Nah I’m just kidding. I’ve been listening to Lady Gaga a lot lately. Her music has always been therapeutic to me. Turns out that’s exactly what she was going for. So I thought why not be creative and transformative while listening to my beloved blond icon.
I thought I would go through each ‘Era’ and discuss some of my favourite videos, looks, and songs. All of her albums and eras have a different place in my heart so none is greater than another. Just as in Chromatica. If you are a fan of Gaga, I urge you to do the same. Here are the questions if you want to have a go:
My Favourite Single of the Era.
My Favourite music video of the Era.
My 5 Favourite album tracks (non-singles).
My Favourite looks.
My own version of the looks (if you’re into that!).
My Favourite Single of the Era
My most cherished single of this era will always be “Just Dance,” as this was my first introduction to her. I was only 17 years old. I was on the bus on the way to college and it came on the radio. Apparently she wrote this in a few hours while hungover, and well, I feel that vibe in the song. Dancing to this in college are some of my favourite memories. Apparently she was literally singing about just dancing through being so drunk at a club you have no idea what is going on. I think those lyrics apply even to our modern lives so, “Just dance, gonna be ok.“
Favourite Music Video of the Era
While I love the video for “Just Dance,” because it reminds me of every house party I went do during my college years, it isn’t my choice for the era. In fact this was her more reserved era, probably due to financial restraints and the record label. So for me the video that has the most Gaga feel to it is “LoveGame.” The leotards, heels and dancers scream future Gaga. I love the lavender hair, the dirty beat, and her references to a disco stick. She was very comfortable in her sexuality and expressing her enjoyment of sex, and as a young woman I found that very inspiring.
Favourite 5 Album Tracks
Simple as, a lot of these songs could have been hits.
“I like it Rough.” – Reminds me of the kind of men I used to choose.
“Paper Gangsta.” – Hahahaha reminds me of the men I used to choose.
“Brown Eyes.” – Such a sweet love song about losing someone you loved.
“StarStruck.” – Very surprised this never made it to single.
Hello all Moonlings! If you don’t identify as a Moonling then hello to all other configurations of being (Wilford Warfstasch). Now onto the topic at hand. Music. Not a day goes by that I don’t listen to music. I write to it, walk to it and play to it. As someone who loves stories, I’ve always been a sucker for a good cohesive album.
When an album tells a story, or even has an overall narrative, I feel like I’m transported to a different world. While there were many new releases in 2020, I didn’t get around to listening to many of them. I think I fell into my familiar favourites for comfort and protection (2020 was a bit shite huh?). The melodies of the Eagles, Fall Out Boy, Foo Fighers, or Janelle Monáe uplifted me when the world outside was frightening.
So even though I don’t have many albums to talk about this year, I will still let you know some of my favourites. I will list them chronologically with their release dates rather than randomly. I would also like to discuss why some of these were nominated for Grammys and why some where strangely snubbed.
Let me know if your favourite album is here or if it’s not, tell me what was your most played new release of 2020.
Tame Impala: “The Slow Rush.” February 14th 2020.
I’d never listened to a Tame Impala album before despite being a fan of this kind of music. This album is quite groovy, with the right mixture of old school pop sounds and fresh vocals, (said every album reviewer ever). According to Wikipedia it’s genre is rooted in ‘psychedelic disco’ and I couldn’t agree more with that assessment. I very much enjoyed it and would listen to it when I wanted to concentrate. I found the beat conducive production.
Highlights for me are, “Posthumous Forgiveness,” and I love the piano on “Breathe Deeper.” It reminds me of the Dooby Brothers. The pumped up start to “Lost In Yesterday,” gets my booty moving. Maybe he thinks he’s past his prime in “It might be time to face it,” but I still think he has something to say. I’m also a sucker for word play, so the name of the album tickles me. It was 57 minutes and 27 seconds of pure joy for me.
When I subsequently listened to their/his back catalogue I laughed at how many songs I knew. Now I don’t think this record deserves a Grammy. It’s a good solid album, but it is much of the same from their previous work. However it did receive nomination in the ‘Best Alternative Music Album’ category, and I wouldn’t be mad if it won.
Childish Gambino: “3.15.20.” March 15th 2020.
My sweet little Donald how I love you, let me count the ways. While he was Troy Barnes to me first, I really love what he’s grown into. His music is not be scoffed at or taken lightly. His acting has also grown which has resulted in him garnering many nominations and awards. These include but are not limited to a Primetime Emmy and a Golden Globe for his work on Atlanta.
Therefor I already adore him, and I listen to his 2016 album “Awaken, My Love!” all the time. It would be difficult for him to disappoint me and “3.5.20” was no exception. He really experiments with his vocals, and I love how he sounds on “Algorhythm,” the juxtaposition of his rap versus his sweet singing voice on the chorus. The album is in his signature groove, with electronic base and lyrical sensibility. The album is often classic “Time” often dark “19.10,” “32.22″, and always excellent “42.26,” “47.48“. It’s unique and innovative and deserves more attention.
Yet, no surprise here he received no Grammy nominations for any of the work on this. This is despite the critical acclaim the album received from many reviews. It was among the best albums of 2020 and in my top 10 of the year. I love to listen to it when I’m writing as I cannot keep my body still. I could not recommend this album more. Gambino manages to be serious, funny and sweet all in one all mighty swoop.
What are your opinions on how the Grammys are run? I have way more to say so if you’re interested I can write another piece about it.
The Weeknd: “After Hours.” March 20th 2020.
Although I’d heard of The Weekend, before 2020 I’d never have been able to tell you one of his songs. Yet now he is one of my favourite artists. “Blinding Lights,” is completely my vibe. It sounds like an 80’s dance song that could have been in any of the “Beverly Hills Cop” movies and I’m here for it. It was actually the album cover, (I know you shouldn’t judge an album by its cover), that immediately gripped my attention. So without further investigation, (I wanted to keep my blank slate in regards to him) I listened to the album.
It became one of my favourite albums of 2020 and probably of all time. I can see myself listening to this in 10 – 20 years. It has a mixture of 80’s electronic vibes and modern beautiful pop. This album is a story that we all know (heartbreak and bad behaviour) but only Abel could tell it in this unique way. The album kicks off with the soft tones of “Alone Again” and “Hardest to Love.” I was then intrigued by his lyrics in “Snowchild,” “She don’t need a man, she what a man needs,” being turned completely on it’s head in the epic “Heartless,” “I don’t need a bitch, I’m what a bitch needs.” Overall the album tracks are strong, and all have a place. The 4 singles from it are absolutely fantastic, culminating in a new music video for “Save Your Tears,” that everyone needs to watch.
I was extremely surprised that not only did he not garner a nomination for best song for “Blinding Lights,” which was everywhere from Tik Tok to the Billboard 100 for weeks. Nor did he garner any nominations for the album itself. This is especially surprising to me seeing as he won “Favourite Album – Soul/RnB” at the American Music Awards. I know that this doesn’t automatically mean you will get another nomination / award. Yet not one single from the album received a Song of the year nomination. I genuinely think it is an excellent album overall. D’Angelo Wallace’s album review on it says it better than I ever can.
Thundercat: “It Is What It Is.” April 3rd 2020.
Thanks to Le’Boo for Thundercat. Credit where credit is due Le’Boo has some of the best taste in music I’ve ever encountered. We overlap in a lot of places and Thundercat is one of those… well cats. This album is both characteristic of Thundercat and a natural progression. His collaborations continue with the likes of Ty Dolla $ign, Childish Gambino and Steve Arrington. You all already know how I feel about Childish Gambino.
I also love Louis Cole. Therefore it will come as no surprise that I also love the song “I Love Louis Cole.” If you’re confused. Go listen to any Louis Cole (I recommend “Weird Part of the Night“, or “Blimp.”). As usual, Thundercat is an underrated, modern funk, electronic genius. I know he is well known, but NOT WELL KNOWN ENOUGH. He has a wonderfully sweet, high and soulful voice. Even just listen to the opening track “Lost In Space / Great Scott / 22-26,” with the minor / major switches. You’ll be hooked. Or “How Sway,” and you’ll be so transfixed you won’t know what’s happening to you.
He is silly and fun on “Miguel’s Happy Dance,” “I love Louis Cole,” and “Dragonball Durag,” with lyrics like “‘Cause I’m tryna smash, Baby girl, I’m a smash in my durag.” Also the drums on “I Love Louis Cole,” are absolutely phenomenal. Then he has his dancey yet serious moments on the likes of “Funny Thing,” saying “if I get too drunk I’m going to ruin the fun.” His collaborations (including Louis Cole), “Black Qualls,” “Overseas,” “Fair Chance,” and title track “It Is What It Is,” are expansive.
5 moons out of 5. Would listen again and again. Thankfully this one received a nod from the Grammys. Not that it needs it to prove it’s worth, with a nomination for “Best Progressive RnB Album.” I could not tell you anything about the other’s nominated in that category so Thundercat for the win! I’m also so happy that Flying Lotus was nominated for Producer of the Year for the entire album of “It Is What Is Is.” Fingers crossed that the Grammy voters just give it to him. It’s beautifully produced.
Lady Gaga: “Chromatica.” May 29th 2020.
While dancing to “Stupid Love,” I’m both reminded of my clubbing days in my late teens and early twenties, but also my later more ‘mature’ years of 25 – 30. Lady Gaga has been with me all the way. I was 17 when “Just Dance,” hit the radio and I was hooked from the moment I heard the block chords. Since then I’ve listened to and loved every album of hers. So while I may be biased, no one can deny that this is just a good pop record.
She has also described the album as written for those who have/are going through difficult times and traumas. That sometimes you’re always looking for who you are and where you are. That sometimes you wished you were dry, but at least your alive “Rain On Me,” and that sometimes your biggest enemy is yourself “9/11,”
Though this is not my favourite album of hers, it is still excellent. I loved the symphonic tracks with full orchestras, “Chromatic I,” “Chromatica II,” and “Chromatica III.” The dance theme throughout is something I can throw on when I’m cooking or cleaning. I also love her lyrics, I always have she approaches her words differently than other pop icons. An absolute high point for is “Rain on Me,” with Ariana Grande. It was my most listened to song in 2020 followed in second place by “Stupid Love.” I honestly would just put them on and dance around the house in an attempt to cheer myself up and move. The music video, the vocals, the content was all pure indulgence for me.
Overall this is a cheer you up “Stupid Love“, empower you lady “Free Women,” “Plastic Doll,” and reminding you that our own minds can be our biggest enemy “911.” I also think “Sour Candy,” with BLACKPINK was a much better than their collab “Ice Cream,” with Selena Gomez. No shade I really like Selena. Her soaring vocals on “Enigma,” mixed with the European disco dance just does it for me. Then the collab with ELTON JOHN. One of my favourite musicians of all time, and I adore it “Sine From Above.” Dance, trance, disco, then that breakdown in the middle. I died. Also I’m pretty sure “Babylon” was a nod to “Vogue” by Madonna for sure.
“Rain On Me,” was nominated for Best Duo. Looking at the competition I think they are a shoe in. “Chromatica” was also nominated for ‘Best Vocal Pop Album’. I think everyone is convince that Duo Lipa’s “Future Nostalgia” is going to win that category though. I haven’t listened to that album so I couldn’t tell you. 5 moons out of 5 for sure, added to my catalogue of Gaga creations.
Alanis Morissette: “Such Pretty Forks In The Road.” July 31st 2020.
I’ve followed Alanis’ career for many years. I was listening to “Jagged Little Pill,” when I was merely a child. It came out in 1995, when I was 5. It was one of my Dad’s favoruite albums at the time (and still to this day), and he played it quite a lot. So when I got my own stereo for my bedroom, JLP was one of albums I would play to death. In addition (as if I’m writing an academic paper!) two of my favourite albums of all time are”Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie,” and “Flavours of Entanglement.” We (myself and Le’Boo) were meant to go see her last October (2020) but obviously that was cancelled. She moved the concert to October 2021, but even now I’m unsure if that will go ahead. She is one of my favourite artists of all time and I would love to see her in person someday. Also she is a twin. I don’t know why but this always shocks me when I find out someone is a twin.
Her 7th studio album opens with a superb echo of guitars on “Smiling” coupled with Morissette’s gorgeous vocals. The her sweet ode to her children in “Ablaze,” is truly demonstrative of a creative like Morissette becoming a mother. Her honesty in “The Reasons I Drink,” “Diagnosis,” and “Reckoning,” is something she is known for, however the music composition on TRID is a departure on from her usual approach. We see both her return to pain and writing material on “Losing The Plot.” She talks about being fed up of having to be Super Women, which is something I’m sure most mothers feels. I also want to know who she’s talking to on “Pedestal.” Is it her husband? Her children? Her fans? Or maybe someone from her past?
It’s lovely to see her return to music. I know she took some time to have her family, and this has really . Highlights for me are “Smiling,” “Reckoning,” “Her,” and “Nemesis.”
No nominations for this album, and to be honest that feels right. While it’s a good cohesive album, it’s nothing too innovative or new on it. While it vital to highlight the topics she deals with on tracks like “These are the reasons I drink,” and “Reckoning“, she does it in her own quiet way, rather than attention grabbing.
I will note that she did receive a songwriting credit in the ‘Musical Theatre’ category for “Jagged Little Pill,” which is well deserved.
Miley Cyrus: “Plastic Hearts.” November 27th 2020.
I love it, I love it, I love it.
While I have a love / hate relationship with some of the musical choices Miley has made in the past, pretty much anything after “Younger Now,” has been of my vibe. I loved “Mothers Daughter,” and “Slide Away.” So I patiently awaited for another full length offering.
She used her pain, passion, and power in the creation of ‘Plastic Hearts‘ and it shows. The way her voice shines on each track is perfection, and it’s 80s rock sensibility hits all the right spots for me. If you have been following me for a while, you know how much I love rock music and this was a perfect blend of rock and pop that hasn’t been seen since the late 1990s early 2000s.
There is not one song on this album that I dislike. From her female empowerment tracks like “Plastic Hearts,” “Gimme What I Want,” and “Golden G String,” to her self deprecating “WTF Do I Know,” “High,” and “Never Be Me,” her clear, crisp and cool voice sells them all. Her first single “Midnight Sky,” really cemented my love for this era. She promoted the release with amazing covers including Blondie’s “Heart Of Glass,” and The Cranberries’ “Zombie.” Man I hope she stays in this lane, I would happily listen to her for the rest of my days if she did.
I can’t stop singing “Angels Like You,” and I enjoyed Dua Lipa’s smooth voice mixed with Miley’s more brassy vocals on “Prisoner.” “Nightcrawling” is an absolute album highlight for me as a Billy Idol fan. They really made a modern CyrusXIdol experience and I AM HERE FOR IT. There was also an excellent Joan Jett offering “Bad Karma,” and her “Edge of Midnight,” remix with the Goddess that is Stevie Nicks.
While she herself received no nominations from the Grammys, “Midnight Sky” was nominated for Producer of The Year. However, it’s up against some stiff competition so I don’t see it winning. For me thought, this is an album I will be listening to for many years to come. It sits in my sweet spot and I think rock suits Miley best. I enjoyed this era so much I recreated one of her looks, you can check that out here.
Some albums that I missed or didn’t listen to much despite liking the artist are: Coldplay’s “Everyday Life,” Taylor Swift’s “Folklore,” Haim’s “Women in Music III,” Disclosure’s “Energy,” and Alicia Keys’ “Alicia.”
Can we also talk about Bieber getting so many nominations for the absolute garbage he put out this year? Like what the hell was “Yummy,” and why does that have a Grammy nomination? Replace that with anything else, even “Stupid Love,” by Lady Gaga would do. “Yummy,” was a tragic, sub-par track written for the billboard 100 and is ultimately forgettable. Then he started moaning about not being nominated for any RnB categories, when other more deserving artists didn’t even get a look in. DUDE! You are not RnB and how entitled can you be. I hope anyone else in that category wins over him. My money is on Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now,” or Harry Style’s “Watermelon Sugar.”
Tell me about your favourite albums of 2020, I want to know. Lots of people’s faves are probably not on this list for example “Future Nostalgia,” “Rare,” “Positions,” Map of the Soul:7,” etc… This is because I have not listened to them. Except for “Rare,” and I wasn’t a fan.
My darling Moonlings! I wanted to get back into the blogging mindset by doing the Let’s Blog Award. I’ve been so focused on academic writing that I though I’d take up Megan from A Geeky Gal on her invitation. Blogging awards and tags are a great way to support each other by creating a blogging chain (choo choo!).
As this is the kind of award that basically invites all kinds of bloggers to get involved, I will leave this as an open invitation. I love reading these so I hope to see some more! I would love to see Lee from Lee’s Hall of Information and / or Meagan from Quibbles and Scribbles. Only if they want to though!
This feels like a trap! Hahaha. No, I am definitely not a maximalist for sure. I want my life to be simple, and I do ‘clear outs’ every quarter / 3 months or so. However I’m not really a minimalist either. I am not the owner of my own home and I live with my in-laws. Some day I hope to have my own house and it is my intention to have the least amount of clutter as possible. I do have a lot of Squishes though, and I’ll never declutter them!
What is your favorite song right now?
Well according to my Spotify rewind it’s “Rain On Me” by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande. However I’ve been listening to “The Hunting,” by Joel Nielson, which is from the Black Mesa Soundtrack on repeat. I loved the fan remake of Half Life 1. I recommend it if you are a gamer, it’s so well made and the soundtrack alone is worth playing it for.
What is something you miss?
I’m going to go with how the question is phrased as something and not someone. This year has really rocked the foundations of how we experience our holidays and family gatherings. I must say I really miss being able to gather with people to celebrate.
What did you wear today?
My new favourite Lucy and Yak cargo pants, a The Doors t-shirt and a oversized blue hoody that I got in the men’s section. I like to be really comfy. I’ve worked from home for years. So a lot of my clothing is comfortable. I’m not sponsored by Lucy and Yak or anything, I just genuinely love their clothes.
Do you have a word or phrase that you may be known for?
Yes, I say “no worries” to everything! Even when there are some worries man… some worries.
What is one way you like to practice self care?
Reading, in my bed, in pajamas, with a cuppa tae. While I have many enjoyable hobbies, for me there are none more so than reading. It completely distracts me from what’s going on around me. I don’t stress about projects that are due. Or that I’m worried about my weight. Or worrying about my family members. There is just me and the charaters. I’m re-reading a favourite again this week. Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart.” Le’Boo recently got me the African Trilogy and I’ve never read them all so I’m excited.
What is one highlight of your week?
That’s actually a really good question and my answer is probably going to sound insane. I love of a Friday, planning the work I need to do the following week. Catching up on anything I might have missed and ticking off what I accomplished. It’s a satisfyingly feeling, and I love a good list. I do a ‘brain dump‘ of all my tasks and spread them throughout the week so I don’t overwhelm myself.
What is something that holds you back?
The fear of failure. I’ve been to therapy about it. Most people’s greatest fear is death. Mine is that I will die feeling like I’m a failure. I work myself into a tizzy sometimes overworking myself. Then I can’t let something be ‘done’ because I’m also a perfectionist. So even though something might be complete and be perfectly adequate, that’s not enough for me. This also sometimes stops me working because I feel like I might never do it justice anyway so why bother? Wow that turned into a bit of a diatribe about myself I apologise!
This year as in 2020 or 2021? I’ll go with the grammatically correct answer. I am looking forward to hopefully getting funding I’ve applied for (fingers crossed), I’m looking forward to spending a quiet and safe Christmas with my family. Finally I’m looking forward to getting an old school Markiplier t-shirt in the mail that’s due any day now from Redbubble! He’s my favourite YouTuber.
My Questions for my Nominees
What video game story is your absolute favourite?
I wrote this question but I am struggling to pick. I love the Half Life story but I can’t say it’s my favourite because we don’t have a damn ending! So if I am going to choose. It has to be the story arc from the original Blood game. I never played the whole one myself. When I was sick back in 2016 I literally sat behind my brother (like we were kids) and watched him play it, and it was wild. Shout out to my brother having my back when I had my mental breakdown.
Are you a believer in the paranormal and/ or the supernatural?
Yes. I won’t say anymore on this. If you want me to let me know in the comments down below!
When did you realise you were a creator?
I think I was very young, like 4 or 5. I loved reading and I couldn’t wait for the day I got to write my own book. Someday. Someday.
Do you have a ‘normal’ sleep schedule? Like a routine?
I ask this question because I have the worst sleep schedule in the absolute universe. I am an night owl, but I also get sleepy during the day. I have a chronic illness so I often think that contributes to my need for at least 10 hours sleep but never in a row. Like 4 – 6 hours in the night. Then 3 in the day. I’m curious because I’ve always had a poor relationship with sleep.
Do you believe in the power of decluttering?
Another thing I’m curious about. I mention above that I lean more minimalist than maximalist, and also my parents recently cleared out their attic and heck. I don’t ever want to amass that amount of stuff! No shade to my folks they were storing a lot of my stuff in the attic for my future house, but other stuff… There was a suitcase filled with ropes at one point.
What unpopular opinion do you hold?
Or at least think you do. For me it’s about cancelling people and not giving people second chances. Then also the opposite, why are some people allowed to continue their bad behaviour. They somehow still get and keep fans / work. When they should really be working on themselves and then come back once they’ve shown growth. A really good example of this is Robert Downey Jnr. He was an alcoholic and movie directors / producers wouldn’t hire him because he wasn’t reliable as a result of his illness. He went to rehab, turned his life around and is arguable one of the most lauded actors of his time.
If you had to listen to the same 1 album everyday for 10 years which one would you pick? (You will be able to listen to others after).
This is a really tough one for me to choose. I guess for me it would be Biosphere’s “Substrata,” because I already listen to it at least one a week when I’m writing / working.
What is the last thing you binged watched?
This can mean anywhere. On Netflix, YouTube, Twitch. My latest binge was “Half-Life VR but the AI is Self-Aware.” This was a web series that took place on Twitch originally. A group of friends play Half Life in Gary’s Mod, and hilarity ensues. Wayne, the guy who played Gordon, cut it up for YouTube. When I tell you I laughed…
Have you ever made a Vision Board? Psychical or virtual?
I am a fan of vision boards or notebooks to keep all my goals in mind. I made one a few years back and I’m hoping that I will be able to tick off all my visions someday.
My dear Moonlings, I am exhausted. Normally this time of year there is excitement in the air. It’s a holiday season for many, with the years end looming. We normally have the feeling of renewal, and we want to set our goals for the new year.
This time last year I was preparing to shave my head, buying Christmas presents and excited for 2020, the final year of a decade. I was planning on finishing my Ph.D. by starting my data collection in February. Which is laughable now. I was going to get a new job, hopefully in the field I wanted to work in. Finally I was going to get back to writing my novel.
At the start of 2020 I wrote a number of blog posts, made some YouTube videos and then I disappeared. Not only as a result of the pandemic, but in hopes that if I did I could still get my Ph.D. finished. I have finally come to terms with being a year overdue for my Ph.D. It took me longer to collect data, which was in fairness was mainly a result of the lockdown.
I actually realised this week that without writing on Thinking Moon for all of you, my mental health was suffering. I am one of those people that needs a creative outlet. The thoughts, feelings and opinions in my head need to be expelled. Otherwise they fester, and then I have a head full of unhealthy ponderings.
Revisiting My 2020
In January 2020, I wrote about my goals for the year. I thought it would be fun to revisit the goals, and see how I did, despite how tough this year has been on all of us. This is for fun, I’m not being hard on myself. Too much has happened this year to be critical of ourselves for not
Sustainability goals 2020! I still have them, don’t worry! I will do a review of the latter half of 2019 too.
So that post is here and I am telling you now it was a disaster. I still think sustainably and I never just make a purchase without thinking ethically. After March though, I completely forgot about the whole thing. So there was not point making a half or full year update. I’ve been eating meat all the time. Did ok with the books, and got the safety razor. I stopped by Jeffree Star Cosmetics because I finally realised what a horrible person he is. My recycling has been better. I didn’t get to plant a tree because we’re not allowed outside.
I will not be hard on myself for missing out on a lot of these goals. We have all had a horrific year. I will be posting a video at the end of the year, not for goals for the coming year, but what I am grateful for this year. I urge you all to do the same.
2. What I will count as wins for 2020? There will also be a list of my wins / what I was grateful for in 2019.
I will actually be posting a YouTube video about this. In the meantime here is my most recent video. I have gotten back to posting there too. Just simple, low key video’s to get the ideas out of my head. This is something I think has affected my mental health, because I wasn’t being creative.
3. I have a list of experience I want to try in 2020. These are a bit scary but worth it. Starting with number 1: SHAVING MY HEAD!
I am laughing reading this. I could barely WORK this year no mind get other experiences. I have nothing else to say other than I learned how to make scones, grew my hair and missed my family.
4. List of books I want to read this year. I have 60 on my good reads but there are 12 (1 for each month) that I want to read.
I didn’t make it to 60 or read all the books on my list of 12 but I did read 33 so far. Might get a couple of more in before the end of the year. Not stressing about it though. I read 6 out of 12 off my list, and they were all enjoyable. I’ll be making a YouTube video about this too. Reading was an escape for me when I had the energy to do so. I’m not sure having a reading goal, is actually helping me read more. I might not set a goal for 2020 or like set it really low like at 10.
5. Everyday goals. Batch cooking, yoga and cleaning.
This year I was home a lot more so I had to cook all the time, or . I did do a lot of baking and clearing out though in fairness this year. Baking always calms me down. It’s focusing on a short term goal with a gain at the end. I don’t even really like desert, but Le’Boo loves sweet things. So he has gladly offered to eat many of my creations.
So what did you accomplish this year, despite all the barriers? Let me know in the comments, I want to hear some good news. Big or small, about what you managed to do against all odds.
Gwen Stefani, Billie Eilish and Harmony Nice(YouTuber) are the first female’s that spring to mind when I think of someone with a distinctive style. To have a ‘style’ is to have a sense of self or even an understanding of who you are. Yet letting clothes define us seems both arbitrary and damaging.
My mother always said, “dress shabbily and you notice the dress, dress elegantly and you notice the women.” For my mother, this doesn’t come from a place of expectation of ‘elegance’ from a woman. She believes they should wear what they want, however, there is an argument within her statement about how you carry yourself.
Today I would like to break down ten photos of myself. Basically where I was feeling myself or I wasn’t.
Times I don’t feel myself
There is no way for me to explain why, but I dislike how I’ve dressed in these photos despite whether I look ‘good’ or not. Now don’t worry I’m not thinking I’m ugly, I still think I look pretty. I just don’t feel, like myself. I think some of them are fashion disasters, which is also fun to name and shame! I’ll only ever do that for myself because I’m not into judging other people’s fashion choices. You do you boo.
This is a very nice photo. The top is super nice it was a ‘hand-me-over’ from a friend. My makeup is done well. This is not me though. I feel like this is fake. The smile isn’t real and the person behind this photo is lying. It’s too girly for me. I think being girly is totally fine, but it doesn’t feel right on me.
Again I don’t look ‘bad’ here. However, this was a time when I thought because I enjoy wearing boys clothes (all these items are from the male sections of shops), that I wasn’t ‘allowed‘ wear makeup. If I wore male clothes because they were more comfortable for me, then surely I couldn’t wear makeup. Where would that fit in? Now I wear as much makeup with my ‘male’ clothes as I like.
Now I’m not sure what I was going for here, but I hate it. The hair pulled back from my face is really distracting. I love my natural hair so why not just let it fall? Also maybe I need a fringe. Then the top under the other top. So conservative which I’m not. I don’t mind showing skin, so this feels weird to me.
I could probably find a photo of me in this dress from when I was 20 where I looked amazing. This is not that photo. The hair length is a disaster. I love the Miley Cyrus Converse but with that dress? Nope. I’m trying too hard to be ‘sexy’ here and again, not me. I don’t mind showing skin, but I’m not comfortable trying to be ‘sexy.’
This is an old one, but the only thing I like about this photo is my glasses. That’s it. Hate my hair, hate the dress, hate the pose and the makeup is boring. Also, I don’t even look that happy.
Times I really feel myself
So there are times you take a photo and you just feel bomb. You stan yourself (am I still young enough to use that term?). These are those photos, and you’ll notice that with the introduction of more exciting lipsticks from JSC, I started getting really comfortable with myself.
This was the hair that Le’Boo liked the most. He loves the colour red so you can understand why. I love everything about this outfit. The cute dress, the blue t-shirt, the hat. My makeup is simple but flattering and this is a genuine smile. (I was on my way to Whiskey Live so that may have contributed to the smile).
Some of you might recognise this photo from my Youtube channel before I overhauled the intro sequence. Again love the simple band shirt (and yes I love the Eagles before you @ me). I’m into the cute hair buns, the Pikachu necklace and the purple lippy. A win in my book, even with the toilet in the background.
So I’m a huge fan of black lipstick and I’ve only had the confidence to wear it in the last few years. As a teenager, I would have loved to wear black lippy, but grew up in an area where alternative modes of dress were frowned upon. By that I mean all the girls dressed the same (and still do) and all the boys dressed the same (and still do). Although my friends were not judgemental I couldn’t take the harsh unsolicited comments from peers in school or on the street. Although I did dress the way I wanted to an extent I was careful to not go ‘too far.’
These photos were taken 2 days apart and it was when I got my first Jeffree Star liquid lipsticks ‘Blow Pony’ and ‘Huntington Beach’. I was so happy that I was ‘bold’ enough to wear them. I paired them with my tattoos and dark hair. I was so excited to have them, and I still love both these colours to this day. I’m a fan of bold colours guys, have you noticed?!
Finally, this photo was taken less than 1 week ago. I’ve come to realise that many types of expressions are my ‘style.’ I love being comfortable and cool. Yet I am happy in dresses too and soft makeup looks. I don’t mind dressing like a boy and I certainly welcome the pockets. If you don’t feel like you have a ‘style’ and this is concerning for you. Fear not. Just do what I now do. Do you like an item of clothing? Are you wearing it for you and nobody else? Then that’s your style. You dress whatever way you want (without getting arrested for public nudity of course), and let no one tell you that’s not YOUR ‘style.’
Hope you’re all well in these troubling times Moonlings. I’ve missed you all. Talk soon. Jaycee. xxx
Hello Moonlings! I hope you are all well, and 2020 is treating you kindly. I had some inspiration to make a YouTube video talking about 3 books I read in 2019 that really challenged me.
The first one I had read before, but many aeons ago when I had only started university. The second I had wanted to read one of that nature but hadn’t yet. Finally “Dirt to Soil” was a wonderfully accurate gift from Le’Boo last Christmas. He is excellent at surprising me with books.
I hope you enjoy the video and let me know if you read certain books to challenge yourself! I am on GoodReads so feel free to join me over there.
“The Forest People.” – Colin Turnbull
“Against Empathy.” – Paul Bloom
I have not reviewed this on my GoodReads. I did only give it 4/5 stars, but I explain that in the video.
“Dirt to Soil.” – Gabe Brown
“Everyone needs to read this book. Not just farmers, or ranchers but every human. We all eat, and our choices on which food we buy may mean the life or death of our Earth.” – My GoodReads review
Hold on let me count…16… I think! Getting another one the day this post is out!
28. What are you most grateful for this year?
It’s only the second week of January but I’m grateful for shaving my hair and having the balls to do it!
29. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this month?
I got 420 views on my latest YouTube video. That’s my most views ever on a video, and I got that in less than 24 hours.
30. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you today?
My mother-in-law came home with a veggie-friendly dinner for me because she is a badass.
31. What’s the best thing ever?
THE GREEN BABY SQUISH!
32. Favourite season?
I adore autumn. The weather is beautiful and cosy but not too cold.
33. Favourite holiday?
Halloween is basically my Christmas. I can’t wait to have my own house so I can throw a Samhain / Halloween feast on the 31st of October every year.
34. What fictional character do you relate to the most?
Really great question, I’ve always related to Tim Curry’s character Dr Frank-N-Furter in “Rocky Horror Picture Show” because I am also loud and dramatic. Hopefully, I will be a Dr too someday.
35. Do you like surprises?
Sure of course! Le’Boo is good at present surprises, especially books.
36. What’s the biggest surprise you’ve ever had?
Getting a phone call from Professor Amr Arisha offering me a PhD.
37. What surprise made you cry?
When Le’Boo got me a Kindle. It was like in “Beauty and The Beast” when Beast gave Belle the library.
38. What’s the best surprise you’ve ever given someone?
I threw both my besties surprise 21st birthday parties and they had literally no idea. It was so much fun.
39. Do you like muffins?
… eh sure… Blueberry is my favourite.
40. Do you cook often?
Yes, I adore cooking.
41. What’s your favourite dessert?
Not huge on dessert, I prefer starters to desserts. Perhaps some cheese?
42. Is there a dessert you dislike?
Yeah, I don’t get birthday cake. You know the victoria sponge cake with jam and the awful icing?
43. Cake or pie?
Pie. I love Rhubarb tart…
44. What’s your least favourite food?
Mushy peas… like… why?
45. What’s your favourite condiment?
Mustard! It has to be English mustard though. I don’t like the generic mustard you get in diners.
46. It’s 4am on a Saturday night, what would you eat?
If I had a choice of anything, dried, fried, NOODLES!
47. If you could teach a college class, what would it be called?
Creativity 101: How to be more creative.
48. Best animated film?
“Beauty and The Beast” or “Toy Story.”
49. What has a guy done or said to impress you?
My darling Le’Boo impresses me every day. However one day I was having a particularly bad anxiety attack and he said, “don’t let the darkness get you.”
50. The best thing to do on a first date?
Get some food, go for a walk, and have a chat. (I’m looking at you Le’ Boo).
51. The worst thing to do on a first date?
Go to the cinema. How can you talk? You just sit in silence in the dark.
52. What’s the funniest pick-up line a guy could use on a girl?
If he runs up to her, throws some ice on the ground and says, “just breaking the ice.”
53. Best comic book character?
I don’t read a lot of comic books, but I’ve always found Deadpool’s tendency to break the 4th wall hilarious. So yeah, Deadpool.
54. What are three things that are always in your purse?
A book, lip balm and water.
55. Favourite drink?
Water for every day, Spanish red wine for occasions.
56. If you could play a historical figure in a movie who would it be?
Slyvia Plath. I love her and she was such a tortured soul, I feel like I could really portray that. (I’m so emo).
57. Kittens or puppies?
So tough but probably kittens.
58. Tell me your favourite sushi roll?
I don’t have one, I’ve only ever had California rolls.
59. What kind of lipstick do you use?
Liquid Lippy preferably. I love purple on myself. Especially the kind with grey undertones. I also prefer matte lipsticks.
60. What kind of foundation do you use?
Boots own brand No7. It’s not full coverage it’s more like a tinted moisturiser with SPF. Sometimes I use Wet N Wild but it’s not great. Actually do anyone you have a medium coverage foundation that lasts? Suggestions in the comments.
61. Blow-dry or air dry?
I rarely blow-dry my hair.
62. Who is your fashion icon?
I’m really feeling Billie Eilish at the moment, comfortable, androgenous and loud.
63. Favourite Disney Character?
This is really tough for me. I have Buzz Lightyear tattooed on my leg, but I’ve always loved loved loved Mulan. I’ll give it to Mulan because I love a strong female character.
64. What are you doing tomorrow?
It’s Saturday so having a chilled out morning with Le’Boo.
65. A movie you laughed the hardest through?
I saw “Step Brothers” in the cinema and I nearly peed my pants I laughed so much.
66. A movie that made you cry?
“Steel Magnolias.” I watch it with my Mama and it makes us cry every time.
67. If you could sing a duet with someone, who would it be?
With Le’Boo! We could sing “don’t’ go breakin’ my heart.”
68. If your life was a song, what would the title be?
69. What’s your favourite animal?
I’ve always loved pigs.
70. Favourite illustrator?
I’ve always loved Bill Watterson and his Calvin and Hobbs series. I have loads of the books.
71. A person you want to have coffee with?
72. What country do you wish to visit?
Le’Boo and I are dying to visit Japan!
73. Best way to decompress?
Reading in bed. My favourite past-time.
I forgot to nominate people for the tag because I am a dopey dope!
Hello, fellow bookworms! I see you there! You’re the people who bring books with them wherever they go. (They’re like having a friend with you). The ones whose TBR pile is getting out of hand. The ones who could have a tidy house if it wasn’t for all your books!
Last year I managed to read 49 non-academic books. So this year I stuck my challenge at 60 because I think that’s plausible.
I decided that I wanted 12 of those books will to be a self-help / inspiring / science / sustainability-related. These are all things I’m interested in but I’m less likely to pick up these books than say, a Stephen King novel.
Come join me on Goodreads and set yourself a goal, even if it’s 3 books. Tell me just one book you want to read this year, or more if you have ideas! Without further ado, here are my 12 must-reads for 2020.
“No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference.” – Greta Thunberg.
Starting off the year with something short, sweet and to the point. Greta Thunberg might only be 16 years old but she is inspirational. To all those hating on her, you are sheep. You have not opened your mind to her reality. She is fighting for all of our lives, and learning takes place in the world. Not just in school.
As I write this, this book is not yet in my possession. I had to pre-order this book because it was not out until January this year. Madeleine is one of my favourite YouTubers, I’ve learned so much from her on my sustainability journey.
When she told us she was writing a book I genuinely felt relieved. Here is a guide that I can hold in my hand to simplify my life.
Also, Madeleine and Alex just got engaged. She’ll never read this but I just wanted to wish them congratulations and all the best in their journey. They are a gorgeous couple and deserve all the happiness. I hope Roxie is at the wedding!!!
“A Mind of Your Own.” – Kelly Brogan, MD. Another gift from the glorious Booblé Bear. It’s basically a book about depression in regards to women, and how it affects them differently. I.E hormones, period, social challenges.
“On Writing Well.” – William Zinsser. In case you didn’t know, I am writing my PhD thesis this year… did you know that? Haha well anyway, this is a book about writing non-fiction well so I think it’s time to read it. Another gift from Le’Boo. He knows me so well.
“Women who Changed the World.” – Various Contributors. My Mama got me this for Christmas. She wrote a beautiful inscription inside it, and I will cherish it forever. I love her so much, thank you, Mama.
“Other Minds: The Octopus & The Evolution of Intelligent Life.” – Peter Godfrey-Smith. This was a gift, (a trend eh?) from one of my besties Jes. She got me this for my birthday last year, and I actually want to get around to reading it! She knows me so well and I trust her judgement when it comes to books. Also OCTOPUS!
“Clifford Geertz by His Colleagues.” – Edited by Richard A. Shweder & Bryan Good. This is a book I’ve wanted to read for a while. Clifford Geertz is my favourite anthropologist, he has a wonderful sense of humour that I cannot get over. This is a book about him both as an anthropologist and a human. So really looking forward to this one.
“A Life Less Throwaway.” – Tara Button. I meant to finish reading this like in March… of last year… so I really need to finish it. I enjoyed what I did manage to read of it and hopefully, it will inspire my 2021 sustainability goals.
“You are a Badass.” – Jen Sincero. This was a Christmas gift from Le’Boo and I really think he’s trying to tell me something. Also, I love yellow book covers.
“The Kybalion.” – The Three Initiates. I’ve read this before technically, as I’ve listened to it on audiobook, however, I wanted to absorb it with my eyeballs!
“The Emerging Mind.” – Vilayanur Ramachandran. Le’Boo brought this home from work, a likely story… However, it piqued my interest. Look a monkey!
“A Room of Ones Own.” – Virginia Wolff. I read this many a moon ago when I was a young idealistic person. I would very much like to read it again as I have totally forgotten it except for the very famous bit. “For a woman to write, really write. She must have a room of one’s own.” This is also nicely tied in with the book gave me at Christmas, “A Mind of Your Own.” Also, look at my manky old copy of it!
Hello Moonlings, maith an lá, how are you all? Normally this post would come earlier in January however my life was stupid crazy coming up to Christmas. Also, I had to move it to suit my impromptu post of last week.
I’ve made some wonderful changes already like using bamboo toothbrushes and reusable coffee cups. I find spacing out the changes make them easier to handle.
So in case you are interested in previous sustainability posts they can be found here. Otherwise, let’s jump right into it!
So last January I gave up beef forever. I had a few mishaps in November / December. No excuse I was just ill and needed/wanted beef. However, I’m back to that again. Then in February I only ate meat on weekends, which I mostly stuck too. Except for again November / December. Ya girl was sick ok?!
Anyways to narrow it down, even more, I am only allowed to eat meat once a month! So it will be a treat that I have to choose carefully, like if it’s a day I’m going to a nice restaurant or Christmas day for example!
Books. I love them so much. They are my friends, my distraction, and my portal to other worlds. However, I could be better with my hoarding of them. Firstly, buying second-hand. Secondly getting it from a library or borrowing from a friend. Thirdly If I need to buy new for whatever reason buy on kindle or audiobook. Secondly, reading the actual mountain of books I actually already own!!!
Still working through my plastic razors, but I would very much let to finally get a reusable, metal razor. The kind my grandfather would have used. I will get around to this. Eventually.
When the spring hits, the fashion world pulls in the winter colours and throws so many pastels at us. Greens, pinks, blues, they are so beautiful. Do we really need them though?
For April I will be doing another Jeffree Star Lipstick inspired lookbook, using all my own clothes. No new clothes for April whatsoever.
Now I only buy from sustainable companies or second hand, but what is more sustainable than not buying at all!? I will begin at the top of the sustainable list. REFUSE!
This is the month where I finally learn how to recycle properly. Ireland is pretty awful in fairness. In some countries, you get money back for recycling like Germany. No. Here we need to pay for certain items to be recycled. Especially certain plastics. Now we do have
I’m pretty ok in general with recycling. I try to refuse first, so I make my own sparkling water now. Which reduces the need for buying it in plastic bottles, which yes can be recycled, but less is always better.
Reuse, I have a reusable coffee cup, water bottle and cutlery (for eating in places like Boojum).
However recycling is something that still needs to happen, and I need to really learn how. There are a lot of plastics in Ireland that people throw in their recycle bin that can’t actually be recycled.
Ok so April was to do with Fashion and clothing and June will be the same. I will be going through all my clothes and sell on depop and donating what I don’t wear to charity. I do this about 2 times a year anyway so it doesn’t get out of hand.
I want to only keep what I actually wear, maybe try the Marie Kondo method. I am a bit of a divil for keeping clothes I don’t wear because they’re uncomfortable but are so cute, or they are too small and I’ll lose weight.
I am not losing weight unless it’s a result of eating healthy and my yoga routine. I’m not overweight the internet and society just like to tell me I am.
Plant a tree! My lovely Sister-in-law bought me a tree for Christmas from Grown Together. You get the location (which is Lacakamore in Co. Clare), the coordinates (!) and the certificate number. See their mantra below!
However, I would love to actually volunteer and plant a tree, or donate to a plant a tree place, or plant a tree at my home! Ok, maybe not a tree, but a plant. I love the trees!!! They are our friends, and they give us our oxygen.
Stop buying beauty products that are sold to us but really have no purpose. For example micellar water. My make up is mostly vegan and skin-friendly, which means it’s easy to wash off with warm water.
This will give me time to use up everything I have that is store-bought as I am writing this in January.
Toners and moisturisers, they can be made with natural products. I’m hoping Madeleine Olivia can help me out there. I got her new book in January also… Yes, here she is!
Ok now for the single-use items, they are everywhere! Cotton pads, baby wipes, cotton buds, paper towels. Why do we do it, our parents got through life just fine reusing things.
Like paper towels in the kitchen. Every time I use a piece I feel guilty, so no more. A dishcloth is just fine, and you can wash them!!!
Also my darling sister-in-law Nicole also got me reusable cotton pads for Christmas. Here is a picture.
Honestly, I don’t know what I would do without her, she keeps me grounded. She is the zero waste sustainability queen. Perhaps she would come on my channel?
Y’all know how much ya girl loves Halloween. It’s my Christmas, it spooky, and horrific! Love it so much. What I don’t love is the plastic, single-use decorations. Honestly, I’ve been prey to them myself, I won’t lie, but it’s time to invest in ones that I’ll have my whole life.
Like this beautiful ‘snow-globe’ with a crow and tiny bats from, yes, you guessed it, NICOLE!
Ok for real this time, I would like an electric car. Now I know they aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, I mean the electricity doesn’t come from politicians farts. Hopefully, I will be finished my PhD and have an actual job where I get paid consistently again.
We decided this Christmas that Christmas crackers from shops are cancelled in our house. They are awfully wasteful with nothing good in them. We are going to make our own Christmas Crackers this year. Nicole from Mullen Crafts will have to be the creative director but I will happily write the jokes!
I’m also leaving wrapping paper that isn’t environmentally friendly in 2019. It’s