Sunday, 20 May 2018

What I Have Been Up To #3


Hi everyone! Today I am going to be talking about what I have been up to lately, let me know what you have been up to in the comments!


1. Education:
I am hoping to do a masters in creative writing! I have been writing for years, I started with poetry and then also began writing short stories and potential novels. I have been thinking about doing a masters for a while and if I can that will be amazing. I would love to develop my writing skills, learn more about writing and get a masters (hopefully I could pass!).


2. Blogging:

I have been spending a lot of time on my blog. I love blogging and I have been posting every other day. I have been posting more on Instagram, you can follow my social media accounts by clicking on the names in the sidebar.


3. Gaming:

I really want to start gaming more again. I haven't had much time to play at the moment but I am hoping to fit more gaming in to my schedule. What are your favourite games?

Overall, I have had a busy time lately but I am excited for potentially doing a masters and for playing more games. Additionally, I have as always been having a lot of fun blogging and I am so happy that so many of you are enjoying my blog too.




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Friday, 18 May 2018

My Favourite Pokemon Games and What Is Currently Missing from the Franchise




I want to talk about my favourite Pokemon games and what I feel is currently wrong with the Pokemon games that have been coming out. Here are my top 3 Pokemon games:



1.       Pokemon LeafGreen 


This was the first Pokemon game that I ever played and it will always be my favourite. If I could only play one Pokemon game it would be this one.



2.       Pokemon White/Black 2


I loved the Pokemon Black and White games and their sequels. It was the first time I felt like I had seen a lot of new Pokemon and the story definitely picked up. Furthermore, there was an amazing feature of seeing how many Pokemon are available to catch on each route which made catching many different Pokemon a lot easier and more fun.



3.       Pokemon X/Y


This felt like a relaunch of Pokemon with a brand new French inspired region and a new Pokedex. I enjoyed this game so much. I remember spending a long time hatching Pokemon and it was the first time that I could globally trade, including wonder trade (trading random Pokemon with trainers from around the world) and it was amazing.




So, those are my favourite Pokemon games. However, I have some issues with the way that Pokemon games have been going and I wanted to see if others feel the same way.



I didn’t really enjoy Pokemon Alpha Sapphire even though I loved the original and I still haven’t completed Pokemon Ultra Sun and I figured out why. Pokemon games are becoming too gimmicky. They are adding all these extra features in and expanding dialogue. It used to be that you could quickly speak to all of the people in a town and gain items or useful information. Now you can be there for a long time tapping through pages of useless dialogue. Additionally, the focus has been taken off of having enjoyable battles through adding additional features such as mega stones and z moves which take time to use and honestly, I barely ever used the mega stones.



What I love about Pokemon games is going through routes, catching new Pokemon, training them up, evolving them, battling a ton of trainers, getting gym badges, becoming a champion and unearthing a legendary Pokemon. However, recent Pokemon games have been obscuring this. I don’t want to spend half of the game talking to characters that I will never see again. I don’t want to be forced to play mini games when I would rather be catching and battling. I want more of what Pokemon games used to hold. Do you feel the same? Let me know in the comments.


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Why I Want to Listen to Audiobooks More


I haven’t listened to many audiobooks in the past. I absolutely loved the Pride and Prejudice audiobook, having wanted to read this book for a long time but I was put off by the writing style as I had read a sample during my studies that I did not like. The audiobook was a great way to go.

I’ve been in a reading slump for a while and I have realised that I am almost always doing something else. If I have spare time I try to work on my blog. I want to start fitting in gaming again and I thought that it would be a great idea to listen to audiobooks whilst I play games (not when there are big dialogue scenes in the game). This would also mean that I am reading more and I can listen to audiobooks whilst doing social media which I spend a lot of time doing.

My library doesn’t have that many audiobooks which is why I love that Audible can give me access to so many great audiobooks. I am planning on listening to some books that I have wanted to read for a while and hopefully this will enable me to read more.

Do you like audiobooks? Which is your favourite?

You can get a free audiobook


 

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Thursday, 17 May 2018

Getting a Replacement Birth Certificate



Recently, I went for a job interview that required me to produce a birth certificate. However, my birth certificate had unfortunately been lost. I looked at how to order a replacement birth certificate. Ordering a replacement birth certificate through my local registry meant that the birth certificate would not be sent for 14 working days and that it would get to me even later. This would have taken too long as I needed the birth certificate much sooner.

I found https://www.uk-birth-certificates.co.uk/ who can send you a birth certificate within 10 working days. With over 40,000 certificates sent out to date, I knew that this was a website that I could trust.

Additionally, if you make an error through the registry website, your certificate can be delayed but UK Certificates are experts in birth, death and marriage certificates and they make sure that all your information is correct during the application process.

If you need to order a replacement birth, death or marriage certificate, I would recommend UK Certificates. You can also order replacement certificates through the gov.uk website.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

So Shape: Healthy Meals and Snacks on the Go



So Shape sell shakes that are not only good for you in terms of nutrients but that can also help you to lose weight. There are three different challenges which cover either 5 days, 14 days or 28 days. They offer both snacks/desserts and meals. I opted for the 14 day challenge and 6 different flavours: chocolate, brownie, stracciatella, mint chocolate, vanilla and white chocolate and caramel. So basically all of the chocolate related flavours. In my package I received a shaker, an instruction manual and 30 different powdered flavours. You pour some water into your shake, add the powder and shake. The shake also comes with a diffuser which you can put fruit in and have a fruit flavoured water.

I had some friends try a bit of each flavour to do a taste test. The majority of people loved the flavours! If you are a picky eater you might not like these but if not then you may love this. The chocolate definitely shone through and you could have it cold or heated. Having it heated was like having a hot chocolate. In fact, one person even said that the chocolate flavour was the best hot chocolate that they had ever had. The only issue that I had was that sometimes there were still lumps in the shake so I just sieved these out.

The great thing about So Shape is that the meals are packed with nutrients. When I looked in the instruction manual at the ingredients I was amazed. There were so many vitamins and I noticed that one shake actually had green tea in. So you can have something sweet tasting that actually has nutrients in!

Overall, I was really impressed with the quality of So Shape’s products and I would really recommend them if you are looking for a healthy alternative.

OFFER CODE:
Get twice the flavours for 14 and 28 days challenges with the code CUSTOMLUCY

*This was sent to me to review but this in no way affected my opinion. If you would like me to review your product or service please email me at lucyisreading@gmail.com


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Monday, 14 May 2018

Why I Love Going to the Beach


With the weather warming up, I’ve been longing to spend days at the beach. I absolutely love going to the beach. Here are four reasons why:


The sea

I have always loved being near the sea: the sound of the waves, the water hitting the shore, the calmness in its retreat. I enjoy walking in it and paddling in it. One time I even saw a seal up close! I think there is part of me that still hopes to find a mermaid or a loch ness like creature, that would be so cool. 


The air

I love the sea air. It always smells so fresh and it makes me sleep better at night.

The adventure

Going to the beach is always an adventure: packing up what is needed, taking food and drinks. Walking to the beach and then across the sand or stones, finding a perfect place to sit and exploring rockpools and watching the tide.


The quality time
Going to the beach can also mean time spent from loved ones without distractions. There is no internet or television or work to do. Even just sitting near the people you love is so nice and relaxing.


Do you like going to the beach?


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Saturday, 12 May 2018

Disney Loungefly Bags UK

I previously wrote a post all about the Pokémon Loungefly collection. Today I am going to discuss the Disney Loungefly products!

This is a really cute Toy Story Loungefly bag. I have recently discovered a new love for Toy Story and this bag is so cute!


This is an Alice in Wonderland crossbody Loungefly bag. I love how the blue strap fits in with the design.

This bag features Stitch, one of my favourite Disney characters!
This Lilo & Stitch makeup bag is gorgeous.

This Mickey Mouse backpack is so stylish, I would love to own one of these.


And finally, this little mermaid bag is just perfect. It features Ariel, Flounder and Sebastian.


What do you think of these bags? Which one is your favourite?


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Thursday, 10 May 2018

May TBR





Hello! So I thought I would do this month's TBR post a bit differently. Above are some books that I have either been sent to review or have had on my shelf for a while that I would like to try to read this month. I don't usually end up reading all of my TBR books but it is nice to have an idea of what I might feel like reading! I am also doing a buddy read of City of Bones.


I have been in a reading slump lately but I am hoping that I will read at least one book this month! I am really looking forward to most of these books so wish me luck!

If you would like more information on these books, just click the corresponding picture.


What are you planning on reading in May? 



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Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Life Update: I Opened a Sticker Shop!




I have always loved digital art. For years I have admired the work of others and wished to be a great artist. Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to obtain a drawing tablet. I started drawing fanart and then moved on to my own designs. You draw on a tablet with a pen and the picture comes up on the screen. I thought that it would be difficult to draw on one thing and watch the results on another device but it actually isn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I really enjoy drawing different designs and after speaking to Eleanor (eleaanormay.com) about business ideas, I decided to launch an art shop!

In the last couple of years, I have been seeing people selling stickers and pins and I thought it would be really cool to be able to do that. So I am now selling stickers of my designs here. If you would like a custom listing (e.g. certain stickers or a certain number of stickers), please comment. You can keep up to date with all my designs here and I will be adding more often.

I love seeing my designs on actual stickers! If there are any designs that you would like to see, feel free to send me suggestions. I am having so much fun with this process.

What is one thing that you have always wanted to try? 

Buy stickers: https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/stickersbylux



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Sunday, 6 May 2018

Depression Sucks: A Poem

Trigger warning for depression and suicide.


Depression Sucks

Depression sucks

You don't want to do anything

You don't want to be

You just feel a sadness

That doesn't want to leave

It's like looking into a darkness

That isn't physically there

Silently screaming for help

In a corner of your mind


Being surrounded by things you used to love

And not feeling a thing

Except perhaps a longing

For what used to be


Depression sucks

You feel like it will never leave

But let me tell you this

There will be times

When it will leave

And let you be

Life will always have good times

The light past the dark


Lucy Ann Smith


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Friday, 4 May 2018

Meant to be Broken by Brandy Woods Snow Cover Reveal


I am so grateful to be able to take part in revealing the cover for Meant to be Broken by Brandy Woods Snow which releases July 2nd 2018.

Here is some information on the book:

        Rayne Davidson is perfectly happy fading into the background. Her mama’s antics garner enough attention in their small Southern town for the both of them, but when Rayne catches the eye of all-star quarterback, Preston Howard, she’s enamored with the possibilities. Too bad Preston doesn’t make her heart thump—his brother does.

Gage Howard doesn’t mind the town’s stares because he doesn’t get them. Growing up in his older brother’s shadow, Gage shrugs off the endless parade of girls Preston brings home—until Rayne.

But there are unwritten rules that shouldn’t be broken, like cheating on your boyfriend or betraying your brother. Rayne and Gage deny their growing attraction, neither willing to hurt Preston—until the town finds out.

They think overcoming the gossip will be the hardest obstacle. 

They’re wrong.

Rayne’s mama has a secret, and its revelation could divide the town, the families, and the new couple.

Can love endure if it’s all built on a lie?

So without further ado, here is the cover!




'Her secret is big. Mama’s is bigger'


Some information about the author:


Brandy Woods Snow is an author and journalist born, raised and currently living in beautiful Upstate South Carolina. She earned a BA in English/Writing from Clemson University and worked in corporate communications and the media for more than 17 years before pursuing her true passion for novel writing. Brandy is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and Young Adult RWA.
When Brandy’s not writing, reading, spending time with her husband or driving carpool for her three kids, she enjoys kayaking, family hikes, yelling “Go Tigers!” as loud as she can, playing the piano and taking “naked” Jeep Wrangler cruises on twisty, country roads.
Brandy's social media:

Excerpt of Meant to be Broken:

A

t 9:30 Saturday morning, I find out Preston Howard wants to date me. At 11:30, my mama hears it from old lady McAlister and has a “spell” in aisle three of the Piggly Wiggly. It’s taken seventeen years, but I finally understand the two things my social life and Mama have in common. They’re both erratic and one usually suffers because of the other.

The store manager calls me on my cell and asks me to come get her. He has my number because he’s Daddy’s best friend’s brother and used me to babysit his kids a few times last year. I answer, expecting another job offer.

“Rayne? This is Dave Sullivan, you know, the manager down at the Piggly Wiggly? There’s been an incident with your mama.”

Apparently it’d happened in front of the Luzianne tea bags. She was comparing the family size to smaller ones when Mrs. McAlister offered her a coupon… and a piece of news.

The details get a little sketchy from there—something about her sinking to the floor and gasping for air. That’s when the manager came over with one of those small brown paper sacks they use to bag up ice cream and had her breathe in it. A nurse and a vet, both in the crowd assembled around her, agreed from their varied medical expertise it didn’t appear to be life-threatening. When the paper bag seemed to work, he decided to call me instead of the ambulance.

I pull into the parking lot ten minutes later. She’s sitting on the front bench beside the automatic doors where the employees go to smoke, under the “I’m Big on the Pig!” sign. Mrs. McAlister sits beside her, a little too close, waving a folded-up circular in her face. I wonder what the store employees and shoppers think of me, casually parking the car, walking-not-running, and looking both ways before crossing the main traffic flow. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out they’re all watching from between the weekly specials scribbled on the plate-glass windows.

I don’t feel the need to rush. It isn’t a heart attack or stroke. I call it her bipolar though Daddy gets mad when I refer to it like that. The diagnosis is anxiety, better known as my evil little sister—always around, always a pain, and always ruining my life.

This sort of episode has happened before, just not too often in public. In most societies that’s considered good news—but not in the South. They say we don’t hide our crazy, we dress it up and parade it on the front porch. And even if we don’t, someone else will do the parading for us—telegraph, telephone, tell-a-southern woman. We know how to reach out and touch some people.

Mrs. McAlister jumps up from the bench and grabs my arm as I step up on the curb. “I suwannee, child. She liked to turned over her buggy and spilt them groceries everywhere.”

Talking to some of the older ladies in town always feels like walking out of real life and into some part of Steel Magnolias. She gives me her version of the sordid details. Mama created quite a scene, not just with her episode but also by her scandalous choice of groceries. The mayonnaise was the only casualty, rolling out the leg hole of the kiddie seat portion of the cart when Mama accidentally gave it a rough shove while collapsing on the linoleum.

Mrs. McAlister hadn’t bothered to pick that up and put it back in the buggy, which was now waiting by the customer service desk. It wasn’t Dukes Mayonnaise. She leans in close to whisper because how embarrassing would that be for Mama. To her, it’s further proof Mama hadn’t been feeling well long before their conversation. What southern woman in her right mind buys off-brand mayonnaise?

Reviews of the book:
Brimming with romantic tension, Brandy Snow’s MEANT TO BE BROKEN is a story of forgiveness, friendship, and first love. Full of authentic southern voice and populated by characters who are real, relatable, and raw, this intensely emotional debut kept me reading late into the night. Romance lovers, you're in for a treat!” Katy Upperman, author of Kissing Max Holden
“Brandy Snow’s poetic prose keeps the reader turning the pages. This story is about more than just a love triangle. It is also a family drama with dark secrets and twists.

The story unfolds from both Rayne and Gage’s perspective. Growing up in his older brother’s shadow, Gage is almost oblivious to the girl’ s Preston brings home—until he meets Rayne. You want Rayne and Gage to get together, but you don’t at the same time because Preston is a good guy. 

When Rayne and Gage finally get together secrets come to light that will surprise you!” R.J. Garcia, author of Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced
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