Monday, 15 January 2018

My 2017 Roundup

I feel as though I am so behind with my blog at the moment. I have loads of things on my to-do list that I want to share with you all and just don't seem to have the time to do it! Today I want to share my collage of photos from 2017, from each This Week post!

Last year was undoubtedly the best year of my life - no exaggeration. I married the love of my life, went on the holiday of a lifetime, and so much more. I've had amazing times with friends and family, have flourished at work, and maintained my hobbies (as best I could!). It's been filled with crochet and cooking!

A few years ago, if you had told me that I would be spending my honeymoon in Kenya, I'd have never believed you. It would have been one of the things I'd never be able to do, because of anxiety. Last year I proved myself wrong, and not only got to Kenya, but had the time of my life, all with my wonderful husband by my side. I also probably would never have believed that I'd spend my wedding day nerves free - it was the best feeling in the world, and hopefully something that I can experience more and more in the future.

I managed lots of lovely crochet last year, including the bunting for my wedding decorations, and I have loads of new projects planned for 2018! I was given some lovely books for Christmas and am itching to get started on them and make gifts for people.

So what will 2018 bring for me? Lots more crochet, I hope! I have started my bullet journal (and really need to blog about that!) and look to maintain that for the course of the year. Whilst on the journal subject, I am into the third year of my Line a Day journal, which is exciting. I'm also hoping that this year I will continue to cook lots of new recipes (although we are looking to extend the back of the house, so I may be without a kitchen for a while!). I've already set my targets for my reading challenge, and am cracking on with that, so let's see what happens!

I also want this year to be full of friends, family and fun times. I would love to have more days out, and experience new things, and share these experiences with my loved ones.

So, I don't have any resolutions as such, but targets and aims to maintain the happiness achieved last year. It'd be great to hear of you New Year's resolutions, or things you would like to achieve!

Friday, 12 January 2018

2018 Reading Challenge

So, despite miserably failing last year's Goodreads challenge, I am taking on 2018 with a vengeance and am hoping to smash my target of 16. I've done it before and I can definitely do it again! I'm tying a separate reading challenge into it, which was brought to my attention by my lovely friend and colleague Roxy - I think she is going to be ticking items off of the list as well. The original image for the reading challenge is huge, so I am just going to list each item for you!

I am going to semi-cheat, as I know I am not going to achieve 50 books over the course of the year, so if I manage to kill two birds with one stone so to speak, and read a book that covers a couple of topics, I am going to tick them both haha! I simply just don't have time to get through 50 books in a year (or even 18 as it would seem) with working full time and all of my other hobbies, so I don't think that's unreasonable. So here is each item on the POPSUGAR reading challenge for 2018:

  • A book made into a movie that you've already seen
  • True crime
  • The next book in a series you've already started
  • A book involving a heist
  • Nordic Noir
  • A novel based on a real person
  • A book set in a country that fascinates you
  • A book with a time of day in the title
  • A book about a villain or antihero
  • A book about death or grief
  • A book with a female author who uses a male pseudonym
  • A book with an LGBTQ+ protagnist
  • A book that is also a stage play or musical
  • A book by an author of a different ethnicity to you
  • A book about feminism
  • A book about mental health
  • A book you borrowed or that was given to you as a gift
  • A book by two authors
  • A book about or involving sport
  • A book by a local author
  • A book with your favourite colour in the title
  • A book with alliteration in the title
  • A book about time travel
  • A book with a weather element in the title
  • A book set at sea
  • A book with an animal in the title
  • A book set on a different planet
  • A book with song lyrics in the title
  • A book about or set on Halloween
  • A book with characters who are twins
  • A book mentioned in another book
  • A book from a celebrity book club
  • A childhood classic that you've never read
  • A book published in 2018
  • A past Goodreads Choice Awards winner
  • A book set in the decade you were born
  • A book you meant to read in 2017 but didn't get to
  • A book with an ugly cover
  • A book that involves a bookstore or library
  • Your favourite prompt from the 2015, 2016 or 2017 POPSUGAR reading challenges
  • A bestseller from the year you graduated high school
  • A cyberpunk book
  • A book that was being read by a stranger in a public place
  • A book tied to your ancestry
  • A book with a fruit or vegetable in the title
  • An allegory
  • A book by an author with the same last name as you
  • A microhistory
  • A book about a problem facing society today
  • A book recommended by someone else taking the POPSUGAR reading challenge
...aaaaaand breathe. Lets see how I do. I can actually see a few that I will be able to tick off with books on my to read list, so that's promising (and that's without cheating and multi-ticking too!). 

I started reading Perfume: The Story of a Murderer the other day. It's one of my all time favourite films and has been sat on my to read list for ages, so I thought I'd give it a go. I'm enjoying it so far! 

Is anyone else doing a reading challenge this year? Or would anyone like to do this one with me and we can share our successes or failures afterwards? It would be cool to know what you all have on your bookshelves at the moment. Another target of mine is to read some of my "real" books - as in, not on my Kindle. I have a pile that is slowly taking over the bookcase in the hall, none of which are properly shelved...they're just chucked there and it's driving hubby mad! Whoops! So I know I need to read some of those this year to make some space. 

Good luck to anyone who is doing a reading challenge!

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Second Ted!

After finishing his buddy just before Christmas, it's taken me a little longer than I'd hoped to finish his friend but last night I finished sewing Adrienne's second teddy together!

I used the same pattern by Elif T, just in the lighter yarn, and went for a blue and grey scarf this time.

So that's project number one done for the year, and a gift I promise Adrienne at the end of 2016, so I'm glad I have finally given these to her (or will later this day). I hope she likes him! Next project, a polar bear for another colleague...bring it on!

Sunday, 7 January 2018

2017 Reading Challenge

My first proper post of the new year - sorry I've been a bit hit and miss, but I've had loads going on! Just wanted to do a round up on last years reading challenge. I'm a bit gutted because it's the first one I have failed since I joined Goodreads back in 2012!

There is everything I managed to read last year. It still looks like a decent number of books, but I am disappointed that I missed my target by 2 books overall. I read 5746 pages in total, which is also my lowest since starting with Goodreads. Grr! On a positive, I only missed my target because I was too busy prepping for my wedding, getting married and then having our honeymoon, so there were worse things to be doing!

Favourite books? Shutter Island was so awesome, and it was great to go back in time and read Of Mice And Men again - which I did for my GCSE English Literature. I ticked off a few that'd been on my to read list for years, so that's good too.

So for 2018 I have set myself a target of 16 books. I have done that before (saying that, I have managed 18 before!) so we shall see. I should have a lot more time on my hands this year, when I'm not crocheting 14m of bunting, spending hour after hour looking for and buying wedding bits, and getting married! I'm still going to have lots on - I have started a bullet journal, am still crocheting and cooking, and of course have friends and family to think of too. But 16 books is my target and I will happily go over! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Week 52

Family time!

25th - 31st December

From left to right: our table before our Christmas dinner, proud of my roast cooking skills, Gizmo didn't like his Christmas collar, my lovely crochet related gifts, our time at the MacGuffin Project (a gift from my brother and Emma), sibling Christmas picture, spare room ready and waiting for guests (complete with Summer Mosaic!), playing Monopoly as Gandalf, and my new bullet journal!

Week 51

Almost Christmas!

17th - 24th December

From left to right: sunsets at work, settling down with a glass of something bubbly, Bertie the bear - for Adrienne, more decorations going up, one of our Christmas crackers, my hair dryer broke!!!, our lovely festive lounge, prepping the chicken on Christmas Eve, and scarf details on my teddy amigurumi!

Week 50

Cooking and cold weather!

10th - 17th December

From left to right: hands covered in glitter, my Secret Santa gift (thank you to whoever bought it!), chicken and bacon pasta, a cute little cookie from Roxy, ice crystals in the morning, my lovely fruit wreath with a festive candle, my Christmas card from Dave, little degus in Pets at Home, and special presents for special boys!