Saturday, 29 August 2015

Review: Jurassic World

In 1993 I was an amazed, excited and overwhelmed 8 year old girl who had just seen Jurassic Park. I couldn't get enough!

 Fast forward 22 years and I am now an amazed, excited and overwhelmed 30 year old mum who has recently seen Jurassic World.

The magic is back.

I have always loved dinosaurs, and the Jurassic Park franchise since that first encounter in 1993. I met hubby, Luke, in 2001 - and guess what? He loves the franchise too.

Naturally, it was a complete no-brainer that when we heard Jurassic World was coming to cinemas -and after we saw the trailers and advertorials - we could not wait to see it. It was definitely worth the wait.

Jurassic World is an action-packed ride of emotional and explosive scenes that manage to capture the magic from the original and first instalment. It turned back to the unique selling point that dinosaurs could be attractions, in a theme park, with a merchandisable nature to boot. If you package this up you're left with the desirable feeling that leaves audiences to imagine (and inevitably wanting to) go there and see these creatures ourselves, up close. Children especially can be swept up in the imagination and possibility of it all; this was something the original film had in spades.

Consequently, this is exactly why Jurassic World works. It draws us in as an audience, creates empathy for our hero, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and the flawed park manager, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dalllas Howard) and her nephews to enable us to want them to survive.

But the real stars of the show are the dinosaurs themselves. The Velociraptor pack, the new Indominus Rex and of course the nostalgic reprisal of the Tyranosaurs Rex herself, still showing her scars which she earned at the end of the first movie. These creatures breathe life into the screen and thrill us at each turn.

As a huge JP fan - I was blown away by the initial scene of the Jurassic World Park - as the camera flew over the complex and passed through the gates a tear pricked my eye as those feelings of 'wanting to be there' rose to the surface.

This film is a must see. My only regret is that Jake was too young to come with us to the cinema and watch. But make no mistake, we'll be putting these Blu-rays on for him as soon as he can say 'Rarrr' - we've already pre ordered ;-)

My overall rating: 5 out of 5.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

8 Things That Scare Me Now I Am A Parent

Becoming a parent has meant that I have discovered (or perhaps developed) a whole new range of fears that creep up on my subconscious and terrorise it when I lest expect it. Am I the only one this happens to? When watching TV or films, or reading books - my empathy levels are through the roof as I often find myself - uncontrollably - thinking 'what if that were J?'. 

The dictionary definition of fear is: "a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc.,whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. Something that causes feelings of dread or apprehension; something person is afraid of".

My fear of actually being paralysed by fear aside, here are the things that scare me now I am a parent:

1. Illness - I am terrified that J might one day be really, really ill. I get so upset for other parents and children when this happens that I worry about how I'd cope if it happens to us. I admire those of you who have battled through this. But, I am also scared of being really ill myself and not being able to be a proper mum to J. 

2. Big Spiders - OK so I have always been scared of spiders bigger than a 50 pence piece - but now I am terrified that they might crawl on Jake and scare him.  Eurgh! Plus - this means I'd have to get it off him! Double Eurgh!

3. Cars - J isn't walking yet but now I am a parent I am so scared of how fast some cars go. We had two children hit by cars at the school I taught in this year and I myself was hit by a car as a child. It can be deadly, life changing and is a horrible experience.

4. Time - it goes too quickly that I'm scared I will wake up one day and think 'what happened to my life?' Or 'How is my son 30 years old already?'. I think this new fear of time is a lot to do with the fact that I am turning 30 on Monday 17th...

5. Food - as a fat mummy I worry about what and how much I feed J because I don't want him to be fat like me. He is and has always been chunky - he has a large appetite himself and was a hungry baby so I don't want to add to that and make it worse for him. Daddy and I are determined to ensure that he remains active physically - which he certainly is at the moment!

6. That we won't have anything in common - what if he doesn't like me? What if we will have nothing in common as he gets older? I can't stand the thought of him not wanting to talk to me or me be a part of his life.

7. Intelligence - my fear of J not being very bright is because I am a secondary English school teacher who sees how hard education is and how hard life is for those children who aren't very able academically. I hope that J isn't going to be one of them only because I hate to think of him having to struggle. 

8. Strangers - Now that I am a parent this is one of the things that really scare me; stranger danger. Did any of you watch The Missing on BBC? Well - that thoroughly spooked me and even the hubby said it makes him think twice about taking J abroad! Losing your child like that and never 'knowing' is just awful.

As you can see, I have 8 real things that scare me now I am a parent - things that I wouldn't really have given a second thought before having my own child. It's funny how having a baby changes your outlook on life and the way you see the world. Hopefully we'll all be fine and dandy though :)

What things scare you as a parent?

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Guest Post: New job - New Breakfasts!

Hey everyone!

It's Juanita here! I'm a newbie lifestyle blogger from London who is partial to cake and a burger every now and then -  and I am super grateful to Bex for letting me guest post on her blog, to get in some practice! :)

So I have recently started a new job, working in Central London, and I am surrounded by food, and most importantly… a lot of food. Now there’s a new tea shop opening down the road and I’m counting down the days until I can start having a good cuppa to accompany my cakes :)

When I was younger I thought about food differently - the only food really on my mind was chocolate and ice cream; I know I question how my teeth remained in my head too. I’m still not sure about that. As I have gotten older, these two things have started to give me heartburn so you can imagine my disappointment as I have started to change my lifestyle  - starting to learn to cook and choose healthier options.

By making these small changes, I don't have to worry about missing out too much and I have found alternatives and a new passion for breakfast, (yep, breakfast!). I now interchange breakfasts over the week and have narrowed it down to three different types:

The Simple Breakfast

This includes a cup of Strawberry and Orange Tea with Lemon drizzle cake, or maybe a pastry. Quick and simple, yet delicious and also can be taken out. I still have to have something sweet!
I know not everyone loves cake, but I still have to say, ‘Who doesn’t love cake?!’

The ‘I’ve got a few extra minutes to spare Breakfast'

This one can reach anything from porridge or toast and right down to anything that involves eggs. For me it’s scrambled eggs on toast. I rarely see these luxurious ‘few minutes to spare breakfasts’, as I’m
forever running slightly late (or out of bread, or out of eggs) but when I do it’s happy days.

The full shebang 

I cannot deny that my first and foremost love is for a cooked breakfast. I’ll take English or American; fry-ups or pancakes. (I say fry-up but there’s nothing actually fried; it’s all just pushed into the oven and left for about half an hour and only the egg is fried). I also use fry-light to keep fat and calories down. As long as it’s hot and there’s lots of it I’m happy. I’ve even found a quaint chain that does variations of both – The Breakfast Club. So if you’re in London check them out, and I hear they’re opening outside of London too! Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

So - what’s your favourite breakfast? I'd love to find out in the comments.

Thanks for reading. If you'd like to see more of me then head over to my blog: LDN Girl.
Thanks to Bex for letting me guest on her blog :)

Monday, 10 August 2015

Jake's 11 Month Update

So today it happened - Jake turned 11 months old. He is no longer a little baby and is fast becoming a little toddler. Here are some of our favourite 'new' things that we've discovered with Jake this month:

1. Cuddles - Jake now crawls over to us and cuddles us openly and affectionately. He will also accompany his cuddles with 'ahhhhhh' sounds. He does the same to his teddy bears and the cuddly Chewbacca that Daddy bought for him this month.

2. Steps - Jake has begun to cruise around the furniture and really use is push-along walker to get about. He's pulling himself up on everything and is often getting up on one knee - he looks like he's going to just stand up and walk at any moment...that's what we hope is going to happen. We know some babies his age are already walking, but we aren't concerned - he's doing all of the right things and it is risky for a baby to begin walking too early if their legs aren't physically ready for it.
Here's Jake cruising along - yes he is wearning a Grufalo onsie!

3. Eating with his hands...and hair! - Jake is now eating a lot more with his hands and self-feeding much more too. I am concious that I need to prepare and provide a wider variety of foods for his evening meal - as we're getting into the rut of doing the same old or using Ella's Kitchen pouches if we've been out. Today I made him some cheese and tomatoe on toasted muffin for his lunch, which he enjoyed and tried some custard for his afters.

4. Personality - 11 months has seen Jake's own little personality really shine! He is a happy, loving and contented little man who is a pleasure. He receives compliments and attention everywhere we go and has a cheeky, curious nature which I am certain will lead to him getting into trouble when he's older. He has started to follow and play with the older children at nursery and has taken up a particular friendship with Dylan (18 mo) at nursery. He seems eager to want to try rolling, throwing, hitting, biting and chasing everything and anything, and is especially interested in how doors can be opened and closed.

6. Playful - Jake is happy to be playing and trying new things and places now. He especially loves to be outdoors. He is the reason why we're moving house later this week, so that we'll have a nice little flat garden for him.

I can't believe that there is only one month left before Jake has his first birthday. Where has this time gone??