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

June in Review

Happy Friday everyone! I don't know about you guys, but June was a long ol' slog for me. June felt like such a super long month but I'm not entirely sure why. I got up to lot in my personal life and in work and the weather has yo-yo'd from super sweltering hot sticky summer to being cold enough for autumnal boots and a jacket. But I've enjoyed this past month and what I've gotten up to.

The Personal
June has been the month of big steps in so many ways. I have been moving leaps and bounds with work and feel like a true member of my team now and feel established which is such a nice feeling compared to the failure I constantly felt like in my old job. Other than working hard, the month of June saw me doing extremely grown up shit like looking at houses to buy (I know) and not only looking, but putting in house offers and discussing mortgages. This is something I never thought I would ever see happen in my life and that's because I just never really understood the value or simply the point in owning a property but it's happening and it's terrifying yet amazing movements all at the same time.

I also took a trip up north to visit my best friend this month. I rarely get to see my best pal as we are both now "real adults" meaning we can't just go off for a week of adventures and too much drinking and there's a lot of miles between us, but I had an absolutely gorgeous time. We drank and danced far too much the first night there, then headed to Blackpool the following day to blow away the hangovers and inevitably make ourselves feel worse by going on all the rides at Pleasure Beach in the freezing cold. I'd highly recommend the whole eating seaside fish n' chips for breakfast, dinner, and tea though - that's a swell idea I will no doubt exercise again in the future.

This month for television shows, I've actually been rewatching The Walking Dead. Many moons ago, I was watching it intently but for one reason or another I stopped. As Amazon Prime have the majority of seasons on there for free for members, watching it again was simple to do. I think I only watched up until season 4 originally and there's so many great parts I had completely forgotten about and obviously lots of new developments that shocked me. I've just finished up season 5 and I was left feeling a bit underwhelmed but I'm looking forward to see where the story goes from here. If you've been living under a rock and don't know what The Walking Dead is, it is based on the graphic novel of the same name and is a post-apocalyptic horror about a zombie disease taking over the world and humanity. It follows a main character called Rick Grimes who used to be in the police and his family through the attempt to survive this new world and it's developments. As you can imagine, it's gory, deep, completely heart-wrenching at times, and incredibly frustrating and shocking at times too. If you've somehow not watched this show, I urge you to check it out as psychologically, it makes me wonder how I would react in the same situations if they were to ever happen (let's hope they never do because I'd 1Oo% be someone who dies pretty early on).

As the weather - for the most part - has been pretty damn lovely, I haven't watched as much TV in general, so films haven't really been watched this month. The only film I recall watching that is worth a mention is Pitch Perfect 2. I went to see it at the cinema when it first came out and I've got to be honest, Pitch Perfect 1 & 2 crack me TF up. Fat Amy is one of the best characters in the world and it's just good cheesy funny entertainment. Pitch Perfect follows glee club/society groups at an American college (particularly an all-girl group) and Pitch Perfect 2 follows the same group but sees them being in international competition with a German rival group which are just so stereotypically German it hurts. Like I said, it's nothing to right home about, but it is a quite a funny movie to watch if you're stuck on what to watch one evening.

Aaand I totally lied. There's another film I have to mention which I was so surprised I enjoyed and was much better than I anticipated. If you like a good horror but a one that focuses more on psychological elements, then you need to watch Mother's Day. I watched this when I was visiting my best friend and all of us who watched it were shouting at the TV in frustration, anger, disbelief... we had it all going on. Mother's Day's plot is one that's a little different from the bog-standard horror and really made you try to guess then second guess where it was going next and how each character was going to react. It opens with some criminals escaping a botched bank job and trying to make it home to their mother's house. Once there, they realise all the furniture has been changed and it is no longer their mother living there and it is in fact, a young couple who are currently having a house warming party in the basement with their friends. The film looks at stockholm syndrome, the effect of a mother's love, and makes you question how good you are at telling when someone is lying and what you would do in those unrealistic but kind of realistic horror scenarios that films present to us an audience so well. If you like films like The Strangers, definitely check out this one!

June was a great month for music although I have to be honest, I'm still struggling to ween myself off of Harry Style's album I fell in love with last month. But a new release I did enjoy during June was Fleet Foxes' Crack-Up album. Fleet Foxes do a pretty stellar job at creating those lovely acoustic chill out tunes but have a slight Mumford & Sons yet old country vibe about their songs whilst also introducing a dash of Bon Iver elements too. I think this is a gorgeous album to have on when you're busy at work as it makes excellent background music and I feel like it just suits this time of year and this stuffy weather we've been having down to a T. Another album that I think has been great easy listening but that is a little more upbeat is Alt-J's drop of Relaxer. Some of the tracks on Relaxer remind me a little bit of old The Klaxons (circa 2Oo6) and that pleases my wee inner teenager house so very much. It might not be a show-stopping album, but it's still working magic on my lugholes.

A new artist and album to me in June was Marika Hackman's I'm Not Your Man. This girl has every 9O's Alanis Morrisette vibe going on mixed with a lovely indie voice and I've fallen hard completely. Her voice reminds me slightly of my absolute favourite mega goth babe, Chelsea Wolfe, but Miss Wolfe with a softer more indie sound. There's something quite Nirvana about her tracks too that speaks to me so I'll definitely be checking out her old 2O15 album, We Slept at Last, ASAP. Another female artist I've fallen for due to her individual and unique voice and sound is Amber Coffman. Her album - City of No Reply - is just great. It has Lana Del Rey vibes but also has a bit of a psychedelic 7O's/8O's new wave thread running throughout most of the tracks. I'm definitely going to be listening to this album more and more throughout July because I honestly think it's getting better and better with each listen. Keeping with the ultimate girl power (yaaas power to the ladies), Chastity Belt's album, I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone, has been a huge winner for me this month. If you've never listened to Chastity Belt, they're an all-female band who have a great 9O's chilled rock/angsty sound that is just something I really gravitate towards when it comes to music it seems. The way they play their guitars and the rhythms they choose for tracks reminds me of The Smiths darker songs but instead of wor Mozza's chilled vocals, we've got a beautiful angry grungy woman. What more could you want right?

If you're after something a little heavier and you like those 1O+ minute extravaganzas, look no further than Elder's Reflection of a Floating World. Elder are a band who I've been a fan of for a few years now and I just love their sound. As I said, they do 1O-12 minute tracks so bloody well and somehow combine 8O's riff rock with contemporary heavier sounds and it just pays off. This album is definitely my most favourite of theirs and again, it's one I will be certainly playing throughout July and the rest of the year as I just can't get enough. I'll finish with some more amazing female offerings in the form of Palehound, At Night I'm Alright With You. Palehound are a band I stumbled across last year and loved their 2O16 album but this one might just be even better. The lead singer's voice is just perfect and I can't help but love every note she hits and weirdly, the way she pronounces everything. If you like Chastity Belt or Diet Cig, you are bound to love Palehound too and the best description I can give is imagine Jane from the TV show Daria started a band and you've got Palehound.

Video Games
June was finally the month I got the chance to play Horizon Zero Dawn and you guys, *what* a game. This game has been getting a lot of praise since well before its general release date and it was clear to me why literally minutes into it. Not only is it a visually stunning game with the most gorgeous weather conditions and scenery I think I have ever seen in any game ever ever, it also has a fantastically thought-provoking and unique storyline. The plot is quite typical of many RPG games, but there's just something about the finer details of this one and the execution of the storyline as a whole that is perfect. I love that the main playable character is female and damn effin' sassy and that she is a determined person - it really elevates the game somehow. I feel like this game can really engross you and I find whenever I play it, I can lose hours of my life at a time because I become fully submerged in it. It handles very similarly to Assassins Creed and I like that it has a scavenger aspect to it mixed with the relationship building aspects of games such as Dragon Age and Mass Effect. If you haven't played it yet, you need to get on this 11O%.

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