29 December 2016

My First Time Hosing Christmas


So, if you are a regular reader of my blog, or even just scroll down and read the post I have put up before this one, you will see that this year, I hosted my family for Christmas for the first time. Ever.

It was the first time in my 26 years of living that Christmas didn't take place at the same house my mum and dad have lived in for almost my entire life, I had my first Christmas there and every other. Needless to say I was mixed emotionally throughout the entire day, but I think most people are at Christmas anyway so that's nothing new!

The whole day is a bit of a blur to be honest, but I definitely learnt some things that I will do differently for next year!

Plan

Make sure you start planning early, unfortunately I ended up moving house two weeks before Christmas which put plans on hold with regards to what decorations we needed, what table we would have, what we already owned... Basically make sure that you have time to think about what you want for Christmas and how you want things to be.

Decide what matters

I ran out of time to buy placemats. Horror, I know. But I was getting so wrapped up in making sure everything was perfect that I became obsessive over what people were going to put their plates on to eat. It doesn't matter. They ate, drank and were definitely merry. Would the snowflake placemats I wanted have been nice? Of course. Did it matter? Absolutely not.

You will buy too much

Gareth and myself headed over to Tesco to do the booze run. We were completely prepared for the cost of what this would be. We bought gin, whiskey, rum, red wine, white wine, beer, Prosecco, Amarretto, Bailey's, Babycham (it was in a pretty bottle!), Southern Comfort, probably any type of alcohol you could ever want. What got drank? A couple of beers and a bit of the whiskey. Oh and I had one gin and tonic. I absolutely bought too much alcohol, however what I learnt from this? I would absolutely do it all over again just to make sure I had the options. And now we have a small bar in our conservatory as the alcohol will last us probably till next Christmas!

This is the same with food, but I am a believe in you can never have too much food. Freeze it all and feed yourself for at least days, if not weeks!

Try not to pressure yourself

Every scenario that could possibly happen on Christmas Day probably went through my head in the week leading up to it. You cannot avoid certain things happening, I couldn't avoid getting ill, I couldn't control who turned up and when, and you know what? Most of the time the best things happen when they weren't planned for.

It got to the point that on Boxing Day evening when I was sat and it was all over, I ended up having a bit of a cry, purely because I could let go of all my expectations and the things I wanted to happen. I had an absolutely lovely Christmas Day and very little went to the plan I had in my head.

Enjoy it

If you are anything like me, you will be constantly worrying whether people are hungry, need a drink, are having fun and all the rest of it. But remember, they're not only big boys and girls that can ask or get things for themselves, they're your family and if they are at your house on Christmas Day, it's because they love you and with that much love in the room, of course people are having a good time.

How was your Christmas? x

28 December 2016

PERFECT STRANGERS PROJECT | My Present

First of all, apologies that this post has taken me so long to write. It was my first Christmas hosting the family (obviously along with my boyfriend who did all of the cooking :)) so the last week has been an absolute blur of buying table runners, booze and lots of food.

Hosting Christmas Day was definitely a learning curve, and I will be doing a post soon of all the things I learnt for next year!

But that is for another day... Onto the present I received for this year's Perfect Strangers Project.

Vanilla Chai Lip Balm
Adorable postcards 
Adem, Love and Other Planets 
Helen Dunmore, Love of Fat Men
A cute Birdie notebook 

The project is a really lovely way to open yourself up to the unknown, and it just so happens that now I have been given an album that I love and is in my car ready to keep me company on any journeys I take, as well as little trinkets around my house that reminds me that there are strangers out there that could become friends, that not all of them are waiting to screw you over.

I haven't managed to read the book yet as my TBR pile for @littlebookcorner_ is huge, but I am definitely looking forward to getting started and I will definitely be featuring it once it is read!

Have you taken part in the project? x

15 December 2016

Perfect Strangers Project | 2016


Last year, I came across the Perfect Strangers Project from Oh Comely magazine and couldn't wait to dive in (see my original post here). To my delight, the magazine have repeated the process again this year! I believe they did one in July, but I must admint that one totally passed me by as in my (somewhat frazzled) brain, it seems to link up with Christmas.

If you are my Perfect Stranger (and you should know if you are:)), please stop reading now! As I am going to do a breakdown of what I chose and why.

After reading the paragraph my Perfect Stranger provided about herself, the theme I decided to go with this year was A Perfect Night In, as it expressed how she found work stressful sometimes and really valued time at home. So I decided to grab the following;

A Cat Mug

My Perfect Stranger has expressed she was a cat lover, and my perfect night in starts with a nice hot cup of tea, so I figured I would provide something to drink the cup of tea in!

Tea


To put in the above.

Pride and Prejudice

One of my favourite ways to spend a night in is reading, so I thought I would share a bit of myself and send my favourite novel!

Face Masks

Because a little pamper goes a long way.

What do you think?

13 December 2016

Shall I Put The Kettle On?


Any idea how it is Christmas a week on Sunday? No, me neither. But with time passing faster than I ever thought it would, I thought now would be a good time to stop and take a breath.

December has been a crazy-but-lovely month, I have moved in with my boyfriend and we are starting to get the house straight now, and by get the house straight I mean I have obviously pushed all the important things aside to put my Christmas decorations up.

So with that said...

What I am reading...

I must hold my hands up a bit here, I have not done a whole lot of reading lately with all different commitments. I am in the middle of On the Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher. I will obviously do a full review when I have finished the book but at the moment, I must admit I am a bit middle ground about it, I am definitely enjoying the read but not particularly gripped. I am definitely happy to stick with it till the end though!

What I am watching...

Having moved out my house around a week ago, I am definitely enjoying the freedom of having more time with the TV and not having to watch Can't Pay, We'll Take It Away (no offence Dad). One thing I have been dying to catch up on is Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. The best way I can describe it is a warm mug of tea, it is lovely and satisfying and feels like a big hug. I do wish I had spent the time re-watching a bit of the old stuff before delving into this!

I am also watching a fair bit of the Christmas 24 channel. You just cannot beat a good Christmas TV movie. My tip for getting the best out of the channel is always make sure you vaguely recognise one of the actors, then you know you're in for a heartwarming time.

What I am doing... 

A lot of packing and unpacking to be honest. My main priority was to get the new house feeling Christmassy and homely. The Christmas tree isn't quite finished but is nearly there, I am just waiting for a garland, the fireplace is all done, the lights are up outside and there bedroom has it's own little tree. I am definitely feeling festive when I sit down of an evening and see lights twinkling around me.

What are you reading, watching and doing? x

6 December 2016

Things I Learnt Eating in a Michelin Star Restaurant For The First Time


For my boyfriend's 27th birthday, I decided that instead of buying something special, we would do something special! He is a chef (winner) and so loves his food, and loves the intricacies of food. He had mentioned Adam's in Birmingham a couple of times and I thought it would be a nice way to take him to a restaurant he fancies, as well as show him a bit of the city I was born in.

Needless to say although I am not a chef, I am into food and wine. I am definitely into trying new food and new wine. So in my opinion, as we headed up to the restaurant, we were in for a win win.

The whole evening was gorgeous, decadent and completely exceeded my expectations, I cannot look at the picture above of the beetroot macaroons without feeling a little sad that I will never eat it again. They weren't even part of the menu, just one of the 'snacks' that come with your first drink (an earl grey and elderflower cocktail that was absolute perfection).

.It's Expensive.

Let's just get this one out of the way. It is expensive. Do not expect it not to be.

.Lots of things will happen that you do not understand.

Lots of wine will be explained to you, there will be ingredients you will have never heard off, I found it was best to just nod your head and smile.

. It will all feel a bit like a performance.

The different waiters, the extravagance, there is all sorts of things that will make you feel a bit like this has been rehearsed and you are swept along.

. If you choose the wine, there will be a LOT of it. 

8 taster-sized courses plus 8 full glasses of wine = no idea how we got back to the hotel.

. All the extra touches will be easy to spot.

Remembering it was my boyfriend's birthday, offering to get the cookbook we purchased signed by Adam, remembering what we were drinking and suggesting things based on that. There really is a whole extra level to the service.

. It will be one of the best damn meals of your life.

A lottery win must be coming soon so I can do it all over again.

Have you been? Where did you go? x

2 December 2016

Feeling Festive


Happy December Everyone!

I hope you are feeling the festivities as people begin putting their trees up. I definitely hope you have had your first glass of mulled-something and a mince pie!

As we get older, I definitely think it is harder to get into the Christmas spirit, particularly if there aren't a lot of children in our family running around asking about Santa Clause. We all know that being an adult sucks sometimes. Well. Most of the time actually.

But Christmas is the one thing I will not let adulthood take from me. I will not stop waking up at 6am (*cough*5*cough*) on Christmas Day. I will not stop squealing every time a Christmas song comes on. I will never stop leaving a mince pie and a tot of whiskey out for Santa.

I just won't.

And so, it is December now, so you are officially allowed to wear Christmas nerdy-ness with pride. If you would like to join me, here are my almost foolproof ways to get into the Christmas spirit.

. Mull everything and anything. 

Mulled wine, mulled cider, mulled apple juice, mulled rum punch, mulled gin cocktails... You see where this goes.

. Get the decorations out. 

Like I said, it's December now, no one is allowed to be mad at you.

. Christmas clothing. 

Start sneaking bits of clothing into your day. A snowflake necklace, a gingerbread key-ring, anything cable-knit or fairisle. Or, wear your cheer loud and proud and wear a Christmas jumper every day from now on.

. A Christmas Film.

There are so, so many to choose from. Home Alone. The Santa Clause. Miracle on 34th Street. The Grinch. And many, many more. Films have that way of making you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Also, Christmas 24. If you have this channel, get it on straight away and feel the festive sentimentality seep into your bones.

. A Christmas Playlist.

You can always use the one I made last year!

. Food. 

Eat anything and everything. Particularly 'spiced' things.

. Make Somethimg Chsitmas Themed. 

Nothing says Christmas like homemade.

. And most importantly... Enjoy all of this with the people you love. 

What do you do to feel festive? x

30 November 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

So, last Saturday I got to go and see Harry Potter and the Curse Child. I have needed a couple of days just to get my thoughts together, and honestly just to process what happened LIVE in front of MY OWN EYES.

Before I get in to how it made me feel, two things;
1) There will be no spoilers in this post. Not one.
2) I was so prepared to hate the show as I think Harry Potter is verging into overkill (I am sorry!)

So with that in mind...

Go and see it. Just go and see it.

The show as a theatre performance is so bloody brilliant that it is almost inconsequential that it is Harry Potter related. What they have managed to achieve on stage is insane (in the best possible way), I must admit at the beginning I spent time trying to work out how certain things were happening, but as I settled into the show I almost forgot it was illusion and bought into the magic happening in front of me. There were audible gasps at plot reveals, staging, costume changes, entrances and even set changes, to the standard of which I have not seen in an audience in a theatre.

It is also brilliant that according to reports, over 50% of the audience are first time theatre goers, so as someone who believes in the arts and believes in the theatre, is brilliant.

I am fully aware of the fact that this going up as a play will have been given money and time that many plays will never see, but I really do think the show is a great example of what theatre can do and how theatre can keep up in an increasingly digital world.

I also saw Julia Roberts. So there's that.

Have you had chance to go? What did you think? x

11 November 2016

Winter Warms


The weather really has taken a turn from the winter. Two days ago I cleared the frost off my car for the first time and drove into what can only be described as Narnia (also known as Rossendale). Today is sunny, yes, but the frost on the ground and the bite in the air reminds us it really is winter and that Christmas is on the way.

With the cold weather comes all of my favourite things, particularly things that keep you warm and toasty. If I could be a word, I would be cosy and I am using this post to share all my ways to stay cosy and warm this winter.

. Hot drinks 

Tea all day erryday.

. Chrismtas drinks 

Technically the same as above but more than your average tea or coffee!

. Blankets 

Wrap up and get cosy.

. Hot water bottle 

Is there anything more satisfying than being sat on your sofa watching a Christmas movie with a hot water bottle WITHOUT period pains?

. Sweaters 

Pull them over your head and wrap your arms around yourself for a second and feel the warm and softness.

. Thermal vest

Not the sexiest but boy is it the best.

. Fire

Find your nearest (obviously safe) fire, get next to it, get a glass of wine and a book and live happily ever after.

How do you keep warm in the winter months? x

1 November 2016

November Goals

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with goals posts (there's a football joke in there somewhere), I love writing them to feel productive and see for the months ahead what I want to achieve, but I must admit I do find it hard to follow up, take stock and see what I have achieved.

I last wrote a goals post in June, I set myself three goals and it seems that I have half completed each one! I am going to pick some goals that compliment this post, whilst also setting myself some new challenges.

With that in mind, here are my goals for November;

1. Get my photos developed. 

I completed this half of one of my June goals, yet actually getting to a developer and seeing my photos is still eluding me at the moment. So before the end of November, I will have been and got them developed and uploaded the best onto heytheredewdrop!

2. Put my table up. 

In June, I tasked myself with creating something myself for my new house. Whilst I have everything, I made the table top by hand and purchased the legs I want to attach, we realised that as I am currently living with my parents who have all their own furniture, there is no room for my table. I should have moved in by the end of November and the first thing that is happening? My table is going up.

3. Jog more. 

I have got back into jogging a little bit, but at the moment with the amount of travelling I am doing, I am only averaging once a week and would love to get this number up a bit.

4. Drink more water. 

My skin is prone to dryness, dehydration and moderate eczema. Alongside this I definitely do not drink enough to keep myself hydrated. I have had a couple of bouts of bad eczema recently so I am going to up my water intake to see if it makes a different to my skin. And to my health generally.

5. Embrace autumn/winter fully. 

Now that my boyfriend's birthday (Halloween) is out the way, I am going to embrace Christmas fully and try and make the festive period last as long as people will let me.

6. Read, read, read! 

Dark nights and a fire both lead themselves to reading. I have let reading fall by the wayside recently with travel/family commitments/work, so being in my own house will mean that I can carve out some evening time to sit down with a book.

What are your goals? x

21 October 2016

Happy Friday!


To say that this week has been a challenge for me personally is an understatement, but here we are, at Friday! All that is left is the weekend, a glass of wine, and hopefully a couple of books (if I can get through them at the rate I am hoping to).

This weekend, my mum and dad are going out to celebrate their 39th wedding anniversary (!) and my partner is working Saturday evening, meaning I have a lovely chunk of time that is just mine. I really do love the people around me more than anything, but I cannot remember the last time I said that!

On my reading list for the immediate future is;

On the Other Side 

Heartless 

On my to-do list is;

Spend as much time with my puppy as possible 

I do feel like recently I have neglected my puppy (don't worry - he hasn't been on his own he has been annoying the hell out of his nanny) (-my mum by the way, not an actual nanny), and I really hate the feeling that I haven't been dedicating enough time and attention to him. So this weekend, it's me, him, some wellies and a couple of orange balls.

Spend time being grateful for everyone close to me 

I am moving out soon, and as excited as I am, I have really loved living with my parents for the past twelve months and I will really miss them when I move. At least this time it's only a 45 minute drive away and not all the way down to London! So while I am living with them, I am determined to get as many hugs and kisses in until they tell me I am being weird.

What are you up to this weekend? x

17 October 2016

Getting My Spark Back


Do you ever start to read any content you are creating and suddently realise that you've let a little bit too much negativity slip into your life?

Well, that's defintiely me at the moment.

I am a pretty positive person, at least by general rule I am, but lately I've noticed that a lot of my conversations/thoughts/posts have this little negative tinge to them. I am not saying, by any stretch, that a wallow every now and again isn't good for the soul. I am the first to want to grab a duvet, get some lovely food and stick on a sad film for catharsis, but it has become apparent to me that I am letting a little bit too much in. Suddenly I am looking at the conversations I am having and wanting to give myself a bit of a shake and get myself back to the positive me.

So I guess that's what this article is, my virtual positivity shake up.

Here are some of the things I am going to do to shake these negative vibes;

. + 

Having just read Katie Writes post Being More Positive (When You're A Massive Pessimist), I am definitely going to employ the + into my life, ensuring that I note it down somewhere in my eye-line so I can become more conscious of allowing positivity to seep back in!

. Meditation

I have written about this before, in the post Mindfulness, but I must admit sometimes I do find it hard to practice what I preach. I personally find meditation a really good way to take 10 minutes and just readjust yourself and your brain to a more relaxed, positive you!

. Exercise

Once again, see above with practising what you preach. In theory going for a jog makes me feel great, lowers my anxiety and encourages me to eat healthier. In reality, my sofa and a cup of tea are just way to tempting.

No. More. Excuses. Exercise is back on the menu.

. Talking

Just chatting, or writing, about how you have let negativity in can make you see that a bit of readjustment may be needed!

. Say one positive thing to myself a day

I am going to stop beating myself up about the fact that a few pounds have gone on and that I may not be up to my usual self (a bit snappy and short tempered comes to mind for me at the moment), and start telling myself things I like about myself. Learning to love myself is pretty high on my list of priorities, after all, I'm stuck with me forever.

What do you do to get rid of negativity? x

13 October 2016

Blog Envy

unsplash-logoAnete Lūsiņa

I try not to, I really do, but living life online can leave you very open to blog envy. As much as there are things I love writing about; books for instance; my blog is still very much infantile, I am still constantly trying to figure out what I want it to be, what I want to write about and what content I think will be interesting for anyone who stumbles across my little corner of the internet.

I think part of my problem is there is so much out there to write about. I love books, I love making things, I love cooking, I love TV and films, I love going out and I love to travel. But I cannot blog about all these things. Then there is the added pressure to get the picture right, to pick something that grabs a lot of readers. There is also a lot of competition now blogging has become fashionable.

Also as platforms like blogger become easier to use, it becomes a blessing and a curse that everyone can have a blog. Great because everyone gets a voice, not so great because suddenly something you want to blog about has probably already been done.

Just to add to my list of excuses, there is also the small matter of time. I work full time but there are also extras on my job such as courses, evening meetings, various bits and pieces that I do in my own time and whilst I know I am incredibly lucky to have my job, it doesn't leave me much time to plan, let my creative juices flow and get my camera out.

I am sorry if this reads like one long list of excuses, that is not how I meant it in any way. I guess I am just acknowledging that sometimes it is ok to fall out with blogging. It is ok to look at someone else's picture or article and not want to compete with it and it is ok to feel a little bit jealous of other people's blogs.

Because after we have acknowledged it, we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, go to our own little corner of the internet and make it the best damn corner of the internet we can.

Do you ever suffer from blog envy? x

7 October 2016

Amaluna | Cirque Du Soleil | Trafford Centre, Manchester

Source

Amaluna was my first ever Cirque Du Soleil show, Having the performance come to Manchester, I felt incredibly lucky to have something come more or less to my doorstep. As you can see from the picture above, and because the CdS's reputation isn't something that has come out of nowhere, it was visually stunning

Everywhere you looked was an absolute treat for the eyes, it was moody and beautiful. The gymnasts were out-of-this-world, to the point where several times I looked for wires because I was just dumbfounded.

It did take me a while to warm to the clowning, but I understood its use and in the end completely came round to it. As for highlights, there were so many; the aerial hoop was potentially my favourite, particularly the use of water, as well as the silks and the female floor work. I am trying not to give too much away but it was definitely a well spent evening! 

The atmosphere in the venue itself though I found a tiny bit lacking. I am not sure if it's because it wasn't a sold out performance or maybe I was just in an audience that were all a bit tired on a Thursday evening, but I would have loved more reaction and more 'oohs' and 'aahs' (sorry if I have managed to make it sound like I wanted to be at a firework display!). 

I also found the tickets to be a little bit on the pricey side, although that may be to be expected with a world-renowned circus troupe. 

I am definitely glad that I went to see it and would definitely consider going to see CdS again, if I could afford it.   

Have you been? What did you think? x

5 October 2016

Breathers: A Zombie's Lament | S. G. Browne


One of my friends bought this book. They began to read it and then handed it over to me, exclaiming "This is way more your thing than it is mine."

And I am so glad she did.

This novel is funny, touching, heart-warming, engrossing and any other positive adjective you can possibly think of. The concept, to me, is quite original because other than Warm Bodies (which I also would recommend), I have found it hard to find any zombie comedy books. Don't get me wrong, I love your guns-blazing World War Z-types, but it is just so much more of an enjoyable read to have comedy laced through 'horror.'

So. The plot.

For fans of Max Brooks’s The Zombie Survival Guide and zombie aficionados everywhere, a hilarious debut novel about life (and love) after death.

Meet Andy Warner, a recently deceased everyman and newly minted zombie. Resented by his parents, abandoned by his friends, and reviled by a society that no longer considers him human, Andy is having a bit of trouble adjusting to his new existence. But all that changes when he goes to an Undead Anonymous meeting and finds kindred souls in Rita, an impossibly sexy recent suicide with a taste for the formaldehyde in cosmetic products, and Jerry, a twenty-one-year-old car-crash victim with an exposed brain and a penchant for Renaissance pornography. When the group meets a rogue zombie who teaches them the joys of human flesh, things start to get messy, and Andy embarks on a journey of self-discovery that will take him from his casket to the SPCA to a media-driven class-action lawsuit on behalf of the rights of zombies everywhere.

Darkly funny, surprisingly touching, and gory enough to satisfy even the most discerning reader, Breathers is a romantic zombie comedy (rom-zom-com, for short) that will leave you laughing, squirming, and clamoring for more.

Without giving too much away, the ending has been criticised by some. Personally, I really loved the escalation of what a person(/zombie) can be pushed to do when not given the respect they deserve and when it causes a loved one to come to harm. I truly rooted for Andy throughout the entire book and felt satisfied by the pay off. I really would recommend this film if you are looking for something slightly darker to make you laugh and something that is incredibly easy to read. 

I would also really love this to be a film but from what I can tell, that seems to have halted. 

Overall I bloody loved it. 

29 September 2016

The Alchemist | New York Street, Manchester



Anyone who knows me knows I am a fan of The Alchemist bars. Even when I lived in London I dragged friends over to Liverpool Street to head to the, frankly not as good, Alchemist down there for a piece of home.

The cocktails are all, as it says in the title, alchemy. But they are not just fun to look at. They really do taste great. I do have a bone to pick with them as they have taken my favourite cocktail (a Passion Fruit and Meringue Martini) and replaced it (with a Key Lime Pie Martini) but I bit the bullet and ordered the Light Bulb Moment and realised that they are all equally great; probably why it's such a successful bar!

It can get busy on a weekend and queues can form, but I headed their on a Tuesday night after the ballet (Giselle at the Palace Theatre) and it had a lovely atmosphere still even though it was relatively quiet.

I haven't eaten there but I am absolutely dying to! We tried to go once and the whole of the gas had to be shut off; trying not to take that as a bad omen and get myself to find the time to re book.

Have you been? What did you think? x

28 September 2016

Giselle | Akram Khan | Palace Theatre, Manchester


So I went to the ballet for the first time last night.

As a disclaimer, I have always loved ballet from afar, I have always wanted to see a ballet. And what a ballet to start with.

I'm in love.

For those of you who don't know the story (I certainly didn't!);

Act I

Giselle is one of a community of migrant garment factory workers (the Outcasts). Dispossessed of their jobs by the factory’s closure, and separated by a high wall from their hopes of livelihood and security, the Outcasts function as little more than exotic entertainment for the factory Landlords. In Act I, the wealthy Albrecht disguises himself as an Outcast in order to visit his lover Giselle. But his presence is noted by Hilarion – Giselle’s would-be lover – a shape-changing ‘fixer’ who trades with and mimics the Landlords for his own and his community’s profit.

Albrecht’s wooing of Giselle is interrupted by the unexpected arrival of the Landlords. Seeing his fiancée Bathilde among them, Albrecht tries to hide. Giselle recognizes the fine dress worn by Bathilde as the product of her own factory labour. The Outcasts dance for the Landlords until Albrecht and Hilarion disturb the Ceremony with their conflict. Bathilde’s father confronts Albrecht, forcing him to return to Bathilde and to their world. When he submits and returns to Bathilde, Giselle is driven mad with grief. The Landlord gives a command, and the Outcasts encircle Giselle. When the crowd disperses, her lifeless body is revealed. Denying any responsibility, the Landlords retreat beneath the Wall.

Act II

A wrecked, abandoned ‘ghost’ factory is revealed – a place where Giselle and her female co-workers have labored, and many have died. Here Albrecht, grieving for Giselle, confronts and condemns the Landlords.

Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis (ghosts of factory workers who seek revenge for the wrongs done to them in life), enters, driving Albrecht away. She summons Giselle from her lifeless body into the realm of death, to join the company of the remorseless Wilis.

Hilarion enters to mourn at Giselle’s grave. The Wilis surround him, demanding retribution for Giselle’s death, and Hilarion is brutally killed.

Albrecht returns and becomes aware of Giselle’s presence. The lovers are reunited on the threshold between life and death. Breaking the cycle of violence – and defying Myrtha’s command – Giselle forgives Albrecht and releases him into life. The Wilis depart with Giselle, and Albrecht, now an outcast from his own community, is left alone by the Wall.

Quite a complex story, I think you'll agree but it never felt out of reach. Even my ballet-sceptic boyfriend understood the story and at one point, claimed to be enjoying the show! I cannot comment on the original ballet knowing very little about it, but there definitely felt something contemporary and unusual and brilliant about Khan's adaptation. It was somehow gritty, mechanical and minimal yet beautiful, dramatic and complex.

It's just beautiful and if you get tickets, I really suggest you head over to the Palace Theatre and have a wonderful evening.

NB. I am also now a COMPLETE live ballet convert and am going to get tickets to as much as I can afford. Swan Lake here I come! 

x

20 September 2016

Alice | Christina Henry


Wow. Where to begin?

I guess I will being with the warning, if you have read anything about this book, you will know that there is some graphic, violent sexual content so that is DEFINITELY something to be aware of.

If you can get past the dark, this is easily one of the best disturbed and twisted re-tellings that I personally have ever read. 

Each page took me further into this gruesome world and whilst I wanted to dislike it (I was skeptical because of the above) I couldn't help myself, the world, the two protagonists and the story grabbed me and took me down the rabbit hole with Alice herself.

I love the nods to the original story and I do believe that you will get more out of this book if you know the original story, there is still plenty to get out of it if you have never read the Lewis Carrol originals. The familiar characters get completely twisted into something new and gruesome, that of nightmares as opposed to what the traditional Alice in Wonderland lovers will recognise.

I also dare you not to fall in love with Hatcher. Which might seem strange at first, but wait till the end to judge me. There is also a beautiful parallel between two different rabbits which I thought was just a gorgeous use of imagery and play on the original plot.

Speaking of plot...

In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside.

In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…

Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.

Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful.

And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.

Even re-reading the plot makes me want to dive head first into this novel again. I will admit that this kind of dystopic horror novel is my thing, so maybe that is why I was so willing and ready to suspend disbelief, but I really do believe this a great book. I also loved that Alice is 26 when you meet her as there seems to be a gap between YA novels and Adult novels that this book fills perfect, appealing to the twenty/thirty-something audience perfectly.

The book is a perfectly crafted nightmare and I cannot wait to read Red Queen (regardless of the reviews which seem to put it at so-so).

Have you read it? What did you think?

x


14 September 2016

Alone Time

Anyone that knows me knows that I am a big fan of ensuring you get some alone time. Not too much, but just enough to let your mind and body let out a long and satisfied sigh.

Aaaahhhh.

Not to sound to much like a cliche, but as you get older this gets harder and harder as your commitments and responsibilities become more pronounced. I hope that doesn't sound patronising as I really don't mean it to but, honestly, each year brings more responsibility and it is exciting as well as terrifying, I promise!

So this brings me back round to alone time, it gets more important the more you take on as regardless of your position in life, you must always take care of yourself first, then you are well equipped to care for others.

I have been taking on a bit too much recently (I know, boo me right?) so I thought I would take stock with everyone that reads this blog and put together ideas for alone time. My go-to tends to be reading but sometimes if you've had a day at work where reading is most of it, words no longer make sense and you need to give your eyes and brain a break.

I also seem to love lists at the minute, so here we go, a list of alone time ideas;

Read a book (it has to be my number one).
A bath.
Go for a walk.
Look at the stars.
Exercise.
Paint your nails.
Use a body brush and moisturize.
Put clean sheets on your bed and get into bed half an hour early to enjoy them.
Meditate.
Cook.
Bake!
Watch an episode of your favourite TV show.
Watch your favourite film.
Watch a guilty pleasure (*cough* Celebs Go Dating *cough*).
Paint.
Draw.
Design.
Make.
Photograph.
Sing.
Dance.

Just take the time to do something that is just for you.

What do you do in your alone time? x


9 September 2016

All The Autumnal Feels


Autumn is my absolutely favourite time of year. Don't hate me, but I can already feel Christmas in the air and while some people hate every drop of rain after summer, it just reminds me that we are edging closer to the greatest quarter of the year; October | November | December.  

In order to get excited about all the things that are coming (as let's face it, summer has been a bit of a let down weather-wise), I am going to list all the things that I love about Autumn. Please do add to the list in the comments!

Bonfire night.
Fireworks.
Rainy nights.
Hot drinks outside.
Knitwear.
Boots.
Blankets.
Scarves.
Sunday roasts.
Porridge,
Pumpkins.
Leaves.
Toffee apples.
Halloween.
Smores.
Fires.
Red wine.
Mulled wine.
Baking.

and

The countdown to Christmas.

What are your favourite things about Autumn?

7 September 2016

Little Wins That Make Me Feel Like I Am Not Totally Failing At Life



1. Filling my petrol up BEFORE it goes on the red.

2. Getting to my next pay day WITHOUT going in my overdraft.

3. Buying myself fresh flowers AND remembering to give them fresh water.

4. Cooking tea that has more than two ingredients.

5. Using a DRILL like an absolute #GirlBoss.

6. Making a piece of FURNITURE.

7. Realising on a Sunday night that I DON'T dread Monday morning.

8. Eating a packed lunch EVERY DAY for the last month.

9. Wearing matching underwear.

What makes you feel like an adult? x

30 August 2016

Uprooted | Naomi Novik

Last night, I finished reading Uprooted by Naomi Novik, This book comes highly recommended wherever you go for reviews so I couldn't wait to get stuck in and let me say, it did not disappoint.

The (rather long) synopsis is, as taken from Goodreads;

“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

It has been a long time since I have read a book that consumed every spare thought I had and made me ensure a quiet weekend in order to maximise my time spend reading, but this did exactly that (sorry anyone who tried to make plans with me this weekend just gone). I don't want to give any more of the plot away than is in the synopsis above because I would hate to give you any expectations on what you think will happen, because even as I was reading and predicting, the storyline constantly subverted my expectations. 

Part of me hopes for a sequel, as while the book wraps up the story in a satisfying way, I would love to dive into the world head first again. The other part of me wants it to stay the standalone little piece of perfection that it is. 

I fell in love with this book, absolutely head over heels and I think you will find it hard not too. 



NB. If anyone wants to talk to me about how beautifully The Wood is described, or just run off to a forest for a while - let me know! 

26 August 2016

The R Word

The R word.

Responsibility.

Getting older comes with so many benefits, for example see my post Why Turning 26 is Such a Big Deal For Me, however one thing that is becoming more and more apparent in my life is the amount of responsibility that comes with getting older. You've probably all seen the quote that did the rounds online about when you look around for an adult, realise you are an adult, then look for an adultier adult to help you with your problem, but as you grow, you realise that more and more questions you can be answering yourself.

Which is terrifying and exciting in equal measure.

22 August 2016

Insta Love

It's Monday. It's raining outside. It's August. It's dreary.

So with all that positivity in mind, I have decided that since I have fallen out with my Instagram fairly spectacularly, I am going to share some of my favourites in order to not only put the spotlight on some pretty great Instagram accounts, but also to try and get some inspiration! Comment with all your Insta Loves x

@boundlove






@me_and_orla





@cups_are_love






@blueeyedbiblio


16 August 2016

Dear (Photo) Diary: Alcumlow Hall Farm

Alcumlow Hall Farm is a little gem of a place in Congleton (Cheshire). I strongly suggest strolling here on a hot day to come and have a mooch around the small shops (albeit limited - don't come here just for shopping) and grabbing an ice cream (definitely come here just for the ice cream), although it is Snugbury's so while this place doesn't get packed to the rafters, be prepared that there may be a bit of a queue. There is also a small play area for children, a seating area around a fountain and a pilates studio (which I am yet to try but dying to go).

This weekend we headed over for an ice cream and a relax and here are the pictures!

10 August 2016

A Sense of Home




You may have heard me talk about the fact that there has been a bit of stress in my life recently. By no means is all of that done with, but I woke up this morning with this overwhelming sense of home. I am surrounded by people who love me and support me, I have a job that I enjoy turning up to every day and I am fulfilling some of the things I have been saying I will get round to forever.

By no means I am saying that my life is perfect, I still have stresses and troubles and all of that, I am just looking around me and seeing that all these amazing things in my life need recognition every now and again, I can never express how grateful I am to the people that have been there for me over the last year as it has been relatively difficult personally and professionally. So I am going to leave this article short(ish) and say a BIG thank you and a BIGGER love you to everyone and everything that makes me feel at home.

What makes you feel at home? x

9 August 2016

Dear Diary: Lytham Festival

Lytham, Lytham Saint Annes FY8, UK
Happy Tuesday!

How was your weekend? In theory I'd have liked to get this post out yesterday but hey ho, these things happen.

The main event of my weekend was Lytham Festival up in Lytham St Annes and seeing the one and only Mr Bryan Adams.

And boy, he did not disappoint.

4 August 2016

Let's Catch Up

Hello everyone!

It seems like a good time for a bit of a catch up, don't you think?

The last few weeks have been a little bit hectic for me, but it is safe to say as the dust finally is starting to settle, I am more content than I have been in a while. I am picking back up my hobbies, most prominently photography for which I have just signed up for a course to improve my skills, I am also finding time to read which is a big thing for me and getting healthy eating (mostly) back on track (minus a few celebratory cakes). 

I have also been spending as much time as I can with family and friends as there are a few of them who are off to new and exciting things, namely other countries, so I am trying to get in as much time with them before they leave. 

There is also the newest responsibility in my life, little Benny, who has been teaching me things (see 15 Things I Have Learnt Since Getting A Puppy) and generally being an adorable little bundle of chaos in my life. 

As well as that there is trying to get back into the gym! Which I must say, has been more successful than I expected. Raver Fit and Spinning tend to be what is keeping me going back there at the moment. 

The house hunt has actually been put on hold for a little while, myself and my boyfriend are both pretty crazy at the moment, so we have given ourselves until Christmas to get ourselves together, get our finances in the strongest position we can (at Christmas - hahaha, sometimes I make myself laugh) and also, just to kind of see what the market does to be honest. 

hey there dewdrop is still incredibly important to me, this little place is my therapy where I can create content purely because I want to create, and hope that I am creating content that is interesting for other people to read. It is my little corner of the internet and I love it.

I think that about sums me up for now, I have a few things in the pipeline for my blog that I am hoping to implement soon, the biggest two being getting Honest Conversations off the ground and getting a book club going.

What are you up to? And what books would anyone like in the book club? xx




22 July 2016

Bruges Gin Club

Bruges, Belgium
By now, you will probably have seen my intial photo diary of Bruges, if not, do go and look, I take no credit for the photography, I give all the credit to Bruges and how beautiful the city already is.

But I digress, this post is all about a little bar tucked down by the Koningin Astridpark that is both unassuming and incredibly inviting, I give you Bruges Gin Club. I am a big gin lover, so did not need much convincing (NB I have to give my boyfriend all the credit for finding this place by the way), and in we went at 6.05pm (it opened at 6pm).

The atmosphere manages to hit a lovely spot between feeling like you are in a swanky bar, but with non of the pretensions. As we got there first, we had Edward's undivided attention who was happy to chat about gin, where we were from, our University (it turns out we both went to Lancaster - small world!) and upon his recommendation, I took my first sip of Belgian gin.

It was potentially the best gin of my entire life.

20 July 2016

BUSTIN' MAKES ME FEEL GOOD.

Source
After watching Ghostbusters with my boyfriend, I came out of the cinema on a high, running around singing 'Bustin makes me feel good' with little care of what anyone else thought.

I was prepared to enjoy the film, I was prepared to laugh out loud at these incredibly funny women on screen, I was prepared, as a Ghosbusters nerd, to enjoy all the throwbacks to the original.

What I wasn't prepared for was the incredible emotional response I had to the film.

And it felt great.

It felt so good.

17 July 2016

Dear (Photo) Diary: Bruges

Bruges, Belgium
Bruges is hands down one of my favourite places I have ever been. So here is my photo diary, and there will be no doubt separate posts following about my favourite things we got up to there.





 
 


 
 






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