Blog Birthday – 7 Years!

Hey Book Lovers! 📚

I am so happy to tell you that it is now half term! Thank goodness for that. It means I will be around much more which is good. It also means I’ve got more time to read! I’ve got an ever increasing to be read pile that I am planning on getting down but first I want to celebrate with you all my blog birthday! The official date is the 25th May but that was exam day for my students so I have to admit I didn’t look at my blog until quite late. Regardless, 7 years ago I set up my blog with very low expectations. I just wanted a place to log my favourite books, bakes and places. I’m really proud that I’ve stayed true to my roots these 7 years but also had the best time with the blogging community.

Despite working, I did manage to do a couple things to celebrate my little blog’s birthday. First of all, I went to my local Waterstones. This, as I’m sure you all know, is dangerous because I always leave with a bag of books. I have absolutely no will power so I can never just buy one. Yet, this is what life is about; doing the things you love. Hopefully I’ve got some brilliant ones here so do let me know if you’ve read any and where I should begin! There’s some summery ones that I am planning to leave for my summer holiday but I’m super excited about ‘This Is Not A Book About Benedict Cumberbatch‘ and ‘The Keeper of Lost Things‘ and ‘Hotel Magnifique‘ is absolutely stunning. I’m also working on making a plan for the Queen’s Jubilee. There’s a couple of books especially for the celebration in this pile too!

Staying true to the second half of my namesake: cake. I also managed to get my hands on three yumnuts from Costa. I swear these are my favourite thing right now. They’re yumyums but in the shape of doughnuts and are blissfully wonderful. I am literally obsessed with them and whenever I’ve gone to a Costa and they’ve sold out, I’ve been a little bit gutted. I urge you all to try them! Go on, do it for my blog birthday 🥳. I’m hoping for more cake this weekend too!

Lastly, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for supporting me, following me, commenting and stopping by. It means so much that people love my blog as much as I do. Bring on the next 7 years and all the books, exploring and cakes it brings! There’s some really special people in the blogging world and I feel so privileged that I am part of it.

I’ll be back very soon with an explorations post, my book for this month and more books that I hope to get through. I can’t wait!

Big love to you all xxx

Blog Birthday!

Morning Loves!

Well, I’ve finally made it to half term. I can honestly say that in my career I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a term quite like that one. There have been some really wonderful highlights though. We threw a party for our Year 11 students which was wonderful and we managed to at least give the year group a good send off. It’s also been the month for being able to socialise in groups of up to six. Six is clearly the magic number because I want to share with you today the fact that my little blog is now six years old!

On the 25th May 2015, I decided to take up blogging because I just wanted a little space to call my own. I wanted to be able to write about the books and places I love. I can’t believe those six years have flown by and where we are now. So much has changed and yet I’d like to thing my blog has grown from strength to strength. Part of that is because of you wonderful fellow bloggers.

I’d like to share with you all on this post some of my top sixes. I hope you enjoy!!

Top Six Favourite Books EVER:

1. Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling. This isn’t going to be a surprise to anyone that knows me or my blog. I grew up with these books. They were a huge part of my childhood. I was also a little bit devastated when I didn’t receive my letter…

2. The Toymakers – Robert Dinsdale. I found this book to be utterly incredible for so many reasons. It’s still the one book I buy for all my friends for birthdays. Everyone has to read it. It’s just one of those gems that stay with you.

3. Cartes Postales from Greece – Victoria Hislop. I have two copies of this book – paperback and hardback – where the postcards are all in colour. This book is really incredible. Set in my favourite country of Cyprus, this book was another that I found by pure chance. It’s also the book I’ve re-read most (outside of the texts I teach annually at school).

4. Hungry – Grace Dent. This book is a new addition to my favourites list because it’s a fairly new book. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this book because it made me reflect on my own foodie childhood. It’s something I’ve really never considered before – the relationship between food and our memories. I can remember ever Saturday morning whilst my mum worked, sending the day with my dad eating beans on toast. It’s the little things like that that this book reminded me of.

5. The Ravenmaster: My Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London – Christopher Skaife. London is a brilliant city full of life and energy. This book gave me a glimpse into what life is like in the Tower of London. It’s steeped in history and I found that I really wanted to see the ravens once I’d read it. You may have seen recently in the news about the death of Merlina but the birth and the new name being announced of the latest addition. This is really a gem of a book.

6. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee. This book was my GCSE text when I was at school. I remember reading it and feeling lost with the world that I didn’t really know. This book really has stood the test of time and it’s one that I would urge everyone to read. I also think having a child narrator (Scout) is really clever. Seeing the world in the eyes of a child is quite a revealing thing.


Top Six Books I Need To Read:

1. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
2. 1984 – George Orwell
3. The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
4. Little Woman – Louisa May Alcott
5. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
6. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

These are all classics and I am absolutely well aware that there are hundreds if not thousands more that I want to read. Looking at my own TBR pile at the moment is overwhelming in itself but the holidays are for this moment – sleeping and reading. I can’t wait!!

What are your favourites? Have you got any books you really should have read by now? Regardless, I hope my lists have inspired your next read. The majority of my TBR list comes from my fellow bloggers in this community. I’m going to attempt to make a dent in the HUGE pile of books I’ve got to read over my half term break. Of course, I’ll be here for my review of this months book choice for my reading challenge and I’ll be posting my round-up of the month too. If we’re lucky, I’ll also be sharing with you more book reviews on books I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading.

Thank you for all of the support over the last six years.

Big Love to you all! Xx

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

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