14 December 2018

Book Beginnings #65

For Book Beginnings, Rose City Reader invites us to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

For Friday 56, Freda's Voice asks you to turn to Page 56 in your book or 56% on your e-reader and pick a sentence.

I am currently reading Whiteout by Gabriel Dylan.
Whiteout by Gabriel Dylan cover
If it all went wrong, reckoned Charlie, at least it would be over quickly.
I absolutely LOVE the Red Eye series from Stripes, so I was super excited to start this. I've purposely held off until snow is forecast because when I read Fir by Sharon Gosling the snow made it all the more terrifying. And guess what's forecast this weekend? Yep. Snow. Blizzard conditions. I have my snuggly blankets piled up and a flask of tea for quick refills. I am Prepared.

I love this start. It doesn't give much away, immediately has you wondering about what's going on.

On the back of this book there's a warning "Not for Younger Readers" and I am excited.
Tara felt tears sting at her eyes. She wanted more than anything to be back at home, at her mum's apartment in Clifton, expensive duvet wrapped around her, hot chocolate steaming away next to her. She wiped at her eyes again with her knuckle.
I mean, I want to be wrapped up in a duvet with hot chocolate right now to be honest, so I feel like I could relate to Tara quite a bit at this point (she's going to die, isn't she?) based on what I've just read.

I've only just started so I'm not up to this bit yet, but I can't wait to get introduced to all of the characters. I am really enjoying the writing style too.

What are you reading this week?

13 December 2018

My Favourite Blogmas Posts (so far)

I've had a huge amount of fun reading through everyone's Blogmas posts so far, but here are twelve that have really stood out for me. It was difficult to pick just twelve!

My Favourite Blogmas Posts (so far)

What's the worst that can happen? It turns out that for Caledonian Kitty is was actually pretty bad, although her story did make me laugh a little. Being in a police car in your jammies is definitely a story to tell.

I loved this Blogmas guest post on Browsing for Books as I think it's a really fun idea to think about what gifts you'd get for fictional characters. If I had to get a fictional character a gift, I'd get Cassandra Mortmain from I Capture The Castle a really big chunky journal so she could keep writing.

I loved these festive crafts that Book Murmuration and Lisa's Notebook teamed up to do. A bit like Nailed It but with Christmas crafts and actually pretty excellent results! I especially love the different bird feeders they made.

I loved Charlotte Somewhere looking back at their Blogging Highlights for 2018 - she has accomplished so much in her first full year blogging and it's all very much well deserved.

Hannah Hearts shared her favourite Christmas Films, and I love that I can spot a few of my favourites on there too.

I loved Jenniely's list of upcoming releases because I am SO BAD at knowing myself what's on the horizon when it comes to books. And yes, my TBR just grew.

I loved Fantastic Book Dragon's review of The Twisted Tree by Rachel  Burge, and it's made me even more excited to read the book itself! It sounds excellent.

I really liked having a nose around Sarah Withers' Christmas Tree! It's absolutely gorgeous and looks so sophisticated.

This list of short books to boost your Goodreads challenge from Reading Through Infinity is actually super handy. I'm always look to boost my numbers with some last minute cramming.

The Little Contemporary Corner posted something that was super relateable - it can be so hard reading with mental illness

I can't wait for What Vicky Read's End of Yearathon to see out the year and bulk up my Goodreads Challenge that last wee bit. I love that there are also optional prompts for what to read.

12 December 2018

Why I Love Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End)

My all time favourite Christmas song is Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End) by The Darkness.

Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End)

There are many reasons why I love it. The cheesy AF video is definitely one of those reasons. But I think the biggest reason is the lyrics.

It's surprisingly one of my favourite love songs. Ever.

I love the way it's a bit like a private joke between a couple, rolling their eyes together at naff presents, being together on Christmas day, not wanting it to end. That they've spent so long apart and yet love each other dearly, and don't want the day to end even if they'll see each other again on New Year's Eve because how can they survive apart and OH MAN OK I'M CRYING NOW.

It's just so freaking lush, a gorgeous love story hidden behind over the top (excellent) guitar solos. It's so out there and brash and it's easy to hear the noise rather than the lyrics.

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?

    10 December 2018

    Product Review: EOS Limited Edition Duo - First Snow and Sugar Plum

    I've wanted an EOS lip balm for a while - I'm not going to lie it was the cute round packaging that tempted me the most. They're just look so dinky and adorable. And also, everyone and their mum seems to use them on Instagram.

    EOS Limited Edition Duo First Snow and Sugar Plum

    EOS Limited Edition Duo First Snow and Sugar Plum

    The packaging is adorable, I love the wintry design. This would make an amazing gift and be pretty easy to wrap (which is always something at the front of my mind when I'm buying gifts).

    I love the colour combinations, the gold and teal of the box contrasts beautifully with the silver and purple of the balms.

    Sugar Plum

    My favourite is definitely the Sugar Plum, the purple one. It smells amazing. It even tastes pretty good. I did find application a bit weird at first as I'm used to using a stick balm, but now I don't think I could go back. The rounded shape makes it super easy to apply, and it's comfortable to hold.

    The formula is super moisturising and keeps my lips smooth and soft. I've even used it at times around my cuticles and on dry patches on my cheeks, and it soaks in well and feels lovely. I wouldn't replace my usual cuticle oil or moisturiser with it, but it works in a pinch.

    First Snow

    The First Snow is one I don't reach for often - it's kind of minty with a hint of vanilla, and feels a little like a super cheap plumping gloss in that it makes my lips tingle a tiny bit. I feel like this one isn't as moisturising, so it's my back-up that I keep in my desk drawer at work to combat the air conditioning. The packaging is gorgeous on this one though, a pretty shimmering silver.


    I have been using my balms for around two months, several times a day, and they're still going strong, there's loads left and I know they're going to last for another few months.

    I bought the set on Beauty Bay for £10, which I thought was a little pricey but I was looking to treat myself. With how long they're lasting I definitely think they're worth it and I'm excited to use them up and get myself some new ones next year.

    What's your favourite lip balm?
    Have you tried EOS?

    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?