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Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Tuesday Titles 166..

At the weekend, I sat down and wrote up a big list of the things I want to post about on here, as there are so many. Let's get this show back on the road. I'm starting with a small round-up of a handful of the books I managed to read over the holidays. I've a terrible habit of reading several things at once and there are currently several books lying about the house in various states of unread, but let's begin with a few that I actually finished.

One More Chance
One More Chance: Lucy Ayrton
One More Chance: {TW: drug abuse}. This was a step outside of my usual kind of book, but I as intrigued by the synopsis and thought it was worth a try. 
Dani is in prison whilst her daughter is being raised by a foster family and naturally this is pretty upsetting for her. She'd do anything to be with her baby again, and when her new cellmate, Martha, offers her a way to be reunited with Bethany, Dani doesn't hesitate to get on board with the plan. 
Which, if I'm honest, is a little weird. The book goes from some incredibly realistic descriptions of prison life, drug abuse and a life of petty crime, to a kind of strange eggshell based magic spell. 
I stuck with it and although the ending felt a little rushed, this wasn't a bad read all in all.


The Christmas Lights
The Christmas Lights: Karen Swan 

 The Christmas Lights: OK, so I'm worried that it's possibly a little late to still be talking about all things festive, but I read this one on Christmas Eve and it was a nice escape...to Norway, where travel bloggers Bo and Zac are staying for their next sponsored trip. They'll stop at nothing to get the most "authentic" shot for their Instagram grid, even if that means taking part in risky climbs in the snowy fjords of Norway.
This was the perfect book to read around Christmas; lots of snowy scenery, some fairly vacuous characters and a bit of a time-slip situation where alternate chapters shift back into their host's childhood years. Oh, and a dark, brooding guide with a terrible secret in his past.
This was pretty good and I longed to be in the depths of icy Norway. 



The Cactus
The Cactus: Sarah Haywood 
The Cactus: I finished this one a little while ago - it was mostly read (via Kindle) whilst I was on the treadmill at the gym. I'm not sure if that, or something else, was the reason that it took me quite a while to get into it, but I started out a little skeptical about this one. I wasn't wildly drawn to the protagonist, Susan, and it all felt a little bit too reminiscent of Eleanor Oliphant for my liking. But at some point something must have clicked because I began to enjoy it and found myself genuinely interested in how Susan would cope with her new challenges. Gentle to the end, and a little bit predictable, I'd recommend this as just the tonic for a long train journey. 


Christmas Camp
Christmas Camp: Karen Schaler 
Welcome to Christmas Camp: You know all of those so-terrible-they're-good Netflix Christmas movies, which are just about everyone's guilty pleasure in the run-up to the big day? Well, now imagine one of those in book format and here you are. It's even written by the same person as A Christmas Prince. There's the perfect mix of cheese, Christmas cheer and predictable ending, as Haley, who always skips the festive cheer by planning holidays over the Christmas break so that she can spend her time working, is offered the opportunity of her career. A big client which could be her big break. She's confident she can win this, but her boss isn't so sure and wants her to go to "Christmas Boot Camp" so that she can learn to be more festive. 

Of course, there's an eligible guy. Of course there's a loveable-but-annoying colleague who decorates his desk with more candy canes than a Christmas elf, and of course there's one of those will-they-won't-they moments? I'm pretty sure this has also already been adapted as a movie, too.

Have you read anything good lately? 

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Hello 2019..


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It's probably a little late for all of that Happy New Year jazz, now that everyone is back into their normal routines and Christmas has all but been forgotten, but here we are.

I also realise it's been a really long time since I wrote anything on here. And, to be honest, I've really missed it! At one point, when Flickr were being super difficult and deciding to charge for photo-hosting, I toyed with the idea of just deleting my entire blog, but I do like sharing things and have a lot of draft posts going with things I've made, finished or been up to, which I'd like to share, so it stays. For now at least.

So, what have we all been up to? Well, I had enough days off over the festive break that I was able to visit and/or entertain a lot of the important people. We had our own real (my first ever) Christmas tree* and it was lovely to get that pine-tree scent when we walked into the living room. (*our tree was not the tree in the photo - that was from a display at our local stately home!!)

I also had the chance to finish off a lot of projects - most of which were Christmas presents which I'd opted to make, then realised I was going to be pushed for time. Thankfully everything was finished in time (cue me literally sewing up a pair of baby booties as we arrived on the driveway of their recipients, but I guess they were technically finished before I made it through the door at least..!)

It's also been pretty nice to spend some time at home and get a few more decorating / finishing off / unpacking jobs done. It's starting to feel a lot more homely than it has before, for which I am super thankful. My sewing room is almost ready to actually do some sewing in, and I can't wait to share some progress photos as we do things to each of the other rooms, too.

Other than that, I've done a little bit of thinking about goals and challenges for the year ahead and have already planned a couple of exciting things to look forward to - a weekend away with the THFC girls and a skiing trip. Yay. I think it's always good to have something to look forward to.

Do you have any goals for the year? I love a good excuse to set more challenges, and I'm a fan of resolutions, although I know they get a bad rep sometimes.