I cheekily skipped a monthly wrap-up for August, as very little happened that seemed noteworthy, but September has more than made up for it!
First there was the Country Blog Retreat NI, hosted by the lovely Emma at Life at the Little Wood. There usually aren’t many events for bloggers in NI, so I was really excited to see this happen! While the event was quite lifestyle and beauty blog heavy, it was still very enjoyable, and Mel Wiggins did a fab talk on creativity, which she has kindly shared on her blog. I’d definitely go to another event, but it would be nice to see some other topics on the agenda too.
Those who have followed this blog for a little while will know, I’m not great when it comes to taking photos, so feeling inspired by Mel’s talk, me and the Samsung Galaxy S7 got a little creative together, and I think the outcome isn’t half bad! Perhaps this means some more photos in future wrap-ups? Who knows?!
Shortly after the Blog Retreat, I jetted off to Ibiza to celebrate the 30th birthday of one of my besties. There was a group of 10 of us, and it was fab! Messy, but fab. To be honest, at 27 years of age it has taken me a fortnight to recover! Not from the hangover, but the serious upset to my body clock. I can no longer party until 6AM and remain a fully functioning member of society!
Last month, I told you that I sat a BIG exam, and was due my result when I was in Ibiza, but the training centre phoned me the day before I left, and I PASSED! This should lead to some progression at work, so we’ll see what the future has in store. No doubt, before six months are up, I’ll be on to another qualification of some sort!
What have you been up to lately? Let me know in the comments!
- Tower of Dawn: The latest book in the Throne of Glass series. I’ve read it already, review to follow soon. Initially, I was hesitant because it’s about Chaol’s travels and Aelin doesn’t feature, but it grew on me, quickly!
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (illustrated edition): This was a given really, wasn’t it? I’ve read the first illustrated book, and will get to the second and this one someday. A fangirl has to own it though!
- One Dark Throne: This is the follow-up to Three Dark Crowns, and a gift from my #OTSPSecretSister! I’ve read the first book in the series, but (surprise, surprise) haven’t got the review up on the blog yet. Can’t wait to get stuck into this one though.
- Hell Week: We all know I’m a big fan of personal development and psychology, so when I got the chance to review Hell Week (supposedly based on the military-inspired training of the same name), you know I jumped on it.
- The Book of Forgotten Authors: This book has a very interesting premise, yet also a terribly sad one. It features 99 authors who were once hugely popular, but have pretty much disappeared today.
- Before You Go: Occasionally, I enjoy a good weepy novel, and this one sounds great. A seemingly popular debut novel about love and loss.
- You’ll Grow Out of It: I have no idea what to expect of this book, but Goodreads tells me it’s by comedian, Jessi Klein, and she talks about being both a tomboy and a late bloomer, and growing up feeling like an outsider rather than a participant in the rites of modern femininity.
- Good People: So everyone loved Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (yes I own it, and no, I haven’t read it yet), so when her new novel came out, of course I picked it up… This decision may have purely been based on the copper foil leaf on the cover…
Movies and TV Shows:
I’m SURE in the last two months I’ve watched something noteworthy, but honestly right now I can’t remember it. Between travel and work, there’s a possibility that I haven’t watched a TV show or movie in 8 weeks, but it just doesn’t feel like that would be physically possible.
Graham Norton is back on our screens (thank God) so I know I watched it, and unfortunately, I am one of those people who watches X Factor every year while whinging about half the “talent” on it. Oh come on, we all know that’s most of the fun, and the Six Chair Challenge is equally the best and worst invention Simon Cowell has ever created.
Wrappin’ It Up!
- Grok Nation the blog ran by everyone’s favourite, Mayim Bialik, features some seriously amazing posts, including: an interview with author Louise O’Neill, musings on required reading ruining the love for books, and asking is being child-free selfish?
- Ashleigh @ Ashleigh Online did an AMAZING post on her Harry Potter Themed Wedding.
- Megz @ Barefoot Meds shared a deeply honest and brave post called Can I Be A Depressed Dr?
- Amy @ Ten Penny Dreams wrote a great post titled Do We Get The Society We Deserve?
- Cait @ Paper Fury put together 10 of the Weirdest Things About Being an Online Book Blogger.
- Amber @ The Mile Long Bookshelf shares 16 Must Read YA Books on Mental Health.
- Laura @ Boats Against the Current asks has blogging changed the way you read?
In Case You Missed It:
In August, I reviewed the book and movie adaptation of The Circle (3.5*), and in September I reviewed How To Be Single (3.5*).
I also did a post about Finding Your Ratings Twin, 6 Ways to Make Reading Fun Again, and was proudly a Finalist in the Blog Awards Ireland! I shared my personal experience with depression and anxiety, as well as my views on the TV show, 13 Reasons Why, in my post 13 Problems With 13 Reasons Why.
My most popular post in August was What Is the Point of Preordering?, and my most popular review in August was a series review for Noughts and Crosses. My most popular post in September was eBooks vs Paper Books – The Facts, and my most popular review in September was All The Light We Cannot See.
Phew! That was a busy wrap-up! So, what have you been up to lately? What are you hauling and reading? Let me know in the comments!
Your girls trip sounds lovely! What fun! We are the same age and I also take much longer to recover these days, even from short-term changes and disruptions. Congrats on passing that exam!! I hope good things come your way. I think your photos from inspiration turned out great!
Yea, it appears I can no longer party like a rockstar! Lol I enjoy feeling fresher the next day and being semi-productive instead of dying a death for 3 days in a row! Thanks, Charlie! It was an absolute bugger to pass, so glad it’s over me! R xx
You sit and complain about watching X Factor too? I’m not alone! I do it every year and vow I’ll stop watching and then I’m sat in front of the TV on a Saturday night watching. I’d be embarrassed but I do love a good night in in my pyjamas watching bad TV.
Congrats on passing your exam! And it’s totally awesome you went to a blog event even if it was more lifestyle focused. I would love to go but I am both terrified of new people and also can never see one which is a good travelling distance for me. And at 26 I am not even slightly able to cope with hangovers and staying up late. I go on nights out and it gets to 1am and I’m wanting my late night takeaway and a taxi home.
I love all the books you’ve got, I also bought the newest illustrated edition, it took me a little while to read the first and second one but one weekend I may just indulge and read this third one. I love all the artwork it’s awesome! And You’ll Grow Out Of It was on my radar but I’ve heard no one mention it and I hate taking risks on non-fiction as it can really go either way for me.
YES! I complain about it but can’t stop watching it. It’s so addictive! Especially when there are a few really good acts on it, and there are some great ones this year. But I spend most of my time screaming at the TV when they let good people go. I wish they would do a Where Are They Now with loads of the ones who have already been on it, more of them should have had singles out, but I’d love to be nosy and see what they’re doing now. TV nights are the best!
Thanks, Becky! That exam was awful, so glad I never need to look at those notes again! I was not made to be an environmentalist! Haha I’m the same on a night out, though I don’t go out as often now at all (I used to be out til 4am or so every weekend a couple of years ago!), so sometimes I overdo it because I’m making up for lost weekends! Lol
I’ve read the first illustrated edition, but haven’t gotten any further yet. I’ve no idea what they’re going to so with the next books, they’re HUGE and that book three illustrated edition is MASSIVE and heavy already! I imagine they’re releasing them in 2 parts, but I haven’t seen it confirmed anywhere. Keep an eye out for the review for You’ll Grow Out of It! I hope to get to it soon. R xx
I’ve been missing a lot on your blog, Rachel! So sorry! I’m off to go read a bunch of posts that sound fantastic… 🙂
I haven’t been about just as much, Nicole! But I’m on a roll, I’ve four reviews scheduled already! Here’s hoping it keeps up! R xx
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