You can’t do it alone, as you navigate through the rest of your life be open to collaboration. Other people and other peoples ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you. Spend a lot of time with them and it will change your life. No one is here today because they did it on their own – Amy Poehler

Why all teenage girls should listen to swing music

The problem with going to a good school is that you sometimes have to get up early and travel far in order to get there. This ended in many miserable car rides during my high school years (if you have not picked up that I am not a morning person, keep up young’un). My father who took me to school is quite an agreeable man, when I was feeling particularly chatty he would listen, if I was angry with the world because school is compulsory he would let me wallow. But the best part about travelling with my dad was that he let me choose the radio station and so I introduced him to Beyonce, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake and Ne-Yo.

 

My father’s agreeable attitude changed one day after his friend had given him Rod Stewart‘s ‘The Great American Songbook’ as a birthday gift and he wanted to play this CD instead of the pop radio stations that I usually opted to listen to. I was livid. I was already half asleep in the mornings and this music was just going to tire me more and brat that I was, I complained over and over again but he didn’t relent and finally I gave up.

To me, Rod Stewart was that old guy who dated younger women and wore clothes that were about ten sizes too small but after the first time I heard that CD I understood the appeal, his voice seems to whisper to you, it is like he was born to sing swing music. I was familiar with most of the songs on the album because they’ve been sung by most of the greats but they way that Rod Stewart sang them just seemed to creep into my heart.

Teenage me was an emotional wreck. My self-esteem (like many girls I am told) was dependent on what boys thought of me or how many liked me. Any attention was a good thing, the way I dressed, what I said and how I acted was all dependent on boys and because I had no respect for myself I did expect to get respect from guys. I will never claim that CD changed my life, I’m much too mature for that, but it did give me a different perspective of how I should be treated. My favourite song was ‘The Very Thought of You”. I knew the song because it was sung by all the greats – Bing Crosby, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole etc – but I never really paid attention to what the words of the song  was.

The mere idea of you, the longing here for you
You’ll never know how slow the moments go till I’m near to you
I see your face in every flower
Your eyes in stars above
It’s just the thought of you
The very thought of you, my love

This was a foreign concept for me. Someone who liked me so much. When I  had crushes I used to see ‘their face in every flower’ even though that’s extremely cliche and makes me cringe just thinking about it. When I first heard this song I easily passed it off as a myth, no boys think like this. That is when my father told me about his epic love that encompassed all his thoughts, when he was 17 years old – my awesome mother of course. The love that they still show each other is living proof that such a love does exist. For me as a teenage girl who got waaay too little attention from teenage boys this was an eye-opener. The fact that I now knew such a love exists was a game changer for me, from that moment I aimed not just to be complacent with somebody who just pays me attention but for someone whose attention I hold. I know I might wait forever but I kinda feel like it’s going to be worth it.

My Love Affair with Red Lipstick

Some of my earliest memories are of me sitting on my mother’s bed watching her dress up to go out and throughout her entire routine the part that interested me the most was when she put on her red lipstick. From then I wanted to grow up, because growing up meant that you could wear red lipstick. From the advent of colour films the seduction of scarlet rouge has become love at first sight for many women. When I turned eighteen and it was no longer only acceptable for me to wear lipgloss, my mother bought me Revlon Really Red lipstick, I treasured it as if it was the best friend I always wanted. I planned my outfits around my lipstick and it became the only make-up product that I used. For my 21st birthday my sister gave me a Bobbi Brown red lipstick, and even though it was a different brand to what I was used to, I created just as many good memories in that one as its Revlon predecessor. As I got older my make-up kit grew from just the one lone lipstick to include foundation, eyeliner, mascara etc and the my red lipstick didn’t always go with the rest of my make-up or the soft and delicate look I was trying to portray, so I had to invest in other colours.

 

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Why I Love Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift. Some see her as the amalgamation of bubblegum pop and teenyboppers galore but as the teens grow up their love for Taylor Swift seems to increase, instead of it just becoming a phase. Perhaps it is a sense of loyalty, I still love Britney Spears even through all she has done, I still remember how mesmorising I found her when I was nine and the ‘Baby, One More Time’ was the first CD that I bought. But there is something different about Taylor Swift that makes her so enchanting that even got a 22-year-old adult like myself to rush to the store to buy her CD, I cannot explain why others adore her but these are my reasons:

 

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Little More Mad Men, Little Less Bridget Jones

The tight pencil skirt which has graced the wardrobe of most females has one wistfully thinking of the fashions of postwar 1940s to early 1950s, where the power of women were emerging as they took over the work force whilst the men fought in the war. Even in the famous “We Can Do It” poster, I can help but admire the lovely shirt that the woman is wearing. We can say what we want but those women had style.

 

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Movie Time: My Week With Marilyn

Marilyn MonroeMy obsession with 1950s cinema means that her face is everywhere that I look, I have two framed pictures of her (another one is in need of reframing, due to my tendency of standing on pictures and breaking glass, and yet another one is housed in a separate room in our house due to wall space in my room being limited), I have MM mug, a cosmetic bag, a pocket mirror etc.

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Jane Austen Corner: Northanger Abbey

My love affair with the words of Jane Austen continues as I have just completed my third JA novel, Northanger Abbey. The previous two that I read were the obvious Pride and Prejudice and Emma –  which I absolutely adored. I can see why Pride and Prejudice is popular though – it has a heroine in Elizabeth Bennett, a dashing but flawed leading man in Mr. Darcy and a sexy villain in Mr. Wickham (sigh, I’m still lusting after Mr. Wickham).

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A Little More Love

Valentines Day. I commented earlier on Twitter that this is the one day when single female bloggers whose blogs have been dormant make a beeline to their blogs and share with the world why Valentines Day is stupid or irrelevant or a consumer holiday etc.I have pulled myself out of my sad little lonely hole to share my feelings about Valentines Day, which against popular belief is strangely not that negative.

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