Lifestyle

Morning Routine

Most of the time my mornings are really rather relaxed; the only time that this is different is if I have appointment. To be fair I am really not a morning person, so I’m never awake for very much of the morning, however I do have quite a set routine for the mornings to make sure I start the day off by doing the basics that have to be done. Mental Health

Generally I don’t set an alarm, I’m not a great sleeper so I find its best to just let myself wake up naturally. Over the years I have found that this is the best way for me to ensure I wake up having a reasonable amount of energy- would love any advice about this?

So, when I wake up, I always start off by going to the toilet and then sit on my bed to finish off my bottle of water from over night- normally there will be about 500mls left over. I like to not go straight onto my phone, however I will just quickly check for any texts or missed calls. On the average morning I will wake up after everyone has already left for work, so I find that I sometimes get important messages from my Dad or something that I need to be aware off.

Next step is to make my way downstairs, so I throw on a jumper and some slipper socks, and then go and make sure the kettle is full and on. By this point, my dog Barney will normally be running laps around me, so I will go and put him in the garden, check his water bowl and put his breakfast down. Once he is back in, its time to check on the Princesses, normally they will just need some fresh hay in the mornings but they also get a peanut as it makes them happy.

With all the animals feed and happy, I will make myself a green tea, and go sit down to take my morning medication. At this time, I will not take any pain relief other than my paracetamol and naproxen. I like to assess my pain levels while I wake up before I guess which strength of pain killers I will need that day. Currently I am also in recovery, so this means I am tracking my blood pressure, heart rate and temperature each day, so I will do my morning checks while drinking my tea. It is then time to make breakfast, which will just be whatever I fancy, generally either gluten free toast, or smoothie and porridge bar.

Once breakfast is eaten, its upstairs again to get dressed for the day, before coming back down to write my to-do list for the day.

That is pretty much it for my morning routine, after this I will just start getting on with my day. This is something that I didn’t actively plan, I just found it was a routine that I naturally fell into.

How do you start your days normally? Do you have a routine, or is each day different?

Books

Science Fiction Recommendations 2019

I have been loving doing my recommendation posts over the last few months so I thought I would jump in and do another one today. This time around I am going to be recommending to you my must read Science Fiction books. Although science fiction is not a genre that I read overly much, and its certainly not one that I count as a favourite, but these books are all amazing examples of the genre, and some even come close to being some of my favourite books.

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The first book that I want to talk about, I have to recommend the entire series. The Sleeping Giant series by Sylvian Neuvel is a really quirky, futurist science fiction series, involving the discovery of giant robots and the journey of finding out where they have come from. This series is a really exciting page turner, telling the story from several different points of view and within multiple types of medium. You can read my review for one of the books here.

Another series like the Sleeping Giant series, told through various different types of media is the Illuminae files by Jay Kristoff and Aimee Kaufman. Although I am yet to read the final book in this series, the first two have certainly set the series up to be truly fantastic. These books are all set in outer space, across many different ships and colonies. One thing that both the first two books, and from what I hear, also the third, have in common, are they all have strong independent female lead characters. This is a young adult series, but one that I feel everyone could enjoy.

Also within the young adult category is possibly one of my favourite duologies that I have ever read. I saw that, I at least believe that it is only a duology- but I wont complain at more books. S.J Kincaid’s the Diabolic is an action packed political series. This follows a weapon, a modified girl, who is tasked with protecting her girl, and the events that follow after her girl is summoned by the Emperor. As things unveil they discover just how much the one thing she shouldn’t have, could be the thing to save them all, humanity. Any science fiction, or even fantasy fans will love this, I highly recommend it. My review for the Diabolic can be found here.

img_0987.jpgOn a slightly different note, my next recommendation is a twist on Christian fiction, Left Behind by Tim LaHaye. This book follows what happens after the disappearance of many people suddenly on a plane flight. It follows what those that are left behind have to deal with, and the strange events that follow. I don’t want to say too much about this, as its one of those books that I think is best to go into blind, and just enjoy what happens; I really need to get to the rest of the series really. The film with Nicholas Cage staring is also really worth a watch if you have the time, I do believe it is on Netflix.

The final book I want to recommend to you is one that I have the pleasure of reviewing before it came out, and that is Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan. This is a young adult, science fiction romance. It looks at just what would you do and say, when you only have 90 minutes of air left, what would you regret, what would you wish you had said? Katie is absolutely lovely, and this was a book that for once had me in love with the romantic story. This is not like me as Im not the biggest fan of romance, but this one had full hold of my heart. You can read my review for it here. Katie now has new book out that I really do need to pick up, The Light Between Us.

So those are all the Science fiction books that I have to recommend to you, if you are a fan of the genre, then I think you will really love these. What science fiction books do you recommend? I could really use some new ones.

 

Health

Recovery Update.. Feb’ 19

So far 2019 has been an absolute nightmare in terms of health issues; if it wasn’t one issue it was another, and add a string of infections causing my immune system to crash, and you can begin to imagine just how eventful it has been. I have now been on advised bed rest now since the 28th of December, and to be fair not really had the energy for doing much else.Mental Health

Since I wrote my latest Bed Rest Diaries post, I was diagnosed with yet another Kidney infection, so this has again set me back. Its been decided that I will see my Doctor each week now until my body gets itself sorted and it gets back to normal. The weeks course of antibiotics doesn’t seem to of cleared it up so I am now on another course of antibiotics to try and clear it up.

The odd thing is that I am starting to feel a bit better in myself. I have my motivation back to get things done; though this is an issue in itself while I don’t have the energy to do things.

So as things stand, I am still supposed to be resting, but my doctor has advised I start slowly getting back to normal. However I am now having to monitor all my major stats for the time being so that we can catch if anything goes down hill as quick as possible. This means that I currently have take my pulse, blood pressure and temperature a minimum of three times a day. If I have any weird turns or start feeling yucky then I have been told to take them then as well to see what is going on.

How long do I have to do this? Well until I get my cardiology appointment so that we can then properly look at what is happening. At the point of writing this, I am still waiting on that appointment, but I have now got my urology appointment through for the end of March. For once I am not bothered about being patient about it as my GP is being amazing at helping me to get through until then.

That is how my recovery is going for now, its very much a matter of slow and steady. This is certainly not something that will clear up by itself over night, its going to take effort and plenty of rest.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever had to recover from?  Whether its mental or physical, any health recovery can be a tough challenge.

 

Lifestyle

Thoughts before Moving Out

This is not the first time I have written about the topic of moving, and I know that it will not be the last; but this time is different, because I am not just moving house. This time around, I am moving out with my boyfriend, best friend, partner.

I can definitely say that this time I am really excited, its a huge help that we have no pressure to move, this is just something that we have decided that we want to do. That in itself is a huge difference from my last two moves where I have had to combat being ill with the pressure of suddenly having to moved unprepared.

However that being said, this move comes with all its own new challenges. Mental Health

My whole life I have lived with my Dad, to some degree getting to continue living as a child, with minimal responsibilities and knowing that I can always fall back on my Dad. But with this move, I have stepping up as an adult, and moving forward from being a child to being an adult. And yes, I know I’m 20 something, and yet still consider myself as a child, but to some degree that’s exactly what its like. I’m independent, and do a lot for myself around the house, but when you live with your parents there is always an element of being a child.

So this time around, I am handling all the estate agent stuff, all the paperwork and all the organisation. I will have say in where we move, I will have say in how and when we move, and I will have a lot of say in how our new house will work for us.

That being said, moving forward is truly rather terrifying. Whole heartedly, yes this is what I want to do and what I want to happen, but that doesn’t stop it being a bit scary. Have you ever found a step forward with your life to be really scary?

Generally however I am just so excited. It gets boring very quickly of only being able to be with the person you want to be with by going between two houses. As I’m sure many of you can relate, you get to a point where you just want to get your own place to call home, settle down, and start shaping your life how you want it to be.

Being independent and rather a control freak, it really is going to work better for to live independently. I’m lucky that me and my partner work very similarly together, and often seem like two of the same person.

I will be doing more posts as I move forward with all the organisation, with my plans, thoughts and fears.

At this stage, I would love any tips from people that have moved out for the first time? I would also love to hear from any other Zebra’s who have started trying to live more independently? I’m very apprehensive about how my health is going to impact my move and any future that will ensue from this.

Books

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

I am ashamed to say that I had the honour of receiving this book back in 2018, but despite trying to read it several times, my reading slump of last year kept making me put it back down. But January 2019, was the right time for me to read this book, and I have to admit it was the perfect book to read in the British Winter that we were experiencing.

Naomi Novik is the author of another retelling, Uprooted, and that is certainly a book I would recommend that you go and pick up; but this post is about her latest, Spinning Silver. A fairy tale retelling that is dark, emotional and oh so magical. It felt so real, and yet set in such a magical word; I would honestly feel the cold in myself (and not just because of the weather), because each word was so believable. That is absolutely the best kind of fantasy novels, when you can forget what the real world is.

‘Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders… but her father isn’t a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has loaned out most of his wife’s dowry and left the family on the edge of poverty–until Miryem steps in. Hardening her heart against her fellow villagers’ pleas, she sets out to collect what is owed–and finds herself more than up to the task. When her grandfather loans her a pouch of silver pennies, she brings it back full of gold.

But having the reputation of being able to change silver to gold can be more trouble than it’s worth–especially when her fate becomes tangled with the cold creatures that haunt the wood, and whose king has learned of her reputation and wants to exploit it for reasons Miryem cannot understand’img_1091

High fantasy worlds can be super confusing and tough to follow. Learning the political world and the magic system, you can easily get yourself mixed up and not understand why things are happening, or what the effects events will have. Naomi Novik creates these amazingly magical and beautiful worlds, and yet you feel as if you have lived in them your whole life. You catch on to everything that makes the world work so quickly and so easily, that its as if the world isn’t new to you after all.

One of my favourite aspects of this novel was just how little romance there was involved. Alright, there is a few marriages, but they are definitely more on the political scale rather than romantic. The relationships that take precedence in this book are the relationships between family. Between child and parents to be specific, in three different family situations. Its so refreshing to read a Young Adult book that has the centre on relationships within families, one that almost everybody can relate to. That being said, there is a very gentle slow growing romance that develops- more at the end of the book- but I personally don’t feel like it takes over the book.

This book is an easy five star read for me, its truly amazing and magical, and beautiful to dive into during these cold months. If you have not already then you really should get yourself a copy and let the story whisk you away. Despite its size, you can finish it in just a few days. Until her next release I am going to have to jump to a reread of Uprooted.

Health

Bed Rest Diaries #4

Aha, this is rather comical really, as I have been on bed rest now since the 28th of December, exactly a month before I am starting this post. I had been really hoping that it was going to be a short stint, that I wasn’t going to do one of these posts, but as we are now rolling into month 2 of bed rest I thought I should really do another instalment.Mental Health

I have another doctor appointment in the morning, but I will be on bed rest now for the remainder of this week at a minimum.

So today, 28th of January, will start us off with Day 1 of bed rest.

DAY 1

Today has been a fabulous day for reading. Currently I am reading Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik, and am currently about a third of the way through (though this is before bed time reading). Honestly if you haven’t read this before then you really do need to, especially while it is still cold. I am ashamed to admit that I didn’t pick this up sooner, I really wish I had.
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Other than reading today, I have been playing a new game on my phone, Tiny Tower. Wow, I didn’t think I would like this, but if today is anything to go by, it really is addictive.

Finally I have also got a blog post written, so I am going to finish January on a high note. Now it is time to head to sleep at the grand time of 8pm, praying for a touch more energy tomorrow.

DAY 2

Back to the doctors this morning, looking like the infection is more or less cleared up, but still need to rest because of collapsing a couple of times last week. More long term I now have a referral for cardiology and urology to try and get to the bottom of the constant issues lately.

Last night I got really into Spinning Silver, and am now on page 185. Todays plan is to chill out, work on some blog posts and read some more; oh and continue to obsess over Tiny Tower.

Its now just after 8.30pm and almost bed time. I have had a rather successful day all in all, I have finished off my January blog posts, and made a start on February. Been catching up on TV, and made lots of progress on my Tiny Tower. Now to head to bed and get back into Spinning Silver.

DAY 3

Bit of a late start to todays update, its already 6.30 in the evening. Today has been another reasonably successful day despite my Fibro pains really being nasty in my legs today. But I have got another blog piece done and ready, and worked on some more.

Same as yesterday I have been really into Spinning Silver, now currently on page 282, and determined to have it finished before my partner is over on Friday. I well and truly am hooked on Tiny Tower as well, I think Ive been playing it all day while getting on with other things.

Probably not another update today, as just going to rest and get an early night to read my book, talk tomorrow.

DAY 5

Yesterday I was super grumpy, so I didn’t really think that an update was a good idea, as I would just be moaning and groaning about nothing. So instead I thought I would just skip the day and get back to you today.

Its already almost 7pm, and its my Nan’s birthday so today we have spent the day relaxing and just watching silly TV and having a good laugh. I did manage to finish Spinning Silver last night, so tonight I will be picking up After the Eclipse, my first book for February.

Generally not  really done anything productive today, so will be back tomorrow, as tonight all we will be doing is having a birthday meal and probably an early night.

DAY 6

Last night ended up being a later night than originally planned, we stayed up playing Yahtzee and just generally having a bit of a laugh. But unfortunately this meant that I was over tired and had a seriously bad nights sleep. So today has been a day of resting and feeling tired and sorry for myself.

All I’ve really done today is work on a review for next weeks blog, and read After the Eclipse by Fran Dorricott. Ive gotten to page 47, so not too far in yet, but I am loving it already. Early night to read is the plan for tonight. Now as I feel like I’m repeating myself, Im going to call it a day, and do my final day of this diary tomorrow.

Oh, and you really should play Tiny Tower on mobile!38329334

DAY 7

Today has been a little different, I actually left the house. I went with my Dad on the dog walk, and then even went to the shop as well. For someone who hasn’t left the house for several weeks other than for hospital appointments this is actually a pretty big deal. I certainly am exhausted for it now, but oh well.

Last night I got really into ‘After the Eclipse’ by Fran Dorricott; currently up to page 114, and can not wait to go to bed and read again later today. Have a feeling that I will fly through this one, as it just feels like my sort of psychological thriller.

For now its is 4.30pm, we’ve got the Arsenal V Man City game on, and I’m going to work on some blog stuff. Talk later.

AFTER

So I forgot to check back, but that is this bed rest diaries over. Over the course of the week, I managed to read Spinning Silver, and just under 200 pages of After the Eclipse. I think I can finally say that the reading slump is letting me go. But I think my biggest achievement of the week was reaching level 21 of Tiny Tower- yes I am addicted, and it is a problem, but you seriously should go play.

What do you do when you are unwell and have to go on bed rest?

 

Books

January Wrap Up & Feb TBR ’19

So January may not of been my best month for reading ever, however with the reading slump I have currently been in, it was certainly a pretty decent month. You can read here what I had been hoping to read, and although I didn’t manage it all, I’m still happy with what I did read.

I completed two books, both of which I loved, a four star and a five star read, so I really cant complain.

The first book was The Lost Man by Jane Harper, her third novel, however this one is a stand alone. It is another masterpiece of thriller mystery writing. Harper is quickly becoming a favourite of mine, and I truly can not wait for her fourth novel.

The other book I read in January was Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. A magical fairy tale retelling this book is an amazing piece of fantasy; its left me in the mood to dive into more fantasy novels, including a reread of Naomi Novik’s previous novel. This was an easy five star read for me. img_1091

Now I have very high hopes for my reading in February. I think I am going to set my target at three books plus my twitter poll book, but ultimately we will see how the month goes.

That being said the first book I will and am currently reading is After the Eclipse by Fran Dorricott. A psychological thriller about two girls who both disappear at the time of an eclipse. I will be reviewing this 27th of February as part of the blog tour, but I will give you a sneak peak now, and say that a third of the way through and I am loving it. 38329334

Next book that I want to read so that I can see what all the hype is about is Cruel Prince. I had heard such mixed views of this book when it first came out, but the hype  has been back with the release of the Wicked King, and I feel like it might be something I will like. So I will be picking up this fantasy book hopefully this month.

The final book on my initial TBR this month is The Migration by Helen Marshall. I only know a little about this book, and that is that it is a horror-ish, catastrophe book set in England. This alone is enough for me to want to read it, its the sort of book that is right up my street. 42607151

Well that just leaves us with the twitter poll books for the month. As I didn’t manage to get around to the poll winner this month, I am going to include it again in this months poll, and hopefully I’ll actually get to the winner this month- but who really knows. So the options are; Clash of Empires by Ben Kane, City of Brass by S.A Chakraborty and Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. The poll will be up shortly for you to have your say.

What are you reading this month?