Music Musings For August

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Now before I go any further I feel I have to confess something. I am not a music fan, shocking I know. I mean don’t get me wrong I have had my brief dalliances with musical soundtracks and enjoy a bit of top 40 when I’m out on the town, but I’ve never been the type of girl that has the pure dedication and perseverance to hunt down the up and comers of new music.

But what with the recent bouts of sunshine I have found myself out and about a lot more, and what is an adventure without a soundtrack? So here are the four songs this week that have been completely dominating my headphones.

Nicki Minaj- Anaconda

This strikes a pretty different tone from the remaining three but after being a big fan of her previous offerings, Minaj doesn’t slow down with her current single. Although it probably seems pretty obvious from the single artwork the video is pretty NSFW but with some strong female messages as well. Aside from my personal admiration for Minaj’s no holds barred approach to the music industry, the song peaks with it’s catchy chorus and its instantly memorable one-liners means it’s one that will feature heavily in my gym and club playlists.

Bastille- Bad News

The first song of their upcoming EP Oblivion, this has left me with high hopes on their new offering matching up to the awesomeness of Bad Blood, which is one of my all time favourite albums. This is definitely a tune that has got me looking forward to the darker days and longer nights of Autumn, with its bass heavy formula and eerie vocals that encapsulate Bastille at their finest. With a simple yet effective video which offers a kaleidoscope of clips intermitted with the lead singer walking down a grimy corridor, it’s places the focus on the song, while making it impossible for you to tear your eyes away.

Taylor Swift- Shake It Off

The fourteen year old in me will forever be loyal to Taylor Swift’s role in helping me to evade the pitfalls of puberty and providing the perfect consoling soundtrack when I didn’t. The fact that I’ve grown up with her means I’ve seen and admired her development from her country roots days to her new single, which she admits is off the album she’s described as “her first documented pop album”. Although her new single certainly isn’t her most lyrically challenging the catchy chorus and feel good video means it’s perfect for chasing away those end of summer blues.

Haim- My Song 5 ft. A$ap Ferg

Although this song was a prominent feature of their 2013 album ” Days are Gone”, this recent release with the new verse from A$ap Ferg is bringing it to prominence in my most played charts again. The erratic beat which seems to lurch through the song and heavy bass creates a sexy presence in the song, making this one of the coolest break up songs ever. This is reflected in the video which spoofs American talk shows such as the like of Jerry Springer, and with guest stars such as Grime, Kesha and Ezra Koening it’s a perfect mix of the mundane and unexpected which perfectly encapsulates Haim’s laid back cool brand of music. It’s a break away from the upbeat Californian melodies they’re perhaps better known for, but with winter on its way and Hail providing the perfect winter look to encapsulate, it’s the perfect song to blast while you walk through the cold and project your inner badass. At least know I will be!

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A Day At The Beach Irish Style

Childish Humour

Childish Humour

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One of my favourite things about living in the UK is the tradition that every Summer we flock to the seaside and indulge in every cliche. From buying rock, visiting the arcade, the pier or running out of the sea once you realise just how freezing cold it is, no summer is complete without a trip to the coast.

Having been based in Belfast for the past two years I find myself feeling incredibly guilty about having not really expanded my horizons past the city centre. So last week my two friends and I decided enough was enough, and jumped on the train to see what the Northern Irish coast had to offer.

Boy we weren’t disappointed, although there was a lack of cliche seaside attractions, the views more than made up for it. The place we visited was actually a park so there were a variety of walks and hiking trails that we could explore, as well as the physical coastline itself. Although there wasn’t a lot of sunshine we avoided the usual Irish showers, and the fragments of sunshine we did get were so potent that I ended up with a tiny bit of sunburn! We brought a picnic and plenty of supplies to keep us entertained, reading by the sea has to be one of my all time favourite activities to relax. As well as the obligatory ice cream van trip and an adorable welcome centre, it turned into one of the best (and cheapest!) days I’ve had in Northern Ireland so far!

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Once upon a Highlighter

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Every girl with a love of makeup knows that for every new product you obsess over one has to get pushed to the wayside. But that also means you get the amazing moment when you rediscover your old favourites, and this is exactly the case with my Mac Maleficent Beauty Powder in Natural.

This was originally purchased due to my complete Disney obsession, along with the Amplified Lipstick in True Loves Kiss (with a name like that who could resist) and boy am I glad I did. Its creamy peach colour means it works incredibly well both as a face powder but also as a highlighter. I love it for this as it gives the perfect subtle contour for cheekbones and is hands down one of the prettiest, most natural highlighters I’ve ever used.

It’s smooth silky feel means it works great for dry skin and its warm pink tones means it work great for both pale to medium toned skin. Not to mention it’s great for on the go travel as it’s multiple products in one. This means it’s become a firm favourite again in my make up back and has gotten me excited to rediscover all the other forgotten gems in my makeup bag just in time for autumn!

The Best Cookies In All The Land

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Baking is something I’ve done for as long as I can remember, either with my grandma or my mum and I still remember the childhood excitement of coming home from school to a house filled with the delicious smells of various baked goods.

As I’ve grown older it’s become one of my favourite activities as I find it incredibly relaxing and massively rewarding when something delicious emerges from the oven and it’s all yours. Not to mention it was something that made me extremely popular at university amongst my flatmates. For my first recipe to feature on my blog it had to be something that involved one of my all time favourite foods so peanut butter cookies seemed like the only answer!

This is a pretty much fool-proof recipe and doesn’t require any special fancy ingredients although for my cookies I used gluten free flour so it’s super easy to adapt to any replacement ingredients. So the basic recipe is;

  • 8 tbsp plain flour

  • 2 tbsp caster sugar

  • 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter

  • 1 free-range egg yolk

  • 50g butter

  • icing sugar for dusting at the end

The method is super easy as well;

  • Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4
  • Mix all the ingredients together in the bowl until it comes together to a doughish texture.
  • Lightly flour your hands and roll small pieces of the dough into balls.
  • Put them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and slightly flatten the balls with a fork.
  • Pop them into the oven for about 10 minutes until they are just goldeny-brown colour.
  • Put them on a wire rack to cool and then sprinkle with some icing sugar and enjoy!

Unfortunately I forgot to press my cookies down with a fork (rookie mistake) which is why mine have a slightly more round look to them, but the fact that they still tasted so good proves how flawless this recipe is! I hope you guys give this a go and if you’d like to see more recipes let me know!

Gemma xx