Well, we've finally made it to the end of 2016 and I'm very much looking forward to the fresh start a new year brings. It goes without saying that it's been a rough year and my heart feels heavy, not just for my own personal loss, but for those around me and even the ones who aren't. The whole world suffered and experienced some sort of tragedy this year and though I feel a little cynical as to how 2017 is going to pan out, I'm still trying my best to be hopeful that it'll bring about better days.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas last week! It was my first time spending the festive season away from my family (due to work commitments), but I still had a lovely time celebrating Friendmas with one of my workmates. We cooked way too much food and it's been nice vegging out on leftovers for the past week, not having to cook or buy groceries! We chilled out at my place watching Christmas movies all day long, but I have to admit, by the end of it, I did feel a little sad and alone. I'm okay now, but I'm glad the holidays are over. I'm definitely not the "OMG Christmas!!!" type.
While many people take time off during this time of year, it's my busiest (yay, retail!) and it's been manic trying to get this month's blog posts up on time. From waking up early to take photos, coming home after to work to take more (thank you, Daylight Savings) and staying up late typing away, blogging almost feels like a whole other job sometimes! But in the best way possible, of course. I don't mind pushing myself every now and then. I'm still disappointed I didn't post all that I wanted to in December and even overall this year, I published only 49 posts in 2016, which doesn't seem like a lot at all (I didn't even watch as many movies as I usually do, but I then remembered I spent a good portion of the year binge-watching Frasier and Orange is the New Black, to which I have no regrets). Having said that, I worked my butt off this month and even if I didn't get as many blog posts up as I'd have liked to this year, I think the overall quality of them really picked up. My numbers still barely grew across my social media channels, but I've never felt more content with my voice here and if I'm proud of what I do, who cares about the rest, right? I think my writing improved this year and as I began taking more photos for each blog post and experimenting with vertical images, I think my photography did too. It's been a challenging year and a tiring month, so I'll probably take a week or two off from blogging in January, but don't fret. I've got some pretty fun posts planned for 2017 and I'm very much looking forward to my sixth year of blogging.
I saw Chairlift live earlier in the month and they were absolutely incredible! Not only was Caroline Polachek's voice as beautiful as ever, but she had some great dance moves too. Touring Australia for the release of their latest album, Moth, the gig made me fall in love with the record even more and I just love when live music has that effect. I was shocked and devastated, however, to read just a couple of days later that they had broken up and that Moth would be their last. Chairlift have made some of the most fun and uplifting indie pop music and though I'm sad to say goodbye to one of my favourite bands, I'm glad that I got to see them live for one final hurrah and that they went out on top.
In new releases, I listened to Sleigh Bells' album, Jessica Rabbit, as well as Childish Gambino's, Awaken, My Love!, both of which were a little disappointing, to be honest. I was so looking forward to the new Childish Gambino record, but I don't know, I guess the album took on a whole different sound, which wasn't really to my tastes. I feel like so many of my favourite bands and artists evolved musically this year, yet I don't think it was for the better! Kate Tempest's new album, Let Them Eat Chaos, was one I really enjoyed, however. Being a poet, she has such a way with words and I love the way she speaks up about important global social issues.
I finally gave into the hype and listened to Frank Ocean this month. Although electronic music is mostly my jam, I'm slowly returning to my early 2000s roots of R&B and hip hop. The general consensus seems to be that his first album, channel ORANGE, is this otherworldly, god-like creation, but for me, I actually prefer this year's release, Blonde. I think Blonde has more of an electronic sound, which obviously makes it more my thing. I finally see why he's so loved now.
At the beginning of the month, I made my summer playlist on Spotify and I'm in love with the way it turned out. There are so many bangers on it and being my favourite season, this music totally lifts my spirits and has me dreaming of the sun. There's chilled out, lazy summer day tunes, as well as some upbeat, dancey numbers, so whatever your preference is, I hope you find something you like if you give it a listen. Making playlists is so much fun for me; I love gathering together all my favourite tunes and ordering them in a way that's harmonious and sounds good all together.
Film and television
I finished watching Absolutely Fabulous this month and though this isn't usually the way with TV shows, I think I enjoyed the later seasons more than the earlier ones. I can't say it's the most laugh-out-loud funny programme I've watched; it was a bit too over-the-top for me at times, but it's nevertheless a classic and I can't wait to watch the movie soon.
Apart from Christmas films, the only other movie I watched was Me Before You, which was just your standard romance and there was nothing particularly spectacular about it. How fun are Christmas movies though? Every year without fail, I'll always watch Home Alone, which is my favourite; both this and the sequel are just timeless and such '90s classics. I also watched Elf, which I hadn't seen in forever and I can't believe I ever forgot how good it is! I couldn't stop laughing. Having said that, I did fall asleep towards the end of the movie, but if you don't take a nap post-Christmas feed, then you're doing the holidays wrong.
Around the web
- Sali Hughes' article, Getting Ready to Go Out En Masse is the Ultimate Female Bonding Ritual, was such a lovely read. I felt reminiscent of my clubbing days in my late teens to early twenties and though I love YouTube 'Get Ready with Me' videos, nothing compares to the real life version.
- Jennifer Aniston guest starred on Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update alongside Vanessa Bayer's intimation of Rachel Green and it's the best thing ever. Love her.
- CHVRCHES performed their song, Bury It, for Pitchfork.tv and it's so much fun! I love Lauren Mayberry so much.
- A lawsuit has been filed against St. Ives for the damaging effects of their classic Apricot Scrub. Let's forget that time when I was 17 and used it as my everyday cleanser!
To end my last post of 2016, I just want to take a moment to thank you all for reading and commenting on my blog throughout the year. It means the world to have you guys support this hobby of mine I love so dearly and this little community really does bring me so much joy. Tonight, I'm going out for dinner and drinks, and to watch fireworks with friends, and however you’re celebrating New Year’s Eve, have fun and stay safe! See you all in 2017! Let’s hope it’s a good one.