Travelling to Disneyland Paris and Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe

28308223_10211187603626742_858455467_nI LOVE DISNEY!

This might seem like a slightly excessive way to start a post, but this one little statement really does sum up my sentiments exactly. For as long as I can remember I’ve been an obsessive Disney fan. Whilst all the other kids in school would flick back and forth between the Disney channel and Cartoon Network, I was exclusively Disney. I’d sit and watch the same shows multiple times, re-watching the classic Disney movies and the Mickey Mouse animations over and over again on repeat. I’m twenty-three now and I’d say I’m even more obsessed than I ever was before. I’m a firm believer that the magic of Disney is for everyone, regardless of age!

As you might imagine, my dream in life has been to visit the crowning glory that is Disney World in Orlando. Unfortunately, and much to my utter agony, I haven’t yet been able to afford the trip. On the other hand, Disneyland Paris is much much closer to home, and is therefore far cheaper than going stateside. When myself and my boyfriend decided we wanted to plan a little trip somewhere to celebrate out five year anniversary, Disneyland was an immediate location idea which we were desperate to turn into a reality. Today I want to share with you some general information and tips about our trip, and hopefully get you inspired to visit the most magical place on earth!

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Author Q and A: Thomas Enger (Killed)

thumbnail_KILLED COVER FinalRecently  I was lucky enough to read Thomas Enger’s latest novel, Killed. I’m a massive lover of good quality crime fiction and with this one being predicted as a ‘Nordic Noir classic’, I was immediately intrigued. If you’ve seen my full length review here, you’ll know by now how much I truly enjoyed this book. It’s brilliantly written with the perfect balance between prose and plot; Enger truly deserved all of the praise he has been given. When I was granted the opportunity to interview the author for the novels upcoming blog tour I was ecstatic. In today’s post I am finally able to share with you the author’s answers to my questions, and I can only hope it will make you as excited to read the novel as I was!

1. Killed is the fifth and final installment in the Henning Juul series which follows a man who is desperate for answers concerning the murder of his young son. How did the initial idea first present itself to you? Did you always envision this as a series of books?

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Review: Trying by Emily Phillips

IMG_7982[1]If I had to describe my reading tastes I would say that it’s pretty literary in style. Whilst I read a lot of genre fiction (fantasy and crime being particular favourites) the ones which stand out always seem to be those with a greater sense of finesse to their writing. Whilst this is the case, I can freely admit that I’m not adverse to the odd ‘lighter’ read every now and then, and I do quite often enjoy a ‘chick-lit’ book when I’m in the right mood.

Trying, the debut novel by Emily Phillips, was a book which most definitely fell into the latter category. It follows the main characters of Olivia and Felix, a married couple who are trying to have a baby. They’ve planned their lives around such expectations, moving house and beginning a sex life with military precision in the hopes of what may soon come to fruition. Whilst the tell tale signs of success remain absent, they are surrounded by friends whose families are ever growing, the couple forced to watch jealously on the sidelines. Amidst their hopes, Olivia is also trying desperately for a promotion at work, things becoming ever more complicated by the arrival of a new boss which may start Olivia down a dangerous path which could see her risk it all. In the midst of trying to get a promotion, trying to maintain her marriage and trying for a baby, can Olivia really have it all?

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Review: Walking Wounded by Sheila Llewellyn

IMG_7950[1]I’ve read and enjoyed quite a few books lately which have focused upon World War Two in differing ways. In The Unwomanly Face of War we had a non-fiction book focusing on the voices of women who actually fought in the war for the Soviet Union. In There Was A Time we saw a close knit community witnessing the affects the war had upon such a place. When I received Walking Wounded by Sheila Llewellyn, I was really intrigued to read about yet another different aspect of the war and what it has done to those who lived through it. There are so many different voices and stories to be told, and getting to discover new aspects of such a monumental piece of history always amazes me.

Set against the backdrop of the struggling Northfield Military Psychiatric Hosptial in 1947, Walking Wounded is a novel which follows the lives of two very different men; one a doctor and one the patient. David Reece is a young man whose dreams of journalism were shattered with the start of the war. Despite its end, the war continues to haunt David, his traumatic experiences in Burma refusing to be left behind. Then we have Daniel Carter, one of the senior psychiatrists at the hospital and the man in charge of treating David Reece. Despite being the one who should be giving the treatment, Daniel has his own inner turmoil’s, suffering through both his own past and the terrible memories of his patients.

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Review: City of Masks by S. D. Sykes

IMG_7919[1]Last April I visited Venice with my two best friends. It was an amazing trip which opened my eyes to the beauty of this city, even with the battle against the mass midday crowds in the main square! Venice is an entirely unique experience, a city situated across a group of 118 small islands linked by more than 400 bridges. It’s a complete maze to the novice, but wrapping in charm all the same. When S. D. Sykes new novel, City of Masks, arrived on my doorstep I was immediately excited. Not only was it historical fiction, a genre I live for, but it’s also set in medieval Venice.

The setting massively sparked my interest in the book and fueled a desire to return to this city once more, but the blurb also arrested my attention. It tells of Oswald de Lacy (Lord Sommerhill), a man stuck in Venice whilst the Hungarian siege prevents a safe departure. Oswald is keen to escape the haunting shadows of his past, but when he stumbles across a murdered man he is dragged into an investigation which leads him deep beneath the decadence of this city. With the likes of the Signori di Notte, the feared secret police, to contend with, OSlwald is keep to avoid attention, but all too quickly he learns that he is not the only one with something to hide. The city holds secrets, deadly ones, and the people of Venice are hiding behinds masks which are used for more than their carnivals.

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The Dough Thrower, Cardiff

IMG_7660When your boyfriend (now fiancé!) is a full time chef working in a restaurant your local food bloggers love, its to be expected that food would play a large role in our lives. We’re both massive foodies, and if days off aren’t spent with him cooking and me baking, its more than likely that we’re dining out for food. Even so, despite our versatile taste buds and the vast amount of food he’s cooked for me, there’s still one thing which is undoubtedly my favourite meal; pizza.

We’re pretty lucky here in Cardiff as we have quite a few places where we can get a stand out pizza – Dusty Knuckle, Calabrisella and Cafe Citta are just some which spring to mind. When I realised another pizza centered venue was opening up under the rather apt name of The Dough Thrower, I was immediately intrigued. Sadly, with a hectic work period and a partner who works incredibly unsociable hours, its taken me quite a while to finally sample their food. Fear not, for it was definitely worth the wait!

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