3 Years Later.

I don’t know why every year I’m surprised at how long it has been since my accident. That day changed my life completely and I didn’t even know it at the time. Long story short for those of you who are new here, when I was at uni I had a horse riding accident. It was what seemed like a simple fall which lead to me think I was fine, despite an ambulance trip. After 2 weeks,  a doctors visit, another visit and then an emergency hospital visit I was told I had damaged four vertebrae in my spine. And, so it began.

I’m not going to write a whole post on the past 3 years and everything that happened since, instead, I want to focus on now. As I write this I’m in a job I’ve been wanting to be in since I was at university, I have a flat, friends and a wonderful partner. That’s all well and good but it is still a struggle. I have been in pain since the accident and I will continue to be in some form for the rest of my life because of the damage that was done.

There are days when I’m depressed, where I think why did his happen to me? When I want to pack everything in and lay in bed. I don’t I carry on, I lean on the wonderful people around me when I need to. I take pride in my job, my blog and the things I have and continue to achieve. Of course, I do get upset that I can’t easily go and do things that others my age can. Going out and being on my feet all night? Nope, not happening. Taking part in a sport or intense exercise? Not a pretty ending. I miss riding, I miss standing at the front of gigs but I try not to focus too much.

Mostly, I’m using what happened as something to remind me how far I’ve come and how much more I can, and will do. I’m working on a new idea, which relates to what happened (and that’s all I’m saying for now). I’m trying to forgive myself when I do struggle and need to ask for help. I’m getting through, each day as it comes, I’m accepting the fact that I have to do things a little differently.

I’m fully aware that this post is probably a brain dump, it’s also not my most eloquent post but that’s what it’s like. I don’t want sympathy, it is what it is and I’m here, I can still walk and I’m still going. That’s all that matters.

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Mini Harry Potter Primark Haul!

Hello fellow Witches, Wizards and Muggles.

I recently popped up to London with my Mum and might have happened to fall into Primark Oxford Street. Which means I might have visited the Harry Potter section in all its glory. Although I’m actually glad my local doesn’t have as much stuff or I would probably be living on beans on toast. Anyway, I wanted to share with you my mini haul from the trip so let’s get started!

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Socks and Earrings! 

I don’t think I own an adult pair of socks, they’re pretty much all character socks of some description. I’ve seen the Dobby socks for a while at my local Primark but the Honeydukes ones were nowhere to be seen. So now both sets are sitting nicely in my draw. #sorrynotsorry I also picked up these adorable earrings with little Potter symbols and they might well inspire a more permanent magical symbol…

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Hogwarts Letter Purse 

Again, this is one that I’ve been searching for forever and it feels like such good quality. I think this was about £6.00 and I’m in love with it. But the front isn’t even the best part…

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Look at it! I’m just so in love with it and I would have paid so much more for it. So in love.

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PJs 

I also picked up some new PJs with shorts rather than longer leggings. I hadn’t seen this design before it’s in a really lovely cream and dark red colour with Stars, the Sorting Hat, Keys, Broomsticks. They’re really comfy too.

Harry Potter Firebolt Funko Pop

Bonus – Harry Potter Funko

Ok so this wasn’t from Primark but it was from London and the first Funko I have bought in SO LONG. I have the majority of Potter Funkos but there’s still some I’m chasing. Anyway, this was an exclusive Harry with Firebolt and I love it.

 

So that’s my mini haul! What did you like? If you want to see my previous hauls you can click here for the most recent!

Book Review: How To Stop Time – Matt Haig

How to Stop Time - Matt Haig

When you look at Tom all you would see is a 40 something History teacher but he’s a little odd, that’s because Tom is actually 400 years old. Living for centuries can take it’s toll and lately Tom is finding it more and more difficult each day. With pressure from the secret society, created to protect people like him and increasingly falling into the past can Tom hold it together or will this push him to the edge?

This is the first novel I’ve read from Matt Haig and I’m kicking myself for waiting so long! I picked it up on offer and thought it looked interesting, a good choice. The character of Tom was fantastic and incredibly well thought out. Like the rest of us he is flawed, he’s made mistakes. We learn about times of Witch trials, adventures with Shakespeare, Fitzgerald and more. Each is woven into the novel seamlessly, I didn’t feel like I was jumping from century to century.

The idea of a secret society, of people being around us and not knowing was addictive. I couldn’t stop, I needed to reach the end and find out what was going to happen to Tom. There needed to be the element of danger I feel to really make the story stand out so the combination of the society and a certain beautiful French teacher was added perfectly.

I gave this 4.5 stars, a fantastic read that really drew me in. It’s hard to combine different time periods but Haig did it so well. The only reason I didn’t give this the full five stars is that I felt the ending as a little rushed for me. I can’t really say more than that as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone! That said, there would be a fantastic opportunity to have a sequel which I would love!

You can get your own copy of How to Stop Time here with my Amazon link!

How To Start A Blog

How to Start a Blog

So in the last two or so years, I’ve had something interesting keep happening. A lot of people I know on Facebook or in person have come to me to ask how they would go about setting up a blog of their own. When this first happened I was so confused, me? It was weird. I didn’t feel like a huge authority on blogging but then I got it…

I’ve been blogging for about 7 years now, I feel like I’ve got a good following and people saw me as being the one to talk to. Then someone asked if I’d write a post about starting and I thought, why not? So, here’s my way of setting up a blog.

Choose your blog name 

This is where a lot of people start and then stop. This is hard and you need to find something that suits what you’re about. I’ve seen some great quirky ones but also using your name is fine as well! It’s completely up to you.

Choose your platform and theme 

Personally, I like WordPress because it’s just easy to use so I mention it to everyone. There are a lot of others you can use and all have their merits but I’m 100% a WordPress girl! To start though trial something for free, I didn’t start paying for my blog until a few years ago because it was something I wanted to do, the same goes for themes there are a lot of great free ones before you go ahead and pay money out!

Note down some ideas of what you want to write about 

Blogging needs some consistency as in posting a minimum of once a week to start. There’s no point in putting out 5 blogs at once and then nothing at all for 3 weeks. Spread it out and remember scheduling is your friend!

Follow other bloggers and interact 

The blogging community is brilliant, so make sure you interact with them. There are Twitter chats to join in on every single night and it’s a great way to get hints and tips as well as views! Also, read and comment on other blogs.

Welcome to blogging! 

So, there are a few things to get you started! Blogging is fantastic and a great way to get to know yourself better and get better at your passion. I’d love to see new blogs so make sure you link them in the comments or if you have any more questions about blogging you can email me at chloefmetzger@gmail.com for a chat!

London Book Fair Haul!

Hello beautiful people!

This week I finally went to the London Book Fair. I’d heard a lot of great things but never had the reason/money to go. So when I was invited to attend as part of the Book Blog awards I snapped it up. On the note of should you go, it was a weird experience for me. I did notice that there wasn’t a lot of awareness in regards to Book Bloggers (a lot of the people on stands seemed either confused or disinterested which was a shame) so I did feel a little awkward.

Will I go again next year? I’m not sure. I did really enjoy seeing more of the book industry but at the same time, it kind of opened my eyes. I do feel there’s a lack of diversity in the industry. When I looked into going into publishing as a student there was little to no way of getting in without doing unpaid experience, which wasn’t an option for me. I really think it’s something that needs to be looked at and it kind of proved itself at the fair.

BUT I did speak to some lovely companies who wanted to talk and took my card. To further that a few of them also gave me some copies of various books so I wanted to share them with you!

 

Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls 2

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2 – published by Timbuktu Labs 

I spoke to the wonderful team at Timbuktu basically just gushing about how much I love these books, how wonderful they are etc.  Amazingly, I was given a copy of the second book as well as an awesome tote bag. I was also reminded of the new podcast which has gone up recently which I need to check out and can’t wait to. The guys here were awesome and if you want my thoughts on the first book you can find them here.

Paper Girls

Paper Girls – published by Image 

This was another instance of me gushing about how many graphic novels I loved that Diamond distributed. So Diamond are the distributors for so many of the graphic novels I love. After talking I was offered to take home something from the stand, so I picked up this beautiful copy of Paper Girls vol 1. So, so pretty.

The Man on the Middle Floor

The Man on the Middle Floor published by Red Door Books

I saw this advertised everywhere in London and the person on the stand was so lovely and pushed it into my hands. This is apparently a murder with a mystery element and I’m not sure I would have picked it up myself but I’m glad to give it a read.

Tubing

Tubing published by Red Door Books

Also handed to be by Red Door, this is one I’ve been looking forward to. This is a thriller set in London and deals with living an unfulfilled life, jealousy and violence…I think? I’ll keep you posted                                            The Old You

The Old You by Louise Voss 

I was handed this while I was sitting down by a random person and funnily enough, I wanted to be on a blog tour for this a while ago but unfortunately there weren’t enough copies. This is another thriller, there were a lot of those, about a woman whose husband has dementia and things start getting sinister and it looks at who to believe. I really hope it’s a good representation.

Her Name Was Rose

Her Name Was Rose – Claire Allen

So, I know nothing about this book. Someone had just left this ARC on the floor and I decided to give it a loving home. After looking it up it centres around a woman who kills a young mother in a car accident and how she cannot move on. Other than that I’m not sure so I’m going into this knowing not much and I’ll keep you posted.

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And that is all of them! Are any of these on your TBR piles? Any you can recommend? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

Book Review: Stacey Dooley on the frontline with the women who fight back – Stacey Dooley

Stacey Dooley Book Review

This year it has been 10 years since Stacey Dooley first appeared on our screens with her trademark Luton accent, fiery hair and entirely different way of reporting. In her first book, Stacey looks back on some of her most challenging documentaries and the ones that made her.

I’ve been a fan of Stacey for years now because of how human she is when she’s interviewing. You can tell she cares about the people and the topics, there’s not stiff upper lip that we’re used to seeing on TV and thank goodness! So, when I heard she was releasing a book I added it to my wish list. I actually ended up listening to the audiobook which I fully recommend.

You don’t have to have watched all of Stacey’s documentaries to enjoy the book, there were some I hadn’t watched (I’ve since gone back and found them) and I still found Stacey’s input fascinating. This adds a whole other level to what we have watched. Of course, Stacey has to be professional but she still has heart and reading the internal struggles she faced made it hit home even harder. She see’s these women as human, which they deserve to be.

From women who escaped ISIS to the horrific violence faced by women in Honduras, Stacey captures the stories of women worldwide. We’re also let into Stacey’s reservations about travelling to various parts of the world, the threats she faces and her reasons for going to such dangerous places. What made it so real to me was Stacey not telling her Mum some of the real places she’d travelled to until she got back.

I gave this 4.5 stars and can highly recommend listening to Stacey read the book herself if you can. If you loved Stacey’s documentaries and want to know more about the conditions that women around the world live in then this is an excellent place to start. I warn you though, you’ll want to go and watch her documentaries again after reading!

Dealing With Anxiety Attacks

Dealing with Anxiety Attacks

You know the drill, your heart is pounding, thoughts racing and breathing suddenly becomes a little harder. It could have been the tiniest thing, something that most people wouldn’t even register but you have and your brain is in overdrive. A good old Anxiety Attack.

I’ve been living with these beauties since I was around 15 years old, I think. I’ve always been a worrier but Anxiety is a whole different thing. I’ve had an anxiety attack in the supermarket. Why? No idea. Just found myself feeling like I was going to pass out while in the pastry bit. And I love pastry.

So, how do you actually deal with them? Because that’s what has to be done. I can’t go and crawl into bed and let it pass, that would be great but it’s not what real life is. I’m a big fan of using your senses, you might have heard of this method before. When I feel like I’m falling into an attack I try to do the following

What can I see?  Focus on that and only that for a few seconds.

What can I touch? Think about it, what’s the texture, what is it?

What can I hear? Zone in on a particular sound or the silence if there is some and hold on to it.

What can I smell? Take a deep breath, can I smell anything? What is it? Where does it come from?

The only one that isn’t on here is taste…because it doesn’t really work.

 

That’s one method I use if I’m in a better place I’ll also talk to myself in my head, it’s like I have two sides to my brain. There’s a calm and collected side and the anxious side, sometimes the calm side wins, sometimes the anxious one does, they both put up a fight. Basically, I try to talk myself into being logical because anxiety makes your heart feel like there’s a lion in front of you when there’s not. I ask myself questions and try to think through things carefully.

So, these are some of my ways of dealing with Anxiety. They might not be perfect and I know that I’m not a professional but this is just how I’ve been dealing with them. Is there anything you would add? I’m always up for learning more! Let me know in the comments below!

carrying on surviving the past year

Carrying On: Surviving the Past Year

Hello, hello, hello

I know, why am I talking about the past year when it’s April? You see the past year has been tough, really damn tough. It was unexpected and difficult and at times I didn’t really know how I was going to get through it all. I wish that was me being dramatic, I really do.

Career Changes

Aaaaaand this is where it kicked off. In April 2017 I was let go from a Marketing job. To be fair I wasn’t happy in it and now I know it was a good thing, a really good thing. So I did some temp work, some more work which turned out to be temp work before I found my current job. Now I do what I wanted to do when I graduated, I work in Social Media. I love doing extra research, looking at stats and people listen to what I have to say! That said my confidence took a really bad hit for a chunk of the year but I’m back guys!

 

Relationships!

So, Ali is a Sound Engineer and back in April 2017 he hadn’t done much travelling for work. We also hadn’t spent more than 2 weeks apart since we were 13 and 14. Everything changed in that regard this year. Now we’re used to spending time apart from a few nights to two months after a busy summer and his first tour. When it first came around I panicked, I cried and I was petrified of sleeping alone. Now? I miss him but hello, double bed for one? Yes, please.

Personal Challenges

Only a few days after losing my job, I lost my second Dwarf Hamster, Hamski. That was heartbreaking, we knew she was old but the timing just seemed cruel. Because of everything that was going on my mental health took a hit, I became very anxious and depressed, I thought that everything was destined to fail in my life. I was in a lot of pain which, I found out was going to continue to be a constant in my life. I really had to work hard to overcome my personal issues to succeed.

But it wasn’t all bad…

Of course, I’m going to throw in a cliche. It has to rain for flowers to grow. I believe that everything happens for a reason in your life, this year reminded me how resilient I am. I’ve been knocked on my arse and got up again. I’ve got a job that I love, that I feel so passionate about. I have my little Hamster, Wickett. Ali and I are actually closer since he started working away and then coming back. I started to get comfortable with how ‘boring’ I am. I know I can be fully independent if I need to be.

Long story short, it was shit but I got through it and I bet you could too.

 

monthly favourites lifestyle blogger

March Favourites!

So a third of the year is done. No biggie, it’s cool, I’m not terrified. That said it’s been a pretty quiet month so I wondered if I should do a monthly favourites post but my lovely Twitter followers said they wanted to see it, so why not. Here are my slightly short monthly favourites.

Books

I read a total of 12 books last month which I was super proud of any. It’s definitely a result of some amazing books I got through. There was a good mix of Fiction, Non-Fiction and Poetry so I’m keeping my fingers crossed I find some good ones this month too! You can read about them all in my wrap up here.

Music 

It’s been a while since I’ve had a music favourite, simply because I’ve been listening to the same few playlists in the car with one exception. My boyfriend introduced me to the amazing band Against the Current. I’ve had them on repeat, especially the above song which is a great driving tune!

 

Snowmageddon 2018

Snow! 

I don’t know if the snow itself is a favourite but the walk I got to take with Ali was and when I didn’t have to go outside it looked very pretty. That said I’m fine with us not having loads of snow next year, my car was not happy. Either way, I wrote a post all about Snowmageddon in the South!

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Food 

Can we all take a little time to appreciate how tasty Creame Eggs are? I only had 2 McFlurries and an undisclosed amount of actual eggs. I know some people might not count them as food but, c’mon it’s chocolate…and I’ve been running on sugar this month.

Fashion

A few fashion favourites are my new Stitch t-shirt from Primark which is SO adorable and cost about £6 I think? I also picked up some new Vans in their outlet store in Portsmouth for £33 and they are the comfiest shoes I own.

Blog Posts

5 Things You Should Know About Living With Chronic Pain 

Fantastic Feminist Authors

Why Do You Blog?

Top 10 Books I Read in Winter

Did my GCSE Choices Matter? 

 

 

 

 

I’m in a Funk

Blerghh. That’s not a normal start to a blog post, is it? Recently I’ve been sitting at my laptop trying to write, well, anything and not being happy with the result. I’ve attempted blog posts, non-fiction book ideas, fictional book ideas and I’ve just felt really ‘meh’ about it. The thing is it doesn’t just cover my writing. In general, I’ve been in an odd fidgety mood where I just can’t seem to feel good about what I’m doing.

I wrote a little while ago about what’s been up with me and got a lovely response from so many people, so thank you. I’ve been trying to get myself out of this mindset and pinpoint if there’s anything in particular, but I’m coming up with nothing. That was until I spoke to a friend of mine and found out she had quite a few of the same feelings.

Now, we’ve been friends since we were 11 years old and we have drastically different lives but we still had these feelings of not quite knowing what we’re doing and feeling like we’re not doing enough or what we should be for our lives. I’m going to throw it out there and say I’m not the only 20 something that feels like that at the moment.

There’s so much uncertainty about everything that even the smallest things can feel like they’re a huge deal. Take blogging for example. Logically I know that if I only post twice a week no one is going to die. It’s not a life or death situation but the thought still fills me with panic. Am I where I should be with my blog? Why am I not getting as many views as XX? Am I doing enough on my own social media? The list goes on.

We all know we’re not supposed to compare ourselves but, let’s be honest, we all do. My friend has two kids under 10 and worries about career stuff. I have started in my career and worry about having a family in the future. I guess it doesn’t matter where you are, you’re still going to worry about something and feel that you’re not doing it right.

Have any of my fellow bloggers been stuck in this funk before? What did you do to get out of it? Let me know in the comments below!