Category Archives: Misc

Happy Relaunch Day! (+Updates)

So today I “relaunch this blog. Don’t worry I’m not getting rid of any of the old posts, I’m just kicking back into a more regular posting schedule plus concentrating more on the book side of things from now on. There will still be posts on other subjects of course but books will feature most regularly.

Blog
So what else is new? Well I have a new layout as you can see. On the right I’ve added a Goodreads widget so you can see what I’m reading right now and I’ve also updated my about page.  Also check out the banner image I made! Simple changes but they make things a bit more streamlined.
I already have quite a few book reviews written (I have quite a few to catch up on), as well as other bookish topics, some beauty things and lets not forget we’re approaching the run up to Christmas!
I’m unsure if I’ll be sticking to a specific format (e.g. reviews on a Friday, other book post Tuesday) – does anyone prefer that, or just write as I go but regularly?

Reading
I have still been reading this year and I set myself a target of reading 30 books this year, I’m not sure I’ll reach that target but it’s just more of a general target than like when I did the 50 Books Challenge. I’m currently at 18/30.
I’ve been trying to finish off some of the series’ that I’ve been reading because I feel like I’m in the middle of a few too many.  So with the exceptions of the likes of Jim Butcher, Terry Pratchett and others who have a whole bunch of books in a series; I’m finishing some off and not starting any other series until close to Christmas or next year.

Life
I’ve had to do some real hard work on my health this year but I’m now at a point where I’m happy with my progress and I’ve got some good momentum behind me. Which means, time and head space to be able to blog again.

Follow Me
Inbetween if you like you can follow me on GoodReads and Twitter:
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/7286948-alison
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AWildDog

What Do You Want To See?
Lastly for this post, if there’s anything you would like me to do a post about or if you have any questions, just leave it in the comments below.

My Top 5 Favourite YouTubers

Besides funny cat videos, old music videos and not to mention clicking related videos and ending up no where near the subject I started on; I also subscribe to a fair few youtubers and/or channels.
I’m a little picky about hitting that subscribe button, I may subscribe and give a channel a chance but if it’s not giving me videos I’m interested in 90% of the time or if the person(s) just don’t seem to “click” with me, I’ll unsubscribe.

But of the YouTubers I subscribe to there are those that really stand out, those that I watch video after video after video and maybe even can’t wait to see what the come up with next. These are the ones that definitely deserve a little love here, so here’s my Top 5 favourite YouTubers/Channels.

 

[1] Pinkstylist (Charlie Short)

I love Charlie. He definitely has my number 1 spot. He does special effects make up and he does it amazingly well. I can’t remember how I came to watch my first Pinkstylist video but I do know I spent hours watching more of his videos immediately after that.
Not only is he great at what he does, he’s the sweetest guy ever. I’ve been in a few of his online hangouts and he’s just so damn nice. He makes sugared syrup look bitter.
I have a hard time picking one video as an example to put here so definitely check out his channel and his other videos – I’m sure you’ll find a character you know!

 

[2] Nerdy Nummies (Rosanna Pansino)

Ro does baking but with a nerdy/geeky theme! Batman Cupcakes? Check. Totoro Macaroon Cookies? Check. Lego Cake? Check. Wookie Cookies? Check. In fact you name it. Either she’s done it, or request it and she’ll do her best to come up with something!
I love cakes and cookies and all that yummy stuff and being a big geek well… is’t in obvious why I like Nerdy Nummies so much? What’s more is that her recipes are simple and so easy to follow. I really need to get around to trying some of them out!

 

[3] Nye Armstrong

Nye is a regular American young woman who converted to Islam, which is how I ended up watching her videos to start with. She talks about Islam, Beauty, Life. I guess you would say she comes into the “Vlogger” category, but she’s just so cute, funny, silly and infectiously down to earth.
Her videos are a mishmash of topics, which to be quite honest normally can really annoy me but I honestly enjoy all the diversity on her channel and you really just can’t help but love her. Check her out, I defy you not to love her silliness.

 

[4] MissChievous (Julia Graf)

Julia is a beauty/make-up guru with lots of tutorials, reviews and hauls. She also has a second channel full of healthy foods, fitness, vlogs, etc.
I follow a few make-up channels but Julia deserves to be in my top 5 because she’s very down to earth (I like that in people) and she’s always honest in her reviews of products. Her fitness videos are great motivation as she’s true to herself and shows how difficult she finds things, how sweaty she gets and all.
Her make-up tutorials are gorgeous, easy to follow and include a great range of low end and high end products.

 

[5] Lindsey Stirling

Lindsey is a violinist. I never ever thought I’d be interested in listening to a solo violinists music or watching their music videos… until a friend linked me to her Zelda Medley, then I watched more of her video and was amazed each and every time.
She is truly talented. As well is geeky covers she has her own original songs, collaborations and a few well known covers too. I’m hoping to catch her on tour sometime in the UK.
Check out her music, you won’t be disappointed.

 

Do any of my top 5 get subs from you? Who is your favourite YouTuber/Channel?

Liebster Award Nomination

Today I was nominated by Maaike from Floating In Dreams  for the Liebster Award. Firstly, thank you Maaike for the nomination!
Secondly, although I’ve seen this “award” around I’ve never really quite understood what it’s all about or more… what the aim of it was. Basically the aim is to share the love, get and provide more exposure for smaller blogs (fewer than 200-500 followers).
It comes with some rules (see below) which have changed a few times since it first started – mostly it’s a bit of fun and sharing the love.

So the rules I’m following are:

  • Make a post about the Liebster Award & thank the blogger who nominated you
  • State 11 interesting facts about yourself
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you
  • Nominate 5 – 11 new bloggers with 500 followers or less (make sure you tell them they’re nominated!)
  • Write 11 new questions for your nominees

So without further ado…

11 Facts:

  1. I’m a complete geek. I mostly read sci-fi or fantasy and my DVD collection is much the same (plus Studio Ghibli and Disney). I own lightsaber (it a replica not a toy!) and I’m working on building a Lego Millenium Falcon. Oh and video games.
  2. I am a bibliophile – I love books and collect them. 99% of the books I read I keep. My to-read list is neverending and always growing. I’ve already read 8 books so far this year.
  3. I have crazy dreams to which there is rarely any rhyme or reason. Example: A few nights ago I dreamt I flew to Germany, but the hotel was in the basement of a multistory car park which was super creepy. The elevator in the hotel was a whole room that moved from floor to floor and there was a “bowling alley” – I put that in quotes because it was just plastic cups and an apple for a ball. And that isn’t even the weirdest dream I’ve had.
  4. I”m a homebody. I like being at home. I like me time. I need me time. That doesn’t mean I don’t like going out to the movies or to eat or to visit friends though, I just really enjoy the comfort of being at home.
  5. Despite suffering from hayfever (which seems to be getting worse every year) I love being in the countryside, it relaxes me and refreshes me.
  6. I have too much nail polish (is that even possible?) -okay maybe not too much but there are some I haven’t even worn yet. I just love nail polish!
  7. Even though I love nail polish, I keep my nails short. I can’t stand having long nails anymore, I think because I always used to have long nails as a child. Plus my nails grow really fast!
  8. I’m not shy but I am quite an introvert. I’m not anti-social either, it’s just that if I don’t know you – I’m not going to strike up a conversation. Infact I’ll be the one sitting quietly trying not to be the centre of attention in way whatsoever. However, if I’m with friends…try shutting me up.
  9. I’m an animal lover. There’s not many any animals I don’t love. I mean I’m not keen on spiders and insects particularly but they still fascinate me – I just don’t you know… want to cuddle them.
  10. I have a sweet tooth, a major sweet tooth. This is not good for dieting/healthy eating so I have to control myself!
  11. I love sleep. Particularly when you just so relaxed before you fall asleep, it’s such a good feeling.

Maaike’s Questions:

1./ Why did you start your blog?
Originally? Wow, I’m not sure I remember the whole reason. However suffice to say I wanted a place to share my interests and write.

2./ What is your favorite place?
Anywhere with my dog. I feel lost without him. But I guess in geographical terms I love The Netherlands and I love just being in the countryside in general.

3./ What beauty product would you suggest to anyone in a heartbeat?
Hmmm a difficult one because everyone has different skin types. I think right now it would be the collection 2000 concealer, it just works so well and they have a good light shade too.

4./ What is the best experience of your life?
Not sure I can pick one! Hmmm I’m going to go with my trip to The Netherlands last year as it was such a big step for me, I had so much fun and ugh… it’s hard to describe to someone not in my position but it was just like huge milestone whilst having a blast with friends.

5./ Favorite music?
I love rock music or like rock/pop mostly. I like a little bit of everything though I guess, to me if I like a song I like a song, doesn’t matter what genre it’s in.

6./ If you’d win 1000 dollars in gift vouchers, at which store would you spend it and what would you buy?
I’m not sure I know of a store because I’d like somewhere that sells a bit of everything. So Amazon? That counts right? I’d probably buy another bookshelf, more books, DVDs, a new camera…. so many possibilities!

7./ Favorite magazines?
I honestly don’t really read magazines.

8./ Do you have a ‘pamper routine’, if so, what is it? 
Hot bath with Radox Stress Relief bubble bath or Gok Wan Gorgeous bubble bath. Clean bed sheets. Candles in some nice fresh clean scent like clean cotton burning. Get into bed and read with a smoothie.

9./ What’s your quirky habit?
I don’t think I have any? Or maybe I just don’t realise I have one?

10./ What will your life be like in 10 years?
I have no idea but I hope I’m happy/content.

11./ Favorite childhood memory?
Eating nutella on crackers whilst watching Saturday morning cartoons.

Okay so I nominate…

My questions for the above people are…

  1. Why did you start your blog?
  2. What’s your biggest regret?
  3. Favourite Author?
  4. What would be the title of your autobiography?
  5. You have three wishes, but you can’t use them for yourself or for your person gain. What do you wish for?
  6. Who inspires you?
  7. What piece of technology couldn’t you get by without?
  8. What book are you reading right now?
  9. What was your favourite TV show/cartoon as a child?
  10. Favourite quote?
  11. Where do you hope your life is at in a years time?

Okay… and go!

Movie Review: The LEGO Movie

This weekend I went to see a movie which I’ve been waiting to see for a while and last week it was finally released. The long wait for The Lego Movie was over.

The LEGO Movie
The LEGO Movie

The storyline follows Emmet who is your average construction worker in town, a run of the mill minifigure with no distinguishing features at all. He’s an ordinary guy who sticks to his routine, follows the rules… oh, I mean follows the instructions.
Unfortunately for Emmet he accidentally stumbles upon “Piece of Resistance” which is the key to saving the world and thus finds himself identified as a “special” (i.e. a special edition minifigure).
Cue the entrance of the “Master Builders” who can build anything from Lego and fast, these Master Builders are made up from different special edition minifigures including Batman, Gandalf, Green Lantern, Swamp Thing and Dumbledore among others.
All these talented, super hero-type “people” with superpowers are all relying on Emmet to save the world, after all he’s the one the prophecy spoke about… isn’t he? Shame Emmet has no idea what he’s doing.

This such a fantastic movie, the imagination put into it is fascinating from the storyline, characters and major kudos for all the awesome stuff they built with lego and the innovative ways used different lego bricks for different things.
With so much of it being lego, you would think it would tediously like watching a long stop motion movie, but it really not. The Lego moves like Lego does, but the animation has made it seamless.

It’s simple enough to keep the kids entertained with some  classic slapstick humour (mostly from Emmet), but there’s plenty to the storyline to keep adults enthralled too.

Without giving too much away because I don’t like to give spoilers the ending is sweet, explosive and quirky. It will make you want to run home, hug your lego and then play with it, build things, build anything you can think of and pull it apart and build something else.

Yes in some ways it is a very long but clever advert for Lego, but in the best way possible. It inspires the kid in you to come out and play and the adult in you to bring your knowledge to play time resulting in a big old Lego party with the best of both worlds.

If you’re kid, if you love lego, if you’re a geek, if you have kids, if your an adult who is just a big kid at heart – go and see this movie.

The LEGO Movie is out in theatres across the UK now.

FUNFACT: Some of the adverts before the movie started were remade with LEGO!

Watch the video below, no wait… don’t. Seriously, this will get stuck in your head. I’m not kidding… don’t do it!!!….

… I did warn you!

A Bookish Q&A

Stolen from Whispers of a Barefoot Medical Student.

Mistborn: Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
Mistborn: Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

What are you reading now?
Mistborn: Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson. Freaking loving it.

What are you planning to read next?
I’m not 100% sure yet, maybe finally actually read Harry Potter? Although I also have Alice on Mars by Robert Rankin that I want to read, plus Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. It all depends what I’m in the mood for when I finish the book I’m currently reading but those are the ones I plan on reading in the near future.

What five books have you always wanted to read but haven’t got around to?

  1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (I know I know!)
  2. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
  3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  4. Every Day is an Atheist Holiday by Penn Jillette
  5. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

What magazines do you have in your bathroom/lounge right now?
None, I don’t really read magazines much to be honest. I’d rather a comic book than a magazine.

What’s the worst book you’ve ever read?
Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo or The Phantom of Manhattan by Frederick Forsyth

What book seemed really popular, but you didn’t like?
Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien. Perhaps didn’t like is a bit strong, I liked the story but his writing style makes it a difficult read.
I’m also currently reading The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson, I do not understand why this book is popular at all.

Three favourite poems
Wow, I haven’t read any poetry in ages so I’m going to have think about this one!

  1. The Lesson by Roger McGough
  2. The Cucumber by Ernest Henry
  3. The Owl and the Pussy Cat by Edward Lear

Where do you usually get your books?
Where-ever is cheapest – discount book stores, high street stores, amazon, eBay, independent book sellers or charity shops. 

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

When you were little, did you have any particular reading habits?
I was a strange child, I used to read in the hallway right next to the front door. I used to sit there and surround myself with books from the library. I also used to read in bed at night.
I usually picked books with either animals in them or some sort of fantasy element.

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was too good to put down?
The Wings series by Aprilynne Pike. (May have also had a slight crush on Tamani).

Have you ever “faked” reading a book?
*Hangs head in shame*. Yes. I was supposed to read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, for my GCSE’s (end of High School exams) and well… I read the first 17 pages! I bluffed my way through the exam and passed with a C! (which is good btw!).

Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover?
Brought a book… no. Picked one up to read the synopsis on the back because of the cover yes (and then brought the book).

What was your favourite book when you were a child?
That depends on how old we’re talking about here. Small child, it was definitely The First Thousand Words by Heather Amery, Betty Root and Stephen Cartwright – it’s a Usbourne book, now they do First Thousand English Words… or German, French, etc. But at the time, it was just First Thousand Worlds. (I feel old).
Later it was Beatrix Potter Books, and then Roald Dahl; particularly The BFG and The Twits.

What book changed your life?
I don’t think I’ve had a book that has really changed my life to be honest. There have been characters that I identify with,  storylines that have touched me but nothing has gone as far as changing my life.

Who are your top five favourite authors?

  1. Robert Rankin
  2. Brandon Sanderson
  3. Roald Dahl
  4. Penn Jillette
  5. Pat Walsh

What book has no one heard about but should read?
The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh. I’m still waiting for Walsh to write a third book to this series!

What books are you an ‘evangelist’ for?
Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series definitely. Just freaking love this series.

 What is your favourite classic book?
Gotta be Dracula by Bram Stoker.