Let’s Run Away Monday: The World’s Largest Chocolate Fountain!

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Hey there, you with the stars in your eyes! Blame Katy Perry and the Rat Pack: I have a serious hankering to visit Las Vegas. I just adore the impression of a shameless, sparkly, excessive, ever-so-slightly vulgar, utterly OTT city of too much champagne, reckless gambling, and far-too-flashy architecture – it seems like the sort […]

“We read to know we’re not alone”: Literary Cures for Emotional Crises!

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  “If one reads enough books one has a fighting chance. Or better, one’s chances of survival increase with each book one reads.” – Sherman Alexie Ola, chicas! I don’t know about you, darlings, but when I’m feeling blue or have a bad case of the mean reds, there are few things as comforting as […]

Thursday Verse Day: “Excerpts of The Beautifully Worthless” by Ali Liebegott

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  A thousand ways to be lost in this country — good lost, bad lost — people pushed by broom edges, flicked by bristle tips into corners…. Who plots a way out, what kind of person has it in them to stand before a mirror, straight-razor in hand and cut the rut from their life […]

[A Belated!] Let’s Run Away Monday: The Terrass Bar in Paris!

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  Bonjour, mes amis! After my five days frolicking in the French capital, I couldn’t agree more with Rachel Zoe: heaven really is the sun on your face, in Paris! The Boy and I revisited some of my absolute favourite haunts [bonjour again, the Zebra Bistro and Musee Rodin!], and discovered some new Sparkles & […]

“If this isn’t nice, what is?”: Savouring The Small Moments

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Buongiorno, bella! So I couldn’t help thrilling with recognition when I read this gorgeous post by Sarah over at The Laughing Medusa – here’s a highlight: When I dream about my future and the way I’d like it to unfold I often find myself dreaming about large, milestone moments – university graduations, feelings actualized with […]

Thursday Verse Day: “All I Had To Say For Myself” by Mindy Nettifee

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  I couldn’t touch you without ruining you, so I didn’t touch you at all. It’s when you’re on the brink of something that you lose your balance. You told me that once. When I can’t bring myself to say what I need to, my heart plays Russian Roulette with my throat. I swear I […]

Let’s Run Away Monday: An Infinity Pool Above The Rainforest!

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    Buona sera, amici! So, one of the sadder aspects of being quintessentially English is that Vitamin D feels like a special treat; the feeling of warm sunshine on your face is a luxury indeed on this cloudy little island. Chuck a can’t-believe-my-eyes location in with that scrumptious sensation, and you’ve got a serious […]

“There could be no cure for Paris”: Why I’ll Never Stop Romanticising the City of Lights!

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    Bonjour, mes amis! Sacre bleu, I can barely contain my excitement – this week, I’ll be jetting off to Paris! I can’t wait to be strolling along the Seine and feasting on honeyed Camembert and macarons once more… In fact, I sorted this somewhat spontaneous trip to assuage the restless longing I’ve been […]

Thursday Verse Day: “The Changed Man” by Robert Phillips

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If you were to hear me imitating Pavarotti in the shower every morning, you’d know how much you have changed my life. If you were to see me stride across the park, waving to strangers, then you would know I am a changed man—like Scrooge awakened from his bad dreams feeling feather- light, angel-happy, laughing […]

Kicking Through The Autumn Leaves: A Sparkles & Crumbs September Playlist!

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  Hello, darlings! Well, September is upon us! The leaves are turning golden, and there’s a crisp bite to the air in the mornings before the mist clears. Of course, I’m mourning the loss of summer, with its long, light evenings and lack of the need for layers. Still, I always say the best way […]

Let’s Run Away Monday: The “Book Barge!”

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  Bonjour, mes amis! Like many of you, darling readers, I am a greedy little book-lover. A good bookshop or library is like my Cave of Wonders – I can while away hours picking and choosing new literary treats to stockpile! Another of my great loves? Madcap, whimsical risk-takers! Adventurous individuals who take – perhaps […]

Sparkles & Crumbs Surfing: September 2014

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    Hey there, sweet things! To quoth Dr Seuss, “how did it get so late so soon?” Can you believe it’s September tomorrow, darlings? If you can’t wait ’til the end of August to get off the merry-go-round [like Van Morrison], here’s this month’s round-up of luscious links for curious quaintrelles to keep you […]

Thursday Verse Day: “We Met At The End Of The Party” by Philip Larkin

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     We met at the end of the party When all the drinks were dead And all the glasses dirty: ‘Have this that’s left’, you said. We walked through the last of summer, When shadows reached long and blue Across days that were growing shorter: You said: ‘There’s autumn too’. Always for you what’s […]

Audrey Hepburn at the Airport: Old Hollywood Stars Show Us How To Jetset in Style!

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    Ciao, bella! Oh, Greg Peck! How you ruin me for everyday life! When this photograph of my all-time Old Hollywood hero strolling arm-in-arm with his glamorous wife Veronique across the airport tarmac at Nice popped up on my Tumblr dashboard, I couldn’t help but long to be in her impeccably well-heeled shoes! Sure, […]

[A Belated!] Let’s Run Away Monday: A Pink Beach in Barbuda!

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    Hello there, darlings! Bad blogger alert – I’m a day late for this week’s Let’s Run Away Monday! Blame the Bank Holiday weekend: plenty of strolls through Grantchester Meadows blackberry picking and, of course, cava, carbonara and baked Camembert! But, of course, the weather has been the stuff of every heliophiliac heroine’s worst […]

Thursday Verse Day: “Rain” by David Semanki

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Yesterday was the last day of summer. And it makes sense you weren’t with me then. Or even on this rainy afternoon – you’re teaching me to live apart from you, which has reduced to breakfast dishes crowding the nightstand, the TV droning with some Julie Christie drama, my black hair unwashed for a fifth […]

On The Importance of “Dressing For The Occasion”

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  Lang time nae see, darlings! I’m back from a long weekend at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – three days of brownie bars, drinking Drambuie and ginger ale in the shadow of a giant inflatable purple cow, and catching some of my favourite comedians on stage. It was like a glorious month-long, city-wide May Ball… […]

Let’s Run Away Monday: A Beauty and the Beast-esque Library!

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  Bonjour, mes amis! So, what was your favourite movie growing up? Mine was – without a shadow of a doubt! – “Beauty and the Beast.”  I watched it so often we had to buy a second video tape because I physically wore down the original from overuse! Every afternoon, I’d don my Disney Store-bought […]

Thursday Verse Day: “you are tired (i think)” by ee cummings

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  You are tired, (I think) Of the always puzzle of living and doing; And so am I. Come with me, then, And we’ll leave it far and far away— (Only you and I, understand!) You have played, (I think) And broke the toys you were fondest of, And are a little tired now; Tired […]

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”

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  Hey there, darlings! So, even if you’re not the “tortured artist” type, you’ll certainly have heard of “writer’s block”: that dreaded dry spell of creativity, during which one desperately wants to work, but something has just got stuck. As Joseph Fiennes laments in one of the greatest movies of all time, “it’s as if […]