Once again it is the end of another month and another year. It has felt like quite a long December which is strange because I find myself saying 'this month has gone so quick' at the end of every month. The days have been short, dark and stormy with a few days of blue skies and sun. And because of that I have stayed indoors often, wrapping up presents, cleaning, reading and staying warm. On the brighter days I took Miffy out for a hop around the garden and went on walks to clear my head. And of course there was Christmas, I did not have the most festive and joyous holiday period but it was nice and simple.

I hope you have all had a great month. I'm now looking forward to seeing what next month holds for me.
xo Natasha
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December Days

30.12.13


Once again it is the end of another month and another year. It has felt like quite a long December which is strange because I find myself saying 'this month has gone so quick' at the end of every month. The days have been short, dark and stormy with a few days of blue skies and sun. And because of that I have stayed indoors often, wrapping up presents, cleaning, reading and staying warm. On the brighter days I took Miffy out for a hop around the garden and went on walks to clear my head. And of course there was Christmas, I did not have the most festive and joyous holiday period but it was nice and simple.

I hope you have all had a great month. I'm now looking forward to seeing what next month holds for me.
xo Natasha
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Yesterday I was in Waterstones having my usual look around to see if any book catches my eye, as I looked round I came across this book and I recognised the title of this book and remember it was positively reviewed so I picked it up and read the blurb then decided to purchase it.



It is a short story and last night I found myself sitting in my living room consumed by this monologue style story of a librarian having a conversation with a person who was locked in the library over night. I found that reading it was a lot like she was talking to me, it was intriguing and unique. The story gives an insight of what it is like to be a librarian, discussing the Dewey Decimal Classification, this reminded me of the hours and hours I spent in the library in my final months at university. How important a library actually is for those lost souls that are roaming the world who need a place of solace, a place to immerse in knowledge and even to pass the time. And of course the story of unrequited love for another person, a relatable theme that we all have experienced, including the 'what if I' and 'I wonder' thoughts we have.

This book was originally written in French and translated this year to English, when reading this story I could feel a decadence and how carefully the words were chosen, a lot like how I would imagine a stereotypical French librarian would think and speak. It is one of those stories that make you think about other people and even though I did not agree with some of what the librarian said there are some insightful lines. This is a story that I think all book lovers will appreciate and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

xo Natasha
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Book Review: The Library of Unrequited Love by Sophie Divry

28.12.13

Yesterday I was in Waterstones having my usual look around to see if any book catches my eye, as I looked round I came across this book and I recognised the title of this book and remember it was positively reviewed so I picked it up and read the blurb then decided to purchase it.



It is a short story and last night I found myself sitting in my living room consumed by this monologue style story of a librarian having a conversation with a person who was locked in the library over night. I found that reading it was a lot like she was talking to me, it was intriguing and unique. The story gives an insight of what it is like to be a librarian, discussing the Dewey Decimal Classification, this reminded me of the hours and hours I spent in the library in my final months at university. How important a library actually is for those lost souls that are roaming the world who need a place of solace, a place to immerse in knowledge and even to pass the time. And of course the story of unrequited love for another person, a relatable theme that we all have experienced, including the 'what if I' and 'I wonder' thoughts we have.

This book was originally written in French and translated this year to English, when reading this story I could feel a decadence and how carefully the words were chosen, a lot like how I would imagine a stereotypical French librarian would think and speak. It is one of those stories that make you think about other people and even though I did not agree with some of what the librarian said there are some insightful lines. This is a story that I think all book lovers will appreciate and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

xo Natasha
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Once again the festive season has arrived and tomorrow is Christmas Day, I probably say this most years but it honestly does not feel like it and it has come around quicker than ever. This year I am cooking Christmas dinner for the first time, no pressure as there is only 4 of us but still a challenge. I have already started to prepare a few bits for tomorrow and I started with dessert, I really don't like Christmas pudding, cake and mince pies so every year there is always a second pudding, instead of my traditional trifle I decided to make gingerbread cake.


To make this you will need.. 115g margarine, 100g caster sugar, 1 egg, 175g golden syrup, 200g plain flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 125ml water.

1, Pre-heat oven to 175C. Grease your tine and lightly flour.
2, Cream margarine and sugar together until light. Add the egg and golden syrup then beat well.
3, Sieve together the flour, salt, baking soda, ground ginger and ground cinnamon.
4, Bring water to the boil and add alternatively with flour mixture to the cream mixture, beating thoroughly.
5, Bake at 175C for 30 minutes.


The rest of my Christmas Eve has been spent at work (the downside of retail), last minute food shopping, wrapping presents, cleaning and tidying. And tonight I'm going to do nothing.

I'd like to wish you all a Merry Christmas, fill your day with love and joy.
xo Natasha

Gingerbread Cake & Festive Days

24.12.13

Once again the festive season has arrived and tomorrow is Christmas Day, I probably say this most years but it honestly does not feel like it and it has come around quicker than ever. This year I am cooking Christmas dinner for the first time, no pressure as there is only 4 of us but still a challenge. I have already started to prepare a few bits for tomorrow and I started with dessert, I really don't like Christmas pudding, cake and mince pies so every year there is always a second pudding, instead of my traditional trifle I decided to make gingerbread cake.


To make this you will need.. 115g margarine, 100g caster sugar, 1 egg, 175g golden syrup, 200g plain flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 125ml water.

1, Pre-heat oven to 175C. Grease your tine and lightly flour.
2, Cream margarine and sugar together until light. Add the egg and golden syrup then beat well.
3, Sieve together the flour, salt, baking soda, ground ginger and ground cinnamon.
4, Bring water to the boil and add alternatively with flour mixture to the cream mixture, beating thoroughly.
5, Bake at 175C for 30 minutes.


The rest of my Christmas Eve has been spent at work (the downside of retail), last minute food shopping, wrapping presents, cleaning and tidying. And tonight I'm going to do nothing.

I'd like to wish you all a Merry Christmas, fill your day with love and joy.
xo Natasha

This festive season I had the idea to make some of my own decorations, as soon as I could visualise what I wanted to make I began by looking in my box of fabric, thread and embellishments to see if I had everything I needed.

To make this all you need is fabric, polyester padding, metallic decorative thread, embellishment of your choice (I used sequins) and cotton string.


I went with a star shape, to make it easier I created a template to draw and cut around the fabric. For each piece cut out two shapes and one for the polyester padding.


Then add your embellishment to the fabric before joining the 2 shapes with the polyester padding inside.


Using the decorative thread, begin to sew around the shape to join them together with a needle, making a loop around the edge, make sure it is quite tight. As you reach the end take your cotton string and make a final loop and thread the cotton string through the loop so that you can hang it and finish off the stitch.

Personally I quite like the messy handmade look that you get from this as it makes it look unique so don't worry if it does not look neat.

Hope you enjoyed this, let me know if you have made your own festive decorations this year.
xo Natasha

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Handmade Decorations

16.12.13


This festive season I had the idea to make some of my own decorations, as soon as I could visualise what I wanted to make I began by looking in my box of fabric, thread and embellishments to see if I had everything I needed.

To make this all you need is fabric, polyester padding, metallic decorative thread, embellishment of your choice (I used sequins) and cotton string.


I went with a star shape, to make it easier I created a template to draw and cut around the fabric. For each piece cut out two shapes and one for the polyester padding.


Then add your embellishment to the fabric before joining the 2 shapes with the polyester padding inside.


Using the decorative thread, begin to sew around the shape to join them together with a needle, making a loop around the edge, make sure it is quite tight. As you reach the end take your cotton string and make a final loop and thread the cotton string through the loop so that you can hang it and finish off the stitch.

Personally I quite like the messy handmade look that you get from this as it makes it look unique so don't worry if it does not look neat.

Hope you enjoyed this, let me know if you have made your own festive decorations this year.
xo Natasha

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Winter is here, it is cold and gloomy. The shift in weather tends to make my lips and skin change and become very dry. I have found a lip balm and a hand cream that has changed that. I know I'm not alone with this problem so I thought I would share them with you.


Typically I don't tend to have a problem with dry lips, I use any lip balm I have at hand every morning and will keep one in my bag just in case they begin to feel a little dry. A few weeks ago they all of a sudden became very dry, I found myself applying lip balm every hour and none of the ones I had were doing much for them. After a bit of research I found that Nuxe Rêve de Miel came up a few times in my search, a little pricey compared to the average lip balm but I was willing to try it and see if it helps. It is a French product and specifically for dry or chapped lips so I was hoping for the best. The ingredients include honey, plant oils, shea butter and grapefruit essence, so very natural and you can smell the honey and grapefruit when you put it on. It feels quite rich and smooth so you only need a small amount and that small amount works wonders. Normally I don't see a dramatic difference after trying a new product but by that day my lips felt so much smoother, not as dry and I did not feel the need to put more on every hour. It's been over a week now and I use it every day.

Last year in the Winter sales I went to L'Occitane because I have been wanting to purchase their hand cream because I heard a lot of good things about them and I managed to get a good deal with the travel size tubes and over the past year I have used it every now and then until recently. So much so that I ran out of 2 of my tubes that I was using alternately and my Mum kindly gave me one she was given as a gift but did not use yet. The L'Occitane Hand Cream includes shea butter, honey and sweet almond extracts, I think shea butter and honey are a winning combination for dry lips and skin. Anti-oxidizing vitamin E in the cream helps nourish the skin and what I like most about this is that it is not a watery liquid that is difficult to rub in completely, it is buttery and smooths out over the hands well, a small amount is all that is needed.

Are there any products that have saved you this Winter?
xo Natasha

Winter Rescue for Lips & Hands

12.12.13

Winter is here, it is cold and gloomy. The shift in weather tends to make my lips and skin change and become very dry. I have found a lip balm and a hand cream that has changed that. I know I'm not alone with this problem so I thought I would share them with you.


Typically I don't tend to have a problem with dry lips, I use any lip balm I have at hand every morning and will keep one in my bag just in case they begin to feel a little dry. A few weeks ago they all of a sudden became very dry, I found myself applying lip balm every hour and none of the ones I had were doing much for them. After a bit of research I found that Nuxe Rêve de Miel came up a few times in my search, a little pricey compared to the average lip balm but I was willing to try it and see if it helps. It is a French product and specifically for dry or chapped lips so I was hoping for the best. The ingredients include honey, plant oils, shea butter and grapefruit essence, so very natural and you can smell the honey and grapefruit when you put it on. It feels quite rich and smooth so you only need a small amount and that small amount works wonders. Normally I don't see a dramatic difference after trying a new product but by that day my lips felt so much smoother, not as dry and I did not feel the need to put more on every hour. It's been over a week now and I use it every day.

Last year in the Winter sales I went to L'Occitane because I have been wanting to purchase their hand cream because I heard a lot of good things about them and I managed to get a good deal with the travel size tubes and over the past year I have used it every now and then until recently. So much so that I ran out of 2 of my tubes that I was using alternately and my Mum kindly gave me one she was given as a gift but did not use yet. The L'Occitane Hand Cream includes shea butter, honey and sweet almond extracts, I think shea butter and honey are a winning combination for dry lips and skin. Anti-oxidizing vitamin E in the cream helps nourish the skin and what I like most about this is that it is not a watery liquid that is difficult to rub in completely, it is buttery and smooths out over the hands well, a small amount is all that is needed.

Are there any products that have saved you this Winter?
xo Natasha

Lately I have been listening to a lot of music, buying new and old albums, rediscovering artists I've had in my music library for a long time and of course Spotify has been my best friend (I'm dreading when my listening limit for the month ends). Music is a gift that man created and some very talented people have been able to write their experiences and express their feelings through this art. The same that many of us have and I believe finding something that reminds you that you're not alone and gives meaning can help more than we think. It is more than true for me. No matter how I'm feeling, happy, sad, confused or just neutral, every single day I put on some music and everything feels right.

On this cold December morning I thought I would share with you some of my favourite songs at the moment. I hope you love them as much as I do.

December Morning Music by Natasha Chan on Grooveshark

xo Natasha
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December morning music

7.12.13

Lately I have been listening to a lot of music, buying new and old albums, rediscovering artists I've had in my music library for a long time and of course Spotify has been my best friend (I'm dreading when my listening limit for the month ends). Music is a gift that man created and some very talented people have been able to write their experiences and express their feelings through this art. The same that many of us have and I believe finding something that reminds you that you're not alone and gives meaning can help more than we think. It is more than true for me. No matter how I'm feeling, happy, sad, confused or just neutral, every single day I put on some music and everything feels right.

On this cold December morning I thought I would share with you some of my favourite songs at the moment. I hope you love them as much as I do.

December Morning Music by Natasha Chan on Grooveshark

xo Natasha
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It has been a slow but fast November for me, I would describe it as the hours in the day have gone by very slowly yet the days in the week have just disappeared. At the start of the month I had a bit of a cold and all I did was go to work and stay at home wrapped up warm then I got into the comfortable routine of doing that for most of the month, I've also been lacking in writing blog posts (sorry!). Very bad and unlike me but I've let myself re-charge and I'm eager to be a little more productive with my time.


The darker and colder Winter days have arrived and that leads to less time for my little rabbit to hop around the garden, when it is dry and light I try my best to sit outside for a little while. I don't tend to re-read books, mostly because I have plenty I haven't read and it's never the same as when you read it the first time but I had the sudden desire one day to read The Time Traveler's Wife again, I first read it almost 4 years ago and ever since I have wanted to read it again and now I'm half way through it. It's actually more interesting this time around, even though I know the story very well it is slightly different this time. I suppose as you grow up you experience and learn more so certain aspects become more prominent than before and you discover something new to love about it. I highly recommend this book, it's my favourite.

Hopefully next month will be more interesting and eventful. Have a great month everyone!
xo Natasha
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November Days

30.11.13


It has been a slow but fast November for me, I would describe it as the hours in the day have gone by very slowly yet the days in the week have just disappeared. At the start of the month I had a bit of a cold and all I did was go to work and stay at home wrapped up warm then I got into the comfortable routine of doing that for most of the month, I've also been lacking in writing blog posts (sorry!). Very bad and unlike me but I've let myself re-charge and I'm eager to be a little more productive with my time.


The darker and colder Winter days have arrived and that leads to less time for my little rabbit to hop around the garden, when it is dry and light I try my best to sit outside for a little while. I don't tend to re-read books, mostly because I have plenty I haven't read and it's never the same as when you read it the first time but I had the sudden desire one day to read The Time Traveler's Wife again, I first read it almost 4 years ago and ever since I have wanted to read it again and now I'm half way through it. It's actually more interesting this time around, even though I know the story very well it is slightly different this time. I suppose as you grow up you experience and learn more so certain aspects become more prominent than before and you discover something new to love about it. I highly recommend this book, it's my favourite.

Hopefully next month will be more interesting and eventful. Have a great month everyone!
xo Natasha
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At this time of year there is nothing better than taking a walk on a mild late afternoon in the countryside. The light is golden, surrounded by trees, grass and leaves on an old road. When it's quiet you start to think about the simple things in life that we take for granted when we are living in the past paced technology driven world, overlooking the beauty of everything that surrounds us that we can touch and be with. Autumn always looks so beautiful despite the fact that everything beginning to die. A thousand more moments like this and I will feel incredibly grateful.

xo Natasha
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Autumnal Afternoon Walk

5.11.13







At this time of year there is nothing better than taking a walk on a mild late afternoon in the countryside. The light is golden, surrounded by trees, grass and leaves on an old road. When it's quiet you start to think about the simple things in life that we take for granted when we are living in the past paced technology driven world, overlooking the beauty of everything that surrounds us that we can touch and be with. Autumn always looks so beautiful despite the fact that everything beginning to die. A thousand more moments like this and I will feel incredibly grateful.

xo Natasha
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Once again I had a desire to do some baking, the apple tree in my back garden still has juicy apples so before they disappear for another year I decided to try baking muffins. Not the best muffins, the rise was not what I hoped but they taste good.

Ingredients

250g flour
3 teaspoons of baking powder
2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of salt
100g caster sugar
60g butter
225ml semi-skimmed milk
100g of peeled, cored and chopped apples


Preheat the oven to 200C, lightly grease a muffin tin or line with paper muffin cups. In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, cream the sugar and butter together. Then stir the flour mixture into the sugar mixture, pouring the milk in alternately and fold in the apples. Once mixed, pour into the prepared muffin tins/cups and put in the oven for 20 minutes.

Enjoy!
xo Natasha

Apple and Cinnamon Muffins

2.11.13

Once again I had a desire to do some baking, the apple tree in my back garden still has juicy apples so before they disappear for another year I decided to try baking muffins. Not the best muffins, the rise was not what I hoped but they taste good.

Ingredients

250g flour
3 teaspoons of baking powder
2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of salt
100g caster sugar
60g butter
225ml semi-skimmed milk
100g of peeled, cored and chopped apples


Preheat the oven to 200C, lightly grease a muffin tin or line with paper muffin cups. In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, cream the sugar and butter together. Then stir the flour mixture into the sugar mixture, pouring the milk in alternately and fold in the apples. Once mixed, pour into the prepared muffin tins/cups and put in the oven for 20 minutes.

Enjoy!
xo Natasha



My days in October have been spent working, interning and spending as much time as I can doing what I love like meeting with friends for coffee and dinner and doing other bits and bobs. The days have been colder so I have been eating porridge for breakfast and drinking coffee almost every day, especially Starbucks pumpkin spice latte. I bought a watercolour set that is the exact same palette that I used in school and did a little bit of painting with it. And I've started a new book that I have been meaning to read for a while now.

xo Natasha 
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October Days

31.10.13



My days in October have been spent working, interning and spending as much time as I can doing what I love like meeting with friends for coffee and dinner and doing other bits and bobs. The days have been colder so I have been eating porridge for breakfast and drinking coffee almost every day, especially Starbucks pumpkin spice latte. I bought a watercolour set that is the exact same palette that I used in school and did a little bit of painting with it. And I've started a new book that I have been meaning to read for a while now.

xo Natasha 
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In my back garden there is an apple tree, during this time of year the apples appear and begin to fall. The sun is warm but the temperature is chilly, an apple pie is the perfect seasonal treat. While I was out picking the apples, I let my rabbit out for a hop around and the little guy has finally shed his old fur and has a fresh coat of softness.

To make the apple pie I used 250g of plain flour, 140g of margarine, a pinch of salt and 6tsp of water for the pastry. 4 large cooking apples chopped up and stewed with sugar and cinnamon. Put the flour and salt into a mixing bowl, rub the margarine with your hands to resemble breadcrumbs, add water and use a knife to make the mixture firm. Divide into 2 and roll out the pastry to fit an 8 inch plate, add the apples and cover up with the second half of the pastry. Press down the edges and put the pie in the oven for 30 minutes at 200C and enjoy.

Days like this are so simple but good.
xo Natasha
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Apples, Bunny and Pie

12.10.13


In my back garden there is an apple tree, during this time of year the apples appear and begin to fall. The sun is warm but the temperature is chilly, an apple pie is the perfect seasonal treat. While I was out picking the apples, I let my rabbit out for a hop around and the little guy has finally shed his old fur and has a fresh coat of softness.

To make the apple pie I used 250g of plain flour, 140g of margarine, a pinch of salt and 6tsp of water for the pastry. 4 large cooking apples chopped up and stewed with sugar and cinnamon. Put the flour and salt into a mixing bowl, rub the margarine with your hands to resemble breadcrumbs, add water and use a knife to make the mixture firm. Divide into 2 and roll out the pastry to fit an 8 inch plate, add the apples and cover up with the second half of the pastry. Press down the edges and put the pie in the oven for 30 minutes at 200C and enjoy.

Days like this are so simple but good.
xo Natasha
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It is my favourite season of the year for many reasons and one of them is the fashion. I love wearing boots, scarves, cardigans, layering and covering up. Autumn is perfect for this because the temperature is low enough to wrap up but not so cold that you have to wear a winter jacket over your outfit. Darker colours I find are much more flattering on everyone, my favourite at the moment is green and burgundy/berry colours. I'm trying my best to save and not spend any money at the moment but these items are making it hard for me to resist. 

What is your favourite autumn trend?
xo Natasha
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Autumn Style

10.10.13





It is my favourite season of the year for many reasons and one of them is the fashion. I love wearing boots, scarves, cardigans, layering and covering up. Autumn is perfect for this because the temperature is low enough to wrap up but not so cold that you have to wear a winter jacket over your outfit. Darker colours I find are much more flattering on everyone, my favourite at the moment is green and burgundy/berry colours. I'm trying my best to save and not spend any money at the moment but these items are making it hard for me to resist. 

What is your favourite autumn trend?
xo Natasha
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I hope you have all had a great September, spending time with your favourite people, working hard and eating and drinking everything delicious because that is exactly what I have done this month.


The seasons began to change and the autumn inspired coffee drinks have arrived and there is nothing better than a good cup of coffee. It was my Mother's birthday this month so I went shopping for her gift and picked up a few things for myself. As well as celebrating one of my friends birthday and a trip to the cinema, a few of my friends and I spent a lovely afternoon/evening in the West End area of London eating incredible food, ice cream and wine before we went to watch a play. The other day I went into the city again to meet with a man about an intern position and on my way home found myself completely alone on the platform.

I'm predicting October to be a bit of a busy time but after a Summer of relaxing I'm ready to get back into working hard, even if I'm not ready to start living in the real world.

xo Natasha
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Life Lately: September

30.9.13

I hope you have all had a great September, spending time with your favourite people, working hard and eating and drinking everything delicious because that is exactly what I have done this month.


The seasons began to change and the autumn inspired coffee drinks have arrived and there is nothing better than a good cup of coffee. It was my Mother's birthday this month so I went shopping for her gift and picked up a few things for myself. As well as celebrating one of my friends birthday and a trip to the cinema, a few of my friends and I spent a lovely afternoon/evening in the West End area of London eating incredible food, ice cream and wine before we went to watch a play. The other day I went into the city again to meet with a man about an intern position and on my way home found myself completely alone on the platform.

I'm predicting October to be a bit of a busy time but after a Summer of relaxing I'm ready to get back into working hard, even if I'm not ready to start living in the real world.

xo Natasha
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Firstly, I'd like to kindly thank the author of this book, Jamie Baywood for sending me a copy of Getting Rooted in New Zealand. Before I started reading I had a glance at the summary and reviews about the book and it sounded exactly like the type of story I would enjoy, so I went ahead and began reading.


The book is about Jamie's own experience of moving from California to New Zealand, a completely life changing event. What sucked me in was how it is written in a diary format, I enjoy stories that give a clear time frame because it brings reality and fiction together and it is also easier to visualise. Like all humans, I'm a nosey person, so it was similar to reading someones mind and knowing exactly what they are thinking. It also felt like the author was telling the story of her adventures in person like we're best friends, it has humour, personal and honest elements.

Some of the events that unfold just seem so crazy, in a 'how did that happen' way, as she meets new people, including a few love interests and working in bizarre jobs. Discovering what the way of life is really like when you move half way across the world to a new country, the real journey takes place during her time there. Finding out who she is, what she wants without looking back and focusing on the present. It reminded me a little of I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk, if you liked that book then I would highly recommend this. A good read to take you away for a couple of hours, if you like to read about travel, life and want a laugh, it's all right here. When it ended I wanted to know what happened next, I love (and hate) when that happens.

xo Natasha
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Book Review: Getting Rooted in New Zealand by Jamie Baywood

28.9.13

Firstly, I'd like to kindly thank the author of this book, Jamie Baywood for sending me a copy of Getting Rooted in New Zealand. Before I started reading I had a glance at the summary and reviews about the book and it sounded exactly like the type of story I would enjoy, so I went ahead and began reading.


The book is about Jamie's own experience of moving from California to New Zealand, a completely life changing event. What sucked me in was how it is written in a diary format, I enjoy stories that give a clear time frame because it brings reality and fiction together and it is also easier to visualise. Like all humans, I'm a nosey person, so it was similar to reading someones mind and knowing exactly what they are thinking. It also felt like the author was telling the story of her adventures in person like we're best friends, it has humour, personal and honest elements.

Some of the events that unfold just seem so crazy, in a 'how did that happen' way, as she meets new people, including a few love interests and working in bizarre jobs. Discovering what the way of life is really like when you move half way across the world to a new country, the real journey takes place during her time there. Finding out who she is, what she wants without looking back and focusing on the present. It reminded me a little of I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk, if you liked that book then I would highly recommend this. A good read to take you away for a couple of hours, if you like to read about travel, life and want a laugh, it's all right here. When it ended I wanted to know what happened next, I love (and hate) when that happens.

xo Natasha
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As of 2 months ago I have been a graduate, a new and strange time to be a part of. One that many people are in, this includes some of my best friends. Once again we have found ourselves parting from those that you have spent the last few years of hard work and discussing each other's futures.

There are different types of graduates, some are in further education for teaching, law school or Masters and some are working part time in retail or food services. I would put myself in the latter group of 'some' and as well as this like I have been telling almost every other person I encounter, "I'm taking a productive gap year". Traditionally, those who take a gap year usually do it in between school and university but I'm going against the grain and it is also buying me some more time before I actually have 'do something'. I have a list of goals that I wish to achieve by next year (September 2014), for example work experience, learn new skills and other little personal goals. I have made progress in this area and I'm so happy about it but every now and then I do wonder if this is the right thing to be doing, I have my doubts but if it takes a year to work it out and prepare then in my opinion that is a year well spent. Although saying that, what is the 'right thing' to do.

The idea of working full time does not exactly appeal to me just yet, there are things I want to do before that day arrives. I might decide to study for a Masters degree, travel or just spend time doing whatever I want without any commitments stopping me. Then there is the other side of me that wants to be out doing something truly great to stimulate my mind and to fill my time, all while being paid to do so.

Considering I have just turned (7 weeks ago) 21 years old, I think a lot of 'actual adults' would say I have plenty of time for working because it is becoming increasingly likely that this generation will be working until the day we die. Others would disagree and say we should use this time while we're young to get ahead and begin the marathon. Both have pros and cons but everyone is different and I'm trying to find the balance because I simply want to work because I love the job and to have a life, and not to make work my life.

Needless to say being a graduate is a whole new experience, it's challenging and frightening. We have learnt a lot and have so much more to learn. Be kind to us world, we need a fighting chance.

xo Natasha
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Being a Graduate

20.9.13

As of 2 months ago I have been a graduate, a new and strange time to be a part of. One that many people are in, this includes some of my best friends. Once again we have found ourselves parting from those that you have spent the last few years of hard work and discussing each other's futures.

There are different types of graduates, some are in further education for teaching, law school or Masters and some are working part time in retail or food services. I would put myself in the latter group of 'some' and as well as this like I have been telling almost every other person I encounter, "I'm taking a productive gap year". Traditionally, those who take a gap year usually do it in between school and university but I'm going against the grain and it is also buying me some more time before I actually have 'do something'. I have a list of goals that I wish to achieve by next year (September 2014), for example work experience, learn new skills and other little personal goals. I have made progress in this area and I'm so happy about it but every now and then I do wonder if this is the right thing to be doing, I have my doubts but if it takes a year to work it out and prepare then in my opinion that is a year well spent. Although saying that, what is the 'right thing' to do.

The idea of working full time does not exactly appeal to me just yet, there are things I want to do before that day arrives. I might decide to study for a Masters degree, travel or just spend time doing whatever I want without any commitments stopping me. Then there is the other side of me that wants to be out doing something truly great to stimulate my mind and to fill my time, all while being paid to do so.

Considering I have just turned (7 weeks ago) 21 years old, I think a lot of 'actual adults' would say I have plenty of time for working because it is becoming increasingly likely that this generation will be working until the day we die. Others would disagree and say we should use this time while we're young to get ahead and begin the marathon. Both have pros and cons but everyone is different and I'm trying to find the balance because I simply want to work because I love the job and to have a life, and not to make work my life.

Needless to say being a graduate is a whole new experience, it's challenging and frightening. We have learnt a lot and have so much more to learn. Be kind to us world, we need a fighting chance.

xo Natasha
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This will be the first academic school year that I will not be going back to school since I can remember. It feels so incredibly strange (I think I'm still in denial), for most of my life when this time of year arrives I have been prepared to start a new year. New uniform, stationary and doing your best to start the year well. Hopefully I'll be able to share some words of wisdom from my own experience.

Work, Rest, Play

A balance is key, working all of the time will wear you down and study quality will decrease. Taking short breaks between essay writing and revision will help. Setting goals is an ideal incentive with this, for example a few hours work before you reward yourself with an episode of a TV show or work hard during the week and have the whole weekend off to do whatever you wish. Getting a good nights sleep to recharge after a day of lectures and classes is very important, so you're not feeling fatigued. Trust me on that, I wish that I slept better instead of staying up late every night.

Don't be afraid to ask for help

Your teachers are not only there to teach but to help you. If you are unsure about an area of a topic you're being taught or even little things like deadlines or word counts they will be there to refresh your mind. Also there is a good chance that someone else has the exact same questions, so it helps everyone.

Friends are great at giving advice because they are doing exactly what you are doing, they have gone to the same classes, written notes and understand what you might be struggling with. Forming study groups I believe improves your work, due to the fact that you can discuss your thoughts and give each other ideas. It is always a bonus to be surrounded by friends and those close to you, in moderation of course.

Keep a diary

The most simple way to stay organised, I think I would be a little lost without mine, even if I write a quick note in my phone I am more likely to remember my deadlines and meetings with tutors. Often when a lot of busy dates are approaching I would write them on a piece of paper and would find somewhere that I know I will see it like my bedroom wall so that it can't escape my mind. The sweet satisfaction of crossing off each day/deadline is too good.

You can do it

Whether you are starting your first day of a new school or are going back for the last time just remember you can get through the day, year and all the obstacles that you will no doubt go through. Everyone has their bad days but there are better ones. Yes it is hard and you're tired of it and all I can say is enjoy this time and believe you can do anything.


xo Natasha
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Back to School // Study + Uni Tips

12.9.13

This will be the first academic school year that I will not be going back to school since I can remember. It feels so incredibly strange (I think I'm still in denial), for most of my life when this time of year arrives I have been prepared to start a new year. New uniform, stationary and doing your best to start the year well. Hopefully I'll be able to share some words of wisdom from my own experience.

Work, Rest, Play

A balance is key, working all of the time will wear you down and study quality will decrease. Taking short breaks between essay writing and revision will help. Setting goals is an ideal incentive with this, for example a few hours work before you reward yourself with an episode of a TV show or work hard during the week and have the whole weekend off to do whatever you wish. Getting a good nights sleep to recharge after a day of lectures and classes is very important, so you're not feeling fatigued. Trust me on that, I wish that I slept better instead of staying up late every night.

Don't be afraid to ask for help

Your teachers are not only there to teach but to help you. If you are unsure about an area of a topic you're being taught or even little things like deadlines or word counts they will be there to refresh your mind. Also there is a good chance that someone else has the exact same questions, so it helps everyone.

Friends are great at giving advice because they are doing exactly what you are doing, they have gone to the same classes, written notes and understand what you might be struggling with. Forming study groups I believe improves your work, due to the fact that you can discuss your thoughts and give each other ideas. It is always a bonus to be surrounded by friends and those close to you, in moderation of course.

Keep a diary

The most simple way to stay organised, I think I would be a little lost without mine, even if I write a quick note in my phone I am more likely to remember my deadlines and meetings with tutors. Often when a lot of busy dates are approaching I would write them on a piece of paper and would find somewhere that I know I will see it like my bedroom wall so that it can't escape my mind. The sweet satisfaction of crossing off each day/deadline is too good.

You can do it

Whether you are starting your first day of a new school or are going back for the last time just remember you can get through the day, year and all the obstacles that you will no doubt go through. Everyone has their bad days but there are better ones. Yes it is hard and you're tired of it and all I can say is enjoy this time and believe you can do anything.


xo Natasha
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August has been a long and short month. It feels like more than a month ago I was in Spain enjoying the sun and the heat. My little sister became an adult and turned 18 at the beginning of the month, seriously when did she grow up? When I turned 18 I felt old, I mean I know I was young and still am but I just felt very mature, now that one of my best friends has a little baby boy I actually feel immature. I can't imagine having a whole other life to look after right now but this little man is very lucky to have 2 incredible parents. Last week my friend convinced me to start watching Grey's Anatomy and it has been the best and worst thing, I love it and can't believe I never watched it before now but it is taking over my life.

I hope you all had a great August.
xo Natasha
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Life Lately: August

31.8.13


August has been a long and short month. It feels like more than a month ago I was in Spain enjoying the sun and the heat. My little sister became an adult and turned 18 at the beginning of the month, seriously when did she grow up? When I turned 18 I felt old, I mean I know I was young and still am but I just felt very mature, now that one of my best friends has a little baby boy I actually feel immature. I can't imagine having a whole other life to look after right now but this little man is very lucky to have 2 incredible parents. Last week my friend convinced me to start watching Grey's Anatomy and it has been the best and worst thing, I love it and can't believe I never watched it before now but it is taking over my life.

I hope you all had a great August.
xo Natasha
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The prologue of the novel begins with the question "Is it possible to keep loving somebody when they kill somebody you love?”. An initial curiosity is swept over my mind when I read such a matter-of-fact statement; it grabs your mind and is the sentence that holds you down so that you continue on. Said by 13 (nearly 14) year old Iris who lives in the countryside with her semi-alcoholic father and older brother, Sam who becomes troubled after their mother leaves the family. One day a family of travellers move onto the paddock of their home, Iris becomes fascinated by the travellers, unlike her father who wants to get rid of them. She makes friends with Trick, a teenager of the traveller family. It is clear that Iris develops feelings for him over time like any young teenager would, while her father and brother keep warning her that she should stay away from them but continues to see Trick in secret. Events begin to unfold, revolving around her father, Sam and friends with a big collision; this tests the already struggling family. 


The story-line is different to other young adult books I have read before, it is written beautifully. I feel that Flood really illustrates the mind of a young teenage girl, it reminds me a little of how I thought about things at that age, confused, slightly naive but understanding. It is not a simple tale of first love, it is far more complex like a lot of teenagers and their families. Over the Summer it shows the struggles, the reality of issues that people now face such as loyalty even if you do not agree with what those closest to you are saying. I particularly liked the detail of the dialogue between the characters and the description of the way the travellers speak, it added an extra layer to the characters. The way the reader is left to decide how they feel about Trick made you feel like you were Iris and you were following her on the journey and you felt what she was feeling. Although predictable due to the start of the novel it was enjoyable, if the prologue was taken out I think it might have been a more powerful story. If you like young adult books that make you feel something then I think this is for you. 

xo Natasha
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Book Review: Infinite Sky by C.J. Flood

14.8.13

The prologue of the novel begins with the question "Is it possible to keep loving somebody when they kill somebody you love?”. An initial curiosity is swept over my mind when I read such a matter-of-fact statement; it grabs your mind and is the sentence that holds you down so that you continue on. Said by 13 (nearly 14) year old Iris who lives in the countryside with her semi-alcoholic father and older brother, Sam who becomes troubled after their mother leaves the family. One day a family of travellers move onto the paddock of their home, Iris becomes fascinated by the travellers, unlike her father who wants to get rid of them. She makes friends with Trick, a teenager of the traveller family. It is clear that Iris develops feelings for him over time like any young teenager would, while her father and brother keep warning her that she should stay away from them but continues to see Trick in secret. Events begin to unfold, revolving around her father, Sam and friends with a big collision; this tests the already struggling family. 


The story-line is different to other young adult books I have read before, it is written beautifully. I feel that Flood really illustrates the mind of a young teenage girl, it reminds me a little of how I thought about things at that age, confused, slightly naive but understanding. It is not a simple tale of first love, it is far more complex like a lot of teenagers and their families. Over the Summer it shows the struggles, the reality of issues that people now face such as loyalty even if you do not agree with what those closest to you are saying. I particularly liked the detail of the dialogue between the characters and the description of the way the travellers speak, it added an extra layer to the characters. The way the reader is left to decide how they feel about Trick made you feel like you were Iris and you were following her on the journey and you felt what she was feeling. Although predictable due to the start of the novel it was enjoyable, if the prologue was taken out I think it might have been a more powerful story. If you like young adult books that make you feel something then I think this is for you. 

xo Natasha
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I think I can safely say that July has been my favourite month of the year (so far). It was just golden. Firstly in England we were granted some decent weather, sunshine and warm heat, although a little unbearable in the night it is more than what we are usually granted.


This past month has been 31 days of nothing but goodness. Starting off with the first of two day festivals, over the two Saturdays I saw bands and artists such as Mumford & Sons, The Rolling Stones, Vampire Weekend, Jake Bugg, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. During the gorgeous days I have been out in the garden reading a book, I started Infinite Sky by C.J Flood, I'm liking it so far but I have a bad habit of reading multiple books so it might be a while before I actually finish it.

Then my graduation day arrived, my sweet Grandparents came all the way from Scotland for it, even though I had to wake up at 6am it was one of the best days to celebrate with my friends and family. After 3 years of stress and hard work while having fun along the way, it all came down to that day and the diploma. Days later it was my 21st birthday, I can't believe in the space of a week I have been catapulted into the real world and adulthood. It honestly feels like just the other day I was wearing my school uniform and my biggest issue was if my poker straight hair was still straight or something equally as silly. Finally, to end the month I went to the south of Spain with my sister where my Dad was waiting for us at my Uncle's apartments to spend some time by the pool and the beach for a few days.

I hope your July was as fantastic as mine.
xo Natasha
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Life Lately: July

3.8.13

I think I can safely say that July has been my favourite month of the year (so far). It was just golden. Firstly in England we were granted some decent weather, sunshine and warm heat, although a little unbearable in the night it is more than what we are usually granted.


This past month has been 31 days of nothing but goodness. Starting off with the first of two day festivals, over the two Saturdays I saw bands and artists such as Mumford & Sons, The Rolling Stones, Vampire Weekend, Jake Bugg, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. During the gorgeous days I have been out in the garden reading a book, I started Infinite Sky by C.J Flood, I'm liking it so far but I have a bad habit of reading multiple books so it might be a while before I actually finish it.

Then my graduation day arrived, my sweet Grandparents came all the way from Scotland for it, even though I had to wake up at 6am it was one of the best days to celebrate with my friends and family. After 3 years of stress and hard work while having fun along the way, it all came down to that day and the diploma. Days later it was my 21st birthday, I can't believe in the space of a week I have been catapulted into the real world and adulthood. It honestly feels like just the other day I was wearing my school uniform and my biggest issue was if my poker straight hair was still straight or something equally as silly. Finally, to end the month I went to the south of Spain with my sister where my Dad was waiting for us at my Uncle's apartments to spend some time by the pool and the beach for a few days.

I hope your July was as fantastic as mine.
xo Natasha
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For the longest time I was not a fan of any type of lip gloss until one day I changed my mind and decided to try the L'Oréal Paris Glam Shine Stain Splash and I liked it. I'm also a sucker for anything YSL and have had my eye on the glossy stains for a while and I had quite a lot of Boots points to use, so I treated myself to it. Both lip products have been known to be quite similar, I'm going to share with you my opinions on them, if they really are alike and worth the money.

L'Oréal Paris Glam Shine Stain Splash 

At £7.99 for a high street/drugstore lip product, it is in my opinion on the upper end of the price scale but still more affordable than high end/designer lip products. When I purchased it there was a very poor range of colours of no more than 5 shades, however recently when I was in Boots I noticed they had a lot more shades. This could be because they wanted to see how well the product was going to do. I really like the colour I picked, a soft pink that is almost nude. A perfect gloss finish with a nice shine, it applies well and easily without looking in a mirror. I found after an hour or two it made my lips feel a bit dry and the colour was completely gone, considering it is supposed to be a stain. This is one reason why I mostly prefer lipsticks because the colour lasts longer on me and rarely dries up my lips. Not having the name of the product I found quite annoying for some reason, aesthetically it may look better but a little strange, there is also unnecessary packaging that does not hold any product and that is a personal annoyance of mine. Overall, for colour and how it applies it is very good but in terms of long lasting and how it feels not so great.

YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stain



A little bit pricey at £22.50 and it is expected from a designer lip product. As per usual YSL have beautiful packaging, I think girls are a lot like magpies, we like pretty, shiny things. I went for a deeper, darker colour in number 10, it is a red with a hint of magenta. I'm just going to say it, I love it. The colour is just what I was looking for, there are also a wide range of colours available. Most importantly it lives up to its name of 'glossy stain' it is a nice non-sticky gloss. I have to be careful when applying it because of how well it stains the lips so I don't accidentally smudge onto my skin, I would say it lasts me over 4 hours, I have not actually counted but one day I applied it at around lunch time, topped up once and the colour was still there when I came home in the late evening. I have found no problem with it making my lips feel dry, overall it is great.

So if I had to choose my favourite I would definitely go for YSL, L'Oréal is good and a lot more affordable. They are similar in the sense that they have the same effect of how they look on the lips. Like most cases when it comes to quality and price, typically a more expensive product is better than one that is cheaper. If it is in your price range I would highly recommend YSL glossy stain, I think I will want some more for myself, it is definitely something for the Christmas list. I might buy the L'Oréal glam shine stain again if I found a colour I really wanted, if this is more your price range there is no harm in trying it for yourself. Everyones lips are different so it is likely that it won't dry your lips as much as mine.

I hope this has been useful to anyone who is thinking of purchasing either product.
xo Natasha
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Lip Gloss Stains: YSL & L'Oréal

28.7.13


For the longest time I was not a fan of any type of lip gloss until one day I changed my mind and decided to try the L'Oréal Paris Glam Shine Stain Splash and I liked it. I'm also a sucker for anything YSL and have had my eye on the glossy stains for a while and I had quite a lot of Boots points to use, so I treated myself to it. Both lip products have been known to be quite similar, I'm going to share with you my opinions on them, if they really are alike and worth the money.

L'Oréal Paris Glam Shine Stain Splash 

At £7.99 for a high street/drugstore lip product, it is in my opinion on the upper end of the price scale but still more affordable than high end/designer lip products. When I purchased it there was a very poor range of colours of no more than 5 shades, however recently when I was in Boots I noticed they had a lot more shades. This could be because they wanted to see how well the product was going to do. I really like the colour I picked, a soft pink that is almost nude. A perfect gloss finish with a nice shine, it applies well and easily without looking in a mirror. I found after an hour or two it made my lips feel a bit dry and the colour was completely gone, considering it is supposed to be a stain. This is one reason why I mostly prefer lipsticks because the colour lasts longer on me and rarely dries up my lips. Not having the name of the product I found quite annoying for some reason, aesthetically it may look better but a little strange, there is also unnecessary packaging that does not hold any product and that is a personal annoyance of mine. Overall, for colour and how it applies it is very good but in terms of long lasting and how it feels not so great.

YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stain



A little bit pricey at £22.50 and it is expected from a designer lip product. As per usual YSL have beautiful packaging, I think girls are a lot like magpies, we like pretty, shiny things. I went for a deeper, darker colour in number 10, it is a red with a hint of magenta. I'm just going to say it, I love it. The colour is just what I was looking for, there are also a wide range of colours available. Most importantly it lives up to its name of 'glossy stain' it is a nice non-sticky gloss. I have to be careful when applying it because of how well it stains the lips so I don't accidentally smudge onto my skin, I would say it lasts me over 4 hours, I have not actually counted but one day I applied it at around lunch time, topped up once and the colour was still there when I came home in the late evening. I have found no problem with it making my lips feel dry, overall it is great.

So if I had to choose my favourite I would definitely go for YSL, L'Oréal is good and a lot more affordable. They are similar in the sense that they have the same effect of how they look on the lips. Like most cases when it comes to quality and price, typically a more expensive product is better than one that is cheaper. If it is in your price range I would highly recommend YSL glossy stain, I think I will want some more for myself, it is definitely something for the Christmas list. I might buy the L'Oréal glam shine stain again if I found a colour I really wanted, if this is more your price range there is no harm in trying it for yourself. Everyones lips are different so it is likely that it won't dry your lips as much as mine.

I hope this has been useful to anyone who is thinking of purchasing either product.
xo Natasha
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As I turned 21 years old (yesterday) I wanted to create some goals for myself for the following year of my life. Most years I do this in the new year but I didn't this year so I thought a birthday is as good a time as any. I'm now a 'proper adult', finished my degree (& possibly finished education forever) and 21 is universally known as the age you enter adulthood. Meaning I now have to come up with some sort of plan of where my life is going from now on as when September rolls around I won't be going back to school. I have a clean horizon, it sounds exciting and the possibilities are endless but it is also very scary. It will be a long time before I start talking about mortgages, babies and marriage (if at all) but I have a new journey to start and using this guide of 21 things as the year goes by will hopefully point me in the right direction.

xo Natasha
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21 things to do when I'm 21

26.7.13


As I turned 21 years old (yesterday) I wanted to create some goals for myself for the following year of my life. Most years I do this in the new year but I didn't this year so I thought a birthday is as good a time as any. I'm now a 'proper adult', finished my degree (& possibly finished education forever) and 21 is universally known as the age you enter adulthood. Meaning I now have to come up with some sort of plan of where my life is going from now on as when September rolls around I won't be going back to school. I have a clean horizon, it sounds exciting and the possibilities are endless but it is also very scary. It will be a long time before I start talking about mortgages, babies and marriage (if at all) but I have a new journey to start and using this guide of 21 things as the year goes by will hopefully point me in the right direction.

xo Natasha
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I've been on a roll with music gigs, starting with Mumford & Sons and co on the first Saturday of the month and the Rolling Stones a week later. Without a doubt one of my favourite things in the world, listening to live music amongst thousands of people. Another festival style day in London with the beaming sun over us and the heat of fire, it was hard to believe we were in England.


Along with the Stones, there was a long list of bands playing throughout the day. Such as The Horrors, The 1975, Hudson Taylor who replaced Tom Odell after not making it to Hyde Park and Jake Bugg.

 Although it was a day long gig, everyone was there for the headliners and being that I've only been alive 20 out of the 50 years they have been around I felt like the youngest person there, excluding the few children I saw. There were people there that I could just imagine were hippies when they were my age, adoring the same band for decades.


Jake Bugg was great live, he has such a unique voice that I'm sure many musicians would kill for and based on the reception he received at the beginning and the end of his set I'm sure many more fans were born that day. A person to look out for in the future for sure.


The crowd elated with cheers as the band emerged on stage for the second week in a row, starting the night with fireworks. Playing their classics, of course because of the amount of records they have written over the years they could not play every single persons favourite but Mick Jagger still knows how to put on a spectacular performance.


Sympathy for the Devil had everyone 'woo, woo', it was stuck in my head the whole way home. Leaving Satisfaction and You can't always get what you want for the encore. Personally they were the perfect songs to end with, leaving education and facing the big wide world with the lyric 'You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes well you might find, you get what you need'. I will forever remember the moment everyone sang in unison with each other during that song and ending with red confetti. For a rock and roll band they do have a sightly camp aura in their performance.

It was a memorable day, one to tell the grandchildren for sure. I only wish to have many more days like this for the rest of my life.

xo Natasha
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50 years and counting with the Rolling Stones

22.7.13

I've been on a roll with music gigs, starting with Mumford & Sons and co on the first Saturday of the month and the Rolling Stones a week later. Without a doubt one of my favourite things in the world, listening to live music amongst thousands of people. Another festival style day in London with the beaming sun over us and the heat of fire, it was hard to believe we were in England.


Along with the Stones, there was a long list of bands playing throughout the day. Such as The Horrors, The 1975, Hudson Taylor who replaced Tom Odell after not making it to Hyde Park and Jake Bugg.

 Although it was a day long gig, everyone was there for the headliners and being that I've only been alive 20 out of the 50 years they have been around I felt like the youngest person there, excluding the few children I saw. There were people there that I could just imagine were hippies when they were my age, adoring the same band for decades.


Jake Bugg was great live, he has such a unique voice that I'm sure many musicians would kill for and based on the reception he received at the beginning and the end of his set I'm sure many more fans were born that day. A person to look out for in the future for sure.


The crowd elated with cheers as the band emerged on stage for the second week in a row, starting the night with fireworks. Playing their classics, of course because of the amount of records they have written over the years they could not play every single persons favourite but Mick Jagger still knows how to put on a spectacular performance.


Sympathy for the Devil had everyone 'woo, woo', it was stuck in my head the whole way home. Leaving Satisfaction and You can't always get what you want for the encore. Personally they were the perfect songs to end with, leaving education and facing the big wide world with the lyric 'You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes well you might find, you get what you need'. I will forever remember the moment everyone sang in unison with each other during that song and ending with red confetti. For a rock and roll band they do have a sightly camp aura in their performance.

It was a memorable day, one to tell the grandchildren for sure. I only wish to have many more days like this for the rest of my life.

xo Natasha
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