Letters to Eloise by Emily Williams

Letters to Eloise is a heart-wrenching story that is extremely well written and had an unexpected ending. The style of the book was unusual as I’ve never read a book that’s written as a diary/letter entry before. I thought it was a nice touch to be honest and makes you as a reader connect with the book more.

I don’t know where to start with how much I enjoyed this book because I think it has such high potential with character development. Flora is a great character and you seem to be willing to learn more and more about her with every page turn.

The back story between River and Flora made me envy their relationship in a way but they are also extremely normal. We all have our fallings out with one another but River didn’t give up, he believed in what they both had. Tate however really grated on me. He was written exactly how he needed to be so you grow mixed emotions towards him. For me, he was as horrible and I disliked his character more than I do cheese and onion crisps.

It was important to have various main characters in this book especially because Emily writes about real situations during pregnancy. Everyone needs a friend like Brooke and what happens between them might be expected to happen between two friends in the real world.

There were some parts which I thought could have maybe been shortened but it didn’t make me dislike the book in any way. I think I struggled the most with trying to understand Flora and Tate’s relationship and what Tate was trying to get out of it – especially with the skiing part.

I have always said in my book reviews that I hate giving spoilers away so I tend not to speak about the book too much but this is a must read. I was finishing the book on the train and as soon as I read what I did I put my hand over my mouth. Please make sure you read this all the way through as you will not be disappointed.

*Emily Williams gave me this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Avon’s Foot Restoring Soak with Epsom Salts

I suffer with Restless Leg Syndrome which means my legs feel irritated and they can’t stop themselves from twitching. I have never been sure why it happens but I’ve noticed it’s usually when I’m tired or if my legs are too hot.

From flicking through the Avon brochure I came across a Foot Restoring Soak with Epsom Salts and decided to order it for £2.50. At first I wasn’t sure what to expect from this product as I’m usually a bit skeptical about things I haven’t used before but last night I decided to give it a whirl.

My legs thought they were doing a marathon last night, I couldn’t stop them from twitching so I decided to have a bath – I hate having baths. Using Avon’s White Lily Bubble Bath and the Foot Restoring Soak with Espom Salts, I felt like I was bathing in a dream. The epsom salts smell incredible, they smell like tea tree products and are very relaxing. You only need to apply a small amount to your bath to feel the results.

I haven’t used epsom salts before so I don’t have any previous experience with how they work but the results from these were great. After about 20 minutes I stepped out of the bath feeling like a different person. My legs felt a lot better and the pain had subsided.

Overall I would give this product five stars because it took away the pain and the twitching and I was able to sleep throughout the night. Have you ever used epsom salts before?

When you’re feeling inspired by others

Recently I have taken a little more time to sit back and read people’s blog posts rather than sitting here waiting for people to read mine. From this it has given me a positive outlook on what I need to do to benefit myself. Yes it has been a tricky few months for me as you will have seen in previous posts but it is time to turn that around and learn from it.

So far I have two weekends away planned, I’ve finally got weddings to go to as well and not just one, I have three (one I’m a bridesmaid)!! This year I am aiming to go camping a little bit more as it is a fantastic escape route even when it is raining.

I would love to move out – sorry parents but it is time I got my own space so I can decorate it with things I will stare at but will never use. I keep thinking I want to move to a city, probably Nottingham in the end but right now I am going to stay put. The thought of moving out scares me a little but it’s also an exciting adventure and it’s my adventure. There are always a lot of pressures for people in there 20s as Tiffany has pointed out in her recent post and it’s true. I have been in my relationship for four and a half years but so many things have happened during our relationship that has made it impossible for us to live together.

People’s progression through life whether that is work related, adult life related or even a trip abroad has inspired me to look for more. It is often I settle for what’s around me and I shouldn’t. Seeing people travel here there and everywhere makes me want to do the same thing but I stop myself. Why? I think it’s because I fear change and don’t feel like I could adapt in a new job right now. Plus I don’t have any savings anymore thanks to my lovely Kia Ceed car!

I have finally gone back to the gym after kicking myself off my bed! I am so pleased I’m getting back into it and I won’t give up like I have given up with everything else. Here is to a much brighter 2018 and one filled with positivity!

How is your 2018 going so far?

My resolutions for 2018

2017 was a pretty crazy year for me with ups and downs every week. I can’t say I did anything outstanding (I actually bought my own car) but I took a few trips here and there and slept in a tent through Storm Brian! It was a fun year, I got to attend my first blogging event which was brilliant as I have met so many wonderful people from it. The list could go on about what I did last year but it’s time to focus on what is happening now.

For this year I want big things to happen for me and when I say big things, I mean adult things! So what are they?

  • It’s time to move out so renting will 100% be the answer to this
  • Renew my National Trust membership and make the most of it
  • Giving up alcohol until January 1st 2019
  • Lose weight (every year)
  • Camp a few weekends over the summer (two trips booked so far)
  • Meet more friends using the Bumble app
  • Socialise a lot more
  • Taking trips to cities as I don’t explore them enough
  • Learn to play my ukulele
  • Improve my French
  • Read and review lots of books (Goodreads target is 25)

There are probably more to think of but I guess these are maybe seen as goals rather than resolutions. I am quite excited for what this year has to offer and I will be becoming more organised to achieve it all. No more sitting around staring at a blank TV, let’s get my act together and do this!

What are your plans for this year? 

Peter Pan – Derby Theatre

Peter Pan is one of my favourite Disney films so when I saw the opportunity to go and see it at my local theatre I jumped at it. I hadn’t been to Derby Theatre before so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this performance but let’s fill you in on how it went.

We all know how the original story goes whether that’s Disney’s animated version or everyone’s favourite with Jeremy Sumpter. Peter Pan pretty much sums up how growing from a teenager into an 18-year-old is scary, we’ve all been there.

Peter Pan's composer Ivan Scott plays the little old man in 'The Gingerbread Man'

With this Christmas production adapted by Mike Kenny and directed by Sarah Brigham, we are told the story through the Losties who then become the Darlings. I liked this, they made use of one another and it was different to the films. It was a great way to learn about the actors because it almost felt real, it felt like they completely changed into the Darlings. That may sound strange but you need to see it to understand.

I was extremely impressed with the energy and the vocals from Peter Pan played by Jack Brett. He filled the stage with enthusiasm and his voice was fun to listen to. Also, I think there are only a certain amount of people that could pull off those trousers! For me, I could really tell he loved performing and that’s what you want to see when you watch a theatre production.

The set design was simple yet so effective (Neil Irish). The colours for some of the staging were brilliant, my eyes were drawn to absolutely everything. The laughs from the audience when the crocodile appeared had me in stitches, no-one was expecting that one.

Peter Pan se

I really enjoyed this production because of the cast. The fact that they can all act, sing and play instruments made this one of my favourite performances I’ve ever seen. Everyone loved what they were doing and if something had gone wrong, we would not have known.

Wendy was played by Sally Ann Staunton and Neal Craig played a fabulous Captain Hook! Overall this production has a very talented cast and they deserve a lot of credit for their performance. I would like to comment on how every character was portrayed in a fantastic way but this post would get a little long.

All of you were brilliant and you have until 6th January 2018 to go and see this. It is a must! I look forward to seeing what Derby Theatre have on throughout the year.

Christmas in Berlin and Hanover

At the start of December I flew to Berlin for a bargain price of £24! I hadn’t planned anything for my trip despite reading Trip Advisor recommendations so I let my feet take me around the streets. I used Airbnb for my accommodation which cost me £68 – again another bargain for two nights. My Airbnb host gave me directions to his apartment from the airport which was a great help because I can’t speak a word of German.

Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of my room I just popped them onto my Instagram story. It was very spacious and had lots of information leaflets on the desk which was really useful.

My first day I spent following Google Maps as I was roughly 15 minutes away from the Berlin Wall. When it comes to history I am obsessed with it. I am fascinated with how the world has changed and what people did for us so I can write this for you now. The Berlin Wall was never a subject studied at school so I wasn’t particularly familiar with why it was ever built. Not knowing why gave me the opportunity to take a visit to the Berlin Wall Museum just opposite the remaining parts of the wall. This is extremely informative and definitely worth a visit if you plan on venturing over to the wall.

Of course I didn’t just go to Germany for the historical aspect, I went because their Christmas markets look absolutely incredible! Yes they do live up to expectations before you wonder what they’re like. There are lights everywhere, I couldn’t help but walk around smelling the different cuisines, hearing the laughter and looking at stalls wishing I had this in my town. I ventured to quite a few markets around Berlin and all of them had their own German twist. The memorial for the terrorist attack at one of the markets was so moving – rest in peace.

Christmas German market

One of my favourite moments from my trip was bumping into Ricky Gervais and his wife at a market. It was an extremely surreal moment and he said ‘hello’ to me as if he was David Brent. I wish I thought of filming it but it was a spur of the moment incident – I mean who would have thought I’d bump into Ricky?

There are endless things to do in Berlin but it was hard to squeeze it into two and a half days. I will be writing a separate blog post on the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe because it needs to have a dedicated post. There’s a small Anne Frank exhibition down a really interesting alley which was good to see as I never had the opportunity when I visited Amsterdam. It is self funded so please do try to visit if you can.

Hanover took me by surprise. I expected it to have more to visit than it did but walking through the Christmas markets at night was sweet. It didn’t have the same impact as Berlin’s because some were just down a street so it became extremely overcrowded. I would say Berlin loves Christmas probably a little more than Hanover.

Hanover German Christmas market

Herrenhaser Garten is absolutely beautiful although a summer visit is most likely more interesting than a winter one. This isn’t just a standard garden, it’s huge! There’s a lot of different plants to see amongst the naked statues. One aspect of the garden you will enjoy is the mosaic glass outbuilding, it is full of intriguing art.

I stayed with a friend whilst I was in Hanover and we were snowed in on my last few days but it was absolutely worth it. I had to have a Netflix and chill day because my joints and back were struggling to keep up with me after my adventures on my own.

I would love to keep talking about my trip but the word count is going up and up. Have you ever been to Germany during Christmas time?

Four ball snowman

Scrooge the Musical – The Curve

I have always wanted to see Scrooge live at the theatre because it is one of my favourite films and such a fantastic story. When I saw The Curve were having this production as their Christmas musical I instantly booked.

Scrooge is definitely a family treat for all. It was great to be at a musical with such a vast range of ages watching. Most know that Scrooge is about an old stubborn man who absolutely despises Christmas and everyone in the community that wishes to celebrate it. Until one night, Scrooge is visited by his former partner Jacob Marley (played by Karen Mann – fantastic actress) who informs him that he’ll receive three further visits from ghosts.

As soon as the curtain lifted I felt like I had been taken back to the Charles Dickens era and I was bobbing from left to right to the music. I must say the costumes were brilliant, it felt like I was watching the film.

As you’re first introduced to all of the characters you are not quite sure where to look because the stage is so full. I was looking everywhere, I wanted to take it all in and I was facinated by the designs. Trying to take in all of the different people, the costumes and the best scenery I have ever come across within a theatre production. The colours were bright, the detail on the props were outstanding and I was so happy to be there.

Vocally the performance was perfect. For me, I thought Jasper Britton (Ebenezer Scrooge) portrayed his character exceptionally well. Jasper didn’t make me compare his version of Scrooge to any of the previous films which I think is an added bonus. It was also nice to see Eastenders’ Danny-Boy Hatchard back in action and playing such a fun character. His vocals were also top-notch along with that very good cockney accent!

There were a number of hiccups during the show but the cast dealt with it so well. At first I thought the show was going to be cancelled due to a technical issue which was shortly resolved. However, the actors didn’t let what was happening distract them, they continued with their lines and even made jokes when things went wrong – it had a great reaction from the audience! By the way, Jasper Britton and Anton Stephans are a brilliant comedy act – they are perfect on stage together and bring so much presence.

This musical is one everyone will love. I will just say that the bit with the chains and the dead people did terrify me a little bit but it was worth it! Everything just flowed, I loved the choreography by Stephen Mear it was fun and exciting. The orchestra, the designs and much more. There are too many people to mention about their involvement but I would like to say you all made the show so thank you.

Everyone on that stage deserves a huge round of applause!

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