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It can be surprising as to the books that I can't put down, in the fact that it tends to be genres outside my usual reading repertoire that just get me. Get me in the way that I can't take my eyes off the page, locked in on every word until I shut the book at the end and let out one big sigh of "Woah". Quick reads have always been my thing but there have been surprises along the way, of books that would usually intimidate me but they manage to keep me so engrossed page after page as I devour the whole story. Here are just a few of the books I've read that I just couldn't put down and I think you will love too. 

The Secret History of Donna Tartt

The Secret History is the definition of Dark Academia. Set in an elite New England college, we follow a group of eccentric misfits studying classics. As they try to challenge the boundaries of the norm, there starts a spiral of lies, betrayal and corruption that they have to navigate together. 

Who knew I could like a slow burner? Definitely not me until I gave this book a read! What's difficult to pinpoint is why I enjoyed this book so much. Maybe it was the dynamic friendships and the unequivocal differences between my university experience and the fictitious one here. Maybe it was the mysterious undertones and, at times, insane plot. This book made me hate, adore and pity each of the characters at different points which isn't an easy feat. but it was written so well that it kept me hooked for all 500+ pages. 

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern 

This has to be one of my favourite books I read last year. I was definitely late to the party but, better late than never, right? I was fully consumed by this book, its unique plot, characters and setting. Like the Secret History, it managed to keep me hooked and eager to find out more. 

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is searching for a door he doesn't know he's looking for. After picking up a random, unknown book in his college library which strangely tells him a story from his own childhood, it sets him on a path that he could never have thought possible. Fabulism isn't a genre I have purposefully dipped my toes into before but I guess this was a starting point. Written so beautifully, it captured my attention and kept me there. 

The Muse by Jessie Burton

If you haven't sensed a theme yet, you might with this one as it was another genre I hadn't given a go before and it was so unexpectedly brilliant that I just couldn't put it down. This historical fiction novel was another that just got me with the twists, the emotion and the way two stories intertwined over time. 

We have the story of Odelle, a newly appointed typist for Marjorie Quick at Skelton Gallery. The other is the story of Olivia Schloss, the daughter of a famous art dealer, and her relationship with Isaac Robles and Teresa who become part of the Schloss family. When a mysterious painting arrives for Quick in 1967, it's the story of Olivia that starts to piece together the secret history of the painting. 

I loved Jessie Burton's writing and I'm keen to read more in the future! 

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

If BookTok is your thing, you'll probably have seen this fantastic book by Madeline Miller. Released in 2011, this book has made a comeback with a second wave of love and I'm definitely there! Greek mythology has always been something that has daunted me - I felt there was so much to learn before you even attempt reading a book centred around this, but I could not have been more mistaken. What I needed was just a great place to start, and this was definitely the gateway read to open my eyes to the genre. 

Song of Achilles is a retelling of Homer's Iliad told from the perspective of Pretroculous. After he is exiled to the court of King Peleus, it is here fate brings him and Achilles, son of Sea goddess Thetis, together. From their first meeting to the events leading up to the Trojan War, we see their relationship blossom. This book is so beautifully written and utterly heartbreaking, I found it difficult to put it down. I would recommend this to anyone else looking to read more Greek mythology to pick this up. It's encouraged me to read more books like this in the future. 

What page turners do you have on your bookshelves? I'd love to hear your recommendations! 

Thanks for reading, 
Sarah x

*This post contains affiliate links and previously gifted PR items. There was no obligation to share these and all opinions remain my own* 

It's been a while since I've shared some favourites, and you could also say it's been a while since I've posted in general. Life has just been a little hectic, so I thought it was best to just take a pause for a short time before jumping back into sharing things on my blog. To ease us back in, I thought let's take it back to a classic favourites post to show you a glimpse of the things I've been loving lately! 

About November Twist Hoop Earrings

I'm the type of person who wears the same pair of earrings until they get worn, icky or just not my style anymore, and it had come to that time again with my last pair. I fancied something a little larger than my last daily pair and this pair of twisted hoops from the small business About November was perfect. There hasn't been a day I haven't worn them since picking them up last month. Such a versatile set that goes with everything, day or night; they are super comfortable, and you can tell they're fab quality. I have been tempted to pick up some more pieces from About November, so we shall see! Unfortunately, these hoops are currently out of stock but you can check their other great designs over on Etsy.  

Glossier Balm Dotcom

Do you remember the big Glossier 40% discount leak of March 2021? I joined the masses making the most of this! But, in a state of panic, I only picked up my usual boy brow and I thought I would try out the lip balm which I very glad I picked up! I went for the cherry lip balm for the added red tint and nostalgic cherry scent. It's the ideal bag essential for the warmer days. A lot of the time I find myself reaching for this over heavier lip glosses or lipsticks. Such a lovely texture that isn't sticky in the slightest, and it's definitely going to last me a while! 

For more beauty faves, check out my Spring/Summer essentials

Proper Chips crisps

Now, this is a little random but you know when you just find the snack? Well, this is it! They are crisps made out of lentils so are supposed to be on the healthier side but really they just taste fantastic! The sour cream and chive are my favourite and great for picnics in the park or a snack as I work. I highly recommend giving these a taste! 

Habitat Connor mugs

If you follow me on Instagram, you're probably already acquainted with these mugs as I've proceeded to include them in all my latest posts, but they are just perfect! They were a bit bigger than I expected but I'm not complaining - a bigger mug is always best for morning coffees or tea breaks working from home. They were a pretty reasonable price for a set of 4 and of great quality. I've also managed to avoid smashing one so far - wooo! 

My gratitude journal*

I was previously sent this item from Mäl and have since not stopped talking about it! I'm mentioning it here really to share that I've been loving filling out the daily gratitude section. It seemed a little silly at first, but it's something I now enjoy spending a few minutes before I start work having a think and filling it out. If this sounds like your thing, check out my ways you can practice gratitude yourself

What have you been loving lately? Would love to get your recommendations! 
Thanks for reading, 
Sarah x 

In the days of working from home, it can be difficult being able to switch off in the evening; take the time to slow down, unwind and enjoy the end of the day. Even with a busier schedule, it's easy to fall into the same routines that don't allow you the time to really relax at the end of the day or even at the weekend. Everyone has their own ways of unwinding at the end of the day or at the weekend, here are just a few things I do to help me unwind. 

Tidy the day away

Where you can, tidy away anything work-related. I tidy up my workspace of any mugs, rubbish from the days and make sure it's reset for the day tomorrow. I try my best to treat it as though this is my business, and I'm closing down the day - giving the kitchen a quick clean, putting my clothes away etc. Nothing too time-consuming but just 5-10 minutes to get everything in order, so it isn't weighing on my mind.

Cosy vibes activated

Candles lit, diffuser diffusing, electric blanket warming up, chilled playlist on, hot chocolate in hand. Just of the ways to up your cosy vibes. For me, a lot of it comes down to setting the mood and giving myself that relaxing environment. 

Avoid the zombie scroll

There was a period of time when the main thing I did in the evening was just scrolling through social media, but now I try to find other things to do instead, putting my phone to the side and enjoying the free time. 

Do something for yourself!

Do something you enjoy doing; it doesn't have to be a big task but could be reading a cosy book, watching a new film, having a long bath, picking up your latest craft project. This is the time for you to make sure you take for yourself. Not sure what kind of thing you enjoy doing in the evening? Here are 5 hobbies I love! I wouldn't underestimate the power this can have on how you feel going to bed and how you feel waking up the next day! 

What's your favourite thing to do at the end of a busy day? 
Thanks for reading, 
Sarah x

It's easy to get caught up in the trivial, everyday aspects of life, living on autopilot and not taking the time to step back, assess, adjust and celebrate what's around you. It's something I've been thinking a lot more about over the last few months, and I'm trying to live a more intentional life - here's how. 

But first, what is intentional living? 

To me, there's no true definition, and it's very subjective as to how you live an intentional life. What I feel is that it's living with a clear purpose and focus; being self-aware and making adjustments in your life to make it even better! This can be from changing a small aspect of your every day to planning a vision for your future - it really is what you choose to make it. 

5 ways I live an intentional life every day

Celebrating the small things

Don't live life passively but discover the joy in the mundane, enjoy the everyday moments and be happy for what you accomplished each day. Did you have a fab breakfast that morning? Did you have a nice walk outside? Did you meet up with a friend? Celebrate the joy these small interactions give you! 

Treating every day with care

By this, I don't mean planning every day down to the hour but, again, finding those small pockets of positivity, embracing the daily tasks and making the most out of this time. From taking the time to make your coffee just the way you like it to making sure you're looking up and at your surroundings on your walk. Paying attention to these small moments will bring you more joy than you realise! 

Practising gratitude

This has become part of my daily routine. It takes some getting used to, but it's been a really nice exercise to do in the mornings - I use my planner from Mal Paper* which includes a section in their daily spread to share 3 things you're grateful for. It's a nice thing to do first thing in the morning to help me reflect and be thankful. This is just one way to practice gratitude, read about more ways you can practice gratitude

Romanticise the heck out of your own life

Give off that main character energy - live that morning routine montage from the Disney films, take joy in the small details of your workday from how you reply to your emails to the stationery you use. The characters you envy in your favourite rom-com, coming of age films, that can be you! 

Finding ways to focus

It can be difficult when we are surrounded by constant distractions; zombie scrolling social media, getting distracted and overwhelmed by the news you see when you switch on the TV. Even if it's for a few hours, find ways to eliminate these distractions: turning off the TV, putting your phone on do not disturb. You'll be surprised how much time you'll now have to focus on the things you enjoy, even time to pick up a new hobby and work towards your goals. This will really help you live more intentionally and make the most out of the day-to-day. 

What do you think about intentional living? 

Thanks for reading, 

*Mentions previously gifted products but all opinions remain my own!*

Spring is well and truly here and summer is right around the corner. That means the season full of light, fun, uplifting reads to enjoy sunning yourself in the park, relaxing on the beach or enjoy with an iced coffee in hand. Here are just a few books that are sure to put a spring in your step as the sun starts to shine! 

The Switch by Beth O'Leary

If you missed this one last summer, it's the perfect easy read to feel all warm and fuzzy inside! A simple romantic- comedy book to make the perfect beach read! 

When Leena is given a two-month sabbatical after a presentation at work doesn't go to plan, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen's house in a quiet village in rural Yorkshire. Eileen has just turned 80 and is looking for a second chance at love but, there's no luck in her quiet neighbourhood. It's here that Leena and Eileen decide on a two-month house swap - Eileen moves into Leena's flat in London and Leena moves out to her grandmother's to give her the break she needs. 

Everything about this book is wholesome and light - exactly what you need this summer! If you've already given this one a read, keep an eye out for Beth O'Leary's new book, The Roadtrip!

Beach Read by Emily Henry 

Speaking of beach reads, this is another easy-read romance to enjoy this summer. I read this one last summer and if you haven't got round to this one yet, this is the ideal time. 

January Andrews is a bestselling romance writer and Augustus Everett is a literary fiction author. When they end up as neighbours at their beach houses, both struck with writer’s block, they strike a deal - January will write a literary novel and Augustus will try his hand at romance writing. They spend their summer, researching and writing while learning more and more about each other in the process.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Hilarious and heartfelt, this is definitely worth the read! The audiobook is also a fab option for this one - great to take in a few chapters while you're walking, enjoying the sun to really put a spring in your step! And it's not just about romance, I loved the storyline of an election and a royal wedding all rolled into this read! 

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz and Prince Henry have been long-standing nemeses and when their confrontation at a royal wedding is leaked to the tabloids, staging a fake friendship seems to be the only thing they can think of to prevent any negative fallout that could damage the relationship between Britain and America. When President Claremont is getting ready for reelection, Alex finds himself in this relationship with Henry that could derail the whole campaign. How will this all end happily? 

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J Klune

Sweet and wholesome, what more could you ask for? While it covers some heavier topics like child abuse and targeted hate, it doesn't take away from the happy storyline filled with heart-warming moments, an unexpected family and magic. This is a great summer read, but also the perfect cosy read for all year round, whenever you want to fill your heart with all the fuzzy feelings! 

Linus Baker is a caseworker for the Department in Charge of Magical Youth where he oversees the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages. When Linus is summoned by Extremely Upper Management, he's given a highly classified assignment: travel to the Marsyas Island Orphanage where six dangerous children reside. But when Linus arrives, the children aren't the only secret kept on the Island. The charming caretaker Arthur Parnassus will do anything to keep his wards safe. As he and Linus grow closer together, Linus must choose what to do; destroy a home or protect the world.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I remember the summer of 2017 like it was yesterday; everyone and their mum had read this book, but I thought it's still worth the shout-out for anyone who missed out! 

Eleanor Oliphant struggles with social interactions. She avoids unnecessary human contact and tends to say whatever is on her mind. But when Eleanor meets Raymond, the IT guy from her work, and Sammy, an elderly man named who they save after taking a tumble, things start to change for Eleanor. This is a slow burner but a truly uplifting read of unexpected friendships and an out-of-the-ordinary heroine. I remember loving how this book was written, and all the quirks of Eleanor's character, I think you will too!

What's on your summer TBR this year? 
Thanks for reading, 
Sarah x