Favourite Memories from 2019

Girls

At the end of 2018 I was really looking forward to 2019. I already had several fun things booked, I had a new job where I was earning more money and I was just generally quite happy. 2019 has been a really good year in the grand scheme of things and I wanted to talk about my favourite memories from this year before we enter 2020 so here goes nothing!

Romania

Romania 6

In 2018 I quickly discovered that January’s SUCK. Christmas is over, nobody has any money, it’s a LONG month (February is bad too but mercifully shorter) and it’s quite possibly the most depressing month of the year. So I decided to book myself a holiday to make the month less dreary and settled on Romania.

I feel like I should’ve gone for somewhere warm to escape the cold British weather but when booking a trip I don’t really factor the weather into it. Also I feel like you have to travel further than Europe to guarantee good weather, at least I knew Romania would be cold so there wouldn’t be any nasty surprises.

Romania was actually amazing, my favourite part of it had to be the day trip to Dracula’s castle because that was just stunning. It was a really fun tour and you definitely get your money’s worth, like we left at sunrise and didn’t come back until way after it was dark. I’d definitely return to Romania given the opportunity as I feel like three nights wasn’t enough time! It was a good way to kick off the year though.

Hirst’s Mom’s 50th Birthday Party

50th Birthday

A lot can change in a year. At the start of 2018 I would’ve said I HATED parties. I didn’t drink and a room full of drunk people dancing was not my cup of tea. After my friend Hirst’s 21st Birthday Party my opinion quickly changed and now I love getting dressed up, going to a party and having one too many drinks.

The theme for the party was a masquerade ball but I didn’t wear my mask all night – it was really hot and since I wear glasses I was basically just blind whilst wearing it which isn’t too much fun. The night was a lot of fun though and it was a really good party. Hirst even hired a professional photographer which was both good and bad as I look a bit of a mess in some of the photos but they’re still funny. I hope Hirst’s Mom enjoyed her party because I know I did!

Escape Rooms

Christmas Escape Room

I’d been wanting to do an escape room for over a year, I practically begged my friends Emma and Sorcha to do one and they kept saying ‘yeah we will I just have no money at the moment’. I moaned to my brother’s ex-girlfriend about it and she very kindly booked me an escape room experience for four people in Birmingham as a Christmas present. Now my friends had no excuse not to do one!

The room was science themed and the basic premise was that we were scientists whose memories had been erased and we had to get out of the contaminated room before the hour ran out and we lost our memories again. It was a bit of a disaster and we didn’t get out but we did get quite far! I blame the fact it was Science themed personally, there was way too much thinking involved.

For our friend Hirst’s birthday we organised to spend the day together but didn’t have much of a plan. The night before we were due to meet me, Becca and Jess finally settled on doing an escape room in Shrewsbury. This one was plague themed and the basic idea was that we were traitors and had been locked in prison, and we had to escape, perform a ritual and inflict the plague on our enemies. I’ll give them points for originality.

I think it would’ve been a disaster if Jess J hadn’t been there to be honest. My favourite moment is when we first walked in and me, Becca and Hirst looked at a locked room and went ‘we’ll figure that out in a second’, turned our backs for two seconds and when I turned back Jess was stood inside the room. She figured out probably 80% of it if not more and we managed to escape with a time of 41:58 which isn’t bad!

Then I managed to talk my friends Jo, Emma and Sorcha into doing a Christmas themed escape room this December. The goal wasn’t to escape but to find Santa’s ‘Nice List’ so we could add our names. Although we had a lot of clues for the first time I actually felt relatively useful for a change and managed to figure out a few things. We found the ‘Nice List’ with two minutes and two seconds left to spare. This was hilarious because we kept freaking out and Jo kept asking “Wait, how did you do that?” when we figured something out and we were getting frustrated with her as we needed to move onto the next thing! But it was hilarious and really got me in the festive mood.

I definitely want to do more escape rooms in 2020, I think they’re so much fun – it’s just getting the people together to do one!

Belgium

Belgium 4

This was our first holiday without a purpose. Our first two holidays were to attend concerts abroad, then we booked each other holidays for our 21st birthdays and Belgium was the first holiday we booked just because we love travelling and we could! It took a long time of planning but eventually it was settled and we were off.

It started off as a bit of a disaster which I wrote about in this post here but overall the trip was a lot of fun. My highlights include the waffle making workshop, the castle in Ghent and the spy experience. It was unfortunately the only holiday we took as a group this year but I wouldn’t have changed a second of it because I had so much fun.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Cursed Child

Me and Becca went to see Cursed Child for the first time last year and enjoyed it so much that we decided to go again but in better seats this time. The moment the next batch were released we bought tickets at about £150 for both parts and now we just had to wait several months until we went.

I wrote a longer post about this trip here but it was a lot of fun seeing the show again, and getting to sit in better seats was definitely a plus! It was a lot of fun, I love that show so much. I love it so much that I took my friend Hirst to see it – unfortunately in the cheaper seats this time as I was paying for both of us but I was desperate for Hirst to see it too as I know she loves the theatre. Luckily she enjoyed it as much as I do and we had a lot of fun.

I enjoyed seeing it with Hirst again so much that I decided to spend an awful lot of money on premium tickets and went to see it again by myself. I loved it just as much a second time and it was nice having a pretty much perfect view of the stage.

I’m going to see it with my friend Janie in January and I’ve told her not to read the book or anything about the plot so that she can go in with an open mind. I also wouldn’t mind seeing it by myself in the premium seats again, assuming I can afford it!

Dublin

Dublin 5

For the past few years I’ve wanted to go away for bank holiday weekend – not even abroad, I’d have been happy going away in this country! I mean, it’s a guaranteed four days off work which is plenty of time to explore a new city. When I returned back to work after Christmas I was so fed up that I ended up booking myself flights to Dublin for bank holiday weekend. I soon discovered although flights to Dublin were cheap accommodation most definitely wasn’t. A hostel was quite expensive but whatever, it was all booked and off I went!

Dublin was amazing – my highlights include the castle, seeing War Horse at the theatre and the National Leprechaun Museum. I’d definitely return to Dublin one day, probably not over bank holiday weekend though because it was very busy and full of stag and hen dos – probably should’ve anticipated that though!

Bryher’s 22nd Birthday Party

Bryher is my friend Becca’s cousin and I’d only met her a couple of times but she’s lovely so when Becca asked if I wanted to be her plus one to Bryher’s birthday party I quickly agreed – especially when she told me it was a dressing up party! In the end Bryher was kind enough to also invite Hirst and Jess – Hirst didn’t come but Jess did and we had a really good time. I dressed up as Coraline but unfortunately nobody knew who I was – I got asked if I was Velma from Scooby-Doo, Sadness from Inside Out and Georgie from IT but nobody once asked if I was Coraline.

The party was a bit of a mess but I still had a good time. Embarrassingly the daughter of a woman from work also attended the party and I think I didn’t make the best first impression but overall I still had a good time. Even if no one knew who I was bloody dressed as!

London Marathon

My friend Becca’s Mom works for the PDSA and every year goes to the London Marathon to cheer on the runners as they get a charity spot near the end of the race. This year Becca was going and asked if we wanted to come. I decided to go because I figured it might be fun and it did turn out to be a lot of fun. Becca nabbed a megaphone and was yelling at the runners and later on we were yelling words of encouragement to everybody.

My personal highlights though were Becca’s Mom’s encounters with ‘celebrities’ – we were heading back to the bus when one of the girls with us said “Look, there’s Olivia from Love Island”. Becca’s Mom didn’t waste time and ran over going “OLIVIA! OLIVIA! CAN I GET A SELFIE PLEASE?” much to everyone’s dismay. Then before we got onto the bus we went into a park to find a bathroom and the girls spotted someone from Strictly Come Dancing – Becca’s Mom pretty much chased him through the park to get a photo. The best though was when she came back and went “I don’t even know who that was!”

I had so much fun that I signed up to do it again in 2020. Here’s hoping we bump into a celebrity that me and Becca actually know this time?

San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge

For some reason at the end of 2018 my Mom would not stop banging on about San Francisco. She asked my step-dad if he wanted to go and he said no so she moaned to me about him and I offered to go with her instead. There aren’t many places I wouldn’t travel to so I quickly agreed. I pestered and pestered my Mom until eventually we agreed on a week and she booked the holiday through Expedia.

It wouldn’t have been my first choice of a destination and I think a week was maybe too long because there wasn’t THAT much to do but I still had a good time and I’m glad it’s a place I can tick off my list. It was fun to see sights like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, it was more fun than I’d been expecting but yeah I’m not in a hurry to return.

BTS at Wembley

BTS Wembley 4

I wrote a long post about me and Becca seeing BTS at Wembley two nights in a row back in June here but I’m still amazed that we decided to go to both nights? I remember going to the gym and Becca being like “… Well let’s try and if we don’t get official ones the second time around then that’s fine.” And I was quickly like “Yes.” It was so much fun and I definitely don’t regret it (in fact I low-key wanna do it again if they ever come back) but like we are such trash bags. It was definitely one of the most fun weekends of my life though and I’m keen to repeat it if BTS come back in 2020. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

Weekends in London

I feel like I’ve had more theatre weekends in London this year than I did last year. I obviously saw Cursed Child a couple of times but I also went to London by myself for theatre trips. The first weekend was in June, I wrote a post about it here and I went because my Mom was in Spain and I wanted to get out of the house (and away from my step-dad). I went down and watched Betrayal (because Tom Hiddleston was in it), Mamma Mia and School of Rock. It was a good weekend but unfortunately I picked up a sickness bug that weekend that really rocked me for over a week. I still had a good time though.

I went again in September, this time to see ‘Groan Ups’ by Mischief Theatre as they’re my favourite theatre company and this was their new show. I loved it so much that when I got back from Hong Kong I booked a ticket to go and see it again because I enjoyed it so much. It was interesting seeing it a second time as they’d changed certain parts of it but it was still just as funny as the first time.

My last London trip of 2019 was in December. I wanted to go down and see ‘Peter Pan Goes Wrong’ so decided to make a whole weekend of it and also saw ‘Ghost Stories’, and ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’. It was so much fun and made me realise I haven’t been down to London nearly enough this year. I definitely need more theatre weekends in 2020.

Berlin

Berlin 3

Due to problems with our flights to Belgium me and my friends were all given some money by the airline. Within the next couple of days I’d already booked flights to Berlin and soon set off. I had troubles with that flight as well but luckily made it to Berlin in one piece and managed to enjoy the rest of my holiday.

My friends Becca and Jess had raved about how amazing Berlin is and I have to agree with them, it’s one of my favourite places I’ve been I think. I loved spending the day at Tropical Islands – I don’t normally get many ‘relaxing’ days on holiday and this one was really nice. Berlin was just such a cool city, I’d definitely go back one day.

Shelley’s 40th Birthday Party

Shelley's Party

My friends Jess and Hirst received invites to this party months before it actually happened whereas me and Becca were only invited a week beforehand and were clearly only invited to make up the numbers. Still, a party is a party, it was an excuse to get drunk and off we went.

I have never been so drunk in my entire life and the whole night was a bit of a mess – me, Becca and Jess ended up crying to each other in the bathroom for like 30 minutes (not 2 hours though, I don’t care what Hirst or anyone says, it wasn’t that long!), we flirted with some blokes who apparently were in their 30’s, stumbled back to Hirst’s house to crash where I proceeded to vomit into her washing up bowl and then onto her spare bedroom floor (luckily not onto poor Becca who was sleeping on the floor next to the bed I was sleeping in!). I felt horrendous the next day and over the course of the next week I’d occasionally feel a bit queasy. But overall I’d had a good night and I hope my friends did too – sorry to Hirst who had to clean up my vomit. I’ll find a way to make it up to you!

K-Pop Night

K-Pop Night

Me, Becca and Jess are big K-Pop fans and occasionally night clubs in Birmingham are the venue for ‘K-Pop Nights’ which is basically just clubbing but with K-Pop songs instead. It’s so much fun but we’d never been as a three, I’d been with Jess, and Becca had been with Jess but never all three of us. We proper planned this one, we decided that instead of sitting around the train station after the night out we’d book a hotel room, get some sleep and then get up and do some holiday clothes shopping (I had my trip to Hong Kong coming up and Becca and Jess were going to Singapore & Indonesia). I was really looking forward to it!

The night was a lot of fun but as before, I drank way too much. I had a lot of pre-drinks and justified this to Jess by saying “The queues at the club will be too long so I’m getting my buzz now”. There was no queue at the club like at all, that bar was empty all night long and I just kept going back. I literally thought to myself ‘I could probably do CPR right now if I needed to so I’m fine’ in the bathroom whilst I struggled to pull up my leggings and decided to have another drink. I hit on some random girl who I wasn’t even that attracted to when I’d sobered up, fell over a couple of times, hugged some random bloke outside the club and did an awful lot of dancing. Unfortunately Becca wasn’t feeling it that night so we left earlier than we’d planned which was maybe just as well because I crawled into bed with the bin (that was already stuffed full of gross stuff), sat up five minutes later and vomited into it.

We definitely need to go back to another K-Pop night because regardless of everything I had a great time. There weren’t tons of people there and the DJ was accepting any requests (as long as they were K-Pop) so it was a good night!

Hong Kong

Hong Kong 2

Towards the start of the year I decided to go on a solo ‘out-of-continent’ trip. No idea why, I’d only started travelling abroad solo the year before and had only been on three solo trips abroad when I made this decision (and I don’t particularly count Paris because I’d already been and was only going for a concert) but there you go. I raised the money by picking up extra shifts at my brothers and soon the flights were booked!

I booked this back in like March or February time, I’d done all my research and was told Hong Kong was one of the safest cities to visit for solo travellers but of course nobody could predict the mass protests that would kick off just a few weeks before I went. I wrote a post about my Hong Kong travel fails here and although it did affect areas of my trip it could’ve been a lot worse.

I’d love to go back to Hong Kong one day when the protests have died down. It was an amazing city and I had a fantastic time. My first solo out-of-continent trip was a definite success!

Getting a Permanent Job

Earlier this year I discovered the job I’d managed to get last year was only on a temporary contract. I wasn’t too worried because they need somebody in my position so they might as well just keep me but I did get a bit fed up. Every job I’ve ever had has been temporary and I just wanted something permanent.

Someone in our team left and my manager encouraged me to apply for their job – she said I’d be able to keep my current role but I could get the permanent contract. It was very complicated and I was a bit annoyed that I had to re-interview for it but I did and was successful! I’m relieved to just know where I’m gonna be this time next year like what a dream. The interview was a ballache as I was feeling ill when it took place but thankfully it’s all over now and I have a permanent job and I can stay for as long as I want!

Little Nan’s 100th Birthday

Me + Little Nan

Little Nan is my Great Nan and I’ve always considered myself really lucky to say that I have a Great Nan still with us. My brother has a son and some of my cousins have children so she is actually also a Great Great Nan which is actually amazing and such an achievement. Not only is Little Nan still with us she’s just incredible. Her eye-sight is going and she can’t walk long distances but for her age she’s fantastic.

I have so many amazing memories with my Little Nan so to be able to attend her 100th Birthday Party was incredible. It was actually also my Nan’s birthday so it was a joint party, my Nan turned 77. I recently found out my Little Nan gave birth to Nan in a cupboard under the stairs during an air raid during World War Two. Every time someone tells a story about my Little Nan I think ‘God, what an absolute badass’ because she just is.

The party was lovely, most of the family attended and Mum did a presentation on Little Nan’s life which was really interesting. It’s amazing how much she’s lived through. I don’t doubt she has many years left, she’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

She also got her card off the Queen which I thought was incredible! They even sent somebody out to double check she wasn’t lying about her age. I’m so happy I got to celebrate with her.

There we have it, those are my favourite memories from 2019. Here’s hoping 2020 is just as good!

Five Favourite Christmas Films

It's a Wonderful Life

Here it is – my favourite time of the year! Now to whack out the films that we all love but are socially unacceptable to watch for eleven months out of the year. I wanted to share a list of my five personal favourite Christmas films so here goes nothing!

5. The Grinch

Taylor Momsen And Jim Carrey In 'How The Grinch Stole Christmas'

To tell you the truth I only watched this for the first time a couple of years ago because my friends insisted we should watch it. I didn’t doubt that I’d like it but as a kid I mostly watched Christmas films with my parents and for some reason my Mum can’t stand Jim Carrey – so it was never watched in our house. So at one of our annual Christmas meet-ups my friends put this film on and as predicted I loved it.

It’s not a film I’ve sat down and watched by myself every year or anything but I will watch it this year and I do really enjoy it. I’ve always quite liked Jim Carrey; I’m not sure what my Mom’s personal vendetta against him is?

4. The Muppet’s Christmas Carol

The Muppets Christmas Carol

I’ve never been overly obsessed with the muppets to be honest; in fact as a kid they kind of scared me. I think it was because of this particular muppet:

Muppets Charles Dicken

He just honest to God really creeped me out, I think it was his nose? My older sister Big Holly would play this film as a kid and I sucked up my fear to watch it. Then I didn’t watch it for a few years until suddenly last year I really wanted to watch it. I bought it on iTunes and settled down to watch it, and actually ended up really enjoying it. My fear of that particular muppet is gone although he will never be my favourite.

I haven’t seen many other adaptations of the ‘Christmas Carol’, I watched the cartoon one with Jim Carrey with my brother one year – we were putting up his tree but I really wasn’t feeling well so I was like ‘we’re gonna take a break and watch a Christmas film’ so I put this on. And I won’t lie; I didn’t love it or anything. But the muppets version is really good so I watched it again this year. It’s worth it just for little Kermit Tiny Tim, what a cutie!

3. The Polar Express

The Polar Express

If you’d asked me as a kid I’d have said this was my favourite Christmas film. I used to watch it with my sister Jodie any time of year but then stopped watching it as much when I got older. I watched it again recently whilst my parents were away and thoroughly enjoyed it all over again. I forced my parents to watch it with me one Christmas Eve but my Mom wasn’t keen on it – “they’ve dragged the children out of their beds for this nightmare train journey, how is that Christmassy?”

The last time I saw it before this year was when me and my friend Jess went to the cinema to see it remastered in 3D and I won’t lie, it was absolutely beautiful. I don’t entirely get the whole film like I don’t see the point of that ‘ghost’ on the train but I still love the whole thing. It also kind of annoys me that you only learn one kid’s name and nobody else has a name but I still love it. I love the idea that you can’t hear Santa’s bells unless you truly believe in him.

So yeah, it’s a cute film and I really enjoyed rewatching it this year!

2. The Snowman

The Snowman 2

I absolutely love this film and always make sure to watch it every Christmas. I like the Snow Dog one too but much prefer this one. I’ve been watching it since I was a kid and I don’t know, I just adore it – even if it does make me weep buckets! I like watching it by myself because then I can watch it and cry as much as I want to. I cry at the end which makes sense ‘cos the bloody Snowman melts and that makes sense but I also cry when they first start flying. I don’t know why. To be honest I have misty eyes throughout the whole thing anyway so it’s unsurprising.

I don’t think a year will go by where I don’t watch this film to be honest; I just love everything about it!

1. Home Alone/Home Alone Lost in New York

Home Alone Lost in New York

Okay I cheated a bit here because I genuinely couldn’t narrow it down to one of the films and I didn’t want two of the Home Alone films to take up two spots on the list (if that makes sense). I love both of these films equally although I have seen the first film more times. I watched the second one twice this year – once with my friends and then again by myself when I was wrapping everyone’s presents (immediately after watching the first one).

My Mum prefers the second one just because she’s obsessed with New York ever since she had the chance to visit a few years ago. I’ve always preferred the first one because it’s more of a classic but now I’m having a really hard time choosing between them. They’re both just so funny and really Christmassy – what I love about these films is that they didn’t have to be Christmas films but by making themselves so they’ve become absolute classics.

I don’t think a year has gone by where I haven’t watched at least one of these films and I don’t think that will ever change. It wouldn’t be Christmas without a Home Alone film!

So there we have it, my five (or technically six) favourite Christmas films! Feel free to leave a comment with yours.

30 Day K-Pop Challenge

BTS 2.jpg

Originally I was going to do this day-by-day like I imagine it was intended to be but I stole the idea from Kwenzqoatl (sorry haha!) and just do all the days in one long post because some of them don’t really need an entire post to themselves. Let’s see how long this takes me!

Day 1: Your favourite K-Pop boy group

When I first became a fan of K-Pop I only listened to girl groups. I remember giving EXO a listen and thought ‘this is good’ but I wasn’t over the top impressed. I kind of assumed boy groups weren’t my thing and moved on. When my friend Becca became a K-Pop fan she leaned more towards boy groups and through her I quickly became a fan of BTS. I kept seeing vines that she’d reposted of them and I fell in love with their personalities as well as their music. Seeing them live at K-Con Paris only made me fall harder for them.

I like a few boy groups now casually but not to the level that I love BTS.

BTS gif.gif

Day 2: Your favourite K-Pop Girl Group

To be honest I’m not really sure at the moment. My first favourite group were Crayon Pop and I loved them but then Soyul left and then the remaining girls didn’t resign their contracts with Chrome – they’ve done that annoying thing where they’re like “We’re not splitting up, we’re just not sure what we’re gonna do.” Can you either just disband or continue promoting, it saves everyone the heartache?

Crayon Pop gif.gif

Then I loved Girls’ Generation, they’re such an iconic group and I love all the members – even Jessica although I didn’t become a fan until after she’d left. But of course Jessica did leave, then soon Tiffany, Seohyun and Sooyoung followed although they did say they might be back for future promotions like anniversaries or something. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy Oh!GG’s ‘Lil Touch’ with the remaining members but knowing I most likely won’t have a full group comeback in the future is upsetting.

Girls Generation gif.gif

So at the moment although I love tons of girl groups I’m not really who my ultimate group would be. Like I love tons of girl groups including Red Velvet, Mamamoo, Weki Meki, Black Pink, G-Friend, TWICE, MOMOLAND etc. but when I stanned Crayon Pop and Girls’ Generation I was forever watching funny moments of the groups and I knew all the members names and their age order and everything. With these other groups I feel like I’m only scratching the surface with most of them or I know the members but I don’t LOVE every song like I did for Crayon Pop or Girls’ Generation. I need to find a new favourite K-Pop girl group.

Day 3: Your ultimate K-Pop boy bias

Definitely J-Hope. The boy insanely talented, remains positive no matter what and is always full of energy. It’s silly but I originally chose him as my bias based on a vine. When I first became a fan Jungkook was my bias based solely on his looks but when I found out he was younger than me I wanted to change – he’s not that much younger but it still felt weird. I found a video of J-Hope making fun of RM and decided I thought he was funny. As I’ve seen more behind the scenes videos and funny moments of the members I only ended up loving J-Hope even more. His song ‘Just Dance’ was one of my favourite solo songs and I just generally love him the most.

J-Hope gif.gif

Day 4: Your ultimate K-Pop girl bias

Interestingly I love a lot of female idols but I’m never really 100% certain who my absolute top female bias is. Maybe Sunny from Girls’ Generation? I think the girl is amazingly talented and I wish SM would give her an official solo debut! She could pull it off! Everyone talked about wanting a SHY unit in Girls’ Generation but what I really wanted was a SSH sub-unit – Sunny, Sooyoung and Hyoyeon. Any opportunity where Sunny can show off her fabulous voice is a plus for me. That’s obviously not going to happen now with Sooyoung having left the group but the one thing I like about Girls’ Generation now only being five members was that Sunny definitely got more of a chance to show off her vocal skills in ‘Lil Touch’. Her part before the second chorus is amazing and I saw many comments from shook fans.

Sunny gif.gif

Day 5: Your favourite K-Pop song from your favourite K-Pop boy group

I feel like my mind changes depending on my mood and it’s really difficult to narrow it down to one. I’m normally quite good at picking out my favourites whilst my friends always dither (try asking Becca who her BTS bias is, I dare you!) For a group song it’s probably ‘Idol’ because that song was SO lit live but I also love ‘Tear’ by the Rap Line and ‘The Truth Untold’ by the Vocal Line. I really can’t narrow it down to just one song!

Day 6: Your favourite K-Pop song from your favourite girl group

For Girls’ Generation it has to be ‘I Got A Boy’, I don’t even care what anyone says it was hands down their best comeback in their entire career. All the girls looked absolutely amazing, especially Sunny and Hyoyeon, and they all just owned it. Admittedly it did take me a few listens to get into it but now I love it! Close runners up would include ‘The Boys’ and ‘Paparazzi’.

I Got a Boy gif.gif

For Crayon Pop it was either ‘Saturday Night’ or ‘FM’, both were absolute bops. Fun fact, ‘FM’ was my first comeback as an official fan and I still remember watching the choreography MV (which was released before the official MV for some reason) in film studies at college and falling in love with the song from the first listen.

Saturday Night gif.gif

For other girl groups that I mentioned earlier here are my favourite songs:
Red Velvet – Zimzalabim
Mamamoo – Hip
Weki Meki – Picky Picky
Black Pink – Kill This Love
G-Friend – Fingertip
TWICE – Feel Special
MOMOLAND – Baam!

Day 7: K-Pop Song That Makes You Cry

Quite obvious but ‘I’ll Smile Even if it Hurts’ by Ladies’ Code. The song is about two of the members that passed away so as you can imagine the song is quite emotional. Also ‘I’m Fine, Thank You’ by the same group – it was the last song released before the members passed away. I won’t say much more about it as it seems a bit disrespectful.

Day 8: K-Pop Song You Know All the Words To

Um there aren’t many because I don’t speak Korean so I feel like even though I know how the words are meant to sound when they come out they often don’t sound quite the same. I do know all the words to certain English K-Pop songs, the first one that comes to mind is the English version of Hyo’s ‘Sober’. I didn’t like that song at first but it quickly grew on me and soon I couldn’t stop listening to it. What a bop!

Sober gif.gif

Day 9: Favourite K-Pop Performance

I’m sure there are tons of amazing K-Pop performances but the first one that comes to mind is Crayon Pop’s ‘Bar Bar Bar’ when they added that super hero break in the middle. I just always really loved it and thought the girls did really well.

Day 10: K-Pop Dance You’d Like to Learn

The first one that came to mind is G-Friend’s ‘Fingertip’. I can do the first few G-Friend releases when they come up in those ‘Random K-Pop Dance’s but ‘Fingertip’ is a bit too complicated for me. I’d also love to learn any Dreamcatcher song, ‘What’ and ‘Chase Me’ come to mind. As for a boy group, it’d be pretty cool to be able to do BTS’ ‘Fake Love’.

Day 11: Favourite K-Pop Music Video

Closer gif.gif

I love Cosmic Girl’s ‘Secret’ MV because it’s so aesthetically pleasing. Similarly I love Oh My Girl’s ‘Closer’ for the same reason. Any MV with an aesthetic is great, ‘Russian Roulette’ by Red Velvet is another great one. I also like one of the members just having fun so MV’s like ‘Lonely’ by SISTAR or ‘Party’ by Girls’ Generation are great.

Day 12: The Very First K-Pop Song You Ever Heard

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Technically it was Orange Caramel’s ‘Catallena’ but I wasn’t aware it was K-Pop. I’d just become a Kyary Pamyu Pamyu fan and clicked onto that video thinking it was J-Pop. The first song I listened to absolutely aware that it was K-Pop was Crayon Pop’s ‘Bar Bar Bar’ and I hated it at first. It took a few listens to get into it.

Day 13: A K-Pop Group You Dislike And Why

This is difficult because I don’t really actively dislike any groups. There are groups that I don’t have much interest in listening to so I just… Don’t. I don’t get why people feel the need to go out of their way to dislike groups or members of groups. I’m not overly keen on NCT as I don’t like the concept, that’s way too many members for me to get on board with. But that’s a bit of a lie because through Becca (who loves NCT) I have discovered some good NCT songs and I am aware they have some bops.

Day 14: A K-Pop Song that Makes you Smile

When me, Jess and Becca went to Seoul we just knew we had to do some karaoke and so we did. We sang a few K-Pop songs and have some funny memories from all of them but honestly nothing was quite as iconic as when we sang Jimin’s ‘Lie’. I love that song and think it’s beautiful but I can no longer listen to it with a straight face because all I can hear is me and my friends shrieking the high notes like strangled kittens. We have a short video of us singing the chorus and it makes me weep with laughter every time – we look so drunk even though we were stone cold sober and we sound horrendous. I dread to think what the people in the other booths thought. I wish we’d caught the high note on camera as that was just… A moment.

Day 15: A K-Pop Song That Reminds You of Someone You Miss

Hmm, I’m not really sure I have one. I have K-Pop songs that I associate with people but I talk to them regularly so there’s not really any that I associate with someone that I miss. Sorry, that’s such a boring answer!

Day 16: Favourite K-Pop Lyric (and a translation)

Truthfully I don’t think I have one off the top of my head. I’m not really someone who actively searches for what the lyrics mean in English anymore because I’ve found when I find them they often make me cringe a little bit. That’s another boring answer oh my god.

Day 17: A K-Pop Idol You Wish Was Your Older Sibling

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Probably Hyolyn ‘cos she always seems so positive and confident, and she could probably help me with that a little bit. Either her or Jessi ‘cos she doesn’t take any s*it and she wouldn’t let me take any either.

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Day 18: A K-Pop Idol You Wish Was Your Younger Sibling

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Jungkook from BTS ‘cos then I could meet the rest of BTS ayeeeee.

Day 19: Favourite interview of a K-Pop idol or a group

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I haven’t really thought about it before. I liked BTS on James Corden but only because I liked watching them play ‘Flinch’ or whatever it was called. Also although their Graham Norton interview was cringe it’s still really funny. I don’t really have one off the top of my head though.

Day 20: Favourite picture of your K-Pop guy bias

J-Hope

Day 21: Favourite picture of your K-Pop girl bias

Sunny

Day 23: A picture of a K-Pop idol you think is underrated

SoRi

SoRi deserves the world, okay? Her solo songs are incredible like ‘I’m Ready’ and ‘Touch’ are absolutely amazing. She worked hard in CocoSori only for Coco to throw her under the bus at the first opportunity. She’s been in the industry for ages and has worked hard but never really got her big break you know and that really annoys me because the girl is insanely talented. SoRi deserves better!

Day 24: A picture of a K-Pop idol you think is overrated

I’m gonna be really boring and say I don’t think any K-Pop idol is overrated. Everyone in that industry is talented and worked hard to get there. There are groups I don’t overly love – for example I think EXO are ‘okay’ but they’re popular and I wouldn’t say that makes them overrated. They’re just not particularly my cup of tea.

Day 25: Favourite K-Pop Music Video

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I feel like we already had this question? G-Friend also have some cute MV’s, the one for NAVILLERA is really nice so I’ll add that onto this list.

Day 26: Favourite cover of a K-Pop song by another K-Pop artist

I didn’t see the hype for Winner’s ‘Really Really’ until Dreamcatcher covered it – and even now I prefer their version. Sorry Winner!

Day 27: Favourite Dance Battle

Unfortunately I can’t say that I have one?

Day 28: Favourite Cover of an American song by a K-Pop artist

I LOVE Sunny’s cover of 3 by Britney Spears. I can’t get enough of it.

Day 29: A K-Pop Song You Never Get Tired Of

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This one’s difficult because I go through phases of LOVING a song but then I listen to it too much and become bored of it. At the moment I’m in love with Weki Meki’s ‘Picky Picky’ but also CLC’s ‘Me’. So we’ll see.

Day 30: A K-Pop Idol That Has Amazing Eye Smiles

Tiffany

Tiffany from Girls’ Generation!

There we have it, thirty days’ worth of a K-Pop challenge into one post. Feel free to link me to your blog posts answering the questions!

Christmas Tag 2019

Christmas Jumpers

Pretty sure I already did this particular tag a couple of years ago but I want to write some more festive posts this year so decided to write it again as you never know, a few things may have changed between now and then! Here goes nothing!

1. What is your favourite Christmas movie?

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I love the first two Home Alone films, I think the first one is more of a classic but my Mom prefers the second one – simply because ever since she visited New York a few years ago she’s obsessed with the place. I rewatched Home Alone Lost in New York with my friends a while ago and to be fair it is just as much fun as the first one. Both of them are amazing.

However, I also love The Snowman but I can’t watch it with other people because it literally makes me weep buckets at the end. The Snowman and the Snow dog is good too but not quite on the same level. My Mom take me to see the stage version of The Snowman a few years ago and it was lovely – I nearly cried in the theatre too though haha!

I love most Christmas films but yeah those three are probably my absolute favourites, however an honourable shout-out to ‘The Polar Express’ which was probably my favourite when I was a kid. A few years ago they did a 3D screening of the film at our local Cineworld so me and Jess went to see it and it was quite magical, I wish they’d do that again and play it in the IMAX or something.

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or on Christmas morning?

My Mom gives me one present to open on Christmas Eve and that’s Christmas themed pyjamas. We have a matching pair and I think it’s a really cute idea. A couple of years ago she gave me a ‘midway through December’ present and it was Christmas bed sheets which I now put on on the 1st of December. The only other presents I open early are the ones from my three best friends Becca, Jess and Hirst. We pick a date that we’re all free, meet up and exchange presents. Last year we nearly had to meet up after Christmas but at the last minute met up on Christmas Eve evening and I thought that was really nice.

I wake up at my Mom’s on Christmas morning, we open our presents together and then I go to my Dad’s and we open the presents whenever my step-mum decides it’s time (and the wait is always so long!) so I guess I’m quite lucky as the present opening is spread out.

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?

When I was young we used to pick out a real Christmas tree and bring it home and the one year my Mom took us somewhere where we cut down our own. I was super excited as I’d seen films and TV shows where people cut down trees and then someone yelled ‘timber!’ as it went down. My eldest brother Chris and my Mom began cutting the tree between them and it took so long that my attention started to wander so when the tree actually came down I completely missed it. My Mom and brother very kindly propped it back up and let it go so I could yell “Timber!” as it came down.

4. Favourite festive food?

I have like a weird obsession with ALDI’s own brand of Christmas chocolate – especially their reindeers. Like the Santa’s are nice too but yeah those reindeers are lush. There was also the year my Mom made mini steak pies which were incredible but they’re not really ‘festive’ and she only made them the once unfortunately. For the last couple of years I’ve made Christmas biscuits – last year with my brother and the year before with Jess and those have always tasted amazing.

But I think the one thing I couldn’t be without on Christmas day is pigs in blankets like oh my God, they are God-tier Christmas food.

5. Favourite Christmas gift?

The one year on Christmas morning I unwrapped two presents which were something like pyjamas and something else small then out of my stocking pulled out two My Chemical Romance tickets (which I already knew I had) and figured that since I’d had the tickets that was all I was getting – which was fine obviously, Christmas isn’t just about the presents and the tickets would’ve cost my Mom enough money. But then Mom told me there was something else in her bedroom and I had to go and fetch it so up I ran and waiting for me was my first ever brand new laptop.

Equally the year when me and my step-sister had been BEGGING my Mom and Step-Dad to get us each a Nintendo DS Lite and as Christmas approached I didn’t think we were going to get one. As in the previous one I unwrapped all my presents and was quite happy with them until my Mom said “you haven’t even checked your stocking” – you can guess what was inside.

I feel like Christmas presents were much more exciting as a kid, I obviously love every present I receive now as an adult but it was definitely more exciting as a child.

6. Favourite Christmas scent?

The smell of Christmas trees – I completely understand why my Mom opted to buy a fake one and I do think ours looks good but I still miss the smell of our real Christmas tree.

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7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

For the last few years, maybe about the last ten or so, me and my Mom have been to the pantomime in Oakengates on Christmas Eve. It’s probably my favourite tradition but I think my Mom started to get a bit fed-up – luckily my nephew came along so he’s included in the pantomime trips now so she can’t stop taking us just yet. We always go to the matinee and when I suggested going to the evening show this year (I wasn’t sure if I’d have to work or not) my Mom was like “Um no, by 7PM on Christmas Eve I wanna be at home, in the living room, in my pyjamas.”

Then for the past few years my Mom’s been giving me the Christmas Eve pyjamas and I think that’s about it really. I used to sit in the living room and watch a Christmas film with my parents but over the past few years my relationship with my step-dad has got worse so I think we’re all happier with Mum and my step-dad sitting downstairs with me in my room doing my own thing.

For the past few years I’ve gotten into the habit of writing my three best friends Jess, Hirst and Becca group Christmas story – I was going to stop last year but all they had to say was “but we like reading them” and that convinced me to throw something together. I was worried I didn’t have any ideas this year but luckily my friends had enough for me to work with so they can look forward to that!

8. What tops your tree?

We have a golden star and then my bought an angel wearing gold that’s really heavy and doesn’t even have a hole in so she gets tied to the tree just beneath the star with gold tinsel. I’d be fine with just the star, I dunno why the bead angel has to come into it at all.

9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?

I begged my parents for a dog a lot but they never relented and I’m actually quite grateful now because I can barely take care of myself let alone a pet. I used to grab the Argos catalogue as a little kid and circle everything I wanted for Christmas (so basically 95% of the toys section) but as I got a bit older I think I got a bit more realistic with what my parents could get me.

10. What’s the best part about Christmas for you?

I actually prefer the build-up I think, I love the entirety of December. The work Christmas meals, decorating my house/the office, Secret Santa, pulling out my Christmas clothes, festive meet-ups, watching Christmas films, buying Christmas presents etc. The actual day is generally fun but can feel a bit deflating after all the build-up so I think I just prefer the first part of December – I hate those few days between Christmas and New Year, it’s a bit of a weird time.

Elf Day

There we have, there’s the Christmas Tag – feel free to comment your answers or a link to your blog!

Five Film Adaptations I Preferred to the Book

Harry Potter

It’s not often the film is better than the book. Take the Harry Potter series – every book is better than every film and that’s just a fact. However, there are some films where I’ve preferred their spin on it to the book itself. Here’s my list of five film adaptations I preferred to the book and why.

My Sisters Keeper (Nick Cassavetes, 2009)

My Sisters Keeper

This is probably the main one. We watched this in Science one year and I instantly loved the film. When I realised it was a book I bought it immediately and began reading. And it took me FOREVER but I did finally manage to finish it.

For those unfamiliar with the film/book, Anna was a designer baby born to save her sister Kate. Anna is asked to donate her kidney and starts legal proceedings for medical emancipation to her own body so that she doesn’t have to. That’s the basic gist anyway?

The first thing about the book was that I just didn’t particularly like it. I think if you’re gonna have a book that switches POVs then keep it to the minimum of characters, don’t give every main character their own POV. I didn’t give a damn about the backstory of the judge and the lawyer, their POVs were so boring and honestly a lot of the chapters just really dragged out. Maybe it’s because I was like fourteen when I read it but I don’t have the energy to even try and attempt to reread it now because I still think it would be dull.

My main issue is the ending – those that loved the book hate that the movie ending is different but I personally much preferred the movie ending as the one in the book weirdly seemed more ‘Hollywood’ whereas the movie ending seemed more realistic. SPOILER ALERT – in the film Kate dies whereas in the book once Anna is granted medical emancipation she dies in a car crash and her kidney ends up going to her sister anyway who lives for a few more years. Anna says something earlier on in the book about how you ‘shouldn’t lose your purpose for being born’ – I’M SORRY WHAT? How can anyone enjoy that? That’s honestly so ridiculous.

My Sisters Keeper 2

I know Jodi Piccoult hated the film for changing the ending and all the fans of the book did but I’m sorry, the filmmakers did the right thing. The book was all over the bloody place and the film saved it.

The Ritual (David Bruckner, 2017)

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This is another one where I watched the film first and I won’t lie to you, the film wasn’t incredible or ground-breaking but it did kill a couple of hours. I’d enjoyed the film to an extent so I decided to pick up the book and give it a read. I did not finish that book.

The basic story is that a group of friends decide to go hiking in Sweden and to save time they decide to cross through a forest. In the forest there is something lurking ready to sacrifice them.

I’m pretty sure I got several chapters in and nothing particularly happened. Plus in the film it’s clear why the guys go to Sweden whereas in the book it’s sort of a bit like… Why are they there? Why did they pick to go hiking in Sweden when two out of four of them definitely aren’t up for a bit of hiking? If my best friends suggested a hiking trip to me I’d probably laugh in their faces.

I feel like I can’t make a fair comparison because I obviously didn’t finish the book so I can’t draw a lot of comparisons but I really wasn’t a fan of the writing and it was just impossible. I’m sorry!

It’s not a film I massively love but I do prefer it to the book.

Room (Lenny Abrahamson, 2015)

Room

Okay I did not DISLIKE the book, I actually loved the book and would argue it’s one of my favourites. In this case the book actually did some more realistic and the film was much more the ‘Hollywood’ version of things but I think I still preferred the film.

The basic plot is that Jack lives with his Ma in ‘Room’. He was born in Room and him and his Ma have never been outside. They muddle by but after Jack’s fifth birthday Ma hatches a plan to escape Room. I haven’t done the plot justice but it’s beautiful – and I mean both the book and the film.

This is another one where I watched the film first, I went with my friend Jess and I don’t know why but it quickly became my favourite film. I do like a good weepy film and this one has several weepy moments and I just think it was brilliantly done. Congratulations to Brie Larson for winning that Oscar, it was definitely deserved and Jacob Trembley’s performance as Jack was also incredible.

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The end scene is the same in the book as it is in the film – Jack and Ma return to Room and say goodbye but the overall ending is different. In the film Ma returns from the hospital and it’s implied that she starts to get better as Jack and Ma continue to live with Grandma and Steppa. Whereas in the book Ma insists they move into their own place and although it’s difficult at first it’s implied that things do end as happily as they can. But I don’t know, I preferred the characters in the film – Grandma had much more patience with Jack in the film than she did in the book and although I know in my heart that the book definitely portrayed everything more realistically I prefer the film! I’m sorry!

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (Francis Lawrence, 2015)

Mockingjay

I think the thing with the Mockingjay book is that I didn’t quite ‘get’ it… The same could be said for ‘Catching Fire’ but at least they have another Hunger Games so actually no I enjoyed that one. I wasn’t quite following the Mockingjay book though.

I did finish it – my friend Becca very kindly lent it to me after I’d enjoyed the first two books and I read a couple of chapters each night but I can’t honestly say that I followed much of it. I don’t know why… A lot of these books I’m listing are books I read as a teenager so maybe I was just a bit dim but I feel like it all got a bit lost in translation for me.

I didn’t fully understand what had happened until I watched the film and then I actually understood some of Katniss’ decisions. For example when she shot President Coin instead of President Snow. Again though, this may be because I was quite young when I originally read the book whereas I was about twenty when the film came out. Maybe if I reread it now it would make much more sense. But overall, right now, I prefer the film.

The Maze Runner (Wes Ball, 2014)

The Maze Runner

I originally watched this film because Becca had read the books and was a fan so she dragged us all to the cinema, and we all ended up loving it. As I’d enjoyed the film so much I decided to give the book a stab and Oh My God.

To be honest it’s been a while since I attempted the book (and I didn’t finish it) so I can’t remember everything but first of all I remember it being written really weird. I don’t know, all the boys just talked like farmers and I wasn’t really feeling it so I pushed through but it got worse.

Thomas and Teresa could communicate with each other telepathically in the books – a decision I’m so glad they made to get rid of in the films because WHAT? Why? How does that make sense? I hadn’t been Teresa’s biggest fan in the films anyway but in the books she was so much worse and I just couldn’t get through it once Teresa had been introduced. I don’t think it’d matter if I picked the book up again now. I love the films but dear God, I can’t stand the books.

So there we have it, five film adaptations I preferred to the books. Feel free to comment whether you agree or disagree, and what your favourite or worst book to film adaptations are!