Monday, 15 January 2018

Currently Reading #7

Hot damn, I am burning through the pages right now! I can't seem to put a good book down (and I'm getting really good at speed reading through the bad ones)! Here's a run down of the latest covers I've closed.

The Year of the Flood - Margaret Atwood
Man has spliced, modified and mutilated life as we know it. With hybrid breeds, robotic bees and this weird second skin that makes you look, well, however you damn well please. We've destroyed the planet and now, there seems to be only two people left. Gods Gardeners, a sort of is-isn't religion who focus their efforts on simple living and preserving plant and animal life, long predicted this armageddon and here it is, no point shaving your mo'hairs, nobodies needs extensions anymore! This has to be one Atwoods most inventive works. The world she created between the pages is not too dissimilar to the world ours is becoming. And I found it pretty funny that when the end of the world did come, the vegans and the genetically modified pigs were the clear winners!

The Age of Magic - Ben Okri
A film crew are off in search of the mysterious Arcadia, a tight-knit group, their carrying around more than their hand-luggage on this trip. They all come with emotional baggage and after arriving in a picture postcard little Swiss village, some unusual interactions and encounters help them to unpack and deal with said baggage. Hands down, this book is beautiful. The prose is beyond quotable and each page could be read as a standalone piece of poetry. That being said, the narrative is difficult to follow if you're used to something more traditional. I know I had to read a few pages twice to make sure I was grasping what was going on!

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up - Marie Kondo
Who doesn't go on a big decluttering mission pre and post Christmas? There's something about January that just makes me want to clean and get somewhat organised for the year ahead. If you're looking for a jumping off point and an incentive to get your house in order, this book will do just that. I did find it a tedious task at times to read however. I feel like Marie lives in another time zone where she has this infinite amount of minutes to empty her bag and purse every evening, putting each individual thing in a separate place, then calmly collecting and repacking them 12 hours later. I don't have kids and even I don't have time for that! I did take away some tips, but I wouldn't say it was life changing in anyway. 

Northern Lights - Phillip Pullman
OH! OH! Be still my little literature heart! The Mr bought me His Dark Materials trilogy for Christmas and I jumped right into the first, Northern Lights. Kids are going missing, nobody knows where they're being taken or why. And what does this have to do with Lyra? With her imprisoned uncle and her less than maternal mother? What is dust and why on earth is that dying boy clinging to a dried out fish? Oh, and there's talking bears, daemons, witches, zeppelins and just pure adventure on every single page. Someone told me they love this series more than Harry Potter and honestly, as much as I love Harry, I can totally see why. I can't wait to get into the next one!

On The Other Side - Carrie Hope Fletcher
Meh. I really wanted to like this one. I did. It seemed very Cecilia Ahern in it's nature but nobody can spin whimsy and magic into reality like Ahern can. On The Other Side follows Evie, she's just died and she wants to get into heaven. But to do that she must deal with her unfinished business, it's weighing her soul down and preventing her from eternal happiness. It was an easy enough read, predictable and some cute moments but the ending flat out put the last nail in the coffin. URGH, it annoys me just thinking about it! 

What have you been reading recently? If you're really not enjoying a book do you solider on until the last page or call it quits and move on?

Until next time, 

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

*Seasonal Decorating: Winter Escape Inspired

seasonal decorating winter

Christmas might be over but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep that wintery, Hygge feeling around your home for a little bit longer. I don't know about you but taking down the Christmas tree, putting away the ornaments and blowing out the festive scents always leaves me feeling a little extra blue in the New Year, having had such an amazing Christmas time, I hate seeing it all come to an end. If jetting off to a wintery destination isn’t on the cards, why not bring that cosy, wintery destination decor to you?

I’m trying to focus all those fuzzy Hygge feelings in two areas of my home; the bedroom and the living room. These are the two places we spend most of our time at home, so yeah, I want to reap all my decorating efforts. Julian Charles has some fabulous winter decor inspiration so be sure to check them out. 

Bare in mind that I live in a rented, furnished apartment so when it comes to decorating, I am limited to soft furnishings and knick knacks (because there’s no way I’m painting this place only to have to paint it back again when we leave!). That being said, I think with a few small changes, you can really change the feel of any room. 

I’m all about that chalet feeling right now, so bring on the layers. Growing up, we seemed to have a very set pattern of one cushion here, one cushion there. Don’t be afraid to pile them up! Opt for different textures, shapes and sizes to add interest. I love using Design Seeds palettes for choosing my colour palettes and figuring out what shades go together - art was never my best subject but this makes it look like I have a real eye for colour.

Don’t just stop at cushions, throw throws everywhere. When we first moved in, I remember picking up one solitary throw - hah. As if that was going to be enough. Throws are the best when it comes to cosy home decor. Not only are they great for protecting rented furniture from wear and tear (top tip for renters there!) but they’re just so snug. Nothing beats cosying up under a throw, a silky hot chocolate in one hand and my latest read in the other. Pop that fireplace on Netflix and can you you say…..chill? 

seasonal decorating winter

Let there be light! And I'm not talking about lamps or candles. When I think of Sweedish chalets, I think space. We can't all go knocking down walls and building extensions - but we can add light pieces of decor. Think pieces that are not solid, that have openings and gaps you can see through, wire display baskets or glass bell jars - these are great for reflecting light around the room too making everything seem more airy and spacious! 

When I think chalet, I think wood. Warm, hardy, natural wood pieces of furniture. Though I can’t replace any of the big pieces of furniture in our home, I can accessorise with wooden based lamps, coasters and trays. It’s amazing how much warmer a home feels by adding touches of wood. 

It really doesn’t take much to keep those winter-wonderful vibes going well into the New Year. What small changes do you make around the home to keep the seasonal vibes going?

Until next time, 

This post was in collaboration with Julian Charles, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. For more information see my disclaimer policy 
SaveSave Header Image: unsplash-logoEzra Jeffrey Coffee Table: unsplash-logoDane Deaner

Monday, 8 January 2018

Disneyland Paris 2017 Part 1

disneyland paris november

I wasn’t going to give an entire post to just travelling to Disneyland Paris but, well, our journey wasn’t the smoothes of courses! From non existent coaches to being kidnapped, getting to the magic wasn’t exactly magical! So grab yourself a brew and let’s get down to some story telling!

Our flights from Manchester to Charles De Gaulle were around tea time, so I spent most of the day prepping for the trip - mostly last minute packing, re-packing, and making sure we had enough snacks for our snack drawer. Before I knew it, the trainers were on and the luggage was locked and I was one my way to meet the gang at the airport! 

disneyland paris november

A totally inspired by YouTubers Krispy Smores (if you love Disney travel vlogs, to need to check out their channel!) moment, after checking in we went to Giraffe for pre flight food and drinks. We had a bit of time and they guaranteed your meal would be with you in 15 minutes. Here’s the first hurdle that fell, we waited forever for our food to come, by time it did we had to shovel it down and leg it to the gate. I admit, the food was actually really good, I had a chicken rice bowl and it was full of flavour, I just wish I’d have had longer to enjoy it! 

disneyland paris november

Through the gate, on the plane, wine bought, and off we went to France! The flight went ridiculously fast, I hadn’t even finished my wine and we were being prepared for landing. CDG was pretty busy when we landed around 7.45pm but it didn’t take too long to get through security. We then waited at the wrong baggage claim for a while, because you know, fun! Once we figured out which carousel was ours, 3 out of 4 suitcases came off…there’s always one! So we waited until we were the only people standing there before really starting to panic, the belt hadn’t moved for about 10 minutes, really hoping for a bit of pixie dust magic on this missing suitcase! 

And what do you know, the belt suddenly sprung to life as we started to walk away and low and behold, the missing case appeared! Whoops and cheers all round, we headed off and out of the airport!

disneyland paris november

Prior to our flight, we’d found out that the Disneyland Pairs coach we had paid for would not be at the airport waiting for us. What do you know, the last coach left at 7pm, and we didn’t land until 8pm, but yeah, they still let us pay for it! Disney customer services assured us we would be refunded once we got home, but until then, we were to grab a cab outside. OK. Sounds easy enough, right?

An airport attendant loaded us into a cab outside, our bags were piled in, and off we thought we went to the magic. Ha. My geography is pretty bad but even I know that Disneyland Paris and the Eiffel Tower are nowhere near each other, so when that big ol’ metal monstrosity came into view, we knew something was wrong. Very wrong

We pulled up the GPS on our phones, looked at the location of Disney vs our current location and we couldn’t have been heading any further away if we’d have got lost ourselves. So we asked the driver if we were going the right way, is he sure we’re going to Disneyland, is he positive this is the right way because it doesn’t look like it. He can’t say yes enough, that everything is fine. As our little GPS dot moves further and further into Paris and away from Disneyland the magic was quickly sucked out of our trip and Taken jokes were nervously bantered around the backseat. We then made it very clear to him that we knew he was taking us the wrong way. Next thing we know the car turns around, we get back on the motorway and we end up going back to the airport where this whole wild goose chase started. Hi airport, bye airport, we sailed past and seemingly headed in the right direction. 

Crisis averted? Ha. No. 

Just when we think it’s all back on track, he suddenly comes off the bloody motorway to Marne De Valley and starts going down all these weird and not so wonderful back roads. Great. Taken 2.0. Again, we tell him we know we’re going the wrong way! He starts telling us that the roads are closed. OK, I’m no native parisian, but that motorway didn’t look all that closed to me! Nor did any of the roads we saw leading back to said motorway. But he just kept shouting closed whenever we questioned him. 

He’s broke into a sweat, we’re flapping in the back and Disney feels about a million miles away. Out of nowhere, we’re suddenly back on the motorway we randomly came off and going in the right direction. Hurrah. We stay on the motorway, we see signs for Disneyland, we are so closeand he turns off the motorway, goes around this massive ring road, and comes right back ON exactly where he came off. 

disneyland paris november

I like to think I’m a relatively calm person, pretty laid back and very forgiving but to say I was raging at this point was an understatement. What should have been a €60 trip max, was already at €90 and still, our hotel was nowhere in sight. Finally, the cab lands on Disney property, there are lights and signposts all around, if we’ve said it once, we have said Newport Bay Hotel a million times….and he insists on attempting to pull into every single Disney hotel before finally, as the meter hits €100, we rock up to our hotel. 

disneyland paris november

Our journey was by no means magical but finally, we had arrived and we had 4 whole days of memories to make, so with our ears at the ready, our adventure could finally begin! 

Have you ever had a transportation nightmare whilst on holiday? 

Until next time, 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...