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Thursday, 31 December 2015

Sims 4

So I purchased Sims 4 on Christmas Eve. Why?! Because it had been reduced from £49.99 to just £16.99! I also took this opportunity to get the Sims 4 Get To Work. Now I've wanted to buy The Sims 4 in soooooooo long but I've always stopped myself because of how ridiculously expensive it was and also it had only recently just come out as Mac compatible. 

I've been an avid Sims fan since it first came out and I've sort of grown up along with this game as it's developed. I'd definitely consider it my childhood game. The Sims 4 is totally unique and stands on it's own two feet. The only thing that bugs me about the Sims collection is that the next one advances from the previous one but tends to leave some of the good stuff out from the previous one. The Sims 3 to me was probably the best one to date because it had everything that you could want and more. The Sims 4 however actually makes Sims living life more realistic to our own but it's missing some really crucial elements. There's no firefighting service, so if you're house sets on fire and you don't have a sprinkler system, you better hope and prey your sim is able to put it out without running away scared every 5 seconds. There's also no toddler stage in growing up which is probably the best bit from The Sims 3 because you could teach the children how to walk, talk and go to the potty! They seem to have just skipped this aspect out completely which is very annoying.

That said, they've managed to add ever so slightly different things to the game that make it extra special. Your sims can now get ill from common colds, the flu and nasty chicken pox. They can travel to separate locations and you can alternate between them. The Get to Work allows you to either excel in the Detective, Scientist or Doctor career and it also gives you the chance to open up your very own retail shop, which I'm in the process of doing.


There is quite a lot that's changed both for the good and bad but for any Sims fanatic, this latest Sims creation doesn't really disappoint me. It definitely had me hooked for the Christmas period and I will be sure to find moments to continue my gameplay into the New Year!

Natalie-Ann x

To buy The Sims 4 click here. (They currently have 50% at the time of writing this)
Check out my YouTube Channel! Click here.
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Wednesday, 30 December 2015

What I'm Doing For New Years Eve!

I can't actually believe that Christmas Day has already come and gone. It was only a few days since I finished work the day before Christmas Eve and excitedly made my way up to Stoke-on-Trent with a heavy carry on and a broken Matalan's bag.

Oh the memories! But now it's time for New Year's Eve, a special night celebrating with a few of my loved ones, seeing in the New Year. Last year, we had the party at our house in Dartford. This year however, we are popping over to my best friend's house. Hannah in Ascot. I love the area in which she lives in, I could definitely see myself there one day if we ever have the money to move away from London (highly doubtful). It will be great to share the New Year with a few of the same people from last year too!


Hannah has already told me about her previous New Years Eve parties in which we play some traditional party games. I love party games, especially around the festive season. Myself and my family normally play some sort of quiz from a box. This year it was Who's Who? A bit like charades, the family is split into two groups, one is nominated each time to describe a person or character without saying their name or rhyming it. Such a fun and competitive game. I'm therefore, definitely looking forward to the games Hannah will have planned for the New Year's Eve party.

I think we're going ahead with a party buffet so I'll be expecting all of the party food AND there will be lots of alcohol. I'm especially looking forward to drinking prosecco. Prosecco is my new favourite drink and sometimes I have to refrain from requesting it when I'm in a pub. I prefer it so much more to champagne and we'll probably have several bottles of Prosecco ready for the countdown to New Year.

The most important thing is obviously seeing in the New Year with all my friends. I do wish my family were with me too but I'm sure we will be able to call each other before or after the phone lines go crazy at midnight. I hope everyone has a fantastic New Year's Eve party wherever you may be and I look forward to welcoming in 2016!

Natalie-Ann x

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Tuesday, 29 December 2015

BloggersRequired


Bloggers Required has become one of the best websites that I have ever found. As I look back on the last couple of months, my blog has rocketed in viewers and this is partly due to this website. When I first found it, I genuinely thought my blog would not even get looked at. I'd just revamped my blog design using a company called pipdig so was feeling quite hopeful. I applied to numerous brands in the hope of getting at least a response. The way in which Bloggers Required works is that you pitch your blog to the brand/company with a sort of cover letter and current stats regarding your blog. 



Within just a few hours, I received a response telling me that they loved my blog and would to work with me on their latest venture. I felt so privileged and honoured that not only did this company recognise my blog as having potential but that they were actually going to send me a product of theirs to trial and test.

Since then, I've applied every week and have worked with over 15 brands so far. These range from books to homeware, outfits to make-up and a few live events including, London Cocktail Week. I have very big plans for 2016, not just for my blog but for my lifestyle, work out routine and my acting career. 2016 for me will hopefully be a good one. It's time to work hard to achieve those goals and to strive for my dreams!

I recommend any blogger trying out Bloggers Required, you never know what company might want to work with you and what will come of it in the future. I'm already e-mailing all the brands I've worked with so far to get testimonials to put onto my website!

Natalie-Ann x

Check out my YouTube Channel! Click here.

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Sunday, 27 December 2015

My Favourite Moments From 2015

2015 has been an incredible year for me. Moving away from university life completely and settling into London has been quite an experience. So much so that I thought I'd let you know my favourite moments of 2015.

Blogging Daily


I've loved writing from a young age and after going to university and writing so many essays, I found my writing had improved ten fold. Therefore, I wanted something that would keep up my writing technique but would also be fun. I created my blog just over a year ago, it was a way of keeping my family and friends updated with everything I was up to whilst down in London. I'd concentrated a lot more on my YouTube Channel than my blog at the time, however that's become the complete opposite. I started daily blogging at the end of September and my view count went from 9,000 odd to nearly 20,000 in the space of a couple of months. I'm very fortunate and grateful to all those who have read and continue to read my blog. I predict that in 2016, my blog will have definitely hit over 100,000 by this time next year.


Filming Timeviewer


I remember going to the audition and leaving it thinking I wasn't going to get the role. Auditions are so damn hard to judge that eventually you go in, do the audition, come out and not think about it again until you get the final decision. It's a tough industry and one that I found very difficult to be in on my own. With applying to my Masters and hopefully going to a stage school, I will be doing stuff like Timeviewer hopefully more than just once every couple of months. Working on the set with the Timeviewer cast and crew was epic. The crew were so professional even though they were students from the Met Film School. They're professionalism was apparent throughout and I loved every moment of it. Many of my friends and family have been asking when the film is going out. Unfortunately, there was never a film, we just shot a trailer of 40 odd seconds that took 3 days to film. Now I see why films take so long to make!


Sam Moving Down


Nothing is better than having your other half finally move down to London. Being away from him for so long felt like I was missing a part of me. You spend every day together at university and then you have to cope with not seeing them for 5-6 weeks at a time, which for me was difficult. Finally though, he's moving down and I couldn't be happier!


Watching Hannah Graduate


A proud moment for me was seeing my Sam's beautiful sister Hannah graduate. She looked simply stunning in her outfit and like a proud mother, I filmed her going up onto the stage and collecting her degree. It reminded me of our graduation and what a special yet surreal moment it is. Hannah studied in Exeter and the university grounds itself were lovely.


My Best Friend Gets Her Dream Job


My best friend Hannah McCarthy got her dream job this year working at Independent Talent Group as an Assistant Voice Over Agent! I remember at the time, she was really nervous about the interviews and she was pining over this one job which seemed perfect. I told her not to worry and hey presto, she got the job! She's dealing with so many well-known celebrities it's so surreal. Hannah McCarthy, the gorgeous girl I met at university and whom I'm now best friends with, is all grown up.


Working At Lush


So it may only have been a temporary position but I have LOVED working at Lush this festive season. My contract ends at the end of December and I've reapplied to continue working into the New Year. Lush is such a fantastic company, they care for their staff, their customers and for charities all over the globe. They produce products that benefit the individual instead of causing more problems and most importantly they don't test on animals. Fingers crossed that I get to stay with this company into the New Year because it's like being part of a famous big family!


Moving House


Moving house was one of the big things that happened this year. We went from Dartford to New Cross and the change has been incredible. I now have more time to do more, rather than spend nearly 2 hours a day commuting back and forth into London. The difficulty I found with living in Dartford was the running of trains and how little often they came by. It was made even worse if any were delayed or cancelled. Thankfully in New Cross, it's an overground that can either go directly to London Bridge within 10 minutes or a 5 minute journey straight to the Jubilee line. I also have a lot more time and flexibility that I can put to good use.


Barcelona


I was lucky enough to go on THREE holidays this year. This I think makes up for the lack of holidays I've had in previous years.  One of these was a trip to Barcelona with Sam's family. The weather was gorgeous, the views spectacular and the historic buildings and places we visited were beautiful. I managed to discover an artist called Guadi who was responsible for creating such weird and wonderful architecture, which you can find here. I also discovered Monopoly but in the card version. It caused many.....disagreements and let's just leave it at that, eh Sam? Hannah?!


New York With Mammy


BEST TRIP EVER! I was super lucky enough to visit New York and wow was it incredible. What I couldn't get over were the buildings and how tall they were. London is nothing in terms of scale when it's put alongside New York. It looks just like what you see in the movies and the magic of New York is just so exciting. Myself and my mum managed to cram in every single possible tourist attraction including The Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero and the 9/11 Memorial Museum, The Empire State Building and we also managed to see a Broadway show. We did all the open top tour bus routes except one and we even managed to visit some proper American diners. It was such a surreal trip and one that I'm never going to forget. Hopefully one day, we can go again!


Seeing Take That


Seeing Take That perform was another highlight of the year. The tickets were brought as part of a family present to the Redman's from Mum. The concert took place at the O2 stadium and what an incredible experience. I've never really been to a major concert before, the only one I've been to recently was Ed Sheeran but I was working at it, so it wasn't quite the same. Take That came onto the stage and immediately addressed the elephant in the room by introducing themselves like this,

Gary: 'For those of you who don't know us, I'm Gary...'

Mark: 'I'm Mark...'

Howard: And I'm Howard.

All: 'And we're what's left of Take That!'

The crowd erupted into laughter and then they started off the show. It was definitely a spectacle with lots of special effects going off and performers in crazy costumes. The trio even travelled over the heads of fans, in what can only be described as something you'd maybe see in Charlie in the Chocolate Factory/Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.


Dad's 50th


The old man turned 50 this year. Jesus I can't believe that my dad has turned 50. When you reach a certain age after 21, you just consider it as another number and it all boils down to how young you feel at heart. I recently had a conversation with my parents over Skype after they were mucking about and behaving like adolescents. And honestly, I don't want them to ever change. They are the best parents in the world so much so that everytime one of my friends meets them, they think they are 'so cool' or 'awesome'. I always put on a front and go 'yeah ok' but really I feel super proud to be their daughter and even though dad is 50, he doesn't look a day over 49.


France with the Derbyshire's


Finally, number three out of the holidays, France with the Derbyshire's. I was invited over by Sean and his parents to visit their place in the sun and sweet lord their place is beautiful. One day, I would love to retire in a hot climate like France or Spain. The properties over there are just my idea of heaven. They've actually been working on it recently as it is a little run down around the edges but I feel that adds to the beauty of it. I was very jealous of their lifestyle and it was great to spend a few days with Sean's family, eat beautiful food and drink drink drink!


Seeing The Difference In The Gym


Wow what a difference the gym makes. The picture on the right is of me back in my second year of university and the one on the right is a very recent picture of myself. The difference is incredible, I look so much more healthier and chiseled. I can see now why my mum was so shocked at the weight I'd put on back in my university life. The change of going to the gym regularly, not eating crap and drinking my own weight in alcohol, has really improved my fitness, health and the way I look. Here's to 2016 and looking fly.

Natalie-Ann x

Check out my YouTube Channel! Click here.
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Saturday, 26 December 2015

Christmas With The Redmans

Merry Christmas from the Redmans! Another Christmas well spent of eating, drinking, eating and more drinking. It's so lovely to spend so much time with my family this year.

Appreciate those who love you!

Natalie-Ann x

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Friday, 25 December 2015

A Celebration For Christmas

IT'S CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!


Here's to Christmas 2015! I hope you are enjoying all the food, all the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and most importantly, spending time with your favourite people!

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Take it away Shaking Steven!



Natalie-Ann x

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Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas Eve Traditions

Merry Christmas Eve from Stoke-on-Trent!

I travelled up last night after work, after a nightmare of a journey to work which resulted in a broken Matalan bag full of Christmas presents and getting into work unintentionally an hour early!

Anyway, that's all thankfully behind me and as I'm typing this, I have a home cooked meal on it's way, a glass of wine and I'm in the same room as my mum and dad. This for me is blissful! This is what Christmas is all about, being with my family and celebrating Christmas with my nearest and dearest. It's these times that make me appreciate what a loving and supporting family I have and whatever is to come in the New Year I know that I will have the right people around me. Our Christmas Eve for the past few years has been a tradition of going to the Odeon cinema and watching a filming. Last year's was Paddington and the year before for myself and my brother was Anchorman. This year was STAR WARS! 

Now I'm definitely loving the increase in woman heroines that have seemed to be taking on all the main roles nowadays. There's Jennifer Lawrence in Hunger Games and now Daisy Ridley in Star Wars. It just shows how times have and are still changing, the 'traditional' is now becoming more diverse, more accepting and I struggle to understand why this hasn't happened sooner?! The fact that there's outcry at a black actress playing Hermione in the Harry Potter stage production or a black girl playing Annie in the recent Annie movie, truly baffles me.

But anyway, Star Wars was incredible and for the rest of the evening, it will be spent drinking, eating, drinking, eating and listening to many Christmassy songs (both the good ones and the bad ones!)

Merry Christmas Eve to you all!

Natalie Redman

Check out my YouTube Channel! Click here.
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Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Strawberry Snowmen

This is the most simple recipe in the world but they do look super cute and would look perfect at a Christmas buffet! Firstly you're going to need some big ass strawberries. Don't go for titchy ones like I went for, that was my first mistake. You want big ones so that the whipped cream going inside is quite substantial and that the top of the strawberry is big enough to carefully sit on top.


You will need:

- A punnet of strawberries
- Whipped Cream (Go for thick!)
- Chocolate drops



1. Firstly take out your strawberries and pull off their stalks.


2. Carefully chop off any white bits that the strawberries may have where the stalk has been. this will provide the base of your snowmen. Then chop up the strawberries in half, with the stalk end as the base.



3. Fill the strawberry base with whipped cream. Go crazy, it's Christmas.


4. Position the strawberry heads carefully on top.


5. Add two little chocolate drops for eyes.


Then get creative and make a wonderland of cream!


I used light whipped cream, what a stupid decision. Poor snowmen!



So what are you waiting for?! Go make some strawberry snowmen!

Natalie-Ann x

Check out my YouTube Channel! Click here.

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Trip to Greenwich

Myself and Sam had a day off together this week, so we took a trip into Greenwich. I didn't realise how beautiful it was, especially the cute little vintage market and christmas markets they had. We headed in around midday and casually walked from our flat to Greenwich which took us roughly around 30-35 minutes. We found a really nice bookshop that I definitely need to return to as all the books looked great and they were good value for money.



When we arrived at Greenwich Vintage market, there was an array of beautiful trinkets and vintage pieces. There was toys, furniture and ornaments and Sam treated me to a gorgeous clock pendant. It was such a steal for £5 and I loved the market for its simplicity. It reminded me of all those times myself and my brother used to do Sunday car boot sales back at home.




We then headed into the main market area where there was a courtyard of market stalls all selling their wears. This ranged from homemade candles, soaps and bath bombs, bags, clothing and food. I could definitely have spent a fortune there but Christmas is nearly upon us and I've certainly done all the spending I'm allowed to do!



We then headed to The Coach and Horses for some yummy pub grub. We originally planned to go to Cafe Rouge but had a change of heart as we always tend to go there so we thought we'd try something new!

I definitely recommend if you are ever in the area of Greenwich, check out this wonderful town.

Natalie-Ann x

Check out my YouTube Channel! Click here.







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Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Gym Progress!


So I've always had an on-going battle with the gym. Whilst I was at the gym, I probably managed to go the gym on numerous occasions and do stints of around 2-3 weeks at a time but I'd always end up falling off the wagon due to other commitments such as....drinking.

Since leaving university and moving more importantly to New Cross, I discovered Pure Gym. Pure Gym has branches all over the country and they vary in membership due to location. Obviously London is going to be the most expensive but to be honest at £26.99 for full use of the gym and classes (bar a couple) what you get for your money is definitely worth it.


Now I've never been a fan of the cardio machines such as the rowing machine and treadmill but since going with Sean my housemate who's more than experienced in the gym, I've discovered a love for weight lifting.

I've been going the gym now pretty much since we moved into the flat so that'll be 5-6 months. Sean taught me the most important aspects of working out including that of form. I've recently noticed plenty of people in the gym that may not be lifting weights properly or their body is not in the correct position for the work out they're doing. Form is such an important factor when working out because it maximises the usefulness of the exercise.

Free weights are the most fun I've had at the gym thus far. Whether it be using the bars for squats or lifting them above my head and hoping I won't drop them, I love using them. For me, most of the time it doesn't feel like a work out as it doesn't have much of a repetitive slog that running on a treadmill or rowing has.


Most recently, I've noticed a major difference to my body shape. Sean's told me that a lot of people express the want to lose weight and then tone up but you can tone up as you lose weight. The fat you use isn't necessarily lost but turns into muscle. I've seen a major improvement to my upper body and I'm beginning to see a difference in my abs too. I've also gone down to a size 10 in bottoms which is incredible.

My end goal is to have this sort of body shape...



I still want to maintain the bust and butt, but I'd like my tummy area to be properly toned and my love handles banished! My arms are pretty much where I want them to be and my legs are quickly getting there too.

I'm doing this for myself and no one else which is the most important aspect of going to the gym. I also like the fact that I'm both eating healthily and drinking less. Combining this with my workout, I'm seeing a big difference and I'm very excited for the New Year and what that has in store.

Natalie-Ann x

Check out my YouTube Channel! Click here.





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