Lifestyle

Jan’19 Blog Goals

I don’t know if you are new around here, but if you aren’t then you would of noticed that I am on a bout of posting every day throughout January. Going into this I had a few reason; first of all, I had too many ideas of posts I wanted to do for the start if the year, secondly, I wanted to start the year off with a really good successful month. Start as you mean to go on right?

So my plans for January are rather straight forward, I am going to publish a post each and every day, varying in topic and style. Some more picture based, some just me offloading my mind (plus Im sure to forget photos for some as usual)… But hopefully they will all be of interest to some of you.

The hope is, with 31 posts in 31 days, that I will hit a minimum of 500 views through the month. This is a lot lower than I was aiming at times last year, but I am not well, and trying to study so I am being realistic. Quite often when I am not feeling 100%, social media is really the last thing on my mind; I know I’m terrible blogger, I love the writing, but I really am not a fan of self promotion. I enjoy comment threads when I have a moment of energy, but that is about it. So I feel that 500 is a realistic goal, and I’d be proud to achieve it.

Again, I am trying to keep things realistic with my WordPress follower goal. So I am going to set my target at 225. If any looks at my followers now, will spot that I am not too far from this already, but I have always found that my wordpress followers grow very slowly, so I just want to aim for something that I am more likely to achieve. This is something I feel comfortable with; but as the year goes on I will be pushing myself, but currently my priority is in recovering from being so ill.

So for the month of January those are all the goals for the blog and social media that I am going to set myself. I will be keeping up with my posting throughout January all things going as planned, but may not always be on social media each day, so be sure to check back each day.

Now, the all important question,.. I am starting to plan out February, but should I be doing 2 or 3 posts each week once January is over? Ideally I want a rough schedule, but as normal with tours and things, I will still be doing more now and again.

Look forward to hearing your opinions. 🙂

 

 

Uncategorized

January’19 App Goals

Last year I discovered some really useful apps that I am finding are really helping me to make healthier choices for myself. With this new year, I plan on setting out goals to try and help me keep up with trying to be healthier in ways that I can control. So although I call this my January goals, I am probably not going to do a post like this each month as really they are going to be the same month to month. But oh well, be best to start as I mean to go on for the year.

If you want to have a look at the apps I discovered last year, that I am setting the goals for, then you can read all about that in my previous blog posts.

The first is a very simple app that is automatically on most phones, or at least I know it is on Iphones, and that is the Health app. It is a rather simple app that can track how many steps you have done, as long as you keep your phone on you. Although it is not as accurate as a fit bit or any other sport watch it is still useful for someone who isn’t overly active and just wants a way of judging what days have been more active than others. So the aim for this app is to hit a minimum of 2000 steps each and every day. Now this may seem like a very low target, but as a spoonie who has very limited mobility this is actually quite an achievement for myself. My plan is to allow myself a day a week where I will not beat myself up if I do not reach this goal. The thought behind this is that it will hopefully stop me from over doing it.

My Water is another app I had used last year that allows me to track my how much water and other fluids I am taking on board. As someone with kidney and bladder issues, I have to take on more water than an average person in on to hold of infection and keep things flushing through. As of lately I have kind of let the app go dormant but with the new year I am going to aim to hit 3 litres each day. That’s the minimum that I am meant to do as it is, though I should ideally have 4-5 litres. I don’t really want to have any let off from this one, but I am also very aware that when I am out and about it is harder to track how much I am having, but I am going to really try and track it each day and see how I go. img_1063

Finally is an amazing app, Headspace, a meditation app that has guided sessions you can work through. It even has series of sessions on various topics, such as pain or sleep, and these can be truly really useful if you have a specific personal demon that you want to try and combat. Now, I have a full subscription with this app, but I have once again dropped this app into a dormant state, which is not only money down the drain but its also not helping me with trying to improve my mental state. So from January, I am going to start using it dedicatedly again, I want to do a minimum of 4 minutes of  mindful time each day. This app also links back to the Apple Health app so I can track it all on one app. I also want to be using the app a minimum of 6 days a weeks; again I am giving myself a day so if Im out and about and don’t get round to it or forget then I will not be beating myself up with it.
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So those are my app goals for the year, well at least unless I increase them. My plan is to track these goals within my bullet journal, so I wont nessacarily put an update each month on the blog but I will see.

Do you have any apps that help you to form and stick to healthy habits?

Books

Most Anticipated YA Releases of 2019

One of the most exciting things about each new year is finding out all the amazing new books that are waiting to come out. Although I have been in a horrible reading slump, I really cant wait to get back to my books this year; after all there are some really amazing books coming out this year that I just cant wait to get my hands on. Will have to be clever with how I do that with trying to save money this year though.

This year I am splitting this post into three (possibly more…), each one focusing on a different genre; it would just be way too long or I’d have to cut some out otherwise. So here are my most anticipated Young Adult books that are being released this year.

All but one of these books are by authors I have already read and loved. The only one that isn’t is Romanov by Nadine Brandes, which I cant wait for because of the plot and what its focused around. Anyone that has known me for anytime will know that I have a love and fascination with Russian history and especially the Romanovs and the last Tsar. Although slightly fantastical I am not sure whether it is a fantasy or a magical realism, but I love the idea of Anastasia Romanov as a leading character, and cant wait to read some fiction in this setting. Would love any other recommendations to books, young adult or adult, that are based in Russia, especially 1900’s Russia. 40590407

One of my favourite books of 2018 was Hazel Wood by Melissa Wood, a magical realism about a girl who end up in a fairy tale nightmare world, it really is rather chilling. In 2019, the next book in the series is coming out. Got to admit I don’t know whether it is going to be a series or a duology, but I just cant wait for the second book. Its one of those novels that has you feeling unsettled and wanting to keep a light one, but its amazing. You can read my review of Hazel Wood here.

Leigh Bardugo is another of those authors that I have been late to discover, but I have now read the first two books in the Grisha verse, and I own the last one as well as the Crooked Kingdom duology. Even though, I can not wait for her new book in the same world, King of Scars. So this year I am going to have to get through the rest of her books that I own so that I can then pick King of Scars straight up, I set myself that challenge. 36307634
One of my childhood favourite series was the Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman. When I was a child I didn’t really understand the ethical importance, and just how much it portrayed real life situations. Only now that I am older and think back to the books I realise just how much of a message they portray. But back to the blog, I am incredibly excited for her next book in the same world and I believe to be a new book in the series, Crossfire. From what I have read, it is the same world but with more of an up to date message in terms of what has been happening in the real world over the past few years.

Now a new series, but a tried and tested author partnership, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, the authors of the Illuminae series. Although I haven’t read anything by either of these authors separately, they are really amazing when they come together in their books. So its no surprise that I am excited for their next venture in novel writing together which is Aurora Rising, the first in a new Sci-fi series I believe. Although once again I really need to read Obsidio which is the final book in their Illuminae series, I have started it once but that was during a reading slump so me putting it down was not anything to do with the book itself.

Finally, and a repeat author here, I have Dev1at3 by Jay Kristoff. Now I haven’t actually gotten round to reading Lifel1k3 yet which is the first book in this series, but I have been looking forward to it so much that I wanted to wait for the second book to come out so that I can marathon through the two. Think I will have to start it as soon the second one it out.
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So they are my top Young Adult novels that I am looking forward to being released this year, what 2019 books are you looking forward to?

 

Lifestyle

Cute and Cuddly’s Update

I didn’t really know what to call this post, as I don’t want it to seem too formal. This is purely a cute post to give you an update on all my adorable (at least to me) fur babies; plus who doesn’t love some cute photos to brighten your day.

img_4806Sadly last year I lost my two baby boys, the gerbils, Drip and Digger. I had mentioned them several times on the blog with Gerbil Antics, as well as celebrating having them for three years. They were my absolute angels, and loved them to pieces; who knew that two tiny rodents could get you through such a hard time when nothing else seemed to work? The one thing with their passing that I can be glad of, was they both went from just old age, and only a few weeks apart. I know that I gave them both a wonderful life, and did everything I ever could to make them happy and comfortable.

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But last year also brought me my absolute guardian angel of a fluff ball.  Barney (Barney Bear, Barnaby, Baby, Barnabous, he has many names..), is one of the most amazingly talented while brilliantly adorable dog I could ever ask for. He will never replace my two previous dogs, but Barney is all the help I have needed, having trained him to assist me he is such a help. I once again have the confidence to be home on my own, knowing that if I was to fall or have any issues then he would be there for me and would do all he could to get the attention of someone to come and help me. And when he isn’t helping me physically, he has me laughing constantly at his stupidity, and hilarious behaviour.img_0698-1

The constant beauty as always are my three degu girls, Belle, Ariel and Mulan. Rescuing those three are one of the best things I think I have ever done; seeing them improve more and more each and every day, makes all the bite, scratches and generally hard work Ive done for them all worth it. They are absolutely monkeys, monster and general terrors. My Nan even refers to them as Monsters Inc. From the scared shy little creatures they were they are now adorable little characters, who love nothing more than a tummy rub and a monkey nut from your hand. It truly is a fantastic feeling to have them climbing on your hand, trying to groom you as if you were one of their own.

So that’s an update on all the furry beings in my mad house. They are all so adorable and add so much character to the house. You never go an hour without hearing one of them getting up to mischief, whether that be the girls have a bustle, or Barney wanting tummy rubs. I just love them all.img_0693

Do you have any pets?

Books

Reading Goals 2019

After such a failure of 2018 in terms of my reading, I am determined to make an improvement with the up coming year, I wont push myself too much, but I definitely need to do better. Have a look back at what goals I set myself last year, and how I actually got on, and you will see the benchmark of where I need to improve.

My biggest plan is to just get back to reading what I really enjoy, more thrillers and fantasy and historical fiction. I sometimes get myself so set in trying to achieve things that I lose the enjoyment in it, so from now on I am going to stick to what I love and I know that I will enjoy reading. Still may try and find new authors, but stick more to things that sound like I am going to love rather than feeling like I should ‘give it a go’.

Same as last year I really want to work on getting through some of the many books that are still on my shelves from ages ago. I have a terrible habit of buying many many books, thinking that I will at some point get to them, but I end up not getting to them for months, if not years. As I am trying to save money for moving this year, I will not be buying as many books, limiting myself to my new release pre-orders and any vouchers I may get. So this leaves me in the perfect situation this year to focus on reading lots of the book I have got stored up.

Finally there is one more plan, and that is to once again focus on dedicating the time to reading some of the many big tomes that I own. I love big fantasy novels, I love to get really into a world, and feel fully emerged and forget about the world. But for some reason I always put it off, I get nervous about the making the commitment that I always go for the smaller books.

So that’s all my reading goals for 2019, I am so looking forward to the coming year and cant wait to see what I end up reading.  What are you hoping to read this year?

Books

2018 Reading Wrap Up

2018 wasn’t my greatest year for reading. It started off so strong, but as the year went on life really did take over and got in the way. That being said I did read some really amazing books, and some that really have stuck to my memory. Look back over the goals I set myself with my reading this year.

I had set my Goodreads goal at 75, but I only actually managed to read 30 books in the end- I know, this is an embarrassment for a book blogger like myself. I think its probably my worse reading year since I was a little child, though actually I probably read more even then.

Over the past few years I have been working on a list of 100 books to read before you die. I didn’t exactly do well with it in 2017, but I did even worse when it comes to 2018. I read a total of 0 books on the list. I don’t think I even picked up or looked at the list once this year, who knows how in the world Im going to achieve the list if I’m not even going to remember about it other than when I do my yearly wrap ups.

Another of my goals was to read more from some of my favourite authors. I only managed two of these and they were The True Queen by Alison Weir and Dark Tracks by Philippa Gregory. The True Queen was as amazing as I was expecting it to be, I don’t know why I haven’t jumped back into the next book in the series; but Order of Darkness was rather average, I’m kind of glad the series is finished. However in 2018 I did actually discover a new favourite author, Mary E Pearson. At the start of the year I flew through the entirety of her Remnant Chronicles, and then adored her new novel Dance of Thieves later this year. I can not wait or what more is to come of this new series, or to be fair anything more that Mary E Pearson comes out with.

Im quite proud of my progress on my ‘read some tomes’ challenge that I set myself. I could of done a lot better but I did manage to read two books that would fit into this category; Beauty of Darkness by Mary E Pearson and The True Queen by Alison Weir. I really do need to get to some of the others already on my shelf, maybe a plan for next year.

As with every year, I like to try to finish off some of the many series I have started otherwise I just end up starting one after another; this year I managed to finish off four series which I am pretty proud of. As I stated last year, I really wanted to finish the graphic novel series Deathnote that I started quite a while back, and I managed to achieve this! YAY me! Other than that I finished the Order of Darkness series by Philippa Gregory, The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E Pearson and Themis Files by Sylvian Neuvel.  

Although I didn’t read too many books this year, I had some clear favourites. I adored the entirety of the Remnant Chronicles and what I read of the Falling Kingdoms series. But as a single favourite book, I have two, and both are very different. Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan was an amazing fantasy novel that I adored; I seriously hope that there is more books in this world coming soon, I miss this world already. And secondly The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris, a truly harrowing, heart felt historical fiction novel.

What did you read in 2018? Did you have any favourites you’d recommend?

 

 

Lifestyle

Life Goals 2019

2019 will be my year, I am determined to have a year where I can walk away from it proud and happy that I have achieved all that I want to achieve. This last year has been one that I look back on positively, and have achieved a lot to better myself; but there always things that could be improved, and 2019 is going to be the year where I do everything to the best of my ability. Look back at my Initial plans posts to see what I have coming up this year..

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The biggest goal for 2019 is to be happy. Be happy in absolutely everything I do; often I have little to no control over what I am able and capable to do physically, leaving me in bed quite a lot and missing out on things I may of wanted to do. But life is too short for regret and being unhappy, so I am going to make sure that no matter my physical state this year, I am going to be happy and enjoy myself. Whether that’s out having adventures, or at home with a book, I am going to learn to be happy and see the positive in everything I do. I know its cheesy, but its something that I think is going to really improve my mental health; at times it’ll be easier said than done, after all you don’t have full control over your mental health, but its a goal none the less to strive to see the positive in every situation. Fingers crossed to keep my depression at bay this year.

My second goal is to read; get back to reading to the level I have in the past. This year I have really put reading on the back burner while I’ve been busy with lots of different aspects of life, and I truly miss it. I want to get back to reading a book a week, if not more. I have set my Goodreads goal to 50, so a bit lower than 2018, but I am working on the basis that’s it more positive to reach a goal and exceed it, than to miss it and be disappointed. There is also lots of good new books coming out this year so I really need to get back to my reading rhythm.

My final goal is to start making healthier choices. I am not going to say that I nessacarily want to lose weight or exercise more as my health doesn’t always allow me to do that. But I am going to start doing this to make myself as healthy as possibly mentally and physically. My health has declined a lot in the past few years, and I can see the ways in which I have not helped it, so I’m going to make this a year of smart healthy choices.

That’s all my goals for this upcoming year. I don’t want to set anything too rigid as with many spoonie lives, it is not always easy to stick to things too solidly, you have to listen to your body at all times.

What are you hoping to achieve this year?