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Friday, 28 August 2015

Bloo's Reviews | Tessa Bailey

"Writer of dirty talk."

This review has been a long time coming. Well, sort of. Originally I had planned to review the first book I read by the author Tessa Bailey but I ended up reading the series faster than I could write. I had then planned to review her Line Of Duty series but then I was introduced to her other series - Serve, Crossing The Line and Broke & Beautiful - and fell in love with those too. I soon realised it was going to be difficult to pick one book or even one series to write about as they'd all become a big melting pot of hotness and hilarity in my brain. It was hard to remember who went where and what happened when etc. Plus, picking one would be like an x-rated version of Sophie's Choice. Though off the top of my head if I had to pick from a line up to become my real life bae I may be able to narrow it down to between Matt (Staking His Claim), Brent (Asking For Trouble), Jonah (Owned By Fate) or Bowen (Risking It All), Connor (Up In Smoke) or Russell (Make Me)... Yes. That is narrowing it down.

So I decided to do something a little bit different and rather than go back to review past books I've read or skip to the ones I've just read or future books, I would instead review the author herself!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Toys 'n' Stuff | Bootlegs & Bloo

"You can't fake quality any more than you can fake a good meal."
William S. Burroughs

As you've seen I've lately become obsessed with all things cute and kawaii. I've bought a number of things from different kawaii stores such as Tofu Cute and Blippo. However, I've done this while aware that many warn against buying from them as they have a bit of a reputation for supplying bootlegs rather than authentic items. So you may wonder why I continue to purchase from them and I thought I would address that in a blog post. I know eventually someone will come along and comment on a post or Instagram photo that whatever adorable plush or squishy is the dreaded F word.


They may even go into details that brought them to that conclusion. So I thought I'd pre-emptively answer a few questions about my own feelings towards bootlegs and why I may have some in my vast toy collection.

Monday, 24 August 2015

My Week In Words | #34 2015

"Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."
Vince Lombardi

Welcome to this instalment of My Week In Words. I had a very productive week and I'm quite proud of myself for it! I hope it continues. This post covers from Sunday 16th to Saturday 22nd of August. Enjoy!

Friday, 21 August 2015

Another Tofu Cute Haul!

"Smile, it's free therapy."
Douglas Horton

Welcome to yet another Tofu Cute haul! You may remember I did my first Tofu Cute haul not too long ago. If you want to check out what I got the first time around you can find it here. I exercised a little more restraint when ordering this time. I have a few things from Blippo that I'm waiting for to arrive and decided to treat myself to a couple of things from Tofu Cute while I waited as Tofu Cute arrives pretty pronto. I'm so impatient! 

I was in two minds whether or not to make a post for this tiny haul but, I mean, I love seeing hauls of cute things no matter how few things there are. So hopefully other people agree! 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

My Pet Peeves #1

"I don't have pet peeves; I have whole kennels of irritation."
Whoopi Goldberg

Pet peeves are something everybody has. Whether we like to admit it or not, there is always something that gets under our skin. Getting annoyed isn't a bad thing. It's human even. I would say I'm a happy and positive person but that doesn't mean when I see people do certain things I don't shake my head or give an eye roll. Sometimes I even get down right mad! So for this week's Midweek Misc post I decided to share five of my own pet peeves. Enjoy!

Monday, 17 August 2015

My Week In Words | #33 2015

"Life is about family and technology."
Mark Goddard

Welcome to this week's My Week In Words. Another family filled week of saying goodbye to a couple and meeting a new member for the first time. This post covers from Sunday 9th to Saturday 15th of August. Enjoy! 

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Arts 'n' Crafts | Custom Paper Clips

"I don't know how to organise thoughts. I don't know how to have thoughts."
Jasper Johns

Welcome to this edition of my Arts 'n' Crafts series. I recently started using my neglected Pinterest account again and while browsing the many pins I came across one about Filofax setups. After a little investigation I found Filofax and planner customisation is a big thing. There are countless videos of different setups on YouTube and blogs dedicated to it. Etsy is overflowing with cute and practical print outs. To do lists, dividers, monthly calenders, weekly calenders etc. I've always loved stationery but looking into all the different ways I can make my Filofax more fun and get better use out of it really opened my eyes to so much more stationery I could have! But not only things that I could buy, some I could make myself. And that brings us to this post. I decided to make some bookmarks out of various bits and bobs I already had and also to make some pins for my pin board a little cuter.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Toys 'n' Stuff | Misc Haul #1

"To this day, I have the most fond memories of some of my old toys."
Michael Keaton

Welcome to the first edition of my new Toys 'n' Stuff series. If you follow my blog you'll know I'm an avid toy collector. I buy new toys basically every week. Usually I would post photos of my hauls in My Week In Words but after some thought I decided to start this series so I could go a little more in depth into my passion and share more photos and such. I'm always wary about posting too many in My Week In Words as those posts are always super long at the best of times. So here we are. 

Monday, 10 August 2015

My Week In Words | #32 2015

"I find the family the most mysterious and fascinating institution in the world."
Amos Oz

Welcome to this week's instalment of My Week In Words. Another fun filled family week this week. My sister came home on Thursday from London for a few days. Another couple of fun things happened too. This post covers from Sunday 2nd to Saturday 8th of August. Enjoy! 

Friday, 7 August 2015

What's On My Desk

"People think that I must be a very strange person. This is not correct. I have the heart of a small boy. It is in a glass jar on my desk."
Stephen King

I had another post planned for today but I ended up running out of time getting it finished as my sister was coming home from London for a few days and I had to get my room into order. Okay, not completely into order but as good as it's going to get with the amount of stuff I have crammed into it. I figured since I wasn't going to get the other post finished and I didn't want to miss posting as I'm just getting back into the swing of things, I would incorporate tidying with my post! And thus was born the idea for What's On My Desk. Which basically does what it says on the tin. Gives you a run down of what you'll find on my desk! 

First we have this, what I call, display tray. I used to have my cactuses on these so I could pull my cactuses towards me when I needed to water them. However, as my cactuses got bigger and also started dying I decided to move them to my windowsill to see if it would help. So my display trays became where I displayed various toys etc. Right now they're mostly taken up by my Zelf collection. I got the trays in a pack of four from IKEA. 

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Bloo's Review | Streamvale Open Farm

"He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."
Immanuel Kant

Howdy readers! I know Bloo's Reviews are usually a Thursday or Friday post but I've been looking forward to writing and posting this since last Thursday but I've been rather busy. While this is a review it's also about what I got up to on my visit to Streamvale Open Farm as I figured it deserved a post of it's own rather than lumping it in with My Week In Words. 

Streamvale is a family run, open farm in Dundonald, Northern Ireland. I'd visited a number of times as a child but hadn't been in many years. I was looking forward to seeing how it had changed over the years and what was the same. The last time I was there I could walk, yes it was THAT long ago, and so I made sure to inquire as to how wheelchair accessible they were. I tweeted them pretty late at night and they replied faster than I thought they would! They assured me that most of the farm was indeed electric wheelchair friendly apart from the viewing gallery were the milk the cows and that I might have some trouble around the nature trail. That sounded fair enough to me. I wasn't too bothered about seeing cows being milked anyway as all I'm really interested in is petting them!

Photo taken by Eva

Monday, 3 August 2015

My Week In Words | #31 2015

"Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun."
Randy Pausch

Welcome to My Week In Words! I had a great week but spent too much as usual! Oh well, you can't take it with you... right? This post covers from Sunday 26th of July to Saturday 1st of August. Enjoy!

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Belfast Pride 2015

"Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it’s a good place to start."
Jason Collins

Yesterday I attended my first gay pride event, Belfast Pride. The closest I'd come before that was battling my way through the crowds in London a few years ago on my way to see Avenue Q. I remember seeing these two super hot guys dressed as a devil and an angel. Nothing but shimmery hot pants and the various props that made up their costumes. Sigh. We were then rudely accosted by a woman who wanted followed us the whole way trying to teach my dad the cure to my disability. Who knew the cure to my muscle wasting disease was something as simple as reading the Bible morning, noon and night? Literally her words. But I digress. after that one glimpse into how fun a Pride event could be I always wanted to go for real. 

I've always felt very close to the LGBTQ community as I've always had a lot of homosexual, bisexual and trans friends. And although I haven't spoken about it before and uhm, family if you're reading this I'd appreciate you not bringing it up, I've struggled with my own sexuality for quite a while. Which sounds ridiculous even to me as I'm so passionate about everyone else being able to openly express who they are. Fuck everyone else! But growing up very close to my Christian grandparents and aunt I've always been much more comfortable defending other's sexuality while not really fully accepting my own. Not because I think it's wrong in my own mind but because of what they would say. It even feels scary writing this despite my immediate family being very accepting. I've never discussed this fully with anyone. I've always identified as straight. I've only ever been with guys so that just feels right. However, I'm a big believer that sexuality is fluid. Much like gender. In my teens I started to question my gender along with my sexuality. For a long time I thought I wanted to be male but that never quite felt right either. Again, this is something I've never really discussed. This almost feels like a weird coming out! Haha. It's only now that gender fluidity is becoming more well recognised that I'm starting to feel more comfortable in myself. I understand myself more. 

As I said, I've only been with guys and it might be that that's all I'll ever experience but I would be lying if I were to say that I would ever limit myself where love is concerned. Love is love and I truly believe we do ourselves no favours by forcing ourselves into a box and shutting out all the wonderful possibilities out there purely because of gender. And as I grow up and feel more comfortable in myself and less like I have to be a certain way because I was brought up a certain way, I feel even closer and passionate about LGBTQ issues. And why I was glad to be able to attend my first gay pride event, which in turn encouraged me even more and helped me gain the courage to open up a little more about myself. I know it's okay to go as an ally but I wanted to acknowledge the fact I didn't just want to go as a fun day out and an excuse to get drunk. It meant more than that, whether I fully realised it at the time or not. Anyway! I hope any of that made sense and wasn't a little too intense. Now on with how the day went and some photos! You know, the part you actually wanted to read and see.

I went with Eva and her friend Rhys. Being the late risers we are we knew we wouldn't make it in time for the parade and decided not to rush ourselves. I'm glad we didn't because it gave me time to get a good old Ulster fry up into me which set me up for the day of drinking. I'm not sure I would have survived without it. We met Rhys at the train station and headed up to Belfast. We planned to hit Alley Cat for a few drinks before heading over to where Pride was being held. Well, we learned Alley Cat was no longer there but instead it's been renamed Bootleggers. That didn't stop us from starting off our drinking there!

We stayed here for a while for a couple of drinks while we chatted. Well, Eva had a couple. I had a half pint of Guinness and Rhys had a pint, I think. It wasn't long until we then made our way to Pride and my FIRST drenching. The heavens opened and I looked like a drowned rat. There were food vans and the woman, that can be seen behind me, made space for me and helped Eva pull my hoody up over my shoulders to keep me dry. She even found tissues in her bag so Eva could dry me off! It got sunny after that and it didn't take us long to dry off. We left our shelter and made our way down closer to the stage, where Rhys talked some people into giving us balloons to attach to my chair.

We basically just hung out and enjoyed the entertainment on the stage. They had a bunch of awesome acts. Finally even seen some drag performances! Does that mean I can tick 'attend a drag show' off my bucket list? 

After watching the stage for a bit I needed the bathroom. I was worried we'd have to leave but we decided to try another first. My first time using a portaloo! I decided to document this experience. I used a regular portaloo, leaving my wheelchair outside, because we didn't realise there was a wheelchair accessible one until later when I needed to go again and two girls took us to it. On the way out of the first one Eva wrecked my knee of the door and then I wrecked it again on the inside of the wheelchair accessible one. Wasn't until we got home that we realised it was bleeding. Another first! Alcohol related injury. 

Not actually going to the toilet here... that would be weird.

When we came out of the toilet it was pouring again. So that was my SECOND drenching. Thankfully, I think it was also the last. We headed down to near the front of the stage and stayed there quite a while enjoying the music. One of my favourite moments of the whole day was when one act sang Sissy That Walk by RuPaul. We sang and danced and bumped into so many lovely people and I met some of Eva's friends from when she was younger. I loved how friendly everyone was. Someone even gave me their flower necklace and I got a photo with a drag queen. We also taught Rhys about feeling his fantasy. Here's another assortment of photos from throughout the day. 

As I said, I met so many lovely people. Around three separate people offered to help me get my coat on when it was chucking it down. I also got so many compliments on my new hair! Someone even said I look like a mermaid, so that's pretty much a life goal met. I had such an amazing day and the feeling of love, openness and acceptance all around was palpable. 

The day did come to a less than stellar end as all my drinking and dancing got to me. I did make it to the end of the event in Custom House Square but then everything hit me like a train. I didn't eat all day, apart from one Dinky Donut, and felt pretty worse for wear and the dancing gave me neck pain and a migraine. I almost threw up on the way home on the train. Luckily I was able to avoid my third dose of alcohol related vomiting. I just had to get some food into my stomach. Namely tea, toast and a chicken wing. I'm a tiny bit hungover today but yesterday was totally worth it! I had an amazing first Belfast Pride and I hope to go to many more. 

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