What I Got For Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I hope you all had a lovely day filled with loved ones, laughter, food and gifts. I had a great day with Topher and my family. So here’s what I got for Christmas. Since it was Topher and my first Christmas together as a married couple – we got a couple more things for each other this year. See this post for a couple of things I got him. He got me a Manchester cushion for our living room, Wall-e and Eve plushies and a book (not pictured). As for everything else:

what I got for christmas - all

  • I got cash from a few family members for me to squirrel away for Topher and I’s upcoming Disneyland Paris trip
  • Topher’s mum’s boyfriend got us the Hogwarts cushions. We already have our own house cushions but these will be perfect for the guest room. Topher came up with the awesome idea to switch them up for any guests that stay over so that they have their house cushions on the bed. We’re such nerds but I love it!
  • Emma got me the Minnie Mouse keyring and the cactus lights. Can’t decide whether to put the lights in the bedroom or the living room.

what I got for christmas -useful

  • My parents actually bought us a fridge freezer a couple of months ago so they just gave us little goody bags to open on Christmas. I got some chocolate, a lush bath bomb, a lego mug and some socks. They also got us the Disney calendar* to replace our food pun one from last year.
  • Topher’s grandma is always the winner of most random present but there’s always something useful in her packages. I got some makeup brushes, an appliqué embroidery hoop and some dishcloths.

what I got for christmas - secret santa

  • I joined in the In Colourful Company Secret Santa this year so I got a little bag of goodies from someone. I got a Disney/Cath Kidston reusable bag, 2 notebooks, a Harry Potter mirror and coaster.

what I got for christmas -cushion

  • My brother got me the brush pens – judging by my practice run with them I’m going to need a hell of a lot more practice with them before I get my lettering looking Instagram ready!

what I got for christmas -lush

I’m super thankful for everything I received and it looks like everyone enjoyed the gifts I gave them too so that’s always nice!

For previous years What I got for Christmas – see 2016, 2013 and 2012.

What did you get for Christmas?



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Universal Studios Hollywood

As far as I remember, I haven’t ever been to Universal Studios Hollywood before. 

So both Topher and I were excited to compare it to it’s counterpart in Orlando. First off, it is so weird knowing a theme park like the back of your hand then visiting another version of it. Lots of similarities but you can’t seem to find anything. Thank god for the map!

Universal Studios Hollywood - spinning sign

Universal Studios Hollywood - Popcorn

We arrived at opening and started the morning by jumping onto the Studio tour. My initial plan was to go to the lower lot where the most popular rides were but as we arrived we found out that it doesn’t open for the first hour of park opening. I hate when places do this but it worked out ok in the end as the studio tour lasted about 40 minutes so by the time we were done, the lot opened.

Universal Studios Hollywood -studio tour

As it had just opened, the rides were pretty much a walk on down there (so many escalators!) which was a bonus. Transformers is exactly the same as Orlando and Jurassic Park is almost the same with a couple of differences. The Mummy on the other hand was completely different. Still a rollercoaster but a different track. I really enjoyed it – not sure which one I prefer.

Universal Studios Hollywood - lower lot

Universal Studios Hollywood - jurassic park

Then we moved onto Krustyland. The Simpsons ride is the same as Orlando one – don’t have lunch before this ride!

Universal Studios Hollywood - krustyland

Universal Studios Hollywood - side show bob

We had lunch at Luigis Pizza in Springfield/Krustyland which did the job. Universal food is never much to write home about but the theming of their restaurants is always on point!

Universal Studios Hollywood - duff beer

Of course we couldn’t visit Universal without a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It is an exact copy of the Orlando Hogsmeade right down to the rides. It was nice to be “back” as the last one we visited was in 2015 when Topher proposed!

Universal Studios Hollywood - hogsmeade

Universal Studios Hollywood - hogwarts

After riding both rides we headed to the Hogs Head for a butterbeer to cool down. Now in Orlando it’s usually much quicker going in there to get your butterbeer as most people queue up at the carts outside. That was not the case in Hollywood. We were so confused at the large line coming out of the Hogs Head and couldn’t figure out why until we eavesdropped on some other people in the queue.

It turns out that everyone likes to get a shot of whiskey in their butterbeer here. It was never a thing when we went in Orlando so it was a bit surprising (is it a thing now?). Considering how hot it is, we like to avoid alcohol because of dehydration. But then maybe we’re weird – I know plenty of people who like to drink around the world in epcot but I’ll stick to my single margarita thanks.

When we did eventually get our frozen butterbeers we were disappointed to find them really watery in taste. Maybe we got a bad batch? Or maybe that’s why people add whiskey to them? Oh well. It wasn’t the end of the world – I’ll just look forward to the next time we go back to Orlando in a few years.

Universal Studios Hollywood - butterbeer

Pygmy puff slippers!

Universal Studios Hollywood - pygmy puff slippers

Universal Studios Hollywood - hogwarts express

One thing Orlando doesn’t have is Super Silly Fun Land from Despicable Me. The rides were more for kids so we just walked around and enjoyed the theming. I guess Orlando don’t have it as it would be in direct competition for Seuss Landing. Both have that same colourful, childlike vibe.

Universal Studios Hollywood - super silly fun land

We met Gru!

Universal Studios Hollywood - gru

And King Julien

Universal Studios Hollywood - king lou

Another thing Orlando doesn’t have – The Walking Dead attraction. It’s a walk through where zombies jump out at you. It’s just like Halloween Horror Nights but with more space. Claire would definitely enjoy this more as she found the HHN houses way too claustrophobic. So if you’re claustrophobic but want to see some zombies – this is a way better option!

Also super random but well done for the employee for stopping a women taking in her scared five year old. This is definitely not an attraction for small kids! Not judging the woman but I definitely advise reading the attraction descriptions carefully before going on.

Universal Studios Hollywood - walking dead

Universal Studios Hollywood - sign

Overall, we had a great day but the Orlando Universal Studios is definitely superior in our eyes!

Here’s where we’ve been so far on our honeymoon:

Part 1: New York

What we ate in New York

Part 2: San Francisco

What we ate in San Francisco

Color Factory

Madonna Inn & A Californian Roadtrip

Part 3: Los Angeles 

What we ate in Los Angeles




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Linkorama #7

So this post is a little late but I couldn’t help but be glued to the US Election. Daaaaamn. That’s all I can say. That and maybe I booked my honeymoon flights to the USA a little soon! Have to joke otherwise what else is there?

Anyway, distractions!

Here is a girl with lovely hair. These are my hair goals right here.



Words that are very true.



The prettiest of the pretty kitchens



Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park, Canada – This place looks like a total dreamland!



And in other news:

Disney World GuideHalloween at DisneyEating at EpcotDisney for Adults – Wish Wish Wish

Carrie’s whole series on Disney World made me impatient to get back to the happiest place on earth. These were just my favourites.

More than 50 yummy Grilled Cheese recipes! – Love Bakes Good Cakes

I’m just salivating reading just the title of this post. So many good ideas. I particularly want the steak one in my face immediately.

20 Self Improvements that will change your life – Breath of Optimism

You can say a lot of these are obvious but imagine if you could get all of them down!

Woman Adopts Earless And Deaf Senior Cat Everybody Ignored, And Later He Saves Her – BoredPanda

Seriously cried all the tears reading this. Isn’t the world awesome sometimes? One day I’ll do the same thing.

21 Funny Harry Potter Tumblr Posts To Make You Feel Better – Buzzfeed

I thought this would be full of all the Harry Potter tumblr posts I’ve seen before but I’m glad I clicked. I was totally wrong and I laughed my ass off!

Just Love and Hope – Nomad Seeks Home

I don’t normally include my own posts in this serious but I wrote this after Brexit and thought the basic message of it applies today as well. I really hope that hate crimes don’t rise in America like they did over here. Let’s all stick together however our opinions may differ. We’re all humans after all.





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My Week #16 – Cats, Books and Pokemon

my week 16 - 2

*Pickles loves his cuddles. *Topher loves his Pokemon.

*I’m loving my Slimming World journal *Went to Topher’s step-brothers play

*Our Save The Date’s arrived! *Sneaky trip to Yo Sushi

*Harry Potter! * Luna is hunting!

I’m reviving the My Week posts. Again. I guess I just felt like I didn’t have anything interesting to show for the last few months. At least not day to day. But what the hell, I miss doing these posts and I figure it will encourage me to document the everyday again. However dull it may be!

So since I got back from Jordan a few weeks ago, I’ve been doing a range of things. The first week back was spent trying to get back into work mode. Unsuccessfully. I think just because it was still so warm that I still felt like I was on holiday. Never mind! Since then I’m on it like a car bonnet. My bullet journal is being used, lists are being made and I’m fully back on Slimming World. Minus the cheeky Yo Sushi trip of course. But I still lost weight that week so it’s all ok.

Topher and I made a special trip to The Trafford Centre to pick up our pre-ordered copy of the new Harry Potter book. I have started to read it but haven’t got too far. I don’t know why, it was just so surreal reading it. Must pick it up again this weekend. Especially since Topher is waiting for his turn of reading it!

Topher has been full on Pokemon hunting since we got back and I don’t mind at all. It’s nice getting him out of the house while I’m working so I can just focus and it’s a great form of exercise. I only wish I was into it so I could get motivated to get some walking in. But it’s just not for me.

In wedding news, we’re beginning to get on the planning train again now that it’s officially less than a year to go. We’ve sorted the legal bit, got our Save The Date’s, met with our venue to go over some details, I’m going wedding dress shopping on Monday and I’m hoping to start the DIYing this weekend. It’s all go!

How was your week?


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Films I’m looking forward to in 2016

Since Topher and I got our Cineworld unlimited tickets, I’ve been so excited to see all the films. That’s right, all of the films. It’s been years since I’ve had money to regularly attend the cinema so I feel spoiled for choice now. So here are my top films I’m looking forward to this year.

Girl on a Train



After stumbling across the trailer on Youtube, I wasn’t too surprised to find that this bestseller is being turned into a film. I really enjoyed the book but was disappointed to find that yet another British book is being turned American when it arrives on the big screen. The funniest part about it is that the lead is British Emily Blunt, though luckily it appears that she gets to keep her accent. I’ll reserve judgment though and I look forward to seeing it.


Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them



Say anything to do with Harry Potter and I’m there. I’m not sure what to expect from this but I’m looking forward to finding out. The trailer looks amazing!


Finding Dory



How many years have Pixar been promising this film? I loved Finding Nemo and can’t wait to find out Dory’s back-story.


Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates



Mike and Dave are brothers who cause trouble wherever they go. It’s their sister’s wedding and their parents insist that they find respectable wedding dates. So the boys turn to the Internet. Hilarity ensues… I’m not usually drawn to this kind of film but after watching the trailer I found myself laughing and I’ll definitely be giving this a watch.


And for 2017…

Beauty and the Beast


I haven’t been following the behind the scenes gossip but after seeing the sneak peek last week, this is on my must list for next year. As soon as the music kicked in I got excited. I always loved the music from the original so am really happy it’s being used. I can’t wait!


What films are you looking forward to seeing this year?

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