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Thursday, 28 July 2016

Book Club - My Review - Girl Online - Zoe Sugg



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This weeks book - Girl Online
Author - Zoe Sugg aka Zoella
My Score out of 10 - 7/10
Blurb - Under the alias Girl Online, Penny blogs her hidden feelings about friendship, boys, her crazy family and the panic attacks that have begun to take over her life. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets Noah: a gorgeous, guitar-strumming American. Suddenly Penny is falling in love - and capturing every moment of it on her blog.
But Noah has a secret too. One that threatens to ruin Penny's cover - and her closest friendship - forever.

At the age of 25 I wouldn't say I was the target audience for this book, I think it is aimed at people a lot younger than me, so I was a bit skeptical reading this at first, thinking I wouldn't enjoy it but I was wrong. Yes the story is very predictable and fairly unrealistic but I liked that. It was nice to read something that was easy going, fun and innocent for a change. I am still like a child at heart, and reading this book whisked me back to my teenage years when I used to read stories like this and dream of being in love. I think for teenagers this book is great, it is full of love, drama and general life and problems of a teenager. If you are a critical book reader who only likes books with a plot you don't expect then it's probably not for you. Though you may be like me and just enjoy reading something that is just for fun, I felt the emotions Penny feels in this book and remembered how tough teenage years can be! Overall I really enjoyed this book and think I might read the second one at some point, because even at the age of 25, I still want to know what happens with Penny!

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Anxiety and I


Today blog post is a bit of a personal one, I wrote this draft and read it over and over and now finally have the confidence to post it. You see I am not very good at talking about personal things, with anyone. I tend to keep them bottled up and let them fester. Recently I have been writing my thoughts down in a diary, just for myself but even writing them down helps, so I thought why not write them on here.
I suffer with anxiety, now some people will totally relate to this and some people will be thinking 'oh just anxiety, lots of people have that' which is true but it doesn't mean it isn't different for every person and how it effects their lives. To certain people I must seem like a confident person, I put on a brave face, and know how to have fun but underneath there is always fear. Fear that people aren't going to like me, fear that people talk about me behind my back, fear that something bad is going to happen, fear of being alone. These feelings aren't always there but when they are, they are powerful and take over my whole thought process.
Recently I have been trying to deal with my anxiety and face it head on instead of hiding it away/pretending it isn't there. The last few months I have definitely felt less anxious and more positive about life in general, I thought I would share some of the things that have helped me the last few months:

1. Writing them down - As mentioned above, I have wrote the thoughts down on paper, sometimes just seeing what I have wrote has made them seem like silly thoughts to have and I have been able to laugh them off. But just having them out of my head, seems to make a difference.

2. Talking - this seems like an obvious suggestion but to most people who suffer with anxiety it's actually incredibly hard to admit to someone else how you feel. Lately every time I have felt anxious about something or even just had anxious thoughts I have told J about them and he has helped to make me feel better.

3.Distraction - If I am having a day where I seem to feel a lot more anxious then usual or have a lot more anxious thoughts I find the only way to overcome this is to distract myself. I tend to stick on a favorite film, my favorite music or read a book I love,

The main thing to realize is you are not alone, there are lots of people out there who feel the same way. You are perfect the way you are, so embrace it and try to live your life the best way you can.

Monday, 18 July 2016

A weekend mini break - plus Pokemon catching!





It's Monday which means back to work for me, which feels even more depressing this week because I had literately the best weekend! I had Friday booked off work, so on Thursday evening me and J hopped in the car with a small holdall and snacks and drove down to Cornwall! It's about a 3 and a half hour journey for us but we drove at night so there wasn't much traffic and with snacks and lots of music the journey went quickly!

We spent Friday morning in Port Isaac where the TV series Doc Martin was filmed, the village was lovely and very picturesque and it was so cool to see Doc Martins house and other buildings from the series, we spent the morning there and had some lunch and a cup of tea whilst looking out at the small beach.
In the afternoon we headed back to Bude where we were staying, it wasn't hot enough to go swimming in the sea but we had a long walk on the beach and paddled in the sea, it was really relaxing and I didn't want the day to end!

On Saturday we drove further South down Cornwall to visit my mom who lives there, the sun was shining all day and we sat in her garden catching up and sunbathing, it is so different in Cornwall compared to Birmingham, its peaceful and quiet and I always feel so much more relaxed when I am there!

Sunday we were back home and we had the first proper day of Summer we have had all year! A couple of our friends came round for brunch and we decided to go for a walk and also to catch Pokemon! Pokemon was like my whole childhood and when the app Pokemon Go came out I just HAD to get it. Unfortunately getting the app makes you instantly addicted and now I can't stop checking if there is Pokemon where ever I go! Anyway we went on a long walk (7 miles to be precise!) catching Pokemon and stopping every now and then for a drink at the local pubs, ice cream and lunch. It was such a lovely day, we had a good laugh, spent lots of time outdoors and just generally had lots of fun seeing which Pokemon we can find. Pokemon Go has had some bad press but I think as long as people act safely when playing it is a great app, it gets people outdoors and if playing with friends can be very social!

So the weekend was pretty much perfect the only downside is it went way too quick! Anyway I am off to stock up on tea and get through Monday morning, hope your weekend was as good as mine! Let me know what you got up to!

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Book Club - My Review - You and Me Always - Jill Mansell



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This weeks book - You and Me Always 
Author - Jill Mansell
My Score out of 10 - 6/10
Blurb - On the morning of Lily's twenty-fifth birthday, it's time to open the very last letter written to her by her beloved mother, who died when she was eight.
Learning more about the first and only real love of her mum's life is a revelation. On the same day, Lily also meets Eddie Tessler, a man fleeing fame who just might have the ability to change her world in unimaginable ways. But her childhood friend Dan has his own reasons for not wanting Lily to get too carried away by Eddie's attentions.
Before long, secrets begin to emerge and Lily's friends and family become involved. In the beautiful Cotswold village of Stanton Langley, nothing will ever be the same again...


Another week, another book read, I seriously wish I could just make a living from reading all day, that would be the best job ever! I picked up this book whilst shopping in Tesco, I love a chick flick as you have probably guessed and the cover looked all pretty and girlie so I was drawn to it like a magpie!

I really enjoyed reading this book, it was easy to read, a lovely story and I just loved the main character Lilly just as much as she is loved in the book. The book contains love, loss, hope and friendships. I liked the way the book shows how relationships can be caused by certain events or coincidence but end up being the most meaningful relationships to you. It also shows how love isn't always simple and can be complicated. The characters are all easy to relate to and you soon feel like you know them well.
I loved Jill Mansells writing style and will definitely read some more of her work in the future.
I gave it a 6/10 because although it is a very pleasant read, it is quite predictable and the story is one of a typical romantic novel.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

A visit to Downton Abbey!



The first time I watched Downton Abbey I fell in love, I loved the gorgeous setting, the characters, the outfits and was all of a sudden addicted! When the last ever series finished last year I was devastated, soon after I started watching it from the beginning again and have done so several times since!
So when I was asked if I would like to go visit Highclere Castle (where Downton Abbey is set) with J's family the answer was a massive yes!
We booked the tickets really early in January as people had told us how quickly it sells out, and we managed to get tickets for July 10th. After months of waiting that day arrived on Sunday and we set off for at 8am for the 2 hour drive from Birmingham to West Berkshire.

When you arrive at Highclere Castle you first drive down a very very long driveway to the Castle, the grounds around are stunning and you soon start to see the castle in view.

Pulling up to Highclere Castle took my breath away, it is just stunning. Standing there in all its glory its just a gorgeous building! Being a Downton Abbey fan I instantly recognized the front of the building and the gravel drive from the programme which was really exciting! There was a small queue waiting to go inside the castle but it moved fast, and we were only waiting for about 5 minutes before we entered the building!



You are not allowed to take any photos inside of the castle which is a shame because it means I have none to show you but understandable. The inside of the castle was just as stunning as the outside, you are able to look around the 6 State Rooms downstairs and a selection of bedrooms upstairs including the bedrooms that were used for Lady Edith and Lady Sybil in the series. The rooms are so beautifully decorated and as you walk round they have a guide in each room able to answer any questions you have about the room. As you walk around you can also see where parts of Downton Abbey were filmed in certain rooms, and some have pictures of the cast filming which I really liked.

After having some tea and lunch in the tearoom, which was lovely and had a wide option of cakes, sandwiches and hot food we went to explore the castle grounds. The grounds are just beautiful, there is acres of land, and you are permitted to explore most of it. There is a secret garden with hundreds of gorgeous flowers, a wooded area, and lots of green land to explore. Walking around as a Downton Abbey fan I was able to recognize certain areas where parts of the series were filmed, including the bench Lady Mary sits on several times in the series!

We spent 5 hours at Highclere Castle but you could easily spend more time there, exploring more of the grounds and the gardens. They have a lovely gift shop and several tea rooms. All in all it was an amazing experience. If you are a Downton Abbey fan I would definitely recommend it but even if you're not it is still a lovely day out!








Thursday, 7 July 2016

Book club - My Review - Everything Everything - Nicola Yoon


Everything Everything - Nicola Yoon



This weeks book - Everything Everything
Author - Nicola Yoon
My Score out of 10 - 8/10
Blurb - Live life in a bubble? Or risk everything for love? Maddy is allergic to the world. She hasn't left her room in seventeen years. Olly is the boy next door. He's determined to find a way to reach her. Everything Everything is about the crazy risks we take for love.

This book is another from Zoellas WH Smith book club, I started reading this book the end of last week and finished it less than 24 hours later, it would of been even less than that if work and sleep didn't matter. I love that the book is written in 1st person from Maddys point of view, as it really helps the reader understand exactly how Maddy is feeling and realise how much we can take for granted. I absolutely loved the story both reading about Maddys illness and her and Ollys relationship developing. I didn't want to put it down as I just needed to know what happened next. The story was another that tugs on the heart strings and so many times I felt sorry for both Maddy and her Mother. I would recommend this book to anyone of any age if you want a easy to read, but something a little different to the usual love story!


Wednesday, 6 July 2016

June Favorites!

July already, how?! This year seems to be flying by! On the plus side its now closer to Christmas which is very exciting, but for now I would just like some kind of summer please?  Anyhow, here are my June favorites, enjoy!




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Books
All the Bright Places - I know, I know I wrote a whole post about this book and keep banging on about it on twitter, But I HAD to put it in June favorites because it has been a favorite this month, you can read the review here! But yeah basically I loved it!


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TV
Game of Thrones - It's cheating a bit to put Game of Thrones as a June favorite as it's been a 6 year favorite really but season 6 just finished and it was one of the best in my opinion,  I loved every bit of it and now I am so gutted its over! Got to find something to replace it for the next year!

Orange is the new black - Season 4 of OITNB came on Netflix this month and I am on episode 6 and loving it so far. Taystee is my favorite she is just hilarious. If you haven't watched it yet, where you been?! I would definitely recommend it!

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Fashion
£5 Primark Dress - I got told by J last week that we were meant to be attending a christening 2 days later and he had forgot to inform me! Men ey! I went to Primark hoping there might be something cheap I could buy last minute, and came across this dress, it was originally £13 but had been reduced to £5! How crazy is that! It was so comfortable to wear and I had several compliments on it. Its the bargain of the year for me I think!

Pull & Bear - I was browsing ASOS and came across this skirt and I really wanted it but they didn't have my size, I saw it was by the brand Pull & Bear so went and checked their website and lucky for me, (not so lucky for my bank balance) they had my size in stock! I loved wearing this skirt for a dinner out, it was so comfortable and the split up the middle makes it so much easier to walk in! I checked out their website and they have some gorgeous stuff, so I will be placing a bigger order this month for sure!

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Beauty
Barry M Speedy Quick Dry Nail Paint - Since Christmas I have mainly been painting my nails with gel polish as I had a kit as a present. The gel polishes have been great and last a lot longer but the colors are limited. I wanted some summery colors so I picked up this Barry M nail varnish in the shades In a Heart Beat and Turbo Charge. The colors are gorgeous, and they really do try quick. They last a few days and I definitely want to pick up a few other colors.
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Food
Kellys Clotted Cream Ice cream - Normally if i'm going to buy ice cream I choose different flavors like Ben & Jerrys Cookie Dough or Caramel Haagen-Dazs but J's Parents had some Kellys Clotted Cream Ice Cream in the freezer and I thought I would try it. OMG it is so so good! It literately melts in your mouth and tastes so creamy! Yum! I may or may not have bought 2 boxes since.



Friday, 1 July 2016

5 Payday Thoughts!


 
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So it's that time of the month again, the day that makes everyone happy .. Payday! Whilst sitting at the computer, refreshing my bank account page,waiting for my wages to go in, I realized I pretty much think and do the same thing every single payday. Here are my 5 payday thoughts:

1. YEY, I have finally been paid, I can go pay all of my outstanding bills now *pays all bills* checks bank balance, where has all my money gone i'm skint again already (goes and buys a bottle of wine to drown sorrows)

2. Oh, I have been paid I can go buy all the clothes off my wishlist, go to buy said clothes, realize I have spent most my wages on bills, buys 1 item off wishlist (goes and buys a bottle of wine to drown sorrows)

3. Go to the supermarket and buy all the good food, I have been paid there is no need to be stingy, give me all the posh meats, cheeses, bread and ice cream. (Lives off beans on toast for the rest of the month)

4. Agree to go on a night out as everyone has been paid and is up for it. Have a few drinks get merry and agree to buy a round of shots and pay for them on my card, it's fine I have been paid (Wake up next morning, check bank balance, shiiiiit)

5. Get halfway through the month, check bank balance, think OMG this isn't right, have I been robbed? Has some one hacked my account? Look through the statement, realize all the spending has been me. Count down the weeks to payday, realize there is still 2 to go, panic! (goes and buys a bottle of wine to drown sorrows)