These are things I love, saved mainly for when I need to find them. You never know, you might love them too!
I have always loved music and used to write music reviews for websites. Nowadays I am a little too busy and prefer instead to listen and fund music I love. Below are some of the bands/projects I’ve been involved with:
- Speak, Brother – Originally a three-piece when they performed at my 30th Birthday party the now 6-piece have released 2 EPs and are on the way to their first full LP. Great live or on CD their tight harmonisation and melodies interweaved with storytelling will have your feet tapping in no time.
- Brady Toops – Brady has one of the best voices in the business; rich and sonically deep. ‘Tried and True’ is an album I was proud to support and have loved listening to.
- Shawn McDonald – I spoke to Shawn McDonald a decade or so ago for one of his album launches and really was impacted by the heart of the man. His music has developed over the years and I am honoured to be supporting his latest work including ‘The Search’, where Shawn’s lyrics have never been so vulnerable.
- Icon For Hire – The hard rock, hip-hop, punk-pop pairing of Ariel Bloomer and Shawn Jump have released some of the catchiest, rawest and loudest music in my collection. Supporting ‘You Can’t Kill Us’ has been a fantastic adventure.
- Branches – Harmony-driven indie-rock that’s easy to listen to and picks you right up. It was a joy to support ‘White Flag’.
- Andy Squyres – Cherry blossoms was an awesome album and I’ve got on board for the follow up that is currently in the works.
- I read four magazines regularly: RELEVANT Magazine has been talking about God, Life and Culture for 15 years and still manages to do what it says in the title; WIRED is focused on ideas, technology, design and business; 60 north produced by the Shetland Amenity Trust is packed full of detailed articles and stunning photos from my favourite islands; and The Simple Things is a magazine focused on taking time to live well and includes articles on making, upcycling, growing, cooking, escaping and relaxing.
- I consume books like others eat bacon sandwiches and one of the best value sites I’ve found is The Book People – excellent prices, quick delivery and a nice selection of books. When it comes to Christian books and authors and have used Eden very happily for over a decade now – often cheaper than Amazon.
- A great website deserves great hosting and I use One.com. The first year, all in, costs just over £10.
- Zno (formerly Artisan Slate) are my favourite photo book company from over the past few years. They have some great value products – such as the Little Instagram Timeline Book around £10 inc. p&p – as well as some premium photo book layouts that are well worth the investment.
- Pip’s Parcels is the only place I will buy my custom hand-dyed garments from. Beautiful products for children (and adults if you send a message!)
- Sticker Mule and Awesome Merchandise are where I get all my custom printing done. Excellent companies with superb customer services and quality end results.
- The Relevant Podcast has been a staple listen for the past few years. Perfect for travelling, the mix of chat, catch up and culture has kept me informed and laughing. It may have even made me a better person! Excitingly, over the past few months, the podcast has launched a number of new shows which thus far have been very entertaining.
- Humble Beast is an amazing record label of hip-hop artists who freely give their music. This includes Propaganda and Beautiful Eulogy whose instrumental albums are amongst the best creative inspiration out there. Humble Beast has also recently launched streetlights, a project that pairs spoken word artists with Bible passages – immensely cool.
- Danny Wells Runs – Danny’s fantastic YouTube channel has great clips from some of the crazy events he has been a part of.
- seven steps to the beach a blog about childhood, learning and unschooling.
- IfYesDo – primarily about Theology, Church History and the Bible presented to the world as something accessible, and helpful.
- Printable planners for free with Plaaan – nice looking and customisable!
- I love maps… confession complete! I get my OS maps and our tour guides from Dash4it, cheap as chips, though you will get a lot of emails from them afterwards…
The charities below are doing awesome things to help people in different ways – it is a joy to support them:
- Compassion UK is a Christian charity that helps children in poverty by linking one child at a time with one sponsor.
- 24-7 Prayer exists to renew the church and rewire culture. An incredible vision delivered by insanely passionate individuals.
- Shelter helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness through their advice, support and legal services.
- ZSL (The Zoological Society of London) is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity whose mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. They do groundbreaking science, have active conservation projects in more than 50 countries and run two Zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.
- Historic Environment Scotland looks after Scotland’s historic environment. Membership not only supports their work but gives access to hundreds of days out.
- The National Trust cares for special places in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Membership supports their work and allows you to visit many paid for sites without any further cost.