Sunday, 27 August 2017

Pastel Sunsets | Santa Barbara

Our second destination was Santa Barbara, a one-night stop over on the California coast. Before we checked into our hotel we explored the costal side of the city, walking along the harbour and out onto the pier, looking out onto the Santa Ynez Mountains.

(what a beaut backdrop)

Venturing back into the city centre I fell completely in awe with its beauty. The Mediterranean-style white buildings with their red-tile roofs reflect the city's Spanish colonial heritage. As a cacti lover I especially loved the plant decor - so cute!!

Even though we only stayed in the city for one night, I fell in love with the aesthetic of Santa Barbara. By nightfall the city seemed to be engulfed in pastel, fading from pinks to purples to blues.

(I have a thing for pretty sunsets)


Friday, 28 July 2017

Starting Point | LA

An American road trip - the holiday myself and my family had been planning for two years has come and gone just as quickly as the summer seem to be disappearing. Despite the usual after-holiday feeling I am happy to be home, more so to get back to writing for modedeviebel and what a better way to kick start my return with a few snapshots of my time in Los Angeles!

(some arty tourist shots I thought were too cool not to include...)

We were the definition of tourists whilst spending our time in Los Angeles. On our first day we rode an open top mini bus around the city hotspots including Beverly Hills, Upper Hollywood, Hollywood Boulevard (the Hollywood walk of fame - I was embarrassingly excited over anything Disney related including the main man himself) and Griffith Park Observatory to see the Hollywood sign.

(what a view)

Celebrating American Independence Day on the 4th is an experience I will more than happily do again! Midday we travelled down to a block party at Grand Park in central LA. The park itself was full of families that had set out numerous colourful chairs and picnic blankets as well as quite impressive picnic displays. Two stages at opposite sides of the park featured live music from DJ's and bands playing genres from classical to funk to jazz. Funk was by far my favourite!

At the end of the day we managed to get a hold of four tickets to go and see a baseball game at the Dodgers Stadium in the Elysian Park neighbourhood. The atmosphere of the sport in comparison to a lot of British sports was very odd, in fact it seemed much more of a social gathering than a sporting event. The entire game the stadium was constantly moving, full of people travelling up and down visiting friends and buying beverages. And the dance cam - now that's something we need to bring to the UK! I'm actually quite surprised at how much I (the girl that isn't particularly into sport) enjoyed myself.

(the 4th of July fireworks showcased at the end of the night was incredible, even more so when you looked over the hill and saw the city of Los Angeles celebrating below you)

Over the next few weeks I plan to write and upload a few of my favourite summer adventures as travel posts for modedeviebel, LA (this post) being my starting point. While the past two weeks have been long, tiring and at times a tad stressful it is not an oppertunity I have taken for granted and something that I will be looking back on... most likely in the following week when my travel blues kick in and this typical British summertime weather gets the better of me!


Wednesday, 7 June 2017

I'm 20!!

Hello everyone and happy June!! Not only is it the first Wednesday of a new month but today also happens to be my birthday and ironically the day I have The Courteeners stuck in my head! How on earth I have managed to reach my twenties is beyond me... seriously, anyone that knows me can back me up on this. In truth, I still sleep with a teddy on my bed and on occasion (ok on every occasion) I have to ask my flat mates to open bottles for me. However, there are a few things I have learnt from my twenty years of experience (whoa I'm so old) that I thought I could share today. Enjoy!

Good Things Come From Doing What is Scary
The world can be a terrifying place to some people, myself included and to cope with this I try to play the safer option. I say no to events, people and opportunities out of fear however I have come to learn that a little risk can be so rewarding. Since starting university a friend of mine has made me conscious to never think along the lines of what ifs. Therefore I'm trying to say yes to the scariest of situations with a positive outlook - this is the right decision for me and I will be happy in doing this.

It's OK to be Vulnerable Every Once and a While
It is more than ok to have bad days, what's more it is more than more than ok to show your vulnerable side every once and a while. Showing your vulnerability to someone is telling them that you have respect and value them as a person enough to share this experience with them, even if it is a bad one. There is nothing in this to be ashamed of.

Blend Some More
When wearing makeup there is no such thing as over blending. Keep blending.

Stay Creative
I honestly believe that everyone is creative in some form or another. Whether it's in speech, text, a skill or an art form. You might have left your creativity with your childhood or perhaps you haven't found it yet. Either way, don't be afraid to engage and express your persona through this.

Get Excited About What Makes You Passionate
Similarly, never loose sight of what makes you passionate and more importantly get excited about it - hell I do! Call it ironic but this blogger is not so good with technology. There are still a few apps on my phone that I don't quite understand, in fact my sister had to explain the ins and outs of Spotify to me just a few weeks back. Despite this lack of insight, both blogging and photography is a passion of mine that I won't hold back from.

Always be Kind, Especially to Yourself
It is a fundamental importance to be kind to one another; it's a part of our humanity. We have compassion and a sense of benevolence towards one another but what good is the quality of wellbeing if we aren't kind to ourselves. Our individual physical and mental wellbeing is just as important as anything else so remember to take care of it.


Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Beauty and the Beast Review

Just over two years ago Disney announced that one of their most beloved classics would be getting remade into a live action, one of which has become one of the most highly anticipated films of my generation. Whilst most 90's kids were jumping for joy, I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive. Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise's original Beauty and the Beast (1991) will always hold a special place in my heart, so much so I'm relatively sure I could rein act the entire film! Surely nothing could be as heart breaking as their version of the Beast sending Belle away or as magical as Lumière preparing Belle's dinner, right? That's why alongside its announcement, 6-year-old me wearing her yellow princess dress' heart sunk just that little bit. I was upset over the idea that younger generations would remember the 2017 version of Beauty and the Beast instead of mine, missing out on the magic I experienced as a child. With this in mind, after going to see the film I can safely say Bill Condon's adaptation massively exceeded my expectations.

To everyone's surprise, within the first half hour of the film I had completely fallen head over heels in love! In fact (which comes as no surprise at all to those who know me) I'm pretty sure I started crying in the first opening number of Belle bringing me to pointer number one; the music.

Although many fans have criticised the new adaptations music as simply being underwhelming knockoffs to the original film and the Broadway musical, I have to admit I was surprised. Days In The Sun, How Does a Moment Last Forever and Evermore are perfect examples of this. In my opinion they did the film justice, provoking just the right amount of an emotional response from the audience. I burst into tears during the pivotal moment of Evermore and have since often found myself singing it around the house, quite badly I might add.

Other criticism regarding the music within the film included casting. I would describe Emma Watson's singing as talk singing, something in which I admittedly enjoyed. The production team of Beauty and the Beast have somewhat adapted some of the musical numbers to better fit the actors/actresses singing abilities, ultimately making many of the characters (especially Belle) more relatable. They are much easier to sing along to in comparison to other Disney songs no matter how hard we try. I mean can anyone really hit the endnote of Moana?

I also have to mention the new adaptations to the original songs - I effing loved Gaston!! The song captured every inch of the 1991's humour whilst adding it's own modernised twists and dance numbers. After seeing the film we took a trip to Bierkeller and I can honestly say I've never wanted to request a song as much as then! Similarly, Be Our Guest was more humorous as ever. Being completely truthful, the new version of this song alone didn't blow me away but then again I am no longer 6. If there is one thing I suggest however it is to go and see the 2017 version (if you haven't already) in the cinema. The combination of Be Our Guest and the incredible CGI gave me goosebumps.

Moving on from the musical aspect, the casting of the characters and their modernised adjustments within this new adaptation was an important feature that in an honest manner didn't need any of my concern. In my opinion they couldn't have found two better actors to play the villain and sidekick of Beauty and the Beast. The comical duo Gaston (Luke Evans) and LeFou (Josh Gad) made me cry laugh numerous times during the film, especially in the song Gaston. I also really enjoyed Ian McKellen's portrayal of Cogsworth as he embodies his own sense of humour and charm to the character that we all know and love.

In comparison, casting an actress to play the lead protagonist was something Disney couldn't afford to f*ck up. Not only Disney but film lovers such as myself were curiously waiting to see whether Emma Watson would adjust to the role, either making it her own, a copy of the original or completely unrealistic. My main concern was that despite Emma's talent she was simply too well known of an actress. I honestly believe one of the many contributing factors to the success of the live action remake of The Jungle Book (2016) was its use of an unknown actor to play the lead of Mowgli (Neel Sethi). The story felt more relatable as we weren't constantly comparing the young actor to his previous films or associating him with other roles. Therefore, giving Belle to an actress who has starred in numerous films seemed like more of a moneymaker. However, despite my pre-made assumptions I don't think they could have found an actress more perfect for this Disney princess, or at least good enough for a live action version. Perhaps it's the similar traits that Belle and Hermione share such as their love for books or kind nature that has allowed Emma to fall naturally into the character in such a humble manner. The only slight let down I found with the character was the misleading press interviews discussing how modernised and fiery she was. While this was true to a certain extent, Belle wasn't as impulsive as she was described to be and her new independency wasn't as touched upon as it perhaps could have been.

Finally, I have to mention both the costumes and set designs. The entire film from start to finish was visually breathtaking. Everything from Belle's childhood home in Paris to her wedding day was perfectly detailed, completely enhancing the films magic. I have had to re-watch the film numerous times in the cinema on the basis that I couldn't fully appreciate the ballroom scene because I was crying that much. The amount of detail put into the film is honestly stunning, perhaps even the best I have seen.

I am aware I'm a little (ok... try three months) late on the bandwagon of publishing this post however I have been preoccupied with University. Nonetheless, I didn't want this to be the reason not to click publish as I really enjoy writing film reviews (especially if it's a Disney film). Better late than never right? Anyway... This tale as old as time had me in tears numerous times, from joy, humour, other raw emotion and pure astonishment. The film itself didn't stay completely faithful but I think that's what makes it special. The narrative, characters and everything that follows were modernised just enough to keep over thinkers like myself surprised whilst maintaining the magic of the original. But that's just my opinion...

What did you think about the latest Disney remake? Is there anything you despised, adored, cried over? Let me know!

I hope you enjoyed this week's blog post and I'll see you again soon!


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

One For My Sister

Hello everyone! For those of you that aren't aware, exam season is upon us. Whether you're preparing for an exam or know someone who is I want to wish you the best of luck as well as share a few of my stress free tips to those of you that might be feeling a little anxious about it all. Hope you enjoy!

Overcome Problems You Might Encounter On The Way
If you don't understand something on your course, whether it's a key term or how to structure your essay, getting stressed won't help your situation. You can't force yourself to understand something. Instead, go and speak to a fellow student or talk to your tutor and ask them to explain it in a different way. Alongside it being your tutor's job, I'm sure they will be happy to explain and go over what you're struggling with as it shows you are taking interest and initiative.

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Yes is it key to revise before taking an exam, but it's also just as important to balance your life between revision and enjoying yourself. Anxiety only increases if you feel tired and overwhelmed. Therefore, try to maintain a healthy physical lifestyle. This will also improve your mental wellbeing, ensuring you will get a better nights sleep that will benefit your work and more importantly, you.

Don't forgot to breathe. It is much more important to be a happy healthy person so instead of revising all day, go out and do something interactive. Whether it's meeting up with your friends, visiting your family, or even taking the dog for a walk. As long as you're doing something you enjoy.

Keep Things in Perspective
Exams might seem like a crucial thing at the time but they're not; in fact they're quite small. Respect yourself for taking this course and getting this far, regardless of the outcome.

Don't Keep Things Bottled Up
If you're feeling stressed and anxious about the exam confide in someone you trust. Positive support from others can go along way, even if you're just ranting at them. You will always feel better once you've talked about it.

It's Ok To Feel Nervous
Feeling nervous or anxious about stressful situations such as these is completely normal - it's human nature! The trick is to try not to become too overwhelmed and channel this adrenaline into something positive.

Believe in Yourself
If you have attended your lessons and prepared for your exams then you have no reason to worry excessively. You've learnt the content of your course, you've done it before so you can do it again!

This Monday, my sister took her first GCSE exam and I couldn't be a prouder big sister. (This is when she would tell me to stop being so soppy!) Anyway, this post is for you. Good Luck with your exams Maddie, we're all so proud of you! Love Beth x


Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Tips To Maintain Having A Productive Day

As you might have gathered from my current lack of blog posts, university life has finally caught up with me. As we are nearing the end of our first year (yes I am aware that it is February but we finish lectures in just over four weeks... what?!) I have been given multiple module assignments and presentations to prepare for that have to take priority over modedeviebel. However, if there is one thing that I have taken from this experience it would be learning how to maintain a healthy routine in having a productive day that I thought I would share with you!

Stick to a Morning Routine
When I think about ways in which I can help myself achieve a productive day, this practise is by far the hardest. Like many university students, my ability to sleep in to a silly time has almost became apart of my morning routine (I basically don't see the morning) however recently I have been forcing myself out of bed even on mornings that I don't have lectures to ensure I get the most out of my day. If you struggle getting up early, try setting multiple alarms and move your phone to the opposite side of the room so you physically have to get up. My morning routine follows to drink a glass of water, do my hair and makeup and above all always try to eat something before I leave the flat. Cereal and fruit is always a good option.

Prioritise Your Tasks
I make lists, lots of lists. Food shopping lists, homework lists, to do lists, reading lists, to do lists for specific occasions. This may sound a little extreme but I find it so much easier to write everything I have to do down on a piece of paper, especially when it comes to planning an assignment or deciding which module to complete first as some are due in before others. By writing lists as well as having that reassurance that I haven't forgotten anything I also find myself achieving tasks quicker and more efficiently through prioritising my day.

Tidy Work Space Tidy Mind
As self-explanatory as it sounds, having a tidy space to work genuinely improves my productivity. Having a clutter free desk makes for less distractions and easier for you to find specific hand-outs that you might need to write your assignment.

Time Management and Taking Breaks
Procrastination is a university student's best friend. I'll just finish the episode then I'll start my work... Ok I'll make myself a cuppa then start my work... Woah look at me I opened a word document for my assignment better take a break... Instead of trying to put off the inevitable, force yourself to complete either a set amount of work or time working. Complete one point, take a break. Continue onto the next point, take a break. If you're in the zone don't stop but remember to reward yourself through time management and taking breaks. Additionally, try to work at a desk then when taking a break move to your bed or make conversation with someone in the kitchen to differentiate between your working environment and relaxation environment.

Get Physical
Taking part in some form of exercise is a great way to wind down from a day of working as well as acting as a form of stress relief. Once I've finished working, I try to spend sometime either at the gym or walking down to my nearest Tesco. Not only does it reduce my anxiety but also helps me sleep at night, which is a great bonus!

Sleep Deeply
Similarly to sticking to a morning routine, this is another pointer I find hard to put into practise. Trying to shut off at the end of a busy, productive day can be difficult, especially if you have an overactive mind like myself which is why I try to complete certain tasks before I go to bed to ensure I fall asleep at a decent time. More recently I have been making myself a peppermint tea in the evening and talking with friends. When I leave to go to my room, I set my alarms, turn my phone onto night mode and try to avoid any form of technology that might cause my mind to become active.

I hope you have enjoyed today's blog post! So far, these are my most effective tips in having a productive day that seem to be working for me. If you have any other tips feel free to leave me a comment and I'll see you again soon!


Wednesday, 4 January 2017

7 More Things For 2017

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