End-of-the-Week Wrap Up vol. #11

weekly wrap up

No, your eyes are not deceiving you, this IS a weekly wrap up post…the last of which I think I did back in June. Whoops. Anyway, moving on from my disastrous lack of ability to keep to a blogging schedule…

I’ve posted more than I have in a while this week, so here’s what I had to say – you can judge for yourself if you preferred it when I was absent! (Spoiler: of course you didn’t ;)):

(These aren’t all necessarily from the last week, more like the last fortnight or so)

Overthinking Song Challenge

In terms of my Fabulous and Wonderful Life, I was on half term (YAY!) which led to a visit to see Michael Honnor’s ‘Painter Printmaker’ exhibition at the Devon Guild of Craftsmen (if you live down this way I HIGHLY recommend it, especially as they have another interesting exhibition looking at how artists use their sketchbooks on at the moment too and entry is free) which was followed by lunch at the cafe there (raspberry crush lemonade for life) (homemade pork and apple burger in ciabatta wasn’t half bad either).

Tuesday and Wednesday involved lots of homework, the Saturday before was my jazz orchestra rehearsal day and the Sunday involved a trip into town to pick up some new trial contact lenses, buy me a pair of high waisted jeans from Topshop and a few other bits and bobs, including a top and a pair of BEAUTIFUL new winter boots from H&M. (yes, I know that’s about as far from chronological order as you can get but hey, whatevs) Thursday then involved a trip to Taunton to get my trumpet fixed (the spit valve broke and while it was there, they replaced a dented tuning slide too :)), which obviously evolved into a shopping trip, a stop at Coffee #1 and the opportunity to try out a little independent cafe, called The Scrumper which was nice.

Yesterday I was working as mentioned earlier, and today I’ve made some breakfast muffins and generally relaxed. My sister also got back from a week-long politics trip to America, bringing me back a mini box of Guylian chocolates, some good ol’ American sweets (tropical flavoured Skittles are a thing?!?) and an awesome little leather photo album from Urban Outfitters for all my Polaroid (or more accurately, Fujifilm Instax) photos. Thanks, big sis!

Over the last few weeks I’ve also been doing a bit of reading – I finished There Is No Dog by Meg Rosoff and Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn, which got me in a really Christmassy mood! I’ve now started The DUFF by Kody Keplinger, so we’ll see what I make of that…

I also discovered Buffer, a tool for scheduling tweets and Facebook posts which I’d heard about but never bothered investigating…now I have, and I love it! On a similar topic, my post about the Vitamin String Quartet got retweeted by VSQ themselves which is always exciting :). OH, and the live recording of Snarky Puppy @ Bristol O2 has finally been released for download, which I’m asking for for Christmas! You know it was a good gig when the encore is twenty minutes long…

Ooh, and everyone go and say a big congratulations to Elm, because she’s nearly at 700 followers 🙂 so if you haven’t already, you know what to do…;)

Now this has been a seriously long post already so I’m not going to highlight some of my favourite posts from the week (we’ve been here for hours already and to be honest, I just can’t face it) but I will try and post a favourites post tomorrow, so I’ll try and include a few in there!

Oh, and how could I nearly forget – Adele released a new song and the entire world went crazy for it. Y’know, I just didn’t think I could leave that out. I mean, even my sister knew about it – and she’s been out of the country since Monday! (that’s big news I’m talking about, people) (It’s called Hello and is from her new album 25, in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few days)

How’s your week been?

signature2

(I’ve now got flipping Adele stuck in my head. It’s a hard life).

BLOG OLYMPICS DAY 2 // An International Giveaway For You (EBOOK)

Hello Athletes! Enjoying the Games? How are you finding the accommodation and Olympic Village? Be sure to let us know in the comments or on Twitter using @BlogOlympics and #BlogOlympics! Now, if you live in the UK (because you’re fantastically awesome, obvs), you can still enter to win one of six Sally Green books here, but today we’re bringing you an international giveaway…because hey, not everybody can be as brilliant as the British! (Ooh, check out that alliteration!)

N.B. If you haven’t already officially signed up to the Blog Olympics, please do so here!

The lovely Fia Essen...via Twitter (@FiaEssen) Follow her for extra entries to the giveaway!

The lovely Fia Essen…via Twitter (@FiaEssen) Follow her for extra entries to the giveaway!

Today’s giveaway comes courtesy of the wonderful Fia Essen, who lives in Greece and writes brilliant books involving travel, romance and adventure – well worth winning! (ooohhh, alliteration again! I’m on form!) Fia will be sending the prize as a Kindle Gift, so obviously please only enter if you are comfortable with us sharing your email address with her, so she can send you the prize. The giveaway will be open for one week, until 09/07/2015.

***ENTER HERE***

Now, happy entering! Also, keep an eye out for a slightly more complicated competition post later…

An Overthinking Teenager & Emily @ Always Opinionated Girl

Follow us on Twitter @BlogOlympics to join the discussion and keep up to date with the Blog Olympics!

BLOG OLYMPICS DAY 1: Discussion Time // Sport In Books

Greetings, athletes! All stretched out and limbered up for a hard week’s Blog Olympic-ing? Yes? Good, let’s begin then!

blog olympics schedule (3)

The wait is finally over, and a month after the idea’s initial conception, it’s time…

For the first event of the inaugural Blog Olympics… a blog discussion on sport in books! Now, the main way this is going to be a discussion is in the comments, but please also feel free to tweet about it (#BOSport) or create your own post response – just link back to this specific post so we can all have a look! Also, if you’re interested in debating more, make sure you’re around at 8:30-9:30 pm BST tonight, as @BlogOlympics will be hosting a Twitter chat, again using the hashtag #BOSport. Please, if you’re going to contribute to these discussions, sign up here (it will literally take a minute, we swear), or preface your comment with a name we can contact you by (can be an Internet pseudonym) and your blog address and/or your Twitter handle. This is just so we can keep track of all you lovely participants!

Now, the formalities are over, so onto the trigger question…though do feel free to expand your discussions within the comments!

THE QUESTION(s):

Do you think sport is a big enough feature in literature?

Do you think there is a wide enough range of people (e.g. different genders, sexes, nationalities) represented? Do you like reading about sport? Would you like to read about it more or less? What books have you read that have featured sport prominently?

TELL US ALL, PEOPLE!

An Overthinking Teenager & Emily @ Always Opinionated Girl

An Outburst of Bloggily Love (Yes, I Just Made Up That Adverb) (That Is An Adverb, Right?)

An Outburst of Bloggily Love

Blogging is officially awesome, I’ve decided. Why? The people. What’s brought this on? Well, you may have noticed that in my post yesterday, I mentioned HOW INCREDIBLE WOULD A WORDPRESS/BLOGGING MESSENGER APP BE??? (Think Facebook Messenger for bloggers). Anyway, earlier this evening I had a brainwave – why don’t we set up a group chat on Twitter? I suggested this and Elm immediately responded sounding VERY EXCITED, so I decided to go ahead with it.

Between us, we then cheekily added an absolute ton of bloggers, so we now have an absolutely crazy chat with 36 people on. Not even all of them have started chatting yet, and it dissolved into madness REALLY quickly! Topics of discussion included ways to get around a lack of wifi at Hogwarts (I actually so have to write a fanfiction for everything we came up with), Twitter accounts about why cats are sad, and thoughts on the new WordPress app update (thoughts, by the way? I’m not sure…I like the reader I think, but it’s gonna take a bit of getting used to!). I’ve now discovered so many other bloggers and it was just so fun to chat to tons of people at high speed, with random streams of consciousness (sorry, very intelligent discussion. Yeah, about that…maybe not!), without having to moderate comments or faff about with WordPress or whatever.

My point is, chatting to other bloggers is SO. MUCH. FUN, and everybody seems SO NICE. I LOVE YOU GUYS! (In a non-creepy way, considering I don’t even know any of you personally, promise). So yeah. This is an outburst of love for blogging. Are you a blogger on Twitter? Comment your Twitter handle on here or chuck me a tweet (@booksteaonesie), and we’ll add you! Just a warning, though: be prepared for endless craziness and a heck of a lot of notifications! (Turn your phone onto silent, I implore you).

See you on Twitter!

signature2

Whaddya Think Of My Blog?

Hey people! Today I’ve created a reader survey for my blog, as I’m considering making a blogging schedule and want to see your thoughts, and am generally curious as to who you readers are and how you get here. It’s completely anonymous and doesn’t require registration, so it shouldn’t take too long to complete!

You can either fill it in here, or by using the embedded form down below:

The last poll I did was when I had a considerably smaller readership and didn’t get too many responses, so I really would appreciate it if you completed it!

Thank you veryyyyy much,

signature2

An Overthinking Interview: Lauren Aquilina

Background Image from Lauren's Facebook page

            Background Image from Lauren’s Facebook page

*EXCITING THINGS WARNING KLAXON*

Today I have something VERY EXCITING (shush, calm down, me) and a bit different…it’s an interview with one of my favourite singers, the wonderful Lauren Aquilina. (I apologise in advance for my cringy fangirling behavious that will undoubtedly occur during the course of this post!).

                                     Source: gifhell.com, via giphy.com

Those of you who have followed my blog from its early stages may know of my love for her music (she was the focus of one of my very first Tracklisting Tuesdays posts, and I also featured her as part of TT here) Lauren is 19 and from Bristol, and recently signed to Island Records in the UK  (home of such incredible artists as Jack Johnson, Drake, Leona Lewis, Ariana Grande, Annie Lennox, Hozier and even U2) and Republic Records in the USA (think James Bay, Angel Haze, Lorde and Sigma). According to her Island Records artist page, Lauren’s been songwriting since the age of five and playing piano since the age of seven, and says “It’s such a cliché but music literally is everything to me”. She’s sold over 100,000 EPs in total, and is also a big fan of the Bourbon biscuit and “in a deep emotional relationship with biscuits”, which gives her an automatic thumbs-up from me. Oh, also Perez Hilton and Taylor Swift are both fans. Yep, she’s that good!

Career goals or what?

                   Career goals or what?

I got in touch with Lauren by Twitter and email, and she kindly agreed to answer a few questions…so, here are the answers from my very first interview, with Lauren Aquilina!

foolssinnersliars

Each image links to the EP’s Amazon page

Continue reading

The Daydreamer Challenge (Day 3): Spreading the Love

Nonono this is way too hard a prompt to write about! For Day 3 of the Daydreamer Challenge hosted by Caitlin (no, you’re not going crazy, I just haven’t done day 2 yet!), we have to pick one of our favourite blogs and talk about it…but, as proven by this post, I have way too many to pick from! The ones I mentioned in the previously linked post are some of my favourites, as well as The Writing Hufflepuff and A Hufflepuff’s Thoughts.

THE PRESSURE! SO MANY CHOICES!                                                                                                         *from tumblr.com*

I feel like the blogs – and bloggers – I feel really close to are the ones I’ve ‘known’ for a long time. One of these is Appletaile. Despite not knowing her name, I feel like if we actually ever me we’d get on really well in real life. We both love Rainbow Rowell books, and Lauren Aquilina. I really like her eclectic selection of posts – especially her thoughts on the iTunes Single of the Week programme and her list of British words (that aren’t ‘bloody’!). Basically, I have way too many bloggers that I love and BLEURHGHRG I FEEL BAD ABOUT THE ONES I’VE MISSED OUT but Appletaile is one that just stuck out in my head. Dodododo check out this post for the rest of my favourite blogs and blogging soulmates (shoutout to Evi, who I’ve decided is my bloggy soulmate – we both love quotes and are Hufflepuffs!) (I’m feeling like there’s a distinct Hufflepuff vibe to this post…).

Oh, and one last mention – thank you to Lana for picking me as her blog to talk about, it means a lot and makes me very happy! ❤

From lisavertudaches.tumblr.com, via Giphy.com

Who are your favourite blogs? Share the love in the comments!

signature2

P.S. – I had a Chinese takeaway for dinner and it was AMAZING. Just thought you should know that. Y’know, cos we’re sharing the love and everything.

End of the Week Wrap-Up (#7)

weekly wrap up

So, after a brief disappearance, my end-of-the-week wrap up returns for its seventh outing! Yes, I know it’s Tuesday, but bank holidays = doing nothing. Because of aforementioned four-day weekend, this wrap up will include everything up to yesterday, rather than Sunday. Right, let’s go!

On The Blog

  • I baked some rice krispie cakes, based on a BBC GoodFood recipe, and posted my recipe to it.
  • I completed my second ever book tag, the book lover’s questionnaire which was great fun!
  • I reblogged Caitlin’s post about the Daydreamer Challenge (which has now begun!)
  • And I posted my first response as part of the Daydreamer Challenge, which was all about #FiftyShadesOfBlueSkies (it makes sense in the context, I swear!)

I also hit 275 followers, so thanks guys! ❤

No idea about the original source of this one. Soz.

No idea about the original source of this one. Soz.

The Daydreamer Challenge

In My Life

It’s currently the Easter break from school (19 days off! Wooooo!), so I’ve been doing a lot of not very much. There’s large amounts of sleeping involved, as well as baking (I also made muesli and muesli muffins as well as the rice krispie cakes) and cooking. On Saturday night, I defrosted a cheese and spinach pasta bake thing (one of my favourite meals EVER) which I had made from scratch a few nights earlier. I’m proud to say it tasted good and no-one got food poisoning, not even from my first-ever cheese sauce! I also went shopping with a friend to get her summer wardrobe last Monday – three hours in Primark later, and mission accomplished! I picked up a few things then and over the last few days, so I’m planning a big haul-style post, which will also include the four books I got off of Amazon a couple of weeks ago.

Yesterday I finished re-reading Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl – one of said books from Amazon – and it is SO GOOD! This is probably my favourite of Rowell’s books…I feel like I can relate to Cath, and her and Levi are so sweet. I spent loads of time yesterday evening just looking at fanart for it, I enjoyed it so much! I’m definitely hoping to review that soon, so watch out for that. I’m also partway through Deborah Moggach’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which I’ve just finished the film of as well, so I’m thinking I might write a book-to-movie comparison post in the near future. I’m also participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, which is going OK so far – it’s the first time I’ve really tried to write something fictional, so I’m just pleased that I’m writing anything at all!

Around the Internet

Bridget took part in the social media book tag, which I’m definitely going to add to my list of posts to do, Mia compiled a list of 50 songs for summer, which I’ve already whacked into a Spotify playlist for easy access, Appletaile wrote a delightfully accurate post on 7 British Words (That Aren’t Bloody), and Bella listed some awesome free fonts.I love downloading extra fonts, so will definitely be checking some of the ones she mentioned out! I also enjoyed the post talking about the next stage of the blog tour buddy read over at Addlepates and Book Nerds (feat. awesome dancing Santa gif) and Joey’s answers to the Random Questions Tag. Also, Precious @ Clockwork Desires kicked off her version of my Overthinking Song Challenge, which I am incredibly honoured by.

What blog posts have you particularly enjoyed this week, and what have you been up to lately? Share your stories down in the comments!

signature2

Sarah Dessen Obsession: Mini Review Time!

*Background image from weheartit*

*Background image from weheartit*

Earlier today I finished my third book by Sarah Dessen in the last week or so, and so decided that, to start trying to write more book reviews (a goal I originally set out as a new year’s resolution), I would take the opportunity to write a few mini reviews. I’ve actually also read The Moon and More, which I recall enjoying, so I highly recommend you read some of her books 🙂

Book covers from Sarah Dessen’s website

1//Lock & Key

lockandkey_11-220x330

What happens when your past is not just past, but wiped clean entirely? How do you figure out where you’re going when you can’t even claim where you’ve been? These were the questions that inspired Lock and Key. It’s the story of a girl named Ruby who is abandoned by her mother and determined to make it on her own, even—and especially—when she is sent to live with her long-lost sister in a whole new world of privilege, family, and relationships. As Ruby learns, there’s a big difference between being given help and being able to accept it. And sometimes, it takes reaching out to someone else to save yourself.

I absolutely LOVED this book. Another reader (I’m afraid I can’t remember who) of Dessen’s books commented on Twitter, around about when I finished this book, that Dessen was one of the most realistic YA writers out there (or words to that effect), and I totally agree, at least for this book. Although I’m lucky enough for the world of abandoning parents, overcrowded schools and drugs to be pretty unknown to me, I felt like Dessen was saying it like it is, not underestimating or exaggerating. I think the unusual concept of a mother abandoning her daughter was dealt with really well, in a way that made it entirely believable but wasn’t overwhelmingly blasé. You could argue that the drugs theme was quite underdeveloped, sprinkled in here and there for a bit of extra spice, but that’s being especially critical, and wasn’t really something I thought of as I was reading it. I did, however, think a lot about the key motif – I think it’s really nice how she made something so private to one person so public, and also how it can represent a lot of things – closing a door, opening a new one (yes, I just came up with that idea. GCSE English literature dissection skills coming into play!). Plus, I now seriously want a key necklace.


 

2//Last Chance/Keeping The Moonkeepingthemoon_11-220x330

Colie expects the worst when she’s sent to spend the summer with her eccentric aunt Mira while her mother, queen of the television infomercial, tours Europe. Always an outcast — first for being fat and then for being “easy” — Colie has no friends at home and doesn’t expect to find any in Colby, North Carolina. But then she lands a job at the Last Chance Cafe and meets fellow waitresses Morgan and Isabel, best friends with a loving yet volatile relationship. Wacky yet wise, Morgan and Isabel help Colie see herself in a new way and realize the potential that has been there all along.

Slightly confusingly, this book is listed on Sarah Dessen’s website as ‘Keeping the Moon’, but I read it as a book called ‘Last Chance’…oh well. I enjoyed this book a lot, but not quite as much as Lock & Key, although I’m not sure why. Maybe because Lock & Key is a bit more modern, I think? But thinking back to it, there’s nothing I particularly dislike, although I think it may have worked a little bit better if Morgan and Isabel were closer to Colie’s age – though to be fair, I don’t think we actually specifically get told their age. Similarly, it felt a bit unrealistic, the amount of relationship-orientated stuff to do with Colie as she was only 15. But hey, maybe it’s different in America, and for different people. Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and could especially relate to Colie’s disbelief regarding Mira’s reaction to the local people.


 

3//Just Listen

justlisten_11-220x331

Last year, Annabel was “the girl who has everything” — at least that’s the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf’s Department Store.

This year, she’s the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.

Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen’s help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends

This was probably my least favourite of the three. I’m not entirely sure why, it just unnerved me a bit. It still felt realistic, but I would have liked to know more about Sophie and Annabel’s argument earlier in the book, and didn’t particularly like the subject matter. Also, I felt that the reader’s introduction to Whitney’s eating disorder could have been a bit smoother – it was just not here, then here. I did, however, like the ending of the book, with stuff coming right, (placeholder alert! as Owen would say!), and the development of Annabel’s relationships, with her family, Owen, Clarke and Emily. I also liked the emphasis on music, and although Owen’s specific music taste doesn’t really overlap with mine, the idea that music takes your mind off of things, and can mean different things to different people, I felt like I could relate to a bit. I also really want to have my own radio show, and love the idea of mixtapes – I made one for my sister for GCSE results day, which she really liked, and which I loved making. Making a mixtape really makes you consider what people like and how well you know them, and I really enjoy thinking about how I can make something someone else will enjoy.

Overall Author RatingUntitled design (5)Untitled design (5)Untitled design (5)Untitled design (5)

 

4 planets, because stars are just too mainstream.

I’m not really sure why four not five, but it’s just a gut feeling. Maybe I’ll change my mind…I don’t even know right now!

Have you read any of Sarah Dessen’s books? What do you think of them? Have you got any plans to pick one up in the future?

signature2

 

End of the Week Wrap-Up #6

As I didn’t post much last week, I didn’t do a wrap up, so this is covering everything from the last fortnight in my wonderfully (un)interesting life…

On the Blog

  • I claimed my blog on Bloglovin, and blogged about it! Either head over here or use the widget in my sidebar to follow me 🙂
  • I delayed Tracklisting Tuesday to Wednesday, and wrote a bit about the awesome thought that music is a bit like an audio photograph.
  • Books, Tea and a Onesie turned one! Do feel free to go check out my blog-o-versary post here.
  • As part of my One Week To Celebrate One Year: A Post-A-Day Challenge celebrating said anniversary, I did a special edition of Tracklisting Tuesdays, featuring one of my best friends. Watch out for the next two installments of quizzing-my-best-friends over the next couple of weeks!
  • As part of Celebration Week, I also posted a few of my top tips for blogging
  • …and a short history of my blog (which, I swear, really is short!)…
  • …and a roundup of some of my favourite blogs-of-the-moment!

In My Life

This week was quite high-stress, as I had two tests, a maths one and a chemistry one. Despite having them both on Friday, because of an orthodontist appointment, I don’t think they went too badly! I also found out my score on a physics test, which I’m muy happy with. I did some baking today, and have generally had a good weekend, managing to get all my homework done on Friday night/Saturday morning 🙂 I also went on a walk with the family today, so I might post a few photos from that at some point. Oh, and I got a new clock – I actually bought it a few weeks ago, back in half term, but only just got round to putting it up. It’s really pretty, but sounds so loud! Unfortunately, the minute and hour hands stick together a bit too…ah well!

Reading!

This week I’ve read Sarah Dessen’s Lock & Key, which I really enjoyed and am hoping to review sometime over the next week! I’ve also started her book Last Chance, which I’m liking so far. I’ve also made an unusual purchase and ordered 4 books off of Amazon, which I’m really looking forward to reading :). Blogs-wise, over at Just Ponderin’, there’s a helpful guide for parents who have kids who want to be professional musicians, which made me smile. Jassie posted a list of favourite covers, some of which I already know and love, and Sophie shared a list of 8 ways to celebrate the International Day of Happiness. I think I’m going to leave it here for a week now, as I’m now doing this on my phone which makes life a bit difficult!
Hope you had a good week, and enjoy the week to come!
image