Songs From Musicals – Recommendations

I was having a conversation with someone about how much I love musicals and they told me that they’d never seen one or could even recall any song from a musical but agreed if I could do an hour long playlist of songs that I liked from musicals that would be good for someone with limited musical to knowledge that they’d give it a listen.

I’ve had a little break from blogging to give more of a platform for those voices who need to be heard more than mine right now but I thought sharing my song choices would be a great reintroduction to posting again because I’m just eager to write something now!

Without further ado here is the songs that I compiled. Would love to know what other songs / shows you think I should’ve included in the comments –

Alexander Hamilton – Hamilton

I’ve never seen Hamilton and truthfully bar a couple of songs I’m not a huge fan of the cast recording on the whole – though I am beyond excited to watch it when it lands on Disney+ next week. However, a few years ago Lin-Manuel Miranda challenged Broadway shows to sing a song from Hamilton for charity to help fundraise and Dear Evan Hansen did a song from the show. It was at this point that I realised that I should give Hamilton more of a chance and this song to this day is my favourite from the Hamilton.

I had to include Hamilton on my list as the songs from the show are just so different to what people associate with stereotypical musical theatre songs.

Defying Gravity – Wicked

Wicked will forever be one of my favourite musicals so I couldn’t put together a list of songs without including Wicked . It was the one that truly introduced me into the world of West End theatre and I think it’s such a magical show that will capture most peoples attention. I love the storyline, the sets and outfits are some of the best I’ve ever seen in a stage production and all the songs are so great.

Defying Gravity was the song from the musical I chose to include due to the fact that when you think Wicked you think Defying Gravity. It’s one of those iconic songs that even if you don’t know where the song comes from you’ve probably heard of it. For me, Defying Gravity has basically set the standard that all other musical songs have to compete with – it just never gets old and the song just gets even better if possible when you see it performed on stage.

Falling Slowly – Once The Musical

I completely forgot this musical existed until I went to David Hunter’s online concert at the start of lockdown and he did a cover of this song as he was in the musical. I’m so happy to have rediscovered this musical as this song in particular is so good and it really is one of my favourite songs from a musical which is why I chose it because I just love it.

I’ve never seen the musical, it’s one of those that I just never got around to seeing when it was in the West End so I can’t comment on the show itself (or even too much about what it’s about) but the music from it is wonderful. I believe that sung by the right popular singer, this song could be in the charts as it doesn’t overly sound like a musical song – in fact its the type of song that could even be in the John Lewis Christmas advert. I tried to pick some songs that weren’t stereotypically what you think of when you think musicals and Falling Slowly from Once absolutely fits in the bill.

Found / Tonight – Ben Platt / Lin-Manuel Miranda

I wasn’t entirely sure this would class as being from a musical as its a mash up of You Will Be Found from Dear Evan Hansen and The Story Of Tonight from Hamilton. Two songs which listened to separately you wouldn’t think would work together but somehow it does.

Ben Platt and Lin-Manuel Miranda are two of the most popular performers and the fact they’ve done this song together for charity is fantastic. I love this song so much it’s one of my top played songs ever so I had to include this.

Freeze Your Brain – Heathers The Musical

Heathers is a beyond underrated musical and I saw this show with multiple people who aren’t the biggest musical fans and they all came out loving this show. I’m not sure if its one of those shows where you’ll enjoy the songs more once you’ve seen the show but I couldn’t chose songs without including one from Heathers. It was such a tough decision I love pretty much all the songs from this musical but whenever I get a song from the show stuck in my head 9 out of 10 times its Freeze Your Brain. This is also the entire reason why I had far too many Slurpees from a 7/11 on my last trip to America.

I chose the UK cast version as I saw this version of the show so I have the bias towards Jamie Muscato’s performance of this song as I felt his portrayal of JD was arguably the best performance on the West End in 2018.

Michael In The Bathroom – Be More Chill

I was so insanely torn about which song from Be More Chill to chose. It was narrowed down between Loser Geek Whatever (especially as Will Roland who sings this song was the entire reason I even started liking this show) and Michael In The Bathroom but ultimately I chose Michael In The Bathroom as its the first song from the show that I become obsessed with.

I chose the Broadway cast recording version of this song as even though both are sung by George Salazar I feel that the Broadway version is just that little bit more amazing. I think so many people can relate to this song and the biggest regret I have is not flying to America sooner so I could’ve seen this song performed on stage as it had closed by the time I arrived in New York.

One Day More – Les Miserables

Les Miserables is one of those iconic musicals so you just have to include a song from it. Les Miserables is 99.99% sung so I can appreciate that many people who aren’t overly keen on musicals will probably not enjoy it. One Day More is one of the more catchy songs from the show so I feel like its a good start for anyone whose not seen the show and you’ll absolutely have this song in your head for the foreseeable future after listening.

The Phantom Of The Opera – The Phantom Of The Opera

As with the above, can you really do a list of musical recommendations with including Phantom Of The Opera? Phantom Of The Opera was a show that had never been at the top of my list to see – what a mistake that was! The show is incredible and when you see the show the scene where The Phantom Of The Opera its mesmerizing.

She Used To Be Mine – Waitress

Waitress is a musical that I’d been saying for the longest time that I wanted to see but whenever I came to booking a show I always had something that I wanted to see more. Then fate played out and I got the show in my Broadway Roulette spin when I went to New York.

Jordin Sparks was the actress who I saw playing Jenna. She is simply sensational and honestly her singing this song was one my the best things I’ve ever seen on stage. It was a real wow moment. Her performance of this song was unreal and I feel Waitress is underrated so naturally I had to include this song.

Six – Six

Six is another show that I’ve not seen yet and Coronavirus had other plans about the two times that I had booked to see it this year. Six is the story of Henry VIII’s six wives sung by them from their perspective of the events. It’s such a genius idea for a musical and all I’ve repeatedly heard for years is great things about this show. Like Waitress, its a musical that I’ve been wanting to see but something else has always been out that I wanted to see more, but this show is absolutely straight at the top of the list to rebook when theatres reopen.

I was torn between Six an Ex-Wives but ultimately I chose the song Six because I think it captures what the musical is about well and I only had an hour worth of songs so it made sense to chose the shorter song too. I think Six a catchy song and it naturally seems the perfect choice to start when introducing someone to Six the musical.

Stick It To The Man – School Of Rock

School Of Rock is one of my favourite musicals of all time. I’ve wrote countless times on this blog how Alex Brightman playing Dewey in this musical cemented his as one of my favourite male performers. I feel the incredible performance by Alex Brightman even comes across on the cast recording.

School Of Rock is based on the film of the same name and the songs in the musical are not what you expect from an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. I think this show will appeal to a wider audience because of the film and this song is one of my favourites from the show.

Waving Through A Window – Dear Evan Hansen

I feel like I talk about Dear Evan Hansen and wear enough merchandise from the show for people to just roll their eyes when they see this song on the list.

I am beyond obsessed with this show and I relate to it more than any show that I’ve ever seen before. The cast recording has the likes of Ben Platt, Will Roland, Laura Dreyfuss, Michael Park etc, and every single song is amazing. It’s one of the few shows where every song is my favourite and where the cast recording truly captures just how emotional the show is.

My favourite song from the show rotates on a near daily basis but Waving Through A Window was the song that initially sparked my interest of the show and I feel its a good introduction to the show as a whole. For someone who hasn’t seen the show I think Waving Through A Window is a fantastic introduction to the musical which is why this song is on the list.

The Whole “Being Dead” Thing – Beetlejuice The Musical

When I went to New York last year I have to admit that the only reason I wanted to see this musical was because Alex Brightman was playing the title character. I’d not even seen the Beetlejuice movie which this musical is based on so I went into the show absolutely blind as to what it was about.

The Whole “Being Dead” Thing is one of the first songs sung in the musical and I think it captures the sheer amount of bonkers (in a good way!) that is this show. I think someone who has seen the movie would probably appreciate listening to a song sung by Beetlejuice more too which again influenced by decision to chose this particular song as the entire cast recording is fantastic so it was a tough choice!

Sadly Beetlejuice is no longer open on Broadway but I really hope this show comes back because it’s definitely one of my favourite shows.

The Wish List – Sophia Money-Coutts

Florence Fairfax works at a little bookshop in the heart of London. She has been single for the longest time and she’s perfectly happy about that. However, when she is forced to attend sessions with an eccentric love coach her life changes forever. Florence’s love coach forces her to write a list of everything she is looking for in her dream perfect man. Florence doesn’t take her dream man list seriously but lists a variety of unachievable qualities. However, a few days after she has wrote her list, a man who ticks every single box on her list goes into the bookshop and wants to go on a date with Florence. Is your dream Mr Perfect really everything you want in life or has Florence just been looking for all the wrong things?

This book had such potential for me from the blurb. I wanted so badly to love it but I just didn’t. My biggest issues was the characters. Florence was decent enough to read about but to be honest I found her somewhat irritating at times so I couldn’t fully warm to her. It was Florence’s dream man Rory that I found an effort to read about. I didn’t like him even slightly and I so badly wish that he didn’t feature so heavily in the novel. Even at the beginning when he was sweeping Florence of her feet – I didn’t find it romantic in the slightest. From the word go I sensed a motive and I was always keeping him at arms length and didn’t trust him so whenever he was in the story I just wanted to skip ahead. I found him somewhat arrogant, insulting towards her friends and basically abit of an idiot. Alternatively I wanted to step into the book and tell Florence what a twonk I thought Rory was so she could leave him. Despite my dislike of the main characters, I believe this novel could’ve been saved if Florence’s colleagues or even friends were a bigger part of the story as the little we saw of them I found really enhanced the book.

The storyline however was something I was totally on board with. I liked the idea that Florence reluctantly went to see a love coach and then somehow a man that matched every crazy thing she wrote on the list turned up to whisk her off her feet. That storyline is something that I really love but I’m so sad that my hatred of Rory was enough for me to just completely dislike the entire novel. I found Rory highly dislikeable from the word go and I feel that if he swept Florence off her feet and was just a half decent human being for half of the novel I really would’ve enjoyed this book much more as I had zero issues with the plot.

I’m so sad that I didn’t enjoy this book so much as I felt that it had such potential. I feel like if you can warm to Rory then you will like this book but sadly for me, I just wasn’t a fan. I did however like the way the author writes so I would definitely be on the look out for future books by her.

Synopsis –

Florence Fairfax isn’t lonely. She loves her job at the little bookshop in Chelsea and her beloved cat Marmalade keeps her company at night. She might have been single for quite a while – well, forever actually, if anyone’s asking – but she’s perfectly happy, thank you. And then Florence meets eccentric love coach Gwendolyn, and everything changes.

When Gwendolyn makes Florence write a wish list describing her perfect man, Florence refuses to take it seriously. Finding someone who likes cats, has the sexual athleticism of James Bond and can overlook her ‘counting’ habit? Impossible! Until, later that week, a handsome blond man asks for help in the bookshop…

Rory seems to fit the list perfectly. But is he ‘the one’, or simply too good to be true? Florence is about to find out that her criteria for Mr Right aren’t as important as she thought – and that perhaps she’s been looking for love in all the wrong places…


Up Close & Personal – Kathryn Freeman

Zac Edwards is a Hollywood film star and makes every woman swoon around him except for the woman whose assigned to be his bodyguard, Kat Parker. One minute Kat can be around him joking around as his friend but the second she steps out in public with him she’s in bodyguard mode. Kat knows that she can’t cross the line to anything more than a friendly working relationship whilst she’s Zac’s bodyguard but that doesn’t stop the pair from wanting more.

Overall I liked this book. I thought it was a nice plot and the characters were good, however part of the plot was a little forced for my liking. I found that the storyline almost did a complete 360 halfway through when the real danger hits. Yes, I understand that Kat’s a bodyguard and it’s her job to be on the lookout for people out to hurt Zac but I felt that the story went too far. I personally would’ve been happy if the crazed storyline was fleshed out more, it was completely believable. I felt like what actually happened crosses the line just too much for me.

I really liked both Zac and Kat. Both were interesting characters and I felt like dual perspective storytelling really worked in this book so you could get an insight into their lives that was more than the tough security guard and Hollywood heartthrob. However I didn’t really get that much spark between them and although and I liked them as friends it didn’t bother me if they got together in the end or not.

I’ve read other books by Kathryn Freeman before and I do enjoy the way in which the author writes. I think she’s got a real talent for writing humorous stories whilst still maintaining a serious storyline that you can become invested in. She writes fantastic characters and although I didn’t even the storyline as much as other books that I’ve read, I did really like the characters.

I liked this book and although I don’t think its the authors best novel, I did enjoy reading it. I didn’t perhaps gel with the characters as much as I thought that I would and the storyline wasn’t exactly to my liking but overall it was a fun, quick read.

Synopsis – 

Sizzling chemistry, a page-turning will they/won’t they romance and the hottest twist on one of your favourite movies…

British actor Zac Edwards is the latest heartthrob to hit the red carpets. Hot, talented and rich, he sends women wild…all except one.

Close protection officer Kat Parker hasn’t got time to play celebrity games. She has one job: to protect Zac from the stalker that seems to be dogging his every move.

Zac might get her hot under her very starched collar, but Kat’s a professional – and sleeping with Zac is no way part of her remit…

Perfect Match – Zoe May

Sophia Jones is the queen of online dating. She’s a member of so many dating sites she has her about me template ready to go for when she joins up to a new site. Sophia has bad date after bad date and has decided to give up on dating. That is until her flatmate Kate, convinces her to give it one last try on a new dating site but this time Sophia isn’t following her usual about me application. Sophia’s profile describes her dream perfect man, must look like Robert Pattinson, own a multi million pound business…by some kind a miracle a man turns up who ticks every one of Sophia’s boxes. Can Sophia’s dream man really be Mr Right or will she discover the catch?

I really loved the idea of this book. The storyline on paper is something that I would absolutely love however I just found the book ok. The book itself started off fantastically, I loved the dynamics between Sophia and Kate in particular and it was writing in a funny way which I loved. The story starts off with Sophia’s dating disasters and then follows her on her dates with her perfect man and sadly for me its her perfect man, Daniel who lets this story down. I think the pressure to find the perfect match is something that is increasingly apparent in todays society so the story is very relatable plus I’m sure most people can relate on the dating disasters from a dating app too.

Personally, I loved Sophia. She is completely normal and I love how she interacts with her friends, including befriending an older lady who lives nearby. One of my favourite parts of the novel is her describing her perfect man as although I’ve never used a dating site, I feel like a lot of people have this check list and would secretly love to write it in their criteria. Daniel who fits every single description of the person man lets the story down in my opinion as bizarrely I found him far from perfect from the word go. I found him a little controlling for example, when Sophia wants a cheap outfit for work he insists otherwise and that he always wants to do want he wants to do. Normally I love the kind of relationship where the girl is swept off her feet with big romantic gestures but I didn’t like Daniel’s personally at all.

I loved how the author writes and its perfect for this genre of books. However, I just wished I could shorten the length of time Daniel was in the book and I think would’ve loved this book. Sadly, I just found it ok and not as good as I was expecting however, I would definitely check out other books by Zoe Maty in the future as I did like the writing style but the story just wasn’t for me this time.

Synopsis –

Can you ever find true love online?

Sophia Jones is an expert in all things online dating: the best sites, how to write a decent bio, which questions to ask and the right type of photos to use. The only thing she’s not so great at? Picking the guys…

After sitting through yet another dreadful date with a man who isn’t quite what she expected, Sophia is just about ready to give up on the whole dating scene. But her flatmate, Kate, persuades her to give it one more chance, only this time she must create a profile describing her ‘perfect’ man.

Yes, he must look like Robert Pattinson and needs to own a multi-million pound business, but there are a couple of other deal breakers, too! So, when a guy comes along who ticks every box, surely there’s got to be a catch?

A laugh-out-loud romantic comedy, perfect for fans of Catherine Bennetto and Rosie Blake!

Freshers – Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison

University is everything for Phoebe. Its the fresh start she wants and she plans on making it the best experience possible, even more so when the only person she is going to know at her university is her school crush Luke. The book throws you into the world of university life – will Phoebe and Luke survive the year?

This is a book that I’ve had on my to read pile for such a long time now and lockdown means that I can actually sit down and guilt free read so I’ve finally read Freshers! I’ve been to university so I was excited to read a young adult novel set in this environment. I don’t know what I was expecting from this book but I’m so sad that I didn’t like this book as much as I thought I would. Yes, I read it and enjoyed it but I just didn’t love it.

For me I just didn’t like the story. Luke’s wanting to be accepted and going along with some truly awful things made my skin crawl when reading. It wasn’t just Luke, 90% of the men in this book are truly horrible. I completely understand that he’s just started at university and wanted to make friends but it still didn’t sit well with me. Reading about the kind of things that happen in this book would’ve completely put me off going to university!

Although I didn’t particularly gel with either Luke or Phoebe, I at least saw character growth in Phoebe. She learns not to judge a book by its cover in the form of a classmate and I truly admired her confidently making a decision towards the end of the book. However, I just didn’t care about her enough. Luke on the other hand, I felt zero growth. He was dwelling on the past, desperately wanted to fit in, used people and to be honest I don’t think he felt too much remorse over his actions. He was a tool from the word go and I wished Phoebe could’ve seen past her school crush.

On the other hand some of the book captures some parts of life as a university fresher well and I enjoyed the descriptions and that characters constant putting the kettle on when someone comes around. I liked that the book was set in York, a city I have frequently visited so I could completely picture the story in a real life setting. I did find some parts quite funny and I did like the way in which the book was wrote but personally the story / characters just weren’t for me.

If you want to read a book about a university fresher’s life then give this book a go. I know so many people who love this book so its definitely worth a go but sadly I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected to.

Synopsis – 

Uni beckons. Phoebe can’t wait to be a fresher – especially since her crush from school will be there too. She’ll be totally different at Uni; cooler, prettier, smarter…the perfect potential girlfriend. She’ll reinvent herself completely. But Luke’s oblivious, still reeling from the fallout of the break-up with her ex. Thrown head first into a world of new friends, parties and social media disasters – can Phoebe and Luke survive the year, let alone find each other?


The Eve Illusion – Giovanna & Tom Fletcher

Eve is the first girl to be born in fifty years. For the last sixteen years Eve was kept as a prisoner, her life being watched by the world as being the only female born for so many years makes her special. Eve has spent her entire life being told what to do and her life has been mapped out for her since before she was born but now she’s taking her life back and changing her fate as she escapes from her prison. Life on the outside isn’t as rosy as she imagined and Eve discovers that she is in more danger than she can imagine.

I have been waiting for this book since the second I finished book one in the series, Eve Of Man. I had such high expectations for this book and boy was I not disappointed. This book was everything I expected from the second book in the series. From the second it landed at my house in the post I excitedly started reading it and its been such a long time that I sat down and read a book in one go because I just couldn’t put it down. I feel like that sums up just how good this book is.

The story picks off exactly where Eve Of Man ended so I feel like in this case you’d be much better off reading book one before The Eve Illusion, it has too much of a back story that’s important to know and the more you know adds to your enjoyment of the story. This book was the perfect addition to the story, Eve has escaped and you follow her dilemmas about her next step in her life. Eve may have escaped but she doesn’t feel overly happen with the new situation that she’s in, its interesting to see read her thought processes as well as those around her who have lived years thinking Eve is a saviour.

The story is told from three points of view, Eve, Bram and Michael. I’m normally not a real fan of book told from multiple perspectives, I find I’m usually not invested enough in one of the perspectives to care when it switches. However, not once during read this book did I long for the perspective to switch back to another character’s. I was equally invested in each person’s story so when the chapter switches came I actually loved it in this book. Each of the different points of view adds something to the story and I felt like its one of the few stories which really benefitted from being told like this.

If you loved Eve Of Man you will absolutely love The Eve Illusion. The 2nd book in the series did not disappoint in the series, the only problem is the ending!! I read the last chapter in shock wishing that the book hadn’t ended! I really love this series of books so all that’s left now is to patiently wait for the final book in the series…

Synopsis –

Eve is the last girl on earth.

For the last sixteen years, Eve has been a prisoner. Guarded by the Mothers. Trapped by her fate. Watched by the world.

Until she took her chance, and escaped.

Eve finally has the freedom she has wanted for so long, and with Bram she has the love. But both come at a price. In this dangerous new world beyond the Tower, the regime are only ever one step behind. And together with the desperate rebel group fighting against them, Eve has found herself in more danger than she ever could have imagined.

With everything stacked against them, can Eve and Bram survive?

The Witch’s Kiss – Katharine & Elizabeth Corr

Merry has always felt somewhat of an outsider, she’s different to her family and friends because she’s a witch and she can’t tell anyone, top that off with the fact that she choses not to practice magic and her family is constantly feuding. Then fate plays a hand which leads her to meet Jack who she instantly falls for. The only problem? He’s centuries years old and has been bound by a curse. Can Merry break the curse and live happily ever after?

This was a book that I whim bought in one of my big Kindle book shopping sprees. I have mixed opinions on this book if I’m honest. On the one hand I actually found it quite an enjoyable read, it was a real world setting with fantasy elements effortlessly woven in and I loved that. However, the book was advertised as more of a fantasy romance novel and I personally didn’t feel like this much had much of a romance at all.

The relationship portrayed between Jack and Merry was an insta-love kind of romance. They had no reason to fall for each other as quickly as they did but the relationship never really progressed pass them talking about what he can remember in the years since he was curse, the odd kiss and Merry dreaming about him. I love a good romance in a novel but for me this book really didn’t need it and would’ve worked just as well without it.

Merry is a young character so she does make mistakes throughout the book. At times maybe she comes across slightly annoying but overall I liked following her story. She’s clearly struggling to accept that she’s a witch and I personally enjoyed the chapters where she is trying to learn magic, I felt it was good to have a lead character who doesn’t alway success the first or even second time. It made her more real. Her brother Leo, is a delight to read about. He puts his family as a priority and will drop anything to help, I would like to read more books set in this story’s world but based around Leo – he’s the real saviour for this book. Jack I didn’t really have an opinion on, he’s a character that I loved reading his backstory but present day him didn’t have the same love. To be fair though he had just woken up from a centuries old curse so it’s wonder his character is like he is!

The storyline itself was fairly minimal. Many chapters were spent with Merry just hanging around waiting for something to happen. I actually didn’t mind that as it meant you got more of a backstory from Jack. Normally I find things that have a somewhat repetitive story line quite an effort to read but this absolutely wasn’t the case with The Witch’s Kiss, it just seemed to work well in this book. The story also has somewhat of a Sleeping Beauty plot line and you could definitely see elements of that throughout but at the same time the story felt unique to a fairytale story. I did enjoy how the history was woven into this story and the flashbacks of how Jack became the person he is today.

Overall I enjoyed this book. It was an easy read and I really did enjoy reading it. Yes, I felt some things could’ve been improved but if you’re looking for a young adult fantasy novel that’s set in this world then I would 100% recommend this book.

Synopsis –

Sixteen year-old Meredith is fed-up with her feuding family and feeling invisible at school – not to mention the witch magic that shoots out of her fingernails when she’s stressed. Then sweet, sensitive Jack comes into her life and she falls for him hard. The only problem is that he is periodically possessed by a destructive centuries-old curse. Meredith has lost her heart, but will she also lose her life? Or in true fairytale tradition, can true love’s kiss save the day?

My Favourite Small Businesses

Bit of a different post from me this week, but given the scary, crazy world we live in right now it just feels like that right time to post something like this.

I’m in the fortunate position that I’m still required to work so when I’m needing to purchase something for myself (or as a present to someone as you can’t go to shops right now) I’m really trying to support small online businesses who might need my custom more than ever.

Today I thought I would share with you some of my favourite shops to buy from but if you have a shop or love a small business please leave suggestions in the comments and I’ll check them out!

Alce Harfield Artworks

I have been going to Glastonbury Festival for over ten years now and last year I discovered the Alce Harfield stall at the festival and bought a print to get framed.

If you have a love for Glastonbury Festival then you will adore the artwork they sell, I know I found it a tough decision to pick just one! The art is sold is a variety of formats not just prints, including things such as cushions and mugs so something is available for all different budgets – even more so now a 30% off sale is happening site wide!

The prints are of the highest quality and I’ve just ordered myself the cushion I was longingly looking at during last years festival. The prices at the moment are an absolute bargain and are shop wide so if Glastonbury Festival isn’t your thing she sells so many other lovely things on the site too.

Bear Hugs

Bear Hugs is such a wonderful idea of a company. It basically provides ready made gift boxes (or you can make your own up if you don’t see a premade one) so you can send to people and give them a bear hug gift. It’s the idea that you’re sending a hug in the post to someone who may need it the most. I have a friend whose going through a difficult time at the moment and I’ve chosen to send her a bear hug to brighten her day. The box when opened even looks like a bear with its arms open so it looks like it’s giving a hug and the products inside are always of the highest quality.

Given the horrendous world we live in now, a bear hug is exactly the kind of pick me up that you need to send someone. The company also donates boxes to those in need and offers work to people with illnesses who otherwise may struggle to get a job so buy supporting this company as well as sending a lovely gift to someone, you’re also helping other people who need it the most.  

Emma Warren Designs

I own so many Emma Warren jumpers! I think that she has such different designs so the website has so many designs so something on the website will be to your liking. I’ve only ever bought jumpers from the store and they are such good quality and cosy! However if jumpers aren’t your thing, Emma Warren does so many different embroidered products such as tshirts, backpacks, pillows…so many options!

As a bonus your order also arrives so wonderfully wrapped with a sweet surprise too!


Paperandword is a company I discovered last year at London’s Comic Con. Basically they sell book sleeves to protect your books when you throw them in your bag when travelling etc. 

Although I do use my book sleeves when I travel, when I’m at home I use them to display books on my shelf which makes it look super pretty and colourful. They do limited edition patterns so you know you’re going to get something unique and you have the choice between fitting a paperback, hardback or a kindle. It’s a super practical thing to buy – particularly once we’re all allowed to leave the house again!

Phoenix Copper Art

Phoenix Copper Art predominately makes handmade notebooks but also makes really amazing leather bookmarks too. I am obsessed with them! So much love and care goes into every single piece – it is so worth paying the prices. 

What I love the most about the notebooks is that so many of them are refillable. I have an issue with buying expensive notebooks but never daring to use them, however I happily jot away in all the ones I buy from here as I know I can scribble away, refill and keep enjoying the notebook for years to come. Yes, they are expensive for a notebook compared with shop prices but you just can’t mass produce these kind of notebooks, for me they’re things that I constantly use so are completely worth the money.

If you check out the Facebook page, offers for notebooks come up quite frequently so you can even manage to get a real bargain! If you have an idea of a notebook you want, chances are you will be able to get it from Phoenix Copper Art!

Pops On Stage

I own so many keyring’s from Pops On Stage! They’re really reasonably priced, you have a great selection and new ones are constantly going up. If you like musical theatre inevitably you’re going to see a character you love for sale on Pops On Stage at some point and who doesn’t love keyrings.

Commissions are also available if you want to get a specific character made or you even want yourself or a friend! More info on that though is over on Instagram – pops_on_stage

Support Theatre Performers

I’m not quite sure what the situation is with this right now but West End performers aren’t (or at least haven’t been until very recently) getting paid. So far I have three theatre shows that have sadly but understandably been cancelled, some of which have had the money refunded to me already.

I thought I would try and find a way to try and give some money back to the performers of the shows I was supposed to see. Many West End performers have recently joined up to Cameo which is basically a website where you can request a video from a celebrity. It’s a pretty great idea as you can pay for a video from a performer so they get money and you get a personalised video out of it – win win really!

Many of your favourite performers are on the site now, I booked one video request and honestly it’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever done, the video truly made my day and I hope that my contribution has helped the performer even just a little get through this time.



The Flatshare – Beth O’Leary

After a bad breakup, Tiffy needs a place to live asap and Leon desperately needs extra money. So when Leon advertises a flat share where he lives there during the day (as he works nightshifts) and his flatmate lives in it at night and weekend, Tiffy jumps at the chance even if that does mean they’re sharing the same bed just never together. The whole thing goes through Leon’s girlfriend so with the arrangement the pair never meet.

I absolutely loved the idea of the book. Two people living in the same house but they never meet and communicate through post it notes etc – it sounds such a great idea! Plus by living together both Tiffy and Leon get a real glimpse into their personal lives through their belongings. It’s so strange that they both end up knowing a lot about the other but it took them so long to actually meet in person. I was so excited to read this book as I’ve heard so many good reviews about it, but sadly I just didn’t like it.

My biggest issue was the I just didn’t care about the characters. At no point during the book did I care about what happened to either of them, Tiffy in particularly I found difficult to read about and at times found her borderline annoying. Leon was hardworking and was clearly a caring guy yet I just didn’t gel with him. I felt that both of their lives revolved around other people too much which is fine but I wanted to read about Leon and Tiffy not about ex boyfriends and brothers. I felt at times that I knew more about Leon’s brother than Leon himself which is an odd thing when Leon is the main character.

As much as I didn’t even this book, I do still really like the story idea. I absolutely could see this book working as a film one day. I think even all the outside elements which annoyed me about the book would work super well as a film. I could also imagine the extended part where the pair didn’t meet would also work well on screen.

Ultimately I just didn’t get on with this book. The storyline is different and the idea is an interesting concept, I just didn’t enjoy the characters enough to care about the story. So many people love this book so if you like the idea of the blurb then give the book a read as hopefully you’ll love it, however for me this time this book just isn’t for me.

Synopsis – 

Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…

OPEN: Why Asking For Help Can Save Your Life – Frankie Bridge

Today is International Women’s Day so for todays book review I thought I would write about Frankie Bridge’s book OPEN. I’ve never read a book like this one before so I was a little wary about posting anything about it as I don’t have enough experience but today seemed the perfect reason to post about it!

I’m from the generation that grew up with Frankie Bridge as I’ve been a fan of her since her S Club Junior days, she’s always been someone who I’ve seen magazines from a very young age. From an outsiders point of view Frankie seemed to have the perfect life and although I knew that she had gone to rehab I was never really aware of the full extent as to why. OPEN is about Frankie Bridge’s battles with her mental health over the years and even comes with advice from professionals at many points throughout the book.

What I love most about this book is Frankie’s openness about everything she suffers from and how it impacts her life or did majorly impact her life. Although mental health is becoming a less taboo subject to talk about nowadays, I still was shocked at the things that Frankie discusses in her book. Nothing was hidden and some parts such as how she viewed her position in The Saturdays came as a real shock to me. I also liked that although professional opinions do feature heavily in the book, the way that it’s wrote isn’t for people who know all the correct terms, its super easy to follow the entire way through.

I think that if you choose to read this book you’re likely to be experiencing some difficulty with your mental health so I think that its so important for someone in Frankie’s position to discuss her own experiences. Personally I’ve never read a book like this before so Frankie is really making a whole new audience aware of mental health and that getting help is important. I know I won’t be alone when reading this book in seeing some similarities in things Frankie writes about and how I react / feel about things in my own life. Frankie’s willingness to be open in this book will ring true to many people and that is what makes this book so good, especially when it comes with trusted advice from professionals so you know what is being said is good advice.

I’m sure it took a lot of debating with herself for Frankie to write this book but I know that I’m glad that she did. Frankie is someone who has battled quite severely with different mental disorders over the years and thanks to her speaking so openly about them I’m sure will encourage people to go and seek help if they need it who perhaps may not have even realised they needed help until reading this book.

Obviously this isn’t a book you can read over and over again but I found it very interesting and informative. I liked that it was Frankie’s story too so it was fascinating to read as well as giving facts. I think if you’re still reading this post now then that is a sign that this book interests you and you should buy it and give it a read – you won’t regret it.

Synopsis – 

In OPEN, Frankie Bridge opens up about her ongoing journey from breakdown to breakthroughs and through self-loathing, hospitalization and self-acceptance. Part narrative exploration, part guide, this book will help you to understand the importance of talking and helping each other.

It will also feature guidance and advice from the psychologist and psychiatrist who pulled her back from the brink along with their notes on her and conversations with her. It’s a very simple four-letter word, but one of the hardest words to put into practice, this book will help people to understand the importance of talking out and helping each other.