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Thursday, 15 March 2018

I can't even think of a title...

Okay, so this has been a really difficult post to even consider writing. I have been trying to work myself up for weeks, months even, to at least attempt to write it up but it's been so tough. I'm typing this now and I'm not even sure if I am going to post it in the end. But here goes! If you are a regular reader of my blog or you follow me on social media, you'll have either read that I've been going through some tough times so far this year, or that I have been struggling to maintain regular activity online. I have only managed to post 10 times over these last few months and in some of these posts, I mentioned that I've been dealing with 'family problems', and I know that this has been really vague. It was much easier to 'round up' the things that I've been going through as family problems: 1) because they are relating to my family members and I don't feel like it would be fair to talk about their personal lives on my blog without their permission, & 2) because for something's, it has been too much of a challenge to write them down. By doing so, I would be triggering myself and bringing up emotions/feelings that I was already constantly struggling with, which was the opposite of what I wanted to do when I was blogging or online in general. I wanted the internet to be my escape, my respite from what was going on in my everyday life. So I avoided talking about what was going on.

However, I feel like now might be a good time to open up about the thing that has caused me the most heartache and stress, because I feel like I am finally mentally ready to talk about it. I know that there are lots of people out there who have gone through similar things and also others who like me might have been keeping their feelings and emotions bottled up or hidden in some way, so me writing about it could be helpful to them. I'm hoping it will be helpful for my own wellbeing to write it down too. I don't have any idea how the rest of this post is going to pan out, but I feel like now would be an appropriate time to include a content warning, just in case the subject is going to be triggering to some of those reading it. In the rest of today's post, I am going to be talking about cancer, and about my personal experiences of dealing with someone I love going through it. 

At the beginning of December 2017, my mom sat me, my dad and some of my siblings down and told us she had to tell us something. I wasn't sure what to expect but I really wasn't prepared for what she did tell us. My mom has been poorly for a long time, she is a fellow spoonie and has several chronic health conditions, but on top of those, for quite some time she had been experiencing other symptoms that were causing her a lot of pain and discomfort. In the second half of last year, she had finally gone to see a doctor about these symptoms and had to undergo various tests to find out why she was suffering from them. After having an endoscopy test, which involves a long, thin tube with a camera on the end being inserted down your throat and into your stomach, it was discovered that my mom had stomach ulcers as well as the presence of telangiectasia (also known as spider veins). It is a routine procedure that whenever you have an endoscopy test, like when I had my colonoscopy tests when I was being diagnosed with IBS,  that they take biopsies of whatever area they are examining. So my mom had biopsies (basically taking a small sample of tissue from your body) done and at the end of November, we were waiting on the results to come back on these tissue samples. 

And so it was a very hard time for us all when these test results came back to reveal that cancerous cells had been found in my mom's stomach. I couldn't quite believe what I had been told, the words seemed to blur in my mind. I couldn't process them for quite a few days and I essentially experienced a state of dissociation for a while. It wasn't until I spoke to one of my best friends about it around five days later that it really became real for me. Then like I do with most things, I coped with it by looking at what I'd been told in a scientific way. I already had a good knowledge of cancer from my studies at university and I am very interested in medical science so I had read quite a bit on the subject. And even though it may seem like I was detaching myself from the situation by thinking about it in this matter-of-fact kind of way, it was actually really helpful for me and it is how I coped with what was happening. This is also the way I cope with my own mental and physical health conditions too. It didn't mean that it was any less hard for me to deal with, but it just made me feel less panicky when I got upset about everything. 

After we were first told about the presence of cancerous cells, we discovered from further tests that my mom had stage 3 cancer, which means she had a tumour in her stomach and that cancerous cells were also present in the surrounding lymph nodes. These are glands around your body that make up the lymphatic system, which is a very important part of your immune system. For example, we have lymph glands in our throat which swell when we are ill with a cold. Very soon after we learnt this, my mom had to start chemotherapy. 

Chemotherapy is a very tough treatment to watch a loved one go through. It is a very strong medication that's job is to kill the cancer cells, but at the same time it destroys other cells in your body that are healthy and this can cause all sorts of symptoms for the patient. This is why the majority of people having chemotherapy treatment lose their hair and also experience painful skin conditions. Your immune system is very much affected by chemo too so you can get seriously ill from something like a flu or stomach bug. There are several types of chemotherapy, the most common involves the medication being given to the patient via an intravenous infusion (a tube called a cannula, which is connected to a vein in your hand, neck or chest), or through tablets. My mom's treatment included a mixture of the two types of chemotherapy. 

After several months of being on chemotherapy, my mom became very sick and had to be taken to hospital. She had gastroenteritis and also her chemotherapy has having an adverse effect on her body, and so she had to be treated in hospital for a few days. It was decided that my mom would be taken off the chemo early and be put forward immediately for her operation. We found out that the chemotherapy had still actually helped so that was wonderful news! 

Yesterday, my mom was admitted into hospital in preparation for her surgery, which is happening today. It is a very major surgery, because it involves removing almost her entire stomach (around two thirds) and all of the local lymph nodes. She will be in hospital for at least the next two weeks and it can take up to whole year to recover completely. I don't really know what else to say, other than I am feeling very stressed waiting to hear news from the hospital. I just wanted to get out everything that I've been holding in for the last four months. I hope this post is helpful to anyone who is going through the same thing right now. Thankyou to everyone who has still been reading my blog and chatting to me on social media, even though I've been very distant and haven't been spending much time online. It means so much to me, more than words can say ♥ 


Monday, 5 March 2018

Pusheen Box Winter Edition | Review

Hey lovelies! How is it already March!? Seriously though, January felt like it lasted for several months and then suddenly we are three months into the year! Time is flying by lately for me and it feels like I don't have enough time to get things done! Is anyone else feeling the same? It's not all bad though because it means that Spring will be upon us before we know it, and we'll have more sunshine, longer days (a big yay for extra blog photography time!) and ALL THE FLOWERS! I can't wait! I thought it was about time that I blogged all about my Winter Pusheen Box before the season is through. Especially since last year, I didn't even get around to showing you all my 2016 Winter Pusheen Box, oops! So without further ado, here is a look inside one of the best subscription boxes ever! If you love cats and cute things, this is a post for you :) 

Pusheen Box Winter Edition

I'm sure that most of you will have heard of the adorable grey tabby cat that is Pusheen by now, even more so with the recent collaborations Pusheen has done with the store Primark! What some of you may not know is that the company who make Pusheen products also offer a quarterly subscription box. So, every season you can sign up to be sent a big box filled with the most adorable Pusheen products!! It is such a great box, containing high quality items that are also super useful. I have found with so many other subscription boxes that there are always a couple of items in the box that I personally either don't like or wouldn't know what to do with. However with this box, every single item is fantastic! Something that can put people off about this subscription is the price, but what you've got to keep in mind is that it's a seasonal box so you are actually paying a similar price to what you'd be paying over three months for a box that you get through your door every month, just in one lump sum.. if that makes sense :D The quality of the products makes it very worth while as well. Anyhow, you can see for yourself :) Here's what was inside my most recent Pusheen Box... 

Pusheen Box Winter Edition

Pusheen Box Winter Edition

Eeeeee! Just look at all of these AMAZING items! Something that I adore so much about Pusheen products is that they always come in pastel colours *x10 heart eyed emojis*. I just love the kawaii pastel aesthetic and it will go perfectly with the way I have planned my bedroom. You always get lots of products inside each Pusheen subscription box so it feels like you're really getting your moneys worth, and this one contains nine fantastic things, including: a sweatshirt/jumper, a USB powered mug warmer, a head massager, a winter themed ceramic mug, some very cute festive sticky notes, some USB powered 'fairy' lights, a set of pin badges, a mini plushie and lastly, a Pusheen vinyl figure! Which of these items sounds most appealing to you? Keep reading for a closer look! 

Pusheen Box Winter Edition

Another thing that is just so fabulous about the Pusheen Box is that it always contains a wearable item of some sort, and I am super thrilled whenever I discover that there's going to be a jumper inside! Usually Pusheen Box reveal a little snippet of one or two of the products that are going to be included, via emails but also on their social media. Because of this, I already knew to expect this! I really really love the colour!! It is one of my very favourite shades of blue, and it has to be the cutest Christmas jumper that I have ever seen! I love the fair isle inspired patterns and of course the adorable cartoons. They have even added Stormy with a candy cane in hand (Stormy is Pusheen the cat's little sister). It is great that the company also have clothing that is available in several plus sizes, VS literally all other subscriptions that I've ever got. I'm totally gonna wear this all year round; I don't care that it's Christmassy, it's too cute not too! 

Pusheen Box Winter Edition

Every Pusheen Box comes with an exclusive vinyl figure, that is designed to match with the theme of the box. They are a lovely addition, especially for me as I am pretty obsessed with vinyl figures! I love the interesting designs that they come up with, and I like that this one is Christmassy but then also not too. I mean those could be seen as festive lights, fairy lights or as those pretty pompom on a string banners. I like that Pusheen is winking, like she's gotten into a box of string lights that she's not supposed to. I also really like that they are pastel coloured. I'll share some links to my previous Pusheen boxes at the end of this post so that you can have a nosey at the other vinyl figures I've been sent :) 

Pusheen Box Winter Edition

You can never have too many mugs, right? (Even though I have enough now to open my own cafĂ©, haha!). I love that despite the fact that this is a winter subscription box, it includes only three festive items. As much as I love Christmas and having Christmassy items to use around the holiday, it is pretty refreshing to receive items that can be used through the year. Usually subscriptions that arrive in December/January are filled the brim with Christmas goodies. Not that that is a bad thing, it's just cool to get a variety. I like the subtle dusty pink shade of this mug, and it's also a great size. Perfect for making those obligatory winter hot chocolates with all of the mini marshmallows you could want! This mug is great quality and microwavable too. 

Pusheen Box Winter Edition

Oh my goodness, I cannot get over how flippin' cute this plushie is! With the 2017 Autumn Pusheen Box came the first ever mini plushie to be created for the subscription (it was so sweet too!) and I thought it was going to be a one-off thing. So you can imagine my delight when I opened the Winter Pusheen Box ox to find this!! I definitely would not complain if we got a plushie in every single box! I love the previous plushie, but I certainly prefer this one. I mean, how can I not!? It's wearing a mini jumper and woolly bob hat.  It's made from such a soft material and is another really well made product. I think this might be my favourite in the entire box to be honest!

Pusheen Box Winter Edition

I think it's such a brilliant idea for them to include a mug warmer in a winter themed box! I have been considering buying one for ages now but I just couldn't find one that I liked. I am definitely in need of one because I am forever making a brew for when I'm blogging or watching a movie/show on my laptop and then getting so distracted that I let it go cold :( But Yayy! I now have this amazing Pusheen one that is both very useful and will look pretty on my new white desk. I'm looking forward to putting it to use :) Pusheen Box packed another great USB powered product into this box, these colour fairy lights! They are labelled as colour changing and I am excited to try them. They are gonna be great for draping across the top of my laptop to make it look all adorable and fancy :) They are a lovely unique item to receive, and I love multi-coloured things! The other Christmassy product I got, besides the mug and jumper, was this lovely sticky note set. I like that they are designed with enough blank space to jot a note onto them, which is not always the case with mini sticky notes like these. They are small enough so that I can use them in my Filofax planner too! 

Pusheen Box Winter Edition

Okay no, the plushie is sooo wonderful, but these are also my favourite items! I LOVE LOVE LOVE these pin badges! They are so pretty and well made and colourful. I would have been over the moon with one pin, and I got four!! I very much like bold outlines of the pin badges & the pastel shades. I can't decide which of the two cats I adore more. Which is your favourite? The little star one is just super sweet! I really like the presentation card too. I am so happy with these gorgeous new additions to my ever-growing pin badge collection. 

I ALWAYS forget to photograph one of the items up close, sorry guys! I also got one of those metal head massagers that I think look like some sort of mild torture device! I can't be the only one? hahaha! Also this is another practical product to receive, I'm not gonna lie, it's not going to be something that I personally use. I might re-gift it because it is really awesome with it's turquoise handle topped with a Pusheen figure :) These massage tools are supposed to be nice for relaxation so I can imagine that lots of fellow subscribers were glad to find this inside their own boxes. 

Overall, this subscription boxes was just as fabulous as my previous ones from Pusheen Box have been, and I will continue to subscribe to this box for as long as I can afford too. It is such a delight to receive every three months or so, and forever impresses me with the creativity and design that goes into it. I love that so many of the items I receive are marked as exclusives, which means that they are made specially for the box and cannot be purchased elsewhere. It makes it even more worth the cash, and you get much more than what you pay for too. I hope you've all enjoyed checking out what I got inside my Winter edition of this subscription box. It's not gonna be long before my Spring one is here! I just saw a 'sneak peek' of an upcoming item so I'm very excited already :) 

Thankyou for reading!

What was your favourite item in this Winter Pusheen Box?

Do you subscribe to any monthly/quarterly subscription boxes?
I'd love to hear all about them in the comments!

As promised, here are the links to my previous boxes if you fancy a read?


Wednesday, 28 February 2018

February Wishlist

Hi guys! Happy Snow Day (if you like snow that is, haha!). I absolutely love the look of it, and waking up to discover how much it has snowed overnight. It's beautiful to see fresh snow with no footprints in it yet, don't you think? However I am not a fan of how freezing it can get, especially since my immune system is crap! I will spend most of Autumn & Winter each year experiencing one cold or flu type sickness after another. I have only just recovered from one, and since yesterday I've had a sore throat and a bunged up nose. Eeek! Bring on springtime! I haven't shared a wishlist yet this year, so I thought it was about time that I did. Next month expect to see my usual monthly one and my March Kawaii & Geeky wishlist too. This month, I've just decided to mash the two together, and I hope you enjoy reading! 

1. Demonia Creeper 222 I have been after some creepers for a very long time now, ever since my late teens but there was always another pair of shoes that I wanted just that little bit more! Thus I saved for those and creepers took a back burner. Towards the end of 2017 though, I spotted an advert for some new releases from the alternative fashion company Demonia, and amongst those shoes were the Creeper 222's! I really liked how they were a simple black creeper, but then came with these unique removable and interchangeable 'ball gags' (you get a pink one & a red one). As some of my regular readers will know, I am into kink and so this little accessory was appealing to me. I think it looks cute, and if you didn't know what a ball gag looked like, it doesn't scream KINKY when you look at the shoes. I would just love for these to be my first pair of creepers! What do you think of this quirky look? 

2. Hell Bunny Navy & White Sailor Style Dress I don't quite know why but I have always wanted a sailor style dress! I love the traditional blue & white colour and the bow, and I think they are just lovely. They somewhat remind me of the typical Japanese girl's school uniform, so they always make me think of cosplay and anime too. At the moment, I am on the look out for dresses and other clothes that I can wear when I go to Portugal in May, and I would love to rock this in Lisbon. Hell Bunny are a company that I have always adored but could never quite afford when I was younger. I recently purchased by first ever Hell Bunny dress for my friend's wedding next month too :) Yours Clothing just have a fabulous selection of their dresses in stock at the moment. 

3. Barry M Under The Sea Nail Polish I have recently been spotting these gorgeous new Barry M nail polishes all over Instagram! The packaging is just so so nice, and the shades themselves look super pretty. I absolutely love all things iridescent! My favourite colours are 'Jellyfish' & 'Butterflyfish', but I would be happy to own any of them. They are the perfect colours for Spring and Summer!

4. Hello Kitty X ASOS Curve Oversized T-Shirt Some of you may not know it but I am pretty obsessed with Hello Kitty. My love for this super cute Sanrio (a Japanese brand) character started in my early teens and I have adored her ever since, as well as all of the other Sanrio characters. My favourite is actually Kuromi but Hello Kitty is a more well-known character and thus her merchandise was always easier to get. I loved how when I was in college, Hello Kitty became even more popular and the stores were filled with all sorts of products. I had bought a few Hello Kitty plushies in High School, but this is when I really became obsessed with adding more and more plushies to my collection! One thing that I always struggled to find was Hello Kitty clothing that was available in plus sizes, and it was so saddening to me at the time. So even all these years later, when I spotted that ASOS Curve had released a collaboration line with Sanrio, I was delighted! I think the print on this tee is sweet and I need it in my wardrobe so much! 

5. Paperchase Shark Stickers I LOVE stationery and I am a firm believer that you can never own too many stickers! I am yet to add any shark stickers to my collection and I need to fix that, haha! Sharks are awesome :) 

6. Ravenclaw Crest Cardigan With the launch of the Harry Potter range in Primark last year and me finally being able to find Ravenclaw merch, it sparked a need to just fill my life with more, to show off my House pride. It also got me thinking more and more about potentially cosplaying as a Hogwarts student for my next trip to Comic Con. I have had my eye on this item for a while, but I am in need of some new thinner cardigans to wear when the weather gets warmer (even though it feels like it never will right now!) so I hope I can buy it soon! It will be fantastic to pair with a Ravenclaw tie and black/grey skirt for cosplay. 

7. Set of 5 Kawaii Badges from Tofu Cute Omgosh I need these badges! I am a fan of covering my bags in button badges, especially when they are super adorable like these! Each pack comes with a random set of five badges, and there's apparently 20 you can collect. I am a sucker for collecting full sets of things, and at only £2.50 per set, I have a feeling I'm not gonna be able to resist! The Tofu Cute original characters are the cutest. They also sell pin badges of them and if you're a pin collector like myself, you should totally check them out :) 

8. Yankee Candle Kiwi Melon I am definitely someone who likes to stock up on the candle scents typically available in Autumn/Winter just because those are my favourite fragrances. However lately I have been burning quite a lot of them, and I just feel like it would be nice to get a lighter, more refreshing scented candle for when Spring arrives. Kiwi Melon sounds delicious (I love candles that smell so good, that it makes you wish you could eat them!). I love kiwis, they are one of my favourite fruit and it just sounds like this will have a lovely fragrance. It is reduced at the moment on the ASDA website because it is from last year's Yankee Candle line, so it's very tempting to take advantage of this bargain. 

9. Chomper the T-Rex Plushie I headed over to the Gund UK website the other day to have a nosey at the new Boo The Pomeranian Fairy Tale range of plushies, which are soooo cute! But I got distracted by something even better... DINOSAUR PLUSHIES! I love love love dinosaurs and even though I own a few mini dino plushies, I don't have a big cuddly one. These plushies say cuddly in their name description! I like the T-Rex best, but I'd happily have them all. I really like the big happy grin on Chomper's face!

10. Geometric Dinosaur Print Duvet Cover More dinosaurs!? Hell yes! ASDA have literally been amazing for their duvet cover designs last year and it looks like they are keeping that up! I have been stocking up on double duvets for when my room decorating is all finished (life is getting in the way majorly with this! ugh), and I would love to get this one too. I really like the colour scheme. The geometric dinosaur duvet was first brought to my attention on the Instagram of the lovely Estelle over at Estellosaurus, who is a fellow blogger and dinosaur lover. You should all go follow her amazing IG account right now! 

Thankyou for reading! 

What's your favourite item on my post today?

Also, I'd love to hear about what's on your own wishlists this month. 
Let me know in the comments! 

I'd really appreciate it if you guys could show me some love & follow me on social media!


Sunday, 25 February 2018

Another Pop In A Box Update

Hello lovelies :) I am FINALLY getting around to blogging about the latest additions to my Funko Pop collection! At the moment, all of my free time is being filled with all things Eurovision Song Contest & also reading. As my regular readers will know from my previous post, things have not been the best for me lately and thus I am concentrating on doing little things that I enjoy and that make me happy. I love my blog, however with the way my mental health is at the moment I'm experiencing such a drop in my motivation to get posts written and photography done. I have lots of ideas but not enough energy psychologically to type them up. I'm trying to give myself positive affirmations and not stress over the things that I cannot do right now, putting more focus on what I am managing to get done. I'm really happy to have found my passion for reading again; I have actually been struggling to put my current book down! I'm reading Stephen's King IT & so far it's great. Anyhow, in today's post I'm going to be showing you guys my Pop In A Box subscriptions for December & January. Due to the Christmas post, most of my December figures arrived late so I thought it would be best to feature all of the Pop's in one big post. I can't wait to show them to you all :) I hope you enjoy reading! 

Pop In A Box

Have you heard of Pop In A Box before? If not, let me tell you a little bit about it :) Pop In A Box is a monthly subscription service perfect for those of you who love to collect Funko Pop! Vinyl figures! I have been collecting Pop's myself for two years now, and the majority of my current collection has come from this subscription. The Pop In A Box service allows you go through a massive selection of Pop! Vinyl and to select a 'thumbs up' to all of the ones that you would love to receive! There's also an option to 'thumbs down' all of the figures that aren't your cup of tea, and to tick off any Pop's that you already have too. It's a really cool subscription because you are always going to get something you want, VS subscription boxes where it's very likely that you will receive at least one thing that you don't like/want. And it allows you to not lose that element of surprise that makes subscriptions so fun! You can opt to be sent one to twelve random figures from your wishlist each time, and the more you buy the less you pay for each individual Pop! I usually get three every month, and since I'll be blogging about my December & January subscriptions... I have six figures to show you all! (Expect lots of photos guys!).

Birdperson Rick and Morty Pop Vinyl Funko

Birdperson Rick and Morty Pop Vinyl Funko

My first Pop from December's subscription is Birdperson, from the animation series Rick & Morty! Who else is a fan of this hilarious cartoon? Birdperson is my favourite character so when he appeared on the Pop In A Box website, I just had to give him a thumps up! Funko have done a great job turning him into a Pop, and overall I'm happy with the design. His wings/cape looks pretty cool. I also like his solemn, moody expression, as it reflects his personality on the show well. The only thing that's slightly annoying about the figure is that because of how thin Birdperson's legs are compared to the weight of his head, he easily falls over. You do get a little clear plastic stand to go with him though to stop this from happening so it's not too much of a problem really. I now have two Rick & Morty figures in my collection, and once I have one of Morty himself, I'll be happy :) 

Brienne of Tarth Game of Thrones Pop Vinyl Funko

Brienne of Tarth Game of Thrones Pop Vinyl Funko

I'm always delighted to add another strong female character to my ever-growing collection, and Brienne (of Tarth) from the A Song of Ice and Fire novel/Games of Thrones TV series is one badass lady! I am loving how pretty AND fierce Brienne looks. Her armour is also super detailed; I really like all of the different textures and fine detail that has gone into it! Even her boots are awesome :) There's a couple of patches of white on Brienne's blonde hair, and I'm not sure if it's supposed to be like that but either way, I don't like those random white spots. Paint job aside, I do love the design of her hair, especially the pieces across her forehead. It's a cute touch! The only thing that is a shame is that my Brienne Pop's sword is bent! As you can see in the photographs, it's a really thin sword and the material is pretty flimsy, thus the sword can easily bend and has in my case :( Still fabulous to have another GoT figure! 

Brienne was originally not the Pop! that I was sent with my monthly subscription in December, but a replacement for another that I got. Sometimes with Pop In A Box, a few times with me now, they have sent me a Pop that I have not selected on my list or that I have even put a thumbs down to. It can be super annoying, especially when in the past they basically said it was my fault for not selecting anything, neither a thumbs up or down, on the particular figure. I was certainly not impressed then, however this time around, the employee that I corresponded with was very helpful and quick to solve the problem. I was told to choose any Pop that was marked as In Stock on the website, and I got to keep the Pop that I was first sent instead of having to send it back to them. It was one from the game 'Friday Night at Freddy's', which I have never played or know anything about, haha. I was very happy with how this mistake was fixed this time around :)

Krampus Horror Pop Vinyl Funko Chase

Krampus Horror Pop Vinyl Funko Chase

Krampus Horror Pop Vinyl Funko Chase

Krampus Horror Pop Vinyl Funko Chase

It was very hard not to spam you all with even more photographs of my Krampus Pop! because this little guy is just so photogenic & adorable! It was just perfect to get this vinyl figure around Christmas Time, since Krampusnacht (Krampus Night) is celebrated in December and is a Christmas folklore tradition in several Europe countries. Krampus is basically the opposite of Santa Claus; he is a demon-esque type creature that in the stories punishes mischievous children. I quite recently watched the 2015 thriller movie Krampus so it was cool to get a figure of him. I was hoping to add more and more horror characters to my collection, so that was another reason why it was fabulous to get him! One of the many cool things about this subscription is that the website offers costumers a chance to get a chase (rare/limited) version of some figures. When I originally ticked a thumbs up to the Pop! it was just the standard brown version of Krampus, and it was a surprise to get a red one in the post! I'm not gonna lie, at first I wasn't a fan of the red version even though it was a chase haha! I liked the Krampus figure as it was, however after photographing him, I just fell in love! He is super cute in red, and it just makes him even more Christmassy, which is nice.

What I really like about this Pop! is all of the detail! He's just so bright and eye-catching, and has so many awesome touches to his design. I really really love his horns! I think they look so bloody cool! I love the fluffy textured appearance of his fur, his iconic tongue and cloven-hoofed feet that resemble a goat, and his black claws. They all stand out so much! I love that Funko gave him his traditional broomstick, and the best part of all has to be the basket on his back with a naughty kid that he has taken peeping out of it! It made me giggle when I saw it because I just wasn't expecting it. It's cute! This Pop is now one of my favourites that I own. 

Crash Bandicoot Games Pop Vinyl Funko

Crash Bandicoot Games Pop Vinyl Funko

So, the first Pop that I received in January was this awesome Crash Bandicoot one! He is one of the newer releases to Funko Pop's Games collection, and I was over the moon when I saw that Pop In A Box had stocked him and the other Crash Bandicoot variations. You can even get Doctor Cortex too. Crash Bandicoot was one of the first ever games that I played as a child on my good old PlayStation1, and to be honest it will always be up there as one of my all time favourite games, especially Crash Bandicoot 4: The Wrath of Cortex (although that was a PS2 game). Everytime I look at this figure, it's super nostalgic and makes me think about the fun times in my childhood. It's a pretty simple design and the paint job is kinda messy, but it's cheerful with Crash's huge grin and cheeky stance! What was your favourite video game as a child? 

Ghostbuster Mike Stranger Things Funko Pop Vinyl

Ghostbuster Mike Stranger Things Funko Pop Vinyl

As much as I adore the Netflix series Stranger Things, I never really wanted any of the Pop! figures other than those of Eleven (because she's my favourite character) and of the Demogorgan (because epic monsters!). That was until I binge watched the season 2 and saw the boys in their Ghostbuster Halloween outfits. They looked super adorable in their matching nerdy outfits! So as soon as I saw that figures from the 2nd season where getting released, I had a mighty need to get Mike in his Ghostbusters costume. My excuse is that it wouldn't be right to have Eleven without her best friend, right? :D I love the freckles on this figures face, and the small details on the 'proton pack' on Mike's back. It has little buttons and wires painted on. I like the Ghostbusters logo on the side of the suit too. My Eleven Pop! now has a buddie and I'm glad about that (I'm such a dork). 

Tiffany Bride of Chucky Horror Pop Vinyl Funko

Tiffany Bride of Chucky Horror Pop Vinyl Funko

My new Krampus Pop is amazing, but this Pop totally wins the spot of my favourite figures from these last two subscriptions! It is a simplistic design when put side-by-side with some of the other figures in this post, however I just love it! It looks really cool :) Tiffany now joins my other horror Pop's and even though the Bride of Chucky (1998) isn't one of my favourite slasher movies, it is still great and Tiffany is a iconic character within the Chucky franchise so I feel like my collection would be incomplete without her!

I really like her outfit, the contrast of the pretty wedding dress with the biker style leather jacket. I also love her eyeshadow, it's bright and my eyes are drawn to it as soon as I look at the figure. Tiffany's hair looks great too, and I like that Funko designed her hair with the roots coming through just like with the character in the movie. Although it's supposed to be more of black/brown shade and the box shows it like that, but it's actually grey on the figure which I don't get, haha! The design of the figure shown on the box has several differences to the actual figure: her eyeshadow is a dark purple/grey shade, her hair is longer and the detail that I wish was include on the Pop the most, long red fingernails. This would have been a nice addition to the overall look of the vinyl figure. It would have been awesome if Funko had incorporated a weapon into the design too, either a gun or a knife, but nevermind... she's still awesome! 

Pop In A Box Subscription Pop Vinyl Funko

I think that it's fantastic that every single Pop! Vinyl figure that I got in my last two subscriptions (if you ignore that Brienne was a replacement, haha) was from a completely different collection within the Pop! categories. I got figures from Pop!: Games, Holidays, Animation, Television, Movies and then Game of Thrones is a separate section all by itself (rightly so, because it's fantastic!). It just shows how much of a surprise you get each month. It's a shame that after February's subscription, I'm going to have to reduce my subscription to one figure a month, as I've got to start saving money for my trip to Portugal in May- Eurovision 2018, here I come! I hope that you've all enjoyed reading another my latest Funko Pop! additions :)

Thankyou for reading!

Do you have any Pop! Vinyl figures?
I'd love to hear all about them in the comments :)

Also, are there any that are on your wishlist right now?
My own wishlist is massive! :D

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Saturday, 24 February 2018

Eurovision: First Impressions #1

Hey everyone! If you follow me over on Twitter, you have probably noticed that I am tweeting a lot about the Eurovision Song Contest lately, using so many different hashtags that it's difficult for even me to keep up with them all! If you hadn't already guessed by now, I am a pretty big fan of the ESC. I just absolutely adore the variety of music that is involved every year, and it's just such a fun and exciting experience! Ever since graduating from university and having more time to focus on my hobbies, I have spent April-May each year celebrating Eurovision. I even went to watch it live in Stockholm, Sweden back in 2016! You can read all about that here if you're interested :)

I usually wait until the week of the show to listen to all of the contending songs in the two semi-finals, but this year, I finally decided to join in with my fellow Eurofans from the very start and I am so glad that I did! I have been watching as many of each participating countries semi-finals and national finals shows as I can, as well as following the release of their songs. It has been super fun (albeit a challenge with so many shows on at conflicting times!) to follow it like this, because I feel much more involved and so much great music is being brought to my attention. Usually I just hear the song that each country has nominated to represent them in the contest, and not all of the other artists who entered for a chance to represent their countries too and so it's been wonderful to hear those hidden gems that I would most likely have missed. It's also been fabulous to join in with the live-tweeting and other Eurovision tweeter conversations with all the other fans! 

So far, fourteen countries have chosen who will represent them in the Eurovision Song Contest and considering how ESC has literally taken over my life right now (my best friends & I have managed to get tickets for semi-final two, and two days ago booked our flights to Lisbon!), I thought I would share my love for this magnificent show with you all! If you personally prefer to wait until the main show is broadcast on TV to hear the songs, then don't read on because there will most certainly be spoilers! I'm planning to share a new post for each ten songs confirmed, and tell you all what I think of them :) So, here's the first ten! Enjoy! 

Eurovision Song Contest

1. Albania- 'Mall' by Eugent Bushpepa 

What a fabulous song to kick start the Eurovision year! One of my best friends who is literally a Eurovision super fan brought this song to my attention when it was still one of several contenders to preform in the Albanian national final, and right away I knew it was going to be one of my favourites in the competition this year. So I was over the moon when Mr Bushpepa won the final! It is a lovely alternative ballad, and I really like that it is sung in Albanian (which Eugent has confirmed is going to be the case for Eurovision too!).  The staging is very simple, however for a song with such power like this, I don't think it needs much more. It will still be interesting to see how it is going to be staged for the main event, even though I like it how it was in Albania's national final, with musical notes starting off in monochrome and as the song intensifies bursting out in a vibrant red. Hearing Mall for the first time got me very much excited for the Eurovision season to begin! 

2) France- 'Mercy' by Madame Monsieur

My friends & I watched the French finals and were pretty invested in our favourites, one of which was Mercy. I'm not gonna lie, I was disappointed that my number one favourite song, Eva by Lisandro Cuxi didn't win! However, Mercy is still a nice song, with a super catchy chorus. For me personally though, I don't think it stands out and will likely be lost amongst some of the more powerful songs as the competition goes on. I also feel like the staging needs improvement. I'm not a fan of the plain black full-body suits with the trainers; it almost looks like the performers Emilie Satt & Jean-Karl Lucas are going to burgle a house after the show and need those trainers to make a quick getaway! Still all in all, it's not a bad song and I'm looking forward to seeing how they might improve the staging and their stage presence for the Eurovision Song Contest. Being one of the countries which are known amongst Eurofans as the 'Big Five', they have automatically got a place in the main show too. 

3) Czech Republic- 'Lie To Me' by Mikolas Josef 

I LOVE this song! It is currently at second place in my favourites so far this year, because it is just so upbeat and catchy. It makes me want to dance everytime I listen to it (and dance I do haha!) It has a very modern vibe to it and sounds like a song you would hear in any countries Top 40 music charts. It very much reminds me of Macklemore. Who agrees? The studio version of the song was maybe the fifth Eurovision song I listened to, and it has remain a firm favourite ever since! There's a saxophone in the song, which makes it go up in my books straight away. To be honest though, the random camel in the music video was fabulous and made me love the song even more, haha! I'm curious about if and how it's going to be changed to make the lyrics a little more family-friendly before the show, but I love it how it is now and can't wait to see it. Fingers crossed I can get some tickets for Semi Final 1. The staging that I've seen for the song is very colourful and funky too. Eurovision 2018 is lovin' it's shapes that's for sure! 

4) Spain- 'Tu Cancion' by Amaia & Alfred

Don't get me wrong, Spain's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest this year is lovely, very cute, however it doesn't do much for me and is not very memorable. Alfred has an unique voice that reminds me somewhat of Salvador who won the contest for Portugal last year. I think it's certainly an adorable song, it's very sweet when they are singing into one another's faces, and the piano intro is nice but yeah I don't think it's got much of a chance of winning in May, but we'll see! Eurovision likes to surprise me XD

5) Malta- 'Taboo' by Christabelle 

Okay so I don't really like this song much at all! I was very much rooting for Brooke to win with Heart of Gold, or for Song for Dad by Richard & Joe, and I was super gutted that neither of them won. Brooke's performance was fantastic, and she was so close! Instead, Christabelle won *cry cry*. I sat through Malta's entire national final, in which I got to see more advertisements for random foods and kitchen appliances than I did songs, and endured a ridiculous amount of song recaps, to be rewarded with a song I didn't like winning! It was tragic :D The song isn't too bad, but I think that's mostly because of the beat. It is a song that I could happily dance along to. However the lyrics are pretty crappy in my opinion, they don't make sense in some parts of the song. The staging was kinda cool, but very unrelated to the song itself. I wouldn't choose to listen to it again. Sorry to anyone who's a fan of Taboo

6) Switzerland- 'Stones' by Zibbz

Zibbz was my favourite song from the Swiss line up from the start, so I was super happy that that this brother & sister duo did so well in the national finals. It is another entry this year with a very modern sound, so I think that viewers at home are going to enjoy it. Corinne has a great singing voice, and fashion sense too... I liked her outfit in that final's performance a lot. I'm lovin' the blue and red triangles on stage, and I really hope that they bring them to Eurovision! It is also nice to have a song in the mix that isn't all about love or war/peace. 

7) United Kingdom- 'Storms' by SuRie

I am very happy with my country again this year, for choosing the best of the entries that participated in the Eurovision: You Decide show this year. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole show, mostly because of the legend that is Mans Zelmerlow hosting alongside the hilarious Mel Giedroyc. They were fantastic, and I especially loved Mans cough*Brexit*cough line XD There were some great songs in the line up, but for me SuRie really stood out as the best from the start, and I was so happy that my fellow Brits voted for her!  I was a fan of SuRie as soon as I heard her say on one of the BBC's introductory videos that 'Eurovision is rainbows, dancing and unicorns' XD I really like the message of the song, it's lovely. The staging was pretty, and eye-catching with the colour changing background throughout the performance. I think that we might do very well this year with SuRie even though it needs a bit of a revamp (I just felt like there was a little something missing), and I am excited to see how she gets on in the final! 

8) Denmark- 'Higher Ground' by Rasmussen

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this song! It is by far my absolute favourite song to be confirmed so far and I don't think any other is going to top it for me if I'm honest. It just has everything that I could ask for! I am a history geek through and through, and this song just screams Vikings from the get-go. Jonas Rasmussen reminds me of Tormund Giantsbane from HBO's Game of Thrones right away, and all my readers know I adore GoT (he is not as gorgeous as Mr Hivju himself though!). The song is very much my cup of tea and makes me think of some of the songs by the metal band DragonForce with all of the history/battle imagery. Higher Ground is more of a ballad, but it definitely does have alternative vibes. I am in love with the staging, with all of the dark colours, the watery background on the screens, the smoky effects and those epic Viking-esque ship sails! I really like the Nordic sounds created by the backing singers too. I just love this song, and I am sooo happy that I have tickets for Semi-final 2 in May so I can see it performed live in Lisbon!

9) Italy- 'Non Mi Avete Fatto Niente' by Ermal Meta & Fabrizio Moro

I am seriously not a fan of this song, especially after Italy sent the fabulous Francesco Gabbani with Occidentali's Karma to Eurovision in 2017. Gosh, I adore that song and according to my Spotify, it was one of my most listened to songs of the year, haha!  In comparison to Francesco's song which was cheerful and one that I couldn't help but sing along to, Non Mi Avete Fatto Niente is boring to me. I don't like the way it is sang. One guy is no more singing than he is talking very fast into the microphone, and the other is shouting the chorus. The message of the song is an important one associated with war, so at least that's a positive to the song. It is likely going to be in the bottom of ranking for Eurovision this time around. 

10) Greece- 'Oneiro Mou' by Yianna Terzi 

The tenth song confirmed and the final one I'm going to talk about on today's post is a great note to end on, because this song is actually stunning! It is a unique and beautiful love-themed song. I was so happy when I discovered that it is sang in Greek, and it has lovely traditional sounds and instrumentals. I hope that it is going to be kept in Greek for Eurovision, and I am hoping that I get a chance to hear it in person. I don't know what else to say other than it is awesome :) 

Well, I hope that you have all enjoyed reading all about my  first impressions of the first 10 confirmed entries from the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. I have never really reviewed music like this before, so I hope that it was fun to read and that I didn't ramble, haha! Tonight is basically Euro Hell  for my fellow fans & I because there are five nationals on all around the same time!! Plus two semi-finals as well, one of them is Sweden's Melodifestivalen show, which is a must for me! It's going to be so hard to keep up with everything happening tonight, especially because I only have one laptop to work with! Eeeek :D Anyhow, have a lovely weekend everyone! 

Thankyou for reading! 

Are you a fan of the Eurovision Song Contest?

What was your favourite song in 2017's ESC?

If you're following the national finals this year, who's your favourite thus far?

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