Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February In Review

Hi, When I sat down to write this post I thought I'd done really badly with my monthly goals turns out I didn't do too bad. Blogging on the other hand was a bit of a failure this month but I expected as much. I'm glad February is over as it means we are closer to spring time, I love that it's still light when I leave work now. I'm making the most of all the Daffodils in the shops as I've got a few vases full dotted around the house already.



Goals for February 8/10
  • Watch three films
  • Read three books
  • Start a decor mood board for my living room
  • Remember to make pancakes
  • Do at least five blog posts this month
  • Have a massive tidy up
  • Do something nice for someone
  • Try a new recipe
  • Save some money
  • Do something new that scares me

This month I watched Nerve (which was so different from the book), The original Westworld film which the series is based on and Allegiant the third film in the Divergent series. I've managed to start reading a third book this month so I'm going to give myself that goal, reviews will be live in a few days. I tried a new recipe and did something nice by inviting my parents round to try it.

Today is pancake day and I had pancakes for breakfast, I always have lemon juice with sugar on mine. Last weekend I finally had the massive tidy up I've been putting off and our bedroom has been reclaimed from being a dumping ground for stuff, I found lots of things I'd misplaced.

The most exciting thing I did this month and something that really did scare me was going Go Karting. I came last in every race because everyone I was with was an utter speed freak but I still had a lot of fun. I did get a fastest lap up on the leader board of the day when some of my fellow racers didn't so I didn't drive that slowly.

This month has been a blast! What are you having on your pancakes today?
Sam 

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Pros and Cons of Blogging

Hi, I’ve been having a bit of a blogging blip and haven’t posted all month. I feel very guilty about this and my blog has never been far from my mind. It’s amazing how fast a couple of weeks can slip by. While I’ve not been very active online I’ve been trying to get my act together behind the scenes so I’m at least a little ahead and I plan to make March a much more active month. I don't have any intention of giving up blogging any time soon but I put together a list of pros and cons about blogging to weigh up if it's worth stressing over.


Pros and Cons of Blogging


Pros

It’s a very creative outlet
Blogging as a hobby is a great way to keep creative, the constant need for ideas and putting together of posts fulfills my creative side.

Get to connect with lovely like minded people
The blogging community is a really lovely one and friendships are waiting to be made.

It’s inspiring and motivational
Reading other blogs is so inspiring and blogging gives me motivation to do more.

Pushes me to make more of my time
Blogging requires content so I try to make the most of my time to actually have something to talk about, since starting blogging I read so much more.

Can be heard by a large audience
If you have something your passionate about you can openly talk about it and educate others.

Looks great on a CV
Blogging shows that you have a wide skill set that in most cases are really relevant to working roles.

Cons

Hard work
Blogging is without a doubt a huge commitment, it takes up a lot of time and requires a lot of effort. 

Living life online can be an invasion
This varies depending on how much you put online but blogging can be an invasion on the boundaries of offline and online life. 

Requires constant attention
Blogging is never ending, but you're entitled to set your own seclude and take holidays. If your not writing a post your planning them or promoting them.

Unpopular opinions
You can't always say what you think because you might get a backlash of negativity but sometimes it's worth the risk. 

Popularity contest, number counting
While people might deny it blogging is a bit of a popularity contest and you can't help but feel bad when someone unfollows.

Overall I think the pros outweigh the cons and that is the reason that while blogging can be hard and frustrating at times it’s not a hobby I would stop any time soon. It's important to do whats right for you and work to your own goals and no one else's.


Have you been feeling conflicted about blogging?
Sam

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Friday, February 3, 2017

Reading Roundup | January

Hi, Okay so is it just me or did January like disappear. I can't believe it's already February and yeah it's a total clique but this last month for me pasted in a blur. With that said I do think I did well with my reading completing more than was required to stay on target for the year. I've managed to finish four books which where all so different and equally interesting.

Reading Challenge 4/35

Riot



Author -
Page Count - 352
First Published - 2014
 
I seem to be opting for a lot of YA that ask questions and gets you thinking and Riot is no exception. I read the blurb and wanted to read it straight away and I managed to read this book in just two days which is a bit of a record for me. I wanted to keep reading and see what was going to happen next. It’s got short chapters which moves the story on quickly and made it a really enjoyable read.

Riot starts from the perspective of Tia Thomson as she takes part in a protest against the ‘no more children in need’ bill also known as the snip bill. The welfare system is at breaking point and the government want to take action before it’s too late by curving the ongoing need for benefits. Teenagers from unprivileged backgrounds are going to be sterilised if the bill is passed by the government because of the twisted logic of those in charge.

The story makes you question who you should trust and that not everything written in black and white is necessarily true. As always I'm finding it hard to say why I enjoyed this book so much without giving away the whole plot. It contains violence and reflected on how peaceful protests can easily become riots.

Seed



Author -
Page Count - 335
First Published - 2015

This is a book I've wanted to read for a long time, I'm glad I finally got around to reading it. This is not a book you should go into lightly as the subject matter is rather dark and it's not an easy read, but it's one that I would recommend.

Pearl is an innocent 15 year old girl who lives at Seed, a secluded place where a big family all live together. They worship nature and their leader Papa S. Seed is all Pearl has ever known of the world and she is happy. One day a family from the outside come to live at Seed and forces Pearl to question the world she knows when a boy called Ellis tells her of the realities which contradict her teachings.

It was scary to read about life in a cult because it shows how easy it is to brainwash people and then to condition the younger generations by keeping them secluded and under educated. I'm looking forward to reading Lisa Heathfield's other book Paper Butterflies.

Radio Silence



Author -
Page Count - 410
First Published - 2016

I have mixed feelings about Radio Silence as on some levels I really connected with the story but then on other issues it just seemed drawn out and missed the point it was trying to make. It might be the classic maybe I'm too old for YA fiction now but overall I enjoyed this book.

The main character Frances is an A star pupil and that is what she's known for within her school. At home she's a super fan of a podcast called Radio Silence for which she spends her time creating secret fan art. Her two personalities never mix until she becomes friends with Aled the boy who lives across the street.

The story looks into the idea that you don't need to get amazing grades to have a future in this world. That being true to what you really want is after all more important than the ideas that people might have for your future. I think it would be a great book to read if you feel pressured about going into further educations.


The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir*


Author - Lesley Allen
Page Count - 352
First Published - 2016

This book was rather heart breaking, it's the story of Biddy Weirs childhood and it was a pretty terrible one, all because of one girl and an unfortunate start in life. Biddy was bullied for the age of 10 when the new girl Alison started at her school and decided to make it her mission to make Biddy pay because she didn't swoon at her like everyone else, she singled her out from the start as a weirdo.

Biddy lived alone with her older than average father after her mother left shortly after her birth. With no female role models Biddy was left behind in the way of fashion and many things a girl her age would find totally normal. This caused her to look and act differently and so she was an easy target.

I loved this book because it felt so real and the bullying was written so well that you couldn't help but want to reach out to biddy and help her. I loved the way the book was written as it starts at the end then goes back to the beginning to tell you the story of how she came to be in that situation. While the book is sad the ending left me feeling satisfied that there's such a thing as karma.

What have you been reading?
Sam

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*This book was won in Goodreads giveaway

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Monthly Mini Goals | February

Hi, The beginning of February is going to be busy for me so hopefully I'll get some posts scheduled but I somewhat doubt it. I'm going to be working at a trade show with my full time job and I'm a little worried about the whole getting the train all the way there on my own but I've done it before so I'll be fine.



Goals for February
  • Watch three films
  • Read three books
  • Start a decor mood board for my living room
  • Remember to make pancakes
  • Do at least five blog posts this month
  • Have a massive tidy up
  • Do something nice for someone
  • Try a new recipe
  • Save some money
  • Do something new that scares me

Other than the work trip I have no real plans for this month but I'm sure things will happen that are unexpected and exciting. I want to have a tidy up of all the clothes because I just have too many. Might be a case of waiting until it warms up a little and then reviewing what I have for the new season and get rid of all the worn out things.

Seasonal goals include remembering to make pancakes on pancake day (Tuesday 28th) and to do something nice for someone to reflect that it's valentines (and it won't be the bf). I've got into watching films again and I'd like to make sure I'm watching as many films as possible this year.

Have you got any exciting plans for the month ahead?
Sam 

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