Friday, 19 January 2018

A Day in My Life // December

Sunday, 31st December.
A Day in My Life.

My very last day in life post from 2017 is just that because I decided to document the very last day of December, New Year's Eve. Many people were asking each other 'what are you doing for New Years?', well, this was our New Years :)

1 // Around 8am I get home from work and Baker and I decide a nap is needed!
2 // Then I finish watching the movie I started while at work. This was 'Bibi & Tina: Tohuwabohu Total  (Perfect Pandemonium)'...I'm kind of obsessed with the Bibi & Tina movies.
3 // Work doesn't end with job #1, I have my own work to do too. Dishwasher and Washing machine both loaded and on.
4 // Tidied my living room, Jake's living room and sorting out the recycling.

5 // Sitting down with some old Beatdown episodes while I eat my hashbrown sandwich for brunch.
6 // Unloading the dishwasher is one of my least favourite jobs.
7 // Making my last ever Angel Delight before the transition to Vegan tomorrow (as in no things with non-vegan ingredients in and AD powder has milk in it :( )
8 // Finishing off the first post in a new series - check it out here.

9 // Baker's dinner time and a cuppa to wake Jake who is in nightshift sleeping mode.
10 // And then a shower for me.
11 // Yet more housework, taking the dry washing off the airer.
12 // Finally tea time for myself. Not meal beats pasta and broccoli! Of course with my big bowl of Angel Delight too. Yum!

13 // Getting a last-minute photo for a post going up the next day. 
14 // ...and putting the finishing touches to said post. Here is that post!
15 // Time for the most basic bedtime routine you'll ever see.
16 // How satisfying to end the year and end a book at the same time.

Considering I had work as normal the next day, this was actually a very late night for me and I didn't finish reading to go to sleep until just before 11pm! :O But yeah, this was how we saw in 2018...sleeping haha. I'm not sure if I am going to bring this series into 2018 yet, we'll see, because I've been a little bit awful at not leaving them until the last minute to do.
How did you spend New Year? Are you the type to celebrate or would you rather sleep too? lol

Leave links to your day in the life type posts in the comments!!

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

My Disney Autograph Books [Part 1]

Over my 5 holidays in Disneyland Paris, I have met a few characters, not as many as some of course, but with those visits spanning from 1996 - 2017 there is a range of characters included within the pages of my autograph books, some which I think don't regularly meet anymore.
I don't actually go for signings every visit, only 'special occasions' like Mickey's Magical Party in 2010 and the 25th Anniversary in 2017 and after a recent conversation with Stephen, I thought it may be nice to share the autographs I do have currently to perhaps compare how Mickey's handwriting has changed throughout the years or something? ;)

This is my one and only autograph book from my first ever visit to Disneyland Paris, my only visit as a child, for my 6th birthday in October 1996!
For some reason I decided to muck about with this book and add the photos in a few years back, hence them being in a bit of a weird format with the corresponding signature on the page after the photo.
Seasoned DLP pros that visit multiple times a year may be able to correct me on this but in my experience the likes of Sherriff, Big Al and Basil do not meet anymore (or at least not often at all) at DLP so I like the fact I have those from my childhood :) From our home video I know that Sherriff's friend was super good at trying to make the kids stay polite by cupping his ear with his paw until they said 'Please'. That was pretty cool.
Another difference with these older meets is that they were hec-tic, hectic! No queues, minimal attendants, just pure pandemonium with people shoving each other out of the way, pushing their books in front of the character and teasing the character - pulling at tails and ears and stuff, so, apart from the Mickey meet where he was up some steps and guarded by a few cast members, most of the character photos from that trip have multiple strangers in them haha. I'm SO glad that has changed. Although, I did experience something similar during Halloween 2014 with the Villians at Castle Courtyard - major flashbacks.
Overall I must say this is a book I treasure and although I don't think there is a photo of Mam, Dad and I with Mickey, I cannot wait for us to be able to get a family shot with the boss mouse in 146 days!!! :O

So, as the title suggests, I've decided to split this into a couple of parts. After taking photos of one of my books it seemed better this way than having to miss anything out or have it be the worlds longest post.
I hope you enjoyed this peek into my autograph 'collection' so to say. I have 3 more books to share with you from 2 other trips and would love to see yours too!! If you do decide to share them in a blog post pleaaase tag me so I can see - I'll be looking forward to it.

Monday, 15 January 2018

What I Read in 2017

On Monday, 30 January 2017 I posted my first proper 'book-related' post - What I Read in 2016 - and it was comprised of a total of four books. Yep. Four. I've talked about this so much over 2017 that I'm not going to say much more but in summary, I had been going through a reading drought, fell in love with a book at a hotel during Dad and I's charity walk purely because it had a bird on the spine and got my reading mojo back.
2017 saw me continue my reading journey and rack up a bit of a bigger total come December, than the previous year. Here is what I read in 2017...

I read 9,502 pages across 43 books

However, I am only classing it as 40 books seeing as though three books were under 100 pages and I don't (personally) consider it a proper book towards my goal if they are that short.

Talking of length, those 3 short ones were -
Kidnapped Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum at 12 pages  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Wayward Spirits: A Prelude to the Dawning of Power by Brain Rathbone at 15 pages  ⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum at 83 pages  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

And my longest were -
The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle at 1,865 pages  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick at 525 pages  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Once Upon a Dream (Twisted Tales #2) by Liz Braswell at 452  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

& the average length being 221 pages!

As you'll probably see from above, I go a little crazy dishing out the fact, I rated around 39% of my total reads, 5 stars! 
5 Star books - 17
4 Star books - 14
3 Star books - 8
2 Star books - 2
1 Star books - 2

If I listed all my top rated, we'd be here until next January but I'll spill the beans on the bottom 4!
Terrifying Tales by Edgar Allan Poe  ⭐️⭐️
British Classics: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens  ⭐️⭐️
The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty's Prince by Serena Valentino  ⭐️
The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens  ⭐️

I know you aren't meant to judge a book by its cover but don't tell me that you have never done it! I will be the first to admit I do it often, oops! 

Here are some of my favourite pretty covers -
Tales of the Peculiar (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children 0.5) by Ransom Riggs ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Alice Through the Looking Glass (Disney book of the film) by Kari Sutherland ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Tales from the Haunted Mansion, Volume II: Midnight at Madame Leota's by Amicus Arcane ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Brightest Star in the North: The Adventures of Carina Smyth by Meredith Rusu ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

They weren't just pretty, they were awesome reads too as the ratings suggest!

To wrap this up, I'd quickly like to talk about a couple honourable mentions. 

First up, and the highlight of my reading year (perhaps reading life) was the 7 Chronicles of Narnia books. Of course, as a child, I read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and as I grew up became aware of Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader through the 2008 & 2010 movies. However, for a world I apparently loved so much I still hadn't known the whole story.
On our trip to DLP in December 2016 my brilliant friend Kerri gifted me her stunning box set of the books, so I started 2017 on a magical journey.
I adore these books. I want to read them over and over, just like I have done with the Harry Potter series...but I must refrain with so many books sitting in my 'to be read' pile just now. Despite the fact that a lot of the moral content etc is Christian focused, I can't help but think that these are books everyone should be reading. At 27 I feel I learnt stuff from them so open child minds would be perfect to take it all in. For anyone interested, I read them in chronological order, not publication order and my favourites are The Magicians Nephew and The Horse and his Boy.

Finally, the Bastable Children series by Edith Nesbit. I didn't read these as a child, and alhtough I was aware of her as an author I only picked up her books this year. Written in the late 1800s and early 1900s E Nesbits books are full of racial no-nos and just jaw dropping (seriously, more than once did my jaw actually drop while reading 3 of the 4 Bastable books) language that you would never use these days. However, if you can look past that and realize it was purely down to the century and not in anyway meant in a bad way, they are some lovely stories. They did make me think that we humans as a species must have dumbed down a bit though because if these were meant as childs books I wouldn't want to see a child try to read some of the more advanced languaged included. I'm not ashamed to say I had to Google a couple things haha.

Anyway with the Narnia series opening my year and the Bastable series closing it, I feel I had an extremly positive reading experince right over 2017. Having set my Goodreads goal at 10 I times that by 4 and I multiplied my 2016 total by 10. A very successful year and now I am even more motivated to crack on blazing through all the books I have accumilated and still are to be read!

Thanks so much for reading, especially if you didn't just skim - to be fair if it was me I probably would have - as I know it's a lot of waffle. I really want to hear about your 2017 in books so please send links to me on Twitter or leave them in comments below! Oh and feel free to add me on Goodreads if you want :)

Check out my previous posts in this series -
What I Read This Quarter [October - December]
What I Read This Quarter [July - September]
What I Read This Quarter [April - June]
What I Read This Quarter [January - March] 
What I Read in 2016 

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Back Through The Lens // Week 2

Happy Sunday guys!
Over the past 5 years, I have taken part in a little photo project called Project 365. Project 365 is simply taking a photo every day a year. Now I have 5 full years of photo memories to look back on and wanted to share a few here to reminisce. So here it is, week 2 of Back Through the Lens!

 January 13th, 2013.
Tiny baby Baker! This was taken on Scarborough South Beach on a day we'd driven down from Blyth to pick up Jakes friend and drive him up to stay with us for a few days. It's about a 200mile round trip but Baker, at only 5 months old, was a travelling superstar - he's always loved being in the car.

 Week 2 January 2014.
A familiar sight just now!

 January 13th, 2015.
After moving back to Berwick we tried out different parks and trails to walk Baker. This one was brilliant and often we'd have a full field to ourselves for him to play with his ball. The way the sun lit up the moss on the path reminded me of the yellow brick road, though more like the green moss path haha.

 January 9th, 2016.
I can't quite believe that it's already been a full two years since the stunning piece of art that is 'The Good Dinosaur' was released. My best pal Laura and I saw it at the Gate Empire, Newcastle.

January 8th, 2017.
The best day of January is always when your Born Free adoption arrives! Baker thinks so too though and desperately wants whatever soft toy comes in the box...:P

Photos like that first one are why I'm doing this and also kind of makes me wish I'd started a year earlier so I had more memories of all my babies. I'm looking forward to sharing more and introducing my other (late) children <3 Check out last weeks post here!
To keep up to date with 2018's current project 365 you can check my second blog (and even maybe give it a follow if you like!) by clicking here.

For more photos from the years above you can click below -
January 2013
January 2014
January 2015
January 2016
January 2017

Friday, 12 January 2018

Quarterly Collective Haul // October - December 2017

Yeah...October - December 2017. I know. So usually I do share these quarterly collective hauls early the following month, however, when it gets to the end of a year I try to put out the Oct-Dec one at the end of December. That would have been the case except that after Christmas I un-scheduled(?) all my posts and decided to have a mini break to restart fresh in January.
Oh and for those who have never seen this style of post from me before, it's not bragging or showing off or anything like that. I'm simply compiling everything I am lucky enough to purchase or get over a period of 3 months so that I can remember and fully appreciate each item forever.

It was a good three months for books, that's for sure. This year, in general, has been more of a book year than usual, probably because I've actually been doing more reading. though of course, the majority are secondhand, charity shop finds. The first image and the top left book on the second image are all pre-loved costing me less than £14 for all 9. Of course, the rest of the Harry Potter books were bought new as they were all new releases.
I was lucky enough to visit the History of Magic exhibition at the British Library to celebrate my birthday in October so picked up one of the books while I was there and then ordered the other online. During that same trip down South, we were going to the WB Studio Tour for the second time. This time it was while the Dark Arts feature was on and was my first time seeing the Forbidden Forrest and it's obviously where I got the new official guide.
Fantastic Beasts & Prisoner of Azkaban were preorders.

In opposition to books, my DVD collecting has slowed down. I've said it a couple times on here, but I'm at the point now where most of the Disney DVDs I really need are compilations, ones I don't want, are harder to find or are like £100+. 4 of the above were bought new and all were under £4 minus Olaf's Frozen Adventure which I'm not sure on the price as Jake bought me it. The second-hand ones added up to under £5.

It seems my Birthday this year was very Harry Potter themed...not only did we go to the Studio Tour and British Library for the exhibition, my Mam gave me money towards my Hufflepuff tattoo* which I actually had done in September, Kerri so, so kindly hand cross stitched me a perfect Hufflepuff crest and I bought myself a throw (shown in the background of the HP books photo above) at the tour I have wanted since I first visited in 2015.

[* Can you see all my goose pimples in that photo?! That's how cold my house is haha]

Lastly, Christmas. I'm not going to name everything but I'm sure you can tell which pile is mine and which is Bakers. It doesn't look like he got as much this year but the stuff he did get was he gets new toys and treats all the time as it is because I just can't help myself.
My 'main' Christmas gifts from my parents were actually a new kettle, toaster, George Forman and steamer pans which we got back near black Friday and I was over the moon with. Alongside those was my little Pluto charm from the latest Disney Chamila collection - love, love, love him <3

And the finale! My wand. The one wand to rule them all, the Elder wand, Dumbledore's wand. I have wanted this for years also but could never really bring myself to spend the money on something I couldn't really use. That's when the ever amazing Kerri stepped in and bought it for me at the tour...ahhh!! Not only that but she was talking about me to the cashier and bless his soul, he left the till and chased me around the shop (awkward because I was all angry/stressy because of my anxiety and all the people) to give me a Birthday badge, Hogwarts Letter envelope from the recent feature opening 4 Privet Drive and the piece of paper with Harry's Name from the Goblet of Fire!! I started ugly crying at him of course. It meant so much. And even more to experience it with one of my best friends and Mam.
Oh, and Mam bought me the stand while we were there too! :)

Thanks for sticking with me through this mammoth post! The last collective haul of the year is always longer with Christmas being in December and my birthday in October. I wanna hear about what you have been buying, gifting, getting, loving and so on lately. Leave me links in the comments or tweet them to me!

Feel free to pop over to my previous quarterly hauls:
July - September 2017
April - June 2017
January - March 2017
October - December 2016
July - September 2016
April - June 2016 
January - March 2016

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

DLP Details || It's A Small World - Part 2

First things first, (it is so hard not to say 'I'm the realest' after that and I don't care how cliche it is) if you didn't see last Wednesday's blog post you actually have to before you see this one. So click here for Part 1 of It's a Small World details!!

Incase you ain't got time for dat, this is my new Disney series looking up-close into specific rides or attractions within Disneyland Paris. The best thing about DLP is the intense attention to detail and I am a pain in the bottom to visit with because I photograph every single detail!
Over my past two visits (Nov/Dec 2016 and May 2017) it seems I took quite a liking to this particular ride and why not eh?! As I mentioned in part 1, It's a Small World is often met with a love it or hate attitude...I love it! Everyone from all over the world happy and singing under one roof - yes please!

Here's part 2 of the photos!

Just stunning. I'll never ride through this wonderland without my mouth open in awe and I'm sure I'll find new details to fall in love with everytime too.
I dunno if any eagle eyed people noticed but we were actually the only ones (minus 1 group two boats in front) riding in some of these photos which for me made it so much more special and relaxing - well I talk for myself but that's how I felt anyway haha. Always love quiet Disneyland.

I hope you enjoyed this post, remember to have a peek at the first part and tell me your thoughts about this attraction in the comments. Oh, and which attraction would you like to see in this series?? I have 4/5 maybe more fully photographed and ready to be edited up but I am back in the magic in June so will try to capture some other details while I'm there!