26 elephants in the room

Hoookay. It’s about time I addressed these elephants; my 26 before 26 things.

Let’s be real here. I ain’t gonna achieve all 26 things. So how about a recap, and then I move on and start thinking about (more realistic) goals for before 27… because I am nothing but a glutton for punishment.

 

1- Read 30 new children’s books (30/30)

I’m actually going to tentatively mark this and the next one off as complete- I’ve utterly lost count of what I’ve read and how many but I think I probably did manage to reach these goals.

2- Read 25 new YA/adult books (25/25)

3- Lose some weight

Again… Yeah, I kinda did lose some weight. Not much, but some!

4- Change my hair again

I’m not cheeky enough to think that I managed to do this. I haven’t changed my hair that much since my last birthday… so no. And it ain’t gonna happen in the next month- unless you count possibly buying a wig!

5- Get a tattoo

Nope. Pricing up some though!

6- Pierce my ear again

Nope but again- see above.

7- Run another 5k in less than 45 minutes

Aha! So blooming optimistic of me. No way this is going to happen- neither is the next one. Or the next…

8- Run a Tough Mudder

Nope.

9- Get a first draft of my novel written

Again- what was I thinking!?

10- Visit 3 new places

Unfortunately not- though it was an interesting and not too unrealistic goal!

11- Have at least £1000 saved

No, I have too many outgoings! We’ll see if I can manage some savings by next year, though.

12- See the Northern Lights

Nope- haven’t managed to see these yet. Maybe next year?

13- Have afternoon tea

I’m actually having afternoon tea with my parents and boyfriend for my mum’s birthday this weekend, so BOOM. Done.

14- Buy a corset

Yep- bought a cheap(ish) one for my Halloween costume (a corset is a requirement when one is dressing as a dead Victorian lady of the night, of course!). So even though it’s not a decent one I’d wear more often, I’m still counting it!

15- Continue to learn French

I’m tempted to mark this as completed, because I am teaching it! Which is rather hilarious…

16- Visit Paris

Nope, but I might just manage this over the summer so fingers crossed.

17- Go on a trip by myself (doesn’t have to be far away or overnight)

Yep!

18- Throw a dinner party

Nope- but I am chomping at the bit to do this soon!

19- Pick up the cello again

I failed miserably. I REALLY need to do this though!

20- Learn geeky cello tunes

See above!

21- Succeed in my training year

I’m calling this done. I may not complete it with the highest marks in the end, but I’m actually doing pretty well right now and I’m damn proud of myself.

22- Try some Pinterest recipes (2/10)

I can’t remember how many I have done but not quite 10, I don’t think. Probably will keep this for next time though because I just have too many pins not to try out!

23- Continue running

I failed miserably at this. But hopefully I will be running again from now on!

24- Get back on the ‘scene’

I think my boyfriend would agree I managed this one!

25- Visit Ollivander’s

YEP! And I got ‘my’ wand, even though I wasn’t chosen for the experience. It was AMAZING.

26- Post a blog once a week

Ha, we won’t go into this one too much.

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Hopping back on the workout wagon.

I think it’s pretty understandable for me to confess that I’ve pretty much done no real working out since I started my teacher training course.

Getting to grips with all the planning and paperwork and marking and reading and everything I’ve had to do has left me with hardly any time to do anything and in the free time that I do have? Sitting on the sofa doing NOTHING is much, much more attractive than doing some kind of exercise. Anyone who has ever been in the teaching profession can probably attest to that.

However, I’ve been actually feeling kinda antsy, itchy, irritable lately. Annoyed with myself and irritated that I’ve started to slide back and feel unfit again

Could it… could it be that I… MISS exercise?

Lemme tell you that it’s a good job I’m sitting down right now.

So yeah, I admit it. I’ve become one of those people and I missed exercise. Therefore, I wanted to do something about it. And I wanted to do something adult about it because my birthday is looming and it’s an awfully adult sort of age so I thought pretending to be a grown up might be kinda fun.

Where I’m working for next year is quite near to the location of my (most) local easygym, which I saw advertised whilst exploring the shopping in the town (note to self: crap, but a well stocked Holland and Barrett. Proceed with caution). Cautiously curious, I checked it out online and thought to myself “… Huh. This actually sounds pretty good.” No joining fee? No contract? A monthly fee that would give me change from £20? It was worth a look. I mentioned it to my mum and she also sounded interested, so I booked us in to have a look around on Easter Monday and we went, dressed for a workout. The facilities are HUGE with an open-plan sort of arrangement, with a tonne of cardio and resistance machines, a pretty sizeable free-weights area and a ‘free zone’ with stretching and ‘toning’ equipment and a load of yoga mats by a mirrored wall. We thought “why not”, shrugged, signed ourselves up (less than a tenner for the first two months!) and had a work out.

Well, I was so shocked at how unfit I was, but determined to see it through. We went back again this morning and I managed a 10 minute jog/run. Whilst on the one hand that was frustrating- less than a year ago I was comfortably and happily running 5k weekly- I forced myself to see the positives. I -RAN- for ten minutes, after about six months of doing nothing. I persevered when it was feeling a bit hard and my legs were a bit sore and my breath was heavy. That in itself is a victory.

So I’m back on this here wagon and hoping that I don’t fall off. Even if I only manage to go once a week for the forseeable future, I’ve already made back my money- ‘day passes’ would cost £7.

Here’s to the future and getting back to running comfortably by the summer!

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Tales from teaching…

So I’ve been considering starting something of a new series on this here blog, dedicated to the things I’ve learnt and the experiences I’ve had whilst teaching.

OBVIOUSLY I will be keeping it totally professional and including neither names of places nor of people but I think it may be useful for anyone who is considering getting into the teaching game (as it were) and also it may be interesting for any of my normal readers to see just exactly what I’ve been doing with myself when I’ve not been blogging here!

I thought about this today as I am currently curled up in my bed, having been suffering with the WORST migraine (I’ve actually never had a migraine before to my knowledge, so it was kinda terrifying) and all round dizziness/nausea and had about two hours sleep last night so as I stumbled to the bathroom this morning, mum told me to get back into bed and they frantically rang my school to let them know. I feel incredibly guilty- I HATE missing work, I’ve only missed two days so far because I suffered with Labyrinthitis before Christmas and couldn’t actually stand up straight- but there was no way I could drive myself to work this morning, let alone stand up in front of a group of ten year olds and teach them about poetry and various other things. My headache has eased off and is now just a generally unpleasant pain right at the back and base of my skull but I am still ridiculously dizzy- me trying to climb down the stairs to get a drink earlier was hilarious for anyone watching, I can only assume- and the only way I am able to read is by wearing my glasses (and my eyes are still blurry and moving in and out of focus constantly) and use my laptop is by turning the brightness right down, and it still hurts. But I have work to do, including resource creation for a Geography lesson tomorrow, so I need to grit my teeth and get on with it.

And that’s something I’ve learnt from teaching so far. Resilience. I have built up my own levels of resilience but also learnt that I am much more resilient than I ever thought I was. However, I have also learnt that sometimes, you just have to take a step back, be honest and say “…no. I can’t do this” or “I need some help.” The government do their very best to grind us into the ground constantly, they don’t need our help to do it. And I’m not saying you should take a day off work whenever you feel like it. I’m just saying that sometimes it’s okay and actually may be sensible to take the time to rest and recover. If you make yourself sick by pushing yourself to the limit on a constant basis, you’re only going to make things worse for yourself- and for your students!- in the long run.

Love yourself, because enough people will hate you for being a teacher!

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Is anyone alive out there?

WOW.

So… I haven’t blogged in a fair few months. I knew doing my teacher training would be hardcore but I don’t think I realised quite how hardcore it would be. All my best intentions of still maintaining weekly blogs and YouTube videos went flying straight out of the window pretty quickly.

However, I like to think I’ve got a bit of a hang of things now and so am tentatively hoping to get back to weekly blogs.

So, here’s a massively photo heavy post to get you up to speed on the time I spent from August 2015 right up to mid-March 2016!

NOTE- all of my photos are from my instagram (@smaugish) so I apologise for how awful the quality will be, on the whole!

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I fell in love with Kat von D’s liquid lipsticks and began to pray she brings her stuff to the UK… rumours abound that this may be the year!

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I went to Bloodstock… ish. It’s a long story but basically after an abortive start, my dad bought himself a day ticket and drove himself and I back up for the Sunday to see ROB ZOMBIE. Which was AWESOME.

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I made my brother possibly the most awesome birthday cake ever… it was delicious.

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I bought a blender thing and officially became a food hipster.

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I started my teacher training!

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I started dating someone in August… and started our relationship a few months later over the New Year.

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I submitted to the hype… and got the Naked Smoky palette. It is AWESOME.

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I had some fun with my work wardrobe and trying to dress like a ‘goth teacher’… see below for more!

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I took part in vegan October… it was actually easier than I expected and something I’m considering on a more full time basis!

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I appreciated my downtime much more and dressed more ‘goth’ at every opportunity.

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Even my more casual ‘dressing down’ uniform became ‘goth-tastic’

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I also added some more bits to my wardrobe, including this gorgeous Victorian style dress from Primark of all places.

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I had fun dressing up as a Ripper victim for Halloween, including a corset… LOVED this costume, might have to do it again sometime!

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Went through the heartbreaking decision to say goodbye to our beautiful boy, Spike, after he became too poorly to go on. Still miss him to this day. RIP bumface.

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Mum and I made our annual Christmas pilgrimage to Manchester and had the best time.

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Manchester is one of my favourite cities and it always looks beautiful at Christmas!

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I added some truly amazing pink reindeer earrings to my Christmas wardrobe.

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Got some amazing Christmas presents, including a very late letter from Hogwarts.

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I wore potentially the sparkliest dress on Christmas day and haemorrhaged glitter the whole day.

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Wore Ruby Woo and had serious brow game on the 25th too.

 

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Battled the post-Christmas sales looking uber-goth with Nyx Liquide Suede in Stonefox

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Went to my first NQT teaching job interview (and got the job!) in January.

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Experimented with back-combing and a more trad goth sort of look.

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Finally indulged in (and became addicted to) a pair of Demonia boots.

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Welcomed a new fur baby to the family- this is Rosie but I call her Wiggle.

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Had a lot of good outfit days.

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I’m trying to give myself reading time every week. It’s got mixed success- I’m still reading The Darkest Part of the Forest but I am thoroughly enjoying it!

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Another good outfit day… that scarf is from Claire’s Accessories, if you would believe it!

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Subscribed to my first ever box- Spooky Box Club! First box was amazing, I may try and film an unboxing when my next one comes!

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Dressed as Boudicca (the queen of the Iceni, not my dog!) for World Book Day.

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Got stuck in PGCE assignment hell!

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Continued to rock my ‘goth teacher’ style… and good golly is my hair getting long!

 

So that’s us all up to date! Now… here’s hoping I manage to post soon?

 

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Bloodstock 2015- My Festival Style

Bloodstock 2015
So looks like I’ll be able to go to Bloodstock Open Air Festival, 2015 after all!
Seriously… I know I’ve been on the most amazing holiday ever, and I don’t want to sound like a brat, but I was really worried I wasn’t going to be able to go to BOA. And it’s become part of my year, y’know what I mean? This year will be my sixth year there, and it’s one of the best lineups they’ve been offering in recent years, so I really didn’t want to miss it.
But lo! My heavy metal Fairy Godmother came and told me “You shall go to Catton Hall!” and now I’m super excited and thought I’d do a post detailing what I’m thinking of taking with me to wear over the weekend.
Okay y’all. I have to admit, if you hadn’t already expected it; my festival style is a little different to the norm. You probably won’t find any floaty kaftans or dresses or fringing and flower crowns here (though I might take my eyeball flower headband, just for kicks). Bloodstock is a metal festival, so the first thing on my list to pack is:
Band T-Shirts
I don’t often get to dip into my extensive band t-shirt collection these days, so Bloodstock is the perfect opportunity for me to do so. I usually like to take a t-shirt from each of the headliners to wear, but I actually don’t have a Trivium or Within Temptation t-shirt. However, I do have a Rob Zombie shirt so I will definitely be taking that one! I probably will take my Watain Black Metal Militia shirt to wear one of the days because it’s one of my favourites, and maybe a Powercake t-shirt to co-ordinate with my brother and his friend (Powercake is their band, check them out here– they’re really good!). On top of that, I might take one of my previous BOA t-shirts to wear, and I’m not sure what else. Four t-shirts should be ample, though!
Battle Jacket
The army jacket in the picture is just representative of my battle jacket; it very surely is not my battle jacket, ha! If you’re not hot on metal fashion/habits, a battle jacket/battle vest/kutte is basically a vest, usually (but not always) a cut-off denim vest upon which the wearer sews or glues patches to do with their favourite bands or patches from shows they’ve been to. My battle jacket is an army surplus jacket I bought a while ago, cut off the sleeves and have stuck on patches from various BOA’s of yore and bands I like. A camo battle jacket is a bit unorthodox and, dare I say it, controversial in the community but I don’t really care! I probably will start a new one, and it will probably be a little more of an orthodox black denim one, but we’ll see.
Leggings/Skinny Jeans
So I’m not quite sure what I’m going to take to wear on bottom. I want to be comfortable, so probably leggings, but I might also take my ripped Yours skinny jeans for another option. The leggings I’m going to take will probably be my skeleton leggings, and maybe some camo leggings as well.
Boots
I’m going to take my (fake) Docs for sure; they’re comfortable to drive in and comfy to wear all day. I might also take my New Rock boots as well, just for old time’s sake!
Accessories
I will most definitely be taking my Banned Apparel glow-in-the-dark skeleton bag, because that is my favourite bag and it’s a perfect size. I might slip my studded sunglasses in, just in case a miracle occurs and it’s sunny next weekend. And I’ll definitely be taking a necklace or two- my ankh necklace is probably a shoe-in as I wear it more or less every day anyway!
Make Up
And of course, I can’t go away for a weekend without a scrap of makeup! I usually take some of my cheaper stuff with me, just to make sure nothing decent gets lost or ruined. But as I’m not going to be camping this year, I can take some better stuff! I’ll be packing a couple of different lip products so I have several options- my Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid lipstick in Echo is a good choice because it’s so long lasting and it’s such a good colour, one of my Revlon Matte Balms just for the ease of application and colour offering, and maybe one or two others depending how I feel. I might not want to go full on with the base but I will probably take my Urban Decay Naked Skin concealer (not pictured) to brighten and cover blemishes and bags, and for eyes I’ll take my Kat Von D Tattoo liner in Trooper (that thing DOES NOT BUDGE) and my Rimmel waterproof Scandaleyes mascara- or maybe my Urban Decay Perversion mascara (not pictured).
I’m so excited! I might try to put some new patches on my battle jacket before I go, and re-inforce/restick/attempt to resew some of the ones that are already on there. Are you going to any music festivals this year, or have you already been to one?
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Florida Beauty Haul

So I got home from Florida at five to seven this morning and I’m so sad my holiday is over.

It was amazing. It felt pretty special that it was our last proper family holiday ever, just the four of us, and also a bit bittersweet. Our villa was lovely, situated just the right distance away from I-Drive and the parks (about 15 minutes from Disney, 25-30 mins from Universal) and we had a great two weeks of doing loads.

AND I MET DONALD. I MET DONALD FOUR TIMES.

(I do realise there are only three pictures up there; the first picture of me and Donald isn’t my favourite, but it is on Instagram if you really want to see it…)

Apart from going  to Disney World and Universal Studios and playing Adventure Golf (Pirate’s Cove is one of the best!) we also went shopping… which is really what you’re interested in, isn’t it!?

Here is everything I got, beauty-wise! I fell in love with Sephora- oh my God, so beautiful!- and enjoyed rooting around Walmart, Walgreens, Target and CVS on my hunt for Nyx (couldn’t find any until we went to a Super Target on the last day!) and Wet ‘n’ Wild. I got bits from Wet ‘n’ Wild, Nyx, Kat Von D, MAC, Anastasia Beverly Hills, OCC and Eos.

So here’s the least interesting of my purchases. I got Nyx HD Studio Finishing Powder, which I haven’t tried yet but think that it looks good! The little skull bottle is a Blackheart Cosmetics Roll-On perfume that smells gorgeous (and I actually bought it from Torrid!) and I got two flavours of Eos lip balm; Pomegranate Raspberry and Sweet Mint.

Here we have the eye and face make up that I bought! The blush powder is a Sephora Collection Colorful Blush in Tranquil, which is a taupey contour colour and darker than Nyx Taupe but a good substitute as I couldn’t find it anywhere (more expensive though!). I also got the Wet ‘n’ Wild palette in Comfort Zone, a Nyx palette in Sex Bomb, Kat Von D tattoo liner in Trooper, an Anastasia Brow Wiz in Chocolate (I was unsure which shade to get but so far this looks like an appropriate pick!) and a Nyx Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk.

Here’s the beautiful Nyx palette- I thought the selection of colours looked interesting and the inclusion of red intrigued me!

The swatch underneath the shadows is the Sephora blush- I can’t wait to try chiseling my cheekbones with it! As you can see from the shadows, the lighter two matte shades aren’t greatly pigmented but on the whole they’re nice shadows.

And two things that most people familiar with the blogging/vlogging world will be very familiar with: the Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone palette and the Nyx Jumbo pencil in Milk.

The white line is obviously the jumbo pencil- I got this to try and make my brighter shadows, like the ones in my beloved Mermaids vs Unicorns palette, pop more. As for the Comfort Zone palette- I get the hype! The shadows are all buttery soft and super pigmented and that blue/brown duochrome shade is stunning.

And the lip products! I know, I know; last thing I needed is more lip products! But I could not help myself. I got two samples of OCC lip tars in Technopagan and Black Metal Dhalia, and a full sized Lip Tar in Role Play. I also got two Kat Von D Studded Kiss lipsticks in Wolvesmouth and A-Go-Go and one Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Echo. Next I got two of the new MAC Matte collection lipstick (that I’m sure aren’t even out in the UK yet…) in Stone and Royal, and two Nyx lip products- an Intense Butter Gloss in Berry Strudel and a Simply Vamp lip cream in Temptress.

The swatch on top is Stone, and then from left-right we have A-Go-Go, Wolvesmouth, Temptress, Berry Strudel, Echo and Royal. I wanted to get Poe from Kat Von D but it was sold out everywhere so I got Echo (and Royal) instead.

I can’t wait to try out all my new bits! Have you tried any of these?

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The Disney Tag!

So… today I am at Disney Magic Kingdom (meeting Donald!) and so I thought I’d post a Disney Tag. I will be doing one of these tags (well, a few of them!) on my YouTube channel when I get back from America so stay tuned!

1. What’s your favorite Disney movie?

Beauty and the Beast. I love pretty much every Disney movie I’ve ever seen (except that I can’t watch either Bambi or the Fox & The Hound because… I just can’t) but BATB will always be my number one.

2. What Disney character do you relate to the most?

Belle! Maybe this is why it’s my favourite but I’ve always thought I was pretty Belle-like. She’s girlier than I am but being a bit of an outsider and having a tendency to lose oneself in a book amongst other things are definitely some things I can relate to!

3. What Disney girl is the prettiest?

I don’t actually know which Disney girl is the prettiest… I always thought Mulan and Pocahontas were pretty, as are Aurora and Esmerelda and Belle (obv) and Jasmine… though tbh they’re all pretty! Kida from Atlantis is gorgeous actually.

4. What Disney guy is the hottest?

… is it wrong that I’m tempted to say Beast, before the change?! Flynn Rider is pretty hot though.

5. Who is your favorite side kick?

I have three. And I shall quote them and then hope that you just KNOW who they are.

a) “And as I’ve always said, if it ain’t Baroque, don’t fix it!” b) “And what are you, a sheep!?” c) “Go to bed, y’all from Shreveport!?”

6. Favorite villain?

This is a hard one to choose a favourite for. I love Maleficent, and Scar, and Hades. And Doctor Facilier. Not sure I could pick a top favourite from those.

7.All time favorite Disney soundtrack?

The Beauty and the Beast soundtrack will never fail to give me goosebumps, but I also love the soundtracks for The Hunchback of Notre Dame (HELLFIRE! DARKFIRE! NOW GYPSY IT’S YOUR TURN!) and Pocahontas. And The Little Mermaid (Part of Your World is just my song, okay?)

8. Scene in Disney film that makes you cry?

There are SO MANY. So many. Mufasa dying, the Beast almost-dying, Pocahontas’ final farewell to John Smith, Esmerelda almost-dying, Ray getting squished… SO MANY.

9. Who’s your least favorite Disney character?

Ohhh… OOOH. This is a tough question. Really tough. I don’t know if I can answer it!

10. Which scene in a Disney film makes you mad?

I’m usually too happy to be mad in a Disney movie…

11. Have you ever been to a Disney park?

YES!

12. Disneyland or Disneyworld?

Walt Disney World❤

13. Do you prefer 2D animation or 3D animation?

I’m a traditionalist, so 2D.

14. What is a fairly tale or theme you would want in the next disney film?

I would love to see them do some of the Anansi stories, and part of me has a bit of a sick fascination with a Disney take on Beowulf. As for fairy tales, I want them to do Bluebeard or The Goose Girl, because they were always two of my favourite fairy tales as a child.

15. Favorite thing you own that is Disney?

My Donald mug! I have so much Disney merchandise though, I also love my Beast plushie.

16. First Disney film you have seen?

If it counts as a film, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day/Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree. Blustery Day was the first video my brother and I ever owned.

17. Last Disney film you have currently watched?

I can’t actually remember, but I think it would be Peter Pan.

18. Is there a Disney movie you have not seen?

Not many- things like Home on the Range and Chicken Little, I think, are the only ones I’ve never seen.

19. What is a animated non-Disney movie that you like?

How to Train Your Dragon, Howl’s Moving Castle… I like lots of non-Disney animation.

20. Favorite Disney quote from any Disney film?

See my sidekicks post, the first quote there ha!

21. Which upcoming Disney film are you most looking forward to see?

The live action Beauty and the Beast!

22. Last question which main Disney character (Mickey for example) is your favorite?

DONALD BLOOMIN’ DUCK.

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