Friday 15 January 2016

Creative Inspiration | Gray Malin

I almost feel like I'm tainting this post with my words because the images really do speak for themselves. Gray Malin's photography is, to me, perfection. He both discovers and creates beauty in the world, and inspires me not only to explore the world, but also to document it creatively. When I'm rich I will buy so many Gray Malin prints they wont know what hit 'em, but for now I'll just scroll in awe. Make sure to follow Gray Malin on Instagram!

Monday 11 January 2016

Open to 2016

So, I know, I'm the worst. Like worse even than Britta Perry. My last posts were in September! That's over three months ago, and even before that my blogging schedule was whack. So, not to sound like a broken record, but that's all about to change. I have a lot of exciting things coming up soon, and they most definitely cannot go by without me blogging about them. But, before we get into all of that, let me just update you on what's been going on with me over the last few months. 
  • I went to Greece for six weeks - So I spent a bit of time in Greece this year volunteering at a turtle rescue centre. It was good, but I'm saving a more detailed explanation for a separate post.
  • I got a new job - I work in a department store in London, and although I applied for a permanent job, I'm going to leave after my probationary period because I hate it so much. Okay, I don't hate it that much, but it's really not where I want to be. The customers are rude, the pay isn't worth it, and the products I'm selling (freaking curtain and upholstery fabrics!) I have no interest in or passion for, or even general knowledge about. EDIT: since I wrote this I've been moved to a different department which, to be honest with you, is slightly better. It's the China and Glass department, so we sell plates, glasses, vases, mugs and other decorative things. Still, it's not what I want to be doing, and I'm pretty sure I never want to work in retail again, unless I'm a manager. (Sidenote: We get a lot of famous people in my shop, recently I've seen Hugh Grant, Hugh Bonneville, Adele, Bob Geldof, the guy who plays Joe Carroll on the Following, and if you're a fan of British Royalty, I totally sold Kate Middleton some table cloth material)
  • I've not been (too) sad - so apart from a major slip up last weekend (don't ask why, it's ridiculous), I've been doing quite well mentally. I think working so much means that I don't have so much time to wallow and let my own negative thoughts stew. I've been anxious and scared about what's coming in February, but more of that to come below...
  • I've not really done anything of note - since September I've been to two gigs (both of which were great, Gavin Degraw and Fifth Harmony), been out for dinner and coffee with my friends (Candy Hearts reference anyone) a handful of times, watched all 7 Star Wars films, and that's about it. 
  • I've lost nearly 2 stone - I almost forgot to put this one in! Early in November I joined Slimming World, and have very nearly lost 2 stone. It's been really great for me, and the meetings are actually the highlight of my week. I love hearing what everyone's been up to, it almost feels like group therapy. I'm gonna try and lose 2.5 stone before February, because I know I'm gonna put it all back on. Ideally I'd like to lose about 5 stone in total, maybe thats a 2016 goal?

Ok so I'm not even going to bother reposting my 2015 goals here, because 1 it seems ridiculous and scary that that was a year ago, and 2, I failed miserably at all of them. So, what are this years' goals? Well, I'm not a goal person, I don't think. To be honest I've never had that period of self-reflection when you work out who you are, like am I Type A or B, maybe/hopefully that's all still to come. 

So, anyway, as you know, I'm totally obsessed with Elise, and was slightly heartbroken when she said she was going to stop posting five days a week on her blog. However, I totally get it (how she managed to do that for ten years still amazes me). Every year Elise chooses a word for the year, inspired by Ali Edwards' One Little Word, and this year I was inspired to do the same. I listened to Elise's podcast episode with Ali when I was taking a late night walk in the park to clear my head (it was that fantastic weekend I mentioned above), and as soon as Ali mentioned that one of her previous words was open, I knew that that had to be mine.

To me open means being receptive to new ideas and challenges, and not writing something off simply because I'm scared. I'm the type of person who always orders the same thing at a restaurant because I know I like it, and where I don't particularly mind this 'closed' approach, I think becoming more open could lead to some new discoveries, not just with food. Of course open also means that I'll be holding doors open for men at any chance I can get #fthepatriarcy.

Okay, so what's this big thing I was talking about that's happening in February? Well ... I'm finally going travelling around Southeast Asia! Woohoo! I mean, I'm equal parts excited and totally petrified, but it's something I've been talking about for years (as a friend recently reminded me). I've pretty much got an itinerary planned, but all of that could change as I meet friends and strangers along the way. I'm probably going to spend half of the time with friends, and the other half on my own. I am scared of course, we all know I'm a super wimp, but I'm hoping that with the amount of planning I've put in, there'll be enough things to see and do that I wont end up getting depressed in a hostel bunk bed and wanting to fly home immediately. 

One of the key things I want to accomplish on this trip is to make a film a week. Yes, like a travel vlogger, except I doubt you'll be seeing my face if it's not to show you my reaction to some new delicacy. I've bought a camera especially, so I have to do it. I've been really getting into YouTube again recently, but the side that's less about make up and buying things (which is starting to grate with me). I've been inspired by Casey Neistat, Tim Kellner, JacksGap, VagaBrothers, devinsupertramp. Of course, they're all white men (yay diversity!), because the majority of women on YouTube talk about makeup and clothes. So hopefully I can make some good travel videos for YouTube despite the fact that I'm a woman. (Too bitter? Oh well, that's because I am).

So that's everything for now, look forward to a post about my travel itinerary and then my videos! I'm planning to do one a week, so that should be at least 8 videos in total. 

Monday 4 January 2016

The Best Songs of 2015

Ok, so at the end of every year I make a playlist of what I think were the best songs of previous 12 months. Usually I then burn the songs on to CDs and give the out as cheap Christmas presents. Well, I did neither of those things this year, as I've only just remembered to make the playlist! Thankfully, the forward-thinking me has been adding songs to the playlist all year, so here are what I think were the best songs of 2015...

Fifth Harmony - Reflection

Ok, so I was struggling to choose just one 5H song to put on this list, but when your mum knows most of the words to a song because you play it so much, the song is chosen for you. 

Nick Jonas - Santa Barbara

Ok, so this song is my everything. 

Miguel - Coffee

Urgh I love everything about this song. The bridge is just perfect. 

Fetty Wap - 679

I used to be sooo into Hip Hop, but to me, nowadays it all either all sounds the same or is so offensive I can't listen. So when I heard Trap Queen and 679, I kind of fell in love. 

One Direction - History

Ok, so I listen to a LOT of One Direction, and my favourite songs of theirs are probably all on FOUR, but I didn't want Made In The A.M. not to get a mention. It was tough to choose between Drag Me Down, Infinity, Perfect and History, but the meaning behind this songs led me to add it to the list. 

Marroon 5 - Sugar

So there was a time earlier this year, maybe in February, where I had this song on repeat for about two weeks. I love it. Not to sound like a total hipster, but I loved Maroon 5's first album, but recently their music has become a bit too samey and boring. However, when they released Sugar, which is like super happy (and that's what I'm looking for music wise at the moment), I just gave in. Also the video may or may not bring a tear to my eye. 

Ellie Goulding - Love Me Like You Do

So if you know me, you know that I absolutely HATE Ellie Goulding. I really can't stand her breathy voice, and when I saw her live at Chime for Change she was terrible. BUT, I really like this song. I don't find her voice as horrendous as on previous songs, and I actually kind of like her falsetto (2013 Dolly would shoot me for saying that). 

Little Mix - Black Magic

As I said, I'm on a happy music kick, and this is probably the most candy-coated pop song of the year. I love Little Mix, I actually wrote a whole post about them here, and although I do like their new album, some of the sex references are just like ... woah. A.D.I.D.A.S. I'm talking to you. 

The 1975 - UGH!

UGH! I love The 1975. I'm definitely gonna dedicate a whole post to them. Freaking love them. I'm kind of devastated because I bought tickets to see them in March but I'm not gonna be in the country :( Hopefully they'll tour again later in the year, because the last time I saw them I wasn't as big of a fan as I am now. 

Justin Bieber - Love Yourself

I've never been embarrassed to like Justin Bieber, but this year he made it a lot easier to outwardly like him by releasing some genuinely good music. 

Ed Sheeran & Rudimental - Bloodstream

Favourite Ed Sheeran song by a mile (well tied with I See Fire), and this video is freaking epic! 

As you can see, 2015 was the year I got back into listening to chart music. Thank you Apple Music. For the record, I have lined up some classic albums to listen to while I'm travelling, so my ears will be subjected to a bit more variety.