July Favourites

July Favourites

"No post on Sundays" cries Vernon Dursley enthusiastically in Harry Potter. He obviously wasn't thinking about blogs though. The form of "post" if you will that never sleeps. July has vanished in a flourish and it's been quite the month. That aside, there's been some absolute beauty and non-beauty gems that I've loved all month long. From the cream blush that has me converted, through to a book that left me on the verge of cry-laughing. July Favourites, you rock...

Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk: I'm copying this from my Instagram post so apologies if you've read it already. When it comes to cream blush, I'm the first to run in the opposite direction. It's fiddly, usually results in Clown makeup and subsequent, self-inflicted tantrums. Cloud Paint however is as dreamlike as you would expect. I use a stippling brush to apply this and it leaves the most natural, flattering tint to the cheeks. You can even use the shade Dusk to contour, which I've not tried but Arden does in her video and it looks beautiful. 

MAC Painterly Paint Pot: Why I let my makeup routine go so long without a paint pot to keep eyeshadow in place and swipe on for "can't be bothered but want to make an effort-ish" days, I do not know. They're the perfect primer/base for any colour applied over the top and dry down quickly.  One thing I will say is if you're super pale, make sure you apply a crease colour if you're wearing this on its own because it can look a tad...strange all on its lonesome. I learnt that the hard way and thankfully overpack so I could remove it with wipes. Otherwise, you cannot go wrong.

Made Earrings: These were an Instagram find, after spying them on Fiona's Instagram story. These starry earrings have been my go-to all month. They're individually made from resin and can be customised to suit you. Mine for instance hang longer because that was something I requested. The custom-order shop is closed at the moment but I am totally eyeing up some of the stars. They'd make lovely gifts too. 

Go-To Super Handy*: When it comes to hand creams, I will dabble with them and think how luxurious and lovely they are for a while. Then they'll inevitably stay in my handbag and I will only think about them occasionally, when riffling around trying to find a lip product in my bag. So it goes without saying that for a hand cream to make it into my bag daily, and then end up on my desk at work, it's left a lasting impression. I probably should have expected no less from skincare sorceress Zoe Foster Blake. It contains a host of hand-loving ingredients like cocoa butter and jojoba esters, among other things and it smells lush. Not to mention it's fast absorbing, you aren't left with greasy mitts and it protects your hands from the pitfalls of air conditioning. I even like to use it when my hands are feeling a bit knackered and paper cut by the stickering and keyboard typing I do on the regular. Go buy this tube of goodness. You won't regret it. 

Is It Just Me? by Miranda Hart: Miranda's debut book was recommended to me by my cousin and I really freakin' enjoyed it. It shifted between dialogue of Miranda in the present day and her eighteen year old self interjecting which made it all the more entertaining. That and so many parts I was like "yep, can relate." See: awkward banter at the doctors. What is it about that place that brings me to unleash every single thought on the poor professionals? Honestly though if you want a book that will brighten your day, make you laugh out loud and up the feel-good factor, this is it.

Byredo 'Mojave Ghost' Eau De Parfum: If Daisy Marc Jacobs had an older, sophisticated sister, this would be it. Floral and woody with a touch of musk, it's just exquisite and I cannot get enough of it. Byredo's fragrances are pricey but they're all unique and you can tell a lot of thought and love has gone into their creation. If you want to read more odes to this edp, head here.

Headspace: I'm sure many of you have heard of this app. It's designed to be a guided meditation tool that is simple and well laid out. You go through basic, usually ten minute exercises through to more advanced techniques and can follow courses tailored to more specific needs. For instance there's some on self esteem and anxiety. If you're motivated by being able to visually see how you're doing, each day it shows you how many minutes you've meditated in total. I've been a bit inconsistent the last couple of weeks with it but I do notice such a difference to my days and overall mindset when I have set aside time to do it. 

-What were your July Favourites?
*PR Sample
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July in Pictures

July in Pictures

July has almost been and gone. It's been busy, ever changing and quite the ride if I am honest. I got swept up in something and taken advantage of for one. I won't go into huge detail but let's just say I am grateful it wasn't as bad as it could've been. Nonetheless it left me feeling inadequate and questioning my passions which is never a nice feeling. On the other side of things, I earned myself a full time job. I'd been searching and interviewing for a good three months but it finally happened. Then naturally I got callbacks for additional interviews afterwards. Such is life. I'm slowly getting used to the daily, Monday-Friday grind. Unsurprisingly, coffee is my new best friend. I'm also trying to put some ideas into motion behind the scenes, which I won't say anything about because I don't like to talk about things before they actually happen, are 'legit' or however you want to look at it. I feel like this post is heading toward analytical, life essay territory when really it's meant to be showcasing photos I snapped this month. Some are outtakes, some are just random pictures that didn't really belong anywhere else on the blog. Enjoy!

*July started with a weekend escape to Rotorua. It was freezing, wet and bleak outside as you can see. I was also mentally exhausted so I really just wanted to sleep and not do an awful lot. A lot of Lisa Eldridge video watching and reading happened though which I'm not going to complain about.

*What was in my weekend beauty bag. Not pictured, NARS Luminous Weightless Foundation. I think I mostly just wore concealer though which is what I've been doing a lot recently, since starting work and realising one of my bases is making me break out. I think it is anyway. 

*Behind the scenes of a blog post, this one to be exact. I don't have a special setup for photos. It's mainly just rotating backgrounds, props etc on the top of my bedside table. Which seriously needs a clean. Whoops! 

*I am seriously loving this British born title at the moment. Oh Comely features such wonderful content and I love how each issue is themed which always keeps things fresh and exciting. You can read more of thoughts on it here.

-Have great weekends everybody! I will be back Monday with my July Favourites post and then it's on to August's blog content. x
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Magazines Read & Liked, #4

Magazines Read & Liked, #4

Hello, happy Wednesday and welcome back to another post about one of my all time favourite things. Magazines. Such great poetry skills, I know, I know. I've actually not really stepped outside my magazine comfort zone much recently; that being British Vogue and, er, British Vogue but I have squeezed in some reading time with this quartet of glossy goodness. Some of these mightn't be available anymore but I will try to provide links to buy them if they are still around...

The Gentlewoman: This gigantic tome is always a treat. It is laden with brilliant, clever stories and editorials throughout. It's a well designed, aesthetically pleasing magazine too which makes it all the more appealing. The Spring/Summer issue featured a cover story with Sofia Coppola, who I love. She was discussing her new film The Beguiled which I seriously need to see asap, among other things. If you want a read for a long plane trip, beachside or perhaps snuggled under some blankets in Wintry NZ, this is for you. 

Glamour Magazine (UK): Glamour magazine hasn't been on my radar for a while but after listening to this podcast episode featuring editor Jo Elvin, I was inspired to pick it back up again. The latest issue featured all their women of the year winners; including Sam and Nic from Pixiwoo, Amy Poehler, Nicole Kidman among others. It also included a column from Dawn O'Porter which I loved because I'm a Dawn fangirl, we all know that. There were some brilliant articles on stress and mindfulness included as well which were particularly timely for me. I'm not sure how often Glamour is released here but I will definitely be keeping an eye out for the next issue.

Violet: The newer brainchild of Leith Clark, the genius who used to edit Lula magazine. Violet, like The Gentlewoman is another hefty tome but it makes it all the more brilliant. There's more content to enjoy for one. Inspired by the recent women's marches, it's focused around getting women inspired and geared up for positive change in society. I haven't had a chance to really savour this properly yet but I will keep you posted on it because I'm sure it's going to be good.

Puss Puss: Last year when I worked in a magazine shop, I remember seeing this and being wildly confused by the title. My gutter mind instantly assumed it was a vulgar reference but in fact, it is actually a magazine combining two of my loves. That being cats and fashion. I'm not sure if the latest issue is still around but it featured Grace Coddington, the queen of cat ladies and of course her cats, Bart and Pumpkin. It's a bit artsier than some of these other reads so if that kind of content is your jam, you might enjoy that side of things as well. It also features some brilliant interviews and imagery too. It's one you will want to hold on to and save for inspiration later on. 

-What magazines have you read and liked recently?

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The Beauty Files, Vol. Four

The Beauty Files, Vol. Four

Aloha, happy Monday and welcome to another installment of The Beauty Files. This month we have a few beauty gems; Lisa Eldridge and Alexa Chung made me do it, some rediscovered products, a collection I'm really quite excited for and of course a product that has me a bit perplexed. 

Something(s) New: This month I got a new job, more on that later in the week, and to celebrate I treated myself to a couple of new beauty bits from Cult Beauty. First up I finally grabbed one of the Jade Facial Rollers by Yu Ling. This was absolutely, one hundred percent inspired after watching this Lisa Eldridge video. Designed for facial massage, the healing properties of jade are said to be transformative to the skin. I will keep you updated once I've had a chance to use this properly. Also from Cult Beauty I grabbed another of Charlotte Tilbury's matte revolution lipsticks. This time in the shade Pillow Talk. Inspired by her loved liner of the same name, this lipstick is stunning. I also think the matte revolutions are easily some of the nicest matte lipsticks to wear. Not drying, long lasting and gorgeous, even colour payoff. Pillow Talk is a pinky nude that is a favourite among the red carpet lovers. Alexa wore it to the Met Gala and that sold it for me. If it's good enough for Ms Chung... I've only worn this once, it arrived on Friday but I loved it and know it'll become a fast favourite.

Something(s) Rediscovered: MAC Prep+Prime Fix Plus Spray. This mini size is in the limited edition coconut scent that was rereleased earlier in the year, as part of a collection I have completely blanked on the name of. I think it was possibly workout/eighties inspired. Anyway, I'm not sure if the formulation of this has been tweaked slightly but the mist certainly seems to be finer and less..tacky for lack of a better word. Maybe nothing's changed but I am loving it as a setting spray again. The coconut scent helps too. I am also re-loving Roller Lash by Benefit. I was never a fan of They're Real but I have a lot of time for this one. Lengthening, curling and just straight up lash magic. I think the real magic is in the brush more than anything but whatever it is, it works. My only gripe is it seems to smudge a little on me now so if you're prone to mascara smudging, be careful. 

Something Unconvincing: I feel like this product will excite a few people but I'm not totally wowed by it. Maybelline's Brow Tattoo* is a peel off, temporary brow tint enriched with a host of nourishing ingredients and of course temporary colour. For context I naturally have dark eyebrows so tint in them is perhaps not going to show up as effectively. I've used this a couple of times and felt like it really did nothing in the way of colour. I wasn't expecting dramatic results and I'm well aware my brows are already pretty pigmented on their own but I was disappointed by this and feel like it may potentially be a bit gimmicky. Not sold sorry Maybelline. I'll stick to my pencils and pomades for now.

Something Lustworthy: The Lancome x Olympia Le Tan collaboration looks incredibly dreamy. Case in point. There are also lipsticks, shaped like lips. I cannot deal with this level of whimsy and pinkness. I'm trying to not get too excited in case NZ misses out on this collection. We didn't get the Sonia Rykiel one last year, much to my dismay but my bank account's delight. I will keep you posted if I find out any more information about this collaboration.

-What beauty bits 'n bobs have you been loving lately?

*PR Sample
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Mojave Ghost

Mojave Ghost

When it comes to fragrance, I'm a bit of a serial spritzer, not that I spray countless scents at once with abandon. I definitely don't have a signature scent and prefer to dabble in and out of fragrances, depending on my mood and the seasons. Today though it's time to focus on my newest eau de parfum which I've actually owned for a few months now. Byredo's scents have been on my radar for a while and I've spritzed them on many a trip to Mecca Cosmetica. Mojave Ghost has always been my favourite though. Here's why...

Now before we start, I'll spare you the usual disclaimer about the real struggle that is writing perfume reviews. Scent is so subjective. You like it, it stays on your skin and adapts over the day or you hate it entirely. Byredo's fragrances are unique. Biblioteque has the woodsy aroma of a bookstore and the freshness of paper stock. Gypsy Water, a woodsy, amber and sandalwood delight. Mojave Ghost is what I personally describe as the sophisticated, grown up, long lost sibling of Daisy by Marc Jacobs. It's inspired by the Mojave Desert flower, Mojave Ghost, hence the name. The scent itself contains notes of ambrette, Jamaican nesberry, violet, sandalwood, magnolia base, chantilly musk, crisp amber and cedarwood. It's floral and a bit musky+woody. I seem to be automatically attracted to scents that have sandalwood and florals in their fragrance fabric so if you're similar, you'll probably like this one. 

What I do think this Byredo scent has on a lot of other perfumes is that it genuinely does stay on the wearer all day. You could probably get away with one spritz at a time, I usually go for two and I can always still catch its notes on me at the end of the day. Its one of those fragrances where you get to experience the different notes as the day goes on, which I love. I've even picked the scent up on my cat from when I've held her as well as on my scarves and things. It certainly doesn't fade!

So my first foray into admittedly indulgent fragrance territory was a good 'un. Mojave Ghost may be a 'treat yo'self' kind of buy but given how little of this perfume you need at a time, it'll last a fair while. To prolong the life of your perfume, store it in a dark place away from sunlight/somewhere where the sun isn't going to hit it. You can also find Mojave Ghost in rollerball and hand cream form if you want to give it a try first. I'd probably go to heaven if it became a candle. Hint hint, Byredo.

-Have you tried any Byredo fragrances before? What did you think of them?

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The Anti-Haul, #1

The Anti-Haul, #1

If you're a beauty vlog watcher, you'll be familiar with Kimberly Clark, inventor of the anti-haul. The concept being she makes a video, featuring new ish beauty collections, products or trends and says why she won't buy them. Quick disclaimer: This is not me trying to act all superior, look at what I'm not buying etc. It's just products I'm not personally excited by or feel like I must buy. As with anything, this is just my opinion.

Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette: Unpopular opinion time, Urban Decay isn't really a brand that excites me. Their setting sprays are great, the Naked basics are alright matte shadows but their much-hyped, Naked palettes are just unappealing to me. I used to have Naked 2 but have since parted with it because it just gathered dust. Anyway, Naked Heat. I have no gripes with the colours. In fact I think they're lovely but it's the packaging. I cannot stand their clunky, bulky packaging. You'd think they'd improve upon it. Not a fan. 

Jeffree Star (anything): I feel like the first three products on this list will be controversial but not so much as this. I know loads of people love Jeffree Star but after seeing some of his videos and watching Stephanie Nicole's video on the controversy I was really put off him. Again, this is just a personal opinion. It amazes me that people do still buy his products. I don't even know if they're good or not but just his ethics and personality are problematic enough to make me not want to contribute to his bank account. 

Benefit Hoola Lite: I've swatched this on counter, thinking it'd be great but on my skintone it disappears. I did actually want this so I was quite disappointed to find it was too pale, even for me. Perhaps it'd work as a lighter contour powder on my skintone but yeah, much hyped and not something I can make work for me. Or justify buying. Boo hiss. 

MAC Metallic Lipsticks: On a whim last year I purchased this. Do not ask me why, it was an out of character moment. Anyway, MAC have launched some metallic lipsticks recently. The eighties called, it wants its unflattering lipsticks back. Give me my vanilla neutrals any day haha.

-What beauty products don't entice you?
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My Sanity Shelf

My Sanity Shelf

Sanity Shelf: Dedicated to the books one returns to again and again to read for pleasure, knowledge and solace. A term coined by one of the friends of girlsatlibrary. Maybe the idea of a sanity shelf only falls to those who read a lot and like to drift off the pages of one book into another. I'm so not speaking for myself here *ahem, serial reader, ahem*. Today I thought I'd share what books would be on my literal sanity shelf, if I had one. Maybe when I eventually get the Ikea bookcase of dreams, that will be a reality. Anyway, sanity shelf contents incoming...

Matilda by Roald Dahl: A childhood classic. The bookish heroine needs no introduction I am sure. There's something comforting in the darkness that is Dahl literature. In the case of Matilda, I think it's the fact we see her overcome the authority figures who plague her life and find true happiness with Miss Honey at the conclusion. It's naughty, it's funny but it's packed full with valuable anecdotes too. I will always have a soft spot for this book. 

Tim Walker Pictures, The New Garconne and The Coveteur: I've grouped these together because they all serve a similar purpose. Sometimes when you're wanting a book to reread and escape to, one laden with visuals will do just the trick. There's something about the inspiring, stunning imagery in this books that to my mind is relaxing. No matter how many times I revisit them, I always discover something new. 

Pretty Honest and Pretty Iconic by Sali Hughes: Sali's writing is just wondrous to read. She's the kind of person that can write about the most mundane aspects of beauty and make them sound magical. I took Pretty Honest with me last year on my trip to Melbourne and loved coming back at the end of a long day to immerse myself in a whole lot of beauty knowledge. Pretty Iconic is equally as brilliant and is such a nostalgic book for any true beauty enthusiast. They're both stunningly presented as well. 

Inside Vogue by Alexandra Shulman: So I've read this book twice and counting. Maybe it's the formulaic aspect of diary writing that appeals to me here. Then again, I'm such an admirer of Shulman and all she achieved at Vogue so that's probably the main drawcard here. Either way, I find it's a book that can raise my mood, give me some escapism. It's the perfect blend of frankness, funny quips and fashion. 

Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson: Like Sali, Mara has such a way with words that just makes me so happy. I sound so articulate right now but that's the best way to put it really. Her essays about life, child stardom, the original Glee and more are just brilliant. I recommend this book to a lot of people for good reason. It's fabulous. Her audiobook is worth the listen too, if you're more inclined to read that way.

-What would make up the contents of your sanity shelf?
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Five Things | July

Five Things | July

It feels like I only just compiled one of these posts, the reality is of course that the last one went live over a month ago. Today we have a mix of fashion, music, books and life-type things in the mix because why not? 

Changes British Vogue style: Never one to do things by halves it seems, after Alexandra Shulman's departure and Edward Enninful's takeover of the title, we have seen a flurry of staff changes. That may be natural with such a creative endeavour as producing such a notoriously iconic title but it's also bound to ruffle a few feathers, couture or otherwise. The most surprising of all was learning that Lucinda Chambers was dismissed from the title, after twenty five years alongside Alex and another eleven at the magazine. Chambers appeared in an interview with niche publication, Vestoj. It's done the rounds by now and due to legal issues, it has been edited and condensed somewhat. If you want a read, you can do so here. I found this quote particularly poignant: "you're not allowed allowed to fail in fashion-especially in this age of social media, when everything is about leading a successful, amazing life. Nobody today is allowed to fail, instead the prospect causes anxiety and terror. But why can't we celebrate failure? After all, it helps us grow and develop." 

Melodrama: Last month Ella aka Lorde released her second album and it has not disappointed. I'm sure we all know the stories behind this album by now, said to chronicle a house party Lorde threw and the aftermath of it. It looks at love and loss, heartbreak, reminiscence and nostalgia. Most of all it is about survival and the strength we find in our "secret powers". Yellich O'Connor and Jack Antonoff are a perfect pairing and their talents combined make this one treat of a record. My favourite tracks are; Writer In The Dark, Hard Feelings/Loveless and The Louvre but I really love the whole entire thing. 

Without A Doubt: After finishing The People v OJ Simpson last week, I knew I badly wanted to read this book. I think a few of the legal faces involved have written about this trial actually but Marcia's was the one I wanted to read. I'm only about a quarter through it so far but it is good. Really good. If you enjoyed the show, this expands on everything and is equally as fascinating. 

Mindfulness: < It's a word that probably divides a few people. Over the last couple of months I've been making a few lifestyle changes, relating to this word. I'm not going to elaborate beyond that for now but I wanted to talk briefly about mindfulness exercises. There are a bunch of apps, YouTube clips etc so you don't necessarily have to start a subscription. I use Headspace though and find taking ten minutes to do the exercises is such a game changer for me. There are basic exercises to get you used to the initial idea of shifting your focus but also on categories like self esteem, anxiety etc. I actually do two lots of ten minutes, one in the morning and one late afternoon or during the evening. If you're someone who has a mind that doesn't seem to shut off, I highly recommend it.

Wisdom from Lorelai IRL: This quote is from Lauren Graham's newest book and I wanted to share it because it's really apt. Whether or not you're currently on the 'struggle is real' avenue or just feeling a bit lost, keep this in mind. "Life doesn't often spell things out for you or give you exactly what you want when you want it, otherwise it wouldn't be called life, it would be called vending machine. It's hard to say when exactly it will happen, and it's true that whatever you're after may not drop down the moment you spend all your quarters, but someday soon a train is coming. In fact, it may already be on the way. You just don't know yet."
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A Mini Beauty Haul

A Mini Beauty Haul

I seem to have acquired a few new beauty products recently; some repurchases, some beauty vices and just some other rather fabulous things. How does this happen? Treat yo'self 2017 or something like that? Anyway, if you're also excited by beauty, keep reading...

Birthday Balm Dotcom: Ahh Glossier, my vice. My utter favourite beauty vice. This is the latest addition to the Balm Dotcom lineup, in collaboration with Milk Bar. It smells like vanilla cake, delicious and is clear but has slight glitter reflects throughout. These multipurpose salves if you will can be used on your lips but I also like to throw them on my eyes for a bit of the glossy lid look without the thick, uncomfortable texture. 

Milky Jelly Cleanser: This is one of Glossier's hero products and I have heard mostly good things about it. Heck, Anna even cut hers open to get the last of it out and bought several backups. It's a lightweight, gel-like textured cleanser that is incredibly gentle and soothing. I've not used this yet but have tried my friend's and was impressed by it. If I end up loving it, this will not be the last time you hear about it.

Dusk Cloud Paint: Cloud Paints were all over the Golden Globes and Oscars red carpets I believe. It was around that time they launched anyway because I remember seeing some of my favourite starlets and muses, cough Alexa cough, having them used on their complexions. Lisa Eldridge is a fan too so if it's good enough for Lisa... I do not typically go for cream blush but these shades just look so lovely and easy to work with. I could not pass them up. Dusk, a nude-pink is right up my street. Again, if this is love in a painter's style tube, you will hear.

NARS True Story Cheek and Lip Palette, limited edition: This was part of the NARS Christmas 2016 collection featuring Sarah Moon's imagery that sadly isn't available anymore. One of my lovely friends is moving house soon and was having a clear-out of product she'd accumulated so I took this beauty. I am loving these blush colours at the moment and they're all shades I wear fairly regularly. My favourite is Outlaw, the far right. It's actually a permanent colour too which is great if it takes your fancy as well. 

MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly: During one of my ruthless culls, my MAC paint pots were looking worse for wear, i.e. expired. I've been without my ride or die eyeshadow base for months and have missed having a Paint Pot so badly. They just can't be beaten when it comes to priming the eyelids, creating a neutral canvas for whatever's layered on top and even for lazy, slapdash makeup days. I love this colour and won't ever be without one again now.

Simple Kind To Eyes, Eye Makeup Remover Pads: I usually always have some kind of eye makeup remover pads in my bag. It sounds bizarre but they're perfect if you're like me and love to swatch products when you're out beauty browsing and shopping. Or you're like me and forget moments before an interview that there's a bright coral-red lipstick on your hand. Anyway, I grabbed these in Farmers on Friday and they were on special (thank goodness) because full price I think they're a bit expensive for what they are. $10 for reference. Anyway, I like them, they feel incredibly gentle on hands and eyes plus they're a lot friendlier on the ingredient front.

-Have you purchased any new beauty odds and ends recently?
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July Goals

July Goals

I've decided to make a list of things I'd like to do or achieve each month around these parts. They mightn't seem extravagant but they're just small ways I hope to improve my day to day life or perhaps just things I am getting up to. In honesty, I think it's just something useful for me to have documented and keep in mind when I think about the grander scheme of things. These kinds of posts certainly aren't a new concept but me putting my spin on them is. Here's my goals for July. May it be a better behaved month than June was...

Take time to relax: So. Important. No matter how stressed or chaotic our lives get I think everyone could benefit from this. Whether it's setting aside time each day to read, watch something on Netflix that you love or listen to music. Do something for you that doesn't elevate stress. At the moment I'm trying to meditate daily. Meditation isn't new to me but the art of including it in my daily routine is. I recommend the Headspace app but I might look at the Calm one too. If you have any recommendations of apps or podcasts relating to mindfulness, sing out. 

A photo a day: This is more about doing something creative each day really. Each day I have to pick up my proper camera, not my phone and take at least one picture. So far, so good. I might compile these into a blog post at the beginning of next month because I think it could be interesting to look back on. 

Write more: Something else creative. I want to one day write a book and also be published in print. Two separate goals admittedly but they tie in together. I want to get writing, whether it's spontaneously or the beginnings of something that may make its way into other people's hands. I need to practice doing longer form writing too. Although I have to be honest, life does get in the way here a bit and if I don't really want to write I'm not going to force myself. That being said, I'm going to try my hardest to write some words on paper that I am proud of. 

Twenty five: Next month I am 25 and at the moment that realisation terrifies me. For many reasons which I won't get into here. I feel like 25 is a milestone, maybe more for personal reasons than anything else but I don't want it to go unnoticed. Will I have a party or will I just quietly celebrate? What does 25 even look like? This month I need to decide just that really. 

-Let me know in the comments or tweet me what one of your goals are for July. I'd love to know what you're hoping to achieve.
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The Soundtrack of my Life

The Soundtrack of my Life

Hello and happy Monday to y'all. Today we have a post adapted from one that music lover and all-round awesome babe Liv published on her blog last month. Read the original here. Some of you mightn't know that music is one of my greatest loves. I am always singing, albeit for a private audience of myself and the odd friend who happens to find themselves in the passenger seat of my car/on a long walk with me. Music and songs are another form of storytelling, both through their lyrics and the memories and associations we have with them. They transport us back to a time, conjure up emotions and thoughts from days gone by and give us something to listen and resonate with. It's certainly one powerful medium. Anyway, without further ado, here's the soundtrack of my life. All 24 years (and counting) of it...

My first album: Spice World x The Spice Girls. I have a feeling this was released around the same time as the Spice World movie which I used to have on VHS, as well as a well-loved Spice World t-shirt. Heck, I think we even had a Spice World poster up in our garage at one point, much to my family's dismay no doubt(!). I've just turned to Wikipedia for the track listing because I can only remember two songs off the top of my head that are definitely on this album: Spice Up Your Life (a call to arms) and Stop (the one we all practised the dance to in our bedrooms). Saturday Night Divas stands out because I remember loving that song, as do Viva Forever and The Lady Is A Vamp. Viva Forever had that amazing video too with The Spice Girls as fairies which childhood me loved. I could talk about The Spice Girls all day but let's move on shall we?

Long term relationship album: Blue by Joni Mitchell. I thought long and hard about this one but when I think about albums I always come back to, this one tops the list. Blue reminds me of the first year of Uni because that's when I bought it. It also reminds me of plane trips to Australia because I deliberately played This Flight Tonight whilst in the air. I'm sappy like that. Carey also reminds me of one of my good friends. I love the whole album though and while it can be a bit melancholy to listen to all the time, I do reach for it when I'm in the mood.

Song that makes me happy: Secondhand News by Fleetwood Mac. The starting track on their well-loved Rumours album. Despite being a song about breakups, it has a hopefulness and uplifting quality. I'm not a music reviewer, forgive me. I like to listen to this when I'm driving. It makes me inexplicably happy.

Song/album that makes me want to dance: Delilah by Florence and the Machine. That beat, those lyrics. They make me want to move scattily and let loose. 

First gig: Kings of Leon, I can't remember what tour but it was in 2009 with my Dad and some of his younger work colleagues, who were probably about the age I am currently now that I think of it. I was a fan of their music but it was pretty short lived. Nonetheless I remember enjoying my first 'grown up' concert.

Song I wish I'd writtenGold Dust Woman by Fleetwood Mac, sung by Stevie Nicks. I freakin' love this song. Imagine the royalties too. 

Song that reminds me of being a teenParty in the USA by Miley Cyrus. This was my going out song and also general happiness booster.  I'm sure I was playing this via my iPod in my school blazer pockets before classes or tests, in fact I can guarantee I was. I hopped off the plane at LAX with a dream and my cardigan is an iconic piece of prose. Don't discount it.

Sweatiest gig: The Monster Ball Tour, Lady Gaga 2010. My first 'mosh' experience although due to my anxiety in crowds I wasn't right in the thick of it. Nonetheless it's where the most energetic, enthusiastic fans were. This of course made for a sweaty, glittery, dance fest. What a show. I remember even my hair was dripping when I left the venue. 

Karaoke song: When I think karaoke I think Singstar on PS2. The essential for any sleepover/birthday party in the 00's. My go-to songs were What You Waiting For by Gwen Stefani and Wannabe by the Spice Girls. I'm sure Complicated by Avril Lavigne was a go to as well.

Best gig: I can't choose just one here, there's too many choices. However if I was forced to choose two at a glance they'd be Adele's 25 Tour and Florence and the Machine's How Big How Blue How Beautiful tour. To me the best gigs are the ones that feel intimate, no matter how many people are in the crowd or how big the venue is. Both these artists achieved that. Florence has a particular ability to take you to an almost isolated, fantastical space and with her encouraging everyone to put their phones away, it became all the more special. Adele as well as being brilliant was so entertaining and wonderful. She was well worth the wait. 

Songs that remind me of home: Paradise by Coldplay. Not of home so much but journeys around my city. More specifically going on the train past crystal blue waters in Summer after a long/undoubtedly stressful day at Uni. The best. Another is Another Brick In The Wall by Pink Floyd which reminds me of my Dad. As does anything by U2, Bruce Springsteen and Pink Floyd really. 

Least favourite song: Love Story by Taylor Swift. I have a well established loathing. It's possibly because it was stuck in my recently played list for months because of friends borrowing my iPod. Moreover I just think it's cheesy and sickly and ugh. Not a fan. 

Ultimate desert island disc: Cheating again, With The Beatles and Let It Be, also by The Beatles. I could be on the most isolated of islands but so long as I had The Beatles, water, a book and perfume (idk I can't live without that) I'd be happy. 

-I hope you enjoyed this little insight into my music tastes! It was something a bit different for me. I'd love to know if you do this post too so be sure to tag me on social media if you do it.
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