Sunday, 31 August 2014

FILMS: What We Watched #1

Our usual weekend routine usually consists of watching a couple of films. There's nothing we like more on a Friday and Saturday evening then getting in our pj's, grabbing some snacks and a drink (or maybe just a hot chocolate!) and watching a film. We have quite a Blu Ray collection these days but the same thing happens every weekend in that we can never decide what to watch. 

We thought we'd start sharing with you what films we watch each month and our thoughts on each film.

A Million Ways to Die in the West 
 2014 | 116 min | Comedy
J: A funny film that shows Seth Macfarlane can act as well as just being able to do voices! The cast is good and it's got that real Family Guy kind of humour (ie the Back to the Future and Django Unchained references!) Meh, It's nothing groundbreaking but it's still a fun movie that I would buy and watch again.

L: Not the funniest film I've ever watched but an easy to watch film that provided a few smiles here and there. Seth's much better at Family Guy and American Dad rather than this sort of thing though.

1998 | 150 min | Science Fiction
J: A good, solid watch. Who doesn't love a bit of space based action?! An asteroid is going to destroy earth and only a select few people (usually American) can save the day? Got to love that kind of thing. And this film plays right into the public's love. Great soundtrack too.

L: Armageddon is probably up there with one of my favourite films. Solid performances from all the actors teamed with an interesting story line make this a really good film. It always makes me cry too.

 2013 | 102 min | Animation / Fantasy / Comedy
J: I'd heard so much about this film and people were singing the songs and raving about it, so I was looking forwards to finally sitting down and watching it. Well...what a load of overrated rubbish, I was clock watching after half an hour! The snowman was alright and the guy in the supply cabin shop thing provided a few chuckles, but I want to build a snowman? No.

L: I'm afraid Frozen has received waaay too much hype. The children I worked with before the summer holidays adored this film and I'd heard a lot of good things about it. Sadly there's nothing all that special about it and there are better Disney films out there. Don't get me wrong I did really enjoy it and the songs are very catchy but I don't get why it's so over hyped.

Independence Day
1996 | 145 min | Science Fiction
J: One of my favourite films. Not sure why I like it so much, but I've seen it loads and I've never got bored with it. Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum are great in it, and the aliens are weird and...well...alien! Must remember to thank America for saving the world (again). I'm really looking forwards to the long overdue sequel that's in the early stages of preproduction!

L: Josh has watched this film loads and I've kind of turned off from it each time, I've never really given it a fair chance so when he suggested it again this month I thought it was about time I give it a go and do you know what? It's actually a pretty decent film!

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
2005 | 140 min | Science Fiction / Action / Adventure
J: You can't beat Star Wars! It's my favourite series of films ever, and this is one of the best! It bridges the gaps between the original trilogy (episodes IV, V and VI) and the prequel trilogy (episodes I, II and III). Alright the acting isn't great but who cares?! I love it! And the big showdown between Obi Wan and Anakin - master and apprentice - is one of the most fast and intense sword fights in cinematic history! I also want a blue lightsaber.

L: I'm afraid to say Star Wars really isn't my thing, Josh loves it but again I've never really given it that time of day until now. They'll never be my favourite films but the prequel trilogy films aren't actually that bad! Despite some questionable acting from a certain Mr Skywalker, Revenge of the Sith did hold my attention and I did quite enjoy it.

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strike Back
1980 | 124 min | Science Fiction / Action / Adventure
J: Considered by many to be the best of the original trilogy (if not the entire saga), I'm not sure about that...I'm partial to a bit of Return of the Jedi, but this film is still awesome. There's so much going on and everyone loves the big, devastating and now cliched reveal at the end. (Spoiler alert: Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's father. *Shock!*)

L: Josh clearly thought he'd force another Star Wars film upon me after I'd decided Revenge of the Sith was an OK film but I just cannot get on board with the original trilogy. My dislike of Harrison Ford plays a part in this but they just look really naff as well!

 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 
2012 | 182 min extended edition | Fantasy / Adventure 
J: It's just a good fun adventure movie. Lord of the Rings lite, if you will. Martin Freeman's great as Bilbo and the Riddles in the Dark scene with Gollum is one of the best in the movie! Though remembering the names of all the dwarves is a little difficult. I think I've got it down now though. From left to right on the picture above there is...Thorin, Gloin, Oin, Balin, Dwalin, Bofur, Bifur, Kili, Fili, Dori, Nori, Ori and Bombur. Woo!

L: As a big fan of Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit doesn't disappoint. Although much slower and less action packed it doesn't fail to keep you interested. An Unexpected Journey is really just a long introduction the the main characters and lays the foundations for the rest of the story but it still flows along nicely so you're not left clock watching! Martin Freeman is the perfect Bilbo too.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 
2013 | 161 min | Fantasy / Adventure
J: The second film in The Hobbit trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug is much more of an action packed ride. Whereas An Unexpected Journey was a little slow to get started, you're right in the action from the start. The last third of the film in where Bilbo and the Dwarves confront the gigantic Smaug in Erebor is great cinema, and it leaves it on a really intense cliffhanger for the next movie (The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies is due out in December!)

L: A little more action packed, but still not quite on the same level as the Lord of the Rings, The Desolation of Smaug introduces a lot more characters and places than the first film. Obviously the main focus is still of the company of Thorin but there's other side stories going on as well such as the elves and the people of Lake-town. It ends on a real cliffhanger ready for the third and final movie.

If you only watch one of these films it should be...
J: It's hard to choose, but...The Empire Strikes Back
L: Both Hobbit films, I can't choose between them!


Friday, 29 August 2014

August in Pins

Here's what I've pinned in August...
  1. A stunning double exposure photograph
  2. I'm loving monochrome and pink rooms
  3. There's something kind of magical about this picture
  4. My perfect reading spot
  5. The most stunning shades of blue
  6. Beautiful Venice
  7. Tasty looking tomato and mozzarella soup
  8. Winter in Prague. Looks much better than winter in the UK!
You can keep up to date with what I'm pinning by following my Pinterest boards here.


Friday, 22 August 2014

HAUL: Primark August 2014

Gryffindor t-shirt £6

I paid a visit to Primark a few days ago and picked up a couple of things so I thought I'd share them with you. I wasn't too impressed with what's on offer at the moment as it's kind of just inbetween seasons at the moment so I didn't find anything fantastic. I did manage to pick of a couple of nice basic things things though.

Bambi slippers £4 // Tinkerbell cosy socks £2.50

Disney socks all £2.50

I couldn't resist all the Disney footwear on offer so I had to pick up these socks and slippers. There were lots of different ones but I think these ones are the best.

Fleece pj's £7

I live in Primark fleece pj's in winter but I am in need of some new ones so when I spotted the cat ones I had to snap them straight up ready for the cold weather. 

Boots £8

So that was it, I was hoping to buy a few autumn/winter clothes but there just wasn't anything that caught my eye. I suppose it's a good excuse to go shopping again though!


Monday, 18 August 2014

A Change: Goodbye Bits and Bobs

So Bits and Bobs is no more, I've changed my blog name! It's something I've wanted to do for quite some time now but never took the plunge for some reason. To be honest I'm not even sure where the name Bits and Bobs came from, when I started my blog over 3 years ago I just put down when of the first things that came into my head and I've stuck with it ever since despite my growing dislike for it. I've kept the same (terrible) URL so really nothing has been effected by the name change apart from obviously when you click on my blog you see a different name and a different name will now appear on Bloglovin' and my Facebook page. 

I'm really happy with the new name and incase anyone was wondering it is actually the name of a song but I think it's a really pretty blog name too! Nothing else is going to change around here in terms of content and I'll still be blogging away as usual.

And just because here's the song!


Friday, 15 August 2014

ADVICE: 1 Year On - Is Going to University Worth It?

Last June I wrote this post tackling whether I thought going to university was worth it. Josh and I wrote the post together as we had differing opinions. I was literally a week out of uni still living with Josh in Coventry and facing the prospect of moving back home and being jobless, in all honesty I would have given anything to rewind time and gone through uni again just to relive the experience and not have to face the real adult world. However one year on my feelings on the subject of university have changed somewhat. Obviously the experience is different for everyone and for some university is a great pathway into a career they really want but for others it simply just doesn't work out and there's no shame in that but I wish I'd had the gift of foresight before deciding to go. 

I'll start off by saying I loved the university experience, I loved moving to a new city, living with Josh and through my course discovering a new hobby in blogging but that is probably what clouded my judgement when I wrote the original post last year. Now I'm back at home, living with parents and going through unemployment for the second time in one year I can safely say I could have got all the bits I loved about uni without actually going there, I could've took the time to find a job I enjoyed, hopefully still be working in a job I enjoyed, living with Josh and who knows that could've been in a new city too. I can't help but feel 4 years of my life has now passed me by and I'm no better off at 23 than I was at 19 when I decided to go to uni. 

In January I started a job I loved and it's a career path I hope to follow and advance in, however I don't even need a degree to do the job and sometimes I feel like being over educated is setting me back too given that I'm now unemployed again due to my contract expiring. I could've probably found my way into this career without uni and been a lot further along in it by now.

 It's fair to say Josh's opinions on university haven't changed since the last post so I thought I'd get another voice involved in the subject in the form of my best friend, Vicky, who graduated from university this summer with a degree in Surface Design for Fashion and Interiors and was lucky enough to land a graduate designer job. Given we went to different universities and did completely different courses it was interesting to hear what she had to say, "In a nutshell, no I don't think it is worth going to university especially with the rise is fees - I also realise that without going I wouldn't have got the job that I have. However this was largely due to my placement year, if I hadn't have done a placement I don't think I would have found it as easy to get a job as my course focused very little on actually working in industry, instead it focused more on being creative and as innovative as  possible in design, which isn't always great when trying to get a job because many employers like to know that you can be commercial. I also think that for the fees you pay there should be more in terms of funding and teaching - for example in my final year I had one taught lesson per week until the beginning of December and after that I only had ad hoc tutorials. I also spent approximately £1500 of my own money on my final major project, student finance does help but most people do not have a job at uni and so that is their only income."

In a nutshell if you're really not sure what you want to do I wouldn't recommend going to university. It's a great experience while you're there but in the long term you'll probably get more out of not going. There is no shame in deciding it's not for you. I made that decision 5 years ago I was just stupid enough to change my mind a year later in go to uni instead. You have to do what is best for you and if that's going to university than that's great if it's not then that is OK too. Don't rush into something that could end up limiting you (and costing a hell of a lot of money!)


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Lauren's Lists: Childhood and Current Dream Jobs

It's been quite a long time since I wrote a list post and I figured the topic of this one was quite fitting giving that I'm currently searching for a job. Although not many of these jobs are that unrealistic it's highly unlikely I will ever do any of them but it doesn't hurt to dream does it?! There's only one thing on the list that's a childhood dream drop because right up until I was 15 the only thing I wanted to be was a vet!
  1. Zoo keeper
  2. Vet
  3. RSPCA inspector
  4. Full time blogger
  5. Vintage clothes shop owner
You can view all previous Lauren's Lists post here.


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

HOLIDAY: Liverpool

The docks / In the Cavern / My Cavern t-shirt

For my birthday Josh surprised me with a 2 day trip to Liverpool last week. Long time readers of Bits and Bobs will know that this trip to Liverpool has unintentionally become an annual thing now, infact we've been 4 years in a row! However we're not bored of it, there's just something about that wonderful city that keeps drawing us back. We arrived on Wednesday afternoon and headed straight for the Starbucks in the Beatles museum to enjoy a drink and a chat about what to do while we were there. After we decided to head for the Maritime museum on the docks as we've never been and it was actually really good especially the special Titanic exhibition they have at the moment. It wasn't too long until we made a joint decision that a drink at the Cavern was needed, we love the Cavern for all the Beatles music and the great atmosphere. I looked like a super nerd as I happened to be wearing my Cavern t-shirt too! At night we headed to a lovely pub on the docks called the Pump House for some food then it was back to the Cavern!

 Liverpool Cathedral / The aquarium in the world museum / Sully and I in the Disney store

On our second day in Liverpool we went to the World Museum, we've been there quite a few times now but there's so much to see, the aquarium has to be my favourite bit though. My camera decided to break when we got to the museum which was really good of it so for the rest of the trip we had to use Josh's iPhone which is why some of the pics aren't great. After a good couple of hours in the museum we went to Liverpool Cathedral as we haven't seen it before, last year we visited the Metropolitan Cathedral so we wanted to see what the older one was like, I really wish the camera hadn't broke because although I'm not religious the cathedral was lovely inside. At night we went to an old favourite, Red Hot Buffet for lots of food and a cocktail then of course it was onto the Cavern.

Gorgeous sunset over the docks / Enjoying an evening drink in the Cavern / Our names are still in the Cavern 3 years on!

Friday was our last half a day in Liverpool so we went in a couple of shops in Liverpool One before killing the last few hours in our favourite guessed it, the Cavern! Even though we've been to Liverpool so many times now I'm just not bored of it yet, I'd like to say that next year we'll visit somewhere else but we've already discussed if we'll be going back and we've decided that we more than likely will be!


Saturday, 2 August 2014

Happy List #105 The July 2014 Edition

At The Cavern in Liverpool / Lovely sunset #1 / The result of one night spent in the garden (not just Josh and I, I should add!) / Flowers from work / Planted cats / Lovely sunset #2 / Josh and I built a tower with our niece's bricks!

Huge fruit salad / Enjoyed the evening sunshine with a glass of wine / Bathed cats are sad cats

Despite there been a few tears shed over various things this month I think July has to have been my favourite month of the year so far. Does that have anything to do with the fact it was my birthday a couple of days ago? Maybe! But on the whole July has been a good 'un which is probably why I have sooo many photo's for this month too. I was very sad to have left my job as I enjoyed my time there but I'm now volunteering in a day nursery while it's the summer holidays and I'm really enjoying it. So aside from volunteering July has been spent enjoying the glorious sunshine, starting to re-read the Harry Potter books, celebrating my 23rd birthday and going away to Liverpool for a few days as a birthday present from Josh. After a rather busy July I think August is going to be a quiet one! 

Thing to look forwards to in August: Reading more Harry Potter, simple days out, organising lots of stuff for Bits and Bobs.