I don't even know what I'm trying to do. Those last few blog posts were so not me. I was trying to be someone and something that I'm not. Fuck that. It's 5 am, I haven't slept and my mind is not at peace. It's real time right now. My first instincts are to delete the last few posts...sure they reflect my opinions and what I've been up to, but they are not me, but I'll leave them there as a reminder to myself not to try be something I'm not. I don't even know what I want. I want to say that I don't know who I am, but the truth is, I'm not sure if that's true. I think I do know who I am, and I just don't like the answer. What I want, that's another thing altogether. I thought London was the answer. I told people that coming here was not an escape, but we all know it was. God knows what I expected from this place. It's beautiful and I hate it and it's ugly and I love it. I will never belong to this place and it will never belong to me. It will always have a place in my heart, but it will never be home. Home has never been home either and I think I've been predestined to a life of wandering, from one place to another. I don't possess the ability to form connections with people and maybe that's what I dislike about myself. I'm not unhappy, not depressed, yet I revel in my own melancholy. I find sadness beautiful and so I don't do anything about it. Silence is my softest, warmest blanket. Solitude is all I know and she's my best friend. All I can think of these days is Paris. It's my new London. When I was in LA, I convinced myself that London would change everything. It didn't and that's because I didn't let it. I tell myself that Paris will change everything but it won't. Because I don't want it to. Maybe that's why I'm enamored with mirrors...it surely can't be because I like whats staring back at me. They offer another perspective but it's never real. I'm afraid I'll exhaust the list and run out of places to run to. No city is going to give me what I want. I'm reaching for the stars.
I've loved French culture - style, film, cuisine - for as long as I can remember, and some of my favorite courses in school were my French language classes, but as of late it's gotten a lot more intense. I am dying to visit the country sometime this summer and hopefully will be able to sooner rather than later. I'd love to go back to Paris, but I'm also wishing to explore more of Provence and the French countryside. I know that when I do, the visit will not be complete without an homage to a Pharmacie...I can't even begin to explain my love for French skincare. It's just the best and my skin has improved so much since I started using these products.The rest of the world has caught on and most brands are available in other countries, but I just would love to explore some of the lesser known brands and products. In the meantime, here's a few of my favorites!
(Side Note: I've just ordered an embarrassing amount of lifestyle books all with titles that promise to teach me how to be a French girl and I've come to the conclusion that Jambon Beurre may just be the perfect food.)
Clockwise, from Top Left
1. La Roche Posay Effaclar H - My favorite moisturizer. It's rich and hydrating, but because it's formulated for oily skin, it is not greasy. Amazing if your skin is oily, but also dehydrated!
2. Avene Cleanance High Protection Sunscreen SPF30 - The best SPF I've used. Just enough protection for day to day use, it protects against UVA and UVB rays. Plus its super water resistant. Perfect for those long and sweaty summer days.
3. L'Occitance Rose Hand Cream - not exactly from the pharmacie, but I love L'Occitance skin products in general, and this hand cream is so softening, and it absorbs in to the skin right away, providing long lasting moisture. And the smell is divineeee.
4. Caudalie Eau de Beaute - To be honest, I don't know if this has done anything interms of improving my skin, but I love the scent of it, and find the misting action so refreshing. Totally gives new life to makeup that isn't looking as fresh as you would like it to.
5. Bioderma Crealine h2O - I love this to remove all my makeup. It's not the best for waterproof mascara, but given how gentle and non-irritating this is, it does a pretty solid job.
6. La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo - This is the absolute star here. I use this as night all over my face and it leaves my skin so soft and blemish free. I also use it during the day as a spot treatment if I do happen to get a spot, and this fixes the problem so quickly. I will never be without this!
7. Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm - Hands down best lip balm I've ever used. The texture and scent are just to die for and it keeps my lips moisturized for HOURS. I have lips that have the tendency to dry out and get flaky, but that has not happened since I discovered this miracle product. I keep it by my bedside and apply morning and night. LOVE!
8. La Roche Posay Nutritic Lip Balm - I keep this in my handbag just for touch ups, which isn't really that often since the Nuxe is amazing. Still I like to carry this around with me just in case, since I find the stick more convenient and hygenic for on the go!
Next up on my wishlist is Klorane Hair Care! Any recommendations?
This weekend, I finally made the trip over to Brockley Market. I've been living in London for nearly 6 months, so there is no excuse for how long it took me to get over to there. I suppose the call of bigger, more well known markets such as Borough, Portobello and Brick Lane got the better of me. Brockley Market is much smaller than the aforementioned places, but what it lacks in size and popularity is certainly made up for in the quality of the goods on offer.
There were quite a few stalls that I was interested in trying out, but as I am trying to not be such a fatty, I had to force restraint...I use the term restraint loosely, because I still went all out. I just went all out for one meal rather than having multiple meals at once. The decision was tough, but I finally settled on a burger from Mother Flipper.
I present to you...The Double Candy Bacon Flipper. Isn't she a beauty?
Now, I must preface this by saying that I am a MASSIVE burger lover. I'm from California for goodness sake! I practically was raised on In-N-Out. So how does Britain's take on the humble burger rate? Pretty damn good. This is only the second burger I've had in London (the first was a random angus burger during Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park) and I am very impressed. It's simple enough, but that's pretty much how to best burgers are. Deliciously soft toasted brioche bun, lettuce, red onion, ketchup, and pickles accompany the American cheese (!), 2 perfectly seasoned beef patties, and the star of the show - candied bacon. Now that's kind of just a fancy way of saying smoked streaky bacon cooked in brown sugar, but the result is quite magical. Bacon is probably one of my favorite things about life in general, so you can put bacon on socks and I would probably enjoy it. I would have liked it if the bacon was a bit sweeter, just because I love the combination of sweet and savory, but even so, it was absolutely delicious. The flavours just worked so well together and I enjoyed every last bite of it.
They've got a new little beauty on their menu, The Mushroom Swiss Flipper, which I'm also very keen to sample. Apparently there is quite a burger movement going on here at the moment, so I'm definitely going to try some of the other burger joints I've been hearing about.
Even though I was thoroughly satisfied aprèsburger, I decided that it would be rude if I didn't have any dessert. After checking out what was on offer, I decided to go for the Dog Nuts (not too sure about the name. It's a cute play on 'donuts' but...) with Salted Caramel from Fish Dog. All I had to hear was salted caramel and I was sold.
I'm pleased to report that this was also a huge winner. The warm cinnamon sugar donuts were fried to perfection, and the sauce was just amazing. Usually salted caramel is never salted quite enough for me, but you could definitely taste the sea salt in this sauce. The saltiness balanced out the donut so well and prevented it from becoming sickly sweet.
I'm so pleased that I finally visited Brockley Market...it's so much more intimate and less-stressful than the bigger markets and the quality is superb. There are so many other stalls that I didn't get to sample, but I know it won't be long before I go back. Who knows, it might even become part of my Saturday morning ritual. I have my eye on the Mexican burrito truck and there is a Korean buttermilk chicken sandwich that sounds amazing. I have a feeling I will be going back very soon.
Brockley Market is in the Lewisham College parking lot every Saturday from 10-2.
Recently I had a bit of an accident in the kitchen, that involved my hand and some boiling hot water. I won't go into the details of my idiocy, but needless to say there was a fair bit of panic, screaming and to paraphrase the magical Jennifer Lawrence, I said a bad word...that starts with f.
The result was a huge second degree burn across my thumb, a bit of my palm and a good portion of the back of my hand. Knowing it would leave a nasty scar if not treated properly I swiftly hopped onto the old interweb and did a search for good burn treatments. Most of the recommendations were full of harsh chemicals and pretty expensive. Then I remembered reading that coconut oil was good for all kinds of skin maladies. Turns out my little brain knows how to be smart sometimes! Coconut oil is indeed great for burns and has vitamin E, which is also particularly good for healing skin.
I've had a tub of coconut oil for a while now that I've been using mainly as a hair treatment (and to cook with every now and then!) so I figured I'd give it a go. It has done miracles for my burn. After I let it heal a bit, so that it was past the point of being raw and susceptible to infection (gross, sorry!) the skin was left feeling tight and very dry. Since then I've been rubbing a small amount of coconut oil onto the affected area and the skin has been left feeling so much softer, smoother and it has begun to lighten in color.
I'm so glad to have discovered this natural miracle product. It has so many health benefits...it's almost as if it's good for everything. I've been loving using it in my hair, I swear my hair has been growing faster since I started using it. It's also great for cooking as it aids in digestion and can help with weight loss by increasing metabolism. Although I've never tried it, I've also read about people raving about it as a makeup remover. There's so many things that coconut oil is useful for...you can read all the health benefits of coconut oil HERE.
You can find coconut oil at any health food store, and a lot of supermarkets should carry it as well. I got my jar at my local Sainsbury's for about £7. Just make sure to get organic virgin coconut oil!
well first things first, i live here now. things have changed so much in the last few months and i have barely been able to wrap my silly little head around it. i live on my own in a whole new country and so far it has been terrifying and bloody brilliant (too much, too soon?).
i know that if i don't document this in some way, i will regret it so much later in life. but one of the things that has not changed is my blogging ineptitude. i am not going to promise myself regular updates. things will progress and documentation will naturally follow.
more about my new little wonderland will be on it's way, someday.
when i first started this blog my intention was to have it be equal parts fashion and literature - hence the title...two of the greats from the aforementioned fields. suffice to say, i have not followed through on my initial plan.
truth is, when it comes down to it, i am a literature student at heart. even now that my days of writing essays and taking exams are over (for the moment!) i still approach pretty much every aspect of life as an english student. i am an analytical thinker, some might say, to a fault. i have the tendency to relate any and every life situation to some story that I have read. now that i have no english classes to report to, i have a growing desire to document in some way, the literature that i am reading. that is where this little blog comes in. i have decided to use this as my escape - to release the thoughts that i am so desperate to put out into the universe once again. a little outlet to satiate my ever growing desire to talk about pretty words. i understand that this is not going to be for everyone. it's just something that i really need to do for myself.
now book reviews are not my cup of tea, so that is not what this is going to be. it's more like a mini book report. i just want to express my opinions and the emotions that i feel after reading a text. anyway, enough rambling.
today's literature in question is The Pearl by John Steinbeck.
"This pearl has become my soul... If I give it up, I shall lose my soul."
now...let me begin by saying that i absolutely adore this novella. though i have not read all of steinbeck's work, from what i have read, i can see that a major theme that he deals with is the conflict between good and evil. this is the main conflict in the pearl, the story of a pearl diver from a small mexican town, whose life undergoes a dramatic transformation when he discovers "the pearl of the world". the thing that he has sought all his life, the thing that he believes to be the saving grace he has been waiting for, eventually destroys him.
although the novella is relatively simple and straightforward, steinbeck's gorgeous and evocative prose does so well to capture the complexity and dynamics of the human condition. one particular device that i found to be so unique and powerful was the inner music going on in the mind of the protagonist, kino - particular emotions and feelings bring about different songs. it all just ties in so beautifully and smoothly to create a hauntingly lovely story. the overall feel is quite melancholic, but there are plenty of moments of truth and beauty that prevent it from becoming depressing. it will really make you think about human greed and the fickle nature that lies within even the best of us.
the pearl, being a novella, is quite short...you should be able to read in a few hours and i'm sure you would not regret it.
so that's it for today. i'll keep this one short since i've already rambled like mad. hope you have a lovely day and happy reading!
love of the day. my awesome mom got this nail polish for me and i must say... she knows me very well. this dusty seafoam green is the exact type of nail color that i absolutely love. it adds a fun wash of color to the nails, but at the same time it looks very chic and polished. as much as i love greens such as essie's mint candy apple or china glaze's for audrey, they are a bit...youthful? i don't know, but this color just looks so elegant and classy and I LOVE it.