Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Halloween 2018 | Spooky Makeup Look & Celebrations

Hey guys! HAPPY HALLOWEEN! How have you all been celebrating the spookiest day of the year? I've been carving pumpkins, watching horror movies, and if you follow me on social media, you'll know that I've also been dressing up! And that's what today's post is going to be all about! Well, mostly haha. It's going to be a bit of a mash up post of how I've spent my favourite holiday of the year! I know it's a little late to help anyone pick out their own costume this time, but hopefully I can inspire you all for next October. Enjoy! 


I thought I'd start off my post by showing you guys my little Halloween display! I usually have a lot more decorations, however most of my possessions have been packed away in boxes since the end of last year. We were hoping to finally start decorating my bedroom so needed to clear a lot of my stuff out of the way, but as my regular readers will know, 2018 has been a rough year for me and my family, and so decorating got put on a back burner for the time being. I was going to buy more decorations, but I thought I'd make do with what I had and since I've not been able to stop buying mini pumpkins and squashes for the past month, those were perfect for displaying too!! (I'm seriously obsessed with them, haha!). 


Setting up a display in my bedroom gave me the perfect excuse to utilise my Funko horror figures! I think they look fabulous!! I also added this 'vintage' ornament that we have had ever since I was a kid. As you can see the witches broomstick has seen better days and she won't be playing Quidditch anytime soon :D but I think she's lovely! Do you still have any Halloween decorations that you've had for a very long time? So anyhow, today's post is supposed to be all about my Halloween fancy dress this year, and I can't wait to show it you guys!! 


Ta-da! This year, I decided to be a demon, or specifically a succubus ;) Even though I couldn't stop looking in the mirror today at my eyes, it's still kind of surreal to see them on the photos. I think they are mesmerizing, although quite a few of my friends and family told me they looked scary af today XD What do you think? 

This costume was pretty easy to put together, because the 'accessories' are what really made the entire look come to life! Other than making my skin appear more ghostly, I applied my typical go-to eye makeup look. I use several shades of eye shadow, applying white to the inner corners of my eyelid; from this inner corner I apply the white  eye shadow to just under a quarter of my eyelid and then a silver/pale grey to the reminding three quarters. Coming from the outer corner, I then apply a charcoal grey shade to around half of the eyelid, before I finish by putting a little black to the outer corner. I hope that makes sense... you can tell I'm not a beauty blogger, haha! To top it all off, I apply liquid eyeliner with a wing to each eye and a little kohl pencil liner to the waterlines. 

The accessories that I used to create my demon look were Wildcat Fashion White Eye lenses, which I purchased online from EMP (find them here). I used red Wildcat lenses last year to create a vampire look and I was very happy with the quality so I opted to go with them again. For the last three years, I have always bought vampire fangs for Halloween by Scarecrow. I've written a review all about them which you can read here if you're interested. They are so awesome and I think they look super realistic! They are custom fangs so you are given the ingredients to make a paste that you then use to make the fangs a perfect fit for your teeth. Whenever I put them in, I never want to take them out! (I'm literally still wearing them now!). 



All of the makeup that I used to create this look is by brands that are available at drugstores, like Boots, Superdrug and Savers, so they are very affordable and other than the two Halloween-specific items in my photographs above, I use the products all year round. For my eyeshadow, I used shades from two palettes by Makeup Revolution: Acid Brights & Redemption Iconic 1. To add a little colour to my neck, I used the Makeup Revolution 'Spectre SFX Palette Face Paint' that they brought out last year for Halloween, along with the 'Ghost Powder' too, which is what I used to make my skin paler (I applied it over the top of my usual base makeup). :) 

This year I finally decided to try some Nyx liquid lipstick for the first time, including this one from the 'Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick' collection. The shade is called 'Alien' and I love how it looks on! It has a little bit of a blue tinge to it in my opinion, which I think made it match with my eyes even more! I've not used it for long enough for me to give you much of a review of it though, but I like the brush because it makes it easy to apply and I like how smooth it feels on. I'm curious to try more shades from this collection. I'm very happy that Boots are now stocking Nyx products, yay! 




No demon look would be complete without horns, and this year I decided to get goat-esque ones because they are more true to what demon horns look like in mythology. Plus after watching the 2016 horror movie The Witch, I, like many other horror lovers, became a fan of the character Black Philip. After getting the Funko Pop figure of him earlier this year, I just had a mighty need to get some horns like his! Well, whatever equivalent I could find on my budget... there are some epic cosplay horns out there, that look incredible! 

I bought my horns in the end from Attitude Clothing. I had my eyes on another pair of horns that they had in stock, however I had to wait until my last payday before Halloween until I could get them and unfortunately they were sold out. However I managed to get these instead and although I admit I wasn't very keen on the flower clown/headband, when they arrived and I tried them on, I changed my mind! I really liked how they looked! I also loved how the headband is one of those wide types, because they are much more comfortable. Here is a link to the horns. They are made by a brand called Restyle and are just over £20.

So that's everything I used to recreate my demon look! I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments :)  


This evening, I carved my pumpkin and although I always want to create something fancy, I know that I will fail so much if I attempt to, so I went with a simple option as usual :D Dyspraxia and intricate carvings don't go work so well together, in my case anyhow! I usually try to do a happy Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas, because it's not too complicated to do. I say that, even though I almost snapped my pumpkin knife tool and nearly gave Jack a crater instead of a nose, haha! Nevertheless, pumpkin carving is very messy and very fun, and I even if I mess up my design, it's still a tradition that I enjoy! Here's my finished Jack-O-lantern guys! Do you carve a pumpkin for Halloween? 


I think he's cute, even if he has one eye bigger than the other and a lopsided mouth! It could have been worse :D That's it for my Halloween post of 2018... I hope you enjoyed reading it and that I didn't ramble on too much! I'm now going to spend my evening watching horrors and eating chocolate. Halloween is over soon, but I'm a fan of all things spooky all year round so it's never really over for me! I just wanted to end my post by saying Blessed Samhain to all of my fellow witchy folks I hope that everyone has a wonderful November! 

Thankyou for reading!






What's your favourite thing about Halloween? 



Also, what's your favourite holiday of the year, and do you have a favourite horror movie?




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Tuesday, 30 October 2018

My First Ever Kuji! | Japan Award Haul

Hello everyone! I hope you've all had an awesome start to the week! I've spent all of my time lately watching spooky movies and doing toy photography, so the last few days have been pretty chilled for me :) Have you guys done anything fun? I can't believe it's only a day until Halloween!! Why are the months going by so quickly this year!? Regardless, I can't wait to carve my pumpkin later! 

Anyhow, today's post is one that I've been really REALLY excited to share with you! It was seriously so tough to not share anything related on social media, because I just wanted to tell anyone who would listen about my first time playing ichiban kuji, or just kuji, lottery So I'm over the moon that I can finally tell you guys all about it!! This post is one for my fellow kawaii-obsessed people! 

Ichiban Kuji Japan Award

Some of you might not have a clue what ichiban kuji is, so let me explain :) Kuji is a lottery game that is popular in Japan (and several other Asian countries), and it's most commonly run by a company called Banpresto, in collaboration with various stores and franchises. How does it work? Well, you purchase tickets, and inside each is a letter or number. These correspond with a prize so no matter what, you always get a prize for your money, which is awesome! 

Some of the prizes are harder to get based on the letters (or numbers); A, B & C in most kuji's are the top prizes so they are rarer to pull. The standard kuji's usually include prizes A-F or G, but there's some that have so many prize categories and some that have more than three top prizes! This is common with some of the ichiban kujis for popular anime series, where for the top prizes, there might be five figures up for grabs! There is also a special prize for the person who buys the last ticket available! Often people will buy out an entire kuji if there's only a few tickets left just to get this special last prize. It's totally worth it though :)  

I have been dreaming of playing this fabulous game for a very long time! I started noticing awesome figures for sale online that were from anime kujis, although at the time I couldn't afford to buy them for the high prices that people were re-selling them for, and that wasn't including shipping fees! After doing a bit of research, I discovered that you could buy kuji tickets and prizes from proxy sellers, but even though this was an option, it could get very costly buying by-proxy and I really wanted to feel like I was involved in the actual playing, if that makes sense. I just resolved myself to the fact that I would have to wait until I could one day make my dream trip to Japan, and play kuji in person. 

Ichiban Kuji Japan Award

That was until I discovered YouTube channels where people were living in Japan and playing ichiban kuji for people 'live', on video, so you could feel like you were there playing along with them! I had found my new obsession and I could watch people winning prizes for their friends and subscribers for hours! I always wanted to play too but I didn't know how, and also as my regular readers will know, I have social anxiety and this really held me back when it came to approaching Youtubers to enquire about joining in myself. Then one day, I came across Japan Award! It's a wonderful channel and is hosted by the loveliest guy and his wife, Lin (and their adorable daughter, Vivi, who always does such an amazing job playing kuji!) :) He was always so nice in his comments on his channel and Instagram, and after watching his videos for a while, I felt comfortable enough to get in touch and order my first ever ichiban kuji! Thankyou Horacio for being so friendly and awesome, and for playing kuji for me!!

So without further ado, it's time to show you what I won! I will include the YouTube videos too so you can watch the ticket process :) The first ever kuji's that I played were a San-X Sumikko Gurashi one & a Nintendo Kirby one! Keep reading to see my prizes! 


You should totally watch the entire video, especially if you are a fan of all things kawaii & of arcade games, but if you'd like to watch my kuji winnings first, it's at 7:50 minutes in :) I bought three tickets for the Sumikko lottery and four for the Kirby, and I am so happy with my first prizes!! They are all really adorable! That's something that I love about playing ichiban kuji, that no matter what you win, all of the prizes are fantastic so even though you're always hoping that you get a top prize, you are never disappointed because you still get a super cute item! 

Ichiban Kuji Japan Award

If you didn't watch the video and preferred to just read my post, here are the prizes that I won! My tickets from the Sumikko Gurashi were F, D & F! This means that I won two little decorative plates and a fancy character spoon. Then, for the Kirby lottery, my tickets revealed an E, G, F & F, winning me a towel, a glass and two charms. Yayyy!! Everything I got is so cute! 

Just in case you were curious... the prizes that were available in this Sumikko Gurashi lottery were: A- Plushie of a character & food, B- Plushie of the Cat character (Neko), C- Plushie of the Dinosaur character (Tokage), D- a character spoon (two different versions to choose from), E- a glass (four different ones available), F- a mini decorative plate (six designs to pick from) & the last ticket prize: another character plushie (Penguin? wearing an adorable little apron). As for the Kirby lottery, the prizes were as follows: A- the most adorable big Kirby plushie!!, B- a mini table , C- a water bottle, D- a plate (four different variations to select from), E- a glass (again, four designs available), F- a charm (five varieties), G- a towel (also five to choose from) and I think the last prize was another plushie, of sleeping Kirby this time! 

Now, let's take a closer look at my items! 

Ichiban Kuji Japan Award

The first thing that I want to say about these items is that every single one of them is fantastic quality and very well made. Secondly, LOOK HOW CUTE THEY ARE!! I can't express enough how much I love kuji, and another reason  for this is that almost all of the items are useful! A lot of kujis have very practical prizes like cutlery and dinnerware, and even though, I might not be able to bring myself to ever use them for their intended purpose, they're still very useful! Even the tiny decorative plates can be used for storing small jewellery items and such, but I just want to display them as is so that you can see the pretty design!

Sumikko Gurashi Kuji 2018

Kirby Ichiban Kuji Japan Award

Talking of their pretty design... aren't they just so lovely!? I have been a fan of San-X ever since my early teens, when I discovered the adorable seal character Mamegoma, and I hadn't loved another set of characters as much until Sumikko Gurashi was brought to my attention. I was sent some Sumikko items in a kawaii subscription box and adored it from that day on! My favourite character is Tokage the dinosaur, who everyone thinks is a lizard! This is because his name means lizard in Japanese, but also because the character, according to the San-X website, is 'actually the last of the dinosaurs' who 'pretends to be a lizard to avoid being caught'. What a sweet little backstory! I am a big fan of reptiles so it's no surprise that he's my favourite, and I was really glad that Japan Award chose this plate for me! I am very happy to have the polar bear too because he's just as cute and his character's personality matches my own, as he's very shy. His name is Shirokuma, which relates to 'white bear' in Japanese. Which is your favourite out of the two character plates I won? 

I am in love with the design of this Kirby glass! It's brilliant, and I really like that it's different all the way around the glass, with three versions of Kirby designs and lots of colourful sweeties. I'd include photos of all the Kirby's but this post is already going to be super long and pic heavy! I'm probably going to use it as a pen pot or something, because I don't want to risk the design being worn away, if I was to use it to actually drink out of. The glass feels very sturdy which is awesome, and it was my favourite out of the available designs :) 

Kirby Ichiban Kuji  2018

Kirby Ichiban Kuji 2018 Japan Award

I was so surprised when I opened up the packaging to discover that the towel was in fact not a face cloth size like I thought it was! It is a long hand-towel and I am super impressed. From the five towels that were available, there are three face cloth ones and two big ones, so I feel lucky that I got one of the bigger ones! It's a lot softer than I was expecting too and would feel lovely to use, if I can ever persuade myself to use it :D haha! I love the little Sakura flowers all over it, too. And finally, the last prizes I won from my first ever kuji games were these amazing Kirby charms!! 

Out of all of the charms available, the Taiyaki one was my absolute favourite and I wanted to win this prize from the moment I found out about the kuji! I'm very happy that Japan Award chose it for me! A Taiyaki is a Japanese dessert, that is basically a cake-like treat that is shaped like a fish and is filled traditionally with sweet red bean paste but you can also get it with ice-cream, custard, etc. One day, I will try one! But until then, I have this cute little charm! I'm not sure what the other dessert charm is but it's got Kirby on it so I love it! I also really like the little star detail. I can't wait to attach these to one of my bags and show them off :)

If you thought that was it for the kuji, then SURPRISE! I couldn't just stop at these two when I found out that there was a Sanrio Cinnamoroll kuji coming up! I love this character; next to Kuromi (my best girl!) and Hello Kitty, Cinnamoroll and his friends are my next favourite Sanrio characters! I always loved that they were named after hot drinks, and the character Mocha was my favourite of the lot when I was a teenager. Anyhow, before I get carried away with myself... here are my Cinnamoroll wins! 


This video is filled with so much kuji cuteness & you can check out what everyone else playing won too, but again if you want to find mine quickly, skip to 2:46. In the kuji's run by the Sanrio store, the tickets contain numbers rather than letters. There are always a lot more prize categories/numbers in their kuji lotteries too! In this Cinnamoroll ichiban kuji, the prizes you could win were: 1- a vacuum cleaner (haha, random! but nevertheless adorable!), 2- a plushie, 3- a wall pocket/pouch, 4- a soap dispenser, 5- a bag, 6- a mini bin, 7- a sponge set, 8- a flat pouch/case, 9- a money box, & the last prize, which was a plushie backpack! 1, 2 & 3 are the top prizes, equivalent to A, B, C  in other lotteries. I purchased five tickets for this kuji. Which prizes did I get? 

 Ichiban Kuji Japan Award

Another thing that I really like about kuji prizes is that they always come so well packaged, either in bags or boxes, to prevent them from getting damaged and it means that I can store them away easy right now whilst I'm in the process of decorating. So as you can see above, my prizes are 3, 4, 7, 8 & 9. So YES!! That means I got one of the top prizes!! (Thankyou Vivi-chan for choosing this ticket for me!!) No.3 is the wall pocket, which is just so lovely!! 

If you watched the video, you might notice that one of my prizes does not match up... and that's because I actually won two no.9 prizes originally. However, the Japan Award community is filled with the nicest people who are always willing to help each other out, and I was contacted by another player to ask if I wanted to swap my duplicate money box, for one of her double prizes. I chose the sponge set because I was so curious to find out what they looked like! 

Sanrio Cinnamoroll Kuji 2018

Here's what everything looks like out of packaging, and oh my gosh, if I look at this picture too long, I might collapse from cuteness overload!! I don't know which item to talk about first, I just love everything so much! These prizes make me wish I was back at university where I had my own bathroom so that I could fill it with all this kawaii goodness! Although I'm totally tempted to remove the top of the soap dispenser and put a little artificial flower in there instead! :D Which is your favourite Cinnamoroll item? Let me know in the comments! 

Sanrio Cinnamoroll Kuji 2018

How awesome that you get three different-coloured sponges! I knew that you got a set but I thought that they would all be the same, so I was glad to discover that I had a green one, a yellow one & a blue one inside the box. They are surprisingly great quality for such a small sponge, and I love that they are novelty shaped, VS a standard square sponge just with a Cinnamoroll pattern on! I think it's great that there's three, as I will now be more likely to use two because I can still save one to keep perfect.

 I love the simplistic design of these items because they would look fabulous displayed in a room with any colour scheme, and there's just something so pretty about simple designs that aren't too busy and 'in your face'. I can't wait to start filling up my new puppy bank :D Another thing that many people don't know is that Cinnamoroll is actually a puppy! I didn't find out until I'd been a fan of the character for quite a few years, and it makes perfect sense now because of his big, floppy ears. I always wondered if he was some sort of cloud X rabbit creature? A kawaii marshmallow man?? :D But alas, he's a puppy. 

Sanrio Cinnamoroll Kuji 2018

Sanrio Cinnamoroll Kuji 2018

My favourite thing about this kuji has to be all of the pastel colours. Everything looks so nice! I adore the print on this 'flat pouch', it's really pretty! It's an interesting pouch and I've never had anything like it before... inside the sides are thickly padded so you can't fit much in it but I think it's cool for storing anything that you want to keep from getting creased, like important documents or letters if you're on your way to the post office, stuff like that :) I might use it to store gig tickets in or receipts that I need to keep handy. Oh, or even loose sticker sheets so they don't get folded just laying around in a drawer. Also, the pouch is made out of a great quality material, which is silky to touch. 

Finally, my top prize, the wall pocket!! Most importantly, it is super adorable! I've said that about pretty much everything in this post, but this item in particular just looks so flippin' cute! I like that it's both functional and adorable, with those plushie characters (Cinnamoroll and Milk, who's a baby). The material they are made out of is really soft, and they've used the same material to line the pockets too. I love that the plastic pockets themselves have designs on them, because they could have just made them plain and the entire item would have still been awesome! I also really like that the item is not too big. I've already decided that I'm going to use it to store my mail in, one pouch for incoming letters that I receive so I don't lose them and to remind myself to reply and whatnot, and the other pouch for outgoing mail that needs taking to the post office. 

Ichiban Kuji Japan Award

So those are all of the ichiban kuji lottery prizes that I won in my first haul from the marvellous Japan Award! If you are a fellow fan of Japanese nerdy culture, then definitely go and show them some love and give them a follow on YouTube and Instagram. I hope that you all enjoyed today's post! If so, be sure to keep a look out for more in the future. In fact, there's a few items I did not show you... but you'll have to wait for another post all about them, which will be up in a week or so :) Have an excellent rest of the week guys!


Thankyou for reading!


♥ 


Had you ever heard of Ichiban Kuji before reading my post?


I'd love to hear what your favourite item in this post is & why. 
Also, do you have a favourite Sanrio or San-X character? 

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Thursday, 25 October 2018

What Alternative Music Means To Me

Hi lovelies! If you follow me on social media, you'll know that on Tuesday, I went to a gig! I did intend to get this post written up yesterday, but I was absolutely exhausted from said gig and my body was super achy all day. Concerts and fibromyalgia are definitely not friends! Despite this, I had an awesome time, so it was worth the blistered feet and stiff joints! D: As they say, no pain, no gain, I guess! The band that I went to see was a Finnish rock band called The Rasmus, which I'm sure most of you will remember from their UK debut hit 'In The Shadows' back in 2003. Gosh, how has it been 15 years since this beautiful song was brought to my ears and subsequently caused my alternative awakening!? Haha, emo-esque poetry aside, hearing this song for the first time really was what brought the alternative scene to my attention, when I was just 10 years old! For the last week or so, I have been thinking about what drew me to this genre of music in the first place (aside from all the attractive musicians :p), and it's these thoughts that have inspired today's post. I hope that you all enjoy reading, and that some of you find what I have to say relatable! 


I have a feeling that this post is going to get a little rambley, so sorry in advance for that guys! 

I have always found psychology and the why's of life fascinating, and in this case, I'm talking about why I became a fan of alternative music. I mean, there are probably a lot of reasons for this, and one of them is simply because I enjoy the sound of it! I love how the instrumentals sound; I love the loud energy, the heavy beats, the showmanship and entertainment factor that goes into the performances themselves, with the staging and the costumes/outfits and the well-thought out, intricate and interesting music videos. But even so, I am the only person in my family that is really into the alternative/rock/metal genre. My siblings and parents, like most people, like a few songs of this type of music, but it is not their favourite and it does not make up the majority of what they prefer to listen to. And growing up, this often made me ponder the questions: why do I like alternative music? Why am I different? What is it about who I am as a person that makes me interested in things that my loved ones aren't? Not that I saw this in a negative way for the most part. Growing up, there were so many aspects of my personality and my interests that made me feel set apart from other people, like a social outcast, well, until I found like-minded friends, but my taste in music wasn't one of these things. 

This is probably because I didn't care about what anyone thought of this! Music is one of the most wonderful things in this world, and it brings everyone happiness no matter what their preferred genre is! Singing along to your favourite songs makes you feel fabulous and has a positive effect on your mood, and music has definitely been a big part of my life. There was a reason why I fell in love with this type of music, and it wasn't just that it appealed to my love of all things gothic and macabre (although I think it is all linked!). It was because of the lyrics, the words, and the subjects of the songs. They just spoke to me! 

If you have been a regular reader of my blog for a while, you'll know by now that I have depression and generalised anxiety disorder, and that I have struggled with these mental health conditions for most of my life. I started to experience the first noticeable symptoms of depression when I was around 12 years old, and this came in the form of intrusive thoughts and sudden drops in my mood. The symptoms would come and go, and were not yet having any serious impact on my life but they were there, and they were difficult to process as a child. I had experienced bullying up until this point in my life, which only got worse and by the time I was 14, the depression was a big part of my everyday existence. It changed the way I experienced the world, the way I thought about things and people and life in general, and it was at this time when music really started to mean so much to me. 

The Rasmus, Manchester Academy, 23/10/2018

The years building up to the onset of my depression is when I discovered my love for alternative music, and it is no wonder to me why I was drawn to it. When I was in primary school and was still at that age when you don't fully understand deep emotions, I did not know how to express how I was feeling about myself and about my life, and I was not ready to talk about my mental health with people for a very long time (for lots of reasons, but that's a story for another post!) and so I felt isolated and alone. Then suddenly I heard people singing about how I felt, both literally and metaphorically, and it honestly felt amazing... I can't really put into words exactly how it felt. It was so important for little me to hear people talk/sing about things I did not yet have the capacity to fully put into words myself, and to finally know that there were other people out there who understood. It was comforting having the lyrics resonate with me, and this brings me to the reason why I decided to write this post :) 

Alternative music has been there for me ever since I was 10 years old. It has been there to help me through all of the hurdles I have dealt with in my life, through all of the heartbreak and the emotional trauma and all of the abysmal ruminations in my head. It has helped to both uplift me and allow me to channel my feelings, to work through them by having a good cry or giving myself a reminder that I am not alone in all that I am experiencing. It has been almost like a shoulder to cry on, when I didn't feel like I could talk to anyone about how I was feeling and it still is for me to this day. Even though I now talk pretty openly about my mental illnesses, there are still some barriers, some of the 'ugly' sides of depression that are more of a challenge to express, and this is where I can still rely on music to make me feel better. 

I used to get so irritated when I was younger whenever I would hear people talking about how sad music makes you depressed and how it negatively impacting teenagers mental health, and whatever else they were saying, because I knew how much it was helping me. I mean, I know everyone's individual experience and interpretation of things is going to be different, but as a whole, I was surrounded by other people in my friendship group who also found solace in alternative music so it was disheartening that it was getting painted so badly by the media. Writing about this has brought back so many memories, one of them being about when the Daily Mail wrote an article in 2008 about the band, My Chemical Romance being an 'suicidal cult' that causes teenagers to become depressed. Does anyone else remember that? In response, teenagers all over the UK staged protests and as they were one of my favourite bands at the time, I got involved in my own small way. I couldn't make it to any substantial protests but a group of my friends & I made 'F**k the Daily Mail!' banners and walked around our local shopping centre with them! Fun times :D 

Anyhow, let's get back on track, haha!

The Rasmus, Manchester Academy, 23/10/2018

What is it about alternative music that means so much to me? It is a combination of factors. The way it made me feel like I was never truly alone in what I was feeling, no matter how intense the depressive thoughts were, there was an artist out there sharing their own experiences that I could relate to, and it made me feel like I could carry on, no matter how hard things were because these people were staying strong through their struggles so, I could too! My favourite alternative musicians were inspirational to me, because I looked up to their strength for dealing with all that they were singing about, and also they were so courageous for sharing their feelings and personal stories with the world, especially when I still couldn't talk about my own struggles. In doing so, they were helping me and millions of others out there so much, and that is a beautiful thing! 

Alternative music is very expressive (some people think it's too expressive, especially when it comes to 'screamo' and the likes, haha!) and I really appreciate this! It is another reason why alternative music means so much to me. The way that they express some of the most vulnerable and deepest, darkest parts of the human psyche is something that I will always be thankful for. Not only because many artists do it in such a relatable and poetic way, but also just because they help people to express themselves vicariously through their music. No matter what emotion they are trying to relay in the song, it is usually always intense and that allows people to... how do I say it?... reach into themselves and pinpoint a moment in their own lives when they felt that particular emotion so strongly. That's why lots of people find it so cathartic to listen to alternative music. For example, when I am feeling angry or I am struggling not to think about the past and particularly to a time when I was very irritated, listening to a good angry, shouty metal song like Let the bodies hit the floor by Drowning Pool helps XD I'm sure everyone can relate in some way to that!

Another thing that I have always loved about alternative music is the creativity and the expression of stories through imagery. I have forever had a very vivid imagination; my mind is a strange place at times to say the least. I have the oddest dreams and daydreams, and come up with some very random ideas for stories. I have been like this since I was a kid and when it came to my imagination, I knew I was different to the people around me. When it comes to alternative music, the lyrics themselves have crossed over the line from the mainstream norm and broken so many societal taboos that they have the freedom to do wild and wonderful things with their music videos. 

Some videos are like gothic fairytales, with strange creatures and spooky shadows and fantastical people, in an array of marvellous outfits and elaborate makeup. Some are more focused in reality, showing us scenes that symbolise the lyrics of their songs, depicting real-life, relatable yet usually tragic scenarios; which again help remind people who have gone through similar situations themselves that they are not alone. They are expressive and rich with colour and just brilliant. Bringing it back to that first alternative song that I heard by The Rasmus in 2003, I was very much into history at 10 years old, and in particular I was super interested in the Victorian era around this time. In the video to In The Shadows we follow a Victorian maid who has a horrible time in the house she works and lives in, gets blamed for things that she didn't do and just dreams of escape from her life. This in itself has me enthralled in the 'storyline' of the song, both because of the history elements but also because of the relatability of wanting to be somewhere else, to be living a different life than the one you do. This maid then happens to experience something magical, when she finds a mirror that shows her a 'world' outside of her own, where she can see a man who is very different to what people looked like in her time period, with his eyeliner and his messy, feather-covered hair. 

The Rasmus, Manchester Academy, 23/10/2018

I'd never really seen many people dressed like this in my life before when I was that age and so I was also pretty much in awe of him too XD After the girl is horribly punished for something, the 'man in the mirror' (oops, another song reference :D) appears and this time holds out his hand to her, and pulls her through the mirror into the gig he's performing at, and for once this girl feels free, and like she can let her hair down and enjoy herself. She's smiling so much and you can tell that she's captivated by the band who are so different than anything she's ever known, and the lyrics are reflecting her current life that we've just watched unfold. It's fantastic! I was just hooked from the moment I watched the music video and listened to the words, and saw alternative dudes, haha! It has so much contrast to any video I'd ever seen, which until this point was just those of pop and r 'n' b artists, which I mean were great for the genre but they never had any deep stories being told, not the kind I was longing for. I found that alternative music videos told me a story that would make my imagination run wild for hours thinking about what it would be like to be the characters in the videos, or for myself to be in those scenarios. Although there have been many contributors in my life to the way my creativity and imagination developed as I grew older, I have to thank alternative music for a huge part of that. It's the kind of music that still now, I can listen to and fantasise my own stories along to the lyrics, and I love it! :) 

This post has gotten really long so thankyou so much to anyone who hasn't gotten bored and is still reading! You might know how much I've been struggling with motivation and energy lately so when I got the drive to write about this, I just went with it and was determined to keep going until I couldn't think of anything else to say on the topic. Apparently, I had a lot to say, haha! I'm going to conclude this post by telling you all about seeing The Rasmus in concert! 

Oh my god, they were incredible live!! The venue that my best friend & I went to was the Manchester Academy 2, which has moved into the University of Manchester students' union building since the last time we went to a gig there. This venue room was a lot smaller than the old one, but that just made it more awesome (well if I didn't have anxiety it would have been, I did almost have a panic attack when it got too crowded but let's ignore my spoonie problems for now :D) because you felt really close to the stage. It's so cool being at a gig where you're so close to the front that you can see the facial features of the band, and not just essentially silhouettes, haha. I'm only 5'2'' so it was great being able to actually see for once! 

The vocals of the leader singer, Lauri Ylonen, were perfect! They sang my favourite song, First Day of My Life, first too, yay!! They preformed the classics from their 2003 'Dead Letters' album, which is probably the songs you'll remember if you were a fan of the band around the time that 'In the Shadows' was in the charts. One of those songs was Time to Burn and I hadn't listened to it since I was about 12, and I got hit with a wave of nostalgia that was epic! I haven't been able to stop listening to it since I got home!! They also sang one of my other favourite songs by them, which was released in 2008, called Livin' in a World Without You, plus a couple of their new songs from their 2017 album, 'Dark Matters'. All of the fans were amazing when it came to their engagement; it was lovely to see the members of the band smile so much in response to the crowd :) I also just love when you're at a gig and the band stop singing to let the crowd sing for them instead. There's just something that sounds so fantastic about a crowd singing together, I love it! They performed 'In the Shadows' last as I thought they would, but they came back out after the typical 'ONE MORE SONG!' chant from the audience, and we got two more songs. 'Sail Away' from the band's 2005 album was the final song they did, and it was a beautiful one to finish on. Even though I still feel like I've been hit by a bus two days later, I really wish I was going to see them again! I can't recommend seeing them enough & I'll definitely be going again next time they are touring! I hope you guys enjoyed reading my mash-up of why I love alternative music and how much of a fabulous time I had at the Rasmus gig. Have a lovely rest of your week everyone!


Thankyou for reading! 

♥ 

Are you a fan of The Rasmus?
 If so, I'd love for you to let me know your favourite song in the comments :) 

Also, do you enjoy alternative music? What do you love most about it? 

Can you remember the first alternative song you ever listened to? 

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Monday, 15 October 2018

Sunshine Blogger Award

Hey guys! Well, my aim this month was to be more productive and I have actually been very motivated to get stuff done, just apparently not on my blog XD (I'm the worse blogger!). So far this month, I have been focusing all my energy (which is not a lot to be honest, Seasonal Affective Disorder is not fun!) on my toy photography hobby. Over on my Instagram that's dedicated entirely to my love of toys and collectable vinyl figures, I have been taking part in two daily challenges, one of them has prompts for each day which is great (Oh, and I just started joining in with a new one today!). Its been very fun! I've also been dealing with the typical #WriterProblems of ignoring the piece I'm supposed to be working on, indulging my overactive imagination, and writing new stories, haha! It's both enjoyable and frustrating- I'd just like to finish a 'project' for once! 

So anyhow, today I'm focusing on my blog (and my story :D because I just want to exist in a fantasy realm as much as possible) and finally answering the tag post that the awesome Kim over at Chimmyville tagged me in. Be sure to check out her blog & have a read of her answers :) Thankyou for the tag lovely I hope you all enjoy reading! 


Sunshine Blogger Award

I can't seem to find who the original creator of the Sunshine Blogger Award was, but I absolutely love that it's given from blogger to blogger and is a celebration of bloggers who are inspiring, motivational or positive :) It's a lovely message and an awesome way to spread the love! Here are the rules for the Sunshine Blogger Award: 

Thank the blogger who nominated you & link back to their blog,
Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you,
Nominate 11 bloggers to receive the award & ask them 11 questions,
And finally, make sure to list the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or your blog. 

Here are my answers to Kim's questions... 

1. What keeps you motivated?

I actually struggle a lot with motivating myself, a very frustrating symptom of depression, which is something that I struggle with. Probably not a very positive way to start my post, but to be honest I haven't found much that keeps me motivated! Well, other than to do things that I really love to do :) If I enjoy it, then I'm more likely to be motivated to do it because it makes me feel good. This year I've been working on not forcing myself to do things and putting too much pressure on myself. I've been trying to just go with the flow and do things whenever I get a random burst of motivation! Sorry guys, I know this isn't very helpful advice... but just do things that make you happy, and don't force things! Oh and make to-do lists, they do actually help me! Remember to break your tasks up into smaller, more manageable ones so that they won't be as much of a challenge to complete. Baby steps are key when you're feeling unmotivated in my opinion! 

2. If you could travel anywhere in the world (money is no object here), where would you go and why? 

I would most definitely travel to Japan. I have wanted to go ever since I was in my early teens and it would just be a dream come true! :) I am determined to get there some day! Not only does it look like such a beautiful place with its gorgeous natural scenery and interesting culture and architecture, it's also rich in history and fascinating traditions. Plus it's just the perfect place for nerds :p 

3. What is your favourite season and why?

My favourite season is Autumn, for so many reasons. I love the seasonal changes, the colourful leaves are just gorgeous and I adore that the blaring sunshine and the heat goes away because I'm not a fan of it at all! It's nice to experience a few sunny days but I much prefer autumnal weather, when it's not too hot and not freezing cold yet. It's also the time of year in which both my birthday and my favourite holiday fall (haha, get it! :D). Halloween is wonderful and I look forward to it so much! It's super fun being able to dress up and also decorate my bedroom with ALL THE SPOOKY THINGS! (Although my bedroom has spooky things in it all year round; well spooky to some, beautiful to me!). You can check out what else I love about Autumn here, on the first blog post I ever wrote back in 2015 :O 

4. List your five favourite movies and why they're your favourites.

Disney's The Lion King 2 (and the first movie too of course)
- Because the soundtrack is AMAZING, it's super nostalgic to me and makes me feel happy whenever I watch it, Scar is my favourite Disney villain, I absolutely love Kovu's and Zira's characters from LK 2 and oh my gosh, the sassy zebra & antelope that sing 'Not One of Us' :D they are fabulous! 

Little Shop of Horrors 
- This is an outstanding musical! It was the first ever musical that I watched when I was around six years old and I just fell in love with musicals from then on :) As a fan of horror, I love that this musical has a horror theme and Audrey 2 is fantastic! The soundtrack is epic and I find myself randomly bursting into song all the time with them. 

Princess Mononoke
- It's actually so tough for me to choose my absolute favourite Studio Ghibli movie because they are all so wonderful, but I think it's gonna have to be Princess Mononoke. One of the reasons why I love Studio Ghibli movies so much is their attention to detail when it comes to their nature animation. It looks so beautiful, and Princess Mononoke has a lot of it! I love the mythology theme of the movie and all of the gorgeous creatures it in. I also love Princess Mononoke herself because she's epic! Are you a fan of Ghibli movies guys? Let me know your favourite in the comments :) 

Pan's Labyrinth
- I love Guillermo del Toro's movies, they are fantastic, especially Pan's Labyrinth :) It's basically a fairytale for adults with a sinister story and spooky legendary creatures. I'm a fan of both fairytales and horrors, and this is the perfect combination of the two. I just love it! I also really like watching movies in other languages, and this one is in Spanish. If you haven't seen it, you need to! 

The Devils Rejects 
- I couldn't not include a horror movie on here and although I actually have three top horror movies, I find it hard to rank them so I just picked one of them at random to include on this list. I really enjoy movies from Rob Zombie, and this is my favourite horror he's done. It's about a family of serial killers and I like that a lot of the story is told from their point of view, VS the 'good guys' involved. I don't want to give away too many spoilers if you haven't watched it so I can't explain some of the reasons why I love it, but one thing I can say is that there are some really funny lines in it, that never fail to make me laugh :D 

5. List your five favourite TV shows and why they're your favourites. 

Game of Thrones
- I loved the books, it's got the perfect mix of fantasy and history, lots of strong female characters, sorcery, lots of wit and humour so it always makes me laugh, DRAGONS! Also, I have it to thank for bringing Jason Momoa into my life! Khal Drogo though *heart eyes*

Vikings
- Lots of historical accuracy because it's produced by the History Channel, I didn't know much about Viking history from the point of view of the Vikings themselves before watching the show so I found it very interesting learning all about them, I love Norse mythology, lots of gorgeous guys, epic battle scenes, Lagertha (she's amazing!), shield-maidens (if you didn't know, the Vikings had female warriors and they were badass)! 

The Handmaid's Tale
- I really enjoy the dystopian genre, the lead is a really relatable and strong female character, the whole story revolves around the life of women living under a strict, religious regime that oppresses and controls them and there are so many badass characters who are fighting for their lives and trying to escape so it's a very compelling watch :) The book by Margaret Atwood that it's adapted from is really good too! 

The Walking Dead
- Daryl Dixon and other intricate, interesting characters, the zombies look incredible and the makeup artists who bring them to life are so so talented, it's another dystopian/apocalyptic themed show that also has a lot of horror elements to it, so many great storylines and relationships that make you really invested in the characters, epic villains (especially Negan!), did I mention Daryl Dixon? Because he's fantastic! :P 

The OA
- This is a brilliant tv show written by Brit Marling, who is also an amazing actress (who happens to star in this show too)! It's a Netflix series and I cannot recommend it enough :) It's a mix of several genres that mesh so well together to create a complex, fascinating tale. It is one of the many shows that has helped me get more and more interested in Sci-fi, and its' one of those shows that really gets you thinking and questioning things. Plus, Jason Isaacs is in it and he's one of my favourite actors, and he's not so bad to look at either ;) 


Sunshine Blogger Award

6. What are you reading at the moment? 

I've not long finished reading the Harry Potter novels and the urge to read them all over again is real, but I'm currently writing a fanfiction branching off the stories so I don't want to distract myself away from my own storyline by reading the books again! :D I'm going to get myself a copy of the new book, Vox by Christina Dalcher (check out my awesome friend Estelle's review all about it here) as soon as I can spare the cash :) I also think it's about time that I read the Lord of Rings trilogy & The Hobbit, so I need to pick up books those too! 

7. Why do you blog?

I blog for so many reasons, but I originally started my blog to give myself a creative outlet and to help encourage myself to focus on something, to distract myself away from the hard things I was experiencing in my life. My mental health got really bad when I was in my final year at university and after I graduated, I was still in a really dark place so I was in desperate need of my own little happy place, somewhere to take myself away from all the stuff I was dealing with on a daily basis. So, I made my blog as a space for me to talk about all of the things that I loved! Now three years later, I am still dealing with the struggles my mental health conditions bring and so my blog is still somewhere I can go to remind myself of all the good things in life. It's been a tough year for me, and I haven't been able to blog as much as I've wanted to, but it's still awesome being able to look back on all the positive things that have happened in my life over the last few years via my blog :) 

8. If you could go back in time, which period of history would you visit and why?

As a history geek, this question was such a challenge to answer! I've been sitting here for like 10 minutes trying to settle on just one :D My favourite historical periods/civilisations were the Vikings, the Ancient Egyptians, the Native Americans and the Victorians. I really like the Middle Ages too. I could list several more XD But I think I'm gonna have to go with Ancient Egypt as my final answer. It has been the historical time period that I have been fascinated with for the longest. I was only around 7 or 8 when I become really interested in history and I have the Egyptians to thank for that :) I just love everything about their history: the religions and all the ceremonies and deities that came with them, the architecture, the traditions and culture. It would be incredible to see it all with my own eyes! *starts drawing up plans to make a time machine*… HA I won't get far with my maths skills XD

9. You're holding a dinner party, which five fictional characters would you invite and why? 

I would invite Tyrion Lannister from The Song of Ice & Fire/Game of Thrones, Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter, Newt Scamander from Fantastic Beasts, Hannibal Lecturer from the TV series, Hannibal, and Jason Momoa in any fictional form he wants XD Tyrion because he's hilarious and witty af, so he'd make the dinner party so entertaining. Luna because she's wonderful and quirky and I'd love to have conversation with her about creatures and all things mythical. I'd invite Newt for similar reasons, and he'd be able to share stories of his adventures in far-off lands and about all the creatures he's encountered along the way! It probably sounds weird that I would invite Hannibal :D but the guy is so intelligent and I think he'd talk about some very interesting things. I'm a sucker for deep conversation. And finally, why Jason? Because this dream banquet wouldn't be complete without some eye-candy :p 

10. Would you spend £10,000 on a deposit for a house or your dream wedding?

I'm a single pringle right now, but to be honest I'd rather have a cute, little, inexpensive wedding to get the chance to buy a beautiful house in the countryside with land for all my dream pets any day! 

11. What is your dream car? 

I am not really up to date with popular car models and makes, and I don't drive, but I like big trucks and I cannot lie :p If it looks like a serial killer in a horror movie would drive it, I'll take it XD I don't even know why! #HorrorObsessed

Now, here are my 11 questions for all of the wonderful bloggers I've tagged to answer :)

1. What's your favourite mythical creature?
2. Do you collect anything? If so what?
3. If you could dress up as anything for Halloween (with no cost restrictions in mind), what would you dress as?
4. What are your top 5 songs right now?
5. Share a fond memory from your childhood, and why it's meaningful to you :) 
6. What's your favourite species of bird? (hahaha I know this is super random, but I was just having a conversation about birds and was compelled to ask! :D) 
7. Imagine you could be a witch or wizard for a day, what spell would you most like to cast first? Tell us why.
8. Do you have a go-to Autumnal make up product?
9. Spooky or Spoopy? (or both like me!)? 
10. What's something that you love the texture of? (Apologies for the random questions guys, I'm not very good at this!) 
11. Are you a fan of Sci-fi? If so, do you have a favourite movie and/or TV show?

I nominate... 

Natalee
Estelle
Jess
Eleanor
Stacey
Cate
Gail 
Amy 
Vikki


Thankyou for reading! I know it was a super long post to get through :D 

I hope you have a lovely week everyone!

♥ 

I'd love to hear your answers to any of the questions I've answered in today's post,
or to any of my 11 questions so please feel free to share those in the comments :) 

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