Thursday, 27 August 2015

Why I love to walk


You may or may not have realised through photo diary posts and such that I am an avid walker (when this post goes up I'll 100% be out on an early morning walk). I generally walk somewhere between 60-90km a week at the moment and I really wouldn't have it any other way. There are quite a few reasons why I love to walk, and so I thought I'd share them.

1. I like it.

Probably the simplest reason to do something. I just enjoy it. I like walking around and seeing things, and it feels like a good way to spend my free time.

2. It makes me feel good.

Walking is a good form of exercise, and if you walk at a fast pace like I do it can be beneficial to your health. I'm not really big into sports, so this is a good alternative. It keeps me healthy and active.

3. Freeing my mind.

It's nice to get up and walk away from work for a while. During exam season especially, I'll go for at least one long walk every day. I feel like it really helps mentally; no longer looking at books or at a screen, and simply seeing the things around you and feeling the air helps to feel calmer and to spend a little time not focusing on anything but yourself.

4. It reduces stress.

I feel like walking for an hour or two relieves a lot of the tension in my head and helps give you a chance to just breathe. The moment you walk out the door, you leave the stress behind and take a little while to relax.

5. Fresh air is best felt walking through it.

Sure, sitting outside to get a bit of fresh air is a good idea, but walking along and absorbing (kind of) that air feels like a cleansing process. Even if you walk way too fast and end up super sweaty, it feels like your soul is cleaner (for me at least).

6. Nature.

I love nature (especially trees). It's such a big part of the world and yet so often overlooked. A walk through a park can change your perspective on a lot of things: seeing trees so much taller than you; realising that the simplest plants are far more complex than they seem.

7. The escape.

More than anything, for me walking is a way to literally walk away and escape reality for a while. I put my earphones in and I just pay attention to myself for an hour or so. 'Me' time is very important, and I don't think many of us get enough of it.

8. There's nothing like an early morning walk.

When the sun's just up and the rest of the world is still sleeping, it's the most peaceful time. Especially on a Sunday. There is nothing better.


Do you enjoy walking? What are your favourite things about it?

Until next time.


Contacts/social media links:
Twitter: @abbielour
Instagram: abbielour
Email: abbielour18@gmail.com

Monday, 24 August 2015

Song of the week #32



I love Lower Than Atlantis' music, and this week I've been listening to Stays the Same rather a lot.

This song is so upbeat and it makes me wanna bop along and I would loooooove to hear it at a gig because I think the atmosphere would be so great; and I'm seeing LTA in December so fingers crossed they play this one as well as my other favourites.

The bass really drives the song on, especially through the chorus. And the build up works so well, with more and more instruments and riffs being added throughout. I think it's such a catchy song, and with great lyrics too; very relatable.

Would definitely recommend checking LTA out either online or on tour.

Until next time.


Contacts/social media links:
Twitter: @abbielour
Instagram: abbielour
Email: abbielour18@gmail.com

Monday, 17 August 2015

Song of the week #31



A week or two ago I went to see the lovely Kate Voegele play in Birmingham, and my oh my she was wonderful. She played a great show with Tyler Hilton and I had a great time. At the gig she played what is probably my favourite of all her songs, Sandcastles. It's the most beautiful song with lyrics that have captivated my heart.

The song is a subtle acoustic arrangement (with a little electric guitar line (so not completely acoustic but still)), very easy on the ears, with the guitar and piano at the heart of it. The instrumentation accompanies the lyrics perfectly. It's such a calm, serene song and I could honestly listen to it for hours (and I have and do often).

The lyrics form a sense of clarity in my mind. I don't know, like when it feels like nothing going on is making any sense I'll listen to this song for a while and remember that life just goes on, whether you're happy with how it's going and understand the goings-on of life or not; you can only do what you can to make things go your way.

The line 'I do believe a song can heal me' is the one that struck the boldest chord with me. I am one hundred percent in agreement with that line, and since I heard it I'm always thinking about it when listening to certain songs. It's the kind of line that some people will laugh or scoff at, and others will silently smile at.

And what better way to celebrate a song than with a silent smile that says more than any words ever will.

Until next time.


Contacts/social media links:
Twitter: @abbielour
Instagram: abbielour
Email: abbielour18@gmail.com

Friday, 14 August 2015

Simple cupcake recipe


Now that I have some free time over the summer, I've gotten back into baking a little bit. Ohhhhh how I love cake. And so I thought I would share a super simple recipe for 12 cupcakes, just how my (Great) Auntie Joan taught me to make them, as well as the recipe for buttercream icing.

Cake ingredients:
Caster sugar
Margarine/softened butter
2 eggs
Self-raising flour

Oven on 180 degrees celsius.




I haven't put the amounts for each ingredient, because the first step involves:

1. Weigh the eggs. Then weigh out the other ingredients so you have the same amount of each of them as the eggs (this gives more of an evenness to the mixture, rather than assuming the weight of the eggs (e.g. if the eggs weigh 120g, use 120g of all the other ingredients)).

2. Put the caster sugar and margarine into a large bowl and mix until creamy.

3. Crack one egg into a separate bowl and whisk, then adding it to the butter/margarine mix along with half of the self-raising flour; mix together until even. Repeat with the second egg.

4. Scoop an even amount of mix into 12 cupcake cases (ideally on a cupcake tray).

5. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Then leave to cool on a cooling rack.


Buttercream ingredients:
100g softened butter
225g icing sugar
30ml milk
Vanilla essence



1. Beat the butter in a large bowl, until (super) soft.

2. Gradually sift the icing sugar into the bowl, adding a dash of milk and mixing it all together until the mix is fairly thick.

3. Add in a drop of vanilla essence and mix thoroughly until a little thicker.

4. Leave in the fridge for 15-30 minutes.

5. Stir the mix again before icing the cakes.


Soooooooo yeah. Nice and simple; five steps for the cakes and five steps for the icing. So simple even I can do it. And they taste great.

Until next time.


Contacts/social media links:
Twitter: @abbielour
Instagram: abbielour
Email: abbielour18@gmail.com

Monday, 10 August 2015

Song of the week #30



Ahhhh, The Killers, an American rock band I'm sure most people will have heard of. I've loved their music for years but recently I've been listening to them more frequently. One of my favourite songs is When You Were Young. I love the big intro, where the hook is immediately indicated (and what a great hook it is). The bass line can be heard so easily and I always really appreciate that about The Killers' music (sometimes I feel like with other artists it gets hidden under too many layers of sound ya know).

It's just a great rock song. What's not to like? The middle eight sounds a little gospel and I love how they're always mixing up their sound. I like the concept of the lyrics too; they work really well with the instrumentation.

What's your favourite song by The Killers?

Until next time.


Contacts/social media links:
Twitter: @abbielour
Instagram: abbielour
Email: abbielour18@gmail.com

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Kate Voegele and Tyler Hilton


When I saw on gigsandtours that Kate Voegele and Tyler Hilton were playing joint shows across the UK, I was immediately purchasing tickets. The pair both played parts in my favourite TV show of all time, One Tree Hill, and so I felt it was only right to go along and relive the OTH days.



It was also an opportunity to head back up to Birmingham, my second home, for a day during the summer, as I'm currently living in my hometown until term starts up again in September. And it was really nice to be back, so I'm now looking forward to returning again for my studies (also one of my best friends is moving to birms too to start her uni course so I can't wait for that(!)). Ruth and I had a lovely day and also ended up planning our next gig in birms.


Tyler was on first, and he was great. I'd only heard a few of his songs before, but it all sounded great. I love his voice and the country twang it has to it, and he played some country songs too which was so nice to hear (the harmonica made it all 10x better).


And Kate was wonderful. I've been listening to her music for years and knew all the songs she played, so it was just such a lovely evening. Her voice is beeeeautiful and I'm so glad I got to hear it live. And she played my favourite song of her's, which is called Sandcastles, which made it extra special (would 100% recommend giving it a listen, it's stunning).


At the end the pair played a couple of songs together. The final one of which was an old OTH classic, When The Stars Go Blue, which, if you've ever watched the show, I'm sure you'll know very well. It felt so nostalgic.

Overall, the show was brilliant and I had a really great time. I'd happily go and see both of them again.


Until next time.


Contacts/social media links:
Twitter: @abbielour
Instagram: abbielour
Email: abbielour18@gmail.com

Monday, 3 August 2015

Song of the week #29



I love this song?????? SO mUCH. I feel like Jess Glynne does some really great dance-y songs and this is one of them, I gotta tell ya. Don't Be So Hard On Yourself is the pop-iest song but it also has a lovely message and I feel like that's often hard to come by nowadays. I love that's it's so upbeat and happy; it's just the kind of song I want to hear right now.

And I love her voice. It reminds me a little bit of Florence Welch, but with something else to it, like if you mixed Florence with Beyonce. What could be better.

I just really like it. And I feel like you should have a listen too (because it's greaT).


Until next time.


Contacts/social media links:
Twitter: @abbielour
Instagram: abbielour
Email: abbielour18@gmail.com