Five Favourite Friday - Disney Pixar Films

With it being Tim's turn to pick the topic, this was the last thing I thought he would suggest! But I am super excited that he did! I love all things Disney so I am really in my element this week!

So here goes, my top 5 Disney Pixar films:

5. A Bug's Life (1998). This was the first film I ever saw at the cinema. Me and my mum went when Cineworld in Shrewsbury first opened. So this film had to be in my list.

4. Up (2009). I think this would be in everyone's list of Disney Pixar films. It's such a good film. It's got comedy, romance, heartbreak, talking dogs, old men fighting - why wouldn't you love this film!

3. Monsters Inc. (2001). I really couldn't decide between Monsters Inc. and Monsters University. I went for this one because of 2 characters - the Yeti (Abominable Snowman) and Boo. Boo really tipped it for this one because how can a cartoon be so damn cute???!

2. Cars 2 (2011). So, I've already been told I'm wrong by Tim and that Cars 1 is better, but this my list and I genuinely prefer Cars 2. I think that Cars 2 really focuses on the relationship between Lightning McQueen and Mater. And of course, not forgetting Michael Caine! He's awesome, even in animation films!

1. Inside Out (2015). Yes, alright. I know I know!! But I really do love this film! I love how relatable it is. How it helps us adults understand how our children's minds work. It's so cleverly done and the characters are all so loveable! And how much did you cry when Bing Bong disappeared? Be honest now...

So that's my top 5! To see Tim's choices, head on over to Broken Thoughts now!

I would love to hear what your top 5 would be! Let me know in the comments.

Guest Post: There's No Place Like Hull

Didn’t it get voted as the “Crappiest Town in the UK” years ago? Yes… but it’s also been voted as the Top 10 Cities to Live in the World (THE WORLD PEOPLE!) – and did you also know it’s the City of Culture 2017?

I’m a fully fledged Hullian – born and raised in Hull and it always have a place in my heart. When people ask me where I’m from, I’m proud to talk about my hometown. Yes… even with the orange barriers (which FYI – sorry UK for the national shortage of them!)

So what’s so great about Hull? Here’s my top 10 reasons.

  1. We don’t have red telephone boxes… we have cream ones!

  2. Pattie and chips please!!
  3. We have penguins and a lot of fishes at The Deep
  4. William Wilberforce, Amy Johnson, The Beautiful South, Spiders from Mars, The Bumble Bee Lady – if you haven’t heard of them, then I suggest you google them now… NOW!
  5. Chip Spice – enough said.
  6. Errrr Neeeerrrrh!
  7. We’ve got the Humber Bridge
  8. Come on let’s ride!! We have Hull Fair
  9. We like culture so much, we’ll happily get naked and paint ourselves blue!
  10. We’re having a party and you’re invited!

Hull is my home, and I’m proud of my roots!



Five Favourite Friday - iOS Apps

It's Five Favourite Friday time and my turn this week to choose the topic. I've opted for iOS Apps, purely because I thinks it's something people are interested in at the moment in this digital age.

So here goes nothing - my top 5 iOS Apps:

5. Instagram/Snapchat. I couldn't choose between the two for fifth place. I use them both so much and I love each one as much as the other. I love Instagram for sharing photos of my baby boy as well as blog content and I love Snapchat as the filters are amazing and it really is helping build my confidence. Follow me on Insta here and find me on Snapchat using the username nikkicossie or with the snapcode below.

4. Vouchercloud. If an app is going to save me some money then it instantly earns a place in my top 5! I love Vouchercloud as it has so many codes for so many different places. From restaurants to clothes stores, it's helped me save money almost everywhere I go!
3. Freeprints. On the subject of saving money, I've found that although we are in a world of digital images, printing photos can still be very expensive. Freeprints gives you 40 free prints every month, all you have to do is pay for the postage! And if you sign up using my invite code 'ncossie2' you can get 5 extra free prints per month!

2. Camera. Probably my most used app. I take so many photos of my baby boy. And since the latest iOS update, it has made it even easier to take photos straight from the lock screen.
1. Calm. Top of my list is Calm. This really helps keep my anxiety under control. I have the book to go with the app, and it's also one of my favourite books. I wrote a post about the book, which you can read here.

Honourable mentions - Here are some apps that I love and use quite frequently but didn't quite make it into my top 5:
  • Health
  • 50 Things To Do Before You're 11 3/4
  • Pause
  • Milestones (an app from one of my fave bloggers - FatMumSlim)
  • Etsy
  • Pokémon Go
Don't forget, my partner does the same lists each week too! Check out his Top 5 over at Broken Thoughts!
Do you agree with my list? What would be in your list of top 5 iOS Apps?

Guest post: Belfast, where I grew up

My name is Lauren aka Lauren Catherine over on my blog. I'm from Belfast and no I haven't met anyone from Game of Thrones. 

Don't worry I am as disappointed as you are.

The best I can give you is a picture of Titanic studios, I think they film some of the show there. The brown building and the yellow and grey building way far in the background is all part of the studio.

The capital of Northern Ireland. If you have heard anything about Belfast it more than likely in conversation of sectarian violence, Game of Thrones or the Titanic. So I want to talk about anything other than that. No matter how much I love Game of Thrones.

Belfast, where to begin. Right, so, Game of Thrones. I'm joking I'm joking! I'll stop. Personally, I come from a working class area, it'd be a bit weird to say exactly where would't it? Even though I do want  to travel and see the world I will always have a soft spot for Belfast. It's home.

Going a walk around my area I will always have wee memories from school, friends or just growing up in general. It's not the biggest city in the world but it has come a long way from all of the troubles, which is a whole other conversation in its self so I'll not get into that today.

Don't get me wrong there is still room to grow, but like everywhere Belfast will forever grow and evolve. I'm proud of Belfast and how far it's came from it's past and with more and more people coming to visit us. I think the rest of the world is starting to see that.

And yes, this is a big fish. There's that.

Where can you find me?

Five Favourite Friday - Cover Songs

This week was Tim's turn to choose the topic. He went for cover songs. I really love this topic. There are so many cover songs that I love and I couldn't wait to write my post. I know that there is going to be huge differences of opinion between us this week.

So here are my top 5 cover songs:

5. Wagon Wheel - Darius Rucker. Originally by Old Crow Medicine Show, released in February 2004, this song has actually been covered quite a bit. But this version is my favourite.

4. Only You - The Flying Pickets. This was originally by Yazoo and was released in March 1982. The Flying Pickets version is so good. If you haven't heard it, listen to it. Do it. Do it now!

3. Whiskey in the Jar - Metallica. Thin Lizzy did this one back in 1972. However, they are not where the song originated. The song is actually a traditional Irish song about a Highwayman who is betrayed by his lover/wife. I actually didn't know this until doing my research for this post!

2. Working Class Hero - Green Day. A cover of a John Lennon song, originally released in 1971. Another that you should listen to now if you haven't already heard it. Such a beautiful song wonderfully covered. Kudos Green Day, kudos.

1. Iko Iko - Sia, Jimmy Fallon, Natalie Portman & The Roots. I was going to have Cindy Lauper as the artist for this one but then I remembered when Sia did the song with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show. It is incredible! Here's the video if you haven't seen it already.

Special Mention
Normally I would do a list of honourable mentions but in this post I need to do a special mention. This is a song which I really wanted to include in the top 5 and deserved to be there. But I had no idea where to put it. It's such an amazing song, originally by Nine Inch Nails. Hurt was redone by Johnny Cash and is one of the best cover songs ever produced. Cash recorded the song in 2002 and then in 2003 he recorded the video for it. He was of poor health at the time and it shows in the video. Seven months after shooting the video, Cash sadly passed away. My special mention in this post is my tribute to the legend that is, Johnny Cash.

Finally, here is a list of songs that almost made into my top 5:

  • Cups - Anna Kendrick
  • Twist and Shout - Chaka Demus & Pliers
  • I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston
  • Beyond The Sea - Robbie Williams
  • Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World - Israel Kamakawiwoʻole
What are your favourite cover songs? Let me know in the comments!

"Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become." - Mufasa (The Lion King)

Farewell Curves and Contour

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Welcome to my redesigned blog, Just Around The Riverbend! I've been so excited about making these changes and the time has finally come!

I've been wanting to make some changes for a while now as Curves and Contour was a name for when both me and my sister were supposed to be blogging. When it ended up being just me I knew I needed to make a bit of a change - and here we are.

I want to say a HUGE thank you to the lovely Jemma over at Dorkface who designed my drop dead gorgeous header - you put up with me when I felt I was being rather annoying and picky! But it's paid off and the header looks simply stunning.

Let me know what you think of the new design and any suggestions you may have. Over the next week I'll be starting a new series of posts on different place in the world where you guys live. If you fancy writing a post for me, drop me an email at

"What I love most about rivers is you can't step in the same river twice. The water's always changing, always flowing" ~ Pocahontas (1995)

CBT & Me

Recently I was referred by my GP to Shropshire Psychological Services. I had a couple of phone calls with someone who asked me to do a questionnaire to determine my score for depression and anxiety. I scored severe for both, being in the top bracket for the anxiety. I had another diagnosis for postpartum depression (anxiety comes under this in the UK, whereas the US have postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety). It was at this point I was referred to a therapist to try Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). 

Friday last week I had my first appointment with a therapist named Rebecca. She's a mum of 2 herself so I felt like she understood how I was feeling. The first appointment was a talking one. Talking about me, when I most feel anxious and my past (jobs, school etc) amongst other things. 

I didn't think I would open up as much as I did! I really surprised myself. It was while I was talking about everything that I had been through in school, in the various jobs I've had as well as other aspects of my life that Rebecca mentioned that it looks like everything started way back in school. I don't feel like I had many friends. Or maybe I did but I just didn't think that anyone could truly like me. On top of that I then had a really rough first job, straight out of school. 

I'm feeling cautiously optimistic about CBT and what it can do for me. I have another appointment on Friday and will likely be having weekly appointments for some time. I'd like to try and post about how things are going each week, about my progress as well as an insight to what actually goes on during a CBT session as its not like counselling. I'd also really like to try and change the stigma surrounding mental health, I sometimes think people feel like it's a sign of weakness when they feel they have to be strong.

Five Favourite Friday - Nostalgic Kids TV Shows

This week was my turn to pick a topic for our Five Favourite Friday. I have to admit that I got completely stumped trying to come up with something! I eventually settled for TV Shows that we remember watching when we were kids. I soon regretted this decision as, for me at least, there are sooo many to choose from! I've managed to whittle it down to my five favourites but there are quite a few honourable mentions!

So, here we are my top 5 kids TV shows from my childhood:

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5. The Queens Nose. I used to absolutely love this show, I was always amazed how they managed to turn 1 book into 7 seasons! I love the book too and I actually read the book before watching the show. This was a British TV series, originally a novel by Dick King-Smith, which follows Harmony Parker who acquires a magical 50 pence piece from her Uncle.

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4. The Worst Witch. You might start to see a theme as the majority of my top 5 have magic in them! This is about Mildred Hubble who attends a school for witches, only she's not very good at being a witch! This was also a series of books before it was a TV show. The book were written by Jill Murphy.

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3. Zzzap! This was very bizarre, the show always started off with a giant comic magazine with various images and each time the camera would zoom into one of the images and that days episode would be with that character. Each character had a different niche. For example, there was Daisy Dares You. In this, Daisy (a bit like a female Dennis the Menace if you ask me) would dare children to do various things, like jump across a series of platforms over a pool of custard or something - inevitably they would fall in. But if they didn't they would get to shove a pie in Daisy's face!

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 2. Sabrina the Teenage Witch. My final magical show. I loved Sabrina, I always wanted to be her and would always run around the house pointing my finger and pretending to be magic. It's because of this show that I always wanted a black cat of my own - and eventually got a black cat of my own!

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1. The Crystal Maze. Oh my gosh, if you have never seen this before I urge you to look up episodes of this on YouTube! The host, (originally Richard O'Brien) would take a team of 6 contestants around a maze with various different sectors to complete challenges to collect crystals. If a challenge wasn't completed within a certain time the contestant would remain in that room and be out of the game. The remaining contestants at the end would have their crystals counted to determine the amount of time they would spend in the dome. In the dome, air blows silver and gold tickets around. The goal was to collect 100 gold tickets to win. Each silver ticket collected would cancel out a gold ticket. If you won, you got an expenses paid adventure day. Each contestant also received a small crystal to say they had conquered the Crystal Maze.

I have so many honourable mentions for this topic, I will try to keep this list as short as possible but it's just too difficult!

Honourable Mentions:
  • Chucklevision
  • How 2
  • Art Attack
  • The Story of Tracy Beaker
  • My Parents Are Aliens
  • Dexter's Laboratory
  • Johnny Bravo
  • The Powerpuff Girls
  • Fun House
  • Playdays
  • Pokémon
  • Superted
  • Goosebumps
  • Madeline
This list could go on and on! I had so my TV shows as I was growing up that I just loved, and seeing them or hearing the theme song brings back some really good memories.

My partner over at Broken Thoughts has listed his top 5 shows too so go check his post out here!

What would be on your top 5? Do you disagree with any of mine?

"The seaweed is always greener in somebody else’s lake" Sebastian, The Little Mermaid

What's Inside - September Birchbox

I've started really looking forward to receiving my monthly Birchbox so I was super excited when I received my little pink box for this month!

Each month I am going to be doing a post on what I've received and then another at the end of the month on what I think of the products after I have had chance to use them all. 

So, without further or do, here is what I received in my September Birchbox:

  • Full Size - ModelCo Crème Rouge or Highlighting Trio. I selected the 'Surprise Me!' option when choosing which one I would prefer this month and I received the Highlighting Trio in Champagne, Peach Bellini & Bronze
  • amika Bombshell Blowout Spray - This is a spray which can be used before blowdrying and styling or on dry hair. It's designed to strengthen hair as well as repair damage
  • Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer & Brightener - Exactly what it says on the tin, a primer to help make up last longer and help putting make up on a breeze!
  • NUXE Prodigieux Shower Oil - Another one which needs no explanation. And it smells incredible!
  • STARSKIN Eye Catcher - These are eye masks for the under eye area. Designed to help puffy, tired eyes
I'm really looking forward to giving these a go! I'll post again at the end of September on what I thought of the products!

If you fancy getting yourself a Birchbox, along with £5 of Birchbox points to spend on their online shop and a stunning bracelet worth £15, all you have to do is click right here!

"Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age and dreams are forever" ~ Walt Disney

Back to Work!

It's everywhere right now. You can't avoid it. Whether you're a parent yourself or just know someone who is, then you'll know that the kids are back at school this week! Parents up and down the UK are jumping for joy as they get some free time again. I get it. 6 weeks is a long time to keep children occupied and happy, especially when everything seems to cost so much money. 

I'm not yet at this stage as my son is only 17 months. I do however work for an after school club, so for me it's a back to work thing. Back to reality and I feel a little sad that I won't get to spend as much time with my son as I have been. On the other hand, I know that it'll do us both some good to get back into a routine. I think he's really needed that and me and my partner haven't been as good at keeping to it as we could have been. 

Do you have children back at school this week? Or even children starting school for the first time? How do you feel about it all? 

Five Favourites Friday ~ Video Games

I have to give 100% of the credit for Five Favourites Friday to my wonderful other half and his new blog. He decided he was going to do a post every Friday containing five of his favourite things. He then urged me to do the same on my blog! With the idea in mind that in the future we could collaborate on our Friday posts, I agreed. And so begins Five Favourite Fridays!

This week, our first week, we are beginning with Video Games. So without further or do, here are my top five Video games:

5. Rollercoaster Tycoon. I love the sandbox games where you can really let the creativity flow. And in this game you really can go crazy. No matter how many different sandbox games are released, this is one I will always come back and play for hours on end - it's just too addictive!

4. Terraria. Another sandbox game. I like Terraria because it really makes you think about what you're making as it's all in 2D. Also, there are loads more mobs and bosses as well as different things to craft compared to other sandbox games such as Minecraft.

3. Gears of War. First or third person shooter where you fight against the Locust who are trying to take over earth. I prefer this to other first person shooters such as Call of Duty as I feel the controls are a bit smoother and I love the storyline.

2. Pokémon Go. Yes yes I know, you're probably sick of hearing about Pokémon Go and are probably wondering when the hype is going to die down. I'm not sure that it will. I think it has been really good for a lot of people. It's helped get people out of the house, get people moving - did you hear about that one guy that lost something like 30kg just playing Pokémon Go? Whether you love it or hate it, I feel it's been a really good game in helping people overcome fears, lose weight, get fitter and simply get out of the house and away from those TV screens.

1. Plants vs Zombies. I was playing this game before it became popular. I love how addictive this game is. Once I start playing I can be on it for hours! I love the Chompers and the Gatling Pea Shooters! And who doesn't love Crazy Dave?

I'd like to make a few honourable mentions:
  • Minecraft - I love Minecraft, I simply prefer Terraria for the extra mobs and bosses, the wider variety in items you can craft and the ores you can mine
  • Disney Infinity & Lego Dimensions - I really love these games and they would have been in my top 5 if it were easier to change the characters over. I found there was a lot of up and down putting characters on the board
  • Mario Kart. I love this game but after playing it soooo many times, the maps have gotten a bit boring. And it seems the big wigs at Nintendo have no intentions on releasing more maps for the Wii
So there you have my top 5 video games. Are there any you disagree with? What would be on your list?

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." -- Walt Disney