November Wrap-Up 2015

So I read and re-read more books than I anticipated over the last couple of months, having said that most of these are for my university course, but I hope to get back to my TBR pile over the christmas break before i get my reading list for next semester.

Selected Poems by Oscar Wilde - 4/5
This has started a love affair with Wilde, I had never read anything of his until I studiedThe Ballad of Reading Gaol in class. And now I'm obsessed, my little book of selected poems if full of random notes to myself and accidental analysis because I just can't help it when I read poetry anymore. I don't really know what it is about Wilde's poetry that makes me re-read it over and over but I don't think that matters anymore as long as i enjoy it and get something new from it each time i go back.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov - 4/5
I reviewed this fully while back, but I re-read it in preparation for the week we were studying it in class, and my opinions haven't changed so check that out here. However I definitely think it improves with each read so my rating of it has gone up, but this is also due to a deeper understanding of the text.

The Monk by Matthew Lewis - 2/5
Hooray another university text! I was dubious about this book before i read it, mainly due to the subject matter, but I was surprised to find it was an easier read than others had led me to believe. I definitely agree with my english lecturer in that it was the trashy book of it's time, think 50 Shades or other such books. I didn't like that it went off on chapter long tangents that are basically irrelevant to the main plot and overall meaning behind the book. But if you are looking for an easy yet controversial read this book would be it, having said that I won't be reading it again.

The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith - 2/5
I actually listened to the audiobook for this one, as I was travelling a lot on the week I was required to read it so it made sense to listen to the book so my luggage was a bit lighter. Turns out this was probably the best way to understand the book, as you can understand the tone of the narration and the context of the book a lot better. I'm not 100% sure I was listening to the official audiobook as I found a free download, but who ever narrated the one I listened to added a whole bunch of meaning I didn't get having gone back and read chapters as a part of my exam prep this week. Given I have read a lot of crime novels this semester this isn't up there with my favourites, however I might come back to the Character of Mr Ripley in other Ripley novels later next year.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman - 4/5
I have been a lover of the film of this abridged version of this book for quite some time now. So unsurprisingly this book was an absolute joy to read, and quite frankly I am glad it exists, the idea of reading a persons favourite bits of a novel is fascinating as well as creating a far better and easy to read novel. Goldman's abridgement is a clever one, explaining and making anecdotes when he cuts out sections. If you love the film you will love this, I laughed in public reading this, and quite frankly i should have finished it faster than I did.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - 3.5/5
Another University read this one, not that I have any complaints due to my unadulterated love for the BBC's Sherlock. (Can we discuss that I might be a little excited for the Christmas episode?! It is even going to be in the correct time period!!) Anyway back to the book, as with all Sherlock Holmes books it is made up of many short stories as written by Watson, who narration is nothing short of incredible, how do you fit a character such as Holmes into such a short amount of pages... Naturally I am now going to read even more of the Sherlock books. 

Eat Pretty by Jolene Hart - 4/5
Welcome into my life fantastic little book of recipes and advice for how to eat in-tune to what your body wants, may you be forever useful, except when you mention meat and fish of course. While I did read this whole book from cover to cover, I know I will be coming back to it as a little reference guide, to see what is in season, to discover which veggies I should be eating for certain vitamins and minerals, and for recipes, because I cannot go without new recipes for too long. It turns out food can change your life and the way you perceive yourself and as a lover of food and positive thinking I won't say no to that idea any time soon. 

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert - 5/5
I am going to write a full length review about this book, oh the ideas it has given me. There is so much to learn from this book, and as a love of the Eat, Pray, Love book as well Gilbert is gradually climbing the ranks of my favourite authors. So watch this space for a lengthy set of thoughts about this book that has taught me so much about creativity and how to live creativity without having to be an artist.

So that's my November and a little bit of October Wrap up, here's to a better reading month in December!

XO, Miriam

Oh Darling.

Please believe me, I'll never do you no harm...

//Cardigan - Thrifted//Top - Primark//Skirt - Urban Oufitters//Tights - TU//Shoes - Ted and Muffy//

I planned to shoot a different outfit with this skirt today but when I picked up this amazing vintage Chanel-esque cardigan yesterday I couldn't help but pair the two. I definitely feel that recently I am going back to my more preppy roots with my style, even if now there is more of a hipster vibe. As always I get most of my inspiration from books, TV and films and in this case Madison Montgomery from American Horror Story: Coven is my muse, and because of the textures of the cardigan and skirt I am still channeling some of the Chanel catwalk combos over the years. You know the ones I mean. I wish I had time to write more but I have to get back to studying for end of semester assignments and exams.

XO, Miriam

P.S. Have a wonderful day or night.

Positivity Inspires


"Start each day with a positive thought"

So recently I have been watching a reading a whole bunch of things, learning more and more about positivity, being creative, being inspired and where spirituality comes in all of that. Well here are some of my thoughts so far, along with some of the people, books, and other stuff that have inspired me over the past few months on my journey to a more positive life.

It all started off with Essena O'Neill leaving social media, as I wrote about in this post, I began to think more about what being creative can be, and I want my creative efforts to be primarily for me but when I share them I want them to inspire. So I watched video after video, read blog post after blog post, on social media and its effect on creativity. And this is my conclusion, you must allow yourself to be creative, everyday if possible. You should never to aspire to be someone else, that is how you stop being creative and negative thoughts come in abundance with that kind of thinking.

There is a certain mindset to being a positive person, and it is something I am yet to master but I am somewhere on the way to understanding how to create my own happiness. So here are a few habits I have picked up over the last few months:

  • Meditation, i don't do this everyday as much as the intention is there, I tend to use use this guided sleep meditation 2-3 times a week, and I meditate at the end of yoga class as a part of the session.
  • Journalling, this is something I have done for years on and off, sometimes it was a creative, expressive experience, but sometimes it was a purge of emotions. I am currently in what I would call journalling slump, but I definitely want to get back into it again and use it for positive ideas and thoughts. 
  • Making time to read, read for pleasure that is, I read a novel every week as a part of English Literature modules, but I really need to make more time to read for pleasure and out of my own interest. 
I'm currently reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, I will write a post on my thoughts when I finish it, because it has definitely inspired me. 

XO, Miriam 

Imagine Dragons

As you may know I have been trying to capture the wonder and healing that concerts bring when I attend them. I am yet to succeed, but that doesn't mean I won't keep trying. And the Smoke & Mirrors Imagine Dragons concert was nothing short of incredible, I have seen these guys before a few years back,  I might have written a post on it but I can't remember. I could have posted this so much earlier this week but something kept stopping me, like the words couldn't flow right nothing could put the emotions and release that a concert like this brings. Because music must always be looked at as both separate parts, but also as a whole. Lyrics are poetry and there is always some deeper meaning to what the music behind them can bring, thats not to say instrumental music has no merit, but I find I am most connected to music when the lyrics mean something. Basically the lyrics have to bring something to the party or there is no point. For me at least Imagine Dragons have always been able to capture my emotions and make me think more openly, I don't know what it is but there is something profound about their performances, and their music in general that just connects to me.

And as I have run out of words,

XO, Miriam

P.S. Photo credit to my sister.

Top 3 Tips from the HBloggers Food Photography Workshop

Food Styling by I was promised donuts

The other weekend I attended a Health Blogger's Community photography workshop, something I only found out about the day before through Eleanor from Green + Aquamarine who is a part of the community. The afternoon was hosted by Wellicious in their wonderful HQ, taught by Anastaija of Grandmother's Figs, and run by Fab. 

As a blogger photography a huge part of what I do on this space, and as I have branched out from outfits, to food and books this workshop was much needed to hone my skills for more close up photography. As I very rarely feel like I have perfected my shots, I was grateful for the chance to attend the workshop. 

So here are my top three tips I learnt from the 3hrs workshop:

Natural Lighting: 
We all know lighting is important, but the most important type of light is by far natural light. But as the days get shorter and we have less and less time to get those perfect shots, there are a few ways to maximise the amount of light, Anastaija recommended to use a type of reflective sheet, e.g. white fabric or a white board to increase the amount of light on the objects you're taking photos of. As well as this she suggested that 10am and late afternoon are the optimum times to takes photos as the light is not to harsh or to dim thus avoiding those weird shadows you get at certain times of day. But that is not to say to avoid shadows completely, use them to your advantage to create more depth in your photos.

Using Manual:
The second thing I picked up on was that you should 100% switch from Auto to Manual on your camera, and really get to know what your camera can do. Get to know every setting possible, but the keys ones are ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed. I am still getting to grips with these settings so I am in no position to give advice here however, Eleanor who I mentioned earlier has written more about the final details in her post (here) about the workshop so head over there for more info on these settings. 

This is the fun part, you can do anything you want here. I loved playing around with all the props available, you can change so much about an image just by altering what surface it is on, and its surroundings. I personally prefer more clean cut simple images, so I tend towards white surfaces, with more modern and simple props. But some people prefer a more rustic look so tend toward more wooden surfaces and a more crowded images making use of ingredients and props as well.  

I hope you enjoyed this somewhat different post from me.

XO, Miriam

Oxford Fashion Week SS16

So as I mentioned a week or so ago, I got the chance to work with Oxford Fashion Studios for the last ever Oxford Fashion Week as an ambassador. So basically I had a whole variety of jobs and things to do along with taking photos for my blog. It was the most hectic day of my life and just a little stressful but I loved it. The day of running around finding dresses, picking up coffee, and dry-cleaned shirts confirmed what I want to do after university. I would love to work in fashion, but if that isn't the case then I want something that requires the same amount of creativity, passion and drive that the fashion industries require.

But back to the shows, of which there were two, a ready-to-wear show and a couture show, they were really well put together, and here are my highlights:

If you want to see more looks from the shows head over to the Oxford Fashion Week Website.

XO, Miriam

The Book Club| Very Good Lives and Shaking Hands with Death

Finally I am back writing about books, its been a while hasn't it... But oh well I am back at it and this time with two short speeches in book form, from two of my favourite authors.

Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling - 4/5 

Very Goof Lives, is the speech Rowling gave to the Harvard Class of 2008, I have listened to this speech before but when I wasn't at uni or on the verge of 'adulthood'. This speech if something I will be coming back to again and again for the same advice. No you don't have to buy the book you can listen to the speech online, but I like having something tangible, something I can add to with a speech like this. I have already added several post-it notes of more positive and inspirational quotes and ideas that the words made me think of. The other thing I loved about this book is the illustrations and the typography, it is a well crafted book, it looks good both with and with out the dust jacket. If I learnt one thing from this book it was that in order to succeed you need to have failed first, and that applies to all areas of life not just academically. This book will definitely be in my top books of 2015, for how it impacted me and my outlook.

Shaking Hands with Death by Terry Pratchett - 3/5

I haven't actually read all that much by Terry Pratchett, but I know a lot about him, seen multiple book to screen adaptations of some of the Discworld novels, and heard Neil Gaiman talk about writing with him during the last few years of his career while he was suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Which is what this speech is about, it was written by him for the BBC, but it wasn't all read by him, someone else stood in partway through to finish the speech. For me this book was eye opening, there is so much we don't know about Alzeimer's, especially about how it effects the individual. But Pratchett didn't avoid those topics, he addressed them, and brought the disease into the public eye and discussion. The only problem I would say with the book for me is that, this disease has never affected me in my family, so in some places i found it hard to engage. However given how small the book was I don't see that as too much of a problem.

XO, Miriam

Social Media, Essena O'Neill, and Real Life

This wasn't the post I wanted to write today, but I have so many thoughts, ideas and feelings about what is going on with local media right now, about Essena O'Neill (someone I have followed for a while now) 'quitting social media', about what real life is, about finding a balance. I don't even know what to do with my thoughts right now, I have pages and pages worth of thoughts running through my head enough to fill my entire journal. I am going back to a piece I wrote a while back in pen on paper about how the internet and social media is killing our creativity, how we can only be creative in one way.

I'm a blogger of sorts, I love creating the stuff I do on this blog, I enjoy editing, I don't really mind about how many page views it gets, I do it for enjoyment, to document what I am doing at the time, my travels, what I wear, what I have read, what I think. yes there are times when I can be consumed by the numbers, but then I just take a break I read a book, turn off my phone, hang out with my friend, drink some tea, workout, meditate, go on a walk, make some food, just stay away from social media and the numbers for a while. That is what I would call balance, there are times when social media can get too much, but there are also times when it does what is says it will can connects me with likeminded people. 

Yes Essena's reaction is extreme but it is what is right for her, if something makes you unhappy then remove it from your life and for her that was social media and the pressure she was under. i also think that she has gone a little far in that she seems to be tarnishing a lot of people of social media with the same brush. I doubt she means to but it is unfair on those she made connections with outside of social media, as well as everyone else who uses it for inspirational, creative and communicative purposes. But like i said earlier she need do what suit her, I know that sometimes I need a break, hers just happens to be public and incomplete. What she is doing has started a global conversation about the importance of social media and the damaging effects it can have on peoples mental health and wellbeing, and for that I am grateful.

The way I see it as you either see that social media is used as an advertising tool as well as being somewhere to create, or you don't realise how 'fake' it all is. Of course social media isn't real life and sometimes it can feel like that, but it isn't there is some much more to life that social media. If you spend most of your time on social media then you might want to question how you are living your life, but for some people it can be a way to connect with people who they would never have had the chance to engage with. I have made friends, found a better way of living, joined communities and created something I am proud of through social media.

I definitely will be writing more on this topic, once have done some more reading and looked at some the resources Essena has put up on her new site (here) about creativity and what really goes into that insta-worthy life. 

As with everything, too much of it can be bad for you. It is all about balance. 

XO, Miriam 

P.S. I hope this made some sense. 

Dress for Autumn with Boohoo

So recently Boohoo contacted me and asked if I would like to style one of their dresses in three different ways for autumn. And as you can tell my the time I said yes so here are my three looks using this amazing roll neck dress that you can find here.

Look 1:

//Dress - Boohoo//Tights - TU//Socks - Topshop//Boots - Ted and Muffy (Gifted)//

I chose this dress because it is so versatile and well I will never have to wear a scarf again this autumn/winter because of the amount on fabric for the roll neck, and well of course I chose the colour as close to black as I could get... All black everything, everyday. For this look I paired the dress with some plain black tights, and riding style boots, but of course I couldn't keep it too plain so I added my glittery socks to poke out of the top of my boots.

Look 2:

//Dress - Boohoo//Other Dress - Monki//Cardigan - Boohoo//Belt - Primark//Shoes - Converse//

I went for something a bit more grungy this time, by layering this light grey midi dress, and long cardigan to add a new dimension to the dress, by creating more length. I originally tried out this look without a belt but I felt a bit shapeless so I added this skinny white let to match the monochrome layers.

Look 3:

//Dress - Boohoo//Skirt - Topshop//Shoes - Converse//Bag - Boohoo//

As with the last look I tried to play around a bit with the dress, and this time instead of adding length I took some away by folding the dress under this gorgeous velvety skirt. This is by far the most colourful outfit I have worn in the past few days, excluding all gym and swim kit. But I felt that by pairing this skirt with the bag I kinda matched the leaves. How very cliche of me.

Anyway I hope you liked the looks, and I will speak to you more this weekend.

XO, Miriam

P.S. Disclaimer, Boohoo gifted me the dress, cardigan and bag in order to create this post, but all opinions and other items are my own.

Oxford Fashion Week| Sneak Peak

This year I have been given the honour of being an Oxford Fashion Week ambassador, and while I don't have to I am going to write a little bit about it on here because this is definitely one of the most exciting things that this blog has got me into over the last few years. So Oxford Fashion Week or OFW follows the same principle of the major fashion weeks that have come before it, with less shows. So here are some photos from the Oxford Fashion Studio catwalk shows from Fashion Month, to get you excited for the upcoming shows.

Having been through all of the collections from this seasons shows, it is hardly surprising that I am very ready to see the Oxford Shows, and what that have planned for LA and Houston. If you are just as in awe of the previous shows as well as being intrigued and excited as me for the Oxford shows, see you you can head to the show there are still some tickets left for all the weeks events and you can buy them here.

XO, Miriam

P.S. Please let me know if you are coming along I would love to meet you and get excited over the shows with others.

Florence and The Machine

Music is such a healing entity, it can change your mood in seconds.


The other week I went to see Florence and the Machine with J, and it was the best gig I have ever been to, better than Taylor Swift, Imagine Dragons and everything else I have seen. Even though the LG Arena is massive the gig felt so intimate, the songs ran through your body with such energy and passion. I came out with such energy, with such belief in what I am and who I want to be as I grow. The whole band were just incredible from Florence to the drums, they lit up the stage and everyone's minds. You felt every emotion connected to the lyrics as they washed over the room, you could feel other peoples reactions next to you without looking. It was such a soul healing experience for me, allowing me to completely relax into the situation something I don't do nearly often enough. 

Just thinking back on the experience makes me crave more like it, where I put away all my worries, social media, and concerns with appearance and just live. I feel like I need more experiences where I just feel everything deeply, with raw emotions, reactions and thoughts. 

XO, Miriam 

Vegan Meal Ideas| French Toast

As a vegetarian I sometimes think is is worth me finding vegan alternatives for some of my favourite meals, but while I still eat dairy, eggs and honey I honestly believe that eating and living my life using as few animal products as possible is not only good for my health but for the environment and the animals that the products are sourced from. Now I have never had proper french toast, but I have had 'eggy-bread' which is similar so I guess this is my alternative to that.

4 thick slices of bread
1 cup Almond milk or similar nut milk
1 tablespoon Chia seeds or Basil seeds
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
2 teaspoons Sugar
Sunflower of Coconut oil

Plus any toppings you desire.


1. Slice the amount of bread that you want, this works best with granary or wholewheat bread but white is fine.

2. Mix together the almond milk, cinnamon, chia/basil seeds, and sugar and leave for 10 minutes to thicken. If you leave it any longer the chia seeds will begin to create a pudding like texture.

If you don't want to see the seeds or are cooking for picky eaters you can always grind up the seeds into a more floury texture. 

3. Heat up a frying pan, with a small amount of sunflower oil or coconut oil while you are waiting for the almond milk mix.

4. Dip the slices of bread into the milk mix so both sides are coated and fry until the slices are golden brown and crisp around the edges.

5. Top with what ever you like, I chose golden syrup, desiccated coconut and fresh raspberries.

Let me know if you try it out, I would love to see your pictures on Instagram

XO, Miriam

P.S. Are you following me on Bloglovin' and Instagram

Living in the now.


So you may have noticed i haven't been around these parts lately. There are so many reasons for this the main one being a lack of wifi in my new student house, but also other reasons. Reasons that i could talk about for ever because of how much I love that they are dragging me away from the life I live online. Because let's be honest there is so much more to my life than this blog, as much as I love and as much as it is bringing me fantastic opportunities right now.

So here is that long list of reasons why I haven't been updating this space as much as I really want to:

  • Starting my second year of university, boy has this been hectic, getting my head around my new timetable and the massive increase in work and reading. Let alone coping with all the stresses of having forgotten a bunch of stuff from last year. 
  • Having a part-time job and learning a whole load of new things there the coolest of which is that I can now make coffee, like proper coffee with foamy milk and all that jazz.
  • Spending a hella amount of time with my housemates and all the other friends I haven't seen since last semester. And watching a lot of films and E4 as a result. 
  • And most importantly I am just living in the now, I have been travelling around doing the things I really want to do, watching rugby, seeing music acts, and just being me. 
I really hope I get back into the swing of blogging again over the next week or so as I share some of my most recent travels, outfits and recipes. 

XO, Miriam 

Oxford Fashion Studio| Who Are The Designers

With there being less than 5 days until the London Collections shows in Devonshire Square, I thought it was the right time to show you my top 3 designers that will be sending their latest collections down the catwalk this Saturday.

To start is ARIEL.C. 

The creator of the fashion jewellery brand is Sihua Ariel Chen, who through her experience in Singapore and her studies at LCF have created some absolutely stunning collections over the past few years, her are are few of my favourite works and collaboration projects.

Her Dark Opulence collection is being showcased at the 9pm runway show.

Next up on my list is Sans Soucie

This zero waste, yup that's right zero waste fashion studio have been reusing any textile waste they produce to create even more designs. If that isn't pretty cool I don't know what is. Not only do they produce their own reused textile products but other studios have come in used some of the waste products for their projects. Having spent the last couple of hours browsing several designers websites Katherine Soucie's creations and collections still stand out to me as some of the best, her use of colour and texture is beautiful. Here is a sneak peak at her collection that will be showcased at 7pm in Devonshire House this Saturday.

The last designer I want to talk about is  Sketcharound 

Created by two Hong-Kong based designers in 2013, the brand's focus is on unisex clothes that surpass gender, and stick to clean cut tailored pieces that ignores the standard that gender influences wearability. The pure simplicity of the collections has aroused interest across the globe and now they are coming to London. Not only that but like the last brand they have a strong focus on sustainability which as you might be able to tell from my blog I have a strong interest in. So as with the last two designers here is a peak at what you can expect from their London show.

I hope you enjoyed this slightly different post from me today.

XO, Miriam

P.S. Disclaimer all images are sourced directly from the designers websites, copyright infringement not intended.

Vegan Meal Ideas| Garlic and Mushroom Risotto

When I think of a classic risotto, like the ones my mum makes I think of the staple flavours garlic, onion and mixed Italian herbs. When these flavours are combined with mushrooms and the risotto rice the result is a creamy filling meal perfect for the autumn weather.

75g Risotto rice per person
1 clove of garlic
2 shallots
2 teaspoons of mixed Italian herbs
3 or more mushrooms
1 green bell pepper
1/2 and avocado

1. Melt a small knob of vegan spread or heat up some olive oil
2. Add all the other ingredients except the avocado and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the onions are soft
3. Gradually add 500mls of hot water or vegetable stock, only adding more when the last amount has been absorbed by the rice
4. When you have run out of water or stock taste the rice to see if it is cooked to your preference, if not add more water until it reaches the consistency you want.
5. Finally add the avocado and smash it up slightly to create a creamy texture that is normally given by cheese in risotto.
6. I served mine with mixed salad greens, and pinch of paprika

Let me know if you give this a try, and show me the result on Instagram

XO, Miriam

P.S. Are you following me on Bloglovin' and Instagram