Thursday, 10 April 2014

A Brief Break

Multitasking has never been my biggest skill. I am easily distracted, and if I'm avoiding completing a certain task I can easily find a distraction that I prioritise above the other task. It's a terrible habit and one I hope to break, some time soon would be good!

I thoroughly enjoy blogging and because of that it has become my distraction from tasks that are more important than my hobby, blogging. For that reason I'm going to take a little break from blogging, but I will be back! I am intending to come back at the start of May in order to give myself time to focus on things outside of blogging as well as come up with some balance of sorts.

So, this was just a polite post so I don't just disappear and then reappear in a few weeks time!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Tag | The TMI Tag

I've seen the TMI Tag going around within the YouTube community for some time and thought I'd give it a go on my blog. The tag was originally created for YouTube, given that a couple of the questions relate directly to YouTube, however I've adapted those questions (26 and 30) to the blogging community instead and so the tag works just the same... It's 50 questions, so you might want to grab a cuppa...

1. What are you wearing? Lounge clothes. I like to be comfy when at home and for as long as I can remember I 've switched out to track bottoms or PJ bottoms when indoors.

2. Ever been in love? I'm engaged, so that's a definite yes.

3. Ever had a terrible break up?  Haven't we all...

4. How tall are you? Between 5ft 6 and 5ft 7.

5. How much do you weigh? I don't weigh myself. The last time I was weighed was two days after having Alexander - I needed to be weighed in order to be assessed for an iron infusion (fun times!) - and I weighed 10 stone exactly. That was five months ago now...

6. Any tattoos? Two. The first is on the side of my left wrist and the design is five hearts decreasing in size. The second one is the initial N in a fancy font behind my right ear. Both of my tattoos have personal meaning to me, I think that is important when it comes to inking your body for life.

7. Any piercings? Just the first holes on my earlobes.

8. OTP? One true pairing? Rose and Jack from Titanic and Henry and Clare from The Time Traveler's Wife.

9. Favourite show? Of the moment, Prison Break - I'm addicted!

10. Favourite bands? I'm really not a music person.

11. Something you miss? I miss my family back in London, but a 'fun' answer would be this ice cream shop in Birmingham called Entice, oh those were the yummiest ice creams I've ever had. Living in Wales now they aren't easily available - perhaps that's a good thing though!

12. Favourite song? As I said above, I'm not really a music person, but if I had to choose I'd go with Areosmith's I don't want to miss a thing.

13. How old are you? 22, I'll be 23 on June 15th.

14. Zodiac sign? Gemini.

15. Quality you look for in a partner? Personality is very important to me, and the trait that I highly admire is the ability to be kind and caring.

16. Favourite quote? 'You can't get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.'

17. Favourite actor? Males would be Johnny Depp and Jude Law. Females would be Reese Witherspoon and Keira Knightley.

18. Favourite colour? Pink, although I do tend to lean towards blue a lot too.

19. Loud music or soft? If I'm listening to music, which is rare unless we're talking nursery rhymes, then it will typically be soft.

20. Where do you go when you're sad? Oddly enough, the bathroom.

21. How long does it take you to shower? We only have a bath in our house, and I like to have a good old relax in that.

22. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? That's all dependant on what is going on that day, anywhere from 5 minutes to 45 minutes.

23. Ever been in a physical fight? Unfortunately yes - the less said, the better.

24. Turn on? Humour, banter.

25. Turn off? Vanity.

26. The reason I started blogging? An outlet in which to share elements of my life. Blogging is a very social thing for me.

27. Fears? Fire - I can't even bring myself to light a candle.

28. Last thing that made you cry? I honestly can't remember.

29. Last time you said you loved someone? Today.

30. Meaning behind your blog name? I share 'Bits & Bobs' of my every day life. I wasn't able to have Bits & Bobs in my URL however and so Nathan came up with lifesopenpages, I thought it very fitting seen as my life is pretty much an open book given my blog.

31. Last book you read? Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas - I would highly recommend.

32. The book you're currently reading? Every Day by David Levithan.

33. Last show you watched? Prison Break, as I said above, I'm addicted. I've been binge watching episodes on Netflix.

34. Last person you talked to? Nathan, my fiancé.

35. The relationship between you and the person you last texted? That would be my brother.

36. Favourite food? Chicken and breakfast cereals, obviously not together. Oh and Nutella, because Nutella is food, okay.

37. Place you want to visit? Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida. I have been once before, when I was 14, but I really want to go back. We'll wait until Alexander is old enough to really understand it all though before we make a family trip there.

38. Last place you were? As in a holiday? That would be Brighton.

39. Do you have a crush? I'm not a 'crush' kind of person, so that's a no.

40. Last time you kissed someone? Today.

41. Last time you were insulted? I'm not sure exactly.

42. Favourite flavour of sweet? Chocolate!!

43. What instruments do you play? HA!

44. Favourite piece of jewellery? My engagement ring. It's very simple but very me. I can't wear it on my finger at the moment as it needs resizing since my pregnancy, but I wear it on a necklace instead.

45. Last sport you played? HA! HA!

46. Last song you sang? It would have been for Alexander so it was either a nursery rhyme or something entirely made up.

47. Favourite chat up line? No, just no.

48. Have you ever used it? Not applicable given the answer above.

49. Last time you hung out with anyone? Does my partner and baby count?

50. Who should answer these questions yet? Anyone who doesn't mind getting a little personal on the internet!

Images Sourced From: Gemini | Disney Castle | Dangerous Girls | Every Day

Be sure to link below if you complete this tag yourself, or even feel free to answer a few questions below in the comments - I look forward to seeing answers.

As always, thanks for stopping by Bits & Bobs :-)
Goodreads | Bloglovin' | Pinterest

Monday, 7 April 2014

Currently Reading | It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. The feature allows us to share the books we are currently reading with others. These posts are a good way to discover new books, and be a bit nosy really!

Last week I mentioned I had another library book read lined up for this week however I have decided to alter those plans and take pick from my unread shelf (luckily I have a couple of weeks left on the library books).

 
Of all the books I have sitting on my unread shelf, Every Day is a newcomer to the party however I've been keen to read this one for a while and so I thought, why not? That's the great thing about not accepting ARC's and review books, I have no deadlines - besides the library due date - so I can be picky with what book comes next.
 
I've been having a lot of luck with the books I read lately so hopefully Every Day doesn't halt my great bout of books.
 
What book(s) do you have lined up this week? Have you read the book mentioned above? If so, how was your reading experience? Feel free to let me know in the comments below!
 
As always, thanks for stopping by Bits & Bobs :-)

Friday, 4 April 2014

Pinterest Project | Weetabix Muffins

When it comes to social media I'm pretty much a beginner but one site that I've found myself whittling away time engrossed in is Pinterest, and I'm sure I'm not the only one! This new feature, Pinterest Project, is a place for me to share all the pins that I attempt to recreate myself, whether it be a success or a failure. I'm starting out with a recipe, however these posts will include a large variety of activities, not just cooking.
 
 
The Website: Thisismeandfood
 
My Initial Thoughts: I make a point to always eat breakfast - it is the most important meal of the day after all - and my go to is Weetabix, served with warm or cold milk. When I stumbled across this recipe I thought it an interesting twist on a favourite of mine. Having said that, I was a little dubious about how these would turn out given the lack of 'traditional' baking ingredients.
 
I did make one alteration to the recipe and that was swapping the sweetener for sugar instead as I did not have any sweetener to hand. I also halved the measurement of the sweetener adding just one tablespoon instead.
 
The End Result: The recipe makes four muffins in total. I ate two of these and a sliced up apple for breakfast, it proved to be a filling meal.
 

My Final Thoughts: Ultimately I wasn't too keen on the texture of these (I have a thing about food and their texture, aka, I can be fussy) as they felt kind of squidgy but not in a good way, they were dry almost - it's hard to explain. Whilst these muffins tasted okay, I'd rather just have a bowl of Weetabix as opposed to faffing about making these.

Have you seen these about on Pinterest? Perhaps you've tried to make them yourself... Feel free to let me know in the comments below about any pins you've tried to recreate lately. You could even share some pins you're hoping to make some time soon.

As always, thanks for stopping by Bits & Bobs :-)
Goodreads | Bloglovin' | Pinterest

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Jason Ellis | The 12th Year Awakening + Mini Q&A With Author

Little did Amelia know that as she dressed for school on a normal Friday morning at the beginning of March, her life would soon change forever. 'You are here because you are the only one who can defeat her. I don't know when you will meet her or where but I know it will happen. We found out your whereabouts only recently when an ancient book was discovered, telling us about the twin of Erryaz and where she could be found.'
Amelia was definitely not expecting an explanation like that. She didn't know what to say or do.

The 12th Year Awakening is the first book in the Amelia Maylock series. Amelia is a happy twelve year old girl who discovers one day that she is very special and has powers. She has an evil twin sister, Erryaz, and Amelia must learn to defeat her while searching dimensions for jewels to aid her in the final fight for good.


The Plot
What I most like about the plot of The 12th Year Awakening is that the telling of the story doesn't feel rushed. Often, with these kinds of books where an alternate world is being created, the discovery of said world can be over quite quickly in order to get to the action however that isn't the case with this particular book. The 12th Year Awakening is the first in a series, and it proves to be a good springboard for other books to follow on from.

The Characters
I often have the issue with middle grade/YA books portraying characters as a lot more mature than they are said to be, however that isn't the case with Amelia. She feels like a regular twelve year old girl - on the verge of becoming a teen yet still with a childish curiosity.

All of the characters within this book are identifiable, each with their own individual personality - the Old Hag (yep, that's actually her name, and quite rightly so!) is a prime example of this, not to mention one of my favourite characters. I'm keen to see how these characters develop throughout the series.
 
The Writing
There are two elements to the author's writing that I really enjoyed, the conversational tone in which he tells a story and the description which feels as if the story is playing out before my eyes. Alongside those elements, Jason Ellis has created a main character that is not only likeable, but could be relatable to those who are of a similar age.
 
Final Thoughts
Jason Ellis has created a world that is both complex and full of depth - I definitely hope to continue on with this series in the future!
 
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I've been lucky enough to contact the author himself, and have a mini Q&A asking four reading/writing related questions, below are Jason's answers.

1. Where did the inspiration for the Amelia Maylock series come from?
This is kind of strange. Amelia Maylock, book 1, came out in 2006 - nearly ten years ago now. I knew I wanted to create a series based around a young character ... fantasy etc, and the reader would follow all these amazing adventures along the way. I know I imagined a young girl climbing the side of a mountain haha! I can do that, though, have a story idea from one smaller thought ... it happens a lot with my books :) Once I had the premise set in my mind, I began book 1 - I know I had to twist the story a little ... it was all very new and fresh in my head.

2. Writing is clearly a passion of yours - did you always want to be a writer?
I do remember making up stories and writing when I was at school. One of my teachers told me that I had a talent, yet I was a teenager, all I was interested in were the girls in the school next door haha :) I think I scribbled down my first draft for a story at the age of about 18. It has never been finished yet I think it could make a great book/series ... maybe one day in the future!!

3. Do you have any tips for budding writers?
This is always a tricky question to answer. I don't think writing can be taught as such, so if you are a writer setting out, make sure that you feel it. Yes, you can learn how to structure a sentence or a paragraph etc, yet an actual story is a completely different entity altogether. I believe in the saying 'Everyone has a good book in them'. It's true. Everyone does have a story, and it can be expressed through fiction or non-fiction. If you believe that you have a story, then just write and see how it feels. I'm not talking about if it is a great read. How does it make you feel to write? Did you miss your favourite TV show because you were immersed in it? Are you still thinking about it an hour later? Apart from that side of things, find other authors on the internet and get chatting. The publishing world has changed so much over the past ten years, and it is constantly changing too. I love everything about writing a story and not much about the 'process' afterwards. Take from that what you will :)

4. Last, but not least, what authors do you find yourself reading regularly?
I used to read a lot of Stephen King, and Harry Potter of course. Years ago, in my younger (cough cough) days, I would usually pick up titles that I'd heard about, or that interested me, yet I don't think I've ever stuck to one or a few authors. Unfortunately, writing takes a lot of my reading time away from me :/ Recently, I read the complete Hunger Games trilogy in a matter of days, and book 5 in the Skulduggery Pleasant series :) I tend to see a book/series, then I devour it.

It was very kind of Jason to take the time to answer my questions - Jason Ellis is a lovely, down to earth man and clearly has not only a talent, but a passion for writing. I hope you too can discover one of his worlds some time soon.

Connect with Jason Ellis: Google+ | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Youtube
Where to purchase books: Author's Online Shop | Amazon UK | Amazon US