Songs That May or May Not Change Your Life




Ahh guys...I've missed you all, it feels like forever since I last posted.
I've had a bit of an unintentional break on here due to my laptop troubles and accidentally deleting all my photos but everything is all golden now...yah!

So I will be back to posting my usual 3 times a week schedule, starting with today's music post.

Benjamin's voice is just the most beautiful thing I've heard in a really long time.  I've had this song on repeat for weeks and I don't know how I managed to go so long without being aware of Benjamin and his crazy wonderful talent...

I really hope you enjoy this song and I can't wait to get sharing more posts again with you all...
 
 
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Book Round Up #5

 
keris stainton, rachel bateman, jennifer e smith, book reviews, ya book reviews

 
IT'S MY BIRTHDAY....YAHHHH!!!
So as you can probably tell  I'm pretty excited that today is my day of birth.
I feel like the book world this year all conspired to give me the best present of all (um...yep totally me personally guys haha) by releasing some of the best books I've read all year on my  birthday...you beautiful book people are the best.

Instead of some book pictures, I've made a little picture of my favourite life motto at the moment instead, because its my birthday and I'm pretty sure there is a song that tells me I can do what I want, right? Shout-out to Kendrick

So let's get down to the reviews

1.  Windfall* by Jennifer E. Smith - "Alice doesn't believe in luck, Alice believes in love. Mostly that she's been in love with her best friend, Teddy, for the last three years. When she buys him a lottery ticket for his birthday and he wins 32 million dollars, they are thrown together with the world at their feet. Teddy decides that he will spend his money committing random acts of kindness, and who better to go on that adventure with him than Alice? In the process they get to know themselves and each other better than they ever have before, but money can't buy you love . . ."

I have been desperate to share this book with you guys, it's been my everything since I read it.  I have read nearly all of Jennifer's books so I knew the writing would be so fantastic but I was completely caught off guard to what a special story this would be.

I don't know about you but every time me or my sister buy a lottery ticket we waste away minutes and hours discussing and planning what we will do with our millions before the draw has even taken place, seriously we have even argued over our spending of the imaginary money haha! I think that's why this book was so wonderful from the very beginning because it plays into that part of us that wonders how we would deal and react if we did actually win big.  I loved finding out how the characters each individually reacted to this change in their circumstance and how it changed them.

This book is so much more than that storyline though.  The big win acts as a sort of backdrop to the trials and tribulations of what the characters are going through and I absolutely loved all the characters.  Alice and Teddy couldn't have been more perfect and you will just fall in love with Alice's cousin too! 

To me this book was by far the best I've read all year.  It dealt with some sensitive subjects but nothing was heavy or sad.  It was so uplifting and just a really, really beautiful story that I'm so sure will make your heart happy just like it did mine.

As it's my birthday I get a wish right? So my wish is go and treat yo'self to this book, you deserve it!

And P.S Please someone in the know, tell me this is getting made into a movie?

You can buy the book here on Amazon  or Wordery today


2. One Italian Summer* by Keris Stainton - "Milly loves her sisters more than anything - they are her best friends. But this holiday is different. The loss of their dad has left a gaping hole in their lives that none of them know how to fill. Heartbreak is a hard thing to fix ...
Still, there is plenty to keep the girls busy in Rome. A family wedding. Food, wine, parties and sun. And of course Luke .... Luke is hot, there is no way around that. And Milly will always have a crush on him. But this summer is about family, being together, and learning to live without Dad. It isn't about Luke at all ... is it?"

This is another super special book.  I am such a massive fan of Keris and her amazing writing skills and I have to say this book is by far my favourite of hers, it's just so good.

Set in Italy the book takes you on a really emotional and heartfelt journey of Milly and her family after her dad has died.  I'm just going to put it out there that this is a very realistic and true to life portrayal of that situation and it really does have sad moments, so just be aware of that before you dive in.

But it's also beautiful and light too, the way we see Milly and her family change from the start of the book to the end is really inspiring and I honestly do think this book would and could help so many people who find themselves in the same situation of Milly.

Italy plays such a massive part of the story and it adds such a beautiful element to the book.  Italy is my favourite place and I spent my teenage years vacationing there every summer so it gave me the best flashbacks and Keris described the Italian sights and sounds so perfectly!

This really is such a stunning book that I think should definitely be at the top of your summer reading list!

You can buy the book here on Amazon  or Wordery today


3. Someone Else's Summer* by Rachel Bateman - "Anna's always idolized her older sister, Storm. So when Storm dies in a tragic car accident on the night of her high school graduation, Anna is completely lost and her family is torn apart. That is, until she finds Storm's summer bucket list and decides to honor her sister by having the best summer ever--which includes taking an epic road trip to the coast from her sleepy Iowa town. Setting out to do everything on Storm's list along with her sisters best friend Cameron--the boy next door--who knew that Storm's dream summer would eventually lead to Anna's own self-discovery?"

This books publication date seems to have been pushed back and now its not coming out for a few days but I thought I would include it today anyway!

This is such a lovely road-trip book and you know how I feel about a road trip book, I love them.  Again this deals with some heavy subjects but it really doesn't dwell on them too much and it's so lovely seeing the relationship between Anna and Cameron develop.

This was a really moving and beautiful book and the story stayed with me for a while after I had finished it too.

If you love a road-trip book then you need this in your life.

You can pre-order the book here on Amazon the kindle edition comes out on the 9th of May and the hardback comes out on May 25th

I hope you enjoyed these reviews and I hope you have a beautiful day...

May the 4th be with you......
X

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Book Round Up #4

 
Book Review, fiction, ya, contemporary, Lost for words, the housekeeper, letters to the lost

I thought it was about time that I did another book round up.  This one consists of mostly brand new books and I can't wait to tell you about them...Although there is a sneck peek in the picture of a book that isn't coming out until summer time due to me getting my publication dates mixed up...ahh, but look out for that review in July!

This is only a small amount of the new books I've read though as most of them are coming out on my birthday, May 4th, which is like the best birthday present ever, right?  So I'm going to do a big book review post on my birthday next week and it's going to feature probably my favourite book I've read all year in it...exciting!

So on to the reviews....

1.  The Housekeeper* by Suellen Dainty
"When Anne Morgan’s successful boyfriend—who also happens to be her boss—leaves her for another woman, Anne finds herself in desperate need of a new job and a quiet place to recover. Meanwhile, her celebrity idol, Emma Helmsley (England’s answer to Martha Stewart), is in need of a housekeeper, an opportunity which seems too good to be true.
Through her books, website, and blog, Emma Helmsley advises her devoted followers on how to live a balanced life in a hectic world. Her husband, Rob, is a high profile academic, and her children, Jake and Lily, are well-adjusted teenagers. On the surface, they are the perfect family. But Anne soon finds herself intimately ensconced in the Helmsley’s dirty laundry, both literally and figuratively. Underneath the dust, grime, and whimsical clutter, everyone has a secret to hide and Anne’s own disturbing past threatens to unhinge everything."

This was a really mesmerising book.  The way it was written and the use of language just really had me captivated from the start.  I was a little anxious to start reading it as the press I'd read about it said it was a thriller and I'm a big scaredy cat and really don't do well with on the edge of your seat thrillers but I was totally fine with this.  I honestly wouldn't class it as a traditional thriller more of a intense, suspenseful read.  I loved the story, I thought it was so relevant to the times that we live in now with the whole 'internet celebrity' type situation that is going on.  I loved how pacey the story was too, I was constantly kept on my toes with the story.

This would be perfect for you if you like a contemporary read but with a really intriguing and edgy plot with a hint of mystery too.

P.S Can we take a minute to just look at how crazy beautiful the cover is too, ahh so pretty!

You can buy the book on Amazon and also get it on kindle for only £3.99.



2.  If Ever I Fall* By  S.D Robertson
"Dan’s life has fallen apart at the seams. He’s lost his house, his job is on the line, and now he’s going to lose his family too. All he’s ever wanted is to keep them together, but is everything beyond repair?
Maria is drowning in grief. She spends her days writing letters that will never be answered. Nights are spent trying to hold terrible memories at bay, to escape the pain that threatens to engulf her.
Jack wakes up confused and alone. He doesn’t know who he is, how he got there, or why he finds himself on a deserted clifftop, but will piecing together the past leave him a broken man?
In the face of real tragedy, can these three people find a way to reconcile their past with a new future? And is love enough to carry them through?"

This  story really took me by surprise.  It's written in such a unique way and I loved how fresh and powerful the writing felt.  I thought the way that the characters and their stories were told was just so beautiful.
I wouldn't recommend it if your looking for a happy-go-lucky summer read as its got some hard hitting and deep subject matters going on that will definitely pull at your heartstrings. 
But if you like your contemporary fiction with a big slab of drama and real life then this is a must for you. 
The characters and story really did stay with me for a while after I had finished the book and I think it's one that so many of you will really, really enjoy!

You can buy the book on Amazon and you can also get it on Kindle at the moment for only £1.99



3.  Letters To The Lost* by Brigid Kemmerer
"Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-travelling photojournalist. Even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. It's the only way Juliet can cope.
Declan Murphy isn't the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he's trying to escape the demons of his past.
When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he's opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they're not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart."

I really, really liked this book.  My first impression of it was that it was going to be maybe a little sad and depressing which is just not the type of book for me really but I was so surprised as it wasn't like that at all.
I liked how the story went differently to what I expected.  The author sort of takes you one way with the story then twists it in a completely different direction which I loved so much.

I love a 'letter-writing-to-mystery-person' theme in a story nearly as much as I love a road trip book so the letter writing in this book made me super happy.  I think it just adds such a great dimension to the book.

I would definitely recommend this to you if you just really love contemporary YA fiction as its just a really great example of that but it does have a bit of a deeper story hidden in there too.

You can buy the book on Wordery and get free delivery too.



4.  Lost For Words* by Stephanie Butland
"Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are some things Loveday will never show you.
Into her refuge - the York book emporium where she works - come a poet, a lover, a friend, and three mysterious deliveries, each of which stirs unsettling memories.
Everything is about to change for Loveday. Someone knows about her past and she can't hide any longer. She must decide who around her she can trust. Can she find the courage to right a heartbreaking wrong? And will she ever find the words to tell her own story?"

So I'm just going to go ahead and say if you love books, just read this one.  Seriously, its beautiful and sweet and comforting and heartfelt.  It's a stunning book, written in such a lyrical way that just makes you want to keep turning the page, I finished it in no time at all!

This really is a book written for book lovers, it has all the charm you could ever want.  It captures the feeling you get when you spend hours in a bookshop scanning the shelves, it really is such a wonderful read.

The story is really thought provoking and emotional but its mostly just warm, like a big cosy hug.  This is a book that you will want to curl up and read and not stop until you find out more about Loveday and her life.

You can buy the book on Amazon now

I really hope you enjoyed the reviews and find a new book to fall in love with...



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Love Yourself

 
self care, self love, ways to live a better life, ways to being more love into your life

A few weeks ago me and my sister were talking about the whole 'Self-love/Self-care movement that is happening.  I was saying how I love the idea behind it but the name is so bad and alienating to a lot of people I think, it makes it feel like a Gwyneth Paltrow trend rather than just really great and helpful ways to live your life.  But aside from the dodgy name I thought today I would join the bandwagon and thrown in a post with some of my favourite Self-care tips.  These are just some simple things that will help you take care of yourself both physically and mentally.  Here are some things that I live my life by....

1.  Help Yourself - I think so many people spend their life always putting themselves second, third or even 100th in life.  I get it and I understand it.  We've all been there, if you have someone  who you look after, if you have children or you just really want to help other people because you feel you can. These are all such amazing things and definitely the reason why the world is a better place because  so many people are willing to put someone else's needs in front of their own. But here's the thing, to take care of other people you've got to also remember to take care of yourself. 
On a plane, what's the first thing they tell you to do when the oxygen masks come down in an emergency? Put yours on before you help anyone else even your child. Because in basic terms, you've got to save your own life to be able to save someone else's.  So you've got to take time to look after yourself or you won't be able to help those people who need you or who you want to care for.  When you feel pushed to your limit or overwhelmed, your body is telling you to take a break, even if its just sitting for 5mins to have a cup of tea.

2.  Meditate - I can't recommend meditating enough to you.  It's a life changer...seriously.  You can read my post about Meditation HERE .

3.  Treat Yourself - This could be in anyway you want.  Yeah, it would be lovely to be able to buy yourself that new pair of shoes you've been lusting after and if you've got the spare cash, do it. But for most of us treating yourself would be painting your nails, doing a facemask and allowing yourself to take the night in and binge on that new Netflix show you've had your eye on. No guilt is allowed, don't tell yourself you should be doing something more productive with your time. You deserve this.

4.  Be In The Now- Aside from meditation this is the other biggest thing for me in this list.  This small change in your mindset will really make your world feel so different.  Consciously try to bring yourself into the moment.  If your doing one thing and thinking about  something else that your going to do an hour later or even a month later, stop! That time is not here yet, its not yours to plan for and use it up before you've got it. But what you do have is this exact moment, second and minute.  Live in it and be aware of it because if you don't you will miss 'now' because you were planning for 'then'.

5.  You Can't Be Everyone's Best Friend -  It's ok if some  people don't get you or you don't get them, as long as no one is being unkind about it.  Wish them well and move on with your life not giving it another thought.  Don't stress about all the reasons why they didn't want to be your bff , they just didn't, end of story.  It's not your reason to have, will it make you feel better knowing? No, it won't, so don't go looking for it.  Just except that its ok that sometimes you just don't vibe with a person, no drama, no hate.  No one is being nasty so don't give yourself or someone else a hard time about it  You do you and let others do the same...

6.  Change Your Inner Narrative - Everyone has a sort of inner narration, right? If your inner narrative is not positive and loving then its not healthy for you or anyone else.  Change it. For every negative thought you think about yourself, your actions, your appearence, replace it with a positive one. Your thoughts make you who you are.  Want to be a happier, calmer, kinder person? Change your inner narrative to match.

7.  Take Baths - Some studies have shown that baths can have a really positive effect on your health.  They can lower your blood pressure, reduce stress induced headaches and help you sleep better at night.  As an added bonus, the steam from a hot bath can help clean the pores on your face and along with a good skin care regime can give you clearer glowing skin.  Taking baths is a great way of bringing that 10mins of calmness in to your life and they really force you to be in the moment too.

8.  Keep Learning- Some people seem to think once school/collage/uni is over then so is learning but I see it as the opposite.  I think with the use of the Internet, learning should never be over and thanks to google its nearly always a free process.  I get that you might not have time in your life to start an online training course or anything like that but that's not the type of learning I'm talking about.  I mean learning about life and the world.  Pick a subject, it could be anything and everything.  Love, happiness, empathy, cats, dogs, architecture, art, royalty.  It doesn't matter just pick a subject that you are intrigued by or interested in and start googling.  Learn about things, just because you can.  Rather than browse twitter or instagram on your daily commute, google that subject that's always fascinated you.  There is no test, there is no limit to how much you should know. And hey, you might even win that quiz at  Christmas due to your insane knowledge of evergreen trees! I truly believe that for us to be the best version of who we are then we should educate ourselves on the world around us. 

9.  Pick Your Tribe Wisely - Make sure the people who are in your life are good for you.  Their life, the way they live and their attitudes affect you.  We become what we immerse ourselves in, so if you are around negative, unkind people, you will slowly but surely be affected by their behaviour. Take note of anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself or speaks to you in a mean or unkind way and remove yourself.  If you can't physically due to working along side them or having to see them in a mutual circumstance all the time, then find a way to limit their access to your life.  Be kind to them but don't tell  them your business anymore.  If you don't like the way they judge your life, don't give them the information they need about you to be able to make those judgements.  It's your life, only share it with who you choose.
This also goes for your online tribe too, only follow people on social media who inspire you and make you want to do better and be better.

10.  Be kind to yourself and other,  always.

I hope you like my list and that some of these things might help you bring a little more self love and care into your life this week.

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P.S The lyrics that I used in the picture I made above are from THIS song, you need it to be your self-care mantra!

Ray Ban Sunglasses

 
round metal gold ray-ban sunglasses, round sunglasses, festival style

These are most definitely the sunglasses of my dreams.  I have lusted after them for about 2 years and finally the other week I managed to nab a pair in the sale on Sunglasses Shop and they have more than lived up to my expectation's.

I really don't think you can beat Ray-Ban for price, style or quality.  I am so excited to finally have these in my life (the drama, I know) and can't wait to wear them all summer long.

Sunglasses Shop are doing 20% off all Ray-Ban sunglasses for this weekend only....so exciting!
You can use the code RAY20 to get yourself a new pair of sunnies on Sunglasses Shop here. 

Let me know which pair you go for?