concert, that I couldn't stop smiling the whole way through!
  • Being inspired by experiencing such an astonishing performance :) I want to make something as cool as that.
As you can probably tell, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I had a serious bout of post-concert depression for a couple of days after, and I'd definitely see the show more if I had the money and transportation! Here's an excellent quality video of a few songs from the tour - check it out, they're so groovy. 

Finally I have seen David Byrne play live!


Follow me on Twitter! @JanesJumbles