June Roundup

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This summer is going to go by so fast, June had so much going on!

What’s new:

  • The Blog was updated! I can now be found under the name wandering and reading. I made the change on my blog-aversary. It’s so good to have a new name and a new layout. It feels fresh and more like me and my blog.

Current obsessions:

The past couple of months I’ve been posting about songs that have really had me obsessed. Today I’m really excited to mention that Dierks Bentley officially has a new album out. If you’ve been having a tough couple of weeks, I recommend you consider the album here. Below is a performance of one of my favorite songs off the album.

Speaking of some country music, can we just take a minute to appreciate the Queen and all she did at the CMT Awards. I mean, does anyone sing better than her?

Oh and I saw Keith Urban this month, I was pleasantly surprised but more on that in a later post.

However my summer jam this year, and current obsession has to be Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa. You can listen to it here.

The Adventures

Ummm we went to England! My first trip ever to Europe you guys! We saw Cornwall (hi Poldark!), Stonehenge (I mean, really?) and London (hello city life!) It was amazing! You’ll see a ton of posts about it in the next couple of months — everything you need to know about the trip and how to see what we saw, I can’t wait.

Books Read in June:

We did so much traveling, that I didn’t really feel like I read much this month. Which honestly, felt amazing. I took a break from my normal everyday life for over a week, it was the perfect refresh.

3.5/4 Stars

4/5 stars

5/5 stars

5/5 stars

5/5 stars

Upcoming:
July is going to be packed with moving out of our apartment and into our house! Which means the adventures will be on the back burner for a bit. But don’t worry, I still have some local Northeastern things to do! I can’t wait to tell you all about the house and how I’m feeling about it!

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Is Amazon Prime Worth It?

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It’s almost Amazon Prime Day! I wasn’t asked by Amazon to do a post on them but I figured since I’ve been waiting a few months for today that I’d let you know why I love Amazon so much and why, as a book reader on a budget I think it’s the best deal. Yes, I understand this means I don’t go to bookstores and yes that does in fact make me sad, I promise, I try to buy a few books a year at a bookstore.

If I convince you enough, and you want to try out Amazon, you can click on the link here to try out Amazon Prime.

Here’s why you should love Amazon

  • You can get credits for books simply by not doing the two day shipping. But don’t worry, it still comes in 3 days
  • But that two day shipping is pretty nice
  • If you love shows like Game of Thrones and Outlander, you can get the HBO and Starz apps for only $8.99/month and you can cancel at any time. For me, that’s a huge deal. It’s so much cheaper than a year and it’s cheaper a month
  • Books, Books and More Books are so easily accessible through Amazon and if you pre-order they have a price guarantee — meaning if you pre-order a book and the price goes up, you won’t be charged but if it goes down, you’ll get the best deal
  • I mentioned the whole credits for books by not doing two day shipping, well you can also get cash back if you get their credit card — it’s like 3% or 5% cash back that basically turns into money for your next purchase — it’s pretty awesome, but there are also really easy ways to get gift cards through bank reward points and honey
  • Free eBook every month– It’s called Amazon First Reads! You can choose, and they have some really good ones like Beneath A Scarlet Sky, In Farleigh Field and Daughters in The Night Sky. It’s an awesome little perk especially for book lovers like me
  • Amazon Music — we have two echos (love them and Alexa), and with Amazon Prime, you can stream a ton of music off your phone, off your Alexa or your computer, it’s an awesome little perk
  • Amazon Video — while some of the movies and tv shows are the same as Netflix, it’s another really nice perk to have with your membership. They also have some pretty great originals like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

I know, Amazon Prime is kind of expensive — roughly $100 dollars a year (unless you’re a student). But honestly, it’s so worth it — I definitely get all the perks within a year to make my membership of $100 a great investment. We are also buying off of Amazon, and while sometimes I wish I just went shopping, the convenience of it all when you work full time is perfect.

If I convinced you to give it a try — head to the link here. If you already have Prime — happy shopping!

4 Epic Days in Cornwall, England

It finally happened! I’ve always wanted to go to England, but it wasn’t until I read the Poldark series by Winston Graham and started watching the T.V. show that brought me to the point in my life of: I need to go there.

My boyfriend and I have had England planned for awhile now. You might be remember my post on what we choose to see when there.

But now it’s time to tell you all what we actually did. This all about our 4 days in Cornwall (technically we were there 5, but we basically just went to the beach and left on day 5 so I’m scratching that). You’ll see other posts in the future on our time in London, my favorite pictures (which will probably coincide with my favorite things that we did), the do’s and don’ts of traveling there, and how to save some money on your trip.

Day 1:

We were mighty adventurous on Day 1. After not really sleeping on our overnight, and waiting around in Heathrow for 3 hours, we finally made our way out to the countryside — a 4 hour drive from Heathrow to our little home away from home in St Agnes. If you are a Poldark fan, then St Agnes and Cornwall are just what you need. Anyway, to say we were tired was an understatement, we took a power nap, I’m not sure if we could have done any sight seeing that first day if we didn’t. But it was beautiful day and I just had to see something of Cornwall before we truly crashed for the night. This is what I had dreamed about for too long. I needed to see the coastline and it did not disappoint. IMG_0767.jpgSince we were at Porthtowan Beach, we decided it only made sense to sit out, relax and eat at it’s multiple different restaurants, we chose the beach cafe where we got some delicious burgers (reasonably priced). But there were at least two other places for eating plus Moomaid of Zennor ice cream. As an FYI — you do have to pay for parking almost everywhere in Cornwall.

Day 2:

Remember how I said we were jet lagged? Yeah, we slept for awhile into day 2 but were still able to see a lot! When we planned our vacation, we planned based off of geographical locations. So Day 2 was the Northern section (or what I considered Northern) of Cornwall. We got a little lost and ended up in Bodim, the cutest town, with the loveliest walking trail and the buildings were so old. Exactly what I was looking for. We also saw a festival going on that had it’s own reenactment of an execution!

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Once Bodim was done we headed to Tintagel Castle, which is really more of a ruin than castle. This is the supposed birthplace of King Arthur. You can even find a cove called Merlin’s Cove (PS — you can buy your tickets there, you also have to pay for parking or you can buy an Overseas Visitor Pass from English Heritage — which is what we did, more on that later). I mean, we really walked into history here, the Castle is a ruin now because it hadn’t been used in over 500 years — that’s right over 500 years. How unbelievable is that?

 

After our activities for the day, it was off to dinner (yes, we brought our lunches with us — more on that later) in Port Isaac, there was no real reason why we went to Port Isaac other than I wanted to see it. We had a lovely little dinner of fish and chips right on the water at the pier at The Slipway.

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Day 3:

Day 3 was our only truly rainy day. But even with that being said, it was pretty amazing. It didn’t downpour so that made it better. This was our first day of seeing a Castle that was not in ruin. Pendennis Castle was pretty amazing, not only was the Castle itself old and had a lot going on, it was cool to see the history of what it was used for after it was a castle, like a barracks during the WWI and WWII.

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After this, we went to Truro and had our first ever Cornish Pasty. It was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Everyone needs to have one, seriously. They even have Vegetarian ones as well as their traditional meat version. When in Truro, you have to see the Cathedral, it is a must see — gorgeous (with free admission) and of course, a lot of history.

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The last thing we did on day 3 was something I had been waiting to do since we started planning. If you’re a Poldark fan, you have to go to Chapel Porth Beach and Wheal Coates. When walking up the trail and seeing the water and the old mines.  It was everything I hoped it would be, I was so happy I think my boyfriend might have laughed at me. Honestly, I could post so many more picture but I chose three, maybe you’ll see more in some later posts.

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The mines were mainly for copper, tin and ore and very popular until the 1800s, I was in awe at the fact that I finally seeing it.

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Day 4

If you haven’t noticed, I haven’t mentioned anything about TEA. Anyway, we finally had some tea and scones near St Michael’s Mount. We got to the location early which was the perfect excuse to have some tea — we went to the Godolphin Arms and had a picturesque view of the Castle while we ate and waited.

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Why did we have to wait, do you wonder? Well, one of the coolest things about St Michael’s Mount is getting there. It’s on it’s own Island, technically you can take a little boat but we wanted the full experience of waiting for the tide to go out and then walk across the brick road like shown above. It was such a cool experience, we both loved it (FYI — Parking is about $4 pounds for the day and attraction pass is about $10 pounds, this is not part of the Heritage Pass mentioned earlier).

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Once there, you get to walk through a little town as you make your way up to the actual Castle. Be aware, this Castle is on a hill and is a cobblestone walkway, I would suggest sneakers. We were honestly thinking that anyone who has trouble on uneven surfaces might have trouble with this place. It’s worth it though if you can get to the top. The Castle itself is amazing, but the view of the ocean and the little town is also amazing. We took a lot of pictures and probably could have spent all day there.

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After St Michael’s Mount, we drove about 45mins to Land’s End. To say we did a lot of hiking/walking in Cornwall would be an understatement. Land’s End is the most south westernly point of Britain — which means I’ve been there and to the southernmost point of the US all within a year! I’m pretty happy with myself.

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What surprised me about Land’s End is how much of an attraction site it was. I expected to go there and just see lush cliffs — which don’t get me wrong, we saw (and I loved). But there was also a lot of fun attractions for families and kids even before you start walking the cliffs.

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I’m not going to lie, there were also some sketchy areas that we hiked. At one point, we seemed so close to the edge that I didn’t want to continue on the trail. If you ever feel like this though, don’t worry, you can go on a trail that’s not as close to the edge and still get the view you’re looking for.

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Then we drove to St Ives (honestly, the coolest town) and had dinner at Harbor Fish and Chips (our favorite Fish and Chips on the vacation) and then had a drink with some Cornishmen and Cornishwomen while watching England play in the World Cup. There was honestly no better way to end our first leg of our England trip and Cornwall.

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What I loved the most about Cornwall was the relaxed feel and nature of the whole place. Four hours from London and I felt like I was in a completely different country. I could have spent a week there, not just a couple of days.

 

Book Review: Darker Shade of Magic

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Author: V.E. Schwab

Pages: 400

Shades of Magic #1

Goodreads Synopsis: “Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.”

Review: I have been wanting to read this series forever. I see it posted on instagram all the time but for some reason, I just never got around to reading it. I finally had an Amazon gift card and decided it was time to buy it. I am so happy I did. This was such a fun and awesome read (though I did find two typos), I finished it in 3 days, I devoured it and I can’t wait for next my gift card to go out and buy the next one! Here’s all the reasons why I loved this story.

I loved Kell and Lila. They were so fun and lovable characters. Both were intricate to the story but neither felt forced. I also loved how easily everything flowed together, I loved that even when I wasn’t reading about Kell and Lila for a chapter, I was bored. It was the opposite, the supporting story lines were just enough. There weren’t too many of them, and they were short and to the point so I never felt like it was for nothing.

I also loved the segments, like it was an Act with different sections on top of the chapters. I partly loved this because it helped me determine what I was going to read, instead of two chapters, I would just read to the next act. The story was also so fast paced that it was easy to get lost in the action.

Speaking of action, that’s another thing I loved. There was never a dull moment in this story, I never found chapters boring, or misused. Instead of found every word important, every detail was concise (I want to be an Antari, or at least meet Kell!) and it all moved so smoothly. I loved the magic world with some people that didn’t have magic, I loved the loyalty, strength shown by the characters. It somewhat reminded me of Harry Potter at times, which is probably why I liked it so much.

I can’t wait to read the next adventure in Kell and Lila’s story.

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars