Epitomised in the opening verse of Prom, “Fearin’ not growin’ up, Keepin’ me up at night, Am I doin’ enough?, Feel like I’m wastin’ time”, this album is what every twenty something needs.
The brutal honesty is explicit throughout, especially in Supermodel “Let me tell you a secret, I been secretly banging your homeboy”. Also, it turns out that this lyric is entirely true – SZA found out that her boyfriend had cheated on her in Vegas so she slept with his friend as revenge. The album is deeply personal, echoing SZA’s true emotions and account of events.
It feels as though there is no element of a relationship that Ctrl does not explore. From growing pains to break ups to feelings of empowerment; SZA is able to pour emotion into every song. The Weekend is a bittersweet track outlining the relationship that she has with a man, whom is also having a relationship with two other women; “My man is my man is your man, Heard it’s her man too”. Whilst she portrays confidence and positivity regarding the time she gets to spend with him, there is an element of sadness and not feeling good enough as she questions “I mean I’m saying what kind of deal is two days?”
My favourite thing about this album is that it allows the listener to reflect and relate on their own life, yet it comes across as effortless. Whilst the content of each song differs, the album itself provides a seamless narrative. Download this album immediately (if you haven’t already) – it’ll make navigating your 20’s that little bit easier.
On Tuesday I ventured to my favourite London spot, Top Secret Comedy Club, to view Ellie Taylor’s preview show before she takes it to the Fringe. After seeing her performance on Live at the Apollo I couldn’t wait to see her live and I was not disappointed.
I don’t want to give away what is discussed throughout the show but the content is topical and hugely relatable (specifically if you’ve sadly lost a lot of your close friends due to the burden of motherhood). Throughout the show the delivery was absolutely effortless and I was incredibly impressed with how seamlessly the material all tied in together. Ellie is charming and charismatic – a refreshing change from other well known figures from Essex. I went to Top Secret with a friend from Fulham (we are like chalk and cheese) and even he remarked “I thought that you were an anomaly because you don’t sound much like an Essex but Ellie Taylor sounds even less Essex than you!” I’m taking that as a compliment.. it’s all about the little wins.
Furthermore, I’m hoping people will see this show and realise that taking the pill on time is something to be proud of and to celebrate! Here’s Ellie’s Live at the Apollo performance – I’m sure there will be many more to come.
Before you berate me – I am so late to the dry shampoo party I’m quite ashamed. I tried it before back in my brunette days and was not blown away by it; I found that my hair still felt horrible and that made me desperate to wash it.
Fast forward 4 years and I have converted to the dry shampoo way of life! I saw this bottle on offer in Boots and though I’d give it a go. I’d been reading a couple of reviews and a few people said that Batiste worked better on light hair rather than dark hair. From personal experience I can confirm that this is true! Additionally, Batiste is constantly making an appearance in dry shampoo recommendations so I knew it’d be a trusty brand.
After not washing my hair for two days I decided to give it a few dry shampoo sprays on the third day and I was incredibly impressed with the results. Not only did my hair look fresh, it even felt fresh! This is going to make my weekday work routine 10x easier now that I know I won’t have to spend my time frantically drying my washed hair. My only regret is not buying more bottles with various scents.
I’m aware that Batiste is on the budget end of the dry shampoo world so I’m eager to invest a bit more money and try some other brands, have any of you got any suggestions? Due to its affordable price, I’ll definitely be keeping a bottle in my bag at all times for an emergency hair boost.
Batiste will continue to hold a special place in my heart – you never forget your first dry shampoo. Get yours here: http://www.batistehair.co.uk
Adventure Time meets Back to the Future. Rick & Morty is a new cult classic, filled with hilarity and dark humour.
The series follows a sociopathic, drunken scientist named Rick on adventures with his easily distressed Grandson, Morty. The creative freedom that Adult Swim has is made evident throughout each episode – each one is entirely different from the last and consists of bizarre and unique intergalactic creations.
This is a series, similar to Archer, that gets better each time you re-watch it. Upon the second binge I picked up on so many subtle references. Whilst on the surface the series is absolutely ridiculous, it is also carefully crafted with a vast amount of intelligence. The show has shown superhuman strength by even applying pressure to superfood giant McDonald’s to return Szechuan sauce to the menu after a brief introduction in 1998 for the release of Mulan.
What makes the show even more endearing is just how awesome the creators are. They are the type of people I’d enjoy playing beer pong with and getting a pizza at the end of the night. Check out this video to see what I mean:
Enjoying getting Schwifty!
I’m the One – Dj Khaled ft Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne)
DJ Khaled’s little intros in videos always crack me up so this is a bonus! With an A-list collaboration like this it’d be hard not to have created a summer hit. The song itself is perfect to chill to in the sunshine or as background music whilst getting on with some work. It’s the perfect mix of tuneful lyrics from Bieber with carefree verses from Quavo, Chance & Lil Wayne. I feel like this is one of those songs I’ll never fully know the words to but I can occasionally chime in with an “I’m the one!” 10/10 good audience participation.
All the Pretty Girls – Kaleo
This is a super relaxing song, probably quite good to cry to if you’re that way inclined (I haven’t cried to it but it’s emotionally stirring and makes me feel like I’ve cheated on a talented, guitar playing bearded partner of 5 years and he’s written me a song to feel guilty – emotional, right?) Its acoustic simplicity actually reminds me a lot of ‘Atlas Hands’ by Benjamin Francis Leftwich. I’m looking forward to hearing what else the Icelandic Indie pop group have to offer.
Strip That Down – Liam Payne ft Quavo
Well, well, well – somebody has certainly grown up and flown the One Direction nest (something we are made aware of 27 seconds in with the lyric “y’know I used to be in 1D, now I’m free“). Not only has he started making babies with Cheryl Cole but Liam Payne has reemerged to the music scene with a powerful track. This is a dangerous song to listen to in public after a few drinks because you’ll feel like the Beyonce of the dance floor. If tracks like this one keep being produced then Mr. Payne definitely made the right choice in going solo.
Unforgettable – French Montana ft Swae Lee
This song is amazing on so many levels. The music video was filmed in Uganda and the song itself is upbeat, summery and infectiously catchy. Its release was accompanied with an Instagram post dedicated to French’s parents and a caption explaining “I promised my mother that I would hustle and make my accomplishments unforgettable once I found my opportunity. I want other people who might be struggling to know that the sky is not the limit.” Oh French – ya lil cutie!
Touch – Little Mix
I don’t know why but I find Little Mix to be a guilty pleasure so this is one that I don’t openly declare my love for but I have on repeat/will happily sing along to in public. It’s upbeat and cheerful but the lyrics are so relatable “just a touch of your love is enough to lift me off of my feet all week” , this sums up how good it is spending time or even just receiving a good morning message from your beau. It’s taken me a while to warm to this song though as when it was first released things with my “beau” were not peachy so it was hastily turned off whilst I stewed in bitter resentment.. But for now I’m actually enjoying listening to it!
Since my local airport introduced cheap and regular flights from Amsterdam I’ve been going on a yearly basis. It’s a city that I have absolutely fallen in love with. I’ve found that it’s suitable for anyone; girls trips, boys trips, a couples holiday or even a family trip. Here are my top recommendations on what to see/do!
1. Chipsy King
I’m not entirely sure what it is but these chips from Holland are far superior to both the American french fry and chunky British chips. There are two shops to choose from (Muntplein 5 or Damstraat 8). You can choose a variety of sauces, so far I’ve only tried garlic, ketchup and mayonnaise. Ketchup is by far my favourite and not your traditional Heinz taste. This place is perfect to stop into for a takeaway snack to enjoy whilst exploring the city.
2. The Resistance Museum
As a lover of history this was one that I ticked off of my list surprisingly late but I am so glad I have finally visited. The Resistance Museum follows the history of the Dutch resistance during World War Two and the unsung heroes that helped to fight against the German occupation. Audio guides are available, which I would highly recommend. The visit is emotional and informative conveying a side to the war that is not often heard about but deserves to be told.
3. SkyLounge Amsterdam / Hotel DoubleTree
This is my absolute favourite place to stay when I’m in Amsterdam. The hotel is really modern and the rooms come with a Mac for all of your internet, television and room service needs! Even better is the free warm cookie you receive on arrival. The staff are incredibly attentive and will do everything possible to make your trip as perfect. Tip: their car service provides an incredibly luxurious way to travel.
Additionally, this beautiful hotel comes equipped with a rooftop bar suitable all year round and providing the best views of the city. The bar is open to non-guests too so anyone can make the most of their cocktails and sushi platters. To top it all off, the hotel is a three minute walk from Amsterdam Centraal Station so you don’t even have to worry about lugging your suitcase through the city!
This is the most unique dining experience I have ever had, I think it’ll deserve it’s very own blog post because there is so much to be said. A refined synopsis: a 5 course secret menu with surprise entertainment all in the comfort of a bed. This does not do it justice at all – keep your eyes pealed for another post soon. For now, all I can say is book a bed and expect the unexpected.
5. The Red Light District
I think that the best advice I can give anyone is to just wander around and get lost because you’re bound to stumble across something brilliant. Some of my friends have been apprehensive of the Red Light District but it is so much fun to explore. Around that area is one of my favourite dessert places, Metropolitan – you’ll smell the rich chocolate aromas before you see it! I’d also recommend checking out the Bulldog Souvenir shop for the comfiest hoodies and jumpers in the world – ideal if you’re visiting during the Winter.
& that’s it – my top 5! (cheating a little bit with number 5 but what can y’do..) Here’s a video I made years ago to get you in the mood to book a trip to Amsterdam:
Say my name
Let it roll, let it roll off your tongue
Let me know, let me know what you want
Wear it out like a sweater that you love
I’ve found a song to ease me into the summer time! Upon hearing this initially I wasn’t entirely blown away but now I have it on repeat aaaaall day and I am absolutely loving it.
Tove Styrke isn’t someone that I had heard of before but it’s safe to say she’s a pretty big name in Sweden having been a runner up on Sweden idol in 2009 and having her debut album go Platinum. I would be incredibly surprised if this song didn’t make her a popular figure around the UK and US. With it’s catchy lyrics, visually appealing video and upbeat pop vibes it’ll be a welcome addition to anyone’s music library.
Get downloading now!