Monday, 12 November 2018

Disneyland Paris 2018: London

I haven't talked about it a lot on this blog, however, Disney has played a huge part in my life, from being very small. Whenever something has gone wrong in life or taken a bad turn, Disney has been a comfort for me. Since the age of even I've been visiting Disneyland Paris, whether this be with family or friends. This year, I visited during the Halloween season with my mam. This was her first Disney Halloween and I wanted to make sure she enjoyed every second of it.

Throughout November and probably at times during December, I will be sharing trip reports from Disneyland Paris Halloween season 2018. Starting with day one which really, was our day in London.

On Sunday 28th of October, my mam and I got a coach from Leeds at 8:30am which took us down to London Victoria. We arrived about lunch time and got the tube across to Kings Cross as we were staying in a hotel not too far from the station. As we were walking up to the hotel, we got caught in the heaviest hail storm I have seen for a very long time, so safe to say by the time we got to the hotel and checked in, we were soaked through. Our room was on the business floor, which was the very top floor. The lift only went up to floor four. Great, lugging suitcases up a flight of stairs. Our room was large and this was the view from the window, complete with a view of train lines; how at home I felt.

From the hotel, we got ourselves sorted and headed back to Kings Cross to get ourselves some tube tickets. We visited the Harry Potter shop in Kings Cross station and bought each other a couple of Chistmas presents. We then used the tube to get to Green Park so we could go see Buckingham Palace.

We then had a wander and just whichever way the wind took us. We went past the Royal Cavalry, Downing Street, the Cenotaph and the Women's War Memorial.

We saw Westminster Abbey and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, who I actually did a Project Manager course through at the beginning of the year. We stopped for lunch at a lovely little pub called The Silver Cross, who had a wonderful selection of Vegan food for me to choose from. It was nice to have a sit down in the warmth and have a drink. The pub is rather large but is such a cute place for some food and drink.

From Whitehall, we saw Trafalgar Square and Nelson's Column, lots of West End theatres, we went to Leicester Square and then took a walk down by the Thames to the London Eye. We walked across Westminster bridge and then got the tube back to Kings Cross.

Once back at the hotel, we had a couple of drinks in the bar, watched the Strictly results (not on purpose, they were on the tv in the bar) and then went back to the room. We just chilled and watched The Hobbit before getting an early-ish night, ready to be up for our Eurostar the next day. 

I love London, and I love being able to have a look at all the touristy things. Next year, we're planning on spending the weekend there so we have the Saturday and the Sunday to visit places and spend more time there. 

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

50 Facts About Halloween

Happy Halloween everybody! I can' believe my favourite holiday is here once again. As you read this, I am celebrating the season in Disneyland Paris and will be attending tonight's Halloween Soiree. As I love Halloween so much and today is in fact All Hallows Eve, I thought I would share with you 50 facts about my favourite holiday, Halloween. 

1.       Halloween is short for Hallow’s Eve.
2.       Ireland is typically believed to be the birth place of Halloween.
3.       Black and orange are typically associated with Halloween.
4.       The first Jack O’Lanterns were actually made from turnips.
5.       Halloween is the second highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas.
6.       The word witch comes from the Old English wicce meaning ‘wise woman’.
7.       Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween.
8.       In Irish legend, Jack O’Lanterns are named after a guy called Jack who tricked the devil so many times he was forbidden to enter both heaven and hell and was condemned to wander the earth, waving his lantern to lead people away from their paths.
9.       Trick or treating evolved from the ancient Celtic tradition of putting out treats and food to placate spirits who roamed the streets at Samhain.
10.   Halloween has variously been called All Hallows Eve, Witches Night, Lamswool, Snap-Apple Night, Samhain and Summers End.
11.   Scottish girls believed they could see images of their future husband if they hung wet sheets in front of the fire on Halloween night.
12.   According to tradition, if a person wears their clothing inside out and then walks backwards on Halloween, they will see a witch at midnight.
13.   Dressing up as ghouls and other spooks originated from the ancient Celtic tradition of townspeople disguising themselves as demons and spirits.
14.   Halloween is thought to have originated around 4000BC.
15.   This means Halloween has been around for about 6000 years.
16.   Teng Chieh or the Lantern Festival is one Halloween festival in China.
17.   The Chinese hang lanterns shaped like dragons around houses and streets to help guide the spirits back to their earthly homes.
18.   Halloween celebrations in Hong Kong are known as Yue Lan or the ‘Festival of the Hungry Ghosts’.
19.   Fires are lit and food and gifts are offered to placate potentially angry ghosts who might be looking for revenge.
20.   Salem, Massachusetts is the self-proclaimed Halloween capital of the world.
21.   There is apparently a $1000 fine for selling Silly String in Hollywood on Halloween after it was banned in 2004.
22.   Candy corn was originally known as chicken feed.
23.   Having a full moon on Halloween is extremely rare with the last full moon being in 2001 and the next not being till 2020.
24.   About 99% of pumpkins sold are used as Jack O’Lanterns at Halloween.
25.   According to stories, ringing a bell scares away an evil spirit.
26.   About 50% of children prefer to receive chocolate for Halloween.
27.   The Halloween past time of apple bobbing came from the ancient Roman festival of Pomona.
28.   In many countries, Halloween is seen as an unwanted and overly commercial American influence.
29.   Boston, Massachusetts holds the record for the most Jack O’Lanterns lit at once with a staggering 30, 128.
30.   In Alabama, USA, it is illegal to dress-up as a priest.
31.   According to legend, if you see a spider on Halloween, it’s actually the spirit of a loved one watching you.
32.   Barmbrack, a bread made with added sultanas and raisins, used to be a traditional food eaten on Halloween.
33.   Many shelters will not allow black cats to be adopted on Halloween for fear they may be tortured or sacrificed.
34.   Americans purchase over 20 million pounds of Candy Corn each year.
35.   World War II caused sugar rationing and so, trick or treating was not done by children for many years.
36.   In 2010, Belleville, Illinois banned trick or treating for kids over 12 with teens liable for a fine between $100 and $1000.
37.   The pumpkin originated in Mexico about 9000 years ago.
38.   An old North American superstition states that if a black cat crosses your path, it is an omen of bad luck.
39.   This superstition originated from the Puritan Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony.
40.   The famous Double double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble comes from the William Shakespeare poem, The Witches Spell.
41.   Halloween is known as Cabbage Night to New Englanders.
42.   The Disney film Hocus Pocus was originally going to be a much darker movie titled Halloween House.
43.   At one time, it was customary to sing songs and perform dances in order to receive your Halloween treats.
44.   Halloween was once about matchmaking with women performing rituals to help them find their future husbands.
45.   UNICEF’s trick or treat program was founded in 1950.
46.   Halloween tops Valentine’s Day in candy sales.
47.   Trick or treating began in the UK and Ireland and was originally called Souling.
48.   People went house to house asking for small breads called soul cakes.
49.   Tradition states that if you bite into a Halloween cake and hit a thimble, you will be unlucky in love.
50.   In Germany, it is tradition to hide the knives on Halloween foe fear of spirits injuring themselves.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Horror Movies I Watched This October

I'm usually really bad at watching new movies and experiencing movies I've never seen before. I'm a creature of habit and always end up falling back into old habits and watching movies I know I already love. So, on October 1st, I told myself I was going to spend the month watching horror movies or Halloween themed movies that I had not previously seen. Spread my wings a bit so to speak. So, for one of my final Blogtober posts, I'm sharing them all with you.

1. Jigsaw
[pc: Matome]

2. Cabin Fever 2016
[pc: Gage Daily]

3. Conjuring 2
[pc: Giphy]

4. Insidious 2
[pc: Tumblr]

5. Annabelle
[pc: gfycat]

6. The Shining
[pc: Giphy]

7. Purge: Election Year
[pc: Tenor]

8. The Boy
[pc: Giphy]

9. Creep
[pc: Gifer]

10. I Spit On Your Grave 2010
[pc: Imgur]

11. Scream 2
[pc: E Online]

12. Scream 3

13. Friend Request
[pc: We Heart It]

14. Hush
[pc: Tumblr]

15. Halloween III
[pc: Giphy]

16. Ouija: Origin of Evil
[pc: Giphy]

17. American Poltergeist
[pc: Giphy]

18. Selfie from Hell
[pc: Degrassi Wiki - gif not of movie]

19. The Lodgers
[pc: Tumblr]

20. The Amityville Horror
[pc: Giphy]

What horror films have you watched this October?

Monday, 29 October 2018

Top Movies To Watch On Halloween

There are certain movies that I will watch either in the build up to Halloween or actually on Halloween itself. I feel like there are certain movies that have to be watched or it's not really Halloween. Today, I'm going to share with you my top movies that you need to watch on All Hallows Eve or the build up to it.

1. Nightmare Before Christmas
[pc: Giphy]

2. Hotel Transylvania
[pc: Wiffle Gif]

3. Corpse Bride
[pc: Giphy]

4. Hocus Pocus
[pc: Giphy]

5. Frankenweenie
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6. Beetlejuice
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7. Coraline
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8. Practical Magic
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9. The Addams Family
[pc: Wiffle Gif]

10. Casper
[pc: Giphy]

What are some of your favourite movies to watch on Halloween?

Sunday, 28 October 2018

The Flawsome Award

So, this is another blog post that is not Autumn, Fall or Halloween themed, but I was nominated by the lovely Abby of My Lifelines for the Flawesome Award. So thank you Abby so much for my first blogger award nomination and especially for the Flawesome Award; who doesn't like talking about their flaws? I know I do!

The Rules
1. Link back to the wonderful creator, Sophia.
2. Show off your award on your blog and of course, social media.
3. Reveal your three best flaws and tell us why they're awesome.
4. Nominate ten other flawsome bloggers.

The Flaws

1. I Overthink
So over thinking is one of my biggest flaws in life. I over think every small thing in my life down to what I have said to people and how I've said it. These will haunt me for days after I've said it. I always over think my blog ideas. I worry if they're good enough, if anyone will read them, if they'll be popular, if they'll be liked. Every single thought that can go through my head with regards to my blog posts, goes through my head. Then I worry that I'm not promoting enough, or I'm promoting too much. Honestly, Queen of overthinking over here, serving you a major portion of anxiety. 

I think a positive of my over thinking is that it means my blog posts tend to have a lot of thought put into them before I press that schedule button. Spelling mistakes may happen as I type very quick with only three of my fingers (which tend to be cold all of the time these days), but doesn't make me panic any less that my content is terrible.

2. Anxiety
Okay, so this one sort of ties in with the first one except anxiety is a mental health issue I have been diagnosed with. This is not brand new information for anyone who knows me as I'm incredibly open about my struggles and journey with my mental health. So on top of all the worries mentioned when I over think, I also have to battle my constant thoughts that I am not good enough to be in the blogging community. I always think that no one will like or read my blog posts. I'm always thinking there isn't a point to my blog because there's already so many amazing bloggers out there and I'm just a tiny unpopular drop in a really big popularity ocean. So many wonderful blogs and wonderful creators and I'm always worried I'll just get lost and ignored. I then remind myself that I'm writing because I love it and the readers I do have, are amazing.

3. Being Unorganised
Everyone probably believes that bloggers have a million journals of ideas and diary's with colour coded annotations of what goes out and when. Or, they have a social media schedule and use tweetdeck and tailwind and things like this. I occasionally use tweetdeck to schedule tweets if I'm going to be super busy but honestly, I'm so unorganised. I don't have a blog post plan. I write them as they come to me. I think the most organised I get is writing my blog posts down on my calendar so I can remember what post is going live when. Oh and I do have a notepad with ideas scribbled in but half of those have been put to the back of the queue as more posts come to mind. So, yeah, unorganised blogger over here.

So, I now have to nominate ten other bloggers for the flawesome award. So, I nominate the following:

Lizzie - It's Lizzie Bee
Jessica - I Am Foxxtails
Kiah - Spooky Kiah

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Halloween Costumes You Shouldn't Wear

I can't believe in 2018 this still needs to be talked about but, apparently it does. Everyone loves a good fancy dress party for Halloween, however, there are some costumes you should avoid wearing. This is because they can be seen as highly triggering, highly offensive or highly stigmatising. It's 2018, please be more aware of the damage you can cause through your Halloween costume choices.

Trigger Warning: Some of these costumes may cause offence or possibly be triggering with regards to mental health and eating disorders/body image. If these topics upset you, please read no further than costume number three.

1. Day of the Dead
Okay, this one has become very popular in the last few years. For starters, 'Day of the Dead' is not the same celebration as Halloween. Secondly, dressing up in Day of the Dead attire is technically considered cultural appropriation. Dia de Muertos is celebrated on the 2nd of November in Mexico and it is a celebration to honour the deceased. Please do not disrespect this cultural celebration for your Halloween costume.

[pc: Smiffy's]

2. Native American
This one is similar to the above. The Native American culture is extremely sacred. They respect every aspect of the earth and believe that everything has a soul and should be treated as kindly as is possible. By dressing up in what we perceive to be Native American dress, you are appropriating their culture and turning their dress into nothing more than a novelty costume. Please think twice before choosing 'Pocahontas' as your Halloween costume. Especially avoid 'sexy Indian' style costumes.

3. Religious Costumes
I don't really think this one needs to be explained but I will anyway. To some, religion is extremely important. It gives them comfort and helps them make big life decisions. We're all aware of some controversy and some of the problems that come with religion but that doesn't mean we should turn those controversies, or the religious practices in general, into novelty costumes. I will never understand why sexy nun or naughty priest will ever be someone's first choice of Halloween costume. Oh, and don't wear religious dress of a culture you are not a part of.

4. Mental Patient
Mental illness is nothing to make jokes about. Dressing up as an 'asylum inmate' or sexy mental patient makes light of those who suffer from a mental health problem. Asylums were dangerous environments for those with mental health problems. Being strapped in straight jackets and being subjected to electric shock therapy and lobotomies. Making light of the struggles and history of treatment for mental health is not cool or funny. I know in movies they can be portrayed as scary and dangerous but I can promise, the majority of people are not. So please avoid choosing mental patient or asylum inmate as your Halloween costume this year.

5. Eating Disorder Costumes
In recent years, I have noticed a rise of 'fat' suits as a costume option. There was also a big controversial Halloween costume called 'Ana Rexia'. Eating disorders of any kind, whether that be anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorders etc, are incredibly dangerous mental health problems. They are not a novelty and are most certainly not a costume. If you choose these costumes, you can easily trigger someone in recovery and cause them to relapse, or worse. Please think twice about choosing Halloween costumes related to weight and body image.

[pc: CNN]

These are just five Halloween costumes you should reconsider wearing but there are plenty more out there. Please list some in the comments below for everyone to read.