#GIRLBOSS – Book Review

I’m about a year too late to the party, but having recently watched the Netflix series I felt inspired to read the book itself. I am of course talking about #GIRLBOSS.

#GIRLBOSS book review
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You probably already know by now, but #GIRLBOSS is written by Sophia Amoruso, founder of multi-million dollar fashion empire Nasty Gal, and is a bit of a rags to riches kind of story. Sophia tells her tale in this book which is part autobiography, part motivational speech.

I didn’t know much about Amoruso or her Nasty Gal empire before I watched the tv series, but I felt that the book was kind of like getting a pep talk from your sassy, savvy (and very rich) friend. I enjoyed the first half of the book and it made me feel inspired and wanting to get up and go do something extraordinary but unfortunately my interest dwindled towards the end of the book… there’s only so many times you can read “I am the CEO of a $100-million-plus business” and not grow jaded.

This is not a self-help book in the sense that it will give you insider info to help you run your own empire, but it will give you a bit of a pep talk to go out there and get shit done.

Here are some of my favourite quotes:

“The energy you’ll expend focusing on someone else’s life is better spent working on your own. Just be your own idol”

“It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is for permission”

“Focus on the positive things in your life and you’ll be shocked at how many more positive things start happening. But before you start to think you just got lucky, remember that it’s magic, and you made it yourself”

“When your goal is to gain experience, perspective, and knowledge, failure is no longer a possibility. Failure is your invention”

“It’s cool to be kind. It’s cool to be weird. It’s cool to be honest and to be secure with yourself. Cool is the girl at a party who strikes up a conversation with you when she notices you don’t seem to know many people there”

“Clothing is ultimately the suit of armor in which we battle the world”


Have you read #GIRLBOSS? What motivational books would you recommend? Feel free to comment below!

Alphabet Dating S is for Stranger Things

Alphabet Dating – S is for Stranger Things

How to host your own Stranger Things themed party

I’m a bit late writing about this now the hype around season 2 has kind of ended, but in a similar vein to the Elf night we hosted the other Christmas, we thought we’d invite people over and host a Stranger Things themed party.

So, if you fancy doing it yourself or perhaps want a head start before season 3, here’s how to host your own Stranger Things themed party…

Step 1: Channel Joyce channeling Will
Take a queue from Joyce Byers and string up a whole bunch of fairy lights. You don’t have to go as crazy as she did but at least get some nice coloured ones on your wall. We also hung some from the ceiling in our hallway too which culminated into a ball of light, you know, incase Will got in touch.

As for painting the alphabet on the wall like Joyce did, we just cut out some big black paper letters and taped them to the wire on the fairy lights so as not to damage the paint work. If you don’t want to draw your own letters, you can buy printable replicas of the tv alphabet here.

Host your own Stranger Things night

Step 2: Add some decorative touches
We printed out a couple of posters to stick up, one of which was Will’s missing poster, the other an E.T. inspired Stranger Things poster designed by my very talented husband. We also gave everyone temporary tattoos of the number 11, just like Eleven had.

Another idea would be to create a Stranger Things playlist (such as the theme tune and ‘Should I stay or should I go’ by The Clash) to play while you’re greeting your guests and eating dinner, kind of as a prelude before watching the show.

Turn your home into 80s Hawkins, Indiana with these Stranger Things inspired posters

Step 3: Create a menu
You can go even more extra than sticking ’11’ tattoos on your guests, by printing your own Benny’s Burgers stickers and then sticking them onto a retro style ketchup bottle and burger bar style food baskets. Not only did we do this, but my husband also designed a menu which consisted of Stranger Things themed food: Benny’s Build a Burger (burgers and fries served in baskets, add your own toppings such as onion rings, gherkins etc), Elle’s Eggo Delight (waffles, obviously, except we don’t have Eggos in England) and then to wash it down “Hawkin’s Lab Cola” aka cans of coca cola.

His creativity puts me to shame.

Be sure to create a Stranger Things inspired menu for your theme night

Step 4: Sit back and enjoy the show
In all the excitement of making everything themed around Stranger Things, don’t forget to actually sit down and watch the show!

"Will? Are you there?"

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How to host your own Stranger Things themed party

A beginners guide to Geocaching

Now we’re finally seeing the signs of summer here in England, it’s great to get out and about in the sunshine. So put down the Pokemon Go and listen up, kids – I’ve got a real treasure hunt for you… Geocaching!

A beginners guide to geocaching

What is Geocaching?

Geocaching is a “real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS enabled devices”.

What you need

  • A mobile phone with Geocaching app. There is a free version which is quite limited and a paid for subscription which, although pricey is alot more accurate and shows alot more caches available.
  • A pen for writing in log books
  • Trinkets and toys for swapping (optional)
  • Gloves – i.e. garden gloves for if you need to put your hand into a bush or something (optional)
  • A good pair of eyes!

a beginners guide to geocaching

How to play

  1. Download the app and register as a player. The username you assign yourself will be what you sign in the log books that you find.
  2. Switch on your GPS and use the app to discover just how many geocaches are near you.
  3. Once you’ve chosen a cache to find, follow the compass on the app to head to the location. Read the clues as to what you are looking for and get searching!
  4. Once you locate the cache, sign your username and the date in the log book. If you take any of the “treasure” inside the cache, be sure to replace it with something of equal or greater value.
  5. Put the cache back where you found it and don’t forget to mark on your app that you found it. Also leave a little comment for the person who created the cache, as well as future geocachers, to let them know what you thought of it.

Signing the log book in a geocache

Terminology

Cache – A cache can be as big as a lunchbox or as small as a USB stick. A cache is the “treasure chest” so to speak.
Log Book – Usually a piece of paper rather than a book. Sign this when you locate a cache.
Muggle – Like the term from Harry Potter, muggle refers to non-geocachers. When geocaching, try not to reveal a cache to a muggle. Keep it secret – it’s more fun!
Swag – Trade items left in caches. Most are cheap plastic toys and tat but some might be trackables. Most caches are too small for swag anyway.
Trackables – Also known as Travel Bugs, these are specially purchased trackable tags which are tracked online at geocaching.com. If you find one, the idea is to move it on to another cache so it can travel around.
DNF – Did Not Find. If you see this a few times on the app for a particular cache, chances are the cache has been tampered with unbeknownst to the cache creator.
FTF – First To Find. Pretty obvious – written by the first person to find the cache.
TFTC – Thanks For The Cache.

Placing a trackable into a geocache

Me and my husband have taken up geocaching as a quirky summer hobby. We started last year as a fun way to explore the local area and have just started to do it again this year now the weather is warm again.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of trackable travel bugs when the Geocaching.com founder Jeremy Irish released 7 deadly ducks (based on the 7 deadly sins) into the wild. In honour of the 15th anniversary, the 7 deadly ducks have been reincarnated in a race lasting from 20 July to 20 August (International Geocaching Day) in a competition to see how far these trackable tags travel. So hubby bought the ‘greed’ duck and we have now released him out into the geocaching wilds. I will keep you posted on his progress – wish us luck!

Greed - 7 deadly ducks - geocaching race

Have you taken part in The World’s Largest Treasure Hunt? or are you a Geocaching Muggle? Drop me a line below…

Sunlounger 2 – Book Review

Although I don’t read as much as I used to, I usually like to find a bit of time to chill out with a good book while on holiday. My latest read was Sunlounger 2 – a collection of short stories “from some of the hottest names in women’s fiction”. As the title suggests, the book features many sun-drenched, wanderlust-inducing stories ideal for getting lost in whilst lounging on a beach.

Sunlounger 2 - book review
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While adventure and romance are the main themes of this book, I did find that it started to become quite predictable. The following plotline could sum up half of the stories in the book: heartbroken girl travels overseas to get over her ex, girl meets sexy foreign stranger, stranger woos girl with either food or by becoming her personal tour guide, girl and sexy stranger fall in love and live happily ever after. So I would say this book is best enjoyed in small chunks rather than devouring it in a couple of days.

That said, there were a couple of stories I found quite creepy and disturbing, kind of the antithesis of a happy summer tale. And a couple of the stories were also heartbreaking and sad but still beautifully written.

Not every tale was to my taste and there were a few that I found a bit rushed or pointless. Of course this is all subjective but I have decided to highlight a few of the more memorable stories in my very own…

* drumroll *

SUNLOUNGER AWARDS!

Funniest Story: Summer Secrets and Surprises By Molly Hopkins (Destination:Corfu)
– I genuinely LOL’ed on my sunlounger.

Biggest Tearjerker: Dreams of Pushkar By Alexandra Potter (Destination: India)
– Although The First Last Dive By Ruth Saberton comes a close second.

Most Inspiring: A Blood Lily from Moses By Roisin Meaney (Destination: Africa)
– Quitting my job and moving to Africa to live with the giraffes now ‘kay bye!

My Heart Wants More: How to have your Best Summer Ever! By Lisa Dickenson (Destination: Australia)
– I could be besties with the main characters in this one, reminded me of being a teenager.

The Ideal Short Story: The Party Boat By Jo Carnegie (Destination: Croatia)
– Perfect length, felt complete.

Most Unique: We Found Love By Ilana Fox (Destination: The Future)
– Set between 2014 London and 2075 Havana. Really thought provoking especially as I live just outside London and was reading this while in Cuba.

My Verdict
Sunlounger 2 is great if you wish to discover more authors so I will be checking out some new books for my kindle in the near future!


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10 ways to embrace your inner child

As it’s my birthday this week (and I am alot older than I look and act!) I thought I would write something a little bit different to my usual travel tips and tales.

Even though I am married and have responsibilities like a job, house and mortgage, I feel far from being “a proper adult”. I am not someone who knows about the current interest rates on an ISA or whether we should be in or out of the EU.

Mr Potato Head figure in Downtown Disney, Orlando, Florida
Me and Mr Potato Head in Florida

I should probably think about growing up soon but then again, as my past self once said “Immaturity is the key to a youthful complexion”. So I’ll save that for another day and instead share with you 10 ways to embrace your inner child!

1. Grab some junk food and have a Disney movie marathon. If Disney isn’t your thing (what are you doing here?!) then indulge in some classics from your childhood. For you 80/90s kids, how about Home Alone, Big, The Goonies, Jurassic Park and Ghostbusters?

2. Go to the park, play on the swings and feed the ducks (although not bread as apparently this is bad for them).

Cute dog on a swing
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3. Summer? Have a water fight! Winter? Have a snowball fight!

4. Go to an ice cream parlour and have a massive sundae for lunch.

Sour Candy Hit Sundae from Creams Cafe

5. Listen to a song that brings back nostalgic memories then dance around like a nutter or sing along to the top of your lungs.

6. Spend the day at the zoo/funfair/theme park.

Waltzer ride lit up at a funfair

7. Play some video games. I’m a fan of the Nintendo Wii.

8. Blow bubbles – either from a pot with a wand or through the medium of bubblegum.

Blowing bubblegum

9. Get creative. “The creative adult is the child who survived” – Ursula K. Le Guin. So write a story, paint a picture or just get messy with glitter! Unleash your creative spirit!

10. Go to a fancy dress party. Or just dress up for the fun of it.

Taking my fashion cues from Minnie Mouse at the World of Disney Store in Orlando
Taking my fashion cues from Minnie Mouse at the World of Disney Store in Orlando

What’s your favourite way to embrace your inner child?

10 ways to embrace your inner child
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If you liked this post then you might enjoy Alphabet Dating – K is for Kids for the day.

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