London – Day 1

“London opens to you like a novel itself…. It is divided into chapters, the chapters into scenes, the scenes into sentences; it opens to you like a series of rooms, door, passsage, door. Mayfair to Piccadilly to Soho to the Strand.” – Anna Quindlen 

I visited London for the first time 5 years ago, and have been pining to go back ever since. There’s just something about this city that makes me feel truly welcome and at home. I love the streets brimming with life and activity, the lush green parks, the museums full of new discoveries and all the places rich in history and culture. This trip was incredible in every possible way, full of laughter, excitement, anticipation and pure bliss and I am so thankful that I got to share this experience with my sister, her husband and my boyfriend. The huge amount of pictures that I took is beyond belief, but I love scrolling back through them and reliving those beautiful memories. In fact, there are so many pictures that I want to share with you all that I decided to split the posts into multiple entries, one for each day of the trip. I hope you enjoy them! x

Sunday March 11th
Malta International Airport >>> London Luton Airport


I spent the 3 hour-long flight reading The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert and listening to the album Smoke + Mirrors by Imagine Dragons on repeat! Now, every time I listen to it I feel myself being transported back to that wonderful moment! We arrived at Luton airport at about 2 pm and went straight to our hotel in Paddington, which was an hour long trip with the taxi. The location of the hotel was perfect- only a few minutes walk from Hyde Park and Paddington station. The room we stayed in overlooked the street and every morning I loved sitting by the window, sipping a cup of tea and watching the cars and people go by.


We were in great need of a cup of coffee, so after leaving our stuff at the hotel, we found the nearest Starbucks and enjoyed a warm cup of cappuccino and a delicious pain au chocolat. We then commenced our walk around Westminster area, enjoying the evening sights of Oxford street, Piccadilly, Trafalgar square and Whitehall. Unfortunately Big Ben is currently undergoing extensive repairs so we couldn’t enjoy it’s beautiful facade and hear the tolling of the bell. But I guess that’s just another excuse to go back again!


For dinner, we found this whimsical restaurant inspired by the 1994 film Forest Grump: Bubba Gump Shrimp Co on Coventry street. The place is filled with movie memorabilia and one can actually signal the waiter with a ‘Stop Forest Stop’ sign! I had a delicious dish of pan seared fillet of salmon and shrimps with cherry tomatoes and rice.

Despite being extremely tired, we decided to take a quick trip to Kings Cross Station to visit the Harry Potter shop at Platform 9 3/4. I honestly had to restrain myself from buying the whole store! It is so beautifully decorated and definitely worth a visit, and you can actually take a picture with the trolley during store opening hours.


Have you ever visited London? I hope you enjoy the rest of the posts 🙂 x

Spring is blooming

She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind
And curtsied up and down.
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
“Winter is dead.”
-A.A. Miller


What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Spring? Maybe a field overflowing with daisies, a carnival of scents blowing in the air. Or perhaps it conjures a feeling of new beginnings, where we rid ourselves of the lethargy that consumed us during the cold winter months in order to bloom once again. At least that is how Spring makes me feel. These last couple of months have been awfully uninspiring, to say the least, probably because my mind was too busy hibernating beneath huge piles of warm blankets while the world was being leeched of it’s colours outside. So the change in weather is truly a blessing!

The sound of the world rising up from it’s slumber always inspires me to look around me and allow my mind to open up to new ideas. It may be the sound of a distant lawnmower, the hum of bumblebees looting from the flowers on the windowsill, or the nickering of horses as they cavort in blooming green fields. The world feels lush and bountiful again, full of new possibilities.

What better way to prepare for this new season than with a new playlist! Golden Spell is all about nature’s awakening…or the sound of my soul waking up from it’s interminable slumber. I hope you enjoy it! [Spotify]

  1. Mylo Xyloto- Coldplay
  2. Hurts Like Heaven- Coldplay
  3. Hannah Hunt- Vampire Weekend
  4. New Slang- The Shins
  5. Celeste- Ezra Vine
  6. West Coast- Coconut Records
  7. Fire in the Sky- Palace
  8. Boardwalks- Little May
  9. Virignia May- Gregory Alan Isakov
  10. In the Wind- Lord Huron
  11. Stella- Cereus Bright
  12. Blue Above the Green- Mike Edel
  13. Polaroid- Imagine Dragons
  14. Mountain Song- Little Chief 

This year, I want Spring to be all about new discoveries and adventures. In a few days’ time I will be on my way to London, where I will spend a whole week roaming museums, coffeeshops, bookstores and lazing around in the parks. I have been anticipating this trip for months, and while I made a vague list of all the places that I want to visit, not having a definite plan makes me free to roam, wander, and stumble upon places that I never would have gone to with my pre-planned agenda. However, I am open to any recommendations! My boyfriend and I also started this month with a day trip in Gozo, which is an island that makes up the Maltese archipelago. It’s about a 35km car ride to the ferry terminal and a half hour trip with the ferry [that’s the benefit of living on a small island…nothing is too far away!]. While I love travelling abroad, sometimes you need to look around you and realise that your own home country has so much to offer, and there are a multitude of places that you’ve yet to discover.

I obviously cannot fail from mentioning my Spring TBR! This season I thought I might be a bit overambitious and attempt to read the biggest book on my shelves: The Count of Monte Cristo, which amounts to 1243 pages. I love the movie starring Jim Caviezel and so many people have been recommending me the book so I’m finally giving it a try! Here are some other books that I’m also looking forward to read this Spring:

The Hazel Wood– Melissa Albert

Flux– Orion Carloto

A Sting in the Tale– Dave Goulson

The Dream Thieves (#2)- Maggie Stiefvater

The Essex Serpent– Sarah Perry

Burial Rites– Hannah Kent

The Last Unicorn- Peter S. Beagle

A Darker Shade of Magic– VE Schwab [reread]

Crooked Kingdom– Leigh Bardugo [reread]

I’m also really looking forward to read some more magazines this season, specifically Country Living Modern Rustic magazine, Another Escape and In Clover magazine. All of these magazines have amazing content, including gorgeous photography! If you’re on the hunt for some new magazines, I would highly recommend checking out The Future Kept for a vast choice of beautifully designed journals that are hard to find elsewhere.


What are you looking forward to most this season? Do you have anything planned for Spring?


we are infinite.

There is a particular scene in The Perks of Being a Wallflower where the character exclaims: “And in that moment, I swear we were infinite”, and this quote truly resonates with me. I guess it can be interpreted differently by different people, but it always reminds me of that feeling you get when you feel one with the universe, where you are free from wants, needs or worries and are content with the present. When you feel like you can conquer everything and nothing can hurt you. And when you feel like you are part of everything, from the air that you breath to the people around you. It’s the kind of feeling that it quite hard to put into words, and I guess that’s what makes it so special. But “where words fail, music speaks” and undoubtedly, Hans Christian Andersen knows what he’s talking about.

Sometimes you come across a song that fills you up with this ethereal feeling and goosebumps appear all over your arms, like your body wants to display this enchantment to the whole world. I always save these songs so I could listen to them on repeat whenever I feel uninspired or disconnected from the world around me. They are a medicine to my soul on those days when I feel numb inside, as if I am merely existing but not truly living. So if I had to describe to you what it personally means to feel infinite and whole, just like Charlie, my only words are: listen to this playlist! If nothing else, I hope you at least enjoy the music 🙂 x

>Outro– M83
>Too Much Is Never Enough– Florence + The Machine
>Skeletons– Of Monsters and Men
>Strange– LP
>Believe– Mumford & Sons
>Punching in a Dream– The Naked and Famous
>Welcome Home, Son– Radical Face
>Moving Mountains– The Brevet
>Don’t You Cry For Me– Cobi
>Desert Song– Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
>March: Hills to Climb– Tim Myers
>Once There Was A Hushpuppy– Dan Romer, Benh Zeitlin
>Ends of the Earth– Lord Huron
>Torches- X Ambassadors >Last Words First- Volunteer





Where has this month gone?! My mind still cannot process that we’re already a month into the new year…in fact I’m still scratching out that number seven on my notebooks! It hasn’t been such a great month health-wise, but one thing I promised myself to do this year is to focus on the things that always make me smile and help me keep a positive outlook towards life. So I am very excited to share with you my very first favourites blog post of 2018, which will include some of the things I’ve been enjoying lately, from a simple song to a quaint coffeeshop.



I read a total of 7 books this month and I enjoyed mostly all of them. In fact two of them have made it onto my all-time favourite list:

Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me– Lily Collins || 2 ☆

City of Thieves– David Benioff || 5 ☆

The Raven Boys– Maggie Stiefvater || 5 ☆

Shadow and Bone– Leigh Bardugo || 4 ☆

Memoirs of Geisha– Arthur Golden || 2 ☆

Siege and Storm– Leigh Bardugo || 4 ☆

Matilda– Roald Dahl || 4.5 ☆

I was really looking forward to read Lily Collins’ essay collection since she is one of my favorite female actors. However I was sorely disappointed in so many ways but mostly in the way that it was written. It felt quite childish, filled with meaningless and fluffy sentiments without any substance and while she did tackle various issues, she didn’t delve deep into the subject. Having said that, I found her chapters dealing with anorexia and bulimia quite insightful and I found that I could relate with her experiences. I appreciate the way she focused on eating disorder as something that can never be cured but is an ongoing process towards recovery. It will always be there waiting to come out again but she reminds the readers that they are strong and admitting you need help is never a sign of weakness. The rest of the book though just kept on repeating the same cliched advice and I wish she could have branched out in terms of subject matter and delved deeper into her experiences.

Memoirs of Geisha was quite an interesting read but it was only after finishing it that I learnt about the author’s misdeeds. According to Mineko Iwasaki, this book is riddled with errors and is quite offensive in it’s descriptions of a Geisha going through mizuage. Mrs Iwasaki gave an extensive interview to the author while he carrying out research for the book but after reading his work she brought legal action against him, with allegations of confidentiality breech and a damaged to her reputation. For this reason, I had to ditch my original 4 stars.

Weirdly enough, when it comes for me to talk about the books that I love, my mind goes blank. Maybe because there are no words that can describe all the feelings that such books can conjure, and City of Thieves is definitely one of them. The story is equal parts poetic, hilarious and devastating. I was rendered speechless with the way Benioff transitions from humour to tragedy in a single sentence and manages to show the true horrors of war while still holding on to the goodness of humanity. It is definitely one of those books that I’ll reread a thousand times! The same goes to The Raven Boys. To put it simply, this series has: an amazing cast of characters, a sassy female protagonist, a deadly kiss, GANSEY, a house full of psychic women, a dead Welsh Kings, Ley Lines, Ghosts, a mysterious Latin teacher, talking trees, a peculiar forest and unique writing style. I LOVED this book so much and I cannot wait to continue on with the series!

The first two books in The Grisha trilogy and Matilda were all rereads and I enjoyed them even more the second time round. One of the reasons why I decided to reread Leigh Bardugo’s series is so I could mentally and emotionally prepare myself for her Nikolai Lantsov duology, which is expected to be published next year. The wait is going to be absolute torture and the only way to make it bearable is to reread the hell out of her books!




Don’t you just love that feeling when you discover a new favourite song and you know it’s going to be played on repeat until your ears start to bleed?! It’s been a month filled with music that gave me chills and made me feel like I could conquer the world. Here are some of my favourites:

> The Greatest Showman soundtrack 

> Too Much Is Never Enough – Florence + The Machine

> Frozen Pines – Lord Huron

> Winter Winds – Mumford & Sons

> Don’t You Cry For Me – Cobi

> Wildfire – Seafret

> Skeletons – Of Monsters and Men

> Thunder – Imagine Dragons

If you want to check out my Spotify playlists, here is the link 🙂 x



Talbot and Bons is my favourite spot to unwind and enjoy the best cup of hazelnut cappuccino I’ve ever tasted. Also, it’s interior design is on point! The place is a short walk away from the airport and my boyfriend and I often go to the Observation Deck after having lunch. It has a wonderful view of the runway where you could watch exciting take-offs and touchdowns…and this is honestly one of my favourite ways to spend my weekend!



A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand, more specifically the All Butter Pistachio & Almonds cookies from Marks and Spencer. I would eat a whole packet in a heartbeat if I could! And if cookies are not enough, I encourage you to try the classic scones with jam and clotted cream. I use the BBC Good Food recipe because they have the best texture and flavour plus they are extremely easy to make. I do sound like I’ve been having a month-long sugar rush, which is far from the truth. But I do indulge myself over the weekend because everyone needs a treat sometimes!


Random Items

Paperchase 2018 Diary:


>Starbucks Mug: My tea tastes better in it 😉


What was your favourite thing about this month? ❤


2017 || My year in books


I am still coming to terms with the fact that another year is coming to an end. Looking back now, I would say that it wasn’t the best reading year, mostly due to the number of reading slumps that I experienced along the way. There were weeks where I couldn’t read anything to save my life and the thought of picking up a book made me even less excited to read it. All the same, I will still consider 2017 a  memorable one because this year I was willing to broaden my horizons and  explore new genres, specifically literary-fiction, non-fiction books and classics, and all of them have become my go-to choices when buying new books.

This year I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge to 80 books and for the first time ever I did not finish it. But I will in no way allow this to drag me down. After all I read for my own enjoyment…and anyway, quality over quantity right? I ended up reading a total of 66 books, which according to Goodreads translates to 21,486 pages and I’m quite happy with that number.

My shortest read was The Yellow Wall-paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (55 pages) while the longest book was The Diviners by Libba Bray (800 pages). My first read of 2017 was Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys, a heartbreaking story that opened my eyes to the horrors of WWII. I enjoyed her writing so much and I’m really looking forward to read Salt to the Sea next year. I ended the year with Miss Brill by Katherine Mansfield, a collection of short stories that are simple yet profound.

Top 10 Favourite Books of 2017:

These are my top 10 favourite books of this year and I recommend all of them!

The Diviners– Libba Bray

The Sun and her Flowers– Rupi Kaur

The Secret History– Donna Tartt

The Language of Thorns– Leigh Bardugo

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind– Yuval Noah Harari

The Muse– Jessie Burton

Homegoing– Yaa Gyasi

Crooked Kingdom– Leigh Bardugo

Gemina– Amie Kaufman

Purple Hibiscus– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

It’s next to impossible for me to choose a single book out of this list as my ultimate top favourite, but if I was forced to make a decision I would probably say Crooked Kingdom because my love for Kaz Brekker, Inej and the rest of the characters in the Grisha universe knows no bounds. I remember that fateful evening when I finished this book, my face was all red and blotchy and I was trying to hide my tears from the rest of the family. Honestly I am still caught between wanting to hug the book to my chest and throwing it across the room for destroying any semblance of self-control I’ve ever possessed. But it was all worth it!

Reread Books:

I love rereading books and revisiting my favourite characters, and this year was no exception. I reread a total of 19 books which seems quite a lot but Saga and Harry Potter make up most of that number.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower– Stephen Chbosky

Saga Vol 1-6– Brian K. Vaughan

Since you’ve been gone– Morgan Matson

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour– Morgan Matson

The princess saves herself in this one– Amanda Lovelace

Harry Potter series– JK Rowling

The Graveyard Book– Neil Gaiman

The Night Circus– Erin Morgenstern

New favourite authors I discovered this year:

Donna Tartt– The Secret History was my first Donna Tartt book and it became an instant favourite. It is one of those books where you end up not knowing what to do with yourself after finishing it. Donna Tartt is a wordsmith goddess who is able to write the most pretentious and flawed characters in existence but still makes you love them dearly. I am really looking forward to read The Goldfinch next year!

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie– After finishing Purple Hibiscus, I knew I had to buy the rest of her books. Her perfectly detailed descriptions paint a wonderful picture of Nigeria and I loved reading about it so much. Also this book confirmed my innate love for character-driven stories and I hope the rest of her books are just as wonderful!

Anthony Doerr– I picked up The Shell Collector on a whim but I am so happy that I did. It is a collection of short stories that focus on nature and the human condition in all it’s forms. His writing will compel you to go outside and revel in the beauty of nature. He explores the experiences of different people, their suffering, grief, loneliness, hope…and unites them with the surrounding nature, giving each story a unique touch while at the same time combining them all together through the beauty of the universe. I am sure that All The Light We Cannot See will be just as beautiful.

Ali Smith– After reading Autumn I can confirm that Ali Smith is a genius when it comes to storytelling across a timeline. I was struck by her unique tone that changes according to the need of the story, from poetic, to conversational to downright crude and I think this is what makes her books so remarkable.

Disappointing Books:

All of these books mentioned were released in 2017 and this fact makes me even more disappointed because I’ve been anticipating their release for so long. I guess I need to learn not to allow the hype to get to my head…and my bank account.

> Caraval by Stephanie GarberI was so excited to read this book purely because it was constantly being compared with The Night Circus, which is my all-time favourite book. Fun fact: it has nothing to do with The Night Circus. Nada. I wasn’t a fan of Garber’s writing style at all. I felt like she was trying too hard to be poetic and atmospheric but ended up being too superficial and juvenile. I also didn’t like the romantic relationship in this book mostly because it felt quite rushed, forced and unnecessary and there are certain scenes that the book could definitely have gone without. I also hated the way Garber used suicide and abuse as plot devices and I would definitely not recommend this for those who are triggered by these topics.

> An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret RogersonReview Link 

> The Inexplicable Logic of my life by Benjamin Alire SaenzReview Link

> Origin by Dan Brown– Dan Brown’s books always tackle various interesting topics so I was really looking forward to read it, even though I’ve never been a huge fan of his writing style. I thoroughly enjoyed the discussions that this book raises and it made me want to read more about the subject. However I think this book fell flat when it came to the writing and the characters. The characters lack any sort of depth and ironically the only character I found truly interesting was an Artificial Intelligence. The writing felt childish at times and long paragraphs describing the history and general information about the subject slowed down the story way too much. I think this book would have been much more interesting if it was written as non-fiction.

Favourite Quotes:

“Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it.”

-The Secret History, Donna Tartt


“This goes to show you that sometimes the unseen is not to be feared and that those meant to love us most are not always ones who do.”

-The Language of Thorns, Leigh Bardugo


“There is no greater power on this earth than story.” Will paced the length of the room. “People think boundaries and borders build nations. Nonsense—words do. Beliefs, declarations, constitutions—words. Stories. Myths. Lies. Promises. History.” Will grabbed the sheaf of newspaper clippings he kept in a stack on his desk. “This, and these”—he gestured to the library’s teeming shelves—“they’re a testament to the country’s rich supernatural history.”


-The Diviners, Libba Bray


You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.”

-When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi


“You want to know what weakness is? Weakness is treating someone as though they belong to you. Strength is knowing that everyone belongs to themselves.”

-Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi

Looking back at all these wonderful books that I’ve read makes me even more excited for  next year and all the books that will bring with it. I hope you’ve all had a wonderful year and made some wonderful memories and I hope 2018 will be a good one! To quote Neil Gaiman:

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”


> Goodreads: My year in books

2018 || Bookish Resolutions

Being such an avid list maker, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make a list focusing on bookish resolutions for next year.  These resolutions will be my own personal guidelines that will hopefully help me along the way and motivate me to read more. This year was quite disappointing in terms of books and reading in general and I can only blame myself for being such a huge procrastinator and for my bad choice of reading material. So here are my ten bookish resolutions that will hopefully make 2018 a wonderful reading experience:

1. Do not accept books for review. I know this seems a tad bit harsh but part of the reason why I didn’t read much this year was due to the fact that I never said no when authors or publishers contacted me to review their books. This inadvertently led to me stressing out over my long list of ARCs to read and review, and all this pressure took the fun out of my reading experience. I spent long weeks in perpetual reading slumps and with constant headaches trying to read eArcs on my phone. So I apologise in advance for not accepting any review requests.

2. Read more non-fiction books and classics. This point seems to crop up in every bookish resolution that I make but this time I truly mean it! A few years ago I never would have thought of checking out the non-fiction or classics section in a bookstore mostly because I’ve always had this huge misconception that such books are boring. But this year I decided to read Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari and Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and my opinion changed completely. Non-fiction books can be as wonderful and engaging as fiction books and you can learn so much from them as well. The same can be said for classic books. My point is, don’t be scared to read a new genre…it might end up being your new favourite!

3. Read big books. Specifically A Little Life, The Goldfinch and The Bone Clock because they have been collecting dust on my shelves for way too long. I’ve always found big books intimidating, which stems from the fact that when I take a long time reading a specific book, I am more likely to fall into a reading slump. So to avoid this I will probably read a shorter book at the same time, like a poetry book or a graphic novel.

4. Participate in more Read-A-Thons because they are the best motivators to read more books. Here’s a list of the ones I will potentially take part in:

5. Finish series that I have already started. I’m talking about you Lord of the Rings. I read Fellowship of the Ring about 2 years ago and the rest of the series has been staring pleadingly on my shelves, waiting for the One Ring to be destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom. I will help you Mr. Frodo. I promise.

6. Read a Shakespeare play. The only reason why I’ve been putting this off is due to my life-long fear of the language and not being able to understand anything. But a friend of mine recommended the No Fear Shakespeare editions because they have the original text of the play on one side of the page and then the modern English version on the other. So I’m definitely giving the Bard a chance!

7. Do monthly wrap-ups on my blog. This is the only resolution that concerns this blog. As from next year I will try to do a general wrap-up at the end of each month, highlighting the books I’ve read and any monthly favorites including music, food, drinks and places I’ve visited.

8. Participate in the 2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge. The prompts seem like a lot of fun and also a great opportunity to find and read books that are not so well-known.

9. Goodreads Reading Challenge: 80 books. Despite the fact that I didn’t finish this year’s goal of 80 books, I will still attempt the same number for next year. But I will definitely not allow this challenge to stress me out and will only participate just so I could keep tabs of all the books that I read.

10. Lastly, READ FOR FUN. Do not allow any reading challenges to stress you out. Life is already taxing as it is without the added stress of books as well.

Do you have any bookish resolutions for 2018? I hope you all have a wonderful reading year!