5 TV Series You Should Catch Up On In 2019

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5 TV Series You Should Catch Up On In 2019

There’s nothing quite like getting engrossed in a TV series. Somehow, you feel like you’re really there with them and when it ends, it can be devastating to wait for the next episode or series to come out.

If you’re like most, you’ll wait until a series has finished filming to catch up on it so that you’re able to binge watch it all in one go. There are a plethora of TV shows out there, but here are some of our top picks that you should catch up on in 2019.

The Flash | 5 TV Series You Should Catch Up On In 2019

The Flash

Set in the fictional city of central city, the Flash is a TV series about the comic hero that we all know and love. You get to see Barry Allen as he turns into the Flash thanks to the evil Dr Wells and his particle accelerator, who is perfectly portrayed by Tom Cavanagh.

Barry (Grant Gustin) and his team fight a plethora of super villains who were also affected by the actions of Dr Wells. Not everyone is bad though, as you see Barry form many friendships, allegiances, and also falls in love with his childhood crush Iris West. With comedy, drama, and some kick-ass fight scenes, it’s sure to spark your attention and have you hooked in no time.

While we’re now on season 5 of the Flash (returning to our screens next Tuesday, 15th January), we definitely recommend taking it back to the beginning and catching up from the start as you’ll notice references from previous episodes and seasons throughout the show. An addicting series that you definitely shouldn’t miss!

The Gifted

If you know and love the X-Men films then you’re sure to love The Gifted as it’s a television series derived from the amazing Marvel films. Stephen Moyer, who you may know from True Blood plays Reed, an officer against mutants.

Unfortunately, he has to go on the run with his two mutant teens and his wife when their powers begin to emerge. To everyone’s surprise, Reed also has powers and has the ability to disintegrate matter. However, you follow his story as he struggles to control his powers and takes on his new life as a mutant.

You can watch The Gifted on UK TV now, which means no more waiting until it’s been aired and released on a program in the UK. With one hell of a lot of drama, super cool powers and fight scenes, you should most definitely catch up from the start with The Gifted!

One Tree Hill

A show that began in 2003 and ran until 2012, you follow a close group of friends in a small town called Tree Hill. You begin by meeting the characters Brooke (Sofia Bush), Peyton, Haley, Nathan, Lucas, and many other well known characters in their high school years, as they face typical dramas of hooking up with their crushes.

However, the show takes a wicked turn and gives the characters opportunities to shine. Nathan and Haley get married in high school, Lucas joins the basketball team, Brooke and Peyton argue over Lucas and overall, it’s a TV show that will have you hooked from episode one.

You can also expect star appearances from singers and actors all over the world who play themselves such as Gavin DeGraw (who wrote the theme tune ‘I don’t wanna be’) and Fall Out Boy in the earlier series.

Dr Who

A legendary series that’s been running for decades has changed dramatically over the past few months. For the first time ever, a woman is now the Doctor (played by Jodie Whittaker).

Dr Who | 5 TV Series You Should Catch Up On In 2019

Many people were outraged by this revelation and the show has lost some of its viewership. However, we’ve been following the latest series on from Peter Capaldi and we think it’s absolutely brilliant.

Jodie Whittaker has taken the role in her stride and made the role of Dr Who her very own. Accompanied by three companions, including the well known Bradley Walsh from many UK shows such as The Chase, you follow the Doctor and her companions in solving extraterrestrial mysteries around the universe.

If you’ve followed any of the previous series of Dr Who, you’ll know that once every while we get the treat of a special episode to enjoy. Our personal favourite is the Day of the Doctor, where Matt Smith, David Tenant, and the late and great John Hurt get together for a super special episode where past and present Doctors meet. We hope Jodie gets this chance soon

Once Upon A Time

Producing its final series in 2018, Once Upon a Time (OUAT) began its first season in 2011. Starring the brilliant Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin, you see him and many other fairytale characters such as the Evil Queen (Lana Parilla), Cinderella (Jennifer Morrison), Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) and many other wonderful characters battle through unusual attacks.

Starting in the village of Storybrooke, Henry (Cinderella’s son) seeks out his birth mother and brings her to Storybrooke, where he’s faced with the challenge of making her believe that everyone that lives there is a fairytale character.

Once she believes, a curse is broken and everyone gains their powers back.

A truly gripping story that will leave you wanting more and more. With 7 seasons, there’s plenty to catch up on! We hope you fall in love with the characters as much as we did!

So there we have it, 5 incredible TV series that you should catch up on, or even watch for the first time in 2019! A mix of action, magic, drama, love, and comedy for you to look forward to bingeing on this year!

Transformers: BumbleBee The Movie

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Transformers: BumbleBee The Movie

Over the Christmas Holidays, my daughter and I went to see Transformers: BumbleBee The Movie with a twist.

If you want to wait to see the Movie, just a WARNING! there are a few SPOILERS included.

Bumblebee goes back to the roots of the Transformers story if you ever grew up with the Transformers cartoon in the 80’s.

BumbleBee was known for talking through is car radio, rather than his own voice. This movie explains this in more detail, along with some artistic license thrown in for good mix.

BumbleBee Trailer

When I first saw the BumbleBee Trailer, I was beyond excited. Mainly because I thought this movie was going back to its humble beginnings.

I was not wrong. The BumbleBee Trailer starts of with Charlie, a girl struggling with personal loss and listening to her Walkman (aka cassette player just incase you didn’t know).

Charlie finds a VW in rusting a corner with a Beehive in the wheel arches.

When Charlie get her new car home, things are not what they seem. Her first beloved is a HUGE robot. Here is where the fun begins for Charlie.

BumbleBee Film

The Bumblebee Film was directed by Travis Knight (The BoxtrollsParaNorman). Not really known for his movies, but his animations, where he was the lead animator.

With this in mind, Travis Knight wanted to take us back to the humble beginnings of the Transformers on Earth. Travis knight certainly did that.

With Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg as producers, this is one Transformers movie packed with a LOT of fun and humour.

BumbleBee a Transformers Movie poster
Image from IMDB

Where is the Transformer Optimus Prime?

Straight from the beginning, the action take us back to Cybertron, the home of Transformers race. You cannot have the transformers without Optimus Prime.

Original Transformers Optimus Prime Toy
Original Transformers Optimus Prime Toy

When BumbleBee lands on Earth, a small battle takes place and BumbleBee looses his voice and his memory through the fight.

To avoid detection for the US Army, BumbleBee transforms in the VW Beetle we have to love through the cartoons. It is shortly thereafter that our human main character enters the fray.

Is that Optimus Prime?

When the action take us to Cybertron, you can be left asking. Is that Optimus Prime?

The answer is YES. And this the original cartoon and toy shape which Optimus is best known for, compared to the way Michael Bay movies and given him a major face lift in the updated Transformer movies.

I was really happy to see Optimus prime back in his big red Truck form, mostly as I had that toy as child.

In the closing scenes, we do see Optimus prime on Earth. A total nostalgic moment which the most Transformers movies have totally missed in my opinion.

BumbleBee Soundtrack

Have you wondered who sings the Bumblebee Soundtrack? Well guess who sings it? The lead actress Hailee Steinfeld does take on double role.

Hailee Steinfeld (Enders Game, Romeo and Juliet -2013, Pitch Perfect 2 & 3) a singer/song writer, turned actress takes the lead and she really takes control of her role.

A strong female lead who plays the character Charlie, who has her own post teenage life issues to deal with, a next door neighbour called Memo (Jorge Lendeborg Jr) a school nerd who has a crush on her.

Hailee Steinfield closing song is totally dedicated to BumbleBee and bringing him back to life in the best way love to see our loveable Autobot.

Transformers Bumblebee

The lovable Transformer Bumblebee, is a timid robot and searching to find himself once more, when he comes in contact with a kindred spirit of Charlie (Hailee Steinfield).

Bumblebee from the original transformers has taken on the form of the much loved VW Beetle, and this is the last car he sees, before his systems shut down due to fight which lands him on earth.

BumbleBee Cast:

  1. Hailee Steinfeld as Charlie
  2. John Cena as Agent Burns
  3. Jorge Lendeborg Jr. as Memo
  4. Nick Pilla as Young Agent Simmons
  5. Dylan O’Brien as BumbleBee (Voice)
  6. Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime (Voice)
  7. Angela Bassett as Shatter (Voice)
  8. Justin Theroux as Dropkick (Voice)
  9. David Sobolov as Blitzwing (Voice)
  10. Jon Bailey as Shockwave / Soundwave (Voice)
BumbleBee Transformers
BumbleBee Transformers from Amazon

BumbleBee makes a few mistakes and totally trashes Charlies home, all by accident of course.

John Cena

WWE’s John Cena playing Agent Burns from Sector 7, who is trying to track down BumbleBee for his new Deception Allies. Agent Burns is totally sceptical of the Deceptions and for good reason. He doesn’t buy their propaganda and has his own agenda.

John Cena makes a really good impression and although a protagonist for the US Gov, he has a soft heart and lets BumbleBee go at the end. It would seem all WWE muscle men are all big softies at heart.

Best Transformers Movie in a LONG time

BumbleBee is the best Transformers movie I have seen in a long time. The fun is non stop and is action packed from start to finish. There are a few cameo roles from our old loveable Transformer characters and even a young Agent Seymour Simmons who is NOT played by John Turturro as in the latest Transformer movies.

If you love the old Transformers cartoon or movies from the 80’s, then this movie is for you and your family.

It is child friendly movie and although there are explosions, this Transformer movie does not disappoint.

This is one heck of a fun movie and we really enjoyed it.

John M

Five Rules Of A Photoshoot

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Five Rules Of A Photoshoot

Trying to compose the right group photograph at the end of season sports party is important. You want to be able to record the moment for the future, and choosing to do that with a photoshoot means that you have to really think about how to get the perfect group photograph.

Group pictures are often a challenge for photographers, because you have more than one subject to concentrate on and not everyone will be looking the right way at the right time. It can be stressful, and it’s why you need to – as a photographer – learn the rules of the perfect group photograph.

It may take some time to perfect, especially with sports shoots where all the subjects of the picture may have different ideas as to how to behave on set! However, while you’re gearing up to take the photo, it’s a good idea to reflect on the five rules below so that you can nail that perfect shot.

Five Rules of a Photoshoot

1. Get the right light

It’s the first priority for every photographer – the light is important. When you’re photographing groups, you need to have a balance so that one side isn’t bathed in bright light while the other side is dark.

It doesn’t matter whether you go to a light or dark photograph, the light has to be even so choose the right location for an even bounce.

2. The perfect flooring?

You may not get the weather to do an outdoor sport shoot, but you may be able to get the right studio with the perfect flooring for photoshoots that accommodate sports teams.

Grassy flooring, for example, can give you everything that you need for the right shoot that reflects the team you are shooting. Plus, it can create the right environment for the theme of the shoot.

3. Make triangles

If you are posing a group, you can be more visually appealing if you create triangles with their heads in the composition. Take it a step further if you like with the ear to mouth rule with your subjects.

It makes for a photo that looks fantastic. You can mix up the groups if you can by gender and it can look prettier to have a good mix.

4. Sit and stand and sit and stand

Some sports photographs involve some people sitting and some standing, and if you want to, move some chairs into the photograph and have some of the team sitting on those and the rest standing around.

You can even incorporate the coaches and team leaders into the shoot, too! The sit and stand aspect creates a nice photo that stands out and is impressive.

5. Smile – But be firm

You are the photographer, and in the chaos of a group photograph, you could easily become flustered. The best thing to do is remember to smile, even when you don’t particularly want to!

It’s a hard job, but someone has to immortalise the winning team of the season, and you get to be in the privileged position to do that.

John M

*This is a collaborative post

Star Wars Merchandise Gift Guide

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Star Wars Merchandise Gift Guide

Our family is gearing up for the new Star Wars movie due out in the next few days. I have not managed to convert my wife to Sci-Fi just yet, but our daughter really loves to watch Star Wars with me. So as the lead up to the new movie, how about an amazing Star Wars Merchandise Gift Guide. I am sharing a list of great idea’s for his and her this Christmas clothing to get you both in the Star Wars Christmas spirit. You will need to act fast, as Christmas is just next week.

Astromech-emp | Star Wars Merchandise Gift Guide

Astromech Alliance T-Shirt – Done with a vintage BB8 20’s style. It gives the famous droid more of a retro look than the Sci-Fi look that Star Wars is known for. Whether you love the Dark Side or the Light, this is still a great t-shirt for the budding Star Wars Geek.

BobbaFett-emp | | Star Wars Merchandise Gift Guide

Boba Fett T-shirt – What more needs to be said about the infamous Boba Fett. We only got fleeting glimpses of him in Empire Strikes Back and then in Return of the Jedi. Only for Boba to be swallowed up in the Pit of Sarlacc. For the rebellious husband or wife, this would be a great Christmas Gift this year.

X-WIng-Fighter-emp | Star Wars Merchandise Gift Guide

X-Wing Fighter T-shirt – From the moment that the X-wing hit the big screens back in 1977. The X-wing has always been associated with Luke Skywalker and the lead fighter of the Rebel Alliance.

Darth-Vadar-emp | Star Wars Merchandise Gift Guide

Darth Vadar Pj’s – We cannot forget the ladies. Love him or hate him. Darth Vadar has always been the main baddy of the Star Wars Saga. For the woman in your life, getting these Pyjamas will allow her to express her inner Dark Side.

Final Remarks

I love Star Wars and I love Star Wars Merchandise. With the new movie heading to the big screen this Friday. This gift guide has something I think for everyone. Like I said earlier, you need to be quick. Christmas is just around the corner.

John M

Please Like and Comment below

*This is a collaborative post

Geek and Gadgets Christmas Gift Guide

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Geek and Gadgets Christmas Gift Guide

It is almost that time of year and Christmas is just over a month away. Have you started your last minute Christmas shopping yet? I hope not, because I have a few last minute gift ideas for close friends and family. My Christmas Gift guide ideas are for those who love gadgets and geeky things. I am hoping there are things which you may find for that special loved one(s) in your life.

1.  Lowepro 300 AW II Photography Backpack

A great backpack for your DSLR with Lenses and chargers. This backpack has two patterns, all Black or Mica/Pixel Camo pattern. A great way to keep all of your gear nice and dry while on location or assignment. I have this Backpack and it has already been put to good use.

Lowepro Flipside 300 AW II Review

Flipside II – The world’s best-selling photo backpack. – Lowepro from Lowepro on Vimeo

Available from Amazon.co.uk for £112.99

2.  Urban Armor Gear | iPhone8/7/6s/6 cases

Price $59.95 USD

UAG’s Monarch Series cases feature 2X Drop-Protection and a 10-year warranty. Handcrafted with top-grain leather for extra quality. A polycarbonate shear plate, armour shell, alloy metal hardware, manufactured with impact-resistant rubber. iPhone8/7/6s/6 cases
IPH7_6S_MONARCH-MAIN-948_1200 | Geek and Gadgets Christmas Gift Guide

3.  Cfast Card Reader

Ever wanted a fast USB card reader which can read and write at insane speeds? Well look no further.

Take advantage of the fast performance of USB 3.0 (5Gbps) when you download high-resolution photos and full HD videos from your DSLR camera or camcorder to your USB-Type C enabled laptop, tablet or desktop computer. Save valuable time daily and achieve greater workflow efficiency when accessing, transferring, and backing up files to a computer. Price £55.90

StarTech Card Reader | Geek and Gadgets Christmas Gift Guide

USB 3.0 Card Reader/Writer for CFast 2.0 Cards – USB-C

4.  STM Studio Case for iPad Air 2 

With new colours (Chilli, Atlantis and Moroccan Blue) introduced to this range, the studio is cooler than ever. There is a new version of the STM Studio Case for iPad Air 2, which is due to be released very soon. The new version of the STM Studio Case will be available in Black, Green Purple.

The STM Studio Case has a neat transparent polycarbonate, semi-translucent bracket to protect your tablet. The unique magnetic closure allows you to simply and easily open and close the case. The front cover also activates the “smart cover” function – turning the iPad on and off to save battery life. Designed for multiple viewing angles and a comfortable carry, the studio protects your iPad Air 2 from everyday hazards and folds into a stable typing or viewing platform. Price £32.57

STM Studio Case for iPad Air 2 – Black/Smoke

STM iPad Air 2 Case | Geek and Gadgets Christmas Gift Guide

5.  Amazon Acho Dot

Amazon Echo Dot is a hands-free, voice-controlled device with a small built-in speaker—it can also connect to your speakers or headphones over Bluetooth or through a 3.5 mm audio cable to deliver stereo sound to the speakers you choose. Echo Dot connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, provide information, news, sports scores, weather and more. Prime members can also ask Alexa to order eligible products they’ve ordered before and many Prime products. All you have to do is ask.

A great device for homes with smart devices, for adding items to shopping lists, find music etc.

Amazon Echo Dot: Price £49.99

Amazon Echo Dot-1 | Geek and Gadgets Christmas Gift Guide

6.  Schaffer Star Wars Pen Collection

The Schaffer Star Wars Pop Yoda Gell Roller Ball Pen with polished chrome appointments Priced at: $19.99 or $18.00 from Amazon.co.uk

SH_E1921051 | Geek and Gadgets Christmas Gift Guide

Find your lack of quality pens disturbing?  Or as Arm yourself for rebellion with the smoothest pens in the galaxy. You will agree that these pens are the idea gift for that Star Wars Geeky family member, Son, daughter or maybe your husband, wife or partner. What ever the case maybe, these pens are simply the best. “You Will Purchase these this Christmas!” or “I find your lack of pocket money disturbing!“…. Sorry, that was very bad attempt at some Force jokes.

SH_E1920851 | Geek and Gadgets Christmas Gift Guide

 

The Schaffer Star Wars Pop Darth Vadar Gell Roller Ball Pen with polished chrome appointments $19.99 or £18.00 from Amazon.co.uk

These pens will make an ideal gift for those special Star Wars fans this Christmas.

7.  Monqi Kids Smartphone

A phone which can be locked out by the parents when its bed time. The parent(s) can see or control what their children are looking at or doing with this phone.

Sim free, this phone is £149.99. So you don’t have to be tied down to any network, or you can choose a network which may benefit the family. As the parent, you can control how much your children can spend, or when they have earned they weekly pocket money. You can top it back up again.

This phone can be purchased from Carphone warehouse. Go and Checkout for your selves just how great this phone really is.Monqi Smart Phone | Geek and Gadgets Christmas Gift Guide

8.  Smart Halo

This smart device has many functions in one. The SmartHalo can be used with a phone app to help with naviagation, security, locating your bike if you forget where you left it. Send or recent SMS messages and so much more.

SMART_HALO_NYC | Geek and Gadgets Christmas Gift Guide

The Price of keeping your trust bicycle safe will more than make up the cost of SmartHalo. Priced at USD $149 or £179 from Menkind

A great device which has the bike user in mind, to keep the bike and the rider safer while on the roads.

9.  Smart Phone Projector

This Smart Phone projector is a smart of watching movies stored on your iPhone/Smart phone, without having to peer over your friends shoulders in the process.

Priced at £14.99. It will not cost you lots of money jus to project your movies on to a wall or white screen. This great little gadget is for the family or just going to the friends house and watching a movie from their phone. An ideal gift for this Christmas.

Smartphone Projector | Geek and Gadgets Christmas Gift Guide

10 TrackR Pixel

Sick of loosing your keys? Well here is an innovative idea from ‘TheTrackR.com‘. Here is how this device works. Connect the device to your keys or pop in your wallet/purse. Download the app and pair the device. Within seconds, you can now find where you left your keys. The app can even make the Pixel sound an alarm, just in case you lost your keys down the back of the couch.

For just one TrackR Pixel, they will set you back £24.99. You can buy 2 and get 3 (5) free for £75, or  buy 6 and get 6 free (12) from £150.

TrackR Pixel | Geek and Gadgets Christmas Gift Guide

By purchasing more than one of these, you will be able to keep track of your luggage when you are travelling. Put one in your child’s back pack and know their PE kit is being kept safe at school.

11. USB Cufflinks

Now, when it comes to cool gadgets and something which men can use in the office or in their suit, there is nothing quite like a pair of cufflinks. Not only that, a pair USB cufflinks from Dobell.co.uk.

cufflinks-gold-coloured |

Just one of these Cufflinks holds an 8GB USB drive, which means you can have a total of 16GB just sat on your wrists; this is cool because it removes the need for looking for a USB drive, which could be hiding your brief case or laptop bag. So how cool are these USB cufflinks? I would say they are way more trendy than your typical USB drive. And whats more, you have a pair of cufflinks for your work suit too.

There two colours available on Dobell.co.uk, where you choose between either Gold and Silver and cost £49 per set. These cufflinks are ideal for the IT manager, IT technician or the general office worker.

Final Remarks

Well, I sure hope you like this gift guide. Were you able to pick out any good idea’s? I can say I have a few on my Christmas list for my close and extended family members.

John M

Please be sure to Like and Comment below.

*This is not a paid post, however I did receive samples as part of this gift guide. All opinions and views are my own. 

Christmas-Gift-Guide | Geek and Gadgets Christmas Gift Guide

Saal PhotoBook Review

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Like all photographers, having your work printed can be just as exciting getting a new camera. I had been longing to get some of my work printed when I was contacted by SAAL for a Photobook Review.

This was my idea chance of getting some of my photographs printed at long last. I chose to get my photographs from a recent trip to London, where I had done some night-time long exposure photography. 

London Eye Favourite Photo

The above photo is one of my most favourites and I had been looking for a cost-effective way to get this photo printed, that was until Saal Digital came along with an opportunity to review a photo book with my printed work.

SAAL Photobook Review

Unlike similar companies like Photo box, Saal has their own stand-alone software which can be installed on to your computer/Mac. This saves time and doesn’t hog all the internet bandwidth uploading to a website.

 Saal-Digital-Website Options

The same options on the website are all on the stand-a-lone software. I found this feature very appealing and the idea of the software very user-friendly. If you have ever used Photo box, then using the software will be second nature. Also, when it comes to making some minor edits to your photo book, will come easy to you. For my photo book, I went for a 19cm square photo book.

 Saal-book-Cover-Front

SAAL Photobook Templates

With the template I chose, I changed some of the colour schemes and moved some of the photographs so I could have a double-page spread. There is also an option to have a padded cover and with or without a barcode with £5 per both options. I only went for removal of the barcode.

SAAL Photobook Paper Quality

When I went through each page, I was very impressed with the paper and print quality. I have not found this type of high-end print quality and what feels like heavy grade photographic paper, with a similar type of products currently on the market. Because Saal’s products are slightly more expensive, I would rather pay for a higher quality product than pay for a cheaply finished product.

The option to add text to some photo’s still a major advantage for this photo book. Overall I am very happy with the finished product.

Saal Digital has managed to produce a high-quality product, for which would normally cost a lot more than I would have expected for the price.

For £40 pounds, you could argue this is a little on the expensive side, but the finish and quality exceeding expectations and I was rather happy with the price tag. Truth be told, I was given a £40 voucher towards the book and I just had to pay a small amount towards postage.

SAAL Photobook Printing Options

I was very happy with the end product and I will be happy to use them in the very near future. If I ever wanted to try or choose wedding photography, I will be happy to use their wedding albums too. Rather than just take my words for this review, I would ask you to go and use their services, you will be amazed by the finished product.

This is a great product to store your family memories or send gifts to family members. Saal sends your photo books, postcards, photo prints, wall decorations, posters, or photo plaques by DHL Tracked.

Please like and leave your comments below.

John M

NB. Disclosure: I was given this product in exchange for a review.

Quick and Easy Cookie Monster Donuts

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These Easy Cookie Monster Donuts are very easy to make. An easy doughnut recipe something which the kids will enjoy making.

We really love doughnuts within our family and this recipe went down like a treat.

The Cookie monster gets up to some crazy antics and who doesn’t love the lovable Cookie Monster.

This easy doughnut recipe for 15 doughnuts you can customise your own doughnut recipe to suit your families needs.

Cookie Monster Donuts Finished 2
Cookie Monster Donuts Finished 2

The great thing about this Cookie Monster doughnut maker recipe is that the Cookie Monster is very child-friendly and although this would also be an ideal Halloween activity; it would also be a great treat for any child’s birthday party.

Cookie Monster Doughnut Ingredients:

Doughnut ingredients: Makes 15 doughnuts

1 Cup Flour

1/3 Cup Sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp unsalted sweet cream butter, melted

1 large egg

1/3 C + 1 1/2 tbsp whole milk

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 C crushed Oreos

Cookie Monster Doughnut Directions :

Preheat your oven to 350 degree’s and spray a doughnut baking pan with a Pam baking spray

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt

Cookie Monster Donuts Recipe Donut Tray

In a small bowl, whisk together egg, milk, butter, and vanilla extract

Combine the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients and mix until well combined

Mix in the crushed Oreos

Spoon batter into doughnut pan and bake for 10 minutes

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 6 minutes before removing and placing the doughnuts onto a wire rack

Repeat steps until all batter are used

Cookie Monster Vanilla doughnut icing ingredients:

4 Cup powdered sugar

1 Table Spoon clear corn syrup

1/2 C whole milk

1 Teaspoon clear vanilla extract

Blue gel food colouring

ookie Monster Donuts Finished Finishing Touches Portrait

Decorating ingredients:

1 Cup crushed Oreos

1 Container of large edible eyes

Cookie Monster Doughnut Icing Directions:

Using a standing mixer, combine the powdered sugar, corn syrup, milk and vanilla extract and mix on medium to high speed until smooth and thick

Mix in a few drops of blue gel food colouring

Cookie Monster Donuts Finished Finishing Touches Portrait

Decorating directions:

Place the doughnuts onto a wire rack placed on top of a larger cookie sheet

Pour the glaze over the doughnuts

Allow doughnuts to sit for 5 minutes

Sprinkle crushed Oreos onto the bottom right side of the doughnut

Place 2 eyes on the top centre of the doughnuts

Allow doughnuts to completely dry before enjoying!

Pin Me Cookie Monster Donut Treats

Pin-Me-Cookie-Monster-Donut-Treats
Pin-Me-Cookie-Monster-Donut-Treats

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Halloween Party Food For Adults

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Halloween is just fast approaching and who said that Halloween just has to be for the kids?

I have an ideal Halloween party food for adults recipe which will get the whole family involved and make this activity rather ghoulish for this year’s Halloween party.

Halloween Party Food For Adults - Marshmallow Finished cupcakes
Halloween Party Food For Adults – Marshmallow Finished cupcakes

*This post does contain Amazon Affiliate Links

Halloween Party Food For Adults Ingredients:

1 box of chocolate cake mix, any brand + box ingredients
vanilla frosting
24 large marshmallows
Wilton black icing w/ round tip
black cupcake liners

Directions: 

Halloween Party Food For Adults - Icing the cupcakes
Halloween Party Food For Adults – Icing the cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line (2) 12 count muffin tins with cupcake liners.

Prepare the cupcake batter according to package directions.

Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes. Around 18 minutes insert a toothpick into a cupcake and if it comes out clean they are done.

Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let cool completely.

Once the cupcakes are cool, spread a little bit of frosting on the bottom of a marshmallow and place it on top of the cupcake. Repeat this step with all the cupcakes.

Halloween Party Food For Adults - Adding the eyes
Adding the eyes

Once the cupcakes have cooled down sufficiently, it will be safe to add the eyes and complete the finishing touches. Store and in a cool baking tin or cupcake holder with a lid, as to stop little fingers from spoiling your hard work.

Finishing Touches

Scoop the vanilla frosting into a microwave safe glass dish and heat for about 10 seconds. Remove from the microwave and stir.

Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of the melted vanilla frosting over the top of each marshmallow sitting on top of the cupcakes. Let is cover all sides. Repeat with all the cupcakes.

Let the cupcakes set a few minutes and then use the black icing to give each ghost (2) eyes and a mouth.

Halloween Party Food For Adults - Finishing touches Closeups
Finishing touches Closeups

Now you hard work has resulted in 24 cupcakes, these should be the talk of the party and devilishly ghoulish enough for any Halloween Party. You may wish to experiment with different colours for your ghoulish taste buds. Adding some food colouring could also make these cupcakes appealing to all ages.

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe and Cooking times 

Recipe for the cupcakes: (Makes 24 Cupcakes)

  • 60g good quality (70%) cocoa powder.
  • 4 or 5 tablespoons boiling hot water.
  • 175g unsalted butter, softened.
  • 175g caster sugar.
  • 120g self-raising flour.
  • 1 level teaspoon baking powder.
  • 3 eggs.

For the Buttercream Icing:

  • 100g dark chocolate, melted
  • 60g butter, softened
  • 250g icing sugar
  • Chocolate sprinkles, for decorating

Preparation and Cooking Times: Prep:20 min > Cook:10 min > Ready in: 30 min | Recipe from BBC Food

A suitable clean works surface will be required so you can complete the icing stages.

Please Like and Comment Below.

John M

Pin Me Halloween Party Food For Adults

Pin Me Halloween cupcakes For Adults
Pin Me Halloween cupcakes For Adults

 

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5 Kids Activities in London

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5 Kids Activities in London

London attracts people of all ages, all over the world. There is always something to do on any given day. You could decide to go to an event, walk around the historic town, sit at a café, visit the library, explore a new area, and much more. Given the amount of activities, it is a favourite spot for families, and especially parents with kids. Here are 5 kids activities to do in London.

That being said, the kind of activities you participate in with a child would be different than alone. Here is a list of kid-friendly activities, whether you are passing through London or are a local.

Top plays and musicals for kids

Seeing plays in London is a classic choice and activity for the whole family. Is your child into adventure? Romance? Mystery? Comedy? There are many options to choose from, and you can easily find one to fit your family’s personality as a result of it.

Fantastic Photographic Trip Around London - 5 Kids Activities in London
Fantastic Photographic Trip Around London – 5 Kids Activities in London

Concerts

London has a bustling concert scene, and there are many venue options available. You and your family could spend a fun evening dancing the night away and singing along to your favourite songs together. There are both large and small venues available, all of which have a captivating atmosphere that is sure to put a smile on your faces.

Bucket-List Activities

Sightseeing and tours is a must, and many options are kid friendly. In fact, London hosts annual events that are dedicated to kids, with one event being hosted each month. Examples include Pancake Day Races in February, Easter celebrations in April, the Notting Hill Carnival Children’s Day in August, and much more. Even the Museum of London Docklands has a play area for kids under the age of 12. Make a list of your bucket-list items and remember to give yourself time to enjoy it. Don’t be in a rush!

Fantastic Photographic Trip Around London - 5 Kids Activities in London
Fantastic Photographic Trip Around London – 5 Kids Activities in London

Finding Local Favourite Locations

In addition to sightseeing, you could do some research into what locals are doing with their kids. You may find that even the simplest activity, one that comes at no cost, will be fun for the whole family. This could include visiting some parks and simply walking around. If you are a tourist or new to the city, it is worth asking someone who has kids what type of activities they most enjoy.

Fantastic Photographic Trip Around London - 5 Kids Activities in London -
Fantastic Photographic Trip Around London – 5 Kids Activities in London

A Pop Culture Guide

London is a haven for pop culture, and is sure to delight not just kids, but the whole family. The most notable could be considered the Harry Potter attractions, such as Platform 9 ¾, or even visiting locations that inspired J.K Rowling to write the world of Harry Potter. You could even go on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour to see costumes and props used in the films. There’s a Doctor Who, Who Shop museum, a Beatles Store, James Bond Walking Tour, and more.

If one thing is for sure, it’s that you will never be bored in London. It’s a bustling city filled with events and history, making it easy for everyone to find something they personally enjoy. Kids, especially, will love being in a city where they have a lot of activity options. It is a great opportunity for them to learn some of the city’s history along the way, and create memories that will stay with them for a long time.

John M

Portrait Project With My Daughter

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Portrait Project With My Daughter

Recently I was asked to do a photoshoot for a close friend. More and more people have been asking to see more of my photography and I didn’t have any real place to display them, until now. I have now realised that I do have a talent for photographing people. Although I would be modest and I say I am still in the developmental stages of my portrait photography.

Portrait Project With My Daughter - Pose 1
Portrait Project With My Daughter – Pose 1

Sylvia has modelled for me many times. I have been asking her to do some poses and rather than giving me a false smile, I have been asking to close her mouth and make her portraits more natural. So every so often I am, I am going to be doing a Portrait Project probably once a month as a trial run, which may depend upon the work and who is willing to let me take their photograph. So here is my ‘Portrait Project With My Daughter‘ for the month of February 2018.

Shadows

The only issue I have with this particular portrait is the shadow on her left eye. It doesn’t spoil the photo but getting your lighting correct can take a few composure just to position your flashes/strobing lighting. My settings for this photo were: ISO 200 | Shutter Speed: 1/200’s | Focal Length: 62mm | Aperture: ƒ/7.1.

Portrait Project With My Daughter - Pose 2
Portrait Project With My Daughter – Pose 2

This time I moved my flash with a white umbrella to an elevated 45 down angle on Sylvia. This means the shadows are downward on her. If you look closely, she has a mild shadow of her chin, covering her neck and throat area. My settings for this photo were: ISO 200 | Shutter Speed: 1/200’s | Focal Length: 62mm | Aperture: ƒ/7.1

Portrait Project With My Daughter - Pose 3
Portrait Project With My Daughter – Pose 3

Again the I raised my lighting stand to give my downward shadows, but lighting up more of Sylvia’s face. She learning more about the looks and postures I need for each portrait. My settings for this photo were: ISO 200 | Shutter Speed: 1/250’s | Focal Length: 70mm | Aperture: ƒ/8

Rembrandt and Lighting

Portrait Project With My Daughter - Rembramdt Lighting
Portrait Project With My Daughter – Rembrandt Lighting

Now I don’t have a proper strobe light YET! So I have to use what I have. I currently have two Neewer TTL 1/8000’s Speed lights with light stands and one large Soft-box diffuser as means of diffusing the light as it leaves the light source.

Ever heard of Rembrandt the painter? Well is known for his paintings and the mini-triangle on the side of the nose. Here is a Rembrandt type of shot as the light comes across Sylvia’s face and makes a small triangle of shade as the light bounces off her face. My settings for this photo were: ISO 200 | Shutter Speed: 1/250’s | Focal Length: 70mm | Aperture: ƒ/8

Portrait Project With My Daughter - Face Forward
Portrait Project With My Daughter – Face Forward

More evenly light across the whole of her face. I had a second flash just giving me enough light, as to not to over power this shot. This time, she is smiling and this is a great photograph. My settings for this photo were: ISO 200 | Shutter Speed: 1/250’s | Focal Length: 66mm | Aperture: ƒ/8

Please Like and Comment Below

John M

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