So last week involved a (sick) day off from work, saying goodbye to Mum as she headed off on her summer holidays, lots of reading and a chilled out weekend with Nick.

Shall we dive straight in?

I was in the Fri-yay spirit so whipped up another batch of white chocolate and caramel blondies to see us through the weekend.  They're becoming a fail-safe recipe and this time around I used a different caramel sauce and didn't double up the measurements.  They're much squidgier than last time and not as thick....I daresay they're bordering on undercooked, however Nick loves them!  Should I be embarrassed to admit that we've nearly eaten our way through this slab in two days?


It's becoming more and more common for things I buy online to be sent straight back, so as a rule I am trying to avoid online shopping.  But payday had hit and I was feeling spendy.  From the stock photo this looks like a great versatile dress for my wardobe, but on closer inspection (post-ordering, of course) I wonder if it'll be too thin and sheer.  My gut feeling is that this is another one I'll be returning.

So I said that this was a week with lots of reading and this was my view on Sunday morning.  It's becoming tradition for Beau to nestle in whilst Nick sleeps and I read, with Coco watching from the windowsill, and this weekend was no exception.  This book had one of my favourite lines I've read for a while....'there is no need to outgrow small pleasures'....and waking up early to read in bed has always been a treat for me.

And what's a Sunday morning without breakfast in bed?  I decided to use up the last of the bread (and the final banana) by making French toast.  A hint of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey...delicious!  I can't think of any better way to round off the week.

Week 30 In Moments

31.7.17

So last week involved a (sick) day off from work, saying goodbye to Mum as she headed off on her summer holidays, lots of reading and a chilled out weekend with Nick.

Shall we dive straight in?

I was in the Fri-yay spirit so whipped up another batch of white chocolate and caramel blondies to see us through the weekend.  They're becoming a fail-safe recipe and this time around I used a different caramel sauce and didn't double up the measurements.  They're much squidgier than last time and not as thick....I daresay they're bordering on undercooked, however Nick loves them!  Should I be embarrassed to admit that we've nearly eaten our way through this slab in two days?


It's becoming more and more common for things I buy online to be sent straight back, so as a rule I am trying to avoid online shopping.  But payday had hit and I was feeling spendy.  From the stock photo this looks like a great versatile dress for my wardobe, but on closer inspection (post-ordering, of course) I wonder if it'll be too thin and sheer.  My gut feeling is that this is another one I'll be returning.

So I said that this was a week with lots of reading and this was my view on Sunday morning.  It's becoming tradition for Beau to nestle in whilst Nick sleeps and I read, with Coco watching from the windowsill, and this weekend was no exception.  This book had one of my favourite lines I've read for a while....'there is no need to outgrow small pleasures'....and waking up early to read in bed has always been a treat for me.

And what's a Sunday morning without breakfast in bed?  I decided to use up the last of the bread (and the final banana) by making French toast.  A hint of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey...delicious!  I can't think of any better way to round off the week.
1.  This video sharing experiences of utilising the capsule wardrobe.
2.  My pinterest board dedicated to hair has been getting a lot of action lately.  I'm tempted to grow my hair out slightly and add some layers so the more inspiration the better!
3.  This episode of The Minimalists podcast discussing how to become a better writer.
4.  Booktube videos are some of my favourites to watch and Lauren's enthusiasm is infectious!
5.  Dear White People.  After the stir the trailer caused I was dubious but ended up loving this.
6. I'm obsessed with all things Biscoff and next on my list to make are these mini cheesecakes!
7.  Singing Bones, exploring origins and reincarnations of well-known fairytales.
8.  A little bit in love with these mules.  Maybe not for summer, but I think they'll be perfect for autumn.
9.  I challenge anyone not to think twice about their fashion consumer habits after watching The True Cost.
10. Navy walls.  Love 'em.

The Month In 10 Links: July

27.7.17

1.  This video sharing experiences of utilising the capsule wardrobe.
2.  My pinterest board dedicated to hair has been getting a lot of action lately.  I'm tempted to grow my hair out slightly and add some layers so the more inspiration the better!
3.  This episode of The Minimalists podcast discussing how to become a better writer.
4.  Booktube videos are some of my favourites to watch and Lauren's enthusiasm is infectious!
5.  Dear White People.  After the stir the trailer caused I was dubious but ended up loving this.
6. I'm obsessed with all things Biscoff and next on my list to make are these mini cheesecakes!
7.  Singing Bones, exploring origins and reincarnations of well-known fairytales.
8.  A little bit in love with these mules.  Maybe not for summer, but I think they'll be perfect for autumn.
9.  I challenge anyone not to think twice about their fashion consumer habits after watching The True Cost.
10. Navy walls.  Love 'em.
Week 29 was pretty good!  A bit slower than the week before, with a book club catch up and a couple of spinning sessions thrown in.  It did, however, end with a stomach bug.  As I write this I'm in my pjs on the sofa seriously considering turning in for an early night.

But onwards and upwards, here are the highlights of the past seven days:

On Friday night we had a family meal celebrating my stepsister's birthday.  It was nice to get together again and we went to a local gastropub I'd never visited before.  It's a family-run place and having this guy for company was a bonus.  I had the best burger (with some seriously cheesy garlic bread to start) and went home with an extremely full stomach.  There was also a downpour that evening which made things feel extra cosy...is it too soon to say I'm quite looking forward to autumn now?

On Saturday Lizzie and I meet up for a much needed catch up.  It involved a delicious oversized fondant fancy (one of my favourite cakes FYI) followed by a trip to Topshop.  I've gotten so much better with impulse shopping (talked myself out of various purchases throughout the day, ask Lizzie!) but couldn't resist this tee.  I spotted it as soon as we walked in and it was the only one left in my size - I had no choice!

We also headed to one of our favourite haunts: Homesense.  There's a retail park nearby with both TK Maxx and Homesense and it's been too long since we made a trip.  These cute ceramic plant pots caught my eye, but with my track record of killing things (cacti and succulents included) I decided it best to leave them behind.

And finally, on to a slow Sunday morning before my stomach bug kicked in!  Coco woke us up trying to get under the covers and I got through a couple of samples I'd been meaning to read on my kindle before finally getting up.  Shame things went downhill from there!

Fingers crossed it's a 24 hour thing.  Hopefully your weekend was better than mine!

Week 29 In Moments

24.7.17

Week 29 was pretty good!  A bit slower than the week before, with a book club catch up and a couple of spinning sessions thrown in.  It did, however, end with a stomach bug.  As I write this I'm in my pjs on the sofa seriously considering turning in for an early night.

But onwards and upwards, here are the highlights of the past seven days:

On Friday night we had a family meal celebrating my stepsister's birthday.  It was nice to get together again and we went to a local gastropub I'd never visited before.  It's a family-run place and having this guy for company was a bonus.  I had the best burger (with some seriously cheesy garlic bread to start) and went home with an extremely full stomach.  There was also a downpour that evening which made things feel extra cosy...is it too soon to say I'm quite looking forward to autumn now?

On Saturday Lizzie and I meet up for a much needed catch up.  It involved a delicious oversized fondant fancy (one of my favourite cakes FYI) followed by a trip to Topshop.  I've gotten so much better with impulse shopping (talked myself out of various purchases throughout the day, ask Lizzie!) but couldn't resist this tee.  I spotted it as soon as we walked in and it was the only one left in my size - I had no choice!

We also headed to one of our favourite haunts: Homesense.  There's a retail park nearby with both TK Maxx and Homesense and it's been too long since we made a trip.  These cute ceramic plant pots caught my eye, but with my track record of killing things (cacti and succulents included) I decided it best to leave them behind.

And finally, on to a slow Sunday morning before my stomach bug kicked in!  Coco woke us up trying to get under the covers and I got through a couple of samples I'd been meaning to read on my kindle before finally getting up.  Shame things went downhill from there!

Fingers crossed it's a 24 hour thing.  Hopefully your weekend was better than mine!
I don't want to get all cliche here, but turning 30 wasn't the crisis I thought it'd be.

I mean, my sister gleefully told me I'd sprung some grey hairs and everybody in the office now knows my actual age....but d'you know what?  I'm good with both.

(Ok so perhaps it's because I can bleach over the greys and I'm hanging on to the fact that most people at the gym place Nick and I at least 4 years younger than we are, but still!)

I'm not going to pretend that I woke up on my birthday and was suddenly sorted.  My shit is definitely not yet together.  But I don't think life is ever quite what you imagined it would be and although I'd be lying if I said I haven't had a couple of "WAIT.  I'm no longer in my 20s" moments, I'd definitely say I'm on my way to creating the happiest life I could have...free from outside noise and pressure of how my life *should* look.

Because that's the thing.  I've chilled out hugely.  I admit it, 'high strung', 'high maintenance', 'bossy', 'needy' have all been used to describe me in the past, but I just don't feel it anymore.  There's this inner sense of calm which has been brewing over the last year and I'm feeling pretty zen right now.

So I might not 'know myself' but here's five things I do know:

1 | I know who my friends are and I'm hugely grateful to have them in my life.
2 | I know that I'm blessed to have such a close knit family that supports each other.
3 | I know that I'm taking steps to better myself in my career, but I also know more realistically how I want that career to look.
4 | I know what I don't have time for, what's worthy of my energy and when to call it quits.
5 | I know that I value people and experiences over things and that I no longer want to be driven by consumer culture and influenced enabled so heavily by what I see online.

Navigating my 20s was hard and I've no doubt that this next chapter will bring its own challenges to the mix.  I still feel the pressure to impress and live up to society's standards.  And no, I haven't made peace with my body just yet.  But it just feels less frenzied than as a 20-something.  So would I go back?

Not a chance.

Why Turning 30 Was Awesome

20.7.17

I don't want to get all cliche here, but turning 30 wasn't the crisis I thought it'd be.

I mean, my sister gleefully told me I'd sprung some grey hairs and everybody in the office now knows my actual age....but d'you know what?  I'm good with both.

(Ok so perhaps it's because I can bleach over the greys and I'm hanging on to the fact that most people at the gym place Nick and I at least 4 years younger than we are, but still!)

I'm not going to pretend that I woke up on my birthday and was suddenly sorted.  My shit is definitely not yet together.  But I don't think life is ever quite what you imagined it would be and although I'd be lying if I said I haven't had a couple of "WAIT.  I'm no longer in my 20s" moments, I'd definitely say I'm on my way to creating the happiest life I could have...free from outside noise and pressure of how my life *should* look.

Because that's the thing.  I've chilled out hugely.  I admit it, 'high strung', 'high maintenance', 'bossy', 'needy' have all been used to describe me in the past, but I just don't feel it anymore.  There's this inner sense of calm which has been brewing over the last year and I'm feeling pretty zen right now.

So I might not 'know myself' but here's five things I do know:

1 | I know who my friends are and I'm hugely grateful to have them in my life.
2 | I know that I'm blessed to have such a close knit family that supports each other.
3 | I know that I'm taking steps to better myself in my career, but I also know more realistically how I want that career to look.
4 | I know what I don't have time for, what's worthy of my energy and when to call it quits.
5 | I know that I value people and experiences over things and that I no longer want to be driven by consumer culture and influenced enabled so heavily by what I see online.

Navigating my 20s was hard and I've no doubt that this next chapter will bring its own challenges to the mix.  I still feel the pressure to impress and live up to society's standards.  And no, I haven't made peace with my body just yet.  But it just feels less frenzied than as a 20-something.  So would I go back?

Not a chance.
Boy, this week really took it out of me.  By Wednesday I felt dead on my feet....Thursday morning all I could think about was how I wanted an early night.  Both Friday and Saturday I found myself still awake at gone 1am.  And then Sunday I almost managed a lie in....all ready to start again with a new week!

The big news this week is that I finally got a new phone!  I opted for the iPhone7 so to look at it's essentially the same as my old phone....important difference being that I upgraded massively on the memory capacity.  For months I've been struggling to even take a couple of new photos without the message popping up that I'm low on storage.  I couldn't even do the update to allow me the option to remove the stocks app.  Yeah, things were *that* bad.  So I've gone for a whopping 128GB in the hopes that I don't have to go through all that again, however I want to remain considered into what I store and keep things as (digitally) clutter-free as possible.

I was in the mood for baking this week and decided that Jane's recipe for white chocolate and caramel blondies would hit the spot.  I've only ever had one disappointing attempt at making blondies but these were a definite success.  Considering the caramel is only drizzled across the top prior to baking the flavour somehow still lingers throughout.  I'm glad to have added these to my tray bake repertoire!

And, finding myself with caramel to spare, I thought I'd experiment with a quick fudge recipe.  I stuck to the foundation of melting the caramel and white chocolate together but this time added Biscoff biscuits and a sprinkling of sea salt to create salted caramel fudge.  Nick is rapidly making his way through these...we both agreed that perhaps we like them even more than the classic white chocolate and Oreo fudge!

Last exciting thing this week....I got my nails did!  I never used to be a professional manicure kinda gal but with a qualified nail technician as a sister it seems silly not to make use of her! My nails are pretty rubbish - always peeling and flaking - but having regular gel manicures has really helped improve their condition and they've never looked better.  After a few months of chrome nails I thought I'd go back to basics with this pretty peachy pink shade.  We changed the shape of my nails as well and I'm really pleased with the effect...she's a mobile nail technician so if you think you may live in the same area as me and want to know more, drop me an email and I'll link you to her Facebook page!

Week 28 In Moments

17.7.17

Boy, this week really took it out of me.  By Wednesday I felt dead on my feet....Thursday morning all I could think about was how I wanted an early night.  Both Friday and Saturday I found myself still awake at gone 1am.  And then Sunday I almost managed a lie in....all ready to start again with a new week!

The big news this week is that I finally got a new phone!  I opted for the iPhone7 so to look at it's essentially the same as my old phone....important difference being that I upgraded massively on the memory capacity.  For months I've been struggling to even take a couple of new photos without the message popping up that I'm low on storage.  I couldn't even do the update to allow me the option to remove the stocks app.  Yeah, things were *that* bad.  So I've gone for a whopping 128GB in the hopes that I don't have to go through all that again, however I want to remain considered into what I store and keep things as (digitally) clutter-free as possible.

I was in the mood for baking this week and decided that Jane's recipe for white chocolate and caramel blondies would hit the spot.  I've only ever had one disappointing attempt at making blondies but these were a definite success.  Considering the caramel is only drizzled across the top prior to baking the flavour somehow still lingers throughout.  I'm glad to have added these to my tray bake repertoire!

And, finding myself with caramel to spare, I thought I'd experiment with a quick fudge recipe.  I stuck to the foundation of melting the caramel and white chocolate together but this time added Biscoff biscuits and a sprinkling of sea salt to create salted caramel fudge.  Nick is rapidly making his way through these...we both agreed that perhaps we like them even more than the classic white chocolate and Oreo fudge!

Last exciting thing this week....I got my nails did!  I never used to be a professional manicure kinda gal but with a qualified nail technician as a sister it seems silly not to make use of her! My nails are pretty rubbish - always peeling and flaking - but having regular gel manicures has really helped improve their condition and they've never looked better.  After a few months of chrome nails I thought I'd go back to basics with this pretty peachy pink shade.  We changed the shape of my nails as well and I'm really pleased with the effect...she's a mobile nail technician so if you think you may live in the same area as me and want to know more, drop me an email and I'll link you to her Facebook page!
#32 - WHAT IS NOT YOURS IS NOT YOURS // Helen Oyeyemi
"Helen Oyeyemi's ensemble cast of characters slip from the pages of their own stories only to surface in another. The reader is invited into a world of lost libraries and locked gardens, of marshlands where the drowned dead live and a city where all the clocks have stopped; students hone their skills at puppet school, the Homely Wench Society commits a guerrilla book-swap, and lovers exchange books and roses on St Jordi's Day. It is a collection of towering imagination, marked by baroque beauty and a deep sensuousness."

Short story collections can be hit and miss for me and this one was exactly that.  I adored one or two of the stories and then found that others were far too fantastical to keep up with.  This was an effort to read and although I'm all for beautiful descriptive language I don't think the words should obstruct the story.  I enjoyed the way the characters weaved throughout the stories and loved the first one in particular.  I have the beautiful hardback edition which sits beautifully on my shelf, but sadly overall this wasn't for me.
Rating: ★★
Good if: you like fairy tale inspired writing
 
#33 - A LIFE DISCARDED // Alexander Masters
"In 2001, 148 tattered and mould-covered notebooks were discovered lying among broken bricks in a skip on a building site in Cambridge. Tens of thousands of pages were filled to the edges with urgent handwriting. They were a small part of an intimate, anonymous diary, starting in 1952 and ending half a century later, a few weeks before the books were thrown out. 
Over five years, the award-winning biographer Alexander Masters uncovers the identity and real history of their author, with an astounding final revelation. A Life Discarded is a true, shocking, poignant, often hilarious story of an ordinary life. The author of the diaries, known only as 'I', is the tragicomic patron saint of everyone who feels their life should have been more successful.
Part thrilling detective story, part love story, part social history, A Life Discarded is also an account of two writers' obsessions: of 'I's need to record every second of life and of Masters' pursuit of this mysterious yet universal diarist."

The premise of this one really caught my attention and it's definitely unlike anything I've read before.  It follows Alexander Masters piecing together of an unknown diarist's life; he reveals his discoveries as he makes them so it really feels like you're on a journey with him.  The author of the diaries is fascinating, too.  I enjoyed the easy-going and humorous tone of the book and it sat nicely alongside the diarist's voice as well.  There were points when I felt the author himself was overshadowing the biography but it was still an interesting read.
Rating: ★★
Good if: you like British biographies

#34 - NUTSHELL // Ian McEwan
"To be or not to be? That is the question
Particularly if your life has yet to really begin.
Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She's still in the marital home – a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse – but John's not here. Instead, she's with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude, and the two of them have a plan and that plan involves murder.
But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month–old resident of Trudy's womb a Hamlet in miniature who hears and plays a very unusual kind of detective.
Told from a perspective unlike any other, Nutshell is a classic tale of murder and deceit from one of the world’s master storytellers."
-
I'd considered buying this book when it was first released and am so glad I found it on a library trip.  A baby in utero narrating a book is a seriously odd premise but it really works.  As the blurb suggests this is a retelling of Hamlet and although I've not read the play before it didn't detract from this book.  In fact, I'm more likely to read the original now to see the similarities.  This is my second Ian McEwan book, I whizzed through it in a day and can't wait to read more of his work!
Rating: ★★
Good if: you like retellings of classics or stories with a twist

#35 - CONVERSATIONS WITH FRIENDS // Sally Rooney
"Frances, Bobbi, Nick and Melissa ask each other endless questions. As their relationships unfold, in person and online, they discuss sex and friendship, art and literature, politics and gender, and, of course, one another. 
Twenty-one-year-old Frances is at the heart of it all, bringing us this tale of a complex menage-a-quatre and her affair with Nick, an older married man. 
You can read Conversations with Friends as a romantic comedy, or you can read it as a feminist text. You can read it as a book about infidelity, about the pleasures and difficulties of intimacy, or about how our minds think about our bodies. However you choose to read it, it is an unforgettable novel about the possibility of love."

The last paragraph of this blurb is what compelled me to pick up this book.  And whilst it was a fascinating look at non-conventional relationships, I can't help but feel like the blurb isn't entirely accurate.  There's much more of a 'story' in this, rather than the conversations I anticipated....I think I envisioned almost diary-like entries or mixed media like emails and online chats.  The latter two of which do feature in here, just not as much as I expected.  It's very of the moment and discusses current affairs in a way which didn't overpower the plotline.  For me, the best bit was the way this book looked at love and the different forms it can take.  I found myself thinking about this even after I'd finished reading and a book which sticks with you can only be a good thing!
Rating: ★
Good if: you like contemporaries with a bit more depth  

#36 - THE GIRL WHO WAS SATURDAY NIGHT // Heather O'Neill
"At birth, Nouschka forms a bond with her twin that can never be broken.  At six, she's the child star daughter of Quebec's most famous musician.  At sixteen, she's a high-school dropout kicking up with her beloved brother.  At nineteen, she's the Beauty Queen of Boulevard Saint-Laurent.  At twenty, she's back in night school. And falling for an ex-convict. And it's all being filmed by a documentary crew."

Having loved O'Neill's The Lonely Hearts Hotel I was excited to read more by her.  Unfortunately this was a dud for me.  The writing, characters and setting were too similar to The Lonely Hearts Hotel so it felt like too much of a good thing.  They're set in differing time periods but it really didn't feel that way.  Instead, it felt almost like a sequel to The Lonely Hearts Hotel only with different character names.  The writing was flowery and beautiful but began to drag throughout the story and I found myself skimming passages to get to the point.  I'm really disappointed with this - I thought I'd found a new favourite author but actually it just feels like the same story being churned out.
Rating: ★
Good if: you haven't read The Lonely Hearts Hotel yet!

Read in 2017: June

13.7.17

#32 - WHAT IS NOT YOURS IS NOT YOURS // Helen Oyeyemi
"Helen Oyeyemi's ensemble cast of characters slip from the pages of their own stories only to surface in another. The reader is invited into a world of lost libraries and locked gardens, of marshlands where the drowned dead live and a city where all the clocks have stopped; students hone their skills at puppet school, the Homely Wench Society commits a guerrilla book-swap, and lovers exchange books and roses on St Jordi's Day. It is a collection of towering imagination, marked by baroque beauty and a deep sensuousness."

Short story collections can be hit and miss for me and this one was exactly that.  I adored one or two of the stories and then found that others were far too fantastical to keep up with.  This was an effort to read and although I'm all for beautiful descriptive language I don't think the words should obstruct the story.  I enjoyed the way the characters weaved throughout the stories and loved the first one in particular.  I have the beautiful hardback edition which sits beautifully on my shelf, but sadly overall this wasn't for me.
Rating: ★★
Good if: you like fairy tale inspired writing
 
#33 - A LIFE DISCARDED // Alexander Masters
"In 2001, 148 tattered and mould-covered notebooks were discovered lying among broken bricks in a skip on a building site in Cambridge. Tens of thousands of pages were filled to the edges with urgent handwriting. They were a small part of an intimate, anonymous diary, starting in 1952 and ending half a century later, a few weeks before the books were thrown out. 
Over five years, the award-winning biographer Alexander Masters uncovers the identity and real history of their author, with an astounding final revelation. A Life Discarded is a true, shocking, poignant, often hilarious story of an ordinary life. The author of the diaries, known only as 'I', is the tragicomic patron saint of everyone who feels their life should have been more successful.
Part thrilling detective story, part love story, part social history, A Life Discarded is also an account of two writers' obsessions: of 'I's need to record every second of life and of Masters' pursuit of this mysterious yet universal diarist."

The premise of this one really caught my attention and it's definitely unlike anything I've read before.  It follows Alexander Masters piecing together of an unknown diarist's life; he reveals his discoveries as he makes them so it really feels like you're on a journey with him.  The author of the diaries is fascinating, too.  I enjoyed the easy-going and humorous tone of the book and it sat nicely alongside the diarist's voice as well.  There were points when I felt the author himself was overshadowing the biography but it was still an interesting read.
Rating: ★★
Good if: you like British biographies

#34 - NUTSHELL // Ian McEwan
"To be or not to be? That is the question
Particularly if your life has yet to really begin.
Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She's still in the marital home – a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse – but John's not here. Instead, she's with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude, and the two of them have a plan and that plan involves murder.
But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month–old resident of Trudy's womb a Hamlet in miniature who hears and plays a very unusual kind of detective.
Told from a perspective unlike any other, Nutshell is a classic tale of murder and deceit from one of the world’s master storytellers."
-
I'd considered buying this book when it was first released and am so glad I found it on a library trip.  A baby in utero narrating a book is a seriously odd premise but it really works.  As the blurb suggests this is a retelling of Hamlet and although I've not read the play before it didn't detract from this book.  In fact, I'm more likely to read the original now to see the similarities.  This is my second Ian McEwan book, I whizzed through it in a day and can't wait to read more of his work!
Rating: ★★
Good if: you like retellings of classics or stories with a twist

#35 - CONVERSATIONS WITH FRIENDS // Sally Rooney
"Frances, Bobbi, Nick and Melissa ask each other endless questions. As their relationships unfold, in person and online, they discuss sex and friendship, art and literature, politics and gender, and, of course, one another. 
Twenty-one-year-old Frances is at the heart of it all, bringing us this tale of a complex menage-a-quatre and her affair with Nick, an older married man. 
You can read Conversations with Friends as a romantic comedy, or you can read it as a feminist text. You can read it as a book about infidelity, about the pleasures and difficulties of intimacy, or about how our minds think about our bodies. However you choose to read it, it is an unforgettable novel about the possibility of love."

The last paragraph of this blurb is what compelled me to pick up this book.  And whilst it was a fascinating look at non-conventional relationships, I can't help but feel like the blurb isn't entirely accurate.  There's much more of a 'story' in this, rather than the conversations I anticipated....I think I envisioned almost diary-like entries or mixed media like emails and online chats.  The latter two of which do feature in here, just not as much as I expected.  It's very of the moment and discusses current affairs in a way which didn't overpower the plotline.  For me, the best bit was the way this book looked at love and the different forms it can take.  I found myself thinking about this even after I'd finished reading and a book which sticks with you can only be a good thing!
Rating: ★
Good if: you like contemporaries with a bit more depth  

#36 - THE GIRL WHO WAS SATURDAY NIGHT // Heather O'Neill
"At birth, Nouschka forms a bond with her twin that can never be broken.  At six, she's the child star daughter of Quebec's most famous musician.  At sixteen, she's a high-school dropout kicking up with her beloved brother.  At nineteen, she's the Beauty Queen of Boulevard Saint-Laurent.  At twenty, she's back in night school. And falling for an ex-convict. And it's all being filmed by a documentary crew."

Having loved O'Neill's The Lonely Hearts Hotel I was excited to read more by her.  Unfortunately this was a dud for me.  The writing, characters and setting were too similar to The Lonely Hearts Hotel so it felt like too much of a good thing.  They're set in differing time periods but it really didn't feel that way.  Instead, it felt almost like a sequel to The Lonely Hearts Hotel only with different character names.  The writing was flowery and beautiful but began to drag throughout the story and I found myself skimming passages to get to the point.  I'm really disappointed with this - I thought I'd found a new favourite author but actually it just feels like the same story being churned out.
Rating: ★
Good if: you haven't read The Lonely Hearts Hotel yet!
Woah, what a scorcher!  I know the heatwave was a couple of weeks ago now, but this week felt like the first time I really got out and about in the sun and felt the heat.  Working in an air-conditioned office means I'm oblivious to the temperature of the outside world, whereas when I worked in a school I used to check the weather every day before getting dressed.  I'm not one for basking in the sun, so I'll take air con any day!

Our annual work summer picnic is what got me out of the office on Thursday afternoon.  I hadn't fully anticipated the temperature and wearing jeans was a mistake!  It was, however, lovely to get a chance to socialise with people.  Because of the layout of our offices we're actually quite isolated and chances to get to know people are pretty much non-existent.  At last year's picnic I'd only been working there a couple of weeks and was still finding my feet, so having a chat and feeling more relaxed and confident was a lovely way to spend the afternoon.

Mum and I had a slow Saturday morning running errands and taking Ella to the library before coming home for lunch.  Mum instilled a love of reading in me and some of my fondest childhood memories involve trips to the library so I'm dead pleased that Ella shares our love for books.  Plus if I'm taking books out of the library it means I'm not spending any money on them, which is always a bonus!  Back at home, these banana bear toasts (ok, sandwich thins this weekend!) are Ella and Dylan's lunch of choice lately.  An Auntie Lorna specialty with plenty of Nutella...what's not to love?

And finally, because it's been a while, I thought I'd round things off with a photo of Dudley.  This was him, already worn out by the heat, mid-morning on Sunday.  He loves sitting out in the garden in the sunshine but this weather is too much even for him!

What a terribly British, weather-centric week in moments this was!  How was last week for you?

Week 27 In Moments

10.7.17

Woah, what a scorcher!  I know the heatwave was a couple of weeks ago now, but this week felt like the first time I really got out and about in the sun and felt the heat.  Working in an air-conditioned office means I'm oblivious to the temperature of the outside world, whereas when I worked in a school I used to check the weather every day before getting dressed.  I'm not one for basking in the sun, so I'll take air con any day!

Our annual work summer picnic is what got me out of the office on Thursday afternoon.  I hadn't fully anticipated the temperature and wearing jeans was a mistake!  It was, however, lovely to get a chance to socialise with people.  Because of the layout of our offices we're actually quite isolated and chances to get to know people are pretty much non-existent.  At last year's picnic I'd only been working there a couple of weeks and was still finding my feet, so having a chat and feeling more relaxed and confident was a lovely way to spend the afternoon.

Mum and I had a slow Saturday morning running errands and taking Ella to the library before coming home for lunch.  Mum instilled a love of reading in me and some of my fondest childhood memories involve trips to the library so I'm dead pleased that Ella shares our love for books.  Plus if I'm taking books out of the library it means I'm not spending any money on them, which is always a bonus!  Back at home, these banana bear toasts (ok, sandwich thins this weekend!) are Ella and Dylan's lunch of choice lately.  An Auntie Lorna specialty with plenty of Nutella...what's not to love?

And finally, because it's been a while, I thought I'd round things off with a photo of Dudley.  This was him, already worn out by the heat, mid-morning on Sunday.  He loves sitting out in the garden in the sunshine but this weather is too much even for him!

What a terribly British, weather-centric week in moments this was!  How was last week for you?
The mid-way point of the year has been and gone!!!!!

As usual, it was a week of work and such rounded off with a lovely weekend during which this week's post's photos were taken....

Saturday was my sister's birthday so we decided to head down to Bournemouth for the day.  After a week of iffy weather we were treated to a day where the sun was shining but it wasn't too hot and it made for a lovely trip.  I mean, with views like this what's not to love?

The main point of the trip was to visit the Oceanarium.  I hadn't been for years and it was so much better than I remembered.  Ella and Dylan both enjoyed it and it was particularly nice for me because Nick joined us so I got to spend the day with all of the people I love together.  Got a bit soppy there, didn't I?  Anyway.....Nick's really knowledgeable about all things to do with the animal kingdom so it was a bit like having our own tour guide which was a bonus!

We wandered through the town for a bit afterwards and Ella and I ended up in Lush.  I was so impressed with how the staff spoke to Ella and got her involved in all the products; I treated myself to my favourite conditioner (American Cream FYI) and Ella was treated to a hands-on demo of a bath bomb of her choice.  She left with a big smile on her face and told me she loved it.

The birthday fun didn't end on the day itself and on Sunday we went for brunch at Frankie & Benny's.  I'll be honest, it was a big disappointment and both Mum and I ended up sending our food back.  We never do that, but after a 40 minute wait our food was cold and we'd gone past the point of being hungry.  It wasn't a total let-down though, as we went for a leisurely browse through town afterwards and I managed to pick up a few bits and pieces I needed.

And that was week 26!  The weekend was busy but had that satisfying feeling of not being too frantic...I hope your weeks were just as good?  Tell me below!

Week 26 In Moments

3.7.17

The mid-way point of the year has been and gone!!!!!

As usual, it was a week of work and such rounded off with a lovely weekend during which this week's post's photos were taken....

Saturday was my sister's birthday so we decided to head down to Bournemouth for the day.  After a week of iffy weather we were treated to a day where the sun was shining but it wasn't too hot and it made for a lovely trip.  I mean, with views like this what's not to love?

The main point of the trip was to visit the Oceanarium.  I hadn't been for years and it was so much better than I remembered.  Ella and Dylan both enjoyed it and it was particularly nice for me because Nick joined us so I got to spend the day with all of the people I love together.  Got a bit soppy there, didn't I?  Anyway.....Nick's really knowledgeable about all things to do with the animal kingdom so it was a bit like having our own tour guide which was a bonus!

We wandered through the town for a bit afterwards and Ella and I ended up in Lush.  I was so impressed with how the staff spoke to Ella and got her involved in all the products; I treated myself to my favourite conditioner (American Cream FYI) and Ella was treated to a hands-on demo of a bath bomb of her choice.  She left with a big smile on her face and told me she loved it.

The birthday fun didn't end on the day itself and on Sunday we went for brunch at Frankie & Benny's.  I'll be honest, it was a big disappointment and both Mum and I ended up sending our food back.  We never do that, but after a 40 minute wait our food was cold and we'd gone past the point of being hungry.  It wasn't a total let-down though, as we went for a leisurely browse through town afterwards and I managed to pick up a few bits and pieces I needed.

And that was week 26!  The weekend was busy but had that satisfying feeling of not being too frantic...I hope your weeks were just as good?  Tell me below!

Instagram Feed

© LORNA, LITERALLY.. Design by Fearne.