If We Were Having Coffee #10 (January 2019)

Hello!Β  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are having a great new year so far! I apologise for the lack of posts lately. I’ve had very little inspiration but I’m back today with a little catch up post πŸ™‚

So if we were having coffee today I think I’d be having a hot chocolate as it’s really cold out today. What would you be having? πŸ™‚

If we were having coffee… I’d ask you how your Christmas was and what your best gift you received was?

Photo 25-12-2018, 09 23 11

If we were having coffee…. I’d tell you how I’m currently job-less. Well, not really job less because I should be starting work again next month, but I’m currently not on any contract and I’m a bit bored and stuck with what to do with myself. I hate sitting around doing nothing!

IMG_4033

If we were having coffee…Β I’d tell you how exciting things are to come for me at Brownies! πŸ™‚ I don’t want to say too much yet but I can’t wait πŸ™‚

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how so far I’ve stuck with my new years resolution (OK it has only been a week!). I’m trying to be more active during 2019 and my aim is to go running at least 2 times a week (3 if I can do 3). So far it’s been OK…. It’s been really cold which hurts my chest but I’m enjoying it so far!

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how I really can’t believe that it’s a whole year ago since my graduation now. But not only that, but this time a year ago I was in South Africa.

IMG_2620

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how I’ve now finally watched “The Greatest Showman”. It was on Sky Movies over Christmas and I finally got round to watching it yesterday! πŸ™‚ I really enjoyed it. I wouldn’t say I understand the hype and obsession over it, but it was definitely enjoyable.

If we were having coffee…Β I’d ask if you have any news you’d like to share? πŸ™‚

Advertisements

What I Received for Christmas

Happy Christmas (ish) everyone! πŸ™‚ I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and ate far too much chocolate πŸ™‚Β I apologise for the lack of posts from me the last couple of weeks, life got in the way and content was lacking, but today I’m back to share with you what I got for Christmas this year πŸ™‚

This year I was pretty lucky with my presents and well and truly spoiled by my family. I was one lucky girl!

Photo 25-12-2018, 09 23 11

The biggest part of my Christmas presents was made up by Cath Kidston x Bambi things. This included cushions, mugs, pyjamas, purse and a notebook set. As well as this I got a couple of the Mickey and Friends mugs from last year to add to my collection.

Photo 25-12-2018, 09 22 57

I also received a lovely Fat Face jumper, bedding and slippers, as well as my Blue Planet 2 calendar and Camera Trap. I love the idea of a camera trap, especially as we have a hedgehog who sometimes visits our garden. I can’t wait to use it and see what animals it picks up πŸ™‚

From my brother I also got a Chilly’s bottle. It is the whale print one and I love it! Ever since I saw it in the whale print I desperately wanted one and I can’t wait to use it πŸ™‚ I also got a couple of books for Christmas, including a history of London Zoo book and the Dynasties book (the new David Attenborough TV show).

Photo 25-12-2018, 09 23 00

It is safe to say that I was well and truly spoilt for Christmas this year! What did you receive for Christmas this year?Β πŸ™‚

Looking Back on 2018

It’s hard to believe that 2018 is coming to an end, but today I thought I’d share with you my best bits of 2018.

2018 started off awesome. January was my graduation where I graduated with a distinction from Swansea University with an MSc in Environmental Biology: Conservation and Resource Management. Not only was it just my graduation, but I also found that I’d got the award for the best overall student in my year. It was such a proud day surrounded by my family.

Shortly after my graduation I headed off to South Africa for 10 days with my mum. It was honestly the most amazing, incredible trip ever. I had the best time and learnt so much, and I actually think that all the knowledge and conservation I saw helped me to get the job I’m in today. You can read about my time in South Africa in my series of blog posts hereΒ πŸ™‚

After returning from South Africa I was back to job hunting throughout February and March.

In March I headed off to Liverpool for a weekend with my mum. My brother brought home football tickets for Liverpool Vs Watford and I headed up to Liverpool with mum for my first ever Premier League football match. It was a great experience and a lot of fun… just so cold!

After I returned from Liverpool I found out that I had a job. I can honestly say I have been so fortunate with my job. Not only do I ADORE my job, but I managed to work almost full time from the summer. When I took the job I was only guaranteed 6 shifts a month, which was a bit of a downer, but I then went on to work almost full time from July. I don’t think there are many people who can say their job is to sleep over in a zoo and tell people all about animals. It is honestly the best job in the world, and it has shown me exactly what I want to do for the rest of my career now. Plus, the fact I work for ZSL (The Zoological Society of London) is incredible and something I’m so proud of.

Not much happened between March and July for me apart from work! Something I was quite proud of this year though was all the “proper” birthday cakes I’ve made. I’ve made birthday cakes for a 1st birthday, 5th birthday and an adult’s birthday. It’s been my first “proper” venture into cake making and I’m so thankful for Ed and Jess giving me the chance to do this and trusting me to make their birthday cakes this year!

If you’ve been following me for long enough you’ll know I’m a bit Cath Kidston obsessed! This year Cath Kidston celebrated their 25th birthday and as part of the celebrations they hosted a Cream Tea Party at Alexandra Palace in July. I wasn’t working so went to the event with mum. It was great fun and we helped break the Guinness World record for the largest Cream Tea Party.

August and September were busy with me working full time, as well as applying for jobs. In September I also completed my leadership qualification for Brownies which was a great achievement πŸ™‚

Photo 02-10-2018, 19 49 07

At the end of October I had a visit up to Newcastle to visit a couple of friends and to reminisce. I absolutely love Newcastle and couldn’t wait to go back.

Also at the end of October I finished my seasonal position at Whipsnade Zoo. It was really sad to be ending as I absolutely loved the job and had no other job lined up. Shortly afterwards however I found I would be able to transfer to the London Zoo overnight experiences team for the rest of the year which has, so far, been equally as incredible as my work at Whipsnade.

In November I turned 25. It is slightly terrifying to know that I’m now closer to 30 than I am 20! But all the same, I enjoyed my birthday with friends and and looking forward to what my 25th year has to offer.

Lastly, at the end of November I attendedΒ Christmas Lights at London Zoo with my family. It was lovely spending time with them, showing them where I work and enjoying the Christmas light displays.

How has your 2018 shaped up? πŸ™‚

 

 

November Favourites 2018

It’s basically December! How did that happen?! So I missed an October Favourites, but I’m back today to share with you my favourites from this month.

Also, on this note, I’m not going to be doing Blogmas this year. I will probably post Christmassy things but I’m not going to do Blogmas properly.

So, what have I been enjoying? πŸ™‚

Photo 26-11-2018, 13 19 51

First up is my collage canvas of photos from my trip to South Africa at the start of the year. Mum and dad have one of these collage canvases downstairs and I loved the idea of having my own one from my trip. I’d been thinking about getting one for ages but never bought it. Anyway, I asked for it for my birthday and my dad bought it for me as one of my birthday presents.

Photo 26-11-2018, 13 22 36

My next favourite is my new woolly hat from Fat Face. I’d seen this hat online and loved the look of it but waited to get in to town to try it on before buying. It is lovely and warm and is big enough to cover my ears (always a bonus)! One of the best things I love about it is that it was hand knitted in Nepal by people affected by the 2015 earthquake, with some of the proceeds from this hat going back to help them which is brilliant.

I’ve also loved my Contigo travel mug. Not so much during November, but through October this was amazing. I was at work and it was so cold, so I was making hot chocolate whenever I could and keeping it in this travel mug. It kept it boiling hot for hours.

I’ve told you all about Child’s Farm moisturiser before but as it’s getting colder my eczema on my hands is getting bad again and this stuff is amazing.

I’ve also been loving my little Canon G7X. I was debating for a while whether to get this or not but I decided to treat myself to it back in the summer. I’ve been so impressed with the results it’s given me, and although it’s not as good for zoom as my other camera, the G7X doesn’t disappoint on more landscape/close up photography. Below are some photos taken with my G7X.

This month I’ve managed to do some more reading since I’ve not been working. One of the books which I loved is the Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan.

Photo 26-11-2018, 13 22 44

Next up is my Anker Soundcore Mini Bluetooth Speaker. This was actually my mum’s, but she forgot that she had it and bought a new speaker so I kind of acquired this! This is great for taking downstairs with me when I’m cooking or baking and the sound from it is pretty decent too.

Over Black Friday weekend I decided to treat myself to a FitBit Charge 2. OK, you could say it was a bit of an impulse buy but I had been looking at some kind of smart/activity tracker for a while. It was on a pretty good offer and I fell in love with the colour of it. I’m also expecting that over the next month I’m going to be pretty active again so I’d love to be able to keep track of my activity. I’m also thinking about starting running again so this would be great to use with that too.

For my birthday I bought Lego Harry Potter. My brother gave me permission to use his PS4 and as I was getting so bored sitting around struggling to find jobs to apply for, Lego Harry Potter provided me with something to do to help occupy myself. I’m only just in to year 2, but can’t wait to play some more.

I included this already in my September Favourites but as it’s been getting colder I’ve been loving my Next star jumper more and more. It’s like having a Christmas jumper which you can get away with wearing all year. It’s so warm and amazing. I’m so glad I bought it.

And finally, my last favourite for this month are my Marks and Spencer boots. These were another of my birthday presents and I fell in love with them as soon as I saw them. When I first got them I debated for ages whether to take them back or not because they kept slipping at the back and I almost gave up hope. Insoles didn’t make any difference and I was sad… And then I decided to try my walking boot socks and they fitted perfectly!

Photo 26-11-2018, 13 22 31

So I hope you enjoyed today’s post. What have you been enjoying through November? πŸ™‚

Also, I forgot to mention “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here”!

If We Were Having Coffee #9 (November 2018)

It’s time for another catch up post πŸ˜€ First up, I hope everyone is well? πŸ™‚

I’m super excited as it’s my birthday today πŸ™‚ I’m now officially getting old (my cousins will take great delight in telling me I’m half way to 50 now :O), although in my head I’m still like 21.

So if we were having coffee today we’d definitely be having cake and I’d be having one of Costa’s Black Forest Hot Chocolates πŸ˜€ I always have one on my birthday. Chocolate overload, but never mind!

Photo 02-11-2018, 15 49 00

If we were having coffee… I’d ask you how you are and if you’ve been up to anything exciting which you’d like to share?

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how I start my new job next week! πŸ˜€ I finished my old job 2 weeks ago and have been so bored! 😦 Anyway, I finally heard back from my interview in the week and I start my new job at London Zoo next week πŸ™‚

IMG_1429

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how I’m away with my friends for my birthday which I’m really excited about. These are friends which I’ve known the last 8 years or so and who I only get to see like twice a year so it’ll be great to spend some time with them.

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how I loved making my friend’s child’s birthday cake (he’s my brother’s godson). He wanted a Lego Cake so that’s what I made him. I think everyone liked it which was great πŸ™‚ The kids especially liked the cupcakes with the food colouring which made their tongues change colour.

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how proud I was to be representing Girlguiding last weekend for Remembrance Day. I love the role I play in Brownies and really hope to be able to do this for some time.

Photo 11-11-2018, 09 58 17

If we were having coffee… I’d ask you if you’ve been watching the new David Attenbrough show Dynasties? I wasn’t so keen on the first one. I mean it was great but I’m excited for the African Hunting Dog one πŸ™‚

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how excited I am that “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here” is back tomorrow! I know it’s trash but I love it!

If we were having coffee…Β I’d tell you how I’ve read quite a few books the last few weeks which I’ve loved. I found that our local library has an ebook service so I can download things onto my iPad. Meaning I’ve finally managed to read “Still Me” by Jojo Moyes! πŸ˜€

If we were having coffee…Β I’d tell you how I really love this time of year. Snuggling up under blankets, and the lovely autumn colours.

 

Keeper for a day

Firstly I wanted to apologise for the lack of posts last week. Life was busy and I didn’t get round to writing anything. But I’m back today with a post I’m really excited to share with you.

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to take part in the “Keeper for a Day” experience at the zoo. They were filming it for the website and I was one of the ones asked if I’d like to take part in this. My boss was great coving a shift for me meaning that I could become a Keeper for the day.

Our day started with breakfast and a little briefing about what we’d be getting up to during the day, as well as meeting the others who were taking part in the day with us. It was lovely to meet some of the London Zoo team and we all had a great day together.

After breakfast our first stop was the Chimpanzees. We were making up some enrichment for them. Enrichment is basically little activities for the animals to do which keep them busy and active during the day. We made up some plastic containers of fruit and veg, as well as some containers of porridge and jelly. We then went outside to throw these in for the chimps and it was great fun watching them try to find it all.

IMG_0132a

After the chimps we headed on around to the Asian Rhinos. Now, I’d already had an encounter with one of the Asian Rhinos as part of my induction when I started working at the zoo. We spent a little bit of time cleaning out the rhinos before getting to meet Behan and give her some food. Asian Rhinos (along with all rhinos) are beautiful animals and I loved getting to feed one of them again.

IMG_1272

After feeding Behan we headed to the bird show. We had the choice of 2 birds to fly and I picked Gizmo our little White Faced Owl. She was so cute but struggled flying in the wind!

Next up was the elephants. Again, I’d already been part of the meet the elephants experience for the zoo but it was great to see them again. We spend a while helping to clear out their enclosure before preparing some enrichment for them. Then we had the chance to go and see them and feed them some food. We had the chance to throw some food in for Sam, Mya and Emmett, as well as learning about them from some of the staff.

From the elephants it was time for lunch. Where we enjoyed some time together chatting and sharing stories about our respective jobs at the zoo.

Then it was time to visit Colombo our sloth bear. Colombo is the cutest animal ever (but you wouldn’t want to get in with him), and we again prepared some enrichment for him before throwing it in for him. It was the cutest and funniest thing watching him grab the piping then rolling on to his back to suck all the treats out.

IMG_1327

The next part was something I was very excited for. We got to go and see the penguins and feed them. When I say feed them, we at Whipsnade don’t hand feed them. We simply throw the food into their pool and they have to go swimming for it.

After we’d fed the penguins it was time to head off to see the lions. We have a group of 6 African Lions at the zoo and we had the chance to feed them. We were quite lucky here in that we had a lot of opportunity to feed them as they were trying to get quite a lot of video footage of this. I was actually quite surprised how lazy all the lions were, but I suppose at the end of the day they are getting old.

The last part of our Keeper for a Day experience was to visit and feed the giraffes. This was so much fun and I loved every second of it. The one thing I was so surprised about was actually how strong they are. Our male giraffe was actually lifting me up as he was stripping the leaves off the branches.

IMG_1429IMG_1416

All in all I had an incredible day making new friends and meeting more of the animals at the zoo. Would I recommend this? Yes, definitely! Especially if you love animals and want a chance to see some of them up close. I’ve linked the two youtube videos below where you can see what I got up to for the day.

London Zoo

A couple of weeks ago I decided to head up to London Zoo for the day. It had been a while since I’d last visited and since I work for ZSL, just at the Whipsnade rather than London, I decided it was time for a visit.

I had a great day out but unfortunately I wished that I had longer up there. So many people told me that I could get around it in just a few hours, so I decided to arrive at around 1pm. Although I managed to see everything, it was definitely a rush towards the end.

IMG_3732IMG_0700aIMG_0709aIMG_0716aIMG_0741aIMG_0736aIMG_3757IMG_3763IMG_3786IMG_3789IMG_3803IMG_3798IMG_3800IMG_3817IMG_3820aIMG_3823aIMG_0753aIMG_0774aIMG_3827IMG_3832aIMG_3829a

London Zoo is definitely a fraction of the size of Whipsnade Zoo (in fact our rhino paddock would fit London Zoo in it), but that didn’t stop it from being a great little zoo. I really enjoyed my day there and would definitely love to go again and have longer there. I’d also love to spend longer there having seen they do history tours. I love a bit of history and the history of ZSL fascinates me, so I think maybe one day I’d like to do that.

What I also really loved was that here around 90% of my photos were taken on my little Canon G7X rather than my Canon 40D + 300mm lens. At Whipsnade a lot of the enclosures are still old, with fencing between you and the animals. London makes much more use of moats and glass in their enclosures.

Have you ever been to London Zoo? If so, what did you think? πŸ™‚