My Life

More personal ramblings.

Thoughts on… Exercising

About six weeks ago I joined the gym. This was the second time I’ve joined the gym, the first was almost two years ago when I wasn’t working so went to the Zumba classes on weekday mornings. That lasted less than two months because then I moved house – I moved only a ten minute drive away from the gym, but when it was previously a minute’s walk away, I found it easy to stop.

But this time it’s been six weeks and I’m sticking with it. I go three times a week, twice is to the actual gym itself, I have two different routines I alternate (one focusing on my legs, the other on my upper body) and once is to go to Total Boxing – a fitness class using boxing gloves and pads.

I wouldn’t say I enjoy going to the gym, but I don’t hate it and now I’ve got into the habit there’s now hassle in me stopping off there on my way home from work twice a week. The boxing class on a Friday evening on the other hand, I really love. Boxing is a sport I’ve never previously had much interest in before, and while the class I go to isn’t for fighting, it’s for fitness, I’ve found myself really enjoying it. and I suppose it can’t hurt to learn how to throw a proper punch.

I decided to attempt to do regular exercise, not because I wasn’t to lose weight, but to generally get fitter. I’m on my feet all day at work but I do drive a lot and just started to feel that I’m not as fit and as healthy as I could be. The main reason I decided to give this exercise thing a go, is because I know my diet is pretty terrible (I don’t really eat any fruit or vegetables) and I am also self-aware enough to know I won’t be changing my diet any time soon. So if that wont change, I should probably do some exercise to try and balance things out a bit.

I don’t think I’ve really lost any weight since I’ve started this regular exercise thing, and my upper-body strength is still abysmal, but I do feel good when I get home. I feel like I’ve achieved something and it’s half an hour or so I can listen to some music, switch off and get my heart rate up a bit. I do smile to myself sometimes because whenever I think about exercising, I think about the clip below from Legally Blonde – endorphins make me happy so i’m not going to flip out at anyone any time soon.

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Thoughts on… My Most Watched Actors

I have a Letterboxd account and it’s pretty great. Letterboxd is the movie version of Goodreads so you can log what you watch, write reviews, make lists and follow different users. If you get a Pro account (which is only $19 a year which is about £15 and I think that’s pretty good value to be honest) you get to see what your various movie-related stats are each year you log films and overall on all the films you’ve ever marked as watched.

I’ve been looking at which actors I’ve watched the most overall and there’s some interesting things there but it does make me want to try and change some of my viewing habits.

Out of my top twenty most watched actors, just two of them are women – Rachel Weisz and Scarlett Johansson. Scarlett Johansson was someone I was surprised to be there as she’s not one of my favourite actors nor someone who I’d go to see a film just because they’re in it. Her being in the Marvel Cinematic Universe certainly helped give her a boost and for a younger actor (she’s 32) she’s been in the business for a while and has an eclectic filmography. Rachel Weisz is a new addition because I have been watching more of her filmography recently, trying to get her (and more women in general) into my top twenty. In comparison to Johansson, Weisz is an actor who I love and will seek out films just because she’s in them but she usually stars in dramas or films that aren’t so mainstream hence while she is someone I do really like, her filmography isn’t always to my taste. (more…)

Why I love… the Autumn

Autumn is my favourite season. It’s not so warm, in fact it can get pretty cold, and that means I can wear multiple layers, jumpers and big hoodies and I like that a lot.

I’m not one that’s into fashion but I generally like the colours of clothes that are “autumn fashion.” The browns, yellows and reds are some of my favourite to wear and it’s not seen as so weird when you’re wearing darker colours in autumn.

Autumn TV is also the best TV. There is currently so many different shows I want to watch, that more often than not end up on the same day and time and I have to figure out how to record them all. Then I have to make time to catch up on them an if there’s one thing I’m not good at is catching up with TV shows. Last month, Victoria was on at the same time as Strike, the adaptation of the novels by Robert Galbraith aka J.K. Rowling, so I had to always record one of them. The Great British Bake Off is back but that often clashes with shows I need to record too. It’s kind of typical really, you can go for weeks or months without much being on TV you want to watch, and then as soon as autumn comes around there is almost too much to keep up with!

I’m not a fan of summer – I can’t deal with the heat, though admittedly in England we don’t tend to get ridiculously hot summers that often, we get three days close to 30°c then goes back to around 20°c but even that can be too hot for me. When autumn comes around it’s like a sigh of relief, we still generally get dry, sunny days but they are so much cooler.

I feel like autumn is a lot of people’s favourite season. Maybe because it’s a season where you can kind of get away with not going out as much – because who wants to leave the house when it’s already getting dark at 6pm? You can stay home in your pyjamas, curled up with a book or in front of the TV and it’s just the best.

Is autumn your favourite season too? If so why? And if not, which season is your favourite? I sometimes think what type of weather people like says a lot about them, what it says I’m not sure but it’s like a snapshot of someone’s personality.

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Top Ten Books I Remember Studying for School

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature run by BrokeAndBookish each week. This week the topic is a Back to School freebie, so we can write about anything that relates to books and school. I’ve decided my list will be made up of the books (and plays) I remember studying in school, college, and even university. These are the books that were memorable to me for some reason, whether I liked the book or hated it.

Holes by Louis Sachar
I think we read this in English when I was in about Year 6. I really enjoyed it but I don’t think we ever got to the end in class so I read it in its entirety on my kindle a few years ago.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
I’m pretty sure this is the only Dickens book I’ve read and I read it in my Year 8 English class. It was a lot more easier to read and more accessible than I thought it would be.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
This is the book we had to practically learn by heart for our GCSE English exam. I still can remember a lot of it and I revisited Of Mice and Men this past year when I’ve been working at a school and they are still studying that book.  (more…)

July’s OwlCrate Box: Wanderlust

I ordered my third ever OwlCrate when I saw that July’s theme was “Wanderlust” – a theme that is pretty perfect for me as I love travelling and books about characters going on adventures.

OwlCrate is a YA subscription box service based in America, so because of the kind of expensive shipping costs to the UK I very rarely get one (she says even though this is her second box in three months – they’ve had cool themes recently!) Even though it comes from the US I do think it arrives really quickly and everything is well packaged so nothing gets damaged in the post.

Now onto what was included in this month’s box! #Spoilers

I’m not going to lie but I kind of rummaged to the bottom of the box straight away to see what the book was because I had a small inkling/hope based on the hints given by OwlCrate. The book was what I hoped it would be and that was The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee! I’ve seen this book on the book blogosphere and it sounds like such a fun adventure and I’ve heard so many positive things about it. I wasn’t sure what I’d been seeing was ARC’s or if the book was already out as I am terrible at keeping up with books release dates. I’m really looking forward to reading it and it might even be the next book I pick up. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue came with a signed bookplate, a cute illustrated note from the author and an art print map. Also, the cover is an OwlCrate exclusive and it’s more of a blue cover than green cover of the standard hardback which is cool.

Now onto the goodies. There’s an art print featuring a quote from Francois Rabelais and is somewhat inspired by John Green’s Looking for Alaska which was designed by Shailey Ann Designs. There’s a Lord of the Rings-inspired cloth backpack which is rather cool and a Newt Scamander keychain from Funko – if there’s a character that has wanderlust it’s Newt. There’s a pocket mirror inspired by A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab and was designed by Miss Phi. Then there’s a pocket journal from Ooly (one of eight different designs) and an owl luggage tag from Mudpuppy.

Once again there’s a lot of cool stuff in this OwlCrate box. Newt is going to be joining the rest of my Funko collection on my bookshelves and I’ll definitely be putting the pocket mirror in my handbag. I’m super excited about The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and I think the rest of the goodies will be things I’ll use.

Next months OwlCrate theme is “Something Wicked This Way Comes” so if you like things that are magical and something evil then maybe August’s OwlCrate box is for you. If you got this months OwlCrate, do let me know what you thought. Are there any other bookish subscription boxes I should try?

BOOK BLOGGER HOP: Do your bookshelves have any bookish items on the shelves?

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly feature hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer, to find bookish blogs and to learn more about the bloggers themselves. You can find more info on the feature here.

This week’s question is: Do your bookshelves have books ONLY or do you also have bookish items on the shelves?

Now I have two bookcases. One is full of paperbacks and that one just has books on it but my other bookcase, which has hardbacks and graphic novels and comics on it, has all my Funko Pops on it.

The Draco Malfoy, Harley Quinn and Leia ones all came from bookish subscription boxes and the rest I’ve got myself. There’s a Stan Lee one I got from London Comic Con a couple of years ago, then there’s Poe Dameron from Star Wars, Chekov and Jaylah from Star Trek Beyond, then there’s my Marvel one’s Black Panther, Black Widow, Scarlett Witch and Hawkeye – them four are my favourite characters in the MCU (at the moment anyway, it changes regularly). I’ve got some smaller superhero figures that I’ve got from friends or free with stuff as well.

Do you have any bookish or geeky items on your bookshelves?

May’s FairyLoot Box – Warriors & Legends

My FairyLoot box arrived over the weekend and I was looking forward to seeing what was inside it. I don’t get a FairyLoot box every month (because of the cost and I have the naïve belief that it’ll give me more unread books on my TBR but I do that myself to be honest) but I had to get this month’s box because the theme, Warriors & Legends, sounded fab.

I think the box was really well put together and had a lot of cool stuff in it. There’s an exclusive blend of loose leaf green tea from The Tea Leaf Co – I don’t drink tea so no doubt I’ll be finding it a good home, but I do love the design on the container. I’ve become slightly addicted to candles lately so I love the box included one. There were two different candles you could’ve ended up with from In The Wick of Time, one called Flame and one called Mist. The Mist candle was in my box and I love the scent, it’s warm stone and woodsmoke and it’s a lovely subtle scent.

The box also included an exclusive wooden Lord of the Rings bookmark from Ink and Wonder, a pair of Celtic patterned socks, a metallic feather pen from Flora’s Wonder Emporium and a chapter sampler of Naondel by Maria Turtschaninoff which sounds like a feminist fairy-tale.

There were actually two books in this month’s box. The first is World Mythology in Bite-Sized Chunks by Mark Daniel, a cool introduction to different myths and legends from across the world. And the second was the main event – Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh. I’ve heard so much about this book on social media over the past few months but never realised it was a Mulan-inspired story set in feudal Japan. Someone should’ve told me that and then it would’ve been right up my TBR! Flame in the Mist came with a signed bookplate, bookmark and a letter from the author and I do like how FairyLoot put the book in a little bag so it doesn’t get damaged on its journey in the post.

I do like FairyLoot boxes. They always feature cool things that are to a high quality and stuff books that I wouldn’t normally get myself but nearly always enjoy. Next month’s theme is Elementalists and I think there’s still some boxes left if you’re quick.