Raiin Monkey

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Monday, 18 September 2017

New Template!

Hey everyone! Yayyy! I've finally been able to give my blog a well needed makeover, and what better time than surrounding Raiin Monkey's 2nd blogiversary! I've been wanting to create a new template with the professional blog & website design company, Pipdig, for a while and now that I'm in a better financial situation, I thought it was about time that I got to work on revamping my blog's look. I wanted to share with you all a quick post about my experiences using Pipdig and what my first impressions are of my newly purchased template :) I'd love to know what you all think too!



I am in love with the way my blog looks, so organised and with a lovely professional vibe. I literally can't stop looking at it, scrolling through it and admiring all the shiny new features! 

There were several reasons why I chose this template, and I think it was a great price! Pipdig offer a really easy set-up process, providing you with an instrution manual that talks you through how to install your new template onto blogger or wordpress, and how to make all of the changes you'd like to the fonts, sizes and colours of the various elements of the template to make it perfectly suit your blog. The instrutions include links to direct you to further information and tips, and I am definitely impressed with how much easier it was to sort everything out than I imagined it would be! 

The new features that I've been able to add on my blog have made me super happy! These include the Big This Week and Recent Posts 'widgets' (I'm not sure if that's what you'd call them, haha) which are one of the first features that you see when you browse my blog. As well as these, I have now been able to sort my posts into categories in a drop-down navigation bar and I love how easy this will make it to organise my posts, and for readers to find the posts they are more interested in! I really like the social media icons (I think they are really cute!) and the Related Posts that will appear at the end of my each of my blog posts. It saves me adding these manually, and they look much better now that they are showing photography rather than just a link. 

Pipdig have been very helpful, especially considering Hotmail/Outlook was down today (which has been incredibly annoying!) and they were able to re-direct my emails for me so I could still access my template. They answered my tweets quickly too! I am almost finished with everything I need to finalise my new template, however I still need to figure out how to add an Instagram feed along the footer of my blog. The generator that is supposed to help me create this through Pipdig doesn't seem to be working and keeps showing me an error page instead. I'm hoping I can get this sorted tomorrow! Despite this, I am happy with the overall service provided by Pipdig and I would totally recommend them if you're looking to re-style your blog :) 

So, what are your opinions on my little blog makeover? I'd love to hear what you like about it! 


Thankyou for reading!

 

Which websites do you all use for your blog templates? 
Have you ever used Pipdig? What did you think?

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Thursday, 14 September 2017

September Kawaii & Geeky Wishlist

Happy Thursday Guys! I was originally supposed to get this post up yesterday, but after a busy day out I was far too exhausted. If you follow me on twitter and instagram, you might have noticed me posting all about what I got up to. If not, I'll fill you in :) Me and my best friend met up for the first time in what feels like ages! We headed to the local Vue cinema to watch the new adaptation of Stephen King's IT. It was so so good! After seeing a movie, we always go to Frankies & Benny's so keeping with tradition, we had a lovely meal there. My go to dessert is the cinnamon waffle topped with toffee sauce and ice-cream, and it was scrumptious as usual! I love our little dates and I can't wait for the next one :) Anyhow, I hope you enjoy this month's kawaii & geeky wishlist! 



1. Funko Pop Games Of Thrones Tormund Giantsbane If you didn't already know, I absolutely love Tormund Giantsbane, for both his character in the show and the books, and for the gorgeous actor Kristofer Hivju that plays him! What's not to love about a big bearded hunk of a man!? ;) My best friend likes to call the men I'm attracted to 'Lumberjack Types', hahaha! I love this Pop! It looks so much like the actual character, and I'm impressed with the amount of details on the figure. I need this Pop figure in my life!

2.  Cinnamonroll Travel Holdall Bag Look at this bag... It's so flippin' cute! I seriously have to obtain this bag before I next go on holiday!! I love the white and blue colouration, and the super sweet face of cinnamonroll covering the entire front of the bag. 

3. TokiDoki Stellina Enamel Pin You may remember seeing one of the TokiDoki pin badges on last month's wishlist but omgosh I just love them so much. I would really like to collect them all! They are so bright and look like they are great quality, and the slogan on this one is fabulous. It mimics the popular phrase 'I'd rather be a unicorn', which seems to be written on so many products lately, but with a cute TokiDoki twist.

4. Pusheen the Cat Catpusheeno A5 Notebook I am such a big fan of the UK store Artbox. They sell gorgeous kawaii items and I'm always dreaming of doing a big haul from them! I was browsing their website the other day and noticed this super cute pusheen notebook and knew I had to have it! I hope that I can afford to buy it before it goes out of stock! I've sort of accidently built up quite a collection of Pusheen notebooks so it doesn't seem right to stop now :p

5.  Gecko Vinyl Sticker Set Last month, I was scrolling through tumblr and came across the most adorable leopard gecko artwork that I had ever seen! I was basically hit in the face with cuteness overload, and I responded by letting out a little squeal of delight! I love leopard geckos! They are one of my favourite reptiles and are very close to my heart :) Therefore it was impossible for me not to fall in love with this artwork and as soon as I checked out the source, I fell in love with all of the animal illustrations by Afternoon Fika. They were immediately one of my favourite artists. Go check them out if you love chibi artwork like me! 

6. TokiDoki Moofia Flexi Journal How lovely is this TokiDoki journal!? Next to Cactus Friends, the Moofia characters are my favourite of the TokiDoki collection. All of the little milk-theme characters are the sweetest, especially the one in the middle of this notebook cover who's name is Mozzarella. I love the dairy related names too! This journal is just really nice and I would love to add it to my ever-growing notebook collection. 

7. Punky Pins Wednesday Addams Pin With Halloween fast approaching and the stores starting to fill up with decorations and spooky homeware, there are so many things that I'm now even more inspired to buy! I really like this Punky Pins badge and it's been on my wishlist for ages now. I feel like it's about time I got it! 

8. Funko Nightmare Before Christmas Pint Size Heroes These figures are so bloody adorable! When I look at the photo at their little faces, I can't cope! Who agrees? They are currently not available to buy yet, but you can place a pre-order online with Forbidden Planet. I definitely want to get my hands on some, but I also know that it will spark a new obsession with another Funko figure collection! 

Thankyou for reading!


What's your favourite item featured on my wishlist?
Have any adorable and/or nerdy items made it onto your own wishlist this month? 


Enjoyed this post? See some more of my wishlists here:
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Sunday, 10 September 2017

Raiin Monkey Turns 2!

Hello lovelies! Today is my blog birthday, my blogiversary, Raiin Monkey is officially 2! This has come around so quickly, like wow! I am honestly a little surprised that I've gotten this far! I'm proud of me :) Blogging has been tough at times, especially when I'm having bad depression days, but it's also been amazing! It's been fantastic to get to know so many wonderful people, to make new friends with others who shared the same passions as me, who are always there to make me feel supported. It's been really carthartic too to be able to share whatever I want on my blog, even personal posts that make me extra anxious before I hit that publish button, and know that people will appreciate what I write and leave me the loveliest comments. You've all literally been my little rays of sunshine! I can't thank you enough guys for making my blogging journey so far such a wonderful experience

Raiin Monkey 2nd Blogiversary!

For today's post, I wanted to share with you all the meaning behind my blog name. I'm sure some of you have wondered about the reason why I called my blog such a random-sounding name. I wanted something quirky, something that reflected my personality which my loved ones will tell you is bubbly but I'd say it's rather weird, haha! I've always found myself pondering how people come up with the names for their blogs, and sometimes it's more obvious the more you read their posts and get to know them better, other times it's not. I've never mentioned why I chose Raiin Monkey, so I've decided it's about time :)

Throughout my life, I've had a lot of nicknames given to me by my friends, all relating to some aspect of my personality or something funny that I've done. My friends at college called me Google, because I'm a geek and my brain stores such random facts about all sorts of topics! At high school, where I met my best friends and really came out of my shell around them. I felt like people appreciated my quirkiness and I met people for the first time who had the same interests as me. This is where I got the vast majority of my nicknames, and one of them was the inspiration for my blog name! I had developed a slight obsession with cute monkey-themed merchandrise when I was around 12. I just loved it! Good old claires accessories had brought out so many monkey things, and does anyone remember all that clothing with the cheeky monkey logo on? The brand Bubblegum also created an awesome cheeky monkey character. Writing about this is super nostaglic! 

Raiin Monkey 2nd Blogiversary!

Within my little friendship group, I was always the one making everyone laugh with my hyperness and all of the spontaneous things I'd do or come out with, so I guess my personality also seemed to mirror a cheeky monkey and when me and my best friend gave each other cute nicknames, mine always included monkey and hers bunny :) 13 year old us was adorable! Before I explain more, I need to talk about why rain is involved. Rain is my favourite weather, I have always loved listening to the sound of heavy rain when I'm indoors, I love the smell of the air after it's rain, I love the look of flowers and leaves covered in raindrops and I've loved splashing in puddles for as long as I can remember. Since I was young, I have really enjoyed being caught in the rain, being drenched and dancing around in the downpour. It just feels so refreshing! It always made my friends and family laugh because they would run for shelter and I would just stand there in the rain! Yes, I know I'm weird. 

So, where exactly did the nickname Rain Monkey come from? ... On day at school when I was around 15 years old, maybe 14, it was lunch time and my friends & I were hanging around in a usual corner of the school yard. We were busy chatting away, probably gossiping, fangirling over hot alternative guys or nerding out about something. Suddenly it started chucking it down and everyone retreated into the doorway of our science block building. We were watching the heavy rain through the glass panels in the old wooden doors, and someone made a comment about how they were surprised that I wasn't standing out in the rain. They knew me well! So, I dropped my backpack inside and went outside! I stood out looking at the ghostly almost empty yard and then back at my friends laughing at me. Seeing their faces and being the dork that I was, I decided to dance around and act like an idiot hahaha! I was eventually getting too drenched and I knew I still had two more lessons to go to, so I went back indoors to join my buddies. I stood there, my blazer soaked, my shirt wet through and water dripping from my hair down my face. I was giggled and I felt great, and that's when Jessica (my best friend) made a comment about me being a Rain Monkey, and so a new nickname was born!

I picked this name for my blog after writing a spider diagram annotating everything I could think of about myself and when I finally jotted down my memories and favourite things from my youth, I looked at Rain Monkey and it  just seem perfect! I seached online for websites with the same name and unfortunately there was a Chinese website using it and I knew that this would affect me when I one day came to set up a domain for my blog. I noted down several different ways I could spell it and the two I's in rain fit best in my opinion :) I love my blog name and I'm so happy with my decision! I hope you all enjoyed reading about it's origin :)

Raiin Monkey 2nd Blogiversary!

This post has ended up a lot longer than I thought it would be. Sorry if I've nagged guys! So, here's to another year of blogging and hopefully many more years to come! I'm hoping that my third year of being a blogger is filled with interesting opportunities and positive experiences. I'm hoping that I work through my anxiety enough to finally get some youtube content created too. We'll see; I'm looking forward to finding out how the year plays out, both with regards to my blog and in my personal life too. In celebration of my second blogiversary, I'll be re-vamping the look of my blog so keep your eyes peeled for that over the next few days! I will also be hosting a giveaway soon too! Thankyou to everyone for reading my posts, for following and chatting to me on social media and for leaving all your awesome comments. It means so much to me :) 

 Thankyou for reading!

 

 I'd love to few about what you like about my blog? 
Do you have a favourite post of mine? 

You can check out my 1st bloggiversary post here if you like!

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Saturday, 9 September 2017

Things Are Finally Starting To Pick Up | Life Update

Hi everyone! I thought for today's post I'd write a little life update for you all, as it's been so long since I shared a more chatty style post about how things have been going for me lately. After a rough start to the year, with so many things going wrong in my life, and with nothing to really look forward to, I really struggled with my mental health. As a result, my physical health was affected and so was my motivation to do the hobbies I love. I barely blogged and I felt so bad about it :( However, for the last two months I've been getting into the swing of things again and I now feel like I've got my blogging bug back! Woohoo! 

In my previous life update post, I discussed how my financial situation suddenly changed when I went for my ESA reassessment and even though my health was in the same state, if not worst, as when I'd first been granted the benefit, the health care practioner who 'interviewed' me decided that I was no longer eligible. I felt like she wasn't listening to me much at all thoroughout my appointment and it was clear she was just looking for ways to catch me up on what I was saying. It is ridiculous how they do this! Oh you have a shower sometimes without being prompted? You must be able to work a full time job then! You are able to walk around the supermarket with your mom and catch up with your friends once a month? Again, you must be fit to work!

It is so stressful going into the appointment not knowing whether you are going to get a practioner who understands, a practioner who actually wants to help people and really takes in what you are trying to explain, which for me is hard enough with my anxiety without the added worry of how the practioner is deciding to word my answers on the computer in front of them. It just happened that I was unlucky enough to get someone who decided make my life even more difficult and as a consequence, leave me in a shitty situation for the first half of 2017!


Because of my chronic health conditions, I currently have to live at home with my family and so thankfully, I had somewhere to live rent-free whilst I was stuck with no money! It's horrible to imagine how someone who lives independently and has a health problem would cope if the same thing happened to them... the government really need to sort themselves out when it comes to these health assessments! After my ESA was stopped, I had to request something called a mandatory reconsideration, and to be honest I wasn't very hopeful as I just thought that they were going to be awkward and not back-track on their decision. This turned out to be the case, and I then had to go through the tribunals service/appeals court to get the decision over-ruled. 

The appeals process can take a very long time and in the mean time, it was very hard to handle what was going on since I had no sense of security and was so uncertain of the outcome. I was scared and it was beyond stressful thinking about what their decision would be. I had to write a lot of letters, fill in a lot of forms and do a lot of waiting, until I was eventually told that I would be getting an appointment with the tribunals service and would need to wait on a date to be sent to me. At this time, I was going to my weekly psychological therapy sessions and periodically seeing the psychiatrist that worked for the mental health team to check up on how it was going with my anti-depressants. It was difficult to make any real progress when my financial situation was having an impact on so many aspects of my life. I hope I'm not sounding dramatic or anything, but it meant that I couldn't afford to go anywhere with my friends and family, I couldn't treat myself when I was feeling crappy, I couldn't work on my public transport anxiety because I didn't have any money to pay for a ticket. Worse of all, I couldn't afford any of my medication and I couldn't pay for my rabbit's food, meaning I had to rely on my family members to lend me money to pay for these two necessities for months and months! 

One day when I went to see the psychiatrist to get my medication increased, I decided to ask him whether he would write a letter for me for the tribunals service. I wasn't sure if it would help since I'd already provided evidence of my health status to ESA with doctors letters and proof that I went to the therapy, etc, but I decided it couldn't hurt to have more to back me up. This decision turned out to an awesome one since a few weeks after sending it to them, behind the scenes the tribunal service and ESA had had a meeting, and ESA randomly contacted me out of the blue to tell me that they had done a second mandatory reconsideration... not sure how that works, haha! But I'm not complaining! I was then given back my benefit and everything was put back to normal, just like that. I had lots of medical professionals saying that I couldn't work, but the psychiatrist saying it seemed to change everything! I am over the moon that everything worked out in the end. Even though my mental health recovery has been knocked back and I feel like I'm having to start over again, if that even makes sense!

Not only has this reinstatement of my ESA helped with the obviously financial struggle that I was in, it has been such a positivity boost for me, being some optimism back into my mind because months of worry. It has given me some security and normalcy again, and now I can start focusing on the important things and doing the things that makes me feel good. I don't have to carry the bad feelings I had when I was having to borrow money, and I've been able to pay everyone back. I've been able to finally go to the dentist, which I would rather not because eeeek dentists, but gotta look after your teeth and all that. I can now start making plans and giving myself stuff to look forward to, stuff to keep me going, do the things that makes that make life just a little less tough. I feel good for the first time in ages!

If you've made it this far through my post, well done!! I hope that I havent rambled too much or bored you guys! I just felt like sharing my experience meant be helpful for others dealing with a similar situation with their benefit, and I also just wanted to keep you all updated. As well as this whole ESA pickle being sorted, lots of other things that were causing me stress have also settled down and I'm just looking forward to Autumn now! It's my favourite time of year for so many reasons and there's so much I'm excited for. Not long now!


Thankyou for reading this mega wordy post! 


Let's end this post with more positivity :) 
I'd love to hear what you are looking forward to!

Here are some related posts:
| Thoughts On Not Being Able To Work | The Sad Ghost Club
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Friday, 8 September 2017

TokiDoki Blind Box Haul

Hey lovelies! It's been absolutely ages since I've had the opportunity to buy blind boxes and it's been like torture for me! It will be no surprise to my regular readers that I adore blind boxes and surprise subscription boxes, and it's felt like forever since I was able to share my love for them with you all. Until now, yay!! I recently did a huge TokiDoki blind box haul, and so I wanted to show you all the wonderful figures I got. Enjoy!  

TokiDoki Blind Box

TokiDoki is an Italian brand, established in 2005, that sell all sorts of mechandrise showcasing their super cute Japanese kawaii-culture inspired characters! I first discovered this awesome brand when I was in my teens, when I spotted a Hello Kitty X TokiDoki collaberation plushie whilst out shopping with my friends in Manchester. It was so adorable! Hello Kitty in a cactus costume with a mini chilli friend with the sweetest expression on it's face! Ever since, I've been a fan of the brand but I never saw any of their products in local shops and the online shopping option was too pricey for me back then. When I was a little older, I learnt that they made vinyl figures sold in blind boxes and was so excited! I love collecting figures, I have since I was little. After watching lots of youtube unboxing videos, I finally caved into temptation and saved up to buy some. And thus, my TokiDoki blindbox passion obsession began. 

If you've been following me for a while now, you'll have probably seen some of my Unicorno posts (If not, why not check some of them out here & here?). I have now collected almost all of the Unicorno Series 4 figures, so this recent haul was originally supposed to just consist of several Series 4 boxes to try to complete my set; however I got a little carried away as you can see, haha! 

I ordered several of the Cactus Pets range because I only just learnt about their existence and I am in love! I lalso bought some of the newest releases- Unicorno Series 5 and Mermicorno Series 2, as well as a Moofia Series 2, a Sushi Car and a Donutella blind box. So... it's about time I revealed the figures that I found inside!*pic heavy*

TokiDoki Cactus Pets

LOOK HOW ADORABLE THESE GUYS ARE! How could I not fall in love at first sight!? I realy love the TokiDoki Cactus Friends characters and have always hoped they would make some standard sized figures of them. They have previously released Cactus Kitties and Cactus Pups collections but the figures are mini, and so I decided they were not value for money and never bought any. So, you can imagine my delight when the Cactus Pets range was brought to my attention! I just love how unique the Cactus characters are, and I'm an animal lover so this combination of cute creatures and spikey outfits is perfect for me! I really like how the spikes on each figure are more than one colour. I also just really like how bright and cheerful the Cactus Pets look! 

The first Cactus Pet that I opened was the frog, who's name is Roger (how cute is that!?) and I was so happy since the frog and the Peanut the hamster are my favourites in the collection. My least favourite was the purple chick, but when I actually saw this figure in person it's a lot cuter than I thought it was. I was glad to get some of the two cats available in the collection. This pretty kitty is called Luna and she reminds of a Siamese cat. I love the shade of blue that they've used for her. The turtle's shell is covered in hearts and is a lovely figure. I adore his little smiley face! Which Cactus Pet do you like best out of the ones I received?

TokiDoki Cactus Pets

TokiDoki Cactus Pets

TokiDoki Cactus Pets

I was really looking forward to checking out the fifth series of the Unicorno figures, and although I didn't get the characters that I most wanted, I was still happy with the ones I did get. They are so vibrant! It was also interesting to see how they've changed the figures. The previous unicornos have had tails that were moveable and these ones don't. Also, the symbols and patterns on the unicorns are made of a different material which feels almost like a sticker, even though it's not. I don't know how they keep coming up with so many new designs but the artists over at TokiDoki always do a fantastic job!

TokiDoki Unicorno Series 5

TokiDoki Unicorno Series 5

TokiDoki Mermicorno Series 2

Even thought I don't plan on collecting each entire Mermicornos collections, I think they are such gorgeous little figures and meramaids are awesome so I couldn't not buy at least one from this new series. I already have one from Series 1 so it only seemed right, any excuse to buy blind boxes basically! I didn't get any of my favourites again, but Perlina is pretty and I love her summery colouration. I love the two-toned horn, and how her little pearl bow matches her mane. I've not very keen on the purple tail in contrast to the other colours on the figure but it's lovely nonetheless. 

As for my Unicorno Series 5 figures, aren't they awesome? Of course, I adore the kawaii themed 'Tokimeki' with her candy land mane and colourful stars. The little pink teddy tear is a fabulous addition to her look too! The other figure from this collection that I got is 'Kinoko' which means mushroom in Japanese, and I have always loved cute mushroom print things! Although all of the bold colours combined with these make me think of psychedelic artwork. I'm happy to add these unicorns to my overgrowing collection :)

TokiDoki Blind Box

Above are the Donutella & Friends, Moofia Series 2 and Sushi Cars figures that were waiting for me inside their very pretty boxes. That's something that I love about the TokiDoki blind boxes, they have such colourful and well-decorated boxes. They all have different designs for each collection and have lovely illustrations of all of the characters you can expect in the series. I love the shape of the Donutella blind boxes, it's not like any other blind box packaging I've seen. The boxes for Moofia characters are also in a milk cartoon-style box... like how great an idea is that!? 


TokiDoki Donutella and Her Sweet Friends


TokiDoki Moofia Series 2

TokiDoki Sushi Cars

I was surprised to get Donutella herself in my 'Donutella & Her Sweet Friends' blind box. I wanted one of her kitty or puppy friends but I can't complain at getting the main character in the collection. I love the look of donuts with rainbow sprinkes and they are all over the figures in this set, which are all sweet treat theme without most of them of course being donut related. I love Donutella's pink hair and socks, and how she's posed like a ballerina almost. I'll admit that I really didn't want to get one of the yogurt figures inside my Moofia box, but I did. I also bought my niece some surprise boxes (she loves blind box figures now, I'm a bad influence!) and she got one of my favourite characters... typical! As much as I didn't want a yogurt, I still like how he's a little greek yogurt and he's got ancient greek sandals on, and a pattern similar to those you would find on pottery artifacts from that era! 

How adorable is my Sushi Car figure though!? And for once, I got the one I wanted first time around! I had my heart set on this Palette figure because she's one of my most loved TokiDoki characters. I love the Series 4 Unicorno that is inspired by her, and I love this car! The figure is called 'Palette: California Rollin'. I really like the expression on this sushi's face because it makes me think of Studio Ghibli's Totoro. Who agrees? The wheels on these figures don't move which is a shame but I didn't expect them to since these are not toys as the boxes like to remind us!

TokiDoki Unicorno Series 4

I didn't manage to get my two missing figures to complete my set of Series 4 Unicornos. They are both chasers (these are rarer figures that are harder to get), which you have a 1/48 chance of finding. I neeeeed them *cry cry*. I'm actually selling these four figures since they are duplicates so let me know if you're interested. Left to Right: Ruby, Yuma, Sirena & Yuki (aka Elsa Pony!). 

TokiDoki Collectable Figures

You've reached the end of today's post and if you didn't know how much I love these figures, you certainly do now! I actually squeal when I open these boxes, haha. I'd love to hear your opinions on the figures that I got in my TokiDoki blind box haul: who's your favourite? your least favourite? Have I made you want to buy some for yourself? I always get my TokiDoki figures from a UK based online store called Collect & Display. If you're into collectable figures, you should definitely check them out and they have a reward points system too which you can build up with every purchase and get money off your future orders! I hope you enjoyed this post :)

Thankyou for reading!

 

Have you ever bought a blind box? What figure did you get inside? 

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