My Thoughts of the Hunger Games

I finally read the Hunger Games series…
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…and so, I feel it’s only right that I let you lovely lot know what I thought of it just as I would any other books. 
 
First, let me start by explaining why it has taken me this long to read the books and become engulfed within Panem and its’ Districts. Honestly, it never appealed to me all that much. I know many would gasp in shock at me saying that (including my boyfriends mum) but it never did. I was in my early/mid teens when the Twilight saga was being adapted to movies and so, that was the jam for me, my friends and really my generation as a whole. Up until the movie adaption of The Hunger Games was released, I had never heard of the books and because the books had never worked their way onto my recommended reads on Amazon, I didn’t think it was the right read for me. 
 
Right about now you’re probably wondering what or why I suddenly wanted to read it. Over time many people and fellow students have recommended me reading it having heard that the majority of books I read are fictional series’, generally around the genres of sci-fi or fantasy. I don’t know why that is, maybe I just love committing to a series and truly experiencing a fictional world over the course of a few books. But regardless of it being recommended many a time, I never seriously thought about it until my boyfriend told me that it’s his mother’s favourite series. He lent me his copies of the first two books, The Hunger Games, and Catching Fire, and then a few weekends later we came across a copy of Mockingjay at a boot fair which we picked up for £1. I quickly had the trilogy and was free to read away. 
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What did I think of the books? 
The Hunger Games: was, in my opinion, very good. I feel like there were plenty of plot twists for me to keep reading and I constantly wanted to know more, however, I did get a little confused and, because of that, distracted by all the names of the tributes involved. That was the only negative thing I found with the book. 
 
Catching Fire: was my favourite out the three books. I felt like I had got to grips with the world of Panem, the Capitol, and the Districts, but I had also come to picture certain characters in my mind and felt more familiar with them by this book. 
 
Mockingjay: this was my least favourite out of the trilogy. I felt like there were too many plot twists with this book and far too many characters to keep track of. However, *Spoiler -I did like how it ended with Alma Coin being shot instead of President Snow. I also really loved how Katniss and Haymitch became more like companions than fellow victors by this third book. 
 
If you haven’t heard, let alone read, The Hunger Games books then I can only assume that you’ve been living under a rock for the past 5-10 years; and so, I’ll leave the Amazon link right here for you to read up on the book descriptions and what goes down. Just so you know, there are three books in the series. 
 
Have you read the trilogy? What did you think? 
Cheerio for now! 

 

Wales | Where We Went | Part 1

In August my boyfriend, James, and I went camping in the Brecon Beacons, Wales. We went for a long weekend, staying Friday night through to Monday morning. We stayed at Grawen Caravan and Camping site, where we pitched a six-person tent on the Friday and made our home for the next three days. *Unfortunately, I didn’t take any ‘tent tour’ shots so I’ll just go on to show you what we got up to in the land of Wales.

Our first day was spent waking up before dawn and setting off for our destination a little after four am. Our journey was filled with Spotify playlists, podcasts, and tired ramblings accompanied by long silences. We crossed the Severn Bridge a couple hours later and quickly found ourselves in Merthyr Tydfil, a short drive from our campsite. I’m going, to be honest, our first day was mostly us getting things together like food, fire wood and setting up for our first night. It also included me napping (something that is unheard of).

We spent our first evening checking out a waterfall, wandering around Brecon in torrential rain and then ducking into a quaint, local pub for some dinner; where we quite possibly ate the best pub food I have ever had. We had hoped to later make a fire that night, however, I was far too tired and the weather too damp; so we simply called it a night.

Stay tuned for more, 
Cheerio for now! 
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Book Review: A Fever of the Blood

A Fever of the Blood, Oscar de Muriel 
 In this second case of Frey and McGrays, what starts as a simple inquest into a patient escape and a nurses death at an asylum ensues into a manhunt far beyond their jurisdiction of Edinburgh and down to Pendle Hill, home of the Lancashire Witches. The pair becomes intwined in the dangerous world of black magic which makes for an avalanche of plot twists and adrenaline-packed scenes which keep you turning the pages.

A Fever of the Blood was an amazing read. I was apprehensive before reading this because I loved The Strings of Murder so much however, it pulled through and made for a great read. I will always love the contrast between Frey and McGray, and in my opinion, their relationship is really what gives the story that extra ‘something-something‘ for me.

The next book in this series is A Mask of Shadows, which I already have on my window ledge waiting to crack open. If you haven’t already read my review of the first book, The Strings of Murder, then you can do so here. Stay tuned for what I think of the next book. 

Have you ever read any of these books, what did you think? 
Cheerio for now! 
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Summer | 17

This Summer has been a bit of a mixed bag. I say it’s been a mixed bag but really it’s all been rather great with a little stump popping up during September. My summer was spent moving boxes, doing trips between houses and finding things I haven’t seen in months. My summer weekends were filled escaping the madness and exploring new places with my boyfriend. And most of all, my summer saw our camping trip in Wales.

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Season Favourites: 
BBQ’s, when I say barbeques really I mean going to the beach hut, grabbing some supplies from Tesco and cooking food down by the sea; something my boyfriend and I did a few times this summer. 
 
Listening: 
I know I say this at the end of each season but I have honestly just been listening to a lot of podcasts. I have been trying to listen to new music and some new playlists on Spotify but alas, I haven’t really loved anything new. 

Enjoying: 

Now, this may sound odd but I’ve been enjoying a PlayStation game called Uncharted. I know I know, I’m becoming one of them, but honestly, it’s great. Let’s set the record straight, I don’t play it -well, I suppose in a way I do. My boyfriend plays it and I burrito myself in a quilt on the bed and watch; occasionally shouting that he’s gone the wrong way, that he’s going to get shot or generally give him a running commentary. Over time it’s become ‘our’ thing, so much so that he’s not allowed to play it without me. Don’t worry -we’re not quite out of the honeymoon phase, he still pinches my bum 😉 

 

Watching: 

Besides partly watching Uncharted, I have been watching Parks and Rec which I love. Every so often I have wandered back to the Gilmore Girls on Netflix, in particular, the episodes more focused on  Rory at Yale because I can’t wait to start uni again. I have also been watching a lot of vlogmas videos. As I type this now I am recovering from a medical procedure and I can quite honestly say, nothing has lifted my spirits quite like festive vlogmas videos (I’m also trying to work out a budget to get everything I need in time for Christmas so the videos are partly reminding me to get it together). 
 
As much as Summer has been great, I can’t wait for Autumn and Winter. Autumn is my favourite time of the year with it having my favourite holiday -Halloween! My boyfriend’s favourite is Bonfire night so we will no doubt have exciting plans for that too. Winter is either a love or hate thing for me but I have some surprise plans in the works which are making me super excited for it. And most of all, it will be my birthday in October which we’re going away for so I can’t wait for that too! The next round-up will be full of exciting bits and bobs. 
 
How was your summer? Are you looking forward to Autumn? 
Cheerio for now! 

Kind Natured: Deeply Nourishing

Kind Natured with Deeply Nourishing Shea & Macadamia 

Whenever I visit Boots I always check out the Kind Natured products and see if they are on offer (I tend to stock up when they are), but it wasn’t until my later part of my uni year, when I was too busy to go to the shops and was doing an online shop, that I realised they had released new products. Now there are quite a few new products but the ones that caught my eye were the Love Curls Shampoo and Conditioner, which I have a post on coming soon and this Deeply Nourishing collection of products. All of the products below are catered for very dry skin, perfect to quench your dehydrated skin throughout the summer months. 
 
If you haven’t read my past posts on Kind Natured you can do so here. Even so, I will still give you a brief rundown of the brand. Kind Natured keeps it natural, with their products being 97% natural and entirely free from Sulphates, Parabens, and Petrochemicals. Their products are cruelty-free, vegetarian & vegan-friendly and their packaging is recyclable: so as you can see, in every way possible they are animal and earth-lovers, wanting to preserve our planet and produce kick-ass products. 
Body Lotion is something I have only got into in the past year or so. I think because so many lotions can be quite clammy on your skin that it put me off for a really long time. Since having a beach hut and visiting it in all weathers (yes, even wind and rain) I have realised that we need to keep our skin hydrated and nourished, especially when the weather is harsher. 
 
This body lotion is very quick to absorb but you still feel as though it is having an effect on your skin as opposed to your skin absorbing it and then still feeling dry or itchy. I love applying this after a shower, especially on my legs which have been a lot dryer since the weather has been warmer and I have had them out more. 
Hand cream is something I usually overlook entirely, which is odd because I suffer from super dry hands and get really bad eczema on the sides of my fingers (really nice, I know). I didn’t know what to expect from this hand cream. From my limited experience with hand creams,’ they fall into one of the two categories: either super heavy oil-based creams that make your hands clammy for half an hour or useless, in that your skin immediately absorbs all product and you feel no difference whatsoever. This hand cream, however, serves up some serious skin hydration without clammy or sticky skin and without you deeming it useless. 
 
You can apply as frequently as you require. I tend to apply after my face routine, in the morning and at night. With it being part of my skin ritual it is impossible to forget this important step and make sure my hands get the TLC they deserve. 
I first tried this body scrub a few days after I received some pretty severe windburn. Now, I know I probably shouldn’t use a body scrub on the damaged or fragile skin, such as windburn, but after feeling the creamy consistency I thought I’d give it a whirl on my burnt skin which was starting to peel. It was like magic, so gentle on my sore skin but also so effective at buffing away my dead skin and softening the dry, dehydrated skin from long days at the beach hut. I couldn’t help but feel my renewed skin and constantly be surprised at its’ softness. 
 
Its’ recommended to use this once or twice a week on damp skin. Rinse with lukewarm water, and use a body lotion for maximum results and baby soft skin.

As I mentioned, all of these products are made for dry-very dry skin, however, Kind Natured do have a range of products for normal-dry skin too if that is more suited to your skin type. 

Have you tried any of these products? What do you think of them?
Cheerio for now! 

Magazine Loves

If you follow my Instagram, then you know I love a good magazine. I’m not talking about those ones that you get a free goodie with or ones discussing celebrities and frivolous gossip but rather, ones centered around topics that interest me. Topics like sustainability, alternative living, art, travel, style, stories, and articles about people who inspire me by standing for what they believe in and going against the norm. Below are some magazines that I have been loving lately. 

Peppermint 
Peppermint magazine is an Australian publication, with its content rooted from style, sustainability, and substance across lifestyle and fashion. They showcase entrepreneurs, creative innovators and thought-provoking articles about those living their lives differently to the mainstream and in the process address and aid social and environmental issues. 

For me, Peppermint has everything I have ever wanted in a magazine. Reading about real people and how they live or have adapted their lives to help and live in the most eco-friendly way possible is something truly thought-provoking and inspiring; especially when you’ve been bought up thinking there’s no other way than to simply keep filling landfills and use harmful products. For this reason, I would have to say it is my all-time favourite magazine. 

Frankie 
Frankie Magazine is an Australian bi-monthly magazine covering design, art, fashion, photography, music, travel, and craft. This magazine is full of quirky and whimsical illustrations. The articles are photographed gorgeously and wrote with tons of sarcasm, curiosities and sometimes even rudeness –but it’s awesome! The honesty that rings through the magazine is one of the main qualities that make it what it is; a quirky, cute mag filled to the brim of inspiration, beaut photos, and hilarious words. 

I have subscribed to this magazine on and off for around two years now, and over that time have learned its’ issues are a necessary item in my bag. 

Oh Comely 
Now, this is a fairly new magazine to me. I’ve been reading it on and off for just under a year now. It isn’t one of my must-haves like the two magazines above however, I do love its’ content. This magazine discusses nothing while also discussing everything. What do I mean by that? Well, in all honesty, there is nothing entirely consistent in terms of the subject matter of the articles, but still, its articles have a certain quality which warms the heart. Their articles often revolve around the seemingly mundane and yet their writers’ manage to narrate the everyday adventures in a way which cherishes the little moments and leaves you with a fuzzy warm feeling in your belly. 

Popshot 
Popshot magazine has a mixture of poetry, flash fiction, short stories, and illustrations. It is smaller in size, being around an A5 size, and is produced twice a year. Each issue’s content revolves around one theme in particular, with the magazine showcasing only the best of the best. I’d recommend this to anyone who loves poetry or shorter reads, along with any aspiring writers’.  

*Now, I do have three other magazines I’d love to share with you guys but rather than have this post too long -I thought it best to divide the list and produce two posts. Stay tuned for the next one! 

What magazines do you love? Let me know below 
Cheerio for now! 

Sunday | Dreamland, Margate

As I mentioned in my post, a colourful gem, a few weeks back we spent a day exploring the little lanes and shops of Margate ending up in Dreamland. Having never experienced it or any real arcades or seaside attractions, I didn’t know what to expect. Maybe some dodgy-looking rides that appeared to be anything but safe. Instead, it turned out to be an amazing day. Probably one of the best days of this Summer. 

There are many classic rides and attractions at Dreamland, including a Ferris wheel, half a dozen food trucks, and a roller rink. We only went on two rides; the Ferris wheel and Waltzer, but it was amazing. I have to admit, I was slightly spaced out after being on the waltzer but I managed to survive without throwing up so I’d deem it a success! 
 
I had never been on a Ferris wheel before so I was super excited to go on it but also really nervous. I never realised how sensitive the carts were to every single movement you make -so of course, I was slightly unnerved when my boyfriend started moving around. 
Each attraction, whether it be a ride, sculpture, or even just a piece of architecture, has a sign board informing visitors of the attraction, its’ origins and how it is used today. 
On our way out of Dreamland, we headed out on a less beaten track. A pathway heading around the outskirts of the attractions, taking us past some more historic elements of the resort which I assume many do not realise are even there. We passed by original architecture from the Victorian period, along with learning how, when and what the land was acquired for. I must admit, that the sign boards for each attraction within the park were something that I really enjoyed. You never find yourself wondering about the origins of funfair attractions, so it was refreshing to add a historical element to what is essentially a day of adrenaline and laughter. 
On the way out we also headed into the arcade and roller disco. This long room also holds a couple of eateries and a Morelli’s ice cream stall. There is a small seating area as well but it is, of course, not as large as the actual parlour in Broadstairs. Nevertheless, an extra lovely touch to the park. 
 
The main thing I loved about Dreamland was that it wasn’t overfull with new, modern techy attractions but rather normal fun-fair rides accompanied by post-war music and a kitschy decor which had my retro heart a flutter. I loved this restored, vintage vibe the park had about it and I think many others enjoy this quality too on their Summer days out. 
 
Have you visited Dreamland? What did you think? 
Cheerio for now! 

Kind Natured: Love Curls

Kind Natured is a brand I have previously featured on here, with their body washes, shampoos and conditioners, in this post. It’s a brand I have used for quite some time now and, quite honestly, I don’t think I could see my shower routine without it. 

In my previous post on the brand here, I stated that there were no labels stating whether the products were cruelty-free, vegan, etc. However, on their new products, they have now stated that both the shampoo and conditioner below are cruelty-free, vegetarian & vegan-friendly and the containers are all recyclable. As always, both of the Kind Natured products below are 97% natural and are free from Sulphates, Parabens, and Petrochemicals. 

Kind Natured Love Curls Bamboo & Sea Kelp Smoothing Shampoo 250ml | £4.99*
I have never paid much attention to shampoo and thought that as long as it removes the dirt then great, but it wasn’t until I tried this shampoo that I realised it can do so much more than remove dirt. My curls seem lighter without seeming frizzy or suffering from flyaways. They appear more defined and hold their curl tighter than they have ever before. 

I truly think I have found the perfect shampoo for my hair type. I usually only massage it into my roots and then let it run through the rest of my hair when it’s being rinsed out. 

Kind Natured Love Curls Bamboo & Sea Kelp Smoothing Conditioner 250ml | £4.99*
As someone with naturally curly hair, finding a conditioner that helps smooth and hydrate my hair without weighing it down or making it frizzy is an impossible mission; or at least that is what I thought until I used this conditioner. Because I could never find a conditioner I truly liked, I never use to place much importance on using it, but since using this my hair appears healthier and stronger. It is smooth and shinier without it looking flat or greasy: and in terms of frizz, I have had none since using this miracle conditioner. 

Also, you can intensify the revitalising properties of this conditioner by leaving it on your hair for five minutes before rinsing it out. 

*Now, the price point for me is very steep, especially as you only get 250ml. I would say these products are worth it, but do bear in mind that is coming from someone who wants to actively use natural/cruelty-free shampoo and someone who struggles with natural frizzy and curly hair. I get my Kind Natured products from Boots and find that, if you are going to invest in using the brand then you are better off waiting until it is on offer (usually 3 for 2 or buy one get one free) and then loading up. I usually load up when these offers are available and then I don’t have to restock until around four-five months later. 

Have you ever used Kind Natured? What did you think? 
Cheerio for now! 
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Inspire Me Lately

As a writer there are always many things inspiring me or that I feel drawn to. And rather than litter my Seasonal roundups with all these things I thought it better to neatly collect them here.

  • Carrie, from WishWishWish, posted this video on her Instagram from her most recent visit to the Red Rock Canyon. With it being a place that has always been on my bucket list, anytime anyone posts anything of those picturesque scenes from the Red Rocks it sends my heart into a routine of lusting over those dusty canyons. 
  • This Video from The Messy Heads YouTube channel. It is in connection with the third issue of the magazine, which is centred around the idea and concept of Home. I have been really inspired by the Home Issue and loved having a browse through that while trying to settle into my own home. I love everything The Messy Heads produce. From their print articles to their photography, their videos to the content on their blog. Everything they curate is so beautifully raw and authentic. I also love their contributors, particularly Isabella Mente and Haley Appell
  • Talking of Isabella Mente, I loved her video explaining her process and experience of self-publishing her book, 7, 300 days. As someone who has always wanted to produce a book, I constantly go back and forth between the idea of going through a literary agent/publishing house or simply giving it everything I have and self-publishing my own work. In this video, Isabella mentions some really important points as well as some more personal factors; and I think, that really inspired me and reignited a fire within me to write daily again. 
  • My film camera. Since finding my Film Camera from Camden Market, I have been experiencing photography in a whole new light. There are many new elements of the film which I’m adapting to, but learning something new is always so inspiring. (I will no doubt make a post surrounding my experience with film). 
  • And last but not least, is this video by Pearypie. I’ve been following her on Instagram for quite some years and have always loved her photos, but it wasn’t until around a year ago that I realised she had a youtube channel. The videos are mostly based on makeup and tutorials, with the occasional travel video thrown in too. When I say makeup videos I don’t mean the usual tutorials you usually see but rather full on sets and outfits that have been carefully curated around a specific makeup look or theme. Although most of the brands/products she uses are not cruelty-free, and for that reason, I do not use them, the actual looks she produces and end results are so creative and inspiring: especially for a basic b!tch like myself. 
I feel as though this post has been very ‘Messy Heads’ inspired, but really that is a true reflection of what has been inspiring me lately. I’ve noticed that in summer, my usual monochromatic wardrobe and more grungy vibes turn towards a more colourful and feminine style. I have found myself increasingly drawn to pale pinks and red tones, along with burnt oranges and lime greens. Yellow flowers are also incredibly desirable right now.

What has been inspiring you lately? Comment below or feel free to message through my contact page. 
Cheerio for now! 
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Podcast I’m loving | 2.0

As I have stated in previous posts podcasts are probably one of my favourite things to listen to; especially after a long day of studying or on long drives to the beach hut. Since the last podcast roundup I posted (here), my tastes have slightly changed. Sure, I still listen to some of those girly/gossip podcasts; but for the most part, it is these podcasts below which you’ll find me listening to these days.

Stuff You Missed in History Class
I’ve been listening to this podcast for around a year now. Its’ episodes are full of strange but wonderful facts that you are typically not taught at school. The narration is super easy to listen to and each episode goes into the chosen subject in depth, explaining the topic in the simplest way. It’s hard to say which episodes have been my favourite to listen to; although I will say I’m always more drawn to the ones on European Monarchs, Sunken ships, and Heroines.

Remarkable Lives, Tragic Deaths
This podcast discusses the lives and tragic deaths of famous figures who have changed history and our culture. Each episode is dedicated to a different person, and the podcasts narrators Carter Roy and Vanessa Richardson discuss the persons’ life, achievements and ultimately their tragic death. They also use voice actors to reenact some of the scenes from the person’s life.

Unsolved Murders: True Crime Stories
This one is classed as a podcast drama which discusses the mystery of cold and unsolved murders. Now, I know this one seems a little darker than the others, however, it is incredibly interesting and is almost like a podcast edition of a murder television programme. The podcast is narrated by Carter Roy and Wendy Mackenzie, along with voice actors acting out scenes depicting the murders and investigations. The unsolved cases they discuss are usually broken into a couple of episodes, so I’d recommend that if you are interested in listening be aware of which episode you are starting with so you don’t start listening half way through discussing a particular case. New episodes are released every other Tuesday.

Myths & Legends
Now I’ve been listening to this podcast for about two years now –I feel like that is a true reflection of how much I love this. This podcast is full to the brim of folklore, myths, and legends from all over the world and throughout history. The stories and tales talked about on this podcast are sometimes more popular stories of monarchs or fairy tales, like King Arthur or Cinderella, and other times this podcast covers Greek myths including popular gods like Zeus.

Unexplained
Last but not least, is this AMAZING podcast. I have always had a hard time pinpointing favourites of any kind, but when it comes to podcasts I can say without a shadow of a doubt this is my favourite. Unexplained is a podcast which revolves around -well, the unexplained. To put it in another way, each episode discusses and informs on strange and mysterious events from real life which escape all explanation. Now, to be honest, I haven’t been listening to it all that long. It was recommended to me by my boyfriend and after listening to one of the episodes, I quickly downloaded every previous episode and binge-listened to them whilst packing my things from my old house. It is narrated by Richard MacLean Smith, who is my favourite narrator of a podcast (I could listen to his voice all day), and new episodes are released bi-weekly.

What podcasts have you been loving lately? Comment below
Cheerio for now! 
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