Stay Cool Kids

Stay Cool Kids

The sizzle of sunburn is not something I enjoy so I am very grateful for Past Me who stocked up on suncream. Here’s my top tips for keeping your complexion healthy and avoiding lobster doom whether you’re going abroad or staying home.  

🌻Use suncream every day and top it up regularly, especially if you’re outside during the day. 

🌻Drink lots of water, you get dehydrated quickly in the summer and being taken to hospital and put on a drip can really wreck your holiday. Buy a water bottle and carry it with you – pop it in the fridge before you go out to keep it cool. 

🌻Moisturise! Your skin gets thirsty too and needs love. 

🌻Stay out of the midday sun – the hottest part of the day is the worst. 

🌻Eat delicious water filled nutrients in watermelon, cucumber, and other fruits. Ideally eat things in season as they taste better. 

🌻Don’t forget our furry pals – they can’t take off their fluffy jackets so make sure they have plenty of water, add an ice cube or two to help them stay cool. 

🌻Stop sleeping under your winter duvet! If you need covers a light blanket or spare sheet instead so you don’t get too hot at night. 

🌻Open the windows when you get home. Air out your home and cool it down. If you can, open your doors as well. 

🌻Water your plants. Use water left in your kettle or water bottles rather than pour it away. If you have a garden get a water butt – they’re inexpensive and will save on your water bills, as long as it rains. 

🌻Most importantly have fun! 

Letterbox Cake with bakerdays & a giveaway 

Letterbox Cake with bakerdays & a giveaway 

What’s in the tin?

It’s a Cake!

My partner turns 30 this week and as we were having his parents over, when bakerdays offered to send me a letterbox cake in exchange for an honest review, I said yes.

The postman delivered a slim brown box which contained a tin and some birthday favours (balloons, candles, blower) as well as a sweet card from the bakerdays team.

Now the cake is quite small but it needs to be to fit through a letterbox! But it is beautifully decorated – you can personalise your cake with a photo, name, preferred message, you name it. And it comes in a range of tasty sponge flavours, which taste great.

And now the reason I’m telling you all this
A giveaway!

You can win the letterbox cake of your choice from bakerdays delivered to your door. Here’s how.

– follow ramblingmads the blog (and on Twitter and Instagram if you aren’t already)

– post a comment telling me what special occasion you’d like to celebrate with a bakerdays letterbox cake. Please include your Twitter handle or email address to make it easy to contact you if you win.

The winner will be chosen at random a week from today Tuesday 27th July 2027.

The cake will be sent to you direct from bakerdays so I will need to ask for some details if you win. This will include which letterbox cake you’d like and your UK postal address (no P.O Boxes). Please see the bakerdays website for cake options.

UK only due to the fact the cake will be sent via Royal Mail.

Book Preview: Daughters of India – Jill McGivering

Book Preview: Daughters of India – Jill McGivering

I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Written by a journalist specialising in Asia, this historic novel tells of Isabel and Asha, two women caught in India’s struggle for independence. 

Isabel is the daughter of British parents, her father a high ranking Raj official. Her life is pampered and privileged,  far removed from that of Asha – whose father swept the streets until he was falsely accused of theft and fired. 

As adults their lives cross paths again, Isabel is a bored housewife trapped in a loveless marriage and Asha a teacher fighting for independence. 

Told from the perspective of the women themselves McGivering presents the fading opulence and extreme poverty of both sides of the independence battle. As the Second World War looms will these women end up on the right side of history? 

I found this utterly enthralling – I’m a massive history geek so that intrigued me right off. India’s struggle to shake off the  British Empire isn’t exactly taught in schools. I also really appreciated the two protagonists being female – women’s voices are so often from the narrative of history. 

It’s also really well written, the story flows and the characters felt real. There’s a lot packed into this book and I will be mulling over it for a while. 

Daughters of India is published in hardback on the 22nd July so if it sounds like something you’d enjoy (and I hope it does) then place an order at your bookseller of choice now. 

Book Preview: The Midnight Queen – Sylvia Hunter

Book Preview: The Midnight Queen – Sylvia Hunter

I was kindly sent this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Midnight Queen is the first in a new trilogy set in an alternate history Britain. 

Its the 1800s, Henry the Twelth is on the throne, magick is everywhere, you can study it at Merlin College, Oxford (if you’re a man of means and family), people speak their own languages and worship an entire pantheon of gods. 

Grey Marshall is studying at Merlin College when he stumbles into a conspiracy that threatens not only his own life but the stability of the realm. In trying to unravel it he meets Sophie, who just might be the key to everything. 

There’s a lot packed into this book, the plot is definitely something you can get your teeth into. Intrigue, murder, magic, love, a hidden princess and a tragic secret or two.

I really enjoyed this, the writing is pacey, the characters strong, and the plot kept me rapt. 

If you liked Sarah J. Maas’ ACOTAR series or Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha books then this is for you. 

I cannot wait to see what happens with Grey and Sophie in the next book, Lady of Magick. 

The Midnight Queen will be published on the 20th July 2017 so now’s the perfect time to place your order. 

Where did all the make up go? 

Where did all the make up go? 

You may have noticed if you’re a regular reader that my blog’s focus has shifted slightly. There’s been a lot going on in my personal life and with my health that has taken my energy and focus. 

I haven’t been working so I haven’t been wearing much make up – although my skin care game is still strong, so I haven’t been writing about that. I also haven’t been subscribing to many beauty boxes as I need to actually use up my stash and save some money. 

However I’m hoping to share my skincare regime, faves and problem products as well as perhaps my great love of glitter soon. So stay tuned. 

If there’s anything you’d like to see here – recipes, rats, books etc just let me know. And if you’re a PR, writer or brand and want to work together, I’m friendly, promise. 

Don’t forget you can find me on TwitterInstagram, Bloglovin or drop me an email. 

Book Review: Look What I Have Done – Sarah Schmidt 

Book Review: Look What I Have Done – Sarah Schmidt 

Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks, 

When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one

I can’t remember when I first heard of Lizzie Borden but I was a rather macabre child so probably quite early on. She seems to be having a bit of a moment right now – with this book and two tv shows about her (Netflix currently has one with Christina Ricci as Borden). 

Schmidt researched this book rather thoroughly – including staying in the Borden house. Luckily her writing style means it doesn’t feel like an academic tome. 

In fact it reads like a rather modern thriller – with multiple narrators and flashbacks. The setting is the rather claustrophobic house the Borden family lived in – Mr Andrew Borden, his two adult daughters, Lizzie and Emma, second wife Abby and housemaid Bridget. The doors and windows are always kept locked even in the heat. 

It’s a small cast of characters and Lizzie dominates the household with her childish behaviour and temper tantrums. Sister Emma desperately wants to escape and Lizzie refuses to let go. 

The book is incredibly well written and really draws you in to the tense environment. Opening in the immediate aftermath of the murders, Schmidt spins a tight web of resentment and bitterness. 

I read this in two sittings, breaking for an appointment because it’s so gripping. Even knowing the rough outcome didn’t matter. 

If you like thrillers, historical, biographical books, this is one for you. In fact, even if those genres aren’t your thing, read it anyway. 

Adventures in Catsitting

Adventures in Catsitting

For the last couple of months I’ve been catsitting for my neighbour, who’s been in hospital. Every day I pop in and check on her lovely kitty and make sure she has everything she needs. Then we have a cuddle and a fuss. It’s rather lovely. 

I’ve also looked after my pal Douglas (who pops up from time to time on my Instagram feed) since he was a kitten. 

As someone who’s a bit allergic to cats but loves them this is an absolute treat. So I’ve decided to do this as a side gig and get to tell more kitties that they’re gorgeous babies. 

If you live in London and need someone to come in and check on your cats while you’re away, you can book me to look after your precious babies (and water your plants) then click this link and drop me a message.