Songs I’m Listening To Right Now #3

So, it’s been a tough week for me. I’ve gotten very little sleep, haven’t been eating enough or as healthily as I should, have seen my workload increase over the space of a couple of days and have had to deal with being several other people’s punching bag. On top of all that, I’m just not in a very good place mentally or emotionally right now. I’ve just been extremely sad, and when I’m sad I like to listen to sad music (in the absence of puppy cuddles), because in a way, it allows me to cope with what is going on in my life a little bit better. For the last week, when I could, I just stuck my earphones in and played the sad playlist I have on my iPod for these situations. So here’s a few of the songs I’m listening to right now, surprise surprise there’s a lot of Coldplay, Adele and Jimmy Eat World. Maybe a few of these songs will help any of you if you’re ever feeling sad too.

Hope you all have a good weekend! Chat soon,

Niamh

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Lately…

  • I’ve never really been one for face masks, but after a hectic work week last week I decided to try out a Lush one, because I’ve heard such good things about them. I found the shop assistants in the Lush store so friendly and helpful! This time I bought the Ayesha face mask (I wanted a deep cleansing one and was pointed in this direction) and now I’m really excited to go back and try a few more options.
  • Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been settling back into the life of a PR intern. I love being super busy during the day, but honestly, it’s exhausting. I’m out of the house 12 – 14 hours a day, and luckily I’m the type of person who can handle commuting and long hours. It just means I enjoy my weekends more – there’s nothing more I love now than getting into bed on a Friday night knowing my alarm isn’t set for the next morning!
  • I’ve been rewatching Gilmore Girls on Netflix in anticipation of the Netflix revival happening soon. I’m honestly so excited to see the new episodes! I think it’s just one of those shows where you find it so easy to relate to a character, and I can’t wait to see what’s going on in their lives now.
  • I’ve been reading Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, a book that’s been on my list for a while now. I’m only six chapters in but I really like it so far. I like the mystery of the characters, and the style of writing du Maurier uses. And as I am one of those people who has to look up everything on Wikipedia, I recently discovered that du Maurier was the cousin of the Llewelyn Davies boys, who were the inspiration for the characters in Peter Pan, which I find fascinating. You learn something new everyday!
  • As I said in one of my earlier posts, one of my goals was to learn how to drive. Well, I attempted driving for the first time recently, and I can confirm that both myself and my dad are scarred forever after it! I honestly did not realise how terrifying driving actually is until I was crawling down my street, panicking because I didn’t know how to break. Now I’m not sure if that goal will be achieved or not haha!
  • I finished The People V. O.J. Simpson the other week, one of the best tv shows I’ve ever seen. If you haven’t seen it, you can read my thoughts on it here.

Chat soon!

Niamh

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Review: The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

This short series is based on the Jeffery Toobin book, “The Run of His Life: The People V. O.J. Simpson”. It revolves around the infamous O.J. Simpson murder trial and focuses on the lawyers on both sides of the case. Cuba Gooding portrayed Simpson, with Courtney Vance, John Travolta and David Schwimmer acting as his defence team made up of Johnnie Cochran, Robert Shapiro and Robert Kardashian. Sarah Paulson and Sterling K. Brown played prosecutors Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden, with Kenneth Choi as Judge Lance Ito. Throughout the season we experience racism, sexism and the baffling thing that is the American justice system.

I have always had a fascination with law (this is the reason why I read so many Jodi Picoult books) and with this case in particular, so when I heard a tv series was being made based on it I knew right away that I would be watching it. As I was just in nappies when this trial was actually happening, I never got to experience it first hand, but this show made me feel like I was watching this all play out for the first time. I’m just sad about how long it took me to watch it – when it was on Sky I was in the middle of my final few weeks of college, so I waited until it aired on RTE and it just finished on Thursday night.

Paulson and Sterling as Marcia Clark and Chris Darden
Paulson and Sterling as Marcia Clark and Chris Darden

The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story is fascinating from the get-go, and I honestly feel that it is one of the best shows that I have ever watched – which says a lot because I watch a lot of shows! The cast is terrific, Sarah Paulson in particular. One of the best episodes of the series focused on her character of Marcia Clark, and how she was basically shamed for being a woman. We see the media and public focus and make fun of her physical appearance, we see them make a joke out of her when she’s just trying to do her job, we see the defence team take jabs at her for having to leave and take care of her children. The fact that people made her feel bad for being a woman, being a mother and the sole provider for her family is just enraging. I can’t believe that she actually had to put up with being scrutinised like that purely because she was female. That episode was definitely one of the more emotional ones, and it’s no wonder that so many critics have praised Paulson for her performance.

The "dream team"
The “dream team”

Racism is a main issue in the entire series, as is social class. In fact, one of the most stand-out moments of the whole series for me was Chris Darden’s words to Johnnie Cochran after the verdict in the last episode: “This isn’t some civil rights milestone. Police in this country will keep arresting us, keep beating us, keep killing us. You haven’t changed anything for black people here. Unless, of course, you’re a famous, rich one in Brentwood.” Because it’s true. You just have to look at the news to see that racism is still a big issue, especially in law enforcement. As is class. Would the jury’s verdict have been different if O.J. wasn’t a famous football player? Most likely. It just goes to show how ridiculous the law system really is.

Many tv shows often include unrealistic elements in it. But this show… This is a show about a real issue that happened, and an issue that we as a nation still deal with to this day. The People V. O.J. Simpson is mesmerising, though-provoking and emotional, and it’s a show that everyone should watch. Watch it for the superb acting, and watch it for an eye-opening experience. I’ve talked about this show with so many people, and not one person has said they thought it was bad, or they regretted watching it. So if you haven’t see it already, I seriously recommend that you do!

Has anyone else watched it? Let me know what you think!

Chat soon,

Niamh

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Songs I’m Listening To Right Now #2

Another week, another playlist of songs I’ve been listening to lately (in case you missed it, you can see the first one here). I’ve mostly been listening to oldish songs lately, the only exception really being Not Today and Shots by Imagine Dragons, a band I just started listening to last week. How have I not listened to them way before now?! I’m currently back commuting, which is why Bette Davis Eyes, Fans and Show Me What I’m Looking For are on the playlist – for me, these are great songs to listen to while you’re driving (or being driven in my case). They’re just upbeat and catchy and are songs I never get sick of. Maneater, Work, 25 to Life and Landslide are songs that I’ve always loved, and listen to frequently. They also have memories associated with them, so I’m feeling quite nostalgic and slightly homesick for a different time in my life when I listen to them. Anyways, I hope you enjoy!

Hope you all have a great weekend, chat soon!

Niamh x

25 Simple Things In Life That Make Me Happy

Sometimes, when we’re so busy aiming for the bigger things in life (such as a dream job, dream house, dream holiday etc), it can be easy to forget to appreciate the smaller, everyday things that make us happy. These smaller things are usually the simple things, things that we don’t even think of appreciating that often, and things we usually take for granted. I recently had a little technology detox for a few days, which gave me time to appreciate all the little things that I love in life. So, here are 25 simple things that make me happy:

  1. Being tucked up in a warm bed when it’s rainy and windy outside
  2. Curling up in front of the fire with a cup of tea, nice chocolate and a good book
  3. Knowing that I’m loved
  4. Getting small gifts from people that show they really know me, such as a new book I would like or my favourite bar of chocolate
  5. Going for a walk in Autumn when it’s cool enough to start wearing a jacket and the leaves are all red and crunchy
  6. Spending time with my part-time pooch
  7. Nights in with people where we just listen to music and talk about anything and everything
  8. Knowing I’m coming home from work/college to one of my favourite meals
  9. Making other people happy
  10. Getting a really nice, comforting bear hug, especially after a rough day
  11. When something I’ve baked or cooked turns out perfectly
  12. Having something to look forward to, whether it’s a lie in in the morning or a concert or meeting a friend I haven’t seen in a while
  13. Getting new stationary (this is one of the things I’m going to miss most about college!)
  14. Getting good morning/good night texts
  15. Hearing a song that cheers me up
  16. Treating myself to something, whether it’s a cup of hot chocolate or a new pair of shoes
  17. Getting a good 8 – 10 hour sleep and waking up refreshed – spmething that doesn’t happen me too often as I usually have difficulty sleeping, so I make sure I appreciate this when it does actually happen!
  18. Sunny, breezy days where the sky is a clear blue, this just instantly improves my mood
  19. Going for drinks with friends
  20. Hearing stories from my family about when me and my sisters were younger
  21. Someone telling me they miss me – this let’s me know someone cares
  22. Getting in to a bed with fresh sheets right after a shower – absolute bliss!
  23. Getting flowers from someone
  24. The satisfaction of reading a really great book that lived up to my expectations
  25. The feeling I get after a really good workout, endorphins do wonders for the mind and body!

Don’t forget to appreciate the simple things in life that make you happy – you won’t realise until you never experience them anymore how happy they actually make you, and how the smaller things can make the bigger things even better.

Chat soon!

Niamh

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Is Stranger Things Really All It’s Hyped Up To Be?

Short answer: Yes!

Stranger Things is an 8 episode Netflix original that is set in 1983, a time when people were captivated by science fiction tales. Joyce Byers (played by Winona Ryder) 12 year old son Will goes missing, and she throws herself into investigating his disappearance along with Hopper (played by David Harbour), the police chief. At the same time, Will’s friends launch their own investigation, aided by Eleven, a girl with strange abilities who mysteriously appeared in the woods when Will went missing. As they get closer to the truth, they discover a series of strange mysteries involving supernatural forces, secret government agencies and experiments.

Like with Orange Is The New Black, I started watching this show because of all the hype surrounding it. I had high expectations when I began it, and I’m delighted to say that all my expectations were met! Stranger Things just completely captivated me. In a time when nearly every show seems to be getting a reboot, Stranger Things is something different, something new, which I find so refreshing. This series pays homage to 1980s pop culture, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Stephen King in particular. The show transports us as the audience to a different time and place, a place where kids still use walkie-talkies and vinyl records and life in a world before social media.

There’s a good range of characters in the show. Mike, Lucas and Dustin are Will’s friends, and they all each have their own personality e.g. the shy one, the reasonable one etc. Their group is thrown into chaos with the arrival of Eleven –  a girl unlike any of her own age, who has psychokinetic abilities and an unwillingness to tell them exactly where their friend is. Nancy, Mike’s older sister, is the smart, good girl who dabbles in the world of the popular kids while trying to stay loyal to her best friend Barb. Jonathan is Will’s older brother, a kind and quiet social outcast who gets picked on by the popular crowd. He is fiercely protective of both his brother and his mother, and he teams up with Nancy to try and find Will and her Barb, who’s also missing. Joyce, although being the emotional mother of a missing child, is actually one of the strongest characters in the series. It’s such a pleasure seeing Winona Ryder take on this role. Hopper is a flawed but kind character, one who throws himself into the search for Will, and is determined to get answers despite the fact that he is battling his own personal issues.

I won’t go in to any more detail because I don’t want to spoil the show for anyone, but Stranger Things is everything you want in a show: it allows you to become immersed in a different world, it is exciting, scary and heartbreaking. It’s actually one of the most thrilling and intense shows I’ve ever watched, something I haven’t felt about a show since I first watched American Horror Story. It was like being in a Stephen King novel! Plus the soundtrack is amazing and will give you all of the nostalgic feels. I feel like this is the most impressive Nexflix original show, and it just proves that Netflix can produce some quality content across all genres.

Review: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

What it’s about:

On the outside, Grace and Jack look like the most flawless of couples. He’s handsome and wealthy, she’s elegant and charming. Their friends all know the amazing, fairy-tale story of how they fell in love. They all know of their perfect life, where Jack is a successful lawyer for women in domestic abuse cases, and Grace is the housewife who can cook elaborate meals and keep the house in tip top shape. They even have plans to take in Millie, Grace’s seventeen year old system with Down Syndrome, when she completes her education. They seem like the perfect couple. However, some might question why Grace never answers the phone, why she can never meet anyone for coffee even though she doesn’t work, why she’s never seen without her husband. This book is a case of the perfect marriage being the perfect lie.

*Warning: Spoilers Ahead*

My thoughts on it: 

I was eager to read this book because everyone seemed to be raving about it, and I love a good suspense/thriller story. I’m sad to say that I was disappointed!

The first couple of chapters were good – you got the sense that something was wrong with Jack and Grace but you weren’t sure what it was. But then when I found out that it was another book about a controlling husband I got a little bit bored, to be honest. I’ve become a bit fed up of plots that revolve around controlling, dominant husbands who look great at the start but turn out to be abusing their significant others. I became annoyed with the characters themselves. The ending was so predictable, we all knew that Grace was going to get away from Jack from the moment that an outsider began to question her relationship.

The whole time I was reading this book I was thinking that the storyline was similar to Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson. This book has been compared to Gone Girl and The Girl On The Train, however, I feel like it’s nowhere near the level that those stories are at. When I finished reading them I wished that they were longer, but when I finished this book I was left feeling slightly annoyed that I got caught up in the hype of it, and that I found that it wasn’t as great as other people thought it was. It was a big disappointment for me, and I don’t say that lightly as I usually find something I love about every book I read. If you like that kind of story, then by all means go for it. But if you’re also a little bored of reading the same story, like me, then I suggest steering clear of this one.

Has anyone else read it? let me know your thoughts on it!

Niamh

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