September TV Blog Chat!

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Hello all!

This Thursday (3rd September) marks the second monthly TV Blog Chat - where did August disappear to?? So tonight I wanted to share the questions I'll be throwing out there between 7.30pm and 8.30pm BST this week!


Q1. Do you have a favourite genre of television? Are you partial to a comedy, a drama, a teen show or a bit of everything?! #TVBlogChat

Q2: What is one show that everyone else seems to love that you haven't watched or struggled to get in to (no judgement!)? #TVBlogChat

Q3: If you could pick your dream cast for a new TV show, who would you pick? #TVBlogChat

Q4: If you could bring back one show from the past that has now finished, what would it be? #TVBlogChat

Q5: What shows are you most looking forward to starting/returning this Autumn/Fall?! #TVBlogChat

Q6: Suggest a topic for the next TV Blog Chat - I'd love to hear your ideas! #TVBlogChat


Hope to see some of your faces (or Twitter handles!) on Thursday evening - be sure to spread the word!!!

Thanks for reading!

Centre Stage Competition - Clydesdale Bank & SSE Hydro | Ad

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Hi all! Hope you're doing well!

Today's post is celebrating a pretty exciting contest. As a Glasgow native, yet one time only (as of yet) visitor to the SSE Hydro, I was intrigued to hear about the Centre Stage competition, currently being run by Clydesdale Bank in collaboration with The Hydro.


What is it?

The Centre Stage competition gives people the chance to say thank you to someone who has gone the extra mile for them. In our day to day lives (if we're lucky), there are people who constantly support us and build us up; people who give us unconditional love, people who push us to be the best version of ourselves, or even just people who can always make us laugh, even after a bad day. And, hopefully, we do the same for them. But we don't often get an opportunity to give them a shout out for being so great, or to just say "thanks so much for everything you do for me". It sometimes feels like we only think to say that at particularly big life moments (both good and bad), when it's important to be grateful for these wonderful people every day!

So, what's great about this competition is that really, it's a win-win. Even if the tickets and VIP evening don't come your way, you get the opportunity to tell someone how thankful you are for them by letting them you know you nominated them - and that could maybe even mean more than the grand prize! Best case scenario, you get both!! I don't know about you, but hearing how positively I've impacted on someone's life would be an incredible feeling.

The prize...

Okay, I know I've just said being nominated is wonderful in itself, but this prize is pretty amazing! Clydesdale Bank and the Hydro are offering you and your nominated friend/family member/mentor/colleague/insert-appropriate word here, two tickets to a show at the Hydro, to see one of Glasgow's top comedians perform live! While the identity is a secret for now, if they're performing at the Hydro, it's bound to be good. The tickets are seated, with an amazing view of the stage, and you will also have access to the VIP Hydro Club - so you know it's guaranteed to be an exciting evening!

How do you enter?

Here's the easy part - just pop on to the Clydesdale Bank website, enter your name, your nominee's name, your email address and tell them how your nominee has gone the extra mile!

I nominate...

I'm writing this blog post on the train home from work, scribbling it down in a notebook because I don't have my laptop with me - #oldschool. I finished work at the usual ten to five, in order to get the bus in time to make my train home. I work in Edinburgh one day a week, so in order to get the direct train that doesn't stop at every station under the sun, I have to leave at an exact time, and I have my journey and timing down to a fine art. Today though, was not one of those days. I got to the bus stop and not one but two buses didn't show, meaning by the time I got to Waverley, having run like my version of an Olympic athlete (it wasn't pretty)from St Andrews Square to the station through the Fringe crowd, I missed my train. The reason for this anecdote, is that when I finally got on a train, one that took much longer and meant I had to change at the town next to my hometown and wait half an hour for a connection, I texted my mum to let her know I would be significantly later home from work than usual. She has immediately fired back a text saying she will come and pick me up at that station. It sounds small, but it's just an example of one of the million and one ways my mum goes out of her way for me every day, and has done my whole life. I'm a grown up now (yikes), a proper, mid-twenties, starting to hear myself say things like "when I was younger" grown up, but even through my childhood and teens, my mum and I have been very much pals as well as mother and daughter. No matter what stage of my life I've been in, whether it was going to uni first time around, jetting off on my trip to Australia, freaking out over what to do with my life, or going back to do my Masters, my parents have always been unbelievably supportive, and I'm so very lucky to have both of them. So today, I'm nominating my mum, for always going the extra mile for me and for my brother.

As expected, my nomination is significantly longer than your average message - a couple of sentences will suffice, but you know me - I do love 

Good luck with your entries!! 

Thanks for reading!

This post was written in collaboration with Clydesdale Bank, but all views and opinions are my own.

Regular #tvblogchat!

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Hey guys!

First things first, I just want to say a HUGE thanks to everyone who participated in my trial #tvblogchat last Thursday. It was so much fun -o spend an hour chatting to people who are just as enthusiastic about TV as I am was so lovely, and to hear such positive comments at the end was such a boost.

So, given the fact that some of you sounded interested, I've decided to make TV Blog Chat a monthly event! I considered weekly, but honestly, I think having a month between chats will be more productive! It gives everyone time to discover new shows, or rediscover old ones, and means the topics won't get stale! I think there's a danger with any weekly chat that, depending on the subject matter, things can become a little repetitive, and I'd hate for that to happen! With that in mind, you can look forward to a TV chat on the first Thursday of every month at 7.30pm!


So here are the dates of the chat for the next few months (say whaaaat, how can December be so close already??!), and closer to the time, topics will be listed on my blog and on the snazzy new @TvBlogChat twitter account I may have just set up...

Thursday 3rd September

Thursday 1st October

Thursday 5th November

Thursday 3rd December

I will be on the lookout for topic suggestions and potentially guest hosts soon, so please send me your ideas! Follow along on Twitter at @TVBlogChat. And, as a sidenote, you absolutely don't have to be a blogger yourself to participate in this chat - all you need is a healthy appetite for television and a twitter account!

Happy chatting and thanks for reading :)

#tvblogchat

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Hello all!

My my... it has been a while, hasn't it?

While I haven't posted on here for a few weeks (sorry about that!), my YouTube channel has been seeing very regular uploads - I've been trying to do three videos a week lately, and absolutely loving it. So I'll direct you to my channel to make up for the little blank space here through June/July on my blog!

ANYWAY. I'm back, and delighted to be here. I hope you are all well and enjoying whatever sort of summer you're having. Here in Glasgow we aren't having what you might call summery weather - grey skies, lots of rain, cold enough to have the heating on in the house. Dreich, to say the least. We were spoilt by the high temperatures and sunshine we had during the Commonwealth Games last July, so this miserable weather is even a shock to our Scottish systems.

The point of this post, however, was to let you all know that after spending a great deal of time thinking about it, I've decided to host a TV related twitter chat next week! I mentioned this earlier in the year, and then put off doing it because I was nervous, thinking no-one would join in. I've hosted twitter chats before (#lbloggers and #careerblogchat) and had so much fun, so this was something I really wanted to do, but let the thought of it not going well put me off. Which, let's be honest, is totally daft.


So, the chat will be happening next Thursday, 6th August 2015, from 7.30pm to 8.30pm, and the questions (at the moment!) will be as follows:

1. What TV shows are you loving right now?

2. How do you usually watch your favourite shows? Netflix, Amazon, Now TV, dvd, etc? And do you watch more on TV/iPad/Laptop?

3. Are you more of a binge-watcher or a week by week viewer? If you binge, what show has been your fastest binge watch?!

4. Name three of your all time favourite television shows - let's see who shares some favourites!

5. BFFs and soul mates - which TV character would you have as a best friend, and who would you date (given the chance!)?

6. Recommend a show to someone based on one of their earlier tweets :)


I thought I'd keep the questions fairly general on this occasion! Then, if it goes well and I decide to make it a more regular thing (probably monthly rather than weekly!), the questions can maybe get a little more specific then, with more of a theme or topic!

One tiny thing I would suggest is to avoid any huge spoilers! Try to avoid tweeting the way a show ends, or about the death of a major character, etc. - the internet is, understandably, full of spoilers, so it's often impossible to avoid these things, but on the off-chance someone is currently on season five of a six season show (having avoided how it ends), let's avoid ruining it! Just because it's nice to be nice. And because I remember how it felt to find out how Season 4 of Dexter ended via Twitter before I saw it!

Anyway, if you're a TV fan, which I know a lot of you guys are, I hope you stop by Twitter next week to talk all things TV! You can follow me there at @lynseymac1.

Hope you're having a fantastic week and thanks for reading :)

Update - My 2015 TV Resolutions!

Monday, 25 May 2015

Hello all, hope you're having a lovely weekend and enjoying the bank holiday.

At that start of the year, I made a video which I called "My 2015 TV Resolutions" - basically, it was a list of TV shows I planned to start and/or continue watching, and rewatch! So I decided today that I'd turn this into a blog post, where I can update myself on my progress!




TV Shows To Start Watching in 2015

Mad Men

House (Completed Seasons 1-3/8 in February, 4-6/8 in June, currently watching 7/8)

Pretty Little Liars (Completed Seasons 1-5/5 in March, currently watching 6/6)

Arrow

The Leftovers

Sons of Anarchy

The Mindy Project

Breaking Bad

Grimm

Parks and Recreation (July - currently watching Season 3/7)


TV Shows To Continue Watching in 2015

Once Upon A Time (Completed Season 4/4 in May)

The Vampire Diaries (Finished Season 5 in January)

Orphan Black (Completed Season 2/3 in April)

The 100

The Office (Completed Seasons 7-9/9 in April)

The Originals (Started Season 2 in July)

How I Met Your Mother

Awkward (Completed Season 2/5 in April, currently watching Season 3/5)



TV Shows To Rewatch in 2015

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Green Wing

Gilmore Girls (Completed Season 1/7 in January)


Shows Which Weren't On The List in January, but I've Watched!

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Completed Season 1/1 in March)

Grace and Frankie (Completed Season 1/1 in May)

Outlander (Currently watching Season 1/1)


So, I'm going to come back to this page every now and again and update it, and hopefully by the end of the year there will be something in brackets at the side of every show!

What TV Shows have you been binging on so far in 2015? I'd love your recommendations!

Thanks for reading!

5 Reasons To Watch The Office

Friday, 15 May 2015

Hello all :)

Today I decided to write a "5 Reasons to Watch" post for a show I took far too long to get in to. This time last year, I had only recently started watching the US version of The Office, despite being told by so many friends that I just had to give it a shot. When I did, I realised what a mistake it had been to put off watching it for as long as I had! I finally watched the finale a couple of weeks ago and cried my eyes out, both because it was utterly perfect, and because I was so sad it was over!!

So here are 5 reasons to watch The Office - if you've never seen the show before, I hope this inspires you to watch it, and if you're already a fan, I hope you enjoy reliving some of the best (spoiler free, obviously!) aspects of this nine season comedic masterpiece!


The Acting

First and foremost, the acting in this show is incredible. Honestly, the entire cast just make the show a joy to watch, and as the seasons go on it just gets better and better. For me, Steve Carell as Michael Scott is one of the most perfect casting choices ever made - in the original British version of the show, David Brent was not a particularly likeable character, while you can't help but love Michael. Carell strikes the perfect balance, and while Michael still says plenty of stupid things, he has a vulnerability that just leaves you absolutely rooting for him. But it's not just about Michael - the acting from everyone is amazing, and they created some of my favourite characters of all time.


The Writing

The writing on the show is also incredible. Not only is it really sharp and funny, but because we have nine seasons to spend with these characters, we get to know them so well. They are all so well developed that there are genuine moments towards the end of the later seasons (keeping it spoiler free, I promise!) when you find yourself saying "But X situation would never happen because I know that character so well". The relationships they build up feel so genuine, and while not an episode goes by without a lot of laughs, there are plenty absolutely heart-breaking moments thrown in there too. We experience so much with these people, and that's all thanks to the clever writing.

The Short Episodes

It sounds like a daft reason, but since the majority of the episodes are only 20 minutes long, it's so easy to watch. If you have 20 minutes to spare, it's the perfect thing to stick on. It does, however, lend itself extremely well to binge watching for the same reason. You may find yourself having watched six and going, "but one more is just another twenty minutes..."!

The Romance

The search for love is a big deal in this show, for a lot of the characters, and they write their romances so cleverly. Some of my favourite TV pairings exist in this little world, and some of my favourite moments in the show are tied to characters trying to meet the right person. SO CUTE.


Threat Level Midnight

Again, I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but Threat Level Midnight is one of my favourite episodes of television ever. And I have a lot of favourites episodes. It doesn't arrive until season 7, but seriously, it's worth the wait. I've lost track of the number of times I've watched it now, and I genuinely laugh till I cry every single time. It's just one of those perfectly put together, absolutely hilarious moments in television that I'll never get tired of.

So if you haven't watched The Office yet, please give it a shot - you will not regret it! My parents have just started watching it from the beginning for the first time, and I'm so jealous of all the brilliant storylines they have to look forward to!

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Thanks for reading!

Eating Out: Dinner at Chiquito*

Monday, 11 May 2015

One of my favourite things to do is eat out - I was discussing this with some blogging pals just last night. These days, while I still love the odd night out on the town dancing, I'm far more likely to look forward to a nice meal with my friends, with good food, good company and usually a cocktail or two!

So last week, I treated my bestie Emma to just that. We headed over to Chiquito at The Fort* (Glasgow) for dinner on Friday, and it was amazing.


I've only been to Chiquito once or twice before, and never to this branch, but I am a big fan of Mexican food! This made making a decision on what to eat somewhat difficult - there were so many dishes on the menu that tempted me... In the style of Blind Date, I'll give you a run down of a couple of the contenders...

BBQ Chicken Fajitas: "Served over a bed of spiced fajita onions and mixed peppers, with warm, soft flour tortillas, grated cheese, homemade salsa, sour cream and guacamole."

Philly Steak Hot Baked Wrap: "Strips of juicy steak, Texan style cheese sauce, fajita vegetables and cheese, baked in a soft flour tortilla served with skin-on-fries, our homemade slaw and a fresh house salad."

The Whole Hog Burger: "The classic topped with tasty BBQ pulled pork covered in melted cheese. Served in a soft brioche bun with baby gem lettuce, red onion, beef tomato, mayo and topped with pickle. Served with homemade slaw and your choice of skin-on-fries, fresh house salad or Mexican spiced rice."

When it finally came time to make a choice, I decided to go for contender number three - try as I may, I just cannot resist a burger. Especially when pulled pork is involved.


On this occasion, I was driving, so alcohol was off the table, but Chiquito does have a very enticing drinks menu full of interesting cocktails, which I'll definitely be tempted to try next time! Instead, I relaxed with a cup of tea after my meal, and it was lovely. You can't beat a good cup of tea.


Overall, I really enjoyed my visit to Chiquito's at The Fort. We just headed over for dinner, but the location right beside the cinema and the main shopping centre makes it the perfect place to stop for something to eat if you're spending the day browsing the shops. The atmosphere was chilled out, the staff were friendly, and the food was good - and reasonably priced! What more could you ask for?!

Have you eaten out anywhere new lately? Let me know in the comments below! :)

Thanks for reading!

Lynsey x


*Disclaimer: I was very kindly sent a voucher for Chiquito at The Fort, which I put towards the meal on Friday. All thoughts and opinions in this post, however, are completely my own.

YouTube Giveaway! Smart Pop Books

Monday, 4 May 2015

Hello lovelies!

I just wanted to give you a wee head's up about the giveaway I'm hosting over on my YouTube channel at the moment! I uploaded the video yesterday, but wanted to make sure I shared it with the readers of my blog too.

As a film and television addict, I discovered the Smart Pop books back when I was at uni. These are books of fun, chatty essays on a wide range of films, TV shows, comics and books, and I absolutely love them! I bought the books on Veronica Mars and Gilmore Girls years ago, and since then have added books on Lost, 24, The Vampire Diaries and Harry Potter to my collection. Covering everything from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Hunger Games, to Star Wars and The Simpsons, and everything in between, these books are amazing.

So I got in touch with the folks at Smart Pop to tell them how much I loved their books, and I now have the opportunity to give some away!! I'm giving away a grand prize pack, including six of my favourite titles, and two extra prizes where the winners will receive a Smart Pop title of their choice! I'm so excited about this, and I'm so grateful to Smart Pop for giving me the opportunity to do this!

This is a YouTube giveaway, so head on over to the video linked below for details on entering, and good luck!! To see the full range of Smart Pop books, check out their website here!



Thanks for reading!!

5 Reasons To Watch Gilmore Girls!

Monday, 27 April 2015

Hello you lovely lot, and welcome back to another in my "5 Reasons To Watch" series! Today I'm talking about one of my all time favourite television shows, Gilmore Girls!

I have to admit, it was hard to choose just five reasons for watching this amazing show, but I narrowed it down in the end! This is one of my absolute "go-to"s, if I'm feeling a bit rubbish - it never fails to cheer me up! So, without further ado, here are the five reasons I think you should give this fabulous show a shot!


It's the ultimate comfort food television

My favourite way to describe Gilmore Girls is as comfort food TV - you know when you have one of those days where all you want to do is curl up with a big mug of hot chocolate or tea, and eat something really comforting (don't know about you, but cake usually works for me!)? Gilmore Girls is the televisual equivalent of that tea and cake. It's warm and comforting and funny and familiar, and all you want to do is teleport yourself into the TV and hang out with Lorelai and Rory all day!

The strong, independent women

You know me, I love a well written female character, and this show is packed full of them. From the three generations of Gilmore women, Emily, Lorelai and Rory, to characters like Sookie St James (Lorelai's best friend, played by the wonderful Melissa McCarthy), Paris Geller, Lane Kim, and Miss Patty, the show is filled with strong, feisty, intelligent and funny women. These are women who aren't afraid to be themselves, but who are real and flawed, who make mistakes and are far from perfect. The fact that we see both the vulnerable and the powerful sides to their personalities makes us fall even more in love with them.

I love all of these characters, but I feel like Lorelai needs an individual mention. I adore her. Lauren Graham is one of my favourite humans, and I just love her character to pieces. She is independent, an amazing parent and someone I would seriously like to have as a friend in real life. Sure, she drinks too much coffee, can be a little too proud sometimes, and doesn't always have the best luck when it comes to relationships, but do you know what? That just makes her all the more relatable!

The Dialogue

Even if you've never watched Gilmore Girls before, I'm sure you'll have read at some point or another that one of the defining features of the show is the dialogue. It's fast paced, filled with pop culture references, from films to books to telvision shows and music, and can, for a beginner, be a lot to keep up with. But persevere, even if your first instinct is "these women talk far too quickly, I won't be able keep up" - you will! Give it a couple of episodes and you be a pro in Gilmore-isms! The more you watch, the more you love the writing style - it's so full of wit and charm, and it forever makes you want to read more books, watch more shows, and get lost in their world!

Stars Hollow is the best town

One of my favourite things about the show is the town in which it's set. Stars Hollow, the fictional Connecticut town is a character in and of itself, and is one of those towns where everyone knows everyone (which, as it turns out, can be a blessing and a curse). The quirky characters, the town meetings, the cute houses and town festivals and events will capture your heart, and you'll find yourself wondering if it's possible to move there.

The Story

Finally, this one sounds a little on the vague side, but the story of Gilmore Girls is one that I think everyone could afford to hear. Yeah, it's a mother-daughter tale at heart, but really, the show is about two women, one in her teens to early twenties, and the other in her thirties, and the people closest to them, going through the motions of real life. We experience love and heartbreak with them, we go through education with them, for Rory we experience high school and college, while with Lorelai we experience working for someone else, and eventually working for herself. We go through family dramas, friendship highs and lows, times when they aren't sure where their lives are going, and times when they couldn't be more confident. This isn't high stakes drama like House of Cards or 24, it's just ordinary, every day life (with a healthy dose of wit). And that can be even more fascinating to watch unfold than the craziest, action packed drama.

So if you've never watched Gilmore Girls before, I hope this post has inspired you to give it a shot - I promise, you will not regret it! You have seven whole wonderful seasons to devour, so go forth, release your inner Gilmore and enjoy :)

Have a great day, and thanks for reading!

Review: ActiDerm "UltraDerm" Cream*

Friday, 24 April 2015

Hi everyone! Today I've got a little skincare review for you! This is the ActiDerm "UltraDerm" moisturiser, which I was lucky enough to be sent a sample of to test out, and I want to say a big thanks to the lovely folks at ActiDerm for that. It's always nice when a brand gets in touch in a really friendly and approachable way, so huge thumbs up for that!



What They Say?

"UltraDerm is formulated to protect existing stem cells and encourage multiplication and self-renewal. Combining the near impossible of a light, easily absorbed texture with incredibly luxurious richness. The high-performance formula of UltraDerm takes anti- ageing skincare to another dimension, combining the latest in plant stem-cell technology, antioxidants, peptides which support each other in revealing a healthy youthful glow.

This highly advanced proprietary Neuropeptide treatment activates surface renewal of the dermis to reveal visibly younger looking skin. It addresses loss of elasticity while reenergising and hydrating skin. It diminishes the appearance of deep lines and helps to reduce wrinkles and correct the signs of photo damage.

UltraDerm Cream is formulated with a combination of the most powerful anti-ageing ingredients that nourish repair and lift the appearance of skin, while delivering superior antioxidant protection."


What I say!

Firstly, I was really impressed with the packaging of this product - it's simple but still looks pretty displayed on your shelf. It's the simple things, I know.

In terms of the product itself, I've been impressed. This moisturiser feels lovely - it has a really interesting texture, and I totally agree with their claim that it is rich, yet easily absorbed. I have the awkward situation of having skin that is crying out for a heavy duty moisturiser to inject some life back into it, but I really don't like having anything too heavy or tacky feeling on my skin. You know those moments when you've applied your moisturiser and five minutes later your hair is still getting stuck to your face because it still feels tacky? I was delighted to find I had no such problem with this moisturiser! That was probably my favourite thing about it. It feels like your skin is getting a proper drink, without the feel of a super heavy moisturiser.

In terms of the anti ageing properties and wrinkle reduction claims of this moisturiser, I don't know that I can be the best judge - at 25, I feel like I'm just starting to have to think about these things, so it isn't something my skin has been in desperate need of so far! However, I definitely have felt that my skin looks glowy after using this product, which, considering how temperamental my skin has been of late, I would definitely say is a positive sign.

The other great thing about it is that you really don't need to use a lot of product in one go. A small amount goes a long way, and thanks to the texture, it glides on really smoothly, so you don't feel like you need to keep going back for more! The 50ml jar comes in at £29.99, which is actually pretty good for the amount of product you're getting, and the amount you'll use daily! I popped on to the Space NK website there for a wee look, and when you consider that some of the moisturisers they stock are upwards of £200 and even £300, £29.99 is a good deal!

Keep your eyes peeled, because I also have an ActiDerm eyeshadow, which I want to show you over on my YouTube channel rather than on here - it'll let you see the product in action! I'm planning to use it in a Get Ready With Me at some point over the next few weeks, so be sure to subscribe to my channel to watch out for that!

You can check out ActiDerm's entire range of skincare and beauty products over on their website here.

Thanks for reading!


*While this product was sent to me, all opinions and thoughts are completely my own.

London Vlogging!

Monday, 20 April 2015

This week my friend Roisin (from Rose Keats!) and I headed down to London to visit our lovely friend Gill and stroll around enjoying the sunshine! We had such a lovely time, and I vlogged the trip, so rather than tell you about it, I thought I'd show you, in video form! If any of you have subscribed to my YouTube channel, you'll have seen this yesterday, but I know that not everyone who reads my blog is subscribed!

Hope you enjoy, and let me know - if you've been to London, what was your favourite thing about the city?



Thanks for watching/reading!

Pinterest Wanderlustin'

Monday, 13 April 2015

Lately I've been having a serious case of itchy feet. When I got home from Australia, I made a promise to myself that I would gradually tick all of the places I wanted to visit off my very long "to visit" list, and then? I went back to uni. So for 2014 I was busy with my Masters, and didn't get a chance to get away anywhere.

Now, here we are in April of 2015, and my wanderlust is spiralling out of control. Pinterest is my weakness - I could (and do) spend hours scrolling through the many, many beautiful travel pins and updating my Wanderlust board (which you can see here!). So here are the places that are currently sitting right up at the top of my list, and that I'm hoping I'll have the chance to visit soon - I've had casual chats about getting away for a wee city break with a couple of my pals, just need to get something in the diary!!

Iceland

I've been desperate to visit Iceland for a really long time now. There's just something so beautiful and magical about the Icelandic landscape, it fills me with excitement just looking at it! So when Amy from The Little Magpie uploaded a post last week showing off her photos from her recent trip, the green eyed monster definitely took over - it just looks so lovely. And who wouldn't want to go swimming in a pool of hot water surrounded by ice and snow?!!


Budapest

This is a very recent addition to my list, thanks to another blog post! Nikki (from Nikki and Things) uploaded a post after her city break to Budapest, and I'm not kidding - the minute I was done reading I was googling cheap flights to Hungary! I knew it was an interesting city, but I had never really paid attention to how utterly beautiful it is! Look at some of those buildings!!


New York

And finally, we have New York. Yes, NYC is still at the top of my list because despite wanting to go for as long as I can remember, I still haven't made it there! Roisin, our friend Gill and I had planned to go this year but a few big life changes (moves to new cities, job changes, etc) has meant it has been postponed - but we'll get there!! You can practically feel the buzz and the energy of the city, even just in pictures!


So for now, my top three travel destinations consists of these three lovely places!

Where would you jet off to tomorrow if the opportunity to get away arose? :)

I wrote and published this post last week, but today I discovered that my urge to write it was actually fate - Transun are running a competition to win a trip to see the Northern Lights, which is something which has been lodged firmly near the top of my travel bucketlist for years! Since the requirements for the post are to write about your top three travel destinations, which is exactly what I've just done, I figure it's a sure-fire sign I should enter the competition! Wish me luck! :) http://www.transun.co.uk/blogs/bucketlist-blog-competition

Thanks for reading!


*All images sourced on Pinterest, and pinned on my Wanderlust board :)

3 Years on YouTube!

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Today is a special day! It marks three years since I hit upload on my first ever YouTube video. While it hasn't always been the most consistent of journeys, I can honestly say it's become such an important part of my life, and I can't imagine not having my little space on the internet to ramble away on!

So, although I have a video dedicated to this going up this weekend, I decided to choose a few of the videos I've enjoyed filming the most, and pop them all in one handy little post for me to revisit in the future. I might do a post like this every year, and add to the list of favourites :)

So, in no particular order, a few of my favourite ever videos to film/edit have been...

Reacting to the X-Factor 2014 with Emma

My plan for my next year here on YouTube is to film more reacting to videos. I absolutely loved filming this, and even if Emma and I are the only two who think this is funny, it was a ridiculous amount of fun!



Vlog: Internet Friends

I really enjoyed this chatty, rambly vlog. I just decided to sit down and talk about the amazing friends I've made through YouTube and blogging, and though it was totally impromptu, I'm happy with how it turned out!



Port Douglas Part 1 - Meet my new friends!

I loved all of my Australia trip vlogs, but this one will always have a special place in my heart. My friend Lynsey said I looked like the happiest person in the world meeting those wee kangaroos and Samsun the koala!



Confessions of a Rewatcher (TV)

I had a stupid amount of fun filming this video, and it was round about this time that I realised I needed to channel my passion (as dramatic as that sounds) and actually start focusing my channel on what I wanted to talk about, which was film and TV. Rather than try to cater for what I thought other people wanted to watch, I just started making the content I enjoyed, and could not be happier!



Pretty Little Liars - Reacting to the Big A Reveal!

Another reacting to video - despite the blurred footage, again, I loved filming this, and definitely plan on making more of this type of video in the near future :)



Vlog: Good News, Lush Christmas 2014 and Dinner in Edinburgh

This seems like a totally random choice, but it's really for the first minute of it! I vlogged my reaction just after I found out I had passed my Masters with distinction, and got an amazing mark on the dissertation I had poured my heart and soul into, and while I never thought I'd willingly upload a vlog of me crying, I'm really glad I captured that moment.



Festive GRWM: 2014 Edition

Another fairly recent one, but as my channel started off focused on beauty, I couldn't very well not include a GRWM! My get ready with me videos never tend to work out as well as I hope they will, whereas I was actually pretty happy with how this one turned out :)



The Gossip Girl Tag feat. Rose Keats

And finally, we have the Gossip Girl tag, filmed with Roisin! How could I do a favourite YouTube videos post without including one with a friend I met through this very online community!




So I'll leave it there, but keep your eyes peeled on Sunday, when I'll be uploading a "3 years on YouTube" themed video! Thanks so much to all four hundred and thirty something of you, who have chosen to hit that subscribe button over the past few years. I know I don't have the most regular of channels in terms of content - my videos are a mish mash of everything from beauty to books to films and tv to chatty vlogs, so I really, really appreciate you watching :) if you haven't already visited my channel, here's a wee link if you fancy it - be sure to say hi!

Thanks for reading (and watching!) and here's to another three years!

5 Reasons To Watch Once Upon a Time

Monday, 6 April 2015

Hello all - I really enjoyed writing my 5 Reasons to watch Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt post the other week, so I'm back with the next in that little series!

Anyone who watches my videos on YouTube, regularly reads my blog or follows me on Twitter, can tell you that I'm a huge Once Upon a Time fan. I fell in love with the show way back in 2011 when it first started, and my adoration for it has just grown and grown. For anyone who hasn't heard of the show, a simple summary would be that the show explores the lives of all your favourite fairytale characters, brought together in two worlds - the fairytale world which includes The Enchanted Forest, Neverland, Arendelle, etc, and non-magical world a.k.a our world. Via curses, portals and a whole lot of magic, the characters travel between the two, and each episode is told half in real time, half in flashbacks to events in the past (usually in the magical world).

So, if that isn't enough to pique your interest, here are 5 reasons to start watching Once Upon a Time!


The Fairytale Characters

I'm not exaggerating when I say all of your favourite fairy tale characters will make an appearance in this show at some point. To name a few, you'll meet Snow White, Prince Charming and the Evil Queen, Rumplestiltskin, Belle, Pinocchio and Gepetto, Captain Hook, Peter Pan, Mulan, Maleficent, Aurora and Phillip, Red Riding Hood, Ariel and Ursula, Cruella de Vil, Robin Hood, Tinkerbell, Elsa, Anna and Kristoff, the seven dwarves and the mad hatter. And that's just off the top of my head. That isn't even counting two of the main characters, Emma (played by the brilliant Jennifer Morrison) and her son Henry (played by Jared Gilmore). You never know who is going to turn up next!


The Plot Lines

Ever wondered how Maleficent is connected to Snow White? Or how Prince Charming met Anna from Frozen? What about the history between Rumplestiltskin and Peter Pan? Okay, so up till now you probably haven't, but what I love about this show is that it creates this amazing, rich backstory for characters we already know and love. Like why Ursula became evil, for one! In The Little Mermaid, she just goes about her villainous business, and we never find out what brought her to that point. Enter Once Upon a Time to fill in the blanks! Following on from this...

It's a perfect dose of Escapism

My favourite thing about OUAT is that it really is the perfect level of escapism. It's dramatic, and filled with intrigue, but in a light hearted way. This isn't a Breaking Bad style, heavy going show. It's emotional, but fun, and envelopes you in a magical world, where anything is possible, and nothing is black and white. It has a nice nostalgic quality to it too, because if (like me!) you were fairy tale mad as a child, it brings these tales back into your life in a new way, and gives new life to old stories!


The Writing -

The writers really do an amazing job with this show - hardly surprising, when their past work includes Lost! Whatever the storyline, they handle it beautifully, but I'm sure it won't come as a surprise that it's packed full of romance. It's fairytale land, how could it not be! The writers do the most brilliant job with their pairings - not only have they been really lucky to bring together a bunch of amazing actors, so many of who have incredible chemistry, but they just know exactly what to do to tug at your heart strings. And putting romantic relationships aside, they also do a great job with friendships/familial relationships in this show. People who have gone through a lot have a way of finding each other, which is always nice to see.

They have also written a ridiculous number AMAZING kick ass female characters over the past four seasons. Emma, Snow and Regina, three of the most prominent characters, are strong, feisty and independent, and while they are not immune to the considerable charms of some of the leading men, they are more than capable of taking care of themselves - there's none of the Disney-esque damsel in distress stuff here.

And finally, we have...

The Cast

If I could join a cast of a TV show, it would be Once Upon a Time. Not only are they all phenomenal on screen, but when we see blooper reels, or interviews with them, they seem to be having the best time. The show has done so well to bring together such a great group of actors. Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Lana Parilla, Robert Carlisle, Colin O'Donoughue and Emilie de Ravin are just a few of the brilliant cast members, and I now struggle to imagine anyone else playing some of these famous fairytale characters. Also, let's be honest - none of these people (in addition to the likes of Jamie Dornan) are particularly difficult to look at - always a bonus!



So there you have it - 5 reasons why you should put Once Upon a Time firmly on your "to watch" list!

One bonus reason - if you are a fan of Lost, this show is full of Lost references! From lots of the same cast members (Emilie de Ravin, Jorge Garcia, Lana Parilla and Elizabeth Mitchell are just a few who have appeared in both!) to constant references to the lost numbers (you know what I'm talking about!), and even the odd Apollo bar. That all makes me much happier than it probably should.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you've had a lovely Easter weekend!

Wednesday Wishlist - Monochrome Must-Haves

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

It's time for another Wednesday Wishlist. Spring is approaching, which means the shops are being filled with bright and beautiful colours, which I always enjoy browsing through. The majority of my wardrobe, however, consists of little black dresses - no matter how many times I tell myself I'll buy something colourful, I always end up coming back to black. It's classic, flattering and goes with anything (is what I tell myself when I'm putting back that bright orange top in favour of a black one)! So today, I thought I'd do a little pre-spring fashion wishlist, with some of my favourite monochrome bits and pieces from some of my favourite places to shop. I know we're into April now (whaaat?!) but I put this wishlist together a week or so ago, hence the "March 2015" caption!


ASOS PETITE Mono Aztec Print Peg - ASOS - £22.00

Aztec Jacquard Shift Dress - Topshop - £70.00

White Winged Mini Tote Bag - New Look - £15.99

ASOS Knitted Vest With Lace Hem - ASOS - £28.00

Wool Wide Brim Hat - H&M - £19.99

White Iridescent Stone Ring Pack - New Look - £7.99

That hat? I've been considering it for months now. Every time I go into H&M I try it on, and every time I chicken out. I'm not someone who has ever worn hats, so it's well out of my comfort zone, but it just looks so cool... should I bite the bullet and go for it?!!


Where are your favourite places to shop at the moment?

Thanks for reading!

That Time I Chatted to the Outlander Cast

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post letting you guys know how excited I was that Outlander was finally making its way over here to the UK, courtesy of Amazon Instant Video. Well - last night I finally sat down and watched the first episode, and it did not disappoint!!

I know I might be a tiny bit biased, but this has to be one of the most visually stunning shows I've seen in a very long time. I have a lot of love for the part of the world where this is filmed (which I've mentioned in many previous posts, and which will become important later in this post), but my emotional attachment aside, the Scottish landscape just looks so beautiful. It isn't just the gorgeous backdrop that makes this so lovely to look at though. Everything about the way this show is filmed is just beautiful - the lighting, the costumes, the camera movements - I actually had to pause it at one point to screen shot a couple of moments that just took my breath away... observe...


I don't want to give too much away, but in the first episode we meet Claire (Caitriona Balfe), our leading lady who finds herself transported back in time from 1945 to 1743. There is an amazing magical feel to this first episode, which is right up my street, and we are introduced to a number of main characters over the course of the episode, including Jamie Fraser, played by Sam Heughan. It grips your attention instantly, and I'm very much looking forward to watching episode two!

This post, however, is not just a rave review of the first episode, but a little anecdote to fill you all in on something that happened last week! Picture the scene - I'm sitting at my desk, editing a video, when an email pings into my inbox inviting me to participate in a blogger conference call with two of the Outlander cast members! Cue much excitement/preparation of my question.

The chance to chat to Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe was an amazing opportunity, and honestly, they were just lovely. A number of bloggers took part, and so there was only time for one question each. As a Scottish blogger/vlogger, talking to the cast of a show located in Scotland, I had one very obvious question in my mind - I wanted to know how they had enjoyed the experience of filming up North in the beautiful Highlands.

Before we continue, there are two things you should know about me - one, I have phone fear. This is something I think I'll write a whole post on at some point, as I know it is something which is more common than you would imagine! Sit me in front of a camera and I'll chat as if I'm talking to my oldest friend. Send me into a face to face meeting or interview with a stranger, and I keep my cool. Put me on the phone, and for whatever reason, the nerves just take hold. Secondly, I believe in being enthusiastic about things in life. So if I like something, I really like it, and there's no holding back.

Anyway, let's get back to it. I sat listening to the other participants on the call asking their questions, and Sam and Caitriona giving some really great answers. They discussed whether the love scenes or fight scenes take longer to choreograph (love scenes, being the answer to that one), how they would explain Outlander to someone who hasn't watched it before - "a really great adventure, filled with historical drama, romance and fantasy" (Caitriona Balfe) and how it feels to be bringing the show home to the UK now that it's available on Amazon Instant Video.

And then it was my turn. The person before me had asked a question relating to Scotland, and so I had a nice straightforward transition into mine. I asked how they enjoyed the experience of filming up in the Highlands, and the following exchange took place:

Caitriona Balfe: Oh, it was amazing. I mean we moved the whole company up there, near Aviemore-

Lynsey: Oh, that's literally - I'm not joking, that's literally like my home from home, it's my favourite place in the world!!

That's right folks. I fangirled all over her answer. And not in "hi, I'm a huge fan of your show" style fangirling - I fangirled over a town in the Highlands. The transcript of the call does not do justice to the squeal of excitement I gave at the mention of Aviemore.

While I tried to block out the past ten seconds of my life, Caitriona and Sam gave this lovely answer to my question:

Caitriona Balfe: Yeah, it’s so beautiful. And we shot up there for almost two weeks and it was, honestly, such a special time. And for the most part the weather was very kind to us when we were up there; cold, but sunny and clear. But yeah, that’s been one of the greatest things about this job for me is really getting to explore Scotland and see how beautiful it is first hand. But I feel really great that we’re able to, sort of, bring that to a wider audience as well and show Scotland off in its best light.

Sam Heughan: Yeah. I really enjoyed going up to Kinloch Rannoch, which we shot a few times – that’s where the standing stones are – and it’s just terrific every time we go up, isn’t it? And it feels like a little family outing; everyone gets to go out and all the crew stay in the same hotels. Yeah, it’s really good fun.

Putting aside my moment of fangirling, it was amazing to hear these actors talk about the show firsthand. It's clear that they are incredibly passionate about their characters. One of my favourite moments in the call was when Caitriona and Sam gave these answers to a question from Ginger Wiseman, from Outlander Podcast. She asked what the most rewarding part of playing these characters was, and they said:

Caitriona Balfe: Wow, the most rewarding part of playing her? I think it’s honestly seeing how much this character has touched so many people’s lives. As an actor you hope that you get chance to play great characters and this definitely is one, and it has been such a dream playing her. But the unexpected side effects of that are seeing all of these women across the world who have been really touched by having the book in their lives or, they’ve met each other through the friendships that they’ve sparked over the books, and seeing them get together and really support each other, that’s been really amazing.

Sam Heughan: I think Jamie Fraser is – it’s certainly the bit about Scotland that’s been a joy to be able to, sort of, bring the culture of Scotland –an authentic one too, sort of, probably for the first time – to film and TV, and share it with the rest of the world, I think is one of my proudest moments.

So thank you so much to Sam and Caitriona for taking the time to answer our questions and giving us a bit of real insight into what it has been like working on the show, and thanks so much to Amazon Instant Video for inviting me to take part!

Outlander is available on Amazon Instant Video now! Have you been watching? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

How to Make a YouTube End Card!

Monday, 30 March 2015

Hello all, and happy Monday!

Today I thought I'd do a post on something I loved finding out how to do, and that is make a YouTube end card. You know the clip at the end of a YouTube video with the clickable links to subscribe or watch another video? In my early days of YouTube I hadn't the faintest idea how to go about this, so when I got more serious about my channel, I decided it was something I needed to teach myself! This particular post talks you through the process on iMovie, because that's what I use to edit my videos - I'm not sure how much the process differs on other editing suites, but I'm sure somewhere out there someone will have made a post on that!

So, you've reached the end of your video, said your goodbyes, and you're ready to make your end card...

STEP 1: Insert either a "Title" clip, or a Picture.

If you want to keep things basic, just insert a title clip, the way you would if you were popping a title at the start of your video. This way, you can either leave it blank, or insert a bit of text to say "subscribe" or "my last video" - whatever it is you want to link your viewers to!


If you want to make it a little fancier, pop into photoshop or paint, or even a website like Picmonkey, and create a little endcard image for yourself - this is a bit more fun! You can then include whatever you like in it - I have a subscribe button, icons showing all the social platforms I use (twitter, instagram, bloglovin, etc!) and a bit of text to indicate that they might like my last video too! Leave enough blank space on the image that you can insert your video clip.


To insert it as an image, make sure you import your end card into iPhoto - that's where iMovie sources images from! Just click the little camera icon, select your image and drag it onto your project!


STEP 2: Insert Clip

Once you have inserted that into your project, select the bit of footage you want to add on to the end card! That might be a clip of a related video (if it's a haul, you might want to link back to your last haul), or maybe just your last upload! I usually aim for a clip that lasts ten to fifteen seconds.

Drag the clip on top of the end card image - iMovie will then ask what you want to insert it as. At this point, choose "Picture in Picture".


The clip will then appear on your end card - drag it into place, and resize it to fit.



STEP 3: Export your video and Upload to YouTube

Now you're ready to export and upload your video as usual!


STEP 4: Edit Annotations

Once your video has uploaded, select the "Annotations" button from the editing bar under your video. Skip to your end card, and click on the "Spotlight" option from the "Add Annotation" dropdown menu.



A transparent box will then appear on your video. Drag this box over the clip you have inserted, or the "subscribe" button you have included.


Click the little box beside the word link, and YouTube will bring up a box to let you choose what you're going to be linking to. This has options which include video, channel, subscribe, Google+ Profile, and playlist.


Click on the relevant word and insert the relevant link - if you're linking to the subscribe button on your channel, link to your channel, or insert the youtube.com/ address of whatever video you're sending them to!


You can insert multiple spotlight links, so repeat this process as many times as you need to.

Be sure to click save and apply changes.


And you're done! You've made a perfect end card to keep your viewers watching your content!


I really hope that was useful for some of you - I know I was certainly thrilled when I learnt how to do it!

Thanks so much for reading guys, and hope you have a great Monday! Be sure to send this link to any vloggers/YouTubers you know who might find it useful :)

Insta-Life Update #3

Friday, 27 March 2015

After yesterday's My Favourite Instagram Accounts post, I realised it's been a ridiculously long time since I did one of my insta-life update posts! So I decided that's what I'd do today.

Instagram is just the nicest (and quickest!) way of capturing a moment. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I definitely think it makes you appreciate the little things more. I wish I'd done one of these posts back at Christmas time - I went on an instagram binge in December, because everything just looked so lovely all decked out in Christmas lights and festive decorations. Alas, I did not, so we'll have to make do with a few snaps from February/March!

Top row L-R - Rory, Radley, Ice Cream
Middle row L-R - Shopping, Dylan Moran, Quotes
Bottom row L-R - Harvey Nics, Catch Ups, Movie Night

Back in February we got a new hamster - his name is Rory and he is a mad little ball of fur who is constantly entertaining us. He started off seriously timid, and he still occasionally jumps at his own shadow for no apparent reason, but he has also mastered climbing the wallpaper and curtains, like an intrepid explorer. This means you really can't take your eye off him for a minute, but he's so cute he can get away with anything.

Roisin and I went along to an event at the Radley store in Edinburgh, which was lovely - my post on that has been totally delayed, but look out for a full post on that soon! The handbags were absolutely beautiful. We then met a few of our lovely Edinburgh blogger pals for dinner and a catch up, which is always fun.

This is a random one, but this photo proved to be far more popular than I had expected! I took a snap of this Cadburys Marvellous Creations Fairground Candy Crunch Ice Cream, and people seemed to be very excited about it. It is absolutely delicious, by the way.

I went for a browse in New Look a couple of weeks ago and they had so many lovely things I wanted to buy!! Sadly I had to think about my bank balance and went home empty handed, but I did instagram this snap of me in one of the dresses I really liked, and people were very, very nice about it. I'm not one for posting any sort of fashion related photos, I don't do OOTDs or anything, but I can't lie - I definitely got a wee ego boost on this occasion, so thank you to the lovely people who left lovely comments!

Emma and I went to see Dylan Moran last week in the Clyde Auditorium and he was just as funny as he always is. He is my favourite comedian. Black Books is one my favourite TV shows of all time, and I have a boxset of his stand up shows which I dig out any time I need a good laugh. I'd only seen him live once before, so it was a total joy to get to experience his amazing humour in person again. We laughed till we cried: my personal favourite bits included the line "there are only four ages of human - child, failure, old and dead", and his reading of his own version of Fifty Shades of Grey. It was genius.

I've still been keeping up with my Sunday night quotes as a little bit of inspiration for the start of the week :) I'm so pleased I've kept this up.

Roisin and I went along to Harvey Nichols in Edinburgh for a beauty event a couple of weeks ago, which was all very lovely and sophisticated! We sipped lots of bubbly, lusted after too many bronze/neutral eyeshadows and I went home with a gorgeous MAC eyeliner, which I showed in this beauty haul over on my channel!

Nikki and I FINALLY caught up for dinner on Saturday! Having not seen each other since December, this was well overdue, so we spent a good few hours eating, drinking and catching up on all the gossip which had accumulated in the space of three months! I do love a catch up with that girl!

And finally, Emma and I had a wee movie night last night - I was desperate to watch Hitchcock's Rope, which I hadn't seen in ages! I love this film, I really do! If you like creepy, suspenseful films, and haven't seen this, check it out as soon as possible! It is based on a true story, which always blows my mind, about two college students who try to execute the perfect murder. They believe themselves to be intellectually superior to others, and think this means they can get away with whatever they want. It is SO GOOD.

So those were just a few highlights from the past few weeks! What have you been getting up to lately? :)

Thanks for reading!



My Favourite Instagram Accounts | March 2015

Thursday, 26 March 2015

If you're subscribed to my YouTube channel, you might have seen that last weekend, I uploaded a Top 5 Current YouTubers video! I had so much fun filming that video, and it always feels good to give a shout out to some of the people who produce content you really enjoy. It's what I love most about Twitter - I feel like it has brought together such a nice blogging community, and gives us a place to let people know when we're loving what they're doing!

So I decided that in addition to the Top 5 YouTubers, I'd do a couple of other current favourites posts, and this one is dedicated to Instagram! This is by no means an exclusive list, but these are some of the people who, lately, have been making me want to raise my insta-game, and who I'm forever pressing that little heart "like" button for

The Lunar Lights

First up is my gorgeous pal Nikki. Nikki's instagram is the place of dreams. A beautiful stream of pastel perfection, with photos of the cute things she decorates her home with, the lovely things she wears, her favourite beauty products and everything in between. What Nikki continues to create is a really seamless, easy on the eye page with some really lovely images. I could scroll through her instagram feed all day - it's just so soothing!!



Miss West End Girl

Another Scottish blogger who has a beautiful instagram is the lovely Lynsay from Miss West End Girl. Her instagram is like a little burst of sunshine on my feed - so many gorgeous pops of colour that instantly catch your eye! Lynsay posts such a fun, varied lot of photos that it really feels like you're being invited along on her adventures. With fashion, beauty, food and fun lifestyle posts, I just love scrolling through her colourful little world!



A Lady in London

I've mentioned before that I'm absolutely in love with A Lady in London's beautiful travel blog, and her instagram provides me with a daily hit of wanderlust! As she travels the world she uploads beautiful photos, from amazing city architecture to beautiful lakes and mountains - if travel instagrams are your thing, and you haven't checked hers out yet, you are missing out!



Being Erica

Erica's instagram is a favourite for reasons quite similar to my love for Miss West End Girl's - it's a lovely mixture of travel adventures, outfit of the days, bold lipstick choices, and snaps of London. There's something really nice and consistent about Erica's instagram - rarely a day goes by that we don't get to see what she's picked out of her amazing wardrobe to wear and she documents so many fun trips and weekends away that there's a steady stream of lovely new photos appearing every week!



gh0stparties

And finally, we have the lovely Kate from gh0stparties. Much like Nikki's, opening Kate's instagram is like stepping into a lovely, soothing world, where everything is soft and pretty and pastel, and you just want to jump into it. Her posts are a mix of beauty products, outfit and face of the day shots, home décor, and of course, her lovely cat, Mouse.


You can follow my own instagram over at @lynseymac1, and leave me a link to yours - I'd love to check it out!

Who are some of your favourite instagrammers?

Thanks for reading!

Pretty Little Liars - "The Big A Reveal" Reaction/Discussion!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Evening all! This post is spoiler free but the video, obviously, is not!

If you caught yesterday's post, you'll know I was more excited about the Pretty Little Liars Season 5 finale than would be deemed healthy.

ANYWAY, I stayed up until quarter past two this morning waiting in vain for it to appear on Netflix. Eventually, I gave up and went to sleep, and got up bright and early today to watch it with my breakfast. I also live-vlogged my reaction, something I'd been planning to do for weeks!

To my dismay, my camera didn't co-operate and the live reaction footage is out of focus *cries*. So, far less of the actual reaction is included in the video than I had planned, but I have a good old perfectly focused (in terms of the camera, not my thought process) chat about it once the episode is over. I don't know about you, but I'm already horrified at the thought of having to wait until the end of summer to find out what happens next!!

I LOVE filming these - Emma and I did an X-Factor live vlog in October and it was so much fun. I'm definitely going to do more "reacting to" videos in the future, and with a properly focused camera too!! Honestly - the gasping, the talking to the TV, the hands covering my face - none of that is for the camera. This is how I respond to television. My dad recently asked if I was talking to myself when he walked past the living room - which, if you don't consider Spencer and Emily to be real people, I was. Anyway, more videos like this coming soon, and let me know in the comments what you thought of the episode!

Thanks for reading and watching!! :)


Pretty Little Liars - What I've Learnt from Binge-Watching 5 Seasons (SPOILERS)

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Tonight, my friends, is a very important night. Finally, after 120 episodes of intrigue, it seems that we are going to discover the identity of A - the man/woman/thing/team responsible for torturing our favourite Rosewood girls for five whole seasons. Spencer, Aria, Emily and Hanna have been well and truly through the mill, and we've been along for the ride. So, in honour of the big "A" reveal, I decided to put together a little post talking through my experience of watching the show, and the thoughts that popped into my head along the way.

My PLL viewing experience has been my most extreme example of binge-watching. I have consumed all five seasons in less than two months, which, quite frankly, should be shocking. The thing is, though, it actually isn't shocking at all. I've seen on twitter that lots of other people have been doing exactly the same thing since the show hit UK Netflix back in January. It is absolutely addictive viewing, and no matter how many times you tell yourself "I should go to sleep", there always seems to be time for one more episode. The need to find out who A is is just too overpowering!

This post is full to the brim of spoilers by the way. Spoilers spanning every season!! So, if you haven't watched the show and you click that little read more button, don't say I didn't warn you!

Monday Playlist #1 - An Imaginary Romcom

Monday, 23 March 2015

Happy Monday everyone! How was your weekend? Good, I hope!

Let's get down to business, shall we? I have a confession to make. I am a serial soundtrack creator.

Despite never having ACTUALLY got around to writing a screenplay for any of the many films I have in my head, one thing that I am good at is choosing songs that would fit really well with any I might eventually write. I think music is such an important part of any film or television show. It can completely change how we feel about a particular moment, turning something happy into something sinister, or vice versa - I think this video over on Huffington Post, which shows what happens when you swap one TV show theme song with another really showcases this!

So today, I thought I'd share with you my current romantic movie playlist. This is for an upcoming film I have plotted out, starring myself and Julian Morris, on an adventure in New York. That makes it sound much more predictable than it is - it is actually full of intrigue, but I don't want to give too much away. That might spoil it for you when it eventually opens in cinemas a couple of years from now ;)

Aside from all that, I hope you find some songs on here to brighten up your Monday, whether you've heard of them before or not. I know music always makes a big difference to my day, so I thought if I started doing the odd playlist on a Monday it might be a nice way to kick start the week!



George Ezra - Cassy O'
Lauren Aquilina - Fools
Ingrid Michaelson - Home
Matthew Perryman Jones - Out of Reach
The 1975 - Robbers
Kodaline - After the Fall
Taylor Swift - Out of the Woods
LIGHTS - Last Thing on Your Mind
Ellie Goulding - Explosions
Alex G - Thinking Out Loud (Ed Sheeran cover)
LIGHTS - Up We Go

I've put links to each song on the name, but I also made this into a secret playlist over on YouTube, which you can listen to from start to finish here :)

Thanks so much for reading guys! Let me know in the comments below what your ultimate movie soundtrack songs are!

Reviewing YouTube's "The Creators" Documentary

Friday, 20 March 2015

In the past couple of years, YouTube as a platform has changed a lot. YouTubers have become celebrities, with followings of up to and above seven million, appearing on red carpets and television shows. It's a whole different world to the one I first fell in to five or six years ago now. So when I saw a trailer for the YouTube documentary "The Creators", featuring Zoella, TomSka and NikinSammy, I knew instantly it was something I wanted to watch.


Quick sidenote, before we get started - I've been watching videos and subscribing to channels on YouTube for about six years now. I then started my own channel three years ago, but only started posting regularly about eighteen months ago! I fell in love with the community in the early days, and the first channels I really engaged with were Michelle Phan, Kandee Johnson, Pixiwoo, Fleur de Force and Louise from Sprinkle of Glitter. I loved the interactiveness of YouTube, and the ability to comment to let someone know you enjoyed what they had made. To this day, I still check my YouTube subscription box daily, but I feel like I have managed to streamline the videos I watch - I used to subscribe to new channels constantly, whereas now, I'm a little more selective. The type of content I watch has also shifted, and I find myself favouring vlogs and chatty videos more than the tutorials and hauls I originally watched regularly.

But enough about me, and back to the documentary at hand. This 30minute film was produced by Anomaly London and funded by YouTube, directed by Oscar-nominee Nanette Burstein, and spends time with the faces behind three of Britain's most high profile YouTube channels - beauty and fashion vlogger Zoe "Zoella" Sugg, cartoon and sketch comedy artist Thomas "TomSka" Ridgewell, and up and coming twin brother comedy vlogging duo "NikinSammy".

In terms of the vloggers the film followed, it was an interesting selection for me. I knew one of them (Zoe) extremely well, another (Tom) fairly well, while the third, Niki and Sammy, I hadn't even heard of. I was first introduced to Zoe's videos through her friendship with Louise, and have followed along with her crazy successful journey ever since. Tom I know more from his appearances in other vloggers' videos. This documentary, however, might change that.


During the thirty minutes, the film explores the early days of these YouTuber's channels, as they discuss what made them start in the first place. It then goes on to explore the impact of their now huge fan bases, how they make money, what type of content they make and, basically, what it means to be a creator. They talk about the friends they've made through YouTube, and how their families responded to what they were doing in the earlier days. It packs quite a lot into just half an hour, which I was impressed with.

Particularly for Tom and for Zoe, the way YouTube has impacted on their lives has been incredible. When asked how YouTube had changed his life, Tom replied "YouTube is my life". Having been making content for the internet since before YouTube even existed, this has been his life for twelve years. He has over 3million subscribers, and you get the impression that he has worked really, really hard for that. He hasn't been an overnight success, or one of those YouTubers we're seeing appearing occasionally now, who seem to explode out of nowhere with half a million subscribers in the space of a few months. He has spent twelve years working away, building a community of fans who he affectionately says are "just like him". He talks about his desire to help people with his videos, and make a difference to the lives of his subscribers if he can, and it feels incredibly genuine, while at the same time, admitting that it's nearly impossible to be completely yourself in front of the camera. Despite the fact he's gone from messing around with the camera alone in his house, to having entire crews working on his content with him, he still seems like a genuinely down to earth person. A particularly interesting moment came when Tom was discussing the impact of the death of his friend and fellow YouTuber, Edd Gould of Eddsword, had not only on his life, but on his hopes for his future on YouTube.

I also just discovered Tom is a year to the day younger than me - which is actually a bit scary. Excellent birthday though!

The film also explores the intensity of living life as a high profile YouTuber - the camera follows Zoe and boyfriend Alfie going shopping, and every few yards another teenager stops them, practically hyperventilating with excitement at the prospect of getting a hug from, and a photo with, the Zoella. She talks about times she's found subscribers standing outside her house, waving at her from the street, or had letters pushed through her letterbox. Having watched videos like the footage of Alfie's London book signing, I was aware of how overwhelming that life would be - I just hadn't given as much thought to the idea that even once you are home, your privacy might still not be respected. Vloggers invite people into their lives through the camera, but the reality of that once the camera is switched off must be exhausting.

I'll be honest - it's quite clear that I am not the target viewer for NikiNSammy. However, they seemed like nice guys, who have found a formula that is working for them, and have managed to achieve success on YouTube at a time when it has become saturated with new content every hour of every day. Well done to them for that.

Overall, as a fan of YouTube, I'm glad I took the time to watch the The Creators. While I felt like I already had a pretty solid grasp on what it means to be a creator, hearing from these four was really interesting. I think they made a clever decision with the people they chose to focus on, in that they target fairly different audiences, and have been making videos for different lengths of time, making their experiences as content creators quite different.

If you're interested in the crazy phenomenon that is YouTube in 2015, then I'd definitely recommend checking out this short documentary.

What vloggers would you choose to feature in a film like this? Let me know - I always love discovering new channels to watch, so comment below with your suggestions!

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!