September round up

Ah, the month of my birthday where I spend most of my time in a state of existential dread. Good times.
I had some time off this month, so naturally, I read TOO MUCH. Even so, the amount of books I have left to read is not getting any smaller, how am I supposed to read all the things?!
This month has been an interesting one, I started the month doing two hours of zumba for charity, which doesn’t sound like much of a challenge until you hear the fact that it was the first time I’ve ever done it! This month also saw Games Night part two, seeing the Adams Family and of course, turning 29 as well as the birth of my new niece!

What I read this month:

Mirror, Mirror – Cara Delevingne
See, when I saw that Cara Delevingne had written a book and it was available on Netgalley I was intregued, especially because it sounded so good! And actually I was pleasantly surprised, think Paper Towns crossed with Pretty Little Liars with a bit of Riverdale chucked in and you get Mirror Mirror. You can read my review here

Vivian Apple versus America – Katie Coyle
It has been about two years since I read the first one, but finally I got around to finishing Vivian Apple’s story! I reviewed this here (honestly, I was sent an egalley for this and should have reviewed about a million years ago but the file wouldn’t open so I couldn’t… then I saw it at the library, so the review has happened!) This was fun and I loved catching up with Vivian and Harp again!

Come Sundown – Nora Roberts
This is the first Nora Roberts book I’ve ever read, honestly, the fact that she has her name on over 200 of them is a bit daunting! This is a murder mystery of sorts set on a ranch that swings between being a little bit like the soap opera Dallas and a little bit like Emma Donaghue’s The Room. Creepy and melodramatic in all the right places, see my full review here! (I was supposed to read and review this about a million years ago, sorry. I’m back on it now!)

Shylock is my name – Howard Jacobson
You know when I was like, hey, I wanna read all the Hogarth Shakspeare books when I came across Margaret Atwood’s Hagseed? Well, I found this which is part of that collection, a retelling of the Merchant of Venice, which I’ve always avoided because I figured it would be a bit anti Semitic. However, as Jacobson himself is of the Jewish persuasion, I figured maybe not. I normally love reading Jewish writers, especially when they stick in Yiddish and stuff cos it makes me feel like I’m in on a joke, but this was a bit… I dunno, high brow? It gave me the impression that it was super clever and I wasn’t because I didn’t connect with or really understand what was going on… Maybe I should read the Merchant of Venice and it will all become clear to me!

The Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-62
Have I ever mentioned before how much I love The Bell Jar? Well, I love the Bell Jar, so when I spotted this at my local library, I couldn’t not give it a go. This collection take us through Sylvia Plath’s time at college, into adulthood, marriage and up to her last year. Which is a bit of a weird thought. Anyway, I don’t know about anyone else, but reading the journals of celebrated people is always fascinating, they’re so intimate and this had so many insightful moments. There were moments that were a bit Bridget Jones which was weird and honestly reading about the only poet I like moaning about her period was a bit weird. Anyway. This was great. Read it.

Dramarama – E Lockhart
I was so sad reading this book! I have loved every E Lockhart book I’ve ever read, so when I saw this at the library I leaped on it. Only then I started reading it and realised that this wasn’t anywhere near as good as the others I’ve read which was such a disappointment. This is the story of Sadye, who meets her BFF Demi at an audition for a summer drama school that they both get into, only when she arrives, she realises that there are a lot of kids there who are professionals and feels insecure about her abilities. And for some reason, even though, this is completely new to her, is upset when she is given smaller parts… Anyway, it wasn’t the strongest of E Lockhart’s books and I’m a bit sad about it.

Everything We Keep -Kerry Lonsdale
Firstly, I am super sorry about how long this has been sat on my kindle for. I was sent this and the sequel to review a really long time ago… So… Sorry. This is the story of Aimee who ends up having to host a funeral on the day that she should be hosting her wedding, her fiancee James disappears and is declared legally dead following a boating accident. Its a very slow moving character driven book and features a lot of big ideas that seem a little flippantly used… I reviewed it here.

Everything We Left Behind – Kerry Lonsdale
I received this at the same time as the preceding book, so I reviewed them both together. This picks up immediately after the first one finishes following on James and Aimee’s story. I felt much the same way about this as the first one, you can click above to see all my thoughts, though if you’re planning on reading this duology, don’t read the blurb of this one until you’ve finished the first one because SPOILERS. These are quick and easy reads and would be great for summer, holiday reads.

Yuki Means Happiness – Alison Jean Lester
Another book for review. Sorry, are you bored of these yet? This was so different from anything I’ve read before – I wasn’t sure what to make of the narration to start with, but I got a little addicted to it after a while and ended up finishing it in a day! It follows the story of Diana, an American who is a little lost as to what to do with her life and unsure how she feels about the guy she’s been seeing, so she decides to take a job in Japan. As you do. While there she befriends the child in her care and along the way saves the child and herself while learning about an interesting new culture. I reviewed this too. Sorry.

Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard
Sometimes you just crave generic YA content and that was what this is. In fact, it was so generic, it was almost like someone went, The Hunger Games, Grisha series, Divergent and The Selection were all so good, let’s merge them all together and remarket it as though it were an original story! Basically, a society split into royals, who have Grisha like powers, and paupers live in a world where the poor must fight for the rich has a rebellion brewing and a poor girl somehow ends up with magic powers and gets caught up in the Prince’s selection for a wife ala Selection and then ends up having to live in the palace where she attempts to do a Katniss and become the face of a rebellion from behind enemy lines. Like, this could have been really good. It just wasn’t anything new.

Stay with me – Ayobami Adebayo
I keep seeing this in book hauls so naturally I picked it up when I saw it at the library and honestly this was amazing! It was very different to anything else I’ve ever read, its set in Nigeria and was aside from being interesting to see life in a completely different culture to anything I’m used to, it was also written in a really fascinating way with different characters taking over the narration and the different time periods that it came from, as well featuring some of the socio-political issues of the time.

Films I watched this month:
You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television/cinema screen this month!

  • The Dark Tower
    While the film wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever seen, it left me really wanting to read more Stephen King as I’ve only read The Shining and the film referenced a character having the shine!
  • Allegiant part 1
  • The Other Boleyn Girl

TV I watched his month:

  • The Great British Bakeoff
  • Strike
  • Timeless
    The whole of series one is on netflix now, so for those of you that missed it – GET ON IT.
  • House of Cards

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

bubble waffles for breakfast

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🌈d r a m a t i c s k i e s 🌈

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t w e n t y n i n e

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What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

Luke Cutforth’s Taylor Swift parody was the best thing ever uploaded to the internet, literally the rest of us can all go home. I will just give some honourable mentions though, Daniel J Layton’s August PMS was so poignant and highlighted a lot of things I’ve been feeling myself, Dodie Clarke‘s video about depersonalisation was super interesting and her music video for 6/10 was super good. Sophie tagged me in a dinosaur themed book tag (which I will do at some point), Sanne made a great video to all the books she will never read and Leena does it again with her Creators for Change video about whether people feel British.

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February round up

For being the shortest month, I packed a lot into February! I ended up hanging out in London with my buddy Charlotte for a few days which involved visiting all my favourite spots in the city and getting into Matilda for £5! Yaaaas! This month I also saw me saying goodbye to my little Fiat and getting a new… well… Little Fiat and eating all the vegan treats, Tesco now stocks vegan fish fingers, so naturally, fish finger sandwiches had to happen and if that wasn’t exciting enough, the Foo Fighters played in my tiny Somerset town! I didn’t get a ticket because I’m not on their mailing list, but as I’ve played the same venue, I’m going to go ahead and tell people that I’ve opened for the Foo Fighters.

What I read this month:

18867162Just one damn thing after another – Jodi Taylor
I saw this series in a book haul on the internet and then thought of it again when I started watching Timeless (which is great btw, check out my video below for how much I love Timeless!). For the first book in a series, it is very slow to start and takes a while for the story to kick in, but when it does, God! What fun! Being a history nerd and a lover of science, I did enjoy this and I’ll be checking out the rest of the series, there is time travel and dinosaurs and conspiracy and relationship drama, what more could you ask for?!

8247122Wishful Drinking – Carrie Fisher
I really wish I’d come across this book sooner, Carrie Fisher is such an engaging and hilarious writer, there are very few people who can make you sympathise, relate and howl with laughter all at the same time, but she manages it. Reading this made me not only appreciate her genius all the more, but also made me so sad at the loss of such potential, my new aim is to track down all the rest of her writings!

13262783Everyday – David Levithan
I read these in the wrong order, I read Another Day, which is the same story from Rhiannon’s point of view back last year and although I enjoyed the concept, I found the whole thing a little bit invasive and I’ll be honest, reading A’s account creeped me out on a whole new level, it’s so… rapey… I guess, I can’t think of a better way to explain it. I still think the idea of being a genderless being who experiences different identities every day is an interesting concept, but the contents of the story are still problematic for me.

28686840Holding up the universe – Jennifer Niven
I’d seen so many mixed reviews, though mostly positive for Niven’s other book, All the Bright Places, which I’ve yet to find at the library, but when I happened across this, I thought I’d give it a go, plus the cover looks pretty. The thing is, I’m not really sure how I feel about it, the romance felt a little contrived and the fact that Libby spends the whole book complaining that all she is known for is being the fattest person in the country and yet can’t stop reminding the reader every other second did irritate me no end! Not sure if I’ll be searching so hard for All the Bright Places now I’ve read this…

26200563Hamilton: The Revolution – Lin Manuel Miranda et al
OMG I WISH YOU COULD ACTUALLY SEE THIS IT IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK I OWN. It is a fact commonly acknowledged that I love Hamilton (I have tickets for next June) so when I saw this in Waterstones, I had to grab a copy for myself, if you love Hamilton, or just shows in general, it is a wonderful art book full of anecdotes of putting together a stage show, from conception, to curtain up, as well as photographs showing the staging, costume design and additions from several contributors of the show. Photographs do not do it justice and I don’t think my words did either, but if you are interested, I reviewed it here.

70947Northern Lights – Philip Pullman
This month news broke that Philip Pullman was releasing another series of books based around his Dark Materials trilogy, this excites me! So, I figured I better re read them before the new book comes out! I’ve not picked this trilogy up since the first time I read them when I was a kid, so I had a wonderful sense of nostalgia reading this and it made me so sad that the film was awful! The first time I picked these up, I always wanted to be Lyra and have my own daemon, guess I’ll just have to play pokemon go more often so I pretend my vaporeon buddy is a daemon! These books are great by the way, so… like read them!

Films I watched this month:

You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television this month!

  • Hurricane Bianca
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
  • The Lego Batman Movie
  • Divergent

Considering the cinema in town has reopened, I didn’t get to catch as many new releases as I’d have liked this month! Prepare for that to be rectified.

TV I watched his month:

  • Taboo
  • Shadowhunters
  • Teen Wolf
  • Timeless
  • Sneaky Pete
  • Supernatural
  • Riverdale
    My new obsession! I might start wearing dungarees, Jughead is my new icon.
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine

 

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

the fourth plinth is now very excited about something

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Kinda love walking down here when there's no one else around

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The carnege left by Storm Doris

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What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

I can’t not mention this from danisnotonfire, like for serious, were all music teachers evil because I related so hard when I think back to not only my piano teacher (she even said the same thing to me about Fur Elise and my fingers!) but my drum teacher too! (It genuinely was like Whiplash if you were wondering.) While we’re on the subject of danisnotonfire, this golf video with Phil was hilarious and I’m not entirely sure how this wasn’t flagged… I want to recommend a whole channel because with all the fake news and alternate facts flying around, if you need a good source for news, Philly D is your boy. Also twenty one pilots are documenting their final few nights on tour with a series of mini documentaries, here’s the first one.

January round up

Did you think this was all over? Mwah ha ha. Ok, so the most important thing we should all remember from January is the stress of getting Hamilton tickets. I AM GOING TO HAMILTON YA’LL. Yes, it is next summer, but still… Anyway, the year began with me taking advantage of the bank holiday and spending all day at the cinema catching up on some new releases I missed (A Monster Calls was beautiful and made me cry and Rogue One was just so much fun!), my nephew turned three, there was much talk about thundersnow which then never happened and I got to play a musical instrument in an actual music venue. This month I’ve decided to take on Sammy Paul’s PMS project (more on that next month though) I just really want to document the world, though I’m not sure how much I want to remember considering what has been going on in the world this month. Wherever you are in the world, I hope you are safe and if enough sensible people stand up, we can stop these things happening.

What I read this month:

30095461-1Ultimatum – K M Walton
Bit of an emotional one to start the year! This was kindly sent to me by NetGalley and was reviewed here. The actual book will be out in March and so if you’re into character driven, family dramas, I thoroughly recommend. It isn’t the most fun of subject matters, but I am a sucker for a broken family trying to mend itself!

26138370-1Seven Days of You – Cecelia Vinesse
A cute, easy to read YA novel about an American ex-pat who has seven days left in Tokyo, the place she recognises as home and the struggles she faces as she prepares to say goodbye not just to her home and school, but also the friends she has made there. Cue the arrival of an ex friend returning to Tokyo who she happens to have a very complicated relationship with that makes the whole leaving in seven days thing seem even more dire. Though it wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever read, it was fun, check out the review here.

33393021Relativity – Antonia Hayes
I was lucky enough to be included on the blog tour for this charming novel about three different stands of the same family, intelligent Ethan on the cusp of adolescence, his single mother, Claire, suddenly so aware of how old her son is and how much like the father he’s never met is and then we have Mark the absent father suddenly appearing in their lives again, all intertwined with science and astrology and all that good stuff. Read the review here!

33407778The Dead Inside – Cyndy Etler
This month is full of reading ARCS, which is always nice, send me more books in the post please! This was a difficult one to read, its Cyndy Etler’s memoir about her time in a rehabilitation centre of sorts, which, if nothing else is very good for me in my quest to read more non fiction. It is harrowing and not exactly bed time reading, full review coming soon!

852594A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Miserable Mill – Lemony Snickett
As I started the TV show, I thought I’d pick up where I last left off with this series. It was just as fun and dark and wonderfully narrated as I remember, maybe this year I’ll re-read all of them? Who knows. I’d forgotten how much I loved these when I was a teenager! Even now, I think of Violet whenever I see someone tie their hair up!

Films I watched this month:

You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television this month!

  • A Monster Calls
    Emotionally exhausting and really beautifully done – if you’re a fan of the books, don’t fret, they do it justice!
  • Rogue One
  • Beautiful Creatures
    Pretty sure the guy from this is the new Han Solo… Right?
  • La La Land
    Oh God. I cried. I hated it and I loved it and its beautiful.
  • The Duff

The Oscar nominations were announced this month! I’m such a charlatan I’ve only seen a few of the nominated films this year! My predictions for the main ones are as follows: Best film, La La Land (I haven’t seen the others, but I think its a given), Director, Damien Chazelle (I’m sure best film and best director are usually the same thing), Best Actress, I’d like Emma, but probs Meryl, Best Actor, I’d like Andrew, but probs Casey Affleck, Supporting Actor, Dev Patel, Supporting Actress, Viola Davis (she needs her EGOT), Best Song, I loved the two from La La Land, but I do really want the song from Moana to win so Lin-Manuel can have his PEGOT, it’ll probably be one of the La La Land songs though. That soundtrack was immense. What are your predictions? Let’s see who was right next month!

TV I watched his month:

  • The Crown
  • Sherlock
  • Brooklyn 99
    NINE NINE!!!
  • Timeless
  • Supernatural
  • Shadowhunters
  • Taboo
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Teen Wolf

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

❄️ icy af

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la la land inspired shoes today

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What I did on YouTube this month:

So, I decided I wanted to make more stuff, so I am documenting my life this year (I know, self indulgent, narcissistic and boring af, but…) I want to get better and generally make things, so as you’ll see at the bottom, I’m doing Sammy’s PMS project this year. Enjoy.

What I loved on YouTube this month:

Starting at the beginning of the month (a fab place to start) Emma Blackery uploaded this that sums up exactly how I feel about New Year. Jack and Dean came back with another Good, Bad and just plain shit parts of 2016, Erika uploaded her final instalment of CRAMPS for 2016 and my God, I wish I were able to make things that looked that good! This video from Amelia Ace about her bisexual headcanons, purely for her Han Solo explanation alone and I feel that as creepy as this is, I’m going to link to the danisnotonfire live shows, which now get uploaded to danisnotinteresting purely because they actually are very interesting… so I’m just gonna leave a link here. Casey Neistat uploaded a couple of great videos this month, firstly this one from the time he went bowling in the white house and this one, from when he visited JFK after the ban on visitors from certain countries. Finally, let’s leave this round up on a happier note, Hazel and Jack did a cover of a song from La La Land way better than I did, Lucy Sutcliffe made this wonderful short film and Tom Fletcher uploaded this very cute video about his wife.

December round up

Wow. We made it. This month was kind of a strange one for me, it was a month of firsts, it was a month of endings and it was a month of reflection, as well as being Christmas and all. Firstly, I celebrated my one year anniversary of being in my flat. I’ve been an adult for a whole year! Go me! I also preformed my first ever show as a ukulele player as part of the Frome Ukulele Group, my niece appeared in her first school nativity play, we took our first ever train trip together, went to many a festive party and generally, this month has been fun!

What I read this month:

12600138Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
My brother lent me this! This is a big deal if you know my brother, the boy that spent our entire child hood ignoring the written word, but who now actually likes reading! This is his favourite book apparently and I can see why! I’m not much of a gamer, but I did love this! A novel set in the future about an international cloud based game that is littered with eighties references – sign me the frick up.

31114950No Virgin – Anne Cassidy
I spotted this in the library and was drawn in by the attention grabbing cover and the fact that the blurb consists of “My name is Stacey Woods and I was raped”. I’ve read a lot of books about this subject this year (which sounds like a strange thing to say, I didn’t intend to do that, I just think that sexual assault and consent have been on the forefront in recent years, as they should). While this was an important story, I don’t think it was handled very well, its very short and I think it could have done with being bulked out a little. Stacey didn’t have enough room to grow on me, I just didn’t feel like I knew her or even wanted to, she also spends a lot of time blaming herself, which I know can happen, but I wanted her to remember that she wasn’t at fault. Would like to discuss this further though if any of you guys have read it – let me know!

568061The Colour Purple – Alice Walker
So if you saw my video about all the bookish things, you’ll know that I visited the library and found out about the reading passport, this is my first trip and let’s face it, a book I should have read already. This was honestly one of the most harrowing things I’ve ever read, I can’t say as I enjoyed it, it’s a bit hard to enjoy something like this, but its something I can check off of my things I should have read already list.

23361172Paperweight – Meg Haston
This catches my eye every time I visit the library and finally the time came and I checked it out. I did a whole post on this just because I felt like the subject matter deserved more than just a few lines in a round up post and also, you know me, I do like to give you guys trigger warnings and I felt like I needed a bit more of an explanation. So… Check that out here.

29567432Generation Next – Oli White and Terry Ronald
I’ve never watched any of Oli White’s videos, but like I’m in the internet, so I know the name (even if I couldn’t tell what he looked like…). While I’m glad that this book actually does acknowledge the ghost writer I am a bit like… Why give Oli White a publishing contract when he can’t write the thing himself?! Eurgh. Also, though this was an interesting idea for a story, I didn’t get on with the way it was written at all. Good idea, badly executed. Can someone point me towards a YouTuber who has a publishing deal because theyre talented as opposed to because they have a big audience?

31182580Motherland – Jo McMillan
Honestly, I mostly picked this up because it’s about communism and the Daily Fail recommended it and I thought that was kind of funny… Anyway, while this was an interesting take on a mother/daughter relationship set against a strong political ideology I was hoping it would be a bit more… Well, more. I wanted to learn more about the eastern block and communism and British communists and that was kind of a backdrop as opposed to the main focus. Which is fine, but not what I was looking for!

31259053Saying goodbye to London – Julie Burtinshaw
The last ARC of the year! I mentioned it in my last book video and showed you the cover… Honestly, I think the cover was the best bit… Sorry, I will do a more thorough review of this in the next few days or so, once I have my thoughts together! I picked this up mostly because of the cover, look at that cover and because I love London, tis my home town after all, this was about a very different London and while I thought the story was interesting, I don’t think it was executed very well… Anyway, look out for my thoughts!

Films I watched this month:

You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television this month!

  • Men in Black
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Muppets Most Wanted
    I had a craving after all those evil Kermit memes.
  • School of Rock
  • Frozen
  • Moana
    Took the oldest munchkin out for the day to see this! I really enjoyed it! The soundtrack is my latest to buy!
  • Love Actually
  • Naked Gun
    My brother and I may have concerned our collective facebook friend list by sending each other quotes from this…
  • Die Hard
  • Home Alone
  • The Muppets Christmas Carol
  • Hateful 8
  • The Adventures of Tin Tin
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Raiders of the Lost Arc
  • The Take

There are a lot of movies on the list this month, blame Christmas, there are always way more movies on than usual at this time of year!

TV I watched his month:

  • Class
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • Tatoo Fixers
  • Once Upon A Time
  • Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
    I’m a big fan of the book I’m not sure yet what I think of the Netflix series, I think the characters are all a little too young… But I’ll stick with it!
  • The Crown
  • Timeless
  • Doctor Who Christmas Special
    Is it me or is Doctor Who just getting worse?

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

House pride

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It got very cold at the beginning of the month which meant that I got to show off my house pride on my morning commute.

I found bath's baubal

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Bath’s Christmas lights looked pretty spesh this year.

Took the munchkin out on the train today. She found the metro very interesting

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I took my niece out for the day, we got the train into town to see Moana!

Much jolly very christmas

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What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

There were so many awesome videos on Dan and Phil Games this month, so I’m just going to go ahead and recommend their whole channel! YouTube Rewind arrived in December, so many memes, so many memories and is it just me or did Dan Howell’s Stranger Things inspired wardrobe look a little Marty Mcfly? Because he’s in my favourite film and if so, D Hizzle, you are the one for me. Hit me up yeah? Stepping away from British boys with great fringes for the moment, I also enjoyed James Corden’s festive Carpool Karaoke, Casey Neistat’s batshit crazy drone video and this cute skit from KickthPJ. Also this month, Tyler and Josh were super nice and gave us a Christmas gift by releasing five reimagined songs with MuteMath and they made a video about it too and head here to download the songs for free before 18th January! Hannah Witton did Vlognukkah instead of Vlogmas (why didn’t I think of that last year?!) the videos were all so good and interesting, so check all of those out!