Your Summer Reading List: My Top 10 Recommended Summer Reads

Your Summer Reading List - My Top 10 Recommended Reads with a variety of genres.

Having an hour long ferry commute daily enables me to get a LOT of reading done. It’s my quality time to switch off and immerse myself in something other than Instagram or Facebook! My reading tastes are pretty eclectic, from best sellers, to book suggestions from friends, or recommendations from kindle, and I am always keen to read whatever I can get my hands on. 

 

I’ve seen so many posts on my social media recently from various friends looking for summer holiday read recommendations, and it got me thinking that I should put up a post with some of my favourites! 

 

So here are my top 10 summer reads! No matter your literary preference, I have tried to include a little bit of everything. Whether you’re a sci-fi nut or a thriller junkie, these are some of the titles you should be taking with you on your holiday! So grab yourself a cup of tea, switch the wifi on your kindle, have a read of these and maybe think about downloading a couple. 

 

:: Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

I have been running around recommending this book for months! A complete departure from my usual psycho-thrillers and rom-com reads. RPO is set 30 years in the future, a time when the majority of the world’s population is living in abject poverty the planet has been ruined by global warming and the resulting housing crisis means that most are living in the ‘stacks’ – trailers piled precariously on top of each other, twenty or thirty high. 

To escape this day-to-day misery everyone is living, learning and working in a high-tech virtual reality existence known as the OASIS – plugged in for days or sometimes weeks on end. OASIS’s creator (think: Steve Jobs) has recently died and left his entire fortune to the one player that can find the secret egg – hidden somewhere in the thousand of planets and kingdoms that make up the OASIS – and now the whole world is looking for it. The resulting scavenger hunt (or egg-hunt) is fast-paced, action-packed and liberally peppered with 80’s pop culture references which kept an 80’s baby like myself endlessly amused. The movie adaptation was released earlier this year and I have been dying to see it! 

 

:: The Orphan Train – Christina Baker Kline

In the late 1800s and into the start of the 20th century the orphan trains brought thousands of children from large coastal cities, like New York, to small mid-west towns. Often the children of immigrants, theirs was a very uncertain fate. Would they be adopted by a kind family desperate for a child, or taken on by farmers just looking for unpaid labour. The abuse that many of these children suffered was horrific and once re-homed the state abandoned them entirely. The story is told by Vivian Daly, now in her 90s, as she looks back through her journals with troubled teen Molly Ayer, who is committing to community service as a way of keeping herself out of Juvenile Hall. With more in common than maybe either of them realised, this is a story about resilience and finding your own family. 

 

:: Life After Life – Kate Atkinson

Do you ever wish that you could hit re-do? Atkinson’s novel cleverly explores the theory of multiple lives and reincarnation as protagonist Ursula moves through history living multiple versions of her life and seemingly learning from her mistakes along the way. It opens with Ursula shooting Adolf Hitler in a small cafe in 1930, the SS return fire and darkness falls. Suddenly we’re sent backwards and now back in 1910, the day of Ursula’s birth – but it is short lived, the umbilical cord is wrapped around her neck and the doctor isn’t on hand to assist, darkness quickly falls again. The next time is more successful, the doctor is present and Ursula makes it – at least until she becomes a toddler. From here we embark on a journey through her multiple lives, each one shifting slightly (for her and those around her) as events in the previous life have changed the course. 

This was a recent re-read for me and I’m already looking forward to reading it again. The story is beautifully complex and there are small details that you notice each time you read it afresh. 

 

:: The Wife Between Us – Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

I felt like this book was similar to others I had read (in particular ‘The Last Mrs Parrish’) but I still think it warrants a mention. Jumping between past and present, Hendricks and Pekkanen tell the story of Vanessa, the ex-wife of the wealthy and charming, but mercurial Richard. But, as with every marriage, you never know what goes on behind closed doors. The picture-perfect life of luxury that she lead while married, was not all that it’s cracked up to be, and there is more to her ex-husband than meets the eye. We assume that she was devastated by the breakdown of her marriage and his subsequent relationship with a younger model. We assume that she is the jealous wife that just can’t seem to let go, but is that really the case? The authors let us believe what we want to – but we should assume nothing. With a couple of plot twists the situation starts to become clearer. Can she stop her young replacement falling into the same trap? Or will history continue to repeat itself? 

 

:: The Couple Next Door – Shari Lapena

I love the way that Amazon suggests other titles. After reading the book above, Amazon had a slew of other psychological thrillers for me to work my way through. 

The story starts with the married couple Anne and Marco at a dinner party with their neighbors. They’ve had to leave their baby daughter unaccompanied next door, as the babysitter cancelled – but it’ll be okay, they have the baby monitor and they take it in turns to go back every half hour and check on her. But then the unthinkable happens, they return home at the end of the evening to find her gone.

The police are called and the investigation starts as they pick apart every detail of their lives, family relationships and business dealings. The plot keeps you engaged all the way through, and every time you think you figure out who’s responsible there’s another curve ball. Can you really trust those closest to you? 

 

:: Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty

Moriarty is fast becoming one of my favourite authors, not only because her novels are well-plotted and engrossing but because her characters are so believable! 

Big, Little Lies starts with a murder at a school Trivia Night event and then rewinds six months in order to give us the back-story. We don’t know who the murderer is and we don’t even know who was murdered. 

The plot follows the lives of three of the school mum’s and covers various subject matters including friendship, marriage, bullying, rape and domestic violence. Each mother brings a different voice to the story with her own individual struggles. 

I love how real Moriarty’s characters feel to me, you can instantly identify with them on the basic level, battling their way through the kindergarten cliques and the ‘blonde bob’ brigade. Despite the dark topics the novel is full of humour and light-hearted observations, an excellent balance. 

This title from Moriarty was adapted for television by HBO last year, starring Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman – a fantastic adaptation, but is an adaptation ever really better than the book? It will be interesting to see where they take it with Season 2 – since they finished the book in Season 1. 

 

:: Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts

This book could last you all holiday, as it’s a pretty big read. It’s the first novel from, and semi-autobiographical tale of, author Gregory David Roberts who escaped maximum security prison in Australia and went on the run, escaping to Bombay where he tries to disappear in the busy streets, amid the teeming slums and in the midst of the millions of other residents. He learns the language, sets up a medical clinic in the slums, he fights a guerilla war in Afghanistan, stars in Bollywood films and gets tangled with the Bombay mafia. The sights, smells and sounds of India are vividly described as you follow the story of Lin as he lives his life on the run. The colorful characters that he meets along the way; captivating women, loyal friends, slum dwellers, mafia dons, fellow inmates become a part of his story. 

 

:: Bossy Pants – Tina Fey

This was an excellent recommendation by a close friend and makes an ideal beach read. Short and pithy, a quick and easy read (I finished it in one afternoon), this is life according to Tina Fey. Insights into the improv comedy scene and stories from her childhood sit alongside Fey’s hilarious observations about what it means to be a woman – particularly one that doesn’t fit the typical Hollywood aesthetic. This is guaranteed to have you chuckling out loud. I thoroughly enjoyed every smart, little anecdote. 

 

:: Small Great Things – Jodi Picoult 

I’ll preface this by saying that I’m a bit of a Picoult fan – I love the fact that she never shies away from a controversial topic, she takes agonizingly painful subject matter and lays it out unflinchingly. Small Great Things is no different, telling the story of Ruth Jefferson, an African American Labour and Delivery nurse, who ministers aid to the newborn son of a white supremacist couple, against orders, and finds herself facing murder and negligence charges. 

Picoult forces us to really examine what it means to be racist today – whether actively or passively, and challenges our cultural perceptions of racial discrimination, of prejudice and privilege. 

 

:: My Brilliant Friend – Elena Ferrante 

Book one in a series of four – Ferrante’s novels collectively span almost sixty-years in the lives of protagonists Lila and Elena. My Brilliant Friend covers the early years – from their first meeting as 10-year-olds and into their adolescence. It starts in Naples in the early 1950’s. 

Ferrante’s novel is an interesting examination of the intricacies of complicated female relationships. Lila and Elena are very different characters, characters that can either compliment or conflict. Speaking for myself, I feel exceptionally blessed by the incredible support network of girlfriends that I have, but that doesn’t mean to say that it’s always easy. We grow up, we grow apart, we come back together, we feel like we never left, we move through school and college, different jobs, maybe marriage and motherhood, everything changes yet essentially remains the same.

Clearly I am going to have to get stuck into books two, three and four in the series now. Rumors are that an HBO series is coming. 

Wow – there are a good few titles there for you to sink your teeth into. Have you read any of them already? What did you think of them? Do you get enough opportunities to relax and read? It’s always one of my favourite parts of my holiday, a few hours guilt-free to just escape into whichever book I’m reading. 

 

One of the other things I love most about my kindle is the cost-effectiveness. Many of the titles listed above are less than $6 when purchased for the kindle, and that’s only marginally more than the cost of a trashy magazine and a coffee at the airport! Did you know that Amazon also offers a Kindle Unlimited membership? You can find out more about it, and even sign up for one free month’s trial, here.

 

Which one will you try first? 

 

This post contains affiliate links – I may receive a small commission if I inspired you to click through and purchase any of these titles today. This does not affect the price that you pay. Thank you for supporting thebarefootangel.com. 

 

 

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What’s Inside My FabFitFun Summer Box?

Have you come across FabFitFun yet? If not, you’re in for a real treat. I had seen the boxes cropping up in my social media from time to time but, I’ll be the first one to admit, it did take me a little while to bite the bullet and commit to a subscription. Now that I have though, I’m so happy I did!

 

My first box was the Summer 2018 subscription box and it just arrived last week. I am absolutely thrilled with the contents and, now that I’ve had a little while to play with them all, I wanted to tell you a bit more about it. 

 

Firstly, let’s face it the Summer Box was ideally suited my island lifestyle. But regardless of where you live it’s got some fantastic items and, with the ability to personalize your box, there really are options for every girl.  

 

The boxes ship quarterly and have a seasonal theme. Even though I think I’ll get the most use out of my Summer items, (since we don’t actually have seasons) I still look forward to getting some seasonal inspiration from my Fall and Winter boxes. (‘Hot and wet’ vs ‘Hot and dry’ don’t really count as seasons… and the less said about Hurricane season the better!

 

Each box costs $49.99, or you can sign up for an annual subscription for the discounted price of $179.99. Best news is though, that each box is guaranteed to contain more than $200 worth of full-sized products inside! In fact, when I added up the value of my Summer box, it came to a grand total of $356!! Not too shabby! 

 

I know what you’re thinking though – that’s all well and good, but $200 worth of product isn’t much use to me if the products are disappointing… Well ladies, worry not, the  great thing is that FabFitFun are renowned for sourcing fantastic products. Some of which will be exclusive to FabFitFun subscribers! I was beyond impressed with the quality of the items in my box, there are no ‘filler’ items, each piece is a great product, and you’ll get exposed to brands that you might not have tried before. 

 

Still sceptical? Here’s my run-through of all the beautiful items in my Summer 2018 box.

Warning: This contains spoilers, if you’re still waiting for your Summer Box, look away now! 

Coola Organic Classic Face Sunscreen in spf 50 (retail value $32)

I have been a fan of Coola Organic suncare for a little while, but hadn’t tried their face cream yet. It is a little more expensive than many other brands of sunscreen, but spf and skincare are not something I’m willing to compromise on! (And it just makes it even more of a bonus when it turns up in my box!) I’m enjoying the lightweight formula, it melts into my skin quickly and leaves no stickiness or the tacky feeling that you get with some spf products. I just layer a tiny amount over my brightening cc serum for that all important sun protection as I’m running around on the daily. It’s white tea moisturizer means that I could skip moisturizing altogether if I was in a rush. It also has a 80-minute-water resistant formula which means that it is now a permanent fixture in my beach bag! 

Foreo Luna fofo smart cleansing brush (retail value $89)

Wow – what a little powerhouse, I had never heard of Foreo before but I am so impressed by this beauty gadget. Sensors on the back of the brush assess your skin condition and your hydration levels to create a totally personalized profile by syncing via Bluetooth with the brand-new Foreo Luna app on your phone. Then your recommended cleansing routine starts – you just follow the instructions on the app and let the little silicon scrubbing bristles do all the work. It leaves my skin squeaky clean and beautifully soft. I am currently using it twice a week but will definitely look to gradually increase that as it is so quick and easy to use. This product is currently unique to FabFitFun subscribers and is worth getting the box just for this little gem alone. 

Summer & Rose Microfiber Towel (retail value $55)

I have a longstanding hatred of those heavy old-fashioned beach towels. You know the ones, they take up all the space in your beach bag, and then as soon as you use them they get waterlogged and full of sand, making them even heavier on the way home… Not so with this one. Vibrant, fun, tropical pattern aside, the thing I love most about this towel is the fact that it is lightweight, quick dry and you can just brush the sand right off. A total beach day game changer. 

 

Tarte Tarteist Pro To Go Eye Palette (retail value $43)

Since I have an annual membership I can choose between options for some of the items in my box (or choose to leave it a surprise!) and I really struggled to choose between the Tarte Pro Glow Highlight & Contour palette and the Eye shadow palette! Ultimately, I’m so pleased I went with the eye shadow palette as I’m sure I’ll get more use out of it (especially since my trusty, everyday Bobbi Brown palette is very near the end on my favourite shades!) 

Six gorgeous shades, three pretty metallics and three long-wearing neutrals will enable you to build a host of looks, from a simple and sweet daytime eye, to something a little vampier at night! 

Pier 1 Imports Marble Jewelry Dish (retail value $14.99)

I saw this in someone else’s sneak peek weeks ago and was keeping all my fingers crossed that it would feature in my box too! So simple, and very much in keeping with my personal style, it’s the perfect little catch-all dish. I keep it next to my bed for my earrings, watch and other knick knacks, but it would also be ideal for your bathroom just next to the sink. 

Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel (retail value $45) 

Made with papaya extract and vitamin E, this cream mask is applied to clean, towel-dried skin and then left on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing away to reveal beautifully soft and radiant skin. The mask doesn’t dry or harden like others I’ve tried, but that doesn’t make it any less effective. This non-abrasive exfoliator was great on my sensitive skin and I look forward to building it into my monthly skincare for a little boost of radiance when my skin is looking a bit tired! 

Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator (retail value $29)

Okay, so here’s where I wasn’t quite thinking it through when it came to choosing my products as I did end up with two facial exfoliators but, having said that, they are very different and I’m not disappointed in my choice.  The Vasanti face rejuvenator is a very fine exfoliating scrub which I have been keeping in the shower to give my face an exfoliating cleanse a couple of times a week. As promised on the packaging, their gentle formula gently buffs away your dead skin cells and reveals a smoother and brighter complexion. 

Jaboneria Marianella Hawaiian Black Lava Body Caviar (retail value $48) 

Continuing with the exfoliators (can I just say, my skin has never looked better!) but this time for the body, this black lava scrub is just beautiful. You mix the oil and the salts together before use (as they will naturally separate) and then slather on to damp skin before gently scrubbing all over. Rinse off with warm water and then pat your skin dry. This is a fantastic inclusion in the Summer box as regular skin exfoliation is key for building up that killer summer tan. Whether you are a fake tan fan or a sun worshiper, regular exfoliation is so important to ensure a smooth and even tan from top to toe! My skin now feels fabulously smooth, conditioned and hydrated with this all natural, luxurious mix of vitamin E, coconut oil, Hawaiian black lava sea salt, charcoal, Dead Sea salt, honey, green tea extract, aloe vera extract and other goodies. 

Bonus Item: Give A Sip Reusable Straw

I am such a big fan of this little addition in the box, to some it might not seem like a very exciting option but for me it is so important! Single use plastic is one of my biggest pet hates, plastic bags, plastic water bottles and especially plastic straws! I’m not saying that I have completely managed to eradicate them from my life (yet) but I make every effort to. The level of micro plastics in the ocean are reaching unprecedented levels and it is causing havoc for our marine life. 

This resusable plastic straw is perfect for throwing in your bag so that you can say ‘no thank you!’ to disposable straws in your cocktail (or coffee, if that’s more your thing) Plus Give A Sip will send free reusable metal straws to FanFitFun subscribers if you sign up at giveasip.us and pledge to use less plastic. What a fantastic initiative! 

 

So there we have it, that’s everything that I received in my box this time. Do they sound like the sort of things that you would have liked to turn up at your door? I’m keen to hear your thoughts on the products. 

 

I’m already eagerly anticipating my next box and fiercely wishing that I didn’t have quite so long to wait for it. I am now officially a subscription box convert/addict… This really is the ultimate girly self-care treat for yourself – or would also make for an amazing and thoughtful gift! 

 

Want to join up yourself? Use my referral code here for $10 off your first box! That’s right… all those goodies for just $39.99! Isn’t it about time you treated yourself? 

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A Sneak Peek Inside My… Hurricane Kit

No sooner have I returned from my holidays and already a hurricane is on our doorstep. Never are you more aware of the beauty and power of Mother Nature than when you live in a hurricane belt.

Living in the Caribbean for as long as I have, I am no stranger to hurricanes and tropical storms but, by and large, (barring TS Otto that sent mudslides into my house in 2010) Mother Nature has been pretty kind to us in the BVI for the last decade. This year though, the gloves are off and we already suffered a huge storm in early August that caused widespread flooding and extensive damage to homes and businesses across the islands. Now Hurricane Irma is headed our way and looking increasingly like she’ll be at Cat 3 or 4 strength when she lands on Wednesday/Thursday.


‘M’ stands for Major Hurricane… 🙁

We only have to look at the damage done in Texas recently to know that these storms are not to be messed with and my heart goes out to all those suffering in Harvey’s wake, especially as I make my own preparations for Irma’s arrival.

Thankfully we have the weather reports to keep us updated (I’ve also downloaded a really helpful app – Hurricane Tracker for $3.99) and we watch anxiously as she creeps ever closer… Still, forewarned is forearmed and these next couple of days will be spent stocking up on all the necessities and readying the house as best we can (readputting up the hurricane shutters, setting out the sandbags and hoping for the best…).

Obviously, we are keeping all of our fingers and toes firmly crossed that Irma causes no trouble for anyone, but the motto that I’ve always adhered to is ‘Prepare for the worst and hope for the best’.

Want to see which supplies I will be packing to see me through the storm?

:: Water – the general rule of thumb is that you should pack one gallon of drinking water per person/per day (this should include animals) so for our little family we ideally need 4 gallons of water per day and we should aim to have enough to cover 3-7 days at least (More water will be needed for cleaning and washing.)

:: Canned food, non-perishable items and pet food – tinned soup, protein/granola bars, nuts (anything you can eat right out of the packet), crackers, cans of Beefaroni (don’t judge me…) and Pringles have always featured in my hurricane supplies since they can be eaten hot or cold, if absolutely necessary. I also like to ensure that I have an adequate supply of teabags (I might live in the Caribbean but I’m still British after all!)

A tiny selection of what I have squirreled away…

:: Passport, cash and important family documents – in a ziplock bag or waterproof box you need to ensure that you have your passport or travel documents, as much cash as you’re comfortable withdrawing (ATMs could be down for a while) and any insurance policy documents or other Id and banking docs.

:: Torches, batteries, candles and matches – no two ways about it, you’re going to be without power for some period of time, the question is, just for how long? Having an adequate supply of candles and torches will make life a lot easier. Then just grab a good book and hunker down. Be sure to fully power up your phone, kindle, laptop, tablet etc to keep them going for as long as possible.

:: Portable chargers – I mentioned these in a previous post here, they are great for travel and an island essential to see you through the regular power cuts. But, never are they more useful than during hurricane season. I have two (one large and one small) and will be fully charging them both. This will hopefully mean that I can keep my phone powered – then I just have to keep my fingers crossed that the phone signal holds out.

:: Books, playing cards and board games – not withstanding the fact that you have fully charged all your electronic devices, they are still unlikely to see you all the way through the power cuts. August’s storm saw some houses without power for 3-4 days and that’s nothing in the grand scheme of potential issues post-hurricane. My new favourite game is Monopoly Deal but you should also make sure you have a good book to read and maybe use this time as an opportunity to brush up on your poker skills with friends.

:: Wine, rum, gin etc – two words… hurricane party! It’s not big and it’s certainly not clever but, having a few cocktails sure does make being cooped up inside in the dark a little easier to cope with. (Whatever gets you through… right?) Get together with some friends, it’s going to be a long night!

:: First Aid Kit and Prescription Meds – for all the obvious reasons you’ll want to make sure that you have a small first aid kit (our one (linked) is fab and reasonably priced) along with at least a 2 week supply of your usual prescription meds.

:: Wet wipes, dry shampoo, hand sanitizer, toilet paper and other personal hygiene supplies – as unpalatable as it is to think about, you may be without running water for a while… a pack of wet wipes, hand sanitizer and some dry shampoo will help you freshen up, since you’ll be wanting to save the bulk of your fresh water for drinking. I’m packing up all my mini travel supplies as we will be de-camping to a friend’s house to ride out the storm.

:: Change of clothes and spare underwear – you never know if, or when, you might have to evacuate at short notice. Have a grab-bag packed and ready to go, just in case.

:: Other useful items – battery-powered radio, paper plates/cups, cooler with ice, can-opener/bottle opener, duct tape, tool kit, fire extinguisher and car charger.

Apologies, all these supplies don’t exactly make for the prettiest pictures, but they are very useful 🙂

Anyone got any tips to see me through this storm and the rest of hurricane season??

Wish us luck!!

Residents of Houston still need our support – find out more about how you can donate here

This post contains links to products that I use and love – they are not affiliate links, I just like to share. 

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Gain A ‘Scents’ of the BVI with EC Soap Co.

Way back at Christmas time (in one of my early posts) I wrote a gift guide for island girls that included my favourite local soap store, the EC Soap Co. They make such beautiful and unusual items that are just perfect for gifting.

Photo via EC Soap Co. 

All of their products are handmade here in the BVI with all natural, raw materials harvested from around the Territory, working with local farmers to source the freshest, organic ingredients.

EC Soap Co. soap bars often feature natural exfoliants to gently buff and polish your skin – like the dried ginger pulp in their summery ‘Ginger Island’ soap, or the ground mint leaves in the refreshing ‘Minty Rose’.

Photo via EC Soap Co.

Along with the gorgeous handmade soaps with their unusual colours, textures and scents they also stock lotions, balms and bath salts.


Photo via EC Soap Co.

I’m thrilled to announce that their new website is up and running and that with it comes international shipping!

Even better, from now until Mother’s Day they are offering 20% off with the code mothersday17!!

So, what are you waiting for?




In celebration of the new website and their soon-to-be global soap domination. I sat down with the owner Alex Durante (one of my favourite Caribbean entrepreneurs) to find out a bit more about what she’s been up to and why her products are so special:


Photo: Alexandra Durante via EC Soap Co. 

TBA: Alex, What made you want to start your own business and why did you decide on soaps?

ECSCo: I always like a challenge and it seemed that putting my creative skills to good use in the business world was a great idea to start. The British Virgin Islands have tons of untapped resources and soap was a great market to get into because we have access to raw materials from local farmers and we are turning our products into brilliant forms of art by using different scents and colorings to create intricate designs.

TBA: What is the best thing about being your own boss? And the biggest downside?

ECSCo: The best thing is that I can create my own future and decide as to where I want/need my company to go. The biggest downside would definitely be the day to day determination to succeed, even on that particular day you aren’t succeeding. You always have to be positive, even when you know that you feel differently.


Photo: EC Soap Co. Team via EC Soap Co.

Creativity obviously runs in the family as her father (pictured with her here) is renowned local artist Lutia Durante.

TBA: Do you have any regrets or anything that you would have done differently?

ECSCo: I should have branded EC Soap Co. sooner, but hey, we are on this earth to learn and grow right?

TBA: Where do you see your business going from here? What’s next for EC Soap Co.?

ECSCo: I desperately want EC Soap Co. to start exporting on a massive scale. We would be the first to export in such numbers thus supporting the economy as well as the people that live here. I also see us eventually being a 95% locally made company (5% being imported packaging) with local ingredients all being grown here.

TBA: If you weren’t killing it with your own business – what would you have wanted to do?

ECSCo: I honestly can’t answer that question! Ha ha. I’d probably be working on charter boats? I love people and being around them so I can’t fathom sitting behind a computer all day. It would definitely be service orientated.

So get gifting ladies – to your mamma, or even to yourselves, you deserve it!

www.ecsoapco.com +1 (284) 346 1023

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Anniversary

Yesterday was my two year wedding anniversary and I am celebrating this event with some (uncharacteristically) soppy reflections and a quick look back at some of our beautiful wedding pictures.

Two years have gone by so fast, but we’ve had a lot of fun.

We’re working hard, but we live in paradise.

We’re saving for the future, but we’re making some beautiful memories.

We have no idea where we’re going, but we have a shared idea of how we’ll get there.

One of the things we’ve been focusing on since we got married is prioritizing travel.

We no longer give physical gifts for significant occasions, but instead we have been trying to give travel and experiences which has meant that we’ve (almost) traveled more in the last 2 years than we had in the previous 5… (disclaimer: a significant part of our vacation time is always dedicated to our family and friends in the UK).

I’m hoping to document some of our upcoming travels here – but in the two years we’ve been married we have managed Puerto Rico, NYC (and my first UFC fight), a whole LOT of California (on our RV honeymoon road trip – plus some bonus Nevada and Arizona time), Kansas City, St. John (USVI) and St. Maarten.

There is no one that I would rather share these adventures with – he’s my best friend, my team, my big spoon and my partner in crime!

I hope that he will keep coaxing me out of my comfort zone, while I continue to challenge him on practically every point.

We’re the perfect combination of opposites attracting, while being oddly similar – both brutally honest and stubborn.

He loves me despite my moods and messiness and I live with his inner (outer) petrol-head and his huge collection of wheels (and I wouldn’t have it any other way).

Here’s to celebrating two wonderful years and looking forward to many more.


All photos by Peach & Jo Photography.

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