Monthly Archives

December 2019

Books

My Favourite Book-To-Screen Adaptations

Book-to-Screen

I can’t be the only one who can easily name a handful of book-to-screen adaptations. They’ve become more and more common which is both a great and a bad thing. If the director knows the book and stays true to it, the adaptation will be awesome. However there are some horrific ones out there that you can tell the person had zero clue about the book or the characters.

I’m going to look at some of my favourite book-to-screen shows/films and then maybe share a couple that I didn’t like. Some may surprise you!!

Harry Potter

I had to start with this because I have two particular favourites! They have to be Philosopher’s Stone and Prisoner of Azkaban. I didn’t use to like POA because it was such a different film style compared to the others and because Ron’s lines were stolen. That has changed over the years. The first one was just so faithful to the book! It had the lines I could read word for word. Chris Columbus was just so brilliant directing it and Chamber of Secrets and you could tell that he truly read the books.

Part of me wishes he would have stayed on longer but the other directors did great too!

Five Feet Apart

I only saw and read Five Feet Apart this year and I adored it!! It was such a brilliant book and I immediately fell in love with Stella and Will as characters. Hearing their voices going through such a unique situation of dealing with Cystic Fibrosis was interesting. It also helped that Cole Sprouse was cast as Will and I adored his take on him! Plus he has been incredible dedicating any wins to Claire Wineland who passed from the disease last year.

I think the world needs more YA books looking at people with certain illnesses so that people feel connected. For me I wish I could see more books looking at autism so it can teach people that we’re different yet the same.

Pride and Prejudice

I had a reason for using the book in my picture! This is automatically my mum’s fault! We used to watch the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice and it was what got me into classic books and period dramas. It had the elegance and the drama and Colin Firth coming out of a lake!

Ever since watching this show I’ve loved Mansfield Park, Emma and so many others! You have to admit that the BBC does a pretty decent job casting the right people for these dramas!

Hunger Games

Two words: Jennifer Lawrence!!

I’ll admit a faux-pas that this was one of those moments where I watched the film before I read the book. In my defence, I wasn’t a massive fan of dystopian books since they were always the same. Hunger Games was something completely different and it had my attention straight away. I loved how strong Katniss was and how dedicated she was to fighting to keep her family safe and bring honour to her District. I hadn’t seen much of Jennifer Lawrence before this and this was how I developed a girl crush on her!! She’s just so pretty and sassy! I was never overly fond of Josh Hutchinson as Peeta but he definitely got better.

Bridge to Terebithia

My heart!! This book and film broke me so much!! If you haven’t read the book, then you need to either order it now or run to your local library tomorrow! It’s such a heart-wrenching novel that had you on a rollercoaster and seeing through the eyes of a child differently. This was the film that I loved Josh in and made me fangirl Anna-Sophia Robb as an actress. Those two were just so perfect as Leslie and Jesse! Even to this day I cry when I read or watch this.

I also have Bailee Madison (the baby sister of Jesse) following me on Twitter so score! Haha!

The Princess Diaries

I’d never read a 1st person book before this but loved the style in which Meg Cabot wrote. You really felt as if you were reading someone’s diary and Mia was everything I wanted to be and more! Is it bad that I wish I could have had her cat Fat Louie? The film adaptation of this was Anne Hathaway’s first ever film!! It’s crazy to think of that and where she is these days! She was brilliant as a gawky Mia who just wanted to get through high school and who wouldn’t want to discover that Julie Andrews was your grandmother!

I’m still hoping I’ll find a connection in my family tree one day!

Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Love. this. book!!

Becky Albertalli has quickly become one of my favourite YA authors behind JK Rowling. She really writes relatable characters that you wish you were friends with and/or could possibly see in your therapy group. I haven’t read too many LGBTQ+ books (something I’m aiming to change!) but this was beautiful. It’s all about a young guy called Simon who is secretly gay but hasn’t told his friends or family yet. He comes out to a stranger called Blue and stuff happens. It helps that this character is a Hufflepuff and has an awesome friend called Leah!

The film version was so good! Nick Robinson was made to be Simon and I wish we could see more of him in other roles! Did you know another one of Becky’s books ‘What If It’s Us‘ is being made into a film?!

The Babysitter’s Club

Okay…this one is an oldie but a cheesy goodie! Please tell me someone else has read and watched The Babysitter’s Club! This was one of the first book-to-screens that I ever watched! I was 8 when it first came out and seeing these ‘big kids’ doing such cool things really made me want to grow up! I loved making my own little club that only certain people could join. The Lion King was the best club I did! Haha! The books were a little old for me at the time but I definitely read all of them when I could! There were so many to love! They’ve even been made into a graphic novel now!

You’re probably wondering the ones that I didn’t like. Don’t hate me but:

  • Twilight
  • Percy Jackson
  • Paper Towns
  • Divergent

What are your favourite book-to-screen adaptations?

Lifestyle

13 Things To Do Before The End Of The Year

end of the year

Everyone to your panic stations!! There is only a little over 2 weeks to go until the end of the year. We officially say goodbye to the 2010s and say hello to the 2020s! That is barely any time! Though I’m strangely not over-panicking about this. Maybe because the New Year means a fresh start, especially if the previous year had been awful.

I’ve already done a post or two about starting 2020 so feel free to read!

One of my favourite things about December is that I can to start to prepare for the upcoming year. I don’t mean plan out my entire year from start to finish! That would make even more insane! I mean…sorting out the bits and bobs that need doing to make sure you wake up on January 1st feeling less stressed.

You know my blog is pretty much consisted of list posts so let’s add another one to the pile!

19 Things To Do Before The End of 2019

Donate old clothes to charity:

So many people are doing this these days which is awesome so let’s continue! By Christmas you’ll probably have gained some new clothes and/or seen the state of your closet. That’s one thing I don’t have to worry about…I have NO wardrobe! Got to love when movers break the door to the one you had. A pro to this problem is that it made me see what I had and what I didn’t love.

Clothes are a very touchy subject for me so I don’t own that much.

I’m planning to donate any remaining items that don’t make me happy and force myself to buy something that does.

Decide on a new morning/night routine:

This is at the top of my to-do list for the start of 2020!

I usually get up okay in the morning (when my depression doesn’t hit), but my night time routine? Oof! That is a whole other story. I really want to sit down and look at what I can do to make it better. What am I possibly doing that keeps me awake?

As for the morning, I just want to work out a flexible routine. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I’m currently out of work so don’t have a set routine. This really triggers me for some reason and 9 times out of 10 the reason why my mood slips. On the days where I’m not looking for work or at medical appointments, I need to sort out a timetable. A bit like you had at school! Obviously I need to make it flexible as not every day/week is going to be the same.

If I plan for changes, I won’t be blind-sided!

Work on that reading list:

A lot of my friends are book lovers so have a set amount of books on Goodreads that they want to read by the end of the year. I haven’t actually updated mine in months so may end up doing this after I publish this! Haha! These next couple of weeks are perfect for taking a minute to read 20 pages a day (if/when you can) and hit your target! If you don’t reach it, there is always next year!

Congrats on reading even one book!

Clean out your emails:

Everyone hates glancing at their emails in case they see a negative one, see how many are unread or just wanting to avoid work. I actually have 3 email accounts! Before you cart me off to my therapist, I have reasons!

1 is my personal one where family and other personal people can email me. It has my real name and seems a little more professional. 1 is my blog account where I get all the notifications of comments, brands can contact and more. The last one is my fangirl account! This is where I get pokes for Friday Forty (Cursed Child!), new chapter alerts for my favourite fanfic writers and all that nerdy stuff.

It works but wow…lots of spam to cope with!

Celebrate the past year:

As hard as it probably is to do this, try to celebrate everything you have done over the last year. It makes the end of the year feel more positive!

If you’ve kept a gratitude journal, then flick through and read everything good that has happened to you. I haven’t had the chance to do that this year but I’m definitely planning to do it next! I have been writing a journal so will just check that back!

Clean your phone:

Just like your emails, go through your phone! I have seen some horror pictures with people having over 20k email messages, 1k texts to read from the year. Seeing as I rarely text, that’s fine with me! The only reason I keep some texts is because a few are from my Mum and others are memories that I want to hold onto.

I go through all my pictures to see what I want to save or delete! I have McAfee Security on my phone that helps keep any viruses at bay and also comes with a media vault! A safe place to keep any pictures/videos I want to keep away from snooping eyes!

How crowded is your phone? Haha!

Send thank you notes:

This is something new that I want to do for the end of the year.

There are so many people who have helped me with my personal and mental health this year and I want to physically say thank you. I do thank them every time online but there is something special about writing it. I wish I could send them to everyone but I’ll do my best!

Celebrate yourself:

You’ve celebrated your year (or at least a day!) so the end of the year is the perfect time to celebrate yourself. Book yourself a facial, a nail appointment or even a massage! Spoil yourself and use this time to remind yourself that you are important and are deserving.

I love how I give this advice and hardly ever follow it! May treat myself to a facial!

Add dates to your calendar:

This is a good thing to do after Christmas and is something I’ve done since 2010! I love keeping a list of dates that will be important to me the following year and then adding them to my diary and calendar. I tend to add birthdays, films I want to watch, any fandom/book releases, conventions and more! It seems to make me more proactive if I see when something is happening in the future.

Do you do this too?

Sort out any finances:

This is a boring grown-up thing to do, but sometimes needs must. Go through your account to see how your bills are looking along with any debt. If, like me, you have debt from university then plot around all the payments you will be making so you can keep on track.

We’ll be old and wrinkly before the debt goes away. It’ll be worth it though!

Visit friends or neighbours:

We’re at an age in time where we no longer physically connect with people. Of course we chat online or on our phones but we hardly take the time to meet up and chat! I’m actually meeting up with my ‘twin’ Ali this weekend for the first time in a year!! I’m so excited! We’ve been meaning to do this all year and I’m so glad it is finally happening.

As I live near old neighbours, I’m planning to go and visit a couple to catch up. They’re so nice and have made living in my cul-de-sac a lot easier. We’ll just ignore my bad neighbours.

Declutter an area of your life:

If you have a moment in your day or week, use it to declutter something in your life that is causing you stress. It could be your bookshelves overflowing or your makeup bag. I bet you’ll feel so much better seeing it less cluttered and organised. I really need to sort out my kitchen cupboards so pray for me! The end of the year is when I start to feel antsy that things are untidy or triggered!

Write some targets for the next year:

I’m using the word ‘targets’ instead of goals because we’re more likely to achieve a target. I’ve been learning a lot about SMART goals in my work classes and they are really handy. Basically you can choose something you want to achieve like losing weight and you make it specific. You could say ‘I’m going to lose 1b a week’ and set a date you want to achieve your goal on. It’s best to only have a few targets to work so you feel more accomplished!

What things are you hoping to achieve by the end of the year?

Books

The Bookish Christmas Gift Guide

Bookish

Remember when I said that my last post was my final winter post? Well, I lied! I looked at my list of post ideas and saw that I hadn’t written my bookish gift guide. I’ve seen some amazing things online and in person to share with you! I have a lot of book lovers for friends so maybe I can convince them to treat themselves to a product or two.

As always, I hope that some of these ideas help you with some last minute gift ideas. Even if it’s not for Christmas, then a birthday or a thank you gift!

By the way, this post isn’t sponsored! I just found The Literary Gift Company when I was looking through Google and saw they had a bunch of great ideas!

Jane Austen Doormat (£20)

What I love about this doormat is that it perfectly describes a home.

At least for a book lover anyway! I much prefer staying home reading or when it’s freezing outside. It’s much comfier and I’m a social outcast! Haha! You can never have too many door mats. When your old one gets too filthy, you can throw out and use the next.

Exercise The Mind Bookends (£16.99)

HA! Is this true or what?!

The brain is a muscle, right? What else better to exercise our minds and take us travelling around different worlds than reading? If reading was considered an actual exercise, I would be super toned and practically an athlete now! Do you think it’s too late to make a recognised one?

Penguin Mug (£8.99)

Quite a lot of my book friends have at least one Penguin mug in their life.

I don’t actually mean a mug with a penguin (though that is a cute one!). I mean the book publisher ‘Penguin’ who have an amazing collection of classic book designs on them. I’d say they were pretty iconic so would make a brilliant gift. A cup of tea while you read…bliss!

Reading Journal (£6.99)

This is something I’m planning on getting for next year to help me keep track on what I read. I tried to do it with my bullet journal but I got bored trying to create my tables. The thing about this particular journal is that it has a list of the Top 100 books on Goodreads for you to tick off. It also has a reading log, place for reviews, a table of books you want to read and more!

Sounds great for all book lovers in your life!

Personal Library Kit (£9.09)

Have you ever had friends see a book on your bookshelf and ask if they can borrow it? I have and I’ve had a couple that never came back! Yes, I’m still salty!!

A great of keeping track on them is by treating your shelves a little like a library! You can put details of the book, select a date you want it back and even stamp it like a proper classic librarian. So cool!

I’m tempted to even get it for the stamp! I’m a child…

‘Draco’ 9oz Soy Wax Candle (£13.09)

You don’t have to get this specific candle (though you totally could because you would get to say that you’re smelling Draco). Haha! I’ve really been loving candles recently and I’ve been wanting to support smaller businesses. When I found Nali aka A Court of Candles on Etsy, I adored the sound of her candles! They’re all named after books, book characters or places in books!

How cool, right?!

They sound so nice and, since she has a large amount of candles for you to check out, I’m sure you’ll find one from a book you love!

‘Too Many Books? I think you mean not enough bookshelves!’ Sign (£5.99)

Ever looking for a sign to put near your bookshelves? I think this is perfect! It’s not that we buy too many books…it’s just because we don’t have enough bookshelves in our lives!

Cat Book Sleeve (£11)

The final gift for my bookish gift guide is actually something I see a lot of my favourite booktubers using. I never knew they existed until them and that is a book sleeve! There are so many incredibly talented people on Etsy who create book sleeves but, as soon as I saw cats and books, I knew this was mine!

I’ve actually ordered one while I wrote this post!

A book sleeve is basically a protective pouch you can pop your book in to keep it safe. That way you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged or dirtied while in your bag!

What bookish items have you got on your list this year?

Fandom Harry Potter

10 Magical Ideas For Any Harry Potter Party

Harry Potter party

There is one thing that I wish I could have had as a kid and that’s a Harry Potter party! I was lucky in the fact that my parents were great at doing parties for me! My dad made the best jam sandwiches! Something I still love to this day so thanks Dad!

It doesn’t matter how old you get, you are never too old for a party!

Before you say it, I know that most kids get them and adults get them on specific birthdays. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a little Harry Potter Potter party on your special day. It’s a little too short notice for my birthday (it’s next month) but I’m still going to share some ideas on how you can make a normal party into a magical one.

Game Ideas

Pin the scar on the Harry:

You’ve heard of ‘Pin the tail on the donkey’, but this is pinning Harry’s scar onto his forehead. Another pin game you can have is ‘Pin the nose on Voldemort’. It sounds like amazing fun and it would be brilliant to see how close people get!

Indoor Chaser Practice:

If I could I would totally play Quidditch! I’m so athletically challenged so would be horrendous at any position but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t try. A great way to discover a future Chaser is to build either build a mini table one with bottles, glow sticks and cups or a bigger one with buckets, poles and hula-hoops. The big one is awesome with red balloons as quaffles!

Horcrux Hunt:

Harry, Ron and Hermione obviously go on their hunt for the Horcruxes in Deathly Hallows so that would make a fun game! A Horcrux scavanger hunt! You get a handful of clues and have to search around for each Horcrux. Depending on how big your party is, you could even work in teams!

Harry Potter Scramble:

It’s exactly what it sounds like.

You get a list of Harry Potter items/characters and you have a certain amount of time to try and unscramble them all. I have actually played this game at a couple of midnight launches and it’s amazing how hard a couple can be!

Flying Keys:

Feeling a little hangry? Try playing ‘Flying Keys’! All you have to do is have a broomstick, attach 3 gummy/chocolate keys to it with strong string and, without using your hands, you have to catch/eat the key first.

Catch the Death-Eater:

Did anyone ever play the game ‘Wink Murderer’ at school? The basic idea is that a detective is picked, sent out the room and then a murderer is picked. The detective has to find out who the murderer is and the murderer has to secretly wink at someone which kills them.

You can totally do this at a Harry Potter party!

Instead of a detective, it’s an auror and instead of a murderer, it’s a Death-Eater.

Instead of a wink, you have to pretend to flick your wand at someone to kill them with the Killing Curse.

Food Ideas

Hufflepuff Puffs/Pizza Puffs:

There are so many things you can do with House foods! I love the idea of having either puff crisps like Wotsits or Hippeas as a snack or pizza puff bites! It’ll be easy to make these vegeterian/gluten-free too!

Sorting Cupcakes:

Every Harry Potter fan wants to be Sorted into their Hogwarts House! If they haven’t been Sorted yet, why not make it fun for them by finding out through cake! You can either make yourself some cupcakes or fairy cakes, make a hole on top and pop either red, yellow, blue or green icing inside. That way, when a person bites into the cake, the person sees what House they’re in.

Better than eating an old hat!

Fruit Owl:

Who doesn’t love food being shaped into different things! If you want a more healthier treat for your party, then why not have a fruit salad in the shape of an owl. At least it won’t bring you mail from your dentist! Haha.

Honeydukes:

Have the funds left for food? Treat your Harry Potter party to actual Wizarding World sweets! You have Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans, Pepper Imps, Chocolate Frogs, Fizzing Whizz-Bees. There are so many to choose from and, if you don’t all that much money, then buy normal sweets and add magical signs to them.

Children love the idea of sweets regardless!

There are so many other things you can do for a party like this! You can have invitations made like a Hogwarts letter, handmade wands as party favours, potions for drinks. You name it, I’m sure there is a Potter spin you can do on it! If you do have a Potter party, then have an amazing one and hopefully this post has given you some ideas!

What would you have your Harry Potter party?

 

Lifestyle

40 Ideas To Help With Your Winter Bucket List

Bucket List

Photo by Joseph Pearson on Unsplash

Another Blogmas day, another post focusing on winter stuff! Haha!

This is probably going to be my last post about it since even I’m getting a little tired of chatting about it. However, I’ve been meaning to write about what is on my winter bucket list. There are so many incredible things that happen during this season and a bucket list makes things easier!

I just love lists!

When you have a free day from work or stuck on what to do for an evening, you’re always checking the internet for ideas on what to do. I’ve got some ideas that maybe be able to help you! If you have any ideas that you would add to the list, then let me know! I love chatting with my international friends and hearing what they do.

The Winter Bucket List

  1. Go ice-skating
  2. Make home-made hot chocolate
  3. Bake and make a gingerbread house
  4. Build a snowman
  5. Put a jigsaw puzzle together with a friend/family member
  6. Create small kits to give to the homeless
  7. Try a DIY craft from Pinterest
  8. Send Christmas cards or create a card to share online
  9. Stay in your pyjamas all day
  10. Drive around and check out the different Christmas lights in your neighbourhood
  11. Buy a pair of comfy slippers
  12. Wear something that makes you feel warm
  13. Take a walk in the snow
  14. Make exciting plans for New Year’s Eve
  15. Come up with some realistic New Year Resolutions
  16. Write a handwritten letter to a friend
  17. Go to a local Christmas market
  18. Make an ornament for your tree
  19. Go to a wreath-making class
  20. Buy presents for a child who needs help
  21. Take part in ‘Ugly Christmas Jumper Day’
  22. Kiss a special someone under the mistletoe
  23. Read a book somewhere comfortable
  24. Light a Christmas-scented candle
  25. Have a snowball fight
  26. Create a Christmas Eve box for children
  27. Wrap some presents
  28. Take family pictures
  29. Attend a party
  30. Perform a random act of kindness
  31. Go on a scavenger hunt
  32. Buy a snow globe
  33. Do a Secret Santa
  34. Learn how to say Merry Christmas/Happy New Year in 3 different languages
  35. Create your own Christmas song
  36. Go skiing
  37. Participate in a chuch service
  38. Take a picture with your Christmas tree
  39. Give someone a surprise gift
  40. Donate items you don’t use anymore to charity

There are only a handful ideas here that help you out but you can find more information through Pinterest or even looking into your local newspaper. I just need to learn to listen to my inner voice!

What would be your bucket list?

bucket list

Lifestyle

What’s Inside My Handbag During The Winter

bagPhoto by STIL on Unsplash

Are you bored of all my winter posts yet? Are you secretly hoping that I’ll stop talking about winter or making every lifestyle post about it? Well, I apologise if you’re bored but since it’s that time of year, I’m going to chat a lot about it! I don’t regret making these either! They’re fun!

Like a lot of people, I love watching Youtube videos.

There are obviously questionable ones but I know what I love and who I love to watch. One type of video that I always seem to enjoy is seeing what is in someone’s bag. I’m so nosy! The amount of stuff a person can cram in there is incredible. You don’t just get handbags either! You can get bags of celebrities, fashion school bags, bags for auditions and even pet bags!

I would have taken a picture of my own bag but it’s an absolute state so I’ll just describe it to you.

For the last few years I’ve had a Harry Potter satchel from Primark! It’s just like an old school satchel and I still love it (even though it’s slowly falling apart). I’ve gotten so many comments about how cute it is and how they’re surprised it’s from Primark.

I REPRESENT YOU, PRIMARK! (Work with me please…)

Let’s see what I’ve got in my bag, shall we?

Tissues

I’m going to start off with a little TMI but does anyone else’s nose run just because it’s cold? Mine does ALL the time! I don’t even have to be sick and it runs like a tap. So annoying! That means I have to make sure I have a pack of tissues with me at all time.

I tend to use The Cheeky Panda tissues from Boots! They’re made out of bamboo and are vegan too! I figured that I may as well do a little for the environment even if it’s only for my nose. It’s one of my big things to try and be more eco-friendly over the next year so wish me luck!

What tissues do you use?

Lip Balm

Yikes, do my lips get extra dry during the winter!

I didn’t always use to carry a lip balm in my bag but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve discovered that my lips have become a little less…moist. I don’t know how to describe it! Haha! Just like my skin, my lips really react to extreme temperatures. They can get pretty sore if I don’t keep on top of them.

In the past I used Vaseline and Burt’s Bees (which I do love! I just need to find a new flavour I like). These days I’ve been using Dr Organic with Manuka Honey and it’s so good!! It not only keeps lips feeling alive but it also has SPF 15. Yes, we have to use SPF in winter too! Have you not heard of snow blindness?! The sun is crazy during this time of year. When we get any, that is…

Extra pair of gloves

Fellow ezcema sufferers, high five!

What one word would I use to describe my hands right now? Ow. They’re ow because they’re dry and I’m trying to figure out what I can use to help them. I’ve got a combination of two different creams so sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t.

To try and help my hands a bit when it’s bitterly cold, I wear my Next gloves which are lovely and keep an extra pair in my bag. I like to occasionally double-up my gloves to keep my hands extra warm! It’s so nice and my skin doesn’t flare up as much.

Hand Sanitiser

It’s times like these when I wish the UK had a Bath & Body Works! I’ve heard so many incredible things about their selection of hand sanitisers! Though I did just now (literally as I’m writing this post) discover that you can buy some of them and their candles on Amazon!

This makes me a very happy blogger!

Since we don’t right now, I’ve just been grabbing whatever one smells okay. I haven’t managed to find one particular that both smells great, doesn’t dry out my hands

What kind of stuff do you keep in your bag?

Lifestyle

How To Make The Most Of A Cold Day | Blogmas 2019

The thing about winter is that it’s…well…cold!

Unless you live in a really hot country or Florida (as Thomas Sanders keeps ranting about), but most countries have really cold winters and I’m not afraid to admit that it sucks. If you haven’t read my other winter-related posts, I complain a lot about the weather. It’s too hot, it’s too cold, my body hates temperature!

It’s all true though!!

If you’re like me, I feel for you too!

cold dayPhoto by Thom Holmes on Unsplash

I’ve recently started seeing snow mentioned on my weather app and I’m low-key panicking about snow coming. I have talked about my fear of ice in past posts but it’s just debilitating when you have stuff to get done. Other than that, the last thing you want to do on a day off or during time off Christmas is stand in the cold. It makes you want to stay curled up under a blanket and forget that the world exists for the day.

That’s why I’ve been coming up with ways to make the most of a cold day.

Accept it

This is like some sort of therapy class but it’s true.

You have to learn to accept that winter is going to be with us for a good few months and could possibly sneak into spring too. The UK takes no prisoners when it comes to weather! As much as we would all prefer to stay out the cold (unless you have super thick ski gear or secretly a penguin), we just have to put up with it.

This has been my mini Ted Talk! Haha!

Do some put-off chores

Forget spring cleaning…winter cleaning happens!

You wouldn’t believe how messy things get when you’re preparing for Christmas! You’re pulling out all the boxes you tucked away at the start of the year, dusting them off and trying to decide whether you even love the decorations anymore. I’m always a little indecisive when it comes to what I pop on my tree! Sometimes I want to be minimalistic and the next I want to explode tinsel and baubles all over it!

Life gets busy as well and we all have chores that we don’t like.

Mine have to be polishing (the smell is so strong!) and taking the rubbish out (I have to carry bags a long way!). When I have no-where to go, this is when I pop on music and finally start the chores I’ve delayed.

Try baking

This is something I really want to do this month!

I really want to try making some Christmas cookies because I always see them being mentioned in films or on family vlogs. The problem is that I’m not a great baker and will probably burn a lot of them. I’m still going to try so let’s hope my life insurance covers death by cooking! Haha!

My kitchen is quite small but so cosy when the oven is on and that makes it the perfect place to be when it’s a cold day! I would happily grab a chair and park myself there if I had room.

Watch films

December is a great time to watch films, whether tucked in at home with Netflix and Christmas or whether you hide from the cold at the cinema. That’s what I’m planning to do this week when it’s super cold! The ironic thing is that I’m going to see Frozen 2 again!

I love my irony sometimes!

If I’m at home, I’ll close my curtains, grab all my blankets or even my duvet and watch the films that had been on my watch list! You’d be surprised I have many put aside for days like this!

Read blogs and write comments

Another idea from when you can stay at home or it’s a cold evening is to read posts from your favourite bloggers and leave them comments. If my mental health isn’t letting me write my own posts, then I make sure to leave love from people I love reading.

We may be only 3 days into December but I’m already loving posts from:

These ladies know how to make me forget about the weather for a bit! Love them!

Have a spa day

Just like you put off your chores, you’ve probably put off looking after yourself.

It’s so easily done with how busy lives can get sometimes especially during this time of year. I’ve never been to a spa before but I have been trying to have a day a week when I do look after me. I don’t always feel like I deserve it so it’s a bit of an effort.

You can take this time to put on some relaxing music and do whatever you need to. You could put on face/foot masks, paint your nails, have a bath with some extra nice scents or even just read with your favourite candle on.

Use it an excuse

You know you want to!!

Do you have a favourite cafe or place that you want to visit on a cold day and it’s freezing out? You are completely justified to use the cold as an excuse to go there. I have my eyes on my local cat cafe to go and enjoy myself. There is nothing more warming than a cat sleeping on your lap. It’s so comforting and I miss Jewel doing that with me at home.

Let me adopt all your cats please!

What do you do to make the most of a cold day?

Fandom

What’s On My ‘His Dark Materials’ Gift Guide?

his dark materials

The Definitive Guide to Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials (£25) | His Dark Materials: Northern Lights (£7.99) | The Book of Dust: The Secret Commonwealth (£14.99) | Lyra’s Oxford (£6.18) | His Dark Materials Cushion (£29.95) | Dark Materials Poster Set (£28.80) | His Dark Materials Poster Print – A4 (£3.69) | Golden Compass Alethiometer Watch (£40.33)

Who else is watching His Dark Materials on BBC One?!

Me!!

I’ve been adoring all the episodes so far, even though they’ve missed out some bits that pulled my heartstrings in the books! That said, I just had to make a gift guide for the show and franchise because they are so many pretty things out there! Some of these things you may already own and others you might not!

Grab your daemon and let’s see!

The Definitive Guide To His Dark Materials

Ever wanted to learn everything you could about the world Philip Pullman created?

This book has everything you could want! From lots of details about the characters, places, creatures, language and more! I love discovering all the things I’d either missed while reading or wanting to learn more!

With over 560 pages to flip through, I reckon you’ll be busy until next Christmas!

His Dark Materials: Northern Lights (BBC Cover)

Speaking of the BBC series, here is the cover for the book!

I know it may seem pointless to most people about buying the same book over and over with different covers, but for book lovers and fans, it doesn’t matter!

It’s another cover to the collection and you can appreciate it from afar. It’s an even big plus if you’re loving the series and the actress playing Lyra!

The Secret Commonwealth

If you’ve read His Dark Materials a fair few times and needed something new to check out, then you need to grab Philip Pullman’s latest novel featuring an older Lyra!! I wasn’t a massive fan of the first Book of Dust novel but there is just something about Lyra that had me hooked in this!

The second volume of Sir Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust sees Lyra, now twenty years old, and her dæmon Pantalaimon, forced to navigate their relationship in a way they could never have imagined, and drawn into the complex and dangerous factions a world that they had no idea existed.

Pulled along on his own journey too is Malcolm; once a boy with a boat and a mission to save a baby from the flood, now a man with a strong sense of duty and a desire to do what is right.

Theirs is a world at once familiar and extraordinary, and they must travel far beyond the edges of Oxford, across Europe and into Asia, in search for what is lost – a city haunted by dæmons, a secret at the heart of a desert, and the mystery of the elusive Dust.

Lyra’s Oxford

Remember with Harry Potter when we were trying to pass the time in between books and films?

This was the His Dark Materials version in the form of a short story featuring Lyra and Pan! It’s only 80 pages so a perfect little stocking filler. It’s set two years after The Amber Spyglass and you know wherever these two are, drama can’t be far behind!

Have any of you visited Oxford and tried to look through Lyra’s eyes?

His Dark Materials Cushion

This cushion has the most gorgeous illustration of Lyra flying through the air in a balloon and, while it seems so peaceful, you can feel the magic! Nothing more perfect for a cushion than relaxing and feeling sleepy! The colours are so pretty and I reckon this would fit on any bed!

You can get this cushion 45cm with cover only for £24.95 up to 60cm with cover and insert for £43.95!

Pricey cushion, huh?

Poster Set

I adore this poster set for the reason that they’re designed in a kind of steampunk style! It shows off 3 of the most important places in the series: Oxford, the North and London! It’s just a really different kind of style compared to the colourful ones out there.

If you love steampunk, then I know you’ll love 1 or all 3 of these!

Golden Compass Alethiometer Watch

You can’t have a ‘His Dark Materials’ gift guide without featuring some kind of Alethiometer mention!

When I saw this watch mentioned on Etsy, I knew that I had to include it in my guide! It has the gorgeous design that we’ve come to know and love with the Alethiometer, but the straps come in different colours! 9!! I think everyone would find a gorgeous colour that they like!

It’s £40.93 and I don’t think that’s too bad for a watch!

Have you been watching the show/have you read the books?

Lifestyle

How To Get Into The Christmas Spirit

Christmas spirit

Happy 1st of December, everyone!! The final month of 2019 has arrived and that means it’s a countdown to Christmas. That being said, Christmas is not always the best time of year. You could have lost a family member or friend, it could be your first without your loved ones, you may be in hospital for it or you might not have the funds to celebrate like everyone else.

I’ll be real with you…I have honestly found it difficult to get into the Christmas spirit.

Growing up, you tend to lose all that magic and sparkle it once had or that was what happened to me. I still loved receiving gifts from my mum and family, but I loved giving! Seeing my mum and friends looking happy with their gift made everything fun.

Now that I’ve no-one to celebrate Christmas with anymore, it becomes very easy to lose any Christmas spirit you had. That or you don’t celebrate it at all. For anyone reading this that doesn’t celebrate because of religious reasons or personal choice, I hope you have a great month anyway!

For those of you do, I’m going to see if I can ignite some festiveness along with you.

Take your time

Feeling festive isn’t a ginormous thing.

It can be as big or as small as you want it to be, depending on how you’re feeling at the moment. You don’t have to compare what you do to others. I didn’t celebrate at all the year Mum died because I didn’t know how I could. Last year I managed to pop up a tree and wrapped up a few presents and this year? I’m not sure. I’m not feeling overly festive yet and I might not feel it all.

Everyone is different.

Watch Christmas films

This is something I’m planning to do this month and I’m somewhat excited for it!

I can’t watch all the family ones because it’s harder to watch something you can’t have. The more fantasy ones I can do such as the Christmas Princess series and the classics such as Home Alone and Muppets’ Christmas Carol! I know how they will go and they don’t feel as real. Netflix have some fun ones I’m planning to watch over the next few years such as:

  • Holiday Rush
  • The Littlest Reindeer
  • A Christmas Story: A Christmas Wish
  • Let It Snow
  • Merry Happy Whatever

I still get the warm feelings and the fun and that’s what the Christmas spirit feels like to me.

Listen/dance to Christmas songs

This is on my Christmas bucket list of stuff to do during December!

I’ve managed to avoid majority of the festive songs that I love (which is hard when you go into shops) so, now that it’s December, I’m cracking out all the tunes! Some that my parents brought me up on and other cheesy ones that I’ve added to my list! What is your list of favourite songs? Don’t judge me:

  • I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day – Wizzard
  • Merry Xmas (War Is Over) – John Lennon & Yoko Ono
  • Stop The Cavalry – Jona Lewie
  • Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bell Ends) – The Darkness
  • Merry Xmas Everybody – Slade

I’ve been listening to these songs for years and years especially Wizzard and Slade and they always bring a smile to my face! That and I always thought the guy singing was secretly my uncle since he had a beard and was from Birmingham too! They don’t make songs like they used to.

Grab yourself an advent calendar

Ooof, someone really cranked out the advent calendars this year!

You name a thing and I bet there is a calendar for it! I’ve definitely noticed the influx of Harry Potter ones this year which is awesome but makes me sad that I can’t get them all. Thanks to my incredible twin Ali, she sent me an early gift in the form of the Lego Harry Potter calendar and I’m so excited!! I’ve never had a non-chocolate one before so this is making me feel like such a big kid!

I’ve also been watching a lot of advent calendar reviews from Lady Writes and they sound so good!!

Maybe I’ll start saving up now for one next year!

Start a new tradition

A lot of indecision comes from focusing on what my Christmases used to be like to what they are now. I’m making it a small thing to create my own kind of special day. Yes, it won’t be like what I had in the past, but that doesn’t mean I can’t create something new. I’m not going out buying lots of new stuff and being crazy. That would drive my anxiety way up.

All I’m doing to start this is buying an ornament.

I’ve had my eyes on the Hufflepuff ornament from the WB Studio Tour London so I’m going to buy myself that next for my tree.

Every year after this, I’ll buy another Potter ornament to add to my tree until it’s a nerdy paradise!

Whatever you choose to do this month, I’m only a blog away if you ever need a chat or if you need a distraction.

How are you guys doing to kickstart your Christmas spirit?