I believe that 76% of the internet is made up of quotes.

Okay maybe not quite 76%. But there’s a lot; a lot of gooduns. Quotes you want to tattoo on your right foot. Quotes your teenage self scawled into desks and ones you want to print out and stick on your walls. When Cosy Prints asked if I would like to order a couple of their prints I couldn’t say no.  After perusing their Etsy Shop this is what I picked.

Flat decorating when you rent really does constrain things. You often can’t paint walls. Bang in nails or really put your mark on a place. But, I find that prints allow you to make a space personal without cluttering. (or upsetting your landlady.) Cosy Prints offer a wide range of quotes but they also offer custom prints for the same price. Perfect for a Valentines gift or a midweek purse friendly treat.

The prints come in both A4 and A3 sizing costing £4.50 and £8.75 respectively. Average shipping is £2.75 with a courier company so you can track where you darling package is at the drop of a hat. Each order arrives rolled and securely fastened, but it’s packaged beautifully. String and labels guys. It’s the small things.

Print quality is really high. Cosy Prints use 250gsm paper and genuine inks to create true blacks. The colour prints are also a fantastic quality. I’ve used print companies in the past and these are some of the best that have arrived. Prints don’t come with frames allowing you to personalise how you display the print. But, if you are buying this as a last minute present it’s something to remember.

Prints from Cosy Prints

Messy Bun Getting Stuff Done

The first print I purchased was the ‘Messy Bun Getting Stuff Done.’ It’s a quote that describes me to a T of a Saturday morning. Most Saturday’s I’ve been to the gym, thrown a bulk of dirty clothes in the washer and cleaned the kitchen. By 9am. I know, I know. But it’s the way I’ve always been. Mornings are my get up and go time. This quote felt like the right one.

Wake up – Make up

The second print quotes ‘Wake-up – Make-up.’ Not only is a system of a down lyric it’s a girlboss kinda quote. I wanted to print quotes that would inspire me and this one certainly does. Plus, I love the contrast between the colour and B+W print. They just look brilliant. I would definitely recommend these prints. They are MLBB approved.

Where to find Cosy Prints

Cosy Prints have an Etsy store that can be found here/ You can also follow them on twitter at @CosyPrints and Instagram @cosyprints. Annnnnnd all My Little Book Blog readers can get a 10% discount with code: cosy10.

Don’t say I don’t treat you?

Prints from Cosy Prints

Prints from Cosy Prints

Prints from Cosy Prints

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 

 

 

My Perfect Reading Spot

As some of you know; I live in an awesome new flat. Might be the only one that does this? But when I move somewhere new, I need to make sure that the place I sit has everything I need to make reading as comfortable as possible. I never wrote about my reading spot in my last houses. Probably because I had to make do with whatever I could salvage in shared housing. In this house I definitely have made the lounge my reading spot – as such. It might not look like a lot but this is the set-up I’m rocking (currently.)

My Perfect Reading Spot

Where?

I’ve mentioned before I’m not a huge sofa reader; this might sound odd but in the last three places I’ve lived the sofas have been horrible, leather sofas. I’m pretty much an exclusive pyjama short and woolly top reader (unless I’m in public – like on the train or the bus because other humans,) and bare legs on leathers seats makes me shiver. So I’ve always retreated upstairs but here the lounge will finally be okay.

What’s there?

When we moved in we had minimal furniture at all. The ‘furnished lounge’ consisted of the sofa and two wall lights; furnished my ass. I did however find a tiny foldaway table that I insisted (T wasn’t sure) would fit nicely next to the sofa. Perfect for snacks, diet cokes (or water maybe) and other sweet treats I fancy demolishing. It also currently has a bonsai tree (slowly dying) sat upon it which I’m trying not to kill. It looks pretty too.

Fairy Lights in my perfect Reading Spot

Pajamas of choice?

If you follow my twitter/Instagram or read the opening paragraphs of my reviews, you will have seen I’m on a weight loss mission. At this point I’ve lost over a stone and finally feeling more comfortable in my own skin. So I’ve bought a nightie – for some reason I just didn’t feel comfortable to buy one before (this might seem odd.) The ones I’ve bought are very similar this one, and they have a Christmassy feel with the words ‘let it snow.’ Gah I really want it to snow.

Blankets?

Right – so one of the problems of renting (minus bills) is that every time you put the heating on you have to make the decision of; do I want to be cold or do I want to be able to afford diet cokes for the months. (SERIOUS DILEMMA.) So, in turn T and I have three blankets we rotate. There’s a fluffy one I’ve had for years (currently on the bed,) there’s a crotched one my Nana gave me that she made and, there’s a MERMAID TAIL blanket on the sofa that is currently my favourite. It keeps my legs warm, it’s super cute and it’s not too warm. #instagrammable #merlady.

What else?

I guess so far it’s a little obvious but I just want to make clear the last two places I lived the best place to read was the bath. JUST TO GET AWAY FROM PEOPLE.

ADDITIONAL EXTRAS FOR MY READING SPOT

As you can imagine the reading spot has a number of additional items for increased comfort. These include but are not limited to

Fluffy Hot Water Bottle – brilliant for when you’re cold/under the weather/feeling generally miserable.

Minstrels. There are a packet of these constantly in the cupboard (although T keeps EATING and NOT REPLACING.)

Sour Maoam Stripes. I adore sour sweets and I love Moan Stripes so these are pretty much my sweet of choice at the moment.

Snacking on sour sweets

Green Tea with Pomegranate from Twinnings. Apparently my Mum has had this at home for me the last two times I’ve visited but I’m not sure I was listening. This stuff is just, delicious. I actually really like the taste of green tea but with the Pomegranate it definitely makes it sweeter and yummier. Definitely on the hunt now for different options.

Long socks – I’ve had these Primark babes for about a year or so, they’ve cropped up many of a time and they are so so so cosy.

Fairy Lights – they’re both pretty and calm inducing.

After writing that list I now feel the desperate need to settle down in my reading spot and get a good chunk of the book I’m devouring read. What constitutes your reading spot and what do you think of mine? I think it’s pretty bloody great.

My perfect reading spot

 

Gah this post could end up being a downer. I don’t want to go into too many details but as you can imagine my moving to Greenwich did rest on a number of chances? Maybe promises is a better word. Some of them appear to be falling through and it’s left me feeling under-the-weather with an inflamed eye and I’m still not quite over this cold. But I’m cheering up. I promise.

Greenwich Clockhouse Market

T isn’t a fan of the Clockhouse Market in Greenwich. I think it’s because it’s one of those markets where you really have to look. There are lots of bits and bobs which I wouldn’t  want but another man’s trash is another man’s treasure and all that. I bought a retro-leather handbag for £15 which I have already fallen head over heels for. It’s such a perfect shape, colour and size. I also bought a longline cardigan in a size 14 (which is a little too big for me) but makes it into this perfect oversized cardi.

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Caribbean Food from Greenwich Market

Not even going to apologise for this one- every week that we’re in London together T and I find an excuse to stop into Greenwich Market and buy something amazing. I had been eyeing up the Caribbean food for a couple of weeks and it was to die for. Slow-cooked pork, perfectly cooked and seasoned rice and peas, and I love coleslaw (I think it’s a love of hate kinda thing.) Anyway – this was fantastic.

Danny Dyer and Who do you think you are?

I’m not a big fan of Danny Dyer but on Who do you think you are, he was brilliant. It’s a really funny and intriguing episode and definitely worth a watch.

Nutribullet

I work at a University and lots of people sell bits and bobs every week. There’s a been a chainsaw, a tortoise and over 200 comic books come through just this week. Over black Friday I had my eyes on a Nutribullet but I just couldn’t justify the cost. This week a silver one popped up for only £25.00 on said selling page so I nabbed it. It arrived the next day, it’s almost new and I adore it. Such a brilliant Christmas present just for me.

Weight-loss 

As of this week I’ve lost a stone and three pounds and kept it off (SO FAR.) I’m incredibly proud of myself and starting to feel more confident. I didn’t realise that my wardrobe had almost become a shrine to oversized jumpers and baggy tshirts so may need to do a little more shopping. I’ve written a couple on posts of how I’ve done it – mainly the snacks I’ve converted to whilst reading and blogging so they’ll be up soon!

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(I made a chicken tickka masala style soup and it was incredible – tasty and filling and super healthy.)

Pokemon Go!

Any fellow Pokemon fans will know that the game has gone a little downhill over the last few months and that Niantic have been trying to get people back playing again but finally FINALLY there’s a tracking system that allows you to find pokemon a pokestops which is brilliant. Hilariously T and I live on top of Pokestop so when playing from the sofa it’s not helpful but when you’re out an about it bloody brilliant.

Aaaaaaand I finally caught a bloody ditto! Fuck yas. 

So there’s my week. I’ve struggled a little this week if I’m honest – my blog needs a refresh, my job is brilliant but unsettling at times and the cold weather has really struck me down. I’ve felt more grumbly than I have in weeks but another week down, I’m sure the next will be better.

 

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Looks a little different doesn’t it – I have an update post coming on updating my little book blog and it’s not PERFECT yet but I’m getting there. It’s a Saturday and I’m currently cosy in bed. I was supposed to go the gym but I didn’t quite make it. Instead I’m (eventually) going to get up and make my way to eat pancakes and explore the Tate Modern, but for now here’s an author interview, because I’m that nice.

Author Interview

If you were to describe your book in three sentences what would you say? (They can be long sentences!)

In three sentences: A woman who made sacrifices for her family, refuses to believe that she’ll ever be the recipient of the love she has seen her friends experience. Her childhood crush has to fight through her disbelief to convince her that the life she always wanted is possible.

A Picture Perfect Romance (Ashbrook, Montana Book 5) by [Maywether, Merri]What was the most important thing you learnt during writing this book? How did you feel when the book was completed?

When the book was finished this book I was sad. I fell in love with this group of characters. I learned through Genevieve how to recognize the various ways people help me with the day to day struggles we have in life.

Is there anything in the book you wish you had changed now that it’s out there in the world – (I love this question!)

I wish I brought Aunt Tee from the first and third books into the story. She is the voice of wisdom for the family. But then again that may have shortened the story .

Could you give us an insight into your writing process?

When I write a book I usually dream the beginning and the end. I write an outline for the middle, but the characters always have different ideas–which makes the writing fun.

Who’s your favourite character and why?

My favorite character in this book is Genevieve. I admire her strength and what she is willing to do for her family.

Is there a message in your novel that you wanted your readers to grasp?

The message I want my readers to remember is there is more to love encompasses all the virtues.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Readers can find me at www.merrimaywether.com