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Emojiathon Options..

Well, you may of noticed that my reading has pretty much halted thanks to the bugger that is a reading slump. I really thought I had gotten out of it, but then with going away for the bank holiday it completely ruined any progress that I might of made to dig myself out of this slump. What better way to get out of a reading slump though, than with a readathon?

The Emojiathon is a month long readathon that is taking place throughout the whole month of September. There is a whole variety of challenges for you to try and achieve through the duration of the readathon, and each of these challenges are linked to an emoji. As always some of the challenges are very specific in what you need to read, while others allow for you to have a choice of what you want to read to fulfil the emoji; of course, all the challenges are optional and you don’t have to complete any of them if you don’t want to.

This is just going to be a list of books that could possibly be used to complete each challenge, it is not my TBR- that will go live a little later on. So lets get to it..

Book by a favourite author- This one is very much a personal choice. For me this could be a range of authors; Conn Iggulden, Philippa Gregory or Mary E Pearson. I have a large collection of books I could read for this challenge.

Read a book with your favourite colour of the cover- my favourite colour is green, so I’m bound to have a large array of books for this challenge.

Read a book you said you would read, but never did- I have a terrible habit of doing this. I’m always buying books to read straight away and then never do. Some options for me are; Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo, Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik and The Light Between Us by Katie Khan.

Give an author a second chance- this is meant to be a book by an author who you’ve given a previous book a low rating. Now a few of my options for this I have given one of their books a low rating, and another a decent rating. Such as Veronica Roth and Richelle Mead. The only author I can think of that I’ve only read one book from and given it a 3 star or less rating is Victoria Aveyard.

Read a diverse book- Not going to lie, but I’ve had to look up what books would fit for this one. I am by no means opposed to reading diverse books, but I also never really know if they are until I read them. Some of my options are, Cinder by Marissa Meyers, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor and Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman.

Read a Scary Book- I don’t really do scary, not in books or movies or anything. I can only think of two options and they are YOU by Caroline Kapnes and Lost Boy by Christina Henry. 

Read a 5 star predicted book- currently I have so many books that I feel will be 5 star reads for me, its going to be tough to choose and then interesting to know if I’m right. These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch, Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik and Everless by Sara Holland are just a few of the options.

Read a book you’ve been seeing everywhere- Lately for me the books that have been popping up a lot on my feed are Circe by Madeline Miller, The School of Good and Evil by Soman Chainani and Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton.

Read a book that takes place somewhere other than where you live- This one is super easy for me, both because I live in the UK and because I read a lot of fantasy.

Read a book set in winter- Once again I have had to look up what books are set in the winter, you picking up the point that I never really know what my books are about? The only idea I have off the top of my head is Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe, it would be a reread for me though. Other options from what I own would be, The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.  

Read a book that reminds you of your favourite song- If I’m quite honest, I have absolutely no idea for this one, no books really remind me of songs at all.

Read a book that takes place outdoors- Thankfully a lot of fantasy is all based mostly outdoors, so this gives me plenty of options, a few being: Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien and The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

Read a book that takes place in college/uni- I don’t know if Im being really dumb, but I honestly can think of any books set in university. The closest that I can think of is Harry Potter being set in a school- I know pathetic.

Read a thriller- Who doesn’t love a good thriller, I’ve got several to choose from, some of the recent one I have acquired are; Zero by Marc Elsberg, The Key by Kathryn Hughes and No Way Out by Kate Elysia

Read a book about a social justice topic- I’ll be taking this one a bit literally, there are social justice issue in most fantasy novels, so I’ll likely be running with that idea; examples are, These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch, The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Attwood and Red Rising by Pierce Brown.

Read something that’s less than 100 pages- For this the only thing I can think of is to read one of the many samplers that I have gotten in my fairyloot boxes.

Read a book that takes place on a boat- I don’t think I own a book that takes place on a boat, at least not that I know about.

Read a book in under 24 hours- I’m probably just going to see if this happens, I would bet on it probably not though.

So they are just some of my options for each of the challenges for this round of the Emojiathon. In a couple of days, I’ll be posting my actual TBR of what I am hoping to read in the month of September.

Are you partaking in the Emojiathon? What are you reading for it?

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Sunshine Blogger Award 2018

Okay, so I believe that I have done one of these in the past when I first started this blog, but as I got nominated again by the lovely Molly Breeze, I thought I would answer the questions for some fun. You can find her blog post with her answers, and nominations and questions here. Thank you so much for the nomination, I just love your questions hence why I am doing this post.

Not going to lie, I generally don’t like doing these posts, but I thought it would be fun.

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The Sunshine Blogger Award is about recognizing bloggers for being positive, inspiring, and creative. This award is voted by bloggers to acknowledge their achievements and offer support.

What are the rules of the Sunshine Blogger Award?

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link their blog so others can find them.
  • Answer the 11 questions which the blogger who nominated you asked.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers and ask them 11 different questions
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog site.

 

1.What is your favourite TV show and why?

  • To be honest, Im not overly one for TV, generally I just watch the soaps with my Nan and Netflix with my partner. One of the only shows Im overly interested in to watch each week is Handmaid’s Tale. I just adore this show, possibly more than I loved the book.

2.Do you think that printed books have become less popular in recent years due to an increase in audiobooks, kindles and podcasts etc?

  • Almost definitely. I come from a family of people who all read, but lately it seems I’m the only one to still pick up a physical book. My dad is big into audible, and although he has the physical copy, it just stays on the shelf and he listens to the audiobook. Then my Nan now mostly uses her Kindle now, and I will admit that it does seem to be cheaper; but I just don’t think you can beat the feeling of reading a physical book.

3.Which movie do you wish you could see for the first time all over again?

  • Ooo, this is a hard one. Most of my favourite films are kids movies, but Id be worried to watch it again now in case I don’t love it as much. I would probably have to say 2012 or Volcano. Yes, I am sad, I love disaster movies.

4.Name your favourite thing about where you live.

  • Well, if you’ve read my blog lately you will know that I have recently moved. Although because of my immobility currently I haven’t gotten to explore overly much, I have found two things already that I adore. I love that I can see the river from my bedroom, I love water and nature, and I can see this being the site for many photography shots in the future. Secondly, the people around here are so nice! Seriously, there is a really noticeable difference when I’m going around in the superstore using my chair. Here people stop to help you, back in my home town, people just look at you. My boyfriend helped someone get a buggy out of a café door when visiting my home town, and someone actually asked him why he did that!

5.What is your favourite item of clothing in your wardrobe right now?

  • Do PJs count? Because if so my Winnie the Pooh nightdress, its just so comfy and long enough for me to move around using my crutches with out worrying about flashing my underwear. Oh, and quick mention for my Hufflepuff hoodie as well.

6.Bath or shower, and why?

  • Bath, easily a bath. Who can refuse a bubbly hot bath, with a book and a cuppa tea?

7.Name your favourite thing in your room (can be furniture, decoration, anything really)

  • In my new house I have a mini apartment basically, I have my bedroom (obviously….), as well as my own bathroom, living room, and kitchenette. Although I haven’t set up my kitchen or finished decorating my living room yet, but even so my favourite thing has to be my elephant wall hanging that is in my bedroom. Its just so me with bright colours, and a bit of a hippy vibe- exactly what I am after for my bedroom.

8.Tell a story of when you have laughed so hard you cried.

  • Off the top of my head I cant think of anything that I’ve laughed so hard I’ve cried about, but I do have a story from the other day that me and my Nan had a good giggle about. We have a parcel box outside our front door as I struggle to get to the door for parcels, so it saves me the hassle. Sometimes though we will also get a card through the door to say that they have left a parcel in the box, which ultimately is helpful and saves unnecessary checking. But the other day, we didn’t only have a parcel in the box, but the postman had put a card saying that there was a parcel in the box, in the parcel box. I actually say the parcel before the card, rendering the card pointless.

9.Name your favourite OR least favourite thing about blogging.

  • My favourite is easily the opportunities that it can lead, and getting to share my story and thoughts. However I hate how competitive it can be. I do a lot of follow trains and comment sprees, where you are meant to all comment; I will spend hours reading and leaving comments, but most often will get no comments in reply. Its just so frustrating, we need to support each other people, that’s the only way that we can all grow.

10.Sweet or Salty popcorn?

  • Eww, no to popcorn generally!

11.Name something you are looking forward to in the near future.

  • That’s a great question; think it would have to be going to Harry Potter studios again with my little cousin. Though by the time this goes out, I may already of been. Plus, its a way away, but also going to Gran Canaria with my partner and his family, its going to be so fun.

So I’m going the rules a little now and not nominate anyone in particular. What Im going to do is list my questions, and tag people on Twitter who I think may like to answer them, this way anyone can answer if you want. Tag me in your responses and I’ll be sure to let all my followers know about your post!

1.Why and when did you start your blog?

2.What were your original aims for your blog?

3.Whats your biggest dream in life?

4. How do you organise your life generally?

5. Have you ever tried Bullet Journaling?

6.How do you practise being creative?

7.Do you believe in any level of spirituality?

8.Do you have a workout routine of any sort? Be it gym, yoga, or intense bootcamp?

9.Do you have any pets? If so what are they?

10.What are your favourite methods of selfcare? Are they different from your practised ones?

11.Do you count yourself as skilled in any way?

 

That’s it, go and have fun; I cant wait for your replies. 🙂

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Another move, another nightmare…

So moving is said to be one the hardest things to do in life, and in the two times in my memorable life it has been a bit of a disaster. Although I moved for the first time when I was very young, I have none but sketchy memories; but in the past two years, or really less than a year and a half, I have had to move twice. I use the word ‘had’ as neither time did we have much or a choice.

I’ve written about both of my moves previously, as you can see here, and here. If you’ve read these posts you will pick up the fact that neither of these moves have been smooth, or very well planned to be honest; now here is the second half of what happened during this latest move. DSC_0201

Firstly it might be worth noting that I did something highly stupid the night before this move; I managed to fall down the stairs. On my Twitter you will of noticed that I have mentioned this several times, as it has left me wheelchair bound, or needing the crutches at the very least for the past 2 months. Just to quickly note, this was in no way done on purpose, and am being investigated medically to work out why it happened.

With this having happened on the Thursday night, we moved on the Friday morning. As you can imagine with an eventful evening we didn’t manage to get everything we wanted done. Several cupboards were left unpacked, and none of the furniture had been dismantled ready for being loaded into the moving lorry. Thankfully we had my partner as well as my Nan staying the night so it was all hands on deck in the morning, throwing the last of the bits in boxes, finding things that could be used as boxes when we ran out, and then making furniture easier to move, and highly importantly clean.  DSC_0196

I think we would of been done no trouble if I hadn’t been out of action, and my partner Ash hadn’t had to run off to go to work. Oh and did I mention that the moving men were USELESS! Rude, messy and generally inconsiderate doesn’t even touch on it. It got to a point that I was worried what they would do if Barney got under their feet or in their way, so I ended up sitting with him on his long line, that way I had full control.

As if that wasn’t enough, we found out on the Thursday afternoon that we had been refused the house because of our references. If you’d read about the events that lead up to this move you will know that there has been endless issues, miscommunications and general stupidity. I will probably write a post specifically all about the issues that have continued with our old landlord so again, I wont go too into it right now. But lets just say that once again, we were given the short end of the stick, stuck between two people argument.

Anyway, we sorted it out so that we did get the house, and lets just say that this was fully down to my Uncle. Only problem was, it meant that instead of getting into the new house at 9am, we didn’t get in until 4.30pm. If you’ve ever moved, then you will know that this is a nightmare! You only have the moving people for a specific amount of time, and ours was only until 5. Ultimately this meant that we had to pay to get a very large storage lock up (costing about £350 a month), and put pretty much all of our belongings into it. That included all 500+ of my books. DSC_0232
I guess I should be thankfully that we did manage to get all three of our beds here, and at least four of our five sofas. Sadly though, that was about it in terms of the furniture. Once again, my Uncle was the life saver along with my cousin, who came over with their van to help move the last of the stuff, which included both of the animal cages, and most of the things we need for day to day care of the pets.

This went on to the Saturday, but I was again out of action having to sit in A&E to try and work out if Id done any damage during the fall. But we had the full team working on finishing the move, cleaning the house and getting the new house somewhere near to set up. I really can not thank my Nan, Uncle, partner and my Dads partner enough with all the help that they gave us that weekend to make it somewhere bearable.

As if none of that was enough, those terrible moving men that I mentioned, managed to ‘lose’ my xbox along with all of its games, controllers and accessories, plus my Dads high tech multi room speakers.

You have probably got the idea by now, that this was not a very good move, and I am sure that it still causing me and my father stress. There is still a legal issue going on with the old landlord, we still have loads of stuff in storage that we need a bigger van to move, and some highly frustrating issues within the new house including no hot water for about 3 weeks.

I will give you more updates as things progress, and also planning a tour of my rooms once I have them all finished up.

Have you ever had to move? What was your experiences?

 

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My 3rd attempt at year 2…

I started my degree with the Open University four years ago now, and yet I’m still only on my second year out of a six year course.

When I originally signed up with the Open University I was doing a Classical Studies degree, which is what I thought I truly wanted to do, but when I started the second year I realised that it really wasn’t. Thankfully they are so nice, that I was able to switch my degree across to an Open degree meaning I could study anything I wanted each year, that’s what I’m still working towards.

So, why is it taking me three attempts? DSC_0198

If you have followed the blog for a little while, then you will be aware that it has not been an easy ride. Almost two years ago now, I lost Grandad, and my parents split up. Both of these things hit me hard, and grief was not an easy concept for me to grasp as I was going through it. For a while, I tried to maintain my study at the same time and to be quite honest, I just found that it all got too much. In the end, I had to leave work and study, to take the time to get used to the new situation and manage my own mental health. Turns out I really didn’t like the unit either.DSC_0205
I thought that this helped a lot, so I restarted (although a different unit) the following October. All I hadn’t taken into consideration was that in the time between ending the previous unit and then starting the next, I had been diagnosed with ME and Fibromyalgia, so was therefore on very strong pain relief.

After about five months, and three extensions, I realised that the Tramadol was having a serious effect of my ability to focus and absorb any information. I also had several issues with very not understanding tutors who seemed to think that chronic pain and fatigue wasn’t a thing that could affect someone’s day to day life. So in the end, I was left with no choice but to walk away from studying for another year. DSC_0234
That leads me to now. I am about to restart the same unit as last year again in October. This time I feel a lot more prepared, I have a great support system all around me, and am really excited for it. Over the summer I had been meaning to complete one of their free courses in Creative Writing. I will definitely be picking that up at some point again and let you all now how I found it.

But in the next month before my course starts, I will be trying to get myself prepped. The idea is for me to create a study plan, doing some reading early, and start to establish a routine.

Are you going back to university? What difficulties have you found with studying?

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Psychological Rollercoaster…

Anyone who has ever struggled with mental health of any variety will know that rollercoaster you can go through in just one short week. Such a small event, one that may cause you a bit grief, can then lead to lots of seemingly insignificant things being deeply upsetting. This can lead to flare ups throughout your mental health. This is exactly what has been happening to me this past week. My anxiety and depression has been up in the air, leading to me losing all routine with the blog, twitter, and just generally in all life aspects.

Last Sunday, one of my little gerbils passed away. He had been a bit off all week, and my father then found him asleep on Sunday morning. I wasn’t overly surprised, as he was nearly four years old he was a fine age, not to mention that he had gone through cancer surgery. I will be writing more about his passing in the near future.DSC_0194

But it does not matter however prepared you are, a loss of a pet is always hard, however big or small you grow to love any creature you look after for a significant amount of time.

See, although I was obviously upset about this, it also felt like an element of relief as it meant I knew he was no longer suffering in any way. Of course I had concerns as to how his brother would cope on his own, but generally I felt alright. However this putting me in a slightly bad place on Sunday, had a big knock on effect to the rest of the week.DSC_0200

I wont go into detail about most of the events that followed as many of them are personal and many to do with things that have happened this year that I would prefer to keep to myself.

However nothing all that major happened, but it was enough to cause my depression to flare. I found myself being sent further and further down a negative spiral, each thing impacting me more and more. It got to a point where I just couldn’t handle even the slightest bit of negativity. Hence why I ended up taking a complete break from the blog, and an almost complete break from Twitter. DSC_0217

Sometimes you just have to take a step back as otherwise life could just get the better of you. When you have unstable mental health even the simplest of things can give you a bit of a bump, and set you on a psychological rollercoaster for the following period. But you have to make the time for yourself, to look after your own mental and physical health. This is what I was doing last week.

I now hope to step my game up again, and work on content for the rest of the month. Also, I am planning a giveaway for when I hit 1k followers on Twitter, so be sure to check out my twitter for more details.

What do you find can cause your mental health problems?

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My Current Go-To albums.. #1

Well I have been saying that I want to mix up my content lately, and I thought this one would be a bit of a change. I have always been a music fan, but with the summer weather, and a quite a few long car journeys with my partner, we have been having some really amazing singing duets!

My top album for this has to be Badlands by Halsey. I have been listening to this for several months now and I must know all the words to everything apart from Drive. You may not of heard of this album, as it is not allowed to be played on the Radio due to the amount of bad language and some of the general themes in the lyrics. This aside, I love these songs and I just feel like I can relate to a lot of them.

‘I think there’s a flaw in my code
These voices won’t leave me alone’ Gasoline 

For the last few months, I have had many of the songs from Anne-Marie’s Speak Your Mind Deluxe album. The radio has butchered the remix of Friends though, I understand that they have to take out the swearing but for me, by just taking out a whole section, has left the song lacking something. For some reason this has really be frustrating me. Three best songs from this album are easily, 2002, Friends and Ciao Adios. This just feels like a perfect summer album to me.

‘F-R-I-E-N-D-S
That’s how you fucking spell “friends”‘ FriendsI know I said that this was going to be go to albums, but I have to mention this one song. To begin I had only heard it on tv during adverts, but then found the actual song on deezer, and that song is Leave a Light On by Tom Walker. Once again, the radio remix, which has upped the tempo, put in more base, and just added a very odd vocal to it, has completely butchered the original. If you want a beautiful song, with powerful lyrics and just something to make you smile, then definitely search for the original of this song.

‘If you look into the distance, there’s a house upon the hill
Guiding like a lighthouse it’s a place where you’ll be
Safe to feel our grace ’cause we’ve all made mistakes’ Leave a Light OnMy fourth and final album for this list is One More Light by Linkin Park. When this came out last year I was really not very sure about it, but since seeing it live before Chester sadly passed away, and then listening to it many many more times, I would now be lost without this album. Its one of those that really rocks the emotions inside you, and can leave you feeling both broken and empowered all at the same time.

‘Sharp edges have consequences, I
Guess that I had to find out for myself
Sharp edges have consequences, now
Every scar is a story I can tell’ Sharp Edges

So that is it for my first list of go to albums/songs. I think this is a blog post that I will do a new edition of every quarter or so, let me know what you think and what you’d like to see in the future on the blog.

What are your current go to albums?

Here are just a handful of the other songs that I have regularly been turning on to listen to this past few months.

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Books to read before 2019

I know, I know, its a bit of an odd time for this post. Normally its the sort of thing that you would see around the middle of the year, and as its now August, I have missed that. But with my current state of being in a reading slump, I find these posts to be useful for getting motivation back for reading.

In this list is a mixture of proof books, books that have been on my shelf for what feels like forever, as well as some new releases that I just cant wait for. I’m going to keep this list short as I don’t want to be too over ambitious, after all, I will need to get out of this reading slump to begin with. We will see over time how it all turns out.

My first has to be Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik, I have this sitting on my shelf, looking at me longingly, I don’t want to pick this up until I know I’m going to read it cover to cover in just a couple of days. However I am truly hoping that this will be some point in this month.Lately I’ve been reading the Harry Potter books back in order, sadly though this is taking an awful lot longer than it needs to be. I cant even remember exactly when I started this but I’m only on Goblet of Fire. So I am determined to at least read this one, if not more of them, before it turns to 2019; this is just shocking, I’m almost embarrassed to admit how poorly I am doing with this series.

Although still dubious as to when I will manage to get my hands on a copy of this, I will be reading it this year no matter what; that book is Dance of Thieves by Mary E Pearson. I read the Remnant Chronicles back to back in February, and absolutely adored it, so when I found out there was going to be another book in the same world I just knew I would adore it. I have to admit though, I am very confused as to when it actually will be coming out in the UK, so I have two pre-orders for it as I refuse to wait longer than I have to.

I think the final book I’m going to put on this list is Lancelot by Giles Kristian. I grabbed this on one of my weekly food shops, and although I have heard nothing about this yet, I am truly excited to get to it. Giles Kristian is one of those authors that has always been on my list of authors to try, but this novel just sounded like the perfect one for me.

Do you have a list of books you want to read before the end of the year? What is on your list?