February 28, 2015

Q&A a Day: 3 Years and Counting...

This week marked the beginning of year four of my Q&A a Day journal. I'm sure many of you have seen them as they've become very popular recently but for those of you haven't, it's a journal that asks you a question every single day with space to write an answer for five years.

I bought mine way back in February 2012 when I was 19 and in my first year of University. Now I'm 22 and studying abroad in Canada and will be graduating in the Summer! It's crazy to think how much I've changed and it's a lot of fun to flick through my journal occasionally to see how my answers have evolved.

It's also interesting to see which answers have stood the test of time and which ones have changed. For example my idea of what "home" has become much broader since travelling to Canada and my answer to "Are you seeking security or adventure" has always been both but my motivation for that answer has differed every year.

A photo posted by Megan Shaelyn (@meganshaelyn) on

I'm not going to lie, it takes some high levels of dedication to do this and I'm by no means perfect. I definitely miss days and have to go back and fill them in but I think the longest I've gone is about 4 days. I've also had a few occasions where I've messed up the dates. Most notably when I came back from America in 2013 and lost a day because of the time difference. I didn't notice for almost two weeks which resulted in the birth of my cousin being mentioned a day early. I try not to stress about it too much although it did irritate me for a while when I first realised.

I love these kinds of things as I'm a big fan of memories and nostalgia and I'm glad I chose to do it when I did as your early twenties are definitely a period of self discovery. I've done a lot of growing up in the past three years and I can't wait to see where I'll be when I'm 24 and writing my last entry. 

I don't know what, if anything, I'll do after I've finished this journal but I'm sure I'll find something to take it's place but for now I've still got another two years of answering questions. Have any of you started a project like this and managed to persevere? Let me know in the comments!

February 23, 2015

Red Carpet Review: Oscars 2015

Last night was the big one, The Academy Awards. For once, I actually got to watch it live what with being in Canada and all and I have to say, Neil Patrick Harris was not as good as I was hoping. Sad face. Anyway, let's talk fashion. This year's offerings were of a very high calibre. Whittling the best dressed down to just five was a task and a half and then finding five not so great outfits was pretty difficult too. It wasn't necessarily the most memorable red carpet but everyone looked great with no real standout winner or loser. Even Lady Gaga was relatively sedate. Let's start as we always do, with the best dressed of the night.

Anna Kendrick, Keira Knightley, Zoe Saldana, Emma Stone, Rosamund Pike
I want Anna Kendrick to be my best friend. Primarily because she is awesome but also I could then borrow her clothes. I like this dress a lot a lot. I especially love the colour, not one you see grace the red carpet very often is coral but one I feel should. The added touch of sparkle is just enough to bring it up a notch and then the hair and make-up which is on point just finishes this perfection off.

If ever there was someone who embodied the aura of a woodland fairy, it's Keira Knightley. And I mean that in a good way, I swear. There are few people that could pull this off. It could easily be one of those dresses that makes even the most sophisticated woman look like a six year old but Keira manages to keep it towards the more ethereal end. And all while dressing a baby bump too. I applaud you, Keira.

Zoe Saldana apparently gave birth three months ago...to twins! I don't believe it. Nope. That is pure witchcraft. How? What? No one who has three month old twins at home should look like that. Life is just not fair. She looks stunning! The colour looks amazing on her and the dress hugs her in all of the right places. Flawless.

Ah Emma Stone how I love thee. This girl can basically do no wrong in my eyes and this is oh so right. The fact that she's given me the green dress/red hair combo that I adore just adds to my feelings which would be positive even if this dress had been in a different colour. I also love a high neckline with long sleeves so really this is just win win win. Can I also say how much I love the enthusiasm Emma had on receiving a lego Oscar? I would have definitely been the same and am wondering why a set is not available to purchase cause if it was I'd be on that like a rash!

And the winner for most improved goes to *drum roll* Rosamund Pike! Just like I'd hoped, she saved the best till last. To be honest, her track record for this years award season probably makes me see this in a better light than I would otherwise but compared to her Golden Globes look this is pretty much perfection.

Chloë Grace Moretz, Laura Dern, Scarlett Johansson, Solange Knowles, Zendaya
Just because a dress has pockets does not mean one has to permanently put one's hands in said pockets. Seriously, though this is why red carpet gowns should never have pockets. It looked particularly strange when she was walking on stage to present. That aside, I'm still not a fan of the dress. The bottom half reminds me a lot of this portrait of Queen Elizabeth I but also a more curtain-esque version of the dress Princess Mia wears at the end of Princess Diaries. So apparently it's got a regal feel to it but yet, I'm not a fan.

Normally on this here review, my focus is on the dresses but when I look at Laura Dern, I do not see her dress as I am too focussed on wondering how she can see where she's going. That is a lot of fringe. How was not spending the entire night pushing it out of her eyes? Even now, I'm looking at the photo and want to tuck it behind her ear. Either that or take some scissors to it but I feel that may be deemed as somewhat socially unacceptable...

Another case of where it's not the dress that is the problem. In fact Scarlett's emerald number is pretty fabulous but even she doesn't seem too convinced by what's going on around her neck. I feel like this may have been a little more successful if the colour wasn't the same as the dress. It's just all a bit much and veers very close to neck brace territory. A very snazzy neck brace but a neck brace nonetheless.

That's a lot of fabric right there. Like I've said, high neckline plus long sleeves? Often a win for me but it is a look that I feel suits a sleeker style than Solange has gone for here. Adding a fuller skirt and then colouring the whole thing in bright red is just a lot to take it. It's just a sea of red with a head bobbing on the top. Also, pocket. Ugh.

I was trying to find the right word to describe this dress and I for me it just feels a bit, well, limp. Like someone just took some satin, draped it over her and thought "bugger it, that'll do". I fear that if she were to move it would just fall. This is also a very mature look for someone who is only 18. Maybe she's doing the classic "Just because I'm on the Disney Channel doesn't mean you shouldn't take me seriously" thing and if it's between this and the Miley route then keep doing what you're doing. I still feel though that 18 is an age where you can totally have fun with your clothes and come on, how many 18 year olds get to attend the Oscars. Not that I have any idea why she's there but that's besides the point.

Well there we have it. Award Season is done and dusted for another year. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees and I can't wait to see what incredible films, music and fashion 2015 is going to bring our way. See you next year (probably)!

February 11, 2015

Eurovision Goes Global

It was announced today that, for some strange reason that I still can't quite get my head around, Australia are going to be joining us for the Eurovision Song Contest this year. Now I know my geography isn't great but I'm pretty sure they're not in Europe. To be fair, they've been relaxing the definition of what classifies as 'Europe' for quite a while. I'm looking at you Azerbaijan. 

Apparently, Eurovision is really popular over on the other side of the world and I mean, who can blame them, it's amazing but it's still gonna be really weird to see them there. They'll be like that strange foreign exchange student that everyone's kind of intrigued by but don't really know what to make of. 

To give them credit, they do seem like a country that could embrace the Eurovision spirit. Let's not forget the glorious Olympic opening ceremony in Sydney which involved Kylie Minogue riding in on a giant flip-flop. They've got potential! I'll be interested to see how 'Australian' their entry will be. Will they go all out kangaroos and didgeridoos or will they just go for regular non-Australian themed classic campness that has become the signature of Eurovision. As much as I'd love to see them enter a song called "Shrimp on the barbie", I feel the second option my be better. Don't want to come off as trying too hard, you know?

The fabulous Conchita Wurst, winner of last year's competition.

I also wonder whether this really is a one-off or whether the Aussies will return. Is this just a way of testing the waters? Maybe the wild card thing will stick and every year we'll have a different country trying desperately to join in the European glory. We're just too cool for these kids. They wouldn't be able to handle it even if we did let them in. Seriously, I've tried explaining Eurovision to Canadians. It doesn't work. They just don't get it.

You never know this could be the start of some ultimate Worldvision Song Contest. I hope not, do you realise how long the voting would take?! We'd be watching for days and everyone would be paralytic from all the "douze points" shots! I'm sure it's just another crazy Eurovision thing that we will remember in years to come like that guy from Albania with the ultrasonic voice and the legendary Russian grannies. You know, sometimes I wonder why we don't take this thing seriously and then I say sentences like that... I love you Eurovision. Don't ever change.

February 09, 2015

Red Carpet Review: Grammy's 2015

As expected, The Grammy Red Carpet brought many weird and wonderful concoctions so let's get straight into with as always with what I felt were some of the more successful looks of the night.

Taylor Swift, Anna Kendrick, Gwen Stefani, Miley Cyrus, Kelly Osbourne
My best dressed of the night won the title before I'd even seen the rest and that is Miss Taylor Swift. I just love everything about it. I'm a sucker for anything turquoise and then add in some ombré and I'm yours. The shorter skirt keeps it interesting and shows of the killers shoes. This dress may not be to everyone's taste but I need this in my wardrobe more than I need air. Slight exaggeration. Possibly...

Anna and Gwen decided to rock trousers with Anna going all out androgynous with some added sex factor. I personally feel she nailed it. Gwen went the slightly less conventional route bit with just as much success but honestly that woman could wear a paper bag and make it look stylish!

Some may be surprised to see Miley on the best dressed list but given her track record I was pleasantly surprised. It's the closest we've seen her to demure in a very long time and I appreciate it muchly. While I would not be one to ever be brave enough to wear such a gown, I like it. It's very Miley yet I like it. I'm as shocked as you are.

Another unconventional choice is Kelly Osbourne as this look has some definite haters over on Twitter. When I first saw this I was none too fussed by it but as I looked again, it grew on me. I also think the whole outfit has actually been improved by the purple hair. It adds interest and stops the sheer amount of black from being too overwhelming. Also, she is carrying and fish clutch and for some reason, I don't hate it. What is wrong with me?

Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Rita Ora, Charli XCX, Madonna
While Claudia Winklemen decided to dress up as a Hershey's Kiss over at the BAFTAs, Rihanna decided to go more for the loo roll cover look. Interesting choice. Seriously, that is a lot of dress, it doesn't even fit in the frame! 

This is what I imagine Kim wears when she's just chillin' around the house with Kanye and North. You know, all comfy in a gold, bedazzled dressing gown which she was obviously wearing while having her hair done then she ran out of time and thought, "bugger it, I'll just keep this on". 

It turns out, there is such a thing as too much sparkle. This look from Rita Ora (totally nearly wrote Rita Skeeter #Potterhead) is very reminiscent of Emily Mortimer's Tin Man tragedy from the Golden Globes back in 2013. While Rita has a little more attitude to pull this off it's still not working for me.

Oh wow. Just. Wow. Anna Kendrick showed us how to successfully achieve the androgynous look and Charli XCX shows us here how so not to. To be honest I could probably get on board with the suit, and hey the pink bow tie is quirky, but what is with all that fur? Although I have to say, I was slightly relieved when I realised it was indeed a shawl and not insane cuffs on her jacket. Phew! 

Here we have Madonna just being Madonna. It's hard to compare her to anyone else purely becasue she's, well, Madonna. That aside, I'm not a fan. Sure, the Grammys is a chance to push the boat out but this boat went a little too far. At least the others went for OTT versions of what you'd normally see on the red carpet, whereas Madonna went for a strange burlesque/matador hybrid. Eh. You do you Madonna.

There you have it. It was definitely a more exciting red carpet than the BAFTAs but then the Grammy's aren't held at the Royal Opera House and are generally a little mental so it's to be expected really. The Grammy's do look like a hell of a lot of fun though! 

What were your thoughts of some of the looks? Do you agree or disagree with my choices? Let me know in the comments!

Red Carpet Review: Bafta's 2015

This weekend saw two major award ceremonies but I'll start with the more refined of the two and the big British event that is the EE Bafta's. This always seems to be a rather restrained red carpet but there was nonetheless some interesting outfits, some good, some...not so good. Let's start with the highs.

Amy Adams, Angela Scanlon, Phoebe Fox, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jenna Coleman
Amy, Angela and Gugu all went for relatively simple looks but all three managed to steer clear of being boring. The more I look at Gugu's dress though the more I like it which is why I would give her the overall best dressed of the night. I literally can see not a single flaw. If Amy lost the tassels and Angela changed out the shoes then it may have been a much more closely run race. but alas, it was not.

Phoebe and Jenna decided to go down the patterned route and I fully appreciate the injection of colour from Phoebe. There was a surprising amount of colour this year but it was generally all block colour whereas Phoebe just went, nah, let's chuck 'em all in. A girl after my own heart. Jenna on the other hand is walking a fine line towards wearing curtains but somehow she manages to make it work. Maybe it's the cut out or maybe it's just the adorableness of Jenna herself. Who knows?

Claudia Winkleman, Mica Levi, Rachel Riley, Douglas Booth, Hofit Golan
So, Claudia decided to dress up as a strange gothic hershey's kiss while Mica seems to have slid through an oil slick on her way to the awards. As weird as Mica's concoction is though, I have to give worst dressed to Rachel Riley. I don't really know who Mica is but she seems the kind of person that has an IDGAF attitude that rocks looks like this on a regular basis. Rachel on the other hand is normally well turned out so why then did she choose to accessorise with a dead ferret? I'm presuming it was nippy in London but there are more stylish ways to add some warmth to one's outfit.

*Gasp* What is this? A man? On a red carpet review? Ok, so he doesn't look that bad but given that men have it pretty easy when it comes to dressing for the red carpet it seemed wrong of me not to question why Douglas would choose to wear a jacket that looks covered in some sort of mould. I appreciate the effort to go for something a little different but maybe avoid anything that looks green and furry next time? It's just a suggestion.

I have no idea who Hofit Golan is or why she was there. I mean, she doesn't even have a wikipedia page so she can't be that famous, right? Whoever she is, I'm not getting this look. The stars look like a kid has taken his effort stickers from school and stuck them all over the dress while the top seems to defy the laws of physics. Very strange indeed.

Tomorrow I'll be back reviewing the looks from the Grammy red carpet. Music awards are always more bizarre than the film awards so I'm sure there were some interesting looks. But for now, let me know what you thought of some of the Bafta red carpet looks in the comments below!

February 04, 2015

January Playlist: 2015

The monthly playlists have returned! Most of the music is not really new this month as January always seems to be slow month for new releases but without further ado, here are my favourite tunes from this past month.

As soon as I saw Mockingjay: Part 1 I knew I had to download Jennifer Lawrence's rendition of The Hanging Tree. I just love that she sang it herself. At first I was distraught to find it was not on the official soundtrack but a few days later I found that it was hiding on separate movie score soundtrack. Phew!

I'm six months late to the party but this month I finally got around to downloading George Ezra's amazing debut album Wanted On Voyage. A particular favourite is Blind Man in Amsterdam. Mainly I just like the bum bum bum bum badabadum bit.

One song that you may not have come across is This is Home by Bryan Lanning. Bryan, along with his wife Missy and their adorable little boy Ollie, are known on YouTube as DailyBumps and this month Bryan released his debut single. The song is about his family and it's adorable, as is the music video. You should definitely check it out!

Glee is back! There has a been a gaping hole in my iTunes due to the lack of new Glee songs but finally they have returned. Now, Season 6 is not looking to be the best, both in terms of the story and the music but there's still a few good'uns in there. 

Up - Olly Murs ft. Demi Lovato
The Hanging Tree - Jennifer Lawrence
Wings - Birdy
Blame it on Me - George Ezra
Blind Man in Amsterdam - George Ezra
This is Home - Bryan Lanning
Bitch - Jane Lynch
Home - Glee Cast
Out of the Woods - Taylor Swift

January 27, 2015

Emma Watson is Belle!

Yesterday Emma Watson confirmed that she is to play Belle in a live action version of Beauty of the Beast. Now, when I heard this news I wasn't quite as jump up and down excited as everyone else seemed to be but that was simply because this news has been rumoured for like a year. Sure it's nice to have confirmation but it wasn't exactly a surprise.

That aside, I still think it's great news. I think Emma will make a great Belle and I'm particularly excited to hear her sing more than just the hint of Hoggy Warty Hogwarts we were treated to in Goblet of Fire.

Another more nerdy reason I love that Emma has been chosen is because of the popular tumblr AU where Belle's favourite book is actually Harry Potter. Magic spells, a daring prince in disguise! Seriously, it works. I know Emma would probably be less thrilled with the association but...sorry, not sorry.

The full announcement from Emma's official Facebook page.

I'm definitely intrigued to see the final movie, not just for Emma, but to also see how they do all the secondary characters like Lumière and Chip and of course, what will the beast look like? It also makes a change from the endless versions of Cinderella. Sure there was Beastly back in 2007 but there's so many versions of Cinderella I've lost count!

What are your thoughts on the upcoming movie and the choice of Emma as Belle?