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 ✨

A post shared by April Wilson (@aprilisthecruellestmonth) on

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

A post shared by April Wilson (@aprilisthecruellestmonth) on

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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Reviewing Youtuber books: Emma Blackery ‘Feel Good 101’

For those of you who don’t know already, I’m still what I would describe as fairly new to Youtube. I remember my sisters when they were younger (and still today to a certain extent) enthusing over their favourite Youtubers, and they even went to Summer in the City (while my mum and I strolled around London doing touristy things). But, I just never really got into the Youtube phenomenon in the same way they did. I only went to Youtube to listen to music and watch music videos- I also had seen the occasional viral video from there (but still far less than anyone else). A year or so ago however I decided to actually start to check out some more channels, as Youtube was now everywhere. To be honest, I’m not really sure who I first subscribed to but I think one of the first Youtubers I watched was grav3yardgirl through a recommendation from a friend, along with Zoella (if you’re British you just cannot not watch Zoella or escape her- don’t worry Zoella lovers I’m not slating her).

It did not take long before I became completely obsessed. As not only is there some amazing content out there but Youtubers and the way fans interact with them is something I also find fascinating from an academic perspective. We also live in a place now where people’s careers can be Youtube, and consequently recently there has been more and more controversy about sponsorship, affiliate codes and how much Youtubers earn. At the same time revenue from videos has decreased, and videos are becoming monetised less and less (and disturbingly a lot of videos with LGBTQ+ also became restricted). It’s not surprising then that a lot of youtubers have also brought out their own collaborations or products not only as a source of extra revenue, but because it’s something their passionate about and because their supporters want it.

When brands saw these ranges go well, suddenly they were everywhere. But with popularity becomes controversy. Zoella’s debut novel may have been the bestselling debut novel ever, but it has been accused of affecting literacy levels, and more famously there was a massive controversy about the book being ghost written. Emma Blackery then in reaction to the outpour of Youtuber books initially hated the idea. However, with time she changed her mind, and felt that if those books made people happy, how could she get angry about that?

For those of you who don’t know Emma Blackery is a Youtuber and musician, who rose to fame initially for a series on her Youtube channel when she read out pieces from 50 shades of grey and critiqued the novel. Although, those videos eventually got taken down due to copyright claims; Blackery continued to make comedy videos and again went viral with her video ‘My Thoughts on Google +’. Recently, she released this book I’m about to talk about, and the artwork for her EP Magnetised was featured on Apple’s Keynote for the iPhone 8 and X.

However, let’s get onto the book. From the get go it’s obvious this book’s target audience is teenagers, which since that is generally considered to be the largest viewership group for Youtubers that’s hardly a shock. Plus, I picked it up in the teenage fiction section in Waterstones so if that doesn’t clue you in I don’t know what will.

Emma Blackery

Therefore, if you’re in your early twenties some of the advice and stories in this book, although they may help you reflect; are going to come a bit late for you. ‘The Brain Stuff’ section however is relevant whatever your age. We all need reminding sometimes to take better care of ourselves and look after our mental health- this book then is something that can be there when you’re feeling down and need that motivational reminder (without feeling like you’re being lectured to).

Also, for fans of Blackery there is no denying she wrote this book. It sounds and feels like she talks, which you’ll know if you’ve ever seen any of her videos. I can already predict how the audio book will sound in my head just from reading it. Prose wise this is not supposed to be something that is hard to follow, so it isn’t, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

The section ‘Sex Talk’ is another highlight, especially for teenagers considering how sexuality and consent (at least when I had sex education) were not talked about properly in schools. I also like the way in which she talked about being able to categorise her feelings with the label ‘squish’  (a crush but without sexual desire) helped. I know a lot of people argue now that sexuality labels have ‘gone too far’ and are ‘redundant’, but when you live in a society that is so quick to categorise and define you, not having that definition available for you, for many people makes them think there is something wrong with them. Yes, in an ideal world it wouldn’t matter, and it’s nice that you don’t see gender (I’m going to be honest I think there are very few people who think this way just because the effect from society is so strong), but does that mean you should slate on something that helps other people? No, surprisingly, it doesn’t.

I also appreciated how Blackery made sure not to leave anyone out from the sexuality spectrum, including those who are assexual. While there was no talk about questioning your gender (from what I can remember, apologises if there is); Blackery cannot be expected to talk about everything (though I will admit maybe she should have explicitly stated this). She made it clear she was just talking about her experiences, and what she knew (that’s why in the back of the book there is helplines for people more specialised in that subject area).

I have always as well felt like honest experiences help more than well meant, but often misleading advice. Although, in one way I wish I could have read this in my teenage years; there was some chapters such as ‘Sex Talk’ that would not have applied, as Emma’s problems came from problems with crushes, and that would have involved me actually becoming involved in that area of my life.

The ‘Education (and making the most of it)’ section of the book is going to be painful for anyone who has gone to university. I don’t mean this as a disservice to Blackery, I mean it in the sense that the job market nowadays is hard (see my post Post University Panic for more) though I do think some of Emma’s CV tips are well worth taking a look at.

Overall, the book is half memoir, half advice. A quick guide to help you along in your teenage years by someone who can actually remember them. Not to say that’s its not still useful if you’re past twenty. The mental health section is definitely a must read (and as I mentioned there are also helplines at the back of the book to help with a variety of different issues). The book shows that Emma cares about her fans, and wanted to write something they could appreciate but would also hopefully be useful for them. That is something I can definitely respect.

So will I be reading sections of this again? Definitely. Do I regret buying this Youtuber’s book? No. And I think if you take anything from this review those two statements are definitely a good start.

The book is available to purchase from Waterstones, and Amazon (and I’m sure a variety of other places but those two are my favourite book buying sites). You can also get a audiobook of the novel from Audible.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and my future reading plans at the moment include ‘Secrets for the Mad: Obsessions, Confessions and Life Lessons’ by the Youtube sensation Dodie Clark (due out the 2nd November) and ‘The Rosewood Chronicles: Undercover Princess’ by Connie Glynn aka Youtuber, and cosplayer, Noodlerella (also out the 2nd November).

Let me know if there are any other Youtuber books (or products!) that you’d like me to review. I’d love to also do a Youtuber music series to accompany this as well, so drop me a line if that’s something you’d find interesting.

🍂April🍂

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