Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January In Review

Hi, Time to look back at the goals I set back at the beginning of the month. I haven't looked back at my goals since I wrote them which honestly means I was destined to fail. How can you work on a goal you don't remember, main thing to remember for next month I guess. It's been a busy month for me for no real reason other than I've been making the most of my time or fallen into some sort of routine that just consumes it.



Goals for January 5/10
  • Learn to used and love the bullet journal
  • Make a step towards some home renovation
  • Do something different
  • Lose the Christmas weight I've gained
  • Start planning for my Birthday
  • Look for a challenge to take part in
  • Go for a walk
  • Invite my parents round for a meal
  • Make sure I have at least one pamper night
  • Have some screen free time

So while I might not have completed many of my goals I still got loads of things done this month which at least leaves me feeling somewhat satisfied. I think the best thing I've done this month was getting my birthday trip to York booked so I've got something to look forward to in the near future.

The bullet journal is a work in progress, I love the system and how easy it is to keep track of things but I've been so precious about it rather than just making a mess and using it to it's full potential, I'm working on it. I've also used the system at work to track my tasks and it's made a world of difference.
I've printed off an A4 with a box for everyday of the working week and a box for future tasks and a watch out for section.

Home renovation came in the form of finally getting our driveway done so we have somewhere to park the cars off road. This was something we where waiting to get done but sadly our car was broken into and burnt out so you know we wanted to take the temptation away with the new car. I can honestly say we are feeling the pitch this month as it has been a very expensive one.

I've made a real effort to give myself screen free time this month (which is partly why I haven't blogged so much). I've got loads of reading done which is good and I've had time to have a few extra relaxing baths and spend a few nights at the cinema (I've seen Passengers, Rouge One and La La Land).

I've realised that I really need to go outdoors more, I blame the cold weather. I really love going for walks but I just don't have the motivation to actually leave the house in the first place at the moment, roll on spring. I haven't really been trying to lose weight but I'm more inspired to start getting back into eating healthier meals by batch cooking.

Did you have a good month? What films do you recommend I see next?
Sam

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Lush Review | Lava Lamp Bath Bomb

Hi, I’ve had the Lava Lamp bath bomb patiently waiting for me to use it for way too long. I finally got around to trying it today and wanted to share my thoughts on this product. As soon as I knew this Oxford street exclusive product had been made available nationwide in conjunction with last years father’s day range I knew I wanted to try it, why it's taken me so long to actually use is a mystery to me.


Lava Lamp Bath Bomb – Groovey Baby

The look of this bomb is very striking, with the contrasting colours of orange and purple that work so well together. What gives this bomb its name is the purple dots of Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Butter that melt in the water to recreate the classic lava lamp effect in your bath tub. I’m a massive fan of citrus scents so this bath bomb ticked that box. A mixture of mandarin, tangerine and orange flower gives this bomb the power to wow on scent. The overall purpose of the bath bomb is to be moisturising and uplifting.


Once popped in the bath the bomb fizzed and melted and created the most spectacular mixture of orange and purple swirling together. The smell was so good and as promised very uplifting. This is only the second cocoa butter product I've used (Shoot for the Stars was the first) but these types of bath bombs are becoming a firm favourite. The oils do make a bit of a mess and the bath required a good wipe down after but my skin feels so soft and moisturised. My finally conclusion for this bath bomb is that I need to pick up another one as soon as possible.

Have you tried the Lush Lava Lamp bath bomb?
Sam

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Monday, January 9, 2017

Books I Want To Read In 2017

Hi, I wanted to share my Goodreads 'To Read List' which is pretty much what I would like to read this year but I'm open to change. My goal yet again is 35 as I only just manage to complete it again (December is always a blur), but I think it's still a worthy number to accomplish. Most of the books on my list are ones I cross referenced with my local library's inventory to see what I could go and read for free. I think it's really important to support your local library as more and more are being shut down because they are seen to be unused. Plus you can read loads of books and you don't have to feel guilty about your bank balance.

 

Books I Want To Read In 2017

To Get From The Library

  1. Way Down Dark - Smythe, J.P.
  2. All the Bright Places - Jennifer Niven
  3. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
  4. The Heart Goes Last - Margaret Atwood
  5. Luckiest Girl Alive- Jessica Knoll
  6. Dear Amy - Helen Callaghan
  7. We Were Liars - E. Lockhart
  8. The Daughter's Secret - Eva Holland
  9. Faceless - Alyssa B. Sheinmel
  10. Illuminae - Amie Kaufman
  11. The Bone Dragon - Alexia Casale
  12. The Next Together - Lauren James
  13. The Next Beginning - Lauren James
  14. The End of the World Running Club - Adrian J. Walker
  15. Solitaire - Alice Oseman
  16. Drop - Katie Everson
  17. A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness
  18. If I Was Your Girl - Meredith Russo
  19. I Was Here - Gayle Forman
  20. Paper Butterflies - Lisa Heathfield
  21. The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
  22. Nerve - Jeanne Ryan
  23. Furthermore - Tahereh Mafi
  24. The Lost and the Found - Cat Clarke
  25. This Savage Song -

Physical Copies I Own

  1. Seed - Lisa Heathfield
  2. Riot - Sarah Mussi
  3. The Potion Diaries - Amy Alward
  4. The Potion Dairies : Royal Tour - Amy Alward
  5. Beautiful Broken Things - Sara Barnard
  6. Radio Silence - Alice Oseman
  7. The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins
  8. The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir - Lesley Allen*
  9. Sockpuppet - Matthew Blakstad*
  10. The Last Days of Night - Graham Moore*


So there is my collection of books I'd really like to read this year or at some point in the future at least. This post isn't that helpful for what the books are actually about but I'd like to do some smaller TBR posts with synopsis when I choose what I'm reading at that time. Every book sounds really interesting to me and I can't wait to see which of these books leaves a lasting impression.

 Have you read any of the books above or do you have anything you'd recommend I read?
Sam

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*book was won in a Goodreads giveaway

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Reviewing the Leuchtturm 1917 Journal

Hi, I was asked what I wanted for Christmas and did the minimum research into a bullet journal worthy notebook that was A5 and had dotted pages. I came across the Leuchtturm 1917 which seems on watching a few YouTube videos to be one of the main bullet journal choices.



I opted for the black version partly because it was the cheapest and didn't want to waste money if I don't end up using it and because black looks stylish. I like the sleekness of the colour so I'm happy with my choice. The journal is hard back with a really soft waterproof feeling covering and is held shut by an elastic ribbon.

This is the perfect notebook to use as a bullet journal as it has preset index pages and all the pages are numbered (which makes life a lot easier). Extra features that I didn't know where even a part of this journal and which make it an instant repurchase are the double ribbon for page marking and the envelope pouch at the back of the journal for storing mementos and journal equipment. I can imagine once fully emerged in the way of the bullet journal one ribbon would not be enough and a stencil or ruler are pretty much required. It also came with some stickers so you can archive it once you're finished with it.

The little I have written in the book using a dark blue Stabilo point 88 pen hasn't bled through and while it is visible on the other side it's not distracting once other information is added. I really want to invest in some new pens to use in the journal and I feel a little silly for not foreseeing this issue (hence why I'm writing in blue, but I like it).

Overall I think this was a great investment and as long as I stick with actually using the journal worth every penny. Next year I think I'll pick one of the more adventurous colours like the yellow or lime green.

Let me know if you bullet journal and which journal you use?
 Sam

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Lush Review | Northern Lights Bath Bomb

Hi, Today I've got a little review of the Northern Lights bath bomb which was one of many Lush products I received for Christmas. This product was part of the Christmas range so is no longer available but I still wanted to share my opinion. Northern Lights was re-released with a new look design after it's much longer and thinner original was prone to breaking and as such ruining the visual effect of this bath bomb.


Northern Lights Bath Bomb

The bath bomb contains a mixture of Jasmine Absolute and Ylang Ylang Oil which made the water really silky and smelt great. Each end of the bath bomb is filled with either blue or yellow which work to create a firework display in the bath water. Design wise this is a really interesting bath bomb, it acts in a totally different way to normal designs twisting and creating spirels of colour.

My biggest issue with this bath bomb was once all the lovely coloured foam dispersed you're left with this weird green/red water which just wasn't that nice to look at. I'd like this bath bomb more if it had a surprise inside like some stars or a little bit of glitter, it would have just finished it off. I enjoyed the visual effect of the bath bomb but that's about all, it's not one I'll rush to try again.

 Have you tried the Lush Northern Lights bath bomb?
Sam

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Reading Roundup | December Book Reviews

Hi, I did it I completed my pledged 35 books and today I'm sharing my reviews of the last three books of 2016. I'm aiming for 35 books again this year so I need to get reading. If you want to know what my favourite books of last year where check out my post 2016 In Books | My Favourite Books This Year.

December Reading Roundup - Year Book Count 35!



The Big Lie


Author -
Page Count - 323
First Published - 2015  

I have a habit of coming across books on Goodreads liking the synopsis and then forgetting what they are about but knowing that I want to read it. On my last visit to my local library I picked out 'The Big Lie' which is basically a story asking what if the Nazi's had won the war and Britain was now part of the Greater German Reich.

Jessika Keller is a good girl with the perfect life set out in front of her. Jessika is naive, believing everything she is told. She follows rules to the tee and is forced to choose where her loyalties stand on a daily basis. One of the more unexpected plot lines was Jessika's forbidden sexuality, this story has strong LGBT themes. Her ultimate sacrifice is who does she stand by? her family, her best friend or her country.

The concept for the story is not new but the way it's told from a young females perspective is. Maybe I loved this book so much because I wasn't expecting to, the subject really got me thinking. It's a while after reading this book that I'm writing this review and the story is still with me. I'd really recommend that you put it on your 2017 TBR.

Lament


Author -
Page Count - 356
First Published - 2011
 
I have mixed feeling about this book, it was neither good or bad I just didn't connect with the characters or the story. I picked 'Lament' and it's follow up 'Ballad' back in March from a charity shop. If I saw them now I'd leave them behind as I know that I just can't read supernatural romance books anymore.

The books romance is very close to that of Bella in Twilight. The female character in this case named Dee just can't help but be attracted to Luke. Dee is a cloverhand which means she can see faeries. One day Luke turns up and everything she knew about her world changes, it comes to light that Luke is really an assassin sent to murder her.

My issue with the story was that nothing was every really explained, a lot of faerie related terminology is used but then not expanded on. Dee is all too ready to just accept the faerie realm like it's a normal occurrence. There are unexplained connections between characters which just annoyed me as why even have them if there's no meaning behind it. Overall it was a quick read and not unreadable but I'm not rushing to read 'Ballad'.

The Hogfather


Author -
Page Count - 445
First Published - 1996
 
Well this is a weird book to review as I've already got an idea about the characters and the city of Ankh-Morpork for reading previous disc world books. I don't know if I'd have enjoyed it as much if I didn't know Pratchett's writing style. It's a good stand alone book with enough relatable subject matter referring to Christmas and the general festive feeling that the story is easy to follow.

Someone has hired an assassin to rid the world of The Hogfather so Death has donned his red suit to remind the humans about their need to believe. Pratchett's books are well known for there dark humor and this book is no exception. I'm going to see if I can find the televised version to compare.

What's the first book of the New Year you're reading?
Sam

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

Hi, Happy New Year! So it's 2017 another year full of possibilities and adventures waiting to happen. I want to say a massive thank you for reading my blog last year and giving me the motivation to continue to blog. I hope this year will be my best yet for blogging and that you'll stick around to enjoy it with me. I don't intent to have any new years resolutions, I do like goals though so for now here's my goals for the month ahead.

Goals for January
  • Learn to used and love the bullet journal
  • Make a step towards some home renovation
  • Do something different
  • Lose the Christmas weight I've gained
  • Start planning for my Birthday
  • Look for a challenge to take part in
  • Go for a walk
  • Invite my parents round for a meal
  • Make sure I have at least one pamper night
  • Have some screen free time

So here's to the future and things to come, good luck with all your resolutions if you've made some. With the new year comes the idea of new starts and I couldn't be in a happier place to be starting the year to come.

Did you have a good New Years eve? You got anything you're looking forward to this year?
Sam

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