Since I’ve Been Gone

I realised last night that its been a long time since I wrote anything other than a list or a bunch of photos, so waking up this morning to the sound of rain and nothing other than an unspecified number of hungover teenagers to deal with (results day…) I decided to postpone getting up for a while longer and have a go at writing something a bit different and a bit more chatty. After all, I was absent from here for about two months, and a lot happened in that time…but for now, I’m back. (try and stifle the depressed groans, pls)

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I went to Cornwall with my best friend, which was one of the best trips to Cornwall I’ve ever had…a personal photographer and Disney fan made everything better, and who wouldn’t want to spend three days straight with their best friend when they haven’t seen them in a few weeks?

Straight after Cornwall, I headed to Holland for a week to have a look at universities in Rotterdam, Groningen and Maastricht. I still don’t know if I want to study in Holland or if I can even do the subject I want at a place I like but I know that I still love Holland, especially Rotterdam and Maastricht.

After Holland I had a few breather days where I did my first shift at one of my new jobs (I was so terrified before I genuinely thought I was going to throw up but it went alright in the end)(mainly because there was a lot of free food). I also caught the train down to Plymouth to stay other with two of my best friends and go swimming in the absolutely freezing Tinside Lido. Only in Britain would you willingly freeze to death in a bikini because it’s above 15 degrees and not raining…(yet).

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Then I headed to Scotland with my sister to spend five days in Edinburgh with my godparents, which was really fun (and no murder or even too much violence occurred, you can tell my sister and I are getting closer to being responsible adults!), and although apparently my mum requested we were introduced to Prosecco, we were more interested in Pokemon Go. (Heads up, Edinburgh Zoo has an insane amount of Pokestops)

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I still didn’t relax after Scotland – within two hours of landing, I was on the train to the beach with friends, then ended up having a sleepover where I was forced into watching a horror movie. SO MUCH STRESS IT WAS SO NOT FUN. (but on the bright side I made a deal that if my boyfriend made me watch a horror movie I could make him watch Frozen. He’s now convinced Olaf is massively depressed and suicidal and has a fully developed theory for how Elsa can take over the world. Alrighty.)

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So apparently this really cute bit just illustrates Olaf’s suicidal tendencies? (via)

I’ve also, in my incredibly exciting summer, made it onto season 2 of 90210 on Netflix without realising it, and finished series 1 of Prison Break. Now to start Making A Murderer

Oh, and I spent a couple of days in Exmouth with friends and met another for lunch at Pizza Express, which was all fun but is making me more and more nervous about leaving the in September. I’m so looking forward to college but it’s hard to deal with the idea that argh I’m not going to have lessons or spend half my day with these people I’ve been chucked together with for seven years but instead I have to make new friends which is terrifying. If this is my last post on here just assume I turned into a weird jelly Thing of Fear. (alternatively I just got really lazy and unmotivated again, that’s probably more likely).

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me when I think about leaving school (via)

Oh, and in the most important news of this whole post, I made rocky road last night, in order to defend my title as Rocky Road Goddess. Some people have never tried mine and don’t believe it is absolutely the best, so I’m going to prove them wrong. Rocky road is my signature dish and I am the best at it. End of. I’m also very modest about my baking abilities, if you hadn’t noticed.

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Music of the Month: July


I’m back! I’m back! I’m back! (*mentally sings Back For Good*)

In true ‘me’ style, I’m now just going to gloss over my month’s worth of absence (in my defence I was in Cornwall, then Holland, then Scotland, then Exmouth…and yes, I promise to post about them soon, I was just too lazy to get all the photos together tonight) and throw a months worth of my favourite music at you…

False Alarm – Matoma feat. Becky Hill

Vessel (deluxe edition) – twenty one pilots (specifically Lovely, House of Gold, Ode To Sleep and Forest)

Tilted – Christine and the Queens

Capsize – FRENSHIP feat. Emily Warren

City Bird – Bud feat. Origin One


Over And Done With – The Proclaimers (I highly recommend the film of Sunshine on Leith, fyi)

Alarm – Anne-Marie (why oh why has my brain forever tainted songs entitled ‘alarm’ with associations of Nicki Minaj and Pound The Alarm)

Step Into The Light – Teminite feat. Jonah Hitchens (the sax solo on this is just too good and this song is one of my current go-to pick-me-ups, I love it so much <3) 

Cold Water – Major Lazer feat. Justin Bieber and MØ

Addicted Love, I Wish & Make It Funky – Maceo Parker

Wake Me Up – Dirty Loops

Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) – Buddy Rich

Dancing On My Own – Calum Scott (this makes me tearful basically every time but I love it)

One Dance/Hasta el Amanecer – Alex Aiono (bonus points for the flawless Spanish accent) (also his cover of Kent Jones’ Don’t Mind)

Fake It – Bastille

How Would You Like It – Lauren Aquilina

Perfect Strangers – Jonas Blue feat. JP Cooper

XO – Eden Project

Lost Boy/Talk Me Down/For Him – Troye Sivan

And that is my grand return to blogging in a couple of paragraphs and thirty songs. Hopefully it won’t be so long until my next post!


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Music of the Month: June


OK so the title may lie a bit…this is kinda my favourite songs from June but also a load of stuff from the whole four days of July we’ve had so far, but it’s been so long since I’ve done one of these (/blogged at all, shh) that I thought I’d stick them in anyway. okeydokes, here you go…

You Haunt Me – Sir Sly

This whole album is so good, but my *absolute favourites* have to be Where I’m Going, Ghost, Gold, Helpless/Bloodlines Pt. II – Medley and Too Far Gone. They’re all just so good and relaxing and great though, kinda twenty one pilots-esque, so mega creds to my boyfriend for introducing me to them because they’re now one of my current favourite bands.

We Don’t Talk Anymore – Charlie Puth feat. Selena Gomez

I wouldn’t call either of these artists I especially like, they’re alright but that’s it, but I surprisingly like this song – it sticks in my head and ahh I just really like it. It’s kinda relaxed and chilled and I like it.

Final Song – MØ

If It Ain’t Love – Jason Derulo

Quick heads up: this song is SO. GOOD. for running to, as is Light It Up by Major Lazer feat. Nyla.

Middle – DJ Snake

Hotter Than Hell – Dua Lipa

Give Me Your Love – Sigala feat. John Newman and Nile Rodgers

Buyo and Best Things – Lucky Chops

WILD – Troye Sivan feat. Alessia Cara

This is also co-written by Alessia and she’s basically one of my favourite singers and songwriters ever so yeah, I was pretty much guaranteed to love this.

Are We Ready? (Wreck) – Two Door Cinema Club

Just Like Fire – Pink

This Girl – Kungs vs. Cookin’ On Three Burners (how did they come up with that name?!?)

i hate u, i love u – gnash feat. Olivia O’Brien

Cut To Black – Lemaitre

The Temple EP – Parson James

Take It Back – Ed Sheeran

The chorus of this is really catchy and I just love all of Ed Sheeran’s lyrics tbh.

Know-It-All (Deluxe) – Alessia Cara

I think I might know the words to every song on this album, I love it so much. The songs and the songwriting and everything are just too perfect for words.

Moanin’ – Mingus Big Band

I feel like I might be approximately twenty years late to the party but OH MY THIS IS GOOD. ESPECIALLY THE BARI SAX RIFF AT THE START. *faints and dies*

Groovin’ Hard – Buddy Rich

This is one of my absolute favourite pieces to play on trumpet, and listening to it isn’t half bad either.

Heathens – Twenty One Pilots

Good Grief – Bastille

uh, does this even need an explanation?! At a party last weekend, a Bastille song came on and my friend, who was, uh, fairly drunk, came up to me like “OOH this is Bastille” “yeeeesss…” “you LOVE Bastille” “yes, I do”. Either her ability to recall this is because she’s a really great friend or, much more likely, I occasionally may have let my fangirling get a *little* bit out of control…

Send My Love (To Your New Lover) – Adele (+ most of 25 really)

Gold – Kiiara

Sit Still, Look Pretty – Daya

Say It (feat. Tove Lo)/Never Be Like You (feat. Kai) – Flume

I Remember – AlunaGeorge

I Wanna Know – Alesso feat. Nico & Vinz

The Scientist – Coldplay

aaanddd I’m going to stop there before I add anything else…why am I so incapable of making short playlists?!?

What are your thoughts on my picks? What music have you been especially loving lately?

*listen to all these songs in one playlist here*

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The Start Of Summer: Radio 1 Big Weekend // The Good Life // 20 Songs You Need To Listen To Right Now // Welcoming In The New Era Of Aquilina {collab review} // The Best Night Of My Life: Kygo @ Brixton O2 Academy


The Start Of Summer: Radio 1 Big Weekend

Wahey, wahoo, callooh, callay (sneaky Rainbow Rowell reference totally intended), I’m back and alive and blogging again, yay. (I didn’t die or anything, just, y’know, GCSEs…although my social life has improved dramatically during exams, which I’m pretty sure isn’t meant to happen).


But back to the point – about two weeks ago, in fact right before I wrote my last post, I went to a day of the BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend at Powderham Castle, in my lovely sunnyish home county of Devon. Yay. And now I’ve finally got round to writing about it…


I technically went with two of my friends, though by the end of the day we’d picked up four more and kinda temporarily met a bunch of others – because it was such a local festival, it felt like half the people I’d ever met were there, which was quite nice.  Anyway, we went on the Sunday, and after arriving, getting food because we’re teenagers and permanently hungry and meeting up with the others, we headed to the main stage, we watched One Republic, who were actually a lot better than expected…as they were the openers for some reason I didn’t think they’d be that great, but they actually completely surpassed my expectations.


After OneRepublic more food was bought because some people didn’t get round to having breakfast and why not, and then we met up with five or six more friends to watch Kygo at the main stage while a couple of people went to see Panic! At The Disco on the In New Music We Trust stage. Kygo was just as good as I’d hoped (though not quite as good as when I saw him on his Cloud Nine tour in London) and there was a suitable amount of confetti…we all just stood in a line a bit off to the side of the stage and danced for the whole set, so yeah, that was a laugh.



After Kygo, the group shrunk back to being five of us and we went to the INMWT tent to watch Jack Garratt, though we only managed the first fifteen or twenty minutes of his set because, well, the tent was hot and full and we all got a bit too sweaty, to put it bluntly, so we moved outside and sat in the shade for a half hour or so until Alessia Cara was due on (/we got sick of the Star Wars theme tune being played every time the ride next to us started). I think it was also here that we saw some people dressed as hot dogs/ice cream cones and a guy in short shorts and electric blue tights who made one of my friends get up and do the “hashtag dance” (FOR THE LOVE OF THE HASHTAG) so, uh, yeah.

Alessia Cara was one of the artists I’d most been looking forward to (I think I might know all of the lyrics to the deluxe version of her Know-It-All album off by heart…) and she definitely lived up to my expectations. I just really love her music and how relatable her lyrics are and she seemed so down-to-earth when she was talking between songs, which was really nice (plus we were nearer the front but at the side, so there was less of a heat problem). I think my favourite songs of hers, from what I can remember, may have been Here, Scars To Your Beautiful or River of Tears (I swear part of the chord sequence of the latter is the same as some other really famous song, Snow Patrol or something, but I can’t quite figure it out and it’s seriously bugging me so if anyone can figure it out please feel free to put me out of my misery). Oh, and we briefly met about five more friends there so yeah, that was nice.

oh, and her hair and style and everything is just so great and I want it
After Alessia Cara we headed back to the main stage to watch Iggy Azalea who was, well, rubbish. You could tell because the camera never panned to the audience after the first five minutes because pretty much everyone was just stood there like is this over yet but hey, I got a decent photo of the stage so I’ll stick that in here anyway and we’ll just forget she ever actually performed.


About halfway through Iggy four of us decided we’d had enough and headed back over to the INMWT stage (via the churros van because ahem who says no to churros and Belgian chocolate sauce? NOT ME, THAT’S FOR SURE) to meet back up with a friend we’d seen earlier and watch the first bit of Skepta’s set before heading back to the main stage for The 1975. In the end we only caught about two minutes of Skepta before we left so the friend we’d met up with, a diehard The 1975 fan, could get back to the main stage and as close to the front as possible for the start of their set which, incidentally, was quite good.


Oh, by this point I think we’d also decided to invest in getting our faces PVA’d and glittered because hey, what better to spend £5 on? (it did look pretty damn awesome and the PVA smelled weirdly good (I’M NOT A GLUE SNIFFER PROMISE) and it came off surprisingly easily so yeah, it was worth it, even when it felt like half my face was covered in some weird face mask thing). Anyway, after The 1975 we met back up with the two friends we’d ditched for Skepta and got some lovely, slightly undercooked pizza and chips for dinner. Yum. We then just chilled in the sun whilst Ellie Goulding was on with even more people we knew that we found along the way, before heading back to the main stage for the end of The (very sweary) Weeknd’s set and to await Coldplay (YAY!).


For some reason I wasn’t actually that excited about Coldplay (I think Alessia Cara, Kygo and Jack Garratt were the people I was most keen to see) but, as pretty much goes without saying, they were phenomenal. They really upped the confetti game with rainbow confetti, and fireworks, and it turns out that when 25,000 people get out their phone torches at the same time it looks pretty incredible, as proven during The Scientist (oh boy, you know you’re hormonal when you nearly start crying watching that back…please help me, for my own sanity). Oh, and if you watched it on TV and saw an inflatable shark right near the start, I one or two people in front of that🙂. (and is it just me that thinks one of the Coldplay guitarists looks really like Andy Murray?!)

So yeah, I guess you could say it was a good day and a pretty decent thing to do a few days after your birthday🙂

Here are a just a few more snaps from the day, some courtesy of my friends…

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An A-Z Of My Music Library {the 2016 edition}


The Good Life

I’ll warn you now: this is a soppy post, so if you can’t deal with extreme soppiness, just stop reading now. I won’t be offended, promise.The last few weeks, month or so have felt kinda weird. On the one hand, I feel permanently stressed and under pressure and like only the tiniest thing needs to happen for me to just flip out. I’ve been revising a lot and neglecting this blog a bit which makes me kinda sad and not reading as much as I’d like to which is a bit disappointing (though tbh, I’d like to read pretty much 24/7, so I’m likely to stay disappointed until at least the summer, if not forever). On the other hand, just as I’m leaving my friends I seem to be having the best times with them (the cynic in me wants to say something about that being relief at leaving them but I’m sure it wasn’t). There’s been three birthday meals with them in the last few weeks (mine and two others) and every single time its just been really fun. Today it was like 19 degrees (good effort Britain, I salute you) so we all went and sat on the Cathedral Green and it was just so lovely for some indescribable reason. (I feel like there’s something wrong with the fact that my social life seems to be at its liveliest in the middle of GCSEs…oh well)

There’s been other stuff too – we had a Eurovision party which is now definitely going to become an annual thing, I did a 5K charity run with one of my friends last weekend, we’re planning on going to a roller disco thing in a couple of weeks (because why the hell not) and saving the best to last, last Sunday I spent a day at the BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend with a bunch of my best friends and it was one of the best days of my life. (seriously, I’m rewatching OneRepublic’s set now and nearly crying because I want to be back there what the hell is going on with my hormones please send help)(Ryan Tedder is the Superman of songwriting though you have to admit and his vocal range is incredible).


It was just awesome, it started off as me and two friends, then we picked up a friend of a friend and two more of my friends and then throughout the day we just kept gaining and occasionally losing people. One of the highlights of the day (apart from Coldplay obvs) was watching Kygo because a) Kygo (my sister doesn’t get why like him so much it’s so annoying) and b) we met even more people from school and there was just like ten of us in a line dancing just off the to the side and it was the most fun I’ve had in ages, it just felt like there was something really special about it. (I warned you this post was soppy alright) (more on Big Weekend in another post ~coming soon~)

I have some pretty awesome friends out of school too. (This is where it gets really soppy) I have no idea how I ended up so close with somebody two years older than me, especially after only knowing her for two years, but 90% of the time she’s one of my favourite people in the whole world. She’s funny and lovely and gives me the best birthday presents and writes the best cards and gives the best motivational pep talks and is always there for me to talk to and gives me large quantities of chocolate and is generally fantastic and knows exactly who she is so if she’s reading this, thank you so much for being a wonderful person who I can always rely on and who I’m so glad to be joining at college next year but so sad that you’re going to uni soon😦 (motivation to learn to drive quickly…)

I guess there’s not really a lot of point to this post, other than to say that I’m so happy I have such great friends that I do. I’m so happy that, at school, I’m in a group of friends that keep the bitching to a minimum and don’t tend to air any issues we have with each other publicly but are always really supportive. I’m so happy that my friends know me well enough that they get me the perfect presents – eg a legitimate TEAPOT, TEA LEAVES (separate and completely uncoordinated but brilliantly coincidental), the new Kygo album and the one of the prettiest journals I think I’ve ever seen. Oh, and a truckload of chocolate and a massive mug for all the tea that I drink. I’m so happy that I have friends that I can talk music and books and fanfiction and blogging and how-the-hell-do-you-apply-eyeliner-without-stabbing-yourself and how-beautiful-are-my-prom-shoes with and friends that just get me. I’m generally really, really happy that I have the friends I do and I just have no idea how I’ll cope next year without seeing the majority of them every day.

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16 Things To Do In My 16th Year

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IT’S MY BIRTHDAY TODAY. YAYYYYY. (well, it will be when you’re reading this. I’m actually being *organised* and scheduling a post (though only from the night before) so HAH PRODUCTIVITY AYYYY)

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because #puns {via}


To celebrate MY SIXTEENTH BIRTHDAY (not that I’m at all excited about the fact that IT’S MY BIRTHDAY) I made a list of 16 things I’m hoping to do in my 16th year, as a kinda short-term bucket list…

  1. Movie marathon (preferably Harry Potter or High School Musical (because YES MATURITY))

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    this is actually too adorable {via}
  2. Take part in (camp) NaNoWriMo (I’m thinking maybe the July camp…)
  3. Continue blogging
  4. Try something new
  5. Keep in touch with the people from school that I want to stay in touch with when I move to college
  6. Learn a piece of music off by heart
  7. Go to the beach with friends (plans for this are already – completely coincidentally – kinda being discussed so yay!)
  8. Make a cheesecake
  9. Watch the sunset on a beach (I have no idea if I’ll be near a beach at the appropriate time at some point over the next year, but I’m going to try my best)

  10. Listen to more jazz and classical music
  11. Have a picnic in a park
  12. Sleep under the stars
  13. Be more confident, especially in new situations
  14. Do an Instagram photo challenge
  15. Go for a run before breakfast (I know, I know, once in a year, I’m setting the bar almost unreachably high)

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    legit me when running {via}
  16. Write a letter to 17-year-old me (cliché I know but meh)

What’s on your bucket list, either in the long or short term?


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How To (Try To) Revise

First off, before I start, have a quick motivational message:

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As you probably/maybe/don’t know, I’m in the middle of every British teenager’s favourite thing ever, GCSEs. Lucky me! I thought that as I’m getting in some much revision practice (what better thing could I spend my life doing?!), I might as well share a few things that I’ve figured out work for me, in case they help you at all…

Preventing Procrastination

I will be the first to admit, I am a master procrastinator. I almost feel like I’m so skilled at it I should put it on my CV. But, luckily for future me opening my exam results on 25th August, I’ve got a few methods of beating procrastination when it comes to revision.

First of all, deal with your phone/laptop/other electronic device that distracts you. The first option is to just turn it off and, if you need an extra barrier against just switching it on again, leaving it in another room. Preferably a long way away, with a good few stairs separating you and it. But what if, like me, you use said device for music or to time each revision session? If that’s the case, I recommend either putting your phone on aeroplane mode and, if you have one, using a Bluetooth speaker so you can leave your phone in another room and still hear the music – or at least leave it on the other side of the room. If you absolutely have to have  your wifi on for some reason – for example, I use the free version of Spotify for my music – then change your settings so you either don’t get any notifications at all, or do what I did – change them all to just be icon badges (except, for me, texts and Facebook messages, though I have gone through and muted a load of FB conversations to stop them from being distracting). That way, you can still see when you’ve got a notification (or not, depending on what you prefer), but you’re not constantly being reminded and are therefore less likely to get sucked into spending three hours on the internet when you just meant to check something really quickly.

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Replace critical thinking with biology/chemistry revision and OH HEY LOOK IT’S ME {via}
If you’re going to listen to music, I recommend either listening to something very ~background~ and possibly instrumental (I recommend Lucky Chops, Ludovico Einaudi, 2Cellos, The Piano Guys and Vitamin String Quartet) or to a playlist full of songs you know really well. Otherwise, you (or at least I) run the risk of using a song I don’t know that I want to skip/know the name of as an excuse to get up and use my phone, which rarely ends well.

Another way I often procrastinate is by accidentally extending my breaks. By, like, two hours. Oops. One way to try and stop this is to set a time limit for your breaks, and set an alarm *without* a snooze option. You can still ignore it, but it’s less likely. Also, try to decide ahead of time what you’re going to spend your break doing – making a cup of tea, having a shower, watching one episode of your favourite TV show (but make sure it really is just one episode), texting a friend for ten minutes – and then make sure you do that, and only that. This way you have something specific to look forward to and are less likely to just waste your break on social media or procrastinating doing something else. Not that I’ve ever done that. Nope, not me…

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Also, write out what revision you’re doing at the start of each day, including what topics you’re hoping to target, and how long each is going to take, and when you expect to finish each session. This will (hopefully) stop you from spending the first ten minutes of each session deciding what to do and seeing when you *could* finish by will help to keep you motivated.

My Favourite Revision Techniques

Right, now onto the hard bit where, unfortunately, the odd bit of brain power is actually required. *sigh*. (though pro tip: chocolate and tea are good brain boosters. Or at least, they make the revision more bearable)

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Possibly the only time Trump’s been right about anything ever {via}
I still don’t feel like I’ve fully figured out what methods of revision work best for me, and they definitely vary from subject to subject, but I have a few fall-back methods.

  • For subjects like history and music, I’ll make a timeline covering everything that happened in that time period/showing everything that happens in each set work, because I find that helps me get the order of stuff straight in my head, and helps me to locate points I need for my music essays (because to get full marks in music you have to state AND locate, yay) and also helps me remember the structure of each piece. For geography, I’ve made mind maps for all of my case studies, and then done some diagrams for stuff like weathering, coastal processes, formation of a hurricane etc. For the sciences, I’ve got a mix of mind maps and note cards, partly because a load of my notes are from previous exams. I have remade some of my notes as mind maps, though, for example electrolysis and homeostasis, because I find that seeing it all together on one page instead of spread over four or five cards really helps me.
    A bad photo but a pretty timeline
  • Once I’ve made my notes, I then try and read them through and then, from memory, write down everything I can remember and see how well I did. Often, I’ll wait a bit until I’ve done another subject or something then do it to try and get it more long term memory and less short term omg I just did this I should know it. Also, when I’m marking these I often don’t tick stuff I got write but just correct mistakes and write in everything I forgot in a different colour. That way, I’m reinforcing it by writing it out again and also I can get a visual idea of how much stuff I can remember and how much I still have to learn. 
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    If Justin Bieber can learn from his mistakes, so can you. THERE’S STILL HOPE FOR YOU OUT THERE SOMEWHERE {via}
  • I’ll also get other people to test me, and make sure I note down anything I get wrong to look over again.
  • Additionally, if I get a question wrong or just come up with a random question or topic I feel I need to revise, I’ll make a note of it on a Post-It stuck above my desk, which reminds me to go back and look over it.
  • If there’s something specific you just have to learn – chemical tests, the reactivity series, particular definitions – it’s also worth being tested multiple times (with a few days inbetween each time) to check they’ve really gone into your long term memory.
  • On the topic of definitions, if you have time then for subjects like biology or music when specific wording is really important or you might get questions such as “what is a sitar/hemiola/sonata form/other musical thing”, then it’s worth making a list of definitions and trying to remember them. Even if it’s only a one-mark question, every little helps, and you may as well lose the marks because you didn’t know the stuff rather than because you screwed up the wording.
    biology definitions ig
    And at least pretty pages of revision make for pretty Instagram photos to post when you’re busily procrastinating, even if you don’t end up learning any of it.
  • Use mnemonics to remember stuff – however stupid, or seemingly illogical, if they make the stuff stick in your head, use them! For example, one some boys in my chemistry class came up with for flame tests is

Love chemistry (lithium – crimson)

So you (sodium – yellow)

Play like (potassium – lilac)

Cristiano Ronaldo and (calcium – (brick) red)

Become a god (barium – apple green)

  • Make an effort not to ignore the stuff you know you struggle with – often if I get something wrong multiple times when being tested I’ll remember it because I remember getting it wrong, if that makes any sense. 
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  • This is a bit random, but try and revise in different places. Apparently it’s scientifically proven that working in different environments helps you remember stuff – if you’re always in the same place you get into a subconscious kind of mindset where you can only remember specific things under those same circumstances. For example, it always feels much harder to do a past paper under full exam conditions, because I’m so used to revising at my desk with music on in the background and a cup of tea.
  • If you’re revising a language, I highly recommend Memrise for learning vocab, and if you have a speaking exam, remember that there’s a limit to the questions you can be asked – both in terms of time and content – and remember the teacher wants you to pass just as much as you do! On that note, if you ever think you’ve got no chance in an exam, remember that you have spent however long being taught that, so chances are there’s some knowledge somewhere in your brain that you can use – and however bad your teacher is, they won’t have taught you nothing over the last two years because amazingly, it looks bad for them if their whole class fails as well as being a pain in the butt for you.
  • Finally, a couple of days before the exam, when you’ve done most of your revision, go through the syllabus and check if any topics make you go WHAT IS THAT I SWEAR I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF RETENTION VALUES EVER (ahem yeah that might’ve happened to me), in which case highlight them all and then go back through and look them up.

In The Exam

Finally, I just have a couple of tips for in the exam itself. Firstly, DO NOT PANIC! And if an exam doesn’t go as well as you would hope, stick it in a box and move on – don’t let it make you extra freaked out about the rest of your exams, because that will probably mean you don’t do as well.

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yeah, just don’t do this, or at least keep it as an internal thing {via}
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No, no you cannot. {via}
Also, read all the questions, really carefully. Don’t skip the intro bit at the start because HEY THERE MIGHT BE A SNEAKY QUESTION IN THERE LIKE COMPLETE THIS DIAGRAM OF COVALENT BONDING THAT YOU WALTZ STRAIGHT ON PAST (not that I did that in a past paper this morning nope I’m not bitter not at all). And finally, if there’s a question you have absolutely no idea about, leave it till the end and then come back to it, then read the question again, see if there are any clues in the question itself or even elsewhere in the paper, and try and think if you can see any links to another topic that they might be asking you to apply knowledge from. Just try not to leave any gaps, because even if you think you’ve written complete bullshit (aka every English essay I write ever), the examiner might  be able to find some marks in there. Oh, and DO WHAT THE QUESTION SAYS AND DON’T WRITE OUTSIDE THE BOX because that’s just a stupid and really irritating way to lose marks.

Now, go revise.


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Good luck!


20 Songs You Need To Listen To Right Now


I’m feeling quite stressed out right now (sneaky twenty one pilots reference fully intended). I’m now on study leave and fully into exam season for the next month and a week exactly (then FREEDOM aka work experience, jazz concert and prom), and today I had my first exam since English Language a few weeks back, biology paper 1. Yippee.

Anyway, long story short I’m feeling stressed and a bit freaked and just kinda trying to forget I have a truckload of exams headed my way over the next few weeks and I thought the best way to do this, whilst also compensating for no April music round up, would be to make a list of my top twenty favourite songs at the moment. So, here you are…(AGH MY BRAIN’S SO FRIED I JUST WROTE HEAR. AND YESTERDAY I CALLED A CUT AN INJURY HOLE. I am just so done)

Right, back on topic. Read this post, stick in some headphones and listen to some of these fab songs and then tell me what you think or give me some ~even better~ songs to listen to.

1. This Is What You Came For // Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna

This song❤ it feels more old-style Rihanna, pre-Work and all the stuff she’s doing with Drake, and tbh I think it’s way better. Plus Calvin Harris, yay.

2. No Money // Galantis

This song’s just summery and makes me smile and will always remind me of singing it in the car with my best friend when we drove up to London to see Kygo a few weeks ago.

3. Cheap Thrills // Sia feat. Sean Paul

I wasn’t sure about this song at first but now I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT. Even the video, which is a little random/odd, is growing on me.

4. Hair // Little Mix feat. Sean Paul

This song just makes me smile and kinda helps me keep my sanity when it feels like revision has sucked everything except the Spanish word for ‘town hall’ (ayuntamiento – it’s an Edexcel favourite), the life cycle of a mosquito (gametocyte sporozoite merozoite schizont kill me now), the carbon cycle, the exact value for sine of 60 (0.5)(omg I remembered that maybe I won’t fail further maths), the structure of a flower and maybe a few other bits and bobs out of my brain.

5. Don’t Let Me Down // The Chainsmokers feat. Daya

THIS SONG IS INCREDIBLE. And I’m not the only one who thinks so because, gratifyingly, I got one of my music friends to listen to it and he immediately was like OMG THAT’S SO GOOD so yeah you should listen to it.

6. Raging // Kygo feat. Kodaline

This has been in my head ever since I heard it live but ahhh it’s so good that really isn’t an issue.

7. Waiting Game // Parson James

You might recognise the name Parson James from Stole The Show by Kygo, but his solo stuff is seriously good too. This song has kinda Sam Smith-esque bits to it, and I JUST LOVE IT OK.

8. Slow Dance With The Devil // Parson James

OK so just go listen to his whole Temple EP. But if you’ll only listen to one song, make it this one. But really you should just listen to the whole thing. You won’t regret it.

9. Once In A While // Timeflies

This popped up as a suggested song on Spotify and all I can say is, nice work Spotify algorithms.

10. Fiction // Kygo feat. Tom Odell

The intro to this is just❤. And the rest of it too, tbh.

11. Intro // Kygo

This is the first track off his newly released debut album, Cloud Nine, and while it’s not much of a song in itself, it’s lowkey relaxing with some nice piano stuff in there and it’s a good addition to any instrumental study playlist.

12. Cut To Black // Lemaitre

Although this has a fairly emo name and the video features what I think might be a burning swimming pool, the song itself is just summery and happy and great. The piano intro especially just instantly lifts my spirits.

13. Hell Of A Girl // Grace

This song is just like yay happy strong power motivation yes it’s good.

14. Kicks {Tobtok Remix} // Lauren Aquilina

I didn’t really like this remix at first, and I still think the middle is the best bit, but it’s definitely worth a listen.

15. Up&Up // Coldplay

I just really like this, as with most of the stuff they’ve released as singles from A Head Full Of Dreams so far.

16. Can’t Stop The Feeling // Justin Timberlake

This is more cheesy than a four cheese pizza and, as my friend put it, “the kind of song you’d hear at the end of a film as the credits roll” (which is probably exactly what they were aiming from, as it’s from the new Dreamworks film Trolls), but it’s a damn good song to sing along loudly/stress relief embarrassingly dance to and is just so happyyyy.

17. Write On Me // Fifth Harmony

This song was produced by Kygo, and yeah, it’s summery and I like it.

18. Idfc // Blackbear

I indirectly discovered this song through a friend and yeah, it’s not exactly summery or upbeat, but it’s quite a good song to listen to when you need a bit of catharsis or are just feeling really wound up or annoyed or stressed out.

19. Surprise Yourself // Jack Garratt

Jack Garratt yasss❤

20. What If I Go? // Mura Masa

THIS SONG IS SO GOOD AND I LOVE IT even if I do think the vocals sound really like Rita Ora.

Thoughts on these songs? Let me know if you like them (Eve can vouch for how much fun impromptu fangirling with me can be) and if you have any recommendations, let me know in the comments or email or tell me in person if you know me or something and I promise to trawl through and listen to every single one of them🙂


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{featured image via Unsplash}


Things GCSEs Taught Me

I had my last day at school yesterday, before going on study leave, doing my GCSEs and then college in September. It was quite emotional, but today’s almost been worse – the realisation that I’m never going to have a lesson with these people again has kinda been hitting me incrementally all day and triggering mini bouts of sobbing each time, yay. At least it livens up revision a bit…

Anyway, I thought I’d commemorate the occasion with making a lil’ list of all the most important things GCSEs have taught me over the last two years…

  • You can try as many times as you like, but there are some things you’ll just give up ever understanding and just learn the precise words to regurgitate in the exam. For me, that’s transformers, generators and motors. I’VE TRIED SO MANY TIMES BUT I JUST CAN’T GET THEM AND IT’S SERIOUSLY BUGGING ME NOW.
  • You can probably get away in some exams with just learning the revision guide. At least, this is what I’ve been told I can do for music by people in the year above so I’m hoping they’re right because I’m kinda relying on that to pass…
  • Talking of music, that’s the subject to pick for the best student perks. There’s cake rotas, the occasional cup of tea in lessons, the added benefit of the teachers being cool with you nicking the hot water from the kitchen for your Pot Noodle on concert nights, the only student computers in the school with access to YouTube and Spotify installed, the ability to spend lunchtimes in the music block without feeling awkwardly out of place because you belong to the *music squad*…it’s truly great.
  • On the subject of music, music teachers are definitely the most quotable and music lessons definitely have the best *banter*…for example, “let’s go bang a piano”, “leave a finger space”, “what begins with ‘d’ and ends with ‘ick’? Diatonic!” (though that’s more of a verbal one to be honest), the time my (colour blind) composition teacher put on the board a colour blindness test that spelled our ‘f*** the colour blind’ but couldn’t read it and wondered why we all went quiet, and the time a boy in my class tried using an online song name generator to name his GCSE pop song and came up with such gems as ‘Greasy Grace’ (which led to the brilliant message on my leavers’ shirt, ‘stay forever greasy, my Grace’) and ‘Unforgettable/Inflatable Drag Queen’.
  • There gets to be a point when High School Musical goes from being cringey and awful to the film you make your form teacher play songs from every morning, prompting group singalong and dancing in the classroom. Seriously, on Tuesday We’re All In This Together almost made me cry (THE CHOREOGRAPHY THOUGH) and on my last day Gotta Go My Own Way got me seriously emotional.
  • Even if you aren’t really friends with the people in your form group, after two years a certain kind of bond forms between you. The kinda bond that makes you happy to sing along to HSM with them and club together to buy your form teacher a year’s adoption of an orangutan from the local zoo as a leaving present.
  • Teachers being nice when you leave is the sweetest thing ever. Our geography teacher said we were her favourite group and gave us specially sharpened pencils with string taped to the top for our geography exam, our biology teacher gave us food and biology pencils with fish on, our English teacher gave us a lot of cake, our form teacher (who we all thought semi-hated our class) gave us food and a sweet thank-you card each, our maths teacher let us watch Tangled and gave us cupcakes and our physics teacher nearly teared up when the boys presented him with a turnip (because if you’ve done something stupid, he’ll call you a turnip).
  • People in the year above are nowhere near as scary and intimidating as they seem (well, most of them aren’t). Some of them can even end up becoming pretty great friends…for example, my friend who’s sarcasm levels almost match mine, and the one who’s laugh is so *interesting* it’s become a legend in the music block…
  • Some boys are actually OK to talk to. Some of them even have decent taste in music and books and can become friends.
  • The older you get, the more you wonder why you even bothered turning up to lessons in year seven, let alone revising for exams…
  • Sorry to end this on a soppy note, but I had to say…I have some truly fab friends, some of whom I’ve known for seven years, and some of whom I’ve known for three. My best friend gave me a leaving present and card which nearly made me cry, and they bought me and my other two friends who are leaving a (delicious) chocolate cake and put our initials on it in Skittles. I’m going to miss them so much, every time I look at what they wrote on my leavers’ shirt I tear up…especially now, as I have You Are The Music In Me playing in the background. I think I may be cultivating a slightly unhealthy HSM obsession…
  • Talking of leavers’ shirts, I think I’ve discovered the secret to universal popularity…



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Welcoming In The New Era Of Aquilina {collab review}


A couple of weeks ago, the lovely Eve (who blogs over at Twist In The Taile and is a fellow Lauren Aquilina fangirl, yay) and I got together (well, opened a shared Google Doc) to discuss/flail over newish Lauren Aquilina songs in the name of reviewing them. Yay. We both love Lauren’s old and new stuff (or as we christened them, Old Aquilina and New Aquilina) and so just listening to her music and talking about it together was basically a dream come true. Our fangirling skills were so great that they even extended to technology (“*FLAILS* *REALISES IS FANGIRLING OVER COMPUTER* *REALISES FORGOT TO TAKE CAPS LOCK OFF*” is just one example).

 And now, amazingly not even that much later given how distracted we got by her other, non-sufficiently-new songs and thinking up questions for her Kicks Twitter Q&A and then flailing wildly when she replied, here are the results of our many hours of hard fangirling…


OK, first up was Ocean, which was released way back in October last year. Here are our thoughts on the video…(I’m just gonna copy and paste this pretty much direct so you can get the full effect so sorry if it’s a lil’ jumbled up…)

ME: So…at first i was like wut is this where is she it looks like the blinds are moving but THEN I was like “yass dem cgi skills though” and I LOVED LOVED LOVED the bit when right at the same time as like loads more instruments come in a massive wave comes in (1:51 if you’re interested). YASS THAT TIMING! Also, as usual, I have a massive style crush on her hair. But yeah, generally kinda ethereal vibes and I like the ocean reflection in the mirror near the end. It’s also nice that it links to the lyrics but gives you space to appreciate the song.

EVE: a+ ocean aesthetic. (aah okay wait excitement about fools SAME I just literally love all her songs so much????)  I mean, mostly Lauren’s videos don’t have like massive stories? BUT I LIKE IT LETS ME FOCUS ON THE SONG. And I like the ocean layering, although at the start I thought it was just terrible graphic effects. Like, trying to actually look like they were filling the room with water.

And now song thoughts…

EVE: At first I was a bit worried about WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO LAUREN?? Electronic wow? And I thought it was a bit repetitive. But NOW. Well. *coughs* I loove Ocean; it’s one of my favs! It’s a different style to her old music for sure — like, there’s less of a clearly defined structure I feel? But OCEAN IMAGERY and ‘i lost my head/somewhere between teh surface and the seabed’ eep. It’s super catchy aah.

ME: OK i have a tiny confession…at first I didn’t like this song. Like I listened to it a couple of times then kinda forgot about it because I wasn’t that keen on it. Like you said, it’s very different to her other stuff. BUT NOW, after listening to it again, I like it! JUST LIKE YOU SAID I love “i lost my head somewhere between the surface and the seabed” and also “they call it freedom but how can it be when I live in a time zone unsuited to me”. I feel kinda attached to that lyric because I think she shared it before the whole song??

Anyway I also really like how it kinda starts bare and then the texture builds up and then fades out again? (sorry that’s like classic GCSE music stuff ahaha) but YES NOW I LIKE IT!

EVE: Ah yes that is an excellent point! And one more thing from me ahaha: like I feel like it’s more abstract than such a clear storyline? But yeah more an emotion of the song idek what I’m trying to say haha. And YES  like it

Our rating: 4/5 (but A* for awesome metaphorical lyrics)

Low (also released October 2015)

EVE: Um, I sort of…didn’t like Low AT ALL when I first heard it. It’s probably still my least favourite of like the New Aquilina songs? I just didn’t really like the production that much haha. But, having said that: STILL MEANS I LIKE IT BECAUSE Y’KNOW IT’S COOL And the lyrics are amaazing.I think I agree the video was a bit abstract tho. (Although one take woah.) YES that is a great line eep.

ME: Asdfghjjkl i forgot how much i love this song i haven’t listened to it in too long…I LOVE the like double vocals? Idk what to call it but they’re awesome.Video wise I like that it’s simple and one take and it *kinda* fits with the lyrics but not that much? It’s maybe a bit too abstract though?

Our rating: 4/5

Out Of Our Depth (released in, you guessed it, October 2o15)

ME: OK writing as i think i like the is it guitar? Different instrumentation anyway…I like the chorus but feel like its maybe a bit anticlimactic?  I also like that this is about a relationship but feels like it could also be applied to other stuff (same with kicks tbh).

EVE: I actually love this one so much! I mean it’s not like a ‘main’ single but asdfjkl I think it’s gorgeous okay I need to stop with the superlatives for a bit. OKAY but yeah I think it is less of a big chorus? Hmm I don’t know I do like it though. And yeah, the lyrics are awesome + I think there are a lot of interpretations! I particularly like the kinda echoey piano thing?? Idk what instrument it actually is but yeah. And the drums at the chorus mmm EXCELLENT (oh yes I see what you mean by the guitar! I AM HEARING THAT.) yeah I think that’s it — this is probably like…more of a favourite for me? I mean, I’m saying that but realising I don’t actually know how I’d rate them in terms of fav-> least fav.

Our rating: 4.5/5

Echoes (released December 2015)

(first off we just fangirled excitedly over the bit at the start)




I LOVE THAT SO MUCH (*switches onto caps lock*) & I love how it continues throughout + slightly changes!

And then the rest…

Argh I do love echoes soo much. Probably the song I had the best first impression of + then continued to love! Overall I just love echoes a LOT and I think it’s v strong asdfjkl (although like it is upbeat and it took me a while to realise the lyrics haha) same basically haha. I mean I think some songs rely more on lyrics + some on melody? I think Old Aquilina was maybe more lyrics based but I am loving the new era if it’s like echoes asdfjkl.

5/5??? I literally can’t find any faults ahaha i haven’t even thought that much about the lyrics…I think new era is kinda more abstract and metaphorical lyrics?? 

Our rating: 5/5

And then the Tate x Elle session:

I just love that its at the Tate and this version seems to be more focus on the vocals?? I like it it feels kinda calmer…and I love the aesthetics. 

Ooh this version has more audible piano. Yeah I think so too, it’s lovely to hear vocals live. And I feel like maybe less of the ‘background’ vocals if you get me? Very fitting with the black + white Tate aesthetic is what I’m getting haha.

Echoes {Edeema remix}

My thoughts: loving the instrument at the beginning. I mean, it slightly makes me laugh but yeah. & also I like how there isn’t as a much of a buildup to the chorus I guess? It’s just a bit more chill + relaxed. I do kinda miss the little electronic-y bit at the start? But it’s DIFFERENT and COOL. and yeah overall an excellent remix.

I love this, I love the slightly different instrumentation and generally the laid back vibe. I just love it! Yeah I feel like the instrument thing at the start is kinda a nod to that but you’re right, it’s not the same!

Kicks (released April 2016)

[after watching video] *flails* I FEEL SO PUMPED NOW. yesss upbeat video and awesome song. Kicks is definitely more pop-y & the lyrics are less kinda…lyrical ahaha from old aquilina but IT’S POP PERFECTION. Arghhh amazingness. I liked it less on first try (haha sorry I’m just rambling here) but like NOW YAY & THE VIDEOOOOOO

Okay right I love this! YES THE VIDEO IS GREAT and I love that she included fans, only thing is I can see why she made it all girls but idk it feels maybe a little bit unfair to boys,. Makes it less relatable? But i do get that she’s going for the female empowerment thing…also the Asian girl with the plaits is like ultimate hair goals. Yeah this feels really different to all her other music, way more poppy and upbeat…in terms of lyrics i get what you mean but i do love the line i’m done being down about this…positivity yeah!

Idk yeah that was basically my thing. But I guess it’s a girl power message? Oh my god yeah. AMAZING PLAITS. She was very awesome. Yeah there are some awesome lyrics! It’s just like more succinct rather than poetic I suppose?

Yeah I also like the opening instrumental bit but i wasn’t so sure about the slow bit to start with, I think because all the teasers focused on the upbeat chorussy bit?? But overall me gusta mucho, including the vid and album artwork! And i like (this sounds so geeky omg) the perfect videography (idek if that’s the right word) with the timing of some of the punches haha. And I just realised this is one of the first songs that doesn’t have ocean-y artwork! Yep I feel like this is a hint for how some of her new style stuff is gonna be…

I…can’t actually remember if I listened to the teasers? I think I might have got 1 but I don’t have snapchat haha. YES THE ALBUM ARTWORK IS AWEESOME I’m loving the transition from usual kinda face + name + song title ugh helvetica-y fonts yess. & agreed the timing of some of those shots were great!! Oh that’s true — a lot of her previous kinda header singles have had very oceany stuff as well. Overall I think it’s definitely a transition + more upbeat, but it’s an AWESOME upbeat empowerment song.

Our rating: 4.5 or 5/5 with the video

And so I guess that’s it! Big thanks to Eve for joining me for this, it was so much fun🙂 – you can read her review on her blog here!

Are you a Lauren Aquilina fan? What are your thoughts on our thoughts? Let us know in the comments!