Saturday, August 6, 2016

Summer Travel Diary | York, Barcelona and London

Hi, If you read my summer travel plans post back in June you’ll know that I’ve been missing from the blog for a little while and I’m finally back to tell you what I got up to. I basically visited three different cities in three consecutive weekends, which is hard work.

Home away from home - It's so spacious

I went camping in York which was so relaxed and the cheapest of all my travelling because we camped in a tent. We don’t really do much in York other than enjoy a change of scenery within the historic city, drink cocktails and play lots of pool. We made a trip to the Kings Arms by the river for a quick drink and to watch the wildlife. In hindsight this is the holiday we should have ended with because it was the most chilled out.

View of the Kings Arms Pub on the river bank

We normally (weather depending) go to the market and stock up on BBQ goodies and eat alfresco,
which luckily this year we did a lot. Apart from the last night when we had a thunder storm the weather was perfect, just warm enough without turning the tent into a sauna. I got some reading done and finished The Wolves of Mercy Falls series in just a few days.

Barcelona from the air
Four nights in this brilliant city was nowhere near enough. There’s so much to see and do, planning ahead or having a general idea of the places you want to see is a great idea to make the most of your visit. We flew out Thursday morning and returned on Monday evening rather later than hoped after a delay. The weather in Barcelona couldn’t have been better at just over 30 degrees and warm right into the evening. I’m going to do a photo diary type post to share more about what we got up too.

The magic fountain
This was the first time I've flown in years and I was a little apprehensive, I'd forgotten how weird it feels. It was totally worth jumping back on a plane for the sunshine and culture, I'd love to visit Japan one day so I better get saving.

Visiting Camden
Finally we headed down to London on the train, we stayed two nights at the new Premier Inn Hub hotel on Brick Lane which was super lovely. We had a little trouble checking in but the staff where super helpful and got us sorted really quickly.

On our first evening we headed over to Camden Town as the boyfriend hasn’t been before and had a few drinks and soaked up the atmosphere. The point of our trip was to visit Hyper Japan which we visited the following day. Depending on what you’re looking for it was a great day out but I think we missed the best stuff later in the day as we left because it just got too hot. There was a mixture of official merchandise, artists work, craft workshops, live music and food stalls.

Hyper Japan Festival
Our final day we headed up to Oxford street so I could finally visit the holy grail that is the Lush Oxford Street Store and it did not disappoint. I went with the intent of picking up some of the exclusive lines for me and my sister. I’ll share what I got in a future post if you’re interested. We then walked down to Covent Garden where we found a nice little pub and chilled out until we needed to head for our train. Again I was delayed on my return journey but we’ve had a confirmation of a 50% refund on our journey so can’t complain.

I had such a crazy month that I’m finding it hard getting back into my normal routine and my blogging has suffered, it’s taken me ages to sit down and actually write this post, hope it was worth the wait. Where are you going on holiday?

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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Reading Roundup | June-July Book Reviews

Hi, I failed at blogging last month and I realised early on I wasn't going to get much reading done in July so I've combine the past two months reads together. In total I have five book and I'm currently still two books ahead of my target so I don't need to worry too much. It's a while since I read some of these books so I hope my reviews are still helpful.

June-July Reading Roundup - Year Book Count 22

The Crooked House

Author - Christobel Kent
Page Count - 401
First Published - 2015

Alison was once Esme, one night when she was a child evil came into her home and killed her family. Years later she returns with her boyfriend to attend a wedding and she is forced to deal with truths she has been hiding from.

This book took a grueling three weeks to finish (because it made me fall asleep), I wish I could say it was worth it but it really wasn’t. I’m not the biggest fan of suspense novels as a genre favoring more light hearted themes but I’d like to think I’d know a good example of such writing and this really wasn’t that. I expect to be gripped by revelations and itching to read on with the suspense but I didn't experience either. The plot was flaured and drawn out, the time period and location was confusing jumping around all the time. The ending was a sham, I feel cheated for investing so much time in this book.

Shiver | The Wolves of Mercy Falls

Author -
Page Count - 434
First Published - 2009

On a more positive note the Wolves of Mercy Falls series was much more my kind of story. A bitter sweet teenage romance series between Sam and Grace, they didn't meet in the most conventional way as Sam is a Werewolf. This series doesn't have the deepest plot and I was grateful for that, it's an easy book to pick up and read a few chapters. Written in my favourite style of split perspectives it gives a great insight into how both characters feel.

The first book in the series sees Grace finally meet Sam as a boy and they instantly fall for each other, she's always know him as the wolf that saved her the day she was dragged into the woods by the pack many years before. Now the wolf pack is provoked and attacks a boy, he's pronounced dead and things start to go badly for the pack as his father is a possessed hunter out for revenge.

Linger | The Wolves of Mercy Falls

Author -
Page Count - 416
First Published - 2010

Following on for the first book the second sees Grace slowly becoming more and more ill. Her need to be with Sam starts to pull her family apart as they can't understand the depth of the feelings of such a young couple. Sam continues to battle with his need to remain human so he and grace can be together.

The book see added characters of Isabel (sister of the boy bitten) and Cole (a newly recruited Werewolf). This gave the book a whole new dynamic and more personality and teenage worries to cover. I personally loved that extra characters where added for a different perceptive. It gave the story more depth and took the focus away from the young romance, which I feared would become a little bit repetitive.

Forever | The Wolves of Mercy Falls

Author -
Page Count - 489
First Published - 2011

This book sees the continued friendships and relationships of the characters. Conflicting emotions of wanting to remain themselves and the freedom of the forest. I honestly wanted to love these books because I've heard really good things about

Summer Nights at the Moonlight Hotel

Author -  Jane Costello
Page Count - 453
First Published - 2016

The moonlight hotel is a forgotten relic located on the edge of lake Windermere. The location of the new Salsa class where Lauren and her friends meet lots of new and interesting people. The hotel becomes the cause of much gossip as it's sold and closed for refurbishment. This in Laurens opinion is an attack on her childhood memories of her late Father.

Lauren is the main character and story teller, she has many mishaps which are funny but felt a little forced at times. She had one true goal in life to visit Australia, a mixture of events makes her rethink her long time desire. There was a nice amount of silliness with embarrassing situations and seriousness with the story touching on revenge porn. Even though the story is only told from the perspective of Lauren there are a few different plot lines which all join up to complete the story at the end. It’s a nice easy read and one I’d recommend for reading on a beach holiday. It's your classic holiday romance book.

Have you read The Wolves of Mercy Falls? Any good reads to suggest?

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Monday, August 1, 2016

Monthly Mini Goals - August

Hi, Happy Yorkshire Day! This month for me is all about getting back into blogging and keeping my little piece of the internet active. I'm finally feeling motivated and inspired to create content and I hope it's an enjoyable read for you, when I do post. I haven’t got anything planned for the month ahead but I do know I want to keep spending to a minimum.

Mini goals for August
  • Reach level 15 in PokémonGo
  • Have a big clear out
  • Get ahead of my Goodreads target
  • Post at least ten times
  • See Finding Dory
  • Do some baking
  • Spending Ban
  • Keep working on my Pinterest boards
  • Have a day out with friends
  • Get outdoors

I’m so happy with my reading progress so far this year, I’m currently at 22 books out of my 35 target which leaves 13 books to read in 5 months. Once my monthly internet renews I’m going to go find a hotspot for Pokémon and try to level up as much as possible, because why not. I’ve got an insane amount of Pidgeys waiting to be evolved with a lucky egg.

I want to make time to see friends as I’ve just been so busy lately, it’s been ages since I’ve seen anyone properly. I’m really looking forward to heading to the cinemas to see Finding Dory, I knew it was a film I needed to see as soon as I heard about it. It’s totally cool to be going to watch Disney films without a child at 27 right?

I’ve set myself the goal of posting at least ten times this month which gives me some focus and motivation to get back into blogging. I’d also like to make some more progress on my Pinterest boards and find some nice DIY’s to try or even a super fun looking bake. I need to have a clear out as I just have way too much stuff I don’t use. With that in mind I’m applying a spending ban to limit my spending and stop myself buying yet more stuff I don’t need.

Have a great month! Will you be going to see any films this month?

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