Independent Shops Tour in FarGo Village

When I travel and visit new places there are always a couple of things in particular that I look out for when I’m there, good food and drink and AMAZING geeky shops to visit and spend all my cash at!

When Amy (Writing into the Ether) asked if she could take me around FarGo Village in Coventry on a little tour, I couldn’t say no really. Although my boyfriend is from Coventry and we often ventured into the town centre when he lived there, we never really went to FarGo Village. Why? I don’t actually know!

We’ve been since, but Amy took me around everywhere, which was so much fun!

In return I recently took Amy on a tour of my favourite places to visit in Birmingham, which she’s written about and posted today on her blog! I’ll link her post here so you can go and read where we went. Birmingham is amazing for geeky shopping, as well as amazing Asian food and drink, so much so we are planning another trip to tick off the places we didn’t manage to go.

FarGo Village is classed as Coventry’s creative quarter and from photos I actually thought it was bigger than it is. I feel like that due to the fact they’ve made so much use out of all the space, which is amazing. It reminds me of the Custard Factor in Digbeth Birmingham, which is somewhere I practically lived in as a student and in my early 20’s.

FarGo is an artistically re-purposed industrial space in Coventry City Centre, designed exclusively for creative, independent businesses and like-minded visitors. Located on Far Gosford Street, a recently regenerated area with a rich cultural heritage.

We are fiercely independent! We have an eclectic mix of over 40 independent businesses based here, including a craft brewery, artisan food, vegan shop, printing , a museum dedicated to Sgt Bilko and a Crossfit Box!

Quote taken from FarGo website

FarGo Village isn’t just a place to go shopping but is also great for food and drink! As of yet I haven’t actually eaten in FarGo Village, although I have eaten at places on Far Gosford Street. I’m sure in the future I will have something to eat at FarGo Village!

They so have SOME geeky things, including some Studio Ghibli art books which you can pick up from TAG! Artwork.

FarGo Village isn’t full of geeky places to shop, but it does have a lot of amazing independent shops to visit, with some already becoming must have shopping destinations for whenever I visit Coventry moving forward.

The first place we ventured to was Sgt Bilko’s Vintage Emporium which was pretty cool! It’s a vintage memorabilia shop with various different geeky bits and pieces, from Doctor Who, Star Wars, Marvel and more! They had loads of comic books in there where you could grab 10 for £10, which Amy took advantage of. I’m not a comic book girl myself and much prefer manga. This being said, the shop still had some amazing geeky pieces though, a definite must place to go if you’re into vintage geeky films and TV shows, I’m more of an otaku girl. 😛

We popped into Budda Boutique where I picked myself up some incense cones, which I have since used and have made my house smell gorgeous. This is the perfect place for hippies to visit, as it is a holistic shop that sells various different products ranging from clothing, healing crystals, jewellery and more! I loved collecting and using healing crystals growing up so whenever I venture into shops like this it really does bring back some nostalgia for me. This is a lovely store and one I will go back to time and time again when I visit FarGo Village.

We ventured onto the opposite side of FarGo Village to have a look at some of the stores I love the most in Fargo Village.

TAG! Artwork is definitely one that has caught my eye due to the cute and quirky books they sell! They do also sell art supplies too but I was in there for the manga! They sell quite a bit of manga to be fair, which is really nice. However, a lot of the manga they sell is also faded from the sunlight, which is a bit of a shame all around but mostly due to the fact they’re selling these for full price too. :S I’d want a discount considering they’re technically “damaged”. They also sell some quirky books and I regret not picking up the book Japanese Floaty Food Guide as I would love to have this for when I go to Japan. Next time I’m in FarGo Village I plan to pick it up!

Container No.8 is full of some right little gems and it’s a shop I would love to buy something from, but both times I’ve been (once with Amy and once with Dane) I’ve always wanted to be good. If I had of splurged a little, I think I would have ended up getting one of these cute little dinosaur necklaces by Bekbek Makes. Honestly, I always eye these cuties up whenever I go in but I just never buy one. 😦 I really love the green triceratops pin badge that I saw, but again. I left him behind. 😦 Bekbek Makes does have an online shop, which I have linked back to under the sellers name here. 🙂

Check out some of the items I love from Bekbek Makes:

Stegosaurus Necklace Large – Pastel Purple & Blue

Triceratops Pin Badge- Dark Purple & Green

Stegosaurus Pin Badge – Pink & Green

Container No.8 was a bit of a mix match of local sellers produce and items, which I really like! It means there is one shop with all sorts of different goods. These cute little honey bar bottles were too cute to not snap a photo of.

I’m not a vegan, hell I’m not even a vegetarian but The Green Unicorn Vegan Store is an interesting little store and I actually picked something up from there during our shopping trip. This gorgeous little store is promoting not only vegan produce but also for people to cut down and stop using plastic, which is something I would like to stop doing and I’m trying to do. The Green Unicorn Store is perfect because you can bring in your own jars, bottles and more to fill up with goods and take away. I ended up buying some cloth bags which I now use when I’m out shopping and want to buy fruit. I feel good not using plastic one use bags. 🙂

The last shop we ventured into before we decided to get a drink was, and I LOVED it so much! Fantayzia Designs is a retro style store that creates things out of stuff people bring in, as well as sell some of those items too. For example the owner has created lamps out of old cassette tapes, which looked really cool! I’m gutted I didn’t take a photo of them to be honest.

I love how the entrance to the shop has some chairs and vintage games on old TV’s. Anything like this attracts me straight away and when we went inside I made sure to have a look at what vintage games, consoles and more that they had on offer. I’m a console collector so I’m always into finding gems like this. Due to this however, it did break my heart a little to see this Game Boy Pocket turned into a clock… 😛 That being said, it was pretty cool all the same. ^_^

When we were shopped out we decided to head to my favourite place in FarGo Village, Bubble Boba for some must needed drinks and natter. I ordered the Red Velvet cheesecake, which was AMAZING! Definitely my favourite drink from there now. I visited Bubble Boba for Mockail Party and Masterclass recently, which was organised by Bubble Boba and Amy, which you can read about here.

It had started to rain not long after we sat down outside Backhaus & Co with our drinks so we finished chatting, drank up and headed for shelter in The Big Comfy Bookshop.

I really love The Big Comfy Bookshop and this was my first time visiting. I haven’t ventured into FarGo Village since me and Amy did so I haven’t been back, but honestly that place is perfect for anyone who just wants a bit of piece and quiet to write on their own, or with friends. I wish there was somewhere like this near my home so I could venture there after work to grab a coffee and do some blog writing.

The thing I love the most about The Big Comfy Bookshop is how all the books they sell second hand books and let you sit to read them too. I found a gem from my teenage years and it made me so nostalgic! I still own the novel Guitar Girl which I still love and read occasionally (maybe I’ll write a story post about this book in the future?). I also found some amazing cookbooks for sale! They also have a selection of manga on the shelves, which they need more of. 😛

We stayed for a drink, a bit of cake and some more natter before we parted ways. It was a lovely day and I really enjoyed the little tour Amy gave me of FarGo Village. I really want to go again when they have an event on. They had a car related event on this day which to be honest annoyed me. People were revving their cars occasionally which just ruined the relaxed mood for me. I can’t moan about that too much however, as I know this doesn’t always happen in FarGo Village.

We didn’t managed to pop into some shops, as I have a feeling due to it being Sunday, they were shut. I think this is such a shame as it means if people work in retail and get Sunday’s off, they miss out on all the gems in FarGo Village.

Some of the places I’m sad we missed out on are:

Olivia Thomas Handmade – I don’t recall if we saw this or not, or if we did and it wasn’t open but the handmade pieces by Olivia Thomas look and sound gorgeous and I’d definitely love to go in the future to pick some pieces up for myself, as well as for friends and family as gifts.

Oshin Art & Craft – This place reminds me of Japan and I don’t know why. It just looks so crafty and kawaii inside, but I feel like when I went in before it just wasn’t for me. I’d love to go again to see what it’s all about!

The Drawing Room – A tattoo shop where (obvs) you can get tattooes done! I know a few people who have a few pieces done here, especially by Kerste Diston (kerste_tattoos on Instagram). Her pieces are gorgeous and she recently posted a photo of design she drew of Haku from Spirited Away.

Overall I loved the little tour Amy took me on of FarGo Village! I don’t think I could have asked for anyone better to take me around. Amy is so passionate about FarGo Village and it shows constantly. I can understand why she loves it so much, it’s such a quaint little place full of unique shops and little treasures. I really want to venture to FarGo Village more in the future, especially when there are events being held there.

Oh by the way, look at how famous Amy is in The Big Comfy Bookshop! 😛

If you’re ever in Coventry will you be popping into FarGo Village? Do you have anything like FarGo Village where you live? If you do, please let me know about it! 😀

Until next time, take care all and I hope you’re having a lovely morning so far.

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Cosy Club Cocktail Making Masterclass*

If there is one thing I love doing after a day of work and over the weekend, it’s to have a nice cold drink and I don’t mean just your average glass of coke.

I love cocktails and always have since I was a student! I love learning how to make them and I especially love drinking them. I remember in my third year of university discovering Tipsy Bartender on YouTube and spending days and evenings watching all of his videos for tips and ideas on how to make cocktails. I loved it and I learnt so much from it.

Fast forward almost ten years later and I still make cocktails for myself and Dane and friends when they come over. My specialities are pina colada and amaretto sours. These are my two favourite cocktails to make, as well as drink.

As readers may remember, I attended the Cosy Club at Christmas time last year to review their Christmas menu and I loved it so much! Not only did I discover another one of my favourite cocktails but it was also an amazing event and the staff made me and Dane (who was my plus one) feel very much loved. 🙂

Fast forward almost ten months later and I was invited to the Cosy Club again to attend a cocktail making masterclass at their Birmingham store. Let me tell you, it was the perfect event for a hot day after work. I even got to take a plus one, so I took one of my best friends with me (hey Jacqui!).

This was a gifted item for promotional and reviewing purposes, so all views on this post are entirely my own.

I arrived at the event a little bit early and pooped from a lot of walking so I decided to have a sit down as I waited. The staff were all so friendly and made me a complimentary drink whilst I waited for the event to start. It was nice to just sit for a few minutes and sip on my drink of choice.

Cherry Bakewell £8.50/£23.95 pitcher
Take cherry juice and amaretto almond liqueur, gently mix with Mount Gay rum, add a drop of caramel syrup to sweeten and bake (or rather shake) then garnish with a cherry.

I mentioned it earlier, my favourite drink from the Cosy Club – Cherry Bakewell. I love that this comes in pitchers to be honest! I would drink the whole thing happily on my own and behave like a rabid animal if anyone went near it… 😛 It’s a sweet drink and tastes just like cherry bakewell cake. It contains amaretto, which is my favourite spirit, so how could I NOT love this cocktail?

When the event was due to start we all went upstairs to the Board Room, which is used for private events, such as the cocktail making masterclass which we were attending.

There wasn’t a huge group of us, eight in total which was really nice. It meant we all managed to have a go at making cocktails which is always good.

On arrival to the Board Room/the event we were greeted with an Aperol Spritz, which is one of the Cosy Club’s sparkling cocktails.

Aperol Spritz £7.75
The civilised aperitif, loved by the Italians, embraced by the British. Aperol and orange bitters topped with fizz and a dash of soda. A delightful livener to start proceedings.

The Aperol Spritz was refreshing and a drink you could serve to people at a BBQ or during a garden party, it’s especially perfect for older ladies. I’d be lying if I said I loved this one… It really wasn’t my cup of tea due to the fact it contains soda. I can’t stand soda. It was good though nonetheless. The flavours all worked together really well to create this drink. My best friend loved this and I have a feeling she’s been craving them since… 😛

We all mingled and had chatter amongst ourselves and when the time was right we were given the agenda for the evening. We would be creating two cocktails each ourselves, EXCITING!

We were going to be having a go at making the Rhubarb & Elderflower Spritz, which is another one of the sparkling cocktails and Blow a Raspberry at Collin, which is a long cocktail.

Photo taken by my plus one Jacqui

As we sat down and slowly finished our Aperol Spritz drinks, we were brought out some mojito shots. These were amazing, but I think we were all a bit shocked by the salt that lined the rim of the glass… A slugs worst nightmare! 😛

The first drink we were creating was the Rhubabrd & Elderflower Spritz!

Photo taken by my plus one Jacqui

Rhubarb & Elderflower Spritz £7.95
A shimmery goddess of a drink with Warner’s rhubarb gin, elderflower, fizz and a touch of sparkle.
Created by Sally Latham from Cosy Club Cheltenham

I already want to put this out there that not all of the images of this drink do it justice for just how GORGEOUS it is! It has edible shimmer in so it’s like the stuff that unicorns are made of. 😛

Both myself and my best friend had a go at making these, which was so much fun! But before we were able to get our grubby mitts on the cocktail shaker, we were all given a demo of how the cocktail is made, just so we were ready for when it was our turn to step behind the bar.

For the majority of the photos of the Rhubabrd & Elderflower Spritz being created are of my best friend Jacqui! 😀

First the Warner’s rhubarb gin

Photo taken by my plus one Jacqui

Then the elderflower cordial

Some lemon juice

Some raspberry puree

Finally the last thing before the drink is shaken! The edible golden shimmer! You only needed a tiny amount to create such a gorgeous drink.

Photo taken by my plus one Jacqui

Photo taken by my plus one Jacqui

Then it was time to SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE!

Photo taken by my plus one Jacqui

Photo taken by my plus one Jacqui

After shaking you can poor the drink into the glass, before adding the final stage of this drink – the prosecco.

When we finished making our drinks we were allowed to go off and enjoy them to our hearts content!

Photo taken by my plus one Jacqui

Photo taken by my plus one Jacqui

In all honestly I was surprised by how much I really liked this cocktail. I’m not the biggest fan of gin and if anything I find it to taste so wrong… Like it shouldn’t be drinkable. However, the rhubarb in the gin made it really sweet alongside the elderflower, lemon and raspberry and if anything it complimented the taste of gin so well! Not mention the unicorn sparkles throughout the drink, that EVERYONE was going mad over. 😛

I sadly didn’t manage to get any photos of it, but at one point during the evening we were made the Cosy Club’s Cosy Colada. It was vegan friendly as they use coconut cream instead. It was so damn good and I really enjoyed it! I didn’t know the Cosy Club served pina coladas so I know what I’ll be sipping when I go next! 😛

Cosy Colada £8.50
If you like Cosy Coladas… Avoid the rain with a Cosy umbrella and a spiced pineapple oomph for our take on this coconutty classic.

After having a go at making our own cocktails it was time to have a sit down, enjoy our drinks and have something to eat. I want to be honest and pop this here… I popped to the loo quick as from consuming all the alcohol, I NEEDED to go! When I came back most of the food had gone and people were going up for seconds. I hadn’t even sniffed the buffet and there was hardly anything left for me. I wonder if I’d have been in the toilet longer, would I have had anything to eat? It sucked to be honest and was very inconsiderate on the other bloggers to take so much food when they could see I wasn’t there…

Either way I managed to grab a little something to eat and the food was so good! I remember trying the Camembert at the Christmas event last year and not feeling it… This time however I LOVED it and was sad there wasn’t more. I think my reason for not enjoying it last time was due to it being served with sourdough bread, which I’m not the biggest fan of anyway.

Photo taken by my plus one Jacqui

After food it was time to get back to cocktail making! I was first up with my best friend, so sadly we didn’t get any photos of us making our cocktails. We made the Blow a Raspberry at Collin cocktail, another one with gin.

Photo taken by my plus one Jacqui

Blow a Raspberry at Collin £8.50/£23.95 pitcher
Pucker up for our Chase GB gin, raspberry shrub, fresh lemon juice and soda beauty, sealed with a kiss.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy the Blow a Raspberry at Collin as again, I’m not a fan of gin at all! I wasn’t super over the moon with it, but it was drinkable and to be honest it was nice to try something different. I just think it didn’t help that it contained gin and soda water… Two things I’m not a huge fan of in the alcohol world. This is a drink I know my mom would enjoy and due to it being a long drink, it’s perfect to have if you want to have a mom and daughter night out for cocktails at the Cosy Club!

Overall the event was amazing! I had so much fun during it and it was especially fun to have my bestie Jacqui with me to create and taste cocktails with. The two members of staff who looked after us were lovely throughout and catered to so much more than they needed to! For example when I was taken to the room the event was held in, my Cherry Bakewell cocktail was carried up for me. They didn’t need to do that, but those little details are so lovely and perfect. I felt special, let’s put it that way! xD

The Cosy Club have some offers in relation to both cocktails as well as the cocktail masterclass that we attended.

First of all from Sunday to Thursday, 4pm-8pm it’s the Cosy Club’s Teatime Tipple so cocktails are any two for £9.95! Such a bargain and me and my best friend already intend to take advantage of this offer.

As I mentioned the Cosy Club do hold Cocktail Master Classes for their customers which have different packages you can choose from (taken from the website):

1. Cocktails – £29.95 per person
• Exclusive use of our private room either between 12-5pm or 6pm- late
• An ice-breaker shot to get your shake on
• 3 cocktails of your choice that our bartender will teach your party how to make
• The chance to get behind the bar and create our wonderful cocktails on your own
• Enjoying the fruits of your labour by sipping on those beautiful cocktails you’ve made

2. Cocktails and Tapas – £39.95 per person
• Everything included in package one above
• A selection of tapas for your party served in our private room

3. Cocktails and Dinner – £44.50 per person
• Everything included in package one above
• A 2 course meal from our party menu, served in our private room

4. The Whole Shebang – £47.95 per person
• Everything included in package one above
• A 3 course meal from our party menu, served in our private room

*Subject to availability. Minimum 6 people, maximum 20 people. The cocktail master class is roughly a 2 – 3 hour session excluding any food. Terms and conditions apply. Not in conjunction with any other offer. Please note that when booking for more then 15 people, a third cocktail is served on arrival instead of being made by the guests.

I would definitely love to go and do something like this with a group of friends over Christmas, as well as for my birthday and more! It was so much fun to do, so I know with more people it would be amazing.

Before I wrap up this post and sign off, I just wanted to address a few things from the event that have bugged me. It’s honesty hour time!

If there was one thing I didn’t like about this event it was just how inconsiderate some of the bloggers were who attended… Not all, but some. People seemed to forget it wasn’t just them taking photos of the cocktails being made and due to that hogged the drinks. It was frustrating and again, inconsiderate. I also found it rude that some people talked about their blogs and what they were about, but didn’t even ask me about mine. It was a bit shitty but meh. Then at the end of the night some people attending the event didn’t say goodbye to me and my plus one, but did to everyone else, which sucked.

I wanted to address this and be honest because that’s what I am on my blog. I will never bullshit my readers with fluff and fakery. It something isn’t right I address it and some of the bloggers at this event were downright impolite, whether it was intentional or not.

This is no way shape or form reflects on the Cosy Club. As always their event was fabulous and well organised. The two gorgeous staff members who looked after us during the event was so approachable, talkative and gave a lovely warm welcome. Cosy Club are always so generous when it comes down to their events and I still cannot believe they gifted me the Cherry Bakewell even before the event had begun. It was so thoughtful and was very much appreciated after a long day at work and an even longer walk to get the train to town.

Negatives aside, I really did love this event and if anything it has given me so many ideas for cocktails I would love to make for garden parties this year, as well as games evenings with friends!

A massive thank you to the Cosy Club for inviting me to another one of their events! I always have an amazing time there both as a blogger at events as well as a customer with friends and loved ones. 🙂

Do you love cocktails? If so, which is your favourite? Also do you love the Cosy Club too? 😀 Make sure to let me know in the comments!

Until next time all take care and I hope you’re having a lovely weekend so far.

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The Perfect Daily Journal – Mal Paper Daily Goal Setter*

If there is one weakness I have, besides Nendoroid figures and salmon nigiri, it’s stationary. I love a good notebook and/or journal and I’m always a sucker if I see a really good one in store or online. I’ve had to simmer down with buying them lately after having a HUGE clear out at home and discovered 20 unused notebooks in our office… Oops! 😛

Although I don’t need another notebook/journal in my life, I had recently started to think, “Should I get one for my trip to Japan?” because then instead of keeping anything I need to know on my phone, or on an email online somewhere, a notebook would be handy. It would mean I can carry it around with me, take it to Japan, make notes in as and when, etc.

I know a lot of people like to use their phones and online devices for planning now, but I’m still happy to use pen and paper. I feel I get more done and jotted down if I use a notebook. I don’t end up getting sidetracked by Instagram and games (especially Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp).

Recently Mal Paper contacted me asking if I would like to be gifted one of their Daily Goal Setter‘s to review on my blog. This opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time in the run up to my Japan holiday and I as soon as the daily goal setter arrived, I knew it would be perfect for this, as well as other things!

This was a gifted item for promotional and reviewing purposes, so all views on this post are entirely my own.

First of all I want to talk a little bit about Mal Paper (bio about Mal Paper taken from the Our Story section of their website).

The word Mål, pronounced ‘mo-l’, means goal in Swedish.

We also take inspiration from the Scandinavian clean and clutter-free way of living. As a result, Mål Paper designs and produces stylish, simplistic and effective stationery that helps us to be more productive by focusing our minds on the most important tasks.

Our range of products is the result of seeking a solution to solve the common problem of jumping from one task to the next, without prioritising them or even completing the previous task. We were tired of having countless ‘to-do’ lists on notepads, notebooks and journals that did nothing more than complicate our goals and tasks further, to the point of feeling overwhelmed and uninspired to hold ourselves accountable.

Our mission is simple. Focus on creating products that give the user clarity on what they want to achieve with a clear path on how to get there, all while promoting a positive mindset to carry over on to their daily activities.

Earlier this year Mal Paper decided to start a Kickstarter campaign for the daily goal setter, which did really well! It would seem after the campaign ended and people had been sent and received their daily goal setters, that Mal Paper opened their online store.

Let’s talk about the daily goal setter, I honestly cannot wait any longer to show you this gorgeous bit of stationary.

This is a sturdy hardback journal that comes in three different colours, black, grey and pink. As you see, I opted for the latter colour. I’m a girl, how could I say no to pink? 😛

The first thing I noticed with this journal is how soft the PU faux leather is that makes the journal – it definitely makes it comfortable to hold and feels very fancy! It’s good size too for an A5 journal and contains 244 pages – which is 6 months worth of planning right there!

The pink colour is gorgeous and goes with my laptop really nicely, with the text on the outside being in gold. The spine even has Daily Goal Setter and Mal Paper on so this can be popped into a book shelf if you wanted to which I really love.

A few other things the journal includes are 2 divider ribbons and a document folder at the back of the book. I love when notebooks come with document folders as it’s a place I usually keep things that aren’t super important but good to have with a specific notebook to reference. For example if I have a flyer or leaflet from a blog event that I need to refer to, notebooks are the best place to keep these! The 2 divider ribbons will come in handy too, especially as they’re both different colours too. I like how they’re grey! It compliments the pink so well.

Enough of the outside of the journal, lets get into it!

The journal has a contents page – which I’ve never seen before but for some reason it reminds me of a bullet journal.

The contents include:

The daily goal setter, cheat sheet, goal setting, mourning routine (gratitude, affirmations and daily tasks), evening routine, weekly routine, monthly routine, example pages, long-term goals and medium term goals.

So there is PLENTY to do with the daily goal setter!

As you flick through the pages you begin to understand why that contents page is necessary at the start! Mal Paper have made sure to pack loads of good information in here to get people started with their daily goal setting, which is handy. Personally I wouldn’t have a clue where to start.

They go through how you can set goals and how to set effective goals at that. I like how it goes into detail to be honest with you, I mean it’s okay to wing it but sometimes people need a bit of guidance with these things, I know I do!

You can tell a lot of thought and love went into the daily goal setter when it was being made and I really love seeing this through the guidance. I’ll definitely be taking all of the tips through the journal for goal setting with me to work to be honest as these will come in handy whenever I have projects coming up and how I want to plan for them. I feel like everyone needs a goal setter like this on their desk because it’s perfect for people who have busy jobs which involve thinking about loads of different things.

AND if you thought the written guide(s) weren’t enough, they even throw in an example of how your weekly and daily reviews should look. Could it get any better? Well…

You get your lists of long-term goals to create (which I am so excited to get written down!), as well as medium-term and short-term goals.

There are some monthly calendar templates in there you can play with for any particular months you want to plan around, for example if you’re having a busy blogging month due to events and gifted items that you’ll review as a blogger, this would be ideal to keep on top of all of those.

Personally for my holiday this will be perfect to plan what me and Dane would like to do whilst we’re in Japan.

Something I rather like about the daily goal setter is how they have inspirational quotes throughout, whether it be a page or on the bottom of the certain pages.

Before you get to the majority of the journal which is the daily tasks, you come to the weekly tasks – which will be really handy for if I’m having a busy blog week and need to keep on top of things to do with that, as well as for the 2 weeks me and Dane will be in Japan. This would especially help with planning to go do things and plan around whereabouts in Japan we’ll be with where we could go shopping and go to eat.

The majority of the daily goal setter is daily tasks, which I really like as it means I have more room to think things I want to jot down and fulfil over the day.

There are blank notes pages at the back of the book, as well as a 2019 and 2020 calendar so this would definitely be ideal if you’re a student planning to study in September this year – or even in s secondary school student preparing for your GCSE’s.

Mal Paper also have a guide on the website for how to use the daily goal setter – which is really handy for people looking into buying one for themselves and what to expect.

The daily goal setter will be perfect for so many people but personally I feel like this will be great for people who work in an office environment and have lots of different tasks and objectives to keep on top of over the course of a day, week and/or over various months. Due to this, this would also be perfect for a student too, whether they’re in secondary school, college or university.

The daily goal setter of course is perfect for bloggers like myself, especially those of us who do this for a living and need to keep on top of blog posts, social media, blog events and more!

Personally I really do want to us this for the months leading up to my Japan holiday as I can write so many ideas of places me and Dane plan to go, where we want to shop, eat and more. Even stuff about the trip there and home.

Alongside that I would also love to use it for blog related matters, so I can write down weekly reviews and tasks I set myself for posts I want to try and get written and scheduled, as well as social media posts I would like to plan to go up on places such as Instagram and Twitter.

If you think that the daily goal setter might be for you, but you aren’t sure – Mal Paper actually offer a free download of the daily goal setter and it’s really easy to do. All you have to do is follow this link and subscribe to their newsletter. Simple! You’ll receive a PDF in your inbox and you can try before you buy.

The Daily Goal Setter costs £20.95, which isn’t the cheapest journal in the world, but personally I feel this is well worth the money as it’s of a high quality and you feel like you’re getting what you’ve paid for with that. All of the cheap notebooks from Poundland will never make up for something as high quality as this. Plus Mal Paper are a UK company and I especially love to support companies created in my country. 🙂

Overall I absolutely adore Mal Paper’s Daily Goal Setter and I honestly cannot wait to spend a relaxed evening sat down with it, writing down my goals for the rest of the year, as well as my ideas and plans for both my blog, as well as my holiday to Japan!

What do you think of the Daily Goal Setter? If so which colour would you opt for and what would you use it for? Make sure to let me know in the comments down below!

Until next time, take care all and I hope you’re having a lovely weekend so far.

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Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Party*

If there is one thing I really love it’s food and if there is another thing I love it’s making food. So when I was invited by Coventry Bloggers to attend the Auntie Anne’s pretzel party last month, I definitely couldn’t turn it down!

In Birmingham we don’t actually had an Auntie Anne’s, although we used to many years ago before Grand Central was finished and this amazing little pretzel place was taken away with the rest of The Pallasades shopping centre. So for me it’s very nostalgic to go into Auntie Anne’s whenever I visit Coventry, as well as a MASSIVE treat.

There are a couple of Auntie Anne’s stores in Coventry, one in the Ricoh Arena Park Shopping Centre as well as West Orchards Shopping Centre too, with the Pretzel Party being in the latter!

We were told we would get the chance to make our own pretzels and although I’ve made my own at home in the past, I didn’t quite know what to expect when it came to making pretzels with Auntie Anne’s!

I was so excited for the event and made my way to Coventry nice and early to make sure I got there in good time, which I did. Me and the Cov Blogger girls got talking before the event and it was a lovely start to a Sunday afternoon.

This was a gifted experience for promotional and reviewing purposes, so all views on this post are entirely my own.

We were told we would each get the chance to make a sweet pretzel with either vanilla sugar or cinnamon sugar. As I’ve only tried the latter I was excited to give vanilla sugar a go!

We went up individually to the table and was shown how to roll out the pretzel dough and then do a special technique to get that pretzel shape we all know and love.

I was really nervous about this at first, but after watching Amy (Writing into the Ether) give it I go, I was confident enough to go next!

It was so much fun and I was so pleased that I got my pretzel shape first time around! Apparently I did the best out of everyone and due to this I featured on the live video that day over on the Coventry Bloggers Instagram page.

Once these were all done, they were put on a tray and ready to be put into the oven! Whilst the first group of us were waiting for our goods to bake we were give an amazing little goody bag each, as well as some new sweet goodies to try.

In our goody bags we either received Cinnamon Nuggets* or Vanilla Nuggets*, I received the latter and they were so yummy! So bite sized and perfect for on the go if you want something sweet to snack on. These were lovely and warm when we were given them too so I made sure to eat as many as I could whilst they were. I did end up taking half of the pot home to share with Dane. We also got a cup of their Fresh Lemonade* which was so damn refreshing and yummy! I’d never tried it from Auntie Anne’s before and I really did enjoy it. I could have easily had another cup.

We got to try one of their new sweet treats which is a pancake/crepe shaped pretzel dough mixture with loads of chocolate drops inside! It was okay, but a little too chocolatey for me…

I’m not a Twix fan but when I saw that they had wrapped pretzel dough around one, I knew I had to give this a go. That was good! I really enjoyed it to be honest with you and would definitely pick it up again if I fancied something really sweet.

After we got to try those sweet treats, it was time to coat our cooked pretzels in yummy sugar goodness! I opted for the cinnamon sugar as I intended on giving Dane my cooked pretzel. He loves them just as much as I do, especially the cinnamon sugar ones. Due to this I sadly never took a photo of the pretzel… 😦

Shortly after this and as the event was beginning to come to a close, I decided to grab some yummy food to eat around Coventry and then headed home.

I honestly love Auntie Anne’s so much and whilst I’m talking about it, I’m seriously craving everything, especially my favourite – the little hot dog rolls. I also love the dutch ice (Slush Puppies to you and me!) and was sad that I didn’t pick one up that day, as it was really warm!

Overall I had SO MUCH FUN at the pretzel party and was delighted to take part in the live stream too!

Do you like pretzels? Have you been to Auntie Anne’s before? Let me know your favourite flavour of pretzel. Mine is either sesame or pepperoni and cheese.

Until next time all, take care and I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

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Japan Series – We’re Going To Japan!

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Image taken from GIPHY

This is a series I have spoken about starting for about a month now and finally I’m starting it! This series is one I didn’t know if I would ever write about, due to the fact some dreams just don’t seem like a reality.

However, me and Dane suddenly decided that enough was enough. Before we knew it we were approaching 6 months into 2019 and we hadn’t even come close to booking out dream holiday to Japan. No matter what we had decided we wanted to go in 2020 and that was that.

Before I go into any details leading up to booking our holiday, I want to talk a little bit about this new series on my blog and what you as the reader will come to expect from it each month.

Yes, it will be a monthly series and from what I can tell, it’s also going to be indefinite! This isn’t the first Japan series I’ve written on my blog, back in 2014 I decided to do a 4 part series about Japan, why I wanted to go as well as things to do with Japan that made the series what it was. I’ll link all 4 posts below so you can go and check them out. I know I gave them a read through whilst writing this post.

Japanese Series: Manga

Japanese Series: Asian Food

Japanese Series: Places To Visit (including Dane’s!)

Japanese Series: Studio Ghibli

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Image taken from GIPHY

Not going to lie, I gave the manga post a read and it made me laugh at my younger self.

“As you can see from the above image, I own quite a lot of manga books so far, eight in total, seven from one manga series and one from another.”

Over 5 years have passed since I wrote that post in February 2014 and I own so much fucking more than that now. The seven books I own from one series is Nana – which I have already doubled on by now owning all 21 volumes. I could list all of the manga I now own but I would be here for ages and that’s for another post in the future.

I didn’t read the other three posts in detail but from skimming, not a whole lot has changed in terms of where both me and Dane would love to visit in Japan.

We’ve had dreams of going to Japan for a holiday in mind for all that time and now we are finally making it a reality. I still can’t believe it to be honest with you… It still hasn’t truly sunk in and I don’t think it will until I’m packing my bag for the holiday and getting on the plane for the 11-12 hour flight… That I am dreading.

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Image taken from GIPHY

As excited as I am for my trip to one of the places I have dreamed of going for over 10 years, I am shit scared for the flight there and back from Japan. I hate flying at the best of times and that’s just with a 4 hour flight. I’m sure and know I’ll be okay, but nonetheless, I’m still really anxious.

I feel like I’ve rambled loads so far on this post and I do apologise for that… I just want to try and get as much into this post as I can! 😀

As this is the first post of many in this new Japan series, I want to basically lay it down what the future is going to be like for these posts.

I want to talk about what research me and Dane did before booking our holiday, including booking flights and hotel, as well as how we saved the monies and paid for the holiday. I’ll also be showing off loads of blogs and YouTubers who helped along the way without realising it.

Then I want to talk in posts about which places me and Dane are planning to go to, as well as book which will be for food mostly, as well as fun days out.

I just have so much stuff I want to talk about on this series and I am really excited for it!

I hope you guys are just as excited for this series as I am to write it for you all, as well as me.

What are you excited to read in these Japan series posts? Are you happy with seeing them once a month? Or would you like to see them twice a month instead? Make sure to let me know in the comments down below!

Until next time all, take care and I hope I haven’t bored you too much with this post. 😛

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July Wish List ’19

Where did June go? I felt like it was only yesterday that I was preparing for a nice week off with Dane and then BAM HELLO IT’S JULY! Honestly though, how shite was June weather wise? It was well and truly awful to be fair and I’m glad we’re getting some nice sunshine right now. 🙂

I’m currently sat at my dining table with a gorgeous cup of Ed’s Coffee House caramel coffee and I’m planning on writing as much as I can before I need to head out later for a D&D session! This months wish list was pretty hard to be honest with you as I’m trying to be good right now due to Japan coming up, (I know it’s 5/6 months away but it will be here before we know it!) which is boring but meh.

Anyhoo – I hope your enjoy this months haul! I feel like there’s so much Japanese inspired stuff there. 😛

  • Vans x Lazy Oaf Old Skool Platform (No longer available)

I know these are limited edition and no longer available (unless you pay an absolute fucking fortune!) but I still want them. I regret not buying them so damn much when they came out last year. Like stupidly regret it. Recently I noticed someone was selling my size on eBay at a decent price. They looked legit and when the seller offered to knock £10 off – I bought them straight away. Over a week later I was chasing the seller for my shoes and ended up getting a refund. I was so pissed off… I really wanted the shoes, especially for such a bargain. I’m still on the hunt for these and if you happen to find any in a size 7 for a decent price (no more than £60 with postage!) please let me know! 🙂

  • Elfen Lied Omnibus Volume 1 (link)

I cannot tell you how happy I was when I recently discovered that this manga was coming out in English. Honestly my younger 16 year old self would have been over the moon with this coming out. Basically this manga has been running in Japan since 2002 – which is nearly 20 years ago now since it first came out. This was the first manga I read, as well as the first anime I watched. Elfen Lied is pretty much what got me into the things I am today, which is amazing to be honest with you so it really does mean the world to me to finally see the manga in English.

Now you’re probably wondering, “Okay hang on Nat! You said you’ve read the manga… But it’s only just come out in English? How did you read it then?” The magic of translation my friends! 😛 Someone translated it years ago online so I remember when I bought my first laptop 10 years ago (FUCK I FEEL OLD!) I found the manga on a PDF reader and basically flicked back and forth over the pages, reading it. 😛

It looks like there will be four omnibus volumes overall, which the second one due out in October. I would love to see the anime redone – just like they’ve done with Fruits Basket recently. I’d still love to see Elfen Lied Nendoroid’s released too. 😛

  • Pokemon Holiday Night Collection Ichican Kuji (link)

This is a kuji I’ve decided to do! I’ve never done one before to be perfectly honest with you so this will be a first! It just looks too good to resist having a go on. I’ve regretted not taking part in some of the Animal Crossing kujis in the past and that in itself annoys me. I’ve got this through YY Kawaii on her Instagram merch page (link and link) and the prizes are adorable! There’s a couple of plushies, some holiday travelling essentials, pots and towels. It makes a change seeing some “useful” items in a kuji as opposed to the usual charms, towels and random figures. I really hope I get some good pulls from this!

  • Insert Coin Clothing Persona 4 Teddie Pocket Tee (link)

I’ve already pre-ordered this tee, but I just had to mention it here today as it’s too good not to! 😀 I LOVE Persona 5, as my readers all know and I have had a go at Persona 4 Golden (which I am currently stuck on!) which I also really love. I’m reading the Persona 4 manga too, which I actually enjoy more than the game… But this may be due to the fact I’m stuck on it… 😛 Either way I saw the cute Teddie pocket tee and just knew I had to have it! I recently bought myself an amazing black pair of mom jeans from New Look and I intend to wear them together loads throughout the summer, as well as the rest of the year. 😛 Of course I would be a fool not to wear this to Japan too.

When this tee arrives – I’ll definitely be doing a post on why I love Insert Coin Clothing’s tees so much! I have this one, as well as their Persona 5 Morgana tee too.

I noticed this mug was going around my Twitter feed about a week or so ago and honestly I have fallen in love with it and I really need it in my life. I really don’t need anymore mugs, but if I didn’t pick this up I would honestly be a fool and regret it until I did. I LOVE Animal Crossing and as an ex barista I also love the coffee theme of the mug. It was always one of my favourite parts of Animal Crossing: New Leaf to daily go and work my shift at The Roost Cafe, as well as sit and drink some pigeon coffee. It looks like the mugs will go on sale on Sarah Dandh’s store on 10th July – so I’ll be making sure to pick one up. 😛

Finally we have one of my favourite independent artists out there, who has done it again with her recently Kickstarter campaign! 😀 As soon as I saw she was going to be adding Animal Crossing designs to the campaign, I put myself down for two pins and it will be both KK Slider and Isabelle who I opt for. I actually already have an Isabelle pin by Ohayou! but it won’t hurt to have another one, will it? I don’t have a KK Slider as of yet and look how damn cute this boi is! I honestly can’t wait to get these already as I’ll wear them together on my jacket(s) as well as potential ita bag in the future. This campaign has now finished, BUT Ohayou! is a good egg and will probably have them for sale in her store anyway. 😛

So that’s my wish list for July! Again, I honestly cannot believe we are over halfway through 2019 now. It’s scaring me as not only does it mean I’m getting closer to being 30 but it also means it’s closer to us going to Japan and I am SO nervous for that!

Which items do you have on your wish lists this month? Do you have your eye on any of the items I have too? Make sure to let me know in the comments below! 😀

Until next time, take care all and I hope you’re having a lovely week, almost the weekend now, eh?

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June Favourites ’19

How are we at the seventh month of the year?! In 6 months time not only will I be 30 but I’ll be getting ready for one of the biggest events of my life – my holiday to Japan.

June has been such a morbid month, what with the weather being so crappy. I was also skint after loads going on at the start of the month what with Games Expo (which you can read about here, as well as see what I picked up!) and Manchester for mine and Dane’s 6th anniversary. However the weather has had a much needed turn around and we’re now graced with gorgeous sunshine… But also sweat in places you didn’t know you could sweat in! 😛

Aside from this, June went by quickly and I actually had a bad mental health patch – which I’m through thankfully. I forgot how bad my mental health could be though to be perfectly honest with you. I’m glad it’s definitely not as bad as it used to be, that’s for sure.

I’m glad it’s July to be honest with you, as I am craving some nicer weather. I want to do my garden up this year ready for all the BBQ’s and evenings in the garden writing with Dane and playing games. I plan to try and get so much stuff done throughout July and August!

Anyhoo, let’s go into the items I was loving throughout June.

  • Original Source Mint & Tea Tree Shower Gel.

This is a shower gel I rediscovered recently when me and Dane went to Manchester for a few days. We bought a little travel sized version of this to use whilst we were away and it was just so refreshing! Not going to lie though, I forgot what this does to your bits… If you know what I mean? 😛 We’ve just bought a MASSIVE 500ml bottle, which was pretty cheap for £2. This shower gel has kind of reemerged back into our lives at the right time considering the hot weather. Yesterday I woke up feeling sticky and unclean. After my shower I felt fresh again and it’s purely because of this shower gel. If you’ve never tried it, I really do recommend it! Due to the menthol in the mint it leaves you feeling tingly and cooled down, perfect for the hot humid weather we have right now.

  • Nails Inc Ocean Ever After Nail Polish.

I really do love painting my nails, but I find I don’t do it as often as I once used to, or should for that matter. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t give much of a toss the older I get, or just because I’m too busy doing other things… Although a mixture of both, it’s definitely more of the latter. I painted my nails quite a few times last month and I found more often than not that I was reaching out for this shade in particular. With summer (well now at least…) in full swing I thought I would reach for a colour that reminds me of holidays abroad and swimming in the pool and ocean. I honestly love this shade and feel like I haven’t given it the love it deserves! I really do like the Nails Inc duo kits and the mermaid one is perfect for summer, whether you’re going on holiday or not.

  • GeekyClean Bard Soap.

As I mentioned recently in my UK Games Expo haul (which you can read here) I stumbled across the brand Geeky Clean, which I have fast fallen in love with! If there is one product on this list this month that I have reached out for the most, it’s definitely this one. It smells JUST LIKE LUSH SNOW FAIRY for a fucking fraction of the price. Like seriously – how the fuck do Lush get away with it! This foams up lovely and doesn’t leave that horrible feeling on your skin after using soap against it. It comes in the tin, so it’s really easy to keep in the bath or shower. I plan to write a review about both the soap and the bath bomb with the Bard scent. Honestly I cannot get enough of this right now, especially considering what an amazing dupe it is of Snow Fairy (and the Godmother soap if you’re a Lushie).

  • Revolution Onyx Primer.

Okay I was in dubious about this primer. I wasn’t able to test it when I bought it and as I was out with my mom at the time she said, “Sod it! Just get it and if it’s no good I’ll have it.” Bless her. 😛 So obviously I picked it up and OBVIOUSLY I liked it, because it wouldn’t be on my favourites if I didn’t This is obviously black and just to say if you don’t rub it in properly, your skin WILL go grey. This is also a thick primer too so a little goes a long way. The reason I was dubious though is it claims to mattify the skin. When you first put this on, it’s oily AF! Like seriously, I was pissed off when I tried this on the back of my hand in my mom’s living room. I tried it the next morning when I got home and after I put my power over the top – that oily look and feeling vanished and I was left with perfect airbrushed skin. I was shocked! However, I wondered if due to the original oily feeling it would cause my skin to break out… I waited and have been trying this for most of June now and I can report not a single issue! If you’d like a review of this product, please let me know by the way as I would be more than happy to! Especially if you have combination skin like I do. 🙂

  • Britney Spears Midnight Fantasy EDP.

This is one of my favourite perfumes and I honestly always forget just how much I love it, as well as how many memories it brings back. This is such a cheap perfume but for what it’s worth it really does make me happy. If you’ve never smelt it, (I’m pretty sure you will have – even if you didn’t realise it…) it smells just like blueberries and sugar. It’s gorgeous and although sickly for many, it’s perfect for me. I’ve been reaching for it lately as I just love the smell! Since starting my new job in April I’ve been binge using Dior’s Poison Girl and whilst I like it – it’s really grown off of me. I might just give it to my mom as I really don’t enjoy wearing it anymore… This being said it is a gorgeous perfume but my tastes have dramatically changed the past two years and I’ve really moved away from certain scents and grown to love others.

So now my beauty favourites are done, time to talk about the miscellaneous favourites of the month!

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Image taken from IMDB

Favourite TV Show – Hitoshi Matsumoto Presents Documental Season 3.

I cannot tell you enough how much I love this show but also how much I hate the fact the other four seasons are going to take FOREVER to come out over seas and be translated for us English speakers. I’ve mentioned this show on my blog many times in the past and I swear to God, I never laughed so much at the third season of this hilarious show. Basically it’s about ten Japanese comedians who are all locked in a room for six hours with the goal of winning 10 million yen (just over £73,000) by being the last person in the room who hasn’t laughed. They do some pretty normal things to make each other laugh, but then on the other hand they can be really extreme with it, which is the best part! Season 3 had some of the funniest things I have seen to date and after (what I thought) was a disappointing last season, this made up for it so much! It’s on Amazon Prime so if you have a subscription, I highly recommend you go and check it out!

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Image taken from GIPHY

Favourite Movie – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

If there is a film I think I actually regret not going to watch in the cinema, it might just be this one. Me and Dane were recommended by out D&D Dungeon Master to check out this film as it was amazing, mind blowing and more. It was certainly enjoyable to watch and had so many awesome points in it, including the one in the gif to be fair. It was really colourful too and the animation felt unique and worked well for the style. It was very stylised to look like the comic books the story of Spider-Man have of course come from. Not going to lie – I’m shite when it comes to reviewing things like this. It’s out now on DVD and Blu-ray to go and buy it. It’s so worth the monies. 😛

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Favourite Book – Erm…

Fuck sake man. My reading manga game is shite lately and it actually makes me so sad. I have so many volumes from at least 5 series to catch up on and I’m so pissed that I am neglecting that. It’s honestly due to the fact I like to play Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp during my lunch break at work (which I’m not doing today because I’m writing this instead :P) so reading has taken a back shelf. I seriously plan to spend this weekend reading and catching up. Sorry though guys – no manga mentions this month. 😦

Favourite Music – PVRIS – White Noise.

This is a band I mentioned falling in love with last month, but in all honestly this is a band I have fallen hard for and especially their first album White Noise which I downloaded from iTunes onto my phone in June – as well as their second album. The song “Fire” that I mentioned last month is what led me to discover PVRIS – as well as this album, but my favourite song from the album has fast become “Smoke” which I listen to over and over again on repeat. As and when this band tours the UK again, I WILL be going to see them! I know they’re playing Reading and Leeds this year but nah I won’t be going to a festival. 😛

Favourite Game – Trover Saves the Universe.

I feel shit for not mentioning Persona Q2 this month but honestly this would beat even Persona 5 hands down if I’d been playing that last month. This game is fucking hilarious and EVERYONE needs to play it! This game is by Justin Roiland, the guy behind Rick & Morty and the VR game Accounting. This is a VR game with the aim being to get your two pet dogs back, who have been stolen by a cross between a penguin and Patrick from Spongebob Square Pants. It’s fucking hilarious to play and the best thing I like with it is you can sit down as you play! Usually with VR games you’re standing up and it can get a bit tiring if you plan to play for hours on end… Even though we do it anyway! The comedy behind it is hilarious (as always from Roiland!) and fun to play. I cannot wait to continue playing it over the weekend.

So that’s everything this month in regards to my favourite items for June! Again, June whizzed by to be honest with you and when it came to thinking what content I needed up on my blog this week – I was shocked that it was time to be writing my two monthly posts. Crazy, huh?

What were you loving throughout June? Whether it be beauty, lifestyle or even stuff in general! I’d love to know. 🙂

Until next time all, take care and I hope you’re all not as tried as I am after the warm weekend. 😛

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