Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Z is for Zoo (Australia)

Whilst on our honeymoon to Australia, we visited Australia Zoo, also known as Steve Irwin's Zoo, and we had an amazing day. It was SOOOO hot; our saving grace were the giant water mist machines randomly scattered about the Zoo - it was absolute bliss to stand underneath one and be lightly sprayed with cool water.

The animals at Australia Zoo are so used to visitors that they're very, very tame. This particular day was so hot and there were so many people at the park that these kangaroos didn't want to eat the food we were offering them. They were content to just lay in the shade - oh to be a kangaroo...

This little guy was heavier than he looks and I didn't expect him to have the claws he had; he clung to me and it was a bit of a struggle to get him off me after the photo. He was so sleepy though and felt as soft as the fluffiest, softest towel/dressing gown you've ever touched! His handler told us he was a four-year-old boy who had been so bad during his 'terrible twos' that they questioned whether they'd be able to use him for photographs - luckily for us, he calmed down and was a real joy.

There are so many animals at Australia Zoo and Steve Irwin's wife and children and all the staff there don't just want to make money; they want to help conserve natural habitats and raise awareness so we can live in harmony with these amazing creatures for many years to come. Visit the Australia Zoo website for more info.

Well, that's it, my last post for this amazing A to Z April Challenge. A huge thank you to everyone who has visited my blog and, to all the new followers I've gained, I hope I can continue to keep you entertained :) I've got some exciting things planned for the next couple of weeks, so watch this space...

Monday, 29 April 2013

Y is for Yellow

HUGE thanks to my girl Mandeep for this 'yellow' image.

I love the colour yellow. I can't help it - it's just so bright and happy. It instantly makes me feel better. It's not just the bright, vibrant yellows I love (spring daffodils, sunflower petals or a burning flame); I love all the yellow colours, even mustard!

I went through a phase about 10 years ago when I had to buy every item of yellow clothing I saw - what do you mean 'do you know what fashion is?', I was cool, okay! I have, however, since realised that less is more, so now I own just a few key yellow pieces, such as my (two) yellow Nica handbag(s), my yellow New Look winter coat (the coat and the bags are NEVER used together), my 'Bondi Beach' t-shirt (which was actually purchased from Bondi Beach) and a bargain Next clearance find that is yellow and has bronze sequins in rows on it (it's hard to describe, but it's pretty).

However, now that I've toned down the yellowness (is that a word?) of my wardrobe, fashionistas the world over are now adding as much of the bright stuff to their wardrobes as possible; the colour fills this seasons fashion pages - I'm such a trend setter!

How does the colour yellow make you feel? What's your favourite colour?

Find out more about the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge here

Saturday, 27 April 2013

X is for X-Trainer

Ok, so the spelling of this entry is a bit of stretch, but I couldn't think of anything else for the letter X - have you ever looked at 'X' in the dictionary? There are 12, yes just 12, words that begin with this bloody letter.

Anyway, in January this year I bought a x-trainer to use at home because I hate the gym - it's so boring, so often ridiculously crowded and so expensive. This model is only basic and can be used as a bicycle too, but it does its job and was only £80, so I'm happy :)

What methods of exercise to you favour? How do you feel about the gym?

Find out more about the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge here

Friday, 26 April 2013

W is for Wedding

Finally, husband and wife :)
I got married to my wonderful Hubby on 25th September 2010, six years to the day that he asked me out! Although everyone tells you that planning a wedding is stressful, we took our time (three years) so it didn't get really stressful until 12 weeks before - that's when all your suppliers want you.

We spent quite a bit of time immediately after becoming engaged looking at venues and photographers. Eventually, we settled on Brooksby Hall, a magnificent 16th Century manor house set on a peaceful 850-acre country estate in the heart of Leicestershire. It is beautiful and the perfect setting for our big day - it had the 'wow factor' we wanted for our guests and photographs, yet the reception room had a relaxed and informal feel to it, allowing all our guests to feel comfortable and ready to party!

Here are some photos from our big day...
Exchanging rings during the ceremony
Our cute cake toppers
Our Mr & Mrs Tottenham shirts
Unsurprisingly, our 'candy bar' went down well with the young, and the young at heart
If you're in the process of planning your wedding, just remember that you're never going to please all your guests, so take my advice, and don't bother trying; it's your day, as long as the bride and groom are happy, who cares about what everyone else wants/their opinion?!

We had an amazing day and I'd love to live it all over again. Do you have any stories from your wedding day to share?

If anyone is interested, our photographer can be found here

Find out more about the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge here

Thursday, 25 April 2013

V is for Vegetarian

Photo source [x]
OK, so this A to Z post is another stretch, because technically, I'm a pescetarian and not a vegetarian (but I really wanted to do Photography for Letter P). I wanted to become a vegetarian aged 11, after watching a video at school about how animals are slaughtered for meat. However, my parents wouldn't allow me to become a full vegetarian because I was still growing/developing, so we compromised and I became a pescetarian.

Pescetarian: an omnivore who excludes poultry, beef, and pork from their diet but includes fish (and usually other forms of seafood like shrimp, oysters, scallops, etc). 

It's not something I'm massively passionate about any more (I'm sure my 11-year-old self hates 28-year-old me) but it has become more of a habit than anything else. I live with a meat eater so I would never try to 'turn' any one to my way of thinking/living ('each to their own' is my motto) but I can't bring myself to start eating meat again after 17 years; come to think of it, I'm not convinced my digestive system could handle meat after all these years. I've been a pescetarian longer than I was a carnivore!

Do you eat meat or fish? What other changes have you chosen to make to your diet?

Find out more about the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge here

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

U is for University

This June, it'll be six years since I graduated from the University of Northampton with a 2:1 in my Journalism BA (hons) degree. Although I never actually lived in Northampton but commuted from my parents home in Leicestershire daily, I made some awesome friends and had a blast.
Unfortunately, so many of my uni photos aren't digital, so you just get these few as a taste of what my life was like for three years. It's hard to believe that it has been nine years since I started university and met some really cool people - time really does fly!

Find out more about the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge here

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

T is for TV Shows

Photo credit [x]

I watch a lot of TV shows. I don't tend to watch many when they actually air on TV, I either record them or watch them online. At the moment, the list of TV shows I watch includes, but isn't limited to:
  • 2 Broke Girls
  • Arrow
  • Neighbours
  • Spartacus - this amazing show ended on Monday 15th April and I am still sad over a week later!
  • Supernatural
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • The New Normal
  • New Girl
Shows that I will always watch if they're on TV, or if I'm bored I'll watch on DVD include:
  • Angel
  • Chuck
  • Dawson's Creek
  • Firefly
  • Fringe
  • Gilmore Girls 
  • Leverage
  • Queer As Folk US
  • Supernatural

There are a handful of shows that I have started watching but am not up-to-date on; there just aren't enough hours in the day. I need to catch up on Once Upon A Time, The Walking Dead, Legit and Grimm and I also want to start watching The Following and Game of Thrones.

I will always watch any show that stars Joshua Jackson, Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Zach Levi and Christian Kane - I love them all!

Which TV shows are you loving at the moment that you think I should watch? 

Find out more about the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge here

Monday, 22 April 2013

S is for Supernatural

A small sample of my Supernatural merchandise
Supernatural, which airs on Sky Living in the UK but is produced by The CW in America, is my favourite TV show ever. I can't really explain to you what the show is about, but basically, season 1 started off with two brothers (Dean and Sam Winchester) on a road trip across America to find their father, John, who has gone missing. Dean and Sam were raised as hunters, to fight and kill evil, such as monsters, ghosts, vampires etc. They were raised in the 'hunting' life by John after their mother, Mary, was killed by a yellow-eyed demon on Sam's six-month 'birthday'. However, seeing as we're well into season 8 (season 9 has been confirmed - whoo hoo!), the show is about so much more than that now. At its core, the show is about family and about the relationship between two brothers, who would do anything for one another.

Framed and on the wall, my autographs from the Supernatural Convention
I attended in May 2012. I shall be going again this May :)
You can find out more about Supernatural here

What's your favourite TV show?

Find out more about the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge here

Saturday, 20 April 2013

R is for Raddish, Raspberries & Rhubarb

Although I know the letter R is not to blame, I really hate Raddish, Rhubarb and Raspberries. I can't really stand the taste of any of these three foods. I don't even like them when they're mixed in with things, like raspberry and another fruit smoothie, or raddishs in salad - no thank you!

What foods do you really hate? Do they all begin with the same letter too?

Find out more about the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge here

Friday, 19 April 2013

Q is for Que?

Photo credit [x]
I say this word far too often. I really hate it when people say "what?" when they haven't heard what's been said (I think it sounds so common) and I find the responses I get to "pardon?" a little odd (most people frown at me, thinking I'm trying to be 'posh'), so nine time out of ten, I channel my inner Manuel and ask "Que?"

If you don't know who Manuel is shame on you, educate yourself here

Which word do you use the most? Have you got any random words in your vocabulary? 

Find out more about the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge here

Thursday, 18 April 2013

P is for Photography

Me using my iPhone to take a photo of the flood waters, March 2013
As you may have already guessed, I love taking photos. I always have. I studied Photography at AS Level and would have carried it onto full A Level if it hadn't been for the teacher - seriously, someone buy that man a personality!

This blog started off as a way to track my progress after I set myself the challenge of taking a photo a day for all 366 days of 2012; I managed this enormous task and yet it did nothing to diminish my love of taking photos. For easy and convenience  I take most of my photos on my iPhone these days, but I do break the camera out occasionally - I wish I had a digital SLR but I just can't afford one :( maybe one day!
Me, at the work's Christmas do in 2010, taken by the lovely Dina
Find out more about the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge here

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

O is for Onomatopoeia

Photo credit [x]
I'm not sure why, but Onomatopoeia is one of my favourite words.

Onomatopoeia: the formation of a word from a sound associated with 

what is named.

Onomatopoeia  can be a difficult concept to grasp, but it's basically a word which, when spoken, makes the same/similar sounds as the noise it describes, such as: plop, whoosh, sshhhh, clank, crash and pow! Old school TV Batman and Robin made great use of Onomatopoeia!

What's you're favourite word and why?

Find out more about the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge here

P.S. This is the first post using an altered layout which will allow me to post my photos in a larger format - I'm thinking ahead for the posts I have planned once the A to Z Challenge is over; what do you think?

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

N is for Nails

I really love painted nails; in my opinion, they look so much nicer than bare nails. As you can see from the photo above, I've been a fan of painted nails from a young age.

As I write this post, my nails look like this...

My nails looked like this at Easter...
I drew the chick on myself, with a nifty nail art tool :)

You can see more of my love for painting my nails here

Find out more about the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge here

Monday, 15 April 2013

M is for Magazines

I'm not sure if you're aware, but I'm a Features Writer by trade. I spend my days writing stuff for other people to promote their business for these three magazines: Aspire (which distributes around Leicestershire and Northamptonshire), Reflect (Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire) and Finesse (Oxfordshire). I am the sole writer for these three magazines. Sometimes it's a lot of work, other times I find myself bored, counting down the minutes until 5pm, but I wouldn't have it any other way - not many people can say they get to spend their days doing what they love.

My ultimate dream is to one day write my own novel, and then write a second, and then a third... you get the idea.

You can view both Aspire and Reflect online.

Find out more about the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge here

Saturday, 13 April 2013

I don't wanna blow my own trumpet, but...

I've been nominated for an award, a blogging award to be precise (I know, I'm totally shocked too)! The lovely Becca over at Words and Palabras has nominated me for a Liebster Award (along with Coffee Lady).
A Liebster Award, taken from Google Images
Ok, so I will admit, when I saw the message from Becca, I had no idea what a Liebster Award was, but after googling it, it seems that these awards are given to up-and-coming bloggers (arw shucks!) with fewer than 200 followers in order to draw attention to their blogs - awesome idea eh?!

I've been overwhelmed with the sheer number of visitors (and comments) to my blog since I started the A to Z April Challenge so I can only imagine what having a Liebster Award will do for my blog (not to mention my street cred!). So whether you've been with me since the beginning or are a new visitor to my humble blog, I wanna thank you. Thank you for visiting, for commenting and for enjoying what I've been sharing with you - it means the world to know that people are enjoying my dribble :) Finally, a huge thank you to Becca for nominating me :)

Anyway, on to the award. In order to receive the award, I must nominate 11 other bloggers (with fewer than 200 followers) and ask them 11 questions, as well as post 11 random facts about myself and answer Becca's 11 questions - I have no idea why 11 is the magic number, but, here it goes...

11 Random Facts About Me:

1. I have a younger brother, who shares a first name with my husband.
2. I'm anal about correct grammar/punctuation - I can't help it; I blame it on my job.
3. I've only read the first Harry Potter book.
4. I've got a potty mouth.
5. I've got an actual Bucket List, typed out in the Notes app on my phone (and now my blog - see link above).
6. I have brown eyes and brunette hair.
7. I'm a Scorpio.
8. I met a whole bunch of the Supernatural cast at a convention last May; I'm going to meet a whole load more at another convention this May :)
9. I have seen Backstreet Boys perform live about seven times. Nick Carter held my hand and sang to me at their last gig (no big deal, although I haven't washed my hand since - joke!).
10. I LOVE the Aussie accent - it's the sexiest of all accents in my opinion.
11. I currently have a HUGE celebrity crush on Dan Feuerriegel, who plays Agron in Spartacus: War of the Damned - go and google that hottie right now!

Becca's 11 Questions & My Answers:

1. Where were you born? 
Leicester, England and I still live there to this day.

2. What’s your favourite song?
Oh god, I can't pick just one! It depends on my mood.

3. Who is the person that most inspired you?
I guess, my mum. She has always worked hard - at times when I was growing up, she worked three jobs - and has only recently started having things for herself. She always put me and my brother first and I really admire her for that. If I can be half the mum she was to me then I'll consider myself a good mum.

4. What makes you happy?
Being with my hubby, my bed, eating, reading, Supernatural - I'm pretty easy to please :)

5. Why did you start your blog?
To track the progress of my 2012 New Year's Resolution to take a photo every day - although I wasn't so good at updating the blog on a regular basis, I did achieve my mission and took 366 photos in 2012, all of which can be found on this blog :)

6. Do you have any pets?
No, but my parents do.

7. Where is your ideal vacation destination?
Wow, there are so many places I wanna visit. I want to see LA, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Vancouver, New York, Miami, Rome, Florence and Auckland  just off the top of my head, but I also want to return to Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns and Barcelona. If I was a millionaire, I'd just travel the world.

8. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?
Italian food, no Mexican food, no Italian... oh I can't answer this question. There's too much delicious food out there!

9. Who is the funniest person alive?
Urm, I dunno. I think my husband is pretty funny :) Professional comedian-wise, Jimmy Carr, Eddie Izzard, Tim Minchin and Micky Flanagan make me laugh.

10. If you were stuck on an island what 3 items would you take?
Can I just take Oliver Queen; he did well for himself surviving on an island!

11. 5 words that describe you?
For the record, I hate this question: bossy, opinionated, clever, inquisitive and outgoing.

My 11 Nominations for the Liebster Award:

1. Mandy Bohgan
2. Designs By Row
3. Project 30
4. Breaking Cover
5.  Dreams of Nyssa
6. The Four Ambassadors
7. Ramblings of a Silly Girl
8. Robin Writes
9. Soul Aperture
10. Rebecca Writes
11. The World According to Tracy

My 11 Questions For My Liebster Nominees:

1. What is your favourite food?
2. Do you have any phobias? If so, what are they?
3. Where was the last place you visited (outside of the place you currently live)?
4. Who was your last text message from?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. How would you spend your days if you won big on the Lotto?
7. What's your least favourite colour?
8. Have you ever met anyone called Bob?
9. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
10. What is your most embarrassing moment?
11. Who is your favourite person in the whole world and why?


L is for Leighton

Less than 24 hours old
Leighton is my three-and-a-half-year-old nephew (Hubby's sister's son) and he's a total character - 3 going on 33!! He was born in September 2009 after a 17-minute labour (ok, so not quite but his mum, A, checked into the hospital at 9:30pm and he was born at 9:47pm - three days before his due date).

Looking back over his baby photos, I can't believe how fast he has grown up. He's a proper little boy now that you can actually have a conversation with, he knows his colours, can count to 20 and is currently learning the alphabet! He comes out with the funniest stuff and is a real joy to be around, when he's not tired, then, he can be a right little shit, but what boy can't?!
Approx. 3 months old
Watching his first football game with Hubby (June 2010)
Have you ever seen anything cuter?! 
One year and three days old, with Hubby
Christmas 2010
In awe of his duck pond cake, on his 2nd birthday
Happy after celebrating his 2nd birthday
Watching CBeebies Live! with Hubby and A (May 2012)
On his 3rd birthday, before a family day out (Sept 2012)
Loving his waterproofs (winter 2013)
Find out more about the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge here

Friday, 12 April 2013

K is for Kittens

Kittens at my local RSPCA centre (July 2012)
I would love to get a kitten. In fact, I would love to have a pet of any kind (growing up I had dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, fish and even a budgie), but both me and Hubby are out of the house from around 8:30am until 5:30pm everyday and I, personally, don't feel it's fair on any animal to be home alone for that long.

Even though cats are pretty low maintenance and independent, I was raised to care about animals and care about not just their physical well-being but also their emotional well-being too. The four cats that I've lived with in my life have been total fuss-pots - one cat seemed to always want fuss when you were reading the paper, so he'd head-butt the paper to get your attention - so I can't justify getting a kitten and leaving it alone for nine hours of the day. I have absolutely nothing against those pet owners that do (everyone is different and every circumstance is different), so please don't be offended by my opinion; it's just the way I am.
Tiny and extremely cute kittens at my local RSPCA centre (July 2012)
I will definitely get both a kitten/cat and a dog when I decide to have a baby though, which won't be any time soon!

Have you got any pets? How do you feel about kittens?

Find out more about the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge here

Thursday, 11 April 2013

J is for Jared & Jensen

Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles are the two stars of the hit TV show, Supernatural, which is my favourite TV show ever! They're often referred to by fans as J-squared (or J2). They're besties in real-life and were groomsmen at one another's weddings in 2010. I think they're awesome and I cannot imagine the show without them - the show wouldn't work without either of them.
Obviously, I don't own either of these images;
they're all from the CW 'Supernatural' 

I'll be telling you more about Supernatural soon, so stay tuned.

Find out more about the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge here

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

I is for Izzy

Izzy is my parents' two-year-old border collie and she's gorgeous...
On her first day with our family
Enjoying her first walk
At four months old
At six months old
Playing in the snow, Feb 2012
Crunching in autumn leaves, Sept 2012
Playing in the flood waters, March 2013
In the 'spring' snow, March 2013
I would love a dog of my own, but seeing as me and Hubby are out of the house for approx. nine hours a day, I just can't do it. It's not fair. Until I do get a dog of my own, Izzy will have to do :)

Find out more about the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge here