Friday, June 16, 2017

Review // 20th Anniversary Harry Potter Books

Hey guys! 

This is going to be a VERY photo heavy post, so be warned now!

When me and one of my best friends, Beth, went to Manchester a few weeks ago, we popped into Waterstones while we were wandering around the town centre - we're both bookworms, although I wasn't really feeling book shopping that day. However, when we were in the young adult section, I stumbled across some of the most beautiful books I've seen in a long time! 

I was unaware that they were releasing special edition versions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, to celebrate 20 years since the book was released! (which is crazy to me, as I still remember my best friend at the time, Maud, giving me a copy as a present - I would have only been 5 at the time - and my mum used to read it to me and my brother as a bedtime story)
They had paperback versions and hardback versions, and my eye was immediately drawn to the hardback versions. They have the house crests on the covers, and the house colours on the edge of the pages in stripy scarf form - there's a version for each house as well, so you can choose your own Hogwarts house to own. The paperback books were solid house colours with different coloured embossing on the writing/house crests - red with gold embossing for Gryffindor, green with silver embossing for Slytherin, blue with bronze embossing for Ravenclaw and yellow with black embossing for Hufflepuff. The edges of the pages are also the solid house colours! 
On the back covers of the hardback books, there's a portrait of the house ghost for said house - on the back cover of the paperback books, there's a portrait of the house ghost again, and also the lines from the song the sorting hat sings for said house, which I think is a really cool touch! 

That day, I didn't end up buying any - although I really wanted the hardback Gryffindor edition - but about a week later, I realised I couldn't stop thinking about it. To cut a long story short, I ended up with all the hardback copies and they were even more beautiful in person! I didn't want to read them, as I didn't want them to get all smushed up, so in the end I caved and bought the paperback editions too, so I can read them without them getting too damaged! 

They've added some new stuff to the books, too - including information about the house founders, house ghosts, etc, as well as memorable students from the chosen house and J.K Rowling - 20 years of magic!  

 All the hardback covers
All the paperback covers

 The printed edges of the hardback books
The printed edges of the paperback books

 All the edges of the books
All the spines of the books

 Hardback and paperback Ravenclaw copies

 Hardback and paperback Hufflepuff copies

 Hardback and paperback Gryffindor copies

Hardback and paperback Slytherin copies

 All the paperback spines
All the hardback spines

All the paperback back covers (some photos didn't turn out as well as others because the lighting wasn't great when I took them)

All the hardback back covers (again, the lighting wasn't great, so some didn't come out as well as they could have)

Are you planning on getting any of the special edition Harry Potter books? Which house would you be buying? 

Friday, May 12, 2017

AFI at Ally Pally, London!

Hey guys!

A week ago, I travelled down to London for the night to see my favourite band of all time, AFI, who were supporting Deftones at Alexandra Palace. It’s been 7 years since AFI were over here last, when they did a headline tour, so I’ve been impatiently waiting for another chance to see them needless to say, as soon as they got announced for this support slot, I told one of my best friends Vicky about it  and she managed to grab us tickets to the London show (Manchester would probably have been easier for me to get to now I live in Yorkshire, but it was already sold out, plus I didn’t mind travelling to London for AFI!) We also booked into a hotel for the night, so we wouldn’t have to rush back and risk missing the last trains.

We met up at Kings Cross, as we both needed to come through there anyway, then made our way to the hotel I really needed a break before we headed to the venue, as I’d left my house at around 9am to get into London for 2pm, when we could check into the hotel. One of the first things we noticed about the hotel is that it was pretty much right next to our tube station which is always helpful, as we were worried it might be quite hard to find. We also saw there was a McDonalds pretty much next door, which was also good for us, as we didn’t want to pay £10 each for the hotel breakfast!

Our room was really nice, actually we stayed at a Premier Inn and I don’t know if I’ve ever stayed in one before, but this one was really cool and had a purple light at the top of the double bed which Vicky kindly let me sleep in, as I currently don’t have a proper bed and have been sleeping on airbeds/a mattress for the past few months (the joys of moving and not immediately having a house to move straight into, haha, but that’s another story for another day!) There was a massive mirror in the bathroom, and another one directly opposite it. We also decided to keep the purple bed light on all night, so we didn’t have to turn on a main light if we had to get up in the night I ended up waking up a few times and the light was good at helping me get back to sleep, so it was a good call! I’ll include some photos of the room down below, instead of trying to describe it (probably badly).

Neither of us wanted to queue for ages those days are long gone now, haha so we just spent some time relaxing in the hotel before we had to get ready, and we also went to grab some food before the show! It didn’t take us long to get ready or to get to the venue in the end, so we still got there slightly earlier than we planned to! The queue was actually moving pretty fast, too, so we got into the venue pretty quickly neither of us really wanted to buy any merch (although the AFI hoodie was cool and I was pretty tempted by it) so we headed into the main room.
Pretty much as soon as I saw the AFI backdrop, my heart skipped a beat and I started to get excited. The venue opened at 7pm and AFI weren’t on until 8pm, so we wasted some time playing around with snapchat filters and chatted for a while I hadn’t seen Vicky since January, before I moved, so we had a lot to catch up on! They were also testing the lights before the set started, some of the combinations were so cool!

I didn’t take too many pictures during the set I don’t want to be one of those people who watches a show through a screen and doesn’t enjoy being there in the moment but I did snap a couple of (rather blurry) shots where the lighting looked really cool and one during my all time favourite song! I’ll include some pictures below, and also the set list, if anyone’s interested in what they played Vicky and I were both happy because they played both the songs we wanted them to play!


Girl's Not Grey
This Celluloid Dream
17 Crimes
The Leaving Song Part 2
I Hope You Suffer 
Snow Cats
The Days Of The Phoenix
Paper Airplanes
Silver and Cold
Miss Murder

One thing that did really irritate me about the night, however, were the crowd around us. I get that AFI were the support band, and a lot of people wouldn’t have been there to see them, but it’s also no excuse for people to stand around loudly chatting to each other while the band are playing fair enough, do that for a bit between songs, but don’t chat the whole way through a song, when the sound in the venue isn’t great anyway! I couldn’t properly hear half the songs because of this, which obviously dampened my enthusiasm a LOT especially because I’d waited so long to see AFI again, so it was irritating to not be able to hear the set properly because of inconsiderate people!

After the show, we hung around for a while, so I snapped a couple of other photos I kinda liked!

 We were also starving by this point, so we googled pizza places near our hotel (I’d mentioned that I’d been craving pizza earlier in the day and it made Vicky want pizza too) and on the way back, we grabbed a pizza each they also almost accidentally ushered us out before we’d paid for our food! When we’d changed into our pajamas, we ate our pizzas in bed and chatted for a while before we fell asleep.

The next morning, we decided to get up early and grab some breakfast before we left especially because I had another 5 hour journey ahead of me so we headed out to get some food and drinks (the pizza left us both really thirsty!) before we left.

Overall, it was an amazing trip I got to hang out with one of my best friends, seeing my favourite band in one of my favourite cities! It was also nice because when they toured 7 years ago, me and Vicky travelled up to Birmingham to see them and stayed in a hotel, so it was lovely to be able to do that again! 

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Review // Poundland Makeup Alley Liquid Eyeliner

Hey guys!

If you’re anything like me, you’ll love picking up some bargain makeup to try whether it’s a budget brand like Miss Sporty and Natural Collection, to something slightly more expensive like MUA, I like trying out new makeup and seeing if there’s anything new that will become a staple in my makeup bag. To be fair, most of my makeup is high street brands like Makeup Revolution, Collection and Maybelline, although I do own the occasional bit of Clinique, Benefit and other high end brands too!

I also enjoy watching videos on YouTube of people testing makeup, especially when it’s a cheaper brand like Primark or Poundland. I recently watched a couple of Poundland makeup videos where people tried out all of the different makeup items - Makeup Alley - and they all seemed to rave about the liquid eyeliner as a self confessed eyeliner addict who regularly spends up to £15 on a liquid eyeliner, I thought this sounded promising, so I thought I’d pick some up next time I popped into Poundland!

Ideally, I would have liked to get the black eyeliner, but they didn’t have much choice left in my local Poundland it was between brown or space grey, so naturally I went for the grey!
The first thing I noticed about it, when I swatched it on my hand, is that it’s a nice consistency it’s not really watery like some cheaper eyeliner can be. It’s also fairly pigmented, so you don’t need to keep going over the same area again and again to build up the colour.

When I applied it to my eyes, I found that I made my flick a bit thicker than usual the applicator of this eyeliner is a brush, and I’m used to felt tipped eyeliner pens, so that’s probably just down to my lack of practice with brush eyeliner. It ended up looking quite pretty anyway, which is good, and hopefully I’ll get better at using it with more practice. The only thing that annoyed me about this eyeliner is that, when I blinked, it felt quite sticky in the outer corner of my eyes, where my flicks were I ended up taking the eyeliner off because it was bugging me, but for a cheap eyeliner, it was quite good overall, if you can overlook that!

My verdict not too bad for the price, it applies well and is rather pigmented I just didn’t like how it felt a big sticky in the corner of my eyes! I’d recommend it if you’re on a strict budget, but if you spend a little bit more, you can get slightly better ones.

The end result - slightly messy, but pretty nice!

Have you tried any of the Poundland makeup? Would you recommend any of it? Let me know! 

Monday, May 01, 2017

First Impressions & Review // Nintendo Switch & Zelda : Breath Of The Wild

Hey guys!

Before I get into this post it will most likely contain spoilers for Breath of The Wild. They won’t necessarily be big spoilers, but to talk about the game properly, there will most likely be some things that people will consider spoilers there will also be some screenshots I’ve taken whilst playing the game. If you’re playing it and don’t want to know anything about the game, this probably isn’t the blog post for you!

Also - it's a pretty long chatty post, so you may want to go and get some snacks/a hot drink and settle in :P

Being a pretty big Nintendo fan, I knew that I wanted to buy the Nintendo Switch as soon as they announced they were working on a new console I wanted it even more after they revealed they would be releasing the new Zelda game, Breath Of The Wild, on this new console, as well as on the Wii U. There’s also a lot more games in the works that I will be buying, I didn’t literally only buy the Switch for Zelda, but it’s a pretty impressive start!
I’m going to split this post into two sections the Nintendo Switch section, and the Breath Of The Wild section. I may overlap slightly, as I’ll be talking about how I feel the Switch handles Breath Of The Wild, etc, but I feel like it’ll be easier to split it this way.


First thing the battery life. Nintendo say you should get between 2.5 3.5 hours of battery life when you’re playing the Switch undocked it varies for different games, but I think Zelda was one of the 2.5h ones tested. However, I think that I ended up getting a faulty Switch, as my battery life doesn’t last anywhere near that long. Even when mine is fully charged, it lasts 45 minutes at most before I get the “low battery” notification. Often, when I plug it in after this notification, the battery instantly leaps from 15% (when it tells you you’re low on battery) to around 42%. Also, if I fully charge my Switch before I go to bed, then turn it off, when I turn it on the next day it’s often already down to around 74% or something similar. I have emailed Nintendo about this issue, as it means I can’t really take advantage of the whole portability factor they were pushing for the Switch, but I can’t really give a fair review on the battery life until I get it sorted!

I also haven’t had a chance to play my console while it’s docked yet, but I’ve been my brother play his and it looks amazing the quality is really clear on the bigger screen, and it just looks amazing, with little lag.

The “puppy dog controller”, as it’s been dubbed, is extremely comfortable to play on, I’ve found I don’t have a pro controller, as I don’t have the money to get one currently, but I like the way the puppy dog controller feels in my hands it’s easy to use and looks good, plus it’s comfortable for people with bigger hands to play without their hands/thumbs overlapping too much.

Personally, I always play on handheld mode, as I find it most comfortable to do, plus I need to plug my console in a lot, so it’s just more convenient for my needs at the moment. It’s smaller and thinner than the Wii U gamepad, too, which makes it comfortable to play for a long period of time.

There’s a lot of amazing games coming out this year for the Switch, too Mario Odyssey, Fire Emblem Warriors, Splatoon 2, Mario kart 8 Deluxe and Xenoblade Chronicles 2, to name a few so if you’re on the fence about buying a Switch, I’d definitely go for it if you’re excited for as many of the games for it that I am! There’s also a lot of third party games coming out including games like Skyrim so there’s something for everyone!
I also opted for the grey joycons they have neon ones, too, so one is red and one is blue. The neon ones were a bit too garish for my liking, but they will appeal to more people who may want something a bit brighter and eyecatching than I wanted. They’re also planning on bringing out some bright yellow joycons later this year, so keep an eye out for those if that’s something you’re interested in!

Overall, I’m really liking my Switch so far, despite the battery life issues I’m having. It’s small, light, runs fast and has enough different ways to play it to appeal to everyone! Plus, it looks good, in my opinion, and there’s so many different games planned for it that there’s something for everyone, no matter what your taste in games is like.


This game turned out to be everything I wanted and more. I knew it was going to be amazing anyway, as Monolith Soft (the company who worked on one of my all time favourite games, Xenoblade Chronicles) worked on it too, but it definitely ended up surpassing all my expectations!

I really like the way they chose to do minimal music in this game usually, I like having constant music playing in all the different areas of the game, but in Breath Of The Wild, there’s less music than there usually would be however, the music they do have compliments each area and enemy perfectly, it’s very well done and I really like it. My personal favourite music is either the Talus battle music, or the music in Rito Village.

They went with a slightly more muted colour pallette for the most part in Breath Of The Wild some areas, such as Death Mountain, are more vibrant, but I like the style and colours they chose for this game, it’s very pleasing to the eyes.

One thing about this game that people were sceptical about is the fact you don’t just have a couple of weapons to use throughout the game, as is usually the case in Zelda games you usually get a boomerang, hookshot, arrows and the Master Sword, for example. In Breath Of The Wild, you can hold up to 20 melee weapons, 20 bows/types of arrows and 20 shields. The items are also limited useage once you’ve used it completely, it’ll break and disappear. There’s a few special weapons that you can get repaired, but it’ll cost you! I personally really like this, for the most part it means you get to try out a lot of different weapons, but it can also get annoying if you have a load of great weapons already and you find another one you want, but you’ve run out of inventory slots for your weapons. You start off with 8 melee weapon slots, 6 bow/arrow slots and 4 shield slots.

Throughout the game, you can also get different clothing which is also something different for the Zelda series, as usually you have the green tunic and hat. Some of the clothing you can get will also come with some kind of effect you can get ones that help with heat resistance, for example. If you can a Zelda amiibo, you can also sometimes get special items, weapons and clothing for example, if you use the Ocarina of Time Link amiibo, you can get the clothing of time or a Biggoron Sword, or if you scan the Super Smash Bros Zelda amiibo, you can get the Twilight Bow (as the Zelda from Super Smash is the Zelda from Twilight Princess). You can only use each amiibo once a day, so bear that in mind! They will also give you supplies, such as raw meat, fish and plants.

I also really like how big the map is if you can see it, you can get to it, for the most part. Of course, eventually there’s limits to the world, but there’s a very vast area to explore too I’m around 160 hours into the game and I’m still finding new things every time I play! Not only are there 120 shrines to find (I hit 110 at the time of writing this blog post), but there’s also mysterious being called Koroks to find. They’re hidden all over Hyrule some are harder to find than others and when you find one, they’ll reward you by giving you a seed, which you can later use to expand your weapon inventories. There’s 900 Koroks in all, so you can imagine it’ll take quite a while and a LOT of exploring to find them all. I currently have 281, so still have quite a long way to go! I also currently have one melee weapon slot to go, 2 bow slots and 8 shield ones, so I have a way to go yet to fully expand.

Another really cool feature they added to Breath Of The Wild is the fact that, instead of potions, you can now collect food/ingredients and cook it! You can kill animals, pick up plants/insects/fruit that you see, and even use rock salt from ore deposits to make food and elixirs. When you kill enemies, you can grab their remains stuff like horns, guts, etc and cook them with some insects, you can create an elixir based on the effect the insect will bring. For example, using a hot footed frog will create a speed elixir, while a fireproof lizard will create a fireproof elixir.

The story is pretty cool for this game. You wake up in the Shrine of Resurrection with a voice telling you to open your eyes. When you wake up, you see a glowing terminal, so you have to go over to it and interact with it. The voice tells you to pick up the Sheikah Slate (it looks a bit like a tablet, and comes in very helpful), and that it will help explain what happened so long ago. The voice gives you a bit of a tutorial as you find your way out of the shrine you will also find some clothes in chests on your way out. 

Once you leave and have started exploring, you will find an old man. If you speak to him, he'll tell you to come and talk to him again if you want to know more, and you can steal his baked apple - he'll be important a bit later on. 

After a while, the voice will prompt you to head to the place marked on the map. If you do this, you will find a terminal, where you will be instructed to place the Sheikah slate on it once this is done, it actives multiple towers all over the land, including one which sprouts directly beneath you. The map of this area will distill from the terminal once the tower has sprouted. From the top of the tower, you can see Hyrule Castle, and you hear the voice urging you to remember the events of 100 years ago you will also see Calamity Ganon around the castle.

Once you climb down the tower again, the old man will fly down with a paraglider. He tells you a little bit about the events of 100 years ago. He asks you if you’re planning on trying to get rid of Ganon, then explains you can’t get off the Great Plateau by climbing, as it’s too steep, then he says he will give you the paraglider if you get the treasure out of the shrine that’s next to the tower and gives it to him however, once you do that, he changes his mind and says he wants the treasures out of all 4 Great Plateau shrines before he’ll hand it over. 

Once you’be done that, he’ll give you the paraglider, and your adventure can truly begin! One of the cool things about this game is that Nintendo have stated that, if you so please, as soon as you leave the plateau you can head straight to Hyrule Castle to try your luck against Calamity Ganon you don’t necessarily have to do any other story first, unlike other Zelda games. I like that they gave you free reign, pretty much.

Instead of the classic Zelda dungeons, there are 4 Divine Beasts one for each main area. You will have to activate terminals inside these beasts, then defeat the mini boss inside each. Doing these will help you greatly against Ganon, if you choose to play this way.

So, in conclusion I definitely feel like Breath Of The Wild was well worth the delays and it may even be my new favourite Zelda game sorry, Ocarina Of Time! The story is enticing, the graphics are amazing and the whole game has a really nice feel about it, from the music to all the small things like korok hunting and figuring out how to find all the shrines. I like that there’s not a set way to play, also both my brother and I ended up taking completely different routes and played in different ways, which was interesting. Me and my best friend have also been playing completely differently she decided to get all the towers first, while I decided I wanted to do an area at a time and try to do as many shrines for each area as I could, before tackling the Divine Beasts.

Do you have a Switch, or Breath of the Wild? Are you planning on getting either? Let me know!