26.7.15

Book Review - Lena Dunham's Not That Kind of Girl



I have wanted to read this book since it came out last year and now that I have graduated and have more time on my hands, I finally got round to it.

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from the book when I started reading it. To be totally honest I don't tend to read many autobiographies, if I'm ever wrapped up in a book it's normally going to be fiction. But I love Lena and I admire her for her work ethic and her achievements and I definitely wanted to give it a read. For those of you who don't know much about Lena Dunham, she's an American actress, writer, director, producer and screenwriter. She is most well-known for creating, writing, directing and acting in the American TV show Girls and probably more recently for hanging out with Taylor Swift a lot.

I found the book reflected Girls in several ways. It was honest, funny, entertaining and sometimes a little odd. The book discusses Dunham's thoughts and feelings on love, sex, the female body, friendship, family and work. The honesty in the book is definitely something to be admired and although sometimes I questioned if some of stories were actually true, I liked how few details were left out, whether they were TMI or not. I think some readers will find comfort in reading about Dunham's more relatable experiences, whether this is struggling with your body image, experimenting with drugs or sex for the first time, dealing with mental health issues or falling in love, and those that aren't relatable are enlightening and other times just simply entertaining.

I guess my only criticism of the book would be that I sometimes found the structure difficult to follow. This could just be personal preference but I found the book jumped to and from different periods too much and this could make things quite confusing. Other than that I'd say I enjoyed the book. I loved Dunham's honesty on both her good and bad experiences, her humour, and her love and support for other women. I would definitely recommend picking up a copy. It's kind of like reliving your teenage years, some parts are sad, cringey, but more than anything pretty hilarious.

Let me know if you give it a read or have any book recommendations for me. I'm going to read Amy Poehler's Yes Please next and I cannot wait! 

15.7.15

Best Cookies Ever!

I first made these cookies in February 2014 after the beautiful Tanya Burr posted the recipe on her website and I am yet to find any that taste better! They are so easy to make and everyone loves them, whenever I've made them they disappear so fast (I swear I don't eat them all to myself). It's the perfect recipe to make for when you have family/friends coming over or for the ultimate lazy day.

What you need:
Weighing scales
Grease proof paper
Two baking trays
200g butter
300g caster sugar
1 large egg
275g self-raising flour
75g cocoa powder
A large bar of white, milk and dark chocolate  (if you don't like one I'd say leave it out because you will definitely taste it!)
3 Daim bars 


Instructions:
1. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees celsius/gas mark 6.

2. Whisk the butter and sugar together until smooth. I usually do this by hand rather than use an electric whisk but both do the job. 


3. Crack in the egg.


4. Add the self-raising flour and cocoa powder.


5. Blend in the dry ingredients, if it's too dry add a little bit of milk.


6. Break up the chocolate into individual squares and add to the mixing bowl. Try to refrain from eating half the bar whilst adding it, you'll just wish you hadn't when you are eating the cookies (definitely not advice from personal experience...)



7. Mix the chocolate with the rest of the ingredients, I usually end up doing this with my hands so the chocolate separates better.


8. Line two baking trays with grease proof paper. 

9. Separate the mixture into twelve equal sized balls and add to the baking trays.



10. Place the trays in the oven and let them bake for 11 minutes then leave them to cool. 
If you like your cookies crispy on the outside then leave them for a bit longer but personally I like them better when they are soft. As Tanya points out, it is vital to know that they don't look properly baked when they come out of the oven but trust me leave them, when they are cool they taste amazing! 



11. Enjoy!


3.7.15

Life Updates

2015 has been an absolute whirlwind of fun and work so far and I am absolutely loving it. Is it too soon to say it feels like it's going to be my best year yet? I've finally finished my three years at university studying history and I will graduate with a 2:1 in a few weeks. It feels so strange saying that, it hasn't really sunk in properly. It really feels like just yesterday I was on my way to Sussex to start my degree and now here I am! I know university isn't for everyone and not everyone has a positive experience, but I am so happy I went and I feel so lucky to have had such an amazing time. I loved my course, living in Brighton and the people I have met along the way and I am so pleased to say I have absolutely no regrets about going. 

Aside from studying this year I have visited some incredible places. I went to Amsterdam in February, California in April (where I went to Coachella Music and Arts festival which was probably the coolest thing I have ever done) and I just got back from Glastonbury which was so much fun, I'm already planning on going back next year. I could easily write an entire post on the festivals I have been to this year because I am feeling some serious blues about all of them. Anyone else wish their full time job was to review music festivals? That, food reviewing, hotel reviewing and book reviewing would be my dream jobs. So basically being paid to eat, visit fancy hotels, read books and go to music festivals is what I mean... Sadly, I don't think that's really a thing. 

But here are some pictures from my favourite travels this year. Enjoy! Let me know where you've been this year or where you are planning to go. I'm already considering another holiday next month...

Amsterdam 




I think this was the best hot-dog I have ever had and ever will have!




California - Newport Beach





California - Huntington Beach 




California - Coachella 







George Ezra was the only musician I actually took pictures of because I was so close to him, how could I not!



California - Venice Beach, Hollywood and Melrose Avenue 








Dissertation Deadline Day


Wildlife Music Festival


Glastonbury 

I didn't take many photos because I was too carried away with enjoying the music but James Bay, Jessie Ware and Kanye West were my favourites!


I'll be back sooner this time... I promise!