Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Cosy TV Shows + Films To Watch This Autumn

Cosy Autumn Fall Movies

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Autumn feels like the best time to snuggle up to watch a cosy TV show or film with lots of snacks and blankets. There's nothing I love more than grabbing a hot drink and settling down to binge watch a series or relax with a film when it's gloomy and raining outside. I thought I'd help you out by sharing some of my favourite picks watch this Autumn. 

Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girls is the blue print of cosy TV shows. Everything from the opening credits (those leaves!) to the comforting side characters just screams heartwarming. Whenever I put on an episode it always feels like I'm being welcomed back with a hug. I personally love the episodes that see Stars Hallow events getting some spotlight, so "They Shoot Gilmores, don't they?" (S3 E7) and "The Bracebridge Dinner" (S2 E10) are two of my favourites to watch. 

Ghosts

A new find of mine has been Ghosts, a BBC comedy series from the makers of Horrible Histories. I wasn't expecting to love this TV series as much as I did, but I binge watched it over a matter of days and I'm already contemplating re-watching. The concept is simple, it's about a couple who inherit an old house full of ghosts (duh!) and when Alison has as accident, she's suddenly able to interact with the ghosts. It's got a Halloween feel to it without being scary in the slightest, so it's a perfect cosy Sunday pick. 

Great British Bake Off

Every year I get excited for the release of GBBO and wait for a new episode to drop week upon week. I've even gone back to watch old seasons as they feel so nostalgic for me. I wouldn't recommend watching Great British Bake Off without snacks to hand, however it's a great series if you're looking for baking inspiration or to just relax your mind for an hour. 

Vampire Diaries 

With a town name like Mystic Fall, you can't help but feel like Vampire Diaries is going to be perfect for a cosy Autumnal day. With themes of witches and vampires, you'll be sucked in to it in no time and with eight seasons to binge watch, I think your Autumn will be sorted! 

  • Shadow and Bone
  • Bridgerton
  • Anne With An E
  • Gossip Girl 
  • The Chilling Adventure's of Sabrina
  • Queen's Gambit
  • Sex Education
  • The Good Place

Cosy Autumn TV Shows

In terms of films, I think the cosiest options can come from your childhood because there is nothing quite as comforting as nostalgia. For me, I love a film that is wholesome and has that feel good factor. Personally I find that the best films for getting cosy in Autumn is the non-scary Halloween films, but I love anything with a magical twist too. 

Harry Potter

For me, Harry Potter is the film equivalent to Gilmore Girls when it comes to Autumn viewing. I've watched them both hundred times over, but they never get boring or lose their sparkle. I'm not sure if it's because Harry Potter is often shown on TV around December, but I feel like it's a good choice for Winter too. 

The Hobbit

If you feel like Lord of The Rings is a little daunting to sit through, then I'd recommend The Hobbit. It's a classic for getting in those cosy, magical feels - plus it's extremely wholesome so great for the whole family. 

Little Women

When you think of Autumnal films, Little Women probably wouldn't be at the forefront of your mind, but I find the whole vibe of the film, particularly the snowy scenes, perfect for feeling settling down on a rainy day. My favourite adaptation is the 2019 version as I find everything about it, from the scenery to the acting, an absolute dream.

Hocus Pocus

Although Hocus Pocus maybe a little bit more suitable for October and Halloween, I couldn't help but share it for Autumn too. It's great if you're looking for a non-scary film to get you in the mood and it feels great to watch Hocus Pocus on a rainy afternoon with a hot chocolate in hand. 

  • Practical Magic
  • Lord of The Rings
  • Malificient 
  • Knives Out
  • The Holiday
  • Shrek
  • Matilda

Here are some extras that may help you with your cosy day!

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Monday, 13 September 2021

Autumn Apple Picking + Easy Apple Crumble Recipe

Autumn Apple Picking Orchard

Autumn Apple Picking Orchard

Autumn Apple Picking Orchard

Every few Autumns, I stumble upon a new activity that I know will become a tradition for many years to come - this year it's apple picking. We took a trip down to Kent to visit the Castle Farm Orchard which is famous for their Norfolk Royal Apples that are shiny and vivid red in appearance. They so wonderful in fact that they're often donned the 'Snow White Apple'. With the sun shining and orchard in full season, I loved taking a wonder around the trees, smelling the slightly sweetened air and feeling a slight fresh breeze which could be mistaken for an early Autumn sign - or maybe that's just wishful thinking. 

With a basket in hand, I set off to pick the juicy red apples hanging from the tree and a few twist and pulls later (did you know that's the best apple picking technique?), I quickly filled my basket up to the brim. I've had visions of what I want to do with my loot for a while now, but the real question was whether I wanted to go for an apple crumble or pie - decisions, decisions! 

Although September is already flying by, I'm hoping that I can find a local apple orchard on my travels before they go out of season as I'd love to go back to one again this year. Whenever I find a new Autumn activity to do year upon year, I get a spring in my step as I love to fill each season with new things to do. Next up... corn maze hunting! 

Easy Apple Crumble Recipe

Now it's onto the good stuff - what to do with the apples you've just collected. There's so many ideas like baking a cinnamon apple cake or even going for toffee apples, but I decided to opt for the delicious classic crumble. The base is made up of the juicy apples mixed with fragrant cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, whilst the buttery topping makes for a warming treat!

Ingredients (Serves 4) 

50g Flour
25g Butter
50g Golden Caster Sugar 
10g Brown Sugar
3 Apples 
Cinnamon
Ginger
Nutmeg

Method

Preheat oven to 200c.

Peel and chop up the apples into slices or dice them (depending on your preference). 

Place in a saucepan with the golden caster sugar and your cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Cook until the apples have softened.

In a separate bowl, rub together your flour and butter until breadcrumbs form. Then slowly add in your brown sugar until combined. 

Once your apples have cooled. Place in a dish and top with your crumble mixture. Sprinkle some extra cinnamon and sugar for good measure. 

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with ice cream or vanilla custard. 
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Friday, 10 September 2021

Early Autumn Outfit Ideas

Early Autumn Fall Outfit Ideas

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I cannot believe it's taken me until now to share my favourite early Autumn outfit finds as I have been looking through and saving a bunch of pieces for some time now. If you enjoy checkered prints, mustard hues and cosy knits, then keep on reading because I'm going to be your biggest enabler. 

Tops + Jumpers

If there's one thing I'm lusting after at the moment it's the Pumpkin Patch Graphic Tee. I think it'd look great tucked into a skirt or just worn casually with jeans - plus it's very seasonal and adorable! Keeping with the Halloween theme, I spotted this Wake Me Up When Its October Tee and I think it's totally up my street and perfect for casual October styling.  

Skirts + Dresses

Checked skirts in Autumn totally have my heart as they're super easy to wear and when it gets colder, all you have to do is add a thick pair of tights to turn it into a Winter appropriate outfit. This Brown Heritage Check Skirt is perfect for an Autumn wardrobe and I feel like it can be worn casually or smartened up. 

If you want to go all out, then I would recommend checking out Modcloth as they often have pieces like this Halloween Sweater Dress which is a great quirky addition to your wardrobe if you're looking for something different this season. 

Coats + Jackets

Although I may be a little premature when it comes to needing a jacket or a coat, the season will come around quickly and I want to make sure I'm prepared. Usually the good ones go pretty quickly, so for the time being I am keeping my eye out for a Checked Shacket like this one or a borg jacket so I can live my Gilmore Girl dreams. 

Accessories 

I've got to admit I probably get the most joy out of shopping for the accessories to add to my outfits. I love finding a chunky pair of boots that I know will go with every outfit and a new pair of Halloween socks! Scarf shopping is also something I love to do and this ASOS Oversized Square Scarf is a great find as I love the different colours that make it up, so I know this would be great with any outfit. 

Something I buy every year is a pair of Polka Dot Tights. I'm not sure why this simple addition to an outfit can make a big difference, but I love them when I'm wearing an all black outfit and to add some warmth once it gets colder. 

I have been eyeing up these Maple Leaf Earrings and I think I'm going to make the plunge soon because I can see myself being super extra with these! 



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Tuesday, 7 September 2021

5 Things I've Added To My September To-Do List

September To Do List 2021
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To say I'm excited to have Autumn back is an understatement. I couldn't be happier to see the return of cosy nights, crunchy leaves and pumpkin everything! I feel like September is the perfect time to think about my new monthly to-do list, full of fun activities that I want to tick off over the next few weeks. 

September is the month I start to feel revitalised and despite the UK having a sudden heatwave, I'm still looking forward to how the season will change throughout this month. 

Go Pumpkin Picking 

I have a yearly tradition to go pumpkin picking on my birthday in October, but that requires a little planning in September to make sure I have a session booked in. There's a few places near where I live that often do great displays and have field full of pumpkins, so I'm really spoilt for choice. 

I've also been looking out for corn fields because I feel like they give off that perfect spooky feel, but I'm currently not having much luck. 

Read Five Books

Throughout the Summer, I got myself into a reading slump after setting the quest to read the Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows series back to back and despite enjoying the Grishaverse, I felt like I needed some new genres to read. To get back into the swing of things, I have set myself a goal of reading five books throughout September. I really want to focus on spooky or cosy feeling books for the Autumn season, so if you want to follow along you can follow me on my Goodreads

Decorate For Autumn

I've already put most of my Autumn decorations out, however I'm still looking for some extra pieces to fill some empty spots. It's hard to get good decorations in the UK, so I started earlier this year and made sure to keep looking in my favourite shops. I'm currently hoping that pumpkins will start to make an appearance in supermarkets, so I can set up a display on my fireplace! 

Visit An Apple Orchard 

I've wanted to visit an apple orchard at this time of the season for several years now, but haven't made it there yet. I envision myself picking the fresh, juicy apples then taking them home to bake into a delicious apple pie or crumble - with extra cinnamon to fill the kitchen with that scrumptious smell. Apples are out a little later than usual this year, so there's still some time left to find myself a local orchard. 

Pick Up Some New Outfits 

A new season is the perfect excuse to treat myself to a some new pieces in my wardrobe. At this time of the year I like to keep my eyes open for anything cosy and comfy, plus if it's in a checked print or is rust in colour then that's always an added bonus. I feel like shops haven't quite caught up with my excitement for Autumn, but I've put together a few of my favourite finds below. 

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Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Etsy Autumn Shops To Check Out

Etsy Autumn Fall Home Decor UK
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Etsy is always my go-to whenever a new season rolls around and they always have some unique finds especially around the Autumn and Halloween time. I know how popular Etsy is, but I sometimes feel like it can be hard to find the best products on their site, so I have compiled a list of my current favourites for you to check out. 

Autumn garlands are my absolutely favourite as the rust colours dotted around my house really adds warmth and a cosy feel. This Autumn Leaf Wall Hanging is absolutely amazing and it's gone in and out of my basket for several weeks now. I think there's several places around my home that this would fit perfectly. For Halloween, I've also been eyeing up this Wool Pumpkin Garland which is so adorable - somebody tempt me! 

I've been after some more kitchenware to get out once Autumn hits and despite being super simple, this Pumpkin and Squash Tea Towel actually looks like it'll be a great option to hang up and add a little colour to the kitchen area. Similarly I also think these Pumpkin Jars would look super cute for salt and sugar (but don't get them mixed up!). 

I share one of these Hey There Pumpkin Doormat's every year and I never get around to picking myself up one. I can imagine they'd look great styled up with pumpkins! If that isn't your thing, then maybe a cushion will be more up your street. This Rust Velvet Pumpkin Shaped Cushion is so adorable and looks so cosy, but this Pumpkin Patch Cushion is the one that's currently in my basket. 

Although I wasn't going to talk about fashion pieces in this post, I have some notable mentions anyway. These Maple Leaf Earrings would look so cute with an Autumnal outfit and these Soft Fir Tree Socks are calling my name because one can never have too many socks! I actually wore this Hocus Pocus T-Shirt in a recent Instagram post of mine and I thought I'd share it here as well. 

Have you found anything on Etsy recently? 
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Wednesday, 18 August 2021

24 Hours In Cambridge: What To Do and See

What To See and Do In Cambridge

After a recent overnight trip to Cambridge, I reignited my love for the city famed for it's university,  picturesque streets and of course - river punting. The cobbled lanes and quaint buildings give the city a cosy feel, one that I can't wait to return to this Autumn. That being said, even in Summer, the vibrancy of Cambridge is really one of the best. 

If you live near Cambridge, want to visit soon or you're just passing through, I have put together a few activities to do and places to visit whilst spending 24 hours in the city. 

Cambridge River Punting

Trinity Lane Cambridge UK

The Main Sights To See 

It goes without saying that there are lots of iconic sights to see in Cambridge, but luckily the city isn't too bad to walk around and you can see a lot of them in a short period of time. Trinity Lane was my first port of call in the early morning as there were minimal crowds. On the whole, I would say that in the Summer, the best time to truly appreciate Cambridge would be after the shops have shut in the evening or before they've opened in the morning. 

Despite the colleges being shut at the moment, that didn't stop me from ticking off Newton's Tree and the Mathematical Bridge. We watched as the punters went by underneath us, some being braver than others at manoeuvring the boat themselves. Something I wish we had gotten around to doing, which may be more suited to those doing 48 hours in the city, would be to explore the Cambridge Backs. This is an area that allows you to see all the picturesque colleges from behind and get some of the prettiest snaps. 

- King's College 

- Fitzwilliam Museum 

- St John's College

- Newton's Apple Tree

- Trinity Lane

- Bridge of Sighs 

Prettiest Cambridge Streets

Cambridge Instagrammable Streets

The Little Corners 

The small streets are my personal favourite as they're somewhere you can slip down when you want some peace and quiet. The Haunted Bookshop, situated down St Edwards Passage is a perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Some other favourites of mine were the St. Botolph's Church which has a charming door and Portugal Place, for some beautiful houses. 

- Sentate Hall Passage 

- Orchard Street

- Portugal Place

- St Edwards Passage 

- Check out all the churches! 

Cambridge Harry Potter Shop

Cambridge Where To Eat Restaurants

The Shops + Food 

We didn't have a lot of time to sample all of the food Cambridge had to offer, but there's a few windows we peeked into and some more that we got recommend that I thought I would add to the list here to inspire you. Fitzbillies was a shop that had a huge line outside and the Chelsea Buns in the window looked absolutely delicious - I want to go back purely to try out all the bakeries! 

After looking at several ice cream parlours, we finally settled on going to Jack's Gelato which also had a queue outside which can only be a good thing. I went for the controversial combination of salted caramel and mint choc chip, but the soft, moorish ice cream was a perfect companion as we pondered through the streets.

As for shopping, I personally don't go to cities to go shopping, but I did come to Cambridge a lot when I was younger to explore the Grafton and The Grand Arcade which is full of all the shops you may desire. Below are some other restaurants to check out: 

- Old Bicycle Shop

- Bridges Coffee Shop

- Bread and Meat

- Pint Shop

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Thursday, 5 August 2021

Early Autumn Decor Finds

Early Autumn Fall Home Decor

- All links in this blog post are affiliate links. For more info head to my disclaimer. -

I think it goes without saying that Autumn is my favourite time of the year. Just the thought of crunchy leaves and chunky jumpers fills my heart with joy, but I'm aware August may still be a little too early to get excited. That being said, Autumn decor tends to come and go quite quickly especially in the UK, so I have put together some of my favourite finds. 

Etsy is my go-to shop when I'm looking for unique pieces for the new season. They have a lot on there to choose from, but I know it can be hard to narrow it down to the best bits. This Rattan Pumpkin Fairy House is super similar to my mushroom bag, but with an Autumnal twist - I think this is great if you're more into the "farmhouse" decor. Keeping with the pumpkin theme, I also found these Miniature Pumpkin Spiced Candles which are undeniably adorable and this Hey There Pumpkin Doormat which I'm tempted to pick up for myself.

I went to Homesense and picked up lots of items over the past few weeks, but it's hard to link to exactly where I got it from. I found this Autumn Wreath which is super similar to the one I've got and I can't wait to either hang it on my front door or somewhere around the house. Another thing I'm excited to decorate with is my Autumn Leaf Garland which I've had for several years now and it always makes an appearance - it's just the perfect way to bring the outdoors inside. 

I'm always searching my local supermarkets for some new bits as I find that they can have some hidden gems. I actually just got this new Woodland Bedding which I think is a great fit for the transitional period between Summer and Autumn, plus the reversible design is always a bonus.

In terms of mugs, my cupboard is now overflowing with them and although I've put myself on a slight ban of buying anymore, it hasn't stopped me from window shopping. I think this Pumpkin Shaped Mug is absolutely perfect and almost exactly like the one I enjoy drinking from come September. 


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Wednesday, 21 July 2021

The Best Cottage Core Homeware Finds

Cottage Core Homeware Finds

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Cottage core is one of my favourite Summer aesthetics and I find homeware with this theme super cute and comforting. I know it can be difficult to know exactly where to look to find the perfect pieces, but I have just the blog post for you. 

I'm quite fussy when it comes to bedding, but as soon as I saw this Marks and Spencer Strawberry Set, I knew it had to go straight onto my wishlist. It's a great spin on the classic crisp white sheets and adds a little colour to your bedroom area. I'm also quite tempted by this H&M Wildflower Duvet Set as well because the tie ribbon details on the pillow cases are just so dreamy! 

Nothing says cottage core more than a teapot and teacup set. I've been after a teapot for a little while and I prefer ones with a novelty spin over the plain ones. This Honeycomb Bee Teapot is absolutely beautiful, but I also like the look of this Tea For One Pink option as well. 

Although not quite as dainty, I've picked up two of these Vintage Ceramic Soup Mugs recently in charity shop, but I found them online for you to see too. I absolutely love them hanging up in my kitchen and I think they work in that corner really well. Of course I don't need anymore mugs, but that doesn't stop me from looking and this Ceramic Daisy Mug is definitely making me think I need one more - just look at it! 

Keeping with the kitchenware theme, I have also spotted these Joules Bee Glass Tumblers which I think are so adorable, plus despite having bees embossed in them, these glasses look quite understated and perfect for Summer BBQ's.

We've not quite sorted out the garden yet, but I've still been looking at a couple of things that I think would look cute in a cottage garden. This Decorative Beehive is so pretty and it comes in an array of pastel colours, so you can get one that will work best with the flowers in your garden. I've got my eye on a rattan bench set and I think this Les Fruits Outdoor Cushion would add a lovely boost of colour to my garden too. 

Below I have put together some of my other favourite top picks: 

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Friday, 16 July 2021

An Instagrammable Guide To UK Flower Fields

Best Instagram UK Flower Fields

If you're based in the UK, you'll already know the feeling of scrolling through your Instagram explore page, looking at all of the dreamy fields of flowers, clicking the geotag only to find out that they're all the way across the ocean. To help you out this Spring and Summer, I have curated some of the beautiful places I have found to visit all across the UK. Settle in and grab a notepad because you're going to have serious wanderlust after this! 

Lavender Fields

When Summer rolls around, heading to a lavender field is always high up on my agenda. I would spend every afternoon in the fields if I could, surrounded by the sleepy scent and hum of the bees. Unfortunately that's not quite the achievable dream, but I do make it my mission to visit lavender fields several times a year. I would recommend picking the lavender if the field you choose to visit allows you too as you can bake or make something with the lavender afterwards. Also, don't forget to bring a picnic because it's a lovely way to spend a day out with the whole family! 

Lavender usually comes out in July and August, the earlier you go the less flowers there will be, but the less crowds, so that's something to keep in mind.

Hitchin Lavender, Hertfordshire

Yorkshire Lavender, York

Somerset Lavender, Bath

Suffolk Lavender Field, Ipswich 

Cotswolds Lavender, Cotwolds

Best Instagram UK Tulip Norfolk Flower Fields
Tulip Norfolk UK Flower Fields

Tulip Fields

This year I went to Kings Lynn, Norfolk to visit their tulip fields and I couldn't believe that there was somewhere this beautiful in the UK. It looked like a field straight from Holland with rows and rows of varying colours of tulips to walk through. 

As you can imagine I took many snaps and although the fields are now closed, I will definitely be planning to return next year! I went in late April, so it's the perfect way to welcome Spring in. I do believe that they are the only tulip fields in the UK, so I imagine that tickets will be hot commodity next year - so definitely one to bookmark. 

Kings Linn, Norfolk

Real Petal Confetti Company UK Flower Field

Real Petal Confetti Company UK Flower Field

Confetti Fields 

When I first set eyes on The Real Flower Petal Confetti Company, I thought that there was no way it could be UK based, but to my delight it was and I immediately booked a visit. Although not open for very long each year, it's definitely one to put in the diary if you're looking for somewhere to take pretty snaps. 

There's rows upon rows of different shades of Delphinium flowers in full bloom for you to enjoy and I'll be making my way back there next year too. I hope to see these types of fields popping up throughout the country over the next few years as they're proving quite popular, but currently I believe that the Worcestershire are the only ones in the UK. 

My top tip would be the bring a spare pair of shoes just in case the fields are muddy and make sure your camera is fully charged because you'll be taking all the photos! 

The Real Flower Petal Confetti Company, Worcestershire 

Best Instagram UK Flower Fields

Bluebells Woods

There's something about bluebells that make me feel like I'm a fairy frolicking in the woods. They usually start appearing in April and throughout May making them a perfect flower for the start of Spring. 

It goes without saying that it's important to keep the paths and never crush or pick any bluebells because we want to keep them protected for others to enjoy. Although there are many places to experience these blossoming blue flowers, I have put together a list of my favourite finds in the UK that are truly extraordinary. 

Ashridge Estate, Hertfordshire

Hole Park Garden, Kent 

Kinclaven Woods, Perth

West Woods, Wiltshire

Portglenone Forest, Country Antrim 

Wildflowers

If I'm honest, a few years ago I probably wouldn't have looked twice at a wildflower meadow, but now I actively hunt them out. They're often filled with an array of different flowers meaning each field is unique to the place and I just find that they're the perfect place to spend a Summer's afternoon. I'm finding that most places that have lavender or sunflowers fields, also have started to grow wildflowers too. They're a great way to encourage bees to pollinate, so it's important not to trample on them as well. 

Wildflowers are often best when stumbled upon, but whilst the likes of cows parsley and poppies usually spring up wherever they please, I still put together a list of places that often have great wildflowers throughout the UK. 

New Grove Meadows, Gwent

Muker Meadows, Yorkshire

Merry's Meadow, Rutland 

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Thursday, 15 July 2021

Shadow and Bone Trilogy Review

Shadow and Bone Trilogy Review

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My to-read pile is overflowing with books that I've promised to read for well over a year, but after watching the first season of Shadow and Bone on Netflix, the trilogy that the show was based on, made its way to the top of my list. 

I've got to be honest I've been recommended Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo more times than I can count, but it's often followed up with "and you'll love Six of Crows even more" which strangely put me off starting. That being said, after watching the Netflix show, I got super invested in the storyline, so I picked up the books and got reading with great ambition... and expectations. 

Shadow and Bone

Whilst others can easily finish a 400 page book in an afternoon, I'm not the fastest reader. I tend to be a page flicker, checking the map at the front and skimming back through past pages to remember people's names. Despite all of this, I made my way through the first Shadow and Bone book super quickly, before I knew it I was half way through and then I was done. Leigh Bardugo's way of writing is fast paced, engaging and easy to read which meant that no chapter felt like a drag. 

The book is written from the first person account of Alina Starkov, who not only has to venture across the dreaded Shadow Fold, an area of land covered in darkness and swarming with winged monsters, but she also discovers that she has a magical power.

I would say that Shadow and Bone lacked a little when it came to visual descriptions, but thanks to the Netflix series, I felt like I could imagine everything that I needed to. Talking of the adaptation, they've included characters from the Six of Crows duology which are a duo of books that come in at a later date, so that's something to note if you're reading the book after watching as you'll see there's a few names missing. 

4/5

Siege and Storm 

I was initially pleased when I found that Siege and Storm was just as easy to get through than the previous book, however despite the book starting off great, progressing the storyline for the first few chapters or so, it then dipped in the middle and felt like it was repeating itself quite a bit. The last fifty pages saved Siege and Storm from getting a low review because it ended up picking up pace again and made me feel excited to continue on my trilogy journey. 

It's important to note that due to the middle of the book dragging a little in places, I felt apprehensive that I was having to remind all the small and finite details for later. The whole book felt like it was to expand the Grisha universe further and teach you new lingo, which was great addition as I felt like the previous book didn't quite get down to the little details enough. 

In terms of my opinion of Mal, I never fully connected with him as a character, but the introductory of Nikolai was very welcomed. Without spoiling the plot too much, I felt like I liked him more in a couple of chapters than I did for Mal throughout the whole first and second book. In fact, that's what I would say about all this series as a whole, I enjoy the side characters far more than the the main ones, which probably adds to the difficulty at times to get through the plot. 

3/5

Ruin and Rising 

The final instalment of the trilogy was one that I went into with great optimism as I thought the second book had set this one up to have a book full of action. Whilst, I didn't completely feel let down by the book, I didn't quite get into it as much as I did the previous two as I felt like it dragged a little in sections. That being said, towards the last third of the book, the twists and turns had me hooked especially with certain characters, so I continued on the see the ending. 

Although this may be controversial to say, but as a book reader, I'm not often left disappointed with an ending, yes it can be frustrating when characters don't end up how you feel they should, but usually I can justify that it fits with the books overall feel. However, with Ruin and Rising's ending, I felt like it didn't embody what I the title promised. I felt like once the good twists in the story were revealed, the ending felt rather predictable. The build up of the books felt like it was going to have a more explosive ending, but unfortunately it fell flat and ultimately I felt like the books could have been split into two instead of three.

2.5/5

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Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Five Essie Summer Picks

Essie Summer Nail Favourites

Essie Summer Nail Favourites

- If a product is marked with a * it is a PR sample, but sent under no obligation to review. All links in this blog post are affiliate links. For more info head to my disclaimer. -

If there's one brand that I remain most loyal to when it comes to nail vanish shades, it's probably Essie. My collection has grown quite considerably over the years, but when Summer rolls around, I like to bring my favourites to the front in order to get the most wear out of them over the warmer months. Here are five of my current top picks: 

Pastels for Summer is hardly groundbreaking and although they can be an acquired taste, I think Essie's Go Ginza* works great with a tan on both your fingers and toes. It's purple undertones make this pale shade a little different to anything I have in my collection and I think it works well with a white mini dress on a hot Summers day. 

If you cast your mind back, you'll probably remember when Essie's Fiji was all the rage and although that pale pink hue has dwindled in popularity, Essie's Romper Room* may entice to revive the love. I personally could get away with wearing Romper Room with only one layer as it gives a subtle colour to the nails, but after two layers, the pink hue is super pretty. 

Essie's Sway in Crochet* is another one that may not be for everybody, but this blue shade goes opaque after just one application and I think it's a perfect pick for Summer. I feel like blue nails get a bad rep, but if you're hesitant to give them a try, I would recommend trying out pastel rainbow nails first of all. 

If there's one Essie nail polish that I think everyone should at least try, it would be Lady Like*. I feel like I've gone on about it for years now, but this muted mauve shade is great all year around. I personally like wearing it in the Summer as it goes with everything I wear. 

Last up, we have Essie Maximillian Strasse-Her*, the newest shade in my collection. It's one that I wish I had bought before because it's honestly the perfect everyday hue that isn't a nude. It's a sage shade that despite being an opaque colour looks understated and neutral on the nails. 

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Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Summer Cottage Core Picks Under £100

Summer Cottage Core Picks Under £100

- All links in this blog post are affiliate links. For more info head to my disclaimer. -

Summer finally feels like it has arrived and I have been wearing lots of floaty dresses and straw hats to mark the occasion. Whether you're going to have a picnic, go fruit picking or just hanging out with friends this Summer, I've got just the right thing for you as I'm sharing my current new season inspiration. 

Cottagecore is definitely a theme throughout my wardrobe in the Summer, dresses in this style is my favourite as the soft colours and delicate details always make me feel special. This Monki Noelle Midi Dress is high up on my wishlist at the moment as I find blue super wearable throughout Summer and it looks comfortable too. Another dress that I've been considering is this ASOS Tea Dress which I think is a great pick if you want the cottage core look, but you're more into mini dresses. 

Although I already own the Mushroom Basket Bag I thought I'd give it another mention anyway as I think it's one of my favourite purchases ever. I personally use it as a picnic basket or for storage around my house, but I love how cute it is! 

See some of my other top picks below: 

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Monday, 12 July 2021

Lavender Shortbread Biscuit Recipe

Lavender Shortbread Biscuit Recipe
- All links in this blog post are affiliate links. For more info head to my disclaimer. -

Visiting the local lavender fields is one of my favourite things to do in the Summer. The dreamy scent and the hum of the bees never fails to make me feel sleepy. Despite going to pick lavender for many years now, I've never actually baked with it, so I thought now would be the perfect time to experiment. 

I chose to make shortbread as the buttery texture works well with the delicate floral taste and I also felt like my shortbread recipe one of the most reliable so it could be easily adapted to adding in lavender.

I feel like these biscuits would be great served with a chamomile tea or taken on a picnic to enjoy with friends. If you want to adapt this recipe further, I would recommend adding in lemon zest for an extra citrus punch! 

Ingredients 

120g Butter
55g Caster Sugar
180g Flour + more for dusting
2tsp Lavender

Method (Makes 8 biscuits) 

Beat together the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. 

Add in half of the flour and fold into the mixture. 

Then add in the lavender and mix. 

Tip the rest of the flour and mould the dough into a ball with your hands. 

Once the mixture has formed a dough, roll it out onto a floured surface. 

Using whatever cookie cutter you want (I used this flower cookie cutter) cut out your biscuits and place them gently on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Put your biscuits in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. Pre-heat your oven to 180c. 

Bake your biscuits for 15 minutes or until slightly brown. Remove from oven and allow cool on a cooling rack. 

Enjoy! 
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Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Summer Beauty Favourites

Summer Beauty Favourites

- If a product is marked with a * it is a PR sample, but was sent under no obligation to review. All links in this blog post are affiliate links. -

When it comes to Summer beauty, I tend to choose functional, trustworthy  products to get the job done and there's a certain routine I stick to when I want to prep my body for the warmer weather. Here are the current products I have been loving this Summer. 

I randomly picked out the Garnier Intensive 7 days Body Lotion* from my beauty cupboard when I was in dire need of a moisturiser that can be slathered all over and be left to sink in. For under £5, I wasn't expecting too much, but I was pleasantly surprised with how soft and smooth it made my skin feel. I personally love using this just before going out as it absorbs into the skin quickly so I can put on clothes almost straight away and it adds a healthy glow to my body without any artificial shimmer. 

Although I'm currently using that all over, the Sol De Janeiro Bum Bum Cream* is still my go-to when I want some extra TLC. I personally concentrate this mostly on my legs, arms and stomach area, but it can be used all over if you want. It's a little thicker than the Garnier offering, but it still is fast absorbing and nourishing. The scent has to be noted as it's absolutely divine and truly makes me feel like it's officially Summer whenever I apply it - there's certainly a reason I'm on my third tub! 

If I've spent a little bit too much time in the sun, I always opt for the Nuxe Refreshing After-Sun Lotion* as I feel like it has a soothing effect on my skin as well as making my tan a little more even (I don't know how it does it!). 

Summer Beauty Favourites

When it comes to body scrub, although I have dabbled in chemical exfoliators, I prefer when I can physically feel them working. I'm not that fussed as long as it does the job and doesn't feel too greasy. The Original Frank Coffee Scrub* is one that I've been using in the shower as it makes my skin feel smooth and soft, but the coffee granules that it leaves in the shower is definitely something that won't be for everyone.

For my hair, I have been using the Neal's Yard Argan Oil* regularly to help tame frizz and add shine. I recently tried it as a hair mask, working the oil from the roots to the ends of my locks, leaving it for 30 minutes and then washing it out. It helped to make my hair look healthier and appear less lacklustre, whilst not leaving it feeling too oily or greasy. 

I have been spritzing the Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Crush Mist* all over my body, but it can also be used in your hair for a long lasting fragrance. Sol De Janeiro products in general never fail to remind me of Summer with a sweet and delicious scent and this is the no exception. 

I've been treating my toes this season to a fresh pedicure with all the works. Throughout the colder months, my feet have been cooped up in boots with thick socks, so it's nice to be able to get them out and wear sandals. Essie nail vanishes are always my go-to and I love using the Soap and Glory Heel Genius* for getting my feet back in tip top condition. 

What are your favourite Summer beauty products? 
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Saturday, 26 June 2021

Places To Visit On North Cornwall and Devon's Coast

Port Isaac Cornwall

Port Isaac Cornwall

If you're planning to have a staycation in the UK this year, I would 100% recommend moving Cornwall and Devon high up on your list to explore. With pretty towns and scenic coastlines, there's a lot on offer, but it can feel a little overwhelming when narrowing down where to go. I personally recommend the north coast, where you can explore parts of Cornwall and Devon in one trip. Here are five of my recommendations: 

Port Isaac, Cornwall 

This picturesque harbour was high up on my to-visit list as it's got one of the most iconic views of quaint houses and boats in the harbour. If you haven't seen Port Isaac all over your Instagram feed, then you may notice it from Doc Martin, the ITV TV show. It's steep and narrow hills makes for an idyllic afternoon exploring, where you can stop for vegan fish and chips at The Mote and head up Roscarrock Hill afterwards for the best views of the village. In an ideal scenario I would have actually come back before the end of my trip as I loved it so much.

- The Mote Restaurant (for the best vegan fish and chips!)
- Head up Roscarrock Hill for the best views. 
- Explore Port Garverne which is the next village. 

Clovelly Devon Instagrammable

Clovelly Devon Instagrammable

Clovelly, Devon 

Now we're heading over to Devon and Clovelly, often described as one of UK's most Instagrammable places, was next of the list. The steep walk down (and back up!) the cobbled street may not be for everyone, but once you get to Clovelly Quay at the bottom it'll all be worth it. The streets are lined with shops and tea rooms, as well as cottages that people live in. Absolutely magical, so don't let the entrance fee put you off. 

- Visit early in the day or near closing time for less crowds. 
- Wear comfortable shoes as the cobbles can be hard on your feet.
- Stop off for afternoon tea - a must! 

Tintagel Castle Cornwall

Tintagel Castle Cornwall

Tintagel Castle Cornwall Merlin's Cave

Tintagel Castle, Cornwall

Tintagel Castle and the surrounding village is definitely not one to miss if you're in this part of the world. Although Tintagel Castle is quite costly as far as entrance fees go, I was very happy that it didn't disappoint. Not only do you get to explore the castle itself (and get the famous door photo!), you're also allowed to explore Merlin's Cave and it's beach below. The trek up to the castle and 140 steps down isn't for the faint hearted, but if you've got an afternoon free then I'd definitely recommend checking it out. 

- Go to the toilet before your visit, it's at the bottom of the hill and is quite the walk back up. 
- Merlin's Cave is underneath the bridge on the exit from the castle - not one to miss!
- Tintagel Old Post Office in the village is a cute building to check out. 


Welcombe Mouth Beach, Devon

I discovered Welcombe beach on the whim, whilst on the quest to find dramatic scenery and caves to explore in. We arrived pretty early in the morning with promises that there would be a waterfall and I was super happy to find a way to have a paddle. I took a wander onto the stony beach which looked like a scene straight out of Game of Thrones, before taking a refreshing dip in the picturesque waterfall. It's definitely a beach to add to the list if you want somewhere away from crowds.  

Speke Mill Mouth, Devon 

I knew that I wanted to go exploring on our trip and the Speke Mill Mouth waterfall, along the Hartland Heritage Coast was top of the list. It look us thirty minutes from the carpark to get to the waterfall itself, but then we decided to wander off to have an explore of the beach below and the rolling hills. It was a pretty knackering morning hike, but was totally worth it for the views! 

- Wear comfy shoes - it's a bit of a trek! 
- Hartland Abbey is nearby if you want to extend your visit. 

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