~All About Me~

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I’d like to start with a BIG hello to whoever is taking time out of their crazily busy day to read my blog!  I’m a brand-spankin’ new blogger and my name is Natalie Benton.  As you can tell from my handle, Gorgeous and Geeky, I am inspired by all things beauty and geeky.  I am absolutely obsessed with beauty boxes, makeup, skincare, Star Wars, Marvel, and Harley Quinn.  I will be posting about beauty products via announcements and reviews, upcoming geeky goodness, but also about 3 of my other passions: mental health, travel, and food/drink.  This is a lifestyle blog which will be filled with my interests and passions.

For a few years I’ve followed my absolute favourite blogger, Which Beauty Box, and without trying to sound cliché, Jaina’s posts truly helped me with my mental health.  Reading about beauty products and how to use them inspired me to take better care of myself and this past year I’ve truly flourished!  I believe that this new-found love for beauty along with some life-changing events have moulded me into this confident, passionate, and truly happy lady who wants to find her niche in this fabulous blogging world!

Since I am brand new to the blogging world, I’d like my *first* post to enable you to get to know me a bit better.  Here are 10 facts about me!  Please be sure to leave your responses/feedback in the comments section so I can get to know you better, too!  

~ I am originally from Florida and have lived in 4 other states (Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Mississippi). I have been living in Wales since June 2012.  I moved to Wales to start a life with my partner, Martyn, who is Welsh.

Martyn and I at the Fattoria Poggio Alloro in San Gimignano, Tuscany  (April 2017)

~ Martyn and I originally met online in 2010; we then met in Ireland in 2011 when I was studying at the Waterford Institute of Technology. We decided to enter into a committed relationship in July 2011 and have been together ever since, despite spending roughly 2 years apart. 

~ I completed my Bachelors of Science degree at Georgia Southern University in Psychology; I minored in Sociology and developed an interest in Criminology. I spent 4 years in Statesboro, Georgia while working on this degree and the amazing memories from this experience will last a lifetime.  I made friends who I still connect with daily!

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My bestest friend from Southern, Keith, and I in Fort Lauderdale, FL (August 2016)

~ I earned by MSc in Clinical and Applied Psychology at Swansea University. My masters dissertation focused on pedophilia, hebephilia, and sexual attraction.

~ After I finished by masters, I went through a quarter-life crisis (YES THEY ARE REAL!) and it took me about a year and a half to get my shit together. Thanks to my amazing friends/family and some shitty life experiences that were out of my control, I made it through and have found peace, health, and happiness once again.

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My Welsh sister, Nat, and I celebrating New Years 2015      

 ~ My biggest passion in life is mental health. I am currently employed as a Support Worker in a residential care facility which houses adults with mental health difficulties such as schizophrenia, personality disorder, and hydrocephalus.  I am chuffed at the fact that after years of struggling with my own mental health and years of studying it, I am finally working to help those who need assistance.

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Chelsie and I were co-founders of Active Minds at Georgia Southern University.  Here, we are reaching out to students about anxiety/stress and how to cope in April 2011

~ I’d like to share a little bit about my personal struggle with mental health: I have been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety. For years, these issues truly darkened my life but thankfully I’ve found a way to cope with and manage these disorders.  I have bad days and negative thoughts, but I’ve learned to acknowledge and rationalize them to get through the day.  

~ I am so obsessed with ♥Harley Quinn♣ that my cats are in fact named Harley and Quinn. I picked them up from a lady in Pontypridd in May 2015 and they are basically my children.  I absolutely adore them and prefer their company to most people’s 😉 haha

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My sweet girls (left: Quinn, right: Harley)

~ I am a legal midget; I am 4 feet 7 inches (143 cm). Yes, I am proudly “fun sized.”  The only downfall to being so short is that when I gain weight, I feel like I look huge!  BUT I am working on being body positive and loving myself unconditionally.  I want to lose weight (I’ve lost 7 pounds since January 2017) but my biggest priority is my health.  I am slowly but surely changing my lifestyle to help me achieve my weight loss goals and feel better physically and mentally.

~ I am literally fanatical about Star Wars.  I own handbags, coin purses, scarves, pencil holders, cordless speakers, art, cat toys, jewellery, replicas, photos with characters and autographs, plush toys, and so much more.  This was not always the case, though, as I’d never seen Star Wars until I was 21.  In December 2011, Martyn and I had a duvet day while he was visiting Statesboro, Georgia and we watched every single film.  My world forever changed.  I cried when Yoda died, fell in love with R2, and grew an immense disdain for Jar Jar Binks.

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Channelling my inner Boba Fett at For the Love of the Force Convention in Manchester, UK (December 2015)

Colourpop: Worth the Hype and Hassle?

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Recently, I’ve seen numerous bloggers tweeting about Colourpop Cosmetics.  If somehow you have not heard of Colourpop, let me enlighten you with a brief introduction: Colourpop Cosmetics is a company founded in 2014 by Laura and John Nelson.  The Nelsons manufacture their products in a factory known as Spatz Laboratories in Los Angeles, California; the name of this laboratory may sound familiar as it is the same factory where Kylie Cosmetics are made.  Many beauty bloggers have demonstrated that Colourpop products can be used as dupes for many of Kylie’s products.  While beauty bloggers have compared and contrasted products from Colourpop and Kylie Cosmetics, John Nelson stated in March 2016 that the products aren’t the same, as “everyone is coming up with their own formulas and their own exclusive products.”  

Topics of discussion on Twitter have ranged from quality and collaborations to whether or not these cosmetics are worth the hassle for those located outside of the United States. People living outside of the US must pay for international shipping (unless you can snag a free international shipping deal), import taxes, and a customs processing fee from the Royal Mail, which is always an extra 8 quid.  

Today I am going to show you the Colourpop products which I have accumulated and been using for a few months, as well as a new palette I received recently that I am dying to try!  I will review these products and write about their quality then give a final verdict on whether or not these cosmetics are worth the hassle of ordering from America.  Please note that all pictures have been taken with flash on.

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I must give credit where it is due and Colourpop certainly deserves kudos for offering outstanding prices and deals.  In March 2017, Colourpop celebrated its third birthday and treated its customers to FREE international shipping; therefore, I had to take advantage!  Plus, they had a super-duper deal going where if you purchased two Super Shock eyeshadows, you got a free brush of your choice.  While this wasn’t my first Colourpop purchase, I must admit this was my favorite due to the absolute bargain I received.  All of the products shown above, I purchased for $30 or £23 pounds (I also paid £8 in import taxes and £8 in fees).  Technically, I purchased 7 products for £40 pounds, which means each product roughly cost £5.60.

I’d like to start with a product I wasn’t crazy about then later talk about my favorites.  I hate to admit that I was a tad disappointed with these Super Shock Shadows, Ignition (holographic, ultra-glitter lavender-middle swatch) and Bill (a light, dusty Matte mauve-final swatch). While Ignition has a gorgeous shimmer, I felt that these shadows did not live up to the hype of Super Shock pigmentation. image2However, both of these shadows have 5-star reviews on the Colourpop website, so perhaps I was simply expecting something different. I’ve worn these shadows to work and paired them with Marshmallow (grey lavender-first swatch), an Ultra Satin Lip. Grey has become one of my favorite colors, even for makeup, thanks to Halsey for MAC’s daring slate lipstick, so when I saw this lipstick I had to have it.  I am happy with the color and the formula; I did have to reapply halfway through the day but I am thankful the formula did not dry my lips out.  I never mind reapplying once or twice throughout the day.

Speaking of lipstick, let’s talk about the different types of lipstick products I’ve tried from Colourpop.  A few months ago I was given an Amazon gift card and with it, I made my first ever Colourpop purchases: a lippie pencil in Petit Four (blue grey-first swatch), an Ultra Satin Lip in Petit Four (second swatch), and an Ultra Matte Lip in Jellies (cobalt-third swatch).  I know what you’re thinking: more grey?!! Well yes, more grey…and no, I am not making a 50 Shades pun ha!  I have not worn the Petit Four lippies often because there aren’t many places I can pull it off, but I am thoroughly impressed with the staying power and the richness of the color. image4

Jellies is a color I had been searching for; I absolutely love Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara in Blue as it makes my green eyes POP!  I wanted to find a pocket-friendly lippie which would compliment the cobalt-blue look and was dying to try this shade, which was now been discontinued.  While I love the color, I am not a huge fan of the formula as it bleeds. Before I put it on, I cover my lips with my trusty Esteé Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place lip pencil, color clear.  That way, I can make sure that I don’t look like I’ve just eaten a blue raspberry popscicle (or ice lolly for you Brits).  The final 2 swatches are both Lippie Stix in shades Wet (a pearlized taupe-fourth swatch) and Skimpy (a soft pink nude). Although I have not yet worn these for a full day, I can attest to the formula: it is incredibly creamy and glides on your lips so smoothly.  I am excited to try these for a longer period of time, though I must admit Skimpy is a little too Barbie-pink for me.  Oh, the pigmentation is excellent with these Lippie Stix as well.

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My newest item from Colourpop is the Gemini by Night pressed powder shadow palette from their collaboration with Sonya Esman (a Russian beauty guru). Please excuse my hair arms; I did not realize how hairy they were until I took pictures for swatches.   I used Esteé Lauder’s Illuminating Perfecting Primer as a base.  image3

From left to right, here are the colors:  

~Golden Gate Bridge, a matte warm nude
~The Hidden Hills, a satin warm taupe
~Manhattan Coffee Run, a matte mid-tone      brown
~Moscow Sunrise, a metallic rosy copper      I have not yet used this palette as I received it on 23/05 but I’m super excited to try it out!  As you can see, there is a range of more muted colors to bolder        shades.  These are quite pigmented, too!  

To finish this post, I’d like to discuss the item I use the most: the Lo-Key pressed powder shadow palette, which features orange and red colors with shimmery finishes.  Monochromatic looks have been a hit this spring and this palette allows you to easily wear this trend.  

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Using this palette, you can create a more subtle, suitable-for-work look or an exotic and enticing nighttime look.  Even when I go out at night, I tend to play it safe (as you can see haha) and not go too dark with that final redish color; I don’t like to overdo it.   Here’s a look I recently created with Lo-Key when I went to the Gin Festival in Swansea with some girlfriends.  image1 (2)

I felt like the orange/red colors really made my green eyes pop. I thought Benefit’s sunny golden pink Galifornia blush and Kylie’s metallic peach lipstick metal in Heir really pulled this look together.  

In terms of quality, I have to admit that this is one of my favorite eyeshadow formulas; I currently own quite a few Smashbox palettes, Avon, Pop Beauty, and Bare Minerals sets, and single shades from Lola Cosmetics, Stila, Bella Pierre, and Model Co to name a few.  

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I wanted to include a swatches picture; I used Esteé Lauder’s Illuminating Perfecting Primer as a base.  Once again, please excuse my hair arms; I think I’m going to be saying that a lot on beauty posts!  The colors, from left to right are: 

~ Take it Slow, a metallic warm champagne

~ I Owe You, a matte mid-tone orange

~ Running Late, a matte creamy orange

~ Criss Cross, a matte brick orange

So, finally, I must answer the question: is Colourpop worth the hassle of international shipping, import taxes, and customs fees?  My vote is YES!  While I am not completely happy with all of my purchases, I am impressed with the majority and can see myself using these products as long as they will last me.  In my opinion, I see why Colourpop has a cult following, numerous celebrity collaborations, and a growing company.  We want more Colourpop and I believe we will get more, more, more as this company is not slowing down.  It feels every few days I see hints and ideas via their Instagram story!  

Now that you’ve listened to me, I’d love to hear your thoughts!  What products have you tried; did they work for you?  If you haven’t tried Colourpop Cosmetics, do you want to and what items are you interested in?  And even if you’ve had a rubbish experience with this brand, I’d still love to hear your thoughts!  

Mental Health Awareness Week 2017

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In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Week (8 May – 14 May), I was invited by Becca from Becca’s Love for Life to write a guest post about my experience with mental health and where I am currently.  This post took me a lot of time and effort; I’ve never publicly spoken about my past.  Due to support from my friends, I’d like to share it on my personal blog.  Please be aware that this post may contain sensitive material, which could lead to heightened negative emotions. If you become upset or triggered while reading this, please stop reading and utilize the coping mechanisms that work for you.   Here we go…

I was not only gifted with a predisposition towards mental health difficulties, I was also born into and raised in a toxic environment. Indeed, I drew the short end of the stick in regards to both nurture vs. nature explanations of mental health. My mother was an alcoholic and she passed away at the age of 55 from cirrhosis of the liver. Since my father is still alive, I will not comment on his shortcomings out of respect. Let’s just say that my childhood had very little stability with a lot of domestic abuse. Memories of my upbringing are more upsetting than happy, with most of them being drunken episodes (even Christmas and birthdays) due to my parents’ issues.

I do not agree with the notion of “stay together for the kids,” because life was absolute hell when my parents were together. About once a month, my parents would get into a huge drunken argument and my father would pack most of his clothing in his Mitsubishi Eclipse and leave for a few days. Finally, in 2001, he didn’t return home and this split was the catalyst for my downward spiral. Despite my disruptive home life, I found solace in going to school; academia gave me something to strive for. However, after my father left for good, I completely gave up. I felt abandoned.  At this age, I could not grasp that my father was leaving my mother, not me. My mother fell off the deep end and I looked to the one place I had for help: the internet.

In May 2001, I ran away from home with a 19-year-old I met on the internet. I was lost. I was so desperate for love and understanding. I felt like he was the only person who cared. I was manipulated and abused, though at the time I was completely unaware of the dangers. He talked about taking me to meet his family and sitting here writing this at almost 27 years old, I am dumbfounded. What would a 19-year-old pedophile tell his parents about bringing an 11-year-old home? To this day, I have no clue what his intentions were. Thankfully, I was quickly rescued from that situation and was sent to live with my father.

I must give my father credit here: he had no clue how to handle a messed up 12-year-old girl, so he took me to numerous therapists and psychiatrists in order to give me the best help available. Looking back, I cannot fathom how I made it out; I was torn up inside about what had happened to me. I started to suffer from severe anxiety and depression and was treated with psychotropics for both conditions. I experienced overwhelming fears of abandonment and would ask my father 30 times a day if he loved me. I had no faith or security in my father, no matter what he did for me.

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At 13, I began to self harm. I chose to include this picture of me at 13 years old because it demonstrates that someone can look “completely normal,” yet still be suffering with severe trauma and deep issues. I’d go to school and smile and try to be as normal as possible, yet I was dealing with intense emotions and coping poorly. I would pull my hair, slap my head, and throw/break items in fits of mania/rage. By age 15, those around me noticed an increasing, and profound, fluctuation in my moods. One minute I’d be perfectly happy and bubbly and the next I’d be in the school bathroom scratching at my arm or thigh. I alienated every single one of my friends (even the church goodie-goodies); obviously at that age, no one really understands how to handle those situations.

I somehow made it through high school even though I’d continued to self harm and suffer from depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. At 18, I left home to attend Georgia Southern University, where I graduated on-time with a bachelors degree in Psychology. In university, I found myself. I found my strength. My father pushed me away and forced me to cope with my mental health difficulties on my own, including being hospitalized from an overdose and self harm. Today, I must admit I’m grateful for the tough love. I can’t put my finger on what exactly changed me, but somewhere along the line I became a new person. I became independent and no longer reliant on my father. I developed my own ideas and opinions about the world, which I gained through stepping out of my comfort zone and experiencing new things. I learned hope to cope with and manage my mental health.

Years later, I still struggle; every single day is a struggle even with the correct medication. However, I have developed the skills which enable me to manage my irrational and negative thoughts. I acknowledge them and tell myself that they’re valid feelings, but then I rationalize them and that brings me back to reality. No, not everyone hates me. No, not everyone is out to get me. No, my friend doesn’t hate me because she can’t chat when I message her.  No, my partner isn’t going to leave me because of a fight.

Today I am working as a mental health support worker in a residential care home for vulnerable adults (aged 18-65) with acute mental health difficulties. I aspire to become a psychologist. Right now, I am focusing on developing the skills to be an effective and successful support worker so eventually I am able to work my way up and possibly apply for my doctorate in clinical psychology.

I’d like to end this post with one of my favorite quotes: “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars,” Kahlil Gibran. If you are currently struggling with mental health difficulties, I’d like to encourage you to KEEP GOING. Even if your biggest achievement today is getting out of bed and getting a shower or making yourself a bowl of cereal, BE PROUD and JUST KEEP SWIMMING. Who knows where you’ll be in 10 years time? You could be using your experience to make a change in someone else’s life!

The Blogger Tag

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Hello, everyone!  I was recently mentioned in “The Blogger Tag” by my blogger pal Claire from ClaireLouiisexo.  I am super excited to answer these questions; thank you for thinking of me, girlie!  

If you’d like to read Claire’s answers (they’re pretty good!), click here.

1. How long have you’ve been blogging and why did you start?

I’ve been blogging 8 days; I launched Gorgeous And Geeky on May 1!  In these 8 days, I’ve written 3 posts (including this one) and planned many more.  I’ve been interested in blogging for a few months, so I started engaging with the blogging community in March 2017.  I found that the majority of the blogging world is open and supportive and decided to give it a go.

I started my blog because of my depression; beauty blogging enabled me to take better care of myself, which positively impacted my self-esteem.  About a year and a half ago, after I graduated with my masters, I kind of gave up.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life.  I’d gotten my degrees but job searches made me feel inadequate because I needed experience which I didn’t have.  Life looked bleak. Looking back, I can see what helped me get out of this depression and ambivalent attitude: beauty blogging. 

I have created this blog with the hopes of encouraging others to follow their passions and develop a lust for life (yes, I’m addicted to the new LDR song).  I hope that I can perhaps use my knowledge/experience of mental health to raise awareness and be a means of support for those going through their own difficulties.

2. Is this current blog your first blog?

Yes, Gorgeous And Geeky is the first blog I’ve created.

3. What would you categorise your blog as?

I envision my blog as a lifestyle blog; I intend to write about the following: beauty, geeky goodness, mental health, food/drink, and travel.  

4. Is it still the same kind of blog as when you started?

No, I do not believe my blog is the same as when I first decided to create it.  I originally planned on writing about beauty, but after brainstorming with my friends, I realized that I was limiting myself.  Therefore, I chose to write about my passions.  

5.Top 3 things about being a blogger!

~ I love having this outlet to express my thoughts and feelings.  I thoroughly enjoy sharing my ideas and engaging with the blogging community about our passions.  

~ I love feeling like I am part of something bigger, something tangible that I can interact with.  There are numerous opportunities in the blogging community to engage with others who share your same interests.  

~ I love how welcoming and supportive the blogging community is!  Since I’ve started engaging with other bloggers, I have rarely met a negative and unpleasant person.  In a short time, I’ve clicked with fellow bloggers and am thankful for that experience.

6. What is your favourite kind of post to write?

I feel like this is a difficult question to answer because I’m so new; I’ve only written a few posts.  I believe that my favorite posts to write will be travel-related.  My favorite thing is travelling, exploring, and learning about other cultures/ways of life.  

7. What is the hardest post you have ever written and published?

I am currently working on a guest post for Becca’s Love for Life regarding my struggles with mental health, which will be posted this week for Mental Health Awareness Week.  This post is a difficult one to write because it’s personal; I am worried about being judged and criticized for my background.  

8. Tag 3 (or more) lovely bloggers!

I would like to nominate the following bloggers to participate in “The Blogger Tag”

Shaienna Monique   ~   Becca’s Love for Life   ~   Enigma Okoto   ~   Katie’s Corner

The Questions

1. How long have you been blogging for and why did you start?

2. Is this current blog your first blog?

3. What would you categorise your blog as?

4. Is it still the same kind of blog as when you started?

5. Top 3 things about being a blogger?

6. What is your favourite kind of post to write?

7. What is the hardest post you have ever written and published?

8. Tag 3 (or more) lovely bloggers!

I hope you enjoyed finding out a bit more about my blog. If you decided to give this tag a try, I’d love to read your answers!

May the Fourth be with You

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Welcome to my blog, Gorgeous and GeekyToday is one of my favourite geeky days, May the Fourth.  As I am sure you are aware, this is also known as Star Wars Day due to the famous quote “may the force be with you.”  The first time this phrase was connected to the 4th of May was the day Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minster in 1979.  The London Evening News printed a congratulatory message from the Conservative Party saying “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations!”  Since May 4, 1979, this day has been met with excitement and throughout many nations worldwide, Star Wars fans have celebrated George Lucas’ incredible franchise. 

Usually I celebrate May the Fourth, but I have been working 8-8 night shifts all week so I am sad to admit I slept for the majority of this glorious day!  Therefore, I decided to write a post about my top 6 Star Wars experiences! 

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Star Tours ride at Disneyland Paris, August 2015

The first Star Wars experience I’d like to mention is the time my family and I went to Disneyland Paris.  In 2015, Martyn and I took his kids and mom to Disneyland Paris and we had a fabulous time despite the weather (rainy and cold) and my getting sick (my mother-in-law blames me cause I wore a dress).  This picture is of Martyn and me in front of an X-Wing wearing our Star Wars best: he is wearing a Boba Fett hoodie and I’m wearing a Darth Vader dress from Her Universe.  We went on the Star Tours ride and enjoyed even though we didn’t understand a word that was being said because it was all in French! 

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June 2016

While this isn’t necessarily a Star Wars experience, this is a moment related to Star Wars that I will always treasure *I hope you get the always reference*  The day after my 26th birthday party (yes, I’m hung-over), my partner gifted me with one of my favourite presents EVER!  Martyn had this shirt made for me and I was ecstatic despite feeling (and looking) rough.  I immediately tried it on and had to share it on Facebook.  Some may say “it’s just a shirt,” but to me, it is a symbol of something that brought us together.

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Rogue One in IMAX 3D at Cardiff Odeon, December 2016

The third Star Wars experience I have to discuss is the night we went to see Rogue One in IMAX 3D.  This night was an incredible memory because I’d just gotten back to the UK after being in America for 6 months due to visa issues; I was so happy to be back in Wales with Martyn.  After he finished work on Friday 18 December, we headed to Cardiff to see Rogue One.  We were surrounded by Star Wars fandom!  There were adults and kids dressed up as well as the UK Garrison members pictured above.  The Rogue One movie is my second favourite in the franchise, after Empire Strikes Back.  In the course of a minute, I went from ugly-girl crying when Jyn, Cassian, and their rebel alliance die to a completely shocked jaw drop during the awe-inspiring Darth Vader scene which shows his rage and power.  Best.  Scene.  Ever!

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Star Wars attraction at Madame Tussauds in London, July 2015

Even though the Star Wars section at Madame Tussauds only has 16 props on 11 sets, the 2.5 million-pound attraction allows fans to take fabulous, once-in-a-lifetime pictures like the one featured above.  If you’re a huge fan of Star Wars and have not yet been to Madame Tussauds, be sure to go by 30 June 2017.  It is totally worth it!  Plus, they have an amazing Marvel section which leads to a 4D experience!

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Martyn and I met Jeremy Bulloch (original Boba Fett) at the Oxford Street Disney store on May 4, 2015

I have to admit that Star Wars Day in 2015 will forever be imprinted on my mind.  We made friends that we still keep in contact with and memories to last a lifetime!  First thing in the morning, we went to the Disney store on Oxford Street to get in line to meet the original Boba Fett, Jeremy Bulloch.  Once again, I was styling in my Star Wars best: Her Universe’s  R2D2 dress.  Jeremy signed some memorabilia for us and chatted to us for a few minutes.  We met Jeremy and Maria who were there with their 2 sons and we still keep in touch with them to this day!

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Burger and Lobster served Star Wars cocktails

Next, we headed to the Burger and Lobster for Star Wars cocktails.  In planning our Star Wars Day out, I came across the coolest guy name Alexei who is obsessed with Star Wars, too. I found an advertisement he’d posted in a London Star Wars Day Facebook group about the Burger and Lobster serving these cocktails and I was hooked.  I added Alexei on Facebook and we’ve been friends ever since.  Martyn and I thoroughly enjoyed our cocktails, meals, and the excellent service! 

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After our lunch we did not slow down!!  In 2014, we’d learned of Secret Cinema and their opportunity for Star Wars fans to be completely immersed in the world of Star Wars via their presentation of Empire Strikes Back.  We immediately booked tickets and eventually found out about a May the Fourth celebration for those going to Secret Cinema.  We were hours early and waited in a pub, where we met Candice, Ed, and Rob.  We formed our own little Rebel Alliance and enjoyed the evening at Alexandra Palace, which was filled with cocktails, music, and some pretty bad dance moves.  Check out our experience here!

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The final, and most memorable, Star Wars experience is when we actually “lived the Star Wars” by going to Secret Cinema presents The Empire Strikes Back!  Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of this night because they seal your phone in a plastic bag in order to not spoil it for later audiences.  But it was easily one of the best nights of my life; we lived A New Hope then watched The Empire Strikes Back.  First, we snuck into the Tatooine market where we saw Jawas, Stormtroopers, and even Lando Calrissian!  Once we made it safely into Mos Eisley, we completed tasks in order to gain passage onto the Death Star in order to save Princess Leia.  We ran into Grand Moff Tarkin, who called us “Rebel scum,” and Martyn accidentally got in the way of an angry Darth Vader and was quickly pushed out of his way!  But eventually, we saved Princess Leia with the help of an undercover Rebel in a Stormtrooper’s outfit.  We then sat down to drink plenty of cocktails while watching The Empire Strikes Back.

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Finally, I’d like to dedicate this post to Carrie Fisher (1956-2016), who played our Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan.  You will forever be in our hearts.  Always.