30.10.14

Top 5 from 1989


My Top 5 songs from Taylor Swift's 1989.
By now you've probably heard '1989', right? Highly anticipated by swarms of media after her tongue-in-cheek 'Shake It Off' release that was essentially a fingers up to the crowd song, her album is easily the best thing to happen to my iTunes library in a while. '1989' takes a full-frontal pop flavour in stark contrast to Taylor's original country flair that then moved tentatively to the pop realms that always shunned her. I don't like that whole 'she's finally grown up' thing but this album is 100% going to define my 20s. Now I see exactly what made Brian Mansfield say 'It’s like the other albums were practice for this one.'

Continuing my Taylor Swift series, let's dissect my top five favourites from her 6th album (don't worry, I'll let you work out the secret messages):

Blank Space
When I heard Blank Space for the first time at 4:07am on Monday morning, my heart metaphorically sang. It's completely different and yet full of precisely the same reasons why I adore Taylor Swift. The conversational lyrics, plinky sounds and nostalgic feel just does it for me. It definitely has a hint of 80s about it but I just adore how Taylor's unique vocals and devil-may-care attitude apply a current flavour to it. If I had to pick one song to listen to for the rest of 2014, it'd be this. Favourite lyrics: 'So it's gonna be forever, Or it's gonna go down in flames.' and 'I'm dying to see where this one ends.'

How You Get The Girl
I think How You Get The Girl feels a little like 2006 Taylor to me. I just love the chorus so damn much: I can't stop getting in the car and having a good singalong! And it perfectly demonstrates Taylor's positive defeatist songwriting skillset, turning sadness and acceptance into 4 minutes of super-singability. Casually inventing my own words. Favourite lyrics: 'Pictures in frames of kisses on cheeks.'

Style
Opening with a sweet guitar instrumental, Style is as sophisticated and polished as the title would suggest. Telling the tale of how it's been a while since she'd heard from mysterious 'you', it has a relaxed poppy feel with genius lyrics pertaining to her personal style and favourite music. It's undeniably Taylor lyric-wise but the track itself feels timeless. I adore the whole idea of a relationship and couple being in style all the time. I love it. Favourite lyrics: 'You've got that James Dean daydream look in your eye, And I got that red lip classic thing that you like. And when we come crashing down we come back everytime, 'Cos we never go out of style.'

All You Had To Was Stay
I felt quite neutral towards this at first and then I realised I loved it because it's what I wanted Stay Stay Stay from her last album to be. I adore the faux falsetto and the slower pace of it. Again, it feels like a perfect blend of her earlier music with her new pop take. And you can pinpoint exact storylines and moments behind the song itself. Favourite lyrics: 'You were all I ever wanted, But not like this.'

Clean
This seems to be the overall favourite from '1989' of the majority of people that I've spoken to. It errs on eerie with a firm wanderlust and longing behind it. I love the metaphorical language throughout the lyrics - as Man Repeller said - they'd be the ideal MSN message lyrics. I think nearly everybody can relate to the message behind this one too: that moment when you realise you're finally over someone, something. Again, the grown-up version of Breathe from 'Fearless' which is one of my favourite songs in life. Favourite lyrics: 'Rain pouring down, When I was drowning, That's when I could finally breathe.'

Download '1989' by Taylor Swift on iTunes here.

Disclaimer: Not a sponsored post. I'm just an avid and proud Taylor Swift fan.

It's Moving Day!




Bye England, I love ya.
I'm moving house and country today! And in true blogger style, I am sat in a fairly empty room, coffee in hand, penning a post instead of packing my MacBook away. I just wanted to write some thoughts down so I can read this back in a year's time and (probably) laugh at how stupid I was being what with the nerves and hashtag dramatic behaviour.

This month has been a whirlwind of leaving 'dos, exciting news from friends, emotional farewells and realising that I truly have some of the best friends and blogger pals around. Ain't nothing like the move of a lifetime to put things in perspective and weed out the good eggs from the bad. (I've learnt that I am a whole new level of bad-at-packing and my best friend actually drove 77 miles to come and pack for me.) I'm also something else in the hoarder stakes. I'm writing a post about the whole idea of minimalism and things I learnt while attempting to move, so maybe keep an eye out for that.

See you all on the other side for some shiny new content with a beautiful city backdrop -- and thank you SO much for every message you've all sent me. Ain't no life like the blog life.

- Michelle x

29.10.14

Moisturiser: I've Found The One



It isn't often that I break the beauty radio silence on Daisybutter - I usually enlist the help of my numero uno beauty girl Adrienne for a mini broadcast. But today I just needed to open up my bathroom and share a find that I've been using for about a week yet know is The One.

Enter the Aēsop Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream.

At £33 for a 60ml tub, it isn't the most affordable on the market but I instantly had to have it when I realised it shared the same fragrance as my Resurrection Aromatique hand balm. The cream is somewhere between light and thick with awesome hydrating properties. My skin type is a substandard Normal that tends to get dry with the incoming winter and with office air-con to contend with. The thing that gets me is that this really nourishes my skin and leaves it feeling soft and supple, even with makeup, throughout the day. It's fairly heavily fragranced so if your skin is sensitive to perfumed products, perhaps ask for a handy ol' sachet sample. But I have never loved a moisturiser more. I've found The One.

28.10.14

Michelle's London Food Map

With a matter of days until I leave England and the easy trip into London behind me, I thought it would be apt to leave my top 5 London food spots here for reference. I'm a huge fan of trying new restaurants with friends and these are (in my opinion) must-visit food haunts if you're ever 'in town*' with a handy map thrown in, true tourist style.

Patty & Bun


Patty & Bun, 54 James Street, London, W1U 1HE. Tel. No.: 020 7487 3188.
Handily tucked behind Selfridges, Patty & Bun is my favourite burger joint of them all. P&B have a short and sharp menu with something for everybody - there's even a veggie option - my No.1 recommendation is their ‘Lambshank Redemption' burger. Flavourful, rich and messy fillings squished between brioche buns, with patties cooked just right for a messy and juicy meal. I also love their ‘Winger Winger Chicken Dinner' sides. Just be sure to take anti-bac for an after-dinner clean up.

Breddos Tacos


Breddos Tacos, Arch 339-40, Acton Mews, London, E8 4EA.
We went to Breddos Tacos for my blogger birthday meal this year. Although back then it was a pop-up at the Player Bar in Soho. Great for a lively atmosphere with awesome tacos and sliders, this is a good one for a group outing - the fish tacos and steak tacos are just a dream.

Ippudo London

Ippudo London, Central Saint Giles, London, WC2H 8AG.
So I hear ramen is the trendy food thing in London? Well I wholeheartedly agree. Especially for the winter months, ramen is somewhat of a standard weekend comfort food in our household. I add tofu pieces, a soy soft-boiled egg and spring onions for simple topping ideas. I finally visited Ippudo London for dinner last week and my oh my was it good. Outstandingly friendly and helpful service with an extensive menu, I 100% recommend their Hirata Samurai chicken wings and Akamaru Modern ramen. Literally so good.

Koba
Koba, 11 Rathbone St, London, W1T 1NA.
I went to Koba for a date night back in the beginning of the year. The food was seriously good, the company seriously bad. Koba is a Korean table-top BBQ and a la carte restaurant nestled behind busy Oxford Circus. It's a really nice place to hang out, with a lively atmosphere that isn't too loud. Food recommendations? The duck and pork for the table-top BBQ and I adored their steak and pear tartare. The pricing was okay - I've had more affordable options but the food wasn't nearly as good.

Burger & Lobster

Burger & Lobster, 36 Dean St, London, W1D 4PS. Tel. No.: 020 7432 4800.
And for the big one: Burger & Lobster. I guess this is a bit of a love-hate choice that divides Londoners and visitors alike. I've only been once with the delightful Jade but we had a rockin' good time. Easily one of the best lobster rolls in London with an amazing Japanese mayo dressing and real good fries. It's kinda worth it for the novelty of no menu, just food.


* Hands up if you hate that phrase.

27.10.14

Fearless


On being a Taylor Swift fan, being Fearless and celebrating 1989.
It's #TS1989 day and I've been waiting a hella long time to begin my Taylor Swift takeover on Daisybutter. From today - the release date of her 6th album, 1989 - to Taylor's 25th birthday on December 13th, I'll be running themed Taylor blog posts at 13:00. Don't lie, you're excited.



I remember when Fearless was released. It was possibly one of the highlights of my college days. I remember feeling uncertain about friendships (i.e. about 95% of mine ditched me when I went to college and them to sixth form) and I also remember becoming firm friends with my girl Natasha who also adored Taylor. And I remember feeling so empowered by Taylor's little notes on being 'fearless':
'To me, Fearless is not the absence of fear. To me, Fearless is having fears. Fearless is having doubts. Lots of them. Fearless is getting back up and fighting for what you want over and over again… even though every time you’ve tried before, you’ve lost. It’s Fearless to have faith that someday things will change. Fearless is having the courage to say goodbye to someone who only hurts you, even if you can’t breathe without them. And when someone apologises to you enough times for things they’ll never stop doing, I think it’s Fearless to stop believing them.' - Taylor Swift
Fearless, to me, means taking complete charge of your life again. It's having confidence in the things you do, small or big. It's about being so shy that the idea of speaking to a sales assistant on your own feels alien to you, but then five years later you find yourself conquering your shyness by speaking your mind even when you still feel shaky inside. Fearless is having fears but going ahead and doing it anyway. Easier said than done, right? But it's also about believing that someday you can be completely fearless in a world that loves throwing all sorts of #CRAY at you.

Every time I hear Fearless or a song from the album, I remember 2007 and how timid I was. I was a mouse. A tiny mouse who thought she liked words, no, loved words, but had no idea what to do with that thought. I remember meeting best best friends, I remember realising that I could become a "writer" one day and sell my words if I tried hard enough and believed I could. I remember going on a first date with someone and genuinely 'trying not to get caught up now'. I remember thinking how things couldn't get much better than this (also in my best dress). I remember the first time I saw Taylor Swift live on the Fearless tour, and then again on the same tour.

"Capture it, remember it."

What does Fearless mean to you?