Monday, November 30, 2015

Monthly Highlights | November

Hi, How is the year almost over? I don't think there is anything quite like blogging for making you notice the passing of time, it feels like I was only just writing up my goals for this month. At least the end of November marks the count down to Christmas, I can't wait to put the Christmas tree up with music playing way too loud and a baileys in my hand. I wanted to do a shout out to Imii from Nettle&Blackberry because I won her giveaway way back at the beginning of the month which made me super happy. You should maybe go check out her blog, her photography skills are amazing.

INSTAGRAM MOMENTARILY DREAMING NOVEMBER 2015 GROUP


Mini Goals For November 7/10
  • Start Christmas Shopping
  • Work towards my book goal
  • Use Social Media more effectively
  • Take more photos
  • Go to the Cinemas
  • See some fireworks
  • Do some knitting
  • Buy some warmer clothes
  • Try a new flavor of tea
  • Do something out of my comfort zone

So this month has whizzed past and I haven't had the time to really think about completing my goals, but I've not done too badly. I have taken a few more photos via Instagram which is a big step as I never do that. I've managed to add an extra four books to my reading total for the year, which has made my goal seem a lot more achievable. I watched the fireworks on bonfire night as best as I could but the weather this year was so poor, still saw loads.

I went to the cinemas three times, this being down to the weather and hiding from the rain. I saw Crimson Peaks which I loved, The Woman in the Van which was ok and what I expected it to be and then lastly on Friday I went to see the new Hunger Games film, which I enjoyed but I could tell that they had messed around a lot with the events of the book.

I only just started buying Christmas gifts but I've been looking a while and was totally unable to decide, I just placed some massive online orders so hopefully I'm almost done. I tried a black tea Christmas blend for my new tea which is really nice with loads of christmassy spices. This was enjoyed while trying to remember how to knit, I managed to knit two little hats for the Innocent big knit and I just wish I'd had more time, #Sassybooks fault. I'm going to continue to knit them hopefully improving my knitting skills so I can send even more next year.

Recap/Highlights

 Are you excited for Christmas, got your advent calendar at the ready?
Sam

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Saturday, November 28, 2015

November Reading Roundup | Book Reviews

Hi, Today I've got another round up of what I've been reading this month. I've really been putting in the hours as the year is drawing to a end and I'm still a little way from my yearly reading goal. I've managed to read four books, one of which being this months #Sassybooks pick 'The Miseducation of Cameron Post' by Emily M. Danforth.

The Hundred-Year-Old Man 
Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

Author -
Page Count - 396
First Published - 2012

Allan Karlsson is a very old man, on the day of his 100th birthday he climbs out of the window of the care home where he lives and goes on an adventure. He heads to the local bus station to see where he can go and ends up with a suitcase full of money. The story is told from the perspective of Allen but from his younger and older self in parallel. His present is light hearted and a tale of the suitcase, friendship and running for the police. His past however is much deeper, his life a connection of events deep routed in politics where he was always in the right place at the wrong time. I found this a little confusing as the chapters are really long and it took me a while to remember what had happened previously in both time zones. 

I think the style of writing works for the book, his past does have a big influence on the present and I liked how both elements of the story drew to an end at the same time. I enjoyed reading about the life of this old man, he has a big story to tell but I think these elements where a little drawn out, the fact that everything goes so smoothly for him gets a little boring, I much preferred reading about his present adventure and seeing how that would eventually end.

The Fault in Our Stars
Author - John Green
Page Count - 313
First Published - 2012

I think just about everyone knows this story, I saw the film and really fell for this love story. Hazel is a teenager living with cancer, the kind where it's under control for now but she feels like a ticking time bomb of unstoppable grief at the event of her death. One day at Support group she meets Augustus a cancer survivor. From the moment they meet he does not hide his interest in Hazel and they become friends, the only thing stopping them becoming more is hazel's fear of causing even more grief.

The story is set around Hazels favourite book which has a sudden cliff hanger ending, she wants anwsers from the author about what happens to the people left behind, this leads her and Augustus on a journey to Amsterdam. I enjoyed this book even more than the film, it's such an easy read that just carries you along with the couple on their journey. I finished it in only two days as it's a real page turner and even though I knew how sad this story is it got me emotional all over again.

Authority
Author - Jeff VanderMeer
Page Count - 341
First Published - 2014

The second installment in the southern reach trilogy. Unlike most trilogies where you feel like you are reacquainted with an old friend 'Authority' is like starting a completely new book. The first installment 'Annihilation' is set within area X but this book is set within the government organization building trying to work out what area X is from the perspective of a totally new character.

The story follows Control as he try's to unravel the mysteries of area X with the limited information they have available. The author writes in a very descriptive way that draws out simple elements of the story into much longer sequences which makes the story a little drawn out. A few questions are answered from the first book only to create new ones. This isn't a series I've really enjoyed so far I just hope it all ties together with the final book to make it worth the effort.

 Have you set yourself a reading goal?
Sam

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth | #Sassybooks November

Hi, Another #Sassybooks review for you today, this month we read 'The Miseducation of Cameron Post', a young adult novel focusing on the feelings of a young girl who is gay, set in the early nineties when not everyone's sexuality was accepted as openly as it is today. This book has been a real struggle to finish in time as it's just so long, don't forget to check out Charlotte's and Hayley's blogs for next month's book choice.


The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Author - Emily M. Danforth
Page Count - 470
First Published - 2012

Cameron post is a girl of 12 when her friendship with best friend Irene takes a sudden turn and they kiss. Cameron is both excited and confused by the event right from the beginning knowing she is doing something unconventional and frowned upon. Shortly after Cameron's parents have a tragic accident leaving her an orphan, her first thought is that her parents will never have to know her secret. Following her parents death, religious Aunt Ruth moves to secluded Miles City to become Cameron's guardian.

The story then follows Cameron over the years documenting her self discovery up until the point when Coley Taylor arrives in town, the perfect cowgirl type with a boyfriend. They form an unlikely friendship, which leads to much more and then Cameron's sexuality becomes public information. Overly religious Ruth sends Cameron to 'promise' a gay correction school in an attempt to 'fix' her niece.

The book is split into three sections: Summer 1989, High School 1991-1992 and God's Promise 1992-1993, the sections make the passing of time more apparent. I liked that there where odd little images of postcards and handwritten notes added among the text. The chapters where so long which I don't think helped me on my mission to finish this book. I didn't give myself nearly enough time to really enjoy it, having to force myself to read it to get it finished in time for the review. I fear that if I didn't have a deadline I would have been stuck reading this book for a considerably longer amount of time.

The writing is really lovely and very descriptive but at times the plot line seemed too distant for me to really be interested and submerged within the story. I really enjoyed the concept but I failed to connect with Cameron. She seems almost too laid back about the whole situation of being sent away and doesn't stand up for her own feelings nearly enough. I loved the elements of friendship and generally the young adult vibes but I think the true point of the story, the difference between rights and beliefs was a little under developed.

I'm looking forward to finding out what we are reading in December. Have you read this book?
Sam

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

TAG | Sweater Weather

Hi, Over the weekend it has definitely become colder and we even got a little snow which left the top of the hills white. I have been wearing my jumpers and woolly items of clothing even more to try and keep the cold at bay. Today I decided to do the sweater weather tag due to my total lack of original ideas, which I'm hoping I'll put an end too very soon and be back with some more interesting content. In the mean time I hope you enjoy this post and maybe learn something new about me.


Sweater Weather Tag

 

1. Favorite candle scent?
Without a doubt my favourite candle scent would be cinnamon, which is more popular at this time of year. I recently picked up A maple and cinnamon jar candle from Primark and it smells so good.

2. Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?
I don't like coffee, I drink green tea but my favourite drink of indulgence at this time of year is a hot chocolate.

3. What's the best fall memory you have?
Every year when I was a kid we'd go to Matlock Bath in Derbyshire to visit the illuminations and have a trip to Gulliver's world. I'd sum these trips up as delightfully tacky but they still fill me with happiness.

4. Which makeup trend do you prefer: dark lips or winged eyeliner?
I love the dark lip trend up I think the winged eyeliner is more wearable for me personally, I love both trends though.

5. Best fragrance for fall?
I'm not an expert when it comes to perfume but my all time favourite, which I think works really well at this time of year, is Marc Jacobs Lola.

6. Favorite Thanksgiving food?
As I'm British we don't have thanksgiving so I'm going to talk from a Sunday roast point of view and as I'm from Yorkshire I'm obviously going to pick Yorkshire puddings.

7. What is autumn weather like where you live?
At first it's dry and really beautiful as the leaves change colour and everything becomes different from summer but then later in the year it becomes colder and the weather generally gets a bit rubbish.

8. Most worn sweater?
I don't think I've got a most worn apart from maybe the one I'm wearing right now which is an over sized burgundy jumper I got in the sales last year. I try to wear different things so I'm making the most of my wardrobe but I think this one is winning on the colour front.

9. Must-have nail polish this fall?
I love a really dark berry tone or alternatively I love a black polish mixed with something really sparkly. I have the worst nails so I don't indulge in nail art nearly enough.

10. Football games or jumping in leaf piles?
I'm not sporty or interested in sports really, so I'd have to pick jumping in leaf piles as this sounds like fun.

11. Skinny jeans or leggings?
Skinny jeans because I live in them any way, being short I find they make my legs look longer. If I'm not in jeans I'm wearing the Primark super cozy tights with a skirt.

12. Combat boots or Uggs?
Combat boots because the are the most similar to Dr Martens which are my all time favourite foot wear.

13. Is pumpkin spice worth the hype?
I've never tried it so I can't really comment.

14. Favorite fall TV show?
I don't relate TV to a particular time of year and all I can think of are X factor and Strictly come dancing all of which do not interest me. I'll more likely be watch a series which has been going for years in a collection of massive binge sessions while hiding from the cold.

15. What songs really gets you into the fall spirit?
So maybe it doesn't get me in the fall spirit but from the bands I listen to the only song that comes to mind with any reference to the fall season is 'Billy Talent - Fallen Leaves' it's actually a rather depressing song.

I tag you, let me know if you do the tag and I'll come read your answers.
Sam

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

100th Post and a Book Haul

Hi, This is my 100th post which is madness. I can't believe that I've got to the point of writing so many posts in such a short amount of time, it feels great. On the other hand with writing so many posts I feel a little out of ideas which is why the blog has been a little quiet. I've got big plans for December so I'm hoping to make it up to you.

BOOK HAUL

So I wanted to share with you some books I've recently bought with the hope of reading as many as possible to get to my target goal for the year of 35 books, I've got six books to go so I'm not doing too badly. I've got a mixture of books some from Amazon which where on a 3 for £10 offer and some second hand books from the charity shop which cost me 50p each.

The Martian - Andy Weir

I wanted to see the film but knowing it was a book I had to read that first. A story about an astronaut who is believed dead and left behind when a mission to mars is aborted. The story follows Mark Watney on his fight to survive. The book is written in short log entries, I can't wait to see how they read.

 

Panic - Lauren Oliver

This book is dubbed as a kind of Hunger Games story and as such interested me. A story about a set of games all about facing your biggest fears, the blurb gives the impression that there is some sort of prize but it's vague. Written from the perspective of two different characters, a writing style I love as you get to see things from different angels.

 

 Just a Girl Standing in Front of a Boy - Lucy-Anne Holmes

With the holidays coming I wanted something a little more lighthearted to pass a few hours. This book is about a woman who thinks shes got everything worked out and then everything changes. She meets a guy, her boyfriend proposes and her mother leaves her father and moves in with her. It sounds really cheesy but sometimes thats not a bad thing.



The next books are the ones I picked up in the charity shop, I had £2 in change so I had to get four considering how cheap they where. I fear if I'd had more money I would have been tempted to buy more. I grabbed two of these books crazy fast as I knew I wanted to read them, those being 'Us' and 'How to be a woman' having read books by both authors this year, I wanted to see how these compare. The other two where random selections which sounded interesting enough to tempt me into picking them.

 

Us - David Nicholls

'Douglas and Connie: scientist and artist, and for more than twenty years, husband and wife until suddenly, their marriage seems over. But Douglas is going to win back the love of his wife and the respect of Albie, their teenage son, by organising the holiday of a lifetime. He has booked the hotels, bought the train tickets, planned and printed the itinerary for a 'grand tour' of the great art galleries of Europe. What could possibly go wrong?'

How to Be a Woman - Caitlin Moran

'There's never been a better time to be a woman: we have the vote and the pill, and we haven't been burnt as witches since 1727. However, a few nagging questions do remain...'

Behind the Scenes at the Museum - Kate Atkinson

'Ruby Lennox was conceived grudgingly by Bunty and born while her father, George, was in the Dog and Hare in Doncaster telling a woman in an emerald dress and a D-cup that he wasn't married. Bunty had never wanted to marry George, but her she was, stuck in the flat above the pet shop in an ancient street beneath York Minster, with sensible and sardonic Patricia aged five, greedy cross-patch Gillian who refused to be ignored and Ruby...'

How to Love - Katie Cotugno

'This is not a love story. But it's not what you think. This is not a first kiss, or a first date. This is not love at first sight. This is a boy and a girl falling in messy, unpredictable, thrilling love. This is the complicated route to happiness that follows. This is the real. This is life. This is how love is.'


 I hope you've maybe found a new book to add to your to read list and thank you for reading.
Sam

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Friday, November 13, 2015

7 Ways To Save Money When Buying Books

Hi, I recently bought quite a few books and I don't feel too guilty about the money I've spent as they really didn't end up costing that much. This got me thinking about how I manage to do a ton of reading without spending a crazy amount of money. I think I'd have a shock if I wrote down what I have spent this year on books but I know it would be a whole lot more if I wasn't following these points. So here are my money saving tips, I hope they are helpful.

7 Ways To Save Money When Buying Books


Ways To Save Money When Buying Books


Ebooks
I'm yet to get an e-reader as I prefer the feel of a book in my hands but I think they are a great idea. One of the main reasons I wish I had one is for the savings on buying books. EBooks are normally a bit cheaper and are often on really great deals. Obviously you've got the price of the e-reader to offset but I'm sure it'll work out cheaper in the long run.

Charity Shops
I recently found a charity shop selling really good books at only 50p each, what a bargain. The key to charity shops is to have an open mind and not judge the books on their cover too much. You can find some new releases as well if you're lucky. You might have to go in a few shops but I kind of like the element of mystery about what I'll find.

Buy Discounted
I never pay full price for books if I can help it, one of the first places I look if I'm wanting to buy a book is on Amazon. They are currently running a 3 for £10 on paperbacks promotion, depending on what you pick you can make huge savings. Supermarkets are also a great place to find discounts and promotions.

Buy the Bookset
If it's a trilogy/series your looking to buy, see if there is a complete collection you can purchase. I got the Game of Thrones books for £30 which equals about £4.30 for each of the seven books, a lot cheaper than buying them all separately.

Loyalty cards
If you end up buying a lot of books try to buy them from the same retailer with a loyalty rewards scheme to build up points/stamps to qualify for free books. Being on a mailing list also means you'll get sent discounts and promotions.

Join the Library
Most of the books I read come from the library, you'll be surprised by just how good they can be with having recent releases. If they don't have what you're looking for there is the option to get a copy sent to your local library for a small fee. Most library also offer the option of eBooks. I find looking online at the availability and selection of books is really helpful before I make a visit.

Have a Book Swap
Me and my friends have swapped books for years and it's one of the best ways to read more books without paying for them. I think it also makes you read books you might not have picked. There are often places you can swap books, there's a book swap area in my local bus station and a pub crammed with books where they're happy for you to do a swap. Have a look around I'm sure they'll be something similar in your area.

Do you have any tips for saving money on books?
Sam

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

5 Winter Clothing Essentials And Highstreet Wishlist

Hi, The weather is horrid, it's super windy and just constantly drizzling or pouring down. With this the temperature has dropped and now my mind has been cast towards thinking about statement pieces I could do with investing in for the winter months. I'd like to keep things simple with an emphasis on a capsule wardrobe to stop over spending on clothing. To do this I'm keeping it as monochrome as possible with burgundy as a pop of colour.

Winter Staple Clothing Items
Primark: Black Cape - £15.00 | Fluffy Coat - £25.00 | Fur Collar Coat - £20.00 | Scarf - £11.00
Jumper Shirt - £12.00 | Burgundy Jumper £12.00
H&M: Faux Fur Coat - £49.99 | Ripped Jeans - £29.99 | Felt Hat - £19.99 | Grey Cardigan - £14.99
Dr Martens: 1460 Purple Shimmer £110.00

 

Winter Clothing Essentials


Jeans/Trousers
It's colder so shorts and skirts are not the most practical item to be wearing unless you've got a super thick pair of tights. I'm totally still going to rock the ripped knee look no matter how cold my knees get but just having more fabric covering your skin will keep you much warmer.

Woolly Jumper
An essential item and one that I don't feel bad about indulging in a few different colours at least. Buying over sized jumpers makes for the most effortless and seasonal appropriate outfit you could wear.

Boots
A good sturdy pair of boots that are weather appropriate are a must for the colder months, they will keep you feet dry and warm. I always go back to my Dr Martens as they are stylish and super comfortable (after you break them in).

A Winter Coat
The item of clothing that will undoubtedly get the most wear during the colder months, unless you pick up a few. I'd love to pick up a faux fur coat but I really don't know if I could pull it off. When picking a coat make sure it's one that works with the rest of your wardrobe.

Hats, Scarf and Gloves
My favourite part of the colder months is getting wrapped up in a hat and scarf before leaving the house. Again pick something that compliments your wardrobe but there's nothing stopping you having a few choices. I've picked up the nicest monochrome fluffy scarf from Primark this year.

What is your Winter Staple Item?
Sam

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Lush Review | Frozen Bath Bomb

Hi, I finally got around to trying the Lush Frozen bath bomb so here is my review to share with you. This is the first product I've used from the Oxford Street range, it is now available nation wide. Even though it isn't from the Christmas range I think it fits in quite nicely with the winter theme. Obviously inspired by the Disney hit film 'Frozen' the tag line for the product is 'let it go' and who wouldn't with the princess perfect bath bomb.

Lush Review Frozen Bath Bomb

Frozen Bath Bomb - £3.95 


Frozen contains a mixture of Grapefruit, Neroli and Rose oil which are said to be uplifting for your mood. The visual display of this bath bomb is enough to melt anyone's frosty mood. Creating a deep blue colour within the water covered in a silver luster which makes the water magically sparkle. I really enjoyed this bath bomb the scent is rather subtle with a slight hint of citrus, I'm rubbish at explaining smells.



I tried to photograph the silver glitter but failed, this is a bath bomb you really need to try to see the true beauty of the swirling silver within the water. The bomb fizzes releasing the most intense blue/turquoise colour which I was really surprised about as the bomb isn't that pigmented. After my bath I still had glitter on my skin which I personally don't mind and makes me think that this is the perfect pre night out bath bomb. The bath did need a little washing down after to remove all the glitter but there was no stainage from the colour, which is always a bonus. All in all I think Frozen is now one of my favourite Lush products and I can't wait to pick up another one.

Have you tried Frozen?
Sam

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Innocent Big Knit For Age Uk

Hi, Today I wanted to talk about the Innocent Big Knit. I always forget about this charity event but it's one that I've been intrigued by in the past. I love all the little hidden jokes on the innocent bottles and the brand in general as their smoothies are just so good. So what is the big knit? well you know those little woolly hats that appear on all the little bottles of juice and look super cute, well that. Innocent ask that people make these little hats, even one hat will make a difference. So I'm going to dig out my knitting needles and give it a go. 

The Innocent Big Knit For Age Uk


The idea started in 2003 and has grown in popularity since, there have been over 5 million mini hats knitted in the past 12 years, raising over £1.7 million to help the older generation who's lives are at risk during the colder months of the year. For every hat sold along with a bottle of juice, innocent will donate 25p to Age UK. 

I'm not sure what to knit but there are some really nice instructions on the website for inspiration and simply to get you started. It's a great opportunity to learn a new skill while helping a charity. If you would like to take part there is more information on the website: www.thebigknit.co.uk. They require that all hats are received by 11th of December, so not the longest amount of time but enough for a few attempts.

Can you knit? will you be taking part?
Sam

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Sunday, November 1, 2015

Month's Mini Goals | November

Hi, So it's November now, that means it's okay to get excited about Christmas right? But before that I'm super looking forward to all the fireworks this week. I haven't got any plans to go to an organized event but by taking a short drive from my home and you can see everyone's fireworks anyway, it's very hilly.

Momentarily Dreaming Monthly Mini Goals Novemeber

Mini Goals For November
  • Start Christmas Shopping
  • Work towards my book goal
  • Use Social Media more effectively
  • Take more photos
  • Go to the Cinemas
  • See some fireworks
  • Do some knitting
  • Buy some warmer clothes
  • Try a new flavor of tea
  • Do something out of my comfort zone

I want to make sure I'm making the most of the last few months of the year, I made a list of goals for 2015. I think something's I have already missed out on but I can still work on some.

What are your plans for November?
Sam

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