April Favourites

April kind of started well for me and then crashed into a cliff this last week (apart from Martin’s birthday). However, I did spend a lot of coin this month (I blame the Youtuber Patricia Bright for that sentence) so I have quite a few favourites to share! Also, can we all be proud that I’m doing this video before April has ended instead of afterwards for once.

What I’ve been loving…

Cousins Collective pin display banner

Cousins Collective is a brand I got to know through watching the Youtuber Qcknd talk about them in a video where she was discussing her pins. I was excited to see that they were based in the UK (I can’t be dealing with import tax) and after realising that having my pins on a denim jacket was just resulting in a LOT of near misses (and actual misses) of my pins getting lost; I decided that I needed a new option for my pins.

So after doing a more of pondering I decided to take the plunge and bought Cousin Collective’s banner that is described as being able to display 50-70 pins. The one I got I would say is about the medium size for what the shop sells , s I wanted some space to add to my collection but not something that was so big my small collection would look ridiculous on it.

It took me forever to decide what colour string to get but I went with my gut in the end and chose pink!

Pin Board

Pins from left to right: Magical Maidens, Lulu Boo, Topshop pop up event, Lulu Boo, HMV (though I’m sure you can buy them elsewhere), Lulu Boo, HMV, Magical Maidens, Disneyland Paris (sold out online), HMV, Lulu Boo, HMV, Primark (x2), Magical Maidens, HMV, Lulu Boo, HMV, Primark (x2), exclusive from the Youtube store in London, Primark (x2) and pin from Dodie’s latest tour (now available online).

Star Wars lightside and darkside stickers

I originally saw these stickers on the Youtuber Simply Kenna’s Instagram story (she has now also mentioned them in a video I believe) and I knew I had to have them. She also mentioned that she wanted to put them in a frame as they are too beautiful to use. I think I am definitely going to take inspiration from her and do the same (though I have yet to find a frame that will fit the dimensions).

I definitely recommend you check out the artist’s Etsy Page, her handle is FloBallestraArt and she left a lovely handwritten thank you note in the package as well – it always feels great to support independent artists too!

Light side stickers

Dark side stickers

What I’ve been reading…

Sailor Moon manga vol.1-3

After stopping and starting a little bit with the Sailor Moon Crystal anime (I know I should probably start with the original but I’m too far in now to chop and change); I decided I would try and read the manga that started it all. Overall, this has been a great decision for me! I’ve been really enjoying seeing the differences between the manga and the anime and I find the manga engaging (a little slow at first but it picked up) and a great daydream read (what I mean by that is that it’s a great read for when you just want to loose yourself in a different universe). I’ve also been considering doing a review series of posts for the manga as I go through it – I know it’s hardly a new read for a lot of people but I think it might be interesting to review it as someone whose never read it and from a 2018 lens.

Sailor Moon volume 1

Sailor Moon vol 2

Sailor Moon volume 3

What I’ve been watching…

Masterchef (UK)

I have a strange obsession with cooking shows even thought I don’t eat like 90% of the dishes that contestants make but I still find it interesting to learn about different processes, which I can apply to meat free alternatives. The show also always inspires me to start cooking again more.

I was pleased to see this year that the vegetarian options for the round where they needed to provide one were definitely a bit more exciting than previous years.

This season also took an interesting turn in the media with the uproar that erupted over a contestant’s chicken rendang dish (I literally saw a double page spread on it in one newspaper).

The below GIF is not in the reaction to that by the way I just thought it was hilarious.

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via GIPHY

Ru Paul’s Drag Race

I think when mentioning Drag Race it is important to note some of the more problematic areas of the show and recent comments from Ru Paul. However, I believe you can still enjoy certain elements of something and be able to criticise other parts of it (otherwise my list of things I enjoyed would be very small indeed).

However, I will say that this season so far has been brilliant with some hilarious moment from ‘Miss Vanjie’ to ‘Brown Cow’ (which had me laughing for about 5 minutes straight).

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via GIPHY

Magical Girl Ore

If you’re looking for an anime that loves the magical girl genre but also relentlessly makes fun of it then this is the series for you. It’s quite frankly hilarious and the way it examines gender and sexuality is interesting to say the least. I would say it’s one of my favourite new anime’s on Crunchyroll at the moment.

magical girl ore.jpg

Image: Crunchyroll 

Food Wars 

Recently, I horrified some of my friends by showing them the first episode of this, making it harder for them to understand why I was so excited when I saw that the next series of this anime was out. If only partially because it has toned down with the Ecchi elements, which I’m not a fan of – I watch for the amazing cooking scenes. I have definitely eaten more than my fair show of noodles after getting way too hungry from this show. So far the new season is interesting, it’s a bit too early for me to have any concrete reactions but I like the development of Erina’s character which is currently taking place.

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via GIPHY

Brad Mondo 

I recently discovered this Youtuber and professional hairdresser in my Youtube suggestions and I LOVE their reaction videos. I also want them to sit me down and give me their opinion on what I should do to my hair. My favourite part about his videos is that despite being an expert in the industry, he is never mean about the people who are making mistakes, he just uses their failures as a way to teach and always sympathises with the people in the videos he watches.

Simply Nailogical 

Although, I’ve never been that into painting my nails; I can’t stop watching Christine’s videos because she is HILARIOUS. I also like how she brings up serious topics in her videos as well, i.e. the ethicality behind companies like Wish. I definitely have a need for all things HOLO now.

What I’ve been wearing…

Sailor Moon Artemis bag 

I bought this after buying my friend the black Luna version for her birthday and then very quickly realising that I was going to need one as well. I got the Artemis bag because it was when the heat wave hit and I was definitely leaning towards white over black for accessories in that period. I actually bought this bag off Amazon and at first it was a bit of a saga. The first bag that I received was scuffed quite a bit at the bottom, wasn’t a brilliant white and the stitch detail on the moon was messed up (which, was the detail that upset me the most). If I’m being honest it looked like it had been used and then resold. I messaged the seller and they quickly sent me out a new bag however, which was a lot better so I can’t fault their customer service!

I also still have the first bag I received so if anyone wants it let me know, as I don’t need two! I’m considering seeing if I can DIY it and dye it black (though I have no knowledge of such things so this may not be possible). If you know about such things please give me some advice! Martin has suggested I turn it into a Hello Kitty bag which isn’t actually a bad idea…

Sailor Moon Artemis bag

So it turns out running late because I accidentally fell asleep ends in a surprising good outfit ✨

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Celebrating with sweets 🍭 for Martin and I’s three year anniversary 💕 (he’s camera shy).

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Killstar ‘Weird Girl’ dress

Although, a lot of people probably don’t think I’m a big fan of black after looking at this blog; I actually love mixing up my style and love any way I can incorporate Wednesday Addams into my everyday style. This dress that I picked up in the sale from Killstar is super comfy. I think it would be a little more flattering if it was a bit more true to size as my usual size (based on their sizing chart) was a bit too oversized on me. I also wish the sleeves were a tad bit longer. Overall, however I wear this all the time and I LOVE the collar on this dress – whenever I wear it reminds me how much I want Peter Pan collars to make a comeback.

Weird Girl dress

What I’ve been listening to…

Connie Glynn – Heartbreaker 

I’ve been a big fan of Connie Glynn aka the Youtuber Noodlerella for a long time now so I was very excited when I saw that she had come out with an original song. It’s super catchy, particularly the pre-chorus/ chorus (apologises if the below are wrong, just going on my own ears, as I couldn’t find the lyrics written down anywhere):

‘Hollow beating in my chest 

No, it’s nothing you can fix 

This heart is broken and its not going to mend 

It’s always the same 

But I’ll try again 

I rip the ribs apart and feast on the flesh

Back home to the waste 

And onto the next’

Despite, the song being a bit too electronic and produced for my personal tastes; the lyrics and the catchiness of the song keep me hooked. This is truly a great original little bop.

Ariana Grande – No Tears Left To Cry 

I think most people have probably heard this song by now. I’ve not actually listened to a lot of Ariana’s music in the past; despite admiring her powerhouse voice so when I heard she had a new single out I decided to give it a listen. The video is stunning even if it does make me feel a bit sea sick (ha, ha) and this is another song that I just can’t get out of my head.

I also like the low ponytail – sorry to any high ponytail worshippers out there!

Janelle Monáe – PYNK

I’ll admit I love this mostly for the aesthetic and the many layered nuances of the music video – I think everyone has seen and had an opinion on the vagina trousers by now so I won’t go into it but I think they’re genius.

I also would definitely be tapping my foot along if this came on at a party (if I ever go to any!).

If you haven’t yet, you also need to read her latest Rolling Stone interview.

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

– Blog posts Thursday and Sundays- 

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Hi everyone,

This is just a short and sweet post to let you know that I am in the process of setting up my Bloglovin’ account (please click the link above to follow me there). I noticed a few people were following me on the platform and that this blog wasn’t connected to the account I have on there so I thought it would be a good idea to actually link it! Now you’ll have the chance to follow me through Bloglovin or by email (check out the little button on my blog that says ‘Follow Blog via email’).

Also, don’t worry I still have a blog post coming tomorrow (spoiler alert, it may or may not be a post about my favourites for April).

For anyone new to this blog the main areas I post about are Fashion, Books, Cruelty Free makeup and Mental Health (and also quite a large smattering of anime, comics and general nerd topics). I’ve been blogging for over a year now so there’s lots of old posts to look through (or if you’re me bring over).

Style wise I would describe myself as an electric rainbow. I like things to be a weird mix of classic but different and something you’d never seen before. My style also tends to always gravitate to the 90s and I have a strong obsession with having a hat for almost every outfit. My favourite fashion brands are Lazy Oaf*, Irregular Choice, Monki and Topshop.

So it turns out running late because I accidentally fell asleep ends in a surprising good outfit ✨

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Book wise I like everything but at the moment have been reading a lot of YA (Young Adult) fiction. Maybe, because I’m convinced I’m ancient (I’m 22!) and I want to relieve my youth (ha, ha). I also currently am reading the Snotgirl and Papergirls comics and FINALLY reading the manga for Sailor Moon. I do also love to read books that address feminism or have overtones of feminism in them and I did start a series called my ‘Feminist Reading Journey’ that I need to pick back up.

Cruelty free wise I am far from perfect but I will always label to the best of my ability why I believe something to be cruelty free (with sources) and will mention if a product is vegan as well. Some of my go to picks at the moment are the Superdrug B Beauty range (can’t remember if this is entirely vegan but think it might be), Lush (always and forever), Urban Decay (cruelty free with some vegan products**), Too Faced (cruelty free with some vegan products) and Kat von D Beauty (cruelty free and vegan).

Mental health wise I am first of all far from being an authority but occasionally try to share my experiences if I feel they could help someone. I started writing about my mental health because I was constantly preaching that people shouldn’t be ashamed to speak up when I couldn’t myself (I am not however saying you have to share your issues with the world). For me, it has helped me to open up a bit more and process a lot of my thoughts, which is always a good thing.

So there is my little blog in a nutshell. If you want to see why it’s called April is the Cruellest Month then you need to go to my About page. Thank you for reading, all comments, suggestions and follows (*wink* *wink* are appreciated).

Also, follow my Instagram if you haven’t already and didn’t get my very unsubtle hints throughout this post.

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

– Blog posts Thursday and Sundays- 

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* For anyone wondering why I haven’t addressed Lazy Oaf’s recent controversy, I just want to say I can if this is something people are interested in. I personally didn’t want to stir things up as the situation is resolved and the artist is being compensated (I don’t think this however makes up for the alleged earlier treatment of the artist or the carelessness of the brand).

** Update: I originally labelled Urban Decay as cruelty free and vegan. It’s come to my attention that not all their products are vegan. I’m really sorry if this misinformed anyone. You can find all their vegan products here: https://www.urbandecay.co.uk/en_GB/what-s-new/vegan/?utm_source=BAU&utm_medium=email&utm_content=HeroCTA&utm_campaign=2018-May_VeganStory&dl_uiUser=091F38BC-3898-41CE-9B28-53B73783DEE9 

An ode to Polyvore

I feel like only a select community will actually remember what Polyvore was or actually used it but I have FEELINGS about it disappearing that I need to vent. Essentially, Polyvore was like Pinterest but instead of ‘pinning’ clothes you ‘clipped’ them and then you could move around clothes essentially on an interactive whiteboard to make outfits, which were called sets. Below are a few screenshots examples I managed to find, which I made for a blog post.

 

Most of my sets however weren’t live; I just liked using Polyvore as a place to keep record of all the clothes I liked and to check if something could be worn with several different outfits before I purchased it.

However, a while ago I noticed that the Polyvore clipper wasn’t working when I tried to save clothes. Basically, how it would work if that you go on a listing page for an item press the Polyvore button (which you download to your bookmarks bar) and then something would pop up saving the item. This though had not been working for a while. The app could be faulty however so for a while I assumed it was that. Eventually, one day I felt like putting a set together with the new ideas I had for spring/ summer.

To my horror I found that Polyvore had shut down and been replaced immediately with SSense which looked to be a online fashion retailer store. After a quick search I saw a lot of people were as upset as me that there hadn’t been any transition period or the old web domain kept open for people to use the app (which to be fair to SSense was more Polyvore’s responsibility).

I did at one point find a website that was hoping to start a new fan generated Polyvore, but I signed up and haven’t received an email since so don’t know what is happening with that. At the moment I’ve resorted to taking screenshots of clothes and putting them into a Pages (Mac program for those not familiar) document and using that to test what clothes go together.

If anyone knows any websites that are similar to Polyvore however please let me know,, as my document is quickly becoming cluttered.

For many this may seem like a bit of a rant of a post, for which I apologise but I used Polyvore for many years. I know because my username was based off the main character in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, as I made my account in the middle of reading the trilogy. For someone whose life revolves around what clothes I want to wear Polyvore was a way for me to sort out the mess in my head and have it a physical document to stop me obsessing as much.

So R.I.P. Polyvore, you will be missed by me at least.

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

– Blog posts Thursday and Sundays- 

 

My first pair of Irregular Choice: Disney ‘Whoa’ Daisy and Donald Duck glitter flats

I have admired and loved Irregular Choice as a brand for years. Not only do they make ridiculously beautiful, different shoes but the attention of detail that goes into each shoe is amazing – every shoe I’ve seen from them has truly been a work of art. I remember the first time I saw a pair of Irregular Choice with my mum. It was the Alice in Wonderland collection I think and we were both immediately captivated by the uniqueness of the shoes. Unfortunately, for us Irregular Choice shoes don’t come cheap so despite wanting to own a pair for a long time now I hadn’t been able to afford the price tag.

However, when I saw that this pair were in the sale on Schuh I just couldn’t resist! They were about half off the original price (and then I managed to get student discount on top of that!). I also am planning a Donald and Daisy Duck inspired Disneybound when I next go to Disneyland Paris in June (hopefully!) and I knew these would be perfect for that – now all I need is all the other components including this beret that I can’t wait to drop from Just Peachy.

I think a lace dress would look cute with this in either pale blue, red or white – let me know what you would think look best in the comments!

Anyway, back to the shoes – they are stunning! I’m glad my first pair of flats because I am totally useless at wearing heels though one day I will get my hands on the pink rain bunny heels (I SHOULD HAVE GOT THEM IN THE SALE I AM AN IDIOT).

These flats I would say are pretty true to size. I tried on some of the Muppets collection in the Irregular Choice store not that long ago and had to size down and was actually worried these would be too big but luckily they weren’t, as the size I got was the only ones left! The fit at the moment is quite painful because they’re very stiff at the heel (you can probably tell from the photo that they are quite narrow there). They are however a little wide in the middle of the foot though I have about normal to narrow feet so for other people that may be perfect. I reckon with some wearing in these will be quite comfy.

All that doesn’t matter to me as much as it would to other people because of how happy I was when I opened the box (seriously I need to hurry up and Youtube lol because it would have made a good unboxing video).

disney-irregular-choice-box.jpg

The box is definitely one to keep, I actually like to display my shoes on top of it as a feature piece because I think it looks quite nice. Also, I loved how the wrapping paper to keep the shape of the shoes even had the Disney theme – it’s that attention to detail which is why I love Irregular Choice!

Irregular Choice wrapping

The quality of the actual shoe itself was also great – I mean look at the glitter in the photo below!

Irregular Choice up close

I also really love the lilac stripe heel detail – it really reminds me of warm summer days (which is apt at the moment) and ice-cream, which is probably deliberate as I know there is a bag in this collection featuring Donald Duck eating an ice cream (which I can’t find anywhere and is the stuff of dreams!).

Irregular Choice back details

Also, prewarning I’m quite blasphemous and I’ve worn them without sole protectors. I think for future shoes I definitely would invest in some but for these provided they don’t get too battered I can live with it. Either way please don’t hate me that I forget to take pictures of the soles before wearing them!

 

As you can see under each shoe is a pattern featuring the character on the shoe. I love how one has hearts and one stripes, as they mismatch in that just right way.

So here it is my first shot at a first impressions post (kind of – I’d seen this shoes but never tried them on) of my first ever pair of Irregular Choice shoes (that’s a lot of firsts!). I know these shoes have been released for a while but I just couldn’t resist sharing my first Irregular Choice haul with you all!

Here’s a picture of my wearing them in my mess of a bedroom that I took in a mad dash as I was heading to work (I feel like this outfit needed a pastel pink or blue top to bring it together more though)! Hopefully, one day I can take some nicer pictures at Disneyland with the Donald/ Daisy Disneybound of my dreams.

Irregular Choice shoes

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

Book review: Ready to Fall by Marcella Pixley

I am more than a little bit late with my review of this book (this book was published in the UK on March 15th) but my life has been very hectic recently so I didn’t have time to properly sit down and finish this book till now.  I also just want to quickly mention at the start before I start this review that I was very kindly set my copy of the book by the book’s publishers*.

The plot of the book is as follows:

Following the death of his mother, Max Friedman comes to believe that he is sharing his brain with a tumour. As he becomes focused on controlling the malignant tenant, he starts to lose touch with his friends and family, and with reality itself – so Max’s father sends him off to the artsy Baldwin School to regain his footing.

Soon, Max has joined a group of theatre misfits in a steam-punk production of Hamlet. He befriends Fish, a girl with pink hair and a troubled past, and The Monk, a boy who refuses to let go of the things he loves. Max starts to feel happy, and the ghosts of his past seem to be gone for ever.

But the tumour is always lurking in the wings – until one night it knocks him down, and Max is forced to face the truth.

-Mild spoilers ahead. There are no big plot spoilers here but I usually keep my reviews almost spoiler free so I wanted to flag-

I’ll start by saying that it took a bit of warming up too but I did enjoy parts of this novel. It reminds me a lot of books I would devour as a teenager. After all, who doesn’t dream of going to an artsy school where the teachers are cool and there are loads of quirky characters. I think this is also my main issue with the book, it feels very much like what you expect a novel for teenagers to read like – it’s basically screaming no one understands you if you’re quirky! This isn’t a bad thing, and there is books I love that apply the same techniques (*cough, cough, John Green*); however, there is still a uniqueness to the writing style that this lacks.

Don’t get me wrong there is real heart within the novel. The bits of the writing that truly resonated with me and managed to cut through the teen novel stereotypes where the parts where Max discusses his relationship with his mother, father or grandfather. The way Max’s grief is depicted felt raw and honest and kept me going with the novel, even when other parts grated with me a little.

I also loved the advice in the creative writing class about use of the 3rd person instead of 1st in certain instances, as it pinpointed an issue I’d had when reading my own writing and others in the past but couldn’t quite put my finger on. It even has influenced the direction I want to go in terms of my own novel, highlighting why I will always love reading – there is also something new to be discovered.

The characters in the novel I may not wholeheartedly love as much, but I was not completely uninvested in them – I just thought they could be a little more. Fish, the main love interest of the novel for example, very easily falls under the ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl’ stereotype. However, I have always felt two-fold about these characters. Yes, they are often used almost as a prop for the male characters to project all the angst onto and ultimately to ‘save’ them, but they are often the best, more empowered and memorable characters. Fish is somewhere in-between, she is strong and resilient in the way she strives to confront her own emotions and helps others too as well; however she doesn’t completely shake the idea that she exists purely to help Max through his pain.

In regards, to Fish, her past relationship with Monk also wasn’t really explained enough for me to invest in it. I could understand why Max didn’t seem that fazed by getting in the middle of it. However, at the same time I’ve witnessed relationships like that where you’re always aware of a small spark between two people existing, but deep down they both needed to just let each other go because they just don’t work (it would have been nice for more detail of the ways Monk and Fish didn’t work).

Another part of the novel that didn’t sit right with me was the way in which Max was repeatedly drawn to Fish’s self harm scars. Self harm scars are not something anyone should be ashamed of or feel they have to hide; but it felt like the novel was implying that was something almost romantic about them. Especially by the way Max obsessively went back to them again and again.

Overall, while I definitely had issues with this novel; something about it made me not want to stop reading. The novel had sparks of greatness in the way it treated grief and mental illness; I just wanted that little bit more from the characters.

*To be clear I was not paid for this review, which I think may be obvious may be its content.

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

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P.S. SPOILER AHEAD

Max’s creative writing teacher, Dr Cage was completely in the wrong in regards to what happened at the restaurant. You shouldn’t drink in front of a pupil full stop, especially not to the extent where you’re a bit too drunk to notice that said pupil is taking massive gulps from your drink.

March Favourites

i.e. things I bought last month. 

I really want to keep up with this series so I decided to write a little post about things I’ve been loving last month. As usual it’s a bit late but mainly because I kept debating with myself if I had enough to discuss to warrant a post – my innate stubbornness persisted and I decided that I did!

Film 

Black Panther 

What can I say that everyone else hasn’t already said?! It was amazing and everything I’ve wanted to see in a superhero film. The women were terrifying and brilliant – I just can’t wait to see more from the characters introduced.

It still upsets me when people say representation doesn’t matter, especially as I’ve honestly never seen as many black people in the cinema with me before as when I saw this film. I also saw a black man holding his daughter on his lap, pointing out the characters to her – showing her what role models she know had to look up to on screen.

newblackpanther-613x463
Image: Black Panther/ Marvel

TV

Nailed It! 

This is a new baking show on Netflix and I think the best way to describe it is, imagine if you got people on a show who can just about bake and then gave them crazy hard baking challenges and see what happens. As you can imagine a lot of the results very much resemble viral internet fail images (which, is essentially the concept of the show). I quickly sped through the season and honestly what made the show for me is the great host Nicole Byer (and the romance I personally ship between her and crew member Wes), as well as her co-host noted chocolatier Jacques Torres.

nailed it hosts.jpg
Image: Nailed It! / Netflix

Accessories 

Magical Maidens pins 

I treated myself to some mystery pins from the Etsy shop Magical Maidens who do a whole host of pins of popular characters but as if ditto from Pokémon had transformed into them. I chose the seconds (for those who don’t know seconds refers to pins where the colours may be slightly off or the pins have minor damage, which means they can’t be sold for full price) pins – these pins were a mystery except for one design (if you order 3 or more you can chose one design you’d like – I chose Kiki, as anyone who reads this blog regularly knows I love Kiki’s Delivery Service). In the end I received Kiki, as well as a Sailor Moon and Ditto pin. I was really hoping for the Sailor Moon pin so this made me really happy! Most people would also not be able to tell the pins are ‘damaged’ in any way; I would definitely buy some of these again.

Magical Maidens

Fandom items 

Sailor Chibi Moon pop figure 

I don’t have many Pop! figures, mainly because I am hesitant to start too many collections because if I start a collection; I have to complete the set for the fandom but I already have two from the Sailor Moon collection so decided I needed this (ha, ha). Essentially, I’ve really been wanting my hair pink again so I think that is where this stems from.

I bought mine from my local comic book store but you can pick this figure up from Amazon, Forbidden Planet, HMV and I’m sure a few other places!

Chibi Moon

Lumberjanes/ Gotham Academy 

I haven’t finished this series yet so please don’t spoil it for me if you have but what I’ve read so far I love! I just need to get my hands on issue 5 (which, I ordered from my local shop) and 6 (hopefully they’re going to be able to order this for me). What I’ve read so far has made me want to try out Gotham Academy as a series as well (so if you’ve read any let me know your thoughts) I hadn’t actually read any Lumberjanes going into this but knew that I wanted to (mainly because of who was involved in bringing the comic to life and because there was a ginger character called April) and this mini series definitely encouraged that sentiment more! It’s fun, it’s got a 80s theme and is packed full of loads of amazing female characters – there’s nothing not to like! I may have also bought Lumberjanes volume 1 after this but that is a potential favourite for next month!

Lumberjanes Gotham Academy

Music 

Hayley Kiyoko 

I’ve been hearing everyone talk about Hayley Kiyoko for a while now (especially on Twitter) and everything I heard sounded awesome. I eventually stopped being an idiot and checked her out. Her music is not 100% my taste (I’m not too heavy anything with too much of an electronic vibe) but the songs I’ve heard have stuck in my brain. It’s not surprising she’s become a bit of a queer role model and I know so many people who her music videos and her existence would have helped growing up. Her style is also great – essentially it’s that effortlessly cool look I’d never pull off!

Organisation 

Flying Tiger shelves 

I recently decided I needed to just organise my flat (and life) so I picked up some shelves to display my POP figures and other figurines I have (as well, as some of Martin’s). I spotted a cute lilac set in Flying Tiger for only £15 for a set of 4 different shelves, which are now proudly displayed on my wall (thanks to Martin’s family!).

Flying Tiger shelves
They’re not uneven – it’s my wall/ flat.

I also decided that I needed a cacti display shelf (if you read my last blog post you’ve probably already seen it!), as I wanted plants but knew anything else I’d kill. The one I picked up was also £6 and was also from Flying Tiger, and the cacti were £4 I think. Martin picked the colour, I wanted the pale blue but relented because sometimes I have to be fair (ha, ha). This probably looks so ‘basic’ but I love it so don’t care.

Cacti shelf

Picking up from last month’s monthly favourites, I still haven’t watched The Shape of Water; however, this month Avengers: Infinity War comes out and I am beyond excited. When I watched the trailer I had to keep pausing because I literally couldn’t handle it all at once – that’s how pumped I am.

Other than that I am going to try and get through the month without trying to be too confused when people say the month and don’t mean me and go into a The Last Jedi bubble as soon as the DVD comes out (I love it and don’t care what anyone else says lol).

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

Blog: Dodie O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire concert 1/04/18

First of all, look at me spoiling you all with content so close to each other (I am going through a ‘writing’ phase so enjoy it while it lasts). Also, secondly welcome to my first ever concert review. Well, it’s not a review but more of a recap of my experience. So last night I went to see Dodie at o2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire. It was my Christmas present from Martin – who also very kindly joined me at the concert despite it not having a mosh pit, which meant he consequently didn’t know what to do with himself the whole time.

My experience really started before the concert even began with some awesome food from VX London. I’ve wanted to try this place for a while and it didn’t disappoint. The food for London wasn’t too expensive; it had lots of garlic (which, along with spice I love) and it was quiet because it was Easter Sunday so we had seats.

VX London

I had the Meatball Sub (£5.50) with just plain chips (£2.50) and Martin had a Pulled Pork sub (£7.00) with cheesy chips (£3.50). Also, just because I realise not everyone will know everything at VX London is vegan! In terms of the food I’d definitely recommend the cheesy chips (I made a mistake not getting them!) and the meatball sub I had was great. The pulled pork sub was also nice but it was meant to be spicy (for me it wasn’t, ha, ha) and I prefer pulled pork options with bbq sauce.

Meatball sub
I don’t have a picture of Martin’s food because I was too scared to get in-between him and food.

We also shared a slice of rainbow cake (£4.20), which was amazing, the icing was beautiful and the cake wasn’t too sweet, which is sometimes an issue with rainbow cake for me. We couldn’t finish it because VX was just so filling (which I sometimes find to be a struggle with some vegan options because we both eat a lot!). This would be a great spot to grab some subs in the summer to take to have a picnic at Hyde Park or down at the canals near Camden. My only criticism would be is that it felt like something I could have made (minus the incredible cheese sauce on the chips, which I’ve been trying to crack in my head ever since) but that is one of my favourite types of food to eat out because I’m lazy. And by what I can make, I mean stuff I can cook but done in a lot of ways better.

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I’ve also been trying to pick up more souvenirs from trips out so I picked up this pretty awesome ‘I Love Vegan Junk Food’ sticker to stick on the side of my comics box.

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After the food we headed to the concert and arrived at around half 6 (doors opened at 7). Unsurprisingly there was a long queue and after walking for what felt like a mile down the queue we eventually got to the end, and parked ourselves outside a house that said ‘St Martins’ so I decided it was fate (for those not in the know my partner in crime is called Martin). We quickly felt very old as most people looked about 14 (and there was a lot of very ‘done’ parents waiting with people in the queue – but also a mum in a flower crown in flower crown solidarity with the people she was taking to the concert).

We also noticed the queue was generally older the more you got towards the back (I think with the decline of our youth us oldies also have lost the enthusiasm to queue). However, the girls in front of us in the queue I swore were like 16, but then started talking about university and smoking (I wanted to rip the cigarette out of their hand and tell them they weren’t old enough, ha, ha). Martin was also the tallest person there, which although is common at other places we’ve had contenders and I think it kind of highlighted the age of the audience. It was also unsurprisingly a female audience, as I think Dodie is brilliant in capturing the feeling of what it feels like to be a girl growing up. It did however mean once we were inside there was virtually no queue for the male bathroom in comparison to the ladies.

After going to the loo and listening to some of the first support act Fenn Lily (who I wish I could have heard more of – I’m going to have to check them out); I bought my merch (after a long conversation with Martin, which I’m sure he loved about what I should buy). In the end I went with the Party Tattoos jumper (£35) and pin (£5( because I love that song and I wanted to get things I knew I hadn’t seen on the online shop. The jumper however does run smaller than the Promises one, which runs quite large, so that’s something to take into account.

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The next support act Skinny Living were great and another one I’m going to have to listen to. I can only hope they bring the same energy to the recordings, as they do their live performances.

And then there was Dodie.

I’ll start by saying try as I might I couldn’t see a lot of what was going for the majority of the concert (perils of being small). Also, the bar was in front of where I was trying to see (why would you put the bar there?!). However, I will say the set was beautiful, there were flowers hanging from every mike stand and from the ceiling and it looked like a ethereal dream. The lighting was also brilliant and emphasised the performances, which I think can be a hard skill to do.

I also loved hearing Dodie’s songs with the weight of her band behind her (the violinist was also ridiculously good). The atmosphere was also a very nice inviting place (I saw lots of pride flags, which made me happy). Martin was very happy as well when Dodie closed on ‘The Middle’ as that was the only song he knew. I was just happy to hear the song meaning confirmed (it’s about a threesome).

My only ‘con’ was that sometimes it was actually difficult to hear the band over the screaming crowd (though they all could hold a note!). I can understand the enthusiasm though, I think it was just the oldie in me tutting whenever there were screams when Dodie spoke. I also think because a lot of Dodie’s songs are quite chill (or sad as she put it) I’d like to have had a seat (I can’t remember if that was an option – shoot me if it was). Also, the meanings behind of the songs obviously made me brew a little – after all, I am the queen of just letting life pass me by.

Because I’m me I was upset as well that I didn’t get to properly see Dodie’s outfit.

As for Dodie’s April Fools moment. I’m personally not a fan of April Fools at all so it wasn’t for me (I just don’t see why you’d want to raise someone’s expectations and crush them/ I wanted to see Demi Lovato, ha, ha). I think it didn’t help that Martin got genuinely excited for a minute as well, which upset me more. I managed to calm down by the time the next song ‘Absolutely Smitten’ had finished though. Overall, don’t get me wrong I can see why it’s funny and harmless – I just really don’t like April Fools (also it was after 12pm so my guard was down).

Other than that my only other con was the rain afterwards, which obviously was not Dodie’s fault but meant my merch got wet, as well as me. Plus, as I told Martin rain is only acceptable in Paris (though I will admit the noise is nice and I like the snuggling up in a blanket bit afterwards but that’s it).

Overall, I think I would love to see Dodie again but be able to have a seat (and hopefully see the stage more) or alternatively see her play at a concert in the park (I think Dodie and a picnic would be a great combination). It was though a deliciously good day and I am grateful for my annoying-but-wouldn’t-want-to-go-with-anyone-else company. The experience also made me love concerts again – I need to see Paramore and loudly scream Rose Colored Boy (I will use the American spelling only because Paramore are American).

April (April is the Cruellest Month)