25/31 Why we gotta have favourites?

25. Your five favourite blogs

Since I’ve only recently come back to WordPress, I haven’t had a chance to fully explore all of the new content new bloggers have to offer. So, to make it fair, I’ll simply list the last five blogs I’ve followed…

1) Tifness

I’ve only just taken a look at Latifa’s blog in the last couple of days and I’m not disappointed. I love to travel and I love food, so this is the perfect combination! My flatmate cannot eat wheat so we are often making gluten-free recipes when we have meals together. For example, this Sunday we made deep-fried, stuffed courgette flowers; gluten free pea and asparagus ravioli with parmesan; and sticky toffee pudding with Madagascan vanilla custard… the custard is the only part of the feast we hadn’t made from scratch. So it’s safe to say, we are serious about our food! I’m looking forward to making some of Latifa’s recipes in future ūüôā

2) Wilson Reviews

Jake is someone I work with at The Week Junior and it was only last week, at our 25th issue anniversary/we won Launch of the Year at the British Media Awards drinks, that I found out he was also on WordPress. He writes about the latest and greatest movies out there, as well as recommending titles that people may not already be familiar with. Just be sure not to read too many in one go, as it’ll leave you struggling to decide which film to watch first!

3) Cooking with a Wallflower

Andrea has so many amazing recipes… all of which I would like to make. Well, I should be more specific – eat! Every time the pictures manage to make my mouth water. I don’t even have to know what it is, I just want to take a bite.

4) We Love Food

I see a trend here… I clearly love food, too! What I like about Saff and Ade is that they not only write about what they eat, they also describe the atmosphere and overall experience¬†all the while injecting humour into each post. I may or may not be using¬†their reviews as more of a to do list since they’re mostly London based.

5) Second blog to the right

And if you don’t get this reference… what planet do you live on?! One of my other great loves is theatre. I found this blog because of their Cirque du Soleil reviews and it was only when I took a look at what they had previously reviewed, that I discovered they also love Disney and had seen the Toddlerz Ball. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

 

 

15/31 Curiouser and curiouser…

15. Timeline of your day

This morning, I made myself a killer breakfast¬†of cumberland sausages, fried eggs, Spanish bread, mozzarella and tomatoes, before heading off to a press preview screening of Disney’s Alice Through The Looking Glass at Leicester Square’s Empire IMAX.

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Now, anyone that knows me, knows just how much I love Disney. I’ve pretty much got 98% of Disney’s films on DVD and will always answer ‘The Little Mermaid’ when asked what my favourite film of all time is. Plus who doesn’t love that magical feeling you get wandering around DisneyWorld in Florida?! I haven’t been for well over ten years but I remember the excitement as if it was yesterday.

However, I just wasn’t a fan of this film and I really, really wanted to like it. In my opinion, even the cool graphics, big names and quirky designs couldn’t save it. There were hints of humour in the film but not as many as I was hoping for and some parts even made a few kids cry. One part I did like though, was when Sacha Baron Cohen’s character, Time, told Alice something along the lines of¬†“Everyone parts with everything eventually, my dear.” It made me realise that we shouldn’t hold on to material things and guard them so preciously, as at the end of the day, when you leave this life no-one else is going to care for those items the same way – it’s the memories you make that matter the most.

The thing I like about todays Disney films (aside from the incredible comedy they inject into most of them) is that they always carry a message, that (hopefully) gets through to the young audiences watching them around the world. Yet, with Alice Through The Looking Glass, it took an awful long time to get there. In fact, it was only within the last few scenes that it became apparent that the message was to appreciate the time we have because everything can change in a matter of a heartbeat.

Usually, at the end of every press preview screening, the audience will clap as the credits begin to roll. Unfortunately, this time that just wasn’t the case. Silence speaks volumes!

Sorry Disney, but I think I’ll stick to the 1951 classic of Alice in Wonderland instead.

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11/31 Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

11. List 15 of your favourite things

I foresee plenty of lists appearing this month… apologies in advance!

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  1. The Royal Family… I love the Queen but, I mean just look at him! Prince George is on a whole new level of cuteness!
  2. Inspirational quote signs (I’ve actually lost count how many I own)
  3. Notebooks.
  4. RuPaul and all of her fierce drag queens.
  5. Mermaids, rainbows and unicorns.
  6. My books – Workin’ It by RuPaul, Binge by Tyler Oakley and Life Is Short (no pun intended) by Jennifer Arnold, MD, & Bill Klein (from TLC’s show The Little Couple).
  7. Netflix. Some of my favourite shows include RuPaul’s Drag Race (no surprises there!), Orphan Black, The Big Bang Theory, Once Upon A Time, Orange is the New Black, Pretty Little Liars, Person of Interest, The Good Wife… so many!
  8. Dancing without a care in the world.
  9. Singing without a care in the world.
  10. West End theatre and live performances/gigs.
  11. Disney. Pixar. Warner Brothers. Kids films in general.
  12. Making lists and satisfyingly crossing the completed tasks off one by one.
  13. Brunch. Especially on a Sunday…
  14. Exploring new places and restaurants.
  15. Reading or learning new about new things whilst sat cosily on my bean bag with a nice cup of peppermint tea.
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Sunday brunch with my flatmates at Dishoom near London’s Kings Cross – Sausage and egg naan with masala beans and a pot of fresh mint tea

2/31 Wait… you didn’t know?!

2. 20 facts about you

I have a feeling that this is going to be a tricky prompt… ten I could have managed but 20 facts just about me?!¬†Well, here goes:

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My Queen… Amen!

  1. I’m addicted to RuPaul’s Drag Race and love pretty much all of the queens that have walked through the ‘You Better Werk’ room doors.
  2. My favourite colour is duck egg blue.
  3. I own more pairs of socks than I care to admit.
  4. I’m a bit of a Netflix addict – entire mornings can disappear if I’m not careful.
  5. I love singing and dancing.
  6. When I’m at home, I’m often found in pyjama’s… I mean what’s the point in wearing your outdoor clothes, indoors?!
  7. I began and completed WordPress’ 365 Days of Writing Prompts challenge in 2014.
  8. People find it odd that I don’t drink tea or coffee…
  9. If money was no object, I’d go to see a West End theatre show every single week.
  10. I have a very close family, which means the world to me, and am even related to Howard Carter, the guy who discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb.
  11. My Great Nan reached 104 and a half years young… the half is very important at that age.
  12. I’m obsessed with Mi backpacks. So far, I’ve got a peacock feather one, a gumball one, a galaxy print one, a duck egg blue polka dot backpack and one with elephants all over it.
  13. I’m commonly found wearing Converse hi-tops… wearing heels is for¬†special occasions.
  14. For RuPaul’s BOTS, I temporarily dyed my hair blue. I loved it so much that I’m planning to¬†dye it permanently blue – hopefully two tone, using cobalt and duck egg blue (of course!)
  15. Through my last job, I was sent on press trips to Iceland (Ice Age 4: Continental Drift), Norway (How To Train Your Dragon 2) and Slovenia (Postojna Cave), interviewed a robotic cockatoo (Nigel from Rio 2, with actor Jemaine Clement in another room) and even photographed the stars of TV on the red carpet at the National Television Awards.
  16. I have a BA (Hons) in Human Resource Management.
  17. I love afternoon tea… especially quirky ones such a Spanish or Thai themed.
  18. Working in children’s media means that I get to see many of the new films before they hit the cinemas and I’m a big kid who loves everything Disney, so I end up enjoying¬†every single screening… sometimes even more than the kids that are actually there.
  19. I love unicorns, rainbows and mermaids. I even wanted to be a mermaid growing up… still do!
  20. Primates are my favourite animals (well, and dolphins and marine life of course), but I’ve been lucky enough to meet the famous Primatologist, Dr Jane Goodall three times and even helped her present awards.
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At the most recent Jane Goodall Roots & Shoots Awards with my flatmate, F√©aron, where we got to meet Dr Jane’s beloved Mr. H, which travels around the world with her.

Tomorrowland: A World Beyond – My Review

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A few days before it was released in UK cinemas nationwide, I was invited¬†to Disney’s FDA Multimedia Screening of the hotly anticipated Tomorrowland: A World Beyond, in London’s Leicester Square Empire IMAX!

If you haven’t heard of this film yet, you must have been stuck under a rock somewhere. Not only is it brimming with star quality performances but it’s got amazing special effects, the creative design of the future world is super cool and most importantly, this film carries a couple of very important messages. I’m just not too sure it’s going to be powerful enough to reach everyone…

Photos from Tomorrowland 2

When I arrived, I was greeted by¬†a red carpet and hordes of fans packed around the cinemas entrance. Bemused, I double checked my ticket to make sure I’d gotten the correct venue and indeed the correct day… but I hadn’t been mistaken. I knew it couldn’t have been the Tomorrowland European premiere as this had already taken place the previous Sunday, so I decided to wait around… to see who went in, of course! A couple of glammed up women went in first, who unfortunately I didn’t recognise (sorry!) but then I spotted motorbike enthusiast, world explorer and presenter of the Long Way Round programmes, Charley Boorman. My family and I are huge fans and thoroughly enjoyed watching all of the crazy adventures he’s been on with Scottish actor Ewan McGregor, so that was quite cool to see him.¬†

And then I could hear a cluster of cheers and screams to my left. Randomly (or so I originally thought) it was Baywatch and Knight Rider actor, David Hasselhoff shuffling down the red carpet. It looked like he was really taking the time to stop and talk to as many people as he possibly could, which was nice to see. I thought at first that maybe he might have had a cameo role in some sort of futuristic getup but alas, this was not the case. I have only recently found out that he was actually there for the premiere of his own TV show, Hoff The Record, which airs on Dave later this month. 

Photos from Tomorrowland 1

But anywho, back to the film I’m actually reviewing! I went in and nabbed the best possible seat that would provide me with the greatest experience. But before the film began, we were treated to two exclusive new trailers for Marvel’s Ant Man (due to hit UK cinemas 17th July) and the one that everyone’s been raving about, Star Wars: The¬†Force Awakens¬†(due to hit UK cinemas 18th December). Don’t hate me, but I wasn’t that fussed by either of them – that said, I’d still like to see Ant Man just incase the trailers haven’t been doing the film justice.

So without giving away too many spoilers, this film begins with a really detailed flash back to Disney’s 1964 Tomorrowland; a recreation of the original Tomorrowland found in Walt Disney World Florida‚Äôs Magic Kingdom, which opened back in 1955. This is where we meet young Frank Walker (played by 12-year-old Thomas Robinson) and his awesome gadget, that he wishes to submit for the New York World Fair. From this point onwards you are treated to an action-packed two-hour special-effect extravaganza, with inspiring¬†designs of what a futuristic world could look like (as you’d expect, with jet packs and the like), and, yet more unfortunately, quite a bit of sciencey tech-like jargon – some of which flew right over my head!

One of the things I loved, and it‚Äôs a pretty simple one really, is that they designed Tomorrowland to look like a futuristic, space-aged Cinderella‚Äôs castle! Another concept of the film that I liked and was fairly comical, were the robots¬†that were constantly chasing George Clooney (aka older Frank), Britt Robertson (who plays Casey Newton) and Raffey Cassidy (who at the young age of 12, gives a stellar performance as Athena), in an attempt to stop the trio from reaching¬†Tomorrowland… they of course failed!

Hugh Laurie, Brit Robertson, Raffey Cassidy and George Clooney attend the European premiere of Disney's ‚ÄúTomorrowland: A World Beyond‚ÄĚ in Leicester Square on May 17, 2015 in London, UK

Hugh Laurie, Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy and George Clooney at the European premiere.

One of the things I most liked about the film, is the constant underlying messages that are subconsciously emphasised throughout, telling us (mostly) that we need to look after our planet, as it’s not going to last forever the way it’s currently being used. Young Frank Walker says wisely during¬†his (unfortunately unsuccessful) World Fair pitch, something along the lines of¬†“Inspiring people makes the world a better place. I’d¬†feel anything’s possible if I saw people flying with a jet pack over me” and I felt that it was a great way to show kids to be optimistic, believing that they can achieve anything if they put their mind, and heart, into it. But I think the character who¬†was given the most poignant messages to deliver was Hugh Laurie’s¬†character, as towards the end he (in my opinion) spoke some home truths that some people prefer not to accept or even acknowledge. He was explaining how we as a human race create so many fictional books and films that feature the “end of the world theme” but even then, we fail to realise that this is a very possible future for our planet and not just fantasy. As he references in the film we are shown so many warning signs, such as the glaciers and ice caps melting, species becoming extinct, the changes in the climate, drought etc, but we continue to turn a blind eye. We see it as the future is far in the future… as if there’s nothing we can do about it now. There’s everything we can do about it now! A very poignant line that resonated with me is “how is it possible that we have an obesity crisis and starving people around the world at the same time?!” And I quite frankly (pardon the pun) couldn’t agree more! It’s the same with poverty and people without money, yet we have football players receiving an obscene amount of money to play a game?! Consider my mind well and truly boggled.

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I’d say the only downside (which of course I’d need to watch again for verification), is that¬†I think I spotted a continuity error in the film. If you don’t want to know any spoilers before you see it, then stop reading… right now… stop! But, in the famous scene regularly featured in the official Tomorrowland trailers, where Franks house is under attack by the crazy cyborgs we see Frank clamber into the bath tub first to sit on the left and Casey squeeze in after him, now sitting/laying squished in the tub on the right. However, after the bath tub/capsule/newly-formed-rocket-ship is catapulted from the house, it lands in the river. As the roof comes off, we see Frank climb out of the bath from the righthand side and Casey is lying in the left side of the now-boat. They’d somehow managed to switch sides in the space of 30 seconds… and in the small confinement of a one person bath tub!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my review and I’d just like to leave you with this last thought, as I feel that we really need to ask ourselves this every now and again – “What if there is a place; a secret place where nothing is impossible.¬†A miraculous place where you could actually change the world. You’d wanna go?”. Think about it… I mean really think about it. Don’t you feel like this place is now? As we have the ability to change the future of the world. Right here. Right now. So what are you going to choose?

Images: Tomorrowland logo – staytuned.co.in/; Main cast at European premiere in London’s Odeon Leicester Square 17/05/15 –¬†theupcoming.co.uk/; All others – my own.

Update on life

Hey everyone!

It’s been a bit of a busy start to the year¬†for me (hence why I’ve only posted a handful of times so far) and I have truly missed writing something new every single day. So, I thought since March is now in full swing,¬†I’d give you a quick update on my hodgepodge shenanigans of 2015 – enjoy!

As some of you might remember, I announced that this year I was going to start vlogging – I love presenting, producing and video editing for NG Kids and I love blogging… et voila,¬†my¬†vlog is born! However, I had been struggling to decide on what to vlog about as I wanted it to have some sort of structure and purpose as opposed to talking about what I ate for lunch. But now, I think I’ve finally decided on a selection of topics that I’m going to vlog about and they are: – event exclusives and sneak peeks (where possible), review the latest toys and films, as well as some sort of obsessions type post (but I haven’t narrowed this one down just yet, so it could be weekly, monthly or simply sporadic!).

Big Hero 6

So, I got to attend the UK gala screening of Disney’s Big Hero 6 and I was not disappointed! It really is a film for everyone – packed with cool characters, amazing graphics and various types of humour, it was the perfect weekend movie. Also, if you’re like me and wait for the credits to finish so that you don’t miss anything, you’ll be treated to an extra sneak peek ending, which features one of our most beloved, legendary Marvel icons! Plus I instantly recognised that the edgy soundtrack, Immortal,¬†was by Fall Out Boy – one of the bands I listened to in my youth – so this made the film even better. I just can’t wait for it to come out on DVD!

Toy Fair 2015

An then there was The Toy Fair, in London’s Kensington Olympia. It was my second year attending the event and it was just as big, if not bigger, than I remember. Plus, I’m the perfect candidate to check out all of the latest toys and games that are due to hit the shelves, as I kind of am still a kid! I love Disney movies and characters… actually pretty much all animated films, so love seeing all of the branded toys – it’s all so exciting! I thought it would be the best place to start vlogging, so with the help of my best friend Vinnie, I filmed a few bits here and there (most of it was secret, so it turns out it wasn’t the best idea!). But then I faced the problem of not having any video editing software to actually put¬†the blog together! A few months down the line I finally have iMovie, which for the time being will suffice, so I’m hoping that once I transfer the files from my phone, I’ll be able to get cracking and publish it as soon as possible.

4 movies

Four movies¬†in four¬†weeks… that’s a record in my book!

Jupiter Ascending – I saw the preview for this in what is quite possibly THE best cinema screening in all of London (actually in Europe!). You guessed it… it was the London BFI IMAX! But there’s only so much the viewing environment can do for a¬†film, even if the surround sound made you believe you were physically in the story… So, this movie¬†follows Mila Kunis’ character, Jupiter, as she discovers albeit to her initial disbelief¬†(with the help of Caine Wise, played by Channing Tatum, and baddie Balem Abrasax, played by the wonderful Eddie Redmayne) that she has the genetic signature which¬†makes her next inline to the throne, to become the Queen of the Universe. Exactly. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great action film and the graphics were pretty cool (especially in 3D), but unfortunately, I was able to spot too many other films within it – Star Wars, Jurassic Park, X-Men, Avengers, Men in Black – which made me feel as if the writers didn’t have any original ideas of their own (sorry!). It’s still worth a watch if you’re having a movie marathon weekend though!

Project Almanac – Everyone likes a bit of time travel right? I saw the preview for this one at London’s Soho Hotel, which is one of my most favourite screening rooms as they are super duper comfy, with their individual little sofas and armchairs! But back to the movie… filmed from the viewpoint of a home video camera, a group of high school teens excited by science discover top secret plans on how to build a time machine. Together, they create the device which allows them to jump back in time… but they forgot to consider the consequences that come from changing the past! I really enjoyed this film as the twists and turns were fairly unpredictable, and it had a killer ending that left me yearning¬†for a sequel.

Cinderella – I saw this film a few weeks back at the divine Ham Yard Hotel in London and was absolutely blown away. I love Disney as it is so was incredibly excited to be among the first screening of people to see it! So, keeping true to the Disney classic, this tale follows Ella on her path to finding true love and finding herself… wowzers, that’s gushy. But everyone knows this story inside and out. However, what’s great about this film is that it’s been given a Maleficent-esque twist, in which the story is told a little differently and a little darker! An all star cast with all the magic of the iconic classic, this is truly a film that is NOT to be missed!

Focus – More than just a title… a requirement! I think Will Smith is a great actor and I’ve enjoyed every film I’ve seen him in. With this one, you very much need to be on your A game when you watch it as it’s quite fast paced and has intricate details that you need to pay attention to. Think Ocean’s Eleven with it’s perfect heists and suave surroundings, but with more humour, more con man antics and a teensy bit of romance threaded throughout. That said I thoroughly enjoyed it and absolutely loved the ending as it was another unexpected one! (FYI: I have a terrible habit of predicting and foreseeing what happens next in films and TV programmes… I annoy myself with it!). I would definitely watch it again.

If you’ve managed to make it this far, thanks ever so much and I hope you enjoyed reading it!

Mixtape masterpiece

#279: You make a new friend. Make them a mixtape (or playlist, for the younger folks) that tells them who you are through song.

Hmm… a tricky one! I don’t know whether there are songs that could sum up or narrate my life – and I’m not saying it to insinuate that my life is completely different from every other persons on the planet, but purely that I’ve never thought of songs in that way. So instead, I’m going to examine my (current) favourite songs, to see if there is any relevance…

Pentatonix – La La Latch. The ‘La La La’ parts of the song of the song refer to families future responses to upcoming (exciting) decisions and the ‘Latch’ parts refer to a new interest in my life.

Pentatonix – Rather Be (cover). Again, referring to a new interest.

Sigma ft. Paloma Faith – Changing. Referring to a part of my life that I hope is going to continue to change over the next 6-12 months… exciting times!

Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass. I believe that the use of PhotoShop to manipulate models images for glossy mags/billboards etc, should stop as it’s damaging to tonnes of teens around the world. Fair enough, I’m only a size 8-10 but women should be portrayed as healthy weights and as Megan rightly references… no plastic, stick thin barbie dolls!

Pharrell Williams – Happy. Self explanatory ūüėÄ

The Lion King – Hakuna Matata. A motto¬†that I try to live by… it means no worries for the rest of your days!

Les Miserables – Little People¬†& Do You Hear The People Sing. Just because some of the verses are very relevant at the moment (and I LOVE Les Mis!) – plus I’m only 5″3, so Little People signifies that height doesn’t restrict an individuals capabilities.

Hercules (Disney’s) – Go the Distance. As I believe that I can (and will) achieve great things in my lifetime.

And I couldn’t write this post without including… Frozen – Let It Go! Signifying that I’m ready for the next stage of my life, no matter what anyone would think of me.

Standout

#228: When was the last time you really stood out in a crowd? Are you comfortable in that position, or do you wish you could fade into the woodwork?

Yesterday.

Whilst AnimalMan, Nick Spellman, was getting reading for his last show of the day in our NG KiDS tent at LolliBop festival, he put on Frozen’s famous track, Let It Go, and asked the kids to sing along. Unbeknownst to me, I was gleefully (unconsciously) singing along, too. No problem right? Wrong. I was standing on my lonesome in front of our banner/stand to the right of the stage for all the kids to see. That’s when I noticed a boy turn to his mum, point in my direction and say “she knows all the words”. Argh! That when I saw all of the tiny eyes on me… Although, instead of glowing bright red or turning to run and hide, I simply gestured that they sing louder and really get involved. I think that deflected some of the attention, as I’m really not a centre stage thriving individual in the slightest.

From the collection of the artist

#205: It’s the year 2114. A major museum is running an exhibition on life and culture as it was in 2014. You’re asked to write an introduction for the show’s brochure. What will it say?

The year 2014. Oh how they did things differently back then! Not that it wasn’t great… they had the triumphant 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the oh-so controversial Winter Olympics in Russia, the FIFA World Cup with Germany emerging as it’s victors and of course, the gorgeous Prince George’s first birthday, but to name a few.

There were however, incredibly devastating disasters such as the disappearance of Malaysian Flight MH370, the overwhelmingly tragic crash of MH17 a few months later, the terrible wars and conflicts between Russia and Ukraine, followed shortly by the violence between Israel and Hamas and then the insanely evil Boko Haram. As the Queen used back in 1992, this year was also in many peoples minds, an Annus Horribilis!

On a lighter note, that year the world was blessed with Disney’s epic film Frozen, people of all ages were obsessed with selfies, planking and loom bands, and most importantly, same-sex marriage became legal in sixteen countries! It really was the beginning of a new era, as you will find out from this new exhibition. Get ready to step back in time!

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Image: royalista.com

A mystery wrapped in an enigma

#184: Tell us something most people probably don’t know about you.

Hmmm… this is pretty tricky as after 183 posts, there probably isn’t much that I haven’t mentioned!

I have a 2:1 in Human Resource Management… I probably haven’t mentioned that as it’s just too boring!

I love Disney films and when I was younger (as in 6 or 7), I wanted to be a mermaid but was devastated to find out it wasn’t possible. Thanks Walt…

I’m hoping to move into London before this year’s out. I love London with a passion – we used to always visit during he school holidays (mostly to go to the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum, or more rarely see a west end theatre show), so have always had fond memories of the capital. To live in the heart of it all would be a dream come true… and it wouldn’t mean I’d have to worry about the last train home at 11pm!

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Image: disneyprincess.wikia.com