Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Listen & Love: Artist Spotlight

Instead of my usual 5 song recommendation that I do in my Listen & Love series, this week I've decided to do something a little different. Instead I'm going to focus on one artist in particular and then recommend 5 of her songs in order to introduce you guys to some darrrrned good music.

This week my spotlight artist is Sarah Jarosz.

In all honesty, I completely fell across Sarah by accident. I had no idea who she was about 2 months ago, and then I stumbled upon her beautiful musical version of Edgar Allan Poe's "Annabel Lee" over on 8tracks and fell absolutely in love. Since then, I've pretty much listened to her every day and I've loved discovering so many more gems within her discography.

At the age of 23, Sarah is already on her third album, her first being released when she was just 18 (talk about major talent envy here). If you're into a bit of folk, modern bluegrass or Americana music then I can guarantee that you'll love her. If however you're a little new to this sort of music scene, I also think she has so many songs that regardless of your personal taste, you won't be able to resist loving. Her voice is too beautiful not to love.

With talent by the bucket-load and a voice that is completely irresistible, once you've listened to Sarah Jarosz you'll know exactly why I've chosen her to be my first spotlight artist.

Here are my 5 track recommendations:

  1. Annabelle Lee // Album: Follow Me Down
  2. Shankill Butchers // Album: Song Up In Her Head
  3. Build Me Up From Bones // Album: Build Me Up From Bones
  4. Tell Me True // Album: Song Up In Her Head
  5. Run Away // Album: Follow Me Down

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Life In Verbs

Last week on the Burnley moors, walking with my best friend.
watching // The Great British Bake Off. I am utterly obsessed with this show. I've watched it since day one of the first series and I still love it as much as I did then. I'm a big baker myself, so I love getting inspiration from it, as well as feeling serious baking envy because my skills are nowhere near as good as theirs! Plus, who doesn't love a big of Mel and Sue innuendo every now and again?

listening // Shake It Off by Taylor Swift. Now I don't know if I've ever spoken to you guys about my love for Taylor. I've loved her for a good 6+ years, I was lucky enough to meet her 3 years ago and her live stream yesterday announcing her new album and single was SO exciting.

reading // Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. I've been struggling to feel passionate about reading lately so I've always had my way of conquering this; revisiting an old book that I know I love. Jane Austen is one of my absolute favourite authors,  I love her and her stories and her characters more than I can say. This book in particular is one of my favourites because of how much I relate to both Elinor and Marianne in their own ways. I feel like myself, as a person, is slap bang in the middle of these two sister's personalities.

anticipating // Doctor Who Series 8. It starts on Saturday (!!!) and I am beyond excited to see what Peter Capaldi is going to bring to this role, I think he's perfect for The Doctor and I really think this series is going to seriously take a step up from the level Series 7 was at. 

dreading // Going back to University. Well. When I say dreading, I'm sort of lying. I'm excited to see my best friends there, I'm excited to start second year of my course, but the thought of leaving home again and the routine I've got into, having to find a new job, worrying about bills etc. That's the bit that I'm dreading.

dreaming // About the future. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I can stop looking backwards and feeling like I can't go forwards in life. I am able to look ahead, think about what I want to do after my degree finishes, where I want to travel, the kind of people I want to meet and maybe even the kind of person I want to settle down with. I'm one of those people who wiles away the hours just dreaming about the endless possibilities of life. 

What have you guys been up to?

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Harry Potter Studio Tour

Hello, hello, profuse apologies for my post-Scotland absence! What started as a couple of days off writing to give myself a rest turned into several hectic shifts at work followed by long sleeps  and the odd lazy day and voila, it's been nearly two weeks since  I last posted on here. Time goes by far too quickly for my liking!

Last week I was (FINALLY) lucky to enough to head down to Leavesden to visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour with my mum, my godmother and her two sons (my brothers pretty much). This is something I've wanted to do for such a long time. I'm a massive Harry Potter fan: the reason I have waist length hair is because of Luna Lovegood, whenever I need good luck I mutter "felix felicis" under my breath,  Hermione Granger was my sole motivation for working my arse off in my A Levels and GCSEs, Neville Longbottom and Dean Thomas were my first EVER crushes and those books and films have been my constant companions since before I can remember. So as you can imagine, I was preeetty excited to visit the sets of the films.

The tour is set out in a route through the sets, so the first section is this huuuuge room full of every little detail you can imagine, from wigs and beard wigs (do those things have a name?) to the Mirror of Erised and the Gryffindor Common Room. You name it, it was in there. It was one of those moments where I just couldn't take everything in all at once. If you could design your own heaven, that room is what mine would look like.

*cue photo spam*


Next up was a little outdoorsy section full of the stuff that would no way fit inside the room above. Out here was the Knight Bus, 4  Privet Drive, The Potter's House in Godric's Hollow, Tom Riddle's grave and the wonky bridge you see all the time in scenes in the film. Plus, you could buy butterbeer in this section which is always a plus becasuse I LOVE butterbeer and actually preferred the one here to the one in Florida!

If there hadn't have been so many people around I would've jumped and skipped around this entire section. It was like a big playground!

Next up was the creature/make-up department and Diagon Alley. For me, there were two parts of this I got really excited about. First was seeing a Thestral (That's what happens when you spend a good half of your life completely infatuated with Luna Lovegood and everything she ever did or said) and second was getting to walk down Diagon Alley, seeing shops such as Flourish and Blotts, Madam Malkins and Weasley's Wizard Wheezes. I completely transported into my own daydreams in this part and I'm pretty sure I was lost to everyone around me for the duration of this section. It was an absolute dream.

Aaaaaaand breathe. Just looking at these photos is getting me all a fluster. This place is seriously magical. Walking around, you suddenly realise how much magic takes place behind the scenes of these films in order to make them as spectacular as they are. From things such as concept artwork all the way up to full scale models of the Hogwarts Castle, the pure scale of work that goes on is just phenomenal. The final section of the tour celebrated just that. The underrated geniuses that rarely get credit for their incredible talents.

I honestly cannot thank Warner Bros enough for giving fans the opportunity to visit the sets, it's just a unique and wonderful experience that I genuinely never will forget. 

"The stories we love best do live in us forever, so whether you come back by page or by screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home." - JK Rowling

*cries forever*

I'll be back soon with a big Q&A post as I've been getting lots of requests for that. So if you have any questions about anything at all, email me or pop them in a comment!

All my love,