Illumicrate August 2017 Unboxing!

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I absolutely love getting my Illumicrate every 2 months. I’ve been counting down until my next one came, something told me it would be a good one! I wasn’t wrong. As always, this is going to be an unboxing so if you don’t want to know what’s in this months box pop back later!

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Wonder Woman Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo and exclusive pin 

Our first book is an exclusive edition of a new YA novel surrounding Wonder Woman back when she was simply Diana, wanting to ‘prove herself to her warrior sister’. The copy has exclusive red edges and a pin. I’m really intrested to read this one!

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Nyxia by Scott Reintgen 

I picked this up and I cannot stop. This is an exclusive proof copy of a new YA Sci-fi novel. I’m calling it now that this is going to be HUGE. Think of a kind of Sci-fi Hunger Games vibe. That’s all I say, I love it.

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Promotional Bookmarks 

Three promotional bookmarks in this one. Some beautiful designs and interesting reads, I’m looking forward to getting hold of After the Fire.

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Personal Library Savings Jar & Sticky Notes from Blossom Books 

This is ADORABLE it’s a little money jar for savings for your own personal library, although this was hard to show in a picture. They also provided adorable sticky bookmarks and an adorable quote. I’ll definitely be checking out more.

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Exclusive Alethiometer Coaster, artwork by Hannah Hitchman Art 

I’ve never read His Dark Materials so I don’t really get the significance of this but I love the design and it’s really good quality.

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The Red Church Tea by T-Ology (exclusive) 

An Assasin inspired tea that looks like the blood of your enemies. What more could you want?

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Shakespeare Zip Pouch by Miss Phi (Exclusive) 

I’m not a huge fan of Shakespeare’s plays as a whole but I love this pouch! It’s so positive and a really great and versatile size.

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Wisdom Journal designed by Hey Atlas Creative 

Again, this quote isn’t from a book I’ve personally read but it’s a nice design and you can never have too many notebooks…

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Moxie Pin Badges 

I didn’t know this book was going to exist but now I need to read it. These are really cool, feminist badges and have got me super excited to read the novel when it comes out. Info about Moxie, here.

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This is definitely the Illumicrate I’ve enjoyed the most. There’s so much variety and top quality products that I can use in my everyday life. I’m so excited to see what comes in two months time!

[This is NOT a sponsored post, all opinions are my own]

Easy ways to read more!

Each year I set myself a target of the number of books I’d like to read, normally it’s 100. That said since graduating last year things have changed in my life and trying to get through books has been a lot more to fit into my life, I’m obviously working 5 days a week (which really cuts into your reading time). A lot of people I speak to say they just don’t have the time to read more, so I thought I might help.

 

Always have a way to read with you 

Physcial book, Kindle, eBook, it doesn’t matter! You never know when you’ll have time to spare. You can also read on laptops, phones, iPods, tablets, you name it! Get reading!

Set time in your day to get a couple of pages in 

I like to try and read either at the beginning of my lunch break or before I go to bed at night. It doesn’t matter if you read one page or ten, giving yourself that little bit of time means you’re reading!

Audiobooks are your friend! 

I love audiobooks. I have a monthly subscription with Audible which allows me to get two audiobooks for £15. They’re great when you have a lot to do. I can listen at the gym, while driving, while cleaning. Personally, I like to listen to memoirs rather than fiction, but that’s my personal preference and there are SO MANY too!

Get a library card 

Anyone remember the tune from ‘Arthur’, our favourite Aardvark ‘Having fun isn’t hard when you have a library card!’. If you don’t have much money to spare on books, your local library is a great place to start reading without the cost!

Attend a local book club or meetup

I’ve started going to a new local book club, meaning I can talk about books and get new reads. It also gives you a reason to read, a lot of the people in my book club are trying the group so that they have the motivation to read! Sounds good to me.

Enjoy what you read! 

If you don’t have a lot of time don’t feel bad about stopping a book you’re really not enjoying! Find something you enjoy and get stuck in!

What are your tips? Let me know in the comments below!

5 things I wish I’d known before going into Third Year

With third year coming to an end and my graduation looming I sat and thought about what I wish I’d known before I’d gone into third year. I won’t lie, this has been a tough year not just because the pressure was kicked up a gear at uni, but also because of stuff going on in my personal life. Either way here are 5 things I wish I’d known, that might just help future third years out!

1. You have a LOT of reading to do, get it done.

Trying to read all of my primary weekly texts, the additional theory, 30 secondary sources for dissertation, 15 secondary sources for my special study, and oh yeah MORE secondary sources for the other two modules. There’s a lot of reading to be done this year. Do as much of it in advance as you can and thank yourself later. Also, get used to the library, it’s going to be your second home.

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2. You will want to take naps like you’ve never wanted naps before.

I never used to be able to sleep in the day, at all unless I hadn’t slept at night (ahem, party animals in the flat next door). Now I feel like naps are the only way to keep me awake at night long enough to work on my assignments.

3. You’re allowed to struggle.

I spent most of my third year pretending to myself and my lecturers that uni was a breeze, that I had my shit together and of course I was ok. Fast forward to a month before my dissertation was due, I’m in tears in my supervisor’s office feeling like I couldn’t possibly get a good mark on this bit of work. For some reason I felt like I had to just project this air of confidence this year, maybe it was to make myself feel better? Either way if you’re struggling go and talk to your lecturers. Don’t make my mistake and wait until it all gets too much, it’s a stressful time and lecturers understand that.

4. Sleep is a wonderful thing, and during the final few weeks you will feel like you have never had enough. 

Yes I’m mentioning sleep again. Right now I have no sleep schedule. Some days I’ll be fine to be wide awake bright and early, go to the gym, work on my assignments and eat a healthy amount of food. Other days I’m writing until 2am, wake up a lot in the night or just don’t sleep at all. No matter how much sleep I do or don’t get I’m always exhausted. The brain is doing a lot of hard work right now people!

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5. You’re going to feel confused and excited and sad and have ALL OF THE FEELS, because this is a weird point of your life. 

I didn’t realise how all over the place emotionally I’d feel. On one hand I want to dig my nails in and never let go of uni ever because it’s the one place I’ve been happy to be in education. On the other hand I want to get all of my assignments done and out of the way and never spend another evening writing up references. I find myself getting emotional at the strangest times and other times I just shrug and get on with things. It’s a very weird time but I’m hoping, come July 27th when I officially have a degree it will have all been worth it.

Living in the Library

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For the last two days, I have spent my life in the library. Laptop, piles of books and a large amount of sugar to get us through me and Eleanor hit the library, hard. There are a lot of assignments to get through, I have Independent Research (4000 words), Victorian to Modernist (1500 words), 20th-21st Century (2000 words) and Locating Literature (2500 words). So all in all 10,000 words, the amount of words I’ll be handing in  for my dissertation this time next year.

So for the foreseeable future I will be camping out with library, possible falling asleep on piles of books (as I did last year) before settling down for some time to myself before starting my reading for next year. It’s not that interesting but I did have some good company to keep me going. Only 4600 to go words to go!