May Favourites.

Hello, hello, hello! May is over and now we're going into June and it's getting really crazy how quickly time is flying by this year. I've now finished my first year of University/Drama School and it feels like only yesterday that I started. We've done some amazing things in this incredible city and I'm going to miss it so much during the holidays. I'm thinking of writing a week/weekend trip plan for anyone wanting to visit London, a sort of tips guide full of places you definitely need to go. Let me know if you guys would find this useful! So without further adieu here's my favourites for this month. Hope you enjoy and as always, please feel free to leave a comment below. Picture above is from travelfree.info and photos throughout were sourced through google images.

Hair Care.

I recently purchased the "Vitapointe" Leave-In Conditioner from Superdrug and it's actually doing the job okay. It's very cheap, retailing at just £1.99 so for the price it's brilliant. I normally wash my hair with shampoo at night and then put the leave-in conditioner in before bed which quickly washes out in the morning. Having a leave-in conditioner does wonders for my hair and I've noticed fewer and fewer split ends because of it, but the super strong ones seem to leave my hair looking greasy so finding one that works for my hair-type is often difficult. I'm still on the look out for a really good shampoo and normal conditioner and if I found a better leave-in one I'd swap it out, only because I do believe you pay for what you get - but for the price this one is amazing! I have a lot of fine hair which can be very hard to look after at times (because of how easily it breaks) so finding a conditioner that doesn't stick to the hair is rare for me, but this one washes out really easily - whether this is a good thing or a bad thing is yet to be determined.

Skin Care.

I've been meaning to write about this primer for the longest time because it's the only one I use nowadays. The "Olay Anti-Wrinkle 2 in 1 Primer" has been brilliant at keeping my make-up on all day, mainly because it contains Glycerin (an ingredient that prevents the early loss of moisture in products so they don't go dry) Polyethylene (which is used to bond all the ingredients together and is also used in chewing gum!) and Isopropyl Isostearate (a lubricant that makes the skin appear soft and smooth/also a binder like Polyethylene.) So the actual product is - as it says on the bottle - hydrating and it helps make-up stick to the face. I've been using a website called cosmeticsinfo.org recently and it's something that I'm going to be using a lot in the future because it explains exactly what the ingredients in your cosmetic products do. It allows you to check if certain ingredients are bad for you or drying, ect, so I definitely recommend this website along with the primer and don't be put off by the term "Anti Wrinkle" in the title, as a lot of Anti Wrinkle products don't take affect unless you use them every day for a long period of time. If you're under 25, you're stopping the wrinkles before they even get there.

Book of the Month.

My favourite book this month has been one on acting, "Respect for Acting" by Uta Hagen. This book is actually on my reading lists at University and it's one that I've really enjoyed. I find the exercises really useful because they're well put together, organised and flow into each other nicely. I've tried them all out and really learned a lot from them in the process. Uta Hagen speaks from her experiences on stage and it's a really pleasant read because you're able to relate to what she's saying. I really liked her examples and I love that each chapter is named after the exercises, so it's really easy to refer back to if need be for essays and practise. I'll definitely be reading "A Challenge for the Actor" next.

Musical of the Month.

I decided it was time for me to finally watch "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" and I fell head over heels in love with it! As you all can probably tell from the numerous quotes around this blog, I'm a massive fan of the Golden Era. The plot line to this movie is super original and the songs are all so catchy. Jane Russell, who plays Dorothy Shaw is such an interesting character and she contrasts with Lorelei Lee (played by the stunning, Marilyn Monroe) perfectly. I'm going to have a go at learning some of the songs from this musical for my second year at University. The pieces I loved most were "Bye Bye Baby" and "Ain't There Anyone Here for Love" along with the well known "Diamond's Are A Girls Best Friend." This is definitely a classic film and a must watch!

Make-up product.

This month I've been really experimenting with my contour, blush and highlight. I decided not to wear contour on the day we went to watch Thronecast and actually really liked the fresh youthful look I got from only wearing highlight and blush. I have very soft features and I've noticed recently that I look a lot older when I contour. To get a softer look I've been using "Dandelion" by Benefit all over my cheek and "Frankly Scarlet" by Mac on the apples. For highlight, I've been loving "Undress Your Skin" from MUA in Iridescent Gold. It's only £3 which I think is an absolute bargain! I own the Mary Lou Manizer and much prefer to use the MUA one because for me it's more pigmented while the Mary Lou one gives me a more natural glow. I recommend "Undress Your Skin" to literally everyone because I love it that much!

Movies/TV.

My monthly favourite for TV is definitely going to "Bad Girls." I watched the musical at my University and as I started to listen to the soundtrack at home I found that I really loved the individual plot lines and discovered the TV series online. I'm currently on Season 4. It's a bit similar to "Orange is the New Black" but I find the story lines in Bad Girls a bit more gripping - someone is always on the brink of getting fired or killed by a fellow inmate. I love how they've taken aspects from the show into the musical in really small ways, like Jim Fenner says "Jailcraft" once in one of the first episodes in Season 1 and that becomes a big number in the musical. Love love love it!

My favourite movie of the month is "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion." I would personally class this film as a romantic comedy (but on IMDB it's registered as just comedic.) It's so funny but in a silly kind of way. There were elements of romance throughout between the two lead women characters and their high school crushes. The movie stars Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino who play the hilarious duo: Romy and Michele: two women desperate to impress their school mates at their High School Reunion. I really liked how silly this movie was as it added to the comedic value and without it I don't think the plot would have worked as well. This is the perfect movie for a sleepover or a night in.

Song of the Month.

"Beautiful People" by Marilyn Manson. This is a total shout-out to my fellow blogger: Emily Cook and our obsession with the Halloween Special of Alyssa's Secret starring Sharon Needles. We've replayed certain parts of the video repeatedly this month, especially the section where Alyssa freaks out over "The Beautiful People" by Marilyn Manson. I actually really like this song and I'm not normally into this kind of music. 

Monthly Quote:
"The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks and then starting on the first one." - Mark Twain.


Thanks for reading,
Hope you've had a happy May and a happy June to follow!
Love Alexandria.

Coors Ice Cave Rave Birmingham.


Today my friend Jess kindly asked me out for a catchup since I've returned home to Birmingham for the Summer. She came up with the coolest idea, rather than just a simple drink or a meal out we went to the "Coors Ice Cave Rave!" The photo right at the top of this post was taken from the Birmingham Mail website, where if you click the link you can read their article about this amazing event. If you want to book tickets you can do so on CoorsLight. The promotional event is being held outside the Birmingham Library in Centenary Square from the 20th - 29th of May. It's completely free to attend, you just have to buy your own drinks (if you want them) which are priced between £2.00 - £6.50. Normally the idea of a cocktail made of beer would turn my stomach but it was actually really nice and very fruity. We spent 30 minutes in the ice cave all together which was super cool in every sense of the word. Definitely give it a try before it leaves!

Thanks for reading,
Love Alexandria.

Jamie Oliver's Diner & In The Heights.


Friday was my last day as a first year at University (which has gone by extremely quickly!) so myself, Michaela, Emily and Fiona decided to go out for an end of year meal. We chose to go to "Jamie Oliver's Diner" in Piccadilly Circus. They mainly sell Burgers and Hot Dogs which are delicious. This was my second time going and it's quickly becoming one of my favourite London restaurants. I wish they would sell their sweet potato fries in the takeaway service downstairs though!

After our incredible meal, me and Fiona took a spontaneous trip to the ticket counter in the Leicester Square tube station and bought two tickets to watch "In The Heights". I didn't really know what to expect from this show - not being a massive fan of rap music - I was dubious. I can understand why the modern audience would adore this show and I did enjoy it but my personal taste still pushes me more toward the vintage musicals. The show reminded me of RENT in some ways and the talent in the cast is UNREAL! It was so nice hearing such belty pieces sang with extreme openness, so free in sound. The female numbers were really catchy and the actors portrayed them very well. I love the staging a lot and the setting used. I would definitely recommend this musical to teenagers and anyone who's a fan of modern rap-pop music.

Thanks for readings,
Alexandria.

ZSL London Zoo.


Another amazing day out! As many of you probably know by now I'm a massive animal lover so when Fiona suggested going to London Zoo we instantly began making plans to go before the end of our academic year. I'd found a two-for-one ticket online which you can get HERE but make sure you get there using a railcard! Not an Oyster card!!! I always forget to read the terms and conditions and didn't see this rule until we got there so we couldn't actually use the voucher. The woman at the desk, however, was really lovely and she gave us a student discount instead. The actual zoo was very pretty and I'm really funny about animals being kept in cages. It upsets me sometimes if I feel like the animals look/feel trapped or if they don't have enough room to move around freely, but this Zoo seemed to balance that quite well. Some of the enclosures even had settings behind them to look like the country the animals would have come from originally had they been able to be in the wild. All the keepers were very knowledgeable and gave tours around certain areas of the zoo. They were also really caring toward the animals and you could see how passionate they all were about making sure they were looked after properly. They also offer a great experience at ZSL called "Keeper for a Day" which is a brilliant present idea for any animal lover, you can also Adopt an Animal! Me and Fiona made sure to look around the whole Zoo and ended our day with a nice cup of tea and a cake (Fiona had chips) in the sunshine. We had a wonderful day. I would definitely recommend London Zoo to animal lovers and school trips.

Thanks for reading,
Alexandria.

Thronecast.


Fiona managed to get us tickets to Thronecast last Monday - as you all know by now, she's amazing at getting us into places for free - and this was definitely the best 'free event' we've been to! Not only did we get to meet the amazing Sue Perkins after the show but we also got to meet Rachel Riley, someone I've looked up to for the longest time. They were both so down to earth and the actual studio (Sky) were super friendly and welcoming, unlike other studios we've visited who shall go unnamed. We had an incredible day from start to finish. It was sunny outside so the wait to get official tickets didn't feel that long and the staff were happy to chat to us and kept us all informed on when we'd be let in, ect. When we got through the gate we were offered free bottles of water and got to wait on a bus rather than outside, where we were then escorted into the studio. Walking into the set was insane! Being massive fans of Game of Thrones we all freaked out over how perfect the place was. They were playing a behind-the-scenes "Countdown of the Top Moments in Game of Thrones" on large television screens around the studio which I thought was a very nice touch. It made us feel wanted as guests. It felt like they'd really thought about making everything an experience for the audience members. We then got moved to the front row and proceeded to watch the newest episode. It was so cool seeing other people's reactions to the show throughout. Sue Perkins and Rachel Riley were joined afterwards by Kate Dickie (Lysa Arryn) and we got to watch them talk through the episode. The whole of Thronecast is very organic, which I love! Everything's filmed once through, unless there's a technical mess up and they do it again.

We had an incredible day at Sky Studios and will hopefully get to go again soon,
Massive thank you to Fiona for getting the tickets.
Love Alexandria.

Emirates Cable Cars.


Hello everyone! It's been an amazingly eventful couple of days here in London. On Sunday myself, Fiona, Precious and Michaela decided we really wanted to go on the "Emirates Cable Cars" in Greenwich which only cost £7.00 there and back (You can pay £3.50 for a single journey also) and it was truly incredible. We're now into the last week of our first year at University/Drama School and we're trying to live every day to the fullest and do things that we didn't get chance to at the beginning of the year, so when we heard about flying over the Thames we rushed to plan when we were going. The cable cars are 13 minutes each way, so 26 minutes altogether. We flew over London and saw it's beauty in not only day light but also waited for a while before going back to the other side because we wanted to see it at night too. We timed it perfectly! The picture to the right was taken on our second journey as we flew over the river. There is going to be a post coming soon on our visit to Thronecast and London Zoo, so look out for those coming this week!

Thanks for reading,
Alexandria.

The Perfect Movie Night.



Since coming to University I've really enjoyed having movie nights on the days when I don't want to go out but still want to have a nice chilled time with my friends. This post is all about how we set up for a movie night and the kinds of things we like to buy, ect. For me, I really like having lots of snacks and I also think that picking the perfect movie is a must! So without further adieu, here's the rest of the post and I hope you enjoy any movie nights you have in the future!

FUNNY FEEL-GOOD FILM.
As I said in the introduction, picking a good film is a must when planning a movie night because no-one wants to sit and watch a boring film for 2-3 hours.

I normally go for a girly rom-com/horror or a Science-Fiction movie, just because they're what I mostly enjoy watching but make sure that everyone else in the group likes the genre you're going to put on also. If someone hates horror, they won't enjoy the movie night. All the films I suggest to friends are ones that I've watched before and really enjoyed. Sharing your favourite movies with your friends sometimes tells you a lot about them and if you've watched something similar, it's fun to swap movies and open them up to something they may not have seen before also. I recommend any of the following movies...
  • Down With Love, pictured to the right.
  • Death Becomes Her, or anything else with Meryl Streep.
  • Stage Fright (Horror/Thriller)
  • What Women Want.
  • Stardust.
  • Ever After. 
FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD!
Normally when we decide to have a movie night, we order a takeaway like Chinese or pizza and we go to the shop to get loads of snacks! We buy chocolate, sweets or crisps and lots of fizzy pop. We also like to get creative with our hot chocolate. You can make cute heart stencils out of a cereal boxes and used them to pour cocoa powder on the drinks to make an adorable outline. No movie night would be complete without a massive tub of Ben & Jerry's. My favourites are definitely Blondie Brownie and Cookie Dough.

LET'S MAKE A FORT.
Okay so we don't really make a fort but we do make a space covered in blankets, quilts, pillows and cushions. It's super annoying having to sit in uncomfortable chairs for long periods of time so we make sure that we're going to be super comfy when watching our film. I also have lots of fairy lights in my room, so we turn all the main lights off and have the fairy lights on along with a candle or two.

NO PHONES.
No phones are allowed at the movie evening!!! My friends and I have found that it's a lot nicer to watch a film together if no-one is using their phone. If my friend brings a movie over that she really loves it's a bit rude of me not to watch it because it's something she enjoys. It's like when you go to the theatre and someone's taking photos, it distracts everyone else so we ban phones and just enjoy the film we're watching.

Thanks for reading,
Alexandria.

MOTD: 42nd Street.


Image result for 42nd street movieThe Musical of the Day is going to 42nd Street - the (1933) movie. I really enjoyed this musical. It reminded me a little bit of "All About Eve" except Peggy isn't maliciously out to take Dorothy's place in the show, it's just something that ends up happening. I adored Ginger Rogers in this film, I think it showed a very diverse side to her as she doesn't normally play characters like "Anytime" Annie. The music is very catchy and I'm a great lover of tap, so I was bound to enjoy this show from the get go.

West End Shows - Part II.

Here's part two of my "West End Shows" series. I've typed up some short reviews for four more incredible production, ones that I've had the amazing privilege to see in London recently. I've loved every single one for different reasons. Hope you enjoy! 

Guys and Dolls (currently playing at the Phoenix Theatre) was truly incredible! They smashed out numbers like "Sit Down You're Rocking The Boat" and "Overture/Fugue for Tinhorns" which was one of my favourite numbers in the show. They successfully got the feeling of the era across to the audience with the set design and the ensemble. Everyone in the swing cast were so characterised without having to say a single word. Everything in this show was choreographed to perfection, from Adelaide's 'Hot Box' to the Sewer scene towards the end! I also really loved the effect they used to symbolise the throwing of the dice. The acting was fantastic along with the singing which I adored throughout. The four main characters were all very stylized and each were very different and easy to tell apart. My favourite had to be Miss Adelaide (Samantha Spiro) who provided a sweet humorous edge to the piece, her lament was hilarious! We got a real bargain on the tickets for this show!!! It cost us £22.50 for the dress circle and we could see everything! Definitely well worth the money. This musical is a true classic and one I recommend to everyone.

Wonder.land (is playing at the National Theatre, follow the link for more pictures like the one above) is an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. I loved the idea behind this. I worried originally that I wouldn't like it because of how abstract the theme was, but I really did LOVE it. The soundtrack to this album was released recently on iTunes too and it only cost £6.50 for my ticket which I think is a real bargain for the view.

Show Boat has now been promoted to the best show I've seen on the West End so far! The ensemble were beyond words and they were so brilliant at getting the audience involved in the journey. I didn't want an interval and throughout it I was getting excited about what would happen next. Myself and Fiona had front row tickets in the stalls but we were off the the far left and normally actors forget about that area but not in Show Boat! It was a real experience to have seen this phenomenal show. I actually got a bit emotional at the end and that rarely happens for me. I enjoyed Gina Beck's character and it was lovely getting to see the story grow around her with time. The set was fantastic, along with all the other actors and the directing/costumes/lighting. Every single thing had thought and style behind it and that's one of the reasons why I'm in love with this show. I couldn't fault the performance in the slightest.

We managed to get early morning matinee tickets to see Matilda and they only costing us a fiver!!! Another bargain, however, I wish I'd read up on the show more before I went. Being a MASSIVE fan of the book growing up, I was a little disappointed that certain areas of it were missing from the show but could understand completely why they were left out. It was my own fault for not being properly familiar with the musical adaptation's storyline. Once I realised that it was 'based' on the book, I continued to watch and enjoy the show. The choreography throughout was truly spot on and the children (and adult) ensemble were fabulous is every way. The young girl who played Lavender Brown and Bruce Bogtrotter were absolutely adorable and Emily May Stephenson is such a talent and one of the best Matilda's I've heard so far. Brilliant cast, great set, perfect for school trips!
Thanks for reading,
Alexandria.

Happy May Day!


Hello everyone! I hope you're all having a wonderful first of May, relaxed and free of stress. This post is just an update on things that have been going on in my life recently. I finish my first year at University in 20 days and it's been the most incredible roller-coaster ride. I've done amazing things while living in London with some of the best people and couldn't be more thankful. I really don't want to leave, but I miss my family so much and it's going to be nice to spend a long period of time with them again - two weeks at a time in the holidays just isn't enough. I've learned so SO much this past year and can't wait for my second year to commence but time seems to have flown by so quickly! It feels like only yesterday that my dad was dropping me off at a place I'd never even visited before; a place that I now call my second home.

Because it's coming to the end of the year, I've been going to even more workshops than before and this week has been orientated around Feldenkrais and his methods. I went to a three day course with Garet Newell who kindly came to teach a few of us at the University. She explained the method in so much detail and I began understanding certain things a lot better. Having read 'Awareness Through Movement' by Moshe Feldenkrais it was so useful to have Garet come in and connect some dots for me. I was sadly only able to attend two out of three days with Garet but what I learned in that time will have a substantial influence on all of my lessons in the future.

To further expand my knowledge I then decided to sign up for the Feldenkrais Conference that my University was offering. It was a little scary at first (being a student surrounded by people who'd followed his work so closely) but the amount I learned throughout the day was incredible. My hand still hurts typing this from all the notes I took.

Before going to the Conference I decided not to take the bus, and this might seem slightly random to talk about, but I decided to walk. April was full of assessments: essays and practical. Thankfully I only have one more to complete, but it was incredibly stressful at times - those who think Musical Theatre is just a song and dance are extremely mistaken - because I really wanted to do well in my final examinations. It was so nice seeing the amount of progress I'd made from the beginning of the year. The difference now is immense! With all this stress, however, came that anxious feeling we all get from time to time and the walk really helped! I thought about the Feldenkrais method and relaxing, I thought about the free-open feeling I got after Garet's lessons. The sun was shining and the birds were chipping, cheesy I know, but it really was beautiful. I made sure that I didn't need to rush and it was madly relaxing. I concentrated on only my surroundings and it was amazing to see how much I don't take in normally, all the beauty I'd been missing. So, I encourage everyone who reads this to take a walk this month. Go somewhere beautiful and appreciate what you might be missing out on, stress less.

This month I encourage you to expand your knowledge in something, have a lovely walk and to enjoy the rest of the year!

Thanks for reading, have a blooming lovely may!
Alexandria.