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?

RECENTLY READ

I feel like I’m back in my reading zone these days, and I’ve read some books that I’ve really enjoyed. None of them were quite 5 stars *in my opinion* but there’s some good 4 star reads in here that I highly recommend!

The Split
A really funny, honest read that at times, felt a bit ~too~ relatable. It felt very detailed and thought out, and nothing came across as glossed over or unimportant. For an ‘easier’ read this hit home a lot, so don’t stray away from it because you think it might be too fluffy for you! I also really liked the characters (especially the dad!)

When All is Said
This isn’t one I would have probably picked up myself, I read it as part of a book club but it was heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. A truly beautiful book, that stays with you after the final page. It’s guaranteed to have you wanting to talk about it after!

The Dog Share
Being honest, this wasn’t the book I thought it was going to be when I downloaded it on my kindle! From the cover, I was judging it to be a really light easy rom-com, but it was so much more than that, and in fact, it wasn’t even really that anyway. I don’t feel like the title either reflects the book actually, but it was a lovely heartwarming read about a woman in the middle of her life making a big change both personally and professionally.

All The Lonely People
This book was another heartbreaker. I read it as part of a different book club (yes I love book clubs okay) and the story was so poignant. I really love Mike Gayle as an author so this one didn’t disappoint. If there was a bit more detail and depth in certain places, this one would of definitely been a 5 star read for me.

Have you read any of these?

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