Saturday, May 27, 2017

May Favourites

Hey everyone!

As it is now the end of May (holy moly this year’s going fast!), I thought I would write another monthly favourites for you! This month brought be to the end of my first semester of uni (yay!), but now I have five assignments due next Friday (which I am kind of putting off, but shh!). This also means that I might not have a post up next Saturday due to the vast amount of words I will have to write by Friday. If I am up to it, I will post on Sunday instead. If I don’t, then I’m sorry, but I will have to break my great post streak I have going. Anyway, on with the favourites!

My first favourite is a facial cleanser. It is one I have had before, but I haven’t had it in a while. I recently ran out of my The Body Shop foaming cleanser, so Mum bought the Simple Spotless Skin Triple Action Face Wash. It does not foam up as The Body Shop’s one does, but it does have little bits in it that give my face a bit of a scrub, which is always nice! My skin took a little while to get used to a new cleanser, but those initial spots are clearing up. I also like that it feels like it is doing something. Despite the fact that my Body Shop cleanser did something, it didn’t feel like it did anything since it was only a foam. I know that that logic is kind of faulty, but anything that feels like it’s working is definitely on the right track to being on my favourites list!

Another thing that ran out recently was my Clinique toner, to which I was quite sad. I really loved it and wanted to buy a new one, but the place where I (read: Mum) buy them has closed down so we marched up to Big W and picked up one of the Simple ones, seeing as their cleansers are so good. We picked up the one called Kind to Skin Soothing Facial Toner and I must admit that I haven’t used it that much, but that isn’t its fault. The cotton pads we bought are absolute rubbish. They fall apart when you take them out of the package they’re in, and if not, then in your hand soon after. When I have used the toner, it has been fantastic. It has made my skin more toned and the like. The only negative thing I can say about it is that I didn’t have to pour the Clinique toner onto a cotton pad, but the Simple one requires pouring. Other than that, I love it!

I have been doing a lot more writing recently (obviously), and have really enjoyed all of it. I am currently writing a story on Wattpad called Harrison Is Missing, which now has a cover (that I made quickly with an app), and is up to Chapter 3. I reckon I won’t post any updates for that over the next couple of weeks due to my copious amounts of assignments, but I do have plenty of ideas for it! As well as that, I have also written a blog post every week since the start of the year (go me!), and have (mostly) enjoyed writing them. The mostly is only in there because sometimes I have a hard time thinking of ideas of what to write about, but I always get it done on time, right?

What things did you like this month? Do you like my favourites?

Love, Nicky x

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Is Everything, Everything Really Everything? | Review

Hi everyone!

I thought, since the movie adaptation of Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon is out in cinemas (at least in America, according to IMDb), that I would write a little review of the book. I haven’t seen the movie yet (it’s not out in Australia yet), so I can’t do a comparison type review, but I will tell you my thoughts on the book, what it did well, and what it could have done better (if I can think of anything).

Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything is a love story involving Maddy Whittier, a girl allergic to everything, and Olly Bright, the boy who moves in next door. She knows the moment she sees him that she will fall in love with him and that it will end horribly. They communicate through email, then progress to Olly visiting her, as she obviously can't visit him. There was a lot I liked about the book, such as the interesting plotline, the well-developed characters, and themes of family and doing anything for love. Without spoiling anything, I wasn’t especially a fan of how cliché the ending was, other than that, I loved it.

I have never read a book quite like this one. The plotline is very inventive, creating tension in places without even a hint of it. I could just feel it, you know? I have read quite a few romances in my time, but none that used illness as an obstacle. There was always a fight between the main couple, or a misunderstanding or something like that. Never before has it been something that could actually pose a threat to one of their lives. That’s what I love about this story. It’s so unique. The themes were another reason I loved the story.

I read Everything, Everything over a period of about 24 hours, which just goes to show how gripping and engaging it was, during the summer holidays. This was mostly due to the themes of the story. It was all about family and overcoming obstacles for love, (in this case, risking your life) which kept me enthralled all the way through. I loved reading how the relationship dynamic between Maddy and her mother changed throughout, and how comfortable Maddy became with Olly. In the beginning, Maddy loved her mother completely, without question, but as the novel progressed, she grew more and more suspicious of her. *SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT* There is a part in the novel where Maddy goes outside to talk to Olly, showing that she will do anything for him, despite her illness. I also really love how good the characters are.

I, having read it in a day, really got to know the characters on a personal level, feeling their pain, happiness, and everything in between. Maddy was particularly good. It was written in her perspective, so I was literally in her head and really got to know her as a character. For example, the opening sentence of the story is “I’ve read many more books than you,” (to which I was like ‘wanna bet?’), and sets the tone for the story, and gives Maddy at least one trait straight off the bat. Books are quite a common theme throughout the story, using them to push the plot forward, or give little bits of foreshadowing here and there. The chapter titles also added a bit of foreshadowing.

The way the book was split up was great. The chapters had a variety of different lengths, some being only a sentence, but the titles are where it's at. Some of my favourite chapter titles are “Brthdae Uish”, “No Yes Maybe”, and “Fifteen Minutes Later”. Note: doesn’t mean my favourite chapters, just the titles that are great (not saying I hate those chapters, btw). They give some foreshadowing, or they lead to confusion, depending on how you read the book. If you read it all in one go, like I did, the chapters will make sense and almost be an extension of the story itself.

The ending, for me, was a little bit cliché. I’m not going to spoil it, in case you want to read it, too, but just know it was cliché. The buildup of tension in the scenes prior to the ending was so great, and then the payoff is just meh. It was kind of expected when I think about it, but at the time I really enjoyed it. I don’t wanna say what it is, but it semi-tainted my overall reading experience.

In conclusion, Nicola Yoon has written a really great story in Everything, Everything. The plotline, the characters, the chapters, and the themes of family and risking it all for love, were amazing. The only bad thing I could say about it is that the ending was a bit cliché, but still a really good story. I highly recommend this story for reading on holiday/vacation, as you will finish it quite quickly (if you’re anything like me), but not for young readers as there is some occasional swearing and a bit of a sex scene (kind of). Overall, I would rate this story a 4 out of a possible 5 stars. Thank you, Nicola Yoon, for a great book (did I mention that this is her debut novel?! Amazing!).

Have you read Everything, Everything? What were your thoughts on it?

Love, Nicky x

PS: This post is not sponsored, I just wanted to review it!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

A Little Life Update

Hey, everyone!

I have been super busy this week. I was so busy, in fact, that I didn’t think I would get enough time to write a blog post. I had an assignment due at midnight on Friday (which I finished the day it was due), two 2,000 word drafts due by the end of next week, and three 200 word folio pieces to finish by the start of June. Oh, and the finals of those drafts are due then as well. Not to mention that I have an exam coming up in the middle of June, let's just say I’m fully booked, but more literally this time!

My brother went off to grade 10 camp this week, leaving me, Mum and Dad at home. Honestly, it was the best week ever. It was so quiet, peaceful, and I got so much work done. There was no shouting all week, a pleasant change from the norm in my household. I didn’t have to worry about getting in his way and there was no annoying coming into my room when I’m trying to do work. He’s back home from camp now, and absolutely overflowing with stories from it, which is understandable and sounds like he had a fantastic time. Yet, I can’t quite get over the fact that I feel a little envious of him. I think it’s because I’m a Leo, so I like attention, and when someone else has the attention, I get envious. I’ll try my best to keep it at bay, but no promises.

Another thing that happened this week was that I finally published my story to Wattpad! I’m really excited about it and I can’t wait for you to read it! I have titled it ‘Harrison Is Missing’ and as of yet I only have the first chapter up, but I am working on the next chapter (which should go up soon). I would really like your feedback if you read it. I’m open to positive and negative feedback, as long as it is constructive! We had a lecture this week about alternative publishing options in the evolving world of writing, and Wattpad was mentioned, so I thought it was a good a time as any to publish my little chapter. I added a bit more story to the end, so it isn’t the same as what I posted on here.

Sidenote: if any of you is good at PhotoShop and would like to make a cover for my story, please contact me (email is best). I would like to give my story a cover. It makes it a bit more official, you know?

Also, as I mentioned before, I have a lot on my plate over the coming weeks, meaning that I may not get around to writing blog posts. This post may be the last one for a while, but we’ll see how it goes. I may be a lot more organised and productive than I thought! I have recently acquired a calendar to map out my deadlines and commitments so I don’t forget about anything. It has a to do list section on the side so I know what I still have to complete. So far I have filled in all of my deadlines and written in some to-dos. I don’t have any commitments (other than this blog, and my story), but I don’t feel like I need to put that on my calendar. I probably should, anyway, though…

Do you have any organisation tips? Can you make me a cover for my book? Do you have any blog post ideas you’d like to see me do?

Love, Nicky x

Saturday, May 6, 2017

New Year's Goals Review

Hi everyone!

How was your week? Mine was alright. I may have failed one of the assignments I submitted, but I survived. Speaking of surviving, I got back into learning to drive this week (go me!). In other news, I am having pizza for dinner tonight. Like, real, crappy pizza from Coles (basically Walmart, Tesco, etc.) which cost $3 no less. Three whole dollars. Dad always buys the frozen pizzas since he knows there will be at least one night every week where he or Mum don’t feel like cooking anything, and tonight is that night. Anyway, that was a long and rambly intro into a post that has a completely different topic. What I want to talk about today is my new year’s resolutions, and if I’ve kept up with them or failed them completely. We are about a third of the way through 2017 (crazy, I know), so I thought it was a good time to look back and assess my progress, if there is any.

The first thing on my list was to get into university, which I did! We’re off to a good start considering I thought I would fail at a lot of these resolutions! I have been attending university for 9 weeks now and have successfully handed in 4 assessment pieces so I would say that I have had a great start to uni (even if I did fail one of my assignments, oops!). For those who are new, I got accepted into QUT to do a Bachelor of Fine Arts, specifically creative and professional writing, which I am really enjoying and learning a LOT. My subjects are Intro to Creative Writing, Creative Non-Fiction, Persuasive Writing and Writing Fundamentals. I like them so far and have made friends, which is good considering I thought I was going to be alone for the next few years.

My second resolution from the start of the year was to get a job. Welp. Here we go. I have been applying for jobs (not many, but still), but sometimes the companies don’t even have the courtesy to send me a “sorry but your resume sucks” email, which hits my self-esteem down a few pegs even though they didn’t tell me, it’s like I’m so bad I don’t even deserve a response. I think I’m coping alright without a job at the moment. Sure, I ask Mum for twenty bucks whenever I go out with my friends, but that barely happens so it’s okay, right?

The third resolution I have from the beginning of the year was learning to drive. As of that post, I hadn’t driven for about 3 and a half months. Now I can proudly say that as of writing this post, I drove just a couple of days ago. Technically I only started driving again this week, but hey, progress is progress. I think I have now racked up about 40 hours total, so I have about 60 to go, including another 8.5 hours of night time driving. I’m quite good at driving in straight lines, okay at hill starts, and I swear multi-point turns have given me nightmares. I also still need to learn a lot of the other manoeuvres, including parking in any form, whether that is parallel, reverse, or the upside-down-loop-de-loop-spin-around-touch-the-ground kind.

So, that’s the major goals out of the way, now it's time for some smaller ones. The first of those was to build up this blog more, including posting once a week, doing giveaways, and turning on ads. I have managed to post a post every Saturday (and I think once on Sunday) so far this year and I’m pretty proud of that. I haven’t done any giveaways yet and I’m not sure I will. They’re a little bit stressful and I don’t have any money to buy things to give away. As I am not 18 yet, I can’t integrate ads, but I have been looking into it and I’m pretty sure Google will let me have ads. I don’t think I’ll earn lots of money from it (not initially, anyway), but that isn’t my aim in the first place.

The second ‘minor’ goal is to read more books. According to Goodreads, I have read exactly one book. Okay, okay, I can explain. I have been waaaaaaaaay too busy with uni to even THINK about reading something not part of my set readings for the week. In all honesty, I thought I’d read more books than that, but I guess that’s why I’m a writing student, not a maths student. I am currently still reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but it’s such a massive book that I don’t think I’ll finish it before the end of June. If you read my reading list post, you’ll know what I plan on reading next (and the one after that, and after that).

My third and final ‘minor’ goal was to stop cracking my knuckles. I have definitely tried to ease up on the frequency of knuckle cracking, but it’s just so addicting and I don’t know why. I really want to stop; Mum glares at me whenever she catches me doing it. The trouble is I find myself doing it when I’m not thinking about it. Just now, I stopped myself from doing it *pats own back*. It is really hard to stop doing something if you’ve been doing it for a long time. I guess it’s lucky that my addiction isn’t something bad like alcohol or smoking; I would have no chance!

Have you reviewed your 2017 goals? How are you going with them?

Love, Nicky x