Monday, 27 February 2017

Winter. Up Close.

It's been a while since one of these, but here is a strictly photo only (kind of) post.
This is winter. Up close.

Check out previous seasons, up close -
Spring. Up Close.
Autumn. Up Close

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Weekly Wondering // Week 8

Happy weekend all! How are you doing?  I'm great because after this morning's shift at work, I am now off for a week..after no days off since boxing day, yay!For the explanation of what is going on here, please do click here and have a quick read.
Other than that, in short, I am answering 7 of these 365 thought provoking questions each week until I complete the year. I already did this in 2013 and am revisiting them to compare my answers.

Can you describe your life in a six-word sentence?
Ups and downs, smiles and frowns. (Can't beat a Snoop reference eh?)

If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
Because usually, it doesn't feel nice to fail. Or that's what I'm guessing! I don't make mistakes because I am so perfect :) ahahahahahahaha.

What impact do you want to leave on the world?
Oh gosh, now that is a question. In a perfect world, I'd love to make a giant impact..of course. I'd want to influence the way people think about the world and help them to look after it and our animals better. I'd love to do that by starting an organization or something where I could run my own home/centre sustainably, taking in wildlife or other animals that need homes and bring in schools to visit and teach them about everything! Everything from food waste, growing your own food, alternative energy to overpopulation, extinction and everything in between. It is so important and no one knows enough about it all. I want to change that.

What is the most defining moment of your life thus far?
Hmm. I haven't had one? I have no idea!

In the haste of your daily life, what are you not seeing?
Nothing. I have no haste in my daily life and I make a conscious effort to 'stop and smell the roses' as the saying goes. (Not literally as I'm not keen on roses and have hayfever, but you know what I mean). It's why I hate cities and stuff so much - especially London. Everyone is so self-consumed and in a rush that they bash into people and walk off without saying sorry. People, in general, these days walk around with their face in their phone and miss the person who has fallen and needs a hand up. I don't want to be like that ever.

If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don't like and like so many things we don't do?
Life isn't always fair and we need to take the good with the bad to be able to live.

What lifts your spirits when life gets you down?
A funny movie, hugs with Baker, a sunny day, going for a walk with my camera when it's early and no one else is around, having a nap..? Ahaha, this is another question with many possible answers! I'd say going to Disneyland too but that's only once every few years.

Make sure to look back on this same post from 2013 here, and see the differences in my answers! (I completed writing this before checking back to my old answers by the way). You can also see the series in whole from last time here and of course last week's Weekly Wondering here.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Beauty & the Beast Soundtrack Tag

It's been a while since I made up a new tag eh?! Our last one was Aladdin inspired and so, of course, with Beauty and the Beast only 21 days away, I just had to whip something a little different up for the occasion.
This tag post is comprised of questions that I personally thought up while listening to the original 1991 Beauty and the Beast soundtrack. The songs that sparked each Q are in italics beside you can see. I hope it all makes sense and that you enjoy!

Belle // As Belle's little town is in France, which French town/village would you choose to be a resident of?
The village of Frontierland, within the county of Disneyland ;) haha. That would be my perfect place to live, to be honest - size, style, an abundance of nature! In all seriousness, I guess I'll choose something more realistic. It'd be a town even smaller than Belles...or even just a little barn in the middle of nowhere. Belle's town seems too full of people who all know each others business haha. Eguisheim in North East France looks very Beauty and the Beast-ish which is gorgeous but still has too many buildings for me. However, Conques in Southern France is even more stunning and right up my street...especially it being surrounded by so much greenery. I'd happily live in a detached property on the outskirts!

Gaston // Judging by your actual taste and not knowing their 'true identities', who would you go for - Gaston, LeFou, Maurice or the Beast?
I like animals and being a recluse so I'll say the Beast. haha I'm not exactly 'Belle' material anyway so I don't even know if the Beast would take a second look let alone anyone else! 

Be Our Guest // While at the castle, who from the staff would you befriend?
Sultan of course! The Prince's dog who turned into a footstool under the spell. Who else?! haha If there is a dog, I shall befriend it! 

Beauty and the Beast // Of any song in the world, which would you and the Beast first dance to?
5ive - Slam Dunk the Funk. Ahaha. If I have to choose a serious one, hmm, how about something by Jimmy Eat World? Just Watch the Fireworks or 23 probably. I would say 'Believe in What You Want' seeing as I have that tattooed on my chest but I can't see it being a good spinning around a great hall type of song. 

Beast Lets Belle Go // Would you rather save your father from the dungeons and never find love/live alone forever, or leave your father to live his last days in the castle alone and marry the love of your life, living happily ever after?
I used to want to get married and live in the middle of nowhere alone be self-sufficient, but I literally couldn't care about ever getting married or anything now. Obviously, I have Jake but disregarding that fact I would 100% save my Dad. Dad is like my best friend (other than Mam) and there is no use thinking about where I would be today if my Dad wasn't my Dad! 

Transformation // Choose only one to keep and use for the rest of your life; Books or Mirrors?
Books! I hate looking in mirrors as it is haha. I know some people who love makeup might need them but I think I could manage to slap on a little of this and that to cover my skin. Though...drawing my non-existent eyebrows on might be a bit funny! Books though, yeah. Not only are they a form of education, but entertainment too. 

Human Again // Under the spell, what household item had you been turned into? And what would human function would you miss most?
Oooh this is a one to really think about eh? Maybe a rocking chair? I sit for a good portion of the day (after work) and when I'm not sitting, I'm moving around so a moving chair is a good in-between. It's also more of a traditional item of furniture as opposed to something overly modern which definitely suits me and my personality more. I love my own rocking chair too...I guess it's kind of soothing and comforting which I hope I would be able to be if someone was in Belle's position.
The human function I'd miss most would be being able to go for a walk outdoors, smelling the fresh air and looking at all the wildlife <3

Death of the Beast // Share a (beastly) trait of your own to kill off.
Moodiness, snappiness and general female traits haha. Jake would say that for sure anyway.
 Other than my anger issues, I think the gluttonous side of me, as in my addition to sweet treats, is a horrible trait that I would gladly let go of and my laziness. Compared to some people, I am not terribly lazy but once I sit down and get sucked into blog work, I struggle to get up again! 

That's it! And they all lived happily ever after ;) I hope you enjoyed another of my Disney tags. This one is a little different to my others but the questions were still interesting for even me to answer and I thought them up lol. I tag anyone and everyone who is excited about the new movie. Make sure to come back here once you have taken part and comment your links below, though, so people can read each other's answers!

See more Tags I've made here -
The 'Alice 1951' TAG
When in Agrabah ~ Tag 
The 'My Game of Thrones' Tag
The 'My Hogwarts Story' Tag
The Disneyland Paris TAG!

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2017

It's a little bit later this year, but here is this year's RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch round up!
The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is an annual survey where people all over the UK can spend an hour counting the different species of birds who visit their garden, over a particular named weekend.
Sunday, January 29th was the day I ended up completing my survey this year - the 4th year of me taking part (yay!) - because the Saturday was such awful weather that all the birds were hiding. We also had the issue of Jake being on night shift and so he was in bed during the light hours in the room in which the best window for watching the birds is in. That being the case Baker and I took a walk to my parent's house to borrow their kitchen window...these were our findings :)

This year's final tally was as follows:
House Sparrow - 35
Starling - 18
Herring Gull - 4
Jackdaw - 3
Blackbird - 2
Robin - 2
Chaffinch - 1

So if you click the links below and see my results from the previous years, you'll see this year's range of birds and the overall numbers are rather disappointing which is sad. Of course I was expecting a difference due to the change in location, but it's still not great overall. I'm looking forward to the complete survey results coming out to see if there have been many changes since last year!
Apologies for the photos by the way, just like every other year they were taken from a distance, behind a window so as not to disturb them in the yeah. haha
Do you take part in the RSPB BGBW??? How were your findings?

Check out previous year's posts below -
RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch 2014
RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch 2015
RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch 2016

Monday, 20 February 2017

Tilly & Brook

If you follow me on Twitter you may have heard the names Tilly and Brook mentioned before. They are the gorgeous girls who I occasionally go to let out / play with when their Mammy is at work and, not that I'm saying I ever tire of Baker being my go-to model, but they have given me good opportunities to take some fun photos. Compared to Baker who grew up with a camera in his face and just sits and poses when you pull a camera out, these two make me work a lot harder to get a good snap and for every one that looks okay, there were probably 5 minimum that went wrong! 
After sharing Chase's Photo Set last month, I thought some of you may enjoy these photos too. 

They aren't exactly 'customer quality' and are pretty much just quick snaps I took for fun over the past 10-12 months or so (hence the sun...and then no sun haha), so I'm aware not all are great, still features my cute babes though. For some reason when I resize them to smaller files to upload here it decreases the quality quite a bit too...but enough of the excuses :P Let me know your fave photo and link me to posts with photos of your dog/s!!!

Next I need to get a fresh set if portraits of Baker B.
Check out previous sets here -
Why Dogs Are the Best Pets (& Bakers Winter Photo Set).
Family Portraits 2015!
Baker and the Snow Dogs
25 Facts About Baker

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Weekly Wondering // Week 7

'Sup, yo? Had a nice weekend so far guys? Welcome back to my Sunday series :)
For the explanation of what is going on here, please do click here and have a quick read.
Other than that, in short, I am answering 7 of these 365 thought provoking questions each week until I complete the year. I already did this in 2013 and am revisiting them to compare my answers.

What are you most grateful for?
Everything! Having a roof over my head, food in my stomach, bills paid on time, my little job, my parents, Jake, Baker and my tiny but strong handful of (3) friends. I also thank my lucky stars that I was born where I was and live in the most stunning county in the UK. 

Is stealing to feed a starving child wrong?
Yes. And no. Stealing is stealing, no matter the reason but in a proper world there would be no children (or anyone for that matter) starving requiring anyone to steal. There are also many other options before stealing to feed your family. Food waste is a disgusting problem in our country - and others- and if it was managed better everyone would be able to have the basic human need of a full belly fulfilled.

What do you want most?
To own a house (not throw £30,000+ in rent away like I have the past 5 years) and have no neighbours, where Baker can go out for the toilet or play whenever he wanted instead of having to check outside to make sure the coast is clear first. But that would be in an absolutely perfect world.

Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
Doing the right things - always! Shouldn't we all always we focused on doing good in the world with so much bad around us to counter? If you try to do the right thing and don't do it right, the fact that you tried and failed is better than if you not attempted to do the right thing at all I think.

What has life taught you recently?
That no matter how the world progresses in knowledge, science, and technology, money and religion still rules, motivating people so much so that they would rather take steps back in the natural progression and evolution of our species than disregard riches and what is written in ancient books.

What is the one thing you would most like to change about the world?
Donald Trump?

Where do you find inspiration?
All around me! Particularly outdoors in nature.

Make sure to look back on this same post from 2013 here, and see the differences in my answers! (I completed writing this before checking back to my old answers by the way). You can also see the series in whole from last time here and of course last week's Weekly Wondering here.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Disneyland Paris 2016 // What I Bought

Looking back to my 2014 DLP blog posts, it seems that I left my 'What I Bought' post to the very end of my series of posts. That is not being replicated this time around. Obviously. I have so many photos to go through and posts to write as well as them being more spaced out than my 2014/15 ones were, and this was quite an easy way to ease into the editing process. Not only that but I wanted to get some of it put away/ put into use so this post has been completed since the end of December :)

So during my Countdown to Disney mini-series of posts before our trip, I wrote a little shopping list and I am very lucky, happy and everything in between to say I managed to get 99% of the stuff I had hoped for. 
A couple of points I have to note, though: Prices have vastly increased since 2014. Like, a lot. Things I'd bought last time for one price were on average €5 more! It was craziness. Secondly, the clothing lines were very disappointing. I guess it's just fashion in general right now but I usually love everything in the Disney Fashion store, but this time it was either weirdly cut, impractical stuff or really inappropriate (non-Disney!!!) stuff like Mickey grabbing his bits and Minnie flashing her pants on the front of crews. :O Lastly, Christmas merch takes over. There is a huge decrease in choice of normal merch lines which is a bit meh. Long story short those are the reasons I only got one item of clothing (well 2 with the hat) and no homeware really.
Phew, that was a long-winded ramble eh?

As you can see I got four pins, despite not being a pin collector haha. I always get a 'year' one and a hotel one for each visit but as it was in December all the year pins were gone for 2016 with 2017 replacing them already which is just weird to me, so I settled for the Eiffel tower spinner and obviously a Sequoia Lodge one for our hotel! The other two are the Walt Disney Studios park pin as we did the tour and I wanted something to remember it by and the famous Tommorrowland pin that I have wanted since like May 2015 ;)
The rest of it speaks for itself I think and I love it all.
Oh, the last image is of Baker's gifts by the way - a new blankey, baby Dory soft toy and a new Chip and Dale mat for his bowls that he got in 2014.
That's it, for now, guys! Feel free to have a peek at my Disneyland Paris 2014 // What I Bought post and catch up with the rest of my DLP 2016 posts so far by clicking here!