Life Rambles: Friday Favourites #41

Happy Friday everyone! I’m sat on the sofa typing away with the window behind me getting darker and darker, I have a feeling that the summer rain is about to hit in full force. I’m actually feeling quite pleased that I’m home already and don’t need to head back outside. Well planned Laura, well planned! In fact that’s the sort of thing that is almost good enough to become a Friday favourite. Almost, but not quite. Another week and it would have made it, but this week has been full of lovely things, leaving me trying to decide what to include!

First up is the fact that I start a work secondment next week. This event means that this week has been all about finishing my current job. It’s been a manic time of handing over all the things but it’s also been great fun at the same time too. Luckily I’m still in the same company and building, so apart from a new desk, with new people on a different floor I’ve not got to deal with the sad parts of job changes. Instead I can concentrate on the fun stuff. Like the flowers and presents and the lovely words that my work colleagues have treated me too. Aren’t I lucky duck?!

 

 

I certainly made the most of this being my last week in my current team for awhile as I’ve managed to fit in a couple of last lunches with people. The most exciting of which was a trip to The Diner for some classic American food. We didn’t quite have time for a milkshake (*sob* for missing the snickers one) but the buttermilk chicken and sweet potato fries were pretty epic by themselves. Anyway if i’d have added in the milkshake then I would have been in a food coma by mid afternoon!

Also this week I am feeling all the Cursed Child love. In case you didn’t know I’ve got tickets to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Part 1 and 2 next week (how did you not know)! The tickets arriving on Wednesday has made the events next week all the more real, plus they look so pretty. Also I’m eagerly anticipating the arrival of the screenplay over the weekend.

 

 

Talking of books I’ve just finished Wildflower by Drew Barrymore, a collection of stories about her life. I found it a really easy book to read and I read it in about two days during my commute to and from work. Each chapter is a different story which somehow makes it seem like you’re getting through it really quickly. I didn’t know much about Drew Barrymore’s life, apart from ET and then Charlie’s Angels, so this was intriguing reading for me. I would definitely recommend this one for the commuter or on the beach this summer.

What have been your highlights this week? Do share your favourite moments with me below.

Laura xx

Wishlists: Summer Bedding

Back when we first moved into this house the first thing I wanted to do was buy myself a new bed. I’ve needed a new mattress since I was in my old flat, but I kept putting it off. I told myself that after we’d moved I would get organised and then buy myself a new bed and mattress. Well fast forward nearly two years (one since we moved) and I have only now get my act together and done just that. My new bedstead and mattress arrived over the weekend and it’s 100% worth the wait.

When I was describing the epic decision making that comes with making these purchases a friend asked if I’d bought myself new bedding to go along with the new bed. And I shocked myself my realising that I hadn’t. What is wrong with me. Clearly these three things come hand in hand, right? Surely the equation goes a little like this?

New Bed + New Mattress + New Bed Linen = A Wonderful Night of Sleep.

That was my feelings anyway. So now I’m trying to find the right bedding. I want simple, that also has a pattern. Colourful, without being over the top and good quality, without being expensive. Easy right? Below are a few of the options that i’ve been looking at.

Summer Bedding
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

As we’ve worked out by now, I don’t do decisions very well. So I still haven’t committed to anything. But I will soon. Hopefully!

Which of these would you choose? Do you have any favourite shops that you’d recommend I look in?

Laura xx

Thought of the Day #85: Don’t be Afraid of Change

This and That Blog Thought of the Day #85: Don't Be Afraid of Change

For one reason or another I’ve been thinking a lot about embracing change recently rather than fearing it. I am not good with change – I panic about it run, from it and would rather the status quo remains. But that’s not always the best way to act – it might often be the safest but it won’t necessarily bring happiness, fulfillment or what I want and need. So I’ve been trying to make myself leave my comfort zone a little bit more and make changes to how I act, what I do and to generally push myself more. To do the things I don’t feel 100% comfortable with. Fingers crossed it’ll bring good things my way and if it doesn’t what’s the worse that can happen?

-Fi x

The Book Corner: 2016 Current Reads Part 3

Howdy, me again! Just dropping in with another reading update. The fact that we’re onto Part 3 already and that we are past the midway point of the year is ridiculous to me. Where does the time go? I don’t get it? Can we have at least 2 weeks back please?!

 

 

So let’s dive straight into my recent reads…

21. Black-eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin – This book follows Tessa the only survivor of a serial killer. The book jumps between teenage Tessa, just after the event, to her older self when the convicted killer is appealing the case. The suspense and drama in this book were brilliantly done and the twists were definitely unexpected. However it wasn’t an easy read, I definitely got lost between chapters when things flicked back and forth, normally I don’t have a problem with this, but with Black-eyed Susans I had some issues remembering what era we were in. That said it was an enjoyable read and I’d definitely pick up Heaberlin’s next book.

22. The Marvels by Brian Selznick – Fi has been on at me to read this book for way too long, but I’ve always had a reason not to. In my defense this book is thicker and heavier than the Order of the Phoenix, so you know it’s really not a book that you want to carry on the commute. Anyway, I picked the book and a long weekend and got stuck in. And of course promptly fell in love with it. The book has two parts, which are set in different centuries, while still being connected. The first half is all pictures, in fact let’s call it a graphic novel, and it pulls you straight in.  I found myself intrigued, and enthralled, and suddenly I’d gone through 100+ pages in what felt like minutes. And I guess that’s part of the purpose of this book. To get people invested with the pictures so that they won’t even notice when they’re reading the written part of the book. I found this a wonderful and gripping read and it transported me straight into the story, and then it ended and I was incredibly sad. I could have continued to read this story for days….

23. Private Sydney by James Patterson – it’s been awhile since I’ve ready anything by James Patterson which is why I picked this book up even though it’s been sat on my shelf for a few months. To be honest a lot of James Patterson titles have become a bit predictable for me, but luckily not this series. It’s got the suspense and cliffhangers that I’ve come to expect from Patterson.

24. The Watchmaker of Filligree Street by Natasha Pulley – This was an impulse kindle buy which I loved it. It’s finding books like this that make me love my kindle more. There’s so much more to this book that I expected. The history aspect of the plot had me hooked straight away and I pretty much loved all the characters, even the evil ones! Although my favourite was definitely the mechanical octopus!

25. All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker – I’m so pleased I stumbled across this title on Netgalley. It had me hooked after the first few pages and I finished it within two days, thanks to my daily commute and a Tuesday evening doing nothing but reading – bliss. The book did jump around a bit which sometimes made it hard to follow, but the plot intrigued me from the start and I was aching to discover how all of the characters fitted into the story and how the truth was going to be revealed in the end, because if there’s anything I know by now, it’s that the truth is always revealed in the end. If you’re a fan of psychological thrillers, then I would recommend you give this a go.

26. One by Sarah Crossan – This one as another recommendation from Fi, which I was skeptical about at first. I don’t often enjoy books about twins, so I tend to steer clear, but as this was about conjoined twins I hoped I feel differently about the book. This follows Grace and Tippi as they leave the safety and security of home schooling and head into the outside world of High School. This book is also written in verse, yes verse. The whole book. I thought I’d find it weird, but actually I didn’t at all. Yes the first few pages were odd, but then I got used to it and it just didn’t register at all. Of course I loved this book. When will I learn that if Fi recomends something I will probably love it! It’s emotional and heartbreaking and just beautiful. I can completely understand why it’s won so many book awards this year.

27. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven – Yet another YA title that i’ve read this year. What can I say? These are just the best written stories with unending varied and interesting material to immerse in. All the Bright Places tackles the subjects of abuse, bipolar and suicide and is well done, but I still don’t believe that teenagers at school really talk like that. Maybe in America, but I did not go to school with anyone like this, and it frustrates me. But if that’s the only problem I have with this book, then I can deal with that. The story is a good one and the characters are likable and intriguing enough that I wanted it to work. I do wish other characters were explored more though as I’d like to understand how certain things were allowed to happen. But then I guess that’s the point of books, we have the opportunity to think through and mull over things in a way that the book characters obviously don’t have.

28. Asking for It by Louise O’Neill – You may have seen me tweet about this book recently, it’s utterly heartbreaking and I think it’s such an important book, and one that everyone should be made to read. The book follow 18 year old Emma through the aftermath of rape up to the trial date. The book is written from Emma’s perspective and through her we see how it is effecting her, her family and the community. I think that anyone who reads this will be angry, I hope they will be anyway, as it’s a very stark and truthful look into the victim blaming and rape culture of our society. I won’t say much more, instead i’m just going to leave you with this line “They are all innocent until proven guilty. But not me. I am a liar until I am proven honest.”

Also this month I’ve reread two of my favourite books of all time. I’m not going to review them because I think it’s clear by now what I’d be saying. So i’ll just let them sit here in all their fabulousness instead!

29. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

30. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

If you want to look at previous 2016 reading posts then check out  Part 1 here and Part 2 here. What have you all been reading? What should I pick up next?

Laura xx

Out and About: Disneyland Paris Best Bits

So it’s a month since we were in Disneyland Paris and I’ve yet to properly tell you about our trip – oops I’m sorry about that! I’m not sure where the last month has gone, actually I do. It’s gone on awesome adventures in Scotland, London and Surrey – all fun things that I also need to update you on! Argh, life is just so behind right now. Must. Not. Panic.

This and That Blog: Life Rambles: Disneyland Paris - The Best Bits

Anyway, back to the magical land of Disney, as previously mentioned we had an absolute blast. We arrived around lunchtime on the Friday and didn’t leave until mid-afternoon on the Sunday so we had one full day and two half days. But because the parks opens for hotel guests at 8am and doesn’t close until 11pm, it felt like we had a lot longer than just those few days. We managed to do everything we wanted to do at least once and most things twice or three times without hideous queuing – yippee! Let me tell you a bit about the best bits…

Getting in at eight am and having certain rides all to ourselves. Yes there’s a chance I went on the Toy Story Buzz Lightyear shooting ride four times in a row with no queue. Competitive me? No chance!

This and That Blog: Out and About: Disneyland Paris - The Best Bits

We saw the castle and took numerous selfies with it – it’s literally the most magical thing ever

Eating lunch in the Pirates of the Caribbean restaurant as the little boats from the ride went past.

Spying Mickey, Minnie, Peter Pan, Cinderella and all the princesses, the cast of Toy Story, Winnie the Pooh and so many more on their magical floats on the afternoon parade

This and That Blog: Out and About: Disneyland Paris - The Best Bits

Watching in wonder as It’s a Small World was as good as ever. That song, those little people, that whole ride = *heart eyed emoji*

Going crazy in the Disney shops, I was partly restrained – I left the Mickey shaped whisk alone after all – and partly not – hello personalised Star Wars droid with Goofy hat!

Spotting all the little Disney flourishes throughout the park, from the Cinderella coach hidden in a restaurant courtyard, to the mickey head shapes everywhere.

This and That Blog: Out and About: Disneyland Paris - The Best Bits

Feeling queasy on the Ratatouille ride even though it didn’t involve any drops and used the joy of 3D glasses and other 4D effects to work. Oh and then going on again and again and again

Reminiscing about favourite Disney films and moments from childhood with some of my favourites

This and That Blog - Out and About Disneyland Paris - Best Bits

Watching in awe as the lightshow spectacular closed the park on the Saturday night. There’s something so magical about seeing 12 foot-tall favourite characters projected onto the Disney Castle and singing favourite songs as fireworks go off all around you. Just wow.

Fi xx

Life Rambles: Friday Favourites #40

Greetings friends, how has your week been? I’ve had a great one this week, despite the fact that I’ve been boiling alive. Eurgh I am not a fan of the heat we’ve had in London over the past few days – give me duffel coats and woolly hats any day of the week! Whilst I’ve not enjoyed the stifling heat, I have enjoyed the evenings sat in the park putting the world to rights with a picnic spread and good friends. Is there anything better? I think not, especially when mini bites and gossiping is involved!

This and That Blog - Life Rambles - Friday Favourites

Talking about park fun times, I also had the chance to visit the Crystal Palace dinosaurs again last weekend thanks to the lovely weather and the desire for an explore. I still find the dinosaurs the most random thing ever, I mean where did the idea even come from? But that doesn’t matter because they’re also so cool and you can’t beat the joy you hear in little kids’ voices as they turn a corner and come across another statue. Plus Crystal Palace park itself is pretty darn awesome – it’s so huge, loads of fun to explore and there’s ice cream!

This and That Blog - Life Rambles - Friday Favourites

This week the littlest Evans sister has been staying with us and it’s been such a blast. We’ve done loads together – nothing huge, just nice simple things like cooking, meeting after work for shopping expeditions, the cryptic crossword and commuting together. It really is great how much fun you can have with your favourite people even when it’s just mundane, normal and everyday stuff. I love that about my family and favourites.

Another thing that’s made my week is awesome is treats, for myself! Hooray for that! I finally succumbed to the genus collaboration that is Liberty and Uniqlo as the summer sale contains some amazing deals! I managed to snap up two pairs of cropped trousers, a dress, some shorts and two t-shirts, all with the gorgeous Liberty prints for less than £80. The prices ranged from £7 to £19.50, which I think is a bargain considering the quality, the gorgeous design and the comfort of every piece. Have you dipped into their sale yet, or are you tempted?

This and That Blog - Life Rambles - Friday favourites

My final highlight from the week is my new obsession with Pokemon Go. Yes despite plans to the contrary I’ve managed to become addicted to this new craze. Oops! I don’t know why it’s so addicting, perhaps it’s the simplicity of it or the fact that you can get quite competitive – especially among the Evans sisters – but whatever it is I don’t see myself stopping soon. I just need to promise myself that I won’t get carried away and start going for midnight walks just to catch a new creature, because that’d be the beginning of the end, right?

Tell me, how has your week been? What was your top moment?

-Fi x

Thought of the Day #84: Write Your Life

 

 

This is one of my favourite lines from one of my favourite books. It just says it all doesn’t it? I think when we look back on people’s lives it’s their behaviours, their actions and the way they make us feel that we remember. It’s those things, above all else, that stick with us.

L xx

Out and About: The Scottish Open Practice Day

One of my favourite parts of our recent Scotland holiday was a morning spent at Castle Stuart Golf Course watching the Pro-Am Practice Day of the Scottish Open. Now I know a lot of people would question how that’s enjoyable – but for someone who grew up in a golf-obsessed house it was always going to be an awesome day out!

Scottish Open Practice Day

The Pro-Am day is a chance for all the stars to practice and learn the course ahead of the Scottish Open kicking off the following day while at the same time raising money for charity as companies and people pay to play a round with the big stars in golf. And for fans it’s a chance to get super-close to your favourite golfers play for a third of the price. We paid just £12.50 for a whole day there and saw some of the biggest players right up close, including Phil Michelson, Padraig Harrington, Colin Montgomerie and Graeme McDowell. And we didn’t have to deal with the huge crowds that would have been there on a normal day. You’d normally fight to get near a green or not view the players through a pack six people deep – on this day we were one of say a hundred people milling around so we had no stress at all watching everyone.

Scottish Open Scottish Open

Even if you’re not a golf fan and don’t know your Mickelson from your G-Mac, you’d still have a great day out as Castle Stuart Golf Course is in a stunning location. It’s a sprawling course overlooking the stunning Moray Firth, where you can spot seals and dolphins in the water below and Fort George from across the firth as well as Inverness and its white bridge spanning the Firth.

Scottish Open

So there we go, some reasons why you should all give golf a try – at least if it’s taking place on a stunning golf course!

-Fi x

Life Rambles: Friday Favourites #39

Happy Friyay! Anyone else excited for the weekend? This week has been so long. It’s to be expected as it’s my first week back at work after Scotland and I always find the first post holiday week is tough. Luckily there’s been a few highlights this week to help me differentiate the days and get me through the week.

The first of these involves food – of course! So i’ll start by explaining that I made pizza dough over the weekend. Normally I make the dough and use it straight away, however a colleague has been telling me for about 6 months to create a batch of pizza bases and then freeze them straight away. So that’s what I did when I was having a slightly productive Saturday. Which was super useful because on Sunday night I was feeling incredibly lazy and contemplating a takeaway until I remember the previous days batch cooking efforts and quickly topped my frozen base with tomato puree, mozzarella and chicken and shoved the whole lot in the over. 30 minutes later I was enjoying the best pizza ever. I mean my homemade pizza always taste pretty epic, but cooking the dough from frozen somehow gives the base a crispness to it, that isn’t usually there. I’m so pleased to be introduced to this revelation and I’m only a little annoyed that I didn’t organise myself a little sooner with this. But hey who I can’t be completely perfect right. In case you’re interested I used this recipe and make the dough into 6 individual bases.

Guys the A Monsters Call trailer arrived this week and it’s got me counting the days until the film finally arrives in cinemas. This book is one of my favourites ever and the trailer certainly lives up to my expectations, hopes and dreams. Just hearing the voice of the monster gave me goosebumps.

Up next I’ve got a little confession. I watched the original Ghostbusters for the first time on Monday night. Yes, you heard me, I hadn’t watched Ghostbusters before now! Honestly when I was younger I was all about the Disney films, and Ghostbusters just didn’t appeal. However when I saw the trailer for the new film I was automatically intrigued and knew I wanted to watch it. It looks so funny, and isn’t Melissa McCarthy just the best? Anyway there’s no way I could see the remake without first watching the original. So that was Monday night’s plan. So what did I think. I thought it was good, I’m not sure I see the obsession that other people have, but I guess that’s just because I’m late to the party. It has got me excited for my trip to the cinema this weekend to see the new one. Although i’ve just realised that I’ve left my cinema M&Ms at home. Which is unbelievably frustrating!

Did you catch my payday wish list? I am in love with all of the things and I’m currently trying to convince myself that I should buy them all. You’ll all back me in this justification won’t you?

In a final weekly favourite here’s a picture of Luna pup – adorable yes (sneakily stolen from Fi, thanks!). I spend wednesday night back at the parents abode earning daughter brownie points and walking/feeding and generally spoiling the Lunabean. I’m definitely her favourite human right now. Fact.

I hope you have all had a lovely week and have fun weekend plans. xxx

Wishlists: Pay Day Wishlist

It’s almost payday weekend, woohoo! And what better way to celebrate than with a payday wishlist, am I right?

Yes, my payday is the middle of the month, you’ll just have to deal with it. I honestly think marketers are missing out on the mid-month pay day email opportunity. They all come straight into my inbox at the end of the month where I promptly delete them all, because it’s not my payday!

Let us for a moment ignore the sadness of my bank account and instead float away on a daydream of epic proportions to look at, and fawn over, what I would buy if I didn’t have a mortgage and bills to pay.

 

Summer Wishlist

How amazing are those flamingo shoes? I feel like I may cave and click buy on these soon, they actually make me smile just looking at them. I think I would have the happiest feet in the land. Also spoiler alert, I’ve already bought that chambray dress and it’s amazing. It’s my go to weekend outfit at the moment, with leggings and a jacket obviously, because hello cold!

Yes, I am very aware that this looks like a summer wishlist even though Summer has yet to make an appearance in the UK so far this year. Oh well, one can only hope that this may change sometime soonish. Pretty please with a cherry on the top. And if not I’ve got a trip to Portugal to plan for, so if (or when) the shopping fairy decided to deliver these to me I would definitely make use of them. I promise.

What’s on your wishlist for the summer? Is anyone else alternating between jumpers and sunglasses? Is that just me?

Laura xx