Monday, December 15

Books are my bag.

You may have heard about the Books Are My Bag campaign back in October. Well the campaign isn't over! And I thought with the holidays fast approaching, it would be good to plant the reminder. Books Are My Bag celebrates one of the things I love most--visiting your local bookshop. Physically going in and browsing. Speaking to staff for their knowledge and recommendations. And maybe walking out with something unexpected.

I'm not sure if "_____ are my bag" is a phrase commonly thrown around in the US. It's certainly something I hadn't heard of before I moved to the UK. So for those that need a little clarification, "books are my bag" is akin to saying books are my jam or I am really into those paper squares with squiggly ink things on the pages. The lovely people behind the BAMB movement sent me a goody bag, some of which is pictured above*. If you can't tell, their colour of choice is definitely not orange. I took Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit on my Thanksgiving trip to the US and it was an excellent quick read!

I know multiple people on my nice list are getting some books from me for Christmas. If you're struggling to think of a gift for someone, the people at Penguin have an online hotline giving personalised recommendations. And BAMB also has a sister site featuring a Book Advent Calendar with some boss ideas. I know there's not much I like more than spending an afternoon in the new Foyles at Charing Cross. That and the Brick Lane Bookshop might be my top favourite bookshops in London.

If you're curious to the books I'm coveting, I have a little list up on my GoodReads. (You'll see I'm a bit of a hardback junkie.) And if you like, I'd love to know what your favourite (local?) bookshop is!

*Note: This post is not sponsored. I just wanted to share the love and a campaign I support!

Thursday, December 11

When I first came to London--

--I had very different hair.

I'm moving again. Which makes me very reflective? The title lies a bit. These pictures were taken the first time I came to London to live. You don't want to see pictures of the first time I came to London to visit. I was a greasy 13 year old pushing a cart through a brick wall between two platforms at a train station. Or maybe you do want to see those pictures...

In these pictures I'm in a sublet in Homerton. It's 2012. It's August. Sanne is crashing at mine before she goes back to the Netherlands. But the two of us (along with two other friends) have just signed our first year lease for a flat in London. A feat I still don't know how we accomplished, as two Americans, a Dutchie, and a Brit fresh out of university. With no references or jobs to boot.

So in sheer celebration and awe, Sanne and I downed some Hoegaarden (and yes, non-Dutch speakers, in your head you are allowed to pronounce it hoe-garden too). I'm remembering small little details now about not being able to find a bottle opener in this house I didn't really live in. How did Sanne manage to get that bottle open?

A year later, four became three. Casa KaMaSaRo became CBA (can't be arsed) Studios. And now the three amigos are going their separate ways. On good terms, I assure you. But things are changing. Or rather they've changed. For all of us. No bad changes. Just some of them very unanticipatable, a word I'm going to insist is a word.

But in all that change, there are some recurring moving motifs from these photos. My hair is short again. And I've found myself moving my possessions back and forth to my new abode by making suitcase trips down the road, again.

Thursday, November 13

Out of your league, babe.

This list started with the J. Crew pajamas. I saw them on Reading My Tea Leaves and boy, I wish I had never clicked. My friend and roommate Sanne bought an adorable matching set of jammies from H&M. So that planted the seed in my head and then when these J. Crew babies came along... These go for $78 (probably excluding shipping) which I cannot rationalise for something that is going to replace some worn out free tees. Even worse? If you live in the UK, like I do, and want to buy them from the UK site, the price jumps to £78. Are. you. kidding me.

My seemingly endless stock pile of random shampoo samples from over the years has finally dwindled and spending money means buying cruelty free. Get a reasonably priced number from Lush? No, I'll just slobber over a £44 bottle of luxury shampoo. Again, daylight robbery--in the US you can get this Oribe shampoo for $46. Nearly half the price. And I am visiting my family in a couple of weeks... So maybe one of you can persuade me not to order this?

I'm not going to lie: I've gotten a little lazy with my skincare lately. And since cutting in a fringe. Which is a terrible practice because, fight all you want, but your forehead complexion suffers when you have bangs. Anyway, when I do happen to do my 7-step (hey, don't judge) routine and it's time to tone, I'd like to be toning with the nectar of the gods. Omorovicza's Queen of Hungary Mist retails at £46. I remember it being more expensive... NOT AN EXCUSE, MARION.

Finally, this candle. Did you know when I originally read it my mind dyslexifyied it into 'Gainsbourg' ? And you know me and my pretentious French taste. But when I photoshopped it into this list I was like... wait... Gainsbourg... Ginsberg... oh, Jesus, "Howl." Eh. Still would look good on my windowsill. Oh yeah. How much? £38.


I know we all covet things that are far out of our price range. Especially when tis the season of the wish list. And if you like, leave me a comment of something you've been eying that will break your budget.

This post style was inspired by Note to Self, a blog that makes far better and far beautiful list graphics.

Saturday, September 27

Visual aid.

I got acquainted with Charlie Kaufman at the beginning of this year. If you don't know who he is, just know that he is one of the trippiest screenwriters in Hollywood. To his name he has Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (often cited as my favourite film), Being John Malkovich, and Synecdoche, New York.  Bro has a monopoly on flipping reality upside down. All I want for Christmas is another Kaufman/Gondry collaboration please. I can't remember what got me to watch Adaptation. Probably a nudge from one of my friends. Naturally I was reluctant because I'm pretty prejudiced against Nicolas Cage films. But holy crap. This film was fantastic. Definitely something to be owned and studied. Definitely stressful and at times hard to follow. Definitely is meta as fuck. Definitely a must watch.

I have a bit of a girl crush on ScarJo. And the promo around Under the Skin made it too good to pass up. So my friend Emily and I went on a little cinema date way back when. And man were we shaken up after those 108 minutes. Walking through Leicester Square to catch our separate trains home, we both kept looking over our shoulders and hardly exchanged any words. I read the book first which I felt helped me understand the film better. But I think it would be an equally rewarding challenge to watch the film first and then visit the source material. Also northern Scotland has never looked better.

Boyhood is the most satisfying film I have seen in a long time. For me, the hype was deserved. It warmed my heart that it kept selling out at my local cinema. The film was one big nostalgia bomb, especially if you were born in the 90s in the US. Also, how boss is it that the director actually made The Black Album, a post-Beatles mixtape Mason's father gives to him as a present.

And I can't complete this post without giving a shout out to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. If you've been putting off watching it like I was. If you love Firefly. And Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. And Joss Whedon. And a middle-aged British man trying to navigate American teenagers. And unexplained hair cuts. Then GOD what are you waiting for??? Only one season left until I am sad because there is no more and inevitably move on to Dollhouse.

Have you seen any of these films? Any stand outs at the cinema for you recently? Angel or Spike? Let me know. (But try not to spoil me; I'm still mid-season 6 of the Buffster.)

Sources: 1 / 2 / 34