Sunday, November 28, 2010

30 Day Music Meme: Day Twenty Seven

Day 27- A song you wish you could play

Today’s song came so so SO close to being Day 20’s song (A song you listen to when you’re angry). But I decided to hold off for today’s one. As I would LOVE to play this on the violin.

Vivaldi’s Winter (especially the first movement) is probably my favourite piece of classical music. I just look the fierceness of this piece, the staccato notes add urgency and it really does invoke visions of winter, iciness and blizzards for me. I could just listen to this all day every day.

For the videos, I have chosen two versions. The first is closest to the version I have on my iPod and the second I found while scouring through so many different videos to find the first one!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

30 Day Music Meme: Day Twenty Six

Day 26- A song you can play on an instrument

Like most Irish children, I learned to play the tin whistle in primary school. In first class, the year before we started lessons in class, I picked up my cousin’s tin whistle and taught myself to play the chorus to Turn on the Sun by Nana Mouskouri. First song I learned to play in lessons was Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I continued playing traditional Irish music on the tin whistle for another seven years, including in my Junior Certificate Music Exam.

I have a relatively good musical ear. Not great, but I picked up my friend’s guitar and taught myself today’s song. Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes. Granted, not the hardest thing, but I have always been interested in learning how to play the guitar. Interested but not motivated. Story of my life.

 

Friday, November 26, 2010

30 Day Music Meme: Day Twenty Five

Day 25- A song that makes you laugh

This one I have found tough, as although I knew what band I wanted to write about, there’s so many songs to choose from. The Goldie Lookin Chain are a comedy rap group from Wales. They’re lyrics are funny, though often rude and very offensive! Today’s song is no different. Word of warning, it’s VERY rude and VERY offensive!

Your Mother’s Got a Penis. Ya, the title itself makes me laugh (and at the same time cringe at how offensive it is!). Give it a listen, if you dare. Don’t blame me though if you find it horribly offensive, I am giving you plenty of warning!

 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

30 Day Music Meme: Day Twenty Four

Day 24- A song you want to play at your funeral

While I can be particularly morbid in my thoughts at times, thinking about my funeral isn’t something that has popped into my head that often. Right now, I’m not particularly concerned what music is played at my funeral, I’m sure my loved ones would choose appropriate songs. I had thought of picking a more religious song, like Amazing Grace, but seeing as I’m not sure where I stand when it comes to religion, I couldn’t really do that. Besides, I don’t think I’d like a song to forever be associated with a sad occasion (because no matter how much it is a celebration of someone’s life, it’s always going to be sad).

I’ve seen or heard this topic be discussed on numerous occasions, with a lot of people saying they’d like play metal at their funeral. I wonder how many of these actually go through with this and put it in their will? And how many of those wishes get followed through, would you have the balls to play something like that if your loved one requested it?

So I can’t pick a song I’d like to play. At a push, maybe The Farewell Waltz by Chopin. The title is adapt and while the song has tinges of sadness, I think it’s still a beautiful mellow song.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

30 Day Music Meme: Day Twenty Three

Day 23- A song that you want to play at your wedding

When I think back to all the weddings I’ve been to, I honestly can’t remember any of the first dance songs. Not one of them. I’m sure they were all lovely and very romantic and suiting, but my mind has gone blank. I tend to enjoy weddings more for the cheesy bad songs that are played. So for that reason I’ll include two songs today, one for the more romantic side of a wedding and the other for the disco part.

8 Days a Week is a lovely, simple but utterly romantic song by The Beatles. And one that I think would be beautiful to dance to at a wedding. Though that’s not to say I would pick it as my first dance song (if I ever should get married that is!).

On the completely opposite side of it, is the Grease Mega Mix from the film Grease. Music for a wedding should always get people on their feet and this song is certainly a (cheesy) crowd pleaser!

 

 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

30 Day Music Meme: Day Twenty Two

Day 22- A song you listen to when you’re sad

I tried to break the cycle, I really did! I tried to pick a song that wasn’t from the 80s, but gosh darn I’m drawn to that decade like a magnet! Today’s song is Total Eclipse of the Heart, the 1983 hit from Welsh warbler Bonnie Tyler.

What can be sadder than a total eclipse of the heart?! It’s the perfect song to listen to when I’m sad (except maybe a bit of Coldplay, as discussed on Day 4). This song is made for wallowing in your own self pity and sadness. Except when watching the ‘Literal Video’ version on YouTube. That cracks me up! Watch it if you haven’t already!

 

 

Monday, November 22, 2010

30 Day Music Meme: Day Twenty One

Day 21- A song you listen to when you’re happy

If you’ve been following me on this journey through my (bad) musical tastes, you’d be right in guessing today’s song is of course an 80s song. It was one I considered for Day 3 and Day 9, as it makes me happy and want to dance. It’s one I always put on when I’m feeling happy.

Wake Me Up by Wham! just makes me happy. I don’t ever remember listening to it and feeling sad. It has so many happy memories attached with it. It is one of the first songs I ever remember hearing. Well, not the Wham! version exactly. Growing up, I had a small keyboard and this was the demo song on. It features in one of my favourite films, Zoolander. And I’ve sang for karaoke on a number of occasions. I also love the video with the UV paint and fabulous 80s fashion! Makes me want to own a Choose Life t-shirt.

 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

30 Day Music Meme: Day Twenty

Day 20- A song you listen to when you’re angry

When you’re angry, the only music that really works is rock. And sometimes classical music (for the more cultured amongst us). Ideally, it should be a song you can scream to, express your rage. Kelis’ Caught Out There is a perfect one in that situation, screaming ‘I HATE YOU SO MUCH RIGHT NOW!’ can be very therapeutic. But in reality, being able to scream like that every time you’re angry isn’t going to happen. More than likely you’re going to have to seethe in silence while blasting music through some earphones.

In my moody teenage years, I often turned First It Giveth by Queens of the Stone Age on when I was angry. It had the ability to melt away my anger for some reason.  I still turn it on when I need to defuse some anger from my body!

 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

30 Day Music Meme: Day Nineteen

Day 19- A song from your favourite album

I hate when these posts ask for favourite X, because I can never pick my one and only truly favourite anything. But one album that does come to mind the The Pulp Fiction Soundtrack. I love it as Quentin Tarantino does a good job of picking songs that fit in so well with his films (not just Pulp Fiction) but also because there is a great mix of different songs. In general, I’m not a huge fan of listening to whole albums (I’d rather mix it up a bit) but this is one of the exceptions.

My favourite song from the album is probably the opening song, Misirlou by Dick Dale and his Del-Tones. It is instantly recognizable as ‘that song from Pulp Fiction’. I was surprised to learn that the song is originally a Greek folk song, but I love the surf rock Dick Dale’s version, it’s so happy and dancey. It has a great beat to it, which shown again in the Black Eyed Peas’ song Pump It, which used to be my second most played song on my iPod before the Great iPod Wipe of 2010. Though it seems a lot of people don’t enjoy that version of the song!

The version on the album comes complete with the Pumpkin/Honey Bunny dialogue between Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer, which can also be found on YouTube, but since yesterday’s song was all about the expletives, I’ve gone for a clean version for today!

 

30 Day Music Meme: Day Eighteen

Day 18- A song that you wish you heard on the radio

So this is going to be a few hours late, but that’s because I went to see the new Harry Potter film!

I’m sure there are loads of songs that I’d like to hear on the radio but I think I’m going to again keep with recent songs. Cee Lo Green’s Fuck You is very popular. But rather it is the radio edit Forget You that is played. I’m not hugely annoyed by the changing of the words, but it would be nice to hear the original of this, and all other censored songs, after the watershed or something. I think it would be a good compromise!

I love the video too, so if you haven’t seen it it’s well worth it. But word of warning, it IS the original so there is cursing!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

30 Day Music Meme: Day Seventeen

Day 17- A song you hear often on the radio

I don’t listen to the radio that often. I used to listen to it all the time but then I got an iPod so there was no need. But since I’ve started driving, I never bring my iPod, so I’ve recently been listening to the radio quite a bit. And there’s one song that I just keep on hearing these days: Hollywood by Michael Bublé!

I do love a bit of Bublé, I love the jazzy, Big Band vibe from his songs. This song is one of his own and is really catchy, I can’t help but sing along!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

30 Day Music Meme: Day Sixteen

Day 16- A song you used to love but now hate
Make no mistake, I never loved this song but I did enjoy listening to it and sometimes singing along to it. It is a great anthem to sing along to. It was featured in Scrubs when it first was brought to my attention. But then it got used as the final song in The Sopranos and suddenly it was all over the place. The song of is, of course, Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey.
It has become so overplayed these days, especially since Glee covered it in their first episode. It’s such a well loved song that when I say I don’t like it, people look at me like I’ve just said I enjoy killing puppies. It’s a great anthem but when it’s played so much on the radio, there’s only so much I can take. But I’d rather it played every hour on the radio than in a nightclub. You can not dance to it! Or jump around to it like other 80s anthems. When it’s played on a night out (and it’s nearly always played), I take it as time to go get another drink. And pray that it isn’t played a second time later on.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

30 Day Music Meme: Day Fifteen

Day 15- A song that describes me

Can just one song perfectly describe someone? I don’t think so. I can’t even think of one song that somewhat describes me. I asked my boyfriend, he first said Firestarter by The Prodigy cos of my fiesty nature. Then he changed his mind and said Lean On Me by Bill Withers as I’m kind and always willing to listen and give advice. I asked my brother and he said Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio, just because! All valid  choices (except maybe Coolio) but I think one I finally came up with is the best.

One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces by Ben Folds Five is the best I can think of to sum me up. In fact, it was once added to a mixed cd made for me and I was asked not to be offended by it as it perfectly described me. I suppose in a way it does, all my life people have loved to point out how short I am, sometimes in jest, sometimes in a bullying way. I remember going home in tears one day after school when I was nine or ten to my Mum about this and she told me what to say in reply the next day: All good things come in small packages. It actually worked to shut the bullies up. Pity it didn’t work later in life when I was bullied again but that’s where the angry bit comes in and I vowed one day I’d be in a better position to tell them to kiss my ass. Which is what this song is all about!

 

30 Day Music Meme: Day Fourteen

Day 14- A song that no one would expect you to love

I’ve already confessed my love for 80s music in yesterday’s post, the cheesier the better for me! One iconic piece of 80s pop is Tainted Love by Soft Cell. And while this version has me bopping along to it and clicking my fingers like I was in West Side Story, I prefer Marilyn Manson’s version!

I’m not sure why I like it better, Soft Cell’s version (not the original by the way!) really seems like my ‘thing’. Maybe I prefer Manson’s version as it has much more angst and anger, the way I think a song about tainted love should be sung.

I’m not sure if admitting I like this song (or any of the other Manson songs I like) is truly shocking to people!

While watching this video, I discovered that the actress that plays Lexi Grey in Grey’s Anatomy is in here!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

30 Day Music Meme: Day Thirteen

Day 13- A song that is a guilty pleasure

Let it be said that I have no guilty pleasures. At least when it comes to music. I love my music taste, very diverse. I know that is it full of ‘guilty pleasures’. 80s music is one of my favourite genres, I think that says a lot!

I Googled guilty pleasures before writing this and I liked most songs that came up in the search! I think I might start a music post after I’m finished this meme called ‘Songs I like that I shouldn’t’. When watching X Factor’s Guilty Pleasure night a couple of weeks ago, I was amazed at the lack of guilty pleasures! Not enough cheese for my liking. Though one artist that was featured is going to be my guilty pleasure for this post.

Ricky Martin. Oh god do I love his songs! So catchy, so dancey, so cheesy. She Bangs is probably my favourite but Livin’ La Vida Loca is definitely a song from my childhood. I remember my friend had the single and we used to dance around her room to it. I still do that to this day! And the music video with all the dancing is awesome!

Here’s double the guilty pleasure, a live version of Kylie singing with Ricky!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

30 Day Music Meme: Day Twelve

Day 12- A song from a band you hate

The Killers. There, I said it, I don’t like them. That song All These Things That I’ve Done drives me nuts. ‘I’ve got soul but I’m not a soldier’, what does it mean?! Bill Bailey does a sketch on this in Tinsel Worm, sums it up much better than I do and tells us the only thing this song is good for is changing those lyrics, his being ‘I’ve got ham but I’m not a hamster’. My current favourite being ‘I’ve got toast but I’m not a toaster’. And that Human song? Don’t get me started!

Anyway, today is about trying to find the positive in this. And while looking through my iPod, I found I have one Killer’s song in there! It being Somebody Told Me. It is a good song to dance to, lots of energy in it!

 

Friday, November 12, 2010

30 Day Music Meme: Day Eleven

Day 11- A song from your favourite band

I don’t think I could name a favourite band but I’m sure if you asked several of my friends what my favourite is, they would say The Beatles. There are so many songs I love of theirs, the first one I remember listening to was Hey Jude, my first favourite was Can’t Buy Me Love, I played Michelle on repeat until it was played over hundred times, In My Life has a tendency to make me cry, I love the violins on Eleanor Rigby, Piggies reminds me of the second time I went to Prague with my second year college house mates, Rocky Racoon and I Am the Walrus are just fun songs and Yesterday and Blackbird are such simple but utterly beautiful songs. I could go on!

But Twist and Shout brings back such fun memories. It plays a big part in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and one summer’s day, about 3-4 years ago, I was at my friend Cillian’s house, watching this film. When the Twist and Shout scene came on, we got up and danced. And then rewound the scene several times to dance some more. His brother came into the room at one point and walked out shaking his head at how uncool we were! Even if I didn’t have this memory to attach to the song, I would still love it this much. The raspy screaming voice, the way it makes me want to dance and the Liverpudlian accent creeping out slightly from some of the words. Awesome!

 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

30 Day Music Meme: Day Ten

Day 10- A song that makes you fall asleep

Under the right conditions, even the most energetic song will make me fall asleep. Over the past four years of travelling to and from college, I have fallen asleep to all sorts of music. I’m not sure if today’s song is supposed to be one that’s so boring it makes you fall asleep or one that genuinely lulls you into sleep. I’m going to choose the latter.

The Amélie Soundtrack by Yann Tiersen is a particularly soothing album. I especially love Soir de fête. It’s a beautiful waltz, almost in round form, with a different instrument coming in as the verse begins again and adding new texture to the verse, making it richer in sounds. It starts with bells and clapping, with the introduction of mandolins, accordions and low whistling sounds and ends beautifully with the music fading to a musical box tinkling Zip-a-dee-doo-dah (from the Disney film ‘Songs of the South’). The song reminds me of childhood, probably because of the musical box and the handclapping. It is such a relaxing and calming song, I have often listened to it, along with the rest of the album, to help empty my mind and aid me to the Land of Nod.

 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

30 Day Music Meme: Day Nine

Day 9- A song you can dance to
I love to dance, though as we established on Day 3, I sometimes look ridiculous. It never stops me from dancing, whether on out painting the town red or in my room (and sometimes on the bus, seat dancing is a special talent of mine). And what better to dance to than a bit of disco music. Specifically Blame it on the Boogie by The Jacksons.
I think I first came across this version of the song while going through a cd I got free in a newspaper. I had previously heard it a year before in an amusements arcade. I don’t know what it is, I guess just like Rockin’ Robin and most other songs by The Jackson, it has that magical ability to instantly make me want to dance. I can listen to it on repeat for hours and still want to dance. I suppose if I ever do end up doing that and it makes me late for something, at least I have a good excuse to blame it on the boogie! Badumtish!
This video is awesome by the way!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

30 Day Music Meme: Day Eight

Day 8- A song that you know all the words to

Ah, learning the words to songs was just one of those rights of passage as a kid. Getting a new cd, whacking it on full blast and taking out the album sleeve to learn the lyrics. If you were lucky, cd singles would also have the lyrics (I remember one song had both the lyrics AND dance moves too! That was exciting!). It would only take a few plays to know the lyrics by heart. I often wondered why it was easier to learn the words to songs than to retain school work. And that homework should have been in song form to be easier to remember!

These days I’m more likely to search online to figure out tricky lyrics to a song. Which is what I probably did when Gold Digger by Kanye West came out five years ago (was it really five years ago?!How time flies). It came in handy, as it gave me the glorious opportunity to correct a hard core Kanye fan when his lyrics to this were off! It’s the small things that amuse me really.

 

(Also, I was going to write this entry on that Duck Sauce song Barbara Streisand but thought it would be showing off seeing as they’re difficult lyrics to remember)

Monday, November 8, 2010

30 Day Music Meme: Day Seven

Day 7- A song that reminds you of an event

The wonderful thing about music is that it has the incredible power to remind you of someone, some event or some time of your life, just by hearing the first few seconds of that song. That quality therefore makes this another difficult choice to make, when there are so many songs that take me back to a specific event in my life. Seeing as the last two posts weren’t the most cheerful, I decided to pick a song from my youth (in other words, when I was 18).

Man Eater by Nelly Furtado doesn’t really seem like a huge memory song. But it brings me back to the summer of 2006, the year I finished secondary school and finished my Leaving Cert. And more importantly it reminds me of my debs. A debs, for anyone that doesn’t know, is Ireland’s equivalent to the prom. So essentially a night of fancy dresses, suits, dinners, dancing and drinking! The dance floor was busy enough just before this started playing but within 3 seconds of it starting, the floor was mobbed. Mainly by my guy friends dragging this one particular lad up onto the dance floor as it was ‘his song’. I think I stood there in amazement to see boys excited about this song, when I think of it more of a girly song! Plenty of other songs remind me of this night but this song shines out!

 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

30 Day Music Meme: Day Six

Day 6- A song that reminds you of somewhere

This is has been the hardest so far, not because I have so many songs to choose from but because I can’t think a place and a song that I associate with it. One off events are coming to mind instead (so much so that I already have tomorrow’s post finished). At last though, I found something that fits!

When I was in TY (Transition Year), we went on a school tour to Prague. Big song at the time was Toxic by Britney Spears. When I hear the song, I remember the snow, the beautiful old buildings, the castle, the history, the dramas, everything about that trip comes flooding back. Especially the dancing in the hotel rooms to the music video on the TV. Well, it was either watch that or else watch The Simpson in German!

 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

30 Day Music Meme: Day Five

Day 5 – A song that reminds you of someone

Again, this is a hard one to pick. So many songs remind me of people. But tying in with yesterday’s sad theme, I’m going to choose a song that reminds me of someone who’s passed away.

Israel "IZ" Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole’s version of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ was played at my cousin’s funeral three years ago and I still tear up to this day when I hear it. I found it hard to listen to while writing this, it’s still so raw. It was used in a lot of advertisements on TV in the past year or so and every time I heard one come on, I had to turn it over. But when I do stop to think about the lyrics, the happy images remind me of my cousin. The song is beautiful too, the gentle strumming of ukulele and Israel’s soft gentle voice. The song should really be a happy one but I’ve always found it sad, even when listening Judy Garland’s version.

Friday, November 5, 2010

30 Day Music Meme: Day Four

Day 4- A song that makes you sad

So many songs make me. Some are because I associate it with a person in my life that has died. Some are just because the music or lyrics describe how I feel better than I can myself. So it was hard to pick one song for this day.

Clocks by Coldplay makes me sad as the music is so haunting, like many Coldplay songs. I think I enjoy listening to Coldplay when I’m in a melancholy mood. I’m of the belief that it’s ok to feel sad sometimes, it’s a natural emotion. I don’t think it’s healthy to dwell on it for too long though, just like most emotions really. But the music or lyrics isn’t just why I chose this song. It’s also because it reminds me of my grandmother. I had bought the single on CD and used to play it on loop on my Discman when going to visit her in a hospice, just before she died in 2003. So this song holds many bittersweet memories for me.

According to an article on MTV, the song is about the ‘helplessness of being in a dysfunctional relationship that you don’t necessarily want to escape’. And that’s kinda how I feel when listening to this song. It can be painful to remember the sad memories connected to this but at the same time I don’t want to stop listening. It’s such a beautiful song and I love the lyrics. The title even serves to remind me that as time goes on, so must life. The good and the bad.

 

(As of posting this, the playcount of this video alone is near 15 million. Just goes to prove how good a song it is!)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

30 Day Music Meme: Day Three

Day 3- A song that makes you happy

There’s a few songs that always make me happy. Rockin’ Robin by Michael Jackson is one of them. It just makes me so happy, it’s infectiously cheerful or something. I think it’s because it’s seems like such a great song to jive to. The second it starts playing it makes me bob my head, clap my hands, click my fingers and shrug my shoulders. Sometimes it makes me tuck my hands under my armpits and a do a ‘chicken dance’ move. And it always makes me smile.

I played the song before writing this blog entry, to get a feel for it and started doing the dance moves. Which made my boyfriend laugh at how ridiculous I look. Ya, I knew before then that I looked ridiculous but who looks good doing the chicken dance?! It’s a good thing it makes me so happy that I don’t care how I look

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

30 Day Music Meme: Day Two

Day 2- Your Least Favourite Song

When I first started writing this entry, I thought ‘Well, if I don’t have a favourite song, then surely I don’t have a least favourite?’. There’s songs that annoy me but I try not to dwell on those, for the good of my health. I couldn’t turn to my iPod to find a least favourite. If I can’t stand it, there’s no way it’s going on my iPod. I tried thinking of songs my Mum used to play in the car that I hated. And while I’m sure there’s loads, I think I’ve managed to block out those traumatic memories. After wracking my brain for hours, I finally thought of one.

San Diego Song by The Coronas. It’s like nails on a chalk board. Jagged nails on a dusty chalk board. Thinking about it makes me shudder. While I can block out songs that annoy me or ignore them, this one makes me angry. It makes me want to punch someone. I don’t know why. Their style music, whiny indie rock, is something I don’t really enjoy listening to. They’re good singers and talented but this song just really gets on my goat. When I was on work placement, my housemate would drive us to work and play this every now and again. And I used to sit in silence clenching my fists and jaw, praying for the song to be over. I think I need to stop thinking about this or else I might have heart attack from the rage building up! Now you can see why I don’t tend to dwell on songs I don’t like!

30 Day Music Meme: Day One

Day 1- Your Favourite Song

I’m not sure I have a favourite favourite song. It all depends on the mood I’m in. I could have a favourite that lasts a few days, then the next song that becomes my favourite could be it for months. I like so many styles of music I don’t even know if I could pick my favourite genre. Again, it all depends on my current mood.

When I first looked at the list of categories for this meme a month or so ago, I thought I’d go by iPod play counts to try help me choose songs. But then remembered that due to my old laptop crashing and having to reload all my songs onto the new laptop, my play counts had been wiped. I don’t remember many of my top played song, but I do remember the top played song. And it’s the one I’m going to choose. Could It Be Magic by Take That. I know the original is by Barry Manilow, but it just doesn’t do it for me. The Take That one though, it always makes me happy when I hear it. I could listen to it on repeat without ever getting bored. In fact, I have done that, which probably contributed to it it being played over 700 times on my iPod.

I don’t know why I love this song so much, probably because it reminds me of my childhood. I was just old enough to remember Take That when I was younger, but I remember more the later days, just before they broke up. I heard this song years later though and it, along with other Take That songs I had forgotten, just flooded my mind with childhood memories. Not specific memories, more just general childhood feelings.

I had to put this on while writing this. And I can’t help but dance in my seat! And while I’m not particularly partial to the Barry Manilow version, I am keen on the version Leona Lewis sang on The X Factor. She sings it with so much emotion, but it still makes me want to dance. I enjoy this version so much that it was also in my Top 5 Most Played on iTunes. Maybe it is my most favourite favourite song ever then!

 

Monday, November 1, 2010

30 Day Music Meme

My friend Wini over at Winipedia has been doing a ‘30 Day Music Meme’ and I have loved reading her posts. I have been meaning to start it myself but haven’t gotten around to it til now. Here are each of the days

  • Day 01 — Your favourite song
  • Day 02 — Your least favourite song
  • Day 03 — A song that makes you happy
  • Day 04 — A song that makes you sad
  • Day 05 — A song that reminds you of someone
  • Day 06 — A song that reminds of you of somewhere
  • Day 07 — A song that reminds you of a certain event
  • Day 08 — A song that you know all the words to
  • Day 09 — A song that you can dance to
  • Day 10 — A song that makes you fall asleep
  • Day 11 — A song from your favourite band
  • Day 12 — A song from a band you hate
  • Day 13 — A song that is a guilty pleasure
  • Day 14 — A song that no one would expect you to love
  • Day 15 — A song that describes you
  • Day 16 — A song that you used to love but now hate
  • Day 17 — A song that you hear often on the radio
  • Day 18 — A song that you wish you heard on the radio
  • Day 19 — A song from your favourite album
  • Day 20 — A song that you listen to when you’re angry
  • Day 21 — A song that you listen to when you’re happy
  • Day 22 — A song that you listen to when you’re sad
  • Day 23 — A song that you want to play at your wedding
  • Day 24 — A song that you want to play at your funeral
  • Day 25 — A song that makes you laugh
  • Day 26 — A song that you can play on an instrument
  • Day 27 — A song that you wish you could play
  • Day 28 — A song that makes you feel guilty
  • Day 29 — A song from your childhood
  • Day 30 — Your favourite song at this time last year

Not sure if I’ll be able to answer all of them but I’ll give it a shot. I hope I can make up my mind on some of the answers, as I’m sure some of them will have me in half minds!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

KCW (Tuesday): Mushroom Soup And Butternut Squash and Chicken Risotto

This draft has been sitting on my computer for over a month now, it’s high time I finish it! This was for the Tuesday of my Kitchen Challenge Week. I had planned to make the Butternut Squash and Chicken Risotto for that Tuesday all along, I only decided to make the mushroom soup when I looked in the fridge and saw there was loads there that needed to be used up. Though I didn’t try the soup, not a mushroom fan at all!

Sorry the measurements for the risotto aren’t very accurate, I used rough guides but tried my best to put some measurements to the recipe.

DSCN0147     Butternut Squash and Chicken Risotto

Butternut Squash and Chicken Risotto

Serves: Four

Ingredients

1 small onion

Leftover chicken

Half a medium butternut squash, chopped into small chunks

~300g of risotto rice

600ml chicken stock (vegetable can be used into if preferred)

 

1. Drizzle butternut squash pieces with a little olive oil and place into pre-heat 180°C oven until soft and tender

2. Dice onion finely and fry in some olive oil. Add leftover chicken. Add risotto grains and stir to coat in oil. Add butternut squash

3. Add a few tablespoons of stock and simmer. Stir until all stock is absorbed. Add more stock and repeat, until the stock is gone. Cook for 25-30 mins, until the risotto is creamy but still has a bite to it

4. Serve and enjoy! Garnish to your own taste, maybe add some sage or some Parmesan.

 

Cream of Mushroom Soup Recipe

(No picture of the soup, it came out blurry. But sure it’s mushroom soup, it’s boring looking anyway!)

Servings: About 6, maybe more

Ingredients

400g Mushrooms

1 onion

1 clove garlic

750ml vegetable stock

1 small carton of cream

Salt and pepper

 

1. Dice onion and garlic and fry in a little oil. Wipe mushrooms with a damp cloth and then cut into smallish chunks

2. Add mushroom to onions and garlic and on a low-medium heat, let them soften gently. Add stock and bring to the boil.

3. Using a hand held blender, whizz the soup to your desired texture, I made it smooth but you can keep it a bit chunky if you like.

4. Add cream, salt and pepper to your own taste. And enjoy!

You can play with this a bit, using different mushrooms, adding spices and herbs, omitting the cream for something a little lighter, it’s up to you really!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Apologies!

It’s been a month since my last post, so sorry about that! During the middle of my Kitchen Challenge Week, I got sick and couldn’t complete all the dishes I wanted to make. Then various other things happened, such as going to London and Oxford for a weekend, friends coming home after being away all summer and preparing for my driving test, that I just neglected writing and pushed it to the back of my mind. Until I was asked yesterday about new posts and thought that was the push to start writing again!

I have loads of ideas to write about, especially cooking and baking posts, which I’m excited about. I’m happy to say that I have completed the ‘Cook 12 new dishes’ part of my New Year’s Resolution, but will continue to try making new dishes.

More proper new posts to follow this, promise!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

KCW (Monday): French Onion Soup

So yesterday I decided I would start getting through the long list of things I wanted to try and make and set myself the challenge to make at least one a day. And the weather that day influenced my decision on what to begin with. With the wind howling and the rain lashing down, I decided to start with French Onion Soup.

I wasn’t always a fan of onions. Growing up I hated them, usually because they would always be sneakily added to my food, like in burgers. The only way to get me to eat onions as a child was to cover them in batter and deep fry them (in other words, onion rings!). This slowly changed when I went to college and was challenged to try new foods by two of my housemates in second year. And now I can’t get enough of onions!

This new found craving of onions has made me want to make French Onion Soup for months now. Not only was it my first time making the soup, but also the first time tasting the soup. And boy did it satisfy!

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Made in various mugs and bowls as I don’t have the proper serving bowls. And also served without Gruyere cheese (which as far as I understand is sacrilege, so forgive me!). It was so so yummy, I think it’s my new favourite soup! I can’t wait to make it again, next time I will be sure to have Gruyere cheese!

French Onion Soup

Serves: Roughly 4-5

Ingredients:

5 Medium Onions

25g butter

1 tablespoon oil

Salt and Pepper

1 glove garlic

Baguette

Gruyere cheese

500ml rich stock (I used half chicken,half beef)

1 Dessertspoon of flour

1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Peel and chop onions. I chopped mine into chunks instead of strings. Crush and dice garlic

2. Melt butter and oil in large saucepan. Add onions, stir to cover them all in butter and oil. Allow to ‘sweat’ at a low heat, stirring occasionally. ‘Sweating’ is the cooking of vegetables in butter and oil at low heat to extract the juices and flavour without any colour change. Continue to sweat onions for 1-12, until soft but not brown.

3. Caramelise stage: Add garlic (and about 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, to help get brown colour. I forgot!) and continue to cook until onions have caramelised (turned a golden brown) without burning.

4. Stir in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

5. Cut baguette into slices and toast. Put a slice or two of the baguette into a bowl or mug, add some soup, place another slice on top and then cover with grated cheese. Gruyere works best but I used a mixture of mature cheddar and mozzarella. Place into a tray and pop into a pre-heated oven until cheese has begun to melt. Enjoy!

Kitchen Challenge Week

So I’ve kinda been avoiding writing any new blog posts. I don’t know why, I guess the longer and longer I left it, the harder and harder it got to think of something to write about! Hopefully now that I’ve started writing again, it won’t get to that stage again.

To help myself get into the swing of things again, I’ve decided to set myself a challenge: To make at least one new dish a day in the kitchen. I have a big list of dishes I’ve been wanting to try out and this is the perfect excuse! Stay tuned for my first post, French Onion Soup!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I have some stalkers…

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There seems to be an abundance of swallows around my house and I often look out my window to see twenty or so of them there, sitting along the roof. However, they are getting cheekier!

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And not just one, but loads!

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It’s like a scene for Hitchcock’s The Birds! But I love looking out and watching them. It reminds me of when I was 10 in Fourth Class, when my class and I got to take turns to watch birds outside the classroom window thanks to out teacher being a keen bird watcher.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Local Tourist Part 1

Kat from thedemuremuse.com hit the nail on the head when she commented being a ‘local tourist’ on my Staycation post. That is what I have spent a good chunk of this summer doing, exploring my local surroundings and tourist attractions. It’s always something you aim to do but never get around to. It’s such a shame too, cos when people ask you what there is to do when visiting, you can usually rattle off a number of different places of interest to visit. Which naturally leads to their next question ‘Is it any good?’ and the reply is usually I don’t know, I’ve never been/haven’t been there since I was a child.

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Ireland is The Cliffs of Moher in Co.Clare. I’ve been there a few times before and all recent enough. But when a friend said she wanted to a do a boat tour along the bottom of the Cliffs, I leapt at the chance!

We left from Liscannor Bay, after getting a deal on the price of tickets and set off in the speed boat. I was glad I wore my jacket, as there was a good breeze when out in the water! We were lucky that it wasn’t raining though I say it would have still looked as beautiful as it did. To see the Cliffs from a different perspective was amazing, they looked almost majestic.

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One of the most exciting parts of the trip was seeing the caves used the Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince film.

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Hopefully you can see from the above photo the colour of the water. It was incredible, a gorgeous emerald green that I desperately tried to capture on picture but couldn’t truly capture the brilliance of no matter how many pictures I took.

Another thing I loved about this tour were all the birds! Millions of them, on the cliff side, in the air and in the water. We tried to sneak up on some puffins on the water but they were wise and flew away.

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The trip was well worth it and I was easily go back again, especially if it was sunset as I think that would be even more beautiful.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Cupcakes!

My sister passed her Leaving Certificate exams with flying colours this week and to celebrate, I decided to bake some cupcakes (not that I needed an excuse!).
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In honour of her wanting to study French in college, I made them red, white and blue.
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Madeira Queen Cakes with Vanilla Buttercream Icing
Makes: Roughly 12
Ingredients:
100g Caster Sugar
100g Butter
2 Medium Eggs, lightly beaten
Vanilla Essence
150g Self Raising Flour
75g Butter
150g Icing Sugar
Food colours if desired
1. Preheat oven to 180°C
2. Cream butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy
3. Add half egg mixture and half flour and beat in.
4. Add rest of egg mixture and 2 drops of vanilla essence. Add in food colouring if using.
5. Fold in rest of flour until fully folded in. Add to cupcake liners and bake in oven for 10-15 min, until golden brown and a skewer is dry when placed into the centre and removed.
To make buttercream icing, beat icing sugar and butter together until mixture comes together to a smooth consistency, add vanilla essence and beat to evenly distribute.
To ice, wait until buns are cooled and apply icing with a spatula or using a piping bag and star shaped tip. And enjoy!
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Friday, August 13, 2010

Staycation!

So I have been away for such a long time! And there’s a reason. I had planned to write up some posts last weekend but as a last minute surprise, my boyfriend decided to whisk me away on a weekend break! We went to Dungarven, Co. Waterford, where two of my college friends are from. We met up with them on Friday night and had a few drinks (some more than others so it seems!).

IMG_0457              View from hotel window

Saturday was a lazy day of relaxing. Luckily the weather was very nice! The day was spent shopping, visiting King John’s Castle and walking around the town.

IMG_0475  Dungarvan Harbour

Sunday was another beautiful day. We went to the beautiful Mahon Falls and walked about half way up.

IMG_0488                          Mahon Falls

I also dipped my toes into the water! Next we went to Cahir Castle, Co. Tipperary. I had been there many times travelling back to Kilkenny on a Sunday night last summer and the castle always intrigued me. We managed to tag onto a tour and hear the interesting facts about the castle. After that, we went to eat some food.

IMG_0532                    Cahir Castle

Last but not least we visited The Rock of Cashel. Contrary to what I previously believed, there is no rock or rock monument there that is The Rock of Cashel, but rather it is the rock on which the old round tower, cathedral and other buildings stand now. We managed again to tag along with another tour, which just tickled the history nerd in me pink!

IMG_0577               Cathedral and Round Tower

After a busy day of touring, we travelled the long journey home. I really enjoyed my ‘Staycation’, I thoroughly recommend it. I can’t wait to explore other areas in Ireland I’ve never been to before!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Cupcakey Crafts

It was a friend’s birthday yesterday and I decided that I would craft half of her present. A lovely of cupcakes just like me, there was no way I could resist crafting some cupcakey items!

It had been a while since I had crafted anything, so I was a bit afraid I would go wrong. Still I enjoyed it and hopefully I’ll continue doing some crafting! I’m a bit of a Jack of All Trades, Master of None when it comes to crafting, I like trying lots of different ones but there’s nothing I’m really great at.

Here’s what I made!

IMG_0225Cupcake Shot Glass

IMG_0226Cupcake Card

I made some other cards too. They’re not all perfect but I think they’re cute! I really wanted to keep the shot glass for myself (even though I rarely use them these days!).

Some pretty pictures!

One thing I love about summer (once the sun is shining) is that there are so many pretty things to photograph! Here are some pictures I took yesterday when I went for a walk.





New Hair: A Week Later


So true!

This is pretty much how I've felt since getting my hair cut. Ok, so I haven't really been crying that much but I have lamented the loss of my lovely locks! I should be used to it now, but I'm not. Though I'm slowly getting my head around it and it's not so shocking anymore when I glance into the mirror. I do like how my hair looks so much healthier but it just doesn't seem like my hair.

(Not sure who drew this, so I can't credit anyone! I came across it on a forum, so thank you to that poster for showing it to me)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New Year's Resolutions Explanations

I don't normally bother to make New Year's Resolutions. I don't see the point. I did make a few this year, some of which I want to share on here. There was nothing huge, just a few goals and aims I had set myself.

1. Bake 12 things I had never baked before
2. Cook 12 new meals I had never made before
3. Start a blog
4. Visit three countries I had never been to before
5. Read 50 books
6. Watch 50 films I had never seen before
7. Try and improve my photography skills

Some are them are going well, others not so great. As you can see, number 3 has been completed. 1 and 2 are going well too, I have been in the kitchen a lot. I'm not going to make it to one new country, let alone three but it's something I can work on next year. I'm struggling with the reading one the most, I usually read loads but I'm just not committed right now. Though I did get off to a great start with that one and read 8 books alone in January! I just thought it would be nice to review them now before summer is over and before I look at them again at the end of the year.

Monday, August 2, 2010

I just don't know what to do with myself...

So as excited as I was to start my blog, I knew I would reach this point. Where I no longer felt I had much to talk about and started slacking on writing.

So the decluttering didn't go as much to plan as I had hoped. I did get a lot of stuff done but alas, I never got my room fully cleaned! I just had to get that off my chest before my boyfriend did what he was threatening all week, to come on here and rat me out! Happy now?! Anyway, there's not as much left to do on the list, so fingers crossed I will finally complete it. I don't know why everything hasn't been done considering I'm not working at the moment. Like I previously said, if you want something done, ask a busy person.

I'm finding myself wondering what to do in the future. Ending college has been an anticlimax and just like a lot of people I asked who had finished college both recently and years before, I don't want to go into anything to do with my course. That's not to say I'll always feel like this but right now, I'm sick of it. So I've had to think about what to do in the future. My ideas have not gone to plan so far. Ideally, a summer job would have been nice, to save money and then go travelling. Alas, work is on the thin side so that hasn't happened. I still want to travel but I'd rather have some money saved before I commit to it. Right now everything is up in the air and that's the most scary thing for me. The uncertainty. Before, at least I had school and college to work through and I was on the same level as all my friends. Now, everyone is going in different directions and I'm beginning to feel left behind. I'm hoping that by the end of the summer (which is going very fast!) I will become more comfortable with the new me, college graduate Breige (sounds like a type of Barbie). I also need to get used to this new hair cut, after my last post I began to hate my hair again. Another case of speaking too early!
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