Monday, 15 January 2018

2017 | THE FINAL QUARTER


Happy 2018! I feel a bit sick that we've hit this year already, but onwards and upwards and all that jazz.

I'm finally here with the last instalment of my 2017 highlights, and hasn't that been a damn task to keep on top of? (Samantha, it's 4 posts a year, get a GRIP)

The last 3 months really topped the year off and I can't believe it was all so wonderful.
A tear or two were definitely shed at the stroke of midnight, to the sounds of Big Ben chiming and after a few (too many) drinks.

THE FERRYMAN LONDON

After 8 long months of being desperate to see The Ferryman, I finally headed down to the Gielgud Theatre in London to catch the last performance of the complete original catch (minus Tom Glynn-Carney, sob sob). Despite the nosebleed seats (yes I'm talking virtually on the ceiling), it was as incredible as I'd hoped it would e and lived up to all the hype.

And meeting Fra Fee, Laura Donnelly & Paddy Considine? Well that was the cherry on top.

WINNING THE LAST POST VINYL

I'm not sure how many of you caught the 6-part BBC drama The Last Post (if you haven't, I suggest rectifying that pronto) but it was all kinds of brilliant and that soundtrack was on repeat on Spotify for weeks. I entered a little competition just before the show ended and miraculously won it (again!) gaining a vinyl of the soundtrack by Solomon Grey and winning 2 tickets to see the band at a show of my choice. Pretty neat huh?

LITTLE MIX

What's my year without seeing a Little Mix show or three? Well this time I only managed just the one, but it was on Halloween so that's kinda cool, right? They were PHENOMENAL as usual. When do I get to join a girl band?

PARIS



This trip was a dream come true. After visiting Paris in 2011 over my mum's birthday, I vowed one day that I'd spend my birthday there, in m favourite city. Well, 6 years on, my mum made that a reality and it was all kinds of chilled and wonderful.

Honestly, five days of wandering Paree was what I need amidst a really rough uni module and a major creativity block. Plus, finally getting to wander the grounds of Versailles was a dream come true. Thanks to my mama for giving me the push to go. I'll never forget that experience.
(If you're interested in a post then let me know, I'm itching to talk about it!)

2018 has already been off to a (relatively) good start and with everything I also ready have planned,
I'M SO EXCITED. But let's be honest, it has a lot to live up to.

S xo
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Saturday, 30 December 2017

2017 | THE THIRD QUARTER

We're three quarters of a way into my 2017 highlights and what a fun quarter it was!

I finally ticked another city of my travel bucket list, toured for my favourite band and found a whole new world with my new fave film!

As the year progresses I feel that it just gets better and better, so here goes;
July - September.

Devouring a tub or two of chocolates are optional whilst reading this, but certainly advised.

WORKING AT THE OPEN 

I can't begin to tell you how terrified I was about this three week job prior to starting, and as soon as I was made a supervisor, I thought I was gonna have a breakdown. For real.

But I must tell you that it was one of the best experiences of my life, surrounded by amazing people, and I can finally say that I actually like golf (a bit)!

DUNKIRK FRENZY

It's definitely going to sound lame when I say that a film changed my life - and okay, maybe it's a slight exaggeration - but Dunkirk had a massive impact on the past 5 months of my life, introduced me to some absolutely wonderful internet friends, and enabled me to join an incredible fandom. 
6 ticket stubs in 4 different cities, it's safe to say I love this film. And that marvellous cast.

ROME

Back in the day, my darling mama used to live in this beautiful city, and after 30+ years we finally visited Rome together. It's the most incredible and enchanting place, steeped in history and molto pleasing on the eye.

From the Colosseum to the Vatican, the Pantheon to the Trevi Fountain, it's the most spectacular place that I can't wait to re-visit very soon (with lots and lots of gelato!).

THE MAINE TOUR

You know me by now, I just zip off here and there on my own, because I don't have anyone to do it with, I sure as hell ain't gonna miss out for fear of being alone.

Seeing my boys was no exception. 

4 shows, 4 cities, wrong hotels, 11 trains and who knows how much £££, I had the best week ever.

Nothing is gonna stop me from seeing The Maine.

WINNER WINNER

Touching back on the ol' Dunkirk thing, I found an actor that I now absolutely adore, Jack Lowden, and was a wee bit lucky in winning this signed England Is Mine poster from his role as Morrissey in the biopic of his life (yeah, I've had The Smiths on repeat for months now!). 

Now I just need a ridiculously massive frame for this work of art.

MOVING BACK TO CARDIFF

As September rolled around it was time to return back to Cardiff after a summer at home, only after The Maine's tour though, obviously. Priorities.

It's always hard leaving home whether it's after a few days or a few months, but I do live getting my life back into a routine and not living out o boxes and suitcase.

A LESSON IN ROMANTICS LIVE

I squeezed in a gig just at the end of September in Bristol to see Mayday Parade who were as amazing as ever. It was extra special seeing them play their first album in full though, there's nothing like seeing an album you grew up with being played live. 

I really shoulda done more shows.

So there you have it, three quarters down and just one more to go before I can start a new year over with more highlights.

Let me know what you've been up to this year in the comments below. I'm really nosey.

Stay tuned for the final part tomorrow!

S xo
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Monday, 27 November 2017

24 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ME

This gal is turning 24 today (excuse me, I swear I only turned 18 last year) and whilst I like to share random tidbits about myself all over different social media accounts, I've got a cheeky little list of stuff you might not know just yet.

Warning; I'm loaded with pointless info and even more pointless trivia on rubbish that doesn't matter. (This is quite possibly my 25th point)

24 AT 24


1. My name is Samantha Ball. Yeah I know, you're probably wondering why I'm giving you the most obvious info that you can find anywhere, but my name is just that. No middle name, nothing funky, just a plain ol' Jane name. I may whinge about it from time to time, but it's me.

2.  Born in 1993. Due in 1994. That's right, this post shouldn't be seeing the light of day for another seven weeks, alas I was just too eager to make my grand entrance to the world. Soz mum.

3. 300+ concerts?! It's no secret to those who know me that my teens were spent at multiple concerts a week during tour seasons. Back in 2012 I reckoned I'd been to at least 300 gigs by that point so I haven't got a clue now where that figure stands. My highest number of shows on one tour was 7 during Kids In Glass Houses' Farewell Tour. (Total # of KIGH shows done by their final gig? Fifty-Eight)

4. My first concert was Steps in 1999. Back when Manchester Arena was still the MEN and I wasn't quite 6 years old. Mum started me young.

5. Got onstage with 30 Seconds to Mars. After a few failed attempts, I finally did this one at Cardiff Arena in 2010. Yes, I cried a ridiculous amount. The icing on the cake was it being the day before my 17th birthday!

6. The Odd TV Mixture. In case I haven't mentioned somewhere at some point, I watch an absurd amount of TV shows, I'm a hefty binge watcher and the genres know no bounds. In fact, my two favourite TV shows are The OC & Peaky Blinders. Eh, what?

7. I was once interviewed for Radio 1. Back in 2010, after queueing from about 4am to see 30 Seconds to Mars in Lincoln on the Radio 1 Student Tour, I was interviewed by Fearne Cotton (seven years on and I'm STILL freaking out about it!). Pretty sure I never heard it back because I'd cringe waaay too much, but it's still a pretty neat story to tell.

8. A bit obsessed. Whenever I find a new thing I like, I quite literally become obsessed with it, live, eat, breathe it for a few months (in some cases a good year). I have a really addictive personality.

9. I make playlists for EVERYTHING. Actually, you can probably class that under the obsession heading too. Need chilled study music? I got ya covered. Not sure what to listen to on a nighttime flight? Look no further.

10. Living in Cardiff. I’ve wanted to live in Cardiff since my first visit back 2009, I never imagined that in 2016 I’d start calling it home. 

11. My love of The Lion King. As you can see from the above left pictures, I really love my Simba teddy which has been in my life since my 2nd Christmas. Rumour has it (from my mum) I used to watch the video 3 times a day until I worse my first VHS (LOLZ) out. 

12. Meeting McFly. This was the most incredible thing to happen to me at age 11, I’m still in awe!

13. Food faves. My ultimate fave meal has to be my mums roast dinner, that never gets old, I’d happily eat it everyday for the rest of my life. Minus the clean up. This is closely followed by chicken fried rice and prawn crackers because chinese food is my weakness.

14. Live music abroad. Two highlights of my life have to be going to Paris to see My Chemical Romance and Helsinki to see 30 Seconds to Mars.

15. Where we’re going, we don’t need roads. My fave film is still Back to the Future, followed by Girl, Interrupted (because Angelina Jolie & Winona Ryder).

16. That time I met Brandon Flowers. One of the biggest pinch me moments, back on his solo tour in 2011, that left me in floods of tears. He was so sweet, had just stepped on his tour bus and was saying goodbye to fans when we appeared. He saw us, stepped off the bus and had pictures with mum and I. I’ve never smiled so much.

17. The budgie cage incident. Back in my early years I got locked in a full sized budgie cage with my friend which was extra terrifying and clearly still haunts me.

18. The tattoos. So this is a bit of a cop out, but my very first tattoo was a triad on my wrist for 30 Seconds To Mars and my second was XIX (roman numerals for 19) because I love that number (amongst a few other reasons). I still get asked about them so here ya go.

19. Just call me Alexa. During a fair portion of my teens years I really wanted to change my name to Alexa because I adore Alexa Chung and thing she has a pretty ace name. It’s fine, I’m (mostly) over it now. 

20. Southport Rosebud Competition. Yeah, ya girl over here entered this is my early days (it was kinda a big deal in this town when I was younger and started in the 1950’s, maybe even earlier!)

21. Line Dancing Extraordinaire. Er, okay so maybe not quite, but around the age of 6/7 I took up line dancing to follow in my mamas steps, and despite her kind words about me, I wasn’t no pwnerre near as good as her.

22. The dream professions. We all have a million different careers paths we want from all young age and I was certainly no exception. Things I aspired to be over the years; choreographer, singer, cashier,  travel agent, hairdresser, archaeologist, teacher, sound engineer, nurse, and finally a fashion stylist. But who knows what the future holds, eh?

23. The Peaky Blinders cardboard cutout. We have half a cutout of Polly Grey in our uni flat kitchen. Why you ask? Why not.

24. I’m spending my 24th birthday in Paris. This is quite literally a dream come true.

After starting this, I possibly reached fact #4 when I realised how dreadfully boring my life would be without music seeing as they make up a fair few points. But there you have it, 24 things for 24 years.

S xo
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Tuesday, 31 October 2017

2017 | THE SECOND QUARTER

Happy Halloween you little (angels &) devils!

I can't believe we're 10 minutes away from November already, where the the heck has this year disappeared to?

there's zero excuse for this being almost 4 months late, and I mean no excuse. I've had a whole summer off yet I've left it until now because I'm a BAD. BLOGGER.

It's been crazy fun though so at least I get to relive it all in blog post form.

Here goes my highlights of April - June 2017.

You might wanna grab a brew and some left sweets from the Trick or Treat bowl.

FIRST 1ST

I'm still in disbelief with this one, but I received my first (second, third and fourth) 1ST grade this year! That's 4 for individual pieces of work, and 2 modules completed as a 1st overall. Hard work DOES pay off.


 REUNITING WITH FAMILY

This is something really important, and pretty major may I add, but I reunited with some family this year that I haven't seen in far too long and it was amazing. And also a little messy, turns out I can't handle a few cans of 8% cider. Blame the uncle.

LONDON WITH THE TEXANS

It may have been 10 years overdue, but mum and I finally met our wonderful Texan (& Charlie) friends which was the most fun, and surreal, week in London & Cardiff.
Let's hope it's not another 10 years.

GEORGE EZRA GIG

George Ezra was as incredible as ever at his little secret Y Plas show in Cardiff, with a few cheeky new songs thrown in that has me all kinds of excited for his new album (which needs to be released ASPAP!)

TENERIFE

I've chatted about this so much but it was a sun filled, swimming/sunbathing/chilling extravaganza of a fortnight and I'm gonna need another one like now.

FINISHING UNI

First year has been completed (and Year 2 is well under way as I write this!) and I can honestly say that I'm so proud of myself for this one. It's been a long journey, and few years, that let me to this, but I made it with great grades and self-pride for the first time.

S xo
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Friday, 4 August 2017

IN THE SUMMERTIME

Honey, I'm home! I'm so over taking extended breaks from my blog, but at the same time I'm struggling to find the words to write from post to post. It's fine, I'll get there, don't worry.

The past 8 weeks have been crazy busy with moving back home, sunning myself in Tenerife and my little job (which was amaze but I'm gonna give you the lowdown on that on my quarterly recap post coming soon), life hadn't slowed down until last week where I finally had a breather, and sleep. A LOT of sleep.

 So back to sunshine and tanning sesh's. I don't think I've ever needed a holiday as much as I needed one this year. With uni, certain financial stresses and life in general, my god did I need 2 weeks to forget the real world existed and to just lie under the sun with a très catchy playlist.

Whilst I'm still trying to finalise said playlist to share with y'all - because it's so damn good that I have to share - I do have some snaps to pass around. Tenerife is surprisingly gorgeous (to me at least), and whilst I've been there a few times, I was only small so I had the chance to see some parts with fresh eyes.

Me and my little travel buddy (that's mum to me) did our fair share of exploring, like walking for about 5 hours on 2 separate days, but mostly we relaxed, and in my case read about 7.5 books in 14 days. And for the nights we really couldn't be bothered finding a restaurant to eat in? Praise takeaway service and a peaceful balcony on a warm evening.

That little gem did take some outfit pictures for me though which I'm super happy about - how lush is that top?!

Now I'm off to continue planning out 5 days in Rome!
  Top - New Look  //  Skirt - Topshop (Similar)  //  Shoes - Topshop (Old)  //  Bag - Primark (Old)
S xo
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