Tag Archives: Birthday

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

Advertisements

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

Matilda At 30 – Roald Dahl & Quentin Blake

Hey Everyone!

Welcome to October! The leaves are changing, it’s definitely getting colder and Autumn is fast upon us. What is perfect about this time of year is it’s the right time to get cosy on the sofa, in a chunky blanket with a book.

Before my Read The Year post for September, I wanted to share with you the news that Roald Dahl’s Matilda was published 30 years ago today. Happy birthday Matilda!!

I can’t believe it’s 30 years old – only two years older than me! It’s fascinating how it’s stood the test of time. That’s because it’s absolutely brilliant!! I have so much love for Matilda in my heart. The message that good will always conquer evil is one to remember, even when we feel most defeated. Also, the comfort and joy we can get from a good book cannot be understated. For Matilda, it’s all she has at some points in her life.

By pure coincidence, I’ve had a really Matilda orientated weekend. I went to Manchester to see the touring cast of Matilda the Musical. It was awesome! Just as amazing as when I went to see it in London. (see here for information!) I have a huge swell of pride about this as it started in my beloved Stratford upon Avon. It’s grown into this incredible production which is now being shared across England. Go and see it if you get chance, you won’t be disappointed!

To celebrate 30 years, Quentin Blake has released a number of drawings and illustrations which reimagine Matilda as an adult. Blake shows Matilda as a poet laureate, an astrophysicist, a special FX artist, a world traveller and the CEO of the British Library. I chose the latter cover to buy to mark this special occasion. Also, in my opinion, it’s the most likely career I think Matilda would have. Also, how beautiful is this cover?!

In true Quentin Blake style, the illustrations are just awesome. It’s so clever to be able to see the potential lives Matilda could have had. The opportunities are indeed endless. Regardless, it’s a beautiful book with the original story and illustrations within. What a relief this has been republished for the world to consider where the incredible little girl would be now.

So, happy birthday Matilda! I hope this novel continues to give hope to those who need it, shows that good will conquer evil and shares the love of learning. Matilda, you are a beauty.

Happy reading everyone!

Big love.

24 Comments

Filed under Books, Children's Literature, New Books, Weekend Trips

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 my 27th 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

20 Years Of Harry Potter

Hey guys!

Can you believe it’s June?! 2017 is absolutely flying by; I can barely keep up. However, this month holds a special anniversary. On June 26, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone will turn 20 years old. I genuinely cannot believe that this life changing book was published 20 years ago. 


I remember being 7 years old and when I first read this book. As soon as I started it, I wanted to be a part of it. I was a geeky little kid who wished so much to be able to go to Hogwarts. I wanted to be in Gryffindor, I wanted to learn spells and be best friends with Hermoine. 

I loved reading anyway as a child but this showed me at quite a young age how special books are. It’s something I try and promote every day in my classroom. 

To mark this occasion, Bloomsbury have published amazing versions of The Philosopher’s Stone in house colours. If you’re an avid fan you would have been sorted on the Pottermore website, I know for sure I have! It was this house I brought today: Gryffindor. 


I absolutely love it. In fact, I have no embarrassment in saying just how excited I was to see them. VERY EXCITED indeed. 

Growing up with this book, like millions others, means that I feel it is a part of me. It shaped me as a child. It taught me to be tolerant and dream big. Anything is possible of course. 

The Gryffindor copy is lovely. It’s black with the red crest on the front with the key characteristics of those in this house: courage, bravery, determination. The edging matches the house colours. Very fetching for any bookshelf indeed! 



I love it. I absolutely will have to get the other houses. You can’t just have the one can you?! Ah Ms Rowling, what a fabulous lady you are indeed. What an indescribable thing you have created. 


Big love xx

26 Comments

Filed under Harry Potter, Literature

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