Category Archives: Birthday

Thirty 🎈and 2000 Followers!🥳

00f875b0-6de1-44a0-b395-7a33020aa867

Hey Loves!

How are you all doing? I hope you’re embracing July but I am wondering where the sunshine has gone! I’m also quite shocked that after this week, we have one full week left at school. I’ve not seen the majority of my colleagues since March and I do miss them. Such strange times indeed! I’m so glad I’ve got you guys really.

First of all, I was really surprised to notice that I’ve got 2000 followers now! Wow!! 2000 of you lovely people like my small patch on the internet. Thank you so much! I’m so grateful and honoured. You’re all awesome!

So this week I turned thirty! The big 30! It sounds silly but I’m genuinely shocked. Where has the time gone? I don’t feel any different really. Should I? I always strive to be the best I can be so in that sense nothing has changed. Anyway, before this turns into a barbled stream of consciousness of what I should be feeling and thinking, I wanted to share with you some snaps of the day and my list of 30 things I’d like to do in the next year. It’s changed a fair bit due to the current epidemic but I am fairly settled with it now. I like a list so this was a perfect present to myself!

img_2742

30 Things I’d Like To Do In The Next Year
– Go to a book signing of a writer I like
– Read all 23 of The World of Peter Rabbit Collection books
– Visit a new country
– Make a donation to charity
– See a show on opening night
– Plant a tree
– Explore somewhere new in the UK
– Sit in row 1 on a plane
– Re-read all the Harry Potter books
– Visit Red House
– Visit a castle
– Name a star
– Watch the sunrise
– Record a video for my future self
– Eat at a Michelin star restaurant
– Write a sentence every single day for a month
– Have afternoon tea at the Ritz in London (or equivalent)
– Go to a Christmas market
– Achieve and maintain target weight
– Complete the Banksy Trail in Bristol
– Have a zoo keeper experience
– Stay in a National Trust cottage
– Read one of the ultimate classic novels
– Write a story about the animals that visit us at home
– Buy a milestone handbag
– Buy the site for my blog
– Do a random act of kindness
– Leave a note in a book for someone to find
– Read a book published on my birthday
– Adopt an animal

img_2746

I’m quite pleased with the variety in that list. I’ve been doing parts of this before my birthday. I’d plan visiting new places to break up the terms but of course, lockdown prevented most of that. You all know that I’ve been re-reading the Harry Potter books and reliving my childhood youth with that. I spent a day reading the Peter Rabbit Collection and made a decision about which my favourite is: Mrs Tittlemouse. I found my visit to Hill Top so inspiring last year. It’s magical seeing the places that inspired such amazing tales. They’ve been a staple of many childhoods, that’s for sure. Lastly, I donated my birthday money to Mind, a charity that is very close to my heart. If you’d also like to donate or research the work of the charity, click here.

It would be awesome if my fellow blogging friends could recommend a classic read for me. There’s so many but what do you think is the ultimate classic? What would you suggest for that?

If you’ve got any suggestions for anything in the list, let me know!

Lastly, please join me to celebrate my birthday by having one of my favourite things in the world: cake! Mine was seriously cute! 🦔

img_2755

Take care everyone! I’ll be back for more reviews soon!

Big love all xx

img_2847

60 Comments

Filed under Birthday, Follows

Blog Birthday!

Hey Everyone!

Just a short one from me today to celebrate my little blogs birthday. 5 years old. I remember the day I started it. My school was going through the process of closing down and I needed something, a little project, to keep me going. I loved books and I was forever baking. Thus, booksandbakes1 was born. I’ve never looked back!

I wanted it to be a place for me to talk about the books I loved. I read through my first ever post this morning and it’s still the same for me. I never really expect anyone to read it or reply but I love it when they do. It’s always a surprise to have so many amazing people comment and check in. It’s a really special community.

There are three very special blogging friends, who have been with me since my very first day. Thank you, always.

There’s literally hundreds of blogs I’m inspired by daily. It really does feel like one massive family. I’m really humble to be a small part of it.

My plan for today is to read and maybe bake something. Have a beautiful day everyone!

Big love to you all xx

99 Comments

Filed under Birthday, Blog

BIRTHDAY Explorations – Gunby Estate, Hall and Gardens

Morning Lovely People!!

Yesterday was my birthday so to celebrate my lovely family and I went and did a little exploring. We visited a beautiful place called Gunby Hall in Lincolnshire. As you may be aware, we really enjoy visiting National Trust places and learning all about the people who lived there.

This year, the trust are celebrating 75 years of having this property and the best thing about that is, despite having tenants until 2010, the property hasn’t changed much. Dated from 1700, we were lucky enough to see some black and white photographs which show the rooms haven’t changed much at all.

The building is grand and you can see yourself living there quite easily. It’s one of the few properties I’ve visited where you can see modern(ish) touches. I do have a bit of a thing for really beautiful wallpaper and this place has its own far selection. This below was my personal favourite.

For me this property is a tale of luck. There were plans to fell 800 trees and flatten the estate to make an airport for the Second World War. Thankfully, this did not happen so we are able to enjoy everything this has to offer still today. The bright, airy rooms live on to tell their story some 300 years later.

It wasn’t just about the hall here. The gardens are stunning, with the Victorian Walled Garden helping to protect the gorgeous flowers from the recent rain. The roses were sublime and make me think of the roses at home. The gardens are living, breathing splashes of colour. It was so easy to get lost there, mentally. I especially liked how they’ve trained their apple trees to grow over an archway.

A personal highlight was the opportunity to go on a tractor tour of part of the working estate. There’s 1500 acres of land here with working farmland. So these tractor tours only run for one day. It was awesome! I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life. We also saw four deer jumping about the corn fields. What a treat for my birthday!

If you’re interested in visiting this estate, and I couldn’t recommend it more, please click here for more information.

Now, I’m sure you’ve seen from the subtle hints throughout this post that it was my birthday. (I’m not even going to apologise for this!) For me it meant that I could have a day off from exam marking (still feels endless) and I could readdress the balance between my living life and my working life. It was so important to spend quality time with my family. Life is all about making memories after all. I’m so so lucky because where I live currently looks like my own personal florist.

To end the day we had tea at an all you can eat Brazilian steak house which was great. Who doesn’t love endless meat? I even squeezed in a pudding – lord only knows how. I love cake so I’m assuming that’s not too predictable. I’m so so full today though. Cake for breakfast? Maybe not. However, I give you permission to! The staff were so lovely and all sang to me – including the rest of the diners! The atmosphere was electric.

I know that I’m behind on my beloved blog. I’ve not been reading too much so I’ve not written the May review, read the June book or even decided or bought the July one. However, it would mean a lot to me if you guys did a little something for yourself today. I know you’ll read any reviewing I do when I get back. I know you’ll be patient with me whilst I catch up on any amazing posts that I’ve missed. Basically, thank you for supporting me and seeing another birthday with me!

Big love to you all. Happy July!! Summer is here! Xx

35 Comments

Filed under Birthday, Days Out, Gardens, National Trust, Photography, Places, UK

4th Blogiversary 🥳

Hello Lovelies!!

Just a quick post from me today to reflect upon my little blog because yesterday, 25th May, it turned four years old! I can’t believe it!

Every year I feel like I say the same thing which must be so boring for you all. I tend to just gush with gratitude and marvel in how amazing this community is. I’m incredibly grateful for the love and kindness I get on here.

However, this year I’d like to share with you a few things I’ve learnt along the way.

  1. It’s absolutely ok to not post something every day / regularly. I admire people who do this! They’re extremely talented. Personally, sometimes I just don’t want to or I feel like I don’t have anything worthwhile to say or (most likely) I’ve done a 12 hour day at work and I’m about to drag myself home to mark some exercise books. Regardless, I know the community will welcome my next post with open arms when I return. They do it for everyone.
  2. We can’t all like the same thing. I mainly blog about books, places I’ve visited or a few photos here and there. Whilst this is perfect for me, it may be that I blog about a book / place which you absolutely dislike. That is fine! How boring would the world be if we all liked the same thing?! 🤗
  3. Offer support back. I mentioned in the first one that the community always welcome you back with open arms, but give something back. Leave them a like, tell them you’re pleased to see them. We’re all behind a screen here so none of us really know how the other is or what insecurities they may be feeling. Reach out to someone new. Make them welcome. I wouldn’t have got this far without the support of some of my fellow bloggers, especially those from the start.
  4. Have realistic goals. Whether this be for scheduled posts or word counts or number of books, keep it realistic to you. Don’t compare what you’re doing to everyone else. It’s not a competition on here – it’s a network, a community. I’ve never set a target of how many posts or anything like that. For me, my goals are to keep in touch with the bloggers I follow now and post whenever I feel like it. I do have one goal this year and that is to read 100 books. So far, I’m on 42! 😎
  5. Be kind, always. I know I have flaws. I miss posts that people have spent hours crafting. I forget to check notifications after a long, challenging day at work. None of that matters if you show kindness with it. I apologise (a lot)! I do catch up or try to at least. Inevitably, there will be something people miss. That’s absolutely ok! I’m really really fortunate. In four years I’ve never received any hateful or hurtful comments. This is the place where you can write what you want! Your blog is for you, after all.

That’s it really! But they’re huge lessons to learn and I really value learning them. I want to be a positive support on here, to everyone.

So to start this lovely Sunday, I’m off to celebrate the life of the amazing Judith Kerr now. How many generations have been shaped by her writing?! Such a loss, but what a life! ❤️

Honestly, thank you to each and everyone one of you who have stopped by, commented, liked, and stuck with me over four years. I’ve nothing but love and good feelings for you all! I can’t wait to see what the next four years bring!

Big love all. Xx

52 Comments

Filed under Birthday, Blog

Happy 3rd Birthday!

Hey Everyone!

Hope you’re all doing really well and enjoying the best that May has to offer. I’ve reached half term! What a massive relief.

Anyway, today I received a really exciting notification.

I can’t believe my little blog is three years old! I’m quite shocked at how my little space on the web has evolved over the last three years. It’s something I’m incredibly proud of and I’m proud of being a part of this amazing community.

There’s so many bloggers I’d like to thank but I hope you know how important you are to me. We’re like a family on here and the support is overwhelming. Some of you have been with me since my first day and I’ll never forget that. To my newer followers, I can’t wait to get to know you better and join in with your journey too.

To mark the three years, I thought I would share three facts about me and blogging with you all.

  1. I’ve only ever reviewed about books I’ve bought myself. I take great enjoyment from visiting bookshops, feeling the books in my hand and buying them. There’s nothing better!
  2. I never follow a blogging schedule. I blog when I can and when I feel like it. There’s been times when life gets in the way and I just don’t seem to have the ability to find the words I need, so I’ve left it. That’s completely normal.
  3. I will always aspire to do better: to see more, to read more, to do something outside of my ordinary world. That’s why I started to blog about different places I’ve visited. I really enjoyed seeing beautiful photos from all around the world from many blogs on here. There isn’t enough time to see everything so I really appreciate those posts. I hope my posts about little visits give you an opportunity to see somewhere new. Just think about the beauty we can share together.

Lastly, my heartfelt thanks. Thank you for accepting me and my little space on the internet with open arms. You’re all wonderful.

Big love xxx

44 Comments

Filed under Birthday, Blog

Birthday Girl!! 

Hey guys!

Just a quick post for you this morning because it’s my birthday and I wanted to share this with you! I always feel incredibly lucky and overwhelmed because it’s a time where I feel so loved and accepted.

It’s my second birthday away from my family which is always difficult. I’m a real home bird but I love where I work and where I work is a fair few miles away. Moving away gave me such independence; I wouldn’t be who I am now if I hadn’t done that. But that’s why weekends like the London weekend really matter and days like birthdays are special.

So, being as you lovely bloggers are a part of my life, I wanted to share this with you. It seemed fairly appropriate, not just for myself. Time to make this next year on this earth count!


So whilst I’m surrounded by my wonderful students today and marking GCSE exams, I’m going to be thinking what my next dream is.

Have an amazing day everyone! Eat lots of cake!!

Big love xx

41 Comments

Filed under Birthday

Happy Birthday Blog!


Hey all! 

I hope you’re well. I’ve had a crazy busy week with the two English Literature GCSE exams so I missed the fact that it was my blogs 2nd birthday on the 25th. I’m only 2 days late…


I can’t believe I’ve been on here for two years now. Unbelievable. Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming. I’ve communicated with some fascinating people. Without you, my experience wouldn’t have been as amazing! 

I feel like a bit of a fraud… I don’t read as much as I used to and I definitely don’t bake as much as I used to. But, I blog when I can. I like to think my blog has become more than that anyway.  Thank you for being so accepting of that fact! I’m sorry I miss posts and discussions. I do try and catch up. The love and support from the blogging community is wonderful. With summer approaching, I will try and increase my time with you all. 

To celebrate this little birthday I’m currently reading Into The Water by Paula Hawkins. I’m very excited about this I have to say. LOVED The Girl on the Train so I have high hopes! My plan for this half term is to read as much as I can, preferably in the sunshine (if it stays). 


My (hopeful) reading list:

  • Finish Into The Water
  • The Keeper of Lost Things – Ruth Hogan
  • Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher
  • Millions – Frank Cottrell Boyce (a work related read!) 

It’s small and humble, but realistic. I get really saddened because I’m usually too tired to read. I know that my aim of reading 100 books a year is slightly optimstic. I’ve only done it once out of two years. So, I think this list is a good way of not being overwhelmed or frustrated with myself. 

Thanks for sticking around for the past two years. Here’s to the future! 

Big love xx

51 Comments

Filed under Birthday, Book review

Beatrix Potter – 150 Years Young



Today marks a special date in the literary world. It is the 150th birthday of the one and only Beatrix Potter. The legacy she leaves behind is remarkable. She was a keen writer, illustrator and sheep farmer. Her beautiful house is available to look around. It is as she left it, with her nick-nacks placed as she wished. The National Trust are looking after her property and grounds now. 

To celebrate, a few weeks ago I found this lovely looking book from a National Trust shop. I can’t wait to learn more about the books I loved growing up. There are some beautiful photos in this book too. 


There have already been special coins by Royal Mint released earlier this year to mark this occasion. I’ve been on the look out but I’m yet to find one! I’ll definitely keep trying though! (Images below from Google) 


Today, the Royal Mail have released new stamps as well to celebrate this amazing woman. They are so cute! I will have to get myself a set of these. (Image from Google) 


So, I’ve been thinking about how I can mark this birthday in my own way, in a way that’s special to me. I’d love to visit her house, but the chances of that are quite unlikely due to distance. Therefore, I’ve decided that this summer I am going to read my favourite Beatrix Potter stories, in the garden, in the sunshine. There’s no bigger tribute that I can give as one person. Without people reading her stories, her legacy would have died long ago. Let’s keep the magic alive. 


A hearty thanks to Beatrix. You’ve made many a childhood more exciting and adventurous. You’ve made children love the outdoors and animals. I have vast memories of reading these stories at my Grandma’s house as a youngster. 

Finally, it’s important to remember this:


Beatrix Potter lovers out there, what are you doing to mark such a special birthday? Have you been lucky enough to get one of the 50p coins yet? 

Big love all xx

19 Comments

Filed under Beatrix Potter, Birthday, Children's Literature, Literature, National Trust

Birthday! 

Hey guys! 

Hope you’re all having a great week. Just a little post because today is my birthday! I’m really excited, just like a child. But, who cares?!

It’s a strange birthday because it’s my first one without my family. I’ve always been lucky that since I’ve been away from home it’s fallen on a weekend. Last year, I was at home because my school has closed down. Nevertheless, we celebrated at the weekend though and that’s good enough for me. 

This years birthday is spent at school with classes all day and a chapel visit in between. I’m hopeful for a great day. 

So I’m wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday! You all deserve to feel as happy as I do right now. AND don’t forget this:


Big love to you all x

72 Comments

Filed under Birthday

Blog Birthday & 500 Followers 

Hey guys! 

So, I woke up to two amazing notifications this morning….

Firstly, my little blog now has 500 followers!! What?! That’s crazy! Thanks so much everyone for stopping by and just being a huge part of my blogging experience. I can honestly say that this platform is so supportive and welcoming. It’s just a lovely community. I’m so lucky to be a part of it. 

Secondly, yesterday was my little blogs birthday! A whole year on WordPress. I can’t really believe that either! I can’t believe I was asleep when these notifications came through. Nevermind. Happy birthday (and 1 day) to my little space on the internet. I have big hopes for the future and I really hope you will all stick with me to see it happen. 

I started this blog to keep track of what I’ve been reading and doing, a little online diary as it were. But, I never expected to learn so much from different people, from all walks of life. I’ve seen photos of places I’ll probably never get to experience. I’ve heard about books that we are all passionate about, shared our memories and experiences of them, as well as our dislikes. 
Finally, I just need to say… 

Big love x

79 Comments

Filed under Birthday, Follows