Blogmas Day 4 – Songs for Santa

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One of the best parts of Christmas has to be hands down (or should I say up) the music!

My Christmas playlist is a buzzing with joy and festive cheer and this post is going to explain and share my favourite gems and tunes.

Firstly let me start by saying I love Christmas but the music starts on December 1st. Not before! Just like people putting trees up in November, or the Christmas adverts coming out 6 weeks before the big day. December 1st is the day – the day it all begins and you can blare them tunes and put that tree up and go wild as of December 1st.

Ranty bit over, it’s time to get into the tunes – to share the gems I love, from the classics to the more obscure and unusual ones. Here we go:


My all time favourite Christmas song is “Fairytale of New York”, a jivey up beat Irish American song about the boys of the NYPD choir – what’s not to love. It’s a great sing-along song, especially after a couple of pints at the Christmas party. It’s an all time classic.

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Other classics that I highly rate and frankly love are; “Driving Home for Christmas” – it was a gem that always got blared out in my car on a frosty morning when, yes you guess it, I was driving home to my Dad’s for Christmas. “Mary’s Boy Child” by Boney M, “2000 Miles” by The Pretenders & “Last Christmas” by Wham! are a few more tunes that I love.

But I have to also mention my admiration for Band Aid’s “Do they know it’s Christmas Time” – firstly because it is a musical genius song with all those talents rolled into one. But also because of the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special where we see Smithy and Gavin singing it to each other through their phones. This became such an iconic, loveable moment that every year my friend Tom and I recreate it, usually the same time I am driving home for Christmas. If you don’t know the scene (and come on how do you not) here is the link to it – Enjoy.

Unusual hits that I like also include; “Underneath the Christmas Tree” by Kelly Clarkson, another upbeat jolly tune that instantly makes you want to jive and dance. “Never do a Tango with an Eskimo” by Alma Cogan and “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses.

I think it’s nice to add a few different gems into the mix, rather than just having a Heart style playlist of the same tunes or some list of Michael Buble covers. It’s good to get a mix right.

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Let me know your favourite Christmas song and what you’d hit up on karaoke after a few cheeky jars? 

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The News! An update of what I’ve been doing.

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So over the past few months I’ve dropped in content. The Man Vs Movies series dried up, I missed self set deadlines and I just couldn’t find time for the blog. I was worried about the how my lack of presence would affect the community. Not that I am a role model, but more would this be it, would I be forgotten for the newest trend. I know right, silly thoughts but they were there. So I clawed back as much time as I could and put out what I could when I could and just keep up with people. But I soon remembered the blogging community is one of the most supportive groups of people ever. I could vanish for six months, come back and still have an amazing group of people checking in on me.

The reason behind this was because I was spending my time filling out a shit tonne (I believe that is the correct unit of measurement) of paper work and having meetings for our latest adventure. This is the pinnacle of Adulthood life and just what this blog was built for.

Because we have just bought a house!

(Pause for applause)


On the 26th June at 5.30pm me and the GF went to view a house. A lovely 3 bed semi-detached in a nice area of town. Garden, Garage, Driveway. For the area, size and price, it was a steal. So we put an offer in and the following day it was accepted.

This is just the start of the journey, 4 months/16 weeks later (on the 26th) we have finished, exchanged, got the keys and began our next chapter.

Getting there was hard and at times mentally draining on me. As we were selling her flat to buy this we decided she would deal with the appropriate people for that, as it’s a Shared Ownership property (which I recommend people avoiding, as it was a nightmare to get out of and the hidden fees and ‘Oh to get that you need to pay this’ were for stupid reasons), while I was to deal with the Solicitor on everything else.

I don’t want to go into the boring, long-winded details. I have already bored and ranted at friends, family and co-workers on this for the past 4 months, I want to spare you that pain. All I will say is it’s a simple process that seems to attract useless people. There is no need for the process to take as long as it does and in turn cause as much stress as it does.

There were days I would say to my GF that I was genuinely worried about my Mental Health – and I like to think I am a strong character. But some of the people involved in this just set out to be ignorant and useless. But I am good now. I only ranted and snapped at the solicitors twice. Which is good going isn’t it.


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Now it’s all hands on deck. We have a lot of work ahead of us but it’s going to look amazing when we have finished.

It kind of means Christmas is on hold and going to be stupidly cheap. Because paint and curtains is a priority over presents sadly. But if anyone is wondering what to get us. Vouchers for The Range, Dunelm Mill and Next Home would be spot on.

It’s such a relief to have this completed, it ticks something of my 30 before 30 list – getting on the property ladder and it’s the next step in my relationship with the GF. Oh and it’s good to be able to let you all know finally, it was hard keeping it from twitter – I think secretly a handful of you knew but now I can share the love and tell you all properly.


Next step – Right from the off the GF stepped in with her interior decorator hat on and threw ideas, colour palettes and swatches at me. So we made a compromise. I am such an easy-going guy and usually like what she picks out, but I wanted 3 spaces that I can decorate, decide on and have control of – she can have the rest of the house, but I wanted the Garage, Garden and third bedroom (smallest of the three). The deal was struck and pow we have harmony.

So as you read this I am probably up to my eyeballs in paint, tools and old tiles. I have to rip the bathroom floor up pretty quickly and we have to get the whole house painted as the carpet man comes in a couple of days to lay the new carpet. So it’s literally all hands on deck. If you are wanting to give us a hand by all means popover, there will be pizza as a reward.

Keep your eyes peeled on Insta for those cool “Before/After” house shots and also if anyone has any decoration guides or quirky life hack builds I’d love to see them, any and all inspiration is needed.

I Can’t Believe I am a Homeowner! MWAH!

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Happy Anniversary!

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We’ve been together a year now. Started seeing each other in September but October 11th we became official. I told all my friends about you. Share photos of us on Instagram and started to make many memories.

We’ve bought new people into our relationship, met some great friends and loved every minute of things. Even the dark times where we wouldn’t talk for a week or so. We worked through it, we have become stronger and still as much in love as when we first started.


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My main thank you, is to you guys, the readers, the followers, the friends I have made. This year has been amazing and I have loved what we have made here. I can’t wait to see it grow, to get better and even more awesome.

Honestly I never thought when I first started that I would have met such inspirations and amazing people such as: Maud, Abbie, Lauren – and then the #BlogVengers; Colin, Gareth, Elle, Annie. These are to name a few – I could go on forever naming all the gems in this blogging world. Basically if you are reading this, you are one of them! I am so thankful! I also want to thank the brands who have trusted me and given me the chance to work with them to promote their amazing brands. I have loved every chance I have had.

To the next year!

10 Unusual Facts about ME!

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This week has been taggnation for me! Left right and centre, batting them bad boys out of the field. So much love for all of the people who think of me when they are trying to pick the lucky S.O.B’s that they want to tag.

So this tag is from the lovely, supportive and ever so sweet Lauren. This is here POST and TWITTER – go and check her out. Also a few days later I was tagged in this again by Elizabeth a super friendly, awesomely geeky gal whose state side stories make me VERY jealous. Her original post is HERE and her TWITTER. I can’t stress how much you should follow both of these fabulous women! Trust me.

So now I’ve been asked to open up, to share some dark secrets and little tidbits that you might not know about me.

Let’s do this!

  1. I don’t like coffee – Thought I’d throw this one in there, Lauren I am with you! Sorry bloggers!
  2. I don’t like wearing socks . . . any chance to whip them off I shall. I feel free & a little bit like John McClane.
  3. Controversially I don’t rate Melissa McCarthy, Miranda Hart, Amy Schumer or Rebel Wilson. They all seem to play the same roles and run the same non funny slapstick jokes.
  4. I once got lost in Matalan – I was very young and was a maze of frocks, tops and bottoms.
  5. Frogs and Toads freak me out, the way they jump and they are wet and slimy. I am shuddering just thinking of them.
  6. As much as I am not religious or practicing a faith. I am very open to the concepts of them and find learning about them very interesting. I have a lot of respect for the Church due to my Nan’s faith and relationship with faith.
  7. I begrudge paying more than £10 for a haircut, to the point where I bought clippers and now my GF cuts my hair.
  8. I have a list of 30 things to do before I am 30 – I have 18 things left to do and just over two years to do them. Not sure if it’s doable.
  9. You might know this but I think due to cultural locations it could be seen as unusual (and I am struggling to think of things) I am getting into NFL America Football. As a Brit it’s slowly becoming a bigger thing over here and I’ve jumped on the wave and am riding it out. I’ve really got into it and it’s so much fun.
  10. I broke my arm once while playing Basketball.

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Now that you know me a bit better why don’t you tell me about you.

I am going to nominate the following people, because for one reason or another they are amazing, funny, supportive and awesome. Let’s do this.

Penny.

Nicole.

Zoe.

Michael.

NaDa.

Siobhan.

 

Jack Ryan Review Part 1.

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“I’m just an Analyst”

Last friday Amazon Prime Video released the full season of Jack Ryan – the latest interpretation of Tom Clancy’s C.I.A hero.

For a few months now I had been excited to give this a try, it looked right up my street. Gun’s, Action, Spy Stuff, Drama and even the trailer had me hooked by the use of the song Human by Rag n Bone Man. Which is a song I’ve been loving recently.

So yesterday lunchtime at work I decided to start. I’d held off starting this as I was finishing Last Chance U on Netflix (which is brilliant if you get a chance). So with that over I was ready to start this one.

The first episode titled ‘Pilot’ was just over an hour-long but it set the story and show up in superb fashion. Introducing Jack, a low-level analyst in the financial team of the C.I.A. – in the first few scenes with Jack we learn so much about him, finding out he was in the Army, he had back problems, he rows and he has a vast general knowledge which is shown as he answers quiz show questions while eating his dinner.

He is set up perfectly.

We watch as he investigates money transactions in Yemen and comes across a potential threat who is assumed to big the next Bin Laden. After much deliberation Jack and his boss Greer end up at an Army Black Site in Yeman interrogating a money man and his bodyguard who have links to the mysterious account.

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I hope this first part has gripped up, because I don’t really want to continue plotting the show out. As it stands we are roughly 3/4’s of the way into the pilot now. But so much more happens throughout the episode that just keeps up gripped and on the edge of your seat. I did three episodes last night and intend on doing another few today. (Heck by the time you read this I could be up to episode 5 or 6).

The layers of the story are immensely inviting and intriguing – opening you up to almost like and side with each character, while also being left with a strange untrusting feeling as you ponder what their next move is.

I can’t sneaky off and wrap this up without mention John Krasinski who plays Jack Ryan. We know John from the American Office as the goofy, geeky, loveable Jim. Then POW he got shreaded for “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi”, then he went and made “A Quiet Place” which were both amazing pieces of work and now he is here. This man’s talent is ever growing and any excuse to showcase a new skill and he is jumping at the chance which I love. Good job John.

Even the feel and look of the show is beautiful, even when it’s not working with the fantastic action scenes, fire and gunshots – we also get stunning scenic shots, aerial panoramic shots and cityscapes which just add icing and a cherry to the top of the well made, well enjoyed and very tasty cake.

So go, watch, let me finish watching and once we are both done I will do another review which will be bigger and spoiler filled. This will be fun. Enjoy it, it’s a must.

 

Please note I am not being paid for this, AMAZON have not asked me to promote their show or service. I am just a fan sharing and caring.

Where Have I Been.

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Some of you might have thought or noticed that my presence has been lacking of recent. If not then good – but I have felt it and I just wanted to take a moment to address it.

Life has just taken a toll and I have been occupied and busy with other aspects going on. Annoyingly I have wanted to keep up with blogging but it was the easiest thing to drop for a minute.

I can’t reveal what has been taken up my time just yet as it’s still all up in the air – but I wanted to drop a little “Hello, I am still here, I am ok” post to reassure the few of you missing me that I am ok. The support on twitter has been amazing as always and in due time I will be back and normality will be resumed.

On another note I won a twitter comp for some free banners and designs and this is the finished product. I love it! Check out the fabulous @Kellylianneart she is such a gem and talent.

Also I have been supporting the GF with a new diet. It’s a bit of a killer – the 16:8. 16 hours of fasting and eating nothing and then an 8 hour window to have a couple of healthy meals. Couple of days in and I am 6lbs down. So something is going well.

So that is a quick check in and catch up. Like I said more is to come. Once everything is in order and I can tell you about it then I will be back to normal.

But remember I love you all.

The Unique Blogger Award

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TheUniqueBloggerAWARD


Rules

  • Display the award
  • Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog
  • Answer the questions they have written for you
  • Nominate other bloggers and give them three questions to answer, all in the name of sharing unity within the blogging community.

I love doing these kind of posts and I have to thank Leighann from WithLoveLeighann who I’ve only just recently found in the Blogger Community, not sure how or why it took me so long, she is a lovely, friendly girl with passion and comedy to spare. Check out her blog and twitter @LeighannLeAnn


My Answers

  • What is the best comment, you have received about your blog/blogging, since you started. – I try to save all the comments I get so I had a couple to pick from. (Sadly I forgot to record who said what . . . )

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  • If you could write about one thing ( that you haven’t yet) what would it be? Tough one because if I feel strongly about something I will write about it. I guess Parenting – Being a Daddy. That is the reason this blog started. I haven’t done it yet because I don’t have no child. But one day.

 

  • Where do you get your creative inspiration from? I struggle at times, I struggle to juggle work, spare time, blog time and life. So when I want to make something like this really big I need to big down deep to find something to push and make me focus. Creative just flows, I have always been a creative person – it’s just finding the drive to put those creative juices into action.

My Questions

  1. In the past 6 months what is one thing that has surprised you about yourself?
  2. What is the best life hack you have ever seen?
  3. If you could wake up tomorrow with the skills to play any sport or instrument what would it be and why?

My Nominations

Firstly who ever reads this, you are nominated. Doesn’t matter if your name is on the list or not, you are more picked. Feel free to take this and run with it.

@ImperfectMz – @whathannahwrote – @tottzilla – @NicoleCorbett94


 

 

No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.

Robin Williams