Thursday, 20 April 2017

Little Surprises!

My little girl surprises me on a lot of occasions. She is confident and cheeky and I am loving getting more and more glimpses into the wonderful girl she is becoming. The other day we had the chance to go with friends to a farmers market and in her usual adorable way she managed to surprise me yet again.

We were just browsing the stalls and looking at some rather beautiful book page flowers and a lady noticed her cheeky little face and she said hello. She then asked my little girl a question that I honestly hadn’t expected her to answer. ‘What’s your favourite book?’ I am pretty sure most of us have been asked this on many occasions and ummed and ahed with answers. Despite my daughters preference for being read to or pretending to read to her toys I really hadn’t expected her to answer.

Yet without hesitation, she confidently said, ‘Gruffalo’s Child’. Honestly I think my heart about burst. We have been reading this (at her request) quite a lot and for her to not only remember but to answer in context that this was her current favourite book was such a joy.

I do hope she keeps her love of books!

Monday, 17 April 2017

March Wrap Up

As perusal I was ever so ambitious and as perusal I didn't quite reach the dizzying heights of books read I had aimed to. I managed 6 which I am pretty chuffed with considering I had only read 2 by the 17th March.I stared off strong reading two books in quick succession but a family wedding, an awesome trip to Disneyland Paris and the like slowed me down somewhat.

Heartless by Marissa Meryer

I enjoyed it but wanted it to be darker and more sinister then it was. I found it a bit fluffy and lacking in places it could have excelled. However, it was intriguing and I loved getting to be in Wonderland again.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

I was gone. No word of lie I let this book drag me in and I read it in a day. I loved the writing style, the premise and the pace. Wonderfully written with a great storyline. Slight disappointed by the ending but at least I know she's writing a follow up.

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E.Schwab

I stared reading this on the way to Disneyland and finished it on the way back (I did have a reading break whilst there) I loved this second instalment but found it didn't have as strong a story line as the first. I still think Schwab is a ridiculously talented author and she really does weave incredible fantasy.

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schawb

Need to know kind of read. I daren't read anything after book two other than book three in case I missed something. I much preferred this final instalment to book two and although I was disappointed not to learn more about Kell and Lila's origins I liked the direction the story took. It was clever and pacey especially considering the size of the book.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Chucked this in for a bit of change. I have read a few John Greens and have found it is a bit of a marmite genre and author .Unfortunately Looking For Alaska had the same issues as Paper Towns I couldn't stand the female lead and therefore had zero empathy. Furthermore I felt a bit of this story was implausible and made for a bit of trippy read.

Perfect by Cecilia Ahern

Wow! I got an ARC of this and was chuffed as I loved the first instalment of the duology. I like the way Ahern seamlessly goes into YA fiction. I wrote a full review of this book earlier this month.

I was so close to 7 books this month but unfortunately Empress of a Thousand Skies snuck into April's reads. I haven't piled up April's planned reads to see if maybe I read better without the TBR threat!

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Fairy Loot Unboxing - February 2017

I think it is fair to say that I was so utterly over the moon excited to finally get a fairy loot box in February that I forgot to do a detailed unboxing of it on the blog and fell into my old habits of posting continual review posts…old habits die hard on all that.
So rather than ignore my first box (considering I already have my second and towards the end of April my first I am just going to accept that my posting is out of sink).
I took the plunge and got the box having deeply regretted not getting the January box (Caraval themed – weeps into book). The box arrived in really quick time literally the day after my shipping notification it materialised. I have said before but I chose FairyLoot as my book crate for two main reasons. 1) its young adult fantasy which is right up my street and 2) it shipping is a lovely figure of just over £3 instead of attempting to ship another from the US for crazy money. I am so glad I took the decision to get it. I have loved the excitement of wondering what the book might be, getting the bookish items and taking many nerdy shots of the constant for my Instagram account.

I loved the items that came in the box and now I have finished almost finished the library transformation I am loving displaying them. Now I had already seen and binged watch a load of youtube unboxings so I knew not to look at the back of the artwork card as I really didn’t want any spoilers. I really love the artwork in each box and will hopefully be finding a way of displaying these in the new library.

Kalusian Sunset Candle by Happy Piranha

The first item I pulled out was the deliciously smelling Kalusian Sunset candle. Now until I read the information I wasn’t quite sure what book reference this was but of course I now know it is from Empress of a Thousand Skies. I am a reluctant candle lighter but I am sure I will cave and light this one soon.

Celestial Gun Poweder Bath Bomb by Bathing Beauties.

This bath bomb smelt practically edible. I am a sucker for any bath bombs so this has already disappeared and was really lovely. This item was created exclusively for FairyLoot.

Baby Groot Funko Pop Keyring

The following item literally was one of my husband’s favourites and I had to do my utmost to stop him pinching it. I love this item as I am a big fan of the Guardians of the Galaxy and who doesn’t love baby Groot. This item definitely helped me feel the cost of the box was really reasonable.

I’ve not read Jay Kristoff’s Illumnaie series but this coaster is beautifully designed and I love the quote. Makes me intrigued to read this series. T. This has found a home on our living room sideboard – much needed as I am constantly leaving my cups of tea scattered over the house.

Space Girl Book Mark by Till and Dill

A really funky space girl bookmark that was a really beautiful design. I think it is safe to say no bookworm can have enough bookmarks.

Throne of Glass Print by Taratjah

It was with glee I found the print of Manon and Dorian. I was thrilled with this item as Manon is one of my favourite characters in the Throne of Glass series and it was nice to have recognised her straight away. I did see the Dorian side first and I was not sure who it was until I flipped the book over. I have framed this in a glass frame so I can keep changing over who I want to display. 

Rebel of the Sands Canvas Pouch by Alisse Courter

The next item was another one of my favourites in the form of this lovely canvas pouch with a great quote from The Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton. I loved this book which definitely helps you to love the item. I haven’t quite decided if I am going to use it or display it on the new library shelves – tough choices!

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

The book for February I finished at the start of the month. Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza. I had this on my list to read in March but did not quite finish in time. I really enjoyed trying to read something that I would never have picked up in the first place. I did find the story a little disjointed but overall it was a good read. One thing I can not rave enough about is the way FairyLoot package their books. I love the bag and it has become a useful little way of travelling my books to work etc without the risk of them getting damaged. I am pleased I will rack up a fair few of these with my next few boxes. 

There were the usual Fairyloot newsletter, the Q+A with the author and the letter and also a sample of a book called The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily BarrI am yet to use the exclusive discount code for the MyBookmark company but I actually will do as the designs are gorgeous and look amazing.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Library Transformation - 'That’s so much better than I expected!'

I have posted a few hints and mentions about my library transformation. It has taken me fair longer to finish then I care to admit and I am almost there. One bookcase to go and a bit of extra staging and it should be complete. I apologise for the lack of photos in the post, I thought about the blog after starting!

Now when we were finally fortunate enough to buy our house the big compromise for me was that we had a new build. This meant saying goodbye to my Jane Austen influenced fantasies of bricks and beams and old converted warehouses (much to my husbands relief). This has meant our house can be summed up in one word… Magnolia. Now do not get me wrong we are so blessed with this house and in hindsight a new build has been ideal for our little girl and I am completely in love with my house but I did want to start adding our personality to it this year.

Now I have dabbled in a bit of DIY on occasion with reasonable results. I went a bit chalk paint mad when we had our little girl and sourced and painted all the living room furniture within her first few months (naps were handy). I haven’t managed to get on with actually transforming any of the rooms and now she is a lot bigger I feel I am running out excuses as to why. My husband is not keen on change and so I gradually chipped away at this by suggesting how the library being redecorating and reorganised would benefit him – namely the ability to display various collections he has. A picture of Lego figures displayed on the walls finally converted him from a no to a yes - thanks Pinterest. 

The first step was the paint. I tried out a few testers and the minute my husband chose the grey he liked the most (they all look the same was said a few times) I went for it and began to paint. I will admit my approach to decorating is not the tidiest and apart from moving the books out of the room I left the furniture in place and worked around it all. I still have a few areas to touch up but on the whole the grey was a drastic improvement on the magnolia and a bonus was that my husband became a bit more trusting that I could achieve the project I had outlined. My mum and brother were less trusting and were constantly suggesting I wait for them to begin stage two – the wallpapering.

They almost convinced me but with the threat of having to wait even longer to finish the room –stuff was literally everywhere upstairs. I put caution to the wind and brought the wallpaper and with no plum line, no experience and no idea I wallpapered a feature wall in Brick effect paper (B&Q bargain). To my families great surprise as well as my own I did not wallpaper myself or my hair into the wall and to my own joy it was straight. There were a few fiddly bits but I managed to wallpaper the majority of the wall during my daughter's nap time (told you they were handy) and I am super grateful to youtubers out there who have made videos for people just like me to follow.

I wouldn’t let Kev see it until it was completed but his exact words were,‘that’s so much better than I expected’

The next stage was to transform the bookcases, a story of chalk paint, wax, splinters and a few trips on ebay...