Letters to my daughter

Letter to my babygirl…

Hi baby,

So you’re one now. This past year has been a beautiful mess, a year full of ups, downs and all around chaos. The best year of my life while being the most testing, difficult year of my life.

You are the toughest, best thing to ever happen to me.

Becoming a mum has broken me down, built me up, and helped me find myself again. It’s made me hate myself, put myself down; made me see myself in a different way.

You’ve made me excited for each new day with you, made me excited for the future; made me want time to just stop.

I can hand on heart, without any element of doubt, say you are the best thing to ever come into my life. You are my reason for continuing to fight.

This next year I will do all I can for you. I’m learning to see myself through your eyes. I’m learning to realise that you need me, and you need me to look after myself.

You need me healthy, you need me strong; and it’s now down to me to make that happen.

I can’t thank you enough for showing me such unending love my baby. You’ve given me a purpose.

Although I wish time would slow down, wish you’d stay my tiny little bundle of cuddles forever, you are growing to be such a brave confident, stubborn little thing.

You are beautiful, you are smart, you are strong!

You are everything I could ever ask for!

So this year my babygirl, this year is our year. This is the year we’ll make countless more memories, we’ll do everything you could ever want, and this is the year I’m going to do everything within my power to be the best mum for you!

I want to give you the world, I want to show you how much you are loved. I want to make up for those who mistreat you, I want you to know that to me you’ll always be number 1.

Nothing will ever come before you.

With all my heart, I wish I could shield you from everything, i wish you never have to feel not good enough. And this year I’m going to do my best to do that.

I know you need more than just me, but I can’t stand you being treated 2nd best.

You are enough, you are amazing, and you make mummy so proud!

I pray with all my heart that you never feel less than. I wish I could understand why people think of you this way, understand so as to correct them. But I can just not understand.

You shouldn’t be held responsible for people’s opinion on me. Because you are your own little, beautiful person!

And I can’t wait to see the girl you become this year…

Mummy loves you more than I will ever know how to express. You are my world, my moon and my stars. You are my why, and my life.

So as I watch you sleep my darling, just know, mummy is going to make your second year the best it could possibly be. Because you deserve the very best.

So sweet dreams my princess, tomorrow is a new day, and we have your party to prep for…

Baby romper by Lavishlittlestyle

Uncategorized

Hello 2022….

This past year has been one of the longest yet fastest years of my life… it’s been one of the best but most stressful years… but I got something from it that I wouldn’t change for the world.

Think the biggest thing is I became a mum this year. I now get to watch my beautiful brilliant daughter grow up each and every day. And that’s everything I feel I will ever need!

But having a baby in a pandemic is tough. It tests so much of your strength, relationships and mental stability.

I feel guilt on a daily basis for what my daughter has missed out on due to this pandemic, but I have to remind myself that she wouldn’t be who she is if she was born in any other time.

This year has had health worries, relationship troubles and plenty of financial stress! Turns out a hyphenated name is enough to confuse the child benefit people!

But one thing I’ve learnt is I need to stop looking back. I need to look to the future and try to be the best mummy and person I can be moving forwards.

Nothing can change the past, but I can do all I can to better myself for the future.

So 2022 will be the year that I try to be more open and present. I want to get more creative with things I do with my daughter and want to push myself out of my comfort zone to benefit her.

I’ve barely taken her out alone, just me and her, due to fear of not coping. I have so many doubts in myself as a mother, but I need to learn to manage this!

On days it’s just me and her I want to get out to baby groups, I want her to socialise so she doesn’t have the anxiety I have around new people.

I want us to have mummy daughter days exploring, and doing new activities.

I want to make memories.

Part of the way to better myself is to get in a healthier routine. I’m not going to be making any massive changes- that’s just unrealistic.

I want to start getting up and ready in the mornings. Even if it’s having breakfast and putting on clean jammies!

Currently I always get little lady fed and dressed. I have a habit staying in my jammies, eating junk food and drinking coke.

My hope is that getting out more will help like this.

And finally I want to be sticking with little ones swimming lessons. I signed her up back when she was 7 months old. We went for a couple of months and then from mid September it was one thing after another stopping us going. It got to a point I was looking for excuses.

It comes down to my fear of socialising and people I don’t know I think, but either way I need to stick with it. Both because of financial reasons and for her benefit.

So those are my very simple aims for the year. I may do a books goals post later but at this point I’m not sure.

What are you hoping to get from the year of 2022?

Make sure to be following my Instagram for lots of photos of little lady and a sneak peak before I do her introduction post!

And I’ve just joined TikTok, I’m sure I’m going to embarrass myself but here ya go…. Alexmariephillips

Uncategorized

Am I really back?!

Well to say it’s been a long time would be an almighty understatement. Well over a year to my calculations….

When I was last here I mentioned that I had a hell of a lot of stress going on. I had secrets I was still keeping to myself, too scared to announce. I had major life changes, some by choice and some being forced upon me. And I had the constant worry of having to not only look after myself, but the baby I was carrying…

Although I had written about my journey trying to conceive I never formally announced on here that I had fallen pregnant. It was one almighty shock for both myself and my partner, but it was just what we needed at that time.

The pregnancy was rough in so many ways, but after being told I couldn’t carry a child that was nothing we weren’t expecting.

And although I now have the most gorgeous baby daughter, the last year or so has definitely left me with some mental scars.

I have missed blogging so much. For a long time it’s been an outlet and a comfort to me. And now, as my baby girl is approaching one, I feel like I’m now ready to come back.

So what’s for the future?

Well quite simply, I’m not completely sure. My content will most definitely be different. I’m a mum now, that has quickly become my main focus and a major part of my life. So obviously my content will reflect that. There will be more family, baby and mummy content. I want to share my experiences to both educate and show mums that they aren’t alone- as that’s something I’ve felt a lot over this time. And I want to share products and brands that I adore!

I’m hoping to still share bookish content as well. For the time being I’m not going to be working with any publishers, as the reality is I just don’t have the time that I once did. But as little lady gets older and more independent, I hope to find time to read a bit here and there and be able to share that with you.

To be perfectly honest I’ve not finished a book since she’s been born- unless you count kids bedtime stories!!

So what would everyone like to see?

I plan on doing some story times of what’s gone on, and definitely plan on introducing my little lady a little more.

I recommend following my Instagram as that’s about the only place I’ve stayed active over this time- alexmariephillips

Books

August TBR ‘2020

Hmm, now who is seriously failing as a blogger right now?! Yes that’s right, me! 

The last post I actually got out for you all was back in the start of July, and we are now half way through August, I’m really needing to get back on top of this! Oh and have I mentioned, I haven’t even been reading… I know, such a great reading blogger lately!

So the main plan for this month is to read Heir of Fire with the buddy read group over on Insta! But then in order to do that I really do need to finish the first two books! Yes that’s right I have been failing at these buddy reads. I love the group, and really have been trying, but somehow I am massively behind!

Other than that, I don’t really have any reading plans. Although I have really been wanting to get into a good book and read lately, I just have so much going on at the moment, with health and life stuff, its just taking up my time. Not to mention the stress just makes me want to binge watch Friends and sleep for hours!

So what can you expect from me and the blog in the coming future?

Well I like to think that I will now start my weekly blogs again. I have lots in mind, from what has been going on with my health, the big changes coming up in life, and the joys that have been my weight lose journey over the past 5 months.

But the reality is that until October I really cant see me getting a grip on my stress levels! There is just so much for me to sort out in life and events coming up, that are just going to take my focus! But fingers crossed that I will get some more out in the near future.

What’s going on with publishing books you may ask? 

For the time being I am not really accepting new review books, but hopefully come
October I will start again, and get back to the rhythm of things.  For the mean time, I have plenty to catch up on from previous months.

So what are you planning to read in the rest of the month?

Do you have any quick fun post ideas for me to do? I’d love to get some fun pieces out in the near future!

Books

July TBR ‘2020

Yet again, long time no post! There has been so much going on over the last few months, and there will be two posts coming up explaining it all- yes there is really too much to do it all in one post!

But as per normal for me, with things going on, the reading completely stopped again! I am such a terrible reader now, just cant fight out of this LONG lasting slump! To be honest at this point Im starting to get concerned whether I will be able to pull myself out of it while I have so much going on!

With that in mind I have two physical books and a book on my kindle to try and focus on this month- one of which was meant to be a group read last month that I completely failed on!

So the kindle book, and the group read that I failed at, is Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas. This has been on my TBR for such a long time! Somewhere I have the physical copy, but for the time being I decided to read it on my kindle as this is easier for me to transport! As a young adult fantasy I feel that this should be a great book for getting out of a slump, so hopefully I can manage this one this month. 40220795._SY475_

Second, is a book that I read as a child, and my lovely neighbour lent me a copy of to reread. Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman is, well I believe, a middle grade? But again it is a fantasy that I know really well as I used to love this series as a child! My plan for this, to try and get out of the slump is to then pick up the rest of the series, and possibly even go onto the newer books. Let me know if you have any methods for getting out of slumps as my normal methods are not working!!!312407

Then finally is a very odd book for when you are in a slump, but its something that I actually really feel like reading! And that is Alison Weir’s A Kings Obsession. I have all of this series that is out, but have only read the first one so far. I just feel really in the mood to read through all of this series ready for when the rest is released, but as I said this is a really odd thing to pick up when you are in a slump as they are big old books, and adult historical fiction. But sometimes you just have to go with what you are in the mood for!30231546._SY475_

As I said I am in a massive slump so I am not expecting to manage all of these within the month, especailly as I have a lot going on (will be explained in later posts), but we will see just how much I manage in the month, and hopefully can start just getting through a few books each month. After all it looks like the GoodReads goal will not be happening!

Any tips on getting over reading slumps- especially when they have been going on for so long- will be greatly appreciated!

What are you hoping to read this month?

Uncategorized

The Behind The Blogger Tag…

Wow it seems like so long since I’ve done a tag post, but now its looking like I will have a few coming for you in the next few weeks. This is a pretty exciting one as you will get an insight into me, myself and I. Not sure whether I’ve done this one before, but even if I have it has been a while, so worth doing it again..

Rules:

Thank the person who nominated you
Answer all the questions down below
Pingback to the creator: Ellyn @ Allonsythornraxx
Nominate 5+ bloggers you’d like to know more about, to do this tag

So lets get started…

Why Did You Start Blogging? & Why Have You Kept Blogging?

I started blogging initially because I was intrigued. I had read blogs for a while, and being home ill the majority of the time I thought it was a good idea of something to do to keep me busy- plus I had always loved writing. It has since continued as I just love to talk about things I am passionate about, hence why it is mostly books I talk about on my blog. It keeps me focused and feeling some what productive in my time at home, as there is a lot of it.

What Is Your Favorite Type of Blog Post to Write?

By my favourite blog posts to write are my TBR’s. I love getting to sit and look through my books deciding what it is that I want to read each month. I also enjoy my chatty posts about all sorts of different things. I find it very reliving to just write down all my thoughts sometimes.

What Are Your Top Three Favorite Blog Posts You Wrote?

The Many Adventures of our Houdini, Tigger…

Thoughts at the start of our Trying to Conceive journey….

Having a Chronic Illness and being in a relationship..

Not sure they are my favourite, but they are some of my favourites..

What Are Some of Your Favorite Things to Do to Relax?

Well the obvious one is reading! I find it to be one of the most relaxing things. Other than that I also love having long baths, and also will spend time with the animals if I need to relax, nothing better than fur baby snuggles- big or small.

img_1353

What Are Three of Your Favorite Things?

Coffee, Sims and Books… But there is so much more that I just could not live without. The list would go on…

What Are Your Proudest Blogging Moments?

This is really tough for me, as I’m not too sure I have a moment. I have not been as consistent with my blog over the years as I would liked. But one thing that wouldn’t of happened without my blog, is the first time I received a book from a publisher from the lovely Titan. I plan to really start working on the blog this year and hopefully start hitting some milestones that I can be proud of!

I actually have very little confidence in my blog, I do it for my own enjoyment as I adore writing, and love to just talk about all the things I love. I don’t plan on it ever getting too big, as I just enjoy it.

What Are Your Hobbies Outside of Blogging?

Reading really has to be my favourite thing. But my other recent hobby- sorry addiction- is Sims 4! I have literally been up until 2 am the last week playing! But I also love baking and cooking, I just find it really cool to take new recipes and adjust it to make it perfect for us.

Describe Your Personality in Three Words

Ummm…. Indecisive, Introverted, Creative… That’s such a hard question!

What Are Your Top Three Pet Peeves?

Ooo… I have so many! First has got to be lack of manners, people not picking up after their doggos, and anything Christmasy before December!

What’s Something Your Followers Don’t Know About You?

I used to be really into horse riding, I used to compete within Show Jumping, and was actually pretty decent at it. I had to stop because of my health issues, and just couldn’t keep up with it due to pain and fatigue levels. However I have every intention to get back to it in the future!

So that is every thing, I forgot how much I love doing tag posts.

Now I know I am meant to nominate five or more other bloggers to participate, but I am nominating everyone. If you see this and want to participate then go for it. Feel free to comment down below and I can edit and nominate you! Though I am going to specifically nominate Aimee over at aimeeraindropwrites.co.uk. So be sure to check out her blog!schizo

Books

May TBR ‘2020

April was another good month for reading, I am so happy that I seem to be getting myself back to reading. No I may not be reading as much as I once used to of, but life is different now, and I don’t have the time to just sit and read all the time quite like I used to. But completing more than one book in a month is a success to me, as that will keep me going towards my goal of reading 20 books within this year.

So what have I read this month? Two fabulous books!

Eden by Tim Lebbon has become one of my absolute favourite books now, it was just that good! A  dystopian that really doesn’t feel all that unlikely in the grand scheme of things, it was hauntingly dark, and so full of suspense! You can find out my full thought on it here.

48639012

The other book I read this month is one of my most anticipated, a book from one of my favourite authors, Looking Glass by Christina Henry. This is a collection of novellas which are a sequel to the Alice Series. This was fabulous! Again, I have a full review that can be found here, but this was amazing, I just wish it was a full length novel, but that’s just because of my love of the world! 45860328._SY475_

So that leaves me with what I am hoping to read in the month of May. As I will still be shielding, I am hoping to get through at least three books, but it is throwing up some challenged with my partner and the little one being home a lot more.

The first book is of course my current read, The Wise Friend by Ramsey Campbell. This is a horror that I am reviewing, and is only a short read of just over 200 pages. This follows a man and his son as they dig into the artwork of his recently passed aunt. I don’t know much more than that and I am only about 20 pages in so far, but currently I am loving the writing style. 52880788

Im then hoping to jump into A Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman. This is the sequel to the Devouring Gray, a book that I read last year. Although the first one wasn’t the highest rated for me, it left me so excited for the next one because of how it built up ready for the series! I have a feeling that this series is going to be one that I love, with the first literally being just the beginning. This is a spooky paranormal, urban fantasy story, that I have a feeling is going to give me vibes from shows I used to watch as a teen!40204193._SY475_

Then finally, a book from last month that I didn’t get to, I really really want, actually need, to read The Queen of Raiders by Sarah Kozloff. I adored the first book in this series, and really want to marathon the rest of the series. Although my partner is making me wait till I have read this one to buy the last two, but I have the money put aside. This is a high fantasy series, about an orphan queen on the run! The first book was fantastic, I adored it! And I now cant wait to read the rest as I know it is going to be a favourite series in the end! 45046587

I am really looking forward to my reading this month, and I have Crescent City by Sarah J Maas, waiting to be picked up as well!44778083

So now, what are you hoping to read this month? Are you focusing on new releases, or picking up something you’ve been meaning to for a while?

Books

Looking Glass by Christina Henry

Back with another review today, and this time it is a book from one of my favourite authors, Christina Henry. I have loved her books since I first read Alice what feels like ages ago now, but the Alice world has stuck with me, ad I was so excited to jump into her new book set in this world!

Looking Glass is a collection of four short stories all set following on from the events in Red Queen.

In four new novellas, Christina Henry returns to the universe she created for Alice and Red Queen, where magic runs more freely than anyone suspects, but so do secrets and blood.  (from GoodReads)45860328._SY475_

Well what can I say? I loved it! But were we really expecting anything different?

I gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars for one simple reason, it wasn’t a full novel! Now I may be being petty and, probably end up revising my rating, but I guess part of me just really wanted a full length novel in this world again! I miss it okay…..

IT surprised me as to which of the four was my favourite. I was always a huge fan of Alice so would of just thought I would soak up the stories with her as the lead, but in actual fact. ‘When I First Came to Town’ the story of how Hatcher started out was by far my favourite – dont get me wrong I loved all four! I had never seen the full depth that there was to his character, and just how he came to be with Hattie. From this alone I feel like I want more of their story, more of what happened after he rescued her. Probably going to have to go back and read Alice and Red Queen enough to satisfy my longing for this world!

There was a quote within ‘Girl in Amber’ that struck me, ‘ Life is never what you want it to be… only what it is’. Now I know that I am taking it out of context a touch, but that has stuck with me because of the relevence at this current time. I read this book while not being allowed out of the house, and at a time when everything in life is really up in the air. And I couldnt help but feel hit by that line, as it is so true. Life is what it is and you have to find your way in it.

But anyway that wasnt so much about the book, but just an example of how compelling I find Christina’s writing. I’ll read the words, and not only be drawn into the stories she weaves but also find truth in her writing generally! You can call me weird if you like, I probably am, but I have an obsession with Christina Henry’s writing and books!

Now have I gushed enough to convince her that you really have to go and read Alice, Red Queen and then Looking Glass? I hope so! I can promise you that it will not disappoint, you can go and read my review for Alice here.

This is already out so you really have no excuse. I would love to know if there are any other Christina Henry fans here? Which of her books has been your favourite?

Books

GIVEAWAY- The Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman

I come to you today with a super exciting opportunity for you. You have the chance to win your own copy of The Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman.

This is the sequel to the Devouring Gray, a book that I adored last year.40204193._SY475_

On the edge of town a beast haunts the woods, trapped in the Gray, its bonds loosening…

Uprooted from the city, Violet Saunders doesn’t have much hope of fitting in at her new school in Four Paths, a town almost buried in the woodlands of rural New York. The fact that she’s descended from one of the town’s founders doesn’t help much, either—her new neighbours treat her with distant respect, and something very like fear. When she meets Justin, May, Isaac, and Harper, all children of founder families, and sees the otherworldly destruction they can wreak, she starts to wonder if the townsfolk are right to be afraid.

When bodies start to appear in the woods, the locals become downright hostile. Can the teenagers solve the mystery of Four Paths, and their own part in it, before another calamity strikes?

If this interests you then you definitely want to get your hands on the sequel, and you can read my full thoughts here, and even then I said about how excited I was for the Deck of Omens. My review of Deck of Omens will be up in the next few weeks so keep an eye out for that!

Now how can you win? Its easy, go over to my twitter @Alexxmarie74 , make sure you are following me, @TitanBooks and @Sarah_Mather_15 and retweet the tweet! It is really that easy!

This will run for 1 week, so entries will need to be in by midnight of Saturday 2nd of May, and I will draw the winner shortly after.

You do need to be within the UK, and there can only be one winner!

Good luck!

Books

April TBR ‘2020

Although I am now not posting this until mid way through the month, I thought I would still go ahead and let you see it.

This is going to be the first TBR in a little while where I don’t start off by saying I haven’t read anything! I actually had quite a successful month of reading, finishing off three books.

Queen in Hiding by Sarah Kozloff, Wonderland and Cursed both edited by Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane, are all really great reads. Between these three I like to think I am now out of my slump.

I have reviews for all these fabulous books that you can go read if you want to know my full thoughts, but I can briefly say that they were amazing!

Now onto my April Reads.

MY first book for the month was Eden by Tim Lebbon. I have already finished this one and wow was it brilliant. Again I already have a review up for this that you can go read, but this is certainly a book I recommend! Its now one of my favourites. 48639012

Next I am determined to pick up The Queen of Raiders and get back into this world! I loved the first book that I read last month, and I need to continue before I forget what happened. This fantasy series reminds me of all the reasons I love fantasy books as a genre, and was so close to perfection in the first book. I truly wish I had picked it up sooner, but still dont regret picking up Eden. 45046587

Then if I have the time, which I really hope I do as then I will be caught up with my reading goal, I want to pick Looking Glass by Christina Henry back up. I picked it up briefly last month, but for some reason decided to switch to reading Eden. Christina is one of my all time favourite authors, so I know that this book is going to be amazing! I loved Alice and Red Queen, so can not wait to get back into this world. The first couple of chapters I loved- I really don’t know why I put it down! 45860328._SY475_

I really am completely excited to read again for the first time in a very long time, and now other than spending time with my partner and step daughter, I truly do not have anything else to dedicate my time to.

I would love to know of any books that you recommend I pick up during this lockdown, I am lucky enough to have some vouchers so would love to get some of your recommendations to give a try. Please please please leave your suggestions below?

What are you reading this month?