As the end of the year reaches closer and with September being my birthday month, I always find myself reflecting on the year so far and dreading becoming another year older. This year has been a little different though as I've been working towards my goals, one of them being my driver's licence, which I now officially have! I've dreamed of this day for so long and it still feels so surreal to have accomplished something I once feared. I'm still kind of terrified to drive on my own and I actually even forget I don't need someone to be in the car with me anymore, but confidence is a gradual thing and it still feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I can't wait to get my own little car! I'm slowly gaining my independence and now, there's nothing holding me back from moving cities. I'm 26 now and while it's absolutely depressing to realise you're closer to 30 than you are to 20, getting older isn't so bad when you continuously work towards yourself, striving to be the best person you can be and always have things to look forward to.
I had a wonderful time celebrating my birthday last week with my family and friends, indulging in Japanese food and cocktails, and being spoiled by my girls, April, Jodie and Anna, with a Tiffany's bracelet! My sneaky little friends had been snooping my blog and reading my wishlists to figure out what to buy me and it was my best friend, April, who decided what to get me from my 'Winter Wardrobe Wishlist'. It's not exactly the same as we all have budgets to stick to, but it's perfect. I am so humbled by their generosity and so blessed to have these beautiful ladies in my life. Without them, I wouldn't be the person I am today because they believe in me and encourage me to go after my dreams, and that is what I'm most grateful for.
With birthday money from my nanna, I got myself the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Lipstick in #54 Boy, a beautiful dusty rose nude. As my first Chanel lipstick, I wanted something classic. I wasn't impressed by swatches online, but it's simply beautiful in real life and I think this would be a universally flattering shade on anyone. Of course, no birthday is complete without buying yourself a little something too... or in my case, lots. I've been thinking about getting into YouTube for a while now and a birthday haul video would be a great one to start with. I'm a little nervous, but as I enjoy watching others on YouTube, I think it could be another fun creative outlet to complement my blog. What do you guys think?
Lots of exciting new music is being released in the latter half of the year and in September, I listened to the new BROODS, alt-J and Simian Mobile Disco albums. After getting a little taste of BROODS' music with their self-titled EP, I was super excited to hear their full-length and it did not disappoint. They're touring Australia in November and I really need to grab a ticket to see them live! With both alt-J and Simian Mobile Disco, I think I prefer their earlier work more, but there's definitely some great tracks on their respective new albums.
After I graduated high school, I ditched R&B and hip hop in favour of electronic and alternative music, but lately, I've been finding myself drawn back to those old music genres I once loved. Not entirely, but with artists and bands like Flume and Glass Animals, the fusion of R&B and electronic music is just so good and I've been discovering more similar bands. I found out about Chrome Sparks through 8tracks and I finally listened to Chet Faker, whose track, 1998, is super chill, but really "dancey" at the same time. As for my current song obsession? That has to be V. 3005 by Childish Gambino, which I discovered at my friend's party. The hook is addictive and it's one of those songs I'm just so in love with, I can't listen to anything else at the moment.
Film and television
As I was mostly holidaying in August, I didn't watch any movies, so now I've been trying to play catch ups as there's always so much I want to watch, read and listen to. It's a never-ending list! I finally saw The Grand Budapest Hotel, which did not disappoint and I'm a huge fan of Wes Anderson films in general, so I was really excited for this one. His cinematography is full of colour and symmetry, making his movies so visually pleasing and I love the reoccurring actors in his films such as Owen Wilson, Edward Norton and Bill Murray. So fun! After I mentioned I watched Blue Is The Warmest Color in this 'Life lately' post, Brodie recommended Nymphomaniac to me, which yes, is about being addicted to sex, and it was such a fascinating watch. A Lars Von Trier film, it's split into two volumes (like Kill Bill) and both Charlotte Gainsbourg and Stacy Martin are incredible in their role as Joe. I could be here forever telling you about all the awesome movies I've watched recently, but I'll keep it short. A few others I recommend are Yves Saint Laurent, When Harry Met Sally... (they don't make romantic comedies like this anymore!), Dallas Buyers Club and The Lego Movie.
With the tenth anniversary of the Friends finale airing on TV back in May and the twentieth anniversary since the first episode just a couple of weeks ago, I've been feeling the '90s nostalgia. I'm still - and will probably always be - a fifteen year-old fangirl. If you missed it, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow were on Jimmy Kimmel for a Friends fan fiction spoof, which you can watch here. It was pretty terrible, but amazing at the same time and ugh, all these years later, I still have so much love for this show. If you've never watched the entire series, what have you been doing with your entire life? And if you don't like it, you're wrong.
Let's take a moment to appreciate the amazingness that is Parks And Recreation. I finally got around to watching the sixth season, which took me the whole of two days. I told myself I would only watch one episode before bed and the next thing you know, it's 3am and I've finished the entire season. It's one of those shows that's so funny, I have to go back and re-watch certain scenes or hear lines again because they're just that good. I'm really bummed that Ann and Chris have left Pawnee and I can't believe the show is now in its final season. I will savour each and every episode!
I'm on season six of eight of Full House and while it may seem kind of lame, it's such a good family show that if I ever have kids, I would want them to grow up watching. It's really awesome to see these young girls grow into such strong people (I just love Aunt Becky too) and with all the controversy surrounding YouTube, Emma Watson's United Nations speech and feminism generally becoming more prominent in social media, it's really important to have feminism positively portrayed in the media. Even more, I love seeing it being portrayed in past TV shows because past, present or future, feminism should always be relevant. I recently read an article on Refinery29 on feminist moments on Friends and another with Parks And Recreation. The first reason I watch these shows is for the comedy, but in a way, I kind of feel proud that my favourite TV shows are, on another level, also about girl power... did I mention I've recently been listening to a lot of Spice Girls too?
Sorry my posts are always so long and that I ramble a lot! It's just my writing style, I guess. Hopefully I'll be back doing these on a monthly, as opposed to bi-monthly basis, so they'll be a little more concise.
1. BROODS - Mother & Father
2. Wild Beasts - Palace (Foals Remix)
3. alt-J - Hunger Of The Pine
4. Chrome Sparks - Marijuana
5. Chet Faker - 1998
6. Future Islands - Seasons (Waiting On You)
7. Simian Mobile Disco - Sun Dogs
8. Cut Copy - Believers
9. Chairlift - Wrong Opinion
10. Bear In Heaven - They Dream
11. Chrome Sparks - Luna Luxor
12. Childish Gambino - V. 3005