My festive favourites…

That’s right.. the best time of year is upon us. As I am supposed to be writing two essays I thought it would be perfect time to write about my favourite things to do in the festive season- aka procrastination at its finest!

Christmas music

Yes, I am one of those people that 50% of people will hate- I whip out my Christmas hits and Micheal Bublé CD as soon as possible! I am a firm believer that once you hear those first notes from “all I want for Christmas is you” a smile will immediately appear on your face – even if it is after December 1st. I think as I am such a music lover this was always going to be one of my favourite things about the festive season- nothing will ever beat singing at the top of yours lungs when “Last Christmas” comes on, and screaming the insults of “Fairy tale of New York” at the pub on Christmas eve surrounded by loved ones.

Traditions

Traditions are the thing I love most about Christmas, some of them have nothing to do with being festive- apart from the fact that we happen to do them in December- but they are my favourite thing in the world to do. My family has some weird traditions (I mean the fact that I have seen 20 Queen speeches, and actually couldn’t imagine Christmas without seeing one is a weird concept for some people), I just adore spending time with loved ones and embracing the Christmas spirit. Which brings me on to….

Going to garden centers

I know this one sounds odd, but the only time of the year I head to a garden center is December. I’m not sure what it is but they are the most festive place on earth. There is nothing better than spending the day walking around a (sometimes hideously) decorated garden center, listening to Christmas music, getting a festive warm drink and treating yourself to a Christmas related gift that you 100% don’t need.

Christmas candles

I absolutely love lighting a good candle and letting the scent fill my room, and of course this doesn’t stop during the month of December. Like sound, scent is very important for me when it comes to getting in the festive spirit, I will always light my candle and immediately feel more cosy and festive- my absolute favourite being yankee candles ‘candy cane lane’!

Nights in

Of course the best thing about the winter months are cosy nights in, and this definitely doesn’t change in the lead up to Christmas. If anything they are even better during this time!

I adore getting into comfy pj’s, creating a fort of pillows and blankets in the lounge, making some hot chocolate and putting on a RomCom on those bitter winter nights- the best thing about Christmas time is that I can convince everyone in the house to join in- and typically mum will go all out on the festive flavoured hot chocolates (AKA HEAVEN).

Christmas films

Of course, you can’t have a cosy night without a film- and this is why I prefer cosy nights in December!! Christmas films are my favourite to watch, I don’t know what it is about them but I love them! Elf, Home Alone, The Grinch- you name it… I love it!

However, my favourites have to be the RomComs! Yes, I am talking The Holiday, Bridget Jones, Love Actually….they are all masterpieces. Normally I’m not a RomCom fan, but these ones are a must see in the festive season.

 

Christmas is really the most wonderful time of the year, and I couldn’t imagine it without all of these things!

 

 

 

 

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Things that have made me smile…26th Oct- 26th Nov

Ah, long time no speak…I dropped off the blogging radar big time! (I’m sorry!)

As my first post back I thought it would be fitting to do one of my favourites- 5 things that have made me smile in the past month!

Weezer, O2 Academy Birmingham 27.10.2017

In April 2016 I uploaded a post discussing a once in a life time experience: seeing Weezer live.

When writing this I honestly thought it would be the only time I would every get to see them, little did I know a year later I would be getting tickets and counting down the days till I next saw them!

Like the first time, it was a dream come true! I just love the atmosphere of a Weezer crowd, every single person in that room is having the time of their life and you can just feel it. You won’t find anyone pushing and creating unnecessary mosh pits, you won’t find anyone being made uncomfortable by the presence of another. Instead you’ll find groups of strangers coming together and partying- all accompanied with huge smiles plastered on their faces.

Spray, Paint, Love/ Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes

It was kinda inevitable that this would make an appearance on this list. Beside the obvious (my favourite band releasing new music), I LOVE this song. It has been on repeat since its release, which is odd because its not like anything I would usually listen to- its just guaranted to lift my mood whenever I listen.

The Good Wife.

Ah, thing that has taken over all of my spare time- The Good Wife! This semester I am taking two modules that are about the courtroom/legal process, which means the courtroom is taking over my life-  the good wife accompanies it perfectly! …It still counts as revision right?

I have just fallen in love with everything. The storyline, the characters. Everything!!

Can I just become Alicia Florrick now please??

Enter Shikari, The Motorpoint Arena Cardiff  17.11.2017 

Enter Shikari has really changed the game for arena shows this year! Quadraphonic sound is the future!

Each time I see shikari they get bigger and better, it is incredible to see a band go from the Falmouth Princess Pavillions to arena shows (arena shows that are on another level might I add.) Honestly, it is hard to describe the show – but it really did feel like something from another planet (if you have seen them live before you will get what I mean.) It was just so lovely, to be amongst friends, singing songs I loved and watching a truly magnificent performance.

Family Visits.

During the past month I had my sisters come visit me at uni. It was lovely to have a good old fashioned sleep over with them (we watched every single Harry Potter film, which was perfect in itself), to show them what uni life is like, to show them the wonderful city of Cardiff and to just spend some quality time with them.

It was the perfect distraction from uni deadlines, and exactly what I needed this month.

 

[16.06.17-23.07..17] 5 things I’ve been loving…

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Hellfest, Clisson.

Last month I may my first venture into the world of European festivals- and let me tell you it was incredible. Like all festivals the atmosphere was crazy, everywhere you turned you saw a smiling face. Although the ridiculous heat (it normally doesn’t go much higher than 16 degrees in Cornwall, let alone 36 degrees!!!), and the realisation that I need to make more of an effort with languages before going abroad, you couldn’t tell it was a festival outside of the UK – which is saying something because I feel at home when at a festival and for some weird reason I didn’t think it would feel the same (but it did).

The main difference I noticed is the attention to detail (with everything)- people weren’t lying when they said it is a metal heads Disneyland. From amps as the main entrance to a statue of lemmy everything fits the theme…it is truly magical!

 

Game of Thrones 

Ahhhhh, everyones favourite TV show is back !! (Okay not everyones but it should be). It’s only been back for a week but this is season is already my favourite yet!! This show will continue to make an appearance on this kind of blog post!! Looove it being back- if you don’t watch I suggest you get out there and do it!!

The return of my love of reading. 

Oh how I have waited and waited for this to return. I used to adore reading, I would always have a book on the go but then I just stopped. Whether it was the pressure to read classics from a-level lit or just being too busy- i just stopped! I tried and tried to get back into it and I FINALLY have!!!

(Ps..hold tight because as much as I LOVE reading, I LOVE discussing the characters, the plot…everything! So I will be making a new addition to my blog where I am able to do so!!)

 

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2000 Trees, Upcote Farm 

My favourite festival in the world!! Two thousand trees, a 5000 capacity festival with an incredible line up and no limit on alcohol…the absolute dream. Year after year it proves to be the friendliest festival I have been to. With a fancy dress theme on the Saturday and (the best) silent discos till 3 am it has something for everyone.

Ans this year it had something even from special….

 

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My parents Wedding 

Yes that’s right….my parents got married at 2000 trees!!! After waiting 20 years, I am still shocked they actually did it!!

It was a total surprise..engagement, hen and stag and wedding in 3 days, amongst many amazing bands! Forget the highlight of the past month, 2000 trees had to be the highlight of my entire year!

 

 

 

My summer playlist!!

Second year is over and summer has begun!! With Summer typically comes a playlist, whether its a playlist you will play every single day when getting ready, play at the beach or the morning of a festival it seems to become the soundtrack of the season.

My playlist typically features a mixture of the artists playing whatever festivals I am attending that year, which a couple of new releases/favourite songs at the time.

This year I am attending Hellfest and 2000 trees- both of which have VERY different lineups…both of which I am VERY excited about.

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/11134358807/playlist/2XB8kZ69P82JcoFiHwsqNx

Thanks for reading- I am sure to do a few posts about my time at hellfest! (First mainland festival I am sooo excited)

Also please leave any suggestions- I am on the hunt for a new band!!

 

 

 

[26.05.2017] 5 things that have made me smile this month…

26/04/2017-26/05/2017 

Hello again, Oh how I am so glad I didn’t commit to these posts being 100% weekly- between intense revision, working, catching up with people, travelling from Cornwall to Cardiff and simply finding things that have me smile I have struggled to find the time to write anything. I am hoping that end of exams (woooo)  means that these will be more frequent, but I can’t predict the future.

As it has been exam season finding things worth mentioning has been hard – I mean nobody wants to read about me finding interesting theories about standardisation do they?

While She Sleeps – 27/04/2017 – The Fleece, Bristol

Yes that’s right, during the intense revision I have managed to fit in a gig – and it was a bloody good one. As I have previously mentioned, While she sleeps have recently released a new album…and what do albums mean? An album tour.

As soon as it was announced I was all over it, while she sleeps are one of my favourite bands in the UK scene at the moment and the idea of missing a show near me just makes me sad (even so that I have bought another ticket for the Cardiff date next week!)

They did not disappoint. Like always the crowd gave it their all, so much love and so much energy. One thing I will always link to while she sleeps has to be that feeling of community, I normally see them with a huge group of friends and each time ends with us all screaming at the top of our lungs together – a feeling I tend to think it quite rare.

All The Bright Places, Jennifer Niven

Okay, saying that this made me smile may be a tad understatement. I balled my eyes out throughout the entire last third of this book.

I loved everything about it. The changing of POV, the character development, the storyline itself- all absolutely incredible.

It has been so long since I sat down and read a book which I couldn’t put down (I literally struggled. In fact I struggled so much that I finished it in a day!) I 110% recommend this book to everyone!!!

*However the book does cover the themes of suicide and mental health, so if you find those themes distressing maybe its best not to give it a go*

Harry Styles, Harry Styles 

Unexpected I know. But I can’t stop listening to this album – it has become the soundtrack to my revision (aka life).

When I first heard ‘Sign of the Times’ I knew I had to give his album a go- and I am SO glad I did. Harry has completely dropped his One Direction sound and created a new twist on modern rock and roll.

Its one of those don’t judge before you listen. In-cred-i-ble!!!

Cardiff’s sunshine

Although everyday living in my flat has been like a sauna this past week, it has been lovely. As Cardiff always appears to be raining this touch of sun has put a huge smile on my face.

I just need to get back to Cornwall now so I don’t miss out on those limited sunny days at the beach!!

2nd year being over!! 

I mean, this is absolutely terrifying. This year has been such an emotional roller coaster (I am thinking of doing a ‘2nd year of uni’ post, so I won’t go into detail), and although the end of it means I am closer to the end of my time at Cardiff I am so excited for next year!

And the end of the year means Summer, this year I have so many adventures planned for the next few months – I am so excited!!

Sydney x

The festival tag by ZoeLondon

As festival season is approaching it only seems fitting to attempt Zoelondon’s ‘festival tag’. I absolutely  loved the idea of this so had to give it ago, she has encouraged everyone to take part so if you’re a festival lover like me go wild!!

What was the last festival you went to?? 

Reading festival 2016. Like most people, reading is always the end of my festival season, marking the end of summer – and normally the perfect way to spend my summer. For the first time in 7 years I won’t be spending my bank holiday this way this year and it feels kinda weird, but the line up just isn’t for me this year – I mean where has the rock aspect of the festival gone?!

What was the first festival you ever went to? 

Unless you want to count all the years I attended the beach part of boardmasters, Reading 2011 was my first festival! It was an amazing year – Muse, My Chemical Romance and 30 Seconds to Mars…it was incredible!

Have you ever travelled abroad for a festival? 

Nope.

It’s something I’ve dreamed of doing , something I am changing this year! I know once I start I won’t be able to stop!!!

Who’s been your favourite headline act that you’ve ever seen at a festival? 

My Chemical Romance (Reading 2011). Not only was I luckily enough to see MCR before they split, but they brought out Bryan May (guitarist from Queen – as if you didn’t already know!)

Metallica (Reading 2015) were also incredible!!

And of course The Blackout headlining 2000 trees (2014) had to be a highlight, but that was expected.

What festival would you love to go to?? 

Glastonbury has to be up there, I feel like every British festival goer has to at some point!

I would love to do loads overseas such as, Rock AM ring, Groezrock, American Warped Tour!! They always have an incredible line up, UK festivals are weak in comparison.

What is the next festival you’re going to?? 
Hellfest! My first festival overseas, I am sooo excited. I’ve been told (repeatedly) that it’s a metal lovers Disneyland and to be honest I can’t think of anything better!

Do you camp or are you a hotel kinda person? 

Camping all the way!! It’s not truest the festival experience (in my eyes) if you don’t wake up, climb out of the tent and sit with friends under a gazebo!

Share your ultimate festival line up.. 

Obviously The Blackout would have to come back. Frank Carter would also have to be on the bill!!

I’d love to see Metallica again and MUSE. (This is starting to sound like a realistic Download line up)

If I could pick bands who no longer are with us, Nirvana and Queen would have to play. It would be a dream to see them!!! Also, blakfish – although they are “with” us they split up years before I found their music and I reckon they were a band to see!

Oh and of course Weezer!! (I bet they will finally do a secret set at Reading this year now that I have said this and I am not going)

 

I cannot wait for festivals season this year, it is going to Rock!!

Sydney x

 

 

5 things I’ve been enjoying this week…

17-24/04/2017

Welcome to this new feature of my blog, a feature I would like to promise will be weekly but realistically might be a monthly addition.

They say blogs are the perfect way to  express yourself and that is what I’ve decided to start doing on my blog- expect some of the usual live reviews but also some late night thoughts (like my Tattoo/Taboo post) and anything in between!!

I want to make this feature a place where I come to share 5 things that have made me smile (whether it be an interaction I’ve had or TV show I’ve been watching), I would like to promise that this is something that I can commit to weekly but realistically 5 things might not occur every week.

The Walking Dead

I have been promising myself that I would start this show since Year 11 and finally in the second year of my degree I have got down to it. Since starting it I have struggled to stop watching- however that could be down to revision.

One thing I can tell you is that its an emotional roller-coaster (my favourite kind of show), you will love every-single member of Rick’s gang and your heart will break with both happiness and sadness (okay mainly sadness) about 13 times every season- yes that’s a heartbreak every episode.

I really don’t know what I am going to do once I’ve caught up to date (which is something I see happening way faster than I would like). Where am I going to get my Zombie fix???

ps. I have found The Walking Dead really easy to have in the background of revision- make it your revision friend and you will not regret it!

While She Sleeps- You Are We

This week While She Sleeps released their 4th album, and let me tell you it is great!!

I must admit While She Sleeps are a new love of mine (I have only really liked them for about 2 years) and I cannot get enough. The energy they have is incredible and whenever I listen I have an instant smile on my face. They are the type of band you have to see live, that’s when I ‘got it’ – it wasn’t until I was in the thick of their crowd I understood what they are about.

When you listen you can imagine the crowd, you can feel presence of the pit opening up even when sat in your bedroom on your own. This album has got me SO excited for summer, so excited for festivals and so excited to party!!

Go and show them some love, they really deserve it- and so do you! You deserve to know about a While She Sleeps show feels!

Mad girl- a happy life with a mixed up mind

For a while now I have missed reading, I have longed for a good book to get lost in and I’ve found it.

Bryony Gordon shares her experiences of living with a mental illness in a way that leaves smile plastered on your face. It has been a while since I’ve picked up a book and actually laughed out loud, and its something I certainly thought I wouldn’t do whilst reading a book about mental health. I am really enjoying this new approach to mental health, it opens your eyes to a new viewpoint – not everything has to be the deepest darkest shade of black.

This book is a refreshing and wonderful read. I am beyond excited to read more of her story.

A big cup of tea.

Something so simple, yet so wonderful. There is nothing better than finding your biggest mug, boiling the kettle and making a cuppa to accompany you with revision. Whether its Peppermint or your average Builders Brew I have been loving it! (shoutout to Twinnings for those fantastic blends , you’re the real M.V.Tea)

My Dog

The best part of being back from uni has to be spending the day with my dog. If I want a revision break she is more than happy to play fetch in the garden. More than happy to sit and cuddle for half an hour and just chill for a day.