General

Seven Years of Blogging

As of today, I have been blogging for seven years. Seven. Years. I know it’s a cliché at this point, but when I first started this blog back in 2010 (in May… except I stopped after one post and didn’t pick it up again until September) I didn’t think I’d make it this far. Fortunately, I quickly discovered that book blogging is a hobby that I really freakin’ love. I love collecting my thoughts on books in one place, I love the book blogging community, I love getting excited about future releases, and I love looking back on old posts and feeling nostalgic.

i literally love you

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2017 Goals

I like to post a New Year’s Resolutions post every year, partly because I enjoy making lists, and partly because it gives me something to focus on. I never actually complete the list or stick to every single thing, but it’s still a fun thing to do. Last year I actually did quite well, as one of my main goals was to start taking driving lessons. Not only did I start, but I passed my test and bought a car! So 2016 was a good year for that. Hopefully 2017 turns out to be just as productive.

1. Travel

I did a tonne of travelling in 2016, and I visited some pretty wonderful places. It’s always been a dream of mine to travel the world, and I’m lucky enough to be in a situation where I can afford to. So this year I want to see some new places, go back to some old ones, and start planning future trips! I’ve already got a few places in mind. In April, my boyfriend and I are going to Carcasonne in the south of France for a long weekend. We’ll be visiting a few nearby places while we’re there. Then later on in the year I’m hopefully going back to Bavaria, Germany, and we’re also looking at Croatia. So that’s two new places, and one “old” one that we can explore.

let's travel

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An Epic Comeback

*peers in*

Uh, well, hi everyone. Long-time, no speak! I kind of fell off the blogging wagon last year and no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t get back into it. The funk started in May, when I took a quick break to go on holiday, and it stayed that way throughout the summer when I somehow got a social life and I ended up being busy every weekend and most evenings. I’ve missed blogging a lot, but I just didn’t have the time nor the motivation to get back into it. During the run up to Christmas, however, I kind of gave myself a kick up the backside and decided that I had to make time to do something that I loved again. So here we are.

I’m not an overly laid back person, so I don’t think a laid back approach to blogging would be for me. I wouldn’t enjoy not having some sort of schedule, or a lack of posts written in advance, so I’m not going to do that. The plan instead is for me to post up to five times a week (instead of the rigid schedule of five to seven posts per week that I was following before), and set aside days dedicated to certain types of posts. I think this’ll encourage me to actually keep at it.

you got this

As well as failing at blogging last year, I also failed at reading. My original goal was to read 100 books, which hasn’t been a problem every other year, but in 2016 I “only” managed 50. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with this achievement. Fifty books is still more than most people read in a year or even three. But most of those books were read between January and May, before the funk happened. It’s more than a little frustrating. This year I’ve set my goal to just ten books, although I do anticipate reading a little more than that. Hopefully without a massive goal looming over me, I’ll stop myself from getting annoyed at myself.

But, that’s enough negativity! 2016 was actually a pretty awesome year. I stepped outside of my comfort zone and got to know lots of new people, including a new group at work full of lovely people who I spend most of my time with. I met someone who became my best friend and, later on, my boyfriend. And I finally passed my driving test! It only took about ten months of lessons, and I passed first time with only two minors, which I’m dead chuffed about. So now I have a car and I’m no longer restricted to my village!

So overall, 2016 was fantastic, despite the reading slump and blogging funk that I managed to get myself into. If 2017 turns out to be as good, though, I certainly won’t be complaining!

stiles

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas before I leave you all until Monday! I normally go on a week’s break over Christmas, but this year I’ve settled for a four day break because I had too many reviews to post. Oops? I also thought it would be nice to share Christmas/holiday plans with everyone because I love hearing about how people will be spending the holiday season.

Christmas Eve

My office will be open tomorrow and I will be working, but that great thing about it is that we always close early on Christmas Eve. I start work at 8.30am, and I imagine the office will close around lunchtime, so I’ll be a very happy bunny. I don’t have other plans aside from that, but I might end up at the pub in true British fashion, or I might just get home and get into my onesie.

My mum usually gets some nibbles for Christmas Eve so I’ll be going to her house for dinner. I bought Cards Against Humanity a couple of months ago so I look forward to getting that out and seeing how much I can annoy my brothers. We don’t usually work well when we play games together so it’ll be hilarious, I’m sure. Especially after some alcohol.

spartacus andy whitfield

Christmas Day

I haven’t spent Christmas Day with my mum in years, and this year won’t be any different. My grandad and I are going to my uncle’s house again, which is only a thirty minute drive away. I love spending time with him, my aunt (who had a huge part in my reading journey), and my three cousins.

Obviously I will have already opened my presents at 6am because I am still a child at heart and I can’t control myself. I already know what most of my presents are because my mum always asks me if I need anything (I don’t) and everyone else gives me the same thing every year. But it’s still exciting to open them!

We normally stay until about 5pm, before my grandad gets too tired to drive back. Then I’ll either go to my mum’s for a bit or I’ll go home and play a bit of Fallout 4 (YASSSS), read, spent stupid amounts of time on Twitter, and watch something on TV. I haven’t seen the Grinch movie in a while so perhaps that is on the cards.

mark watney

Boxing Day

I was really shocked when I found out that Boxing Day isn’t a thing in the USA. For us in England, it’s another day of celebrations. Again, we do the same thing every year. My mum, my grandad, my little sister, and one of my brothers drive to my aunt’s house for an epic lunch and dinner. There are always board games involved and I end up arguing with my mum for making us lose (I have to win) and my grandad sits on the sofa with his drink and watches TV.

There are more gift exchanges and lots of wine, and I’m probably going to get more than a little trashed this year considering I have an extra two days off work. WINNING. I’m very sorry for any drunk tweets in advance.

exhausted

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And that’ll be my holiday weekend! How are you planning on spending yours? Will you have snow? Because we won’t. I’ve been told that the weather will be fairly mild. Which is great, since we’re driving, but I would also like a white Christmas because we haven’t had one in FOREVER.

Merry Christmas!

This is just a quick post to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! I’m off on a blogging break now for a week (I don’t like blogging over Christmas) but I’ll still be around on Twitter. Have an excellent week everybody, and make sure you eat all the food and read ALL THE BOOKS!

merry christmas