Friday, 31 January 2014

Pencil case essentials

This week is my first week back at school since the end of last year. And because I find that one of the only things that brightens the prospect of going back to school is stationery, I decided to share my pencil case essentials. These are the things that I find essential for high school, I think that in primary school you are also going to want things like colouring in pencils. :)

Pencil case essentials:
- A pencil (which I don't use often enough to justify also carrying a pencil sharpener)
- An eraser
- A ruler (of a size that fits your pencil case)
- Scissors
- Twink or correcting fluid or whatever you may call it, only necessary if you don't like crossing out!
- A blue, black and red pen. I am lucky enough to have a super awesome pen that is both black and red, depending on which way you twist the top. :)
- A gluestick
- Highlighters, minimum of one, but I find three to be a good number personally
- A beautiful pencil case that you recently received in the mail after ordering it and are super excited about.

The holidays seem to be far in the past already for me, and I haven't started the year off well. I have been unusually forgetful and absentminded, leaving things behind and annoying people by completely losing my train of thought halfway through a sentence! I hope your week is better than mine.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Blog Love

Hey there,
So today I was reading this post (which by the way is a fantastic blog for all things blog related), and I decided, you know what? Why not celebrate all of the wonderful bloggers that are out there for no other reason than it is a beautiful day and not everyone has sunshine in their lives at the moment. (it makes sense to me, ok?)

  • First of all, this is probably my favourite blog. Megfee; the wild and wily ways of a Brunette "Bombshell" is a blog written by Meg who is based in New York and writes about her thoughts and also things to do in NYC, amongst other things. She says "this is a blog about becoming" which I think is just the most perfect line. She has the ability to eloquently, whimsically and yet in a relatable way talk about life. (Side note: while writing that sentence I discovered that relatably doesn't seem to be a word, the things you learn!). I really just think that she is incredible, and her blog is always worth reading.

This post would take forever if I was to write that much about all of the rest of the blogs I like, so I will just stick to one sentence (ish) now.

  • All I know now, written by Carrie Hope Fletcher, which has posts that are literally sometimes echoing what goes on in my head.
  • Samantha Heather, written by Sam, who is so, so lovely, writes about all sorts and takes the most stunning photographs. (this post she did about her grandparents recently was particularly good)
  • Anne's Scribbles and Doodles is written by Anne who lives in the Philippines, so there are always posts making you wish that you could visit the places she does, as well as diy, food and other awesome stuff.
  • Eccentric Owl, written by Kristina who has just had a baby, so things are a bit topsy turvy at the moment, but who normally writes lovely chatty posts that I really enjoy reading.
  • Little Sweet and Sour, written by Tegan who has just celebrated her first blogversary and her blog is really a very sweet blog.
  • After the Vows, written by Hayley, can sometimes be the breath of fresh air that you need because she is not afraid to say what she thinks, and is always up for a chat. Her blog has actually somehow disappeared, but I have linked her bloglovin page UPDATE: very sadly she is no longer blogging :(UPDATE 2: she now blogs here.
  • This Analog Adventure, written by Jessica, is such an awesome blog that I would highly recommend, not to mention she hosts the Photography Friday blog hop, which is great fun to take part in (and I was even lucky enough to co-host once!).

That is it for today, I might do another one some other time though, because no doubt (well I know that) I have missed some brilliant blogs, there are just so many! Look at me doing more than one post in a week. :)
And a picture from a recent tramp, because I like to have a picture with the post;

Monday, 27 January 2014

Introducing me

Hello there,
My name is Emma McIlroy. I am 17 years old. And this is what I look like.

I live in the South Island of New Zealand, which has about a quarter of all of the people in New Zealand, despite being the largest island.
I love music. I play piano, flute and have recently begun learning the guitar. I am learning to sing, which is exciting and scary at the same time. I have been in local productions of the Sound of Music and Cats; i.e. I like musicals.
I write. A lot. I have a box filled with my writing over the years, some of which is hilariously bad, some of which I am quite proud of.
I am about to begin my last year of school, which is called year 13 here, and I am therefore taking NCEA level 3. I still can't quite believe that this is my last year of schooling, it seems like it has come far too fast! My subjects are English, Calculus, Chemistry, Physics and Biology.
I read a lot of books. Mostly young adult, but I will happily read anything, including the backs of cereal packets.
I am shortsighted, and most of the time I wear the glasses in my header, but in the above picture I was wearing contacts.
I love blogging and I am very excited for this year, although I have no idea what it may hold.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Introspective birthday

Hello everyone,

These days. They seem to fall into one another, tumbling and turning. The melt into each other, till you don't know which way is up and where the start ever was and where the end will ever be.
And then it is your birthday.
I turned 17 a couple of days ago, and it might as well have been any day. I struggle to understand the concept of birthdays, how a whole year that happens gradually, one day at a time, is defined and changed by one day, where you go from being a 16 year old, to a 17 year old. I guess generally it is a day where perhaps you receive gifts, and if you are lucky you can spend time with people you love.
But what my birthdays have taught me over the years is to make the best of what you've got. My birthday is in the holidays, so my friends are hardly ever there, and over the years I have ended up doing lots of things that I wouldn't have chosen to do on any day of the year, let alone the day that is supposed to be for me.
I guess because of this I have learned not to build up expectations and expect everything to go perfectly, because it never does. And because this day reminds me to not expect perfection, and make the best of what happens, I usually have one of the best days of the year.

ps. I am going on a blogging hiatus for slightly less than 2 weeks, but with my normally infrequent posts, I'm sure you won't notice the difference. :)

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Musings on Book Covers

Hello you,
I read quite a bit (a lot) of young adult fiction, as I am a young adult, and over time I have noticed a recurring theme in the covers of the books I'm reading. Side note: I can't really speak for other genres, although I imagine adult fiction is fairly similar. Nearly every single time there is a cover with a photo of a person, they are "perfect", skinny, unblemished and photoshopped when you look.

The Host
An Invisible Sign of My Own
The Lady of the Rivers
Magic Flutes
Under the Never Sky
I'll Tell You Mine
Sister, Missing

But you so often don't. We are used to questioning what we see in magazines and in adverts because there has been so much coverage of that, I think we need to question our book covers too.
They say 'don't judge a book by its cover', but we undoubtedly do. This is natural; if the covers were all the same we would judge it by the title, you have to judge it on something, it's how we choose things. But the interesting thing is, there is a side-effect of this. The images of people. (Almost) Every human on the cover of a book is perfect, beautiful, photoshopped and unrealistic. The designer wants us to buy the book, and so therefore they make it as "attractive" as possible. Why is it less common to question how beauty is portrayed on a book cover than a magazine? Is it because we shouldn't judge the book by its cover, that the cover doesn't matter? Because it does. Everything does.

Lola and the Boy Next Door
City of Bones
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You
That Summer
Going Vintage
The Second Summer of the Sisterhood
Laguna Cove
The Au Pairs

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Tin can candle holder - How to

Because the twelve days of Christmas are now over and the Christmas decorations have been taken down, I now have fewer candle holders than I did before. So I decided to make a new one from stuff at home.

 photo CandleHolderHOWTO-4_zps5e85c9d0.png

I hope your new year is going well, let me know if you give this a go, or if you have any questions!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Thank-you 2013

I'm posting this at midnight, so Happy New Year everybody!!!

This year has been a great year for me. At the beginning of the year I made two resolutions; firstly to learn how to cartwheel and secondly to stop over thinking things. I still am hopeless at cartwheeling, but I think that I have definitely been over thinking things a lot less. In comparison to last year, I haven't worried so much about everything being perfect and I have just been a lot more relaxed in general, which has been lovely.
Next year I want to stop taking my friends for granted, and try and build on my friendships.

 photo cardboardcathedral_zpsdb510039.jpg photo cardboardcathedralceiling_zpsb7b13b99.jpg
One of the best choices I made this year was starting this blog. I have loved it so much and it still amazes me how many of you there are following me. My only goal ever was to have ten followers, and now there at least four times as many as that, which is just amazing and never fails to make me smile.
Because I think you guys are so awesome, I am going to thank you individually. Each persons name has their blog linked, so if you are looking for some lovely new blogs to follow in the new year, here's your chance.

Thank-you Bethany and Lena, Jessica, Hayleigh, Vanja, Sinead, Lilie, Molly, Marta, Emily Jane, Emily Johnson, Libby, Live n love, Hannah, Deborah, Nathan, Hazel, Elizabeth, Guy, Tegan, Hello Zara, Alia, Merredee, Charagh-bibi, Lulu, Taylor, James, Maria, Sindi, Emily Garn, Sarah, Yolanda, Samantha, HelenFrances, and of course Gran.
Also thank-you to my GFC followers; Nicole, Rajrupa, Sarah Lorenz, Irene, Mandy, Vanessa, Megan,  Sarah Plowman, Kyle and Jenn.

 photo cardboardcathedral2_zps0e497970.jpg photo cardboardcathedralwindow_zps408757b6.jpg

The above pictures are of the Cardboard Cathedral in Christchurch. I thought it was incredible and a great example of the innovation that has happened as a result of the Christchurch earthquakes.

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