25 Mar 2015

At The Movies | Insurgent

Last weekend I went to see the second instalment of  the Divergent series, Insurgent, after seriously enjoying the first film. We loaded up on popcorn as per usual and made our way to our seats. However I was surprised to see that the cinema room was actually quite empty especially for a film that had only just come out two days before! Maybe everyone was busy that night, who knows?

This action packed, sci-fi squeal is set in a futuristic world where society is split into 'factions' in order to try and keep the peace. Tris Prior is on the run with her boyfriend Four and now the faction system seems to be in ruins. Erudite leader Jeanine has her soldiers on the warpath and all she needs now it's Tris's abilities as a true Divergent to help her find out the meaning of a message left behind hundreds of years ago. Little does she know the price she will pay for her curiosity. 

I read all three of the books a while back (you can read my thoughts here) and I know that I always say to people, who ask, that they should read the books first before seeing the film, however it could be different for this one. Part of me wishes that I had never read the book because it just started to annoy me how much of the book was left out of the film and how the story line had been twisted so much from the original one I know and love. I understand why they added the box that could be opened only by a Divergent successfully completing tasks because it made it a lot easier to follow for all non-bookworms but some of my favourite bits were missing!

There was so much focus on the main characters that all the new ones who are meant to appear in this film like Marlene, Lynn, Uriah and Hector just didn't get enough air time. I was also looking out for Tori's grand entrance but nothing of the sort happened, neither were Zeke or Shauna even mentioned once. And can I just add, WHAT THE HELL happened to the part where they are trying to get to Jeanine's laboratory and where did Marcus go? He just seemed to disappear.

My ten-year-old brother, however, thoroughly enjoyed the fact that there was so much action, violence and GUNS ("Wow! Oooh! Sick!" I believe was his response) but that just annoyed me even more. Since Tris is meant to be petrified of touching guns pretty much throughout the whole thing because of horror that she saw in the last film, yet here she happily picked them up and used them without any trouble what so ever...

Gosh! I'm making this out to be a bad film aren't I? Trust me, I actually enjoyed the the film a lot and it was everything I expected it to be. Also look out for the occasional funny moments coming from Peter, I heard a few giggles going around the cinema then. But it really is lovely to see a young adult with such a strong female lead. Shailene Woodley is terrific (yet I can't help but think of her and Ansel in The Fault In Our Stars) and there was even more girl power than in the first film! I would also advice that you watch/read Divergent again as this film jumps straight into the action within the first 5 minutes, so you won't get bored I promise.

Yet I know that if I had been Veronica Roth, who wrote the books, I would not have been happy with how my story was portrayed. But that's just my opinion.

How you seen it yet? What did you think?
Love Beth xx

22 Mar 2015

6 Things That Made Me Smile This Week!

So this week has just been one of those weeks where everything seems to have gone wrong and completely upside down and back to front. You know that feeling you get when is just so much to do but so little time to do it that you constantly feeling on edge and rushed, like you've just run a marathon or something? (But lets be honest, that's never going to happen in a million years but hey ho!) Still I suppose that has led to a rather comical and laugh-out-loud week for me, but I've still pretty much given up hope of ever feeling like a normal teenager again. What's happened to my social life? And I'm sure I've been dreaming about revision in my sleep! I just can't wait for these DAMN exams to be over so I can actually relax for a moment without feel guilty because I should be upstairs studying Mitosis and Meiosis...I mean really, can anybody remember the difference?

So what have I been up to this week. Not a lot

-Beetroot Brownie: Well the first thing that happened was that I brought a very lovely looking Brownie from the school cafeteria at lunch and happily sat down munching it. That was until I bit into a mighty great lump of BLOODY BEETROOT! I mean what happened to the chocolate chips? A brownie without them is like fish without chips or a blogger without internet. It just doesn't work and I had to walk around for the rest of the day with the disgusting taste of beetroot in my mouth. Never again!

-Online shopping: Later this week we decided to try our hand at online supermarket shopping and that also ended up in disaster after we accidentally ordered three 1.75 litre of coke instead of three small cans of coke, a massive bag of sugar that we could hardly lift and an out of date birthday cake!

-Eclipse: Then of course there was the rather terrible eclipse on Friday that we couldn't even see where we were because of the low clouds! Rubbish.

-Movie night: On Saturday my family and I went to see Insurgent, the next instalment in the Divergent Series. I have read the book before and was so excited about going. However I was actually a little disappointed with the film, to be honest with you, as I felt it wasn't true to original story line. But more on that later next week when I bring you the full film review!

-Revision!Today was possibly the best day of the week as I got so much revision done that I actually had time to sit down and write this for you.

-Bathing birds: And to end off a rather strange week, I saw some little black birds having a bath in a large puddle that had appeared on our road. So sweet!

2 posts I've been loving this week: View from the edge  and  Easter Inspiration (those strawberry carrots!) 

I should probably apologise for the fact there is no picture this week but YOLO,
Love Beth xx

18 Mar 2015

How I Came To Have The Best Nights Sleep Ever

Hiya! At the moment I am well and truly in the swing of studying for my up-coming exams. However the reality of working for 5 hours and coming home just to do some more work. is definitely taking it's toll on my sleep patterns. I've always been interested in Oneirology, the study of sleep and dreams. Sleeping is something all beings on our planet do, yet so little is known about it. Why do we have nightmares? Why can we never remember half of our dreams? Why do I always wake up at the same time each night? Its so interesting...trust me! But I think we forget that sleep is also about the physical elements around us, like noise or our mattresses for example. Today I've invited Paul from Cut Price Mattresses to share his thoughts on the matter:

How to buy a new mattress.png

I was recently accepted to the University of Birmingham, and this was going to be my first time away from home. The idea frighten the hell out of me but I knew it was something I just had to do. To take some of the pressure off, my parents offered to take care of all my school supplies, including furnishing my room! My dad had tried to explain to me numerous times the importance of getting nine solid hours of sleep each night, but I never really understood what the big deal was. He told me that part of the reason I wake up each morning with neck pain isn't the way I sleep, it is the mattress that I sleep. 

Before I left for Uni he told me I should read a mattress buying guide that he'd discovered online, then he would take care of getting me the perfect one. I figured I would give this guide a quick read.

So I went to the Cut Prices Mattress blog and skim-read the mini mattress buying guide. I have always slept on a firm spring mattress, so I read the information on that style mattress and was ready to tell him we were good. However, one thing that I discovered reading that section was that they can actually be responsible for causing muscle and joint pain. The pressure of the springs cause the pressure points in the body to experience pain. So maybe this was the reason I never got a full nights sleeps and why I woke up each day with cramp in my neck.

memory foam molds to your body shape.png

The guide went on to explain that when buying a mattress you should consider this a long-term purchase. Every eight hours spent in bed is a third of your life, so why would you go for a cheap one? I've always found myself drawn to the memory foam mattresses-they way you just sink into it and can use it like a trampoline seemed to appeal to my childlike humour! 

I decided to read on, I found myself at the pocket spring section next. Now these mattresses were the best of both worlds *cue Hannah Montana theme tune anyone?* .They tended to be a little more expensive than a traditional spring mattress, but the benefits were extreme. This style mattress incorporated springs that were all individually wrapped in a fabric pocket, then the mattress padding was included. That added layer of support was exactly what I needed, and I would get the firm mattress I have come to love during my years at home. My dad knew I had spent significant time reading that guide because when he asked me which type bed I wanted, I went on and on about all the facts!

So Dad wound up getting me the pocket spring mattress, and I jumped on it the second the delivery guys left my room. Not only is it the most comfortable mattress I have ever slept on, I get a solid night sleep and wake up feeling refreshed everyday for classes. You are going to be spending up to nine hours a night on your mattress, so why not get one that will benefit your body all of the time!  

Thanks Dad!

This was a sponsored post. Read my Disclaimer to find out more.

15 Mar 2015

6 Things That Made Me Smile This Week!

You wouldn't believe how amazing it feels to be sitting in my living room with a cup of tea in reaching distance, typing away on my laptop like a mad woman. I haven't turned this baby on in weeks, but I guess blogging is a bit like riding a bike. You never forget. It just aggravates me so much to think that I simply haven't had the time to sit down and write because I've been cooped up in my room, studying for my GCSEs. My first exam is only eight weeks away so despite all the posts I have planned, revising is my priority. But when I can get a moment free, like now, I'm always here typing away. So it's no surprise that Toby is making the most of my company while it lasts, jumping up next to me and nestling into my side. But god do those whiskers' tickle like hell!

Anyway please excuse me if we don't see each other for another 7000 years but I will always be floating around on the internet some way or another. Now to the week just been:

-French exams: On Tuesday I had my Speaking & Listening English exam which is 25% of my overall grade. I'm not and will never be a natural public speaker, mostly due to the fact that I get so nervous that my hands and legs shake so much I can barely gather my thoughts to string a sentence together.

We had to go into a little room and present a five minute speech to the examiner about a topic we were passionate about, while the next five or six minutes were taken up by a Q&A session. I choose to talk about the use of wild animal body parts in traditional Chinese medicine (and hopefully I can share some of my research with you later this month). I was so happy with how it went- I literally couldn't stop grinning for a few hours afterwards! Next week we find out our grades so *fingers crossed*

-New recipes: Also this week I have taken great pleasure in finding some new baking recipes. Truth be told, I've done very little baking this year so it's great motivation to find some tasty new things to make. This includes Cinnamon Buns, Danish Apple Pies, Shortbread Biscuits and Vanilla Fudge. Mmmm! 

-Birds: Every morning when I walk to the bus stop, I am greeted without a fail by a flurry of little birds zipping in and out of the trees and bushes. It really is a lovely sight (and sound!) in the morning, especially when you would much rather be curled up in bed now rather than waiting in the cold for the bus because its late again for the trillionth time that week!

-Doing something funny for money: The second Friday 13th in a row brought with it the return of fundraising night Comic Relief. It's always a big event and that in itself just brings a tear to my eye knowing that everybody is working together to help people all over the world in difficult situations. Despite the fact we may never meet the people who our money goes to, we will still donate millions of pounds each year. And of course I had to get in on the fun and decided to paint my nails bright red for the day!

-Mother's Day: Well it is now well and truly on the move, with our sideboard covered in vases of pink and yellow flowers, piles of chocolates and heartfelt cards. I feel that I should probably use this point to tell my mum how much I love her and thank her for bringing me up all these years, but words just can't do it justice. Plus I have a feeling that she already knows!

-Reading in the car: And the best way to end a fabulous week you ask? Reading To Kill A Mocking Bird in the back of the car and watching the fields roll past you in a blur of green.

How's your week been?
Love Beth xx

5 Mar 2015

Harry Potter Time-Turner Necklace

As you may know I am a massive Harry Potter fan, having read all seven books during one summer and watched all eight films. I just think it is the most amazing series because not only do children enjoy exploring the wizarding world, but adults too. Everybody can relate to at least one of the characters and I guess because I have grown up during the 'HP' era, it will always hold a special place in my heart. Last year I even got the chance to go to Harry Potter World, and of course it was one of the best experiences of my life!

Over the years I have a collected a considerable amount of memorabilia- you name it, I probably have it. However I always wanted the Time-Turner or Deathly Hallows necklace. So you can imagine my joy when a replica of the Time-Turner* fell through my letterbox earlier this week. I practically jumped for joy!

Funnily enough the necklace is David Heyman's favourite prop from the films, and I'm starting to think it could be mine too!

The necklace first appeared in the third book, The Prisoner Of Azkaban, when Hermione used it's powers to turn back time, so that she could attend more classes in her third year than time would allow. Harry and her also used it it to travel back in time and save Sirius Black and Buckbeak from certain death. I think it goes without saying that this book is probably my favourite out of the lot, just because the idea of time travelling (and werewolves!) has always appealed to me. 

The replica I received is almost identical to the one used in the film with two golden rings that move-which is amazing because you can almost imagine you are spinning back time- surrounding the hourglass filled with sand. The chain is a good length and doesn't have one of those fiddly clasps you have to undo to take off. What gives it an extra special touch is the words that are carefully inscribed along the side of the rings:

"I mark the hours, every one. 
Nor have I yet outrun the Sun. 
My use and value, unto you, are gauged by what you have to do"

My only criticism (so don't say I never treat ya!) would that when I opened my parcel, one side of the chain had become detached from the Time-Turner*. This wasn't a massive problem and was easily fixed by a pair of pliers, but is something that definitely could affect people's view of the product. However it's fine now and I have to say, I am completely and utterly in love with it! Oh if only I could visit Hogwarts next...hint, hint! 

Love Beth xx

This item has been sent to me for review. Please see my disclaimer to find out more.

1 Mar 2015

6 Things That Made Me Smile This Week!

I am really tempted to start this post of with "where has February gone?" because really I have absolutely no clue, please enlighten me people. This means I am officially, whether I like it or not, in the run up to my first GCSE exam. Just over two months! But I am really trying not to mention that dreaded day too much as I want this place to be a nice, happy little blog away from the stress of everyday life. But sometimes we really can't escape that can we? Also I'm trying to decide if I should start a monthly round-up series, but my life just doesn't seem interesting enough to have something of good quality to write about. More to the point, I'm sure I would bore you to death and I can't really be bothered.  Anyway, I have a few things scribbled down in my notebook to share with you from this past week. Hope you haven't fallen asleep by the end! 

Doesn't that Cherry Bakewell Cake look scrummy ?!?!?
-NCS: Sunday night was filled with frantic phone calls to Meriel and Jane about whether they were going to complete the application form for National Citizen Service, a once in a life time chance for 15-17 year olds to take part in a action packed three weeks during the summer, where they can live away from home, learn new skills and help the local community. The idea both terrifies and excites me. But as it would look so amazing on our CV so we went for it- despite the fact I get back from holiday two days before it starts!

-Finishing touches: My mum also surprised me with the most adorable little Hanging Owl Fresheners, that make my bedroom (and underwear) smell like vanilla and/or walking into an old fashioned sweet shop.

-The Brits: On Wednesday I was over the moon that Paloma Faith won Best Female Solo Artist and that Ed Sheeran won Best Album, as I never stop listening to his X album! And who can talk about The Brits without mention poor Madge and that cape!

-Getting organised: Finally! All my revision stuff is in different coloured folders, depending on the subject, a new set of highlighters, post-it notes stuck all around my room and a proper exam timetable. How efficient am I?

-New playmate: After coming home from volunteer work Friday night, we were greeted at the door not only by our cat Toby but by his new kitten friend, who seemed to be enjoying munching on Toby's tail. No sooner had we opened the door, the kitten rushed in and did a mad sweep of the kitchen and living room before bolting back outside into the night. Then later on we found it wondering around the conservatory. having climbed in through the cat flap! 

-Spring: It is definitely in the air! From the sun that poured into my bedroom Saturday morning to the occasional little blue tit I've spotted flying around. There is no doubt about it, winter is slowly leaving us and I couldn't be happier.

What have you been up to this week?
Love Beth xx
Blog Design by gatto.