Thursday, 16 August 2018

Life Lately #150


Hi lovelies!

I'm officially back from my 'blogging break'. I really hate saying that, as I'm not actually sure what qualifies for a break anymore.. but I think this has been the longest time period where I haven't blogged & I've missed it. I thought I better start with an update post (number 150!) from this past month as I feel like so much has happened..

As this weather has been so beautiful recently, I've been spending more & more time in our garden. My plants however are not loving it so much.. my strawberry plant in particular! But I have been loving growing my own vegetables & fruit in our garden this Summer. Our onions are currently flourishing & the lettuces we grew were so successful. I've got another post on the sidelines about falling in love with my garden this summer which should hopefully be published in the next few weeks.

James' brother Alex celebrated his 22nd birthday at the beginning of July. Our present to him was a day out to Brighton to do an Escape Room. I completed my first escape room at the beginning of June with the girls & loved it so much, I thought it would be the perfect present for Alex. We completed the room in 58 minutes just in time & then headed to Nandos for lunch. England were playing in the world cup at 3pm, so we rushed home in time for the match!

That evening we headed to Valerie & Barrie's for a Murder Mystery night. I'd never done one before so wasn't sure how it all worked, but it was really good fun. We each got sent our characters a week or so before, so we knew a bit about them & how to dress & act at dinner. The game also comes with a tape & you follow a script to find out who committed the crime. I was Lady Shippe, the widow of Lord Shippe & James was the local vicar who was into drinking & gambling! We thought we would find out the murderer quite early on, but it kept us guessing right till the end. I'd highly recommend taking part in one if you haven't before!

Oh & I held my annual Summer BBQ, which was amazing as ever! It always feels like the day goes so quick, what with all the planning & preparation, but it's always so much fun. I love getting everyone together & playing games as the sun sets. We had the most amazing weather as well.

James & I headed up to Bristol for Matt & Alice's wedding. James was an usher for Matt, so we attended the rehearsal on the Friday evening before the big event on Saturday. It was so much fun meeting all their friends & family & getting to celebrate the day with them.

& finally, at the end of July, we went to Quimper in France for a week with James' family. It was a week full of exploring, socialising & relaxation. The accommodation came with a private pool, which was so nice, as the weather was just as hot as England at the time.

So I think that's about it! I'm currently working my second to last shift before 9 days off from work & I couldn't be more excited. I'm planning on doing a Summer / Autumn clean (is that a thing?) in our house & organising a few days out with my girls but otherwise, I haven't got much on, just going to make the most of the last of the Summer if the weather co-operates!

I'd love to hear if you've been anywhere nice this year? Or still have any holidays coming up? : )

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Monday, 9 July 2018

Book Review - The One We Fell In Love With By Paige Toon


"Phoebe is caught between a rock and a hard place. Settle down and get married, or return to the French Alps to pursue her passion?

Eliza is in love with someone who is no longer hers. In fact, he probably never was… And her dream of becoming a successful musician seems to be vanishing before her eyes.

Rose is out of a job and out of a boyfriend. To make matters worse, she’s been forced to move back in with her mother…

But these very different girls have one thing in common. Angus. The one they fell in love with…"

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Ah this book.

I love writing reviews just as I finish a book so I can put everything I'm feeling down in words. Main point of this book; it surprised me.

I knew I would love it. Look at that front cover? It just screams rom-com but I never thought I'd be so attached to the characters, I really didn't want to finish reading it!

You're introduced to 3 triplets at the beginning of the story; Phoebe, Eliza & Rose, who couldn't be more different, but that's what makes the story so great.

I actually surprised myself & warmed to the character I thought was going to be my least favourite, Rose. She is the most adorable person, who I just wanted to be friends with immediately. Obviously they all have a bond with Angus but I read another review of this book & the person stated even though the title is 'The One We Fell In Love With', it really isn't that much about Angus. It's all about the sisterly bond & the relationships between the girls, which I loved.

People have mentioned online that there was a 'big twist' to the story & yes.. there was! A complete twist which surprised me so much, I had to go back & read a few pages again as I wasn't sure what I was reading! Sounds silly, but I can't really re-literate it as it'll totally give it away but I really wasn't expecting it.

I have to mention another character that becomes a main part of the story, who I warmed too immediately; Toby. I won't say anything else, but if you read this book, let me know what you thought of his character!

Overall I absolutely loved this book, it's been one of my favourites so far this year!

Have you read any of Paige Toon's books?

Overall rating -

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Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Kefalonia

Let me introduce you to the beautiful island of Kefalonia..


Kefalonia is the 3rd Greek island I've been lucky enough to visit & I have to admit, it's my favourite so far. The views that we got to experience were breath-taking. I'll never forget looking down on the crystal clear waters below us as the sun set.

There was so much to explore on the island, we could have done with an extra week to see everything it had to offer (well.. an extra month would have been nice if I'm being completely honest..!) but we made the most of the time we had.

We stayed in the most incredible villa called Altomare, near Fiscardo. The lady that owned the villa met us there to welcome us & as soon as she opened the door, the view took our breath away.. literally. It was absolutely stunning, the photos don't do it justice!





There were 2 pools in the villa, but we only tended to use this one as it was bigger, warmer & in the main communal area. There were sunbeds placed around the pool & in the opportune sunbathing spots, looking out to the sea.





This is where we sat to eat all our meals, it was the perfect place to look out at the sunset in the evenings.


This sofa bed was outside our bedroom, anyone else instantly think of the day beds in Love Island? Haha!



We also had access to a library in the house which had quite an impressive range of books. There were lots about Kefalonia; places to eat & visit & secret beaches to explore.

The bedrooms were quite basic compared to the rest of the villa, but it didn't bother us as we spent the least amount of time in there.

We had quite a few days where we relaxed at the villa & the other days we explored the island. The days spent at the villa mostly consisted of us sunbathing, swimming & playing with the inflatables! Oh & who can forget the pool volleyball! I brought an inflatable doughnut & Sally the Flamingo & Alex & Charl brought one of the biggest whales I've ever seen, so when they were in the water altogether, they took up most of the pool!




Allan & Maria celebrated their 1st wedding anniversary while we were on holiday, (I blogged about their wedding last year) so for the second night, we went to a beautiful hotel for dinner.




James had the most incredible dish; the TonyHawk Steak, which was absolutely massive! I don't know how he ate it all.. it was SO big!


As well as this steak, we had some lovely lunches & dinners out at local tavernas. Greek food is simply the best.





We also found the most amazing dessert bar in Fiscardo.. just look at the size of these puddings! Baring in mind we had just had a full meal before this, the struggle to finish them was real.. : D




Like I say, as well as enjoying our villa, we had some exciting days out. 

One of my favourite days was when we hired a boat (a tradition we do every holiday) to sail around the neighbouring islands & explore the hidden beaches.

Our little boat was so cute, it did extremely well to cope in the choppy waters we experienced after lunch. 

There's always a moment on holiday when I think I'm going to die.. that was this time!



I have to admit, I'm not a confident person in water at all. I'm not happy swimming out of my depth or swimming at all really. I like to be able to touch the bottom at all times, so being in a small boat in the middle of the ocean isn't my idea of fun, but as long as we can see the land & aren't too far from the beaches, I'm ok!



We stopped for lunch on the island of Ithaki, which was extremely beautiful. They had some adorable little shops & I found this sign which I just wanted to take home! 




Oh & on our walk back down to the boat, we saw these beautiful flowers. Any idea what they were? I instantly fell in love with them!


We also went to lots of beaches on the island, my favourite being Myrtos Beach. Just look at that water..






We also found a place for the boys to do water sports! Not my sort of thing, but the boys loved it!



The main road on the island also took you up incredibly high, so the viewpoints were to die for! 





We also visited the village of Assos. It was one of the busier places we went to, on the hotest day, so we were literally sweating so much at lunch, but it was worth it! Look at the little houses by the harbour.




One of my favourite trips we went on was to the Melissani Cave. It was absolutely beautiful. I know I keep saying this, but the colour of the water was incredible. It apparently changes depending on the time of day, but it was the most fantastic shade of blue when we went!

The guide takes you on a tour through the caves, where we saw a couple of bats & lots of pigeons nesting at the top of the rocks. It was such a lovely experience, definitely reccomend going if you go to Kefalonia.





As well as all these incredible adventures & days out we went on, my favourite time of day was sunset. Where ever we seemed to be, we could see the sun setting in the distance, making the sky the most fantastic colours. Here's a few of my favourite pictures I took.










On our last night, we headed down to 'A Place For Dreamers' which was only about a 15 minute walk from our villa, to watch the sunset & have dinner. The taverna is owned by Stefano (pictured below) who came out & prayed to the sun as it set. It was the most wonderful thing to witness.



& finally I couldn't not add a few of the Greek wildlife we saw. I absolutely adore the fact you could be walking down the road & a lizard will suddenly dart out by your feet or your driving along the road & a herd of goats block your path..







In conclusion.. I WANT TO GO BACK SO BADLY! 

As I'm writing this post, it's almost a month ago that we flew out & we currently would have been celebrating Allan & Maria's wedding anniversary, by the pool, cocktail in hand.. 

Which brings me on to mention a blog post I wrote last month; How To Beat Those Holiday Blues! Definitely need to take some of my own advice right now.. haha!

Oh & remember you can check out my other holiday blog posts if you like; Corfu Part 1, Corfu Part 2, Lefkas Part 1 & Lefkas Part 2) to see what we got up to on our previous holidays.

Here's to the next one!