Book Review: The Break by Marian Keyes

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There is something so thrilling about a new Marian Keye’s book coming out. You just know it’s going to be like curling up on the couch, chatting with a wonderful and dear friend. You know you will fall in love with all the characters.

The break is out September 7, 2017. I was extremely fortunate to get an advanced copy to read and review.

I adored this book so much! I truly was drawn straight into the story and could see all the beloved characters so clearly, I truly felt as if I was there. This is the genius of Marian’s writing.

So, the story centres around Amy, a mother of two and her wonderful extended family. Amy and Hugh have been married a while. They love each other and their life together but it’s fair to say maybe a bit of a spark has gone from their relationship. After some truly sad events Hugh decides he needs a break from their marriage for six months, to travel around South-East Asia. He still loves Amy and everyone but feels it’s his only choice. No amount of pleading helps and Hugh leaves. I truly wanted to hug Amy and could feel every bit of her heartbreak, as if it were my own. I could also sympathise with how hard it was for Hugh to leave and stick with his decision. He truly believed it was his only choice for his mental health. I was hurt and upset along with Amy. I also felt angry towards Hugh but I couldn’t hate him.

So, we stay with Amy as she tackles being essentially a single parent again and all she must deal with on her own. I love Amy’s family as well especially Lillian, her mom. There is such a wonderful warmth to everything that Marian writes. Her characters are not perfect and have their flaws, just like all of us. That makes them even more endearing.

This story is wonderfully heartfelt, real and filled with humour. It’s about what life throws at you and staying in love as a married couple. I loved every minute of this book and couldn’t put it down.

I write this not as a huge fan of Marian(which I have been for years) but as a lover and ferocious reader of books. Marian fans you will not be disappointed. This book is everything and more. For other readers this is just a wonderful book to read which you will make you laugh, cry and so much more. I felt bereft as I finished the book. I didn’t want to leave Amy, Hugh and the family.

Its a must read. Make sure to get your copy when it’s out later this year. You will not be sorry. This book is one really great reason to look forward to September 🙂

 

J’taime Paree

Hello, it’s me again. It’s a gorgeous and sunny day in London as I write this. So for the next installment of the travel diaries, here it goes. At the end of May we spent a weekend in beautiful Paris. I have been fortunate enough to have been to Paris before but hadn’t seen too much of it. The first time I went I ran my first ever full marathon there and the second time was when I stayed one night to see Celine Dion perform there. Also, this time would be different as I wasn’t on my own.

Started the first day off with a fresh croissant and cup of coffee. This was at a café, around the corner from our hotel. The temperature was due to be a scorching 34 degrees.

 

After breakfast, we took a lovely walk alongside the Seine. We arrived at the incredible louvre, to do some exploring. It is such a huge place but amazing to see the Venus di Milo and the famous Mona Lisa. The Italian statues are something else to see as well!

 

We went to a wonderful place called Angelica’s for some tea and cake.. Then we paid a visit to Notre dame which is such a stunning cathedral. As we were walking back we were treated to woman on the street singing opera!

 

Later that evening I was surprised with a wonderful dinner cruise along the seine. The view that you get of Eiffel tower was amazing. It having been such a hot day, loads of people were just sitting alongside the river. To top it off a Celine Dion French song, called amor existe encore, came on as we were eating dinner. It was as if they knew I was on the cruise haha…

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The next morning, we went to a church called Sacre Coeur (The sacred heart of Paris). This is in the montmarte district. On top of the steps here you get a fabulous view if the city of Paris.

 

Near there we found a place called the Hardware Societe for breakfast. This was a little gem of a place. The food, coffee and the feel of the place was brilliant. I highly recommend it.

 

We took a walk to where the famous Moulin rouge is located.  I loved the film so to see the actual place was a real highlight for me. I was waiting for Nicole Kidman and Ewan Mcgregor to pop out and sing…

 

Finally it was time to head to Roland Garros for some French open tennis. I had never been before and was super excited! On my bucket list is to visit all four grand slam tennis tournaments. So I’ve now been to Wimbledon and Roland Garros. I am halfway there. After browsing the shop we made our way on Suzanne Lenglen Court for a day of tennis on the clay courts. I loved every minute. It has a completely different atmosphere to Wimbledon. I was hoping for glimpse of Nadal, as he was practicing on one of the courts. The crowd was quite big though so I couldn’t spot him.

 

After a day of sun and tennis we headed back for some dinner. Later that evening we were booked to go to the Lido, the famous French cabaret. I was in awe of how magical it was. They had a woman swallowing swords, loads of dancing, a wonderful French singer and more. There was even this grand sparkly chandelier that came out from the bottom of the stage with dancers on. It was spectacular.

 

Soon we had reached our last day.. We went to the Eiffel tower to get a good view and to be able to get some obligatory tourist pics .

 

Then we headed off to our second day of tennis at Roland Garros. This time we were on the Phillippe-Chatrier court (Their centre court)  Nadal was due to play on the other court . we did get to see some great tennis from Novak Djokovic and a great women’s match between Brady and French hopeful Mladenovic. It was a great fight between the two of them.

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Now after a lovely fun filled weekend in paris, it was time to get the Eurostar back. We never imagined that this would be quite an eventful trip back to London. So two young guys decided they wanted to have a good time on the journey back and bought a few drinks from the bar. They were in the queue in front of me. They seemed to be on a mission. About an hour into the train journey an announcement came over saying that we would be making an unscheduled stop in Calais due to disruptive passengers. I immediately thought its those two guys from the bar as they were giving the staff hassles by going behind the bar etc. So to cut a long story short it was a wait to get them off the train. Then the French border police decided the train wasn’t secure anymore. So we had to disembark and then be rechecked onto the train. This took hours. We were to due to be in London at 21.40 UK time. We ended up finally getting into London at 4am. I got home at 5.45am. I felt so sorry for the young kids. What’s life though, without a few hiccups?

 

I fell in love with Edinburgh…

Hello! So as I’ve explored a couple of wonderful places recently, I thought I would do a little blog post on them. I also will be travelling some more this year, so this won’t be the only one. As you may have read previously, I am currently in a relationship with a lovely man. So for our first ever trip together, we traveled to the beautiful city of Edinburgh. I had heard how amazing Edinburgh was and was not disappointed. Also being the huge Harry Potter fan, the draw of seeing the Harry Potter sights was truly special for me.

 

We stayed in a hotel just near the Royal Mile. We flew out late on the Friday morning. When we landed it was all lovely and sunny. I was expecting clouds and pouring rain! We checked into to our hotel and then decided to do a open top bus tour, to get a glimpse of the sights. We braved it on upper level of the open top bus for as long as we could, but it soon became cold, even with the sun.

 

That evening we went a wonderful place for dinner called Michael Neave’s kitchen and Whisky Bar. There I had a taste of whiskey. I had only ever tried a sip before when I was younger. I thought though while in Scotland, I should give some a try.  We tried two different ones with hints of toffee and cinnamon and a delicate apple/pear flavour. I enjoyed mine so much, I had a second one haha! Now onto the food… I had a lobster and crab ravioli which was amazing. For dessert I had a sticky toffee souffle with salted caramel sauce and lemon shortbread. I was literally in food heaven.

 

 

The next morning, we took a nice walk and found the Elephant House to have some breakfast. Now for all Harry Potter fans, this is where Jo spent time writing the harry potter books. I was a little enthusiastic at being in the same café, where Jo wrote some of her amazing books. The breakfast and coffee was scrumptious! The café is also decorated with pictures of elephants. Over all the ambiance, food, coffee and service I highly recommend. It had a lovely feel to the café.

 

 

We then went to a place called Camera Obscura. Its basically a world of Illusions! All the different exhibits were really fascinating and fun! The vortex tunnel though which made me feel like I was moving sideways, did make me feel a bit queasy though.

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We then made our way to Edinburgh zoo which was truly a highlight. We saw the tiger up close and personal. When we first arrived we were told that the pandas were out much to my delight. Also got to see some very sleepy koala bears. Finally, we got our turn in the panda enclosure though it was just Yang Guang(which means sunshine) who put on a show for us. He apparently is a little less clean than Tian Tian is, we were told by the zoo staff. Tian Tian (which means sweetie) was hiding in her little home. What incredible creatures they are.

 

 

After that we had a lovely Italian dinner and on our walk back, we discovered the roads were closed off. This was due to some filming. Obviously, me being a huge film fan, I was desperate to know who was there and what was being filmed. Turns out it was the new avengers film being done there. Sadly, me being a short arse , I wasn’t able to spot anyone. It would have been lovely to spot Robert Downey(Iron man) or Chris Hemsworth(Thor) perhaps. It was fun to see though how they do the filming with all the lighting etc.

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On Sunday it was time to explore the Edinburgh Castle which was amazing. It is quite a fortress. The views from up there are fantastic.

 

We did some more walking and then found the other café where JK Rowling used to hang out called Spoon. Also a wonderful café. Loved the décor. We were there for an early lunch/;ate brunch. I went for some French toast.

 

Then it was time to start heading home. However not before I spotted two Christmas shops along the way which I had to go into. the tiny thing of it being only March wasn’t going to stop me from going in. I love Christmas! So that was Edinburgh and I look forward to a return visit.

To Tash on your 33rd Birhday

To Tash on your 33rd birthday

 

So another year has gone by. Time seems to be racing away. I feel like I’ve barely blinked and I’m a year older. Edging ever closer to the big four-O! Age they say is just a number baby and I don’t plan on letting it stop me. It seems to be this time of year that I always berate myself for not being any further than I was the year before. I begin to feel like a failure. Perhaps I haven’t done everything I set out to do does that mean I’ve failed at life? 

 

Instead I’m going to reflect over the past year and the good things that have happened. 

 

Over the past year there have been some very special memories which I will always hold close to my heart. 

 

In February I got to see my gorgeous friend marry her wonderful hubby. The ceremony took place under the blue African skies, deep in the heart of bush. It was such a gorgeous lodge in South Africa, where the wedding took place. You know you are in the African Bush when you see zebra roaming around the lodge and in the early hours you could hear the roar of a lion in the distance. It was a truly incredible weekend, which I will never forget. It made my heart burst to see my friend find her happiness and to share in their special day. 

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While I was home I also got to see my beautiful friend and her group called MitzyGeorge launch their single called I am home. MitzyGeorge is a country girl group consisting of 3 extremely talented ladies. They are truly mesmerising on stage. Definitely check out their music. There is something so special and surreal about seeing one of your dearest friends performing on stage, doing what they are passionate about. Such a overwhelming sense of pride I felt. I got some quality time with my friend and her wonderful family too and I will always hold those memories dear. 

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Time also spent with my mom and family which was wonderful when I was home. I was able to give my dad a hug on his 70th birthday. I was so happy it worked out I could be there. We got to share at dance too at the Italian club. Some truly special times. 

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Another significant thing that has happened is that I’ve met a lovely man, with a very kind and gentle heart. He makes me feel beautiful and cherished. With him I can be completely myself. This is something I’ve never had before or felt I was really deserving of.

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Over the past few months there have been some wonderful moments we’ve shared. Including a first trip to the amazing city of Edinburgh and my first ever time at Roland Garros for the French open tennis. 

 

So I have a lot of things running through my head that I would like to achieve. In general I am quite a patient person but when it comes to things I want though, I want it all to happen right now.So for the year ahead I will try to give myself one big thing to try work towards. I will be a bit easier on myself and not have a list of 10 huge things to achieve within a year. Maybe that way it won’t be so overwhelming and I won’t set myself up for a fall so to speak.

 

Also I want to try not let the inner critic in me drown out every other voice. When I look at the person in the mirror staring back at me, I want to believe that they are worth something. I want to try be a better version of myself, and stay motivated. As they say you need to make your own magic. No one is going to write the book for me. I’m the author of my own story and I need to tell it. So for this year my goal is to finish or get a huge majority of that novel done. So go out and give it all you got! The only one stopping you is yourself. 

 

I know the world seems to be in despair at the moment with all that is going on. Watching the news these days is depressing. It’s so hard to keep positive and believe at times that it will get better. Being right near the area where the recent terrorist attack in London took place, it does shake your perspective up. It makes you realise what a precious gift life is. Every moment is a treasure and we need to make the most of it. Hug loved ones tighter and truly be grateful for them. I want to try not let these things crush my spirit or stop my love for life. Maybe my heart is naive in believing there is still goodness in the world but I can’t let the world change who I am. Our mind is a powerful thing. So I am going to try laugh more, worry less about the little things & stuff I can’t control(I mean worrying means you truly do suffer twice) and be less harsh on myself. I’m going make the most of times spent with loved ones. I won’t take them for granted. 

 

Here is to bring 33 and not letting go of those dreams. Here is to my 34th year ahead..

 

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I’m going to make lemonade if the months ahead decide to give me lemons. Cheesy I know but right now maybe a bit of cheese is just what’s needed. 🙂 

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This week has left my heart heavy

 

This week has made my heart very heavy. It started off with the shooting of a very talented singer Christina Gimme being shot as she was signing autographs at a gig in Orlando. She was only 22 years old. Then two days later a mass shooting at Pulse night club in Orlando, where at least 50 people were killed.

As if that wasn’t enough violence then football fans from Russia and England clashed. This overshadowing the Euro 2016 football tournament which is about standing behind your country and cheering for your team.  Where is the love of the game?

The awful and sad weeks events weren’t too end there as on Thursday English MP Jo Cox was shot and stabbed in broad daylight. She was 41 years old and a mother of 2. Their lives irrecoverably changed forever. She was just trying to do good for her community and fellow man. The 57 year old man allegedly saying he was fighting for freedom for Britain? What? How is their Mothers death going to be explained to their kids. She had been MP for less than a year. This violence just so uncessary. What a awful waste of innocent lives.

I just cannot comprehend where all this hatred comes from. I just don’t understand where the humanity has gone. To be honest I don’t enjoy always watching the news as it is extremely depressing. However when horrific events happen like this, there is no way of getting away from them.

Also back home the sentencing for Oscar Pistorious is going on. A tragic set of events for both families. Showing yet again the danger of guns and the damage they can cause.

However I believe deep down there is far more love in this world. When things like this happen it makes you realise how things can change in an instant. Life is a most precious gift and we need to make the most of every moment. Make sure the people in your life know how much you love them. Hold them a little closer and cherish that moment. The love in this world is much stronger than hate. I truly hope that the world can get to a peaceful place where a person is free to be who they are and love who they love, without any judgement or shame. Where religion or political views aren’t used as an excuse for hate or actions.

In weeks like this I appreciate my friends and family more than ever and am beyond grateful to have them in my life. It makes my sad heart much lighter knowing they are there. My heart bursts with love for them.

This quote by Nelson Mandela I believe is extremely appropriate:

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

In the face of these horrific events, I hope the people affected find comfort in support and love from people around them and that they are able to find healing in time. My thoughts and prayers are with all the loved ones of the victims. 

 

 

To Tash on your 32nd Birthday

Dear Tash,

Today you have reached 32 years. I remember all your dreams from when you were younger. You envisioned by this age you would be living in your own house, you would be a loving mom and wife. You even would have a holiday home overlooking the sea. Yes a holiday home… I know that in reality this isn’t the case as yet but there are things that you have achieved.

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Perhaps it’s time to give yourself a little credit, for some of the things that you have done. With just a little bit of savings and nothing else but your suitcase you moved to a completely new country and have made it work for 5 years and counting. You earn a living and are able to put food on the table, have amazing experiences and travel. You completed your first ever marathon in beautiful Paris. You are working on your next one and still working towards the New York and London marathon

I know that you are plagued by self doubt on a daily basis, wondering if there is anything that you will ever be good at in life. Will you ever own your own home or get married. I know you don’t feel worthwhile at times as you don’t have a degree to your name or mortgage. You feel that you have nothing to show for your 32 years. There are frequent moments where you feel invisible and undeserving. The truth is you are worth something. I know you see people move forward in life and you wonder what is wrong with you. Just trust that you are on your own journey. You are not a failure at life that you sometimes feel like.

You have a family who you can laugh and share tears with. You love them with all your heart. You have friends who mean the world to you, who came into your life and to your surprise haven’t left it. I know sometimes with your naïveté you have taken people fully into your heart. Then they have just suddenly cut contact without any explanation and to this day you still don’t understand why. I know people’s attitudes can make you feel very sad at times but it still doesn’t stop you from being the giving and hopeful person you are. Never lose that positivity or let it squash your spirit. Other peoples opinions do not define who you are.

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I know if you buy yourself something you really want or you think about booking that dream holiday you feel guilty. You worry about taking away from your future. Sometimes we have to live life in the present moment and enjoy it there and then, rather than waiting for your life to start, once everything is in place. Wear those lovely shoes you love with pride! Try not to judge yourself all the time.

 

 

So go and live, book that dream holiday and marvel at the beautiful surroundings and be in awe of where you are. Allow it to fill you up and just go breathe in the moment. Don’t let yourself be ruled by doubt, guilt or what the future may or may not bring.  Go and get that novel published rather than thinking it will never be good enough. Go and do what you are passionate about and don’t feel it’s too late. You are deserving of love. Don’t let anyone make you feel worthless and less than you are.

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Happy Birthday, just be you.

Making it up as I go along- A review

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So making it up as I go along is a collection of best-selling author Marian Keyes’ published and previously unpublished articles, essays, travel diaries and stories perfectly put together in an amazingly funny and wonderful book. Let me start with the cover. Its bright yellow, eye catching and fabulous. This is a sign of what awaits inside.

Marian starts with a lexicon of words fondly known as Keyesisms the description of the words and their use is downright hilarious. There is also a cast of characters from Marian’s life. So you know from the start you are onto a good one here.

So in this delight of a book there are a range of topics, including breaking up with your hairdresser, a laugh out loud funny account of her dalliance with lash extensions and self-tan. On the subject of hairdressers Marian gives advice on how to deal with hostile hairdressers and hold your own. There is talk of travels and experiences. One of the funniest things was when Marian unfortunately loses her sunglasses and has to buy a new pair. The world starts to look peculiar through the new glasses and then it turns out the lenses are tinged yellow. They are henceforth known as jaundiced sunglasses. I laughed till I cried.

There is a wonderful section called Marians Antarctica diary about a trip to Antartica. Through Marian’s eyes you are taken right there onto the ship, living vicariously.

 “The sea is so full of chunks of ice, it’s like driving through a white Slush Puppie.”

This is just one example of the genius of Marian’s writing.

I literally smiled the whole way through reading this book. My train journeys were much brightened. I was trying desperately to pace myself to make it last but couldn’t help it. So I read it on my journey to and from work and at night. Needless to say it didn’t take long for me to finish. Every time I opened this book to read another brilliant story, it felt like I was settling down with a friend, sharing giggles and laughs and more.

There is so much that stayed with from this book but I’ll just mention a couple of quotes:

“I’ve grasped that happiness is not a single & correct feeling and that all other feelings must be wrestled into submission. Happiness is simply one of countless emotions I will feel in my lifetime”

There is so much truth to this. During our lives we will feel so much more than just happiness. I know deep down that this is very true and I’m hoping one day I can fully grasp and accept this.

“But I don’t want to live in a state of yearning. I don’t want to move through my days not touching the sides. I don’t want my life to be deferred until everything is perfect, because that will be never. Instead I want to want what I have. Whatever that is.”

Those words truly resonated with me and I am certain it will for countless others. We always are on the search for what’s going to make us happy. I am still trying very hard to enjoy what I have right now and not what I’m hoping to have. There is definitely no quick fix to the human condition.  Marian also briefly discusses the acceptance that having children was not in the cards for her and her husband. This touches my heart deeply as I am in the same position. I knew from quite a young age that I wouldn’t be able to have children, due to a condition I was born with at birth. I have long moved to an acceptance of this and I’m hoping something else is meant for me in life, as I feel like I have a lot of love to give.

I could go on so much more about this book but I will let you discover the joy of it for yourselves.

It is a must read, warm, hilarious, witty with food for thought thrown in. There are so many feels in this book and I loved every single second of it.

 

 

A little thank you to London

5 Years ago today I said an extremely tough goodbye to my family at the airport and boarded a plane to London. I had nothing but my suitcase, £1000 to my name which I had saved; and a desire to better my life and make my dreams come true. Thanks to the generosity of my cousin and his wife, who kindly let me stay with them for a couple months while I got on my feet in a new country, I had a lucky start.

There have been extremely tough moments when I’m missing my family and friends so much and the impulse to pack everything up and return home to South Africa overwhelms me. Many nights I have cried myself to sleep due to loneliness engulfing me and frustration at myself at not being further in life than I want to be at my age.

There is a huge amount that I am thankful to London for. One of the biggest things it has given me is self-sufficiency. I am able to do things for myself and make my own decisions and this has given me a great sense of independence. I now have the courage to go out there and make my dreams come true and to take opportunities when they come. I’ve always been more introverted than outgoing but since I’ve moved to London I have found I have gained a bit more confidence. I am able to have a conversation with someone I haven’t met. I normally wouldn’t have had the confidence to even think of doing that. I am also so thankful for the wonderful friends I have made since being in London. You know who you are and I love you all so much.

Also since moving to London I have become slightly better at cooking, as I no longer have Mom’s home cooked meals. I find I can now actually make edible meals hurrah! I even bake cupcakes which don’t come out too badly. So I’m very pleased that I am not a complete disaster in the kitchen now.

Since moving I’ve had two huge dreams come true. I took myself to New York and Las Vegas to see Celine Dion’s show. I had always dreamed of seeing the sights of New York for real, not just from films and TV. I had also always wished to see Celine’s show in Las Vegas. Celine having been my favourite singer, since I was little. So off I went all on my own (I still can’t believe I was brave enough to do that) I wondered around New York taking in the sights, saw my lovely friend Lindsay who I met online and still thought it was so surreal that I was actually there. Then I flew to Vegas and stayed in the very Pink Flamingo hotel. I took a day tour out to the Grand Canyon which was incredible.

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I was on a plane and coach with one British couple and a Japanese tour group. Then it was the night of Celine’s show. I donned my sparkly green dress. Took myself off to Spago for dinner and then it was time. I was third row from the front. A video about Celine started playing and then the curtains opened and there Celine was. I could see her so clearly.

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I held back the tears as the enormity of that I somehow had made this happen for myself washed over me. I never thought I would ever get it right and here I was in Vegas and New York. Then I went to Celine’s show again on another night(I wasn’t going to go all the way to Vegas just to see it once!) and I ran into my lovely friends Cheryl and Curtis, which was a lovely surprise. Suddenly I didn’t feel so alone in Vegas.

The second dream I had come true was meeting my favourite author Marian Keyes. This was something I never thought would happen and I am beyond grateful it did. Marian not only gives so much joy through her writing and twitter but truly has one of the most giving and kindest hearts. Marian gives her time generously to all the people coming to see her. Her humility, kindness and honesty are truly inspiring. These memories I cherish forever. I think over that memory of taking a trip to beautiful Althorp house to meet Marian for the first time, with great fondness. Marian instantly makes you feel at ease and you can completely just be yourself. Marian has certainly brightened up many a sad or bad day for me.

 

Another surreal experience was attending a taping of Celine’s performance for X Factor UK. I again donned my sparkly dress and excitedly took my seat. In my defense they had said dress in something sparkly! The green dress was the sparkliest thing I owned haha! The stage manager came on before it all properly started and was chatting to the audience. Then he noticed my green dress and got me to come down on stage and do an Irish dance. I duly went and did an Irish dance. He had thought I was wearing the dress for Louis the judge who is from Dublin. It was great fun and the Tash before London, would never have done that in a million years!

The other thing I feel quite proud of is completing my first ever marathon in Paris last year. A few years ago the thought of even entering a marathon, wouldn’t have crossed my mind; never mind actually completing one. Now I’m training for my second marathon in Edinburgh and my 3rd in Berlin. We will see how that goes! I might be just a bit too ambitious there but I will be running for the lovely Starlight Children’s foundation UK, who I work for. So it will be for a worthy cause.

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Some of my other highlights are my trips to Ireland, still one of my most favorite countries. My trips to Belgium, Prague for the Christmas markets which was beautiful and France.

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I also can’t get enough of the wonderful west end shows over here. I’ve seen some incredible ones since I moved to London. Some of the ones that stand out for me are Matilda, Wicked, the curious incident of the dog in the night, Billy Elliott and of course Les Miserables.

So London a huge thank you! I owe you so much and am grateful as you have been good to me. I am sure there will be more ups and downs to come but I will find the strength to make it through. Here is to more incredible trips, experiences and dreams coming true.

One last special thank you to my best friend Kelly. You are my sister forever and always and I’m so grateful for you. I wouldn’t have made it through this long without you here in London. I love you millions my friend.

Happy 5 years London 🙂

Beauty products and bath pampering fun

Hello my lovely readers!

I hope you are all well and having a great week and weekend so far?

As I type this I am super excited as I was without hot water at my flat for four long days! I have just received the happy news that it is all fixed. I cannot explain how excited I am to have a lovely hot shower after my body combat class.

Right so in this post I am going to talk about some beauty/bath products that I have been using and my thoughts on them.

Zoella kissy missy lips lip balm- I just love the pink colour of this and it looks so pretty on the lips. I pretty much use it daily and it keeps my lips lovely and moisturised.

Zoella- scrubbing me softly body scrub and Zoella foam sweet foam shower gel. I absolutely adore the smell of these! Not only is the scent so wonderful but it leaves my skin feeling really good. I love these products so much I bought them as part of friend’s birthday gifts.

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Charlotte Tilbury – Vintage vamp eye shadow palette- I just think the colours of this palette are stunning and I love how it looks on the eyes. It has a beautiful shimmer as well for the night look. Its very versatile as you can create a day look and then just add a bit if shimmer for the evening.

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Charlotte Tilbury – Matte revolution lipstick – I adore the colour I got which is called love liberty. I wanted a darker colour for autumn but I also don’t think very dark lipstick suits me. This colour is such a lovely warm colour and I truly love it!! It also is such a moisturising lipstick and does last longer on the lips than some others. However I’ve yet to find a lipstick that will last the ENTIRE day on me. A girl can dream I suppose 😉

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Zoella Blissful Mistful –body spray- I use this every day in place of perfume and I think its smells so pretty!

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Tanya Burr lipgloss in Berry picking – This is a great autumn colour lipgloss. It also really makes my lips feel so soft.

Tanya burr nail polish in Fairy godmother- I got this as it looked like such a pretty lilac colour. It looks so gorgeous on the nails. Really loving it!

I’ve also been having more pampering baths recently as a way to de-stress and just have that time out. I went to a place called Lush where they do handmade cosmetics. I ended up buying like 7 different bath bombs. So far I have used the frozen one, guardian of the forest, intergalactic and cyanide pill. I have absolutely loved bath time with these amazing bath bombs. Not only does it smell amazing and make my skin feel gorgeous, the bath water literally shimmers and it’s beautiful. I am going back to get some for my family and also apparently they bring out Christmas inspired products and I’m excited!!!!

Are there any skin care/beauty products that you are using that you absolutely love or swear by? I have also heard of a skincare range in Ireland called Seavite. I have heard brilliant things about it and am looking at giving it a go.

Hello… sorry its been a while

Hello,

I know it has been a while since I last blogged. It has been quite crazy these past few weeks with work, family visits and a 5k charity event that I took part in. I also went to the theatre for the first time in a long time. I do really love trips to the theatre. My cousin, who is visiting from lovely Sunny South Africa, and myself at the last minute went and watched the curious incident of the dog in the night. It is a play based on the book which a lot of people recommended. It has been on my list to read and to see the show for a long time.

Curious_main

The show was incredible. It is quite a sad and intense story but it also has a lot humour in it. The effects were absolutely brilliant! I highly recommend going to see it on the London West end or if there is a tour of the show near to where you are. I still need to read the book. My list of books I want to read is quite long though so I will get to it. I am sure it will be a great read! A book I am currently reading which I’ve just started, that I cannot put down is called in bitter chill by Sarah Ward. It is a mystery surrounding a kidnapping and murder. In my next blog post though I am going to do some more reviews of films I’ve seen recently and books I’ve read. I also have started trying a few new recommended beauty products which I will speak about as well.

IBChill

In other very exciting news, it is official that I will be working at the Cheltenham literature festival. It is one of the biggest and recognised festivals in the UK. It is going to be so amazing to be behind the scenes and see how it all runs. I am looking so forward to meeting loads of interesting people there. I will be blogging about the experience.

In other smaller scale news, I am starting to worry that I will not be ready for the Royal Parks half marathon which I will be running next month. I just don’t feel I will be ready. I so badly wanted to try and improve my previous time in preparation for the London and Dublin Marathons next year. Anyway I will keep at it. I will do the best I can. I will be running for Starlight Children foundation UK. They are an amazing children’s charity who grant wishes for seriously and terminally ill children. They also do hospital work where they fund parties and distraction boxes to try help the kids take their minds off their treatments etc. They also plan these escape days where the wish children and their families, as well as children from local hospitals are invited to a wonderful day out. It just helps them get away from all the hospital visits and daily struggles that they face.

Thank you so much if you take the time to read my blog posts. I am truly grateful. New blog posts very soon.

Let me know what you’ve been up to recently or if there is a book or event you really enjoyed