Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015, where to begin?

It tends to be a yearly tradition now where I make a blogpost on here about my year in a few hundred words, how I'm able to do that I'm not sure. Here we go, it's a particularly soppy one this year but I've been extremely soppy overall this year so it makes sense. 

So 2015 has been a year that's changed me, I say this every single bloody year but I think I have definite proof this time. It's had its good & bad points. I came out as a bi-romantic asexual so I basically announced that I'm not straight, I just love people. I faced some really tough times that exhausted me both mentally & physically. I went on a first date, something I thought would never happen. I became a First Aider. I've shed so many tears that I've become permanently dehydrated. I visited and discovered so many new places that became my little paradises to escape to when times were tough. I moved into my first private flat with my best friend. I decided to give up alcohol completely in May and it was the best decision I've ever made. I found out my idols are not just a figment of my imagination but they actually do exist. I've dealt with so much heartbreak this year that my heart has run out of super-glue. I received my first collection of fan mail. A childhood friend of mine sadly passed away suddenly. And I finally found a place I want to live in the future, I've decided that as soon as I can afford it, I'm living in Stonehaven. It was the hardest year in terms of university and part time work combined, being responsible for so many people's well-being and safety, dealing with the aspect of losing close friends who gave me meaning in life was too scary to write down in words. There was great pressure on me looking after and making people happy, to achieve the best marks I possibly could in my degree and gain respect as a responsible 21 year old in this big, terrifying world.

2015 was the year I really struggled to accept and love people, it's always been hard with my social anxiety but most importantly, it was so hard to be able to accept and love myself. It was the year I met lots new people, some in situations I never thought would be possible for me, yet I've already lost touch with most of them. But there have been some dear people who have made me smile a lot and I can't thank them enough. This year in particular, I lost someone who I thought was my best friend, but after a horrible fallout, we've never been able to re-patch things. It's a shame because I miss the fun and dear times we had together, but because this person had hurt me so much, it set my social anxiety on a whole new level, to the point where I tried to shut everyone out so I wouldn't hurt anyone else. 
It was the year where I had to confide in my dear friends, Connie & Struan, to be there for me, with coming out as bi & admitting I had depression/anxiety and needed help to keep on going. So many times I thought I was going to lose them and thought I wasn't worthy enough for them but they've always been there and I love them too much for words, everyday I'm so grateful for the sunshine they bring through that small window when it feels like I'm locked in a dark room with no way out. Coming to terms with my sexuality took many days & nights, weeks, even months of just crying to myself and trying to force myself to be straight and want sex. Now, I'm at that stage where I want asexuality to be talked about a lot more in LGBT communities across the world, discussed in sex education in schools and in social media & I'm slowly accepting the fact that it's just part of me. I have fallen for so many people this year, once again the wrong ones for me for too many different reasons and my heart has taken a bit of a beating but I'm still standing, just. 
University work was extremely tough, especially with the fact you were left to your own devices but I like to think I've improved massively in my saxophone playing, especially receiving my new horn, Candy, this summer. This next year is crucial and the pressure is fucking scary! Wish me luck! 

Now I'm happy to report that I have achieved most of the goals I set for this year, as you know from previous years, they're not resolutions but more ideas or ambitions I think could be possible to do within the year.

1. Travel more, see more places in the Aberdeenshire area in particular
I've been to the Royal Deeside, Slains Castle/Cruden Bay, Dundee and my particular favourite place this year has been Stonehaven, ever since my best friend Struan & I went for my 21st birthday, it's been my sanctuary at an overwhelming, difficult time for me and I honestly want to move there once I've done university/have a break for a year. There are still a couple of places I need to explore but I've pretty much seen the main areas in Aberdeenshire, which isn't just handy for my part time job but also places to escape to after a particularly stressful time.

2. Stay strong, no matter how hard the year gets, for my family's sake more than my own
My family and friends mean the absolute world to me, and people often say I'm like a motherly figure to them, so of course it upsets me that I often crumble myself. There have been several times where I've cried myself to sleep or felt as if I was all alone, thanks to the depression/anxiety that's built up a lot this year but all it takes is for my best friends, Struan & Connie in particular, to text me or pull a silly face or say they're here for me and it makes me laugh & smile again. So I wouldn't have been as strong without them in my life. My cousins and younger brother are still my inspiration and I want to be the role model they deserve for them. And my parents show no bounds of stopping in terms of their support for me, so I hope I'm doing them proud.

3. Take more photos of friends and family. Keep the special people close to you as always.
I've taken some really lovely pictures this year and now have a photo album which I bought from Paperchase (guilty pleasure!) where I print photos and keep them inside. I have my favourite selfies I've recently taken with Struan & Connie in December but have also taken some pictures of the lovely places I've visited this year. Here are a couple of my faves!

4. Keep on working, girl! The next two years are crucial.
At the end of 3rd year, I achieved 6 B's & 2 C's, and technically I have a degree already, the final year is my honours year. For someone who's not a straight A student, it's not that bad. It means I'm on my way to receiving a 2:1 with honours, it's my target and I really don't want to fall at the last hurdle, especially with all the incredible support so many people have given me. These next six months are going to determine where my life will lead to next and I'm petrified.

5. Learn to cook different meals other than pasta
I can make Diet Coke Chicken, curries, risotto, but I feel as if I've eaten more junk food this year due to stress. It's something I definitely want to work on but it may be after I've handed in my final university work before it happens, I plan to stay in Aberdeen for another year with my flatmate Struan so we'll see how we do, we like making dinner for each other in the flat so hopefully we'll get some ideas flowing. 

6. Watch the films I haven't seen yet and have been told off for not seeing them like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Iron Man etc
Funnily enough, I've seen all three series I've mentioned this year. Struan watched the 6 Star Wars films with me in one weekend (so I bought him tickets to see the new Star Wars with me, best friend points won I think!), I watched the 3 Lord of the Rings films in a bundle (took forever), and saw the three Iron Man films. I have seen quite a few films this year but I still have a long way to go in terms of watching all the films on my list on my phone but I'm quietly quite proud of myself!

So what about 2016, what do I want to try and achieve in the next year?
1. Receive a 2:1 at least in my Bachelor of Music undergraduate degree
2. Start learning sign language at North East College in September
3. Take a holiday somewhere with Struan & Connie, for their 21st birthdays & my graduation.
4. Save money for a flat in Stonehaven
5. Meet Harriet & Shelley
6. Get a Disclosure so I can work with children in the future
7. Fall in love with the right person for once
8. Get better. :)

So there we go, another year done, I'll be honest, it wasn't easy and a lot more sucky things have happened. But you have times that are not so good compared to others and the good times I did have this year were amazing. Here's to 2016, the year that is definitely going to change my life completely! To those special people who I keep on mentioning, I wouldn't be here without you all in my life, so I hope your support will carry on to the most important year of my life so far because I need as many laughs as I can get. Hope everyone has a safe and fun Hogmanay/New Year celebration, have a dram on me because I'm alcohol free now. I'm also staying at home for Hogmanay/New Year as I'm fighting off this cold, typical eh? Oh well, what can you do but just live with it. Thank you for reading this mammoth of a post, love you in particular because you've read the whole thing to the end, round of applause for you! Take care everyone. 

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Asexuality: What is it & My Coming Out story.

So over the past 21 years of my life, I've always known that I was different. And I thought it was in a bad way, turns out I didn't find out about this until a couple of weeks ago.
Hello, my name is Eilidh, I'm 21, I live in Scotland, I'm a music student and I am a biromantic asexual. 
Now most of you will probably be thinking, 'What the fuck is that, is that another way of saying you're bisexual?!' No, not quite. So this post is going to talk about asexuality, what it is and the wide spectrum of the sexuality, then I'm going to tell you my story, in the hope it helps someone out there who's struggling. I also made a YouTube video just talking about asexuality in general, using similar points.

These links are extremely useful to fellow asexuals or if you're wanting to know more about it. Most of the information in this post has been sourced from these websites. The last link was the one I used to show my close friends and my parents, and I think it's an incredible page to get the point across.

So what is asexuality?
Asexuality is a sexual orientation, like heterosexuality or homosexuality, but instead of being sexually attracted to men or women, asexual people are sexually attracted to no one. This doesn't mean we all hate sex or avoid it, it just means we don’t find people sexually attractive. There's a wide spectrum with asexuality so you can find out what works for you and that was a great comfort for me.

You can be asexual even if:
You think someone is good looking:
It's possible to think that someone is cute or beautiful without being sexually attracted to them, in the same way it's possible to think a puppy is cute or a painting is beautiful.
You're dating or married:
Romantic attraction is separate from sexual attraction. Many asexuals are interested in relationships, even if they're not interested in sex.
You have children or want children:
Sexual orientation has no bearing on a person's fertility or whether or not they want to have kids.
You've fallen in love:
Love and sex are not the same thing. Being in love with someone doesn't necessarily mean you're interested in sex, as well.
You get aroused:
Getting "wet" is just your body doing what it's supposed to do. Getting aroused doesn't have to mean you're sexually attracted to someone or something.
You masturbate:
I masturbate, big deal. It's a great stress reliever and it feels great but I'm not necessarily thinking about someone when I do it.
You look at porn or read erotica:
Some asexuals look at porn and may even find it arousing. Some asexuals read erotica. This does not require sexual attraction.
You've had sex:
Having sex doesn't mean you can't be asexual. Some aces are curious. Some aces think it's what they're supposed to do.
You haven't done any of those things:
Some asexuals are aromantic, meaning they don't experience romantic attraction. Some asexuals don't masturbate. Some asexuals never want to have sex.

Types of Romantic Orientation
A romantic orientation characterised by a persistent lack of romantic attraction toward any gender.
A person who is romantically attracted to members of two different sexes or genders. Biromantic asexuals seek romantic relationships for a variety of reasons, including companionship, affection, and intimacy, but they are not sexually attracted to their romantic partners.
Not participating in sexual activity (often specifically partnered sexual activity) for any reason, not necessarily because of a personal choice.
A demiromantic does not experience romantic attraction unless they have already formed a strong emotional bond with the person.
A romantic orientation characterised by romantic attraction to the opposite gender.
A romantic orientation characterised by romantic attraction to the same gender.
Someone who experiences romantic attraction, but does not desire reciprocation.
A romantic orientation characterised by romantic attraction to any gender.
Romantic Attraction:
A sense of “I would like to be involved in a romantic relationship with that person”. (Please note that “romantic” in this context does not necessarily mean flowers and sunsets on the beach and candlelit dinners.)

My Story (Coming Out)
Guess I always knew throughout my life that something wasn't quite right from the get go.
Throughout high school, I was the fat, single 'friend' who never truly got accepted for just being me, I was always with a group of 'friends' who were all in relationships, all into boys and that just didn't appeal to me. I grew up in a small town where no-one really had much faith in me, apart from my family of course who are incredible. But I've always felt that I was different to other people who want relationships, money, employment, I wanted to have this sense of adventure and independence.
Living in a world where you watch all the films and TV programmes, you hear from your family and friends that you HAVE to be in a relationship, you HAVE to have sex to be in love with your partner, you HAVE to like sex to be accepted. That fucking terrified me and for ages I thought I was a freak because I was the only one in my group of friends that could honestly say I could live without sex and a partner. But I felt the pressure that one day, I HAVE to have sex or find someone as it's one of the many goals you must achieve in your life, fair enough it's how you're brought into the world but the way people can have sex with anyone at anytime scared me.
I have social anxiety which means that having to trust someone is a great effort, I only have a couple of people I trust to be myself with. You constantly feel like people judge you for the smallest things, don't like you, laugh at you or stare at you almost like you have horns growing out of your head. You have to live with these thoughts every single day, which isn't easy.
I grew up to having many gay role models, especially in terms of music which is what I study at university, being Elton John, David Bowie and of course my guardian angel, Mr Freddie Mercury. Also, I watched Doctor Who and Torchwood during the Russell T Davies' era, being openly gay himself, creating Captain Jack Harkness who was bisexual and introducing various homosexual/homoromantic relationships, it was educational for me in so many ways. So I knew about homosexuality from a young age and accepted it from the start. When I started university, I began watching Kaelyn and Lucy's videos and fell in love with their special bond. I then subscribed to other gay couples such as Will and RJ & Katy and Eilis and felt more of a connection with homoromantic relationships as supposed to heteroromantic. I was watching several coming out stories and related to people's insecurities and admired their bravery as it helps so many other people who are going through similar situations.
People should be with who they love, regardless of the gender of their partner.  
I never tell people I have feelings for them because everytime I do fall for someone, I lose them. And for ages I thought what I truly felt couldn't possibly be love if I didn't want to have sex with them.
I've fallen in love with two people, both male, in my life where I actually told them how I felt and both of them turned me down in different ways. One completely broke my heart and took away my confidence, the other is still my best friend today and gave me the confidence to find out who I was and to truly be me because of his own bravery.
I have had many romantic crushes on women too, albeit secret and if I do think about it, if I had to have sex with a partner, I would be more comfortable with a woman than I would be with a man. On my Facebook, it does say that I'm interested in both men and woman but before I never made it a big deal, so nobody asked, I just thought they assumed.
One thing though I can connect with all of these people I have fallen for, I don't want to have sex with them. I have never been sexually attracted to them, I don't picture myself having sex with them whatsoever and I wouldn't dare to ask that from them. Because I hate relationships, I hate romance and closeness, I've had rare cases where people were close to me and it made me feel incredibly uncomfortable, even the thought of performing sexual acts myself scares me. I may make innuendos and dirty jokes sometimes in conversation as you do with friends, I'm often known to having a 'dirty mind' at times, but the reality is, I can't picture myself in these particular scenarios. I feel like I would be the worst partner ever because I'm not sexy, I don't see myself as attractive and I'm a mess deep down inside. I'm a misfit to this society where you're instantly judged for being a virgin at the age of 21.
To be both biromantic and asexual may seem like it's a tough concept for most people to fully comprehend. You do hear people say that bisexual/biromantic and asexual people don't really exist and they're just scared of committing to one person. We don't know what we want and we shouldn't come out as we're not actually gay or we're afraid to admit that we actually are gay. That we don't want to have relationships or have kids or settle down. That's not the case at all. Accept people for who they are, unless they murder, attack or rape people.
All we want is to be accepted and for people to listen.
May 16th 2015, that was the day I discovered and finally accepted that I was a biromantic asexual. I was looking up things on Google, found the asexuality forum, read a bunch of different posts and suddenly took in a deep breath. When I exhaled, I thought to myself, I'm asexual. I'm a biromantic asexual. I hate how people put strict labels on each other and I hate restricting myself into some box that you can't seem to change but this term seemed to explain how I currently feel in a way for others to understand. I soon told my two best friends, who I adore, the truth and they were nothing short but incredible. I never thought I would be so lucky after shutting myself from pretty much everyone to have two amazing people in my life who love me no matter what. After telling them, I wanted to keep things hush hush for the time being, it took me so long to finally think to myself, 'You're ok. You're not a freak.' that I wanted to relish in this discovered hidden truth. But after a while, it started to eat away at me, especially when I was with my family.
I decided on the 4th of June to let my mum and dad know about this, with the parents guide to asexuality, it seemed to be the best way to tell them. So the next morning, before going to work, I sent them the message on FB messenger on my phone as I didn't have internet in my new flat at the time. Mum texted me that evening to say it was my business and no-one else's, but it was a shame I didn't tell them face to face. She said dad was very quiet in response and that worried me, the last thing I wanted was to hurt anyone for just being me. I took it hard, beat up myself inside about it and got upset, my best friend who's now my flatmate told me that I worry too much and that everything would be fine. I hope they're not going to make this a big deal as I never made my sexuality a big deal before but it was almost as if I was a different person when I saw them and I had to lie to keep them happy. It does take a while to get your own head around this, hell, it took me 21 years. You may have seen several coming out videos where parents are instantly loving and supportive to their son and daughter, you have to remember they're human too. They will have questions, they do get hurt, they will have pictured you having a heterosexual partner, having a family and growing old with them. But at the end of the day, they should still love you no matter what. Try not to be disheartened if it takes a while for them to comprehend everything as coming out is a difficult thing for everyone that has to do it.
In the world around 1% of the population identify themselves as asexual but that doesn't mean there's more people out there. There could be a young teenage boy or girl sitting in their group of friends who are in sexual relationships, having conversations about sex and they feel broken and alone because they don't see people in the same way. Sounds cliche and may seem stupid to hear, but I want you to know if you're going through a similar situation that you're not alone. Coming out as asexual is just as scary as coming out as gay, bisexual, transgender, you name it.
It's the 21st century and people shouldn't be afraid to be who they really are. 

Monday, 4 May 2015

Depression & Anxiety, what bastards you are.

I was going to make a video about this on YouTube but there are so many people who share their individual story with everyone through this method. Maybe I will make a video one day but in the meantime, this blogpost will do.
To some who may know me in real life as the bright, bubbly, hyper saxophone player who looks after those she cares about, it may come as a shock that I've suffered with social anxiety all of my life. Recently I've experienced my own form of depression/anxiety, even though my life right now is the best it's ever been. And I hardly talked about it with anyone because I hate talking about my problems with people. But I feel as if I've been brought to this world to help others as best as I can so if you're going through a similar situation, hopefully my perspective on this important issue can be taken with a pinch of salt and possibly help you to fight against the demons that haunt you. If you need someone to talk to, contact me, send me an email, talk to me on Twitter, anything, don't fight this alone like I did.
I made a list of notes on notepad, mainly as short points for what I was going to talk about in a video, most stuff has been taken from Wikipedia, NHS and other websites on mental health. So here we go.

Definition from Google: feelings of severe despondency and dejection. "self-doubt creeps in and that swiftly turns to depression"
Definition from NHS: The symptoms of depression can be complex and vary widely between people. But as a general rule, if you are depressed, you feel sad, hopeless and lose interest in things you used to enjoy.
Postnatal Depression: a type of clinical depression which can affect women after childbirth
Bipolar Disorder: two extremes of depression and mania (high mood).
Seasonal Affective Disorder: winter depression

Definition from Google: a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. "he felt a surge of anxiety"
Definition from NHS: Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe. Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life. For example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an exam or having a medical test or job interview. During times like these, feeling anxious can be perfectly normal. However, some people find it hard to control their worries. Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and can often affect their daily life.
Social Anxiety: a discomfort or a fear when a person is in a social interaction that involves a concern of being judged or evaluated by others. Social anxiety involves an intense feeling of fear in social situations and especially situations that are unfamiliar or in which one will be watched or evaluated by others.
Stage Fright: anxiety in terms of performing or preparing for a main event
Angst: an intense feeling of apprehension, anxiety, or inner turmoil
Existential Crisis: the feeling that is experienced when thinking about life itself being without any meaning at all.

My notes on Depression/Anxiety, like I said take them with a pinch of salt.
First thing I would say is this, I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.
Self-Doubt is a killer, chances are you'll accept criticism more than compliments.
Depression can hit you like a ton of bricks, even when it seems like your life is going well. It doesn't just occur when you lose a loved one or when your life goes to shit. The happiest people on the outside can be hiding so many demons on the inside.
You lose faith in yourself and even those around you to help you when you need it most.
Anyone can get depression or anxiety, some more than others.
Anxiety is often linked to depression even though it may seem like the other side of the coin.
The pressure of everyday life is a lot to handle, especially if you have a busy schedule or feel pressured to do well in life.
When you experience a panic attack: you're not able to breathe, your whole body hurts, you feel sick, almost as if you're going to spew, you can't physically move, you're terrified, claustrophobic, lost.
Anxiety and depression can make you lose or gain weight that you can't seem to control. You can make yourself ill, you attack yourself on the inside and cry to sleep every night because it feels like no-one can help you. You get more emotional. You shut yourself from friends and family. You can't fully socialise with those you love as you get angry or upset with them for no real reason.
You feel so alone. And it hurts.
What I've learnt is, no matter how hard it is, don't let these horrible thoughts control your life.
Life is hard but the rewards will come to those who work hard for them.
Have some time off to be able to breathe, spend time with the people you love, visit places you've always wanted to go to. Get away from work for 5 minutes and accept the fact that it's the smaller things in life that makes it great and worthwhile, that first cup of tea in the morning or that song you like playing through your speakers, the one that makes you grab your hairbrush and sing so loudly that your neighbours complain you're a terrible singer.
Do whatever works for you, take advice from others in anyway you want, you're an individual and your life should live through your own rules. One method that may work for one person may not work with you, if that's the case, don't lose hope. Keep fighting and stay strong.
Even if you feel a burden and hate talking about your problems, talk to someone you trust, whether that be a friend, family member, partner, councillor, or someone online.
One of the best ways of getting over your depression/anxiety is helping others that are going through similar situations.
When you get upset, get your playlist of sad songs, open your jotter or word document and write down how you feel. Let all the tension out, scream, yell, cry your eyes out if it helps all the built up weight ease off your shoulders. It's ok to not be ok all the time. It's when it impacts your life in ways you didn't expect it would, that's when something has to be done.
Your depression/anxiety will never go away completely because it's part of normal human reaction but you can learn to control it. Your worst enemy at times is yourself so tell them who's boss.
Be proud that you're still living your life, be proud of where you are and what you have achieved.
But also don't feel restrained to be someone you're not ready to be, you still have time.
You are not alone.
There's always someone out there who loves you. ❤

Thursday, 19 March 2015

My 20th year on this planet in a blogpost.

I wanted to write another post on here, I know, I only published my last post just over a week ago! I seem to write all the time now, albeit being essays for university. I just finished my 1st draft of my research proposal which is basically me telling lecturers what I'm going to spend my entire 4th year at university, apart from the obvious stressing out, getting no sleep and crying my eyes out as the end of my life as a student is nigh and I have to focus on serious shit. Yeah, I look forward to it as much as the next person. But I discovered more lately how writing can be a great tool, if you're upset or having a bad day, open a new Word document and write all your worries on there. Then you can decide whether you want to save it, or just delete it. I find it better because I'm not worrying or involving anyone else and I can decide what the initial outcome is. Well, that is until Word decides it doesn't want to save what you wrote and ends up losing it anyways, like what it did with me. Thanks for that. Anyways, I've recently become a very reflective and soppy person, one example is when I nearly made my mum cry on Mother's Day by calling her my best friend.

I'm turning 21 on the 24th of March, basically 5 days from now and that terrifies me more than people realise. Because I don't want to say goodbye to being 20. To think I didn't want to turn 20 in the first place, now it's funny because it's been the year where I've experienced the most highs and lows I've ever had in my life. I've gained several new friendships, ones I hope will last a lifetime, I've also lost those who I wish I stayed in touch with. I've had my heart broken numerous times throughout my 20th year yet I discovered I still have one special person in my life who always puts a smile on my face no matter how many times I cry. I've found employment and dealt with a part time job alongside university. I've gained so much more confidence and compliments from people some days, other days insults and anxiety knock all the happiness out of me, almost like as if someone punched me hard in the stomach. I've improved so much in terms of my saxophone playing this year with the saxophone king (my tutor) and yet it drives me to push myself even further, far beyond the standard I thought I could reach. I've surprised myself a lot this year; good surprises, bad surprises, surprises I never saw myself achieve in a million years.

Yet I realised, despite everything that has happened in the space of 365 days, have I really changed? I'm still the crazy, weird, music obsessed, saxophone playing, ginger haired Queenie. After spending most of my life not fitting in at home, it's strange to finally be at a place where more and more people accept you for being the person you're meant to be and want to be. Of course, I still have the wonderful support from those who have known me before I moved to Aberdeen and 'changed', my INCREDIBLE family who show no bounds when it comes to encouraging me to achieve my dreams, I hope I can do you proud. To the select few, those special people who have stuck with me, because let's be honest, family have to, they don't get a say! Hehehe. No, seriously, you guys decided to sacrifice most of your time to spend it with me and that's an achievement in itself. And the most wonderful blessing. I may never say it enough but I will always love you and I hope you'll be in my life forever.

So to sum up, right now at this moment in time, I'm scared to turn 21 and I don't want to be 21. But if being 20 was such a defining year for me, imagine what 21 is going to be like! I still have so much I need to experience, need to achieve, more tears to cry, more laughs to enjoy, more of my personal failures to struggle through but that's part of life. It's literally the biggest and fastest roller-coaster that never seems to stop and I'm holding on for dear life. But I'm surrounded by my nearest and dearest and there will always be music around me wherever I go. That's all I need, my family, loved ones and music to love forever more. That's what makes me happy.

P.S. - America, one day soon, hopefully I'll be able to drink in you! hahaha. :)

Sunday, 8 March 2015

What I've liked in 2015 so far!

I wanted to write down a list of things I've been loving recently after watching several February Favourites videos on YouTube, so I guess these are my favourites for 2015 so far!


My life is full of music as I'm sure you're all aware, we're already into the 3rd month of 2015 and I have listened to a vast range of various genres, artists and musicians. Here are just a few musical gems I've been loving since January.

Queen & Adam Lambert
You guys know Queen are not just my musical inspiration, they have inspired me to be different and to achieve my dreams, no matter how big or small they may be. I definitely achieved one on the 14th of January, I saw Queen live and it was the most magical night of my life.
Agnes - Dance Love Pop
This album is 7 years old now (2008 was 7 years ago, WTF?!). If you like dance style, almost Eurovision kind of music with nice vocals, you'll enjoy this. The songs are infectiously catchy, that kind of album you will play to get ready for a night out, special event etc.
Jessie J - Who You Are
This woman has always been a guilty pleasure of mine, she can definitely sing that's for sure. I finally got the full album of Who You Are after only having a couple of tracks and I really like it, Abracadabra has been stuck in my head for days. I also bought Alive but I personally prefer this album, it has a mix of emotional songs with intimate meanings and catchy, uplifting songs.
Olly Murs - Never Been Better
It took me a while to get used to this album, I've always enjoyed Olly Murs' cheeky personality and flair he puts into his songs. At first, I was unsure as it seemed his music was starting to sound super edited just so it can make it on the Official Music charts, even his several TV appearances were starting to irritate me. But I do really like most of the tracks on this album, Up is a personal favourite, cute duet with Demi Lovato.
Ed Sheeran
You got to support your fellow gingers in life, and recently this guy has really grown on me, I originally thought he was one of those artists that became too popular but the dude really does have talent. PROOF THAT US GINGERS DO HAVE SOUL! Wow, that was years ago as well, where is time going?! Anyways, back to Sheeran. His live performance at the BRITS was amazing, and this cover of Christina Aguilera's Dirrty (COUGH, I really like the original a lot, COUGH) was fresh and different to the ears.
The Overtones - Sweet Soul Music
My boys never disappoint me. EVER. It's impossible to listen to their music and not dance around the room like an absolute idiot. Yet it also has beautiful songs that make you shed a wee tear. What was even better was I received a signed copy of the album a couple of days before the official release. If you're an Overtones or swing/doo-wop fan, you will not be disappointed.
Pitbull ft. John Ryan - Fireball
After hearing this track on Shaun the Sheep The Movie's trailer (don't judge me) I 'Shazamed' it and soon found out it was this song. The horn riff is catchy as fuck! I only just started listening to this song on Thursday, now I can't stop help but listen to it several times each day.


You may remember from my last blog post, I made a goal for 2015 to gather all the films I needed to see as one big list and watch them all, whether they were new ones I was interested in, iconic films I should've watched years ago e.g. Lord of the Rings (done!) or films that people have generally recommended to me and if I didn't watch them, friendships would end.

Into The Woods
I have Struan, my partner in crime, to thank for this, as he's quite the Stephen Sondheim fan. This should've been a musical wonder as well as the soundtrack has been sung several times (badly may I add, sorry!) by the two of us but the film itself is really great, Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt steal the show, absolute babes. And I love the whole realistic approach to each of the fairytale characters, showing that life does carry on after the 'Happily Ever After.'
I recommended this film to my saxophone tutor, the legend that is Mr Ingham, because if you're a musician/music student, you generally think you give up your life to practise sessions, band rehearsals and that your teachers give you a really hard time. All I can say is, you haven't seen or experienced pain until you have watched this film. J Jonah Jameson is the dick of all music tutors.
Kingsman: The Secret Service
I love any film, any THING with Colin Firth in it, the ultimate dreamy gentleman. Who in this film is an absolute bad ass! This film is the ultimate spy film with a big twist in it's tail. And for once, the kid they bring in doesn't annoy you, he's actually a decent character. Lots of epic fight scenes, cool spy equipment, what's not to love?
Big Hero 6
As you guys may know, I absolutely adore Disney, even though the new films nowadays are a bit hit or miss. Big Hero 6 is a different kind of film to the ones you'd expect from Disney, very sciency which is not my strong point but it's funny, it has heart, it made me cry near the end and it has Baymax. Every year, I seem to find a new character to put on my list, he's up there with Sulley, Donkey, Olaf, Mushu, you name it. Yes I know, they're all animated characters. I'm 5 years old, let's move on.
Star Wars
Believe it or not, before last weekend, I had never seen Star Wars. And I call myself a sci-fi fan. I've played wind band arrangements of the music several times if that helps? No? Ok, moving on! I also have Struan to thank for this as we watched all 6 of the films on the Saturday and Sunday of that weekend. And I enjoyed all of them, of course IV, V and VI are better but I, II and III do have Ewan McGregor in them (YUM!). It was also fun to watch them because I grasped the story and key characters really quickly so hopefully I didn't annoy Struan too much! These are his favourite films of all time so if I said anything against them, it would've been game over. Mind you, if he didn't like Monsters Inc, I would have hunted him down and kicked his ass (always time to use a Friends quote)! This means I might be able to watch the 7th film when it comes out and understand it! GO ME!


Broadchurch Series 2
The number of times I have punched my bed in frustration with this programme. I was so excited for Broadchurch to come back after the success of the 1st series. People have different opinions on the 2nd series as a whole, saying it's quite different and not as good. I personally thought it was great, really gripping, at some points really horrible to watch, which is what Chris Chibnall is good at. I got Struan into the series as well and he loves it, infact more than I do at certain points. And it had the most amazing cast ever, David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Eve Myles. AND THERE'S GOING TO BE A SERIES 3! YAAASSS!!
Top Gear
A new series of Top Gear is now on BBC2, this is series 562 or something ridiculous like that and it's still the funniest programme ever! Just when you think they've done it all, they go and surprise you more than once! If you're going to only watch just one episode from the series, go and see the Ambulance one, I actually wet myself with laughter. Keep being you boys! And yes, I want a P45.
Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway
Another programme where you may need to wear a pair of nappies whilst watching it, last weeks episode in particular was brilliant, highlights you DEFINITELY need to watch is Ant dressing up as Anne Hegerty from the Chase before she actually appears herself and Richard Madeley dipping a stranger's shoe into a swimming pool. These cheeky Geordie chappies do know how to put a smile on people's faces, especially after a long shift at work. Once you get over the many ITV 'celebrities' that have to appear on the show, it's still an entertaining watch. The most painful thing is, the trip they're offering out as a price for around the end of March, is my dream holiday! New York, Disney at Broadway, Hard Rock Cafe?! NO FAIR. As mum said to me, 'Don't give up on your dreams, pet.' I will be in New York one day, some day. I just have to use all of my earnings on rent for a standard Aberdeen flat first. Sigh.


I'm not the biggest fan of makeup in general, I don't wear mascara or eyeliner as I hate things near my eyes, I don't see the point in lipstick especially as I'm a woodwind player and it doesn't matter what I wear, I still break out or my nose looks super oily. But here are a couple of products I've discovered recently which have been amazing.

Rimmel London Stay Mate BB Cream in Very Light/Light
The two BB Creams I have, one from Simple, the other from Garnier Ambre Solaire are quite orangy, shimmery and more of a BB cream I would wear over the summer. So when I was doing my typical shop in Morrisons, they have a Rimmel stand and I saw this. After seeing the word 'Matte', I thought, 'Let's give this a try.' because of my oily skin particularly round my nose area, it's hard to give it the matte look I would like. The Light shade was the first shade I bought, and it still looked a little too dark for me but I was able to blend it in really well. I was surprised to see how liquidy it was but it goes matte soon after you apply it to your face. I then found the Very Light shade in Boots and funnily enough, it's quite pale on me. So I have two versions of the same cream now, one for everyday use (Very Light) and one for work/special occasions to give me a bit more colour (Light). Packaging isn't the best, product does build up around the lid and goes everywhere so you have to clean that up every so often but a very good BB cream for an affordable price.
Benefit GimmeBrow in Light/Medium
I caved and purchased the product again after running out in December. I really like Benefit's overall packaging and I've had a couple of products from them which are great. But they're SUPER expensive. £17.50 for an eyebrow product?! Really burnt a hole in my pocket. At least I know it's going to be worth it as after using this product before, it gave me a new lease of confidence, as in 'Holy shit I actually have eyebrows now!'. I tried the Rimmel dupe for this and the wand was way too big (no euphemism intended) so I knew I had to get my baby back. This wand is just the right size, I love how it's a colour you can apply and build on if you want to, it looks cute in the bag and yeah, I just love this little treasure despite the hefty price tag. I'm going to try and keep this product for as long as I can, I do have a Rimmel Eyebrow pencil to use everyday so this is going to be only used for work shifts and special occassions.

Seventeen Miracle Matte Pressed Powder in Ivory Porcelain
This has taken over the Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder, a product which was a staple of mine for months. It's the same price, around £3.99, it looks more chic, the packaging in general is a lot more sturdy, you do get one of those sponge things that I usually throw away and a mirror inside which is handy. It says up to 16 hours shine control, yeah that will NEVER happen with me but it does make my makeup stay longer than Rimmel's powder did. Only thing is, you can only get this in Boots whereas you can get Rimmel pretty much anywhere. That's why I have bought several of these, one for work, one for my make up bag, one as back up etc.
Seventeen Stay Time Up to 18 Hour Concealer in Fair
Now, I don't know what's happening but everytime I go to find the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer, my holy grail product, in store, it's ALWAYS out of stock in my shade, no 1 in Fair. So at the same time I got the Seventeen Powder, I picked up this concealer just to try it out. It has more of a liquid consistency compared to Collection which is more thick. Even though it's in Fair, it's a slightly darker shade as well. It's nice to wear, easy to blend, once again, same price as Collection, £4.19. And the packaging doesn't wear off! It bugs me with Collection that you get this black residue from the label on your fingers after using it. I would say both concealers are different, Collection is better at concealing spots and blemishes whereas Seventeen is a good under eye concealer. And because both shades are slightly different, I pair Collection with the Very Light BB Cream and Seventeen with the Light. Whether I will purchase this again, not sure but it's a good substitute none the less. And also, who on earth would wear makeup for 18 hours?! That's really gross.
Collection 2000 Fix Me Up Long Lasting Make-Up Fixer
This is seen as a dupe for Urban Decay's De Slick, which is a product I really want to try but it's like £40 for a 2ml bottle! I tried the MUA version but I felt like it didn't do anything, but it was only £3 for 60ml so I wasn't heartbroken. MUA's bottle was a decent size, Collection on the other hand is £5.99 for 18ml. Kinda irritating but I feel that this just works better in comparison. Another thing I'm not too keen on is the smell, the number of times I have said 'That smells disgusting!' after spraying this product on my face. Once again, I wouldn't be in a hurry to purchase this again but it's still a decent product.
Nivea Happy Time Shower Gel
This shower gel was the first shower gel I bought myself, you know when you become a teenager and you have more freedom to buy the products you like so you can stop stealing the Radox from your mum and dad. I mainly picked it up because of the name, I mean how cute is that name?! I'm not the biggest fan of orange scented smells but this just reminds me of shopping in town whilst I was visiting my nanna and grandad and how I felt using this for the first time in the shower, grown up. Sounds daft but as the eldest in my family and the only girl in my generation for quite some time, I did have my girly perks everynow and then. I picked up a 500ml bottle for only £3, it lathers up really well, smells really nice and it's creamy which makes your skin feel softer too. Nivea Shower Gels in general are really good value for the money
Lush The Comforter Bubble Bar & Bubblegum Lip Scrub
I popped my Lush cherry in February after wanting to try Lush products for absolute ages, the number of Lush hauls I had seen on YouTube, it just seemed like such a magical place filled with scented wonders. What scared me from going was the price they charged for certain items and getting help from the staff. Whenever I go shopping, I go in the shop, get what I want as soon as I can, then I walk out, so I get nervous when the staff ask if I need any help. But Chloe was really sweet and gave me tips on how to use certain products. Now the other product in the photo, the Cupcake face mask, I really wanted to try as 1. Chocolate scent & 2. For spotty, oil prone skin. I dunno whether it was because of using this product or the amount of stress I'm going through at university combined but I had horrible breakouts on my chin in particular. Also, you can only keep it in the fridge for say 3 weeks. Infact, today's the expiry date so I better throw it out now. Disappointing as it wasn't cheap, over £6 so that's why I'll stick to only using Simple products, cheap and cheerful. Anyways, back to the good Lush products, I've heard so many people talk about the Comforter. OH. MY. GOD. It smells like Vimto and Parma Violets mixed together, it's incredible. And I'm not a fan of pink but I do like how the bath water bubbles and turns pink when you run it. You can also get your money's worth by cutting small-ish pieces as £4 is quite a lot. My lips were dry and cracked with saxophone playing and cold weather being a bitch of a team so I finally decided to get a lip scrub. Once again, OH. MY. GOD! The taste of this is soooooo nommy and you can actually eat it after you apply it on your lips! At around £6, it's quite pricey but a little goes a long way so I'm going to make this baby last also. Bad Chloe for giving me a catalogue listing all the products because I want to buy them all now. If money weren't an object eh?
Blistex Relief Cream
Even though the Lip Scrub is really good at softening my lips, after several hours of band rehearsals and lessons this week, my lips were the worst they've ever been in their entire life, it hurt to talk afterwards. Strange as I have played for longer periods of time but bugs are currently spreading around and I'm at that stage where I feel like I've caught something but I'm just tired. Make your mind up body, am I ill or not? Anyways, I had to go out and buy this cream, luckily my trusty dusty local Morrisons had it. I've tried this stuff years ago before and the only thing that's changed is the name; 'Formerly Bisteze.' Ok, sure. This product has been an absolute lifesaver, my lips are almost back to normal. I really don't like applying this product, cream on your lips is really weird, but you can really feel this product do it's magic and as long as you have an hour break inbetween, you can apply it as many times as you want. Thank you Blistex for saving my lips and my wallet, as buying a new pair of lips wouldn't have been cheap!
Yankee Candle Mango Peach Salsa
As you can see, I've made several sneaky purchases recently, but this one has definitely been worth purchasing. Infact I'm going to have to get the large candle as I've been burning it quite a lot and I only got it last week. Mango. Peach. Salsa. THIS IS A CANDLE! HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?! I absolutely freaking adore Mango scents. If you want to win me over, buy me anything smelling of either Mango, Apple or Vanilla and I'm sold. Holy moly, I'm smelling this candle now as it's right beside me, I can't get enough, it's turning into an addiction! Even though Yankee Candles aren't that cheap, £7.99 for this wee puppy (offt!), they are definitely the best for smells, it's like walking into a fruit salad, swimming in the mango juice (this is getting weird now, I apologise!). And the smell REALLY lasts in the candle, for example, the Vanilla Cupcake candle I've had for a year and a half now still smells incredible. Also the shop in Aberdeen is one of my favourite places ever to exist.


Lotus Biscuit Spread
I have Connie to thank for my latest obsession. I was really upset that my local Tesco's don't sell either the Custard or Bourbon Cream Spreads. After hearing from my bessie that biscuit spread was the best thing to walk on God's earth, I soon found Lotus' version in Morrisons. I actually tried it using my usual spoon in jar method in front of Struan, which he disapproved of, he thought the smell of it was too sickly. He obviously doesn't know I spend most of my time eating Nutella from the jar. Are you ready for a shock though? I think I may prefer this to Nutella! It's sweet, it's crunchy, it's SOOO addictive. I actually just want to go into the kitchen and eat it all now. But I'm not going to. That's bad. I'll eat my Oreo chocolate bar instead.
Warburton's Thins
So many people raved about these, mum told me about them, even my flatmate Kirsty bought some so I saw what they looked like. They were on offer as well so I thought, 'Why the heck not?'. These things are super handy, the fact that they've already been sliced for you saves you from doing the job I hate, I massacre rolls, it's not a pretty sight. They're really light to eat as well, especially as I spread fatty biscuit spread on them. For one person, buying a loaf of bread is hardly worth it as you usually leave it to get mouldy over time. With these thins, you can get a pack of 9 for around £1.50 and you actually have quite a long time before they start going green. I bought a packet of 9 on Wednesday 4th, they say 11th March as their best before date. I dunno about you but that's pretty darn good.
Now, I have a special relationship with these sweets. During my Hellcember month where I had three essays and an exam to complete, I went down to the vending machines to get my packet of Skittles. To relieve stress, I like to organise all the colours together and create some kind of graph on the desk. I then take a photo of it and put it on Twitter before eating the Skittles in order of colour. I'm deadly serious, honestly look up the hashtag #funwithskittles, and you may see a couple piccies of Skittle graphs where I make a comment or two. I just found out today, they've released a packet with blue skittles inside. THAT HAS JUST MADE MY LIFE SO MUCH SWEETER. And they even taste better with the blue skittles inside. I think all you've learnt from this post is that I'm completely mad. But let's be honest, 'We're all mad here...'

Wow, this post took most of the afternoon to write. If only I was this dedicated to my university essays... Yeah. But I enjoy seeing what other people's favourites have been over a period of time, I usually get some really good recommendations from others, isn't sharing wonderful? Hope you are all having a wonderful life so far in 2015, and I'll hopefully be back real soon. Oh and by the way, 16 days till the big 21 for me! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! ❤ HEARTS TO EVERYONE! ❤

Thursday, 1 January 2015

2014. What a crazy year it's been! ♥

It's been over a year since I've last done a post on this blog, gone from 73 posts in 2012, to 14 posts in 2013 to absolutely none in 2014 because I had a nap earlier. Whoops. Going to use the university excuse once again, I haven't even uploaded a video on my channel since September (as I was slow at uploading Vlogust) and that was before the 3rd year of my course had even started. I had three essays and a Physics exam to sit before Christmas, so I've already written at least 6500 words this month alone! Anyways, let's try to sum up this year in a blog post shall we?

To describe what this year has been like for me, I can't actually put it into words. It's been a year where personally I think I have changed the most, some people think for the better, others may think that's not the case. As I'm now halfway through my music degree, 2014 was a year that has scared me the most in terms of what the future may hold. It has tested me more than any other year, I've kept so many secrets, laughed so many times, shed a couple of tears too. I've met so many wonderful people that I can't believe we've only just met this year, I'm sure they'll be in my heart for many years to come. As for someone who never believed in relationships for herself, I even fell in love with someone this year, despite me saying to myself I would never put myself through that kind of strain ever again. And yet in some bizarre way, I'm ok with it because he's one of my closest friends. Whether things will progress or not next year is another story so I'm not going to say much more on that.

2014 was the year where I probably gained the most independence. It was the year where I was either at two places, home or Aberdeen. It was the first summer I was away from home, I worked most days during the summer and felt truly confident in myself for the first time ever, for a brief period anyways. This also came at a price as I've hardly seen my family at all this year. As all my younger cousins get older and as Steven, my younger brother, turned 18 this year, being home for Christmas really highlighted to me how precious those moments with them are and how I really took them for granted when I was home before. In particular, I'm thankful for one of my youngest cousins, Charlie. I had the scare after an average day in April where I found out my three year old cousin (two at the time) was suddenly rushed to hospital in Aberdeen. But it was also a blessing in disguise because I got to visit him and spend a whole day with him, now he dotes on me which melts my heart. My cousins are my world and it's my duty to be a good role model for them as they get older. I also need to make sure my mum and dad are happy as well and be there for them even when I'm hundreds of miles away, make them proud as much as I possibly can.

2014, the year where I met people. I met my family from work, I met and saw the Overtones for the 2nd time and of course I saw the gorgeous Kerry Ellis twice in Aberdeen before meeting her after the concert at the Music Hall. I now get saxophone lessons from the king that is Richard Ingham and I still adore playing saxophone to this day, especially playing in music groups with my best friends. It was the year where I said goodbye to my teenage years, where I spent my days off work looking for 50 dolphin statues in Aberdeen city, where I got my stereo to play vinyls and where I had learnt so much about various different things, which I hope I can use in the years to come. It was the year where I finally thought, for once in my life, I actually do belong somewhere. I found out new things about myself, some good, some bad, some I want to forget. It was the year where I had to think about what I truly want out of life. What's that you ask? In terms of my life, I'm still not sure. What I do want though is I just want all the people that I care about to be happy and to still be a key part in my life. As cheesy as it sounds.

Now for the fun part, the time where I see how I got on with the goals I set for myself last year. These are not true resolutions for the year, more like targets without an actual time limit.

1. Part time job in the summer
I FINALLY GOT EMPLOYED! About bloody time heh? I got my job at the information centre in June after having my first job interview. I had never been so scared before going in on that day, but little did I know, I was going to meet and get the opportunity to work with the most amazing bunch of people I've ever met. They're like a family to me, each day I'm in the centre with them is filled with laughter and smiles, even after having those annoying customers who want to suck all the fun out. And the great thing, I'm still working there now and will be throughout 2015 and hopefully most of 2016 too.

2. Limit my shitstorms on Twitter (basically keep the bad times to myself or close friends who won't tell another living soul)
Believe it or not, this year I've not tweeted half as much as I did last year. This year has been tough for me, university work wise, keeping friendships wise, emotions wise, but at the end of the day, I have people who depend on me to be strong, my family in particular. In some ways, I've kept so much of myself hidden from other people and yet I feel as if I've shared too much of myself with those select few in my life. I'm sorry to those who have put up with me this year, you know who you are.

3. Meet my dear friends Harriet (@HarrietR1984) and Shelley (@Shellx85x).
Unfortunately, I've been so busy at university and at my part-time job this year, that I haven't been down to see my gorgeous girls. This year has been extremely tough for both girls, especially Shelley, who has had a horrible year, but both girls still give time out of their day to talk to me through Twitter, text etc to ask me how I'm doing, even when I'm down. I really hope one day soon we will all meet in person. I love you both, my seashell and my honey bee.

4. Work even harder
I would like to think I have worked my butt off in 2014 because I'm the slimmest I've ever been since I was 12. All weight jokes aside, this year has been the hardest year in terms of work. 'Hellcember' as I called it, was an absolute nightmare of a month, as for May/June time when I had eight exams to sit, five in the same week, that was hellish too. But I passed my 2nd year and I've received good marks for my 3rd year assignments so far. The next couple of years, 2015 and 2016 are going to be the defining years of my entire life, they're going to essentially decide where my future path will lead to. And I'm shitting a brick just thinking about it.

5. Learn sign language
I've always wanted to learn sign language, especially after finishing my Gaelic courses in May. I bought the book for dummies in the summer but I have hardly had the chance to look at it since then. Maybe in summer 2015 whilst doing my summer job, I may look into it. But I have a long list of coursework to complete before that goal is complete.

Here are my goals for 2015, if I complete half of them by the end of the year, great. If not, there's still time. 
1. Travel more, see more places in the Aberdeenshire area in particular
2. Stay strong, no matter how hard the year gets, for my family's sake more than my own
3. Take more photos of friends and family. Keep the special people close to you as always.
4. Keep on working, girl! The next two years are crucial. 
5. Learn to cook different meals other than pasta.
6. Watch the films I haven't seen yet and have been told off for not seeing them like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Iron Man etc

So 2014, the year that brought us Frozen, the Commonwealth Games, Avril Lavigne does Dubstep, YouTubers find fame outside of the internet, new albums from many of my favourite returning artists such as Paolo Nutini, The Hoosiers and Anastacia, loads of charitable donations either through non makeup selfies or buckets filled with ice cold water and of course Conchita Wurst. This year also brought a country close to its breaking point as Scotland's residents fought against each other, I saw many relationships end because of a simple yes or no vote. In my opinion, as a nation, we became selfish for our own well being as supposed to others. I hope this year has shown to Scotland that we need to stay together as one, we've been through a lot this year, the world has been through a lot and the last thing we need is families being torn apart. 

I know 2015 is going to be another defining year for me, starting off with Queen & Adam Lambert in Glasgow's Hydro on the 14th January, I just know it's going to be one of the best nights of my life so far, finally getting to see the musicians who have inspired me so much. As for the rest of the year, I'm still grateful to work in this amazing city, to do what I love the most in my life which is music and to still have those special people in my life who will hopefully support me once again in the next 12 months. You know who you are and you're all fucking amazing! Hehehe. Lots of love to you all, hope this year brings you lots of joy and laughter. Enjoy the fireworks wherever you are in the world, stay safe. ❤ NEW YEAR HEARTS TO EVERYONE! ❤