Thursday, 26 February 2015

Recent Buys

Monk shoes and handbag

When spring is right around the corner, a few new additions to the wardrobe are essential, aren't they? I've yet to buy spring clothes (being a student makes budgeting a must), but I have got two lovely things that I know will be faithful companions throughout spring time.

Office monk shoes

I firmly believe that a new season is the perfect excuse for buying a new pair. I own boots for autumn and winter, and more delicate flats and sneakers for summer, but I wanted a pair of shoes appropriate for the rain and mud that is early spring in Glasgow. I found these lovely monk shoes in Office, and after having gone in to look at them several times I finally bought them last week. Side note - am I the only one who always has a hard time with sizes? I'm always in between a four and a five, and it doesn't help that my left foot is slightly longer than the right. Oh, the struggles.

DSUK handbag
One thing that I've wanted for a while is a bag that's big enough to hold my purse, camera and other trinkets, without being too big and bulky. There's been a hole in my little bag collection for a while, but now this beauty has solved all my problems. I found it for a really good price in TK Maxx (that place is such a treasure trove), and it's perfect. Good quality, perfect size and a good amount of partitions. 

Another spring essential I bought recently was a black fake leather jacket from Zara, which I've already got a bit of wear out of. I can't wait to start wearing it more. Come on, spring, hurry up!

Have you got any new things for spring?

Love, Mimmi. 

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Happy Post #13

My reading week has just come to an end, and tomorrow lectures are back again. To be honest, I'm okay with lectures starting again. It'll be good having my routine back. The last week has been filled with essay writing, many many cups of tea and quite a few lattes, too much snacking, a cinema trip, and a wee trip to Stirling (for an interview), where I took the wee iPhone photos above.

Lately, these things have made me happy:

Parks and Rec. I heard of it for the first time a few years ago, but it took me until this year to actually start watching it. One of my friends here in Glasgow is a massive fan so I started watching it from her recommendation, and it's fair to say I'm obsessed. I find myself laughing out loud (in my room, by myself, as you do...) every single episode, because it's just that brilliant.

The glorious amount of pancakes that my friends and I made and ate for Pancake Day. I wasn't sure if I'd get to eat any on the actual day, but then on a whim we decided that pancakes were necessary. We had them with nutella, with butterscotch syrup or just with a wee sprinkle of sugar. Delicious. We all had a bit of a pancake coma after devouring them.

Having a bit of a childish afternoon. My friend and I went to see Big Hero 6 at the cinema (which was amazing) and then on the way back we found a tyre swing to play on for a good while. I may be twenty years old, but sometimes it's pretty great being a bit of a child.

Getting to go to Isle of Arran next weekend! The department of Scottish Literature at my uni organise a trip to Arran every year for really cheap, and since I haven't had the chance to see much of Scotland since moving here last year I jumped at the chance. The thought of going on a weekend trip with strangers is a bit daunting, but I'm really excited to see a new place.

Finding the most beautiful Rifle Paper 2015 Calendar at 75% off in Waterstones last weekend. It's absolutely stunning and makes my desk look so much prettier. Rifle Paper can do nothing wrong, can they?

1989. I've finally had the chance to listen to the whole album, and I love it to bits. I've never been a big Taylor Swift fan, but there's definitely something special about 1989. It's been on repeat for the last week, and I reckon it'll be on repeat for a good while longer. I especially love Wildest Dreams and I Know Places.

Finally, here are five blog posts that I've enjoyed reading recently:

'How To Deal With an Introvert' on Sunny Sweet Pea.

'Appreciating Your Time Alone' on From Roses.

'Hummus and Pitta Recipe' on The World According to Heather.

'How Do You Deal With Insecurities' on Clear The Way.

'How To Be Healthy on a Budget' on Pale Lily.

What has made you happy recently?

Love, Mimmi.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Recently Read #1

So, I thought I'd start sharing the books I've read and enjoyed every now and then, doing mini reviews of sorts. I always enjoy hearing people's thoughts about books, and I enjoy talking about books (yeah, there's a reason I'm doing English Lit...), so I think it'll be fun to do this type of post once in a while, as a sort of follow-up to my book hauls. I've read a few more than these four this year, but I decided to pick out my favourites among the new books I discovered. I decided to include the blurb in italics before my own wee comment :)

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

Ethan works at his unproductive farm and struggles to maintain a bearable existence with his difficult, suspicious and hypochondriac wife, Zeena. But when Zeena's vivacious cousin enters their household as a 'hired girl', Ethan finds himself obsessed with her and with the possibilities for happiness she comes to represent.

I have to be honest; I had never heard of Edith Wharton until I read Ethan Frome. It's one of the books we're studying this semester for English Literature, and I'm really glad I got the chance to read it. It's a very short book at just above 100 pages, so it's an easy read, but other than that there's nothing light about it. In the prologue, you get a glimpse of Ethan twenty-four years after the main events of the novel. Right from the start, you know that this is not a story with a happy ending. Still, I found myself drawn into the story, desperate to know the fate of the characters. Wharton's writing is hauntingly stunning and the story is both tragic and beautiful. Just a warning - don't read it if you're in a bad mood.  

Orlando by Virginia Woolf

Written for Virginia Woolf's intimate friend, the charismatic, bisexual writer Vita Sackville-West, Orlando is a playful mock 'biography' of a chameleon-like historical figure who changes sex and identity at will. First masculine, then feminine, Orlando begins life as a young sixteenth-century nobleman, then gallops through the centuries to end up as a woman writer in Virginia Woolf's own time. A wry commentary on gender roles and modes of history, Orlando is also, in Woolf's own words, a light-hearted 'writer's holiday' which delights in its ambiguity and capriciousness.

I've wanted to read something written by Virginia Woolf for a while, so I was glad to get a chance to do it since Orlando is another book I had to read this semester. This is another rather short book, but unlike Ethan Frome, it's a fun read. It's really bizarre and random, but very enjoyable. However, while being light-hearted, there's definitely depth in it as well. It was written more than eighty years ago, and I find it frankly amazing that Woolf was so ahead of the time and dared to discuss gender roles so openly. She seems to have been an incredible woman, and I'm really keen to read more of her works.

The Shock Of The Fall by Nathan Filer

‘I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name’s Simon. I think you’re going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he’ll be dead. And he was never the same after that.’

The Shock of the Fall is an extraordinary portrait of one man’s descent into mental illness. It is a brave and groundbreaking novel from one of the most exciting new voices in fiction.

I read this over Christmas so it's not that recent, but I really liked it so I figured I'd include it anyway. This is the type of book that's hard to put down. It's incredibly heart-wrenching and well-written. It's impossible not to be moved as you gradually find out more and more about Matthew's (the protagonist and narrator) life. But along with tragedy, there's also humour, hope and life. Overall, everything feels so real, and perhaps that's why it's so moving. 

The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell

New York City, 1924: the height of Prohibition. In a police precinct on the lower East Side young typist Rose Baker coolly records the confessions of killers and gangsters. But when a new typist arrives - the captivating Odalie - Rose finds a true partner in crime. Flitting between sparkling speakeasies by night and their work at the precinct by day, the girls are drawn further into a dark, glamorous world. Soon Rose's fascination with Odalie and her glittering life turns to obsession. But does she know the real Odalie, and what will happen if she dares to find out?

This was a birthday gift from one of my friends, who know how much I love The Great Gatsby. The Other Typist is like a fusion between The Great Gatsby and a psychological thriller, and it's really good. Rose is an unreliable narrator, and truth is a major theme in the novel. What is true and who can you trust? At times I did feel like it dragged on a bit and hinted too much to the plot twist that was coming, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The writing style is excellent and very Gatsby-like, the plot is very clever and the plot twist left me mindboggled. Also, major plus for strong female characters. 

What books have you enjoyed reading recently?

Love, Mimmi. 

Sunday, 15 February 2015

The Swedish Café

Yesterday, me and my fellow Swede took a trip into the city centre to wander around.  To refuel in the midst of what turned into an afternoon of bargain shopping (I got a Rifle Paper 2015 calendar at 75% off and a super lovely bag in TK Maxx), we decided to try out the newly opened Swedish café, which is located right on the Royal Exchange Square. I had hoped to get a semla, but since we got there at around three in the afternoon a lot of things were already gone. Instead, we both opted for a trusty cinnamon roll and a cup of filter coffee. The cinnamon roll was home baked and really good, and the enormous cup of coffee felt like home. The interior felt really Scandinavian; airy, clean and simple, yet homely and welcoming. As predicted, most things were from Ikea. Despite being a bit disappointed by the range of baked goods, I'll definitely return when I want a taste of home, and hopefully next time they'll have more things to choose from.

What did you get up to during the weekend?

Love, Mimmi

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Wednesday Crêpes

Yesterday I met up with my friend Heather for lunch, and since Pancake Tuesday is coming up next week we decided to go for some crêpes. There is a really nice crêpe place on Byres Road in the West End of Glasgow where I've been a few times before. The interior isn't the cosiest, but the location and the wonderful crêpes make up for it. They have a big selection of both savoury and sweet crêpes. This time I opted for one with pear, almond and nutella, which was delicious. We managed to snatch the best seats as well, right by the window; perfect for people watching. Byres Road is one of the busiest streets in the West End, so watching people walk past is very enjoyable... and so is chatting away over some really yummy crêpes. It was definitely a lovely wee mid-week treat.

I've always preferred crêpes over thick pancakes. In Sweden, if you say pancake you mean a crêpe, and thick American ones aren't nearly as common. I've grown up with always eating and making thin pancakes/crêpes, so that's probably why I'm partial to them. How about you, do you prefer crêpes or thick pancakes?

Love, Mimmi.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Happy Post #12

Blue skies over Glasgow.

First things first - I know these are usually called "appreciative" but I thought I'd change it to "happy" just because I think it sounds better. There, now you know, haha.  I've had quite a busy week, but since yesterday evening things have slowed down. I spent last night tucked up in bed, watching Parks & Rec and eating chocolate, and today has been a typical Sunday; calm, slow and dedicated to studying... and also the perfect day for catching up on blogging.

Lately, these things have made me happy:

Having a three day weekend thanks to having Fridays off. I had Fridays off last semester too and I've always loved it, but this week I was even more thankful for it. The first four days of the week were all long and tiring, so getting home on the Thursday knowing that I had three days of winding down ahead of me was pretty great.

Yesterday's beautiful sunset as seen from the kitchen window.

The generous amount of sunshine that Glasgow has offered this past week. The clouds have been gathering today, but I don't feel like I can complain as the last week has been absolutely lovely, with sunshine and milder temperatures. It's ridiculous what a big impact the sunshine has on my mood; it makes me instantly happier. We've also been treated to a few gorgeous sunsets, like yesterday's.

Natural Greek yoghurt drizzled with honey. I've always liked yoghurt, but I go through phases of eating it. Generally it's more of a summer thing for me, and I haven't had it much over the last few months. However, I bought a big tub a few days ago and have been loving it, especially with some honey on top. It's perfect for when I feel a bit peckish in the afternoon.

The beautiful succulent I bought in IKEA yesterday. I'm in love.

Yesterday's spontaneous IKEA trip. Well, it wasn't entirely spontaneous, but sort of. My friend and I had been talking about going to IKEA for a while, and then on Friday I bumped into another Swedish girl who I know a little, and she asked if we wanted to come with her and her flat to IKEA the next day. Naturally, we jumped at the chance, and it was a great way to spend the Saturday. I bought lots of things that I needed, and of course a few things that I didn't really need (because that's what happens at IKEA).

A three way skype session with my mum and sis. Most of the time I'll speak with them one at a time, but yesterday afternoon we timed it really well and chatted away for almost an hour and a half. It was really lovely; almost like seeing them both in real life.

Finally, here are a few blog posts I've enjoyed reading recently:

'Forest Air' on A Rosie Outlook.

'Dark Chocolate-dipped Lemon Shortbread' on Cider With Rosie.

'Five Things I've Learnt In My 20s' on Dear You, Love Em.

'Seven Personal Mantras For a Happy Life' on A Little Opulent.

'The Diet Debate' on Tea In Your Twenties.

What has made you happy recently?

Love, Mimmi.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

TBT: Strolling along the Seine

Due to the lack of blogging material I thought I'd take advantage of it being Thursday and do a wee Throwback Thursday post. As you might or might not know, I spent six months in Paris studying French from September'13 to March'14. Paris is a beautiful city and great to wander around in, but can get quite crowded. I found that one of the best places for a nice walk is along the Seine. The river banks are usually quite spacious and calm (apart from next to the Eiffel tower, of course), and the air is somehow a tiny bit fresher because of the water. And like everywhere in Paris (well, almost), the architecture is beautiful. 

As for my Glasgow life, I'm currently relishing the fact that the weekend is here (I always have Fridays off), since this week has been quite busy. I don't have any particular plans for the weekend yet, but hopefully it'll be a good one. Do you have any plans for the weekend?

Love, Mimmi. 

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Sunday Adventures: The Necropolis & Glasgow Cathedral

Today was an incredibly lovely day. The sun was shining and spring was in the air. It would've been wrong to not go out, and thankfully me and a few friends had plans. We headed East, to Glasgow Cathedral and the graveyard next to it; the Necropolis. I've lived in Glasgow for more than four months now, but there's still so much I haven't seen. After today I'm able to tick two things off my list, however. The Necropolis was hauntingly beautiful and the cathedral was just stunning. I find it so fascinating that people were able to build such incredibly massive and intricately designed buildings without all the technology and equipment we have today. After wandering around for a couple of hours, we took the subway back to the West End and went to a café for some tea and a scone. It was a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon. 

Terribly sorry for the massive photo dump, by the way. I took about 70 photos today and picking out just a few was rather difficult.

Did you go on any adventures this weekend?

Love, Mimmi