Monday, January 22, 2018

My Essentials: Public Transport (London Edition)

I was in London last weekend and it got me thinking about the absolute essentials for public transport. I'm not one for public transport when I'm at home, I'm from a fairly small place so I generally walk everywhere but in cities you will generally find yourself having to use transport to get from A-B and I'm not about spending money on an uber when I could spend less money on a bus.

Confined spaces with other folk, handrails, dirty seats. The travel throughout London is convenience at it's best but can be personal hygiene at its worst. Confined spaces with other folk, especially this time of year are a nightmare.
You don't think about the germs on the handrail you hold onto or the hands of the people who've pressed the 'stop' button before you so I always keep hand sanitiser and/or wetwipes in my bag for after I get off the tube or bus. 

Have ways to keep yourself entertained
99% of my visits to London include a hotel which almost an hour on public transport from Euston. I'll totally take a bus for a bargain hotel. That being said this can get pretty boring. Keeping yourself occupied is an absolute must.
It's hard these days to enter a carriage at rush hour and not see at least one kindle. People who have to commute every day must get through an awful lot of books. Jealous!
I tend to make sure I grab whichever free paper is there and listen to music - through earphones of course. There aren't many things worse than people who blast their (usually dance) music through the bus or carriage.

If you're with somebody play the 'job game'. Try and guess what various people sat around you do for a living. Obviously being very quiet whilst doing so. You may never actually find out but it's funny coming up with different scenarios - at least that's something my family enjoy doing.

Have your Oyster/Travel card to hand
Don't be the annoying one who waits until they get to the gate to fish around in their bag for their oyster or travel card. You're just holding people up. Stand out of the way until you physically have hold of you card.

Sensible Footwear
Comfortable shoes are a must. Tube stations themselves can require a lot of walking and what if you end up having to stand on a tube or bus. There's no guarantee of a seat.
When I was in London for uni and actually went on nights out, I always made sure that my bag was big enough to house a pair of flat compact shoes. I'd wear my flat shoes, carrying my heels, until I got to my stop and then stick the heels on and the flats in my bag. This reduces the length of time you end up wearing the uncomfortable pair and delays the inevitable moaning that your feet hurt.

Is there anything vital you think I've missed off?
Nikki x

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Top 5 Wednesday: Forgettable Books

Welcome to another top 5 Wednesday post. Goodreads group

I had to go back through my Goodreads to see what books I had literally forgotten reading and it turns out I can answer this one easily. Too easily. The way I've started 2018 I feel like I'd probably be able to post about this next year as well.

Famous Last Words by Katie Alender
I read this in the last couple of days of 2017 so I haven't forgotten about this (yet) but I know I probably will.
A teenage girl tries to work out who a Hollywood serial killer is with a little ghostly help. I gave it 3 stars which generally means I liked it enough but had no strong feelings of either persuasion. I don't personally think any of the characters were very memorable and I've already forgotten everyone's names.

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
I literally haven't got a clue. I gave this a 3 stars so I clearly enjoyed it to a certain extent but it seems to have left my mind the second I picked up my next read. Even reading the goodreads bio (title is linked) didn't bring back any memories so I don't want to paraphrase what it says, if you're interested I'd just check out the link.
I will say that when you look at the reviews on there I definitely seem to be in the minority, everybody seems to love this.

Just Friends by Monica Murphy
I really need to start reviewing on Goodreads if only so I'm not clueless when asked about books I've actually read. It sounds like there's a love triangle with the hot bad boy and the best boy friend so if you hate that trope then I'd steer clear.

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
So it turns out I gave this 4 stars on Goodreads but I cannot for the life of me remember anything about it. Even reading the synopsis didn't trigger any memories. This is apparently (I'm obviously paraphrasing) about a couple of teenagers who make some sort of suicide pact and the journey the pair go on as their chosen date nears.

99 Days by Katie Cotugno
This book would be completely forgettable for me if it hadn't been for the fact that it was my lowest rated book of last year. I feel like I was on course for giving this a 2.5 (which I'd have rounded up to a 3) but then the main character does something that literally made me give up. I know it's only a book but she might be the most annoying female main character I've read and I ended up giving this 1 star.

What are some books you always forget you've read? Have you read any of these and loved them?
Nikki x

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Top 5 Wednesday : Books You Didn't Get To In 2017

Welcome to my first Top 5 Wednesday. I watched a lot of these on Youtube throughout 2017 and seeing as I've given up on the idea of starting my own channel I thought I would incorporate the series on my blog. I don't think I'll be doing all 52 weeks of the year because I just haven't read enough yet and I'll end up repeating myself with a lot of books but my goal is to do two a month.

Edit: Prepare for lots of 'I really want to read this' and 'I'll definitely be getting to this soon'.

Without any further ado here are 5 books I didn't find time for in 2017 but that I'm making a priority this year.


Monday, January 8, 2018

The One Where I Answer 73 Random Questions

I first did this post ages ago as a way to reintroduce myself after a blogging break. Two years later and I've deleted that version and I'm going to give it another go.

1. What's your favourite movie? La La Land

2. Favourite movie in the past 5 years? La La Land. Second to that is probably Avengers: Age of Ultron.

3. Favourite Hitchcock film? I don't think I've actually seen any.

4. A book you plan on reading? A Darker Shade of Magic is really high on my priority list.

5. A book you read in school that positively shaped you? I honestly don't think any school books had any lasting effects on me. I will say that I loved Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing but I don't know how much she rubbed off on who I am.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

A-Z Bookish Survey

What better way to start the year than with a tag. I really want to do more of them this year. This fun tag was created by Jamie //

Author you’ve read the most books from:

     I'm at nine by Sarah J. Maas. 


Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 Goals

I had varying levels of success with my goals for 2017.
Here are a few things I'm going to focus on for 2018, hopefully with a 100% success rate.


2017 Goals Update

Another year is over and that means it's time to look back on the goals I set myself in 2017 and see how well I managed to do.

1. Eat a 100% vegan diet. 
I think I'm there to be honest. The last few weeks I've been making a real conscious effort to look a lot more closely at ingredient lists. 

But more than that, don't eat as many vegan substitutes.  
This hasn't happened. I'm a sucker for fake meats, Linda McCartney pies are a total weakness. I have made sure that I'm eating more fruit and veg so I guess I've made progress in balancing out my diet. Not a complete fail.

2. Save save save! 
This has worked to a certain extent but I could definitely have saved more. I need to stop buying so many books!!

3. Run more. I started off the year pretty well but it's been a few months since I actually ran. This is totally a self image thing. I run in the very early hours because the thought of people seeing me fills me with massive anxiety but then we had a couple of people attacked near our house during my ideal running time and so that put a stop to that. It's also really bloody cold! I might look at joining a gym again in 2018 and I want to start going on more walks.

4. Post more on my blog. 
Erm....Well I definitely failed at this one. I was starting to feel like I didn't have anything to say in terms of being a 'beauty blog'. I don't buy new stuff a lot and so I found I was just repeating the same products all the time. I had a recent shift to more of a bookish blog. It just happened that I've been on a real reading kick this year and so I spend most of my time off with a book in my hand. I'm going to try and work on incorporating both book and beauty posts in 2018. 

5. Keep a log of things that made me smile. 
This didn't happen but I honestly think if you compare me from a year ago to the me of today there's a hell of a difference in my positivity levels. I'm trying so much harder to see the good in everyday instead of being a pessimist.

6. Be more active in twitter chats. 
Let's be honest, I'm not sure I participated in one chat this year. I fell off the blogging train for about six months and I'm rubbish with twitter in general. I've recently unfollowed some accounts and followed others so I'm hoping it will peak my interest again and I can get involved throughout 2018.

7. Shop in more charity shops.
I've definitely been doing this. This has been mainly with books so far but it's still something. I don't generally buy a lot of clothes so that isn't something I waste a lot of money on anyway.

8. Only buy cruelty free beauty. 
I haven't been successful with this. I didn't buy any beauty for the majority of 2017 as I've been using up what I already have but I did buy a foundation which isn't cruelty free. I'm making an effort to research companies and dupes for favourite products so hopefully over the coming weeks and months I'll be able to say that my makeup collection is completely cruelty free.

Do you set yearly goals? If so, how successful were you in yours from 2017?
Nikki x

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