Life Update: Post-Move Exhaustion

20:29


I'm gonna be honest, I'm not feeling too great again today - I think all the exhaustion from stress and lack of a good sleep is finally catching up on me now that I've actually moved - as mentioned yesterday, I'm now all unpacked and ready to start my new job tomorrow in Peterborough.

I did plan to write and schedule a load of blog posts today, but that went out the window when I went on my run of errands. When I eventually got back, not even completing everything on my list, I was so tired that I just crashed and had a nap (which probably made me feel worse, I hate those kinda naps). When I visit my Nan in Norwich, I tend to get sleepy a lot; the air is clearer up there so it tends to make me fall asleep more often. I'm not sure if that's what's happening here or whether it just is plain exhaustion, but I'd imagine it's a bit of everything.

I'm less than a week away from completing BEDA, and if I stop now I will be extremely disappointed with myself for not sticking to it. This is the first time in a long time that I've proclaimed I was going to do something online and actually stuck to it, and you know what? I'm so freaking proud of myself and I'm not afraid to shout it from the rooftops!

For now, I'm going to settle down for the night, grab a big mug of tea and read my book: I'm currently reading Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng and I need to catch up on my reading challenge before I crash out. It's very good by the way.

Letting Go

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Today has been extremely busy with moving (more on that to come) so I've pretty much only just settled down now for the night to blog at 10PM hence why I'm late with this post - I probably should have pre-scheduled a post for today, but you know, that's sensible! 
I came across this quote on Pinterest and feel it hits home quite hard. I'm letting go of everything I've known and have moved to a completely new city away from my hometown which I have lived in pretty much my whole life. As much as I had no problems with living there, it wasn't doing anything to further me in life; or more like, I wasn't doing anything there - it was time to move on.

It hasn't quite sunk in that I've moved just yet, but I have a feeling I'll probably have a little cry about it, and you know what? That's okay! We're all allowed to be upset, I'm changing a big thing in my life and moving away to a strange place where I don't know anyone - it's bound to be hard. I've just got to push through, make the most of my situation, and continue to make positive changes in my life. 

It will all work out okay.

I Can Do Anything

18:00


When I decided to go straight to New Zealand from my time in Australia, the one thing I had to do was do the Nevis bungee jump in Queenstown. This is the highest bungee jump in New Zealand, standing at a whopping 134M with an 8.5 second freefall - that's the time it takes before the rope stretches and bounces you up - it's a long time when you think about the fact that you'll be falling from about 440 feet off the ground with nothing but rocks below you. If I was going to do a bungee jump it had to be the highest one!

Now, don't get me wrong, I was absolutely scared shitless to actually do this despite it being at the very top of my New Zealand bucket list. I'd already skydived in Australia at 14,000 feet, so the height wasn't an issue, it was the idea that I actually had to jump myself; they're not allowed to push you for obvious reasons. I met a few people who said they'd much rather do a bungee jump than a skydive, and I could never understand why - when you skydive, you don't need to do anything other than be strapped to someone who does all the work, whereas with a bungee you have to literally fling yourself off a ledge of your own accord. My parents knew that I wanted to do a bungee jump in New Zealand, but I didn't tell them I was doing it until after I'd done it; I knew my Mum would be absolutely sick with worry. I was the one flinging myself knowingly from a massive height, not her, haha!

 Plenty of people before me advised that when they count down "1, 2, 3...bungee!!!" you just have to go, don't think about it, so that's what I did - I just let the adrenaline drive me and did the one thing that was scaring me. Guess what? I'm alive and it was AWESOMEI let my fear fuel me and I was so proud of myself, and still am - it's the one thing that I look back on and think "I did that, so I can do anything!"

If I can jump 134M with nothing but (pretty much) a rope attached to me, then I can definitely do all the things that I've been wanting to try - nothing seems quite so scary anymore once you've done something like that. I'd massively encourage everyone to try something like this - maybe it doesn't have to be this drastic, but doing something massively out of your comfort zone could be the key to doing all the things you've been too scared to do. If you can do that one big thing and still be breathing, then you can do anything.

My Try List

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This list has been something that I've been wanting to make for the longest time; it's a list of things that I want to try. In my previous post on finding purpose in my life, I touched at the end on wanting to go out of my comfort zone and try new things, well these are some of those said things:

‣ Take a yoga class
‣ Take Zumba class
‣ Take pole dancing class
‣ Learn a language
‣ Take an art class (get back into art)
‣ Learn calligraphy
‣ Learn how to edit videos creatively
‣ Learn how to code websites
‣ Start an art journal
‣ Learn about personal branding
‣ Learn how to animate

Even though I finished school a while back I'm starting to realise that we should never stop learning - I used to run away from any kind of learning activity, even if it was something that I wanted to find out about because quite simply, I didn't want to invest the time. Now I realise that my point of view was quite ignorant and I actually have plenty of time to do these things and find out if they are things that I want to pursue further. 

I want to challenge myself to learn something new and to try different things that I've been wanting to do for years now; it's funny how pretty much all of these things are creatively based. I lost a lot of my creative inspiration and drive when I was a teenager for reasons unknown, and I've always wanted to get back into it, but I could never really be bothered - I want to be bothered now. I want to get back into doing things that I enjoy and finding new mediums in that craft to get involved in, I want to rekindle my love for this and get passionate about something again. 

I'm excited to journal my experiences and take you guys along with me.

Five On Friday #2

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In this weeks Five on Friday I'm gonna be talking about some music favourites, these are ALBUMS THAT I LOVED GROWING UP. To be honest, I still absolutely love these albums now, but they are ones that I particularly remember growing up and listening to on repeat for hours on end.

The Singles - Basement Jaxx
Basement Jaxx had already released a lot of music before I started getting into them; I was young and hadn't heard of them, this isn't a place for the hipsters who liked them before they were famous. The first album I properly listened to, therefore, was their "greatest hits" album - I always used to hear random songs (from different albums) and absolutely loved their upbeat electro songs; so to find an album with all my favourites in one place was amazing. Basement Jaxx never fail to put a smile on my face with their music.

Favourite song: Good Luck

Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters
I have no idea why, but when I was younger, I was slightly ashamed of liking the Scissor Sisters - they were this weird, wacky, extremely camp band that created music that if you really listen to it is kinda strange. I used to call them my "guilty pleasure", but now I'm not afraid to admit that I absolutely adored them and owned pretty much everything they brought out. They produced catchy pop tunes that you would be singing for hours, even if some of the unreleased album songs were very risqué - but then again, every song left, right and centre nowadays revolves around sex.

Favourite song: Return To Oz

Songs About Jane - Maroon 5
I absolutely love every single album that Maroon 5 has ever released - they are one of the bands I believe can do no wrong. This album in particular though is their first and in my opinion their most iconic - it reminds me of the hours I would be playing Final Fantasy 8 on my Playstation because I had this album on repeat the whole time and didn't get bored. I pretty much know every single word to every single song on the album, and always know what song is coming up next.

Favourite song: Harder To Breathe

We Sing. We dance. We Steal Things. - Jason Mraz
Jason Mraz is just the King of Chill; his laid-back songs with his soothing voice just mash for a wonderful relaxing experience. He's just so addictive and every song seems to have a little something added to it whether it's a rap, skat or just his lyrical genius. Lyrics are what I appreciate most about music, and Jason Mraz's lyrics are genius; they're clever and have meaning. The funny this is, is that I think I randomly came across one of his songs on Spotify, and the love continued from there.

Favourite song: The Dynamo Of Volition

Billy Talent - Billy Talent
I've definitely left the best till last, and like Maroon 5 every single album that they have released is absolute perfection, and they can just do no wrong. I literally can't even choose a favourite album of theirs though, or even one that I prefer over the rest because I'm in love with each and every one of them. I'm pretty sure an old friend introduced me to this band, and I'm always grateful for that fateful day (I make it sound like the world stopped spinning when I found Billy Talent - it almost did, haha). I could listen to their pop-punk-rock tracks all day, and not get bored as they are still my favourite band of all time.

Favourite song: Nothing To Lose

For me, all of these albums are timeless and bring back so many fond memories of when I was growing up. I can remember certain events that I can link these bands to and I just love reminiscing over my favourite tracks. Sometimes you hear a track you used to love which reminds you it exists to go back and listen to the album again, and it just brings back so many happy memories.

What are some of your favourite albums from growing up?

You can check out last weeks post here if you're interested.

Bullet Review: Furyborn

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Furyborn (Empirium #1) by Claire Legrand
To Be Published 22nd May 2018 (approx) by Sourcebooks (Kindle Edition)
Netgalley Review Copy
★★★★★

Follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world...or doom it.
When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed...unless the trials kill her first.
A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable--until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.
As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world--and of each other. 

I'm excited to announce that this is my first 5-star fiction book of the year, and it was definitely worth the 4-month wait to get to it. This may be a quick review because to be quite honest, there wasn't much I didn't like about the book, so let's start with that shall we?

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE
• The only character that I didn't like in the entire book was Rahzavel. I felt he was quite pointless, didn't really add much to the storyline, and just always seemed to appear out of the blue to fight with Eliana randomly. It was almost like a stereotypical villain trait to just pop up with "Mwahaha, you thought you got away, but I've got you now!" kinda thing, and it just felt kind of childish.

WHAT I LIKED
The kickass female leads. The story revolves around Rielle and Eliana; thousands of years apart, but linked in a way. They're clever, determined, fierce, and just plain badass to be quite honest. It's been quite some time since I've read a book with a female lead that I actually loved.

• The character development in this book was amazing, you definitely saw every single character change throughout the book, whether it be in a good or a bad way. You just got to know each character on a really personal level, and even if I didn't know everything about one, then the mystery element definitely kept me hooked. You felt connected, and I almost cried on a couple of occasions...I didn't, but the fact that I almost did is a big deal, because I'm generally an emotional robot when it comes to books.

• I loved the plot. I know this is really vague, but I genuinely enjoyed everything about it - the fast-paced action, the twists and turns. There was never a point in the book where I was bored, as I was constantly on the edge of my seat - I think it helped that each chapter ended on a cliffhanger. Each chapter alternated from Rielle and Eliana's point of view and I just wanted to keep reading on to find out everything that happened.

• This is honestly something that I don't say often because I'm not a massive fan of it in general, but I really enjoyed the romance in the book. Without going into too much detail it just felt real and honest. It was all pretty gradual and had none of this "love at first sight" bullshit where two characters see each other and then are suddenly irrevocably in such a deep love like they had known each other their whole lives....and BREATHE. I could write a whole post about how much I generally hate how romances are written in books; especially ones that don't need them at all to advance the plot. Okay, I'm sorry, I digress, the romance progressed nicely without rushing. I mean, as I mentioned before, I felt attached to the characters massively so I feel this was the perfect addition to that.

The author isn't afraid to tackle dark themes in the book, and because of this I'd maybe put this in the category of NA rather than YA? Themes such as death, violence, gore, loss of a parent, loss of a loved one, sex, abduction and torture. It wasn't a dark book per se, but it definitely had dark themes running through the entire thing which in a weird way I found oddly refreshing in comparison to the lovey-dovey YA books I'm used to reading - but as I said, I think this has steered a little bit away from YA because of this. It was hard-hitting, impactful, and made the story that much more interesting to read because it was so different.

FINAL THOUGHTS
I don't think I can fully express how much I loved this book; I just genuinely loved everything about it and cannot wait to read the next book in this trilogy.

Little Thoughts: Better Weather

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Guess what I'm doing? I'm sitting outside and blogging...outside...in April. We've finally got some better weather and I'm taking full advantage of it. I know it's the UK and we're not exactly going through one of our renowned 30-degree "heatwaves" which we are mocked for by the rest of the world, but just having a bit more of a warmer climate always boosts my mood tenfold.

I'm an emotional mirror in the way that my surroundings affect the way that I'm feeling, and maybe that's why in the Winter months I have depressing spells. I think the way I'm feeling now is mainly to do with my mindset and my refreshed view on life, but the weather definitely plays a big part in how I feel. Right now, I'm feeling happy and ready to do things! 

The only thing that bugs me about this weather is the way that everyone else reacts - all the guys will start going topless at the first sign of sun, you will begin to smell BBQs everywhere, and suddenly everyone's walking around in shorts and flipflops. Yeah, I get that it's nice but it's not that hot and everyone's just playing into the massive British "Summer" stereotype! It's not even Summer, and I've already started hearing people throwing the term around. Okay, I'll stop, that's my only gripe with this weather, but on the whole, I'm making the most of it while it lasts, because knowing our luck it will bloody snow next week or something.

Okay okay okay, let's step back a moment and have a look at something that I've just seen on Twitter - I literally had this blog post finished until I saw this hashtag which epitomised everything I've just been saying. Let this sink in.....#heatwave! HASHTAG FREAKING HEATWAVE! It's 20 degrees as I write this, and at it's highest it will be 22 degrees. Would you call that a heatwave? I know I wouldn't. This country can't handle any kind of weather without it turning into an epidemic of sorts.

Rant over! Let's relax and enjoy the sun while it's still here, I'm off to sit in a pub garden and drink cider with ice - it's my day off afterall. How're you enjoying the day?