Yeah, I’m very aware that I kind of just went ghost for the last few days but life exhausted me and so I just took a step back and tried to regroup and I also hit another wall when it came to writing yet another book review so I just decided to stop trying to write it and look at it later.
I’m still not looking at it today, I was going to and then I got tagged in this post and so here we are. With yet another tag post, that I am pretty sure I’ve never done, but honestly cannot remember and didn’t check. Even if I have I guarantee the answers are different now.
1. “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch”
Name a villainous character you couldn’t help but love.
Is Malfoy supposed to be a villain? Because I am kinda part of his defence squad (within reason).
2. “All I Want for Christmas is You”
Which book to you most hope to see under your Christmas tree?
For reasons, the main one being that I am running out of places to put books in my house, I have not so much as hinted at any books that I may want, so there most likely won’t be any. Also I can’t even think of a single book that I actually want at the moment.
3. “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”
Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and learns to believe in themselves.
Spent a while thinking baout this one but 100% Lou from Me Before You – She completely starts to believe in her ablities as a person by the end of the book.
4. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”
a) Which character do you think would be on the top of the naughty list?
Ummmmmm, I just watched the Ready Player One trailer and so it has put this guy back at the forefront of my mind, Sorrento.
b) Which character do you think would be at the top of the nice list?
Hermione Granger. For no reason other than the fact that I love her and she is my literary everything.
5. “Frosty the Snowman”
Which book just melts your heart.
Real talk, I am pretty much the Ice Queen, it takes a lot to make me feel things when it comes to literature. I honestly cannot think of a single book that melts my heart in anyway…is that bad? I’m racking my brain and coming up short.
6. “Feliz Navidad”
Choose a book that takes place in a country other than your own.
Almost every book I read…seriously there aren’t that many books that I read that are set in London (more specifically the UK, I guess, but I live in a London bubble).
7. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”
Which holiday themed book do you use to spread the Christmas joy?
I think I have read one holiday themed book and it was My True Love Gave to Me. So that I guess, because it’s all I have.
8. “Sleigh Ride”
Which fictional character would you choose to spend the holidays with (doesn’t have to be a love interest!)
Ron Weasley. Although I say that tentatively actually, because I’ve just remembered that that family is fucking huge and I do not come from a large family. I don’t know if I could do that…
9. “Baby it’s Cold Outside”
Which book that you didn’t like would you sacrifice to a fire to warm yourself up in the cold?
Moby Dick. Have I even finished that book yet? No, I have not. I will do it one day, but the half that I have read I cannot stand. I mean seriously. It’s also quite long, it would burn for a while too.
10. “Do you hear what I hear”
Which book do you think everyone should read?
We all know where this going right…The Night Circus, American Gods or The Book Thief. There, I’ve given you options.
One day I will do a book tag post that doesn’t mention a lot of the usual suspects. I don’t know when that will be, but it will happen…
I’m throwing all caution to the wind now and am just talking about all kinds of festive things.
Today it’s all about would you rather
Would you rather…
Not celebrate Christmas next year? Or not celebrate your birthday next year?
I’m turning 25 next year and I kind of don’t care, which I never really do anyway, I mean it’s gonna be a Monday, I hate being the centre of attention and I can eat cake whenever. All this to say that I wouldn’t want to miss out on living my life in tinsel and putting fairy lights over everything and eating all the fooooodddd. Mini sausages wrapped in bacon? Sign me up.
Never receive another gift from anyone ever again? Or be forced to give everyone in your family an inappropriate gift?
Looks like everyone is getting inappropriate gifts.
Grow a permanent Santa beard? Or Grow permanent reindeer antlers?
Basic bitch me up and give me some reindeer antlers. I’ll find a flower crown to really style it out.
Celebrate Christmas every day of the year? Or never celebrate Christmas ever again?
Oh never again. I get annoyed when Christmas effectively starts in October and then by the time it actually comes around I’m kind of ready for it to be done. If it lasted all year I’d just make like The Grinch and go live in a cave.
Get the presents you wanted for Christmas? Or get $100,000 for Christmas?
Show me the money.
Would you rather be married to Santa Clause or Jack Frost?
Santa, I guess? I dunno…
Never listen to Christmas music ever again? Listen to music every day of your life?
Never again. Like I said before, there is only so much I can take. Some of those Christmas songs are very in your face, not to be trifled with all the time.
Would you rather have to sit on Santa’s lap for an hour in a mall? Or find a mouse in your Christmas stocking every year during the 12 days of Christmas?
Mice. Surely if I know it’s there then dealing with it becomes a piece of piss?
Drink a barrel of eggnog? Drink a barrel of ginger beer?
Become an elf? Or become a reindeer?
Elf. Seems like a more manageable work load.
Only listen to soca/reggae version of Christmas songs? Or only listen Japanese version of Christmas songs?
Give me a reggae version of White Christmas… (I could have had any song there, that was apparently just the first one that came to mind).
Would you rather spend Christmas alone? Or with strangers?
And that’s yet another Christmas tag done. I’m gonna try and not do another one of these tomorrow, but who knows whether I will actually be successful in that or not. I sure as hell don’t.
What up, coming at you with another tag post, and am slowly trickling Christmassy based posts onto this blog. I’ve been feeling weirdly un-Scrooge like this year. Maybe because I just need some festive fun in my life while it all just gets super stressful outside of that. But anyway, back the point, I’m feeling festive, it’s December, this is kind of a version of Blogmas. I saw this over here and now here we are.
I should just say, I’m just talking about books in general. The books I have to read this month are set in stone. I’m just getting excited about all the possibilities that will open up to me once I’ve wrapped this challenge up.
Done rambling, let’s get on with it.
1) Anticipation: The Christmas excitement is real, what book release(s) are you most anticipating?
Ummmmm…I don’t know…I guess The Curses, Laure Eve. Which isn’t happening until around late summer next year I think. I’ve tried to stop thinking about pre-orders because I have a serious problem with them and I’ve bought so many this year that I really shouldn’t have. This one is currently on pre-order, and I’m sure I’ll find loads more to add to the list soon. But for now, it’s that.
2) Christmas Songs & Carols: What book or author can you not help but sing it’s praises?
JK Rowling, obviously. And then also Neil Gaiman, let’s be real I could wax on about American Gods and Neverwhere for actual days.
3) Gingerbread Houses: What book or series has wonderful world building?
The Bone Season, Samantha Shannon has such great world building. It’s drip fed in slowly so it never feels like you’re finding out all this information at once.
4) A Christmas Carol: Favourite classic or one that you want to read
Pride and Prejudice, I’m a cliche what can I say. I want to read some Dickens though. I won’t start with A Christmas Carol, but maybe I’ll end with it…
5) Christmas Sweets: What book would you love to receive for Christmas
There are so many. Maybe the Rebel of the Sands trilogy. Or rather more accurately, the first two before the final one comes out early next year.
6) Candles in the Window: What book gives you that warm fuzzy feeling
The Night Circus, what a surprise that this has come up…the parts that are second person narrative and snapshots into parts of the circus that you’ve usually just read being created. It makes you feel like you’re there. And I love it.
7) Christmas Trees & Decorations: What are some of your favourite book covers?
I am a sucker for a pretty cover. My edition of The Red Queen is a thing of beauty. Then there are so many others. Caraval arrived into my life this week and it’s a beauty.
8) Christmas Joy: What are some of your favourite things about Christmas And/Or some of your favourite Christmas memories?
I am in charge of making the house look all festive, and so that’s my thing. I think the decorations and tree is coming down this week and so that’s where we’re at with that. The process of finding places to put the decorations and sticking tinsel everywhere is pretty therapeutic. And also a sure fire to way to festive.
All the way back in October (I think, it was around the for sure I guess, it had to be before November at least) I declared my intentions to attempt Nano last month.
And so I went in with the best of intentions and had all these plans and all that jazz and then like clockwork, and seriously there was a part of me that always expected this to happen, I lost all motivation.
All of it.
Any creative buzz I felt buzzing underneath my skin and settling into my bones in the months prior to that just faded away without a trace.
I got just under 6,000 words.
And they all happened within the first week.
I kind of lost track of it all to be honest.
All I know is that after about two weeks I did not look at the document once.
It was open, I cast a glance to the tab pretty much every day. I looked at the website a couple of times after that (I think). I just sort of fell all the way off the wagon.
In the past when I’ve done that I have felt super guilty because I felt like it’s just a month of my life and it’s just 50,000 words. If I got into a habit with it then really doing that many words a day isn’t really that hard. I do that usually anyway what with writing posts up for here and everything. But I just don’t do that when it comes to Nano.
I have done a couple of times, but for the most part I just go in relatively blind which is kind of pointless. And I spend a lot of time playing catch up. Which is exactly as difficult as you think it would be. Rolling word counts are a bitch. They are my enemy. We do not get along.
And we really fell out this year.
I kind of didn’t care.
I didn’t feel bad about it.
Work got stressful last month and it’s still stressful. I found myself falling into Netflix binges and YouTube vortexes, I spent a lot of time writing blog posts instead and working out and reading and all that other stuff.
And I didn’t look at the document at all after a while. And I didn’t care.
The desire has not yet returned to start writing again. I’m mainly just focusing on keeping on top of things and finishing up that reading list of mine, which I am still currently on track with and for some reason am still surprised by.
But I’m not worried about it.
I’ve realised that I’ve come to a point with things where I just accept that sometimes the desire is there and sometimes it hibernates. I’ve just got to go with it and not stress about it because that makes it all the worse and that benefits no-one, especially me.
I will look at the document at some point and I will address the fact that I currently have two different novels on the go and neither of them have fully formed plots as of yet, the middles are just kind of murky. I will get to that.
Just over a week ago I was nominated by Tabby for this award which was a small perk at the end of yet another draining week, so thanks for that!
– Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
– Write a post to show your award.
– Give a brief story of how your blog started.
– Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
– Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
– Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them & provide the link to the post you created.
How I Started
This blog came into fruition because I joined a society at uni and it was part of the project for that year. Posting was sporadic on it and I didn’t really know what the hell I was going to use it for. Arguably, I still don’t, but I started to use this blog more frequently when I was unemployed for like a year and needed something to fill my days. And then I took it even more seriously when I got a job and didn’t want that to be the only thing that consumed my days and so I needed the outlet. And here we are now.
1) Do it for you – Blog about what you want to talk about. Don’t worry about who is reading it and how many people are reading it. Don’t get caught up in the numbers of it all because then it’s very easy to lose track of why you started in the first place. So, do it for you.
2) Pace yourself – By that I just mean, know your limits. And then stick to them. Challenging yourself is great, but don’t do it at the cost of something else. I speak from experience, it’s very easy to get caught up in things and then to feel some weird sense of guilt if you don’t stick to the schedule that you created for yourself. Here’s the thing, for the most part you make your blog whatever you want it to be (and this links to the first one) and if sometimes that means you don’t post for a little bit because you need a break then do it. In the long run, it’s probably going to work out better for you. It will give you a chance to create new content and think about what direction you want to go to. It will take you out of the eye of the storm that is your blog and give you some perspective. So yeah, listen to your heart in that respect and do what works best for you.
And so my nominees are (I’m apparently not going to do 15, so as ever, if you want to do it then go ahead):
I did mention way back when that I would do something of a review when it came to Glossier and well, here it is.
When Glossier launched in the UK in October I kind of knew that I would succumb and find out what all the hype is about the Boy Brow and the Cloud Paint. What I didn’t expect to do was then fall into the skin care section and lose a lot of time in the skin care section. But that is because it came at a time when I was experiencing a lot of breakouts and I had come to the realisation that my skin was plateauing and I needed to make a change and this place was giving me an option for change. And offering it to me in set that means that I can get it cheaper…And also I needed a new sunscreen when I started looking that wasn’t going to make my skin look like an oil slick like the one I was using was doing, and I remember hearing somewhat good things about it so I bunged it in my basket.
So, this is going to come in two sections, my first impressions and then what I think of it now. A tad over a month later.
Milk Jelly Cleanser – Okay, so I’m used to a balm like, oil based cleanser that I rubbed onto my skin dry and then wiped off with a damp cotton wool pad and that was that done. I’ve used creamy cleansers before and I’ve alway fallen out with them. This can be applied to dry or wet skin, the first time I used it I did it both ways. On wet skin in the morning and then on dry skin in the evening.
The first thing is, this doesn’t foam. Which I guess in my head was weird because when I think of cream based cleansers I think of foam. It also means that it’s kind of hard to tell whether it’s cleaning your face or not. I don’t wipe off the residue with a cotton pad and see the work, I just rinse it off and hope for the best. It went on really nicely and felt super conditioning as well. I think it’s kind of the same on both dry and wet skin. One thing it did make me realise was that I needed to invest in a separate face towel that a bit less harsh than my other one. I haven’t had to think about that for nearly 2 years. But yeah, it did feel like it cleaned my skin without leaving it too dry and also it helped with the shiny T zone.
Priming Moisturiser – This is quite a light moisturiser, but it applies really well and it does feel hydrating. My initial thought was that it felt a bit too light to be a night time moisturiser, but they do have a rich version of this that seems a bit thicker, so I might give that a shot. But I might not, this does hydrate and my old moisturiser wasn’t super thick and that worked fine for months. I also like that both of these products don’t have any overwhelming scents, I only like that for my shower gel, my hair products and my perfume.
Balm Dotcom – I got this in mint because I love all things mint (plus the packaging is a hella cute pastel colour). It felt really hydrating the first couple of times that I used it and the smell was good but not overpowering. It’s a bit easy to get carried away with the squeezing of product though.
Invisible Shield Sunscreen – I’m suspicious of all sunscreens. I’m convinced that they are going to make me look ashy and take forever to blend away. This was not one of those. It went on clear. It’s a slightly cloudy colour which initially worried me, but it went on like a dream. And it didn’t leave me super oily like my last one. Yes, there was a bit of shine by the end of the day but it was nothing compared to what it used to be.
Boy Brow – Okay, I understand the hype when it comes to this product. It’s good. It’s not dissimilar to any of my other brow products because when it comes to them I am very particular and also I don’t trust myself with anything like a pencil or a gel, my eyebrows are naturally quite thick and I play to risky a game by trying to go in with those product at the moment. This one adds just the right amount of colour and coverage and just makes my brows look a little bit neater and a little bit bolder without being too OTT.
Priming Moisturiser Rich – The pop up Glossier store showed up near Regent’s Street towards the end of the month and I just had to go. Mainly to get a better idea of this product, because I got to a point where I knew I needed a richer moisturiser for evenings and reading the reviews they were a bit hit and miss. First of all the scent of lavender with this one is way more pungent then the lighter one. But it is thick and creamy and it did make my skin feel like it was getting a greater injection of moisture through it to get through the night.
Skin Tint – This was also something that I considered buying online, but I wasn’t sure what shade to get it in and so the pop store came at the perfect time. I found my shade (Dark) and this is very much a ‘your skin but better’ kind of thing when it comes to coverage. The only problem with that is that I have hyperpigmentation issues and so I kind of need a bit of a stronger coverage. Also, and I don’t know if this is just my skin or the way that I applied it (with a beauty blender) but my skin looked really shiny after just a few hours and it looked like it was starting to fall off my face.
Stretch Concealer – Again, this was a product that I needed to just double check my shade for, it’s the same as the Skin Tint, but I just needed to check. This is a great concealer. It’s really creamy and applied really well, it blended down into my skin great. However, this is also a relatively light coverage concealer so it’s not too great at dealing with my more stubborn skin issues, like breakouts and scarring.
Milk Jelly Cleanser – This stuff is still amazing. It’s so gentle and it does get all the dirt of the day off. I’ve worn make up a couple of times in the past month and I typically take off most of my make up with a face wipe and then go through my routine as normal. I did find that when I did that it didn’t get all of my eye make up off 100% and therefore I did wake up the next morning with panda eyes. I decided to do a little experiment and when I had a full face of Glossier on I didn’t remove it with a face wipe first and just went straight in with this cleanser and it did work a treat. But I had no eye make up on beyond my brows so it’s not quite equipped to do that just yet.
Priming Moisturiser – This moisturiser is super buildable and as the weather gets all the colder I’ve found that it is still really hydrating my skin which I am appreciating massively. I have noticed that my skin is doing that thing when it becomes like an oil slick by the end of the day sometimes and I don’t quite know whether it’s this or the sunscreen. Or just my skin. I don’t use any mattifying products because I cannot be bothered but that might help now that I’m not using a moisturiser that lends itself a bit better to oily skin like my last one
Balm Dotcom – This product is long lasting when I slick it onto my lips just before heading of out the door to work. I’ve also noticed up until last week when it got really cold that I don’t have to apply lip afterwards as frequently as I usually do, which can never be a bad thing.
Invisible Shield Sunscreen – Like I mentioned up above, I cannot figure out if it’s this product that’s sometimes making my skin really oily or not. I’m not very good at keeping proper track of what affects my skin and what doesn’t. I mean my diet has also taken a slight turn so that might also be affecting it and making me break out a bit more and not my products. This is also super lightweight and I am still such a fan of the fact that it dries so well and doesn’t me a lifetime to blend in until all the white is gone. I clearly like all of these products enough that I have now repurchased the above again over Black Friday weekend.
Boy Brow – I remain in understanding over the hype of this product. It does great things and you don’t need to much the get the job done.
Priming Moisturiser Rich – This has been such a lifesaver in terms of making sure that my skin gets a really got injection of hydration overnight. This product also really soaks up my Vitamin E oil and I really feel like it’s penetrating deep and making everything just a little bit softer and more supple.
Skin Tint – This applies better when you use your fingers and not a beauty blender. I learnt that last weekend. It allows a better coverage and it’s also easier to build it up over problem areas, for which my cheeks house a lot. I think it’s because it’s so liquid-y and so it doesn’t just get super absorbed by the sponge. This product is super hard to get out of the bottle and I find that I do need lot in order to get a decent coverage on my face. I know it’s supposed to be one of those ‘your skin but better’ products but seriously, I want some coverage. I feel like I might need a setting powder for this, I mean I need one in a general sense as well, but this fell off my face by the end of the day basically.
Stretch Concealer – I love this concealer, it blends so well and it’s pretty solid in terms of coverage as well. The colour is great and it hides the discolouration on my face pretty well. Again, it’s one of those products that you need to apply with your fingers to get the proper coverage. I’ve sort of switched over to liquid concealers more recently because they have more coverage I’ve found but this has tempted back to the side of cream based ones. And I kind of love it.
Look, if it wasn’t obvious at this point I am 100% a Glossier convert. I love them. I love the packaging. I love the simplicity. I love the quality of the products. I love the whole look of the website. I loved the vibe of the pop-up store. I love them. I would recommend them. So much. I will be honest, the prices are a bit skew wiff. I mean the sunscreen is pretty expensive for the size, but I’ve used it everyday for a month and it’s still going strong. In fact all of my initial purchases are at most halfway done and I use them multiple times a day so it’s not crazy excessive for the length time of they last. I only bought replacements for them because they were on sale, not because I was in dire need.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I honestly cannot figure out the timings of it. I’m pretty sure it’s late. It should have happened last month but November was otherwise engaged and so it has to open December, which is gonna be festive-ish I guess. I’m not a big Christmas person until it gets to about the 20th and then I’m over it come the 27th. That’s it, you kinda get festive me for about a week, but during that week I go hard. Like, I wear a Christmas jumper every day and always buy a new one to wear on the day.
This is kind of festive themed I guess. I mean it’s terrifyingly reaching the end of the year and this is the time where people start looking back at what they had intended to do for the year and seeing whether they’ve achieved it or not. This isn’t quite closing out the whole year because I wrote it up when it was supposed to be written but have only just had an opening to post it, the final check in will come some time in January when I do a 2018 version of this, but this is the last comprehensive update of the year. So without further ado:
1) Take Better Care of My Hair – There’s not really much more that I can do with this one. I had my second haircut of the year back in July and I am due another one in January (hell yeah perks of having hair that only needs two haircuts a year). I continue to wash, condition and deep condition my hair each week. Which is arguably kind of pointless given that during this season so far (meaning winter) and the fact that I work out 5 times a week it spends most of its time tied up. But it remains moisturised and there is some length coming to it and it’s plodding along. Leave in conditioners are my friends and I’m always trying new shampoos and new hair masks. I’m kind of done with this one. It’s become a habit at this point.
2) Take Better Care of My Skin – Okay, so I have moved away from Lush products since the last check in. This happened mainly so I could see what Glossier hype was all about. I’ve got a full post coming about this later this week but it’s come with a new cleanser, moisturiser and sunscreen. My skin is looking less oily which is good, but the breakouts are still there and I can’t quite figure out why they are happening. I really need to get back to cleaning my face with Dark Angels once a week again for an extra exfoliating kick mid week but I keep forgetting. I mean I’m not treating my skin badly or anything, it’s just decided to go through a second puberty.
3) Tone The Hell Up – Look at some point in October my diet fell to shit and for some reason it now ebbs and flows. I’m not beating myself up about or anything and I kind of make up for it by regularly working out and stuff so I don’t feel bad about it or anything, but I really need to start shaping up with that again. Diet is like half the battle with this one. The exercise is routine now. It happens 5 times a week, I do cardio twice a week, I lift once a week, I do some bodyweight stuff that is basically just planks and squats and I do barre because nothing burns quite like the barre burn. Physically I have baby biceps that come out to play now and I can lift weights now which is changing things slightly and like, I have the hints of abs and my legs are hella toned. Did I do that for the aesthetics? Hell no. I did it to get stronger, to get moving, to help cope with my every day stresses and just really sweat the day away. But the aesthetics of it isn’t a bad thing. We’re approaching Christmas at this point, and while I’m not going to go crazy I’m kind of not naive enough to think that I’m going to completely overhaul my diet in amongst alllll the food. So this will trickle over into a 2018 goal.
4) Start Saving Properly – Look, this has not gone well this year. It just hasn’t. But I think this is good. It’s forced me to really assess the whole situation properly and truly look at better ways to be saving money and how to get everything under control. So yeah, this has failed. In so many damn ways. But it can only go up from here.
5) Get Better Organised – The diary I bought does get used. But again, it remains super sporadic. It’s habit that I’v never had before and trying to get into one is proving hard for me. I’m choosing Sundays as the day where I sit down and just plan things out. And then I need to keep referring to it. In a similar way to how I do a face mask every Sunday and go through the hair washing process on a Monday, I just need to form a habit of it. And I have the motivation for it, so it’s getting there.
6) Try And Be More Creative/Just Write More – I’ve learned this year that I need to not force this. I need to just let it do what it wants to do. And some days it wants to write 3,000 words in a day and others it wants to write 0. I need to learn to fall into this and not feel bad or feel like a failure when I don’t. I also need to not just let myself fall into a habit where I do not write anything for days on end. It’s just kind of frustrating the way it works, but I need to stop worrying about that. I also think that I am going to start making a habit of just writing for half an hour each night, and not just for this blog but outside of it. It’s just half an hour and yeah sometimes that half hour will fly by in a flurry or words and sometimes it won’t. I just need to roll with it and not fight it. My NaNo attempt was behind from day 2 and it sucked, but it wasn’t the end of the world and realising that lifted a huge weight that I hadn’t even known I was carrying. So yeah, I have written more and I’ve also not, but this is a ongoing thing for me and I have written a lot of stuff so I consider it a win.
And that is the 5th and final full check in for my 2017 goals for the year. Some have been good, some have been truly ignored and nothing has come from them. Some of them are ongoing beyond just this year and this was just the foundation for them.