A bookity book survey answered

Recently I saw this post on Sailboat. and I loved it! As I’m such a book fiend and I’m essentially a crazily nosey person it was really interesting to find out someone else’s booky habits! So anyway following on from reading this post I thought I’d answer the questions for myself. Sometimes I get so bogged down with reading things that I forget where my obsession with reading comes from or what I enjoy about it, so it was good to think about all these questions. I hope you enjoy my answers and do let me know if you take the survey yourself. I’d love to have a read of your answers too!

Do you remember how you developed a love of reading? Honestly no, from as far back as I can remember I’ve been a reader and always had a book in my hand. Whilst I don’t remember having a book in my hand when I was a toddler I know from stories I’ve heard that I was a big fan. I apparently wouldn’t allow my sister either of our two Spot toys as I loved Where’s Spot? so much that I refused to share. I was also a big Topsy and Tim fan when I was younger, proven by the fact that my five pet fish were called Topsy 1, Topsy 2, Topsy 3 and Topsy 4. es I was that cool! I can also remember vividly that when I was younger I’d read as I walked round the house as even pausing to get a drink from the kitchen was too much when I was engrossed in a book!

Where do you usually read? There is no usually as I’ll read whenever I am. But I suppose I’m most likely to be found reading on my commute to work or last thing at night as I lie in bed. No matter what time I get in to bed I have to read for at least ten minutes or so – it seems to calm my brain down and ready me for sleep!

Do you prefer to read one book at a time or several at once? I always read one book at a time, I like to be 100% engrossed in my book. So trying to remember two books, or more, at once would be far too much for me to handle. I’ve never understand how someone can manage that?!

What is your favourite genre? Oh that’s a tricky one as I really really do love most genres – romance, crime, historical fiction, biography, YA, kids. I’m really not that fussy. But I suppose what I read really depends on my mood. Sometimes I just need something that’s easy to read so a firm favourite, like Dahl or a Jill Mansell would be my first pick. Other times I fancy something that makes me question stuff so that’s when a Jodi Picoult book would come in.

Is there a genre you will not read? I’ve never really read horror books as being scared doesn’t interest me at all. So I tend to steer clear of books by Stephen King et al. That’s not to say I’d never try one, but not for the time being!

Do you have a favourite book? Gosh another hard one as I have too many to choose from. It goes without saying that Matilda is an all-time favourite as that was the first book that truly ‘spoke’ to me, but then there is a whole plethora of books that I just adore and I could read every day for the rest of my life and not be bored. Books like Harry Potter and The Order of the PhoenixThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, My Sister’s Keeper, The Hunger Games, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Little Women, One Day, Gone Girl and of course my favourite Austen book: Persuasion. So a favourite is almost impossible – sorry! I’d be so impressed if anyone could pinpoint a favourite book as I would most definitely find it impossible!

What is your least favourite book? There are a few books that I’ve never finished so I suppose those would be my least favourite books, but the only one I can think of is The Great Gatsby, which I only recently read. I just couldn’t enjoy that book, maybe that’s because I had been expecting so much more from it as everyone I know had given it rave reviews, Sadly it fell short for me.

What is the longest book you have ever read? Oh I honestly don’t know the answer to this one. Surely Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix has to be up there other than that I’m not really sure.

20131103-192115.jpgWhich was the last book you bought? I recently bought some books for other people’s Christmas presents – yes I’m that organised but for myself it was <<<< this gorgeous version of The Secret Garden. Isn’t it stunning? I’ve been coveting it for ages and finally treated myself. So stunning!

Do you prefer library books or buying books? I do love the library but for me there’s nothing like owning a favourite or beautiful book and having it on my bookshelves to read again and again. It may be an expensive habit but I don’t care. I know that I’ll never regret owning these books as every time I see them I remember why I loved each book and where those pages transported me to.

What are you currently reading? My current read is Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. This is a book I’ve had on my kindle for AGES and just not got round to starting it. Now that I have I’m quite into it already, even after just a few short pages. Like most paranormal YA titles it’s really easy to follow and well written.

So what about you are you going to give the book survey a whirl yourself? I’d love to see your answers! Happy reading x

Advertisements

Dealing with a thirty item to-do list

stress

Source: Diaries of an Essex Girl

A few weeks back Kate at Diaries of an Essex Girl wrote a post about tackling your blogging schedule and included the above inspirational image about stress. This image really struck a chord with me, not about blogging per se but just generally how I react to having too much to do, whether at work or in my personal life. My initial reaction when things are getting too much is to have an internal freak out and panic which means I’m unable to do anything productive for ages. Then I’m left with only one option – to do everything at the last-minute after making myself feel stupidly sick with worry. This is such a ridiculous reaction and most importantly an unproductive one! Especially when I’m inevitably freaking out because I have far too much to do. So I’ve decided that I need to remember this quote and maybe even print it out and carry it with me so that when I next have a freak out I’ll stop and think. After all stress is most definitely not a good idea when I need my brain to work and get something done, be it a creative idea or just one of the two hundred things on my current to-do list.

Another brain wave I’ve had recently is to sit down and calmly with a cup of coffee and write a to do list when I’m having a mini meltdown. By breaking a big scary task into a load of smaller tasks it’s far more manageable plus ticking each bit off one – no matter how small the task is really does help. I feel like I’ve instantly achieved something and I can achieve things much faster. Clearly something to do with actually getting my brain together and back to the task at hand! What about you what do you do to calm your crazy brain down when things get a bit too overwhelming?

A fantabulous send off!

Smiley_Happy_ThingsThere was only one thing I could write about this week in my smiley happy things post and that’s the wonderful people who I used to work with as this week they gave me the best send off ever. I really am eternally grateful to them for being such amazing stars and for spoiling me so much. Even though I no longer work with them I know that I’ve made a good set of friends in these people and I’ll be forever grateful to them all for making the last five and a half years bloody brilliant! On my last few days at my old job I was thoroughly spoilt by my lovely colleagues friends with homemade biscuits, beautiful flowers, rocky road, lunches out, multiple coffee trips, a sensational personalised card, a plethora of perfect presents, a lovely evening of nachos, drinks and nattering and some wonderfully kind words. I really was massively spoiled and it really did make the end of an era something special. It was great to ignore the scary parts and all my nerves and focus on the lovely things. I really will miss my old job and I’m very thankful that I’ve made some pretty awesome friends there that I know I’ll see numerous times in the future.

Getting crafty. A sparkly word cushion

Greetings friends and how are you on this happy day? I’ve popped on to the blog today to share a recent crafty project that I’ve finally got round to doing. I’ve been crazy lazy over the last few months and it took me three, yes three months to finally get going on this project – oops! So here it is, the lovely pillow I made (don’t look too closely, it’s most definitely not perfect!).

20131020-184731.jpg

So anyway down to the project! A while back I made the somewhat  impulsive decision to make the little sisterling something for her birthday. I had no clue what this thing would be but I knew that was what I wanted to do – no idea why as I’m truthfully not the most crafty of people. I mean I can knit but that’s about it for crafting skills and really my knitting speed is so far from quick that the time frame I had once I started (two weeks) would mean she’d end up with a scarf four inches long. Less than ideal. Thankfully I then remembered about the post I saw an age ago on Sugar and Cloth and have since hidden in the recess of my mind as something to make one day when I had the need and (perhaps more importantly) owned a sewing machine. Now I still don’t own a sewing machine but a while back I borrowed my Mum’s and I still haven’t used it, so it seemed the perfect opportunity! So as the planets seemed to be perfectly aligned it was time to get down to making a gorgeous sparkly word pillow.

I knew the little love bug that is Beccabear would love such a pillow as she’s now in her first rented house and has enjoyed accumulating bits and bobs to personalise it with. Plus as a student I know she will be spending a lot of her time over the next few years sitting on her bed reading and typing away – so comfy pillows are essential, well they were for me anyway! After a lot of deliberation over the word for the pillow I settled on ‘dream’ as I like how its equal parts fluffy and motivational. Does that make sense, or is that just a peek into my really weird mind?!

I really enjoyed making this cushion and it’s made me determined to give some other projects ago. I just need to decide on a new project to start, hm decisions, decisions.

Winter Warmers

winter warmers
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7
Now that the clocks have gone back I’m properly embracing the autumnal and wintery feel in the air. I suppose yes you could argue I did that a while back, after all I’ve been rocking the tights and boots combo and drinking copious amounts of the autumn flavoured drinks for quite a while now. But it’s only this past week that I’ve been looking at warming winter woollies and I’ve decided that my current striped mittens just won’t do. The number of holes in them make them more useful for draining pasta than warming hands so the hunt has commenced for the perfect pair of mittens. Above are the current contenders. What do you think, do you have a preference? I’m heading towards the cream and neon pink ones at the moment (5) as they’re so unusual although maybe a more neutral pair like number six is most sensible? But the ones with the string do hark back to one particular outfit I owned as a five-year old. For a long time it  was all about the mittens, shiny buckled shoes and my special ‘smart’ coat that was a dark blue with a black fur collar. Gosh how I loved that coat!

A Trip To Meet The Otters – Travel Tuesday

Happy Tuesday lovely peeps and welcome to another edition of Travel Tuesday with Bonnie and Co. How have you all been since the last edition, anything exciting to share? Today is the second to last day at the job I’ve been at for five and a half years, so ti’s all very exciting in these parts. I can’t believe this day has actually arrived and whilst I’m sad I can’t wait for the super exciting new things to come! Anyway back to travelling, today I thought I’d share my recent trip to an otter sanctuary, which was ten days ago during my trip to The Peak District.IMG_0595

Whilst we were having a thoroughly relaxing weekend in the countryside we decided to venture half an hour from where we were staying and visit the Chestnut Centre Otter, Owl and Wildlife Park which is nestled on the side of a hill in Chapel-en-le-frith. If you’re ever up that way I most definitely recommend it as it’s such a great afternoon out! We were there for a good three hours and as well as having a lovely long walk around the hills we encountered some beautiful creatures.

IMG_0515

IMG_0531

IMG_0533

A particular favourite of mine was the deer that were grazing on the side of the hill not two metres from where we were wandering, they were absolutely beautiful and seemed so peaceful. They didn’t seem bothered at all that we were so close, they just seemed to enjoy roaming around the land. It was great to see thm in their natural habitat and to be so close.

IMG_0512

IMG_0529

IMG_0518

IMG_0584

As well as the deers (with their baby foals) we also saw loads of silky otters splashing around in the water. There were giant ones as well as small ones in five or six areas across the park – three of these seemed to be doing an exercise routine where they swam and chased each other round their enclosure multiple times (so sweet). Plus we saw pole cats, which are very cute (if not a little shy) too.

IMG_0598

IMG_0570

As well as the deer, otters and pole cats there were a lot of owls to stare at as well, everything from cute barn owls and snowy white ones to ones I’ve never seen before. I think these were my favourites as they were the most unexpected – with their puffy and fluffy feathers and big haunting eyes they really were gorgeous. Although I’m not sure I’d like to meet them in the woods on a dark night!

IMG_0564

IMG_0580

It was such a lovely day out and perfect for getting a long walk in without even realising it! I really did fall in love with The Peak District and I can’t believe that I’ve barely even visited such a stunningly beautiful part of the world – I really have been missing out. Have a great rest of the week everyone. xx

My most recent Smiley Happy Things

Smiley_Happy_Things

Hello lovely people and how are you this monday morning, did you have a pleasant weekend and are you ready and raring to go with this week? I’ve only got three days of work this week as I leave my current job (after five and a half years!) on Wednesday – eek! I’m equal parts exccited and nervous! Anyway back to today, the ten things making me smile this week, here we go…

1) Lovely long natterings with friends
2) Brilliant books – In the last week I’ve read Catching Fire and I’ve started Mockingjay and I’m really enjoying rereading these YA gems. I’d forgotten so much of what happens and they are really brilliant reads

20131026-211301.jpg
3) Lazy mornings doing nothing but reading and coffee drinking, oh if only that was my life
4) Exploring new areas whilst we search for a potential new home – exciting times indeed!
5) Excellent Twitter responses, I’m looking at you @jamesblunt. What a great response to negative comments: showing you have a sense of humour and not taking yourself too seriously

source

6) Watching live music – Tyler Hilton was superb live on Wednesday night and I’ve been listening to his music ever since. I love Loaded Gun the most I think (at least right at this minute)

20131026-211313.jpg
7) Five Guys –  I finally made it there this week and it was even better than I expected. There’s something in those fries that make them moreish, I’m telling you I could have eaten five or six helpings. As for the free monkey nuts, scrumptious

20131026-211325.jpg
8) Pretending I am able to buy whatever clothes I want with no budget constraints as part of the M&S Style Board competition for bonfire night. My entry is here, why not check it out?

9) Quality times with my sisterlings – whether it’s eating, chatting or just sitting doing nothing together I love them so much
10) Watching American Football at Wembley – wow!

Image 1 of ASOS Jumper With Star Elbow Patch

11) Treating myself to this simply gorgeous jumper. I’m sorry but I can’t say no to a snuggly jumper with star elbow pads. I mean wow love it!

What about you? What were your favourite things this week? Have you been loving all the autumnal weather and have you been making the most of snuggling up inside with hot chocolate and a good book. Surely that can’t just be me?

Adventures in the Peak District – Travel Tuesday

20131021-085101.jpgOn Sunday I got back from three nights in the Peak District and it was an absolutely brilliant weekend – I loved every second! I’ve only ever been to the Peak District once before when I went for a walk around the Ladybower Reservoir up near Sheffield. You can read more about that over here! Since then I’ve been wanting to go back as it looks just so beautiful, and finally this weekend that happened! The reason? The younger sister’s birthday celebrations and seeing as she’s studying at Sheffield University, a family trip to the peaks seemed logical. After much searching we found a beautiful little cottage overlooking the river in Bakewell and we were set! We arrived on Thursday afternoon and didn’t leave this patch of paradise until Sunday lunchtime and I can honestly say I was so super relaxed whilst there. It certainly lived up to my super high expectations and the scenery was just superb, despite the less than glorious weather. But hey, what are you going to do about that?

20131021-085048.jpg

Whilst there we did some day trips – to see a friend in Leeds, to the Chestnut Centre Conservation and Wildlife Park and to Bolsover Castle but the shining star in the weekend was in my humble opinion, the lovely town of Bakewell. I can imagine in the summer it is fairly hectic and busy as it’s so picturesque, is close to the famous Chatsworth House and is renowned for its Bakewell Tarts, but during our weekend it was an okay amount of busy. We went for a few walks around and into the village and it seemed every corner you turned took you to quaint shops or beautiful views, not to mention a pretty river and a lovely sounding weir. Some of my favourite photos of the village are sprinkled in this post, although I’m not sure you can appreciate it’s beauty in these. As for places we visited that I can thoroughly recommend? The super cheap and brilliantly stocked charity shops, the atmospheric and brilliantly decorated Pointing Dog and Duck pub, which served food that was out of this world (there really aren’t the right superlatives I’d need to describe their chicken, leek, ham and mushroom pie), lovely looking coffee shops and Rajas – home to delicious tasting curries!

20131021-085012.jpg

20131021-084930.jpg

We did of course treat ourselves to Bakewell Tarts whilst there and they really are something else when you taste a tart that is how it’s meant to be – none of the Kiplingified nonsense you are taught is the correct why. If you’ve never had one I highly recommend you rectify that asap!

20131021-084958.jpg

20131021-084943.jpg

So yes that’s what I got up to over the weekend, exploring the beautiful peak district with family, if you’ve never been I highly recommend it and I will most definitely be going back. Any suggestions for where I should visit next? I’m all ears. Happy Travel Tuesday and don’t forget to visit all the other lovely people who are linking up posts with Bonnie and the rest of the lovely Travel Tuesday brigade. Happy travelling from your desk/sofa/bed everyone.

20131021-084918.jpg

20131021-084905.jpg

20131021-084846.jpg

A Compass Rose

Merry times away and happy things

Smiley_Happy_Things

Yesterday I got back from four days in the Peak District where I had a whale of a time with my family to celebrate my younger sister’s birthday. Most of my smiley happy things from the past week relate to this trip as it was so much fun – oh how I wish I was still there and not at my desk in Central London! Even though the weather was mainly cloudy and a bit drizzly it didn’t seem to matter as we were staying in a lovely little cottage and having a ball – more on the weekend tomorrow in my Travel Tuesday post. So let’s get down to these smiley happy things!

Super cute animals – whilst in the peaks we stayed in Bakewell where we just happened to be overlooking the river and a lot of really cute ducks and even a few swans, so sweet! We also spent Saturday at a nature reserve full of owls and otters, which were absolutely adorable, I could have spent hours there watching the otters splash around in the water. Cuteness!

20131020-201249.jpg
Family – I spent the entire weekend with my family and it was so good to be all together again, even if for such a short time. I think the last time all six of us were together for longer than ten hours was in Wales in August, so it was high time for another get together! We got up to all sorts; from walks and meals out, to lazy times on the sofa and late night game playing. Not to mention hours in the car ranting at the radio or singing along to the radio – I loved ever second and I need to start planning the next trip.

20131020-201154.jpg

Good food – Whilst in Bakewell we did of course treat ourselves to the obvious – a proper Bakewell Tart, but we also consumed a LOT of other things including: GBK burgers (and fries with satay sauce), cooked breakfasts, cocktails, curry, pub lunches featuring the most delicious chicken liver pate ever, chicken, leek, ham and mushroom pie, birthday cake and lasagna. Yummy, yum, yum! A good reason why I need to go for a run. Good food also extends into the rest of the week with sausage casserole, hot chocolates, breakfast at Le Pain, triple chocolate cookies and an obscene amount of marshmallow brownies.

20131020-201223.jpg

20131020-201035.jpg

Non Peak District related good things from this week include a trip to Costco. I don’t know why but something about that place makes me so happy. I think it’s the combined fact of being able to buy yummy things in bulk (hello 48 packets of peanut m&m’s or 3 litres of sweet chilli sauce) and wandering between aisles of books, then TVs and then crisps. Such fun!

Autumn love – I’m so pleased we’re completely in the throes of Autumn as it’s my favourite season. I found the perfect leaf when briefly in my parents garden and I just love shuffling through the leaves each morning and the click clack of winter boots in the paving slabs.

20131020-201117.jpg

Sisters – Sort of related to point two above (as they are my family after all) but over the last week my sisters have proved they’re pretty awesome through a number of ways. Firstly through comedy Snapchats and tweets, then with lovely surprise presents to say ‘well done on your new job’ and finally when Bex gave me one of her rings, well a set of three matching ones, that no longer fit her – how awesome are they! I’m super lucky to have them in my life!

Pretty printed paper – I love wrapping the gifts I give in beautiful paper and with lovely ribbon and this week I found some gorgeous brown paper in Paperchase that had lovely patterns on. As soon as I saw the three designs, I had to buy them all – I mean look, swirly text, cute colourful birds and interesting animals. How could I not buy these?

20131020-201058.jpg

What about you, what things have made you smile this week, I’d love to know! x

Boring walls: a problem and a solution!

Happy Sunday one and all, how are you all? I’m away this weekend in the stunningly beautiful Peak District with the family so hopefully I’m having a whale of a time. I will obviously update you all as soon as possible upon my return to London – you lucky lucky things! Anyway back to today’s post, let’s talk about art. For a while now I’ve been wanting to do something more interesting with my bedroom walls as they feel a little bit unloved. Don’t get me wrong they’re not bare, I do have stuff on them, lovely stuff in fact – but it’s all a bit higgledy-piggledy and things have been put up without thought. So this needs work.

I just wasn’t sure what to do until I saw a recent post by Will at Bright Bazaar’s recent, which got me all excited. As a gallery wall is most definitely the answer to my boring bedroom wall problem. The only problem is that I only have a couple of pictures in my room  – this one and a landscape picture of the wonderful Moreaki Boulders in New Zealand. So what I need are a few more frames to work with, so of course that means I’m on the lookout for some gorgeous works of art! Current faves are below and weirdly I seem to have headed towards brilliant quotes (let’s be honest we knew there’d be a Potter one in there somewhere didn’t we) and skylines/maps. Not sure what that’s all about but I must find both things fairly inspiring, which to be fair isn’t the worst idea for my bedroom wall. Surely waking up to lovely inspirational quotes is a good plan – won’t it just mean I’m taking the inspiring words to heart and doing more? Who knows! But maybe I should buy all of the below and see!

Wall inspiration

Dr Seuss quote / Albus Dumbledore quote / Bookshelf picture / Edinburgh Skyline / Always Remember / Life is too short / Hope quote / World Map / London Skyline

What’s your favourite quote and would you ever pop it on your wall? Any suggestions about what I should be adding to my wall, all ideas/suggestions/thoughts welcome. I’m clearly in dire need of help!

%d bloggers like this: