Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Lately I've Been

Celebrating my birthday! Feels weird to say I'm 22.

Listening to Bastille. Reading The Great Gatsby. Organising my wardrobe.

Visiting Hogwarts! I loved the Warner Bros Studio Tour a LOT a posted about it here.

Loving my Graze boxes (free box with code VX2XZC3)

Flower arranging. Ash bought me gorgeous red roses for Valentines, and these tulips and hyacinths.

Saving. Avoiding the gym in favour of cocktails. 

Getting tattooed (#14). Dressing for the Valentines.

And finally, wanderlusting  I love to day dream about sunny holidays, visiting famous cities and just getting away. So much so that we've booked a weekend in Dublin in June with my parents. Any Dublin tips for me?

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Turning Twenty Two

I turned 22 this week! I had a fun birthday and was very spoilt :) X

Monday, 18 February 2013

Warner Bros Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter

I'll start this post with a confession: I've only read the first two Harry Potter books. When the Philosopher's Stone blew up the entire country (and eventually the world) in 1997 I was more in to Jacqueline Wilson stories. However, I've really enjoyed all of the movies and when my Aunty was stuck for Christmas present ideas for Ash and myself I was glad I thought to recommend gift tickets for the studio tour. We'd both booked a few days off to celebrate my birthday and redeemed our tickets for today! (If you haven't been to the tour or don't want to see too much, click off now! This is a very photo-heavy post.)

We drove for two and a half hours to Levesden Studios. From when you drive in to the car park you can sense the magic inside - there's huge posters of the films and chess pieces from the wizards chess in the first movie right outside the front door.

The Cupboard Under The Stairs
The tour begins inside a cinema with a short film about the series, presented by Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson. The screen lifts up, and behind it is the entrance to the Great Hall. I definitely got goosebumps. We walked through the doors where Quirrel ran through, shouting "there's a troll in the dungeon!" That's pretty cool!

Hufflepuff Robes
Gryffindor Robes
After a few minutes in the Great Hall, snapping away at the house robes and teachers costumes, we made our way into the studio. It's breathtaking how close together a lot of the scenes were shot. Gryffindor's common room is round the corner from Hagrid's Hut, which next to the Potions Classroom and opposite the Weasley's Burrow. It's almost hard to believe. Next to each set was a TV screen, showing the scenes from the films in which those sets were used and sharing some facts and information. I learnt a lot today.


As well as the sets, there were a lot of props which had been moved for display inside the studio, like the door to the Chamber of Secrets, the ice sculptures from the Yule Ball, the Sword of Griffindor and the Philosophers Stone. It was really fascinating seeing it all in the flesh, like a museum. There were even real life Deatheaters.

The visual effects and special effects section was just as fascinating as the sets. So much of the movie was perfectly computer generated and I had no idea. For example, Harry walking in the snow in the grounds of Hogwarts was actually Daniel on a treadmill infront of a green screen. That's proof of how magic the movies really are. I didn't even realise that Hagrid wasn't Robbie Coltrane all the time - it was actually his double, ex-England rugby player Martin Bayfield, who wore a robotic mask of Robbie's face as Hagrid. The producers had decided Coltrane wasn't quite tall enough for the full length shots - after all Hagrid is a half-giant - and that 6ft 10 Bayfield was a better suit. Well, it fooled me!

The outside part of the tour was awesome too! We got ourselves a couple of Butterbeers (wouldn't recommend - tastes like creamy but fizzy coloured soda water, with sugar.. it's weird!) and wandered around the props. There was Tom Riddle's grave, 4 Privet Drive, the Knight Bus, the Weasley's Ford Anglia, several more chess pieces and my favourite, the Hogwarts Bridge.




The next bit of the tour was hilariously narrated by Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick/Gringott's bank teller/Griphook) on big screens in each room. These rooms shared the secrets of the animatronics and  prosthetics. It was bizarre seeing Nearly Headless Nick's head, goblin masks, Fawkes and Dobby. The ones that really blew me away were the scale models of Harry, Dumbledore and other key cast members which were used in physically challenging scenes.

A mandrake 

If you check out my Vine (username: Rosie Wollacott), there's a video of the animatronic Hedwig, the Monster Book of Monsters and a mandrake.

Up next were the creatures. On a flipside to earlier, it's incredible to think Buckbeak wasn't completely computer generated. They made a real, working robot for Buckbeak's easier scenes and then just smoothed it out in post-production.
the Basilisk
Next, we walked down Diagon Alley! Although a platform floor was above the original (I assume to protect it) it still felt real. And as it's Wand Week at the Studio Tour, Ollivander's costume was on display for the first time.


The final part of the tour was just breathtaking. The science behind it was revealed, with architects drawings plastered on the walls and white card models of the sets behind glass. Obviously, we all know Hogwarts isn't real, but watching the films, you just don't question it. We walked into a massive room and before us was, there she was... the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. (Well, a 1:24 scale model.) I definitely gasped.

The model took 40 days to construct for the first film. Here's a video from the WB Studio Tour Youtube showing the building of the model.

And, as always, we exited through the gift shop. I would have loved a Gryffindor scarf (£24.95) or some Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans (£8.95) but the prices were so steep. Possibly the only negative of the day.

All in all, the Studio Tour was an amazing day out and a complete eye opener into the behind the scenes of the Harry Potter franchise. It took my breath away several times and made me appreciate the magic in a whole new way.

For more information or tickets, visit

All photos taken on a Canon Ixus 95 IS by myself or Ash.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Smells Like Twenties Spirit

As I mentioned in my "25 Things About Me" post, I like to link my perfumes to specific times, holidays, or months. Then the next time I spritz my skin my memories are revived. (This is biologically proven, not just something I've made up!) These scents are ones I'm using at the moment.

Marc Jacobs' "Dot"
My parents bought me this for Christmas last year. Hopefully, somewhere down the line, it'll remind me of the happiest January I've had for years! I've always liked Marc Jacob's perfumes, they sit on my skin for hours and always smell so fresh. Dot is very sweet and fruity.

Katy Perry "Purr"
A cheaper perfume which I doused myself in on our first big holiday abroad, to Egypt, in April 2011. We went all out to a 5 star resort in Sharm el Sheikh. It was amazing! I rebought Purr not too long ago as I loved how 'everyday' it is, and wear it to work most of the time. It will always remind me of 30 degree heat and rum cocktails overlooking the Red Sea.

Miss Dior
I'd like to think this is my signature. It's gorgeous. I was given this perfume in Christmas 2011 but I didn't use it until our trip to Paris last February. It'll always bring back memories of the city, of my charm bracelet from Ash, of walking along the Seine and going to the Eiffel Tower at midnight. It's just getting to the end of the bottle, and I am dying for another.

And these are some old favourites;

Marc Jacobs' "Daisy"
I got this perfume for the Christmas during my last year of school, at sixth form. Although school doesn't hold many happy memories for me, Daisy always takes me back to revising for my English exams in the Spring sunshine on the school field, whilst the rest of the school was in class. It's beautifully light and fresh.

DKNY Red Delicious
This was the first perfume I was ever given when I was about 17. It takes me back to nights out sneakily drinking double vodka and oranges at the bar, house parties with friends and summer BBQs.

CK Shock for Her
I really love CK perfumes for Summer, and this one I took away for a week in Newquay to celebrate a friends 21st. The British weather came up trumps and we had a lovely few days in the sun.

What's your favourite perfumes? Do you have a signature? x

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Valentines Day

I'm not a huge lover of Valentines day for a few reasons. One, because I think I show Ash every day that I love him. Two, everything gets a bit more expensive if it's red or pink or has a heart on it, and it's impossible to go to the cinema or out for dinner for a few days. Three, because my birthday is just around the corner! I did get 12 gorgeous red roses, some beautiful tulips and some Crabbies ginger beer this morning though which made me smile. (Thank you Ash <3 )

Although last year was very romantic (see above, but bad dancing to Marvin Gaye) I'm looking forward to having a quiet Valentines night in with a good book or a movie and a couple glasses of rose.
Happy Valentines Day! What are your plans for today? X

PS. Did you see my Valentines Nails tutorial?

PPS. I've added a Bloglovin' button to the left bar if you would like to follow me :)