Foot in the Door #1

Lifestyle

Hello lovely readers!

Welcome to a new and (more than slightly) exciting mini-series on the old blog.

As a Theatre graduate, I have found navigating the job-hunting-scene a pretty merciless task. A lack of funding in the arts and thus, opportunities, has created an extremely saturated market. Essentially, there are too many people applying for not enough jobs. If it wasn’t already tricky enough, throw in a global pandemic and countless redundancies. Dreamy.

Having spoken to many peers, alumni and professionals about the difficulties of the job-game, I was (9 times out of 10) met with this response:

“You’ve just got to get your foot in the door.”

Foot poking through the opening of my kitchen door, I quickly realised that to secure my dream job (or let’s be real, just ANY job) it would take a little more than dramatically entering all of the rooms in my house. This phrase has come to haunt me over the post-graduate months so I started to mull over what it really means and how I could achieve it. “Getting your foot in the door” is essentially an umbrella term for networking your arse off, sending countless ignored emails out and learning that every single person you meet has the potential to know someone who knows someone who is the HR manager for the company you’re applying to. This phrase is pretty useless unless you are able to discover HOW to get your foot in the door. We need REAL EXAMPLES PEOPLE! All of this in mind, I decided to start this little series where I will be chatting to a whole variety of graduates – all from creative backgrounds – asking how they got their “foot in the door”. Hopefully, these posts will enable you to put in place some practical steps to start climbing up the job ladder. Your gal is here to help.

My first guest is the lovely Brontë Thomasson. Brontë (or more affectionately known as Bran) and I both studied together at university and I lived with her in my final year. I wanted to interview Bran as my first guest as she has had lots of different experiences since graduating, both pre and post-Covid-outbreak. I really hope you enjoy reading our chat and that you leave this post feeling slightly more informed about Brontë’s journey in such a way that you can reflect on your own.

DRUMROLL PLEASE! Here we go:

Hello, Brontë!

Hi! This is so exciting.

Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell the readers a bit about yourself. Who ARE you?

I’m Brontë. I’m 22 and I live in Brighton which is lovely. I’m currently doing some communication work for a non-profit in London as an Assistant which has been a really good experience. I also love food. I’ve really been getting into food blogging recently so may be looking to take that somewhere. We shall see. But in essence, I’m just a friendly, outgoing gal!

We love to see it! Did you go to university?

Yes! I studied Theatre and Performance.

What made you decide to choose Theatre as your area of study?

So, funnily enough I originally set out to study English Lit and Theatre. In my head, I thought I needed to do something more than just Theatre. I thought “ooo, if I add English into the mix it’ll make me more…what’s the word? Credible.”

Where do you think that thought originated from? That Theatre wasn’t a “credible” choice in its own right?

You know what? Answering that now, I actually have no idea. I think I just made it up in my head. My parents weren’t like “DON’T DO IT!” it was just me.

When you decided you were going to pursue Theatre, at that moment, did you have a certain career path in mind?

In the moment, that [Theatre] was what I wanted to do. It was my favourite subject at school, it’s what I did best in. I just loved it. Going into the degree, I had the classic “it would be great to be an actor” thought but to be honest, I had no clear direction.

Did you ever consider auditioning for drama school?

I did consider it but I really quickly put that to bed. It wasn’t for me.

As you progressed through university, did your career goal or vision change at all?

That’s a difficult one. I actually did think in my final year that theatre marketing would be cool which I did eventually try. But again, it was more that I wanted to see what happened once I’d finished.

How did you prepare for post-university life?

I think I kind of panicked and started applying for so many jobs. I remember the first job that I emailed about – I was in the middle of writing my disso at the time. But then, they replied saying “we’d need an immediate start” and that hadn’t occurred to me. For me, preparing was trying to get loads of applications out and keeping tabs on what was around. In terms of practicalities like housing or money, I honestly didn’t really have a plan.

I think that’s pretty normal! So, in terms of your job-hunting, how and where did you look for jobs?

I really got into looking at Arts Jobs. I’d been told that it was a great place for jobs in the arts. I think I started to get addicted to it! Maybe social media as well. I didn’t have any sense of LinkedIn or anything like that at this point. Luckily, the job that I did get when I graduated, I did find on Arts Jobs. So, I really do love it.

So Arts Jobs is the one! Love it. What did you / do you find the most difficult about applying for jobs?

Cover letters. Definitely the most difficult thing about applying for a job. One cover letter can sometimes take the whole day. Especially if you really want it. So, you can end up sending in a random one every now and then, hoping it makes sense. But that’s not good advice!

Do you have any tips for what makes a good cover letter from your experience?

Ooo, that’s a good question. So, what I’ve found, especially with the first job that I got, is really research the company and tailor the letter to how their values match up with your own.

I’ve found sometimes when applying for jobs, it can feel a little robotic if you are stating facts about the company to prove you have researched them. Surely, they will already know these things. How do you seamlessly weave in your research without it feeling forced?

I think using personal examples. Again, for my first job, the place where I worked really valued equality and inclusion and at the time, at uni, I was creating a piece surrounding racial inequality so I really wound that all together in the cover letter. This is what you believe in, this is what I’m doing right now and that is why we would be a great match.

How long did it take you to secure your first role post-uni?

I was very lucky in the sense that I already had a job lined up. I actually graduated mid-job.

Can you tell us a bit more about your first job? What sorts of things did you get up to?

So, I was a Marketing Assistant at Kiln Theatre in North London. I was helping with the day-to-day running of the social media accounts, designing artwork, marketing for their cinema and I did a really cool project called People of Kilburn where I interviewed local people and uploaded it onto the Instagram page. I loved it.

Brontë’s ‘PEOPLE OF KILBURN’ project

It’s probably worth mentioning that this was a fixed-term position as (whilst it was extended from 3 to 6 months) it wasn’t viable for the theatre to take on a permanent member of staff for the role. Post-Kiln, did you feel an advantage having experienced your first role as opposed to being new on the job-hunting scene?

If you’d asked me this pre-COVID, I would have said yes definitely. I actually got quite a few interviews after Kiln. Even if they weren’t related to what I’d done, companies were still interested in my experience. But now, I don’t really think it makes a difference. There are so many people applying for jobs. At the time, it helped a bit but now, no.

It’s no secret that COVID has devastated many industries, particularly the arts. Has this had any effect on you personally?

I have personally felt the effect. After Kiln, I started working in Influencer Marketing around March time. I literally had a week and a half in the office and then we all got sent to work from home. That was meant to be a six-month contract but because of COVID and finances and the changing of roles now that everyone was working from home, they didn’t really need my role anymore so I was let go two months earlier than planned. That kind of left me up in the air. If I’d seen the whole contract through, I would have only just finished now. I’ve been unemployed for two months.

How has this made you feel about the stability of the arts industry? Has it made you reconsider your chosen profession at all?

I think subconsciously I have moved away from looking at jobs in the arts. I’ve started looking at jobs that are more home-based or centred around social media. It feels even less safe than before applying for jobs in the arts because you don’t know if they’re going to let you go again.

So, what’s next for Brontë? You’re currently working a two-week placement role now. What are your plans for the future?

I want to take my time and really think about what I actually want to do. I’m really looking to take my food blog further. I’ve been having a lot of fun with that recently. If I do go back into the arts, I really want to be able to help people. I’d love to do community work. Even working for this charity for the past week has been a really humbling experience. But, who knows! I really can’t say a certain plan at this time.

What’s the name of the charity you’re working for?

It’s complicated but the full name is Daughters of Charity.

Last question! The big boy. What is your one, golden piece of advice for creative graduates trying to navigate the world of job-hunting?

Again, on a very practical note, make sure your CV is a good design. Make sure it stands out. Switch up the colours. Make it fancy. Only one page of A4!

And there we have it! The first instalment of ‘Foot in the Door’ is finito. If you made it this far, congrats. I’d love to thank my gorgeous Bran for agreeing to be the guinea pig as my first interviewee! I really hope you enjoyed learning about her post-uni journey. Please check out her socials:

INSTAGRAM: @bronteisa & @brontesbrunchnbites

Until next time, my lovely readers!

Gee xxx

FOLLOW ME ON MY SOCIALS:

INSTAGRAM: @geeblogs

TWITTER: @geeblogs

Lockdown Loungewear: Girl Knows All

fashion

I’ve always been a loungewear advocate. 9am lecture? Loungewear. Lunch with your friends? Loungewear. Too-many-glasses-of-wine-the-night-before-to-piece-an-outfit-together? Loungewear. So, when the UK went into the wild time that shall henceforth be referred to as LD (provides a little air of mystery, no?) I was in my fashion element. I now had the time to find new brands and companies that were a little different to the big boys (your classic PLT/Missguided/ASOS). Stumbling through the Insta-web (does that classify as a pun?) I discovered Girl Knows All. My friend Sophie had recommended GKA to me previously and knowing we have very similar taste in style, I thought I’d check out their latest collection which happened to be a collab with Insta-fluencer (again, another pun?) Miss Joslin. Fast forward a couple of weeks (yes, WEEKS. A pre-warning for slow delivery was given at checkout) and I finally had my goodies. 

INITIAL THOUGHTS…

Now, on a good day, I might just refer to myself as an LE: a Loungewear Expert. I’d like to think I’m pretty well-versed in what makes a little two-piece sweatshirt/jogger combo lovelier than your average Joe. Tearing into my parcel like a dog who had been deprived of toys finally being presented with their first squeaky bone, I was very impressed with what I saw. Visually, the items looked how I had envisioned they would (which is always a good start). I had decided to order a variety of items so I could test whether I liked the brand as a whole, or just individual pieces. My order consisted of a hoodie, jogger shorts, a sweatshirt, cycling shorts and an oversized tee. Colour-wise, the collection was heavily based around a beige/mauve/grey palette which, if you know me, was an absolute winner. 

SIZING…

I must admit within usual circumstances, I am a relatively irrational shopper. I’m a “yep. That looks like it’ll fit, I don’t need to try it on,” kinda gal. However, thanks to being furloughed from both of my jobs (laughing through the tears), I had all the time in the world to do some research. I read that the clothing came up slightly smaller than one might expect, especially if an oversized fit is desired – which I mean, come on, who is buying fitted loungewear?! So, I actually ended up choosing to order all of my items in a size large (excl. cycling shorts which I ordered in a medium). For context, I am 5ft 2 and usually wear a UK 8 or 10/12 if an oversized fit is the goal. On the GKA website, a size large is the equivalent of a UK 14/16. Having tried on all of the items, I am very happy that I sized up. The only piece that was unwearable were the jogger shorts which sadly, I had to return. 

WOULD I SHOP AGAIN?

I would deffo place another order at Girl Knows All (in fact, I may already have done hehehe). The only negative is the thought of waiting so long for the goodies to arrive, although you know what you’re signing up for when you order. Personally, I think the clothes outweigh the wait. My favourite pieces are pictured. The PALM SPRINGS hoodie has seen more days on my bod than in the wardrobe. It’s such an easy throw-on piece for an everyday chill and also looks very cute with some black cycling shorts. The winner, though, has to be the MONTEGO BAY set (sweatshirt and cycling shorts). Wearing this little ensemble, I feel so put-together. It’s one of those “I really haven’t made much effort but I look as if I have” kind-a outfits which are top-tier for me. The set cost £45.00 in total. Whilst this does sit on the slightly pricier end of loungewear (I’m looking at you, Urban Outfitters) I think this is the kind of ball-park independent brands are usually situated within. 

So, posing the all-important question: would I shop again?

Hell to the yes. 

I hope someone, somewhere found this review useful. I love discovering new brands but am always nervous to place the first order in case the items arrive and they’re not quite what I was expecting. I’d love to make a little series out of trying brands I’ve discovered on Instagram so do let me know if that is something you would be interested in reading! 

For now, I will (hopefully) leave you with some outfit-envy that finds you clicking the link below to get shopping. If this is the case, I accept full responsibility for being a bad influence. 

If you want to shop Girl Knows All then follow this link: GKA X Miss Joslin

Until next time lovely people, 

Gee xx

 

WHERE ELSE CAN YOU FIND ME? 

INSTAGRAM: @GEEBLOGS

TWITTER: @GEEBLOGS

Honey, I’m Home!

Lifestyle

Why, HELLO.

Fancy seeing you here. Well, fancy seeing ME here too (it’s been a hot minute).

In an attempt to – rather belatedly – complete my New Year’s Rezzo ‘GEORGIA, YOU MUST BLOG MORE!!!!’, I figured it was finally time to put pen to paper, or rather fingers to keyboard. 

A few changes…

When I first started my blog, I was a fresh-faced 18-year-old student. I wrote about life as if I KNEW about life, which I guess, at the time, I thought I did. Fast-forward almost four years and it’s safe to say I’m not the same wide-eyed Fresher I once was. I plan on using my little space on the internet to chat all things that I love which, I’m guessing, will consist of lots of fashion, beauty and general life natters. Currently, I have no plans to stick to a strict writing schedule as I’d much rather type away when the words are flowing. That being said, I definitely do plan on sharing my opinions (that nobody actually asked for) on more of a regular basis.

Whether this is great news to you (Alexa, play Celebration by Kool & The Gang) or you’ve clicked on this thinking “when the hell did I subscribe to this random gal?”, then at least this post made you feel some typ-a way which is all I can really ask for. I’d love for you to stick with me while I (try to) navigate my way through the dreaded 20s (both age AND year-wise)!

In the famous words of the Shrunken Head (Harry Potter & Priz of Az, 2004):

It’s gonna be a bumpy ride. 

Let’s Talk About Bodies…

Lifestyle

We’re living in a time where image is everything.

Let me rephrase.

No matter the time in which you lived, image has always been everything. 

The Roaring Twenties saw the ‘finger wave’, the 30s championed pronounced cheekbones; the ‘wasp’s waist’ was all the rage in the 50s; bushy moustaches ruled the 70s; double-denim in the 90s, and the rise of fake tan accompanied the turn of the millennium. Throughout these endless trends, one thing has remained the same: the way in which one looks has always reflected the way in which one is perceived and thus treated. 

(SIDE-NOTE: I speak, mainly, from the perspective of women. In fact, one woman. Just little old me. I wish to avoid making sweeping statements that are universally applicable, that’s not what I am intending to do here. Rather, I hope to drive forward a conversation, based upon my own experiences as a female in her body, whilst potentially resonating with those who can relate). 

I started writing this post as a response to what I shall now and forevermore refer to as, ‘#AdeleGate’. I assume no context is needed but in case you’ve managed to escape the media frenzy, I’ll fill you in. Adele lost weight and the human race lost their shit. I could sit here all day and let my fingers loose on how weight is not a way in which an individual should be defined, described or commemorated, nor is losing weight a demonstration of good health. However, I’ll spare your eyes and my poor keyboard. That wouldn’t be fun for either. Whilst beginning to write, I realised that this speaks to a much larger problem, if you’ll pardon the pun. We, as humans, are so desperate to belong that our desire to conform to society’s standard of beauty is as ingrained in our upbringings as learning to walk or how to ride a bike. 

I recently read an article that questioned where these seemingly ‘innate’ opinions surrounding bodies and appearance come from. It asked you [the reader] to think about where this notion of commenting on someone else’s appearance originated and subsequently where these thoughts have later been reinforced. To me, it simply emphasised the way in which we rely on appearance to form our social structures. My personal memory, albeit a little silly, took me back to first school (‘primary’, for most). More specifically, ‘Kiss-Chase’. A pretty harmless game, one might argue, until you are the person who isn’t being chased by anybody. To this day, I distinctly remember a young boy, running as fast as his little legs could go, only to glance behind him and find no-one attempting to catch and smack a smooch on him. Whilst I agree this may seem a rather frivolous example, it still speaks to the idea that the brains of five, six, seven-year-old children are already peppered with appearance-based inclinations. 

In a world that celebrates conformity, we are expected to champion difference. And therein lies the problem. We’re living in a society that is underpinned by a seemingly inescapable juxtaposition. Women are praised for “embracing their curves” by the same people who cry in the mirror, squashing their rolls together. Women are demonised for being “too thin” by the same people who idolise celebrities whose bodies are a projection of unhealthy eating habits and excessive drug use. There is a falsity in the compliments we give others as they simply reflect our own biases and opinions. I struggle hugely with the idea of ‘self-love’. Self-love is riddled with societal standards. You’re either confident in yourself because you are a conformist, or because you defy said standards. Either way, you’re using this model as the norm to base your opinions off of. What I think would be a better achievement is if we could abolish these measures altogether. How? I haven’t quite worked that part out yet (unhelpful, I know!). 

I am cautious to sit here and write that we should not be commenting on the appearance of others as I believe that is an unrealistic feat. Also, it’s pretty sad. I’m not suggesting that you should never leave a “Gorg!” on your best friend’s latest Insta selfie, nor am I insinuating that society’s issue with appearance will be solved if we simply stop talking about it. Quite the opposite, actually. If we are able to formulate how and why we feel obliged to look a certain way, then perhaps we can start reversing centuries worth of demands and ideals that future generations may not have to endure. 

We can break the cycle. We just have to work together. 

November / December Faves

Faves, Lifestyle

Hello hello helloooooo lovely readers!!

Long time no SEE (well, write). I’m officially on Christmas break from university (FIIIIINALLY) so, naturally, my creative juices are flowing again. I have been resurrected from the blogging graveyard and I’m back to share with you all the things that I’ve been loving during my inexcusably long vacay. Let’s get crackin’.

What I’ve Been Wearing

I have been having an illicit love affair with flared trousers. Oh my god I cannot even BEGIN to tell you how obsessed I’ve been. They are the PERFECT solution to any daytime or night out situation depending on how you style them and I have honestly been living for the trend. Whilst I know they can be pretty pricey, I definitely think they are worth the investment, especially for wearing on a night out during the Winter months. A few pairs in particular that I’ve been wearing non-stop are the ones pictured above. The black velvet-striped and the blue/black velvet patterned pairs are both from Urban Outfitters and were £36.00 each. I also purchased a burgundy pair from the Topshop Petite range (short leg life). I can’t remember the exact price but I’m pretty sure they were around the £30.00 mark. As I said, they’re not the cheapest items in my wardrobe but equally for the amount of wear I’ve already got out of them, they are definitely worth the splurge. Also they look pretty funky too (low-key just trying to live out my Mamma Mia fantasy).

What I’ve Been Watching

I swear to God, university makes it so hard to just sit and watch TV (rightly so) which means I haven’t had nearly enough time to be watching everything on my Netflix list. That being said, I have recently finished watching Atypical, a Netflix Orig that focuses on Sam (a teenager with Autism) in his quest to understand love and find a girlfriend. Over the first few episodes, I wasn’t really sure whether this series was for me; I found it pretty hard to get into. My brother – who had recommended the series to me – encouraged me to persevere and I’m so glad I did. The scripting of the family dynamics are honestly beaut at times. I especially loved Sam’s relationship with his sister, Casey. Even though there were characters and plot-lines I wasn’t a major fan of (weirdly could not warm to the character of Elsa, Sam’s Mom ???) I would definitely recommend this series to anyone who hasn’t seen it. I’ll deffo be there for season 3.

I’ve also been watching a lot of YouTube as I find one-off vids easy to watch while I’m getting ready for uni in the mornings. I’ve always loved Louise Pentland’s weekly vlogs as she’s such a motherly figure, she makes me feel calm when I’m away from home (in the least weird way possible hahaha). I’ve also been watching a lot of Vlogmas vids, in particular Mark Ferris’ and Anastasia Kingsnorth’s (who recently went to NYC and brought back all the feels). Deffo give those a watch if you’re in the market for something a little festive over the next week or so.

What I’ve Been Listening To

Over the past few weeks, I have had Maisie Peters’ EP Dressed Too Nice For a Jacket on repeat. Honestly all day, every day. Making dinner in the kitchen? Maisie Peters. Driving in my car? Maisie Peters. Doing uni work? Maisie Peters. Her voice is so lush and her songs are super catchy. My faves change quite regularly but I love You To You and Details. I’ve also been loving a little bit of Ariana. If thank u, next isn’t my most played song of 2018 (even though it only came out in November) I will be very shocked. She seems to be releasing banger after banger recently with imagine being added straight to my playlist.

What I’ve Been Using

IMG_2945

Perhaps a little unpredictably, I have reached back into my makeup drawer for the highly controversial ABH Subculture palette. Whilst it received very disappointing reviews (from myself included) I’ve kind of discovered a strange love for it. At the beginning of November, I was very much into a glittery eye and would depend on my NYX glitter in ROSE for every night out (see pictured my horrifying Halloween makeup lol). However, over the past few weeks, I’ve really been feeling a matte look, particularly an orangey transition with a bold colour packed all over the lid. Subculture is perfect for supplying these kinds of shadows. My fave one to use has been Axis as I think green is complimentary to my eye colour but I’ve also dipped into All Star which is a deep, burgundy shade (perf for Winter).

What I’ve Been Doing

I really wish I had some cool things to write which make me look like I’ve been living the high life but in reality, I’ve been consumed by university life. I’m now in my final year so it’s really time for me to be cracking down and trying to manage the workload that my degree brings. I did manage, however, to sneak in a few nights out and celebrations along the way. In terms of performancey fun, we had our Musical Theatre Autumn Showcase which – although weighed down with major stresses – turned out pretty successfully and I also sang with some lush pals for my friend Liv’s assessment piece which was v enjoyable. In relation to my Christmas holiday plans, I will pretty much be sleeping and avoiding doing my uni work as long as humanly possible. Who knows, I may even get another blog post out before I go back (let’s be real).

IMG_4035IMG_2943

As always, thank you for reading or just having a little nose.

I hope you have the loveliest Christmas full of food and fam,

G Xx

Instagram: @geeblogs

Gee’s Book Club #1

Books

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Hellooooo my lovely friends and welcome to the first instalment of ‘Gee’s Book Club’ (something I most definitely didn’t just title this post as I had absolutely no clue what else to call it). I thought it would be cute to start sharing with you the books that I’m reading at certain points throughout the year as if you know me, you’ll know I loves me a good book or five.

Summer has always and will always mean one thing to me: more reading time!! I’ve always been a bookworm and would rather spend my days stuck in a good book than doing pretty much anything else. Admittedly, I’m one of those weird people who can easily get through a book in a day (this makes my Mom very unhappy when I try to fit 7 days worth of books into my 20kg allowance to go on holiday – soz Mom). This summer I haven’t had as much spare time as I usually do, however I have managed to sneak in a few books here and there so thought I’d let you know what I’ve been reading and if these books are worth the hype (or whether you should save your pennies because – let’s be real – student pennies are PRECIOUS).

All The Little Lights – Jamie McGuire

“Falling is easy. The hard part is getting back up.” 

I’ve been a big fan of Mcguire ever since her Beautiful Disaster series was first published. Once I find an author that I like, I tend to buy every single book they ever write which is how I ended up buying All The Little Lights. Whilst McGuire usually writes for a slightly older “new adult” audience, I believe this to be her first YA fiction. Although I am now 20, I am partial to a slightly cheesy young adult novel every now and then (guilty!). Her characters are always so well-developed, in this case Catherine and Elliot, which really helps you get sucked into her literary world. This novel in particular follows the journey of Catherine and Elliot and explores their relationship as individually they both deal with trauma and family issues (sounds vague but am conscious of trying not to drop spoilers!!!). There is a relatively unpredictable twist at the end (by ‘relatively unpredictable’ I mean that I knew there would be a twist coming but guessed completely wrong what it was lol). Whilst the storyline of this book was not the most thrilling I have ever read, I still really enjoyed it all the same. Would deffo recommend.

Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng 

“Everything she had dreamed for herself faded away, like fine mist on a breeze. She could not remember now why she thought it had all been possible.”

Ng was a completely new author to me this summer but I’d seen her novel Little Fires Everywhere hovering around in the book-world. On a whim, I purchased it alongside her debut novel Everything I Never Told You. This book focuses on the disappearance and death of Lydia Lee, daughter of James and Marilyn and is written in such a way that it explores their family’s relationship before and after Lydia’s death. If I’m being honest, this book didn’t hook me a great amount and at times I felt as if I needed the plot to move at a slightly quicker pace. I didn’t feel as if the plot-line was meaty enough to make up an entire novel, rather a few chapters. However, I did really enjoy the style of Ng’s writing so I would not be adverse to reading her following novels. I’ll definitely be giving Little Fires Everywhere a go.

He Said She Said – Erin Kelly

“North London to me then was a patchwork of islanded villages, reached only by Tube and never joined up above ground; circles on a map, separate as stars.” 

I’d been seeing this book EVERYWHERE a few months ago as the newest “thriller” must-read. There definitely was a hype surrounding this novel so I had to give it a go. I’m not going to lie to you, when I first starting reading this I had no idea where this hype had come from. The beginning of the book is very slow-paced which meant I found it quite hard to get into. However, from about half-way in, I was hooked. If the whole book was as good as the second half of the book, then this could have been one of my favourite reads in a while. I don’t really want to give much away (as I can’t without spoiling!!) but essentially, this book centres around a rape trial and plays very much on the “grey area” of what is considered as “consent”. That being said, this book deals with extremely current themes which I also appreciate. I’m v glad to have ticked this off my list.

So those are the most recent books I’ve had my nose stuck in over the past few weeks. I may have a pretty similar post coming soon as my fingers miiiiiight have slipped and I just miiiiiight have ordered a few more (hate myself but love myself). As always, loads of thankyous for reading and I shall see you (well, kind of) very soon.

G X

Instagram: @geeblogs

August Faves

Faves

Helloooo lovely readers!!!

Ya gal is BACK. I know that I need to stop starting each blog post with an apology for my lack of routine and consistency BUT I am really, very sorry. That being said, I thought I’d make my 8th ‘grand return’ of the year with an August Faves. I always prefer my favourites posts in the summer months as I have more time (and more money) to try new things that I can share with you guys. August has been a jam-packed month so I shall stop rambling and get into what I’ve been loving.

What I’ve Been Wearing

In a completely non-shocking manner, August has seen very little warm weather in the UK. However, this did make me happy as I’ve been able to start wearing oversized sweatshirts and jeans again (pretty much what I try to live in all year round). I was in Topshop recently, buying something or other (is it bad that I can’t remember what it was??? Does this highlight my shopping addiction???) and these jeans caught my eye in the SALE RACK. If you know me, you’ll know that sale-rack-shopping is an activity I absolutely never like to partake in as I find it extremely stressful and feel as if I can never find anything I like. Also, I feel that people stand really close to you and hover over your shoulder whilst they wait for you to finish looking (wtf is that all about???). Anywho, I saw these jeans. They’re a dark blue denim pair of flared cut-offs (the Topshop “DREE” style). Now, I’ve been looking for a pair of jeans like this for what feels like forever – I’ve tried on so many pairs that either aren’t the right colour or don’t fit nicely soooo of course I didn’t have high hopes for these. As I was already in the queue, I didn’t have time to try them on and just bought them on a whim (which I would usually never recommend) but once again, I cannot follow my own advice. In a Sisterhood-of-the-Travelling-Pants moment, they actually ended up fitting perfectly and I have already worn them to death. They retail for £40.00 full price but I managed to snag them for £23.00 which I thought was a pretty fab deal. I now want another pair in black.

A more recent purchase that I’m loving has to be this contrast stitch black jumpsuit from Bershka. I bought this for £25.99 and think it is the PERFECT transition piece to go from Summer clothing into Autumn/Winter. It’s a jersey material meaning it is suuuuuper comfy and the trousers flare out at the bottom. The tied-belt detail allows for the jumpsuit to give you a waist that is really flattering whilst not suffocating you or ‘digging in’ in any way. In fact, I loved this so much that I bought exactly the same jumpsuit in a different, more Autumnal pattern which I also cannot wait to wear. I think these jumpsuits look so nice on their own and can be dressed up (like in the pic above) but can also be dressed down with a high-necked t-shirt or turtle neck and trainers when the weather gets a lil colder (which, I hate to say it, will be very soon). Would deffo deffo deffo recommend these.

What I’ve Been Watching

If I’m being honest, I haven’t actually had that much spare time to get sucked into many new Netflix series this summer (although this makes me sad, I guess it is a good thing that I’ve actually been doing something with my life). However, I did manage to watch the new Netflix original film adaptation of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. I am absolutely living for Netflix turning the books I read when I was 13/14 into films (also including The Kissing Booth) as it makes me feel weirdly nostalgic. I really enjoyed TATBILB as I thought it stayed relatively true to the original text and I used to be obsessed with Jenny Han’s books. Would deffo recommend this if you’re feeling an overeating-icecream-and-crying-with-your-friends-over-stupid-boys night.

What I’ve Been Listening To

So…I saw Hamilton. I cried. I died. I just about everything-in-between’d. That being said, naturally I’ve had the soundtrack on repeat for about six weeks. My new fave song is Wait For It and I also like Aaron Burr, Sir. Honestly the music is just so magical and I feel like no words I will ever write can do it justice so I’m just going to leave that there.

I’ve also had the Bring It On soundtrack playing constantly as in this academic year, I’ll be directing Musical Theatre Society’s production of it. Again, most of the music is written by Lin Manuel Miranda so it has the Hamilton-vibe. My fave songs are Do Your Own Thing and We’re Not Done. In all honesty, I love the whole soundtrack and I’m very scared that by the end of the show, I will definitely not love the whole soundtrack.

I don’t know if it’s just me but I really feel like there has been no good music released into the charts this summer?? Usually, summer is my favourite time for music but this year I still feel like I’m waiting for someone to release something (ANYTHING) good. I’ve been listening to Robinson and Folly Rae quite a lot but they’re not what I would class as “mainstream” artists so pls can we have some more jams.

What I’ve Been Using

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Every single time Anastasia BH brings out a new eyeshadow palette, I know I’m going to love it. With the exception of the non-blendable Subculture, ABH churns out the best palettes, in my opinion. When I saw the NORVINA press launch photos, a part of my heart squeezed at the ENTIRE ROW of shimmers and the bluey-purple shade, Soul. My lovely parents bought me the palette as a birthday prez and I have honestly used it every day since. The shadows are allllll super-blendable and have little to no fallout (including the shimmers) which I think is insane. If I had to give one teeny tiny little criticism, it would be that the only real transition colour Incense is rather dark so for pale gals like myself, if you’re using the palette exclusively, you have to use a very light hand to avoid black-eye-syndrome. Other than that, this product is gorg. It retails at the generic ABH palette price of £43.00 but I really do think you get what you’re paying for. Absolutely love.

What I’ve Been Doing

Half of my August was taken up by a summer course for Musical Theatre at Guildford School of Acting. It was a very intense two weeks but I had the best time and learnt soooo much. I met some fab, like-minded people and was taught by some of the most incredible teachers. I was literally like a sponge, trying to soak up every piece of information or advice they gave me.

I then had the absolute pleasure of watching one of my family friends, Alex, perform in their professional debut as Oscar in Sweet Charity at the Watermill Theatre. It was lovely to have a catch up and also to see Alex achieving his dreams. He was fab, as he has always been. On the note of shows, as previously mentioned, I also saw Hamilton. I felt as if I’d been waiting forever to see it and I was so nervous that it wouldn’t live up to the hype. I had absolutely nothing to worry about. It honestly blew my expectations out of the water. I saw the 2nd alternate as Hamilton and he was INCREDIBLE. I’m still not really over it.

I also turned 20 this month which was a weird one. I really don’t feel like I’m old enough to be ‘in my twenties’ but I’m super excited to see what they bring. I did have a mini quarter-life crisis the night before my birthday which pretty much went like this: WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?!!??!!? But I quickly got over that after a G&T or four. I had the loveliest time on my birthday: I went for lunch with my brother, Tom and then chilled with my family. The next day, I went to for food and drinks at Pitcher & Piano in Birmingham with some of my favourite people – it was so so lovely.

Later on in August, I helped assistant direct a production of ‘Fame’ at my old musical theatre group which was the most rewarding experience. I got to work with two students specifically on their vocals and seeing how much they improved both technically and in confidence over the space of just a few days was so amazing (and even sliiiightly emosh – may have cried the tiniest bit out of proudness in the show).

Currently, I’m on holiday with the fam in sunny Portugal. It’s been super nice to chill out and READ BOOKS. So far, I’ve read Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng and All The Little Lights by Jamie McGuire, both of which I’d recommend. We’ve been chilling at the beach and eating lovely (bad) food which I’m trying to enjoy before I start my hard-core healthy lifestyle when I get back home.

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On that note, I’m thinking of my next post being something related to body confidence and/or dealing with the consequences of the pressure of physicality and appearance that young adults (in particular) face. Do let me know if that’s something you’d like to read as it’s something I’m feeling super passionate about at the moment.

Lots of thankyous for reading my rambles once again & I hope you’re having or have had a lovely Summer.

Until next time,

G X

Instagram: @geeblogs

(Kind Of) March Faves

Lifestyle

Hi. Hey. Hello. Bonjour. Salut. Ciou Adios I’m done. Me again.

I. Am. Back.

You may (or may not) have noticed that I’ve taken a little (slightly more than little) vacay from the old blogging world over the past few weeks (*cough* months *cough*) but do not fear – your gal is back. The suitcases are unpacked, the passport is away and I’m ready to write something that I hope turns out to be a little more than average. It’s been pretty crazy which meant that sadly my lil blog had to go into hibernation for a short while but the time has come for me to saddle up and get back on the horse (is that a saying or have I just made that up????). When I was thinking about how to break the seal – for want of a better phrase – it occurred to me that I haven’t posted a ‘monthly faves’ since OCTOBER last year so, naturally, here I am writing one. I’ll hold my hands up now, I may slightly cheat and include a few things that I’ve been loving throughout the past few months instead of just March as I haven’t written one of these posts in so long (pls forgive me and still love me).

What I’ve Been Wearing

 

Over the past month, I have been reaching for this pair of black flares a lot. I actually bought them a while ago but didn’t get much wear out of them to start with. Although now, if I’m going to any ‘smart-cas’ event, these trousers are an immediate go-to. They’re super flattering and obviously go with pretty much any top I’m feeling. I recently wore them to a Glitterbomb event at my Students’ Union where Alyssa Edwards from RPDR was performing (yaaaaas!!). These trousers are a pretty flexible piece: they can be dressed down, with a cute cropped t-shirt and converse or if you whack on a little halter-neck and heels, you’re ready for a night of boogie-ing somewhere slightly more upmarket than your SU.

What I’ve Been Watching

So my biggest TV obsession over the past few months has 100% been Grey’s Anatomy. I cannot lie to you, (this even impresses myself) I managed to finish all 13 seasons available on Amazon within a two and a half week period (slightly embarrassed, slightly proud). I just bloody loved everything about the show – the amount of times I was sat in my room sobbing like an absolute loser with nothing better to do on a Friday night was not ok. I fell in love with all of the characters and honestly felt slightly lost once I’d reached the end.

Aside from GA, I also watched Victoria. If you know me, you’ll know my two favourite types of TV programmes are crime-related or historical dramas. Whack anything on that is set in any era from the past and I am your gal. So, when I saw Victoria had come onto Netflix, I was probably more happy than any regular person would have been. I’d been wanting to watch it when it first came out on ITV but I never found the time during my first year at uni. I watched the entire first season within the space of a few days then ordered the Season 2 DVD from Amazon straight away. I’m so obsessed with Jenna Coleman and when I found out that she is actually dating her co-star Tom Hughes I may have cried a little bit (with joy). Cannot WAIT for Season 3.

What I’ve Been Listening To

 

Where to even begin with the music I’ve been listening to…although I can’t lie, it’s pretty much all been MT (what’s new??). I’m currently in rehearsals for a production of ‘The Last Five Years’ so have been using that as an excuse to get my daily dose of being serenaded by Jeremy Jordan. My go-to picks are ‘Shiksa Goddess’ and ‘If I Didn’t Believe in You’. I’ve also been obsessing over Lin & Ben Platt’s ‘Found/Tonight’ collab which is just too dreamy for words. Aside from this, Dogfight has been played on the reg – I espeically love ‘Come to a Party’ and ‘First Date / Last Night’.

What I’ve Been Using

Beauty-wise, I haven’t really been Captain Adventurous throughout 2018 so far. I got a few makeup bits for Christmas which have made their way into my daily routine, but other than that it’s been pretty samey. Having said that, I’ve fallen slightly in love with two products in particular: the Too Faced Just Peachy Mattes palette (which I’m preeeetty sure I’ve spoken about before) and the Cover FX Highlighting Drops. I’ll insert a few pics where I’ve used both of these products – although they’re both on the slightly spenny side of life, they’re most definitely worth the investment!!

 

What I’ve Been Doing

I don’t even know to where to begin. I feel like I’ve blinked and 3 months have flown by. It’s been another whirlwind semester at university, with the majority of my time being taken up by rehearsals (nothing new here friends). I performed in Musical Theatre Society’s production of ‘The Wedding Singer’ at the beginning of March, whilst also beginning rehearsals for Music and Drama Society’s ‘The Last Five Years’ which opens in May.  Due to all these rehearsals, my social life has boarded the hibernation train but I’ve slowly been starting to feel it waking up over the past few weeks or so. HOWEVER, in true Georgia style, I couldn’t say no to a few nights out here and there.

My brother turned 21 last week so (naturally) there were celebrations. My family and I went to London for the day, watched School of Rock and ate reaaaaally good food. I’m taking him to see Kinky Boots this weekend which I’m also super excited about!! I’m now on Easter break and am so looking forward to being an absolute slob, trying to make my way through as many TV series as humanly possible in the few weeks I have off.

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I hope you all have a lovely Easter weekend & enjoy relaxing over the break. (Virtually) see you – hopefully – very soon!

All the love,

G X

Instagram: @geeblogs

Women Are F**king Fabulous

Lifestyle

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In light of it being International Women’s Day today, I thought I would write a little post emphasising what it means to me to be a woman in this day and age – in particular, paying homage to all of the women who have lived before me and those who will live after me. Although I reflect on this each IWD, this year seems slightly more prominent due to the endless campaigning surrounding the ‘#MeToo’ movement combined with other stories being published in the media covering similar topics.

Having grown up in a family with three brothers and no sisters, I’ve always viewed both genders as equal. If my brothers were playing outside, I wanted to play outside. If my brothers had to finish their broccoli before being allowed dessert, I had to do the same. If my brothers were wrestling with each other, you can bet I was there too throwing a good punch or five. What I’m trying to say is that I never received any preferential treatment or felt that I couldn’t do something that the boys could do because I was a ‘girl’. This mindset has most definitely followed me into my teenage years and early adulthood. I’m such a firm believer in it being possible to achieve anything you want in life, if you put the right amount of work in. I don’t think gender even comes into play. I feel fortunate enough to say that personally, at this point in my life, I have never felt oppressed because of my gender but I’m not naive to the fact that once I get into the workplace, this may change, which alone saddens me. Why should I be worried that I won’t be as valued in the workplace as a male? Why should I be earning less money than a male for doing exactly the same job as them? I’ve never been able to grasp the concept that whatever sits between your legs determines what you can do in life and in all honesty, I don’t think I’ll ever understand it. I’m also not blind to the fact that things like the gender pay gap can’t be changed overnight but what I want to see is movement towards this development happening.

Each IWD I like to think about all of the women who have inspired me to become a badass, independent gal who has her life together (still waiting for this to happen). As cliché as it might be, my Mom is top of that list. When she was just a little bit older than myself, my Mom moved two hours away from her family home to work in a completely new town and build a life for herself. From there, she went on to have four children spanning from age 6 to newborn whilst STILL WORKING – she honestly is a real-life Supermom. I do not know how she juggles everything and makes it look so effortless – she has never once compromised her career or her family for the alternative but has somehow managed to happily succeed in both. THAT is what I want to be and do when it’s my turn.

I think it’s so important to recognise these stand-out women in our lives who help us shift and grow until we end up on our little paths in life, heading to where we need to be. Women are f**king fabulous. We are strong-minded, intelligent, warm and loving souls who somehow manage to carry the weight of a whole other human inside of us, helping them grow and giving them life which I think is pretty incredible (!!!!!!!) whilst also kicking absolute ass in any career path we choose to pursue. Women should celebrate each other: the successes and even the failures because as a collective, we genuinely are unstoppable. It’s crucial that our generation of women stick together and become a driving force that allows the females who will follow us to swim in a pool of proudness at the thought of being a woman.

I’m super proud to be a woman.

G x

The “Theatre Degree” Stigma

Lifestyle

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A few things have happened recently that have awoken the little voice inside my head that likes to come out and rant every now and then. The constant threat of funding cuts to the arts and the disappearance of subjects such as Music and Drama from GCSE option boxes across the country are just two of the reasons why I wanted to write this post. Recently, my friend Sophie performed an autobiographical piece about the injustice that undercurrents the education system, in terms of the prejudice that surrounds Theatre as both a subject and a potential career path. Her ‘political rant’ resonated a lot with me, making me think about the many times I’ve been made to feel slightly (I hate to say it but) ashamed of my choice to study Theatre at university.

When it came to choosing my degree subject almost 3 years ago now (oh my gaaaad, where has the time gone?!) there was an obvious winner in my mind from the outset. Yes, I attended Law talks at Warwick and even a Psychology open day at Cambridge, but my heart always led me back to Theatre. Anyone who knows me will understand how important a role the theatre has played in my life and these are the people who have never once questioned my decision to further my education in this field. That being said, there is definitely a prominent stigma around studying for a Theatre degree or particularly around the people who study for a Theatre degree and that is something I have always found ridiculous.

Historically, the subject of Theatre Studies has been branded as “fluffy” and has yet to be viewed on the same level in terms of difficulty as other more traditional subjects, such as Geography or Maths. Therefore, the assumption that the people studying for a Theatre degree are “less academic” and “less able” has been cemented amongst the minds of the majority. However, the stereotype that someone who enjoys learning about the theatre industry is less intelligent than someone who enjoys studying continental drift or trigonometry is honestly absurd to me. If I had a pound for the amount of times I’ve received a patronising “oh, how nice” or “oh, so do you want to be like an actress or something?” after revealing that I study Theatre at university, I would be a veeeeery rich gal.

People don’t seem to understand that my course is academic (trust me, at times it is too academic!!!). I’m still submitting essays at the end of every module, reading ridiiiiiiculous amounts of academic writing each week and attending seminars and workshops. On top of this, I am rehearsingBeing a theatre student, you are not only assessed theoretically but also practically which comes with the assumption that you will carry out a set number of hours as ‘rehearsal time’. Quite honestly, I think I spend 90% of my life rehearsing for something or other (and that is not me being an overdramatic drama student, I promise). I would absolutely loooove to invite the people who have this preconception of Theatre as a subject to sit in on one of my seminars and give their opinion on how phenomenology affects an audience’s experience or how romanticism conformed to or subverted the avant-garde movement towards postmodernism (literally just throwing all the big words that I know at you now lol).

It really does sadden me that I feel as if I have to justify my decision to study a subject that I love to other people who are too quick to judge. Theatre makes me happy. Theatre interests me. Theatre makes me want to learn. So, why shouldn’t I study for a degree in it? Because it’s not ‘academic’? Because I’m ‘never going to get a real job’? Or because I’ll ‘never have a stable income’? My response to these questions is one of self-fulfilment in the sense that I know for a fact that whatever job I do end up doing, in whichever part of the industry I decide to go into, I’ll be doing it because I love it, not because I have to be doing it. Whilst this may be an unpopular opinion of the minority, I would much rather live a life where I’m potentially not always in a constant flow of work, but when I am working it’s doing something that I’m passionate about, rather than being stuck in a 9-5 office job that I absolutely despise. I find it so disheartening when I hear people say “you’re not supposed to love your job…that’s why it’s called work,” because, honestly, I don’t see anything wrong with wanting to enjoy what you do.

Another thing that really makes me laugh is that the people who undermine Theatre as a career choice will have a favourite film, or a favourite book, or will enjoy going to watch the pantomime at Christmas, or a musical on Broadway, or will watch every ITV drama under the sun. What they don’t seem to understand is that THEATRE PEOPLE HAVE MADE THESE THINGS HAPPEN!! The industry is one that brings constant enjoyment to the lives of (may be generalising here but I’m going to roll with it) everyone, or has done at least once in their lifetime. That’s why it makes me so sad that as theatre students, it feels like we’re fighting this constant battle to defend our subject to those so quick to undermine it.

I feel as if I have fully just word-vommed onto the page but I thought it was important to fight my little corner about a subject I’m super passionate about and love with allllll ma heart.

(Also just want to take a few words to defend all my fellow Theatre guys and gals. The people that I study with and others that I know who study elsewhere are honestly some of the best, most intelligent people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Their creativity is OFF THE SCALE and their knowledge literally pours out of them every time they speak. All the love ever).

G X