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January 2016

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My Month in Music – January 2016

January 2016 has been a MONTH. I don’t know how else to describe it. I rang in the New Year by going to work at 6am, and then spent up until the 22nd working in a frenzy to meet all of my coursework deadlines and prepare for an exam. 10,000 words of coursework in total almost caused me to lose the will to live.

The last week has been extremely fun, but somehow has been SO BUSY despite being free from revision. I don’t know how I’ve been so busy, but it’s been great, and now I go to Budapest today! As I’m writing this (the night before) I’m having a major freakout over fitting everything into my hand luggage as RyanAir give you about 3cm to work with and my camera takes up almost 1/4 of my case.

ANYWAY. Here’s the music I’ve been listening to this month.

Everywhere – Fleetwood Mac

I only began to listen to Fleetwood Mac last month, I know, I’m 40 years late to this party, but what a great party it is! Everywhere is my go to song, but I do love Dreams too. How did I go over 20 years without listening to them?!

Rey’s Theme – John Williams

I love movie soundtracks, especially anything John Williams! I loved The Force Awakens more than I could have imagined, so this soundtrack has been playing a lot this month. Especially because I can easily work with soundtracks playing in the background since I don’t get distracted by lyrics since there are none!

Rey’s Theme is easily my favourite piece on the soundtrack, I listen to it on repeat to chill out, which has helped considering I’ve spent the last few weeks mostly stressed out!

‘Kawaii Metal’

Gimme Chocolate – Babymetal

Nippon Manju – LadyBaby

So Kawaii Metal is a whole genre I didn’t know existed. Essentially, it’s a mix of JPOP’s cutesy sound, with metal. It’s so absolutely ridiculous and I love it. It somehow works, and I can’t stop listening to it.

Prepare for your life to be changed.

Cheap Thrills – Sia

Sia’s new album came out yesterday, I’m a big fan of her work and love it already. Cheap Thrills and Alive are my favourite so far, as I haven’t really listened to everything else as much as I would like just yet!

Emperor’s New Clothes – Panic! At The Disco

For some reason it won’t embed the actual video, which is annoying because the video is SO GREAT. I want to try filming something with snappy motions like it.

Before this song, I hadn’t listen to Panic! since probably 2009/10. From year 7 (2006) to year 9 (2010) I LOVED their music, but then suddenly fell out of listening to it! Now it’s time to make up for lost time! Their new album, Death of a Bachelor, is incredible, but this song is one I specifically cannot stop listening to.

So that’s my month in music!

Thank you for reading, and I’ll be back in a few days with a post on my trip to Budapest!! I’m so excited, but right now I’m mainly stressed over packing. Good times.

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Graduating

My entire life has been set out in my head since I was young. I’ve always known my next step; in primary school, I knew I would be going to high school, from there I knew I’d be going to college, and from there to university.

Now I’m finally coming towards the end of my education after 16 years, and I couldn’t be more excited to move onto something new, but what?! That’s the exciting part! Whenever I tell people younger than me that I have no plans fully decided on for after university, they seem terrified and shocked! I get it, I felt that way at one point! But also 1) it’s my life and I ain’t worried so why are you? 2) get to this point and you’ll long for having the entire world open for you.

I have so many paths open to me, here are a few I’ve been considering for a while:

1) Do Camp America, Camp Thailand, Camp Cambodia, or something

Even if I don’t do that this year, I might next.

2) Get a real job straight away, and move back to Liverpool

I don’t really want to do this one. I want to make the most of not being desperate for a full-time job just yet. But I will miss living in Liverpool so much. It sounds cheesy, but city life agrees with me. I love how busy it is, I love the buildings, I love that there are always new places to go, and everything is so close by. It’s gonna suck not living in a city.

3) Take a few weeks to relax like the summer holidays, then get into real life.

4) Work part-time (3/4 days a week) and use the rest of the time to do things I never do

This includes all the skills I always say I want. To just get my life in order a bit. I want to continue playing the piano, learning Japanese, learning to sew, to cook, to edit better, to take photos better, to learn how to act, to sing, write a book, who cares. I want to be a person of many talents!

5)Work part time, save money, use the long weekends I have to travel

Buzzfeed recently did a post on holidays that cost £100 or less, and I am down.

6) Pray the Star Wars bar in Manchester becomes a permanent feature

I could work there a few nights a week as the resident Obi-Wan Kenobi

7) Get experience in new things

The things I’ve began to really enjoy and would like to continue aren’t related to my degree. Whilst I enjoy law, I’ve began to take pleasure in much more creative things.

8) Apply for jobs in London

Lol. Graduate jobs are hard enough to find, especially when I’ll probably be applying to jobs outside of what my degree covers, plus ANY job in London is hard to find. And London is expensive to live in. Ideally, I’d like to move to London sometime in 2017, but part of me wants to go ASAP.

Since typing these 8 out, I’ve began to lean towards a combo of numbers 4 + 5. I want to work 3 days a week or something, use the rest of my days off for myself, to do things I never get around to doing, and then seeing if I can take a 4 day break in Europe on a budget a fair bit. I have no true responsibilities, nor do I have anyone depending on me financially or otherwise, so now is the only time in my life that I can spend as much time as I want, doing what I want, and enriching myself. Travel is something I’ve always craved, and it would be amazing to be able to do it every couple of weeks.

But hey, who knows, life changes, situations change, these things might not be the right thing for me come the time. But I feel relieved that I have a bit of a plan now.

If you’re graduating soon, what are you planning on doing? And if you don’t know, that’s super common. People seem to think having your life sorted at age 21 is the standard, but for me and many others, that’s almost our worst nightmare!

Thanks for reading, and I’m sorry I disappeared for a while, exams and coursework ruled my life for a while, but I have a ton more posts planned for the coming weeks, plus ones with more photos than this one!

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Binge by Tyler Oakley Review

I finally finished Binge by Tyler Oakley, and now it’s time for a review!

Binge is a memoir written by YouTuber , and now podcaster, Tyler Oakley, who has amassed nearly 8 million subscribers! He’s a mid-twenties guy from the midwest, living in Los Angeles and he’s most famous for being unapologetically himself, as well as his ever changing hair colour.

I’ve been watching Tyler for years now, and I met him at his book tour, as you can see, my copy of the book is black, as it’s the ‘Exclusive Tour Edition’ – how cool!

I had previously tried (and failed) to meet Tyler at Summer in the City 2014, and at his Slumber Party tour in mid-2015, during a random draw for VIP backstage passes, the girls next to us won! Whilst we were a little sad, we were trying to be the big adults as these preteens cried out of sheer excitement.

I love memoirs, especially ones with a comedic flair (this sentence sounds kinda profesh, I think it’s the word ‘flair’). Tyler’s look back at his life is hilarious, his humour crosses mediums so easily, from his YouTube videos, to his Podcast (Psychobabble with Korey Kuhl), to page. It’s so easy to read the book in Oakley’s voice, and when you laugh, you can hear his signature laugh along with your own.

However, this book does touch on some real issues, it isn’t all a barrel of laughs, Tyler discusses coming out as gay, going through an abusive relationship, going through an extremely tough breakup, rocky family relations and more. In some shape or form, we can all relate in some way.

This book is a lighthearted look back at life, a discussion of true to life issues, with advice and real life experiences included.

This book is so nice to look at as well, I know the content is the main thing and to never judge a book by it’s cover (whoever said that had never heard of a thing called ‘coffee table books’, but I digress). The sweet/candy theme is something I can get on board with, and the formatting/layout of the actual text is very easy on the eyes! It makes the read somehow much more enjoyable!

This is a book everyone can see themselves in, Tyler’s story of embarrassment in a restaurant reminded me of the time my Dad asked the waiter if we could order some drinks, directly after the waiter asked us if we would like any drinks. The Earth could have opened up and swallowed me whole then and there, and I wouldn’t have cared.

While this story is very different to Tyler’s anger over a beetless burger, it brought this memory back into my head, and I’m grateful to Binge for reminding me of so many things I’ve experienced!

Also, Tyler’s Cheesecake Factory description is alarmingly like a West Coast version of our very own ‘cheeky nandos’. Also Tyler, if you’re reading this by any chance, Nandos is pronounced ‘nan-dohs’ not ‘naan-dohs’, if you wish we can discuss this over some Nandos chicken next time you’re in the UK.

You shall laugh, cry and fully enjoy Binge, unless you’re an emotionless robot. But hey, you do you. This shall sit along some of my other favourite YouTube books, including Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to be a Grown-up by Grace Helbig and You Deserve a Drink by Mamrie Hart.

If you like Binge, you will definitely enjoy these books.

So as you can see, I fully recommend Binge, here are some links to buy it:

Amazon

The Book Depository (free shipping here!)

Waterstones

WHSmith

This isn’t one of my greatest pictures, but it was so great to finally meet Tyler, even if it was only briefly! I hope one day we can hang out for a bit longer over some sort of cocktail. That’s my only prerequisite!

Thanks for reading!

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2016

 

2016 IS UPON US! Except I’m typing this part on December 31st 2015, so no, it isn’t (just yet)

2015 has been a great year, it’s been a big year, a lot has happened yet at the same time I feel like nothing has! I was #blessed with a new baby niece born 1 day before my 20th birthday, I got a new job, I moved out of a flat with some of my best friends, then moved into a new flat with a (mostly) different set of friends, amongst other things!

However, rather than a reflection on 2015, this will be a look forward onto 2016. Every year, my friend Amy and I say ‘this will be our year!’, and I think the statement rings true more than ever before this year. I have so much planned and so much to be excited about, and I’m looking forward to documenting it all here, my own wedge of the internet that I treat as a diary.

And all of my plans are up until mid-July, I have zero things set in stone from then on, and instead of being daunting, it is the most liberating thing I have ever felt!

Let’s dive into my New Year’s Resolutions instead!

1) Big hair change

What a dumb way to kick this off.
I ALWAYS say I want to dye my hair but every single person I tell this to then tells me ‘No, you’ll never get your natural hair colour back, you’ll hate it, your natural colour is too nice’ or some variation of all these. But I’ve had my natural hair colour for 20 years now, I’m ready for a change.

I would love my hair to be a darker shade of ginger, coppet/brass-y or ‘Michael Fassbender ginger’, to put it more accurately. As I was growing up, I always hoped my hair would darken to a darker ginger shade, instead over the years, it has progressively lightened! To quote High School Musical: ‘This is not what I want, this is not what I planned, and I just gotta say, I do not understand’

Or, I would love to dye my hair grey (or gray for you non-Brits). This is much more of a change than just dying my hair a few shades darker. I have no idea if I’d suit it or not, but I don’t care too much, if it’s a mistake, my hair is pretty short and grows very fast, and plus I always say I’m gonna cut my hair shorter, so it’ll be alright.

And then I always get told ‘but you’ll have to do something with your eyebrows, and what about your stubble?!’ 1) My eyebrows are shit anyway, so anything done to them will be an improvement. 2)It’s 2015, stubble dye is a thing you brush in every few days. It’s a good time to be alive.

2)Find my love for making videos again

My ‘relationship’ with YouTube has changed a lot this year, god how pretentious does that sound?! Who and what I watch has changed, as well as how much, as in, I watch a lot less. I just don’t have time to watch 35 minute daily vlogs everyday.

For the past few months I’ve not really enjoyed making videos. I’ve been very inconsistent with uploading and not been very happy when I have done. I want to get out of this rut and start making things I love and go back to why I first started YouTube- as a creative outlet. It was something to destress, not something to stress about.

The last video I’ve made which I was happy with was Highlighters. I enjoyed it, it meant something to me, and it was a bit more innovative than me sitting infront of a camera chatting.

My blog, even though it came after my YouTube, is my main and one true love. But I want to be just as in love with YouTube again.

3)Live a healthier lifestyle

I know, I know, could this be more generic?

But I’ve been ill lately a fair bit more than usual, and feeling sluggish and not great. I miss going for runs every other day, doing exercise at home, and generally feeling more awake and healthy. I always say I’m gonna join the gym, maybe I will, maybe I won’t, but I just want to be a bit healthier.

4) Enjoy 2016

This year has the potential to be the best year of my life yet, and I need to make it that! Plus after July, I have no full time commitments, I need to utilise that. Plus, this is the last few months of uni, and while 3rd year is hard and can be hell at times, this is the last time so many of my friends will live in Liverpool and be able to do dumb things like go to a new bar at 2pm on a Tuesday.

5) Start my real life

I’m finally leaving education behind, and I’m extremely lucky to be in a position where I can do whatever the hell I want! It’s time for me to discover what that is.

6) Enrich myself with travel and new skills

I have and always have had serious case of wanderlust. I want to travel everywhere and see every inch of the planet! This year I’ll be going to Budapest for a weekend, and in March, travelling around Japan for almost 4 weeks! That’s going to be the longest I’ve ever been away from home, and the first time I have properly travelled rather than just been on holiday. I’ll be staying in 3 different cities, but visiting around 8/9! I have wanted to do this for so long and it doesn’t feel real.

I find people very interesting and much more attractive when they have a bunch of hobbies and skills, I’m sure we all do! I always want to learn how to do things and never see them through!

I have an electric piano (that’s not a pretentious word for keyboard, they’re two different things) which I bought 2 years ago, played for a while, then moved and left it at home. Now I can’t read music and remember 0 of what I did. I have been teaching myself basic Japanese, and I would like to see this through until I am at a good level, I’d also love to speak French! I want to improve upon my video editing skills, I can edit fast, but I can’t edit well!

And one thing I’ve recently decided I want to give a go is acting! I think it looks fun, plus even if there’s a 1 in a trillion chance I could end up in a Star Wars movie, I need to take that chance.

And if any of these fail, nothing ventured, nothing gained!

7) Instagram more

What a dumb one, but I like Instagram and want to update it more than once a week.

Happy New Year to you all! I hope you started it off well! I know a lot of people start it hungover, if you are suffering with one, I hope you it’s not too bad!

I start work at 6am on January 1st, hopefully my entire year will be just as productive. But I 1000% know that it won’t be!

Future me/aka present me I guess, survived the 6am shift. It was actually good, a pleasant surprise for the start of the year!

HAPPY 2016!