Sunday, 21 August 2016

reasons to watch steven universe


steven universe on tablet
So, I've been watching Steven Universe recently, and I'm kind of obsessed. Steven Universe is a cartoon following the lovable adventures of Steven and the Crystal Gems, who are essentially space aliens protecting the earth. Steven, a half human, half gem spends his time navigating life as a kid, as well as saving the world, helping out with offical gem business and controlling his magical powers. Steven Universe is great, lovable and one of the best kids cartoons I've ever watched, I've come to adore it, so much so that I'm writing this blog post about it. Also, note how I skillfully incorporated a chunk of amethyst and a shooting star in the above photo, because Steven Universe is all about space gems. Nerd level intensifies.

Reasons to watch Steven Universe


Steven the 'Magical Boy' You've seen magical girls, now get ready for a magical boy! Steven is not the typical 'boy' character you'd usually find in cartoons. He's sensitive and naive but emotionally intelligent and kind. He possesses a lot of traits which are typically 'feminine' and which are often absent in the portrayal of male characters in cartoons. Steven's character is kick ass and magical in a new and different way, a way which disrupts gender conventions.

In fact the entire show scrambles and disregards plenty of gender conventions. Steven's father, the only other main male character on the show, is gentle, kind, and always has time for Steven. The Crystal Gems, are genderless but also very 'feminine' and use she/her pronouns. Steven lives with three gems, Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl, who are his mentors, teaching him how to use his gem power and have a close family bond. It's a break from the traditional cereal packet family and offers not just an alternative, but an alternative that is positive and shows how alternative family structures can work wonderfully. Steven Univere is also super inclusive, and one of the most open minded shows, normalising queer relationships, which is super important in a hetro-normative society! (especially through Garnet and Pearl, without spoiling anything!)

Well developed female characters
Pretty much all the main characters, with the exception of Steven and his Dad, are female or presented as female. This is super important for representation, especially for kids! Similarly, the characters are all different shapes, sizes and colours. All the characters have their own strengths and are amazing in their own ways, showing that no matter what you look like, you are awesome and can kick ass. The Gem's bodies are all different, but celebrated and accepted as great because they are what feels best for each gem. An important lesson we can all learn from.

Voice acting 
The voice acting is amazing and the cast features plenty of women of colour!! This show has my support 110% ALSO the music. Sometimes the characters burst into song and there are some really amazing songs. Stronger Than You was the first song that hit me in the heart, it's pretty damn amazing, just give it a listen. My other favourites include, Strong in the Real Way, Do It For Her, It's Over Isn't It?, Something Entirely New, and Tower of Mistakes. LISTEN and be amazed!

The story and overarching plot is clever and gets pretty intense! It reminds me a bit of a slice of life anime, showing the everyday life of Steven as a kid but also glimpses of Gem life and Gem adventures! It's upbeat and optimistic whilst dealing with serious topics. Steven never gives up and always sees the best in people (even when they're threatening to kill him.) It's so refreshing to see and watching an Steven Universe just makes me feel all warm and fluffy inside.

The Artwork is AMAZING 
Steven Universe is set in a little beach town with magical goings on, and the artwork is super pretty. There are a lot of pinks, purples and blues and all the settings are so magical and visually pleasing!!

Peridot. 
If none of the other reasons speak to you, give Steven Universe a watch just for Peridot. She's such a precious and hilarious character. She's a little gem from the gem homeland who gets stuck on earth, and has to adapt to life on earth. She's awkward, strange, and hilarious as she learns about humans and humanity. Also this gif:

Thanks for reading and have a great day! 
Do you watch Steven Universe, or any other cartoons? Let me know!

Friday, 12 August 2016

✨ Badge Collection ✨

I love badges. They’re cute, inexpensive and fun. They can symbolise literally anything - your interests, your passions, your favourite band to simply looking just plain cute. I've been a badge fanatic since my early teen years, (thanks emo phase) and my love for badges has never really faded. Badges are amazing because they give you an added level of customisation to your outfits and bags - you can pretty much pin them anywhere and curate a collection based on your personal interests and style. I love them so much I thought I'd share my small but meaningful collection!

badge collection
The first two are my old school Paramore badges I bought way back when were still a four piece band. I’ve listened to them since I was a little baby teenager and even though the band has practically disintegrated, I still have a place in my heart for them. I bought a pack of four and two are pictured here. They’re pretty beat up but I like keeping them around as little reminders of my emo days. Plus, I still adore the 'Riot' artwork.

The next three in the top row, are from when I apparently got caught up in the keep calm and carry on trend. I’m not a patriotic person but they remind me that sometimes things are beyond your control and the only thing you can do about it, is keep yourself from freaking out and keep going. The crown also came with the set and to be honest, I never really liked it, but it could be kind of cute if you forget about it's association with the monarchy.  

The badge in the second row is DOMO. Another teenage purchase that I still love. I had a Domo obsession after seeing it on Nickelodeon between programmes (probably SpongeBob) and bought another four pack of badges! I've got them all over the place because they're so cute and this is the only one I’m not currently using!

Then I have two badges with Joel and Ellie from the PlayStation game ‘The Last of Us’ because it’s one of my favourite games in existence! Seriously go and play that game if you’re looking for a great all round game- great story, characters, graphics, environment, gameplay + zombies!!

I impulse bought the ‘will work for books’ badge from Waterstones after triumphantly handing in some University essays last year. Apt because I will work for (money to buy) books. Please hire me, Waterstones. 

The final little blue badge is one that was gifted to me by my sister, and has the initials AAR which stand for The All American Rejects – probably the first band I ever considered my favourite. Ah nostalgia. 

bag with badges
bag with badges and pins
Next up are the badges I currently have on my backpack!, There are quite a few and it's a bit of a struggle to safely fit any more on!

Starting from the top left corner I have the sunglasses, roller skate, and dreamer badge that I acquired at Dreamland in Margate whilst on a trip. They are super cute and the most recent additions to my collection. I thought the roller skate badge was hilarious because I went roller skating for the first time and literally couldn’t get round the rink once without falling over!

I bought the orange ‘masterpiece’ badge from the Tate Modern gift shop on a school trip for my GCSE art class in 2010/11 (ages ago!) I stuck this one on my bag a couple of months ago after stumbling upon it and deciding that yes, I am a masterpiece, and so is this backpack.

And then I have a bunch of ‘The Last of Us’ badges and another Paramore one, and finally another keep calm and carry on badge!
pins and badges on a backpack
On the bottom section of my backpack I only have three badges because they always seem to get knocked off and lost! I have yet another (really beat up) Paramore badge, another DOMO badge, this time adorably peeking out from an egg shell, and a peace badge because I am a peace loving fairy who wants a kinder and more accepting world.

And that's it! With the increased popularity of pins and badges, there seems to be more choice than ever, which means it's become so much easier to find something great! ! I want to buy some more from independent artists (etsy is a badge and pin goldmine) and some more with political slogans (feminism) and cute nerdy badges (steven universe at the moment!)

Do you guys have any badges? + Let me know which badge is your favourite!?

Monday, 8 August 2016

favourite book quotes


fangirl by rainbow rowell inside cover

I am a collector of quotes. I store them online, in notebooks, on long forgotten scraps of paper wedged between books and furniture. I keep them everywhere and anywhere. I am constantly in awe of writers who can translate thoughts and feelings and everything that makes us human into words. SO today, I’m sharing some of my most treasured quotes I’ve come across in my reading journey. I hope they speak to your heart the way they speak to mine!

1)

'We are not quite novels.
We are not quite short stories.
In the end, we are collected works'
- The Storied Life of A.J Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

I adore this book because it’s literally a book about books, and more importantly about how books can bring people together. It’s heart-warming and definitely a great summer read! This quote, is a bookish metaphor for life and there’s nothing I love more. I think it speaks for itself really, about how each chapter of our life can be so different, but collectively they are the things that make us who we are.

2) 

'In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can't Google)' 
- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Cath, the protagonist in Fangirl, was the first character I truly felt I could relate to. And this quote solidified my love for Fangirl, and Rainbow Rowell. It’s one of those unspoken things that I think a lot of ‘quiet’ people, and over thinkers will understand.

3)

'Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.'
- A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

This quote from Game of Thrones is one I’ve thought about a lot. I appreciate the idea tremendously; the idea of turning what is seen as a weakness into a strength. There are some things we can’t change about ourselves and the only way to deal, is to accept and embrace it.


4) 

'All Animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others'
- Animal Farm by George Orwell

George Orwell does a good job of depicting manipulative and deceptive leaders in Animal Farm, and this quote feels pretty apt at the moment. From an intersectional feminist standpoint, this seems to be an unspoken rule in politics and social issues. Whilst England has more equality than some other countries, it doesn’t mean everyone experiences that equality, especially when everyone is patting themselves on the back, under the delusion that systematic oppression and inequality don’t exist. Rant over, but seriously this quote makes me think about all the inequalities that are dusted under the carpet.


5)

'I'll never know, and neither will you, of the life you don't choose. We'll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn't carry us. There's nothing to do but salute it from the shore.'
 - Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Stayed

I have to admit, this is from a book I haven’t actually read. But I stumbled upon it on goodreads and it’s a quote I think about a lot. Like a lot. It’s such a beautiful quote about letting go of ‘what could have been. It keeps me from overthinking and getting sad about all the lives I didn’t, and will never lead. Instead of dwelling, we salute to the paths we didn’t choose, and move forward.


6) 

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.'
- The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

I love Sylvia Plath and her only published novel The Bell Jar so much, I desperately need to give it a reread. This quote is so well known, and always reminds me to be grounded and present, that I exist in this present moment. It reminds me that I am alive right now and writing these words.

BONUS:

'You can never be overdressed or overeducated' - Oscar Wilde
I don’t know which work this is from, or it it’s even correctly attracted to him, but I live by this quote. READ BOOKS, LISTEN, LEARN, AND WEAR PRETTY CLOTHES ALL DAY, EVERY DAY.

That's all the quotes I'm sharing today! I have about ten million stashed away but I manged to whittle it down to these! I hope you enjoyed this post, I had so much fun picking out these quotes. Thanks for reading and have a great day! 

What are some of your favourite quotes!? I'd love to hear them!