So along with Phone Anxiety, this idea also popped into my head. Whenever these random ideas come to me I make sure to jot them down especially when I'm getting bored of what I usually write about. Growing up I think you found out quickly whether or not you were a person who liked school. I was pretty meh about it during high school but it wasn't until I was at university studying the subjects I wanted to that I started to enjoy it. I admit I didn't enjoy the entirety of it, assignments and exams brought a lot of stress into my life but I absolutely loved learning in the lectures. I've been out of university for almost 2 years and I miss going in and learning.

So this is kind of like a list of things which shows you're a lifetime academic if you will*. 

  1. You've kept all of your textbooks 
  2. You check the exam timetable and look at when the exam is for the classes you took
  3. You check out the subjects you would take if you did the degree again
  4. Occasionally think about and slightly research what you could do for your Masters
  5. Check out other university websites and see what subjects they offer
  6. Wonder if you could do another BA
  7. Figuring out the career you want and researching what degrees you'll need
  8. Googling universities that have no fees
  9. Start to read the dissertation that pretty much broke you
  10. Ultimately deciding to go back to uni

Do any of these apply to you?

Ashley xx

*These are all me

You Know You're an Academic When...

Tuesday, 25 July 2017


So along with Phone Anxiety, this idea also popped into my head. Whenever these random ideas come to me I make sure to jot them down especially when I'm getting bored of what I usually write about. Growing up I think you found out quickly whether or not you were a person who liked school. I was pretty meh about it during high school but it wasn't until I was at university studying the subjects I wanted to that I started to enjoy it. I admit I didn't enjoy the entirety of it, assignments and exams brought a lot of stress into my life but I absolutely loved learning in the lectures. I've been out of university for almost 2 years and I miss going in and learning.

So this is kind of like a list of things which shows you're a lifetime academic if you will*. 

  1. You've kept all of your textbooks 
  2. You check the exam timetable and look at when the exam is for the classes you took
  3. You check out the subjects you would take if you did the degree again
  4. Occasionally think about and slightly research what you could do for your Masters
  5. Check out other university websites and see what subjects they offer
  6. Wonder if you could do another BA
  7. Figuring out the career you want and researching what degrees you'll need
  8. Googling universities that have no fees
  9. Start to read the dissertation that pretty much broke you
  10. Ultimately deciding to go back to uni

Do any of these apply to you?

Ashley xx

*These are all me

The idea for this post popped into my head a few days ago and thought I would just run with it. I've been wanting to do different things for posts; something more different, creative and personal. So to start off I thought I would write about phone anxiety which is a very real thing and something that I've been particularly dealing with lately.

I've never really been a big fan of talking on the phone. The prospect of not knowing who is on the other end is a big thing for me, and it doesn't help with all the movies about a creepy killer on the phone. I just can't. Nowadays you see the person who is calling you, however, I still freak out when a number pops up which is not good when you're applying for jobs. And of course whenever anyone calls me I usually jump to the conclusion of it being bad news cause my family and friends usually communicate via text and messenger. However, when one of my family calls me I'm absolutely fine in answering the phone.

Last week I got a call back about a job I applied for. I freaked out and pretty much panicked about the thought of calling back. I thought it was a phone call about setting up an in person interview but unfortunately, it was a phone interview. It did not go well. I'm not that good at face to face social interaction which means on the phone it's disastrous. In a job interview situation, I prefer an in person interview much more. I'm able to pick up on social cues (somewhat) and I just like being able to see the person I'm talking to. After the interview, they said I would get a call back the next week (this week). There's been no call and I'm not surprised.

Another thing which I've been pushing back because of this is making an appointment I really should have made ages ago. I try to psyche myself up to do it but my head comes up with all these excuses which makes me feel at ease at not doing it and thinking I'll do it at this date. It never works. Another thing I hate doing is asking people for pretty much anything. At uni, I cringed at the prospect of emailing my lecturer or supervisor a question. I was always nervous about the answer, whatever it was. So like asking someone to do it for me is worse than actually doing it, I think. 

I'm also the type of person who overthinks conversations. So in trying to psyche myself up to make an appointment, I think through what I will say, the routes the conversation might go. Nine times out of ten in conversations I end up not saying anything at all or I just stutter my words and wish I never said anything.

Anxiety makes me a mess. 

Do you struggle with phone anxiety?

Ashley xx

Phone Anxiety

Friday, 21 July 2017


The idea for this post popped into my head a few days ago and thought I would just run with it. I've been wanting to do different things for posts; something more different, creative and personal. So to start off I thought I would write about phone anxiety which is a very real thing and something that I've been particularly dealing with lately.

I've never really been a big fan of talking on the phone. The prospect of not knowing who is on the other end is a big thing for me, and it doesn't help with all the movies about a creepy killer on the phone. I just can't. Nowadays you see the person who is calling you, however, I still freak out when a number pops up which is not good when you're applying for jobs. And of course whenever anyone calls me I usually jump to the conclusion of it being bad news cause my family and friends usually communicate via text and messenger. However, when one of my family calls me I'm absolutely fine in answering the phone.

Last week I got a call back about a job I applied for. I freaked out and pretty much panicked about the thought of calling back. I thought it was a phone call about setting up an in person interview but unfortunately, it was a phone interview. It did not go well. I'm not that good at face to face social interaction which means on the phone it's disastrous. In a job interview situation, I prefer an in person interview much more. I'm able to pick up on social cues (somewhat) and I just like being able to see the person I'm talking to. After the interview, they said I would get a call back the next week (this week). There's been no call and I'm not surprised.

Another thing which I've been pushing back because of this is making an appointment I really should have made ages ago. I try to psyche myself up to do it but my head comes up with all these excuses which makes me feel at ease at not doing it and thinking I'll do it at this date. It never works. Another thing I hate doing is asking people for pretty much anything. At uni, I cringed at the prospect of emailing my lecturer or supervisor a question. I was always nervous about the answer, whatever it was. So like asking someone to do it for me is worse than actually doing it, I think. 

I'm also the type of person who overthinks conversations. So in trying to psyche myself up to make an appointment, I think through what I will say, the routes the conversation might go. Nine times out of ten in conversations I end up not saying anything at all or I just stutter my words and wish I never said anything.

Anxiety makes me a mess. 

Do you struggle with phone anxiety?

Ashley xx
 


I feel like the more I read the more I pick up on things that I usually won't notice. One such thing is the use of language, the way the author chooses the words and structures them into a sentence. I noticed this particularly with one of these books in comparison to another. I'm starting to see how language can be creative & fun. Stories can also be fun, such as these two.

Who's Afraid Too? by Maria Lewis*
This is the sequel to Who's Afraid?* and picks up with Tommi who is on the way to Berlin to meet up with a group of rogue werewolves. I loved the first book and I loved this one just as much. Tommi is one of my favourite characters; she's outgoing, courageous and is adapting to her new life as a werewolf. In this book we see her understanding her new strength and skills as well as finding herself with people in the same situation as her. She's found herself a new family basically. Her relationship with Lorcon is still complicated and of course there's something untoward happening which needs stopping. The story is fast paced, funny, witty and I'm sure everyone will enjoy it.

4 stars


Difficult Women by Roxane Gay*
I've heard great things about Roxane Gay's work and Difficult Women is the first book I've read of hers. The book is compiled of short stories concerning a variety of women in different situations. It does well to highlight just how juxtaposed and complex women and their lives are. I also love Gay's use of language, it reads easy but is still so skilled. The stories look more inward to the women portrayed, we see how they think, how they react to their situation and what in the past made them who they were in that moment. The stories show just how complex human beings are as a whole.

5 stars

Have you read these books?

Ashley xx
*Review copy from Hachette NZ

Review | Who's Afraid Too? & Difficult Women

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

 


I feel like the more I read the more I pick up on things that I usually won't notice. One such thing is the use of language, the way the author chooses the words and structures them into a sentence. I noticed this particularly with one of these books in comparison to another. I'm starting to see how language can be creative & fun. Stories can also be fun, such as these two.

Who's Afraid Too? by Maria Lewis*
This is the sequel to Who's Afraid?* and picks up with Tommi who is on the way to Berlin to meet up with a group of rogue werewolves. I loved the first book and I loved this one just as much. Tommi is one of my favourite characters; she's outgoing, courageous and is adapting to her new life as a werewolf. In this book we see her understanding her new strength and skills as well as finding herself with people in the same situation as her. She's found herself a new family basically. Her relationship with Lorcon is still complicated and of course there's something untoward happening which needs stopping. The story is fast paced, funny, witty and I'm sure everyone will enjoy it.

4 stars


Difficult Women by Roxane Gay*
I've heard great things about Roxane Gay's work and Difficult Women is the first book I've read of hers. The book is compiled of short stories concerning a variety of women in different situations. It does well to highlight just how juxtaposed and complex women and their lives are. I also love Gay's use of language, it reads easy but is still so skilled. The stories look more inward to the women portrayed, we see how they think, how they react to their situation and what in the past made them who they were in that moment. The stories show just how complex human beings are as a whole.

5 stars

Have you read these books?

Ashley xx
*Review copy from Hachette NZ

As fellow beauty obsessives, you would all have heard about the launch of makeup products from XO Beauty. The brand was created by Shaaanxo, the amazing New Zealand beauty YouTuber, and started out with makeup brushes. I'm a fan of these brushes, I own a few but not any of the new ones which are now being made in Italy. The first makeup products launched were the lipsticks and more recently highlighters. As a fan of Shannon and of makeup I, of course, had to pick up some. I did a first impressions video on the lipsticks as well so make sure to check that out.



When I saw the announcement video one lipstick, in particular, caught my eye immediately. Impavid is a gorgeous bright red and is a liquid lipstick. While my red lipstick collection is quite vast I just had to add this one. The applicator has flat sides, it's not angled, and is soft and flexible which allows an easy application. I always put on a lip liner first and try to paint within the lines. It's very comfortable to wear and is long lasting.



I wasn't initially planning on getting one of the bullet lipsticks but after seeing photos on Instagram of how amazing this colour looked on people I just had to get it. The lipstick is called Philocaly and is a nude matte shade. This shade for me is a 'your lips but better'. I absolutely love it. The lipstick is matte so it is a bit drying so make sure you've got some lip balm on hand. Both lipsticks smell amazing as well, Shannon describes it as a creme brulee scent. 


Highlighters are the most recent addition and of course, I had to watch the announcement video straight away. There are two shades: Lucent, which is a sandy golden shade & Aurora which is a pale, glowing champagne-pink. I went for Aurora as 'champagne-pink' just sounds magical as well as the name being that of one of my favourite Disney princesses.


Here are the swatches of the products. The highlighter is very fine and subtle which I like as I've never used a highlighter before.



Along with the highlighter, I also picked up a Sheer Powder Brush as Shannon used it in the announcement video and said it was a great brush to get a subtle glow. Anything she says is great I buy basically.

Have you tried any makeup from XO Beauty?

Ashley xx

XO Beauty | Makeup Releases

Thursday, 13 July 2017


As fellow beauty obsessives, you would all have heard about the launch of makeup products from XO Beauty. The brand was created by Shaaanxo, the amazing New Zealand beauty YouTuber, and started out with makeup brushes. I'm a fan of these brushes, I own a few but not any of the new ones which are now being made in Italy. The first makeup products launched were the lipsticks and more recently highlighters. As a fan of Shannon and of makeup I, of course, had to pick up some. I did a first impressions video on the lipsticks as well so make sure to check that out.



When I saw the announcement video one lipstick, in particular, caught my eye immediately. Impavid is a gorgeous bright red and is a liquid lipstick. While my red lipstick collection is quite vast I just had to add this one. The applicator has flat sides, it's not angled, and is soft and flexible which allows an easy application. I always put on a lip liner first and try to paint within the lines. It's very comfortable to wear and is long lasting.



I wasn't initially planning on getting one of the bullet lipsticks but after seeing photos on Instagram of how amazing this colour looked on people I just had to get it. The lipstick is called Philocaly and is a nude matte shade. This shade for me is a 'your lips but better'. I absolutely love it. The lipstick is matte so it is a bit drying so make sure you've got some lip balm on hand. Both lipsticks smell amazing as well, Shannon describes it as a creme brulee scent. 


Highlighters are the most recent addition and of course, I had to watch the announcement video straight away. There are two shades: Lucent, which is a sandy golden shade & Aurora which is a pale, glowing champagne-pink. I went for Aurora as 'champagne-pink' just sounds magical as well as the name being that of one of my favourite Disney princesses.


Here are the swatches of the products. The highlighter is very fine and subtle which I like as I've never used a highlighter before.



Along with the highlighter, I also picked up a Sheer Powder Brush as Shannon used it in the announcement video and said it was a great brush to get a subtle glow. Anything she says is great I buy basically.

Have you tried any makeup from XO Beauty?

Ashley xx
 


These two books are quite different from each other but I found enjoyment in reading them both. One is the last book in a series which is a sequel to a classic story while the other is an account of a young woman and her experience as a model. If these minimal descriptions interest you, read on.

The End of OZ by Danielle Paige*
This is book four of the Dorothy Must Die Series. As of yet, I've only read book 3 of the series so am still unaware of the whole story. The End of OZ picks up where the last book finished with Amy, Nox & Madison being taken for a ride by the yellow brick road. They are dropped off in Ev, the home of the evil Nome King who has rescued Dorothy and wants to make her his bride. The trio must work with an old friend of Nox's in order to defeat the Nome King as well as their old enemy Dorothy.

I really enjoyed the book, I just think it's cool how the author came up with a creative sequel to a well-known story. While I haven't read the first two books I liked how Amy & Madison's relationship became more mature in a way. They put their differences & history aside to work together in a dangerous situation. Also, have to commend Madison who got thrown into a world she thought wasn't real and managed to keep herself together and was willing to help.

4 stars


Size Zero by Victoire Dauxerre*
This is an account of the author's experience as a fashion model. We've all heard the stories of what it is like for a model and this book really affirms that. It sounds horrible, honestly. Young girls are seduced by the glamour of it all but the realities are just awful. Victoire shares the pressure of being able to fit in a size 4. She only ate 3 apples a day to get her weight down and also used laxatives to keep it off. Alongside that pressure was how the models were treated, as live mannequins and walking clothes hangers. Made to stand for hours for a casting that they may not even get. The thing that really struck me was the loneliness of it all; the designers, hairdressers & makeup artists rarely spoke to them as well as the animosity between the models. The industry came off as cold and alienating. I would definitely recommend this book if you wanted a models perspective in the fashion industry.

3 stars

Have you read these books?

Ashley xx
* Review copies from HarperCollins NZ

Review | The End of OZ & Size Zero

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

 


These two books are quite different from each other but I found enjoyment in reading them both. One is the last book in a series which is a sequel to a classic story while the other is an account of a young woman and her experience as a model. If these minimal descriptions interest you, read on.

The End of OZ by Danielle Paige*
This is book four of the Dorothy Must Die Series. As of yet, I've only read book 3 of the series so am still unaware of the whole story. The End of OZ picks up where the last book finished with Amy, Nox & Madison being taken for a ride by the yellow brick road. They are dropped off in Ev, the home of the evil Nome King who has rescued Dorothy and wants to make her his bride. The trio must work with an old friend of Nox's in order to defeat the Nome King as well as their old enemy Dorothy.

I really enjoyed the book, I just think it's cool how the author came up with a creative sequel to a well-known story. While I haven't read the first two books I liked how Amy & Madison's relationship became more mature in a way. They put their differences & history aside to work together in a dangerous situation. Also, have to commend Madison who got thrown into a world she thought wasn't real and managed to keep herself together and was willing to help.

4 stars


Size Zero by Victoire Dauxerre*
This is an account of the author's experience as a fashion model. We've all heard the stories of what it is like for a model and this book really affirms that. It sounds horrible, honestly. Young girls are seduced by the glamour of it all but the realities are just awful. Victoire shares the pressure of being able to fit in a size 4. She only ate 3 apples a day to get her weight down and also used laxatives to keep it off. Alongside that pressure was how the models were treated, as live mannequins and walking clothes hangers. Made to stand for hours for a casting that they may not even get. The thing that really struck me was the loneliness of it all; the designers, hairdressers & makeup artists rarely spoke to them as well as the animosity between the models. The industry came off as cold and alienating. I would definitely recommend this book if you wanted a models perspective in the fashion industry.

3 stars

Have you read these books?

Ashley xx
* Review copies from HarperCollins NZ


I've been looking forward to starting these books for quite a while so am excited to finally start reading. This month I'm only aiming for two books, I'm trying to enjoy the reading rather than rush through it so I can get more books in. Start to regain my love of just snuggling up with a good book.

The Cows by Dawn O'Porter*
I think I've been looking forward to reading this book ever since I listened to her episode on Ctrl, Alt Delete (it's #5 so it's been a while). The book centres on Tara, Cam & Stella who are trying to live their lives as best as they can despite society telling them exactly how. They judge each other, themselves and try to find their voice in the noise of society. I really like how the title ties in with the story; women being put in a stereotype, having a sell-by-date and being coerced to move in the same direction. I'm a big fan of stories about women in modern society so am looking forward to getting started.

Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight*
This book is pretty much perfect for me at the moment as I really need to get my sh*t together. 'How to stop worrying about what you should do so you can finish what you need to do and start doing what you want to do'. Yes Yes Yes. For me one of the biggest problems is my head + anxiety getting in the way and telling me to panic about everything. I'm always thinking that since I'm not doing what everyone else is I'm failing. I'm stuck in a hole and my head can't manage to think of a way out. So far I've had a look at the contents and there's a section on anxiety which I'm looking forward to. 

What are you planning on reading this month?

Ashley xx
*Review copies

Books to Read in July

Thursday, 6 July 2017



I've been looking forward to starting these books for quite a while so am excited to finally start reading. This month I'm only aiming for two books, I'm trying to enjoy the reading rather than rush through it so I can get more books in. Start to regain my love of just snuggling up with a good book.

The Cows by Dawn O'Porter*
I think I've been looking forward to reading this book ever since I listened to her episode on Ctrl, Alt Delete (it's #5 so it's been a while). The book centres on Tara, Cam & Stella who are trying to live their lives as best as they can despite society telling them exactly how. They judge each other, themselves and try to find their voice in the noise of society. I really like how the title ties in with the story; women being put in a stereotype, having a sell-by-date and being coerced to move in the same direction. I'm a big fan of stories about women in modern society so am looking forward to getting started.

Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight*
This book is pretty much perfect for me at the moment as I really need to get my sh*t together. 'How to stop worrying about what you should do so you can finish what you need to do and start doing what you want to do'. Yes Yes Yes. For me one of the biggest problems is my head + anxiety getting in the way and telling me to panic about everything. I'm always thinking that since I'm not doing what everyone else is I'm failing. I'm stuck in a hole and my head can't manage to think of a way out. So far I've had a look at the contents and there's a section on anxiety which I'm looking forward to. 

What are you planning on reading this month?

Ashley xx
*Review copies

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