In Life

4 Musicals I've Been Loving Recently

Musicals are a big part of my music taste and I know that many people share my passion for them. I go through phases of listening to one musical almost constantly, and these have been some on my list lately.

1. Anastasia

The animated 20th Century Fox film Anastasia is my favourite animated film of all time, so naturally, when I found out they had made a musical version of it that was playing on Broadway, I had to find out more. For months I have been singing the old songs and the new. I love them all so much. Some of the songs, like Stay, I Pray You, are so personal and heart wrenching, then others like Learn To Do It are so fun and flamboyant. My favourites are In a Crowd of Thousands, In My Dreams and My Petersburg probably due to the images they conjure up in my head and what they reveal about the characters (especially Dmitri. I love Dmitri). I love how the creators have made the musical more historically accurate (despite the elephant in the room of Anastasia actually dying but whatever), it makes the History nerd part of me very happy.

2. The Addams Family

I saw this musical twice in July and I have been a little obsessed ever since (a bit beforehand as well but there’s nothing like seeing a show to become obsessed). The cast is amazing and I really wish an original UK cast recording happens at some point soon. *click* *click*.

3. Hairspray

I listened to this soundtrack (the one with Zac Efron) a lot whilst making notes and writing up my History coursework. The songs and their upbeat nature kept me going, particularly with any typing that I had to do (and I did a lot) and the subject matter related to my work (my coursework is on African American civil rights) so helped keep me a little more focused on the topic. 

4. Mamma Mia!

We know that I listen to ABBA all the time anyway, but ever since the announcement of Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again’s release in July next year, I’ve been constantly theorizing what’s going to happen and what songs they’re going use. I think Summer Night City, Angeleyes and the Day Before You Came so far.

What are your favourite musicals? I’m always looking for new things to listen to.

If you liked this post you might like: I Wish Life Were a Musical

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In #ACupADay

A Cup a Day Keeps the Tampon Away | New Series

50% of the population bleed monthly (on average, each of us is slightly different). That’s a fact. It’s just the way the female body works. So why shouldn’t we talk about it?

I’ve talked about periods on here before, but nowhere near as much as talk about them in real life. (Sorry not sorry to all the people who have to listen to me go on about it.) So, when I decided to get a menstrual cup (I’m so excited to use it!) I thought I’d make a series out of my experiences with it – taking some inspiration from Hannah Witton’s Hormone Diaries, which I would recommend everyone watch. It arrived last week (on my birthday no less!) so I’ve officially taken the plunge and put my money where my mouth is.

So, why did I get a menstrual cup?

In short, it’s the most ethical method of maintaining menstrual hygiene (with reasons that I’ll go in to more detail with later on in the series), and I thought why not. I’m not going to lie, the initial idea of using one does intimidate me a bit, but I know that if I can get the grip of it then it’ll be worth it.

I bought my cup from The Cup Effect. It’s a charity that works to provide menstrual cups to disadvantaged women across the globe in a way of ending period poverty as well as helping prevent further climate change. The type of cup they sell is the Ruby Cup. Having watched Leena Norms’ video (5 easy ways to improve 2017) where she discussed three different types of menstrual cup (the Mooncup, the Diva Cup and the Ruby Cup) and I was pleased to hear that she recommended the Ruby Cup as ideal for a beginner.

I have to admit that my cup does intimidate me, and I’m not sure how long it will take me to get it to work properly, but I’m determined to keep going with it until I have mastered the menstrual cup.

I’ll have another post up soon where I’ll discuss my first thoughts about the cup after I’ve used it. I have some exciting guest posts coming up as part of this series, so if you have any post ideas and want to get involved please let me know – I’d love to have as many people included as possible!

If you liked this post you might like: Why We Need to Talk About Our Periods!

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In 5 Fridays beauty

5 Items in my Cruelty-Free Makeup Bag

A year or so ago I became more conscious of how ethical the products I was consuming were. Since then, I’ve done my best to find out more about the makeup industry. I don’t know whether any of these are vegan or not, so if anyone could clarify that would be great

1. Revolution Arch and Shape Eyebrow Pen

This brow pen has changed the way I do my brows forever and I love it. On one end it has the pencil and the other is a felt pen, and I love this combination. I use the pencil for most of my brows, and then the felt pen to colour in the inside so that they look less like a block.

2. E.L.F. Studio Mineral Infused Mascara in Black

I was so excited when I saw that my local Superdrug had a new E.L.F stand, so when I needed a new mascara I headed straight over there. I picked this one up as it was cheap and thinking if it’s not great I’ll just use it and try one of the other ones. That didn’t happen. I think that I will be buying this mascara over and over again many times (as long as E.L.F. stay cruelty free or I find a better alternative). It makes my eyelashes look so long and so good with only a one or two coats.

3. GOSH Intense Eye Liner Pen in 01 Black

Eyeliner is the main aspect of my makeup routine – no matter what else I put on my face you can bet that eyeliner will be there. Always. It’s my thing. So, I take it very seriously. I’ve tried so many eyeliners. I prefer the pens as they’re so much easier to use (I do have one that’s a brush but that’s not for everyday use). I use the black liner and it’s so dark and lasts for a long time (just don’t accidentally sleep on it, guys, it’s not a good idea). However, I have found that it can be quite runny if left upside down for a long time (I've got into the habit of doing this from my old eyeliners) so do be careful with that. Otherwise, I would recommend. 

4. Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette

Too Faced have been a cruelty free brand for a long time, until recently when they were bought by Estée Lauder, who sadly aren’t cruelty free, so now this item relies on whether you take parent companies into account or not. I bought this palette from the Sephora in Nice before they were taken over by their new parent company, just to clarify. I love these shades. There are some that I don’t use much at all (like Candied Violet), but there are others that I use almost every time I pick up the palette (Salted Caramel, Milk Chocolate and Strawberry Bon Bon are my favourite combination). I use White Chocolate to scult my eyeshadow and then Champagne Truffle is my signature highlighter (it’s incredible), I use it on my cheekbones, the end of my nose, the inner corners of my eyes and udner my eyebrows.

5. Freedom Studio Brush Shower Antibact

So this isn’t technically a makeup item, but it’s an essential item for anyone who has makeup brushes. I’m one of those people who can never be bothered to properly wash my makeup brushes – it takes up time that I’d rather be spending watching Game of Thrones or writing a blog post – so this is ideal for me. You spray your brush once or twice, then wipe it on some kitchen roll or a cloth (I use kitchen roll, you can throw it away rather than washing it, makes life easier) and it leaves your brushes so clean. I would recommend this to anyone.

Do you have cruelty-free makeup recommendations?

If you liked this post you might like: 5 Reasons to Love Make-Up

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In Me At...

Me at 18

Today, I turn 18.
I am tired, I am frustrated, but I am excited. I am excited about the future but also weighed down by it. With the world at the moment, who knows if it will even have a future, or if one of my potential futures will be with white wings over my head and a new, patrionymic name to my head. I am active. I am inspired by others and want to make change. I know now that that is what I want my life to be: change.

In the past few months, I have been planning for university. I have known I have wanted to study English Literature and Politics for a while longer and now have the 5 universities I’m applying to: Reading, Newcastle, York, Glasgow, and Swansea. Although, having visited the first three (so far) on open days, I now know that I am desperate to go to Newcastle. I finally have something more of a motivator to complete my A Levels, (which, by the way, will crush the spirit of even the most enthusiastic and optimistic).

Speaking of A Levels, I have just started my 5th week of my second year at college – A2. I dropped Classics once I’d finished it at AS Level, something I’m kind of glad at now having seen my friends talk about it to me (it seems so complicated!). So now I’m left with my success in English Language & Literature, History and Government & Politics deciding if I get into my dream uni or not. I have to say that the gap between AS and A2 is a lot greater than the gap between GCSE and AS – one that no one tells you about, they only tell you about how difficult AS year is in comparison to GCSE. I wish I could tell myself not to worry about AS year and that A2 is the real killer of a year.

My favourite book is still Pride and Prejudice, but I have some new ones to add to my favourites list: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote and Citizen by Claudia Rankine.

Tonight, I'm going to become a member of the Green Party. I keep forgetting to actually sign up (I've been meaning to do it for a while) but by saying I'm going to sign up today, I will. I'm committing myself to the Internet! (Also, Caroline Lucas, I love you.)

I still live in the same square bedroom with the same long window. My view outside hasn’t changed, except now it is nearing autumn the light has become a burnt yellow streams in with a slight slant as the days diminish. But the wall of me has now grown. I have letters from my MP pinned to my notice board and signs from demonstrations blu-tacked around the book posters and photos of nostalgia.

My room seems to have grown. Not in size, but in the pages and pages of paper that cover my desk, chest of drawers, window ledge and seemingly seep from under my bed.

I still love my skirts. However, my style has now shifted towards midi-skirts. I have 2 and can’t wait to get more – my newest one even has pockets!!

I suppose the biggest change that I’m taking forward into my adult life is the fact that I am now vegetarian (properly, as of sometime in September). I first tried it during my trip to Berlin with my college. Since then, I’ve taken it slow and hope to become fully vegan at some point in the future. Or at least, almost fully vegan (I don’t know if I can ever give up Nutella). I feel so comfortable and happy with this change. I’ve changed my way of thinking – for more than one reason – and I do feel much better physically, although that may just be a placebo. I love cooking. I do so often for my family. I can’t wait to cook for myself when I move out and have full control of my diet.

I still live with my parents, my brother and my cat and I still do Pilates with my mum. I don’t go to parkrun anymore. I valued my sleep more and then about a month ago I started working at my local library (which I love) but that means that I can’t run at 9am and stop in time to start working for 9am.

ABBA are still my favourite. Now, I am majorly obsessed with Anastasia the Musical and wish that I could see the original cast perform it, but I know that’s very unlikely to happen. Singing the soundtrack constantly counts as History revision, right? RIGHT?

TV. Damn, I do watch a lot of TV. I think I’m becoming more of a series kind of person now. First of all, Game of Thrones. I’m seriously obsessed. I love it so much – partly because it’s so political, and because of the really complex characters (even more so in the books, which I’m working my way through).

There’s probably a lot more to say, but I can’t think of what that is right now.

Here’s to adulthood! Now, I’m off to have a curry and a drink.

This is me. At 18.

If you liked this post you might like: Me at 17

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In 5 Fridays vegan

5 Tasty Vegan Snacks

Whoever said veganism was healthy?

1. Oreos

Who doesn’t love Oreos? They’re a great snack that many people don’t realise is vegan. That gives you an excuse to eat a whole bag of Oreos. Why not?

2. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is my one true love. Lindt 70% is my all-time fave, but any will do. People often think that if you’re going vegan, you have to give up chocolate entirely, but that’s really not the case. Dark chocolate most likely doesn’t contain milk (still double check when you’re buying though) as the likelihood of it containing milk reduces with each percentage of cocoa it contains. And no, cocoa butter is not dairy. I have no idea why it’s called butter.

Go and satisfy your chocolate cravings, my vegan friends!

3. BBQ Pringles

Most of the meat flavoured Pringles are actually vegan, which is great for us! We all know how addictive Pringles are and it’s great to have a staple crisp as a go-to.

4. Veggie Percy Pigs

Most soft sweets are excluded to vegans, due to them containing gelatin, so it’s nice to have an exception. And an exception that tastes so good. I know loads of people (including omnivores) who prefer the taste of the Veggie Percy Pigs to the normal ones.

(I have just been told by one of my friend that these are not in fact vegan, as they contain beeswax. I know some vegans don't worry about bee products.)

5. Hummus

This one is the healthier option. I had to include one, didn’t I? Hummus is great to include in lunches as well as having on crackers or pieces of bread in between meals. Or falafel, I love hummus and falafel. Okay, I’m getting distracted by thoughts of falafel...

Do you have any suggestions for vegan snacks? I’d love to know them so that I can build up repertoire.

If you liked this post you might like: The Road to Veganism

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