Summer Reading List

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One of my favourite things to do in the summer is to grab a good book and have a lazy day in the garden. I just spend my day getting lost in a novel that helps me escape from reality for a little while. If you like reading too I have listed a few of my favourites, some are newer and others are old classics. Enjoy!

Oh and at the end there is a printable reading challenge.

  1. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

  2. All About Love – Bell Hooks

  3. Geek Love – Katherine Dunn

  4.  Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

  5. The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

  6. The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks

  7. Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell

  8. Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen

  9. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontè

  10. Uprooted – Naomi Novik

 

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Hope you have a lovely summer

 

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Become a Morning Person

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If you know me then you know I have never really been a morning person. Getting up before 9am was never going to happen. No way, no how! Hearing my Sister get up at 7.30am on the weekends used to baffle me. I always went to bed at 3am. It was just the way I lived, and I didn’t mind it.

The earliest that I ever had to start work was 12pm so I always had a couple of hours in the morning to get a few jobs done around the house. When the hours at work changed I knew that some days I would have to be up at 6.30! It was only the weekends that I had to be up earlier and I figured that would be fine, it wasn’t. My routine Monday – Friday was to go to sleep when I wanted and to get up around 9am like I had been doing for years but when it came to the weekend my body struggled because 6.30am was not part of the routine.

Thats when I realised I would have to make 6.30am my EVERYDAY routine time to rise and shine.

Becoming a morning person has changed my life. I am more productive.  I found that I was able to get most of my work around the house done in the morning, giving me the rest of the day to write blog posts, hang out with my friends (which I never got to do very much before) and I leave myself enough time to get to work.

If you want to become a morning person then let me give you a little guidance. Anybody can become a morning person with just a few changes and a little patience because the transition from a night owl to morning person doesn’t happen instantly.

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Step 1 – Changing your bed time

This isn’t going to be a drastic as you may think. Im going to explain how this works on the basis of the hours I used to go to sleep. So my normal bed time was 3am, the idea is to take of half an hour and do that for a week and then another half an hour and do that for a week, so on and so forth until you have reached the appropriate bed time, which in my case is 9 am. The first week I made it 2.30am, then 2am, the third week was 1.30 am. I think you get the picture. There are going to be days when it’s not possible to get to bed at 9am, I know that but for the most part this will be your routine.

Step 2 – Having a night time routine

Your body may find it a struggle to get to sleep earlier but there are a few things that you can do to help yourself relax before bed.

  • Turn off electronics at least 1 hour before bed, they keep the mind active (mobiles, consoles, TVs)
  • Listen to calming music (I like to listen to Yiruma piano music)
  • Meditate
  • Have a bath
  • Have a cup of decaf or herbal tea
  • Read a book for 30 minutes

You must try and do as many of these as you possibly can. It is so important to relax your mind.20663fbf0984e70ac4cb43f4affd1423_Fotor

Step 3 – Take on the morning

The most important rule here is to not hit snooze. If you are guilty of doing this then when you put you mobile away before bed just set one alarm but place your phone across the other side of the room, then you have to get out of bed to turn it off. Hopefully over time your body clock will get a re-jig and you will be able to join the 1 in 5 people who let their body naturally wake them up on time.

Alarms are never really a good thing because they sometimes force you out of a deep sleep and you’re not meant to wake up from a deep sleep,  you’re supposed to pass to the lighter preparation stage first, then open your eyes. Hitting the snooze button is also a big no no for this reason too because you keep entering a deep sleep and then forcing yourself back out of it. Doing this over and over is what causes you to feel grouchy.

Step 4 – Have a morning routine

Just like you have when you prepare for bed, a morning routine is just as important. It is vital that you give yourself enough time to adjust properly. When you’re asleep at night, all sorts of things are happening, your body temperature starts to fall and your blood pressure goes down. When you wake up your body has to recognise the time.When you get up, you stand upright and you’re much more active, so your heart, and everything else, just has to work that little bit harder. It takes time for your body to get ready for that change.

I leave my phone across the room still just to be careful, once i have got up to turn it off I open my blinds and sit back on my bed. I take it 3 deep breaths and let my body and eyes adjust to the light. I take a bottle of water to bed with my and in the morning I always take a massive gulp to hydrate. I keep a dream journal which I write in every morning, you can get the same one here. This gets my brain working.

I go down stairs and make a green tea or coffee, which ever I fancy that day and some breakfast. I NEVER EAT BREAKFAST IN BED. I was always told you should always eat your meals at a table, it helps your body digest.

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After breakfast I pop back upstairs to the bath room where carry out my morning skin care routine. (I may do a post on that soon, let me know below if thats something you would like to read/see). Once that is complete I head back into my room and make my bed. Making your bed is a MUST, it stops you wanting to get in it as much.

Step 5 – Exercise

Now this step might not be for everyone, some people may not like to exercise others may have their own routine/times to work out but studies have proven that exercising in the AM is one of the most effective ways to wake your brain up. In addition, those endorphins will give you a jumpstart to your day. After a morning workout I always feel refreshed, happy, and ready to tackle my day.  Just 15 minutes of yoga or some stretches will do the job or if you really want to get those juices flowing go for a run, there aren’t many people out running this early so it will be peaceful.

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Step 6 – Be motivated

Make sure you stick to it, even on your days off. It’s hard to get up in the morning when you have nothing to get up for. Make plans for each day, I have an Erin Condren life planner and I put in there everything I want to or need to get done for the day. Remember to live your life and be the best version of yourself.

Thank you for reading


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All images were downloaded via Pinterest. If any belong to you feel free to message me and I will either credit them or remove them. Thank you x

Valentines Gifts

Roses and chocolates are not all that is on the market for Valentine’s Day. Surprise your loved one with something a little more unique. As Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and a lot of you don’t have time to find something I thought i would do all the hard work for you. I have found 10 of the best valentines gifts.

Typographic Story Of Us Print from Notonthehighstreet.com £30

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Personalised Message In A Bottle from Prezzybox.com £9.95

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Prince Charming Shower Gel from Lush.com 250g £9.75

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Kate Spade His & Hers luggage tags from JohnLewis.com £22

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Emma Bridgewater Mr & Mrs Mugs from JohnLewis.com £39.95

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Letters to My Love Book from UrbanOutfitters.com £10.99

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Peanuts Guide to Love book from UrbanOutfitters.com £7.99

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Retro Mini Digital Radio from JohnLewis.com £79.95

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Personalised Map Location Heart Print from notonthehighstreet.com $47

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Personalised Keepsake Box from notonthehighstreet.com £39.95

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I hope this helps all you love birds out there. Let me know in the comments what your favourite gift for valentines was.

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Saving Mr Banks (2013) Movie Review

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I know that I am really behind on the band wagon here and as a Disney fan I feel a little disappointed with myself but the honest reason I have been putting off watching Saving Mr Banks is that I really hate watching people try and play Walt Disney.

When Hollywood use the term ‘Based on a true story’ it doesn’t often mean a lot in historical accuracy. In this case the story of Walt Disney attempting to gain the rights to P.L .Travers iconic story Mary Poppins, the Disney Company have welcomed positivity on to what is a grim part of Disney history.

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Tom Hanks play film maker and imagineer Walt Disney as he seeks to turn the Mary Poppins classic into a magical feature film, an aspiration that the author P.L.Travis, played by Emma Thompson disagree’s on. Tension begins to rise in the studio between imagineers which in result starts to bring up P.L.Travers dark past and starts to show the deeper and truer meanings behind her book.

The movie unravels the troubles P.L.Travers faced growing up, with her mothers (Ruth Wilson) attempted suicide and her fathers (Colin Farrell) alcoholism leading to death.

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I really enjoyed the movie and was pleasantly surprised by the story line. I was initially frustrated with how bitter P.L.Travers was but found my self laughing when she related a little and started to enjoy myself. As I do when I watch most movies, I ended up crying towards the end I wouldn’t say its was great for kids, even though it is a Disney movie, with the death, alcoholism and attempted suicide it could be a little much for the younger audience.

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Even though, with most Hollywood films, it may stray from the harsher truth to make the movie a little more cheery, I would definitely recommend this film if you haven’t already seen it.

Rating: ☆☆☆☆

xoxo

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Things to do this Christmas.

If you think it’s too early to be talking about Christmas when I would probably stop reading here, but if you don’t then…We have 44 days till Christmas, 44! I don’t know if it’s just me but this year has flown by (I say that every year). That being said, it’s the most wonderful time of the year and this festive period is one of my favourites.

I love the songs, fake snow, and the smell of fir trees!

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So, as we have 44 days until the big event I am going to list (and link) 44 fun and festive events for you to do.

  1. Cover the house in fairy lights. I use icicle style ones like these.
  2. Visit your local Christmas Market. Find one near you here.
  3. Organise a Secret Santa, between friends or colleges.
  4. Buy a Christmas jumper. I will be sporting this one this year.
  5. Send Christmas cards.
  6. Buy an advent calendar like these ones or even make you own like these ones.
  7. Go watch a pantomime at the theatre. See whats on.
  8. Go carol singing.
  9. Visit Santa’s grotto, trust me you’re never too old!
  10. Build a snowman, if it snow.
  11. Kiss under the mistletoe.
  12. Decorate the house.
  13. Make a Christmas cake, this one is super yummy.
  14. Go ice-skating.
  15. Put up a Christmas tree.
  16. Make your own Christmas ornaments just like these.
  17. Drive around your local homes and see all the beautiful lights.
  18. Make you own stocking. This one is super cute and easy.
  19. Light a candle and give thanks.
  20. Make a wish on christmas eve.
  21. Write a letter to Father Christmas.
  22. Drink Bailey’s (if you’re old enough).
  23. Listen to christmas songs.
  24. Make your own snow globe.
  25. Drink eggnog
  26. Wear lots of layers and take a winter’s walk in the woods.
  27. Sit around a fire to keep toasty warm.
  28. Watch christmas movies.
  29. Go Christmas shopping.
  30. Bake mince pies.
  31. Make mulled wine.
  32. Go to your local town’s switching on of the lights.
  33. Make your own Christmas playlist.
  34. Play board games.
  35. Leave out a brandy and a cookie for Santa and a carrot and milk for Rudolph.
  36. Wear a Santa hat.
  37. Make and drink your own peppermint hot chocolate. This white chocolate one is divine!
  38. Read A Christmas Carol.
  39. Spend time with family.
  40. Eat till your tummies are full.
  41. Pull Christmas crackers
  42. Send a child a shoe box of gifts.
  43. Play board games
  44. But most of all be grateful.

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Happy Holidays everyone! Have a lovely time!

xoxo


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I Heart…Quadrilogy book review

I feel a bit cheeky naming this post a quadrilogy review because I’m yet to read the fourth book, I Heart Vegas* and the fifth book, I Heart London* by Lindsey Kelk I have however read the first three books in this series, I Heart New York*, I Heart Hollywood* and I Heart Paris*. I have to admit they are one of the best series that I have read.

I like easy reading. I like books I can relate to. So I tend to stick to young adult books.

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I Heart New York

A friend that I worked with bought this book the year it was released and would read it on her lunch break. When she was finished with it I asked if I could read the back, which may have led to me reading half the book that day. I enjoyed it so much that as soon as I was home I jumped online and ordered myself one!

The story begins in London, with twenty-something Angela Clark catching her Fiancé cheating on her in the back of their car whilst they are at her best friends wedding.  The worst part being that everyone already knew, except Angela.

Angela escapes to New York for what is planned to be a little while. She rents a hotel room for a few days whilst she is there and a lot of unexpected things happen. She befriends one of the hotel clerks, She meets two very different men along the way, both who sweep her off her feet, there is a lot of shopping and she ends up bagging a job doing just what she loves, writing!

What we really want to know though is, will she go back to London, as her family and friends are urging her to, or will she stay in New York and fulfil her dreams?

I Heart Hollywood

I Heart Hollywood is the second of five books in Kelks I Heart… series and having enjoyed the first one so much I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book as soon as it was released in 2010.

In I Heart Hollywood Angela Clark is given a big opportunity to go to Hollywood and interview the gorgeous actor James Jacobs. Problems start to occur between her and her new boyfriend Alex when photographers snapping some photos making it look like her and James are an item. On top of this she is really close to losing her job which also means losing her Visa and having to go back to her old life in England.

Angela has to try to prove that there is nothing going on between her and James but this is not going to be easy. No one believes her and she has to admit looking at the pictures it does paint a pretty convincing story. But Angela finds out some information about James which could save her but how will she be able to prove it?

The sort of this book defiantly doesn’t match the title though because Angela defiantly didn’t heart Hollywood.

I didn’t really enjoy this book as much I did the first one.

I Heart Paris

I didn’t buy this book as quickly as the others because i was a little let down by the second, but oh my goodness did Kelk bring it back to life with this third book!

The moment Angela boards the plane trouble starts and the disasters keep coming. When Angela arrives in Paris finds that her luggage has been blown up so she only has the items which she is standing in. If this was not bad enough when she walks into the cafe to meet Alex she sees a blonde bombshell sitting on his lap! Angela finds herself very isolated and a little home sick in this third book when she finds out some truths about Alex’s past, and finds herself at a point where her job, relationship, and friendships are all on the line.

What was meant to be a nice romantic break to Paris was actually the break from hell. You find when you are reading this book you keep thinking surely things cannot get any worse for Angela but something else always seems to happen. That being said there is an unexpected twist towards the end!

I felt more connected to Angela in this book and I really warmed to her.

I enjoyed these books so much I am now going to try to get my hands on the other two books.


* I am not in any way sponsored by amazon, I only linked this site as it had some of the best prices.

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All I want for Christmas…Urban Outfitters.

I don’t want to be that annoying person that discusses Christmas before Halloween has happened but….well you know from the title of this post that’s exactly what I’m going to be. 🎄🎅 🎁 ⛄

I’m 24 and I still proudly live with my Dad and my Sister and we all make Christmas lists. So this year, as i have you wonderful people reading my posts I figured I would share some things that I am hoping to get this year.

So when I make my lists I tend to do it under the shop tittle, I will do that on here too but I will also link the product so you if you see anything you like you can add it to your list too!

Todays shop is Urban Outfitters.

Just click the photo of the item if you like it and it will take you straight there.

I am completely obsessed with bedding and own about 10 different bed spreads, I totally don’t need more but this one if so cute I just have to have it!

Bedding

£70

I love love love Urban Outfitters books! I find them super quirky and store them on a book shelf or have a couple on a coffee table and they double up as a really nice decoration for your home! I have listed a few below that i really want to get.

I have all of the other books in the Wreck This Journal series so I obviously need this one too!

wreck this

£6

So this next book I personally think everyone needs. Well why wouldn’t you?

happy

£16 £6.99

I already have a book from Urban Outfitters about Polaroids but it’s not a ‘How To’ book like this one. I own two Instax Polaroid cameras, the mini 8 (in pink) and the Hello Kitty edition and although the photos are super cute I want to learn some tips and tricks on how to master the art of the Polaroid.

polariod

£12.99

This is the last book in my list but for me personally it is by far the best. I know a lot of people don’t like the Kardashian family but I do. I find them really interesting and I 100% need a book of Kim’s selfies from 2006-2014!

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£11.95

I don’t know about you but I am a stationary hoarder but I somehow convinced myself that I need to add these items to my collection.

I have a bucket list written down only it’s on a scruffy A4 piece of lined paper and it’s going to get lost somewhere along the line. So this I perfect for you bucket list and I thought you could put one ‘Bucket list goal’ at the top of each page and write about that experience underneath.

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£20

I have pens floating around everywhere in my room. This pen holder is perfect to keep them all in the same place and its so tacky I love it! It’s just a shame that they only do it in one colour.

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£12

Now let’s get to clothing!  So I’m a curvy girl and Urban Outfitters clothing doesn’t always fit me properly but these items I have already tried and love so much! ❤

I wear a large or size 14 at Urban Outfitters.

Dresses

velvet  velvet 2

This season is perfect for velvet and this dress is absolutely gorgeous!

£39

cross back   cross back 2

Can we just take a minute to appreciate the back of this dress? I love this so much.

£29

blue   blue 2

More velvet! Swing dresses are perfect for my shape as they cover the lumps and bumps.

£45

Tops

cool kids

I love how simple yet cute this t-shirt is. It’s a little pricy for something so basic but meh.

£29

indie

This textured polo shirt is lovely, the print it so cute and I love the collar.

£36

deep v

I am absolutely in love with this long sleeve and deep v-neck combo.

£39

Lingerie & Nightware

I know that Calvin Klein doesn’t belong to Urban Outfitters but they do sell it in their store and I love this sports style set.

CK   CK2

Top £28 Knickers £18

These next knickers are pricey but just look at them, they’re beautiful!

lace    lace2

£44

I love cats, it’s as simple as that.

cat2   cat

£32

I love to be super comfy in bed so these blue sports style PJ shorts are perfect.

shorts   shorts2

£22

Accessories & Shoes

My favourites but I have so many of both that this list is small.

To start is this contemporary backpack in a grey faux leather. Its super roomy and has compartments too.

backpack   pckpack2

£85

This reversible burgundy and black tote bag is perfect for every day use. Oh, and its vegan!

vegan   vegan 2

£42

This time of year for me its all about boots and these Vagabond lace-up ankle boots will go with just about everything.

vaga

£90


Even though i have listed add of these items they are just what I would like, not what I will get.

xoxo

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***All photo belong to Urban Outfitters***