Book Review 2018: Part Two

Second half of my 2018 book review already! It’s gone so fast, and my fiance Rhys aka my book selector and buyer, has had to tell me to chill with the reading as I have just been ploughing through the books the past few months! Can’t blame me really! The evenings are getting shorter and colder, and there’s nothing better than cosying up with a cuppa and a book in your pj’s and fluffy socks. And I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every book I’ve read…so this is more of a book recommendation list than a review as I’ve loved them all! I’m really lucky as Rhys is a bookseller, so he knows the kinds of books I like, so I just tell him what I’m in the mood for and he delivers! I would definitely recommend speaking to booksellers in your local bookstore if you’re not sure what you fancy: they really are very knowledgeable and could even just recommend certain authors that you might be interested in. Let me know if you have read any of these books and what you think!

 

Read More

Planning a Wedding: Where the Hell Do You Start?!

Congratulations! You’re engaged! Now comes the fun part…the planning! Or…is it?? Where on earth do you start? What should you do first? You make a list of everything to think about and the list just keeps going and going. And suddenly, it doesn’t look like so much fun anymore! My fiance and I got engaged at the end of last year, and have just decided to make a start on our plans. And I’m at that age where I’ve seen so many people going through with wedding plans over the last couple of years, and the majority of them posted multiple Facebook statuses where they were ready to tear their hair out! That’s the last thing I wanted to happen for us! I wanted it to be as smooth as possible, and as stress free as possible. So I sat down one day and I’ve made us a plan of where to start with our plans. Obviously, we have not yet gone through this entire process yet, but I want to share this with you to see if it helps others, and possibly find other people to share this journey with me!

Read More

Coastal Chills in Amble

Uk holidays. Who else thinks that holidays in the UK can actually sometimes be way better than going abroad? Don’t get me wrong: I do love a good beach holiday, chilling by the pool with a cocktail in hand frying in the heat from the sun that so often seems to stay hidden in the UK. But sometimes it’s nice to just skip the whole airport stress and just take a short drive somewhere not too far from home and explore areas you never even knew were there. My mum decided to come down near to where I live in Morpeth, and spend a Monday to Friday in a little coastal town called Amble about a twenty minute countryside drive from my house. Although I will admit our first day was a bit of a disaster! We had booked a little place through Sykes Cottages and stayed in a seaside self-catering flat at 23A Gordon Street. To cut a long story short, the place hadn’t been cleaned in between us and the previous guests, and according to the cleaner (and Tripadvisor review we later discovered) this clearly wasn’t the first time it had happened. Eventually we got it sorted, but I would definitely make sure and check reviews on multiple sites before booking any accommodation! If it had been kept in better condition, it could have been a gorgeous little place. But, hey-ho. We didn’t spend too much time there anyway!

Read More

Oriental Dining at Chaophraya, Newcastle

Asian cuisine is by far my favourite type of food. I could live on Chinese, Thai and Indian food with absolutely no problems at all. I could even happily have an entire bowl of plain rice with no complaints whatsoever. So when a new Thai restaurant called Chaophraya opened in Eldon Square in Newcastle where I was living, I believe in 2016, I was super excited. However, it’s a tad on the pricier side for a stingy Scotswoman like myself, so we decided to save it for a special occasion. And ended up never going. Typical. We moved out to Morpeth in July this year, and vowed to have a day out in Newcastle and try out the restaurant. The 6th – 12th August was Newcastle Restaurant Week, where lots of restaurants have brilliant deals on, and I only realised this the day before the event ended. As soon as I saw Chaophraya was doing a deal of 2 courses for £10 I was sold. I booked a table there and then and told Rhys later! I had a quick look over the set menu online and it looked amazing, so I couldn’t wait!

Read More

Tea & Scones at The Chantry, Morpeth

If someone told me I had to live on nothing but tea and scones for a month, I would not be disappointed. I’d be jumping for joy. There’s nothing better than a freshly home-baked scone just out the oven, all warm and steaming and soft, slathered in butter and jam, accompanied by a lovely hot brew. If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you’ll know I was living near Newcastle city centre, and have recently moved to a market town called Morpeth in Northumberland. One thing I always found the city lacked, was good tea rooms. It was all big brands, and there was very few places you could go for a nice cuppa and some proper home-baked cakes and bakes. So moving to a nice little market town was like Christmas for me! It’s got plenty of smaller restaurants and coffee shops, and when I moved here I heard great things about a tiny little tea room called The Chantry Tea Rooms which, conveniently, is about a sixty second walk from my house! I tried it out last week. And then went back again at the weekend! Both times I had tea and scones. Naughty me not trying something new! But was it worth it? 100%. Read More

My Hot Weather Make Up Faves

Is anybody else absolutely fucking dying in this heat? Everyone keeps saying to me how they hope I’m loving this weather and making the most of it. No. I’ve spent more time sat on the sofa in nothing but my knickers with our newly purchased fan pointed straight at me and the curtains closed trying to block out as much of this unbearable heat as physically possible. I feel like I’m almost a fully fledged hermit. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of good weather, but this has just been a tad on the excessive side for me! Roll on the crisp Autumn days! One thing I always hate about these super duper hot days is having to put make up on. Most of the time, I do just go barefaced, but sometimes if I’m going to be out for quite a while on a hot day I prefer a light layer just to help even out my skin tone since it just tends to turn into a red blotchy mess in the sun. Make-up can be a nightmare in these scorching temperatures, so I wanted to share with you the drugstore products that I like to use during a heatwave!

Read More

Book Review 2018: Part One

 

This year seems to have been the year of book sequels for me. I’d been patiently waiting on three sequels of books I have read in the past year or so to come out and, suddenly, the whole bloody lot appear at once. Slightly overwhelmed with my array of books to choose from, I eenie-meenie-miney-mo’d them (grown up people still do that, right??) and selected them in order. I had them all read within less than two months. Oops. Thankfully, my bookworm fiance, who somehow just knows exactly which books I will enjoy, had already picked me out a new one for when I finished those. ‘The Terror’, by Dan Simmons. And oooohh boy, am I loving it! I’m only about a third of the way through, so you might have to wait a while until I’m done to find out whether I continue to enjoy it all the way through! But I thought I would share these other books with you so maybe you can enjoy them too! Since a few of these are sequels, I’ll talk about the first book/books in the series as well so you can start from the beginning!

Read More

Tandoor Mahal: Italian Cuisine in Morpeth, Northumberland

Rhys and I have just moved to Morpeth, a little market town in Northumberland, and there is an abundance of lovely restaurants and cafes and so I am in my absolute element! I love trying out new places, but unfortunately at the moment we aren’t exactly rolling in dosh, so I can’t hastily work my way around every single one in the next month or two. However, we decided it would be nice to have a little celebratory meal out after a couple of weeks of stress and minor disasters after moving town. After scouring the internet for reviews (and price lists!!), we settled on trying a little Indian restaurant right in the town centre, only a couple minutes walk from our house, called Tandoor Mahal. It’s set right on the middle of the high street, but it’s only a small door leading upstairs to the restaurant, so it would be quite easy to miss if you weren’t looking for it. We booked online, via Quandoo (a great little booking site where you can build up points and redeem them at restaurants that they are in partnership with) for 6:30pm.

Read More

A Day Out in York

Who doesn’t love a day out in York? My fiance and I absolutely love this city. We’ve been a few times before, and on Saturday we went for a day trip to visit Rhys’s uncle, aunt and cousin, and I thought it would be nice to share with you some of my favourite things to do on a day in York! There’s so many cool attractions, especially all the medieval ones like the Jorvik Viking Centre, the Minster and the Railway Museum, but I usually save these for if I’m visiting York for a long weekend rather than a day trip, because I like being able to spend lots of time in each and there’s too much to go round in the one day as well as the town! So I usually keep my day trips to the city centre and the shops and streets, so that’s what we’ll focus on today! 

Read More

Cookies ‘n’ Creme Slice

Gotta tell you guys, I’m surprised this traybake worked! I made this to take back up to Scotland for my sisters birthday. I always bake something for peoples birthdays! I wanted to make something with Oreos and I thought about a Rocky Road. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a Rocky Road, but I find them quite firm if you know what I mean?! Like, there’s so soft squidginess to them, they’re almost a little crumbly. So I decided to go for something a little more along the lines of my Fudgy Easter Slice, by adding golden syrup and butter to the mixture. Hence why I wasn’t sure whether this would work!! White chocolate can be temperamental, especially when mixed with golden syrup and butter! It can split easier than milk or dark chocolate and I find it can burn quicker! But I was brave and it worked! I think the trick is to go slow and steady and take it off the heat for a little while if you feel it is thickening too quickly or feels like it’s going to burn. But if you’re a little apprehensive about this, then feel free to change the chocolate to milk or dark. Or take the butter and golden syrup out…though you may need to adjust the amount of other ingredients slightly!

Read More