This Week I Have Been Mostly….

this week i have been mostly

Hi guys, I thought I’d take the opportunity to check in, as it’s been a little while since I posted one of these. I didn’t expect to be sat here writing this post, whilst outside the place where I live is covered in snow AGAIN. It’s mid-March! I need some Spring now. I hope you’ve been enjoying the food and beauty posts that have been coming up. I even posted a book review!

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These past few weeks I’ve been a bit quiet on social media. Well, specifically on Twitter, I’ve been loving instagram. I just haven’t had anything to say on Twitter to be honest. I like to follow the rule of ‘if you’ve got nothing nice to say then don’t say anything at all’. I feel like I’ve had to hold my tongue a lot in the past but for a few reasons the past couple of weeks have been particularly tough. I don’t want to start becoming part of the problem. And then twitter drama in the blogging community this past weekend, cause a LOT of angst amongst people I follow and it’s meant some people have shown their true colours, even though I pretty much always know where to look when it comes to the drama. I fear the twitter community, for bloggers anyhow, creates a fake level of self-importance. I mean, the whole industry is based on the assumption that people want (and need) to hear what you think, so when it’s done in 280 characters, it can cause confusion and conflict. Anyway, I stayed out of it, but managed to put my two cents in with a tweet which covers both sides of the argument;

“Don’t be a dick. The end”

I didn’t need 280 characters to make my point.

Speaking of social media – does anyone remember Vero…..? That lasted all of 20 minutes didn’t it? I suppose if they’d made it so that you could actually use the app when the big rush happened, people might have bedded in, but I forget it’s on my phone. After 3 days of not being able to login, it didn’t really make an impression and so to me it’s another dead platform….. I might be wrong in the future, but for now buh bye Vero.

The past few weeks have been tiring! Work has been busy, I haven’t been getting good quality sleep and I’ve been feeling run-down and not entirely well. I need Spring to happen now. I long for the sunshine, and the warmth, and not having to wear all my clothes in one go. Unfortunately, I think my hayfever season has started, so even though there’s currently snow on the ground, I’m taking antihistamines, and they’re making a difference…. I swear I should have been put down a while back.

I’ve got an exciting event to attend at the end of this week, and that involves meeting some new people. Something I’m always nervous about, but feeling (at time of writing) fairly okay with. It’s local, and it’s doing something I’ve never done before, so I’m excited. All part of trying new things this year!

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I’m still plodding away with learning calligraphy (which you can follow here on instagram) and I’ve been reading a lot more than I usually do. The first book from the Slow Sunday Book Club has been read, reviewed and discussed (see start of post for my review link) and the second book has been announced: Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella. It’s not my usual choice of reading material so I’ve yet to decide whether I’ll be joining in this month, but I did pick up another book on recommendation from Amyleigh at Northern Blood. It’s called A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness. She’s got great taste in reading material so I’m looking forward to diving into it.

G-Man and I have just completed watching the 3rd and final season of the Netflix show Love. It’s a Judd Apatow show, and I love all his stuff, so if you do too and you haven’t watched it, I highly recommend it. It’s really really good. I’ve also been watching Crashing, after being told by Gary I had to. And he’s right, it’s a good show (which also Judd Apatow’s involvement) based on the true story of the main actor, who is trying to make it in stand-up. I’ve been really enjoying TV and films about stand up recently!

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So for now, I’m still stuck in my state of hibernation, which really isn’t helping my mental state of ‘let’s stay in bed and sleep until summer’, because really I’m eager to actually get up, go out and do stuff. But the weather and the coldness is making me feel slow and lethargic. I just want some sunshine! Maybe, if we all wish for it hard enough, it might just happen? Ready…….. GO!

 

 

March Favourites

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This month I have a little bit of beauty, a little bit of music and a quite a bit of entertainment to share with you all.

As usual, we’ll start with beauty!

So to start let’s talk about the Pixi Glow Mist – I bought this on a recent trip to London and have since received another bottle in a goodie bag, and I’m so pleased I have a back up. This little spray works as a hydrator, primer, setting spray and general all over glow creator. It can also be sprayed on the ends of your hair to soften dry split ends. I have used it in almost all of these ways. As someone with an oily t-zone I didn’t find this made me greasy at all. There’s a layer of oil you shake into the rest of the solution and then spray evenly over your face. My face was left feeling soft and hydrated, and as a setting spray this left my makeup looking soft, even and natural. I also sprayed it onto my beauty blender ahead of applying my Urban Decay Naked foundation and it took away the matte powdery look I dislike from the finish of that makeup. I’m in love!

Next is the White Mud exfoliating scrub and mask from The Estee Edit. This came in my Glamour Beauty Festival goodie bag and I’ve used it twice so far. I really like this mask. Firstly you only have to leave it on for 5 minutes so already it’s a time-saving mask! It comes in a tube so it’s travel friendly and you barely need any to cover your whole face. You rub it onto your face in little circles to exfoliate, leave it 5 minutes and then when it comes off it’s super easy to remove. I found my skin and pores were clearer than it’s been using any other mask. It knocked GlamGlow and L’Oreal’s mud masks out of the park. I’m super impressed.

Next is a couple of blushes. The Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer is one of my all time favourites (not just because it smells AMAZING!) so when I heard they had released two shades in blush formula, I knew I wanted one. A friend who was visiting America kindly picked one up for me in the shade Plum Rose. I’m so impressed with the shade, texture, finish and longevity of this blush – plus it smells just as good as the bronzer!

As part of the goodie bag I mentioned earlier I received a mini Nars blush in the shade Orgasm. This is many people’s holy grail blusher, and I’ve bought an ELF blush which is said to be a dupe for it, but I can now say it’s not. This Nars blush is beautiful. It’s a gorgeous shade, easily buildable and not glittery at all. I don’t know whether I’ll re-buy this because I have a lot of similar shades, and the full size of this is pretty expensive BUT I’m really pleased to have this and I will continue to use it regularly until it’s gone!

Lastly for beauty is the Davines All in One Milk and a couple of lip products from ColourPop. This blowdry spray is a multi purpose leave in conditioner that detangles and makes my hair feel and smell wonderful. It doesn’t weigh down my hair and leaves it wonderfully soft but manageable. I got a small bottle of this in my Liberty Advent Calendar and have since purchased the full-sized bottle because I can’t live without it!

The ColourPop lip products I’ve been loving this month are the Blotted Lip in Lexi and the Gloss in Finders Keepers. They seem to have been my go-to products this month. The gloss add the right amount of colour and gloss and lasts a really long time, and the blotted lip looks fabulous until it wears down a little and then I pop some Rose Salve on top and it lasts a little longer. I’m impressed!

So from beauty to music! This month I have been obsessively listening to Bruno Mars and Childish Gambino. I just can’t get enough!

 

24k Magic just makes me want to dance and there’s so much soul in Childish Gambino’s music….. I’m a fan!

Now onto TV! This month we’ve completed quite a few tv shows and I’d like to share my favourites with you.

 

Freaks and Geeks is a show originally aired 1999 and set in 1980 about a bunch of high school kids – written by Judd Apatow and only one season long, this show featured actors like Seth Rogan, James Franco and Jason Segel. It’s a fantastic show and I really enjoyed watching it – it’s such a shame it was cancelled after just one season!

Also from Judd Apatow, Love season 2 was put up onto Netflix this month, and we breezed through it. This is such an awesome show and I’m really pleased that season 3 is in production. If you haven’t checked it out but you like Judd Apatow’s work, then definitely give the first season a watch.

And lastly, another Netflix show, Atlanta. Created by and starring Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) this is a funny, intelligent and sometimes a little excentric programme – but so worth a watch. It follows Earn and his life as he becomes his rapping cousin’s music manager but it’s one of those ‘real’ shows that showcases the weirdness of life and the hilarity of people.

So those are my favourite things of March! Have you watched any of these shows, heard any of this music or tried any of the beauty products I mentioned this month? I’d love to hear what you thought!

 

Learning About Myself

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At the tender age of 32 and a half, I feel like I’m just starting to understand myself. They say you can’t be loved until you love yourself. I think that’s true in part, but who truly loves themselves at the age in which they’re finding love?

As I head towards 33 I’ve been reflecting on the things I’ve learned about myself up until now.

I’ve learned that I can’t stand the sight of my own blood without literally passing out, and that I have ZERO control over it. I know it’s going to happen, I can rationalise with myself all I like, but it’ll still end badly. And there’s very little I can do to stop it once it starts. Yay for my brain!

I’ve learned that it’s okay to live with anxiety, and the worst thing to do is be anxious over your anxiety. Living with GAD isn’t great. Very few people understand it and so I don’t tell many people about it unless I feel safe in their space or unless it necessary. I’m learning that it comes and it goes, and that no matter how other people feel about it (and even though the opinion of others sometimes makes it harder to get through) my feelings come first in those situations.

I’ve learned that I have a lactose intolerance, and my love affair with cheese was ill-fated. I’ve also learned that people are intolerance intolerant and just think I’m being picky or fussy when it comes to dealing with it. I’m learning to simply tolerate those intolerant of my intolerance 😀

I’ve learned that I can read people rather well, and that if I take my time and consider all the parts of a story I can usually put myself in another person’s shoes and work out the motive behind their actions. Or at least create a multitude of different scenarios to explain why someone might behave in a certain way. I find it very interesting. As an uber over-analytical person it’s nice to put this obsessiveness to practical use. I’ve found it’s enabling me to give other people factual advice on their problems. Being on the outside of a situation, along with this kind of perspective is very interesting. I sometimes start speaking and by the end of the thought have discovered a solution I didn’t even know was possible, through reasoning. None of that probably made any sense, but there you go – welcome to my brain!

I’ve learned how to let my friends in. I never used to hold onto friends too tight, simply because I assumed I wasn’t worth their time. I didn’t see my value in their life, mainly because I didn’t see my value full-stop. But during the process of helping my friends see their value in MY life, I was able to see the other side. And now I have a heap of close and amazingly wonderful friends, who I couldn’t live without.

I’ve learned that you can be in a long-term relationship and not get bored of the other person. I didn’t think it was possible, when I first started seeing Gary, that you could be in a long-term relationship and still keep interested in the same person. But 14 years down the line and things are better than ever. We still have fun. Still talk in depth about anything and everything and still adore each other.

I’ve learned I’m a massive bitch, and that I should be a bit kinder when it comes to first and quick impressions. I default to dislike of things out of the norm or different than me. But to be different, individual or confident takes a brave person, and who am I to judge? It’s not so much what I say or how I act, but more how I think, and that’s what I’m working on. I want to be a pleasant person, kind and nice. I think I am all these things, but let myself down sometimes and this is what I’m working on.

I’ve learned so much, and so much more than these few things over the years. I really enjoy working on myself, and making this Erin the best Erin I can be. I’m looking forward to how much I change and learn about myself over the next 10 years. Life is darn exciting!

March Favourites

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Happy April everyone! Did you have an awesome March? Mine was great – Spring is doing its best effort to appear. We’ve had a few days of lovely sunshine and I’m hoping that the chilly windy rain we’ve had this past week was all just to clear up and make way for Spring to really happen.

I’m desperate for nice weather so I can get outside running again – mainly so I can start to get a bit of colour on my skin. I think this is the first year that I’ve mourned Summer for a whole Autumn and Winter. Bring back the lovely weather!

So March has been full of TV, movies and of course beauty. Here goes with what I’ve loved this past month.

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I’m a massive fan of Judd Apatow’s stuff, my favourite being This is 40. He’s also involved in Girls, which I’m a huge fan of too. So I suspected I would enjoy this Netflix original show Love. And I wasn’t wrong. This 10 part tv series was everything I’d hoped it would be: funny, deep, clever and driven by some amazingly written (and acted) characters. If you like quirky and real then you might just love this.

We also revisited Cloverfield, Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. I’ve written about the Before movies before so I’ll let you go back and read what I thought about them, but they’re still all kinds of awesome. Cloverfield is a pretty short movie, so we popped it on the TV one night when we wanted something fairly non taxing to watch.

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This is a found-footage type movie (and we all know how much I love those!) Set in Manhattan (and we all know how much I love Manhatten too). If you haven’t seen the movie I won’t spoil it, but it’s a real gem.

Now onto a few beauty bits:

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In March I reverted back to an old favourite, my Neutrogena grapefruit face wash (around £4).

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I moved onto a different one from the same brand a few months back, which had microbeads in it, but I’ve since discovered that these are actually little plastic balls which don’t biodegrade. They go down the plug hole into the water system and are super bad for the environment. Since I’ve switched back I’ve been wondering why I diverted. My skin feels wonderful, smooth and smells lovely too after using this. The difference is instant, and I know I’ll be sticking to this face wash for a long time!

Next is a Lush product – Mint Julips lip scrub (£5.50). This is basically a pot of minty sugar.

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You dig out a little of the sugar (over the sink or else you’ll have sugar EVERYWHERE!) rub it all over your lips and either wash or lick the remainder off. This particular scrub leaves my lips feeling oiled but not oily, smooth and tingling with minty goodness. It’s gorgeous!

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I’ve mentioned Benefit’s It’s Potent (£25.50) in my last beauty blog, so I won’t go into it on here, but I decided to go the whole hog and buy the full size of this baby. I’ve been really pleased with how it works and the difference it’s made. I actually think some of my fine lines have actually disappeared too. Can it be possible?

Next I’ll talk about my newest foundation purchase. I mentioned in the aforementioned beauty blog that I’d found something I liked better than the Clinique sample I was given, and it was:

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Max Factor’s Facefinity All Day Flawless 3 in 1 foundation. I was matched to Natural 50. I like the finish of this foundation though I have found it does oxidise on my face so I think it’ll be a little more functional once I have a little sun colour on my face. This foundation is primer, concealer and foundation in one, and has spf 20. I’ve been applying it using a Real Techniques buffing brush and focussing on buffing it out around my jaw line as I’m concerned I look a little flush once it’s on. But I do like the finish and it’s buildability. It offers a matte finish so you don’t need any powder. Interestingly, it did cling to dry parts on my forehead when first applied, but by the time I’ve done the rest of my face these had hydrated and I couldn’t see them any more. And it doesn’t settle into lines – perfect! I’m impressed, for the cost of this (£12.99) it performed a lot better than the Clinique sample, that I wanted so much to love!

Next is a couple of liquid lipsticks by TheBalm (£13.50)

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Meet Matt(e) Hughes matte liquid lipsticks in Committed and Charming. I bought these for events where I can’t be continuously reapplying lipstick. I am a serial lipsmoosher, so lip colour doesn’t last long on me. As a result I stick to sheer lipsticks or tinted balms but I’ve been impressed with these. Firstly they smell nice and minty, so they tingle a little when first applied. They go on smooth and don’t cling to any bumps. They dry to a comfortable feel and they do last well. There’s minimal transference, but they do come off if you eat oily foods. I’m a pale-faced gal so these being the palest ‘nude’ shades they’re still pretty dark and prominent on my face, and they do give me a pretty dramatic look. Oh and when I’m done they come off easily with a quick slick of Egyptian magic. Win!

Lastly is my favourite of the bunch. I got this for £13 off at Debenhams, and had been lusting over it for some time…. The Urban Decay Vice 4 palette (retails at £43)

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Firstly, let’s just take in the packaging. This is STUNNING. Urban Decay do packaging so so well. This even came with its own zippered travel bag. Now we’ve taken in the palette packaging, let’s look at the goods.

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Sigh. So pretty. I was so impressed this came with another lovely double ended brush. Urban Decay’s palette brushes are so good, I seriously doubt I’ll ever need to buy a separate one. The main thing that drew me to Vice 4 was the colour matches. Just looking at each of these rows, I can see complete eye looks. Three greens, three metallics, three mauve, three neutral, three greys etc etc. So many matches. And these look lovely wet as eyeliner too. I’ve used a couple in that way already. In fact I think I’ve used about a third of the palette already and I don’t often wear eyeshadow day-to-day. I’m so impressed.

So those are my March favourites. I’d love to read what you thought if you’ve tried anything I’ve loved this month. Leave me a comment if you have!

Now onwards through April!

God Bless Us, Everyone

I don’t know how it’s happened, but all of a sudden it’s Christmas Eve Eve! I type this as I watch A Muppet Christmas Carol and sip on a snowball. I finally got around to writing my Christmas cards this evening, and wrapping the last of the presents. My new Christmas jumper is twitching in my wardrobe, eager to be worn (I won it in a competition Fat Face were running on their Facebook page. It’s worth entering these things, apparently!)

Since I last wrote a few things have happened:

  • My good friend Tash ran her first half marathon in a very respectable time and I am super proud of her!
  • We went to London for our work’s Christmas party and saw some old friends.
  • The book club girls came over and we got to spend a chilled afternoon in each other’s company AND have cuddles with little baby Leo.
  • I’ve watched more Christmas movies. We now have The Grinch, Love Actually and Bernard and the Genie under our belts.
  • More Christmas lights have been added to our living room grotto and it’s super Christmassey!
  • I made and have delivered most of my handmade Christmas pressies for this year. I plan on blogging about them after Christmas since not everyone has had theirs yet. But they have seemed to go down well so far!

Christmas Eve tomorrow will be spent at work for most of the day, getting festive with my wonderful team and then G-Man and I will share a very festive KFC dinner and watch our traditional Christmas Eve films, The Holiday and then The Polar Express (with hot chocolate of course!) Last Christmas, Gary and I wrote letters to ourselves a year in the future all about the past year and what we expected for 2014. We don’t know what each other wrote, but tomorrow evening we’ll open them. It’s our first year doing this, and I have no idea what I wrote so I’m kind of looking forward to seeing what it says!

I honestly can’t believe that it’s almost the end of 2014 and I’m really looking forward to writing my round-up. It’s been such an amazing year and I really can’t wait for 2015!

So there’s nothing left to do but to wish all my readers a safe and exciting Christmas and New Year. I hope you are able to spend it with friends and family and that whatever your situation it’s filled with love. Merry Christmas!

I won a Christmas jumper!
I won a Christmas jumper!

 

The cutest Santa Baby you ever saw! Little Leo!
The cutest Santa Baby you ever saw! Little Leo!

 

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Getting festive in the supermarket

 

V Day – the day of lurve

I haven’t had much experience with Valentine’s Day. Before I met my husband, I hadn’t had any boyfriends – not anything serious or anything more than those school holding hands type ‘relationships’. So every year when February 14th came along I would always moan about what a waste of time it was, and how it was all for money.

I’ll never forget one Valentine’s Day, I was working in a clothing store at the time, and I was having a rather hormonal couple of days. I stood at the front of the shop greeting customers at the door. Couples hand in hand, people buying outfits for romantic dinners, even other staff were having flowers delivered to them at the store. I smiled at the customers through gritted teeth and tried to not let my lonely feelings show. I went for my lunch break and went to M&S to get my usual tub of sliced mango – but to my horror they’d run out! I got back to the staff room of my shop, and burst into tears. My manager came into the room to find out what was wrong with me and I just cried out “they’d run out of MANGOOO”. It was all too much that year. The next year I met Gary.

Our first Valentine’s together, Gary and I went to New York to celebrate. My friends were convinced that we were going to get engaged whilst we were there, but we hadn’t been together for very long and we were both 19 so that would have been a bit fast methinks! But still it was an amazing time. Having never celebrated Valentine’s before, it was a wonderful way to do it! Our second Valentine’s was celebrated in London. We went to see the stage version of  ‘When Harry Met Sally’ starring Alyson Hannigan and Luke Perry. But after that we haven’t really done a huge amount, and now we’re married it’s just romantic meals out and maybe a card and some chocolates. And that’s just perfect 🙂

This year we celebrated V-Day early. Work commitments have meant that a Monday Valentine’s doesn’t work for us, so we swapped cards on Saturday and went to an American Diner for a meal. Then we watched Valentine’s Day – yes that movie that stars every Hollywood star who didn’t have another film to work on at that time. I really expected to hate it, but I really enjoyed it! Plus you all know I have a soft spot for Taylor Swift 😀

So now I’m a Valentine’s Day convert. I still do believe it’s a money making scheme, but since I work for a card shop I don’t really mind 😀 And whether you have someone to share it with or you’re just remembering how much you love yourself or your family – have a fantastic Valentine’s Day!

Mood Music

It’s interesting how music can lift your mood. I was thinking about this during my day at work today. For the last 6 months we’ve been listening to normal music intermingled with spanish music (Mexico being the theme of our season at work). It was okay for a while but then it started to grate. On Friday we got a new cd and it was pretty much all new music. And it was the kind of music we don’t usually have. It’s all pretty cool (Free Bird, Purple Haze, The Chain, Sex on Fire). 

Considering how tired and headachey I felt today, I was pleasantly surprised at how much the music lifted my mood. I kept turning it up until it was beyond an acceptable shopping level…… oops! But it got me to thinking how music effects me. No matter how rubbish I feel, there’s always some band’s music I can put on and it’ll match my mood.

When I was an angsty teen, all I wanted to listen to was Sarah McLachlan. I can’t listen to her now, because it is just way too angsty. During my G.C.S.Es all I listened to was Astro Lounge by Smash Mouth. I like my pop/ska 😀 The first song I remember ever feeling strongly about was ‘Think Twice’ by Celine Dion (I know).  I couldn’t get enough of it. I yearned for the song. Listening back now I can hear to empty it is, but back then I loved it so much. Full of Grace by Sarah McLachlan was another one. It played at the end of the episode ‘Becoming pt 2’ of Buffy (season 2 finale). And it made me cry so much, I had to skip that track on her album. Sad yes.

The only album I can safely say I can listen to over and over without fail or getting bored of is Static and Silence by The Sundays. My absolute favourite album. Best listened to in the summer and preferably at night, but I can happily put it on and I’m away. Ryan Adams is one musician I have to be in the mood for. I was deeply in love with his music for a long while, and then went off it completly. I referred to it as being ‘on a break’ from him. I’m getting back into it though. He’s truely one of the most talented song writers I’ve ever heard.

But the band who blow all other artists out of the water, and my current source of mood music is Radiohead. I always get frustrated when people say Radiohead are depressing. They obviously haven’t ever listened to them. They’ve maybe heard them, but not listened (there is a difference!). They are uplifting and emotive and make truely original music. I saw them for the first time in 1995, supporting R.E.M at the Milton Keynes Bowl. I’ve seen them 3 more times since (Glastonbury, Earl’s Court, Victoria Park) and they never fail to deliver. My favourite song ever, of any artist, is Let Down which is on their 1997 album OK Computer. I can only describe the song as sparkley – and anyone who knows me knows how much I’m attracted to anything that shines or glitters. The song makes me see stars.

At the moment I’m addicted to In Rainbows. I loved it when it came out in 2007. I think it must have been the Twilight link that got me back into it again (15 Steps is the track at the end of the movie), but right now I have the album on repeat and it’s not getting old. If you haven’t heard it, I recommend you do! And if you’re new to Radiohead and you don’t know where to start, I’d say listen to The Bends and then In Rainbows (and by then you’ll be addicted and want to hear the other albums!)

I just love how music can make you feel. You can hate a band and then hear one of their songs in a certain environment and all of a sudden you love them! That works for me when I go to a festival. If I soak up the environment, I all of a sudden love the band I’m watching! A song can make you happy, sad, energetic, your pulse race (Angel by Massive Attack anyone?), can tell a story and remind you of an event in your life. I love it!!

Can you tell I’m a music fan?