2019 Goals – Mid Year Review

2019, goals

Hello!

love goal setting and the end of June is always somewhat momentous for me because I know it marks the halfway point to the year, so it’s the best time to check in on my goals, adapt if necessary and see how much progress I’m making!

Quick context – I have three categories that I set goals in (personal, career, creative) and each of those categories has three goals and then I tried something new this year in setting some ‘bucket list’ style goals.

I’ll try to keep this brief but I do love a ramble about goals and progress so tuck yourself in lads! Grab a cuppa and tell me all about your goals in the comments please!

Personal Goals:

1. work towards my weight goals – eat well, build workout routine

I feel like I mention it in every blog post, YouTube video and Instagram caption but I’ve been trying to lose weird basically forever now. Progress has been slow over the last three months or so but I’m trying to eat much more intuitively and I’ve been running three times a week (or thereabout) for nearly 10 weeks now and I feel like it’s the longest I’ve ever stuck to something and I’m really proud of myself!

2. prioritise tasks and make time for hobbies – stop caring about ‘productivity’ so much

I’ve been refining how I make my to do lists and generally I am finding ways to make the most of every day as much as I can. I definitely haven’t been making time for hobbies but I have been more efficient with my productivity. I still care about productivity much more than I want to, but with how the rest of the year is going to go I think the time for hobbies will come. But in a way writing blog posts and YouTube videos are my hobbies so I guess that counts?

3. self esteem, I need some

This was a way of wording ‘fix my mental health’ whilst being a bit kinder to myself about it. I’ve tried my best to get to know each other and build better habits and I’m much better at recognising the triggers of when I’m not doing so good. I’ve had a bunch of doctors appointments, I’m on anti-depressants now and I’m on a waiting list for computerised CBT, which I’m hesitant about but know it’ll probably be for the best. This is the most progress I’ve made with my mental health in the ten years I’ve been internally battling with myself so whilst I don’t really have any self-esteem yet, the whole process is a work in progress.

Career Goals:

1. build freelance career – make my own work, be my own boss, superhero woman (essentially)

I set this goal in the beginning of the year when I had freelance work and that fell through within a few weeks (which was horrible, ngl) so now this goal is just about working hard for me. How this year has gone so far hasn’t been to plan for me, but I’ve gotten over myself and made my situation work and I’ve earned enough many to make a big purchase recently so it’s going okay! I’m making it all work.

2. build my own media kit (save for a camera/refine my skills)

This one is something I know exactly what I want but I’ve justified that I’m not going to spend the money on something as big as a camera and lenses etc when I’m not certain I’m going to use them or they’re going to be a cost-effective purchase. If I spend the second half of the year glued to a camera, then I can justify it, if I don’t then I’m not going to spend that much money on a camera. All justified!

3. make a future plan with work goals, house/relationship aspirations etc

I’ve done this! Not set in stone kind of 5 year plan because that just doesn’t work for me but I have the framework in my bullet journal and that I add to a change and adapt occasionally. It’s all flexible because I think life is too unpredictable to really make a solid 5 year plan.

Creative Goals:

1. continue towards making the most genuine ‘me’ content on my blog and youtube channel

Actually really pleased with this one – I’m really happy with the attitude I have towards my blog and my channel at the moment and cutting myself some slack when I don’t upload exactly at the right time or anything. I feel more genuine than I’ve felt in a long time and I’m really happy with it.

2. write a book? finish something? write more than I did in 2018 (may be some freelance writing?)

I’ve been planning little writing challenges all through this year in the build up to writing 50,000 words in November for NaNoWriMo and it’s been going semi-decently! I’ve not always hit word counts but I’ve been writing consistently for the first time since before I went to uni. This month I’m hoping to write 35,000 words but I’m significantly behind and it’s day 6 so I’m hoping to get a couple of really good catch up days in before the month is out.

3. work on photography – need to solidify basic knowledge and then work with better equipment

I spent a lot of time at the beginning of this year teaching myself the basics of photography – what all the settings really mean, getting to know my camera, figuring out how the core skills of photography really work. It’s something I want to develop further with more experience when I go back to uni in September but for now I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made so far.

10 ‘bucket list’ goals:

1. have a PT session

This one is centred around driving for me – I can’t walk to a gym locally and I’m moving soon so getting professional help with working out will come when either I can drive or I move. Another work in progress!

2. get another tattoo

Done! Got a series of tattoos to start my travel sleeve this week and I love them so much.

(photos)

3. read a book a month

I’m currently on 7 out of 12 books for the year! I haven’t read for a few weeks but because I was a little bit ahead it was a bit of pressure off and I’m going to get back to it soon, when I’ve fixed my sleeping pattern (lol).

4. do a grid drawing every month

For context – the premise of this is this is that I print off a line drawing, draw a 30 square grid over the top and colour in one square each day of the month. This is something I’m really enjoying – sometimes I find colouring books a bit daunting because I don’t know where to start or they’re so intricate but this one has been really good for my mental health and for my creativity.

5. listen to more music, use Spotify playlists

I’ve been writing my monthly mixtape posts for a few months now and I listen to my discover weekly playlist every week!

6. save for a canon 80d, 50mm lens and a 75-300mm lens

See previous photography goals – if I don’t do this one it’s a financial choice.

7. have a little trip away with my boyfriend every month

I wrote a blog post about how I’ve already broken this one for the year but finances and work have disrupted this one a little, but that’s alright – it was pretty ambitious anyway.

8. take my driving test + upgrade my car

I have taken my driving test once and failed but next one is booked and I feel so much better about it. And I bought a new car at the weekend! I’m genuinely so excited about it all, I can’t wait to see where my little H R Wheels and I will go in the latter half of this year.

9. improve my posture

A silly one, but one I’m trying to integrate into my day to day life.

10. find somewhere to live/get our own place

And following the brief mention of going back to uni, my boyfriend and I will be moving somewhere close to Oxford (probably Aylesbury because there doesn’t seem to property available anywhere else). We’ll be moving in the next couple of months!

And that’s a check in with all of my goals for 2019! I think checking in on goals like this is really important because if you’re on track and making progress it inspires you to keep going and if you feel like you’ve not made as much progress as you’d like it gives you the kick up the bum to focus!! Here’s to the home straight of 2019!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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June Monthly Mixtape

2019, music

Hello!

This months mixtape feels really short – my discovery weekly playlists have been mostly rubbish, there’s been lots of new releases and there’s one song I’ve had on repeat for most of this month (that we’ll get to later) but I don’t feel like I’ve listened to a lot of music.

I do still have a few songs to talk about, so here’s some of my highlights from my June music playlist!

Easier (5 Seconds of Summer) surprised me to be honest – I have such a weird relationship with what I think about the band and my favourite 5SOS era was ‘Sounds Good Feels Good’, but I really like how experimental this song is. They’re trying something new again within the pop-electric realm and I actually really enjoyed it. Some of the lyrics are a bit forced but it’s fun!

Forfeit (Arrows in Action) is a band and a song I never would have heard if it wasn’t for my discover weekly playlist but it gives me major Alex Gaskarth/old All Time Low vibes and I’m 100% here for it. Definitely going to be looking into the bands other songs!

I’m Not Okay (I Promise) (Robyn Adele Anderson) is a refreshing take on the classic teenage emo song – I love jazz/swing remixes of pop chart songs and this one really took me by surprise. The vocals are astonishing, the arrangement is true to the genre and the original song simultaneously and it made me smile on the bus, which is the best kind of song really!

Outside Looking In (Jordan Pruitt) – this song is on the playlist exclusively because I remembered it existed and it was a banger when I was 12. It got me through tough times of no friends and difficult friendships and boy-o I would belt it at the top of my lungs and rediscovering it has been a blast.

End Of The World (Plain White T’s) was a song I literally added this afternoon – I was giving this week’s discover weekly a listen on the bus and this is the only song I liked enough to engage with at all. It was a cute, catchy bop – nothing ground breaking, but a fun listen.

My shoutout of the month goes to the song I’ve had on loop – the song that at first I was very ‘eh’ about, then the melody kept cropping up in my head and then I started really listening to the lyrics and really fell in love with Guiltless (dodie).

It’s been a mixed month for music, to be fair to Spotify I didn’t have as much time for listening to music as I usually do and with a new routine settling into place I need to figure out how to integrate music into the time I have but as always, I love writing these posts – if you have any recommendations let me know in the comments! This months challenge is listening to my Release Radar playlist as well as my Discover Weekly on Spotify!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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May Monthly Mixtape!

2019, music

Hello!

I’ve got a whole 20 songs that I’ve been loving this month to share with you! Between belting Heathers at the top of my lungs and listening to School of Rock and Dear Evan Hansen on loop (it’s been a very musical month) I have actually been listening to my Discover Weekly and adding music I’ve heard in general day to day life. So here’s the sound to my May!

Brand New (Ben Rector) and Flatliner (Cole Swindell, Dierks Bentley) are both songs that my boyfriend has on his playlist but I feel like I properly listened to them this month – Brand New is a really lovely, very romantic song that is bright and indie-pop-ish.

Flatliner has more of a story – one of my boyfriend’s assessments involved picking a scene from a film, recreating all the sound and essentially recreating all the sound for the scene. They picked Cars, the film famed for the most wonderful Rascal Flats song ‘Life is a Highway’, and to find a song similar to that – they found Flatliner. I now associate that song with a film it’s not in, but it’s properly catchy and it makes me think maybe I don’t hate country music? It’s fun, a lil bit rocky and you can imagine Lightning McQueen, what more could you want?

GUM (Jule Vera) is a song I found on my discover weekly – it’s a bit of a weird song, takes some twists and turns that don’t fit the stereotypical pop mould but that’s why I like it. I’d love to see someone with a proper creative eye for dance choreograph something for this song because I definitely can’t do it justice.

ME! (Taylor Swift, Brendon Urie) and I don’t care (Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber) are songs I added because I do actually somewhat keep up with new releases and Brendon Urie and Ed Sheeran are two of my faves. I think ME! is a fun, empowering tune and I don’t care isn’t what I was expecting at all. I thought it would be about being a cool kid that doesn’t care about the #rulez but it was actually a surprisingly romantic song, Sheeran and Bieber’s voices really suit each other and it’s just a nice, gentle song. Big fan.

Mark My Words (Doll Skin) feels like a little bit of a throwback – it feels like the kind of pop-punk/rock I listened to when I was 14 or 15, a little bit Paramore esque but more rocky and I love the chorus.

Alone Sometimes (The Mowgli’s) is another one that my boyfriend likes, but it was also on my Discover Weekly spotify playlist – I thought I recognised it but I also really enjoyed it! And I keep getting the lyrics wrong and singing alive sometimes instead of alone sometimes, which I think still fits but does somewhat change the meaning of the song. This is another indie-pop track with two lead vocals that fit really well together and a lovely message.

Shoutout of the month goes to a song that isn’t new and probably isn’t a lot of people’s first choice, but I’ve been loving The Way We Are by Alesha Dixon – I heard it in a performance at a dance convention I went to at the end of last month and thought it was such a catchy bop! It makes me smile every time it comes on and I genuinely think it’s really hard not to dance to, even if it’s just nodding your head – it’s happy, it’s upbeat, it’s fun. Love it.

If you want to have a nosy around my Spotify, I’ve got a bunch of badly organised and incredibly varied playlists you can have a look at here. I’m really enjoying writing about music at the moment, so as always recommendations are always welcome, all my social media is linked below!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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fitting into my old clothes | outfit

2019, fashion

Hello!

I’ve only mentioned it approximately six billion times but I’ve been making lifestyle changes to lose weight for over six months now and consequently (obviously) my relationship with my body and my wardrobe has changed.

For starters, I feel more like me than I’ve felt in a very long time – I feel less like the Michelin Man and more like myself, I’m working on being more comfortable in my skin both in terms of making my body somewhere I like to live and addressing my mental body confidence. Overall, I feel better in myself.

But also, I’ve been refining my wardrobe ever since I started packing to move out of Southampton – I’ve been getting rid of clothes to donate to charity shops/sell/whatever since I packed that first box, to when I had a sort out before Christmas, after Christmas and this weekend just gone. I’ve slowly been cutting down and refining my wardrobe in a sort of capsule-esque way, but thinking more about what I need from my wardrobe and detaching from sentimentality (because no one needs to keep clothes 1) because ‘I love it so much even though I never wear it’ and 2) because they were expensive and it feels like a waste).

And then I had a box of clothes on top of my wardrobe that I’ve been saving for summer/when I lost weight and I got them out during my last clear out and there’s only two or three items that I feel like I need to lose more weight to wear and that is so motivating.

So here are some clothes that I didn’t feel I could wear before!

The leather jacket isn’t one of those items – I bought that for a wedding I went to in January, but I don’t have a lot of jackets. The jeans I bought for when I went to New York last year – they fit okay, but they were a bit too big when I stood up and far too tight when I sat down and they went back into the drawer until now. Now they’re far too big when I stand up and they’re comfortable when I sit down – I’m not going to let go of them just yet because they still fit but definitely need a belt with these ones.

The yellow cropped shirt is a dodie shirt from her ‘you‘ EP release (now on sale, if you’re interested!) and this is the first time I’ve worn it – I’ve loved the design ever since I bought two whole years ago but I’ve never felt ‘skinny enough’ or confident enough to wear it. Some would probably say I’m still not skinny enough but I don’t care – I feel absolutely adorable and whilst I’m not the huge fan of dodie I was when I bought it, it’s still a cute yellow crop top and I love anything yellow.

omg cheeky bit of tummy 😱

Reclaiming the few items that I kept for a time when I could actually shift the weight I hated has actually motivated me more than ever to keep working to lose as much as I can – I’ve come a really long way in the last year, especially the last six months and I knew when I put those clothes into a box a year ago that they would be the motivator I needed, not a sad reminder of what I’d lost (or gained, depending on how you look at it…).

That’s not to say you have to lose weight to feel good about yourself or keep your old clothes as an inspiration – if you feel fab as you are? You’re rocking it, you go girl. If you need to throw the clothes that don’t fit away (or donate them) to help you accept who you are now – you do you, whatever empowers you. Everyone is on their own journey (however pretentious that sounds) – personal growth is exactly that, it’s personal.

I’ve still got a long way to go – I’m not anywhere near my goal weight or a healthy weight for my height yet and I’m still learning and developing every day to do all I can to continue losing. But I felt cute – I can comfortably wear almost everything in my wardrobe and I’m not dreading getting these wobbly arms and legs out in the summer, in fact? I can’t wait to sit out in the sun with a good book and get away from screens for a bit.

Despite the fact it’s basically winter in the UK right now and sunny summer seems a loooooong way away, I’m not dreading the summer heat and wearing more clothes than is comfortable for the sake of covering up.

I’m making progress! Summer healthy eating is so much easier and I’m actually enjoying running (and hopefully exercising more)! And I don’t feel at war with my wardrobe anymore! Yay!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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I could hear a bee in the plant behind me…

monthly mixtape – April

2019, music

Hello!

I’ve been looking forward to writing this post ever since my last monthly mixtape, if I’m honest!

Two things before I start chatting about the tunes – one; I haven’t had the chance to listen to my discover weekly playlists on Spotify this month because I haven’t had any time on buses or on my own at home, so I’ve not listened to a whole lot of new music in that way, but somehow this is my longest monthly playlist so far!

And two; I called the playlist Gray because I was watching the ‘Crisis on Earth X’ Arrowverse crossover (Supergirl, Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow) and without spoiling it, something significant happens to a character called Stein who is nicknamed Gray and I was feeling sentimental about it in the moment I made this playlist so that is literally the only significance of the playlist title this month, if anyone was interested!

Let’s start at the beginning – I was only interested in Lewis Capaldi because I’d seen ads for his song Someone You Loved all over my instagram and it gripped me because Peter Capaldi, yes the 12th Doctor on Doctor Who, is the main focus of the music video and I have a big old soft spot in my heart for Peter Capaldi. Then I properly listened to the song and I think the lyrics are just beautiful, I think it’s one of the saddest love songs I’ve ever heard but it’s so mature and melodically striking, I would love to cover it on my YouTube channel one day.

Next are a couple of songs from Simple Creatures as their EP Strange Love came out in the last month. Alex Gaskarth is hands down my favourite vocalist of all time, I’ll be perfectly honest – I’m really not mad about Mark Hoppus’ vocals, but I do love the sound of the band and it really reminds me how much I do love slightly heavier music (but only slightly heavier, I’m still a pop gal at heart). Strange Love and Adrenaline are Class A bops and I thoroughly recommend.

I don’t want to talk about every single song on the playlist, otherwise this post would be about three thousand years long, but next is a new single from Bash! and I’m so here for this band – they’re music students in Southampton, they performed at my graduation ceremony and that’s how I know them at all but their music is sick, they’re so funny and I really hope they get the break they deserve because they’re so professional and the lead singer is Pop Queen, she’s so cool.

The last four songs on the playlist I literally added yesterday – I saw on Instagram that The Vamps had released a new EP and they’re one of those bands that I know I like but then I listen to their music and I’m like a subconscious fangirl. I’ve followed the Vamps since before the bassist joined the band (shoutout to Carrie Hope Fletcher for featuring them on her channel like a hundred years ago) and Waves is a really sweet song.

Niall Horan is another one that I almost didn’t realise how much I like his music – he features on Julia Michaels song What A Time and it went straight on the playlist after one listen – it’s chill, it’s catchy, I love the sound of the sincerity in Niall’s voice.

We Didn’t Start the Fire by Billy Joel is a song that my dance teacher used to use as a warm up in my tap class and I really liked it but I never got round to asking her what the song was. Then it came on a radio when mum and I were at work and I wrote it down straight away because it’s been in my head for months now, I’m so pleased I found out what it’s called.

My shoutout of the month goes to leaving this (Danny Padilla) – I think this one was a discover weekly find but it’s a song that gripped me straight away. I love the fusion of pop and a more electronic sound with classical instruments but somehow it still sounds really stripped back? The melody is really catchy and I want to choreograph to it which is a sure fire sign that I instantly connect to a song (but I’m bad at choreographing so I probably won’t do that).

As always if you have any recommendations I’m all ears (literally! Geddit?) – I’d love to hear what you’ve been listening to so if you’ve got any songs or playlists drop them in the comments down below!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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little | monthly mixtapes

2019, music

Hello!

So far I’m doing well at sticking to my New Year’s Resolution of listening to lots of new music – I’ve been religiously listening to my ‘discover weekly’ playlist and making another playlist of the songs I like plus an additional playlist of the songs I like the most that are my go to.

And because the playlist was originally just three songs it’s called ‘Little’. It’s no representation of the songs that I’ve been listening to recently, but the playlist is a little shorter than last month. But we’ll get to that!

If you want to listen to the playlist (or just nosy at what songs I’m listening to) you can find it here!

I’m pretty sure I’ve been listening to Monster (dodie) for a couple of months now but I’ve recently just really identified with it. She’s said that the song is about watching someone’s opinion of her slowly deteriorate until they saw her as a monster and I love the lyrics. It’s catchy and it’s a full on bop.

Second Star To The Right (The Devil Music Co.) has a special place in my heart – it’s a reference to Peter Pan which I have recently decided is my favourite Disney movie and it’s a proper pop-guitar-heavy song that I would class as the definition of my genre. This one might make it onto next months playlist too.

The harmonies in Jealous (The After School Specials) are absolutely mind blowing – I think it’s a cover, I should really look into it but I just love the acapella voices together, it’s just beautiful.

Two of Us (Louis Tomlinson) and Ribcage (Plested) are songs I only added in the last day or two so I’m not fluent in every lyric yet, but they’re both lovely songs lyrically and I’m going to have a few days more days to really appreciate them before I start next months playlist, for sure.

I have to mention Seventeen (Heather’s OCR) because this song and the entire soundtrack has been a proper anthem for me this month. I posted my first cover in a very long time because I was so inspired by this song and this musical. I just can’t stop listening to it and it’s properly reignited my passion for the West End and I’m seriously considering ways I can get into musicals as a career because my desire to perform and sing at the top of my lungs is getting incredibly strong. And with that in mind…

This months favourite is actually an album that doesn’t feature on my monthly playlist at all but I can’t not mention it – I went to see School of Rock on the West End this month and I’m obsessed with most of the soundtrack, notably Stick It To The Man. It’s such an empowering song and I find myself jumping round the kitchen and wishing I was 12 again so I could beg my mum to let me audition for this show. I thoroughly recommend entering the lottery for £15 tickets because it’s genuinely amazing!

I love writing about music and I love finding new music but at heart I will always be a girl who loves a song so much she leaves it on repeat for at least 100 listens. As always, if you have any suggestions please do let me know!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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February Music Favourites!

2019, music

Hello!

Today, I wanted to try something new – I love music and one of my goals for this year was to listen to more new music rather than listening to the same music I always listen to. The way I’m doing this is not by going searching for new music but letting Spotify algorithms do it for me and picking songs from my discover weekly playlist!

I then add songs I like to ‘Liked from Radio‘ playlist and when I’m done listening to my Discover Weekly for the week I generally put this playlist on shuffle in the background when I’m cooking or travelling or whatever!

If I’m wanting to listen to anything more specific I add it to my ‘Current jams‘ playlist and if I want slightly more familiar music that’s the playlist I go for and that’s the playlist I’m going to be talking about today!

Rather than doing a song by song review I thought I’d just have a chat about the playlist as a whole. None of these songs actually came from my Discover Weekly this time around – ‘On My Way’ is a new song from Sheppard that was their bid for Australia’s Eurovision entry that’s I’m obsessed with, Burned Out is my favourite song from dodie’s new EP ‘Human’ and the rest of the songs are mostly inspired by what I’ve been watching on music channels on the TV!

‘Come Along’ by Cosmo Sheldrake is the song used in the new iPhone advert and I think it’s really catchy and boppy – not enough for me to buy an iPhone but a good song regardless!

‘Exits’ (Foals), ‘Sweet but Psycho’ (Ava Max) and all three Billie Eilish songs on this playlist I first heard from one of those nights when mum and I just shoved on MTV music and tried to get on with some work.

‘Drug’ is the debut song from technically new band Simple Creatures, which is made up of blink-182’s Mark Hoppus and my all time favourite band All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth who is my favourite vocalist of all time. If I could describe my perfect voice to listen to it would be Alex Gaskarth. His voice is the entire reason I like this song but it is also an incredible song. Excited for more of Alex Gaskarth’s voice this year.

‘Blue Tacoma’ by Russel Dickerson actually came from a radio on my boyfriend’s Spotify and I thought it was a Busted song – it has a lot of original Busted vibes and I really liked it so it went immediately onto my jams playlist.

I’d love to make this music post a monthly series and I want to give it more of a structured format which includes having a shoutout of the month – this month it has to go to ‘Sweet but Psycho’ by Ava Max  because gosh darn I’m obsessed with this song, I have it on loop most of the time and it makes me want to try covering it, I’ve got ideas so 100% no shadow of a doubt this is my favourite song this month.

So that’s my first music favourites! I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want this blog to be and I’ve seen so many ads on instagram and facebook about making my blog profitable and growing it but they all focus on such a specific niche that I just don’t think I want to put myself in. But I am making an effort to write about more of what I love – travel, organisation/bullet journalling, fitness/body positivity, outfits/fashion and music! If there’s anything you really like seeing on my blog please do let me know in a comment down below – I’d love to know what you like reading from me!

Also if you have any ideas for a series title for these posts any recommendations would be fab, something musical but maybe a little bit funny.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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playlist: Summer ’18

2018, music

Hello!

With the amount of new music that’s been released by a bunch of artists I really like this summer, I’ve been slowly adding to my Summer ’18 playlist for a couple of months now.

And I’m a huge music geek – I love how the algorithms work on Spotify, I love following music people on Instagram, my whole final uni project centred around music, I’m just obsessed. But building playlists is something I’ve seen a lot of people on twitter talking about but I’ve never really ‘designed’ playlists in the same way – I just chuck a bunch of songs that I enjoy belting when I’m home alone in one place!

Some may argue that those are the same things, but I thought I’d have a little chat about the new releases I was really excited about this summer and the playlist I’ve had on for the last couple of months.

Watching the Sky – Sheppard

Sheppard are an Australian band that my boyfriend found on Spotify through their song ‘Geronimo’ because it was inspired by Doctor Who. Since then, we’ve been eagerly anticipating every one of their releases and Watching The Sky is actually one of my favourite albums of this summer – it’s light and fun and the songs are catchy and ‘We Belong’ had us dancing around the kitchen whilst we cook dinner. Such a fun album.

Everything Is Fine – All Time Low

I mean, the band teased this song for maybe 24 hours before it was released and I was on holiday and I wasn’t ready and I love it. All Time Low are my absolute without a shadow of a doubt favourite band and have been for like 10 ish years so I was very excited when I saw this song had come out and I love it. I love the vibe, I love the sentiment behind it and Alex Gaskarth’s vocals are just stunning. I’m excited for the album that is likely to follow, though I don’t think anything has been announced yet.

Youngblood – 5 Seconds of Summer

I’ve got a funny relationship with 5SOS – I used to be a huge fan, had a tumblr blog that reached nearly 30k followers and built this amazing little community but then there was an article published that showed a side of the band that hadn’t really been exposed before and I’d just started studying journalism and a lot of people blamed the publication ‘for making them look so bad’ but reading into it I could tell that the writer was just working with what they had and my opinion of the band lowered so much. Saying that, I’d listened to a couple of the singles they released before the album came out and I was so frustrated by how much I liked it?

To be honest, Youngblood has been my most played album of this summer – the last five or six songs on the album are absolutely bangers and I really do love them! I think the way I’m settling it in my head is that I like the music but I’m not big fans of the people in the band and I don’t feel too bad supporting them because they weren’t doing terrible horrible things, they just aren’t the nicest people. I hope that’s okay?

Sunnyland – Mayday Parade

This album I added to my playlist on a bit of a whim – I loaded up Spotify one day and it popped up that Mayday Parade had released a new album. I’m not a huge fan of the band but I know I like a few of their tracks and their vibe is very me so I just dropped it in and I actually really like it! It’s a bit heavier than the other albums on the list but I really like that because the slightly heavier, more guitar based sounds are my absolutely favourite. I was pleasantly surprised but really enjoyed Sunnyland!

Pray For The Wicked – Panic! At The Disco

So, Panic! are up there as one of my favourite bands (after ATL in a Solid First Place, I have a group of joint second favourite bands which also includes S Club 7, ngl) and I was so pumped for this album. I preordered the vinyl as my post-FMP-hand-in-present-to-myself and I’m obsessed – the vinyl itself is actually stunning but the album is just so great. Death of a Bachelor was always going to be a difficult album to follow (and I think I do still prefer it) but Brendon Urie’s voice is just absolutely astonishing. Saturday Night, The Overpass and Hey Look Ma, I Made It are for sure going to become some of Panic!’s new anthems. Thoroughly recommend, it’s been on loop in the car for a while now.

Birthday – All Time Low

Two new tracks was very overwhelming and exciting? I’ll be perfectly honest, I prefer the first single out of these two but I stand by that All Time Low have never released a song that I don’t like and I do still enjoy and listen to this song (hence why it’s on the playlist!) – it’s fun and I can imagine it being played at a lot of birthday parties, for sure. Two new songs released so close together hopefully means a new album maybe by the end of this year, but it’s only just been a year since All Time Low’s last album came out, so I’ll be eagerly anticipating news that’s for sure!

Six – We The Kings

Like Mayday Parade, this is another one that Spotify popped up and told me had been released and I’ve liked a fair few of We The Kings songs in the past and I follow the band quite closely on social media, especially as their bassist Charles Trippy is King of the Daily Vloggers and he documents a bunch of behind the scenes music stuff which is 100% my jam, so I added the album to my playlist. It took me a few weeks to actually get round to listening to it and I really enjoyed it! It’s a great pop sound with some really fun riffs and catchy tunes, perfect for a summer party!

‘Lie To Me’ Spotify Sessions – 5 Seconds of Summer

Back to 5SOS again! I saw on Instagram that they’d done another version of ‘Lie To Me’ at their Spotify Sessions recording and I absolutely adore it – it’s not quite acoustic but it’s very stripped back, I love the indie tones in the lead vocals and the harmonies are just magical. I’m very much enjoying belting it at the top of my lungs when I’m home alone.

The playlist is linked down below and if you do want to follow me on Spotify, then you’ll never miss how often I’m listening to Youngblood!

I definitely need to get into making more playlists and writing more posts like these because I love finding new artists and writing about the music I’m loving! If you have any recommendations please, please leave them in the comments below!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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I did not give permission for Mamma Mia 2 to make me so emotional

2018, film, lifestyle

Hello!

So, Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again came out on Friday – let’s jump in to a spoiler free, not at all critical review!

The casting was absolutely fantastic – from the trailers, we knew that the basic plot of the film was looking back on Donna (Meryl Streep) and her life when she met the three men that could be her daughter’s father. The actors who played young Donna, young Harry, young Bill and young Sam were just wonderful (and all four just drop dead gorgeous) – they all captured the fun, silly nature of the film and the likeness between them and the older versions of their characters is right on the nose.

The cast of the first Mamma Mia film was stellar and in this one it just gets better? I didn’t hold out high hopes of Cher’s part to be perfectly honest – I thought it was putting Cher in a film for the sake of Cher being in a film but she actually had a character, she had a purpose and she did play it quite well. All in all I was taken aback by this film and the performance of the cast is one of the main reasons for it.

Also, Julie Walters is one of my favourite humans of all time.

Obviously, Mamma Mia is a musical and the songs are a big part of it – I was worried they were just going to rehash some of the songs from the first film and call it a musical but I was surprised by the new numbers. It was some of Abba’s more obscure songs so the audience weren’t as happy clappy as perhaps in the first one but the songs they chose worked well, or if they did feel forced it was funny – opening with ‘When I Kissed the Teacher’ was this huge, completely unrealistic dance scene and it captured everything that Mamma Mia is. It’s ridiculous, huge dance sequences and ‘perfect vocals’ aren’t the focus, in any way shape or form, but it’s fun and silly and it makes you wish it was real.

Well, I wish I was in a dance sequence on a pier on a Greek Island, don’t know about everyone else.

I also think the inclusion of some of the songs from the first film was a really nice bridge between the ‘sequel’ part of the film and the previous instalment. It didn’t feel like recycling, it felt like a genuine connection. Yes, maybe Piers Brosnan shouldn’t be allowed to sing, but he’s trying and it’s somewhat endearing. ‘I have a dream’ and ‘The name of the game’ were really cleverly used in both films.

Can I just reiterate how wonderful Lily James and those three beautiful young men were?

And then, all of a sudden, at the end of the film, I was crying? Like a lot? It was a surprisingly emotional film! There isn’t anything that’s particularly sad and I don’t want to spoil the plot or anything but the end is very poignant and I imagine something that a lot of people will relate to – it definitely struck a chord with the people I went to see it with!

Overall, I didn’t go into this film expecting a lot – I thought it would be a jumped up sequel cashing in on the success of 10 years ago, but it was actually incredibly well done. I really enjoyed it, to the degree that I would pay to go see it again. I want to see it again, as soon as possible please!

So don’t forget your tissues if/when you see ‘Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again’ at the cinema!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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“The Impact of Social Media on Breaking into the Music Industry” // my FMP

2018, music, photography, student

Hello!

I feel like the only thing I’ve talked about for the last three or four month is my FMP – my final major project, ‘my degree’s equivalent to a dissertation’ (I hate having to say this); the big project to show what three years of uni have taught me.

My FMP included making a 10-20 video, 10-20 minutes of audio, 20-40 pictures and 3000-6000 words of copy. I also had to do a pitch presentation and contextual essay but that’s the boring bit.

And the topic I chose was how social media effects musicians trying to break into the industry – how social media effects how much work they get, what defines success and how both social media and the music industry have effected musicians and those wishing to work in the industry at the beginning of their career. It was a really interesting investigation and I learnt so much about the industry I’d like to go into in the future – social media is a massive passion of mine (as in creating content, not just scrolling through twitter for hours) and I love music so making digital content within music is a huge dream of mine.

So I thought I’d do a little run down of my project! For anyone that’s interested in what I did, interested in the topic or maybe a multimedia journalism students looking to what their final project may have to look like!

For our project we had to pick a publication to write for, so my project is done in the style of BBC Three.

The copy articles I don’t want to just drop in here otherwise this blog post would be thousands of words long, but I wrote four articles about a variety of topics – an introduction to the topic, a look into a relevant example from this year and a couple of listicles. I didn’t think my writing was going to be very good but I was actually pleasantly surprised at how pleased I was with my copy in the end. If you’d like to read it, I put the copy doc (and the full final hand in doc if you want to read 100 pages of that – it’s not all words, it’s just everything I had to hand in) you can have a look at this Google Drive folder.

My pictures went hand in hand with the copy, but in the style of the publication BBC Three don’t use a lot of pictures so I made a few stylised edits but predominantly used my pictures as if they were promotion on social media which all felt very relevant to the project. I’ve chosen a selection to include here:

This is the thumbnail I made for Episode 2 of my video series interviewing Producer Connor Panayi. This is my favourite photo from the whole project

I then edited that thumbnail to look like a tweet from BBC Three’s account – using the photo, a screenshot from my own twitter to get the font and the style and a screenshot from BBC Three to get their twitter profile. I think it looks pretty legit

I used this style for my Radio interviews as well

This edit was used as an image in one of my copy articles – I was writing about music that had blown up on social media and wanted a more relevant way of using images that also showed my ability to use and manipulate photos (from the point of view of the grading of the project)

I actually took this photo when I worked at Reading Festival last year but 1) I really like it, it’s a well taken photo so why not use it? 2) It was a really relevant way to show how people get so passionate about music

This photo was taken on a shoot for one of my videos but I loved having the opportunity to photograph live music – the Blue Lion Band were amazing and if you get the chance to see them you definitely should, they’re incredible

Another still from the Blue Lion Band shoot (and another one of my favourites)

I also made a couple of infographics to represent some of the statistics in my articles and I really enjoyed making these, I’m going to work more on my graphic design skills in the future for sure

I was going to include a full portfolio of my photos but I don’t have enough space in my Google drive, so if there’s anything else you’d like to see shoot me a message and I’ll find a way!

Onto audio – I did my audio as two radio interviews as if it was a Radio 1 Breakfast Show takeover promoting the new BBC Three series. I uploaded both episodes to YouTube so you can listen to them here:

And lastly video – the pride and joy of my whole project. Making video content has always been my favourite (I’ve been on YouTube since December 2013) and I wanted to use this project to push myself with my videography as much as possible and boy did I.

It’s the most high quality video project I’ve ever shot – with the help of friends and the beautiful 50mm lens, I think the quality and aesthetic appeal of my video is better than anything I’ve ever made on my channel. I taught myself how to use AfterEffects to make a title sequence for the end of the video and I daren’t calculate how many hours I spent editing the whole project. The video element of my project is the one I am most proud of and I’m so happy to share it.

So rather than one long documentary, I made a three part episodic series and a series trailer.

Series Trailer:

Episode 1:

Episode 2:

Episode 3:


I’ll be honest, I was aiming for a First with this project – my life and soul went into it and I was (and still am) really proud of it. Unfortunately I didn’t quite achieve this but I was awarded a high 2:1 (68%) for this project.

Overall in my degree I will be graduating with a 2:1 – 69.06% (only 0.44% away from a First). Yes, I did want a first and I thought I’d done enough but you know what – it is what it is, I did my best and I can’t change it now. I’m going to be writing a blog post about holding too higher standards for yourself at some point in the future because getting those results were somewhat heartbreaking.

But either way, I’m proud to share my project and I hope you’ve enjoyed it.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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