Friday, 30 September 2016

My Month in Favourites – September 2016



I am going to Canada tomorrow! I bet you can guess what will dominate my favourites in October. But let's not get ahead of ourselves and look back at September today instead. This month for me has been all about getting in the cosy autumn mood with new jumpers, slippers and a comforting scented candle. I also enjoyed some new and old TV-shows, including, of course, The Great British Bake Off, and fell head over heels in love with the Disney X Cath Kidston collection.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Book review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber



I was thrilled to join my friend Laura at the Chapter 5 Proof Party a few months ago, which was a super fun bookish evening organised by Hodder & Stoughton's YA team where I picked up three amazing proofs. It was hard to decide which one to dive into first, but the stunning cover of Caraval by Stephanie Garber, not to mention the unanimously amazing reviews online, eventually made me pick this one – and what a fantastic choice it was!

Monday, 26 September 2016

Jewellerybox Karma Moments Launch



I talk about Jewellerybox a lot, both on my blog and in real life. So much so that I had a friend jokingly ask me if I get paid for it. I don't, but when I love something I do tend to tell everyone about it – and this brand is one of my absolute favourites. So when they mentiond their new Karma Moments range at the Bloggers Festival and extended an invite to attend the launch, I of course couldn't say no.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Book review: Casting Off by P.I. Paris [blog tour]



I do love myself a good read filled with 'golden oldies', from A Man Called Ove to Last Bus to Coffeeville and The One-in-a-Million Boy to The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81. Books with one or more elderly main characters have a certain charm to them, reminiscent of children's classics but with a touch of cheeky humour and foolishness. The saying that the older you get the crazier you become does hold up, in fiction at least, and never more so than among the residents of the We Care For You home in Casting Off.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

10 Things I'm Excited to See, Do and Eat in Vancouver



In just 10 days I'll be reunited with my favourite city in the world! Not all of you may know this as I used to have another blog where I captured my travel adventures (RIP Livejournal), but I lived in Canada for a year straight after graduating university and it's been 10 years almost to the day since I left that beautiful country. I had plans to go back many times since but life got in the way and before I knew it a decade had passed. Yes, I feel old now. Anyway, Vancouver is the most incredible city in the world and this post is all about the 10 touristy things I'm excited to see, do or eat there this time around.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Book review: Mother Tongue by Julie Mayhew



When author Julie Mayhew spoke about her latest novel, Mother Tongue, at the Hot Key Books Spring/Summer Highlights event I was instantly enthralled by the heartbreaking premise focusing on the Beslan school siege from 2004. She has a knack for taking a pivotal moment within history and creating a story around it with fictional characters that through her impeccable research feels highly realistic – and Mother Tongue is a prime example of this.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Exploring England: Royal Pavilion in Brighton



I love going on a day trip to Brighton, especially in summertime. The colourful shopping Lanes and vibrant atmosphere make it feel a million miles away from London, and it's only about an hour's journey by train to get there. In addition to the great shops and the beach, one place I always make a stop at on my visits (if only to have a browse in the excellent gift shop) is the Royal Pavilion. It is one of the most interesting buildings within the city and brings a touch of the oriental to the otherwise very British seaside town.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Book review: Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige



With the current popularity of fairy tale retellings within young adult novels, it was only a matter of time before someone would be inspired by the success of Disney's Frozen and create a young adult  adaptation of the source material, Hans Christian Anderson's The Snow Queen. Written by Danielle Paige, who has gained international success through her Dorothy Must Die series, which puts a YA spin on the world of the wonderful Wizard of Oz, this is the story of the Snow Queen like you've never heard it before.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Top 5 Places in London for Pokémon GO



Are you tired of seeing nothing but Pidgeys, Drowzees and Rattatatas (an eerily realistic depiction of the animals, and drunks, found 'in the wild' in London) on your Pokémon GO sightings? There are some great places in the city to find the much-coveted starter Pokémon, evolutions, an abundance of Magikarp so you have plenty to grind up and get a Gyarados, and even a location that spawns Pikachus like clockwork. I've spent the last few weekends exploring London through my Pokémon GO app and am sharing my best finds with you below.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Vanities the Musical at Trafalgar Studios



Photo credit: Pamela Raith

Written by Jack Heifner, Vanities the play opened many decades ago in New York but it has taken an astonishing forty years for the story to delight London audiences as the musical adaptation, with music and lyrics by David Kirshenbaum, opened at Trafalgar Studios this week. Despite its global success I wasn't familiar with the story before seeing the show, but it was the star attraction of the three leading ladies, Ashleigh Gray, Lauren Samuels and Lizzy Connolly, that caught my attention. And having the opportunity to see them perform in the intimate Studio 2 was an absolute delight.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Book review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs



I've come very late to the Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children party, but with the film being released at the end of the month I of course had to make sure that I would read the source material before immersing myself in the cinematic experience. The new movie tie-in edition doesn't have the quietly unsettling cover with a black and white image of a young girl wearing period clothes eerily levitating above the ground, but the contents certainly had that 'peculiar' atmosphere running throughout its pages.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Bumblescratch at Adelphi Theatre



Photo credit: Francis Loney

Written by Robert J. Sherman, Bumblescratch seems to have an unlikely starting off point for a musical venture; set during the Great Plague in 1665 and the Great Fire in 1666 it centres on a London rat and its cohorts. Then again, when you think about it, many a classic musical is based on farfetched concepts; from rollerskating train carts with a God complex through to the UK miners' strike in the '80s. Yet as long as there is something for audiences to connect to within the show; a likeable character they can relate to or a plotline that resonates with them, then even a farfetched story can become believable. 

Monday, 5 September 2016

Highlights from the Bloggers Festival 2016



I have heard great things about the annual Bloggers Festival, impeccably organised by blogger Scarlett London, and was gutted when I was unable to make it last year. Luckily the timing worked out much better for the 2016 edition and I was able to attend and enjoy the event for myself. It was a great opportunity to meet bloggers and brands (some I already knew and some new), sample foodie delights, and find new products to fall in love with.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Exploring England: Arundel Castle



When I initially heard about Arundel Castle, my first thought was of course Frozen. This Castle, built at the end of the 11th century by Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Arundel, does look like it could've come straight out of the Disney fairy tale, and while the town's name sounds like Arendelle too (inspired by it, perhaps?), it is actually not imaginary but is nestled among the hills of West Sussex. We did not find Elsa, Anna and the gang during our visit, but we did see an impressive stately home, incredible gardens, a falconry display, and even a battle of the time periods.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

My Month in Favourites – August 2016



This past month has been crazy busy with work. In addition to making overtime at my day job as my holiday to Canada is coming closer and I need to get ahead of my work load for that period now, I've started freelancing for one of the big UK book publishers. It's super exciting stuff, but combined with my normal job and my blogging it does mean that I'm doing almost two full-time jobs. Busy, busy, busy. But let's get onto my favourites for August! In addition to my Canada trip only being a month away today (eek!), things that kept me sane these past weeks include: Dance Academy, Harry Potter, Pokémon GO, and a day trip to stunning Arundel Castle.