May & June Wrap Up: Cambridge, Blogging Silence & Roadtrips!

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Good afternoon bloggers! I hope you’re well! It’s been pretty silent over here the last couple of months, hasn’t it?

That wasn’t really intentional, but the last two months have been a bit of a rollercoaster. It’s been super busy at work and at home, and so even when I have had the downtime to blog, I either haven’t had the want to write or have felt so burnt out that the words don’t flow! I’ve found myself reaching towards Bookstagram more because LESS WORDS. My mental health also took a bit of a dip and I felt like I was taking on a lot of other people’s problems, so I’ve been doing some extra self-care!

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But, but, BUTTTTTT, by the time you read this, I will have already hopped over the pond, off on a France roadtrip adventure, and I am PUMPED. I’m going to be going from Calais, all the way down to the south coast, stopping at lots of pretty towns, and I will make sure to share my travels with you when I get back!

James Corden Will Smith gif.gifActual footage of our roadtrips when the good tunes come on.

WHAT I GOT UP TO IN MAY AND JUNE:

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April Wrap Up: Grishaverse, Silly Socks & the Battle of Winterfell!

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Hello everyone!

Another month gone, another wrap-up post. These sure do come around quickly sometimes! (I’d also just like to preface this by saying that despite the title there will be NO Game of Thrones spoilers in this post!)

I’ve been sitting here trying to rack my brain for something interesting enough to share with you guys from April. I did think about trying to convince you that I’d learnt to talk to animals, built a spaceship, or found a fossilized dragon egg in amber that had hatched and I’d become a dragon rider (still ever hopefully after my childhood of watching Jurrasic Park), but somehow, I didn’t think you guys would take me at my word?

Game of Thrones dragon gif.gif(A girl can dream, right?)

April can basically be summed up in Dory’s famous words ‘just keep swimming…’ or the better know phrase, ‘keep on keeping on’.

Of course, there was that brief moment in the UK where we got July-worthy sun over the bank holiday weekend and we all had a freak-out and dug out the BBQ equipment, but it wasn’t long before the status quo returned.

By far the best thing about April for me was seeing all the amazing love you guys have given my Pancake Book Tag. SO many of you have participated in this now and I kind of feel really emotional about it??! I really didn’t think this many people would do it and the whole thing has far exceeded my expectations. You guys are absolutely incredible, THANK YOU! :’D

So, let’s get on with the wrapping up!

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The 10 Stages of Being a Newbie on Bookstagram // Aka an Emotional Rollercoaster!

The 10 Stages of Being A Newbie on Bookstagram 2

Guys, for the longest time, I was totally against getting an Instagram account and joining the Bookstagram community.

I have enough social media to contend with already, I said.
When will I even have enough time to take my own pictures anyway, I said.

But about 6 months ago I caved, and oh boy, I have been utterly enraptured since!!!

I check in on the app AT LEAST once a day to stare at all the pretty shiny things on there, and wow, looking at everyone’s accounts makes me feel so inspired.

Learning how to use, cope, and post on this site has actually felt like a real journey, which is kind of a weird thing to say about something that is essentially a social networking platform! However, I have a feeling a lot of you will:

a) empathise with my struggles
b) feel a little less alone by reading them or
c) find them highly amusing.

…and that’s why I’m bringing this post to you today! So without further ado, here are the 10 stages of being a newbie on Bookstagram from yours truly!

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March Wrap Up // Harry Potter Vibes & Birthday Treats!

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Good afternoon, readers!

I have a question for you: DID YOU MAKE IT OUT OF MARCH IN ONE PIECE? I, my friends, did not. I feel like a walking, talking zombie and I am absolutely cream-crackered! March felt more like 2 months!

THE CHAOTIC THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN MARCH:

This can basically be summed up by crazy work shenanigans: first, one of our main members of staff dropped to 1 day a week unexpectedly (and we were understaffed before), secondly, we took on another member of staff who quit 3 days in. So THEN we had to interview for ANOTHER new member of staff, (it’s a really weird feeling interviewing people, btw). We eventually found one (yay!) but now most days are spent training them, which, lemmie tell ya, is REALLY EXHAUSTING.

barny at work gifActual footage of me at my desk.

NOW, FOR THE REALLY AWESOME THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN MARCH:

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February Wrap Up // Is This the ‘Good Place?’ Because I’d Like to Stay Here!

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Greetings, booklings! 

I hope ye are fairing well and that February was a positive month for you! It took until about halfway through February for me to stop thinking it was January, and then it feels like I blinked and now somehow there are no days left?!? Like, whoa!

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February was a very good month for me, I feel like I managed to squeeze a lot into a very small amount of time, including binge-watching a whole 3 seasons of a TV show, reading a LOT of books compared to my monthly average, and having some great personal experiences!

COOL THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN FEBRUARY

  • I visited the Sky Garden in London, which is a building with a 360 view. The viewing space is also full of beautiful and bold plants and landscaped garden areas. I’d definitely recommend this if your heading to London, because it’s completely free – it’s not quite as high as the Shard, but it has a very good view of it!
  • I attended the London launch for Samantha Shannon’s The Priory of the Orange Tree which was absolutely AMAZING (blog post to come)! It was also chaired by Alwyn Hamilton. SUCH GOOD BOOKISH VIBES. 😀
  • I did my first buddy read in 5 years with my interwebs friend and fellow blogger, Tony, and it was so much fun swapping plot theories and character insights! I definitely want to do more of these again in the future because you really think about what you’re reading in so much more detail!
  • I had my first ever Wagamama’s, and I liked it! YUM.
  • I started looking into the possibility of being a volunteer mental health listener for those who are struggling or are lonely, which I think could potentially be a very rewarding experience if it develops further!

What were your personal highlights this month?

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December & January Wrap Up // In Which Awesome Things Happen but I am Defeated by Illness.

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If you’re reading this, it means you’ve officially made it through the most depressing month of the year, GIVE YOURSELF A PAT ON THE BACK (and maybe a cookie…or 5???)

cookie gif.gifActual image of me being a cookie monster.

There’s something about January that feels a little like limping over a finish line, am I right? It bleak, it’s rainy, it gets dark so early and it feels like you shouldn’t have to go out into the world and DO THINGS.

I’m summarising both December and January in this post because in December I did my end of year wrap up instead.

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November Wrap Up: Burn Out, Glorious Bookishness & Confusing TV

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 Hi, guys! So, November was a pretty awful month and I’m glad to see it go!

Work has been horrendous and we have been scrabbling around, totally behind the game spending most of our time putting out fires. I have been feeling utterly burnt out. BUT WHO WANTS TO TALK ABOUT THAT??? I don’t, I’ve already lived it!

Here are some of the highlights from this month – there are actually more positives than I thought!

  • I came across some Beatrix Potter 50p coins after buying some food and had a total nerd out. I love Beatrix Potter and used to read all the books when I was younger, so I was surprised to look down at my change and find both Tom Kitten and Jeremy Fisher staring back at me! They’re now in pride of place on my bookshelf! (You can view the collection here.)
  • I went to a new Turkish restaurant which essentially specialises in meat platters. It was fantastic and they had the biggest portions I’ve ever seen!
  • I treated myself to a book haul and all the covers are so beautiful I COULD CRY.
  • I received my first ever book subscription box from illumicrate. I’ve been so tempted to get one of these for a while, but with most being £30 a pop it’s not exactly an impulse buy. But this month I decided to treat myself, damn it! It was so fun having a mystery box full of goodies to open, and it had a book enclosed that I’ve been desperately coveting for the last couple of months! If you’re interested to see what was in it, you can view my instagram story (it’s on my highlights)!

What were your personal highlights this month?

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October Wrap Up: Superheroes, Addictive TV Shows & Busy Work Schedules!

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Hello bloggers!

After much thought, I’ve decided to start doing my own wrap-up posts, and I am VERY EXCITED ABOUT THIS!

When I first started blogging I wasn’t a big fan of wrap-ups because I didn’t think they added anything new, but since, I’ve seen so many great bloggers be creative with them that now they’re often my favourite kinds of post! I’ve been thinking a lot about wrap-ups since I recently changed my blogging style and decided I wasn’t going to review everything I read – I’ve been debating how I can showcase books in other formats. Additionally, I’ve been looking to expand the topics I talk about to include my other interests. A wrap up seemed like a great way to spotlight some of these, alongside general updates.

 I asked you guys on Instagram and twitter whether you would be interested in Blogs of a Bookaholic wrap-ups and the answer was a resounding yes. So your wish is my command!

Depending on life and time restraints, I may do wrap-ups every month, or every two months. We’ll see how this goes!

What should I expect from your wrap-ups?

  • Short life updates
  • Books read (ratings and summarising my thoughts in a couple of sentences).
  • Film and TV watched (ratings, and mini reviews)
  • Product of the month – I’m keeping this purposely vague, I could be discussing anything from fashion and makeup to phone apps and homeware!
  • Blog posts published
  • Posts I’ve enjoyed from other bloggers

Hopefully, this will be interesting to you, but let me know if there’s anything else you’d be interested in seeing. I’d love to hear your thoughts and will consider requests!

So, here we go!

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5 YA Tropes that Make Me Feel Old (PLEASE BRING AID AND COOKIES)

5 YA Tropes that make me feel old

So you guys know that I LOVE YA. I live and breathe those hormone filled, perfectly tormented souls who feel everything three times as hard as the rest of the world, and I know I always will.

But the thing is, as a YA reader, I have always been a teenager reading about teenagers.

Now, I’m 24 years of age and I have to face the facts that I am DOING THE ADULTING THING. WHICH IS WEIRD. I still consider myself a ‘young adult’, as I kind of feel this bracket continues to about the age of 25, (wait a minute, that’s only a year away, gulp) but I’ve certainly grown older and wiser, my views have expanded, and my book tastes have evolved.

I feel so incredibly lucky to be living in a time where I have access to talented YA authors whose stories have mass appeal. YA is not just for teenagers folks, it’s for everyone, and I will defend that to the depts of Mordor.

But now that I’m older, I do sometimes come across tropes/storylines, or certain scenes in YA books that make me feel, well, kinda old.*

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Thoughts on Returning to Blogging and My (Hopefully) Epic Comeback!

On blogging

Hello bloggers! Welcome! Pull up a chair. Can I get you a drink? It’s been so long since we had a proper catch up, after all.

You may be wondering why after a hiatus of almost a year, a couple of book reviews suddenly popped into your inbox within the last month with no warning or explanation. I imagine you must have a lot of questions. I always told myself I would never be one of those bloggers who disappeared without a word, but the truth is I never made a conscious decision to take a break. So, where did I go and why? Let everything be revealedddd!! Continue reading

If We Were Having Coffee…

If we were having coffeeIf we were having coffee is a blogging community idea, where bloggers publish posts about what they’d like to say to their readers if they were sitting down together having a casual cup of coffee.

In my mind, we’re sitting in a small rustic coffee shop, tucked away down a cobbled street. It has oak tables, vintage cutlery and copper decor with dim lighting, and The Civil Wars are playing in the background.  What are you waiting for? Snug in, grab a beverage, and let’s chat!

~ * ~

If we were having coffee txt 2
I’d say hello lovely bloggers, it’s me, I’m alive! Contrary to popular belief, I haven’t been spirited away to join a secret Wiccan coven, I haven’t disappeared to study dragons in Peru (I wish), nor was I kidnapped by nargles…
I can’t even feign a flu powder disaster to explain my absence (something tells me you wouldn’t believe me). Continue reading

Mental Health Awareness Week: My Story.

Mental Health Awareness Week LogoHello, everyone! You may not be aware, but this week is mental health awareness week run by the Mental Health Foundation. As this is an area I’m really passionate about both personally and as a psychology student, to do my bit I’ve decided to run a blog feature where I and guest bloggers talk about mental health related topics paired with books and/or blogging to help raise awareness. 🙂

So, it seems like a fitting place to start by sharing my mental health journey with you. This is something that previously, I have decided to gloss over on this blog. Until now, I haven’t felt comfortable discussing it. I felt embarrassed by it, ashamed even and didn’t want anyone to know except a very small select few. Mental health has a sneaky way of doing that to you, backing you into a corner, isolating you from others and blocking out any light or positivity. Something about putting it into writing has always made it feel so… final. It’s not something you can take back. It’s a scary thing to put out there, but I’m finally ready and I’m happy with who I am now.

True story: I suffer with anxiety.

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Discussion: On Choosing Not to Read a Sequel

Do you ever choose not to read a novels sequel

As a bookworm, I have always been intent on finishing series, in fact, it’s basically a compulsion. I have finished reading series when I’m not that bothered about the characters or how their stories turn out, I’ve finished series that have awful writing, and I’ve even finished series where I’ve absolutely hated everything to do with it by the end. Why do I torture myself like this? I feel the need to see things through to the end. I also don’t like to quit and finishing books gives me a sense of closure. And until now (despite having had previous resolutions to give up series I’m not enjoying) I haven’t come across anything that has contradicted this.

However, recently I’ve come across two books that were incredibly enjoyable, heartfelt and lots of fun where I’ve questioned if I should read the sequel. Continue reading

An Unexpected Adventure: My Trip to A & E

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Well, when I said I planned to seek out new experiences for one of my 2016 resolutions, taking my first ever trip to A & E wasn’t realllllllly what I had in mind!

I was just starting to get my blogging mojo back as well, and now I’ve had a months absence again, HMMPH. Anyway, I just wanted to explain why it went quiet, again.

So my tale starts about two weeks ago, on a bright and sunny Monday. I was shopping and experiencing what I thought were cramps, and I didn’t think much of it. Continue reading

On Graduating + Where I’ve Been!

Lets Talk Real Life rounded

Hello, bloggers! I hope you’re well.
(This is the part where I hope that I’m not talking into a murky abyss of nothingness, as this blog has been somewhat neglected of late.)

So yeah, I disappeared there for a while. It was completely unintentional, but I think, much needed. Ever since I finished university, life has become a bit of a whirlwind, so much has been going on, but all of it good! I have been making it my mission to have as much fun and relaxation time as possible, and to catch up on doing things I didn’t have time to do the past 3 years, and it’s been awesome. Continue reading