Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The Fandom Confectionery: September 2014 - Hufflepuff Edition

September is the month that hold my birthday, so I thought because of that I would make this month's Fandom Confectionery all about my Hogwarts house. Hufflepuff!

1)  Scrolls & Spells Chart
I'm in love with this chart which has all the spells from the book in the spirals and the Hogwarts motto at the bottom as well. It's all in Huffepuff colours but there are other colour available as well. 
Buy - £20 

2) Goblet of Fire Ornament 
If there is one thing that I'm obsessed with then it's Christmas tree ornaments that aren't your typical one. They always catch my eye and I always want to buy them. This ornament has pieces of 'The Goblet of Fire' book in there with some Hufflepuff colour in there. 
Buy - £6.30

3) 26.50 oz Beer Mug
Now, I don't drink and I'm never going to but I love this mug and I'd buy it and fill it up with any drink. It's a beer mug that has the Hufflepuff crest etched onto it and you can customise the mug to have your own name on it.
Buy - £17.47


4) Hufflepuff Inspired Bead 
If you're someone who loves the Hufflepuff house but want to show off your house pride in a more subtle way then this bead might be a good idea. I have a bracelet that can fit these sort of beads but I think my mam's put it away somewhere since I don't really use it that often. 
Buy - £5.04 

5) Hufflepuff Nail Varnish 
I'm a nail biter and I'll admit it but I'm slowly stopping myself from doing it and my nails are slowly starting to grow again which I'm loving.This has been a nail varnish I've been dying to get and I can't wait to get it! It's a black and gold glitter nail vanish which I think looks stunning. 
Buy - £2.20

6) Jewellery Box 
Even though I have a jewellery box I sometimes feel like I have nowhere to put some of my jewellery. The design of this jewellery box is so cut. I love the bottom draw on it and the crest of the side. It looks like the type of box that would just go with any room. 
Buy - £22.30

7) Pajama Trousers 
So, these are pajama trousers for men but I really want to get them for myself in a small size. I saw a pair of Gryffindor ones when I went to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour but there were none for the other houses which annoyed me and my sister. So, I've just found these on Hot Topic and now I really, really want them.They're really simplistic but I love have the crest and the house name running down the leg. And they look really comfortable. I'm tempted to get these for my 'revision comfy clothes'. 
Buy - $19.50 

8) Hufflepuff Badgers T-Shirt 
I quite like this top since it look badass and I love the badger on it. It makes the Hufflepuff house looks so much more scarier than we actually or, or at least more than I am. I love the way the badger on the front is drawn. 
Buy - £20.42

9) Hufflepuff Birthday Card 
The bottom of the card reads, 'Those patient Hufflepuffs are true, and unafraid of toil,'
This is a pretty cool, pretty suave looking card and it would be great if you know anyone in the Hufflepuff house and want to be able to get them a card that most people wouldn't be able to find. I'm not usually a fan of gold but it looks amazing on this card.
Buy - £1.95

10) Hufflepuff Crest Macbook or Laptop Decal 
I love this decal and it think it looks amazing on that Macbook. If I didn't have a black laptop lid I would definitely end up getting it at some point. But if I get a new laptop that isn't black, I think it's something that I'll be definitely picking up. 
Buy - £5.69
 photo signature1_zpsda2bb39d.jpg

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Book Review: Clockwork Angel

Title: Clockwork Angel
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd.
Series: The Infernal Devices #1
Release Date: 01/03/2011
Pages: 488
Service: Bought
Buy: Book Depository
Author Twitter: @cassieclare

'The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London's dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters - including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organisation of vampires, demons, warlocks and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them...'
There were so many reasons that I was looking forward to reading this book. With one of my friends saying that I would love this book and wanting to see how Clare would put Shadowhunters in the 19th century, as well as  really looking forward to seeing the Shadowhunting world in a different setting. This book was pulled off in such an amazing way! 

For me, it was really interesting to read about the Shadowhunters in the 19th century was really enjoyable. I love seeing how the coped with the travel and how it was always convenient to them and how some of the things that the Shadowhunters use in 'The Mortal Instruments' start to be created in this book. Clare has found a way to make sure that these worlds stay connected, even with a different time period, plot and setting. You have no doubt that you are still within the world of the Nephilim.

The characters in this book were amazing and so were the relationships. Henry had to be my favourite and for me he was the most loveable one in the book, with all his awkwardness. Jessamine has to be on my list of the most annoying characters that are meant to be annoying. There were point where I felt bad for her, points when I liked her but they didn't last for very long. What I loved about this book was that it wasn't just the main characters I fell in love, it was all the background characters. The evil ones and the good ones. It was nice to see Magnus Bane enter the scene once again and my love for his character increased in this book. 

There are sometimes times where I find the main characters of the book annoy me quite a bit and though there were some points that I found Tessa a little whiny, it wasn't often and you could understand why. Jem and Will were a pair of characters that I really like, and it was really nice reading their friendship. The way that Jem puts up with Will and how protective Will can be of Jem sometimes.

There were relationships, both friendships and other that I was really curious about and still am to be honest. We weren't told everything in this book about them and though it did annoy me slightly, there are still another two books in the series where I am hoping things will be explained. Though, I do think, they could have further explained one or two things.

Personally, I thought that the writing in this book was a lot better compared to 'The Mortal Instruments' though that might just be a personal preference. I enjoyed it a lot more and am really looking forward to seeing where Clare is going to take the plot from here and there are so many lose ends I am waiting to be tied up.
The epilogue left me wanting to know so much more and I don't think it's going to be long until I pick up the next book in the trilogy. 

Favourite Quote: 

 photo signature1_zpsda2bb39d.jpg

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Dropping Off At: The Harry Potter Studio Tour

My sister had gifted me tickets for the both us to go to the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour for my birthday and we went the Saturday after my birthday. I can hands down say it was just a fantastic day. 

Our train was leaving at around about 05:30 so we got up at half past four and got changed, woke our parents up and then drove us to the train station. I was pretty tired on the train but I couldn't sleep. We ended up getting into Paddington Station at around 09:30 and took a tube to Euston and got some sandwiches since we didn't have any breakfast before we left. After that, we wondered around Euston train station since it was still pretty early. After that, we got on a train to get to Watford, thankfully that train didn't take too long to get there. As soon as we got off, the signposts for the door were already around the station. We got out of there and went to catch the bus that would take us to the studio. I couldn't help but grin at the fact that the bus resembled the Knight Bus. 

Whilst we were on there, they showed us a clip about how the Leavesden Warner Bros. Studio came about which was really interesting to watch and find out about. When we finally reached the studios, I was so excited! We got in and it was just breathtaking. 

The rest of this post is going to contain a lot of photos, so if you don't want to see anything, now's a good time to go. 

It was amazing to see the actual hand prints of the cast and they were something I had to take a picture of before we moved on and into the actual building to start the tour. I think everyone got really excited from just seeing them.

It was a day where I wore my Hufflepuff scarf with pride. I got to take a picture in front of the place where Harry stayed for quite a lot of his life before getting his letter to Hogwarts. 

I had some huge house pride when I saw the Hufflepuff uniform which included what Robert Pattinson wore in the Goblet of fire. A uniform that I wish I was allowed to wear everyday. The rest of the Great Hall was absolutely astounding and there was so much detail put into it which you really don't realise when you're watching the films.

We got the chance to see a few of the scale models that were made for the movies and they looked just as beautiful as the actual set. It was amazing to see them and know that someone had built all of his by hand just so that a team of people would be able to build it on a much larger scale.

The Quidditch games were some of my favourite scenes in the movie and it never fails to blow me away when I watch them. Being able to see the uniform that Malfoy wore and the whole Quidditch kit that they used in the movie just made me want to play Quidditch ten times more. 

I also managed to find Bonnie Wright's wand in Olivander's which was a great end to the tour. 

It was such a terrific day, it took us over three hours to get through the whole tour but it was completely worth it because we got to have a real thorough look through the whole tour and took everything in. I ended up getting a hufflepuff flag and a zip up hoodie from the store along with some peppermint toads. I can't wait to start using the hoodie and I will definitely be taking it along with me when I have to go into school on weekends for revision. 

My sister and I finished off the day by going to Jamie Oliver's pop-up Diner and the food there was AMAZING! It was an amazing day and I have some amazing memories. The Tour hasn't made the magic of the movies go away for me, if anything the magic has intensified and I would love to do it again around Christmas time!

 photo signature1_zpsda2bb39d.jpg

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

WISE: Valentina Tereshkova

Valentina Vladimirnova Tereshkova was born in Russia in 1937. Her father was a tractor driver whilst her mother worked in a textile plant. Her father had passed away during World War Two, which left her mother to raise three children by herself.Tereshkova, herself, began school when she was eight years old. At the age of sixteen she left school but continued her education through correspondence courses. 

From a young age she had an interest in parachuting and later on she trained in skydiving, making her first jump at the age of 22. At the time, Tereshkov had been working as a textile worker in a local factory. 

In 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space and after that Tereshkov volunteered for the Soviet Space Programme. She didn't have any experience but was accepted as she had done 126 parachute jumps at the time of her volunteering. During those days. cosmonauts had to jump out of their capsules and parachute down to Earth, moments before landing.

There were more than four hundred applicants who had volunteered and in the end, only five of them were picked. They had to be parachutists under the age of 30, their height had to be under 170 cm and had to weigh under 70 kg. 

Along with the four other women who had been chosen, Tereshkov undertook 18 months of training. The tests during the training included seeing how long they would react to long periods of time alone, to extreme gravity conditions and to zero-gravity conditions. They also undertook training in spacecraft engineering and 120 parachute jumps.

Tereshkova was to pilot Vostok 5 and it was going to be a dual mission, with Valentine Ponomaryova to follow her into orbit with Votok 6.The flight plan was then altered though. A male by the name of Valeriy Bykovsky was now to pilot Vostok 5. The State Space Commission then nominated Tereshkova to pilot Vostok 6 and was picked. 

Vostok 5 was launched on June 14th 1963 and on June 16th 1963, aged 26, Tereshkova became the first woman to go into space. She spent two days, 23 hours and 12 minutes in space. She orbited the Earth 48 times but the flight had nearly turned into a disaster. 

The spacecraft's automatic navigation software had a problem which caused the spacecraft to move away from Earth. Tereshkova had noticed this and the Soviet scientists the quickly developed a new algorithm for landing. Treshkova landed safely but with a bruise on her face. She near, what is today, the Kazakhstan-Mongolia-China border.Villagers had helped her out of her spacesuit and asked her to join them for dinner and she accepted the offer. 

Tereshkova was awarded with the title Hero of the Soviet. She also received the Order of the Lenin and the Glod Star Medal. She became a spokesperson for the Soviet Union and whilst doing this she received the United Nation Gold Medal of Peace.

She never ended up flying into space again but she later became a test pilot and instructor and earned a doctorate in technical science. On November 3rd 1963, Tereshkova married a fellow cosmonaut Andriyan Nikolayev. They had their first child 1864, who was a daughter called Elena, she later became a Medical doctor. Tereshkova and her husband divorced in 1980. 

Two years later she married Yuily Shaposhnikov, who was a surgeon. Later she became the deputy to the Supreme Soviet and then a people's deputy. She was a member of the Supreme Soviet Presidium and later become the head of the Soviet Women's Committee. As well as that, she was also the head of the International Cultural and Friendship Union and became the chairperson of the Russian Association of International Cooperation. But in 1999 her husband passed away. 

In 2008, Tereshkova became a torch-bearer in the 2008 Summer Olympics Torch Relay in Saint Petersburg, Russia. And as of 2013, she became a serving member of the Russian Parliament and deputy chairperson  of the Parliamentary Committee on International Affairs. 
 photo signature1_zpsda2bb39d.jpg

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Lingering In Libraries (#2)

A World Without Princes by Soman Chainani 

'When Agatha secretly wishes she’d chosen a different happy ending, she reopens the gates to the School for Good and Evil. But the world she and Sophie once knew has changed.

Witches and princesses, warlocks and princes are no longer enemies. New bonds are forming; old bonds are being shattered. But underneath this uneasy arrangement, a war is brewing and a dangerous enemy rises. As Agatha and Sophie battle to restore peace, an unexpected threat could destroy everything, and everyone, they love—and this time, it comes from within.'

I fell in love with the first book in the series, 'The School for Good and Evil' and I really wanted to get the second one. When I saw it in the library, I was torn between that an another book, since I knew that with school I wouldn't finish two library books on top of the ones that I had in the house and my mam might kill me. In the end I got my sister to pick out which one I should get and she said to get this one since I've been dying to read it. The book isn't due in until the end of the month but I'm really looking forward to reading it! 

 photo signature1_zpsda2bb39d.jpg

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Book Haul Time (#3)

Paper Towns by John Green

'Quentin Jacobson has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his like - dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows. 

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues - and they're for him. Urged fdown a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.' 

My sister was cleaning her room the other day and was sorting her bookshelves out and since she had all of the John Green books in hardback, she ended up giving me her copy of 'Paper Towns'. 

Paper Swans by Jessica Thompson 

'Ben Lawrence seems to have it all - the hot job. the flashy car. the luxurious apartment. But one tragic day in his past mars his future. 

Since the events of that day he hasn't truly got close to anyone. 

He made a promise that love was the price he would pay for his mistakes. 

When Effy Jones - a bright, ambitious charity founder - walks into the PR firm where Ben works, neither realise that their lives are about to be turned upside down. 

Paper Swans tells the story of how love can conquer all, and how when everything is broke one person can help put the pieces together. 

I ended up requesting this book off of BookBridgr because it seems like a pretty good read. Since then, I've one or two people say that this is a really good book.  

Naomi & Ely's No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan 

' Any great friendship can be as confusing, treacherous, inspiring, and wonderful as any great romance. 

Naomi and Ely have been best friends forever. Naomi loves and is in love with Ely, and Ely loves Naomi, but prefers to be in love with boys. So they create their "No Kiss List"  of people neither of them are allowed to kiss. 

And this work fine- until Bruce. 

Bruce is Naomi's boyfriend, so there's no reason to put him on the List. But Ely kissed Bruce - and the resulting fallout is going to shake up the world!' 

I'm pretty interested in seeing what happens with this one. I read two of their other books that they had wrote together. I liked one and really disliked the other. So, I'm wondering where this one is going to fall. 

Lord of the Flies by William Golding 

'William Golding's compelling story about a group of a very ordinary boys marooned on a coral island has become a classic. At first, it seems as though it's all going to be great fun; but the fun before long become furious and life on the island turns into a nightmare of panic and death. As ordinary standards of behaviour collapse, the whole world the boys know collapses with them - the world of cricket and homework and adventure stories - and another world is revealed beneath, primitive and terrible.' 

Lord of the Flies is one book that I've been dying to read for ages so when my sister was clearing out her bookshelves, I was more than happy to take it off of her. 
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

'"Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."

A lawyer's advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic novel - a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the eyes of young Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explored with rich humour and unswerving honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes towards race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina and quiet heroism of one man's struggle for justice - but the weight of history will only tolerate so much.' 

I read this book when I was in year nine and loved it. I really badly wanted a copy, so this was another books that my sister gave to me because she wanted a different cover of the book. 
Looking for Alaska by John Green 

'Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave "Great Perhaps," (Fran├žois Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. 

After. Nothing is ever the same. 

Yet another book from my sister, since she had the hardbacks of the John Green books.
The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting by Holly Bourne 

'Apparently I'm boring. A nobody. But that's all about to change. Because I am starting a project. Here. Now. For myself. And if you want to come along for the ride then you're very welcome. 

Bree is a loser, a wannabe author who hides behinds words. Most of the time she hates her life. her school, her never-there parents. So she writes.

But when she's told she needs to start living a life worth writing about. The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting is born. Six steps that will see her infiltrate the popular set, fall in love with someone forbidden and make the biggest mistake of her life.'

I loved Soulmates by Holly Bourne so when I found out she was writing another book I knew that I had to get it and some point. I ended up buying it at Waterstones and I'm not all too far into the book at the moment but I am absolutely loving it. So, I can't wait to see where this plot line goes. 
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell 

'Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels against the totalitarian world he lives in, which demands absolute obedience and controls him through the all-seeing telecreens and the watchful eye of Big Brother, symbolic head of the Party. In his longing for truth and liberty, Smith begins a secret love affair with a fellow-worker Julia, but soon discovers that the true price of freedom is betrayal.' 

Really looking forward about reading this one. Another one that my sister gave me and one that I've had my eye on for for a while. Really excited to delve into it.  
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan 

'It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who has just walked into his bands show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City - and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion and excitement of a first date. 

So many books that I've taken off my sister and this was another one of them. Admittedly, I have already read this one and didn't particularly like it, but it was one that I got off my sister and then read.
The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High by Laurie Boyle Crompton 

'Shannon's "clique" is just her and her best friend and she has a super-embarrassing nickname that just won't go away. It is no huge shock when her classmates vote her least likely to be crowned Prom Queen. What is shocking is then new hidden cameras reality show she finds herself starring in, titled The Prom Queen Wannabes! Shannon and two other Wannabes must battle to be elected Prom Queen and snag the One! Million! Dollar! prize. After a summer of makeovers and training at Prom Queen Camp, hidden cameras watch the three of them enter their senior year equipped with the secret skills to help wage war on the popular set. Things that Westfield High are about to get ugly, and Shannon must decide how much she's willing to give up for a shot at winning that tiara.' 

This one had been quite recently added to my wishlist when I had received in a book swap.
Love... Under Different Skies by Nick Spalding

'Even on the other side of the world, problems always have a way of finding you. 

Sometimes, the hardest part of staying together is keeping a straight face. 

Ever wish you could leave all your problems behind and make a fresh start somewhere else? Trade the stresses and strains of everyday life for your own slice of sun-kissed paradise on the other side of the world?

Jamie and Laura Newman certainly have. 

When Jamie's spectacular meltdown at work results in him being handed his P45, and Laura finds her working days end up with her rugby tackling defenceless pensioners in the high street, a move ten thousand miles away sounds ideal. After all, it might mend some of the cracks that have appeared in their marriage over the past few months...

So when Laura is offered a new job in Australia, the Newman family think their dreams have come true. But as the old saying goes - be careful what you wish for, you might just get it. As the hapless couple soon find out, problems have a way of following you, no matter how far you go to avoid them. 

Can love survive under different skies?'

Another one that was quite a new addition to my wishlist and one that I ended up getting in a book swap along with 'The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High'. 
The 100 by Kass Morgan

'No one has set foot on Earth in centuries - until now. 

Ever since a devastating nuclear war, humanity has lived on spaceships far above Earth's radioactive surface. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents -- considered expendable by society -- are being sent on a dangerous mission: to recolonize the planet. It could be their second chance at life...or it could be a suicide mission.

CLARKE was arrested for treason, though she's haunted by the memory of what she really did. WELLS, the chancellor's son, came to Earth for the girl he loves -- but will she ever forgive him? Reckless BELLAMY fought his way onto the transport pod to protect his sister, the other half of the only pair of siblings in the universe. And GLASS managed to escape back onto the ship, only to find that life there is just as dangerous as she feared it would be on Earth.

Confronted with a savage land and haunted by secrets from their pasts, the hundred must fight to survive. They were never meant to be heroes, but they may be mankind's last hope.'

I had heard so much talk about the TV show and was really interested in what it was about then when I saw the book in Waterstones and read the blurb, I really wanted to pick it up. I'm really excited to read this one!
If I Stay by Gayle Foreman 

'On a day that started out like any other, Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, admiring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. In an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the only decision she has left. It is the most important decision she will ever make.' 

I know that this has been made into a film and I watched the trailer and nearly cried. When I found out that this was a book, I really, really wanted it. So, along with 'The 100' I ended up buying it on a trip to Waterstones. 

So, that's been my book haul and I really can't complain with the books that I have. Some I've started, some I've finished and some I am still waiting to pick up. 

 photo signature1_zpsda2bb39d.jpg