Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Alexandra McQueen: Savage Beauty

Last weekend, i went to the Alexandra McQueen exhibition at the V&A. As mentioned before, the V&A is my favourite museum because you can tell every item has been exclusively selected and the only museum i have been to that knows the set is just as important as the exhibit. These two factors were clearly presented in The Savage Beauty exhibition. The clothes were like no other designer i have ever seen. The work was so intricate and i felt like it was more of an art exhibition than a fashion exhibition. The clothes was suited to their shape and their desired subject. I didn't feel like i was walking through different generations of work. Unlike most designers, every piece of clothing looked futuristic and unfamiliar; like it was designed yesterday.

What i also found so captivating was the set, music and general atmosphere. I've never been to an exhibition that creates such a tense and concentrated atmosphere. There was rhythmic and slow music playing and the lighting was dark and serene. The set was the best part because of the differences between every room. There were slanted mirrors behind some so you could see behind the clothing, different levelling and spacing and films and strange cosmic boxes displaying the clothes. There were quotes on the walls written by Alexandra McQueen. My favourite was: "Fashion can be really racist, looking at the clothes of other cultures as costumes... That’s mundane and it’s old hat. Let’s break down some barriers." I would recommend this to everyone, even if you don't like fashion mainly because of the striking sets. It is an unmissable exhibition.

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Saturday, 2 May 2015

French Horses and Donkeys

When i went to France a few weeks ago, i spent a lot of time taking photos. These are some of the best ones of the donkeys and horses that lived at the side of a road near us. Everytime we took Noki on a walk, we met them. I really liked the colour of the fur on the donkeys so decided i wanted to paint one in watercolours. I painted the second photograph and i was quite pleased with both the photo and painting because i got the light on half the photo/painting and dark on the other. I really enjoyed going to see them everyday and seeing how the background and lighting changed the photo.

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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

My Bread Recipe

You Will Need (makes two loaves):
20g of dried yeast
30g sugar (or honey)
620ml tepid water
500g bread flour
500g semolina flour
25g salt (depends on preference)

1. Dissolve the yeast and sugar into half the tepid water by gently stirring it with a fork.
2. On a (very large) surface or bowl, mix the two flours and salt together and make a well in the centre.
3. Pour the dissolved yeast into the well but bit by bit (here is when it gets messy and the water starts to drip out in every direction if you don't do it gradually). Make circular motions with your hands to work the liquid into the flours. This should make a very moist dough.
4. Kneading is a lot of fun but make sure to do it thoroughly for five minutes -no more no less. Make sure your hands and the surface are constantly covered in flour.
5. Put the dough in a bowl with cling film on top and place it in a warm place with no draught (e.g a proving draw or above a warm oven). Leave for 40 minutes; until it has doubled in size.
6. Now you have to punch all the air from it. Just whack it a few times with your fist until all the excess air has disappeared. Now mould into your shape and leave to prove again for another 40 minutes. While the dough is proving, heat the oven to 225 degrees
7. Dust a baking tray with semolina flour and put the loaves of bread on it then into the oven for 25 minutes.
8. Smother your bread in homemade marmalade or dip it in balsamic and oliver oil.


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Noki's First Holiday

A week ago my family and i took a holiday to the South of France and since this was our first holiday while having a dog, we decided to take her with us. Noki did not enjoy the two day car journey but soon recovered when she saw the garden. Every day we went on a three hour dog walk and it was so enjoyable to go at different times like the evening or very early. Noki also got a lot of attention from all the people there and she met her first donkey, horse and sheep, which was quite amusing. Because she is still an unreliable puppy, we bought her a 45m lead that we attached to a tree so that she could run around all day. She relished the garden sprinkler and tried to bite the water sprouting out.

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Saturday, 18 April 2015

The Host Review

While on holiday, my family decided that we should watch a different type of film. So here is where we found a very strange, slightly political, Korean film called The Host. It addresses the problems of humans not caring about the environment and the incompetences of governments. What i found most interesting was that you almost did feel much sympathy for the main family because they were just as incompetent as everyone else!

At the start of the film, the Americans dump a load of chemicals into the South Korean sea and this creates a monster. This monster steals the daughter of a failed father and granddaughter and niece to the rest of the family members. The father, who is comically useless, is infected with a 'virus' from the monster. The government goes insane trying to cure him but he just wants to fight back and save his daughter. With his father, sister and brother he attempts to find his daughter but encounters a few problems along the way.

What i enjoyed most about the film was the humour that was brought with a strong message. I am a strong believer in being environmentally friendly and the reason that this monster was made was because of the pollution of the Korean sea. The monster is a bit of a metaphor because like pollution, it was caused by us and will kill us. The colouring of the film is dark and grey, which fits with the horror theme. Although i don't like horrors, i though this one was done well because there were tense moments but there was still a story to follow. The animations were really believable and i liked the idea of a shark with legs. It was interesting that you were not made to feel empathetic towards the characters despite their situation. They were all so different but just as useless as each other. The political message of the film was showing how incapable the government can be and how America has destroyed so much (chemicals in sea and strong reference to Agent Orange). Overall, this being the first South Korean film i have watched, i really enjoyed its 'Jaw' type ideas. I would recommend this to any one how wants to try something that isn't a hollywood film or doesn't like very scary horrors. But after watching this, you might not want to swim afterwards!

4 out of 5 stars


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Half Way Through Misfits Review

I am halfway through series three and am delighted with my choice of TV show. In series one and two, we follow the five main characters but hardly discover anything about their past. In the first series, there is an equal amount of storyline about their crime and their superpowers. I really enjoyed seeing what people have to do on community service and how useless it seams to be; they had to dance with old people and sort through rubbish. The characters slowly become more and more obscene. My favourite part of series one is in the last episode when Nathan makes a hilariously-accurate speech about how messed up our generation is and how different it is to all the others. The speech will make you realise that this is okay and it is supposed to happen. The acting becomes more believable as we find out more about the character's personalities.There is an abrupt departure of (spoiler alert) Nathan at the end of series two, which doesn't seam to affect the group much but I was annoyed because he was the hottest one and had the most outrageous humour. The best thing about Misfits is the unexpected twists in the story line that seam to occur all the time.

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Saturday, 11 April 2015

Half Way Book Review: Jane Eyre

We started reading Jane Eyre a few months ago in school and i am enjoying the historicalness and coming-of-age theme of the book so much that i wanted to review it. I am a little under half way through this book. The book starts with Jane in her cousin's house explaining her situation (orphan, lives with cousins, dead uncle). She also explains what was happening while she was explaining this: her heinous cousin John is abusing her and she gets no attention from her aunty. After being provoked by John she lashes out and after this is sent to the "Red Room" and then to Lowood Institution. Lowood Institution is a very religious and rigorous boarding school that people send their unwanted or poor children to. Subsequently, she stays there and miraculously survives. Jane (the narrator) then skips eight years to her being a teacher at Lowood who is advertising for a new job as a governess. When she gets accepted, she willingly leaves Lowood for a new job at Thornfield. Here is where she slowly becomes closer friends with her master despite their class difference.

The story is told from future Jane's memory and point of view. She describes things from so far from her past in great detail. The younger Jane is quite similar to the older Jane because they are both very confident and outspoken. Jane is constantly described as plain and i agree with this; she has a very basic personality towards other people but just like every young person, she over thinks and the reader gets to see this. Finally i have found a character that the narrater explains to be plain and not very beautiful and actually is how they describe; so many novels exaggerate characters but Jane is just plain! What i liked the most so far was the eight year gap for her time at Lowood. This shows that life at Lowood was repetitive and the same for eight years. When she explains the eight year gap, she addresses the reader and directly explains in a chatty manner why she left this gap. I like the sudden pauses in the story where Jane starts to talk to the reader. The character personalities are very clear and different and Adele is honestly the funniest French girl ever. I noticed that Jane is very much like Cassandra from I Capture The Castle; both keep themselves to themselves but can be quite confident.


Tuesday, 7 April 2015

New Music 2

This is the second post in my new music series; each week i try out some new music. This week it isn't hip hop like The Mouse Outfit but it is modern alternative jazz. This band from melbourne is called The Cat Empire. I know, what's up with me choosing bands that have animals in their name? I discovered them when i was looking at the line up for The Secret Garden Party. I only realised that the album i have been listening to was released in 2003 but i still love it. All the songs have jazz instrumental parts or repeating rhythms on saxophones, trumpets and trombones. I love the reggae style beats on some on the songs and the stories told in the singing. The heavy bass line and sudden changes in the music will make up want to dance. I can listen to their music while i do my homework because it is so upbeat. My favourite songs are Beanni and How To Explain. Beanni is a very jazz/big band song with a jazzy, happy feel to it. How to Explain has funny lyrics and the catchiest chorus ever with random synchronised sounds and a small raps.


Saturday, 4 April 2015

Lure Fish and Chips

Lure is a local fish and chip shop that we have been going to since it first opened last year. We have only eaten inside once but have taken food away on numerous occasions. It is a small-ish restaurant with very basic pinterest-worthy colour co-ordinated interior. It has little booths, which remind me of hip American diner. It also has rustic stools on the seats looking out onto the street. The waiters there are really polite and have complimented our dog Noki many times.

Fish and chips never entirely attracted me until this restaurant lured me in (oh the pun). The fresh-flavoured homemade-tasting fish makes up for their small take-away menu. Haddock is their main fish that is the exactly how you would imagine a crispy battered fish from the seaside. It comes with a small pot of homemade tartare sauce. I have also had their miso infused salmon and calamari, which is so crispy and full of flavours. The best thing in the whole shop is their side order of Fennel-Slaw. It is just a brown box of perfectness. It is basically coleslaw made out of fennel without the liquidness and creaminess of normal coleslaw. Overall, Lure is my favourite takeaway (along with the local Japanese) because it is tastes very homemade and full of British flavour like fish and chips should be.

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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Drawing Calendar: March

This post is the third edition to my 2015 drawing calendar. I explained everything January post. This month has been a busy month for school and i had to go to A&E for my bad foot. I had fun drawing this month because more exciting things happened each day. Sometimes, if i've been slacking on the drawing on the weekdays, i watch TV and fill in the gaps on the weekend.
-Noki's first training lesson
-Phone went in the dish washer
-Went to A&E
-Maths Test
-Painted my self portrait
-Got my maths test back
-First long dog walk in ages
-Made marmalade
-Bought a cauliflower
-Went to the globe theatre
-Last fitness P.E lesson
-Grade 4 saxophone exam
-History essay
-House party
-Slept for 5 hours
-Head hurts
-Irish face painting
-Running test in P.E
-Met a new friend (lol)
-Got my eyebrows done
-Worst party ever in the cold
-Got a cold
-Misfits Marathon
-Last food tech lesson
-Party at the bandstand
-Jazz concert
-Went to a french brasserie
-Brother came home
-Windiest day i've seen

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Saturday, 28 March 2015


I've been trying to take advantage of my hair growing by doing alternative hairstyles more frequently. I've wanted to try cornrows for a while but kept excusing it because i thought they would take too long. When i was ill at home the other day, i gave it a go because my hair was getting in my way and i was very bored. This is the best hairstyle for sports and fitness because it stops your hair from sticking to you or getting in the way. Also, it does not hurt when you do sit ups like it does with a ponytail. The way that i did this was quite simple, i divided my hair in two and held in to the side with a grip. Then i halved the other side again with a parting comb. I pinned the top half to the side and then did the french plait (taking hair from both the top and bottom). I took out the other half of that side and french plaited that and after that i did the same to the other two plaits. My hair stays in the direction that i plait it in so if i want the plaits to stay behind my shoulders then i have to plait it while it's behind my shoulders. I like wearing this hairstyle with really busy and bright clothes like this shirt that reminds me of South France.

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Tuesday, 24 March 2015


I went to Leeds on my own a few weeks ago to see my brother. We spent the weekend eating amazing food and chilling out. On the first day, we made t-shirts and i helped him make his pinterest-worthy cork board out of wine corks. On the second night we went to a theatre production at the uni, which i really enjoyed. We had no idea what to expect and it was a play about a witch-boy and his town not accepting him- a tragedy fairytale. The next day, i met some of his friends and we went to Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen for some foreign food (who has tried deep fried naan bread?). The last day was spent in a speed boat (which then broke down) and i was helped my brother coach his rowing team. After getting very cold on the boat, we then had a vegetarian burger. The best thing about being a veggie is that it makes me steer away from my impulse food choice; instead of a bacon and cheese burger, i had the halloumi burger and caramelised red peppers and onions with homemade mayo. This was the best burger i have ever had because it was so juicy and fresh; the fries were also very crude.

I have already been to Leeds many times with my parents, which is when we saw some of the historical and educational parts of Leeds. This time, i really enjoyed just chilling out with my brother and eating so much fresh and unique food. Leeds is a really good place to chill out and have a relaxed time; theatre, food and walks.

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Saturday, 21 March 2015

My First Impressions on Misfits

After finishing most of the TV shows i enjoy, i decided to start a new one and i was drawn towards Misfits because of its bizarrely un-mainstream story line. It starts off with the five main characters getting caught in a strange storm and gaining deranged super-powers. I have only got three episodes in and it is the strangest thing i have watched. I did not expect to like it but from the first few minutes, i started to enjoy the mystery and farce. 

I liked the idea that five people, who have all done something wrong, are suddenly put together and connected by one storm. They are all doing community service and you gradually find out what each others crime was. Within the first three episodes, i can already tell how different each character is and how funny and sad each of their backgrounds are. Them gaining superpowers is such a good idea because they are not very special and then they suddenly get something that no on else has. I also really liked the use of filters for the cinematography. Everything is quite black and white (except their orange jumpsuits) before the storm then after it gets brighter. 

I think the rest of the series will be the characters coming to terms with their power and developing their relationships with each other. After watching Misfits, i now really want a superpower. 

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

New Music

My dad has always enjoyed every type of music but he never shared many of his "bangin' tunes" with me. My mum was always strictly Bob Dylan and my brother, well, he just enjoys wrapping, remixes and acoustic guitars. I don't ever really listen to music because i find it distracting. I have recently realised that i am missing out on an amazing thing. I ended last year by loving country music (basically one album on repeat) and then i listened to a bit of jazz to help with my improvisation for my saxophone. Now i've decided that i want to try a bit of every style of music (except mainstream pop- no thanks Taylor Swift). Here is quite an unknown band, which i found that i like: 

The Mouse Outfit- recommended by my brother
I'm so uneducated in music that i'm just going to guess that this style is called hip-hop. The Mouse Outfit is a band from Manchester, who seem to be quite unknown. Their songs normally have rapping (with words that i can actually understand) on top of a repeated trumpet riff and some synthesised sounds. I can do my homework with their songs on and is so perfect for chilling out to or as background music. Two of my favourite songs are Never Get Enough and No Stoppin' Us. No Stoppin' Us has trumpets playing a syncopated riff and you won't be able to stop bobbing your head. I love wind instruments with rapping because it's such a contrast to the normal rappers. I recommend it if you are just getting into hip-hop.

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Saturday, 14 March 2015

Mummy's Marmalade

In the past few years, my mum has started to make marmalade. This year i decided that i wanted to help. I never realised how easy it was until now and i much prefer homemade to shop brought. I decorated the jars with ribbons so that i could give them to my friends. And on some of them, i put a cupcake case under the lid. This is a really good idea for birthdays or picnics. I also found out that homemade marmalade keeps for two years!
1kg Seville Oranges
75ml Lemon Juice
2kg Demerara Sugar

1. Remove the tops off the oranges then cut them in half and squeeze out all the juice. Place this to one side.

2. Using a sharp knife, slice the peel into short and wide shreds. Put the peel into the bowl full of the orange juice and add 2.5 litres of water. Leave for 24 hours.

3. Transfer all the mixture to a preserving pan and bring to boil then simmer slowly and cover with a lid until the peel is tender. This should take about three hours and the contents of the pan will have reduced by about a third.

4. Stir in the lemon and sugar and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Boil until it has set (about half an hour). Remove from the heat and let cool for at least ten minutes then stir gently and put into jars and seal.

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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

V&A Wedding Dresses

Last weekend i went to my favourite museum (The V&A) to see a wedding dress exhibition. Although, i'm not very keen on weddings, i really enjoyed this exhibition. It was small and you could tell that every dress was specifically chosen. On the bottom floor, there was about three dresses for each decade for the 20th century and various from previous centuries. There was a brief but helpful description for each section. Upstairs was the modern dresses from all around the world. They had Kate Moss' and Gwen Stefani's dresses. I liked finding out the secret design secrets like that there was a little picture of Kate on her husbands tie at their wedding. The only thing i found tiresome was the description of each dress. It didn't excite me to find out who wore the dresses. I loved looking at the accessories and quotes from people in newspaper and seeing how much weddings have changed. The accessories included shoes, fans and hair garlands. I would have also liked to have seen who made the dresses and how long they took. Overall, i enjoyed the exhibition but would have liked something other than the material dresses.

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Saturday, 7 March 2015

Drawing Calendar: February

This post is the second edition to my 2015 drawing calendar. I explained everything January post. February had my birthday in so i found it hard to keep up with all the dates but i have finally finished this month. If you don't think you can keep up with it every day or you like writing a diary then you could occasionally draw pictures to remind you of how you felt that day or what made you smile.
-Met an Akita and Husky club at the park
-Got Indian takeaway
-Noki's first snow
-Did well in fitness class
-Got my hair done
-Prepared for my birthday party
-My Hawaiian party
-Maths revision
-Pizza with the pals at lunch
-Volleyball dive
-Made potato cakes
-Train to Leeds on my own
-Walk around leeds and got food
-Boat broke down at rowing
-Prepared for the dance audition
-Ate a green pancake
-Opticians and dentist and orthodontist
-Saatchi Gallery
-Walk with friend
-Wedding Dress exhibition
-Prepared for school
-First day back
-Irish dancing lesson
-Irish Dancing audition at school
-Parents evening
-Got into the dance show and took Noki to the vet
-Wrote four blog posts


Tuesday, 3 March 2015

My Hawaiian Party: Cake and Decorations

For the last post of my series of party posts, i wanted to show you the cake and decorations. The exquisite rainbow cake was made by my friend, who got the idea from Pinterest. It was a rainbow and had M&Ms in the centre. Finally, i accomplished my childhood dream of having a Colin the Caterpillar, my parents always thought they were too childish but i'm so far beyond 'childish' that they let me have one. For my outfit, i made a top identical to the one that Lilo wears in the film. I made it myself out of a red t-shirt and felt. Then i wore a hula skirt with matching hair, ankle and neck accessories. We also had mocktails in coconuts at my party. It took my dad an hour and a half to get the top off the coconuts and take the milk out. I then cleaned them out and put a straw and paper umbrella in them. There were two options for flavours:
The Noki Swirl- tropical juice and pink lemonade and a sprinkle of pomegranate
The Honolulu Wave- orange and cranberry juice with strawberries
I was really proud that i made the decorations in time and the managed to turn out quite well. I  got the ideas from Pinterest. The bunting and face of the lantern are made from card. I guessed the proportions and stuck them down with either Pritt Stick or the glue gun. I love the bunting so much that it is currently hanging in my bedroom.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

If I stay Review

Chloe Grace Moretz is one of my favourite actresses; mostly because she isn't in a load of typical teen films. Saying that, If I Stay is quite a typical teen film adaptation of a book. I read the book in a day and thought it was a very unique idea to have a book set over 24 hours. Before you find out much about anyone, there is a sudden car crash affecting Mia, her parents and her little brother. She appears un-conscious to other people but she can see and hear what is happening after the crash. As more characters get introduced in the waiting room of the hospital and tragic things start to take place, the reader finds out through flashbacks what significance they have in her life. She is a passionate cello player, has an un-expected boyfriend and doesn't fit into her family. Mia must choose whether she wants to stay and wake up or let go and leave the pain behind. 

Because Mia is a 'ghost' we follow her everywhere and see her feelings (which the other characters can't). This cleverly makes you think of yourself in her position. You sometimes forget that she is in a coma when you were watching a flash back and then be completely shocked. Although being quite discrete and reticent, Mia had so many people that loved her and it's had to fathom what you would do in her situation. I think the parents were exactly how i would imagine them from the book: contrasting to Mia but a very similar state of mind. Mia's boyfriend Adam, is played by a British actor which added to their differences. I think that the time that they were happy together was too short and their relationship went too quickly in the film. I wanted to see that Mia and Adam were opposites, just like Mia and her parents are opposite and Mia and her best friend are opposite but they all work so well with each other. I loved the music scenes and the way they showed that music was the one thing they had in common. The directors had interesting characters to play with but their personalities weren't disparate. I don't normally expect unique ideas from a teen film but from reading the tense book, i expected more individuality from the whole film. 

2 stars our of 5


Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The Saatchi Gallery

The other day me and my friends decided to go to the Natural History Museum. We got out of the station and the queue went for miles and miles. It was the same for the V&A and Science Museum. We were so keen on not giving up so we went and found The Saatchi Galley just two stops down the line. It's very grand from the outside but very simple on the inside. I have never seen anything like the things inside this gallery. Everything was so outlandish and contemporary.

You could go up as close as you wanted to everything it was quite interesting that none of the art pieces had descriptions so you had to interpret every piece of art how you wanted to. There was some really wacky and diverse pieces of art and every piece was entirely different. There was art made from hair, optical illations, moving figures and broken hoovers. One of the most unique pieces was a floor full of petrol. It smelt so strong and it reflected the ceiling and looked like a floor. The rooms were long and narrow and there was no start or end of anything. It took about an hour to get through all of the galley. Even if you don't like modern art, you will find it interesting to see the innovative skills and ideas.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Wadjda Review

Wadjda is a film in the unlikely setting of Saudi Arabia. My mum recommended it because at the moment i am writing a short story about a young girl being forced into marriage in Saudi Arabia. I came up with the idea from listening and reading all the media coverage on Saudi women. Their rights practically don't exist and i find it so interesting that their society is surviving. My story is also about male guardians and the relationships that families have. I read a lot of wikipedia pages about women in Saudi but i wasn't getting the atmosphere from the facts, i needed to see it. The director of the film (Haifaa al-Mansour) was the first Saudi Arabian women to make a film and it be filmed in Saudi. It wasn't easy; she was disliked by the locals and she could not work with men so had to sit in a van and use a walkie-talkie to direct the actors.

Wadjda is a young girl living in Saudi Arabia trying to avoid the prejudices girls are accustomed to. She wants to ride a bike, paint her nails and back chat to everyone. Her father might remarry and society is shaming everyone. Wadjda sometimes finds school difficult but has an aim to make money. She wears converse and hangs out with a boy. Contrary, stubborn and strong.

This film is very relaxed and it doesn't require much concentration (except for the subtitles). The film gives you the basic rights of young girls but rushes over the main limitations of women (like being forbidden from driving). I would have liked if it was equally about her as it was about her mother. A contrast in ages but also a contrast in rights and expectations. It was humorous but lacked energy; only one emotional scene. It shows that women are second class citizens in Saudi's social hierarchy and really helped me understand how children feel living there. If you can persuade them, then this is a good first subtitle film for children around eleven years old. They will relate to Wadjda almost automatically and find her attitude hilarious. I never found it boring and i enjoyed the 'that's life' style of it.

2 and a half stars out of 5

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Tuesday, 17 February 2015

My Hawaiian Party: Games

Although i am fourteen, i really wanted all the childish party games. Only the best parties have pass the parcels. Everyone enjoyed playing and reminiscing over playing these games in our childhood. For most of the activities, i made some part of it. Here are the games that we played:
Pass the parcel
Musical bumps
Musical statues
Doughnut game
Pin the tail on the stitch
Hawaiian Quiz
Around the centre of the pass the parcel were sweets and hibiscus temporary tattoos and the middle was a pair of Stitch slippers. We made the games less childish and more fun just by being older. I also had the Lilo and Stitch soundtrack for all the games; it mostly consisted of Elvis. For the doughnut game, i decorated the string with small, paper flip-flops. I painted the large picture of Stitch for the pin the tail on the stitch with oil paint and water colour. There was also a lot of dance routines being created.