Friday, 31 July 2015

Youtube Videos You NEED To See #19

The 19th installment of happy, inspiring, cute, funny, interesting etc etc etc videos is here. Enjoy.


Game of Thrones stars acting their roles without being in costume is so strange.


As soon as I heard the news, I was waiting for this video. It didn't disappoint.


It's hard not to giggle at this silly guy!


This unemployed video editor just gave a whole host of classic Disney movies a new perspective.


A Social Experiment Turns Scary...


Though The Circumstances Are Sad, His Frame of Mind and Perception of Himself is Lovely.


I Wouldn't Hesitate to Do This For Baker. What a Top Notch Guy!


Just because it's pretty cool looking.


Cute Animals Plus Humour Equals Win.


Although it's Old and Been Seen Before it Still Tugs The Heartstrings.


Zoo Keeper Goes The Extra Mile To Help Hand Reared Penguin.



And Saving the Best for Last... A Pairing That Was Meant To Be <3


Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Edinburgh Zoo || Four Legged Fellows

Quick disclaimer! - Yes, this is a Zoo. Yes, the animals are kept in enclosures. NO, they are not badly treat. 
I regard animal life higher than a lot of human life most of the time and so would never support anywhere that had any hint of animal cruelty. I sign petitions, I promote causes close to my heart and I have done many fundraising events for animal causes/charities.I look into everywhere I visit beforehand and am well informed that Edinburgh Zoo is one of the worlds best for conservation and breeding. 
It would be lovely if all animals could live in the wild but it isn't always that simple, especially because of certain cruel humans that live alongside us. The animals that live here are in great living quarters, well looked after and a lot of them are doing a great service for their species by participating in the research and breeding programs. 
Please think twice before leaving nasty comments. I will never lie to anyone, let alone on my blog - what would be the point? All views are obviously my own but I take care to look into anything I support. 

I'll leave you with a quick quote froSir David Attenborough, about Edinburgh Zoo, "The Royal Zoological Society has shown not what zoos can be, but what they should be".


And now, for my very last installment of  Edinburgh Zoo photos. I know, I know, it's been 6 months since our visit (is this post so out of date that it's silly to put it up?) but because I like to space out posts of similar subjects so as not to overload on one thing it's taken this long and that's okay. I have 4 other posts from this trip of which I will link separately at the end of the post for you to check out and although I am so terribly disheartened by the state of these photos, I still had to complete the set and finish off my online diary/scrapbook. Go easy on me - they were taken on my old, broken, poopy D5000. 





Say hello to the Grevy's Zebra! Did you know that these guys are endangered in the wild? This species are the largest of the Zebra family and so the main target for hunters and for other predators unfortunately. Edinburgh Zoo, as I've mentioned countless times, is big on conservation and breeding programmes and this group of 4 are part of that.
They have a gigantic field to roam and play with each other, and although they probably don't give a hoot - the view across Edinburgh for the humans from there is astounding.
Male Archie and his 3 female buddies Lucy, Emily and Daniella ;) live in the African Plains Exhibit...usually alongside a small group of Lesser Kudu and an apparent 'large herd' of Lowland Nyala, though to my disappointment neither of these were to be seen during our visit.



These beautiful Banteng were another surprising heart stealing species.
According to the website there are five of these endangered south-east Asian wild cattle at the zoo, though we only spied 3 during our time there. I gather that the little guy who was running rings around the two adults trying to get them to play is one of the male calfs, Kala, born February of 2014 at the zoo and the first Banteng to be born here (though I could be wrong!). Since his birth there has been two more lovely additions in the form of  an adult female and another male calf born the month after we visited, March 2015 which is great news for their breeding!
It was such a pleasure to witness these gentle beasts showing their personalities and it was well seen that the bull on the second photo was Daddy as he seemed to be telling the little guy to calm it when he got a bit too rowdy haha.






Red River Hog - Across from the Mansion House live a Mammy, Belle, Daddy, Hamish and their kiddies. These guys are native to West and Central Africa and although they are not Warthogs, their colour definitely made me think of one half of one of Disney's best duos - Pumba!
Visayan Spotted Deer - These absolute stunners break my heart. Due to things like hunting, deforestation and land clearing for one reason or another, there are only a few hundred thought to remain in the wild. They are one of the rarest mammals in the world and one of three native species to the Philippines. How could anyone want a world without that face?! 
Malayan Tapir - Oh how I wish the photo of the beautiful baby (who's bum you can just see behind Mammy) had come out okay. These guys are also endangered but the male (not pictured) Mogli and female Sayang have produced this georgous little guy who will contribute to the fantastic breeding programme work at other locations, alongside Sayang and her previous mating partner's 4 other offspring.
Pygmy Hippopotamus - As the name states, the 'pygmy' hippopotamus are a smaller variety of your common Hippo, but I have to say, seeing these guys makes me wonder how big a common Hippo really is then! Edinburgh currently have a male and a female of this endangered species, Otto and Ellen, however we only got the chance to see one of them (as you can see above). Ellen was born here and after meeting her partner Otto, they have also contributed well to their species future by having 3 surviving babies!



Last but not least, to end my little mini series of Edinburgh Zoo posts, these are probably the biggest species to call the zoo their home. Samir and Bertus are Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros and just turned 7 years old!
Now here is one of the main things I've had people complain at me about. The size of these creatures and where they should be living. Well duh! Of course in a perfect world they would live in the wild but while the world is littered with horrible, evil people, the goodies have to step in and save these animals. Once these two guys are sexually mature (probably very soon) they will be relocated to do their part for their species in the European breeding programme.
I have to say though, for now I think their enclosure had a great variety of enrichment and stimulation for them. Just look at their big special birthday 'cake' in the video below.




I hope you have enjoyed these posts and without a doubt we will be back next year to do it all again (and with a better camera ;P). For those who have missed them or are new followers you can see the rest of the posts here -
Edinburgh Zoo || Lion, Tigers and Bears! (Oh my! :P)
Edinburgh Zoo || Beautiful Birds
Edinburgh Zoo || Monkeying Around!
Edinburgh Zoo || Furry Friends


Monday, 27 July 2015

Big Summer Giveaway Winner Announcement!!


As you can see from the title this is the official announcement post of who won my latest giveaway!

First up I just want to give a huge shout out to all who entered but especially the 17 people who joined in the bird love fun, headed outdoors and snapped away. The photos you see in this post are from those people (minus one which is mine but I needed 18 hence including it haha) and despite the amount of you who apologized for your photography or that you didn't have many birds near by - I adored each and every entry. Bird watching isn't about how good your camera is or how rare the bird you spotis, it's about getting out and appreciating our wildlife...so thank you for taking part.



At this point I must mention that no matter what your photo was, it didn't in any way effect your chances of winning as it was all 100% random and drawn through the Rafflecopter widget.
My main purpose for including this step was to try and heighten the chances of a true follower and friend (yep, you're all friends whether you like it or not. I even refer to you as 'my blog friend -insert name here- when talking to my Mam etc) winning as opposed to a professional comper.

Ramble, blah ramble ramble. Are you still reading this? If you are I think you should type your favorite chocolate bar in the comments. Just that. Randomly, so it confuses other people and those who are scrolling right to the bottom just to see the name of the winner lol.
Anyways, yes...to the winner....




A huge congratulations to the beautiful
JADE!!!!!



It is so strange but exciting to think that the box of goodies I put together will be flying all the way over to Curaรงao!!
I will be emailing you as soon as this post goes live to inform you and get your details.
Thank you all again for being here. I know 500 may not seem a lot to many but 4 years into this journey having 500 friends here with me is a little overwhelming. I hope you are all well!!

Remember that I am always here for anyone that ever fancys a chat or needs someone to talk to...
Catch me on my facebook page, tweet me on twitter  or pop me an email to underlandtowonderland@gmail.com

Love you guys.
xo


Sunday, 26 July 2015

Weekly Reflections // Week 42

July 19th - 25th. 

 Favourite Photo.


Top Thankful or Happy Moments.
♥ Seeing how much fun Baker has in his swimming pool.
♥ Getting to have a rare bath!
♥ Google Hangout-ing with Mam and Dad while they were away for their anniversary.
♥ Finally getting to catch up with Claire and do our Treasure Trail for Berwick.
♥ Buying 4 beautiful Emma Bridgewater mugs for Mam and Dads anniversary gift.
♥ Enjoying watching Sons of Anarchy.
♥ Meeting a lovely old lady and walking home with her chatting about her ex racing rescue greyhound, Daisy.
♥ Jake surprisingly meeting me from work and taking me for breakfast.
♥ Seeing Nana.
♥ Booking our Harry Potter Studios Tour Tickets.

The 'My Hogwarts' Story Tag! by Through Tasha's Camera
8 Photos of Happiness by Jenny in Neverland


Bloggers Group Hug.
Bloggers Group Hug = S.U.S, Support, Unity & Similarity. Read all about it here, & join!
This weeks word is -  Dawn
This was taken at 6.15am this week. It is so light already!!



Other Articles etc of Interest.
[!] Chicken Little
[!] Fired Up!
[!] Ice Princess


Question of the week.
What is something you've always wanted to try but have been too scared to?
Hmm. Nothing I don't think :/ Everything I've wanted to do, I have done unless I either haven't had the opportunity or haven't been able to afford it. If I am too scared to do something, it's nothing I would ever want to try haha!






Friday, 24 July 2015

The 'My Hogwarts Story' Tag



While at work one morning, randomly thinking about our upcoming trip to the Harry Potter Studio Tour at the end of the year, I started thinking all about what I'd be like if my letter really did arrive over 13 years ago.
I decided that I wanted to share all of that with you and then had the ingenious (if I do say so myself :P) idea to just turn it into a tag! I have checked and can't find anything similar except 'The Harry Potter Tag' which I have already done, but if there is...I do apologize!

Hogwarts was there for me in dark times when I was young and Hogwarts will always be my home.
Here is my story.

----------

Are you Pure Blood, Half Blood or Muggle Born?
Half blood. Dads a muggle, Mams a witch...nasty surprise for him when he found out. ;)
Though in all seriousness, that is true. Neither my Dad nor my partner are that open to the world of magic, but my Mam is.


Which wand chose you (what is is made of)?


Did you take an Owl, Cat, Toad or Rat with you?
An owl of course. I'm allergic to cats (and they're too anti social for me), I'd be too scared to lose my toad and wouldn't want my rat to end up being a baddy. :P  I love birds and they are the most useful pet to have what with fetching mail and such. 


Where did the Sorting Hat place you?
Hufflepuff!


What house did you want to be in?
Originally Ravenclaw. I've never identified with either Gryffindor nor Slytherin, being neither brave and daring or cunning and ambitious. But the more and more I learned about Hufflepuff, the more I embraced it, realizing I really am one and now I am very proud to be! 


Which lessons are your favorite and least favorite?
My favorite is Care of Magical Creatures. Getting to work with animals during a lesson? Yes please!
My least favorite, or the one I dislike would be Arithmancy...I'm not much of a numbers person.


The form your Patronus takes is...
A rabbit. I'd like to think it incorporates traits and happy memories of my old pet rabbits that I have lost in recent years.


When confronted with a Boggart, what does it look like to you?
Moths and Butterflies I'd expect...though I'm quite a scaredy cat so a few things could be possibilities!


Do you partake in any school sports or magical hobbies?
Wizarding gardening, tending to animals of all sorts (especially thestrals and hippogriffs) and of course photography. 


If you have free time, where would you be found hanging out?
Outside! By the lake, under a tree, strolling the grounds. Anywhere where I can breathe the air, take in the views and hopefully get a glimpse of some magical creatures.


You are most likely to get detention for what?
Hmm. Not meeting a deadline for a paper perhaps. I've always been the one to leave work until the last minute! 


What career do you want after leaving Hogwarts?
I'm not brave or ambitious enough to be an Auror or work for the Ministry, not caring or intelligent enough to work at St Mungos. I want to be a photographer...though most certainly not for the Prophet while Rita Skeeter is writing for it!


----------

Ahh how I wish I could be there right now! I hope you have enjoyed the tiny peek into my time at Hogwarts and I'd love all other students to take part in this and then post your link below so we can have a read. However in particular I would like to tag -

Leona
Kloe
Florence Grace
Amber
Nadia
Fiona
Roxie
Cat
Tasha
Claire
Emma
Lucy

If you enjoyed this and also like Disney check out my  Disneyland Paris Tag !






Wednesday, 22 July 2015

How To: Make The Most of Your Time at Disneyland Paris.

My 'How to do a Disneyland Paris holiday on a budget' post proved quite popular and it's getting super close to us being able to book our 2016 trip (the dates that we want aren't on sale yet), so I thought I'd celebrate that fact by sharing my favorite ways to make the most of your time in the most magical place on Earth!
Let's get down to Dis-ness!


Make A To-Do List 
Something the impatient me does months in advance is write an 'attraction hit list' and a list of characters I'd like to meet. These are usually things I haven't done before, are newly opened since my previous visit or were closed when I was last there.
Then 3 months before I'm due to go, I'll check on the website which attractions will be closed during my trip and cross them off the list! Then I can move on to the next point...

Plan Your Schedule
You can do this two ways - the super organized, meticulous way or just a rough outline of what you want to fit into your day. This is where your to-do list comes into play as you'll need to fit in all the things you want to see and do!
I have done it both ways and had my days planned down to the minute of where I need to be at what times, as well as just having a list of the main 4-5 parades, meet and greets and the like jotted down with their times and as long as I made it to them, the space in-between was free. Both options work just as well as each other and it all depends on the type of person you are and how much you want to squeeze in. However I do highly recommend doing something of this sort to make sure you don't miss out on anything.

Grab A Pass!
Fast pass, Photo Pass you've probably heard of them and I have to admit that I've only used one of them a handful of times.
The Photo Pass+ is an ingenious idea that I touched upon here, but something I actually have never utilized. Now despite having a great camera myself, I can't actually take my own photo and although my Mam tries her best I think the shots taken by the official photographers are a great thing to have. That and the price of individual ride photos has sealed the deal that I am for sure going for this option in 2016!
As for Fast Past I personally feel really bad being able to jump the queue while little kiddies etc have to wait double/treble/quadruple the time...but that's personal preference.We had a bunch of hotel fast passes when we stayed in the Disneyland hotel and so tried it for one or two rides but I find standing in line is half the experience! If you don't want to waste time waiting in lines though this is a great option for you! They are available on a range of certain rides/attractions within the two parks and when you go to get one they will have a time you must return but you get to jump the line. Here's a little more info.

Be Kind To Others
This might seems strange but is something that has always made my day when on holiday in Disneyland especially. If you see someone struggling to take a photo, or a family where a family member is missing from the photo as they are taking it, just pop over and ask if they'd like you to take a photo of the whole family. I can't count the amount of people I ran over to at Central Plaza last year and it's always such an amazing feeling when they are thankful for something so simple. One family I remember was a Mam, Dad and little girl on their first visit. The Dad was getting a photo of his girls in front of the castle and I approached him to ask if they'd like one together. His face lit up and once I'd taken a couple (pro tip - always take 2 or 3 shots to make sure everyone is looking and no one blinked!!) I walked away watching them standing admiring the photos which was awesome.

In 2010 I had a similar experience when we got chatting to a father and his toddler daughter who were sat next to us at a character breakfast. He was no longer with the mother and rarely got to see his daughter so he was telling us how special this trip was an no expense had been spared. What gutted me was he only had a phone camera and so when the characters came around I got some fab shots of the two of them with Donald, Mickey and Chip & Dale on my DSLR which I later emailed to him to print off. He was very grateful and even shed a tear.

Last but not least on this point is for people who aren't the biggest fans of children, like myself. You are in Disneyland - remember that. Be patient and kind and if that means letting a little kid on the pink elephant on Dumbo, or letting them skip in front of you to meet Minnie Mouse first then so be it.

Pick and Reserve Your Restaurants In Advance.
So maybe not on your first day if this is your first time at Disneyland, but I'd suggest to scope out the places you think you might like to eat online beforehand, check them out when you get there and then book in for your evening meals! If you're like me, and are not a big eater you may usually stick with the hotel buffet for evening meals but there are a lot of amazing restaurants to make use of in the parks - this is definitely where you want to make sure you have gone for your Half Board PLUS meal plan


Stay In A Disney Hotel!
A lot of people will tell you that this is a more expensive option and no, I completely refuse to agree with that. Depending on which Disney hotel you choose, which vary in price and then comparing the price of park passes separately you will see how much of a saving you are actually making.
Now this post isn't about the price, so check out my Disneyland on a Budget post for that. ;)
So apart from the value for money and proximity to the parks (making your traveling time less and therefore giving you more time in the parks ;P) I guess my main reason for saying stay in a Dis-hotel is the experience. It keeps the magic going even after park hours are over, with the option to browse boutiques, sleep in themed rooms (with the Disney channel on TV!) and meet characters in your lobby being just a few plus points.

Extra Magical Hours
This option is only open to those who take my last piece of advice! Yet another point to back up my awesome opinion eh? haha When staying in a Disney hotel you get many perks but Extra Magical Hours means that the Disneyland Park is open to you before it opens to the public! Use these to make the most of rides that tend to get bigger lines later in the day like (but not always) Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Peter Pan's Flight, Mad Hatter's Tea Cups, Le Carrousel de Lancelot, Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, Space Mountain: Mission 2. As a photographer, I also like to use this time to get some good photos without a heck load of people being around.

Dress Appropriately
You have no idea how many people I've seen tottering around Disneyland in little skirts and dresses and I can't imagine that getting on and off rides can be very practical like that! Sure, you wanna look cute for photos and stuff but if you really must wear cosplay style princess dresses or night out style bodycons, be sure to pop a pair of shorts or something on underneath to save your modesty :P
Remember that Paris isn't Florida and it actually experiences proper seasons (which I have to add that is one of the main things that makes me adore DLP over WDW) and so take things that coordinate with the time of year you are going. You can always check the weather forecast online before you pack your suitcase.
I suggest comfy clothes like leggings or jeans with cute Disney t-shirts, cardigans or hoodies that you can easily fold up into your bag. These are practical for running about the parks and being able to explore while being comfy and easy to adjust to the changing temperatures throughout the day.
Take a peek at what I packed for our last visit in October here!


Obviously, everyone enjoys different aspects of a Disney holiday and so these tips mightn't all apply to you but I'm sure everyone can take at least one of them and adapt it to suit their style.
Let me know in the comments which of the above you do and what one thing you'd recommend someone on their first visit do to make the most of their time!


Monday, 20 July 2015

My Life in Photos // Jam Packed Day in June

June's day in photos is here, though a little late in going up and I've no excuses...I've just been a little busier than usual lately! If I've said it once, I've said it a million times - I am running out of ways to start of these posts haha, so here is what I got up to on a Tuesday in June!





1 // Dressed and ready to leave for work! It really wasn't this dark...the sun gets up before me in summer.
2 // Whistling while I work ;)
3 // After work I took a wander along the river to see if I could spot the otters, no luck but still a nice walk to start the day and thankfully pretty quiet at this time of the morning.
4 // From cleaning at work to cleaning at home - lets get the housework out of the way first!





5 // A spot of photo editing from a toddler shoot (that you can see here), while watching my daily dose of house hunting programs.
6 // Puppy hugs are always the best type of hugs!
7 // Time for a bite to eat - peanut butter on toast, yum.
8 // Walkies with Daddy are rare because of his work hours but it was a family affair today at the park. This walk home proves how close to the river we live :)





9 // Does your local Infirmary building look this cool? Hospitals are never fun but as my dentist failed to get an X Ray with her silly machine that made me gag, I had to go here and get a proper one done.
10 // Ahh, please don't tell me if your a dentist and can tell how rubbish my teeth are!
11 // I don't have many piercings these days but what metal I do have had to go back in after being out for the X Ray.
12 // A little bit of yoga before bed.


And then sleep! If you have done a similar post, please pop the link in the comments so we can all see how your days go! :)



Sunday, 19 July 2015

Weekly Reflections // Week 41

July 12th - 18th.

Favourite Photo.

Getting my 'castle wall' organized. Bottom left by Kayley Draws

Top Thankful or Happy Moments.
♥ Being featured in Nic Ooh La La's 'Blog Love' post!
♥ Seeing the signs that say 'selfie (I hate that word) sticks' are banned at DLP!
♥ Have such amazing feedback and repeat customers for my Disney Quote prints.
♥ All of the birds enjoying my homemade feed (and Baker running out to get his toy because he thought the birdy was gonna take it haha)
♥ A Mama Blackbird feeding her baby in my garden!
♥ Baker being a good boy and going in the shower for the first time.
♥ Deep cleaning and moving around the furniture.
♥ Movie and pizza with Jake!


Best Blogs or Posts I've Enjoyed.
Worrying About The Little Things by Clemloves
Mistakes I Made When I Started Blogging by Jenny in Neverland
1 Year to Go by Kirsty Talks
Bouldering in Pirate's Cove by Em Busy Living
Wonderful Wednesday #75 by Sally Tangle
Common Travel Problems by Passport Packed
Countries I've Visited So Far by Gnar Mosh
Flashback Friday #34 | Historic Gardens by Lose the Road
Exploring My Village by The Emerald Dove


Bloggers Group Hug.
Bloggers Group Hug = S.U.S, Support, Unity & Similarity. Read all about it here, & join!
This weeks word is -  Aware
I am unaware of what to write about being aware, though I am aware that I have no / couldn't take any photos to envisage what being aware of something is like. I have to say I wish more people were aware of their 'domino effect' however.
That is all I have to say today :)



Other Articles etc of Interest.
[!] The Autistic Gardener
[!] Married at First Sight
[!] Melissa and Joey S1 & S1
[!] Inside Out
[!] Tomorrowland 
[!] Kill Me Three Times


Question of the Week.
Why is this post up nearly 4 hours late?
Because I forgot today was Sunday okay!! Alll of my posts are pre-written and scheduled, but with these post including very up to the date things I add to it all week and then finish it off on Saturday nights. Well I forgot what day it was, so much so that I even went into work an hour earlier than I really needed to. I know no one cares if a post is late, it's just part of my organizational OCD to have them all up at 9am and I am not best pleased :P


Friday, 17 July 2015

My Top 5 // Reasons Country Living Beats City Slicking



Health.
The health aspect is what draws many people to country living. There is (obviously) no where near the amount of pollution in smaller towns, villages and the countryside as in the city. It's a fact. But also there are more opportunities to get outside, walk and inhale lots of fresh air into your lungs.
Being such a weak human being, this is important to me! I have asthma and allergies, as well as being anemic and weak boned with not the best immune system. I really have felt the difference since moving back to my home town.


Cost.
Properties are cheaper to buy and rent due to rural land costs being lower. For example, for a 2 bedroom second floor flat in a not so good area in Newcastle I paid £450 pcm. Now in a good neighborhood, on a private road we're paying just a little more for a 2 bedroom beautiful semi detached house!
Not only that but the cost of living is less, from the price of a taxi to the cost of a meal.


Safety.
Crime rates are drastically lower.  Although the populations are obviously pretty different, there are still types of crimes that are never or at least hardly seen in the county as apposed to the city such as gun and knife crimes. Something that is very relevant is the extremely sad case of a young boy with learning difficulties being murdered in the area in Newcastle that we moved away from last year, his body was found in a public area which I used to walk through everyday to get to work - scary stuff.


Peace.
Noise is a big thing to me and my family will tell you that. I'm easily annoyed by repetitive car alarms, sirens and people who shout instead of talk.
Everything in the city is noisy. Everything is open longer hours meaning traffic is almost always in motion. People are always on the go, are more 'streetwise' and I've found in general to be not as nice on a whole. Although I don't want to be super friendly with everyone and I prefer to live a quiet, peaceful life, keeping myself to myself, it's still nice to know that people in general are usually of a softer nature in the country.


The Little Things.
I suppose these aren't so little to someone like me. Nature and wildlife are everywhere in the sticks. I don't even live right in the countryside, rather in a small town and my area specifically is on the edge of it. Here I see countless species of land and sea birds daily, the occasional seal and otter, rabbits, hares and if you're lucky deer, as well as (although I haven't had the pleasure yet) a regularly visiting pod of dolphins.
As I write this, sat on my sofa, I have a young female blackbird on my wall, some fledgling sparrows on a branch overhanging from the allotment into my back garden and some starlings flying past!





That's it guys, just five points that are why I'll always be a country girl! Are you team green or team grey?? Leave your favorite thing about where you live in the comments!


Wednesday, 15 July 2015

What I Eat in a Week #1

Apart from one post a few years ago, I have never mentioned my weight/eating habits etc on this blog. The long and short of it is I have a bad relationship with food. I've always been a very fussy eater, not only that but I go through periods of not eating much then binging on everything. Infact in highschool that became a problem and I actually dealt with bulimia for a while, so it's safe to say weight is an issue to me.
At my best I was 9st with defined abs, size 6 top & 8 bottom and felt physically fit, at my worst 11st with a stomach that made me feel uncomfortable to sit and lay down, size 8-10 top & 12 bottom. Recently I've tried to get myself into a better routine making sure I eat at meal times and eat the right things instead of have a huge bar of chocolate and making it my food from noon - bedtime. I find that having a routine/schedule with anything in my life helps me to keep on top of it and documenting things, like I have here, keeps me motivated.


However, I have to say that this post wasn't intended to be like that.
I saw a new trend on the interwebs where people who obviously have far too much money tried to live on £5.00 for food for a week, apparently to spread the word of hunger around the world and of people who have no choice but to eat basically. They moaned and said how disgusting the cheap food was and I'm here to tell them to suck up and shut up. 
We aren't what would be classed as poor but we do have to manage our income wisely to make it work and we only buy a big shop once a month, costing what a lot of peoples weekly shops cost. Everything from Pasta and Baked Beans to cereal and juice is the supermarkets own brand and doesn't taste any different no matter what anyone says!! In our household it's myself and a big eater of a man who's food most certainly accounts for at least two thirds of that shop, so here's a peek at a week of meals for myself - roughly worked out to costing less than £10.00 for 3 good meals per day.




Monday 29th.

Breakfast 10am -
40g Cornflakes, with milk and a teaspoon of sugar.

Lunch 1.30pm -
2 slices of toast with a scrape of butter and 1 apple.

Dinner 5pm -
Boiled Potatoes, Broccoli and tomato ketchup.

Snack 6.30pm -
Low Fat Cherry Yogurt (no bits!!)

Liquid -
900ml


Tuesday 30th.
Breakfast 10am -
40g cornflakes, with milk and a teaspoon of sugar.

Lunch 2.15pm -
1 tin of beans and 3 hash browns with bbq sauce.

Dinner 6.00pm -
90g Conchiglie Pasta with dried parsley and  10g of low fat uncoloured cheddar cheese.

Snack 6.30pm- 
80g pack of chocolate buttons

Liquid -
900ml


Wednesday 1st.

Breakfast 9.45am -
2 Weetabix, with milk and 2 teaspoons of sugar

Lunch 1.45pm -
1 Peanut butter sandwich on 'best of both' bread and 3 raw carrots.

Dinner 5.30pm -
Homemade chips (1 large and 1 small potato) seasoned with parsley and salt, (frozen) peas and ketchup.

Liquid - 
900ml



Thursday 2nd.
Breakfast 10am -
2 slices of 'best of both' toast with peanut butter.

Lunch 2.00pm -
1 Apple and a low fat Strawberry Yoghurt

Dinner 6.00pm -
Boiled white rice, Broccoli and (frozen ...:P) 'Chipper Dippers'.

Liquid -
900ml


Friday 3rd.
Breakfast 9.30am -
40 g Cornflakes with milk and 1 teaspoon of sugar.

Lunch 12.15pm -
4 Oatcakes with 5g low fat uncoloured cheddar cheese. 1 packet of quavers.

Dinner 4.45pm - 
2 medium potatoes, baked with 1/2 a tin of baked beans.

Snack 5.20pm - 
2 chocolate crispy cakes from Greggs.

Liquid - 
600ml



There we have a week of things I chewed and swallowed haha. Well a working week I suppose, things are different on the weekends with Jake being of. 
Yep, I know there are a lot of carbs. I try my best to go high carb, low fab where possible. Yeah, I know there isn't much variety but I love these foods and fancy things don't to appeal to me. Yup, I still eat rubbish like chocolate - what would life be if we cut it out altogether?! Also I am not vegetarian/vegan unfortunately but as you can see I try to eat as little meat as possible. Infact I only eat chicken and occasionally bacon/sausages.

Depending on what you think I may do another few of these! Any other fussy eaters in the house say ayy ohh! :P 


[PS. I have used the word 'liquid' instead of anything else as I only drink diluted juice and very weakly at that. Therefore I wanted to explain rather than just putting juice or water...haha I don't drink nearly enough and I'm working on that. ]


Monday, 13 July 2015

Exploring Northumberland // The Chain Bridge Honey Farm


A few weeks ago now our good family friends from Walsall, West Midlands came up to visit! While they were here I was lucky enough to be able to tag along (Baker too) on their little Northumbrian adventures and so here starts my 'Exploring Northumberland' series.
I already have many posts exploring my hometown of Berwick Upon Tweed and have obviously adventured all over the county in my life so far, which has given me the view that it is the best county in the whole of the UK (I'm not even biased!), but have yet to document many of the places I have been and recommend.
I hope that in the next year or two if I finally get a new car, I will make many a trip to take you with me.

Anyways, to stop harping on, this post is about the Chain Bridge Honey Farm which unsurprisingly is a beekeeping business and is located by the famous Union Chain Bridge. They have a shop, visitors centre, cafe bus, selection of vintage vehicles and more!






For those who like honey, are interested in bee keeping or just generally like to learn things, this is a nice little place to visit. With many fun displays of  little collections as well as information, I like the relaxed and somewhat 'old fashioned' layout of the place. It's rather chilled to wander around.
The only thing to mention is that it is a quite compact space, so if it is busy it will probably not be so fun to try and actually get a proper look around. I'd stick to week days and term time...but that could just be socially anxious me :P









Not only is there the building housing the store and visitors centre, but outside in the lovely open countryside which has stunning views for miles is the very popular Cafe, which is actually inside of a vintage double decker bus! (We had the dogs with us and were taking it in turns to go into the visitors centre so didn't get anything from the cafe except a bottle of water for the dogs).
They also have a collection of vintage vehicles too see though which are cool, but another thing even more awesome to me was something I wasn't aware of until this visit. The huge storage warehouse type of deal, home to a mini museum of many vintage wonders shown in the photos above, ala Beamish.

Overall it's definitely a place worth a visit if you're in the North Northumberland/Berwick area and have a car, but has to be coupled with a visit to the neighboring, afore mentioned, Union Chain Bridge (photos and more info to come in a separate post!). Oh did I mention all of this is FREE too? Yeah, it is!