Bullet Journal 2019

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. As you can see from the title, I’m going to be taking you through my new bullet journal. I’ve had one for the past two years and I’ve loved using it so I wanted to share this years set up with you guys. I always use pencil first and then do it in pen, otherwise I’d make a lot more mistakes. Before we start, I just want to say sorry for the lighting. I use natural lighting so it varies a little in each picture. Anyway let’s get started.

 


The first two pages are just my 2019 title page and my goals for the year. Pretty self-explanatory. I have a variety of goals this year including ones for exercise, reading and blogging. Next I have my year at a glance and future log combined into one spread. I also have a 2019 memories page, where I can note down anything that has happened during the year. 
The next spread I have is an Instagram tracker. I want to post more consistently this year so I thought this would be a good way to keep track of when I’m posting. Beside that, I have a page focused on my year of reading. On this page I’ve noted down my Goodreads goal of 80 books, as well as some things I’m interested in knowing at the end of the year (e.g. reread count, male/female author ratio) and a place to write down my favourite books. Next we have my blog stats and post tracker. I’m trying a different way of doing it this year, so we’ll see how it goes. I have each month written out so I can track my posting and I have a place to write any notes about each month. The stats I want to track this year include blog followers, views and visitors, as well as Instagram and Twitter followers. I know it’s not all about numbers but I still like to have these spreads to keep track of them. 
These are my monthly spreads for the year. I’m only showing two months because they all look the same and I’m sure you get the idea of the set up. On the left hand page I have the month laid out with my blog posts on the right of the line. On the left of the line is space to note down any collaborations, guest posts, events or a particularly exciting book release. I really like this set up but we’ll see how I feel about it at the end of the year. On the right hand page I have a place to write out a to do list and tbr for each month, as well as a place for any notes. I also have a monthly in review section, where I can look back at each month. I plan to use this space to note down the best posts and any other interesting stats that may help improve my blog in the future.
Next up I have a spread to note down all of the reviews I post over the year. I think it will be really useful to have a space to have all of my 2019 reviews. Last year I posted over 40 book reviews and I sometimes forget which books I’ve reviewed so it will be good to have this to refer back to. After that I have a page of all my unread books at the start of the year – split into physical books and e-books. Hopefully by the end of the year I’ll have ticked off all of the books. Next I have a page to note down any blog post ideas and a page to plan for future recommendations post. 
This next spread is probably one of my favourites, because it’s all of my anticipated books for 2019. Last year I just had a list of them but I really like doing it by month – I think it’s easier to keep track of and I can easily update it as the year goes on. I also have a space for books that have no release date yet, as well as my anticipated film, TV and games. There are a lot of exciting things coming out this year.
Next up, I have a spread on the series I’m in the middle of. I know the title of the page is series to finish, but realistically some of these series won’t be finished this year, so it’s basically a spread to track all the series I’m reading. I plan to start some series this year too so I have space to add new ones. After that I have a spread on the films I’ve seen this year. On the left hand page I’ll write down the new films I’ve seen and on the right hand page I’ll write down all of the films I’ve re-watched. Next, I have a songs of the year spread. I’ve split it into twelve months and at the end of each month I’ll note down my favourite songs from the month. It will be interesting to see what I’ve been loving each month and whether they’ll still be favourites at the end of the year.  After that I have a page of my favourite things and a place to write out my 2019 favourites at the end of the year.
The last two spreads are both trackers. The first is a mental health tracker. I struggle with low moods and I wanted a place to note down when these moods happen, so I can see how frequently and see whether it’s random or whether it happens at certain times of the month/year, if that makes sense. The last spread is split into a food intolerance page and a fitness tracker, both of which are pretty self-explanatory. 

 


 

That’s it for today. I really enjoyed putting this bullet journal together, although I did make a few mistakes. I find it so useful to organise my blog and I’m looking forward to filling it up throughout the year. Do you use a bullet journal? I’d love to know your thoughts. If you use one, what are your favourite spreads? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

 

Pippa

 

 

 

Unread books 2019

Hi guy, I hope you are all well. It’s the start of the new year so I’m sharing all of the unread books sitting on my shelves, in the hope that it will encourage me to read them all by the end of the year. There are a few that have been on my TBR for a while now. Let’s get started. 

 
 
Kindle:
That’s it for today. I’m really excited to get to all of these books, although Little Dorrit remains an intimidating book on my TBR. Hopefully I’ll read the majority of these books by the end of the year, but there are a lot of awesome book releases to distract me :). What books are at the top of your TBR? Have you read any of these books? I’d love to know what you thought. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.
Pippa

The Winter of the Witch / Katherine Arden

Title / The Winter of the Witch
Author / Katherine Arden
Publication Date / January 2019
Series or standalone / book 3 of 3
Page no. / 384
Overall Rating / ★★
This is the third and final book in the Winternight trilogy. It resumes directly after the events of the second book, The Girl in the Tower. As with the previous books, this sequel is influenced by Russian folklore and is partly set in Moscow. Once again, we follow Vasilisa “Vasya” Petrovna, a young girl trying to find her place in medieval Russia. In this world folklore creatures exist but they are slowly dying as people turn to the church instead of them. To avoid spoilers, I will not be going into detail on the plot as this is the last book in a trilogy. It is one of my most anticipated book releases of 2019.
 
The first two books were fantastic, so I had high hopes for this conclusion and it did not disappoint. Once again Arden has woven together a compelling story, fantastic characters and an atmospheric world. From the very beginning, I knew that I was going to love this one as much as the previous two books. The stakes are higher in this instalment and you are thrown straight back into the action. The plot kept me gripped all the way through and once I started reading, I didn’t want to put the book down. This instalment pulls no punches and Arden manages to take the plot to unexpected places. It was fantastic to see how everything fell into place in this conclusion, after all the build up of the first two books. The pacing is definitely a little faster than the previous two books and it pulls you through the story at quite a rapid pace. Once again, the writing is fantastic, and I found it so easy to settle into the flow of the story. I will say that there is no recap of past events so if it’s been a while since you read the previous books, it may be best to reread the first and second book before jumping into this one. I had no issues re-entering this world, but it may be something to be aware of.
 
The characters are another strength of this book and trilogy as a whole. Arden has created a cast of characters that are full of complexity and their development in this instalment was so well done. Vasya is a fantastic protagonist and Arden has done a great done at developing her character while remaining true to what we know of her from the previous books. We have seen her progress from a young, naïve girl to a strong, independent woman and I loved every second of it. Vasya is now one of my favourite female protagonists. In terms of other characters, this instalment introduces us to some new ones as well as bringing back many familiar faces. Each character is complex and flawed with distinct voices and interesting back stories. I also loved the moral ambiguity of some characters towards of the end of the book, as it raises the question of what is good and bad. It is not so easily defined, and everyone has a bit of both in them. As with the previous books, romance plays a part in the story, but it never takes centre stage and I love that Vasya remains a strong, independent woman alongside her falling in love.
 
Lastly the world is once again vivid and atmospheric. We get to spend some more time in Moscow in this instalment, as well as some new areas of the world. I’ve not read any other fantasy books with a Russian setting, so it is quite refreshing for me. The way Arden has blended medieval Russia with a distinct folklore feel is fantastic as it makes for an atmospheric read that will keep you gripped from beginning to end. Arden has captured the feel of fairytales/folklore so well in this trilogy and I loved that in this instalment we are introduced to more of the magical parts of this world. If you enjoy good world building, then these books will not disappoint you. The world is wonderfully written, and I cannot say enough good things about it. I would love to see more books set in this world.
 
Overall this was an incredible conclusion to this trilogy and I cannot recommend these books enough. The atmospheric and vivid setting is one of the main strengths, along with the well written characters and compelling plot. Each book is just as good as the last, if not better, and they make perfect winter reads. I cannot recommend this book (and trilogy) highly enough. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for any future releases by this author and hope to see more of this world. If you are looking for a new fantasy trilogy to start, then I would recommend checking this one out, especially if you enjoy fantasy influenced by folklore. Have you started this trilogy? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

Pippa


Blogging Insecurities

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. I don’t really know how to start this but it’s something I wanted to talk about for a while so bear with me. Despite the fact that I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now I’m still quite insecure about it all. Most of the time I ignore it but sometimes it comes to the surface. I question my ability to write, whether people are actually interested in my posts and whether I’m good enough to blog. Don’t get me wrong I love blogging but I’ve always had issues with my self esteem and it can sometimes affect my view of my blog. I want to have the best possible blog that I can but my self esteem holds me back at times. I don’t often comment on other blogs or chat to bookish people on social media because I feel like I’m wasting their time in a way. I worry sometimes that my posts aren’t good enough. These niggling thoughts are at the back of my mind, despite the fact the logical side of my brain disputes them.  I think I have improved a little in my way of thinking in the last year or so of blogging but I still have a way to go. 


So in 2019 I am going to strive work past these insecurities and look forward to another year of blogging. I want to put myself out there more, reach out to like minded people on social media and make my blog the best it can be. I love this blog and I am so glad I started it back in February 2017. I would really appreciated any feedback you have, whether it’s on my blogs layout or post request, please let me know.


I hope you guys don’t mind the brevity of this post but I just wanted to air some thoughts with you guys. I think self esteem and being online can be a tricky thing to balance and I haven’t mastered it quite yet :). What do you guys think about the balance between self esteem and being online? I’d love to know your thoughts. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.



Pippa



Anticipated Books 2019

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s the start of the new year, which means it’s time for me to share my anticipated books of 2019. I’ll warn you now that this is a long one, so grab a cup a tea or a snack :). There are a lot of new releases that I am excited for; some are sequels and others are first in a series or standalones. If a book is part of a series I’ve stated what number the book is in the series, so you know which books are sequels. Since there are a lot of them, I’m not going to go into detail about any of them otherwise this would be a very long post. Instead I’ve linked to each books goodreads page, as well as linked to Waterstones or Wordery using my affiliate links if you guys want to preorder any of them. One last thing before we get started, releases dates are subject to change so the dates shown below may change. The dates used are right as of posting this in the beginning of January but it is possible that some may be pushed back – dates are of UK releases.  Let’s get started.
Janaury:
February:
April:
May:
July & August:
September – December:
TBA:
  • The Comb with the Two Headed Dragon / Book 3 / William Andrews
  • Harp of Kings / Juliet Marillier / GR
  • The Last Emperox / Book 3 / John Scalzi / GR
  • Unconquerable Sun / Kate Elliott / GR
  • Untitled / Book 3 / Ken Liu / GR
  • Untitled / Book 3 / Nicholas Eames / GR
  • Untitled / Book 3 / David Mealing 
As you can see there are a lot of exciting books releases this year, and I’m sure more will be added to this list as the year progresses. These are the ones I’m aware of and excited for but I’m sure I’ve missed some. What are you most anticipated books of 2019? I’d love to know. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.
Pippa

5 Reasons to read The Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Today it’s time for my first review of the new year and it’s going to be a 5 reasons to read style review. I ended the year with a sticking cold so I wasn’t in the best state to be writing reviews. This kind of review can be simpler to write so I hope you guys don’t mind. Luckily I’m finally seeing the end of the cold so I’ll be back to full strength soon. Anyway, I wanted to talk about The Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier for this post. I loved this book so much and I thought it was about time to share my thoughts with you guys.If you love books with mythology and/or a fairytale feel then you need to check this book out.

DSCN0794

  • It is a historical fantasy book loosely based on the Celtic myth, the Six Swans so if you enjoy books based on myths and/or have a distinct fairy tale feel to them then you need to check out this book. I knew very little about this particular myth but I found it to be very accessible and I loved the story – I cannot comment on how closely this book follows the story of the myth though.
  • Although quite slow in pace at times, the story is compelling throughout. Marillier does a fantastic job at weaving all of the plot threads together. I loved every second of reading this story. 
  • The writing is fantastic. From the very first chapter I was drawn into the story and world. This was my first book by this author and I found it so easy to settle into the flow of the writing. 
  • This book contains a wonderful cast of characters. Sorcha is the fantastic main protagonist – her development through this book is so well done. The story is told from Sorcha’s view alone. The secondary characters are also incredibly well written. 
  • This book is one of my favourites and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is one of those books that I will always be able to reread.

That’s all for today. As you can probably tell Daughter of the Forest is one of my favourite books and I thought it was about time I reviewed it. I’m sorry the review is a bit short but I wanted to get something out for you guys. Have you guys read this book? I’d love to know what you thought. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

Pippa


2018 Favourites

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s the end of the year so I wanted to share some of my favourite things from the last 12 months, not including books because that’s an entirely different post. Basically all the music, film, TV and video games I’ve been loving. I’ve linked each song to their YouTube video so you can check them out. I have quite a few things to share so I’m just going to get straight into it now.


Favourite Songs:

Favourite films:
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Black Panther
  • Annihilation
  • To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
  • Kubo and the Two Strings

Favourite TV/Netflix:
  • The Good Place / American fantasy-comedy series / Netflix
  • Mr Sunshine / South Korean historical drama / Netflix
  • Queereye / series 2 / American make-over series / Netflix
  • Great British Bake Off 2018 / British baking series / Channel 4
  • The West Wing / re-watch / American political series / DVD

Video Games:
  • Assassins Creed: Odyssey 
  • Spyro Reignited Trilogy
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Okami HD
  • Child of Light (psvita)



That’s it for today. All of the above mentioned are fantastic and I would highly recommend checking them out. What are your 2018 favourites? I’d love to know what you’ve been loving this year. The past 12 months have been a bit mixed for me but overall I think it’s been a pretty good year. I hope you guys have had a good year too. I’m looking forward to another year to blogging :). I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

Pippa