Goodbye 2017!

2017 is coming to a close, here we are on the last day of the year. You BET I can't fucking wait to make a joke about not having showered since last year, though I shower so infrequently I could make that joke now and mean 2016.

Last year I wrote a bit of a similar spiel to cover my year, to have a long ass list of what I did that year forever. It's nothing of any quality, but it's a nice thing to have to look back at.



January. I opened this year by standing at Point Hill in Greenwich overlooking central London and the famous London NYE fireworks. They looked kinda tiny from that far away, London is a giant ass place. Amy and I went back to my new house, drank some prosecco and fell asleep at like 2am, it was clearly quite wild. A few days later I started my new job, as a social media and website intern (later becoming assistant) for a charity based in East London. I was all alone in this big city living with people I didn't know then, but who went on to become like family to me. The rest of January was spent finding my feet in this new city I lived in. And at a conference in Morecambe, where it promptly pissed down. Whilst there I met and befriended so many people who are big parts of my life now, and also met Laura who I already knew through the wonderful world of Twitter, despite the two of us having 0 clue we were on the same internship scheme. Wild. The most important part of January was going to the Tate Modern for the first time. My favourite gallery, my favourite spot to have a coffee and take in the London skyline. I miss that place already.

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INTERVIEWED: FORDTOGRAPHY

Welcome to INTERVIEWED, a series of chats and discussions with creators of all kinds. 


Today we're joined by photographer extrodonaire, Kaye of Fordtography, if you're a follow a lot of bloggers online, you'll have 100% seen some of her amazing work!

D: What is it you do online?



K: I really don’t know haha I blog some stuff and take some photos and self

market on social media. So I guess what I do online is show the world what I
create with my camera!
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Top 10 Albums of 2017

Another year in music is over. Last year I recounted my top 10 albums of the year, and it's time to do it all over again. This year's list was very tough, it's been an absolutely amazing year for all genres of music, so many artists have released such mind blowing pieces of work! Here are the 10 I've chosen as the best of the best.

This year I tried not to simply focus on my 10 favourites, but on 10 that I truly believe are the best, whether this is overall, or means a complete album with 0 filler, or an album that's defining it's genre, these are all something special.


Lorde - Melodrama
Top Track: 'Homemade Dynamite' 


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My Year in Music

The end of the year is nigh, and that means only one thing, Spotify's 2017 Wrapped has arrived! It's time to look back at a year of music and what we've wrapped our ears around over the last 12 months.

I love these stats and document them every year, here's 2015's and 2016's if you're interested!

Top 5 Artists


1) Bastille (Last year: 1)


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INTERVIEWED: OMYO

Welcome to INTERVIEWED, a series of discussions and chats with creators of all kinds.


Today we're joined by London based pop duo OMYO!

D: Who and what is OMYO, what's the full backstory?
 
O: OMYO is made up of me (William) and Tom, who met a few years ago in a pub on New Year’s Eve and after a short conversation made a bet to write a song! 2 days later and a few rough tunes done, our second song was picked up by New Look for an advert and played on 1xtra. 

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5 things I'll miss about London: a cheesy ode to the city

If I don't harp on about it enough in these posts, I'm leaving London soon. It's been my home for a year and I bloody love it here, however in order to chase down various travel and career goals, I'm taking a step back for a while. It's a big one, but I can't afford London rent whilst travelling nor can I pay for London rent when freelance writing as my career stands currently. One day eh?

You've not fell onto Buzzfeed, Cracked or any other of those hit listicle website the kids are loving, but that doesn't mean you're free from them. Here are 5 things I'm gonna miss about this city.

Clapham Common Tube Station
1) T R A N S P O R T 

London's transport system is absolutely wild. A billion tube lines combined with a few other things that technically aren't the underground but they're practically the underground, an amazing bus system and apps that can get you anywhere. I grew up in an area connected pretty decently and it doesn't hold a candle to London. The freedom of travel is something I'll lose when going back home, especially as I don't own a car. Being able to go anywhere in the city at the drop of a hat is incredibly enviable. 

You can get a train all the way to Brussels for fuck sake, it's absurdly good.

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MUSIC OF THE MONTH - NOVEMBER 2017

The year is nearly over and we're up to the second to last instalment of 2017's MOTM posts.

Here's October's if you missed it.



The Way Life Goes - Lil Uzi vert, Nicki Minaj + Oh Wonder


I don't think anyone ever expected to see Oh Wonder's Landslide sampled alongside Nicki and Uzi, least of all Oh Wonder. This is a magical, mystical collab that works absurdly well, much better than it ever should. It's a testament to all involved's incredible talent.


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INTERVIEWED: SQUIBBVICIOUS


Welcome to Interviewed, a series of discussions and chats with creators of all kinds.



Today we're joined by Haydy of Squibbvicious, a travel expert, London know-it-all and food connoisseur. Haydy is one of the few bloggers I've been lucky enough to spend some time with, she's just as hilarious, kind and bubbly in real life as she is online. 


D: What do you do online as a creator?


H: I blog about travel, food, festivals, London, Essex and all the other bits inbetween, make YouTube videos, spend too much time on Instagram, and moan about my daily commute on Twitter! I also spend a hell of a lot of time emailing people about collabs - does that count?!


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INTERVIEWED: NIK SPELLER

Welcome to INTERVIEWED, a series of discussions and chats with creators of all kinds.


Today we're blessed by the company of a man with the eye for manmade structures and a wizard of words, Nik Speller.


D: What do you do online as a creator?

N: I’m a writer, first and foremost. That’s why I started blogging (all those years ago); I was looking for a ‘creative outlet’ and decided writing about food and restaurants was the way to go, as - at the time - it was pretty much the only thing I was interested in.

Since then, I’ve boosted my photography skills a little, helped in no small part by working with Mat on his blog, Buckets and Spades.

My photography has mainly been for the blog, when Mat’s had to be in front of the camera and needed some help in getting the perfect shot. I’ve also started a bit of a sideline in architectural photography over on Instagram - totally by accident, I’ll add. It was just something I started doing on a dull, boring day off, and as folks seemed to like it, I’ve kept it on.

Writing is still my main passion, though, and - thankfully - I’ve been able to upgrade from writing for my own (very small) food blog to contributing to Buckets and Spades (and a few others) on a whole range of very cool projects. Fortunately, I’ve also been able to carry writing into my day-to-day work too: writing articles on influencer marketing and the digital world in general, which seem to have really resonated with people.


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Restless early twenties.


I'm 22 and life sometimes feels like a hot fucking mess.

That's not a lyric from a Lana Del Rey song, nor a t-shirt from H + M but a musing I had one fine Tuesday afternoon at my desk staring out of the window and having a mild crisis on the inside whilst keeping that office friendly face painted on.

Other days, like the Thursday afternoon on which I continue to type away, feel completely normal and like my life is well rounded. Not exactly spherical, but kind of like a the shape of a Poke Ball or a sad apple.

As I get that little bit older each and every day, I'm realising that the future is almost entirely in my own hands, I'm the painter and life is this big ol' blank canvas. I have one of those little paint palettes and can do whatever I want with it, though sometimes it feels like I have one of those crappy ones you have to add water to to even get a bit of colour. I'm the sculptor with a ball of clay in front of me, imagine some more creative metaphors because I'm tired or trying here.

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MUSIC OF THE MONTH - OCTOBER 2017

Another month has come and gone, meaning there's that much more music to delve into from the last 31 days.

Take a look back at September's top hits, then move ahead to this month's.



Bubblegum - YONAKA


Drop this one when wanting to feel empowered about everything in your life. Everything about this song is well constructed, from the heavy chorus instrumentals to the vocals you can see yourself screeching out in the shower.



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INTERVIEWED: EDD SPEAKS

Welcome to INTERVIEWED, a series of discussions and chats with creators of all kinds.


Today we're joined by blogger of all kinds Edd Speaks.


D: What do you do online as a creator?


E: I love the term creator, much better than influencer! I run a blog, my own little space where I talk about lifestyle and fashion pieces that I've been loving and other things that come to mind! I created my blog as I have so many thoughts and I wanted to share my creativity with as many people as I can!
The fact that I now have over 130,000 views is crazy to me!


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Real Life Star Wars - Skellig Michael, Ireland

Hello and welcome to a brisk morning on the South Western Irish coast in the small fishing town of Portmagee, 200 miles from Dublin.

Better known as an island on Ahch-To, the planet housing the first Jedi Temple and Luke Skywalker's solace three decades after Return of the Jedi. This isn't just a tourist destination, it's a huge page where Star Wars fans flock to.


Your journey to Skellig will begin with arriving at a marina in a small coastal Irish village. For us (as for most) it was Portmagee. Portmagee is a quaint little place accessibly only by car - we're not in London anymore!

We booked our trip far in advance through Casey's Tour, these fill up quickly and are only open at certain times of the year. The island is an incredibly delicate place so only a few people can visit at a time, if you want to go, get planning!

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INTERVIEWED: ALICE SPAKE

Today we're joined by someone I love a great deal, a blogger who's pregnancy has had Twitter on the edge of it's seat: Alice Spake of Annie Writes Beauty

Fun fact, I recently made a post about blogger friends and people I've connected with online, I wanted to include Alice but didn't as I didn't think we were there. She promptly tweeted me with an 'AHEM' and I realised we are well and truly there.



D: What is it you do online as a creator?

A: I run my blog, Annie Writes Beauty talking all things beauty and lifestyle, mostly recently I've added in a baby category to document my pregnancy. I also run Southampton Bloggers, a blogging hub on the South Coast.


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Tia Maria Tia Brunch'n'Grind

Last weekend I experienced a pretty idyllic Sunday morning, or at least I did after multiple delays, due to myself getting up late  (as always)+ deciding to walk through central London instead of travelling beneath it) .






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INTERVIEWED: BIRD KEEPER TOBY

Welcome to INTERVIEWED, a series of discussions and chats with creators of all kinds.


Today we're joined by high flying Pokemon master, Bird Keeper Toby! You know how much I love Pokemon, so this is a special one.

D: What do you do as a creator?

T: I make videos exploring the lore of the Pokemon world.


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MUSIC OF THE MONTH - SEPTEMBER 2017

My bangers of 2017 playlist is getting pretty larger there's only a few more Music of the Month posts left of the year.

Before taking a look at my top picks for September's new releases, catch up on August's post

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INTERVIEWED: A BLOKE'S EYE VIEW

Welcome to INTERVIEWED, a series of discussions and chats with creators of all kinds.


Today we're joined by my friend Carl from A Bloke's Eye View, a straight talking blogger who talks about all things men's fashion and lifestyle in his own way!

D: What do you do as a creator?


C: Around two and a half years ago I created my own little space on the internet  where I could talk about different subjects, especially ones which I love. The main subjects I cover are fashion, lifestyle, tech and male grooming. I believe I have a unique and original writing style which is always 100% honest.


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FriendsFest 2017


One of the things I've been looking forward to most this year is FriendsFest! An annual (it seems!) mini festival celebrating one of TV's most iconic and most beloved series - Friends!

For it's sophomore year the festival toured around England and Wales, ending in Clissold Park, London, which is where Amy and I had a look!

The event was sold out far in advance of the actual event, tickets cost around £25 a pop for entry and a set tour...a price which is kinda overpriced, but you gotta let that nostalgia factor run wild.

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My Favourite Podcasts

As a commuter spending up to 2 hours a day travelling to/from work, I have a lot of time to kill listening to music and podcasts. I can't really read anything as I walk, so unless I want to walk into a lamppost or oncoming traffic, my hearing is the only sense I can titillate with that time, and that may be the worst thing I've ever written.


Whilst these are my exact headphones and my laptop, the image is not mine

Here are some of the best podcasts I've been listening to over the last few years:


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INTERVIEWED: THE MALE STYLIST

Welcome to INTERVIEWED, a series of discussions and chats with creators of all kinds.


Today we're joined by a very fashionable gent, known for his expertise and insight into the blogging world and how social media platforms are sorta becoming our enemy: Adam of The Male Stylist.

D: What is it you do as a creator?

A: My work on The Male Stylist has been about producing content that speaks to men of all ages about style, grooming and body image. Much of this has been about helping men find their personal style, what helps them feel confident in their day-to-day lives and ways of achieving timeless looks.


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The Social Effects of Creating

I love the term 'creator', it encompasses so much. I considered myself a creator when I exclusively made YouTube videos back in 2013. Now almost four years later, I write, I blog and barely create YouTube content due to lack of time, not lack of desire.

Over those four long years I've made so many friends, made so many connections and strengthened a billion other bonds of friendship. This reads like a lyrics to a late nineties Pokemon theme tune and I'm here for it.



Through creating content on YouTube I got in contact with Callie, who's ended up being one of my favourite people on the internet, we got to hang out a few months ago and eat sushi- great times. Online crossing into real life is my favourite thing. I also met Jess, Adele and Hannah. We got some drinks, drank like teenagers in the street and had a fine old time. I visited Hannah in Brighton last weekend and ate so much food I thought we might die. All of these friendships stemmed from deciding to switch the camera on one day and make some very crappy videos.


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INTERVIEWED: AMANDA BOOTES

Welcome to INTERVIEWED, a series of discussions and chats with creators of all kinds.


Today we're joined by lifestyle blogger extraordinaire who knows what she's talking about: Amanda Bootes!

D: What do you do as a creator?

A: I am a Food, Fitness and Lifestyle Blogger and freelance writer for Huffington Post Blogs and DailyFocal.

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Burning out

A short while ago I burned out. 

Hard.

Physically and mentally, I was just fried. It all traced back to something so simple - I never take a moment to just stop and relax, to just stop and exist in that moment. 


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MUSIC OF THE MONTH - AUGUST 2017

Can you believe it's September already? It's pretty much Autumn, festival season is over and it's time to get SPOOKY.

If you wanna catch up on July's music, click here.



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INTERVIEWED: HALO OF THOUGHTS

Welcome to INTERVIEWED, a series of discussions and chats with creators of all kinds.



Today we're joined by my good friend + blogger of many talents Arran Brown of Halo of Thoughts!

D: What do you do online as a creator?

A: So I'm a blogger who's main focus is Male Grooming, fashion, food and gaming. I also dabble in between about ongoing situations when I face them. 


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MY LIFE IN MUSIC.


Music has always been a big part of my life, for the last year in particular. I wanted to share some of the artists that have had a lasting effect on me and my life today! Going in chronological order, let's start with...






















KATE NASH AND AMY WINEHOUSE

My sister Suzanne had the albums 'Made of Bricks' and 'Back to Black', for me, two of the most iconic albums of the 00's. I listened to them constantly, and even now I play them on the regs. These albums came into my life during those very important pre-teen years when I was just beginning to form my own musical tastes, and whilst the topics of these songs were beyond a 12 year old's comprehension, I still hung onto every word I went to see one of Kate Nash's 10th Anniversary Made of Bricks shows and it was frigging lit. (I'm writing this before I go, I assume it will be lit?) 

I can now confirm it was lit.


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INTERVIEWED: BETHEVE

Welcome to INTERVIEWED, a series of discussions with creators of all kinds!

Today we're joined by one of the warmest people I've ever met (even if only briefly in an All Bar One!), blogger and online magazine founder, Beth Eveline.


Photo credit: Alex Cameron

D: What is it you do online as a creator?

B: I create content with no filter, it’s things that I feel like I want to talk about, but also what I feel like might be useful for others too. I used to create content that I thought other people wanted to read, but now I make what I want to make, which is much more enjoyable.

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THE EDEN PROJECT, ST. AUSTELL


Last month I turned 22, and as a birthday present from the most important person in my life (me) I received a solo trip to the Eden Project in Cornwall, UK!

A bubblewrap kingdom filled to the brim with plants, located almost as far southwest as you can go in the country! From London, the journey took 6 1/2 hours door to door - it's really bloody far from anywhere!

However it's totally worth it. The place is lush, for lack of better word. It's like stepping onto a different planet, one without pollution, one that's sustainable, one where humans don't rule.

Rather than harp on, as I don't know a bloody thing about plants, have a nosey at all these photographs.
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INTERVIEWED: MINI ADVENTURES

Welcome to INTERVIEWED, a series of chats and discussions with content creators! This week we're joined by pink haired travel guru Milly of Mini Adventures!


D: What is it you do online?

M: I write a lot, basically! I'm a travel, food and lifestyle blogger, sharing my adventures exploring the world and my home city of London. I try to inspire people to have more fun through words and pictures, tell stories and give my unique spin on destinations, restaurants, festivals and fun things to do. I also engage in the important activity of using lots of gifs on Twitter.

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Summer BBQ memories with BADGER ALE*

There's no denying that summer in London is glorious- for the whole 3 weeks it lasts. Which is still a whole week longer than it lasts back home in the North. 

Whilst it's bloody beautiful and sunny, and there's tons to do here, if you live in London, you likely have little to no outdoor space, meaning you have to get extra creative during the summer months. Today I'm partnering with Badger Ale to talk about some of my favourite BBQ memories from this year to celebrate their new BBQ shed! 




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My Travel Fears and Scares | Travel Linkup

I'm joining travel link up for the first time, and as a(n occasional) travel blogger, I couldn't be more excited. I love reading other people's thoughts, feelings and musings on travel, especially as most travel bloggers are much more well seasoned than I am!

This month we're focusing on travel fears and scares.



I don't have a fear of flying, I don't really get scared about getting lost or running out of money - these things have already happened to me, it sounds worse than it was. I just went to an ATM in Hiroshima and all was good again.

I get FOMO. The millennial 'fear of missing out'.

It's really quite dumb, I fear what will happen while I'm gone. Will I miss a friend's birthday and all of my friend's from home coming back together? This is before considering what gigs I'll miss. I'm away for two weeks in November (travelling around Eastern Europe) and there are 3 gigs in London that I'm missing. One day Dua Lipa, one day Future Islands, one day Father John Misty.

Will I miss out on a big family event? I missed Easter whilst in Tokyo last year, and for the first time in my life I felt homesick. Next year my sister is getting married abroad and I either have to miss a festival I really want to go to, or miss the family holiday prelude to the wedding.

I want time to just make an exception when I'm away and allow me to do what I want, when I went and not miss out on anything! I have this strange obsession with experiencing and living everything I can to the point where it's not healthy.

Alas, let's live life, travel and have fun. That reads like a shite tattoo.

If you'd like to join travel link up, and read some more posts by great bloggers, go here and go wild!

INTERVIEWED: ARRAN CROSS

Welcome to #INTERVIEWED, a series of interviews with creators of all kinds.

Today we're joined by a fascinating man of many talents: Arran Cross.



D: What do you do as a creator?


A: I run the The All Night Listening Post blog. It's a collection of original articles, essays and images focusing on menswear, design, travel and gear. Since it launched two years ago the blog has evolved into a platform for sharing stories about well made honest goods and the people who make them. As a result of the success of The All Night Listening Post, I recently co-founded Department Two, a creative content and strategy agency, with my partner Fern.


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MUSIC OF THE MONTH - JULY 2017

July is over, it seems the summer is gone with it to, but I'm here with my top picks of this month's music releases.

If you wanna catch up on June's music, click here.



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INTERVIEWED: KELSEY ELLISON


Welcome to INTERVIEWED, a series of discussions with bloggers, YouTubers, musicians, artists and creators of all kinds.



Today we're joined by self-proclaimed bonkers YouTuber Kelsey 'who's got the budget?' Ellison




D: What do you do online as a creator?


K: I create a variety of videos from original music, covers, vlogs, lifestyle, cosplay and fashion videos! I'm a big fan of J-pop and K-pop music, so you see a lot of that influence in my videos. My channel is kind of like my creative diary, there's never really one thing I do, I like to experiment and try new things out all the time! But you can guarantee that it will most likely be colourful and cute!


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