Screen Time and Awesome Things I’ve Seen!

It’s great fun to book an awesome holiday. It’s great fun to book awesome holidays for the next two years running…. but that also means you have to save up to pay for all that awesomeness…. which results in a A LOT of Netflix time.

I don’t mind this. I’m a self-confessed homebody and since I love my house, there’s nothing I like better than the idea of staying inside it for days on end.

So, I wanted to share with you some great TV and Films I’ve seen over the last few weeks, that you might want to watch too.

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The Staircase, available on Netflix, is a true-crime documentary and is apparently the doc that inspired the creators of Making a Murderer. Originally made as an 8 part series for the BBC in 2003 it follows the crime and trial of a man accused of killing his wife, who was found at the bottom of a staircase in their home. There were then 2 more episodes made in 2013 and then 3 more for Netflix have just been released along with the episodes prior. It’s a gripping series and if you like crime documentaries then you should definitely watch it. I have since found out, a whole strand of theory has been removed from the series by Netflix, which was originally shown and is now not there. Apparently a separate episode dedicated to this theory will be released at some point by Netflix. A strange move, I think, but I’ll be interested to see that, as and when it emerges.

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I’ve been enjoying watching new films, recently. Since I don’t often go to the cinema, I have been waiting for a whole bunch of films to arrive on streaming services so I can finally watch them. Mother! is one Gary didn’t really want to see but it intrigued me so much. I wouldn’t say the film is enjoyable, but it’s entertaining. I think it’s clever, others feel it’s self-indulgent of the director and egotistical. It reminded me of classic horrors of the 1970s. Frightening but not because something has been put in front of you. Comparisons with Rosemary’s Baby are probably the closest you’ll get to knowing what you’re getting into if you are deciding to watch this. It’s intense, and stressful and echoed anxiety dreams I used to (and still sometimes do) get when I worked in retail and dreamt I couldn’t get customers out at the end of the night, and somehow they kept coming in. It’s not for you if you’re easily stressed out. A lot of the reviews I read after watching the film were from people who were angry at the film. I guess it stirs up emotion and I think that’s exactly its aim.

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Having just said I never go to the cinema, I’m going to contradict myself now. I saw Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom in 4DX at our local cinema. We’re really lucky to have a 4DX screen as I believe there’s only 2 in the UK and only 1 in the US (that might be wrong, but I know there’s only a handful in the world). I love watching action films in 4DX. It feels like you’re on a theme park ride for the full length of the movie. I saw the first Jurassic World in 4DX and I’m pretty sure that was my first 4DX experience, so I had to see this one in the same way! I really enjoyed the film. It was suspenseful, exciting, good storyline which followed on well from the last. No Jurassic Park film will be as good as the original, but they’re doing pretty well with these last two!

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And to finish, I’ll talk about a show that’s completely blown me away. I’d avoided watching The Handmaid’s Tale because I was concerned I’d be upset due to the subject matter. But then a colleague said she’d been watching it and was enjoying it so much that I just had to try it out. I already knew Elisabeth Moss from The West Wing and then Mad Men, but she’s so incredible in this. The show took my breath away to the point that I binged the whole first season in a single weekend, and managed to catch up with the second season that has started week by week. There are points in this show that are so powerful that I’m sad I’ve seen it because I want to watch it for the first time again. One of the scenes in the first episode of season 2, along with the music choice they made, was SO powerful I could have sobbed. I’m so glad I started watching!

So, those are the things I’ve been enjoying watching of late. I’m sure I’ll share more with you as time progresses – it’s a great way to save on those pennies! What have you been watching, that you’ve loved?

Shock, Horror – It’s my May Favourites!

Yes, I know I haven’t done one of these in a LONG time, but I thought since I have been enjoying a couple of things this month and seen some awesome TV I wanted to share, I might as well do this!

I’ll start with a few beauty items I’ve been liking, all of which are re-purchases from some time or another, but I’m so glad I re bought them!

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I earned some Body Shop points I needed to use up, and being the skin-flint I am, I didn’t want to spend over the £5 I’d earned. So I decided to pick this shower gel up. When I was a kid I was given one of those Body Shop minis sets for Christmas, and all the items were Satsuma scented. I loved it but for some reason have never gone back to the scent. Now I have this shower gel, I’m loving being transported back to that time when I was a child. It’s the exact same smell, and it’s so fresh and citrusy, but also comforting! Perfect for the milder weather, too.

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I re purchased the NYX Dark Circle Concealer Corrector, since the pot I’d been using was about 2 years old and I wasn’t near finishing it. I figured it was a bit gross to keep using it, and at £7 it wasn’t going to break the bank to buy a new one. I’ve actually been wearing this exclusively under my eyes in the warmer weather. It covers my dark circles enough, but since I’m no longer wearing foundation it works well with the natural skin look and actually looks like I’m not wearing anything under my eyes. It creases ever so slightly, but barely and not every time I use it.

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I use the second lightest shade (I suggest you go one darker than you would normally for concealer) and the peach tones work against the shade of my under eyes perfectly.

My only gripe is that the pot is near impossible to get your fingers into if you have any kind of nail growth…. but we persevere!

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This Vaseline spray moisturiser is something I used to use a few years back, and is perfect for a quick top-up of moisture on the legs without the stickiness or heaviness of a cream moisturiser. I re-purchased it for this summer, since I’d noticed my legs were feeling a little dry when I jumped out of the bath. I love how easy this is to spray, rub in and go. The can works upside down too! The cap also has a convenient lock so you can pack it, without worrying it will spray in your bag. And it smells amazing!

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The Too Faced Peaches and Cream range launched last year in the US (around September) and was meant to launch here in November. When I was there last October I picked up a couple of bits from the range, and my primer decided to run out last week. Which was handy since the range actually only launched here this month, for some reason!

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The range is a Debenham’s exclusive at the moment, and our local store didn’t stock it but thankfully the Birmingham one does, so my husband picked this up for me when he was there for work! This Primed and Peachy primer is very expensive – £27 for a primer is crazy. But it’s so good I will pay it….. This primer is cooling, smoothing and mattifying. It keeps my skin matte all day, which is impressive as I am oily and usually need to blot part way through the day. The smell is nice, peach and sweet fig, and it comes out tinted but that pretty much goes away as soon as it’s smoothed on the skin.

The packaging is a tube with a pump, which means you can control how much you use, but also means you don’t know when it’s about to run out, which is annoying. I’ll be picking a backup of these up, when I’m in the US later in the year!

So, that’s all for the beauty bits, but I wanted to share a couple of TV shows I’ve enjoyed this month.

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If you enjoyed watching Girls then you’ll most likely enjoy SMILF. It’s an 8 episode series, each episode is about half an hour, and it’s very good. It’s a humorous drama about a young single mother and her life in Boston. The cast is great, the kid is an amazing actor and it’s just very interesting. It’s also fairly explicit so don’t watch it if you’re easily offended!

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The other show I’ve been really loving is Barry. Bill Hader has written, directed and stars in Barry about a hitman who discovers acting and becomes conflicted. This is dark and funny and I’m really enjoying watching it!

So that’s everything I wanted to share with you! I can’t guarantee another favourites post any time soon…. but who knows!

What I Watched in 2017 – TV, Film & Documentary

I know, I know, we’re so over 2017. But I usually write a TV and Film round-up and this time it’s coming a few weeks into the year.

I’m lucky to have a husband who keeps a note of all the things we’ve watched in a year, because it’s interesting to look back on it. This year was full of some fantastic TV and Movies and I’d like to share with you the ones I really enjoyed.

Let’s start with film. There were only a couple of stand out films for me this year, and neither of them came out in 2017, it’s just I only got to see them that year.

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La La Land was a stand out favourite of mine. I went into this film wanting to hate it, for some reason. I don’t particularly like musical films. I find them awkward and unrealistic. And I think that’s what a lot of people didn’t like about this movie from the start. It’s rather cheesy from the get-go. BUT I adored it. I think it starts off overly cheesy for a reason – to get you immersed in what’s to come, and then it gets way less cheesy and you’re committed to the fact that people might start singing for no reason. But I know a great deal of people didn’t make it this far, and turned the film off. A lot of the things that happen in this film are metaphors (they don’t really start flying in the sky at night, but it’s a metaphor for how they’re feeling about each other) The film is uplifting, frustrating and heart breaking. And despite everyone breaking into song, it’s also an incredibly realistic portrayal of a modern relationship. If you like classic film, you have an open mind, and you haven’t seen this film yet – SEE IT!

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Drive was another movie I hadn’t seen yet, but everyone kept harping on about the music, and I figured why not carry on with the Ryan Gosling fest. This movie showed me what a truly incredible actor he is. He can achieve such power in such subtle acting, it’s amazing. Anyhow, this movie took my breath away. One particular scene, I realised afterwards, actually had me holding my breath. Another scene was so intense it reminded me of one in Scarface. It’s not a happy film, it’s not a lighthearted one either. If you don’t like guns and blood and fighting, stay clear. The soundtrack is really awesome too – it sticks the whole thing together like glue. Really an awesome film (Dad, if you read this, I think you might really enjoy this one).

Honourable mention to Don’t Think Twice (if you like improv comedy then you’ll like this one), Get Out and The Big Sick. Also Trick ‘r’ Treat, Table 19 and Julie & Julia.

So let’s move on to TV.

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Obviously I have to mention the epic return of Twin Peaks. Gary and I watched the entire show ahead of the new season being broadcast. And we weren’t disappointed when the new episodes aired. There were a couple of scenes in this new iteration of the show which still give me chills thinking about them (both consist of someone screaming, funnily enough) I can’t wait to hear whether a new season will be made, since there was so much unexplained!

Other shows we watched and very much enjoyed were

  • Freaks and Geeks
  • The OA
  • Stranger Things
  • Atlanta
  • The Man in the High Castle
  • House of Cards
  • 13 Reasons Why

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A stand of of the year, I binge watched Bates Motel and really really enjoyed it. It was probably my favourite TV show of the year. And considering I watched some really good TV this year, that’s saying something.

I also watched some pretty bad TV shows – Riverdale being one of them. Pretty Little Liars final season was rather awful, which was a shame. I actually didn’t care whether anyone lived or died.

We re-watched The Night Of, True Detective and the whole series of The Wire. We gave Breaking Bad a first go, and though we enjoyed it, I wouldn’t say it blew my mind.

I also watched some really great documentaries.

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I’m a big fan of Chris Gethard, who is an American comedian. I listen to his podcast Beautiful/Anonymous and he recently put out an HBO special of a stand-up show he’d done. Presented by Judd Apatow (who I also love) this covers dark subjects but in a self-deprecating and humorous way. If you are easily triggered by mental health and suicide subjects I wouldn’t recommend it, but if you aren’t and you find a way to get hold of this Special, then I’d recommend giving it a watch.

I’ll also mention Audrie & Daisy, Casting JonBenet and Beware The Slenderman. Some heavy subjects covered in those, but if you’re a fan of true crime you might enjoy them.

I’ve already kicked 2018 off with a bang having watched the whole of the German show Dark and also Big Little Lies (which had been recommended to me last year and for some reason I ignored)

If you have seen something you think I’d enjoy based on these shows I enjoyed last year, then please pop me a comment in the box below. I’m always on the look out for something awesome to watch!

 

Obviously, all imagery are publicity shots and belong to the production companies of the particular shows and films.

Creating My Home Cinema aka Making the Most of a Scary Movie!

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If you read my blog regularly you’ll know I’m a massive film buff. You might have seen I’ve already started to share some of my old horror movie posts, ahead of some new ones coming up, all in the name of October and Halloween. So when I was asked if I’d like to talk about the new Panasonic 4k TV range, I of course said yes!

The first TV in my bedroom was about 4 inches square, had an aerial you had to move around. If you watched it at the wrong angle everyone looked like they were in negative. I then upgraded to a little tube tv which also had an aerial so when Channel 5 came in, I had to get up and re-tune it every time I wanted to watch Sunset Beach.

I have a vivid memory of going to a friend’s house to watch a show I’d watched many, many times, and they had a widescreen TV (which we didn’t have in our home), but they’d not tweaked the settings so everything was set to widescreen – even full screen shows – so my favourite characters were stretched and looked so odd. I supposed they’d gotten used to it, but I was baffled by the idea that people would happily watch things in a way that was, let’s face it, just plain wrong!

Times have changed immensely since then. Not only are televisions so much lighter to carry and sleeker in design, but they’re also incredibly intuitive and even customisable. Not to mention with the addition of apps, YouTube has simply become just another TV station to me.

But when it comes to my film viewing experience, I’m a bit of a geek. If I’m going to watch a scary movie, it needs to be perfect – how can you expect to get the required scares if there’s glare on the screen, the sound isn’t perfect or there’s actually ghosting on your ghosts?

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When me and G-Man decided to upgrade our old Panasonic TV from 42″ to 50″ a few years ago, we did our research, and ended up sticking with the same brand. I say we, but to be honest Gary’s such an AV geek that he did most of it, and then said to me “we’re getting this one”. Which I was fine with!

One of the things I love about our TV is that the blacks are REALLY black. Meaning, and especially for horror films, that you’re seeing things as dark as they were intended when they were filmed. So if films like Paranormal Activity are your thing, you’re going to see the dark shapes and changes exactly as you would in the cinema, with no additional shading or shadowing that could possibly spoil your experience.

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Another majorly geeky thing we did with our TV as soon as we got it, was to set up our own personal picture settings profile. There are loads of suggested setting changes on places like AV Forums and YouTube, specific to your make and model of TV. These people have done all the hard work for you, so you can simply make the settings changes to the darkness, red, green and blues etc (and make sure you take off the default IFC setting which alters the frame rate you view things at and smooths the movement) and then apply this custom profile to each HDMI slot you use (so Sky, DVD player, console etc…) I know, after doing this, that I’m watching everything the way it was intended to be watched! It’s so important to me.

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It might seem like a lot of effort (and it is a little effort) but you’ll be so much happier with your viewing experience.  And wow, this is all without even beginning to mention the clarity of a 4k display and how bright and beautiful the colours are. I can’t wait for the new BBC Blue Planet series to begin, because the trailer looked breathtaking on our TV.

When buying a new TV it can be so overwhelming. There are so many brands, all offering special things and so many different prices. But when it’s all said and done, and you’re in your living room it’s just you and the TV – and you want the best viewing experience possible.

We’re made up with our TV and the little cinema we’ve created in our set up. We just need to get around to getting some kind of surround sound system set, and my horror film binge sessions will be that much more enthralling!

DISCLAIMER: Though this post is sponsored by Panasonic, this TV was paid for by me and my opinions and choices are honest and my own.

This Week I Have Been Mostly….

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I didn’t really want to follow my last post with another post about moving house, but let’s be real – when you move house it pretty much takes over your life. It IS your life.

We’re in, we’re feeling settled and we’re almost unpacked. Which is amazing, and more than I could have hoped.

The actual moving weekend was mega stressful and I’m not going to lie – I never want to move again. Which is what I said the last time, but something tells me this house is more of a keeper.

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Over on instagram I’ve been sharing elements of the house. Once it’s more finished I’ll share some more but until now, head over there to see tidbits going forward.

But the house is amazing, I’m very much revelling in the fact that I have a dishwasher once more. And even though by square foot this house is smaller than the last, it feels so much bigger. The space is useable and well-planned out. The kitchen is the star of the house and since it’s such a social space, I’m really looking forward to having people over once we’ve got our dining table in. I’m in love!

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Other than moving I’ve been doing a lot of catching up on tv I missed when we were packed up, which is great because I’m having to force myself to STOP UNPACKING every waking second. So we’ve watched all of Twin Peaks (omg) and have started re-watching The Wire again. I think I might dedicate a whole post to Twin Peaks – not that there’s really a huge amount of coherent writing to be had on that subject, but we’ll see. Great British Bake Off is back, as is Dr Foster and American Horror Story (though I’m not too keen on the first episode I saw of this…. I’m not a fan of clowns.)

So my posts will start to feel a little more normal going forward. I’ve got some exciting stuff coming up and some exciting projects I’m working on, so keep your eyes peeled for those. If you’re a fan of Halloween and scary movies I have some posts, I’m really looking forward to writing, in the pipeline and of course there’s my trip to Orlando to look forward to!

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If you don’t already follow me on other social platforms, you can find me on twitter as @Shutterbug_Blog on instagram as groggits and on YouTube at the Musings of a So-Called Shutterbug channel. So follow me over there too, for stuff as and when it happens!

Until next time 🙂

This Week I Have Mostly….

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Another month closes and we’re another month closer to summer. Which can only be a good thing. The weather has been somewhat volatile and as a result my winter parka is still not away, and I haven’t been able to put on my lovely spring clothes just yet.

Since I updated you last, I have been to see Bruno Mars, which I must say was all the way up there with some of the best concerts/gigs I’ve seen in my time (and I’ve seen a LOT). The stage setup, the dancing, production and the voice of the man himself was all perfect. He’s an incredible singer and entertainer, and we enjoyed it so much we looked to see whether we could get tickets for the following night (sadly, we couldn’t) If you enjoy Bruno Mars’ music, and get the opportunity to see him live, please take it.

I’ve been a little low-key on the old social media side of things, as we’ve been planning to sell our house and move to another one. Things are progressing and I’ll come back with news as I have it, but it’s all rather mentally taxing, so it’s been nice to have some more down time.

I’ve been spending my down time watching Netflix, and in the absence of my April Favourites (which I’ve decided to skip this month) I thought I’d tell you about a couple of things I’ve been watching.

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I finished watching Bates Motel this weekend, and oh my, what a show. If you like the Hitchcock movie Psycho, you really ought to watch this. But I recommend watching the original film first and then going straight into the tv show. There are so many nods to the film; lines, scenes, even just the way the actors behave, that it’s a Hitchcock fan’s dream. But on its own the show is really well written, the story lines are great and Norma and Norman are acted AMAZINGLY well. I’m really glad a watched it.

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I’ve been watching Riverdale pretty much only to kill time. The show is as bad as the Photoshop job in the promo photo above. It’s based on Archie comics characters, of which I know zero about, but I have it on good authority that the link is pretty tenuous anyway. The story line is loose, I don’t care about the characters and I seem to only find myself wondering what brand of lipstick the girls are all wearing. But for some reason I keep switching the darn show on.

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I love Netflix documentaries, and we watched Casting Jonbenet a couple of weekends ago. It’s an interesting take on looking into the death of Jonbenet Ramsey. The makers of the documentary made the film as if they were casting for the parts of the main players involved in the story, and as such were able to get first person theories and opinions from local townspeople. All put together in re-enactments, they create a collection of theories on what actually happened. It’s worth a watch.

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Having never watched Twin Peaks when it originally aired in 1990 (when I was 7) I thought it about time I rectified the situation, and what with a new season of the show airing this month, we have just begun to watch the show. I knew the show was going to be a bit twisted, since it’s David Lynch, however what I didn’t expect was the humour and so-subtle nuances of the characters. We’re only a few episodes in so I can’t make a proper judgement yet, but I will say I’m very much enjoying what I’ve seen so far. I’m also really pleased I’m watching it now, as an adult, because I think I wouldn’t have recognised these subtleties back then – I would have just thought it was weird!

Coming up next weekend, I’m off to see Harry Potter Live at the Royal Albert Hall, another one of those events where you watch the film and a live orchestra plays the score live in front of you. I’m looking forward to it, because I love John Williams’ score in the Harry Potter films. And no doubt I’ll be running around making preparations in the house, whilst trying to remember it’s also important to chill out and relax. Ho hum!

I hope you have a great week 🙂

This Week I Have Been Mostly….

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By the time you have read this, Easter would have been and gone and we will all be sick to death of chocolate (maybe). Our Easter breaks will be over and we will have already had our two short working weeks.

I love a good bank holiday, but it doesn’t half make fitting all your actual work into the working days you have, hard!

Anyhow, in the time since I last caught up with you guys, I have mostly been watching Bates Motel on Netflix, and I’m really enjoying it. It was a conscious decision to watch this series and so, before I hit the Netflix button on my TV remote, I actually watched the original Psycho film. I’d seen it many times before, of course, but I wanted to have it fresh in my mind before I began to watch the tv series. So far I’m pleasantly surprised by how true it sticks to the film and I’m loving the characters and how they’re portrayed and acted – especially Norman and his Mother.

I’m really looking forward to beginning to watch the new season of Pretty Little Liars too! Still on the subject of TV, by the time you read this I will have seen the last episode of Girls. I’ve been really enjoying the character development of everyone in this final season of Girls. Such an amazing TV show, I’m really sad it’s finishing!

I did also watch the whole series of 13 Reason Why and I’m planning a dedicated post to that, once I can get in the right headspace to do it.

Another thing that will have happened by the time you read this is I will have been to see Bruno Mars! I didn’t think we would get tickets to be honest, and then Gary managed to find some the other week and we just bought them. If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I love his current album, and I’m so pleased we’re going to get to see it live!

One final, and very exciting piece of news, is that this blog can now be found at groggits.com! You don’t need to change your bookmarks as they will redirect to the old address still, but you’ll see the link at the top of your browser will now say groggits.com and I’m very pleased about that 🙂

So, now Easter is done with, and we’ve had a little sunshine already, it has to be all downhill to Summer now? Right? I can’t wait for some humid, balmy days, light jacket weather (or no jacket weather) and plenty of sunshine! Bring it on!!

20 Ways at 20 Years; Buffy The Vampire Slayer Changed My Life

Something you might not know about me is that when I was a teenager I was obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer (or BtVS). And you might know that Buffy celebrated 20 years since it first aired, last month, so I thought I might share with you the many ways it improved my life.

Back when Buffy was first being shown, I was probably the targeted viewing age. A group of friends and I would watch the show religiously – those were the days when it was considered majorly geeky to show an interest in a tv show, binge watch or even just buy merchandise.

My first experience with the show was when a friend who had a Blockbuster membership found that you could rent Buffy on double episode VHS tapes. Buffy hadn’t started being shown in the UK at that point, so we rented the videos – I think they were Welcome to The Hellmouth, Surprise and Innocent and Becoming pts 1 & 2. They were obviously out of context but it didn’t seem to bother us. Then when Sky started showing it, I was able to borrow tapes of the show from friends (I didn’t have cable or satellite TV) and then eventually we found you could pay people to tape the episodes and post them over on VHS from America – and eventually onto disc via ripping from the internet.

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There are so many positive attributes to Buffy and if you’re a fan you’ll know all about them, but I thought I’d share how the show changed my life personally!

  1. Buffy gave me a shared interest which drew me to a fantastic bunch of friends. Since I was going through a massively hard time with anxiety and depression during my time at school, having a group of people to spend time with was so important. Without this shared interest I don’t know whether I would have survived school!
  2. I discovered some great alternative music – granted a lot of it isn’t that wonderful now but the style and feel of the music certainly gave me focus and was the catalyst to a lot of the music I listen to today. I still can’t hear Full of Grace by Sarah McLachlan without wanting to sob!
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  3. The fashion in the show isn’t always a hit, but I definitely emulated a lot of the looks from the show in my day-to-day wardrobe. Nowhere else would jack ups look cool – but they seemed to work on Buffy!
  4. My internet social life started with a love of The X-Files but I met a wonderful group of people on a BtVS message board, who I still speak to and sometimes see, today. I also made friends with some people across the pond and I still stay in touch with them now.
  5. BtVS could be the reason I started blogging. I had a fansite, made graphics, socialised with other webmasters and shared articles about the show. It was my first outing into making a mark on the internet and I loved it! I wish I had some screenshots of my site, but here’s one of the banners I made for the site. (My skills were awesome, right…… :D)
  6. gateWatching a tv show with strong female lead, and a bunch of other awesome females definitely wasn’t lost on me. It also didn’t hurt that Angel was a honey….
  7. And on that note, the vocab in the show was new, exciting and totally awesome. No one heard anyone speak California slang in Milton Keynes…. well at least until they met me!
  8. Even though Buffy was set in a world where Vampires were real, it also covered some really important subjects  – unrequited love, first sexual encounters, bullying, homosexuality, school shootings, rape, death of a family member, cheating, the complexities of friendship, fitting in, not fitting in….. I could go on….
  9. I mentioned music earlier, but I’ll mention it again, this time in the guise of score. The original BtVS score, composed by Christophe Beck, was the first time I really paid attention to incidental music in TV. I’d been a fan of The X-Files and knew about Mark Snow’s score (which isn’t to my taste) but in Buffy I discovered for the first time, the idea of theming. The concept that the same phrase of music could be used time and time again in multiple episodes of the show when a particular character or characters are on screen, was wonderful. The Buffy and Angel theme still gives me chills.
  10. Watching Becoming pt 2 was the first time I ever saw something on screen that made me feel deeply sad – and it was fiction. I didn’t get it – it was both beautiful and sad and I didn’t know what to do with the emotions I was feeling. Being a teenager is HARD!tumblr_n7q5z15MH71qiizz2o3_250
  11. Something that even the people I used to watch the show with, don’t know, was that until I began watching the show I was deeply terrified of Vampires and the idea of vampires. But watching BtVS cured me of that – thanks Joss!
  12. Also, to this day WWJD doesn’t stand for What Would Jesus Do, but instead stands for What Would Joss Do. And also Thank Joss It’s Friday, is something that often pops into my head. Joss is a genius…. Nuff said.
  13. I more often than once took this photo to the hair dressers (and sometimes I would come out with something similar….)Willow-Smith-550x440
  14. When I met Gary, Buffy was still being shown on TV – he knew how important the show was to me that he borrowed my dvd sets (it must have been love!) and binge watched them to catch up so we could watch the new episodes together!
  15. I wrote a letter to Joss Whedon and got a (print) signed cast photo back all the way from LA! I was so excited at the idea that it had come from America.
  16. My obsession with Buffy was apparently so strong, that one day my Mum took me aside and said to me ‘You do know you’re not Buffy don’t you?’…. And obviously I knew…. if anyone I would have been Willow, of course!
  17. Quotable Buffy changed my life, because not only did I find I was able to come up with a quote for every situation, but I found I was able to start coming up with quick quips of my own for every situation. You know those conversations where you think of something witty to say hours after the fact? Not me, I seem to have honed the skill of coming out with it at the right time. I have BtVS’ fast dialogue to thank for that!
  18. BtVS taught me that if the boy you like suddenly starts wearing leather trousers, he’s probably turned evil so it might be worth staying away.
  19. BtVS taught me the importance of friendship both via the show, and also the community that surrounded it.
  20. Out of all of the above, I have to say the most important thing BtVS taught me is that it’s okay to be you. Be you and be kind. Whether you’re the geek, the outcast, gay, straight, feel detached from the world, estranged from friends or family, feel uncomfortable in your own skin or even if you have a big secret you feel no one would understand – be you. And be kind – because no matter how hard you feel your life is, the stranger next to you is feeling the same. We’re all trying to muddle through this world – some of us are panicking about school, others are dealing with trouble at home, and who knows the girl next to you on the train might be dealing with coming to terms with being a Vampire Slayer.

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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!

 

February Favourites!

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February is traditionally a short month, and as such I don’t have a huge amount of product favourites this month, but I have been busy watching TV and Films so there’s a few of those.

Let’s get started with beauty!

I’m sure you could see this first favourite coming…

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The Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette has been talked about by so many people over the last few months, me included, but it’s turned very quickly into my all time favourite eyeshadow palette. I can’t count the number of looks I’ve created so easily using just these eyeshadows. They blend beautifully, and last! There’s a reason it’s become a cult favourite, and if you like wearing eyeshadows you need to pick this up when you can.

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The Cover Girl Clump Crusher mascara, pictured here with some other bits, has become my favourite every day mascara. So it’s a great shame you can’t buy it here! I picked this up on a recent trip to the States, and I’ll be stocking up every single time I go back because I don’t think I’ll tire of it! The wand gives my straight, stubborn lashes, a lovely lift. It separates and volumises without clumping and my lashes stay that way all day.

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That’s it for beauty. Onto the rest. I’d seen Blogosphere magazine mentioned in the blogosphere (ironically!) Once the Zoella issue hit the stands, I REALLY heard about this magazine. On a recent trip to London I picked up a copy, ahead of the next issue being released. I’ve only read a little bit so far, but I have been so impressed with the quality. Not only the content but the actual magazine quality is so impressive. I don’t buy magazines any more because they’re 80% advert 20% dodgy opinion, but this publication is not like that. It’s full of wonderful photos, interviews, opinions and includes the whole blogging community. I’ll definitely be picking up the next copy – though I don’t think I’ll be subscribing as it costs more to subscribe than just buy 4 copies a year….

Now onto the entertainment I’ve been enjoying.

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I mentioned The OA in a past blog, but it hasn’t featured in my favourites yet. I LOVED this show. Like really loved it. It was incredibly self-indulgent which I expected but aside of that the subject, story and execution was so good. They’ve renewed for another season apparently so I’m really interested in seeing what they come up with next.

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The Man in The High Castle is an Amazon original series and one of the reasons we stuck with amazon prime when they hiked the price. The second season of this, very intriguing show, was released not too long ago and we finished watching them this month. If you have access to amazon video and you’re interested in history and alternate realities, then give this a try!

And lastly for this month, I’d like to talk about something I’ll be honest I didn’t want to like. I tend to stray from things lots of people say is great – I don’t like to roll with the masses. I don’t want to be branded a typical female for liking something ‘girly’ that every woman likes. But…. ladies and gents….

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Oh my did I love this movie. Absolutely everything about this movie. I really like the film Crazy Sexy Love so I’m familiar with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling’s acting relationship. But this was something else. The music, songs, acting, story, cinematography and….. magic. I need to see it again….

Sigh.