Thursday, 28 August 2014

Visited Shelf: The Haslemere Bookshop

Welcome to installment no.2. of the 'Visited Shelf' (independent bookshops I've visited, loved, and want to share with the world), this time brought to you from the lovely Haslemere Books.
The front of the shop. Outside bargain books are displayed on the tables. 
Haslemere Books is one of my closest independent bookshops so this wasn't a fist time visit. (But they are sadly getting further and further away - support your local bookshops people!) From the times when I used to beeline straight to the children's section at the back, up until now, Haslemere Books has always has an inviting atmosphere.  


Saturday, 23 August 2014

100 Books

Lots of you will probably remember the BBC Big Read that happened way way back in 2003/4. The BBC set out to try and find the 'nation's best-loved novel', and asked people to nominate their favorite books. They then made a list of the top 100.

I find it really hard to believe that it's been a good 10 years, but ever since I stumbled across the list I've been keeping it at the back of my mind when I look for new books to read.


Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Cafe Customers

Working in a busy cafe means I get the privilege of meeting a wide array of customers. Lots are really nice, others less so, and some float about in the middle. Some traits pop up pretty frequently, and secretly playing customer bingo makes my day at work even more enjoyable. I'm also a massive fan of a good old list, so for my listing pleasure and your amusement, I present you with a small introduction to get your bingo games rolling.

'Poached Egg Man' saving the world.

1. The Regulars
 I'll see them all the time, but I often don't know their names. This means I'm 'forced' to name them, being really imaginative, I often use their orders. I find this adds a sense of mystery. 'Poached Egg Man' busies himself by writing page after page in some strange hieroglyphic, and is most definitely a secret agent.

 'Latte Man' on the other hand always has a book. He dresses well, questioned me keenly about university, and is probably a crazy clever academic. I feel like he's a walking treasure chest of book recommendations, and I always take a peak at that day's cover. However he's often alone, much like the lovely 'Cappuccino Lady'. I long for the day when they frequent the café at the same time and become the best of friends.


Thursday, 14 August 2014

Best-ever Chocolate Sandwich!

Today was A Level results day in the UK. My super clever brother did AMAZINGLY well (A*AB and an offer from his first choice University!!! :D :D :D :D ) All this celebration called for cake, so I grabbed my trusty cooking book,500 Fabulous Cakes and Bakes.

When baking for my brother you can rarely have too much chocolate, so when I stumbled across the 'Best-ever Chocolate Sandwich' I knew I was on to a winner. It turned out pretty well, so I thought I'd share the recipe. Its a bit fiddly, but nothing too hard, and is brimming with chocolaty goodness.


Sunday, 10 August 2014


For this post we're going to rewind to the end of June: step in to your TARDIS s'il vous plaît.

I went on a short trip to Disneyland Paris with my boyfriend Rob to kick start our summer holidays and compensate for my 'deprived' (Disney free) childhood. 

Disneyland was tonnes of fun. I'm not a massive ride fan at all (I'll have you know I tackled the Pirates of the Caribbean ride a whopping 3 times though ;)) but I still enjoyed the environment and wondering thought all the areas themed around some of my favorite Disney films.

We also managed to squeeze in a day trip to Paris. I was really excited to go to Paris, I've been to France a few times, but never ventured into the capital, and it was great to finally get the chance to go. We arrived at the Gare de Lyon station, strolled on down to the Notre Dame, then embarked on a massive hike to the Eiffel Tower. It took a fair bit of time, but it was really nice to see some of the less touristy streets, and just soak up all the Parisian architecture and the like.

We topped the walk off by climbing up the stairs to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower. This nearly finished off my beloved (and now holey) converses, but it was totally worth it. We managed to avoid the worst of the lift queue, joining it at the second floor, and most importantly got to view the views.

 We then wandered to the metro, definitely not using the most direct route, before we stopped off at the Louve for some pyramid photos and then called it a day.

 I love Paris. I really liked the different periods of architecture that come together and survive alongside the contemporary buildings, while my countryside roots warmed to all the green spaces that popped up between bustling streets and busy roads. I'd love to go back one day and explore the city a bit more, so let me know if you have any favorite things to do/places to go to in Paris. I wont be returning soon, but planning fictional holidays will get me through. :)


Friday, 8 August 2014


A few months ago Books and Quills (Sanne) filmed this videoabout her favorite epigraphs, which got me hunting through all my books on the search for mine. Like Sanne, I found most of my books didn't have any, but a fair few did!

Here are some of my favorites:


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Visited Shelf: The Edge of the World Bookshop

I love bookshops. The atmosphere, the smell, and most importantly the shelves and shelves of beautiful books. I love the convenience of online shopping too, but when it comes to books the browsing experience just doesn't compare. Within the bookshop world independent bookshops are the best of the best.

The 'Visited Shelf' is going to be a series of posts on independent bookshops I've visited, loved, and want to share with the world. If they take your fancy, add them to a 'to visit shelf', and share good bookshops you've visited with me (It will make me super super happy), then we've got ourselves shelves and shelves of bookshop loving. 

First up: The Edge of the World Bookshop, Penzance.

Website header: the description's spot on. 
I spent an afternoon in Penzance when I was on holiday in Cornwall at the end of July, as soon as I saw this shop I could't help but make a beeline for its entrance.


Sunday, 3 August 2014

Cruelty Free Cosmetics on the UK High Street

Intro: I'm against animal testing for cosmetic products. I'm happy to write a post explaining my view in more detail, but you can get the jist if you keep on reading.

(A quick summary: I like cosmetics as much as the next person but I love animals that bit more. I also see cosmetics as luxury products, we don't need them to survive, so I don't feel like I have the right to inflict harm on another living being to produce them. The best part? Thanks to science and other safe alternatives, I don't have too!)

The Leaping Bunny Logo is found
on all certificated cruelty
free products.
Looking for products that don't conduct animal testing can be confusing. The EU has a ban on cosmetic animal testing (which is AMAZING) but (and it's a big but), this doesn't apply to companies outside the EU. A finished product sold within the EU will not have been tested on animals or contain ingredients tested on animal since March 2013. However, multinational companies can currently still conduct animal testing outside the EU for sales in other markets. The money from your purchase in the EU, can be used to fuel this.

The Good News?

There are still lots of totally cruelty free cosmetics on the UK High Street. There are even more smaller online companies. (For a comprehensive list you can visit Go Cruelty

If you're thinking of making the switch to cruelty free, the high street is probably the easiest place to start, so I've compiled a list of my favorite brands and products to get your everyday essentials covered.


Saturday, 2 August 2014

South Westerly Wanderings

Lunch Stop Panorama in Cornwall (had far too much fun with this little phone feature)
I've recently got back from a super holiday with my family and boyfriend. I took far too many photos, but I've picked some of my favorites to share with you...
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