Saturday, 23 November 2013

Penguin Threads Book Collection

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Hello everyone! I like books. I really like books. You could say I really really like books. I thought it was about time that I showed you some of the little collections that I house in my bookcase, because they're a bit too bloody nice to keep to myself, and books also make amazing gifts! Seriously, if you're stuck for Christmas gift inspiration, the Penguin Threads collection is an excellent place to start. These beauties were commissioned by Penguin's art director, and were brought to life by Jillian Tamaki and Rachell Sumpter. They were initially sketched, before being hand stitched using needle and thread to create the designs. Each cover is sculpt embossed to create a textured book design. I own four out of the six that Penguin released, I bought one for myself and was very lucky to receive the others as gifts from famiy members. The two that I am yet to own are BLACK BEAUTY BY ANNA SEWELL (ISBN: 978-0143106470) and LITTLE WOMEN BY LOUISA MAY ALCOTT (ISBN: 978-0143106654). Oh, sweet lord. These books are beautiful, insanely beautiful. If you were to turn your average blogger into a book, they would probably look like some of these covers...if that makes any sense!

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EMMA BY JANE AUSTEN (ISBN: 978-0143106463)

Not gunna lie, I have a very turbulent relationship with Austen. Her plot lines are just really not my sort of thing, sadly. Am I alone in that?! My desire for this novel pretty much stems from this bloody amazing cover! That said, I will be attempting to read this, as many people regard it as Austen's greatest work and I don't like to dismiss literature if I can help it. I will let you all know how I get on! I bought this as a gift for my best friend because I thought it'd make her look fancy pants in her Jane Austen classes and she absolutely adored it, so I would imagine many other people would be rather bloody glad to receive this on Christmas day too! 

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It's no secret that this is one of my favourite novels, ever. It's beautifully ethereal, and yet it also offers a very interesting social commentary on Edwardian society, and its trepidation of industrialism and the lower classes. I absolutely adored this novel as a child,  but I would also highly recommend it to adults too. There's no words to describe just how stunning this edition is, it's my absolute favourite and I'm so glad I bought it despite the fact that I already have this book within my collection. You can also see my other Folio Society illustrated hardback edition of The Wind In The Willows here, if you'd like! No bookcase is complete without this book! 

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A children's classic! I read this again over the summer and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would recommend this for children who want to delve into the classics, as well as adults who perhaps need a little pick me up. 

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the wizard of oz and other wonderful books of oz by l. frank baum (isbn: 978-0143106630)

I'm yet to read this book, as it's a little hefty. I know, I'm bloody awful aren't I?! This edition is just stunning, and I can't wait to get stuck in to it and go on a fantastical quest with all of the characters. Yeah, I get that serious about literature. This would also make a great gift for film buffs, and those of us who can't get through Christmas without watching Dorothy on her adventure. PUT 'EM UP! PUT 'EM UP!  

What do you think? Will you be buying any of these for your friends / family / yourself? Let me know in the comments and please feel free to share some books with beautiful covers / books you will be giving people for Christmas because then everyone can have a peek and find some pretty awesome bookish gift ideasI'm off to spend the day sorting through some things to sell online. Joy! ♥ 

This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you were to buy the books through the links that I have lovingly provided in the titles, I'd get 5% (wahoo, rollin' in it) to spend on books in the far off future. However, I either bought or was gifted by family members the books you see in this post. Kay?! Awesome.


Saturday, 16 November 2013

How To Raise Money For Charity With A Night In

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Throughout the month of November, Cancer Research UK are asking everyone to stow away their dancing shoes and have a good ol' night in, in order to raise a bit of money for charity. It's no secret that I am partial to a night in or seven, so I thought I'd share one of my favourite ways to spend an evening indoors, and try and give you a few ideas for your very own night in!

I'm proposing that you invite a group of your closest friends over, sack off any clothing that isn't comfortable and cosy, build an epic blanket fort between you all and hold your very own MOVIE NIGHT. You can get as creative as you like, and if you're stuck for movies to watch, why not propose a theme? You could pick films from a certain director, or pick films that you're a bit embarrassed that you haven't watched yet, or even something really obscure like films with fire hydrants in them...

7 little ways to raise a little more on your #INThing movie night: 

 Of course, you could exchange your very own DIY ticket stub for an entry price, but if you'd like to raise a little extra money on your movie night, I've listed a few ideas below in order to get you started!

organise a movie trivia quiz 
You could play this quiz between each movie, either basing the questions on the film you have just seen or films in general. One of the rounds could be observational whilst others could be based on quotations, or the films of certain actors. It's all good. Have a bit of fun with it! A wrong answer could warrant a certain amount of money being entered into the money box. 

 create an epic snack table
Get everyone to bring something that they've either made, or bought, along to create an epic snack table and place a small charge on an all you can eat basis. Popcorn and sweeties are movie watching essentials! 

 one minute quiz
Split into teams, put a minute on the clock, pick a particular actor, and attempt to say as many films as you can possibly think of from that actor's film career. 

❥  themed fancy dress 
If you've picked a theme for your night, why not ask everyone to arrive in movie character fancy dress? Wack everyone's names onto individual jars and get your guests to vote anonymously using a coin for their favourite outfit of the night!  

❥ edit some drinking games
Pick out a film that has a particularly good drinking game to go with it. However, instead of drinking when certain situations arise, you could exchange it for a donation from 10p to £10.  

❥ pillow penalty
Research some particularly spooky horrors or thrillers and slap people with a £1 penalty if they attempt to hide behind a pillow or nuzzle into someone's arm. If you're anything like me, you'll end up donating a hefty sum! 

❥  that ol' classic: movie charades
You can't go wrong with a bit of movie related charades! For every wrong answer or hesitation from the performer, put some money into the collection fund. 

If you'd like to scroll through all of my advice posts then you can do so.


Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Meet Woody the Dog

Hello everyone! After posting Charles' pet tag post, I thought it was only fair that I devote a post to the ever beautiful, Woody.  Woody lives at Luke's parental home but he is a big part of our lives so I thought I would share him! If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter (vivatramp/@vivatramp), you have probably seen Woody grow up immensely in the short space of a year - remember the first time you saw Woody?! Once again, please leave your fan mail for Woody in the comments below. I can't promise that he will sit down and read them with poise and grace but I can promise that he'll run like crazy around the room before probably, albeit accidentally, nutting Luke in the balls. So, win win! 

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His name is Woody! He's named that partly because of Woody from Toy Story, and partly because of his love for sticks. Luke's family compiled an extensive list of possible names before sticking with Woody. This list included: Wookie, Mo, Bolt, Lando, Max Payne (someone ring the RSPCA), Smokey and Zorro to name but a few. Woody's pretty bloody lucky to be named what he is really, isn't he?!  


He's quite lucky because he does usually just tend to be called Woody. However, I do call him 'Woodybear' or 'Woodymouse'. He's also known as 'Woodster' or 'Little Boy'. More often than not, he's known as WOODY! because he seems to like getting up to mischief. 

Woody is a big black labrador with the most beautiful little brown eyes and the softest ears. He's also a dog, just in case that wasn't already clear enough...


Woody is a mere one and a bit years of age so he's super energetic, inquisitive and friendly. 

Luke's family have had him since he was around 8-10 weeks old when he looked all fluffy and cute like this.... 

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 and now he looks like this - a 50's newspaper editor

Luke's family got him from a little local family who had lots of labradors. A few of Woody's siblings got picked up as gun dogs but Woody was way too friendly to be considered, thankfully! Luke and his Dad went to pick him up and he sat patiently in the back curiously looking out the window at what was going on, albeit a little terrified at the whole prospect of being in a moving vehicle.

He absolutely adores sticks, stealing underpants, socks, plastic bottles and bones with bits of toast hidden inside. Woody also loves being the centre of attention. If you even think about having a conservation with someone else he will weep until you involve him. Woody also likes to sit on top of the sofa like a little mountain goat if he hears anything outside or if he is waiting for anyone in particular. Despite his mischievous ways, he's also pretty willing to give you his paw, or roll over, in exchange for something to eat. He's also pretty fascinated by everything. He loves flinging grapes around the room and pat-a-caking them until they're squishy and he recently attempted to eat a marshmallow but I don't think that's something he'll be attempting again anytime soon. I think the best thing about his personality is just how loving and caring he is. Oh, and I also love the little look in his eye when he knows he's being naughty - this usually comes after he's stolen my shoes again


As I've pretty much said, Woody is Luke's best friend and somewhat like a third brother to him. It may sound silly but I can't imagine Luke without Woody. They talk to one another, judge one another, nap together, snack together, run the length of the house together! They're inseparable and are so incredibly similar, although thankfully Luke doesn't take outdoor dumps and sniff people's bums when he meets them....


This may sound extremely weird but I love Woody's soft little ears, so my favourite past time is stealing little kisses on his ears whilst he sleeps. I don't know why I've decided to share that. Some of Luke's favourite past times with the pup are the extensive walks they go on together, the little naps they take together post-walk and the extensive hours a day that they spend running the length of the house after one another. Luke's favourite memories include some of the earlier ones, like the first time he took him to the sea wall, the first time he attempted to drag a stick a few times the size of him back home and the first time that Woody realised that the washing basket was a dispenser of socks but, unfortunately, he could only carry so many. It's a cruel cruel world!

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As you can tell, we are pretty head over heels where our pets are concerned! Feel free to let me know about your furry friends (minds out the gutter, please) and their little quirks in the comments below and I shall browse through them all to my hearts content. Why not check out my last pet tag post? I'm off to do a bit of planning. Lucky me!   

check out charles' pet tag
search for photos of woody on instagram using #woodlingtonmouse 

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