book review sue perkins spectaclesTitle: Spectacles
Author: Sue Perkins
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: October 8th 2015
Pages: 377
Format: Ebook
Service: Bought
Buy: Waterstones

‘When I began writing this book, I went home to see if my mum had kept some of my stuff. What I found was that she hadn’t kept some of it. She had kept all of it – every bus ticket, postcard, school report – from the moment I was born to the moment I had the confidence to turn around and say “Why is our house full of this shit?” 

Sadly, a recycling “incident” destroyed the bulk of this archive. This has meant two things: firstly, Dear Reader, you will never see the countless drawings of wizards, read a poem about corn on the cob, or marvel at the kilos of brown flowers I so lovingly pressed as a child. Secondly, it’s left me with no choice but to actually write this thing myself. 

This, my first ever book, will answer questions such as “Is Mary Berry real?”, “Is it true you wear a surgical truss?”, and “Is a non-spherically symmetric gravitational pull from the outside observable universe responsible for some of the observed motion of large objects such as galactic clusters in the universe?”

Most of this book is true. I have, of course, amplified my more positive characteristics in an effort to make you like me. 

Thank you for reading.’ 

Let me start off by saying that by no means am I a big reader of autobiographies. However, I fell in love with Sue Perkins from the first time that I watched The Great British Bake Off and since then, I have loved every single show that she has presented. So, when I saw that she had written Spectacles there was no doubt in my mind that I was going read it. I was keen to find out about the woman who seemed to make up baking innuendos for a living. Granted it did take me some time to end up buying it but I did!

I didn’t know what to expect off of this book to be honest. Sue is such a character as a presenter that I didn’t really know if she would change her tone in her autobiography. Would she be more serious? Would there be a lack of puns? Would I find out some horrific truths about Bake Off that would change my life forever? The answers to those questions are: At times. Of course not. And nothing truly that drastic.

Spectacles is a witty, unrelentingly funny account of the key points in Sue Perkins’ life. It’s a book written in such a way that is so true to herself that you can hear her voice as you read through the pages. Spectacles was a breathe of fresh air for me to read and I didn’t want it to end. There is so much to love about this autobiography and I wish that I had picked it up sooner.

Even though Sue is someone who I love to watch. she wasn’t someone who I had necessarily looked up on Google. And let’s be honest, she’s not exactly someone who turns up on the front page of a newspaper very often or in the pages of a magazine. So, there wasn’t a whole load that I knew about her personal life. I think that’s what made the book an even nicer read. There were so many new things about her that I had discovered. And it made me love her even more.

True to Sue, this book had a light air to it. There was a light heartedness that made you feel like you were reading about an old friend. Even in the most serious parts of this book, you felt a pull towards Sue and the situations that she was in. The serious sections just made you remember how human she is.

Another thing that made me fall in love with Spectacles was the shear amount of honesty weaved in the chapters. Sue wasn’t afraid of letting people know the ups and downs of her career. The less glamorous side of show business and everything in her personal that had come her way.

I couldn’t recommend this book anymore to you guys!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars

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second year uni university swansea engineering stem student Summer came and went too quickly for me and suddenly I’m now a week and a half into my second year. This time last year I was still trying to figure my way around campus and settling into lectures. this year has been a completely different and weird experience. It’s kind of difficult to put my finger on exactly how I feel about this year but here goes nothing.

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grape and olive christmas showcase 2018 swansea meal buffet set menu * Huge thanks to Grape and Olive for inviting me to their Christmas showcase event. It in no way has altered my views.

It’s never ever too early to think about Christmas. Well, that’s what I think anyway. The new academic year always makes me start to gear up for Christmas since it’s the next big event for me to look forward to as soon as my birthday is done. So, from the second week of September I’m already planning out presents and meals. I was extremely thankful to be invited to the Grape and Olive’s Christmas Showcase this year where they were sharing with us some of the items of their three Christmas menus.

Can I just say that the design of the menus were absolutely stunning! Whoever did the graphic design for them did an amazing job. We had the chance to sample from the Christmas Day menu, their Festive Buffet menu and their Festive Set menu. They had a pretty good range of vegetarian options and dishes that don’t contain alcohol which was great for me since I eat halal meat and can’t drink alcohol. So, there were a lot of things to pick from which was lush to know.grape and olive christmas menu spring rolls duck

Thankfully, as well, they decided to let us sample quite a few of the things that were on all three menus. From the starters, mains and desserts. So, here’s what I ended up trying out!

Christmas Buffet Menu

grape and olive christmas showcase menu meal

One of the first things that I tries were their mini savoury croissant which  were topped with toasted seeds. I had the ones that were filled with spinach and ricotta. Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed this more than I thought I was going to. I love a good croissant to be fair and the pastry was so soft and flaky. The only issue that I really had is that the filling was a little too creamy but I guess that’s also to be expected with ricotta.

Who doesn’t love a good roast potato, and the ones I had one the night were lush. A roast potato is the make or break of a Christmas dinner, I’m sure I’m not the only one who can think that. They were crisp and gorgeous and just make my evening ten times better. I’m now craving roast potatoes.

Festive Menu

The portobello mushroom, leek and chestnut Wellington was my favourite thing that I had tasted that evening. It was absolutely gorgeous. I’m never actually had a mushroom Wellington before but it was so filling, even from the taster piece that they have us. It was creamy and beautiful. I would happily have that again.

grape and olive swansea christmas showcase 2018 meal menu dessert lemon sicilian tart sweet blogger event

I ended up trying two of the desserts from the Festive menu which was the chelate, almond and pistachio torte and the Sicilian  lemon tart. The lemon start had to be my favourite out of the two. It has such a nice, sharp bite to it. It’d be perfect after quite a heavy and rich meal The torte was nice but I think the raspberries gave it a little bit of a weird taste that I wasn’t expecting. Not only that but the structure didn’t hold that well and it was a little too dense for me.

Christmas Day Menu

grape and olive christmas showcase 2018 roast beef menu meal

So, I only ended up trying one dish from this menu and that was the homemade stuffed aubergine. To get to the point, I wasn’t a huge fan. But then again, I don’t tend to like stuffed vegetables anyway. The aubergine was just a little too tough for me which made it difficult to cut.. It was filled with cous cous, sweet potato. feta and pomegranate. It just wasn’t my cup of tea, I just found it didn’t taste of much.

On a whole though I really enjoyed the evening and I honestly think that the menus are pretty good value for money. So, if you’re in Swansea and looking to book a Christmas meal with family, friends or people from work, I would definitely recommend you checking them out.

Much Love,

Sai xo

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Hey, guys! I learnt that mindfulness day was about a week ago, so really this post would have been better timed to go up then. But oh well! It’s here now and that’s what matters! Over the past couple of months I’ve attempted to look into mindfulness in a bid to help calm my depression down. Whenever I looked online or asked anyone how to help my brain, they said that mindfulness was the way to go. Before that, I’d heard the word batted around a lot. It was always in news articles, on twitter and the hot topic of conversation whenever mental health was bought up.

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one day in december romance christmas book review Title: One Day in December
Author: Josie Silver
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: October 18th 2018
Format: Ebook
Service: Netgalley
Buy: Waterstones

‘Laurie is pretty sure that love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she instantly knows is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic… and then her bus drives away 

Certain their fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and every cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when in matters anyway. Instead the reunite at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken and destinies reconsidered.’

Let’s be honest, Christmas really isn’t that far away and Netgalley gave me the chance to read my first Christmas book of the year. One Day In December follows the story of Laurie who has been pining after a boy she met at a bus stop. The book takes place over ten years and we see how their relationship develops.

I’m going to jump right in with what I thought on the book as a whole. I wasn’t a huge fan. Straight from the off Laurie irritated me. Every single feeling that she felt was heightened so much that it just ended up feeling so unrealistic. Laurie was meant to be a 22-year-old university graduate, instead, I felt that she was acting like a teenager who had a massive crush. It irked me. A lot and it made it really difficult for me to actually like her character.

I felt like I could pretty much predict everything that was going to happen in the story. There was nothing that particularly surprised and shocked me. It just ended up following every romance trope that it could and which didn’t end up making this this book extremely interesting.

However, it is one of those books that is really feel-good. If you’re feeling low or you just want a book where you don’t want to think too much when you’re reading it, then this book is for you. Whilst I don’t rate the plot the highest, the writing was lovely and pretty easy for me to follow.

I wouldn’t exactly market this as a Christmas book to be honest. Even though some of the bigger events do take place around December. It doesn’t scream festive to me as much as I thought it would.

Rating: 3 stars

Check out my other book review over here.

** I was given this book by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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