Blogmas 2019 - Ranking Cadbury Heroes

Blogmas 2019: Ranking Cadbury Heroes Chocolates

We’ve made it, the last installment of ranking Christmas chocolates. It’s been long, it’s been opinionated but here we are. Now it’s Cadbury’s turn to be under the microscope.

Are you ready? Let’s do it.

9. Fudge

Ok, I confess I find these super bland and pretty tasteless compared to some of the other varieties of fudge in other boxes around Christmas. Always left as a last resort.

8. Dairy Milk Caramel

I’m not a fan of caramel and in these it’s too sickly sweet for my liking. and there’s never a good chocolate to caramel ratio. I’m very passionate about this.

7. Eclair

Similar to the toffee penny in Quality Street, this one can take a tooth out if you’re not careful, even though they are pretty yummy. It just takes a while to get through them.

6. Double Decker

They’re not the best but they’re definitely not the worst. I much prefer the bigger version of these but beggars can’t be choosers.

5. Wispa

Pretty standard but also pretty good also works super well if you dip it in hot chocolate – thank me later. 😉

4. Twirl

All hail the Twirl, one of my favourite Cadbury bars in tiny format – what’s there not to love?

3. Crunchie

The addition of the Crunchie was a bloody brilliant idea and they are so tasty, which is why they are secure in the spot of number 3 and not to be moved.

2. Classic Dairy Milk

You can’t beat a classic bit of Dairy Milk can you? It’s a staple of British chocolate and I don’t think you can go wrong with it.

1. Creme Egg Twisted

A little bite of Creme Egg at Christmas? Yes please. One of the best decisions the people at Cadbury made. I stand by it.

Where would you rank the Heroes? Let me know below! 👇

Blogmas 2019: My Christmas Playlist

We are SO CLOSE to Christmas now so I’m hoping you’re all ready to get super Christmassy with a playlist! These are some of my favourite tunes to get me in the mood. Here we go! 🎵

Fairytale of New York – The Pogues

I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday – Wizzard

Santa Baby – Kylie Minogue

Last Christmas – Wham!

Merry Christmas Everyone – Slade

Step into Christmas – Elton John

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! – Dean Martin

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Frank Sinatra

Baby It’s Cold Outside – Tom Jones

Frosty the Snowman – Jackson 5

Happy Xmas (War is Over) – John Lennon & Yoko Ono

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town – Jackson 5

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – The Ronettes

The Christmas Song – Nat ‘King’ Cole

Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) – The Darkness

Christmas Wrapping – The Spice Girls

All I Want for Christmas is You – Mariah Carey

Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee

What Christmas Means to Me – Stevie Wonder

Driving Home for Christmas – Chris Rea

Jingle Bell Rock  – Bobby Helms

Underneath the Tree – Kelly Clarkson (new entry to my faves this year!)

Have I missed any off the list? Let me know below!

Blogmas: My 5 Favourite Audiobooks of 2019

I have listened to so many incredible books this year and choosing 5 was incredibly hard, but I managed it. Because of the way I’m working I don’t think I’m going to get through another audiobook in 2019 so I’m calling it here. But what made the list?

Over The Top – Jonathan Van Ness

Ok honey, make way for THE Jonathan released a book and it was fabulous. Now, I haven’t watched all of Queer Eye but what I’ve watched I’ve loved. Then I saw Jonathan talking about his life, his HIV diagnosis and life I had to get hold of this book and the audiobook was perfect. Jonathan reads it and I could not have loved it more.

It’s Not Ok To Feel Blue (And Other Lies) – Edited by Scarlett Curtis

At first I was trying to read my copy but decided to switch to the audiobook and it was a brilliant choice. A large number of contributors read their own pieces and it makes it easier to digest. As you can imagine, there are some heavy topics in here, but importants ones.

The Flat Share – Beth O’Leary

I don’t usually listen to fiction but seeing as Carrie Hope Fletcher narrated it, I wanted to give it a go. I’m SO glad I did I absolutely loved it, a really heartwarming story and it might even end up as one of my favourite books of the year…

The Five: The Untold Lives Of The Women Killed By Jack The Ripper – Hallie Rubenhold

I heard about this on booktube and was interested and then it came up as a £2.99 deal (if you like audiobooks I’d definitely sign up to them I’ve got some crackers on there). This changes the narrative and instead of focusing on the killer, this looks at the women themselves their lives and families and dispels the myth that they were all prostitutes.

The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid

This book, the cast, the story. I could not stop listening to The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – so much so my fiancé found me listening to it in the evenings as well as all day while working. It’s an incredible novel and I am kicking myself for getting to it so late!

What audiobooks should I check out in 2020? Let me know below!

Blogmas 2019 Bookish Naughty List Tag

Blogmas 2019: Bookish Naughty List Tag

I found this over on Jenniely’s blog (post here) I’m counting this list for this year only not as a lifelong reader. It’s time for the Bookish Naughty List Tag!

Received an ARC and not reviewed it  

I’m yet to find a book blogger/vlogger who isn’t guilty of this – I need to be much more selective in the new year.

Have less than 60% feedback rating on Netgalley

Guilty as charged.

Rated a book on goodreads and promised a full review was to come on your blog (and never did)

Haha, yes of course.

Folded down the page of a book

Probably at some point this year on an old book.

Accidentally spilled on a book

No! I’d be so mad at myself.

DNF a book this year

Yes and I’m so glad I did! I’m totally on board with DNFing books.

Bought a book purely because it was pretty with no intention of reading it

No! I always intend to read them.

Read whilst you were meant to be doing something else (like homework)

Oh totally! Physical books all the time and also audiobooks are a great way to do this because people think you’re just listening to music.

Skim read a book

Yep, although normally it’s either for book club or I end up not finishing a book I have to skim.

Completely missed your Goodreads goal

Smashed it.

Borrowed a book and not returned it

Not this year! But I have in the past and I still feel guilty about it.

Broke a book buying ban

Pfft is this even a question? Of course I have! October was my most recent one, oops.

Started a review, left it for ages then forgot what the book was about

Yep, there’s definitely drafts in this blog that I would have to go back and look up the plot again or have a skim read of the finer points.

Wrote in a book you were reading

Nope, the only time I’ve done this is back when I was annotating while studying. I don’t like writing in books, I didn’t like it then and I don’t like it now.

Finished a book and not added it to your Goodreads

Nope! Not guilty I always add what I’ve read to Goodreads – I want to see that challenge completed!

I tag anyone who’s needing a bit of blogmas inspiration!

Blogmas 2019 - Managing families at Christmas

Blogmas 2019: My Tips For Managing Families At Christmas

Christmas is a time to spend with family – right? Whether that fills you with joy or dread is completely down to your situation and no, I’m not going to put my feelings on the internet for all family members to see. 😉

If, like me and Ali, you have a lot of people you need to squeeze into a short amount of time then I have some tips for you – every year it feels like we need to manage ourselves even more. I’m not even thinking about what will happen when there are kids involved. So here are my top 5 tips for getting through Christmas when it comes to families.

1. Try and plan ahead with others where you can

Trying to juggle 2 sides of family and in-laws can be a little tricky, especially if there are divorced parents involved. Forward planning is key for me. I am already sorting out with my Mum and Ali’s Mum the plans for the day so we can sort things. You don’t need last minute stress.

2. Don’t forget to make time for yourself too!

It’s really easy when you’re trying to keep everyone happy to forget about yourself and your significant other. I’m definitely planning to carve out some time for myself over the holidays – it will probably be spent reading and sleeping but I’m absolutely fine with that.

3. Avoid topics that you know people don‘t agree on *cough* Brexit *cough*

This one. Oh, this one. I find it incredibly hard to do this so I know it’s easier said than done but the less arguments the better. Sometimes it’s better to mentally switch off when these kinds of topics come up…

4. Spread out your visits if you can

Seeing every member of your family on Christmas day isn’t always feasible so if you can why not spread it out? Growing up I would sometimes see one side of my family on Christmas Eve and the other on Christmas Day. When I met Ali I’d add his family to that too.

5. Remember it’s only 1 day…hopefully!

And breathe! It’s going to be ok!

What are your tips?

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!