Sunday, January 22, 2017

Books of the Month - December

December was a slow month for books for me. I had a lot going on and was quite anxious and upset, which results in less time for reading for me. I did read six books, though, which brought my 2016 total up to 81 books! Of those 81 books, 35 were paperbacks, including ones I own, ones I borrowed, and ones I got out from the library. 36 were eBooks and were a combination of ones I bought and ones I requested on NetGalley. 8 were hardcover and were again a mixture of ones I bought and ones I borrowed. Two were audiobooks and these were both borrowed from the library.

Of the 81, the vast majority by over half were Young Adult books - 48, in fact. A further 8 were either kids books or middle grade books (where, for instance, I personally place the Wells & Wong novels). 16 books were general adult fiction. 9 were crime novels, which is my second favourite genre but which I have totally neglected in recent years. I read three anthologies of short stories which isn't usually my thing but which I enjoyed.

Anyway, here's what I read.


The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon - I liked this, but found the set up a little bit false. My review is here



This was for Jenny's book club and I really enjoyed it. It's a book of short stories and a few of them really stood out as excellent, I enjoyed them all though. I sent the book on to Janet because I thought she'd like it.


This is a book of short stories all on the theme of "home", written by YA authors to raise money for the charity Crisis. A few annoyed me, but it was mostly okay. My review is here.


I absolutely love the Wells & Wong books and this one was particularly lovely. It's set at Christmas so it got me right in the mood. My review is here.


This is also set at Christmas (do you sense a theme) and it was only okay, I didn't love it. It didn't have enough grit to it and the love interest was just a perfect boy which I found annoying, My review is here anyway.


I absolutely loved this book. I would've written it very differently but for me looking at that is part of the enjoyment of reading! I really liked the main character. I wrote more about it here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Films of the Month - December

Here's what I watched in December - a good month for films!



1) Lee and I watched Home Alone while putting up the Christmas tree, it's one of my favourites
2) I'd never seen Arthur Christmas so in the spirit of festivity I watched it, I liked it!
3) I was at my friend's and this was on, we watched most of it so I'm counting it!

 

4) Again, I was still at my friend's and we watched most of Nativity. I've seen it before and it's okay, but I'm not keen on Martin Freeman.
5) Lee and I watched Die Hard because, well, it's a Christmas film
6) And then we watched Die Hard 2 because even though it's not a Christmas film, it is set in the winter so it totally counts



7) Lee and I went to the cinema to see Rogue One. We're both Star Wars geeks and we LOVED it. I need to see it again because I'm sure there's stuff we missed
8) On the Thursday between Christmas and New Year my friend Rosie came over to hang out and make mail art, and to watch Love Actually because I'd never seen it. It was okay, I don't think I'll bother to watch it again
9) Then I made Rosie watch Bugsy Malone because it's one of my favourites, unfortunately she wasn't so keen! Oh well!




10) At this point I realised I had watched 97 films in 2016, so with just two days left I decided I'd make that up to a nice 100! I had had A Princess for Christmas recommended, but it was terrible!
11) Lee and I watched The Addams Family, I think I prefer the other one actually, but Wednesday is the best in the whole franchise, obviously.
12) I had been wanting to watch Supersonic, a documentary about Oasis' early years, since it came out. I really enjoyed it. I liked Oasis when I was younger, but was never a huge fan. Liam and Noel and Bonehead were all very funny and engaging in this though. I would recommend it if you grew up with Oasis like I did.

And there we go! 100 films in 2016! 44 I had never seen before, and 56 I had. I saw four films in the cinema, which is a lot for me. I'd like to watch more films in 2017 and see more at the cinema :)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Wedding Advice



Loads of people I know have recently got engaged and I gave the advice that I always give, and as I did so I thought it might make a good post. I got married over eleven years ago and I know that some things have changed wildly in that time, but some things really, really haven't. So, here we go. These are mostly for brides who are marrying grooms, because that's my own experience.


  1. Sort out your budget like really really early on. Then work out what's most important to you, whether that be the venue, the clothes, the honeymoon, whatever. Spend your money on that.
  2. Think about what you want people to remember about the day. For us, music was really important, so we made loads of CDs and told the DJ he wasn't allowed to play anything else! It worked because everyone says how great it was
  3. Try on lots of different styles of dresses because you just never know what will suit you
  4. Try on a veil, too. You don't have to have it over your face, of course, But they are so pretty. I had mine clipped into my hair and I loved it.
  5. Don't wear heels unless you're really used to wearing heels, and even then have a pair of flipflops to get changed into later. Your feet will hurt.
  6. If you don't usually wear make up you don't have to wear any, obviously, but if you do, be sure to wear it quite thick and with quite bright lipstick, or you'll look washed out in photos
  7. Your dress doesn't have to be a wedding dress. You can get beautiful dresses nearly everywhere and for a lot less money than a wedding dress. You'll be wearing it for just a few hours out of your life! 
  8. Ditto for your bridesmaids. Look at something like Lindy Bop or a department store website to find something cheaper but still gorgeous for them
  9. If you fall for a certain dress, check online and at outlets for the same dress but cheaper. No one ever has to know
  10. If your groom doesn't want to wear a fancy suit, don't bother with one. Lee wore a smart black shirt, open necked because he hates ties, to get married in, and that was best because he felt comfortable
  11. Things like favours and flowers and centrepieces are lovely, but they're NOT required. If they'll stress you out or you don't have the money, forfeit them. No one will care
  12. I would have different favours if I got married now - ours were pretty, but overpriced and tasted awful. My mum, when she married my stepdad, bought loads of butter tablet on eBay and we all made it into favours. That's her favourite sweet so that's what she wanted! Something like that is really personal to your wedding
  13. As for cakes - wedding cakes are overpriced and dry and rubbish. My advice would be to either ask someone to make it, or to buy a plain iced cake from Marks & Spencer and decorate it yourself with silk flowers or something unique to you. It will taste much better and again no one will ever know you spent £50 not £350. I also really like those "naked" cakes which look stunning
  14. You barely get chance to look at your flowers all day, so my advice is to get fresh flowers preserved. You do need to book it beforehand and sometimes you have to keep them wet or something, so ask a relative or a trusted friend to take this over if you're going away on your honeymoon straight away. You can then keep your flowers forever! I did this and they're on the wall in our bedroom and look beautiful. 
  15. You don't care where your honeymoon is, I swear. You just care that you're there together, so chill out and just book a cottage with a hot tub or something. You'll need to relax and you'll want to spend time together just chatting
  16. Remember to enjoy yourself! It goes so fast and you won't remember it all, you won't speak to everyone you wanted to, so remember to just hold on to the one you're marrying and have fun while you're doing it!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Top Six Selfies of 2016

I shared these over on Instagram (I'm sullen_hearts over there) because my friend Sam tagged me to do so. I went through my selfies (thanks for helping, iPhone) and chose six that I liked.


Top left - in the car in February while on holiday, wearing make up for once
Top right - at Bradford Industrial Museum with Sam and Jacqui, enjoying unseasonable sunshine
Middle left - in France in May, sunbathing in the garden
Middle right - away with Lee in Whitby in July, enjoying some time together
Bottom left - in Galway in September with Sam and Jacqui, watching the sunset
Bottom right - at my graduation in November, on the steps of Sheffield City Hall

I've cut my hair much much shorter this year, and I've got new glasses that I love. Otherwise, I think I haven't changed very much!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

New Year's Eve 2016

Another year has come and gone and while 2016 was disappointing in sooo many ways, I also really learnt a lot about myself throughout the year - what I'm capable of, what my limits are, where I will draw lines in the sand, all kinds of worthy things like that. I'm feeling very positive about 2017 and all the adventures it will bring.

Lee and I went out for a meal in Doncaster on New Year's Eve. We went to Turkuaz, which I would highly recommend. Lee had never had Turkish food before but he really enjoyed it. The kitchen is open to view which was great, and there was also a belly dancer dancing - she was fantastic! We each had two courses and a drink for less than £40 which I find to be excellent value, and we would definitely go back. Portion sizes were really generous, too.

After our meal we went to my stepdad's sister's house where we also spent last New Year's Eve. Lots of family were there and it was a pretty good time. We listened to Abba's Happy New Year at midnight!


Here's my face made up for the night. I now have wrinkles by my eyes! I think I'll refer to them as laughter lines, though. 


Lee in the restaurant in his new favourite t-shirt (present from my aunt, uncle and cousins, it's the guy from Fallout)


Here's me, wearing my Tara brooch that my mum bought me, and this dress from everything5pounds that I've only worn once before. 

I've got some round up posts planned as well as one about my goals for the year, share yours with me if possible!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

What I Wore 28th December

Well, Christmas passed in a blur, in a nice enough way filled with family and travelling, but it always goes SO fast and then I find the week between Christmas and New Year really hard to deal with. Lee was off all week though so on the Wednesday we decided we would go to see Rogue One before we went to have curry with some friends. We went for lunch first, paid for with a gift card Lee's mum gave us, and then went to the cinema. We both really liked the film - it was so sad though, especially watching it the day after Carrie Fisher died!

Anyway, I wore this dress that I bought ages ago but hadn't worn in forever. I know it's really bright, but I needed to brighten up the day. I love the colours on it. It's from Lovedrobe but like I say it's a year or two ago.


Friday, December 30, 2016

What I Wore December 18th

As I said previously, my mum and stepdad came over for a festive meal. Lee picked them up and took them home so they could both have a drink (he doesn't drink, and they don't really live close enough for a taxi) and I got ready as he went, and then went with him to take them home. I pulled out this dress, I wore it on Christmas Day two years ago but haven't worn it since. It would be a bit OTT to pull out at any other time of the year!


I love the green colour


I pulled out this wrap to put over to go out, it wasn't freezing but just cold enough for it. I've had it about ten years and it always feels really fancy! It's from Evans.