Man Vs Movies – Top Five Inspirational and Motivational Films

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inspiration

Well look where we are at – Episode Five! Who knew this series would even get here. It’s amazing and everyone has been so supportive along the way.

At the start of the series I asked for people’s input and ideas for categories and episode themes. This list is one of those suggestions.

Bexa over on HelloBexa wanted to see my Top Five Motivational, Inspirational list. Well the genre made it into the poll and after a second count it have won. So thank you and well done to Bexa. If you haven’t had a chance to get to know her, let me strongly suggest hitting that link and saying hello. She is such a great supportive girl, an inspirational blogger and all round amazing, friendly, fun person.

So let’s start this journey.


Image result for into the wild posterInto the Wild

“Happiness only real when shared!”

Following the true story of Chris McCandless as he literally sells up and just begins to travel across America and Alaska. Living life to its fullest and just experiencing the real natural world first hand, Chris meets hitchhikers, tourists and other amazing eye-opening people on his travels showing the true beauty of human nature as he longs to explore and be free.

The emotional side of the film creeps in with his family and parents dealing with his sudden disappearance, lessons he learns along the way and watching him fail certain vital tasks. Mixed in with an amazing soundtrack by the legendary Eddie Vedder, the film constantly spikes all emotions and hits every note perfectly. Leaving you inspired to travel, see the world and enjoy life to its fullest.

When watching remember it’s based on a true story, this makes the ending all the more harrowing and hurtful.

Image result for it's a wonderful life poster artIt’s a Wonderful Life 

“Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.”

One of my favourite Christmas films sneaking into the inspirational mix too. If you haven’t seen this film I have to ask . . . why? What happened? It follows George (played by the charming golden era legend that is James Stewart. As he grows up in a little sleepy town. You know the ones where everyone knows everyone and its cute but nothing major going on. Dreaming of travelling and going to college, George finds himself constantly putting his life on hold to help other. His father’s business, his brother’s education and tour in the army. Every time he is set to venture into the big wide world the little town pulls him back.

He comes to terms with this reluctantly and settles down, has a family, grows the business and is general well-respected and loved by all. Until a twist of fate kicks in and it looks like George will be going to jail for fraud and starts to think everyone would be better off if he were dead as his life insurance plan would pay out.

In a fit of rage and depression one snowy evening he attempts to end it all, when he is saved by an old man named Clarence. He explains how he were never born and Clarence decided to make it so and show George a life if he were never born.

It ends with George realising he has worth and me with a choked up tear in my eye.

Every time, no matter how many times I watch it, I find myself a slight blubbering mess. Left with inspiration and the power of knowing, life is good – life is what we make it and everyone effects each other even if we don’t think it.

Image result for pay it forward art posterPay it forward

“What did you ever do to change the world?”

Pay it Forward I think is a really under appreciated film. Following a young boy who for a school project sets up a charitable movement called “Pay it Forward” where he does a favour for three people and in return asks these people to do a favour for another three people. Spiraling outwards and growing as more and more people become part of this movement.

It shows how the innocent of the young is pure and meaningful. With all the good intentions in the world to change it for the better.

The casting is superb as well. With Haley Joel (I See Dead People) Osment as the young school boy who starts the movement, Helen Hunt as his loving mother and Kevin (Don’t mention his name) Spacey as the influential teacher who sets the assignment for the class.

It’s such a good feel good film with such a good idea and heart at the centre of it. It makes you want to do good, to be the better person and to help humanity. Just a heads up now, the ending is totes emosh. You’ve been warned.

Image result for wild quirky poster cheryl strayedWild

“My life, like all lives, mysterious, irrevocable, sacred, so very close, so very present, so very belonging to me.”

Another true story based on a woman’s journey of self discovery while dealing with grief as she travels the Pacific Crest Trail through America.

It’s rammed full of inspiration and motivation and if it doesn’t want you to go and get lost in the world then I don’t know what will.

Much like “Into the Wild” it’s a breathtaking visual masterpiece using the location as its own character. With some scenes that are a bit uneasy to watch the over message of the film is beautiful and I can’t recommend it enough.

Image result for wonder film posterWonder

“You can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.”

Wonder is a loving tale about a boy – Auggie, who has mandibulofacial dysostosis a rare facial deformity. Spending a lot of his childhood being home schooled. His parents decide its time to go to school with other children to help his social skills. Starting the fifth grade, Auggie is like any other 10-year-old – minus his appearance. He likes movies, games and having fun. But instantly he is outcast by his peers due to his looks.

The movie tackles the hardships of being different, the dark side of childhood and how cruel children who don’t understand can be. While also showing the loving side of family and making the best of a bad situation. It drills right down into the human soul, hitting you in the feels and dragging a smile of reassurance back out as it does so. It’s a sweet film that inspires the positive side of human nature, highlighting how dark it can be but showing that once out of the dark the light always shines through.

Accompanied by an outstanding cast – Jacob Tremblay as Auggie is yet again amazing! Owen Wilson stepping out of his pure comical roles to slide into something more serious, but still bringing a light-hearted touch as the father trying to deal. And Julia Roberts playing the mother. I don’t really need to plug her, it took my years to realise but she is amazing in anything isn’t she.

Prepare yourself for a little choked up teary version of yourself to appear and just enjoy the film. Feel motivated when you come out and do good.

Honestly if these don’t inspire you to travel, do good or make amends then I am not sure what will. They are all beautiful pieces of work which inspire, amaze, make me cry and make me smile. Let me know what inspires and motivates you, what gives you that can do attitude and what brings a tear to your eye.

Also let me know if you have seen any of these and if so what you think to them, if not, go watch them and then let me know.

Peace.

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Fancy Fancy Dress

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I have decided to throw a bit of a fun post out.

Just to keep you smiling as this week drags on. I feel you need a Humph and some motivation to get to the weekend and hopefully this will draw a little smile out and for a moment be a saving grace.

. . . sometimes I truly just waffle on don’t I.

Let’s talk about Fancy Dress.

Honestly I don’t know about you, but I am a sucker for a chance to dress up and I don’t hold back. If I’m doing it – I am doing it right. Maybe I should do it professionally or help other people – which I can do, took the challenge to help my friend get a full costume within a couple of hours of a party for as cheap as possible. Nailed it!

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My all time favourite costume that I have done is the above. The Invisible Man. It was hot and warm but paid off when I would walk past people and they would gasp in awe and praise me for an amazing effort. This was Halloween 2015 – a night in town. Wearing a dressing gown, who was really loving life. Thankfully I didn’t get ID’ed anywhere. That would have been fun.

Other dress ups include; The Nun from the Conjuring for Halloween ’16, a wasteland raider for Halloween ’17, The Swedish Chef for Eurovision ’17, A Gun toting Spaniard for Eurovision ’16 and a Leprechaun for Eurovision ’15 (but if you remember rightly – Ireland didn’t make it to the final, so I had to tweak the full leprechaun costume that I had put together, adding a prisoners hat and shackles I adopted the guise of an Irish immigrant prisoner that had been sent to Australia. Not bad hey)

I’ve also done Doc Brown for a charity office event. There is an OAP snap in the middle somewhere from a night at Uni, the same with the Smurf and a Zombie Geek (posing passed out on the loo, but not actually passed out) and also The Hulk which took a lot of time and planning. Body paint isn’t a quick job – but boy it sure was fun.

I would love to know what you have dressed up as, send me your best. Also let me know what you think to my efforts. Let’s be honest you are so inviting me to your next fancy dress party aren’t you.

Much love!

 

Man Vs Movies: Top Five All Time Favourite Films

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Copy of Insert Catchy Film Series Title

Greetings and Welcome to my new series, the wonderfully captivating and excellently funny “Man Vs Movies” and today’s topic – Top Five All Time Favourite Films.

I want to firstly thank everyone for suggesting names and ideas for this series. I ran a poll on twitter and “Man Vs Movies” took off and flew into the lead. I liked it, you liked it. So here we are!

I am also going to run a poll after posting the latest post to decide what genre to host the following week. I’ve also had a list of new topics and suggests from you lovely people, so they will be in the mix soon. I am really looking forward to this. I hope you are too and I can’t wait for more feedback and support.

Disclaimer on all the lists you will find and see in this series, they are subject to change. What makes the list today, might be cut in 6 months time, they are fluid and ever-growing. But the premise is the same and at time of posting the lists will be accurate. Also they are Top Fives but not in an order. It’s hard enough to whittle films down to five, let alone rank them afterwards.


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It’s Christmas Eve and humble policeman John is visiting his family in L.A. But the festivities are ruined when Hans and his gang of baddies crash the party. But John has every intention of saving Christmas and his Wife.

Anyone that knows me, knows this is my all time favourite film and also THE greatest Christmas film of all time. Yes it has it’s faults (Vest colours) but it also has everything you want in an action film. Cool one liners, great action scenes and the warm feeling of family at Christmas.

This film catapulted Bruce Willis into the Action Hero status he has today and what a guy he is.

Image result for brick movie posterBrick.

This film takes the magic and mystery of the Film Noir from the Golden Era of Cinema. But throws them into a modern high school environment. Imagine Humphrey Bogart skipping class and smoking on the football field. This film is that.

A very cleverly told story about a boy called Brendon who is looking for his missing girlfriend, he begins to unravel the dirty underworld of drugs and as he goes deeper down the rabbit hole more and more truths and horrors come out.

It stars the ever so talented Joseph Gordon Levitt and is directed by Rian Johnson who has gone on to do Star Wars and a few ep’s of Breaking Bad. It’s such a smart film that flew under the radar and really deserves a lot more attention and praise.

Fear and Loathing.Image result for fear and loathing in las vegas movie poster

This mad, wild, drug fuelled semi biographical film follows writer Hunter S. Thompson and his attorney as they travel from L.A to Las Vegas to cover a sporting event and end up getting super high and just pushing a mass bender as far as they can.

Johnny Depp fully immersed himself in the role. To the point where he befriend and lived with the Hunter for months to learn how to mimic his personality and mannerisms. It’s a strange little film that has poetic echos and undertones about the American Dream, society and the political status of the country. It might take a couple of watches to fully understand and appreciate the film but I highly rate it.

All you can do is “Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride” and enjoy the antics along the way. Imagine like an R rated version of the Hangover but with a lot more psychedelic drugs, a circus and a lobby full of reptiles.

Pulp Fiction Movie PosterPulp Fiction.

Say WHAT again I dare you, I double dare you!

This should be no surprise to anyone, this is probably on everyone’s Top Five list. It’s an instant classic from the bizarre mind of Tarantino. It’s hard to explain what the film is about as it runs several storylines over a non linear narrative but it just works so well.

Everything about it screams amazing, from the script and dialogue, to the soundtrack and the actors involved. It’s one of those films that has it all and doesn’t hold back. Covering topics like drugs, boxing, gangsters and hillbillies, this film doesn’t hold back. It’s truly the five dollar shake of the milkshake world.

 

Room (2015 film).pngRoom.

The final entry is relatively new in comparison, not to be mistaken for “The Room” (the worst movie ever made – officially) but “Room” follows the story of a Girl, Joy / Ma, who is kidnapped and held captive for seven years in this single box room. Where her captor fathers a son and when we first meet him he is five.

The first half of the film is set purely in the room. Following Jack the son, as this is all he knows, he has never been outside, never seen the ocean, never seen a dog in real life. The second half follows the two captives readjusting to the real world, the ordeals and struggles they face as Joy tries to normalise and Jack tries to understand this new world.

It’s a fantastic story that covers so many different emotional points and social points. With both Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay giving amazing top-notch, oscar award-winning performances. It’s not light-hearted but very much worth the watch. I promise.

 

How does my Top 5 hold up? Any you haven’t seen? Any you don’t agree with? What is your top five? I’d love to know.

How did this post go? Fun? I hope so. Check out the poll on my twitter to decide the next topic.

Peace!

 

Molly’s Game – The Review

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Molly's Game Movie Poster


Deal me in.

A week back the lovely GF bought me Molly’s Game with the intention of having a cute film night in. I accidentally went and got very drunk at a wedding which I was meant to come home reasonably sober for the film night. . . . oops.

A week later and it’s on. Pizza was ordered. Comfy clothes are on and the film is in.

I really like a film that is based on a true story, the biopic genre is one of my favourites and this has just slide into my Top 5. . . . I’ll wrote that list down later to confirm.

The film follows Molly Bloom an ex Olympian skier who ended up running some of the most high-class high rolling poker games in L.A. and New York. This film shows her rise, her fall, her court case and her beating in the middle of the night.

Before this film I knew nothing of Molly Bloom. I had known of the Viper Room which was a watering hole of the stars. Being partly owned by the legend that is Johnny Depp. At the start of the film Bloom narrates to the audience saying that the story is true but the places and names have been changed to protect people. So when the Cobra Lounge popped up in the story. You kinda know what she meant.

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The acting was amazing. Jessica Chastain was outstanding, portraying a strong, sassy, intelligent woman climbing her way to the top of this dark underworld of poker. Even seeing Kevin Costner was a flashback to the 90’s hero he used to be. The two had great chemistry and worked off each other so well. Heads up for the scene in the park. That’s all I will say for them.

Making Poker look slick and cool, the same way James Bond did in Casino Royale really made me want to play, maybe even set up a high rolling game. Except High Rolling in my social circle would probably top out at 10 . . . maybe 15 pounds. No thousands and hundreds of thousands here.

Back to the film, this is Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut as well as writing the adaptation. He is a talent and a breath of fresh air – having written such amazing scripts and works that include; The Newsroom, Studio 60 on the Sunset strip, The West Wing, The Social Network and Steve Jobs. All of these have stunningly amazing scripts, with face cleaver dialogue. Usually setting characters up for long empowered speeches – In this Idris Elba had the privilege and it hard defending Molly.

You might also remember “Is America the greatest country in the World?” it’s a scene from Ep1 of The Newsroom and Sorkin’s writing shines right through. Click the link to remind yourself of that scene. Remember as well this scene is the introduction of the character and he starts like this. Wow.

Overall I really enjoyed the film, it was smart, well put together, informative and captivating all at once. If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend you going out and giving it ago. If you have seen it let me know what you think to it.

Thank you. Cash me out!

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Oh yeah I forgot. The Top 5 Biopic films: Ok – disclosure it’s not a Johnny Depp appreciate list but he does do justice to every real life person he portrays.

  • Walk the Line
  • Ed Wood
  • Blow
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Molly’s Game

That is in no order at all and I was torn by the end, I wanted to put Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Black Mass, Goodfellas, Donnie Brasco and The Social Network in the list. See what I mean by I love Biopic Films.

What are yours?

Peace!

A Neat Blog Award for a Neat Guy!

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real_neat_blogger_award

I want to thank all my fans and family and the barista in Starbucks for this award, it means so much to me and my world is complete.

My thanks go out to G over on 16bitdad – who if you don’t follow him (and you should) he runs a pretty awesome parenting and retro gaming blog. Mixing life tales of child proofing and moving house with articles on the worst Video Game Films and reviews on Welsh Horrors that I had never even heard of. Such a good blog and such an awesome helpful guy.


THE RULES

  • Put the award label on your blog.
  • Thank the people who nominated you and link to their blogs.
  • Answer the 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate any number of bloggers you like, include links to their blogs (and ask them 7 questions).
  • Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog or twitter etc)

THE QUESTIONS

Well then, the time has come for me to pass on this award and bring attention to some other bloggers! But first, let’s take a look at the 7 questions that those bloggers will need to answer:

  • What does blogging mean to you and has this changed since you first started?
    • To me blogging is an output, a way to document life and record development, but since starting and joining some amazing groups and communities it now also means friendship and support, both getting and giving. It’s crazy to see how many people appreciate what I have to say and listen or even ask for help.
  • What was the biggest mistake you made with your blog?
    • I would probably say starting my format over on WIX and the moving to WordPress – in no disrespect to WIX, they were great. But I think the change meant almost starting again in regards to building a following. But we live and learn.
  • If you could change one thing about your blog, what would it be?
    • Knowledge. I wish I knew more on SEO and the Jargon that comes with the technical side of things, I think developing that skill will help progress my blog.
  • How do you come up with your blog’s post ideas?
    • I literally just write what comes into my head, regardless of the sensitivity of the topic. If it effects or bothers me so much I feel the need to air my thoughts then I will. Or I will just make up a topic and watch it develop.
  • Which other blogs do you read the most?
    • Upon reading this my mind has just gone blank. I can’t think of a name or page of the top of my head. Oh no! Try THIS ONE, and THIS oh and HERE
    • Bit of mystery there of who they belong too, three very talented and delightfully amazing ladies, Maud, Jess and Abbie – all loveable, insightful and well worth the follow.
  • What is your biggest blogging pet peeve?
    • The Follow / Unfollow game! A sneaky cheeky way to up stats and figures. Which is just fickle, I try to talk to my followers. There is some awesome people out there. There is no need to Follow/ Like something / Then Unfollow.
  • What’s the most embarrassing thing you have done whilst trying to get imagery or content for your blog?
    • I did a post about Bras and the equality in the female market. Which can be read HERE – but if you notice the top image I put together myself but it did involved searching the internet for Stock Files of Women in Bras which opened the internet up to showing me similar stuff – only to then have my GF walk in and ask “What the hell am I looking at?” – It made sense in the end, but she thought I was being very casual with porn. #Awkward

NOMINATION TIME.

Eeny Meeny Miny Moe I pick:

  • My main man Matt over here . . . HELLO
  • The splendidly lovely Issy Belle . . . BOOM
  • Directly picking Laura . . . CHECK IT
  • And newly acquainted Em Bumble . . . TA-DAH

Your challenge if you choose to accept it and my golly I hope you do. Is to answer these gems!


MY QUESTION.

  1. How have you found your Blogging journey so far?
  2. If you could host a meetup event for you and your blogger pals, what would you do and where?
  3. If you had all the skills in the world so anything was possible what else would you run a blog about?
  4. Imagine you have invented THE best new gadget that could help everyone, what is it and what does it do?
  5. You have the power to make one wish, it could be as big and world-changing or as little as matching your socks up. (Can’t wish for more wishes) What would you wish for?
  6. What is your blog origin story? What gamma radiation hiccup brought you to here?
  7. A mad man is holding the world hostage and the only way to stop him is for you to give up a sense (Touch, Sight, Smell, Taste or Hearing) which would you give up and why? (I know that is very implausible and silly, but we like silly)

 

Now off you pop, do the post, I can not wait to read these and get some more insight into who you really are. I am sure it’s all good.

And to finish off have a photo of me “Hulk Smashing” the pavement. Just cause really!

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Film Review: Kodachrome

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Kodachrome.

We’re all so frightened by time, the way it moves on and the way things disappear. That’s why we’re photographers. We’re preservationists by nature. We take pictures to stop time, to commit moments to eternity. Human nature made tangible.

Last night I found myself with an evening to myself. So after flicking through Netflix for what seemed like forever I stumbled upon this film. I remember seeing the trailer a while back and thinking “Oh that looks good”.

The film is about the troubled relationship between father and son, as they head across America to the only remaining place that can develop this specific photography film. – Which I am lead to believe is based on a true story, or at least the part about the photo shop having an influx of people as they stopped developing the film.

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It’s such a heartwarming bittersweet tale as we follow Matt (Jason Sudeikis) a music producer that is almost at the end of his rope within in his career and Ben (Ed Harris) his father, a world-famous photographer. Both actors hit their mark amazingly – it’s not a new role for Harris who has a list of talented roles under his belt, but it is refreshing to see Sudeikis take a step away from comedy and break into something with serious heart and drama.

Elizabeth Olsen supports the cast as Zooey, Ben’s carer who joins them for half of the journey. She is refreshing and of late I have started to really rate her (did you see Wild River).

The film had a strong “Into the Wild” feel to it, using similar techniques such as, a mix of amazing acting, moving story and subtle but undeniably fitting soundtrack of acoustic folk music. The whole package in my eyes.

Something like this shows we don’t need big action scenes, fire and car chases to entertain the senses. Strip it all back to basics and just run with a story and a handful of cast members. It works just as well.

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As the story goes on we learn more about the broken relationship between Father and Son, the hardships of adulthood and how life can change and develop (Camera Pun there. Sorry) without even noticing it. There is such a relatable tone to this movie that I still can not shift. It captivated me and did exact what “Into the Wild” did to me. And I am not too proud to hide the fact that by the end I was just laid there, tears in my eyes and emotionally lost for words.

The film ends as you would expect with this story, with the main characters looking at the photos that were the reason to drive across country. They didn’t know what was on the reel’s until this final scene which was captured so beautifully. Without going into too much detail ultimately that is the film – highlighting the fact that era’s and periods shift and change with the wind and the effects are with you forever.

If you looking for a really good feel-good film, or maybe you are just a bit lost and need some kind of therapeutic guidance this film is for you. Like I said I can’t stop thinking about it and I want to share it with as many people as I can. Go and watch it – you won’t be disappointed.

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Update: A Catch Up & Cuppa With Me.

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Happy Friday you beautiful bunch of lovely people. How was the week been treating you? I hope you are all well and there are very little grumbles to be had.

I realised I hadn’t posted since the 4th of May which can be read just here. . . “Who Puts the Bra in Equality” and before that was my ever so popular Avengers Non-Spoiler Review but it hit me I wont be achieving my May Goals, which is focusing on blog views, if I don’t have anything engaging and current to pull you over here.

So I have decided to drop this “Update” post to give you all an insight into what has been happening in the world of Ross. Pop the kettle on, get settled in and lets catch up.

Firstly at the start of the month I went on holiday a week in Benidorm, All Inclusive and SUN SUN SUN. I used this as an opportunity to switch off, put my phone in airplane mode and just recharge my cells and enjoy myself. We had a really good time and it was much-needed. Bit of drama on the way home with a couple of drunken Indian Play boys getting out of control and abusive to the cabin staff – resulting in the Plane being greeted at 2am by Armed Police. Welcome to England!

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Getting back into the swing of things with work was tough, like any normal person returning from a week of lounging by the pool, sipping beer and eating foreign ice creams, the Holiday Blues set in hard and I DID NOT want to be back here. But I got on with it and here we are.

So what is new!

While on holiday I started writing a story – I call it story for moment because there is no plan or understanding just yet of what it will become. It could be a Short, a Novel, heck I could get going and it become a Saga or Series. Who knows. I don’t want to say much about it just yet but what I will say is that I am finding it really fun and expressive to write. I used to write shorts and film scripts all the time at Uni but this is the first time in a long time I am trying something a little new. It all came about from one scene I had in mind and my process at the moment is just to write and see where it takes me. Aiming for that one scene. Not sure this is the best approach but I am sure once (or if) I get to the finished stage I can iron a lot of it out in the rewrite process. As well for the few people who are aware of my attempt to become the next Archer or King they have been very supportive, wanting to be kept updated with the process and even offering to proof read it. Which is amazing and so good to hear!

I have also been reading “Close your eyes” which is the latest thriller by Darren O’Sullivan. His first book “Our Little Secret” was an instant winner, a breathtaking, can’t put it down story that deserves your attention – I wrote a review on it a while back which is just HERE. I am a few chapters in on this new one and it is just as good if not better, I am so hooked already and can’t wait to see how this one unfolds.

Pin Ideas

Final thing I want to talk about is Merchandise. I want to get my brand off the ground, become something inspirational and I have decided that Merchandise is the way forward.

Looking at making designs and patterns that I can put on Mugs, Shirts and Badges. They are a lot of fun to make and can’t wait to see how far I can go and how it all turns out. I am even looking into building a high quality printer to make postcards and bookmarks at home.

 

Putting it all on paper this sounds like I’ve been really busy, hey what do you know.

But I can feel it will get busier. . . . OH I also started a Saving Scheme. But I think that might be the topic of another post because I have waffled enough here and people might be interested in a full post about saving money, rather than a random paragraph here.

So once again, as always, you dear readers – Thank you for everything, for your support and love. You are the reason I do this . . . and because it is fun. But mainly you.

 

Mwah!