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Photo: BBC

This post really needs no introduction. I’m obsessed, you’re obsessed and it’s the last ever one with Mary, Mel and Sue. We need to treasure every moment. 

1. Mary Berry reminds us all of our grandma. Just watching her takes you back to your childhood baking fairy cakes and spilling flour all over the floor.

2. But you also feel like you finally understand that secret naughty adult language. Remember all those jokes your older relatives laughed at that you didn’t get? Well now you do.


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3. Mel and Sue are the cheerleaders we all want to have on our team. Imagine having miniature versions of them to take to work with you every day.

4. Paul Hollywood is just like a pantomime villain. But secretly we just want to give him a hug.

5. With Selasi and Benjamina on board, baking is finally cool and their friendship is just adorable.

6. And Candice might just be the sassiest baker ever (see below Twitter post for evidence). And she seriously makes us want to up our lipstick collection too.

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7. Us Brits love an underdog and Andrew is the cutest one of all.

8. And don’t get me started on how much of a babe Jane is ❤️

9. Bake Off gives you an excuse to buy baked goods on the way home from work. No one can tune in without a cake in their hand, that’s just cruel.

10. And whilst this year might have made you doubt the sanity of the world and the British people, the outcry Bake Off’s channel move caused shows there’s a cause we can all get behind.

11. It’s never all bad, even if *shock horror* it’s all gone wrong and you drop your cake on the floor. Someone will always be there with a hug and Mary will find something nice to say.

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12. It feels good at the end of a long Wednesday to get home, know you’re over hump day and get stressed about cake. Because really in life, what’s more frustrating than a soggy bottom?

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Despite the very dodgy weather, June has been pretty damn amazing. Mostly helped by my trip to Sorrento which I haven’t stopped thinking about since, but also because I’ve thrown in a Wimbledon visit and some exciting blog bits too. So although the news has been very depressing, I’ve been smiling and trying to really enjoy the start of summer. Have a look at the sunshine in my month here (because it certainly hasn’t been in the skies all that often…)!

1. Wimbledon

I had the best day at Wimbledon earlier this week, it was the first time I’d ever been and it wasn’t at all what I was expecting. It’s like it’s own little town and, even though we had Court 1 tickets, I loved just wandering around the grounds eating strawberries and cream (at £2.50, they were cheaper than I expected!) and drinking Pimms. I’ve got a post to come on this day very soon!

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2. The Little Book of Mindfulness

I’ve been loving using this book this month, I’m currently working my way through and trying out all the techniques. It’s given me a good idea for a new blog series next month too and I can’t wait to get going with it…

3. Pick N Mix

Pick N Mix is my favourite, it has been since I was really little. I always consider giving up sugar and then remember there’s no way I could give up sweets, they’re my one guilty pleasure. But so often they’re stuffed full of gelatine and as a veggie I can’t eat them. I love that M&S now do so many veggie sweets, but I also found a brilliant sweet shop in the North Laine in Brighton last weekend. It had a really wide and well-marked veggie Pick N Mix selection so I was a very happy girl.

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4. Dungarees 

I am so very late to this party but I now own two pairs of short dungarees and I’m becoming obsessed. My latest purchase were a pre-holiday panic buy and they’re a cactus print pair from Joy (I seem to be loving Joy this month!) Now I’m desperate for a long pair – because you always need long trousers for a British summer – and I think I’m probably going to end up living in them.

5. Joy Sunglasses

See I told you I was loving Joy! Another pre-holiday panic purchase but they are the coolest sunglasses I have ever owned and every time I wear them I feel a bit like a movie star. Now just to make sure I don’t sit on them…

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6. Spontaneous Trips

This month, I’ve made quite a few spontaneous weekend plans and it’s been lots of fun. One even involved playing dinosaur crazy golf. Sometimes I think it’s really good just to be a child again and make last-minute fun decisions. I’m definitely going to be doing more of that this month.

7. Afternoon Tea

I’m not sure if I’ve maybe included this in a sunny summary before but if I have, oh well! I bloody love afternoon tea, it’s so quaint and calming and warm and makes me feel all fuzzy inside. I’m addicted to tea anyway, as you all know, so anything that makes an event out of that makes me happy. Add cakes and cream and jam and you’re on to a winner! This month I had the cutest afternoon tea in a little tea shop – it had bunting, mismatched china, floral tablecloths. It was my favourite place in the world.

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8. Agatha Raisin

This is such a random one but I’ve really been enjoying new murder mystery (with a comedic twist) Agatha Raisin on Sky One. Ashley Jensen is brilliant and me and my mum have been curling up on a Tuesday evening and watching it together. It’s just the definition of easy watching.

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Oh guys, I knew this day would come. This time, it’s been really hard to compile this post. The news all just seems a bit dark and depressing and I very nearly gave up. But then I got thinking, when it seems hardest of all is when a post like this is most needed. So I carried on and made it through. I hope in some way this cheers you up and helps you see all the good in the world – it is out there, if you just search far enough.

  • I spotted this one in the newspaper a few weeks back and it really made me smile. After all the controversy about the tough new SATs for primary school children (I have to admit I attempted the English SATs questions in the paper and found them VERY challenging – and I have an English degree!), this lady had the right idea. A teacher set homework the weekend before the SATs paper and it included instructions to eat haribo, smile and go on a bike ride. My kind of woman.

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  • A selfless teen from Bristol uses his pocket money to feed the homeless, and has now revealed plans to set up his own soup kitchen. 13-year-old Hamish started feeding two homeless men he passed on his way to school, buying them a £1.50 bacon and sausage sandwich. Now he’s set up a Go Fund Me page so he can feed many more homeless people. How lovely is that?
  • Sanitary pads cost a day’s pay in Malawi so many girls miss school for up to a week a month. But one woman, Trinitas, has started making reusable sanitary pads from fabrics available locally which are comfortable, easy to wash, remove the embarrassment and allow girls not to miss any school. One school girl said, ‘The wings and the poppers mean I can move around as usual. We can do skipping rope and everything.’
  • An 86-year-old man has graduated 50 years after he started his degree course. Leo Benatar quit his master’s at college after two years because they couldn’t find anyone knowledgeable enough to hear his thesis. But half a century on, he completed his course and attended his graduation ceremony in front of 17 members of his family. Good on you Leo!                                                                                                                                      Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 11.15.05
  • An amazing Instagram user came up with a brilliant way to reassure his mum he was okay whilst he travelled the world, check out the photo above (thanks to @momimfine). What a genius idea!

And finally… for all you Harry Potter fans, and I know there’s a lot of you out there. Take a watch of the video below, these skydivers play real life Quidditch and it looks so much fun. If I ever build up the courage to skydive, I’m definitely going to give that a go!

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The above photo is very appropriate for this sunny summary as it’s been an amazing month of travel, and I’m not finished yet. As you read this, I’ll be in Copenhagen for the weekend. June brings a trip down to the Amalfi Coast too which I’m so excited for. It’s so nice to have turned the corner into summer and to feel like there’s so much to look forward to now. This blog might turn into a bit of a travel one for the next month or so, I’ve got so much planned and so much to write about. I hope you’re enjoying the travel bits I’ve done so far, I love writing them as it gives me an excuse to pour back over the breaks and enjoy them all over again. As usual, let me know if you have any specific requests too!

1. Learning to Meditate 

I’m going to write a post on this soon, I’ve decided I need to try meditating again as I really enjoyed it when I dabbled with it last year. This time I’m using the Calm app and so far I’m loving it. I don’t find I can fit it in every day but I’ve stopped putting pressure on myself to do so, I did that before and I think it almost defeats the purpose. I’ll go into more detail in my new post but I love the variety in the Calm app – there’s different exercises so you look forward to trying something new. If you’re feeling like you need a little bit of space to yourself in each day, definitely give it a go.

2. Fake Cacti

There’s a long story behind these, but to cut it short – I am dangerous around real cactus. Yeah they look great in Instagram photos, but I have dropped a few too many in my time. And trust me, catching a cactus is not fun. When I ended up in hospital, my boyfriend made me promise I would never own a cactus again. So these fake ones made of cloth material are the perfect alternative. Have any of you ever had any disasters with cactus or am I just ridiculous?!

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3. My Coffee Machine

 I got this amazing mini red Dolce Gusto coffee machine for my birthday and I’m absolutely obsessed. It’s small enough to barely take up any space in my bedroom but so easy and quick to use and makes delicious coffee. The pods are a little expensive, but so much cheaper than a takeaway coffee habit – which I definitely seemed to be developing. I have lattes, cappuccinos, and even hot chocolates.

4. My Birthday

Aw aren’t birthdays just the best? Mine was technically in April but I celebrated it mostly in May so I thought I could include it in this summary. It began with my trip to Geneva which you can read all about here. And then the next weekend I celebrated with my friends, they secretly decorated my house with all things pink and Pimms which was so sweet. And then we headed to the amazing Kensington Roof Gardens. I seriously recommend it and can’t wait to go back in the daytime – it’s huge with an amazing bar area, BBQs, deckchairs, a marquee, all sorts. You feel immediately like you’re on holiday whilst you’re actually on top of a building in Central London!

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5. Outfit Posts 

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with outfit posts, sometimes I love everything about them and sometimes I feel super awkward and hate the end result. But this month I’ve really enjoyed both this post and this one. And I think I’ve found the reason why – they were both spontaneous and completely unplanned. I found myself in either a beautiful place or a beautiful dress and decided to get the boyfriend to take some photos of me. And I was really pleased with how they both turned out, even though they’re completely different posts.

6. Spring Scented Candles

Hmmm I love candles. My favourite scents used to be cinnamon, spice and all things nice. But this spring I’ve been loving the Elderflower & Lime one below from Oliver Bonas. It smells fresh but isn’t overly sweet. Does that make sense? It’s hard describing a candle on paper! Just trust me, it’ll bring the spring blossom inside and make you feel all ready for summer.

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7. Lilac Nails

Lilac has been on my nails nearly all this month, it’s just so summery. I’ve got a gorgeous Nails Inc varnish and another Rimmel one that I’m loving. Nail varnishes never last very long on me so I always just pick my favourite colours.

8. Weekend Breaks

Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this month has been chocka block full of mini adventures. Weekend breaks in Europe are my favourite because they’re cheap and require very little planning. Although I still pack way too much – I’m working on that!

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I’ve been wanting to write this post for such a long time, and now I’ve been commuting into London for nearly 3 years every single day, I think I’m finally qualified. I take an hour journey on the train from Surrey to London morning and evening and then walk from Waterloo to my office. I’m one of the lucky ones, because I get on at the end of the line I get a seat on the way in. But don’t worry I know your pain if you’re not so lucky! On the way home, I have to stand all the way nearly every day. It’s funny because, although I often absolutely hate commuting and dream daily of clicking my fingers and being home immediately, having two spare hours a day does have some advantages. And over time I’ve put together this list of 20 ways I think you can make your commute count. Please, please let me know if you have any other ideas, I’m always trying to think of new ones!

  1. Do as much of your morning routine as possible: I get some extra time in bed now because I’ve learnt to do my moisturising, make up and even hair on the train! Granted you need a seat for this one but I’ve got used to ignoring the weird looks (both from those when I look awful on the platform and actually on the train!) and now my morning routine at home can be done in 15 minutes.
  2. Learn to meditate: I downloaded HeadSpace and every morning I used to do a session on there. It can be hard when people are on the phone or sneezing around you but it can be done – and it’s the perfect time to practice some destressing.
  3. Catch up with friends: Often, I’ll use the train journey to give an old friend a call. Social media and text just aren’t the same and post-uni a call can really help to keep you in touch with friends all over the country. An hour commute is the ideal time to do this.
  4. Write a novel: This is one I’m trying to do at the moment, I’ve finally struck upon an idea and the commute is a great time to write. Especially in the morning as I find I work best then.
  5. Procrastinate! I often use the train journey to get all my scrolling through Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest/news websites done. Then when I get home I feel I can put my phone away or switch it off and have a social media detox.
  6. Run a blog: I couldn’t be a blogger and not mention this! The commute is the perfect time to run your blog, I write posts, select and edit photos, answer emails, join in with Twitter chats and do all sorts of social media bits on the commute. It’s the perfect time to catch up.
  7. Do an online food shop: Now you can do this on your phone, why not get your grocery order out of the way? You can write a list of dinners you’re going to eat that week and then get it ordered whenever. Same goes for internet shopping, I often do this sat on the train!
  8. Read: How many people do you hear saying they haven’t got time to read nowadays? I can’t always focus on a book on the train but every now and then I’ll go through phases and get addicted to one. I never really find the time to read anymore unless I’m on holiday, and as an English Lit graduate I’d hate to stop altogether. Once I got so obsessed with a book that I missed my stop!
  9. Plan: I’ve planned so much on my commute, holidays, weekends, interior decorating. There is very little you can’t do – you can book train tickets, you can write to do lists, you can pin ideas for a surprise birthday party. You can literally plan anything and everything!
  10. Research a subject you’re interested in: I’m really interested in psychology, but never got the chance to study it at school. On my commute, I’ve spent time researching and reading books on the subject – which is something I’d never find time to do in a normal day. It could be anything – social media, history, even trains!
  11. Listen to Podcasts: I got totally addicted to both the first and second series of Serial on my commute. Podcasts are absolutely ideal if you have to stand on your commute as you don’t need any spare hands. I’m currently looking for a new one to obsess over so any recommendations, please let me know.
  12. Sleep: I couldn’t not include this as I have quite regularly used the morning commute to supplement a lack of sleep the night before. And because I get off at the end of the line, I can’t even miss my stop!
  13. Further your career: Is there something you think you could do to get you a promotion? Or something extra you’d love to do for work but never find the time? I’ve applied for jobs on the commute, written cover letters, redesigned CVs, researched for interviews and used LinkedIn to network.
  14. Help your family and friends: There’s so many times I’ve told my siblings I don’t have time to help them – whether it’s proofreading my little brother’s essay or emailing my mum links to the places I use to book holidays. I’ve done it all on the commute and they’ve been very grateful for it.
  15. Get inspired: I love listening to Ted Talks on the train, it sets up my day in just the right way. I feel more positive and learn a lot, download the app to have a go.
  16. Catch up on TV programmes you’ve missed: I’m always missing dramas I’d like to get hooked on, and BBC iPlayer and 4OD are the dream because you can download from them both. Sometimes the commute is the best time to watch trash TV too, you don’t feel guilty because what else would you be doing?
  17. Learn a language: Duolingo is brilliant for this, I’ve been attempting very slowly to learn French again (I did an A Level in it but seem to have forgotten everything!) on my commute. You can also use podcasts and the internet to keep learning.
  18. Let your mind wander: Sometimes we go through the whole day without having a single moment to ourselves. Ariana Huffington recommends that everyone spend at least five minutes sitting and doing nothing every single day – and if she can do it and manage a huge company then we all can. If you do it on your commute, you can’t feel guilty about it, and you never know you might have some of your greatest ideas in this time!
  19. Colouring in: Everyone loves a bit of adult colouring in, and although the train might be a bit shaky and you might not always colour within the lines, it’s a lovely time to zone out and colour. I’ve filled in whole books.
  20. Learn: I haven’t done this one yet so I’ve left it til last. But I know people who have done whole university courses on their commute. They’ve genuinely enrolled in courses online that take 3 to 5 hours per week of studying and got an actual qualification. I think this is brilliant and definitely something I’m thinking about doing in the near future.