survivin' w/Betty Box

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Hazy memories of whole school assembly, after singing school hymns about refuge and solidarity, the headteacher makes an announcement telling the whole year 6 cohort to stay sat whilst everyone was dismissed. Confusion. and then it clicked. It was time. I remember getting handed a letter and seeing the word SEX and freezing in shock because how would I be able to hand that to my mum. A few years and many shitty sex ed lessons later, I'm here with what I can say is adequate knowledge on the matters, especially consent, rape and harassment. Primary school didn't teach me that. They told me that women bleed once a month and when a man and woman love each other a lot they have sex. They didn't tell me why we bleed or anything about other forms of sex. Not everyone is heterosexual. Primary school is such a 'sterile' environment and also a place for development, I know a lot of my friends who have come out to me said that they realised they were LGBTQ+ from primary school. So I find it strange that we weren't educated on how our fab rainbow counterparts have sex. Or how to deal with a situation when a member of the opposite or same sex makes you do something you don't want to do which is so necessary as a young child as there are some twisted people who will touch children inappropriately. Sexual education is so crucial within our society, I've found that youtube has taught me more about intercourse, puberty, STD's, consent and more than the national curriculum ever has. Female menstruation itself is such a taboo topic, my GCSE biology lessons on the menstruation cycle were often met with a) awkwardness as my teacher was male and b) very immature comments by the few boys in my class. I just find it strange that something so human is swept under the carpet. I digress.

I was sent an email by Betty Box asking if I would like to receive their September box. The company is a very body positive monthly subscription box which is tailored to your periods so you can get a few necessities and extras to get you through it. I never thought receiving a pastel highlighter through the post would make me so happy but there we go. I checked out their website (it's all very bright and colourful so it's very approachable) and looked at how it all works. I picked out my box type which can either be full of pads, tampons or mixed, my preferred absorbency, the brand (Bodyform or Always) and then the date you would like it to be delivered in accordance with your natural cycle. It's all very straightforward and honestly, when it arrived I was buzzing.

First of all, I thought that they would only send 3-5 pads but oh gosh was I wrong. I think I got around 20 which was such a pleasant surprise and so thoughtful of them considering how expensive they are. Everything comes in little pouches and patterned cardboard boxes which I find is so cute and makes it so much more personal and again, so approachable for younger girls. September's box was based around back to school so the stabilo pastel highlighter and adorably patterned post it notes were very welcome. Those who know me will be aware of my very bad habit of writing on my hands and arms because I can never reach my planner in time before I forget something. I always use the standard neon ones to study, I usually take notes regularly and then to condense it all and make sure I've grasped the concept of something like the Krebs Cycle in bio, I'll quickly write/sketch it out on a post it so I know that I fully understand it. Slightly extra but so useful. Can you tell I'm a huge post it note fanatic?

My friend Olivia is basically my stationary crush, she has all the pastel highlighters and as irrelevant as they are to me, I really wanted to buy myself a pack. Then this box came through the post and I saw that they had included one in it and trust me, the peach coloured one can make something as boring as the 2013 oxford HAT paper look good.

They also included a few snacks and products for wellbeing, I obviously ate the salted caramel popcorn and two of the truffles before I photographed them but o m g they were so good. I'm yet to try out the t-zone charcoal and bamboo pore strips or the chirp body hair mask but shall keep you updated on my instagram. I received the trust fund nail polish in 'omg dying' which is a sand-taupe 100% vegan and cruelty free polish. I looked into the brand and they follow the 10-free rule to try and produce the most ethical and cruelty free products! There was a bubble t lip balm in the 'Moroccan mint tea' scent which fits me to a t ;) it lives at the bottom of my school bag and the macaroon shape is surprisingly ergonomic. Last is an iron-on patch which I am yet to find a permanent home. I am one of those people who firmly believe in the evil eye, karma and all of that good stuff so to have something on me at all times alongside my evil eye earrings is more than welcome.

Although I was sent this box for review purposes, I can say that it is definitely worth the money for the sheer amount of product you get for the £12.99 price tag. There's a really online community on their website with articles from tackling FOMO to mental health so if the box isn't for you, the website itself might be.

Thank you to Betty Box for letting me try out your service and valuing my experiences so much. You find them here and their social medias are all under @bettycollective.


what i've been...

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

what i've been doing-
Applying to university and trying not to cry at the confusion and aimlessness of everything that's happening. I don't even think I want to apply to half the places I have but time is slipping away from me as we speak and my application will be formally sent off this friday so it's too late. I've had to stay in school until the evening for oxford preparation for entrance exams and personal statement UCAS stuff. I haven't had a time to breathe. It's university stuff, homework and then extra reading whilst trying (and failing) to make time for yourself because priorities. I still have a blog post to write for a company and a blogging event to attend and everything is snowballing to even bigger inconveniences in my life. c'est la vie, bah ouais?

what i've been reading/watching-
A shit ton of historic books...some include A day in the life of Ivan Denisovich, A very short introduction to the Russian Revolution, The Night Malcolm X Spoke at the Oxford Union and some Spanish books like 100 Years of Solitude. I've been getting home at 6-7pm everyday because of uni applications and HAT practice so I never really have time to watch anything anymore...I have to say that watching those strange Good Morning interviews with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield have had me hooked. I can spend 2 hours watching them from super inspirational ones to others about auctioning your virginity for millions without actually looking into the safety and health threats of it. I love those episodes where it's just the two of them laughing, definitely averts the stress and flashing signs in my mind. 

what i've been listening to-
The Neighbourhood released their new EP so I've been listening to that, I love 24/7 the most. Kendrick Lamar's album has been on ever since it was released, it was the only album I had on my phone (low storage struggles) and I often found myself without wifi or data when I was in Morocco so I would settle on banging out DAMN. for a few hours to entertain myself. I've found Jorja Smith's music too, a few faves are On My Mind, Teenage Fantasy, Blue Lights and Where Did I go. And to remind myself of the time I nearly moved to Amsterdam (for forever ever) I've been bumping Alright by Leafs ft Yung Nnelg. I also frequently listen to Hindi Zahra's Beautiful Tango because it reminds me of Morocco and summer. Navajo by Masego is a tune as well. I feel like it's describing me..."everywhere this little girl goes she picks up another obstacle."

what i want-
A pair of vagabond dioon boots and some peace of mind lol. I originally bought the nubuck version but they just don't look a nice as the smooth leather version. It sucks that Office doesn't stock the non-animal ones but what can you do :( But yes. I need them. They look perfect for the coming season.

what i've been anticipating-
Anticipated to me sounds as if I'm waiting for something good. Well I'm not. I don't think I have anything to look forward to other than stressful exams, an entrance exam, possible academic interview and more mental instability. If I can't be depressed on my own site then where else can I? I have planned some things for this summer and will be going to Berlin this march but again, nothing is really exciting me anymore...maybe I've slipped even more.

let me know what you've been up to in the comments!


Thursday, 21 September 2017

My life has been plagued by indecisiveness.

The innocent tough decision between strawberry or chocolate ice-cream or whether my favourite dog was a Labrador or a Labradoodle have followed me from childhood into late teenage hood. And whilst the typical inability to not decide on something has been fairly common, mine takes over me. See the thing is, my indecisive nature is in a symbiotic relationship with my anxiousness.

I have to make a decision. I make it. I then think about the other option. So I switch to that. I then begin to question whether that is right. I realise it's not. And then I begin to lose control and spiral into a panicked mess who is now struggling to find her steady breathing pace and normalise her heart beat.

Something as simple as having to give an answer in class can trigger this. The silence. The whirring of the central heating system. The humming of the interactive board. My heart race quicken and I begin to sweat as I gain consciousness of what's happening right now. I say the answer, it is correct and then we move on. But I haven't. Because my heart rate is far from being quelled. It sounds dramatic, I know. 

And then it goes to something more austere. Something with more long term, impactful decisions: like deciding what course I want to do at university. I am so easily swayed. I want to apply for History. Wait no, what if I don't like History alone- maybe I should dilute it with History and Spanish? But I want to go into diplomacy so perhaps History and Politics is more suitable. Actually...Biology is pretty fun. no no no let's not move from arts to sciences, come on dalal. Earlier today my good friend and ex-English lit buddy, Aina, told me she could see me going to UAL to study fashion and then progress into the industry which subsequently then that sent my brain working overtime because HELLO I actually think I can do well in that too. And then I start to question whether I should even apply to university this year. I don't want to commit myself to a three year time period, whilst racking up a dizzying debt for me to realise that all I ever wanted to do was study biology at uni and not history. I don't like the feeling of being wrong and not having the ability to change it.

So now we're sat here at 9:01pm. I still need to catch up and consolidate my notes on respiration and photosynthesis but I am being very optimistic in convincing myself that I'll do that in my frees tomorrow morning. The last week alone gave me no me-time, every day after school is filled with Oxford preparation sessions I have not had a moment to breathe. And the same entails for this week, and the next week and the next until December.

je suis déjà fatigué. 

to those applying to university this year or don't know what they want to study yet- I feel you and I wish you the best of luck.


ambiguity around blogging

Friday, 15 September 2017

so, blogging. it's a weird one. does one stick to what they know, rambling on about the new Rimmel lipstick releases or their new autumn coat? or does one take an alternate route? is saying my blog's a fashion and beauty one somewhat less valuable, or even taken less seriously than say, a blog focussing on mental health or social issues? who even classifies the value of a blog? oh wait, stupid I asked that because it seems to me that SEO, DA and visibility are the main judges. if your blog is able to surpass the loopholes and please a search engine, you're instantly a success. I understand. blogging is difficult and we want it to pay off. see what I did there? we enhance and preen our blogs, something that should be effortless and authentic to you, in order for it to be worth more. because the more people that see your site, the more marketable you are. you are reduces to nothing but a money-maker. you have the potential to promote something and actually have someone buy it because of you. and again, I digress. we try to monetise our blogs as much as possible. "reparations" they call it, "compensation" they address it, "restitution" they say. and fair enough. running a blog is hard, I should know. but it shouldn't be. let's rewind to 2011 when blogging was more laid-back. you would write the post, snap a picture with your iPod touch and press upload and hope someone will see it. simple, no? so what changed. what got lost between then and now? what has made blogging more of a drag or a chore that we didn't see before when we'd gleefully type. I know. it's the endless promotion and the constant need to maintain multiple social media channels as if we're some massive multi-media company. trying to get our posts out there. because surely if we've spent all that time photographing, editing, writing and editing even more, we should profit out of it. the gap between then and today's modern view of blogging is the line between hobby and business that has completely blurred and tarnished. people start blogs with the intention of earning money. people with blogs start changing their content so it can earn them more money. not because they've had a sudden "change of heart" as soon as they see Urban Decay PR's sending out palettes to those with a niche that they are yet to adopt. oh no, that's absurd. do you know what? fine- maybe some people do genuinely enjoy producing content with glossy editorial photos or airy flat-lays. and maybe they don't only do it because they know that it's what's most desirable right now. fuck, sometimes I want to share an outfit post or my new eyeshadow palette because that's content I know people will read. I mean, who's going to read a 17 year old's post about how our genetics as a human race has led to our selfishness. or how time is just a concept. that is not what is wanted right now. perhaps I'm just salty that my content doesn't hit 1k page views within 3 hours of publishing it. or that massive brands don't send me vaults of their newest releases. or that I have to promote a post for 4 days straight for it to reach 300 views. but, dare I say it, I'm proud of my blog, regardless. because I know my blog has the power to help and educate someone as well as (somewhat) amuse them. and for me, that is my personal aim. I'm reading this post over, highlighting the disparity between my points and how much it may anger some because some things I've mentioned are not completely explained. but that's the beauty of writing. what I've said is up to interpretation. take it how you want. freedom of speech.

debate with me in the comments, please


Wednesday, 6 September 2017

the original basket bag 
I'm back in London, much to my despair, so I can finally round up all the photos I took and produce blog posts out of them. If I put it all into one big post, it would take forever therefore I'm splitting it into a few so it's a little more digestible. Without further ado, here is the first instalment from the day I visited Chefchaouen, the 'blue pearl' of Morocco. Like many others, I no longer want to take the superficial route of uploading a few pictures, wacking a few lines about how it was so "pretty" and "instagrammable" but actually share a story/stories of how the trip went down. So here goes.

We got there after the strangest taxi journey ever, winding down narrow roads on mountains and watching stray goats and donkeys leisurely strolling along the motorway. The journey was pretty amazing though, watching the mountains, foliage (so. much. green.) and massive turquoise lakes as you speed past at 100mph with the windows down is definitely something else.

I want to get straight into talking about how brilliantly blue everything was and how the lanes with huge spider plants were simply breathtaking because everything in my life totally goes to plan but as soon as we got there it was basically a mad toilet hunt. Because when your two choices are to either forcibly down 2 litres of water or face the risk of heatstroke, sometime you have to make rational decisions. Only bad thing was every single toilet we came across was the traditional Moroccan one which is impossible to use if you haven't been brought up there. Thankfully this old guy who owned a school for orphans let us use the facility. I took down his email for future work experience reference :)

Walk straight down this one and you find the place I more or less got forced into buying a pair of knock-off Rayban's which are basically a fifth limb now. It did only cost £2.30 so I am slightly glad the shop owner did continuously scream "these will suit your face" "they'll look wonderful, just like American celebrities" "I shipped these specially from Spain" whilst I walked past the stall- you have now unknowingly kick started a sunglasses obsession I never knew I could hone.

As a new found cat lover, spending over a month in Morocco truly let me catch up on all those years I could've wasted invested time cooing over them. Like right near this fabric shop in which I unwillingly caused slight damage through a medium (the cat.) Long story short, it tried to jump into my arms *cute* but somehow forgot to retract its claws (do cats even retract them) and pulled multiple threads loose. Quickly picked up the cat and walked-jogged away before I would be met by the wrath of the shop keeper who could've used that rug to scam eager European tourists. ah that reminds me...more on that later.

So here we have a mountain where gallons of ice cold water run down and fill up this strange open space in which you have to climb down rocks to get to. It sounds hard. it was. Picture this: slippery rocks, holding your shoes and socks in one hand, your phone in the other and a steep decline. Now picture me: lanky, unexperienced and lightheaded because of the heat. The result? Me climbing down a few rocks, gaining temporary confidence thinking I'm the next extreme sportswoman of the year and then being humbled within the next second with what could've been the dirtiest slip of all. I do love the universe. It was worth it in the end as the waterfall beneath was everything I could've imagined and there were peacocks casually wondering around and fresh orange juice stalls slightly submerged in the water whilst the actual oranges were floating in the lake to keep them cold. Moroccan innovation at its finest.

Back to the scam story I had alluded to a few photos up. oh yeah, that's a donkey in the middle of the street- it's Morocco. Here we met the loveliest woman from New York who told us all about how she had spent thousands of dirhams on rugs and blankets earlier that month whilst she was in Rabat and then complimented us on our English when we helped to form a linguistic buffer between her and the shop keeper. Whilst the shop keeper refused to sell her the rug for 300 dirhams, my mum and I would jokingly tell the owner to just let her whilst he sweated it out thinking about the potential loss of profit.

I'm not even going to pretend this piece of art work has any significance to this post at all. I just thought the composition of the photo was cool. Sometimes be simplistic.

So this could've been my favourite photo of the day if those that kid and his dad weren't in it but I couldn't wait until they left otherwise the two ladies in the amazing niqab's would've passed by then. There's something so interesting about the contrast between the light, airy blue steps and the sharp blackness of their religious dress. They look so badass. I wish I spoke to them.

I present the place where I almost had a break down because *behold the most first world problem you'll ever hear* no one could take a proper picture of me for instagram. yeah. No matter how educated and composed I may come across on my blog, at the end of the day I'm still a teenager living in the age of  pathetic but perfectly-preened-yet-candid social media expectations.

I have nothing to say about the photos above other than the fact that I now want to buy some of that powdered blue paint they were selling on the street and paint all my belongings with it in the hope that it'll brighten up my dreary surroundings here in London. House plants would also be a good addition.

To me, these two photos represent Morocco pretty well. We're an artistic country with a great, rich history and it reflected in our craft. Whether that be through masses of fabric, leather goods, embroidered slippers or carved metals. We can make things as basic as a tray look like an art piece.

I took the first photo and then realised the guy had more or less ruined the shot so, naturally, I retook it. The original is still my favourite though. Do you ever wonder how many photos you're in unintentionally? Living in London, I think about it all the time- especially when I'm in the tourist spots. So I started thinking whether this guy would give two shits or not. Zoomed in and boom, massive phlegm in a parabola in the air. conclusion: *whispers* I don't think he cares

I've been anticipating writing this post since I boarded the taxi back from Chefchaouen (which I think I can finally spell woo!) I loved this day- just walking around and exploring and drinking water from the fresh water taps distributed across the streets (it definitely helps that they're so prettily decorated) The plaques about almost every street and its history was such an interesting touch and I love how they were in the all 3 languages I am learning. it's the little things. I'll be back with the next post soon for more Morocco blues *see what I did there*

with love, Dalal

17 feels

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Time seems to pass me by, almost like it's slipping through my fingers when you hopelessly grab a handful of sand and watch it funnel away and return to its masses. Whilst I am still in my youth I am being approached by big decisions. Like University. Do I want to go? What do I studyWhat do I do afterwards? Stuck in-between raging loose, enjoying my teenage angst years or making responsible decisions like driving and education. It's a strange age. One year until so-called 'adulthood' whilst still being institutionally classed as a child despite the fact you're making such impactful choices. I didn't know how to approach writing this because it is so easy to fall into making a generic "__ things I learnt" or "things I would tell my ___ self." So I will talk about my growth this past year. Sixth form. New people. My blog. Writing. Self confidence. Social anxiety. Fresh set of struggles.

I've realised the importance of education and encouragement regarding it. Coming from a very pro-education family I always knew it was necessary. Now I finally understand why. So not only am I trying to help myself I have simultaneously taken on the role of helping others academically. I tutor a few individuals, write vaguely useful academic guides and provide revision notes to those who need them. I hope to continue this until the end of my academic journey because it is all very worth it.

I've grown more conscious of everything. I transitioned to vegetarianism as I gained knowledge of what I'm putting into my body and how it harms my own health and the Earth we live on. I researched, read, watched and listened to anything I could find regarding it and ended up writing a hefty post all about it which can be found here. And now that I believe I know enough about it I'm now trying to get others to pursue cutting out meat because I love helping others become enlightened.

Returning to the motherland is key. I didn't get to go home to Morocco in the summer of 2016 and subsequently, the rest of that year and the next were my most difficult times. I booked my ticket to Morocco for this summer in April because it was the only thing motivating me to get out of bed in the morning. The prospect of home is what got me through everything, regardless of whether it set me back £400. And when I was finally there I felt new and like all the tiredness of the past year vanished. Happier, smiling more, my skin was glowing, more inspired and outgoing. Being somewhere you're used to where everyone looks like you, has the same God, same language is comforting. Because in a country where you're a minority, going back to where you feel comfortable is the most heart-warming feeling. Trust me, I cried throughout the whole plane journey back to London and on the tube home from Heathrow terminal 4.

Family first. Part of why I always yearn to go back to Morocco is family. They are my biggest support system and without them I wouldn't be anywhere near where I am right now. why am I crying? They encourage me to try new things, better myself and motivate me to work hard. Because despite the odds of living in a country, hell, continent that has been overexploited and severely mistreated by the likes of European colonialism in the past, they are still defying odds, gaining masters and working, working, working. Nothing beats the feeling of going back after a long time and literally being flooded with love by them. أنا أحبك جميعا، إذا كنت تقرأ هذا.

I am always learning. School wise, blog wise or social issues wise. We are surrounded by various information outputs. So take advantage of them. Sign up for taster lectures at nearby universities, living in London provides a wealth of these. I personally love SOAS, Kings College and LSE for this. There is more to YouTube than Zoella and clickbait. Crashcourse and Vox are perfect channels for learning new things, regardless of whether you're in education or not. I can not imagine myself living a life in which my learning is stagnant and neither should you.

I have finally realised the importance of taking time out for yourself and not exerting too much pressure on myself. Anyone who knows me is aware of the immense expectations people and myself have on me. It is destructive and is often counterproductive. Worrying about not getting a top grade will actually fault you of it. I've lived it. Self-care is something that is thrown around so much but never actually practiced. It is seen a something that only privileged, middle aged, successful white bloggers do with their Jo Malone candles in their semi-detached Notting Hill home...not something for the more urbanised, underprivileged youth. wrong. Sit somewhere and cry. Then go home, have a hot shower and think. Then put on a face mask, moisturise your skin with pretty potions and wholesome oils and listen to Daniel Caesar or Jorja Smith whilst you chill. I need to do this more often.

I understand why having physical memories and copies of things is so crucial. Ever since my (poor, poor) iPhone 5s began to show serious signs of software wear and briefly reset to factory settings in the beginning of August *but somewhat returned to normal* I cried so much over all the photos and notes and short stories I had collated ever since December 2014. I quickly backed everything on there onto my laptop and started using the disposable camera my little sister had bought me as an early birthday present (thank you so much Malak) I have been trying to use those 27 shots throughout the summer and beyond: taking pictures with family, experiences, beach trips, picnics and more. I cannot wait to develop them.

I have stopped internally pressuring myself into making friends. I can assure you that I don't wallow in my own self-pity because I'm constantly alone. Just when you move to a new sixth form, you feel like you have to make friends with everyone. You don't. I stick to a few people and religiously keep in contact with old ones. Do not feel like you must be loud and bubbly in order to not be alone. Learn to be more confident with yourself and your own company but do not completely block out any support from friends and family.

Contrastingly, internet friends are so amazing and you need some. Don't ever let anyone mock you for having friends on the Internet. Those friendships are just as valid as those you have in real life. They remind you that not everything you do has to be conventional. To all my internet friends: Fran, Lexie, Tasha, Esme and more, I love you all so much.

So, 17. This year will see me through the most stressful year of my life so far. The run up to final A-level exams, university applications, personal statement writing and more of that fun stuff. But I wholeheartedly believe that I will be okay and I will be able to power through it. This post is here for me to look back on when times are tough. When I feel like giving up. When the weight on my shoulders is unbearable. future Dalal, please drop your shoulders, I know they're tensed up right now, relax your forehead muscles too (premature wrinkles!) and don't sweat it. You've survived 100% of your worst days. You're doing great. And regardless of whatever happens, it is all written out for you. So you just have to take it as it goes. It is all meant to be. Don't be too hard on yourself, okay?

-with love, Dalal

last min a-level advice

Thursday, 24 August 2017

With results day literally being today (you can always count on me to post in true Dalal fashion) I thought I’d do something that I wish had been around this time last year when I was a) absolutely shitting it for my results and b) wasn't even 100% sure on what A-levels I was going to take. I only thought of this yesterday evening, quickly tweeted asking if this post was wanted, reached out to everyone I know on snapchat and got writing. I’ve rounded up (almost) all honest opinions on a range of A-level subjects so that you can know what it’s really like to study it before you fully commit to it. I study Biology, History, English Literature and Spanish so I’ll be chipping in my experiences with those throughout my first year and have got a few friends to write paragraphs their experiences with their subjects.

  • Bio: Biology is my favourite science, hence why I picked it. This is the subject I felt the “jump” most in. Trust me it was so immense I went from being a straight A/A* biologist at GCSE to a solid E/D in my first few weeks. But it is expected with sciences. Something as simple as labelling an animal cell in the earlier years (it was literally just cytoplasm, cell wall, cell membrane and nucleus) had escalated to 3D diagrams including the golgi apparatus, extra and intra cellular ribosomes, centrioles and lysosomes. Oh an trust me, the learning curve is still happening; I had a brief insight into my A2 content and everything you know about photosynthesis and aerobic respiration is a lie. Photons, Krebs Cycle and the Calvin Cycle are included. To sum it up, with A-level biology you should: have solid maths skills as most exam boards are incorporating more mathematical calculations (much to my despair), be prepared to do 100s of practical investigations, have a lot of content fit into one lesson (I swear my brain dies a little after each lesson) and make sure you actually understand every bit of content you learn, especially the Foundation in Biology module because everything you learn throughout is transferrable. Oh and please focus in every lesson and try not to miss any because you will come back confused boy. 
  • Chem (same with bio)
  • Physics (same with bio)
  • Maths (will fill in asap)
  • Psychology: According to Ambra, psychology is relatively simple and is just a matter of learning the content and applying it to essay questions (even though it's "fucking annoying to write essays") Even though the content is easy to learn, there's so much of it. 
  • Sociology: SHIT TON OF ESSAYS (no seriously, that's the first thing my friend just sent me) but enlightening nonetheless and REALLY enlightening. You'll have to reference sociologists and make real life applications and/or links. The classroom discussions help you gain different views for exams which is always helpful and you will be trained in writing essays. Although there's a lot of content, it's fairly easy to understand because it applies to everyday life and is straightforward when remembering because of how relevant all of it is to our society. You need a lot of evaluative thinking. 12/10 pick it.
  • Law: ofc my friend Rudo went all out and did the most with her response but consider yourselves lucky ;) My name is Rudo and I study Law, English Literature and History at A-Level.Here’s my honest opinion of law at A-Level so buckle up. First of all I just need to put out there thatyou DON’T need to study law at A-Level if you want to study a law degree, since many universities understand that it is an arguably niche subject which won’t be offered at every sixth form in the country, in the same way that Maths or Biology is. Having said that, I think it’s fair to say that studying A-Level law gives you a slight advantage because you get an early understanding of key legal concepts and theories. It also allows for your legal/analytical mind to be sharpened but as I say it’s only a SLIGHT advantage. In terms of law as a subject I really enjoy it, my school uses AQA and I like the way the exam is structured under them. I studied statutory interpretation, judicial precedent and criminal courts and lay persons in Unit 1. A lot of the content in the unit 1 exam is based off of common sense and there’s not a great deal of applying legal knowledge. All of the questions are worth 10 marks so it literally comes down to memorising essay plans and you’ll be able to do well in the exam. There is only a certain amount of questions which they can ask you because the content is so restricted. You can also usually pre-empt what they will ask you since there are usually patterns which can be picked up on year to year, as with any exam, but this is a risky game to play (so just revise the whole spec!)I then studied introduction to criminal liability and contract law in Unit 2. Now unit 2 is a completely different ball game to be honest with you. You learn a lot more content and you are expected to apply your legal knowledge to problem questions, unlike regurgitating information like in unit 1. In the exam you’re given a scenario where they present an issue to you and they ask you to apply the stature (laws) which you learnt in your lessons to it. Usually the scenarios are stupid but you need to read them quite carefully to make sure that you don’t miss anything. You have to memorise the elements of different laws like assault and grievous bodily harm. It’s way more fun though because you feel like an actual lawyer making judicial decisions rather than a student who is reading a law textbook. 
  • History: I simultaneously love and hate this subject because I swear my emotions towards it are different every week. I have a natural affinity for history but the amount of work it requires is crazy. Admittedly, I slacked throughout the year because I saw I was getting solid A’s throughout with minimal work so when I sat my mock, reality slapped me in the face. Which is why I must reiterate the following: do not get too confident and keep up with all your work. Do not take A-level history if you are unable to write well or if you can’t read anything other than fiction books otherwise you will suffer. Your essays must be perfectly analytical and readily able to scrutinise every source, regardless of whether it supports your overall argument or not. You need to read countless historiographies and input other historians views to help support your argument or help you undermine the given one. As well as that, you should definitely check out exactly what history your college/sixth form offers so you know what to expect. With that being said do not let it put you off because trust me, as a modern history lover when I learnt that I’d be studying the German Reformation and Yorkist, Lancastrians and Tudors in my first year I just about died. A year later I can tell you that regardless of what you study exactly, you'll enjoy it because the study of history isn't solely about the actual part of it you study but of the analysis and judgement of it.
  • Geography (will fill in asap)
  • Spanish: I take Spanish but will also speak on behalf of all languages because the course structure is pretty similar throughout. Personally, languages at A-level are completely different to the study of it at GCSE mainly because it advances to a much higher level. Definitely one I wasn't expecting at first but less than a year later I can say that I’m much more confident in speaking, reading and writing the language so the initial shock is worth it. You are given much more freedom and creativity with A-level study (this is across the board!) and the course content is incredibly interesting. For example in Spanish we study a film, a piece of literature, religious attitudes in Spain, cultural celebrations, family attitudes, gang violence across South America, LGBTQ rights and more. The oral exam in year 13 is what sounded most daunting when I started as I was told I would have to speak for 25 minutes in non-stop Spanish. I can assure you that by the end of year 12 you'll be able to do this, because if I can do it (and go over my time) then anyone can. Your independent research project literally gives you so much freedom to run wild and research anything within your languages sphere it’s amazing. If you are resistant about taking a language, I urge you to do so. 
  • Film Studies: This is not what you're expecting, trust me. You won't be sitting around and watching a ton of films and try to act classy whilst discussing them. There's a load of analysis, case studies on producers and audiences included in the study BUT I would say that it is a very doable course because of the massive discussion element of it and if your teacher is nice, the handouts too. If you're unable to study without a textbook then this isn't for you, you'll have to make your own notes. You have to write a lot of practice essays to finally get the gist of its structure. 
  • Product Design/Art: I only picked Product Design because all the other subjects were dry. i have a vague artistic background and am moderately creative (or so I think.) Don't worry if you can't draw for shit, you've just gotta know how to use a ruler. The course is honestly so damn fun it covers working with your hands, sketching and 3D modelling (which are good for future employers.) I would explain the details of the course but it's bound to chance soon. If you're doing a lot of STEM subjects then this course is a way to add in some diversity. You unexpectedly gain a lot of life skills. I wouldn't consider the court easy as it requires a lot of dedication to finishing projects but yeah, I recommend it. 
  • Drama: With drama the teacher literally leaves you to your own devices most of the time. At the end of the day your grade is up to you and the people you work with. The best thing about it is that the people who initially took it because they saw it as an "easy A*" end up dropping out, leaving only a few dedicated individuals in your class which helps with efficiency as you can probably imagine. 
  • Music: Music A-level had the smallest leap from GCSE in my opinion as it was prxtially the same same structure and same way to how you complete the A-level; the only difference being the quantity of work growing tremendously. Composition and Performance continue to have a big influence on your grade, so the more creative you are with these, the higher your grade. This definitely helps a lot, especially if you hate the written work and Setworks. In addition, the the increase of Networks, there are more links between them which makes it easy to revise and remember how to answer in exam conditions. On a whole, Music A-level must be approached by student who are willing to extend their creativity and put 110% into each section. 
  • English Literature: This is the biggest L of 2016/17 for me. I picked this subject on enrolment day because my other options to fill the empty block were either Maths or Geography which were massive no’s. I have always had a strong background with English but I don’t think the further study of it at A-level is for me, however I think it’s mostly due to my disgraceful exam board than the actual discipline itself. My exam board (WJEC) is renowned as the hardest board for A-level English Lit with many other boards being significantly easier which is why I am deliberating on dropping it when I return this September. 

I really hope this can be of any use to any of you. It's very last minute so not as detailed as I would like it to have been but I will be adding to it as more contributions come. I want to say a big thank you to all those who sent me their passages, I appreciate you (and hopefully my readers do too) 

Also good luck with your results, I hope everything goes/went how you want/ed it to! and if not, this is not the end as you can always bargain your way in- your new GCSEs were seriously hard...major props to you all <3 so proud of you!!!

-love, Dalal

ps: if you have anymore questions/concerns then pls email me ( OR dm me on twitter @dalaltahira and I'll answer you...promise


Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Humans are the most selfish species that inhabit the Earth. We continue to harm our environment constantly in order to benefit ourselves through using fossil fuels, disposing large amounts of waste (usually non biodegradable), contributing to the meat industry and consuming great amounts of fast fashion that is rendered useless within a few years, if not months. We cut down trees to make more space for housing and commercial buildings. We fund companies that test on animals in order to use makeup products from brands we like (doesn't that sounds so trivial) We do things without considering the ramifications. Biologically speaking, there is a reason for this selfishness and lack of remorse, the theory of evolution through natural selection suggests that individuals must behave in manners that will maximise their ability to survive and pass on DNA. Because that is essentially what we are here for, from a biological perspective, to ensure survival of our genetic material for generations to come. Of course artistically speaking we could say life is to create and love but that is besides the point. We are intrinsically selfish creatures, by nature but we can change our habits and lifestyle to show more compassion to the world we live on. There are some altruistic decisions we can make to lower the negative impact we have on our environment and ourselves. I am a firm believer of your body being your temple and how we only have two homes in our life, our body and our earth, hence why I made the conscious decision a few months ago to completely cut out meat and most dairy because my tastebuds and personal satisfaction is not worth the rape of billions of cows for milk and the murder of 56 billion farm animals (excluding fish)

The cultural and religious traditions I have grown up with have always included the consumption of meat. When a new child is born into the family, it is almost ritual to kill and eat a lamb (or cow) to celebrate. I remember when my younger sister was born and we went to Morocco, my uncle slit the throat of a sheep that I had grown so close with a few weeks beforehand. The ground was bright red with blood whilst the sheep's body continued to bleed out. From then, at 4 years old, I made the decision to never eat lamb or beef again. Therefore I guess it was quite easy for me to cut out all meat products because I had gone without a big part of it for almost 13 years of my life.

Within the last few years there has been a new found consciousness regarding the meat industry (thanks to documentaries like Cowpiracy and What The Health) and subsequently, a soaring growth of vegetarians and vegans. I do not want anyone to feel like I am pushing my diet and beliefs upon them because that is the most counter-productive thing I can do. I respect everyones dietary choices, regardless of whether I believe they are "right" or not. I have a platform, regardless of how small it is, and I want to use it for good. If I can get one person to just question their eating habits then I will be happy. I do not like the stereotype that comes with non-meat eaters, especially vegans, as it is so misleading and only focusses on one type of person which is why I love Earthling Ed's channel, because he approaches people and gently questions them in ways that make them think rather than screaming at them for contributing to murder. You do not even have to cut out meat completely but perhaps limit the amounts of time you eat it per week. The average family incorporates meat into their meals almost every day of the week and consumes 40lb of meat a month. Too much of anything is bad for you and everything must be taken in moderation.

If you would like more reasons to go vegetarian then here you go...

  • Meat nowadays is detrimental to your health. And I don't only mean it in terms of cardiovascular health and cholesterol but actual antibiotic resistance and your immune system. The majority of livestock are kept in cramped conditions where infections can be transmitted across thousands of animals in a matter of weeks. As a result, farmers pump numerous antibiotics into their animals to prevent mass death and help the animal grow up to 3% larger which is significant in an industry where the meat is sold by its weight. 80% of antibiotics in the US are used for livestock, meaning only 20% are for human use.  When animals are fed antibiotics for a long period of time, they begin to retain strains of bacteria that are resistant to it (same principle for humans). Then you buy the meat after it's slaughtered and eat it which passes these resistant bacteria (MRSA is the most common one) to you, if the meat isn't handled with caution or is slightly undercooked. This means that no antibiotic can treat the bacterial infection because the over use of it when the animals were still alive led it to becoming resistant. Antibiotic resistance is a growing concern across the world as we begin to realise that these drugs may not be the solution to bacterial infections anymore, and the consumption of drugged up meat is continuing to contribute to this.
  • The meat industry is disastrous to our environment in so many ways. 18% of greenhouse gas, which contributes to climate change, comes from the livestock industry which is more than the emissions of cars and trucks around the world combined. You've probably seen the statistic that 1,847 gallons of water are needed to produce 1lb of meat. There are so many shocking statistics available online to show just how much livestock farming can harm our precious environment.
  • Possibly the most eye opening factor that led me to vegetarianism is the fact that we could end world hunger if we stopped consuming meat. We have enough food to feed everyone yet 36% of grain and 76% of soy consumption is for livestock and the land it is grown on is strictly for the animals when it could be used to grow crops for human consumption. More than 1 billion people cannot access food in the world even though the grain that is fed to livestock is enough to feed 2 billion people. 
  • I mentioned earlier that it takes almost 2000 gallons of water to produce 1lb of beef. Not only is this extremely wasteful and unsustainable (water is precious, people!) it also leads to water contamination as studies have found that 60% of US water is contaminated largely due to agriculture. Nitrate pollution from fertilisers used for crops for animal consumption is the main reason and also leads to severe eutrophication which is negatively impactful on human health and our ecosystem too.
  • Every animal deserves a chance to live, just like we do. We are not at all superior to other organisms on this earth. What makes your pet dog or cat different to a cow or pig? They are conscious animals at the end of the day that do not deserve to live a life away from its mother in dark and cramped conditions before being taken to the slaughter house to be stunned and packaged for human enjoyment. I find it so hypocritical that people refuse to wear fur (9 out of 10 people in the UK say they would not wear real fur) because of the "cruelty" behind it but continue to consume meat as if there is no cruelty behind that either.

"Perhaps the greatest contrivance in human evolution is the notion of "the self." By virtue of the fact that each and every one of us believes wholeheartedly in our own significance, our own primacy, we are selfish. One could conceive of humans as barely sentient creatures that imagined virtually everything we are able to experience in reality. Our capacity to label, quantify and organize information and ascribe meaning and direction to the shift in matter gives us a kind of god-like ability that is not evident within what we believe are lesser animals. I have spoken to and interacted with various people from all walks of life, and from what I can discern, none of them are "happy" or "satisfied." This is because we are not biologically programmed to be either. Almost all humans strive for the same thing and participate in an artificially constructed social system that perpetuates suffering and ecological domination. Most of us believe in the idea of "deserving" more, having more, being better...But in truth, we own nothing, are never truly better and don't deserve a thing. We are entitled, and the narratives we have prescribed to for centuries have become so deeply entrenched in our genetic makeup that we are all convinced that we are all special and that we are all worthy of happiness and fulfillment. This is fallacious, and our presence on the planet has triggered certain events that are now unavoidable. Billions of animals are slaughtered yearly for our benefit, we produce tonnes of waste and expand at an exponential rate without any real understanding of the consequences. We believe in time but cannot see that it is a man-made construct and that in fact there is no time, no linear upward progression or improvement in circumstances. We all dream this life, believe that we're going somewhere afterwards and that if we do this or that or buy this or that, we're going to be happy forever. It's a terrible, terrible joke, and every day we live the worse it all gets. Life never considered the ramifications of its own ambition, cannot conceive of an end, yet all of us must inevitably perish. In the expanse of infinity we are but a drop in the ocean, and we are an aspect of nature that should not have been. Our consciousness is an incontrovertible mistake, and we are all going to pay dearly for our egregious selfishness and lack of foresight. Humanity had its shot, but it never thought about what it was...What it was doing...And now we sing our swansong - and ultimately, it's for the best."

If you are interested in learning more about vegetarianism or just want some good veggie recipes I live by then comment down below and I'll find a way to contact you. Also, please feel free to exercise your right to freedom of speech in the comments- I love a good debate.

The (not so) Ordinary products

Thursday, 3 August 2017

You have instagram, right? So you're probably familiar with this brand and their clean and very Scandi inspired aesthetic. It's a rarity to come across non-drugstore skincare products that are below £15 these days and rightly so, good things come at a price. Therefore when I saw these products for the first time, the packaging, ingredients and pledges screamed high end to me yet when I saw that the prices were literally £10 and under I had a little "well damn" moment. Because nothing this good can be so cheap (welcome to capitalism)

I searched for my nearest store and ventured there with the intention of gifting these to my mum. I asked for items more suited for "mature" skin (sorry mum) and if most of the things hadn't been out of stock, I would've left with more than two items. I got the Alpha Lipoic Acid 5% and 100% Plant-Derived Squalene which both aim to moisturise and brighten and slow down the effects age. All for a mere £11.40. My mum and I share these, using a few drops of the squalene every morning and night whilst saving the lipoic acid for use bi-weekly. I'm not sure whether it's the absence of a-levels that has made my skin so much more healthier and -I hate this word- glowy or if these two products are actually working but I assume it's the latter. Considering that these products are full of (gentle) chemicals, they don't smell strong or harsh at all which is always a plus especially as a bio student, I don't want to be smelling Phenoxyethanol and Potassium Sorbate anywhere outside the labs lol.

What I love most about these products is how they are so focussed around the foundations of products, the biochem behind it. The Ordinary develop different formulas to cater to their demographic and sell them at such a low price to show that good skincare can truly be accessed by anyone. Not only are they super affordable, they're cruelty free, vegan, alcohol free etc. I'll paste their statements regarding these things below. Everything about the brand is so transparent and overflows with integrity which is why I'm patiently waiting for their lactic acid suspension, hyaluronic acid, caffeine solution and salicylic acid products to come back in stock in the Shoreditch branch (hint hint)

"All DECIEM products, across all brands including The Ordinary, are free of parabens, sulphates, mineral oil, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, animal oils, benzalkonium chloride, coal tar dyes, formaldehyde, mercury, oxybenzone. If you have questions about any ingredient that we use, please reach out to us and our lab will provide a response. 

DECIEM does not test on animals and does not pay others to do so. For this reason, none of our brands are sold in mainland China since such sales require animal testing for registration purposes."

As I read through this post, I realise more and more how much it seems like I am being directed to saying these things. I can assure you that all my views are totally genuine and this is not sponsored (a girl can dream) but it would be amazing to work with the cool people at The Ordinary (hmu)

I don't even know whether this is a product review or me continuously gushing about this brand but nevertheless I hope I've managed to clarify the brand and their products a bit more!

Have you heard of The Ordinary or tried anything from them?

la dolce vita with seventeen

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Hello. Sorry for the really close up shots of me staring you down. I promise I'm not mean.
(as someone who hates taking pictures of her face, uploading these is kinda freaking me out but hopefully my face doesn't offend many of you)

I've never really been one to experiment with makeup (here we go again) but seeing as the summer season is usually one of experimentation and recklessness -in a good way- I thought I would be more daring with my face. And whilst a bold red lip and exaggerated beauty spots aren't usually what spring to mind when we think spontaneity and adventure, for someone who can barely be bothered to curl her eyelashes in the morning this is a pretty big deal.

The fab PR people at Seventeen asked me if I was willing to be part of their 'blogging relay' and as a track and field runner, I had bouts of heart palpitations just thinking about the 400m sprints. But you'll be pleased to know that this is more of a share beauty tips throughout the whole beauty blogging community (not super pressurising physical exhaustion) so hopefully by the end of it, we'll be swimming in advice and nifty tricks to make your makeup look 10/10.

Although makeup and beating my face is not my forte, I have a few tips to help you achieve a really natural, summer appropriate look:

If the faux freckles trend looks too artificial for you, or if you're like me, looks like it requires to much effort to a) dot them around and b) make them look as natural as you can then I would definitely recommend accentuating any natural beauty spots you may have. I have a few faint ones around my mouth so I used a brown eyebrow gel to lightly put over them. It may not look very authentic up close but for the most part, I think it adds a really nice sun kissed effect.

bright lip has always been said to be the perfect way to slack on other aspects of your face so this is no exception. Not only is base and eye makeup a drag to put on, during the heat there's always the tendency of it transferring and melting off. Keeping it subtle with a lengthening and separating mascara, light BB cream, highlight and filled in and brushed up brows will allow full attention to your colourful lip of choice. I find that a creamy matte red shade suits my skin tone best but always experiment, I've seen lilac lipsticks which looks amazing.

This one's going to sound really strange but everything on this blog does to be honest. You know when you're back in from a whole day out in the sun and the middle of your cheeks and the bridge of your nose is bronzed and rosy (also known as the sunglasses tan?) We can recreate that, minus the sun damage. Dusting some shimmery bronzer across the tops of your cheeks and the bridge of your nose is more than enough to do the trick.

The last, slightly mainstream, tip is to use your lip colour as a blush. I dotted a bit of my lipstick on my cheeks and blended it with my fingers in an out and upwards motion. It looks really natural, gives a subtle rosiness and brings lots of warmth to the face without having to use yet another product!

I didn't conceal my undereyes or my blemishes just because I didn't feel the need to!

Products used (all by Seventeen)*

-BB cream in medium
-Brow kit
-Bronze and Illuminate palette
-Mega Matte lipstick in 'Roses are Red'
-SkinWow liquid highlight
-Eye Eye crayon in 'Iced' (perfect inner corner highlight)

Well that's it from me! The blogger I'll be "passing the baton" to is Mona from Through Mona's EyesDo hop onto her blog for the next set of (probably much better) beauty tips on the 26th!

What are some of your top beauty tips and hacks for the summer?

hello again...

Monday, 17 July 2017

Friday 16th June (kinda late but when am I ever punctual)

You're probably used to reading posts where the blogger explains the strange, weird, wacky place they're writing that exact post from. Well I'm currently in a manky bathroom somewhere in Peckham, south east london, listening to reggaeton to make myself feel better whilst trying to devise a plan that can allow me to sneak out of the one of the most difficult yoga classes I've ever attended without the instructor catching me with her beady eye and making me wearily attempt "Taraksvasana" once more even though I've emphasised that my legs can't possibly twist and contort so much so they can reach my face (I've read this sentence through so many times and it still makes no sense, just google image the pose) This quick "freshening up" session has been going on for 10 minutes and counting. Who will win? Probably her... she's broken me already. That just got deep. To make everything worse an amalgamation of exams, orange is the new black season 5 and love island have totally made me their bitch and have had me on lock so not only do I have an impossible yoga mish, a hearty dollop of procrastination and guilt of my unproductively have been added on too.

Quick location change. I safely made it home and (shockingly) did not meet my peril at the yoga place. Instead I'm leaning over the river Thames listening to the faint crashes of "waves" and slight whir of boats moving down as the sun is setting over Tower Bridge on my left and as a pink hue continues to descend over the Canary Wharf to my's safe to say that aesthetically-wise, everything is going swimmingly well. A seagull is repeatedly diving down into the water and coming up again, making small ripples in the water. It keeps picking up this pink thing and then dropping it again. For a second I thought it was an actual fish and had a little moment because I had no idea that the (terribly) polluted river Thames would actually have wildlife that isn't seaweed and algae. I think I was right because that same seagull is still at it with the plunging and un-plunging. 
In the brief moment I've looked up from my phone after writing that last sentence, the sky has now transformed into a whole new array of colours, think vivid oranges, pinks and reds- kinda like the ABH Modern Renaissance palette. It's crazy how much a sunset can change in the space of minutes. I think that's an analogy that can be applied to life in general. Sometimes we need to take a break and look up at everything around us. We're so caught up on everything, life passes before we can experience it. That's why I've started getting into yoga (that isn't a threat to my life ahem) and deleted my social media. Ok hang on this seagull is really irritating me. I wonder if it's their instinct to pick up something, drop it, hover above it and then pick it up again. Maybe it's training for real prey. That seems pretty legit. I'll research later. 

This, my friends, is what you call an hyperactive mind. Cool and collected in demeanour, bouncing of the walls on the inside. I think that's a good thing though because it's a surprise.
I just looked up again in the hope of seeing a new collection of colours in the sky. Same old. What a disappointment. 

A lady has just come up behind me and asked if I'm alright and whether a combination of what I've been typing for the last 10 minutes and looking up wistfully has been the makings of a long winded break up text. I assured her it's not. And now I'm terribly conscious at the fact that she's been watching me for all that time. 

But who knows, maybe this will be where I come when everything shit goes terribly wrong. I guess I'll be here almost everyday. Nothing really ever goes to plan. A, what I assume is a party boat has just sped past and given me my daily dose of club music but alas, the Doppler effect has made that a very fleeting experience. Best things come in small packages (or quick speed boats???) right? But by that logic, everyone who's tall, large or both isn't the best. That's not fair.
My phone is now on 1% and I'm more or less just milking how long it'll be until the screen goes black. Oh wait, another party boat. This time they're playing that upbeat typical hip hop music they usually play in those rom-coms when introducing the black "hood" characters. Gotta love those cultural stereotypes being enforced in mainstream media. The boats horn has just tooted. I don't know why that's significant but it was subsequently followed with a roar of cheers so I guess it means something. I'm glad they're enjoying themselves. Meanwhile I'm here. Still stuck to my phone.  Let me see if the seagull is still there. 

It must've flown away whilst I was being questioned about my relationship status/watching two party boats go past/writing this. I'm going to round this mental regurgitation up right by figuratively packing up my stuff and leaving. 

Hope you liked this brief insight of my stream of consciousness.

spring jewellery with aurate

Thursday, 4 May 2017

I've been meaning to do a post like this for the longest time ever but my laziness always manages to overpower any motivation I ever do get. So as you can imagine, when I came across the Aurate website after stalking checking out their social media sites, it all felt a little bit like fate. You see, this post has been sitting in my drafts since 27/8/2015- so this was like a wake up call and it's about time I actually got started on it. 

A little bit about the brand first though...their products are completely ethically sourced (100%) gold at a more affordable price as they skip the extra steps which usually heighten the price of their pieces and instead, get it to the consumer straight away. I love this concept as it really does make a difference to how much you're spending whilst still being able to get classic and durable gold pieces.

Before working with a brand I always like to research a bit to find out if I'll even be able to create content for/with that's exactly what I did. For every purchase, a book is donated to an economically underprivileged child which hits really close to him seeing as I'm one myself (sad times) Also, one of the creators is Moroccan which heightens my pride in my country and made me want to work with this brand even more. Wow I can really ramble on can't I? 

Minimal and dainty jewellery have become accessory staple for the every-day fashion forward individual. Pieces that can be worn alone or layered with each other are the epitome of versatility and for a generation that's constantly moving around, it's perfect. I've tried to annotate the photos in the collage above so I'm hoping you can understand my handwriting- it's pretty bad but I promise I tried to neaten it up for this post hah.

Geometric shapes have been super popular when it comes to jewellery due to it's very minimalist and architectural structure, and these circular and triangular shapes can really elevate a crisp all white or black outfit. Similarly, if you're sick of the generic thick banded cloth chokers that are on every high street right now a more simplistic and elegant option is a more structured collar necklace- the black stone breaks up the gold, giving it a little more versatility.

Onto my jewellery. I have a necklace and choker that I always wear, almost like my signature look. Both are very minimal and simply but go really well with my everyday style which is what I like the most. My necklace is made of real gold and was bought for me as a gift in Morocco a few years ago (gold is huge in Moroccan culture!) and then my choker was bought on a beach in Essouaira for around £2. The man who makes them actually goes onto the shore to look for shells to use for his jewellery! I wish I could photograph them nicely but it's much more difficult than you would think, soo whenever I do I'll make sure to upload them on here as an update.

Do you prefer gold or silver jewellery? Or are you more of a mixing metals person?

where I want to go

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Currently listening to No me reproches by Cafe Quijano and have 5 british airway tabs open as I write this, further fuelling my burning desire to just travel and chill out in South American countries, soaking up the extensive culture and white sand beaches they're blessed to have. I wish it was as easy as just stepping onto a plane and going but it isn't. Nowadays you always have to factor in cost, time, accommodation and so much more. I sometimes wish I never went to school just for the fact that I'd have more time free to travel, I'm sure it would serve as a much more educational and cultural experience than just being sat in a classroom. But that's life. I wrote a post similar to this last year, almost like a summer bucket fun.

I have five countries on my ultimate travel bucket list, all of which are in South America or in the Caribbean. If you look at my travel board on Pinterest, it's full of 'pueblos viejos' (old towns), brilliantly blue bodies of water and vivid hues. Cuba, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Colombia and Mexico are all places I am dying to visit. I'm going to sound incredibly basic but the culture in each of these countries is so rich and intriguing with complex relations with superpower countries during the Cold War, dictatorships, colonialism, indigenous people and more. I'm so glad that I do get to learn a bit of this through my a-level Spanish lessons but if only I could physically be there and explore myself. The Spanish language is one of my favourites and again, I wish I could go to these countries sometime soon because I'd love to finally be able to speak the language somewhere other than my classrooms and Spain because although they share the same language, the dialects are so much more different. So many people long to visit Greek islands like Mykonos and Santorini and other mediterranean islands but no one really pays attention to some of the places I listed above which is a shame because I'm sure they're equally as beautiful, if not more. Ever since I started writing this post somehow everything around me seems to be talking about's like they're signs. My spotify has been flooded with adverts about visiting Old Havana in Cuba and becoming a Spanish teacher and then my twitter feed has got lots of Mexico travel diary posts. I guess the quote "when you want something all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." is completely true...or maybe I'm just reading into it too much.

Anyway, if any travel companies are reading this then pls contact me. jk. not really.
-Dalal 🌞

ootd | another day

Friday, 14 April 2017

Most basic outfit ever, I know. As the weather gets increasingly warm, I've finally been able to bring out my lighter t-shirts and shove my turtle necks at the back of my wardrobe. Before I continue with the post though I must ask, am I the only one who doesn’t completely enjoy the good weather we're having (especially during March) because they're conscious that it's most definitely down to global warming? It's definitely unsettling and I just wish people knew that this 'lovely sunshine' isn't so lovely at all.

I digress, back to the outfit. If you know me, you know that my style of dressing can be incredibly basic, almost on the verge of laziness- but I always try to adapt it into something more appropriate for society because toothpaste stained trackies apparently aren't. When I tell you, I've never loved a grey t-shirt more in my life, I'm not even joking. I bought this from Brandy Melville a few years ago during their 50% off sale so I probably got it for around £6. This always gets so much wear in the spring and summer months because it's simply so versatile, it really does go with everything and is the perfect basic. As it's v-neck, it pairs amazingly with both strappy and lacy bralettes which always helps to add a little more to something so simple and neutral. 

I have no idea how to describe these trousers so please excuse the following, very shambolic description of them. They're like cargo pants but skinny and are a bleached/washed out navy colour with lots of gold hardware which gives it a more expensive look. A for effort. What I love about these is the colour, they're not a typical khaki green that you would expect from this style and are also a refreshing break from the abundance of denim we're all seeing this season. The cropped leg is definitely not intentional, I bought them from the kids section so that paired with my height does explain the "ankle grazing" style. 

Yes, those are the adidas stan smith's I'm gracing only 3 years late to the whole trend. Do I even have any shame? My lack of punctuality clearly follows me every where ha. These are so comfy and I've been wanting a pair of fresh and crisp white trainers for the comes the task of actually keeping them pristine. You've probably already heard many fashion bloggers singing these praise so I'll save you that ;)

A way I like to elevate an otherwise drab outfit is through a statement piece. Although I'm beginning to incorporate more prints and colour into my wardrobe, I still like to stay on the safe side and carry something small like a bright bag instead. I'm renowned for never holding bags and instead just stuffing everything into my pockets, so when my sister gifted me this I was a bit meh about it but obviously had to put on the "ah omg thanks so much" front, but now I can't leave the house without it. It's so small and compact but surprisingly fits much more than you'd think, and the colour is definitely my favourite part of it. It's really well made and has so many compartments which I love as it definitely maximises the capacity of it. 

What's your go-to outfit?
-Dalal 🍒