I have had the fullest, most lovely weekend which started off with a catch up over coffee, with Ellie, who I havent seen since this YSL event a year ago. After updating each other on the milestones which had passed and plans we had for the immediate future, it was time for a trawl through the Plymouth charity shops.
Few things make me happier, than browsing though the organised mis mash that is a charity shop.
Plymouth City Centre has around ten charity shops on one street, within a short walk from the Mall. Theres a nice mix of the curated YMCA, to the more random and it can be such a treasure trove. Mutley is also worth a browse, with a similar amount of charity shops which always seem to have a good clothing selection.
Obviously, the clothes in charity shops are a big pull, but everytime we realised we’d lost each other, Ellie was by the vinyls and I was trawling the book shelves.
The point of this post, is i broke the book buying ban I gave myself when i realised I had over a hundred books i hadn’t yet read, in my possesion… I bought four new books, all of which are; new to me, second hand, and cost a pound or less.
I Let You Go; Claire Mackintosh
I have read this alreay, I borrowed this off the lovely Alice, roughly eighteen months ago. The only drawback of borrowing a book (beyond the anxiety of damaging it in some way) is having to return it afterwards.
This book focuses on a hit and run accident, which kills a small child. its told from multiple perspectives and is an engaging and addictive crime story. Its told in part from a female protaganist, the police investigating the accident and another narrator.
If you would like a review on the book, Alice wrote one which intrigued me enough to read this in the first place here.
Elizabeth; J. Randy Tarborrelli
I know very little about Elizabeth Taylor. From popular culture, i know the film star married several times, had voilet eyes, and an incredible jewelery collection.
Generally speaking, i opt for fictional reads. I think this will be the first biography I will have read, and i’m excited to learn more about a woman who still faciniates a generation now.
The cracked spine on this book also tells me, that the previous owner really enjoyed it. Or thats what i’m telling myself.
A Man Called Ove; Fredrik Backman
I already own a copy of this book (initial thoughts here), but there is a thing about Hardbacks which makes me very happy.
I’m going to donate my paperback, and keep this in its place. It will be one I read whilst at home rather than carrying around, but its worth it for such a beautiful hardback.
The Girl Before; JP Delaney
This cover has popped up a few on my Instagram feed, and after Lucy Wood discussed the story in a book video, it made its way onto my wish list. I am in need of a crime novel to become obsessed with.
The book tracks the stories of two women; the current occupant, and the woman who lived in the house before her. Its been likened to both Gone Girl and The Girl On The Train, with a movie adaption scheduled.
This is the book I’m most excited to read, after I finish Doctor Sleep, The Dark Half and We Need To Talk About Kevin.
I saw the trailer for A Quiet Place about a month ago, and I got so excited I made Matt and my brother watch and analyse the trailer with me.
The first thing to say about A Quiet Place is that, as with a good portion modern horrors, it is more of a thriller than a horror. Yes there are the jump scares, and monsters, and moments of horror but the whole storyline fits more closely within the thriller genre.
It doesn’t lose anything for this, but beyond the jump scares you shouldn’t come away too scared.
The film, at the hour and a half run time, could easily have been trimmed down to forty minutes or so.
That said, it’s worth a watch. It’s a fairly original premise, and well acted by the small cast. If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead, the same post dystopian future and band of survivors story line carries over into this film.
I probably wouldn’t rewatch this, but at the same time I wouldn’t discourage anyone from watching this for the first time.
Can you blog about Beauty without having a tenny tiny Lush obsession?
Mine began two years ago after my first event, and built steadily from there.
The range of products to sample in Lush is huge. From soaps, and bathbombs to skin care and perfume. I’ve only really dabbled with a handful of products, and am in no way an expert but I do have one favourite product range from Lush that I almost always have on rotation…
As lovely as a bathbomb is, you get a single use out of it. I love a bubblebar as you can get multiple uses, and you still end up with much the same result ; a gorgeously scented, bubbly colourful bath.
They aren’t as fun as a bathbomb, but when you can stretch three uses for the same price point it eases my guilt at the small extravagance.
If you’ve yet to use a bubblebar and woild like a recommendation, or if you’re just like me abd incredibly
nosey curious, I have a few recommendations of products to try;
I’ve never really been a resolutions person. I love the idea of making changes, and becoming your best self, but I never carry them over. Looking at my old diaries it always seems to be about negative things rather than bringing joy.
I realised a couple weeks back there were things I wanted to do more this year (alongside reading some of the hundred plus unread books I own), and I’ve started implementing them which is making me most happy;
So, this started when I was thinking about Thank You Cards, and wether they are an outdated concept. I’ve only ever passed these out when I have left previous jobs, and the only Thank You Card I’ve received was following a friends wedding. It was handmade, matched the invitations and contained an unexpected and cute sentiment.
I’ve posted the tackiest Congratulations card to a friend who smashed an interview, and had another incredible opportunity in the same week.
I also have a New Job Card that’ll be going out this week to a friend who’s changed a situation that was making her sad, and I am insanely proud of her for taking this choice into her own hands.
You infrequently get mail beyond bills, marketing, and online shopping and if I can put a smile on someone’s face once or twice this year I will be so happy. Also, I’m a bit of a stationery geek so anything that allows me to spend more time in Paperchase or T K Maxx’s Stationery department makes me very happy.
This year I am trying my hardest to save, to move out. Though it may not appear so, I’ve cut back on my spending when it comes to clothes in a big way, and I’m going to match this with gifts for friends.
I’m a pretty decent baker. If you’re on my pod at work you will receive brownies on your birthday. I also make birthday cakes when it seems appropriate.
I want to learn to crochet. I can machine sew to a pretty acceptable (basic) level. I can knit (a scarf) and I taught myself how to finger knit one night when I was restless.
So, if you’re reading this and I would normally get you a birthday present; it’s going to be extra special this year.
Focusing on friendships.
I’m stepping back from the friendships that don’t make me happy, and putting more time into those which do. I’m not cutting people out of my life but I’m limiting the damage that can be done either by people’s actions, or my own thoughts spiral.
When I have so many incredible friends, colleagues and family my life isn’t going to suffer. I have a best friend who loves me, gets me and I see everyday. Life could be a lot worse.
Getting in early to work
I’m the person who almost always stays late, to catch up with tasks. With my current job I have cleared my inbox once (15:23 January 2nd), and anything unfinished will be there tomorrow. I’m constantly prioritising, and problem solving and I blooming love it, but I’m tired of the fact everyone knows I stay late.
Getting logged on and picking up my emails fifteen minutes before my shift lets me organise, prioritise and plan without comment. Yes, I’m likely to still stay a little after my shift but that fifteen minutes before, will minimise it drastically.
Matt and I are saving Sundays for long walks, weather permitting. So far we’ve been to Whitsand beach, Avon Reservoir and Trenchford Reservoir.
We’re saving, working full time with hobbies and side interests (Matt is a professional photographer alongside his day job). Keeping one day a week to do something we both love, that doesn’t cost much beyond petrol and takes up most of the day has been a lovely way to start the year.
Lots of small things designed to create small moments of joy, and make weeks a little more special.
I have a pretty sizable To Be Read List that consists primarily of books I’ve picked up over the years, and put to the side for later. Some I have read a couple chapters of, others I have picked up on impulse. My colleague Dee will abandon me in charity shops on our lunch break because I get too distracted by the book shelves.
One thing I want to do this year, is to read fifty two of the books from the list below . Firstly; I could do with the space, secondly; I can’t in good conscience buy another book, when I have twenty half read books waiting to be finished or collecting dust.
- The One from the Other – Phillip Kerr
- Fallen – Lauren Kate
- The Outcast – Sadie Jones
- Us – David Nicholls
- A Beautiful Mind – Sylvia Nasar
- Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
- Rendezvous and other stories – Daphne Du Mauirier
- Castle Dor – Daphne Du Mauirier
- The Flight of the Falcon – Daphne Du Mauirier
- Frenchman’s Creek – Daphne Du Mauirier
- Jamaica Inn – Daphne Du Mauirier
- Julius – Daphne Du Mauirier
- I’ll Never Be Young Again – Daphne Du Mauirier
- The Parasites – Daphne Du Mauirier
- The Devil and Miss Prym – Paulo Cohelo
- Eleven Minutes – Paulo Cohelo
- The Pilgrimage – Paulo Cohelo
- The Valkaries – Paulo Cohelo
- The Alchemist – Paulo Cohelo
The Dolls House – M J Arlidge
- The Memory Keepers Daughter – Kim Edwards
- The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes – Anna McPartlin
- One Plus One – Jo Jo Moyes
- The Ship of Brides – Jo Jo Moyes
- The Goldfinch – Donna Tarrt
- Mill on the Floss – George Eliot
- The Island – Victoria Hislop
- The Woman Who Stole My Life – Marian Keyes
- The Visible World – Mark Slouka
- A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
- Yes Man – Danny Wallace
- All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
- #GirlBoss – Sophia Amoruso
- On the Road – Jack Kerouac
- Pursuit of Happiness – Douglas Kennedy
- How to Be a Woman – Caitlin Moran
- How to be a Girl – Caitlin Moran
- Not That Kind Of Girl – Lena Dunham
- Testament of Youth – Vera Brittain
- Second Chance – Jodie Picoult
- The Wives of Henry O – Johana Moran
- French Luietenants Woman – John Fowles
- Nanny Returns – Nicola Klaus & Emma McLaughlin
- Pay it Forwards – Catherine Ryan Hyde
- 127 Hours – Aron Ralston
- Revenge Wears Prada – Lauren Weisberger
- I Heart Paris – Lindsey Kelk
- When God Was A Rabbit – Sarah Winman
- Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
- The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared – Jonas Jonasson
- The Wizard of Oz – L Frank Baum
- Mrs Winter – Susan Black
- Paper Towns – John Green
- It – Alexa Chung
- Bridget Jones Baby – Helen Fielding
- The Muse – Jessie Burton
- Living Dolls – Natasha Walt
- Knife Edge – Mallori Balckman
- The book of Lost Things – John Connolly
- The Bridge of Spies – Giles Whittell
- Wolf of Wall Street – Jordan Belfort
- Wild – Cheryl Strayed
- We Need To Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver
- The Pianist – Władysław Szpilman
- We Bought A Zoo – Benjamin Mee
- A Brothers Blood – Michael C. White
- Dark Half – Stephen King
- Rose Madder – Stephen King
- Desperation – Stephen King
Revival – Stephen King
- Dream Catcher – Stephen King
- Insomnia – Stephen King
- The Stand- Stephen King
- Doctor Sleep – Stephen King
- Before I Go To Sleep – S J Watson
- The Boy In The Striped Pajamas – John Boyne
- The Girls – Lori Lousens
- Bill Bryson at Home – Bill Bryson
- Salmon Fishing in the Yeomen – Paul Torday
- Yes Please – Amy Poeler
- The Shadow Of The Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafón
- Go Set A Watchman – Harper Lee
- The Marble Collector – Ceceila Ahern
- Book of Tomorrow – Ceceila Ahern
- Strong Woman – Karen Brady
- The Hobbit – J R R Tolkien
- Lord of The Ring; The Illustrated Edition – J R R Tolkien
- The Mystery of Mercy Close – Marian Keyes
- Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
- The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown
- The Almost Moon – Alice Sebold
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne & John Tiffany
- The Dry – Jane Harper
The Girlfriend – Michelle Frances
- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – John Le Carré
- The Five People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom
- The Savage Altar – Asa Larsson
- Zodiac – Robert Graysmit h(currently reading)
- The Girl of Ink & Stars – Kiran Millwood Hargrave
- Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi
- Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism – Natasha Walter
- His Bloody Project – Graeme Macrae Burnet
- The Lie Tree – Frances Hardinge
- Scrappy Little Nobody – Anna Kendrick
- My little book of Lykke – Meik Wiking
My little book of Hygge – Meik Wiking
- If I Stay – Gayle Forman
- On Chesil Beach – Ian McEwan
- Enduring Love – Ian McEwan
- Ariel – Sylvia Plath
- The Shadows In The Street – Susan Hill
- Mrs De Winter – Susan Hill
- Heartless – Marissa Meyer
I would like to flag that this does not include my regular book collection, any Kindle books (read or unread) or the books i want to read one day.
Some of these books I have had for over a decade (I tried, and struggled to read A Clockwork Orange when I was 18. It’s partly in Russian… Lolita was returned to me after a break up)
So many I’ve picked up and put down again because it’s been slow, or other exciting books came around (The Stand, The Almost Moon, Go Set A Watchman)
I’ve impulse bought so many authors. Rebecca, is one of my all time favourite novels so when I spotted a collection of Daphne Du Mauirier’s stories I snapped them up. I will always pick up by Cecila Ahern, Jodie Picolt and Stephen King novels I haven’t read when I spot them in a charity shop. And at one point, I decided I needed to expand my reading and picked up a load of Paulo Cohelo novels.
I need to stop buying books…
I got given two for Christmas (which means my friends and family associate me with Berets, which makes me most happy) and I have barely left the house without one since September, really. I wanted to share a post on my love of Berets, thank you to Nicole for taking these photos in September.
- They work with everything from a raincoat, or wooly coat to just a scarf and top.
- It’s a hat, so you immediately feel more fancy.
- On the same hat thread, it’s funny watching other people try on your Beret. Especially if it’s blush pink,and it’s your dad/brother/
- I’ve been wearing them since I was Sixteen, so the eight I own ARNT going anywhere until Spring.
- If you already have a predisposition to wear stripes, you will look even more French.
- They keep your head warm, and dry. Sometimes having a hood up can feel stuffy.
- They are easy to fold up, ether if you would like them stored in a pocket of a coat or the corner of a bag, and they don’t really lose thier shape.
- They take up the least space of any of hat I own, which when space is a commodity, is incredible.
- Ive never had to chase after a Beret, because they tend to be a snug fit. Whereas my Fedora and Cossack have definelty had me running after them on windy days.
My favourite way to wear a Beret is across the top half of my forehead (slightly below my eyebrows) and pulled to the left.
If you’re looking to add a Beret to your collection and aren’t sure where to start; three of mine are from Accessorise, one is from Primark, one is for a vintage fair, one is from Peacocks, and two are second hand (Table Top Sale, and Charity Shop).