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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Becoming Boho

Lately, I've started incorporating more and more boho elements into my style. Three years ago, that's something I never thought I'd say; let's just say I'm more of a Blair Waldorf of even a Jenny Humphrey than a Serena van der Woodsen in terms of style.

But with Coachella fashion still exciting the internet and summer temperatures coming, we can all benefit from some boho influence. One of my little tricks is to buy more bohemian pieces in muted colors of black and white, if you're still trying to decide if they fit your taste. I hope these suggestions help you become a little bit boho for spring and summer.




Flower crowns are a great way to incorporate a little boho touch into your outfits. If you're not sure how you feel about them, try a dainty little one like the one in the bottom right corner (H&M, $5.95). If you're ready to commit and make a statement, try a larger one (H&M, $12.95).

If you're not sure how you feel about kimonos, try out a neutral colored one first. I have this black and white kimono and it's absolutely gorgeous...plus it's easy to pair with anything (H&M, $24.95). Fringe is another eye-catching trend this spring and summer...plus it's fun to run your hands through as you walk. (Not that I do that...)

Playsuits have been around for a few seasons now and it appears that they're definitely here to stay. This floral lace-trimmed playsuit is definitely on the boho side and would look super adorable paired with some Keds and a jean jacket until the warm weather comes (Topshop, $79).

Crocheted tops are another great trend this season. While the white flow-y ones are more obviously boho, I like the more understated ones like this fitted black and white shirt (Primark, £4).

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Scotland Vlog!

I've been waiting for so long to share this with you that I can't wait until a normal posting day. This is some footage from when my family came over to see me for spring break and we travelled to Edinburgh. A London vlog will follow (hopefully soon). Enjoy! xx

Monday, April 27, 2015

All I Know Now Review

It's quite obvious by now that I love Carrie Hope Fletcher. She's my favorite actress/YouTuber/author! Of course, I had to review her book but I wasn't sure if I could put my feelings for it into written words...so I filmed a video instead. Click over to YouTube to find links to buy the book in the description box. xx

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Daily Vlog Week!

This past week, I decided to get more familiar with my new camera and daily vlog every day from Monday to Friday. There were definitely some fun days with going shopping at Primark, reading Carrie Hope Fletcher's book, and attending a ball! See for yourself below.

Monday



Tuesday




Wednesday




Thursday




Friday 


Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Internet Finds

Happy Friday everyone! I'm actually writing this several days in advance, as I'm not planning on doing anything Thursday other than go to classes and read Carrie Hope Fletcher's book All I Know Now, which is released that day. What are your weekend plans?

1. Is there anything more exciting for a history geek than finding out "Would You Survive Marrying King Henry VIII?" I don't think so. (Apparently, I'd be divorced which I can definitely live with!)

2. Speaking of Carrie Hope Fletcher's upcoming book...check out this Daily Mail article about her and her book release.

3. So apparently even according to my pizza toppings, I'm a Ravenclaw...this "What If Your Pizza Order Determined Your Hogwarts House?" quiz kind of makes me wonder how desperate Buzzfeed is for new material...

4. Any other university students already thinking about decorating for next fall? I'm moving into an apartment with my friends in the fall so I can't stop thinking about things I want to buy! I just bought this pillow for our living room, but I basically want to buy everything on the entire website.

5. YouTubers Tanya Burr and Jim Chapman are 100% #relationshipgoals. And this old video I stumbled upon totally proves it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Hugh Maynard's "Something Inside So Strong" || CD Review

First of all, I feel that I ought to say that I actually didn't buy this CD. I fully intended to, but then I happened to win it in a giveaway Hugh did on his Twitter page. I actually found out I'd won when I logged onto London Heathrow's wifi right after arriving in the UK for this semester; what a good omen, right? In any case, a huge thank you to Hugh for giving me this CD! (However, this review contains my honest opinions and was not influenced by receiving the CD for free.) 


The day I got my CD in the mail!
Hugh's debut album features covers of rock and soul ballads and two live recordings of musical theatre classics, "Bring Him Home" and "Bui Doi." While his version of "Bring Him Home" is simply stunning and it's an incredible experience to hear his "Bui Doi" without backing vocals covering his voice up, it's clear that Hugh isn't one of those musical theatre actors that can only perform theatre-style songs. His "When a Man Loves a Woman" and "Kiss from a Rose" are the best covers I've ever heard.

The first time I listened to the album, I said, "How is he human?" out loud several times, particularly while listening to "I Who Have Nothing." Hugh has a frankly unbelievable vocal range; I knew this from listening to him on the Miss Saigon cast album, but I'm not sure I understood just how crazy it was until listening to his solo album!

The album is a well-chosen blend of songs ranging from touching musical theatre solos to upbeat songs that will have you jamming along to power ballads that showcase Hugh's voice perfectly. It's one of those that is so well-arranged that I tend to listen to it in order instead of shuffling it (the only other artist to win this distinction is Taylor Swift, for the record).

This is definitely an album that I will be listening to quite a bit on my walk to classes and recommending to all of my friends and family, whether they are musical theatre fans or not!

If you want to hear it for yourself, you can order a physical copy online or purchase the album on iTunes. You can also hear Hugh on the Miss Saigon 2014 London cast album and see him in Miss Saigon as John, as he has thankfully decided to continue playing the role after cast change in May. If you'd like to keep up with him online, you can visit his Twitter, Facebook, or website. xx

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Primark Haul!

I went to Primark on Monday...so of course I had to film a Primark Haul for all of you! 

Monday, April 20, 2015

How to Succeed at Skype Interviews (By Really Trying)

I just couldn't resist that How to Succeed in Business joke in the title, could I?

Last week, I had my third Skype interview since coming to St Andrews. Over the past couple of months, I've found some things that work quite well for me so I thought it might be worthwhile to share them with you in case you're also trying to do interviews from abroad or just another city.

Skype interviews are quite daunting in a different way than normal interviews. I always worry about the internet working, how I'm going to look on camera, and being able to understand what the other person is saying. However, with a few tips and tricks, you can make it a much less painful experience!

1) Find a quiet space to do your interview. This is very important because you don't want noise keeping you from understanding the interviewer's questions. I also make sure that I warn my flatmates ahead of time if doing the interview from my room so they don't make noise in the hallway or knock on my door.

2) Dress nicely...from the top up. For every interview I've done while here, I've worn a nice business-y shirt, leggings, and my slippers. It's important to look professional, even though you're not meeting in person. But one of the best things about Skype interview is that from your waist down, you can wear whatever will make you feel comfortable and at ease. (My dinosaur socks always make me feel a little better about life.)

3) Have a nice background. I'm not saying you need to have an all-white background or anything, but do check to make sure it looks okay. (Use tip #4 to check!) Make sure that you can't see any dirty laundry or anything in the background.

4) Check yourself in the Photobooth App if you have a Mac computer. Honestly this app is perfect for checking what you look like. Sometimes if I don't like the angle I'm seeing, I'll prop my computer up on some books. It's also a good opportunity to make sure you don't have lipstick on your teeth or your hair isn't going crazy.

5) Ask sometime to test Skype you 15 minutes before. If you're worried about your internet connection, then ask a friend or a parent if they can Skype you for a few minutes to make sure you'll be fine.

Hopefully if you have a Skype interview coming up, you might find these tips helpful! If I do all these things, then I feel a bit more relaxed during the actual interview and can concentrate on what I'm actually talking about. But even if you are nervous...at least in a Skype interview, they can't tell if your hands are shaking.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

My Bucket List!

So I don't have a bucket list written down anywhere (I used to though!), but I do have a vague idea of one in my head. I was inspired by Carrie Hope Fletcher's recent video to share some of my bucket list items.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Internet Finds

Who else is excited for the weekend? I'm taking this weekend completely off of work as all my coursework is now finished. I'm hoping to catch up on making YouTube videos and watching TV shows...big plans, obviously! What plans do you have for the weekend? If they include cozying up in bed with your computer, here are some ideas of what to look at.

1. Ever wanted to know "Is Colin Firth or Hugh Grant Your Soulmate?" Well, know you can thanks to Buzzfeed. #teamcolinfirth

2. Similarly, if you've been wondering "Is Ryan Goslin or Ryan Reynolds Your Soulmate?" you can figure that out together. I was quite relieved to find out that my middle school dreams of Ryan Gosling are meant to come true.

3. YouTubers Tanya Burr and Jim Chapman recently spent a few days in NYC and Tanya put together a list of her restaurant recommendations in Soho. I'm definitely bookmarking this for the next time I'm in New York...and anytime I want to look at gorgeous photos of food!

4. Like most of the world, I'm a huge fan of the band HAIM's style and this article from College Fashion on how to recreate it is perfect.

5. Jim Chapman (fiance of the above-mentioned foodie Tanya Burr) recently tried something new on his YouTube channel: a video of his outfits from every day that week. And let me just say that I know how unrealistic style expectations for every guy I'll ever meet.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Much Needed Apology

I'm so sorry for the lack of posts this week. I have one essay due Wednesday and another due Friday on top of some interviews and class registration for the fall, so life is a bit crazy right now! I promise I will go back to regular posting next week and will even try to have a Friday Internet Finds post up for you at some point Friday, if possible.

If you just really need something to read until then, you can check out my travel blog where I write posts every day! xx

Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Internet Finds

It finally feels like spring here in St Andrews...people are walking around without coats (including me)! Is it spring where you live yet? If it's not and you need to stay inside where it's warm this weekend, here are some neat things to check out on the Internet...

1. In some ways, being a student is like working at home. So these 7 Tips for Working From Home by The Haute Notes are super useful for both students and stay-at-home business-people.

2. You know I love a good Buzzfeed quiz, but this "Which Emily Blunt Character Are You?" one might be my favorite yet! Why? Because I got Queen Victoria, my favorite of her roles and the wife of my historical crush Prince Albert (yes, those are a thing history majors have).

3. I already love Karlie Kloss, but the fact that she's made a scholarship for young girls to learn coding? She's completely won my heart.

4. Who else is super excited about Gigi opening on Broadway this week? The New York Times review made me want to see the show so badly, even if they weren't too impressed with Vanessa Hudgens. But Corey Cott is in it and you might remember how much I loved him in Newsies....

5. You also might remember that I love the character of Sebastian on Reign from the reviews I wrote for BroadwayWorld.com last fall. Thus, I was very excited to see Bash on this list of TV characters that would make the best boyfriends. Which one would you like to date? I'm thinking Sebastian or Tom Branson!

6. There's nothing I love more than singing along to music in the car. And Zoe Sugg and Louise Pentland's Careoke video might be the cutest thing I've ever seen.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

H&M Haul!

I ended up in H&M today...and ended up buying some lovely things, including a new flower crown and a new kimono. I wanted to share my purchases with you and a video seemed like the easiest method!

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Best Friend Challenge featuring Lucy

My lovely best friend Lucy agreed to film the Best Friend Challenge with me, inspired by one of Zoella and Sprinkle of Glitter's old videos.


Friday, April 3, 2015

Friday Internet Finds

Happy Friday, everyone! And Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend.

1. You all know there's nothing I love better than when people are converted to being Taylor Swift fans. This article on one woman's conversion is lovely.

2. I recently discovered the blog, The Winner's Institute, run by West End star Gina Beck and actress-writer Tally Blenford. It's quite lovely; you should definitely check it out!

3. This "Which Bennet Sister Are You?" quiz is what I've been waiting for since I discovered Buzzfeed quizzes. It was fantastic to have it confirmed that I'm a Jane Bennet. (Who are you? Let me know in the comments!)

4. I wasn't going to put two Buzzfeed quizzes in this post, but then I found this "Which Vikings Character Are You?" and I love Vikings too much not to include it. I got Lagertha! #badasswomenforthewin

5. I love love love Mary Kate Wiles and Ashley Clements, who played Lydia and Elizabeth Bennet in the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. And this short film that they recently starred in together? Terrifying and beautiful. Trust me, friends, Mary Kate Wiles is a name you should learn now so you can act like a hipster when all your friends discover her.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Miss Saigon West End Review || March 20

Two weeks ago today, I saw Miss Saigon in the West End for the second time. I only discovered Miss Saigon when the London revival was announced (and Alistair Brammer was cast in it as Chris), but it quickly became one of my favorite shows. I saw it with Stefanie this summer and fell absolutely in love with it. So I knew I needed to take my mom to see it!


The new and updated Saigon is much grittier than anyone who saw the original show will remember. It's a heartbreaking show with an insanely talented cast who are equally talented actors and singers. The sets themselves are stunning and any production that has both a car and a helicopter is impressive. Seeing the show a second time, with a slightly different cast made me realize how incredibly special it is. I could honestly talk about Miss Saigon all day, so I thought I should limit myself to some notable performances...

Niall Sheehy as Chris (x)
I never got to see Niall as Enjolras when he understudied the role in Les Miserables, so I was thrilled when I found out I would be getting to see him as Chris (even if I was a bit sad to be missing Alistair!). I knew that Niall was a talented performer, but I honestly don't think I had any idea how talented. He played a much younger Chris than Alistair's and seemed a bit like Mr. Bingley from Pride and Prejudice stuck in Vietnam (and yes, it was as heartbreaking as it sounds). He was so gentle and sweet in all of his scenes with Kim, but had an incredibly powerful "Why God Why" that I'll not forget anytime soon. He broke my heart over and over in his scenes, but especially in Kim's nightmare. On a side note, his American accent was very impressive considering the fact that he naturally has an Irish accent! Niall was an incredible Chris and I strongly urge anyone who has the chance to go see him when he's on. (He was also super sweet at stage door!)


Rachelle Ann Go as Gigi (x)
Rachelle plays a very tough and feisty Gigi and has powerhouse vocals in "Movie in My Mind." She makes me so sad that Gigi doesn't have more stage time! I can't wait to see what she'll do next...I'm hoping there may be another West End show in her future.


Tanya Manalang as Kim (x)
While I was sad not to be seeing Eva Noblezada again (as a fellow North Carolina girl!), Tanya Manalang stunned me as Kim. It honestly felt like going back in time and seeing a young Lea Salonga play the role! Her Kim was incredibly young and naive in the first section of the show--it helps that she's so tiny (keep in mind that I'm only 5'3"). Her interactions with Chris were adorable, but it was the way she acted with Tam that made me cry. I think part of Miss Saigon's power is that they have an incredible set of covers who can seamlessly step into the roles and steal your heart.


Jon Jon Briones as the Engineer (x)
Olivier Award nominee Jon Jon Briones can play the Engineer like no one else can. He manages to take a character who shouldn't be likable in any way and play him with enough charisma to win the audience over. However, in his more serious moments, he's legitimately terrifying! He plays the Engineer with the perfect mix of sleaze and charm and he had the entire audience laughing. There's really nothing like seeing Jon Jon perform "American Dream" live. I also just love knowing that he was in the original cast of Miss Saigon and things have come full circle! 


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