Picture this - it's June and life is the most normal it's felt in over a year. I'm enjoying a coffee in the park. I would have sat inside and read my book, but it was a little busy and the weather is crisp with a slight chill in the air, but the coffee is warming me up. I sit on a bench and read for a few hours, stopping to take in what's going on around me. Families are greeting each other as they sit down to enjoy a picnic lunch. There's a game of doubles going on over on the tennis courts - you can tell they're a little rusty, but you can see the smiles on the faces as the ball hits the net, happy to be back, enjoying their regular Sunday morning game.  Of course, there's a kid crying - come on kid, be happy, we've been locked inside for a year but, what do they know! Did they even know what's going on?

Finishing up my coffee, lukewarm now, I stroll into the town, no longer constrained to window shopping. I browse the shelves of the local bookshop, arms hugging the selection of books I'm taking home with me. This one sounds interesting; oh I didn't know they had a new book out; only £2! 

I pass the art studio and decide to go in. I've never been in before but today's the day. I spend some time flicking through the prints and pretend I can afford the paintings they have. I look intently at a pink splodge on a canvas for a few minutes and leave after telling the lady I'll be back once the builders have finished renovating the third bathroom of my country home. If I stop my weekly trips to the local bakery, I'll have enough money for the splodge in three years.

I cross the road and into the bakery to buy my favourite tiramisu slice. I had one two birthdays ago and have been counting down the days until I could have another. Leaving the bakery I head home after enjoying my small slice of freedom.

While friends start planning trips abroad, family members are finally setting a date for the wedding they postponed a year ago, I'm looking forward to taking it slow and enjoying the small moments that we perhaps took for granted over lockdown. I'll still be baking banana bread at the weekend and enjoying the perks of working from home but, I'm also excited to ease back into normal life. Catching up on gallery visits and meeting up with friends, all at my own pace. 

What are you looking forward to in life after lockdown? 
Thanks for reading, 
Sarah x

 




Notion is such a great tool for so many reasons - great for students writing up lecture notes, fab for freelancers organising their calendar and switching between clients. I've been loving using Notion to organise all things content and I'm shocked I haven't used it sooner! If you're interested in setting up a Notion account but unsure where to start, I hope this can help! Here's how I use Notion as a content creator to organise blogging, social media and more! 

All my drafts in one place

For blogging, I've drafted posts using a few different tools. I previously used Bear and also used Google Docs but Notion has been the best I've used so far! I can organise my drafts into sections and subsections: drafts to be uploaded, drafts for a certain month or campaign. It really keeps my thoughts organised. I can keep track of the drafts I have yet to share and once I have, keep them recorded in a "published" folder. 

Creating an editorial calendar

I've gone from planning my monthly content on paper to a spreadsheet and now a wonderful editorial calendar in Notion and it's so much better! I can drag my drafts to the date I plan on publishing and update the progress right there - whether it's just an idea yet to be drafted, waiting for images or just needs a push on social, I know exactly where I'm up to for every post and everything I need to do before I hit publish!

I've also been using this to schedule in Instagram posts - what I'm posting, typing out captions and hashtags that I can just copy and paste over the photo is ready to go! 

Setting up a blogging workflow

If you're someone that works on a few posts at once, Notion can definitely help you keep track of all the posts your creating. If you've used tools like Asan before, you can create similar templates in Notion to keep on top of all the moving parts that go into creating a post. Whether it's a simple tick list per post or something more dynamic, there are some fab Notion templates for you to use to get started. 

Using Unsplash images in Notion

If you like using stock images in your content, Notion makes this really easy! Unsplash is available to be used within Notion so, you can find the perfect image as you draft your posts instead of leaving it to the last minute! You can really get a sense of how your post will look in Notion before you upload it. 

It's great for personal stuff too! 

I don't just use Notion for blogging, but I've created sections for other projects, personal habit tracking and reading lists to make it an all-around great tool to help you organise your life while making your blogging life even easier! 

Notion really does everything in one home. I no longer need to have different docs and different tabs open to organise my life digitially. I've definitely been feeling much more organised and motivated to create content since using Notion! 

Do you use Notion? Any tricks I'm missing out on? Let me know! 
Thanks for reading, 
Sarah x 





If you were as emersed in the OASIS of Ready Player One as me, loved this character-driven sci-fi novel with a treasure hunt, game storyline that makes you chuckle every once in a while; with geeky references and an amazing film adaptation, there is definitely a book here for you! If you liked Ready Player One, check these out-of-this-world picks with book recommendations similar to Ready Player One! 

The Martian by Andy Weir

I remember reading this at a similar time to Ready Player One and while they are very different books with completely different plots, but I remember laughing at them both and loving the main characters in both of these sci-fi picks. The Martian is also a blockbuster film just like RP1 so is another great one to read and then enjoy the film! 

If you haven't heard of The Martian, we follow Mark Watney, one of the first people to walk on Mars. When the crew have to evacuate Mars, thinking he's dead, they leave Mark alive and alone on Mars with no way of even contacting Earth. With the high chance of him starving to death and stranded in an unforgiving environment, he isn't ready to give up. This book had me laughing out loud in parts and on the edge of my seat in others. Such a great sci-fi read! 

Warcross by Marie Lu

If you miss reading about the OASIS, experiencing the virtual world and are up for reading about more online contests, Warcross is for you. 

Over the past 10 years, millions of people have become obsessed with Warcross, logging on every day to reality. Emika Chen is a teenage hacker and works as a bounty, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally in order to make some money. But, when Emika needs some quick cash she takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships. When all doesn't go to plan and she ends up glitching into the action, she becomes an overnight sensation, attracting the attention of millionaire Hideo Tanaka. He approaches her with an irresistible offer in exchange for spying on the tournament to uncover a security problem.  For a book that's fast-paced, filled with online adventures and mysteries like Ready Player One, this one is for you. 

Ready Player 2 by Ernest Cline (obviously)

Ok, let's get the obvious over with! Of course, if you enjoyed the first instalment, the 2021 released Ready Player Two makes sense to pick up! We follow on from where the first book left off and learn about what Wade Watts discovered days after winning James Halliday's contest - technology that could change the world forever. With this, an unexpected quest ensues with the future of millions of people hanging in the balance. We have the same amount of games and classic references as the first book and a whole new adventure for Wade Watts and his friends. 

While I didn't enjoy this one as much as the first book, if you want to find out what happened next, this is the one to read! 

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

For some more of the quick-wit humour of Ready Player One and if you liked the relationship between Parzival (Wade) and  Art3mis, I think the Illuminae series is for you! It was one of my favourite reads of last year, so it's one I'll always be recommending for sci-fi lovers. 

The first book follows Kady and Ezra - teens who have recently broken up but, with a hostile warship in pursuit causing them to evacuate their planet and aboard a ship with a warship in hot pursuit and a deadly virus breaking out, this is the least of their problems as they try to survive. This heavy sci-fi, action-packed read is so worth it! It's not only unique in the way it's laid out with multi-media format, in parts I found myself laughing out loud - I was so invested in the characters and their journey. An all-round fantastic sci-fi read!  

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

From the same authors as the Illuminae series, I think this is another great sci-fi read for fans of Ready Player One. It's 2380 and graduating cadets of the Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star student Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but that doesn't go exactly as he had hoped. But that's not his only concern right now - Aurora is a girl he rescued from interdimensional space, trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, but she could be a catalyst that starts a war that's millions of years in the makes. Worst of all, it might be up to Ty's squad of misfits to save the entire galaxy. 

The friendships Wade makes and how they develop throughout Ready Player One is the reason I'm recommending this one as we follow not just Ty but the group's quest to save the galaxy!

I hope you enjoyed seeing my sci-fi picks for books like Ready Player One! 

What are some of your favourite sci-fi reads? 
Thanks for reading, 
Sarah x

*This post contains affiliate links* 


As the weather warms up, and we spend more time outdoors, let's step into spring with the essentials! If you're like me, your skin is still feeling the effects of the winter; you're ready to say good riddance to the dry skin and hello to the highly coveted glow. To do just that, here are 5 of my essential beauty picks for spring this year! 

Supergoop! SPF 50 

SPF is essential all year round, but it’s worth the reminder as the spring rolls around, and we spend more time outside. Don’t rely on the minuscule amount of SPF in your foundation to keep your skin protected, an SPF of 30+ is the way to go. For me, I have very fair skin so the higher SPF is best for me! 

The supergloop! SPF I particularly love using not only for the formula but the companies backstory and the brand’s ethos I fully support and appreciate. I definitely recommend reading more into this brand and picking up their SPF; they sure did their research into what someone wants in their daily SPF and nailed it! 

MYSA Skincare hand cream

I haven't found a hand cream I love more! Not just for spring, this is a daily staple for me that I have at my desk and apply whenever my hands are feeling dry. The hand cream has such a lovely formula that isn't overly greasy and smells so fresh. You can definitely say goodbye to your dry hands! 

Evolve Beauty Hyaluronic acid

I've tried my fair share of hyaluronic products and this is definitely a new favourite! After using it throughout the winter, I definitely will be reaching for this as we transition into spring and the warmer weather. It applies really nicely with a gel-like consistency that isn't tacky like other hyaluronic formulas I've tried.  Just one pump of the product covers my entire face. Great for day and night use, I love this! 

Q + A lip oil

Another essential is you're still battling the effects of your dry skin, this Q + A lip oil is a fab little product to have on hand. I always find myself reaching for this between meetings or before I head outside - whenever my lips need that little boost of moisture. It has a nice sheen that isn't tacky like lip gloss and so easy to apply. Such a simple product but the perfect beauty essential. 

Beauty Bay Toner

While my skin is on the dry side as we head into spring, I still find an exfoliating toner to be essential. Less harsh than physical exfoliators and great for helping my skin feel smooth without feeling dehydrated. Such a fab staple for spring and a really affordable toner that will last you a while! 

What products do you reach for in spring? 
Thanks for reading, 
Sarah


All links marked with a * are affiliate links - all opinions are my own. 

Welcome the new season and spruce up your home for spring! For the longer, lighter days it's time to switch out the darker tones for softer shades. Foldaway the fleece duvet covers for something lighter. Add a pop of colour here and there to turn your home into a bright and happy place. Here are a few fun trends and homeware pieces to bring spring to your home this year and for years to come! 

The power of flowers

As the trees begin to blossom and flowers start to sprout, bring the outside indoors with some floral decor. If you have a softer palette in your home, dried flowers are a great staple and last a whole lot longer than real flowers. Or, why not head straight to the summer shades with the bright and bold blossoms in a rainbow of colours to turn your home into a colourful one! 

Zesty decor

Spring brings more fresh and delicious fruits so why not add a zesty twist to your home with some ripe and ready decor! You can have so much fun with fruit decor - add some subtle fruit touches with some prints or go all out with some zesty curtains or bedsheets!  

All things yellow

Keep the sun shining all season long with bright, golden home decor. Switch to light soft furnishings around the house to keep it as cosy as it was in winter but adding a lighter, happier vibe to your home! Add some small pieces around the house to brighten your space to make it feel more open - a great choice for people living in smaller, darker spaces.  

It’s always fun to switch up your decor and while you’re spring-cleaning, why not make some switches to refresh your space and celebrate all the delights that spring brings! 

What spring style catches your eye? 
Thanks for reading, 
Sarah x