This Month, I Have Been… November

This month has been so busy that I have barely had time to sit down and relax at all. With some stressful moments at home which is totally not needed before Christmas to busy days out with friends and family, nights spent in bars, restaurants or the cinema and making a big dent in the Christmas shopping list it really has been non-stop. I can’t see December slowing down any either but hopefully all the stressful little things that are going on right now will all be sorted and out of the way before Christmas and the New Year so I can start 2015 afresh and ready for hopefully a brilliant year.

Listening To: This month I have been listening to a mix of artists from Paolo Nutini and Death From Above 1979 who I caught live at the end of October to Kasabian and The Maccabees who I saw last weekend. Also, thrown in has been favourites like Friendly Fires and Haim to older classics of Joy Division, Depeche Mode and Elton John. We Are The Ocean’s new track and Royal Blood’s cover of ‘Happy’ by Pharrell have been on repeat as well as new musical discoveries of Flyte and As Elephants Are.

This month, I’ve reviewed albums/EP’s by Yumi and the System with their debut LP ‘Wonders of Origin’, the new EP from Spain’s Hacia las Rocas Imantadas called ‘aNNa’, the remarkable EP from Morain entitled ‘World’s Apart’ and the brilliant new EP from Welsh five piece Cut Ribbons.

And new music artists and tracks that have been featured include: To Kill A King with their new EP ‘Exit, Persued By Bear’, Sheffield’s Deaf Crows released their new video for ‘Bones’, some new music from The Reveurs with their new tracks ‘Control’ and ‘Saint Marie’, the new single from four piece Matinee called ‘Missing Pieces of a Jigsaw’, the new single from Robbie Boyd called ‘Brave’, Avec Sans new release ‘All of Time’, a new music piece on the wonderful BeauBowBelles, a new track for a great cause from Me For Queen with ‘Look Out’ and finally a look at Birmingham’s Pleasure House and their indie rock sound.

Also, there was a live review of Paolo Nutini at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena and a review of Kasabian and The Maccabees at Leeds Arena.

Below is this month’s playlist featuring some currently listened to acts and some of the acts I have featured on the blog over the last month:

Watching: Scandal Season 3 Finale, Doctor Who Finale, Gotham, Criminal Minds Season 10, The Originals Season 2, The Apprentice, Downton Abbey Season 5 Finale, Strictly. Autumn and Winter is the perfect time for TV viewing in my opinion, so much good stuff to watch!

Also, this month I’ve been to see the brilliant Fury which is a great depiction of war though so realistic it is difficult to describe it as a film you will truly enjoy. I also checked out The Imitation Game twice on the opening weekend [oops!] and it is by far one of, if not the, best film of the year for me. The whole cast, film and storytelling of such a great man with such a tragic ending is told so wonderfully and with so much poignancy and respect that it is one of those biopics that people will genuinely love for a long time. Oscar and awards hype has definitely not been misplaced with this one.

Reading:

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I haven’t had much time to sit down and read this month with so much happening so I’ve only made it through one book all month which is so unlike me. This month, I read A Murder of Quality by John LeCarre, I’ll not say much about it as I have a review coming up on here soon, but it is an excellent short novel, expertly written and a wonderful short story for any LeCarre fans or newbies to check out.

Currently Reading: The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien

Cooking/Baking:

Cannellini Bean Stew with added Quorn Chicken and Quorn Chorizo – A great and very simple dish I found over on Deliciously Ella’s blog. The meal is super simple and took me around 20 minutes to prep and cook altogether. I added some Quorn for a bit extra taste, protein and to bulk up the portion size a bit and I substituted tahini [which I could not find at all in Asda] for a dollop of houmous, for the texture, mixed with some extra spices including paprika and mustard seeds. I took this picture too early but I served the stew with some kale that I quickly fried off with balsamic vinegar and all of it tasted so so good and even better when it doesn’t take long at all to cook. This is one I recommend you all try.

I’ve also reviewed Afternoon Tea at Fancie in Sheffield this month too.

Loving:

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As the weather turns seriously cold, it is the worst time of year for my skin and the only thing that helps the horrible dry skin that is always a winter recurrence is cocoa butter, all of the cocoa butter related products. Here I have hands, body and lips all sorted with the wonderful stuff and not only does it nourish my dehydrated and cold skin but it also smells so goddamn yummy! The cocoa butter vaseline I have been using for years and is my go to flavour of the staple beauty/make up bag item. The cocoa butter hand cream and body butter, both from Avon, are new purchase and their thick, luxurious feel are so perfect and make you feel pretty damn amazing. Surprisingly for thick moisturisers they sink into the skin quite quickly and leaves skin nice and soft for a good couple of days. My winter skin lifesavers, thank god for cocoa butter.

Doing:

First 2 picture – DFA, last picture – Paolo Nutini

From the very end of last month I went to two gigs in two days: Death From Above 1979 and Paolo Nutini. Both very different shows in terms of size, sound, audience but both absolutely amazing! DFA was brilliant and a proper club show in the true sense that I’ve not fully experienced in a long time and I loved every single minute of it. Paolo Nutini was an arena show so a different vibe but still so intimate with the basic stage setting and making it all about Paolo’s insanely beautiful and brilliant vocals. Both amazing gigs and both acts I would see again in a heartbeat.

Kasabian and The Maccabees at Leeds Arena

A great show full of some amazing music, I’m so glad I went along to catch Kasabian again and even better than one of my all time favourite acts, The Maccabees, were the support act for them too and they treat us to some brand new songs which made my night even better.

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One of my favourite photos from a walk around Clumber Park earlier this month, read the full post and see more photos here

This month has been a busy one with a Halloween night out, cinema trips, lots of great food, long walks at Clumber Park which was the most perfect Sunday, a tattoo convention and birthday nights out as well as all the other stuff like blog writing & planning, organising my room/life and sorting out the dreaded Christmas meals, presents and all the other stuff that comes along with that. It really has been a busy November indeed.

Some Great Finds From The Internet This Month:

Want to see the ultimate sarcastic look at the way people see women then this Buzzfeed article on The Ultimate Guide to being a Woman as made by everyone else just highlights the pressures and unreasonable ideals put on women all throughout their lives.

– This amazing and informative piece by Zoe on simple ways to improve your blog. Not only is this particular piece great especially for bloggers like me that are still growing and can still take inspiration on how to grow from others but a lot of posts on Zoe’s blog recently have been great. Definitely worth checking them all out as she is producing some amazing content at the moment.

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