If you know me in real life, or if you follow me on any social media, you're probably aware of the fact that I've something of a fondness for dying my hair. You're probably also aware of the fact that I've a great affinity for fucking it up. A stand out example is the time I aimed for a deep, rusty orange and instead found myself at bright lime green (no, I'm not sure either). My most recent failed endeavour, however, saw me attempting a super cool Sweeney Todd black and white 'do and instead arriving at something that closely resembled Pepe Le Pew's strung out and slightly demented punk-rock cousin. While I didn't totally hate it, it was definitely one of the shoddier dye jobs I've done. Still, I stuck with it, as I do all hair colours, be they fab or tragic, until I got bored and decided to put it right;

Tonight, Matthew, I'm going to be Fawkes the Phoenix

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think it came out looking pretty freaking dope. It was much easier and much less time consuming than I anticipated, too. All of the products I used were from La Riche Directions, a brand I've used for right around six years now and trust more than any other. I purchased all of mine from my favourite online store, Attitude Clothing and my total came to £24.96, including next day postage and packaging. 

To start, I used the Directions Hair Lightening Kit in the 40 vol/12% version. This is where, if I were a responsible adult or any level of professional I would advise against following my lead; 40 vol is the highest volume of peroxide available to the general public (to the best of my knowledge) and as such, is most damaging to your hair. I would strongly advise that you use 40 vol only if you absolutely need to (i.e. if your hair is black/very dark brown, as the majority of my hair was at the beginning of this). I also didn't use any Vaseline on my hairline, neck or ears - something you should always do when using any kind of peroxide bleach product - chemical burns ain't cute, kids. Like most things in life, this is somewhere you should do as I say, not as I do. 

40 volume lightening kit is
£9.99 at Attitude Clothing

The kit comes with the bleach powder, cream developer, mixing tray, tinting brush, sachet moisturising shampoo plastic gloves and developing cap. It's a very simple process to get the dye to the point it's ready to be on the hair; simply tip the entire sachet of blue bleach powder into the mixing tray, add the cream developer, and stir with the tinting brush until it becomes a thick, paste-like substance and no powder remains (I forgot to take a picture of it in this state!) 

I mixed it on my toilet lid because I'm classy and
my bathroom is tiny. Don't worry - it's clean. 

The blue tint of the powder means that it tones
as it dyes. 

I would tell you what the cream developer looks like
to me, but my mother reads this blog. 
Now, I'll take a moment here to say that I understood going into this that there was no way that this bleach - or any peroxide bleach product - would lift my hair from black to light blonde. That would require several rounds of bleaching and toning and, while doable, can be very damaging to the hair if not done professionally. However, as the look I was going for is all reds and oranges, there is no need to get the hair super platinum or pale blond; a gingery/russet tone will do the trick. 

I didn't take any photos of the process of applying the bleach as my phone is near impossible to operate at the best of times, let alone whilst wearing plastic hair-dying gloves/ However, I didn't do anything different or special; simply used the tinting brush to 'paint' the bleach onto my hair then used my (gloved) fingers and a hairbrush to ensure that the distribution of the product was as even as possible. I then pulled it all back into a low bun and let it sit under the developing cap for right around 30 minutes. 

A sexy look for anyone, I'm sure you'll agree.
The result of the bleaching was actually a lot better than I'd anticipated; the roots lightened nicely to a pale yellow-blond colour and the rest to varying shades of dark gingery brown. (Note: in the photos, it still looks black in some places. I attribute this to the harsh lighting in my bathroom - apologies, this was the best I had to work with). I wasn't put out that it wasn't a solid colour; if anything, I preferred it. It allowed for more dimension and depth in the hair once the dying was complete. 

Honestly couldn't tell you why I look so afraid 
Please do not be alarmed, it's only eczema on my arm

This shot took more attempts than I feel it should've

After drying my hair, I went on to applying the actual colours. First thing I did was slap Directions' Apricot on the bottommost layer of my hair. As a side note; I already had a tub of Apricot on hand, which I hadn't used in a previous dying endeavour. I decided to block-colour the lowest layer with this as I often like to pull my hair into a top knot on casual days and I felt the neon orange would look fantastic in contrast with the bright red and darker rust of Fire and Flame. Next, on the upper layers, I applied Fire, a bright true red, on the bottom two thirds of my hair and coated the roots with Flame, a stunning orangey-russet. For the roots, I washed off the tinting brush from the lightening kit as I felt like brushing it on would give a better 'fade' or 'blend' than using my fingers. As a side note; it is totally safe to use Directions dyes with your bare hands. Brighter colours will stain your hands a bit (as you have probably seen if you follow me on Instagram), but there are no chemicals that will harm your skin - and I speak as someone whose skin is baby-sensitive. 

Fire - the bright true red - can be found at
Attitude Clothing for £4.99 
Flame - the deep orange root colour - is also
£4.99 at Attitude Clothing

Apricot is, again, less than a fiver on Attitude Clothing

When you're metal AF but need to get your
five a day: Through The Fire and The Flames
(And the Apricots)

Coated t he lowermost layer with 'Apricot'

Added 'Fire' to the bottom two thirds of the next layer

No, I don't know why I made this face either.

Finally, covered the roots with 'Flame'

A top view of the roots. Something strangely
satisfying about this picture. 
After letting the three colours sit on my hair for another half an hour, I hopped in the shower and rinsed it off. I'd advise simply rinsing the hair, rather than washing it as washing can deplete the pigmentation of the dye. It's also a good idea to wash your hair as infrequently as you can manage and only ever with cold water if you have red hair, as frequent washing and hot water tend to make the colour fade faster. 

Overall, I'm beyond pleased with how this hair turned out. I'd definitely say one of the best hair looks I've ever achieved. All Directions products are vegan and are not tested on animals. The Directions sit states that their semi-permanent hair colours last up to eight washes, which totals out to about eight weeks for me. 

The finished (slightly damp) look again because
I honestly can't get over how much I love it. 
Happy reading, 
Jazz xo 


BOOK TITLE:  The Magician's Workshop: Volume One
SERIES: The Magician's Workshop
AUTHOR: Christopher Hansen & J.H Fehr 
GENRE: Fantasy, Young Adult
WARNINGS: Some imagery that may be frightening to very young or highly sensitive readers. 

No, dear friends, your eyes do not deceive you. I am back from the dead. And by 'the dead', I mean masses upon masses of Uni work - which is basically the same thing, if we're being honest with ourselves. Worry not, though, year one is drawing quickly to an end and with it comes four glorious months of summer break - for most of which, I have no plans. I intend to get some serious blogging done in that time, and already have quite a few ideas in formulation. Hopefully we won't see an absence quite like this most recent one for a long while. 

I was actually contacted by the lovely Jonathan from Wondertale publishing way back in December with a request for me to review Volume One of The Magician's Workshop series. Aforementioned uni work, however, has prevented me from actually sitting down and writing the review. Until now. 

The Magician's Workshop series is set in the islands of O'Ceea, where everyone has the magical ability to bring anything they can imagine into existence. Those who master these powers are granted the title of magician. With the title comes fame, riches, powers, glory. The series follows the lives of a group of youngsters who strive to reach the top, for a place in the Magician's Workshop. 
These kids include Layuana and Kai, 

Layuana only manages to make horrible, savage monsters despite her desire to create beautiful things. For all of her life, she's tried to hide her creations; but when her power is discovered by a great magician, she finds that they may be of value after all. Kai is deemed a 'bad influence' by almost everybody on his island and forced to meet his friends in secret. When one of his creations goes out of control, with somewhat blazing consequences for the town, he becomes inclined to agree with his reputation. However, the arrival of two mysterious visitors and extraordinary promises for the future start to change his opinion. 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It honestly took me way back to the days of my youth, and reading such fantasy gems as Eragon and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone for the first time. The much-welcomed nostalgia, coupled with the beautiful imagery and magical writing style made for an altogether thoroughly enjoyable reading experience. 

Now, obviously, this book is aimed at rather a younger audience. However, much like the aforementioned Eragon and Harry Potter books, I see no reason why those of us no longer considered 'younger' can't enjoy it too. If you're looking for a gift for a young reader, this is perfect. If you're looking to delve into the world of fantasy and you're not really sure how to go about it, this is a great place to start. And if you're a seasoned fantasy reading veteran, and you're looking for something whimsical and fun to read - this is still a great idea. Any chance you get to pick this up, I implore you to do so.

If you'd like to support me elsewhere on social media, or see what I get up to in my daily life, you can find me on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, LookBook and my Facebook Page. I'm also now on Bloglovin' - you can find me there on the following link!. 
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Happy reading, 
Jazz xo 


When it comes to reading, I'm a girl with a penchant for the macabre and the heavy. A combined love for horrors and for classics means that my favourite books tend to fall into two categories; the niche horror and the dusty tome. In short, few of the books on my shelf can really be considered 'easy readers'. That said, I do enjoy something a little less brain-painful when I'm on the go - particularly on the train journey from uni to home, and vice versa. I don't know how or why I formed the link between being on the move and having an easier book to read, but it's a link that stands solid and one I imagine (or hope) some of you share. Perhaps, like me, you like to have a few easy-readers on hand to follow up a heavier text in order to cleanse the palette, so to speak. Or maybe you're just not one for a book you really have to plough through. Either way, these are five of my favourite 'easy reader' books, and I hope you enjoy them! 

1. THE OUTSIDERS (S.E. Hinton) 

If you're into books at all, I'm taking it for granted that you've at least heard of, if not read The Outsiders. The classic teenage rebellion story, this novel is actually home to two of my favourite fictional characters ever written (Sodapop Curtis and Dally Winston, if anyone was curious). While there are some rather upsetting scenes towards the end of this one, it's an all around pretty easy read. One I really implore you to read if you haven't already, even if you feel you've outgrown the lust for teen rebellion. 

2. WEDDING NIGHT (Sophie Kinsella) 

 I'll be the first one to say that, while I'm not opposed to it, I'm not the biggest fan of 'chick-lit' either. There's nothing wrong with it, it just generally doesn't float my boat. That said, I find Sophie Kinsella (real name Madeline Wickham) to be absolutely hysterical. Now, I know she's probably most famous for her Shopaholic series, which gave us Isla Fisher's rom-com masterpiece Confessions of a Shopaholic, but I honestly think that she's got some stand-alone gems (spoiler alert; she appears again later on in this list). Wedding Night is a perfect example of this; it's ridiculous and sometimes cringeworthy (in the best way) but also hilarious and believable. An all-round great book, whether you're looking for an easy-reader or just a nice, feel-good novel.


I won't spend an immense amount of time on this book because I wrote a whole review on it a while back, which you can read here. I will say for it that it is a perfect follow up to a heavier or more upsetting text, as a kind of 'brain-rinse'. It's short, sweet, light-hearted and funny. An absolute recommendation to anyone who likes to laugh. 

4. FLUSH (Virginia Woolf) 

This is the oldest and perhaps most unusual book on the list. Generally, when one thinks of 'easy readers', Virginia Woolf is not the first person to enter one's mind. However, I recently finished reading Flush for the first time as a part of my uni course, and I can honestly say that it's definitely one I'd consider as an on-the-train read. While there are definitely some deeper undertones and analyses that can made from the book, at face value it's a nice, easygoing story about the life of a very special dog. Again, does contain some upsetting scenes. 

5. TWENTIES GIRL (Sophie Kinsella) 

As promised, another Sophie Kinsella book. This one - as well as being hysterically funny and endlessly entertaining - is one that actually holds a very special place in my heart; bought at a service-station WH Smith's on a Year Eight roadtrip, this was the first proper 'grown up' book that I ever purchased for myself, and I absolutely cherish it. One of those books that I can read over and over again and never get bored of. Highly recommended by me. 

So those are my top five easy reader/on the go books. What are your favourites? Let me know! 

Happy reading, 
Jazz xo 


As you'll likely known if you're even a semi-regular reader of my blog, I'm right about to go into my second semester of my first year of university. I can by no means say that I'm yet an expert of the topic of uni life, but I feel that I'm comfortably in a place that I can at least give out advice on how to get through semester one with as much ease as possible. One thing I think I've become pretty well-versed on is how to live on more than just the typical student diet.

It's a common stereotype, and one that is almost universally held; you sign up to go to Uni, you sign yourself up to a 3-4 year diet of instant ramen noodles. However, this doesn't necessarily have to be the case. Don't get me wrong - it's always good to have a stock of instant noodles in the cupboard or on the shelf. They're an easy, filling and quite tasty meal that isn't really all that bad for you, given that they're a convenience food. That said, you don't have to make them your sole source of caloric intake. If you know how to shop smart, you can eat reasonably well at a cost not significantly greater than that of a noodle-only lifestyle. 

For me, the key to saving money on groceries is knowing where to shop. I know there can be stigma around more budget-friendly supermarket chains like Aldi and Lidl. It's important to remember, however, that cheaper doesn't always equal poorer quality. There are some areas where you can absolutely scrimp on price without scrimping on quality. Dried foods (think rice, pasta and lentils) and canned goods (beans, peas and tinned fruits) have long shelf lives and the cheaper versions are usually not all that different from their more expensive counterparts. The same is true of frozen foods - things like pizzas, ready meals and meats from the freezer aisles can easily be switched out with little to no difference in quality. In fact, the only place I'd say it's really worth spending the extra couple of quid is in fresher areas like meat and produce. 

Learning to cook will also be massively beneficial to you before you jet off to Uni. I lost track of the number of friends at whom I was appalled for their cooking skills - or, more appropriately, lack thereof - right before or upon arriving at uni. I'm by no means saying that you need to be Gordon Ramsay or Heston Blumethal at Fresher's age, but learning to make a few simple dishes will be of massive benefit to you. Stir fries and pasta bakes are filling, nutritious and easy to make. You can also find a plethora of easy-to-make and reasonably affordable recipes on websites such as this one, and in books such as The Student Cookbook (one I personally have and use frequently) and NOSH for Students, which has a second volume and a vegetarian version. There is also, thus far, one recipe for Chinese Style Chicken here on my blog and I plan for there to be more in the near future. Learning kitchen skills may be a pain but it's cheaper and better for you than living off convenience foods and takeaways - trust me, you won't regret it!

It's also mentioning the odd bevvie - after all, students wouldn't be students if we didn't enjoy a drink now and then. My best tip here is to keep your eye out for offers; if you're not to opt for the supermarket-own brand (admittedly, these can be hit-or-miss) it's worth making note on who has the best deals and discounts on drink. This includes pubs and bars; often times the ones nearest to the uni and uni digs will have student deals. And, of course, there's always the Union! 


Hi there friends! I did originally consider making this post a 'TBR' but if I'm perfectly honest with you and myself, I don't know if I'll get round to reading all of these books this year. For a start, I've a small mountain of books I already own that I'm trying to get through. Also, I've discovered that Uni generally means two things; a tight budget and lots of textbooks. Although this list is short, whether or not I can purchase all of these books depends entirely upon how my financial situation goes over the course of the next semester. Instead, then, I opted to calling it a Reading Wishlist; a compilation of some of the new-release books I would like to read in 2017. Credit to Reading Books Like A Boss for providing a comprehensive list of 2017 book releases. Apologies to those of you to whom these seems like 'lazy blogging' - I have more exciting posts coming as soon as I get back up to Glasgow and back to my proper camera.

#1 FREEKS - Amanda Hocking 

Summary: Mara has become used to the extraordinary. Roaming from place to place with Gideon Davorian's Travelling Carnival, she longs for an ordinary life where nobody has the ability to levitate or predict the future. She gets her chance when the struggling sideshow sets up camp in the small town of Caudry, and she meets a gorgeous local guy named Gabe. But before long, Mara realises there's a dark presence lurking in the town threatening the lives of her friends. She has seven days to take control of a power she didn't know she had in order to save everyone she cares about - and change the future forever. 

Why I Want To Read It: A little known and highly strange fact about me: I've a great love for any story set in or around a carnival, circus or theatre setting. Perhaps it's my great fondness for Angela Carter - in particular Wise Children - seeping out. Whatever the case may be, I was tremendously excited to read the summary for this book. I also like that the blurb suggests something of a creepy horror/thriller element, as those are two of my favourite genres. 

#2 KILL THE FATHER - Sandrone Dazieri 

Summary: When a woman is beheaded in a park outside Rome and her six-year-old son goes missing, the police unit assigned to the case sees an easy solution: they arrest the woman's husband and await his confession. But the chief of Rome's major crimes unit doubts things are so simple. Secretly, he lures to the case two of Italy's top analytical minds; Deputy Captain Colomba Caselli,a fierce, warrior-like officer still reeling from having survived a bloody catastrophe, and Dante Torre, a man who spent his childhood trapped inside a concrete silo. Fed by the gloved hand of a masked kidnapper who called himself "the Father", Dante emerged from his ordeal with crippling claustrophobia but, also, with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and hyperobservant capabilities. All evidence suggests that the Father is back and active after being dormant for decades. Indeed, he has left telltale signs that he's looking forward to a reunion with Dante. But when Colomba and Dante begin following the ever-more-bizarre trail of clues, they grasp that what's really going on is darker than they ever imagined.

Why I Want To Read It: Dazieri is a critically acclaimed crime writer, and with good reason. As a lover of the genre, I've enjoyed many of his books in the past. From the summary of this one, it sounds like it will be no exception! 

#3 THE DEVIL CREPT IN - Ania Ahlborn 

Summary: Young Jude Brighton has been missing for three days, and while the search for him is in full swing in the small town of Deer Valley, Oregon, the locals are starting to lose hope. They're well aware that the first forty-eight hours are critical and, after that, the odds usually point to a worst-case scenario. And despite Stevie Clarke's youth, he knows that too; he's seen the cop shows. He knows what each ticking moment might mean for Jude, his cousin and best friend. That, and there was that boy, Max Larsen... the one from years ago, found dead after also disappearing under mysterious circumstances. And then there were the animals: pets gone missing out of yards. For years, the residents of Deer Valley have murmured about these unsolved crimes... and that a killer might lurking around their quiet town. Now, fear has been reborn - and for Stevie, who is determined to find out what really happened to Jude, the awful truth might be too horrifying to imagine. 

Why I Want To Read It: As I've mentioned time and time again, I'm a huge fan of the horror genre. While I've never read any of Ahlborn's works prior to now, I know she's rather lauded in the horror-fiction community and that her books have received high praise in the past. The ominous title and gripping summary of this novel have me hanging on the edge of my seat awaiting its release. 

#4 HER EVERY FEAR - Peter Swanson 

Summary: Following a brutal attack on her ex-boyfriend, Kate Priddy makes an uncharacteristically bold decision after her cousin, Corbin Dell, suggests a temporary apartment swap - and she moves from London to Boston. But soon after arriving Kate makes a shocking discovery: Corbin's next door neighbour, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police start asking  questions about Corbin's relationship with Audrey, and his neighbours start coming forwards with their own suspicions, a shaken Kate has few answers and many questions of her own. Jet-lagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination playing on her every fear, Kate can barely trust herself. So how can she trust any of the strangers she's just met? 

Why I Want To Read It: I seem to remember having read one of Swanson's books - The Girl With A Clock For a Heart - a year or so ago, however I've since been unable to locate it. Perhaps it was lost in the moving process back in July, or maybe it was borrowed from a friend or a library. Either way, I' remember thoroughly enjoying it. Swanson may only have three novels published so far, but he's got the kind of thriller-writing skill seen in the greats like Gillian Flynn. I'm really anxious to get my hands on this one! 

#5 - CONTAINMENT - Hank Parker

Summary: When a gruesome new tick-borne virus breaks out near a major US city and is traced to an extremist group in Southeast Asia, the race to stop a global bioterrorism conspiracy is on. Government epidemiologist Mariah Rossi must leave the safety of her lab to help fellow scientist and covert CIA agent Curt Kennedy to track the disease back to its source. Their worldwide net leads them to an underground lab in the jungles of the Philippines, then to a deadly and climactic battle in the coral reefs near Malaysian Borneo and finally to London and back to America, where the virus must be contained. 

Why I Want To Read It: If you know me, or if we've ever had a discussion about books, you probably know that one of my all time favourite books is James Herbert's '48 - for which I have a full review on this blog. Containment intrigued me for the same reason '48 does; I'm a bit of a medical history nut, and I've quite the morbid obsession with the concept of biological warfare. Especially cool about this book is its author's origins; Parker is a former US Government advisor on agroterrorism, so he really is writing what he knows. This is his début novel and I thoroughly look forward to reading it at some point. 

#6 MY HUSBAND'S WIFE - Jane Corry 

Summary: What if your life was built on a lie? When lawyer Lily marries Ed she's determined to make a fresh start. To leave the secrets of the past behind. But when she takes on her first criminal case, she finds herself strangely drawn to her client. A man who's accused of murder. A man she will soon be willing to risk everything for. But is he really innocent? And who is she to judge? 

Why I Want To Read It: There seems to be a trend emerging, friends. I'll hold my hands up and admit - I'm a sucker for a good mystery story, and I particularly love a courtroom-drama. The deliberately vague summary was what really drew me in here. I can't wait to give this one a go. 

So those are the books off of RBLB's post that caught my eye most (trust me, it was tough to narrow down!) What's on your 2017 reading wishlist? Let me know! 

Happy reading, 
Jazz xo 


If you know me at all, you'll know my policy when it comes to beauty products is that, if made to choose, I tend to be more inclined to splash out on high end skincare, rather than high end make up. As someone who suffers with dry skin to the point of suffering from eczema, I'm keen to test out most anything that might help me. That said, Clarins has never been a brand I've known much about and, for whatever reason, I've never really looked into it that much. 

Please excuse the stray eyeliner sharpener-shaving so classily strewn in the middle of my setup. 
I was rather intrigued, then, when my mum gifted me this set of travel-sized goodies on Christmas day. The kit contains minatures of The One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser, HydraQuench Cream moisturiser and the Booster Detox oil in a generously sized and really rather pretty quilted white cosmetics bag. It's actually a great thing that has come in real handy for me, as it quite comfortably contains all of the make up that I use on the daily - including the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette and all of my brushes. 

I've used the products that came inside the bag pretty regularly since Christmas and I feel I'm at a point now where I can give a pretty fair judgement on all of them.

I'll start with the product I had the most neutral feelings on. Initially, I was very excited about this face wash; it was grainy, but not overly so, which is generally the perfect type of exfoliating cleanser for dry skin. This one also contains orange extract and shea, both things that historically works quite well with my skin. However, I found this to be underwhelming at best. It does meet all of its claims - removing make up, cleansing pores and softening/brightening skin. It really is quite good. The issue for is the price tag for the full size product; at £21 it just doesn't do the things it does any better than cheaper face washes I've tried. If you're after a decent face wash and you really feel like splurging on one, then this one could absolutely be a good idea. However, if you're not looking to spend as much I'd recommend the Soap & Glory 3-in-1 Face Wash (usually £8, on sale for £6 at the time of me writing this post) as an every day wash, and the Nivea Daily Essential Facial Scrub (£3.99) as a deeper exfoliant once or twice a week. 

I was much more impressed with this next product! I'm something of a moisturiser junkie, and I'm always on the market for a new one. I switch my moisturisers out so often that I can't really say that I've got a 'holy grail', however my most recent favourite has been the Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator (£34). I generally like to use moisturisers for a month or so before I come to a final decision, but this one is well on track for knocking Clinique off the top spot. At £36 a tub, the difference between this and the Clinique one is nominal enough that I'd not feel at all guilty for switching them out. This one is similar to the Clinique one in that it is very lightweight and doesn't clog pores. However, they're very different textures; this is more of a traditional lotion-y moisturiser than a gel-cream hybrid. 

As far as I'm concerned, this Booster Detox is the shining star of this set. It's really been a game changer in my foundation game; I've recently fallen in love with the W7 Photo Shoot Foundation in Buff (£6.95). Although the foundation was already beautiful with great coverage and a good lightweight feel on the skin, I did find I had a little trouble getting it to blend over the dryer patches of my skin. 3 drops of this Detox oil make it blend absolutely seamlessly everywhere. I also find it incredibly useful for mixing with the HydraQuench cream. Like an idiot, I fell asleep in a full face of make up on New Years Eve and, as you can imagine, woke up with my skin feeling quite dull and angry at me. Four drops of this oil in the moisturiser after I finally got round to the bath really helped me join the land of the living again. I have no doubt that I'll drop £30 on the full-size when I run out of this one. 

I'm not sure if this set is still available, but I hope this review has helped you decide if you want any of these three individual products in their full sizes! 

Happy reading, 
Jazz xo 


Contrary to what this title may suggest, I'm not after dedicating this post to some woeful diatribe of how dreadful 2016 has been; I'm sure you're all as sick of reading all that as I am. Truth be told, 2016 has been okay for me. Of course, the Walking Wotsit and his Pencey little pal getting into power, as well as the loss of countless beloved celebrities, has meant that the year hasn't been so grand for the world in general. But I'm a firm believer in focusing on the positives and in my own personal life, those have far outweighed the negatives. Within the past twelve months I had an article published on a student website, won 'article of the month' for said article, passed my A-Levels (and passed them rather well, if I can say so without sounding boastful), started university at my first choice institution, got good grades on my end-of-semester assignments and had one of the best family Christmases I've experienced in years. While 2016 has been a hell of a year - and not always in the best way - I think that it's important that we remember the sun always comes up in the morning and things will be better when it does. God willing, 2017 will be the metaphorical sunrise, and we'll see things improve in the next twelve months.

Now that the sappy bit is out of the way, it's time for us to acknowledge that Lie To Yourself™ season has come around once more. It's at this time of year that we all promise ourselves we're going to eat healthier, hit the gym, do more charity work and call our parents more. Generally these promises last all of six weeks (if we're lucky) and, to be honest,  I don't usually buy into them. I'm really not a fan of the idea of 'New Years Resolutions', and I'm a firm believer that if you would like to better yourself you should just do it and shouldn't need the New Year as an excuse to do so. That said, I have set myself a number of goals for the coming year, and I'd like to share them with you; 


If you read this blog on the reg you're undoubtedly aware that I'm a bit shit at posting a lot of the time. It seems I operate at one of two extremes; either I make post after post after post over the course of just a few days, or I go weeks without making a single one. I really do enjoy blogging as a hobby and I'm really going to use this year to try and make more of an effort to post very regularly with better and more creative content.


Something else I should put more thought into is my finances. Thing is, I've always been good with money; I'm not really what you'd call a 'spendaholic'. That said, saving up isn't something I've ever really put any conscious effort into, mostly because I've never really had to. Living at my mum's, the rent and bills and food shopping was always paid without me having to contribute too much. Since moving out, I've unfortunately kept the same mentality about budgeting and, while I'm not totally broke, I'm pretty skint because of it. In 2017 I'm going to try to consciously budget my money and hopefully have a bit extra pocket money as a result.


Something I swore I'd never become guilty of, yet am a bugger for. I can't say that I've made a habit of skipping out on classes after an all-nighter or because of an annoying cold. However, it's something I've done on more occasions than I really care admit to. While it doesn't seem to have had a severely pejorative effect on my grades, I inevitably end up missing something of at least some importance - or something interesting. I'm going to make it a goal this year to attend absolutely every class that I'm capable of going to. 


For as long as I can remember, I've been really rather into arts and crafts; I love making things, dying and painting and altering clothes, knitting, cross-stitch... you name it. If it's arty and/or creative I probably like doing it. The thing is, I've not had much chance to do so since I headed off to uni, and that's something I'd really like to change. I've had tons of crafty projects in mind for weeks, and I'm hoping that this will be the year I manage to get through them. 


As you probably know by now, I'm an English Literature student at the University of Strathclyde. This, of course, means lots of mandatory reading. Being a bookworm, of course, I love this. However, in the past three months since moving up to Glasgow, I've fallen off the wagon of reading for the hell of it. I'm really going to try to get back into it in 2017, and I'm setting myself a goal of 50 books outside of my mandatory class reading. 

So these are my goals for 2017. Are you guys making any? Let me know in the comments! 

Happy reading and happy new year, 
Jazz xo