Sunday, 30 April 2017

Weekly Wondering // Week 17


Sunday again! :O
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.


How do you know when it's time to continue holding on or time to let go?
You just know, don't you?  It's not really a certain feeling or anything...or it hasn't been for me. One day you just decide internally that you can't take any more or don't want to do a certain thing anymore. It's like a switch or something.

How do you define success?
Happiness. Being truly happy. I personally could not ever care any less about careers and 'girl bosses' and self-employment and all that stressful rubbish. Success is not just money making or having flash stuff, it's getting by without having debt, not living beyond your means and being a good, helpful person in the world. It's doing whatever it is that makes you really happy.

If someone could tell you the exact day and time you are going to die, would you want them to tell you?
I think so. As bad as it is. The curiosity would probably get to me and I know they say 'curiosity killed the cat' but I would be dying anyway so... 

If I could grant you one wish what would you wish for?
No word of a lie, as 'Miss America' as it sounds; for social classes to be a thing of the past with no one living in extreme wealth while there is anyone living in poverty. Like seriously, don't you think it's completely bonkers that some of human kind's biggest problems are obesity and hunger? Insane.

What have you read online recently that inspired you?
Hmm.

Why do religions that advocate unity divide the human race?
Because they are so obsessed with their religion and so devout to sticking to it, trying to preach it and hanging off every word, that they don't appreciate and respect other people having opposing opinions and beliefs. Not every religious person obviously, but the 'extremists' etc just want the whole world to think exactly like they do and if you don't you are obviously an abomination that needs to be rid from the planet.

If you could live one day of your life over again, what day would you choose?
I don't know if there is one in particular that I would to be honest. I don't have kids and never had a wedding which are usually the days people choose so I couldn't say. Maybe a day at Disneyland? Not a clue!


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, 28 April 2017

Disneyland Paris 2016 // Day 3, Part 2


Make sure to catch up with part 1 here before reading on!

As I said in that post, although there was nothing 'extra' in particular on day 3, it seems that I took a heck load of photos! haha Therefore rather than 2 posts day three will actually be split over 3 parts.
After we left Discoveryland (see previous post) we just so happened to be in the right place at the right time as Anna and Elsa were coming past. Now I like Frozen as much as the next Disney-nut, but I'm the type who gets more excited to meet Pluto than Cinderella if you get me. Taking that into account I burst out crying - nothing new at DLP, I cry at least 5 times a day. I think it was more so at how absolutely stunning the horses were, but Anna saw me having a breakdown and blew me a kiss haha. They were cute too obviously...but..horses.
While waiting for our Buzz fast past time we hopped on Casey Jr. A ride I have wanted to go on for YEARS. Literally. Every time I've been since 2010 it's been closed and I was expecting it to be closed this trip too due to it being in the height of Winter, so I was super glad it was open and had a minuscule queue. I loved it.


We had a bit more of a wander around Fantasyland before heading back to Discoveryland for Buzz when we spotted the Christmas Parade coming so nabbed a spot right by the Fantasyland turrets to watch. This is the one thing in my whole trip I am so gutted and frustrated with myself about because I didn't photograph it at all. I wanted to take it all in and just enjoy it, as we'd planned to watch it another time and this was just a chance happening, but in the end we didn't get time to see it again and so I have 0 photos :( Of course, I cried from start to finish again because it was just as stunning, talent-packed and magical as every other parade. However, after the end arrived it had made us late for our Buzz fast pass! It was cool and we got let in anyway.
Next port of call was our planned Grand Circle Tour! Walking through the Arcades is always my favorite, especially when they are super quiet of course, I just wish every building ever had to be in that style or architecture. Nothing beats it. Plus it's the quickest way to Main Street Station to bypass any crowds.
The train was, unfortunately, a tiny let down, more so due to the cast members and fellow guests who were all pretty rude than the train and surroundings itself but nevermind, it was a nice trip all the same.

At this point I'm gonna say goodbye until next time! Come back on the 5th of May for part 3!

Check out the rest of my DLP 2016 posts below!
Christmas Decor
Day 1, Part 1
Day 1, Part 2
What I Bought
Sequoia Lodge Hotel Review 
Day 2, Part 1
Day 2, Part 2
Bistrot Chez Rémy Review






Wednesday, 26 April 2017

My Current Favorite YouTube Channels


I have been a subscriber and watcher of YouTube for slightly more than 7-8 years now and it's been well over 3 years since I last did a post on the favorite YouTube channels of mine. What with new creators popping up every day and people's personalities & creativity styles evolving constantly, my viewing habits have also changed.
I've never been huge into the beauty community, despite watching many of such channels (as you can see from my extensive subscription list) and always favored family vloggers and the like. You'll see a couple of those in the list below among some more specialized channels.


Daily family vloggers, Cullen and Katie, are from Alabama USA and share their life with their daughter Gaines, son Brooks and pets. Having followed them since around 2014, they have been one of the rare channels that I watch every video published. They are real, down to earth and super funny.

Being one of the most subscribed to channels on the platform, I'll be shocked if you don't know Roman Atwood. Originally a prank video maker, he now focuses on his vlog channel with partner Brittney, sons Noah and Kane and has a baby on the way! He is a very inspirational and positive person.

I don't even paint/do anything with my nails. Neither do half the people watching Cristine's videos if you read the comments. She's just super fun, sarcastic and silly.

The Cub House is another family vlog channel with an awesome young Canadian couple and their three super sweet kiddies. They have only just hit 30k subscribers but you'd be surprised they didn't have hundreds of thousands from the quality which has always been spot on. They deserve many more followers!

A world traveling explorer, Josh makes beautiful videos of his urbexing adventures in amazing abandoned places and beyond.

Can you guess...yes, another family vlogging channel. But, again these guys are unique and interesting. Living in Alaska, Cory, wife Kristen and daughter Chell, they are also a pretty positive and encouraging adventuring trio.

Maybe one of the most arty, true and interesting channels ever. Though it's not a surprise because Titanic Sinclair (who directs her videos) is a very intelligent and creative guy.

Oh I just love Kelsey and Corbin (and Paris the dog)! They also just welcomed a brand new little human into the world and I love to see the ethical/natural way of parenting. Really love how these guys see the world.

Jess has a husband and a house full of kids! Her videos are jam packed with fun and childhood frolics and she is such a fantastic example of a young mother.

This channel is for sure the one I am most addicted to and you may be surprised when you see what it is all about. Woodworking was something I really enjoyed in school and didn't continue as I was going to be the only girl taking it further haha. However, I looovvve to watch Peter doing all his projects. So mesmerizing to me.

I've just noticed that The Ingham Family are the only British people on this list :O I actually only found this Leeds based family the week after Christmas when I stumbled upon their Xmas morning video. My first thought, like many, was that the amount of gifts was insane but after watching many more videos I fell in love with them. A very genuine, sweet and hard working family.

If you enjoy conspiracy theories, space and astrology talk, unsolved crimes and investigations, Kendall is the girl for you. She puts so much into it and it shows with how well researched things are, as well as the fact that she is a great talker and at explaining things in general.

[Edit - I wrote this a few weeks back, but today Kendall uploaded this and it sucks that actual interesting and important content is dying while talking about the 7000 lipsticks you bought makes you a millionaire. Please check this video out. Well, her whole channel to be fair. It really is one of my favorites ever]



That's it! After watching for so long, many of my previous favorites have changed a lot, grown as people or even stopped posting altogether so these are just the channels I never miss a video from right now, not all time die-hard faves.
Let me know if you have heard of any of these guys, if you like them, are followers or whether you'd now like to check them out. I'd love to know who some of your faves to watch are too!

Monday, 24 April 2017

Stop 'Random Acts of Kindness'...


...And start just being a good human all of the time.

It seems we've slipped into thinking doing nice things for other people needs to be acknowledged and applauded these days. That helping someone who's dropped their shopping or giving a stranger the remaining 2 hours on your paid parking ticket is a 'random act of kindness' when really it should just be second nature...something we all do, all of the time, just because being a nice toward another person is in our human DNA.

However, nope, not how it works these days. We must take a photo, show how much of an amazing person we are to the online world via social media and receive praise for the 'such amazing gesture' and 'incredibly sweet act'. Why can't you do a so-called good deed just for the sake of it? Why do you need to tell people and receive a pat on the back...isn't the act itself rewarding enough?

I see something most days on social media. From little things like giving someone the 20p they were short of for their bus fare or bigger things like helping someone move into a new house and people go crazy congratulating those who have spared a part of their day or given some of their money to help another as if it's a huge feat. It's easy. Being a nice, kind, helpful person is not difficult and does not need to be made into such a huge deal. That only reinforces the belief that it isn't common, special, a one off.

This goes for fundraising too and I bet you have seen the posts I mean. I know so many amazing people who have done countless charity events and raised money without needing to brag about it, but there are for sure those people who want you to know what they have done, even indirectly to seek congratulations. Charity is not about you and your ego but doing something for those less fortunate because you are in the position to be able to.

There are buzzfeed articles and even whole websites dedicated to 'Random Acts of Kindness Ideas'. Ideas?! It perplexes me. I just don't understand it at all.
It's not a random act of kindness handing in the wallet you found on the street or helping a struggling bee with some sugar water, it's just something every single person should be doing by default.

I don't know where I'm going with this apart to say - PLEASE STOP doing 'random acts of kindness'. Stop doing things unless you are doing it purely to help. And if you do help, STOP posting it all online as if you are some Saint or something.
Well done to those of you who have chased someone down the street when they left their cash in the cash machine, helped catch a stray dog, taken food to a poorly friend or went to have a cuppa and chat with an elderly neighbour, without having to tell anyone/post it online.
Being a good person is not about the gratitude, it's about spreading much-needed kindness in the world. All the time. Not randomly.

 -----



After having written this post a few weeks ago I came across the above documentary essentially about why you should sponsor a child in Africa. You may not see the relation straight away, but a quote from comedian Dex Carrington near the beginning seems to do a great job in summing up people and their experience with 'good deeds'.
He says, ''The very bedrock of our economic system is based on selfishness. So what we should do is, we should give people selfish reasons why the should help out down here. Because what do they need down here? They need basic needs. They need food, they need health, they need education. What do people want in the west? They want to feel awesome, look awesome and be perceived as awesome.''

You see where I'm coming from? I hope you understand the point of all this. I'm not the best at getting what is in my brain out onto a blank page.

Make sure you watch that documentary too. It's 40mins of your day but I guarantee it's one of the best of it's kind I've ever seen. [EDIT - the original documentary is apparently no longer available to embed. The above video is a short excerpt. CLICK HERE for the full documentary.]

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Weekly Wondering // Week 16


'Sup yo?
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 does it mean to allow another person to truly love you?
Another love question?! I dunno. I'm not into all of this lovey-dovey stuff.

Who or what do you think of when you think of love?
Seriously? Another one? Okay. My dog.

If your life was a novel, what would be the title and how would your story end?
Underland to Wonderland. The story is still being written and I won't know the ending for quite a while I hope.

What would you not give up for $1,000,000 in cash?
My family, including Baker. That's probably it. I'd say all my Disney collection but to be fair I'd have 1mil so could just rebuy it all.

When do you feel most like yourself?
All of the time! 

When you help someone do you ever think, “What's in it for me?”
Never. I think you need to read this post that coincidentally is coming up on Monday...Look out for 'Stop Random Acts of Kindness'.

What is your greatest challenge?
Hmm. People? Can I just say, people? Does that make sense? Anything to do with people. I hate talking on the phone, asking where something is in a shop or even just walking out of my street - so much so in fact that I 9/10 times will avoid those situations completely. I'm not a fan of people in general haha.


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, 21 April 2017

Things I HATE About Disneyland Paris


It's been over a year now since I published the first post of what turned into my 'Things I HATE About...' series. May 2nd 2016, Things I Hate About Disney went up and it actually was pretty well received - so much so it's one of my most viewed posts of all time!
Now it's time to discuss some things I hate about my favorite Disney Park - Disneyland Paris! Oooh!!


Smokers
I'm guessing everyone except smokers will feel the same about this. There are specific smoking areas - please use them! Passive smoking/second-hand smoke can be just as dangerous and not only is the park filled with little lungs of children but other adults who may be ill, have asthma (like me) or just generally don't want to have a cloud of poison vapor blown in their face. They can also burn people's bags, clothes, and body parts while you stand with it held down trying to be inconspicuous too so you are causing harm no matter how secretive you try to be. Smoking areas or not at all, thanks. 

Meet and Greet Audience
So this is probably more stressful for people like me who contend with stress, anxiety and the like but the little group of people who stand around watching people getting their photos taken with a character, despite not having anyone they know in the queue and therefore aren't waiting for them, freak me out no end! It takes a lot of guts for me to go and meet my pals as it is (and I still rarely do face characters for this reason) but when I'm being watched...perhaps even judged and often have photos taken by strangers I just can't cope. Please don't do this! If you want a photo of the character on their own, either wait in line, wait until they have no one interacting with them or take one of them in the parade.

Tall Last Minute Arrivers
You know who I mean here! You've arrived 2 hours early to get an awesome spot for a parade or the fireworks, whatever, but then Jimmy Giant-features rocks up 5 minutes before it's due to start and stands right in front of you. Thanks for that pal. Now what I can see will be partially silhouetted by your lovely cranium and picture taking is impossible.
I guess this can also apply to people putting children on their shoulders. The excuse of, 'it's for the kids though really' is completely redundant and falls on unwelcome ears if you say it to me because I have paid to be here too and Disney probably means more to me than your little precious bean - sorry not sorry.

Star Wars Takeover
See this post for more info.

Selfie Sticks
For the sake of all things Disney, don't. pack. selfie sticks. They are actually banned from the park as it is but there are still those D-bags that think they are above the rules. I have never liked them anyway (if you didn't know the 'S' word makes me gag and I don't think I have taken one since I was about 14 using MySpace) but they are even more annoying in Disneyland, especially with the even more obnoxious metal pole addition. You have no idea how many people stick them up in the air and spin around whacking those around them. They look rubbish in the back of my photos too so you're lucky I'm good at editing!

Single Rider Shunners
Haha! This is new to the list and something Mam and I experienced on our Winter 2016 trip. With the wait for Ratatouille being over 2 hours long we decided to just go single rider as it was less than a 30-minute wait. That was a big plus for us on our last day so we could fit in more fun but the family who I had to join as a single rider were not happy at all!
After they'd entered their 'rat' the cast member called me forward and showed me to my seat but I couldn't get in as the little girl was tireless trying to yank the door closed while glowering at me as she didn't want me to sit there. The mother said nothing. I eventually got in and before I had had a chance to get my bag and camera off my knee she was purposely pulling the safety bar down, repetitively, smashing it off the top of my expensive piece of equipment. Again the mother said nothing. I managed to get it out of the way and hold it above my head until the bar automatically lowered and we set off. Spoiled little missy then folded her arms and sat in the world's biggest huff for the duration of the ride, kind of making me feel awkward while trying to enjoy one of my favorite attractions. She wasn't young either and her mother should have stopped and explained the situation to her rather than let her act this way towards someone else.
I'm sure this is a rare case but, unfortunately, the park isn't especially for you so you'll have to get over that fact. You wasted your 2-hour wait by being a little brat and not just getting on with it and enjoying the ride. Plus...technically it was worse for me as I am pretty scared of strangers and being alone so yeah.

No Knowledge Space Takers
The people in front of you in line who take up a space to meet Daffy Duck. Yeah, Daffy. You're in the wrong park..this is Donald!! If you don't know who you are meeting, why are you meeting them? I'm not expecting every person to know every character, not everyone that visits the parks are die-hard fans but I just don't understand why you'd stand in a queue for an hour to meet a character you don't even know the name of...

Queueless Meets
It's super fun when extra characters come out for unscheduled meet and greets but when there is only 1 cast member and a free for all of kids and adults pushing and shoving, I'd rather just miss out on that meet..even if it's someone I really love. It's just so stressful and rude, totally not in the Disney spirit. Oh, plus you get a load of angry looking photobombers ha!  


Wow, if you read all of that I commend you...I probably wouldn't :P Like every other of these posts the following applies:
'Hate' is a strong word. I dislike the above points. However 'dislike' would sound stupid in the title.
Do not take anything personally. This is my opinion and not a direct attack upon any one person, as much as it may seem.
Everyone in this world is different - that's what makes life interesting. I am entitled to my opinion, as you are yours :)

Hope you enjoyed this post and let me know in the comments what one thing you HATE about a Disney park you have been to.

Catch the rest of the 'Things I HATE About...' series here.


Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Easter Home Decor 2017


So technically I thought this post, like my Xmas Decor posts, was an annual tradition of mine. However, looking back for last years...it doesn't seem to exist?! :O How did I miss that? I'll never know but I'd already taken photos and planned this post so it's going ahead still, even if it is a little late.
I will preface this by acknowledging that yes, most people know, I am not religious, however, we celebrate Easter as a holiday of life. New life, rebirth, life in general. We appreciate our fellow creatures big and small as well as the plants, flowers and the incredible planet we are so lucky to be allowed to live on. It's been a tradition since I have lived alone to decorate my house in bright colours and all things Spring to greet the new season of life and the fact the Baker gets gifts is just a bonus ;)

I hope you enjoy seeing my 2017 budget decorations! See the end of the post for previous years.


 Fun facts of what you see above!
- The clock on top of my cabinet doesn't show the right time as we never wind it up. It has a beautiful loud chime that doesn't only scare Baker but also annoys Jake :P
 - The glass jar of chocolate eggs original held mini eggs but I ate the all before I was able to take photos and I had to buy something else to fill it again.
- That paper chain caused way more issues than any decor I've ever put up.
- The bunny and chick wind up toys are both Bakers (79p for Home Bargains) and he is obsesssedd...I think he thinks they are alive.
- The last photo features most of Baker's Easter toys!
- My Easter tree, despite being salvaged from dead twigs I found on the ground, represents rebirth. The colourful decorations symbolizing the beautiful buds that have been gracing all the sad looking winter trees in the past month or so. :)


I also usually show a 'What we got for Easter' haul, though as this year I received money as opposed to any pacey-new etc, I will just be showing Baker's treats! This is from my Mam and I. He also got a new ball but I forgot to add it to his basket or the photos :/

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all had a lovely Easter if you celebrate, however you celebrate. I'd love to see your photos and blog posts so always feel free to pop your links in the comments below.
Some other posts from Easters past are as follows:
What We Got for Easter 2016!
How To: Decorate for Easter
What We Got For Easter 2015
Baker's Easter Haul!
Homemade Chocolate Covered Easter Biscuits (for dogs!)
Easter Origins.


Monday, 17 April 2017

Project 365 2017 // March Summary


Top 3 photos -

Top 5 moments  -
My week off work, staying at Mam & Dads and being able to play outside with Baker for a change.
Seeing Beauty and the Beast with Mam.
Lighter mornings = pretty sunrises on the way to work.
Hangouts with Kerri and little miss Moxie!
Getting sorted / an exciting countdown.
This month in previous years -


Pop on over to my blog dedicated to my project 365 photos! I take a photo every day and upload them weekly, each Tuesday, to Underland 2 Wonderland. Feel free to leave links to your project 365's in the comments below :)


Sunday, 16 April 2017

Weekly Wondering // Week 15


Why hello there! 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.



If you could ask one person, alive or dead, only one question, who would you ask and what would you ask?
There are a few, like obviously I'd want to talk to Walt Disney but if it were only one question...hmm. I'd ask the very first person on Earth what they knew about the creation of the world and where they came from. That would settle a few debates on religion and stuff eh?

If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
Anything with animals really. Even just what I'm doing now actually (cleaning) but being able to take Baker with me? haha I dunno.

What is your number one goal for the next six months?
To leave my house and street without being scared.

Would you ever give up your life to save someone else?
I'd take a bullet for my dog if that is what you are asking!

Are you happy with yourself?
Yes and no. Is anyone 100% happy with themselves? I think I'm a pretty alright person but I never have been and never will be comfortable with how I look. There are times every single day where I wonder what life would be like if I was good looking, but to be honest I came to terms with the fact I never will be a long time ago. As long as I'm a good person, or at least attempting to be, that's all I care about really.

What is the meaning of 'peace' to you?
 Peace and quiet! Silence or just natural sounds. No one bothering me hahaha.

What are three moral rules you will never break?
Staying modest, in mind, attitude and body. Being kind, considerate and help where I can all animals great and small. And...hmm..only one more. Rising to confrontation. I never will. Not that I'd be able to if I wanted, but ignoring is always the best method. Maybe a cop out of a last one but I can't think of anything else haha.


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, 14 April 2017

Disneyland Paris 2016 // Day 3, Part 1


Day 3! Eeek! This post marks the halfway point of my daily summaries from my 2016 trip. It's already been so long since I was there and these posts are probably out of date for others to read, but I am loving keeping the magic alive and reliving each day week by week. Thankfully I still have many more posts to come including many photos from Buffalo Bills Wildwest Show!
Anyway, back to day 3. As always it was an early morning, breakfast in the hotel and to the park for extra magical hours. This day we actually decided to hop in a police vehicle and get a lift down to the castle! I've been in one of the little cars before and won't go on the carts because (although I know the horses are very well looked after) it's just not my thing to have a horse drag me around, but the police one was super fun, just the four of us.
Instead of the usual Fantasyland first hit, we actually headed over to Discoveryland and took a ride on Orbitron while the sun rose. Well, Mam didn't because she doesn't like heights.
After that Kerri and Kris popped over for a go on Space Mountain with it's teeny tiny queue and Mam and I went to explore Nautilus. I love Les Mystères du Nautilus because I like the film it's from, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, but I hear a lot of people who just rush through calling it boring which means it usually isn't too crowded at all. I went a bit overboard with photos so have had to limit it to only a few for this post haha.


We then stopped to talk with Mallards for a bit, met Kerri and Kris and headed over to queue for Autopia! Autopia is always awesome, but it was extra fun when we were chasing Kerri and Kris in the car haha. Plus, being a driver and someone who loves to drive (but hasn't had a car in a while) it's so nice to be behind a wheel again. Although chilly, the still rising sun was gorgeous as it lit our way and shone through the trees while I drove and shot - photos that is.
Then we did something I've never done before...got a fast pass! I'm not a big believer in them, I just feel it's cheating haha but we'd had a go on Buzz and as we wanted to return, decided to grab a fast pass as we got off to come back later.

I'm gonna leave this post here as apparently day 3 was jam packed with photos and I think it looks like this will be a 3 parter...eek!!

Check out the rest of my DLP 2016 posts below!
Christmas Decor
Day 1, Part 1
Day 1, Part 2
What I Bought
Sequoia Lodge Hotel Review 
Day 2, Part 1
Day 2, Part 2
Bistrot Chez Rémy Review