But I’m not really quitting blogging anyway (since I know you all couldn’t live without my blog post’s 😉 even if the are so rare!) I’ve just had a little bit of a situation. By situation I basically mean I have no wifi in my new house yet, because the post office seem to be the biggest pile of poo ever. But my lovely neighbours have let me use theres until mine gets sorted.
Funny story actually, I went for two weeks without actually meeting my neighbours, then one night while I was on my todd playing xbox, I heard some noises outside. So being as nosey as I am I went outside to investigate (in my dressing gown, pj’s and slippers) and interrupted a group of teenagers breaking into their shed. I know its a bit mental to just run outside and shout at burglars, but in all honesty they weren’t the brightest bunch of criminals I’d ever met. They ran off, I knocked on my neighbours door, police turned up etc. To cut a long story short it turns out I have two very lovely neighbours and wifi access! (After writing this little rant turns out wifi will be live on the 21st of this month!, only took since the beginning of January!)
In terms of the house it’s turning into a lovely little home. We have few more bits to buy and things to do, but its so nice to have a space that’s totally our own 🙂 . I think the thing I’m most excited about is having a work room, (no more working in my bedroom and getting paint all over my bed!). I have a few posts planned with DIY’s, room décor etc so keep an eye out for those.
Anyway thanks to those of you who keep popping back regularly, I keep seeing a few familiar IP addresses, it’s nice to know you’re enjoying my posts. (What little of them I’ve been doing!) Let me know how you all are in the comments 🙂
Today I thought I’d do a round up of my favourite books of 2016. As you guys know I read A LOT. Reading is life. I’ve read a lot of books last year, some great, some that I really couldn’t get into. I’ve also discovered some amazing new authors. These are in no particular order, I don’t think I could pick a favourite book if my life depended on it! I have reviewed all of these, so just click on the title to read a more in depth review.
The Girl On The Train By Paula Hawkins: Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ll have seen the hype surrounding this book, and it really does live up to it. I really enjoyed reading this, it was so addictive!
The Accident By C.L Taylor: I’ve enjoyed a lot of Cally Taylors books this year, but this one stood out to me the most. I love the writing style, and the use of flashbacks and how they tell the story. If you enjoy psychological thriller’s Cally Taylor is definitely an author to look into.
What She Never Told Me By Kate Mcquaile:This is one of those books where you think you’re getting a resolution, then another plot twist hits you. It kept me up late, and I couldn’t put the book down. A great one if you like mysteries!
Downfall by Stephen Edgar: I struggled to pick a favourite book because I really enjoyed all of the books in Stephen’s written. What I love about his books is how the stories all cross over each other and you get to really know the character. If you’re looking for a good series to get into I’d recommend checking these out on the kindle store. Also check out the link for an interview with Stephen
How I Lost You by Jenny Blackhurst: One for fans of thrillers and mystery. This book was brilliant, it follows the story of how a mother was imprisoned for killing her son, but then finds out he might not be dead after all. It was gripping!
No Kiss Goodbye by Jenelle Harris: Another mystery/ thriller book (anybody sensing a theme here) Although this story got a little confusing at times, the writing was brilliant and I loved all the twists and turns. It makes you question everything, and it’s one of those books you have to go back and read again just see if you can find any clues.
So these are my favourite books of the year. I wanted to keep it to a top 5 but it was impossible. I’ve read so many books this year and I really enjoyed the majority of them, so picking 6 was really difficult. What are your favourite books of 2016? What will you be reading in 2017? Let me know in the comments. Also let me know if you have any recommendations.
This year has gone so quickly! It literally seems like 2 minutes ago I was writing this same post for 2016.
It’s been a mixed year in terms of my personal life to be honest. There’s been lots of highs and lows. I’ve switched jobs twice and now I’m in a job I love, moved to Leeds, then got a new house in Doncaster (more on that here), passed my driving test and bought a car. I’ve struggled with anxiety, stress and exhaustion (mainly due to the job I had, driving in Leeds for 15 hours a day is not fun!) and then the progression of my granddad’s illness (He suffers from Alzheimer’s : I explain more about that in this post). The one thing that’s got me through these shitty times is Dan. I don’t want to be that person who feels the need to plaster their love for their partner all over the internet, but I really want to acknowledge just how supportive he’s been through all of this. I’m so thankful for this, and I’m very lucky to have him in my life. 2016 has been a good year for making new friends too, I’m going to do a blog post on that soon (meeting friends in the strangest circumstances).
It’s been a mixed year in terms of my blog too. I’ve had burst of posting and then had periods where I don’t post much. (You can check out reasons why I’m a shit blogger here) I’ve become a lot more open on my blog this year, and started talking about more personal topics and things in my life that I struggle with. This was such an intimidating thing to do, especially knowing how cruel people can be on the internet and being aware of who is following my blog, but I’m so glad I did it. I had such a lot of support from people and a lot of people tell me that the posts have helped them which far outweighs any negativity. I’ve also really enjoyed my Book Review Sunday series, and I’m going to carry this on, I’ve even started a little book diary so I can keep track of all the books I’m reading.
So these were my goals this time last year:
Blogging – Plan more, better pictures and more videos. Do a “make it with me series” and a “recipe of the week series”. Keep on top of a blogging schedule: This one kind of worked out, I did plan more and take better pictures. I stopped filming when I moved as I didn’t have the time with my new job and had nowhere suitable to film. The make it with me series and the recipe series did fall through due to not having a lot of time.
Pass my driving test: This one I achieved! Learning to drive, and actually driving was one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done, but it’s being able to drive and having a car has been brilliant and given me a lot more opportunities.
Loose a little bit of weight and exercise more (standard!): Again kind of half and half with this one. I’m like a turkey, I fatten up for Christmas!
Try some more beauty brands: I have most certainly achieved this one!
Keep on top of my skincare routine and don’t get lazy : Other then a few occasions I have pretty much stuck to this one
Complete my teaching assistant course: I haven’t completed my course, with everything going on it kind of took a back seat. But I do have a job in education so I have achieved this in a way
Move house: I moved house (into a house share which was not the original goal, but I’m counting it!) and now I’m moving into my own house with Dan in the next few weeks.
Make my new house into a home.
Eat healthier, exercise more. (This is a standard year to year one!)
Do more creative projects
Start up my little business again. (More on that in another post!)
Be more consistent with posting. (GoDaddy have just charged me £75 to renew my domain name and website so that’s a good motivation!)
Start making videos again.
Keep up book review Sunday posts
Post more craft/ DIY projects
Post more food related posts
Obviously this list of goals is on-going and will probably be added to as the year progresses and life changes. I hope all you guys enjoyed this post, and thank you so much for sticking with me this year. I had a look at my stats today and I couldn’t believe just how many of you have visited over the last year! Let me know how 2016 was for you in the comments and any goals and dreams you have for 2017. Happy New Year!!!
Today’s book is an author I’ve reviewed before and recently got back into Kathryn Croft (See reviews for The girl with no past and The stranger within) . I always enjoy Kathryn Croft’s books and this one was no different.
“Every decision has a consequence… Trying to pick up the pieces after the break-up of her marriage, Olivia Taylor begins to rebuild her life with her nine-year-old daughter, Ellie. But she soon finds out there is far worse to come. Meeting her new neighbour, Michael Crossman, sets in motion a chain of events with horrifying consequences, and Olivia must fight to hold her life together. Because sometimes dreams can turn to nightmares.”(blurb taken from Amazon)
Firstly I really liked the way this book was set out. The first paragraph of every chapter is the present day, then the rest of the chapter is the past. This confused me a little at first, but when I actually realised what was going on it was pretty easy to follow. You see everything in first person from Olivia’s point of view. I also found it really interesting how she never refers to her neighbour by his name it’s always “you” which gives the sense she is speaking directly to him or writing him a letter or some sort. The book follows Olivia and Michael’s relationship over the course of a few years, and her relationship with her daughter Ellie, ex husband carl and Michael’s sister Chloe. A key theme throughout the book is emotional abuse within relationships and how it effects all these people.
I really enjoyed this book, I read it in a day pretty much, it was so gripping. Kathryn does an amazing job of creating tension and suspense. There’s a brilliant twist at the end of the book which I didn’t see coming at all.
I’d highly recommend checking out this book if you like thrillers, it’s a little dark, but it fits in brilliantly.
& nearly time for the obligatory “new year, new me” social media post’s. But I actually have a pretty big change happening in the new year. I’m moving house again!
If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I moved to Leeds this summer after I got a new job and had moved into a house share, but after a lot of thinking, I’ve decided to move back home for a bit. I’m quite excited about this thought because I actually have my own house, it’s currently being redecorated but I’m moving in around new year time. I actually can’t wait to have a house to furnish and make into a home. Expect lots of DIY post’s in the new year.
There’s a few reasons I’m moving out of Leeds for now, the main reason being my Grandad. I wrote a post a while back explaining this (here) but to cut it short my granddad has Alzheimer’s and the disease seems to have progressed very quickly these past few months. I visit him whenever I got back to my parents, and 2 out of the last 3 times I’ve been, he hasn’t known who I was. I don’t actually have the words to explain how heart breaking this is was. So I want to be in a position where I can visit him frequently and see as much of him as possible until the inevitable happens. Also with me living in the same village if anything does happen I can be there quickly and not have to drive an hour through traffic.
That’s actually another reason I want to move out of Leeds, driving in Leeds is the worst! I passed my driving test in February, so me being the absolute genius that I am decided to move to busy and confusing city and get a job that basically required me to drive around the city for 15 hours a day (No I wasn’t a taxi driver and thankfully I’m out of that job now). I literally feared for my life on a daily basis, even driving back to Doncaster scares me. I’m quite a nervous driver anyway, I don’t trust other drivers at all and people get so impatient and angry on the roads in Leeds so it’ll be a bonus not to have to deal with that everyday.
Leeds is a pretty cool city, but I miss not being able to go for a walk down the river and more importantly I miss not having a pub down the road. And I think I’m far too old for a house share, don’t get me wrong my housemates are all lovely, but I want to be able to have a whole house to myself and not have all my stuff in one room, or wait in line to use the washing machine.
So I’m pretty excited for the new year! Let me know if you have any exciting things coming up in 2017!
As you guys know, I’m really passionate about small businesses, especially handmade crafts, as I was one myself. I really wanted to do a Christmas gift ideas on my blog since I didn’t do one last year, and I thought it would be a great idea to feature handmade items and small businesses. There’s something so special about buying from a small business and having something made especially for you or somebody else. So I asked the Facebook group I’m a member of to share their pages with me, and the comments section has been filled up with some beautiful makes. I really wish I could feature everyone but I’d probably still be here until next Christmas writing if I did! (All links to pages will be in the titles)
Funky Punk Jewellery is a quirky jewellery brand which features lots of unique pieces, all handmade and all affordable. My personal favourite is this moon and Gemstone necklace (only £5!). These would make great stocking fillers!
How magical are these lanterns? There’s a wide range of designs on here, from fairy lanterns, to harry potter themes, to quotes, so you could find something to suit everybody. This one is my personal favourite (£13) and would look so lovely on a fireplace!
This pages make’s quite a lot of items including baubles, wooden decorations and frames. I really like this one as it’s a lovely way to remember a loved one, and would make a really lovely present for somebody who may have lost somebody they care about.
Again a mix of products on this page including frames, glasses and stationary. Obviously my favourite product was going to be this button coaster set! (£10 for the set). This would make a great gift for somebody who loves quirky, shabby chic style items. The last order date for Christmas delivery is Sunday the 11th.
Dog’s are amazing. They’re loyal, cuddly, slobbery and can cheer you up even if you’ve had the worst day. So they should get Christmas presents too right? The Beagles Bakery has lots of goodies for pets, if you want to spoil your pooch this Christmas!
I’ve seen Shannon’s artwork pop up in my news feed from time to time, and every single time it just blows me away how talented this lady is. Her artwork is stunning and would make a perfect joint gift for a couple, or for an animal lover. She has originals and print available to buy on her page.
I know I’ve included something similar but I couldn’t not mention these. They are stunning! I particularly like the uncle frame, as it’s really unusual and uncles are so hard to buy for! The last day for postal orders is Friday so you need to be quick!
There’s lots of lovely gifts on this page, but I’m loving the pamper sets! In this set you get a sugar scrub, a bath salt, a lip butter and a lip scrub. There’s mint chocolate, honey, almond and vanilla and chocolate orange. These are all handmade and cost £24. Perfect for a beauty lover.
There’s some beautiful handcrafted items on this page, wood burnt items on this page. Personally I love the wooden spoons and egg cups. Worth checking out if you want something unique and personalised.
These are just a few of my favourites, I wish I could have featured everyone as there is some fantastic talent on the group (craft, craft and more craft on Facebook if you want to join) Please support handmade this Christmas 🙂 Also if you know of any hidden handmade gems, or you run a small business, please feel free to leave the link in the comments!