Life Lately: December
And just like that, another year is done and dusted. I can never wrap my head around how fast each passing year comes and goes, but I suppose that's just life the older you get. I'm going to reflect back on 2017 and look ahead to 2018 in my first post of the New Year, but for now, we'll keep things focused on the month of December.
How ever you celebrate the holidays, I hope you've all been enjoying the festive season! Since entering adulthood many moons ago, I'm not someone who gets overly excited for Christmas, but who can complain when you're surrounded by your loved ones and good food? This year, I decided to get into the spirit a little more by hosting Friendsmas with four of my closest girls and it was such a perfect evening. I made roasted cauliflower and chickpea soup, baked Camembert and sangria (I suppose mulled wine is more festive, but when you live in Australia, a refreshing beverage is more appropriate!), and my friends provided many snacks and dessert. We had a good old feast watching Home Alone and Elf during our pyjama party, and the best part about being host is that I got to have all the leftovers! Christmas with my family and relatives was equally as chill - we never go all out or do anything fancy (I still like dressing up and doing my makeup though!) - but it's just nice being together with everyone. My mum's cousin recently moved back to Perth from China, so we have little kids in the family again and it made Christmas this year feel all the more special. Their excitement is so cute and I think it rubbed off on all the adults!
Apart from festive celebrations, I can't say a whole lot happened in December, though I did end up going to two gigs on one Saturday night with my friend, Shaun. I was initially only going to go to one of the gigs, but when Shaun had a spare ticket to see Thompson Twins and The Human League at Perth Arena (they were supporting Culture Club and even though we stayed a little while for the headline show, we weren't interested in them), well, who was I to pass up seeing '80s bands live?! I feel like I mention my love for '80s music in every single one of my Life Lately posts, but it's honestly the best! I have to admit, I'm not super familiar with Thompson Twins, but I do know Hold Me Now and hearing the song live and singing along with the audience was one of the most magical live music experiences of my life! The Human League were obviously a lot of fun too and I loved hearing them perform their classics, Don't You Want Me, Together in Electric Dreams (even though it's a cover) and Keep Feeling (Fascination).
From Perth Arena, we then made our way to Jack Rabbit Slims to see Kllo, who are an R&B/electronic duo from Melbourne. On tour to promote their new album, Backwater, I think their early EPs are a lot better than their debut LP, but nevertheless, they put on a really great show. It was chilled out, but dancey at the same time and the new record has actually started growing on me. I love when live music makes you hear things differently and appreciate music even more.
In music I listened to in December, I discovered the bands, Puro Instinct and Blouse, who both make really beautiful dream pop music. Although I listen to my music through iTunes 90% of the time, Spotify has given me so many good recommendations through my playlists and they seem to know my tastes down to a T. In terms of new releases, it was a quiet month in music, so I didn't listen to anything recent apart from Tame Impala's Currents B-Sides & Remixes, which is just as good as their actual Currents album. Both gig-wise and album-wise, it's been an incredible year in music and in my December playlist, I've rounded up all my favourite songs from 2017. It's going to be hard to top, but I can't wait to see what music 2018 brings.
Film and television
I didn't watch any new television this month, but Christmas and non-Christmas related, I did watch quite a few films. As I mentioned above, my annual viewings of Home Alone (both films) and Elf took place, and I also watched three that were new to me; How the Grinch Stole Christmas, All I Want for Christmas and Office Christmas Party. The latter two were kind of boring (I only watched them because I love Thora Birch and Jennifer Aniston, respectively) and The Grinch wasn't really my kind of movie either. I know it's considered a classic, but unless it's Harry Potter, I don't much care for fantasy.
In My Favourite Coming-of-Age Films post from earlier in the year, I was recommended to watch Brooklyn and you guys sure have great taste because I absolutely loved it! Having lived in a different city myself, I could definitely relate to the protagonist's feelings of homesickness (on a much smaller scale, of course) and Saoirse Ronan was phenomenal in her role. I'm a huge fan of her work and I can't wait to see her in the Greta Gerwig directed film, Lady Bird, soon.
I also finally got around to watching Lion, which was a definite tearjerker. Dev Patel has come such a long way as an actor; it's hard to believe he was once Anwar on Skins! His Australian accent was spot on too. Perhaps I'm just used to hearing them in my everyday life, so I know exactly what they sound like, but I can't imagine it's the easiest accent to speak in!
Two classics that I watched this month were Saving Private Ryan and The Shawshank Redemption. Both were quite difficult to watch at times and I actually felt really, really down after seeing the former. War movies are just so sad, especially knowing that this was once - or in some countries, still - something people went through in real life. It was incredibly moving and powerful. Without giving anything away, The Shawshank Redemption was more uplifting and if you like Orange is the New Black, you might enjoy this movie. I highly recommend it. On the other end of the spectrum, two feel-good movies that I saw were The New Kid and Table 19. The New Kid is a cute French film about a boy who's the new kid at school and throws a party in an attempt to make friends, while Table 19 is about a woman who finds herself at the "loser" table at her oldest friend's wedding. Is has Anna Kendrick, Lisa Kudrow and '80s music in it, so if that's not enough to sell the movie, I don't know what is!
Around the web
December was a rather slow month online, so I don't have any links to share, but instead, I thought I'd take this as an opportunity to give a few shoutouts to my favourite bloggers and YouTubers that I've loved throughout 2017. From lovely blog comments I've received, posts that have resonated with me, videos that have kept me entertained, Instagram Stories I've loved watching and to those who I've chatted with on Twitter, these are the people whose content has excited me and whose creativity I've really admired. I initially wanted to make this more personal than a simple list, but it would've taken too long to write about how great everyone is! To other fellow bloggers, readers and commenters, your presence online has meant the world to me too and thank you all so much for supporting me and my blog this year! I always say that even if I had zero readers, I'd still be here blogging, but to have this community is the best added bonus ever. Have fun and stay safe this New Year's, and I'll see you all in 2018!
Youtube channels I loved
Blogs I loved
- Jess of Little Henry Lee
- Maddie of Maddie's Beauty Spot
- Léa of My Slumbering Heart
- Divya of The Conscience Fund
- Rebecca of From Roses
- Cindy of Cindyue
- Emma of Emma Etc
- Sophie of Nana Wintour
- Lavanya of Elle Files
- Kelsey of Beauty by Kelsey
- Amelia of Amelia Says
- Gemma of Gemma Louise
- Lily of Pint Sized Beauty
- Isobel of Isobel Rose
- Shell of The Novice Life
- Sophie of Sophie's Makeup