How does one get into gardening?

It is rare I come across a 25-year-old that is still living at home with their parents and ends up spending money on their garden. Well for the last few weeks I have been visiting garden centres within Derbyshire and had so much fun. I have always watched Love Your Garden on ITV1 and often felt inspired by the work produced.

We’ve recently replanted our hanging flower baskets at the front of the house and last weekend my dad let me plant a flower bed under the kitchen window. I think having my own projects to work on is really getting me into taking pride in the garden. Gardening has never really been a thing for me as my joints can’t cope with the extra work. Also I cannot stand having mud on my hands or in my nails, it freaks me out.

Flower bed under the window

I think working on the front and back garden with my parents has been such a great experience. We’ve had a lovely time bonding and we’re all coming up with ideas to improve the garden for us all. Who knew I would enjoy spending money on plants more than food? Yep, my bank balance keeps dropping because I’m going to Garden King or Planters at Bretby on the weekends.

Just an FYI pulling 4ft blackberry thistles out of the ground is a wonderful stress reliever even if you do prick your fingers a few times. We’ve cleared so many weeds out and the garden has improved massively! Onwards to the next step in the garden.

Plants in the rockery

Bioré Limited Edition Zebra Deep Cleansing Pore Strips Review

Bioré nose strips are my favourite blackhead removing tool about! I only ever buy them from Superdrug when they’re on offer because I’m not madly in love with them for £9 and I’m a tight git. I use a Bioré nose strip once a month roughly as I don’t suffer too badly with my nose pores and I don’t want to waste strips for three blackheads.

My boyfriend has really large pores on his nose so we decided to do a little experiment with him. The first time I put a nose strip on him, the results were crazy. I am fascinated by blackheads (I’m sorry, I just don’t know why) and I feel like we emptied half of his nose. Poor guy, he must hate me! We were both impressed with the results but this left his nose quite flaky afterwards.

We left it around 2 weeks to do another strip as he had a job interview so I said he needed to look pretty for it! I thought the amount would be minimum because we did one not so long ago. After 25 minutes we decided to peel off the nose strip and here are the results.

Blackhead removal using nose strips

Apologies if this is not that clear but the strip was so full and some of the blackheads were quite long. Overall we’re both really happy with these and I would happily buy them again with a five-star recommendation. Superdrug usually have offers on and sell them for around £6 for a pack of six.

If you have tried these strips please let me know what your experiences have been?

The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest is a trivial comedy featuring serious people falling in love trapped in a web full of lies. This is one of Oscar Wilde’s most successful plays and will certainly make you laugh. As we all know ‘earnest’ stands for being honest and truthful whereas this play is completely the opposite.

I have never seen or read anything about The Importance of Being Earnest but I saw that a local theatre group were performing it during April so I decided to get tickets. Going in and not knowing anything about the show let me be open-minded with no expectations.

The Ashby Dramatic Society are based in Ashby with their own little theatre. This gives you that professional feeling and a great evening out. Tickets were £9 each and off the play began.


Jack pines after and wishes to marry Algernon’s cousin, Gwendolen but she has one difficult mother to convince, Lady Bracknell. She by the way was played by a fantastic actress and had me laughing every time she said something. I love sarcasm! As the story unfolds more and more secrets come out. Jack pretends to have brother called Earnest who Cecily thinks she’s in love with. Cecily is looked after by Jack in their swanky house in the country.

Jack proposes to Gwendolen but to her his name is Earnest and she says yes! She’s always wanted to marry an Earnest not a John, not someone else so Jack has to continue to pretend to being Earnest. As the lies continue Jack speaks to Algernon about his fake brother Earnest and Algernon seems curious to meet Cecily.

Jack mentions that Earnest has passed away to members of his country house to cover up his lies. However, Cecily and Algernon (Earnest number 2) are already together on a walk and this is where it all gets messy. I won’t say what happens as it’ll spoil the story if you don’t know it.

I have to say the relationship between Jack and Algernon worked really well. The gentleman that played Algernon really got into character which made it more effective. He was so relaxed and pulled it off, his facial expressions were exactly how posh people portray themselves in films.

All of the cast did so well! There were minor hiccups as it was the first night but no-one fell out of character, it was great. I want to praise everyone in that performance because there were so many lines to learn and they really did pull it off. The set and props were brilliant and you can’t fault what they had put together. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and will be keeping an eye out with what the Venture Theatre come up with next! A five-star performance from me.

A weekend in Verona, Italy

I fell in love with Italy back in 2016 when I took a trip to Pisa and Florence – oh my it is stunning. This year I thought about revisiting Italy but I wasn’t sure where to go for four days at Easter as I know Italy is quite religious. Myself and Vanessa spent endless evenings trying to narrow down places and eventually we Googled Verona and fell in love.

We were both struggling with stress at work and it was exactly the break we needed. Flights were booked through Ryanair for more than we had hoped but Ryanair being Ryanair, the page froze and oh the price went up by £30 – shock. I always use Airbnb for my accommodation because it is far too expensive to stay in a hotel when you receive exactly the same benefits in someone’s home.

I was so excited to go on holiday with Vanessa and she’s recently come back into my life within the last year and it was great to catch up properly.

About Verona

It is an absolutely stunning city with so much to stand and stare at. The architecture of the buildings are mesmerizing, the people are in a world of their own and the food is delicious. There are maps at the airport which I definitely recommend taking, it’s where you buy your bus tickets into the city centre.

These are just a few snaps from our first day as we couldn’t officially check in yet. We dropped our cases off at our Airbnb and headed out to explore. We came across this castle like building on the way into town and it was beautiful. The castle has a bridge attached to it and of course I had to have a picture because the views in the background were incredible.

Using the map was really helpful because in Verona there are a lot of things to see but they’re spread out across the city. Without it we probably would have missed half of the churches we visited. One of the places both Vanessa and I wanted to visit was Romeo’s House / Balcony which seemed to be a difficult task to find. We now know why because it is the most pointless thing. We walked a fair distance to see absolutely nothing so that was good.

Now one thing you MUST go and see is Juliet’s House / Balcony – featured in Letters to Juliet. Who would have thought you’d be queueing in the street to go and have a look at a balcony, well we did. Once we were in we ended up reading some of the letters and yes you will see a santury towel on the wall – creative I know?

You can go inside and have your picture taken on the balcony but we didn’t do that so I’m not sure how much that is.

The food tastes incredible but unfortunately we didn’t do any swanky dining so I haven’t got any recommendations for you. However, I do recommend you try and eat a little outside the city centre because that’s where the hidden gems are. Vanessa ate a delicious pizza for 5 euros. I would say a lot of my money went on buying drinks because they charge a lot more for bottled fizzy pop and we drank a lot of hot drinks whilst we were out.

I could keep talking about Verona but you may switch off from here and I still have Venice to talk about! I did have something written before but WordPress lost all of my work so apologies if I’ve waffled a little.

A day trip to Venice

Did you know you can take a trip to Venice for 18.10 euros return from Verona? Well you can and it only takes 1 hour and 27 minutes so why on earth not? I felt awful for making Vanessa go to Venice (read her blog to find out why) but in the end I think she was really happy we went, I know I was.

As soon as we got off the train it was like being in Victoria Tube Station – ridiculously busy. The first thing we decided to do was to go to the nearest restaurant and order pizza. Now the pizza in Verona is 5 euros and the pizza in Venice is 15 euros. I died inside but it was so worth it – look at those mushrooms!!!

It was very busy in Venice and that didn’t change. We sat by the river for a while just to get out of the crowds and watched the boats and river gondalas go by. We didn’t use Google Maps for our day out as we fancied a little adventure. We walked into the main square and then headed down the side streets to find these unexpected views.









Venice is a MUST see. I am so glad we went for the day but I wish I saw more of the city as it seems we missed quite a bit. I think if I was to visit again I would potentially stay in Verona as it was a lot cheaper than Venice.

So there you have it, a shortened version of our trip to Italy. I could talk for hours about the trip because the city c’est manique. I will be visiting again to see everything else I missed. Have you ever been to Venice or Verona?

The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton

I picked this little book up from my local RSPCA charity shop before Christmas and began reading in January. Yes January and I have only just finished. The front cover is exciting, it makes you wonder what the book is about and the blurb has you gripped.

There are two main characters, Yasmin and her ten-year-old daughter Ruby who go on an adventure to find Matt. Ruby is deaf and the book is well written to support this. I like that British sign-language has been used and it is clear research has gone into the book.

You get the impression that The Quality of Silence would be a page turner as it’s been described as a ‘relentlessly tense thriller’. Haha okay, it definitely isn’t. I liked the book that much, I spilt my drink over it twice. Here’s where my review goes right down hill…

What a yawnfest. I am so disappointed with this book. It’s utter shite. Sorry Rosamund Lupton but I have had to force my way through the whole book which has taken a whopping four months to read. I gave up with Gone Girl after 125 pages because that was naff but I needed to know what had happened to Matt (the dad) on his trip to Alaska.

We spend at least 280-300 pages getting to Matt’s location and the book is 377 pages long. The car journey’s felt like they would never end. I don’t need descriptions of every minor detail, I was bored stiff. Nothing happens at all, Yasmin bumps into a few people at an airport and that’s it.

Oh here’s the twist for you. Matt has been missing and presumed dead by local residents as the village he was staying in caught fire and killed 24 people. Only 23 live there and there was an extra body so everyone thought it was Matt. Here’s where it gets interesting. Not. Yasmin and Ruby finally find Matt in a aputiak that he built – wow I wasted so much time reading this to find out he was alive and living in ice. That made my day.

I do have to commend Rosamand for her research into the terms, the Alaskian culture and the detail of the places but crikey, nothing else was thought about. This would be a 1/10 rating for me and I don’t recommend. However, if you have previously read it please let me know what you think?!

I have taken a break from blogging

I have had to take a small break from blogging because I have some personal things going on at the moment. Unfortunately the doctors have found something unusual and I need to undergo further tests to see what it is. As much as I love to blog, my health comes first and that’s what I am focusing on at the moment.

I’ll be back as soon as I can but I know you’ll all respect my decision. Thank you x

Why I have decided to stop drinking alcohol

I have never really been a weekly drinker, a part from when I turned 18 as that was an experience in itself – just get it out of your system. Most of us love to have a drink now and again and who doesn’t love a cocktail evening with friends?

Writing a post like this may put people off wanting to work with me or write guest posts for me but my blog is about being honest to myself and hiding nothing because I am human. If you are wanting to know why I have quit drinking alcohol I guess you should keep reading…

On December 30th I went out with some friends to our local Hungry Horse pub. I ate food like Sensible Sam would do on any occasion and cracked open a bottle of wine called Sam’s Island. Yes Sam’s Island is a wine and I was over the moon one was named after me! First bottle, absolutely fine, I felt normal, I remember drinking it and remember everything we did. J’ai fini.

Now I ended up getting myself into the danger zone by buying a second bottle of Sam’s Island. It went okay until the second half of the bottle – what happened? I don’t know what happened. This is where I have absolutely terrified myself because anything could have happened to me and I wouldn’t be able to tell you if it was true or not. I could have been hit by a car and I would only know from injuries not by memories.

I woke up on New Years Eve still drunk and I had slept for hours, what an embarrassment. I had no idea how I got home, I had no idea what time I got in or where we ended up after the pub. This really put things into perspective and I had the worst hangover. I had the shakes, a temperature, I couldn’t walk properly. It just didn’t seem to feel like anything I have ever experienced before.

Since December 31st I have not had a drop of alcohol and although when everyone else is drunk around you and you’re sober you kind of get left out, I don’t care, I am safe. I told myself I will not have any alcohol until January 1st 2019 but at this rate, I have no interest in drinking.

People have said I’m mad but I’m not, I’m sticking to my guns and stopping myself from getting in that mess ever again. Some have asked if I was spiked but I don’t know and it is sad if that did happen to me but right now I’m happy with the way I am.

Me with Sam's Island wine