Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Reading Roundup | November Book Reviews

Hi, This month I've managed to finish off three books. This means I'm in a great place for my Goodreads challenge and that I only need to read three more books in December to hit my target of 35 books. This month I have been reading mostly young adult novels, one of which has been on my TBR since spring.

November Reading Roundup - Year Book Count 32


Author - Ernest Cline
Page Count - 349
First Published - 2015

After reading and loving 'Ready Player One' last year I have been really looking forward to reading Cline's follow up Armarda. This book is one for sci-fi lovers and gamers, it links back to a lot of real world entertainment and asks some interesting questions. One thing to note if reading this after ready player one is that it is a totally different story and should not be compared.

Zack Lightman is a teenage boy and an avid gamer, clocking in several hours on his favourite game 'Armarda' every day. Zack's father died when he was just a baby, leaving a collection of 80's music and films as the only thing Zack has to connect with him. One day Zack spots a UFO straight out of Armada flying around his high school and he instantly thinks he's losing his mind. Soon after he's called into service as one of the best online fighter pilots to save the world from an alien invasion.

For me the story took too long to get to any real action and then the action was rushed. There's a lot of name dropping of shows and other games over and over which just made me feel like the author was just upping the word count. It is Cline's style to reference 80's pop culture but it got stale quickly. I think this is truly a book for fans of a certain type of fandom and will be loved but for me it was hard work to finish.

Asking For It

Author - Louise O'Neill
Page Count - 340
First Published - 2015

Another book that I've been looking forward to reading after the authors debut novel is 'Asking for it'. This was interesting on a few levels and I don't think anyone would say that they enjoyed reading this book due to the story focus of rape. Again this is a book I feel was slightly spoilt by my comparison to O'Neill's debut 'Only Ever Yours' which I think everyone should read.

Emma is the most beautiful girl in her town and she knows it. She's really rather a bitch, pointing out her friends worst features and giving bad advice. All the guys want her and she's happy to oblige as long as they keep it quiet. One particular party things get out of hand, she drinks too much and takes drugs, the next morning she remembers nothing of the night before. It's not until later that the Facebook page surfaces and she see's why people are sniggering behind her back.

O'Neill writes Emma as should a hard character to make you the reader queastion was she asking for it? After all if she was nicer to her friends surely someone would have looked after her. If she wasn't dressed to show off her figure in a tiny dress, she wouldn't have been the focus for the abuse. Was it her self obsessed characteristic that made her attacker think she deserved it.

Overall the book is an interesting read and I wouldn't discourage people from reading it (it could be quite triggering). My only real issue with the book is the cliff hanger ending which is purposeful and will not be answered. It's O'Neill's way of asking you to make your own decisions of what the outcome should be.

I'll Give You The Sun

Author - Jandy Nelson
Page Count - 429
First Published - 2015

So I've just finished this book and don't have time to fully digest the ending as it's the night before this post is scheduled but I can say I enjoyed it a lot. This was previously a book within the #sassybooks club which I missed out on reading and have wanted to read ever since.

The blurb of this book gives very little away apart from it's LGBT content. The story is about twins Noah and Jude, they are so close until one day tragedy hits their family and lies tear them apart. The book is written from the perspectives of Noah and Jude separately at different times in their life's. I found the chapters (which where more like sections) to be too long. It's a hard book to leave mid section which took away from the reading experience (so if possible make time to indulge in this book).

The story for me was a slow burner, Noah's sections are stronger and I connected more with his character but come the end I loved them both the same. There's a bit of jumping around with the time setting but it's simple to follow and the story gives away just enough information to keep you reading on. Without giving too much away the ending was just what I needed after investing my time into these characters.

Have you read any good books recently?

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Momentarily Dreaming is 2!

Hi, Momentarily dreaming is two! how time flies, it's been two whole year since I first pressed publish on my little blog. What a scary time that first post is but I'm so glad I did it. Blogging is an interesting hobby and one that I haven't always loved this year. I'm not driven by numbers but the fact that over 300 of you have actively decided to follow this space makes me so happy and thank you for sticking with me through my distant stages.

My Favorite Or Most Popular Posts Of The Last Year
The A-Z of Me Tag
10 Things We Should Make Time For Everyday
Lush Review | Sea Monster Fun
50 Things That Make Me Happy
7 Ways To Save Money When Buying Books

I figured what better way to celebrate than with cake so I treated myself to some cupcakes, I also wanted them for the photo because blogging right. The ones I picked up are from Asda and it's a chocolate and vanilla marble cake with complimenting frosting, it was really yummy.

At the moment I am so inspired and ready to produce content that I hope you will love and enjoy reading. I feel such a buzz and feeling of accomplishment when I'm happy with a post and excited to see what you guys think! So here's to another year of blogging, I hope to connect with you a lot more and your feedback is always welcome. Leave your links below and I'll be sure to check out your blog too.

Thank you for reading and helping to make my blog the best!

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Visiting The Harry Potter Studios

Hi, Harry Potter is a big thing right? Even if you haven’t read the books there’s a good chance you grew up watching the films about the wizarding world. A few weeks ago now I jumped on a package coach trip by National Holidays with my family to finally visit the Harry Potter studios.

I have a rather funny story which at the time was so annoying. The Harry Potter studio is the perfect place to take photos and guess what I did, I left my battery that I had been charging that morning in the charger. I didn’t realise my mistake until moments before we started the tour so I didn’t have time to go get it. Because of this daft moment all the photos in this post are curtsy of my mum (Thanks mum).

The first part of the tour is the great hall minus the enchanted sky, which made it look so strange. It took me a little while to get my head around the fact that these where the real sets and not replicas of sets. There are photo opportunities throughout the tour and so much stuff to see. The level of detail on the sets is mind blowing, you could easily get caught up in it all.

The studio was celebrating the 15th anniversary of the philosopher's stone film being released at the time of my visit so they had a demonstration of the visual effect of the letters flying through the letter box of 4 privet drive. We even got to take away a replica letter.

We couldn't go to the Harry Potter studios and not try some of the famous butter bear (which we where told is only sold in four places in the world). We chose to get the souvenir steins as another little reminder of our visit. I don't want to spoil the taste of butter beer in case you get the chance to try it in the future but I will say that it's one of the weirdest combinations I've ever tried, it was nice though.

The massive miniature Hogwarts was enchanting. There was so much detail but it was so weird knowing that that was how Hogwarts was created and animated.

The Gift shop was full of so many things, it was a fans wildest dreams. It was just as full of shoppers too so it was a bit of a squeeze to look around. I didn't know what I wanted to buy, I finally decided to buy a wand because why not. My only issue was which to pick, I personally didn't want Harry's wand for example so opted for Dumbledore's wand as it has double reference also being the Elder wand and the boyfriend chose Sirius's wand, the gift shop is expensive.

I wouldn't call myself a super fan but I really enjoyed seeing some of the behind the scenes pieces and being in that environment. I'm really looking forward to going to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them over Christmas, it looks amazing.

Have you been to the Harry Potter studios? or would like to go?

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Thursday, November 24, 2016

9 Things To Do For Your Blog When You Don't Feel Like Writing

Hi, We all have those days where we have time to blog but writing a post just doesn't feel like something you want to do or the words just won't form. A blog requires many elements to reach it's full potential, while your posts are what make your blog there's a lot of behind the scenes things you can do to improve your blog.

9 Things To Do For Your Blog When You Don't Feel Like Writing

Brain Storm Ideas
A reason you don't want to blog maybe a lack of ideas or a lack of clarity of how to write a certain post. Brainstorming ideas gives you the chance to step back and take note of things inspiring you at that moment. Alternatively they can help you give extra depth to an idea you already have.

One of my main issues is not having photos ready to publish a post. By getting creative with props on days when you feel like doing something else you could make yourself some stock images. You could also use you brainstorm to take photos of products you want to review at a later date.

Add Widgets
Widgets are a great way to add some personality to your blog by linking to other social media accounts. Alternatively you could add widgets that make your blog easier to navigate or link to a featured post.

Check For Broken links
Something I need to do a lot more often but a super simple fix once you use a broken link finder. Just google blog broken link checker, enter your blog url and have some fun exploring your old posts.

Add/Update Post Labels
Blog post labels are designed to help people find your post by adding keywords that sum up the content of the post. Go back over your posts and add or group labels, grouping posts means you can add a quick link on your blog to all the same themed posts.

Blog Promotion
One of the biggest things you should do once you've written a killer post is to make sure as many people as possible will see it. You can use sites like Buffer to schedule posts in advance and don't be afraid to link back to old relevant posts too.

Update Old Posts
Something you wrote last year might be just as relevant today so why not go back and update the post to your current standard and show it off.

Link Old Posts
A blog post idea for days when you don't want to write a whole post is to link back to your old favourite post and get some traffic flowing to old posts. You could do a lush review roundup for example.

Improve Your SEO
I still find SEO (search engine optimization) a little intimidating but as a blogger it's worth learning the basics so your posts are search engine friendly. Using keywords in your title and naming images to compliment the post is a good starting point.

I hope that these points are helpful and getting you thinking about any improvements you can make to your blog or help you prepare for future posts. If you're still not feeling like working on your blog don't worry about it and take the time away to be inspired.

What do you do for your blog on none writing days?

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Day Out At Tropical World Leeds

Hi, It's a while since I visited Tropical World but I've always wanted to share my photos and give this place a shout out, I actually think it was about this time last year that I visited. Tropical world isn't the biggest place but it's crammed with things to see and takes a good few hours to get around if you take your time. The center is set out throughout as different environments showcasing animals from their natural habitat.

A Day Out At Tropical World Leeds

The first part of tropical world is the butterfly room where you walk along a raised platform taking in the sights and spotting bugs everywhere. There are butterfly feeding stations to encourage the butterfly's into viewing distance but some butterfly's don't need encouragement and will just land on you. Below the walkway is a pool of koi carp, they moved so fast, I could stay and watch these fish for hours.

A Day Out At Tropical World Leeds

You then move on to aquatic animal section which includes some not so common creatures and all the accompanying information so you can learn even more about these species. My favourite animals where the ray fish which are just the happiest fish ever and I found Dory!

A Day Out At Tropical World LeedsThere's a reptile section where if you time it right you can watch a massive snake (I think it was a boa constrictor) at feeding time which was gross but mesmerizing at the same time. Continuing round is a room with a winding path that leads you past all manor of birds with bright plumage running about. One of my favourite parts is the Merkat den, I visited once and they had babies which where the cutest.

A Day Out At Tropical World LeedsI don't want to give away all the features of this place in case you do visit as a few surprises are always fun. If you're ever in the area I would highly recommend Tropical World. It's a fun day out and if the weather is nice the nearby park is a great place to have a stroll. I really want to head back myself sometime soon.

Have you ever been to Tropical World?

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

How To Get Back In To Blogging After A Break

Hi, I wanted to write a post inspired by my lack of blogging recently and share my experience (got to find inspiration where we can right). I stopped blogging for over three months, it's flown and that's what made me want to get back to blogging more than anything. Blogs are after all a very public kind of diary and it's fun to look back at and see what I was interested in this time last year. Blogging is also a very good excuse for funding my addiction to Lush products.

How To Get Back In To Blogging After A Break

Start Slow
While it's taken me this long to get back into blogging I've been brainstorming ideas for a while. Don't feel pressured to come back until you're ready and full of the inspiration you needed. You could always create a stock pile of posts so you're always ahead.

Write For Yourself
Blogging is suppose to be a fun hobby and for most of us that's all it will ever be but that's fine. Blog for yourself first, don't feel like you need to stick to a schedule or pattern unless you want too.

Draft Write Posts
I can't just write a post and hit publish because it would be riddled with mistakes and sentences that make no scenes. Writing without the pressure of the publish button gives you freedom to play around with your writing style and post layout.

Be Social
One thing I missed while not blogging was reading blogs. Just because you don't feel like blogging doesn't mean that you have to be quiet. Take part in blogger twitter chats or link to old posts to continue to get others viewing your blog.

Don't Force It
Come back to your blog when you are ready, if that's never then that's totally fine, do what's right for you.

One of your issues might be that you and your blog just don't work together anymore. If you feel it's the right move for you there's the option of re-branding and starting a totally new blog.

Having fun with props or products may inspire future posts or at least give you a back up of stock images. Take your camera with you on a day out to create a day in the life post which requires only a little writing.

Keep Being Inspired
Reading other blogs is a good way to see what's current or inspire you to write your own take on a subject or there's always a tag to do. Use everyday life as inspiration for future posts and make your blog your own.

I hope these points are helpful, I've sat and drafted a few posts which feels great. Taking a step back from blogging was difficult but I found coming back harder. Finding the confidence in myself and what I've got to say gave me the motivation to give it another go.

Have you got any tips for getting back into blogging?

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Friday, November 18, 2016

Goodreads Reading Challenge | 2016 So Far

Hi, I’ve decided to do a little Goodreads challenge review. I’d intended to do this style of post about half way through the year but times gone way too quickly. I recently got an email with my current progress of this year’s Goodreads reading challenge which re-sparked the idea. I’ve pledged to read 35 books by the end of the year which is about 3 books per month. So far I’m on track with only 5 books left to read by the end of the year.

Pledged Books 30/35
1. Infinite Sky - C.J. Flood
2. Divergent - Veronica Roth
3. Insurgent - Veronica Roth
4. It’s Not Me, It’s You - Mhairi McFarlane
5. Panic - Lauren Oliver
6. Allegiant - Veronica Roth
7. The Fire Sermon - Francesca Haig
8. The Year of the Rat - Clare Furniss
9. Room - Emma Donoghue
10. All the Rage - Courtney Summers
11. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J.K. Rowling
12. The Martian - Andy Weir
13. The Girl with All the Gifts - M.R. Carey
14. The Glittering Art of Falling Apart - Ilana Fox
15. Just a Girl, Standing in Front of a Boy - Lucy-Anne Holmes
16. The Age of Miracles - Karen Thompson Walker
17. What Milo Saw - Virginia Macgregor
18. The Crooked House - Christobel Kent
19. Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater
20. Linger - Maggie Stiefvater
21. Forever - Maggie Stiefvater
22. Summer Nights at the Moonlight Hotel - Jane Costello
23. The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton
24. Sinner - Maggie Stiefvater
25. Soulmates - Holly Bourne
26. A Step Towards Falling - Cammie McGovern
27. What's a Girl Gotta Do? - Holly Bourne
28. Four: A Divergent Story Collection - Veronica Roth
29. This Last Kiss - Madeleine Reiss
30. Armada - Ernest Cline

TBR List
1. Asking for it - Louise O’neill
2. I’ll give you the sun - Jandy Nelson
3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling
4. How to Love -
5. Us - Nicholls, David

My to be read list might change but I'm currently reading 'Asking for it' and I've got 'I'll give you the sun' waiting to be read next. I’m so happy with my progress this year and it shouldn’t be a mad rush to complete at the end of the year (unless Christmas takes up all my time). If you struggle to read a lot consider tracking your reading progress with Goodreads, I've upped my reading so much.

Let me know if your taking part in a Goodreads challenge and how you’re doing.

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Saturday, November 12, 2016

A Catch Up | Where Have I Been?

Hi, it’s been a while hasn’t it. I don’t really know why I stopped blogging other than I was struggling to think of interesting content and once I took a step away from this place I found it really hard to come back. I’ve wanted to blog again and felt guilty for disappearing with no explanation. I’ve also enjoyed not blogging and just having some time away. Here I am finally writing a post to reintroduce myself to blogging and I hope I’ll get back into the swing of it and enjoy it as much as I once did.

An update on my day to day life and a big reason I haven’t found the time to blog is I finally bought a house. All the way back in August we got the keys to our new home, it’s the first time me and the boyfriend have lived together, which is strange but we've fallen into a routine and we're happy. The house is in need of some renovation and so far we’ve had the windows changed and it looks totally different. It’s an exciting time and I’m looking forward to the future and my first Christmas tree that I can decorate exactly how I want.

Are you looking forward to Christmas yet?

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