29 March 2017

February and March book haul

February and March book haul. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

I love book hauls: I love reading them, writing them, stocking up for them, everything. My last one was a December and January book haul and you can read it here. But, as it's 2017 now and environmental concerns are getting ever pressing, I've been thinking more about my impact on the planet. So, one of my goals for 2017 is not to buy any brand new books. From now on (unless temptation gets to me and I fail), all of the books featured in my book hauls will be second hand. And once they're read, all of my books will be going on to a new owner, either via Depop or a charity shop. I'm not someone who really keeps up with new book trends religiously, and so it seems like a good way to be a little more friendly to the environment by re-using things. 

February and March book haul. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

February and March book haul. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

The first three books in this massive little haul are all young adult fiction books. I've started to get back into the genre a little bit recently, so I picked up some new reads to help me continue with it. 

Every Day by David Levithan is something that I've seen in book stores a zillion times, but have never picked up. Now that I've read the blurb I am SO gutted I ignored it. It's all about a kid called A who wakes up in the body of somebody new every day. His one rule is not to get attached to the people he meets. But one day he meets a girl that changes everything - he now knows who he wants to spend every day with. 

All Fall Down by Sally Nicholls is a historical novel all about the Black Death. I'm a big fan of historical books but I haven't read a young adult one in what feels like forever, so I'm excited to see how the topic of the plague in England is dealt with. The title is also a reminder that the nursery rhyme 'Ring a Ring of Roses' was actually about the Black Death.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater is the first Gothic novel that I've bought in ages. It's all about a small town called Mercy Falls, in which a girl called Grace meets a pack of wolves who seem a little human. One has piercing yellow eyes that seem almost too similar to the yellow eyes of the new boy in town ...

February and March book haul. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

February and March book haul. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote. I've honestly had the 'and I said, what about breakfast at Tiffany's / She said I think I remember that film' Deep Blue Something song stuck in my head since I picked this book up, ffs. But, it's such a big part of American culture that I really want to see the book that inspired the film and the song. 

The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis. I'm looking into the list of '1001 books you should read before you die' (way to procrastinate packing for holiday Steph, I know) and this author's name kept popping up, so I've decided to see what the fuss is all about. The novel was written in the 1980s and is based around a uni student in America who is sexually promiscuous and indecisive about her university career. It also features her relationship with a bisexual man, and I'm intrigued to see how the author discusses this.

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco is a novel by another author that kept cropping up on the 1001 books list. This is a murder mystery novel set in an Italian monastery in the 1300s. As I mentioned before, I love historical fiction, but I don't know much about Italian history during this period, so it'll be interesting to see what I can learn. 

February and March book haul. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

February and March book haul. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hossini is a novel that I've been hearing about for a good decade. I was told to wait until I was a little older to read it when I was in my teens, to understand everything fully, so when I spied a copy in my local charity shop I knew I had to have it. I'm fully prepared to have my heart broken by this novel, and to learn more about the history of Afghanistan.

More Than This by Patrick Ness. I was a massive Patrick Ness fan as a teen. The Knife of Never Letting Go trilogy was something I was obsessed with, and would recommend to anybody that asked. I'm so excited to see what he offers in this standalone novel about a boy who dies ... and then lives.

Room by Emma Donoghue. This has been on my mental TBR list for about five years. No joke. It's been recommended to me time and time again and I just kept forgetting to buy a copy. Room is all about a five year old boy named Jack who lives in Room with his mother. Those four walls are his home, his world. Jack has no idea there's a world outside of Room, until one day Door opens.

The Secret by Katerina Diamond is the final novel on my list, and the only thriller. I've been loving thrillers over the past year or so, and this has got me hooked from just the blurb. DS Imogen Grey, the novel's protagonist, is on a search for a missing girl. As she gets deeper into the mystery she uncovers a terrifying trail of murder and abuse, and she ends up delving into secrets from her own past as well as the victim's.

So there it is, my book haul from the last two months. *This post contains affiliate links*

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28 March 2017

10 things you need to do before holidaying in Florida

10 things you need to do before holidaying in Florida. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk
Before I get cracking on this one, can we talk about how dreamy these shoes are? They're nude, suede and come in at under a tenner from Primark. I'm in love, and they're now my staple shoes for my upcoming trip to Florida, eeek!

If you haven't heard me banging on enough about it recently, then let me tell you: I'm heading to Florida in under a fortnight. Despite having known about it for ages, it feels like it's totally crept up on me, and all of a sudden I'm needing to make the final arrangements. So, naturally I thought I'd procrastinate with a post on all the little things you need to do before setting off on holiday to Florida if you're from the UK.

1.) Arrange travel insurance. This was a bitch, hurt my bank account and it took about 3 years to read through all the contracts. BUT the idea of having to pay for healthcare in the US, and not have the trusty ol' NHS keeping me safe is a little terrifying. Plus, it means that if you need to cancel the trip for any reason (health, close family death etc), you're likely to get a good part of your money back. There's even little things that I'd never thought of included, like insurance against the plane company going into liquidation. It's best to do this as early as possible, as it covers you from when you take out the policy.

2.) Apply for an ESTA. This is basically a visa for your holiday. It asks for about a zillion pieces of information about yourself, so pop the kettle on and get cosy with this. It also comes with a little fee - I believe we paid about $14. We did this three months before leaving.

3.) Make plans for your home whilst you're away. I don't know about you, but the idea of leaving my home empty for two weeks makes my anxiety go sky high. See if you can find a house sitter, or ask someone to pop in every few days to make sure everything is okay.

4.) Make sure your passport is in date! This is such an easy thing to look over. My passport ran out a few years ago and I had no driving license for ID. Safe to say, six weeks of trying to get into clubs with no real ID in the first few months of uni was not ideal.

5.) If you have pets, make arrangements for them early on. We've got a hamster (sadly we lost our second one a couple of weeks ago) and a bunny. I didn't want to have to fork out lots of money, or be frantically trying to find somewhere for them to stay at the last minute, so I sorted out their holiday arrangements two months before ago. In case you're stuck with what to do with small pets, there are places that board them like cats or dogs.

6.) Read up on the current rules and regulations about hand luggage/actual luggage before going. I'm yet to do this, but there's nothing worse than having your stuff binned because you've not read all about what you can and can't have. Security is extra tight in the US in comparison to heading to other places in Europe, and I so don't want to be caught out.

7.) Save, save, save. Let's face it, I'm a Disney fanatic. I'll want everything at the parks. I set myself three months to save everything I could. This has meant no cheeky trips to Maccies, no new makeup and skimping on every necessary payout I can. But it'll be worth it once I get there. Set yourself a budget and a reasonable time to save it in to make sure you have the best time. 

8.) Decide how you want to access your money. Do you want it all in cash? On a cash passport card? A credit card? I think we're taking a little in cash and getting a cash passport at the weekend to put the rest on.

9.) Prepare yourself for a long flight. I'm not a nervous flyer, which is fab, but a buttload of hours in a confined space can make you hella bored. I'm packing a blanket (gotta get those plane naps in, right?), a pack of cards, my kindle and some headphones as my 'starter kit' for keeping occupied, and I imagine I'll add in a few bits closer to the flight.

10.) Go on a massive shopping haul. There's about ten thousand things I need but don't have yet. Sunnies? Nope. Suncream? Nope. I've kick-started things by picking up some staple clothing pieces, like my bikini, these dreamy pumps and a pair of comfy shorts, but there's still a lil list of things I haven't yet got to.

And there we have it: 10 things to sort out before holidaying in Florida. Have you been there before? What are your recommendations of things to do?

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26 March 2017

Why I'll Never Get Back Into Tumblr

Why I'll Never Get Back Into Tumblr. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

I love the internet, and I love social media even more. But let's face it, there are some really dark corners of the 'net out there. Social media for me now is a place to share things I love; quick snaps of yummy things I've baked on Instagram, blog posts I've poured my heart into on Facebook, and snippets of what's making me feel good on Twitter. However, it wasn't always like that. Twitter used to be a place for me to vent, a place I'd go to and angrily scrawl song lyrics into a tweet. And the only other platform I really used was tumblr.

Before I really got into the platform, I was warned against it by some of my closest friends. All three of us suffered with self harm and depression, and they told me that it'd be a mistake. I promised I wouldn't look into the 'dark side' of tumblr. I lied. It's a site where there's no real kind of monitoring. If I see someone tweeting #thinspo pictures, or Instagramming self harm, I can report them, or block them and it'll go away. But with tumblr? There's no real protection, especially if part of you doesn't want protecting.

I really wanted to go with a black and white 'theme'. I wanted to follow accounts that reblogged pictures with emotive quotes about mental health issues. I wanted to be in the 'community' of people on tumblr who suffered with self harm, in the hope of connecting with people that felt the way I did. Although in some respects I got what I wanted, I also got a whole lot that I didn't.

My dash(board) was now full of images and gifs that summed up the way I was feeling. But, interspersed with them were things I didn't need to see: thinspo accounts with seriously underweight girls calling themselves fat, words cut into people's skin to define what they hated about themselves, and more. This isn't what I came to tumblr for, but it's what I got wrapped up in.

It's almost a kind of competition over there. People regularly post  pictures of their self-harm, which is always going to make you compare yours to theirs. I know that mine got a lot worse because of these images: clearly I wasn't doing enough damage to have a 'problem'. Then there's a whole corner of the site where you have people counting down their weight, and posting pictures of them getting thinner and thinner. It's a dangerous place to be. A really dangerous place to be. If there's one site that I wish could be banned, purely for the easy access it gives teens to images or texts posts like these, it would be tumblr. 

And yes, obviously not everyone uses it for these purposes. For some it's a place to get politically inspired, for others it's a place to visit 'for the aesthetic'. But for a lot of people, it's a deep, dark and terrifying place. 

What do you think of the site?

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