The Giant’s Causeway

Giant's CausewayFor our wedding anniversary, Jason and I wanted to have a mini break somewhere different in the U.K. Whilst tossing around ideas of the obvious places to visit, Oxford, Brighton, or Bath, Jason suggested Belfast. I immediately loved the idea because of the Game of Thrones connection and so our research began. Every guide about Belfast you read will include a trip to the Giant’s Causeway.

After the snow storms in London last week, we were fearful we would have to postpone our trip, or that if we did travel we might have to cancel some of our plans. However, luckily the snow didn’t seem to hit Belfast, yes it was cold, but we managed to achieve most things on our list. Including a few Game of Thrones-themed adventures (which I will post about later).

Causeway Coastal Route
Causeway Coastal Route

Saturday our first full day in Northern Ireland, we drove along the Causeway Coastal Route heading north. Driving along the landscaped varied from pretty fishing villages to rock headlands, making it easy to see why this is such popular scenic drive. We had planned on visiting the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge but, the wet weather caused the area to be closed off. So we were unhappy to miss out seeing it. As the site is also used as a filming location for Game of Thrones.

The Giant’s Causeway

Basalt Columns

Giant's Causeway

The highlight of the Causeway Coastal Route is, of course, The Giant’s Causeway itself. The result of volcanic activity millions of years ago, the Giant’s Causeway is thousands of interlocking basalt columns. From above the columns look like hexagon paving, but actually the pillars run deep into the ground. (You can read more about it here)

Giant's Causeway
Giant's Causeway
Hexagonal Stones

Included with the cost of entry into the Causeway Experience, was an audio guide. The onsite staff recommended we took headphones with our interactive guides, to be handsfree and kee our hands warm. As we walked along the trail the audio guide explained the legend of the stones and the giants. Each part of the stones is built into the legends from the rock format that looks like the giant’s gate, camel or boot.

Giant's Gate
Giant’s Gate
Giant's Boot
Giant’s Boot
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Pinspiration -Iron Man

For this week’s Pinspiration post, it is the turn of Iron Man, the superhero who started the Marvel Movies franchise. I struggled to find fun tutorials to include on this list. I am unsure if it is because I am not a fan of Tony Stark or the lack of Iron Man Crafts.

Iron Man
Iron Man Cookie Cutter
Cookie Cutters by 3DArt on Etsy

These cookie cutters inspired by Tony Stark’s helmet could be used to make iced cookies.  Or with fondant icing for decorations on cupcakes, like cakes below. 3DArtBoutique also sell cutters inspired by other Avengers.

Iron Man Cupcakes
Cupcakes by Food, Fun & Faraway Places

The Iron Man themed cupcakes on the Food, Fun & Faraway Places’ blog would look amazing without the helmet decoration. I love the simple look of the red and yellow swirls. However, the extra decoration makes them look really impressive.

Iron Man Cocktail
Iron Man Cocktail

We all know Tony Stark likes a drink, whether it’s drinking champagne with Pepper, or a pre-fight whiskey with Loki, so of course, I had to include an Iron Man themed cocktail!

Iron Man Coin Purse
Loungefly Coin Purse

Although, this isn’t a craft. I love this coin purse from Loungefly. It is one of the cutest pieces of Iron Man merchandise I have seen. Perfect for any Avengers fan, not just those on Team Stark.

You can see all my Pinspiration posts here, these including more Avengers themed ideas. If you would like to be featured in a future post please contact me.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

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Pinspiration -Thor

This week as part of the Marvel Movie Marathon, it was time to re-watch Thor: Dark World. This week also saw the release of Thor: Ragnarok on digital demand. So it’s the ideal time to have a Thor-themed viewing party. Here are a few ideas to inspire you.

Thor
Milkshake by Popcorner Reviews

As well coming up with the idea of Marvel Movie Marathon, Monica at Popcorner Reviews created this amazing Mjolnir Milkshake! The s’more flavoured milkshake is decorated with a sweet and salty marshmallow/pretzel hammer. In her post she gives detailed instruction on creating the mighty hammers.

Mjolnir Cupcakes by Spaceships and Laser Beams

If you are not a fan of milkshakes, you can decorate your cupcakes with Thor’s mighty hammer, as seem on Spaceships and Laserbeam’s Blog. Even though I am an awful baker, I love cupcakes! I am always looking for cute and unusual cupcake decorations. So expect to see a few more of the next few weeks.

Everyday Cosplay by Adorkable Me

Erini at Adorkable Me put together a cute Casual (or Everyday) Cosplay outfit inspired by Thor. I love the idea of using an open front cardigan as a cape. It is a concept I will definitely try to incorporate into my future everyday cosplay outfits. If you wanted to add more of a movie twist to the outfit you could add the official Mjolnir necklace.

Thor Inspired Nail Art by Happy Little Geek

Finally, I had to include Happy Little Geek’s Thor Manicure. Inspired by the classic Thor ourfit from The Avengers movie, Charlie’s tutorial is a great introduction into geeky themed nail art. Her step by step instructions, easily explain several techniques. Making it a great tutorail for a beginner, and the finished result looks amazing!

You can see all my Pinspiration posts here, these including more Avengers themed ideas. If you would like to be featured in a future post please contact me.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

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Monday Musings -Batgirl Revisited

Monday Musings - Batgirl Movie

Last year, I wrote about the upcoming Batgirl movie. I spoke about how happy I was that Joss Whedon had signed on as the director. And examined some of the storylines I would like to have seen included in the movie. I posted this before Whedon’s ex-wife published her open letter. My post was also written before I had seen experienced seeing the Amazons, Valkyrie and Dora Milaje on the big screen. My opinions have obviously changed since writing the blog post.

Last week, news broke that Whedon had walked away from the project. Initial articles stated he was “unable to find a story” Of course, this is ridiculous. Over the years many comic book storylines have featured Batgirl. Anyone one of which could be adapted into a feature film.

The news instead seems to point to yet more problems in with the DCEU franchise. The success of the Wonder Woman movies last year was a high point for the franchise. However, the Justice League movie (which Whedon worked on), was meet with mixed reviews, was a low point.

According to Wikipedia, there are over twenty possible films planned in the DCEU. Whilst some like the Wonder Woman sequel and Shazam movie, have tentative release dates. Over a dozen more are all in the planning stages. These include a Gotham Siren adaption, Flashpoint and The Batman reboot. Production on the Batgirl movie was due to start later this year. I’m assuming this will still happen. The success of Wonder Woman, shows audience want to see female lead superhero movies. Batgirl is one of the best know DC women, along with Supergirl she is the obvious choice for a next movie.

All over the weekend, I have seen several blog posts featuring lists of “female directors who should direct the Batgirl movie.” I am not going to re-hash them here (but have included a few of the links at the end of this blog post). I will go on record as saying I am hoping Lena Dunham isn’t involved in the project, I am not a fan of her work.

Batgirl (New 52)

On Twitter, several authors expressed an interest in the project. Of course, we would all love to see Gail Simone write this movie, most comic book fans are familiar with her work. The New 52 reboot of Batgirl, with Barbara Gordon, once again redonning the cape and cowl. Is one of the more popular storylines and, is the obvious choice for the film. Similarly, I would love to see Hope Larson work on the movie. As the current writer of the Batgirl comics she is someone very familiar with the character, and personally, I love the ‘Summer of Lies‘ storyline.

Batgirl Summer of Lies

Whilst it looks like the movie is still moving forward, which of course I am happy about. I do still have so many issues around its place with the DCEU as a whole. The Wonder Woman movie could exist outside of the franchise. Her storyline is not intertwined with other characters from the DCEU. Yes, there was the package from Bruce Wayne at the beginning, which served as a plot point. But she could have just as easily found the photo herself.

Batgirl’s origin story includes Batman. In both versions, young Batman intrigues the young Barbara Gordon. Originally, in the Detective Comics (which was later retold in Year One), she idolized Batman and Robin and saves them from Killer Moth. In the New 52 storylines, Batman is an important part of the plot.

Which leads me to my problem. Can this movie work whilst the DCEU is a mess? Ben Affleck has expressed an interest in leaving the franchise. And the standalone Batman movie is on hold. Can they make a Batgirl movie with a new Batman, will that work? Should this movie be made after the new Batman reboot? Or will the Flashpoint storyline reboot the franchise, so recasting a new Batman would be possible.

Overall, I am happy Joss Whedon has left the Batgirl projects. I am excited to see a female director making another superhero movie and the possibility of a female writer. However, as with all projects in the DCEU at the moment, this news has left with more questions than answers.

Recommended Reading

9 Rad Women We’d Love To See Director Batgirl (Nerdist)
10 Female Directors Who Could Take on DC’s ‘Batgirl’ Movie (comicbook.com)
Batgirl: Year One
Batgirl: The Darkest Reflection TP (The New 52)
Batgirl: Summer of Lies

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

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Pinspiration -Captain America

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you will know I have been re-watching all the MCU movies before the release of Avengers: Infinity War in April. But I wanted to do something special on the blog leading up to this cinematic event. So for the next few weeks, I am going to showcase some of my favourite “pins” from Pinterest based on a character from the MCU. Starting with my favourite Avenger, Captain America.

Pinspiration: Captain America
Captain America inspired Sweater
Photo by Kyle Cassidy

First up is the knitting pattern inspired by the Super Solider outfit by Linda J. Dunn from the Geek Knits book. As a knitter and Captain America fan, I added this tunic to my “Ravelry Queue” (like a To Read shelf in Goodreads) the moment I saw it. The problem is when would I wear it. All the Captian America and Avengers movies were released in the spring.  And with the majority of cons in the summer, so there is no time I could wear this sweater.

These shield cookies look extremely complicated to make but are visually stunning. Luckily Rosie’s Dessert Spot has a simple instructional video with step by step directions. I am sure they are a lot tastier than Vibranium.

Captain America Geek Chic
Brooklyn navy yard by jordandene

I love this geek chic outfit Jordandene put together on Polyvore. Based around her lovely Winter Solider Tank. Which features the classic quote from the Captain America sequel. For me, this is a perfect outfit for an autumnal day. I can imagine wearing this whilst walking along the Brooklyn Promenade with a cup of coffee in hand. Maybe grabbing a lobster roll at Luke’s in Dumbo or stopping to take photos of the iconic skyline.

Captain America Pinata
Photo by Maureen Wilkinson

I am obsessed with pinatas. They were not really a thing in the U.K. when I was growing up. So I didn’t discover the joy of a pinata until I was an adult. In fact, I insisted on having a wedding cake pinata at my wedding, just so I could join in. So the idea of making a Captain America themed pinata seems so much fun to me. In Maureen Wilkinson, she explains how she made a Captain America Sheild pinata for her son’s birthday party.

Captain America

Next week is some of my favourite posts inspired by Thor, if you’d like to be featured in my future pinspiration post, please contact me.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

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100 Cups of Coffee

I guess the subheading for this post could be “Red Cup Season Coffees.” As all the coffees were from the end of last year and are all festive coffees from different coffee shops around West London.

Red Cup Season 2017

Red Cup Season.

Once Pumpkin Spice Latte season is over, it’s time to move on to the Gingerbread Lattes! As always, in the first day of Starbucks Red Cup season, I head to my local store for my gingerbread latte fix! Then I know Christmas is around the corner. Soon after that, I try their new Christmas drink, this year’s Festive Cold Brew was nice. But I tended to stick to the hot drinks in the colder months.

V&A Christmas Cups

Next up it is time to check out the seasonal variations from other coffee shops and their seasonal cups. Hands down the prettiest cups this year were from Caffè Nero. Inspired by artwork from the V&A museum.

Notes

Without a doubt, my favourite Festive coffee drink this year was from Notes Coffee. Oddly, I don’t like traditional Christmas Cake, but their Christmas Cake Latte was amazing! The seasonal spices from the cake without the dried fruit.

Pret Reindeer

After, the success of the Christmas Cake Latte, I thought I would try the Mince Pie Latte from Pret a Manger. Whilst the drink was nice. I was put off by the addition of pieces of mince pie in the drink. Similar to the gingerbread crumbles in the Starbucks drink. These toppings taste like crumbles biscuits in the bottom of the drink and ruin the experience.

Red Cup Season.

Finally, on Social Media, everyone seemed to be ranting about the Honeycomb Latte from Costa Coffee. Normally, I avoid Costa, as I don’t like the taste of their coffee. But I was pleasantly surprised by this seasonal drink. Unfortunately, I didn’t discover it until just before Christmas.

What is #100cupsofcoffee? You can read about the project here.
You can see all the photos from the #100cupsofcoffee project on Instagram.

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Monday Musings: Confession Time

Monday Musings: Confession Time
Normally, my Monday Musing posts are a chance for me to have a little rant about something that’s been on my mind lately. This week I am I’m going to do something a little different. I am going to make a confession. Are you ready?

It’s a big confession.

I have never watched Supernatural.

Wait a minute, what?

That’s right, I have never watched Supernatural! I have never seen an episode, this show seemed to have slipped past my geek radar.  I know what you are thinking, Supernatural is one of the greatest shows, how have you never seen it. The honest truth is I am not 100% sure why.

Before Supernatural aired, I remember thinking it would be a show I would like. I loved the other CW programmes shown at the time. Programmes like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Roswell. Jared Padalecki starred in the Gilmore Girls and Jensen Ackles was briefly in Smallville. Two shows I also loved around the time. So why didn’t I watch their new show?

As I said I have no idea why I didn’t watch it. Supernatural originally aired on ITV2 in the late evening. So maybe the time it aired had something to do with me not watching it. Since then it has changed networks several times, for a while, I think it was on Sky Living and it’s on E4.

I am assuming because Supernatural has had several broadcasters in the UK, that is why no one channel can repeat all the series. Similarly, why isn’t available on a streaming service. Whilst, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and it’s spin-off Angel), seem to have found new fans by streaming on Netflix. Other “Monster of the Week” type shows, like Charmed or Ghost Whisperer seem to be constantly on TV. Why isn’t Supernatural?

Not being on a streaming service means it is not easy for me to watch Supernatural. So it seems my only option is to watch it the old-fashioned way, to buy all the box sets and binge-watch them. Which brings me to another issue. By now Supernatural is on its 13th season. That is over 250 episode to watch! That will involve a mammoth marathon, how long would that take? It seems a little daunting to even start.

So it would seem I am not meant to watch Supernatural. Even though I am sure, it would be a show I would enjoy. Having said that I am planning on trying to watch the spin-off programme The Wayward Sisters. I am hoping it isn’t too linked to Supernatural and I can enjoy this programme in its own right.

Are you surprised I am not part of the SPN family? Do you think I should start watching it? What TV show are people surprised that you don’t watch?

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100cupsofcoffee 86-90

100 Cups of Coffee

Essential reading
As my attempt at the 100 Cups of Coffee Challenge is coming to an end. I am looking out for new and interesting coffee shops to visit. The London Coffee Guide has been my go book for hunting out new places to visit. At the end the summer, whilst enjoying a Cold Brew in the sun, I flicked through Chief Coffee’s copy of the guide looking for inspiration.

Latte Art
The first place I wanted to check out was Caravan. Home of the “Well-travelled food and mighty fine coffee in an old grain store.” The coffee here lived up to the hype. At the King’s Cross branch you have the option to visit the roastery for a quick cup of coffee or visiting the restaurant for a meal.

Brunch
It is fair to say, that I am stuck in a brunch rut! I am possibly also a brunch cliché. No matter where I end up I seem to always order the same thing, Avocado Toast with a poached egg accompanied by a latte! Of course being a total cliché I also Instagram my brunch!

Chalk ArtDoes anyone else love chalk art outside coffee shops? I am a sucker for a fun sign. especially, if it has a funny coffee pun or geeky theme. Like this Rick and Morty one outside Taylor Street Baristas.

Nespresso!
At home, I love using my Nespresso machine to make coffee. I have also become a huge fan of the Nespresso Cafe in St Pauls. In the café, they serve an array of creative coffees all of which a beautifully crafted. Like these twist on cortado, with a hint of lemon or honey and basil.

 

What is #100cupsofcoffee? You can read about the project here.
You can see all the photos from the #100cupsofcoffee project on Instagram.

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5 Films I’m excited about in 2018

As the Five Fandom Friday is on a hiatus at the moment, I thought I would complete some of the older themes from the past. First off I am going to repeat the prompt from last January, the films I am excited to see in 2018. These are all movies released during the first half of the year. Hopefully, I will remember to re-do this prompt in the summer to update the list.

Five Fandom Friday: 5 Films I’m excited about in 2018
  1. Black Panther (February 12th)
    After the brief scene in Captain America: Civil War of the Dora Milaje of T’Challa facing off against Black Widow. I am pumped to see the full team in action. Of course, I want to see Black Panther fighting his enemies in Wakanda. But this film has a strong female cast which I am really excited to see on-screen.
  2. Wrinkle in Time (March 23rd)
    I read the Wrinkle in Time novel on a family vacation as a child and am surprised a movie adaptions had not happened earlier. I am excited to see Oprah Winfrey, especially after her speech this week at the Golden Globes. She along with Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling are playing Mrs Which, Mrs Whatsit and Mrs Who, three of the best characters in the book.
  3. Ready Player One (March 30th)
    This book has been on my to-read list forever. (Worst it’s one of those books I own and still haven’t read). Having not read it hasn’t stopped me wanting to see the movie. Steven Spielberg directing, 80’s nostalgia and a virtual reality world, what’s not to be excited about.
  4. Avengers: Infinity War (April 27th)
    Do I really have to give a reason to be excited about seeing the latest Avengers movie? After the trailer dropped last November, I think everyone is counting down the days until this movie’s release date.
  5. Solo: A Star Wars Story (May 25th)

    No Trailer Available

    It seems odd to be getting a new Star Wars movie in May. Seeing Star Wars before Christmas has become a tradition for me. However, I am not complaining about summer release of this latest movie. However, it would be nice to have seen a trailer by now.

Five Fandom Friday: 5 Films I'm excited about in 2018
Thank you The Nerdy Girlie & Super Space Chick for creating Fandom Friday check out their blogs for more information. Or follow #fandom5 or #5fandomfriday on Twitter.

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Review Of The Year

2017 REVIEW OF THE YEAR

I had intended my final post of 2017 to be a “Review of the Year!” However, due to illness, it will be my first post of 2018. These are the questions I devised in 2016, with updated answers for 2017. Like before if you want to join in, feel free to use the graphic above and I look forward to seeing your answers.

Highlights – What one great thing happened to you this year.
At the start of the year, I attended the Women’s March in London. I went with a dear friend, we had a chance to chat and laugh whilst we walked for an amazing cause. I adored the March for several reasons, women (and some men) joining in together. the amazing signs (so many Princess Leia themed signs) and the knitter in me loved seeing the sea of pink pussy-hats. Finally, seeing a Wonder Woman movie on the big screen! At the end of the year, the midnight showing of The Last Jedi and I finally got to see Hamilton.

Surprise – either TV show, film, game etc. that impressed you the most.
Kimi no Na Wa (Your Name) I first heard about the movie at the beginning of the year but missed the UK release date. So I had to wait for the digital release to watch it. I was not disappointed, the movie itself is visually gorgeous, plus it has a beautiful storyline.

New Fandom – Did you gain a new obsession in 2017?
I guess this is an extension of an existing fandom! After seeing The Last Jedi, I have joined the dark side and am now ‘Reylo’ Trash!

The Comeback Kid – Was one of your fandoms rebooted, re-released, or re-imagined.
This has to be Twin Peaks: The Return, I loved the show 20 years ago and the newest season was as quirky, surreal and funny as before. As with the earlier seasons, the soundtrack is also amazing.

Still going strong? – did one TV show have an amazing season? Or did a book series have a truly impressive release this year?
Last year, I said Game of Thrones, as season six was epic. As expected season seven was extraordinary. I was also impressed with the second season of Stranger Things.

Biggest disappointment of the Year.
Non-geeky related, it was Jury Service. I have always wanted to be called for Jury Service, and in hindsight, it was two weeks of sitting around in various beige rooms and drinking bad coffee.

Event of the year – convention, viewing party, geek girl brunch etc.
For personal reasons this year was very quiet for me. I didn’t go to any conventions. Over the summer, I visited a few geeky exhibits in London (Star Wars Identities and The Art of Brick). At the end of the year, I had so much fun attending the midnight screening of The Last Jedi in Leicester Square which was introduced by Rian Johnson himself.

What are you looking forward to next year?
So many movies, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity Wars and Solo: A Star Wars Story. Hopefully, having a mini vacation in the spring.

Quick Fire Round

TV Show of the Year: Game of Thrones
Movie of the Year: Wonder Woman
Game of the Year: Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
Book of the Year: Geekerella by Ashley Poston
Album of the Year: Twin Peaks (Music from the Limited Event Series)

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