20 Years of the Boy Who Lived

It is said that there are two certainties in life: Death, and Taxes- well I hate to disagree with whoever said it first , but they missed one thing off that list! You see, in my life there are actually three certainties: Death, taxes, and my love for Harry Potter. 
As you read this I am probably standing at the entrance to Diagon Alley (FYI I'm in Florida, I'm not deluded) with tears of joy streaming down my face. My Ravenclaw scarf is wrapped around my neck- despite the fact it's 34degrees here-and I'm grasping a mug of ice cold Butterbeer in my hand. And dear readers, I am pretty certain that I have never been happier. 

I know some of you are probably thinking that it's really strange that an *almost* 30 year old woman is still such a big fan of the Boy Who Lived, but you see, we grew up together! The first book- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone- was released almost 20 years ago, just 8 days before my 10th birthday, and you don't just turn your back on a 20 year relationship (unless it's toxic, always walk away from toxic)!

To celebrate the 20th anniversary I thought I would share my favourite Harry Potter related things with you:

Favourite Book: 
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The fourth book was the first I queued up at midnight for. I bought it and then read it twice, in about a week (I didn't sleep much)! This for me is where the series really got good, it's just a shame the movie was such a let down. 

Favourite Movie: 
The Prisoner of Azkaban. It's the movie that stays truest to the books. It's also the movie where we get to see Hermione punch Malfoy- and that's enough for me :-). 

Favourite Moment from The Philosopher's Stone:
"The lake froze solid and the Weasley twins were punished for bewitching several snowballs so that they followed Quirrell around, bouncing off the back of his turban." The two biggest pranksters in the universe spent an entire winter whacking Voldermort in the face with snowballs...this gives me endless joy. 

Favourite Harry Potter add-on:
I'm going to cheat here and say pretty much everything that I've ever received in my Geek Gear World of Wizardry* subscription box. Every month I receive prints, exclusive merch, a t-shirt, and sometimes even wands. I'm fast running out of space but I've never let that stop me before. I'm also a huge fan of the books by Jody Revenson- each of which is like a Harry Potter compendium, from the Character Vault to Magical Places from the Films. 

My very own key to my very own vault at Gringotts :-O

I could go on and on for ages about all the things I love about the series, and the universe that was borne from it but I have a broomstick flying lesson at 12 (again, I'm not deluded I'm at Wizarding World Orlando)! 

So I'm going to leave you with the link to pre-order the 20th Anniversary edition of The Philosopher's Stone- I'm getting mine in Ravenclaw blue, of course (here), and this pretty cool infographic, created to celebrate the anniversary on June 26th, by the folks at Cartridge Save.  Oh and a few more photos of my collection! 

I'd love to know what your favourite Harry Potter things are, or if heaven forbid you're not a fan then I'd love to know what does make you happy? Will you be celebrating the Boy Who Lived's 20th Anniversary? Let me know in the comments. And if you're feeling up to it you can check out my previous Harry posts here and here

Disclaimer: This post is a collaboration 

When Love Turns to Hate

Confession: I am an inconsistent blogger. I always have been and that is my cross to bear (I'll never be a full time blogger with this schedule haha). This year, however, I decided to do better-and I really tried-I nailed January and early February, but then I flared. For about 6-7 weeks I had absolutely no energy. I couldn't hold a book up long enough to read it, I barely tweeted in case it started a conversation that I knew I couldn't hold, I abandoned Instagram (tbf they abandoned us first) because I had no pictures left in my bank and the thought of taking more made me physically sick, and if I'm honest I don't actually remember turning my laptop on during that time. I was a broken toy. 
You've heard of the Spoon Theory, right? Well for that month and a half I probably had about 3 spoons a day, and they were all used up getting to, being at, and getting home from work. There were actually a couple of days there where my energy surged and I immediately grabbed for my notebook-but between the pain and the fibro fog, everything I wrote read like garbage. So I stopped trying! 

Somewhere around the beginning of April I began to wonder if I actually missed blogging? Would I be perfectly happy if I never updated the blog again? I genuinely considered shutting it all down, but then I realised- I love writing on the internet, I love reading other blogs, and I love a fair few bloggers. What I don't love is the pressure, the sameness, and the almost constant drama that flits around our little "community". So I'm shaking it off! 
I will no longer pressure myself to be like other bloggers, I will not feel bad for taking a break, sometimes I'll have to that's life, and I will no longer write posts just because they are expected of me (as a lifestyle blogger). 

I want to write about my conditions, about sexual assault, about politics, and feminism, about the people who inspire me, about people I fancy *cough Kristen Stewart cough*, about the things that make me tick. I want to share my experiences, be they travel, days out, or medical procedures. I want this blog to be full of me-all of me, and my life. Right now I feel it could have been written by literally anybody. 
If I'm honest this is what I've always wanted but somehow I got distracted by being a blogger. I adapted my posts to fit in with what other bloggers were writing, I wanted to be just like them, I bought into the lifestyle and for a while I loved it-and don't get me wrong I do still love being a blogger. I love the cliches, I love the events, and the chats, and the people, but I've grown to hate my own blog. What should be my favourite place on the internet has become a place I resent- and I'm not okay with that, so I'm taking back control. 

Wish me luck, and while I'm finding my feet please do me a favour and check out all my favourite "bloggers who write with every part of themselves": Tara, Fiona, Sarah, Grace and Tamsin.

Date Night Jewellery- A Glimpse at my Personal Collection

We all have our favourite pieces of jewellery right? Be it the necklace we've had forever, or the ring that belonged to your great-granny, or even just that cool bracelet you picked up in that quirky wee store that one time. 
The problem with favourites is that I find myself saving them for special occasions-like weddings or important dates- which means they don't get the love the deserve. So this year, inspired by a lovely gift from The Lifestyle Blogger UK I have decided to dig out some of my favourite pieces for, a not quite as special as a wedding but still pretty special, date night. 

Damian very kindly surprised me with front row seat tickets to see Curtis Stigers on the 17th and I've honesty never been more excited for date night! So in honour of two of my favourite men I put together my perfect date night jewellery collection:

This beautiful bracelet* from The Lifestyle Blogger looks great in my collection. I was going to feature this in a Valentine's post (but I got ill so that didn't happen) because I think the little hearts just scream LOVE and ROMANCE. The fact this beauty is in Rose Gold makes it my new favourite bracelet. Sidebar I was a little worried that this bracelet would irritate my skin because I have no idea what materials are in it, but so far so good-no irritation or discolouration at all so that's a win.

This cross necklace has been one of my favourites for over a decade and it still looks as good today as the day I got it. It is the perfect size for me and for date night. I don't like wearing large crosses on special occasions because I also wear my memorial necklace for our little boy and I don't like to detract attention from that, and anything too small just disappears into cleavage crevice, never to be seen again. This bad boy sits perfectly and catches the light, If date night jewellery should do anything, it should sparkle!

Don't these two go so well together?? I only got this watch for Christmas but it's already one of my favourite pieces. Olivia Burton is a watch genius, her designs are all so pretty, and no matter the size they somehow maintain a delicateness which I love-also Rose Gold and light purple may be my favourite colour combo ever! And this ring, oh my God I adore this ring. The sad thing is I think I stole this off my big sister years and years ago, and all through writing this post I am praying she doesn't ask for it back *haha*. I love the design of the ring because it's kind of high-class art deco, and yet kind of natural mother of the earth bohemian all at the same time-and I mean that basically describes me so...yeah favourite ring (excluding my wedding ring of course-but I can't even get that bugger off my finger so I don't have to dig that out lol). 

So now I've figured out my jewellery for the night I just have to decide what to wear..thank God the gig isn't for another 12days!! 

Do you guys have a favourite piece in your collection? I'd love to hear about it in the comments OR even see it if you want to Tweet me :-). 

Disclaimer: this post contains PR samples which are clearly marked with an asterix *. The origin of a product for review does in no way affect my opinion. 

These Wingz were Made to Fly

So, recently I was contacted by the the lovely Sarah and asked if I would like to feature Wingz* on the blog, and i'll be honest, I jumped at the chance! I'd been interested in the product ever since Fiona tried them out, but with saving for Florida I kept not buying myself things that I really liked! 

Anyway I happily accepted the offer and got excited about trying this interesting new item, but then the apprehension kicked in, not about the product itself but more how I would write about them in a way that was authentic to me. You see exactly a year ago yesterday I wrote this post, a post about how finally at the age of 29 I had finally learned to love the body I'm in, but here I was accepting a product that was-in my mind-the perfect thing to hide one of my flaws. 
After a lot of thinking about it I realised I was beating myself up over nothing! Nobody can be completely in love with their body, all of the time, it is possible to love your body and dislike a part of it-we are human, we are not infallible, we are fickle and flighty, and multi-faceted...and that's just another thing to love about us. So there you have it, I love my body, but I hate my arms. 

Mostly I hate the skin on my arms, it's dry and flaky, and a little scaly. Some parts are red and inflamed, others are dark and discoloured...basically it's just a damn mess, and I like to cover it up (for my own sake mind, I don't really care how other people react to my skin- I just care how my skin reacts to air, and how I react to it) and Wingz are perfect for doing just that. 

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