Useless Magic - Florence Welch | Book Review

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Rating: 5/5

I have been waiting for Florence to release a book for SO LONG! I am such a fan of her music and style - I always knew she would write a book at some point (although I wanted her to write a fiction book about witches, because WHY NOT?!).

This is possibly one of the most beautiful books I own, and I'm not exaggerating (even though I am a number one fan, but that's not the point...). This book is filled with such wonderful artwork, doodles, paintings and scribbles from Florence herself.

This is a compilation of all of the Florence + The Machine lyrics from their first four albums, as well as a selection of Florence Welch's poetry. The pages are dotted with artwork that inspired some of the band's most famous songs, Florence's doodles and random lines that inspired the full songs. This really is a great gift for any F+TM fan, or anyone who loves a beautiful book!

A glorious fabric hardback with gold lettering on the front and back covers, this really is a centrepiece for any bookshelf and well worth the money.

I hope you enjoyed this book as much as I did!

I could have taken photographs of every single page, but below are a few of my favourites!

I hope you enjoy!

K xx 

The Cloak of Shadows | A Short ASMR Story

Tuesday, 17 July 2018


   Lila, of all people, knew magic didn’t exist. Flicking through her science homework; the topic – the night sky, she knew many of her classmates still thought that meteors were shooting stars. How silly, she thought.

   Lila was spending the weekend with her Gran; her Mum and Dad were having a long weekend in the Lake District, and even though Lila had protested that she could sleep round her friend's house, her parents insisted that she would stay round her grans.

   Although Lila didn’t hate going round her Grans, she could think of at least three other places that she would rather be. Her Gran always told silly stories of fairies and ghosts; she even said she has a Boggle living in the attic, whatever a Boggle was.

   “Lila”, sung a sweet voice from downstairs, “lunch is ready!”. Lila huffed and put her science homework away. As she trundled downstairs and into the kitchen, she saw her gran had set the table for three.

   “Erm, Gran? It’s just me and you, isn’t it?”. Lila’s Gran furrowed her brow in confusion, but only for a moment.

   “Oh, don’t worry about that my dear”, chuckled Gran, “it’s just for the Boggle or—“, she suddenly stopped in her tracks, still holding hers and Lila’s sandwiches, “or is it the Brownies that like feeding?”. Gran huffed and continued to place down the sandwiches on the gingham tablecloth.
   “Gran, I don’t think the girls from down the road will all fit in your kitchen for lunch…” said Lila as she took a bite out of her sandwich.

   “Not those kinds of Brownies, Lila, the magical sort”.

   “Of course,” sighed Lila under her breath. She continued to finish off her lunch. If there was one thing Lila liked about staying round her Grans, it was the food. Her Gran made the best chicken curry Lila has ever had. Her Gran may be a bit batty, but she sure did know how to make good food.

   Lila kept staring at the extra sandwich on the opposite end of the table, waiting for it to disappear, but it didn’t. Lila knew it wouldn’t. It never would because the only way for it to disappear was if somebody ate it, not for it to be gobbled up magically by a Boggle or a Brownie.

   “Gran,” Lila said, “what even is a Boggle?”. Lila rarely indulged in her Grans nonsense, but she was also a curious child, and even though her Grans stories were utterly ridiculous and not scientifically correct, they were a little entertaining. A heart-warming smile spread across her Grans' face as she placed the remainder of her sandwich on the chipped china plate.

   “Well, a Boggle is a house spirit. They’re harmless, but they do like to move things around. I remember once, I couldn’t find my tv remote for weeks, then all of a sudden there it was one day, poof, right there on my armchair! I couldn’t believe it! Right pain in the neck that was.”
   All of a sudden, a loud thump came from the attic.

   “Oop, it can hear us talking about it” Gran whispered, “better occupy ourselves before it starts moving things again”. Gran got up from the kitchen table, took Lila’s plate away and started readying herself for the garden; potting and pruning were one of her favourite hobbies. She left the extra sandwich on the table.

   “Lila, dear, would you mind getting me a new pair of gloves, I think I put some in the cupboard under the stairs”.

   Lila got down from the table and entered the cupboard. It was quite spacious for something under the stairs. Lila’s gran housed lots of treasures in there; old photo albums, trinkets from her childhood and also the hoover. Rummaging around for the gloves, Lila accidentally knocked over a pile of old documents that were on top of an ancient and mysterious looking box, and once again, Lila’s curiosity got the better of her.

   The box was wooden and dark and had intricate symbols engraved all around it. Turning the cupboard light on and seeing the box more clearly, Lila started to recognise the symbols; they weren't symbols at all, they were in fact stars and constellations. Different phases of the moon had also been etched into the small chest. Lila felt something pull her close. She couldn’t explain what this feeling was, but it scared her. What on earth would her Gran be keeping in here?

   As she ran her fingers over the seam of the opening, a tingling sensation happened in her fingertips, and her heart was beating so fast and loud she could almost hear it.

   Lila finally opened the lid of the chest, and something dark and silky was inside. She pulled out the contents and it was cool to the touch; it looked like a large piece of dark fabric. Unfolding it out in her hands, it became everything and nothing at the same time, light then dark, here then gone. In the dark parts of the material, it glistened here and there, then it didn’t. Lila couldn’t explain or even believe what she was seeing. She went out into the corridor to try and see the garment more clearly, thinking her eyes were deceiving her in the dark. But, there in the daylight of her Grans house, the garment looked the same. Here then not, dark then light, flitting between something, nothing and everything.

   “Gran?” shouted Lila, her voice trembling. Her Gran, who had been outside trudged in and saw the garment in her grandaughters hands.

   “I see you’ve finally found it…” said Gran.

   “What is it?” asked Lila. Her Gran leaned against the door frame, and for the first time, Lila saw something in her that she had never seen before. Past her salt and pepper hair, she saw wickedness. Not the bad kind, a sort of rebellious feel, like her Gran had many adventures she’s never shared with anyone ever before. “Gran… what is this?”

    Her Gran looked at her with the same heart-warming smile as she always did. “It’s my cloak of shadows”.

   Lila looked down at the cloak. Shadows? she thought. Was this another silly story? As if the cloak had sensed her disbelief, it began to disappear, and Lila started to see her hands that were holding the cloak underneath. Lila shrieked and dropped the cloak on the floor where it continued to disappear into the carpet. Her Gran laughed.

   “If you didn’t believe in magic, you sure as will now”. She turned on her heel, clutching the gardening gloves that Lila was trying to find, and headed out back towards the garden. Lila noticed that the extra sandwich had disappeared. “Oh, my dear, there’s so much to tell you…”.

© Kayleigh Cooper, 2018

Six Tips To Help You Sleep

Saturday, 14 July 2018

As I may have mentioned on here before, I have for a while now have had terrible trouble sleeping at night, and I thought it would be great to share a few tips with you all on what has worked for me! 

Please note that I am not a professional, and these tips are to be taken with precaution and advice from your Doctor/GP.

If you want to watch my video on my channel about this topic, click here!

  1. Moisturiser (specifically Sleepy from Lush!) - This tip, and a few more to come, kind of link in with the theme of 'routine', and I believe that this is vital for a good nights rest. Having a routine in place can really help remind your body and mind that it's time to wind down for the night. This moisturiser is perfect for dozing off because it smells incredible - it includes Lavander in its scent which is known for helping people drift off to sleep - and it also smells incredible. Also, spending a few moments away from a screen before you go to bed does wonders!
  2. Candles/Scents - This also kind of links in with the first tip. I love to spray my room with the Twilight spray from Lush as it has the same scent as the Sleepy body lotion! I find that having a scent you associate with bedtime really helpful - I guess it's similar to study tips when teachers say to use scent memory as a form of revision. Candles are also great - I find that they create such a relaxed and cosy atmosphere, but as I'm writing this in the peak of Summer, room sprays are doing me just fine in this heatwave!
  3. Read - Ah, my all-time favourite thing to do! I always tell myself to take it easy when I know I'm going to be reading at night time. Knowing my luck, I'll come across a plot twist or a really good part in the book and then I'll stay up all night reading it - but I've learned to pace myself. Reading is great for bedtime - not only does it lower your heart rate, but it calms you down, get you away from any screens and helps settles you down for the night!
  4. Fresh Sheets - ONe of the best nights sleep I ever had was when I changed my bedsheets - they smelled incredible. I have to say even though I have never experienced that same good sleep since there's nothing better than going to sleep and waking up in great smelling sheets! 
  5. Yoga - I know I probably bang on about this all the time, but this is probably the most effective sleeping aid that I have ever tried. One of my favourite videos is a bedtime routine from Yoga With Adrienne, which you can find here. It's a gentle routine that helps you drift off into a peaceful slumber - I always get a good night sleep when I've done this routine right before bed.
  6. Sleeping Aids/Tablets - Please approach this one with caution and always ask your GP/Doctor for advice before taking any kind of medication. I tried going on sleeping tablets (I used the brand Nytol) for a while and found that even though it didn't necessarily help me drift off to sleep, I found that it helped me wake up with a little more oomph than usual, which was nice.

   Out of all of these things, the remedy that was best for me was definitly the yoga and the routine of night-time. I think having a routine and sticking to it is the best way to get a good nights rest!

If you have any ways that help you drift off to sleep, let me know in the comments!

Love, K :)

Journaling For Mental Health

Friday, 13 July 2018

As I've stated on my blog before, I have struggled with my mental health for quite some time, and am always willing to share things that have worked for me that helps improve it. I'm here to let you in on something I've been trying for a few weeks that's really helped me, and it's super simple - journaling.

I've been one of those people who has always had a diary or a journal - take me into a stationary shop and I'll without a doubt leave with a notebook of some sort - what I'll end up writing in it will probably be a mystery *looks at cupboard filled with empty notebooks*.

I've always seen my diary as a place to write what has happened on that specific day; a place to record my day for future reference and to look back on in a fond memory - but I never thought about journaling when it came to my mental health.

I got lured into the idea whilst seeing various different pins on Pinterest pop up on my feed, and I have to admit I was apprehensive at first, but journaling specifically for my mental health, and not just to record my day, has seen an improvement in me - I'm asking myself questions that get me thinking about who I am, what I want personally and for my business, my goals, my fears, words I need to hear - there's so much I never even thought about, and writing it down has really helped - it's therapeutic and allows me to vent anything that's worrying me in my business, personal life and allows me to find joy in writing about the good things of the day.

Here is a board on Pinterest for some really helpful journal prompts!

And here is my video about journaling for mental health over on my Youtube channel!

If you have any tips on journaling, in general or mental health specific, make sure to leave them in the comments.

Love, K :)

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