Come & Take Part In Our Spring Readathon!

This spring a few bookstagrammers and I are hosting a readathon. The aim is to complete as many of the prompts as possible. They’ll help to broaden your reading ‘sphere’ and hopefully let you discover new favourites. There will be no winner, as this readathon is purely for fun. All participants will get shoutouts on Instagram, so make sure you’re following the hosts on there! We would all appreciate if you shared your progress with the #springreadathon2020 or in the group chat. That way we can talk about the books you’re reading!

We are trying to encourage people to read more often. Hopefully it will motivate you to pick up a book when you don’t usually. There are a set of rules, but they are flexible. Don’t feel that you have to read a book for all of the prompts, you can double up!

If you don’t have Instagram, keep me up to speed via the contact page.

However, if you do have access to Instagram, drop your username in the comments below! I’ll add you to the group chat straight away.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to comment or DM on Instagram.

Happy reading!

erin x

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10 New Year’s Goals | Ideas To Pursue In 2020 | Collaboration With Sophie’s Corner

Happy *almost* New Year!

The prospect of a new year invites time to reflect and set goals. I sat down with myself (and my bullet journal) a few weeks ago and starting listing things I wanted to do in 2020. It would be unrealistic for me to set more than five goals for myself I have managed to cut it down! Today’s post is a collaboration with Sophie’s Corner. As she only started blogging back in August this will be her first collaboration which is very exciting! We have both written 5 goals and some of them are quite similar (great minds think alike) and I thought they would be great inspiration for your new year’s resolutions if you don’t yet have any. After reading this post I would really recommend you go and check out Sophie’s beautiful Instagram or take a look at her wonderful writings on her blog!

  • Create a revision timetable and stick to it

My mock GSCE exams are in April so I would like to create a revision timetable so that I can revise. In the past I have attempted this and then not really kept up with it so I would like to try again and then stick to it religiously so that I get the best grades possible for my mocks.
  • Grow my blog

I started my blog in August and the main focus was getting some content on there, writing blog posts etc. But now I would like to grow my blog’s audience and try to invest a little more time into it. Blogging is something I would like to do in the future so I am going to be focusing more on trying to increase my readers.
  • Limit screen time

I think I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t like my phone; a quick scroll through Instagram, replying to messages, checking my emails, clicking through Snapchat. I wouldn’t say that I overuse it but I would still like to try cutting down the time I spend on it. I will do this gradually.
So, in January, I will start off by limiting my time to 50 mins per day, then in February in will be 45 mins and so on. This means that by the end of the year I will hopefully satisfied with the time I spend on it!
  • Do one kind thing per day for other people

I always aim to do this anyway but I thought that I’d make it into a real goal so that I am even more keen to do it! I love doing random acts of kindness and it makes me feel so happy when other people are happy! I have written 31 good deeds and put them in a jar so that for each day in January I can pick out a good deed and carry it out that day. Then I will do the same for February and so on.
  • Get a specific number of hours of sleep every night

I think it would make me much healthier to have consistent sleeping patterns, especially as I already wake up super early every day!

  • Work my way to sugar-free

The way I’m going to work this goal is by gradually cutting out sugar as the year goes along. In January I’m aiming to do one day a week without sugar. Then in February it would step up to two days. If I cut out sugar immediately then I would get cravings and probably flop. My friend is going sugar-free from Christmas to Easter so I won’t be doing this alone!

  • Daily journal

This is a traditional new years goal but I really think that I’ll be able to do it. In the end of 2019 I did daily journal and I felt it really cleansing. I did enjoy doing meditation for a time but it’s a very expensive habit so journalling is the next best thing. I know that I won’t be able to journal every single day but just when I can.

  • Read 100 books

Reading is one of my favourite hobbies (I don’t know if it beats blogging?) so this one will be easy for me. I managed it last year and the summer is my prime time for reading so I’m not going to force myself to finish a book every 3 days because I’ll be able to catch up in the holidays.

  • Collaborate with other bloggers a lot more often

In the beginning of last year I did a lot of collaborations and towards the end as well. However in the middle of the year it was lacking so this year I’d like to be more consistent.

  • Become a RAKtivist

Becoming a RAKtivist and performing random acts of kindness is such a lovely new year’s goal. Most of the goals I previously mentioned are based around my personal growth, but to bring happiness to another person is a really special idea. I have already signed up on the website and soon after writing this post I’m going to print of the kindness calendar for January!

Have you set any goals for 2020? What did you achieve last year?

Thank you so much for reading. I look forward to reading your responses in the comments below!

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Another 10 Songs For Your Christmas Playlist | Ft. Yoga Girl

Another ten songs for your Christmas playlist, brought to you by the lovely Yoga Girl! Yoga Girl and I know each other outside of blogging so it’s been fun to work with someone in person instead of over email. She plays a few instruments, including her beautiful voice, so you can trust that this playlist has been put together with musical expertise 🙂 After reading this post it would be great if you could check out her blog which is centred around her hobbies of yoga, books and poetry. If you would like to listen to this playlist I have made a Spotify playlist for you: https://open.spotify.com/
Hello it’s Yoga Girl!
It’s nearly Christmas so I thought it just about time to get those Christmas tunes on. I am Christmas lover and if you are too then I hope that this post will get you in the Christmassy mood 🎅

1) It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas – Michael Bublé

What’s Christmas without a bit of Michael Bublé?

2) Do They Know It’s Christmas? – Band Aid

This is one of the few songs I know in BSL (British Sign Language)

3) Silent Night – Celtic Women

This song really reminds me of going to church and church is a huge part of Christmas for me!

4) Rocking Around The Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee

This song could get me in the Christmas mood at any time in the year.

5) I’m Dreaming Of A White Christmas – Frank Sinatra

Such a classic Christmas number. This old style really brings me back in time.

6) Jingle Bells – Bing Crosby

7) Santa Tell Me – Ariana Grande

Not usually one for modern songs but this one is fun and makes me smile.

8) Let It Snow – Dean Martin

I wish it would snow in England 😂

9) 12 Days Of Christmas – Straight No Chaser

Love this song to bits and miming it can be a great laugh!😂

10) Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms

All I can say is – Mean Girls!
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Thank you so much for reading today’s post. It’s such a shame that there’s only three weeks leading up to Christmas because I have so many content ideas for you!

Do you have a Christmas playlist? Are any of these songs on there?

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Top 10 Songs For Your Christmas Playlist | Collaboration With Emma Blether

Today’s post is written in collaboration with Emma from emmablether.com. We have worked together for a few weeks to get our first Christmas post of the season written for you! We have compiled a very festive playlist that you can be listening to throughout the month. It’s been really difficult to only choose five favourite Christmas songs each but I am pretty confident in my final decisions! Let us know in the comments what would be at the top of your Christmas playlist. I hope you enjoy our collaboration and make sure to check out Emma’s blog and really pretty Instagram!

Erin’s Top Five

Do They Know It’s Christmas? (Feed The World) – Band Aid 

What can I say? This song features in the Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special. It will always have a special place in my heart – not only because it features in my favourite sitcom but because it has such a lovely message. I sing my heart out at the ‘feed the world’ part! It’s a good song to put on your party playlist.

Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee

Something about this song reminds me of my earlier Christmasses. When I was 8 or 9 my old school teacher used to play it in the classroom. It was a great time. 

Last Christmas – Wham!

This song is the anthem for Christmas! As soon as it comes around to December I’m immediately playing this on my CD player. Does anyone else own one or is it just me? I feel quite old-fashioned, even though I got mine only a few years ago!

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I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day – Wizzard

I don’t know about you, but in my primary school we had a Christmas ‘party day’ on the last day before we broke up. This song used to be played in assembly (oh sweet memories) and the reason I have it on the playlist is because of the nostalgia I attach to it. The years that I believed in Santa (which were in primary school) were the best Christmasses of my life! I would love to have that same old magic reignited.

Step Into Christmas – Elton John

Christmas playlists in the supermarket are always the best! This song is often included on that playlist. I love Elton John’s voice but also the lyrics signal the start of the Christmas season for me. The fast tempo makes me want to get up and dance – so I would also add this to your party playlist. You might even get your grandparents up on their feet!

Emma’s Top Five

Jingle Bell Rock – Crooners & Divas

Okay, so Jingle Bell Rock is one of my favourite Christmas songs because it gives me serious Mean Girl vibes. If you haven’t seen Mean Girls then you should definitely watch it! Though it isn’t a Christmas film, you could 100% watch it this holiday.

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas – Michael Buble

I love this song! It’s a slower Christmas song but I find it so calming and it reminds me of many happy Christmas memories.

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – Jimmy Boyd

This song reminds me of when I was younger and we would listen to so many Christmas songs on a CD while putting the Christmas tree up! (it’s become a bit of traditon now!)

Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin’ Stevens

It’s such a classic Christmas song! A really good one to get up and dance to.

I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday – Wizzard

Both Erin and I agree that this a hit Christmas song. For both of us it’s a song with childhood memories. I remember belting this out with my friends at a primary school Christmas party! (primary school parties were the best haha)

Thank you so much for reading our collaboration! It’s the first in many of this month from me. It’s been a real pleasure to work with Emma so I’d like to thank her so much, for fitting me in among all of her really important GCSE revision! Please wish her the best of luck for her mocks this month 😊
I hope that you have a really great December (especially now that you have an awesome playlist for it 😉)

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10 Things To Do In Autumn | Collaboration With Girl Online

Happy autumn everyone!

I’m pretty late to announce my top 10 things to do in autumn but Halloween is not yet upon us so you definitely have time to check these off your list! Today’s post I have written in conjunction with Girl Online. I was pretty excited to work with one of my most loved book characters. Though the real Penny Porter does not exist, Girl Online’s blog is just as good! Because she has only just started blogging I’m sure she would heavily appreciate your support. 

The first five things on this list are written by Girl Online and the last five are mine. I hope you do get a chance to do some of these things because they are really enjoyable! In late October some of my family friends come around and that’s always an opportunity to make pumpkin spice lattes or go and collect the beautiful autumn leaves. 

Apple Picking

Of course, you can’t not go apple picking during autumn. This time is when the trees leave us natural goodness……for free. On top of that, it’s a really exciting and time consuming thing to do. Once you have done it you will think: why have I never done this before? 

Go For a Hike + Have a Picnic

Honestly, my favourite outdoor memories would have to be hiking, especially in forests, full of cool, crispy air. It’s amazing and so satisfying. Plus, you get to run away from life for a few hours. After that, maybe on the same site, just set up a little picnic spot. You definitely cannot go alone.

Trust me, it’s not regrettable. I actually am going hiking later this week!

Collect Colourful Leaves + Listen To The Sound of Crunching Leaves

This is one of my favourites. It’s incredibly satisfying and beautiful to watch leaves falling. While you do this, you’re also going to be enjoying the cool autumn breeze. It’s also really healthy to go for an evening walk in autumn, so that’s definitely a to do.

Note from Erin: I went for a walk after school the other day. It was incredibly stress relieving and I managed to pick up a few conkers on the way!

Attend a Fall Festival

Getting together with family, friends and neighbours is one of the best things about autumn because you can attend, or even host a fall festival. This activity will bring so many people together and I can bet that everyone will have a great time – in so many different ways! You’ll have lots of happy memories to take back with you. 

Make Autumn Goodies

Everyone knows you can’t go through autumn without having some autumn treats, as I call them. You can make these at home with your family or friends.

Some ideas for autumn treats are: candy apples, caramel apples, all sorts of pies, pumpkin bread, cider doughnuts, and many more. 

Blackberry Picking

Early September is the perfect time for blackberry picking. Autumn is the time of foraging and you will always see an insane amount of conkers in my house. I recommend you go blackberry picking during the golden hour – it is a beautiful experience and such a lovely walk! Come back and bake yourself a lovely crumble, for autumn is the pie season! I have recipe for a blackberry and apple crumble on my blog here. 

Pumpkin Patch

I have never gone to a pumpkin patch but I would love to! When it comes closer to Halloween, it would be amazing to pick your own pumpkin to carve. Look for some pumpkin farms near you and go out with your friends! It may be an expensive ordeal but, from what I have heard, it is worth it. 

Chai Lattes

A great part of autumn is when the coffee shops start introducing their pumpkin spice lattes and gingerbread hot chocolates. However, you could have a go at home! I rarely go out for a coffee so my special treats are when I make them myself. Chai lattes are quite complex but well worth it. I always use Zoella’s recipe (which, for copyright reasons, I cannot share). 

Candles

The absence of candles in the summer only makes you more hungry for them by the time autumn comes around! I enjoy pumpkin or cinnamon scented candles for this time of year. Not only do they smell delicious, but they leave everything in the room with a spiced layer of scent. 

Attend A Local Fireworks Display

By the time we get to November, everyone is wrapped up in scarfs from head to toe! It’s so crazy how fast this year has gone, and we’re already back to autumn. November 5th is high time for celebration and I love going to a bonfire night in the closest village! Though bad for the environment, it is truly a wonder to see a firework display. I always go with my family and meet up with my closest friends.

Thank you all for reading! I hope that you leave your computer screens for a bit and go outside to appreciate the beauties autumn has to hold. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind season. 

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Make sure to check out Girl Online’s blog here!