Christmas Spirit

Posted on 23 December, 2015 by Faye - 2 Comments

Hey All!
As we’re now very close to Christmas – it’s Christmas Eve tomorrow! – I thought I’d write a quick post about Christmas Spirit!


My Christmas Spirit

Every year I go through the motions with Christmas. Sometimes I love it, and sometimes I hate it. Usually it’s varies throughout the years but this year it’s literally been changing from one feeling to the other within the space of one day.

Underneath it all, I am very excited for Christmas. I’ve really enjoyed buying presents and receiving present and I’m really looking forward to passing them along and opening them too. I’m also really looking forward to spending time with my family and just enjoying the whole atmosphere of it.

But for some reason, my excitement and enjoyment is coming and going like a yoyo.

I think the reason may be because work has been incredibly stressful and I’m trying hard to keep on top of it all and keep my spirits up. But because I want to be in the right mood, I’ve been doing some things to try to feel happy. And today I wanted to share those with you in case it helps you to find your christmas spirit too!


How I’m Finding My Christmas Spirit

Putting Up The Christmas Decorations
This took me longer to do than I expected. Last year they went up on the 29th November, but this year it wasn’t until the first week of December. However, once I was putting them up, I did start to feel that excited Christmas cheer.

Buying Presents
This is one of those double-edged sword activities. In a way, it’s a great way to make you feel the spirit because you can imagine someone’s reaction when they open the presents. But it can also make you feel a little blue if you don’t have enough money for things. So do this activity with care!

Eating Christmassy Food
Devour those mince pies. Relish in those chocolate biscuits. Worship the shortbread. Gulp down the eggnog. Demolish those Gingerbread houses. Just do it all because this is the only time of year it’s acceptable to do so. Plus, when divulging in Christmassy food, it helps to release that Christmas Spirit.

Watch Christmas and/or Magical Films
This is my favourite thing to do at Christmas. Watching the classics, watching the children’s favourites, and just enjoying returning to amazing films that are filled with amazing moments. So far this year I’ve watched, Eight Below, Santa Clause, Arthur Christmas, Home Alone, Harry Potter 1, 2 and 3. I have plans to watch Miracle on 34th Street, It’s A Wonderful Life and Rise of the Guardians.

Listen (and sing) to Christmas Songs
This is very much my favourite thing about Christmas. I love turning the music up loud – wherever I am – and singing along to the wonderful classics. They fill my heart and just remind of my childhood and the magic I felt during those Christmases. This year I’ve even bought a Christmas CD to enjoy on my car journeys as the radio hasn’t been playing enough songs yet!

Read Christmas Books
It wouldn’t be right not to read at Christmas, right? So what I love about this time of year are reading all of the lovely Christmas books. They’re cheesy and you usually know how they’re going to end but I just love diving into the festive stories and letting the heart-warming stories fill my heart and let my Christmas Spirit fly!

Getting into warm comfy PJs and snuggling under a blanket
This is the epitome of Christmas Spirit right? There’s nothing better than, after a long day (*cough*year*cough*) of getting into warm and comfy PJs and just getting comfortable and relaxed. Because that’s the best thing about Christmas, right? Or is that just me?


So those are what I do each year, and what I’ve been doing lots this year, to get into the festive Spirit.

What do you do?

faye1

Posted on 23 December, 2015 by Faye - 2 Comments


365 Days of Being Grateful

Posted on 17 December, 2015 by Faye - 1 Comment

Hi All!
Today I want to talk to you all about something that I plan to do next year which is inspired by the 100 days of happiness and the jars of happy moments.

Every year around this time I see that image of the jar and am reminded of the people that buy a jar and write down things that have made them happy throughout the year and place it in the jar. Then they open it at the end of the year to be reminded of all the happy things that happened that year – as a way to look past all the negative things.

And so this year I decided to do something similar but also a little bit different. This year I want to make sure that every single day, I take a small moment to remind myself of something that I’m grateful for. I’ll post it on my Facebook or my twitter and let it sit there.

Then when the end of the year comes, I should hopefully have 365 things to be grateful for. And the year after next, I’ll look through my Facebook memories and be reminded of all the things I’m grateful for.

Why not happy moments?
Because, to me, while happy moments are incredible, remembering them can cause sadness because they’re not here any more. However, when we’re grateful for things, we can transform negative emotions into positive ones and I am hoping that by being grateful for one thing every day for 365 days, I’ll be a more positive person by the end of it all.

It’s certainly worth a try, at any rate.

If you’d like to join me, I’m going to be using the hashtag #365gratefuldays

And I just might do monthly recaps on the blog too. Do you think you’d like to see that?

And before I go…

What Are You Grateful For This Holiday Season?

faye1

Posted on 17 December, 2015 by Faye - 1 Comment


Book Tour Review; The Girls from See Saw Lane

Posted on 7 December, 2015 by Faye - No Comments

the girls from see saw laneAuthor: Sandy Taylor
Publisher: Bookouture
Published: December 4th 2015
Pages: 350
Format: Ebook
Source:: Netgally Copy
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, The Book Depository

Summary:
Brighton 1963. Mary Pickles and I walked along the street with our arms linked, looking in shop windows. We were best friends and together we were invincible.

Dottie and Mary forged a friendship over a bag of penny sweets when they were eight years old. They’ve shared everything together since then – the highs and lows of school, family dramas, hopes and dreams and now, at seventeen, they’re both shop girls, working at Woolworths.

As they go out in the world in pursuit of love and happiness, the simplicity of their childhood dissolves as life becomes more complicated. The heady excitement of first love will consume them both, but the pain of unintentional betrayal will test their friendship in ways neither of them could ever imagine…


Having A Friend

As soon as I read the synopsis of this book, I knew that I had to read it. I’m not usually someone who likes books set in the past, especially during a time I wasn’t alive but I love books about friendship and this one sounded like a book I’d really enjoy. And I was not wrong. This book kept me hooked from early on and when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it and trying to work out when I could next fall back into the worlds of Dottie and Mary. It was an intense, lovely, powerful and strong book that I loved from start to finish and was so happy to read about a sequel in the acknowledgements too – I am not ready to say goodbye to these characters and this world!

Always Be There

If you’re a regular reader of my blog or know me personally, you will know that I adore books that are character-led and so you can only imagine how much I loved this book. It’s all about Mary and Dottie’s friendship and their lives and the book just pulled me in and kept me there. I really enjoyed reading about their lives. I laughed with them, fell into shock with them, loved with them and cried with them. Their journey’s shaped the plot of the book and I thought it was well thought-out and brilliantly done. I hadn’t expected the ending at all and I love when that happens. I will definitely be waiting on tender hooks for the next book to come out and will be keeping an eye on Sandy Taylor from now on.

Is One Of

As mentioned above, this is a character-led book, so naturally it’s important that the characters are fully-dimensional and not flat. And boy were they! I loved all of the characters mentioned in this book and thier backgrounds and how they all were around each other. I loved how emotionally attached I became to them all and how much I just wanted to make things okay for them all. Personally, Dottie was my favourite. She was more reserved than Mary but still up for adventures. She went through the biggest growth and I just found her to be a brilliant character to read about. I loved Mary’s spirit. She was such a fiesty and fiery character, definitely an interesting one to read about. All the characters were so well written, it almost felt like you were surrounded by people you’d known for years.

Life’s Greatest Gifts

The Girls from See Saw Lane is a rollarcoaster of a book. It is emotional, intense and addictive. It will see you laughing one minute and then crying the next. It will have you grateful for the friends in your life and sad that you don’t have the kind of friendship that Mary and Dottie have – but also grateful for that too, in some ways. It shows how strong but also complicated and complex both love and friendship is. And it is just a novel that will keep you reading from the start to the end. I loved every minute of this book and cannot wait to read more of the story.

Four Stars

** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **

faye1

Posted on 7 December, 2015 by Faye - No Comments


Book Review; Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

Posted on 4 December, 2015 by Faye - No Comments

Dark Triumph

Author: Robin LaFevers
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Published: 2nd April 2013
Pages: 385
Format: E-Book
Source:: Netgalley Copy
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, Amazon US

Summary:
When Sybella arrived at the doorstep of St Mortain half mad with grief and despair the convent were only too happy to offer her refuge – but at a price. The sisters of this convent serve Death, and with Sybella naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, she could become one of their most dangerous weapons.

But her assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to the life that nearly drove her mad. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. But when Sybella discovers an unexpected ally she discovers that a daughter of Death may find something other than vengeance to live for…


It Is Time

After finishing and loving the first book in this series – despite not particularly enjoying historical fiction – I was super excited about finally reading the second book. And boy was that excitement justified! This book was really well-written, full of fantastic and loveable characters and just a brilliant story that had me hooked from start to finish. I loved this book to pieces and I cannot wait to finally get my hands on the third book book in this series to see where this story will take me next!

To Find Out

One of the things that I really loved about this book was that it was from Sybella’s point of view. The switching character POVs really helped to make this book different from the first. Plus, I think I just personally love Sybella more so I appreciated reading a whole novel from her perspective. I also loved that the plot always had something happening – even when there wasn’t that much action going on. Robin does a brilliant job of keeping the reader attached to the words on the page. I loved all the action bits too and how it all came together in the end. Everything just slotted together so perfectly and I honestly cannot wait to find out what will happen next – because of course there was a cliffhanger.

Exactly What You’re

I am someone who loves strong characters and character-driven stories and that is one of the main reasons that I absolutely love this series. Robin LaFevers is brilliant at writing incredible characters that are well thought-out, believeable and hard not to love. My favourite, of course, is Sybella. She is a fiesty, full-on, hardcore assassion that I just loved so much. She was both strong and weak, kind and fierce, trapped and free and she was just a wonderful character to read about. And alongside her was the famous and fantastic, Beast. I have to admit that I would never be with anyone like Beast but I adored him so much. He was stubborn and agressive but also loyal, loving and gentle. He was caring and protective, and I thought he was perfect for Sybella. They worked so well together, side-by-side through it all which made the book that much better.

Made Of

It should, I hope, be oobvious by now that I really loved this book. It is a fiesty story that is full of action, deceipt and powerful women – what’s not to love! Even with a historical backdrop, I have fallen head over heels in love with this series and that is no mean feat. Robin LaFevers writes beautifully and has a brilliant way of really bringing characters to life. I could imagine everything so well and vividly too. So if you’re after a new series that is definitely worth reading and will hook you completely, you should definitely read this series!

Four Stars

** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **

faye1

Posted on 4 December, 2015 by Faye - No Comments