Monthly Favourites #10 (June 2016)

After a busy birthday month, which including spending a lot of a time at several trains stations I have finally accumulated June monthly favourites which sees the return of some previous favourites.

TV – Orange Is the New Black
By now most people have heard the Netflix original series Orange is The New Black (OITNB), a comedy drama series set in a women’s minimum security prison.  The premise for the TV show was based on Piper Kerman’s memoir Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Woman’s Prison. The first story we follow is Piper Chapman who goes to jail for the same reason as Piper Kerman, money laundering and drug trafficking. Over the seasons, the show has created its own story lines and characters as well as receiving cheers from the fans and critics alike. Season four made the three previous season seem like bubble-gum pop (with the odd exception), it was gritty and raw and tackled some important issues head on. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys comedy and drama, you most certainly don’t want to be missing out on this.
Also a quick honourable mention to Game of Thrones who is knocking out of the park this season!

S1Cast

Documentary – The Hunting Ground
Someone on Twitter mentioned this documentary and said it should be getting the same outcry of anger as Making a Murderer (both documentary’s can be found on Netflix), so guess who took the plunge and decided to watch it. The Hunting Ground is a documentary that focuses on the rising sexual assaults on college campuses in the United States; it also shows how the college administration have failed to help the victims. This documentary made me angry, it showed that the administration were not helping the victims but protecting the rapists. It is an eye opener and if you are not worried about being triggered I would give this a watch. More people need to be aware of the injustice happening on college campuses across the states.

Music – The 1975 & Hamilton
Really not much to say about these two as I have previously mentioned them in monthly favourites. But they are what I have been listening to this month.

Thing – Phone Case
I finally got round to buying a phone case for my phone! I headed to etsy in search of something fun and quirky and I stumbled upon a shop called TheSmallPrintCases.  They catered to many different types of phones and they have a great high quality choice of cases. I really like my dinosaur cases, I have had it for nearly two weeks and it is still looking good, so much so in the future I may consider getting another case from this wonderful shop.

Beauty – Sleek Blush by 3 Pink Lemonade
I went on a little make up shopping spree this month and picked up a few items but I wanted to include this one in this favourites. I am slowly getting back into wearing makeup, I enjoy putting it on and wearing but this blush is simply gorgeous. It is highly pigmented and just so beautiful with its three shades, one of which is a cream blush.  The picture does not do the blush justice, it is very pretty. A strong beauty recommendation if you are looking for a new blush. If you are in the UK you can buy it here!

Sleek blush

So that’s it for favourites this month. Do you have any favourites let me know in the comments!

The Price of Fame! (Meeting Your Idols)

We have all dream of the day we meet our idols. They could be superstar athletes or world-class musicians. You meet them at the supermarket or at signing and they are everything you would hope they would be. What you don’t expect is the £150 price tag to meet them.

In all industries be it film, music or TV, fans these days want to meet their idols/favourites. Over the years, it has become increasingly harder or difficult to meet them, so most fans these days tend to pay a price to get a glimpse of their idol. At conventions, it is very common to find ticket/package deals to meet your big name stars, which I have no problem with. At this year, upcoming Asylum 16 (Supernatural convention) for a photo op with either Jensen Ackles or Jared Padalecki you need to pay £85, which is expensive but from what I have seen and heard about the photo ops it is worth it. However, when it comes to musicians and photos ops for me things are very different.

Busted have recently reformed and if you want to meet the three guys (this is for an exclusive photo of you and them) you will need to cough up £160.Yes, you may get other bits and pieces thrown in but still that is a lot of money. 5 Seconds of Summer (who I am off to see later this month) ask fans to pay around £110 for a ‘Soundcheck Package’ which because of the wording I am not sure you will even be able to get a picture with the band. Prices like this are not uncommon in the music business and frankly, it is disgusting. Whoever has the biggest wad of cash gets to meet their idols, what about the people who don’t have the funds?

Is there a reason to why the prices are like this? No, not really. These fans have been behind your music for years and yet still want more money from them just so they can say I have met so and so.  Is there an alternative? Yes, there is.
Signings and waiting outside the venue are relatively cheap ways to meet a band. However, the moments are often brief but from my experience, they are some best moments.
Up next is fan clubs, for several years I paid either £25 (this was for merchandise) or £5 to join The Hustler Club (All Time Low). My membership allowed me to get pre-sale tickets, exclusive merchandise and if I was lucky enough a perk for the gig in the form of an early entry or on two occasions a meet and greet with the band themselves. I am thinking about re-joining THC because whatever they do, they do it well.
Lastly is lottery idea. Conventions such as Summer In The City and Vidcon are fans of this system. From what I can gather you submit a list of people you wish to meet and it is all entered into a lottery system. You either get lucky or you don’t, it is mostly fair and I don’t believe you have to pay for this perk.

Ruo Reynolds of Enter Shikari summarised the whole pay to meet your idols beautifully in a few tweets.  “These bands are exploiting their fans. Everyone is beginning to think paying to simply meet another human is acceptable. It’s madness.” Bands should appreciate fans, not charge them. It shouldn’t be a luxury to meet your favourite band but sadly in today’s world it is.

Monthly Favourites #7 (March 2016)

Hello all! Did those of you who celebrate Easter enjoy the holiday? It was a bank holiday in the UK but I was working so it did not really affect me, but I think I am paid extra for working the bank holiday. I hope you all got the chocolate and eggs you wished for, I got a chocolate egg, which was delightful. Now onto this month’s favourites, this year is flying through!

Film – The Departed
After seeing Leo win his Oscar in February, I’ve been wanting to watch a film with Leo in for some time. I decided against Inception (which I have seen more than enough times) and had a mooch on sky movies and found The Departed! Like most things, I am very late to this great film. It has action and suspense rolled into one. Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon are fantastic as the two leads (both are the respected moles in the Mafia and the police) and Jack Nicholson provides us with a chilling mob boss. I got give props though to Mark Wahlberg as well.  For those of you who have no clue about The Departed it is a cat and mouse game between DiCaprio and Damon both are trying to find the moles. All I will say is the end has a great twist that I didn’t expect.
the dep

TV – Grantchester/Game of Thrones
Granchester is a detective drama on ITV set around the Cambridge area in the 1950’s. Local vicar Sidney Chambers (James Norton) has a taste for solving crimes and often teams up with DI Geordie Keating (Robson Green) to help solve said crimes.  Grantchester is on its second series and Sidney appears to be struggle with the line between what is right morally and lawfully. It is a great little series with some amazing talent, if you find yourself with a few hours to spare I would advise checking out the series.
Game of Thrones. I FINALLY caught up with the series! Now let’s roll onto season six, later in April.

Clothing – High-waist jeans
After recently discovering I needed to buy some new jeans, I was on the lookout for a decent pair. With the help of a friend and trying a range of jeans on I discovered the miracle that is high-waist jeans. Not only are these comfy jeans but the tuck in my tummy and make my bottom look great, I know understand why some many women love a good pair of high-waist jeans. The pair I got are here if you are interested.

Song – Catfish and The Bottlemen// Soundcheck
A bit of a hipster(ish) song but I am really digging this song this month.

So that’s it for favourites this month, short but sweet! Do you have any favourites let me know in the comments!

Monthly Favourites #5 (January 2016)

The first month of 2016 is slowly wrapping up, so it is time for a favourites blog post!

Film – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
I enjoy the Star Wars films, like the originals and I like the prequels so at some point I would go see The Force Awakens. Nearly everyone I know saw episode seven in December, where as I saw it January. However, this meant the cinema wasn’t as crowded and I could enjoy the film without some person sat next to me ruffling sweet packets. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is good quality film, maybe a little dull in places but overall it is good. There are plenty of action and emotional scenes but the one thing that really impressed me about episode seven was the new trio, Rey, Finn and Poe. The new trio are great, they are not just stereotypical tropes and I can’t wait to see more of them in action. If you haven’t seen any of the Star Wars films before go see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it is easy to follow and you will be introduced into a great sci-fi series.
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TV Show – Supernatural
From recent blog post it was obvious that Supernatural was going to be in a favourites blog post. I have banged on this show a lot to my close friends and family and I think everyone is sick of me going on about it. If you want to know what Supernatural just check out this blog post where I talk about some great TV shows.

Music – Panic! At The Disco
I have been a fan of P!ATD since my emo days some years ago, (if am I honest I am still secretly an emo kid). I have followed Panic! on and off over the recent years and saw them live around the Vices & Virtues album, in truth I have never gone off Panic!. This month Panic! (that consists of the original and only member Brendon Urie) released their fifth album Death of a Bachelor. Death of a Bachelor is Panic! if you know there sound you can tell from the first beat it is them, perhaps with a more pop twist. The fifth album is great, LA Devotee and Emperor’s New Clothes are some of my favourites from the album. Brendon has been improving on his writing and music since the first album and you can hear that all the hard work is paying off, there is no doubt this man is full of creative ideas. I would love to see Panic live again so maybe this year I can do that because they sure throw one a hell of a gig.

Product – Nivea Daily Essentials Double Effect Eye Make-Up Remover
One day my local supermarket didn’t have any of the above eye make-up remover in store, no worries I thought I will just get something else. How wrong I was! Previous eye make-up removers either burn or don’t actually remove waterproof mascara, I have at least two bottles of rubbish eye make-up remover in my house. But imagine my joy when visiting a friend I found Nivea remover, let’s just say taking off my eye make-up is now a joy.

Documentaries –Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief & Cobain: Montage of Heck &
This month I watched two great documentaries, the first I watched was the Scientology documentary, which received wide spread praise from critics. For some time I have been wanting to watch the Going Clear documentary due to the amount praise it has received and I wasn’t disappointed. What I took from Going Clear was that initially Scientology had good theories with bettering oneself but things definitely took a sour turn. Scientology for is very what the hell? Some of the things to documentary revealed shocked me and that is all I am going to say.
The other documentary I watched was Cobain: Montage of Heck, which is about the life of Kurt Cobain. As a fan of nirvana and someone who wrote a whole essay on grunge, I have always been intrigued by Cobain’s life. Montage of Heck is great as it doesn’t focus of Kurt being seen as a famous drug addict, it shows a side to Kurt that only his family and friends knew. Kurt Cobain, from what I could gather was extremely creative, almost bursting with it but he also suffered a lot emotional. It is a well-put together documentary and it is the first documentary to involve Kurt’s family, if you like Nirvana this documentary is a must.

So that is all my favourites this month, do you have any favourites this month if so share them in the comments below.

What is good to watch on the box?

As you may know by now, I am a fan of TV. I also like recommending things to other people; you can see where this is going. In conjunction with my newest YouTube video, here are some TV shows I would recommend watching if you haven’t already.

Sons of Anarchy (2008 – 2014)
At first glance Sons of Anarchy (SOA) is about a bunch of bikers who have a taste for crime but trust me the show is so much more. SOA follows the life of Jax Teller, his family and his beloved club, Jax Teller (Charlie Hunman) is a compelling lead and struggles with his moral compass and what is best for his family and what is best for the club. Over the seven seasons as the club falls into more illegal practices cracks slowly begin to show within the club and its members.
I can say with certainty each season of SOA is full to the brim with action, heartache and excellent storylines. The acting in this show is second to none and there is not one character who seems to be wasted. If you are into crime drama at its best then this is the show for you, but be warned it gets emotional so bring some tissue along for the ride.
SOA

Supernatural (2005 – present)
Supernatural is about two brothers Sam and Dean Winchester who go hunting things that go bump in the night, that in its simplest form is Supernatural. It recently surpassed Smallville as the longest running sci-fi drama on North America TV. Supernatural is a lot more than just two brothers killing things, it is funny, emotional, heart wrenching and exciting. It is currently on its 11th season and from the recent news, it looks like it will be getting a 12th season if leads Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki are still happy with the show (from what I gather this seems likely).
I am late to supernatural, like super late. Only late last year I started watching the show and I was hooked. I am currently on the 6th season and it is just getting better with each episode. I think Jensen and Jared are phenomenal with their acting and they portray Sam and Dean so well. Before I finish rambling about Supernatural, I have to mention the viewers of the show who are ever present on social media and are incredibly welcoming.
supernatural

Once Upon A Time (2011 – present)
Emma Swan is a bounty hunter who apart from her job has a normal life, until her son turns up at her door and insists that she comes to Storybrooke and break the curse that is upon its residents. Once Upon A Time (OUAT) is on ABC which Disney owns so expected a lot of fairy-tale/Disney characters in this show. Throughout the five seasons, OUAT takes it viewers to Neverland land, the Enchanted Forrest, Camelot and back in time. The acting is good, the plot sometimes falls flat and the graphics are not amazing but the show is loved and that’s what makes it still worth watching.
I started watching OUAT as soon as it came on to UK TV and I loved it from the start. Some people may hate OUAT, others may love it but there is something very homely about the whole thing.
ouat

The Thick of It (2005 – 2012)
The Thick of It got a mentioned in the video but it also gets a mention in this blog because it is a damn good show that is underrated to say the least. I am not going to add much more as I talk about the show in some detail in the video but if you like dark/black comedy this show is for you.
The_Thick_Of_It

So that’s all the TV I have to recommend for now, do you have any TV shows recommendations, if so let me know in the comments below!

Mother Knows Best!

In the UK, Mother’s Day is a stone’s throw away and inspired by this day this post will be looking at mother figures real life and in fiction.

My Mum
My mum’s star sign was a Leo and I feel that she epitomized being a Leo throughout her life. My mum was loyal, fierce and despite what may have seem as harsh attitude she was very caring. I see my mum as strong woman who went through so much but never gave up. As a mum, she was protective of me and my brother and she always did her best for us. She would often let us know some home truths no matter how much it hurt. One thing that my mum always made a point of was making sure I stood on my own two feet. A great example of this would be after a night out and one too many drinks later, my mum would inform me that I have to deal with the hangover myself. She wasn’t going to run around after me nursing my self-afflicted pain as she liked to put it.

My younger self and my mum with our German Shepherd, Oz.

My mum and myself with (our then puppy) German Shepherd, Oz.

My Nanna
My nanna was in her late teens when she lost her left leg in a crash with a lorry. But that never stopped her from having a great life, which to this day she still enjoys. My nanna raised two children and had a career as well as being quite the jetsetter. Austria, Spain, Germany and Hong Kong are all places my nanna has visited back in the day, I am somewhat envious of my nanna’s lust for travel. My nanna is a great family woman, my childhood was often filled with visiting her house and baking with her when my granddad and brother went to work.

My nanna and myself on my 18th birthday.

My nanna and myself on my 18th birthday.

Queen Elinor (Brave)
It was only a month or so ago that I finally got around to watching the film Brave. I loved the characters but I also loved Merdia’s relationship with her mother Elinor. Yes, Elinor was somewhat pushy on the whole marriage side and she is often seemed to play the ‘bad cop’ card a lot but it was evidently out of love. The film explores the relationship between Merdia and Elinor and it is great to see mother and daughter sort out their differences.

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Molly Weasley (Harry Potter)
Molly freaking Weasley! The closest thing Harry has to a mother figure throughout the books, she basically has Harry become part of the family without battering an eyelid. The woman knits Harry a jumper for his first Christmas at Hogwarts!  What Ron and Harry have only been friends for four months, if that! Let’s face Molly is the leader of the Weasley family, she is a true mother hen. I bet when all the Weasley children have finally gone to school or are no longer at home, Molly finds herself at unrest at what to do. I also bet when her children start having grandchildren of their own she would spoil them rotten.

Weasleys
Snow White (Once Upon A Time)
My heart bleeds for Snow White and her relationship with Emma. It is obvious that Snow loves Emma and telling Charming to put her in that wardrobe was the hardest thing for her to do and she is constantly trying to make up for it. At times, Snow can seem a bit too much to Emma but as viewers we need to remember that Snow was not there to see Emma growing so all the fretting and worrying is what should would have been doing many years ago. I think Snow will always feel somewhat guilty for sending Emma away but I don’t think she will ever stop trying to make it up to Emma. Another point to Once Upon A Time for writing some amazing woman characters, one of the best shows that have some great female leads.

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I hope you have a lovely Mother’s Day wherever you are. Mum’s are great!