While this quarter has been a rollercoaster of emotions, particularly towards the end of November, it’s been a good time for financial news and I had a Christmas break with a difference. For more information on what I got up to this quarter, please read the October – December parts of my 2018: A Year in Review post.
Here’s what I’ve been enjoying to help me get through the quarter in terms of music, fashion, YouTube videos, games and events.
Just Got Paid by Sigala, Ella Eyre, Meghan Trainor and French Montana
I first heard this song while I was getting my hair cut in the middle of October and I thought it was a very catchy song. After having already liked Sigala and Paloma Faith’s Lullaby, I was happy to hear Just Got Paid. The video is pretty cool too.
International children’s songs such as those on the Songs from Around the World cassette tape and CD/digital download version
Besides the Spice Girls and other 90s chart music, I liked listening to the Early Learning Centre’s cassette tapes of children’s music as a child, especially in the car on family outings. One of my favourites was Songs from Around the World, which consists of 23 traditional songs from various countries and were sung by children. My particular favourite songs from the tape were Kookaburra because I sang it at Brownies; and Click Go the Shears and Polly-Wolly-Doodle because they were some of the most memorable songs on the tape while my sister really liked The Sand Dance, an instrumental piece from Egypt, because she made up her own lyrics to it.
Videos from family vloggers such as Life with Beans (coincidentally from the same country as Kookaburra and Click Go the Shears – Australia) where Chloe the mother mentions weird old nursery rhymes and the Ballinger Family (coincidentally from the same country as Polly-Wolly-Doodle – the U.S.A.) where they acquired a chicken and she was originally named Polly Wally Ding Dong (now known as Penny Gwenny Ding Dong – see below for more information on the Ballinger Family’s chicken vlogs) have partly made me want to listen to those songs again.
One day when I was searching for, “ELC Songs from Around the World,” I was delighted to see that a user named Jack Marley had uploaded the songs from the tape onto YouTube (unfortunately I had to remove the link to the video because it was deleted or privatised on YouTube). I listened to all the songs and I was instantly taken back to my childhood.
Soon after I had listened to the songs on YouTube, I discovered that most of the songs plus some additional tracks were available on CD and digital download. Upon looking at the track listing, I saw that one of the additional songs was Waltzing Matilda, another Australian song that was written and published over 100 years ago yet I’ve only discovered in November. I have already heard versions of it by Kidsongs and The Wiggles featuring Troy Cassar-Daley, so I decided to listen to a preview clip of it on iTunes and I liked it, thus leading me to download it along with Click Go the Shears and Polly-Wolly-Doodle onto my old iPod touch. When I purchased a new iPod touch with more memory space than my previous one, I downloaded the rest of the album. Despite the fact that two songs that were on the original tape are missing from the CD/digital download version, I like some of the additional songs, particularly Waltzing Matilda, Le Can-Can and Widdecombe Fair (sic).
Jamie Cullum’s Love Is In the Picture
This was the Children in Need 2018 single. I downloaded it to help raise money for the charity. Although the verses particularly sound like Alex and Sierra’s Little Do You Know, I think this is a lovely and chilled song. It’s a great cause for charity too.
Purple skater dress, black shimmery shrug and black diamanté pumps, Yours Clothing
In preparation for the Blogosphere Festival 2018, I decided to buy a new outfit. I purchased the above clothes from Yours Clothing and it’s a very glamorous outfit, especially the dress. The outfit is great with black leggings underneath the dress and some purple jewellery.
‘Let it Snow’ jumper, Yours Clothing
I bought this as my Christmas jumper for 2018, also from Yours Clothing. Even though it looks long on my body (I needed to get it in a particular size due to my big upper arms), it feels so lovely and soft.
Blue and white patterned jumper
I received this as a Christmas gift from my mum. It was originally from Simply Be, but she found it in a charity shop. I love its blue and white pattern as well as its gorgeous texture that is similar to that of my Let it Snow jumper.
Hannah Marie Magic Christmas wreath ears
I already own two other pairs of Hannah Marie Magic ears. They are Elsa-inspired ones and Moana-inspired ones. Hannah Marie sells a lot of festive-themed ears on her online shop and the wreath ones particularly caught my eye. They are very unique and I love how the wreaths resemble Minnie’s ears.
Hannah Marie Magic Sisterhood Sparkle ears
These are inspired by Anna from Disney’s Frozen. I bought them to accompany my Elsa ears. There were quite a few ears that were Anna-inspired, but I liked the look of these ones the best because I love the colour combination.
YouTube Rewind 2018
Although this is now the most disliked YouTube video with over 15 million dislikes at the time of the publication of this post, I still enjoyed it, particularly appearances from Rosanna Pansino, Lucas the Spider and Will Smith as well as references to online video topics that were trending in 2018 such as mukbangs and ASMR. One thing that could have made the video better is a reference to the Yanny or Laurel? meme.
While most of these videos are baby-themed, some of them include autumn’s most essential things, a fun games night and acquisitions of chickens.
Gender reveal compilation videos
When I heard that one of my cousins was engaged and his fiancée was expecting their first child together (please read the October entry in my 2018: A Year in Review blog post to see the gender of the child), I decided to start watching gender reveal compilation videos. One of my particular favourites is this twin gender reveal compilation from the 2M Baby Gender Reveal YouTube channel, especially if it includes a few clips from the U.K., and the third clip really cracked me up (I also had to delete this video from this post due to the video being deleted or privatised from YouTube, so I replaced it with a compilation of baby gender reveal clips from 2018)!
Colleen Ballinger – The birth of my son! and BABY NAME REVEAL!
When I heard that Colleen Ballinger, who plays Miranda Sings, was expecting her first child with her fiancé Erik Stocklin, I was surprised and overjoyed. While I enjoyed watching her gender reveal video in July 2018, I enjoyed watching her son’s birth vlog and her video where his name was revealed in December 2018. Although the birth vlog made me tear up on my first couple of viewings , I loved the name Colleen and Erik chose for their son in the baby name reveal video.
Ballinger Family – We Got a Chicken! and Meet Our Chickens!
The Ballinger Family consist of the following on their eponymous channel: Colleen’s brother Chris, his wife Jessica, their daughter Bailey and their sons Jacob, Parker and Duncan. They make a variety of videos that are entertaining for both children and adults. As I enjoyed watching their series of London vlogs in September, I loved watching their videos in October and November 2018 where they acquired some chickens as they were very intriguing to watch.
Daily Jazza – Meet our new baby girl!
I have been watching Josiah Brooks (AKA Jazza) for quite a few years now and the first video of his I ever watched was a tutorial on how to make an animatic for an animation on his main channel Draw With Jazza while I was studying animation at university. He has also made drawing tutorials and art challenges for this channel. In addition to his main channel, Jazza has a vlogging channel called Daily Jazza where he mostly uploads behind the scenes vlogs as well as family vlogs of where he spends time with his wife known as Mrs Jazza and his son known as Mini Jazza, or MJ for short. Towards the end of May 2018, he uploaded a gender reveal vlog for his, “Baked Bean Baby,” much to my surprise because I had no idea he was going to be a dad again. It turned out that he had already uploaded a vlog where he unveiled Project ‘Baked Bean,’ which turned out to be his new baby, in April 2018 and I missed it first time around despite being subscribed to Daily Jazza too, but I eventually caught up on it. In October 2018, the baby was born and as the title of the birth vlog suggests, it’s a girl and she is now known as B (she was originally known as Baked Bean because she looked like a baked bean on the first ultrasound scan of her) because Jazza said she’s cute like a bumble bee and it fits with their family name Brooks.
Brogan Tate – Autumn Essentials video and Superhero Games Night vlog
I have been watching Brogan on YouTube for roughly two and a half years now and I have even met her in person twice. Even though I’ve enjoyed pretty much every video she uploaded throughout 2018, two videos of hers I particularly enjoyed watching this quarter were her Autumn Essentials video where she shows her favourite things from the autumn such as picking pumpkins to decorate her office space, cooking some hearty meals and braiding her hair; and her vlog where she hosts a superhero games night to play the Big Potato Games games Clickbait, Obama Llama 2 and Scrawl with her boyfriend Benji and some of their friends. The Autumn Essentials video is relaxing to watch while the games night vlog is a hoot. I even made the soup Brogan made in her Autumn Essentials video and used her discount code (she offered the code because she is a brand ambassador for Big Potato Games at the time of writing this post) to get money off Obama Llama 2 and Scrawl on Amazon.
Santa Banter is the Christmas version of Obama Llama 2 and it is also manufactured by Big Potato Games. I received it for free in my Blogosphere Festival 2018 goody bag and it’s the perfect size for travelling. The aim of the game is to guess festive rhymes in three different ways by describing them without using any of the words on the card, solving them by the clues on the card and acting them out much like charades. I played this game with my family over Christmas and it was great fun. I hope to play Obama Llama 2 and Scrawl with them over Easter.
Blogosphere Festival 2018
This was my first ever Blogosphere Festival. It took place at the Landmark London Hotel on 1st December. Although it wasn’t quite my favourite blogging event due to panels running late, a smaller number of brands on display in comparison to #BlogConLDN, having to hang around in between panels as there was not much else to do and not getting as much in my goody bag as I expected (these negatives outweighed one of my favourite influencers no longer attending, which made me not look forward to the event as much as I was initially), I enjoyed the two panels I watched, the Big Potato Games and World Duty Free stands were very good, there were two pretty flower walls for photo opportunities and I met some influencers including three for the first time and two for the second time.
Bournemouth Christmas Tree Wonderland
On 7th December, I went to Bournemouth to see my friend Paula, who moved there with her dad in May 2018. This was my third visit to Bournemouth overall (I had already been there with my family in July 2000 to say goodbye to my grandma for the last time when my grandad poured her ashes onto the sea from a boat ride and alone in April 2017 to attend Brogan’s meet up on Bournemouth Beach). While I was there, Paula and I saw lots of Christmas trees and illuminations on the seafront, through the Lower Gardens and in the town centre. There was also an ice rink and there were plenty of small wooden huts selling a variety of things from Yorkshire pudding wraps to unique handmade Christmas gifts. Although I would have liked to spend more time there, I still thought the Christmas trees and illuminations were pretty to look at and I managed to get some Christmas shopping done in Boots.
Warner Leisure Hotels Holme Lacy House Christmas break
When my parents told me that my family and I would be staying at the said hotel over Christmas, I was surprised because it would be the first Christmas I wouldn’t spend at my parents’ house since I moved to London. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the break for the most part. My parents and I stayed from 23rd December to 28th December while my brother stayed with us from Christmas Eve until Boxing Day (my sister was originally going to come with us, but she changed her mind, so she spent Christmas with other relatives such as my grandparents and my uncle in Newport). Despite some issues with the waiting staff in the restaurant and housekeeping staff and some activities being cancelled at the last minute or finishing early, I could pick up wi-fi in my room for the first time on a Warner break, the food was good on the whole, the hotel was beautifully decorated for Christmas, other hotel staff left some lovely Christmas surprises in everyone’s rooms and I enjoyed watching some Christmas films as well as playing the hotels’s version of Family Fortunes. Because this trip was an overall success, my dad has booked for my family and I to stay again for Christmas 2019.
October, November and December 2018 Favourites Part 2: https://stompgal87blog.wordpress.com/2019/01/30/october-november-and-december-2018-favourites-part-2/
Just Got Paid
Apple iTunes digital download link: Brighter Days by Sigala
Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/track/0v3BMLcwUmAwyqJaf5997o?si=BdB1K-aIQ9mflwtKaQLHeg
Songs from Around the World (Apple iTunes digital download link): Songs from Around the World by Kids Now
Jack Marley: https://www.youtube.com/user/90sKidsTV95
Jamie Cullum – Love Is in the Picture
Apple iTunes digital download link: Love Is in the Picture – Single by Jamie Cullum
Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/track/7MUSG8BL1SVMv4fyfMPRB3?si=ztvU7549TV-fiaIaJtbVyQ
Yours Clothing Purple Lace Skater Dress: https://www.yoursclothing.co.uk/purple-lace-skater-dress-p
Yours Clothing Black Metallic Shrug (currently in the clearance section): https://www.yoursclothing.co.uk/black-metallic-shrug-p
Yours Clothing Black Diamanté Ballerina Pumps in EEE Fit: https://www.yoursclothing.co.uk/black-diamante-ballerina-pumps-in-eee-fit-p
Yours Clothing White Sequin ‘Let it Snow’ Christmas Jumper (currently in the clearance section) : https://www.yoursclothing.co.uk/white-sequin-let-it-snow-christmas-jumper-p
Hannah Marie Magic: https://hannahmariemagic.com
2M Baby Gender Reveal YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8vAiI_9hiD_FsfNq8qMsNw
Eponymous main YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/PsychoSoprano
Vlog channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrbSjN1_5U7hqFKRA0nvFXQ
Miranda Sings: https://www.youtube.com/user/mirandasings08
Ballinger Family: https://www.youtube.com/user/BallingersPresent
Draw with Jazza: https://www.youtube.com/user/DrawWithJazza
Daily Jazza: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5w-zgksiAzee05YOzLYzQA
Brogan Tate: https://www.youtube.com/user/brogantatexo
Big Potato Games: https://bigpotato.com/gb
Warner Leisure Hotels Holme Lacy House Hotel: https://www.warnerleisurehotels.co.uk/hotels/holme-lacy-house-hotel
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored blog post. All opinions expressed are my own.