Yet another month has come and gone! How mental is that?! In the blink of an eye, November turned into chilly December. For me it’s gone by a little bit too fast! None the less, November most definitely did have it’s perks, and these are some of my favourite things that I fell in love with in November.
Comfy red shawl / scarf.
If you know me really well, you’ll know that I’m always, always cold. Even in the summer when it was boiling hot, I sat in the garden with huge fluffy slippers and a blanket wrapped around me burrito style. So needless to say that when winter rolls around each year, I’m constantly seeking refuge in the oversized, and warm looking section of every single clothes store I can find. However, this year, my mum beat me to it. She found a scarf / shawl from Primark that was exactly what I’ve been looking for! After I purchased my beautiful red checkered scarf, I was so cosy and warm, I fell asleep happily wrapped up in it. This was most definitely one of the highlights of my November as sad as that sounds.
You can get it at Primark for £4. (Others are available and prices do vary)
Glory Days – Little Mix
November was a great month for music, especially for my girls Little Mix. The British girl band released their third album in mid November, and it’s probably the best album they’ve released to date! After having a rocky few months in their personal lives, the girls came back with an empowering album that will go down as the ‘Girl Power’ album of 2016. The songs released are beautiful, honest and sometimes heartbreaking. But more than anything, they’re inspiring young people, especially young girls, to not let a partner / an ex-partner rule their lives and have a negative impact on their futures. This is such an important message for young people these days seeing as cases of domestic abuse are continuously rising. Hopefully anyone that listens to this album will feel empowered enough to do what’s best for them and put themselves first. In my opinion, Little Mix have created an album that has strong underlining theme of feminism, and have reached out to their fans and anyone else that listens to their music to never settle for something or someone that treats them less than equal and without respect.
I finally had the chance to catch up with Season 2 of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend in November! The first season left us with the biggest cliffhanger of all, Rebekah FINALLY had her moment with Josh …. at his engagement party. What was going to happen to Rebekah and Greg? I love Rebekah and Greg more than Rebekah and Josh, so obviously I was devastated for Greg, who was completely oblivious to what was happening at the time due to passing out blind drunk. But still. Poor Greg.
Season 2 picked up where it left off, but with a few changes. I won’t go into too much detail, just in case – but most of the characters have changed and developed, and it’s brought a brand new vibe to the show. Not only is it a fantastic new show that combines musicals, comedy and drama that has underlining themes of mental health, addiction and feminism – it brings characters we’d usually overlook to life. Of course there are some stereotypes in the show, but since season 2 has kicked off, the stereotypes are slowly being stripped away thus creating multifaceted characters that are strong enough to hold main narratives / subplots without the need for supporting characters to ensure the success of that storyline. This is most definitely one of the best shows I’ve ever decided to watch- thanks Netflix Suggestions!
Retrofest is a pop up fashion festival that usually takes place in the Cardiff area. It’s run by a close friend of mine, so when I found out Retrofest was returning to Cardiff just before Christmas time, it excited me greatly. I went with two of my best friends, Thom and Andrew and took to prowling the stalls for bargains and incredible purchases. We met a non-profit organisation called Heads Above The Waves that offers help and support for those that are suffering with depression, self-harm and such. We spoke to them for some time and were extremely touched that they set up an organisation that’s extremely close to our hearts. The people at Heads Above The Waves were completely and utterly lovely and they most definitely made us feel welcome and gave us a strong sense of community. Retrofest also supports local businesses like Cosy Cat Vintage, Amy Laura Smith clothing, Rock Ola Reborn, Dizzy Pineapple and The Vegan Pizza Co. It’s a beautiful event that happens every couple of months that brings people together in the most stunning way possible. If you’ve never been to Retrofest and you’re in the Cardiff area when it next pops up, definitely go check it out! It’s a unique and quirky festival that’s full of life and colour that definitely deserves more attention.
Panic! At The Disco – Cardiff Show
As soon as I heard that Panic! were coming to Cardiff, I think I wet myself. I instantly grabbed some tickets and counted down the days until I could officially say I’ve seen the Holy Trinity of Emo (My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy and of course Panic! At The Disco) and let my soul rest in peace. Listening to them really brings back memories of when I was in the midst of my Emo days, and honestly, I relish every second of it. As soon as they came on stage, I was thrown back to my 14/15 year old self in my room listening to them, wearing thick black eyeliner, wearing ‘ironic’ shirts, writing a novel that was about to become the next big thing and despising anything that seemed false or negative around me. My friend Martha and I did have a few drinks before the show, and I’ll admit I was ever so slightly drunk, BUT – it was the BEST concert I’ve been to in the arena. They hardly needed gimmicks or a lot of action on stage, the pure talent of the band and of course, front man Brendan Urie was enough to keep the crowd satisfied and entertained. Everything about the gig was exactly how I imagined it, and I was most definitely not disappointed by any of it.
The setlist was everything I could have asked for. I screamed like a lunatic when The Ballad of Mona Lisa started playing – again I was thrown straight back into my Emo days reliving some bittersweet memories. But it was perfect. I can’t even describe how incredible it was to be able to have the experience of seeing one of my absolute favourite bands in person, but also experience the same feelings and thoughts I once had the first time I ever listened to them. It was most definitely a literal throw back.
Brendan actually showed us his drumming skills once they brought a second drum set on stage and he let loose on those things! It was utterly captivating. The shear talent of that man is un-comprehendible, his vocal range is beyond incredible! I honestly couldn’t get my head around how perfect his voice was in person. I had actual goosebumps when they performed Bohemian Rhapsody. I was just in awe of the talent of the people on stage. If you ever, ever, have the chance to see Panic! live, please do take that chance to see them! Even if you’re not a hardcore fan, or even know a lot of their material. It’s so worth it just to see the talent and experience one of the best bands I’ve ever seen live.
Heads Above The Waves (based in Cardiff)
As I mentioned before, I met representatives of a non-profit organisation during Retrofest called Heads Above The Waves. I wanted to add these guys in my November Favourites as they deal with issues that are very, very close to my heart. And this time of year can be extremely tough for some people who suffer with mental health, self-harm and so on. Not only are they always happy to help, they’re always so lovely and kind and will always point you in the right direction to seek further help. They also listen to the young people that come to them for advice and cater to their needs. Each person is seen as a person, not a problem, or another case of self-harm, a victim of bullying etc. It’s a really great organisation that I’m so glad I found by chance. For further information on the organisation and information about what to do / who to contact when things get too much visit their website here.
The Purple Project!
I feel like I’m tooting my own horn a bit here, but this is something I’m super proud of. I started a project/ competition called The Purple Project. All you have to do is go outside, create a video, take picture(s), write about the experience / how the experience makes you feel – or even how the colour purple makes you feel. Throw it online and use #ThePurpleProject and #FindYourNeverland so I can find it. The top 5 entries will be getting a little something, something for their effort and time. For more information I’ll leave my blog post explaining it all and my Facebook page so you can see updates on the competition as the month goes by! Please do get involved! I promise, it’ll be super fun!
So until the New Year, that’s it for 2016 favourites posts. I wish you guys a fantastic Christmas, Hanukkah and a happy which ever holiday you celebrate personally! I hope December is kind to you and brings you everything you’ve wished for. And I will speak to you guys soon in my Blogmas posts!