Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Turn That Frown Upside Down: Tips for When You're Feeling Low

I don't claim to be any kind of psychologist, but I have suffered with depression for over six years, and haven't, as yet, given into the darkness (yes, I like to make myself sound like a super villain sometimes ok?). Being depressed is horrible, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but, if you want to, there are, in my opinion, some quick and easy ways to make yourself feel better or halt a downward spiral. These are my tips for turning your frown upside down:


Watch Something Funny

When I'm feeling depressed, 80% of the time I turn to Netflix. Mostly because being depressed not only makes you feel down, but it saps you of energy and makes it hard for you to actively 'do' anything. So, where you might feel like just crawling into bed and crying, instead crawl into bed and watch The Mindy Project. Watching a show that you love (preferably a funny one) can instantly lift your mood with very little effort coming from you. Now, it's not the healthiest thing to just lie in bed and watch TV, but sometimes you just need that time away from things to recharge, and watching something like Parks and Rec can provide you with enough laughs to make you feel a little happier.


Listen to Happy Music

I know some people are all about 'embracing the sadness', and listening to really depressing songs when they're sad, but that is just not me. When I'm down I freaking hate it! That's not how I want to feel. Ever. So, if I am feeling down I like to listen to happy songs that you can't help but smile when you listen to. If you're interested in the songs I listen to check out my playlist on Apple Music.


Read a Book 

Now, I've only been doing this recently, but it's been working really well. If I'm in a place where everything seems awful and the whole world seems like too much, I turn to the one good thing left in the world - Harry Potter. Yep, when I'm down, going back to Hogwarts and immersing myself in that world is one of the best cures. I wouldn't recommend reading anything too heavy, but something like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson are great, upbeat, easy to read romps that, to me, remind me of the good that's out there.


Buy Something for Yourself

Now this is probably the most 'unhealthy' item on the list, as spending money isn't exactly the most economical morale booster, but going out and buying something just for you can lift your mood significantly. Whether you go out and buy yourself that bath bomb you've been really wanting from Lush, or an expensive drink you absolutely love, or maybe a magazine that you really like, getting out there and doing something can really help to take your mind of whatever's making you feel down, and buying something just for yourself is a small way to tell yourself 'it is possible to feel better', even if you don't quite believe it yet.


Make Something

Unleashing your creativity is a good way of forgetting about your worries. Whether you paint your feelings, write a blog post, or build a life-size Legolas from old pizza boxes, focusing your mind on creating something helps take the focus out of your mind and onto something tangible.


Go For a Walk

This is something I've been getting into a lot more recently as it ticks 3 boxes: 1. it gets you out of the house 2. you get to know your surroundings, whether this be a park or just local backstreets, and 3. you're getting some exercise, and we all know that exercise releases endorphins! I'd also recommend getting an app like Map My Walk if you're the kind of person who really likes to see their progress.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Album Review | Nick Jonas (Deluxe Edition)

Ok, so I've never dedicated a whole post to a single album before, but I have SO much to say about this one, that I thought it needed to be done. I've talked about more than one album in a post, and I've mentioned this particular album before, but never have I ever ;) written a whole post about a single album. Truth be told, I could probably write a whole series of posts on this album I love it that much, but I'll spare you the pages and pages of 'I love this song' and 'ooh he sings so well'. 

Edit: I started writing this post back in April, it's now August, and reading the notes I've made about each song has got me in hysterics. I'm gonna try and keep in as much of these 'Dolly listens to Nick Jonas Deluxe Live' notes as possible, while removing most of the swearing and ridiculous spelling!

Second Edit: It's now nearly September and this post still needs work! If I didn't love this album so much I would've given up by now.

Chains: This song sets up the album well, it introduces the amalgam of genres that runs through all the tracks. This was the first single off the album, but he second Nick Jonas song I heard. I like Chains, but now that I've heard the remix, I don't love this version as much. This is the first song where the concept of having no real chorus is introduced. My favourite parts of the songs are 'tryna break the chains ....', the little bit of falsetto, and the MJ-esque 'ooh' at the end.

Jealous: This was the first track I heard from the album, and I loved it from the intro. The lyrics are a bit odd, I'll give you that teens, but the chorus is so catchy and lovely. I love when you can tell the artist is putting effort in, I love the falsetto, I love 'that's whyyyyy'. Obviously I love the gospel version more than life itself, but the original is growing on me. Although it's poppy it's still kind of dark; it's not exactly happy or upbeat exactly. The falsetto at the end is my jam. I love 'it's my right to be hellish' and the 'I get jealous' ad libs at the end.


Teacher: OK, I love funk and the intro to this is soooooo funky. It's just bass and a beat until the chorus. I don't find Nick Jonas sexy at all, but when he says 'so let me teach ya', #swoon. I read an article about the demise of the chorus, and I think this is another song without a chorus, it just has that little funky synth bit, oh my oh my oh my <3. and then theres horns at the end. This is a great track. (I've left this one as my notes word-for-word because I think they some up my feelings on this song perfectly. #swoon) 

Warning: This song is a change of pace, it's slowed down with some modern electronic effects in the verses. This one actually has a chorus and I love it! Nick (still feels weird just calling him Nick) plays with melody a lot on this album in ways that I've not really seen in pop before. His voice sounds lovely on the second verse, but this is one of those songs where the last third makes the song and I'm just waiting for it all the way through; from his falsetto bridge with literally no backing, to the really emotional entry into the penultimate chorus. Then the last chorus with all the extra falsetto added just ends this song on a high.

Wilderness: The opening of this song is weird. It's sounds like a 1800s silent film soundtrack. In contrast the verses are quite modern and rappy. The chorus is great, ooh ooh, very sexy, reminds me of Nature Feels by Frank Ocean, subject matter wise. I love the second verse, the beat is louder and it's a bit more funky as they play around with the melody. The bridge is great, very well produced. Ohhh noooooooo sounds like it's from the Jealous Gospel Version. I love the ending with the beat, oohs and funky piano mix of modern and old crap. I love this.

Numb: I freaking love the opening of this song! It's very hard feeling, like Mercy (Good Music). I love songs like this, just disjointed enough that the verses still work with the chorus and prechorus, not like Jessie J. LOVE this chorus, obvz, I love men singing in falsetto. You could see this beat being used purely for a rap song (anyone want to do a Remix of this with more rapping? Big Sean?) Second verse is better than first. I'm a sucker for clicks. Again though it's a re-imagining of the chorus. Urgh this rap is so good. Her voice is heaven and sounds so good over this beat, when they sing together <3 works so well. Great feature. I'm waiting for when Angel Haze says 'numb' though all the way through, fav bit. Camera clicks. (haha hardly edited this one either - laughing emoji)

Take Over: This is so good!! It starts like any other song, and these are not my favourite kind of lyrics, bad gal and all that, but then when it gets to prechorus I love it - the chorus is sooooo goood! It's not the kind of melody or harmony you hear a lot and I really like it. It's well produced, I love the chorus build up/fade-in. I love his talking at the end even though the lyrics are kinda lame. 'Ooooooooh' MJ style again. adlibs at the end in flasetto <3

Push: Slow down again. This sounds like the kind of song a woman would release in that it's vulnerable and I can't think of many examples of males singing so vulnerably (except maybe Sam Smith, but his just counts as whining). Nick sounds like he's underwater. His falsetto all the way through is just lovely - I wanna give him a hug! The way he says push <3. The beat 'drops' in second verse and his voice is even more echoey. If I had to sum this song up in one word it would be dreamy. 

I Want You: Swearing! This is an angry song, 'I deserve better', not something male singers usually say. I like the effects on his voice, but this is a more generic song. It's not my favourite, but it's still good. Also, these lyrics are the most problematic - you got the key to my heart, I got the key to your apartment and I'm gonna break in etc. I love the effort you can hear in his voice in the bridge though. I love the na na na na na eh and clappy break down -I love this kind of thing, like in Gives You Hell. His falsetto adlibs towards the end are awesome, they remind me of Zayn on Steal My Girl.

Avalanche: This is good, but it doesn't feel as unique as some of the other songs on the album. I feel that I've heard a lot of this before, especially the chorus. Demi Lovato's voice sound nice (as always), but it sounds like any duet (that horrible Jessie J & James Morrison one) - they are hard to do well. This is probably my least favourite song on the album - you can tell because I've not got much to say.

Nothing Would Be Better: Slow down, me free, again a unique verse chorus sitch, it's surprisingly slow. Kinda boring, but it has a slowed down funkiness to it. You're the queen, again really well produced, and when the drums kick in at the end it gets pretty epic with strings etc. It sounds like loads of people singing kinda like 30stm This Is War. You can't help but turn it up at the end. It's pretty epic. Altogether nice end to the non-deluxe album.



Chains (Remix): Urgh this is so good. This song should be the only version of chains. Not that I don't like the original, it's just that this remix is so much more dynamic and suspenseful. I love the build ups to the awesome chorus, and when the beat drops, especially the second time. Nick Jonas Fan Tip: listen to this song with headphones. 

Santa Barbara: This is the best song I've ever heard, I love it so much. It's so lovely and sweet and his voice is high and the chord progression is so sweet and bittersweet. It's dreamy too. I prefer the verses to the chorus, but I could, and have been, listening to this on repeat. The lyrics to this are realllllly sweet - it makes me want to be the gal he's singing about. It reminds me of Hey There Delilah subject matter wise. Ah this song is so beautiful and ethereal, I want this at my wedding. The spoken word bit works so well too. The verses remind me a bit of Misguided Ghosts in their simplicity. Not so much the chorus, that's more kind of Coldplay-esque. 

Closer: This is nice, but again I feel like it could've been sung by someone else, like dareisay Robin Thicke or someone like that, even JT. Mike Posner is creepy af, he sounds like a woman and a fake ass weezy. Also I don't like the sexism ok? Maybe even someone like Miguel?

So, I hope that this stream of consciousness makes you want to buy the album, as you can see, it's taken a long time to write! Researching this i found out that Nick Jonas' middle name is Jerry which I find very funny. Since I bought this album I've got back into listening to whole albums, I haven't really done that since Lady Gaga and Paramore released things back in 2013, and I'm really enjoying it. I actually might have a couple more album posts in my mind bank. Anyway, if I were ever to release an album, I want to work with whoever worked on this album and on Yours Truly.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Changing Directions (Blog Update)

Ok, so that title kinda makes it sound like I've made a huge change in my life and decided I now want to blog about nothing but monster trucks, but don't worry, that is most definitely NOT the case. This year I've been really struggling to write on this blog, and I've realised that the main reason is because I worry too much about what other bloggers (usually successful ones) are doing: I need to post more DIYs. Why don't I talk about make-up more? Why am I not sharing gorgeous selfies all the time? Shouldn't I be doing the Boyfriend Tag? Or eating foreign sweets? However, I've come to the realisation that this blog is ME, and I should be writing about what I want to write about, not what's working for everyone else. I know, I know, people say things like this all the time, but until you realise the detrimental effect trying to be someone else is having on you, it's kind of hard to follow this advice. 

What all this means is that I want to focus on writing a mixture of posts that come naturally to me, and that I am interested in - hopefully both! Try as hard as I might, a post about all the things I've bought from Lush isn't going to be as fun for me to write, or you to read, than a post all about Nick Jonas (coming Thursday). The posts that I am most proud of are the ones that I've spent the most time on, or that I've been able to write easily because I'm passionate about the topic, not the ones I've just chucked together because I want to post three times a week. Some of my favourite posts are my Mindy Project Drinking Game (research for this one was more than a little fun), my depression fuelled post about YouTubers, my (still needing a part 2) post about the best episodes of Supernatural, and my first delve into talking about representation in the media

Ok, so with all that said, I'm going to be moving my blog into a more 'journalistic' territory. Personally, I really like reviewing things, because I'm very opinionated (shocker right?), so I'm going to do that as much as possible. I also get annoyed when the blogs I love (ABM, elisejoy, Zoella etc.) don't talk about the things that I think they should (god that sounds self-centred). What I mean is, I sometimes feel that people who have gained success in the blogging world don't use their platforms as well as they could. ABM are based in Missouri, yet mentioned nothing of the Mike Brown shooting last year. Come to think of it, very few of the American's I follow have said anything about the disgusting state of things in the US at the moment. But then I thought, how can I have a go at them for not standing up, when I'm doing the exact same thing on my blog! Just trying to take pretty pictures and show off the nice stuff I've bought (usually what Zoe tells me to - what? I'm very impressionable). 

Over the past year I've changed drastically, and I feel like I'm finally coming into my own. So, with that said, I want to make this blog a truer reflection of myself: 90% social justice warrior, 5% full on nerd and 5% Photoshopper, wrapped into a giant ball of anxiety and depression. On top of all of this I've asked some of my friends, budding writers and the like, to contribute to this new fangled blog! I know!! Exciting right? Because there's only so much I know and have experienced, I thought it was important to open the floor to some differing views, opinions and backgrounds.

Through this new transition I'm going to change up the posting schedule to Tuesday and Thursday at midday (GMT). I hope you're as excited about this new direction as I am, and I can't wait to get started on Lost In All My Selfish Thoughts 2.0!

Friday, 7 August 2015

Summer Jams 2015

I've not done any kind of music post, or any kind of post for that matter, in a long time, so I thought I'd give you a quick roundup of some of the albums I've been loving over the past couple of months. I've left off Nick Jonas' album because I've dedicated an entire post to it - I know, I'm full of surprises.

Miguel - Wildheart

Adorn is one of my favourite songs ever, so to say I was excited for this record is an understatement. On the first listen I was quite confused by the album because it's not got quite the same R&B sound of Kaleidoscope Dream. However, when I listened through again, bypassing the initial surprise, to properly listen to the music, I adored it. The music on this album cannot be put into any particular genre - it's that good! My favourite part of the album (so far) is the last half of Coffee, I love when Miguel does his ad libs, he gets across so much emotion in his voice, it brings a tear to my eye every time.

Listen to:

1. Coffee (my favourite song of the year so far)
2. Hollywood Dreams
3. face the sun (feat. Lenny Kravitz)

Fifth Harmony - Reflection


I've loved BO$$ since I first heard it on the X Factor last year, so I don't know why it took me so long to get the album, it's so good! It reminds me of Ariana Grande's first album Yours Truly, but with a bit more grit. I feel like saying I love every track on this album is a bit of a cop out, so I'll try to narrow it down to my Top 5.


Listen to:

1. Reflection
2. Like Mariah (feat. Tyga)
3. BO$$
4. Suga Mama
5. Going Nowhere


Empire Official Soundtrack

So it used to be that I was ahead of the curve when it came to TV, I was always up to date with shows before my friends even knew they existed, and while this has remained true to a degree (I'm looking at you How To Get Away With Murder), I seriously failed with Empire. I only watched Season One in June! What was I doing?! I mean, I do prefer to binge watch my shows, but I would've got so many more Cookie references if I'd been watching from the beginning! Anyway, in case you've been living under the same rock that I was, Empire is about a record label, and throughout the show the cast perform some really great original songs. I'm SO glad they released this album, because these songs are classics.

Listen to:

1. Whatever Makes You Happy - Jennifer Hudson & Juicy J
2. Keep Your Money - Jussie Smollett
3. You're So Beautiful - Jussie Smollett & Yazz

Throwback R&B - Various Artists

As I've mentioned countless times before, I am in LOVE Trevor Nelson's compilation albums. This isn't one of them, but when I went through the iTunes preview, it sounded like it could be, so I downloaded it. It's full of great songs from the '90s and early '00s. I've rediscovered some classics thanks to this album.

Listen to:

1. Foolish - Ashanti (always been a favourite)
2. Mo Money Mo Problems - Notorious B.I.G feat. Puff Daddy & Mase

Monday, 3 August 2015

It's August?!?!



I feel like I begin way too many of these posts with 'I'm sorry I've not posted in so long', so instead of saying that, I'm going to try and explain why. As you guys know/have inferred from my posts, I suffer with mental illness (but it seems like everyone does nowadays right?). I see the world in a different way, and sometimes this means everything is absolutely fantastic, but other times it's horrendous. I graduated from university in July 2014, and I thought getting out of there would end all my problems, but boy was I wrong. 

I was depressed all through university, for one reason or another, but thought that graduating and completing that phase of my life would end all my worries. However, moving on from over fifteen years of structured education to living 'life', was a transition I've still not got to grips with. Going from knowing what I'll be doing for the next year(s), to not knowing where I'll be next week has been more than tough. I had a job from November 2014 to March 2015, and although I started off enjoying it, by the end I wanted to kill myself. I felt like everyone was taking advantage of me, and that I was the only one doing any work. Looking back now, I'm sure I was just seeing what I wanted to see, but when you're in the moment, things can seem ten times worse.


After leaving my job I went to visit my friend in France. It was all going fine until my brain went into overdrive. For a bit of context, I'd not seen these friends since September, and although we lived together through university, and practically spent every single day together for 3 years, we'd slightly drifted apart after leaving (not really a surprise as we all moved back home). Firstly, I think I'd put too much pressure on this trip, it was going to be amazing! We were going to have the best time! Obviously thinking like this means that when things don't go amazingly, they seem all the worse. Anyway, back to the story, we all got drunk one night, and something was said that really offended me. The next day I brought it up when everyone was sober, and not only did the friend agree with what they'd said the night before, they didn't even apologise for how upset it made me. Unfortunately we've not really spoken since then, and that was in March. 


Anyway, then I got back and my dad had a quadruple bypass operation! I had to look after him for a while, but now he's fine. I think he's depressed though which is fantastic. He already has a bleak outlook on life, but now it seems like anything positive he manages to spin into a horrible negative. So, now we're in June and I'm feeling absolutely horrendous. I feel so close to just jumping off a bridge. I don't, instead I go home and start googling jobs abroad. Somehow I find volunteering opportunity in Greece, email them, and have signed up for a six week placement with them starting the following week. Sometimes I'm a little impulsive. 

Fast forward to now, and I've just come back from my six weeks in Greece. On the whole, I had a great time. I met loads of fantastic people, spend lots of time on the beach, and completely redesigned their website. However, I still had episodes of depression. It was horrible while I was out there, but it's made me realise that my illness is exactly that, an illness! It's not something I can help. Even when I'm in the sun, hanging out with loads of friends, I still manage to be sad. I've spoken to the doctor, and I'm on the waiting list to see an NHS counsellor. Hopefully that'll help.

So, the long and short of it is, I want to blog. I think. Well, I have some ideas for posts over the following weeks, and I hope I manage to write them. The pictures I've used throughout this post are just random ones taken on my phone since March. I don't have my septum ring in anymore - it fell out and I was too squeamish to put it back in! See you guys soon with about a million pictures of Greece!

Monday, 27 April 2015

iPhone Cases

I recently switched mobile providers and got myself an iPhone 6. It's no surprise then that I've been scouring the internet to find the perfect case. I've currently got that Cath Kidston one (4), but any, and all, of these will be making their way into my collection at some point, especially 2, 3 & 5.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 |

Friday, 24 April 2015

My Desert Island DVDs

As I've mentioned on my About Page, I'm OBSESSED with TV, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to discuss what I love and why! Obviously, if I was stranded on a desert island, the ideal situation would be that I'd have a TV, a power source, wifi, and of course, Netflix. But, for the purpose of this post, I'm imagining I've only got two of these: a TV (with built-in DVD player) and a power source. So which four series would I be choose to watch over and over again for the rest of time?

Charmed






Oh I love Charmed. It has everything. There are some really upbeat, light, quirky episodes, some full on fantasy romps, and some really, really dark episodes, and I think Charmed would be perfect on my desert island because of this. I love fantasy, especially when it's integrated into the real world, and Charmed does that so well. It's believable! I love stories that span more than one episode, or season even, and when Charmed moved into doing this a bit more, over just monster-of-the-week stuff at the beginning, it became one of my favourite shows of all time. 

Favourite Character: Cole Turner

Best Season(s): 4, 5 & 6

Charmed in Three Words: Ridiculously Handsome Boyfriends. 

One Tree Hill


I've been watching One Tree Hill for over ten years (!), and I think that's why I like it so much. I know the characters, I grew up with them. I feel what they're feeling. I pretty much cried at every single episode of the final season. OTH deals with so much, everything from High School relationships, dying parents, kidnapping, psycho stalkers, teenage pregnancy, lost loves, gun crime, depression and bullying, to basketball, lots of basketball. Just writing this is making me want to go and re-watch all nine seasons right now (but I can't, that honour has already been given to Charmed)! 

Favourite Non-Lead Character: Psycho Derek (obviously I don't like Psycho Derek, but those episodes are soooo memorable. The episode where he reveals his tattoo, and the episode with the yy, and prom! Ahh, so good).

Best Season(s): 3 & 4 

One Tree Hill in Three Words: Always and Forever.

Weeds



After Charmed and One Tree Hill I need something a bit more saucy for my desert island viewing, so bring on Weeds. Weeds is full of swearing, sex and drugs, and it's perfect. Nancy Botwin is one of, if not the best female character ever written. This show is funny, surprising, and sometimes downright terrifying. Throughout the seasons, the Botwins seem to get themselves into increasingly dangerous situations that seem completely inescapable. I prefer the later seasons of the show, as Elizabeth Perkins' character starts to piss me off from about season 3. 

Favourite Character: Andy Botwin

Best Season(s): 6, 7 & 8 

Weeds in Three Words: Queen Nancy Botwin. 

Parks and Recreation



The best thing about Parks and Rec is that it's so easy to watch. I watch at least an episode most nights before I go to bed. Parks and Rec is just a happy show, and sometimes that's all you want. All of the characters are so well fleshed out and hilarious, that I could literally watch them do anything. I only have two qualms (yes I said qualms), one, April could do sooo much better than Andy, and two, being mean to Jerry does get old. SPOILER ALERT!! There's a Jerry-centric episode in the final season, and I cried.

Favourite Character: Jean-Ralphio Saperstein

Best Season(s): 3, 4 & 5

Parks and Rec in Three Words: Friends, Waffles, Work. 

Ok, so this may have been the hardest thing I've ever done. Television is the love of my life, and even thinking about only ever watching four series' ever again is giving me an anxiety attack. However, I think I have chosen well, and I could watch these four shows over and over until I die. These are some of the other shows that I was debating putting on the list:

Dexter, Orange Is The New Black, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Mindy Project, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, Scandal, Heroes, The West Wing, Homeland and Community.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

My Society6 Shop!

Wahoo! I just uploaded some of my favourite photos to my Society6 shop. I'm going to show you some of my favourite products, and it would mean so much to me if you bought, shared or liked any of them. Let's go ... 

Prints & Framed Prints


1 | 2 | 3 | 4

The prints, along with the mugs, are the cheapest thing you can get from the store from $15. Society6 also offer framing, and I've chosen some of my favourite print/frame combinations above.

Clocks




1 | 2 | 3 


These are my absolute favourite product. Just look at them! They're so pretty and I want them all! You get the option to change the frame and hand colour.

Pillows 

1 | 2

I would love to have a couple of these succulent pillows on my sofa or bed, they just look gorgeous.

Phone Cases




1 | 2

I know what all my friends are getting for their birthdays! The cases come in both iPhone and Samsung sizes, and look great on both. I've always wanted to see that left image as a phone case, and it does not disappoint. 

Mugs



1 | 2 | 3

As I said, the mugs are the cheapest thing you can buy from the store, at £15, and I'm definitely going to be forcing all my friends to buy them ;)

Thanks for reading this, I hope you like the products as much as I do! I'm working on some other designs at the moment, so if this is a success, I might add some more products in the future. I won't make that much money from this site, as Society6 takes a decent portion of the profits to make, package and send the products, which is fair enough, but, if I do continue to sell stuff online, I will definitely be looking into other ways to do it. 

If you have a Society6 account, I'd appreciate any follows and likes, and, of course, sales!

Monday, 20 April 2015

What I'm Listening To | April


Nick Jonas - Jealous (Gospel Version) - I could very nearly just finish this post here, that's how much I've been listening to this song. I downloaded it just over two weeks ago and, because I have hardly listened to anything else, it it already my top played song in iTunes, overtaking Ain't It Fun. If you haven't listened to this version yet, DO IT NOW! It merges together two of my favourite things, gospel choirs and men singing in falsetto. It's so good, soooo good. I have no doubts that I will still be listening to this song for a long time to come. 

Gavin DeGraw - Like most people, I discovered Gavin DeGraw thanks to the best show in the history of television: One Tree Hill. You may think I'm joking, but OTH is literally my favourite show. I love it so much, but more on that another time. When I was at university I invested in Spotify, and one day I decided to listen to Gavin DeGraw's entire back catalogue, at which point, I fell in love. Since moving back home, I unsubscribed from Spotify and invested that money in Netflix (the best decision I ever made. The amount of television I watch for £5.99 a month is literally the best deal on the planet), so I lost all my Gavin DeGraw. Anyway, (this might be the longest, most boring story I've ever written) the other day I decided to download all of his music into my iTunes, and I remembered how much I love him. I think I'll do a whole post about him, because this is already way too rambly. 

Kendrick Lamar - Complexion (A Zulu Love) - This song is beautiful. It reminds me of early OutKast, especially Liberation (which is a fantastic song if you haven't heard it). I think the world needs this song right now. The song features Rapsody on the last verse and she's incredible. I haven't yet, but I'm planning to listen to every song she's ever made.

The Eagles - I was in my granddad's car the other day and Hotel California came on, immediately I started singing American Wedding along to it. As much as I love that song, I really love the guitar part, and, of course, that's the bit that's from Hotel California. So, long story short, I downloaded the two disc Eagles Greatest Hits album. I love the more rocky songs like Victim of Love and the slower, more easy-listening tracks like Lyin' Eyes. I'm on a 'listening to music I don't know the words to' kick at the moment. So I put this album on in the background a lot. 

Nick Jonas - Nick Jonas - Seeing how much I loved the gospel version of Jealous I thought I'd really like Nick Jonas' album, and, surprise surprise, I do! It's a weird amalgam of literally every single genre of music. I'm listening to Teacher right now which is pretty funky, then there's Chains which I don't even know how to describe. The only string that ties the whole album together is Nick Jonas' (it seems weird to just call him Nick) beautiful falsetto. Insert heart eyes emoji here. Basically I think you need to listen to the album, because me describing it as indescribable is probably not helping sell it. 

Guilty Pleasure of the Month

Usher - I Don't Mind - So the concept of this song, and the rapping are ... questionable. It's about Usher not minding that his girlfriend is a stripper, as long as she comes home to him at the end of the night. In a way I guess it's nice? I'm all about choice, and if a woman wants to strip, who am I to say she shouldn't. I think stripping, and everything that goes along with that, is a symptom of our patriarchal society, and where my ideal would be that it didn't exist at all, the fact that it does means that I can't judge a woman for choosing to go down that path (even though I don't believe it is exactly a choice). Anyway, feminism out of the way, this song is really nice to listen to. It's no secret that I've been a big Usher fan since the beginning, and, as this song proves, I can listen to him sing about anything. 

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

I Am So Bad



  •  
  • I haven't blogged in two weeks
  • I haven't done anything to work on my goals
  • I haven't been following my New Year's Resolutions
  • I haven't been making the most of my spare time
  • I haven't packed for my holiday that's in 3 days
  • I haven't tidied up in what feels like weeks
  • I haven't been eating well
  • I haven't been keeping track of my spending

There, I said it. At the moment I'm feeling very sorry for myself (but let's be honest, when am I not?), and have entered into the perpetual cycle of procrastination. I can't be bothered to do anything productive, then I get miserable because I haven't achieved anything, and that leads me to not want to do anything. This cycle goes on and on and on and on, and I don't think it ever can truly be broken. At least not for me. I was listening to an episode of Elise Gets Crafty, and one of her guests mentioned that she needs as much time off as time working. That may sound like a copout, but it made me realise that I do too. Some procrastinators don't like doing work, but I'm not one of them. I like using my brain, I always have, BUT, only when I want to. There's a set of strict conditions that must be met in order for me to be able to work. 

For example, when I was studying for my university exams, I would do an hour of work, followed by an episode of a TV show (I think at that time I was re-watching all of Supernatural). That may sound stupid, and granted, I didn't do very well in my exams, but it was the only way I found that I was able to work all day. If I tried what my friends did, or what study skills teachers had told me in the past, to do blocks of three to four hours at a time, I would never have got past 10am. By constantly 'rewarding' myself with treats and 'me-time', I was able to switch my brain back on when I needed to. I still wasn't able to work full days, as I get headaches very easily (if I don't eat or drink enough, if I have too much or too little sleep, if the lights are too bright or too dim, if I get stressed out or embarrassed etc.), and when I've got a headache my motivation level goes from little to none. 

A few weeks ago I went to the Sunday Assembly, an Atheist Church of sorts. I enjoyed it, though it was still way too preachy for me, and it really made me think. Towards the end of the service the founder made his closing remarks and told us that he was in therapy for Chronic Procrastination. He laughed, and the whole audience laughed. I immediately thought of the friend sitting next to me who struggled throughout university, I think for this exact reason, and it made me realise that that is not something that I have. When I want to work, I want to work, and I can be very productive, but when I don't want to work, I tend to just lie in bed and do passive things like watching Netflix or YouTube videos. Ideally I'd like to create a balance in my spare time, between active and passive activities. Active things like going to the gym, reading and writing are great, but sometimes I do just need to lie down and absorb some good old television. 

It's been good to write about this, even if it is only me who understands it, but it is a bit miserable, so I'm going to try and end on a positive note. I was talking to my dad the other day about how, as individuals, we are the centre of our own universe, and I am as guilty of this as the next person, maybe even more so. I value my opinion over everyone else's, and get surprised when people do something I haven't predicted. It's because of this that I still have trouble digesting that key principle that 'everyone is different'. Some people are able to work 10 hour days and come home to work on their personal projects, and some people drift through life never actively making an decision for themselves. What this is leading to is that I need to stop comparing myself to other people. I am an individual, and no one else out there is exactly quite like me, I can do certain things and I can't do certain other things, but that's alright. So, with all of that said, although I've been able to make a list of all the things I haven't done over the last few weeks, I'm also able to make a list of the things I have. 

  • I have started reading a book, Fated by Benedict Jacka
  • I have (almost) caught up on Parks and Rec
  • I have re-merchandised a good majority of the shop I work in
  • I have received a lot of praise from my manager
  • I have been inspired by Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Ex Machina
  • I have been to the doctor twice, and got everything I needed
  • I have been to Hummingbird with my friends
  • I have been to Yo! Sushi with my dad
  • I have had several 10,000+ steps days (courtesy of my Fit Bit)
  • I have painted my nails
  • I have bought 15 books (this one is teetering between both lists)
  • I have watched the Fault in Our Stars
  • I have bought a new (very expensive) backpack

Friday, 30 January 2015

What I'm Listening To | January.

My playlist posts always seem to go down well, so I thought I'd make a monthly thing out of it. I will still post themed playlists like this one and this one, but every month I will post a round-up of the music and artists I've been listening to on repeat.

Tom Misch & Carmody - Out To Sea - EP - I first heard So Close on the radio late last year and really liked it. I rarely hear something new on the radio and keep listening, let alone stick around long enough to find out who it's by. Anyway, I did, and then I went and downloaded the EP. These guys have a really unique sound and I love it. If ever two voices were made to duet, it's these two.

Shift K3Y - Touch - EP - I mentioned here that I was loving Shift K3Y's song Touch, and when my friend played me another of their songs 'Make It Good', I just had to get the EP. Granted, those are the only two songs on there that aren't remixes, but the remixes are really, really great. To be honest I think I love Touch so much I could listen to anyone do anything with it. 

MKTO - Classic - OK, so you guys know how cool I am by now right? What with my obsession with 1D, my intense passion for coin collecting and the fact that I have no inhibitions when it comes to dancing along the street when my iPod's on full blast. With all that said however, I do still sometimes cave in to listening, and loving, chart music. This song and Wrapped Up by Olly Murs are just too happy and upbeat not to like. I don't think I could ever write a song like this, due to the fact that I'm way too pessimistic, but that doesn't mean I don't love listening to them.

Early Mariah - I've been trying to work out what kind of songs I want to write and sing, and it led me back to listening to some early Mariah, most notably Vision of Love, One Sweet Day and Emotion. Even though my favourite Mariah album is The Emancipation (because I grew up with it), earlier Mariah songs are flawless, and listening to them inspires me to strive for perfection.

The Trevor Nelson Collection 3 - OK, let me get this out of the way quickly, I worship at the church of Trevor Nelson. I bought the TN Collection 2 early last year and it changed my life. It introduced me to some incredible songs like Sexy Cinderella and Saturday love, and reawakened my love for Love Come Down and Me & U. I've only just downloaded Volume 3, but so far it's fantastic! At the moment I can't stop listening to Thinking of You by Sister Sledge, and the Ginuwine's classic Pony. 

Monday, 19 January 2015

Last Week in Links 1.

I sneakily figured out how to open YouTube on the computer at work, so have been watching Ted Talks over my lunch break. This one in particular stood out to me, as I've never heard it put so eloquently, or such an easily actionable way to change our intrinsic biases. 

I watched Whiplash this week, and it was fantastic. The film is very intense, and puts the audience in the mind of the main character so well that I was shouting out things for him to say, and feeling like I was there myself. If I had to some it up in three words they would be blood, sweat and tears. 

This has inspired me to try and take a photo a day on my (new) iPhone and upload it to Instagram. I got out of the habit of taking photos on my old phone because the camera was pretty awful, but it's something I want to get back into, because you're able to capture so many more organic moments with your phone. 

This made me feel so much better about not being successful in what I want to do at twenty one. Because I love music, and really that's what I want to be doing with my life, it's very disheartening to see people already at the height of their career at the same age as me, see One Direction, Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift etc. So, reading this post, that shows you the ages that great authors published their first books and their breakthrough books helped to put things into perspective a bit more. 

I'm not a fashion person, even less a dress person, but if I could wear nothing else but the dresses in this collection, particularly the space inspired ones, for the rest of my life I would die happy. 

I really love what Charlavail is wearing in these photos, I need to get me some olive green tights!

OK guys, I have something to admit, this past week I downloaded Candy Crush: Soda Saga and I'm so freaking obsessed. I'd never played it before, the nonconformist that I am, but I was definitely missing out. It's awesome. 

Saturday, 17 January 2015

My Goals for 2015

So, I've split this post into resolutions, i.e. the boring stuff, and goals. Resolutions are things that I didn't do so well last year, and want to work on in 2015, and goals are bigger things that I want to accomplish in the coming year.


Resolutions
  • Take vitamins every day
  • Go to the gym at least once a week
  • Take my camera out at least once a week - ready-made blog post right?
  • Go to the cinema once a week - I have the Cineworld Unlimited pass and I need to start getting the most out of it.
  • Make time for blogging/Blog at least twice a week
Goals
  • Read 25 books - read more about this here
  • Get 100 views a day on this blog - I'm not sure if this is goal is too big or too small, but, either way, it's what I'm aiming for. 
  • Save £2000 by May - not 100% sure if this is feasible, but I'm definitely going to need quite a bit of cash to go travelling with
  • Make and sell a product on Etsy - OK, so this may sound kind of generic, and that I haven't really thought about it at all, but the truth is I really have. This is something I've wanted to do for aggess, but just haven't got round to working out all the details with. I know what I want to sell, the next step is just figuring how to make it to the highest standard while still managing to keep the production relatively cheap. Anywho, as if there wasn't enough to be excited about this year #watchthisspace. 
  • Visit 10 new countries - sooooo I already have one lined up - I'm going to Trinidad in February! Woohoo!!!! I've got loads of family out there, and as my cousin was already going for Carnival, I thought I'd tag along! I'm so excited I want to cry. 
  • Post at least two videos of me singing on YouTube - this is something I realllllllly want to do, but am just ridiculously nervous about.
  • Write and share three original songs - the studio session with my dad the other day was really great, and I think, with a lot of work on my part, we could get some cool songs out of it. 
  • Make, and stick to a blogging schedule - I had this locked down last summer when I was doing nothing else, but now I've got a pretty much full-time job, I need to come up with a schedule that makes the most of the little free time I have, while still leaving me time to do more relaxing things like binge-watching The West Wing. 
  • Move out of home - since coming back from uni I've been living with my mum, and it's not the best, so ... another goal for this year is to move in with my friends, and I'm pretty sure this might actually happen towards the tail end of this year. 

Saturday, 10 January 2015

January Currently

Yep, the post title is exactly the same as one of Elise's, but she just says it, and does it, so well. Also, as per usual, I'm about to tell you how busy I am (Mindy wouldn't like that), and that again I'm working a full week next week so, this post is just a little update in the style of Elise (if you don't read her blog you really should).

listening to a LOT of One Direction, I'm slightly obsessed, and it's driving me crazy.

watching The West Wing. One of my friends mentioned it the other day so I thought I'd take this opportunity, where I don't currently have a series I'm burning through, to watch it. I'm about half way through season 2, and I love it. I feel like The West Wing has inspired so many modern TV shows,  I'm noticing loads of parallels. 

reading Say Yes. Still. Have you got the picture yet that I'm busy? I just feel like I haven't caught up with myself yet, I need a few days off to be able to plan my time a bit better. Hopefully I'll be able to do that tomorrow.

needing to go to the gym. I've not been for over a month and I'm really feeling it. Also, they have the best showers. 

working thirty-nine hour weeks. I know, I know, everyone does it, but before I got this job I was literally doing nothing, so it's still a bit of a shock to the system. I just realised I don't think I told you guys that I got promoted!? I'm now a supervisor - check me, 50p more per hour! I still haven't told them that I'm planning to travel for 3 - 6 months in May, but ... meh. 

singing in the studio. Yes! You read that right! I went to a studio practice room with my dad on Tuesday and actually did some singing! It took a while to get into it, I had to sing His Eye Is On The Sparrow to ease myself in (that's the song I sing around the house constantly), but it went well. My dad has his own band, so spends a lot of time playing around with Logic, so he'd made some trial backing tracks that I sung over which was fun. I couldn't think of any lyrics, so I just sung the words to Vision of Love over his funky-disco track and Little Things over the techno. 

feeling cold, tired and miserable. Yay Winter!

thinking about my goals for 2015. Don't fret, as soon as I know them you'll know them.

spending wayyyy too much money in the sales, I bought four jumpers for work, loads of earrings and the Star Wars Vans that I've wanted for ages, they were half price!

hoping to get a new post out on Monday! 

Monday, 5 January 2015

What I Got For Christmas

So, I rarely post the same things as other people post, because I'm boring/original/totally out of the loop (delete as appropriate), BUT I got some pretty cool shit for Christmas, so ... queue the bragging! My biggest gift was from my dad, and he's bought us some time in a rehearsal space in a music studio where we're gonna write some songs together and try to get me more comfortable singing in front of people, because, if I do want to be a singer, I really need to be able to sing in front of people. I'm not sure exactly when we're going to do that, but hopefully as soon as possible. I've been holding back on my dream for so long, just pushing it to the background trying to drown it out, but now I've come to the realisation that life is what you make it, and if I really do want to make music, I need to freaking do it! Wow, writing that almost made me cry - hopefully that's a good sign.

So apart from that present I got a few bits from my mum including this mug she made me. Cool eh? I'm trying to convince her to start selling them on Etsy, I think they'd go down a treat.

I got these DVDs from my cousins, and I want to watch them now! I saw both these films in the cinema this year and they were amazing. 

I got this MAC makeup from my aunt. Woohoo dark lipstick! It's a bit more purpley that I usually go, but I'll try and make it work.

For reasons unknown, someone always gets me Marc Jacobs' Daisy in some form or another, and this year my grandma got me this set of mini bottles. 
  
 My dad also got me this POP figure. I am trying to collect them, but at £10 each, it's not that feasible for me at the moment, what with trying to save money for travelling and all.

Anyway, I had a pretty good haul this year, and, if I say so myself, gave pretty well too. Along with these things I got a ton of chocolate, but, it's been a week since Christmas, so that's all gone. I love Christmas, and as much as I love getting presents, I think I prefer giving them more. When I'm rolling in it in the future I can't wait to buy people all the things they want (as well as multiple copies of my albums, films, books and action figures (yes I went there) - mwahahaha).

Friday, 2 January 2015

What I Read in 2014

As I mentioned here, I set myself a challenge to read 52 books this year, and I'm disappointed to say that I failed miserably. However, that's not to say that I don't think this challenge was a success, or that I didn't enjoy it, because I really did! Even though I didn't reach my target, I still read more books this year than any year before this, and rediscovered my love of getting lost in a good book. I feel like the books I've read this year fall into three distinct categories (alright, two distinct categories and one that I've just shoved the ones that don't fit under), Biography, Thriller/Mystery and Drama. It was tough, but I've ranked them in order of greatness, do you agree?

Biography
  1. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and other concerns) by Mindy Kaling
  2. Yes Please by Amy Poehler (I still have a bit left of this to read)
  3. #GIRLBOSS
  4. Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
  5. Bossypants by Tina Fey
Thriller/Mystery
  1. I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
  2. The Shining Girls by Lauren Buekes
  3. The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
  4. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  5. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
Drama
  1. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  2. The Universe Verses Alex Woods by Gavin Extence
  3. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  4. The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom
If you'd like to read my detailed reviews of most of these books (some I read before I started this blog), you can find them here: Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3

In 2015, I'm planning to spend as much time as possible travelling, and, seeing as travelling is when I seem to get most of my reading done, I'm going to set myself another reading goal. I'm not going to go with 52 books again, because that was ridiculous, but I'm hoping to read more than the 14 I've read this year. So, with all that said, I'm going to set myself the goal of reading 25 books in 2015. (See what I'm doing there with the numbers?) If you've got any recommendations, please please please leave them in the comments, part of the reason I failed this year is because I just couldn't decide what to read!

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Merry New Year!

Get the reference? I should hope so! Sorry I've been slacking post-wise towards the end of 2014, but 2015 will be a fresh start for Lost In All My Selfish Thoughts (just misspelled selfish as elfish - should definitely have done something with that for Christmas!) - original right? But no, really, I will be sitting down tomorrow, on my first day off in agggges to make some lists and cement some plans. #watchthisspace