Monday, 19 September 2011

'Young, Dumb & Living Off Mum' Series 3, episode 5 & 6

First of all, my sincerest apologies for the lack of blogpost about last week's episode; time ran away from me somewhat! However, to make up for such appalling behaviour, I shall give you both the aforementioned episode and the final episode right now!

Okay so last week's challenge I thought was quite exciting. A lot of patience, and indeed confidence, is required when working with children and I feel that Ryan especially coped remarkably with his role as Stumpy the Good Pirate. Ruby-Jo did worry me for a moment that she was going to give up completely, however she managed to turn herself around at the last minute - what a relief!

Jack and Tom didn't do as well as the other two but I still felt that they gave quite a good performance, and coped well with the screaming birthday 'Princess' who was demanding her birthday crown (as mentioned in the programme, hadn't she heard of the word please?! What a madam!). The outcome of that episode wasn't too bad. By this stage it was hard to pick who I wanted to go, as I felt they all deserved a place in the final.

The final of course was just as spectacular as the two series' finals previous. Now we were told that the parents set the final work challenge, however considering the last three series' have all seen house renovations, I find this hard to believe! Again, I felt Ryan did wonderfully as he was the first to buy all of the products he needed and admirably stuck within his budget too.

Ruby-Jo didn't do too bad at all, neither did Tom. Of course, it was all building up to the grand announcement of Series 3's winner, and I could not have been more thrilled! I shan't spoil it for you, but let's just say the winner has been consistent from day one with a positive, caring attitude. They definitely deserved to win - I couldn't be more proud of them! Now we just need to sit as patiently as possible and wait for the next series (fingers crossed that there will be one!) and hope that it's at least half as good as this year's! Yes, I'm very satisfied with the third series of Young, Dumb and Living Off Mum!

Amy x

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

'Young, Dumb & Living Off Mum' Series 3, episode 4

With the number of Young Dumbers in the house slowly decreasing, things are beginning to get tense...

It seemed that this week's episode focused around two things in particular: the set work challenge, and Gracie's little accident!

Let's face it, if you were to lose money, you'd be upset wouldn't you? However, when you've come from a life of being handed every penny you could possibly ask for, to misplacing your entire small supply of money for the week and leaving you with nothing, you're going to fret a little! I can understand entirely why Gracie was upset with this. I panic insanely where money is concerned and am constantly checking my purse in case I've dropped anything. I was thrilled to see the others pitch in to at least buy her something to eat; they should feel proud.

The work challenge for this week is one which would personally excite me to levels indescribable! Sure, I'd rather have volunteered in a cat shelter, but working in with the dogs would have been immense fun. Ryan seemed especially excited for the challenge to commence and this enthusiasm remained with him throughout as he bonded with his allocated pooch.

Jack and Tom actually did quite well, a lot more so than I feel the chief volunteers gave them credit for. I mean, who would want to spend the entire experience cleaning dog shit?! It was nice to see Gracie cheer up a little thanks to 'man's best friend'.

Oh, and I cannot finish this without mentioning the fact that Ryan and Ruby-Jo decided to spend an afternoon pretending to be homeless, all the while Ryan wearing a pair of Spongebob Squarepants socks (clean looking socks, I should add!). It amused my simple mind incredibly.

The conclusion of the episode I wasn't pleased with. Saying that, I didn't really want anybody to leave so I wasn't going to be happy regardless of who was voted out. With only just a few episodes left, I'm starting to feel a little saddened by the fact that it's drawing to an end. I've made a firm decision that I'd like Ryan to win, but whether or not this will be the outcome we shall have to wait and see! Until next time...

Amy x

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Build-a-Bear: Calendar Girls bear!

Having worked at Build-a-Bear Workshop for nearly two months now, I decided that it was about time that I built a bear myself! It's so challenging to resist the temptation of buying all of the bears (I have my eyes on Fudge puppy, ginger kitty and Autumn bear just now!), but the bear I helped fluff up yesterday is not for myself!

You know when you get an idea, a very spur of the moment thought, and you simply know that you shall not rest until you carry that idea through? Well this was one of those moments. I'd decided to buy Lynda Bellingham a 'Calendar Girls' bear. Familiar with the shop's stock, I straight away knew which items I needed to piece the bear together!

So we start with a Coconut Cup - one of the store's cheapest two bears (£9). It's a gorgeous soft cream colour, very basic but worked wonders for this purpose since the show's main colour scheme is white and yellow. After stuffing the new bear up, I added a purple heart (£1) inside of her, and this donates money to the National Literacy Trust. I like to be charitable!

Moving on, I collated all of the clothes I needed. This was nothing more than a basic white robe/dressing gown (£8), matching perfectly with the promotional photos for the production. I also picked up a small bouquet of flowers (£2.50) for Chris to hold (Chris being the name of Lynda's character in the production). I chose the bouquet with the yellow flower on it since the symbol for the play is the sunflower, however there was also a daisy, a tulip and another purple flower on there too! It looked very pretty!

Then came the birth certificate! A very fun process I find, inputting the bear's special details. Then I bought her! Money exchanging hands, she was mine (but only for a short while as she goes to her new owner on the 14th September!). The finished product has been tied together with a lovely piece of yellow ribbon, with yellow and white ties holding the birth certificate in place.

Lynda may think I'm mental (that's if she already doesn't!) but Chris Bear is absolutely adorable and at the very least, I had great fun making her!

Amy x

Thursday, 1 September 2011

'Knots and Crosses' by Ian Rankin

"Noughts and...oh, Knots and Crosses?! That looks...well I've no idea. I've never read anything by Ian Rankin. Let's give it a go!".

The glorious tourist shell surrounding Edinburgh acted merely as a mask to the troubles that lurked within, as two young girls have been found murdered after abduction. It's apparent that the two cases are connected, and it's up to Detective Sergeant John Rebus to find out why. However, things start to become a little too personal for him; just how much of his past is set to haunt him?

I have to admit, being a huge fan of crime TV shows I wasn't too sure if a novel of the same nature would be able to deliver so efficiently. I can now confirm though that I needn't have worried. Rankin provides just enough snippets of information as the chapters progress to allow us to try and work out who we think the criminal is, without ever giving the game away.

In fact, my predictions weren't even near close to the final outcome, the delightful surprise of the closing chapter leaving me satisfied with the read. The characters develop well throughout, with only the one slightly irritating, but relevant person cropping up every so often (watch out for Stevens, he may just frustrate you too!). Gill Templer I especially liked, her role bringing a glimmer of positivity to the otherwise dark case.

Without a doubt, I'd recommend Knots and Crosses. It wasn't difficult in the slightest to get into - I was hooked in straight away - and it's not really a challenge to follow either, despite the often high level of information which one may be required to balance at one given time. Definitely an author I'll be going back to, Ian Rankin as proved to me that crime novels can be just as fulfilling as watching similar stories unfold on TV!

Amy x