2017 in review.

I’ve thought about, and more than slightly dreaded, writing this post for a few weeks now. What first came to my mind about this year was the negatives, because there have been more than a few. I’ve had more jobs this year than I wanted to, I’ve seen both the best and the worst in people and I’ve struggled myself. That said, when I was driving on Christmas Day, I realised I felt content. 

Let me explain. This time last year we were living at Ali’s Mums, I’d just started a new job that I wasn’t happy in and all in all I was quite low. In 12 months so much has changed for me and Ali. We’re in our own place, which was so special, we’re both working in jobs that we feel good at and enjoy and we’re happy. I’ve realised I can survive Ali being away for months at a time, and we can still get through tough times apart (I lost my job when he’d started the second month of tour, not great timing).

I’ve definitely seen the best and the worst of people this year, but through it, all learnt that I have some wonderful friends and that my family will always support me. When I was going through awful times this year, job hunting, going through the pain of spinal injections, losing Hamski and just feeling lost, I had people around me who cared.

Even though all that happened I fought my way through. For so long I’d thought, great, the ‘real world’ is about hating your job and being miserable. Thankfully, and while I never take any job for granted, I’ve actually found that I have so much passion working in Social Media, something I’ve wanted to do since I was a student. I’ve realised that if I’m in pain I can go back to the doctors and be firm with the help I need. I’ve learnt that, when I have to, I can survive on just texts and phone calls with Ali, even at the worst of times.

That doesn’t mean that I haven’t had a great time too! I’ve been to Pride in Brighton, got published in a magazine, went on holiday, fallen in love with another little hamster and grown my blog more than I thought I would.

So, while 2017 might not have been the easiest, it’s shown me that I’m resilient and you know what, sometimes, I’m pretty damn cool too.

My Top Posts of 2017!

We only have 1 whole day left of 2017, what?! I’m torn, the last 2 months feel like they’ve gone so quickly. At the end of the year, I always love to see what you guys have read most and what’s done well, what blogger doesn’t?

So I wanted to share with you my top 10 most read posts of 2017! Here we go.

 

10. Harry Potter Haul – Primark Has Done It Again…

I’m shocked that this is still in my top 10 and has been since I first posted it in 2015. This is when Primark first started doing a lot of Harry Potter stuff. If you liked this post keep your eyes peeled in the new year…

9. Taking Chances and Making Calls

This was my first steps in taking my life into my own hands after losing a job back in April.

8. Book Review: Fully Functioning Human (Almost) by Melanie Murphey 

I love watching Melanie Murphey on YouTube and so do a lot of you! She’s sweet, funny and this is a helpful book. This is my only book review to make it into the top 10 and I’m glad it’s this one.

7. My Boyfriend’s Leaving Me For Two Months?! 

This year Ali went away on tour for 2 months, the longest we’ve been apart. This was the start of me talking about going long distance, I’m really glad I talked about it to get through the tougher times.

6.  Dealing With The Unexpected

A post I wrote in response to being fired, which turned out to be a good thing.

5. The Truth About Being in a Long-Term Relationship 

Next year Ali and I will have been together for 10 years! So I did what I normally do, I decided to write about it.

4. Sunday Seven: The Businesses You Don’t Know About But Should 

Back in April I was lucky enough to visit Dolly’s Vintage Fair and feature some of the wonderful small businesses that were there!

3. Feminist Friday… with Jess Willby 

And on to my Feminist Friday series, Jess wrote about how Feminism is bigger than just us as individuals and how we need to work together to achieve. It was an absolutely inspiring post.

2. To The People Who Stole From My Boyfriend 

It’s been a very up and down year, in August while Ali had a great time working festivals, someone decided that they wanted to steal from him. It was pretty shitty and frustrating (the stolen rucksack has never been found). This was an open letter to those who stole from him.

1. Typo Haul

Aaaaand at number 1 is my haul from Typo. This is a really cool shop and one I only found this year on a visit to Kingston. There are some beautiful things in this shop!

 

What were your favourite posts that YOU wrote this year? Let me know in the comments below!

My Top 10 Books of 2017!

We’ve finally got to the end of the year! Well, it has been a long one but I’ve had plenty of books to get me through it, hitting my goal of 100 books today, but what about the top 10?

I have to say it hasn’t been my greatest year in terms of 5-star reads BUT there have been some absolute crackers, which means it has been hard to narrow it down…are your favourites in my top 10?

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Turtles All The Way Down – John Green 

I got into John Greens books when The Fault in Our Stars came out but then read them very quickly. I didn’t think we’d get a new novel so of course, I started this the second I got my hands on it. John Green is incredible and you could definitely tell this was written from the perspective of someone who has struggled with mental illness. Review here.

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The Sun and All Her Flowers – Rupi Kaur

Rupi Kaur came back with another cracking collection and I’ve really got into my poetry this year. This was another beautiful collection, exploring the evolving stages of relationships as well as a tribute, I felt, to her mother. Review here.

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Making Faces – Amy Harmon

This was an ARC that I received and I absolutely loved it. This broke my heart but gave me hope. Set in the aftermath of 9/11 it looks at the impact on young people, as well as looking at the idea of popularity and beauty. Review here.

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How Not To Be a Boy – Robert Webb

This surprised me, of course, I’d watched Robert Webb growing up on the TV but not thought much about him. It was only after I heard an interview I picked this up. A really interesting look at depression, gender and growing up. Review here.

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It Only Happens In The Movies – Holly Bourne

Holly Bourne came back after her wildly successful Spinster Club series and made me fall in love all over again. In true Bourne style, we have a kick-ass protagonist that decides love isn’t like the movies especially after her parents marriage crumbles as well as her own relationship. Review to come but you can find out more here.

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Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls – Elena Favilli

This was amazing, with beautiful illustration and tales about women that I’ve never heard of as well as women who I definitely have. This is for children but I think you’ll fall in love with it.  Review here.

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My Lovely Wife – Mark Lukach

It’s refreshing to read about mental illness from the perspective of family members. Mark Lukah marries the love of his life after meeting at eighteen. What neither of them knew at the time was that their later marriage would be tested to the limit as Giulia is hospitalised for severe mental illness. I loved this so much, especially as it is so honest and looks at relapse, the struggles and stresses of dealing with hospitals. So, so good. Review to come, but you can find out more here.

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My Shitty Twenties – Emily Morris

The title was enough to make me pick up this book. When Emily unexpectedly falls pregnant as a student the father responds by telling her to enjoy her ‘shitty twenties’, I know what a charmer. This goes through Emily’s journey as a young Mum and is full of honesty but also has a sense of humour. Review here.

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Nina Is Not Okay – Shappi Khorsandi

You might have seen Shappi on I’m A Celebrity but did you know she was a brilliant author? For me, this put Young Adult Fiction on another level. It’s not a light read but it is so worth it and it’s the first time I’ve seen a young person depecited as actually having a drinking problem. Review to come, more information here.

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The Diary of Anne Frank

Reading this as an adult made it more remarkable and more heartbreaking. Anne would have had such potential, she had such an incredible talent as you can see in her writing from such a young age. Review to come, more info here.

Note: I have not included anything that will be released in 2018! These will be included in my 2018 wrap up!

 

You Can Do It! – World Mental Health Day 2017

Hello there,

I don’t know what lead you here, maybe you’re feeling a little lost, maybe you saw this on social media and thought I’d see what she has to say. I’m here to tell you, you can do it.

For many, when you have a mental health condition, it can seem as a huge barrier. It can seem like it’s going to stop you achieving your dreams and what you want to achieve in life. There’s a lot of negative portrayals in the media and literature of someone’s life ending. That may have been the old way but with the right help, support and treatment (in many forms) you can achieve what you want to achieve!

Don’t let anyone tell you that what you want to get out of life isn’t possible because of some brain chemistry. What a load of rubbish! Some of the greatest thinkers, performers and artists to have ever lived have had to deal with mental health conditions. It’s a well known fact that in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Dementors were created out from J.K Rowling’s experiences with depression.

Sometimes, the biggest and only barrier is yourself and the voice in your head. It can be completely exhausting to fight your own mind on the simplest thing. I remember years ago when I started university, the thought of getting a bus gave me an anxiety attack. Yep, getting a bus. Then I moved to London and didn’t have a choice, the first few times I was petrified, I was so anxious and panicked. Now, getting a bus in London doesn’t phase me at all, I used to do it all the time. BUT my brain would come up with all these scenarios, it took time but I tamed my brain in that situation and many others.

It can feel like you’re up against the world but I promise you slowly, you can do this. You can do anything. Talk to others, keep going back to your GP until they listen, do what you feel you need to do.

Lots of love,

Chloe

Feminist Friday: General Election 2017

Earlier in the week Prime Minister Theresa May called a General Election for this summer following the UK beginning the exit process for the European Union. On June 8th Britain will take to the polls once again to vote in a new party and a new leader. There have been some questions raised about voting in a female leader simply because they’re female will not equate to equality.

I fully understand that in the US Hillary Clinton lost out due to misogyny, that there is a definite agenda to force women out of politics. That said, we need to look at each party and their promises, not just their leaders because a whole party isn’t made up of one person.

Voting for May, Sturgeon or Caroline Lucas simply because they are women doesn’t make you more of a feminist. Voting for a party that supports and encourages women, does. While having three women in positions of power and within reach of becoming Prime Minister is excellent for politics and our country we need to make the decision based on parties and their impact on the people.

I feel that being a feminist means looking and considering what each party will do for equal rights. What their history is in regards to equality of the sexes. We may only have 6 weeks to decide on who will lead our country for the next few years, but it’s important we make the right decisions for ourselves and our future.

Sunday Seven: 2017 Book Releases

A new year means new book releases and I am so excited. I have had a little nose around at what’s going to be coming up this year and there are definitely some crackers to get excited about! So let’s get stuck in.

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This Is How It Always Is – Laurie Frankel

‘When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl. Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They’re just not sure they’re ready to share that with the world. Soon the entire family is keeping Claude’s secret. Until one day it explodes.’

I’m intrigued by the fact that hiding their child’s true self ‘explodes’ and what this means, I really hope this is a novel that shows what it means to be a family in this situation.

Full blurb on Goodreads.

 

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This is how it happened – Paula Stokes 

When Genevieve Grace wakes up from a coma, she can’t remember the car crash that injured her and killed her boyfriend Dallas, a YouTube star who had just released his first album. Genevieve knows she was there, and that there was another driver, a man named Brad Freeman, who everyone assumes is guilty. But as she slowly pieces together the night of the accident, Genevieve is hit with a sickening sense of dread—that maybe she had something to do with what happened.

I’m really interested in this novel because it looks at the idea of hero worship of Youtube stars, guilt and a mystery. Sign me up.

Full blurb on Goodreads.

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The Art of Feeling – Laura Tims 

Since the car accident, Samantha Herring has been in pain, not only from her leg injury, but also from her mother’s death, which has devastated her family. After pushing away her friends, Sam has receded into a fog of depression. But then Sam meets Eliot, a reckless loner with an attitude and an amazing secret—he can’t feel any pain.

I know what it’s like to live with chronic pain after my own injury so the premise of this is really interesting. It’ll be interesting to pick it up and see what the authors interpretation of living with chronic pain is,

Full blurb on Goodreads.

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Happy – Fearne Cotton 

“This book is a way to release what’s going on inside your head and to keep heading towards the good stuff. The simple stuff. The stuff that’s going to really hit up that happiness on a deep and nourishing level. Whether you dip into these pages every now and then when you feel you need it, or use it daily as a positive exercise, I hope it brings you much relief, joy and calm. Amen to the pen.” – Fearne Cotton

I was told this is a book for over-thinkers, sign me up right now.

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A Quiet Kind of Thunder – Sara Barnard 

Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life – she’s been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He’s deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she’s assigned to look after him. To Rhys, it doesn’t matter that Steffi doesn’t talk, and as they find ways to communicate, Steffi finds that she does have a voice, and that she’s falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it.

I want to read a lot more diverse books this year and the premise of this book fills me with happiness at the blurb. I need to get me hands on this one.

Find it on Goodreads.

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Difficult Women – Roxane Gay 

The women in these stories live lives of privilege and of poverty, are in marriages both loving and haunted by past crimes or emotional blackmail.

I haven’t read too many collections of short stories, but I’d like to try and read a few more. I absolutely loved Roxane Gay’s Ted Talk when I watched it in uni, Bad Feminist has been on my TBR forever, so it only makes sense to add Difficult Women to my list. That and I think we need more ‘difficult women’ in the world.

Full blurb on Goodreads.

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Sour Hearts – Jenny Zhang

Centered on a community of immigrants who have traded their endangered lives as artists in China and Taiwan for the constant struggle of life at the poverty line in 1990s New York City, Zhang’s exhilarating collection examines the many ways that family and history can weigh us down and also lift us up.

This is the first novel from Lena Dunham’s publishing company. While I have mixed feelings about Lena and the comments she makes, she’s really struck gold by the looks of it. This is another novel I want to read that shows diversity and the struggles of others in regards to immigration. I feel like this is also needed when we’re facing the leader of the free world being so anti-immigration.

Full blurb on Goodreads.

2017 on chloemetzger.com!

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A new year and more blogs to write and plan for you all to read. I really had trouble tonight thinking of what I wanted to write, what direction I wanted to go. A few nights ago I asked those of you who follow me on twitter (@chloemetzger) who you would like to see more of on my blog and if you’d like me to write two book reviews a week (!!). The majority of you did want two book reviews a week, which is something I’m working on doing in this years planning. In terms of what you’d like to see you asked for more mental health related posts and more general lifestyle posts. I am more than happy to give the people what they want!

So far I post Book Reviews on a Thursday, Feminist Friday’s and Sunday Seven. Three regular slots that my lovely subscribers and Twitter followers know are coming. After hearing back from some of you I’m also hoping to add a weekly mental health post and more general lifestyle in between. Basically, I want to get a more regular schedule together for the blog and make 2017 really productive and positive year for the blog.

I’m really proud of how it’s evolved and how many of you that I get to talk to and interact with online. It’s because of all of this and the positivity I have felt from you guys I’m taking active steps to write my book. Yep, I’m not calling it a resolution for this year because I know that it could take years before I’m happy with it and I also know that there’s a chance it will never get published, but what the hell.  This blogs in its fourth year now and I know I can write long pieces from my dreaded dissertation, so why not?

Is there anything else you want to see or maybe that you’re excited about? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me!

Sunday Seven: Things To Look Forward To In 2017

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Happy New Year!!!

Hello, lovely, lovely people and welcome to 2017! We’re almost a day in and I wanted to share with you some things I’m looking forward to in 2017. Now I’ve said before and I’ll say it again I don’t believe in new years resolutions, nope, nope, nope. I want to spend the whole year setting goals and I know for a fact that I find it harder in the dark winter months to be happy and motivated. So, instead, I focus on things to look forward to! So, here are 7 things I’m looking forward to.

A New Home 

This year at some point Ali and I will move into a new home. It means so much to us and we’re really excited!

Getting Stuck Into Work 

I can’t wait to get even more stuck in with my job, it’s a really exciting time for me. I’m in a company I love and a job I really enjoy, I can’t wait to see what this year brings.

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Carrying On With Spine Recovery 

In the next 8 weeks I should have an appointment for my spinal injections. While I’m absolutely terrified I’m also excited because it’s another chance at relieving the spinal pain I’ve been living with for the past 20 months!

Going on Holiday! 

Ali and I will finally be getting a relaxing break together later in the year, a week in sunny Spain. We haven’t had a relaxing holiday in years so it’ll be a nice time to chill out and spend some time together.

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Improving My Blog 

I’m really focused on my blog and this year I can really focus on it without university work taking up each and every evening. I have some great ideas and plans so keep an eye out!

Celebrating 9 Years 

Yes! The boyfriend and I celebrate 9 years together this year, which is crazy. I’m so lucky to have my best friend by my side every day.

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Caring For Myself 

I bought so much stuff from Lush in the sales, meaning I have a lot of bath products for relaxation purposes. I’m really bad at relaxing, I’m always doing something so I need to work on that but this year I can make that time for myself.

What are you looking forward to? Let me know in the comments below!