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    Book Club // Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

    “I’ve always had this deep-down conviction that I’m not like everybody else, and there’s an amazingly exciting new life waiting for me just around the corner.”

    ★★★
    I’m going to be honest here, I didn’t actually read Can You Keep A Secret? but I listened to it. I was scrolling YouTube one day and came across some free audiobooks and this was one of them. Listening to audio books is a great way to get through boring admin days in work, and I just put my headphones in and get on with it.

    Emma Corrigan works in marketing, where she works with her boyfriend Connor, has a not so close relationship with her parents and she has a lot of secrets that she wouldn’t want anyone to know. Emma has a business trip in Scotland, and on the plane journey she spills all these secrets to a stranger. But is he?
    I enjoyed this book, it was an easy read and funny at times. I grew to like Emma as a character and defintely relate to her. The story line was very predictable, I knew what was going to happen within the first few chapters but I liked the few suprises throughout. I have read a few of Sophie Kinsella’s books and all are an easy read. Are there any that you would recommend?
     ♡

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    Travel

    Fforest Farm, Cardigan.

    The last time I went camping was for a festival
    in the middle of Belgium, and I’m not sure how I survived as it was THAT cold,
    so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But when we arrived and saw the place, I
    completely relaxed and knew we would have the best time that weekend and my
    gosh, we did.
    The farm consisted
    of the main Lodge which had sofas, log fire, tables and chairs, and also a
    kitchen. The Lodge is where breakfast was served every morning. The breakfast
    catered to many dietary requirements (vegetarian and vegan). Having being very
    hungover on both mornings, having a full English breakfast was just a perfect
    way to get you through the day.

    Fforest Farm, Cardigan.


    Next to the main lodge was a barn, which was used
    for the banquet hall for the wedding, it was also used for the nibbles that was
    available in the early evening. Attached to the side of the barn was the
    smallest, cutest pub ever. The pub had a log fire with cute little sofas, it
    felt so homely and something out of a movie. The pub was open until 2am.

    Fforest Farm, Cardigan. Fforest Farm, Cardigan.

    Opposite the main lodge was a tipi covered in
    many, many fairy lights (a girls dreams). The tipi was where the main ceremony
    took place and outside that was an area where you can sit around a fire, and
    also a tea/coffee/hot chocolate station. On the first night, dinner/tea was
    provided (in the tea/coffee station) which was stone baked pizzas, soup and
    some glorious bread.

    Now onto the accommodation. When we were invited, that was a variety of
    options for where we wanted to stay.
    • Domes (sleeps 2 people or a family of 4)
    • Kata Cabins (sleeps 5 people)
    • Campshacks (sleeps up to 8 people)
    • Group Tents (sleeps up to 8 people)
    • Bell Tents (sleeps 5 people)

    As there were a lot of us going, we booked a Kata
    Cabin which sleeps 5 people. The Cabin, had a decking outdoor area, which some
    sun chairs, and then a tent which had a seating bench, bins, BBQ and tea/coffee
    facilities and then a tipi with the 5 beds and a fire in the middle. The Cabin
    was lovely, and a great size for even 5 people. Although it was a little chilly
    in the night if the fire went out (although alcohol helped me through the first
    night). There were 4/5 cabins in a row through the field and as we were in
    cabin 1 we were directed next to the shower/toilets and also a Vanity room.
    Which had an iron, plug sockets which were all used to get ready in. And the
    bride and groom were also very kind to supply us with lots of cocktails in a
    can!

    Fforest Farm, Cardigan.
    Fforest Farm, Cardigan.
    Fforest Farm, Cardigan.

    Altogether we paid £414 for 2
    nights. 
    (Split 5 ways it was £82.80). For
    that amount, we had 2 nights camping, food on Friday evening, Breakfast
    on Saturday, (food at the wedding) and then breakfast on Sunday. Which, to me
    was a bargain as the food was incredible the whole weekend.

    All in all the weekend was amazing, and one that won’t
    ever be forgotten.There’s even talk about going back next year in the
    summer. AND I have to mention this for all dog lovers out there, there are
    many, many dogs roaming around the site but mainly in the lodge so be prepared
    for some cute puppas.
    I made a short video of the weekend (but none of
    the wedding because alcohol). So please go check it out!
    Want £25 off your accomodation on yout next trip? Join AirBnB here! www.airbnb.co.uk/c/amyc28922

     

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    Travel

    A taste of Luz, Portugal (photo diary)

    A few weeks ago myself, my boyfriend and a few friends flew to Luz, Portugal. Having never been to this country before I was excited to tick it off my list.
    Praia Da Luz, located around 6km from Lagos in Algarve. Luz originated from a small fishing village, bit was transformed into a tourist location when a few villas were built.
    A taste of Luz, Portugal

    A taste of Luz, Portugal
    A taste of Luz, Portugal

    My boyfriend’s family own a villa in Luz, Portugal. Having talked about it for a while, one night the flights were booked, villa booked and the countdown began.
    The flight from Cardiff took around 2 hours and 30 minutes and the transfer from Faro airport took an hour to Luz. Flights were £75 each and the villa was £50. This was the ultimate bargain mini break.

    A taste of Luz, Portugal
    A taste of Luz, Portugal
    A taste of Luz, Portugal
    A taste of Luz, Portugal
    The villa was located around a 10/15 minute walk from the centre of the town
    where everything you needed was. Supermarkets, restaurants, cafes, pubs, gift shops and everything else a village has.
    The beach wasn’t large, but the views were insane, where you could see the clifts and the sunsets are in my top
    5 of the best sunset’s I’ve ever seen.
    As we were only there for 3 full days, we didn’t have time to go over to the
    next village Burgau. Which apparently is just as beautiful, so we are saving
    that for next time. On the 3rd day, the other went on a boat trip to see the coves and the other coast lines, which looked beautiful and only around 25euros per person for around an hour and half on the water.
    As you can see Luz was beautilful, and we are planning to go back for some winter sun.
    I hope this has inspired you to take a trip to Portugal!
    A taste of Luz, Portugal
    Want £25 off your accomodation on yout next trip? Join AirBnB here! www.airbnb.co.uk/c/amyc28922

     

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    Book Club // Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

    “They always call depression the blues, but I would have been happy to waken to a periwinkle outlook. Depression to me is urine yellow, washed out, exhausted miles of weak piss.”  
    ★★★★

    Sharp Objects is another of Gillian Flynns books, which as you would of seen by now I quite enjoy.
    Sharp Objects is a chilling novel about a women called Camille Preaker who is a Journalist based in Chicago. In Wind Gap, Missouri a girl has been brutally murdered and another has gone missing so Camille has had to return to cover the story. You soon come to learn that Camille has had a hard life with her sister dying, her troubled mother and step sister who is an actual mean girl with a dark twist.

    This book has a lot of twists and turns and had me gripped, from the very beginning.
    I’ve recently read that they are turning this into a series, not sure how I feel about that but I’m quite intrigued to see how it turns out. I also read that Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson are going to play Camille and her mother, both actresses I really like!

    Have you read this? What did you think? 

    I have got 3 books that’s on my ‘next up’ shelf, but I’m in the mood to buy some more. If you have any recommendations, please comment below!
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    Travel

    Packing For A Mini Sun Break

    Mini breaks
    are a perfect way to forget your troubles at home, and explore new places.
    When travelling, I mainly only ever take carryon luggage, and the limited amount
    of liquids that the airlines allow you.

    Last week I
    went to Portugal, only taking hand luggage. Now normally this wouldn’t be a
    problem if it was a normal city break but as you have to take sun lotion with
    you as buying it out there is really expensive, hand luggage limits you with
    what you can take.

    Packing For A Mini Sun Break

    So let’s
    begin,

    Suitcase

    The suitcase I use is fairly new
    and was a birthday gift. (You know you’re getting old when you get excited
    about asking for a new suitcase for your birthday). The brand is…
    The best decision I ever made was getting a 4 wheeled suitcase. When travelling
    and carrying your luggage I tend to have my phone in hand, getting directions
    or taking pictures. Having 4 wheels lets you carry other things a lot easier.




    Clothes

    As I knew the weather was going
    to be really nice and warm, I wasn’t worried about packing many clothes and it will
    be too hot to wear anything fashionable. One trip I learnt from my mum is to
    roll my clothes, they take it up less space which yes means extra room for more
    or your suitcase will be less heavy. Recently I saw a Facebook video or a women
    rolling all her clothes and underwear, and then putting them into sandwich bags
    (clear bags you put your liquids in) and I was amazed. I’m travelling to Sweden
    in a few week and will definitely be testing out this trick.

    I also tend to wear the bulkiest
    clothes on the plane, and carry a jacket.


    Shoes

    I always tend to wear the shoes
    that take up the most room on the plane. The advantage of going on a summer
    trip, is that you don’t have to take heavy/bulky shoes. I wore a pair of
    trainers on the plane, and then I packed sandals for the evening and a pair of
    flip flops for the pool/beach. I always tend to take trainers with me, as I
    tend to go off the beaten track as they call it. But I also burn my feet every
    time, so I tend to keep them out of the sun.


    Liquids / toiletries

    For me when only taking hand
    luggage, organising my liquids is the hardest part. If you are struggling with
    what you can take, I will always check the airlines website on their rules and
    regulations. When traveling to Morocco, it stated that I could have 12 100ml liquids.
    When arriving, they would not let me through security as all 12 liquids were in
    2 clear bags and I had to throw stuff away, so ALWAYS check the website. If I’m
    feeling lazy, I will buy the travel sized products from Boots/Superdrug which
    they normally have on offer, but Primark have the travel bag for £1 which comes
    with around 6 bottles of different sizes and shapes which is great. I know a
    lot of people put some of their liquid make up in the clear bags but tend not
    too as it takes u a lot of bag usage, but if they ask then of course I will.


    Extras

    When travelling to Benidorm last
    year, I bought a hand fan and it has literally travelled with me everywhere
    since. I also like to pack a book, hair accessories and some jewellery. I
    always pack the extra in the net zipped part so nothing gets broken or tangled
    up on my clothes.


    Camera

    I will
    always have a disposable camera and my instax with me. If I tend to be
    documenting my travels, I will also pack a tripod (I have a gorilla pod which I
    would highly recommend). This will always be packed in the zipped part of the suitcase
    also, so nothing gets damaged during transport.


    Money / travel documents

    When you exchange money, they
    always give you the little plastic pouch with your newly exchanged money in. I
    will also keep my passport, any GBP and anything that I want to keep safe in
    that pouch. When I get back home, the pouch usually has all my Polaroid’s and
    other random bits in that I wanted to not get damaged/lost.

    Packing For A Mini Sun Break

    What went in my suitcase?

    Clothes

    3 bodysuits
    2x Stripe crop vest
    Band t-shirt
    Sheer t-shirt
    2x pairs of denim shorts
    Denim skirt
    2x Dresses
    Wearing – Dungarees & Band T-shirt

    Shoes

    Flip Flops
    Sandals
    Wearing – Vans

    Toiletries

    Body Lotion
    Face Cream
    Rollerball perfume
    Eye Solution (contacts)
    Dry Shampoo
    Deodorant
    My partner then have the SPF in his (he doesn’t take a lot).


    Advantages
    1.       You are less likely to over pack
    2.       Won’t have to pay anything extra (most airlines charge a fortune to check a bag)
    3.       Easy to transport from airport to hotel.
    Disadvantages
    1.       Liquids – you have a limited amount that you can take through security
    2.       You have to be more selective with what you want to take.
    3.       If you wanted to take more camera equipment, you are very limited with space. But if you’re anything like me, you can leave those 2 extra pairs of shorts and dresses at home.

    Packing For A Mini Sun Break

    A little taste of Luz, Portugal will be up very soon! Keep your eyes peeled.

     

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    Travel

    Top Tips To Save Money for Travel

    Top Tips To Save Money for Travel
    Although I don’t
    always have big adventures, saving for the little ones can be just as hard.
    I was always
    really bad with money when growing up, even in university when I would receive
    a very large amount every 3 months, I would blow it things that I don’t remember
    and I have nothing to show for it.
    Growing up, moving
    out, and having my own financial responsibilities I have learnt to manage how
    to prioritize bills and savings. Although, someone times I do slip up. (Especially
    in the summer months).

    SAVE SAVE SAVE

    1. Have a goal /target.
    When it comes to
    saving money for travel, for me the biggest tip is knowing where you’re
    going/what you’re saving for. I find it so much easier saving £300 a month if I
    know that it’s being spend on flights or accommodation. Create a breakdown of
    how much everything is going to cost you from flights to daily food budget.

    2. Put money away & don’t touch it.
    I’m going to be a hypocrite
    here, but SOMETIMES I do dip into the savings I put away but that doesn’t mean I
    still don’t save. I tend to find that throughout the summer months I spend a
    lot more which is probably the case for everyone.
    3. Minimise your spending.
    In the previous
    post, I mentioned that I spend a lot more in the summer months. Living in
    Wales, you only get around a weeks’ worth of nice weather so you kind of have
    to make the most of it. Spending money on alcohol, going to see that band or
    taking a quick trip to get some ice-cream. They all add up.
    4. Sell stuff you don’t need/use.
    Ebaying my life
    away was my thing when I was in university. I loved it and yes I used to make a
    lot of money. In recent months with moving and sorting out my life, I have a
    lot of stuff and clothes that I don’t use/wear. I am currently using Depop,
    which has grown significantly within the last few years. I also did a car boot
    sale not so long ago, and the stupidest of things that I was just going to
    throw away.
    5. Eating habits.
    I am pretty good
    at this one. I don’t eat out half as much as I used to. Ever since learning
    more about cooking and trying new things, I like to cook in bulk and freeze the
    extras for a rainy day. When it comes to work lunch, meal prep is your friend. Instagram
    & Pinterest are great for inspirations and recipes.  
    6. Subscriptions and memberships.
    Although I still
    have Netflix and Spotify, I split the costs with family members and have
    multiple accounts so the price is cheaper for everyone. Just before summer
    started I cancelled my gym membership and started running which is of course,
    free. Although it was only £20 a month, that £20 goes straight into my savings
    account on top of whatever else I put in each month. I did have magazine subscriptions
    and other things too which I cancelled and to be honest, I don’t miss them at
    all.
    7. Move home (if you can).
    If this was an
    option for me, I would jump at the chance. I miss living home a lot, as I don’t
    get to see my family that often. Although living at home was not free for me,
    it would still be a lot cheaper that what I’m paying now living in the city. I
    also feel like parents will be very strict with you also and help you save for
    those things that you want. And who doesn’t love getting their washing done for
    them?
    There are loads and loads of different tricks
    out there for saving money for travel. I’m still learning and I still have
    slips, but that’s just life.

    If
    you want something enough, you’ll make it happen.

    What
    tips and tricks do you guys have? Anything you think I can benefit from?

     

     

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    Bookclub // Girl Online by Zoe Sugg


    “Every time you post something online you have a choice. You can either make it something that adds to the happiness levels in the world—or you can make it something that takes away.”  

    ★★(half a star)
     
    I have this vivid memory from when I was a teenager of sitting at my computer desk at home and randomly coming across a YouTube video of a girl that I was instantly jealous of, the girl was telling the camera what she had bought whilst out shopping. 8 years later I still watch her videos, and I’m still jealous of her. I wanted to read this book for a long time, but as I’m reluctant about buying books these days (lack of space) and the library never had it available, but a few weeks ago, it did.
     
    I am going to be really honest, I’m not quite sure what to think of Girl Online. As you will know by now, I am a sucker for an easy read and a corney love story but I just felt the book dragged and was very predictable. I know Zoe has a young captive audience but I got the sense throughout that this was written mainly for them.

    The one plot in the book that I did connect with, was that Penny the main character suffers from anxiety and panic attacks. As a girl growing up with social anxiety but never realising that’s actually what it was and feeling really alone and different, I connected with Penny as I knew exactly how she was feeling. I felt like this could of been explained a little better and not just glossed over.

    All in all the plot was good, but a little sloppy at times. I’m still debating whether I want to read the follow on books. I think there are 2 more? But if I do, you shall know.

     
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