Wednesday, 28 February 2018

My Disney Autograph Books [Part 2]

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 one of two autograph books from my 2010 visit to Disneyland Paris. It was my first adult trip to DLP, my first holiday 'alone' and was my first proper holiday away with my ex-partner. We went for 7 nights from February 26th to March 5th during the 'Mickey's Magical Party' celebrations which were to celebrate Mickey Mouse's 80th birthday! Obviously, his birthday is November 18th, 1928 but this celebration ran from April 2009 to March 2010.
I decided not to do things by halves and got into the whole autograph thing! We met a considerable amount of characters (in relation to the rest of my visits) over the 8 days hence having to buy a second autograph book...:O
Something that I now think of as being a little, shall we say 'different', is that the vast majority of character meets we had were in the Walt Disney Studios Park. In fact 10 of the autographs in this post were gotten over 8 meets. 1 was in one of our hotels, the Santa Fe (we stayed in two over the course of our trip) and the other 3 were in Frontierland! They were all fantastically memorable too, but if I told you about them all I would be writing forever. Maybe I'll do a post on my most memorable meets one day haha!
As you'll see Dale signed in his French name and for some reason, I am often mistaken as French when I go to the parks! haha. He loved me anyway and was making smoochy noises as we posed for photos. He also must have overheard my name as when I saw my autograph he had written 'Kiss Danielle' with loads of hearts which is so special to have!

 [Side note - The relationship I was in at the time was domestically abusive and so when I left him I got rid of all photos etc. This meant I lost a lot of photos from this trip and the missing one by Jessie and one of me on Bullseye for Woody is because this was of photo of him and I with both Woody and Jessie which I no longer have.]


So, as the title suggests, I've decided to split this into a couple of parts. After taking photos of my first book 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 2 more books to share with you from 2 trips, the other part of this one and my 2017 25th anniversary one 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.

Check out the rest of the series here -
My Disney Autograph Books [Part 1]

Monday, 26 February 2018

HP & The Dark Arts // The Yule Ball, Portraits & More

It seems I've left a little longer between the posts in this series than I'd hoped to! Just like everything else I suppose haha. Since starting my 2nd (and 3rd) job/s back during last May, it has really eaten up my 'spare' time so I have less of it available for blogging and in particular the most time-consuming part for me - photo editing!
So yes, these photos are now almost 6 months goodness! They were taken when Mam, Kerri and I went down to the WB Studios at Leavesden during the Dark Arts feature, for my birthday in October. As it was Mam and I's second visit (the first being in December 2015 for my Mam's birthday) I wondered how much of a difference there would be to photograph other than the decor which you can see in the first post from this series and the newly opened Forbbiden Forrest. As you'll see if you look back on my posts from our first time there, there were many changes among some familiar sets...

This post is a little shorter than others as I didn't want to mix too many sections together and these are the only photos I have of these sets. The Yule Ball props were in the same position as they were on our previous visit with one rather large addition - Madame Olympe Maxime's dress from the evening.
The wall of portraits had been moved from around the corner, replacing the gates to that now lead to the Forbidden Forrest and so are further on in the tour, but an addiction I assume was part of the dark arts feature was one of Umbridge's costumes surrounded by some of the crashed-to-the-floor decrees! It looked super cool and I'm kicking myself for not getting more photos of it.
You'll be familiar with the beautiful 'fat lady' portrait I'm sure and she is your hint for the next post...

See the previous posts in this series here -
Halloween at Hogwarts // The Great Hall

Check out my full 'The Making of Harry Potter' series (photos from the WB Studio Tour) from Winter 2015 below -
Part 12 - Hogwarts Castle and the Wand Room

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Back Through The Lens // Week 8

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 8 of Back Through the Lens!

  February 25th, 2013.
 New life amongst the dead.

 Week '8', February 2014.
So technically I didn't have a photo for week 8 and instead I had two for week 9. However, as this was from earlier on in the week I thought I'd share this one from when Jake and I went to Beamish for his birthday. Apart from Kielder, Beamish is one of my all-time favourite places in the UK.

 February 22nd, 2015.
I know the candle says 2014 but I assure you this was 2015. I remember being confused by that at the time too. This was from when I took photos for a family friend at their kiddos Christening.

 February 25th, 2016.
Can you believe that this photo was the best of a bad bunch from this week in 2016...eek! I must have been having a bad week lol. Apparently, I was blogging, while ordering a new sofa and watching Sabrina on a loop for the 59th time. Standard.

 February 22nd, 2017.
Oooh, the first washing on the line of the year! Maybe I should try and get some out soon this year then.


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.
Link me to your project 365's in the comments!!

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

Friday, 23 February 2018

Top 10 Drag Performers (Non-Drag Race)

So, I have never really written anything about many of my other interests on here, outside of Disney, movies, books and Harry Potter. Drag is one of those other interests and I've had notes written for this post on my phone for about a year now, so I thought, you know, forget what anyone else thinks! It may not be your cup of tea but then that's what the 'X' in the right-hand corner is for (or left on a Mac I think?).
Due to Ru Paul's Drag Race season 10 line up being confirmed/officially announced last night, like how typical as soon as I finally have this scheduled, I've brought it forward to today and moved the post I originally had going up to Monday.
As you can see from the title this is a list of my current top 10 favourite drag performers who have not been on Drag Race...yet.

Miz Cracker
Probably my favorite queen overall lately. She's beautiful, witty, talented when it comes to hair and make-up and a super great performer. A well-rounded lady is what it takes to win Drag Race and she is certainly that so I'd love to see her win S10! We all know New York has a heck load of drag talent ;) Her mother is a previous winner after all.
Check out more of Miz Cracker on her YouTube channel - I highly recommend her hilarious 'Review with a Jew' series. Oh and this video too.

Crystal Lubrikunt
I reckon Crystal is one of the UK's best. Yep. And guess who met her recently? Yep, me. Her numbers are so funny and well she's just a proper lip sync assassin. I was here for this one and was in stitches in person, you should really see this performance with Sasha Velour as well.
How awesome is it that she went to graduation in drag back in 2015 too? I love that!

Discord Addams & Gidget Von Addams
Although these beauties are separate beings and queens on their own, they are a couple and a family so I've paired them here to talk about but I'm definitely counting them as two people. Their looks are just insane. Anything different to the norm I am there for and these girls  Here is a gorgeous photo of Discord and the perfect portrait of the Addams family here on Gidget's account.

I'm sure you all already know Aquaria if you are a drag fan. She's Sharon Needles drag daughter and is, like everyone else on this list, absolutely stunning! Another NY native I reckon she's also one to watch in terms of future Drag Race winners. This video here is what sealed the deal for me being a big fan of hers.

Evah Destruction
Evah is another you are sure to know if you know drag. She's an internet sensation and a complete chameleon queen - she does it all. (Proof!) You may have heard other queens be dubbed 'clownish' but Evah redefines that word completely. I mean if you're afraid of clowns don't click here.

Rubber Child & Lisa Limbaugh
Like Gidget & Discord, these women are family. Best friends from the Haus of Piss specifically. Both from Florida I think Rubber and Lisa are perfect, they're beautiful, they may not look like Linda Evangelista but I wouldn't mind looking like a mix of them! I found them when they did Bestie$ for Ca$h on WOWPresents and then spent the next 48 watching everything I could find of them online haha.

CarrieAnn Crow
The newest addition to my list and the most 'local' one to me, CarrieAnn is from Glasgow where she hosts Trigger Thursdays. I was lucky enough to see her perform at The Rabbit Hole in Edinburgh earlier this month and she is probably the reason I lost my voice. There are a few clips from her performance here but my goodness the whole thing was epic - a frame, glitter, wig reveal and great tunes. I am a fan!

Self-described 'Kpop Idol Reject' Soju is also rather internet famous with her popular YouTube channel. Like Trixie is the first drag country artist, Soju is the first drag Kpop artist and she released her single 'So Juicy' with an awesome, choreographed music video featuring Jaymes Mansfield! I recommend you search for a particular Soju club performance where she breaks boards on stage too. SO good.

Honorable mentions also go to BibleGirl, Rhea Litré and Duo Raw!

I recommend you check out all of these queens if you don't know them already and I'd love to hear all about your top 10 non-Ru girls! Are you a fan of any on this list? Do you have any other UK ladies I should be looking out for? If this post isn't met with a bad response I have a few more drag-themed posts planned..what do you reckon? It seems now that the legend that is Courtney Act won Big Brother more people are opening their minds to the art which is awesome but remember to get out and support your local queens where you can not just the most famous girls ;)


Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Countdown to Disney 2018 // Attractions Hitlist

110 Days
15 Weeks, 5 Days
3.61 Months

We are still quite a while away from this years Disneyland Paris trip, however, it is time for another in my 'Countdown to Disney' series!! Today I'm planning out the rides and attractions I most want to hit up during our five-day stay.
As I mentioned last post, it isn't just Mam and I this time...nor is it just us and Kerri. It's Mam, Kerri, Dad and I!! Therefore a special version of this list has had to be written up. In our party, there are back problems, fear of heights, Spondylitis, arthritis and other ailments that needed to be thought of when drawing up the hit list.
Dad has also not been to Disney since 1996 - a lot has changed since then and I have so much I want to experience with him.
(Ps. Silently cursing Cinemagiques closure)

With all of the above being taken into consideration, here are my two to-do lists when it comes to rides and attractions this June.

With Mam & Dad

Moteurs...Action! Stunt Show Spectacular
I love this show! I hype it up every time to whoever I'm with because I don't think it gets the love it deserves.
Disregarding the stereotypical gender assumptions, I think this is something Dad will really enjoy and as it is a show he'll get to sit and chill for a bit between all the walking and waiting we'll be doing.

Armageddon – Les Effets Speciaux
Yes, it's nothing special. Yes, it's outdated. Yes, once you've done it that's it. But to be fair I just want to see Mam and Dad's reactions. I went on in May last year with Laura after having previously last being on in March 2010 and watching everyone else's reactions is a heck load of fun!

Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast
I've beat Mam many a time on this so I obviously have to try beat Dad too haha. It'll be one of the only rides that we will be able to go on that you get your photo taken on too so I want to do it a couple of times with both Dad and Kerri.

With Kerri

Big Thunder Mountain
It may be hard to believe, but I only had my first ever experience of Big Thunder Mountain last May and it was better than I expected! This is a ride that I think Kerri will really enjoy too and it's also one that my parents can't go on. Plus photo op!

Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop
This is another I only had my first shot on this past year. Kerri, Kris and I had planned to go on it in December 2016, but to be honest I'm glad we didn't because man that would have been so cold!! haha

Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
Oooohhh! I hear you. 'What?! Star Tours? I thought you hate Star Wars?'. Well yes, I hate that Star Wars is being pushed on the parks so much as I think it should have it's own park, along with Marvel but I have been on Star Tours back in 2010 and thought (as a non-Star Wars fan) it was pretty cool.
I'm not sure what Kerri thinks of SW but it'll be a different experience to go on the updated simulation with her.

With Everyone

Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic
Another chill yet interesting and attention holding attraction like the Stunt Show, it's something only Mam and I have done before. I dunno if I'll ever get bored of the Studio Tram Tour and I think it's something people of all ages should enjoy at least once, plus it's always a good laugh to stick new to the show riders on the left hand side :P

Ratatouille: L'Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy
My Mam loves this bloomin' ride! I do too but my Mam is a big fan. It's another that is pretty different to anything else around and gets great reactions from people who have no idea what to expect. Sadly it was closed when we were there in 2016, only reopening on our last day after Kerri and Kris had already gone home.
I'm hoping that if we tell Dad and Kerri nothing, they'll bust out some great reactions.


I guess that's pretty much it! Of course I have a huge list of everything we'll be going on already written out, but obviously these are the 'most important' so to say. Usually Phantom Manor would be our go to first ride but that is closed so now Pirates of the Carribbean will be taking that place. It was closed when I was there in May last year so this will be my first time seeing it since the refurb so I'm super syced for that!!

Keep up with my Countdown to Disney here:
The Low Down

Monday, 19 February 2018

Project 365 // Summary 2017

Oooooh, I almost completely forgot about this post. I have no idea what reminded me of it as at this point all of my previous year summaries and the start of the year posts have been and gone, but it's better late than never!
This is the 3rd year I've done an overall round-up of my year using my project 365 as a base. If you have been keeping up with my new Sunday series - Back Through the Lens - you'll know that I have 5 complete years of daily photos and am now onto year 6 of project 365, and in this post I choose 2 photos from each month of the year and write up a quick 'what I did' for those months. Here we go...

People tend to dislike January, in a similar type of way as people dislike Mondays. I just dislike December-February because it's cold. January 2017 was rather chill, with not much going on compared to Jan '16. Hanging out with Tilly and Brook was always a good time and I enjoyed attempting to get them both to sit for photos together - a lot more difficult with those crazy girls than you'd think! See part of their set here.
Other than that Jake and I had a day away in Newcastle, we had the usual sporadic weather i.e sun one day and snow the next, I took part in my 4th RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch (blog post here) and of course, my good streak of reading began.

Sadly another rather slow and, not that I like to use this word, but 'boring' month.
The lighter mornings started to arrive and there were plenty of wildlife encounters, with new life in plant form appearing. A year ago we were still able to get Baker out for a few good walks too which was lovely. Oh, and I got a new bookcase.

With milder weather and longer days came many pretty sunrises on the way to work. Mam and I had a day away to Edinburgh to see Beauty and the Beast at the cinema (see my review here!) so naturally, had to visit our squirrel friends in the gardens as usual.
From my month of photos in March, it seems it was another pretty chill one filled with books and birds.
Here are a couple cool posts I put up this month:

Easter celebrations or should I say Spring celebrations, call for the annual seasonal decor to come out of the boxes and brighten up the house, check out our decor post here. Sunny days and flowers were aplenty, very much happily welcomed.
Laura also popped up for a quick overnight visit and we got Baker out to Ford for a little swim in the water. Have a peek at the photos here.
As you can see we had a certain countdown going on too...a little hint at what happened next month.

Disney month!!!! For the first time since 1996, I hopped onto a bloomin' coach and took the 17 hour journey down the country and across/under the sea to the homeland of Disneyland Paris, this time with my best friend Laura. It was our first holiday together and her first proper time at Disney, plus it was my chance to see all the 25th Aniversary stuff, new parade and new nighttime show.
After getting home, of course, I got poorly and wasn't well for a couple weeks but I actually started my 2nd job, I helped a bee and I photographed lots of nature/wildlife. Mam and I also got to get down to Newcastle to see Salazar's Revenge, the review is here!

I had never actually heard of it before, but I took part in 30 Days Wild this June! This meant that my whole project 365 throughout this month was nature and/or wildlife themed. Because of where I live I'm very lucky to get to see a good range of species but one of my favourite photos is that of the male Blackbird hopping up the stairs holding a tiny flower!
I did a full summary of my 30 Days Wild which you can see here. During the 30 days, I was happy to help a baby Herring Gull too, read more about him by clicking here.

The start of this month saw Mam and I complete our seventh annual Race for Life, a 5k distance to raise funds for Cancer Research.
Overall it was a very sad month though with the loss of my Grandma. We went down to Newcastle to say goodbye on the 14th.

Baker's birthday month! He turned the big 0-5 :O That is crazy. We threw him a little birthday party as usual, and because he has found a recent addiction for balloons we got him extra balloons. Click for the blog post with lots of photo of his day.
Earlier in the month, Laura popped up for the day so we had a run out to nearby Eyemouth where we went for a good walk, fed the seals and took lots of photos that you can see here.

This is the start of my favourite time of year, don't ask me why, I guess it just seems to be when all the best stuff happens.
I ended up with 2 days down in Newcastle in the few two weeks of September as my tattoo appointment ended up being rescheduled but I already had train tickets booked. I had a nice time in town and the Metro Centre with Laura though then the next week I finally got my cover up done :)
More fab friend time was had when Claire and I had a day out to Etal Flower Show and the Hay Farm Heavy Horse Centre which was such a great day. I actually took a lot of photos but still haven't edited them or blogged about it haha. In fact September I had a break from blogging and didn't post much at all.

This is actually my all-time favourite month, though not because it's my birthday month. To be fair birthdays don't really bother me much at all.
Anyway, a quick rundown of all the amazing stuff I got up to this month:
Decorating for Halloween
Seeing a big Hollywood movie shoot along my street
Trip to Newcastle to exchange birthday gifts with Laura (she's also an Oct baby)
Halloween Evening at Beamish
History of Magic exhibition at the British Library
Dark Arts feature at the WB Studio Tour

Judging by my photos it seems like we were still getting pretty nice weather, although obviously, the signs of winter were creeping in with the dying leaves and cooler breeze. Sunny days, pretty sunsets and birdy pals too. Mam and I went to our local 'cinema' to see Murder on the Orient Express, I bought some broken buddies at the shops & brought them back to life in time for Christmas and we got sent a giant canvas of Baker to review.

And last but not least, Winter is here. I decorated my little Santas workshop style living room, we got the first snow of the season and supported lots of our favourite causes. I also ended my yearly movie watching challenge with plenty Christmas movies raking my total to 515 for 2017 :)

Phew! That post took me a few sittings to complete and far more hours than it should have because, surprise, surprise, I've been ill.
However, that was my 5th full year of daily photos. I did a lot better with missed days originally, my first blank spot being day 120 which was actually the day before we travelled to DLP. After that, I sadly missed another 17 days, weirdly enough meaning I missed 18 days in both 2016 & 2017...
It sucks but its better to have 348 days of memories than nothing and many days actually had multiple photos. I'm already 50 days into my 2018 project and don't see myself stopping anytime soon :)
If you did a project 365 last year I'd love to hear how it turned out. Feel free to share links to where I can have a nose at it in the comments too.

Ps. Have a gander at last years version of this post! > Summary 2016

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Back Through The Lens // Week 7

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 7 of Back Through the Lens!

 February 16th, 2013.
 It's a shame that Song Thrushes are so rare because they are so very beautiful! Taken in Ridley Park, just along the road from our place when we lived in Blyth.

 Week 7, February 2014.
 Apparently back in 2014, Jake was turning 26! We weren't doing well for money so I made his birthday card and his cake (using one of these giant cupcake moulds, which aren't great). Can you believe he just turned 30 two days ago? haha Crazy!

  February 17th, 2015.
 Eee my little blue munchkin! <3 I remember the day I was walking home, down West Street, and out the corner of my eye, I noticed a tiny blue bird huddled in a doorway. And as you can see by blue bird I mean a bird that was blue. This is a baby pigeon and he'd been spray painted blue :( I've looked after birds before but I had no idea where to start with the cleaning process, so I scooped him up in my scarf and carried him home, made him comfortable and waited for the local wildlife trust to pick him up! He was released a healthy, normal coloured pigeon a few weeks later.

 February 17th, 2016.
With this week being Jake's birthday week, we usually like to go away somewhere and do something, seeing as we don't get out much. This year we went to York, somewhere I've loved to visit since my childhood but Jake had never been. Sadly it was not long after their floods so a lot of things were closed and the weather was terrible. Still, we had a great time at the National Railway Museum.
(Fun fact about me - I love trains!) Check out the blog posts from our visit here > 

 February 14th, 2017.
My valentine forever and ever.


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.
Link me to your project 365's in the comments!!

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