My morning skin-care routine

I’m making a conscientious effort this year to take better care of myself. Starting by paying my skin some attention.

I’m an ‘all-or-nothing’ kind of girl. I’ll spend twenty minutes using everything I own. Or I’ll do nothing. As soon as my mood goes, skin-care is always right behind it. But having stopped a downward spiral a few times lately, I’ve also realised that feeling fresh, clean and hydrated is an effective way of snapping myself out of it. Not all the time, but it’s worth a try, right?

It’s time-consuming. True.

 But I need to stop that preventing me from doing it, even getting up a few minutes earlier to fit it in. My commute and working environment means my skin takes a painful hit each day – and it doesn’t take much for a break-out.

Having had a clear through of products, I’m making the point of writing up my routine. It then won’t look as daunting and, with any luck, I can persuade myself that it’s worth-while doing every morning, no excuses.

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Kinky Boots: 3rd times a charm

Over the last year, I’ve been trying to make the effort to go to the theatre a little more. I now work in London, so it saves having to travel up specifically. It’s true that I’m always looking for discounted tickets (it’s so expensive), but it’s always fun to have something to look forward to.

Kinky Boots 1

There is one show, however, that I’m border-line obsessed with. I have now seen Kinky Boots three times in the last year and I sure as heck don’t apologise for that.

It’s the only show I’ve seen that has a standing ovation every single time. It’s also the only show that leaves me absolutely buzzing.

Why do I love it so much?

The plot is meaningful for the diversity in today’s society. It shows the power of accepting those who differ from your own outlook on life. It’s about overcoming prejudices and what can be achieving if everyone works towards the same goal.

The acting/dancing/singing is incredible. Some of the moves performed on stage, in heels, I’m sure shouldn’t be possible.

But I’ve commented on these things before, in my initial review.

“I’m watching myself and I know what to do.”

There’s something about it that speaks to me on a more personal level. Every time, I have come out full of inspiration and a desire to work harder than ever towards achieving my dreams. While the story is accepting differences, it’s also accepting yourself, and finding your passions and what drives you.

The last time I saw it, it had been a tough week at work. I’d been struggling with a few things. But seeing this, reminding myself that I know what it is that I want, gave me my focus and motivation back. Anything that can have that impact on me is always going to be worth my time, no matter how many times I’ve seen it.

Kinky Boots 2

I struggle with self-confidence big time. I’m better this year than previously, but it still is a big thing for me that I want to work on. I find myself relating to Charlie’s character, not being certain where he belongs and only seeing himself as the quiet one in the corner, not someone who can save a factory, just speaks to me.

I may be facing the impossible. I may be chasing after miracles. And there may be the steepest mountain to overcome.

But this is step one.

‘Charlie’s soliloquy’ and ‘Step One’ are my favourite songs. They’re not the most powerful on stage, but their words strike a cord with me. The words of those songs somehow work to remind me that I know what I’m doing, I know what I’m working towards, and actually, yes, this is what I want, no matter what anyone else tells me.

Who would have thought a show about shoes makes me feel empowered about writing? But it does in a way I can’t explain. I’m not certain I’ve ever seen/listened to/read anything that has had such a positive effect on me before.

The show’s run came to an end last week, which I’m sad about. But if you ever need something to give you a lift, I thoroughly recommend checking out the soundtrack.

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Negative reviews: honest reviewing

A few weeks ago, an author tweeted, asking for reviewers to tag her in bad reviews so she knew what to name the characters she wanted to kill off.

I surprised myself by how much this annoyed me.

I respect the bloggers who only post positive reviews. I love those blogs – my TBR pile may disagree.

That’s not how I run my blog though, for a number of reasons.

Negative Reviews.jpg
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2018: My year in Books

A new year, a new Goodread’s challenge! This year, I’m setting myself a target of 90 books. It feels a lot, but the past two years has seen me ending the year on 92 for both, so it should be do-able. Commuting has an advantage!

Besides, it’s not a challenge unless it’s challenging, right?

I’m hoping to get on top of reviews this year – I’m in a good place for that right now, so need to keep reading. But I’m also hoping to address my extensive TBR pile that aren’t necessarily review books. I’ve left them sitting there for years, prioritising blog books. Time to pay them some attention!

Before I start addressing this year’s challenge, I want look back at last year. Not only focusing on the books that I’ve read, but the ones that have really stood out for me, and the ones you guys have enjoyed hearing about the most.

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2019: New Year Goals

Happy New Year, everyone! Welcome to the first blog post of the year.

I spend so much time here discussing how I feel about books. I can gush, I can criticise and I can put into words what I think.

When it comes to talking about personal matters, it’s not so easy. This post has taken a lot of soul-searching, which, ultimately, has probably done me good.

I want something very simple: I want something very complicated. I want a life.

This year has been massive for me. In 2017, I set myself several resolutions to do with health, job, fitness etc that were unattainable. So, in 2018, I didn’t set anything. But somehow, things fell into place.

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NanoWriMo

This is my fourth year of participating in NanoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – although not four years consecutively.

It was a difficult decision whether to enter this year. I’m now working full time and trying to make it to the gym in a few evenings as well. Trying to work in 50,000 words on top of what I’m already trying to do felt like a lot.

But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do it.

Since settling in my job, I realised I was missing it. I was too tired in the evening to start battling new storylines. I had chores to do at the weekend so I didn’t justify the time, despite there being nothing other than my own thoughts holding me back. It has been a long time since I spent a Sunday afternoon in another world, playing with plots and characters and being swept up.

Novel Progress August

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Bookishly book subscription review

For my birthday earlier this year, my sister treated me to my first ever book subscription package. She chose Bookishly, selecting the package that included classic books and tea. Considering I am both a book and a tea addict, I can see why this was an obvious choice.

Now that my three months are up, I thought I would share some of the goodies I received while being part of it. Although it was exciting to receive these each month, I wouldn’t continue this one myself. I’m not certain I’m going to get around to reading the books and while a few of the gifts were really cool, I’m also not sure I’ll use the others. I’m not convinced this package was worth the money she paid for it.

Bookishly 1

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