Sunday 30 August 2015

The Literary Gift Company.

This is potentially a little bit of an odd one today. If you follow me on Instagram then you may have seen my new bag, that I am completely in love with.

I totally bought this on a whim after I saw it featured in this blog post and just had to have it. I Capture the Castle is probably my favourite book and I had actually just finished re-reading it when I saw the bag so clearly that blog post was a sign that I was meant to own this bag. Right?

Anyway, the bag came from this fantastic online shop called The Literary Gift Company and while I was there I spotted a couple of other little things that I just had to buy as gifts for some friends whose birthdays were this month. That's why this post is going up weeks after I actually received the items, because they were all so lovely I just had to make a post about them, but obviously I didn't want to spoil the surprise for my friends. I hope they don't mind that I snuck a few pictures of their gifts before wrapping them!

The first gift was this adorable set of pens that say 'Show, don't tell.', 'Write bestseller with.', 'Mightier than sword.', 'Write 1000 words a day with.', and 'Win booker prize with.' These are too cute and just perfect for the writer friends I bought them for.

And the final gift I bought was this super cool The Case-book of Sherlock Holmes notebook for a writer friend who is also a Sherlock Holmes fan (obviously.)

I know this isn't the normal kind of thing I post but I just thought everything was so cute and I am completely in love with my new bag so basically this is just an excuse to show that off. I hope you don't mind too much.

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Sunday 23 August 2015

GGRP: I Like It Like That.

That's right, it's that time again. It's time to see if Chuck Bass is actually doing anything interesting yet, and let me tell you, we're all going to be surprised.

It's spring break and, of course, all the super rich kids are spending it skiing. Georgina has been given a pass out of rehab for the break and invites Nate to spend the time with her at her parents' holiday home in Sun Valley, but fails to mention that Chuck Bass and the entire Dutch Olympic snowboarding team will be there the whole time. Serena invites Blair to stay with her parents in Sun Valley and Blair spends the entire time flirting with Serena's brother, Erik. Vanessa's parents are in town and bothering her. Dan gets an internship at a literary magazine, working for someone who we are supposed to think is an asshole but compared to book-Dan most people seem fine to me. Jenny and Elise spend most of their holiday stalking Jenny's new boyfriend.

Familiar scenes
Nada. This is all new territory.

What's different?
I mean, aside from almost everything? Erik. Erik almost sleeps with Blair. As any show watcher will know, this was never going to happen with their tv show counterparts for a multitude of reasons. Also Dan just starts throwing the mail his boss asks him to post into the river instead of mailing it. Apparently book-Dan has no work ethic whatsoever.

Fanciest fancy party
The Virtue Vs Vice party at The Frick. Chuck spends most of the time gossiping with his mother, Vanessa's parents attend in slightly unconventional outfits and get all mad that their old ex-hippy friends don't recycle anymore, and Serena and Blair accidentally flash everyone.

Most conniving scheme
Technically not a scheme, but Jenny follows her boyfriend around the city and then when she figures out where he lives she emails him to tell him that she's coming over, even though she hasn't been invited. Which is just rude more than anything.

What is Chuck Bass up to?
Really pushing those bisexual stereotypes. Replying to Blair and Serena's accidental flashing with "It's all right, we're all girls here," referring to the Dutch snowboarding team as "too yummy", and pinching Georgie's breasts under the hot tub water moments later. He and Georgie later both got arrested for being naked in public and stealing a ski patrol toboggan, and then Georgie's parents buy his parents a monkey to say thank you for getting their daughter out of jail. Chuck finally has the pet monkey I've been waiting five books for!!!

How off the rails is Jenny Humphrey?
She stalks her poor boyfriend just because he hasn't told her anything about his home life, then gets it into her head that he's super rich, then discovers that he isn't and that the real reason he hasn't invited her back to his house yet is because his parents are a lot older than most parents of kids his age and their basement apartment is kind of sad and empty and falling down. Then Jenny runs away and stops talking to him. Because he turned out not to be some secretive rich guy. Get it together, Jennifer.

There is not one character who didn't annoy me in this book. Well done, Cecily. But this is the most we've seen of Chuck Bass yet and so I am going to have to declare this my favourite so far. Although I do wish she would calm down on him being such a caricature, but I guess I should know by now that that would be too much to ask for.

I'm going to be so mad if the monkey doesn't stick around.

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Sunday 16 August 2015


Last month I went for a little trip up to Bristol with Jess. And it rained. Boy, did it rain. We had a good time though and I did manage to take a few pictures.

The city is currently filled with these decorative Shaun the Sheeps, which will be auctioned off for charity at the end of the summer, and we managed to spot quite a few over the two days we were there.

Honestly, I have no idea what those two buildings are, but they've got some pretty nice details, haven't they?

We even dropped by At-Bristol, although we didn't go in, and saw this wonderful energy tree that I am all about.

We actually booked tickets for the zoo before we went but the rain was just too much. Luckily the tickets last for a whole year from purchase so we'll definitely be going back soon and doing a little more than the two days of indoor shopping that we mostly did this time!

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Monday 10 August 2015

BookTubeAThon 2015 wrap up!

Well the BookTubeAThon is officially over and I have to say, I'm going to miss it. This week has been so much fun and I think my little video camera has been used more over the past few days than it has since I bought it! Not to mention how surprised I am at myself for actually managing to read over 1000 pages in just six days.

I got through a few books on my TBR, including finishing a couple that I had already started; I finally read Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them and Quidditch Through the Ages, both of which have been sitting on my shelf without proper appreciation since 2001; and I thoroughly enjoyed every single book I read. So I am definitely counting this readathon a success and I am very much looking forward to the next one.

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Sunday 9 August 2015

The Dryad of Callaire chapter reveal and giveaway!

How exciting is this? Today I have the amazing pleasure of sharing with you a chapter from Saruuh Kelsey's new YA fantasy book The Dryad of Callaire ahead of its August 18th release!

And, as if that wasn't exciting enough, Saruuh is holding a giveaway for one lucky person to win a signed paperback of The Dryad of Callaire, and everyone who enters the giveaway will get a free ebook of the first book in The Legend Mirror series, The Beast of Callaire. Keep reading to find out more!

The Dryad of Callaire is the second in The Legend Mirror series, a YA fantasy series following Yasmin and her Legendary friends, as they become entwined in a war between Gods. The first book, The Beast of Callaire was one of my favourite books of last year and in my opinion The Dryad of Callaire is even better.

Keep reading for the chapter and giveaway information!

The Legend Mirror series returns with more mythology, more danger, and more Majick as Yasmin Wikke sets out on a quest to find her missing girlfriend.  
Reeling from the fight with Discordia, Yasmin and the Red search for answers. Who is Discordia? Why were they stealing Majick? And where have they taken Fray and Priscilla Hannam, a legendary swept away in the midst of battle? To get them back, Yasmin will have to ally with both Gods and strangers, and go to extreme lengths. 
Fray and Priscilla have been stolen, taken to an impossible place that is slowly changing them. Their captors are monsters with venom in their teeth and bloody hands, and they want to use the girls to win a war. But armed with a terrifying and empowering new ability, Fray will die before she becomes their pawn.

BookTubeAThon day six.

I did it! I read all seven books on my TBR and in only six days. Today is the last day of the BookTubeAThon and honestly, I'm pretty worn out for reading, so I don't think I'll be attempting any more books with my last day. Instead, I'll just spend this last day appreciating how much fun I've had. There will be a wrap up video tomorrow but before then I actually have another far more exciting post coming up later today! So keep your eyes peeled for some exciting, non BookTubeAThon stuff...

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Saturday 8 August 2015

BookTubeAThon day five.

I really can't believe how well this is going. It's making me very inclined to try out more readathons in the future because I honestly can't remember the last time I read this many books in such a short space of time. Whenever it was I was probably on holiday and not making short videos every morning about how many pages I read the day before, so I think it's fair to be ever so slightly pleased with myself. Just two more days now and I only have one book left on my TBR!

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Friday 7 August 2015

BookTubeAThon day four.

Amazingly, I actually managed to complete my goal of finishing Stardust yesterday and I started reading Look Into My Eyes! I can hardly believe we're already half way through the BookTubeAThon and that I'm still on track. Honestly, I never thought I would manage to read all these books in a week but I'm hoping to finish Look Into My Eyes today and then I'll only have Man at the Helm left for days six and seven!

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Thursday 6 August 2015

BookTubeAThon day three.

As predicted, I read nowhere near as much on day three as on day two, but I have completed four books now and I'm into my fifth so things aren't going too badly! My goal is to finish Stardust today but since I'm not even half way through it and I have more things to do today, we'll see how that goes!

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Wednesday 5 August 2015

BookTubeAThon day two.

Well I certainly managed to read a lot more on day two than I did on day one. I doubt I'll get a chance to read as much today because I've actually got other things I have to get done, but I'm at least hoping to finish The Magician's Nephew today. See you tomorrow for another update!

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Tuesday 4 August 2015

BookTubeAThon day one!

Okay, so I decided to do the daily updates after all. You're welcome.

I didn't get much reading done on day one unfortunately, but that's what happens when you decide to take part in a readathon while it's already happening and then spend most of the first day making your TBR video.

Anyway, here's the update video, and I'll see you tomorrow (when hopefully I will have read a few more pages than I did yesterday...)

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Monday 3 August 2015

BookTubeAThon 2015.

Two posts in as many days??? I know. Don't worry though, this one is going to be even shorter than yesterday's.

So the third annual BookTubeAThon started at midnight last night and while I was watching everyone's TBR videos over breakfast this morning I made a bit of an impulsive decision to join in! I don't know if I'll be doing daily updates or anything like that, especially since it took me about five hours just to make this minute and a half video, but here's a little TBR video for you at least.

Now I'll leave this here, if you don't mind. I've got a lot of reading to do!

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Sunday 2 August 2015


Let's just pretend it hasn't been over a month since I last posted, okay? Thanks.

This is just a simple, short and sweet post today. For a recipe that is also all of those things.

I had planned to make bread earlier this week, until I realised that the bread flour was about a year out of date. So, instead of doing that I thought I'd try this super easy recipe from one of my favourite youtubers. I've never made shortbread before but after seeing firsthand just how quick and simple it really is, I'm sure I'll be making it again very soon (and probably far too often.)

  • 6 oz butter
  • 3 oz caster sugar
  • 9 oz plain flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • Preheat your oven to 160C or 140C for a fan oven and grease a cake tin
  • Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl using a fork
  • Add the flour and salt and mix together with your hands until the mixture is fully blended
  • Transfer the mixture into your cake tin and pat it down
  • Use a knife to gently score four lines down the centre of your shortbread (watch the youtube video. She makes far more sense of this step than I am) and use a fork to create the fluted edges and poke shallow holes in the shortbread (seriously watch the video)
  • Bake in your preheated oven for about 45 minutes until the shortbread is just turning golden around the edges
  • Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely
  • If you want to, you can sprinkle a little caster sugar over the shortbread when you turn it onto the wire rack, while it's still warm. This is optional but I highly recommend it!

I seriously can't believe how quick and easy this was. I am going to be making a lot of shortbread, I can tell.

Let me know if you try it out yourself!

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