12 Great Books for International Women's Day {+ a playlist}

Sunday, 8 March 2015


+ Edith Wharton {The Custom of the Country}
+ Marjane Satrapi {Persepolis}
+ Margaret Atwood {The Handmaid's Tale}
+ Sylvia Plath {The Bell Jar}
+ JK Rowling {The Harry Potter series}
+ Dawn O'Porter {Paper Aeroplanes}
+ Emily Bronte {Wuthering Heights}
+ Angela Carter {The Magic Toyshop}
+ Harper Lee {To Kill A Mockingbird}
+ Astrid Lingdren {Pippi Longstocking} + Dodie Smith {I Capture the Castle}
+ Mary Shelley {Frankenstein}

Coffee Break (iii)

Sunday, 1 March 2015

uk lifestyle blog

I'm not really sure how it's been two whole weeks since I last posted. It honestly feels like I only sat down to write my last Coffee Break a few days ago, and I just can't keep up with how fast the days are whizzing by. Even days in work are in work it feels like the day is gone in the blink of an eye and it's all just starting to feel a little overwhelming. My notebook is brimming with ideas for new posts, but finding the time to actually sit down and write them feels like an impossibility at the moment. I'm definitely ready for a break now, so let's hope Easter arrives just as quickly as February left. Until then, here are some of the things that I've been appreciating this last week or so.

001. It's my birthday! It's been a very quiet day, but I received some lovely gifts from Tom and have spent the day wandering around the market, napping on the sofa and eating more cake than I'd be prepared to admit to.
002. Seeing my parents. Despite only living an hour away, I haven't managed to find the time to see them since Christmas so it was really nice to meet up in Manchester for some lunch yesterday. We finally settled on Jamie's Italian and it was everything I hoped it'd be and more. Ordering Italian nachos was the simultaneously the best and worst decision I've ever made, but I won't be in a hurry to spend £12 on some souvenir napkins...
003. Daffodils. I grew up in Wales so aside from the fact that they make me feel incredibly patriotic, the sight of them always gets me excited for the arrival of spring. I'm definitely over winter now.
004. Work nights out. It might be because I spent so long working alone, but I really treasure sharing my 9-5 with people I enjoy spending time with. On Friday night we got so lost in conversation that we accidentally forgot to eat anything until we were all a bottle of red wine down. Oh well, it was deserved after working until 7pm. As I suppose was my very sore head the next day.
005. Little victories. I've been keeping a diary of little things that have been improving my days throughout February and it definitely makes the miserable, rainy commute and stressful work days a little more bearable. Granted it's mostly just what I had for my tea, but occasionally things like a Topshop voucher win at work also find their way on to the list.
006. New music discoveries. I've been stuck in a bit of a rut with music recently and I've just found myself listening to the same albums over and over again, but this week I seem to have found a lot aural gems. My favourite is currently Father John Misty's cover of Bird on a Wire.
007. Looking good. This week I managed to pick up this Dorothy Perkins shirt for 25% off, keep my hair braided all day and apply my lipstick perfectly.
008. Ridiculous justifications for poor food choices. This week I decided that since I'd only eaten half a bag of crisps at lunch time, I could eat the other half the next day and feel no guilt because they were technically part of yesterday's calorie allowance. That's how it works, okay?!

So, how was your week? 

Coffee Break (ii)

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Sunday treats #vscocam
It's not really the end of the weekend again, is it? The last two days have been the sort where not very much has happened at all, but the thought of leaving them behind to start another week at work is almost unbearable. I've also been feeling a bit under the weather today, so in an effort to keep my spirits up and in the hopes that some optimism (and plenty of oranges) will drive this illness away, here are ten things that have been making me smile this week.

001 || Weekly Wipe. I don't really watch much TV, but I never miss an episode of this. Philomena Cunk may just be my favourite ever person. 
002 || Baking banana loaf. Who'd have thought skanky bananas could bring about so much joy?
003 || Planning holidays. We've already booked a weekend away in Edinburgh next month, but with some leftover tax money we're also planning to visit Bucharest over Easter. There are so many places I want to visit in Romania, but I'm excited to scratch the surface.
004 || Valentine's Day fun. We didn't plan anything or even buy each other a card, but Tom cooked us the dirtiest of dirty burgers and we spent the evening watching Take Me Out, playing Sporcle quizzes and crying with laughter after discovering someone with the name Fernando Poo. Who says romance is dead?
005 || It's almost pancake day! Would you believe that I spent most of my life thinking I didn't like pancakes? What a fool! This year we're seeing The Decemberists on Shrove Tuesday but we'll definitely be making up for the lack of delicious lemon-y goodness on Wednesday. 
006 || Taking better care of myself. I've never made any secret of my struggles with stress and anxiety, but while I seemed to have been coping a little better before Christmas I've been finding it a lot more difficult recently and finally decided to book myself an appointment with the doctor after leaving work in tears last Friday morning. I've seen doctors about it before, but this one was so lovely and I came away with the help I needed, a sensible dose of medication and a lot more optimism. 
007 || Finding the perfect pair of shoes whilst doing the weekly shop. Brown real leather loafers for £25? Thank YOU, Sainsburys!
008 || Getting a seat on the tram. I've managed this miraculous feat twice this week. TWICE! 
009 || Quiet Sundays. While I like to get up at the crack of dawn, Tom prefers to lie in until mid-morning but I love the couple of hours I get to myself on a Sunday morning when I can drink strong coffee, catch up on Youtube videos and laze around reading magazines. 
010 || Days out. At the moment we're both spending up to twelve hours a day out of the house and it's so tempting to spend the weekend doing nothing but eating cake and watching re-runs of Come Dine With Me. We're trying to make the most of our weekends this year though, and last Sunday was spent at Stockport Vintage Village where I bought myself a jumper and ate far too much pie. The perfect Sunday!
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