May Goals

Wednesday, 30 April 2014


But first lets take a look at how I got on with my goals for April!

1. Read 8 books.
2. Finish all current crochet projects.
3. Hang up my pictures.
4. Finally unpack that last box. 
5. Post 3 OOTD posts.
6. Reply to all emails within 24 hours.
7. Order contact lenses. I did try to do this when I went to get my eyes tested but as my prescription changed I was advised to go a few days with my new prescription glasses first.
8. Do a 10 minute arm work out every day. Well this was never going to happen was it? Think I've done it like 3 times....
9. No unnecessary purchases! I did treat myself to a few new things after finishing high school last week but I'm still counting this one as a success because I have cut down on the spending.
10. Properly clean my bedroom and post that room tour.

Not great but not bad either. I feel like April has been a rather great month overall. But now it's time for May. Which means exams. Great. But as of the 22nd I have no more exams which means freedom until September. Yay! So here are my goals for the month:

1. Study hard for all of my exams. Duh.
2. Find shoes and a bag for prom.
3. Pay the final deposit on the limo for prom.
4. Read 6 books.
5. Go to South Queensferry with Stuart.
6. Spend one day cleaning for my mum.
7. Check out the mobile library in my new area.
8. Crochet a granny square blanket in baby colours and start on a blanket for myself.
9. Go to the cinema.
10. Take my dog on a walk at least once a day(don't worry, he get's two walks everyday, there are four of us!).

What are your goals for this month?

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What's On My Bedside Table

Tuesday, 29 April 2014
Hello everyone. This is one of those posts that's just going to confuse you if you're not a blogger. Like empties posts. Yup, I'm going to show you what I keep on my bedside table. Why? Just because. I don't really know why but I love reading these posts so thought it was about time I done my own. I also recently did a full room tour if you'd like to see even more!

So I always try to keep something to drink on my bedside table, preferably a bottle of water. I just refill it before I go to bed. I've moved in my sleep far too many times and knocked over a glass so the bottle is the idiot proof option! I keep it on a coaster from Not On The High Street. I love them so much, I'm a total chemistry geek. I don't know why but I hate using the alarms on my phone so I still insist on using a regular alarm clock. I normally keep my phone on my beside table when it's not on charge just so I remember where it is.

I keep all of my unread books on my bedside table as well. Once I've read them I'll put them onto my regular book shelf. It shows how long ago I took these photos because I've read all but two of these now. I've also got my blogging diary on top of the pile. It's from W H Smith. Here I write on each day what blog post is going up and I have a little ticklist for whether I've scheduled the tweets or not. I also have the little purple candle holder. I got this whislt on holiday and I think I've actually used it as a candle holder once. At the moment I keep odds and ends in it to tidy up my bedside table. Earrings, kirby grips, hand cream, bonjela and the cleaning cloth for my glasses.

 I also keep this birthday card that Stuart got me three years ago. It's so cute! But I had to remove it from the photos because my camera kept on trying to focus on the bunny's face and was making my photos all blurry. The body lotion is from Ginger & Co. I'll always keep whatever body lotion/butter I'm using at the moment on my bedside table because it's easy to get to.

When I'm asleep I'll obviously keep my glasses on my bedside table as well but I kind of needed them on to take the photos! And that's it all.

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Glasses Problems

Monday, 28 April 2014

Getting in the shower and not realising you've forgotten to take your glasses off until they steam up.

"You look so much prettier without glasses on." Great.

Putting your glasses down in a different place than usual before you go to bed and not being able to find them in the morning.

Babies and glasses. It's cute to everyone that doesn't have to pay to see.

Spending lots of time on your eye make up to realise that no one is going to notice it anyway.

Having to put contacts in to do your makeup and then take them back out again if you're wearing glasses that day.

Opening the dishwasher after it's just finished and not being able to see because the heat steams up your glasses.

Accidentally putting your contact lenses in the wrong eyes.

When your eyes deteriorate much faster than the two years the NHS give you for an eye test. You get treated like a criminal when you suggest you might need one a bit sooner.

Having to pay a stupid amount of money for a pair of prescription sunglasses or having to wear sunglasses and your usual glasses and looking like an idiot.

Trying to take a selfie without getting the reflection of your phone screen in your lenses.

"Can I try your glasses on?" Wow you're so blind.

When it's winter and every time you enter a building your glasses steam up.

Not being able to wear your glasses when you have hair dye on because it'll stain the frames.

When Specsavers gave free glasses to bloggers that don't wear glasses...

When you're buying new glasses and trying them on. Oh wait I can't even see what these look like on me.

"Boys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses." Oh fuck off.

Falling asleep whilst wearing your glasses. Ow.

Losing the little cleaning cloth for your glasses.

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Week In Photos #65

Sunday, 27 April 2014
Hanging photos / BBQ / New book / Bed thief
Maple syrup! / Mac n cheese / New phone case / Batdog cuddles
End of school shirt / Package from Cohorted / Alan Davies / New water bottle
Pizza! / Walkies / Accidental repeat / Party selfie

Hello everyone. It's been a while since I last done a week in photos and so much has happened. As of Friday I am no longer a high school student. I still have to go back to do my exams but after that I'm never going back. It feels so weird and I'm a little sad but I'm still very excited to start uni in September. Now I just need to apply for SAAS. I've tried twice so far and then stop because there's so much information to put in and my parents are both self employed with is such a pain! I also included that shirt picture twice by accident. Oops, sorry!

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Fruit & Nutella Stuffed Croissants

Friday, 25 April 2014
Hello everyone. I saw Rosie's Nutella Stuffed Croissant recipe a few months ago and my gran and I decided to recreate them for out Easter breakfast. We opted to put some fruit inside the croissants and leave out the hazelnuts(mostly because we didn't have any). They were absolutely delicious. The warm raspberries were so tart and just added something really nice to the flavour. Also the dough comes from a can so they're extra easy and quick to make.

You will need: 
1 can of Jus-Rol croissant dough
Some fruit of your choice(I used raspberries/bananas)
Egg or milk for washing

Start off by preheating your oven to gas mark 5 and lining/greasing a baking tray. Then chop up your fruit and flour your surface. Roll out the croissant dough from the can and cut along the perforated lines.

Spread a little Nutella on the bottom half of the croissant dough and place your fruit on top.

Roll from the bottom up until you have a croissant shape and place on the baking tray. Brush a little egg or milk on top to give the croissant a nice golden finish.

Cook for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Best served warm!

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Book Review: Isabella's Last Request

Wednesday, 23 April 2014
Isabella's Last Request by Laura Lawrence* is a novel in which a girl in her twenties with a brain tumour writes a list of all of the things she wants to do before she dies. The novel is narrated by Isabella's best friend, Olivia, as they complete the tasks whilst travelling the world. Along the way they meet two boys and of course there's a little bit of romantic involvement. It's a nice easy read that's a little bit juicy. If you like novels by Sophie Kinsella and Cecelia Ahern then this is one for you.

I was able to read this book in a day. I normally read Kindle books a lot faster than paperbacks but this is only about 200 pages(give or take depending on your ereader). The book is quite sad at times(although I didn't cry like everyone who's review it on Amazon has) and talks about cancer so if this is quite a sensitive topic for you then you might want to be a little bit wary. I did really like the list that they had written and found it really added something to the novel. It made me think about what I would do if I found out I was going to die. It gave a firm plot line for the story to follow as well. I really liked the two different romances that occur. The relationship between Isabella and her man is very 'bad boy' and reckless whilst Olivia kind of settles down with someone who is very caring. I think the relationships were a really nice way of showing their personalities a little bit better.

I think my main issue with the book and why I chose not to give it a higher star rating is because it skipped out on a lot of detail. They'll be standing talking in the queue to go swim with dolphins and then the next thing you know they're talking after swimming with dolphins. But really what I want to be reading about is swimming with the dolphins, what they done, how it felt etc. etc. I think because of this I didn't feel myself getting very connected to Isabelle as a character. Yes she had cancer and that sucks but I was definitely a lot more attached to Olivia, mostly because it was written from her perspective. As I've said, this book is about 200 pages long and I would have preferred if it was a little bit longer. Just adding those little bits of detail would have made it so much better for me.

For £2.02 I think Isabella's Last Request is great book to buy from the Kindle store. It's a fun, easy read that's perfect for summer. Something I'd recommend to read by the pool with your Kindle in one hand and a pina colada in the other. There's also a sequel called Isabella's Last Gift which I have bought and am looking forawrd to reading. As I said earlier I felt more attached to Olivia and this novella follows her after she moves to America.

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Top 5 Stand Alone Novels

Monday, 21 April 2014
Hello everyone. Another 'Top 5' post today! This time it's one that was requested. I was asked to do posts on my favourite stand alone novels and my favourite series, so here's the first part. If you have any other requests then please let me know. I love it when people request posts, it makes me feel important haha!

I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak
I Am The Messenger follows the story of a 19 year old New Yorker called Ed. Ed isn't really going far in life, he's just working as an underage taxi driver and doesn't have much in the way of ambition. He starts to get playing cards in the mail that have messages on them. Sometimes it's an address, sometimes it's a name but they're all clues that lead him to someone who needs his help. This book had me laughing and it made me what to cry. It's a really good book that ironically, gives a great message.

Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
Where'd You Go Bernadette is made up of letters and emails collected by Bernadette's daughter. Bernadette was a bit of a free spirit so felt a little bit tied down with everything and then one day she just disappeared. This book has a really quirky writing style, it reminded me of the 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Blah Blah Blah that one. Bernadette's daughter is on a mission to find out why she left and eventually tracks her down, it's hilarious.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Have you ever read a book in which the writing is so vivid and rich that you actually felt like you were there? Until this book that had only happened to me with the Harry Potter novels. But Morgenstern's writing style is so wonderful, it took me right to the circus. Standing there in awe of all the acts, I could smell the caramel popcorn. It's the story of two magicians who have been challenged together in a duel as children. As they grow up they meet each other when they both start to work for the circus but neither of them know who their opponent really is. It also tells the stories of some other side characters and about how the circus has effected them. This worked really well for me as a stand alone novel as everything was wrapped up nicely and there were no loose ends.

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
In 13 Reasons Why a high school student is delivered a parcel in the post containing several tapes. The parcel is from a girl he went to high school with, but she killed herself last week. As Clay starts to listen to the tapes he realises that Hannah is explaining the 13 reasons why she killed herself, and he is one of them. This novel was beautiful and it really made me think about things. It's great and I really recommend it.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Speak is a novel that I only read recently, but I already know that it's one of my favourite books of all time. It follows the story of a young girl who has been raped at a party that she then called the police to. She never told anyone about the rape and so this book is about how she deals with it by herself. All of her friends are shunning her because she got the party shut down and at school she is bullied quite a lot. It's an incredibly sad story but it has a great ending. Laure Halse Anderson wrote an epilogue explaining why she hasn't written a sequel. Until I read this I was annoyed at the ending but that epilogue made me respect Anderson's decision a lot more. 5/5 would recommend!

What are your favourite stand alone novels?

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50 Books That Will Change Your Life

Sunday, 20 April 2014
So for World Book Day a wide range of people were surveyed about books that have changed their lives. And these were the top 50 that kept coming up. I've seen other variations on this(I think the BBC have one) but I thought it would be interesting to look at this list because it was made so recently. I saw a post by Charlene where she was going through the list to see how many she'd read and I thought it was a great post. It's kind of like a tag so if you'd be interested in doing this then please do! It's something a little bit different!

Books that will scare you
Wasp Factory by Iain Banks

The Rats by James Herbert

The Shining by Stephen King
1984 by George Orwell
Lord Loss by Darren Shan

Score: 2/5

I'm not really a fan of scary books if I'm honest. I've read 1984 and The Shining. I've never even heard of the others.

Books that will teach you about love

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Forever by Judy Blume
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

Score: 3/6
Halfway there! I've read The Diary Of A Young Girl, Twilight and How I live Now. I absolutely hated How I Live Now by the way, I really do not see what all the fuss is about. I downloaded Jane Eyre onto my Kindle last week so I will be getting around to reading that eventually.

Books that will make you laugh 

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
Geek Girl by Holly Smale
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend

Score: 2/6
I've read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging. I did take Catch 22 out of the library but I couldn't really get into it. I might come back to it again, I didn't know it was supposed to be humorous.

Books that will transport you

The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald
The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
Percy Jackson (series) by Rick Riordan
Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein

Score: 4/6
I've read The Great Gatsby, Life of Pi, the Harry Potter series and the first book in the LOTR series, so does that count as 4? I'm counting it as 4. The Percy Jackson series is something I've wanted to read for a while but honestly I have no real desire to read Northern Lights.

Books that will change the way you think

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

A Streetcat Named Bob by James Bowen
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusack

Score: 6/7
I almost got a full house! Damn you A Streetcat Named Bob for letting me down! That did sound kind of interesting so maybe I will pick it up.

Books that will make you cry

Before I Die by Jenny Downham

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
My Sister's Keeper by Jodie Picoult
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The Colour Purple by Alice Walker

Score: 6/7
I've read all of these apart from War Horse and I have not cried at a single one of them. The only book that's ever made me cry was The Fault In Our Stars.

Books that will help you understand you  

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Score: 4/5
AGAIN. I think I'll forever be one book away from completing any sections! I've not read The Outsiders by SE Hinton. I've never even heard of it. -searches on GoodReads-  Yeah it doesn't really sound like it's for me!

Books that will thrill you

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
Gone by Michael Grant
Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
Divergent by Veronica Roth

Score: 3/7
Not a great one for me either. I've read City Of Bones, The Hunger Games and Divergent.

Ultimate Score: 30/50

That's not too bad. 60%. That's a B? I'm pretty pleased with that. I might make the extra effort to read the ones I've been meaning to read this year. Have you read many of these? And what books would you like to see on a list like this?

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Names I Wish I Had

Saturday, 19 April 2014
When I was younger I hated the name Hayley. I just didn't think it was very 'me' at all. Now I'm a lot more attached to my name and I don't think I'll ever change it but I thought it would be interesting to share the names I wish I had at some point. Do you ever wish you had a different name? I like most of these names because of the way that they sound, because I think they're pretty or because they're quite unique. Hayley is quite a popular name in my generation(there were 4 Hayleys in my year in high school) so I've always kind of wished I had a name that wasn't so common. 

 I guess I could have called this post names I'd call my children/pets but I don't really want kids nor do I want to freak out my mother in such a way. I'm also not a big fan of human names on pets. Yes I know that my dog is called Sam but he came with his name! If you've ever thought of changing your name I would love it if you could also do a post about what names you've liked!

What names do you like? Is your name one of these names?

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6 Things To Clean Out This Spring

Friday, 18 April 2014

Ah. It's that time of year again. The time of year when the sun comes back out. It shows up all the dust and forces you to clean everything. Damn it. I recently went on a bit of a spring cleaning binge, I was sorting clothes out for a blog sale, rearranging my bookshelf and cleaning my room so I could post a room tour. It gave me a bit of inspiration. This is a blog post with some ideas for little things that you can do that will make a big difference!

1. Your wardrobe.
It's the obvious place to start. I don't know about you but every time I go through my wardrobe there are pieces that I know I never wear but I keep anyway because I'll wear it with x, y and z. And you know what? I never do. If you can't remember the last time you wore something or it was over a year ago then it's probably time to go. Send it to a charity shop or try and make yourself some money by selling it. Try a blog sale or stick things on Ebay. 

2. Chargers.
I recently went through the technology drawer and found chargers for phones than I don't even have anymore. Why do I have these? I also found one of the really old iPod chargers. You know the ones you used to have to hold in at the sides to release? Ah. Memories. Pass them on to people who need them or just throw them away. I also like to tie mine up with hair bobbles so that they don't get tangled or take up too much space.

3. Your email subscriptions.
I woke up to 9 emails the other day. 1 was about a comment left on my blog and the other 8 where all emails from online shops offering me sales and discount codes. And I get this all the time. I swear BooHoo constantly has some kind of deal on. But I've been unsubscribing myself from all these emails and it's so much nicer and decluttered. And I'm not spending as much. Win win.

4. Your sock drawer.
Unsurprisingly the sock fairy has stolen lots of my socks. Leaving me lots with no pairs. You're getting chucked in the textiles bank odd socks. Deal with it.

5. Under your bed.
Things just get shoved under my bed and forgotten about. I also now have an overflowing wool collection and I need to clear some space under my bed to fit that in. I'm also going to be throwing out all the little things I keep but don't use. AKA the giant bubble wand. Ok maybe I could use that first.

6. Your laptop.
My laptop seems to me some sort of dirt magnet. I'll be dusting mine off, cleaning between the keys and I'm going to try and take the battery out and get out any dust. And lets not forget about the files. Reorganise everything into folders and delete what you don't need. And back everything up! I think I'd cry if I lost everything on my laptop.

What are you cleaning out this spring?

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Room Tour

Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Hello everyone! I'm finally doing this room tour. I moved into my house 3 months ago and I've been excited about posting a new room tour since then! Sad, I know! I decided to go with all white walls so that I had a blank canvas to work on. I wanted the colour in my room to come from my bookshelves and my clothes rail. Much to my mum's dismay I picked a clothes rail rather than a wardrobe. It's a lot more open and I can fit in so many clothes. Plus it's not as bulky as a wardrobe!

And that's my room! All of my bedroom furniture apart from my bed is from IKEA. The bed was from a local shop so I'm sorry if you like it!

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Week In Photos #64

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Dog walking / Cosy nights / Lindt bunny
New wool / Hair colour app fun / Pre Higgs Selfie
So Strawberry Caffe / Peter Higgs at the Edinburgh Science Festival / Calgel Manicure

Hello everyone. It's been a really great week. AKA the first week of the Easter holidays. Because I work Saturdays and Sundays, holidays are the only time that I ever get days off so it's been really nice to just chill out and not do anything. I've mainly spent my week crocheting and blogging, it's nice. Also I've gotten so far behind on commenting and reading other blogs because I've just been so busy so it's been great to catch up and leave some comments for some lovely bloggers. 

The highlight of my week has to be going to see Peter Higgs at the Edinburgh Science Festival. If you're not into science then you probably don't really care but he won the Nobel Prize for Phsyics last year for discovering the Higgs Boson. Peter Higgs is so inspirational to me so being in the same room as him was absolutely amazing. Well worth the ticket price. I went with my boyfriend and we went for a meal beforehand. I was going to take him to Clerk's bar because I visited it with some blogging friends recently and thought he'd really like it. However it was really busy so we ended up going to a little Italian called Rigatoni's on South Clerk Street. The decor was quite tacky but the food was cheap and amazing. I had a bacon and black pepper pizza and Stuart had carbonara.

Next week I'm just going to carry on being a total slob and I'm going to see McBusted. Woo hooo. I also have an eye test on Monday. I'm really nervous about it. I'm not due one but I feel like my eyesight has deteriorated a lot so I've booked myself in for one early. However, if there is no noticable change to my prescription then I have to pay £37. I'll probably have to pay a lot more than £37 for a pair of glasses but I think that would feel a lot more justified. So cross your fingers and hope my eyes are bad.

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My Top 5 Classic Novels

Friday, 11 April 2014
Hello everyone! Today I've got another instalment in my 'top 5' series. I've mentioned before that I don't really like classic novels so I thought it would be interesting to show you a few of the ones that I did actually like. I've also just realised that I've forgotten Dracula! Darn it. If this was a top 6 then Dracula would definitely be on the cards, trust me! I think when it comes to classics I'm not really a fan of the romantic ones. I have no real interest in reading things like Pride and Prejudice or Wuthering Heights etc etc. Although out of interest I recently downloaded Jane Eyre onto my Kindle so we'll see how I get along with that! 

I really mean to include all of the Sherlock Holmes novels but The Hound Of The Baskervilles is the only one I have a physical copy of(all of them are available for free on Kindle if you're interested!). It's a really fun and quirky detective story. It's not too hard to follow and something you could read really quickly or read to a young child. I love Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's writing style, he really did create one of the best literary characters of all time.

Fitzgerald has such a lovely, descriptive writing style. It's really hard not to like The Great Gatsby. Whilst I admit that a lot of the character's annoy me I think Nick is just such a wee cutie, I can't help but love him. I think he gets so forgotten about even though the book is written from his perspective. I'm not overly keen on the film though, thoughts?

Who doesn't love To Kill A Mockingbird? This is one of the first classic novels I ever read and I think it will stay with me a long time. I think that racism and prejudice are still really prevalent in society and therefore this book is still relevant. I love Scout's narrative and it adds such a nice, innocent perspective. In their little Southern town a black man has been accused of raping a white woman and Scout's father is the black man's defence lawyer. The people of the town really aren't happy about there even being a trial so the whole family kind of become outcasts.

I'm not sure if this really counts as a classic but I'm including it anyway because it's one of those 'gets studied in schools' books and is thefore kind of important. Everyone that I've spoken to that's read this in school absolutely hated it but I really enjoyed this book. It follows a man and a young boy travelling through a post apocalypse world looking for food. The world they live in is really dangerous and they're constantly hiding from other people. This book was absolutely heartbreaking and really frightening. I read this in a day so it must be a good one. 

This is the book that I studied for higher English so I think that extra little bit of analysis and understanding really helped me appreciate the value of this book. It follows a sailor Marlow who is sent down the African Congo after a rogue ivory hunter Kurtz. It explores the effects of slavery and colonialism to its true extents and questions whether most people involved understood the severity of what they were doing. Another thing I love about Heart Of Darkness is that once you've read it you realise that it's actually references everywhere. The horror, the horror!

What are your favourite classic novels? And which ones would you recommend to a classics newbie?

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A Day In Linlithgow

Wednesday, 9 April 2014
Hello everyone. Yesterday my gran, my sister and I took a little day trip to Linlithgow. It's a short trip from both my home town and Edinburgh and is quite a nice little place to visit. We spend the morning shopping and then had lunch at the So Strawberry Caffe. It's my favourite place to get lunch in Linlithgow because their decor is so cute. We then had a walk around the palace, St Michael's church and Linlithgow Loch. It's beautiful on a sunny day but it was very cold and windy so we didn't last long. I thought I'd share some photos I took there.

Hello granny!

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