Travelling with anxiety…

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. As you can see from the title this is going to be a non bookish post. Mental health is an important topic to me and so I wanted to chat about it with you guys today. I’ve been struggling with anxiety for quite a few years now and although I work on ways to improve myself, it can still can hard at times. So I wanted to talk about how I deal with my anxiety and since I’m going away I thought I’d talk about travelling with anxiety. I’ve tried diazepam as well as herbal remedies but none of them seemed to work. Instead I’ve had to find ways to manage it.
Although I love travelling and seeing new places, the process of getting there fuels a lot of anxiety for me. Normally we would fly to our destination but this year we’re having to do things a little differently. My dad had an eye operation and so he can’t fly, which means that we will be driving and catching ferries to get to Sicily. While flying is definitely more stressful for me, I’m not looking forward to being stuck in a car for a long time. For me, being stuck in one place with no way out isn’t very nice. I know we’re not flying this time but I wanted to make this post anyway. I think it is so important to have an open discussion about this.
Things that work for me:
  • Be organised – I make packing list and get things together in advance.
  • Music – listening to music helps me to settle into my headspace and hopefully shut out whatever is going on around me.
  • Organised bag – I like to have everything I need in my handbag, from my kindle to earphones to hand cream. I also like to have a stress ball with me because a lot of my anxiety manifests itself in fidgeting hands.
  • Remind myself that I’ve travelled quite a lot in the past and it’s always been fine
  • Stay hydrated
  • Use a stress ball – my anxiety tends to manifest itself into fidgety hand
  • Wear comfy clothing while travelling

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Top tips:
  • Do plenty of research on your destination
  • Travel during off peak season so it’s not super crowded
  • Travel with someone you trust
  • Don’t assume that your anxiety will hinder you
  • Have all important things (e.g. ID, documents, and credit cards) in one place
  • Make a packing list
  • Pack some of your favourite snacks
  • Distract yourself
  • Be kind to yourself and don’t push yourself too hard
  • Focus on your breathing, particularly if you are feeling very anxious
  • Try out meditation/breathing apps such as Headspace and Calm
  • Consult with a doctor and/or therapist
If you can figure out the reason behind your anxiety, because a better understanding of it will hopefully mean you can manage it better. Despite the fact that I’ve been lucky enough to travel to quite a few places in my life I still find it a very anxious experience. I’ve just found ways to come with it as best I can. What are your tips on travelling with anxiety? I hope you have a wonderful day and I will see you next time.
Pippa

2017 Favourites

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s time for another favourites post – this one is going to be all my non bookish favourites so films, musics, TV etc. Who doesn’t love talking about their favourite things? 2017 has been an alright year for me – I had my blogging 1 year anniversary, had my first review posted on Fantasy Faction site as a contributor, started learning to drive, passed my theory test, went to Crete for the first time and started a distance learning course about dog psychology. I know that probably doesn’t seem much to a lot of people but with my mental health I’m pretty happy with the past year. Anyway let’s get started.

 

TV:
  • Eternal Love aka Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms
  • Final series of Orphan Black
  • Season 2 of Stranger Things
  • The Handmaid’s Tale
Films:
  • Arrival
  • Wonder Woman
  • Siege of Jadotville
  • Star Wars: the Last Jedi
Video Games:
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4)
  • Assassins Creed: Origins (PS4)
  • The Rise of the Tomb Raider (PS4)

 

Music:
  • Dua Lipa’s album – favourite song: New Rules
  • Don’t smile at me (album) by Billie Eilish – favourite song: Bellyache
  • Gashina by Sunmi
  • Peek-a-boo by Red Velvet
  • Havana by Camila Cabello
  • Discovery by Kailee Morgue
  • Wishlist by Kiiara
  • Fine by Tayler Buono

 

Other:
  • My bullet journal
  • Adidas sweatshirt
  • HP sprocket (portable printer)

 

That’s all I have for you guys today. Overall 2017 was an alright year for me, although the anxiety of starting to learn how to drive wasn’t great :). What were your favourite things of 2017? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Book Haul

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Today I thought I would share some books that I’ve recently picked up, one of which was sent to me by the publisher. This way you can see what books I’m adding to my tbr pile :). Personally I quite like seeing what books people have been getting, especially if we have similar tastes. It’s a good way to find new books :). Let’s get started.

 

The Girl in the Tower / Katharine Arden
Goodreads synopsis: Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.

 

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The Stone in the Skull / Elizabeth Bear / digital copy from Netgalley
Goodreads synopsis: The Stone in the Skull, the first volume in her new trilogy, takes readers over the dangerous mountain passes of the Steles of the Sky and south into the Lotus Kingdoms. The Gage is a brass automaton created by a wizard of Messaline around the core of a human being. His wizard is long dead, and he works as a mercenary. He is carrying a message from a the most powerful sorcerer of Messaline to the Rajni of the Lotus Kingdom. With him is The Dead Man, a bitter survivor of the body guard of the deposed Uthman Caliphate, protecting the message and the Gage. They are friends, of a peculiar sort. They are walking into a dynastic war between the rulers of the shattered bits of a once great Empire

 

A Natural History of Dragons / Marie Brennan
Goodreads synopsis: Marie Brennan begins a thrilling new fantasy series in A Natural History of Dragons, combining adventure with the inquisitive spirit of the Victorian Age. All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day. Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.

 

Age of Assassins / R. J. Barker
Goodreads synopsis: Girton Club-foot, apprentice to the land’s best assassin, still has much to learn about the art of taking lives. But his latest mission tasks him and his master with a far more difficult challenge: to save a life. Someone, or many someones, is trying to kill the heir to the throne, and it is up to Girton and his master to uncover the traitor and prevent the prince’s murder. In a kingdom on the brink of civil war and a castle thick with lies Girton finds friends he never expected, responsibilities he never wanted, and a conspiracy that could destroy an entire kingdom.

 

Mistress of the Empire / Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts
Goodreads synopsis: Besieged by spies and rival houses, stalked by a secret and merciless brotherhood of assassins, the brilliant Lady Mara of the Acoma faces the most deadly challenge she has ever known.  The fearsome Black Robes see Mara as the ultimate threat to their ancient power.  In search of allies who will join her against them, Mara must travel beyond civilization’s borders and even into the hives of the alien cho-ja.  As those near and dear to her fall victim to many enemies, Mara cries out for vengeance.  Drawing on all of her courage and guile she prepares to fight her greatest battle of all–for her life, her home, and the Empire itself.

 

The Book of Dust / Philip Pullman
Goodreads synopsis: Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford. Across the River Thames (which Malcolm navigates often using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage) is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live. Malcolm learns they have a guest with them; a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua . . .

 

 

I’m looking forward to reading each of these books. Have you read any of these? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

5 things I love to do other than reading

Hi guys I hope you are all well. Today I thought I would do something a little different and share some things that I love doing other than reading. I don’t know if any of you are interested but this is for anyone who may want to get to know me a little better. So I guess I’ll get straight into it.
  1. Singing – I have always loved singing, or at least as long as I can remember I have. Now I don’t think I’m any good at it but I still love it.
  2. Baking – I remember making chocolate brownies with my mum and sister when I was younger and I have loved baking ever since. My most recent bake was a banana loaf with chocolate. I also enjoy cooking.
  3. Watching TV/films – there are some fantastic TV shows and films out there and I love curling up on the sofa to a good show/film. Some favourite TV shows include the West Wing, NCIS and Orphan Black. Some favourite films include Howl’s Moving Castle, Don’t Say a Word and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
  4. Blogging – as much as I would love to call this my job I can’t because I’m not being paid to do it, so it’s currently just a hobby. I have loved starting this blog though and I look forward to continuing with it.
  5. Video games – again I think I’m rubbish at these but I still enjoy playing them. We’ve always been a Playstation household and I also have a Nintendo 3DS. Some of my favourite games include Horizon: Zero Dawn, Tomb Raider, Pokemon games (favourite Pokemon game is probably soulsilver), Zelda games (favourite Zelda game is Ocarina of Time), Uncharted games and the Jak and Daxter games.

 

I had one of those times where my mind went completely blank while writing this :). Fortunately I got there in the end. I hope you guys don’t mind these more personal posts. What do you love doing other than reading? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

 

My Bullet Journal: Six Months On

Hi guys, how are you all? I hope you’ve had a nice beginning of July. I have to admit that I’m kind of impatiently waiting for the start of autumn now 🙂 – I’m not a summer person really. Anyway, today I thought I would revisit my bullet journal with you guys. At the beginning of the year I showed you my bullet journal and I thought now that I’ve been using it for around six months I would share how I’ve got on with it. Also I apologise in advance for the lighting in some of these photos but it was natural lighting so there isn’t alot I can do about it. Let’s get started.
The first two pages are pretty self explanatory – there my 2017 resolutions and a year at a glance page which contains birthdays and holiday dates. The next pages (pictured below) are all blog related. The first is a stats tracker for my blog, Instagram and twitter accounts. I know it’s not all about numbers but it’s nice to see some growth. Next I have a blog post ideas page. I like to be able to come up with new content so this is the place I come up with ideas – although I’m a little bit stuck with ideas at the moment. I then have a blog and YouTube post tracker, as you can see I’ve been pretty inconsistent with my YouTube posts – I’m still trying to get the hang of it. I also have a page set up to track my goodreads challenge and a place to note down my favourite books.
My next pages are all monthly spreads to keep track of all things blog related. I like having it all in one place for me to see. After that I have a place to note down my monthly posts, tbrs and videos as well as a possible daily plan for my Instagram account, although I don’t always stick to it :). Blue ink indicates blog posts, green indicates a YouTube post and black indicates a personal thing. Also a orange dot shows it’s written and scheduled, and once it’s posted I’ll tick it with a red pen.
After all of my monthly spreads I have a page to keep track of my TBR books, although I haven’t been great at keeping this up to date. Then I have a couple of pages dedicated to my anticipated releases of 2017 whether it’s books, films or games. There’s a lot of great stuff coming out this year and I like to keep track of it all.
Next up I have a page to note down any new favourites, whether it’s food, skincare, games etc, for possible posts in the future. Then I have a spread for my mental health tracker. I split these pages into four for each month, so I can note down how the overall month has been for my mental health and how I’ve been feeling. After that I have a fitness tracker. I’ve been trying to be more active this year so this is a great way of keeping track of that – as you can see it is colour coded depending on activity.  I also have a spread to keep track of all the films that I have seen this year.
The next page is a bucket list type page – things I want to learn, places I want to visit, things to see etc. As you can see I then have a page to note down any big moments of 2017 and opposite that a page that reminds me of a few things when you are feeling a bit down. Next I have a place to note down the dates of posting certain posts – just so I know what I’m posting and when. Opposite that I have an Instagram tracker, which is pretty self explanatory. I keep track of when I am posting on Instagram. Then I have a brain dump spread, which is again self explanatory. The next page allows me to plan for future recommendation posts and on the opposite page I’ve noted down all of the authors I’ve talked about so far on my blog in author explorations. The penultimate spread has a page dedicated to my progress on my unfinished series and a place to note down my favourite and disappointing books of 2017. Finally I have a rough packing list for Crete and on the opposite page a couple of quotes – one from J. R. R. Tolkien and the other from Aubrey Hepburn.

 

That is all I have to share with you guys today. I hope some of found this a little interesting. I have to say I have really enjoyed using my bullet journal and will definitely be continuing on with it. Do you guys use a bullet journal? What do you think? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

De-cluttering Tips

Hi guys, so today I am doing something a little bit different. It’s spring time, which means that spring cleaning is possible happening and so I thought I would share some de-cluttering tips. I am by no means an expert on these things but I personally enjoy de-cluttering and organising my space and I wanted to share that with you guys. I have always loved organising things, although it can be quite daunting at times. Let’s get started.
  1. You have to be a bit brutal. If you are not using or wearing an item and if you haven’t used/read/watched it or didn’t like it then it’s probably time to get rid of it – especially if it’s been around for quite some time.
  2. When de-cluttering your wardrobe/draws, I personally like getting everything out onto the bed or floor. If you can’t do that then just go through piece by piece. Then create 3 piles – keep, maybe/try on and get rid of. Don’t hang onto things just because you feel guilty. I’ve done it quite a few times – where I’ve felt guilty of the waste of money but it’s done and someone else could be getting use out of it. There is no point in keeping it. If you are unsure I think it’s important to try it on -you may find some things you don’t think suit you anymore. Obviously throw things out that have holes, rips, stains etc.
  3. Ask yourself some questions. Start off with do you actually need it? 🙂  Have you used or worn it in the past six months or in the last year. For clothes you can ask other questions like, does it still fit or suit me anymore? Obviously some things you will want to keep anyway e.g. sentimental things, but these questions might be a good place to start.
  4. Find ways to utilise your space. Obviously I can’t tell you exactly what to do as I don’t know your storage situation, but if you have a small space or an awkward space then it’s important to make the most of the space you have. For example I don’t have a lot of storage space so I have two under bed storage boxes that I can use. You can get shelving units to hang in your wardrobe and shoe storage that can hang over a door etc.
  5. It takes time, especially if you are doing the whole house or apartment. If that is the case set weekly goals to help you keep motivated. Set aside a day or weekend to do certain areas but make sure to be realistic with those goals.
  6. It’s never going to be perfect, but it will be organised and functional. Make the best of what you have available and make the space something you are happy with.
There you have it – six de-cluttering tips for you guys. Depending on your preference, you can either do this alone or bring in a friend or family member to help out. As I’ve said I personally love organising stuff so it was quite fun doing this post. Let me know if you have any other tips to share. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Christmas Music

Hi guys, it is day 12 of blogmas and I am definitely getting into the festive spirit. As it is getting ever closer to Christmas day I thought I would share my favourite Christmas music. Listening to Christmas music is a big part of getting into the festive mood for me. Some of the music I very much associate from my children as we would always listen to it when decorating the tree etc. Now there are two Christmas albums we listen to every year – Phil Spector’s album and Michael Buble’s album. For this post I will be picking my favourites to share with you guys and I may add in some other songs as well. I will link to all these songs on youtube, so you can listen to them all as well :). Let’s get onto the music.
I am a huge fan of Christmas music so I had to make a post of all of my favourites. I know there is quite alot of Michael Buble and the Phil Spector album but that is all we really listen to in our house. What are some of your favourite Christmas music? I’d love to know if you have any recommendations for me :). I can’t believe it is so close to Christmas now. I am definitely getting into a very festive mood. I made the almond paste/marzipan for the Christmas cake yesterday, so that is now drying out. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and that you are all feeling festive :). I will see you next time.

 

Pippa