Strange times… things to do in isolation

What strange times we are living in right now. The last time I dusted off my laptop and wrote anything on this blog, life was normal and now, now we’re living in what feels like a movie and all anyone can talk about is the virus.

Currently the UK is on lockdown. No one is allowed to leave their houses apart from getting necessities (food and medicine), getting necessities for a vulnerable person, going to work (if absolutely essential) and we’re permitted one walk a day for exercise. It’s like some sort of dystopian future where people are dying in their thousands while everyone else is fighting over toilet roll and hand sanitiser, except it’s not the future. This is now.

It’s my birthday next week. We had planned a getaway to Amsterdam but now it looks like I’ll be settling for a takeaway indoors (if restaurants are still allowed to offer takeaway services by then! Things are changing so fast!). I’m sure it will be memorable, if not a little boring considering what we had planned, but then things could be a whole lot worse, so right now I am grateful for what I do have.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

I myself have been on lockdown since Wednesday. I work with animals now (I had a whole big career change last summer) so obviously someone had to go in and take care of the animals, but now I’ve been told to stay away until further notice. Don’t worry though, my colleagues that are still working will take good care of the animals.

My husband is a Graphic Designer so at the moment (and for the last 2 weeks) he has been working from home, which means I’m pretty much left to my own devices during the day.

So here I’ve compiled a list of things to do in isolation.

1. Take an online course

I happened upon Centre of Excellence who are offering all courses for £29 each until the end of March using the code LEARNATHOME. I’ve chosen to do a course in Feline Behaviour and Psychology as it will be something I can add to my CV and will help me at work when I eventually go back. I am quite intrigued by a couple of other courses so I may purchase more.

2. Get creative

My weapon of choice is my ipad pro. I used to be a very creative child but lost that spark as I got older, however I’ve just got back into doodling again and have set up a new instagram account if you fancy a follow.

I use the Procreate ipad app to create my drawings and they’ve just launched a little treat – the Procreate Care Pack – which includes some limited edition brushes, a 2 month free trial of skillshare and a list of artwork prompts to create a bit of an online community in these stressful times.

3. Play games

My husband downloaded The Sims 4 for me onto his Playstation. I haven’t played that game since I had The Sims 2 on PC! I know I’m probably far too old to be playing that but it’s a nice little bit of escapism. And let’s be honest, they’re the only ones allowed out right now haha.

4. “Marie Kondo” my house

I am in the process of buying a house. I won’t bore you with the whole saga of it but now is the perfect opportunity for me to have a good clear out ready for when we do eventually start packing and moving. I spent a couple of hours sorting out just ONE DRAWER the other day but the way I see it is, that will save me time in the future when I will hopefully have better things to be doing.

5. Watch tv

I’m trying to avoid the news for good reason but lately I’ve been enjoying Neighbours (Neighbours End Game was fantastic!). I’ve also found a new guilty pleasure in The Best House in Town on BBC2 – a bit of interior design inspiration! Netflix has also been a saviour with season 12 of Ru Paul’s Drag Race having begun, plus we watched Harlan Coben’s The Stranger and Safe. We’ve also started rewatching Come Fly with Me because it’s funny and silly escapism. Oh and Friday Night Dinner starts again on C4 tonight! yay!

6. Talk to people

Check in on people. We live in an age where there’s no excuse not to pick up the phone. I rang my Nan the other day as she’s isolating on her own and doesn’t have the internet. There’s Whatsapp and Facetime etc etc. Stay connected.

7. Use social media wisely

I’ve had to distance myself from Twitter a little but at the moment I am enjoying creating Pinterest boards full of interior design inspiration. Moving house and decorating will be a fun, albeit stressful, thing to look forward to once things return to a relative normality so excuse me while I get excited about wallpapers and lampshades!

Well I think I’ve rambled enough now. Stay safe, stay sane and stay at home!

Photo by BRUNO CERVERA on Unsplash

2017 Resolutions… How did I do?

Hiya!

I’ve been rubbish at blogging again haven’t I? Oh well, maybe I’ll try better next year?! LOL.

I thought it would be interesting to revisit my 2017 New Years Resolutions and see how I fared. And you know what, I did much better than I would have thought!

So, what were they?

1. Follow a passion and learn something new – I mentioned that I was doing a distance learning course. Well I am still doing the course. It’s taking ages but I’m almost there and not to blow my own trumpet but I’ve done really well at it! It’s for a diploma in zoo animal care, behaviour and welfare – something totally different to my day job but I’ve always had an interest in the animal kingdom so perhaps a future career change?! Who knows! It might not amount to anything but at least I’ve given it a go.

2. Reignite my creative spark – This was semi successful. Me and my husband enrolled in a local art class that lasted from February until July. It was great to get out of the house for a couple of hours on a Monday evening and experiment with paint and pencils etc. However the subject matter (imaginary spheres?!?) got quite tedious. I did come away with quite a nice drawing of a giraffe so I guess that’s something right?

3. Look after my mental well-being – Hmm. Not sure what to say about this one. I guess anxiety is one of those things that’s with me for life, it’s just down to whether I control it or it controls me. More on this shortly.

4. Be more conscientious – The big focus here was cruelty-free cosmetics and toiletries which I’ve stuck to. With all this recent news of plastics choking our oceans, my next focus will be to try and cut down my use of plastics – starting by using the rather pretty Chilly’s water bottle my hubby bought me instead of using plastic water bottles.

5. Do more volunteer work – The best thing I did in 2017 was volunteer at a wildlife rescue centre in Costa Rica. If you want to read about it then check out my post A girl’s guide to volunteering in Costa Rica. Coinciding with my interests in all things zoological, I ended up volunteering at two other places in the UK, unfortunately though on top of my day job and life in general it all got a bit too much and I burnt out, so at present I am not doing any volunteer work but I’m sure I will again when the time is right.

Volunteering in Costa Rica - caring for howler monkeys among other animals.
Chew with your mouth closed! – Me in with the Howler Monkeys

So what about 2018?

I am making one resolution for 2018 – to try and be more positive.

I’ve been in quite a negative place this past year and I wasn’t alone. Unfortunately negativity breeds negativity so I need to try and distance myself from bad vibes and attempt to keep my head above water. This all goes back to my mental well-being point above. I have a few ideas so watch this space and wish me luck!


How did you do with your 2017 resolutions? And are you making any for 2018? Leave me a comment below x

Summer favourites

July and August have been a whirlwind of fun, so much so that I didn’t get round to writing my July favourites, so here is a delightful combo of the two.

What have I been loving this summer?

summer favourites

Friends, Family and Fun!

I’ve been a busy and sociable bee this summer with barbecues, various meals with friends and family, a wedding, a hen party, a couple of gigs (Stereophonics and Craig David if you’re interested) and afternoon tea! There have also been nights out with work friends, days out with the hubby, geocaching, punting, oh and I dressed up as Michael Jackson for July 4th. As you do.

Michael Jackson fancy dress

ZSL x Oasis collaboration

I am loving Oasis right now and they’ve only gone and collaborated with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) on a range of clothes called ‘The Wildest Dream‘. I popped into Oasis one lunchtime and treated myself to this beautiful t-shirt but I’ve been lusting after a load more of the items on their website.

ZSL Indiana Print Tee from Oasis

Russell Brand’s Radio X Podcast

I know Russell is a bit like Marmite – you either love him or can’t stand him. I personally have always found him an interesting character and despite his past notoriety on the radio, I really like this Radio X version of him. I also enjoy his co-hosts Matt Morgan and Mr G who happily mock Russell and his eccentricities. This podcast has got me through many a boring day at work! If you fancy a listen you can find it here.

My instagram

Did you notice? You probably didn’t… but anyway, I curated my instagram into a rainbow. No reason behind it, just a fun little experiment and a way for me to share some of my old (and more recent) travel photos. It didn’t gain me masses of followers but I’m kind of sick of all the follow/unfollow rubbish people seem to do on there.

QuirkyLittlePlanet - Rainbow instagram page

Oh hey if you wanna follow me I’m right here

How about you? How has your summer been?

12 things I love about America

things i love about america

Happy July 4th to all my readers across the pond. This post is dedicated to you.

Things I love about America

1. TV shows

You gave us Friends, Pretty Little Liars, The Walking Dead, The Big Bang Theory, Catfish, Sex and the City, The Simpsons – have I said enough?

2. Junk Food

I’m quite literally like a kid in a candy store (or sweet shop as we say in England). America has about 52864 flavours of M&Ms and Pop Tarts, we have about 3 of each and if we want anything else then we practically have to take out a bank load to afford them.

Ok, there might be a few exaggerations above, but still, you get my point.

M&M World Las Vegas
M&M World Las Vegas

3. The Celebrations

You guys go all out. Or at least thats what the movies lead us to believe. Halloween looks like so much fun with everyone dressed up and I’m a total sucker for the cosy Christmases and holiday spirit you guys bring.

4. Orlando

Disney, Universal, the amazing villas… the sheer excitement of it all. Orlando – you turned me into a theme park snob with your awesomeness! Plus we got engaged here, so it will always have a special place in my heart.

Castle at the Magic Kingdom

5. Las Vegas

Basically Orlando for adults. Vegas gave me the same kind of buzz too. Big, bold, brash – but I love it! We even have goals to renew our wedding vows there one day.

The giant slot machine at Ballys Las Vegas
Next to the giant slot machine at Ballys

6. Warner Bros Studio Tour Hollywood

I love, love, loved this place! I got to see the streets where they filmed Pretty Little Liars, tons of props from the Batman and Harry Potter movies, I saw the working set of The Big Bang Theory, got to hold an Oscar (they are heavy!) AND sit on THE Friends sofa in Central Perk!!!

You can sit on the Friends sofa at Warner Bros Studio Tour Hollywood

7. This

Marshmallow madness - no more picking cereal out of your marshmallows
Marshmallow madness – no more picking cereal out of your marshmallows

8. Breakfast cereal

Hell yeah Fruit Loops, Lucky Charms and Apple Jacks where I don’t have to pay £8 for a box!

Lucky Charms breakfast cereal
The breakfast of kings

9. Shopping

I did, like most people, indulge in a bit of shopping when I visited New York. But I’m telling you, you can get everything in America. Every nice thing I find on Pinterest is from the USA and when I was into jewellery making a few years ago, all the stuff I wanted came from the States. Which leads me to…

10. Hot Topic

I went there for the first time in Los Angeles and loved it, especially the Disney aisle. I bought myself a Cinderella inspired dress which I wore to a Christmas party. I got so many compliments on it. Which brings me on to…

Cinderella dress from Hot Topic

11. Disney

I grew up on a diet of Disney. I remember my parents taking me and my brother to the cinema to see The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King – I even had The Lion King soundtrack! Those movies are timeless.

Meeting Beauty and the Beast at Epcot
Somewhere between a beauty and a beast…

12. Pop culture

Movies, music, movies, music. In fact, this July 4th we’ll be having an American themed fancy dress day in my office and I’ve decided to go as one of the most famous American pop culture icons of all time – The King of Pop!

Happy 4th July y’all! Check out my USA Pinterest board

 

June Favourites

June favourites

Wahey! I managed to write a June favourites post!

Word of warning: If you’re a Pretty Little Liars fan and you haven’t watched the finale, don’t read past number 4. If not, read on and leave me a little comment 🙂

1. 5k Colour Run

This is a big deal for me. I’ve never done a charity run before, but as I won the “Most colourful dress sense” award at my office Christmas party, I had to justify it by taking part in a Colour Run. I didn’t actually run the whole 5k but I, together with hubby and some of my work friends, completed it and we got medals at the end. We also raised over £800 for charity!

KM Colour Run

Rolling in pink powder on the colour run

 

2. This funny audio

Listen to this. Can you guess what it is? We recorded this audio on a day out recently.

 

3. Ben de Lisi travel themed bedsheets

We fancied a little refresh in the bedroom (ooh la la!) so treated ourselves to some new bedsheets (does that make me old now?). These awesome Ben de Lisi ones are from Debenhams. They’re bright, fun, match our bedroom decor and our personalities AND they’re TRAVEL THEMED! Win all round!

Ben de Lisi Travel themed bedding

 

4. Pretty Little Liars

OMG I can’t believe it’s all over.

There have been plenty of mixed feelings about the finale. I personally wasn’t too disappointed because I actually believed that the liars were all going to wake up in the barn where it all began and the whole thing was going to be “just a dream”, so I’m happy they didn’t pull that shit on us.

I do think the show could have ended with the girls stood in the square instead of the whole weird Mona in France bit and then the pointless part with Addison and her little friends. No one cares about Addison!! Mona is a pretty awesome character though, still can’t figure her out.

I also still have ALOT of questions like – Where was Mike? Where was Jason? Who killed Maya and why? And why was her niece randomly at the rehearsal? So Alex just killed Wren and turned him into a diamond?! What was the weird scene at the start with Jenna on a horse and Lucas tap dancing all about? How did they go from Toby talking about the book “Spencer” gave him to them deciding that she MUST have an evil twin, all in the space of about 30 seconds? And more to the point – what the hell kind of British accent was that?!

My mind is still boggling at it all. And now it makes me want to go back to the Warner Bros Studio Tour in Los Angeles because it was AMAZING and I didn’t soak in enough PLL when I went.

Sigh.

Did you watch Pretty Little Liars? What did you think? 

Until next time, bitches – H