February Wrap Up

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February was a hard month for me. A lot of stuff happened with family and with my personal life, and with that my mental health plumbed into a new low. I found it hard to get myself out of it. I struggled with getting motivated and to do the things I loved. I felt a bit like a zombie. Eat. Cry. Sleep. Repeat.

The anxiety was taking over me. I had a few panic attacks at home, which hasn’t happened for over 10 years. When I’m like this the first thing to go is my will to read. The only thing I can do, is to watch TV or Netflix. I think some time ago, I swapped my binge eating as a coping mechanism with binge watching TV. Binging on things isn’t the way to go, but I’m glad that I’m not eating my feelings away anymore. Instead, I use what I watch to get all my emotions out. I’m an emotional whore, so most of the time I just cry show after show, and I get so tired out that eventually I feel a weight of my shoulders. It works for me I guess.

I’m still not 100%, but at least I feel a bit more like myself again.

This has also made me realise that I wanted my blog to branch out into other areas. I was feeling quite restricted in what to write, which is never nice. With that I have revamped my blog header and social media accounts, adding Lifestyle and Travel into the mix of things. Hence, why I’m feeling more open to talk about how my mental health was a bit of a pain in the bum this month.

Anyway, let’s move on to what I still manage to do this month despite feeling like sh*t.

Read

  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (Hardback)
  • To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo (ARC)

feb readsIf last month my reading wasn’t perfect, this month was even worse. However, I still managed to be on track with my Goodreads Challenge. Once again, I haven’t manage to read any Beat The Backlist books. I do feel that I’m disapointing my fellow Book Bards here. However, I have promised myself that if I manage to finish my March TBR with time to spare I will be picking up a Backlist book first.

I haven’t wrote a review yet for The Cruel Prince but will have the review up this month. To Kill a Kingdom was published yesterday and it’s amazing so go get it!

Goodreads Challenge: 8/52

Beat the Backlist Challenge: 0/20

Watched

  • Winchester (Cinema)
  • When We First Met (Netflix)
  • Black Panther (Cinema)
  • Irreplaceable You (Netflix)
  • The Outcasts (Netflix)
  • Love, Simon (Preview Cinema)
  • Happy Death Day (DVD)
  • Wonder 
  • Murder on the Orient Express
  • Thor: Ragnarok (DVD)
  • Red Sparrow (Preview Cinema)
  • Resident Evil (Six Film DVD Marathon) – Re Watched

I was very lucky to go to two Preview screenings this month. First, for Love, Simon which it was absolutely gorgeous. Secondly, for Red Sparrow, which was very different from what I was expecting but still very much enjoyable.

My absolutely favourite film this month was Black Panther. It totally exceeded expectations and it was freaking amazing. I’m planning on going to watch it again this month. #WakandaForever

Winchester wasn’t actually as bad as I expected. Or maybe it’s because I went with my two best friends. My Andreia is literally the worst at getting scared. 12 years of friendship and watching horror films with her is still one of my favourite things to do. She loves them films but she jumps and screams at everything. It’s hilarious! So basically I spent most of the film crying of laughter because of her.

  • Stacey Dooley Investigates: Second Chance Sex Offenders (BBC iPlayer)
  • Stacey Dooley Investigates: Russia’s War on Women (BBC iPlayer)
  • Stacey Dooley Investigates: Gypsy Kids Taken From Home (BBC iPlayer)
  • Stacey Dooley: Face to Face with Isis (BBC iPlayer)
  • Islam, Women and Me (BBC iPlayer)
  • Crossing Birmingham’s Invisible Boarders (BBC iPlayer)
  • Altered Carbon (Netflix) – All of Season 1
  • Queer Eye (Netflix) – All of Season 1
  • Living Differently (BBC iPlayer) – All of Series 3
  • Everything Sucks (Netflix) – All of Season 1
  • Inside No. 9 (BBC) – All of Season 2, 3 and 4
  • Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) – Season 14 – Episodes 11 and 12
  • iZombie (The CW) – Season 4 – Episode 1
  • Scandal (ABC) – Season 7 – Episodes 10 and 11
  • Lucifer (FOX) – Season 3 – Episodes 14 and 15
  • Riverdale (The CW) – Season 2 – Episode 13
  • The Fosters (Freeform) – Season 5 – Episodes 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16
  • Chicago Fire (NBC) – Season 6 – Episode 11
  • Chicago PD (NBC) – Season 5 – Episode 14
  • Chicago Med (NBC) – Season 3 – Episodes 09 and 10
  • Blindspot (NBC) – Season 3 – Episode 12
  • Slasher (Netflix) – All of Season 2
  • Total Bellas (WWE Network) – All of Season 1
  • Seven Seconds (Netflix) – All of Season 1
  • Britannia (SKY Atlantic) – Season 1 – Episodes 04, 05 and 06
  • The Good Place (NBC) – Season 02 – Episodes 12 and 13

I’m happy that I’m finally all caught up with The Fosters, still can’t believe that this show is gonna end soon. It deals with so many real problems, it’s such a shame.

I have finished Inside No. 9. I really enjoyed some episodes more than others but overall is a good series. I still don’t know what to think of Britannia. I don’t think I like it but for some reason I want to keep watching it. Probably, will finish this first season and then if the second is a go I will think about it.

Have started to watch Total Bellas with the boyfriend, and I really like it. The Bellas are the best and my heart ached for Bryan and all he had to go through. We will definitely watch the second series.

Also watched Seven Seconds on Netflix, I thought it was quite good and deals with a lot of current issues. A great show for the fans of The Killing.

OMG! Queer Eye was absolutely amazing and got me in tears every single episode! What an amazing reboot! YAAAAS QUEEEN!

As you can see I watch a lot of Documentaries, that’s because most of the time I can watch it while doing housework or cooking, like a radio show. You can’t really do it with TV shows as you need to pay more attention.

Adventures

Cirque Berserk (Peacock Theatre) –  For our seven year anniversary, me and the boyfriend decided last minute to get tickets for Cirque Berserk. It was absolutely fantastic and we had an amazing evening. Definitely something we will get tickets for again if their come back to London.

 

Hot Chocolate Tour – On my last wrap up post I told you that my friend Savan is a Content Creator. This month he wanted to do a Hot Chocolate Tour video for his YouTube Channel, and who better than me to help him out? I absolutely love Hot Chocolate! You can check the video now on his YouTube here (Make sure to subscribe too).

In the end, I still had an okay month. The highlight was definitely all the amazing books that publishers sent to me. I felt that I had a bit of joy arriving ever so often through the post.

Let’s hope in March things get better. I know I have some exciting things coming up and I can’t wait to share it with you.

Ah! Don’t forget to check out my Instagram over March, as I’m taking part of Harriet’s #ReadWomenMarch challenge.

Happy Readings!

*FangirlSince1988 xxx

IMG_9742

January Wrap Up

I have been feeling more confident with my blog content, so I thought I could start doing Monthly wrap ups. These wrap ups are a great way to keep track of everything I have read, watched and done over the past month.

Lately, most of my content has been book related so my mission is to get more film and TV blog posts going up too. Even though I haven’t wrote anything about Films or TV in the past month, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t watched anything…on the contrary. This is when I should warn you….that I’m a TV addict. #NetflixIsBae

Anyway, this is what I have been up to in January.

Read

  • Skeletal by Emma Pullar (E-book)
  • Her Last Lie by Amanda Brittany (E-book)
  • The Intruder by P.S. Hogan (ARC)
  • Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed (Paperback)
  • Big Bones by Laura Dockrill (ARC)
  • The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven (ARC) – Re Read

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Reading wasn’t perfect, but wasn’t bad either. I’m quite happy that I read 5 new books and re-read another one. This time last year I had only read one, so definitely some improvement here. However, I have only wrote one review. Definitely need to improve my reading/review ratio.

So far I have not read anything for my Beat The Backlist Reading Challenge. I’m hopping to change that in February (Sorry Book Bards).

 Watched

  • The Greatest Showman (Cinema)
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Cinema)
  • Coco (Cinema)
  • Moana (Sky)
  • A Street Cat Named Bob (Sky)
  • Get Hard (Netflix)
  • Maze Runner (DVD) – Re watched
  • Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (Netflix) – Re watched
  • Love, Rosie (Netflix) – Re watched
  • Step Sisters (Netflix)
  • Rip Tide (Netflix)
  • The Maze Runner: The Death Cure (Cinema)
  • Acid Attack: My Story (BBC iPlayer)
  • Pain and Gain (Netflix) – Re watched

I haven’t watched as many films as I normally do. This month, I didn’t had the time to go for a big marathon day at the Cinema. Also I wasn’t very good at keeping track of what I have been watching, so I feel that I’m missing a few films.

I shall add that I’m a very lucky person, as I have a Cineworld unlimited card and one of my besties works for Odeon, so I actually don’t spend that much money in the cinema as may look like.

  • Surgeons: At The Edge Of Life (BBC) – All 3 Episodes
  • One Bad Choice (Netflix) – All of Season 1
  • Inside No9 (BBC) – All of Season 1 – New
  • Criminal minds (CBS) – Season 13 –  Episodes 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14
  • Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) – Season 14 – Episodes 09 and 10
  • Scandal (ABC) – Season 7 – Episodes 08 and 09
  • Riverdale (The CW) – Season 2 – Episodes 10, 11 and 12
  • The Good Place (NBC) – Season 02 – Episodes 08, 09, 10 and 11
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX) – Season 5  – Episodes 10 and 11
  • Black Mirror (Netflix) – All of Season 4
  • Brittania (SKY Atlantic) – Season 1 – Episodes 01, 02, 03 – New
  • Blindspot (NBC) – Season 3 – Episodes 09, 10 and 11
  • Chicago Fire (NBC) – Season 6 – Episodes 07, 08, 09 and 10
  • Chicago PD (NBC) – Season 5 – Episodes 10, 11, 12 and 13
  • Chicago Med (NBC) – Season 3 – Episodes 05, 06, 07 and 08
  • Lucifer (FOX) – Season 3 – Episodes 11, 12 and 13
  • Modern Family (ABC) – Season 9 – Episodes 11, 12 and 13
  • The Fosters (Freeform) – Season 5 – Episodes 10 and 11
  • Van Helsing (SyFy) – Season 2 – Episodes 1 and 2 – Quit

I haven’t watched any episodes of Jane The Virgin and How To Get Away with Murder, making me quite behind on those shows. Hoping to catch up soon. I’m also a few episodes behind with The Fosters but that would be easier to catch up. I’m quite happy that most of the other shows are on track.

At the minute, I’m enjoying what I have watched so far from Brittania so I will give the show a proper go. I also started watching Inside No9, as my bestie recommended it to me, and I really enjoyed the first series so far. It’s an anthology series so you don’t need to watch it in order.

Unfortunately, I won’t be watching Van Helsing anymore. I watched two episodes of the new season and just got bored. This tends to happen to a lot of SyFy shows that I watch, things just seem to get sloppy after the first season.

Events

Walker YA Preview Evening – I had the absolute pleasure to be invited to my first Bloggers Event! To top it all off it was with Walker YA, which publishes some of my favourite YA books. We all had a lovely goodie bag and got to listen to the publicists and editors talking about the upcoming Walker YA books. Also got to listen to Tom Pollock talk about his book White Rabbit, Red Wolf. He is so lovely, and we got to talk a bit about mental health while he was signing my proof copy, as is one of the central themes of the book.

I keep saying to everyone, that if publishers just keep giving us amazing books and feeding us, we will be very happy bloggers.

Adventures

Transworld Publicity Work Experience – I was very lucky to get a week’s work experience with the Publicity Department at Transworld. I will have a post coming up about my week there and answering some of the questions people have about it. So keep your eyes peeled.

Deliciously Ella Free Breakfast – I nabbed 2 tickets to go try some of the Deliciously Ella’s breakfasts at her Deli in Herne Hill. Me and my best friend wanted to go for ages so this was the perfect excuse to finally go. The weather was awful but the deli is so nice. Oh and the people are so lovely. We were able try a few different things, from her cereals to her avocado toast. It was all so yummy. We also bought some cake and Hot Chocolate. I have to say their Hot Chocolate with almond milk is the best! Just thinking about it is making my mouth water. Can’t wait to go try the lunches one day.

Autism Focused Lush Tour – My friend Savan is a British Asian Autistic Content Creator and got invited to do an Autism focused tour at the Oxford Street Lush Store. He was very kind to ask me to come along and help him with the filming for his Youtube Channel. The video won’t be up until World Autism Awareness Week which is from the 26th of March to the 2nd of April. So go subscribe as he creates awesome content and also raises a lot of Autism awareness.

So these are my highlights for January 2018! It was a fabulous month and can’t wait to see what February brings.

How was your January? Did you read as much as you wanted? Are your all caught up with your TV Shows? 

May February be full of adventures…and pancakes!

*FangirlSince1988

2018 Beat The Backlist – Reading Challenge

Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 14.27.38Loads of people were sharing on twitter and writing blog posts about this challenge, and it peaked my interest. The challenge is being hosted by Novel Knight and you can find all you need to know about the challenge in Austine’s blog.

The main focus of the challenge it’s to get you to read those books that you end up putting aside for new releases. I thought this would be a great challenge to do, to help get my physical TBR down.

I’ve decided to pledge 20 books for this challenge. However, that doesn’t mean these will be the only books not from 2018 that I would read, but will be the ones prioritised! If I do get to knock my TBR down a bit I will be very happy.

What I decided to do was to ‘randomly’ (not as randomly as I like to advertise) grab 20 books out of my TBR pile. The ones selected will be the ones I will make sure to read in 2018. No more judgey looks from them.

So here is the list of the 20 tributes! (If you click it will take you to Amazon where you can find out more about the book. Full disclosure that they are affiliated links).

 

  1. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – 2014
  2. Matched by Ally Condie – 2010
  3. Charisma by Jeanne Ryan – 2015
  4. Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas – 2014
  5. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas – 2015
  6. The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas – 2014
  7. What’s a Girl Gotta Do? by Holly Bourne – 2016
  8. A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sarah Barnard – 2017
  9. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake – 2016
  10. Margot & Me by Juno Dawson – 2017
  11. The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas – 2017
  12. Satellite by Nick Lake – 2017
  13. Wunderkids by Jacqueline Silvester – 2017
  14. The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer – 2016
  15. The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman – 2017
  16. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – 2017
  17. Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham – 2017
  18. The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman – 2015
  19. A Gorda (The Fat Woman) by Isabela Figueiredo – 2016
  20. O Fim da Inocência (The End of Innocence) by Francisco Salgueiro – 2010

 

Have you joined the challenge? If you have, what books have you pledged and who’s your team? I’m with the Book Bards!

Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, let me know what you think of them in the comments, but please no spoilers or as Liam Neeson’s puts it best “What I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. (…) I will look for you, I will find you and I will kill you.”

Let’s go Book Bards!

*FangirlSince1988 xxx

Top 5 Wednesday – 2018 Reading Resolutions

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY

I’ve been wanting to start doing these meme posts for quite some time, but keep forgetting about it. I’m the kind of person who likes to start from the beginning and every time a new month came around I kept forgetting to do the first week’s topic. I kept telling myself to start with the new month coming, and again once that month came I forgot again.

Now you ask me ‘But Ana today is Monday and you are posting this 5 days late. How come?’ Well my beautiful followers, it’s a very simple answer…I just decided to not give a f*ck and do it anyway! It’s a New Year and I love the topics that came up for January, so here we are!

The Top 5 Wednesday for this week is about 2018 Reading Resolutions , and here are some that I hope to achieve this year.

Goodreads Reading Challenge

For some years I have been in a big reading slump, I have mostly used my time watching films, documentaries and TV because whenever I tried I just couldn’t shake this slump. In 2017 I decided to give myself a small number of 20 books for the Goodreads Reading Challenge but it was about November and I had only read about 5 books. However, that was when I also I decided to re-start my blog, I connected with lovely bookish people (e.g. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Bookworms) and with that I slowly started to get out of my reading slump and was able to reach my 20 books goal.

So for 2018 I gave myself the goal of 52 books. That means one per week. I can read more than one book per week for sure, but I also can get quite busy with work. I find that this is a very achievable goal without adding a lot of pressure.

Beat The Backlist Challenge

This year I decided it would be a good year to tackle a second reading challenge and after seeing a lot of bloggers posting about this one I decided that would be a good one to join in. Most people seem to do it with the purpose to make sure they either read more classics, or their previous years ARCs, but I’m just doing it because I cant take them books looking judgey at me from my TBR pile. So I selected 20 random books from the pile and pledged to read them in 2018. I will do a post later this week about what books have been selected for this challenge (May the odds be every in their favour!) and how to join in.

Read more Own Voices

I do read quite a variety of books. Being Portuguese living in the UK I tend to read in both languages. Every time I go back to Portugal I always grab a few books by Portuguese and  Lusophone African authors. However, I realise that even though I have a lot of variety I still lack a lot of own voices. Yes, even my Lusophone Africa Literature is mostly written by descendants of white Portuguese.  So this year I will make sure that I will be picking up more own voices books, I want to be closer to everyone else in the world with my reading!

Netgalley 60% feedback

I’m the worst when it comes to Netgalley, because I can’t stop clicking the request button but then I hate e-books so takes me ages to actually read it. Defeats the purpose of requesting ARCs doesn’t it? So this year I want to make sure that my feedback gets to 60% as that means that I would have to actually come around to read all the books I request!

Books Read Money Jar

I saw this idea floating around twitter where people put one pound into a jar every time they finish reading a book. I think it’s a brilliant idea to get you to save some money throughout the year, but also to give you the motivation to keep reading. This will be the resolution that would motivate me to complete my other four, especially because I’m going to up the game and I would add a further pound to the jar for every book review written. That would make sure I get my Netgalley feedback up and this blog consistently relevant.

Alright, I hope you enjoyed my 2018 Reading Resolutions for my Top 5 Wednesday. If you want to join in every Wednesday make sure to do it here.

Do you have any reading resolutions for 2018? If so let me know in the comments.

Happy Reading!

*FangirlSince1988 xxx