Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Book List #17

Wednesday, 30 July 2014


Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
year: 2000 | pages: 320 | rating: 2/5

While I enjoy watching Anthony Bourdain's television series Parts Unknown, his book - Kitchen Confidential - falls flat. The "seedy underbelly" Bourdain promises to expose is neither seedy nor shocking (unless the revelation that kitchen staff curse and tell crude jokes comes as somewhat of a surprise to you); nothing new or novel is revealed and the reminiscent stories of Bourdain's past aren't all that interesting either. I found Bourdain's narration to be monotone without life nor passion (even when he recalls the memory that ignited his love affair with food). Kitchen Confidential only served to make me realise the reason I like seeing the places Anthony Bourdain visits has nothing to do with Bourdain himself but the countries, food, and culture he experiences.


Tell All by Chuck Palahniuk
year: 2010 | pages: 192 | rating: 1/5

When Webster Carlton Westward III arrives on the scene to seduce Katherine Kenton, Hazie Coogan - Katherine's maid and our narrator - is suspicious of his ulterior motives. When Hazie finds Webster's written memoir of his life, she discovers a series of sinister alternative endings in which Katherine dies. Presuming Webster means to kill off Katherine to cash in on her story, Hazie has to find a way to stop him. A lot of name dropping and obscenities are dropped in this this ode to old Hollywood and the story itself fails to hold up to Palahniuk's previous work. The plot, although potentially intriguing, is weak; Tell All falls short and fails to deliver, leaving the reader apathetic.


The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
year: 2011 | pages: 150 | rating: 4/5

The less you know of this story before you read it, the better. Our narrator is Tony Webster, a retired middle-aged divorcee living alone who remembers his four childhood friends, friends who swore to stay friends for life. Despite the less than eventful school years, a poignant moment sticks with Tony when he hears of another boy at the school who hung himself after getting a girl pregnant. When the four friends attend different universities at the end of school, their close friendship wanes.. until a lawyer's letter addressed to Tony turns up and he starts to question his childhood memories. A phenomenal short read where not everything is as it seems.


Under the Skin by Michel Faber
year: 2000| pages: 296 | rating: 3/5

This book is all about the big reveal; despite the synopsis sounding pretty self explanatory - "seductive female driver picks up hitchhikers who wouldn't be missed if they disappear" - Under the Skin isn't what you think it is and doesn't make much sense until about halfway through when the realisation finally you. Faber teases with slight hints and nudges throughout the first hundred pages, weaving an eerily compelling mystery.. but after the reveal things level out and end on a rather poignant, melancholic note.


{ the book list #1-16 }

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The Minimal Wardrobe: Staying On Track

Tuesday, 29 July 2014


Breaking the habit of buying new clothes and sticking to the minimal wardrobe rules can be tough; affordable clothing is easily accessible and doesn't require the effort and consideration that a curated wardrobe demands. Finding the perfect pieces isn't always easy, making the temptation to 'buy cheap' all the more irresistible.

However, there are ways of staying on track and breaking the rules, providing it's done occasionally and within boundaries. There is room for opportunistic purchases and adding overlooked yet important key items to your wardrobe.



Avoid breaking the rules by:
- being a conscious shopper
- avoiding the sales
- unsubscribing from fashion mailing lists
- building a wishlist
- sticking to it
- thinking twice before buying
- rediscovering existing pieces
- thinking about what you're saving


If you do break the rules remember to:
- limit spending
- buy only high quality garments
- stick to staples from the basic wardrobe
- buy ethical, sustainable, and local clothes
- keep the minimal wardrobe ethos in mind


{ the minimal wardrobe series }

Monday, 28 July 2014

Clean Up

Monday, 28 July 2014


Everyone knows how important it is to regularly clean make-up brushes and that amazing feeling you get after they have been freshly washed but how frequently do you clean your make-up products and the storage you keep them in?

Nothing makes my skin crawl more than seeing dirty make-up products so I regularly clean down surfaces, drawers, and the products themselves to make sure everything looks brand new and germ free for as long as possible. I store the bulk of my products in a small filing cabinet, with each drawer dedicated to different products: make-up, skin-, hair-, and nail-care along with storage for wash cloths and a miniature first aid kit. Every month this storage gets completely emptied, disinfected, and washed down, with each individual product getting wiped over using q-tips, baby wipes, and mild soap. Products that don't keep well and can't be cleaned (mascara and doe-foot applicators) get thrown away.

A little bit of upkeep goes a long way; regularly cleaning your products and storage means things tend to last longer, look nicer, and stay organised. It also means you keep on top of those nasty out of date products and nothing ends up festering (long lost and forgotten) in among your storage.


{ how to clean your brushes }

Saturday, 26 July 2014

17 Books Worth Rereading

Saturday, 26 July 2014


Some books deserve to be reread.

1. Watchmen by Alan Moore
2. Ghost World by Daniel Clowes
3. The Sandman by Neil Gaiman
4. The Greek Myths by Robert Graves
5. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
6. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
7. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
8. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
9. The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien
10. No Logo by Naomi Klein
11. Andersen's Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen
12. Watership Down by Richard Adams
13. Matilda by Roahl Dahl
14. The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander
15. Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
16. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
17. The Shining by Stephen King


{ more reading suggestions }

Friday, 25 July 2014

Black Summer

Friday, 25 July 2014

Alexander Wang Black Jersey Tank Dress c/o Harvey Nicols

{ Vintage Two-Tone Glasses | Jo Malone Amber & Patchouli Cologne | Monki Eye Shoes | Handmade Hashtag Tote Bag | Oh My Clumsy Heart Muriel Necklace | Oh My Clumsy Heart Giant Triangle Necklace | T by Alexander Wang Black Jersey Tank Dress }

Summer isn't my season; my wardrobe severely lacks summer appropriate options and because of all this hazy heat we have been experiencing, I have resigned myself to lounging around the apartment eating ice lollies in front of a floor fan, trying my very best not to move at all if possible.

This Black Jersey Tank Dress by Alexander Wang has come into my life and changed everything. Fitted and figure hugging yet lightweight and cooling with enough skin exposed you don't feel you're stifling; on super hots days this is all you need while in cooler weather you can layer it up making it ones of those staple items I never knew I needed.




{ Fox and Star Le Cahier Latte Notebook | Handmade Wooden Pen | ASOS Lennon Slipper Shoes | Chilton Satchel | Yayer Vintage Tropical Crop Top | T by Alexander Wang Black Jersey Tank Dress }



{ Canon PowerShot G12 | Handmade Wooden Pen | River Island Contrast Chelsea Boots | Kanken Mini Black and Ox Red | Vero Moda Floral Top | T by Alexander Wang Black Jersey Tank Dress }

Thursday, 24 July 2014

7 Things You Should Stop Believing In

Thursday, 24 July 2014


1. Expensive beauty products are better than inexpensive ones
2. 100% natural branded beauty products exist
3. and they are better than synthetic products by default
4. Miracle products can cure wrinkles, cellulite, and dark circles
5. Sales people know everything
6. What you see in the magazines
7. The hype is real

{ things to remember }

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Reading Rules

Wednesday, 23 July 2014


- carry a book everywhere
- read one book at a time
- finish reading at least 75%
- don't skip ahead
- speed reading is OK
- read what you want to not what you think you should
- books and ebooks are all equal
- take a (short) break in between books
- think over what you've read
- talk about it
- well loved books look well loved
- great books deserve to be reread
- silence please

© 20013-2014 Sophie Davies. All rights reserved.