Friday, 8 May 2015

Five Fandom Fridays - Favourite Fictional Mums

Here we are again, only this time it's actually Friday and I'm following the correct prompt, I'm hoping for these to become a regular fixture so let me know if you like them!

Edit: It's now Sunday, this was meant to post itself on Friday afternoon but didn't...anyway, pretend it's still Friday and you haven't just wasted your whole weekend.

My Five Favourite Fictional Mums 
I actually really struggled when I sat down to write this, good mothers are amazingly scarce in fictional worlds it would seem. My head was filled with absent mother figures, evil mothers, or barely there mothers, but not the shining examples of motherhood I wanted to list.

Molly Weasley
Harry Potter

The obvious choice! This woman embodies the very spirit of being a mother, how could she not top the fave fictional mums list?! Mrs Weasley's heart is so big that she has more than enough motherly love for those who need it, regardless of whether or not they're a biological member of the Weasley clan, and she's badass enough to duel Bellatrix to protect her kids!

I'd certainly be proud to have Molly Weasley as my mum!

Miss Honey

While Roal Dahl's Matilda certainly has a case of the terrible mum in Mrs Wormwood, there is still hope, as Miss Honey comes into the picture. Even as a teacher, Miss Honey showed more love to Matilda than her entire family, and eventually gives Matilda the happy ending she deserved!

Lorelai Gilmore
Gilmore Girls

Lorelai may be an unconventional mother figure, but it works for her. Her relationship with Rory borders more on friendship than parenting at times, but one thing Lorelai certainly gets right is caring, and wanting the best for her daughter, and she is always willing to make sacrifices in her own life as a result of it.

Edna Turnblad

Another mum who, after a little initial well-intentioned resistance, is willing to go out of her way (and her comfort zone) to help her daughter pursue her dreams.

Narcissa Malfoy
Harry Potter

Controversial I know, but hear me out. Narcissa, throughout her limited exposure in what we know of the world of Harry Potter, has always been motivated by her love for Draco and her desire to protect him, no matter the cost. I mean, she certainly deserves some credit for outright lying to Voldermort about Harry being dead, in order to protect her own son.
Obviously the women has some questionable moral standpoints, but she's got some pretty serious love for her son going on there!

What do you think? Who else would make your list? Let me know by leaving a comment.

Hannah-Rose x

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Five Fandom Friday - Games I Love to Play

So I know that this was last Friday's Five Fandom Friday, and that it's not even Friday, but I didn't want to miss out on making a post about something that I'm pretty keen on, so throwing rules aside, here we go:

Five Games I Love to Play
I've focused only on table top games for this post, I've never really got into video/computer games, with the exception of The Sims, but I've found a wonderful group of friends at uni who have introduced me to the delights of card and board games over the last couple of years.

#1 Dixit

I first played this game just over a year and a half ago, with a group of people who had all played before, and fell in love instantly. It went straight on my Christmas list so I could own my own copy and has become a family favourite in a house that's not that keen on games!

The premise is simple enough to pick up without any lengthy explanations, and the artwork is seriously beautiful, and abstract enough that even when replaying with the same group of people things don't get samey or stagnant, although I am at the point of considering buying one of the expansion packs to add some new cards to my deck.

#2 Ligretto

A super super fast paced and quick card based game which I was introduced to by a Dutch friend, again pretty simple to explain, slightly harder to get the hang of. My family aren't quite competitive enough to enjoy this one but it always gets brought out at games nights with friends, often intended as a way to fill a gap between other games and ending up being played for a looong time!

Although each box contains a 2-4 person game, there are different sets which can be combined to play with 8 or even 12 players. We've never taken it past 8 though - that's more than enough chaos for us!

#3 Munchkin

Although I've actually not played in a while, Munchkin is a firm favourite. It was one of the first table top games I played that wasn't your usual Monopoly/Cluedo/insert generic family game here, and it completely captured me. The need for forming allies, backstabbing and spending a good portion of time giggling at some ridiculous cards makes it a great go-to game if you've got an hour or two to kill.

#4 Pandemic

I don't own a copy of this game, but have played it through with friends a couple of times, and have really enjoyed it every time. The thinking and strategising that goes into beating this cooperative game gives it an element of something a little different and earns it a spot on the list.

#5 Articulate

Because sometimes the well known classics are just what's needed. I love playing Articulate with a big group of people, be it family or friends or a combination of the two. The potential for comedy is just unreal, watching people panic as their teammates struggle to guess their words gets funnier as the game goes on, and then there's the universal dread of landing on the People or World categories.

So there's five games I love playing, if you've got any favourite table top games feel free to let me know as I'm keen to discover some new favourites!

Hannah-Rose x

Books Read in 2015: 8

Thursday, 9 April 2015

BEDA #9 - BEDA fail...

Well that went spectacularly well didn't it...let's just continue as if I never fooled myself into thinking I'd be able to blog for 30 days straight.

On Easter Sunday we had a little get together for a friend who's moving to the Netherlands in a couple of days (still not really willing to admit it's got that close), of course, this was the perfect excuse to get baking. I ended up making two cakes, a chocolate one for him, and a lemon drizzle on request from his girlfriend who's moving out to join him in a few months.

The chocolate definitely tasted as good as it looked.

The recipe I used for the chocolate cake was Nigella Lawson's devils food cake, with a simple chocolate buttercream rather than her fancy frosting (I was being lazy), and as it was Easter, the obligatory mini eggs to decorate.

This is definitely a recipe I'll be using again as the cake tasted great and was very well received.

The slightly less photogenic lemon drizzle (which ended up with an unplanned lemon buttercream in the middle.
This is my go-to Lemon Drizzle recipe, I've been using it for years and have no idea where it came from in the first place...probably the BBC Good Food site as it was certainly before I started following a load of wonderful cakey bloggers. I ended up turning it into a bit of a sandwich cake with a lemon buttercream in the middle too.

It's the simplest of methods, beat the butter and sugar, add the eggs one at a time, then fold in the flour, mix in the lemon juice and then the zest by hand, stick it in the oven at 180°C and you're good to go. I've not actually bothered writing down cooking times as I never follow them anyway, I find checking it after about 18mins and then as needed after that works fine for me.

Lemon Drizzle Cake

For the cake:
8oz caster sugar
8oz unsalted butter
8oz self-raising flour
4 medium eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon

For the drizzle:
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Roughly 1.5 tablespoons caster sugar
(I do this bit by eye)

(Optional) Lemon Buttercream:
115g softened unsalted butter
500g icing sugar
Lemon juice until it tastes suitably lemony
(Again I tend to just guess amounts with my buttercream)

Friday, 3 April 2015

BEDA #3 - Good Friday

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
Isiah 53:5

This morning I joined members of all of the churches in my town in our Good Friday Walk of Witness. The procession follows the cross in silence through the town (stopping traffic and certainly gathering some attention), making its way to the top of the hill where the cross is placed and there is a short service. I find it to be a great way to reflect on the significance of Good Friday.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

BEDA #2 - D2 Massive

I've been giving the queen of procrastination a run for her money today. I've been for coffee with an old school friend, spent ages going over old photos from first year (thinking about that Project Life album I intend to make) and have written a total of 136 words of my dissertation (reaching page 14 overall).

Going back over photos from Freshers Week really made me appreciate (waaaay more than I did at the time) how lucky I was when moving in to halls. 4 of the 5 girls I was randomly assigned to live with I became friends with very very quickly, along with one girl from upstairs, and we ended up living together for the following 2 years (until half of them graduated). So I thought it was only fair to show these girls some love...without further ado, D2 massive through the ages.

Our very first night out!
Later in 1st year

Obligatory Corp photo

2nd year and still going strong

Freshers #3 (not my photo - credit to Elouisa Georgiou)


And our last ever house night out...

I'm super super grateful to have met these girls and will always treasure the memories made with them (ew so soppy!!).

Hannah-Rose x

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

BEDA #1 - Resolutions Revisited

So I've certainly done a great job at neglecting this blog, and what better way to counter that than by attempting to blog every day for a month. Not entirely convinced I'll make it all the way to the end of the month, but here goes nothing...

Waaaaay back in January I set out some stuff I'd like to achieve this year, and now here we are, a quarter of the way through the year, and I thought I'd kick off the month by seeing how I'm getting on  with those goals.

Read 25 Books
Not doing too badly at all with this, I've just finished book number 6 which puts me pretty much on track! Keep an eye out for February and March reading wrap ups in the next couple of days.

Create a Project Life Album
I've not managed to start this yet! Partly due to laziness in getting myself to a Hobbycraft so I can buy a bunch of supplies...maybe that should be a way of avoiding writing my dissertation at some point this week!

Run a 5k
I've signed up for a 5k colour run in Sheffield at the start of May (aaaaand that's crept up on me very quickly!) I should probably get round to doing some more training in preparation for this!

Get Healthy
Although I'm now back in the swing of Ultimate training regularly, I've not been making as much of a conscious effort with this as I'd hoped...gonna go and find some new healthy recipes to try now. Pinterest here I come!

Plan an Unforgettable Summer
Now here's something I've actually achieved!! I'll be spending a month in the USA and a month in New Zealand this summer, flights are booked and I can't wait!

Complete a Sewing Project
No progress here...oops. Maybe next time I have a weekend which isn't filled with frisbee I'll get stuck into this, but until then I just don't seem to have the time to get started.

Not a disaster I'd say, but I certainly could be doing better. Even just in looking back like this I've realised that there's a lot more I could be doing to make sure these don't just become forgotten new year's resolutions and that I actually finish the year feeling as though I've accomplished something.

Hannah-Rose x

Books Read in 2015: 6

Monday, 26 January 2015

January Reading Wrap-Up

As I mentioned in my New Year's Resolutions post, I'm aiming to read 25 books this year. To start off the year on the right foot I should have finished 2 books by now, with just one week left in January. Am I? Well surprisingly (to me at least), yes!


The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

I started, and finished, this book right at the beginning of the month. I think I finished it in two days, before I got stuck into revision and other such distractions. It was a pretty easy read, I went into it already knowing most of the plot (who doesn't these days?), and didn't find myself forming any particular emotional connection to the characters or storyline, I wasn't particularly invested but enjoyed it nonetheless. I doubt it's a book I'll go back and re-read at any point, but I'll be giving the remaining books in the trilogy a chance.

Sisterhood Everlasting - Ann Brashares
I bought this on my Kindle towards the end of last year, having read all four of The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants books when I was younger, and then promptly forgot it even existed. Then one evening I was pondering over what film to watch and stumbled across my copy of The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants DVD, I watched it, and then remembered the book I had yet to read. Already a little enveloped in the universe of Bee, Tibby, Lena and Carmen, I started reading it that night.
Sisterhood Everlasting is set 10 years after the previous book in the series, Girls in Pants, and brought with it a huge sense of nostalgia, taking me back to the summer I read the first three books back to back in my dad's old bedroom in my grandparents house. Unlike reading The Hunger Games, I was emotionally invested right from the start, and I felt connected not only to the familiar characters, but to my younger self. Sisterhood Everlasting is by no means a happy-go-lucky conclusion to the series, in fact, quite the opposite, I cried my way through most of the book, out of frustration, out of loss and finally out of some sort of happiness. It is by no means a perfect book, but it's flaws are, in my opinion, worth overlooking in favour of the bittersweet nostalgia it brought.

This probably isn't a book I'd recommend reading if you didn't read, and enjoy, the series when you were younger, but for those who did, it was an emotional reconnection with characters who were hiding around somewhere in the depths of my imagination.

Currently Reading:
As usual, having only one book on the go at the time just isn't the way I here's what I've just started/am midway through:

Yes Please - Amy Poehler
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
Stopping me from Reading:
Given that I've not managed to fit much reading in this month I thought I'd include what it's been that has got in the way of that. I've lost count of for how many years January has been a month of exams, even if this will be the last, and as someone who is not able to pick up a book and put it down any less than a number of hours later, reading does not work as any form of study break for me. Instead I have to turn to Netflix, where the entertainment comes in 25/40/60 minute chunks - and yes, sometimes this turns into a little longer, but not quite in the way getting stuck in a good book does.

Pretty Little Liars

January's Netflix obsession of sorts came in the form of Pretty Little Liars, an American teen drama which has proven to be very addictive. All 5 seasons are available on Netflix, with new episodes added the day after they air in the US, and in typical procrastination mode I've managed to watch the entirety of the first four seasons so far this month. There's nothing particularly groundbreaking about PLL, but the combination of dramatic (yet ridiculous) storylines, unsolved mysteries, and an attractive cast keep me coming back for more.

Hannah-Rose x

Books Read in 2015: 2

Sunday, 4 January 2015

New Year's Resolutions

Although the idea of waiting until a new year to make a change in your life makes so little sense when you look at it objectively, the opportunity to start something new along with the start of a new year is just too appealing to ignore. So I'm taking the chance to set myself some goals for 2015, bearing in mind that things may be added as they occur to me throughout the year.

Read 25 Books
Every once in a while I decide I'm definitely going to read more, but this year I've decided to put an actual number on this goal. 25 books amounts to an average of just over 2 books a month, which should be manageable. I'll be taking part in the Goodreads challenge, so you can follow my progress here. Hopefully I'll post a couple of reviews on here as the year goes on too.

Create a Project Life Album
I'll be graduating, after a fantastic four years in Sheffield, in June and I'd like a more tangible version of all my memories to look back on later in life. Inspired by Lily's video, I've decided that a Project Life style scrapbook is the way I want to go about this, and I can't wait to get started!

Run a 5k
Something you should know about me is that I will always say I dislike running. Not running full stop. Just running for the sake of running. I play Ultimate Frisbee at a decent enough level that running can't be avoided, and I've never hated all the running that goes on throughout a tournament weekend, but the idea of going for a run just doesn't appeal to me. Saying that, I've never properly given it a try, so the idea is to complete a Couch to 5K programme, and then actually run a proper 5k race, before making a proper decision on whether my hatred of running is justified.

Get Healthy
The most generic New Year's Resolution ever (it must be, right?). But I've put on a little bit of weight this year (and I don't just mean over Christmas), and I'd like to go about losing that while improving my general fitness and the range of healthy vegetarian recipes in my repertoire. Nothing drastic, just small changes here and there.

Plan an Unforgettable Summer
I'll be starting a graduate job in September, and as I've spent my last three summers working, I'd like to make the most of the three months after I finish my degree. I don't know exactly what form this will manifest itself in yet, but I'm excited to see what I can come up with!

Complete a Sewing Project
With some of my wages last summer I bought myself a sewing machine, but other than playing around with it when I first got it, I've not yet used it. I now own two sewing books, with projects and patterns included (Learn to Sew with Lauren and The Great British Sewing Bee Book), so figure that I should really just pick a project and go from there. I'm sure sewing escapades will make their way into a blog post once I get started with this.

This really didn't seem like a lot in my head, but now that I've written it all down I've ended up with a pretty sizeable blog post, so thanks for making it this far.

Let me know if you've got any resolutions for 2015, and if you've dedicated a blog post to them, share the link and I'll check them out!

Hannah-Rose x 

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Hello 2015

So now that we're a couple of days into 2015, and I've had a chance to recover from a wonderful New Year spent in Newcastle with friends from uni, it's time to start looking forward to another year.

I'm a chronic procrastinator, especially when it comes to setting and achieving goals or making changes in my life, at its best, this results in waiting until Monday to go to the gym or start meal planning, at worst it means waiting for a new month (or even year) to start a new project or try something new (actually finding a project that involves using my sewing machine or starting a couch to 5k programme for example). This means that as much as I rationally know that there is absolutely no benefit to waiting for a specific day, which is really no different to any other, to start something new, taking January as a fresh start is an opportunity to set goals and actually start doing something about them which I can't afford to miss.

And so here I am, at 1am, writing a blog post, and telling myself that this year will be the year I'll stick with it - although why this year will be any different to the three or four times I've attempted in the past I'm not quite sure, but here goes nothing!

Resolutions/goals for 2015 will follow shortly - once I've figured out what they are!

Hannah-Rose x