Friday, 29 June 2012

365 Day Photo Challenge - 203 / 365

203 / 365 - Yes, believe your eyes!  Popping candy chocolate spread was discovered by my colleagues at work and I just had to try some, which did not disappoint especially as I am into my third trimester!x

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Fifty Shades Trilogy - Read, Completed and Loved!

I love reading a series of books especially if they are good!  I have read Harry Potter, Abarat, Twilight and now I have jumped on the band wagon again and read the Fifty Shades Trilogy.  And,oh my, it was a totally different story to what I am used to reading!
  Many people have criticised the books, claiming they are 'porn for women' and 'utter filth' and yet they were right!
  I heard about the first book by reading a review of it in a magazine and made a note to myself to put it on my book list but then I fogot all about it until my colleagues at work kept talking about 'THAT book!'  So I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, my opinion on what was described to me as a dirty novel, made me think I had read it all before.  Most chick lit novels involve a bit of sex in some way and I have even read a Mills and Boon in my time and did not even blink twice!
  Needless to say, I was in for a bit of a shock with Fifty Shades!  The plot is a great idea if a little unrealistic in some places which annoyed me throughout. But the uncensored parts were enough to make anyone blush including me!  At one point, I had to stop reading it whilst my fiance was in the room as I felt like he was reading it with me too and embarrassment kicked in! 
  A few negatives I have about the whole trilogy are,

  • As mentioned, a little unrealistic in places such as life for the lead character seems to fall into place as expected, with no consequence.  Even right down to no mention of all the horrible things we really have to contend with in life such as morning breath and bed hair!
  • The writing gets repetitve as if the author has run out of ways to let us know the character is enjoying herself!  Words like, 'Oh my!' and 'my inner goddess' are used so much I found myself skimming past these parts towards the end.
  • There is alot of sex, I mean so much that I was becoming bored of these scenarios and willing for some normal plot scene to take place! And again, unrealistic. I mean, who has sex morning, noon and night every day unless I am really missing out on something?!!
The reason I continued to read the whole trilogy however, is because I was still taken in by the characters and was dying to know how the relationship panned out.  I felt the author did let the readers in so much that I felt like it was me taking part and I wondered how I would react in certain scenarios that were mentioned.  By the second and third books, I felt the sex was less frequent than in the first book and I could concentrate more on the plot than when the characters would be 'doing it' next!
  I could not put the third book down after the first half as the plot picks up and there is more going on which I am pleased about as it gave the book more substance and a reason to read it.
  I would still recommend these books so that people can make up their own mind about them rather than listening to others' opinions of it.  Its great to have something different and 'out there' to read, something that shocks people and gives them something to talk about. 
  I have read that the author was inspired by the Twilight novels, well I find it hard to believe as the Fifty Shades books are far from anything alike except for being a love story, but a filthy one at that!

365 Day Photo Challenge - 202 / 365

202 / 365 - Today we completed painting Jacobs bedroom, and this is the gorgeous shocking blue that now resides on one of the walls.

365 Day Photo Challenge - 201 / 365

201 / 365 - Another picture of the boys in my life, having a tender moment!

365 Day Photo Challenge - 200 / 365

200 / 365 - Um, this is showing how my friday evening panned out as a prgenant woman down the pub!  What you see before you is salt & vinegar crisps with a glass of lemonade!  Exciting times!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

365 Day Photo Challenge - 199 / 365

199 / 365 - I have finally changed my hair colour after being red for a year, I tend to go purple in the winter but my hair was so awfully orange I had to do something radical!

365 Day Photo Challenge - 198 / 365

198 / 365 - Jacob is the one in green, having his usual football session and receiving yet another medal! xx

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Bump Watch @ 29 Weeks

Wow, looking at my bump from the side is pretty frightening!  I look like a tent, you can all camp under me! Over the weeks, however, it has been nice watching the bump grow and comparing all the photos together.
  I have hit the third trimester now so its not long now and baby is moving extremely well to say the least!  We have started to feel what I can only assume is elbows and knees rising to the surface and feeling strangely uncomfortable!  But it is funny playing fun and games with him and he is very compliant!
  We have almost finished painting Jacob's room so as soon as thats complete we will spend our time buying our baby essentials to complete the room as we have not bought a thing yet!

31 Day Blog Challenge - Day 29 - Items I Would Take on a Desert Island

Day 29 - Items I Would Take On a Desert Island

If I was lucky enough to be stranded on an island where it was hot every day and the sea was clean and clear, these are my comfort items I would love to have by my side:

  • A notebook so I could write my adventures down and maybe this would help towards sending a message in a bottle for help!
  • My Ipod with my essential desert island discs on including Pink Floyd, Mansun, Longview and Coldplay!
  • My camera so I could capture every part of the island and then put them in a scrapbook if I ever returned home!
  • A Kindle even though I hate this invention I think I would resist not having one if I was stranded because then I could read as many books as I wanted, until the battery ran out of course!
  • A subscription to Heat magazine so I can keep updated with all the gossip!
I know the obvious things to take would be my laptop and phone but I assume this island would have no electricity!  I think a break from social networks and blogging would do me good anyway!

365 Day Photo Challenge - 197 / 365

197 / 365 - On Fathers Day, Jacob sent a balloon into the air to send to his Daddy in heaven xx

365 Day Photo Challenge - 196 / 365

196/ 365 - My two silly boys larking around in town whilst shopping!

Friday, 15 June 2012

31 Day Blog Challenge - Day 28 - What's In My Fridge?

Day 28 - What's in My Fridge?

Why anyone would want to know what is in my fridge, I don't know!  But it's part of the challenge so here is what is in my fridge right now:

Looking really sparse right now!
We have my current favourite drink, Lilt, lots of milk from school which I have just realised is probably out of date!  Lots of yoghurts fo Jacob and a couple of big scotch eggs!  Don't worry, the freezer is more full than this!

We also have Lambrini, (classy!), orange squash and juice, and milk with butter, jam and mayonnaise!

Well, tomorrow is shopping day so this post fell at the wrong time!


Thursday, 14 June 2012

365 Day Photo Challenge - 195 / 365

195 / 365 - Jacob was very pleased with his hand made bookmark that he came home from school with!  He was so proud of himself he kept showing it off to everyone, and so he should! xx

365 Day Photo Challenge - 194 / 365

194 / 365 - At a trip to a local McDonalds they had a projector with a moveable football game that Jacob immediately jumped onto and played with!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

365 Day Photo Challenge - 193 / 365

193 / 365 - Um, not the nicest of picture of my beautiful child!  But it reflects the crafty mood he came out of school with!

31 Day Blog Challenge - Day 27 - Where Have I Travelled

Day 27 - Where Have I Travelled?

I have been fortunate to have travelled to many places but wish it could have been more!  I love travelling, I am a proper tourist when I go away and even love the plane/ train/ car part in getting to my destination!  Here is my list of places I have travelled to :

Europe -

Iceland - the best experience I have had, I went when I was studying Geography for A Levels and here we walked on glaciers, sat in between earthquake cracks, swam in the Blue Lagoon, got stuck in a river surrounded by volcanoes and stood next to exploding geysers!  Its an experience that still lives with me today and I hope to go back there one day and do it all again!  My only regret is I had one of those old cameras that you put film into, and it turns out none of my photos came out!  I had to have a few copies from a friend that I have kept to prove I went!

Ibiza - I have been to Ibiza 16 times, most of which was with my family and then the bug continued into my teens.  As a kid, it was a magical place, playing on the beach and going to kids club.  As I got older, I wanted to explore the island more as we used to stay in the same resort, so I have experienced the clubbing side and the tranquil side.  Club's Eden and Manumission were pretty good, water party by day at Eden and live sex shows at Manumission by night!  I have even taken a boat to Ibiza's sister island, Formentera, where the sea was clear and there was no man made buildings anywhere.  I have been to Cafe Del Mar to watch the sunset and my fiance proposed to me on the beach!  The only thing I have yet to do is visit the famous castle in the capital city of Ibiza town which I plan to do one day.

Paris - Visited Paris in February this year with my two best friends, I wanted to explore the city and explore we did!  We saw everything we wanted to, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre and the Moulin Rouge, all in the rain and all with me being 12 weeks pregnant!

The UK -

I have been all over Britain, from Glasgow down to Devon. I feel its important to explore our own country as it has so much to give and still surprises me.  I remember going to Brecon Beacons in Wales for a school trip which involved gorge walking, cave exploring and absailing.
  I have been to the Isle of Wight with an ex boyfriend for Valentines Day, Centre Parcs whilst pregnant with my son and Butlins for a family week away.  My Dad used to hold annual music quizzes so that involved the whole family going to either Yorkshire, Hatfield or some other destination.  I have yet to explore the Midlands properly, having passed through and I would like to see more of Wales.  I also feel I have seen every part of London, all the sights, all the museums and all the fabulous things it holds!  And I have also found my favourite destination so far in England, Brighton!

I definetely have the travel bug but with kids and a lifestyle that prevents me, this has been put on hold until I can do it!  That's not to say having kids would stop me, I really want them to see as much as the world as they can.


Sunday, 10 June 2012

Pregnancy Diary - Who Says Pregnancy Stops You Having Fun?!

It has been a while since I wrote about my pregnancy, partly because the second trimester doesn't have much to report and partly as I have been ill!  However, nothing has stopped me from continuing to enjoy myself and even at 28 weeks pregnant I have been to 2 gigs, walked around London and Brighton and had the odd night out with friends.
  Some would say I should be taking it easy, and they would be right but I do still sit for long periods of time where I feel the need to then manoeuvre myself to get some excersize!  Its a happy medium!
  However, I am suffering a bit, all this walking around has led to the baby sitting on a nerve so the whole of my left side of my leg is in a lot of pain.  I cannot seem to walk around longer than half an hour where I then get pins and needles, a sharp shooting pain and a numb sensation in my thigh which is extremely painful.  Now I am hitting the third trimester and of course, I will be slowing down and the going out will be stopped until after baby is born. 
  I have work to contend with, I am hoping to begin maternity leave earlier than I had planned but I will see how I go.
  One thing I have learnt though, is that I have great stamina and however much pain I have been in on these days out, I  have not given up and I have battled my way through the pain.  This, I hope, is a good sign for when I go into labour, but then that may be a whole different story!

365 Day Photo Challenge - 192 / 365

192 / 365 - Me and my best girls went to Brighton for the day, first to a vintage fair and then we hit the shops.  This Alice shop was my favourite of them all!

365 Day Photo Challenge - 191 / 365

191/ 365 - Me and Dean went to see the Maccabees live at Alexandra Palace and what a show it was!  I have not been to this venue before, it was quite magnificent!  The sound was awesome and the band put on a spine tinging performance that did not disappoint. x

31 Day Blog Challenge - Day 26 - What Are You Most Looking Forward to?

Day 26 - What Are You Most Looking Forward To ?

Today - I am most looking forward to going to bed as I am so tired from half term!

This Week - I am most looking forward to the weekend as our routine of work and school begins again!

This Month - I have exceeded my days out for the month although I am looking forward to a random day off of work coming up, finishing decorating my son's room and pay day!

This Year - 17th July seeing Madonna in Hyde Park, 3rd September my due date although when ever our baby arrives I am truly excited!  Buying baby items, Jacob starting year 2, going on maternity leave and hopefully going on holiday at the end of the year!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Harry Potter Studios - Our Day of Wonder, Wizadry & Wands!

Being a HUGE Harry Potter fan, I nearly wet myself when my friend told me about the studio tours that were opening in Hertford!  This is where they filmed most of the films with the original sets and props still in place.  This was a perfect opportunity to take me, Dean, Jacob and two of our best friends to bring out the wizards in us!
Arriving :

The journey took 35 minutes for us by car, without traffic and we found it easily as it was well sign posted.  The excitement when we got to the car park was beyond us and we had not even got inside yet!

Luckily we chose a day where it was not so busy as Jacob had a lucky day off of school so it did not take long to queue up and get out tickets scanned.  Upon arrival, Jacob received a 'passport' which included answering questions around the exhibits and looking out for 15 snitches that were hidden around the tour.

I think I was more excited than Jacob as we queued up for about ten minutes before entering a room with a tour guide. He explained how the tour would pan out beginning with a short programme about how Harry Potter went from book to screen.  We then went into a cinema room where we watched a ten minute montage from the cast of the movies and what we would be expecting on the rest of the tour.  After this, it really was exciting!  We were led through a door to find ourselves standing in front of two huge doors which led into the Great Hall!

OMG I nearly wet myself when I walked in!  We were in the real Hogwarts!  Which provoked me to 'checking in' at Hogwarts on Facebook!  Oh dear! 
We were not able to sit on the benches as these were sealed off, but we had a good look round whilst a tour guide talked us through certain things like props and costumes.

Slytherin Costumes

The hall was how I imagined it would be, really huge and magnificent and no ceiling which of course was so the CGI could be put in place for the movies.  Walking towards the end of the room, we saw the table where all the teachers sit and their costumes including Dumbledore and Hagrid.

Me and Jacob in the Great Hall

After we left here, we were left to our own devices to look around in our own time. I was let loose!  So, as well as looking at every prop, set and item, we had not forgotten the task of looking for the Snitches which Jacob enjoyed doing as well as my friend, Kate, who was surprisingly good at finding them!

Floating Candles used in the Great Hall

Chocolate Feast from The Goblet of Fire

Jacob outside the gates of Hogwarts

It seemed like we were in a massive warehouse where everything was laid out for us to see including most of the sets.

The Gryffindor Bedroom, Ron and Harrys Beds.

Dumbledores Office

The Weasleys' Home included full interaction of chopping carrots and ironing!

And here are some of my favourite props:

My ultimate dream, a huge pile of books!

The swinging pendulum which as still swinging when we saw it!

Sirius Black prison number

Rita Skeeters' Notebook and pen

There was still so much to look at and I was scared of missing something!  We ventured into the Potions classroom, (which was too dark for my photos to come out!) and here we saw the layout, Professor Snapes' costumer and cauldrons that had wooden spoons stirring in them, like magic!
There were many objects that moved by the touch of a button as well as familiar props that Harry Potter fans will recognise.

The Chamber of Secrets Doorway

A Moving Staircase

Professor Lupins' Magical suitcase that packed itself right in front of my eyes!

We moved on to the Ministry of Magic and Death Eater items.
Entrance to the Ministry of Magic

Death Eaters costumes including Bellatrix Lestrange

Professor Umbridges' very pink and full of cats office!

This part of the tour took us about an hour or so and we soon ventured outside for some excellent photo opportunities and more excitement!

We just had to have our photo taken in the car that was seen in The Chamber of Secrets!

And then Jacob and Kate had to have their picture taken in Hagrid's motorcar!

In the Knight Bus from one of my favourite scenes in the Prisoner of Azkaban, I was so excited to be in  here!

It was lovely and warm outside and we enjoyed taking part in all the sets.  Behind the vehicles was the famous house where Harry Potter lived with his Aunt and Uncle on Privet Drive.

Jacob couldn't resist knocking on the door to see if anyone was in!  Unfortunately, no one answered!

It was so warm that Jacob was not able to wear his Harry Potter costume all day but we wanted to get a picture of him dressed up so here he is outside Godrics' Hollow.

The famous Hogwarts bridge which we did not have access too but we still got very close to it.

After being outside for about half an hour, there was the last part of the tour which was back inside and involved a lot about prosthetics, make up, and costumes.

Aragon the Spider which was swinging above our heads!

Dobby the Elf

And now to my favourtie part of the whole day, entering Diagon Alley!  I have always wanted to be here and although we did not have access to the actual shops, we were able to take pictures outside and walk down the whole alley.

As you can see, a walkway was built on top of the cobbles for visitors to walk on

Gringotts bank

Me outside Ollivanders' Wand Shop

Flourish & Blott's

The Weasley's Sweet Shop

I really felt like I was there and did not want to leave!  But just round the corner was another surprise!

This was a 360 degree model of the actual Hogwarts they used in the film and created CGI on and around it.  It was lit up in a dark room so my pictures are quite dark, except for the last one which I managed to create using Instagram!  We were able to walk around the whole model and see how detailed it was.

After three hours, we were finished and after spending a fortune in the gift shop it was time to go home!  I have to say that the experience was definetely worth the extortionate price we had to pay but having taken part in the tour I can see why my son cost £21 to get in!  He was not bored once and even without the passport he would have had plenty to see and do.
I really would recommend going and even non Harry Potter fans would be impressed!
The only downside was how expensive everything was in the gift shop, which of course is to be expected but even a packet of sweets was £8!

Our goodies included Harry Potter's wand, £24.99 and a guide book, £9.99!

Plus I came home with about 200 photos so I can't complain really!
I leave you with the rest of the best of our day out!


Ollivanders Wand Shop

Entrance to Dumbledore's Office

Harry's cupboard under the stairs

The Weasley's Clock

Professor Umbridge's Costumes

Some of the props designed especially for the movies

One of the chess pieces from The Philosophers Stone

Warner Bros Studio xxx