Friday, 28 December 2018

Got a Friend Who Doesn't Read Much? Here Are Some Things to Let Them Know

Believe it or not, but some people don’t read much. In fact, some people don’t even like the idea of reading, very much.

This is often a difficult realisation for book-fiends to come to terms with, but it shouldn’t really be too much of a surprise. Reading books requires you to get into a certain mindset. It demands a lot more attention than watching TV, or film, and it can seem boring until you get into your stride.

Combine that with the fact that more visceral forms of digital entertainment are now so prevalent, advanced, and easily accessible, and it’s easy to see many people never really give good literature a chance.

Of course, the issue with all of that is that good books can be absolutely life-changing, and can transport people to worlds of the imagination, and expose them to deep and rich concepts, in a way that few other things can.

So, if you’ve got a friend who doesn’t read much — here are a few things you can let them know in order to try and sway their interest.

Image via Pixabay

Monday, 10 December 2018

Just A Few Ways To Use The Internet Differently

If you’re someone who uses the computer, or your phone regularly, then you know just how much time the internet can suck up out of our lives. It’s the place where we can meet all kinds of people, watch all kinds of videos, read all kinds of stories and articles, and ultimately, craft a whole new persona for ourselves. But does that ever get boring? Does that ever take up just too much time, and you know something’s got to change?

Using the internet is something we all do in our own way for our own ends. And because of that, everyone has a different experience with it! But all in all, the internet can be a great place to broaden your horizons, and let yourself experience some new and fun activities - and here’s just a couple you might not have thought of before.

No matter where we are, there’s a very good chance we’ve got an internet signal. (Image)

Monday, 26 November 2018

November Book Haul!

This month I was able to pick up some popular (mainly fantasy) books that coincidentally are all quite red! It has been a while since I have stepped into a bookstore and this month, I went in not one but two bookshops! #heaven

Here are the books I picked up this month:

Scythe by Neal Shusterman 

I have heard quite a bit about this book. It follows a world where everything has been cured and the only way that people can be killed is by the hand of a scythe. Scythes are members of society that are chosen to have this duty. They are told to 'glean' humans according to the statistics of how people died and the demographics of people that died before death was stopped. Everyone fears the scythes but they leave them to 'glean' as it is deemed necessary to maintain the size of the population. In this book we follow two characters who are chosen to potentially be scythes.

I have already started reading this book and I am really enjoying it so far. It is quite unique from what I have read in the past and I'm finding the writing style fast-paced which is perfect for me.

Friday, 23 November 2018

4 Spiritual Ways To Improve Your Mental Health

When it comes to your mental health, you may feel like you’ve got self-care covered. And yes, self-care is keeping your body clean and healthy, and it may be applying a facemask some days. However, embracing the spiritual could bring you one step closer to finding your true and happy self, and if that’s true, then we think it’s worth a try. Even if you currently think it’s all made-up fluffy stuff, it has actually been linked to good mental health and a strong sense of self. So, here are four ways to give it a go.

1. Meditation
Meditation is really good for your mental health, even if you think that it sounds a bit cliche. Taking some time out to think about what has really happened in your day - what you’re happy about, and what you want to change going into tomorrow - will keep you in touch with your inner sense of self, and focused upon the little goals that you’ve set for yourself. Headspace is a useful app if you need a bit of guidance.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Are You Neglecting These Key Areas Of Health?

When it comes to your body, are you in control? Do you feel as if you’re as healthy as you can be? Do you care about how you feel in yourself? How much energy you have? And really making the most out of your life? If this is the case, then it’s just so important for you to be healthier. And, be honest with yourself, do you feel as if you’re currently being as healthy as possible? Do you make conscious efforts to feel good and energized and healthy at all times? Would you agree that you’re in the best condition of your life, and that none of your own actions are putting your health at risk? It’s likely to be that your answer is no here - because so many of us aren’t all that sure on what we can do for our health levels.

And that’s okay. It’s okay to be unsure. But as long as you want to be healthier and you’re willing to learn, you can turn things around quite quickly. Or maybe you’re someone that is making quite the effort to get your health under control. And you care about your body and feeling good? Are you’re really sure that you’re doing all you can, but you’d love to know if there’s more you can do? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Because we’re going to run through the key areas of health that you may be neglecting, and what you can do about it.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Mastering Your Own Mental Health

As time goes one, it is becoming less and less of a stigmatized issue to talk about mental health. That is just as well, as looking after your own mental health is always going to be hugely important, and it’s something that we all need to think about doing. It’s not just for those with apparent or obvious mental health signs who need to focus on this - everyone can benefit from ensuring that they are looking after their mental health in the right way. In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the ways in which you can understand and improve your own mental health. As long as you do that, you should find that you are much more able to be happy nd well in the long run.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Spookathon TBR!

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Spookathon is a week long readathon hosted by Lala from BooksandLala. It begins today, October 15 and runs until 21st October. The aim is to read anything that is spooky. There are optional challenges and you can do as many as you like. I don't expect to read all of these books but I thought it would be fun to create a TBR anyway!

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Relaxing: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Not every day is the same. Some days can be fun and cosy, like sitting on a great big sofa. And other days feel like being thrown at a giant cactus. Whether you’re going through a hectic project at work or you’re struggling with a complicated relationship at home, bad days happen to everyone. Stress is, unfortunately, a natural part of your day. As a result, most people have come up with their own coping mechanisms to escape stress. And thankfully, there are plenty of options for you to leave behind your worries and help your mind to relax. However, relaxing doesn’t come without risk. There is a healthy balance to maintain, namely relaxing is important, but not as much as learning how to manage your stress effectively. Here’s a little overview of how relaxing can sometimes put your health at risk.

The Ugly: When convivial de-stressing creates a bad habit
A major part of the active population in Britain chooses to go for a drink at the end of the workday as a way to relax. That’s what happy hours are about! However, as they develop a higher tolerance for alcohol, they may not always notice that they fall into the trap of increasing their intake. In fact, you might want to take advance of the Go Sober campaign for October to change your habits before you need guidance from a rehab clinic to gain back control. Ultimately, too much alcohol can affect your liver and mind dramatically without reducing your stress levels.
The Bad: Evacuate the stress can make you forget about problem-solving
Ultimately, relaxing the mind is not easy for everyone. But if you think of how a stressful situation affects your body, you can find an alternative approach. Stress creates tensions and pains that you can feel for days after the event. Consequently, for a lot of experts, a sports activity can offer the escape you need and turn pressure into energy. The key here is to drain your body of its tensions to be able to recharge your mind. It doesn’t erase the situation that is causing you stress – in the long term you need to tackle the issue at its source if you want to improve your day-to-day life.
The Good: Creativity offers a refreshing escape
Chronic stress – the result of long exposure to stress –  can lead to anxiety and panic disorders. Let’s be honest; it is not the kind of thing that disappears when you go for a jog. Anxiety is like a cogwheel in your mind that, for no valid reason, suddenly begins to turn slightly out of sync. You can’t always control it. However, turning it into a positive force, through creativity – read Hannah’s testimony to find out more – can help you to navigate through the troubled waters of high stress and anxiety. Being creative lets you build a bubble of peace that stops negative thoughts from damaging you.

How do you escape stress in your everyday life? You don’t. But you can create little moments of peace to help you relax and gain the strength you need to tackle each problem. Indeed, while stress is a regular occurrence, the risk of developing effective coping strategies is that you might never solve the issues that created your stress in the first place.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Double Double Toil Blog Tour!

When Amber Elby asked if I would like to participate in the blog tour for the second book in her trilogy based on Shakespearian lore, I was so excited! She has put together a blog tour where on each stop, a new page of the book will be unveiled and there are also little interview sections at each stop. For October 7, we will be looking at page 7 of Double Double Toil and Amber Elby's favourite places to travel! You can check out the first book here.

Six months after the events of Cauldron’s Bubble...
Alda is stranded in her remote cottage, unable to recreate the magical object that allows her to travel between time and place. Meanwhile, Dreng’s home with Miranda on a distant island begins to crumble. They both escape to Fairy Land, where they become embroiled in a battle of immortals as the clans of Queen Titania and King Oberon fight for supremacy. In order to restore order and return to their worlds, Dreng must rely on his adversary, Caliban, while Alda discovers an ally in the mysterious Ophelia. In a realm where only humans can die, will Alda and Dreng save themselves and, more importantly, each other? Or will they succumb to the fantastical powers in play?
Double Double Toil continues to build on the world introduced in Cauldron’s Bubble by intertwining Shakespeare’s plays in a unique and exciting way, introducing their stories to new readers and established Bard fans alike. Elements and characters from Hamlet, Macbeth, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, and Romeo and Juliet combine in this fast-paced tale of magic and adventure. Read on…

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Appreciating Yourself Just A Little More

Are you someone who always smiles when you look in the mirror? Maybe not, but you at least have something good to think whilst you’re there, right? Maybe you’re someone who can always be proud of what you achieved, because you know you’ve tried your best in whatever you’ve set your mind to, and you can look back with a sense of accomplishment?

But if you can’t do any of those things, then now’s the time to change your habits. You always need to appreciate yourself, no matter who you are or what you do, and you need to be strong enough to meet your own eyes in the mirror every day with a little bit of kindness! So with all that in mind, here’s a couple favourite tips for making sure you’re loving yourself in the best way possible.

This message is for you from you!(Image)
Share the Love a Little More
When you share your love with other people, you open yourself up to easier ways of expressing your emotions, especially when it comes to appreciating yourself. And because of that, practicing your words and actions on other people might just be the most practical way of faking it until you make it - seeing as you’re coming across so confident and loving, you might just trick yourself into actually believing it…

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Why You Should Never Give Up Learning As An Adult

(image source)

You may have thought your learning days were behind you. The minute you walked through those school gates as a teenager, celebrating the possibility that you may never have to look another teacher in the face again, you probably thought you had learned all you need to. Well, from a textbook anyway. We all learn something new about ourselves every day; it's all part of growing up and learning from experiences, so we are never too far removed from learning something.

But it's still important to pursue learning, whether that's going back to school, browsing the internet to expand our knowledge beyond the info we gain from our friends on Facebook, or picking up a book or two from the local store or library. Despite the everyday learning we all go through as adults - there are reasons why you should make the effort to tantalise your brain.

By continuing learning, you will…

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Guest Post!

Today we have a guest post from Melissa! Trigger warnings for death and suicide. --

I am an avid reader. I don’t remember a time in my life where I didn’t have a book in my hand. Growing up, the library was my favorite place to be, and then when I managed to save some money, I traded the library for bookstores. To this day, I can’t walk past a bookstore without going in, looking at all the books I want to read, and wondering where my books (once I finish writing them!) would end up.

But throughout all the books that I’ve read, there are some that just stuck out and changed my life. Here are four of them:

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Summer Biannual Bibliothon TBR

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Hello! Today I am here with a readathon TBR! I am participating in a few readathons this month and the first one is the Summer Biannual Bibliothon which runs from 14th July to 20thJuly. This readathon comprises of optional reading challenges, video challenges and Instagram challenges. Here is my TBR for the reading challenges:

1.       Group book:

So the first challenge is to read the group book which is The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw. This is a book that I was planning on reading at some point. In this book, three witches are said to come back every year and lure boys to die by drowning.

2.       Choose from someone else’s TBR:

The second challenge is to read a book from someone else’s TBR. I researched the TBRs of booktubers, book bloggers and bookstagrammers and decided to read Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire which is on Little Red Reader’s TBR. This is a short book that I have wanted to read for a while. This book series follows children who have come back from other worlds such as Narnia.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Lucy's Reading Diary: July 10th

reading vlog, books to read, book recommendations,

Hi everyone! I absolutely love watching reading vlogs and I wondered if I could translate this to writing somehow. I came up with the idea of an ongoing blog diary, writing about my thoughts whilst reading and my progress. I hope that you like these posts!
I started reading Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton and I was really enjoying it. You can definitely tell that the author has a scientific background but I actually like the technical speak. It isn’t too overwhelming and as someone who enjoyed studying biology, it is a welcome return and it is about dinosaurs which I find interesting too! I won’t write too much about the book because I will be describing it in my review. I have been making slow progress. I find that when I start a book, I am really excited about it but if I don’t get too much time to read my excitement wanes and it takes me longer to read.

Yesterday I felt like reading but I didn’t want to read Jurassic Park. I thought of a few books that I would like to read and posted a poll on Twitter. I ended up picking up Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. I’m not very far into it but so far I really like it. It is a fast-paced mystery (although at the moment I feel like I have figured out the mystery but we’ll see). This book also has a scientific element but how heavy that is, I cannot yet say.

What are you currently reading?

Monday, 9 July 2018

The Fifty Bookish Questions Tag

I am really enjoying doing book tags so whilst I am making slow progress in my current read I thought I would do another one! Here is the fifty bookish questions tag:

1. What was the last book you read?
I’m currently reading Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. The last book I finished was Fairy Tail volume 1.

2. Was it a good one?
Yes, I reviewed it here.

3. What made it good?
Comedy, fantasy, magic.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Reviewing my 2018 So Far

reading goals, goal ideas, goal planning, personal development blog post,
Hi everyone! I saw some people discussing their goals so far this year and going forward and I thought I would do a little review post of my year so far and what I hope to accomplish in the future.

So in 2018, I started my blog! January 17th to be precise so my blog is nearly six months old! I have done some temp work and I have been applying for jobs. My end goal is that I would love to be able to blog full-time. I love blogging so much and I really want to be able to do it as my career. In the meantime, I am going to be working part-time whilst I continue to blog so wish me luck!

I want to post more book reviews and after a reading slump, I am slowly getting back into reading. I am currently reading Jurassic Park and I am loving it so far.

The Opposites Book Tag

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Today I am going to be doing another book tag! This one is called the opposites book tag:

First Book In Your Collection/ Last Book You Bought

I’m not sure what the first book in my collection is but I know that one of them is the first Harry Potter book.
The last book I bought was The Surface Breaks by Louise O’ Neill which is on my July TBR.

A Cheap Book/ An Expensive Book

One of the cheapest books that I own is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, that I found in a charity shop.
An expensive book that I own is any of the Harry Potter Illustrated Editions.

A Book with a Male Protagonist/ One with a Female Protagonist

Beautiful Creatures follows a male protagonist and at the time, that was something fairly new to me in the YA genre.
Let’s go with one of my recent favourites for a book with a female protagonist: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder, you can read my reviews of the original trilogy here.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag 2018

book tag, book questions, book recommendations, books to read, books to get, good books, book blog, book blogger,
Hi everyone! There are a few book tags that I have been wanting to do, so here is the Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag!

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2018: 
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder, an amazing read and I ended up reading the trilogy really quickly altogether!

2. Best sequel you've read so far in 2018:
I haven’t actually read very many sequels this year but I did enjoy Death Note Black Edition Volume 4, it made me want to read the next book straight away which is always a good sign!

3. New release you haven't read yet, but want to:
It’s not actually out yet but I really want to read Vengeful by V. E. Schwab, the sequel to Vicious. Vicious left on an interesting

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year:
The same answer as above.

5. Biggest disappointment:
Bookish Boyfriends. The concept was really interesting but I didn’t like how it was written.

6. Biggest surprise:
I was actually surprised with how much I have enjoyed contemporary romances, including The Dating Debate and The Rules of Rebellion.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Your Mind Is A Muscle, So Create That Mental Strength Inside!

mental health, mental health blog,

We all wish that from time to time we didn't have so much stress and anxiety in our lives, that it could all just go away so we can finally relax. But instead, let's view it from another perspective. Instead of wishing this stress and anxiety would go away, can you think of how you can better cope with it? This is all about developing mental strength, rather than wishing everything away, which is a negative mindset. Developing mental strength is something we should all do, no matter how strong or weak we perceive ourselves to be. But how can you give your brain a workout needed to build this mental muscle?
Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Our comfort zone is that invisible barrier we hold between ourselves and the world. Getting out of this is something we all fear, but by gradually stepping outside of it, and feeling a sense of discomfort, we can get the sense that we've achieved something, as it's something we are afraid of. By doing one thing every day that makes you feel uncomfortable, or it's something you find immensely difficult, the feeling of self-satisfaction is unlike any other.
Change Your Perspective
We could easily play the victim in life. A negative mindset is a death sentence for a lot of us. We can let people push us over constantly in life, which means we constantly get injured, either physically or mentally, and we view this as the norm. Instead, we could get help after an injury, or we could look for the reasons why we view things the way we do. A negative mindset isn't something that can be changed overnight, but with the determination to change your interior monologue from self-effacing, or self-damaging comments, to more positive ones, the benefit can be felt in every aspect of your life.
Make Things Easier For You
It's not about overcoming every single obstacle if you want to be a success in life. You can change your surroundings so they benefit you better. For example, if you are prone to indulging in junk food, which in turn, has an effect on your health, simply remove the junk food from the cupboards! It's not just about working hard, it's about working smart. And by providing these little bits of help along the way, it is keeping you on track, and if this means reducing temptation, this isn't cheating! You wouldn't hang around with people in life who are bad for you, and it's exactly the same process when understanding what's good for your day to day living.
Building this mental strength requires determination, focus, and a desire to succeed. As a result, it's something that takes a lot of energy to maintain. But by working out your brain as you would work out your muscles, you develop resilience, and an ability to tackle the problem better next time. Your mind is like a muscle, and if you want it to function optimally, you have to put some stress on it.

Wicked Uncle Big Kidz Range Review

Wicked Uncle are an established company of children’s presents who have recently introduced a new range for adults. I was fortunate enough to receive some products from Wicked Uncle’s new big kidz range. These include items varying from lighting, games and useful gifts. I ordered two products:

product review, sun light, light box, wicked uncle review, toys review, gift ideas, adult gift ideas, adult gift shop, gift shop, presents, fun toysSun Jar
This is a solar light in a jar. I placed it on the window sill and it charged up during the day and then produced a lovely glowing purple light in the dark. It uses a rechargeable battery which came with the light.

This is a little display that comes with emojis and letters. I am using it for photos for my blog and Instagram and to display quotes. It uses 6 AA batteries which you need to supply. It can stand up or be laid down for photos. I found this light box to be the perfect size for me; there is enough room to insert a few words in letters or a few sentences in emojis and it is compact enough to not take up too much space in your office or room.

Wicked Uncle really excelled with their customer service, they were friendly, informative and fast throughout. I received the delivery quickly and the products were amazing. I have really enjoyed using them so far. I would definitely recommend Wicked Uncle’s big kidz range.

*These products were sent to me in exchange for an honest review

Sunday, 24 June 2018

bakerdays Personalised Birthday Cake Review

I recently had a birthday and bakerdays were lovely enough to send me a personalised birthday cake! They offer a range of flavours and I asked for chocolate chip. 

The cake came in time for my birthday in a small box that can fit through some letterboxes. When I opened the box, I was greeted by a beautiful tin. This cake is the small version and it is big enough for a couple of people.