My Birthday, Blogaversary And An Etsy Discount Code

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Amanda Says

Hello friends!

The last few days have been a bit nerve wracking for me. I decided to move my blog to a different host and I was walking into the process partially blind. Who was it that said you don’t need to see the whole path, just the next few steps? Anyway, that’s a bit what it was like. The good new is, I did it! Mostly by winging it, but hey, I am quite proud of myself. And so you may notice my blog has a new look, just in time for my 3rd Blogaversary!

I can’t believe it’s been that long! It doesn’t feel that long, does it? Also coming up next week is my birthday! Yup, 8th of August, that’s me. I’m a Leo. Sooooo, to celebrate these two special events I want to give my readers a little something to say thank you for reading my random ramblings and for being so kind. It means an awful lot to me. So stop by The Owl And The Dragon and buy yourself something nice. Use the code AMANDASAYS when you check out and you’ll get 10% off whatever you like. The code is valid for two weeks, so get your groove on.  I’ve got my eye on those flamingo sleep masks, personally.

Namaste,

Amanda x

 

Little Rescue Mouse

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Hello friends!

This darling little creature is straight out of a Beatrix Potter book, isn’t he? This is my rescue mouse! At the moment he is recuperating with me having survived a terrifying attack.

What happened is this: I was innocently reading a book one evening when I heard a scuffle outside. It sounded like animals fighting, so I went to have a look. And guess who I saw?? Never mind, I’ll tell you. Our neighbour’s cat and a fox were having a squabble. Now the fact is, I am very fond of both of these little animals, so naturally I was a bit concerned. At first I thought the cat was just being territorial, but then I saw he had something under his paw. The fox was circling the cat, and whenever he got too close, the cat would have a mini explosion fit and chase him off, hissing and growling. Then I spotted the mouse, cowering under the cat’s paw. He’d try to run but only get a few inches before the cat slapped a paw on him again.

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Well, I wasn’t having it. I rushed outside and chased away the cat and the fox. I tried to shoo the mouse away to safety but he was too stunned to run very far and the cat kept coming back to try to nab him again. So I picked up the poor little mouse and brought him home to recover. I had to improvise quickly because I don’t have a spare cage, but luckily I have lots of food and bedding that I keep for my gerbils. So this is currently my mouse hotel! There’s lots of clean water, food, and places to hide.

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The first few days the poor little mouse seemed very dazed and shocked and spent most of the time sleeping. But he has improved loads and now he is clearly feeling a lot better, he has been moving about and eating lots! I’m going to release him in a nice, green area in a couple of days. He’s a real survivor! And don’t worry, I regularly put dog food and water out for the fox (and his friend, we’ve spotted two in our area), so I’m not stealing all of his food! The cat is well fed by his owners, so he really has no excuse.

Namaste,

Amanda x

Currently 16.0

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Currently 16.0

Hello friends!

This time of year in England is green and warm, and there are lots of baby birds to see at our local park, so I’m pretty happy! Apart from that, here are my other Currentlies for the month of July.

Currently Watching:

The other night I watched Manhattan. It’s supposed to be a classic, right? Well, I’m swirling in a murky soup of disappointment and bafflement. Why is this movie so famous, exactly? I didn’t like Woody Allen, I didn’t like the storyline, none of the characters were remotely likable, and the whole movie was basically unimpressive and disappointing. I kept waiting for something interesting to happen… and it just didn’t.

Currently Looking Forward To:

I’m going to see Dirty Thrills at the Lexington in London next week and I can’t wait! They’re an awesome rock ‘n’ roll/ blues band I came across when I was at Camden Rocks Festival and their performance was brilliant.

Currently Listening To:

Y’know back when I was raving about Darren Hayes’ podcast The He Said He Said Show? Well, when that ended, I was heartbroken. Like, heart stomped on and squished to a pulp. BUT, my darlings, it’s okay! Darren has a new podcast which he does with Anthony Armentano, and it’s called We Paid To See This. Every week in a 30 minute episode Darren and Anthony review a movie they’ve seen at the cinema. There ya go, now of you’re torn about going to see a movie, just listen to We Paid To See This and the guys will give you an honest review and help you decide! Did I mention it’s also worth listening to just for the comic relief because Darren and Anthony are pretty funny! Get it on iTunes or the podcast app, and you can follow the show on Twitter so you can send in requests of movies for them to cover.

 

What are your currentlies for the month of July?

Namaste,

Amanda x

5 Awesome Things To Watch

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Hello friends!

When I’m not busy rescuing animals, drinking coffee, or rock ‘n’ rollin’, I like to watch all kinds of stuff, so I wanna share five things I’ve enjoyed lately, and maybe you’ll find something you like too!

Peaky Blinders

I’ve just finished watching season 2 of Peaky Blinders and now my life feels all empty and I’m like what shall I do with my life now?? It’s a brilliant, clever show and I love it as much as Sons of Anarchy! It took a couple of episodes to get into it but once I did I was hooked. Let’s face it, Cillian Murphy’s cheekbones would make a show about watching paint dry worth watching.

Programme Name: Peaky Blinders - TX: n/a - Episode: Episode 1 (No. 1) - Picture Shows: Arthur Shelby (Paul Anderson), John Shelby (Joe Cole), Thomas Shelby (Cillian Murphy) - (C) Mandabach TV - Photographer: Robert Viglasky

Will Young’s YouTube Channel

You may or may not know, I’ve been a faithful Will Young fan for years, as in from the Pop Idol days. What I didn’t know was that he has a YouTube channel and I’ve been binge watching his videos! He’s not just a great musician, he’s so sweet and funny and he loves animals! See why I love him? His latest videos are a series called Ask Will Young, and you can send in questions which he answers in the videos once a week.

Subscribe here. Do it now, kids.

Will Young

Adam Lambert Music Videos

Hubba hubba, that boy can sing. And if you’re a Glambert, like me, or even if you just love Queen, also like me, then I suggest you hit the vidz on YouTube big time. I love watching Adam parade around singing Queen songs, especially since I missed the tour, but watching it from the comfort of my own home is pretty sweet, too. It also means I can pause the video and have a coffee break!

Queen and Adam Lambert live on stage at the Barclaycard Arena on January 23, 2015 in Birmingham, England.

Orange Is The New Black

I almost gave up on watching this show because the first few episodes had me feeling seriously depressed. You may have seen my distraught tweets if you follow me on Twitter. But, it has been getting better, I’m only on about episode four, it is certainly very interesting and unpredictable. I mainly wanted to watch it because I adore Kate Mulgrew, and what a character she is! I’ve heard people compare this to Prison Break and I’m going to tell you, it’s nothing like that. It’s about women and the life challenges they face, and even early on I’ve started to root for a lot of them. These are not shallow characters, each one has a complex story which is slowly unraveling, and you soon realize that being in prison is definitely not all that black and white as you’d think. The law sucks, man!

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Tyler Oakley’s YouTube Channel

Where hast thou been my whole life, Tyler? Tyler has a massive online following and you can understand why, he makes me laugh SO MUCH, and watching his videos just puts me in such a chipper mood! He’s fierce, he’s sassy, he’s fabulous, and he talks about everything from gay rights to pop culture. Just be warned that his videos are super addictive, and before you know it, whoops, like 3 hours have gone by, so like, set an alarm or something.

Check out his YouTube channel here.

Tyler Oakley

What have you been watching lately?

Namaste,

Amanda x

What’s in my TBR pile?

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Hello friends!

One thing we never have a shortage of in our household is books and my TBR (which stands for To Be Read, for all you newbies out there) pile seems to be extra tall lately. Here are a few of them.

tbr 1

Anything Goes by John Barrowman

I have a huge infatuation with all things Captain Jack so, naturally I have to check this out. Can you believe I nabbed this for like 50p at a charity shop? My life is so awesome!

The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice

I’m hoping this is better than the movie. In fact, I’m sure it will be, because 90% of the time, the books are better. Anyway, I saw the movie donkeys ago, before I’d even heard of the books, so I don’t remember much.  I’m sure I’m going to love it, I love Anne Rice and Interview With A Vampire is one of my favourite books ever.

The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice

The natural follow up to the Queen of the Damned and because I always need more vampires in my life, obviously.

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Gok Cooks Chinese by Gok Wan

Eeek, I LOVE Gok! Yes, I’m flapping about like a total fangirl right now! Do you remember when this was a little series on the telly? Well, I’m going to revisit all those yummy recipes and try to reinvent them at home!

Work Your Wardrobe by Gok Wan

I’ve been reading bits of this here and there and dayamnnn, if anything is going to encourage you to get all fabulous and fine and start getting your style act together, THIS BOOK IS IT. Plus with Gok calling the reader gorgeous at every interval (why, thank you!), yikes, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and like I really wanna go shopping for shoes right now!

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The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King

Because Stephen King, y’all! Enough said.

Nothing is Impossible by Dynamo

This book is so tantalizing. I am becoming more fascinated by musicians and magic daily. I had a sneak peak of this book and it grabs you from the start with Dynamo talking about how he walked on water. I’m a real believer in title anyway, I think anything really is possible, after all, we, as humans, probably haven’t even begun to tap into the mysteries of the universe and our own potential. But that’s a whole other pot of tea. I think this book will be amazing, and I really think it came to me for a reason.

Lost Souls by Poppy Z Brite

I read this when I was a teen and I couldn’t remember a single detail to save my life. But I remember how it made me feel and I bloody adored it to bits, so I have got to read it again!

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And as a little bonus, here’s what I’m reading at the moment.

The Silver Witch by Paula Brackston

Two witches, one in the past, one in the future, lots of mysterious things going on. I like Paula Brackston but I do find myself becoming a bit bored with some of the extra long descriptions and the somewhat slow pace at the beginning. But perhaps things will pick up? I’ll let ya know!

Have you read any of these books? What’s in your TBR pile?

Namaste,

Amanda x

Say Hello To Rupert

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Hello friends!

As you may know, I’m a volunteer and advocate for a lovely charity called The Cinnamon Trust. It’s a national charity that comes to the aid of elderly or ill people and their pets, and it pairs them with volunteers to help walk or care for the pets when their owners are unable to do so.

I wrote about one little dog called Charlie that I’ve been walking for just over a year now. Now I’ve been assigned a second dog to walk! His name is Rupert and he is a 9 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. He was found as a stray and rescued, and it’s thought he may be an ex stud dog. He’s certainly handsome enough! His owner has two other beautiful spaniels, both girls, and while she walks them both, she has a little trouble with Rupert because he’s so strong and she has arthritis. That’s where I come in!

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Rupert doesn’t really get on with other dogs, apart from the two girls he lives with. But when he sees another dog in the street he will bark and strain at his lead. I have to hang on pretty tight! Luckily, my mum and I came up with a new technique. When we see another dog approaching, we cross the road and hide behind a car until it has gone past! This has worked so far, and Rupert usually doesn’t notice the other dog when I distract him.

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Rupert is a quirky character. He is completely deaf, so I have to wave or pat him if I want to get his attention. He also really likes to eat grass, so I have to stop for him whenever he fancies a chomp!

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I love having these Cinnamon Trust buddies! If you love animals and can spare the time, The Cinnamon Trust is always looking for more volunteers, so consider becoming one in your area. Just go to their website here for details.

Namaste,

Amanda x

SCRAPBOOKING FOR NEWBIES PART 4: BREAKING THE RULES

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Scrapbooking for Newbies

Hello friends!

Have you been following along in my scrapbooking series?

I wanted to give you a couple more ideas, and show you that it’s totally okay to break the rules and do whatever you like in your scrapbook.

Here are a few pages I did of my Hoobastank experience! As you can see, scrapbooks don’t always have to be nostalgic or girly, these pages are kinda rock ‘n’ roll, I’ve written a bit about the day to remind me, and I’ve included the date. They give me a warm and fuzzy feeling every time I look at them, which is exactly what a scrapbook is supposed to do!

I wanted to do a little introduction page, so that’s what I started with. I found these cool cassette stickers which I thought would be perfect for that old school, rock ‘n’ roll vibe.

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Then I created an individual pages for each band member (if you haven’t guessed yet, I really love Hoobastank!).

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With a traditional scrapbook, I usually choose the patterned papers to match my photos. Here I glued in the patterned pages first to make attractive backdrops and went to write the lyrics in the curves. I then added the photos and embellishments, and I also wrote about my experience as you would in a journal. I almost always use a glue stick for these projects because they’re not messy, and they don’t make the pages bulgy.

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This was such an important experience to me that I really wanted to record and document the experience in as much detail as possible. I also bought the instrument stickers so that I could have each band member’s instrument represented on their page.

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The moral of this post is, don’t be afraid to break all the rules and just do whatever you want. Your scrapbook is for you, at the end of the day, so if it was special or important to you, make that memory last in a glorious, papery tribute!

I’d love it if you would stop by my Etsy shop and check out my scrapbook kits as well as extra goodies for your scrapbook!

Stay inspired!

Namaste,

Amanda x

PS: Don’t forget to check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this series.

YIKES, I’M A GERBIL MAMA!

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Hello friends!

In the past I’ve had gerbils, hamsters, and mice, and, while I love all of them, gerbils are my favourite small rodents. They make such awesome pets for so many reasons! They rarely bite, unless frightened, they don’t smell, they are very friendly and sociable, and they are excellent paper shredders! Seriously, if you get gerbils, don’t ever leave important paperwork or your favourite jumper near the bars of their cage because that thing is gone! They’ll shred it with their sharp little gnashers and use it as bedding. But at least they like to recycle, right?

I’ve wanted to get some gerbils for aaaages, and now I finally got them and couldn’t be a happier bunny! The time had to be right, and I wanted their new home and so on to be absolutely perfect. And so on the 6th of June, I became a very proud gerbil mama!

Let me introduce you to Kili and Fili! If you follow me on Instagram you will have already seen pictures of them (and if you decide to follow me, you will be aggressively bombarded with pictures of ridiculously cute animals and rock bands – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!). Kili is the more grey coloured one at the back, and Fili is the white one nearer the front. At the moment they are about 12 weeks old, or so. They are named after the dwarf brothers in the Hobbit!

Gerbils

They’ve settled into their new home really well! Obviously it’s very important to make sure they have clean water available at all times, as well as a healthy, varied diet. So as well as the staple dry gerbil food you buy at the pet shop, I also like to give them small amounts of fresh vegetable and fruit, dried grass, lavender, dandelions, and clover; raisins, nuts, seeds, cheese, cereal, dog biscuits, dry cat food, and cooked egg.

I give them lots of paper, cardboard, toilet roll tubes, and bits of wood to chew and shred, which actually keeps them busy for ages! They put the shredded paper and bits of dry grass in the house to snuggle up in.

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And when I open their cage door they come to say hello, maybe to nibble my fingers a bit and grab a treat. They’re getting used to me handling them now, and I think they recognize my voice when I call them!

Do you have any pets?

Namaste,

Amanda x

SCRAPBOOKING FOR NEWBIES PART 3: IDEAS FOR A SMASHBOOK OR LA DE DAH JOURNAL

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3. Scrapbooking for Newbies

Hello friends!

So, for a little recap, in Part 1 I talked about basic supplies and tools, and in Part 2 I showed you some ideas of scrapbook layouts for a blank, traditional scrapbook. In this post, I’m going to show you my own La De Dah journal (a Smashbook is basically the same thing), and maybe inspire and give you some ideas of what you can do, too.

I find that, although La De Dah journal and Smashbooks are absolutely gorgeous, you are a little more restricted. I feel like you have to stick to the theme of the book and its colours, whereas with a blank scrapbook you can do absolutely what you want, and start from scratch. That said, smash books are a lot less time consuming and they are easier to complete, because a lot of the work, as in the background, is already done for you, ready for you to add things to.

I want to give you guys a peek inside my La De Dah journal. This one is called Pretty Creative Journal in pink. It’s still a work in progress and a lot of the pages aren’t finished yet, but I like adding things to them as and when it feels right.

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This is the opening page of my La De Dah journal. I’ve glued a Smashbook pocket in the inside cover where I can stash scraps and bits and pieces to scrap later.

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I like to write quotes in my scrapbooks. This is my favourite Gandhi quote!

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Here’s my little Doctor Who tribute. I thought these pages were perfect for this episode with the evil angels! See, you kinda have to go with what you’re given. What I basically did was I printed a picture of the Doctor and the Tardis, cut them out and glued them in. I also love using letter stickers because you can personalize your pages with them so easily, and they look great.

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This is my Grandma! I glued the large picture onto the page. What I love about La De Dah journals is that they have photo wallets where you can just add photos, which is what I did on the second page, since I’m not sure whether I have second copies anywhere.

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I had to  have a horsey page in there somewhere!

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It’s lovely to scrap pictures of a day out somewhere. I also make a point of writing down the date and place whenever possible. Don’t be afraid to use stickers and embellishments, and I love using photo corners, even after I glue the photos in, since they give a nice, complete look.

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This is me at King’s Cross in London, at Platform Nine and Three Quarters! That same day I went to see Placebo perform live at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith in the evening. It was such an awesome day! Looking at these pages instantly bring those memories flooding back – so they’re doing their job!

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Random little photos. I love printing pictures out on a smaller scale too, it means you can fit more on a page!

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And this is the last page! The inner cover here has a pocket, too, although this one came in the scrapbook, I didn’t glue it in.

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I hope this has inspired you and maybe given you some ideas for your own scrapbooks! Let me know what you think! Which page is your favourite?

Namaste,

Amanda x

PS: Don’t forget to check out

MAKE ZOOS HISTORY: WHY SHOULD THE ANIMALS SUFFER?

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Make Zoos History

Hello friends,

It’s with a heart filled with anger and sorrow that I write this after reading news on the latest tragedies caused by nothing more than human stupidity and self importance. It baffles me every day why our species seems to value its own existence so much more than others.

Harambe, a beautiful 17 year old western lowland gorilla, was shot and killed the other day in a zoo in Cincinnati after reacting to a child who was somehow allowed to crawl into his den. Anyone even slightly familiar with primate behaviour would know that Harambe was not being violent towards the child, and regardless, he should have been tranquilized and not killed.

Harambe, gorilla

Two lions in a zoo in Chile were killed when a man jumped into their den, naked. Where on Earth is the sense in killing the lions in that situation, it’s absolutely disgusting. The man made his bed, in my opinion, if he was suicidal or just plain stupid, the lions should not have been made to pay the price.

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And you may have heard of the heartbreaking story about Asian elephant Hanako, the “world’s loneliest elephant”, who died at the age of 69 after spending 66 years in her small concrete enclosure in a zoo in Tokyo, Japan.

Hanako, elephant

Then there was the incident of a couple of years ago of Marius, a 2 year old baby giraffe, who was shot in a Copenhagen zoo after zoo authorities decided he was genetically unsuitable for future breeding. His body was then dismembered in public and fed to other animals at the zoo, despite several offers to adopt him and online petitions to save him. And he wasn’t the only giraffe to be killed in a zoo since then.

Marius the giraffe

It’s time zoos were made history. It’s time humans realised how much damage they are responsible for and the horrors that emerge from taking animals out of their natural environment and keeping them in tiny cages and enclosures for people to leer at.

There is just no excuse for it anymore. With modern technology, television, movies, and the internet at our fingertips we have access to high quality recordings of animals in their natural habitat. We can watch them from the comfort of our own homes, see how they would act freely in their home environment instead of in a gilded prison.

We should be protecting and liberating these creatures. I pledge never to set foot in a zoo ever again, and to campaign to make all zoos a thing of the past. I really hope you will, too.

Namaste,

Amanda x