The Most Magical Christmas Ever

"It's a beautiful sight, we're happy tonight, walking in a winter wonderland"

I have never, ever, wanted to spend Christmas anywhere but at home.

Until this year.

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5SOS - This Is Everything We Ever Said (Mini Post)

"Hey, we're taking on the world,
I'll take you where you want to go" - Unpredictable, 5SOS

It's like Christmas came early! To celebrate their fifth birthday, those 5 Seconds of Summer lads released something that fans have been after since the dawn of time - a b-side and exclusive track playlist that they've released over the years.

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A Christmassy/Winter Brown and Bronzed Look

"There's room for everyone on the nice list!" - Elf

With Christmas nearly upon us, we are well and truly out of the light and glowy makeup season (unfortunately) However, with winter comes the opportunity to swap the brights in for browns and the shimmery gold eye shadows for a warmer, darker ones. Here I've bought a selection of my favourite makeup bits together, combining them will make for the perfect warm winter look.

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Passenger Gig Review

"And I hate those ignorant folk who pay money to see gigs, then talk through every fucking song" - I Hate, Passenger

It's not often that I look at my ticket on the way to a gig and think oh god, I don't know any of the songs! but for this particular one, it was the case. I don't think I've ever bought a ticket so spontaneously as I did with my Passenger ticket. Having listened to his album All The Little Lights a few times, I'd decided I liked the guy - yeah sure he wrote about pretty depressing stuff and all that but there was something charmingly hilarious about his songs and here I found myself, on a train off to see him gig at The Eventim Hammersmith Apollo in London.
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December Is Here!

Then The Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store! What if Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more!" - The Grinch That Sole Christmas, Dr. Seuss

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My 21st Birthday Celebrations Gallery

"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You" - Dr. Seuss

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Little Mix's 'Glory Days' Album Review

"You make rain,But I'll make it, I'll make it, I'll make it shower" - Power

Little Mix are taking the world by storm at the moment, and rightly so! having released Shout Out To My Ex earlier this autumn, their album landed last Friday and boy is it a good'n! Having outsold One Direction with their last album Get Weird and having achieved more number ones than the famous boy band ever did, Little Mix really are proving that they were worthy winners of The X Factor back in 2011.

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The Best Christmas Adverts

"Another year over, where do they go to? It's a mystery.
Now It's December, so much to remember before Christmas Eve." - Sainsbury's

The festive adverts have arrived and now Christmas is well and truly in the air. Whether it's the annually anticipated John Lewis advert or perhaps unsuspected great Christmas ads; I've compacted all the best of the Christmas advert game into one little festive post.

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21 things for 21 years

So here we are, today I turn 21 so I thought it would be appropriate for me to list the top 21 things I have learned in life so far (no matter how trivial!)
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Bastille's Dystopia

"And I don't think that's a selfish want, I really don't. I'm not saying I have this capacity because it's hard to develop that capacity on your own, when you're being stopped at every turn" Fake It, Bastille

Normally I title these gig review posts with the name of the tour or the artist or something 'normal' like that. But, for this one, I felt that it needed to have a little bit extra. Not least because they're an incredible band but just because never have I, in the thirty-something concerts I've been to, seen such great ideas and artistry projected on stage.

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Top Five Reads This Winter

"I hope she'll be a fool -- that's the best thing a girl can be in the world, a beautiful little fool" - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

The days are getting that bit shorter. the weather's cooler and you're probably pining for a hot chocolate, complete with whipped cream and teeny-tiny marshmallows. Winter is almost upon us and there's no better season to curl up with a book, under a blanket with the fire on, a steaming hot chocolate beside you.
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The Underappreciated Georgia Nicholson

"In case you haven't noticed, I'm a woman now - I WEAR A BRA!" - Angus Thongs and Perfect Snogging

Now, 2008 was a bit of an odd time for teenage girls across England as our screens were graced with the arrival of Georgia Nicholson. Since then, Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging has become a nationwide favourite and this month landed on Netflix (as if we didn't all already own the DVD!)
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Things I Am Thankful For

"Rest and be thankful" - William Wordsworth

Sometimes life can get so hectic and busy, the stresses of university can get me down a bit and I get into this kind of funk where nothings bad but nothing's great either. In these kind of situations it's important to realise what's important and what matters and when I get like this I find it best to think of all that I'm thankful for. It puts everything into perspective a little bit, makes you realise that yeah, life can be stressful and maybe even get me down, but i have SO much that I am so grateful for in my life.

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My Absolute Pet Hates

Here we go...
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The Girl On The Train - Film Review

"There's something comforting about the sight of strangers safe at home" - Paula Hawkins, The Girl On The Train

little while ago I did a review post of the book The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins, and I loved it. Now the problem then lies that the film won't live up to expectation; that it won't be quite as good as the book was.

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Little Mix's 'Shout Out To My Ex' Single Review

"Shout out to my ex,
You're really quite the man,
You made my heart break, And that made me who I am" - Shout Out To My Ex 

The Little Mix girls are well and truly back everyone! Fresh off the X Factor Results stage they released their brand new single Shout Out To My Ex, from their next album entitled Glory Days, and it's everything a Little Mix song should be: catchy, sassy and excellent!
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my disenchantment with print media

"it's blend of high fashion and world-class photography" [about] AnOther

Following my recent post about how Harry Styles' feature in AnOther Man magazine has, just maybe, saved me from my disenchantment with print media I thought I would take a few minutes to sit down and explain why exactly I became so disenchanted in the first place.

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My Top 10 Favourite Disney Films

"Stay outside your comfort zone. The rewards are worth it" - Tangled
So here we have it, the list of my top 10 favourite, animated Disney films. It has to be said, it was a tricky decision making process but I'm pretty sure I've got it right!
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James Arthur 'Say You Won't Let Go' Single Review

"Then you smiled over your shoulder, for a minute I was stone cold sober"

Following a turbulent couple of years for the 2012 X Factor winner, James Arthur is back with a brand new single Say You Won't Let Go. 

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My Feelings Towards Busted's Return

"You gotta put your past behind ya" - Timon, The Lion King

Yes, I know that they've been back together for a while now and I'm perhaps a little delayed in writing this post. I won't deny that this was seven-year-old-me's dream but I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this. Not only have they lost their young charm and vibe, they just seem a bit awkward and, dare I say it, a bit past it.

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Niall Horan's 'This Town' Single Review

"It's funny how things never change in this old town, so far from the stars" - This Town, Niall Horan
I'm writing this post very spur of the moment, in fact as I type these words I have only known that the song I am reviewing has existed since 16:41 (it is currently 16:45), so just bear with me!

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Another Man ft. Harry Styles

"There comes a day when you realise turning the page is the best feeling in the world" - Zayn Malik
(perhaps a controversial person to quote regarding the subject of this post but just work with me here please)

It is the thing that, this week, has had social media going mad. Harry Styles' AnOther Man feature which has him splashed across the front of three separate covers for the autumn issue of the magazine. Now celebrities cover the front page of thousands of magazines every week but this one is a little different, not just because it's Harry Styles, because its page after page of artistically perfect, excellent quality prints of the ex boyband member.
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My Bucket List

"I got a theory a person ought to do everything it' possible to do before he dies, and maybe die trying to do something that's really impossible" - Strangers on a Train, Patricia Highsmith

So here I am, being totally predictable, jumping on the bandwagon that so many people have jumped on already, with my bucket list. This is more of a refined version of the original list (and shorter!), I figured I should probably leave off things like 'become a mermaid' because, no matter how appealing that would be, it's also impossible (unfortunately!) I'm going to keep coming back to this post, adding things and crossing things off, using the fact that I've now broadcast all my hopes and dreams online to motivate me to achieve!
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The Most Perfect English Destinations

"I have never before been gifted with such an abundance of natural beauty as I experienced filming War Horse on Dartmoor" - Steven Spielberg, 2012

Now, I'm not a widely traveled person; the amount of times I've been abroad you could count on one hand, but thanks to long summer days as a child exploring England's most treasured places - be it on bike or foot - I have really experienced the best this country has to offer. If you're planning a trip to England or just considering a road trip or a 'stay-cation', here are my top places to visit and trust me, you really won't be disappointed.
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Bastille's 'WILD WORLD' Album Review

"It's easier to bury, my head in the sand sometimes" - Snakes, Wild World, Bastille
The Bastille lads are back at it; after performing at V Festival and Glastonbury over the summer and with their upcoming UK tour and Apple Musical festival gig, their new album will get plenty of live recognition. It seems hard to believe that five years ago Dan Smith (the band's front man) was embarking on a solo project from his bedroom. With the singles from their first album, Bad Blood, such as Pompeii, Flaws and Laura Palmer making such a bold mark on the music industry, the pressure was certainly on for their second album. Wild World is all intense drums, somewhat unclear lyrical meanings and the odd oohh and plenty of ahhs. 

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Let's Talk About Great Expectations

"I have been bent and broken - but I hope into better shape" - Great Expectations, Charles Dickens

This post was very spur of the moment and random but having just finished Great Expectations I felt compelled to write about it. Not in review form but in a different way to my usual 'book posts'. Great Expectations is a book I've read a few times before but, after being set it for summer reading, it really struck me that, despite it being an old book, we can take so much from it.
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No More Wasted Time

"It's named the 'Web' for good reason" - David Foster Wallace

With phones, Netflix, Twitter, Youtube and laptops, in today's society it is so easy to cut yourself off from the world and waste valuable time online doing mundane tweets and watching petty Youtube videos. Constantly staring at a phone screen can't be healthy but, unfortunately for us, these things haven't been around long enough for there to be any definite proof. But that doesn't mean that people should be sitting idly by and just utilising their lives as human guinea pigs for the effect of technology upon humanity.

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The Upcoming Year: Excitement vs. Unease

So, with my trip back to Reading for the year right around the corner I thought I would write a bit about what I'm looking forward to and what I'm nervous about in the upcoming academic year.

If we're going about things chronologically, let's start here, in September. The month that I move back to university and begin my final year of studying English Literature. Now this is something I am excited about, being at home all summer has been lovely, relaxing and much needed but I'm always happy to go back to Reading. Moving into the new house and seeing everyone again after a long summer break, September is definitely a good one.

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Let's Talk About University

"University's like this little world, a bubble of time separate from everything before an everything after." - You Had Me At Hello, Mhairi McFarlane

As a student who is about to embark on my final year at university I thought it was pretty apt that I did a post about university life. Whether you're starting university in the next couple of weeks or are simply looking around universities at the moment, I want to (hopefully) give you a bit of general advice and tips, my 'advice to my former self' if you will.

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V Festival

"I'm a little hungover, I'm not gonna lie. But I'm having a good time" - Justin Bieber, 20/08/16 

For the past three years a weekend in mid/late August has always been my favourite time of the year. Okay, the weather may not always be ideal and wearing wellies four days in a row really does kill your feet but everything else about V Festival is absolutely incredible. Somehow sitting around on the damp grass surrounded by friends and tents, drinking cheap cider and laughing away is the perfect way to spend a weekend.

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The Norfolk Broads

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"You see, because (Norfolk is) stuck here on the east, on this hump jutting out into the sea, it's not on the way to anywhere. People going north and south, they bypass it altogether. For that reason, it's a peaceful corner of England" - Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
Travelling abroad and visiting the far corners of the Earth is full of adventure, fun and excitement. However, I often feel that serene beauty spots in the UK are overlooked in favour of tropical climates, foreign languages and exotic foods. Growing up, the majority of the holidays I went on with family were in England: Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and, Norfolk.

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The Norfolk Broads

"You see, because (Norfolk is) stuck here on the east, on this hump jutting out into the sea, it's not on the way to anywhere. People going north and south, they bypass it altogether. For that reason, it's a peaceful corner of England" - Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
Travelling abroad and visiting the far corners of the Earth is full of adventure, fun and excitement. However, I often feel that serene beauty spots in the UK are overlooked in favour of tropical climates, foreign languages and exotic foods. Growing up, the majority of the holidays I went on with family were in England: Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and, Norfolk.

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The Norfolk Broads

"You see, because (Norfolk is) stuck here on the east, on this hump jutting out into the sea, it's not on the way to anywhere. People going north and south, they bypass it altogether. For that reason, it's a peaceful corner of England" - Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
Travelling abroad and visiting the far corners of the Earth is full of adventure, fun and excitement. However, I often feel that serene beauty spots in the UK are overlooked in favour of tropical climates, foreign languages and exotic foods. Growing up, the majority of the holidays I went on with family were in England: Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and, Norfolk.

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The Girl on the Train (Book Review)

"There's nothing so painful, so corrosive, as suspicion" - The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
I had wanted to read Paula Hawkins' The Girl on the Train for quite some time but I was either too strapped for cash at university to buy the book or snowed under with compulsory reading that in the past months I have just never found time. But now that it is summer and I have a bit more time and a bit more money (thanks to getting a summer job) I was finally able to sit down and become absorbed in this thrilling and exciting book.
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10 things that make me happy

"Just remember to smile, smile, smile" - Smile, McFly

Following youtuber In The Frow, Victoria's, recent video about ten things that make her happy, I got pondering on what my ten things would be. Some are things that generally just make me smile, others are things that I perhaps turn to when I'm in a bit of a funk as a way of improving my mood. Either way, these are the ten things that make me happy...
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Festival Essentials

Now we're in the midst of summer, festival season is well and truly underway. From Glastonbury to Reading, thousands of us Brits are headed to festivals across the country even though sunny and dry weather is hardly likely, oh the joys of a British summer!

Now what our festivals lack in the sunshine and 'tumblr-esque' vibes of Coachella we well and truly make up for with our wellies, mud that goes up to our knees and a campsite so packed you'll be lucky to find your tent at the end of the day.

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My jury service experience

"A jury verdict is just a guess - a well-intentioned guess,generally, but you simply cannot tell fact from fiction by taking a vote" - William Landay, Defending Jacob

Back in January I did my Stepping out of my comfort zone post, in which I briefly touched upon my two weeks of jury service which commenced at the beginning of this year. I find it rather odd because although I stated that it had been "one of the most rewarding experiences of my life", I still didn't feel able to go into great detail about it. Six months on, and it seems like a lifetime ago, again, which is odd because until the end of last month my mind drifted to the trial several times every day yet now I barely realise it even happened.

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Me Before You (novel and film review & comparison)

"You only get one life. It's actually your duty to live it as fully as possible"

When I finished Me Before You I was torn; I desperately wanted to write about it and review it, but, at the same time, I wanted to read it again (and again, and again). Despite it being a UK bestseller, being made into a major film, and having sold over 5 million copies, I somehow felt that by not sharing my views on the book, it would make it my little world for a bit longer - not to be tainted by others' opinions and, likewise, I didn't want to taint it for anyone else. It is an effortlessly timeless novel which evokes all the right emotions of laughter, hilarity and sadness into not only a story about love but a story about family, financial difficulty, and commitment.
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The Waffle House

Tucked away behind Verulanium Park in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, is The Waffle House. Just a short walk through the park and past St. Albans Abbey, part of the restaurant's charm is its beautiful surroundings and the leisurely summer walks that can be done before or after eating.

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A picnic in the park

"It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "what about lunch?"" (or in this case a picnic) - A.A. Milne, Winnie The Pooh

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Prioritising Me

"Instead of chopping yourself down to fit the world, chop the world down to fit yourself" - D.H. Lawrence, Women In Love

When I say 'prioritising me' I don't mean it in a selfish sense at all. It isn't a statement which means I'm going to be narrow minded, self obsessed, and dismissive of others. It isn't even a thing that I think only applies to myself, I think that everyone can do themselves some good by prioritising themselves and it's not something that should be looked upon as a bad thing.

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Second year is over!

Summer Ball giggles at the end of second year
It seems mad, and rather scary, that we are in June already - that's half of 2016 done and dusted but it only feels like yesterday that we were welcoming in the new year. With it being June, that means another year of university is over and my summer holidays have begun, now I just need some sunshine!

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Where My Love Goes (Music Review)

I've always been a sucker for music release days; new music = happy Kate. What I love even more are great new music releases with great videos to accompany them.

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Sounds Live Feels Live (Gig Review)

Photo Credit: Rachel Reid twitter: @rxchelreid
An early start, a lot of waiting around, and three trains later I hopped off the train in Nottingham. A bit of a trek compared to my usual trips into London to go to gigs but when 5 Seconds of Summer arranged their tour dates they didn't take into consideration that I was in America when they did their London dates - so Nottingham was simply the only option!But I'd made it (all in one piece may I add!) which left only one problem: I'd never been to Nottingham, I didn't know my way around Nottingham, and I was thoroughly alone on my hunt for the Motorpoint Arena. Luckily the combination of google maps and discreetly following two girls in band shirts got me to the right place! 

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Disney World

Caution: this post contains a splash of faith, a drop of trust and tonnes upon tonnes of pixie dust!

Note: I'm struggling to actually put into words the pure wonder and amazement of my Disney World experience so excuse me if this rambles, repeats and hops, skips and jumps (for now, I'll simply blame the jetlag!)

When people say that Disney World is the "happiest place on Earth" they really aren't lying.

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Stepping Out of that 'Comfort Zone'

I have never been the most confident or outgoing person; in fact for the most part I'm pretty quiet and reserved. This, although not necessarily a bad thing, does make stepping out of my little 'comfort zone' bubble hard. I often over think situations, worry about small details in excess and generally try to avoid situations that make me feel uncomfortable: phone calls; interviews; meeting new people.

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At the end of every year everyone seems to say "this year has flown by" or "I can't believe we're into the next year already" and then you have the new year resolutions; the "new year, new me" statements and, to be quite honest, it's getting boring. Everyone is always so preoccupied on what they're going to do or change in the upcoming year and no one seems to reflect back upon the year that has passed.

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