Blogmas 2019: Ranking Quality Street Chocolates

Blogmas 2019: Ranking Quality Street Chocolates

And here we are! Back with another round of ranking the Christmas chocolates. This time we’re looking at an old classic – Quality Street. Are you ready?

11. Purple One

Yep, I know people won’t agree but I don’t get the hype. It’s not that special in my opinion. It’s okay…just okay.

10. Toffee Penny 

Ok hear me out, yes they are a classic but they can also pull your teeth out if you’re not careful.

9. Coconut Eclair

Personally, I really like Coconut but these are also just ok – pretty bland, also left over at the end of Christmas (which is when I swoop in to my families box because I’m not just going to let them go to waste).

8. Caramel Swirl 

For caramel it’s pretty good, a mix of chocolate and caramel and I’m super picky about the ratio. I know it’s weird, let’s move on.

7. Toffee Finger

Less likely to pull a tooth out and also pretty delicious.

6. Vanilla Fudge

I think that out of all of the tins that include some kind of fudge Quality Street get it right, it tastes like a cloud,

5. Milk Chocolate Block

Standard but a solid choice (get it…solid! Ok I’ll stop). You know what you’re getting with this and it doesn’t disappoint.

4. Orange Creme

The recipe has definitely changed over the years but it’s a classic, it’s festive and comes in just behind its great other half.

3. Strawberry Dream

The Strawberry Dream was my favourite for years but because of a recipe change it’s slipped a few places. I still love it and I will still try and get to them before my sister has the chance.

2. Orange Crunch

Something a little bit different, I love the mix of orange and chocolate and the little crunchy bits make a nice change to everything being smooth all of the time.

1. Green Triangle 

So I adore these chocolates and they need to bring back making the giant ones that they did a few years ago because oh my goodness they are so, so good. Yummmmm.

Bonus (not ranked) Chocolate Caramel Brownie

This is limited edition so I’m not really sure I can add this into the overall ranking.

What order would you put the Quality Street tin in? Let me know below. 👇

Blogmas 2019: Bookish Christmas Stocking Tag

Blogmas 2019: A Bookish Christmas Stocking Tag

It’s time for a book taaaaaaaag! I found this over on HollieBlog, make sure you check out her blog.

You get up on Christmas morning and your stocking is full! You take it down and start to unwrap the treats inside. The first thing you see is…

An orange! Which book is refreshing and vibrant, both inside and out?

Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett was really refreshing read. I’m going to be mentioning it a lot in the coming months because I’ve never read anything like it before. The novel tackles being HIV positive, teenage sex, friendships and more without being a depressing book. More like this please!

The next thing you see is a bag of chocolate coins. Which book have you recently bought that was expensive, but totally worth the high price?

Hmmm this is a tough one because I’m not sure I have bought an expensive book in a while. Everything has been pretty standard but I have asked for the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for Christmas!

You also pull out a bath bomb. Tell us about a book that had explosive action scenes.

I don’t actually read many books that have action scenes in them…the first one that comes to mind is A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas and I can’t even talk too much about it because it’s the 3rd in a series and gaaaah.

A Court of Wings and Ruin

Next is a pack of playing cards. Which series won you over?

This is a tough one because I don’t read that many books that are part of a huge series and if I don’t like the first then I probably won’t carry on.

You also get a candle. Which character is a symbol of hope in their story?

Hazel from the Saga series, we see the story unfold through her eyes and she really is the light within a backdrop of war. I can’t wait for it to come back because the ending to number 9 absolutely killed me.

There are socks inside too. Is there a book that you think really encompasses all the distinctive tropes of its genre?

Red, White and Royal Blue is the PERFECT, new adult romcom, it’s adorable, it gets a bit steamy and it’s also believable. I loved it, I’m just going to keep recommending it to everyone. So, so cute.

There’s also a notebook. Which author’s writing process do you find most interesting/inspiring?

From a world building aspect it’s J.K Rowling – say what you want about more recent times but the Potter universe is magical and wonderful and she has a true talent for creating worlds we can imagine.

To go with the notebook, there’s a fancy pen. Is there a book or a series that you’d change if you’d written it yourself?

Tough question because I don’t know if I would do that even if I could. Oh, maybe I would just rewrite The Cursed Child because everything was wrong and weird. Yes I go on about it, no I’m not going to stop.

There’s also a small bedside clock. Which book took you a long time to pick up but was worth it in the end?

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid for SURE. It turned out to be one of my favourite books and it was so well written – also I’d highly recommend the audio book. I still need to get through more of TJR’s books – maybe that will be a 2020 goal.

Your pile is getting really big. You reach in to pull out the last gift and it’s… a lump of coal? You’re a little disappointed. But you look closer and realise there’s a seam running through the coal. You crack it open and sitting inside is a tiny golden snitch. Tell us about a book that surprised you in some way.

I absolutely adored Over The Top by Jonathan Van Ness – I haven’t watched a tonne of Queer Eye but when I saw Jonathan giving interviews about his book I knew I needed to read it. I was impressed and surprised at his level of honesty in this book and would definitely recommend the audiobook because, honey, it’s Jonathan Van Ness – he was born to entertain.

I’m tagging anyone else taking on Blogmas who needs a little bit of inspo!

Looking After Your Mental Health Over The Holidays

Blogmas 2019: Looking After Your Mental Health Over The Holidays

Ah Christmas, jolliness, lights, and joy – right? But what if you’re not feeling like that during the holidays? It’s worth remembering that for a load of reasons this time of year can be tough for people. They may be living with depression, dealing with grief, not be able to celebrate or could be dealing with a mental health condition.

So here’s a few things to remember to look after your own mental health.

You’re allowed to take a break when you need one

The world might seem like it’s go, go, go over the break but that doesn’t mean you have to. Even if it’s a bath at night or having a cup of tea and 5 minutes to yourself – having a little me time is ok and should be encouraged!

Remember that your social media feeds aren’t always real life

Last New Years Eve I was really ill with a chest infection and while everyone else way partying I was in my PJs and asleep while Ali worked. Christmas is full of decorations, parties and Best 9’s most people aren’t sharing their hardest parts, the days where they cried, their break outs and break ups!

If you have toxic family members in your life you don’t have to spend it with them

I know a lot of people who have tense and sometimes unhealthy relationships with their family but still drag themselves to spend time with them because ‘Christmas is for family’. If it’s detrimental for your physical or mental health then you don’t need to go. If you can’t get out of it try to limit your time where possible – also bathrooms are great places to take a minute to yourself!

Know it’s ok to be sad or tired

This Christmas is going to be a tough one for me and I know there will be times when I’ll be sad. It’s my first Christmas in 12 years without my dog. I will have also worked 7 days straight before so I might not be as festive as I normally am but I’m working on not feeling guilty about it.

Only drink alcohol if you want to!

There’s a lot of pressure to drink around this time, you don’t want to? Then don’t! Also remember no one turns down a designated driver!

Know it’s okay if you need to just get through it

Take it one day at a time.

If anyone comments on your weight eat them

Yep, I know it’s an old joke but I hope it gave you a laugh.

Do you have anything you would add? Let me know below.

Blogmas 2019 - Retail At Christmas

Blogmas 2019: Retail At Christmas

I’m doing it – literally when this goes out I will have been doing it for about 3 weeks. I’ve taken the plunge and headed back to retail for 6 weeks. I’m still freelance but I’m currently between contacts. Where has tempted me to go back into the world of Christmas shoppers? Waterstones of course!

Waaaay back when I was 15 (10 years ago 😬) I did my school work experience in the local book shop, which is the one I’m going back to. I didn’t manage to get the temp job then but I am back!

This is my first Christmas in retail since I was about 17! Last time I was working at Debenhams, I was pretty miserable because I had no interest in what I was selling this time however, I am pumped. I’m selling books guys – BOOKS!

It’s going to be fun and tiring but it’s a new experience for me and I’m looking forward to helping people find books for the people they love. That said, I’m not dumb I know there will be busy and testing times this season but bring it on!

When you’re shopping in the run up to Christmas, don’t forget:

People in retail are people too!

Sighing will not get you any closer to the front of the line.

Everyone is trying to get things done

A smile costs nothing but can change everything

Are you working in retail this Christmas? Let me know below!

Blogmas 2019: Unpopular Opinions – Christmas Edition 🎄

So, as you all know I LOVE Christmas but there might be some opinions I have that aren’t popular. Seeing as you guys love my unpopular opinions posts I thought I might crack one out for Christmas.

As of November 1st, it is time for Christmas

Halloween is done and it’s time for Christmas – someone defrost Michael Buble and Mariah Carey!

Christmas shopping throughout the year is ok!

Most of my Christmas shopping was done by the 1st December and I’m not kidding. So many people thought I was a giant weirdo which, ok maybe I also am, but I LOVED it.

You don’t need alcohol to have a good Christmas

Personally, I don’t really drink over Christmas. I think I get it from my Mum because she was almost always the designated driver while I was growing up so I’ve happily taken that role on now.

Children singing in public places is not needed

Nope, nope, nope. I WAS one of those kids but bloody hell the last thing you need in a packed shopping center is a load of children singing, 20 odd parents standing still with phones

You can keep your Mince Pies and Christmas Puddings

Gross, gross, GROSS.

Vienetta is a perfect Christmas dessert

The best, much beautiful, many yums.

Eating out on Christmas Day is shitty

Here’s the thing people who can’t be bothered to book pay a lot of money for someone else to cook for them BUT what about everyone working? Most service industries do not let their staff have any time off over Christmas.

It sucks but I get it with hotels but Christmas Dinner? No one needs to go for an overpriced meal when they can cook at home most of those people want to be at home with their families not serving your parsnips.

Are there any you don’t agree with or would add?

The Boujee Book Tag

Blogmas 2019 – The Boujee Book Tag

‘Tis the season for more book tags tra la la la la la la la laaaaaaaa. I know I’ve done a lot of Christmassy Book Tags over Blogmas but I’ve seen so many good ones, so why not?

This tag was created by abookolive. Go and give her some love!

1. What is your average monthly budget for books?

Hahahahahaha. Oh, you’re serious? I don’t set myself a budget some times I’ll buy 1, sometimes 3 or if I got to a bookish event like YALC I might get 20 or so…

2. What’s the most you’ve ever spent in a bookstore?

Probably £50 or so? BUT I do get discount in a book shop this Christmas…so we’ll see. At YALC though which isn’t technically a book shop but a lot of stalls I saved and then spent about £150. Eeek!

3. Are you willing to pay full price for a brand new release, or will you wait until you have a coupon or there’s a sale?

I will completely pay full price for a new release! Although I am guilty of a buy one get one free…

4. Would you rather buy one new book or several less expensive used copies?

It depends on the condition of the books to be honest. If they’re in good condition yes but if they’re stained and battered probably not…

5. What do you think is a reasonable price for a new hardback book? A paperback? An eBook?

Hmmm it depends on the book really. I think £15 for a hardback is reasonable, £7.99 for a paperback and about £3 for an ebook.

6. Is a signed book worth more to you? How about a first edition?

Yes, 100%. I love having signed books that the author has touched themselves. And I absolutely LOVE going to signings!

7. What is your most valuable book (sentimental or actual value)?

Hmmm, probably my first edition delux of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Fun fact, we found it at a car boot sale for 50p because people didn’t know what they were selling…

8. Will you pay more for a cover or edition you like better?

Yep.

9. What physical characteristics does a good quality book have?

Nice cover, good quality pages, not mass market or a film poster cover *shudder*.

10. If you won the lottery, what bookish things would you do with the money?

Ok so I have this dream of renting a huge car or even a limo and taking it up to Waterstones Piccadilly and Foyles in Tottenham Court Road after hours to shop to my hearts content. Then have my own library in a new house. Also track down a first edition copy of The Bell Jar.

BONUS: Give us an image (actual or mental) of your dream home library!

Ok so first of all huge, thick carpets and electric heating (open fires are great but fire near books?!) wall to wall shelves, comfy sofas and a small tea tray stacked with snacks and tea at all time.

Want to have a go? Then I tag you – make sure you post your link below!

Blogmas 2019: Ranking The Celebrations Chocolates

Blogmas 2019: Ranking The Celebrations Chocolates

Well, this might be a controversial post but I’m ready to take it on. Are you? I’ve decided that over December I’ll be ranking the tubs of Christmas chocolates and first up we have Celebrations.

Here’s my rankings – keep it civil in the comments guys, we can do this… let’s open the box.

8 – The Snickers One

Ok, so I’m just not a fan of Snickers, not my cup of tea and they always seem to be left at the bottom of the box so I feel like I might not be the only one with this opinion… *ducks*

7 – The Milky Way One

I don’t mind a Milky Way but in mini form it just seems kinda pointless? You can’t get the most of the floaty flavour and I think you just need that from a Milky Way.

6 – The Mars Bar One

Again, similar to the Milky Way one it’s just too small to get the benefit of the bar and I really do like a Mars Bar every now and again!

5 – The Bounty One

Bounty gets such a bad rep and is normally left at the bottom which in my opinion is not deserved. Yes putting it above Mars is controversial BUT I think it works in the tiny size and the more people who leave it for me the better.

4 – The Galaxy One

This is a classic and give me pure joy. There’s no fuss, no frills it’s just a good piece of chocolate you know you can rely on…yes I did just write that about a piece of chocolate.

3 – The Twix One

I’m a big fan of a Twix and while I’m not sure it’s worth swapping out the Galaxy truffle I do love this mini Twix. Crunchy, chocolatey and I can’t eat just one.

2 – The Galaxy Caramel One

Mmm, mmm, mmm gorgeous Galaxy with some smooth caramel? Yes, I am aware that I sound like an advert, this is not spon (but I wouldn’t say no 😉 ) These are so tasty and very nearly got the top spot but were just pipped to the post by the almighty…

1 – The Malteser One

The winner, the almighty, was there any other answer really? There’s a reason there’s a gift box of just Malteser ones because they are the best and I won’t budge on this one. Yes I will also fight my sister for them when Mum and Dad get the chocolates out.

Special shout out to the Galaxy truffle which was a wonderful addition until they ruthlessly cut it.

How would you rank them? Let me know in the comments below and keep an eye out for the next installment 👀.