The Sunshine Blogger Award

Happy Wednesday, everybody!

I am very excited to have been nominated for The Sunshine Blogger award by the lovely Elisabeth. You can find her over at https://ebachmann15.wixsite.com/borninthe90s – check out her blog!

So, here’s what I have to do next..

The Rules for The Sunshine Blogger Award are:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.

2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.

3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.

4. List the rules and display The Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or in your blog.

My Nominations (in no particular order..)

1. https://alittle-sunshine.com/

2. https://livinguktaiwan.wordpress.com/

3. https://kelseyywritess.wordpress.com/

4. https://mrsmilesrecovers.com/

5. https://planet-dom.com/

6. https://stepphhsays.com/

7. https://thoughtsofadventure852428559.wordpress.com/

8. https://missbossyreviewsadventuresandconfessions.wordpress.com/

9. https://booknerdtravels.wordpress.com/

10. https://diaryofazombiemum.wordpress.com/

11. https://thebutterflygirlweb.wordpress.com/

Questions for Nominees

1. How did you choose your blog name?

2. What is your greatest ambition?

3. Where is the most exotic location you have travelled to?

4. What is your favourite book?

5. If you could be an animal for the day, what would it be?

6. When was the last time you laughed uncontrollably?

7. What is your drink of choice?

8. Which famous person, dead or alive, would you like to have lunch with?

9. What is your first childhood memory?

10. What is your favourite pizza topping?

11. Can money buy you happiness?

My Answers to Elisabeth’s Questions

1. What inspired you to start a blog?

I have always loved to write, but lack confidence in my own abilities. However, as writer is my career of choice, I decided I needed a platform to promote my writing abilities, boost my confidence, and also as a reason to write more. So here I am!

2. If you could do anything, what would you do?

If this is related to work, I would love to be a published author. I would also like to run an animal sanctuary and rescue ill-treated and abandoned animals.

3. Where is the favorite place you have ever been?

I really liked Santorini, although only visited briefly on a day trip from Crete. But my heart lies in Abersoch, Wales, where I spent a huge part of my childhood.

4. What is the worst purchase you have ever made?

Back in 2016, I was at a crossroads in my career path (still am) and I decided to invest in a freelance journalism course. After paying for it, I discovered I just didn’t have the time or energy to invest in the course, which involved pretending to actually be a journalist. This involved interviewing people, chasing up quotes, etc. As a single parent working five days a week, I struggled from the start to keep up with the in-depth assignments, and gave up halfway through. My heart wasn’t in it, and I wish I’d thought properly about my circumstances before I enrolled on and committed to the course. Silly me.

5. What is the most interesting thing you have read or seen this week?

I just started reading Hide and Seek by Richard Jay Parker. Seems pretty gripping. I also watched the movie mother! with Jennifer Lawrence at the weekend. I wouldn’t describe it as interesting. More mind-bogglingly weird.

6. Who are your favorite musicians?

At the moment, my playlist consists of U2, Michael Kiwanuka, Alabama Shakes, Stereophonics, The Beatles, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, and The Who.

7. What is your favorite time of day?

I quite like early weekend mornings, when I can get up to a silent house and relax with a cup of tea and a book.

8. Coffee or tea? Why?

I prefer tea, because coffee gives me a headache. In all honesty, I’d love to be a dedicated coffee drinker, but I’m just not that into it.

9. What is your favorite animal and why?

I love all animals, but I would probably have to choose the cat. I can’t live without a cat in my life. I find them essential. They have all of the qualities that I admire in a friend – they are low-maintenance, cute to look at, and honest about their feelings. πŸ’œ

10. What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?

Hopefully working as a writer, a proofreader, or a full-time blogger. But whatever I end up doing, I hope to be happy.

11. What is your silliest story?

Years ago, I challenged my sister to a Malteser eating match. We both bought a packet of Maltesers and had to see who could fit the most Maltesers into their mouths. My sister managed to fit around 10 into her mouth, but I won! I crammed all 18 Maltesers in the packet into my mouth. My jaw was stretched to its limits and I couldn’t chew, or even breath very well, afterwards. But I won. πŸ˜‚

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Book Review: Want You Dead by Peter James

I have read a number of Peter James novels over the years and loved them all. This is the first book I’ve read in the Roy Grace series, and it will probably also be my last.

Red Westwood ended her abusive relationship with fantasist Bryce Laurent months earlier, but he is finding it hard to move on. When she meets a new man, his low-level stalking hits new, terrifying heights, and Red’s life is no longer safe.

With the help of spyware, he can listen in to her every conversation, and tracks her obsessively, planning his revenge on her and her family and friends. Despite police protection, Red cannot escape him.

While this book had all the hallmarks of being an excellent read, it was actually quite terrible. It felt like it had been churned out to meet a requirement – the writing style was amateurish, the dialogue was banal, and the storyline was just a tad far-fetched. I struggled to make it to the end, and nearly gave up on a few occasions. It didn’t feel like I was reading a Peter James novel at all, because I have always been a fan.

The Roy Grace series is extremely popular, so I’m hoping that this rotten tomato is a one-off.

2 stars on Goodreads.

Things I Like About Myself

I noticed recently that the majority of the bloggers I have met on social media are in their early twenties. Much younger than me, and that makes me a little sad.

Starting out at 40, I am probably considered a dinosaur in this age of the internet. When I was 20, blogging didn’t exist. Nobody had a mobile phone, and Mark Zuckerburg was a weedy nerd (probably), just starting out at high school. How did we cope, I hear you cry? It was a different time. If we wanted to speak to our friends, we left the house to see them.

Sounds like hell, right?

If blogging had been a thing back then, my life would have probably taken a significantly different route to the path I chose to meander along. And that also makes me a little sad.

But I can’t really blame that on the lack of the internet. If I had pulled my finger out and followed my dreams when I was young, maybe I wouldn’t be so disillusioned and bored with my career now.

So there are the things I don’t like about me. Well, a fraction of them, because there are a lot of other things I could have definitely done better. But hey, this blog post isn’t a list of my worst points.

It’s a list of my best points.

This is going to be tricky. You know when you go for a job interview, and they ask you what skills you can bring to the role, and you laugh awkwardly and waffle on about being hyper-organised and a hard-worker? Or when you have a yearly review and are asked to list your strengths and weaknesses, and the latter is the meatier list?

Not you? Okay, well that’s me. I have always had self-esteem issues, and find it incredibly difficult to look past my intense modesty and ‘big myself up’, as they say. And if I do, it’s the superficial things like being hyper-organised and a hard-worker. I don’t like to talk about myself.

This blog post is about me.

So…. what do I like about me?

Now I am quite self-aware, and I know my flaws. I know I’m not perfect. I make mistakes. I can be cold, and difficult to get close to. I deliberately push people away and isolate myself. But then I have learnt the hard way that I can only really rely on myself.

While all of the above is true, I am a better person when I am able to spend enough time on my own. I need to recharge my batteries, and this time alone helps me to be a reasonable person when in company.

So it’s actually for your own good!

But, as I said, this isn’t a blog post about my flaws. This is a blog post about my attributes. Here goes..

1. Despite being a big-time loner and steering clear of high maintenance relationships, I find it difficult to hide my compassionate streak, which is a mile wide. If I see somebody in need, I am there like a shot. I am a fantastically loyal friend, and hate to see anybody I care about suffering. I have spent inordinate amounts of time counselling friends and family through turmoil in their lives, dishing out advice and being a constant shoulder to cry on. I champion the underdog, and take the broken under my protective wing, where I am dedicated to nursing them back to health.

2. I have a crazy sense of humour, and I like to make people laugh. My humour is quite wry and self-deprecating, and can err on the inappropriate at times. I like to lighten tense situations with a stupid comment. Unsurprisingly, when I recently took part in a quiz on Facebook to find out which Friends character I was most like, the answer was Chandler.

3. I am extremely open-minded, and try not to judge people too harshly. In fact, the closer I am to someone, the less likely I am to judge them. If you are my friend, I will accept you wholeheartedly.

4. I’m honest. Sometimes, brutally so. Not to be cruel, but ultimately to be kind. Does that dress make you look fat? I’ll tell you. Is your boyfriend a dick? You can rely on me to point it out. I don’t like to deliberately hurt people though, so I’ll only tell you if you ask.

5. I’ve always got wine in. Always. So, if you fancy getting drunk and silly and putting the world to rights, I’m your girl.

So, there are my best bits. 😊

Book Review: Daisy Chain by Kirstie Malone

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I do love free things, especially books, so how could I resist?

Jason, Karen, Jessica, Bradley and Veronica have been best friends since their first day at primary school, sticking together through high school and on to their university years, when things unexpectedly begin to fall apart. A popular university lecturer is killed, sending shockwaves through the campus, and Veronica decides that she needs some time apart from her friends, leaving abruptly and cutting all contact. In the aftermath, betrayal and heartbreak tear the remaining friends apart.

Twenty years later, the former friends are brought back together at a school reunion, and long-buried secrets and lies from their past threaten to spill over into present day. Whatever happened to the once vibrant and bubbly Veronica? And can Karen ever forgive Jason and Jessica’s betrayal?

A tense thriller, the story weaves back and forth from the past to the present day, giving the reader a great insight into the characters relationships. A fantastic debut that I couldn’t put down, but I was disappointed that there was no justice for poor Veronica. Maybe in the sequel?

4 stars from me. Highly recommended.

20 Best Snow Quotes

We all love snow, don’t we? Of course we do – if we don’t have to go out in it.

Back in 2010, we had the heaviest snowfall since… well, the last really snowy time, and Britain ground to a standstill. We knew it was coming, but we didn’t prepare for it. People were stranded, abandoned vehicles lined the blocked roads, and I actually got to take a snow day. Yes, that’s right – a snow day!!

Anyway, snow is forecast for later this week so I thought I would compile some of my favourite quotes about that lovely, white, cold stuff, which I will use on my Facebook page A Little Bit Of What You Like along with some beautiful snowy scenes swiped from Pinterest.

  1. “The very fact of snow is an amazement.” β€” Roger Ebert
  2. “The snow doesn’t give a soft white damn whom it touches.” β€” E. E. Cummings
  3. “A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.” β€” Carl Reiner
  4. “When snow falls, nature listens.” β€” Antoinette van Kleef
  5. “A snow day literally and figuratively falls from the sky – unbidden – and seems like a thing of wonder.” β€” Susan Orlean
  6. “There’s just something beautiful about walking in snow that nobody else has walked on. It makes you believe you’re special.” β€” Carol Rifka Brunt
  7. “Snowflakes are kisses from heaven.” β€” Unknown
  8. “Be like snow – cold, but beautiful.” β€” Lana Del Rey
  9. “With every falling flake, a unique spark of interest falls from heaven.” β€” P. Miller
  10. “The snow did not even whisper its way to earth, but seemed to salt the night with silence.” β€” Dean Koontz
  11. “There’s one good thing about snow, it makes your lawn look as nice as your neighbours.” β€” Clyde Moore
  12. “The Eskimos had 52 names for snow because it was important to them: there ought to be as many for love.” β€” Margaret Atwood
  13. “What good is the warmth of summer without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” β€” John Steinbeck
  14. “Even in winter an isolated patch of snow has a special quality.” β€” Andy Goldsworthy
  15. “The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?” β€” J. B. Priestley
  16. “I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” β€” Lewis Carroll
  17. “The snow began to fall again, drifting against the windows, politely begging entrance and the falling with disappointment to the ground.” β€” Jamie McGuire
  18. “Snow flurries began to fall and they swirled around peoples legs like house cats. It was magical, this snow globe world.” β€” Sarah Addison Allen
  19. “Snow falling soundlessly in the middle of the night will always fill my heart with sweet clarity.” β€” Novala Takemoto
  20. “January brings the snow, makes our feet and fingers glow.” β€” Sara Coleridge

Thank you!

I’ve hit 200 followers! YAY!

In the past week, ever since I began using my Twitter account to promote my blog, my follow count has shot up and I have hit my milestone, at last! Not only that, but I have met some fantastically talented people, and followed some amazingly awesome blogs.

Midway through the week, I decided to change my domain, which messed things up for a couple of days as some people followed one domain and some people followed the other. I think I actually hit 200 on Friday, but they were on two different domains and it was all getting very messy.. until WordPress stepped in to help me put things right, and here we are!

A big Thank You to all of you who have chosen to join me on my little journey into the blogosphere. Not entirely sure which direction I’m going in yet, but this is my year to figure it out.

I hope you all stay with me for many more milestones to come.

Thank you! πŸ’œ