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Living life with good intention, loving with soul, and consuming with a conscience

January 27, 2017

Me and My Other Interests: Art

So it turns out I haven't blogged about one of my "other interests" since September and that is just shocking. Last year I started a mini-series all about my other interests that don't get as much coverage on NB for various reasons. As much as I love makeup and fashion, I also enjoy a wealth of other topics and activities that some people don't necessarily know about. So as it has been so long since my last post like this, and as I haven't mentioned this properly yet, I guess I better tell you all about how much I love to draw and paint.

So as you can imagine, drawing and art stuff started a really young age for me. I've always loved drawing and used to spend a lot of my time as a kid drawing or painting, tracing things, drawing with chalk all over my grandparent's back garden, using a crayon to rub over embossed things... Every opportunity to do something arty I would. I have such a clear memory of spending my weekends at my grandparents house and I had a The Little Mermaid big picture book that I absolutely adored. I would trace and trace and trace the scene when all of Ariel's sisters are in the clam shells and she's not there to sing the main part and every time I remember beating myself up that my tracing didn't look anywhere near as good as the image printed in the book. This kind of love hate relationship with art is something I've contended with from a young age it would seem.

I'm sure most people know that feeling of feeling a bit inadequate in something you enjoy doing. It's quite a difficult to get into a positive and carefree mindset - a one where you're not worried about your abilities and you just do something because you love it - and I guess that's why I don't share any doodles I usually do because well, I'm pretty self-critical. As I've grown older, I've spent less and less time on this hobby due to time constraints and also this feeling of it "not being good enough" which I realise myself is just ridiculous because the quality shouldn't be the focus at all. The focus should be how the activity makes you feel and art makes me feel at ease and like my time has been well spent.

Due to this I've went back to the drawing board (see what I did there?) and picked up my pencils and paints again. I've given up on perfecting what I'm doing - I tend to leave every single goddamn piece of art I attempt half done and I guess that's just the way things are always going to be. I'm also trying to not criticise myself too much. Who cares if I can't draw things symmetrical and that I can't draw hands for toffee, I'm trying and enjoying the process so that's the main thing.

Art is definitely something I'm making more time for in 2017. Far too often with these sorts of hobbies, they get put on the back burner and they become prioritised less and less which is what has been happening for me for the last few years. Mix that with a defeatist attitude and it's a recipe for disaster. It sets my anxiety levels ablaze when I try to create something because "I'm rubbish and out of practice" so it makes the enjoyment of it something I have to work hard to achieve. To counteract this I've been doing things like using adult colouring books much more and also just doing quick, freehand, not much purpose to them sketches here and there just to get those creative juices flowing. I'm hoping over the next year I can make more time for it because once upon a time, this was all I wanted to do all of the time and the spark is always there, I just need to throw a little fuel on it to get it burning bright again.

I guess the main person I have to thank for this is my mam. She was always drawing all sorts for me when I was younger and she was pretty damn talented. She drew every Disney character I could want drawn and when my little brother started to get into Kingdom Hearts well, boy oh boy was a jealous of some of the quick sketches she produced for him. Drawing has always been my crutch as it's what I feel, artistically, I can produce the best work from whereas painting - especially with anything other than watercolour - is what I struggle with the most. Give me some charcoal to smudge all over a piece of A1 and I'm all stations go but give me some acrylic paint and I'll botch it up somehow. So 2017 is the year of the acrylics and the year of my beloved Bob Ross.

Bob Ross is quite honestly the main reason I love art so much. He makes it such an easy creative outlet to enjoy and watching his shows makes me feel like I can create anything. It might sound bizarre to some people but I think he's such an encouraging soul that I don't really feel like a fuck up when I do fuck up now. I just try and rectify what mistakes I've made, try to alter it to take a new form, or just try to have the confidence and comfort to deal with the fact that sometimes ideas just need to be scraped and that is okay.

But it's not just Mr Ross who has inspired me. I love visiting art galleries and have a special place in my heart reserved for religious art and the kind of things you'd see in a 18th century German church. Give me a stained glass window with hidden symbolism or give me something that's supposed to represent Dante's Inferno and you have a winner with me. From Salvador Dali to James Jean, I love the mix of styles, the ideas behind it all and just the fact that all art gives a small snippet insight into another person's personality and imagination. Not to mention how much of a central part art plays in some of my other interests. Video games such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Age rely on exceptionally good and breathtaking artwork and it's probably no surprise to know my favourite artist is Yoshitaka Amano who basically made Final Fantasy what it is. I also really love graphic novels so again, some of my favourite artists contribute to that realm and the artwork of a comic or graphic novel is definitely one of the factors that draws me in. Art is everywhere in so many ways for me and appreciating it and making time for it just seems to shed such a positive light on my life as cheesy as it may sound.

So just to finish off this post, I'll give you a wee list of just some of my favourite artists of all time (in no particular order but you know Amano is my number one always): Yoshitaka Amano, Nicomi Nix Turner, David Stoupakis, Kris Kuksi, Christina Mrozik, Dan Hillier, Mark Ryden, Sin Eater Illustrations, Salvador Dali, Caitlin Hackett, Maskull Lasserre, Yuka Yamaguchi, El Curiot, Caitlin McCormack, Nick Sheehy, Charlie Immer, Richey Beckett, James Jean, J.A.W. Cooper, Liza Corbett, Estela Cuadro, Rose Ellen Swenson, Christopher Lovell, Sarah Benning, Joao Ruas, Esao Andrews, Joan Cornella, Jaz Helena, John Kenn Mortensen, Oana Befort, Nana Williams, Jeff Faerber, Samuel Humphreys, Julie Pond, Hellen Jo, Victoria Clare Gray, Jessica Weymouth, Andrea Dezso, Bill Crisafi, Tom Findlay, Robin Eisenberg, Louis Barquet...

So Bob Ross, mam, and every art gallery I've ever visited and the countless hours I've spent scrolling through some of my favourite pieces of art on Tumblr... I salute you.

- A.
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January 25, 2017

Lush: Joy to the World

Another Christmas has past so of course that means I have some more Lush treats to try. Matthew's mum & dad always get me some sort of Lush gift box each year as part of my gifts and this year was a nice small offering because let's be real - last year's gift box still hasn't fully emptied yet as we don't have a bathtub in the flat so that makes life kind of difficult when it comes to Lush products! I really love that I get one of these boxes from Matt's parents as they usually manage to pick something that includes Lush products that I haven't used before. It's always quite nice to see what surprises are included and try some things that I wouldn't necessarily pick up in store myself but this way I have discovered some lovely products that I will and have, purchased again. This year I was gifted the "Joy to the World" box so I'll give you a run down of the two products inside and what I think of the box in general.

So firstly, look at that packaging! It was a gorgeous box to receive for Christmas because it's incredibly festive but it is also quite minimal and elegant so would suit someone of any age. As I mentioned earlier, the box includes two items: a 120g bar of Santa's Postbox soap and a 45g tub of Dream Cream body lotion. I feel like both items compliment each other well and the soap definitely keeps the contents of the gift as festive as it's packaging.

As you can hopefully see, the soap is the show stopper so we'll talk about that first. This soap is super cute and is shaped just like the traditional Royal Mail red postboxes found across the UK. It has quite a citrus-y scent as it includes mandarin oil and satsuma juice but it also has a tiny hint of spice about it that keeps it incredibly Christmas worthy. To me, it smells like it has some cloves in there giving it a more mature and deep scent rather than just a citrus orange burst. Having tried lots of Lush soaps before I have to say that I really like this one. It seems to melt and layer up a lot easier than others I have tried and the little bit of glitter makes it kind of fun to use too! I was pleasantly surprised to see that it doesn't stain your shower and your whole life red as I've had some of their bright soaps in the past and boy oh boy, they can leave tough stains that only a lot of elbow grease can remove, but this one didn't do that so that was a nice added bonus. Obviously this is a product they only release around Christmas time but I'm hoping it will be something that they restock next Christmas as I actually think I'd repurchase it now that I've seen how lovely it is. The highlight of it definitely has to be it's smell as it keeps your bathroom smelling like Christmas when you're just storing it but using it really releases that clove smell and makes your bathroom and your skin smell absolutely divine.

And now for my favourite of the two - the Dream Cream. Dream Cream is an all year-round product from Lush and retails for £6.5O for a 100g tub. It's a really delicate and nice cream to use. I know "nice" always seems to be a bad word to use when describing products or people for some reason but this cream is just that - it's not got an overpowering smell, it really hydrates the skin and soaks into the body quickly and is just generally pleasant to use. I really like this cream for when my skin is particularly dry or when I've shaved my legs because it's a really good cream for sensitive skin as it doesn't irritate my post-shave skin which very rarely happens so this has been an excellent discovery for me. Like I said, it does have a scent to it but it's not very strong which is something that I'm not used to from Lush to be honest! It reminds me a lot of the Soap & Glory body milk that has oat milk and brown sugar in it that I love but the smell isn't as strong. If you find the Soap & Glory body milk too sickly sweet, this cream is a great alternative as it has a similar scent but it's really toned down. It includes oat milk (which is the majority of the scent in my opinion) and lavender oil which are both great for soothing and calming the skin (so perfect for post-shave skin stress!) and also cocoa butter and rose absolute which help restore the skin and keep it soft and conditioned. Like I said, this has been a great find for me and looking at the reviews of it online, people have said it's great for those who suffer from eczema and also good for tattoos?! So I'll definitely be testing it out on mine and I also might use it on my shoulders/chest/back where I often get "T-shirt acne" to see if it helps with the dryness of spots in those areas too.

Overall this was a lovely little gift to receive. The packaging is beautiful so anyone receiving it would be pleased and impressed by it, and the contents inside albeit a smaller option from Lush, are lovely to use and I'm so pleased that I've now tried Dream Cream as I will definitely be repurchasing it in the future.

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January 13, 2017

Favourite Photography Posts 2016

Happy Friday guys! I promise all these "2016 review" posts are finishing today, but I couldn't not mention my favourite photography posts from the past year. I love taking photos. It's something I try to make time for on a weekly basis and although I'm in no way a professional or even use professional equipment, I always pack my point and shoot into my bag and try to capture moments as much as I can. So because of that, I thought I'd share what my favourite photo posts of 2016 have been to take and to upload and write about.

Basilica di Santa Maria in Ara coeli Interior
Basilica di Santa Maria in Aracoeli

I thought I'd kick things off with one of my Rome travel posts. This trip to Basilica di Santa Maria in Aracoeli was possibly my most favourite part of my trip to Rome because it was spontaneous, unplanned, yet perfect. I love architecture and religious art and this church was so picturesque and gorgeous to look at it was the best thing to take lots of photographs of. As I mentioned in the post, it was just by chance that we paid it a visit and it was so quiet due to being at the top of the biggest staircase I've ever had the displeasure of climbing so it was just such a breathtaking experience to have (no pun intended).

Brian Griffiths Bill Murray Exhibition

Next up is one of my earliest posts from 2016 and although I wouldn't say it's my best photography, it was a trip to an art gallery so I was super happy to get photos whilst I was there. Brian Griffith's Bill Murray-themed exhibition was a dream come true for this Murray lover and although I didn't fully understand the style of art or what it represented, the gallery was pretty cool all the same. The Baltic art gallery in Newcastle also had a giant Bill Murray plastered on the side of the building for ages and I honestly think it improved the city for a wee bit.

Horse at Rainton Meadows
Rainton Meadows and Joe's Pond Nature Reserves

This posts photos were happy spur of the moment shots to be honest. This was a trip to a couple of nature reserves with one of my best friends and I hadn't planned on taking any photographs whilst we were there because the sky was so grey and overcast I thought we wouldn't be there for very long. However, the sun came out and so did the animals so naturally, I had to try and get some pictures of them in the sunshine.

St Catherine's Hill
St. James Hill Cemetery

By now, you guys might have realised that I really like graveyards/cemeteries. There's just something about them that is so peaceful and picturesque so I love taking photos in them when I get the chance. One of my favourite ones is a one I used to walk through every day to go to and from university and although it's often got a lot of human traffic passing through it, it's still a calm space and has amazing views across Winchester if you stand in the right spots. I have taken countless photos in St. James Hill Cemetery, but these are the first ones I've shared on NB.

Ostrich at Animals Inside Out
Gunther von Hagens' Animals Inside Out Exhibition

One of my most recent posts and definitely one of my most trickiest to photograph has to be my trip to the Animals Inside Out Exhibition at the Life Centre in Newcastle Upon Tyne. I loved this exhibition because it was so informative and a great chance to take some photos. As someone who doesn't have a DSLR and doesn't spend a lot of time doing "proper" photography, I realised I wish I had more time to learn because having a DSLR in this exhibit would have been amazing, but I think the photos I managed to get are still pretty good if I do say so myself.

Beamish Museum Part One and Part Two

Back in March I paid a visit to Beamish Museum with my mam and little brother for a day. Beamish Museum is an awesome place to have on my doorstep back at home but I don't visit it enough at all. So we decided as we were all free at the same time we'd spend the day there and oh my goodness, it was one of the coldest and most bleak days ever. We ended up leaving early and headed to the pub for some warm food and to sit by the open fire, but before that, I did get some photos I was happy with.

Why I love Winchester - Architecture

I feel like this post is a bit of a cheat post to include because it features photos from lots of different posts on my blog. However, that's exactly the reason why I should include this post here because it includes some of my favourite pictures of my home and possibly some of my best.

Newcastle - My Favourite City

If I'm including a post about Winchester then it's only right I include a post about Newcastle. This was one of my first posts of 2016 and although if I was to do a photography post of Newcastle again I would include more photos and a bit more detail, I did enjoy wandering around the day I took these and the weather and views were wonderful considering it was December!

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January 11, 2017

Why Coconut Oil is E V E R Y T H I N G

Just so you're aware, this is going to be a basic bitch post and I couldn't give a monkeys. Coconut oil seems to have shoot to stardom during 2016 and guys, if you don't have a tub of it in your life, you need to go out and get one asap. I know some of you will be sat there right now, rolling your eyes thinking "she's jumped on the same bandwagon every other white girl who blogs has" and yes, yes I have but my goodness - I promise you it's a good bandwagon to be riding. I've been using coconut on and off for years and each time I start using it again I realise there's more and more uses for it that help look after your body both inside and out. So I thought I'd share with you guys how I like to use my mahoosive tub of it and what benefits I've seen come through as a result of it.

So first up - it's amazing for removing makeup. I tend to take between a pea size to strawberry size lump of it (depending on how heavy my warpaint has been that particular day) and simply rub it in my hands until it melts and then slather it all over my face. As it's an oil, it cuts through foundation, concealer, powder etc. and also does an astoundingly good job breaking down mascara and dark eyeshadows and liners. It is such a gentle way to remove makeup too as it's 100% organic and natural and it doesn't irritate the skin at all.

Now, I don't actually use it as a makeup remover usually unless I'm feeling lazy and want to go to bed asap, so most days I use it as my second cleanse and daily face wash. I take a pea size amount and massage it into my face - just as a I would if I was using it to remove my makeup! Difference is, this way I know I'm definitely getting my skin squeaky clean. The nicest way to use coconut oil when using it as a cleanser is to massage it into the skin and whilst you're doing that, make sure you have the hot tap running and have a flannel/muslin cloth soaking in your sink basin. Once you feel you've massaged your face enough, ring out the flannel and whack it on your face. Tilt your head back and just let the flannel rest on your face for around one minute/until it's completely cooled down. The heat and steam from the towel and the oil are a winning combination for drawing out badness from the skin and getting rid of it. This way you can also make sure you have no oily residue left on the skin as I know it makes some folk feel uncomfortable. The heat and steam from a hot shower also works wonders too. If you're okay with the slight residue though, this helps your skin feel super moisturised and makes your face feel as smooth as a baby's bottom.

Speaking of moisturising and smoothness, coconut oil is the greatest natural moisturiser out there. If you have particularly dry skin, try using a tiny amount of coconut oil instead of your normal moisturiser and you're bound to notice a difference. It does take a little longer to sink into the skin, but if you've got the time to burn it's more than worth it. Even though I'm an extremely oily skinned girl, I've been battling some terrible dry skin patches for the last few months and this has helped out big time. If my skin is super dry in any areas, the tiniest amount of this before bed at night has instantly sent a jet of hydration into the targeted area and helped obliterate the flaky skin. I don't feel comfortable wearing it during the day because I'm oily enough as it is, but nighttime SOS rescue? I'll take it.

This lifesaving product isn't just limited to your face though. If you suffer from dry elbows, heels, hands etc. this is such a good dry skin balm. Again, you can be as liberal as you want with how much you apply, but it helps get rid of dry callous skin almost instantly. For ladies with mature skin, it's exceptionally good at battling those dry knees and elbows that unfortunately seem to come with old age (my grandma swears by it).

Another skin saving magic trick it can do happens when you're shaving and need a shaving aid. Lather your legs in this stuff and as it's an oil, it will stay on the skin even under shower water and will provide your legs with some protection whilst still letting the razor get super close and smoothly shave. As it's such a conditioning product, it also doesn't irritate the skin and I can assure you, I've got the most sensitive legs in the world when it comes to shaving and this is 1 of 2 things that doesn't make my legs break out in shaving rash. It leaves my legs feeling soft and supple too but if you wanted to make sure that injection of softness really stays there, it's also an amazing post shave balm too. And I mean, if it works on your pins, it'll work on ya man's face too, right?

Okay okay, I promise this is the last moisturising suggestion I'm going to give when it comes to this product but oh my my it works wonders on dry hair. I have really thin, really oily hair naturally so usually I steer well clear of hair products that promise anti frizz and moisture boosting but coconut oil is different. Fly away hairs? Rub some coconut oil on them. Dry ends? Rub some coconut oil on them. Limp hair that's lost its shine? Rub some coconut oil on your whole scalp and wear it as a hair mask for a few minutes. This also really helps if you suffer from a dry itchy scalp like me as it really helps calm it down and stop it from potentially flaking and getting full of dandruff. As far as hair care goes, I think this stuff can be used as little or as often as you see fit. If you've got thick unruly locks (I'm jealous) this will really help tame them too. And if you need definition in your curls yo, look no further - you definitely don't need a curly mousse/definer as guy right here will do the job for a fraction of the price.

Last suggestion I want to make is possibly the main reason everyone went bananas for coconut oil last year and that is for stain pulling. There's so many home remedies and old wives tales for how to get whiter teeth and I thought coconut oil was just another one of them but personally I've found it actually works. Now, coconut oil pulling won't make your teeth sparkling white overnight or in fact, ever, but if you've got any staining, this does help draw it out, minimise it and prevent future staining. My teeth (despite there typically English shape) are in pretty good nick but sometimes I do get more severe staining than usual due to the amount of cups of tea I go through during times of heightened stress. Swilling some coconut oil around in my mouth for around 5 minutes - or as long as I can stomach because haha, I hate the taste of coconut - honestly makes such a difference. I try to use it every morning and night after my usual teeth care routine trying to particularly work hard at it in my evening routine before bed. I take quite a sizeable lump of it and swill it around my mouth until it melts and then just use it like a mouthwash. It won't happen overnight and like I said, coconut oil isn't really a whitening product that will give you a hollywood gleaming smile, but it does keep your teeth looking healthy and I feel like it helps my gums a lot too!

So there you have it. If you think the whole coconut oil thing was just a craze I'm here to say yeah, maybe it was, but give it a go because the opportunities for using it are endless. P.S. you can totally use it for you know, cooking and stuff too like it is intended...

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January 06, 2017

December in Review

Happy Friday you lot and Happy 2017! I'm not really one for celebrating the New Year because I don't really see the point but it's always a nice milestone point to look back and reflect on the previous year and set goals for yourself. December was a lovely month for me because I got to have a break from work and see family - which is such a rarity these days so it almost felt extra special.

The Personal
So I finished a hectic couple of weeks at work in early December then it was non-stop niceness with friends and family. Matt & I always have a faux Christmas Day as we don't spend it together so we did that on the 17th December and it was wonderful. I got some great presents (a Lumpy Space Princess and a Fairest graphic novel to name a a couple!) and we had a lovely meal at River Cottage Canteen in Winchester; one of our favourite spots for meals out. The next day, I went home to Newcastle/Durham for almost twelve whole days. The few times I manage to go home are usually for only a handful of days so this was a totally different luxury I'm not used to. I got to see all of my family on Christmas Day at my grandma's house which is always a lovely humbling thing and got to spend some time with my mam and brother which is also a little luxury I no longer take for granted since moving to Winchester.

I also managed to see some friends during the break and had a very drunken and pizza-fuelled afternoon with my best friend who I love dearly but don't get to see often enough due to being 300+ miles apart and me working/her being in her final year of uni. It was so nice just to vent and laugh with her and not care for few hours - whenever I see her it's like I only saw her yesterday and nothing ever changes and I'm forever thankful for that. I also got a chance to see a good old friend who I hadn't seen for years and we managed to get some pretty great outfit photos which I will be sharing on the blog soon!

Quite a few films were watched during December and pretty much all of them were great. Matt & I rewatched Star Wars Episode 4, 5, and 6 because we were excited for the release of Rogue One and we watched a few Christmas-related things most notably, Arthur Christmas. I had never watched Arthur Christmas before but after seeing the first half an hour of it at school when one of the kids requested that we watch it on the last day, I knew I had to watch the rest of it. It has a fantastic cast doing the characters voices and it's the first modern Christmas movie I've watched that I thought was a really good family film. It follows Arthur Christmas, son of Santa Claus and brother to the future Santa. He's a clumsy but kind and gentle soul and he basically has to help out one Christmas Day because of some drama that unfolds. It's a really funny, heartwarming film and I highly recommend it for Christmas 2017 if you haven't watched it already!

Another great animation we watched was Book of Life. Directed by Guillermo del Toro, Matt & I were intrigued as we're a big fan of Pan's Labyrinth and I had liked the look of the trailer earlier in the year. You might have guessed from the title, but Book of Life is about the Day of the Dead celebrations and has a love story running throughout it. It's quite a sweet storyline and is the perfect family film too. The nicest thing about this film is that it deals with the topic of death in such a positive and loving way that any kids watching it would feel comfortable about it. The animation style of it is really lovely too as the characters are all wooden and it's just a visually pretty movie to watch.

The last film we watched in 2016 was High-Rise. This movie was released earlier in the year and we were surprised to see it on Amazon Prime already but then we saw it only had 2 and a half stars out of 5 and got a little concerned... Matt had read the book it was based on so he had really wanted to see it so we stuck it on. It is literally about a high rise block of flats that an architect has created in the 1970s. It follows various inhabitants of the high rise trying to work their way up the tower block - the higher floor you're on, the better. Now, I know this is the basic story of the film because Matt told me whereas if I had just watched the movie without this knowledge I literally would not have had a fucking clue what was going on. It was a very arty film and reminded me a great deal of A Clockwork Orange but it just didn't make sense. It kept me watching and interested because it was incredibly unpredictable, but as someone who hasn't read the book and only knows the basics, it didn't make a lot of sense. I imagine fans of the book might enjoy it more but honestly, it was so confusing and just seemed to suddenly develop in the plot at random points that I really struggled to fully enjoy it.

TV was a mixed bag this month and it all kicked off with Ru Paul's Drag Race. I've never watched the show properly because Matt never wanted to watch it but after an evening in alone, he got kind of transfixed by it so we watched a whole season. It's just mindless, trashy TV but I love it. It's so over the top you can't help but find it entertaining.

One of the biggest surprises for me was White Rabbit Project. This show follows the team from Mythbusters (minus Jamie and Adam) "going down the rabbit hole" of different topics. Things such as the top speed a human can go and the craziest world war inventions are covered in a competitive, one presenter against another type of set up. I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed this show because even though I really love Mythbusters, White Rabbit Project was missing the two people who make Mythbusters so enjoyable to watch and oh my god is the show cheesy. It's pretends to be very techie but it's clearly on a budget but luckily the content and topics the show covers makes up for it.

Matt & I also watched the fifth season of Hell on Wheels; one of most favourite TV shows. If you have never watched Hell on Wheels before, I urge you to give it a shot because it will not disappoint. The show is based on the building of the central American railroad back in the 1800s and is loosely based on history with a dash of fiction thrown in now and again. It follows a variety of main characters - some of which are real historical figures and some are completely fictitious - but it's such a fantastic show that keeps you on the edge of your seat. It's gritty, it's sorrowful, and it's shot to a cinematic standard so visually it is stunning to watch.

Okay so I need to get straight into this section of today's post and say my absolute top album release this month is Childish Gambino's Awaken, My Love! because I have had it on repeat pretty much everyday since it's release at the start of the month. There's a few Childish Gambino songs I like but I've never been a proper fan of his but this new album has certainly changed that. The best way I can describe its sound is Jimi Hendrix mixed with Lenny Kravitz and a dash of modern mo-town. I love every song on the album which doesn't happen to me very often - even when it comes to some of my favourite bands!

One of my all-time faves, Kate Bush, released "Before the Dawn" and if you're a fan of hers or you like the likes of Florence and the Machine, this album will definitely please you. It's typical Kate Bush - strangely catchy but always unique. I'm really enjoying it but need to listen to it a little more to determine just how much I like it. Twenty One Pilots also released a little EP of some of their tracks but featuring MUTEMATH so the songs almost sound completely different and I actually really like it. I quite like Twenty One Pilots anyway, but this TOPxMM EP is a nice change to their sound yet still is distinctly them - give it a listen.

Video Games
This month I started to play Life is Strange for the first time. This isn't a new game obviously but it's something I've wanted to play for ages but never got around to it. I don't know what I was expecting but the way this game works caught me off guard. You play a high schooler who has a pretty normal life until some strange things start happening and a friendship forms. You can basically rewind time and therefore alter life and it's such a clever but calm game to play. It has a really interesting storyline but I've found that I need to be in the right mood to play it because although it is interesting, that calm feel it has to it can make it difficult to play if you're wanting a little more adventure and excitement.

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