August favourites

2017, lifestyle, music, student

Hello!

I’ve not done a favourites for a while, but it’s nice to be able to look back on the month and pick out the things I enjoyed the most. Lots of new content came out in July and August and I spent a lot of money on things I really didn’t need, so I really love the selection of things I’ve picked this month!

Image result for spider-man homecoming

Spider-Man Homecoming: Spider-Man has been my ultimate favourite superhero since I first saw The Amazing Spider-Man with Andrew Garfield in the cinema – his wit, morality and agility are just everything I would like to be really (who wouldn’t want to swing so high you feel like flying – yes please!) so I was nervous seeing this film. I had every faith in Tom Holland having seen him in Civil War but there’s still every chance this movie was going to be awful. But it wasn’t! It was incredible! Every film has pros and cons and no film is without it’s flaws, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and couldn’t recommend it more (and omg Zendaya).

‘You’ – dodie: A new dodie EP? Of course I’m obsessed. I treated myself to a bundle with a t-shirt, the EP and a vinyl version of the EP and I just love it. I love how the yellow of the case brightens up my room, I love having a studio version of ‘6/10’ (because god knows that song is my anthem) and ‘Would you be so kind?’ is just so happy. On the first EP, ‘Absolutely Smitten’ was the token really happy clappy mood lifting song and wybsk is the ‘You’ equivalent and I just can’t put into words how much it makes me smile.

Overwatch ‘Summer Games’: I think I’ve mentioned it fairly regularly – I’m obsessed with Overwatch, it’s all been very sudden but I’m now properly invested in my first and only video game and there’s been a fun event with extra things to collect and a fun new game to play and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

My elephant water bottle: We all know about my major obsession with elephants, but I was going to Primark to buy plain black t-shirts to work at Reading and it was in the aisle you have to go down towards the tills and it was all by itself and it was calling my name. It’s just gorgeous and I could never resist. I love it.

From Ikea’s website

Ikea shelving unit with wheels: For some reason, I went to Ikea three times in August and the first time I went I spotted this unit that I became utterly obsessed with it. On the second trip, I resist and it was that third trip that I gave in and just did it. I’m not recommending just spending money like I did if you can’t afford it but I knew exactly where it was going to go in my room, what I was going to put on it and how gorgeous it would look and I don’t regret it for a single second. I love it and it looked beautiful.

Jeffrey the bear: In August my sister was doing a summer course at Arts University Bournemouth and I went over to see her for the day. My boyfriend and I love this arcade cafe place called Fun Central and we’d decided we were going to win the bear that was worth 6,000 tickets for sure on this, our third time to the arcade. Shock horror, a new bigger bear worth 14,000 tickets had been added but my bear had been reduced to 5,000 tickets. We totally smashed it and I named him Jeffrey. I love him so much there aren’t even words.

My new hair colour: I haven’t really photographed it properly at all but I finally got my hair fixed at the hairdresser! It’s a deeper pink than I wanted (I was going for red) but I adore it because the blue is gone and it’s actually a nice colour and I’m still growing it out – think I’m going to get it dyed properly again in December when I’m next home and can go to the salon again. Can’t wait.

jelly > meringe > melted chocolate > sprinkles

The best dessert I’ve ever made: Just a silly thing I got very excited about – strawberry jelly with crumbled meringue, drizzled in melted chocolate and sprinkled with an excess of brightly coloured sprinkles. I recommend stirring it all around and mixing it all together but I’m very excited to have it again soon, I’m not going to lie.

Reading Festival: I wrote a whole blog post about why I loved working at Reading Festival, but I wanted to include it here as well because I’m still just so in awe that I was lucky enough to get to go.

VEDA: I’ve known for a few months now that I wanted to take part in VEDA and I’ve been noting video ideas for that long. But you know what? I never thought I’d actually manage it – 31 videos, let alone all of them being edited and uploaded by 6pm! But I did it, and you can watch the whole playlist here.

Wasn’t that a wild ride? I’m excited to do this again in September because September is my favourite month and my birthday month, very exciting! I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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know how good you are – working @ Reading Festival 2017

2017, lifestyle, music, photography, student, travel

Hello!

Getting the chance to work at Reading Festival  as a Camera Operator was something I was never going to turn down – if I had to apply in any other way I wouldn’t have got it because I haven’t done any camera opping before, but my housemate was recruiting and he took a chance on me (hopefully he thinks it paid off).

When I went to Channel 4 and BBC Three (and Sky next week) I always say there was no luck – I spent a lot of time and effort getting those placements and there was no luck involved. Reading however – it’s all because I happen to live with the guy that needed camera ops. Obviously there was a bit of skill involved – if he didn’t think I’d be good at it he’d have said no but Reading was all chance, and I’m very, very grateful for it.

Watching every act from the side or right in front of the stage is something I’ve dreamed of for so long

I was so unbelievably anxious before we left I can’t even put it into words – I felt ill, I was overanalysing everything and I contemplated not going because I was so scared of getting things wrong or being bad. But I knew I couldn’t turn down Reading.

And I went. And I did well. And I loved it.

Camera 2 – my favourite Camera

I learnt a lot about how to work the cameras but I also realised how much I already knew – I know what a good shot looks like, I knew to keep an eye on what was happening on stage, what the other ops were filming and the crowd (filming someone holding a Lightning McQueen balloon was a highlight of the weekend).

I felt comfortable doing the job – it was like I’d found something that I should have been doing all along – filming live music, surrounded by artists, techies and heavy bass. I don’t think I would camera op for the rest of my life, but working with bands in environments like this is what I want to do. Now I have more of a focus to get to that.

The crowd for ‘The Hunna’ were absolutely mental, favourite crowd of the whole weekend

No one really expected me to excel at this festival, and I don’t think I’m the kind of person to make the assumption that I did, but I did learn this – have faith in your own skills, don’t be afraid to say you’re capable and you’re good enough. I’m definitely the sort of person who puts themselves down (to no end), assumes that I will never be good enough and I’m afraid to apply for jobs or work experience opportunities in roles that I could do but I haven’t done before but I know what I’m good at.

The last sunset of Reading 2017

I’m a good writer, I know how to film and edit good videos, I know how to take a good photo, I’m a good presenter and I’m really good at research and organisation. And there’s nothing wrong with knowing your skills or talking about them.

I’m so glad I had the opportunity to go to Reading and prove this to myself. I am capable of it even if there are people who would quite happily tell me I’m not.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

The sunrise at Basingstoke station on 6.30am on Monday morning was worth the all nighter

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“As long as I’m playing music, I’m happy” | Sam Harding interview

2017, lifestyle, music, student

Hello!

In my last semester at uni, I got to do a couple of optional units – the two I chose were Lifestyle PR, where I wasn’t taught anything and had to use common sense to do the assignment, and Music Journalism, where the teacher kept giving us examples of why he was an awful journalist and a bit of a dick as a human.

However that didn’t deter my love and passion for writing about music and musicians – part of my assignment was to create a music journalism portfolio, including a new artist profile. I reached out to my friend Sam to ask if I could interview him and thankfully he said yes. But I’ll let the interview speak for itself.

Photo by: Dani Blakeley

Getting a foot in the door of the music industry is harder now than it ever was before – the door is infinitely bigger, leading to a huge variety of different paths that determine ‘success’ and there are millions of feet trying to make their mark.

Sam Harding is a musician from a small town in the East Midlands, now studying at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and working on countless projects as a freelance musician. But Sam’s work ethic hasn’t changed since he was at school in that small town.

“I’ve been performing in bands since I was 13, starting off gigging all over the place with a really heavy metal band. The last year before I moved away from home to study gave me a taste of what it would be like to be a professional musician, and taught me a lot about music and what I wanted out of it.”

Sam has always had a very clear focus, determination and drive to get where he wants to be. “I picked up the bass at the age of 11 and fell in love with it instantly. Bass and guitar are the main instruments I play but recently I’ve been trying to get my chops together on upright bass and synth bass in an effort to make myself more versatile.”

With a taste of being semi-professional in playing in pro tribute band Latino Sound before Sam left home, he knows what he wants to work on to make himself a more diverse musician and give himself an edge in the industry he has already had that taste of.

“When I was 10, I discovered My Chemical Romance. They were the first band I really listened to and followed in a serious way. The music, the aesthetic, the energy – I thought it was all so cool! I remember spending most of my time playing along to My Chemical Romance tunes in my bedroom in my early teens. After a few years of playing I just suddenly found myself in a position where there was no question about it – music was just what I needed to do.”

Sam has not let moving to a new city over a hundred miles away phase his journey: “I’m playing with a few bands including a pop-funk band called Fresco, a neo-soul band called Silcaa, a jazz quartet and with the Tom Knight Band, as well as various one-off gigs. I have also started a production company called Blue Handle with my good friend and fellow RNCM student Tom Knight. We provide studio recording, live sessions, videography and photography services to musicians in Manchester and I’m feeling really excited about that project.”

But the music industry is unpredictable – there’s no distinct method to become ‘successful’; it’s not a clear career path. “I set goals for the projects that I am a part of, as well as for my own playing. Setting yourself targets to hit is a good way to stay focused and have things progress in a more efficient way.”

“I have a rough plan. I want to finish my four years of study and then further my career as a professional musician. It could be playing for artists live or in the studio, it could be writing and performing original music, it could be a combination.”

Sam has had a long history with music but he’s still young and has a long career ahead of him. “As long as I’m playing music, I’m happy.”

Sam’s pop-funk band Fresco has a new EP ‘Muy Funky’ and it’s out now on iTunesSpotify and Bandcamp.


Being able to interview Sam and see how successful he’s already being was genuinely a pleasure and, on a slightly less heartwarming note, I got a pretty good mark for my portfolio. I thoroughly enjoyed writing up this interview and I can’t recommend Sam’s music more – his passion shows in his talent.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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May favourites

2017, lifestyle, music, photography, student

Hello!

Another favourites post! I’ve done this one a little differently and separated it into different categories, but I’ve been loving a lot of things this month so let’s crack right on!

beauty

Highlighters are my new guilty pleasure and for the first time in my life I don’t mean the florescent stationery kind. My ‘go to’ every day make up is eyebrows, mascara, lipstick and highlighter because it just makes me feel cute because I have glittery cheeks. I picked up these beauties while I was home last week in the shades Iridescent Gold and Pink Shimmer from MUA and they were only £3 each! They’re super pigmented and the colour is really clear – it’s not very subtle but I like to go a bit overboard on the highlighter so if that’s what you’re into I’d definitely recommend them!

organisation

As I’m lacking in the florescent stationery highlighters, I need a new way to organise! Not really – I love my bullet journal and it’s good for organising the finer details of things but for an overview of what my month looks like in a more general way then I like putting everything into Apple Calendars. I like being able to have different categories and I can sync with my other Apple-product-using friends and I like having it on my computer where everything else is in my journal. I like the combination of the two.

food

I think it was April when my mum and sister came to visit and we drove to the beach and had ice cream but this New Forest Toffee Crunch Ice Cream was beautiful and I can buy it in big tubs at Asda but they’re £3 a pot and somehow a highlighter feels like a better way to spend my money. If you’re on the South Coast of the UK at any point over the summer I thoroughly recommend it! I might have to treat myself.

watching

Fairytale – my boyfriend is really into anime and he’s been asking if I want to watch this one for a while. He gave me no context of what it was about but the other day he said to me “I just want to show you the title sequences!” and then proceeded to show me all of episode one. Whilst I wasn’t too pleased to be manipulated into watching his show (when he outright refuses to watch anything I suggest even when he watched a couple of episodes and enjoyed it… not that I’m salty) it is actually really good – I often find animes to be too melodramatic and serious (which I don’t mind, like I still enjoy them but it’s a tiny grievance of mine) but this one is really funny and the title sequence song from the first arc is amazing, I thoroughly recommend putting this cover by NateWantsToBattle on repeat for a while.

Doctor Who – I’m one of those Doctor Who fans. I’ve been watching the series since Freema Agyeman was David Tennant’s assistant in 2007 and I’ve watched every episode since and this season is really close to being one of my favourites (but nothing will ever beat Matt Smith and Karen Gillan’s series 5) – I wish this was what Capaldi’s first season as the doctor had been like because I feel like fans would have liked that so much more (though I have a lot of opinions on Series 8/9 Doctor/Clara Who). It’s something I could write a whole blog post about so let me know if you want that!

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – I saw this film right at the beginning of the month so I couldn’t write a full on review for it, but all I can say is if you like comedy go see this film, even if you’re not into action superheroes and even if you’ve not seen the first film it’s absolutely brilliant. Personally I think it matched the first one in the perfect way without overshadowing it – the special effects were absolutely astonishing, the action moments were incredible, it was hilarious, surprisingly heartwarming and I wish I could afford to go and see it again!

Also Baby Groot – I’ll say nothing more.

things I’ve created

I wasn’t so sure of this as a segment but I’m really proud of this content and why not a favourites post to be able to share what I’m proud of?

2017 beginner’s bullet journal flip through – this whole video was really last minute and took me a surprisingly long time to edit but I’m really proud of it and the comments are so positive! I’m can’t wait to do another flip through in a few months or when I finish the book! I got to nerd out about organisation and stationery and I loved it.

New instagram – ahealthiersophie – I started this because I watched John Green’s series ‘100 Days‘ and he said he found it was much easier to control his diet when he made himself document it all and that’s what sprouted the idea. But I didn’t want the account to be 100% food so I post twice a day to break it up a bit. The intent was to post lots of workout photos and show how I was being healthy in that aspect but that only really started in June when I started this 30 Day Ab Challenge but it’s been an outlet for me to talk a lot about my mental health. May has been a really tough month and I’ve multiple people message me like ‘u okai??!11!’ and I’ve had some amazing conversations with my friend Sarah about a potential diagnosis (obvs not going to say anything ‘official’ (???) until I’ve been to the doctors but I’m working on the courage for that) and it’s been very therapeutic. It’s also highlighted a lot of scary things that go on in my brain but I think that’s a good thing.

Lupton and Luckett – new YouTube channel with Alice! My friend Alice and I kinda joked in Instagram comments about starting a channel now here we are – Video 1 live, Video 2 filmed (it’s a baking video, I thoroughly recommend subscribing for that going live next Thursday!) and videos planed all summer. I love Alice and I’m so ridiculously excited to create with her. She’s so little and cute (and I look like a mouldy purple potato next to her) but I love this girl and I think you’ll love her too.

my ‘no spend’ month – the blog post I wrote literally two days ago! In May I found out that I had a savings account that I’d completely forgotten about and I closed it and withdrew the cash (which was vewy nice) but it’s going straight into my other savings account for my travel funds but on a similar note, I’m trying to really save my money and get out of my overdraft right now so I cut back a lot in May and I wrote a whole post about it which I’m really excited about because I tried a new kind of format and style and I’m really excited about it.

These posts always end up being really long and I don’t think I mind, because it’s nice to share things I like and just type and type and type and suddenly there’s a thousand words. Blogging is really therapeutic for me and I’m very excited about not having uni distract from it for a few months.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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preparing for a long haul flight | travel tips

2017, lifestyle, music, student, travel

Hello!

Whenever I write about travel I’m painfully aware that the only ‘big’ trips I’ve done were project work trips to Tanzania in 2013 and Ecuador in 2015 and I’ve not been abroad since but being able to write about travel doesn’t mean you have to fly regularly or have been recently or make me any less valid.

A little bit of good old self justification to start a blog post never hurt anyone, right?

So, I don’t think anyone enjoys a long haul flight – even if you are a seasoned traveller going all over the world, long haul flights are bring.

When I went to Tanzania it was two six-hour flights and Ecuador was a ten-hour and a six-hour flight. Here are six tips for how to keep yourself entertained on long flights assuming you don’t plan to sleep for nine hours and fifty-eight minutes.

1) Bring a notebook and pens – personally, I’m someone who likes writing things down on paper, I always start my journal for the trip on the plane, but even if you’re not planning on documenting the trip, you can write, draw or play silly games if you’re flying with friends. Nothing wrong with paper and pens!

2) Handheld gaming – if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a new Nintendo Switch, then you can bring big screen games to the sky, however anyone else who has a 3DS or 2DS or a gameboy or, I don’t know, a PSP maybe, I know I can get lost playing games from an altitude of two feet let alone fifty thousand – if you’ve got some good music and lots to do in game (I love seeing that full 100% completion on a game) you’ll find you’re a good few hours closer to your destination.

3) Music – always music – if you’re fully prepared with an up to date iTunes library or some good Spotify playlists downloaded, music can make hours feel like seconds. Music’s a good one for if you’re travelling with friends too because a headphone splitter and new music is a great way to find the song or make the playlist of the trip.

4) Games – word games, card games or even travel board games – there’s so many easy little games that you can squeeze in your hand luggage. Uni is a fun, sometimes friendship destroying, card game, or there’s the alphabet game that my family always liked to play. You pick a topic (i.e. films) then go through the alphabet letter by letter and thinks of something for each letter, for example – Avengers Assemble, Baywatch, Chronicles of Narnia, Deadpool etc. The Alphabet Game gets more exciting more and more family-destroying the more you narrow the topic.

5) Organisation – this might be more of a me thing, but I’d take the time to organise my life – sort out my bullet journal, plan ahead on my calendars, make a lot of lists that would make me very happy and would take a good chunk of my flight. I love coloured pens a lot.

6) Mindless iPhone games – I guess it counts as handheld gaming, but there are enough mind numbing basic phone games (you don’t have to have an iPhone, it’s just a phrase, there are lots of very nice Android phones) that are much cheaper than a handhold gaming console and have a habit of passing time just as quickly. I’ve been playing a game called Riddle Stones recently and I’m thoroughly enjoying that.

Obviously there’s always films to watch and perhaps talking to the people you’re travelling with, lots of snacking, y’know – there’s plenty of things to do! If I was travelling now I’d probably take my laptop and blog or write or edit videos, but depends entirely what you’re travelling for and what you’re interests are. Let me know what you’d do on a long haul flight in the comments!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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Monthly Music: April

2017, lifestyle, music, photography, student

Hello,

Here I am, trying to make this series part of my schedule all over again, but sticking with it – I’m excited.

Life of The Party – All Time Low: Another new song that is on the album that’s coming out next month and I’m so pumped, I love it. It’s a little taste of new All Time Low but with chimes of what core All Time Low is. They’re my favourite band, so I’m going to want to like everything they release and luckily so far I have but I’m not above admitting if I don’t like something that a band I love have done (like how I didn’t love Dirty Laundry at first), so hopefully that makes me sound a little more legit.

Take Cover – All Time Low: This song isn’t new, however – I heard the song live when I saw the Last Young Renegades tour in March and I found the song released as a b-side to the ‘Straight to DVD II’ live concert CD (That I haven’t listened to because I was at the DVD recording and I’m not mentally prepared for it) but oh my god – 1) this song live is so good and 2) the studio version is also so good. The lyrics are beautiful (which is an Alex Gaskarth staple at this point) and I just adore it. In my head, I call this ‘proper’ music because it’s all real instruments and not the electronic dance stuff that is popular right now – obviously this is proper music too but in my head I don’t know how else to describe it.

I think the thing with this song is that the first time I heard this was live which is very unusual when we have platforms like YouTube and Spotify. Somehow I missed this and I”m so glad I did.

Up All Night – Alex Clare: This whole post is basically just listing the playlist I’ve been listening to all month. I found this song because it is the theme tune to a because it is the theme tune to a Doctor Who spin off called Class that was on BBC Three. I wasn’t a massive fan of Class but I adore the song – the full ‘not titles’ version blew me away and the first time I listened to it with headphones on I just heard so much more than I’d heard before; so many more instrumental layers. Thoroughly recommend it, I’ve converted so many people to this song.

Young and Menace – Fall Out Boy: At first, I really disliked this song; the video was (and is) creepy as fuck, the weird, electronic bit in the chorus is so not Fall Out Boy and I just felt the song was taking the route of everything I didn’t like about American Beauty American Psycho. However, when listening to the song again I warmed to it – it still has the essence of what Fall Out Boy are but I don’t think I’m going to be a big fan of Mania when it comes out. Though I’m intrigued about this Brendon Urie video that surfaced the other day.

The Addams Family musical: I’ve only heard some of the songs from the show because I can’t find a soundtrack anywhere but the songs I have heard, I absolutely adore. I know a bit about the musical because we nearly performed it at Drama and Performance and also because one of my favourite YouTubers Carrie Fletcher is playing Wednesday in the UK tour of the show (which I’m seeing July 18th on it’s opening night in Southampton) and her video series ‘Watch me, Wednesday’ make me so happy – I love seeing the behind the scenes of shows. If they could release a tour soundtrack that would be amazing please and thank you.

To listen to next month: Hamilton: With musicals in mind, I thought why not jump on this hype train right? I’ve seen so much about this musical and I can’t wait to listen to it.

I get an overwhelming feeling of love for music whenever I write one of these posts and I feel like I will post more covers and be more engaged in music again once when I move out of my horrible flat and into our gorgeous house, it’ll feel more like home and I won’t feel like a guest in my own flat.

Please leave any recommendations in the comments (I need suggestions for new music please) and I hope you’re having a good Monday!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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Wonderland – Mayflower Theatre

2017, lifestyle, music, student

Hello!

I was lucky enough to be invited to see Wonderland at Mayflower Theatre in Southampton by @sotonbloggers and I’m going to try and put into words how much I thoroughly enjoyed it. ‘Try’ being the operative word.

Every time I sit down in a theatre for any reason I get goosebumps – architecturally I find theatres to be absolutely beautiful and I love sitting in a room full of people who love musicals and shows as much as me – but when the first notes of the first song begin I will always feel like I want to cry just from pure joy. With musicals like Wonderland that combine more traditional orchestral instruments with modern rock instruments like drums and guitars make for an even more interesting opening number.

The music is one of the most incredible parts of Wonderland – the musicians were absolutely astonishing and seeing how small the band is and how huge the sound was just made it so much more impressive. The vocal performances in this show were astounding – Rachael Wooding, who played Alice, was incomparable. She completely nailed the childish wonder of Alice but had this huge voice that suited the fast, silly songs, the slow, emotional songs and the massive power ballad  duet ‘This Is Who I Am’ with Natalie McQueen as the Mad Hatter.

However the dancing in this show was as important as the singing and balancing the two is a difficult feat – there was some incredible choreography and some wonderful dancers, but credit has to go to Dominic Owen, who played a truly wonderful rendition of the Cheshire Cat and also managed to continue belting out a pretty big song whilst doing a handstand. As someone who can do a (rather rubbish) handstand and has had vocal training, I really appreciate how difficult that would have been and needed to talk about it.

‘Wonderland’ is quite a different take on the traditional story of Alice, with more of a focus on Through The Looking Glass, the sequel to the more commonly recreated Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. The musical follows a grown up Alice, reluctantly divorced and looking after her daughter Ellie whilst neighbour Jack is desperate to catch Alice’s eye. The Looking Glass is a key feature of the musical, as it completely changes who the characters are – whilst trying not to spoil it, it reverses what each character deems important, for example – nice, helpful, wonderful Ellie becomes a typical, stroppy teenager.

But for me, the most amazing part of The Looking Glass was the quick changes involved – I reckon Ellie and Jack were inside the looking glass for maybe 10 to 20 seconds and in this time they completely changed what they were wearing, how their hair was styled and without any fumbling or mishaps with mic packs. The whole production was so slick and well-rehearsed and completely without fault – I was completely immersed.

The Queen of Hearts saw a particular twist in this version of Alice in Wonderland.

One of the characters that saw the biggest changes was the Mad Hatter – she was not written as a traditionally male character, she had an incredible costume and an even bigger voice. She owned every song she sang and every word that came out of her mouth just oozed the character of the Mad Hatter – I wish there was a soundtrack or a studio recording of this show because I’d love to hear her songs again.

From the point of view of characterisation, the Mad Hatter and Alice showed some clear parallels and it was really interesting that writers Jack Murphy and Gregory Boyd chose those two characters to align, especially with the huge duet at the end of the musical – This Is Who I Am.

I can’t quite describe how much I adore this song – it has roots and inspirations from the duets in Wicked but the beautiful, powerful harmonies contrasted with the softer lines. I don’t know if it’s just something about the end of a musical when everything is starting to resolve and the characters realise that they’re strong and independent but I really wish there was a soundtrack recording I could listen to because I want this song and these girls singing on loop whenever I feel like I’m not good enough.

There’s a version on YouTube that doesn’t sound very legally recorded and I wouldn’t normally support that but I thoroughly recommend listening to the song, it’s just beautiful. Totally 100% worth seeing in person.

“This is who I am, who I really am, i’m not going to pretend or apologise”

Then, of course I can’t forget the boyband, led by Alice’s neighbour Jack – their songs and choreography were brilliant and ring true of N-Sync days gone past.

One of the reasons I went in to seeing Wonderland so apprehensively is because I’m not a massive fan of Alice’s story – I don’t particularly like the Disney film, I have no interest in the Tim Burton films and the whole concept just isn’t my cup of tea. But this unusual take on the story, the musical and the production have completely changed my mind – the way the story was interpreted and aspects of certain characters adapted and shown differently made me thoroughly enjoy it, hopefully I’ll get to see it again!

Wonderland is showing at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton until Saturday 22nd April, to get your tickets called 02380 711811 or go to mayflower.org.uk – students get more than 10% off tickets with a valid student card!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

Press ticket provided by Mayflower Theatre via @sotonbloggers. All photos belong to Mayflower theatre.

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15 things that make me happy

2017, lifestyle, music, student

Hello!

A lot of my posts recently have been a bit mopey, so I thought I’d write a post that focuses on a much more positive outlook! Not tips or advice or any talk of mental health, just fifteen simple things that bring me joy!

Some require more detail than others – some need no explanation but others I’d like to give a little bit more detail to. This post is as much for me as it is for my blog, so I hope you enjoy it.

  1. Long drives with my mum
  2. Listening to music with really good headphones on – my Apple headphones really loud are great, but really high quality headphones in a quiet room where you can hear literally every line of the songs; love it
  3. Lindor chocolate
  4. When things are organised and tidy – ironic considering the state of my bedroom and desk but when everything is in it’s place my brain feels just that little bit happier
  5. Seeing live music – my favourite bands concert, a local band performing in a cafe, even a decent busker – live music that show’s real talent just makes me happy
  6. The sea – I don’t know if it was growing up so far from the sea, but being near the sea and hearing the sound of the waves and watching the water ripple calms me down a lot
  7. Coloured pens – I’m basically like a child, colours make me happy
  8. Wearing a dress and feeling really cute
  9. When you’re having such a good time with friends and you don’t notice the time until it’s 3am
  10. Having everything on my to do list ticked off
  11. The woods and open fields – the complete opposite to why I love the sea, but fields and trees and woodland areas remind me of home and I would love to act a scene in a wood, I’ll write it into a book one day
  12. Getting a good grade on something I worked really hard on – the nerd in me just loves doing well, but getting a first on any assignment feels like I’ve actually done well
  13. Creating, in any form – writing, video, blogging, photography, fiction, I just want to make things
  14. Being able to just dance in an open, empty dance studio
  15. Looking back at old photos – I’m a very nostalgic person

I could have gone on and listed more, but I didn’t want to overdo it – when I started this list I struggled a bit but the more I got into it the more and more I listed and the more I thought of. Even if you don’t have a blog I thoroughly recommend making a list like this because it really makes you appreciate the littler things – things that make you happy doesn’t have to be a person or a big event, little things like feeling good about how you look or having a nice selection of pens.

I hope you’re feeling happy and you’re having a good day! Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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Monthly Music: March

2017, music, student

Hello!

I love writing about music – it’s no surprise that music is a huge passion of mine and especially studying a music journalism unit at uni right now, I want to write more about music.

I know I already do a monthly favourites post but I thought separating music and doing it in a separate post where I can talk about each album or song in more detail than I would if it was in my favourites.

So I’ve picked five songs and albums that I’ve been listening to a lot this month – not just music that’s been coming out this month, it’s just stuff I’ve been listening to and thoroughly enjoying.

But first I have picked something that was new in March:

Divide, Ed Sheeran: I have made no effort to hide how much I love this album – obviously there are songs I like more than others but there is not one single song that I dislike. I talked about Supermarket Flowers in my March favourites and it’s one of my favourites, but also Eraser, Galway Girl and Nancy Mulligan are so much fun and I just absolutely adore this album. It’s so fun but also so lyrically poignant and heavy and important. I love the placement of Happier (a song about seeing an ex happier now that they’re with someone else) and New Man (a song about seeing an ex going a bit of the rails now that they’re with someone else) following each other on the album, that has actually made me laugh a lot, probably more than it should have.

I love the lyric in New Man ‘He’s got his eyebrows plucked and his arsehole bleached’ – again, because it’s really funny and it makes me laugh.

I loved listening to this album on the underground when I was commuting into London for my BBC Three placement, even when I started commuting from home into London to be with my family this album cheered me up more than it made me sad, it was a bit of a nod to normalcy before everything went to shit and this album just fitted into my life at a really convenient time.

I have literally no bad things to say about this album. Literally none.

Dirty Laundry / Last Young Renegade – All Time Low: I might make it a personal challenge to put All Time Low in my monthly music post every month because they’re my favourite band and I can’t go a whole month without adoring them.

So with a new album coming out in just a couple of months and new songs being released fairly regularly, there are two new songs from the unreleased album ‘Last Young Renegade’ and they’re so good and I’m so excited about it.

They played ‘Dirty Laundry’ when I saw them live in London and Southampton in the beginning of March and hearing it live made me fall so much more in love with the song. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what kind of meaning the song has but I’m thoroughly enjoying listening to it on loop while I try and understand what it’s meant to say.

Last Young Renegade I haven’t listened to as much, I’ll be honest, even though it’s the lead song on the album. I was listening to Ed Sheeran and I was grieving and I just didn’t connect with the song but I adore the video – I love the idea that the first video for Dirty Laundry and this video for Last Young Renegade may be somehow connected but I also just really appreciate the representation of love where it’s just dealing with something bad happening to just go and enjoy a concert in the most basic sense of the word. Music really does bring people together and going to a concert with someone you love is a really different kind of concert and I loved being reminded of that when I watched this video.

Totally rate these songs and thoroughly recommend them.

Keep Me Crazy – Sheppard: My boyfriend and I found Sheppard as a band on our way back from Weymouth at New Years (I think) – we listened to their album on the train on the way back to Basingstoke and their new song is just so happy and so much fun and I love it so much.

It’s so jolly and happy go lucky and it’s a really happy listen. It’s now on my bucket list to go to Australia to see Sheppard play live. They’re Australian, for context. I bet they’re fab live. I can’t wait. I just love Sheppard, a lot.

Little Shop of Horrors: Definitely not a new musical or a new release but I’m now in my university’s drama and performance society’s musical medley, which includes Little Shop of Horrors in which I have like a semi-main supporting-ish role and I’ve just really got into the musical, even though I refused to be in it in my school production when I was in year 11.

I’m loving learning the songs properly and also having a couple of solos is really fun because I’m a very needy person and I like attention in small bursts. Also I like that ‘Sing it child’ is one of my lines and the sass levels hit a hundred. I’m really enjoying Little Shop right now.

Also, I don’t know why, but at the end of Skid Row when Seymour and Audrey are singing about trying to get out of Skid Row and it makes me surprisingly emotional because I get really scared about being stuck in the same place for a long time and it scares me a lot and it just really gets to me. Not sure why but I love that song a lot.

Awake – Josh Groban: Bit of a last minute, weird one this – I got back from work and a stressful evening at uni on Wednesday night and had a craving to listen to ‘So She Dances’ by Josh Groban which is an astonishingly beautiful song and I am desperate to choreograph to it and it’s just really mellow and I was so stressed and I needed something really chill and I’m really glad I listened to Josh Groban.

He’s an incredibly talented vocalist and his music makes me very chilled and happy. He’s got a great twitter too.

How I want to end these posts is with something that I want to listen to over the next month and I’ve been meaning to listen to You Me At Six’s newest album Night People – I love Cavalier Youth and I just haven’t spared the time to listen to the song yet and it’s my aim for the next month to listen to it.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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february favourites

2017, lifestyle, music, photography, student, travel

Hello!

This month seems to have flown by – I can’t believe we’re already on the third month of the year. All of my favourites from February seemed to have blurred into January, so there are a few crossovers but I’ll justify that when I get to it.

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My new lipsticks: Maybelline ColorSensational 150 + 157 – they’re the same brand as the lipsticks I talked about in my lipstick blog post but they were on two for £10 and I couldn’t resist. I’m trying out a few more pink-toned shades and this was the perfect excuse for a Barbie pink and a more subtle dusky pink. The one thing I will say is that I find the colours aren’t as strong as I expected and they’re very, very creamy – something I didn’t notice with the nude one I already had, probably because of the colour.

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All the new make-up from my sister – my sister had a clear out of the make-up she had doing the ‘cruelty free’ thing that’s been going round YouTube and offered it to me. Now I know how that seems – I now own all the make-up that my sister threw out because it wasn’t cruelty free? My argument is – I’m learning from her and will not be buying products that test on animals in the future (I’ll need to check Maybelline New York) but for now, the money has already been spent and it would be a waste of a decent product to not use it at all so I’m going to use them with no intend to repurchase. Does that make it okay?

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obviously this isn’t the album artwork, this is just me pretending I’m funny

Dirty Laundry / All Time Low – thinking about it, All Time Low haven’t released any new music since I was in sixth form. I was beyond excited for the new song and when listening to it for the first time and watching the video, I wasn’t too sure but then having it on repeat, I really love it. I’m so excited for Last Young Renegades to be released in June and I’m beyond excited for the two dates of UK tour I’m seeing in a couple of weeks. All Time Low still stand to be my favourite band even in my seven or eight years of following them, they’re my perfect genre of music.

Dance competitions – my dance teams have competed in two comps so far this season and I’ve actually really enjoyed it, surprisingly so. I won’t pretend I was excited for the season – I loved dance last year but comp days were dreaded and I hated them. This year I’ve really thoroughly enjoyed them and I think it’s because I understand it more or maybe they’re just giving off a different vibe this year, but it’s fab. The first comp we went to, Future Cheer, we placed surprisingly well in and we weren’t expecting it which is always fun and the second comp my mum and boyfriend managed to come to so it was really exciting to be able to show them what I’ve been training for. My boyfriend has never seen me dance before so it meant a lot to me that he was there.

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My current bullet journal spreads – I know I mentioned my bullet journal in my last favourites and it had its own blog post but I’m finally settling into it and exploring more – my weekly spreads are starting to look prettier and I’ve been using a habit tracker to. I love that I can do literally anything I want with my bullet journal and how expressive it can be. I’m starting to learn more about writing in pretty fonts and making my journal most effective for me and I love it.

Work experience at BBC Three – it’s only been three days but already it’s brilliant, I’ve learnt so much about the industry, I feel so involved and I’m so impressed by BBC Three as a production company and as a division of the BBC. Everyone is so friendly and inclusive and I’m getting a chance to have a go at everything and it’s so much fun. So far I’ve been doing research for a couple of departments and helping with rights reports but hopefully I’ll get to go out on a shoot, help with some video editing and maybe work with the social media team. I’d love to write something for the BBC Three website too but I’m not sure if I’m confident enough in my writing for that. I’ll do a full run down of the week on my uni blog so tune in for that at the weekend.

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My new boohoo bag – I wanted a smarter bag for the BBC and I love this one – it’s so slouchy and comfy and I can literally chuck everything in. Normally I carry my computer everywhere and it’s really refreshing not having it with me and carrying a smaller bag.

Peri peri chicken with rice salad – my boyfriend and I tried out a bunch of new recipes when I was trying to go on a health kick and this peri peri chicken recipe is incredible – we’ve becoming obsessed with infusing everything with honey. If you’re interested, I’ll do a recipe post with how to make it, though I found it in Kayla Itsines 28 Day Bikini Body book thing.

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The new house – I don’t know if I mentioned it but my friends and I have sorted a house for third year and I’m so excited to move into it! I’ve already made a bunch of plans for my room that I’m really excited about. I want a canvas with elephants on it to hang down the back of my bed and I want it to be covered in fairy lights and polaroid pictures, the whole room (and house) will be covered in fairy lights and I want everything to have a place and have space to feel relaxed. I can’t wait to have a proper place to call my own and I’m so, so excited to move away from Student Housing Company – anyone looking for student residences, don’t live with student housing company: they’ll scam you for your money and you’ll live in the tiniest scabbiest flat there is.

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Maybelline New York Master Precise Liquid Liner – I was looking for a new pen eyeliner as mine wasn’t doing what I wanted it to do and I think I’d been annoyed by trains so I was in a bad enough mood to justify spending money on make-up. It was a bit of a gamble – I know I like felt too own liners and the felt tip bit of this liner was longer and I can make a really precise wing, I really love it. And those are my favourites for last month!

Now for a couple of admin bits – an update in terms of working out and exercise, it’s come to a bit of a halt, especially since I’ve been doing 6am starts with commuting to London to get to the BBC and not getting back till gone 8pm. I’m very, very tired. I still want to start doing home work outs it’s just really discouraging when I have a 2 by 4 foot space in my room and that’s it. But right now, I’m so sleepy.

I also wanted to talk about why I didn’t upload a photography post last month because I really did try – I couldn’t think of a theme so my plan was to take my camera out and take photos every 20 paces and piece it all together to make a video so it could be what I uploaded to my YouTube channel for the week as well as being my photography post! But my camera ran out of battery and I ran out of time to edit and it’s an idea I still really want to do but I want to have the time to do it well so I don’t want to rush it. Hope that’s okay!

I also plan to include more films in the upcoming favourites because I loved writing my La La Land review but the only films I really watched in February were La La Land and Split, which I didn’t enjoy particularly but I wasn’t moved enough to write a blog post about it, I’m really excited to see Logan in a couple of weeks though.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, I’m hoping I’ll be able to keep up with blogging while I’m at the BBC but these long days are really taking it out of me right now.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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