1. Autumn and its colours:
I’d be lying if I said that the ‘Autumness’ of it all wasn’t on my mind almost every single day of this past month. I’m just a sucker for this season and all of the clichés that come with it, and I can’t deny that! There’s something just so cosy about October and it’s transformation, I can’t quite put my finger on why it gives me such a lovely fuzzy feeling. Below are some of the Autumnal things that have inspired me recently:
- The mesmerising colours of leaves on and off the trees have been inspiring me to go out into the fresh air more. Whether it is to run on Cannock Chase or to stroll through Selly Oak Park, I can’t stop taking photos of beautiful Autumnal hues.
- Pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, rust, papaya, or persimmon- what ever you want to call it, it seems that Autumn has inspired me to go all things orange… I never used to like orange/red shades much before but they are now featuring in my winter coat, handbags, lipsticks, and even manicures! It seems even the orangeness of foxes has inspired a little obsession with those too; I’m now the proud owner of a fox-print scarf and some foxy mittens!
- As always, I am majorly inspired to continue embracing life by the snacks I am scoffing. And this month my snack of choice is of course a Toffee Apple or two. The moment the campus market began selling chocolate and toffee apples marked the true beginning of Autumn for me, sweet crunchy toffee and apples are a match made in heaven; I praise whoever invented these delights!
- And of course, you can’t have October without some seasonal hot drinks- less of a Pumpkin Spiced Latte girl, I have instead been enjoying Toffee Apple Hot Chocolates and blueberry muffin teas.
2. Grand Central
So, Birmingham New Street Station has been transformed into Grand Central, which technically is pretty old news, but considering how long I have been away for, I have only just recently began enjoying the joys of this new marvellous place.
I think everything about Grand Central is just wonderful. Each shop has its own unique and alluring aesthetic, you can see that every sign, every chair, every light fixture has been carefully selected. Each restaurant is warm and inviting, everywhere you turn rich aromas of grilled meats, spicy soups, or freshly fried churros are tempting you in. There whole place is buzzing with people and festivities, I feel like it is Christmas all year round in there!
As lovely as it is to immerse myself in this imagery, in the back of my mind I do realise that the whole place is a carefully mapped-out matrix of marketisation. Everytime I go there, even just to pass through, I begin to persuade myself to buy a treat or two- and that’s when I realise that Grand Central is the perfect commercial trap, and, as a struggling student, I must try not to get sucked too far into it.
So, I decided to channel the ‘inspiration to buy’ into more of an ‘inspiration to create.’ This month, one of my favourite activities has been illustrating lots of the little lovely things that make the station and it’s shops feel so special; I’ve found the details of these places endlessly interesting to draw, it has been a way to relax at the end of the day, and- most importantly- it allows me to soak in the luxuries of Grand Central without spending a penny! (Okay, so I do still buy the odd smoothie…and maybe a macaroon or two…or six… but hey-that’s just living a little, right?)
3. WritingStyle Newsletter
WritingStyle is a series of newsletters for the modern woman, created by Maddie Kilminster and Amy Wakeham, two former students of the University of Birmingham. These newsletters discuss culture, fashion, society and feminism, as well as travel, food and other topics relevant to today’s world.
There are two things that I love about receiving my weekly WritingStyle newsletter; the first is that it arrives straight to my inbox. I very rarely receive an email that I really want to read these days, so when this newsletter arrives it is refreshing to see how it shines out amongst all of the spam. Don’t get me wrong, there are many blogs and publications that I enjoy reading online, but with a busy schedule everyday I often don’t get time to pause and browse their websites to check the latest content. Whereas, with WritingStyle, I never miss it, simply because checking my emails is part of my regular routine.
The second most enjoyable aspect is, well, the writing style! I always find the way in which both Maddie and Amy write to be very elegant and engaging, and sophisticated without being pretentious. There is the also odd occasion where I find myself having to look up the definition of a word or two, which is great because I always like trying to add to my vocabulary!
WritingStyle has not only inspired me to read more this month, but also to continue embracing my own unique style of writing. Thanks Maddie and Amy! (If you would like to subscribe or view the letter archive and see what it’s all about, click here.)
I’m not just including Halloween on the list because it’s an obligatory October item, oh no. Halloween is my jam! I’m not one for the idea of trick or treating, I just like to enjoy this holiday in the most innocent sense- it is an excuse to get dressed up and go to a party, carve out a pumpkin or two, and/or sit by the fire while watching films that try to be spooky but are actually just kind of cute– what’s not to love?
My favourite part though is definitely Halloween makeup, it’s such good fun to give some interesting makeup ideas a go, and there is no pressure because even if it goes badly wrong it’s Halloween; so you can look as good or as terrible as you want to! Below are some photos of my ‘looks’ over the past few years, I’m not sure what level they are on, but I don’t even mind because I can honestly say that I have just had so much good fun getting dressed up and spending ages creating them– Halloween is the best!
How did I create Halloween makeup for previous years without Pinterest!? I don’t even know how it has taken me sooo long to discover and get into this, but I literally only just started using it this month. (Thanks for persuading me mum!)
I adore the idea of creating little mood boards full of inspirations for various things, I used to just store webpages in my phones reading list and then just forget to go back to them! Now I’ve got all of the inspiration in one place, it is fantastic! I can’t wait to become more of an avid pinner.
As usual, I have plenty of questions for you: What’s been inspiring you this month? What’s your favourite season? Do you enjoy Halloween? Or Pinterest? Let me know! Your comments make my day, thanks you guys 🙂 – and happy reading!