The Book Club| Gone Girl

OMG The Daily Mail said something correct.

So I finally got around to reading one of last years most hyped up and talked about books. Having heard so many good reviews of both the book and the follow up film I decided to see what all the fuss was about and get my head well and truly stuck in to it. I can now say the hype was worth it.

From the very start I was hooked on the uncertainty of who was in the wrong and who I should favour in the situation. Nick the compulsive liar when faced with the police, or the "amazing" Amy who at first glance is everything the 'American Dream' wants to be. I am one of those people who if given half a chance will read a book above anything else, but I honestly did not want to put this down (I was reading while walking through a train station for crying outloud!)

As I have mentioned in a previous post literature can be used to hold a mirror up to society (a social barometer if you will). If this is the case Gone Girl shows us how easily situations, specifically court cases can be manipulated by the media and the outcome changed.

If you haven't read this book do it immediately.

XO, Miriam

Carrot Cake.

I have been testing out more recipes from the book I mentioned in last week's baking post, this time was a carrot cake, I changed which spices I used to suit my own tastes, cinnamon is key in this cake.

What You Will Need For The Cake:
- 3 cups of grated carrot
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup plain flour
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2tsp cinnamon
- 1/2tsp ginger

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin.
2. Beat together the eggs and the sugar until thick and pale.
3. Mix in the oil then the grated carrot.
4. Sift the flour, spices and bicarbonate of soda until well combined and with no lumps of flour. 
5. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for and hour. 

XO, Miriam

Boys in books are just better.

 //Blazer - Old School One//Crop Top - Sisters//Dress - River Island//Tights - TU//Brogues - Clarkes//

 Over the last few weeks I have been loving the more girly items in my wardrobe, so I brought out this dress to layer up with. But by far my favourite piece in this outfit it the crop top which I nabbed from my sisters wardrobe because it is so darn cute. I mean "boys in books are just better" I dare you to disagree! Naturally I added my brogues and a black blazer adorned with badges.

XO, Miriam


The Book Club| A Song of Ice and Fire

Yes the non matching covers annoys me as much as the next person (read: I want to by the actual cover). However given I had to order that book in to get my hands on it I wasn't complaining. I have also decided to review these as a group because I can no longer distinguish what happens in each book as I have a long narrative in my head.I reviewed the first two books in the series here and here.

Since Autumn last year I haven't stopped reading these books (excluding all books for my degree) since starting to read these books I didn't want to put them down, because each chapter moves around between the characters even if you don't like on character or they are being particularly boring - a rare occurrence - keep reading and you will find yourself half way across Westeros or in Slavers Bay in a matter of pages. I wish I could talk more about the books but I wouldn't give away the story to you.  Unlike the majority of readers of this series I didn't find "A Feast for Crows" even a little bit boring. I enjoyed how the last three books run over the same time period and only move on timewise when the characters from "A Feast for Crows" start appearing again during the current last book.

The series has ended on a few cliffhangers so I would appreciate it if George R.R. Martin would release Winds of Winter, the sneak peak wasn't enough!

XO, Miriam

Chocolate and Vanilla Cake.

Besides reading a lot of books that will be shortly reviewed on this little space on the internet I have begun to bake again. Instead of trying something new I went back to a recipe book I was given as a child by my Aunt who just so happens to live in New Zealand (yes I want to go back to NZ), so most of the measurements are in cups. I am yet to find a recipe in this rather small book that doesn't either taste amazing or look amazing. This particular one has been used countless times for Birthday cakes as well as random baking days over the years and will continue to be used.

For the cake you will need:
- 125g of butter
- 2 cups of flour
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 1/4 cup of cocoa powder
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2tsp baking powder
- 2tsp vanilla essence

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line and grease a 20cm cake tin. 
2. Melt the butter and milk together in a pan, then leave to cool for 10 minutes.
3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a bowl. Stir in sugar.
4. Whisk essence and eggs into cooled butter mixture, and pout the mixture over the flour mix.

5. Mix the ingredients lightly until well combined and lump free.
6. Transfer the mixture to the tin. Bake for 45 minutes and leave to cool.

I then made some basic chocolate butter icing with butter, icing sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla essence, and a little bit of milk. I don't know exact measurements.

XO, Miriam

When the light has all gone.

//Jumper - Topshop//Vest - Hollister//Jeans - Hollister//Shoes - Converse//

I am absolutely in love with this slouchy roll neck jumper it is perfect for any ocasion I can definitely see me dressing it up for meals out and wearing it with loungewear. Recently I have been rediscovering all my basic pieces that are completely versatile, I have found that by wearing one of these pieces with anything else in my wardrobe makes me look so much more put together. I have worn these jeans endlessly since I got them last year, yep even more than my plain jeans. If you live somewhere colder wear tights underneath for extra warmth.

XO, Miriam

The Book Club| A Clash of Kings

Having thoroughly enjoyed A Game of Thrones (reviewed here) I went on to read the rest of the series and now anticipate the forthcoming books. However due to university commitments and generally being an English major I found it quite hard to review books while wirting essays about Shakespeare and war poets. So here they all are for the next few weeks. Starting with A Clash of Kings.

The book starts with Westeros in civil war, in Kings Landing there is boy King Joff, in the North Robb Stark has been named King of the North and is battling Jaimie and Tywin Lannitster, all while Stannis and Renly Baratheon argue about who has the stronger claim to the iron throne. And by the end of the book you guessed it more people have died in battle, others have been assumed dead by other characters and even more are being used as pieces in by the players in the game of thrones.

Did I mention that Daenerys has dragons, well as J kindly pointed out Wyvens in the accompanying television series. Dragons are dragons, so does it really matter? I honestly cannot review this book fully without giving away key plot points and spoilers to those who haven't read it yet, but as always George R.R. Martin has captured my imagination and emotions as I immersed myself into the world of A Song of Ice and Fire.

If you like The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings or the Game of Thrones TV series get reading, the detail is incredible and I cannot get enough of these books. 

XO, Miriam

The Film Club| The Theory of Everything

I am not physicist, I study arts (English Literature and Publishing Media). I have no idea whether there can be one perfect formula for everything as Stephen Hawking suggests, but what I do know is his belief in hope is justified. Both science and art can comprehend the meaning and concept of hope, it is something that effects people mentally, emotionally and physically. Hope means different things to different people, to Professor Stephen Hawking that means understanding time in its entirety. And to me it means understanding why literature is the one of the truest reflections of society at any given point in time.

The film "the theory of everything" was based on Jane Wilde's memoir about their marriage, and as with every book to film adaptation is not always accurate. Yet the film allows the audience to see both sides of the story. Eddie Redmayne was incredible as Hawking, from the joking arrogance of his intellectual ability at the start, to the posture and slight indications of muscle decay. As an actor he became his character, as did Felicity Jones who played Jane. She portrayed Jane as someone who kept pushing her emotional limits yet stayed strong until she couldn't cope with the strain anymore, and both parted on their new found hopeful paths.

This film made me cry, laugh and get frustrated on behalf of several characters as well as this it reinstated my faith in humanity. If literature tells us societies problems then science proves them or fixes them within  nature and the universe. So how does hope cross boundaries, because there are none.

Hope is The Theory of Everything.

XO, Miriam

P.S. Have you seen this film? What did you think of the portrayal and the concept of there being a theory of everything?

Fluttershy Lullaby.

//Choker - Claires//Cardigan - GAP//Top - H&M//Skirt - H&M//Socks - TU//Chelsea Boots - M&S//

Not my usual outfit, especially at this time of year but I am in love with this Eyelashes top. It isn't something I would normally pick but after so deliberation and seeing one of my permanent style inspirations Taylor Swift wearing a button down shirt with a similar design how could I not invest? I am not someone who can wear all tight clothing during the day, I am just not that brave so I added this cosy knit cardigan which I stole from my Mum's wardrobe to make the look more casual.

There are advantages to being the age that I am, one of which is not having to define my personal style, I mean sure I generally stick to the preppier side of things but I also like to mess around with my look. I am in my first year of university with no expectations on the way I should dress on a day to day basis, and I want to let my imagination run wild with clothes. Fashion is what you by, style is how you wear it.

XO, Miriam

Pages of the Last Days of Decmeber.

Here are a few unfinished and some finished pages of my journal from the last few days of 2014, they are mainly just drawings and sketches but there are also declarations of love and sad words. As I write this I am sat with MTV Rocks on in the background with a whole bunch of my favourite songs coming on, that is my idea of success... I think maybe just maybe I am going to continue this journal thing in 2015. I left last year with a kiss and I entered 2015 the same way, I pour a lot of myself into the page of the journals I have kept, in ink or layers of pencil and whatever else I have to hand. Sometimes the pages are hopeful and other times they are melancholy.

XO, Miriam

Paying Homage to Taylor Swift.

I have made no secret of my love for Taylor Swift, but when I saw this 'tag' floating around about her album 1989, how could I resist?  So here are my answers to each question that relates to each of the songs on the standard version of the album.

1. Welcome to New York // If you could live in any city, which would it be and why?
Paris. Duh. As Audrey Hepburn said: "Paris is always a good idea" she was not wrong.

2. Blank Space // What is something that everyone thinks is true about you but is actually false?
That I am socially naive. I know exactly what I am doing, and exactly what you are saying about me darling. I have heard everything you are saying before. Or in less sassy terms just because I don't say much doesn't mean I don't understand what is going on socially.

3. Style // What is one item in your closet that makes you feel unstoppable?
Do I have to choose? I narrowed it down to three items is that okay? Ripped skinny jeans, low-top black converse and a black roll/turtle neck. (I am so indie I know...)

4. Out of the Woods // What is one thing that you're afraid of?
Failing and public speaking. The later of which can lead to the former at uni and it is a huge cause of stress. Eh.

5. All You Had To Do Was Stay // Who is someone you wish was still in your life?
Yeah, but you cannot make people stay where they are not happy.

6. Shake It Off // What is something you have had to shake off?
Pizza hangovers, the regular awkward situations I get into, not being able to travel as much this year, and being a student I shake off most things because I do not have the time to care right now.

7. I Wish You Would // What is something you'd like to happen right now?
So many things. I would like to be in a different country right now, but don't I always with my endless wanderlust.

8. Bad Blood // Have you ever had someone stab you in the back?
One too many times, yes.

9. Wildest Dreams // What would you like to be remembered for?

Being that tall blonde skinny girl in the back of every class who really live in wonderland? Seriously though being a kind of good person and friend.

10. How You Get The Girl // What is your favourite pick-up line?
"Oh Hello"

11. This Love // What is something you got back that you never thought you would?
One of my best friends I thought I lost over the summer.

12. I Know Places // Where is one place you always feel safe?
With a book, I could be anywhere in the world but I will always be safe with the characters in my head.

13. Clean // What is an important lesson you have learned in life, and how did you learn it?
Always stand back when they think you are down for good. oh and always consider "What would Blair Waldorf  do?" because Gossip Girl is the best. 

XO, Miriam

P.S. My favourite songs are Blank Space, Wildest Dreams, Out of the Woods and Wonderland (on the deluxe version) Mwah. xo

Haven't You Heard What Becomes of Curious Minds?

//Jacket - My Mums//Scarf - Kathmandu//Dress - H&M//Tights - TU//Shoes - Converse//

I have been listening to probably too much of "Wonderland" by Taylor Swift but hey there are worse things I could be doing. This outfit was just something I grabbed out of my wardrobe under the realisation that I had 10minutes before I had to leave for the cinema with my friend but on reflection I loved it and quickly grabbed a few pictures when I got home again. I will never stop loving this location by my house to take outfit shots the lighting is always good, if we get any sun that is...The last few weeks have been hectic, I haven't spent more than 3 nights sleeping in the same house for the whole of the festive period with visiting J, London and Oxford. Hopefully over the coming month I will stay at home for longer periods of time and get everything organised for next semester as well as taking more outfit photos. Duh.

XO, Miriam