Friday, 17 November 2017

Owlcrate October 2017

I'v e been tweeting recently about how my love for books hasn't really made it onto the blog before so I've been making a conscious effort to share it and also get myself back into reading more regularly.

I signed up for Owlcrate in September and wrote about the September box here so I thought I'd share my thoughts on the October box too.

Owlcrate October 2017


Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Owlcrate - September 2017

Hey all!

I have a bit of a different post for you today. I've recently been sharing some tweets about my love for books which I haven't really shared on the blog that much.

I have so many books of so many types, and when I heard of monthly book boxes I was so excited to see what they contained. There are many available but I chose to try Owlcrate. It's a subscription box for young adult books and comes from the U.S. They seem to have a bigger range of book box subscriptions in America but there are a few in the UK too.


Thursday, 10 August 2017

Book Review - Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard

Hello there!

I don't think I've ever written a book review before, nor have I ever really adequately described by complete obsession for books. I am totally and utterly addicted, always have and always will be.

For the entirety of my life I have always read and had a shelf full of books, but after university I couldn't always bring myself to concentrate enough. Reading on a computer screen all day at uni/work and then writing the blog often I find I've had enough, but I have read through series such as Harry Potter (countless times now!), The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones amongst others. 

I used to get through a book every few days but now I'm lucky to get through a book in 6 months! I've been meaning to change this for a while but it was only recently when I had my car accident that I really took the time to buy a new book and get stuck in (having whiplash was the only time I was forced to sit down and relax!)

The book I chose was 'Red Queen' by Victoria Aveyard, so I'm going to share my thoughts on it and the other books in the same series (without giving spoilers!). I've not read too many book reviews as I tend to go on recommendations from others, so I hope this post covers what you would normally read!


Thursday, 5 May 2016

Life Update

Well hello there!

It has been a reeeeeeeeeeeeeally long time since I've written a life update. There's been a lot going on but nothing too exciting.

Mostly things in my house have been breaking left right and centre - it has been a crazy expensive few weeks and I've used all of my savings to replace and fix things. So when I haven't been trying to sort that out I've been trying to do as many cheap things as possible!

Firstly, my step count on my Fitbit has been shocking. I've been trying to walk before work a few times a week and also on my lunch times to get my count up. Once I get out there I feel so much better, but it can be hard to get up early. The mornings when the weather looks like this really help!

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I've even picked up a snazzy new pair of trainers - my other ones were 2 years old and there wasn't any padding inside any more, just the plastic!

As well as this I've been eating as healthily as I can and have joined a new gym. The Vale Resort is a pretty popular place, it's also expensive! I've been going to the local leisure centre since moving to my house but really miss the classes from my old gym which was a members only.

After a 21 day trial I obviously loved it, and joined as a full member. It is expensive but in my eyes, spending £40 a month on a gym that I don't go to is more of a waste than £55 on a gym that I got to 4 times a week and has allllllllllllllllllllll the extras including a personal trainer, sauna and steam room and Les Mills classes.

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I've been trying to vary my food as much as possible and get as many veggies in, including trying out zoats. If you haven't heard of zoats before, they are basically zucchini (courgette) oats where you grate half or a full courgette into a bowl of oats and milk to get some extra vitamins into your meal.

I've also got into making rice out of vegetables, grating whatever I have in the fridge including cauliflower, courgette and carrot or even all three to make a bed for some chicken or salmon to go on.
I can't always make it to the gym but I can eat better, so this is a good start!

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But sneaking in the odd piece of cake when visiting Waterloo Tea Gardens is always welcome, and when it's a spinach and pistachio cake it barely counts right?!

As well as things breaking in my house, my car has had a bad month. I already had my tax, service and MOT due. After that my car then decided to roll down my drive and into my house as the brake caliper had got stuck and worn away the brakes, a passenger door lock broke, a wing mirror fell off and I also need a tyre! I can't begin to tell you how much it cost and how utterly broke I have been wit also needing to pay for my glastonbury ticket, but I've spent a lot of time at home watching netflix to save every penny and over the last two months have managed to save myself a lot.

It's the grim reality of being an adult but I need my car to get around so selling it isn't an option.

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I also had a weekend where my parents went away and I was dog sitting. It was a lush weekend and we had plenty of walks together, he's very active so needs 3 walks a day and loves playing in between. Chasing him around a table is one of his favourites so I was kept very busy! He's a pampered pooch!

Not much more to add than this really, hopefully the next few months will be a lot more exciting. I haven't even been anywhere with work and don't have any plans for the foreseeable future. Fingers crossed a trip comes up soon!

L xxx


Friday, 4 March 2016

Book Review: Harry Potter Illustrated Book

Hello there! 

I don't know about you but me and M are both super Harry Potter fans, we absolutely love it and can't get enough. We love the books, the films, and have been known to attend Harry Potter parties...nerds!

I also love books in general, and bookshelves and I need to do everything I can to fill mine with the prettiest books in existence. You have probably seen the most recent adaptation to come out but I couldn't resist sharing as it is just so beautiful.

Meet the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: 


Don't panic, I won't be showing you all the pages as I would hate to ruin the surprise of how beautiful they are! But I have taken a few snaps to make you understand how perfect it is and how you need it in your collection!

I thought this would be another book with a few images in it, beautiful images but just a couple here and there.
I have to say I was extremely impressed that every page has either a scene, a character or just general doodles around the text to bring it to life.


Each of the chapters has a really detailed doodle to introduce them and it just makes me want to draw my own and colour it all in!



Even if you are not as much of a fan as we are, you cannot deny that the book is gorgeous and is a great gift for children and adults.

I cannot wait for the next book to come out and all the rest so that I can complete this collection too!

The RRP of the book is £30 but I believe that you can buy this from Amazon for £14 - which let's face it is a wonderful bargain.

What do you think of Harry Potter? Do you love books like me?

It's my absolute dream to have a display of books that makes it onto Pinterest!

L xxx


Saturday, 28 March 2015



It's been a while since I've done a life post and to be honest I've got so much to share it's been a bit of a whirlwind. My job that I haven't posted about much since I started it back in October has been progressing really well. There's a lot of training and it can be hard work, sometimes all I can do when I finish is get home and sleep! But I'm so much happier than I was in my old job and the people I work with are really nice.

As part of my job I will be travelling around visiting customer sites to provide things like training and assistance - cue lots of meals out that work have paid for. I have been loving trying out lots of new restaurants but I don't think my expanding waistline will be!


I've mainly been to Salisbury so far which wasn't somewhere I had been before - I stopped at Bills for food which was good as I'd never been there and their pink lemonade was beautiful! The bottle was cute to start with the but it tasted amazing and I love that they put fruit in with it too.

The food was also amazing and I had the chicken, winter coleslaw and sweet potato chips. I was so hungry but after this I was full and could have slept for hours - the best kind of feeling.



I've also been checking out the Wagamamas - salmon yaki soba is my new favourite thing! My mum does a similar meal with salmon, stir fried veg and noodles but this is also really good. It's my favourite kind of food!

I have also tried to have a walk most evenings to get some fresh air and attempt to combat the food I've been scoffing. Doing some wandering ensured that I cam across the beautiful Salisbury Cathedral. It's a shame it's always been dark when I've been there as I imagine it would look beautiful in daylight and I'd love to see inside too.



Totally changing topic me and M went to our friends for an overnight stay and I decided to make some snacks to take with us - being Harry Potter obsessed I made some biscuits using my mums owl shaped cutter, they were just like shortbread and a definite hit!

With this month's pay day I was determined not to spend my money on make up, I need to save some money and also work through my massive pile of products. I've been looking into buying a house (more on this soon!) and one thing I really want is a massive bookcase. I have tonnes of books, new and old leather type ones that I'd love to make a feature of.

The Barnes and Noble books are something that you just cannot ignore, not only do they have most childhood books available but also the classics too. I can't rave about them enough and the Alice in Wonderland book was my faovurite.....until I saw these online and had to buy them!


Gray's Anatomy is the absolute Bible for any medic interested individual. It even has plenty of anatomy drawings, some points are outdated so using this to teach yourself medicine would be a bad idea but nevertheless its very interesting and one that I just had to have on my shelf.

I also couldn't help but notice the beautiful Secret Garden book too, it had a few % off on Amazon and also there weren't many left so I panicked and snapped one up!



I love the covers as they are but the quote on the back is lush!


I'm finishing today's post with a picture of my dog after an extremely rainy walk - my parents went away for a holiday and left us in charge, the horrible weather and being ditched by my dad left him looking a little bit sad! Look at those eyes!

What have you all been up to recently?

L xxx


Saturday, 14 February 2015



Today's post is a mismatch of photos I've taken over the last few weeks of places I've been and things I've eaten. I've got a lot better at not taking pictures of everything I eat when out but sometimes, it's just got to be done!

First up I'd like to congratulate myself and announce that I have finally paid off all of my debts. This includes my credit card (ENDLESS!) and also the money I borrowed from my parents to pay for my car and then all of the subsequent things that went wrong with it plus the insurance and tax that I couldn't afford from having still not paid the original money back - phew.

This means I can finally get on with my life and start savings for real! This is exciting and I can't wait to have some savings to fall back on in future and save for things like holidays and moving out.


I cannot wait to move out but I'm not going now until I've got enough to buy my own place - no point wasting money renting for a few months. I love going to vintage fairs now and my mum mentioned Cardiff Indoor Flea Market so we HAD to go and check it out. It's basically in a warehouse but it's a permanent fixture and they had loads of pretty much everything!

I loved that even though it was full of so much stuff they still had some coloured flags and bicycles hanging from the ceiling! It's a very cold place as it's not insulated at all but it's quite happy and busy too.



The furniture in there was amazing, so many old wooden pieces that I would love to get and do up myself. I know where I'll be going when I get my own place!

At home I've had to do some DIY - the inside of my fixed wardrobes were pretty much outside wall and have been letting in damp. They've been there for 33 years and we've lived in this house for 16 but of course my dad decided it had to be done NOW.

It took FOREVER to empty out the clothes and make up residing inside but if I'm honest, the real issue was the books. I'm such a hoarder of books that its a bit ridiculous but the number one thing I want in my house is a bookshelf so I'm saving them up! Here's the disaster I came home to one day after work....


What a nightmare! After a few days it was dry and I had to move everything back again, decorating is hard work but you don't even get to see this work which is even more annoying....

I've been trying to start reading again. I failed miserably with my plan to read more last year so this year I've set myself the target of reading a book per month - this way its doable and I can hopefully make a dent in some of the books I have.

This was a murder mystery that my neighbour leant me and my mum and one Friday things had been so exhausting throughout the week that I sat there with my tub of Nutella (with my name on obviously) and proceeded to eat 1/4 of the jar....whoops!


Normally a spoon of it does the trick for me and it curbs my cravings any further but that week was particularly draining and I went a bit crazy! Made me feel so much better though so I'm convinced it's what the doctor would have ordered....

Another change I've made in my room is finally getting a picture up. I've wanted a globe of the world for absolutely ages but can never seem to find one in sepia tones that I can afford....I found this print and frame in ikea for less than £20 and I knew I just had to get it. It's a map from 1881 so it's not correct at all but that's what I love about it even more. I stare at it all the time now, making a mental wishlist of where I'm going to go :)


I've finally signed up for Women's Health again after my subscription ran out mid year. I managed to get a good new year deal so was really pleased, I'd fully recommend it for anyone who's the slightest bit into health. It's got lots of fitness in it but also beauty, clothing and interviews with people like Britney, and who doesn't want a flat stomach like hers??


I recently realised that my hair has grown loads - look at the length on this! My hairdresser dyed it at Christmas for me but didn't have time to cut it so I drove to her house after work, she put the dye on and I drove home and washed it off myself half hour later! I looked a right mess in the car haha.


By the time I got it cut this time I really felt like the ends were a bit heavy so I also had a few layers put in so that it's not all one big block of hair - even straightened it looks a bit straggly which isn't a good look!



Lastly I've been looking into creating my own palette like the one above. I have a few of those colours but if you have any suggestions for me then please send them my way.
I've recently bought Brule and liked it but it wasn't the white highlighter I was looking for, the more I look into the colours the more I find I need!

You can never have too many nude coloured eye shadows can you??

What have you been eating and drinking this month? Did you manage to make it through Dry January without a drink or complete a month of a clean eating diet?

I think aside from my slip up with Nutella I've not done too badly....

L xxx


Sunday, 23 November 2014

Christmas Gift Guide II

Two weeks ago I wrote a Christmas Gift Guide based solely on Boots, Debenhams and Space NK - product heaven if you ask me!

Not only is Christmas a time for pampering though, it's a time for personalised and fun gifts that mean something to the recipient. Here's my round up of some fun, indulgent and unique gifts.

Not on the High Street

I've been browsing the gift site for a while for a range of gifts for various occasions including weddings and new babies; it certainly doesn't disappoint in that!
This Cocktail Garden kit is a great way for a friend to get more involved with their cocktails whilst getting mildly green fingers. I for one would love to try it out and make a mojito with my own mint that I'd grown. For £13.50 its a lot of fun! Find it here.

I always love this gift too. not only does it show where you've been but it's also a check list for new places you can discover in future. I'd love one for my future property (in my dreams!) and it will only set you back £15.95. Find it here.

The Personalised Gift section is one of my favourites; there's nothing like a unique gift for making it into your friend or relative's top present for all time!

You can browse the art prints that can be personalised here, I couldn't choose a picture as there so many lovely ones to look at!

Amelia Rope

I've written about Amelia Rope before (post here). She makes a wonderful range of chocolate with a twist and creates amazing flavours with sea salt, honeycomb, nuts, rose and so much more. A bar will set you back around £5.60 but the bundles can be great value ranging from £16 to £28 for the chocolate lover in your life.

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These bars really are special and I cannot recommend them enough, me and my family have shared bars and had a right giggle over the flavours and surprised ourselves with how much we loved the combinations. She uses fruits, nuts, seeds, plants and everything edible to create amazing new flavours and I believe many people would love such a treat.

You can find her site here - don't blame me if you end up buying them all!

Barnes and Noble Books

Most people love a good read, and there's nothing like a classic. I absolutely love old books and like a lot of people my aim when I buy my own place is to get a seriously big book case and fill it.

Barnes and Noble's Leatherbound Classics are the most perfect collectible books I've ever seen. Any book lover would appreciate them on their own but as the start of a collection it's a lovely present.

Image from Barnes and Noble
Each cover is different and with 113 different classics to collect you are sure to find one to suit. I can't stop staring that them and how beautiful they are!

Find the full list here

Liberty Scarves

I don't know about you but I loved watching the Liberty of London tv program, it's a lovely shop to go in but seeing all of the staff and how quirky and creative they are is fascinating to me. As a scientist most of my day is so far from the artistic creations that I used to be part of when doing art at school and working in retail so I love watching when other people do it!

When thinking of Liberty it's obvious that you will think of their scarves so when browsing and making my own wishlist of silk scarves I couldn't resist but share these lovely ones for a real Christmas treat.

CashCa Black Cashmere Scarf £105

You cannot go wrong with a simple black cashmere scarf and this one is all about luxury! 

Vivienne Westwood Blue Dyed Flag Viscose Scarf £120

I love a bit of VW for her love of the Union Jack and typical British colours, a scarf like this would look gorgeous with any outfit but I'd love it to throw on at work and brighten up my black and grey work outfits! 
Navy Liberty London Star Paisley Silk Scarf £110

The Liberty scarves are second to none when it comes to the timeless wild scarf. There are people who flock from all over the world to get them and their prints are infamous. I particularly like this one as it looks so much like peacock feathers and the colours are gorgeous. I don't think anyone would be angry for receiving a timeless classic like this. 

Frame Again*

We were contacted by Frame Again after writing the previous Gift Guide and it was lovely of them to allow us to create our own to see how the process works. Frame Again have featured on Dragon's Den but after turning down Peter Jones have built up their company on funds from the public. Their business specialises in printing and framing photos of your choice with multiple colour choices.

The best part of these frames? Not only are they able to be fixed to a wall but they are also magnetic, meaning you can fix them together back to back or side by side for a really cool effect. I've seen many images where others have tiled them on walls for a wall of photos which looks really cool, as well as sticking them together on a desk in series.

I chose to send them a picture of me and M at Glastonbury to test out the service and it was so much fun choosing the colour combinations. The delivery service was also super speedy and I received it just over a day after ordering.


The frame feels really sturdy and good quality and I look forward to getting more in future. I'd love to have a wall of them in multiple colours; they'd look great in a study, kitchen or hallway as a feature wall.

You can personalise your own Frames here for £9.99 at the moment instead of £19.99.

What do you think of these gifts? Would you love to receive them on Christmas Day? 

Let me know!

L xxx


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Book Review: A Song Of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin

Morning All

Hump day is here already. I love Wednesday's as it's my mega gym day and I always feel strong after it.

I've done a few book review posts now so thought it was about time I shared my current addiction. I'm a huge fan of reading. I love getting lost in a book and this year I seem to have gotten back into reading and finding the time again. (Goodbye reading the metro daily hello books!).


I thought I'd talk about the first 3 books in The Song of Ice and Fire series as I've currently just started the fourth. The first 3 are a Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords.

I feel I should start by saying if you asked me my preferred reading genre 100% it would be chrime thiller, second to that chick lit and thirdly classics (mainly as I want to read them more lately!). On multiple occasions I was told to watch Game of Thrones. I refused point blank for ages. I would go as far to say I hate Lord of the Rings (I am now determined to read the hobbit!) And I thought Game of Thrones would be alone those lines amd I wasn't interested.  If I watch or read fantasy it's more teen things like Harry Potter,  Twilight and Hunger Games.


In February I was finally persuaded to give it a go and agreed to try watching and reading it. I had already set myself up not to like it as everyone said it was good but a really hard read and complicating as there are lots of characters and it goes between them all. For me I watched two episodes of the first series then started reading the books. I think watching a few episodes first really helped me to have the characters in my head and understand the relationships linking everyone before I got stuck into the book. (One helpful thing is at the back of the books there are character lists and family tree type information).

It's been 9 weeks since I watched the first two episodes and I can honestly say a book has never gripped me so much yet taken me sooooooo long to read. If I love a book it's not unknown for it to take me 2 days to finish it. I'm a fast reader and probably scan read a lot. With A Song of Ice and Fire you can't do that as you'll miss things so I pove that it's got me reading properly again.


For two solid months I've read everyday except for two (I was horrifically hungover!) and I'm still hooked and not bored of it yet. I always want to read more. There are a few characters I don't enjoy so when I have their chapters ( the book is set into chapters where a chapter is a different characters story! Probably should have mentioned that sooner!) I am a bit slower reading them.

The books are long but don't let that put off. They are a great read. From someone who doesn't usually like the fantasy fiction genre I'm hooked.

I will give one bit of advice that was given to me. Don't love any characters George Martin is fond of killing them. It's great for keeping you on your toes and the end if every book has you reaching the next. I've been so gobsmacked sometimes I've text L in disbelief!

Have you read any of the books or watched the tv show? Even if it's not your thing seriously give it a go. But be prepared to lose a good few months to these books!

love M


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