My 5 Favorite YouTubers

Hi everyone,

I decided to do something a little different today! I wanted to chat about my current favourite YouTubers! So these lucky few channels all have the privilege of being stalked by yours truly! I have linked all of the channels throughout my post so please feel free to check them out!

1. Lindsey Rem
I love her aesthetic. Lindsey is an American beauty/fashion blogger and I love her style, I love her makeup, I love her face. Yep, you’ve guessed it I have the biggest girl crush on Lindsey. She’s so beautiful both inside and out and I honestly could watch her videos all day.

2. Books and Quills (& DerpinaMODE)
How could I not have a book tuber on this list?! Sanne was one of the first booktubers that I started watching and I still can’t bring myself to miss one of her videos. She is such a positive and bright individual. She talks about feminism and cruelty free makeup (she actually has a whole other channel with Marion dedicated to cruelty free products and sustainability) which are all things I feel so strongly about! Every single book recommendation from Sanne always never fails to disappoint. I would definitely recommend her channel!

3. Q2Han
This channel is run by Korean twins called Qwon and Qjin. They are the cutest and craziest people I have come across. They are an incredibly talented duo, they upload skincare videos, reviews, vlogs and my favourite – DIY clothes tutorials! Their channel is always so fresh and unique and I love the way they edit! Their twin bond is something I can relate to and something I love watching! This is the one channel that Monisah and I always have to watch together!

4. Joan Kim/Joan Day
Sticking to the Korean theme, Joan is an American-Korean who vlogs about her GOALS life. She also does style and beauty videos, she’s always so happy and bright and I always feel 100% happier after watching her videos. She has the most amazing set of friends (who are also Youtubers) and I have found almost half of all the new Youtubers I am subscribed to through her videos.

5. Damon and Jo
Last but certainly not least I have Damon and Jo. Basically their lives are the perfect example of how I want to live mine. They post about travel and languages – they film plenty of videos in French which are always my favourites! Their moto for their channel is “shut up and go” so they are basically telling you to shut up and stop making excuses and go out there and travel the world. Damon and Jo were the inspiration for our spontaneous trip to Africa this summer! They give the best tips for affordable travel and I’m always inspired more to travel after watching their videos! If I haven’t convinced you to subscribe to their channel, I honestly don’t know what will!

I hope you enjoyed my little post! What are your favourite YouTube channels? Do you have any recommendations for me? I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Stay beautiful,

Ayesha xx

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Twins Travel #1

Our Adventures in Africa Part 1

Hey guys! 
Recently we visited Africa on a volunteering trip, and I really wanted to write about our experience because it was honestly incredible! I’m going to have a go at travel blogging for the first time and I hope you enjoying reading!

Rewind to six months ago and Ayesha and I realised we had absolutely no plans for summer. We decided to confront our bucket list and make something on that list become a reality. We decided to choose “Volunteering in Africa” and that same day we searched the internet for some projects. After some time we stumbled upon African Impact and their project in Moshi Tanzania. It sounded perfect and less than 24 hours later, the whole trip was booked!

Fast forward to the 19th June 2017 and our parents were waving us off from Heathrow Airport. I remember feeling pretty scared as it was the first time Ayesha and I were travelling alone and our first time ever visiting the continent of Africa. Not to mention our nurse had scared us with stories of rabies and hundreds of other diseases that I hadn’t heard of before… 

Over 12 hours later and we had landed in Kilimanjaro Airport- the tiniest and most unorganised airport I have ever encountered. Our first couple of hours in Moshi were not that great.. We had problems going through immigration, and we had one suitcase full of donations for the school we were volunteering in, and for some reason airport security wanted to confiscate it. It was so scary because airport security were shouting at us in Swahili and we had absolutely no idea what was going on. Much to our relief, Elieza, a worker at African Impact came to rescue us (thank you Elieza, we will never forget you)!

We were in Moshi for 2 weeks, so as much as I would love to tell you everything in detail, my blog post would be a mile long, so I’m going to cut it into Part 1 and Part 2. 

Today, I’m just going to focus on the actual volunteering side of our trip! One of the main reasons we picked the Moshi Project was because it enabled us to help every aspect of the community including children, adults and the elderly. We had a schedule every day (except for weekends which was our free time) and each day we participated in around 3 projects.

In the morning, Ayesha and I both taught English to adults in the community. Ayesha was in the foundation class where she covered topics such as shopping and the past tense, and I was in the intermediate class and covered topics such as road safety, types of illnesses and feminism. This project was particularly challenging because we were expected to plan our own lessons and lead the class basically right from the word go. Planning lessons was a stressful experience, but it made teaching all the more worthwhile as it was so rewarding witnessing improvements in the students with the tasks you had planned yourself. 
    
The second half of the morning, Ayesha and I were both in the nursery. This was probably one of our favourite projects because the children were absolutely adorable. They were always so smiley, and such a pleasure to teach and play with. I will never forget the memories of walking into the nursery and the children running up to me shouting “Teacher! Teacher!” It was my favourite part of the day and it will be a memory I will cherish forever. We sang songs with the children and taught them basic English as well as helping them with arts and crafts. Volunteering in the nursery was such an amazing experience, one that I will never forget. 

In the afternoon, Ayesha volunteered in either the Old People’s Home or on a project teaching children about health. In the Old People’s Home she would help with the gardening and generally keeping the elderly company by talking to them and playing games with them. I also went to the old people’s home once, and it was quite difficult because the conditions were not the ones we were used to. Nevertheless, the residents there were so lovely and they acted like a little community, it was adorable! During the health project, Ayesha took part in various activities teaching primary school children about food groups, the importance of daily activities such as washing hands and playing ball games and frisbee to promote the importance of sport. Ayesha loved this project because the children were always so welcoming and enthusiastic!


Finally, I spent my afternoon with the lovely girls from NAFGEM, which was a project that worked with girls who ran away from home due to female genital mutilation. This was probably my favourite programme because we focussed on teaching the girls about feminism. In a culture that wasn’t easy on women, we tried to encourage those girls to have goals for their lives. Even though the girls had been through so much, they were always so happy and we had the best time together. I remember the first time I went to this particular project, Mr Francis, the man who took in these girls, told us the girls’ story and how he came about to help them. I remember bursting into tears at his and the girls’ story as I was so overwhelmed with what he was telling me. 


There were many more projects that were available, but these were the ones that we participated in, and we honestly had the best time! The evenings and weekends did not consist of projects, and you will find out what we got up to in part 2! This was my first time trying to travel blog, so let me know if you guys have any tips and tricks for me!

Thank you for reading!

Stay beautiful,
Monisah xo

Where We’ve Been

Hi everyone,

As promised in our last post, we are writing to explain WHERE ON EARTH WE HAVE BEEN this past year or so.

Throwing back to August 2016 Results Day, we found out we both got into different universities. It was a huge shock. We had always planned to go to the same university, so in a heartbeat a couple of words had ruined our plans for the future. Adjusting to this new idea of living 111 miles apart took some time. We spent a couple of days shutting the doors on the outside world, trying to come to terms with this huge change in our lives.

I (Ayesha) got a place to do History and French at Exeter University, and Monisah got a place to do the same degree at Cardiff University. Although the universities are only 2 hours apart by car, it seemed like such a challenge as we had never spend more than 24 hours apart from each other before.

I am going to be completely honest and admit that it was very difficult at first. I missed Monisah more than anything and we spent most of our time on Skype or on FaceTime (we still do!). I was always used to making two cups of tea, or washing two sets of dishes so little daily tasks took some time to get used to.

However, now with the wonderful help of hindsight we can both see that this was a blessing in disguise! I now feel confident on my own, when previously I only ever felt confident with Monisah nearby. This was a decision we would never have voluntarily put our hearts through, but I'm glad we did decide to choose this path! Both our first years at university have been filled with exciting people and experiences and we wouldn't have wanted it any other way!

Going to the same university would probably have been easier for our hearts, but being apart has brought us closer and made us more sure of our plans for the future of living together, owning many cats and owning a mile long bookshelf! (Bonus if you know where I stole this line from hehe!!)

We have both decided to write more personal blog post in the future! I hope you enjoyed reading! What is the biggest challenge you have had to face this year?

Stay beautiful,

Ayesha xx

Just a little side note…. This blog post has been such a problem to upload!!! For some reason WordPress kept deleting my drafts so I'VE HAD TO REWRITE THIS POST ABOUT A MILLION TIMES. Pls WordPress sort yourself out!!!

 

Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Hi everyone,

It really has been a long time since we posted on our blog, and we are really and truly sorry. We’ve had quite a bit of a year, getting into different universities and learning to live life without each other! We are planning on uploading a full post on where we’ve been! All the change and unexpectedness left us with no motivation to post, but we still have been reading. That all being said, I’m going to review Carry On by the wonderful Rainbow Rowell for you all today.

Title: Carry On
Author:
 
Rainbow Rowell
Publisher:
Macmillan Children’s Books (UK)
Publication Date:
October 6th 2015
Pages:
517

Carry On - Rainbow Rowell

Goodreads synopsis: 

Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On – The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow is a ghost story, a love story and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story – but far, far more monsters.

Ayesha’s Thoughts:

After reading Fangirl, I fell in love with the writing style of Rainbow Rowell. (How blessed she is to have such a beautiful name!) After the release of Carry On in 2015 I have been waiting for my chance to sit down and devour this book (which I did in two days!). I think it’s safe to say that I loved it!

Carry On is no doubt a Harry Potter spin-off. The magic world and the relationship of the characters were familiar to read. I think it was very clever of Rainbow Rowell to create an almost parallel universe from the well known Hogwarts world. However, similarities aside, the story was as individual and absorbing in its own way. The progression of the storyline was almost perfect, and I managed to fly through the last 200 pages in just one morning!

The characters were one of my favourite aspects of the book. I haven’t read a story where the main character was gay, and I really enjoyed it! I honestly cannot wait to read more LGBT books! As Rainbow Rowell wrote different chapters from different perspectives, I was able to get an insight and a closer understanding of each character’s thoughts and personalities. The characters are what gave this novel its own sense of individuality, even when being inspired by the famous Harry Potter series.

The ending was almost perfect for me, Rowell managed to tie up most of the loose ends of the story, but she did leave me with some questions. (Highlight the next paragraph for my thought on the ending – *CONTAINS SPOILERS*)

Although the ending was one of my favourite parts of the book, it did leave me with some questions. Did Simon ever find out that the Mage and Lucy were his parents? The readers definitely found out but I don’t think Simon did? Also, where did Nicodemus go at the end of the story? After he saved Baz from the Numpties he sort of just disappeared and we didn’t see him again! I would have loved to read his reaction to Ebb’s death… Being a twin myself, I would have found it heartbreaking! 

The slight confusion at the end, knocked my rating down to a 4/5 stars (although still very respectable). I’m glad Rowell decided to give Simon and Baz a story ‘she felt she owed them’. This book was a perfect post-exam read, and I would definitely recommend it!

Have you read Carry On or any other Rainbow Rowell books? What did you think of them? I’d love to read your opinions in the comments!

Stay beautiful,

Ayesha xx

Cursed Child Release Party and Mini Review!

CursedChildBanner

Hello people of the blogosphere… We are finally back (after 6 months I think we have neglected this blog enough!!!)

So, if you weren’t aware (presumably living under some rock), Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was released midnight last night so Ayesha and I decided to attend a release party (in Waterstones, Cardiff). It was honestly so much fun and the atmosphere was, well it was magical!

We arrived at Waterstones at 10pm and already a long queue had formed outside of fellow witches and wizards in their house colours. It was while queuing that we met the lovely Suzy, who we ended up spending the rest of the night with! Once we were inside, we decided to participate in a Harry Potter quiz and ended up getting a pretty decent score of 18/20! We got J.K Rowling’s full name wrong (I know we are so ashamed!) We wrote down Joanne Katherine instead of Kathleen *bows head in shame* and we also forgot the first ever Gryffindor password used by Percy (which we now know was “Caput Draconis”), but that’s why we were both sorted in Hufflepuff and not Gryffindor… duh!

Next, we decided to participate in a Harry Potter treasure hunt where we had to trek around the bookstore finding clues that would eventually lead us to a release party sticker, which I’m sure we will put up to good use!! There were other cute little activities that were set out, such as Pin the Nose on Voldemort and Quidditch Pong – which we were shockingly terrible at. Seriously terrible. I guess we truly are Hufflepuffs; we didn’t get a single point… I guess Quidditch isn’t a career we should pursue any further. We also took pictures at a “Have you seen this wizard?” stand, but the highlights of the night has to be the countdown to midnight and when someone told us that we looked like the Patel twins! Probably the best compliment anyone has ever given us! The Waterstones Staff gave us all party poppers so when midnight finally came, everyone celebrated together, it was so cute!

The whole of today has been spent reading the Cursed Child and I am proud to say that I (Monisah) finished reading it a couple of hours ago. Honestly, being back in the Harry Potter world at Hogwarts was truly magical and I enjoyed every single moment. I could not put the book down. The plot was fast-paced and as detailed as you would expect a Rowling novel to be. I must admit, the script format did take some getting used to, but hey it was a great new experience. I think I would have preferred an actual novel but let’s be honest… Who wouldn’t? Nevertheless, Cursed Child was amazing and surprisingly it turned my hatred for Snape into admiration and love. I was able to read more about the characters that I grew up with and loved and also find a place in my heart for all the new ones. I hope sometime in the future I will be able to see this magical storyline on stage!

Have you read Cursed Child yet? What are your opinions?

Thank you for reading, and we promise to start blogging again!

Stay beautiful,

Ayesha and Monisah

The Sunshine Blogger Award

TheSunshineBloggerAward

Hello everyone! We were nominated for the award back in November (oops) by the wonderful Franciska over at Life is Sweet in Books! Thank you so much Franciska, I loved reading her answers so I will link her post here for everyone to take a little look at!

I am currently sat in my living room trying to catch up on all the awards and nominations everyone has been so kind enough to nominate us for, I am so very grateful and I hope I can get most of them done!

Also, I have been trying to make more headers for our posts, and I love the way this one turned out! I feel like a proud mother hahha!!

The Rules:

  • Answer the 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
  • Nominate some wonderful bloggers and write 11 questions for them to answer.

I am currently sat in my living room trying to catch up on all the awards and nominations everyone has been so kind enough to nominate us for, I am so very grateful and I hope I can get most of them done!

I can’t wait to do this, so let’s get into it right away!

 

Franciska’s questions

1. If you had the chance to visit a fictional world where would it be?

Avoiding the obvious choice (HOGWARTS), I am going to go with Beacon Hills from the TV show Teen Wolf! (Probably because I just watched the latest episode so it’s fresh in my mind!) Do you watch Teen Wolf? I’d love to hear what everyone thinks of the Dread Doctors, this “Beast” and Theo! I was honestly bawling my eyes out in the latest episode, so intense. Argh I love it!

2. How long does it take you to read a book?

It actually depends on the book, but at the moment I have been INCREDIBLY slow at finishing books right now and I don’t know why. I’m hoping this will pass soon……

3.  What is your favourite film?

At the moment I think I’d have to say a French film called Amelie that Monisah and I watched recently. It was such a cute, quirky film. I’d definitely recommend it everyone!

4. Who inspires you?

Woah what a question. I’ve always found it difficult to answer this question because of the sheer amount of people that have influenced my life. I’ll start with celebrities, firstly Taylor Swift (QUEEN) and also youtubers called Megan and Liz (I will link their channel if you haven’t stumbled across them before). These women are such hard-workers and not afraid to take risks with their music, and just be themselves.

Both my parents have always inspired me, for being such hard working and kind hearted people (love you both!). One of my closest friends Amber has always inspired me, because she always brings the sunshine everywhere she goes.

The list goes on and on but I am going to stop there for now!

5. Who is your favourite fictional character?

Again, I don’t think it’s possible to choose one, but I’m going to mention one in particular, Katherine from The Next Together by Lauren James. She was so quirky and hilarious, I loved reading from her point of view!

6. What new book release are you exited for?

I’m going to go with The Last Beginning by Lauren James and Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard (I know it’s already out but I haven’t bought it yet… so it still counts!!)

7. What book would you recommend to everyone no matter what?

I think I’m going to go with Le Petit Prince which I read recently (in French, it was quite a challenge but I got all the way through YAAY), it was such a sweet story!

8. Where do you read?

I usually read anywhere, except for on cars or trains because unfortunately it makes me feel very sick!

9. Where do you buy you books?

Wherever I can find them! Amazon, Waterstones, WHSmith, and any other bookshops!

10. Library books or buying your own books?

I’ve actually started to borrow more books from the library, so I will have to say both for this one!

11. What made you want to start blogging?

I had been watching BookTube videos and reading Book Blogs for a while and after discussing it with Monisah we decided to give it a go ourselves!

One of the first BookTubers I watched was Bookandquills and I still watch every one of Sanne’s videos till this day!

One of the first book blogs I started to follow was Kristin at Simply Bookish Things, and again I still love reading her posts!!

 

My questions:

  1. If you could live in another country where would you decide to live?
  2. What is your dream job?
  3. Which author would you love to meet?
  4. Are you a pessimist or an optimist?
  5. If you could trade places with one fictional character who would you choose?
  6. What TV show(s) are you watching at the moment?
  7. Your favourite song(s) of all time?
  8. What are your thoughts of writing in books?
  9. What is the longest book you have read?
  10. What is your favourite season and why?
  11. Is there a book that got you into reading/blogging?

I nominate:

The wonderful Poulami at Daydreaming Books and the lovely Aira over at Aira Reads.

Thank you for reading everyone! It’s now half-term in Britain (we get one week off school HOORAY), so I’d love to hear what everyone has planned for Half-term!

Stay beautiful,

Ayesha xx

 

Review: All the Rage by Courtney Summers

Hi everyone! We are (finally) back after quite a long break! I hope you all had the most wonderful Christmas and New Year! I’d love to hear what everyone did over the Christmas holidays so please let me know in the comments!

Monisah and I were lucky enough, and so grateful, to go to New York over Christmas for our 18th birthday (how am I getting so old……….) we are planning on posting a blog post about our trip so hopefully (fingers crossed) we’ll actually get to post it!

So today I’ve got a review for Courtney Summer’s All the Rage, enjoy!

Title: All the Rage
Author: Courtney Summers
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Publication Date:
28th January 2016
Pages:
317

21853636

Goodreads Synopsis:

The sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything—friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up. Nobody believed her the first time—and they certainly won’t now — but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear. 

With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive?

Ayesha’s Thoughts

I received this book from lovereading.com in return for an honest review, and like always this doesn’t affect my opinions at all!

This was such a poignant and powerful book to read. As I was reading a book that is based on such a strong topic, I was expecting something hard hitting. I got what I was expecting, but not in the same way I as I thought I would. There was nothing really mentioned on rape culture, and rape itself, in fact, I felt Romy (the main character) was actually quite insensitive to other rape victims. The focus of this book was actually the effect Romy’s experiences had on her character. She described her “old self” as another girl and it was quite sad to see how she had just thrown away all her ties to herself in the past.

The strong message of this book was shown through a very complicated but real character. I don’t actually know if I like Romy as a character… She was quite selfish and I felt as though she used a lot of the characters for her own benefit. However, she was dealing with a really difficult part of her life; she was out-casted by all of her neighbourhood, and she was frequently bullied in school, with no one to talk to. I did feel a lot of sympathy for her, and there were aspects of her characters I could relate to.

I did feel as though the beginning of the book was really confusing, it was jumping from “now” to “two weeks earlier” and I felt like it was quite unnecessary. Also, the smaller characters of the book were quite forgettable and I felt as though I had to keep flipping back chapters to re-read sections to remember the characters.

I am rating “All the Rage” 3.5/5. I felt that I learnt so much while reading it, and the ending definitely saved the book. It was very dramatic with lots of twists and I felt as though it almost turned into a sort of mystery? I would recommend this book to older readers, as I am quite a sensitive person and I did cry quite a lot as I was reading certain scenes.

Have you read anything similar to All the Rage? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you so much for reading!

Stay beautiful,

Ayesha xx