Friday, 25 December 2015

It's Christmas!!!!

Admit it, you read it as a song... 
Just a quick note to say Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you all have a lovely day and spread the cheer :)

Abi X

Saturday, 19 December 2015

5's: 5 CHRISTMAS traditions!!

For those of you celebrate Christmas, we can officially jump for joy because it is FINALLY here!! Yep in just 6 days! 
Christmas is full of traditions that differ both nationally and personally. 
I decided that in this weeks 5's post I'd tell you guys a few of my own personal traditions. 
1) Mince pies// My Mum is a coeliac, and lives on a gluten free diet. When I was younger, on Christmas Eve we'd make a big batch of mince pies with her gluten free flour. I'd never ever have a mince pie until Christmas Eve because I'd be saving myself for my Mums!!
2) Stockings// later on Christmas Eve we have our own little ceremony were myself and my younger siblings lay out the stockings, Rudolphs carrot and a mince pie for Santa. I'm 21 and I still love doing this!
3) Cards// First thing Christmas morning my family and I allll exchange cards. It's just how we start our Christmas Day off and I wouldn't change it for the world.
4) Watching a film// I don't think this is restricted to just my family. Last thing on Christmas Day, when everyone's gone home and you're sat nursing a good food baby... We curl up and a watch a film. My  Mum always makes sure at least one Of us gets a DVD so that there's no theory...
5) Visiting my Dad// with my parents being separated, a huge part of my Chrostmas is spending Boxing Day with my Dad. Him and my brother have our own mini Christmas and exchange gifts!

What traditions do you have? If you don't celebrate Christmas, any cool plans for the 25th?

Abu X

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Life update 4// Pre-Christmas catch up

Heyyy! It's been a fair while since I did a little Life update. A lot longer than I'd realised to be honest. On the plus side, I hadn't noticed because I've been really busy lately. On the downside, I don't feel I've spent much time blogging lately and I'll admit that that's a shame.

Things are ticking along nicely in work. I'm finally starting to feel settled in now, slowly getting to know more and more people outside of my immediate team. The Christmas party helped last week helped tons with this, although any names I was told that night are looong gone. I really need to start writing more reflections of my experiences as a Physiotherpaist. One of the responsibilities of this career is showing that you are able to continue developing as a professional. Reflections are a form of evidence of this. I've barely written any, even though I'm learning so much lately. Again, this is because I've just been swamped with work. People seem to be dropping left, right and center!

I've been pretty darn full on the weekends too. Lots of nice shopping days getting all set up for Christmas (finally done now, I think...), long marsh walks out and, probably most exciting of all.....tidying up. Yep, I'm one cool cat...

Time is passing by so quickly at the moment. I'll admit it gets to me a wee bit. There really seems so much to do right now. I'm struggling to balance seeing my family, my friends and workin full time. It's getting there but I'm definitely a work in progress. It upsets me more when I'm not able to spend as much time blogging as I'd like, but it something I'm starting to accept. I acknowledged it in this post that I might struggle to post a frequently but it's really starting to hit home now.

There we have it, a very rambley post.. Don't worry though, I love this wee blog of mine so I really will keep making the effort to post. Simply acknowledging that it's more difficult than I'd expected has helped boost my confidence and motivate to step up my game.

Any advice for me guys?? 
Abi x

5's: 5 NEW things for a NEW year

It's that time of year again. 
Christmas has been and gone.
 2016 beckons round the corner.
It's the end of a old year. The preparation beginning for the new. 
It's a time of year for reflection (yay, more...). The time for planning new and exciting things.
I've been thinking a lot lately of how this year has gone for me. The ups, the downs, the inbetweens...  There have been a lot of great things happen, and a lot of shit. 
(One of the great things of 1015, Graduating!!!)

This is a list of things that I want to do over the next 12 months. 

1. Learn to drive//...a car. I've put it off for  some time because frankly it scares me. Cars are scary, roll with it. However I'm starting to get past that and it's reaching the point where I actually WANT to learn. Go figure?
2. Get fitter-Eat better/ This is a hard one for me. I advocate being fit and eating healthy but I'm lazy... I do try but I know I could be trying harder. It's not about losing weight. It's about improving myself an my personal fitness. 
3. Blog goal// One of my biggest achievements of 2015 is starting this blog. I'm amazed I've kept it going now, for 4 whole months. I intend to keep going on! I don't have many specific blog goals, mostly to keep posting at least once a week, preferably twice. One goal I am aiming towards is to increase the number of book reviews I write. Although I read, well, tons of books, I struggle to review. Queue personal challenge number 3: write 25 book reviews in 2016.
4. Update my wardrobe//A pretty silly one  on the surface. But so much of our appearance is tied into our identity an personality. As a student I couldn't afford to buy many new clothes, I was restricted to pretty much necessities only. Now that I'm earning a bit more I want to start filtering in new pieces that I will actually enjoy wearing and that fit me.
5. Enjoy myself// probably the most important aim on this list. I won't lie, University was a massive struggle for me. I nearly didn't make it through. Now that I've finished, I'm in a job that I adore, and in a relationship with someone I love to bits... I want to start really enjoying my "youth". Start making the most of my weekends, planning trips and days out. Making plans with my friends and most of all continuing my blog writing. I'm at a point in my life that I can start truly living life the way I want...and I want to...

These aren't New Years Resolutions. I don't want them to fade into obscurity a few weeks into 2016. They're more long term goals. Almost like a little personal project.
What do you want to achieve this next year?

Abi x

5s: 5 video games

"Video games" seems such an antiquated term, or as my mum would say "antwakky". Yes, that's a real word. In Liverpool at least... 
Anyways it's not been long since I invested in a PS4, an upgrade from our PS3, and although our game collection is slowly building, there are a few that I'm pining for.
Enough, that it'd make a 5's a post. 
Hmm.. What a coincidence... ;)
Definitely room for more games...

1) Star Wars Battlefront 3// probably my favourite game series of all time. I am literally soooo excited for the new instalment! I can't wait to see if it lives up to the long awaited hype or....not...? 
2) Call Of Duty: Black Ops 3// Black ops 2 was THE game for me, I'd played bits of COD before and enjoyed it. But black ops was the game that really hooked me. Consequently, I cannot wait to see if it's as good as its predecessors...
3) Guitar Hero // I don't know how I've not rushed and bought this yet. Clearly my killer self control (and lack of money..) I've played Guitar Hero on and off for years. It's a perfect time for a revival. Also, they've created a new style of guitar controller that I'm really looking forward to trying out!
4) Fallout 4// This is a game series I've not played before, and after watching a trailer for it, it's finally starting to pique my interest. Have a nosey...

5) Just Cause 3// Again, not a series I've played before. Lewis described it as a rough cross between Grand Theft Auto (which I don't play) and Call Of Duty (which I do). It got me thinking. Whilst it's not at the top of my list, it is a game I'd like to try out in the nearish future.

It's not long until Christmas, who knows what will appear in my stocking this year? 
Any games you would recommend?
Abi x

Saturday, 5 December 2015

5's: 5 places books!

Oooh, ey! 
It's another 5's post! Another bookish 5's post to be precise. 
As if I didn't have enough books already..
Over the years I've lost track of where I pick up my books. Few things in life excite me as much as a new book does. I buy books from a great variety of places and jut wanted to share some with you guys. You may have heard of them or you may not...
1) bookshops// well haha, duhhh. This one may seem obvious but when I was younger I'd very rarely buy books new. Over the past years this has slowly changed. I'll admit I've always loved going into bookshops and simply looking...
2) Charity shops// um hmmm! Buy lots of books annnnd give to a good cause? Too right I bloody did! I have so many little gems that I'd have never found without good old chazza shops.
3) Flea markets// Aye, I'm a trawler and I'm not afraid to admit it! Although, as with charity shops you did tend to see a lot of the same books, it's always worth a good root around. Car boot sales, flea markets all valuable sources for easy reads
4) World of Books// This is a discovery I made back when I started uni. The site sells second hand books at very reasonable prices, usually free delivery. It even has a handy guide so you can judge the condition of the book and if it's worth the price. Apparently you can even sell books, but who'd want to do that??
5) Bookbub//Having got to this one, I've realised its the only ebook option on this list! This is a sit I use a LOT nowadays. When you sign up you select you're favourite genre or even a few favourite authors an it will email you suggestions related to those. Why is this super handy? Because it emails you offers. I have tons of kindle books ive picked up, because they were free or only a pound or too. You get an email every day, sometimes it'll only have one, others up to around ten. It's well worth it if you use an e-reader at all.

Any suggestions on any new places I can buy books from? As you can no doubt tell, I have no problem with second hand books. In fact if you look at my recent book confessions post, I actually love well read books! 
Abi X 
P.s. this is not a sponsored post, just a few recommendations!

Saturday, 28 November 2015

5s: 5 songs that sum up my life

In case you missed my birthday post a few months ago, I've got 21years stashed under my belt. Figuratively, of course, I'm wearing pjs and have no need for a belt right now and....back to the post. Sorry. 
What I was saying, was that I've been alive for some time now. In those magnificently varied 21 years I have listened to a lot of music. A heck of a lot. 
This weeks 5s post is alllll about songs that sum my life up. 

1) Stop! By The Spice Girls// yep I was a huuuuge Spice Girls fan back in my twee little days. I'll always remember moving back into my Dads house when I was about 6-7. We tried to the gas fire on and found one of the CDs that my little brother had seen fit to stuff up there.... This is one of the first songs I really remember and I love it to this very day.
2) The Black Parade by My Chemical Romance// This is it. The song. The one. The only. The song that started my emo phase. All black clothes, skinny jeans and bad eyeliner. Tbh, it's sounds likeme now... I still carry a soft spot for Kerrang and I love introducing my lil sis to all the best songs now that her emo phase has begun...
3) Shine On You Crazy Diamond by Pink Floyd// This song features on the Pulse album, which was the only album my Dad played in his car for around 6 years. I started off only liking the odd song to liking most of them. I'm not sure if I actually do or if I'm just very well conditioned. We may never know. It started off my love for classic rock that I still have to this day.
4) Bankrobber by The Clash// I never really knew The Clash before I met Lewis.  Now I really enjoy a lot of their songs. This particular song never fails to remind me of when we got our tattoos. Lewis' has a slight Clash reference and the artist played this song during the session.
5) Jukebox Hero by Foreigner// The final song. This brings back memories of summer holidays with mix-CDs. My, then 4 years old, sister liked this song and became a mini dictator. She refused to allow any other song to be played. Evil. At the time, it grew annoying verrrry quickly but now I have only fond feelings for the song.

What songs have stayed with you through the years?? 
Abi x

Sunday, 22 November 2015

5s: 5 bookish confessions

Today's 5's post is allll about reading confessions. I feel it's finally time to get them off my chest...
1. I hate dust covers// despite they're genuine usefulness, any books with dust covers will have then swiftly removed for the duration of the read. Sorry dusty's, were just not compatible.
2. Old books//I love the smell of well loved books, musty and cracked with age. I frequently buy second-hand books and mate it's awesome. I see a new book and it's just like "bring it".
3. Bookmarks// this is probably an extension of the last one. I confess that I'll use just about anything as a bookmark. When I can't find anything to use (which happens pretty regular) I'll fold  the pages. There I said it. I'm a page folder. Sometimes I'll just try and memorise the page number which works 90% of the time but naaaahhh. I will say, however, that when I've borrowed other people's books in the past I don't do it. Ain't that nice??

4. I'm impatient// yeah so are most people. Sometimes, however I acknowledge my impatience and decide not to read a series purely because I cba waiting for the next book to be released. I like to think it's because I get very emotionally involved with books and I'm just not ready for that kind of commitment. You get me?
5. Reading is bad// This is confession is digging deep now. Reading has actively got me into trouble before. Mostly at school, reading when I probably shouldn't have. When I was younger I would read at every available opportunity. I,m not exaggerating. I'd read during meals, in class, in between classes, whilst walking, at night, in the bath. You get the picture. I'm glad I did though because now I feel comfortable reading absolutely anywhere. I have the power!

Do you have any reading confessions?

Abi X

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

I won an AWARD!!

Only joking. Well, kinda.. I got nominated for The Liebster award by Xleptodactylous to answer some ppppreeettty old random questions.
The rules are thank the person that nominated you, create a post if you accept the award, link to them and answer their questions, then choose ten bloggers (typically those with under 200 followers) and ask them ten questions in return. 
1.) Favourite biscuit?

Definitely a choccy digestive. Or a chocolate chip cookie...Or a bourbon....Okay, maybe I have a problem here.

2.) "Hey, Ezio, why you keep falling for?"

I recognize this as a super cool reference to Assassins Creed. If you don't then this is not the blog for you.

3.) What is your favourite book?

Nope. It's going to take lots of bribery and torture to make me choose just ONE book. However, in the interests of fair play, my favourite series will forever be the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan.
4.) What's your favourite thing to blog about?
Lifestyle probably. Although they don't come naturally, I'm enjoying writing more book reviews .
5.) Remove all boundaries: what one job would you absolutely love to do, regardless of your skill level? 
Probably my current job (Physiotherapist) I've worked so bloody hard to get to this point. It feels like I've been aiming forever.
6.) What's your absolute, one piece only, favourite item of clothing? Show a picture if you can.
I have a ratty old jumper that I've had approximately 3 years now. It never fails to make me feel cosy. However, it is grim and way to misshapen to respectfully post a photo of it.... Maybe on Instagram in a week then? ;)
7.) What one expensive item are you saving up for, even if it'll take you approximately 42 years?
If you'd asked me a few weeks ago I'd have said a coat. But I recently bought a new coat soooooo..I'd probably say Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturiser. I had a sample a while back and literally eke'd ecery drop out of it. 
8.) Which three famous people, dead or alive, would you like to be trapped in a lift with?
Robert Jordan//see above for reasons. Da da daVinci// it'd be cool and you know it. Matt Bellamy//because he's a paranoid conspiracy nut, and it'd help stop me from panicing if someone was worse...
9.) Which three famous people, dead or alive, would you like to trap in a lift, whilst you yourself laugh maniacally outside?
Nicki Minaj// I find her voice nbasally and irritating. Alan Carr// same reason to be honest. David Cameron//admit it, who wouldn't be tempted?
10.) Would you rather touch a rainbow or ride on a cloud?
Ride a cloud. This implies an ability to me. Whereas touching a rainbow seems less realistic. Also Skittles exist y'alll.

Ip, dip, dip, my blue ship....I choose...
Xleptodactylous//Yes, again...hehe

  1. One product to rule them all?
  2. Favourite childhood rhyme (lyrics included please)
  3. Least favourite school subject and why?
  4. Favourite weather?
  5. Are you scared of anything?
  6. Favourite accent
  7. Weirdest song you've ever listened to...and liked.
  8. Pick a Random Fact.
  9. Favourite word.
  10. Can you play an instrument? If yes; what? If no; what would you like to play?
Go forth my pretties!
Abi x

Saturday, 14 November 2015

5's: 5 great things recently!

I feel that lately things have been a bit non-stop for me. Since starting my new job, I've been working during the week and been off at the weekends. Which is great, but I've also been really busy during the weekends. I'm starting to feel it a bit now, not being quite as well rested when Monday rolls round. 
Yet when I look back, I've done some brilliant things recently. 
I thought that in this week's 5's post I'd share some of them with you guys. Well 5 of them...
  1. Grand final: Leeds Rhinos vs Wigan Warriors// This is delving back about a month, now. I went with my boyfriend and his Dad and sister. Neither of whom we've seen for quite a while. So it was a really nice day. Made even better by being an absolutely nail-biting (I hate this word, but it's an accurate description) gritty game that Leeds won! 
  2. London// Fast forward several weeks later and myself and Lewis had a wee train ride up to London followed by a rather disrupted tube ride out to Stratford station. Our destination? The Olympic Park Stadium to watch the rugby! Absolutely, one cracking stadium, although a shame we were in it to witness England get beaten by New Zealand in the second of three test series.  While the atmosphere fell flat at times, the night was salvaged by the brilliant fan park hosted by Rugby AM. I'm still gutted I never won one of their many prizes on offer...
    Blog debut of my new coat!
  3. Leeds// Two Leeds mentions in one post? Yep, that's right ;). The other week I finally, Finally, bloody FINALLY got paid. Months, with no money. Over. So we had a road trip up and across to Leeds. It was brill, I splashed a bit of cash and finally picked up a new coat, one inspired by my Autumn coat wishlist! I even picked a few new books I 've been lusting after...
  4. Coffee date// Following on from Leeds, me and Lewis went for a coffee date. Doesn't sound much right? Wrong. So, so wrong. When you don't have much money, something this becomes a none essential expense. Being able to go for a little treat like this just felt so liberating. Albeit  a coffee date with no coffee...
  5. Bonfire night// Normally I'd go to a local display but this year I just didn't fancy it. Instead, we went for a moonlit stroll (sounds romantic, eh?) along the marshes to Parkgate. I got to see a load of fireworks from as far as Wales, without having to battle a crowd. 
There we have it! I think you'll agree I've been a busy bee recently. Have you been up to much lately?
Abi x

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Books vs Their Adaptations: Controversial choices...

It's no secret that I love to read (What do you mean you didn't know?)and when Patrick Rothfuss (Author of the Kingkiller Chronicles) recently announced his beloved series was going to be adapted, well, I had a mixed reaction. It was the same reaction I have whenever I hear a book is going to be adapted in some way. Incredibly excited, because how cool is it to see your favourite stories in a new way? Then the flip side, incredibly worried: what if it's bad? It looks like we'll be getting a movie, TV series and a game! Hell yeah! If it works...
Fortunately, Pat Rothfuss loves his books more than anyone else and at this early stage, it appears that Liongate our giving him the chance to have a big influence over the potential works. 

As exciting as this is (and it is!) it got me thinking about other adaptations, and how they've fared during the transformation. Normally I'd spout that the books are always better but are they? 
Well not always. Sometimes I prefer the adaptations, others the books. 
Who wins? 
I had a good rattle around my brain and these are what I came up with:

Book winners
  1. The Wheel of Time (WOT) by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson// This is cheating a bit. There was a lot of funny business regarding the TV rights to the series which resulted in a 1-hour pilot being produced. Get the full story here. Frankly, it was utter shite, that I hated absolutely. The books definitely win this one.
  2. Dresden files by Jim Butcher// I am addicted to this series. It was a bit of a random find for me but I adore it now. Sadly, when it was adapted into a TV show a few years back it never really took off. RIP dreams.
  3. The Wardstone Chronicles by Joseph Delaney// This is a series I started reading solely because i loved the covers. It's dark and twisted and full of monsters. The film? Well, I took one look at the advert and just went Nahhhh Mate.
  4. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde// I'm not a big fan of classics, in general, but this book is brill and I adore it nonetheless. The film adaptation? Not so much...
  5. World War Z by Max Brooks// I did like this film (mostly because it just played Muse the whole time) but as an adaptation it severely disappointed me. The brutal depth and harsh beauty found within the book just wasn't there.
Adaptation winners
  1. Atonement by Ian McEwan// I'll be honest, I haven't read the book. I love this film and it's magical ability to make me instantly cry. In fact, it made it onto my list of things that make me cry. I really can't be bothered to read what I'm sure is a decent book, and you can't make me!
  2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte// I'm putting this out there, I just didn't get the book. I read it and yup that's all I can say. My bad. The adaptation in question? Well maybe I'm stretching it out a bit, but it has got to be Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights. It's warbly and high and I love screeching along to it. So there, suck it up.
  3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen// I think I spent half my teenage years watching the film, gazing in adoration at Keira Knightley. The book? Well, I finished it. That's about the best I can say really. I just found it so hard to settle into this book that I never enjoyed it. I made myself finish it purely by strength of will. 
  4. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien// Okayyyy, I'm a bad geek. I admit it here for all to see; that I just didn't like this book. I made it about through the Fellowship of the Ring and the Two Towers and threw in the towel part way through the Return of the King in defeat. 

A few books I struggled to decide which I really liked better and just concluded a draw:
  1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling// Yep both are good. For different reasons but I love them both.
  2. Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin // I've loved this series for a long, long time and it makes me super happy to watch the TV series. I get that its deviating a fair bit from the books at this point but I don't mind because it's brilliant watching.
  3. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien// Wellll, I know this is inconsistent buuuut, yep, I loved The Hobbit. Hated the trilogy, loved the prequel... just go with it. Again I know there were big changes in the film adaptations but I really enjoyed them, so no complaints.
Woah! Quite a long post here... I've come to the realisation that although I'd automatically say I'd prefer the books, it's more varied than I'd guessed. I've also reaffirmed that classics are just not my cup of tea... 

Do you agree with my choices? Are there any that you would add?

Abi x

Saturday, 7 November 2015

5's: 5 Inspirational Instagram Accounts

If you follow me on social media, you may (or not) have noticed an incy, wincy, tiny increase in my Instagram usage recently.
Well, yep....just a little increase... 
I've always loved taking photos and I used to use Instagram a fair bit when the mood struck me. But somewhere along the way my Instagramming just fizzled out. 
Now fast forward a wee bit. To September when I started this here blog. I started expanding my social media profile, mostly on Twitter. And by extension I began to look at what other people did with theirs. This naturally led me to peruse other people's Instagram's (translation: stalked). 

From there, I began to enjoy thinking how I would style things. Or what would look interesting in a picture. 
I found it quite inspiring and it made me want to join in too.

Wow, longer intro than I'd intended...but what my ramblings have been trying to say is that this weeks 5s is about Instagram accounts that I enjoy.

  1. Xleptodactylous// I think this account deserves the number 1 spot. Hers not only one o my favourite Instagram accounts but also blogs. I have serious photo prop envy and just love Xleptodactylous's general style
  2. Spookykiah// I really like Kiah's photos. But what I think I like most is that they are frequently places I know. I'm really enjoying seeing familiar spots from someone else's viewpoint. Plus her posts are spooky and kooky, 'nuff said.
  3. Bookwormboutique//Soooo I like books. Did you know that yet? This instagram tends to show a fair bit of book merch in cool, varied ways.This account first introduced me to the "I'd rather be a bookdragon than a bookworm". I am a bookdragon. Hear me roar.
  4. Georgina Grogan// This is a lass with a whole lot of sass. Also, the best Halloween make up ever set eyes on.My favourite was her depiction of Ursula from Disney's "The Little Mermaid". Awesome or what?
  5. Hannahfgale// My favourite lifestyle blog, reflected in pretty Instagram pictures. What's not to love? In fairness, Hannah writes with an element of levity that comes across in her pics.
Just a few accounts I'm loving at the moment! Do you know any of these? Are there any you'd recommend?
Abi x

P.s. If you fancy a peek at my Instagram account, then I suppose that's okay ;)

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Book review 5// A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent, by Marie Brennan

I first saw this book online in a review. I didn't really read the review but I was totally caught out about the cover. For one; dragons are the bees knees. Two; I love the way the dragon turns into an anatomical drawing, it's a brill idea. It brings dragons and science together; perfect for me! And finally three; the style of the cover is reminiscent of a diagram from some old encyclopaedia somewhere. It makes a suggestion that dragons are a normal resident on the planet that require studying, in the same vain as lions and tigers etc. 
Any world where dragons live is one I want to read about!!
So this all flashed through my mind the first time I saw the book, and the second, and the....well you get the idea! 
A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent, by Marie Brennan. Modelled by Heffa the Elephant
It, therefore, didn't take much persuasion for me to pick up kindle copy (dreaming of a real one, someday).

In terms of the actual book...In this installment (there's been 3 so far) we see Lady Trent grow from small child to a married young woman. We see her interest in dragons grow and flourish, taking her study from backyard varieties to those in distant cold mountains.

The period is reminiscent of late 1800's to 1900's, during which it would be frowned upon for a woman to be interested in science. Although set in a different world, it easily brings reflections of our own. We, as the reader, get to see how Isabella Trent tries to balance societies expectations of her and her own curiosities and scientific nature. I personally, think this is a fascinating perspective, as it is only within the past century that science has truly begun accepting women. It is easy to imagine women having similar struggles in our own history, albeit not with dragons.

I found the writing style pleasant and easy to follow. One could easily believe that these are in indeed the memoirs of a successful female scientist, with plenty of foreshadowing being laid down. 
I think, that the foreshadowing is probably the only negative I have about this read. There was plenty, most of which fit nicely and created appropriate levels of anticipation and curiosity. Other times, it just felt too much to me. Maybe it's just me. I had a similar kind of "clunky" sensation when picking up on foreshadowing when reading Lee Child's Make Me. Maybe I just don't respond well to the literary technique.

Of the character Isabella Trent, I was extremely impressed. She had her own layers and thought processes that the reader could follow. Felt real emotions, guilt about manipulating people to her own wishes. Her frustrations, her fears and wants, all came across clearly because the character depth was there.
She wasn't a perfect woman, and that makes her interesting.

 The nature of the book being a memoir style meant we had her own insight into her flaws. Of which there were a few, as you would expect from many young adults. As people age, they grow in maturity, and I felt this was beautifully reflected in her musings about her younger self. 

In conclusion, I'm rating this book 4.5/5. It really was a brilliant read that I'd recommend to fellow fantasy lovers, but the foreshadowing just held it back for me. Nearly a 5/5, just not quite there...

So, I totally judged this book by its cover, and it turned out great. Have you ever done the same? Or had a book with a good cover that was a total letdown?
Abi x

Saturday, 31 October 2015

5's: 5 things about HALLOWEEN

Not to jump on the blogging bandwagon too quickly, but let's face it, Halloween is cool.
 So cool, I'm doing a 5's post on it. On Halloween. Noticing a trend here?
Guys, no-one is happier than I am about how nicely things work out here. 
So this post is on 5 things about Halloween.
This guy is happy it's Halloween...
  1. Black// I may be 21 and long past my stereotypical angst phase, but I've never lost my attraction to all shades dark. The majority of my wardrobe consists of darker shades and a fair whack of black. Halloween is the perfect time for me to showcase my love story with those darker shades.
  2. Horror films// If I'm honest, I am shite with Horror films. Literally the biggest baby ever. Sill, Halloween is the time of year when they all come crawling out of the woodwork (sometimes literally). This year I am getting into the swing of things and intend to watch a horror film. I also did my first ever Pumpkin Carving!!!Admittedly I did choose one I'd already seen before. SO a bit of a cop out, but tough shit, it's my night after all
  3. Scary stories// this ties in a little with number 2. Monsters. I loooove monster stories. Yeah, I'm totally inconsistent and can't handle watching  them. Reading is my jam. I think, this probably down to the fact that books are only as scary as you imagine them to be, and my imagination is a logistical smart arse who won't let them be too scary for me. Thanks, imagination.
  4. Costumes// Is there anything cooler than Halloween costumes? Perfect excuse to go all out and scare the living shit out of someone! At the moment, I'm loving some of the really creative tutorials we've been seeing on the blogs recently!
  5. Sweets// As a Physiotherapist I am a keen advocate for eating a healthy and balanced diet. As a human being however, I have a really bad sweet tooth. Halloween is like the initiation to the time of year where it's not only acceptable to eat goodies, but also tradition. 
What do you like about Halloween? 

Abi x

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Book review 4 // Scaramouche by Rafael Sabitini

How is this only my fourth book review? Need to step up my game here!

This is the second Infinite variety book club read that I've taken part in, the first being Stardust by Neil Gaiman.

I've rated this book 2.4/5.
 Yep 2.4, because overall I just wasn't that impressed.  It was quite difficult for me to really get into it properly for, say, about 60 pages. I just felt that I was waiting and waiting for a while, y'know? Part of that I think was to do with the style of prose. Sabatini's sentences simply went on and on and on. Sometimes taking up whole paragraphs. I found this lengthy prose quite hard to settle into but I did persevere.

 Now, don't be quick to judge. People read for a number of reasons. My primary reason is that I enjoy reading new things. Normally if I'm not enjoying a book then I stop reading. It ain't rocket science. In this case I decided to keep reading on.
Thankfully, as the book went on, I enjoyed it more and more, which I'm glad about. I really was tempted to leave it after the first 50 pages or so. 

The book redeemed itself with its lovely characters, however. Andre-Louis is charming and captivating. He makes a bold proclamation against one of society's most privileged, in the name of friendly honour. 
Naturally this backfires and its there that we follow this character as he attempts to avoid his own retribution. 

Aline, is probably my favourite character. In the time period the book is set, (approximately the French Revolution) it takes serious  guts to take control of your own marriage prospects and then potentially messing up those prospects. I found her to be both refreshing and innovative within the confines of the story.

Although it's a book I've wanted to read in the past, I chose to do so in conjunction with October's Infinite Variety Bookclub. I think, this more than anything made me read on. It's nice to think that I've benefitted from taking part of this month's read. 

Overall, I've really enjoyed having this to read on my commute (train portion). I would recommend Scaramouche to someone else, but more as a curiosity and less for the simple pleasure of reading.

Have you read Scaramouche? What did you think? 

Abi x

Monday, 26 October 2015

Pumpkin carving fun!

So as we are in the lead up to Halloween (woo!), Lewis and I decided to spend are afternoon doing a wee bit of pumpkin carving!
My pumpkin carving

I'll confess it's something I've never done before, but Lewis had, so I bowed to his wisdom throughout. 
 We picked up a couple of decent sized pumpkins for £2 each and had an afternoon of fun.
At first I did try drawing out my design on paper, except I couldn't decide what I wanted!! So I ended up winging it with a more traditional looking jack o lantern.
Lewis's pumpkin carving
Now, having not carved pumpkins before I was quite unprepared for how messy it would be. I can imagine if I was a few years younger I'd have adored making such a mess (okay maybe I enjoyed it a little more than I'm suggesting...). 
Another bonus is if you're a bit more thoughtful than I was you could save and reuse some of the innards. Roasted pumpkin seeds anyone?
Now, for some pictures....
The "before" picture..

In conclusion, it was loads of fun letting my creative side just play around. 
We are already planning on making some more before next Saturday!! 

Whose pumpkin looks better? Mine or Lewis's??? ;)

Mine is on the right with pointy teeth, Lewis's the left
Abi x 

Saturday, 24 October 2015

5's: 5 things to do in an HOUR

We live in a busy society. It's undeniable. Everybody is rushing around, there is so much to do! When do we ever just take the time to relax? Save an hour, just for ourselves?Well, one of my favourite things about Autumn is that the clocks go back. This gives a whole extra hour. What can we do with this unprecedented (actually it happens every year so it is kinda precedented) allotment of time?

Here are a few ideas I had, in recognition of the end of Brtish Summer Time tonight! 
Taken from my Instagram. Clock; Dunelm, £12

  1. Bake// Last weeks 5's post (5 things I want to bake!) was all about things I want to bake that I haven't had time to. Pretty sure this would be a delicious use of my extra hour!
  2. Bath// An hour in the bath is probably a bit excessive (nobody likes prune fingers) but this one comes with an add-on. After a nice long bath comes the post-bath moisturisation! Do the works! Body butters? Check. Foot cream? Check. Face? Uh-huh. hands? you get the drill by know. How often do we just slap a bit of something on? Make yourself feel lovely pampered with this wee routine.
  3. Read// Yes, I am biased. I love to read and certainly don't lack opportunity. Not evryone is the same however. Maybe there's a book you bought that you've intended to read but just haven't managed ut yet. I'm sure you could make good headway in an hour!
  4. Tidy up// Tidy up? What is that strage thing? Yep. This one isn't as fun as the other suggestions. Maybe it's time you had a good tidy of something or a good sort out. It can be surprisingly therapeutic having a good ol' de-clutter. I'll admit I don't always have the time (or the motivation) to do more than a surface tidy, well it's time!
  5. Sleep// If I'm honest this is probably where my extra is going. An extra hour in bed is bliss, but it can be guilt free too! Or you can nap if that's your jam!

Sorry if you're not British and you don't play around with your clocks bi-annually. You're still allowed to do these, I'll let you. 

What else can we do in a spare hour?

Abi x

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Life update 3.5// the job

This is the post we've allll been waiting for. Well, maybe just me... I wrote a list of a few about a few of the things that have been going on lately and when I started talking about my new job it got a bit out of hand. 
It's getting its own little post rather than messing the flow of my previous post (can't fight the flow...yo).
Waves breaking over Filey rock. Not sure which bit represents me,
but y'know its alll poetic and shit.

The New Job// This is the biggie. So far it's been great, if a little daunting. I started off with a nice sized caseload that increased slowly then suddenly jumped right up. Yep. 
I'm getting the hang of things as quick as I can but that's not always good enough. I'm starting to hate being the "new" Band 5 because it beginning to feel like an excuse for when I can't quite get things right. Which happens a fair bit, the NHS is a big place y'know?
 Or for the innumerable times I just don't know something purely because no ones told me. Again happens quite a lot and it is Very Frustrating, with capital letters intended.

I still have a fair bit of computer training left to do, but thankfully one of my colleagues gave me an informal heads up, except I'm still super slow and bumbly. Better than nowt though.
I'm in a pretty large team, and while I haven't met everyone yet, they're all really friendly. No one seems to complain about my many silly questions.

We have a third year student in our team at the moment and wow, that makes me feel old! I was literally in her place just last year, now I'm fully qualified and independent. A lot changes in 12 months.
I still don't have a uniform and I'm continuing to wear my student uniform for the foreseeable future...grrrr. I feel like I've worked hard to qualify fully and yet I get the "are you a student?" every third person.

  On the plus side, I've been cycling to and from the station every day and I'm starting to gradually get a bit faster and hopefully a little fitter. It's freaking freezing in the morning, yet overall it's a pretty nice journey. In the morning, I usually see a few rabbits and squirrels. Admittedly, there have been a few close calls but the vet hospital is right  near the path should owt ever happen!
In the evening, I get a lovely view of the sunset over the marshes(woo!). Then once I'm at the station I get to chill on the train for half an hour.
This is me at the station; no make up and helmet hair to boot. Pretty sexy, eh??

I am enjoying the actual work thankfully. I've already met and treated some amazing people. I really think people are so varied and I love hearing the stories they have to share. I absolutely adore my patients, and I really am trying to get to grip with things ASAP so I can give the best care I can. 

So lots of ups and downs. Mostly downs here 

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Life update 3// the list

It's been a while since I last did a life update (that's a lie, it wasn't that long ago, it just FEELS it). Since my last one, quite a lots been happening. I've started a new job, attended a record breaking Grand Final, broke my phone (yep, really) and reached my 3 year anniversary with Lewis (erm, how?). So a fair bit to cram into just TWO weeks! I'm knackered just recalling it....therefore I'm going to kinda give a summary of my thoughts on each for you. Hopefully won't be too overwhelming that way!  Plus I like lists, you may or may not have noticed yet...

1) the Grand Final// ohmydayys. What a game. What a day. What a bloody good win!!! 
Yep Leeds won and I am verrrry happy about it. We met up with Lewis' Dad and sister and it turned out to be a pretty fun day. We even got back from the stadium in about an hour and a half, not too bad at all.

2)I broke my phone// Its been going for aaaggges but it's officially gone (RIP). Nothing even exciting happened, I simply dropped it on the way out from work and it totally destroyed the screen. There are CHUNKS missing. Time to move on I guess...
3) 3 year anniversary// yeah, yeah, yeah so what I hear you say? I'll admit I find it irritating too when smarmy couples rub their relationship status in everyone's face. Yet, I'm pretty happy about this one. For us, it's a truly significant amount of time. I just 21 (well not THAT long ago), so 3 years is one SEVENTH of my life. Okay not that much really, in the grand scheme of things. The point is I'm happy we've made it this far. Thankfully we now live together, in a house that is contracted for another year so reaching shouldn't be too hard. Can't, like, break the contract ya'know?
4) Starting a new job// Ha fooled you! You expected a little summary about the new job here didn't you? Didn't you? eh? Ah, forget it. 
Originally I started the summary of my new job but it took on a life of its own! So it's going to be in a separate post coming soon!

Keep your eyes peeled for my little updates 3.5 :)

What's happening with you guys?

Abi x

Saturday, 17 October 2015

5's: 5 things I want to BAKE!!

I looooove ( with extra o's) anything sweet and yummy. I love making things that are total treats. Sadly, it's been a long while since I've done any baking. Too long. I'm developing quite a list of things that I'd like to put my hand and making. 
This week's 5's posts is that very list!
On with the list...

An empty biscuit tin, full of promise... (woah! That was cheesy!)
  1. Tiffin// I'd never had this before or even heard of it, shocking I know. Not until, a few weeks back when the bf's parents were visiting and brought us some down.According to his Mum it's apparently easy to make.  All I know is that I scarfed down a lot in  a short space of time, oops! It's not strictly baking, as you pop it in the fridge to set but anything with biscuits and chocolate and syrup must be good for you...
  2. Brownies// This is one that I've baked before and if I'm honest, I'm bloody good at! It was my go-to choice for final days on placement (bribing my educator? nope, not me...) and whenever I was feeling a wee bit stressed. I like to decorate mine with some chocolate buttons on the top for a little variety. This is definitely on my list to be done again!
  3. Flapjack// I adore flapjack, but I've never made it before! I know that possibilities are endless on what you can add so I'd love to have a try, to see what I can rustle up...
  4. Chocolate Fudge Cake// This is actually a recipe my boyfriend has, passed down from his Mum (that gal sure can bake!). He's made it for me for my birthday in the past and I'd love to have a go myself. Or even if I just help out...licking the spoon counts, right?
  5. Apple Crumble// This is a recipe I got from MY Mum this time. My Mum is actually a coeliac (she's completely intolerant to wheat) so growing up she would use gluten free flour to make apple crumble rather than cake. Now baking cakes with gluten free flour is possible, but it can be tricky as they don't rise without extra assistance. Crumbles don't need to rise, and I actually prefer gluten free crumble! It usually goes a gorgeous golden colour! As I haven't made it in some time, it's going splat bang on this list!!
I'm not sure when I'll get around to trying these. Hopefully soon. Writing this post has made me really hungry though! 

Abi x
p.s. is there anything you've been meaning to bake recently?

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Tattoos// Q&A

I know this post won't be for everyone, but I love tattoos. I feel it's time that they had their moment on this 'ere wee blog. I'm hoping you'll get to know a bit more about me through this post, so I'm going to try and explain my history with tattoos!
This is the book series that inspired my tattoos. And a dagger. Always a dagger.
  1. Do you like tattoos?// Okay so this is obvious, I wouldn't do this post if I didn't. Both my Mum and my Stepdad have two tattoos each and I've always admired them. I really admire other peoples and how well they can reflect their personality and likes. 
  2. Do I have any tattoos?//Hell yeah! I have two tattoos (at the moment).They look almost like flash tattoos but they're actually two chapter icons from one of my favourite book series. I chose them for a few reasons. Number 1 being I really liked the pictures. Also, because the series in question is one that I've grown up with, starting it at the tender age of 9, and only reading the final book at 18. It's one my parents introduced me to, and we discuss it fairly often, and I live having that little link to them with me. I got this just before I turned 19 after walking into a local studio to ask how much each design would be and ended up walking out with both.
  3. Would you get more?// This is a definite yes. I would love, love, love more. It's been 2 years since I got my first two, and the desire for more is going strong. I don't intend to rush into getting more, not until I'm really sure what and where. It will be happening. 
  4. What would you get next?// I know this one. I want a dreamcatcher next, quite a large one with detailed feathers. I don't know where yet, which is why I haven't already done it (plus I has zero money). After that, I want to get a Celtic knot design because they're so pretty. I have a few pieces of jewellery of this style that I wear a lot and even a "how to draw Celtic knots" book, so I'm totally ready for more. I'm also considering getting an owl tattoo and a dagger, maybe. So lots of plans going on in the back of my head.
  5. Do your parents/family/friends approve?// I'm picking the 'rents for this one. My Mum and Stepdad both have tattoos and I'm particularly fond of my Stepdad's as my Mum designed them for him! I actually got mine done whilst housesitting fo them. I rang up and was just like"yeah, Mum got two tattoos done today. Bye now." Apparently my Mum had been in the middle of saying I was "boring" and I totally surprised her.My Dad doesn't like tattoos very much but respects other people's decisions to get them. I've been lucky on both sides really.
  6. Did your tattoos hurt?// The answer to this is: YES. It wasn't too bad, as my chosen designs were smallish and had no shading or colouring.The design also only went over a small amount of bone directly so I was mostly okay (using my Anatomy skills well). I have a really low pain threshold and whilst, I definitely didn't enjoy the sensation it wasn't a bad experience. 
I think this post tells you a little bit more about me. Anyone can answer these questions about tattoos o add their own, or ask me some more! 
I'm really curious to see how other people feel about good old tatts'.

Abi x

Saturday, 10 October 2015

5's: 5 Rugby League Firsts

The Super 's are over, the semi-finals just played and we are eagerly awaiting the results of the Grand Final tonight. In the past, I've made no secret of why I love Rugby League. 
Nor that I came to it after growing up mostly watching Rugby Union.
 As, I didn't grow up with League I'm still discovering more and more of its history on a regular basis. Despite my late start, I'm still amazed at how innovative a sport it truly is, and it's shocking at how many times it really did take the first step on new practices. 
There are some that I always (not sure why) associated more with Union but were actually initiated by League first. So this week's 5's post is dedicated to Rugby League.
No guesses on who I'll be supporting tonight...

  1.  1953-54: Rugby League hosted the largest crowd to attend a rugby game, during a Challenge Cup final replay between Warrington and Halifax. Crowds at the hosting Odsal stadium in Bradford were recorded at 102,575 but some estimates suggest it may have had up to 120,000 people watching the game! The record still stands in Britain to this day. 
  2. 1954: The first every World tournament to be held by either code of Rugby was held by League in France back in 1954. The home nation finished as runners-up to winner, Great Britain. At a time when we are immersed in the Union Rugby World Cup competition, it's interesting to look back and see that it has been around since 1987. 
  3. 1964: Substitutions allowed in Rugby League, only for injured players in the first half. 4 years later Rugby Union allowed their first substitutions within a game. 
  4. 1981: Players are penalised with a 10 minute "Sin Bin", Union utilised this in 2001. This is one of the 5 that I hadn't expected to find when I was researching the facts. I'm not sure why, but I just associated the Sin Bin with Union more. 
  5. 1996: This year saw the introduction of Video-based refereeing within Rugby League. It's grown to become an extremely useful tool for officials, adding an extra element to the game. If frustrating at times, as it can highlight errors that may have been otherwise missed, it's still a key part of top level Rugby League. 

A few interesting facts then! Do you know any? Abi x

Friday, 9 October 2015

Head's up!

Hi, everyone! This is just a little post giving you a heads up. This week I've started a new job. I'm finally(!) working full time as a Physiotherapist. This is my first role since I qualified and I have a lot to learn and a lot of responsibility to adjust to  very quickly.
This is a bird. It's here because I like this picture. That is all.
When I started my blog I was out of work and had plenty of time to do it. I've never blogged and had something else going on, until today. 
I have been a very busy bee this past week and scheduled a few posts and wrote a few drafts up. It's when these have run out that I'm going to probably slow down on posting. I mean, I don't know how well I'll adapt. I might be posting fine, I might not. 

No one knows.

So, once the scheduled posts are all out, there will probably be a change to my scheduling.
I am aiming to put out one 5's post and one other a week. 
Down to two a week from my normal 3+. 

I'm hoping this will be manageable for me, but we'll just have to wait and see.

So, that's my little "heads up". Any tips for me on managing full-time work and blogging?
Abi x