Being Truthful On Galentines Day

Hello lovely lot!

I know this post is going out a little later than normal but I’ve been wracking my brains about what to post this week. A little bit of bloggers block has hit pretty hard!

You may or may not know that today is known as Galentines Day, February 13th is dedicated to our female friendships and celebrating them. I have some wonderful women in my life that I absolutely adore. Some of them I’ve known for years, others a few months. I realise as I get older that you don’t always need years to get to know a person, sometimes it feels instantaneous.

While I scrolled through my feeds today I felt a pang of sadness. I saw the #girlsquads, the pictures of groups of girls who went out together every weekend and seemed to spend every moment together, many of them since their school days.

Here’s the thing, I’ve struggled with friendships growing up. There has been around 2 times in my life I’ve had a group of girlfriends who were all close with each other. Once at school and once at university, neither worked out. Nowadays my closest girlfriends all get along and will come out for my birthday/ event but we’re not a big collective group.

I was born in 1994, which means I’m a Spice Girls kid. I grew up idolising these 5 women who were the best of friends. There were times when I’d watch the other groups of girls at school and desperately want to be a part of it a big group. That was the way it should be right?

In the books I read, the films I watched girls were groups. Groups who could talk about anything and do anything together. Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t totally alone, I had close girlfriends but felt like something was wrong with me because I wasn’t part of something bigger. A squad, a team, whatever you want to do it.

As I got older and the Spice Girls were no more, I still had this longing. Years later, I tried to morph myself into someone I wasn’t to fit into a ‘squad’. I made some mistakes then I wish I hadn’t, including pushing other people I was close to away to feel included.

I tried to be what I thought I should. This could be my moment, right? But I still felt like I was trying too hard, at least deeps down. Now those relationships are gone.

This is a rambling post, I’m well aware but I started to think that maybe, just maybe, I didn’t need a squad. That I could have these wonderful friendships individually with women and it didn’t matter if we had a WhatsApp group or if I’d known them in my emo phase.

These girls, each of them unique and completely different are my friends and I love and cherish them.

What are your experiences? I’d love to know below.

What I Read In January 2019!

It’s time for the first reading wrap up of 2019, yippie! January is not a great month so I try to read as much as possible to escape the horrible outside, boo.

This month I managed to read 9 books; 4 physical books, 2 graphic novels, 2 audiobooks and 1 kindle read. Not bad, not bad at all. So, let’s get into what I thought.

Becoming Michelle Obama

Becoming – Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama just seems like a wonderful human and as soon as I heard this was being released it was on my wishlist.

Originally, I tried the audiobook but just felt it didn’t work for me so I switched to a physical copy. This is a really inspiring story and although the beginning was a little slow I still enjoyed it and gave it 5 stars.

You Are A Badass At Making Money

You Are A Badass At Making Money – Jen Sincero

There are few books you can claim changed the way you think, this is one of them. After a friend sent me this to listen to I was obsessed with it. Sincero talks about money, how we view money as a society and how to get past those mental blocks.

I appreciate it’s not for everyone but I loved this and gave it 4 stars.

Everything I Never Told You

Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng

Celeste Ng is one of those authors I kept hearing about, so seeing this for £3 I thought I might as well pick it up.

This is great if you like family based drama and mystery. Lydia, the perfect girl of the family is found dead in a possible suicide. We see how this impacts the family and try and find out what really happened.

This was okay, a decent plot but not something that got me super invested in the characters and I did feel the ending was a little lax. I gave it 3 stars.

Unnatural Vol 1

Unnatural, Vol 1 Awakening – Mirka Andolfo

A new graphic novel with themes of segregation, the idea of the ‘perfect family’, oh and they’re all animals. This also gets pretty steamy, but I don’t want to ruin it for anyone! 4 stars.

Saga Vol 8

Saga Volume 8 – Fiona Staples and Brian K Vaughan

It’s number 8 in the series so I can hardly say anything at all but this broke my heart at times, I’ve heard the next in the series will crush me. 5 stars.

Notes to Self Emilie Pine

Notes To Self – Emiline Pine

A full review to come but this is a thought-provoking and altogether wonderful collection of essays. With difficult topics and brutal honesty, I’m a big fan of Emiline Pine now. 5 Stars

Born Lippy How To Do Female

Born Lippy – How To Do Female – Jo Brand

A fun insight into womanhood thanks to none other than Jo Brand. This is dry, witty and at times made me laugh out loud while listening. I would definitely recommend the audiobook for an extra kick. 4 stars.

An Absolute Remarkable Thing

An Absolutely Remarkable Think – Hank Green

I’ve been waiting to read this for so long, so of course, I was super excited to get it for Christmas. Buuuuut, it fell a little short for me, I really struggled with the protagonist for the majority of the book.

Not a bad debut and I probably will pick up the next book in the series just to see where it goes but right now this got a 3.5 from me.

Pop Star Jihadi

Pop Star Jihadi – Nick Tyrone

I received this book from Midas PR after being asked if I would be interested in reading. This is an incredibly well written and intelligent piece of fiction.

How would we react to a teen superstar blowing themselves up at their own concert, killing nearly 100 fans. Who would we believe? Would mob mentality take over? 4.5 stars.

How To Start A Blog

How to Start a Blog

Hey everyone!

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!

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!

Book Review: My Lovely Wife – Mark Lukach

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Mark and Giulia have a wonderful life, a strong relationship and a future to look forward to. What they didn’t know was that their lives and relationships were going to be tested by Giulia developing a severe mental illness. This lead to her being hospitalised, suicidal and unable to trust anyone around her. Later, after the birth of their son, Giulia is again hospitalised but how does Mark care for his child and support his wife.

For anyone who has been in the grips of mental illness or knows someone who has been affected this is a challenging read because it is so real. Mark talks about the lack of movement from medical professionals, the lack of beds and the lack of information. I know that for me, personally, this was a tough read because it’s one of the things that scares me most about mental ill health.

That said, what I celebrated most about this book is that Mark does not shy away from how hard it is to cope with a partner with a mental health condition because it’s true. He shares his pain, bewilderment and anger at the situation and his feeling of wanting to run and escape, not because he doesn’t love his wife, but because it’s hard.

This isn’t all doom and gloom, there is a lot of love in this book and most importantly hope. This chronicles finding a new way to love and a new way to move forward in a relationship when the unexpected is thrown at you, which happens more than people would like to admit. They have still found a way to laugh and love, which is important.

I’ve never read a book like this before and while I was nervous going in, I now recommend it to everyone. This is what long-term love is. This is fighting through together and doing what needs to be done for the other person, even if they may not thank you in the moment. I gave this five stars. Not only was it brilliantly written it meant a lot to me to see the other side. I’d love to read more from Mark about his life with Giulia and their future.

I Bought a Lot of Books Last Month…

Hello, hello, hello you lovely lot!

I have a confession, I bought a lot of books last month and I mean a lot. There was a combination of books I bought in store, online and a few from subscription boxes. I’ve been quite good at being restrained recently but this month that went completely out of the window, oops. So here’s a little haul for you guys and evidence of my lack of self-control when it comes to books.

Far From the Tree – Robin Benway 

I’ve heard good things about this novel which centres around three adopted siblings and how they all deal with this in their individual lives. Grace has just given up her own baby leading to her to think about her own biological parents. Maya isn’t sure exactly where she fits anymore. While oldest sibling Joaquin isn’t interested in his biological mother after growing up in the foster system.

Witchborn – Nicholas Bowling 

While I was in my local bookshop I was wondering if I could find something including witches while I wait for the next book in The Graces series. Then I saw Witchborn, which has witches, questions of madness and more and I’m so excited.

Your Life in My Hands -Rachel Clarke 

There’s so much we don’t know about what happens in the NHS and what it’s like for our doctors. I found this for £3 so I had no excuse really…

Bygone Badass Broads – Mackenzie Lee 

A collection of women that probably weren’t in the history books, ok there weren’t that many kick-ass women in my history books. Mackenzie Lee wanted to show women we might not have heard of and I’m so there for that!

Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls 2 – Elena Favilli & Francesca Cavallo 

I LOVED the first book about amazing ladies (review here) so of course I went and bought the second one straight away. Spoiler alert, it’s awesome.

Together We Rise – The Organisers of The Women’s March 

Released on the one year anniversary of the Women’s March, this has some impressive contributors and looks at the before, during and what next for the movement. I wrote a whole post on it in a collaboration with Harper360 which you can read here.

The Smoke Thieves – Sally Green 

I got this in my most recent Illumicrate box and they’ve been really upping the fantasy recently. This has four main protagonists living very different lives and are all impacted by the coming war.

Blood and Sand – C.V Wyk 

The second book I received in Illumicrate. I’m not 100% sure because it’s something that I’d pick up myself. It’s about Ancient Rome and rebellion. I’ll give it a go.

The Red Clocks – Leni Zumas 

I actually forgot that I ordered this. I have high hopes for this a dystopian novel set in a time when IVF and abortions are banned looks at the lives of a group of women. I hope this is good.

A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 

I fell in love with Chimamanda’s way of thinking when I watched her Ted Talk. So when I found this I thought it would be great to pick it up because she’s a brilliant writer. This is only 65 pages, so absolutely tiny but I’m looking forward to what she’s going to say.

If you want to see how I get on with these books don’t forget I’m on Goodreads! You can become my Goodreads friend here.

March-Book-Wrap-Up

What I Read in March

It has been a GOOD reading month, which I think is partly due to the fact I had some time off this month and could curl up with a few more books. It’s also due to the fact I’ve spent a lot of evenings on my own, no one to talk to means you’re not ignoring anyone! Anyway on to the 12 books that I managed to read this month.

Ok so technically This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay was read in February but not in time for my last wrap up. I loved this memoir and think it’s an incredibly important read in modern Britain. I also read Lydie and Limited Edition, both graphic novels. Lydie was sweet but strange about a girl who believes her baby is still alive and the town who humors her. Limited Edition is about a woman in her 30s looking for love, it wasn’t my favourite but it was ok. Also I got an early release of The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X.R Pan, which wasn’t for me you can see why here.

Next up I finished the incredible Mysogynation by Laura Bates, once again Laura wrote a book that I wanted to shout ‘hell yeah’ at, not an easy task. Following this I read The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven which, no big deal, is currently my favourite read of the year you can read my review here. I also picked up the long awaited Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2, even more kick ass ladies and beautiful illustrations. Then I finally got around to reading The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin after I loved the film but, honestly, I was really let down by the ending.

After seeing Tony Walsh’s reading of This is The Place after the Manchester attack I needed to read his poetry so I picked up Sex & Love & Rock&Roll, it was a breath of fresh air for contemporary poetry. Next up Bygone Badass Broads by Mckenzie Lee a collection of stories about real women you might not know, I enjoyed it but it wasn’t my favourite. Following this I picked up A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggests by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a very short read but an important one I feel. I also finished Nobody Told Me which chronicles Hollie McNish’s life as a mother in poetry and diary entries from finding out she’s pregnant to her child at three.

Finally I picked up Stacey Dooley’s On the Frontline with Women Who Fight Back which I fell in love with, review to come soon! Another poetry collection as well thanks to Netgalley of Bone by Yrsa Daley-Ward which was an interesting collection. I also FINALLY got around to Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Allbertalli which I didn’t love as much as everyone said I would…sorry! And finally I finished and fell in love with How To Stop Time by Matt Haig, amazing just amazing.

What have you been reading? Let me know in the comments!

Don’t forget to keep up with what I’m reading you can connect with me on Goodreads!