Tuesday, 28 February 2017

My Favourite Things: February

Hi everyone!

I can scarcely believe that we are once again at the end of February, and that this time I am starting my second year of university (!!). I've loved quite a few things this month and I am so excited to share all my finds with you.

I think you have probably all seen this one already - a lot of my photos recently has had this in the background! But I found a quilt cover in Target the other day (you can find it here) that was covered in dogs!! I love dogs and this quilt cover is simply amazing. I love the simple black and white design and it's so great. I feel so happy every time I look at it, and I'm not sure I ever want to take it off my bed.

My favourite book this month was definitely Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. It is an old favourite of mine, and I finally got around to rereading it this month. I can't say I thought it was as good as the first time I read it but it was still a 4.5 star read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I won't say too much about the plot here, but if you want to know more check out my reading wrap up for the month.

Reading Wrap-Up: February

Hi everyone!

Well this post is ridiculously late (even if I've set the date to the right one) so apologies about that! Basically I left this post until the last day of February to write because I was still reading a book and wanted to include it, but then we had no internet for over a week and I started back up at uni. So it's been pretty hectic but I've finally got myself together enough to write this post!
I, again, only read three books this month and I have a feeling this is going to be pretty common throughout the year, especially now that I'm back at uni.

I've been making a point recently of rereading books I haven't read in a while, just to make sure I still enjoy them and that they are not taking up precious space on my bookshelf. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers was next on my list, and while it wasn't quite the five star read I remembered, I still really enjoyed this one. It's about a girl named Ismae, who has been trained all her life by nuns (assassin nuns!) to be a handmaiden of death - which is exactly what it sounds like. This book centers around Ismae's first mission and it has political intrigue, romance, and a bit of action. Super easy to read but super enjoyable. I would definitely recommend this one!
My rating on Goodreads: 4.5 stars

I then continued on with the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead, this time with Blood Promise. I can't really say anything because it was the fourth book but it was just as enjoyable as the rest and I couldn't rave about this series enough. If you don't know, Vampire Academy is about a half-human half-vampire Rose Hathaway and her vampire friend Lissa. They go to a vampire school where Rose learns to be a guardian and Lissa to use her magic. Basically, a lot of bad things happen to them and it's all very dramatic, the love interests are amazing, and Rose is a badass so it's just great.
My rating on Goodreads: 4 stars

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Tips for Starting University

Hi everyone!

Starting University is a super daunting time for everyone, and as a second year I thought I would share with you all the tips I have learnt during the past year for starting university. I'm definitely not an expert and what works for me may not work for you - but I hope you get at least one thing out of this post anyway.

After you have enrolled and sorted out which classes you have to do and the financial side of things, my first piece of advice is to get your textbooks as early as possible. I never buy mine from the Co-op Bookstore because they are ridiculously expensive. Getting them early means you can get them online or hunt around for the best secondhand deal. I know a lot of people try to find an online version, and that's great if you can read off a computer screen. I find I don't learn anything that way and will always go for a physical copy of a book.

I also like to sort out my timetable fairly early, just so I can get an idea of what my schedule will be like and also so I have time to figure out a few backups if I don't get the classes I want. Signons are super hectic, and you have to be quick to get the class you want. Definitely be logged in and ready to go at least five minutes before the signon starts because you don't want to miss out and get stuck with the early classes!

Friday, 24 February 2017

Top 5 TV Shows

Hi everyone!
You all know I am a huge lover of reading and books but you may not be aware that I also looove watching TV (and movies, but today we're talking about TV). There are a lot of shows I could have mentioned in this list, both old favourites and recent discoveries, but I've decided to go with my all time Top 5 TV Shows. These are ones that I recommend time and time again, and that always spring to mind when someone asks me what my favourite shows are. Don't worry though, I'll still talk about the other shows one day, so keep an eye out!

My list of favourite TV shows would never be complete without mentioning my favourite show of all time: Downton Abbey. It is a show I have watched many many times, as have my family, and I've adored it each and every time. It's a delightful show set from 1912 (think when the Titanic sank) to 1925 and centers around an aristocratic family, the Crawley's, and their servants. It's both heartwarming and heartbreaking, witty (and dare I say funny?), and completely addicting. There's obviously a lot of drama and it's all set in a wonderful old abbey. I just love this show so much and if there is only one you watch from this list I hope it is this one.

Poldark (starring Aidan Turner - think Kili in The Hobbit) is a more recent find of mine and only two seasons are out so far but I really love it. The cast is fantastic and the rugged setting of Cornwall, England is to die for. Poldark is set around the 1780s and is about a poor man trying to restart his fathers old mines. There are lot's of struggles, romance, and drama and it's a great show that once again my whole family loves to watch.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Book Tag: I Messed Up

Hi everyone!

Today I am going to be doing the "I Messed Up" Book Tag, which, as you've probably guessed, is about times you've messed up while reading. I don't remember where I found this one, because a lot of my tags are written down on loose sheets of paper, but have a search around and you could probably find the original.

A character appearance that you misread or imagined differently
To be honest, the appearance of a character is not something I picture that often unless it is really emphasised like Harry's green eyes (Harry Potter) or Celaena's white hair (Throne of Glass). So I don't really have an answer for the exact question but when I was reading We Were Liars by E Lockhart I was fully convinced that Cadence was a boy.

A character name that you've been pronouncing wrong
Okay, this is so embarrassing I hardly even want to tell you. But I have always thought that Ginny Weasley's fully name (from Harry Potter) was GineRVa. You know, kind of like Minerva McGonagal. Turns out it's actually GineVRa. I'm still in denial and I cannot believe I read it wrong for so long. I feel like I can't even change to her actually name now because it's been so many years. The day I found out there was a crisis, let me tell you.

An overused trope that is your guilty pleasure
I talk about this so often you all know what it is by now - starcrossed lovers/forbidden romance.

A cliche character type that you like seeing on screen more than reading about
I think I'd have to say bad boy meets good girl, because I love movies like Grease and Dirty Dancing, but in books I'm not as big a fan of it as I am when watching movies.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Top 5 Books I'm Thankful For

Hi everyone!

I know, I know, it's only the second installment of Top 5 Friday's and I'm already late. But in my defense I've had a super crazy week with work, catching up with friends before uni goes back, and buying my first car (!!). But I'm here now and I wanted to share with you all this week my Top 5 Books I'm Thankful For. There were so many to choose from but I think I have narrowed it down pretty well!

One of the first books is, of course, Heidi by Johanna Spyri. No list of mine would ever be complete without mentioning this one! Heidi was a book I first read when I was quite young and it is still honestly my favourite book. It's a story about a girl who goes to live with her recluse Grandfather in the Swiss Alps and it is just such a delightful book. I really really love it.

I can hardly believe now that when Mum first showed me the Famous Five books by Enid Blyton I was super skeptical to read them! I think maybe it was because they were older? I don't know, but I gave in and I am so glad these books (and many many others by Enid Blyton) were a part of my childhood. They opened up worlds and adventures I had never read about before and you can bet that when I have kids I'll be reading them these. Five Get Into A Fix (no. 17) is in the picture as well because that was the first one I ever read and it will always be special for that reason.

Harry Potter by J K Rowlingwas another obvious choice for a list on books I am thankful for. It is a book series that impacted my life in so many ways - even though I read it after the craze over it had died down. I'm sure you don't need to me to talk about the plot (who hasn't heard of Harry Potter?) but it is a heartwarming and heartbreaking story that teaches you about the meaning of love, true friendship, and how not everyone is black and white. Definitely give this series a read - I am so so thankful for it.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

I Bought A Car!

Hi everyone!

Today was a super exciting day for me because I made the biggest purchase of my life thus far: a car! 
As you all know, I have a part time job and I've been saving and saving for years now and I finally decided to take the plunge. It was a big decision and I've been looking at a couple of different cars for a few weeks now - all little ones of course!

We ended up seeing a 2008 Suzuki Swift (manual if that interests you) for sale and it is honestly the perfect little first car. It's got a couple of little nicks and it is used but this is such a great car to start off with and I couldn't be happier. It drives so nicely and is the perfect little size for me and ahhhh. I actually have words to describe this, I'm way too excited!

Love love love it!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Top 5 Disney Movies

Hi everyone!

I'm here to do something a little different today and it is actually the start of a new series on this blog - top 5 posts. I know a lot of people do these on Wednesday's but I want it to go up today, so every Friday you will be getting a top 5 post in all different categories.

Today we're doing my top 5 Disney movies and I have to say, it was really hard to narrow it down to five. This was actually originally going to be a top 10 but for future categories, I decided to be tough with my decisions. 

As you can see I have quite a large Disney collection so picking only 5 was super difficult!

No top Disney movie list of mine would ever be completely without having Beauty and the Beast on it. I really love Belle (she's a reader like me) and this is always a pick-me-up movie. I would definitely consider it one of the classics and is a Disney movie I think everyone needs to watch at some point in their life. 

I watched Tarzan for the first time quite recently actually, probably around late 2015, and I cannot believe I waited so long to watch it. It's a gorgeous story and the songs are really really lovely. It's got a bit of humour, a bit of romance, and a bit of action which is all you really need in a Disney movie. Definitely check this one out if you haven't already!

In my opinion, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is Disney's most underrated movies ever. For starters, it has a beautiful moral message behind it, or several actually (for example: don't judge people for what they look like) and tackles darker and more adult themes that Disney does not do very often. It's got an amazing soundtrack to go with it - the first time I heard it I was obsessed for weeks. So so good.