Monday, 30 April 2012

My Love Mondays - My Love for Steps!

Wow, it has been a very long time since my last My Love Mondays, where I open the silly mind of me and share my love for all things weird!
  This weeks theme is courtesy of the band Steps because I saw their reunion gig last week and I am not ashamed to share it with you!

  I was around 15 at the time I first got into them, and it was not the annoying song that did it!  It was in fact their next hit Last Thing On My Mind that got me into Steps and began my obsession with them!
  Three studio albums and a greatest hits later and I was gutted when Steps were no more!  My memories consist of dancing around my bedroom, like any teenage girl, pretending I was in the band and hitting notes so high, my parents used to scream at me for being so loud and out of tune!
  When ever a new album by Steps came out, I was so excited!  I would literally run down to our local Woolworths, dash back home with album in hand and play it from beginning to end with no interruptions whilst reading the inlay book from cover to cover!
  What was it about Steps I loved so much?
They were different.  Every song brought with it a different theme, from Chinese in After the Love Has Gone, to Spanish in Summer of Love which kept them fresh.
  Their catchy pop tunes got stuck in your head all day but that was a good thing!  The dance moves added excitement and meant that us kids could join in and share what the band felt.  It was a visual wonderment and there has never been a more successful pop band when selling concert tickets.
  When I went to see them live at the O2 last week, it brought back so many memories of exactly why I loved them so much and ten years after they split, I was dancing around, all be it a little older and 5 months pregnant!
  The arena was filled with campness, I assumed loads of small kids would be there but it was packed with grown adults, all of which had grown up with Steps just like me, knew all the dance moves and song lyrics and we had one massive party!
  Steps, individually showcased their talents by performing a song each, concluded by the most powerful voice in the band, Claire who belted out a Celine Dion cover of I Surrender and showed us what she was made of.
  I came away from this concert with a big smile on my face and out of all the 60 odd gigs I have been to, this was the one where I had the most fun!
  My love for Steps will remain in my mind whether they stick around or disappear again.  I still have all their albums which I would happily play out loud to anyone!  Steps are cool and show the world how to party!

My Top 5 Steps Songs:

1:  Chain Reaction
2:  Summer of Love
3:  You'll Be Sorry
4:  Paradise Lost
5:  After the Love Has Gone

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Pregnancy Diary - We Are Having A Boy!

Last week, we had our anomaly scan and are pleased to announce we are having a little man!  Our son was pleased to say the least, he came with us to the scan and made it quite clear beforehand that he did not want a sister! 
  We are overjoyed and can begin to decorate what will be a shared boys bedroom, and begin to make preparations for a baby shower, buying everything we need and of course, the birth!
  Now that the scan is out the way and we know our baby is healthy, our next milestone is the visit to antenatal with our midwife in June. 
  In the meantime, I am continuing to bloom, (see previous post!) and we are enjoying feeling our baby wiggle, kick and punch!  He is so lowdown that most of my bump seems pointless!  I did not have this with Jacob until I was at least 7 months pregnant where then he pushed on my bladder, but this little man is already doing this!
  The heartburn is not too bad but I am more prone to it at night, and my back is starting to hurt.  The bump is so big that I feel very uncomfortable already!  I am trying not to moan too much about it but its hard, I know it will only get worse but its all for a good cause!
  I have also recently taken up swimming as the only excersize I get is doing the school run, and even then thats in the car!  I thought I would feel lighter in the pool but because I havent used certan muscles in a while, I felt heavy and everything was pulling, my arms ached and I got tired quicker!  I must be the only pregnant woman to suffer when swimming!  Still, I will keep it going and I know there are many benefits to it.

Bump Watch @ 21 weeks

Oh dear God, I am busting at the seams!  I have most definetely the biggest bump at five months pregnant!  Who knows what I will look like at 8 months! This top may certainly not be worn for much longer! xx

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Happy Record Store Day!

I thought I would dedicate this post to all the record shops left open today.  Yes, today is Record Store day and it got me reminiscing about the good old days of going into my local vinyl shop!  I have two separate memories of this in two different eras.
My first memory is of my Dad.  He has been djing for over 30 years so a routine of heading to a record shop every Saturday would fit into our plans.  I must have been about 7 onwards and at the time I did not fully appreciate the wonder a record shop beholds.  My Dad would spend a good couple of hours flicking through every record in one section, making a mini pile of ones that he has selected and then continuing to buy the latest chart entries to keep up to date.  I would spend those two hours being bored senseless!  There was not much for me to do, music did not interest me at that age and I would just run around the shop or sit and read the inlay covers of cassette albums!  However, I am so glad my Dad did take me on these days out as something must have sank in on the way and nowadays I love nothing more than seeing old vinyl! 
I started to appreciate record shops the more my Dad took me and the older I got.  I am a huge Madonna fan and I remember hunting for any vinyl she released and this has now progressed to 7" singles of my favourite indie songs and obscure bands.  I love picture discs especially, and coloured vinyl as they present an alternative to the typical black.  But there is nothing like a good old fashioned record to cling on to and pass onto our kids.
Unfortunately, our local record stores, Sounds Familiar and Vinyl Village have since been turned into a block of flats and a tanning salon so my son has no idea what a proper record store is.  HMV is the closest he will get to knowing a music shop and even then they are on there way out!
My collection of music consists of 300+ cds, 50 tapes and about a handful of vinyl at the moment.  I am not a huge fan of downloading music although I find it handy for buying the odd single.  I prefer to walk into a shop an buy the physical item, to have it in my hand and get excited about taking it home with me to play, and then filing it alongside the rest of my collection!  Its not the same when doing this with iTunes!

My collection of vinyl so far!

We laugh when we explain to our son what a cassette is, I have not even covered what a record is yet!  I sound so ancient!  But the shocking truth is, my impending child may not even know what a CD is by the time he is old enough to realise and thats so sad.   I will always be thankful to my Dad for introducing me to the world of music, vinyl and record shops as it definetely plays a big role in my life right now and if I can cling on to what was, then hopefully I can pass this onto my children and the world can do the same!

If you live local to a record store, pop in, have a browse, have a chat amongst fellow record lovers and embrace the fact that you are lucky enough to do this!

Happy Record Store day and long may they continue to remain alive!

365 Day Photo Challenge - 172 / 365

172 / 365 - Sorry this is blurry but it was taking whilst walking quickly!  I was at the O2 to see Steps back on tour!  Having missed them the first time round, I was quick to get tickets and I am so glad I did!  It was fantastically camp, pop - esque and full of adults! xxx

365 Day Photo Challenge - 171 / 365

171 / 365 - The last day of the Easter holidays involved me taking Jacob to the local indoor play area and here he found this free dance machine which he thouroughly enjoyed chasing the lights on!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

365 Day Photo Challenge - 170 / 365

170 / 365 - During half term,  Jacob visited the Museum of London with a friend andwe came across this wall of roman remains from above!  It was extremely interesting to discover things I did not know about our capital and made a great day out for everyone!

365 Day Photo Challenge - 169 / 365

169 / 365 - Ooh a pretty rainbow!  This was spotted off the M11 on our way to pick up Jacob from his Grandparents and it was a cloudy but sunny rainstorm!

365 Day Photo Challenge - 168 / 365

168 / 365 -This was a quiet and deserted O2 Arena on Good Friday and I had never seen it so dead!  We were off to see the 3D version of Titanic and I expected the area to be busier than this!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Listography - My Top 5 Albums by Male Solo Artists

Ooh I love it when Listography goes all musical!  I have not joined in for a few weeks as some of the topics have not related to me in any way!  Now this weeks theme I thought would be a walk in the park for me, being a huge music lover and cd collector.  However, looking at my taste of music, it mainly consists of heavy metal, indie groups or pop groups!  My male solo artist section leaves a lot to be desired, mainly showing off best ofs and lame chart hits that I'm embarrassed to mention!
  However, I have managed to pick out my favourite albums by male solo artists even if I am clutching at straws towards the end!  Dont judge me, here we go:

Damien Rice - O:  A beautiful album that I adore playing although I definetely have to be in a depressing mood to hear it, otherwise it leaves you feeling depressed either way!

Bryan Adams - On a Day Like Today:  I have made it no secret on my blog that he is my guilty pleasure and this is my fave album by the man himself, perfect to listen to on a spring day!

David Gilmour - Live:  Oh dear god!  This album, all be it live, is amazing!  I get goosebumps from beginning to end from the Pink Floyd front man, I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of guitars!

Robbie Williams - Life Thru a Lens - His best work, this album takes me back to being a teenager and I really think it is well written even if Robbie was a little bitter in those days!

Bruce Springsteen - Working On a Dream: opening track Outlaw Pete sets the scene for this album, a great comeback from the man himself as he showcased this at Glastonbury three years ago and blew me away!

Phew, that was tough!  Now pop over to Kate Takes 5 to see what others have chosen xxx

Sunday, 8 April 2012

100 Years of Titanic - My Fascination

Over this Easter weekend, I went to see Titanic in 3D to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the ship sinking.  The story behind this holds many memories for me, when I was 14 my fascination of the Titanic began and then the film came out and it completely took over my life!

The first time I watched the film in 1997 was at an Odeon cinema which no longer exists, with five school friends.  Although I knew the end of the story, no one had prepared me for the love story that went with it and hysteria set in and I walked out of that cinema  a bundle of mess!  Sobbing until I had no more tears!  I then revisited the film twice more at the cinema, until the video came out where I proceeded to continue my obsession of all things Titanic.
It was not just the love story that got to me, it was all the people that lost there lives on that fateful night that pulled at my heart strings because it was real.  I went to the library to read about the real story of what happened, how the ship sank and who was to blame.
I used to sit in my room listening to the soundtrack, crying my eyes out and becoming completely overwhelmed by the whole thing!
It stuck with me ever since and I have the movie book, the script book, cds, video and two limited edition dvd versions of the film!
When I knew the 3D version was coming out, I was a little worried what it would be like but I didnt need to worry as it was an amazing cinematic experience.  I felt like I was in the film and everything had been cleaned up and pristine, it was so much better than the 2D version, this film was made for 3D!
It definetely took me back 15 years and I am so grateful that I got to see the film in all its glory at the cinema at the age of 29.  This is my second favourite film,(overtaken by Moulin Rouge in 2001) and the obsession continues.  The story is fascinating, and I will never get my head round what the passengers really went through but the tale will live with us forever.

I Missed My Blogging Birthday!

Life has been so hectic that I came to realise that I have been blogging for over a year now!  How can this be?  I was so sure I had been blogging since April that when it came to putting this post together, the realisation hit me that it was actually February when I joined blogger and that I have completely missed my anniversary!
   So a year and a bit on and I have accomplished 46 followers, 350 posts, and 20,400 page views which is a huge accomplishment for me as I did not think anyone would read my blog!  Im sure many people think this when they begin blogging but I obviously have written about the subjects people want to read about which makes me feel happy that I am not just blogging to myself!
  I started this blog because I wanted to improve my writing skills in order to start my writing career.  In that time, I have written for Company magazine, sent off my first short story to a writing magazine and began a fiction writing course.
  However, since moving home in November then becoming pregnant in December, my writing has deteriorated and there has been less time to write!  Im pretty gutted about this as I really enjoy chilling out when writing, but the motivation has not been there. 
  Also within the year, I began the Day Zero Project which you can follow on my blog and this includes the 365 Day Photo Challenge which I am almost half way through.  It has certainly brought more to my life, not only finding a photo to take every day but to also throw in some challenges which have included buying a new tv and meeting David Tennant!
  Blogging has got me through a tough winter where I suffer from S.A.D, has helped me talk about life experiences such as miscarriage and helped me share more happier times like passing my driving test and getting my first tattoo!
  For the next 10 months, my blog will continue with my challenges but also talk about my pregnancy,baby stuff and hopefully get my writing skills back up to scratch so I can carry on with my writing.  I hope to gain more followers but its great that my regular ones continue to read and be loyal to me.  Lets hope this time next year I have turned my blog into something spectacular!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

365 Day Photo Challenge - 166 / 365

166 / 365 - This week sees the jewish festival of Passover and at school, Jacob celebrated by having a 'seder' where they re tell the story and enjoy certain traditions.

365 Day Photo Challenge - 167 / 365

167 / 365 - Jacobs proudest moment - receiving a gold medal for scoring four goals at his first ever time at football club!

365 Day Photo Challenge - 165 / 365

165 / 365 - On a cold spring day, Jacob enjoyed playing with his new football at the park.

365 Day Photo Challenge - 164 / 365

164 / 365 - This is Jacob helping out with carrying my bags whilst we spent the day shopping!  He didn't complain once, although the bags were pretty light!