February Favourites + Highlights

February has been a bit of a whirlwind, there’s been a few different things happening and a few different emotions to contend with. I haven’t read as much as I would have liked, I picked up a couple of books that I couldn’t get into and it slowed down the good progress I was making towards my yearly goal on Goodreads. I should be able to catch back up again though. I have started exercising on the exercycle again and my current goal is to ride 10km three times a week.

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Melanie Brown – Brutally Honest – I was a little a young to remember the Spice Girls in their hey day but I started listening to them in 2007 when they reunited. I have always liked Mel B’s deep Leeds accent and fierce personality. I’d read her first book Catch a Fire a number of years ago and over the past few years I have heard stories about her second husband and their marriage in the media. Until I read this book I didn’t know the full extent of what went on and the amount of adoration I have for what she put up with went up tenfold. The title is clever, not only is Melanie blunt and honest but it also reflects how much she had to endure to come out the other side. This was a gripping read and there was a lot going on that people didn’t realise.

(The book doesn’t appear in the main image as I borrowed it from work).

2. Tanya Burr Selfie Lash Mascara – This mascara was sent to me by Dannii and I really like it! I’m not usually a fan of rubber wands and prefer natural bristles but this one isn’t flimsy and the bristles really get into all the lashes. One coat of this is perfect for an everyday look but two coats is what I like to go for. This mascara reapplies nicely as well and doesn’t make existing coats that have been applied earlier in the day look clumpy. The formula is not smudgy and wet which I like and it’ll be interesting to see if the formula stays like this or if it changes. The shiny gold packing is pretty too.

3. MAC Viva Glam II – Some days you can’t beat a beautiful nude lipstick. Viva Glam II has a satin finish and is described as a pinky mauve colour which is accurate. Pink nudes suit me better than brown and this particular shade is like a cross between a few other MAC shades in my collection; it’s like Blankety, Hug Me and Brave rolled into one. If you like any of those I’m sure you’ll like this! As this is part of the Viva Glam range, money from these lipsticks goes to the Aids Fund. Viva Glam shades also have a distinguishable red band around the middle of the casing so you can tell them apart.

4. Victoria’s Secret Vanilla Lace Body Lotion – Body lotion is one of my favourite products to apply on a daily basis. I usually buy lotions from The Body Shop as I find their scents last all day and don’t irritate my skin. I do however prefer body lotions that come in a squeeze tube like this or in a bottle with a flip top lid. I have used lotions from The Body Shop in the past that have a pump but some of the product tends to get wasted. I hadn’t tried Victoria’s Secret body lotion before, this scent is a mix of vanilla and musk and it smells really lovely on my skin. It is similar to the Vanilla Chai scent The Body Shop released a few years ago which I also loved. I would like to try more lotions from Victoria’s Secret in future so if you have any suggestions, let me know!

February Highlights

  • I purchased a baker boy cap. I tried one on in a shop as a joke but I really like how it looked. Can’t wait to wear it properly!
  • My signed copy of Claire Richard’s album ‘My Wildest Dreams’ arrived.
  • On Valentine’s Day I picked up a parcel Nadine sent me. Everything is so sweet!
  • One of the girls I work with brought me back a gift from her travels.
  • I had a really lovely dinner date during the last weekend in February.

 

February’s Spotify Playlist:


How was your month? Share something you have been loving or one of your highlights in the comments!

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Playlist: 21 Songs In 21 Years


Hey everyone – welcome to the second of my special birthday posts! Music is such a big part of my everyday life and I came up with the idea to compile a list of 21 songs into a playlist, each one representing a year I’ve been alive. These are all songs that I have loved since I was little and songs that are special to me. The playlist will be broken down step by step and I’ll explain why I chose each track.

Rules: In order to be considered, each song had to be released as a single or feature on an album in the year it corresponds to.

#1. 1995: Shania Twain – (If You’re Not In It For Love) I’m Outta Here!

I chose this song as the first track as it is a great way to kick off the playlist and 1995 was the year big things started happening for Shania. The album this track is from was released just two weeks after I was born. Shania is a huge inspiration to me and her music has always stayed with me throughout the years.

#2. 1996: Spice Girls – Wannabe

Who doesn’t love a bit of girl power? Wannabe is a song that makes me happy whenever I hear it and is the essence of fun. I also know Mel B’s rap word perfect!

#3. 1997: Shania Twain – From This Moment On

I know I shouldn’t be biased but From This Moment On is one of my favourite songs from the entire playlist. This is the song that made me buy Come On Over and fall in love with the album. To this day it is still my favourite album and one of my most played albums of all time. I also want this song to be my wedding song.

#4. 1998: Jennifer Paige – Crush

I’m not going to lie, 1998 was a hard year to choose a song for but I did it. The beat to this song is so poppy and up my street and I always sing along whenever I hear this on the radio. In my opinion this song has aged well, it doesn’t sound nearly 20 years old at all.

#5. 1999: Steps – Better the Devil You Know

This song (a cover of the Kylie hit) is what ignited my love for Steps in the first place. Steps hold such a special place in my heart as their music made me realise that I want to be a singer too. I have an old video tape of Steps performing this song that I used to play over and over.

#6. 2000: Kylie Minogue – Spinning Around

Spinning Around is my favourite Kylie song and always brings a smile to my face when I hear it. This song brings back childhood memories of me dancing round the living room when I was five or six years old. Spinning Around was track #1 on a cassette tape and I played that cassette tape to death. I’ve still got the cassette and played it a few years ago – it’s still a cracker!

#7. 2001: Enrique Iglesias – Hero

This is another one of those songs that doesn’t seem it’s age. By 2001 Enrique was a worldwide success and Hero further cemented that. The lyrics of this ballad are so beautiful and almost bring me to tears. This song is special because we all need someone to look after us and be a hero in our lives.

#8. 2002: Dannii Minogue – Put the Needle On It

You can’t include one Minogue without the other. Put the Needle On It is one of Dannii’s classics and helped her 2003 album Neon Nights to become her most successful. Everything about this track is slick and sexy, the beat, the lyrics and the music video.

#9. 2003: Lisa Scott-Lee – Too Far Gone

Words probably cannot explain the obsession I have with Lisa Scott-Lee. She has always been my favourite member of Steps and her solo music is right up my street and the type of music I’d like to make. Too Far Gone was Lisa’s second solo single after Steps split and is a perfect groove for the dancefloor!

#10. 2004: Maroon 5 – She Will Be Loved

My mum is a fan of Maroon 5 so in a lot of ways this choice reminds me of her. The poignant lyrics of this song have always struck a chord with me – the words are sad but beautiful.

#11. 2005: Sugababes – Push the Button

Again, this choice reminds me of my mum – she used to have this song as her ringtone. Push the Button also reminds me of my 11th birthday. I had my first ever birthday party and my friends and I were talking about how much we loved this song.

#12. 2006: Cascada – Everytime We Touch

One of the biggest things that draws me into a song is the beat. While I do love a good, slushy ballad, up tempo music is where it’s at! This track is proper Eurodance and has the most amazing beat that just makes me want to sing along and dance.

#13. 2007 – Westlife – Something Right

Something Right is up there with My Love as my all-time favourite Westlife track. When I first heard this song it reminded me what I loved so much about Westlife when I was a kid – beautiful voices making good pop music. This track really reignited my love for Westlife, for a few years they had slipped under my radar but they were back!

#14. 2008: The Saturdays – If This Is Love

I cannot begin to explain how special these five ladies are to me, what did I even do before The Saturdays? I feel like The Saturdays are one of the first bands I have followed right from the very beginning and all of the memories and friends I have made because of them I will treasure forever. It’s only fitting I picked their debut single as it’s where everything began.

#15. 2009: Natalie Bassingthwaighte – Someday Soon

This song gives me goosebumps because the lyrics are very personal to me. The lyrics are all about chasing your dreams and being successful in what you do. The lyrics could apply to a number of situations but the line, “someday soon, they’re gonna write your name in the sky” makes me imagine what it would be like to make it as a singer and inspire people which is my biggest dream. Also the line, “You know you’re my hero, you’re gonna be a star tonight” makes me think of being on a stage and hearing people sing your lyrics back to you, that’s when you know you’ve made it.

#16. 2010: The Saturdays – Higher

This is hands down my favourite Saturdays song! I prefer the album version with Una’s middle-eight over the single version which features Flo Rida but New Zealand Spotify only had the rap version so you’re stuck with it.

#17. 2011: Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Not Giving Up On Love

I have been a fan of Sophie since the ‘Murder On the Dancefloor’ days and this tune from 2011 is one of her best! She teamed up with Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren and Australian sisters Nervo to deliver a track full of euphoric synths and pulsating beats. I am so glad I’ve been able to showcase a few of my favourite Euro/trance tracks with this playlist.

#18. 2012: Ellie Goulding – Anything Could Happen

The title Anything Could Happen just makes me happy and fills me with positivity. It could have negative connotations but for me it doesn’t. Anything Could Happen is about releasing and letting go of everything and moving forward with the mindset that good things will come to you. This song was also a turning point in the show when I saw Ellie in concert, the whole room felt electric and everyone was singing along.

#19. 2013: The Saturdays – What About Us

This is the last Saturdays track I promise! What About Us is very special to me as it was the band’s first #1 in The UK and it was the first time I heard The Saturdays played regularly on New Zealand radio. Before that I felt like I was one of few people who knew about them and the fact What About Us charted at #27 in New Zealand means the world to me. Enough people bought and liked the song despite not knowing a lot about who was singing it.

#20. 2014: Da Buzz – Touch My Soul

I have listened to Da Buzz for years and I truly believe Swedes make some of the best music in the world, the singers, writers, producers etc. I really don’t know what to say about this song apart from it’s a bloody corker! It is in that Eurodance vein but with Da Buzz it is about the lyrics and vocals just as much as the beat. It’s not just a few lines layered over top of a sick beat and repeated for 3 minutes.

#21. 2015: Ellie Goulding – Love Me Like You Do

Love Me Like You Do is my absolute favourite track from 2015 and I think it really did a lot for Ellie. It opened up her voice and music to so many more people and has bought her a lot of success in the process. This song even made my brother a fan of Ellie.


Honourable Mentions: There were a few tough choices and that meant some of my most played tracks didn’t make the cut. These songs are also very special to me and I wanted to mention them: 2008: Girls Aloud – The Promise, 2011: Pixie Lott – All About Tonight, 2013: Shane Filan – Everything To Me and 2015: Delta Goodrem – Wings.

Thanks for reading, I know this was a monster of a post!

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