SLIDER

OLD ENGLISH COMPANY | PRODUCT HAUL!


So as many of you who read my blog will know, I started a monthly review for local companies. It started in April with Old English Company based in Stamford and you can read my post all about the business here.

Anyway, after writing up my lovely post all about them and how it started out I got in contact with them and the lovely Ellie so very kindly replied and offered me a gift voucher to spend on the website. Well hello, I wasn't going to turn that down, it was going to be hard enough deciding what to spend it on!

I thought Id share with you the few purchases I made including my favourites as well as whats on my Wishlist for when I'm actually allowed to spend some money! (To find out why I can't spend my hard earned money see my latest post here)

First up are my totally gorgeous new coasters, I've recently redecorated my bedroom with some lovely geometric wallpaper in pink, grey, white and rose gold and these coasters just match perfectly! I love the quirky quotes on them and you can purchase lots of different ones on the website and there also available in different colours.. you know incase pink isn't quiet your thing.

Secondly I purchased a keychain and a pocket mirror, because what girl doesn't need both. Again I went for the quirky quotes and inspirational keychain. Im all for motivation and Old English Company deffo had me covered with this one, I do got this! Thanks! Theres bloody loads to choose from depending on your mood when purchasing too so you don't have to have your s**t together like I did clearly when deciding.

I had to get one of the planners of course because I'm a stationary addict and I couldn't just buy one so I bought one of the notepads too. I currently have a thing for the colour grey, do not ask me why because I DO NOT have a clue?! But aren't these super cute and there really sturdy too so no bending out of shape here. (Can you tell I'm a picky stationary addict too, quality always come first).


And finally I'm going to hope my Dad doesn't see this post, I picked up one of the aprons for fathers day, Yano for when he becomes an outdoor Masterchef at the BBQ. Like all dads do! Cant cook all year round in the kitchen but put them outside in-front of a BBQ and they become gods gift to cooking!

I can't get enough of this companies products, my Wishlist grows every time I go on, heres a few of the things I still NEED to buy. (People lie when they say theres a difference between NEED and WANT, there isn't, do not be fooled!)


Go take a look over at https://oldenglishprints.com and see what you can't help spending your money on too! The website is full of gorgeous and fun products, who knows you might even find a few gifts for other people too!

OLD ENGLISH COMPANY | LOCAL BUSINESS REVIEW SERIES


For a while now I have been apart of a website that helps bloggers like myself promote businesses either in return for money or free trial gifts. However over the last few months I've thought more and more about the smaller local firms that don't get as much exposure and have been wondering if there was something I could do to rectify it, maybe inline with what I do with said website or completely on my own. Until an opportunity recently arose and I tied the two together to get the ball rolling, everyone let me introduce you to the lovely people at the Old English Company. This will be my first Local Business Support Advertisement and I hope I do them proud! 

You may have noticed if your an avid reader of First For Everything that a new page has been added, titled Advertisers. Here you will be able to find all of the local companies I have worked with and any offers they may have going along with a brief about what you can purchase from each one. Shortly, Old English Company will be added to start the page going!

So anyway! Back to them! 

The Old English Company are a brand who specialise in Stationary and Homeware using the art of quirky calligraphy quotes and there own humorous style. Based in Stamford all of their products are made here in England and are all within anyones price range. Local firms sometimes have to compromise there prices due to the costs involved in making there products, however the Old English Company have kept all their items within anyones grasp even a bargain hunter like me! I already want to own half the website.

On there you can find all manor of items including coasters, mugs, calendars, cards and prints. But for all of you reading this that know me, you know my heart will lie with the Stationary page. However much I adore the key-rings and Enamel Pins with there funny slogans, its the Planner page that draws me in. 


You see I have this desire to organise my life, I think I could hold a diary for every single detail of my life from daily habits, expenses to calendar scheduling and reminders. I couldn't possibly keep it all in one because wheres the fun in that! My dad always jokes saying "Kylie does love a list" because I make them for everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. I have so many bits of paper I worry about losing one! But these beauts are A5 sized making them even more perfect and compact and each page contains a daily checklist and room for notes. The only difficulty I'm going to have is picking which colour I prefer! 





Currently they are holding a competition to win a set of planners and you betcha ive already entered! 
Go on and enter yourselves its not like you've got anything to lose! 


Over the next few weeks of April I'm sure you will see more of the Old English Companies products popping up on my social media and here on the blog. Go and give them a visit, I highly doubt you'll manage to leave the site without buying something, personally I haven't managed it yet! 


*This post is sponsored by Old English Company and I have collaborated with them on this post, however all views and opinions remain my own and I bloody love the products! I would personally not endorse something I didn't truly love myself.

CARAVAL BY STEPHANIE GARBER | BOOK REVIEW


Yes Yes I'm late to the party! Almost sounds like a line from this book that does! 

On Saturday I went to London for the day with my parents and my niece, whilst they totted off to watch Wicked (Ive seen it before, AMAZING incase you wanted to know) I headed off to Waterstones biggest store in Europe near Piccadilly! Even though walking through the door I wasn't hit by the amazement of a 5 storey book shop.. I knew it was still going to be like heaven. 


It is a HUGE store, with over 8 miles of bookshelves, its easy to get lost and probably spend a fortune. Luckily I had time on my side and spent ages perusing the aisles, always drawn to the fantasy and young adult section. Ive been meaning to pick up Caraval for what seems like forever since I saw its cover doing the rounds on Instagram. It seemed like everyone was reading it and I wanted to know what the draw was. So I scanned the Fantasy aisles in Waterstones and soon found what I was looking for, at £7.99 I couldn't grumble and headed off to the nearest Caffe Nero to delve in. 

That was Saturday, today is Monday. And I'm finished.

If that doesn't tell you how hard the book is to put down I don't know what would, its a brilliant piece of writing. Garber really hits all the high notes for letting you lose your imagination in a world where no one can trust what they see. 

'Remember its all a game. What happens beyond this gate may frighten or excite you. But don't let any of it trick you' is the line from the blurb on the back. I had no idea before reading it what Caraval was even about all I knew was that everyone seemed to be reading it. 

Its a fast paced book with lots of twists and turns, when I was reading, it was almost like I could imagine myself there playing the game. Or maybe I just wanted to be. Its brilliantly written and keeps you hanging on for the next chapter. I couldn't put it down, I sat for an hour and a half reading, then had to start again on the train home and then again today just because I wanted to finish it and know how it ended. Its interesting too, because unlike other books your piecing together the clues yourself but until each part is revealed you don't actually notice the game unfolding. The characters are easy to imagine and I like that about books, I believe everyone pictures someone slightly different which allows a different story to each individual unlike a film where everyone is seeing the same person. Both Scarlett and Tella remind me of how me any my own sister are which makes the book more relatable.

'At midnight on the first day, the show begins and the visitors become players. Each of them is vying for the coveted prize: a single wish.' I always find it slightly odd when a prize is something we don't take seriously in real life, but truth be told if someone said you had to compete in a game to get a single wish of your choice, would you play? 

What have you all been reading lately? Let me know in the comments. Ive got loads more books to crack on with throughout 2018. I started Sarah Millican's - How to be Champion at the Spa on Friday and can now revert back to that. Its been hilarious so far and I've nodded and agreed to so much of it already! 

LOSING YOUR BLOGGING MOJO

Close the door to the past - Sometimes all we need is a fresh start

AWOL, yes thats what I'm going to call my absence from here. AWOL. Absent Without Leave. Absent without any excuses.

Im not going to lie and say that I've been busy or that life has just gotten in the way because that would be dishonest. I just haven't wanted to blog, I've come home from work with the intention of blasting out a post or two but then when reality hits and I sit in front of my laptop I just can't bring myself to write anything. Ive lost my mojo it would seem. 

I have spent the majority of this year upside down, not knowing wether I am coming or going and to be honest I'm ready for it all to settle down and fall into some kind of routine. 2018 began with my future mapped out and a very clear path to follow, but to be honest I didn't even step foot on that path, not even a single toe. Whilst I know that everything happens for a reason and you have to map your life around the cards that you are dealt, I wish whoever it is that deals them would stop shuffling mine and re-dealing them. 

Since January I've separated from my partner of 4 years, realised who really matters in my life, quit my job, started a completely different new job, booked two holidays and made some great new friends. Now it feels like its time to settle things into a routine and get everything organised into priorities. I started the year with a list of 6 goals (see post here), now we are almost 4 months in and I've stuck to probably only one of them. Cracking Start!

First up was the skincare routine, the only one I have been working on! I received lots of skincare gifts for Christmas which gave me the opportunity to try out different things. Ive been loving Garnier's Natural Honey Flower Gel Wash, I use it as part of my night time routine to take off all my makeup except my eyes. For my eyes, there a little more sensitive, I've been trying out No 7's Beautiful Skin Eye Makeup Remover and its been a lovely addition. It doesn't make my eyes sore or red after using it and takes even waterproof mascara off easily. Also added to the routine was Nivea's Regenerating Night Cream, I pop this on after the face wash and eye remover, it acts like a moisturiser which has worked wonders during all the snowy cold weather we've been having. 

My second intention was to declutter, I think I've sort of tried to do this one. Everything has a home in my room, be it on display or in a box. Nothing particularly looks out of place so that was the aim although I do think I'm still harbouring a few things which have absolutely no use ever! But who doesn't?

Fitness. Hm! Im trying, the aim was to get back into running by taking part in the 500 mile in a year challenge. I may have over estimated my ability due to not knowing how the year was going to begin and would affect my mood towards just about everything. So 4 months in I'm back on it, I've completed 41 miles so still have a long way to go to get back on target but I'm not giving up! Im back at the gym trying to complete Kayla Itsines 12 week body challenge too with the motto I've done it before I can do it again. 

Ditching technology hasn't happened, I'm still constantly on my phone or iPad and I've still only read one whole book in 2018 with a target of 8 in the year. I can turn this one around though with two holidays booked ill be sure to get through quiet a few!

The fifth goal was the blogging goal and the goal set out for this here space, once a week a post would be published. Well that hasn't happened, I just haven't had the inspiration or willingness to sit and write about something. I lost my Mojo and needed to rediscover it somehow. I read about people saying theres organisation within blogging, set days you should blog, times you should post to get the most people to read. Well I don't write my posts to please others I write them because I enjoy it. And if other people do too then thats quiet frankly an added bonus. Whilst I do write for my readers to enjoy I don't write solely for that reason, otherwise what would be the point? Id be forcing myself to do something only to blog about it? I started First For Everything for a space to share the things I loved doing with you all and thats how I intend to keep it. So whilst yes I will be trying to keep it to at least once a week, it may not be the same day or the same time every week. How do you all feel about this? When did it become a rule driven blogging world? When did we stop doing what we love and conforming only to what people want from us? 

Rule 6 has an amendment* this is no longer an our goal more a my goal with a further down the line expiration date. Ive kept up my ISA payments and will still be looking for a property on my own next year, with a possible move to the city which is something I've always wanted to do. 

How has 2018 panned out for you guys so far? Hopefully its all started out a little smoother? I joked that my year was to start in February and that January was simply a trial run to see how much I could handle. But now that March has been and almost gone and I hadn't really moved from that spot either its time to get on with it I think. 

I GOT THE JOB!


Well haven't we had a wintery white few days, I saw a post on Facebook the other day saying;

"Southerners are going into panic mode, Northerners you'll need ya big coat!"

I literally LOL, its so true, I hate the unpredictability of it all. Can you drive, can't you drive, yes my road looks like its a scene from Narnia but is the main road? So you stand there looking out one of your windows waiting for the cars to go up and down on a road in the distance to see what speed there doing. Even once you've confirmed that looks okay, you have to contemplate the battle its going to take to get to said road. The weather man on the tele tells you, OMG its a blizzard, don't leave your house and you get just a little sceptical because Roger, the weather man, told you last week it was going to be a heat wave and that didn't happen either?! So at this point one of two things happen depending on the type of person you are, your either an A, A would think well I have to go to work, there going to want me in, there going to think badly of me if I don't show up. OR your a B person, B will think nope, its not happening I can't make it and ring in at 9am to announce they won't be coming in to work at 8pm that evening, its just not possible! LOL!

Anyway, as the title of the post suggests, I got myself a brand spanking new job! After being in the Accounts Department of a local firm, just 10 minutes from my house for the last 10 years, I decided it was time to move onto something new, something a little more me. Don't get me wrong I loved my previous job mainly because of my work mum, it became a second family and something I could rely on. Whilst there I've been through so much and I like to think I've grown from a young, shy girl to a confident young woman. 

But last November an opportunity arose and I interviewed for East Midlands Trains for the role of First Class Host. It was something completely random, completely out of my comfort zone and completely different to my previous role. I didn't get the role back in November, however EMT offer a talent pool position if you pass the Assessments and Interviews and once another spot arises they give you a call to offer it and thats exactly what happened back in January. I handed my notice in and finished 3 weeks later and began training on the 12th February. I went from sitting in an office with the same 8 people from 8am - 3.15pm, for ten years with a travelling time of 10 minutes to a staff of over 3000, numerous shift patterns and a travelling time of 40 minutes each way.  

I haven't looked back for a second since starting my training, Ive almost completed three weeks, two in classroom learning all about the tracks and track safety, what the role involves, and a very useful behavioural course which I really enjoyed. This last week I've been out on shift with my mentor, she's absolutely fantastic and a credit to EMT. Everyone I have met so far has been super friendly and really welcoming, there isn't a single thing I haven't enjoyed. I am slowly getting the hang of it and can't wait to learn everything about being a host. 

This has been why FFE has been a little quiet lately guys, I have had soooo much going on and getting used to the shift patterns has been interesting but I am trying to get organised!

Ill be sure to keep you updated how its going etc, but for now I gotta actually go do some work! The 17.29 is calling my name haha!


TALON BY JULIA KAGAWA | BOOK REVIEW


One of my goals for 2018 was to get my head into more books, so I started a reading challenge on the 01st January to read at LEAST 12 books through out the year. Whilst January was a god awful month to what seems like pretty much all of us, it also gave me the time to get started on the challenge.

My book of choice for January was Julie Kagawa's Talon, part of a 5 book series surrounding dragons and dragon hunters (whats not to like, I was sold already). I have read other books by the same author including The Iron Fey series, which is also a must read in my opinion, so I had high hopes for this.

Outline:
Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.

I keep referring to this book inline with the Eragon series, but really its not. Yes it has dragons and yes it has people who don't like dragons but its not that kind of plot. Kagawa's story telling of Talon goes beyond that of a hatched dragon egg, she has enabled the reader to use there imagination of how a dragon can become a human. 

The book tells the story of Ember and her twin brother Dante, two dragons born into Talon, basically, a group full of dragons training to take over the humans. They place sleepers in plain sight to infiltrate the human race and hope they don't get caught by the Order of St George. But whilst Ember is placed during the summer and struggles with her training and how to fit in she meets Garrett. Little do either of them know, they are actually sworn enemies. 

The story follows with the two getting to know each other and Ember learning that there is more to Talon than she's being lead to believe. I was left rooting for the two of them to be together, its one of those where you know its not possible though because of who they are.

There are a few twists as other characters come into the story and by the end of the book I was already ordering the second in the series just to see what happens next!

If your a person who loves using your imagination whilst reading, and being taken somewhere in a way that only books can do, then this ones for you. I loved reading Talon and didn't want to put it down, the story and the way its written are both perfectly done.

Congratulations to Kagawa on another great series!

You can purchase a copy of Talon HERE on Amazon.





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