July roundup

July began with that huge change that we talked about in June, I started my new job! This month has mostly been learning about robots, amongst other things! This month saw the fourth anniversary of my book’s release, you can check out Harley’s Angels on the sidebar if you know… You like! It was great for movies, Spider Man, Baby Driver and Dunkirk are all amazing, it was the month we got a new Doctor and DEAR GOD THEY’RE FINALLY A GIRL! I also headed into London at the end of July to attend YALC and try and fail to stop myself buying ALL THE THINGS. I made a little thing about my YALC swag, check it here!

What I read this month:

When it happens to you – Molly Ringwald
So, Molly Ringwald can act, she’s fabulous and she can write! I’m not sure how to explain this book, the story is presented in a really interesting way – so we have a collection of what is essentially a series of short stories, but all the characters over lap into each other’s stories and are some how related and complement each other’s lives. It is engaging and addictive reading and how I hope Molly Ringwald has another book in her because I really loved this!

The Power – Naomi Alderman
If you’re looking for something to follow the Handmaid’s Tale, this is kinda perfect.  I think that, this and Only Ever Yours are the feminist novels we have longed for this whole time. What we have is a novel set out almost like a research paper of a phenomenon where women all over the world suddenly develop the power to harness and use electricity and how they use it to overturn the patriarchy. Utterly genius and made me think a lot about how different life would be if women were the dominant gender.

The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller
I picked this up because long ago I was given a list of things to read and on it were many retellings of the Iliad (which I’ve never read) so when I saw this in the library I thought I’d give it a go… While the story was interesting, I didn’t like the way it was written, it had a lot of short sentences which made the pace a bit juttery and kept taking me out of the action. Think I’d like to give more books like this a go though!

Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor
Dear God, this is my favourite book of the year. I’m not even adding a ‘so far’ on the end of that because I don’t know if I’m going to be able to find anything else that quite matches up to this. I did tell myself that I wouldn’t buy any more books until I’d read everything on my shelf and gotten rid of what I don’t want any more, but honestly, I am breaking that because I need this in my life especially so I have it to re read for when the sequel comes out!

Optimists Die First – Susan Nielsen
I’ve read Susin Nielsen before and this was very similar in tone, it was a sweet, flippant tale of a young girl with anxiety dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic event and the odd characters she comes across during her therapy sessions. While this was a fun, easy read, I did think that the whole anxiety thing was dealt with a bit too easily. If only my own mental health problems could be solved by a tall boy with a bionic arm. Once the story’s big reveal came about it was all wrapped up very quickly and nicely, I’d have rather spent a bit more time on it, but it was a fun read nonetheless.

The One We Fell in Love with – Paige Toon
I was really looking forward to reading this because everyone tells me they love Paige Toon, but honestly, wtf did I just read? This is the story of three identical triplets who fall in love with their childhood next door neighbour… who is also in love with all three of them and at one point in the novel kisses two of them 24 hours apart. Like… I’m supposed to think this is romantic? He’s a douchebag. Anyone who dates you and when not dating you is going after your sister is a douchebag. These girls deserve better. No one should read this and think of it as romance and aspirational. Don’t fall for emotional fuckwits who don’t respect you enough not to bang your family members! I know there is a big reveal that some how makes it ok but no. Really no. Its a shame because I liked her writing style but the story didn’t sit right with me.

The Jane Austen Book Club – Karen Joy Fowler
As Jane Austen got herself on the ten pound note this month and was listed as Andrea Leadsom’s favourite living author. Yes, seriously. This is a woman who tried to become prime minister and she thought Jane Austen was still alive and writing. Anyway. This was a nice quick read, but I’m not really sure what exactly Jane Austen had to do with it?

Easy Way Out – Steven Amsterdam
I was sent a copy of this by the lovely people over at Bookbridgr and while I had a vague idea what the book was about, I really wasn’t prepared for this at all. I have a review coming for this if you’re interested, but for now here are a few trigger warnings for you because you know I can’t be recommending people things without letting you all know if there is content that might hurt you. This is a book about assisted suicide, there is also some explicit sex in there and lots of mentions of terminal illness and hospitals. Just so you know.

Films I watched this month:
You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television/cinema screen this month!

  • The Circle
  • Baby Driver
    This is my new favourite film, please see it!
  • Spiderman: Homecoming
  • Escape from Planet Earth
  • While we’re Young
  • To the bone
  • Captain America Civil War
  • The Amazing Spider Man
  • Dunkirk
    mate what a film!
  • War for the Planet of the Apes
  • Before I fall

TV I watched his month:

  • Doctor Who
  • Handmaid’s Tale
  • Rick and Morty
  • House of Cards
  • Ripper Street
  • Game of Thrones
  • Shadow hunters

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

baby driver more like bae-by driver

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four years has passed since harley's angels came out – head to leahsmith.webs.com/my-books to get a copy!

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playing frome festival tonight

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thanks for the awesome book post @bookbridgr

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So. Many. Books

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What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:
Firstly, Dan Howell and Anthony Padilla’s collab was hilarious! Here’s more D Hizzle because he is bae, ok? Also because I literally only joined Tinder so I could find him and charm him with my awkwardness and then I left because I couldn’t find him and then this. Damnit Daniel. Why not fill this whole section with his face to hide my disappointment, here’s Anthony, Dan or a Rat for your pleasure and a PSA on former emos.  Not had enough yet? Here’s TomSka’s latest sketch! I also want to mention Lucy Moon’s latest 168 Hours and James Cordon’s protest song because yes.

June round up

Wow, June, you were a bit shit weren’t you. As if the Orlando shooting and the Jo Cox murder weren’t enough, then my fellow countrymen decided to let fascism win and throw the whole lot of us in the shit. Great huh? I don’t want this to be all doom and gloom, no matter how insignificant any of the nicer things that happened are in comparison, June did have some nice moments. This month I got to have a few days off which I got to spend hanging out with my mum and my bae Amber, this resulted in my first ever sleepover in my new flat, which was super fun! I spent too many hours waiting for a train to see James Bay (who was incredible by the way), the tiny town I work in held its first ever Pride event – if you live in an uncultured rural town, you’ll know how big a deal this is. I also got to hang with my long distance bff and my nephew has started talking which is the cutest thing in the world. I’m just sorry he and my niece have to live in this world, especially the state it is in at the moment.

What I read this month:

27416150 The Force Awakens – Michael Kogge
Thought I’d check out the novelisation of the film to see if there are any clues into who Rey’s parents are and how she ended up being where she was and what her connection to Kylo Ren is. Also I want to know how and why Kylo went darkside. Turns out, this doesn’t really answer those questions.

12649718Me Before You – JoJo Moyes
Everyone tells me how wonderful this book is and you couldn’t escape the movie hype at the beginning of the month. This is only the second JoJo Moyes book I’ve ever read and much like last time, I found her writing to be delightful and engaging, though I did find it to be a bit… problematic… A bit ableist I guess… I’d be interested to see if anyone else has any thoughts on this?

23301770My Heart and Other Black Holes – Jasmine Warga
It feels like this has been on my TBR list forever, its certainly been on my kindle for far too long, so I thought I’d get on with reading it. In fact, it had been on there for so long that I’d completely forgotten what it was about until I added it to my goodreads shelf! There were points when I adored this book, there were points when I was scared this was going to become something from my ‘reasons I hate books about mental health’ hit list, in the end, I kind of loved it.

28915259When we Collided – Emery Lord
I might review this when I can be a bit more coherent about it. Oh how I sobbed through the ending! Though this does feature the most manic of manic pixie dream girls (a trope that does get on my nerves at time), it also featured a beautifully written examination of bipolar disorder, grief, family, teenage romance and well… at its heart, love and life in their many varied forms. It was wonderful. And what an appropriate title!

26889460The Museum of You – Carys Bray
Took me a little while to get into, its an incredibly descriptive story. Its a bittersweet story, based in sadness, but with a curious, hopeful vibe. Stories about families, especially broken ones, are sort of my kryptonite and this is a good book, its just a little bit too heavy on the descriptions sometimes. There isn’t an awful lot left to the imagination. Review here.

Films I watched this month:

You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television this month!

  • Chocolat
    I know Johnny Depp is all kinds of problematic in light of recent things, but it was on, I’ve never seen it. So… I’ve never read the book either, any good?
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Wolf of Wall Street
    If you have three hours to spare, I thoroughly recommend giving this a watch! Leo is incredible.
  • About Time
    The cutest thing I have ever seen!
  • Pacific Rim
    Now I know that John Boyega is going to be in the sequel!
  • Mulan
  • Iron Man
  • Mama Mia
  • The Boat that Rocked
  • Tomorrow when the war began
    I started reading the series forever ago and never finished it, I have seen the movie before, but I saw it on Netflix and thought I’d revisit it. I need to find the rest of the books and find out what happens!


TV I watched this month:

  • Game of Thrones
  • Peaky Blinders
    THE LAST TWO EPISODES THOUGH Like any time T Hardz was on screen was solid gold.
  • Orphan Black
  • Penny Dreadful
    Its on NowTV and my latest binge watch! I’m not entirely sure what the show is about, but I watched three seasons worth of it so it must be good! Is this it? No more?
  • The Last Leg
    The best thing on British TV tbh. I did very much enjoy the fact that Jeremy Corbyn was a guest!
  • Pretty Little Liars
    I was so excited for this to come back!
  • IZombie
    omg so good! Why did no one tell me?

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

More fun with the munchkins

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Popped to my mum’s during a lunch break this month to find she was baby sitting my niece and nephew, so we had fun in the garden for a while!

Sainsbury has vegan own brand ice cream finally something other than vanilla swedish glace!

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Yo, any of you guys lactose intolerant/ vegan? Get yo’selves to Sainsbury cos they got this in Chocolate and Strawberry – its super good! And its nice to have something other than vanilla for a change! Also, its not as expensive as some brand name dairy free ice cream.

Wish this could stay forever #msnpride

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My town held Pride for the first time ever and its legit the first time I have ever felt proud to have a connection to the place.

Was getting jealous of Turbo's progress… So here's Stella @krisskarnage79

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Meet Stella! If you guys follow me on Insta, you’ll know that I was gifted a plant when I moved into my place, I named it Planty (how original right?) Anyway, having been spurred on by my success of keeping Planty alive, I got myself a Strawberry plant (its name is Stella) and I am now awaiting my first batch of berries!

What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

My faves, twenty one pilots, are on tour right now and I’m so sad that there aren’t UK dates on the emotional road show and I was even more sad about not getting to see the show after they started releasing promo videos for it, like this one and this one! They also released the video for Heathens this month AND I CAN’T ITS SO GOOD. Here’s a Casey Neistat where he not only rode in a Delorean, but also visited Winterfell! He also spent a day at vidcon in disguiseJames Corden hosted the funnest car pool karaoke ever and a new challenge hit YouTube, the Roast Yourself Challenge, so here are my favourite two from Emma Blackery and Luke Cutforth. Another thing I loved this month was Rose and Rosie showing just how to do a #Spon.


May round up

May started off being way more social than usual! Coffee with two of my favourite ladies (well, I say coffee, it was juice in my case) followed by cinema and being kicked out of a pub! While summer appeared to come and go within two days during May, I did manage to squeeze in a bit of adventuring! This month I also hung out with the local ukulele orchestra in the hope that they think I’m good enough to join them and guested on Becky’s blog for mental health awareness week!

What I read this month:

11429619 A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian – Marina Lewycka
What a title!  I now know from reading the book that this has very little to do with tractors and their history (though that is a plot point), so if you are looking for a book about the history of tractors written in Ukrainian, you should probably look for a different book…. This was an interesting read, despite the misleading title! I want to read more things about Europe and European cultures, let me know if you can think of any!

26114524The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You – Lily Anderson
Oh look, a trend of long titles is forming! I was initially drawn to this book because the cover is so cool and has a graphic novel/ comic book feel to it and then I checked the blurb and saw the words Doctor and Who in that order and thought, I should definitely read that! It was ok, if a bit long, so check my review here.

To Wed a Rebel – Sophie Dash
This isn’t the sort of thing I would normally read, but I know the author so… I read a similar book of theirs back last year, you can see the review of that here and the review of this here! I hope that this time next year when her next book is out that I’ll have read more in the genre because if they’re all like this one, it’ll be seriously fun!

Love and Other Man Made Disasters -Nicola Doherty. Another ARC which has a lovely cover I'll never get to store on my shelf.

Love and Other Man Made Disasters – Nicola Doherty
This had me at the first page, you know when you open a book and you just gel with it immediately? That was me with this book. Not only was Juno incredibly relatable, but the narration is so endearing and there is a The Fault in Our Stars reference within the first few lines so I was all over this! Check my review here!

25893533 (1) The Translation of Love – Lynne Kutsukake
Many thanks to Penguin Random House for this book!
You may have noticed this book doing the rounds, I am part of the blog tour, for which I am honoured! Those of you that have popped by here before will know that I love reading and learning about the period of history before, during and immediately after WW2 and that I also love Japan, so this was a great book for me!

Martini Henry – Sara Crowe
This was also sent to me by Penguin Random House, thanks guys! I was excited to get stuck into this as it is a story about a young girl who wants to be a writer and her adventures just trying to deal with life in general and trying to be an adult. I think we all know that feel, right? I did find our lead character, the writer, to be a little too much like Hannah Horvath (we all know she’s from the show Girls and I really don’t get on with her character, right?) at times for me to really sympathise with her, but it was still a wonderfully eccentric, quite British read, so look out for my review in the next few weeks!

Films I watched this month:

You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television this month.

  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
  • Fifth Element.
    I bloody love this film. You have not lived until you’ve seen Gary Oldman with only half a head of hair and Bruce Willis running around in orange. Big Baddah Boom.
  • The Little Shop of Horrors
  • An American Tail
    A blast from the past on a Sunday morning!
  • To Rome with Love
    ** Disclaimer: I have a complicated relationship with Woody Allen films. On the one hand, his films are wonderful, they look beautiful, they’re well written. He’s an amazing film maker. I’m just very conscious that he is a problematic person what with the whole child abuse allegation and the marrying of his adoptive daughter thing.** You know, just in case any of you are triggered by his presence on this list.
  • Maleficent 
  • Spice World
    Can you believe I’ve never seen this before? Wtf even is this movie?

TV I watched this month:

  • Game of Thrones
  • 22/11/63
    This is becoming one of my favourite things on television, I need to track down the book!
  • Peaky Blinders
    It’s back. It’s back and its been so long and I am still way too over excited about it! You should take a look at this  if you’re not sure how much I love Peaky Blinders!
  • Once Upon a Time
  • Orphan Black
  • Elementary

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

Peaky Blinders time!

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I was very excited about the return of Peaky Blinders! Also, I love this hat and I never have an opportunity to wear it.

Took my Holga lens out for a spin during the sunshine. Think that photography course might have been worth something eh?

Off to ukulele club… Hoping to emulate tyler joseph and be actually good…

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Ukulele club was amazing and I am now a proud member of a ukulele orchestra!

Jumping on the umbrella bandwagon

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For some reason there are umbrellas hanging around Southgate… So, I decided to see them for myself and photograph them!

What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

So, the first thing I want to mention is a channel I should have mentioned in the beginning of the year, I discovered it in January and its becoming one of my favourites and that’s RedHeadAbroad, she’s doing her own version of Pretentious Monthly Scrapbook (called CRAMPS) and everything she uploads just looks gorgeous and I’m very jealous of her life being in all these exotic places, so… Go check it out! Other mentions have to go to Dan, Phil and Louise playing ObamaLlama because I laughed so hard I think I might have pulled a muscle, Misha Collins (yes he of Supernatural fame), he visited a Trump rally and bloody hell, please America, don’t let that be a reality  and Emma Blackery because her new song is RAD, check it out here. I know I mention Casey Neistat in every single one of these, but even if that is the case, I can’t not talk about this – his vlog from the most incredible hotel room I have ever seen in my entire life. Plus there is a bonus drone rescue moment. Also, I love the music he uses in his videos, I want it on my iPod. Finally, I just wanted to give honourable mentions to this video by Jack Howard and this one from Tomska, because they’re both so #relatable.

April round up

Literally moments after returning home from the Wunderbar pop quiz where my team (the easter egg-istential crisis) came fourth, I looked at my calendar and thought, wow, April’s pretty empty, my buddy Amber messages me and asks if I fancy a trip to Cardiff – looks like taking impromptu trips to see 5SOS has become a trend, the same thing happened last year! This month also saw the return of Game of Thrones, the opportunity to geek out at the local camera show, getting to hang with my bestie and raising money for the Bobby Moore Fund. I also started writing my next novel this month! Excite!

What I read this month:

25398649Your Fathers, where are they and the prophets, do they live forever – Dave Eggers
What a mouthful of a title! When I spotted this at the library, I was initially drawn to the cover because the buildings reminded me of the ones at Auschwitz. (That was a weird sentence to type…) You can see it though, right? This is so different from anything I have ever read before, its told entirely in dialogue and tackles so many of life’s unanswerable questions.

20555443The Martian – Andrew Wier
I went to see the film back last year, so better late than never reading this eh? Besides you can’t not love a book when the opening line is “I’m pretty much fucked.” really can you? Also this is the second book I’ve read this month that features an astronaut! This does get a bit sciency in places that is a little hard to get my head around but its every bit as thrilling as the movie and even though I knew exactly what was going to happen, I was still on the edge of my seat!

17225311Tampa – Alissa Nutting
I put this book on my TBR list a million years ago when I saw a blog I follow mention it in a book haul, the cover intrigued me because it was so obviously sexual and seeing a book with the insinuation of female sexuality so blatantly on the cover was a bit new to me. This is an unsettling read to say the least, its Lolita but a modern day version with the genders switched, its about a 26 year old woman who becomes a teacher because she has a sexual desire in teenage boys, a very specific type of teenage boy come to that and she talks you through the process of starting at a new school, selecting the next boy she intends to seduce and the story of how she does it. Its disturbing because like… I’m not attracted to muscles and hirsute gentlemen, but I draw the line at pre pubescent people under the age of 18 and reading about their encounters wasn’t pleasant, but it was also interesting being in this woman’s mind.

23129410Welcome to Night Vale – Joseph Fink, Jeremy Cramer
The podcast is great. Like, legit great. The book I’m not so sure about, but when you see something from the internet in real life, you can’t just ignore it and move on, you have to check it out of the library! It was typically Night Vale… So basically, weird af and is not going to help introduce anyone to the world of Night Vale… I’m not sure if it works as well in book form, but I like Night Vale so much that I wasn’t all that bothered!

27158835You Know Me Well – David Levithan and Nina La Cour
Despite not enjoying the last David Levithan I read, he does still remain one of my favourite authors, so I couldn’t not request this when I saw it pop up on Netgalley, also because it is co-written with Nina La Cour, who wrote the Disenchantments which I LOVED and Everything Leads to You, which I also really enjoyed! Basically, I went in with high hopes. The cover isn’t anything special and the title is a bit wordy, but this was a wonderfully bittersweet story. Review here

28110862Wrecked – Maria Padain
When I read the blurb for this I was a bit hesitant because the subject matter is such a difficult one to stomach. There are a lot of books about this subject available now and they get such great discussions going that I couldn’t really pass up the chance to request this. Review here.


Films I watched this month:

You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television this month!

  • The Help
    I told myself I wouldn’t watch the film until I’d read the book. I read the book like two years ago… Finally got around to it!
  • Easy A
  • Donnie Darko
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    Just as good on tv as it was in the cinema!
  • Look who’s back
    I read the book a while ago and noticed the film is now on Netflix (it is in German, so if you don’t speak German, subtitles are your friend), the book was fairly traumatic enough, what with it being about Hitler returning and doing what he always did, but the film was a terrifying look at how easy it is for history to repeat itself.
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
    Thank you Film 4 for Tom Hardy season. Thank you.
  • This Means War
    Again, thank you Film 4.
  • Die Hard
    I’d never seen it, it appears on Netflix, that was Sunday sorted!
  • Her

TV I watched this month:

  • Once Upon a Time
  • How to get away with murder
    Finally finished season two. DEAR GOD THIS IS LIKE THE BEST THING ON TV. Its so tense!
  • Supernatural
    Its back, I wish I knew how to quit you.
  • Girls
    Season 5 just started so I thought it was about time to catch up… I think I said this last month, but… Adam Driver is my favourite thing about this show. I think most things can be improved with the addition of Adam Driver tbh. Its a mega frustrating show, I could write an essay on how much Hannah irritates me! I did manage to watch all five seasons in one month though, so I think I deserve some kind of special recognition award.
  • 11/22/63
    The best thing about NowTV is getting to watch live tv. Also this is a time travel show about James Franco going through a time hole to save JFK from being assassinated.
  • The People vs OJ Simpson
    The series finished and now I understand how OJ managed to get off. Honestly, that entire trial was a complete shambles!
  • Orphan Black
    I LOVE THIS SHOW. I was super annoyed to hear that series four wouldn’t be coming to the BBC, but then netflix went and saved the day. Well done Netflix.
  • Your Lie in April
    If you aren’t big into anime, give this a go anyway, its just so beautifully put together and it makes me sad I’m not better at playing the piano. (Also as it was April when I found this on Netflix  I thought it was very appropriate)
  • Game of Thrones

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

These converses will be missed

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My parents have decided that my room isn’t my room anymore and so we had to go through all the cupboards where I found my favourite shoes. They were broken, my mum made me bin them. Sad face.

Siri knows more than jon snow

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Siri is bae

Amber and I went on a beautiful, impromptu trip to see 5SOS which involved her birthday outfit being mistaken for hen party attire and then resulted in her being sung to by the staff at the Disney Store and Hamleys! Good times,

Don't stop doing what you're doooooooin

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Live SOS

I have a dining table now! My aunt and uncle donated me their old kitchen table when they moved and then my mum sanded it and painted it so it would go in my living room and then my brother and my dad delivered it to me! Eating my first meal at it was a bit of a big deal! It feels wrong not eating at a table!


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What I did on YouTube this month:


What I loved on YouTube this month:

April Fools is the reason I have trust issues, but some of my YouTube faves did do some awesome things on the YouTubes for April Fools, my favourite had to be the return of Dan and Phil Crafts PRO TIP. I know I’ve already mentioned him, but I actually pulled a muscle laughing at Dan and Louise’s story about an awkward dinner, so I kind of have to tell everyone else about it. Keeping up with tradition means I have to link to at least one Casey Neistat video, so here’s his adventure in France for his son’s birthday. I also wanted to mention Dodie Clark’s new song and Pj’s new animation.

A blog post in lists.

Hello, it’s been a while hasn’t it? Life has been pretty crazy recently and its been difficult to find time to sit down and write a review or rant about the things that are going on! I’m currently reading Me Being Me is Exactly as Insane as You Being You (or something like that) which I will (hopefully) be reviewing some time soon, one of the more interesting things about this book is that the entire novel is told in lists and well, I’m a virgo, I love lists, so I figured what better way to update everyone on what I’m up to then with a couple of lists! So, *mario voice* Let’s a go!

Five things I have been doing recently:
*Baking a birthday cake for my dad, my first ever two tier
*Creating a video about the general election for work
*Making my first short film
*Watching McBusted
*Planning my trip to Florida!

Three TV shows I am currently obsessed with:
*Once upon a time (alkdnalksdasfb its so good!)
*Game of Thrones (Winter is back bitches)
*Daredevil (like zomg.)

My four favourite books of the year so far:
*Shock of the fall – Nathan Filer
*Falling into place – Amy Zhang
*Every Last Word – Tamara Ireland Stone
*The Shadow Cabinet – Maureen Johnson

Six songs that are my jam right now:
*Bright – Echosmith
*King Kunta – Kendrick Lamar (whats the yams?!)
*Title – Meghan Trainor
*Best Fake Smile – James Bay
*Birth in Reverse – St Vincent
* Love me Like You do – Circa Waves (their live lounge cover was amazing!)

Seven channels you should be subscribed to on YouTube (apart from my own of course, which you’ve all totally done, right?)
*KickthePJ – if you don’t appreciate PJ, we probs won’t be friends.
*ChewingSand – Hazel’s Game of Thrones video was amazing and her time of the month videos are incredible.
*Jack Howard – He is doing a Pretentious Monthly Scrapbook and they all look so professional and well edited that I want to cry.
*Daniel J Layton – His last video. Nuff said.
*Hannah Witton –  Someone told me she was a New Tuber the other day and I was like whaaat?
*Nicola Golding – Her videos are amazingly insightful
*Sophie Prewett – Sophie is doing a body positivity project atm which I’m very excited about so check it out!

I’m really missing blogging regularly, I used to upload at least once a week, but I am also loving having so much going on! There will be – though don’t hold me to this- a run down of my recent Welsh adventure from last week where I saw Mcbusted and of course a review of the book I am currently reading coming fairly soon and I’ve just discovered that you can make cakes out of red vines and well, I love red vines and have a large amount of them I haven’t gotten around to eating yet, so there might just be a recipe coming your way too!
What have you guys been up to recently? Are you watching/reading/listening to any of the things I listed? What do you think of them! Let me know!

Great Bookish Bakeoff – Caramel Apple Loaf


The cakes I bake and the books I read while baking them. 


Man, I am going to get so fat. I blame the Great British Bake Off, I can’t stop baking. I decided to try a white cake recipe, I had a recipe book for my birthday last year that featured white cake recipes and I’ve never attempted one, but I thought I’d put my own spin on it, so here is a loaf cake version with apples, fudge and cinnamon. This is sort of similar to the Tinker Cake I made back last year. That was an apple and cinnamon flavoured loaf too.

Things you will need:
A loaf tin
A blender
A cooking apple
190g self raising flour Cinnamon
A pack of fudge cubes (I used a pack I found in the home baking section)
115g butter (lactose free in my case!)
135g sugar
2 eggs 120ml milk (Obviously, I used soya, but as far as I can tell, white cakes feature milk and egg whites, this used whole eggs, so not as white as others)
And the book of your choice, I was working my way through a Clash of Kings while this was cooking and my good golly wee, that’s a great book!

First things first, grease your loaf tin, then beat sugar and butter (whatever kind of butter you want to use!), once that’s combined, add the eggs one at a time and beat those in too. Measure out the flour and milk of your choice and add to the batter, mix together. When done the mixture will be paler than normal cake batter, I’m guessing because of the milk, normal white cake recipes only use egg whites which is why they get their name, they’re also virtually fat free, so I might have to make myself one of those one day! Pour half that batter into the loaf tin, cut up the cooking apple and place slices over the batter, sprinkle in a liberal amount of cinnamon and chuck several fudgy pieces in. Cover that with a bit more batter and repeat until all the apple, fudge, cinnamon and batter is used up. Put the loaf in the oven for around an hour on 180 degrees until the edges are a golden brown. It’ll look like a normal loaf from the outside, but when you cut into it, the sponge will be lighter and paler than usual, but it’ll taste just as good! The good thing about this cake is that it takes so long to cook, which means that I can make more of a headway with A Clash of Kings, like I mentioned in my last baking post, this is a VERY LONG book and is part of an EVEN LONGER series, which I need to get to the bottom of to prove my Jon Snow theory! Has anyone ever made a white cake before? Was it good? Was it easy? Lend me your tips! PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Great Bookish Bakeoff – Gingerbread Cupcakes


The cakes I bake and the books I read while baking them. 


My grandad used to make me gingerbread men all the time when  I was younger and I have yet to work out how to do this myself, but as I have decided that I’m only going to eat fresh food and not eat processed food anymore, I got myself some ginger roots to do something exotic with and thought I would give it a go. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to make dough, but cake mix, so I made cupcakes, so… All good! Plus, it gave me some time to get on with a Clash of Kings, which I need to finish to try and work out my Jon Snow theory!

Things you will need:
150g self raising flour
1 grated ginger root
a good dollop of cinnamon
80g brown sugar
75g butter (I used stork cos you know, lactose)
1 egg
4 spoons golden syrup
A blender
A grater
A bowl
Cupcake cases
And the book of your choice, like I said, A Clash of Kings – George R R Martin.

Weigh out the flour and put it in a blender ready, peel and grate your ginger root and chuck it and your cinnamon in with the flour. I proper love cinnamon, so I went to town with that. I also proper love ginger, but word to the wise, do not, and I mean NOT put any of your raw ginger root in your mouth. It may smell amazing, but it will BURN. Anyway, once you’ve recovered from trying to eat raw ginger,  give the blender a quick whizz round to and get the butter weighed out.  When you have enough butter, blend that in as well and add the sugar.

In a separate bowl, crack an egg and add your four table spoons of golden syrup and beat together until incoperated. Add the mix in with the rest of the ingredients and blend until runny. Pour into cake cases and cook for 20mins on 180

Which gives about enough time to get through a chapter of A Clash of Kings.
I read Game of Thrones a little while ago after getting majorly into the TV show and because I spend far too much of my time thinking about Jon Snow, I have a whole theory about his true parentage, and I’ll never know I’m right unless I read all the books! I decided though, after Game of Thrones that I needed a nice break between it and Clash of Kings, they’re just such big, intense books! I am getting into it though and I think I’m enjoying it more than the last one, I just think at this point, I know everyone and I care about them all now! It reminds me of when I was watching series two and had to keep shifting my alliances because Martin keeps killing off all the awesome people!

After the cakes were baked, I left them to cool for a little while whilst reading more about Tyrion terrorising Cersei by hanging around Kings Landing instead of Tywin and they were pretty awesome! Very gingery and not a soggy bottom in sight!