Thursday, 30 August 2012

J.D Photography - Holywell Dene

Lately, I've realized even more than usual that photography is never going to be a sustainable career path for me.
That doesn't mean that I won't still accept jobs but I'm not going to advertise or push my services.
However, I am currently very much enjoying taking photos as a hobby - trying new things, techniques and settings.

Holywell Dene is a superb adventure playground for Jake, the Nikon and I.

Here are a few recent photos from my new favorite location...

Check out my first proper attempts at a long exposure with water!

(Taken by Jake! Me exploring :) )

And some self timer shots of us both.

Now we have done our research and found out about all the different birdys and creatures that we may come across I'm sure we'll be spending alot more time here. All I need is a new lens ;)

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Out and About - Jessie J at Alnwick Castle

If you are Northerner you're probably aware that there was a beautiful celebrity lady in Alnwick on Saturday night.

Yes I was one of the 10,000+ mad people to of stood in the cold, wet rain and mud for 5 hours to see Jessie J live at Alnwick Castle.
I do feel very sorry for anyone stood within earshot of me at the gig because I did complain alot! Don't think I am cut out for the festival scene at all. haha.
At least my Mam and I had donned our wellies for the event, unlike some other more optimistic people who ended up with ruined shoes, and I very much enjoyed jumping and splodging about in the muddy puddles like a child to pass the waiting time.

Once the gates opened after 5pm we made our way to the front of the stage and began our wait. There was alot of speculation to who would be the support acts but none of the rumors were true and we hadn't heard of either of the warm up acts when they came on.
The first was A.M.E, a 17 year old singer/songwriter brought to us all by Gary Barlow who surpassed my expectations. The songs were catchy, she had brilliant stage presence and an awesome voice. I really enjoyed her set. It was great to see her come and interact with the fans as soon as she came off stage too, handing out wristbands, postcards and signing autographs.
Next up was Jay James Picton, not at all my cup of tea but another great vocalist all the same. However, I do think that Jay James should of been up first as A.M.E's set was alot more lively to pump up the crowd for Jessie J.

Just after 9pm the stunner herself arrived on stage!
She thanked everyone for tolerating the horrid weather and made an apology for the original date having to be cancelled due to illness, which was nice.
I'd of loved to of been able to take my camera and get some better photos but I didn't want to risk it with the weather. These are the few photos I managed to get with my phone before we headed out of the main crowd to watch from the sidelines. She is even more beautiful in real life and I loved her hair, which was different to her usual poker straight bob.
Despite all my moaning I did enjoy the evening with my mam, but I defiantly wont be going to any music festivals or outdoor concerts again!

Anyone that is interested in seeing more photos from the evening should check out this slideshow from the Northumberland Gazette , The Sunday Sun's gallery and Metro Radio's facebook album. I can't believe how many smiling faces were in the crowd, obviously experts at dealing with the rain!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

I Wish, List V.4 Disney Edition!

The Ultimate Disney Charm Bracelet! At £157 it's a bit steep, I will afford it one day and never take it off!
Disney Couture Snow White Snowglobe Necklace
Walt Disney Classics 132 disc DVD Collection
Disney Kitchen Essentials Not just the ones pictured, ALL of them! haha
Mickey Mouse Treasure Box 

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Currently Obsessed V.4

This game is taking over our lives. 

Like, seriously. Any minute of the day that my hands are not typing or doing housework they're on my phone screen making these bloody cute little animals jump through the water, collecting coins while completing missions. Jake is obsessed too. HA!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Opinions Of A Housewife - 50 Shades Of Grey

'The series has sold 40 million copies worldwide, with book rights having being sold in 37 countries and set the record as the fastest-selling paperback of all time, surpassing the Harry Potter series.'

A so-called 'erotic novel' beats world class works of imagination and literacy to that title. I personally cannot believe it.
What a shame that something that has encouraged people to read, who would usually not even pick up a book, turns out to be nothing more than terribly written, pure and utter filth. 
Maybe my opinion is deemed invalid due to the fact that I haven't read even a single page of the series, but crude things aren't my cup of tea at all. I have however done my research online and all I have seen all over social networks and daytime tv in the past month or so is people obsessing over an imaginary character!
The whole phenomenon seemed to appear out of nowhere and following the 3 book series has been a stampede of authors jumping on the bandwagon, cashing in with parody titles with no calming in the media storm in sight. 

A movie is even in the works! Now from what I hear of the story line this isn't a film to be released in cinemas but should most likely be more at home in a dirty corner of the internet. With what is known as BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Sadism and Masochism sexual practices) as a main theme of the story I am highly against this film and of course the book series being advocated. People seem to think there is no harm in publicly discussing and advertising anything and everything ’50 Shades’, usually talking highly of it. But lest they forget that a little thing called the internet exists - where children and teens are able to search and see what this book Mammy is reading is. 
Would you want your child to be curious and find out about such things? Because I know I wouldn’t. I don’t even want to know!

X rated websites etc only require you to click a button to confirm you are over the age of 18 which obviously can be easily fooled, meaning there is no guarantee that innocents are protected from explicitness.  
Bringing me to the sale of pornographic magazines and the like – shops now cover the top shelf content with opaque signs, so why are these book so readily available in supermarkets and high street newsagents?! Aren’t they just as bad…?

Intimidation and abuse are not a normal part of a healthy relationship. Full stop. Beatings with a belt?! Come on. Why would any lady fantasize about a man like that? Or is it just that he is a rich, successful man that bribes a young girl with gifts that women like. To me ‘porn’ has always been a very taboo subject for randy teenage boys and dirty old men not mothers, grandmothers and young girls. First feminism and equal rights, now un ladylike behaviours from the woman who brought this filth to the world and the millions of people reading it. The author, E.L.James herself admitted that : "This is my midlife crisis, writ large. All my fantasies in there, and that's it.' and experts have said that her success has come particularly from 'frustrated middle aged mothers' if that's the case, please keep your midlife crisis and unfufiled fantasies to yourself!
I am personally more than happy being in a loving relationship with a gorgeous man who treats me like a princess. Lets hope the craze fades away as fast as it appeared.  

[Sources: Daily Mail , Wikipedia ]

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Charity Spotlight V.2

I'm postponing my planned blog for today to blog about something alot more personal than usual.

On the 21st of July 2012 a very special little girl was born. My big cousin John and his beautiful partner Dionne brought little Ava Grace into the world.
Unfortunately, Ava had a very hard time ahead of her and went through alot including a heart transplant at only 11 days old!

Things seemed to be going as well as possible considering the circumstances until she suffered a cardiac arrest yesterday and lost her fight this morning.

I have no words. I have no idea how hard these terribly sad turn of events must be for all of Ava Grace's immediate family and all that have been involved in her short life. I didn't even get the chance to say hello but evidently from facebook and the like she was a well loved baby by many others who also didn't have the chance to meet her.
Obviously my thoughts are with everyone, as they have been for the past month.

My main point of this blog is not bring people down but to highlight those that helped little Miss Eskdale along the bumpy road.
Just weeks after the Newcastle Freeman Hospital faced possible closure they have done fantastic work caring for Ava and many, many others and deserve alot of thanks as well as the family who gave her a chance by the donation of a heart in the first place.

If you are not already present on the Organ Donation Register please consider adding your name. I have! More than 10,000 people in the UK currently need a transplant and of those 1,000 a year will die waiting as there aren't enough organs available.

Last but not least is The British Heart Foundation. Who's work, research and support is essential. 

Sorry for people expecting a different post, it will be up on Tuesday. Today is a supremely sad day. My love to anyone and everyone who has been through similar circumstances. 

Thursday, 16 August 2012

What's Going On? - Well Done Team GB!

So after my pre-Olympics post and my rant about boycotting the games due to what they were costing the country, I ended up watching nothing but the Olympics! 
Partly because there was practically nothing else being broadcast on tv and partly because my other half became brainwashed and addicted to all of it. 

I will admit that I did get really into the spirit of things, following the goings on on tv and on twitter, even shedding many tears at the accomplishments of our country. 
Overall the games were a big success, our very own Team GB coming 3rd in the overall medals table with 65 medals in total, (29 of those GOLD, 17 Silver and 19 Bronze) their best result since 1908! 

It was awesome to cheer for our country and I'm ecstatic that we won Gold in the Women's Judo, Boxing and Taekwondo! Well done to all the lady fighters :) 

BUT did you know that more than a third of Team GB's medal winners were not born in Britain or have foreign parentage? 
- Mohammed Farah - Won Gold in the 5,000m and 10,000m , was born in Somalia. 
- Anthony Ogogo - Won Bronze in Boxing, born to Nigerian Father.
Laura Bechtolsheimer, Won Gold and Bronze in Dressage, was born in Germany. 
And that's just to name a couple. Nigerian links can be made to at least 16 athletes who won a medal at London 2012 and other nationalities include Australian, Polish, Jamaican and Irish - kind of dents the British pride... 

I won't touch much more on the downsides, especially the cost, but I'd like to include this diagram I found breaking down the money spent.

Pretty unbelievable figures! I'm glad they went to good use though and things went smoothly. Well done to all of the people involved in making the London 2012 Olympic Games a success! 

[Sources: Official Team GB , Telegraph Online , Guardian Online ]

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Out and About - A Weekend Adventure!

So this weekend passed we took a drive up to see my parents and nana in Berwick Upon Tweed. On the Saturday Jake and I wanted to do some of our usual exploring and ended up at Conundrum Farm where we met and fed all of the animals along their farm trail, even the fish. I made sure that every single goat, sheep, donkey and horse got some food! :) Here are some of the photos from our day there.

We had lots of fun and it was lovely to go back to Conundrum after visiting years ago, it hasn't changed. It's a brill place for a stroll around the fields looking at all the animals, exactly what we love to do. Jake even bought me a super cute lamb soft toy from the gift shop to remember our trip!

Afterwards, we hopped back in the car and headed north to the dreaded territory of Scotland! Ooh! Only kidding. (Or am I?!) I took Jake to Eyemouth, where we shell hunted at the small beach and watched some seals getting fed at the harbor. Next on the schedule was a meet up with my 'adopted family' (very close family friends) to play some pool and have a yummy dinner with my Mam and Dad at Ord House Country Park back in Berwick.

Trying to make the most of our time, I donned some oh-so- not sexy but warm clothes, as we drove out to Goswick beach on Saturday night to get some photos of the sunset but ending up more amused by the abandoned tractors and old watch tower we found.
On our walk back to the car my other half spotted a little creature on the path! I don't think I've ever seen a little frog like him in the wild before. We took a couple of snaps and let him hop away into the grass.

Onto the last, though most enjoyable part of our time away. A last minute run out to Seahouses with my Mam and Dad on the Sunday before we had our much appreciated Sunday dinner and headed home to Blyth. Thank you very much to Dad and Mam for the whole weekend and for treating us to a boat trip out to the Farne Islands as an early 1st anniversary gift. 

The sea was a bit choppy but other than that it was fantastic! We saw sooo many seals and birds, although the puffins are away at this time of the season and we even got to go into the Lighthouse of the famous Grace Darling. [If you're unaware of her story, read it here.] It was a very cool opportunity and we learned lots. Look at the boat we passed on the way back into the mainland too (bottom right photo above), just for the Lost fans! haha.
[Remember to click on the photographs to see them bigger!]

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Share The Love V.2

Just a quick shout out to some blogs I've recently discovered or been loving recently...

A brilliant little blog about a family and their daily life, written 'by' their dog! Such a original idea.
I have especially been enjoying their coverage of the 2012 London Olympics, a great insight into the games from a spectator perspective with lots of lovely pictures.

Not only is Kayley's blog layout totally cute, she is too. A tattooed lady like myself and also a photographer she posts a variety of things from her photography to fashion and artwork. The title of her blog is so cool too.

I love this site! Not so much a blog but a giant collection of all things cute. So many beautiful little animals and a very happy addition to my blog feed! <3

Thursday, 9 August 2012

I'm A Collector - Special Editors Edition!

Name and Website - Danielle from Right Here! :D

What do you collect?
Anything and everything to do with the Disney brand. Clothing, soft toys, films, ornaments and all sorts of miscellaneous items.
When and why did you collection begin?
As far back as I can remember I have always had Disney stuff. My first soft toy was Simba, from the Lion King which I received as a gift for my 2nd birthday. All the VHS films my parents collected for me are still in my childhood room a their house.
Consciously, I guess my proper collection started about 3 years ago, around 2009.
Are you still collecting?
Yes! Always. There is such a range of Disney merchandise out there, if I were ever to win the lottery I'd defiantly have a full Disney house!
Do you have a favorite or special item in your collection?
I still have the Simba soft toy I spoke of, he lives on my bed. I also really love my limited edition Steam Boat Willy Mickey soft toy that I got during my last trip to Disneyland Paris in 2010 and my old style Minnie and Mickey I got at the London Disney store.

If you collect anything, anything at all and would like to be featured please email me at with a few photographs of your collection and your answers to the above questions. 

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Cuteness Overload V.2

When this came up in my reading list on blogger my heart completely melted instantly.

Can you spot what is extra special about this beautiful pup?!

She is a Disney dog!! Look at her markings. Wow. Perfectly matched for her lovely Disney family :)

Saturday, 4 August 2012

My Top 5 - Holiday Destinations

Although I haven't left the country in over two years, I am a big travel fan and have visited many places all over Europe.
I can't wait to stray further a field and visit the US, Brazil, South Africa, Japan and Thailand to name a few.
Until then I'll reminisce about my five favorite past holiday destinations.

Surprise, surprise eh? Haha.
My first visit to the European theme park was in October of 1996 my 6th birthday :) Well with a memory like mine its inevitable that I have no recollection of the trip but from many family photos and videos and stories from Mam and Dad, I know it was an amazing time.
My second visit was at the end of February/beginning of March 2010. This was my first holiday abroad without my parents, at the age of 19, all paid for by me! For the first 6 nights out of my 7 night stay I stayed at the Disney's Santa Fe hotel. This is one of the Disney branded hotels that are for a lower budget but still with all the quality. I highly recommend it. For the last night I treated myself to a room at the main Disneyland hotel. At around £500 for that one night it was a luxury but so worth it! Every member of staff I encountered went the extra mile to make my holiday the best experience and it was amazing. I took some brilliant photos, filled two autograph books and spent way too much money! :P

Mam, Dad and I took a trip to the Costa Brava in 2004. As an only child I've always made a little friend on holiday to play in the swimming pool and stuff with and this holiday was no different. My parents made friends with the beautiful family  pictured above and we had a brilliant time! So much so we returned in 2007 with them and teamed up with another family from Wales. 
Just over 100km north of Barcelona, easy reach for an excursion but a relativity small quiet town, its in a great location. With being a fan of history I particularly enjoyed the walks around the old walled in part of town along cobbled streets, past pretty churches and up to the Municipal Museum.
Hopefully I'll be able to twist my other half's arm and take him here one day (he has never left the UK!).

Here, I have only been once. And to be honest it wasn't the best holiday. From the get go things went down hill when the company we had booked with went bust and we got put into different accommodation. That hotel was not on par with the original hotel booked plus we had to go across the road to a different hotel to get our half board facilities. They were a fail too when the food turned out to be awful 'causing us to have to eat out meaning we were practically self catering and spending more money. BUT the island itself is beautiful! Obviously as I don't drink and I'm not a big partier we didn't stay in the main nightlife bay, we were only a stroll along the beach and harbor though, so it was the best of both worlds. My parents have also just come back from Santa Eualia and spoke very highly of the hippy market, I cant wait to go! (Eventually) 

As you'll see from the banner above this was another vacation accompanied by Jan, Alan and Alex. The closest Canary island to the African coast gave us beautiful weather, but with a constant breeze from the sea, where we were staying in Correlejo, all day long it was deceiving how much sun you were getting. We stepped outside our hotel and were literally right on the beach, had a lovely walk along the seafront into town where we found the most brilliant little English bar. Many a fun night was had and many an embarrassing picture was taken, but I'll save Alex the grief by not posting them. This was defiantly one of my favorite holidays with it being such a quiet and relaxing place but still with lots of fun things to do. We even took a ferry trip across to Lanazrote one stomach didn't enjoy that.

Last and not least, I thought I'd throw a UK destination into the mix. As long as the weather is good, Scarborough has alot of what I like in a holiday and Jake & I have enjoyed a couple nice trips down here as well as the times I visited with my parents. Plenty of nice gardens and walks, the beach and the skate park of course! We hope to go down again as soon as we are working. The Sealife center is calling my name... :D

Like I say, I hope I have many more stamps to collect on my passport and many more destinations to add to this list. Hopefully Jake doesn't take too much persuasion - I want to share all my travels with him.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Recent Wonderland Photography

I could of done with posting this sooner but I had other posts that I really wanted to get up, like my skydive post!

Well, now that the better weather has arrived (kind of) Jake and I have been taking advantage and going for many walks out along the surrounding beaches and rivers with the Nikon D5000 and my old Practika film cameras in tow, to try and get back into the swing of photography.
Here are a few examples -
[Top-bottom- A lucky capture of a bright blue dragon fly, St Mary's Lighthouse at Whitley Bay, A little poser of a crab, Cheesy self timer shot and some proper cool carvings in the rock that I want to do sometime.]

I then finally got around to doing a shoot I had planned for a while with my cousin on Thursday (26th), at a brilliant spot Jake and I had scouted out on one of our walks. I think the located suited the 'Alice in Wonderland' theme perfectly. 
Here are the results -

Pretty please leave me some feedback in the comments, I'd love to hear peoples opinions.