GREAT BOOKS I’VE READ RECENTLY

It’s been such a long time since I wrote a blog post, but as I write this I’m on the way home from a weekend in London for my sisters birthday, and I just fancied having a little chat with you guys about some great books I’ve read recently. To be honest I haven’t had much inspiration to blog lately, but I’ll save that for my next post (it won’t be as long this time, promise!)

THE ROAD TRIP by Beth o’Leary
I’m a massive fan of Beth’s books, and I loved both The Flatshare and The Switch (if i had to choose out of those two, I’d probably pick the latter but I did very much enjoy them both). I was excited for The Road Trip to come out for ages, and I was super happy when it was only 99p on kindle so I immediately downloaded it. It was SO much more than I expected. It spans over many years of a relationship of a couple, and I just love books like that and how much more detail you can get into the characters. My favourite so far by Beth so I would obviously highly recommend!

LAST NIGHT by Mhari Mcfarlane
Again, another author I really like. This book is above and beyond so much more incredible than the other ones I’ve read by her, and it is unexpectedly very deep and not as light as I imagined and was used to. It is real, honest, raw, vulnerable, and at times quite hard to read if I’m being totally honest. I would say if you want a book you can get totally absorbed into- this would be a great place to start. I didn’t stop thinking about it weeks after I finished it.

BAD CHOICES by Lucy Zine
This book took quite a while to get into, but I’m really glad I perserved with it because by half way, I loved it. Its a book based on friendship which is something I always enjoy after reading a few romance ones, but it’s also really relatable and you get completely stuck into the story. Again I still think about this book quite often weeks after reading it.

TRUST ME by T.M Logan
I’ve read all of this authors previous books, so I knew what I was getting into when I downloaded this one. They are always complete page-turners and this is no different. I didn’t love this one as much as The Catch which is probably my favourite one of them all, but it’s still definitely worth a read and I would give it 4 stars.

Have you read any of these?

WHAT I’VE READ RECENTLY

I’ve just checked my Goodreads account and I’m currently on book number 35 of 2021! I remember at the start of 2020 I read lots of five star reads in the first few months, it doesn’t feel like I’ve read that many books I’ve give that title to this year so far, but I’m really hoping for some more in the next couple of months.

EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU– The most recent five star read. I’ve never read this one before but I did try to a few years ago, and I just couldn’t get into it. Little Fires Everywhere was one of my favourite books ever though, so I had a niggling feeling that I was missing something. When it came up that it was the book for the book club I’m a part of, I was willing to give it another try. I’m so glad I did because I just found it fascinating and I still think about it now months later. It is written in a very similar way to LFE and you can definitely tell it’s by the same author, but I’d say LFE just has the edge over them both for me.

YOU AND ME ON VACATION– I love love loved Beach Read by the same author last year, and while I did really enjoy this, it didn’t quite live up to BR for me. I would still definitely recommend giving it a read and it’s a great summer novel, but I did want a teeny bit more from this book if I’m being totally honest.

THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB- This is my most recent book and I’m a chapter or two left on it but GUYS, I can’t get on board with it at all. It’s so overrated and even though I’ve basically finished the book I still don’t feel like I know a lot of what happened in it. I liked the characters but the storyline felt all over the place and very confusing, a massive let down from what I thought was going to be a fab book.

SMALL PLEASURES– I’ve heard so many good things about this book so I was really excited to give it a read. While it was good and very interesting, it’s a four star for me. I really liked the twist at the end which I didn’t see coming, but the book as a whole didn’t completely blow me over like I expected it too.

THE LOCK-IN– Another book I just finished a few days ago. This was a fun quirky read, not one I’m going to necessarily recommend to anyone, but okay all in all when teamed with a meatier read that you read alongside it.

MRS EVERYTHING– This was a book I don’t think I’ve heard anyone speak about, so it was a super random kindle deal that I took upon, but I’m so glad I did. It was AMAZING. A book about a super complicated relationship between two sisters and their mother, it follows you thoroughout their lives and is a book I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. Pleaseeeee read it.

Have you read any of these?

3 MEMBERSHIPS I RECOMMEND

I spoke about this recently in an Instagram caption, about the memberships I’m apart of and would really recommend. I have to say, this type of online biz stuff is still super new to me and I only really started it last year, so take that in mind. That being said, I’ve attended quite a few courses and workshops since then so I feel like I know the things that are worth the ££ and the ones I wouldn’t purchase or watch again. So with all that, lets get on to it.

GROW GLOW by Vix Meldrew
This is the first membership I ever joined and it was a total no-brainer. Filled with fab expert trainings and a friendly private facebook group, but my favourite part without a doubt of it is the group chats and workshop calls that the members attend together. I’ve joined over a handful of them now, and the last one especially (maybe because thats its the most fresh in my mind) was a total game-changer and helped me plan where I want to take my Instagram next.

BETHS BOOK CLUB by Beth Sandland
I was debating joining BBC for quite a while, but I’m so glad I did and it is so worth the £5.99 monthly fee. There’s a massive ton of events that happen every few months, some of my favourites are: the monthly yoga class with Cake & Yoga Club, the Book quiz nights, and the author Q&A’s! The last one was with Mike Gayle who I’m a big fan of and it was such a wonderful way to spend an evening, so interesting. There’s also a private facebook group for this club which is filled to the brim with great book recommendations too.

The She Brief by Emily Valentine
The newest membership I’ve joined (I actually joined as a founding member) without really knowing what to expect. I have to say, it has far surpassed my expectations and I am LOVING it. I’m yet to join the coffee mornings because I’m at work but I’m really looking forward to joining an afternoon one later on this month to meet everyone. Every month there’s a workshop to join with accompanying workbook to fill (I have May’s to catch up on but I’m really looking forward to it) and they’ve recently started doing events too. I did the journalling for business success with Chloe Slade that they held, and it was very clarifying for me going forwards with my print shop and IG. They also have IG lives that are on their IGTV for you to watch so totally free, but so valuable! I’m excited to see this membership grow and to grow alongside it.

Are you part of any memberships?

WHY I DECIDED TO START A NEWSLETTER

A newsletter was something I had been thinking about for a long time. At the height of a few years ago, newsletters were the *in* thing and everyone had one. Of course I immediately wanted to jump on the bandwagon (because social media) but I couldn’t work out what I could offer with one. How I could make one ‘me’. I didn’t want them to just be something that I felt like I should do, rather than something I really wanted to do. And I wanted to make it different, so I got to brainstorming.

I thought about the newsletters I really like. I read LOTS of newsletters by my favourite creators. I thought about things I wish those newsletters had included, and started to come up with a plan for my own.

I knew I wanted it to be monthly, simply because a weekly newsletter is a massive commitment, and I struggle to blog once a week with all of life going on- so I knew I wouldn’t be able to commit to a newsletter either. I also knew I wanted my art to be the main focus of it. I didn’t want a lifestyle newsletter, although I did want some personal bits in it too.

I wrote down everything I wanted to include (behind the image chats, monthly letters, recommendations, my art in homes) and then I came up with the idea of adding a monthly vlog in each newsletter too! I used to vlog years ago on Youtube, and whilst I loved the actual ‘vlogging’ part, it didn’t sit right with me that anyone could watch it, and it was there for all to see. After some more thinking time, I decided I wanted to attach a monthly vlog where I chat and go behind the scenes of my work, but also show my days in the week too, and make it unlisted, so the only way you can watch it is if you subscribe to my newsletter. It feels like a little family and a safe space where I can be myself too.

I’ve done two so far (the first one included an exclusive discount to my Etsy shop) and I’m on the way to start working on next months too.

If you’d like to subscribe, there’s a sign up box at the bottom of the page where you can pop in your email and hopefully, I’ll see you in your inbox in a few weeks!

MY GOALS FOR MAY

It’s the start of a new month, which over on this blog means it’s time to check in on my monthly goals!

APRIL RECAP

Launch my newsletter. Yup, I did it! I’m really glad I made the plunge to finally start a newsletter, it’s something I’ve been thinking about for around a year now, and I love that I’ve made it a little bit different and ‘me’ with the addition of a monthly vlog included and a few little other bits and pieces. If you want to subscribe, the link is at the bottom of my website!

Celebrate my birthday. To be honest looking back at my birthday kinda feels like a blur, but I did enjoy a few celebrations and I was treated to some gorgeous presents from my family. My mum and sister put together for an iPad for me so I’ve downloaded procreate and am enjoying doodling over there and practising something different to my photoshop stuff.

Keep up the good work! April kind of seems like it was a month of two halves, but I suppose we can all say that right now couldn’t we? I think it’s important to focus on our good moments as much as possible <3

MAY GOALS

Go to a gym class. On May 17th, gym classes are re-opening in the UK. We’ve had a massive leisure centre built nearby and I’m planning on joining the gym and taking a few classes! Hopefully it will be a great way to meet more local people too.

Start another yoga challenge. I’ve been trying out various yoga teachers online, and I think I’m ready for a new 30 day challenge! I’ve been doing a lot of ‘Yoga with Bird’ recently so I think that’s the one I’m gonna go for- will report back on it!

Go on Skillshare. I signed up to Skillshare last month but I’ve still not looked at it yet, and I know there’s gonna be a bunch of stuff on there that I would be super interested in, so that’s a goal for May.

Do you have any goals for May?

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