Thursday, 31 December 2015

Happy New Year + Our 7 Year Anniversary!



Holy crap! I can't believe another year has gone by in the blink of an eye! I'll be old and grey before I know it, haha!

I also can't believe that today marks mine and B's 7th anniversary. We're pretty much an old married couple at this point.. minus the old and married part, but still!

Anyway, I hope you all have a fabulous new years!

 
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Sunday, 27 December 2015

Snap Happy Sunday // Christmas + Ellie's 2nd Birthday!

Christmas morning in Townsville.
Ellie and Nala scoping out the Christmas presents.

Our little Christmas babies!
Ellie having a sniff of my new pyjamas.
Nala chilling out with Grandma and her new bone!
Two of my awesome Christmas presents from B. The cookbook was so thoughtful!
My yummy Vegan lunch! :D
Ellie and I on Boxing Day, Celebrating Ellie's 2nd birthday!
Ellie and her Daddy before he left for work! :)
Birthday kisses!

Opening her birthday present!

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! As you can see from the photos above, B and I finally celebrated our first Christmas in our own house. Usually we are travelling all over the countryside trying to visit all of our family, but as we both had to work over Christmas this year, we ended up staying in Townsville and my Mum came to visit us instead.

This year was also my first Vegan Christmas, and although it wasn't as great as it could have been (I'm still learning new recipes!) it felt amazing to know that I wasn't contributing to the torture, rape and slaughter of innocent beings over the holidays. :)

We also celebrated Ellie's 2nd birthday on Boxing Day. I can't believe just how quickly she is growing up! It's insane!

 
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Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Happy 1st Birthday Nala!

Twelve photos of Nala over the past 12 months!


I honestly cannot believe that it has been one year since Nala entered the world. This year has flown by so fast that we've barely had the chance to stop and appreciate just how wonderful our lives are since Nala became a part of them. So this is what this post is for.

Nala truly is the most beautiful dog, both inside and out, but even more so on the inside. She has such a calm but happy nature and is always up for a cuddle. She isn't afraid of strangers (but will bark at everything and anyone anyway, especially bigger dogs) and we imagine that she'll be perfect with our children one day. Nala and Ellie also get along wonderfully and were truly a match made in heaven. Nala looks up to Ellie, and Ellie is Nala's protector. They're like two peas in a pod and I really do hope that they live a nice long life together.

We love you so much Nala Bear and we hope you have a wonderful first birthday!

 
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Thursday, 17 December 2015

Vegan Slow Cooker Chilli.



If there's one thing I know how to cook well, it's chilli. Thankfully chilli is super easy to veganise, and so this is the new Vegan version of my original slow cooker chilli (that I no longer promote eating, but the recipe is still there if you want it). I love it so much more than the original version as it doesn't leave me feeling heavy and bloated afterwards. It still tastes pretty much the same as it's the spices and chillis used that give it most of its flavour. :)

Ingredients:

1 brown onion, diced
1 large zucchini, diced
3 birdseye chillis, finely diced
1 tin red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 tin mixed beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tins diced tomatoes
1 jar medium salsa

Method:

1. Turn your slow cooker onto a low heat approximately 6 hours before you plan to serve.
2. In a non-stick frying pan, brown your onion, zucchini and chillis together with a tiny bit of olive oil.
3. Add your pre-drained kidney beans and mixed beans, chilli powder, and ground cumin, and mix together until the flavours are well combined.
4. Throw mixture into the slow cooker along with your diced tomatoes and salsa. Stir to combine, cover the slow cooker, and leave to cook on a low heat for 5-6 hours.
5. Serve hot with corn chips, rice, a baked potato, or even on its own. Perfect with homemade guacamole or your favourite Vegan cheese/sour cream.

Serves 4-6.

 
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Tuesday, 8 December 2015

The Video That Changed It All.

Following on from My Vegan Story post that I shared just over a month ago, if I had to pinpoint the exact moment that I first began to question everything and really started looking into Veganism seriously, it would be when I first watched the video clip below. 

 

I stumbled upon this clip by accident in someone else's video, and decided to sit through it when I was told it wouldn't be graphic. It wasn't, but it was probably one of the saddest videos (and still is) that I have ever seen in my life. I remember walking into our bedroom and telling B that I had just watched a video of a baby calf being removed from its Mother (which is standard practice everywhere) and that the baby was loaded into the back of a van and the Mother cow chased after the van as it drove off with her newborn. I couldn't even finish explaining what happened in the video without writhing with tears. I ended up sobbing myself to sleep that night as it was the first time I had ever been made truly aware of the fundamental cruelness of the dairy industry.

This was also the first time I associated the dairy industry directly with the veal industry. Call me stupid, but I actually thought that by boycotting veal I was making a difference. However, as long as humans still consume dairy there will always be veal on the shelves. The only reason we are able to consume dairy products from cows is because the baby cows are taken away from their Mothers almost immediately after being born. They are then fed on milk replacements whilst we as humans drink the milk that was by nature meant for them. It just doesn't make sense.

It overwhelms my heart each day to know that this is reality, but I am glad I am no longer ignorant. Hopefully by writing this post some of my lovely readers will be awakened just as I was.

 
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Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Cous Cous Salad Recipe.



This is a delicious vegan variation of a recipe that my Mum was made while she was staying in hospital a few months ago. She made it for me when I last went down to visit her, and since then I have been tweaking it until it tasted exactly how I wanted it. Here is the final version of the recipe.

Ingredients:

250gr pearl cous cous
1 x small butternut pumpkin
1 x large zucchini
small tub of sundried tomatoes sitting in olive oil (Coles deli tubs are the best!)
handful of almonds
handful of pepitas (plus any seeds saved from butternut pumpkin)
juice from one lemon
smoked paprika
balsamic dressing
sea salt
pepper

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius.
2. Dice pumpkin (save seeds) and zucchini into small chunks and place on a baking tray lined with greased baking paper (I find olive oil spray works well). Roast in the oven for 20 minutes with salt and pepper seasoning.
3. After 20 minutes, toss roasting veggies and sprinkle with the seeds and almonds. Continue roasting for another 20 minutes.
4. Immediately after adding the seeds and almonds, start cooking your pearl cous cous according to packet instructions. Drain and leave in a large bowl to cool slightly.
5. Remove sun dried tomatoes from the tub, keeping the tub and the oil for your salad dressing in a moment. Cut the sundried tomatoes up into smaller pieces for better distribution throughout the salad.
6. To make the dressing, add the following to your tub of olive oil: juice of one lemon, sprinkle of smoked paprika, 1-2 tbsp balsamic dressing. Whisk well with a fork.
7. Once vegetables are roasted, add to the cous cous along with the sundried tomatoes and stir through well. Next add the dressing and stir through until well combined.
8. Serve on it's own or as a side dish. Perfect hot or cold.

Serves 2-4.

 
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Saturday, 14 November 2015

PLL Theory // CeCe is Bethany (or her twin) + Wilden is Charles!



I posted this theory in my PLL facebook group 'Long Live King Wilden' last night, and it got such a good response that I thought I would share it here as well. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!
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During the 6A finale we were shown a scene of Bethany and Charles talking on the roof of Radley, day dreaming about how they might escape one day. The two of them decided that they needed to come up with a really great “story” in order to escape Radley. Next thing you know, we see Bethany pushing Marion off the roof. Is this really what happened though?

I’m thinking that Wilden is really Charles for the following reasons:

- The writers changed Wilden’s age from a graduate of 1996 to someone who went to highschool with Melissa. They dropped his age for a reason. Why?
- He looks like a DiLaurentis. He definitely looks like the little boy version of Charles.
- He was heavily invested in finding out what happened to Alison that night.
- Mrs D attended his “funeral” and sat in the front row. Pretty sure she wouldn’t care for some random crooked cop that much. The front row is generally reserved for very close friends and family members.

As for CeCe really being Bethany:

- In the 6A finale CeCe describes Bethany as having being diagnosed with Intermittent Explosive Disorder. I’ve looked this up, and people with IED have behaviours very similar to CeCe’s behaviours as ‘A’.
- CeCe (or Sara) sends flowers to the parents of Bethany Young after it is revealed on the news that it was Bethany’s body buried in the DiLaurentis backyard. If CeCe really hated Bethany, why would she bother doing this? I’m thinking she felt bad for her own parents' “loss” and this is why she sent the flowers.
- Jason saw who he thought was CeCe in a yellow top on the night that Alison disappeared. CeCe denied being the one that Jason saw in the 6A finale, yet in 3x20 she admits to Emily that she was there and that Jason did see her.
- We know that Jessica was asking Bethany to call her Aunt Jessie, and that Jessica was having an affair with Bethany’s Dad. If CeCe is in fact Bethany, it would explain all the flashbacks we have seen where Jessica has been dead set against Alison hanging out with CeCe. It would also explain why she allowed CeCe to date her son. What Mother in her right mind would allow her daughter to date her brother?
- The only person able to corroborate CeCe’s story about being the real Charles is Jessica, and Jessica is dead.

According to Toby in “the first secret” episode, his Mother actually died in 2007. To me, this is a fact, and CeCe’s recount of events was merely a story she made up. The writers are not that stupid to include such a gaping plot hole in the 6A finale without having the intention to rectify the plot hole later on. This theory of mine would most definitely rectify said plot hole.

What I’m thinking really happened is that CeCe/Bethany killed Marion in 2007, as the facts tell us. Wilden, who is really Charles, was the reporting officer on the scene at 20 years of age – four years after his death was faked with the help of his Mother Jessica, when he was given the new identity of Darren Wilden. Having been friends with Bethany during his own time spent in Radley, Wilden covers up her involvement.

Note: If Bethany was 17 on the night that she escaped Radley in 2009 (the night Alison first disappeared), this would have made her 15 the night she killed Marion, and roughly 20 years old on the night of the 6A finale. We know that CeCe attended college (assuming this is even true), so some might argue that she wouldn’t have been old enough to have been attending college in 2008 when Alison was friends with her. However, given that she was a patient at Radley (and most likely a genius) I’m guessing they were able to make an exception for her and gave her early admittance under special circumstances.

So do I still think it was CeCe/Bethany who hit Alison over the head? Well, yes. If her motive was to hurt Jessica for sleeping with her Father, then killing her daughter would be a pretty good way to do that. It would make sense that Jessica would cover for CeCe as Bethany too, because she wouldn’t want her affair with Bethany’s father getting out. It would make even more sense if Jessica really was CeCe's/Bethany's Aunt, meaning that Jessica was having an affair with her brother-in-law, and that CeCe/Bethany was her niece (unbeknownst to CeCe/Bethany at the time of course or else she probably wouldn't try to kill her cousin).

But what about Garrett saying he saw Wilden at the DiLaurentis house that night? Well, what if Melissa, when she was talking to CeCe/Bethany (her friend from horseriding), found out that CeCe/Bethany was there to kill Alison? Maybe Melissa knew that Wilden was really a DiLaurentis (or not, it would work either way) and this was why she was calling him that night (“do I have to call 911 to get your attention?”). CeCe/Bethany told us in 3x20 that Melissa took the photo of Wilden/CeCe/Alison on the boat in Cape May. It is possible that Wilden and Melissa were much closer than we have been lead to believe.

So did CeCe really kill Wilden? Well, if Wilden really is Charles, that would be a pretty boring storyline now wouldn’t it? What I’m thinking really happened is that Melissa set up the meeting at the lodge as a huge distraction so that she, along with the help of Mrs D, could fake Wilden’s death. Melissa may have worn a blonde wig and pretended to be CeCe. The reason I think Mrs D is involved is because she returns to Rosewood in the very next episode, attends his funeral and sits in the front row, yet doesn’t seem upset in the slightest. She has no reason to be upset of course because she knows he isn’t really dead. She also sits in the front row, despite this looking very odd, because she needs to make sure that everything is going to plan and that Wilden still "appears" to be dead.

Now, back to Cape May.. Do I think Wilden was beach hottie? Of course not! Well, not if beach hottie was sleeping with Alison anyway. If he was just a guy she had a crush on then sure, why not? I’m thinking that Wilden was just catching up with his old friend CeCe/Bethany and trying to spend time with his long lost sister.

Another reason I think that Wilden/Charles and CeCe/Bethany were old friends from Radley is the way they interacted with each other in 3x20 when Wilden finds CeCe on the side of the road and drags her into his police car. To me this scene is about Wilden being mad at CeCe for spreading rumours that he got his sister pregnant, and rightfully so. I think this is the real reason why Wilden was so upset about these rumours. He was disgusted by them.

So whose body was really buried in the DiLaurentis backyard? Well, that sounds like a pretty good storyline for 6B, don’t you reckon? ;) I mean, it couldn't have been that hard for CeCe as Bethany to plant some of her DNA on the body. She has achieved much more complex tasks in the past after all.

But what if Bethany Young really is dead?

If if turns out that Bethany really is dead, then to go along with the above theory, I'd like to think that perhaps CeCe is Bethany's twin. It would explain why Jason saw CeCe in the same clothes that both Bethany and Alison were buried in "that night". CeCe wanting to become 'A' could all be explained by her digging up what she thought was Ali's body from the cemetery in 3x1 only to find out that it was really her twin Bethany's body that was buried.

To add to this theory even further, I would even be willing to let go of Wilden being the real Charles, and having Wren be the real Charles instead. Either of those handsome lads I'd be more than happy with! :)

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Please share this blog post around if you enjoyed it!

 
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Sunday, 1 November 2015

My Vegan Story.



How do you know if someone is Vegan? They'll tell you.

Now that we have that out of the way, let's get on to my tell all about how and why I became Vegan (and how you can become Vegan too if you want to). Today is 'World Vegan Day', so I felt that there was no better time than the present to let you all know about this super important change in my life.

-----------------------------

Growing up as a child/teenager I knew a total of two vegetarians. One was a primary school best friend, and the other a high school best friend. Both of these girls were pretty relaxed about their vegetarian diet in the sense that they never made other people feel bad about eating meat. Their being vegetarian didn't have much of an impact on my life because they weren't constantly (if ever) vocalising why they were vegetarian - they just were who they were. And that was cool. It made the idea of being a vegetarian seem "normal". Sure, they may have copped some flack from the meat eaters around them from time to time, but were they ever not invited to social gatherings and made to feel an outcast? Of course not. Because they weren't actively making other people aware of their ignorance.

As an adult, I went on to make friends with another two vegetarians. One who is still a vegetarian, the other who is now a Vegan. Unfortunately the friend who is now Vegan made her transition as she started travelling overseas, so this never really made an impact on me. Somewhere around this time though I finally met my first official full fledged Vegan. She wasn't very vocal about it though, and the only time it was ever brought up in conversation was when someone else (usually a guy) was making a joke at her expense. My first experience of what it is like to be a Vegan was not a pleasant one. Not because of the diet itself, but because of the way she was treated for being different from the rest of the herd. Not long after meeting that Vegan, I met another one. This one was a few years younger than me and in addition to being Vegan she was also opposed to drinking alcohol. I was around 19/20 years old when I first met this girl and at the time I was working in a bottle shop and drinking somewhat heavily and quite frequently as well. Now, it wasn't that her not drinking made her harder to relate to, but I feel like I may have felt like I wasn't good enough to really be her friend given my own lifestyle. Because of this (and possibly other reasons on her end) the friendship didn't really take off, and so I wasn't exposed to her Veganism in a way that I now wish I had have been.

Fast forward 5-6 years to around this time last year, and I was working on a blog and YouTube banner design for fellow blogger Niomi Smart. In watching a few of her videos to get some inspiration for her new design I came across this video where she made a delicious salad and explained that she was trying out going vegan. She made reference to another YouTuber named Freelee the Banana Girl who inspired her to make this change. Being the curious person that I am, I looked up and subscribed to Freelee's videos straight away. To be completely transparent though, despite feeling the need to stay subscribed to her YouTube channel, I was actually pretty turned off by most of her videos. I found her to be very harsh, somewhat of a body shamer at times, and extremely forceful of the idea that Veganism is the one and only way that all humans should live. I'm honestly still not sure why I didn't unsubscribe to her, but I'm glad I didn't. It was through reading the comments of one of her many videos that I found links to other Vegan YouTubers that the commenters claimed were much kinder and easier to watch than Freelee was at the time (I now quite enjoy most of Freelee's videos, I think because now I can see past all the bullshit and focus on the message). I ended up coming across quite a few different Vegan YouTubers that day, one of which was Kalel Kitten, a YouTuber around my age who was very similar to most of the beauty guru YouTubers that I was currently watching at that time.

It was around the same time that I started following Kalel that I had just paid a shit tonne of money to get a personalised meal plan made for me by a very well known Instagram diet/fitness coach. I won't say his name, but basically, at the time, I thought this meal and exercise plan he gave me (which turned out not to be very personalised at all) was going to be the answer to all my weight problems I was having (which I now know is due to my having PCOS). And in a way, it was. At least for the first month anyway. I ended up losing 3 kilos. In saying this, I was also exercising 4-5 times a week at the gym which I hadn't done in over a year. I also became even more constipated than I already was. Sometimes going as little as once per week. I started to become super sluggish, could barely finish my meals, completely went off chicken and eggs (which made it super easy when I eventually went Vegan, so thanks for that!), GAINED 1.5kg back during the second month on plan (and believe me, I certainly wasn't gaining muscle mass), and most importantly.. I became bored. The plan became a chore. Being healthy and happy, simply put, should NEVER be a chore. So I quit that meal plan two thirds of the way in, and cut down my red meat consumption drastically, and my egg and chicken consumption almost completely. I kept going to the gym and managed to shift that gained 1.5kg. I started pooping as regularly as I had been previously, so 2-3 times per week (I look back on this now and am amazed that I ever considered that to be "regular"). I was starting to feel better again. But as with everything that doesn't feel natural to you, going to the gym soon became a hindrance to me. I wanted to start attending classes but didn't have anyone to go with, and just didn't have the confidence to attend these classes on my own. The few times I did attend one I was completely out of my league and ended up being hardly able to walk for 2-3 weeks afterwards. I just wasn't enjoying it anymore. And deep down I knew that being healthy shouldn't have to be that hard.

Fast forward again to the 4th of September 2015, and Kalel Kitten upload this video to her YouTube channel. I'd already been following her for at least 6 months prior to her uploading this video but it wasn't until watching this video in particular that I finally made the connection. If you take any single action from reading this blog post, it should be to watch her video. If you feel inspired after watching it, then you can do the following:


1. Educate Yourself
Please watch the following videos, preferably in the following order:
- 101 reasons to go Vegan (MUST WATCH, trust me!)
- MAN
- Ditch Dairy
- 6 minute film that will leave you Speechless
- Forks Over Knives
- Cowspiracy
- If Slaughterhouses Had Glass Walls (Warning: Graphic)
Best Speech You Will Ever Hear (Warning: Graphic)
- Lucent (Warning: Graphic)
- Earthlings (Warning: Extremely Graphic)

2. Ease Yourself In
If you decide you want to go Vegan practically overnight like I did, then that is fine as well. Don't feel like you HAVE to though. Your health (and sanity) is the most important factor here, so take baby steps if you need to. Do your research to find out how you can (easily) get all of the appropriate nutrition required for a Vegan lifestyle. I would suggest talking to your doctor if you are having trouble, and if your doctor isn't helpful, find a different doctor.

3. Don't Beat Yourself Up
I know it's hard not to dwell on all of the years that you remained in the dark. Those dark days are over now though, and you have nothing but light and positivity to look forward to. You can't change the past, so focus on the here and now instead. Think about the wonderful future you are bound to create for yourself. Also, don't beat yourself up if you accidentally eat something that isn't Vegan. Milk solids are in just about everything. You are bound to slip up every now and then. As long as you are not purposefully slipping up then you have no reason to feel guilty.


After watching most of the videos listed above (I still haven't managed to get through all of Earthlings, it truly is heart wrenching) I decided that I was going to go vegetarian with a view to becoming Vegan. The only thing stopping me from going Vegan straight away was that my partner was already making it very obvious that he was unhappy about me even wanting to go vegetarian. I stupidly thought it might be easier if I eased myself (and him into the idea) slowly over time. Fortunately for the animals, the environment and my health, my body wouldn't allow me to just be vegetarian for very long at all. I went away on holiday for a week to visit my family during my whole two weeks of being solely vegetarian, and during this time I became incredibly ill every time I ate something with dairy in it. I'm talking up all night long with major stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, bloating, etc. I'm not sure why my body chose that week in particular to let me know I was intolerant to dairy, but I'm glad it did. I had had signs of a dairy intolerance in terms of bloating and feeling stuffy in the nose/throat for at least 2-3 years beforehand, but never anything this extreme. Then on my second last day visiting my family I went to stay at my Mums place. I asked my Mum and Brother if they would watch 101 reasons to go Vegan with me, and they said yes. The three of us sat down together, watched together, cried together. Even though I had already seen this video, it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Afterwards my Mum and Brother told me that if I want to go Vegan then I should do it now, no more excuses. I asked if this meant that they were open to Veganism themselves and they both said that they were. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. That night Mum whipped us up a super yummy vegan meal (that I will share on the blog sometime soon) and for dessert I had my last ever dairy ice cream before going 100% Vegan the very next morning.

September 27th 2015 was the day that I officially became Vegan.

Upon returning home from my holiday I ceased all consumption of dairy and eggs, as well as all meat/poultry/seafood that I had already given up. I started to cook my meals with passion, but also compassion. It has now been just over a month since I made the transition and I honestly couldn't be happier. Sure, it's hard having people you love mock you, argue with you, discourage you.. but once you become Vegan (for ethical reasons primarily) it becomes pretty much impossible to not enjoy being Vegan. The personal benefits for me in the first month alone have been absolutely amazing. I have lost another 1kg despite not going to the gym and eating all sorts of Vegan junk food (don't worry, I won't keep this up forever). I poop no less than twice per day, as opposed to 2-3 times a week. I have so much more energy during the day. I sleep much better at night. I have become more confident within myself. I feel smarter and more empowered. I care less about what others think of me. The list goes on...

I could talk for days about how great being Vegan is, but instead I'm going to end this post here and thank everyone I've mentioned in this blog post instead. Without all of you, I might not be the enlightened person that I am today, so THANK YOU!

 
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Friday, 2 October 2015

Currently.



Reading:  Pretty Little Liars theories. I am also in the process of rereading 'Lolita', and am still trying to finish 'Grey'.

Watching:  'Pretty Little Liars', seasons 3 + 4. I started rewatching these seasons to look back for CeCe clues, but have ended up coming up with a bunch of other cool theories in doing so. I'm also rewatching 'How I Met Your Mother' in the mornings before work. Aside from TV shows though, I've been watching a lot of documentaries surrounding animal cruelty and reasons to go vegan.

Listening to:  A few really old songs actually. Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder.. that sort of thing.

Smelling:  The banana I just ate. Also, disinfectant.

Thinking about:  PLL theories, Christmas, work, design jobs.. right this second though I am thinking about the washing I need to hang out.

Wishing:  That I didn't have to go to work this afternoon. And that B wouldn't be preoccupied by sports all weekend, lol.

Working on:  Becoming 100% vegan (post on this coming soon hopefully!). Balancing my time a bit better. PLL theories. Getting my PLL facebook group off the ground. Saving up money for the future.

Loving:  How much better I feel since giving up dairy. I haven't been congested, had a single stomach ache or suffered from a bloated tummy since I started my transition (with the exception of last night when I accidentally consumed dairy in my pasta sauce - rookie mistake!).

I am also loving our new couch and doing everything in my power to stop the dogs from destroying it while I'm at work.

Anticipating:  Dressing up for Halloween. Having Mum come up to visit us for Christmas. Oh, and the PLL 6B season return in January of course! :D

So what have you been up to lately?

 
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Sunday, 27 September 2015

PLL Theory // Wilden is Alive + Hanna's Father!



Warning: This post contains SPOILERS!

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I'm really not sure where to start with this theory, so I'm just going to get straight into it. I always believed before the 6A finale that Darren Wilden was still alive. I had my suspicions that he could have been Charles DiLaurentis, but even when that turned out not to be the case I still firmly believed that he was alive. In fact, I am even more certain that Wilden's death was faked since CeCe was revealed as Big A.

Here's why..

- This isn't the first time we have been lead to believe that one of the PLL characters had been killed at the hands of CeCe. Mona, Jason and Kenneth were all drugged by CeCe to slow down their breathing and heart rate and essentially make them appear dead. This reminds me of a storyline from the old NBC soap opera 'Passions' where Sheridan Crane's death is faked by the FBI using the same type of drug. Sheridan even had an open casket funeral like Wilden did, and yet we were all none the wiser until we found out later on that the FBI had drugged her to make her appear dead. I am 99% sure that this is how Wilden's death was faked, most likely with the help of CeCe.
- In S4E1, where the liars attend Wilden's funeral, the title of the episode is 'A is for A-L-I-V-E'. Enough said.
- In S3E21, the day after Ashley Marin ran over Wilden, she sees Wilden across the street walking around live and well. We later find out in 3SE22 that Wilden really is alive. Could this be foreshadowing his fake death that is about to happen?
- Finally, we now know that S6E19, the second last episode of the upcoming 6B season is titled 'Did you miss me?'. This is a line that both Wilden and Ali have said before. Ali turned out to be alive, does this mean that Wilden will too?

Now before you guys state the obvious, yes, I do know that Sara Harvey (Black Veil) reported to CeCe that Wilden was dead as we saw in the 6A finale flashback scene. But why would CeCe need clarification that Wilden was dead if she killed him herself? Perhaps CeCe asked Sara to go to the funeral to make sure that everything was going to hers and Wilden's plan by making sure that Wilden simply appeared to be dead.

I'm not suggesting that Wilden is Big Bad/Uber A (although if he does turn out to be, you heard it here first) but I do believe that he was working with CeCe for the following reasons..

- In S3E20, after the elevator incident in which Jason is nearly killed, the liars are standing around asking each other who they think could have stolen the photo of Wilden/Ali/CeCe from Jason. The next second, Wilden shows up at the door. Coincidence? Perhaps. What I think though is that this was a subtle hint that Wilden stole the photo. How would Wilden know that Jason had the photo unless CeCe told him?
- In the same episode, we see Wilden pull over and push CeCe into his car. The way they talk to each other is almost like a sibling relationship or at the very least some kind of longterm friendship. Wilden does appear to have some sort of power over CeCe, but at the same time CeCe doesn't appear to be scared of him. It seems like they could be working together.
- Also, we are lead to believe that Wilden killed Garrett on the Halloween train and was dressed up as the Queen of Hearts. All while CeCe was in charge of the A game.



The next big Wilden theory I have is that Wilden is actually Hanna Marin's real father. I know right? CRAZY! Before you go getting all hysterical though, please take the time to read the clues below..

- In S1E1, Wilden comes to the Marin front door and tells Ashley that Hanna has been caught shoplifting. How did Wilden know that it was Hanna shoplifting just from looking at the security footage? Ashley then tells Hanna that she will take care of the situation, and ends up sleeping with Wilden so that the charges against Hanna are dropped. How did Ashley know that she could sleep with Wilden to shut him up? Do Ashley and Wilden have a history?
- In the ending scene of the same episode, where Wilden introduces himself to the liars outside the church, he addresses them all by name. "Emily, Spencer, Aria and Hanna". When he says Hanna's name he seems to linger on it slightly and stares at her a little bit longer than the other girls. Creepy.
- In S1E2, Wilden is seen spying on Hanna whilst she is out shopping with Mona. Later in this episode, Wilden shows up at the Marin house with takeaway for dinner and Ashley asks Sean (Hanna's boyfriend at the time) to leave. Why was it time for Sean to leave just because Wilden arrived?
- In S1E3, Wilden is seen at the Marin house after having obviously stayed the night. When Ashley asks Wilden to go upstairs and put some clothes on, he stays behind to eavesdrop on Hanna and Ashley's conversation.
- Later in this same episode, when Hanna is called to the school office to speak to officer Wilden, Wilden says to Hanna "One can't underestimate how much the past informs the present". This statement is weird and interpretative in itself, but Hanna's response is even more odd when she replies with "Really? So are you still that same party boy you were in the class of 96? Did you call me down here to do keg stands?". How does Hanna know that Wilden graduated in the class of 96? How does she know he was a party boy unless she heard it from someone who knew him personally? If he graduated in the class of 96 this would either make him 32 years old in this episode (if he was graduating from highschool) or roughly 35/36 (if he was graduating from College). I think he would most likely have been graduating from University given the keg stand reference though. Either way, it would have to be someone older (like a parent) to know about Wilden being such a big party boy. Ashley Marin perhaps? If Wilden was graduating from College in 1996, this would put him at roughly the right age to have fathered Hanna as well. The liars were all 16 when the show first aired in 2010, meaning Hanna would have been born in roughly 1994. This would have been at around the same time that party boy Wilden was still attending college (or highschool). Not exactly the best father material from Ashley's perspective, am I right?
- Furthermore, towards the end of this episode, Wilden offers Hanna a lift somewhere to which she basically tells him to take a hike. I thought it was sweet and out of character for Wilden to offer her a lift. He then goes back to his normal Wilden self and starts rifling through Hanna's handbag. When Ashley sees this, she finally tells him that he is no longer welcome for breakfast.
- In S3E20, Wilden shows up at the restaurant Ashley Marin is eating at and orders her a glass of wine. He then proceeds to try and convince her that the rumours about him getting Alison pregnant aren't true. Ashley doesn't seem to believe him. Could this be because he got her pregnant once too? In the same conversation, Wilden also talks about his history with Ashley and tells her "I'm not the only one with secrets". I highly doubt that Wilden was merely referring to Hanna's past of shoplifting.
- In S3E22, after Ashley drops Hanna off to stay at Emily's for a few days, Wilden shows up to see Hanna and to collect his car keys (this is after Hanna and Aria pushed his car into the lake, thinking that he was dead after Ashley ran him over). The conversation they have is very telling. Wilden says to Hanna "You, me and your mother - it's complicated. I don't think any of us have been completely honest with each other about things". Maybe Wilden knows he is Hanna's father but Ashley has never outright told him? Neither of them are being honest with Hanna about it at least. It is important to note that this is their last conversation together as well. I also believe Wilden wanted the keys to his car so that he could protect Ashley and Hanna, not himself.
- Also, what about after Wilden's death when Hanna can't get a scholarship for college, but when she suggests to Ashley that she go and ask her Dad (Tom), Ashley is very insistent that Hanna not bother Tom about it. Is this because Tom isn't really Hanna's Dad? Perhaps Tom knows he isn't Hanna's real father? Maybe that's why he has always been such a distant father figure to her? To add to this theory, if Wilden is in fact working together with CeCe, it would also explain why Hanna is eventually given a scholarship by The Carissimi Group.

Given the clues above, not to mention all the other occassions where Wilden/Hanna/Ashley are together, it makes me wonder why the majority of Wilden's scenes are focused around the Marin's. Was he really meaning to target Hanna, or was he simply wanting to spend time with her in whatever way he could? Also, why doesn't Ashley do something about the fact that Wilden is targeting Hanna? Is she afraid that he might spill her secret?

I actually have a sneaking suspicion that in S6E19 Hanna will be getting married to someone. Whether the wedding goes ahead or not I have absolutely no idea, but going by a photo I saw on twitter the other day I'm fairly certain Hanna was wearing a wedding dress. Anyway.. as I mentioned earlier, the title for this episode is 'Did you miss me?'. Wouldn't it be perfect if Wilden showed up for Hanna's wedding and said that famous line we have heard him say once before.. 'Did you miss me?'.

I'd love to hear your thoughts! Please leave them in the comments. Also, if you like this post, please make sure to share it. It is the first of it's kind! :D


{ Please join my Long Live King Wilden Facebook group for more PLL theories }

 
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Sunday, 20 September 2015

Snap Happy Sunday // A 'Friends' Themed Party.

L-R: Me dressed up as a pregnant Phoebe (holding Ellie who was dressed up as "the duck"), Nat dressed up as the ever glamorous Rachel, Josh and Ella not dressed up (but holding Nala who was dressed up as "the chick", Jodie dressed up as Chandler in his pink rabbit Halloween costume (holding Hunter who was dressed up as Joey dressed up as Chandler lol), and Jodie's partner Joss dressed up as Ross in his Spudnik Halloween costume.

Happy Sunday guys! I hope you've all had an amazing weekend so far! As you will already know if you've been reading my last few blog posts, last night was the night of my Friends themed "Cups and Ice" party. I've been so excited to host this party ever since I first came up with the idea that I could hardly sleep the night before and spent all day yesterday cleaning the house in preparation for the party. All my planning paid off though as it was a completely stress free night for me and I felt like I was able to fully get involved whilst still being the host (this isn't usually the case for me as I am incredibly OCD - and I don't say that lightly).

Trifle was made by Jodie, choc chip cookies were made by Nat.


We started off the night digging into the Friends themed food that me and my awesome guests kindly put together. As you can see we had pizzas (the food of Joey's ancestors), meatball subs (Joey's lifeline), cheesecake (Little Mama's Bakery style), traditional English trifle (sans mince sauteed with peas and onions) and choc chip cookies (recipe courtesy of NeslĂ© Toulouse). Also, unpictured, we had a table full of "tiny portions of pretentious food" including some fancy handmade chicken and sausage rolls courtesy of Josh and Ella.



Of course, what would a Cups and Ice party be without a display of cups and ice? I had a lot of fun picking out Friends themed colours for the decorations, plates and cutlery (purple and teal blue for Monica's apartment, with pops of yellow for the frame on the back of Monica's door in case you were wondering) and even supplied some cute mason jar cups for my guests to take home as a party favour.




Obviously I had 'Friends' playing in the background throughout most of the party, that is when we weren't playing Pictionary or Friends Trivia games. Pictionary was especially fun as we played in teams of girls versus boys. The boys managed to beat us by one point in the end - clearly they were cheating!

Nala "the chick" and her boyfriend Hunter.

Ellie "the duck" and Nala "the chick".

Last but not least, I couldn't end this blog post without making a special mention to the real stars of the party, the puppies! At the very last minute I came up with the idea that Nala and Ellie needed to dress up as the chick and the duck. I couldn't find any chick costumes as it was too late to buy from Ebay and pet stores only stock chick costumes around Easter time, so luckily my friend Jodie let me borrow Hunter's old chick costume and I just had to find a duck costume for Ellie. In the end I was left with no other option than to purchase a white bonds baby top from the reduced racks at Big W. She didn't look exactly like a duck, but it did the job! As for Jodie's dog Hunter, he came dressed up as Joey dressed up as Chandler. Possibly the cutest dog costume you've ever seen? :P

I am so glad that I finally held a Friends themed party. I definitely feel like I have just crossed something huge off my bucket list. Have you ever thrown a TV show themed party before? I'd love to hear all about it if you have!

 
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PLL Theory // Sara and Aria are Twins!





Warning: This post contains SPOILERS!

-----

So I was recently rewatching S3E17 "Out of the frying pan, into the Inferno", which from the title screamed flames/burning/pain to me. For this reason, a conversation between Byron and Aria towards the beginning of the episode really stood out to me as Byron told Aria a story about how he and Ella wouldn't use the fireplace when Aria was younger as he was worried that she might get burned. This conversation didn't really seem to have much relevance to the PLL story, which is probably why I didn't think much of it the first time around, but this time the conversation really smacked me in the face and I feel like it was included in this episode for a reason.

Later, at the end of the episode, we see Red Coat (presumably Sara) flicking the Hanna bobble head and burning her face with a blowtorch. Could the two references to someone being "burned" in this episode be related?

As you guys know, I have already written a blog post on the possibility of Hanna and Sara being sisters/twins, mostly due to the fact that we are constantly seeing Red Coat (Sara) spying on Hanna or her Mother, or doing vengeful acts towards Hanna. I mean, it would make sense.. HOWEVER.. Now I know this sounds ridiculous, but what if Red Coat (Sara) was wrongfully targeting Hanna thinking that she was her twin/sister, when in reality Sara is actually ARIA's twin sister!

What if Sara was burned in a fire as a baby, possibly by Aria, as Aria's first sign of menace against her twin. Maybe this could be prefacing when Aria later stabs her sister when they are fighting over their dolls (as in the Halloween episode). Maybe Ella and Byron sent Sara away to live with Byron's brother Scott Montgomery and his wife (we never hear much about Sara's father do we?), and kept Aria with them in order to give her treatment (it's not like they could give the 'evil' twin to someone else to look after could they?). I know this sounds completely crazy but I am absolutely willing to run with it!

Other possible Sara/Aria twin clues:
- Aria finds a doll that looks just like her with her eye stabbed out. She flips the doll over and see's a blonde doll as the other half instead of legs. HUGE twin (and stabbing) clue, and a blonde twin clue at that!
- Aria looking into mirrors, all the dang time! (MPD or twin clue? or both?).
- Speaking of mirrors, in S3E23, Aria spots Red Coat (Sara) when looking into a mirror. Even more reason to believe they could be twins?
- Let's not forget all the other clues that suggest that Aria is one of the Halloween twins (that would be a whole other blog post though).
- When Sara as Red Coat was spying on the Marin household, we presumed she was spying on Ashley Marin, but.. ELLA Montgomery was also sitting there talking to Ashley!
- Possibly the biggest clue of all, in S4E1, we see Black Widow (also Sara) lifting up her veil to show her BURNT Ali mask. In this same scene, there is a photograph of Aria on the wall directly behind Black Widow. This photo is in Black Widow's view as she looks at herself in the mirror!



If you have any other possible Sara/Aria twin clues, please leave them in the comments!

So what do you guys think?! I just did a brief google search and haven't spotted any other Aria and Sara twin theories, so this very well might be a first! :D

P.s. Please join my Long Live King Wilden Facebook page for more PLL theories.

 
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Wednesday, 16 September 2015

A weekend on Maggie + New Firmoo Sunglasses!

This past weekend B and I ventured back to Maggie for a (very) belated overnight stay for my birthday. As soon as I finished work on Saturday afternoon we caught the 3.45pm ferry over to the Island where our gorgeous beach front hotel was waiting for us. Whilst I settled in and got ready for the night ahead, B headed over to the local bottle shop to pick us up a bottle (or two, shh!) of my favourite wine.

After polishing off both bottles in record time, we headed downstairs for dinner in the hotels restaurant. As the room was quite dark (and I was a fair bit tipsy) I didn't bother taking any photos of our meals, but you can take my word for it that they were delicious. The parmesan mashed potato was particularly spectacular. For once in our lives we were actually too full for dessert so after dinner we headed back to our room where I had the most magnificent hot bath before falling asleep in the comfiest bed ever.

Come Sunday morning I felt surprisingly refreshed despite the wine from the night before. I'm putting this down to the amazing bed and taking it as a sign that B and I need to spring for a new mattress. So anyway, we headed downstairs for a scrummy buffet breakfast before packing up our bags and heading off to hire some scooters for the day. I'd never been on a scooter before, but after I got the hang of it I had an absolute blast. :)

Once we picked up our scooters our first stop was the top of this hill so that I could get a photo taken on my pink scooter wearing my awesome matching helmet. We then headed down to Picnic Bay to take some photos of me in my new prescription sunglasses that I was kindly sent by Firmoo to review a few days earlier.

If you're a loyal reader of my blog you will know that I have been working with Firmoo for many years now, and they are still my all time favourite online optical retailer. The prescription sunglasses they sent me were absolutely perfect for the beach, and unlike most sunglasses this pair actually fit me perfectly. I went for a simple black frame and lenses with a slight purple tint and I think they look awesome.

If you are interested in purchasing some high quality, affordable glasses of your own, you can check out Firmoo's new arrivals here and their 15% off deal for new customers here.

Next we headed over to the other side of the Island to check out the markets at Horseshoe Bay. I never usually buy anything at markets but this time I picked up a birthday present for my step sister, some yummy gelato, as well as purchasing an incredible 15 minute massage while B went for a quick dip in the ocean (pretty sure I had the better end of that deal). 

Afterwards we decided to hire a kayak for half an hour, then we drove over to some walking tracks and went on a hot, sweaty, exhausting hike to Arthur Bay and back. Totally worth it though as the views were just incredible.

After our hike we headed back to Horseshoe Bay for a much needed late lunch. B went for fish and chips and I went for a delicious serve of vegetarian nachos which I had absolutely no hope of finishing (death by sour cream anyone?).

As I'm sure you can imagine, our day was pretty much over by this point, so we headed back to Nelly Bay to return our scooters and hopped on the next ferry home.

We had such an amazing weekend together and I seriously can't wait to head back over again. If you're ever up in Townsville, the twenty minute ferry ride to Magnetic Island is 100% worth it. Next time we head over we're going to hire some jet ski's and go on another (even longer) hike. Our next visit couldn't come fast enough!

 
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