Ever wanted to know more about Lizzy. Random questions that I wouldn’t have thought to ask myself. Welcome to 10 Random Generated Questions (about me.)  Jenny in Neverland’s post inspired me to do the same. Enjoy.

Dominoes Pizza

1) What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

The Craziest thing? Facebook has recently been inundating me with photographs from university and it’s brought back a lot of memories. Here are a couple of crazy things I’ve done.

Travelled to Borneo for a month, whilst there stayed in the jungle for three days despite my hatred of bugs and creepy crawlies I survived sleeping in a hammock. Did get attacked by a cockroach.

Contrastingly – whilst drunk at University delivered a Domino’s Pizza with a delivery man who picked me up on the side of the road after I attempted to walk home. He then dropped me home. Yes, it was stupid and silly. I did get to drunk deliver pizza tho.

2) What is your earliest memory?

As a kid I had an extra lump of skin on my forehead that I had removed. I think it was kind of like a cyst. I remember the hospital ward where I had the lump removed but only in black and white. Oddly. I also remember there being a smiley face poster.

A clearer memory is at the age of 4 I hit a girl over the head with a hairbrush in the story-corner because she was annoying. Oops.                                       

3) What motivates you?

Nothing and everything.

Shrugs.

4) If you were stuck on a desert island what would you want to have with you?

A fully functioning island? That I could live on. Does that count as one thing?

Okay no – then a library, with a fully functioning kitchen and bar. Then I can read all day and invite all my m8s to the island for parties all night.

5) Do you like to cook?

Yessss. I love cooking. It only started this year really because living in shared housing is a right bugger. There’s never enough counter space/saucepans or the kitchen was always a mess. Now I have my own pad I cook a lot more.  I also post recipes on a weekly basis.

6) If you could be any celebrity who would you be?

If I’m being vain – Marion Cotillard. She is one of the most beautiful humans. Otherwise, Helena Bonham Carter, equally gorgeous, but her acting/style/humour. She’s everything.

7) If you were the opposite gender for the day what would you do?

No comment.

8) What is your biggest regret this week?

This week? Not going to the gym as many times as I said I would. I need to get there more.

9) What is the first thing you think of in the morning?

Breakfast? Or how late I already am?

No I tend to think about how I’m going to make the day work for me. Feeling shit – how can I boost my mood. Feeling very fekking good – how can I optimise that. That first minute of the day is v important.

10) What is the best part of your day?

The morning. I’m a typical morning person. I wake and it’s like someone has turned on a light switch within me. I tend to get 38583959 of the jobs I need to get done then and feel most myself.

Other than that, it’s coming home after a long day to see T. He really does make my world complete.

Luck and Judgement Book

Prawn Pasta

Gym Days

 

I caved and bought a blog planner.

For the last few months I’ve been using my personal diary to plan my blog posts. It started off well enough but recently I’ve been moving a lot of posts around. It’s meant that my personal diary is super messy. That week I received an email from Dot Creates that they had a couple of slightly damaged blog planners. Seeing as I had meant to buy one earlier in the month I snapped one up. Was it a good idea?

It’s all in the details

Dot creates state on their website that

Our all-in-one A5 blog planner is the perfect way to keep both your daily life and blog content organised. Small enough to carry in your bag and easy to write on. And with daily diary space, loads of post planning pages, upcoming event, sponsored content space, AND notes pages. This is the only planner you will ever need.

The planner contains:

  • 12 month (undated) planner

  • 192 post planning pages! (split into months)

  • Daily diary space

  • Hand-drawn quotes

  • Upcoming events section

  • Sponsored content section

  • Monthly stats recorder

  • Extra sponsored content pages

  • Notes pages

The Design

I love the design of this planner. It’s A5 which is the perfect size and it’s spiral bound so it’s easy to use. I like the clear cover to help protect the diary and the paper is really good quality. But the detail I really love is that it’s not numbered. It means that you can use the planner at any time of the year with no wasted pages. Brilliant. The cover is gorgeous too. I was tempted by the peach but the blue/grey pipped it to the post.

It’s what’s on the inside

The inside is perfect. There are pages for sponsored content if that’s your thing and space to write in upcoming events. The pages for planning blog posts are really well designed. There’s space to tick whether you’ve finished words/photographs, which is very helpful for me. I tend to write my posts during the week and then photograph on Saturday’s when the light is good. I think this is definitely going to help me keep up-to-date.

You Go Doll

I love the inspiring quotes throughout the planner. Blogging can be a lonely world so it’s nice to have a pick-me up every 15 or so pages. The type-font is gorgeous and I’m half tempted to rip these out and frame them. Or just buy prints from Dot Creates.

It’s purse friendly

I don’t think I will use this for every post I do. I want to use it for longer posts, or series posts. But I love how weighty it is. This will last me at least a year, probably more. The planner I bought was £7 because of slight marks on the cover but these sell for £12.50 which is, ridiculous. For such a high quality product it’s a steal.

Better Content

I really think this is going to help me improve my content. I’ve recently really upped my game with my photos and SEO. I think it’s going to help me improve what I’m posting and keeping an eye on my stats and the like. I’m really excited to get stuck in.

Should you invest?

Yes, yes, yes. It’s a fantastic planner, with a great price-point and a stunning cover. Big fan. I lave it.

Dot Creates Ultimate Blog Planner

Dot Creates Ultimate Blog Planner

Dot Creates Ultimate Blog Planner

 

I’ve been reading from the Pigeonhole App again.

This time it’s the intense You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott. Abbot has been on my list to watch for a while now. I’ve read a lot of good reviews but never quite got round to it. Today I finally did. Onto the review!

Blurb

Katie and Eric Knox have dedicated their lives to their fifteen-year-old daughter Devon. A gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful. But then a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community weeks before an all-important competition. Everything the Knoxes have worked so hard for feels at risk. As rumors swirl among the other parents, revealing hidden plots and allegiances, Katie tries to hold her family together. But she finds herself drawn, to the crime itself, and the dark corners it threatens to illuminate.
 
You Will Know Me is a breathless rollercoaster of a novel about the desperate limits of desire, jealousy, and ambition.

My Review

You get a jist from the blurb, this is a murder mystery. BUT, it revolves around family and the anchor that is Devon. Devon is a gymnastics prodigy. Her family have given everything to make her dream come true. When a supposed hit-and-run rears it’s ugly head, rumours begin to swirl. The novel details the hows, the whys, the confusion, melted into the intense mania of elite gymnastics.

The characters are intensely written. Katie is a mother overwhelmed and terrified by her daughter who is changing in ways she can’t control. Eric, the father, is obsessed with Devon’s dream – he’ll do anything to make her success a probability. Drew, the little brother notices the smallest details. He’s often forgotten and left in Devon’s shadow. He’s written wonderfully. Finally Devon – she’s a whirlwind that keeps her feelings close to her chest. She’s described regularly as a hard, perfectly smooth nut. It’s a perfect description of a teenage girl caught up in the stressful world of elite gymnastics.

The writing is sublime. Abbot is brilliant at writing about the psychotic world of teenage girls. The pain, the hurt, the secrets. Abbot has a way of manipulating the reader so you never quite know where to point the finger. I like the fact that the secret could be given away and you would still read on. The execution of the writing is spot on. The death brings a lot of secrets to the light and Abbot perfectly understands how to manage each character as it slowly unravels.

Final Thoughts

I loved the exploration of claustrophobia, secrecy and female adolescence. The story is full of suspense, and I liked the perspective of transition between girl and woman. Watching Katie try and control her daughter, whilst trying to push away multiple characters that wear on Devon. It’s exhausting and exciting. I like the theme of greatness and sacrifice and how to two mix, and how it affects little Drew. It creates a destructive but very exciting narrative, which I loved.

Abbott also manages to capture tiny moments (with a lot of meaning) in perfect clarity. Here’s an example.

He’d never woken up, and the only sound now was his breathing, hoarse and ragged. For a second she thought she saw his lashes lift, the white of one eye looking at her, but she was wrong.

It’s a brilliant story that had me hanging onto every word. Read it.

AmazonGoodreads 

 

Welcome to another week commencing.

This week has been a good one. Before Christmas I felt ready and raring to go. January it just disappeared. That get up and go fell between my fingers. I blamed the weather and the dark mornings and nights but it was a combo. Work has been a little tough recently and my weight plateaued. But recently I’ve felt the fog clearing. I even managed to go to the gym three days in a row this week. Hasn’t happened in months. But here’s a look at my week commencing Mar 20. (Plus there is a cheeky cover reveal at the bottom so keep reading!)

Dressing for my size.

If you’ve followed me on Twitter/Instagram you might have picked up that I recently lost quite a bit of weight. Almost 28 lbs. When you’ve spent the last 12 months attempting to hide your body in over-sized jumpers, sweatshirts and leggings it takes a while to re-group. As I lost weight, and my body slimmed my wardrobe didn’t. This Monday I pulled open several drawers and snatched out three dresses I had once loved. They all fitted. Two better than they had when they were bought. It’s been a week of re-discovery, and happiness. Every time I look in the mirror I feel just so much bladdy better. Before anyone tells me, your size shouldn’t re-define you. I KNOW. But, the Lizzy I saw for 12 months didn’t define me. The Lizzy I see staring back is the one I want to define.

Nice to have you back babe.

Week Commencing Mar 20: My Trainers

Yorkshire Provender Cauliflower Cheese Soup

This stuff is honestly LIT. I saw it on offer in Waitrose when I was VV hungover. I wanted a soup that felt like a hug and this just hit the spot. Creamy, not too high in calories and with the addition of kale it was honestly fantastic and just what I needed. I want to re-create this when I have a spare minute.#

Week Commencing Mar 20: Cauliflower Cheese Soup

Zyliss Hot Mug Cafetiere

T bought me one of these a couple of weeks ago but I hadn’t got round to using it. It is really fab. If you’re the kind of person that likes nice coffee but doesn’t want to spend a fortune a week forking out on Starbucks spend £6. Pick up this gorgeous cafetiere style mug and sip away. FULL post to come soon.

Week Commencing Mar 20: Coffee Mug

Do something that scares you

I bloody hate that phrase. Who really wants to do something that scares them? This week saying that I’ve been completely out of my comfort zone. Filming, photographing and interview ing students it’s been intense. Two days full of multiple shoots it was a lot of fun but mentally exhausting. Sayin’ that, can’t wait to do it again.

Week Commencing Mar 20: My Feet

But keep to you

I was invited out to food a number of times this week and although I don’t want to say I missed out – I didn’t want to mess up all the progress I had made. I want to press the point that I don’t stop myself from having fun because of food. Sometimes you just have to align it with your goals. Been to the gym four times in a row, don’t feel like chomping down on 2,000 cals worth of burgers. Then don’t.

Week Commencing Mar 20: Brekkie Crumpets

A Time to Die (Cover Reveal!)

Jonas Lee has a new cover reveal! (And it is G O R G E O U S.)

Jonas is a fantastic author and I have had the chance to read/review a number of his books and they are wonderful. Full of action, mystery all set in a fantastical setting. Well worth a look. I’ve included a blurb, author bio and links so go check it out. (Please.)

AMAZON

GOODREADS 

Carter Gabel saved his own life, and rescued his city from destruction. But, after the Pirates forced him into hiding, he spent years holed up in Crighton, city of ghosts.  Just as he thinks the world has forgotten him, a knock on the door interrupts his life and as he opens it, his next journey begins. An unexpected foe waits for him at the end to challenge everything he knows and all that his future holds. What must Carter do to survive? And what does he sacrifice to become a legend?

Author Bio:

Writing out of the Black Hills of South Dakota, Jonas likes coming up with new and creative worlds that speak to the plausible while remaining believable. With a fist-full of peanut M&Ms and a cup of coffee, he has written three novels about a snarky, supernatural teen able to time travel and more.

Beyond writing, Jonas has a gift for useless knowledge through watching trivia shows and a love for cinematic adventures. Music fuels his writing and you can see him with at least one earbud in every day.

That’s been my week – how was yours? 

You know when you buy a book for someone and they just don’t love it. Or they keep slightly quiet about it. Well, I bought this for T a couple of months back because he’s a cat person. (I’m not a cat person in the slightest.) Seeing as he was trying to read quite heavy political books at the time I thought – he would love that. Turns out he didn’t. So I decided to read it and let you know what I thought – so read on to find out.

Blurb

A couple in their thirties live in a small rented cottage in a quiet part of Tokyo. They work at home as freelance writers. They no longer have very much to say to one another. 

One day a cat invites itself into their small kitchen. She is a beautiful creature. She leaves, but the next day comes again, and then again and again. New, small joys accompany the cat; the days have more light and colour. Life suddenly seems to have more promise for the husband and wife; they go walking together, talk and share stories of the cat and its little ways, play in the nearby Garden. But then something happens that will change everything again.

The Guest Cat is an exceptionally moving and beautiful novel about the nature of life and the way it feels to live it. The book won Japan’s Kiyama Shohei Literary Award and was a bestseller in France and America.

My Review

Right, so The Guest Cat is a very simple novella with a very simple plot-line. A young couple renting a beautiful guesthouse become enamoured by a tiny cat who they attempt to entice into their home. Refusing to pick her up or invade her space the cat quickly becomes a regular visitor and soon has the young couple under her spell. The couple know that the tenure in the guesthouse will come to an end in a few short months. The older couple who own the house attached to it are becoming a little old and frail and the estate will be sold and bulldozed to be made into flats. With this in mind, the couple spends as much time with the darling cat Chibi. The story narrates the touching story of the warmth, light and meaning the little cat brings to the lives of the couple.

I might seem a little bland or a little two dimensional but this book is so much more than that; it brings a life lesson both of love, companionship and respect. The Guest Cat is written in first person narration, almost in a memoir recollection. It has both detailed paragraphs and events that pinpoint important moments in the life of the couple of the cat. (There is cause to believe this is a true story.) There is very little interaction between characters it’s really a focus on the relationship between the couple and the cat that grows beautifully throughout.

The writing is very poetic and very descriptive and I have to say it’s my very favourite writing style. I love overly descriptive text and I think at times this can cause the story to become very loose in terms of tangents and time frames. Maybe at times this could cause some readers to become bored. (I think this is where T struggled with the book) but for me, it just wove stronger the bonds between the three ‘characters,’ and as I continued through I grew quite attached despite the shortness of the book.

There are inconsistencies. Chibi the cat is described with different colourings at one point which is a minor flaw. Additionally but at one point the wife and the cat have quite a tense falling out, Chibi bites her and she, in turn, discards the bed they’ve set up, the toys they’ve accumulated; but a passage or so later they are fine the cat is back and there is no explanation. I did like however that Chibi is referred to throughout but the humans are never named. The writer, his poet wife, the friend named Y – the names referred to towards the end are all cats. I liked this.

Final Thoughts

I get why T wasn’t sure on this. On a superficial level, it’s a story about a cat and a young couple and their relationship. Underneath it’s about so much more. The trouble of housing, the relationships that are altered and damaged by the cat, the personality changes from having a new companion and the climax of the story how this can abruptly change at any moment (for multiple reasons.) This is a decent little read that will entertain, provide a little philosophical insight but will probably really you consider getting your own little Chibi.

Amazon – Goodreads