Amani Lyrical

Lifestyle Blog

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I'm Amani - A twenty-something English literature student from London, studying in Nottingham.
These are my thoughts, opinions, likes and dislikes. Thanks for stopping by!
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Autumn '16 In Pictures

Here's what my Autumn of 2016 looked like:

My birthday is only a few days after the start of Autumn, here are some birthday drinks 

And I travelled back home to celebrate with family on the day.

(And had a look at some wands at the Platform 9 3/4 store at Kings Cross).

My birthday cake from Patisserie Valerie!

Back in Nottingham . .

I got some pretty new postcards for my wall.

And took selfies, of course.

Autumn is my favourite season, and I made sure to stop and appreciate it this year.

One of my favourite things about Halloween time is the treats.

Autumn vibes all around.

Elderflower cocktails were had.

I tried and failed to sit down and film some Youtube videos, hopefully I'll get there eventually!

The first signs of Christmas started to show.

Amani x

Christmas 2016 (Tag)

Christmas 2016 is finally upon us, and as I was kindly tagged by Joanna from to answer a few Questions, I thought it the perfect time and opportunity to write about my favourite things about Christmas.

What’s your favourite Christmas Movie? Not a Christmas film per say, but I'm going to go with Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. I remember there being a period when I was younger where I would watch this every Christmas. Some of the film is of course set at Christmas time, and the beautiful images of Hogwarts in the winter make this film have the perfect Christmas feel.

Have you ever had a white Christmas? I don't remember ever having a white Christmas, but a quick Google search tells me there was one in England 2009! Not sure if it was the case in London or not though!

What is your favourite Christmas song? This is a really difficult one. But 'I wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday' has been stuck in my head for the last few days, so I shall go with that one.

Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve? Yes. Me and my Mum have a tradition to open our Christmas presents for each other on Christmas eve, and the rest of the family's/friends we save for the actual day. Though this year I've suggested opening them after midnight, so it will technically be on the 25th!

Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? I mean, probably not. But let's try. Prancer, Dancer, Blitzen, Rudolph, Dasher. Yep, that's all I can do!

Is your Christmas tree real or fake? We unfortunately don't have a Christmas tree this year. But we usually change it up, sometimes we have real ones and sometimes we use a fake tree. 

What is your all time favourite holiday treat/food/sweet? When it comes to the Christmas meal itself my favourite part is 100% the roast potatoes. Treat wise I like Gingerbread men/cookies.

Be honest, do you like giving or receiving gifts better? I think now that I'm an adult and I am able to buy things I want for myself throughout the year I actually look forward to giving presents more than receiving (though of course receiving is also great!). 

What is the best Christmas present you’ve ever received? I'm very lucky to have had things like iPhones bought for me as presents in the past. Also concert tickets!

What would be your dream place to visit during the holiday season? I've heard New York is a great place to be at Christmas time, so maybe there. 

Are you a Pro present wrapper or do you fail miserably? I like to think I'm okay! I'm pretty happy with this box of presents I wrapped and arranged for my Mum. Though I feel like when I'm no longer a student I'll probably get more extravagant when it comes to wrapping and the like!

Most memorable Christmas moment? I remember spending one Christmas in Spain when I was younger. It was memorable because it was a bit different to the usual set up of having Christmas in London! 

What made you realise the truth about Santa? I remember once finding the same wrapping paper that Santa had used stored in my mum's room. That was one of my first hints!

What makes the holidays special for you? The fact that the atmosphere is completely different around Christmas time. People are happier and there are pretty lights everywhere! Also getting to spend quality time with family.

Thank you Joanna for the tag, I now tag Eden at, Sarah at and Helen at to also answer these questions (also anyone else who happens to be reading)!

I hope you enjoyed reading my answers to these Christmasy questions. What are your favourite things about Christmas?

Amani x 

My Favourite Epic Movies

I'm a huge fan of film, and my taste is very versatile. I can love anything from a low budget indie flick to a Hollywood blockbuster, so long as the film is captivating and has substance. The films I've listed below are my favourite 'epic' films - that is films that have beautiful cinematography, scores, and enthralling twists and turns, and that keep you fully immersed from start to finish.

Directed by Christopher Nolan and starring the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy and Joseph Gordon Levitt, Inception is a thrilling film with beautiful cinematography, gripping twists and phenomenal acting. This innovative and thought provoking film truly enamoured me the first time I saw it, and it remains one of my favourite films of all time.

The Dark Knight
Okay, so I really like Christopher Nolan movies. This classic Batman film is another all-time favourite of mine. Like the majority of the films on this list, I saw this film many times in the cinema. Everything from the pivotal acting scenes to the intense action sequences make for an irresistible cinematic experience.

Les Misérables
Movies don't get more epic than this. Based on the world famous stage production about pre-revolution France, 'Les Mis' takes the play's beautiful songs and tragic story-lines and accompanies them with beautiful visual scenes of 19th Century France. Making - in my opinion - one of the most amazing films of all time.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Here's one film that I would say is rather underrated. This unique short-story adaptation starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett tells an epic love story featuring a man who ages backwards. Truly beautiful cinematography and a poignant, emotional story-line combine and make this film one of my favourites.

Sweeney Todd 
As already evident by Les Mis' place on this list, dark musicals are sort of my thing. Sweeney Todd is a Gothic tragedy with both beautiful music and imagery. The Gothic visuals are perfection, even the blood in the film (there is a lot of it) is creatively stylised to be a unique shade of red. Sweeney Todd remains my favourite Tim Burton film.

I was able to enjoy all these films in the cinema (often multiple times). But now thanks to current day technology, having a great movie experience doesn't have to end when a film has stopped playing in cinemas. You can now get that epic movie experience at home with the Ultra HD 4K TV Panasonic. These TVs play films (and more) in spectacular, never before seen high-definition, and are an amazing way to bring great movies to life. They feature professional cinema display and were even tuned by Hollywood filmmakers.

I personally hope to watch all the movies on this list on this TV!

Amani x

This post has been kindly sponsored, but all views are my own.

Gaining Weight Made Me Feel Like Half A Person | A Rant

About 6 months ago I put on 10 pounds due to some medication I had to take. I shortly cut off the meds after noticing the side effect, but unfortunately the weight still hasn't come off even half a year later. And the doctor has warned me that it could take another half year until it does. As someone who has issues with weight and appearance it's very disheartening to me. Especially as the fact that I do exercise regularly and don't eat too much isn't currently reflected by my outward-self, and I feel exposed to judgement. 

I hate how much emphasis and importance society puts on appearance, specifically weight. People are so much more than their outer-layer. Our minds contain infinities, yet most people still decide to judge people by their outward physicality. I'm still by no means overweight. Yet at least one person has made it clear to me that their view of me dropped because I went up a few pounds, and it's possible others feel the same way, but perhaps aren't brazen enough to vocalise it.

How I view myself isn't any better. My self-esteem has taken a huge hit. When I walk through the streets I'm not wanting to be seen. I'm looking at slim girls and thinking that they are better than me. I essentially feel like I'm no longer as worthy as a person, just because there's no extra space in my dresses anymore. As ridiculous as these beliefs sound, society itself seems to echo them.

This inner turmoil is the outcome of - as an overweight child and teenager - being accustomed to others thinking that I warranted a different kind of treatment due to my weight. Being self-conscious about being seen in public after gaining a few pounds most likely stems from the fact that I was often made fun of/insulted in public back when I was bigger as a teen. So my reticence to feel as confident out and about when I'm not in my usual 'slim' form is understandably a learnt behaviour. One that's also being reinforced now. 

We all know the spiel, that there's nothing wrong with losing weight (in a healthy way) if it's what will make you yourself happy. But what happens when that's not an option due to medication or health issues which don't afford you that choice (something that most people who judge 'bigger' people never seem to factor in)? I guess the answer in that case would be to make peace with yourself. To realise that such superficialities such as outside appearance don't define you and shouldn't rule your life.

But it's not always so easy when it seems like the world doesn't agree.

Amani x

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