Category Archives: Review

Get Fit Like Fido

The dawn of spring not only brings the promise of sunshine, the smell of fresh-cut grass and a renewed vigour. It also forebodes the onset of Summer – and the threat of having to get some flesh out on show. So now’s the time to spring clean your exercise regime to get in shape for the luminous five minutes of sunshine we might see this year.

For other dog lovers out there, DogVacay have put together a really cute idea. Now, we can get even closer to our dogs, through the medium of exercise. Check out the info-graphic below for some great pooch inspired strength and toning exercises. Get_Fit_Like_Fido

I’ve been back out pounding the streets recently, after sorely learning my ‘must build up my core’ lesson. I’m looking forward to adding some of these to my strength and stretching routine.

Though, I’m not sure my dog feels quite the same about the challenge!20140530_142351

 

The Hunger Games

Sometimes you find a story that pulls you in and makes you feel part of a special little world, where you are gripped to the edge of your seat waiting to see what fate awaits the characters in it. It’s a rare quality and sometimes I find it where I least expect it. This is one of those times.

It might have been getting rave reviews since hitting the big time, but for some reason ‘The Hunger Games’ just didn’t seem all that appealing. I snubbed it on the basis of ‘here comes another teen fiction trilogy’. If I’m honest, I didn’t have the stomach for another Twilight saga (and that’s saying a lot from a bit of a Vampire fan!) – especially if I had to put up with miserable faced teenagers trying to look sexy and moody and only really succeeding at the latter. Trilogies can be hard to wade through. It takes some real talent to keep a story interesting and suspenseful for that length of time and there have been numerous cases where I have been completely lost by the third instalment. So, you can keep your teen lit to yourself this time round – I’m over it …. or so I thought ….

Roll on … me incapacitated on the sofa and in desperate need of some semi-adult entertainment (not that type of entertainment! Just non-toddler cartoon related). Flicking aimlessly through my Sky channels in search of a good movie to get my teeth sunk into, ‘The Hunger Games’ popped up on the screen. I uhmmed, I aaahhed. I decided no. Then I wondered if I should give it a shot, especially as there was bugger all else on. Then I googled some reviews just to make sure I wasn’t paying for a complete crock of poop. Oh, what the hell – and the rest is history, so to speak ….

After the first film I was a goner, left hanging in anticipation for the next. I even resorted to Wikipedia to reveal the rest of the story line as I’m that impatient. Then I had a wonderful surprise – the second instalment ‘Catching Fire’ was also on Sky – and so I kissed goodbye to the rest of the afternoon. But then that came to an end and with no third film yet made …. there was only one solution – hit Amazon and download the full literary version of the trilogy (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and the Mockingjay). Cue me, with nose firmly planted in my Kindle for the next two weeks as I became further absorbed by the ordeals, tribulations and love issues of Katniss, Peeta and Gale and ventured onto the final instalment to get the full lowdown on the end.

In all honesty it wasn’t the most eloquent book I’ve ever read, but what Suzanne Collins does manage to do is make you care what happens. I have no idea why, cause at times the heroine Katniss is not even all that likeable, in fact she can be quite annoying. As one of her fellow victors says, she ‘can be ‘hard to stomach’ and Peetas adoration is beyond sickening at times. Why everyone follows this girl around I have no idea, but maybe it’s because she’s so human that you can relate to her on some level. It’s not really a love story, it is so much more – a story of dictatorship, civil unrest, death and rebellion – all dealt with in a fairly light fashion, but the moral is there nonetheless. But at the end of the day, what I really wanted to know was who ended up with who. I knew the ending before I read it thanks to Wikipedia and it wasn’t what I had hoped for by a long shot. However, by the end of the last book the grande finale felt completely right …. Suzanne Collins did such a good job of weaving an ever-growing divide between two of the main characters, even I changed my mind on who she should be with!

It was nice to see that the film stayed true to the story line of the book – which often isn’t the case. It may not be the most in-depth plot, but there are some nice little twists along the way which keep you guessing. The choice of actors works well and for young actors they are surprisingly charismatic and entertaining. The film really pulls out the stops when it comes to the flamboyance of the Capital and some of the costumes and make-up are truly spectacular. Jennifer Lawrence plays the role of Katniss Everdeen well, portraying the emotionally drained, somewhat confused and distant girl on fire, who has enough spark to get us following along for the ride along with her other devotees.

I’m a little sad I have finished the books, but am waiting eagerly for the last film to get my final fix. Somehow I have become another one of the trilogy’s latest fans!

This post was written for the Yeah Write Moonshine Grid 155.

 

Eightysixed review

I think I have got a bit waylaid from my recommended reading list, but when I stumbled on Tipsy Lit’s author interview with Emily Belden I was enticed away from my latest read. Described as a ‘twenty-something hot mess’, her book ‘Eightysixed’ really is a riveting read.

This is Emily Belden‘s first novel, but an experienced blogger for many years, she portrays an honest and witty rendition of her dating memoirs as she searches for love as a young woman in Chicago. Her romantic woes transition from heartbreaking debilitation to amusingly bad choices to life inspiring encounters. Emily hooks you in from the first chapter and you are fully immersed on the journey with her. From wanting to give the ex-boyfriend Trent a kick in the teeth, to laughing hysterically (and perhaps wrongly) at the cocaine sniffing rocker, through to crying when she says goodbye to her inspirational Floris – you feel like the best friend getting a first hand Monday morning depiction of her dating ups and downs.

A reassuring read for many women who have struggled to find ‘the one’, this is more than just a personal account of her relationships, it is also an emotional journey as she finds herself. A corking read that you won’t be able to put down – let’s just hope there is more to come from this new and upcoming author.

Runners Wall Medal Hanger Review

Female Runner Medal Hanger
Female Runner Medal Hanger

I had the opportunity to review of one of Runners Wall’s beautiful medal holders. Given the choice of which design I wanted to review, the ensuing scene depicted a big kid in a sweet-shop!  I opted for the ‘Female Runner’ design, which I felt was perfect for me. There are lots to choose from though; from triathlon themed, to motivational quotes, to bespoke custom-made designs, so it was a hard choice to make!

The delivery was super speedy, with it appearing in the post the very next day. I’m not sure what I was expecting – after all, the dimensions are readily published within the description (13 x 3 inches) – but being rubbish with sizes, when it arrived it was a lot smaller than I had anticipated. I was waiting for a great big parcel to be delivered to the door, so was surprised when the post-man pushed a large padded envelope through the letter-box instead! At least there’s no worries of waiting in for delivery! 🙂 After I adjusted my mind-set to a smaller version than I had envisaged, I actually realised that the sizing is just about right. It’s big enough to be a great feature on your wall, without being overly imposing. If you have the luxury of a bit of wall space to fill, and you’re into competing, then I think it would look great alongside some of the other designs to make a rather stunning ‘medal wall’!

BloodSweat&TearsDescribed as being made of ‘brushed steel’, I was pleasantly surprised to see how light it is. This was particularly good news for my rather flimsy plaster board walls! 🙂 The quality is exceptional. The design is cut to laser perfect precision and I couldn’t find an imperfection on it. My only piece of advice – get it on the wall quickly, before grubby handed toddlers get their hands on it … or you might have to invest in some good stainless steel cleaning wipes! 🙂 It came with all the fixings I needed to attach it to the wall (screws, wall plugs and spacers to put behind theSwim_Bike_Run_STILL_MODEL medal hanger – allowing it to sit away from the wall by a few millimetres). The medal hanger has two tiny little screw holes for fixing purposes. As I mentioned, I have some seriously flimsy plaster board walls (new build homes are just not what they used to be!) and I rent – so I wasn’t sure my landlady would appreciate me attacking the walls with my DIY drilling skills! After a bit of thinking, I decided to give it a go with a couple of picture hook nails – which turned out to be an absolutely perfect fit for the screw holes. It even allowed me to put the spacers on and everything held in place. This is obviously not going to be as ‘sturdy’ as the proper drilling and screwing method, but as a compromise, it appears to do the job quite nicely.

My medals all beautifully displayed
My medals all beautifully displayed

So, all fastened to wall, it was time to put my medals in pride of place on their new home! I really like the design for hanging the medals. The medals sit nicely on the hanger and it all looks symmetrical and tidy. It was a pleasure to finally see my medals displayed properly, rather than flung over the edge of the bookcase! Unfortunately, it highlighted how few I have (better to get to work on that!). I have to admit, when I first hung the medals on the hanger, they looked too long in comparison to the width of the hanger itself. I attempted to fold the medal straps and pin them, so they would sit ‘shorter’ but I just couldn’t get them to hang right. I gave up in the end! I think this was just a personal preference though and now I have got used to them hanging full length, I think they look great. It’s worth noting that you can even buy additional hanging arms for when you get even more medals – an idea I love!

The prices vary a little bit depending on design. The one I reviewed is £28. I initially thought this was a bit pricey, but it does include free postage and packaging, which saves you a few pounds. I really like these hangers, and this is the first time I have come across anything like them. It’s a brilliant, unique idea. I’m still not sure I would pay this much for one for myself, but as a gift for the avid sports person, they would be ideal (I’d be super pleased with a pressie like this!). Or if you do a lot of races and are into competing, then this would be a great investment to display your achievements.

Right, I need to get off and do some training … I need to earn myself some more medals for my new hanger after all! 🙂