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Weekend Reads #12

Weekend Reads #12

Has it really been nearly 2 months since I posted a Weekend Reads? It’s been such a busy few months I’ve barely had time to write, never mind read!

What I’ve been Writing

A Blood and Earth Cookery Course in Dublin with Domestic Godless

A sneaky peak at Lavazza’s gorgeous 2015 calendar with Steve McCurry

I’m pregnant! | FAQs and plans for the future + baby gender reveal

A Ryanair Survival Guide

Blogs I’ve been Reading

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 11.48.01The Travelettes Itinerary for Japan {Travelettes}

I’ve wanted to visit Japan for years now but I’ve always been daunted by the tricky planning process. As always, the Travelettes have made it easy and have made me want to go even more!


Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 11.58.53Hold up, are New Zealand and Iceland actually the same place? {Young Adventuress}

This has just confirmed in my mind that I really, really need to go to New Zealand. But until that day comes, maybe I need another trip to Iceland.


Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 12.01.3640 things about Hong Kong {Blonde Salad}

Oh I do love Hong Kong and I do love a visual guide without too much of the boring stuff.



Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 12.03.26Copenhagen: 10 things to do on the cheap or for free {Backpacks and Bunkbeds}

Copenhagen is another of my favourite cities but it isn’t half expensive. Here’s a great guide to cheap or free things to do in the city to keep your costs down and have a great time too.


Books I’ve been Reading

Make better videos with your DSLR or camera – I’m dipping my toes into the world of video making so thought the obvious thing to do was buy a cheap and simple book. The only problem was that this was WAY too simple. Do not buy this book unless you’re the kind of person who isn’t sure what YouTube is.

The main nuggets of advice I took were:

  1. Always use a tripod
  2. Use minimal camera movement
  3. Introduce videos with a quick chat to the camera
  4. We’re used to a certain style of video from watching TV so take inspiration from documentaries and shows

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 11.40.37#GIRLBOSS – This is the most expensive book I’ve bought in a very long time (£8.54 on Kindle) but oh my goodness was it worth it. It’s written by Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal and it’s basically her story of success. You’re not going to get any business tips from this book but you will get plenty of inspiration, career advice and an often much-needed kick up the ass to get out there and be a #girlboss.






Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 11.57.49Testing Google Glass

A few months ago I tested out Google Glass. I had the glasses briefly so didn’t have much time with them but the whole time I wore them I couldn’t help but feel like I was missing something. As in, what’s the point? I always have my phone with me and it can do more than Google Glass so until the glasses are better than my phone, I’ll be sticking with that. Thanks to HolidaysPlease for the very brief trial.


Instagram of the Week

Our first baby purchase. Converse is big, medium and small. Louie isn’t sure what to make of the small ones.

A photo posted by Monica Stott (@thetravelhack) on

Video of the Week

If you have 4 minutes to spare/waste then spend it watching this baby seal learning to swim. Too cute! I’ve been playing this on repeat because it sends my dog wild for some strange reason. Maybe he speaks seal.

Dryvember – it’s not too late!

OK, we’re a week into November but it’s better late than never. If you’re unfamiliar with Dryvember, let me fill you in.

This is a month-long challenge to avoid alcohol throughout November. I’m not telling you about this to encourage people to join me in sobriety (OK, maybe I am a little bit), I’m telling you about it because it’s such a great idea. December is coming and that means a month of boozy parties and excessive drinking. Why not use Dryvember as a pretox month and a great way to save money before the Christmas celebrations?

The peeps behind Dryvember (the Alcohol Education Trust) are encouraging us to do an #AlcoholFreeSelfie and make a donation of £3. The money raised will go towards childhood poverty in London.

As someone who has been sober for 5 months, I can honestly say I feel fantastic because of it. In my first 3 weeks of knowing I was pregnant I lost 4lb and that must be because I cut out the alcohol because I was eating more and exercising less!

Find out more about Dryvember on the Alcohol Education Trust website.

Hack of the Week

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 11.25.47Lifehack – Reinforced iPhone Cables {Gem Maquillage}

This is a super simple hack which is really handy for travellers. When you travel a lot your cables become worn much faster and it isn’t long before you get those scary bare electrical wires that give you a little shock each time you touch them! Gems comes up with the perfect solution – especially good for Apple users who will know only too well how expensive it can be to replace broken cables!

Competition of the Week

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 11.30.02Win a 7-day European Holiday {The Travel Hack!}

I’m so excited that this week I can use my very own competition as my Competition of the Week! In case you haven’t seen it already, I’m giving away a 7-day holiday to anywhere in Europe with flights and accommodation for 2 people!

You don’t need to jump through any hoops or answer pointless questions to answer, just sign up for my weekly email and you’re in with a shot! Good luck.

Don’t forget to get your friends to enter but make sure they take you with you if they win!

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Sunday 9th of November 2014

Sounds like you had an amazing month! Pregnancy news, contests, give-aways...phew! Great going! Lots of excitement for readers as well. :)

Jess Dante

Friday 7th of November 2014

About the video book-- I took a class at General Assembly a few weeks ago about creating video on a budget, and the teacher, Nigel Camp, wrote a book that I had been meaning to get on my Kindle since the class. I met up with him yesterday and he gave me a free copy that I started reading on the train yesterday. I recommend looking into it-- so far, it covers really basic stuff but also gets into semi-pro and pro tools and tricks. It's called The Video Effect :)


Friday 7th of November 2014

Thanks so much for the recommendation Jess! Would you recommend the class? I've been looking for a decent class for a while but haven't been able to find anything.


Friday 7th of November 2014

I absolutely do not understand the need for wearable Google. Am I missing something? I'm sure in 10 years I'll be the only one without them, I just don't get it!

Christine @thetraveloguer

Friday 7th of November 2014

Entered! I am in depserate need of some travel right now! Thanks for the reading list, I want to visit Copenhagen but I was worried about the cost, so that post will come in handy. :)

Anna - Bangkokgirlblog

Friday 7th of November 2014

Thanks for the heads up of some new awesome blogs to read!