Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Go Walkies! Doggy Sponsored Walk.

As promised here is a quick post of photos from the Go walkies sponsored dog walk I organized in aid of Guide Dogs.
You can read the initial post here and it's never to late to sponsor us via just giving as the funds go directly to the charity!

It's now been well over a month since the actual event but I wanted to wait until I had every last bit of sponsor money in so as to be able to announce a total...I'll tell you at the end of the post ;)
I didn't take too many photos on the day but here are some I did, enjoy!

So hard to take a group photo with so many doggies!

So as you can see from the photo above we raised £170 in sponsor money!!! However, that isn't it...because of online donations via Just Giving, the final total was actually £421!! Wow! It's an amazing cause and I'm glad to of been able to organize an event that raised some funds for them.
If any of the participants are reading this - thank you for coming. There may not of been many of us but it was a lovely time with you all :)

Monday, 28 July 2014

My Top 5 // National Parks I Need To Visit!

A post I've had in mind for a long while is finally here. Beware! Stunning photos to make you crave a holiday!

I adore the outdoors, as far as I can remember I always have, and it's only gotten stronger as I've gotten older. Alongside my enjoyment of being surrounded by nature, hearing nothing but wildlife and breathing in the freshest of air, the outdoors also provide me with subjects for the best hobby in the world - photography.
I've been to some beautiful places and am indeed surrounded by alot since moving too, but the places on the following list are out of the ordinary, completely awe-inspiring. 
So anyways, here it is, my Top 5 National Parks that I NEED to visit!

#1 - Yosemite Park.
I can't tell you where I first heard of this place (probably a YouTube vlog) but it was love at first sight. I want to plonk myself a little wooden cabin right in the center of this scene and live the rest of my life there. It has the best of everything mountains, greenery,waterfalls, hikes, bike trails, horseback riding, camping...need I go on? I'd fo' sho' have a field day laying in a random grassy knoll waiting to snap away at all the amazing wildlife they have there - just look for yourself at the giant list of species the park is home to! 
Yosemite is in the Sierra Nevada of California, USA for those wondering.

Image Source
#2 - Grand Canyon.
Probably the most well known park on this list and is in Arizona, USA. As the almighty Wikipedia states ''The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 mile wide and attains a depth of over a mile. Nearly two billion years of Earth's geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted.'' Wow! The fact that there will be so many tourists is a little off putting but it's such a natural wonder that I need to see it with my own eyes. 

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#3 The Cairngorms 
Actually the closest of the list around 150miles from my home, I never thought somewhere in Scotland could be so pretty! The Cairngorms boast high mountains, ancient forests, fields and moorland with a vast range wildlife and as you can see completely stunning photo opportunities no matter what the season. The historical side of this park is one of the most appealing points to me and it would be an amazing to stand in such a naturally beautiful place thinking about the people who stood there some 7000 years before me. 

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#4 - Exmoor
Exmoor is located in the South West of England, near Somerset and is the top place on this list that I need to visit! I have only been to that corner of the country once when visiting Monkey World in Dorset many years ago, though my memories of everywhere down there are nothing but views of amazing landscapes.
It's list of activities and things to do seem similar to those at Keilder meaning it would be a great family holiday spot for us with fishing for the men, stargazing for Jake and I with the zoom lens, walks for us all and the dog and so much more! I've never ridden a horse before but I'd love to here with it's famous equine history!

Image Source
#5 - The Serengeti
Last but not least is somewhere I may never get to visit but will always be regarded as a magical land of the mighty king! Disney connotations aside, have you ever seen a bad photo of this place?! If the animals weren't enough to make you awestruck the sunsets and views certainly should be. I can't put my finger on it but I can't seem to make out whether it's a real place or some magical made up land in my head (don't worry, I'm not delusional I know it's a real place in Africa) it just seems so perfect and different to anything in any other countries.

So there you have it, in my eyes the best National Parks that I would be overwhelmed to be privileged enough to visit. Can anyone see why I prefer the countryside now?! haha The natural world is so beautiful before humans pop up and ruin it.
Oh, I think this video sums up what I'm trying to say completely!

Have you been lucky enough to visit any of these places? If not which one would you most like to go to?
Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Weekly Wondering // Week 42

I found this set of questions, '365 thought provoking questions to ask yourself this year', last year and bookmarked the webpage. After having rediscovered it I am answering 7 of the questions each week  until I complete the year. 

294.What do you like most about your job?  What do you dislike most about your job?
Well. Right now I am technically 'unemployed' although because Jake is being the the manly breadwinner we refer to me as a 'housewife'. My job includes walking, feeding, playing with Baker, preparing meals and packing lunches for Jake, cleaning and housekeeping, as well as blogging and a whole host of other online work.
I like that I have the freedom and time to do the things I like to, alongside not having the hassle of horrible work colleagues, stressful days and tricky customers. 
I dislike the fact that people question my position. They assume I'm struggling to find work and push job vacancies down my throat or make sly remarks thinking I'm lazy. I've actually worked from the age of 15 in 8 different jobs, give me a break!

295.What’s something new you recently learned about yourself?
Pass. ha.

Embarrassing holiday snap. Furtaventura, 2007 (age 16).

296.In one sentence, how would you describe your relationship with your mother?
roller coaster as we are so alike. 

297.What was the most defining moment in your life during this past year?
Us making the decision to quit our jobs and move 60miles north without having anything was a big moment. Thankfully an interview Jake had had paid off and after we moved up on the Saturday, he ended up starting a new (brilliant) job on the Monday.
If we hadn't of taken the risk we would still be living in an unhappy, unsafe place so I think you can class that as a defining moment in our life! 

298.What's the number one change you need to make in your life in the next twelve months?
Most of them have already been made. There are bound to be a few more but nothing major. 

299.What makes you feel secure?
This is gonna sound weird but I'm gonna describe a physical scenario. I like to have my back to something. Eg. If it's dark and I'm going up the stairs I have to walk up like a crab so as to have my back to the wall. Also, I can't swim in the sea because there is no where I can back up against. I suppose it's the opposite of claustrophobia...I like to be in a smaller space.
Emotionally/mentally - Jake. Having not to worry about money is a good feeling too. 

300.What is your favorite sound?
By far, birds singing and the sound of crickets in the fields. Adore it!! 

Friday, 25 July 2014

Toon Times Exhibition // Discovery Museum

Wow, I just realized this post is about a trip three weeks ago...oops! I knew I had a heck of alot of photos and was behind but I didn't think I was that far behind, haha.
Anyways, after Jakes 2nd week of work (his first payday) we had planned a day trip to a nearby harbor for chips and ice cream but were rained out. Not wanting to just do nothing Jake went online and just booked a hotel at Whitley Bay on the spur of the moment. Giving me an hour to get dressed, packed and along to the bus stop!
Click here and pop over to my photography blog to read the hell that was our journey before proceeding to the rest of the post haha.

So anyways once we arrived and got the metro to Whitley Bay we went straight to check in at the hotel. After a 10minute chill and a quick change we went on the hunt for food! Alot of places were too loud and busy for my liking and we ended up just walking right the way along the promenade to Cullercoats and had a super yummy meal at the Queens Head. The rest of our evening was spent walking back, eating Deleval Ices ice cream and wasting too much money in the arcades.
Finally I guess I should get around to telling you what this post is about! On the Sunday we headed into town before our train home that afternoon and we spent sometime in one of my favorite places - The Discovery Museum. This is a collection of photos from the Toon Times exhibition that is obviously all about Newcastle United Football Club. I'll leave it at that and let you have a nosey at the photos!

My whole family are devout NUFC fans so having a partner from Bristol that coincidentally is a Newcastle fan is very lucky! There were alot of interesting things in the exhibit and lots of fun things too. If you are interested in football or Newcastle you may also be interested in this post, where I took Jake to St James Stadium for a tour on his Birthday!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

New Home Wishlists // Bedroom

Yeah, I know I did loads of these 'new home wishlist' type of deals the last times we moved house but this time is different and obviously as time has gone on I've found stuff that fits what I want ever better!
I call this my toned down, just a hint of Disney theme haha.

Top Left, Clockwise.
The White Rabbit Cushion I like this because I like the black and white, old fashioned sketch style so it's not so in your face. Plus only a Disney fan would realize it's thee White Rabbit and not just a funny rabbit.

Driftwood and Deer Antler Lamp Base How beautiful and country-ish is this?! It's ethically and naturally sourced too by the way before anyone calls me out.

Beauty and the Beast Bed Throw Just ahhh! How beautiful is this! Probably the most in your face Disney thing on this list but still not so cartoony that it makes it looks like a childs room. I love the colours, I love the fringe, I just really like it :)

'We're All Mad Here' Cushion Like what I said about the White Rabbit cushion it's the old print from the Lewis Carroll books and I like that style. Alice is my favorite Disney female and your can never have enough cushions eh?

Alice in Wonderland Lamp Shade Does this make me old fashioned? Does anyone have lamp shades and stuff anymore? Well surely everyone needs an Alice in Wonderland one!

'A Dream is a Wish' Cushion Don't you reckon that this would look at home in a castle? Maybe we need to increase our home hunting budget. The other side of this cushion continues the quote which I just think is the sweetest touch!

Diamond Tufted Headboard I don't understand why these beauts are so hard to get a hold of!! No where stocks this type of headboard anywhere and so I obviously took to Etsy to fufill my needs. They are slightly pricey but then again I've never bought a headboard separate to a bed and wouldn't be able to tell you if it's good or not. (Here's an ever pricer one! But it's super pretty too > Luxury Diamond Tufted Headboard)

Planetarium A step up from glow in the dark stars on the ceiling for certain!

'Never Grow Up' Cushion The signature Peter Pan quote and image. So simple and so pretty.

Blanket Box Antique Trunk I've looked everywhere for one of these for a couple years now. Just like most things when I have the money, there are none to be found but when I haven't the money or like now and our stuff is all in storage - you find them everywhere!!

Flower Bedside Light Lastly this has got to be the most enchanting piece to have in your bedroom and I'll be really gutted if I can't get one once we've moved. I stumbled upon it accidentally but it is so original and just the epitome of 'fairy tale' <3

I'm sure my fellow Dis-lovers will be able to appreciate this but I hope the rest of you agree with me that my bedroom would look 'da bomb' if I had all this stuff! haha Just kidding, but do let me know what you think in the comments. What's your favorite piece?

Monday, 21 July 2014

How To: 90s Summer Hair Wrap!

When I was a little 'un, probably like most, I begged my Mam and Dad to let me get a hair wrap on every holiday abroad that I can remember.
I've always thought they were cool, long after those 90's trips to Europe and even in later teen years would tie bits of thread and beads etc into my hair ala Jack Sparrow.

However, thanks to the magical invention called the internet I've taught myself how to do a proper old school hair wrap and it's way easier than you'd think! Check it out...

Step 1: Select embroidery thread in the colours of your choice. 5 strands are best though you could use the same colour twice if you want. Cut the lengths to 2.5 times the length of your hair, plait the section of hair you want to wrap and tie the threads with a simple knot close to the roots.

Step 2: Pick whichever colour you wish to start of with and leave it to one side, pull all other strands of thread together with the hair and simply wrap the selected piece of thread around all the rest!

Step 3: When ever you see fit pull the thread you are using into the center with the others and pull out a different colour. Wrap that in the same fashion.
Alternatively, pull out two strands, wrap one and then wrap the other down over it to create a different pattern. You can also take out 3 strands, wrap one colour down a block and then weave the other two on top in a criss cross way.

Step 4: Continue in whatever patterns you see fit until you have fully covered your actual hair. Then you can tie a knot in the bottom and cut off any excess! Ta-da!

Sorry about the freckles and glasses shadow, it was a no make up day!
Let me know your thoughts on this DIY and definitely tweet me photos of how yours turn out (I'm @UnderToWonder) if you attempt it! I'm dying to do more but Jake's beard isn't long enough and I don't want to look like a loon with a head full of thread wraps haha!
Feel free to share or Pin this too guys ;) Thank you.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Weekly Wondering // Week 41

I found this set of questions, '365 thought provoking questions to ask yourself this year', last year and bookmarked the webpage. After having rediscovered it I am answering 7 of the questions each week  until I complete the year. 

287.In twenty years, what do you want to remember?
Where I was 20+ years ago. The things I've experiences in the past 3 years (as of now) and what we've been through. I hope to remember to be grateful and appreciate anything we may have then.  

288.What are you most excited about in your life right now – today?
Disneyland. 85 days to go. I could really do with it coming as soon as possible, but I don't want to wish time away as we've alot to do before then.

289.What experience from this past year do you appreciate the most?
Although it wasn't good, I have to say again the experiences we had while living in Newcastle. It really has made me appreciate where I'm from and belong.

290.What is the most enjoyable thing your family has done together in the last three years?
I really enjoyed our trip to Keilder in 2012. Of course I blogged it and it's actually where my birding obsession really started. Do check out that post and watch the video edit we made of our visit, I love it.

291.How many hours of television do you watch in a week?  A month?  A year?
It varies depending on the time of year and what kind of shows are on, but usually no more than 10 hours a week. That obviously works out to 40 a month or 520 a year. Now YouTube...that's a whole other story!

292.What is the biggest obstacle that stands in your way right now?
Isn't it always Money?

293.What do you sometimes pretend you understand that you really don't?
Anything Jake slavvers on about football? I dunno, there's probably quite a few things I do that with.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Underland to Wonderland Photography

I have a favor to ask.
I may aswell just come straight out with it! haha. Though it is free and only takes seconds of your time!

If this isn't your first visit to this blog there's a fair chance that you are aware of my photography passion and maybe even that I do/did/have done it as a job. I've written posts with samples from sets, shown the progression in my skills and even written a post quitting.
Even though I 'quit' taking photos for customers I had kept my Facebook page (JD Photography) to share wildlife snaps and such but in recent months had to delete it because of abusive messages URGH.

Anyway, since moving back North to a smaller town with more chance of meeting potential customers as well as being asked to do jobs by a couple people I thought it a good idea to make a new page and see what becomes of it.

I would LOVE if anyone that has ever told me they appreciated my photography would pop over and give the new Underland to Wonderland Photography Facebook page a quick like...pretty please?
I went from having 300+ likes to 50, so I'd really appreciate your support.
Thanks in advance! <3

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Recent Disney Purchases Haul

Recently, I've been lucky enough to have a little spare cash for a change and of course that meant nothing other than treating my collection to some new additions. This 'haul' is collective from over the past month and is by no means large, but I wanted to share a few of the cool bargains I've found. 

First is something I've actually had sitting since we moved from Newcastle and have had it stashed away until doing this post haha. Although I'm not Frozen's biggest fan (I really like the film don't get me wrong, but I just don't see why such a big deal has been made about it...) I still had to have Disney bath products!
I checked the production company, looked them up online and emailed them to ask if they tested or included ingredients tested on animals and once I'd had a reply stating they were safe for my use I went and snatched them up. They actually smell awesome too!

Like any true Dis-collector I collect the Disney 'classics' DVDs. I collect any Disney dvd really but I NEED all of the one with the little yellow circle that has the number in it on the spine - to put it in lamens terms.
My full collection is with all of our other dvds in storage but here is the four I've gotten recently. With Jake's first pay check he treated me to The Little Mermaid which was surprisingly only £7.00 in Tesco (instead of £15.00 everywhere else!) and The Emperors New Groove and Basil the Great Mouse Detective for £2.99 each in the HMV sale when we went to Newcastle for the weekend :)
Using my reward points from these, with some I already had in my account, I got the only other Disney Movie rewards movie that had the classics number that I didn't already own. The Princess and the Frog!

Last but no means least is yet another T-shirt. I'm always on the look out for any Disney related clothing and there is alot floating around of late. However, I'm not a fan of these big garish bright cartoony patterns or many of the true movie scene prints so the Primark line is mainly stayed clear of. I find that George at Asda (where this top is from) and F&F at Tesco are the best for affordable, cool Disney gear.

Have you found any sweet Disney finds recently? Link me to bargains!!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Rock Pool Hunting at Cocklawburn Beach

With at least 4 beaches within walking distance of our current location, there is always somewhere to explore on a weekend. After our first full week here and Jake's very first week in his new job, we spent the Saturday having a slow stroll to Cocklawburn introducing Jake to another of the beaches, for Baker to play and to investigate what we could find in the rock pools.
It wasn't one of the super warm, sunny days that we have been being blessed with recently but it was dry so with backpack we set.

You can tell how much Baker adores the beach because the look on his face when he sees the sea is priceless. Once we were away from the road and his lead was clipped off he bounded straight towards the water. Jake then proceeded to take no less than 300 semi-identical photos of us jumping waves, throwing footballs and running to and fro, so it made my editing process even longer having to fish through that many. 
Sorry Jake, but I just grabbed some of the first few I found and of course one where my face wasn't showing seeing as it was a no make 'let my skin air' day haha.

With the beach increasingly filling with other dogs and walkers as the day ticked on we veered towards the rock pools and were presently surprised to find so many little creatures. Baker was so very well behaved and tottered nicely across the rocks not even splashing in the pools to disturb the wildlife - thankfully!
We spent lots of time oohing and ahhing and whisper-shouting, 'Over here!!' whilst pointing like maniacs when one another found something. There were little tiny fishes, star fish, anemones, wilikes, crabs and more.

After spending far too long raking along the beach and back we started the 2.5mile walk home and on the way again encountered many more of our wild friends. You're lucky to have that photo of the bee and butterfly on the thistle as most of you should know I'm petrified of butterflies. I flinched every time it moved! The lengths you go to to get a photo eh?! You can see the full set of cow photos, some of which I took on this trip and others I took when on a walk with my Mam, HERE.
Oh, I have to end this with expressing my delight at capturing a rare red status, Yellow Hammer on camera took. The photo isn't the greatest due to camera shake and distance but it's still a photo.