Harry Potter Studio Tour!

hp tourToday I visited the Warner Brothers Studio in London, and went on the Harry Potter tour. Mum bought the tickets for the whole family to go, but it was really a very special 21st birthday present for me. My birthday however was two weeks ago, and let me tell you something, 2 weeks is a very long time to wait.

The waiting was all worth it in the end, due to two main reasons. The first, you get to feel like youre actually in that world youve imagined on screen. Today I drank Butterbeer (still not sure about the taste on that one), rode a broomstick on a green screen, ate a chocolate frog, wore a Hogwarts robe, sat in the Great Hall, walked through the Hogwarts Express, stood in front of number 4 Privet Drive, and dueled with a wand against my sister. It was an amazing experience.

But I say two reasons because you get to appreciate the amount of hard work that has gone on throughout the years of the Harry Potter movies. Everything from the visual effects, to the artists and even the animal trainers. When you watch the films at home or in the cinema, youre focused on the story and actors. The tour made me appreciate talents I had never thought about, and I know so much more relating to facts and trivia now than I did before stepping through those entrance doors.

If I had to score the tour out of ten – I’d give it a nine. The reason its not perfect is because everything is seriously expensive. You have the prices of the tickets to start with, and then everything goes up from there. Today I bought;

  • A small glass of Butterbeer (£2.95)
  • A chocolate frog (£8.95)
  • A Hufflepuff mug (£12.95)
  • A professional picture of me on the broomstick experience (£12.50)

All added up? £37.35 in total.

Yes I didnt have to buy all of those things, I wasnt forced by any member of staff or my family. I bought the mug as a reminder of my Pottermore house, the frog because of the holographic card inside, the picture as a reminder of the day and the Butterbeer because drinking a glass gave a better sense of realism to the experience.

Places like this follow a certain rule – ” Lets see how far we can push visitors with prices”, and I cant knock it because it works. The most expensive products like the official robes, uniforms and character wands were basically flying off the shelves. If I had the cash to splash, I would kit myself out in a Hufflepuff Hogwarts uniform because I’d look cool to be honest. I just dont have that money to spare, and I’m sure other people would probably in the same position.

Going back to what I said earlier though, if youre a lifelong Harry Potter fan or even someone looking for a day out, its very worth it. I would go again, though I’d probably go with someone who hasnt yet experienced the tour, just because it would be pretty amazing to see the same wonder on their face as I reckon was on mine the whole day.

‘Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.’

Have you visited the studios or wish to go yourself? Share your thoughts and pictures in the comments, I’d love to know!



Bookish; “Would You Rather?”

I saw this post featured on another users site and figured I would give it a go. Similar to my last post, its a tag, however she tagged anyone that wanted to do it and I’m the same. So, here we go!


“Read only trilogies or stand alone novels?”

Oh this is going to be tougher than I thought. Reading trilogies gives you the chance to connect with well loved characters and explore more relationships. However, in the past I’ve often changed my opinion on the books themselves, either believing that the two other books never reached the same success as the first one did. Also cliffhangers and waiting for the next book in the series? I hate that.

For that reason alone, I think I’d rather read stand alone novels. Yes the plot doesnt expand and you dont get the chance to revisit old characters, but only having the one book doesnt leave you for future expectations

“Read only male or female authors?”

I read this and I was originally going to say female authors. Maybe its because I’m a girl but female authors can capture emotion and realistically talk about female problems and issues in some sense. Also Harry Potter was written by J.K. Rowling, the bestselling books of all time.

However, I thought about it some more and I realised that the majority of my favourite books on Goodreads are written by male authors. John Green, Stephen Chbosky and F. Scott Fitzgerald, just to name a few, have all captured my attention by writing novels that broke boundaries on YA and other genres of fiction – so males.

“Shop at bookstores or online?”

I still love paper and hardback books, dont get me wrong. But downloading the Kindle app on my Iphone, and then actually buying a Kindle for Christmas just a few months ago changed my purchasing habits. Buying e-books on Amazon is so much cheaper, and being a user on Goodreads means I can just quickly type in a book to see other reviews to see if the novel is worth buying. So online, although I do love occasionally browsing in Waterstones or WH Smiths when I get the chance.

“Have all books become movies or tv shows?”

Good question! Whilst I do believe that a book can be further explored into a tv show – and be successful, e.g. Game of Thrones, a film offers you amazing moments and can be done well. This was proved by “The Fault In Our Stars”, a film which was perfect in adapting the base novel, casting great actors for the characters and produced an amazing soundtrack. Plus at least with a film, you know youre getting something at the end, whether it bombs with critics or not. A TV show could be pulled for ratings, leaving fans disappointed.

“Read 5 pages per day or 5 books per week?”

I’d love to read 5 books a week but at the moment, I cant even manage to read 1! At least with 5 pages, its a target, and I know I’d be able to stick to that.

“Be a professional reviewer or author?”

Author for sure! I have a great idea for a novel that I’d love to share one day, and I really struggle with writing reviews for films and novels.

“Only read your top 20 favourite books over and over or always read new ones that you havent read before?”

Oh my god, whoever thought of this question is a cruel being! I think that although I’d be very sad not to enjoy my favourite books again, I’d rather read new ones. The thing is, I hardly ever pick up a favourite book to read again unless I need to refresh my memory for some reason. And actually, the best part about being a bookworm for me is discovering new authors and books that I didnt know existed before, so I’d have to pick the new books option.

“Be a librarian or a bookseller?”

I know that a lot of people would probably pick the bookseller option, simply because that means they could convert it into something like a cafe that sells books at the same time or something. However because I have OCD, I’d be a librarian. I’d get to arrange books all day and suggest other reads to book readers. I’d also love seeing people all snuggled up in library’s with a book because thats what I used to do when I was younger.

“Only read your favourite genre, or every genre except your favourite.”

My favourite genre at the moment is YA fiction, mainly because I am a Young Adult, but I reckon that reading about teenagers falling in love and having family drama would get a little boring after a while, especially as I grew older. And I’ve recently began becoming interested in things like crime fiction, so it would be nice reading some different works and discovering new authors.

“Only read physical books or EBooks?”

Book readers are probably going to hate me on this, but now I have my Kindle, I hardly ever pick up a real book. Its easier for me to hold and I can have thirty books stored on the device when I go on holiday instead of trying to fit 6 in a suitcase.I still like the feeling of reading a proper book, and its nice to have things like bookmarks, but having a Kindle has converted me. Sorry book community!

I was technically tagged by http://booksbakingandblogging.com/ – so check out her blog if you have the chance! Also let me know in the comments section whether you agree or disagree behind the reasons I gave.



Goodbye to Glee – Thoughts.

So its time to say that horrible word. Goodbye. Goodbye to Glee.

To an extent, I guess I’ve been in this situation before. I’ve enjoyed shows like Gavin & Stacey, Misfits, Skins and more; only to watch them disappear after a few series on the box.

Yet its different with Glee. In July 2009, I was a high school student struggling with the concept of my future, family issues and bullying. It’s true, I was surrounded by a group of friends that I loved being with, but at times I still felt like I was a misfit.

Then Glee happened, and pretty much changed my world. It didnt matter that it was American, or the actors were all over the age of 20 playing students in a high school. Not only was the show an hours worth of comedy and drama each week, it created characters who you couldnt help falling in love with individually and storylines and writing that affected me in both positive and emotional ways.

Yes, I could talk about how the show started to fell apart when the original characters moved to NY, how it lost a bit of its sparkle when we lost Cory, or even how the finale still didnt really answer several questions we had about some of the characters futures.

I’m not going to though, because otherwise it will take the focus on what Glee actually brought to the table. It was one of the first shows to address and depict all different kinds of relationship, both straight and gay. It offered support to teenagers all around the world, and told them that being different was okay. It introduced a new generation to music they may not have discovered if the show hadnt existed. And of course, it gave jobs to actors who hadnt really had the chance to express their talent to the world.

Since the show decided to end on a flash forward, its highly doubtful that Glee will be returning anytime soon. All we’ve got is our memories of the show, and I’m hoping that the rest of the Gleeks out there will continue to remember and support the show no matter what.

Remember, “Being a part of something special, makes you special.”

Were you a fan of the show? Let me know!



World Book Day!

“A book is a dream you hold in your hand” – Neil Gaiman.

The people of the United Kingdom are today celebrating World Book Day, that very special day to celebrate everything related to the world of fiction. And yes, I mean everything. Not only sparing a thought for how reading is important to so many, but also thinking about the way we receive books – the authors who have been talented enough to write stories for us to enjoy, the shops and websites who sell them to us, the publishers who take a chance on a piece of work.

Now WBD is not a holiday. In my opinion it deserves to be classed as one, because wouldnt it be nice to just spend the day curled up on the sofa with a hot drink reading? I think so. However this is probably very difficult to achieve, especially considering World Book Day actually takes place on several different dates in the world. Something which I still cant get my head around.

But for now, lets focus on it being celebrated today. The hashtag #WorldBookDay and #WorldBookDayIn5Words have both featured as trending topics on Twitter, several online websites have created articles in relation to the day, and I’ve also seen loads of pictures taken of children who dressed up for school.

Now that lasr part makes me sad, simply because I never got the chance to dress up for WBD. I never did find out why my Primary School didnt want to keep this tradition going, because it wasnt as if I was at a private school with a strict uniform. Actually we often got tthe chance to wear non uniform every few months or so.

However it wasnt because my school didnt recognise the importance of reading. We had book boxes ranging from various learning difficulties, a book fair that turned up in our school gym every year, and we always were instructed to read every night as part of our homework. We just simply never dressed up. Maybe that was a good thing looking back, especially when you look at the range of book characters that are pretty fantastic. I probably wouldnt have worked out who to be!

Now as I mentioned earlier, World Book Day is celebrated around the world and at various different times in the year. However it remains very popular having been around for several years. Theres a main website with competitions and reviews, online blog posts from parents who are having problems deciding on what costumes to get, and apparently, Goodreads has its highest hits on World Book Day compared to any other day of the year.

With this in mind, its weird to consider how much of an impact that not only books and stories, but reading in general has on us as a whole population. I cant imagine going one day without listening to music, and I share the same opinion on not being able to read for a day.

I read on my kindle, I read paper and hardback books, I read road signs and words on whiteboards, words typed across my laptop, I could go on. You have to wonder sometimes why we often consider Maths and Science subjects to be more important that English. Surely its the other way around?

However thats a discussion for another time, for now lets just enjoy World Book Day. Later on, I have plans to continue reading “The Host”. Its been slow to get into but I think I’m finally at that stage where I’m enjoying the plot and characters, so we’ll see where it goes.

And just because its my blog post, heres a video produced and directed by children and staff from a British high school relating to WBD. Hopefully you guys will enjoy it as much as I did.

Are you reading anything special right now? Let me know in the comments and of course, happy reading!



Sarah’s Angel Delight Hot Chocolate Story & Recipe

The other day I was food shopping in Iceland of all places and a sachet caught my eye. Why, it was Chocolate flavoured Angel Delight!

Well that sachet caught me by surprise and knocked me back for six. The last time I remember eating it was at a friends birthday party when I was around 8 or 9. Angel Delight always seemed to be around at kids parties doesnt it?

Anyway, temptation got the better of me, so I decided to buy it. And today after dinner, I was still reasonably hungry so it was dessert time! The packet states that it serves four but this is clearly lies, I’m a monster when it comes to food and I know others are too. But yeah, once I had followed the instructions and left it to set for five minutes, I carried this bowl to my room and took a spoonful of this brown mixture… and I didnt like it.

It tasted nothing like how I remembered it, it was just this gloopy mixture that hardly tasted of anything. So I wondered what to do with it; eat it all or look online and browse sites for dessert recipes involving Angel Delight. I tried another mouthful but no, there was no different so looking online was my best option.

I was quite surprised by the amount of recipes I found. Its clear others were possibly stuck in my situation at one point in their life. Cocktails and Cheesecakes were the popular options, and yes, both would have been interesting but alas, I had no vodka or biscuits in my cupboard, so I was stuck.

Its around this time normally that I fix myself a cup hot chocolate, I’m a massive fan of just chilling in bed under my duvet at the end of the day with a mug of hot choc and a film, but it got me thinking about this angel delight mix. Why not combine the two? So heres what I did.


  • A sachet of angel delight mix – I used chocolate but I’m tempted to try out the other flavours
  • 350 ml of milk
  • Three teaspoons of sugar – depending on how sugary you like your hot chocolate
  • One teaspoon of hot chocolate powder – just adds a bit of flavour and thickness


  1. Add the mix of angel delight to 300ml of the milk. Whisk untill light and fluffy before leaving to set for 5 minutes.
  2. Once set, pour the mixture into a saucepan, using the remainder of the milk to save the mixture from burning at the bottom of the pan. Turn the stove on a low heat and stir throughout.
  3. Add the sugar and taste untill its how you like it. Add the hot chocolate and stir everything together.
  4. Wait untill the hot chocolate is at the temperature you like and take off the heat. Pour into mugs.

Hope you all enjoy! Dont forget to comment and like if you enjoyed reading, and remember to tell me how yours turned out!


hot choc angel


The Last Five Years – Movie Review.

I came across the trailer for this film a few months ago, and was immediately drawn to this movie musical with an intriguing plot. Whats more, the talented Anna Kendrick was starring as the main female lead, AND the movie itself is based on a stage play. And boy do I love myself a stage adaptation!

Today, I finally had chance to take a break from university work, sit down with a cup of tea and find out for myself what exactly “The Last Five Years” is all about. So without further ado, here is my honest and hopefully entertaining review, but keep in mind that there are spoilers ahead.

“The Last Five Years” is a film that explores the relationship between two central characters, Cathy, a struggling actress, and Jamie, a rising novelist. Though unlike most romantic love stories, where audiences normally watch a couple meet, fall in love, and receive the traditional “happily ever after” ending, “The Last Five Years” is very different. This film uses a form of storytelling in which Jamies view is told in chronological order, and Cathys in shown in reverse which makes it a  very interesting angle for a story to take.

As I mentioned earlier, the film is an adaption based on James Robert Browns musical of the same name, which was in turn inspired by Browns failed first marriage to his wife. Unfortunately I have never had the opportunity to watch this musical, so I’m at a bit of a loss when it comes to comparing the two. I’m sure that fans of the musical may have been disheartened, which is normally the case for adaptations, but I cant really comment on that. However, I am interested in now finding a version of the musical to watch, either online or on the stage.

I really liked this film. And yes, this is rather confusing for me to admit. Mainly because I’m probably most happiest snuggled up in bed with junk food and a romantic drama.  There’s something lovely about watching two characters fall for one another, even if these characters dont exist and I’m never going to find my own Noah who will send me a letter everyday for a year.

The main attraction for this film for me was the plot. Not only was it a refreshing change to your normal movie musical, it was also incredibly realistic. Cathy and Jamie were a couple that worked and supported each other, but they had their own faults individually, and that combined with the struggles they were facing outside the marriage ultimately resulted in a separation.

What also stood out to me about this film was the acting by both the main leads, Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. Although the film does feature minor characters, its really only all about Cathy and Jamie, so obviously you needed actors who were both likeable and talented enough to keep the audience interested. I personally think casting Anna and Jeremy was the right move for the film, and I haven’t seen much criticism for either two actors, just heaps of praise on Twitter.

I said that I “really liked this film”, and I stand by that. I made it right through to the end without skipping any scenes or feeling the need to switch off, and it made me laugh and even brought me near tears at some points. I’m happily writing up this review and I also shared the link to the trailer on my Facebook, possibly introducing new fans.

But I didn’t love it. I didn’t feel any need to re-watch scenes or the whole movie again straightaway, and as far as the musical soundtrack is concerned, I searched afterwards on Spotfiy, but I wasn’t entirely dismayed to find that the soundtrack hadn’t been uploaded.

I wouldn’t be able to tell you what was missing, because simply, I don’t know. As you’ve already read, I didn’t find the movie terrible or boring, the acting was great and the plot was realistic and interesting. It’s just in comparison to a recent musical I watched, “Into The Woods”, also starring Kendrick, this musical wasn’t a stand out.

However, if you are looking for a change in comparison to your regular movie genre, then I highly recommend this film in particular. It combines a bit of everything, and who knows, it could end up being one of your favourite new films to start 2015.

Enjoyed reading? Give this post a like or comment your thoughts and I’ll keep writing up m0re of my own movie reviews! Feedback – positive or negative, is always welcome.



Participating in the Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge!

Hello everyone, I have a problem… I’m a bookworm.

Yes this news might come across as a bit of a shock to some of you, but to those that have been following me for a while, I’m sure you guessed.

I have some rather upsetting news you see. My Iphone contract runs out next month, and me being a poor student, well I just cant afford to keep paying the price I am at the moment. So I’m downgrading to a Samsung or HTC. I’m sure we’ll get along well, its just that phones with a lower contract price often have minimal storage. Which basically means, my Kindle mobile app will no longer be allowed to live on my phone.

Hope has not been lost for me however!

Yes people, with the money I received from Christmas this year, I purchased an Amazon Kindle. I have to tell you, I’m pretty chuffed with. If youre wondering, no its not the expensive edition with the back light. Money issues you see. But it does the job, so what else do I need?

Anyway, to the main point of the blog post – half an hour ago, I finished what will probably be my last read book of 2014, which in turn means that for me, the 2014 Goodreads Challenge is over. I set myself a challenge of reading 50 books in total, and despite the bookworm trait I’m very fond of, I wasnt sure whether or not I’d be able to reach the target, especially considering the amount of uni work I had, and also the fact it was the first Goodreads challenge I had attempted, therefore leaving me no expectations on what would be a reasonable goal.

This all changed a few months ago. I read my 50th book of 2014, and continued to go on and read 63 books in total. A huge achievement of course, but I also have fond memories of the books I liked and I know now which books to avoid in future. I’ve discovered new authors, new YA fiction, and random books of various genres that will stick with me for a long time.

I know I said in a previous blog post that 2015 is going to be a really busy and stressful year for me, but you should ignore that for now because I intend to take part in the 2015 challenge. I’m not going to stress about the challenge if it gets too much, I’m just going to enjoy the ride throughout the year so I can hopefully find fresh authors to discover.

The target for me this year is 85, so we’ll see wont we? Now I know I’ve included my Goodreads link to posts several many times, but if youre interested and would like to be friends, then just send me a message or comment below.


Happy reading everyone, and I hope you all enjoy New Years Eve wherever you are. Lets hope 2015 is the best year of our lives!



Radio Update – Would You Help Me?

I’m not sure some of you know this, but being a radio presenter on a community show is hard work. Probably not as hard as working in radio at places like the BBC studios, but its still pretty difficult, you have to be a hardworker.

Your show needs a script, relevent information, song preperation. You have to be able to learn how to add cues and stabs, how to connect to the sky news desk, and also how to control the microphone settings. I do this and more pretty much every single week.

But sometimes, even I need a little help. Which is wear you guys hopefully come in.

Tomorrow I’ll be prerecording my new eves special. Like most students at university, I’ll be going home for Christmas, but I dont want my show to be absent for two weeks. So anyway, the topic of the new years eve special is to count down the public’s choice for the best song of 2014. I’ve compiled a list based on previous research conducted, and you’d be doing me a big, big favour if you wrote down your thoughts.

Artists include Nicki Minaj, Ed Sheeran, Magic and more. So please take a minute out of your day and vote in my poll. I’d be forever grateful.


Thanks for reading everyone, wishing you all a good week!



The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part One. Film Review.

This weekend, I finally got the chance to come down from university to spend time with my Mum, who I havent seen since the start of September. To celebrate, and also to do something a bit different from the norm, my Mum, sister and I decided to get tickets online to see Mockingjay Part 1, the brand new installment of the popular book series.

If I’m being totally honest, I wasnt expecting a great movie. The book was my least favourite in the series, and also since it was the beginning of a two part finale, I was expecting a plot that could be described as a slow burner; a film that runs along without anything major in anticipation of the next film. Kind of like Deathly Hallows part one, I’m sad to say. (my least favourite of the HP franchise.)

I did NOT expect to walk out of that cinema, unable to process into words how breathtaking the film actually was. I cried four times guys. Four. So here is my review, but please be careful for minor spoilers if you havent read the books or watched the films yet.

As I mentioned earlier, I expected a slow moving plot with little to no action. However, the movie was packed with so much excitement, I was either on the edge of my seat or biting my nails in suspense throughout. Unlike other films I’ve seen recently, I didnt glance at my phone or look away from the screen once. I just didnt want to miss out on anything that was happening.

Now I was originally going to reread Mockingjay before watching, unfortunately time got the better of me and I only manged a quarter of the book. From what I remember though, it didnt seem like a lot of important information had been cut, and it was interesting to see scenes that werent from the perspective of Katniss. It gave the audience an insight into how life in the Capitol was going now everything had happened.

Moving on to the acting, there were two actors specifically that caught my eye. There names were Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Josh Hutcherson. Both actors did an incredible job of playing their characters, especially Josh who made the most out of his limited screen time. Although I did enjoy seeing these two on screen the most, the rest of the cast did a good job of proving their worth.

The instrumental pieces in the film were provided once again by the wonderful James Newton Howard. I adore his work and it fits so well into the tone of the movie. I found out afterwards that “The Cave”, “The Beach” and “Katniss’ Nightmare” are all variations of the same score used for Peeta and Katniss, which I was very impressed with.

Also, I feel like I have to mention the two main standout songs featured on both the movie and soundtrack. “The Hanging Tree” is a catchy as anything, and I swear to you, youll be seeing plenty of covers start popping up on Youtube because its seriously proving popular. Also Lorde did an exceptional job with her contribution to the soundtrack, “Yellow Flicker Beat”

So to finish? Whether you’re a fan of the books, have enjoyed the movies or you just want a good film to watch, I would recommend this one. It helps to know the background knowledge but I reckon it could be picked up pretty quickly. I would also suggest going to watch this in the cinema rather than waiting for the DVD release. The big screen really did justice to the film.

What did you think of the film? Have you made plans to see it? Let me know in the comments below!



Radio Show Update – Exciting news!

calon fmI have mentioned this in places before, but just so you newcomers know, I host my own radio show, “Televised Tunes” on a community station on my university campus. For an hour a week, I discuss various British shows that have featured on TV during the week, and play a mixture of chart music and old favourites. I’m actually lucky in the sense I get to pick my own shows to review, as well as the music, and I can even invite guests or people to co-host every once in a while if they promise to be appropriate!

The studio itself is named Calon Fm, and its completely run by volunteers – both university students and general folk, but its doing pretty well in terms of popularity. I’m now in my third year of my broadcasting dregree, so I’m incredibly honoured to volunteer there. Not only do I get experience into how a radio station operates, and the technology aspect of the radio system, I’m also volunteering there knowing that I am in fact working with other passionate and talented people. We all care about radio, music, and of course, the station and its growth.

I’m telling you all this because I received an email this morning from the heads of Calon FM. They’re lovely ladies who are extremely friendly, and the email they sent was short and snappy, explaining that a student wanted to sit in on my show, and asking whether I was okay with that request at a short notice. I replied “Of course!”, but didnt dwell too much on the request and why this girl might possibly want to sit in. If youre aspiring to volunteer at the station, the first thing you have to do is sit in on another show to learn the ropes, so it wasnt as if I was going to disallow anyone else that opportunity.

Once I got to the station, I met Rose, the girl that was mentioned in the email. Instead of telling me about her love for radio however, she explained that she was actually a radio production student – and their class had been split into groups and tasked with creating a 30 second radio advert for Calon FM. And her group had decided to chose, well my show.

She was lovely to talk to, and it was great fun having her sit in and talk to me and my friend Darius who was co-hosting with me. Sitting in was basically her way of gaining experience of what the show was about. After we wrapped up at the end of the hour, she mentioned ideas like having me speak an introduction over The Apprentice theme tune, which sounds pretty cool to me.

For many, this wouldnt be such a big deal, but it is for me. Its advertising my show to the people that listen to Calon FM, plus I get to play it before my show instead of having to say “Welcome to this weeks Televised Tunes” for example.

Also, theirs around 25 different shows for Calon FM, and they picked mine and four others which is something in itself. Rose explained that mine spoke out to them as young people and that it was an interesting concept.

I’m sure that as this progresses, I’ll keep you all up to date, but I just wanted to share my news with you!

Are you interested in radio? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!