Thursday, 22 August 2019

Weekend Summary #28 - Bakewell, Baking & Time With Bear

It's been a long, long time since I last wrote up one of my weekend summaries and I'm sure I said in my last one that I wanted to get back to it and try and make them become a more regular thing again, anddddd that clearly never happened. I just have a pretty normal life and sometimes I think the things I get up to might just come across as boring but I do miss writing these posts and they're some of my favourites to look back on. It's just a nice way for me to document time with family, share a ridiculous amount of photos of Bear and just highlight the good, because some days I do struggle to find it. Anyway, last weekend ended up being one of the best in a while so I thought now was the perfect time to bring this back!
Bakewell streets
Maybe this is super boring but I always like to start the weekend with a big clean so on a Friday the living room will be spotless and I find it just puts me in a better frame of mind for the weekend. I love being able to sit down on a Friday night knowing the flat is fresh for the weekend and it just sets things off well! Anyone else like that? I've been spending more and more time in my little reading corner now aswell as we finally have furniture big enough to store the ridiculous amount of books I've managed to accumulate! It feels so cosy and whilst I still need to add a few more bits, and get some autumnal pieces, it's added so much to our little living room. That leads me onto my next point, anyone else excited for Autumn? It seems to come around earlier and earlier each year but I'm not complaining at all. The nights are drawing in, I'm baking all the time at the moment which I always do in the colder months and I'm planning on stocking up on lots of Autumnal candles at Homesense this weekend!
That was a bit of a random ramble but Saturday was all about baking and this time I made my trusty Lemon Drizzle Cake. I'm definitely more of a chocolate girl and I'll never turn down an indulgent chocolate cake or brownie but there's something so nice about a slice of something fruity every so often. I don't make cakes like this as often now but lemon drizzle is a classic and this was just as good as ever. I seem to be baking most weekends now so I'm thinking maybe some Gingerbread Cupcakes would be nice this coming weekend. We also finally got round to watching Ma which stars Octavia Spencer on Saturday which I actually really enjoyed! I love a horror film but finding ones that aren't pure rubbish now is kind of rare but this is one of the best I've seen in a long time. It was more creepy than anything and definitely worth a watch.
lemon drizzle cake
On Sunday we headed out to Bakewell for the day which ended up being so lovely. It's somewhere I remember going every so often when I was younger but I would never have appreciated how beautiful it is then, and it's now I feel like I'm getting old that places like that are becoming far more appealing to me! At the moment I'm loving nothing more than going for a drive with George and Bear and just having the day to explore and spend time together as a family. It's so nice to take Bear to all of these places for the first time aswell, and in Bakewell he met so many other dogs so he was in his element. I mean, I was aswell obviously. I don't think I've ever been to such a dog friendly place! He loved watching the ducks too. He just breaks my heart all the time with how sweet he is.
Bear in bakewell
Bear watching the ducks in Bakewell
While we were in Bakewell we also saw their love lock bridge, walked along the river which is incredibly peaceful and visited some of the cutest shops and bakeries. This sort of place is just perfect if you want to walk the dog, eat some good food and just have a relaxing few hours. We spent far too much on fudge, bought the biggest bakewell tart which was delicious, and I even picked up a few home bits which are so unique.
Lovelock bridge in Bakewell
River wye in Bakewell
Bloomers bakery in Bakewell
Roly's fudge
We also finally got a proper family selfie where Bear is looking at the camera! Trying to get a good photo of him is so difficult sometimes, it's like he knows when the camera's on him and he stops whatever he's doing but I think he looks adorable in this one. Of course, the sun was in my eyes so it's not perfect but we can't have it all can we? 😂 I still love it.
selfie in bakewell
That evening we indulged with pizza, watched Annabelle Comes Home (it was okay but took ages to get going, anyone else agree?) and Bear was absolutely shattered.

I'm so glad I decided to write this up as I know it'll be a post I love looking back on one day. I'm going to try and make these more of a regular thing so hopefully I'll have another up next week. I hope you all had a lovely weekend whatever you got up to aswell! Do you have much planned for this weekend?

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Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Mini Film Reviews #5 - The Sun Is Also A Star, Rocketman & More

It's been a while since the last installment of my mini film reviews because as I mentioned in my recent Netflix post, I just kind of lost all inspiration when it came to TV. I've mainly had my head stuck in a book for the last few months and there was just nothing standing out to me until recently. I've finally got through some films though, a few a lot of people seem to have been talking about aswell so I'd love your opinions too!
collage - Rocketman, The Sun Is Also A Star, The Hustle, Secret Obsession, Austenland, The Great Gatsby

Austenland - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I watched this on a whim a few months ago and I actually really liked it. It stars Keri Russell who I loved in the film Waitress, and she plays Jane Hayes who is obsessed with all things Jane Austen and Mr Darcy. She goes to a British theme resort called Austenland, which is something I could easily see us having for real over here and it's just a bit crazy, but really likeable. A good one to put on in the afternoon when blogging!

The Great Gatsby - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I never quite got the hype around The Great Gatsby when it was first released and I probably still don't love it quite to the extent some people do but it's a film that's really grown on me the last few times I've watched it. I think the whole cast is brilliant especially Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton. It's a beautiful film to watch as everything is so over the top glamorous, but also because I just love Daisy and Gatsby together.

Secret Obsession - ⭐⭐

I thought the trailer to Secret Obsession actually looked quite good. I mean, a totally cheesy Netflix horror but not awful. The actual film though - probably one of the worst I've ever seen. And I've worked my way through a lot of bad horror films over the last few years! The acting was pretty shocking and I found it hard not to just laugh at some points which I'm sure wasn't the aim of the film. I had high hopes but I won't be watching it again.

The Hustle - ⭐⭐

It's not that I expected something out of this world with The Hustle, but god it was terrible. Maybe that's just me, but I felt so let down! I'm a big fan of Anne Hathaway and I tend to like pretty much anything Rebel Wilson is in so the two of them together? I thought it would be great. Unfortunately I just didn't get the story, it wasn't that funny and I found myself not caring about how it ended. I wanted something a bit more #girlpower.

The Sun Is Also A Star - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I just adored this! I was hoping I'd enjoy it as I'm a big fan of Everything, Everything - the book and the film, and as this was based on a novel by the same Author Nicola Yoon, I really wanted this to be just as special. From the beginning it had a similar vibe to Everything, Everything and it didn't take me long to feel fully invested in Daniel and Natasha's relationship. I love the story of how the two of them fall in love in just a day. It was so beautiful and of course I cried, at the most random parts too, but I already can't wait to watch it again. I'll definitely be picking up the book soon!

Rocketman - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I was so looking forward to this and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would never have said I'm an Elton John fan but I love the biopic films like this that have started getting made and I was drawn in just from the trailer alone. Taron Egerton's portrayal of Elton is outstanding, and I thought the supporting cast including Richard Madden and Jamie Bell were all fantastic. I don't think it was quite on the level that Bohemian Rhapsody was last year but so impressive.

Have you watched any of these too? Would love to hear your thoughts!

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Friday, 16 August 2019

The Lido by Libby Page Book Review

It's been a long time since a book has given me as much joy as The Lido by Libby Page has. It was a book I took my time with, allowed myself to get fully lost in the story and I fell in love with each and every character, even ones I never expected to.
book held up in front of bookshelf
'Meet Rosemary, 86, and Kate, 26: dreamers, campaigners, outdoor swimmers. Rosemary has lived in Brixton all her life, but everything she knows is changing. Only the local lido, where she swims everyday, remains a constant reminder of the past and her beloved husband George. Kate has just moved and feels adrift in a city that is too big for her. She's on the bottom rung of her career as a local journalist, and is determined to make something of it. So when the lido is threatened with closure, Kate knows this story could be her chance to shine. But for Rosemary, it could be the end of everything. Together they are determined to make a stand, and to prove that the pool is more than just a place to swim - it's the heart of the community.'

My review

I think there's a lot to be said for books that you can just thoroughly enjoy over a period of time. A lot of the time I like to whizz through books as fast as I can, the faster I read it usually equates to how much I'm enjoying it, especially when it comes to thrillers. Anything with a bit of suspense and I just have to keep turning that page until I reach the conclusion. The Lido couldn't be more different though.

Ordinarily this wouldn't usually be a book I'd reach for. As I just said I love a thriller but on the other end of the scale, I'm all for a love story. This wasn't either of those, so normally it would get missed when I'm picking up a new read. I had seen some really positive reviews of The Lido though and a few trusted book bloggers said that despite this not being their usual foray either, they all absolutely loved it, so I thought why not give it a go? I really liked the sound of the story but I knew it was unlikely to be one full of tension and intrigue, just something a bit lighter than what I've been reading recently.

Within a few chapters, I could totally see why people who wouldn't usually pick this up had fallen in love with it, because I quickly had aswell. Almost straight away I emphasised completely with 26 year old Kate who has anxiety and has been feeling lost in life, just sticking to her usual routine of work and home each day and never feeling fulfilled. And I adored 86 year old Rosemary, a woman who attends her local Lido each day for a morning swim, and recalls fond memories of her husband George and their life together in Brixton. You wouldn't think these two women could strike up such a wonderful friendship but they do, and it honestly just filled me with joy as the book went on.

Kate and Rosemary come together to try and save the local Lido after plans are released to turn it from a family friendly haven to a private members gym. It's only when writing about the story that Kate realises what a special place the Lido is for so many people and it's then she starts to realise how much more there is to life than what she's been living. She herself starts visiting the Lido and that allows for her to start to overcome her anxiety, open her heart up to love and become part of this new community she never knew existed. Whether they manage to save the local Lido or not, I'll not spoil but regardless it was the most beautiful story of two very different women who because of the same dreams enrich each others lives more than they could have ever predicted.

I found myself wanting to slow down each time I read this. I just didn't want to say goodbye to the characters and it really was a book I could just take 10 minutes with, read a few chapters and feel satisfied afterwards. I truly took my time with it and allowed myself to properly have a break each day rather than feeling like it's something else I needed to speed through quickly.

The Lido is just an incredibly uplifting story that will make your heart happy. I'm sure I'll be re-reading this in the future and I can't wait to see the film one day now it's been confirmed! I think it's a story that will work so well on screen.

Has a book surprised you recently? Have you read The Lido?

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Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Sharing My Skincare Secrets For Soft, Glowy Skin*

I've had a turbulent relationship with my skin. When everyone else was starting to get just a few spots here and there, 15 year old Tiff was full on breaking out week after week. It's something I've always been self-conscious of - I used to wear makeup everyday for school, also on days when I wasn't even leaving the house and I even tried medication at one point to finally get it under control. Luckily now at 24 it's not quite as bad as it used to be, and I tend to know the reason why, whenever my skin flares up. Because I've had my fair share of skin issues, I was thrilled to be asked to take part in the Cosmetify #SkincareSecrets campaign so here are some of my tips for keeping those spots away and how I try to achieve soft, glowy skin.
laptop in background open on my Instagram. Yankee Candle to the right side, fluffy pillow to left side with a book

Who Are Cosmetify?

Cosmetify are a beauty discovery website which stock over 170,000 products from literally thousands of brands. From favourites like Garnier, Elemis, Clinique & Yes To, to brands such as Estee Lauder, Bioderma and REN, you are utterly spoilt for choice, and it means every skincare type is catered for. It's not just skincare that Cosmetify focus on though - you're also able to browse haircare, toiletries, electricals and more, all of your beauty needs in one place making online shopping even easier!

I've been become a bit of a skincare addict over the last year though so the skincare section is definitely my fave. There are 10 different filters which is something pretty unheard of with other beauty sites, meaning you can find products suited exactly to your skin concerns. Compared to most people, I'm probably still quite inexperienced when it comes to skincare and it can be a little overwhelming at times so filters like this mean I can really narrow down my search and take it a few products at a time. So, now I've let you in on why I'm a fan of Cosmetify, let me share my tips with you!
Soap and Glory Pore Refining Mask

Stay Hydrated

I'm definitely not a saint when it comes to drinking water and it's only recently I've really upped my intake but it's one thing that always, always works when I'm suffering with my skin. Fizzy drinks and alcohol can make you feel sluggish but they can also really affect your skin. Water massively helps clear up any spots and I find when I cut back on the sugary drinks, it looks far brighter too.

Maintain A Healthy Diet

Following on from my previous point, maintaining a healthy diet is a big thing to aim for if you want clear skin. Fresh fruit, salad and veg are so important and the more you can pack onto your plate the better. I try to aim for a decent bowl of fruit for breakfast, I'm currently loving juicy nectarines with berries! For Lunch, I like to pile my plate up with salad leaves, cucumber, tomatoes & red onion and then I'll top with some homemade spicy chicken & a few baby potatoes to really fill me up, and then in the evening I try to serve my favourite vegetables as a side to whatever meal we're having. Whilst these might not be the most exciting things ever, a good diet really does my skin wonders. I also recommend making sure you're getting all of your vitamins in each day!

Cleanse, Cleanse, Cleanse

No matter how tired you are, always remove your makeup in the evening! Of course, we all have times where we forget or it really is too much effort but my skin always feels the negative effects of that. I can guarantee every single time that I'll wake up with new spots and it's just not worth the rubbish feeling it gives me. I find it also really pays to spend time on your skincare routine each evening. Take your time removing your makeup, exfoliate to unclog pores and remove bacteria, and then really enjoy massaging in your moisturiser. I use the L'oreal Hydra Genius and it's got such a lovely consistency so I adore using that each night. Massaging in your moisturiser stimulates blood flow and plumps your skin too, leaving you with a healthy glow.
flatlay including L'oreal Hydra Genius Moisturise

Find The Right Products For You

It's incredibly important to take your time finding products that are right for you. I know I've been prone to buying products I've seen other influencer's promote without really doing my research and checking they'd actually be suitable for my skin and then they've ended up sat in the bathroom cabinet. It's always worth investing in skincare so don't just go for the cheapest products either. I don't have a huge skincare selection but the products I do have all work and make me feel good. It's taken a while to get to the point I'm at now but I feel I've finally found what works and what doesn't for my skin type.

The Importance Of A Good Night's Sleep

Easier said than done, trust me I know, but a good night's sleep has huge benefits for our health. If I can get a solid 8 hours or so, I wake up feeling completely rejuvenated, I'm less sluggish, I feel more active and I find my skin has benefited. When I've had really bad bouts of insomnia in the past, it's lead to many breakouts, and then the stress of feeling down because of them only made everything worse. I try to spend less time on my phone in the evening now, reading in bed always makes me sleepy, and a warm shower and fresh PJ's always gives me that cosy feeling needed for a decent sleep.

While none of my skincare secrets may be groundbreaking, they're all things that I find really contribute to soft, glowy skin and if I slack on any of them, my skin starts to suffer. I'd love to hear your skincare secrets too, maybe you have a holy grail product you want to share or a tip everyone needs to try? Share yours with Cosmetify using the #SkincareSecrets hashtag on Twitter!

*This post is in collaboration with Cosmetify

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