Happy birthday Amanda Marshall!

I’m a big fan of Amanda Marshall and it’s such a shame that she’s not more well known in the UK. One of my favourite albums is her debut album, Amanda Marshall. Amanda is a Canadian pop-rock singer. She signed to Epic Records in 1994 and Amanda Marshall came out in 1995. It reached number 4 in the Canadian album charts, but only number 47 in the UK. To celebrate it being Amanda’s 42nd birthday today, below are some of my favourite Amanda songs 🙂

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Craft ideas I can’t wait to get stuck into

I have been a craft fan as long as I can remember but life has a habit of getting in the way of hobbies, and before you know it, you haven’t crafted anything in aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaages. I have found a few ideas online that I’m so excited to try so I thought I’d share them with you!


Leopard hot air balloons
 via Craft Schmaft

 


Cool Lamp Shade Ideas
 via Kids Kubby

 


Lantern DIY via Splash Of Something

 


How to Make a Yarn Wrapped Ombre Monogrammed Letter
 via CatchMyParty

 


Mini Snow Globe Ornament
 via NoBiggie

 

Song Of The Day: John Otway – Bunsen Burner

I’m currently in the process of listening to every song on my iPod at work, in alphabetical order of song title, which means it’s like a gigantic jukebox with over 5,000 songs in total, but also means that you get to hear cover versions and original songs back to back, which is both a good and a bad thing.

There are times I question why a song is on the iPod as it’s chock-full of both mine and Michael’s songs, and usually I blame Michael if a song is random and rubbish. Today, while innocently ploughing through my to-do list, the below song came on and blew my mind. I don’t remember it being released in 2002, especially as it got to number 9 in the charts. It’s just fabulous. If you haven’t heard it, I highly recommend watching the video below, the live Top Of The Pops version is simply genius.

Film Review: They Came Together (2014)


Starring
: Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Ellie Kemper, Cobie Smulders
IMDb synopsis: A small business owner is about to lose her shop to a major corporate development.

My verdict: Wow. I spent much of the film shouting “no!” in various levels of pitch and I kind of felt like I wanted to watch this through my fingers.

We recently watched the Michael Showalter/David Wain genius that is Wet Hot American Summer, and having loved it so as we had, we decided to watch They Came Together next, which is also a Showalter/Wain film.

Paul Rudd plays Joel, a ‘corporate drone’ who works for a big sweet manufacturer, and Amy Poehler plays Molly, who runs a small independent sweetshop. One night, Joel and Molly are having dinner with Kyle (Bill Hader) and Karen (Ellie Kemper) and the discussion of how Joel and Molly met comes up. The film is basically them telling Kyle and Karen the rollercoaster story that is their life. It’s just hilarious. And hard to watch. And cringe-worthy. Because basically, this film is a spoof of pretty much any rom-com, chick flick, romantically clichéd film you may have seen. Nothing is sacred; the scene with Joel and his Bubby made me actually shout, “noooooooooooo!” at the screen. As Lt. Joe Kenda says, ‘my, my, my’.

If you go to watch this, knowing it’s a spoof, you can’t go wrong. Reviews where people are complaining because it’s too silly, or they “don’t get it”, well, I don’t understand them because I loved it. But then, I loved Wet Hot American Summer too, and it’s just as epic.

Rating: 5 out of 5

As I love to quote from Travis from Clueless,

‘Water’ way to spend your birthday

Some people like to celebrate their birthdays. Others like to retreat back into their caves of denial about their next milestone. If you’d like to help others on your special day, there’s a very special way that you can. You can pledge your birthday and help change someone’s life forever.

Take a look at the video below, it will explain everything 🙂

Wet Hot American Summer

WHAS

I’d recently seen adverts for the Wet Hot American Summer series, so I looked it up on Netflix. I hadn’t realised that there was a film before the series, so recently me and Michael had a bit of a WHAS Netflix marathon! (If you click on the image above, it’ll take you straight to the Netflix page with all 3 listed – how good to you, am I, eh?!)

First up, Wet Hot American Summer (2001) – the film
You need to watch the film first. It stars a whole host of big names, with quite a few of them crediting WHAS as their first feature film (Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler and Elizabeth Banks). The rest of the cast includes Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Molly Shannon, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni, Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black, Zak Orth and A.D. Miles. I tried to write a synopsis, but then I realised that Wikipedia had already created a great one, so here it is:

In 1981, Camp Firewood, a summer camp located near Waterville, Maine, is preparing for its last day of camp. Counselors have one last chance to have a romantic encounter with another person at Camp Firewood. The summer culminates in a talent show.

Beth (Janeane Garofalo), the camp director, struggles to keep her counselors in order – and her campers alive – while falling in love with Henry (David Hyde Pierce), an astrophysics associate professor at Colby College. Henry has to devise a plan to save the camp from a piece of NASA’s Skylab, which is falling to Earth.

Coop (Michael Showalter) has a crush on Katie (Marguerite Moreau), his fellow counselor, but has to pry her away from her rebellious, obnoxious, and obviously unfaithful boyfriend, Andy (Paul Rudd). Only Gene (Christopher Meloni), the shell-shocked Vietnam war veteran and camp chef, can help Coop win Katie—with some help from a talking can of vegetables (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin).

All the while, Gary (A.D. Miles), Gene’s unfortunately chosen apprentice, and J.J. (Zak Orth) attempt to figure out why McKinley (Michael Ian Black) hasn’t been with a woman, the reason being that McKinley is in love with Ben (Bradley Cooper), whom he marries in a ceremony by the lake; Victor (Ken Marino) attempts to lose his virginity with the resident loose-girl Abby (Marisa Ryan); and Susie (Amy Poehler) and Ben attempt to produce and choreograph the greatest talent show Camp Firewood has ever seen.
It really is a funny film, and I highly recommend you watch it!
Watching time: 1h 37 minutes

Then, there’s the series Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp
This eight-episode Netflix series is a prequel to the original film, and so really I would recommend watching the film first. The series is set on the first day of camp, and so (if you’ve watched the film first), a lot of things will start to make sense. Like, how did Gail end up with Ron? How did Katie get to together with Andy? Why is there a talking tin can in the film? All these answers, and more! As well as all of the original cast, there are a number of famous faces who pop up: Chris Pine, John Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Josh Charles, Lake Bell, Michael Cera, Jayma Mays and even “Weird Al” Yankovic.
Watching time: There are 8 episodes at around 30 minutes each so let’s call it 4 hours

Then, there’s the making of Hurricane of Fun: The Making of Wet Hot
This is a behind the scenes view of the making of the 2001 film, when Michael Showalter (one of the writers) and David Wain (the other writer and director) try to make a film set on one sunny day in camp, when in fact the elements are against them and they had nothing but driving rain and muddy conditions. After watching the film and the series, it is a perfect way to round off your Netflix binge watch.

Watching time: 1h 4 minutes

Total watching time: 6h 41 minutes

All totally worth it 🙂

On this day: that cover photo on Abbey Road

On this day, 8th August, in 1969, photographer Iain Macmillan took a photo at a zebra crossing in London that went on to become the cover image of the Beatles album Abbey Road. It’s such an iconic photo and is great to see what London looked like back then.

You can actually watch the crossing on a webcam and people are always trying to recreate the scene, but the traffic is so busy. I can imagine that it’s both a great place to visit and an annoying place to drive if you just have to take that route!

http://www.abbeyroad.com/Crossing

Helping bees in our garden

Our garden is, admittedly, a bit of a wild garden. I like the fact that it’s a bit crazy because we constantly have insects buzzing around and I love being out there. They don’t even care that you’re there so you can literally spend hours watching them.

I was out there today and I noticed a bee who looked like it was on its last legs. I learnt years ago that you can revive bees with sugar water, so I rushed inside and got some sugary water on a teaspoon and rushed back outside. I got the bee onto the back of my left hand while I held the teaspoon in my right hand, and I offered the teaspoon to the bee. Success! It drank from the spoon and then flew off! I then noticed another bedraggled bee, so I did the same thing and success again! The bee drank and flew off.

I had a look online to see if there was any way that I could make a more permanent ‘sugar station’ and I found a great idea on the RSPB website: “Simply mixing around two tablespoons of white, granulated sugar with one tablespoon of water, and placing the mix in a small container like an egg cup among bees’ favourite flowers, will provide them with energy at this busy time.”

So, that’s what we did! I made the mixture up and filled 4 eggcups (though my advice would be to wait until your eggcups are in situ, as I ended up with sugar water all over my hands when I was moving the eggcups!).

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We took old thermos flasks and placed a garden cane in them. I then used pieces of broken terracotta pot and stones to fill the flasks and make the canes stable. You could use gravel, soil or marbles, we simply used what we had handy at the time.

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We then secured the egg cups around the canes using elastic bands.

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We then placed the canes amongst the flowers as little feeding stations 🙂

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As you can see, we do have various bee and butterfly visitors, and I am so happy that we could help them in such a simple way 🙂

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Song Of The Day: Yorkshire Day special

In celebration of today being Yorkshire Day, the below 25 videos are from singers and bands from Yorkshire. Obviously there are many more artists from Yorkshire, but these are my favourites. Enjoy!

1. Robert Palmer (born in Batley, West Yorkshire)
2. Tasmin Archer (born in Bradford, West Yorkshire)
3. Kiki Dee (born in Little Horton, Bradford, West Yorkshire)
4. Terrorvision (based in Bradford, West Yorkshire)
5. Embrace (from Bailiff Bridge, Brighouse, West Yorkshire)
6. Tony Christie (born in Conisbrough, South Yorkshire)
7. The Beautiful South (formed in Hull, East Yorkshire)
8. Everything But The Girl (formed in Hull, East Yorkshire)
9. The Housemartins (formed in Hull, East Yorkshire)
10. Scarlet (formed in Hull, East Yorkshire)
11. Corinne Bailey Rae (born in Leeds, West Yorkshire)
12. Kaiser Chiefs (formed in Leeds, West Yorkshire)
13. The Pigeon Detectives (formed in Leeds, West Yorkshire)
14. Soft Cell (formed in Leeds, West Yorkshire)
15. Utah Saints (formed in Leeds, West Yorkshire)
16. Little Angels (formed in Scarborough, North Yorkshire)
17. ABC (formed in Sheffield, South Yorkshire)
18. Arctic Monkeys (formed in Sheffield, South Yorkshire)
19. Joe Cocker (born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire)
20. Def Leppard (formed in Sheffield, South Yorkshire)
21. The Human League (formed in Sheffield, South Yorkshire)
22. Pulp (formed in Sheffield, South Yorkshire)
23. Reverend and The Makers (formed in Sheffield, South Yorkshire)
24. Heaven 17 (formed in Sheffield, South Yorkshire)
25. Shed Seven (formed in York, North Yorkshire)

Happy Yorkshire Day!

Happy Yorkshire Day everyone!

Being from Leeds, today is an important day. I may have lived in Merseyside since 2009, but I am still a Yorkshire girl at heart. But why do we celebrate Yorkshire Day? According to Wikipedia,

“Yorkshire Day is celebrated on 1 August to promote the historic English county of Yorkshire. It was celebrated in 1975, by the Yorkshire Ridings Society, initially in Beverley, as “a protest movement against the Local Government re-organisation of 1974″, The date alludes to the Battle of Minden, and also the anniversary of the emancipation of slaves in the British Empire in 1834, for which a Yorkshire MP, William Wilberforce, had campaigned. The day was already celebrated by the Light Infantry, successors to the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, as Minden Day. Together with five other infantry regiments of the British Army, a rose is permitted to be worn in the headdress. In the case of the Light Infantry, the rose is white.”

I completely forgot all about it being Yorkshire Day today, or I would have definitely planned to make a Yorkshire Pudburger (this looks awesome!)

http://metro.co.uk/2014/11/27/the-yorkshire-pudding-burger-is-a-thing-and-its-actually-not-that-annoying-4964421/

You can find out more here about Yorkshire Day here.