Z - Zoo (We Bought A Zoo)

Released back in 2011 and based on a real life family, We Bought A Zoo follows the story of Benjamin Mee who after his Wife passes away, decides to make a fresh start, by quitting his job and uprooting his children to an 18-acre property containing the Rosemoor Wildlife Park (aka Zoo). Although the Zoo got closed down several years previously, Rosemoor still homes many animals, all cared for by Kelly Foster and her small team of staff. Benjamin opens his heart and checkbook to the Zoo, although he hasn't the faintest idea about how to care for animals; Kelly and her team slowly teach him and his children how to run a zoo as they renovate and reopen it to the public.

Rosie, Benjamin's 7-year-old daughter is happy about the move from the city to the Zoo, quickly adjusting to life at the park. and enjoying caring for all the animals, her enthusiasm is an adorable trait of the character. However, Benjamin's teenage son, Dylan, is less enthusiastic, struggling with moving away from his friends he retreats into his artwork which has become more dark and gruesome since his Mother's death. Dylan's grumpy mood and bad attitude is prominent throughout the film; making his Dad more stressed and eventually hurting his new friend, Lily's (Kelly 13-year-old Cousin) feelings. I think this character is quite relatable, representing how teenagers struggle with adapting to big changes in their lives, such as family deaths or moving house; they retreat more into themselves and their hobbies as they struggle to talk and open up about how they feel, they feel the need to hole it up inside rather than burdening their loved ones with their feelings - Dylan's character portrays a major theme in this movie.

The parent-child relationship between Benjamin and Dylan is also very relatable to the target audience for this film (which is families). Their relationship shows how not knowing how to communicate with their children can be a big problem for a lot of parents, as they don't know how to get their children to open up and talk to them about their feelings. Eventually these two characters resolve their problems by bonding over Dylan's friendship with Lily.

Although this film is nearly 5 years old, I still absolutely love it, how the characters work through and solve all their problems throughout the film, makes the film very family orientated. The fact the plot revolves around a family death makes it very relatable - it shows how different people and families deal with their loss in different ways, and after re-opening the park it's very obvious how Benjamin made the right choice in moving his family away from the city, as although he face a lot of troubles along the way, him and his kids are happy and they have a new family too - the small group of staff and the animals.

If you haven't already I would hugely recommend watching We Bought A Zoo, the plot isn't action based but the constant issues the family face on their way to re-opening the Rosemoor Wildlife Park, makes the movie interesting as you're constantly wondering how each probably is resolved and you become quite attached to ensuring the family have a happy ending that you can't help but continue watching the film.

"Sometimes you just need 20 seconds of insane, embarrassing bravery and I promise you something great will come of it" 

Thank you for reading my A-Z April blog posts, although it's been a lot of work (and way more stressful then I imagined) I've enjoyed thinking up and writing every single one, and I hope you've enjoyed reading them.

So, Until Next Time (which will hopefully be soon),

Alice x

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Y - Youtube

Starting out Youtube with my best friend Meg back in 2013, we first thought of the idea after joking around in our English class at school that we were the next Ant and Dec. I can't even really remember where the idea came from; but the idea of Meg and Al started out as a bit of a joke and after mentioning to Meg that we should actually create Youtube videos as a duo - it became this great idea that made us change from school friends that only talked in class to really close best friends within a couple of months. And now it was probably one of the best ideas we've ever had; I don't know what I'd do without Meg now. We planned to post one video every Saturday which worked out for the first month or so, but when our GCSE exams came around it kind of fell through and we just posted a video every so often; eventually stopping altogether for around a year, due to my a-levels and Meg's college work. Until recently, when we started up filming again.

Our first vlog was a typical "Introductory" video; we both look so young, and I'm so awkward in front of the camera it's quite embarrassing to watch back now. But it was our starting point, whatever we created back then, of course we're going to have a different outlook on it now, now we're a few years older. Our favourite videos are the ones where we've filmed memories and day trips with our friends; being able to look back on that specfic day whenever we want to and remember the trip not only through photos but through a video is amazing; a video helps refresh your memories better than photos do - you can actually see yourself and your friends laughing and smiling regularly and you can laugh at a joke that was told in the video that you had forgotten about previously - it makes all the time of holding up a camera, or walking behind your friends instead of running ahead with them worth while as you capture different moments. Even when the editing can get a bit tedious - laughing at hilarious moments in the video footage makes it so much fun. I would recommend to anyone starting up a YouTube channel, just to be able to film and upload videos of memories with your friends and family, that are easy to look back on months, or years later.

It's nice filming and uploading vlogs and videos that aren't trips to Weston or Bristol too; mine and Meg's first cooking video was so much fun to film and so was our Pretty Little Liars tag. It's nice just sitting down with a camera and a video plan, and filming with your best friend sometimes and it mixes our channel videos up a little bit too and gives us some variation.

Even just an hour or so after filming me and Meg always question and wonder what we were doing in some parts of the video footage. Although it's gotten easier to watch ourselves back and cut down bits of footage, we still cringe at ourselves sometimes and get annoyed at how we were acting; but I think that's always going to be the way, we're always going to criticise ourselves and want bits cut out of the final video, but that doesn't matter, as we improve each time we film, we know what works and what doesn't on our channel, we know our style, and we film because we have fun and we enjoy filming together, not because we have to.

To visit mine and Meg's YouTube channel click here!

"Life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself"

Until Tomorrow,

Alice x

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X - Xmas

Now this may seem like a strange thing to write about for A-Z April, but honestly I couldn't think of anything else to write about other than Christmas. I mean there's next to none words that begin with X anyway so who can blame me?

Christmas is my absolute favourite time of year. I love wrapping up warm, in my coat and scarf and having walks around town looking at all the Christmas lights and Christmas trees, it just feels magical. Even if we're just driving through town or a village, me and my family spend the whole journey spotting different Christmas lights/decorations and commenting on whether we like them or not. There's nothing like coming home afterwards wrapping up in a blanket in front of a Christmas film and having home made hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows, it just makes me feel content and happy, despite having to work through the Christmas period (ah retail) knowing I can still have my cosy evenings and Christmassy afternoons makes everything better.

Another one of mine and my family's favourite Christmas activities is visiting different Christmas Markets - similar to seeing all the Christmas lights around town, whenever we hear about, or come across a Christmas market in a small town or village we normally can't help but visit them. There's always an amazing atmosphere, with everyone in the Christmas Spirit and feeling jolly you can't help but get excited about Christmas Day and it makes buying Christmas gifts actually fun rather than stressful. My parents are rather good at resisting temptation in buying something from every Market we go to, but I haven't seemed to knack that trick yet. I always return home afterwards though, feeling content and Christmassy and that's probably one of my favourite feelings ever. To read a bit more about my Christmas Market adventures click here to read my previous blog post on Gloucester's Victorian Christmas Market.

My mum goes all out with our Christmas decorations - honestly, although we don't have a lot (if any) decorations on the outside of our house as soon as you enter the hallway we've got lights and hanging decorations all over the downstairs of the house. We change our mantel piece and side board decorations for Christmas themed ones and we have window stickers, a knitted nativity play - you name it, we probably have it. But although it is a lot to set up and clear away (the most depressing job of the year) it's all worth it for a few weeks of lights and decorations, as it makes our house feel Christmassy and it helps put us in the Christmas spirit. I can't imagine our house without all the decorations now; my mum's done it ever since I can remember so to be without them all now would make the house feel bare and empty over the Christmas Period.

What traditions or decorations do you have over the Christmas period?

"The best gifts around any Christmas tree, is the presence of a happy family"

Until Tomorrow,

Alice x
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W - Winter War (The Huntsman: Winter War Review)

The Huntsman Winter War is a Prequal/Sequal to the first movie in the franchise - Snow White and The Huntsman (Released back in 2012 it stars Kristen Stewart as Snow White). The beginning of the movie starts in the past. Before the Huntsman ever met Snow White. It shows how Freya, after being betrayed by her evil sister Ravenna (The evil step mum/queen in the first movie), releases her power of turning her enemies into ice. She then retreats to a northern kingdom to create an army of huntsman from young children; so when they become adults they can be her protectors. Freya believes to love anyone or anything is a weakness, so she teaches her young soldiers to never fall in love, and has one law in her kingdom, don't love. When Eric (Chris Hemsworth and The Huntsman in the first film) and fellow warrior, Sara, break this law and fall in love, the angry ice queen does whatever she can to stop them. Even making them think the other has betrayed them, the film then skips to the future (after Snow White) and the couple meet again as the war between them and the siblings escalates, Eric and Sara return to Freya's kingdom and in the climax of the film they end up working together to end Ravenna's wicked reign, once again.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching this film, the fast pace meant it was constantly moving and at times it was very tense, however, they also included light hearted comedy within some of the characters (such as the dwarfs) which made the darkness of the story actually seem a bit lighter as the banter between the characters made the life threatening situations not seem as terrible as they actually were.

But, one problem I did find with the plot was that between the two films it didn't seem to connect together very well. They mentioned Snow White and how she defeated Ravenna, however, the issue I found was within Ravenna's family. In the first film Ravenna was really close with her brother, Finn, and when he died it was as if a part of her had been killed as well, but he isn't mentioned at all in the second film, it is like he no longer matters to the character or that he didn't even exist. This is the same with Freya, a sister to Ravenna and Finn doesn't seem to exist in the first film, she isn't mentioned at all but when she appears in the second film it's as if she's existed the whole time. Also, Ravenna's power came from her mother "By fairest blood it is done, and by fairest blood it can be undone" is one the major quotes from within the first film; but Freya seems to just have her power within her that she releases at the beginning of the film. This is one of the other things that doesn't seem to make sense to me, how can Freya just have power when their mother seemingly gave Ravenna her power?

Considering all of those things I did still really enjoy the movie, it's good as an individual film and the acting is absolutely incredible. The character development for the Huntsman/Eric is also really great to see; it's interesting as an audience member to see who his 'Wife' is and where he comes from - how he became a huntsman in the first place. You do need to see the first movie to understand this one, however I would hugely recommend going to see it as the plot is exciting and funny and you're constantly wondering what antics the characters are going to get up to next.

The Huntsman: Winter War is currently still in cinemas, so to see film times from your local cineworld click here!

"Love does not make you weak. It's all that ever gave you strength"

Until Tomorrow,

Alice x
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V - (The) Vamps

Finding out about The Vamps from one of my best friends, Ellie, back in 2012, I constantly put off checking out their covers on YouTube until one day in December when Ellie won a competition to speak to James on the phone, and she sent me a link of their One Direction Little Things cover. I instantly fell in love with Brad's unique tone of voice and within 24 hours I had all of their covers on my iPod (ah the fangirl phase). After telling my sisters and friends about them, none of them seemed overally bothered about my new discovery, until one of my friends, Georgia, told me she'd also heard about the band, and we bonded over our mutual love for them.

When they came to Gloucester for the SportBeat Festival in 2013 we knew we had to see them live, spending £30 just to see them live for 20 minutes was definitely worth it, we easily got front row and meeting 3 out of the 4 members was 100% the highlight of the day. Looking back we realise how lucky we were, it's crazy how easily we met them because they didn't have thousands of fans at the time. So instead of hundreds of people being there for them, there was only 50-60. I remember meeting James the most - he came out from backstage to buy an ice cream from one of the vans and I was just so lucky to be stood watching Wimbledon on the big screen at that exact moment that I saw him walking towards the exit; so before anyone else could notice I ran and got the others and we stood behind him in the line and I nearly missed my opportunity - I was so terrified to ask him for a photo I physically couldn't move - so as he walked away my sister shoved me forward and said "Can she have a photo" and after an awkward pause where he knew he needed to get backstage before he was swarmed he said "yeah sure" and I can barely remember the moments after. We saw them live not long afterwards and then as they came off stage we went to wait beside the metal fences around the side, where we met Connor and Tristan.

After that experience we knew we had to see them again, and I was lucky enough to see them on The Wanted's tour in March 2014. They were also doing their first headline tour later in the year, so when we found on they were coming to Cheltenham in October we were over the moon - it was right on our doorstep and getting tickets right near the front just topped it off. It was weird seeing them get so big in under a year but after supporting McFly and The Wanted on their tours and releasing their debut album they had quickly built up a fan base.

Its strange, since getting older, growing up and passing "the fan girl" kind of phase in my life I always forget how much I love going to concerts and seeing The Vamps perform so the days before hand I start thinking "Why did I even get tickets" but when I get there and there's this amazing atmosphere I couldn't be happier that I decided to go - it helps lift any bad moods and you just don't have a care in the world for those few hours.

Who's concerts have you been to that you really enjoyed?

"It's a place where we can forget about our problems for a little while"

Until Tomorrow,

Alice x

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U - Unique Pinboard Decorating

Earlier this year I decided I wanted to change up my bedroom wall, making it more grown up and tidier; I bought a cheap cork board from hobby craft and decorated it with old cinema tickets and flyers, that I had been collecting for the last three years. So I thought I'd share how to create your own unique and decorative pinboard in a really easy way.

What you'll need:

1 Pinboard
PVA Glue
Old tickets/flyers (anything that you've collected)
Paintbrush/Glue Stick
Cork board hooks
Drawing Pins/Push Pins


1) Place your first ticket or flyer on the edge of the pinboard to decide on the positioning and ensure it is the correct size to fit around the edge of your pinboard (If it's too big then use some scissors to trim off the parts you won't need)
2) Place glue onto the area of the pinboard you are sticking your ticket onto and also paint the back of your ticket/flyer with glue to ensure it sticks completely down
3) Stick your ticket/flyer down, putting pressure on it until it's completely stuck down.
4) Repeat the process until the edge of your pinboard is completely covered
5) Allow your pinboard to completely dry before inserting two hooks at either side of the corkboard and attaching each end of a piece of wire to each hook (the hooks should come included with the corkboard however you have to buy the wire separately)
6) Decide where you want to hang your pinboard and hammer a picture hook into the wall - then hang the piece of wire on the back of your pinboard over the picture hook.
7) Using drawing pins or Push Pins attach all of your favourite photos, tickets, or other souvenirs to your pinboard!


1) Remember you can layer some of your tickets and flyers over the edges so its easier to cover all of the gaps.
2) When covering the corners of your pinboard cut slits in your ticket or flyer where it's going to fold over the corner, so it's easier to fold and glue down.
3) Try to avoid putting glue over the top of your tickets as it makes the writing fade so it's less readable.

If you need anymore advice or help on decorating your pinboard don't hesitate to get in contact!

"In crafting there are no mistakes just unique creations"

Until Tomorrow,

Alice x

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T - Theatre (Hetty Feather Review)

Hetty Feather is a theatre show based on Jacqueline Wilson's bestselling book of the same name. The story is based on a young girl, Hetty Feather who is known for her red-hair and fiery temper. As a baby she is taken to the Foundling Hospital, where her mother abandons her. We follow her story as she is moved to a foster home from the ages of 1-6 and then returns to the Foundling Hospital as a curious and talkative 6 year old, who wants to discover who her real mother is and what she was originally named before becoming Hetty Feather (this is what the whole story is based around and is finally revealed at the end of the story)

The play was created back in 2014 and other than the two musicians who play on-stage instruments, the play only uses 6 actors and one stage set. All of the actors (apart from Phoebe Thomas aka Hetty Feather) play various roles, switching from their main roles of playing Hetty's foster siblings/mother to playing circus characters, staff and children at the foundling hospital as well as many other roles. I think the way they've created the play is very clever and unique. Although you have to use your imagination in some parts, the ways they represented and created different elements of the play was very creative. For example, to represent the characters (such as Hetty and Gideon) as babies they used a blanket as a prop and had the actors follow around where the blanket was passed to - making baby noises such as babbling and crying, it was such a clever way of getting the audience to understand which actor was playing which baby and helped us understand their personalities before they were even old enough to talk and walk.  

The book was released back in 2009 and although I began to read the book, I never actually finished it so watching the play at the beginning of this month, made me only remember small parts and therefore only minor changes that had been made between the book and the play. For example, at the foster home Hetty doesn't find out where the other children are going until she, herself is returned to the Foundling Hospital; however, in the play, her and the other children are quickly made aware that just before they turn 6, they will be returning to the hospital. 

The play is aimed at families and young children but I think it's suitable for all ages as the way they've created and set out the play makes it an interesting and unique story that everyone can enjoy.

To find out more about the show click here!

"Great theatre is about challenging how we think and encouraging us to fantasize about a world we aspire to" 

Until Monday, 

Alice x 

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S - Social Media

Talking about Social Media is quite a large topic. I mean there are good and bad points to this widely used form of communication so it's impossible to cover all the points, however I think speaking about the problems surrounding going online is an important topic to talk about.

When I was 11/12 social media was still up and coming, Bebo was still quite popular and it was only when I was becoming a teenager that Facebook took over. Skip to a few years later and twitter was all the range - I can remember creating a twitter account back in 2010 and barely using it for the first year. I was the generation where more and more social media sites were created and slowly became more popular. It's strange seeing all the kids now walking around with their iPhones when they can't be more than 10 years old - at that age I had my sisters old Sendo phone which only form of entertainment was the snake game where you had to gather the grey squares to make the snake longer - that use to keep me entertained for hours.

I think one of the main problems with social media now is the lack of in-person conversation - everyone's guilty of it - I know I definitely am. It's so difficult to stay off your phone even for 10 minutes, I'm ashamed to admit I spend way too much time staring down at my phone when I should be watching where I'm going or when me and my family are out for coffee; I have to constantly remind myself to leave my phone alone and actually make conversation with them or to take in my surroundings - because once I actually do it's so much better than scrolling through instagram or twitter which I can do at home. It's just such a difficult habit to get out of, being on your phone is addictive, however I don't think it could ever replace actual face to face conversation no matter what technology is developed there's nothing like spending time with friends and family and making actual memories with them.

Another issue is privacy, since social media has become more popular around 62% of teens have admitted to having been sent nasty messages via social media, with 37% reporting cyberbullying on a frequent basis. This has increased greatly over the past few years, because it's so easy to send anonymous messages and it's so much harder for the victims to avoid it. It's also much more difficult to report than physical bullying - because although it has the same impact on the person, in-person bullying can be reported to a teacher or parent and action can be taken to prevent it continuing but with cyberbullying it's so much more difficult to stop a person accessing their social media account and sending the messages. 52% of people have never reported the online abuse they've received - and 26% of the teens that did, felt like nothing was done about it. A lot of teens don't even know how to report someone if they are sending abuse - this is because social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter don't make the buttons obvious enough - yes it's easy enough it block someone but how do you actually fill out a form and officially report it? I don't think I even know the answer to that. So I did some research and Here is a website with all the links to report someone for most social media sites. If someone is bullying you, or have just sent you one or two nasty comments please report them. I know it's really difficult to do, but I promise, the first step is always the hardest, and sometimes writing it out to begin with is easier than speaking about it.

I know there are many more problems with social media, but these are just two of the main issues that I really felt needed covering, especially because these two issues are just getting worse as time goes on. This movie on cyberbullying really brings into perspective the dangers of social media and the impact it can have on a person. It covers the majority of the main issues related to cyber bullying and I think it's an important film to watch.

"What happens on social media, stays on google forever"

Until tomorrow,

Alice x
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R - Rocky Road Recipe

Getting given a rocky road recipe was probably one of the best things ever. My family have used this recipe countless amounts of times, whether its just for a family treat, for a birthday party, a cake sale or a 'bring and share' event at school, Rocky Road is the perfect thing to bake. It doesn't take very long and it's a bit different to your typical chocolate cupcake, so it's unlikely anyone else will have bought or thought of the same idea.

Rocky Road:

With this recipe it all depends on how big a dish you use, and how many pieces you cut it in to once its been refrigerated - however I will say you don't want the pieces to be too large as it's quite rich so small amounts at a time is plenty.


125g of Soft Butter (Such as Stork)
300g of Dark Chocolate (Own brand is fine)
3 x 15ml tablespoons of Golden Syrup
200g Biscuits (Rich Tea or Digestive are best)
100g of Mini Marshmallows 


1) Melt the butter, chocolate and golden syrup in a small bowl over a pan of boiling water. Put aside some of the melted mixture.
2) Crush the biscuits in a sealed bag with a rolling pin so you get both crumbs and pieces.
3) Fold the biscuit pieces into the melted chocolate
4) Add in the marshmallows and continue to combine the mixture
5) Press down into a baking pan or dish and spread the mixture so it covers the entire bottom of the pan/dish.
6) Dribble the put aside melted butter, chocolate and golden syrup over the top of the mixture.
7) Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight.
8) Once the mixture is solid, remove from fridge and cut it up into fingers. Then store in the fridge.
9) Enjoy!

I hope you love Rocky Road as much as me and my family. Alternative versions are Creme Egg Rocky Road which me and my best friend Meg, created a video tutorial of on our YouTube channel, click here to watch it!

"A balanced diet is chocolate in both hands"

Until Tomorrow,

Alice x

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Q - Quick and Easy Mug cake

Previously I've struggled to make mug cakes, there's something about putting together the quick and easy mixture and then cooking it in the microwave - I can't seem to knack. However, this recipe I found on NetMums as an easy 10 minute recipe, to make a delicious dessert - made sure I couldn't mess it up, and I finally made my first successful Mug Cake.

Microwave Mug Cake:

This recipe makes 1 mug cake in a large cup or two smaller mug cakes in small-standard mugs. I only made the cake in one standard mug, thinking the fact the mixture only covered half the mug would give it enough rising room, however, the cake still overflowed the mug, so although it may not look like very much, you only need a small amount of mixture. 


4 tbsp of Self-Raising Flour
4 tbsp of Caster Sugar
2 tbsp of Cocoa Powder
1 Egg
3 tbsp of Milk
2 tbsp of Chocolate Chips (Optional - but I would advise putting them in otherwise the cake is a bit dry)  


1) Use a medium sized bowl and after you've created the mixture tip the mixture into one large mug or divide it into two smaller mugs.
2) Measure out the flour, sugar and cocoa powder into the bowl and mix them together to combine them.
3) Add the egg and mix it in - trying to make sure the egg covers most of the dry mixture
4) Add in the milk and mix until it's smooth with no visible lumps
5) Add in your chocolate chips (if you're including them) and mix until they're combined into the mixture completely.
6) Centre your mug in the middle of the microwave and cook for 2-4 minutes - depending on how powerful your microwave is - or until it is firm to the touch.
7) Allow the mug cake to cool and serve
8) Enjoy!

If you don't like chocolate cake, try removing the cocoa powder and adding in 2 extra tbsps of self raising flour instead. Also try adding in a spoonful of peanut butter, chopped nuts, jam, raisins - all could be quite nice to try in your mug cake.

"Good food is very often, even most often, simple food"

Until Tomorrow,

Alice x

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P - Pretty Little Liars

First airing back in 2010, Pretty Little Liars is an american drama/mystery-thriller TV show. The pilot episode begins with the 5 lead girls having a sleepover in a barn when one of the girls - Alison DiLaurentis goes missing. Fast forward to a year later and the discovery of Alison's body, the four remaining girls - Emily, Spencer, Hanna and Aria - begin to receive messages from the mysterious "A". Who's identity isn't revealed to the audience until the finale episode of season 6A (5 years later).

I began watching the TV show in January 2015 after being told for years by various friends how good the show was - I binged watched through the 110 odd episodes in a month; until I had finally caught up with the currently airing season at the time, Season 5B. I was hooked on the show - the first seasons had so much drama and so many cliffhangers once I start watching it was impossible to not want to carry on and spend every spare minute I had watching another episode (I even spent some Media lessons watching the show instead of doing work oops). I think my favourite episode has to be "How the 'A' stole Christmas" because all the lead girls and boys come to together and enjoy the festive season by embracing the fact that they all get to be together even though there's still a threat hanging over their heads. Some episodes were so dark and mysterious, I'm not ashamed to say I had to sleep with the light on a few times - after watching a freaky Halloween episode or a particularly creepy A situation that the girls had gotten themselves into - late at night I refused to sleep in a pitch black room when I had just watched a TV show where the characters were constantly being watched and spied on by a character that lurked in the shadows. Saying that though, I did also really enjoy those episodes, the really tense and creepy moments made the show even more exciting because you just want to know how they're going to deal with it and what was going to happen to them next. 

It's because of those kind of episodes that the earlier seasons were definitely my favourite. Lately in seasons 5 and 6 the show seems to have lost it's interesting aspect. I think it's because the show has been going for so long, the writer's have just lost new and unique ways of continuing the story and the scary situations the character's get themselves into don't really seem scary any more; they seem more deadbeat than sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat. The huge A reveal was also quite disappointing - the way the writer's had managed to twist all the clues that had been revealed during season 6 made the whole thing very anti-climatic. If I remember correctly my reaction was "That's not A that's just their decoy". The cast and crew had also made a huge deal out of the reveal by creating an episode and day countdown to the finale, so when it didn't turn out quite as good or as big as we expected, it was annoying, as this character was supposed to have done all these horrible things to the girls we had come to love, and the identity wasn't even that good. 

But, although the A reveal was a disappointment and the following season (Season 6B) didn't have the most interesting or attention capturing story lines, the winter finale of 6B did have a lot of shock moments which made watching the frustratingly, boring, previous episodes actually worth while. And the wait for Season 7 seem even longer as the now rare, dramatic cliffhangers seemed to make a return and the anticipation to find out what happens to our favourite characters makes me hope the (apparently) last season of the show is more like the early seasons rather than the more recent ones. 

You can watch Pretty Little Liars on Netflix where they add the new episodes weekly when the show is airing.

Me and my best friend, Meg, also did the PLL Tag on our youtube channel - so if you're already a fan of the show give that a watch (beware it does contain spoilers).

"Things change you know, people grow" 

Until Tomorrow, 

Alice x 

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O - Oreo Hot Chocolate

I absolutely love hot chocolate - in the winter there's nothing better than coming in from the cold and sitting down with a warming cup of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows and whipped cream. So this year after spotting the Oreo Hot Chocolate recipe on Pinterest I knew I had to give it a go.

Oreo Hot Chocolate:

This recipe is for around 2-4 people depend on how big your mugs are and how much you fill them. We managed to get 3 mugs out of the mixture.


3 Mugs Of Milk
10-15 Crushed Oreos (About one packet)
50g of Milk, Dark or White Chocolate (use whichever you prefer)
Whipped Cream (Or Squirty cream)
Oreo Pieces


1) Tip two mugs of the milk into a small saucepan and add the crushed Oreo's before placing the saucepan onto the hob at a medium heat.
2) When the milk begins to simmer, remove the saucepan from the heat and allow it to cool down completely. (This part is quite time consuming)
3) The milk will have thickened from beginning combined with the Oreo's; so add the remaining one mug of milk and mix it well, to thin it out.
4) Strain the milk to remove any remaining Oreo crumbs.
5) Re-heat the Oreo Milk in the saucepan or in the microwave until it is hot (this took about 1 minute in a 950w microwave)
6) Melt the chocolate and divide it among your mugs, by spooning the chocolate into the bottom of each mug.
7) Pour some of the Oreo Milk into each mug and mix it with the chocolate to combine, then add the remaining Oreo milk to each mug.
8) Spoon or spray the cream onto the top of each mug and decorate each with Oreo pieces.
9) Enjoy!

This is such a tasty and new way of enjoying hot chocolate! If you've enjoyed this recipe perhaps try making other types of hot chocolate such as nutella hot chocolate or try using real chocolate instead of powder!

"Hot Chocolate is like a hug from the inside"

Until Tomorrow,

Alice x

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N - Now You See Me

Now You See Me is a film based around four illusionists called the four horsemen. The film begins with the audience seeing each of the solo illusionists - Daniel Atlas, Merritt McKinney, Henley Reeves and Jack Wilder - performing, this is so you can see and understand each of their individual talents. After they each find a mysterious Tarot card sent by a unknown benefactor they are directed into meeting each other, and a year later we see them performing in a sold out arena in Las Vegas, with insurance magnate Arthur Tressler, as their Financial Benefactor. However, this is no ordinary magic show, and we soon discover their shows are based around draining the bank accounts of the corrupt and giving the money to audience members, who were the unsuspecting victims of denied insurance claims. The story also follows the federal agents and Interpol detective, who are trying to find evidence to catch the Four Horsemen before their next trick. To help themselves understand the illusionists tricks, they turn to Thaddeus Bradley, who is famous for exposing magicians and their tricks.

Now You See Me is one of my favourite films, I find magic tricks really fascinating so when I first saw the trailer for this film I couldn't contain my excitement. The film keeps the identity of the unknown benefactor secret till the very end of the film, even the characters don't know who was the mind behind everything surrounding the Four Horsemen, so when it's revealed at the end of the film it's quite a big shock for the audience. The complex plot does mean you have to concentrate quite a lot on the film otherwise you miss important parts; I was still clicking some of the pieces together when I was watching it for a fourth/fifth time. I think you need to watch it at least twice as once you know the identity of the mysterious benefactor your outlook on the film changes as you can understand more of the plot, with this knowledge.

Three years after the first film was released, they're finally releasing the sequel to Now You See Me later this year. The plot once again follows the story of the four horsemen, however this time, instead of being the criminals, they must perform a unprecedented stunt in order to clear their names and expose tech magnate, Walter Mabry. However, in this film one of the horsemen have been replaced. Instead of Isla Fisher playing Henley Reeves, due to her pregnancy, Lizzy Caplan was cast as new character Lula to replace her as the fourth horseman. However, I am unsure on the switch up, and whether the story and the characters personalities are going to fit around the reasoning why Henley is absent and Lula is there instead - I guess we'll just have to find out in June.

Now You See Me is currently avaliable on DVD and Blu-Ray and Now You See Me: The Second Act  is released on 10th June in the UK. You can watch the trailer here.

What's your favourite film?

"The closer you look, the less you'll actually see"

Until Monday,

Alice x
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M - the Mortal Instruments

The Mortal Instruments is a series of six books written by Cassandra Clare, the first of which was released in 2007 and the last in 2014. The books follow the journey of Shadowhunters; Clary Fray, Jace Herondale, Isabelle Lightwood and Alec Lightwood; as well as Clary's mundane best friend, Simon Lewis.

In the first book it soon becomes apparent that Clary's seemingly normal life isn't quite as it seems. When she visits the Pandemonium club with her best friend Simon, little does she know her outlook on the world is going to change forever when she witnesses three teenagers (Jace, Isabelle and Alec) commit a murder. This is her first meeting with Shadowhunters, warriors who's lives are dedicated to protecting the earth from demons and to keeping downworlders (anything from Vampires and Werewolves) in line -stopping them from bitting mundanes at will or being generally destructive. Within 24 hours of her first meeting, Clary is pulled into Jace's world, and when her mother disappears she needs answers to the list of questions which is constantly growing and a puzzle she needs to be solved. This is just the beginning of a war with Valentine and Sebastian - evil shadowhunters who want to defeat the Clave and create a new brand of dark shadowhunters - ones that are half angel and half demon.

I don't want to divulge too much into the story, as there are so many shocking moments within the plot that I don't want to ruin if you haven't read the books. Their are a lot of new characters, deaths, new plot lines different from the original one in the first book, all of which make the books so good, you can never predict what is going to happen, and this continues up until the end of the sixth and final book in the series.

The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones, film released in 2013 had the perfect cast to portray the characters, Lily Collins played Clary and Jamie Campbell-Bower played Jace - them along with the lines given to them for their characters made Jace just as sassy as he is in the books and Clary just as headstrong - just how I pictured them being. They stuck to some of the original plot but they also changed some of the major ideas, which made us as an audience interested to see how the films were going to continue the story, how they'd resolve the element they'd changed.Unfortunately, the fact the first film wasn't as successful as originally planned, meant the production of "City Of Ashes" was originally delayed by a year and eventually cancelled.

However, in October 2014 it was announced that TMI was going to be made into an American TV programme called "Shadowhunters" and the first season began in January, this was considerably more successfully than the film. Although I feel like the actors don't fit the parts quite as well, I think they have managed to explain the story better than the film. This being due to the fact they have a considerably longer screen time than the film so they were able to include elements the film had to cut. Back in March ABC Family (FreeFrom) also re-newed the show for a second season which will consist of 20 episodes.

The Mortal Instrument books are available online and in some retail stores. City of Bones the film is still avaliable to buy on DVD and you can currently watch Shadowhunters on Netflix.

"If you really love something, you never try to keep it the way it is forever, you have to let it be free to change"

Until Tomorrow,

Alice x

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L - Lipstick

 So I thought for letter L I'd do something a little bit different. I struggled to think of an idea for this letter, but I thought writing about my favourite lipsticks would be something unusual for me to do and it would be cool to let you know my favourite brands and colours.

No7 Stay Perfect in Blushing Rose

This has to be my overall favourite lipstick I have. The colour matching that No7 do for your foundation, then gives you several different lipstick colours that match your skin tone; these give you an idea of what colour to choose from their range. My foundation colour is Cool Vanilla, so Blushing Rose was an option based on that. However, there are many different shades of pinks and reds for each skin colour. My favourite thing about this lipstick is that it's long lasting. I usually use this lipstick on a night out and I only normally have to re-apply it once or twice as it lasts even when we're drinking. However I also love the colour, it's a nice pink colour, which isn't too bright so it matches a lot of outfits. The lipstick gives a matte look but it's also hydrating for your lips keeping them hydrated - so they don't dry out at all.

Collection Colour Pout Lipstain in Pout

After losing my MaxFactor colour pen back last year, I needed a replacement as I loved using the Lip Pen for everyday use. So discovering the Collection Colour Lipstain was my saviour. The pen form this lipstain takes makes it really quick and easy to put on, so if you're rushing out the door, or just generally hate doing your lipstick this is a great alternative to a proper lipstick. They do a few different shades in this Lipstain but I love the bright pink colour as it makes my make up and outfit feel brighter. The only downside to this lip pen is that as it wears off throughout the day, you end up with only random strands of colour left on your bottom lip, which looks a bit strange if you don't top up your lipstain or rub it off completely.

MaxFactor in Ruby Tuesday 715

This MaxFactor colour Elixir lipstick is a really nice, bright red colour.The lipstick adds moisture to your lips so they never get too dry and I always find that the lipstick gives a really smooth finish. I don't wear this colour too often as I don't have many outfits it goes with, however whenever I do, I always find - like the No7 lipstick - that I don't have to re-apply it at all throughout the day, it generally gives good coverage for the most part and the bright red colour is really nice to wear on the odd occasion as it makes a change from my pinker lipsticks.

Those are my three favourite lipsticks that I own - I'd definitely recommend trying them out if you're looking for new long lasting lipstick to try.

"A smile is the best makeup any girl can wear"

Until Tomorrow,

Alice x

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K - Keyboard (Playing the Keyboard)

Teaching myself to play the keyboard was a quite offhand and random decision. I don't think I ever really officially decided to learn, it just kind of happened. In years 7-9 all students ended up playing the keyboard at one time or another as it was quite easy to pick up and play simple tunes on. In Year 9 I started to really enjoy playing the keyboard, we got to find some of our own music it and play duets and so getting some independence made me want to play the instrument more regularly. Eventually I decided I wanted to do music GCSE which meant having an instrument I officially played, so I could be assessed doing solos or duets. This meant I needed to practice more regularly and take playing the instrument more seriously; and I was lucky enough that my parents bought me a keyboard for my birthday that year, so having rehearsal time and space was a lot easier for me.

 I became really enthusiastic about playing, my teacher taught me the basics of learning to read sheet music and so I was constantly finding new piano sheet music online so I could rehearse and play different pop songs or theme tunes rather than classical songs. It was quite easy to teach myself the basics of the piano. Once you know where the chords are on the keyboard and you find a way of remembering where an A is it becomes a lot easier from then onwards, as that's the most difficult part. After that it's just learning the different patterns of chords for the songs - and the more you rehearse each individual song the easier it becomes. My Dad use to play the piano when he was younger too, so having him give me some tips when I began learning really did help.

The only thing I struggled to grasp was confidence in playing to other people. I remember the first time my teacher wanted us to perform to our class, I was terrified, I was shaking so much and I couldn't physically remember the sheet music, I think I must've attempted playing four or five times and although I was getting encouragement from my teacher, she eventually realised I wouldn't be able to perform that day. However, when we had our first GCSE music evening a few months later, I performed to a full audience of parents, teachers and friends and although I was still crazily nervous before hand but I was so proud of how much more confident I'd become in such a short space of time. But I think without doing drama along side music I wouldn't have gained any confidence at all, performing as someone else and playing a character, helped me gain more confidence in just being on stage as myself.

Do you guys play any instruments? Or had a battle with confidence?

"Music softens the pain, increases the joy and opens the heart"

Until Tomorrow,

Alice x
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J - John Green Books

John Green is an American writer who has released hugely successful books such as The Fault In Our Stars and Paper Towns. And his stories are some of my favourite ones to read; his way of writing keeps the reader constantly captivated throughout his books and his plot twists and turns never fail to create a wave of emotion for the reader.

John Green hasn't written piles and piles of books and I think that's why the ones he has written are so good and are appreciated so much, because although there are year gaps between his releases, his new stories never fail to keep up with the high expectation he's set for himself and are always a really good read. His books include:
  • Looking For Alaska 
  • An Abundance Of Katherines
  • Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances
  • Paper Towns
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson
  • The Fault In Our Stars
It wasn't really until 2012 when The Fault In Our Stars was released that his books became hugely popular, but I think this is because everyone can relate to the story. Ok, not everyone has a romantic love story like the one told between Hazel and Augustus, but everyone can relate to the loss and hurt the characters go through as they loose someone they love to such a horrible illness. The premise of the story - how Hazel and Augustus meet and fall in love is unlike any other romance story because of the time limit they have to be together and how this obviously has a big impact on their relationship.

Although I haven't actually read all of John Greens books, we have a collection of them all in my household and I'm slowly working my way through the pile. But I hugely recommend reading The Fault In Our Stars, Looking For Alaska and Will Grayson, Will Grayson; all three stories are completely different but all are equally as good. Looking For Alaska does a "Before" and "After" and you constantly wonder what is the before and what is the after until you find out half way through the book; and Will Grayson, Will Grayson shows the two point of views of two different boys with the same names and how different their lives are and you become invested in their different lives and their stories until they finally meet.

If you want more information on any of these books click here to visit John Green's website.

"Some infinities, are bigger than other infinities"

Until tomorrow,

Alice x

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I - Ice Lollies

Ok, so I haven't created these recently, but when I was younger my mum would make these with me, my cousin and my sisters in the summer, and we'd absolutely love them. They're money saving, as instead of having to go and buy ice lollies from the supermarket or an ice cream van you can just create your own frozen ones, and they're also a creative idea to keep children entertained for half an hour or so. It's a simple and safe way of allowing them to use their imagination but it's also a good alternative to arts and crafts.

Ice Lollies:

To be able to do this, you will need to buy your own ice lolly mould, however you can pick these up for only £5 or so in a variety of places.

Squash Lollies:

Fill each of your ice lolly moulds with the regular amount of squash and add in water, place the lollipop sticks on the top of each mould and freeze.

Fruit Lollies:

Peel and blend any fruit you like - bananas, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, apples, mango etc. - along with some fruit juice or water. Then tip the mixture into your ice lolly moulds and freeze to create the fruit ice lollies.

There are also a lot of other ice lolly recipes you can follow and create, if you just search them on google there's a countless amount. These two ideas are just my favourites - they're the ones we used when I was younger so they are the ones I know best.

"The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things"

Until Tomorrow,

Alice x

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H - Homemade Spaghetti Bolognese

The first thing my mum taught was her Spaghetti Bolognese. It took me a few tries to be able to cook it completely by myself but after making it for me and my family ever monday evening for the last 6/7 months I could recite the recipe backwards.

Homemade Spaghetti Bolognese:

This recipe is for 5 people - as their are 5 people in my family and i've never cooked it for just one or two people. However, if you need to cook for more or less people than this just multiple or divide by however many people you are cooking for. 


1 Onion
4 Mushrooms
2 Beef OXO cubes
250 grams of mince (This works out as 50 grams per person) 
1 Carton of Tomato Passata 
1 Schwartz Spaghetti Bolognese Mix
250 Grams of pasta (50 grams per person) 
1 Garlic Bread 


1) Fill your Pasta saucepan about half way with cold water. Place the lid on the pan and place it on the hob putting it on a high heat so it comes up to the boil.
2) Put olive oil in your Bolognese saucepan and place it on the hob on a high heat; then start cutting up your onion, once it's all cut up into medium sized pieces place the onion into the pan so it can begin cooking.
3) Next, begin cutting up your mushrooms. and once the onion has been cooking for a few minutes it should go a kind of see through, white colour - this is when you need to put the mushroom in. 
4) Once the mushroom has reduced down and turned brown put the mince into the mixture and continue to cook until its gone brown. 
5) Take the mixture off of the heat and place the lid onto the pan - then drain the fat through holes in the side of the lid by tipping the pan over a bowl 
6) Remove the lid and keeping the pan off of the heat, crumble the two oxo cubes and mix them into the Bolognese.
7) Then, add the Schwartz Bolognese mix and mix it in - at this point the mixture will have gone quite thick and clumpy
8) Finally, add in the carton of tomato passata and mix it all together, making the mixture become a bit looser rather than thick and clumpy. 
9) Place the lid back on the pan and put the bolognese sauce back onto the heat at a medium temperature so its popping every so often but its not boiling. The mixture also needs to be stirred every 5 minutes whilst it's cooking.
10) Put the pasta into the boiling water and turn the hob down to a medium heat so the water is simmering
11) Put the garlic bread into the oven to cook - following the instructions on oven temperature and time on the back of the packet. 
12) Leave the pasta and Bolognese to cook for 20 minutes - but keep a watch over both pans 
13) Serve the Spaghetti Bolognese with the garlic bread and enjoy! 

I hope you find this recipe easy to follow!

"Food is essential to life, therefore make it good"

Until tomorrow, 

Alice x 

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G - Going to University

Moving to University in September is going to be a big step for me. Leaving home, moving to a brand new place, meeting brand new people. However, as my moving date gets closer, I'm getting more and more excited about moving. Of course I'm nervous as well. I know I'm going to get horrifically home sick and miss my parents to no end, but I also know the move will be good for me. I've always been really close to my family, so I know becoming a bit more independent will be a good step for me. It'll make me grow up and I know living alone will really teach me to look after myself properly.

My mum has been teaching me to cook and clean for myself, over the course of this year. Starting with homemade recipes she normally cooks for me and my family on a weekday, I've learnt Spaghetti Bolognese, Salmon, Chicken Wrapped In Bacon and also how to cook New Potatoes and vegetables, so I can eat healthily with recipes that aren't too difficult to learn. My sister has also been teaching me how to do the washing so I won't take look at a machine when I get to Uni and end up putting my clothes on the wrong wash (which would've happened this time last year). Because I've had time to learn all these small things which will make my life easier in September, I'm actually glad I got the chance to take a gap year. I now realise I wasn't at all ready to go to uni last year, I wasn't prepared in terms of looking after myself and I definitely wasn't ready to leave home. So taking the year out to save some money, and spend time with my family has really helped me become more excited for uni rather than terrified.

I've already joined a couple of facebook groups for my university. I thought getting a head start on finding people from my course and talking to people going to the same uni as me - whether I'll actually bump into them when we get there or not - just talking to a few people that will be starting at the same time as me has already made me feel a bit more confident in meeting new people once I arrive.

I think going to my acting auditions last year has also given me an advantage over most people moving to uni. When we were at our auditions everyone was talking to each and being friendly, nobody new each other, but we were all in the same situation. We could sit in silence not talking and make the day really boring and un-enjoyable, or we could talk, have a laugh, get to know each other and make the experience fun. After only a few hours at each audition, I even came out with a couple of friends who I even keep in contact with on the odd occasion now. It just goes to show how quickly and easy it is to meet and bond with new people. On the first day of uni, it's not like you're the new kid in a class full of old students, you're all in the same boat with the fact nobody knows who anyone else is. So I know when I first meet my room mates or my course mates I just need to be confident in talking to new people, being friendly and being myself.

If you have any advice for moving to uni let me know in the comments!

"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so difficult"

Until tomorrow,

Alice x

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F - Favourite TV Show (Teen Wolf)

Teen Wolf is an American TV programme that started back in 2011. The show is based around a teenager called Scott Mcall (played by Tyler Posey), who is bitten by a werewolf in the very first episode of the show, and he must cope with how the change effects his life - how he has to fight off different supernatural creatures in order to protect his town as well as keep up with his school work and how it effects the people close to him, including his best friend Stiles Stilinski (Dylan O'Brien). The shows premise actually originates from the 1985 film "Teen Wolf" however apart from the similarity of a teenager being bitten by a werewolf the plot is completely different.

 I first started watching Teen Wolf in 2013. My friend, Paige, had come across the show earlier in the year, so when she started talking about it, I read up on the plot and before we'd even watched the first episode we were invested in the lives of both the characters and the actors as well as the constantly twisting storyline. We had to wait till December to watch the first two seasons as Paige was getting the DVDs for Christmas, however we quickly binge watched through those 24 episodes and I've since kept up to date with the weekly aired show. I've also re-watched the first two seasons several times. Not long after me and Paige watched them, I bought the DVDs for myself and made my sister and my best friend, Meg, watch them as well. I think it's safe to say the first two seasons are definitely my favourite. All the original main characters were still appearing in the show and there's still a lot of light hearted banter between the characters, before things got more serious, dark and dramatic for the characters in season 3. However, that doesn't mean I don't enjoy the latest seasons, I do, they're just more tense to watch and you're constantly on edge as you watch the loveable characters fight life-ending battles with these supernatural creatures that you know are much stronger than them. You fear for their lives as you constantly wonder how they will actually beat this creature and come out alive the other side, however, most of the characters do (of course there are some character deaths - it wouldn't be a dramatic TV show without them), and at the end of the last episode of the season there's always heart-warming scenes that show them laughing and smiling together like normal teenage friends (and they also give a hint of the supernatural creatures to come next season).

Although I enjoy the show, I think my main investment is in the the three remaining original characters, and that's why I continue to watch the programme. The plot, although it can be good in places, does have continuous plot holes and sections that just don't fit in with the situation the characters are in. The writer Jeff Davis is constantly not giving enough character development to certain characters or just using them - especially in the more recent seasons - as an object. For example, Malia is introduced in season 4, however for the whole season her whole purpose is represented as to be with Stiles, so Stiles finally gets the girl and has a girlfriend. Another example is in the most recent season - season 5b - the pack reunite however part of the time Lydia is stuck in the Eichen house (where unstable supernatural's go) but none of them even mention her for the first few episodes - when normal friends would be constantly worrying where she is. This is the same for Kira, she is working on her own problems throughout the season and it's obvious she hasn't spoken to the pack about where she is or what she's doing, but again, when she's not at pack meetings, none of them mention where she is. 

Although there are issues with the shows writing, the characters are so loveable I feel I can't stop watching the show until at least my favourite characters have left. The sarcastic and awkward, Stiles Stilinski is definitely my overall favourite character he's so relatable and the constant battle he has to feel like he fits in with pack as a human member who is better at researching the supernatural creatures than fighting them. He kind of represents every teenager who is having an internal battle with themselves and is struggling to find their place with their friends. 

The only place Teen Wolf is aired in the UK is 5 Star who are currently airing season 2 of the show. To be able to keep up to date with the show I have been watching it online, however I would also recommend buying the DVD's after each season has aired as it means you can watch the episodes in good quality. To find out more about the show click here.

"Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up again" 

Until tomorrow, 

Alice x 
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