Month: December 2015

New Years Changes

As almost every single post and Facebook status will say, new year new changes!
I have had such an incredible year – I have been living in Sydney and met some of the most incredible people I have known, I have travelled throughout Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the USA and then I came back home to my friends, got straight back into work, met even more new friends and have started to re-settle down again.

Although, I have had such a great year, I have also had quite a tough time running alongside too. I have been ‘diagnosed’ with Anxiety and I hate it. As you might have read from my previous posts about this, I never realised that I had it before, I thought that I was just a constant worrier and got overly-stressed over any little thing and it was normal. Things just got worse and worse, up to the point that I had to go to the doctors to ask about this and seek for help. You can read more about this in my previous blog posts.

But, moving back onto the subject of my New Years changes: I want to overcome my anxiety (it’s not as easy as it sounds) but I want to at least make some progress, learn to not worry as much about the littlest of things in life, not take comments to heart and not listen to what people think of me as a person (most of the time, they don’t think anything but I just assume – hey, anxiety for you!).

I have always been a strong person and I have felt myself drop in this, the last 6 months. I want to become a really strong person again and just rebuild myself and my confidence. I want to be able to control my thoughts and push back the thoughts that I don’t need to be worrying about.

I am hoping to have a fresh, new start and really get stuck into my career in the next year. I am planning on moving from home again, possibly get a part time job for the time being so that I can concentrate on learning new skills so that I can become more confident within the Web Development industry.

So, they are my goals for the year. They aren’t exactly the cliched ‘resolutions’ but these are my main goals and what is relevant to me: be happy, grow and develop my skills and become a stronger person.

What are your New Years Resolutions? Do different countries have different traditions for New Years? Let me know below!
Happy New Year to you all!
Zoe
xx

Advertisements

Sexism. Why is it seen as right?

You know what’s annoying me? People being sexist. Towards me, towards my friends, towards anyone.
I work in video game retail and I get comments or remarks about being a female. Sometimes they aren’t nasty comments or aren’t suppose to come across in a certain way, but they do.

‘Oh, you work in a video game store?’

‘It’s nice to see women working here, too’. – I know that this was meant as a good thing and almost a compliment as the customer said that seeing a female is more approachable and comfortable for her. I understand that completely, that’s great to hear but why should it even need to be said in the first place?  There should never even be that barrier or have to cross someone’s mind?

‘You play video games?’ – men will often ask you this, and seem very shocked at the fact that women actually play video games. This is the 21st century, it’s nothing new and there’s no rules on who can and can’t play! Or I even get the ‘I didn’t expect you to be a gamer’ or ‘I didnt think you looked like a gamer’ – why not? Why do I have to look a certain way to be able to play them? Do I even need to look a certain way? No. It’s just that sadly, that’s how society is wired to think half of the time!

The other thing that can be irritating, is that I work with the majority of men. So yes, we all have a joke and a laugh about each other but then there’s that line of what you can say to each other. I had the comment ‘Yes, I’m a male. I can do exactly what you do, and much much MUCH more..’ – and that really annoyed me. I know it wasn’t said seriously, it was part joke but the fact that someone even thinks that in the first place.. And this was said in front of several customers, which was really embarrassing for me. You could see the look on their faces too, some were slightly horrified at what was said and others just laughed it off as a joke. It shouldn’t be a joke in the first place.

In fact, I can do exactly what you do, no matter what and nothing is stopping me. Why should someone be seen as inferior just because of their gender? Or even whilst on the case, by someone’s race or sexuality? Oh, I’m smaller, lighter and maybe physically weaker than you? That doesn’t meant that I cannot do anything that you can.

It’s like, I use to do kickboxing years ago but still, men don’t really take you seriously if you say that to them. Why not? Women can be just as strong, there’s so many women that give the men a run for their money.

I am not usually someone that goes on and on about equality, sexism, how others are treated.. I usually keep it to myself, but recently I have had to vent about it. I do not stand for any crap from people, I will not let someone talk me down and treat me unfairly. If they do, yes it can upset me but I like to let them realise that they are in the wrong and should not treat others the same. They would not like it if it was them, people need to learn where the line is between joking and knocking people down.

Huge rant over! I just thought that some of you would appreciate this post and even have some experiences to share 🙂
Zoe
xx

Harry Potter Studio Tour!

That’s right.. I have finally been to the Harry Potter Studios and I had such an amazing day!
DSC05324
I went with my friend Stephen and we had such a blast – we went shopping around London first and headed straight to the Warner Brothers Studios for an incredible day! We firstly saw the Great Hall which was a lot smaller than anticipated and from what it looks like in the films but it was still mind-blowing and such a sight to see! They also decorated the whole studios for christmas time, so everything was wintery with snow, christmas food, tinsel..
IMG_5919
IMG_5924IMG_5928
I loved the amount of props and costumes that they had at the Studios, I’m not sure why but I just didn’t expect as many as they were so great to see in the flesh! I just had to take a photo of almost everything!IMG_5932IMG_5943
And that everyone, is the face of pure happiness, right there.IMG_5969
They had a lot of incredible, random and smaller props around the place and I think the Remeberall really took my fancy! I adore the Remeberall in the films and the book and wish that I could get my own real life one, as I forget so much!IMG_6071IMG_6003
We then hopped over into the second lot at the studios and they had the Hogwarts Express (which I believe is new to the studio tour possibly? Feel free to correct me!) but this was so great to have photos with and you could even go inside and see some replicas of the carriages from several different years throughout the films!DSC05376
And, it was so beautiful to photograph! They also had a really cute shop too with all Hogwarts Express merchandise in.DSC05380DSC0538712366242_10153343427577362_7029182352458995771_n
“You’ve got a bit of dirt on your nose, by the way. Did you know?”DSC05399DSC05400
One aspect of the tour that I absolutely fell for was all of the Graphic Design features by MinaLima. They produced all of the design work for all of the films, so this included stuff like packaging, event brochures and programmes, newspapers, advertisements..
As a Graphic Designer myself, I thought that this was incredible!DSC05403DSC05404DSC05407
I really, really enjoyed the concept side of the tour, also. They had a third building which was mainly based around concept art and construction of the elements from the films. This showed you how they created the hundreds of creatures, props, hair and make up and even the set design which was mind-blowing!DSC05455DSC05457
In the middle of the concept building, we came across Diagon Alley which had to be my utmost favourite part of the tour! And what made it even sweeter, was that a woman had a short trail, like a scavenger hunt but they were random photographs of her placed around the studios with bows on them. It turns out that the guy proposed to her by the Hogwarts Castle and it was just too cute and such a great idea for a proposal!DSC05492DSC05494
Back into the Concept area of the tour, they had so many prints, carbon drawings and sketches of different ideas that would go towards production. These came in all different shapes and sizes and was such a great insight for Creative minds, like myself.DSC05503DSC05506DSC05516DSC05529
We sadly got to the end of the tour, but they saved one of the best moments for last! The Hogwarts Castle, and what would make it any better? SNOW!
This was just so beautiful that I had to take photographs of it from almost every single angle!12369227_10153343427627362_8619539123356055109_n
Before we headed on outside to see some of the larger props and backgrounds, we decided to have a cheeky little stop for some Butterbeer (the drink) and Butterbeer ice cream and they are both beautiful! (The drink isn’t the same as the frozen one in Orlando which is incredible, but this one is still amazing too!)941023_10153343428017362_1268470466393593345_n12376557_10153343428302362_2175615712190441125_nThe props outside were mainly from the original three films and I wanted to take every single one home with me! Obviously, I had to get a cheeky photo opportunity with the majority of them, of course!DSC05533DSC05541DSC05544IMG_6046I know that I have put in around 10,000 photos into this one blog post, but I thought ‘who doesn’t want to see loads of photos from the Harry Potter studios, as it is so incredible?’
So that’s all I have for my Harry Potter Studios post for now – I would write more, but I feel like I have possibly shown you a little too much in photographs alone! But have any of you been here? Did you go here at christmas time? Let me know what you think!

Have a Happy New Year all,
Zoe
xx

Review: Girl Online On Tour by Zoe Sugg (Zoella)

Title: Girl Online: On Tour

Author: Zoe Sugg aka. Zoella

Purchase: Available in the UK and preorder for the US.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Great For: Young Adult

Themes: Travel, Romance, Friendship, Fame

Review: Here we go, the book that thousands of fans have been waiting for and it did not disappoint me either!
I had no idea what to expect when I read the first book released by Zoe Sugg (aka Zoella). Of course, I gave it a go and I was pleasantly surprised! I really enjoyed the book! I thought that it was aimed at a younger audience than me, but I still enjoyed it no matter what and I felt the same about the second book, too!

If you have read the first book, it is a teenage romance story which completely gripped me and I didn’t want to put it down!

So, I had no idea where the next book in the series was going to go, but I actually really enjoyed it and was surprised that there were so many possibilities for another storyline! I don’t want to say too much on here, but I would highly recommend reading this one, if you enjoyed the first or even start the both if you are a Zoella fan!

The characters, I really connected with. The locations, I wanted to be at.
I just really enjoyed this!

Check out my other book reviews:

The Trap by Alan Gibbons

Girl Online: Going Solo by Zoe Sugg (Zoella)

A Quiet Kind Of Thunder by Sara Barnard

The Movie Version by Emma Wunsch

 

Top 10 Things About Star Wars

As we are currently witnessing the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, what better idea than to write a few Star Wars related posts? Rootnotion have been seeking out some Star Wars fans to participate in their ‘Force Awakens Week’ where fans contribute blog posts on their love for the Star Wars Universe!

 

So, for my first Star Wars related post I have decided to go ahead with a simple…

‘Top 10 Things About Star Wars’ in no particular order:

 

  • The incredible and highly beautiful soundtrack, duh. The films would still be great anyway, but the soundtrack completely paints the film in another light! Even the sound effects, the ‘pews’ of the X-Wings, the elephant-trumpet inspired sounds for Tie Fighters and even the voices of characters really bring the film to life in my eyes! It has also been said that when George Lucas gave some of his close friends and other directors a preview of Episode VI: A New Hope before he had a soundtrack or sound effects, they were doubtful of it’s success and Speilberg was the only one to say that A New Hope had potential!

 

8e7122df-3be3-48c6-8b4b-61a776096d3e

  • The diversity of characters.The characters really knock the Star Wars Universe out of the park for me, or even ‘out of this world’ if I really want to go in with the puns..
    I have an older brother and always grew up collecting Star Wars figures and merchandise from a very young age. I was always fascinated by the many different species from the Star Wars Universe and how they were portrayed on screen.
    There’s no doubt that we all try to mimic Ewoks, Greedo and Jabba at some point in our lives..
    Lucas had clearly put a lot of hard work into the background of each and every one of his characters, from the Jawas that have to scavenge and make a living from nothing, to even Rancors and Mynocks!

 

letoltes

  • The twists and turns within the plot lines.
    There’s no denying that I still go ‘OOOH’ and ‘OHHH’ at some scenes (mainly from the original trilogy) no matter how many hundreds of times that I have seen them! The storylines and twists are just TOO GOOD!

 

  • The fan base and events.
    A huge world had opened up to fans around the globe and it has seemed to bring one massive community together to appreciate their love of Star Wars. From events like ComicCon, Star Wars Weekends, Star Wars Celebration to even fans taking up the art and combat that lightsabers hold like Ludosport and even seeking Jediism as a religion.

 

Star-Wars-The-Force-Awakens-poster

  • That the Star Wars Universe is expanding on screen, yet again!
    Do I love Star Wars? Yes. Did I love the first trilogy? Definitely. The second trilogy? Not as much, but I have plenty of time for the foreseeable future!
    I did honestly get a little bit nervous when I heard that Disney were going to have a huge, huge part in this but yet again, Disney always like to go above and beyond – and they market and merchandise their products so so well! Even if it is a flop (which I highly doubt), it still means that we get our fix of new Star Wars material. I simply cannot wait now!

 

  • The return of the original cast.
    As I was going to start mentioning in my last point, but restrained myself for this one – original cast. Oh, I was over the moon when I heard that the original cast were returning for the upcoming films. I could not believe it. I personally did not expect Hamill, Fisher and Ford to all come together for this – I only expected 2 out of 3, as it never really seems to work that way for most things, but my oh my, the feeling was incredible and still is, especially when I see Han Solo and Chewie at the very end of the trailer!
    I feel very lucky to have actually seen Mark Hamill in person at Disney’s Star Wars Weekends last year too as it was pretty soon after the announcement. I have a great feeling about the cast returning and I am pretty sure that it is not going to disappoint in the slightest!

 

Disney-Infinity-Kylo-Ren

  • The Star Wars Universe expansions.
    From the books, to comics and even to other ranges like Disney Infinity..
    There is no doubting the Star Wars Universe, it is always going to be brilliant no matter what – even if it isn’t as strong as others.
    Although the Universe is full of several hundreds of story-lines and plots, I do like that The Force Awakens has been based around some events and characters, but it still remains quite a mystery to the audience on what it is actually going to involve and is going to remain a surprise (no spoiling my predictions!).
    I am also loving how Disney have incorporated Star Wars into Disney Infinity by releasing three different play sets (only Rise Against The Empire and Twilight Of The Republic so far until The Force Awakens is released).

 

  • Merchandise.
    The incredible amounts of incredible merchandise that do incredible things to my mind and eye sockets. Stormtrooper cookie jar? Yup, thanks. FX Lightsaber? Of course. A 7-Foot Darth Maul statue? You’ve got it! A real life, Endor? I wish! The variety of merchandise is non stop. From toasters that will toast Darth Vader’s face onto your bread, to the Sticky Tongued Jar-Jar Binks heads that you use to get from collecting crisp packets and lunch boxes to think and know that you were clearly the coolest child in your entire school – why would you not want more and more Star Wars Merchandise? It’s not going to stop. It never stopped after the first trilogy, I believe that they did not make any Millennium Falcon sets until The Empire Strikes Back came out and now we’re onto a new era of merchandise yet again! Make way for BB-8! What else do I want, other than my very own Sphero BB-8 Remote Droid?!

 

  • Conspiracies.
    Greed shot first. Han shot first. Han has used the force.
    I love the fact that people are still analysing all of the Star Wars movies bit by bit, whether it’s finding a mistake within the footage or finding a flaw of the physics or even conspiracies to whether the footage works along side the storyline.

 

3708458-star_wars_legends_image_626

  • The Imagination of every aspect possible.
    The concept art and ideas for each individual planet, vehicle, character and the in-depth detail that has been put into every aspect is just mind-blowing. I have a passion for animation/illustration and using my imagination to the fullest, so being able to see the creation of the Star Wars Universe through concept art, behind the scenes footage and documentaries still blows me away. I believe that I will never know half of the back stories that have gone into Star Wars and I think that this amount of detail has brought the franchise to even more success than before.

So there you go! my personal Top 10 Things About Star Wars for you all!

It was pretty difficult to pin down these points and there are so many more, but I would love to hear what you all think and what your Top 10 Things About Star Wars are.

May The Force Be With You.
Zoe.

I did a Skydive!

When I was in Queenstown, I finally bucked up the courage to do a skydive with NZONE Skydive and I loved every single second of it!
After doing the Shot-Over Canyon Swing (which was pretty scary), I didn’t even feel scared to do a Skydive anymore! So off I went, all confident to the Skydive place.
They picked us up from their office in Queenstown and drove us out. I could see that some of the girls were getting a bit nervous, but I was still loving it even when I was having a recorded interview which you will see in my video!

Even when I was in the plane (which has no seats, so you sit on the floor) I was still too excited although I could see us eventually reaching 12,000ft!
I was the last one to jump out, and that was the bit I was a little nervous about but it was over before you could even blink and didn’t feel like you were falling at all!
They don’t mess about here either, well we didn’t get anyone that messed about – we simply went to the edge, ‘Are you ready?’ and out you were!

As we were free-falling, or just falling in general the whole time, it didn’t feel like you were – it weirdly felt like you were floating as all of the wind is pushing against you. Although, I must say that I got a little freaked out as I thought I couldn’t breathe from all of the air in my face. I thought to myself ‘It’s fine, you can breathe, it will go in..’ but I really felt like it wasn’t, so I felt a bit relieved when he pulled the parachute out and I could breathe again – but I was still loving every second of free-falling!

I had an amazing diver too, who was pointing out all of the mountains and everything else you could see in Queenstown from our incredible view. It was a bit cloudy on the day, but after we fell through the clouds (when the camera stopped – the camera diver had to fall faster than us to get to the ground first) we could see all of the snowy mountains and lakes, it was truly incredible!

You can see my video of the skydive HERE.

Here are a few photos:
IMG_2113   NZON_NZQT_2015_08_01_C1024_2880 NZON_NZQT_2015_08_01_C1024_2883 NZON_NZQT_2015_08_01_C1024_2886 NZON_NZQT_2015_08_01_C1024_2887 NZON_NZQT_2015_08_01_C1024_2898 NZON_NZQT_2015_08_01_C1024_2899 NZON_NZQT_2015_08_01_C1024_2903
IMG_2115

Here is the link to the skydive place: NZone Skydive
L
ink to my YouTube Video: HERE
xx

Skiing at Cardrona

Getting back onto the travelling post, catch ups..

Whilst I was still in Queenstown, I decided to go skiing for the first time in my life! I have always wanted to try it, so I booked to have a lesson and it was so much fun!

Cardrona was such a beautiful place and made me feel all christmassy, although I did get a tiny bit sunburnt from the snow reflecting the sun!
The lessons were 3 hours each, and we had two of them. We learnt how to stop, put on our skiis, how to navigate, how to climb up a hill..

Eventually, we went up the small magic carpet (not the ski lift, this day) and got the chance to go down some steeper hills.
To be honest, I am not that good and not too confident whilst throwing myself down the hills haha but with some practice I will get better and a lot more confident!

The only downside to skiing is that the boots are SO PAINFUL! I came home from skiing with a long ling of blisters going across my right ankle which was pretty disgusting and very painful haha but it was definitely worth it!

Here are a few photos, and a link to the video when Mandy caught me falling over whilst going down a hill!
xx
DSC00439 DSC00441 DSC00448

DCIM100GOPROGOPR2930.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR2930.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR2944.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR2944.

IMG_2057  IMG_2070 IMG_2071