Going Off Topic (#18) Summer Lovin’

I’ve been so active on the blog for a few months and yet I haven’t posted anything for a week. You know why? I haven’t watched a movie for a week! Can you believe it?! It’s down to two things. The first being the UK had a bit of a heatwave and I honestly almost melted. The other being I got sucked into the reality show Love Island which took away all of my almost non-existent free time. The final is tonight though so I’m hoping to get back into a regular schedule this week!

What’s coming up next month though is…my 30th Birthday! Urgh. I’m going to be 30. It feels weird to be hitting that milestone age but yet I don’t feel too badly about it. I’m married, I have a gorgeous and hilarious little toddler, we have a house and mortgage, and I feel fairly accomplished with that. Any chance of a career has been pushed aside but hey – you can’t have it all!

So on my 30th Birthday, 23rd August, I’ll be flying out on holiday with said husband and toddler, as well as my parents and littlest brother, to the USA! We’re going to New York for 4 nights and then over to California for 10 nights to do Disney, Universal and chill at the beaches. I honestly can’t wait. I obviously won’t be on the blog for those 2 weeks but I’ve got some of my reviews from my older blog scheduled so at least there will be something posted from here regularly whilst I’m gone.

In other news, I’m almost finished with S3 of Stranger Things. It’s been a slow start and I don’t think it’s better than S2 (yet!) but there have been some amazing moments so far, like Daddy Hopper and the antics at Scoops Ahoy. I’ve heard it ends with a bang so I’m looking forward to it! I’ve also made a start on S2 of Big Little Lies which is looking promising so far.

The cinema releases seem to be unusually quiet for this time of year, but I’m chalking that up to no one wanting to release anything at the same time as The Lion King. I might venture out to see The Current War just for the cast, but other than that there’s nothing worth seeing until this weekend when Hobbs & Shaw comes out! I’ve only seen 2 of the Fast & Furious movies but Hobbs & Shaw looks like so much fun – I can’t wait!

So thanks for bearing with me while I haven’t been around – I’ll be catching up real soon!

Advertisements

Going Off Topic (#17) The Longest Weekend

I’m currently struggling with my April pick for the Blind Spot Series, but I’m determined to see it through. I’m not seeing End Game until Tuesday night so I don’t have any movies to review in full right now, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to throw together an Off Topic post and ramble about what’s going on lately.

You’re all reviewing End Game and I’m trying SO HARD to stay away from spoilers. I promise I’ll visit everyone else’s posts as soon as I’ve seen it! Plus there’s the GoT Battle for Winterfell on Sunday night which I won’t be able to watch until Monday and this weekend is going to be so painfully long! If I make it to Tuesday night without seeing spoilers for either of these huge events I’ll be amazed.

going-off-topic-toddler-pirate

So what’s going on, anyway? My baby girl turned into a toddler without me even realising. The kid is hilarious – I don’t know where she gets it from. She’s obsessed with pirates and holds her arm up with an ‘ARGHHH’ whenever her favourite show is on. She knows where her belly is and isn’t shy about telling (and showing!) anyone. She runs so fast on her little legs I can’t quite believe it, and she’s clumsy as hell. Poor thing is going to be one of those kids that’s always covered in scabs.

My TV watching time has obviously dwindled drastically, but I finally gave in to my family’s nagging and started Mr. Robot. It’s one of those shows I’ve been tempted by for ages but never took the plunge. I was hooked in the first 5 minutes but man is it tough to follow. It took me a whole season to realise that not understanding what’s going on is actually part of the experience. I’m nearly at the end of season 2 now!

And of course, I’m keeping up with Game of Thrones. I haven’t loved the last 3 seasons but when you’ve invested so much time in a show you have to see it through. I went into this new season cautiously, but seeing all these beloved characters come together has warmed my cold heart, and I’m genuinely terrified for the next episode. Someone I love is going to get killed off, I just know it. I want Arya, Brienne, Gendry, Jorah, and so many others to live to the end and my heart is going to be broken.

Even more of my precious free time is being eaten up by the Remastered Assassin’s Creed III. I don’t play many games anymore but Connor”s story was my absolute favourite in the entire series and I’ve loved being able to replay this game. I’ve been torn between taking my time and enjoying it and blasting through the story as quickly as possible!

So until Tuesday night, I’ll be keeping off Twitter, Instagram (who am I kidding) and Facebook, and I’ll be back in full force very soon!

Going Off Topic (#16) What Up, Dingdongs?

going-off-topic-banner

I’m giving myself a pat on the back for posting regularly throughout the whole of January, but I’ve had a bit of a dry weekend and so in the hope on continuing my regular posts throughout February, today is the perfect time for an Off Topic ramble!

I finally watched Green Book (2018) last week and was actually pleasantly surprised. Perhaps it was my low expectations after reading a lot of reviews but I really enjoyed it. It had that perfect mix of seriousness and entertainment that I felt when I watched Hidden Figures (2016). I’ll have my review up soon but I snatched it up for the LAMB Devours the Oscars feature so it’ll be posted there first.

On the Netflix front, I’ve actually been watching some TV! I started with The Good Place. Oh my God – I haven’t loved a show like this since Parks & Recreation. It grabbed me in the very first episode and I’ve already started rewatching it whilst blogging on an evening. Probably another reason as to why I haven’t watched many movies. I also binged You in 2 days whilst I was sick. It wasn’t as dark as I thought it would be but it was so entertaining. Can’t wait for Season 4!

Over the weekend I tried to get into Sex Education as it’s all everyone seems to be raving about. I’m struggling with it to be honest. It feels way too predictable and the novelty of the rudeness grew old pretty quickly. I’m tempted to stick with it for Gillian Anderson alone though – lady knows how to made a married woman question her sexuality!

gillian-anderson-sex-education

I also watched Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) at the first chance I got, like the diligent Jake Gyllenhaal fan I am. It was good – but I was kind of hoping for a bit more, some kind of dark twist or open ending…I don’t know. Well worth a watch though!

Sleep is not my friend lately. My little 1 year old seems to either have a cold or be teething constantly and I’m averaging at about 5 hours sleep a night broken up into pieces. Ugh. It’s a good job she’s cute. To be honest she’s actually pretty hilarious now she’s starting to pick up words. Her favourite right now is banana, but she can’t just say it quietly. It’s like “Daisy, would you like some banana?” “Buh……NA NAAAAAAA!” Like alright kiddo, way to make the strangers think we never feed you.

It’s the BAFTAs this Sunday! I am so excited! I’ll get some predictions put together very soon just for fun. Joanna Lumley is hosting again like last year, although I missed last year’s ceremony so I didn’t get to see if she was actually any good. No one can replace Stephen Fry, but I have faith that Lumley is a good substitute otherwise she wouldn’t have been invited back.

Tonight I think I’m out to see How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019), and I’ll probably try and catch Alita: Battle Angel (2019) later this week. What are you guys hoping to see this week?

Going Off Topic (#15) A brief look back at 2018

At first it felt really weird typing the title for this post – almost like I was actually so good at blogging I was writing in advance – but then I realised just how close the end of the year is. I know it’s cliche to say but where has the year gone guys?!

2018 has been one of craziest, rollercoaster years for me. It started on a huge low when I finally came to terms with the fact that actually, I wasn’t coping very well with being a new parent and sought out some help. Then things slowly started to get better.

The UK had its best summer I think since records began (don’t quote me on that) and as someone who usually prefers the winter, I was absolutely loving it. I have so many photos of trips to the park we took, either for picnics or just for walks. It was such a blessing and really helped brighten my mood.

look back 2018 1

I went back to work towards the end of Summer which was rough, but I settled in much better than I thought I would. I miss my little girl like crazy but as bad as it may sound, getting a break from being a parent and just getting stuck into work did me the world of good.

Between all the illnesses kids get when they first start nursery, day to day stress, and sleep regression caused by teething, growing, goodness knows what – I’m currently not getting a lot of sleep. I’m also off my medication now and my mood has been pretty up and down. I’m working through it though and getting stuck back into blogging, I find writing in general quite therapeutic and hey, Christmas is around the corner so who can be glum at this time of year?!

Before writing this post I had a look back at my 2018 New Year Resolutions post I wrote. I knew it was going to be a disappointment but I have my excuses at least! Here’s what I promised myself I would achieve this year:

1 – Get back into blogging, and stay active (at least once a week) for the entire year

I’m going to count this one as a half win. There have been several occasions this year that I’ve disappeared for up to 3 weeks, but when I’ve been active I’ve been posting around 3 times a week – so whilst not ideal, I don’t think I failed this one completely.

2 – Watch 52 new movies

This one I’ve smashed. At the start of the year, I was barely watching any movies at all so this seemed like a daunting task at first, but I gained my passion for movies back in the middle of the year so as of right now, I’ve seen 96 movies this year. I might even double my target by 31st December!

thumbs-down-fail

3 – Read 6 new books

HAH. I failed this miserably. I read so many books whilst I was pregnant and whilst my little girl was still a little newborn potato baby that I thought a book every 2 months would be easy. My potato baby is now 1 year old and needs constant supervision and as a result, I read a grand total of ONE book this year. Lame!

Has anyone else looked back at their resolutions yet? How did you do?

Going Off Topic #13 – Parenting: 1 Year In

44265550_10217821723441193_4970120654394228736_nSo it’s official, my little girl has officially lived longer than any houseplant I’ve ever owned. I’d say she’s the only living thing I’ve kept alive this long but my 2 cats are going to be 5 this year, but in their defence, they pretty much look after themselves. It was Daisy’s 1st Birthday yesterday and her big family party is tomorrow afternoon, so whilst I’ve been too busy retrieving balls from the ball pit and baking cakes I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the last year.

Being a parent is tough, guys. Everyone warns you about how tiring it is and how you’ll miss all the sleep you used to get, but there are so many other things I wish I was better prepared for. It’s been an absolute joy, of course, I mean my once little potato-baby is now a proper little person on the verge of walking all by herself, with one of the funniest personalities I’ve ever known.

I’d geared myself up for sleep deprivation. It’s tough, but I’ve never been a big sleeper and I don’t ever nap in the day so most days I can deal with it, but you know what they don’t warn you about?

Worrying – So. Much. Worrying. Especially in the early days. What did parents do before the days of Google? I have lost count of the number of searches I’ve done about poop, nap schedules, milestones, and heaps more. I’m still guilty of trying to compare my little girl to babies of a similar age, wondering whether she’s developing as quickly as she should be.

44243192_10217819132376418_8693914371551657984_n

In fact, let me use this post as a little page of advice I wish I could give myself a year ago. Here you go, Allie from the past, here’s what I wish you knew then that I know now!

Disappointment – There are going to be people in your life that let you down. There are some that you think will be super close to your little one, but they aren’t. Thing is, although your world completely revolves around her, they have lives of their own – and they won’t be knocking on your door every week to see her or message you all the time to ask how she’s doing. There will be others who you were personally really close to, but having a baby wrecks your social life and you won’t see or speak to them as much anymore. It’s tough to come to terms with, but you’ll get there.

Schedules – Oh, the schedules. Who knew babies didn’t come with one and followed them perfectly? You work so hard to get them into a routine of feeding and napping that works with your day, and then they throw it out the window and you have to work a new one out. I wish I’d learned sooner to try and go with the flow a little better.

Standards – Before your baby is born, there are going to be so many things that make you say “I’m not going to do that as a parent”. You might stick to some of them, but you’re soon going to realise that giving your baby a dummy to soothe her, or bringing a tablet loaded with kid’s shows to a restaurant isn’t a bad thing. It makes life easier, it’s harming no-one, there should be no shame!

Advice – Advice from anyone without a baby is going to wind you the hell up. Who in their right mind came up with the advice, ‘Sleep when the baby sleeps’. Firstly – who can sleep on demand anyway? Secondly – what if the baby will only sleep if she’s lying on your chest? Scrap that even – WHAT IF THE BABY JUST DOESN’T SLEEP?

44311466_10217819139056585_619998797128269824_n

Post Natal Depression – This has been tough. It’s so hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t experienced it themselves, but it’s real and it’s so hard to deal with. It ties into every other single problem in this list. It means going for walks in the snow in the darkest days of winter to reset your batteries, it means trying to make excuses to get out of social events because you can only cope with leaving the house if it fits exactly into the schedule you’ve worked so hard to develop. Again – people aren’t going to understand, and even assume you’re being lousy and lame for backing out, but it gets better.

As horrible as all of this is – it’s so, so worth it at the end of the day. Celebrating those milestones, having strangers tell you how adorable your little one is, seeing her smiles, hearing her laugh, and recently, having her launch herself at you whilst saying ‘Mumumumum’ makes all the heartache worth it.

Sure, by 6pm I find myself counting down the minutes until her bedtime, but the second she’s asleep? My phone is open so I can look at photos of her and then I miss her. What a rollercoaster…

(Sorry if you’ve actually sat and read all of that – my usual movie posts will be resuming shortly!)

Going Off Topic (#11) 5 Weeks Left…

off-topic-outsider-odeon-limitless

You might have noticed that I’ve been pretty active on this blog for the last 2 weeks, more so than I have been all year! I think I’ve finally got my blogging mojo back. Officially, my maternity leave is over in 2 weeks, but I’ve tagged on leftover annual leave so I actually have 5 full weeks till I’m back at work. I can’t believe it! The first 3 months felt like 3 years but the rest of the time has flown. I’m going to miss my little girl so much!

Blogging

If you’ve read one of my recent movie reviews you’ll see the format of them has changed. I’ve been struggling to write my usual free-flowing posts so moving to an actual structured format has really helped me to focus my thoughts on what to actually write. I think I’ll be sticking to this format for a while now, I’m finding posts much easier and more enjoyable to write.

Movies

I haven’t watched as many movies as I usually would recently but that’ll change now I’ve made the vow to complete my ‘watchlist’ before the end of the year. Plus, last night I took the plunge and signed up for Odeon’s Limitless card. If you haven’t heard of it, for £17.99 per month you get to see as many movies as you like.

Of course, this means I’ll be making a lot of solo cinema trips, which doesn’t seem like a big deal to me anymore but a few years ago I would have looked at you in horror if you suggested I go alone. Does anyone else take solo trips? Also, do you think I should put on my big girl pants and go see Hereditary? I’m so tempted!

Books

I took the mention of books out of my blog banner a while ago because I haven’t read any for months. I’ve decided though to give myself half an hour each night in bed to do some reading and to stick to one-off novels rather than trilogies and other series’ just to keep myself motivated. I’ve started reading The Outsider by Stephen King, and I’m really getting into it so far. It’s a murder mystery story where the case seems like it’s solved before it’s even begun, but I know that won’t be how it goes.

Life

Right now, life is good. My little girl is 8 months old today (I can’t believe it) and she’s such a bundle of joy to be around, most of the time. She’s an early riser (yawn) but she’s so playful and cute that I can’t be mad at her for it. We have a proper weekly routine now including soft play, swimming, sensory, the library and singing time, so we’re always busy! I’ll genuinely miss it all when I go back to work.

Well, that’s me in a nutshell! I’m really looking forward to being more active here again, I just hope I can keep it up and not keep disappearing for a few weeks! Hope you’re all having a good June so far.

Going Off Topic (#10) 28 Days Later

going-off-topic-banner

I realise it’s been longer than 28 days since my last off topic post, but I at least wanted to try and stay movie-related, and a zombie is pretty much how I’ve been feeling lately! Just allow me one more ramble before I get back to actual blogging.

So, I’ve been on my medication for 4 weeks now and after roughly 10 days of feeling more ill and tired than I think I ever have, I’m starting to finally feel more like me again. It’s coming to the weekend and realising I’ve had more good days than bad, and even the bad days are easier to actually deal with. Plus, I’m finding more enjoyment in it all. I mean, having a kid is actually pretty hilarious at time.

daisy

Speaking of the little devil angel, she’s 5 months old now and she’s grown so much! She sits up with support, smiles, laughs, grabs whatever she can get her chubby little hands on and actually plays with things. She hates nap time, and believes sleep is for the weak, but hey, no one’s perfect. Besides, as a parent you can get your own back in small ways. Ways like:

– Buying her an Easter egg, telling her she’s far too young for chocolate and eating the whole thing before Easter even arrives, because you’re the grown up of the house.

– Using her as a shopping basket whilst going around the shops because hey, I need to buy stuff and my arms are occupied in pushing her around.

– Filming her trying to sit up by herself but failing miserably and falling over, and laughing about it because a) she’s safe on the sofa and b) it’s bloody hilarious.

– Getting her dressed for the day, realising in bright red and blue she looks like a garden gnome, and not only leaving her like that for the day but taking a photo and showing everyone.

There’s bound to be more, but that’s all I can think of from the top of my head. Karma gets me back for this in the nighttime by the way.

So, yeah, that’s kind of where I am right now. I’m hoping that from next I can get back into watching a few more movies and catching up on all the blogs I follow. For a few years now movies has been my little hobby and I’m known in my family and friends group as being their little movie expert, and I feel like a bit of a failure when they’ve all seen more of the latest releases than I have!

That’s all for now – hopefully I’ll be back again real soon!