Tag Archives: relationships

A Week In Review.

In light of the post from last week, I thought I’d post an update on how I’ve been getting on with just the one week so far.

Resolutions I intend to stick to:

*Wherever possible eat healthy, home- cooked food.

This is going really well! I’ve been taking a lot of recipes from a book called ‘Cook Yourself Thin‘ – some really gorgeous recipes, and super healthy too! My favourites are the Sweet Potato Gratin and the Carbonara. Yum yum. In prepping a couple of batches, it keeps me (and Mum and Stepdad) well-fed for the whole week. I feel so much better! And I’ve already lost almost 3 pounds this week!

*Avoid additives and preservatives, especially artificial sweeteners such as those containing aspartame. This includes choosing organic, wherever practical.

This is an ongoing battle, really. I’m beginning to notice how a lot of products seem to sneak in the odd E-number, or random chemical I can’t pronounce. The good thing about making so much food at home though, is that I’m exposed to these things far less.

*Avoid caffeine. Choose decaffeinated and herbal options.

This hasn’t been a problem at all. I feel a lot less like my energy levels are a rollercoaster. I actually feel very stable, and tired when it’s natural to be. Even the coffee shop (NorthTeaPower, Manchester) we went to last Wednesday had a fab selection of herbal teas (I tried ‘blood orange’) and decaff coffee.

*Increase activity and tonal exercises with the aim of reaching a healthy target weight by summer. Goal: 2 pounds a week.

I’ve increased the activity. It’s not been as consistent in terms of how long I’m doing it far, but it’s improving. Just need to make it a habit! I have achieved over 2 pound loss this week though, so I’m happy!

*Be more sensible with money – reduce small outgoings, monitor spending, save for larger purchases, etc. Generally be more organised and less impulsive financially.

Still paying off bills and such, but managed to put £30 in my holiday jar this week. Whoop, whoop!

*Plan solo travelling to see more of the world. 2013′ s planned trip: Italy. (Any advice, suggestions, recommended viewing, etc welcomed!)

My Italian phrase book and audio has arrived, grazie! This shall be my treat to myself if I keep hitting weight-loss targets.

*15 minutes a day on self taught Italian book and audio.

Only arrived two days ago. I’ve been having a browse, and picked up a couple of phrases already. But not consistently spending time on it yet. My memory isn’t what it should be… ho hum. I will get better though!

*Ensure put maximum effort into obtaining good grades on first year my English degree (going well so far) via Open University.

Still awaiting module two, assignment one’s grade. Module one, assignment three was submitted on 10 January too. So far, my grades have been 73% for assignment one, 80% for assignment two… We shall see what the future has in store for me.

*Thoroughly revise and have pro- edited at least one novel, with the view of publishing this year.

One of those things I really need to make a habit of. ‘Psychologies‘ magazine had a really fab section on 2013 year plan. It was very positive and had me focusing on what I want from my life, but editing still really seems like such a chore. Everytime I sink my teeth into it it really drives me nuts as I can’t seem to work out where to start or what to do to get it working right. I’m just finding more and more things that have me feeling like such a fraud. I get lots of negative flashes of submitting a novel, getting it published but people I know reading it and thinking: “What’s the fuss all about? This is crap!”

*Complete at least one screenplay and research markets, with the view of being accepted somewhere.

-not at this point yet-

*Continue to attend writer’ s group set up with few of the 2012 NaNo- ers, meeting once a week.

Still going like a trooper! Even when I’ve come straight off a night shift.

*Personal facebook page has already been deactivated. Ensure contact is maintained with close friends, and author and twitter page is restricted in terms of times accessed and used appropriately.

I’m not missing facebook at all. I actually feel so much better that I’m not on it. I’ve barely even used the author page. I’ve attempted to maintain contact¬†with ‘friends’ via text, but that has a mixed reception. For the most part, I’m beginning to realise I actually have a very limited circle of friends. It’s actually quite liberating to finally know that though.



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{reblog} I have a confession to make….

A blog all about a love affair with fashion! I found the whole thing pretty darn amusing – now get reading, liking, and following!

I have a confession to make…..

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Book Review: Cast of Smiles.

Cast of Smiles, by Amanda Brookfield.


I think this would fall into the category of “chicklit” (the bright pink cover even embarrased me), though it wasn’t all romance, hearts, and flowers. The general idea was about relationships such as friendships and marriage, but it followed a group of friends that had known each other since they were teenagers and there was plenty of dark motives, manipulation, and betrayals to keep me interested.

The book itself wasn’t overly complex, and many of the characters made me want to beat the shit out of them. I think that may have been the point though – some of the characters were pretty loathsome from their arrogance and inflated sense of self importance. They believed that nothing could ruin them, or take from them what they believed they deserved. Which led to a sense of karma getting its own back. They got what they want, but at what cost? Serves you right for not opening your eyes…

There were other characters that started out being a nuisance, but grew into quite likeable characters. You understood them better, and things worked out for them in ways you hadn’t expected.

This book covers a couple of issues around mental health (though only really skims the surface), when a potentially unbalanced girl is forced to bury her feelings, and how that then manifests. Little miss perfect later finds she can no longer hold together her immaculate exterior when the world she knows is falling down around her.

The interesting dynamics would be a good book to read, particularly if you’re after poolside reading, or just something very light. It’s well written, and quite well thought out. There are a few twists and turns thrown in but, like I said, nothing overly complicated.

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Book Review: The Snow Garden

The Snow Garden, by Christopher Rice.

To summise, this book is about young people that are going off to university and are at war with themselves (and, seemingly, the world) trying to figure out “who” they are. But it’s never as simple as that. There are cults, arts, sexuality, betrayal, secrets, friendships, relationships, and murder. To name but a few of the issues that run through the core of this book.

Christopher, I love you. And this is why I will overlook the hideous typos that are strewn haphazardly throughout this book. It is probably the only reason I refused to put the book down when I realised there appeared to have been no proofreader, or editor, worth their salt onboard this little adventure.

That aside, I’m glad I didn’t put it down. Once you get past those issues, it’s a pretty incredible plot with various stories that seem to interlock. The same themes of homosexuality, sex, manipulation, and society are presented in this book as with his debut novel (A Density of Souls, which I have reviewed). I just love how he isn’t afraid to throw in ‘taboo’ subjects, he’ll explore, tear apart, and shake the tatters in your face until you realise you just can’t ignore it anymore.

Despite the heavy subject matter, the books are incredibly easy to read. It is clear Christopher has a passion for art, literature, and interests in ‘higher society’, which comes across so well in the book. But they’re interesting to read about, particularly when used as part of his character development.

As with the review of A Density of Souls, I made it clear he does not write like his mother (Anne Rice). He stands alone, and is no worse off for it. He is a bold writer, bringing awareness to subjects like HIV (which is one of the issues he raises in The Snow Garden).

If you can forgive him his errors, I’d definitely recommend reading this book.

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