Blogging in 2018

As some of you may know, I first started blogging in March 2014 (read my first ever blog post here!), with my blog names Books, Tea and a Onesie’, under the alias of ‘An Overthinking Teenager’. Several name changes later, I took an unplanned break from blogging from around summer 2016 until, well, now – GCSEs made me busy, then I never really got back into the flow of it and then I started studying the IB at college, which meant I was seriously limited for time and honestly just wanted to collapse in front of Netflix when I got home.

But now I’m back, and attempting to get back into blogging regularly – partly because I enjoy getting thoughts out of my head and into the internet, partly because after finishing exams in May I’m honestly getting quite bored and also because I like having it as a kind of time capsule of my life right now, to look back on in however many years.

After two years away though, I’ve discovered the blogging world is quite different to how I left it. During my unofficial hiatus, I’ve only really kept up with reading a few ‘big’ blogs – namely Hannah Gale, Vix Meldrew, Sophie Cliff and Chloe Plumstead – and occasionally chatting to some of my OG blogger friends on Twitter. Turns out, a lot has changed without me noticing, especially amongst the ‘smaller’ blogger community that I always felt I was part of.

Some of the bloggers I used to be good friends with or a keen follower of have stopped blogging, either with a stated ‘goodbye’ or just a gradual tailing off of posts and online presence, like me. Instagram is no longer the golden platform for bloggers it used to be – the general consensus (or at least what I can glean from Twitter) is that Instagram is just not friendly to small bloggers, it’s incredibly difficult to see meaningful growth and engagement and, frankly, it’s just not worth the effort. I can relate to this – as much as I like the visual aesthetic of Instagram, it really doesn’t seem worth the effort to build up my following and spend so much time on social media just for aesthetic purposes – I can do that with my personal Instagram account, after all. Twitter has a much nicer, more engaged community in my experience, and is just so much more rewarding for the effort you put in. It also feels a lot more real – Instagram is full of filters and staged photos, compared to Twitter’s unfiltered thoughts and conversations.

Another big difference is the form of the ‘small blogger’ community itself. When I was starting out (*leans on walking stick and peers through glasses* back in my day…), there was a community of blogs with small followings, building them up slowly and almost all with .wordpress.com or Blogger domains. Now, people seem to be starting up blogs and getting thousands of Twitter followers within a month, or going self-hosted right from the start – all at the age of 15+. This is obviously great – who doesn’t want bloggers to be successful, and I ‘ve always secretly dreamed of going self hosted – but I have no idea how people are doing it? I’ve had my Twitter account for around three years, and have just under 500 followers (though admittedly it’s only recently I’ve become really active on there) (PS follow me @mixomuseblog). People are getting hundreds of views a day after just a couple of months of blogging, which is just unimaginable to me. Maybe it’s something to do with the way the internet’s evolved over the last four years, or maybe people are just putting a lot more effort and time into promoting themselves, but it’s definitely something that surprised me.

There’s another difference about my blogging in 2018 versus in 2014 – one related more to me. I still have no idea what my blogging ‘niche’ is, or what I’m doing generally, but I’m a lot more confident in what I’m doing as a person. When I was younger, I was terrified of people finding out about my blog, and although lots of people still don’t know about it – I’ve told a few people over the years but I have no idea if they still read it (hi if you do! Tell me!) – I’m not totally opposed to telling people about it. Depending on whether I actually keep this blog going on a long-term basis, anyway…

Also, does anyone actually use Bloglovin’ or the WordPress reader anymore?

Has anyone else been blogging from 2014ish? Have you noticed much change in the blogging world? If you’re a new blogger, what are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter, @mixomuseblog!

Lauren Aquilina – Isn’t It Strange (collab review)

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You might remember that wayyy back in May, the fantastically awesome Eve @ Twist In The Taile and I did a collaborative review of Lauren Aquilina’s Ocean EP and various other newish music she released, in preparation for her ~debut album~ release. And now, finally, (or as of August 25th anyway) her album is out, so of course mega fangirls Eve and I decided we should (virtually) get together again and review it. Amazingly, we managed to flail over the whole 10-track album in just one hour (our fangirling must be getting much more productive/we barely had to listen to the tracks because we knew them so well already) and produced these incredibly concise and well written reviews (jk they’re inarticulate badly punctuated fangirling word vomit I’ve made slightly more coherent but at least it’s REALISTIC (or that’s what I keep telling myself)). Anyway, here are our thoughts, track by track…

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Midnight Mouths

I wasn’t really that keen on this the first time I heard it, but I definitely think its grown on me. I really like how the texture thickens before the first chorus, it feels like it makes it more powerful and I also quite like the new-era Aquilina electronicy vibe. Also, likemost of her songs, the lyricism is amazing…especially ‘it’s just the lonely talking’, and ‘We’re in too deep, so let go of my hand”.

Eve:I wasn’t as keen on this on on my first listen — like, when they were released earlier? I think I was feeling a bit negative about all the electronic production compared to Lauren;s old stuff. BUT BUT BUT now I do really enjoy this one, especially the chorus! It’s VERY catchy. And I also love the whole ‘midnight mouths’ and the aesthetic of it haha.

Wicked Game

This feels like a different, more adult Lauren, more mysterious and and dramatic, especially because, as Eve put it, of the contrast between the darker lyrics and the more dance-y production style, and also the pitch of her voice is much lower than a lot of her others songs. I also really like the contrast between the lower pitched verses and then the higher choruses. Eve and I also both thought the lyrics were specific-but-vague-and-extremely-relatable at the same time…they apply both to the specific situation she’s writing about, but also to a lot of wider aspects of life, like ‘nobody ever taught me to play this wicked game’ kinda reminded me of how much of life you’re just expected to know how to navigate alone It feels like you can apply it to almost anything which is one of the best things for you to be able to do with music. Also, side note, I seriously love the lines ‘He said he didn’t do commitment/With tattoos on his skin/Maybe I wasn’t worth the pain’ and ‘
I’ve been thinking about death/But I’ll hold my breath’.

EveI absolutely ADORE this one honestly, and I do feel like this is a more grown-up song on this album. But asdfjkl the lyrics are so wonderful (‘I’ve been thinking about death but I’ll hold my breath’ arghh). SPOOKY.  Basically the high notes on the chorus just give me the chills every time. man I do just really love this song eek.

Kicks

I love this song so much, ever since I first heard it, and the lyrics are just OMG AMAZING. ALSO KICKS = KICKING ME AROUND = PUNS/WORDPLAY = LOVE. (*pause for Eve and I to flail about amazing wordplay*). Plus yay for positivity, especially ‘I’m done being down about this’…and I also like the more modern-y electronicy-ness. Overall this song feels more mature, and the message feels less naive than some of the old-era Aquilina songs.

Eve:  I love how the production feels, like…really seamless? And YAY for positive songs! Like the claps and the little electronic-y riff thing are so awesome.  I feel like a bunch of songs on here seem older? Not, like, OLDER. But I guess more mature haha. There are loads of different (relationship, song, whatever) dynamics. Lots of different situations and messages and stuff. *nods*

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How Would You Like It?

I love this song so much! It’s more stripped-back and that makes it a nice contrast to the rest of the album and lets the emotion really shine through…it feels very raw and powerful and again, even if not in this context/situation i feel like the whole ‘how would you like it’ message is very relatable and applicable in a number of contexts, which I really like.

Eve: Also gives me the chills. This is one I loved from first listen, I think — although it’s only improved with listening. WOW SO MUCH EMOTION. So much lyrics. And I think the more stripped production works well here. (*is feeling so many things as I listen to chorus woah*) . I also…find myself singing this a lot? Yeah. And THE BRIDGE IS SO WONDERFUL.

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Way Too Good

Okay I absolutely LOVE this song (such sad times when my boyfriend said it sounded like a ‘crappy christmas song’ like oi no this song is a masterpiece. The lyrics are so good and the stripped-down-ness really works well but for me the main thing about this song is the lyrics. I especially like  ‘If nothing is meant to last maybe we should drink to that’. I can totally relate to the feeling that everythings too good and something’s going to go wrong. 

Eve: Okay, this one is ALSO one of my favourites. (I think I’ve said this way too many times but I do adore this.) I looove the kinda humming bit at the start?? Idk what that is but yeah. And I love the ‘I am, I am’ and ‘I know, I know’ bits. And THE CHORUS. All the background things. I love the aesthetic of it like ?? idk it feels so classy to me.I like the whole vibe of kinda…being in the moment? (This is a terrible description. But yes.) And the kinda overlays of her voice on the last chorus are stunning. [insert heart eye emoji] 

Hurt Any Less

The start is so good! A real contrast to the last one but it works really well, then the slowing down at the chorus and yes again the contrast between tempo and melody and lyrics. I also just love the melody of ‘why did you have to let me let you in’. Yep it’s amazing and I also like that it *feels* happy even though it def isn’t, kinda bittersweet, as Eve put it.

Eve: This one…also SO GOOD. *cries* (way too good even) (ha) (anyway) I also really enjoy listening to the pre-chorus bit? Like, I LOVE THAT. ‘this was never love it was chaos’ is such a fabulous line. And yep, the contrast between the tempo of chorus and the rest is so wonderful, works very effectively. I also feel like ‘I gave everything expecting nothing’ is a bit of a theme across some of the songs? (Idk, i feel like there was a similar line somewhere haha.) YES overall honestly this is also absolutely stellar a+. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BJaWImBAeRJ/?taken-by=laurenaquilina

 

Fools – Live at RAK Studios

I read somewhere that she rerecorded Fools because her voice has changed and I also agree with something else she said, about the way she sings it now is more serious and less naive because she knows how the relationship ends. Also can we please have a round of applause that she wrote this aged 16?!?! (how can she do this, GCSE music composition was hard enough!!!) Also, it’s very stripped back and bare, maybe because it’s live? Also, because this was one of the first songs she ever released, it feels like quite an important one in her career so it’s nice to have that on the album.

Eve:  I like that this one feels less hurried, too — a little more reflective. Maybe that’s the lack of drums & like less piano and stuff?  (also wow live honestly wow) I quite like having Fools on the album in some ways bc it feels like a sorta…full circle? And as well with that line at the end of Broke. ‘Those hardest to love need it most’ is still SUCH a powerful line tbh. The new piano stuff is rad as well yep. (idk if it’s like new but I think it’s a bit louder & different? Yes anyway wonderful) 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BJp6FMvgdl2/?taken-by=laurenaquilina

Suddenly Strangers

Ahh this is just WAY TOO GOOD (wink wink nudge nudge). One reason I really love this song  is because just before the album announcement she put on facebook etc a thing about how people can go from so close to completely separate so fast…I also love the ‘isn’t it strange’ line. And ‘from talking every waking hour to not knowing where you are now’ line…and it also feels very relatable because of the fear of how a relationship is going to eventually end. 

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Eve: Ah love the start to this, feels a bit water-y idk. It works v well as the album title too, and once again with the specific/relatable thing — I mean I relate to this a lot  Suddenly Strangers is also such a fab line on its own, tbh. (sibilance! knowledge!) I also liked the combination of slightly electronic but also minimal production? (If that makes sense. The whole thing just feels very smooth to me.) Just hearing a little drum beat thing-y in the pre-chorus and IT IS VERY NICE. also the drum beat on the chorus is pretty nice *nods* 

Thinking About

This feels very pared down, there aren’t many lines or backing but it still feels quite powerful…side note is it me or has the album got more pared down and simplistic and almost darker the further down the tracklist you go? It’s like it follows a relationship’s journey or something, and at the end it’s like the problems are more serious & unavoidable. Overall, I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite song  but “all i’m thinking about is not thinking about you” is one of my fave lines on the album i think. 

Eve: I was so excited to listen to this one because I remember I watched a youtube clip of her performing this live a while ago? And all the time I was waiting for the album I remembered the lyric ‘all I’m thinking about is not thinking about you’ haha. I feel like it gets more…like, serious and reflective? Bc wicked games & midnight mouths ARE the slightly more kinda tunes with more instruments & dance-y production. But also there are some quite dark lyrics throughout the whole album tbh. But I like that it does seem to follow a slightly linear thing…? OKAY just listening to that awesome piano bridge bit thing and WOW. Again getting slightly water-y vibes. The one piano note that gets played is also very cool…? And the verse has such like argh idk it just seems like a great start to the song for me. Mm yes I don’t think it’s one of my absolute favourites overall but definitely another strong song (and reminds me a little more of like kinda liars-y production? Idk yeah with all those floaty piano things and stuff.) 

Ocean

Eve: This is SUCH a great ending tbh. (& sure! Maybe we can touch a little more on like general stuff as well, haha we discussed it a bit above but. Let me know when you have to go!) Yeah so I think this is a great ending, I love the kinda catharsis & freedom of it. It feels a lot more abstract than the others & I think it’s good contrast…? (<— I 100% agree with all of this)

Overall Thoughts

I definitely think it was an album worth waiting for, you can tell its not the first collection of songs she’s released and i really like it. It’s honestly amazing in my humble opinion. 10/10 methinks.

Eve: One random thing I noticed about the whole album in general is that there are a lot more like specific third person pronouns used? I mean, not a LOT more. But there’s also like more than just ‘you’ n stuff which I found interesting. I feel like lyrically it’s less abstract; like still absolutely stunning lyrics but more cutting to the point and less vague imagery if you get me…? Honestly…tbh I adore every song on this. I think I do enjoy it more than the Ocean EP? Although Echoes was fab. 10/10 one of my fav recent albums i will be dying over this forever.


And there you have it, a track-by-track, vaguely incoherent review/fangirl session of Lauren Aquilina’s debut album, Midnight Mouths!

Have you heard the album? What were your thoughts, and which tracks do you especially like?

– n.b. all images via Lauren’s Facebook/Instagram accounts

I’m Freaking Out

I’m sorry that this isn’t a very fun or happy post but I’m freaking out and I need to get some stuff straight in my head, and writing feels like the easiest way to do that.

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Maxime Staudenmann / unsplash                                                                                                                   

Today all my friends start sixth form at my old (?!) school, whereas I don’t start college until tomorrow (and then there’s two days of induction before teaching starts next week). And I guess it’s finally hitting me that I’m not with my friends anymore. Almost all of them have gone back to school, ones at a different college which started last Monday and then there’s just three of us waiting to start tomorrow, all doing different subjects and in different tutor groups.

I guess I’m just scared of being replaced, of my friends getting new friends and forgetting about me, which is all kinda expected and natural when moving school but still terrifying. I guess I’m almost a bit jealous of the new people at school, who get to join this friendship group whilst I’m leaving behind seven years of in-jokes and history. Even if you’re not such good friends with someone that you especially want to stay in touch, leaving behind someone you’ve known and who’s been part of your life for seven years is scary and kinda sad.

I know staying on, school would’ve changed – after all, three of my friends also left – and I know I have to at least try college, or I’ll spend the next two years wondering what I missed out on, but I’m nervous about how it’s all going to work, about being slowly separated from all the chat and gossip about school as new, unknown people infiltrate and I slowly become separated. I’m scared that as much as I want to, conflicting schedules or travel complications or just a lack of time and motivation is going to mean I drift apart from all my friends, even the ones I desperately want to stay in touch with. And even though I know I’ll make new friends at college, I can’t just drop my old ones like hot potatoes. Just thinking about all these possibilities is making me so, so tempted just to throw in the towel with college before I’ve even started, and stay on at sixth form. But I’ve said I’m leaving, and I have so many reasons for that, I just have to get through these first few days.

Add all these feelings into nerves about starting college tomorrow and restarting hockey tonight (I feel like I should be more nervous about college but nope, anxiety levels about hockey are way higher) and you can imagine what a bundle of joy I am right now, imagining my friends school routine as I stay at home, thinking about everything I’m missing out on.

I know that within probably a week, everything will feel very different. I’ll probably feel a lot more confident about college and friends and hopefully less jealous and worried about staying in touch, but I guess I’ll find out soon enough. It’s just so scary that the situation I’ve been thinking about (/avoiding thinking about) for the last six months+ is finally here, and about to start for real tomorrow. But today I’m just going to concentrate my nerves on hockey (totally healthy) and try and relax.

 

15 Things I Learnt This Summer

As I mentioned in this post, I’ve had an incredibly busy, incredibly fun summer. Amazingly, even more has happened since I wrote that post – GCSE results day, having some Danish people stay with us, four more parties (including one of my own), two more shifts at new jobs as well as some at my old job, some college induction stuff and another horror movie evening (we watched Insidious then turned around and saw a freaking huge spider on the curtain and all freaked out a teensy bit, especially when it RAN AWAY AND DISAPPEARED). I’ve also got hooked on another Netflix series, Jane The Virgin and found even more music I love, but I’m planning on saving all that for a bumper ‘favourites’ post in the next week or so.

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me @ all spiders everywhere (via)

Anyhow, over the summer I guess I’ve learnt a few things, and I figured I’d be a nice person and put them all in a post to share my wisdom…(in the loosest sense of the word)

  1. Your closest friends may not be exactly who you think they are and you may drift apart from some people, but that’s OK. Everyone changes and your friendships evolve to reflect that.

2. Black and white filters flatter everyone, no matter what the situation is.


3. Carling lager is gross, gets better the more you drink it but is then absolutely disgusting warm.

4. Tents are bloody uncomfortable, especially when there are 16 teenagers in a 6 man tent and the tent starts leaking in the middle of the night.

5. Crunchie spread is A+ 10/10 would eat again (which is handy, as I’ve got a whole jar of it).


6. Liquid eyeliner is just as hard to apply as everyone says, if not more.

7. On that note, putting an eyeliner pencil in the freezer because it’s a bit melty won’t have much effect.

8. And eyeliner pencils can stain carpets.

9. Crappy Netflix series (Jane the VirginPrison Break, the marginally less crappy Making A Murderer) take up so much time but are amazing, especially with a duvet on hand.

 

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Prison Break feat. ice cream and blankets

10. The only limit to the amount of tea you can drink in a day is your level of mental preparation.

 

11. New things are scary and horrible but most people are actually pretty nice and/or equally terrifying.

12. It’s perfectly possible to bond with people over a mutual fear of icebreakers, a lack of willingness to talk to other human beings and social anxiety.

13. Outdoor swimming in a bikini in a non-heated pool in Britain in July on an overcast day is absolutely freezing and a really bad idea but really fun anyway.


14. Ditto for the sea, even on a sunny day.

15. Time really, truly does fly when you’re having fun.


 

What did you do this summer?

– AOT

 

 

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)

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).

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)

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.

Music of the Month: July

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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!

– AOT

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If you liked this, you may like these…

Music of the Month: June // 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}

16 Things To Do In My 16th Year

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CUTE BIRTHDAY PIGS YES PLEASE {via}

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}

Ahem.

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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March In Photos

Although I don’t really want to do a full-on March wrap-up (for all my posts published in March, have a look here), I did want to write something to kinda consolidate the month and so I decided to write this, a mashup of a general life update and talking about some stuff that’s happened this month as a bit of a photo diary. So, here goes…

March In Photos

The Easter holidays arrived, and with them, lots of chocolate and revision. I reckon my GCSEs are going to be powered by 50% tea and 50% chocolate…

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Lent ended, and with it, my self-imposed ban on (most) social media (hence the 172 seconds of snapchats) and my group decision to give up swearing! Unfortunately, Google lied about what time sunset was…but on the bright side, across me and my friends we raised about £5o for a local cancer charity! (On the not so bright side, that means we swore quite a lot, given it was 20p per swear word)

 

I read lots of brilliant books, managed to restrain myself from buying even more (BUT THEY’RE SO CHEAP ON AMAZON) and took lots of pretty pictures of books.

I visited Hubbox twice in a week and I don’t even regret it. THE FRIES/ONION RINGS/BURGERS/EVERYTHING ARE SO GOOD!

I went prom dress shopping today! The only thing we physically bought were my shoes (which omg are so beautiful I think I’m in love) but we ordered three dresses online for me to then try on in the right colour/size and then choose which one I want. THEY’RE ALL SO NICE THOUGH I HAVE NO CLUE HOW I’M GOING TO CHOOSE.

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I discovered that I have some of the best friends in the world. I’ve already told them this here, but y’know, just in case they didn’t get the memo the first time round. And blog squad people, you lot are pretty awesome too 🙂 ❤ (DMC = Deep and Meaningful Conversation, by the way…).

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And finally, I had my two year blogoversary! I honestly have no idea where two years have gone, but it’s such a nice milestone to reach 🙂


What’s been going on in your life this month?

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Ten Things That Made Me Happy {week four}

This week’s generally been pretty good, but it has had its ups and downs…there’s been the obligatory I-don’t-know-what-I-want-to-do-next-year-everything-I-thought-I-wanted-to-do-I-don’t-know-anymore freak out (but they’re practically routine by now so not an especially big deal), a couple of other indirectly stressful things happening with other people and just the odd things that haven’t gone so smoothly. Plus, Easter holidays = GCSE revision, yay 😒. BUT, depressing and stress-inducing other bits and bobs may be, there’s definitely been at least ten good things from this week. So, without further ado…

TEN THINGS THAT MADE ME HAPPY (5)

1. New Kygo music, + the start of his Cloud Nine tour…

WHICH MY FRIEND AND I ARE GOING TO IN LONDON and there’s less than a month left to wait and omg I’m so excited. Brixton O2 Academy, we’re coming for ya! Also, his new Cloud Nine album is now available to preorder and I discovered that a) there’s a new single from it, Fragile ft. Labrinth (which I love) and b) there’s loads of live recordings of stuff from the album on YouTube, which again, I love. Squeee

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{source} *excitement levels are high*

2. My music lesson went OK

I had my normal trumpet lesson on Wednesday and err, ahem, I probably didn’t do as much practise as I should have *awkwardly shuffles feet* BUT it turned out OK…I mean, my playing was apparently spot on, there was just the small issues of being about three beats behind the piano accompaniment. Whoops. However, my teacher was surprised that I managed to stay in time with myself, if not the piano, so yay for small victories!

3. Meeting up with friends

From the looks of it, I’m going to see more friends than usual this holiday (probs not a good thing, given I’m meant to be revising) – I’m meeting one who I haven’t properly seen in weeks for lunch and shopping on Tuesday (there goes all the money I earnt at work last Friday…), and hoping to meet at least one other for a revision and gossip session (which will consist of probably five minutes of actual revision, but y’know, that’s better than nothing, right?!). So yeah, that’s something to look forward to besides revision.

4. Easter

I say Easter, but what I unashamedly really mean is chocolate. Although weirdly I’ve barely eaten any today. I don’t think there’s an awful lot more to say about this anyway, except that I’ve officially decided Cadbury Mini Eggs are the preserve of the gods and I have no clue how I’m gonna survive when they’re not in the shops anymore. Plus, Easter means hot cross buns and the first proper Sunday roast since Christmas so woop for that.

5. Friends

*Prepare for soppiness* Y’know I mentioned this week’s been a tad stressful? Well, it’s also been brilliant because I’ve discovered how fab my friends are. Their reaction to me feeling shitty is HEY LET ME JOIN A GROUP CHAT WITH PEOPLE I DON’T KNOW TO MAKE MY FRIEND FEEL BETTER. In short, I love them more than my love chocolate and cheesecake and raspberries and pizza  and Haribo Tangfastics combined (even when you’re including chocolate and raspberry cheesecake) and that’s a lot of love. So yeah, basically you know exactly who you are and how fab you are, I owe you a lot and I’m never going to be able to think of tomatoes, ketchup and bowling balls in the same way. Plus because of you lot I’ve been told some of the nicest things ever, so yeah, big hugs to you because you’re awesome.

6. In a kinda similar vein, the blog squad

Because I quit Twitter (amongst other things) for Lent, I hadn’t spoken to these fab people for around forty days, and I really missed them, more than I expected. So yeah, it’s nice to be back in touch with them and to catch up on all the gossip I missed.

7. Down by the river…*breaks into song*

Now that the obligatory musical reference is out of the way…

Yesterday, although it wasn’t planned, I ended up going for a walk by the river with a friend in the rain, which I was kinda surprised by how much I enjoyed. There’s something about being out in the rain out of choice that’s really calming and soothing, and the same goes for just talking about stuff. Plus there were lots of cute dogs around, which made me realise how much I miss having a dog to walk and cuddle and just have. So yeah, if anyone’s looking for someone to give/lend their dog to/someone to walk their dog for them, then hiiiii 👋

8. Reaching 14,000 views

14,000 is a lot, guys. Although I strongly suspect about five of my friends of making up about 7000, still, thank you 🙂

9. Being perfectly in sync with your best friend

Going back to the friends thing, I thought it was worth mentioning the fact that one of my best friends and I know each other so well we both sent each other exactly the same screenshot of a news article at the same time. We’re just that close.

10. This live performance

I’ve been a fan of the 3ème Gauche series of acoustic performances in Paris and I rediscovered this one in my liked videos today and I just love it so much. I like the song anyway, but as a number of the comments point out, what really makes this video brilliant is the sheer passion and love for music that radiates out. It really makes a difference and makes me smile!


 

What’s made your week a good week?

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Two Years Later…

Happy Blogoversary, me! Yep, it’s been (just over) two years since I started my blog, amazingly. I don’t really know where the time went, to be honest…it feels like only yesterday I was writing my one year blogoversary post, and barely the day before that that I started my blog! I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to commemorate it, but I am thinking of a Q&A if you’re interested, so let me know if you have any questions down in the comments 🙂

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I figured that to make this into some kind of blog post worth reading, I would a) hand out free cake and b) list a few things I’ve achieved and a few things I’ve learnt over the past two years…

  • I’ve had a slightly incomprehensible  (18% of which are on Sundays and 12% of which are at 10pm, in case that’s the kinda thing that interests you). Yikes.
  • I’ve posted 358 times.
  • I’ve had 6543 visitors.
  • The most views I’ve had in a day was 111 views, on 4th August 2015.
  • I’ve got 525 WordPress followers, 338 Twitter followers, 52 Facebook likes and around 250 Instagram followers as of time of writing (these figures, especially IG, can fluctuate fairly rapidly).
  • I’m not surely exactly how many comments I’ve had, but it’s approximately 1247, which is A LOT.
  • Excluding my home page/archives (5238 views) and my ‘About Me’ page (502 views), my top three most popular posts of all time are Social Life of a Bookaholic (May 23rd 2014, 532 views) (if anybody can solve the mystery of why that post is so incredibly popular, I will be forever grateful), my Top 10 Reasons Why I Can’t Wait To Get My Braces Off (February 23rd 2015, 217 views) (am I the only person getting slightly creeped out that my two most popular posts were published on the same day of the month as each other?!) and, surprise surprise, my chocolate review and giveaway (August 22 2015 (NEARLY THE SAME DATE AGAIN), 200 views).
  • I’ve learnt that bookstagram is a wonderful thing, and it has been the sole cause of me taking lots of photos of books.IMG_1373
  • My graphics and design have improved no end. Some of my early graphics…*shudders theatrically*.

    No comparison really, is there?!

  • I’ve started (and actually occasionally remembered to post on) a collaborative blog.
  • I’ve discovered all the best places for blogging resources and copyright-free photos.
  • I’ve got a lot better at taking photos and promoting content on social media generally, though I’ve still got a lot to learn. (Hint: it’s all about finding the white backgrounds in your house!)
  • I’ve made loads of really good internet friends – special shoutout to all of the Blog Squad, but especially Eve (I LOVE your header by the way), Elly (ditto) and Evi (ditto) (when did everybody get such nice graphics?!), my blogging twin!

Overall though (and here comes the cheesy bit…) I’ve improved my writing (I think/hope) and really, really enjoyed becoming part of such a lovely community. *lots of the sending love emoji thingy*

Thank you for reading all of that, and help yourself to some celebratory cake! And remember, if you’ve got any questions for a Q&A, stick them in the comments for me 🙂

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