Joyful January?!

It’s nearly the end of January – yay!! (also, already, how did that happen?!) The opening month of the year has always had a bad reputation for being the bleakest 31 days of the year and whilst this isn’t a wholly unfounded reputation, I’ve been attempting to look at the positives to beat those dreaded January Blues.

Potential financial turmoil (six weeks between paydays –who thought that one up?!) and the hideousness of that inauguration aside, January isn’t really too terrible a month and I’ve come up with ten reasons why it needs to be reviewed and re-categorised as a not-so-bad after all…


Reset button
A new year gives us the opportunity to reset everything – to take stock of the last year and put things behind us, taking only the good things into the new. It’s refreshingly daunting.

Lighter days
We have passed the shortest day of the year (21st December) and now each day is getting longer and lighter – woohoo!

Chilly sunshine
I love days that are chilly but with brilliant with sunshine and this Jan has had plenty! Big scarfs and chunky knitwear – yes please!

Better health
I know the old adage of “new year, new me” and the pitfalls of going all out in the first week of Jan only to completely stop by the second. But hopefully one or two small changes will stick to make this year healthier than the last!

Good ol’ fashioned clear out
It’s cathartic to have a clear out every once in a while and January is the perfect month for digging out boxes and tidying away. You can’t afford to go out so make your nest the best one it can be!

Bargains to be had
Yes, you can’t afford everything you want from the sales and we’ve all fallen into the “up to XX% off” trap (3% off is NOT a sale!) but there are bargains to be had out there if we just have the patience to look (and do the maths!)

January is the month to batten down the hatches, light those candles and settle down to read your Christmas books. Hibernation goals happen in Jan!

Rediscovering Christmas pressies
For the past two years I have journeyed home for Christmas on the train, leaving my opened Christmas presents for my very kind parents to drive back. When they drop off my parcel of goodies early Jan, it’s like opening my presents all over again!

This January delivered the last (potentially) series of Sherlock and had me fixed to my screen of a Sunday eve. I am a big fan of the Gatiss/Moffat, Cumberbatch/Freeman show and this season, for me, it was back on form!

A clean diary
I love a paper diary and every year, as is tradition, Father Christmas hides in my stocking a new clean diary for the year ahead. Not only do I get to go through the old one, reminiscing about the year before, but I get to transfer birthdays, anniversaries, up-coming events in a nice shiny new calendar that’s fresh with no mistakes in.

We’re nearly there though, through the not-so-bad month and waiting with baited breath to see what the rest of 2017 has in store! Hope you’ve had a good start to the year TTWers!


The Arrival of Autumn

This week has been the first week that has vaguely hinted at anything autumnal. I do hate the shorter evenings but the crisp sunny mornings of autumn just cannot be beaten! I’ve had a few morning walks to work that have given me a spring in my step (ironically!), not least because I’ve been wearing my new favourite shoes…


The boy absolutely loathes them but I don’t care, these shoes make me very happy indeed – how can you feel sad or depressed when your feet shine like gold bullion?!

There has also been so much adulting going on in my life that some shiny shoes have been a much-needed distraction! Last weekend the paperwork was all signed off and now suddenly I have a flat to call my own – eee!!! I love my new home, it’s a gorgeous flat and I am incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to be a home owner, but the coming of the handover did give me heart palpitations – so much responsibility! I am now with a modulated spreadsheet (thanks to my incredibly organised sister) and will be trying my very best to keep on top of everything… I’ll keep you posted!

This week has also delivered several very exciting packages – ones I have been waiting on for a very long time! The first is a print from an illustrator I worked with on my In Focus book – the amazing Jessie Ford. I’ve had my eye on her food print for ages, thinking it would be absolutely perfect for my new kitchen, and I eventually ordered and took delivery of it this week – isn’t it pretty?! She’s such a talented illustrator and a lovely lady to boot, please do check out her website.


The second delivery was something I ordered in May (!!) – the second illustrated Harry Potter and it does NOT disappoint! I cannot praise the combination of JK Rowling and Jim Kay enough, he has an intuitive and original view of the Harry Potter-sphere and creates utter magic on the page. I will be doing a proper review in due course but had to just share the excitement!


Wishing you all a fabulous Friday and wonderful weekend TTWers xx


Theatre and Themes

My family and the boy will be the first people to agree with the statement that I am a dramatic person (for me though, the jury is still out on that one!) and so, unsurprisingly, I completely love the theatre! Knowing this, a lot of people have been asking me if I’m going to see The Cursed Child and yes, I am… in March next year! As such, I have no plans to read the book or any of the 5 star reviews until after I’ve been – it’s going to be a LONG seven months!

HP and the Cursed child

Come on March 2017!!

On the flip side, I was incredibly privileged to nab tickets for the preview of Tim Minchin’s new musical Groundhog Day and it was STUPENDOUS! The film was a staple in our household growing up and although Bill Murray is absent, the stage adaptation is so clever and so quick-witted that you just don’t care! If you get the chance to see either of Tim Minchin’s musicals (Matilda or GD) do go, he is a theatrical wizard!

Groundhog Day

“Phil? Phil Connors? Is that you?”

I also need to announce(/warn!) you that two very strong recurring themes are about to hit my Twitter and here at TTW. These will only be for the next few weeks but it’s going to get busy!

The first theme is to do with my job. I am incredibly privileged to have the job of children’s editor and in my company I have the added bonus of being able to write as well. Every book, no matter what the subject or extent, is incredibly special to me but there is one title, due to publish next month, which means even more! More news will follow but here’s a clue… (yes I’m being mildly mysterious!)


The second theme is the gloriousness that is Roald Dahl. I have been attempting to organise myself enough to set up this challenge for two years and it is only this year I am ready! I will explain a bit more on the 31st August, so keep an eye out for that – you may want to join in with me. Fortuitously this challenge coincides with the celebration of 100 years since the birth of this wonderful man so I think it was exceptionally well planned…(by complete accident!)

Roald Dahl

Happy bank-holiday weekending everyone!


Never Too Old For Bluebells

Last weekend the boy and I went awandering in the countryside. He lives out in the sticks (that’s a slightly dramatic Londoner way of saying he lives less than an hour away in Surrey…) and it was my turn to travel to him. So we grabbed our coffees and began traipsing in the woods, only to come across a blanket of bluebells…


Now, I have really lovely memories of walking the bluebell woods near my grandparents’ house when I was little and it was always a big deal when “it was time for bluebells” so seeing these cheery springtime flowers cover the ground with their purpley loveliness was a real nostalgic and unexpected Sunday treat.

And speaking of treats, I had a little bit of money left over from my birthday so decided to bite the bullet and purchase a necklace I had been eyeing up for a while. I love a statement necklace, a taste in fashion I have no doubt picked up from my lovely Mum, and this “We all have a story to tell” offering from Mona Mara UK ticked every box – with a subtly bookish statement on a statement piece of jewellery! I absolutely adore it and am already plotting my next Mona Mara purchase (I may have a problem…)

Book Jewellery

This week I have also learnt two things: 1) never underestimate the happiness-inducing power of a freshly made bed (complete with new cushions!) and 2) always invest in a pair (or two) of novelty socks – they make the world a better place to walk.


Happy Friday TTWers – we’ve made it to the weekend!


Fun, Fairs and Frolics

Hello! I know it has been a while since I managed to blog but the past fortnight has been unbelievably and ridiculously busy but don’t fret! My act is being got together and book reviews are lining up so should be back in business the next coming weeks.

So what have I been doing and where have I been I hear you cry excitedly (I hope…) Firstly, I was in complete awe having seen the amazing Adele live at the O2 – that woman is the DREAM! There are no words to describe how amazing her voice is live and she manages to fill an entire arena but makes you feel like you’re sat on the sofa with your best friend at the same time. Adele, I salute and adore you.


Yes I bought the gig t-shirt because Adele!!!

I then had the chance to escape to the country for Easter weekend and indulge in everything beer-, walk-, chocolate-, pub-related which was an absolutely perfect break away. My sister and I were roped into Easter egg decorating (oo we do like our crafts!) and we had one rain-free day to Julie Andrews it on top of the Shropshire hills in the sunshine – perfection!


One is NEVER too old to decorate foam eggs…

I also became old…er. I’m never usually bothered about how old I am but this year feels like a bit leap for some reason. Perhaps it’s because I had to work on my birthday so it was a bit of a weird day or the fact it was the first birthday I wasn’t waking up to the tune of my parents singing “Happy Birthday” or the fact am now closer to the impending 30 than the lovely comfort of 20 (spoiler, it’s definitely the last one!)

Weird age crisis aside, I had a really lovely week celebrating with all my friends and family, I am one lucky, lucky girl! There were geeky presents galore, cake aplenty and the most gorgeous roses sent to me at work to embarrass my colleagues into realising it was my birthday – my Mum is as subtle as a brick wall, I love her!


Some birthday pressies – I am one lucky girl!

It wasn’t all fun and games though – work has been manic recently due to back-to-back book fairs, which means relentlessly rushing around like a headless chicken for two weeks! A friend of mine saw the stress I was under and surprised me by leaving some tulips and a card on my desk. Not only was that so selfless and unassuming – she dropped kindness and ran! – it was unbelievably appreciated and taught me that even the worst day can be turned around by someone thinking of you. She’s such a gorgeous girl and I know she reads this so thank you Ellie for being so amazing.


Going into the weekend I am off to see Kinky Boots this eve with the Mum and sis, the last netball game of the season (c’mon N.U.Ns!!) followed by an afternoon of celebratory drinking then a hangover-cure walk with the boy on Sunday.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend and chat to you next week!


I Like To Move It, Move It!

I wish I could sing “I like to move it, move it” but I quite honestly loathe, detest and abhor moving – the packing is stressful, the unpacking is hideous and I always lose something important. Still, I do have a gorgeous new flat and now I have that song in my head so that’s a bonus for a Friday morning!


Unsurprisingly the first things to be unpacked were my books, which found their respective homes in the bedroom and the lounge. I so wish I had any of the gorgeous libraries featured in this Buzzfeed post particularly the last – that is one lovely book nook! The boy and I share a dream to have a library one day a la Beauty and the Beast so I’m hoping we’ll one day be perusing the shelves by sliding ladder! My best friend also came to stay and as she is newly engaged, we spent the whole weekend in a haze of bubbles and trying on ridiculously overpriced dresses for me, her bridesmaid! She also bought me this unbelievable moving in pressie, which I completely adore and the sentiment is so true – thanks Luce, you’re the best!!


I took the day off last Friday to recharge the batteries and spend the day behaving like a child down in Brighton. There’s something so magically British about spending a fortune on 2p machines, supping fish and chips on the beach and playing a round of mini golf (especially if you win!) And it most importantly it worked! I have been stressing about everything – from uni to house moving to work to netball – if I could think about it, I was stressing about it. But a day spent by the briny with the boy really seems to have done the trick and I’m even writing again!


This week I have been discovering the joys of Percy Jackson. I absolutely loved all things Greek myth-related when I was a child and studied Classical Civilisation as an A level so had been hoping that I would enjoy Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief and lo and behold I did indeed! Review is to follow but huge shout out to Rick Riordan for combining the modern world with mythology so brilliantly! I also bought a copy of Beetle Boy this week by M.G Leonard – I am a sucker for printed edges and how cool is the one on Beetle Boy?!


This weekend holds all sorts of excitement and I cannot wait for it to get here!! This eve I am heading to Wimbledon theatre with my sister and our bfs for an evening with R-rated puppets in Avenue Q and then tomorrow is the big one – Adele in concert!!!!!*

Wishing you all a fabby Friday and I shall see you next week!


*there are actually not enough exclamation marks in the world to describe how excited I am for this! <- see