January Favourites

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Hello everyone, 

It’s the end of another month and I honestly cannot tell you where it has flown away to! People always say that January drags by and is a very blue month, I could not disagree more, this month is always super busy for me. As I have mentioned in a couple of my previous posts January can also be very exciting on the new releases front too. 

This is my first ever monthly favourites post so I was kind of nervous about what to put in it, but then I thought to myself “Hatts you are being ridiculous”. I’m just going to go with the flow and share the things I have been enjoying most over this cold and rainy January. 

Let’s start off with the beauty products. In my previous post I told y’all about the YSL gypsy opale palette so I’m not going to repeat all that, but it has definitely been one of my favourites. Since I started using it I have received so many compliments on my healthy, glowing skin. However, I don’t think those compliments have been aimed at my lips, let’s just say my lips and the harsh winter wind are not good bed fellows. This month I have been all about the lip comfort and have been really loving all things soft and moisture. My top products for lips have been the Clarins instant light lip comfort oil and my trusty Clinique chubby stick in 06 woppin' watermelon. Between the two of them, these products have been saving my lips from being a horrible chapped mess! I want to add a quick big up to my Urban Decay Naked 3 palette too for giving me some added colour and light. For a full review check out my post here. 

For general life and joy I have been loving my Sanctuary white lily and damask rose body wash, it is gorgeous and gives such a lovely hint of spring to my skin in the morning. I haven’t had much experience with Sanctuary products and I am excited to try out some of their other fragrances, so stay tuned! Macaroons have been a big feature this month as I have been gobbling them down like they’re going out of fashion. They are one of the many things I miss about no longer living in France, there is nothing like going to your local bakery in the morning to buy some fresh baked macaroons. I have been having to resort to supermarket ones here *sigh*. 

And last, but not least, to keep away the revision blues I have been treating myself to the occasional episode of 90210 on Netflix. I haven’t watched this since it first came out and I still love it just as much now! The Annie, Adrianna, Naomi and Silver drama is the perfect distraction and relaxation after a long revision day. To add a boost of colour to my kitchen I have also been loving fresh flowers, it is almost daffodil season after all! 

What have you been loving this month? Let me know in the comments below :-) 


Limited Edition Goodies

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Hello everyone, 

Recently I have been mildly obsessed (massive understatement) with all the new releases this month! I always think January is very exciting for beauty products as so many companies bring out their spring collections and new products for the new year…just in time for the next student loan instalment…not so good for my bank account honestly. 

The product I was most excited by is the YSL Gypsy Opale face palette. Wow oh wow is this palette gorgeous, pretty much as soon as it came out online I had to order one, luckily I had some money from babysitting so could justify the rather expensive £42.50! It came super fast in the post and the packaging is gorgeous. There is a standard gold YSL cardboard box with instructions/warnings etc. Inside is a small, black velvet pouch embossed with the YSL logo, very decadent looking I must say. 

How beautiful is this!?!

The slim gold palette has a marbled pink - fruschia cover and inside the marbled effect is continued. The different colours are laid out in wavy strips with more space being taken up by the blush and highlight, which is fab because they will be used the most! 

There are 4 “colours” - green, purple, pink and cream aimed to cover all the different requirements for “doing your face”. The green is best swept over areas of redness on your face, maybe where you have a bit of blemish or under the cheekbones in areas of rosacia. The purple is used as an anti-dullness colour and you can put it anywhere that you think your skin isn’t looking at it’s best. I like to sweep some under my cheekbones, down the creases beside my nose and across my forehead towards my hairline. The blush is a beautiful glossy colour, similar to the dandelion blush by Benefit. It is a sort of baby pink with a hint of sparkle, perfect for the rapidly approaching spring season. Finally, onto the highlighter, it is a rich toned cream that will suit all skin tones. It has quite a lot of dazzle to it so can be used sparingly to great effect. I find that it really lights up my complexion when swept under my eyes, down the very top of my cheekbones and over my brow bones. 

I have definitely fallen in love with this palette. I have taken to using it after I have put on my foundation and powder. However, the beauty of this palette is that it can be all you need, if you are in a hurry, or are going for a very light makeup look you can swirl all the colours together and dust them over your face for a natural, sunny style! My only niggle is that with the way I apply it, I require several different brushes, the initial application isn’t an on the move operation, but I do love having it in my makeup bag to quickly touch up my complexion over a long day. 

Another product I am excited about this month is less of a new release, but is also limited edition. It is the Clarins instant light lip comfort oil in 02 raspberry. As far as I know the original 01 honey flavour isn’t limited edition, thankfully, this product is a god send for my poor chapped lips. If you are like me and suffer from damaged and sore lips over the winter months then this is definitely for you! At £18 it is very affordable and a small amount goes a long way. I originally went into John Lewis in search of the honey oil, having heard nothing but rave reviews I thought it was a must try, but the raspberry had such a lovely scent I couldn’t resist. It has quite a strong scent, however, once on the lips the flavour is very subtle and I can instantly feel its nourishing powers. I have found myself reaching for it 3 or 4 times each day, the wide doe sponge applicator makes it so easy to apply on the go and isn't harsh on my lips. 

I have always been a lover of Clarins so it came as no surprise that I adore it, but I had never tried YSL before and was blown away by this palette. Sadly their other limited edition products include a luminous green mascara and an eyeshadow palette with more beautiful packaging than product…bit of a let down after the excitement of the gypsy opale! 

Have you guys tried any of these or do you have something better in your makeup arsenal? Let me know in the comments below :-) 


New Gwen Stefani Range

Friday, 29 January 2016

Hello everyone,

I am so excited about this post, I was going to write about something else, but then I wanted to do this first! How many of you love Urban Decay? Aaand how many of you also love Gwen Stefani? If you are like me and are a big fan of both, then I have amazing news for you and you should definitely keep reading.

For the past year Urban Decay have been working with Gwen Stefani on a range of make up, they took a long time perfecting it as they wanted to find the ideal products to represent Gwen's spirit, fire and versatility. You would assume, based on her bold personality, that all the colours would be bright and very in your face. Whilst amazing for Gwen, this is not so wearable for all of us average Jane's and our day to day lives. 

Having all of these preconceptions I was pleasantly surprised with her first eye shadow palette. There are 15 shades with 12 being brand new. Gwen designed these colours based on what she always wished she had in her palettes, giving a wide range from the bright aquamarine and baby pink to the nude browns and gorgeous rose golds. So wearable and so worth it! Following this release came the huge event this week releasing her blush palette, brow box, lip liners and lipsticks. The blushers match the eyeshadows with a range of pastel pink, fuchsia and bronze tones. I won't say much on the brow box as it looks pretty standard, but come on guys, it's Gwen so it will be fab! 

The lip liners and lip sticks are what I am most excited about. There are six lipliners to match 6 of the lipsticks, enticingly there are another 2 lipsticks which are only available online. They sure know how to make you want to spend, who doesn't love exclusivity? The shades are mostly tones of red with a lot of plum tone, except for two shades, one of which is a lovely pinky nude and another brighter coral pink. I think I am most excited about Plaid (a bold red) and Ex-girlfriend (a taupe toned nude).

These products became available online this week and I thought they didn't become available in store until February, which explains my surprise today when lo and behold there they were in Debenhams. I was out with my housemate searching for the perfect red lipstick. She has quite olive toned skin so we were aiming for a deep, vampy red with more plum tones instead of blue. I had spotted Rocksteady online from Gwen's new collection and thought it would be perfect, we were thrilled to try it out. It looked amazing and of course, she bought it! 

Look how amazing the packaging is, it is bold, bright and gorgeous much like Gwen herself! It looks so decadent and my housemate is thrilled with the colour pay off of the product. She had it on all afternoon and evening, it looked just the same even after dinner. This may have been the added help of the matching lip liner, but I would like to think it was the lippy mainly. It has a very creamy, moisturising texture and almost looks like it has a glossy finish to it. 

First impressions are good in this case, fingers crossed they're right! Are you guys excited about these products? If you have already or cannot wait to get your hands on them let me know in the comments below :-) 


Ebb and Flow

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Hello everyone, 

On Saturday we were wandering around the shops in Southampton and realised, as you do halfway through a busy day, that we were ravenous! Neither of us particularly fancied anything major and we weren't in the mood for savoury food either. Tricky...then I remembered this fabulous little place called Ebb and Flow. 

It is tucked away at the top of the high street, but it always seems really busy. It is quite boutique with a very kitschy-hipster vibe to it. The furniture is very eclectic with lots of rough painted wood, floral patterns and pastel themes. Sounds perfect right? Here are some of the many photos I took, it was so tempting to just keep snapping away! 

 Gorgeous floral pattern! 

 This mirror was so trippy...

"What about the food?!" I hear you all shouting. I went for some thick, buttery, American style pancakes with liberal dollops of honey and juicy blueberries. Mr.Gingersnap went for pancakes too, but he had un-smoked, back bacon to go with his honey...sounds gross, but it's so yummy! The pancakes hit the spot perfectly and it was such a lovely atmosphere in there. To drink I had a delicious Sloe Lemonade Posh Pop from Breckland orchard and he had an extra creamy cappuccino. 

If you ever find yourself hungry and wanting to inject some style into your usual routine, check out Ebb and Flow here. I can't wait for my next excuse to go there and try more of their food, my bestie better watch out, she'll be being summoned for a girly day soon!

What is your favourite spot for pancakes? Let me know in the comments below :-) 


Battle of the Brows

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Hello everyone,

For such a long time I left my eyebrows alone, thinking to myself "hey they're alright, they don't do much anyway". I was so wrong! About 2 years ago I started plucking them to give them some shape, nothing too drastic as I didn't want to look like a startled owl (I have quite big anime style eyes). Then I started filling them in with a wingtip eyeshadow brush and a warm brown shadow, but that was such a faff to do everyday when I was in a hurry to get to uni.

I looked at quite a few different eyebrow pencils, but none really matched my colour until I was on holiday in Germany with my partner and popped into Sephora. They had the perfect colour! My life was transformed, well the life of my eyebrows, but still.

I was quite content with my pencil and plucking, until one day rather recently. I went to London with my Mam for a girly day and she needed to get her eyebrows re-threaded and tinted. She goes to a small salon on Berwick Street around the corner from her office. I thought to myself "why the hell not, let's see what all the fuss about threading is"...

Oh my good lord did it hurt! That little piece of doom string zipping across my face, aaah it made me understand how Harry felt in The Prisoner of Azkaban when the dementor was pulling his soul out of his face. The ordeal wasn't over when the beautician put the thread down, oh no there was the tinting next! I have very sensitive eyes so the warm brown tint did sting a little bit, but it was bearable.

Looking in the mirror afterwards I saw that beauty is pain and in this case it was worth it, my eyebrows looked fabulous. Apparently it gets less painful everytime which is a consolation because I am now thoroughly addicted!

4 weeks later I am only just starting to need my pencil again, which is amazing really. The only issue now is that I have the pain of resisting the urge to pluck them while I wait for all the little hairs to grow back enough to be yanked out again. If you haven't tried this, the pain is worth it and only lasts a minute, while you may regret it during the process, by the end all those regrets will be washed away by your glorious brows!

Has anyone else tried it? Love it or hate it, let me know in the comments below :-)


Manly Mondays - Champneys

Monday, 25 January 2016

Hello everyone, 

I thought that I might start doing a weekly or fortnightly post about products for men, this blog is very heavily weighted with products aimed at the female market! How accidentally exclusive of me, I am determined to change that! This type of post is designed to give you ideas for treats for yourself, a partner, a friend or family member. Everyone deserves a treat every now and again. Thank you to my wonderful partner for being the guinea pig of these products…no boyfriends were harmed in the writing of this post :-) 

Lets kick it off with the Champneys' sports range, obviously for men. The packaging is similar to Clarins' ranges for men, block colours of red and blue with gold font seem to be a favourite and I have to agree that they definitely look very smart. They make lovely looking gifts. 

Onto the products themselves, the set we have trialled is composed of a deodorant and a hair/body wash. Aimed at post-exercise showers and grooming they have a very refreshing citrus scent to them. The body wash was a particular hit, the scent is very masculine without being overpowering and lathers up like a dream. A small amount lathers up hugely, unlike some products where a lot is needed in one go. I definitely enjoyed the change in scent from farm animal to fresh lemons! 

The battered state of the bottle is testament to it's popularity! 

The deodorant was put through quite rigorous testing, being a farmer my partner’s job is very physical and he can sometimes be a bit smelly (I still love him regardless). For him it is important to find a deodorant that keeps him smelling fresh all day, through all the heavy lifting and long hours. He tested this product on quiet days first and it withstood the test, for the heavier work he found that it was better than a lot of others and definitely helped him feel fresher at the end of the day. Although the work did get the better of it towards the end! The scent is again very masculine and reminds me of a spring or brook, it has that outdoorsy lemongrass and fresh, clean water smell to it, mmmm lovely! 

Don’t be put off by it not lasting the whole day, when you work with cows there is little that can keep the smell away for ever! Mr.Gingersnap recommends these two products wholeheartedly and gave them 4/5 stars overall. 

If you have tried this brand or would like us to review another one let me know in the comments below :-) 


Naked and Nudes

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Hello everyone! 

I hope you're all enjoying this wintery Sunday by cosying up with a good book or movie! Today I thought I'd write about my new makeup palette from Urban Decay.

I have always been a fan of Urban Decay products, particularly their eyeshadows and eye pencils. When I was in London a couple of weeks ago, mainly to make the most of the January sales, I popped into Selfridges with my Mam because she needed a new Clinique Chubby Lipstick. While we were in there we started browsing the Urban Decay stand and she said that she would treat me to a new palette, don't I just have the most awesome Mam! :-) 

I'd been lusting after the Naked on the Run palette which has a bit of everything in it (bronzer, blush, mascara, powder, eyeshadows, lippy and eye pencil) as I thought it would be ideal for travelling, all I would need beyond the palette would be foundation and brushes! However, I didn't realise it was limited edition and they were out of stock *sigh*. I had heard rave reviews from friends and fellow bloggers about the other Naked palettes so I eyed them up. UD have just brought out a new Naked palette aimed at doing smoky eyes, so there are now four different palettes (Nakeds 1, 2, 3 and smoky). I'm not a huge fan of smoky eye looks on me, I have quite big eyes and I find that too much colour kind of makes me look like a cartoon bug! This means that Naked 1 and Naked Smoky aren't really for me, there are just too many dark colours in there for my skin and style. 

Being faired skinned and having red hair warmer tones tend to suit me better. Naked 2 has some very beautiful earthy colours that really caught my eye, but I thought they were a tad too cool toned for me. If you are fair with quite a few pinky tones to your skin then this is definitely the palette for you, but if you are like me and are extremely pale with tonnes of freckles and a more honey tone to your skin then I'd recommend going for some warmer toned pinky/nudey colours. 

From left to right - Stranger, Dust, Burnout, Limit, Buzz, Trick, Nooner, Liar, Factory, Mugshot, Darkside and Blackheart. I think Trick is my favourite!

Naked 3 has some gorgeous colours that suit me down to a T! (I have never understood that expression...oh well) I find that the subtle pinks and even the more plumb tones really make my eyes pop and my skin glow. In fact I have already established two favourite everyday looks. When I'm doing my eyeshadow I like to use three colours. For the first look I use Stranger, which is a matte beige, all over my lid, focusing on the inner corner, with a small amount going up to the brow bone to act as a highlighter (only put it very very lightly higher up otherwise you'll end up looking very startled!), followed by Burnout, a slightly shimmery dark nude, on the outer V and central lid and finally I use Liar, a rose hued taupe, for the crease then I blend. I also like to put a small amount of my darker colour under my bottom lashes from the outer corner to the centre. For a bit more sparkle I use the same technique but using some brighter colours, Strange (again - it really is a good highlight), Dust and Trick. Those tones are much more shimmery and have a rose/gold hue to them. 

Just some different lighting so you can see the shimmer better! 

I find the colour pay off from these is very good and definitely worth the money, when I do these looks at 7:30 am they still look the same at 6 pm. And, of course, the packaging is very luxurious and smart, I love the way the palette comes with a double ended brush with one thin end for application and a larger fluffier end for blending. My only quibble, which to some people could be a good thing, is that it does come with 4 primer samples, they are Original, Eden, Sin and Anti-aging. Why is this a bad thing? Well I used to have the UD Potion primer and I really did not get on with it, something about the formula just made my eyelids so dry and sore, I think I must be allergic to it and my eyes still won't tolerate UD primers very well...but don't let that put you off! I do have notoriously sensitive eyes, so you should give them a try and see if they suit your skin. 

Overall this is a gorgeous palette, but trust me to buy the one awkward one! If colours from the other Naked palettes run out you can buy them individually, but this is not the case for Naked 3. However, I think this palette is gorgeous enough that if I ran out, after using it extensively, it would be worth repurchasing! 

What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments below if you love this brand or know something better :-) 


The Ice Twins

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Hello everyone,

Last Friday as I was packing up my belongings to move back to university my Mam came upstairs to help me choose which books to take. I always like to take a few books to read for pleasure and then switch them out when I come home for weekends. She had just finished The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne and thought I should take it with me and give it a try.

I had never heard of this author before, but I’m always keen to try new things, you end up discovering so many wonders that way. The front cover of the book is quite haunting and hinted at a horror story or maybe a crime novel, however, when I read the blurb it leaned more towards a psychological thriller!

*I promise there won’t be any spoilers in this review*

The story follows a young family who have identical twin daughters and a happy dog, the picture of domestic bliss, but right from the beginning there was something strange about the girls. The uncanny thing about the Moorcroft twins is that their level of similarity is absolute, other than personality there is no real way to distinguish between them, not even genetically via DNA. When they are both living this isn’t a problem, but what happens if one of them dies? What happens when the surviving twin proclaims they buried the wrong sister?

As the story unfolds you learn more about Kirstie and Lydia and what really happened on the day of the accident. Throughout this book I wavered between thinking it was a crime novel, a ghost story or simply a tale of mental instability. I had so many questions! Is the girl Kirtsie or Lydia? Is she mad? Is she seeing ghosts? What is really happening on that desolate Hebridean island?

S.K. Tremayne manages that perfect concoction needed to create a truly gripping story and subtly blur the lines between insanity and the paranormal. I would give this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to anybody who loves a good old spooky story! In fact I am already lending The Ice Twins to two people!

Have you guys read it? Do you like spooky stories? Let me know in the comments below :-) 


The Fox and The Star

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Hello everyone! 

I hope you are all looking forward to the weekend, I know I am! The first week back at university is always quite intense and this year is certainly no exception. I haven't really had time for any long stints of reading so instead I turned to the short stories and wanted to share this review with you.

The Fox and The Star is a stunning debut book by Coralie Bickford-Smith. I had never heard of this author before, so here is a little about her. Coralie currently works at the Penguin Books publishing house designing covers and graphics for other books. Some of you may recognise her work from the gorgeous cloth-bound Penguin Classics released not too long ago, you can check out some of her work hereThe Fox and The Star is her first published book and my word what a book to start on! I have to admit I didn't know anything about the story before I opened the book, I was drawn in by the cover art alone. 

The fox and The Star is a modern day fable, not dissimilar to the works of the celebrated french story teller Jean de la Fontaine. The story follows the journey of a young, timid fox guided by his friend Star. She lights his way and helps him to feel brave in the darkness, until one day she disappears. Fox is crushed and hides himself away deep in a burrow, but that is no life for a young fox so he ventures out to seek his star. He searches high and low, asking many creatures if they have seen her. Eventually his quest brings him to a new part of the forest, taking pity on him the forest shakes off her leaves to leave Fox a message. The message tells him to look up, he does so and his breath is taken away. His star was not alone in the night sky, she is one of millions, learning this gives Fox the courage to explore the world, safe in the knowledge that his star is up there somewhere watching over him. 

I loved this story so much that as soon as I had finished reading it, I turned back to page one and read it all over again. The art is so beautiful too, each page is a delight and made grin from ear to ear! I also love the morals behind this fable, I think taking a moral from a story is very personal, but I would like to share mine with you. Courage in even the darkest of times will be rewarded and that there is always light and joy if you only look for it hard enough. Some people will read this and just hear a nice tale, others will find deep meaning...isn't it wonderful that we all see something different? 

I'd love to hear what you guys thought of The Fox and The Star, did you just enjoy the story or did you read more into it? Let me know in the comments below :-) 


Anyone for Fanfiction?

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Hello everyone, 

Let's talk about the fantastic novel by Rainbow Rowell that is Fangirl...what do you guys think of it?

I have to admit that the first time I picked it up I was far from wowed, it took me a good 100 pages to get into the story. For some reason I just couldn't form a mental image of Cath! I always find that if I can't picture the main character I really struggle to make an emotional investment in the story. I don't know if I couldn't get into it because I was in the wrong frame of mind or if I was in a reading slump...who knows? After I finally immersed myself in the world of Cath, Art, Levi, Wren and Reagan I started to enjoy it, but I was still a little underwhelmed considering the hype around this book! 

Then last week I was perusing my shelves looking for a comfort read and there was Fangirl sat on my shelf between Eleanor and Park (which I loved btw) and The Little Coffee Shop in Kabul. I picked it up and was hooked by, ooh let me see, I'm gonna say page 3? Re-reading was a totally different experience! I was instantly immersed in the story and it took me a while to resurface when I was called away from the book. I even found myself liking the addition of the Simon Snow mini-stories and looking forward to the next one, which makes me super keen to read Carry On. 

I'd never really known much about fanfiction until around a year ago, I think for many people it is unchartered territory. The idea of borrowing well known and loved characters to insert them into your own story is fascinating, and I have since developed a love of reading quick fanfiction when I have a spare 15 minutes. I think a lot of writers struggle in the same was as Cath with the stigma and push back against fanfic from more traditional authors who see it as plagiarism. To my mind, as long as the author doesn't mind it and the fanfic writers aren't trying to breach copywriter or earn money from it, then what is the problem? 

The fanfic debate aside, this story is so true to life. I completely sympathise with Cath over how hard it can be to transition from teenager to young adult. University life is hard and can be quite isolating and lonely, it takes a brave soul to be completely undaunted by all the newness! It was really invigorating to actually read an honest account of uni life, so many books paint it through rose tinted glasses, but this story felt real. Here is a quick summary, minus spoilers for those who haven't read it! 

Cath is 18 and starting her first day at college, minus her twin Wren. For the first time in 18 years they won't be sharing a room together, won't be eating together and won't be socialising together. The prospect of this is pretty terrifying for Cath, but Wren has made it pretty clear that while they may both be attending the same college they are not going to be inseparable. This pushes Cath to dive deeper into writing her Simon Snow - Heir of Mages fanfiction, compensating for growing social anxiety and isolation. However, her new roommate Reagan and her boyfriend Levi won't let Cath be alone, much as she might think she craves it! Balancing popular fanfiction, assignments, dating, a sister going off the rails and a fragile father is no easy task, how will Cath cope? Pushed to breaking point Cath needs to decide how she wants her own story to end, or begin... 

I found Cath's story so relatable and it rang so true with some of mine and my friend's experiences that it actually made me quite emotional! The story is engaging and the characters very lovable, especially Levi who reminds me of a certain someone in my own life. If you haven't read this book, or have and found it less exciting that expected, pick it up and try again, I am so glad that I did. 

What did you guys think of this story? Let me know in the comments below, book recommendations are always welcome :-) 


Hello 2016!

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Hello everyone! 

I hope you are all having a fabulous 2016 so far, I certainly am! What with moving back up to uni, lectures, assignments and exam revision, I haven't had much time to think about New Year's resolutions, let alone write about them up here. So now is the time for me to think about what I would like to achieve in the coming year. 

I suppose my main aim is to be joyful and to spread happiness in as many ways as I can. I want to wake up every day feeling grateful for all I have and positive about all I will achieve that day. Every day is a blessing and I am going to endeavour to remember that, so much of what is wrong with the world stems from the general lack of appreciation for our planet's beauty and worth.

With that in mind here goes: 

1 - Achieve something every day, be that finishing an assignment, making someone laugh or simply enjoying an experience.

2 - Try not to have a negative impact on anybody's life, I want to go by Thumper's moral of "If you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all". Yes, I know he is a fictional rabbit from Bambi, but it's still good advice! 

3 - I want to read at least one classic and one book of poetry each month, I'm kicking it off with John Keats poems selected by Sir Andrew Motion and Sophocles' Three Theban Plays :-) 

4 - I would like to eat healthier, by that I don't mean I want to diet, I mean that I want to stop being lazy when I'm at uni. A bar of chocolate is NOT a healthy dinner! It's so easy to get lazy when I'm only cooking for myself, I much prefer cooking for my partner at home, however, I am going to get into the habit of having three proper meals each day. 

While these are delicious, they are a snack not a meal! 

I suppose that's it, I'm sure I'll find some more things to be resolute about, but that's it for now! Hopefully these are fairly realistic and achievable goals, I'm not aiming for the impossible. I always prefer to set goals like this, you feel so much better when you actually manage to stick to them. 

What have you guys resolved to do this year? Also, if you have any suggestions or requests for monthly books I should read and review let me know in the comments below! I plan on being far more active in terms of book reviews :-) 


Guest Cat

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Hello everyone!

First off, Happy New Year!! I was going to write a standard new year's resolutions post, but I think that will have to wait. Something happened that I really want to tell you all about :-)

On the day before New Year's Eve I went to a local coffee shop with my parents, as we were leaving I passed a glass door with a cat miaowing outside it. Hating to see a kitty out in the cold, I asked the Barista if I should let their cat in and he began to tell me the cat's story! One day a long haired tabby cay had appeared in their courtyard and had been there ever since, so they had been feeding him and had even built him a small shelter. However, with temperatures set to plummet they were worried about where he could keep warm. Well, what else could I do? I had to take him home with me. 

And that is how Eddie entered our lives, he settled straight in on my bed and seemed so thankful to be inside and warm. He is such a friendly cat and seemed so at home with my family and other pets that I thought he surely belonged to someone, unfortunately he was not microchipped...thus began the quest to reunite Eddie with his real family! I must have rang every vets and shelter for miles and miles to ask if he had been reported missing, but there was no luck. Maybe some people would give up at this point, but I am quite persistent, it is one of my many qualities/faults! 

I took to Facebook to widen the search for his home, I posted on local vets, shelters, restaurants, clubs and town rumour societies. After a few false alarms I was finally contacted by someone who thought he knew Eddie. After much quizzing and exchange of photos and videos we agreed on a time for me to take Eddie home. When I arrived his family were so pleased to see him, the young couple and two girls were over-joyed and I have to say that Eddie was too. He so obviously belonged with them! 

Eddie went home on New Years Day and I felt an overwhelming sense of happiness and sparkle after all those efforts had payed off. There is nothing more rewarding than bringing someone joy and smiles, his family knew he had been given plenty of tlc and after 4 weeks of missing him they had lost hope of his return, to know he was safe and unharmed was a huge relief. So my year has started off with a good deed and I have a feeling the story of our guest cat will become a well loved family anecdote - "do you remember the time Hattie went for a coffee and came back with a cat?"

How have you all been enjoying 2016 so far? Let me know in the comments below :-) 

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