27 April 2014

Currently I'm...#2

I'm not being (completely) serious when I say 'banter'. Honest...

Reading:
Studying has been soaking up all of my time recently so I haven't been reading as much as I want to. Saying that, I've been working my way through Daily Rituals by Mason Currey over the past couple of weeks and absolutely loving it. I'm finding it to be really quite motivational and is helping me get into a strong routine for my study-leave. I've also got Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King on the go at the moment but I haven't made any progress for a couple of weeks, mainly because of exam-prep.

Watching:
Until a month or so ago, I was watching Glee (season 5), My Mad Fat Diary (season 2), Hair, Are You the One? and Awkward, but then they all ended *head-desk*...so now I'm watching Gogglebox and the newest season of America's Next Top Model. As for YouTube, I've been watching all my usual stuff, but my recent favourites are Helen Melonlady and Claire Marshall.

Listening To:
Again, all the usual stuff but over the past few weeks, I've been mildly obsessed with New Politics, The 1975 and the (original) Fame soundtrack. Right now, I'm loving Bastille's cover of What Would You Do? by City High and Kiss Me Like You Mean It by East Of Eden (EofE).  I saw EofE supporting McBusted on the 18th of April and they were pretty great, so Kiss Me Like You Mean It has been on repeat for the past week or so.

Drinking:
I've been in love with Chai lattes for a couple of months now, especially Costa's but I'm not in Costa as often as I want to be so I've started to make my own at home instead, using a Chai latte mix my dad bought in Tesco's. I don't know the brand because we haven't got any right now, but they're delicious and almost as good as the Costa Chai latte. ^_^ As well as that, I've been drinking just as much tea, water and green tea with lemon as always.

Learning:
The higher modern studies course, unfortunately.

Loving:
Studying. Ha. I'm kidding. 
My first exam is in 2 days so I've been studying every day and haven't really had too much of a life outside of that... I guess I've been loving having really organised folders, listening to The 1975's album on repeat and watching interviews with New Politics until 2am. ♥

Enjoying:
Concerts! In the past month, I've seen Fall Out Boy, New Politics, The Pretty Reckless (all one gig), East Of Eden, Young Brando and McBusted (again, all one gig) and they were all awesome. :D

Lots of love, Cat
xxx

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21 April 2014

Ticked Off The Bucket List - Seeing Fall Out Boy


Date: 22nd March 2014
Goal: See Fall Out Boy in concert 

If you've been familiar with my blog for a while or know me in person (Rachel, I'm looking at you) then you'll be well aware of my love for Fall Out Boy. They've been my favourite band for about 7, maybe 8 years now and ever since I first heard Thnks Fr Th Mmrs on a Pop Party CD, I've dreamt about seeing them live and actually seeing Patrick Stump in the flesh. The thought of going to one of their concerts was always a far-fetched dream that I never really expected to come true for a number of reasons: firstly, it's pretty rare that Fall Out Boy will come to the UK, especially Scotland and secondly, I've always had a fear of crowds and new places. I guess this all kinda changed on the 27th of December last year: I was sitting in Costa, reading Nothing by Janne Teller (I'd just been to Waterstones) when I got a text through from my friend, Beka. She was telling me that Fall Out Boy were going to be playing in Glasgow in March 2014 and that, even though it's pretty daunting, tickets were only £30 and she thought we should go. It was slightly terrifying, to be honest. Even though I had been dreaming of it for 7 years, I was completely unprepared for it to actually happen. I texted her back saying that I didn't have the money and that I wasn't sure about going. What the hell was I thinking!? I'm unbelievably happy to say that I changed my mind after an hour of mulling it over and a few months later, I found myself at a Fall Out Boy gig.

I think it's safe to say that Fall Out Boy are my all-time favourite band (The Beatles being a close second) because, even though I haven't loved them for my whole life and I fell out of love with them for a short period of time in 2010, they mean more to me than any other band ever has. Every song they've ever sung is like, engraved into my brain and I can tell you the story of how the band was formed, the members' birthdays and favourite colours, and the car Patrick Stump used to drive. Sad? Yeah... Do I care? Not in the slightest. I'm sure that, as you were reading that, you were thinking of a band or singer that you have a similar relationship with. For me, that band is Fall Out Boy. I feel so incredibly lucky to have been given the chance to see them live and I can't describe how relieved I am that I changed my mind and agreed to go with Beka.

The gig was perfect. It was in the Hydro which is seriously one of the most impressive buildings I've been in and, being a sucker for architecture, is probably one of my favourite places. We had amazing seats (level 2, door K, block 211, row D, seat 171); mine being right next to the stairs with a perfectly clear view of the main stage (not that I stayed seated for more than 5 minutes) and an even better (bloody insane) view of the B stage (pictured above). The atmosphere was electric; it was like everyone was united and just utterly in love with the band. Everyone was singing and clapping and anywhere you looked, everyone was smiling. I can't describe how amazing that feeling is. Their set-list was flawless, the staging was flawless and their performance was flawless (that word isn't used enough). It couldn't have been better in any way, shape or form, and I still can't quite believe that I was part of it.

Right, now for some notable bits! To be honest, the full gig was just one massive notable bit, but for the purpose of this post, I'll pick out some highlights.
  • I bruised my hand. I didn't actually think this was possible but, as we were fighting through the crowd at the merch stand, I looked at the palm of my hand and saw a whopping great big bruise. During Save Rock & Roll, Patrick told us all to clap and if you know the song, you'll know that clapping is a big part of it. I didn't have time to put my phone in my pocket so I essentially just smashed it into the palm of my hand for 4 minutes. Obviously I was going to be left with a bruise, what was I expecting? I kinda liked it, to be honest...it was a weird, yet nice, reminder. :'D
  • We bought merch from a shady guy outside the venue. Official merchandise was extortionate so, even though we wanted to support the band and the venue, we decided to buy t.shirts from one of the counterfeit guys outside. I got a massive FOB shirt for £10 that stank of cigarettes and I practically lived in it for about a fortnight (disgusting, I know). I love it to pieces. ♥
  • During Death Valley, I looked over at the guy across the stairs. He was there with his girlfriend and I'd seen them a couple of times throughout the gig but as I looked over at that moment, he looked over and we caught eye-contact for a second. It sounds weird, but it was kind of amazing. Going back to what I said earlier, it felt like everyone was united, like one huge community, and catching eye-contact with this stranger in the middle of Death Valley reminded me of that. He looked so insanely happy. It was a little thing, but I loved it. 
  • The support bands. Oh the support bands... I'm actually going to do another post all about one of the supports because seeing them ticked another thing off my bucket list. The supports were The Pretty Reckless and New Politics and they were both amazing. The Pretty Reckless really aren't my kind of music but I appreciated it all the same. New Politics, however, are one of my favourite bands and seeing them live was incredible. Full New Politics post coming soon! :D
It all feels very surreal... I never thought I would be able to get over my fear of crowds - the mere thought of huge concerts like FOB used to terrify me - but I managed. I'm really proud of myself. :3 Fall Out Boy are my all-time favourite band and I feel so lucky to have been able to see them live. That gig sparked off something, though... I do believe I've been bitten by the gig-bug. (Another post which is coming soon will show that!) 

Have you been to any amazing concerts? If you could see any band or artist live, who would it be?
Lots of love, Cat
xxx

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You can see the last 'Ticked Off The Bucket List' post HERE! It tells the story of my first time busking.

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16 April 2014

Santoro London Mirabelle Range - Review

Santoro London Mirabelle range* - here

The lovely people over at Santoro London recently sent me a range of their products to try out and review! I received a selection of products from their beautiful Mirabelle range and have seriously fallen in love with the designs. Everything is so elegant and ethereal. ♥

The first of the products is the premium journal and pen, featuring the If Only design. This journal is gorgeous! It has the signature 'If Only' design on the cover and comes with a lovely black ball-point pen (it writes really nicely which is a plus) and a bookmark with the same design. It's brilliant quality and actually has three different kinds of paper inside; grid, lined and blank, all in adorable muted pastels. It has 192 pages and the quality more than justifies the reasonable price of £13.99. Love!

Next up is the memo block, featuring the Tell Me Something design. Like with the journal, this memo block is brilliant quality, especially for the price. You get 400 sheets of memo paper, all with an adorable bird design (a tiny bird in the corner and a lovely border), and they come in a little box with the beautiful 'Tell Me Something' design. I actually set it up wrong in the photo (fail...) but it transforms from a little box into a memo-tray. For only £5.99, you really can't pass this up. It's gorgeous and practical. ^_^ 

The third product is the pocket sticky notes and pencil, featuring the If Only design. I was ridiculously excited when I unwrapped these - I really love sticky notes... You get 8 designs of sticky note, with 65 of each, all in high-quality, very pretty paper. They're the perfect size for marking pages in a novel, text-book, magazine or study notes (anything, to be honest), but I think I'll be using them when I'm studying to mark important pages. They come in a little pack with a magnetic fastening and for only £4.99, I think they'll come in very useful. 

Next are the emery boards, featuring the Tell Me Something design. You get 5, high-quality emery boards in a cute pack, and they have actually been printed with the stunning Tell Me Something artwork. They're just emery boards but they're only £3.99, they'll do the job well and are incredibly pretty. ♥

Finally is the ball-point Mirabelle pen. This is fairly self-explanatory - it's a beautiful ball-point pen with black ink, that writes very smoothly and has a gorgeous Mirabelle design. It's pretty good quality and is very nice to write with. For £4.99, I'd say it's a lovely pen. :) 

The parcel came beautifully wrapped - it felt like my birthday as I was unwrapping everything - with a lovely card, featuring the Lost Song artwork. I'd like to say a massive thank-you to Santoro London for the amazing range of products! 

As always, this review was 100% honest and all opinions were my own. You can see my full disclaimer here.  Check out the Santoro website here, they have some absolutely lovely products!

Lots of love, Cat
xxx
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14 April 2014

Iconemesis - Fifi Lapin Mauve Coat iPhone 4 Case

Iconemesis Fifi Lapin Mauve Coat iPhone 4 Case - £10
(feat. the April 2014 issue of Company magazine with Zoella on the cover looking gorgeous, as always!)

I've had my iPhone 4 for just over a year now and, in that time, I've only had 2 phone cases that I've actually liked. The first one I ever got was a beautiful plaid Ted Baker case - I love it and have used it loads over the past year, but I thought it was about time I invested in a new, high quality phone case. I'd been seeing Iconemesis floating around the blogosphere for a few months and all of their cases looked so cute and a bit different from everything else I'd seen. I kinda expected them to be really expensive but I had a look on the website anyway and, to my surprise, they were selling iPhone 4 cases for £10. It took me bloody ages but I finally picked the Fifi Lapin Mauve Coat case and I couldn't be happier with it. ^_^

My phone case arrived within a few days; I put it on my phone straight away and it hasn't moved since. Overall, I'm very impressed with my case! It looks the same as it does on the website and it lovely quality; hard-wearing and sturdy. It has a nice sheen to it but doesn't get scratched easily. I'm yet to drop my phone (chances are I've just jinxed it) but I have a feeling that this case would protect it fairly well.

I love my Iconemesis case and will probably be ordering another one in the future so I have a choice. ^_^ You can visit the website HERE! They sell phone cases for the iPhone 4/4s and 5/5s.

Lots of love, Cat
xxx
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9 April 2014

Reading Memories

 This post was originally a guest post over at Charli's lovely blog; To Another World, but I felt like it fitted my blog pretty well so I'm re-posting it here. 


I've been reading for as a long as I can remember and there's never been a day in my life where I haven't had a love for books, ever since I was faced with a page of words for the very first time. I love reading and I enjoy most of the books I've read for different reasons, but there a few books that I've read in the past and will always love and cherish because of the memories attached to them. Here are those books and those ever-important memories.

First up is Paradise End by Elizabeth Laird
Everyday after school in Primary 6 and 7 (I was 10 and 11) I would go to the library with a couple of my friends and we would chat, do homework and get some books out. The library was my home away from home and I loved it there. One of the first books I got out during this library-obsessed phase was Paradise End by Elizabeth Laird. I read half of it at the library then took it out to finish at home, which only took an hour or so because I couldn't put it down. Elizabeth Laird's writing is beautiful and effortless, and the plot of Paradise End just sucked me in to a wonderful dream world. I kept renewing that book and re-reading it for a couple of months, then I finally bought my own copy online and have loved it ever since. It's a beautiful book and will always remind me of my after-school library trips. 

Next is Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie
I bought this book on a whim in Waterstones when I was about 9 or 10. I hadn't heard anything about it; I just read the blurb, liked the sound of it and bought it. It was finished a couple of days later and I had found myself a new favourite book. Sophie McKenzie's writing style really appealed to 10 year-old me and the plot of Girl, Missing was completely different compared to the fluffier stuff I was reading at the time. I'm not the biggest fan of it now but it's here because it is by far my most-read book. My copy is in a right state now: the pages are all crumpled, the cover is a weird shade of grey and you can't touch it without getting graphite on your fingers...I've read this book 9 times over the years and have written an essay and solo talk all about the wonder that is Girl, Missing. I'll never forget how much I loved this book and how much I loved Jam. I have read the other books in the series but they just weren't the same.

Lastly is Looking For Alaska by John Green
This one won't a surprise to anyone who knows me at all, as my insane love for all things John Green definitely isn't a secret. Looking For Alaska was the first John Green book I read and was one of the only good things about my holiday in Malta a few years ago. I took 4 of my own books on the holiday and my sister took 4 of hers and as we spent most of the week stuck in our hotel rooms, I ended up reading all of mine and all of my sister's. One of my sister's books was Looking For Alaska by John Green. I read it in one sitting, crying for practically the entire book, then moved onto the rest of John Green's books straight away. I was in love with his writing and the characters and the plot and everything. If it wasn't for Looking For Alaska, I would never have found his other books and would never have became a Nerdfighter. 

Lots of love, Cat
xxx

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