11 December 2018

My Ten Favourite Posts This Year

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and is a chance for everyone to get to know fellow bloggers and share lists. I love lists. Every week is a different list.

Top Ten Tuesday
This week is Top Ten 
Favourite Blog Posts
I decided that this week I'd look back and reflect on my own favourite blog posts this year - and it has been A YEAR where I've pushed myself and opened up a lot more than in the past.

    What's your favourite blog post you've written this year?

    09 December 2018

    Five Things I Need To Do Before The End Of The Year

    We're almost half way through the final month of the year and there are still some things on my TBR... Eeek! Is it time to panic?

    I'm pretty sure I can get most of these ticked off, but wish me luck anyway as life has a tendency of getting in the way.

    Five Things I Need To Do Before The End Of The Year, to do list
    1. Finish Christmas Shopping
      I guess this is actually a pretty big one, but I need to actually finish my Christmas shopping! Oops. Usually I'm pretty much done by now, but this year I'm on a go slow.
    2. Go for a Winter Walk
      I just want to wrap up warm, grab a flask, and be out in Nature. I'm thinking Cragside or Wallington Hall to get some use out of my National Trust Membership, and I know I'll really feel the benefit mentally from being outside.
    3. Set My 2019 Reading Journal
      I got an absolutely gorgeous Rainbow Reading Journal and Planner from Stella Bookish Art and I can't wait to use it. It has a space for your favourite books from the year before and I need to fill it in.
    4. Visit The Laing Art Gallery
      One of my favourite things to do in those last days before Christmas is to visit the Laing Art Gallery. With the festive rush outside it's like a quiet slice of heaven, some peace in the crush of shoppers. My favourite piece is no longer on display (boo) but I still like to have a wander around.
    5. Finish my Currently Reading
      I love to start each new year with a clean slate, so I try to finish all of the books on my Currently Reading shelf on Goodreads before midnight. I've managed it the past five years so fingers crossed I do it again.
    What do you still need to do before the end of the year?

    08 December 2018

    Fantasy Christmas Shopping at Waterstones

    I'm skint, but I can still dream, yes?

    Waterstones logo

    This is my fantasy Christmas Shopping list if I was set loose at Waterstones with unlimited funds. To be honest a lot of this is cheap enough that I could probably save up and get it myself, but also I have Priorities (boo).

    And yes, it's all stuff I'd buy myself.

    And yes, I am sending this to relatives as a massive hint. Hi, mum!
    1. Moon Light
    2. Jellycat Merryday Giraffe
    3. Paint A Tea Set
    4. The Secret Garden
    5. Paperblanks Azure Midi Lined Notebook
    6. Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Boardgame
    7. Feminists Don't Wear Pink (and other lies) by Scarlett Curtis
    8. Dinosaur Bingo
    9. Celestial One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book
    10. The Mystery Mansion: Storytelling Card Game
    What would you buy yourself?

    07 December 2018

    Five Fantastic Festive Films

    I love a good festive film binge, and here are five fantastic films I've watched this year that I'd recommend to anyone looking for cheesy festive goodness.

    A Christmas Prince

    I was so excited for this film last year for two reasons. 1. The trailer was so cheesy 2. Rose McIver. I loved how A Christmas Prince seemed like it had a tiny budget, for some reason it really tickles me to see the lavish setting and then all the obviously costume jewellery.

    A Wish For Christmas

    Uhm, excuse me, it's got Lacey Chabert in so OF COURSE it's awesome. I really enjoy the feel good factor of this one, the message that you can be brave if you try. It encouraged me to speak up for myself a little more, so that's always a bonus.

    The Princess Switch

    I never knew that I needed this film in my life until I watched it. Three times. In a row. It's just so blooming sweet and fun and it doesn't take itself seriously. It's definitely one to make you smile.

    The Holiday Calendar

    I didn't know about this one until the banner came up on Netflix and then I was all over it. It's such a lovely film about family and friendship and love, and I loved the touch of whimsy with the calendar itself.

    The Sweetest Christmas

    This film makes me SO HUNGRY like give me all the food now, so when I watch it I scoff gingerbread and popcorn and mice pies. Also it's super sweet and heart warming and cheesy.

    What's your favourite festive film?

    06 December 2018

    The Christmas Cracker Book Tag

    I couldn't help but pick another tag! I loved the look of The Christmas Cracker Book Tag when I saw it on Golden Books Girl and couldn't resist giving it a go myself.

    The Christmas Cracker Book Tag

    Pick A Book With A Wintry Cover

    Below Zero by Dan Smith isn't just a wintry cover, it's one that gives me chills because that book is scary. Literal chills *shivers*
    Below Zero by Dan Smith cover

    Pick A Book You’re Likely To Buy As A Present

    Basically any MinaLima edition! They're so pretty. I've bought them in the past as gifts and they've always been well received.

    Pick A Festive Themed Book

    I'll Be Home For Christmas from Stripes - it's a fantastic anthology and there is honestly something for everyone in there, and for every copy bought a donation is made to Crisis.

    Pick A Book You Can Curl Up With By The Fireplace

    Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo has such a fairytale quality that it's perfect for picking up on a long evening and snuggling up with.

    Pick A Book You Want To Read Over The Festive Period

    Winter Without You by Beth Good is next up on my TBR and I am SO EXCITED because I love everything this author does, whether it's historical YA, crime thrillers, contemporary romance, or bodice rippers.

    Pick A Book That’s So Good It Gives You Chills

    Clean by Juno Dawson is absolutely incredible. I don't think I've ever simultaneously loved and hated a single character so much.

    Pick A Book Going On Your Christmas Wishlist

    I really want the MinaLima edition of The Secret Garden, it looks absolutely gorgeous and it's one of my favourites.

    What would you answers be?

    05 December 2018

    Olga's Egg by Sophie Law

    When I was invited to the 12 Days of Clink Street blog tour I knew immediately which book I would pick - because I had already heard wonderful things about Olga's Egg by Sophie Law (and also the cover is beautiful).

    Olga's Egg by Sophie Law coverAdd to Goodreads button
    When Fabergé specialist Assia Wynfield learns of the discovery of a long-lost Fabergé egg made for the Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna, daughter of the last Tsar of Russia, she appears to be the only person with misgivings.

    On travelling to St. Petersburg to see the egg, Assia moves among Russia’s new rich but finds herself pulled back into a family past she would rather forget. With news that a friend is missing, Assia starts to dig deeper. But does she really want the answers to the questions she is asking?

    Set in today’s glamorous world of Russian art with glimpses into the lives of the last Romanovs as their empire crumbled in the wake of the Russian Revolution, Olga’s Egg is an enthralling tale of love, family secrets and the artistic treasures that conceal them.

    Source: Review Copy

    5 Words: History, danger, glamour, family, power.

    An incredible amount of research must have gone in to the story, because it is so rich and vivid and intricate that you feel like you're there. It was like I was walking around St. Petersburg myself, exploring.

    I have to admit that I didn't really like Assia - but that's not a bad thing. It did mean it was difficult to connect to her, but I really empathised with her and loved reading about her tumultuous family and strained relationships.

    My favourite thing about this book was definitely the settings. There are wonderfully written and so lavish and rich.

    Olga's Egg is a beautiful story combining historical and contemporary narratives in a thrilling and beautiful journey.

    Now, I'm off to watch Anastasia, because after reading this book it's a Mood.

    12 Days of Clink Street #12DaysofClinkStreet


    04 December 2018

    Ten Cosy Reads for Winter

    Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and is a chance for everyone to get to know fellow bloggers and share lists. I love lists. Every week is a different list.

    Top Ten Tuesday
    This week is Top Ten 
    Cosy Reads for Winter
    I woke up this morning and it was cold and bright, the ground white with frost and my cheeks turning bright red in a light breeze that felt like an icy slap in the face. It's definitely time for some cosy reads this winter.

      What's your favourite cosy read?