THE DEMON KING      - #1 Published 6th October 2009 THE EXILED QUEEN      - #2 Published 24th September 2010 THE GRAY WOLF THRONE...


seven realms, fantasy, fiction, ya, young adult, conemporary, royal, king, queen,

THE DEMON KING
     - #1 Published 6th October 2009

THE EXILED QUEEN
     - #2 Published 24th September 2010

THE GRAY WOLF THRONE
     - #3 Published 30th August 2011

THE CRIMSON CROWN
     - #4 Published 23rd October 2012

by Cinda Williams Chima

Rating: *****

*May contain small spoilers!*

demon king, fantasy, magic, king, queen, royal, ya, books, bookish, book blogger, young adult, fiction

It's becoming a thing now that when I go abroad I usually have to pack less so carrying around four or five books like I used to can no longer be done. I've always loved reading and I suppose I can read quite fast but there have been many times in the past where I've not even been able to complete one book because of how busy I've been on holiday. I've now taken an oath with myself that if I do take any books, I only take one paperback and maybe a few on my phone/iPad Kindle app. If I get through that then it's highly likely the hotels or hostels where I am staying will have a small selection of books left by past travellers. I decided it was time to trust that what they are reading is also something I might like and so last year, whilst in Dominican Republic I picked up The Demon King having no clue as to what it was. Three days later I was finished, longing for the second book (The Exiled Queen) which I had to wait for. As soon I was home, I ordered it online.

Story:

The plot follows Han, head of a street gang and infamous heartthrob. Running a gang isn't quite as easy as some people think as he deals with a lot of harassment from the queen's guard. After fostering with the clans, Han (also known as Hunts Alone) deals with his friendship with best friends Dancer and Digging Bird. A big secret brews between Han and Dancer whilst a new relationship seems to blossom between Han and Bird. When that secret is revealed, it insights a huge test between Han and Bird since any love between them should now be forbidden. 

On the other side of the social spectrum, Raisa, the princess heir, deals with constant parties and balls. Wearing a new dress everyday, and accepting hundreds of gifts from her admirers and possible marriage candidates, she chooses to do good and offer up funding for those less fortunate at the local school. Meanwhile, one of the gifts is a little too charming. A gift from the High Wizard's son, Micah. Wizards are forbidden to marry into the Gray Wolf line after the war but her mother and the High Wizard think this could be a new opportunity. Micah is only too happy to oblige. Raisa, however, refuses to upset the rest of the Queendom. Her only option is to escape.

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The following books continue the story with more forbidden loves as Raisa and the head of her own guard, Amon, begin a fling. But an old bond between them physically forces anything further to continue. Having run off to study at Oden's Ford, unknowingly Han bumps into Raisa, under the name of Rebecca Morley. Whilst they study and strengthen all that they can, tensions are rising in joining lands and an inevitable war is about to break out. If Raisa doesn't return to her mother and marry for politics soon then her own land could be the battleground, but if she marries Micah a war will break out among their allies. It would also give the Bayar's the power they do not deserve. Han makes a mysterious friend who is adamant on destroying the Bayar's so perhaps they two of them could work together somehow.

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Things don't go to plan when someone is sent to kill Raisa and Micah believes the only way to stop her from being killed is to kidnap her and attempt to navigate through the already fighting brothers of Arden. Han and Amon both ride to find Raisa. Amon finds himself stuck in the fragile land of Tamron, mid seige whilst his father, the captain of the guard, tracks down Raisa and helps her get home safely. The ride back to the Fells is not so safe at all and instead ends up being the death of all the guard with the captain on the Princess Heir's return trip. Raisa herself is poisoned but Han is able to be the saviour no one believes he could be.

cinda williams chima, fantasy, fells, ya, young adult, fiction, books, bookish, book blogger, bookstagram

Upon her return, Raisa is faced with mourning her mothers death and new position as queen. A political marriage still has to be on the cards or else all of the people of the Fells will be going to war at a complete disadvantage. With Han and Amon at her side, Raisa is able to be the queen her mother was too weak to be, nonetheless a refusal of a marriage results in her home being put up siege. With no help from the wizards and the Demonai unable to cope with the flatland soldiers, there appears to be no help. The worst comes at the news of Han's death during his search for the Wizard King's Armoury. All is not as it seems as truths come out that question all beliefs and the people of the Fells are forced to put aside their differences and old laws. 

Thoughts:

WHERE HAS THIS SERIES BEEN?! WHY HAVEN'T I HEARD OF IT BEFORE?! I have been unable to put these books down. The second I start reading them I get hooked into the story line and next thing you know I've finished the whole series. The story perfectly blends from one books to the other, continuing right where you left off. The characters clearly have their own personalities throughout. I struggled to hate just one character throughout. There were times where I got annoyed with Raisa and thankfully the point of view flipped to Han giving me a well needed break at the right time and then just when you've had enough of Han, it flips back again. I love-hate both of those characters which is refreshing compared to other books I've read. I enjoy being able to be annoyed at the main protagonist but then seconds later love them again. There isn't anyone you could really hate either and even the villainous characters have lovable moments, maybe with the excetion of Gavan Bayar. I would be interested to read something about Gavan's childhood. You get a sneak peak when Willow explains about Dancer's father but not enough - I WANT MORE! I would probably say Amon is my favourite character though. Maybe I have a soft spot for strong men in leadership who are still the romantic type. It's heart breaking to learn that he can't be with his childhood sweetheart. That said, they are all about the typical age of "childhood sweetheart" so that's a confusing one. Still, I wished Amon got more than his betrothed. She sounds lovely, but still. Then ending was both sad and beautiful. Bird was set up to be a bigger character towards the end of The Demon King but remains an underlying character who appears to help the plot along subtly. It was quite beautiful for her to be the big final hero at the very end, especially when you just about think the story is coming to an end. Typical, there is always another twist or something you forgot was mentioned but plays a huge roll.


I would love to read more about the Seven Realms. Perhaps the stories from history or Willow's childhood until she meets Gavan. I'd love to know more about Earth magic in comparison to high magic. There is so much more that could be explored. It just proves how much I loved this series since I'm sat here right now typing what else I would like to read about. Though the world seems torn apart by war, it wouldn't stop me from wanting to jump right into the story and go for a wander around the Fells. Luckily, Cinda Williams Chima wrote another series called The Shattered Realms focusing on the next generation. I look forward to buying and reading those. The fourth in that series is due to be release in 2019 so maybe I can time it so I can read straight from one to another - I don't think I could bare a cliff hanger!

I definitely recommend reading this series if you haven't already!

- KC xx

Buy the books online:


Hello! Hope you've all been enjoying the hot sun and not getting too burnt. I'm very pale so I've been sat under the gazebo...

Hello!

Hope you've all been enjoying the hot sun and not getting too burnt. I'm very pale so I've been sat under the gazebo we've put up in my back garden quite a lot, keeping myself in the shade. It is officially summer for me now. I've moved out of my university house and now I'm chilling at home, avoiding getting a job. I've been saving up so that this summer I'd be able to actually relax for a change rather than panicking about earning money and then not having any time to do stuff. I have no travel plans but if I have enough by the end of summer I'm thinking of booking a short trip to Madrid - I'll keep you updated as to whether or not that happens. In the meantime, I have lots of blogging to do, I've started my TEFL qualification, and I'm properly knuckling down and learning as much Spanish as I can before I start my free elective back at uni in October. I am trying to make a conscious effort to get out of the house and see more of my local area, especially while the sun is out. There are an awful lot of events happening in my home town throughout summer and there are so many places around in Lancashire that are worth the visit so here's to a summer of local adventures!

First up, since I was born there, Blackpool. Though Blackpool can often get a bad rep, and I'm guilty of saying bad things myself, when the sun is out, Blackpool is such a wonderful, traditional place to visit. It's the place your grandparents may have taken your parents on holiday back in the day when a beach holiday meant getting on the tram or bus to the closest coast to you. People came from all over to enjoy the amusements on the pier, rides at the Pleasure Beach or simply paddling in the sea water eating ice creams and fish and chips! Even for me, it used to be a tradition that me and my friends would go to the Pleasure Beach every year with a wristband and enjoy every ride possible. Since I went to college that tradition faded away. It's time to bring back the days out to Blackpool and make the most out of our local seaside towns!

Things to do in Blackpool

Here are just a few of the things that you can do in Blackpool to make your staycation to the coast all that more worthwhile!

Pleasure Beach

blackpool, seaside, lancashire, staycation, travel, travelling, holiday, summer

It seems that when we think of Blackpool we either think of the Pleasure Beach or the tower (which I mention later) but still to this day they are two of the most popular attractions in the North West. Of course there is everything from the Big One to the older roller coasters like the Grand National. I've already said how often I used to go and every time, there would be something different or we'd have a completely different day out! Now there is a new ride called Icon which I'm yet to try, perhaps that's a plan for this summer! I have to admit, I am very much a thrill seeker and will go on all the rides no matter how high or fast they go, in fact, the faster the better! Still to this day I would say the Valhalla is my favourite. I never liked the dark but since I know exactly what's happening I got used to it and it just became an adventure. There's something about being around water which I always love too so being covered in it by the end of the ride is always a perk - although it's a nightmare if you decide to go on it first. Usually we wait until the very end of the day then queue up at least five times to make the most of it, getting as drenched as possible! Child or not, it's definitely worth it to visit Nickelodeon Land as there are some great rides to go on there. The Avatar Airbender is great fun, providing you're not terrified of falling out. I'm not going to deny that we used to repeatedly go on Dora's World Voyage when I was around 14 years old. It's just a nice relaxing ride OK.. Yes ok, I was an odd 14yr old.

Sandcastle


blackpool, seaside, lancashire, staycation, travel, travelling, holiday, summer

In heat like this all I want to do is jump in the pool so spending a day in a water park sounds idyllic. I've not been in quite a few years but it was always a great day out even if most of it is spent floating around the rapids or bobbing in the wave pool! Top tip: do not, I repeat, DO NOT wear a bikini or tankini. Worst mistake I ever made. I went on the Masterblaster whilst wearing a tankini and as I got to the bottom and the inflatable stopped, my pants fell off. I pulled them up pretty quickly so I always hoped no one saw, likelihood is though that at least the life guard did. I will never know. How embarrassing!

Blackpool Tower


blackpool, seaside, lancashire, staycation, travel, travelling, holiday, summer

blackpool, seaside, lancashire, staycation, travel, travelling, holiday, summer

I've already said how popular the tower is and I suppose it's obvious since it is basically a mini Eiffel Tower. Other than it's height and location, that is Paris, I honestly don't believe the Eiffel Tower has much more going for it (I haven't actually been so maybe one day I can be proven wrong). The Blackpool Tower however has an awful lot more to do than just the view at the top! If you're a fan of Strictly Come Dancing you'll know there is the traditional ballroom you can visit and do a little jive, or perhaps you're more of a waltz kind of person? There is Jungle Jims for the kids! Unfortunately if you're 4ft 9" or taller you can't go in, which to me is such a shame because I would absolutely love to go and explore the lost city! The circus has been open to the public since 1894 and you can see the longest running tribute show Legends now celebrating 20 years in Blackpool. There is Dino mini golf, and of course the Blackpool Tower Dungeons for all you thrill and horror seekers. Definitely a perfect day out for any weather!

blackpool, seaside, lancashire, staycation, travel, travelling, holiday, summer

blackpool, seaside, lancashire, staycation, travel, travelling, holiday, summer

Sea Life Centre

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I know there are Sea Life Centres all over the country but this one has always been a huge part of Blackpool. I have many memories of going as a child; seeing the sharks swimming above my head! If you want to, you can swim with the sharks now! There are other experiences you can do whilst there if you fancy something a bit more than simply walking around looking at all the varying types of fish. The Behind the Scenes Tour allows you to visit the working areas to find out more about the sea life and their conservation efforts in Blackpool and across the country. Perfect for anyone who love marine biology!

Madame Tussauds


blackpool, seaside, lancashire, staycation, travel, travelling, holiday, summer

Fancy meeting some of your favourite celebrities? At Madame Tussauds you can take photos with Olly Murs, Paddy McGuinness, Ed Sheeran, the Queen, and the leading man of Queen himself, Freddie Mercury (I couldn't believe that he was alive and has been living in Blackpool this whole time)! More excitingly, you can even meet your favourite Marvel superheroes. I'm first in line to meet Thor!

Amusements


blackpool, seaside, lancashire, staycation, travel, travelling, holiday, summer

I guess going to the amusements speak for themselves. Endlessly trying and failing to leave with more money that you entered with or collecting as many tickets as possible. There are plenty of places to try turning your 10p into a pound in Blackpool. Coral Island, as seen in the photo above, is pirate themed and you can even go on a ride around the place on your own little flying ship! Many of the other amusements are along the prom and in the piers themselves. Skip the bar hop and head for the coin dozer hop and release your inner big kid self. Who can win the minion plush first? If you ever win a camera or some pound notes then let me know so I still have hope they actually work!

blackpool, seaside, lancashire, staycation, travel, travelling, holiday, summer

blackpool, seaside, lancashire, staycation, travel, travelling, holiday, summer

Comedy Carpet

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Along the promenade and in front of the tower is the Comedy Carpet, something that has come about in more recent years. It is a celebration of more than 1000 comedians, many who performed in Blackpool in their early years. It is now an events space to put on performances, concerts, hold weddings, and be the starts and finishes to popular running races like the Race For Life. If you're looking for something a little different and free to do then taking a stroll along the front and having a giggle with views across the sea sounds so peaceful. Or look out for an event that is on!

blackpool, seaside, lancashire, staycation, travel, travelling, holiday, summer

blackpool, seaside, lancashire, staycation, travel, travelling, holiday, summer

BEACH BEACH BEACH

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I don't think I need to include the beach as a thing to do. It's a beach. It is lovely and a lot more care has been given to it in recently years so when the sun is out and you want to imagine you're in the Mediterranean, go to the Mediterranean. If you want a close by traditional British seaside holiday, Blackpool is perfect. Get some fish and chips, then an ice cream and watch the world go by and seagulls flying around. Be careful they don't steal your food!

Piers

blackpool, seaside, lancashire, staycation, travel, travelling, holiday, summer

blackpool, seaside, lancashire, staycation, travel, travelling, holiday, summer

So, we have North Pier, Central Pier and South Pier, each has it's own attributes. Central Pier is the one you will most often see in photographs as it's the one with the big wheel and if you can get that sunset shot, it is gorgeous! The South Pier is more commonly known for its rides, cafes and game kiosks while the North Pier is more relaxing with a smaller arcade and stroll down to the theatre where you'll often see comedy acts performing.

blackpool, seaside, lancashire, staycation, travel, travelling, holiday, summer

blackpool, seaside, lancashire, staycation, travel, travelling, holiday, summer

blackpool, seaside, lancashire, staycation, travel, travelling, holiday, summer

blackpool, seaside, lancashire, staycation, travel, travelling, holiday, summer

Traditional Trams


blackpool, seaside, lancashire, staycation, travel, travelling, holiday, summer

Though Blackpool has it's official tram system to travel along the front to other towns, there are also the more traditional trams you can go on to experience a part of history. In 1885, Blackpool had the first electric tramway in mainland Britain. The photo above is the Bolton 66 one of Blackpool Heritage's oldest working trams and the only one from another tram system. Originally made in Bolton in 1901, it was moved to Blackpool after restoration in 1963 as the tramway in Bolton closed down. There are many others including open top trams, or "boats" as they call them, and the Illuminated Feature Cars that come out during the Blackpool Illuminations seasons and are always a favourite.

Night Life
blackpool, seaside, lancashire, staycation, travel, travelling, holiday, summer

blackpool, seaside, lancashire, staycation, travel, travelling, holiday, summer

I've often been asked what there is to do at night if you're not a fan of night clubs and you don't just want to go to bars, especially during the spring and summer months when the illuminations are not on. Well, my answer would always be there is plenty to do. There are two big theatres showing plays, musicals, concerts, etc. There are the ballrooms, and what's to stop you going on the beach (unless the tide is in - then please do not go near it at night). Blackpool is known for it's comedy nights and cabarets and I'm sure you could find one at almost every hotel along the promenade. However, if you fancy a proper night out with some singing and dancing then Viva Blackpool is the perfect place to go. Over summer they have comedy nights, variety shows, The Jersey Beats singing some of your classic Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons songs, Viva Voulez Vous! an Abba night out, and a whole lot more. I got a little sneak peak at their main room and it reminded me a lot of my holidays where the hotel would provide a show a night that is usually something like the entertainment staff lip syncing and dancing to the soundtracks of Grease or Mamma Mia! Though I caught the performers rehearsing and they were not lip syncing! And the seating area is much nicer. Just walking in there felt like I was about to have a great show. Even for locals, it's a perfect night out - you get to watch a performance whilst having a bar nearby and in a much comfier setting than being sat in rows like at a theatre. You can book a 'show and dine' experience and have a pre-show meal at the Vegas restaurant next door too! Sounds like birthday presents done for me, I could name quite a few people who would love a night out like this.

blackpool, seaside, lancashire, staycation, travel, travelling, holiday, summer

blackpool, seaside, lancashire, staycation, travel, travelling, holiday, summer

Thank you to Lee and all the staff and performers for letting me have a little snoop around. Break a leg for future shows!

Nearby


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There is plenty to do in Blackpool but if you're thinking of spending a week or so there you might want to get out and explore the local areas a bit more. I may have been born in Blackpool but I lived in Lytham most of my life (until I moved to Hull for university) so I'm definitely going to tell you to visit the local towns, I'm bias. Throughout summer the events calendar is booked up with Lytham Festival, 40s Weekend, comedy events, live music sessions, craft fairs, races, carnivals, outdoor markets, beach cinemas, and probably a lot more than I haven't mentioned! So be sure to check out the Lytham St Annes calendars before you come and see if there's anything that takes your fancy!

blackpool, seaside, lancashire, staycation, travel, travelling, holiday, summer
I just liked these photos of the seagulls so thought I'd add them at the end because why not...
That seems like a lot of things you can do but that isn't even the start of it. Maybe I'll have to do another post at a later date to include all the other things. For someone who lives so locally, I'm amazed at how much I haven't seen or done, or at least not done anytime in the past five years. I have a lot of childhood memories but not many from later so I think it's about time I see more of my local area and make the most of what I have before I'm back at university for another year. The best thing that I love about Blackpool is that you see people from all ages. It is a place for everyone to visit whether old, young, as a family, a couple, single or not. There is something for everyone to do! And luckily for me, it's right on my doorstep! Who needs to go to Spain when this is just around the corner?! Ok me, I need to go to Spain but that shouldn't stop me for having a little staycation too.

Until my next post,
See you later!
- KC xx



* This post was sponsored by Viva Blackpool but all photos, thoughts and opinions are my own!

Hello! Happy Holidays! Well, I guess it's not exactly Christmas, and I'm not on an actual holiday, and it's not summer holi...

Hello!

Happy Holidays!

Well, I guess it's not exactly Christmas, and I'm not on an actual holiday, and it's not summer holidays for everyone just yet, but with this sun we might as well give ourselves more excuses to think that we're on holiday. I keep making myself smoothies that taste like I'm abroad and I'm half tempted to go and buy a paddling pool just for myself. Bad idea? Nah! The sun and summer always tend to bring out the healthiest in people. Along with the fruit smoothies, I've been playing hockey and am starting to get myself into a bit of a fitness routine (it's taken me long enough). Salads are on the dinner menus and I've made some ice lollies out of fruit juices. All stuff I wouldn't even think about doing in bad weather. It's common that we tend to take care of our bodies that little bit better when the sun is out so it's important that we also take care of our oral hygiene too. I was offered the opportunity to review an Uber Sonic toothbrush and although it's not immediately travel related, I couldn't help myself but say yes. I've always been a sucker for electric toothbrushes. When I was a kid I remember being told that there was no point as they aren't much different than a regular toothbrush and they weren't worth the money but then I bought myself one with some pocket money and it was the best thing. Ok, so it wasn't exactly the best but I was just excited at the fact the top moved, and the you could change the colours and you know, daft things like that. From then on though, I never had one again, until now!

Uber Sonic

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What does the box say? You're teeth will be whiter because of the 'extra efficient bristles', the high speed movement of 35000 per minute makes plaque removal more efficient than your average toothbrush, and that the bristles are 'uniquely designed' and perfect for sensitive and deep cleaning.

What is in the box? The Uber Sonic toothbrush with refill head and charging base.

How does it work? From my uses, it's not like your average electric toothbrush where you have a little round head that spins about half way. Instead, this is more in between that and a normal static toothbrush, and in my opinion, what is preferred. The toothbrush comes pre-charged, though if it needs charging you simply plug in the base and place the toothbrush on top. Obviously you do the usual by putting toothpaste on the bristles, then press the button. The bristles move so fast it just feels like they are vibrating. Every 30 seconds there is a small break for what they call a moment to wake you up and remind you to switch jaws. After 2 minutes the vibrating stops and teeth brushing done!

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Opinions I have really been enjoying using the Uber Sonic toothbrush. I am phenomenally lazy, especially when I first wake up and often cannot be bothered to move my arm. This toothbrush has been perfect for me as the movement is light and great for sensitive teeth, and the pulse breaks are very good at surprising me as I drift off again. It is really simple to use and the battery life has been very good, I am yet to charge it, which makes it perfect for travelling. It is lightweight and you can easily take off the toothbrush head to make it fit into a smaller space, if that's what you need when travelling. Not to mention that it is pretty stylish. No more bright green toothbrush that clashes with the bathroom walls.

I have been very impressed by Uber Sonic and this toothbrush, and I shall definitely continue using it. Looking forward to trying out their whitening kit which comes free with your first starter pack!

It's not very often that I would suggest to people to fork out their money on an electric toothbrush but I do believe this is worth your money. So feel free to go check them out if it's something you fancy!

Keep those teeth lovely and white, even on your holidays!

See you later!

- KC xx



*I received this product in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own!

Hello! As I'm sure you've realised, there has been a wonderful heatwave here in the UK over the past week or two and it has bee...

Hello!

As I'm sure you've realised, there has been a wonderful heatwave here in the UK over the past week or two and it has been lovely to not have to carry around a coat and two jumpers everyday! I spent most of my morning rummaging through my wardrobe attempting to find some clothes that were at least a tiny bit more summery than the black crop top I ended up wearing. The only summer clothes I own are already in the wash so I spent the day suffering in all black. At least my pants were three-quarter length. Though that didn't make much difference. Yes, I am typically British and have complained about it being too hot today but mostly because I want to be on holiday soaking up the sun and relaxing by the poolside with a cocktail in my hand. I do have a holiday booked but it's not until Christmas and with 4 essays currently due in and a set design project to be doing, I'm finding it difficult to get excited. There is much more to be doing or even to be looking forward to before all that!

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The actual summer months are on their way which also means fathers day! Every year I struggle to figure out what to get my dad which he hasn't already got. Pyjamas might always be needed, and I know it's always nice to get new pjs, but it's not very unique is it? A couple of bottles of beers is always a good shout but once they've been drunk, that's it. No stand out memories are being made. So when bakerdays got in touch, that gave me a perfect idea.

I always rattle on about giving holiday trips or flights as presents, because what better than giving someone the opportunity to explore a whole new culture and country - definitely a memory maker! However, as much as I love it, it's not quite as exciting handing over a wad of paper work as evidence of a flight ticket or booking confirmation as it perhaps was 5 or 10 years ago. Nowadays you have to print everything off yourself or use an app. You no longer receive your tickets in the mail, in their little wallet! They never look as good in a scrapbook afterwards. So perhaps it's all about finding a new way to tell someone you've bought them a holiday as a present (hint hint, fathers day is on its way)!

Bakerdays, cake, holiday, travel, travelling, dominican republic, dom rep,

I've had the pleasure of working with bakerdays before which then led me on to buy my Grandad a letter box cake for his birthday since I was unable to go and see him. This time, I thought it would be a brilliant idea to use the cake as a not-so-subtle hint that you've bought a holiday as a present, for example on fathers day! (Or in my case I was given the cake for review so I used it as a reminder of a holiday.)

What a perfect way to hand over booking confirmation - give it in cake. bakerdays do personalised cakes so you are able to have any photo put on the icing, whether that's on its own or in one of their templates for every occasion. You can choose to personalise the cake with a photo of the place of the holiday or you can always send the booking confirmation as a image to be put on to the cake (be careful not to share any personal information)! On the templates you can change the text to say when and where they are going.

Bakerdays, cake, holiday, travel, travelling, dominican republic, dom rep,

There are many perk to using bakerdays, but most importantly their cake is so delicious! My Grandad even said so - you can take his word! So if you're thinking of giving the gift of travel, let them know by giving them the gift of gorgeous cake too. What more could a person want? I know I'd be completely over the moon!

REMEMBER:
FATHERS DAY - 17TH JUNE

Hope you all spoil your dad, I'm sure he deserves it! 

Enjoy the sun!
- KC xx

Hello! Can you believe we are already coming up to the last half of April? Before you know it, it will be Christmas again. Fortunately ...

Hello!

Can you believe we are already coming up to the last half of April? Before you know it, it will be Christmas again. Fortunately for me, the end of April means most of my assessments will be done, other than essays, and it's also my birthday, my 21st! I'm struggling to believe that it has actually come around so quickly but I'm not quite ready to start celebrating. Last week was production week for one of my modules and now all that is left to do is an essay for it. Not to mention that on my actual birthday I have an assessed 20 minute presentation to give. I'm still trying to do my research for that. In fact, I'm currently sat in the library surrounded by piles of books.

Being so close to the end of semester, I can't help but look at holidays. I'm hoping to go to Spain for a short city break but at this point, I'd go anywhere that's cheap. As soon as the semester finishes and I have free time, I plan to just jump on a plane and go. Spontaneity is a good thing right? Usually I'm the sort of person who plans everything months in advance and has a countdown on my phone until the date I go. Things have been a little different this year so that hasn't been quite so possible. In the meantime, I've still been looking at top deals and prices to see what I might be able to afford and where I might be able to go.

There are all sorts of online sites like Holiday Gems that offer great holiday deals and everything can be booked through that one site, including flights, hotels, insurance, car rentals, airport lounges, car parking, etc. So if you're looking for a quick getaway and want everything sorted without messing around trying to research everything individually, it's the best way to go about it.

In my procrastination of uni work, I picked out a few places that stood out to me!



Hotel Triton Beach 
£792.35 (approx. £113.19 a night)
Including Flights
Bed & Breakfast


Hotel Triton Beach is a 4 star, adult only hotel located in Cala Ratjada, Majorca. Surrounded by stunning beaches, restaurants and traditional architecture of the area (the Far de Capdepera lighthouse is a must see) the hotel offers something for everyone, whether you're into partying or just simply chilling out. There are DJ sessions and fashion shows but if that isn't your thing then there is a chill out bar on the terrace by the pool. Just from the picture above you can see that the hotel is beautifully modernised and fits well into the stylish modern Balearic culture of the holiday resorts.



Panorama Studios
£297.78 (approx £42.54 a night)
Excluding Flights
Bed & Breakfast


Panorama Studios is a 3 star hotel situated in the small village of Faliraki, Rhodes. The hotel is quite yet perfect for families as alongside the pool, there is a kids pool and play area. The rooms are full equipped and perfect for a simple relaxing holiday with the beach just down the road. Rhodes town is just a short taxi or bus journey away which is full of history from the times of Ancient Greeks. You'll find the Acropolis of Rhodes along with many museum and the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes. For a drama and theatre practice student, I am fascinated by all things Ancient Greece so I'd jump at the chance for that price!



Park Hotel
£299pp (approx £42.70 a night)
Excluding Flights
Bed & Breakfast

Fancy sun, shopping, history, and a lovely long promenade to go for casual walks along? Sliema in Malta has got all that and more. You can visit Fort Saint Elmo or Fort Saint Angelo. There is also the National Archaeology Museum of Malta, the Manoel Theatre and the Lower Barakka Gardens that twins with the Upper Barakka Gardens. Park hotel, a 4 star hotel that boasts a roof top swimming pool terrace, is within walking distance of most of these, and if it isn't, it's a very short bus journey! From the roof, you can see beautiful views of the Grand Harbour, what a perfect place to watch the sun go down!




SANTANTAO ART RESORT

£395.96 (approx £56.57 a night)
Excluding Flights
Bed & Breakfast

Santantao Art Resort is in a much more secluded area compared to the previous hotels. Situated on the Southern coast of Port Novo, Cape Verde, it is quiet and relaxing. There is a lovely pool to take a dip and cool off or a tennis court to do a bit of fun daily exercise. Yes I am one of those people who insists on playing tennis if there is a court about on holiday, though I never play it at home. Just outside the hotel grounds is the black lava beach, definitely something a bit more unusual and makes for a more interesting holiday!


Viand Hotel
£439 (approx £62.71 a night)
Excluding Flights
All Inclusive

I always prefer not having to worry about money when I'm away. Going all inclusive is the best option to maximise your relaxation, after all money is what cause a lot of stress right?! Viand Hotel, Bulgaria, offers an all inclusive package so that guest can make the most of their holiday, whether travelling with your partner, family or just friends. There is an onsite restaurant and you can let your kids run free at the mini-club and play area - even less stress! Whether you spend the day by the pool or on the beach, it's completely up to you as it's all just at your fingertips! Not far away there is also an amusement park and two water parks, perfect for mixing up the days and having some more fun!

Have I got you wanting to book a holiday yet?
I've definitely got myself wanting to book one!

Just spending my time researching hotels, flights, and top attractions in certain areas gets me excited and ready to explore the world. Knowing that my modules are all coming to an end and I currently have nothing planned is quite sad but I'm genuinely ready for it all to be done so I can spend my free time surfing the internet for top deals on sites like Holiday Gems! As soon as I've booked, I'm sure you'll hear all about it on my social media. Every day you'll be getting a countdown. I'm sorry for annoying you in advance.

Have you booked anywhere for the summer? Enjoy your holidays!

- KC xx


*This is a sponsored post by holidaygems.co.uk but all research, thoughts and opinions are my own. I get way too excited about holiday researching!