Some Kind of Wonderful

I’ve finally got round to writing this review! πŸ˜€ I read this back in November/December, but with Blogmas I didn’t get round to writing/posting it before. “Some Kind of Wonderful” is Giovanna Fletcher’s latest novel and this time, released in hardback. My friend bought me a signed copy of “Some Kind of Wonderful” for my birthday and I was so excited to read it.

When the love of your life says you’re not The One, who are you?

Lizzy and Ian have been a couple since the first week of university. Now, after celebrating a decade together,Β everyoneΒ thinks they’re about to get engaged. Instead, a romantic escape to Dubai leaves Lizzy with no ring, no fiancΓ© and no future.

Lizzy is heartbroken – but through the tears, she sees an opportunity. This is her moment to discover what she’s been missing while playing Ian’s ideal ‘better half’. But how much has Ian changed her, and who should she be without him?

Determined to discover who she is at heart, Lizzy sets out to rediscover the girl she was before – and, in the meantime, have a little fun . . .”

This book was a great read, and I enjoyed every single page. Most romance/chick-lit books tend to be boy marries girl and they all live happily ever after. But not in this book. This is kind of an alternative where Lizzy finds a new happily ever after away from her old happily ever after.

I think this would be a great book for people going through breakups and would help them see the light, while not being too depressing. The story is enjoyable with some great characters.

I’m keeping this post short today, because I don’t wait to ruin the story for anyone else who is going to read this πŸ™‚ But I really do recommend this book πŸ™‚

Have you read this book? What did you think?

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Graduation!

OK, so when you read this I’m going to be on holiday πŸ™‚ Well, setting off anyway! I hope everyone’s new year is treating them well so far?! πŸ™‚

On Monday I graduated from Swansea University with my Masters in Environmental Biology: Conservation and Resource Management, so now I’m officially a Master of Science (and officially a boff according to my family, but I’ll get to that in a minute)!

We spent the weekend in Swansea and on Sunday I had a nice little walk around the waterfront area with my dad. Amazingly I never visited the Waterfront/Marina while I was at university there, I suppose it was quite far from where I was staying and I never really felt the need to, but it was a nice little walk we did. We thought it was little but it ended up being 9km!Β IMG_3456

Then on Monday it was graduation day! I don’t think I felt as excited about this graduation as I did my first one, but it was a day where I could feel proud of myself and enjoy being surrounded by my friends and family as well as the university staff who helped me on my way.

There is generally a lot of hanging around at graduation, waiting for photos, waiting to go in to the hall, waiting to get your gown, waiting for your turn to cross the stage, and I don’t think I’d ever felt so cold standing there in my dress (and thermal tights)! Winter graduations aren’t as nice as summer graduations in that sense! I was thankful for deciding to splash out on the thermal tights!

 

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We quickly took the opportunity to go and take some photos on the beach while it was sunny outside (and still light as my graduation was at 4:15pm)! I must admit it was lovely to go on the beach and have some photos! And my brother was pretty impressed by the beach basically on campus!

Then it was time for our ceremony and I “officially” graduated. One thing I really liked about this graduation was that the chancellor actually took time to talk to all of us and ask us a couple of questions, so it felt more personal than just a quick “well done” like I had for my undergraduate!

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After the ceremony we headed to our reception for drinks and snacks where I met up again with my university friends (and our lecturer Cindy) and had a nice little group photo.

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Remember back in September I got the award for achieving the highest mark in the taught component of the degree? Well I was totally shocked when at the prize giving I won another award. This time the award for the best overall mark, so basically I’m a boff according to my family! But it was totally unexpected and it felt like such a special moment to go up on stage again in front of my family and friends and collect a second award.

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So that concludes graduation day! Is it wrong to feel proud of yourself? I felt so proud of myself in my little bubble that no one could burst. I wish my A Level teachers could see me now, where I went from getting BCC at A Level and thinking it was the end of the world, to getting in to Newcastle University, graduating with a 2:1 and then now, completing my Masters not only with distinction, but with the highest mark of everyone else in my year. When I started my masters I never dreamed I could get a distinction, let alone gain the two awards I have, but through many tears, hard work, sleepless nights, determination and dreaming it has all paid off and I feel like I really have followed my dreams. I know I did the hard work, but I know I’m so thankful to my family. For picking up the phone to me really late at night, letting me break down to them on FaceTime, spending hours proof-reading my work, paying for me to come home when I really needed it and helping to fund my time at university. I also couldn’t have done it without some of the amazing friends I met along the way as well as the university staff who put their time in to helping me achieve the very best I could.

Don’t ever let anyone stop you chasing your dreams, it may not be an easy road, but with hard work and determination you really can get there. Never get demoralised because know that somewhere someone is cheering you on and be the best that you can be.

P.S. Thank you to my brother, aunt, and dad for taking loads of photos of me. I know I moan about it and get fed up with all the photos, but I appreciate it really!

2018 Blog Plans

Happy 2018 everyone! I’m sorry I’ve not posted yet this year, it’s not been through a lack of ideas, but I’ve been a bit busy getting sorted and ready for my graduation tomorrow and going on holiday next week πŸ™‚ As well as looking after this cute little Yorkiepoo! (My brother’s friend’s dog).

Anyway, I thought I’d quickly share with you my 2018 blog plans. I’m going to keep posting regularly with other things than just book reviews, but I may go down to posting twice a week rather than 3 (but I’ll see where inspiration takes me πŸ˜‰ ).

I can’t promise too much through January because I’m going on holiday next week and I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to write before going away, but I’ll be sure to write about my trip when I’m home! πŸ™‚

I hope everyone is well and 2018 is treating you well so far! πŸ™‚ See you all again soon πŸ™‚

My 2017 Books

This year my Goodreads reading challenge was to read 35 books. At the end of December I’ve made it to 52 books which equals my record from 2015 πŸ™‚ I’ve found new authors this year such as Katie Fforde and Paige Toon, while I’ve continued to read the new releases by some of my favourite authors Lindsey Kelk, Giovanna Fletcher, Carole Matthews and Lucy Diamond. Today I thought I’d share with you the books I’ve read during 2017 πŸ™‚

1. The One We Fell in Love With – Paige Toon

2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

3. A Whiff of Scandal – Carole Matthews

4. Girl Online – Zoe Sugg

5. Girl Online: On Tour – Zoe Sugg

6. Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator – Roald Dahl

7. Girl Online: Going Solo – Zoe Sugg

8. Mary Poppins – P. L. Travers

9. Scrappy Little Nobody – Anna Kendrick

10. Fifty Shades Darker – E. L. James

11. One Wish in Manhattan – Mandy Baggot

12. Fifty Shades Freed – E. L. James

13. All the Bright Places –Β Jennifer Niven

14. It’s a Kind of Magic – Carole Matthews

15. After You – Jojo Moyes

16. Billy and Me – Giovanna Fletcher

17. Christmas with Billy and Me – Giovanna Fletcher

18. Always With Love – Giovanna Fletcher

19. See Me – Nicholas Sparks

20. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J. K. Rowling

21. Sunshine with a Chance of Snow – Carole Matthews

22. I Heart New York – Lindsey Kelk

23. The Recruit – Robert Muchamore

24. Class A – Robert Muchamore

25. The House of New Beginnings – Lucy Diamond

26. Maximum Security – Robert Muchamore

27. The Killing – Robert Muchamore

28. Lola Rose – Jacqueline Wilson

29. Divine Madness – Robert Muchamore

30. Peter Pan – J. M. Barrie

31. The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters – Nadiya Hussain

32. I Heart Forever – Lindsey Kelk

33. The Chocolate Lovers’ Club – Carole Matthews

34. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Illustrated Edition) – J. K. Rowling

35. Man Vs Beast – Robert Muchamore

36. The Fall – Robert Muchamore

37. The Chocolate Lovers’ Diet – Carole Matthews

38. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Illustrated Edition) – J. K. Rowling

39. The Chocolate Lovers’ Christmas – Carole Matthews

40. The Chocolate Lovers’ Wedding – Carole Matthews

41. Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe Nights – Carole Matthews

42. Mad Dogs – Robert Muchamore

43. The Sleepwalker – Robert Muchamore

44. Highland Fling – Katie Fforde

45. Some King of Wonderful – Giovanna Fletcher

46. Darker – E. L. James

47. The Ersatz Elevator – Lemony Snicket

48. Christmas at the Little Knitting Box – Helen Rolfe

49. The Cosy Christmas Chocolate Shop – Caroline Roberts

50. The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck – Beatrix Potter

51. The Twits – Roald Dahl

52. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne

Looking at this list I think I’ve done quite a lot of re-reading this year! But I’ve really enjoyed all the books I read this year (even though some may call reading The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck a cheat to help get me to 52!) and maybe next year I’ll make it to 53 books and better my best πŸ˜‰

Have you read any of these books this year? What did you think of them? πŸ™‚

 

Blogmas Day 25: What I got for Christmas

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! I’m so sorry I missed yesterday, it was a bit busy spending time with family and getting things ready for today. I hope everyone has had a great day (or is having if you’re behind me in time zones).

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Today I thought I’d share a quick post about what I got for Christmas today πŸ™‚ This isn’t everything, just what I managed to photograph.

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Paddington PJs and Paddington – Both from mum and dad, these are really cute and I’ll probably be wearing the pyjamas tonight.

Cath Kidston x Mickey and Friends – 2 mugs, trinket box, foldaway backpack, pen and cushion (not pictured)

Socks – No Christmas is complete without a pair of socks. Actually I got more socks too that I haven’t taken a photo of this year. But I love these socks, especially the gingerbread men ones!

Cabin Zero Backpack – I’ve seen a few Bloggers talk about these Cabin Zero bags and I thought they looked great! With an upcoming holiday I wanted a slightly bigger backpack that I could take if needs be.

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Malteasers selection box – This was from the family of the little boy I worked with in school a couple of years ago. I’ve stayed in touch with them and I love spending time with all the family and they got me this πŸ™‚

Nerdy Nummies Cookbook – This was again from the family of the boy I worked with in school. I told them I loved baking and they bought me this. I’m so excited by it having seen fellow bloggers Anni and Angela with it! I can’t wait to try something from it.

Penguins Calendar – A calendar has kind of become a bit of a traditional Christmas present from my mum. I’m obsessed with penguins and other marine animals and I love this.

Blue Planet 2 Book & Blu Ray – My brother knows me too well πŸ˜‰ I’m really looking forward to reading the book.

Hummingbird Bakery recipe book – again from my brother and I’m looking forward to reading through it.

TomTom Sat Nav – I got a Sat Nav πŸ˜€ It is great, so much better than my mum’s πŸ˜‰ I’m looking forward to using it properly soon πŸ™‚

Finally the last thing I’m sharing with you is my santa sleigh. I was dying to include these as part of Blogmas as a how to make them, but as soon as my dad started reading my blog I couldn’t break my cover πŸ˜‰ So here they are now! My grandad (and I helped this year) makes up little gift bag of silly little gifts from Santa/the Christmas Tree. I found this idea on Pinterest and couldn’t resist giving it a try! πŸ™‚

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What did you get for Christmas this year? Did you all have a good day?Β 

 

 

Blogmas Day 23: Favourite Books of 2017

Next week I’m going to share with you all the books that I read in 2017, but today I thought that I’d share with you some of my favourite ones that I’ve read through 2017 πŸ™‚

The Girl Online Series

I was actually pleasantly surprised by this series. If I’m honest I didn’t really expect that much from it, but I actually really enjoyed all three books πŸ™‚ And I’d had to resist the urge to re-read them already this year. (Girl Online, Girl Online: On Tour, Girl Online: Going Solo).

One Wish in Manhattan

This was one of Amazon’s Prime books and it sounded pretty good so I gave it a try. I’d never heard of the author before so I wasn’t sure what to expect but I really enjoyed it.

The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters

I’d heard a lot of conflicting reviews about this book so I’d held off buying it, but when my friend offered to lend it to me I gave it a go and again I loved it!

I Heart Forever

I love Lindsey Kelk’s books and the “I Heart” series will always hold a special place for me because they are some of the first books I read when I was trying to get back in to reading at 18 years old. I was so excited for this book to come out and it did not disappoint!

The Chocolate Lovers’ Series

I’d heard a lot about these books and when I found a copy of the first one for Β£2 in WH Smith I couldn’t resist… and then wormed my way through all 4 books in the series. (The Chocolate Lovers’ Club, The Chocolate Lovers’ Diet, The Chocolate Lovers’ Christmas, The Chocolate Lovers’ Wedding)

Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe NightsΒ 

Another book by Carole Matthews, and this time a Christmassy one. I loved it! It was such a lovely book that made me want to make lots of Christmas cakes and biscuits!

Some Kind of Wonderful

I haven’t reviewed this yet on here because of Blogmas, but expect the review soon πŸ™‚ I LOVE Giovanna Fletcher’s books and this one was brilliant πŸ™‚

What books have you loved most in 2017?

Blogmas Day 22: Cranberry & Lemon Cupcakes

I decided to try out a new recipe from my Hummingbird Bakery “Cake Days” book, this one was under the Christmas section. It sounded nice so I thought I’d give it a try! πŸ™‚

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Ingredients (makes 18):Β 

80g unsalted butter/stork

280g caster sugar

240g plain flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp lemon zest

240ml whole milk

2 eggs

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

100g dried cranberries, chopped

For the Icing:

500g icing sugar

160g unsalted butter

50ml whole milk

1 tsp lemon zest

100g dried cranberries, chopped.

1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C and line the muffin tin.

2. Mix together the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, and lemon zest until it looks like breadcrumbs.

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3. Whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla extract in a jug. Then pour some of this into the flour mix and mix well until combined. Slowly add the rest and mix until everything is well mixed and the mixture is a smooth batter. Fold in the cranberries by hand.

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4. Fill the muffin cases 2/3 full then bake in the oven for 18-20 mins.

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5. To make the icing mix together the icing sugar and butter until no big lumps of butter remain. Then slowly add in the milk. Continue mixing well until light and fluffy. Stir in the lemon zest.

6. Pipe the icing on to the cupcakes then top off with cranberries (or you can mix the cranberries into the icing, but it might be harder to pipe then!)

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I hope you enjoyed today’s post and I’ll see you again tomorrow πŸ™‚