November Favourites

November has been and gone and while I am fully extra and in Christmas mode right now, let’s throw it back to what I got up to. November was a crazy busy month and I’m really excited to share it with you all!

Books

I got a good bit of reading in this month, despite the fact that it’s been super busy! My favourites start off with Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook, a collection of poetry that I really connected with – I’ve loved both of her collections and I can’t wait to read more. Up next a true favourite and one for all Feminists – New Erotica For Feminists, this made me laugh so hard and I wrote a review ahead of its release here. And my final two reads were ARCs and I can’t wait to share my full reviews with you in 2019! Pilu of the Woods and The Year I Didn’t Eat were both brilliant reads for different reasons. Keep your eyes peeled.

 

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Films 

From the moment I found out about it I knew I wanted to see Bohemian Rhapsody. I love Queen and think Freddie was one of the greatest showmen on earth. This film was incredible and I was surprisingly emotional watching it. If you haven’t seen it yet make sure you do, you won’t regret it.

Ali’s 25th Birthday 

Not only did I get the boy back from tour at the end of October (yay) it was also his 25th birthday. We spent the day in London as he was working BUT went out with friends the following weekend. Can we take a second to appreciate my hair actually going well to go out, I was so proud of it.

Six The Musical 

Your next favourite musical is here. The six wives of Henry VIII take back the spotlight to tell their stories. I went with my friend Lucy and it was absolutely incredible, I’ve had the soundtrack on repeat. They’re going to go back to London soon and you can read my post all about it here.

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Spice Girls Tickets! 

Yes, I did it. It kicked me out multiple times but I am going to see The Spice Girls in June 2019. I don’t even know how to put my excitement into a paragraph. I’M GOING TO SEE THE SPICE GIRLS (again).

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Muggle Mastermind 

How do you spend your Thursday nights? I meet up with some of my closest friends and go to a Harry Potter quiz. Oh my lord, this was so much fun. There were decorations, super hard questions and prizes. We might not have one but I can’t WAIT for the next one. All the info on the quizzes is here for you.

 

Tonight Alive 10th Anniversary Show 

Ali and I have been fans of Tonight Alive since we were teenagers, so we got tickets to see them at Bush Hall, London for a special acoustic show to celebrate 10 years. It was incredible and like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Beautiful.

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The UK Blog Awards!

I’m in the running for a UK Blog Award! You can read all about it and even vote if you want to by clicking here.

Thank U, Next 

If you haven’t been dancing along to this absolute TUNE what are you doing? So I’ve listened to the song constantly and then on the last day of November the Queen Ariana Grande dropped the video. This is a pre-teen dream with most of the dreams I loved watching in one place with my favourite song of the year.

 

What were your favourites in November? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 

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September Favourites!

September favourites, already? Yep, we’re now in the last quarter of the year! No, I don’t know how it happened either. September was a funny old month, there were some excellent parts, and some not so excellent. That said, let’s get cracking with my September favourites.

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Disney

Just in case you missed it, I got to go to Disneyland in September. DISNEY LAND. I had the best time with my Mum and my sister and I won’t gush too much here – so here’s a part 1 AND part 2. You are welcome!

Books 

I didn’t get too much reading done in September but some of them I really did enjoy. I managed to finish an early release copy of Jodi Picoult’s A Spark of Ligh (review to come) about a shooting in a women’s health centre. Different to her other novels in the way it was written, but a good read.

I also read Ask Me His Name, which is an important and heartbreaking read about a mother who doesn’t get to bring her son home after his death at 3 days old. My final favourite for the month is Disconnected, a breathtaking collection of short stories and poems. This was amazing and I can’t wait to share my review with you.!

Things to do

I went out a fair bit this month, I went out with some friends for my birthday (absolutely in love with that skirt!). I also met up with my friend Lucy, the first time we’ve hung out without any little ones in 5 years! And last, but not least, I saw the incredible Sarah Millican at one of our local theatres. My face hurt at the end because I was laughing so hard.

Harry Potter 

I spent most of this month building some kind of Lego or other. As I type, Ali has ordered me the Great Hall set for me to carry on with for his final few weeks of the tour. I also picked up this adorable candle from Primark, I wish I had smell-o-vision because it’s so gorgeous.

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Birthday! 

I spent my birthday wrapped up in blankets with the worst cold ever. So, not exactly how I planned it. I did get some absolutely lovely presents. They’re all really grown up as you can see.

General 

And just a few little things that I really loved. Walking in the Autumn sunshine with my lovely Lottie. Also, the cheeky tub of Ben and Jerry’s because I haven’t had any in SO LONG and it was on sale. Just a reminder if you want the Ice Cream, eat the damn stuff because life is too short.

Posts

You Matter  – A post for suicide awareness

18 Good Things That Happened At 23 – Looking back at 23!

Book Review: Tyler Johnson Was Here

10 Reasons Autumn Is My Favourite Season

What were your favourites in September? Let me know in the comments below!

July Favourites!

July hasn’t been an easy month! I recovered from my cyst, found myself redundant and well, I think that’s enough to knock anyone BUT there are still things to smile about and here are some of my favourites.

 

Books 

This month has been a small reading month, but varied. I’ve picked up poetry, a graphic novel, non-fiction and one fiction novel. Of course, you’ll get my full wrap up soon!

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Getting Better  

You probably saw that I was in hospital in June with a suspected burst ovarian cyst, I got these beautiful flowers from my Grandparents while I was recovering.

Night Out 

I got to spend a great (sober) night out for one of my besties birthdays! It isn’t often I go on a night out so this one was definitely needed, even if I was back home in bed by 11.30!

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Becoming a published poet! 

I am a published poet! I still can’t quite believe it but I hope it’s the first of many.

 

Pop Vinyls!

Three new Pops came this month, two I’d pre-ordered from Australia the Basilisk and Tom Riddle and Amy Pond, my favourite Doctor Who character. I don’t buy these as much anymore, even though I love them, so when I do I get really excited!

 

Lottie and Ed July 2018

House Sitting! 

I spent 10 nights house sitting for my parents with these little monsters. I might not have slept but they were great for cuddles when I lost my job.

 

YALC! 

I finally got to go to YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention) this year! It was so incredible, I’m writing not one but TWO blogs for you guys this week. Keep your eyes peeled!

The Friendship Evolution

The Friendship Evolution

Ah, friendship, something important and lovely but not many people talk about how friendships need to change and evolve to survive. I’ve had quite a few friendships that have broken down for various reasons, we’ve grown apart, grown up or found out we’re just not compatible. So I wanted to write about some of my friendships and how they’ve evolved in certain situations.

 

Me and Joe London MAy 2018

After Graduating

I don’t quite know how I would have gotten through uni without my friend Joe. We’ve been best friends for years now and we went from seeing each other multiple times a week to graduating and being lucky to see each other once a month. It’s tough because there are times when I just want to hang out but one of us has to get a train and we have to organise it and, don’t tell him, but I miss him like hell.  Our friendship had to evolve and we have to communicate, which luckily for us isn’t a problem but we’ve needed to be more organised.

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Friendship Additions

When Abbie and I became friends a few years ago we were happy just the two of us, and then two became three and it only got better! So, it went like this. I have been friends with a guy called Ben since I was 17, Ben meets Abbie and they get together and we become friends. Still with me? Ok. Sarah, is Ben’s cousin who met Abbie at a family gathering. Now we are all close friends. So Abbie and I had to make room to become a three and it did take adjusting, not worrying if one talked to the other more etc. I for one am just happy we now have Sarah in our lives, she’s amazing and fits with both of us so well.

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Babies

I’ve known my friend Lucy since I was eleven years old. I was the kid with a school fleece on the first day (I still blame the terrible woman in the school shop, they clearly hadn’t sold one in years and smelt my weakness), she had a mass of frizzy hair that earned her the nickname, Frizz. Now we’re very similar, which meant we fought a lot, teenage hormones will do that. We drifted apart a little as we got older and didn’t become best friends until we were seventeen, after the birth of her daughter.

Luce will be the first to tell you that being a Mum of two at twenty-three wasn’t the plan she had at eleven, but you only have to watch her to know she’s damn good at it. So Lexi came and we were a pair of seventeen-year-olds, still trying to work ourselves out but now with a tiny person who I loved so, so much. We had fights still, we were still stubborn but was always came back because there was a little person. Then, while I was on a bus a few years later at university I got a text: ‘ I needed to tell you something’, I joked back ‘you’re not pregnant are you?’ and then a picture came back of two blue lines. That’s how I found out about Ollie.

Our friendship isn’t what we thought it would be at twenty-three, because neither of us saw this coming but we’re closer than we’ve ever been. We are different people but love each other so much and don’t pretend we know exactly what the other is going through but we’re always there for each other.

 

How have your friendships evolved over the years? Let me know in the comments below!

Book Review: Everything I Know About Love – Dolly Alderton

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Well, what can I say about Dolly and everything she knows about love. Finally, finally, we have a memoir that a twenty-something can relate to. There’s talk of MSN Messenger, of life before iPhones and the frustration at the current housing crisis. Love, jealousy and most importantly, friendship are all woven throughout the pages of this book in equal parts. I wanted to laugh and cry throughout.

I’ll be honest, in the first few chapters, I wondered if I would connect with Dolly. She talks about the suburban life, her boarding school, living with girlfriends etc. Not exactly things I relate to but, as she grows I could see myself and, at the moment in my life this was the book I needed. Nothing is off limits and while, in the beginning, I was frustrated that Dolly seemed to gloss over problems, this was only for a short period, by the end of the book I was rooting for her, I saw myself in her and her friends.

While the title is all Dolly know’s about love, she doesn’t clarify what kind of love. This isn’t a self-help book, this is how a young woman has navigated the relationships in her life whether that be with partners, her friends or herself, each is mentioned. Of course, there are hilarious stories of bad dates, strange men and questionable antics it’s not just a ‘look what a crazy single girl’ type book. It has heart, and that’s the most important.

The best part though? The humour. Dolly writes satirically about when friends grow up, the expectations for hen dos, baby showers and the like. About the feeling of loss and insecurity when your friends are moving faster than you are. About trying to work yourself out in your twenties and having no idea where to start.

In short, this was a brilliant book. I’ve given it 4 out of 5 stars, I only do so for two reasons, one there were recipes kind of randomly placed throughout the book and two, I wish some parts had gone more in-depth but understand that Dolly may not have felt she could. I 100% recommend this for anyone in their twenties who needs a pick me up!

Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and author who gave me an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

August Favourites!

Let’s jump right in and see what I’ve been loving in August!

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Books 

This month it’s been quite a slow reading month I just really couldn’t get into it. The silver lining though is that I’ve loved the books I have read. I finally got my copy of Our Super American Adventure by Sarah Graley which is absolutely awesome, I’ve met Sarah before and love her artwork and stories about her relationship. I also finished what I think is going to be one of my top books this year, My Shitty Twenties by Emily Morris, an honest account of being a single mother in your twenties and still being badass, you can read my review here. I also kept seeing the Andrew Morton book Diana Her True Story and decided to download it on Audible it’s a tough book and I did think it was interesting but incredibly sad on the 20th anniversary of the princess’s death. And finally Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is just amazing, meant for children but should be read by EVERYONE! My gushing review is here.

 

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Watching 

Is there anything else to talk about this month? Of course, there’s not. Game of Thrones is over for another season and this one was everything I hoped it would be. I’m not going to post spoilers, because that just not cool. All I’ll say is the following for people who have watched the finale, they deserved that and oh lordy what a beautiful sight. Now I have to wait for the next season…my Dad has already tagged me in a countdown timer.

 

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Fashion and Beauty

I did a whooooole post about my little haul this month over here. So head over for all the info you need to know!

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Brighton Pride

I went to my first ever Pride and I can honestly say it was the best party I’ve ever been to. It was fun and flamboyant and there was glitter everywhere! I got to sit in a giant deck chair, dance in an 80s disco and I ended up sponsoring a dog…yep (wine may have been involved). I wrote a whole post about 7 reasons you should go next year!

General

This month started off on a good note with a trip to Pizza Express with my ‘spec squad’, that’s me, Abbie and Sarah to celebrate our new little group. It’s been a month of spending time with people I love. Ali went to Brighton and Scotland this month for work, and bought me home Charlie the Highland Cow from the latter, he’s adorable (the cow I mean, although Ali’s ok I suppose). It’s also had milestones with my little sister getting into college! I also went to see 80s super popstars Bros at the O2 in London, which was actually a brilliant laugh with my Mum, sister and mum’s best friend. I also may have gotten a new cauldron mug from the new Primark collection…maybe. And last but not least I’ve been spending as much time as possible with Ali, including on our 9 year anniversary, before he heads off on tour tomorrow!!

 

My favourite posts 

Feminist Friday with …. Jess Willby 

A new month, a new woman 

Nine years, new adventures 

 

What have your favourites been this month? Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday Seven: Tips for a Good Work/Life Balance

Now, to start this post I’m not claiming I have a perfect balance in my life (does anyone) BUT in the past year, I’ve learned a lot about having boundaries between work and home. If you’ve followed my blog for a long time, you’ll know that this started a long time before I was working full-time, I’m terrible at switching off. That said, I do have a few tips to make things easier. So, really, this is for any self-confessed workaholic whether you’re a student, working full-time, volunteering or anything!

Work hard, play harder. 

It’s absolutely fine to work hard, it’s a great feeling to achieve, however, you need to play in your own way. That doesn’t mean going out on the town every weekend, it means finding something that you enjoy! For me, it’s a weekend bookathon!

Plan time with your friends and family. 

If you make plans, you have to stick to them. It’s very easy when you’re at home alone or have nothing planned to sit on your laptop and continue working late into the night. By making plans you need to step away and not think about it!

Working late is ok, but not every day. 

Sometimes you have to have a late night, you have things to do. That’s not a bad thing, deadlines happen or things might go wrong. There might even be a period of late nights (I’m looking at you dissertation writers) but you shouldn’t have to do that every single night.

Switch off your work phone/PC. 

Once the working day is done I switch off my work phone and PC. I’m lucky because I can do that, I’m not on call. If you can do that it’s a great way to switch off and have your own time.

Go to bed at a reasonable time! 

There’s nothing worse than trying to get things done with sleep deprivation. Nothing. Worse.

Make sure you take your allocated holiday! 

If you’re reading this from a working perspective most companies are good at telling you to take your holiday, because they recognise you need a break at times. If you’re a student reading this, I know the temptation to work every hour of the university holidays, you still need a break though, just like everyone else!

If you’re struggling, talk to someone.

I’m really lucky that where I work is incredibly open. If you do feel that things are getting a little too much and you’re working every hour of the day, talk to someone. Just one helping hand could make all the difference!