Cakes? Check. Love interest? Check. Pet dog? Check. Seaside town? Check.
Yep this book has ’em and it was the perfect read to completely relax and fall into the story. Millie Vanilla’s Cupcake Cafe follows Millie running her beach side cafe and follows the high and lows that this can bring. With a new larger coffee shop moving into town Millie has to find a way of keeping her smaller, yet more personal cafe afloat. I love a story that includes someone running a business so I immediately wanted to keep reading. The way it is wrote also makes the storyline easy to follow without too much chopping and changing and too many characters. Reading for me is all about finding a relaxing moment and getting absorbed and I can’t tend to do that if there is too much to follow.
Another part to the book that I enjoy are the multiple diy projects. Whether it’s for the cafe having a revamp or the hotel having a complete renovation right through to the homemade bread and local artwork there is something going on throughtout the story to feel inspired by and feeling the urge to start a project. All of the characters get involved in some kind of craft from sewing bunting to painting artwork and the novel has a good community spirit vibe. It all adds to the homemade skill effect of the story and it leaves the reader full of inspiration as well as entertained.
Millie Vanilla’s Cupcake Cafe holds plenty of love stories within its pages too. There are the two pooch loving pensioners that have a dislike to love relationship which is sweet (excuse the pun) as anything. Then the younger, university age characters who aren’t sure what they want and of course, Millie herself. It starts in the cafe with a classic meeting between Millie and a tall, dark, handsome stranger. Of course, it was never going to be a smooth boy meets girl scenario and not before long there is a an incident to rock the boat. Jed, being the handsome business type that he is, actually works for Millie’s rival – new in town/mass produced/cheaper – coffee shop.
There is also another romance between Millie’s best friend and her old school crush. Both actors the characters rekindle their old romance and Millie is the one that is picking up the pieces and trying to support her best friend throughout. It brings a lovely friendship storyline the book and a little drama. This storyline and the one of Millie’s new mermaid-esque cafe assistant are what I can imagine would shake a little seaside town. It add complexity to the characters and, I would argue, a little more adult behaviour than what it could have been without them.
I haven’t yet read a book in the ‘chick-lit’ genre where love didn’t prevail and thankfully it does here too. It makes it a light read (even though realistically its probably one of the thicker books in the genre I have read/seen) and good to grab a tea and slice of cake with.
Have you ever heard the saying “face your fear and do it anyway”? Well that is pretty much what this is. At the age of 20/21 I wanted to be an air hostess. I wanted to travel and took a couple of flights on my own when I was younger. There was no fear and looking back I thought the world was mine and mine alone. As I grew the world became bigger. People became scarier and flying became all but impossible. This all begs the question, “so why am I travelling more this year?” You know, if I don’t actually like it that much. What I do enjoy is seeing different countries, destinations and having the opportunity to experience something new.
More often than not to get to different places you need to travel and this can include flights. As the years went on I became more and more fearful of flying. From flying on my own twice before and making it an exciting experience I did a 180 and slowly started to hate it, even crying on take off on one occasion and absolutely having to sit next to my husband each time we have been away.
This brings me on to the fact that I also travel for my husband. He’s the type of man that would pack a bag and go explore the mountains in a far off country without a worry (until he wanted snacks) and I would love to be that brave. I want to be ok with that kind of feeling and not worry that everything will go wrong but to have the confidence in myself that I was capable of this. My husband wants to travel and I want to experience these new things together.
I’m nearly 30. I know, I know 30 is by no means old or even getting there but heading into my third decade, along with having the opportunity and means to go venture out of my comfort zone is giving me the push I need right now. I dont want to get another 10-20-30 years down the line and wish I had done a certain thing or visited a certain place whilst I could.
Travelling is also a lot cheaper than I have always thought. Yes I completely understand the need to save and budget in areas of our everyday life but with the ability to do this along with booking in as much advance as we can there are do-able ventures out there at a low cost. Recently I have seen flights just coming onto the market at £30 and eurostar trains at £29, to us that means we could visit another country for the same price as a date night at the cinema and a meal after.
Exploring also doesn’t mean we have to go abroad. It could mean we get in the car and drive a couple of hours to a different city. There is still so much of the UK we haven’t seen and so much that is worth seeing. A nights stay could be as luxurious as a fancy spa hotel or we do own a tent! You get the idea, we don’t have to go far to see something new.
I think that has covered most of why I am travelling more this year. It’s like a new year resolution (or word of the year: Intention) and I am so excited to start, the plans start at the end of January so keep your eyes peeled and visit me on Instagram for more of my travels.
New Years resolutions, are they good? Or do they ask for too much from us? Are they goals or do they make us disappoint ourselves? I haven’t yet met anyone that gets to the end of a year and says they achieved their New Years Resolution, maybe I haven’t met a person who set such a strong one, I don’t know. What I do know is last year I didn’t set any and I can be honest, it was kind of a wash out in terms of things I had actually achieved. This year doing a full flip I have set myself a few goals and check-in points to keep up to date at my progress.
1. Be kinder to myself. Instead of comparing myself to others and saying I’m not where I need to be repeat that everyone is different and on their own path.
2. See friends regularly. They say you are a culmination of the people you surround yourself with the most. I love my friends and family for different reasons and if I’m a mix of them all I would be very happy about that.
3. Look after our home. For me a tidy home is a tidy mind. It’s as simple as that really.
4. Learn and learn. I love learning and growing and being creative. These are things that make me happy and I hope I never stop learning something new.
5. Don’t stop pushing but live in the present. Goals, dreams and achievements all swim through my mind on a daily basis and it’s great for me to have something to aim for. In the same breath and along with this I need to learn the balance between wanting that step further, that ‘better thing’ and living for now and being grateful for the things that are already here.