A Proper Diagnosis..

I briefly mentioned in one of my monthly favourite posts that I was going through a diet change to determine what on Earth is going on with my digestive system. Two months later and everything is finally sorted and I feel better than I have in a looong time (hooray)!

My digestive issues story started back in 2017, I did write a post about it here so please read this first. To summarise: I felt pretty shit for around 6 months, went to the doctors to have a couple of blood tests, found out I was sensitive to gluten and was advised to cut it down a bit. Did I cut down on the gluten though? Of course bloody not. Fast forward to present day and I decided enough is enough and off I went back to the doctors. The doctor told me to go back on a gluten diet then after a month book in for a blood test, then come back to her for the results.

One word to sum up that month: shit. Shitty shit shit. If it wasn’t obvious before that something was wrong with my body when I eat gluten products, then my god did this diet kick it in to overdrive. I felt constantly bloated, sometimes even felt like I was a few months pregnant (not like I know what that feels like, but I’m damn sure this was a close enough feeling!), was constantly going to the loo, felt super tired and lethargic.. but the worst symptom was the gluten induced depression. I might be making fun of it now, but at the time I felt the worst that I’ve felt in a long, long time. A week and a bit into the diet and I became a complete shell of myself, I spent weeks not seeing anyone, just staying at home and playing Pokemon, I went to my exercise classes but that was only because I paid for them beforehand. I had no motivation at work, no motivation to see anyone, I dreaded having to leave the flat in general. I just simply couldn’t cope, I became a ball of anxiety, any little thing that went wrong was a HUGE issue and I basically cried myself to sleep every night.. it was hell.

The only plus side to being a hermit was I learnt to bake lots of different gluten free cakes and deserts, I wrote about that on my June Monthly Favourites post, I always thought I was a terrible cook/baker, but they all tasted great.. and I didn’t give anyone Salmonella, bonus.

My specialty, Gluten-Free Banana Cake

Fast forward 2 months, as I had to wait a couple of weeks for the blood test and another couple of weeks for my appointment with the doctor.. and -drum roll please- I have IBS. My IBS is triggered by food products that have gluten in them, so.. basically all my favourite foods. For anyone unsure, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is a disorder of the Large Intestine, it causes stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation and sometimes depression.

Now I actually have a proper diagnoses rather than “you are just sensitive to gluten”, I feel kind of free in a way. Although it’s annoying having to think about every little thing I eat and plan meals way in advance, I’m not hating a more gluten free lifestyle. I give myself a free pass on weekends to have a meal or two with gluten in, I’m not a glutton for punishment and I really don’t want to get back in to disordered eating. With a bit of research and stalking The Gluten Free blogger’s blog, I’ve found lots of gluten free alternatives to my favourite foods (banana bread, fish fingers, breaded chicken, bread rolls, pasta products, biscuits etc).

This time I had a much more understanding doctor and felt my diagnosis was properly understood, rather than a “lay off the gluten, BYE”. This current doctor really understood how I was feeling and also gave me tips on how to handle my IBS rather than just laying all this information on me without some guidance. She advised to keep hydrated (which I’m still working on as I’m a terrible drinker), take multi-vitamins and good gut bacteria yogurt drinks, take Peppermint capsules to ease IBS symptoms and when I do eat something that doesn’t agree with me – take Buscopan.

I did open up to my doctor about my mental health worries and she referred me to a couple of services, it was so easy to talk to her about it all and she was very understanding.. please see your doctor if you have similar worries, they are there to help (and if they aren’t, change doctor as that isn’t very professional). She referred me to Steps2WellBeing, a mental health service in my area that is free. It was a bit of a ball ache trying to get through to them over the phone as all mental health services in the UK are running on empty, however once I emailed them they were very prompt in giving me a phone call when I was available and then setting me up with a phone assessment the week after.


The phone call went really well, they sent me a questionnaire to fill out the night before with questions like “On a scale to 1 – 10 how anxious have you felt the last 2 weeks”, so the doctor went through all that with me and told me how well or how bad (depends if you are a glass half empty kinda person) I scored. We briefly went through my worries and concerns, a small background on worrying past behaviors, risk assessment and general chit-chat. The phone call lasted around 45-50 mins and let me tell you, I was so emotionally exhausted after that, can’t image what an hour session would feel like! After that assessment I scored mild for depression but severe for anxiety, she diagnosed me with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (or GAD for short). GAD is a form of anxiety that can vary from person to person which mostly involves bouts of extreme worrying about aspects of life and not feeling in control of situations. GAD is quite a big spectrum so my experiences of it can be completely different to another person’s experience.

After the diagnosis was found, the doctor went through a lot of options for my next steps in this wellness journey. First was that she will send me a booklet of exercises to do at home with my partner, this will help me find ways to manage my excessive worrying. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the next step, this will be a mix of phone therapy and 1-1. She also asked if I’d like to attend a group session at a local space that they organise, but I didn’t feel ready for that so I will be joining in on a Webinar they are organising instead.

Worry management booklet and worry diary

Deep down I always knew I was holding on to a lot of anxiety, but I hadn’t really accepted it until recently. I think I was always worried about being the typical, cliche young woman with issues – the stigma of mental health did in some way, push me away from getting help. I’m glad a found a sliver of courage to take the first steps in to getting help, I feel pretty hopeful for the first time in forever. I just wish I did it way sooner!

Helpful Links:

For urgent help: Samaritans on 116 123Mind – call 0300 123 3393 or text 86463 (9am to 6pm on weekdays). Call 111 out of hours – they will help you find the support and help you need, 999 if it’s an emergency.

To find Psychological therapies in your area: Here

Mental Health app list: Here


I briefly mentioned in one of my monthly favourite posts that I was going through a diet change to determine what on Earth is going on with my digestive system. Two months later and everything is finally sorted and I feel better than I have in a looong time (hooray)! My digestive issues story started… Continue reading A Proper Diagnosis..

monthly favourites

Monthly Favourites! July 2019

It’s the middle of Summer and England has been some of the best weather we’ve ever had. I’ve finally got out of my funk and I’m ready to take the world on again!



Out of all the consoles I’ve ever owned, I think the Gamecube is one of my favourites. Now I’ve moved out and have free reign of the TV I can game whenever I want to so the other week I dusted off the Gamecube and played Super Mario Sunshine and Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness. For a console that came out in 2002 (for UK anyway), the Gamecube has great graphics and the wide selection of games makes it a console for everyone.


Weymouth, UK:

Around a 45 minute drive from my town is Weymouth, it’s a seaside town in the South of the UK which has beautiful beaches, a harbour and a Sea Life Centre full of sharks, turtles and other exotic sea life. I try to venture down to Weymouth every Summer as I absolutely love it down there. If you ever come to the South of UK, please check this sea side town out!


Family Time:

Since moving out I’ve seen how important it is to have family time. My grandparents are getting older now, although I still see them as the energetic 50 year olds they were when I was little, and my relationship with my Mum has been great since I moved out. I booked a week off at the end of July to spend time with my family, I saw Lion King with my mum, went out for dinner with my Grandparents and went to the beach with them too, it was a great bonding experience and it’s made me realise how lucky I am to have them all in my life.




The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask:

Since we’ve been together, me and Dan have been working our way (very slowly) through the Legend of Zelda series. We completed Wind Waker and Twilight Princess a while back and we sort of gave up on Skyward Sword as we weren’t enjoying it has much as it’s predecessors. To get back in to the Zelda groove, we started playing Majora’s Mask on my Gamecube. I haven’t played this title since I was super young, and even then I just watched my Dad play it, I’m surprised it didn’t give me nightmares back then. Majora’s Mask follows Link a few months after the ending to Ocarina of Time. Link is out in the woods search for Navi, when a Skull Kid steals both Epona and Link’s ocarina and then puts a curse on Link. Link then find himself in a parallel Hyrule, called Termina where, in 72 hours, the Moon will fall on to the Kingdom. Majora’s Mask is definitely the most errie of the Zelda titles but this just adds to it’s appeal. The 3 day time limit is a bit frustrating as I’m a bit crap at finding my way around so I easily loose 3 days. It’s a great game though, with really interesting characters and I great story.


Night Out with Friends:

Since I was a bit of a hermit the last couple of months, it’s been great to get out for the night, have some cocktails and hang out with my friends. We ended up going to two bars, one of them serves the most amazing cocktails (and for cheap too!) and then we went to our local rock bar at like 1am to finish the night off. However we did end the night on greasy chips and burgers at the local burger bar at 3am, felt like I was 18 again.


Detective Pikachu:

I really discredited this movie without even bothering to see it. As soon as the trailer came out I was on the bashing hate train, I thought the Pokemon looked gross and thought they could have used a better source material other than the Detective Pikachu game. Well.. I was wrong, so very very wrong. Detective Pikachu follows 21 years old Tim who teams up with his Father’s Pikachu to uncover the mystery of his father’s disappearance. Ryan Reynolds does an amazing job voicing Pikachu, Justice Smith, who plays Tim, Kathryn Newton, who plays Lucy, and Lucy’s Psyduck have great acting chemistry and the story was actually very interesting. Would watch again!

Catch ‘ya next month!


It's the middle of Summer and England has been some of the best weather we've ever had. I've finally got out of my funk and I'm ready to take the world on again! Gamecube: Out of all the consoles I've ever owned, I think the Gamecube is one of my favourites. Now I've moved out… Continue reading Monthly Favourites! July 2019


Re-Igniting My Love For Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp was released in the Autumn of 2017, from the moment I downloaded that game on to my phone I was HOOKED. But everything must come to an end and I ended up loosing interest in the game after a few months. I then only played Pocket Camp intermittently, mostly only having a hardcore session when the Halloween events were on (I love the Halloween events in AC).

Since Nintendo announced that the new Switch instalment of the franchise won’t be released until March next year, I’ve had a hankering to play Animal Crossing. I don’t think I can bring myself to go back onto New Leaf and de-weed my town that’s been abandoned since 2016, so Pocket Camp is all I have left to kill the time until March. It also helped that a received a notification that Pocket Camp has a Sanrio and Hello Kitty event on right now, I took this as a sign from the gaming Gods to get my arse back on to the game.

Part of my hilariously over-filled campsite

So much has been added since I last played properly, I used to find the game a bit boring after you’ve exhausted talking to every character you could and probably fished so much that the in-game ecosystem is crying out for you to stop.

New characters to invite to your camp and befriend have been added, more fruit on trees has been added too – you get a local produce now like in previous AC games, so you can trade these items with friends who have other local produce (mine’s a Lychee in case anyone want’s to be my AC friend). They’ve also added Gyroidite Scavenger Hunts for certain events running at the time, right now you can go around all areas of your camp and collect Hello Kitty shaped Gyroidites to unlock special items. Another area to decorate and make your own was added, the Cabin. This can be used to host up to eight of your campers with a high enough friendship level, I mostly just use it to store all the nice furniture that I love but can’t squeeze in to my already busy camp site.

Look how cute these Hello Kitty Gyroidites are

My favourite update has to be Pete’s Parcel Service, instead of running around all over your campsite to give your campers the item they are requesting, Pete does it all for you at the touch of a button without all the chatting and waffling. Unfortunately he doesn’t send requested items to campers you haven’t met yet, you still have to do the awkward greetings before they are added to Pete’s list. Just like on AC: Happy Home Designer that came out in 2015, Pocket Camp have added a section where you can earn items and money by creating a camper’s ideal room using specific themed items they’ve requested. It’s a cute, little side game but it doesn’t let you be that creative as all you have to do is pick the correctly themed furniture and it puts the item in the correct place for you (I might have to jump back on Home Designer for all my creative needs).

Last on the update list is Blather’s Treasure Trek, it’s a mini-game that allows you to collect maps which unravel like a board game, you roll a dice which moves Blathers along the board as he collects items from the spaces he lands on. It’s a unique way to collect items, unlock new characters and money, however each roll of the dice will cost you, sometimes it could be Essence, Friend Powder, Cotton.. but then it get’s more expensive with you having to use Bells and even Leaf Tickets which gets expensive real quick.

Blathers’ Treasure Trek

Unlike other mobile games, it’s slightly easier to earn in game money. You don’t have to sell a kidney to Nintendo to get some Leaf Tickets to buy the more exclusive in-game items and this has only got easier with the new update. I used all my Leaf Tickets buying some new Fortune Cookies (they randomly give you an exclusive piece of clothing or furniture) yesterday and I’m already back up to 50. With the extra missions, Blathers’ Treasure Trek and some patience it’s much easier to collect a high amount of Leaf Tickets.

No matter how long time passes in between gaming sessions, I will always have time for Animal Crossing (even though I never complete the games, because let’s be honest, who has that much spare time and bells – Tom Nook is a crook, honestly). You bet I’ll be pre-ordering Animal Crossing: New Horizons soon, I need a more meatier AC game in my life. In the mean time, please add me on Pocket Camp, I’ll post my code below!



Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp was released in the Autumn of 2017, from the moment I downloaded that game on to my phone I was HOOKED. But everything must come to an end and I ended up loosing interest in the game after a few months. I then only played Pocket Camp intermittently, mostly only having… Continue reading Re-Igniting My Love For Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

monthly favourites

Monthly Favourites! June 2019

Nice to see you again! Thanks for coming back to read my 4th Monthly Favourites instalment (time flies). June was a bit of a rough month for me so I didn’t really get out and do a lot, so this instalment involves a lot of TV and film.


Godzilla: King of Monsters

My partner is a HUGE nerd for Godzilla, so we snapped up tickets to see this film on the opening weekend, and oh boy, I was not disappointed. 2014’s Godzilla then 2017’s Kong: Skull Island, really made me love these big-action monster movies, same with films like Pacific Rim (1 & 2). Godzilla:KOM follows the organisation Monarch as they face off against the franchise’s biggest monsters (Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah) who are all vying for the alpha title of ‘King of Monsters’. The visual effects were outstanding, the music and sound design was phenomenal and there wasn’t a boring minute. Critics are damning them film about the vapid story and lack of emotion from the characters… but let’s be honest, you aren’t going to go see Godzilla for the well thought out human characters, you want to see big monsters and big action (am I right?). Definitely one to watch if you are a fan of all things Godzilla.



To be honest with you all, I haven’t been feeling too great the last few weeks. I’m on a diet of mostly gluten based foods to figure out if I have IBS or some other stomach issue and it’s getting me a bit down. The other week I decided to take a day out and spend it baking, I made Gluten Free Raspberry and White Chocolate Muffins and Gluten Free White Chocolate and Vanilla Cookies. I used two recipes from The Gluten Free Blogger, which I’ll link here and here (I did alter this one as I had loads of left over white chocolate and nothing in of what was needed for this exact recipe). Both of these bakes turned out really well, even with my shoddy baking skills and the best thing is.. they don’t even taste gluten free! I’ll keep you all updated on my baking free baking adventures, but in the mean time, please do check out The Gluten Free Blogger, she’s amazing.


Pokèmon: Let’s Go Eevee

I have a terrible habit of game swapping, it seems every month I’m obsessed with a different game! All you Pokè fans saw the teasers for the new Sword and Shield games shown at E3, the new games look so fresh and new and.. it got me completely hyped. E3 really was the kick up the arse I needed to get back on Let’s Go, within a week I completed all remaining gyms, unlocked all the towns, caught Snorlax and all the legendary birds, caught my first shiny(!) and upped my Pokèdex from around 70 Pokemon caught to around 120. I’ve completed the Elite Four and now levelling up my Pokemon to take down MewTwo. If anyone has Let’s go Pikachu and want’s to do some trading, hit me up!


The Act

What better to catch those feels then to watch a mini-series about an awfully dysfunctional family. The Act is a dramatised version of the real life of Gypsy Rose Blanchard, who has been convinced by her mother that she is terminally ill. Gypsy’s mother Dee Dee suffered from Munchhausen syndrome by proxy (Factitious disorder imposed on another), she managed to convince family, friends, medical professionals and even herself of her daughter’s fake illnesses. The Act focuses on Dee Dee and Gypsy after they move to Springfield, Missouri which sets off a string of events to Gypsy discovering what her mother has really been doing to her all these years. This is an amazing programme, it’s heartbreaking, horrific and downright disturbing.


Ackley Bridge

There’s only been a few dramas out in the last few years that have completely wowed me, one of them being the American drama series This is Us and the next one is British drama Ackley Bridge. Ackley Bridge is set in a small town in Yorkshire where the British and Pakistani communities are segregated, in a bid to save money the council merges two schools to create Ackley Bridge. The series follows the lives of the students, teachers and everyone who was affected by the merger of the two schools, the series covers Racism, Sexuality, family dynamics, drug abuse and so much more. All the cast are great actors, even the younger cast members who are in the first acting gig. Season 3 started last week and it’s already a tear-jerker of a season, you can catch up with all series on Channel 4 on demand, you wont be disappointed!

Thanks again for reading this series, catch’ya next month!


Nice to see you again! Thanks for coming back to read my 4th Monthly Favourites instalment (time flies). June was a bit of a rough month for me so I didn't really get out and do a lot, so this instalment involves a lot of TV and film. Godzilla: King of Monsters My partner is… Continue reading Monthly Favourites! June 2019


Quarterly Book Review 2019 #2

Hi! Nice to see you back again. This is the 2nd instalment of 2019’s Quarterly Book Reviews, this quarter I will be reviewing books from April – June.

The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry:


“I wished I were as optimistic as I pretended. I used to be. Not anymore.” 

Personally, there is nothing more scary than an ‘evil’ child. Children are supposed bring fun, happiness and laughter in to our lives – not despair, fear and hopelessness. There was times in this book that I felt physically sick and horrified by the events in this title, it’s not for the faint hearted.

This story follows Hannah and Christopher, a married couple who have a picture perfect life – a great marriage, a lovely house and jobs they both love at the local hospital. However one thing is missing.. a family. When an abandoned and seemingly abused 6 year old, Janie, turns up at the hospital, the couple are quick to foster her. However their picture perfect family is soon turned upside down when Janie’s behaviour becomes increasingly challenging and disturbing. Hannah becomes the brunt of Janie’s hatred while Christopher is besotted by her and refuses to see Janie for who she truly is.

The only reason I am dropping a star is because the story ended at the worst cliffhanger, it was too abrupt. I never learnt what happened to Janie, Hannah or Christopher, unless there is going to be a sequel to explain this, I won’t be giving this book 5 stars.

Don’t let the sudden cliffhanger put you off reading this book though, it draws you in from the first page and is morbidly fascinating. Hannah is a very real character, I was drawn to her instantly and her downward spiral caused by Janie was heartbreaking. Christopher was a bit of a let down, he was totally brainwashed by Janie and this made a lot of his choices very questionable, it’s like his brain fell out of his head half way through the story. Janie on the other hand.. bloody hell, what a nightmare child. She’s manipulative, too intelligent and horribly charming, if she doesn’t turn out to be a sociopath in the future then I will be very surprised.

This book is all kinds of horrible, fascinating and disturbing but I was still unable to put it down. Fans of the film Orphan would eat this title up.



Three Little Lies by Laura Marshall

“It’s so easy to lie to yourself, because you’re never going to get called out on it. No one’s ever going to say: hang on, that’s not right. There might be a small voice in the corner of your mind that speaks in the dark of the night, when all the other noise has died down, but it’s easy to ignore, especially when the sun comes up and the world starts again.”

After reading Friend Request by Laura Marshall and very much enjoying it, I know I had to check out her other novel.. and I was not disappointed.

Alternating between 2006 and 2017, the story opens with introverted Ellen and her best friend Karina watching a new and exciting family move in next door, a bohemian Mum, a good looking dad, two sons and the anomaly that is Sasha North. Ellen is soon put under Sasha’s spell and starts spending more and more time round the new family’s house, until a horrific crime is committed that changes the neighbours relationship forever. Ten years later, Ellen and Sasha are still close and are sharing a flat in London.. until Sasha goes missing. Ellen has to unravel the mystery of that frightful night and find Sasha before someone else does.

This took me a few chapters to get a feel of the story but I was soon swept up in the mystery. The story was narrated by mostly Ellen but a few other characters narrated a few chapters too which gave the story some depth. Laura Marshall writes past and present books so well, I was never lost on what was happening and the story flowed so well, even between different years and different narrators. The twist at the end had me floored, I may just be a terrible detective, but I didn’t expect what happened near the end of the story. This book also deals with many complex issues well: domestic abuse, rape, jealousy, rivalry and alcoholism.

Some of the characters fell a bit flat for me, I wanted to know more about why they did what they did and how that affected them. Also some events at the end of the book were left as a cliffhanger, which works well but I wanted to see some justice take place.

All in all, a great thriller for fans of Laura Marshall’s previous work!



Crank by Ellen Hopkins

“Besides, even good girls have secrets.”

Yep, I’m jumping right back on the Ellen Hopkins train. I read quite a few of her titles last year and was memorised by her writing style and the complex stories she writes.

Crank is loosely based on the life of Hopkins’ own daughter and her decent in to crystal meth addiction. The story kicks off with Kristina going to New Mexico to visit her absent and wayward father. Once there, Kristina falls for a boy who lives in her father’s apartment block, she is determined to shed her good girl image so she creates an alter ego, Bree. Kristina/Bree is soon swept up into the party scene, dabbling with alcohol, weed, MDMA and finally, Crystal Meth. She returns home as an entirely new person, skipping school, ditching her friends, ignoring her family and hooking up with bad crowd to supply her with meth.

I generally don’t have anything bad to say about this title, it had me hooked from the first paragraph. Although Hopkins’ writing isn’t for everyone, I love it, she has a way with words and in some way, writing in this poetic style sucks you in to the story more. I only gave this title 4 stars as the series isn’t over yet as there is two other titles.

Crank isn’t a story of redemption or hope, it is depressing and sad. It showcases how easy it is for young people to fall in to addiction and the devastating effect it has on their lives. This is why I love reading Ellen Hopkins’ titles, they a bleak but realistic, not everyone gets a fairy tale ending.



Glass by Ellen Hopkins

“I don’t need more pain in my life. Why did I invite it in? Do I have to feel pain to believe I feel anything at all?” 

Following the events of Crank, Glass follows Kristina a few months after giving birth to her son Hunter. Thinking she could control the ‘monster’, a.k.a Crystal Meth, Kristina throws herself into her schooling and finding a job. However she can’t give up addiction that easily, soon she has rebounded with the monster, doing anything she can get her hands on a decent supply.. even if that means giving up the only thing that could set her free, her baby.

I honestly think Glass was ten times better than Crank (which was already bloody good), Kristina’s story isn’t unique but the way Hopkins writes it really sucks you in. Again, the way the author writes in poetic verses really helps the story, as it seems the more Kristina gets sucked into the drug world, the more erratic the poetic verses become.. more spaces, less linear writing, more use of italics etc. I don’t want to give away much more of the story, but whatever you do, read this book.

Emotionally jarring, disturbing and all too realistic, Glass showcases the downwards spiral of addiction and how it easily ensnares anyone into it’s grasp.



Fall Out by Ellen Hopkins

“Why doesn’t love come with an owner’s manual?”

The final book in the Crank trilogy and told in the perspective of Kristina’s three eldest children nearly twenty years after the events of Glass. Fall Out follows Hunter, Autumn and Summer who are scattered around America in the care of different guardians as they come to terms with the trauma caused by their shared mother Kristina and her addiction.

Fall Out was a great conclusion to the trilogy, it’s sad to see how one person’s decisions in life can vastly affect a whole range of people. This book didn’t leave me hopeful and happy, it left me concerned and worried for Kristina and her family.. but this is why this series is so good, it’s real.

This title ended with a slight cliffhanger, you find out briefly what became of Kristina and her children but some of the events of the book where left open. I guess Hopkins wanted the ending to be vague as the story is based on real people, but I’m just too nosy.

The best thing about this title is the epilogue which includes a couple of pages written by the real ‘Kristina’. It is honestly heartbreaking, she tells a snippet of the real story of how she got into drugs and how her downfall affected her friends and family. She has a writer’s soul just like her mother, I hope she writes about her story some time in the future.



The List by Siobhan Vivian

“Sometimes, when you get something new, you trick yourself into believing it has the power to change absolutely everything about you.” 

Every year a list is posted with one girl in each grade being announced as the prettiest and the ugliest in the year. No-one knows who makes the list every year and every year it turns the school on it’s head. The List follows 8 girls during the week between the list being posted and the Homecoming dance, the one week that changes everything for Abby, Candace, Lauren, Sarah, Danielle, Bridget, Margo and Jennifer.

The list was gripping and easy to read, I read it in under a week, could have read it in one session if I didn’t have to work. It easily showcases how appearances determine who you are going to be in High School, are you the cheerleader? The Brainiac? The Athlete? Or the Loser? It also touched on some very serious issues that are gripping our society, eating disorders, bullying, family troubles, toxic friendships and toxic relationships.

However, the book has so much potential but didn’t deliver. There was too many main characters with very interwoven lives, it became slightly confusing. Also the story ended with a terrible cliffhanger, none of the plot points of the title were wrapped up, it was all left open ended.

Even with some problems, this title was still a good read about how tough it is to be a teenager in the 21st century.



Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

“They say it’s good to let your grudges go, but I don’t know, I’m quite fond of my grudge. I tend it like a little pet.”

The main three characters were introduced as typical stereotypes, Madeline, the busybody suburban mum, Celeste the beautiful and very wealthy suburban mum, and then Jane, the plain-jane, young and single mum. As the story evolves the characters open up and show that they are all very multi-dimensional characters with troubled lives just like the rest of us.

I often get confused when books involve loads of side characters, especially when they all have partners and children, but Moriarty keeps you as a reader well informed. There was only a handful of times near the beginning of the book where I couldn’t place certain characters. These minor characters also chimed in the end of each chapter with little plot points foreshadowing future events in the title, this was such a special plot device and really had be hooked with finding out what happened in these foreshadowed events.

I actually don’t have anything bad to say about this title, I didn’t enjoy the TV show but I’m so glad I didn’t let that stop me reading the book!



The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella 

“I love new clothes. If everyone could just wear new clothes everyday, I reckon depression wouldn’t exist anymore.” 

Also known as Confessions of a Shopaholic, The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic follows Becky Bloomwood, a London socialite who seems to have it all.. an apartment in the trendy Fulham, a job as a journalist and a wardrobe to die for. Becky may have everything a girl could wish for, but she can’t actually afford it, and now the bank is sending her final notice letters with big sums enclosed, she needs to cut down on her lifestyle but how?

I love me a Sophie Kinsella novel ever since reading My Not So Perfect Life last year. The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic is hilarious, Becky get’s herself in to some awkward situations that make for great reading, she’s ditsy, materialistic and doesn’t have a clue how her actions will affect others, but she’s a great character and you can’t hate her.

I watched the film before reading the book years ago, although Isla Fisher made a great Becky you can’t beat the book, it exceeded my expectations. It’s not the most amazing book ever but it’s an easy read and all the characters have many funny quirks about them.

One to read while on your lunch breaks to make the working day go by with some laughter.


Other books read but not reviewed:

  • What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
  • The Language of Kindness by Christie Watson
  • Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young
  • The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin
  • Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

Goodreads 2019 Reading Challenge read so far: 27

Thank you so much for stopping by, catch’ya next month!



Hi! Nice to see you back again. This is the 2nd instalment of 2019's Quarterly Book Reviews, this quarter I will be reviewing books from April - June. The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry: “I wished I were as optimistic as I pretended. I used to be. Not anymore.”  Personally, there is nothing more scary… Continue reading Quarterly Book Review 2019 #2


Living Together: 2 Months On

It’s already been 2 months since my last post about me moving out, you can read that here, where has the time gone?! This is the first time I’ve moved out of my childhood home, let alone lived with a partner, it’s been a bit shock but it’s been amazing fun.

Since we were thinking about moving out, every single person we talked to said the same thing, ” you don’t know someone until you live with them”. This is very true, but also very wrong too. I know it’s only been two months, in the grand scheme of things two months is nothing, but it can feel like a long time when you see the same person everyday. I have realised that we both have some very annoying habits and our ways of doing things is much different to the other person’s, like Dan will happily leave the washing up to the last moment before bed, whereas I HATE going through the evening knowing washing up is still piled up in the sink and the clock is getting later and later. Also he will take one thing out to the recycling bin and not look around the flat to see if more stuff has to go in, whereas I’d rather just pile it all in together then there is nothing lying around the flat. I have a habit of leaving half drunk drinks around the flats, sometimes I’ll have a half drunk can of coke in the lounge and a mug half full of water in the bedroom.. which drives Dan bananas. Maybe all our annoyances are to do with chores haha.

The things people don’t tell you are how amazing it is to come home from a hard day at work, or a bad session at the gym, to your partner ready to give you a hug (and binge eat with you for the rest of the night). Waking up in the middle of the night, realising they are asleep next to you, then cuddling up to them and falling back to sleep again. How much fun is it to arrange your living room when you first move in, then still how much fun it is to decorate a couple of months in. The freedom you finally have with them is priceless, especially after living an hour away from each other and with parents.

We’ve finally got our weekly shopping list down to around £20-£25 per person from swapping a lot of Tesco items for Lidl items, our bills are nearly all arranged, my car insurance/MOT/Tax is done for another year so now we can relax and enjoy our flat together. We still don’t have a sofa, but we are making do with a huge beanbag our friend’s gave us, which I kinda think is more fun.

I’ve been going through a bit of a rough time lately which I will probably do a post about in the near future, but I couldn’t imagine not having Dan around while going through this. If I was living back home with my family, I don’t think I would have coped as well as I have been (and I really don’t think I’ve coped amazingly well as it is!).

So far, two months in, I have no regrets. I’m glad we moved out when we did, it’s been eye opening, eventful but really fun and I feel closer to Dan on a whole new level, I feel closer to our shared friends and for the first time in a long time.. I feel so excited for the future 🙂



It's already been 2 months since my last post about me moving out, you can read that here, where has the time gone?! This is the first time I've moved out of my childhood home, let alone lived with a partner, it's been a bit shock but it's been amazing fun. Since we were thinking… Continue reading Living Together: 2 Months On

monthly favourites

Monthly Favourites! May 2019

This month has been a banger, we are full force in to Spring and on the high road to Summer and I couldn’t be feeling more positive. This month has been full of fresh starts and changes for me, definitely one to remember. As promise, here’s a list of my month favourites:


  • The Image Cella

I had another pole/aerial photoshoot back in February with The Image Cella who is one of the UK’s biggest aerial photographers.. and I finally got the photos back this month! Check out Simon’s work here and sign up for a shoot if you get the chance!




  • Skins

The fight with BT to get our internet active was still ongoing for a couple of weeks into this month, which meant watching more boxsets. For around the 10th time (or possibly more) I watched the first two generations of Skins (4 seasons) as those were my favourite seasons. Skins follows a group of teenagers throughout their two years at Sixth Form College in Bristol, UK. What makes Skins one of the best British dramas is that is doesn’t shy away from the bad parts of being a teenager, it showcases Mental Illness, Drug Addiction, Toxic Relationships, Substance Abuse, Teenage Pregnancy and Sexuality. Also it’s a pretty funny show with some of the best one liners and characters in British television.


  • Working Out

I finally went back to my morning fitness classes as I took the month off to move in to the flat, I was hesitant to go back as I live a bit further away now and money is more tight.. but you know what, I’m so glad I did go back! I ache and I’m tired but I feel so much better than I did a few days ago and I already managed to hit a personal best deadlift (75kg, 2 reps).


  • Nashville

We finally got our internet back which means catching up on TV shows we missed. I downloaded NowTV to catch up on Game of Thrones and ended up watching and loving Nashville. This show follows the lives of a group of country musicians in Nashville, Tennessee: Rayna James, a legend in the country music showbiz but her fame is slowly fading out, Juliette Barnes, a newcomer on the scene who is trying to break out of her ‘country-pop star’ persona and replace Rayna as the Queen of Country, Scarlett O’Connor, a poet that takes a chance in becoming a song writer, Deacan Claybourne, Rayna’s guitarist and former lover, Gunnar, a singer-songwriter who partners up with Scarlett to become the new big thing on the duet scene. Nashville is full of complex story lines including drug abuse, politics, complex family dynamics and relationships along side catchy country tunes.


  • Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas

Since moving out I have more time to game as I don’t have to fight my mother for the TV. First on my list of games I loved but never completed was Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, I wasn’t going to play New Vegas until 3 was finished but my Xbox controller died on me and we recently bought New Vegas or £2 in CEX for the PS3. The Fallout series is set in an future America after a post-apocalyptic war, in Fallout 3 you play as a Vault Dweller who is forced out of the safe confines of Vault 101 to search for your missing father in the wastelands of DC, Maryland. In New Vegas you play as a courier in the Mojave Desert who gets shot in the head to find themselves patched up by a doctor from a far off town, you then hunt for your would-be murderers. The Fallout series mixes retro-futurism with cyberpunk and post war 1950’s american culture, the series is full of wacky characters, brilliant story lines and entertainment for hours.


  • BBQ Season

It’s nearly Summer which means BBQ time! We are fortunate enough to have a secluded area in our flat’s garden that is far enough away from the flats to not bother anyone. So on Bank Holiday weekend we had our first hosted BBQ, it was a bit cloudy and cold and we ended up only staying outside for a couple of hours, but it was great fun and a good excuse to see some friends we haven’t seen in a while.


  • Hoop Performance

I know I listed Hoop (Lyra) as one of my favourites from last month but I attended a Performance workshop which was so much fun. The workshop ran at my aerial school (Secret Circus), we had an hour and a half to learn, perfect and perform a Hoop routine to The Little Mermaid – Kiss The Girl. I was worried at first as I’m not a natural performer but it was so much fun and I surprised myself by remembering the whole routine. I’ve copied the video of the routine below 🙂

Thanks for reading, catch’ya next month!


This month has been a banger, we are full force in to Spring and on the high road to Summer and I couldn't be feeling more positive. This month has been full of fresh starts and changes for me, definitely one to remember. As promise, here's a list of my month favourites: The Image Cella… Continue reading Monthly Favourites! May 2019

Pole & Aerial

Pole & Aerial Progress #2

Since moving out and putting up my home pole I’ve been really trying to gain some more strength and practise new moves at home. The last 6 months I’ve seen a huge improvement in myself, I can finally keep up with the classes and at least bang out the beginning sequences of routines. It’s been some months since my last pole/aerial progress update so here you go:

Loise Lane (with pleasers):

My first pole session at home involved a lot of easy moves that I have never had the chance to try with pleasers on. This move only involved getting the pole in the middle of your bum with your left leg to the right hand side of the pole, put your arms behind you, then lean out. I’ve seen a lot of people on Instagram bang out a super flexible Lois Lane and look incredible, I’m not as much of a bendy wendy as most polers but the pleasers definitely made me look more bendy than I am!



Way back in March (where’s the time gone?!) I finally nailed my Superman! This move is most people’s arch nemesis, it’s awkward to get in to and takes a lot of time to get the technique. I haven’t managed to get this solidly again but you bet it’s on my list of moves to master. There is a few ways to get in to superman, this one involved a little bit of help from my instructor. I went in to an inside leg hang, then flipped myself around on to my front, I can’t believe I managed to do it, let alone figure out how to explain it!



Spreadies are a staple in every exotic polers routines, they look amazing on everyone even if you aren’t super flexible. As long as you get the angle right, you can look like you have legs for days in this move. This spready involved getting into a witch hold with my hand in line with my shoulder on the ground, then taking both legs off.



The dreaded handstand! I always feel uneasy about moves that mean I’m on my head or could easily fall on to my head because of the skull reconstructive surgery I had as a child. However, with a good spotter and constant practise I’m feeling slightly less queasy by doing handstands on the pole… handstands off the pole is a different matter though! I got in to this move through a crescent moon, then I just placed my hands on the floor and tried to arch my back.



Same with handstands, headstands aren’t my forte but I try to at least do a few in every session, and I can see a huge improvement. I still need a spotter as I have a habit of falling to the side of the pole but I don’t need to be forced up there anymore.

Couldn’t resist poleing in my Espeon Pokemon onesie


This move is such an ouchie one to get into and out of, I had the biggest bruise on my arm from doing about 4 of these in a row. I love this move though (even with the pain), it looks so interesting and I can imaging in looks great on a spinning pole. To get into Scutoid I went into a genie, brought my bottom hand around my leg on to the pole, took of the top leg and put it on top of my bottom leg and let go.. and voila, a scutoid and lot’s of pain!



Sometimes the simplest moves are the most beautiful. Tulip involves hooking your left leg over the hoop, making sure you are looked in with your elbow over the hoop, then straighten your free leg.. easy peasy. It looks amazing whilst spinning too, I wish I did this move at my photoshoot.


Different Straddles:

It took me a long ass time to get my regular straddle which I documented on my previous progress post, literally only started nailing a normal straddle around 6 months ago. This one involved cheating a bit as I had to bounce off of the bottom of the hoop to get my leg in the middle of my arms but eh, it’s progress!

New Strad


I am always partial to a move named after something nautical, Seahorse is relatively easy to get in to and it also makes anyone look amazing whether you are bendy or not. To get into Seahorse you start just sitting in the hoop, move one leg behind you, twist to the side, bring one arm towards you to get that well needed back bend, then bring the leg behind you up on to the hoop.


Over the bar shapes:

Now I’ve been a beginner for a while I am getting to try some over the bar shapes, this one being my favourite (i’m not sure of it’s name though). To get into it I straddled on to the bottom of the pole then straddled (badly) onto the top bar, then you bring your arms slowly down towards your face and hook your bottom leg on. It’s a beautiful move but it is a hard one to hold for a long time, I was shaking and feeling sick by the time this picture was taken!


Thanks for reading, I hope this inspires some of you to take up the aerial arts!



Since moving out and putting up my home pole I've been really trying to gain some more strength and practise new moves at home. The last 6 months I've seen a huge improvement in myself, I can finally keep up with the classes and at least bang out the beginning sequences of routines. It's been… Continue reading Pole & Aerial Progress #2

monthly favourites, Pole & Aerial

Monthly Favourites! April 2019

This month has been a banger, we are full force in to Spring and on the high road to Summer and I couldn’t be feeling more positive. This month has been full of fresh starts and changes for me, definitely one to remember. As promise, here’s a list of my month favourites:


  • Aerial Silks

My love/hate relationship with Aerial Silks has done a 180 the last few months, I always considered myself a Hoop girl, always choosing Aerial Hoop over silks. However, I went back to basics, started learning climbs, front balances, inverts and hip locks from the beginning and building my muscles and skills. I now know what I have to do to get that all desired Aerial Invert, I understand the starter moves to certain drops, I can climb higher than I ever have before.. the puzzle pieces are finally all falling in to place and I’m so excited to see what I learn the next few months!


  • Moving Out

It all happened a bit fast, but me and my boyfriend moved out! We started properly looking for flats in March and ended up renting a place mid April. It’s been stressful with getting the contract sorted out but it’s been so much fun so far, and you can’t put a price on freedom.




  • Yoshi’s Crafted World

I love Yoshi games so much, one of my first games ever was Yoshi’s Island on the SNES and the obsession continued on to adulthood. This game is full of fun, quirky felt characters and a sweet yet simple story. It’s different to the other Yoshi games as you can interact within the 3rd dimension, you can throw eggs at objects in the background and also turn the landscape around to find new areas to interact with. Seriously recommend this cute title!


  • Misfits

This Channel 4 drama series started way back in 2009 and follows a group of young offenders during their time working in community service. However during a freak storm, each of them gain a supernatural ability. Fans of other British TV dramas like Skins and The Inbetweeners will love Misfits, it also stars a younger Robert Sheehan who plays Klaus in The Umbrella Academy and Iwan Rheon who played the infamous Ramsey Balton in Game of Thrones.


  • Cooking

I used to hate cooking before moving out, I did it because I had to and I wouldn’t attempted to try new recipes. The last week though I have been giving it a go, I made my first Lasagne which is pictured here, made Gluten Free pizza subs, dirty rice and different pasta dishes. Excited to try some new recipes, might even try my hand at a small roast!



  • Exercising at home

Okay, so my exercising at home is a bit different to your average work out DVD or yoga training, we put my pole up in the lounge as we have some space free, which means I can finally pole more than once a week! I’ve had a go at some freestyle in my pleasers as I’ve never got to try it, practised the dreaded headstands and also gone over some basic moves that will hopefully improve my strength even more. You can also follow my journey over on my pole/aerial Instagram page, linked here.


  • Viva La Bam

Having no internet all week, therefore no Netflix, has left me with no option but to watch some old boxsets, the first one chosen was Viva La Bam. It wasn’t the early noughties without Jackass and all of it’s spin-offs, one of my favourites being Viva La Bam. This reality spin off show follows Bam Margera, his very forgiving parents, his gibberish speaking uncle and his clan of boisterous, trouble makers as they challenge each other to participate in numerous pranks, mishaps and trouble. Every episode was pure carnage: from going on a town wide scavenger hunt for the prize of demolishing a grande piano, road tripping to Mardi Gras in Campervans and a Moped, turning the whole house in to one big skate ramp, turning a normal town house in to a castle (with an elephant?!) and just generally beating the shit out of eachother.. Viva La Bam has it all, and young Bam Margera will always be one of my top 10 crushes.

Thanks for coming back for another Monthly Favourites! I promise next month will feature less ‘new flat’ excitement haha. See you on the flip side 🙂



This month has been a banger, we are full force in to Spring and on the high road to Summer and I couldn't be feeling more positive. This month has been full of fresh starts and changes for me, definitely one to remember. As promise, here's a list of my month favourites: Aerial Silks My… Continue reading Monthly Favourites! April 2019


I Moved Out! + Tips on Renting a Flat

I’m back! (again). I’m so sorry for the sudden quietness coming from this blog, me and my boyfriend ended up moving to a our first flat and it all came about quite quickly. Still waiting for internet to be installed in our new place, but once it’s all sorted I promise there will be more content!

We ended up going for a our first viewing on 6th April, we adored the flat, got the keys on 17th April then moved in on the 19th. After 3 days of unpacking and sorting everything out, we are all settled! Our new washing machine got delivered today and then hopefully our internet will be active on Friday. Becoming a proper adult is terrifying but I’m super enjoying it so far 🙂

The day we picked up our keys!


Thought I would do a little tips post on renting if you are a first time renter as the whole process can be vary daunting:

  • Don’t go for a flat/house unless you are 100% positive about it:

I used sites like Rightmove and Zoopla to find my place, it’s so much easier than using Estate Agents and you can save all your liked properties on the sites. However, it is really easy to fall in love with a flat/house and ignore any issues with it. I went through dozens of  flats that I liked but had one issue with it, they were either too small, too far away, no parking, too many neighbours etc. Even if a property looks amazing and you a desperate to move out, hold out for something else as there will always be something better.

  • Using a lettings agency makes the process so much easier:

As a first time renter I didn’t want to look for a private rented flat without having a back up, this is where Letting Agencies come in. A Letting Agency is a facilitator which acts as the middle ground for tenants and landlords, any problems or queries goes through the agency rather than straight to the landlord or tenant. It makes the whole process easier and less stressful as someone else is technically doing all the work for you. The only downside is the fees you have to pay for an agent, we paid around £200 each, but this will soon be abandoned making it less expensive to rent.

  • Pick up homeware items for a few months before you move out:

Renting is expensive and so is furnishing/decorating/filling up your property. Me and my boyfriend started buying stuff for the kitchen just after Christmas, it’s crazy how buying something here and there starts to add up to a fully functioning home.

  • Do your research:

It might seem excessive but there is so much you have to know before renting a property, it’s best to do as much research as your brain can cope with. I found Right Move had a great section on renting, Money Savings Expert has a very detailed list of everything you need to know before and during renting and Prime Location has a checklist of everything you should ask/look out for when going for a property viewing. There are many forums and online articles to read too, there is literally unlimited resources so you’ll find the answer to your questions somewhere.

  • If you have any worries, speak up:

My Lettings Agent must be sick of me as I made sure every query of mine was answered, even if it meant sending them 10 emails a day (oops). That property is your home for however long you are contracted it, so you need to feel safe, happy and welcome there. Any problems or queries should be answered by your lettings agent or landlord swiftly and any problems should be dealt with professionally. Always remember even though you don’t own the property, you still have rights.

  • Take lots of pictures before you move in:

We were quite lucky as our Letting Agency did a very in-depth inventory of our property so I didn’t have to take so many pictures as I thought I would, however it’s always best to get a few snaps anyway. Take photos of any damaged items, cracks, scratches, scrapes, marks on walls/counters etc, basically anything you could be liable for when your contract is over, you don’t want your deposit to be taken away when none of the damage is your fault. Also get written permission to decorate the property e.g hanging up paintings/pictures, painting walls, changing furnishings.

  • Instead of hiring a moving van, get you friends and family involved:

Moving vans are super expensive and this price increases for every day you rent it out. Instead of hiring one of these, see if any friends of family have a van or two you could use to move big furniture, also ask around if people could use their cars to shift some of the smaller items for you. We ended up using my dad’s van plus a few cars on multiple trips, but it was fun to get everyone involved in this new chapter of life.

  • Price compare: 

I know you probably hear this from all the supermarket adverts on TV but price comparing is honestly a life saver. I’m lucky to live in a town where most supermarkets are only about 10 mins away from eachother, so I can just drive around and find the best prices for food, kitchen/bathroom stuff, necessities etc. But if you don’t, sign up to all the online shopping for each supermarket, do your weekly shop and see which supermarket comes up cheapest. Or alternatively use websites like My Supermarket to look up deals from all the big supermarkets.

  • Don’t stress and have fun:

The biggest tip of all is to not stress and have fun, this is a big chapter in life and no-one wants that to be smeared with stress. Put some music on, pack all your belongings then do the same thing when you unpack, get some friends over and have a house unpacking party and enjoy your new home.

Some of the friends who helped us move during a pizza break

Thanks for reading, see you all again soon!


I'm back! (again). I'm so sorry for the sudden quietness coming from this blog, me and my boyfriend ended up moving to a our first flat and it all came about quite quickly. Still waiting for internet to be installed in our new place, but once it's all sorted I promise there will be more… Continue reading I Moved Out! + Tips on Renting a Flat