My all time favourite Christmas songs

I’m not gonna lie, I’ve actually been listening to this since October, but as December has now begun and my Christmas spirits are higher than ever, I thought now would be a good time to share some of my favourite Christmas songs with you. Enjoy and leave your own favourite Christmas jams in the comments below!

  1. Fairytale of New York – The Pogues
  2. Step Into Christmas – Elton John
  3. Winter Wonderland – Jason Mraz
  4. It Won’t Seem Like Christmas – Elvis
  5. Sickly Sweet Holidays – Dallon Weekes
  6. River – Joni Mitchell
  7. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Sam Smith
  8. Happy Xmas – John Lennon
  9. Do They Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid 30
  10. Sleigh Ride – Fun
  11. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – Frank Sinatra
  12. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays – NSYNC
  13. Christmas Lights – Coldplay
  14. White Christmas – Bing Crosby
  15. It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year – Andy Williams
  16. When I Get Home For Christmas – Snow Patrol
  17. Merry Christmas, Here’s to Many More – Relient K
  18. Winter Winds – Mumford & Sons
  19. Driving Home For Christmas – Chris Rae
  20. Merry Christmas – Ramones
  21. Someday At Christmas – Jack Johnson
  22. Joy To The World – Aretha Franklin
  23. Thank God It’s Christmas – Queen
  24. Little Saint Nick – The Beach Boys
  25. Shake Up Christmas – Train
  26. It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas – Perry Como
  27. The Power Of Love – Gabrielle Aplin
  28. All I Want For Christmas – Mariah Carey
  29. Please Come Home For Christmas – Eagles
  30. Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin’ Stevens

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Why keeping a journal is always worthwhile

It makes up for your forgetfulness

Ever had  a brilliant idea, promised yourself to keep it in mind for later and then forgot about it forever? So many creative ideas get lost this way which is quite a shame, but if you’ve got a journal with you, you can simply make a quick note and get back to it whenever you have more time.

Keeping track of things

There’s all kinds of lists you can put in your journal to be more organised: to-do lists, a list of your goals, a list of the books you want to read, a list of things that make you happy for days when you need a bit of positivity, a list of the people you have to get Christmas presents for or even an episode guide of the show you’re watching so you can tick off the ones you’ve already seen. I know all this might sound a bit mundane or even superfluous, but actively keeping track of what you’re doing or just listing things you want to get back into can definitely make life a lot easier.

Doodling

This is particularly relevant for artists who might wanna make sketches of ideas they have for a new drawing, painting or other type of artwork, but even if you’re just as ungifted at arts as I am, doodling is a great way to pass the time whenever you’re bored and can actually be pretty relaxing.

Writing down quotes and lyrics

If you’re a bookworm, you’ll probably be able to relate to the struggle of really loving a passage of a book, but not wanting to ruin your copy by highlighting it or taking notes on the sides of the page. Therefore, copying it to a notebook or journal is quite a good idea, especially because writing something down will also help you remember it – and knowing a few good book quotes by heart is never a bad thing, is it?

It’s just as useful for song lyrics; you won’t believe how many times I rediscovered songs I’d already forgotten about and fell in love with them all over again just because I found their lyrics in one of my notebooks.

Just write down anything that you feel like you want to remember, be it a quote, a stupid joke you’ve picked up, or an interesting fun fact like “Oscar Wilde’s father was Queen Victoria’s private eye doctor” (yes, that’s from my personal collection).

Collages

If you’re feeling creative and are up for a bit of crafting, you could also use your journal as a kind of scrapbook and make collages out of photos, snippets you cut out of papers or magazines, dried leaves and flowers, concert tickets or any other bits and pieces you don’t wanna throw away because they carry some kind of meaning for you.

Let it all out

Sometimes it can be quite helpful, or even therapeutic, to simply write down all of your emotions or worries, particularly if you don’t feel like talking to another person about them. Putting your feelings into words always means reflecting on them as well. This can be great for structuring your thoughts, and going on a proper rant can in many cases be quite liberating, so do give it a try!

Let your friends write in it

Another fun thing to do if you’ve got a journal is to take it with you when you hang out with friends and let them write down your private jokes, draw something, put down book, film or music recommendations for you or simply write you a little message. I’ve done this quite a lot of times and always enjoy looking through all the stuff people have put in there, it’s such a great way to relive your favourite memories with people you love!

It’s pretty much a time capsule

Lastly, since a journal is very personal and often tells you a lot about its owner at the time they wrote it, it will probably be really interesting to look back at a couple of years later. I always find it incredibly fascinating to see how much you can change over time, especially in your teenage years; and even though you might cringe at the stuff you put in your journal later on, it’ll also be pretty amazing to kind of look at your younger self from a different perspective and remember what you were like a few years ago.

How to stay motivated for uni/ school

Cute Stationary

Especially at uni, lots of people just turn up with a piece of paper and a pen which works fine, but you might be surprised how much more motivated you’ll feel if you’ve got some folders, a planner, a cute pencil case and a good set of pens and text markers. Going to Paperchase and shopping for the upcoming semester or school year and picking out the most beautiful stationary I can find is always a highlight for me, but if you want to save some money, you can obviously just as well get cheap stuff at the supermarket and prettify it yourself by drawing on it or doing some crafting with paper. Being well equipped with stationary will make you incredibly excited to use it, and consequently a lot more productive!

Use a Planner

The easiest way to stay on top of your work is to be organised from the start: Get yourself a planner and write down all the work you have to get done, be it uni assignments or just chores you have to do at home. Very often, if you don’t plan out when to do what, you feel like you’ve got this overwhelmingly big mountain of work in front of you, so splitting it into smaller tasks and structuring everything in to-do lists can make a great difference, and you’ll soon notice that it’s probably quite doable after all. Apart from that, being able to tick off or cross out a task after working on something and seeing that you’ve made progress and been productive will make you feel a lot more accomplished.

Pack your bag and plan your outfits

I used to get so annoyed when my mum told me to pack my bag for school on Sunday evenings because it was usually the last thing I wanted to think off at the end of the weekend, but over time, I’ve realised I’d better followed her advice. This might not be relevant for people who have no problems with getting up early, but if you’re a morning grouch as I am, organising your things and choosing your clothes the night before can actually safe you a lot of stress, annoyance and frustration in the morning. Additionally, taking the time to put together outfits you feel really confident in will make you feel a lot more put together and motivated!

Set yourself goals

It’s a lot easier to stay motivated when you’ve got a particular aim to work towards. Thus, make a lists of goals that you want to reach this term to encourage you to keep putting effort into your work. If you document your objectives, you’ll be able to see how far you’ve come at the end of term and have another reason to be super proud of yourself (and possibly treat yourself with some ice cream as a reward).

Also, always make sure to think of the bigger picture and remind yourself why studying and working hard to get good results will be beneficial to you later on. Think of why you decided to do this course in the first place, of how what you’re learning will help you get the job you want or even just how the knowledge you’re gaining will be useful to you on a personal level.

Set aside some free time

Studying a lot is of course a good thing, but also make sure you don’t overdo it and constantly pull all-nighters or work without any proper breaks – you’ll just be super exhausted and not as productive as if you’d take breaks to relax between study sessions, especially in exam season.

For example , you could plan to study from 2pm – 4pm, turn off your phone for these two hours to make sure you don’t get distracted and then meet some friends or watch your favourite show after you’re done instead of studying for 6 hours straight but checking your social media every few minutes because it’s impossible to stay focused for such a long time. (I know I’m being a bit preachy and idealistic at this point, I’m obviously just as guilty of scrolling through tumblr for hours with my pretty much abandoned textbooks lying next to my laptop as everyone else, but I suppose we could at least try to reduce it, right?)

Remember: The others don’t have a clue either

This goes out to people who have only just started high school or uni in particular: Adapting to a new environment and being literally flooded with new information can be quite challenging, but always remind yourself that your classmates are in the exact same position, and that they’re most probably just as confused as you are. Therefore, don’t feel stupid for asking seemingly obvious questions or not understanding everything right away and talk about your problems with the other students, they’ll either relate or be able to help you!

Signs that you might be a little too obsessed with Christmas

  1. You have been listening to your Christmas playlist for weeks already. It’s the middle of November.
  2. You’ve asked yourself whether it’s acceptable to start wearing Christmas jumpers at the end of October, and have come to the conclusion, that yes, it is.
  3. On the topic of Christmas jumpers: You have at least ten of them, preferably ones with integrated fairy lights, little bells that ring every time you walk or 3D snowmen.
  4. You check your weather app all the time because you can’t wait for it to finally snow.
  5. Michael Buble is your favourite singer.
  6. You need an entire room to store your Christmas decorations.
  7. The premiere of the John Lewis Christmas ad is the highlight of your year and you cry every time it comes on on telly.
  8. You feel equally excited about the GBBO Christmas special and have done a great deal of Christmas baking yourself. (How much gingerbread is it acceptable to eat for one person?)
  9. You believe that wearing anything but red and green in December is pretty much a crime.
  10. You’ve already bought presents for all your friends and family in July.
  11. Picking a tree is the hardest decision you have to make all year. IT’S GOT TO BE PERFECT!
  12. You have serious trouble containing your emotions when you see the first Christmas lights being put up.
  13. You already have 20 giant boxes of baubles at home, but that certainly doesn’t stop you from spending your last few pounds on even more.
  14. You truly don’t understand the question “Isn’t it a bit early for Christmas?”, no matter around what time of the year it’s asked.
  15. Mulled wine and eggnog are the only beverages you’ll drink in December.
  16. Watching a Christmas movie at night becomes part of your daily routine every year.
  17. You can still not fall asleep on Christmas Eve, it’s just way  too exciting.
  18. As soon as Christmas is over, you already start counting down the days till next year.

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Misconceptions about Asexuality #AsexualityAwarenessWeek

Asexuality generally seems to be a bit of a taboo topic, which is why it’s rarely talked about and lots of people only have a vague idea of what it is. Since this week is asexuality awareness week, I thought it’d be a good occasion to address the most important misconceptions there are about asexuality and give some answers about what being asexual really means.

Let’s get started!

 

Asexuals never have sex

This is probably the most common myth about asexuality and I admittedly believed this to be true for quite a long time as well.

It’s correct that many people who identify as asexual are repulsed by sex and don’t want to ever engage in it, but asexuals who don’t mind, or even enjoy it do exist as well.

How often someone has sex has very little to do with their sexual orientation, because all asexuals have one thing in common: They don’t experience sexual attraction to any gender, and that’s independent from their behaviour.

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Asexuals don’t have romantic partners

We’ve already established that it is in fact possible for asexuals to be in a sexual relationship despite their lack of attraction, but even sex-repulsed asexuals might still be interested in having a romantic partner.

To understand this, it’s important to be aware that we have to differentiate between sexual and romantic attraction, because not every asexual person is automatically aromantic as well. For example, someone might be asexual but still romantically attracted to one or more genders – and therefore willing to be in a romantic relationship.

Asexuality is the same as abstinence

Some people decide not to have sex for religious or other reasons, which is a choice that is unrelated to their sexual orientation.

Asexuality, however, is not a choice as asexuals don’t have any sexual attraction in the first place.

Let’s say a couple decides not to sleep together before their wedding, would this make them asexual? The answer is no, because they might still feel sexual attraction and have simply decided against acting on these impulses.

 

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Being asexual is the result of a trauma

While there are asexuals who have experienced sexual abuse etc., a vast majority has actually never had to experience any kind of sexual trauma. Usually, there’s no specific event that “turned” someone asexual, most people are just born that way.

Studies have also shown that asexuality is not due to any physical imbalances, and has nothing to do with mental illness. For example, an asexual person might be suffering from an anxiety disorder, but it wouldn’t be trust issues, fear of intimacy or insecurities stopping them from having sex, but simply the lack of interest or attraction.

 

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“How can you know you’re asexual? You probably just haven’t met the right person yet”

Sentences like these are quite problematic, because they basically imply that asexuality is invalid and doesn’t exist.

And if you think about it, it’s a pretty stupid statement: Nobody would ask a straight person how they know they’re heterosexual if they’ve never tried being with someone of the opposite gender, right?

 

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You’re either sexual or asexual

Lastly, I would like to point out that sexuality is fluid, meaning that you don’t have to be either sexual or asexual. There’s also people who only occasionally experience sexual attraction (grey-asexuals) or only start feeling sexually attracted to a person after they’ve formed a deep emotional bond with them (demisexual). However, if you find that none of these labels fit you, that’s obviously fine too.

 

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If you have any questions at all, feel free to leave me a comment, I’d be happy to help. In case there’s any wrong or imprecise information in this post at all, do let me know so I can fix it! 🙂

How Fandoms Can Positively Impact Young People’s Lives

“You should get over that fandom stuff, aren’t you too old for this? Why don’t you live your own life instead of caring so much about some stranger’s?”

This is only one of the many accusing phrases people throw at you when you’re a “fangirl” or “fanboy”, and to be fair, most of them just want the best for you, but that doesn’t change anything about the fact that it can be very tiring to have to defend yourself for enjoying something other people don’t understand on a daily basis.

Don’t get me wrong, I do see where they’re coming from and agree that fandoms can have quite fatal negative effects on young people if they get so lost in fictional worlds that they completely neglect reality, but why paint them black completely when there are also so many ways in which they can enrich people’s lives?

I can understand why the whole concept of fandoms can seem a bit disconcerting to someone who’s never engaged with them themselves, which is why, in this post, I would like to share with you what they mean to me and why they are possibly one of the best things that ever happened to me and many others.

Fandoms as a stress relief

Whenever I’m having a particularly exhausting day, I find fandoms to be the perfect way to wind down and forget the troubles of the day for a bit. Listening to my favourite band’s music, watching the newest videos of the youtubers I like or getting lost in a new book can be extremely relaxing and comforting and works brilliantly if, once in a while, you need a little escape from this world.

Fandoms encourage creativity

If you have a closer look at fan communities, one of the first things you will notice is how unbelievably creative their members are: even in the smallest fandoms, there’s people creating fan art by drawing, painting or making edits and writers who come up with often extremely well written stories, poems or even fan fictions as long as books.

By sharing their work with the community, artists can get feedback on their work, and since most fandoms are generally very supportive, be encouraged to keep doing what they’re doing and make use of the talent they have.

People are passionate about fandoms

To me, having something to be passionate about is one of the most important things in life, and I personally don’t think it matters whether that thing is sports, political activism, science, gardening or fandoms. In between school, university or work, it’s crucial to have a sort of equaliser, something you are truly excited about, and for many people, fandoms are just that.

Celebrities can be great role models

Of course, we all know that not every celebrity is a very good example for young people and that blindly believing everything your idols say and trying to imitate whatever they do is definitely not healthy. However, there are lots and lots of prominent figures who can be great role models and offer guidance to young people, especially in their teenage years when they start to move apart from their parents a bit more.

Additionally, influential celebrities like Beyonce, Emma Watson, or Tyler Oakley often spread awareness about important social issues such as poverty, racism, homophobia, sexism and misogyny and encourage their fans to educate themselves on these topics, get involved in fighting inequality and stand up for what they think is right.

Fandoms inspire

Having an idol to look up to can be a great motivation for young people to keep working on achieving their goals and not giving up on their dreams, even if things might not go as planned the first time around.

Of course, someone who wants to be an actor shouldn’t necessarily expect to become the next Leonardo DiCaprio, and it’s very important to keep your ambitions realistic, but idols can often embolden young people to do what they think is right for THEM instead of, for example, studying something they don’t really care about just because their parents tell them to do so and it seems like a safer option than doing what they’re actually interested in.

Fandoms help you make friends

This, for me, is actually the most amazing part of being part of a fandom. Thanks to the internet and platforms like tumblr and twitter, you can easily find people with the same interests as you and have the opportunity to share your love for something with people from all over the world while getting to know them and finding out more about them and their culture.

Even though internet friends can’t really replace having people to talk to in real life, being in a fan community can make teenagers feel more accepted and less insecure; and having completely unbiased people to share your problems with and ask for advice can often be of great help.

Connecting through fandoms doesn’t only work online though: Especially for people who struggle with meeting new people or often feel anxious in social situations, finding someone who is in the same fan community is probably the best thing that could possibly happen, because you immediately have a shared interest and don’t have to worry about what to talk about.

Are you part of any fan communities and if so, how have they impacted your life? Let me know in the comments! x

Lavender Fields (Poem)

in the perfect world

we’d be lying side by side

in some lavender fields

and talk and talk and talk

 

about aliens and robots

the future and god

memories and polaroid pictures

poetry and art

and about how we both never quite understood kafka

 

you’d confess all the things you wish you’d done differently

and that you did cut off some of your sister’s hair while she was sleeping when you were 7

you’d tell me your childhood dreams

and how much you still love having pancakes for breakfast on sundays

 

you’d crack a silly joke

and giggle and giggle and giggle

and outshine the sun with your smile

 

we’d lie quietly then

not because we’d run out of things to say

but because being there would be enough

just us, floating on a cloud of bliss

 

you’d point out the nature around us

but your face beneath the deep blue sky

would be all i’d be looking at

 

a butterfly would sit on your nose

and we’d laugh until we’d forget how to breathe

feeling light like two feathers

being carried by the breeze

 

the sun would go down at exactly 6:05

and i’d take your hand and squeeze it tight

and be the happiest i’d ever been

 

(Inspired by the song “Lavender Fields” by Jerry Williams and this photo:)

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