March In Photos

Although I don’t really want to do a full-on March wrap-up (for all my posts published in March, have a look here), I did want to write something to kinda consolidate the month and so I decided to write this, a mashup of a general life update and talking about some stuff that’s happened this month as a bit of a photo diary. So, here goes…

March In Photos

The Easter holidays arrived, and with them, lots of chocolate and revision. I reckon my GCSEs are going to be powered by 50% tea and 50% chocolate…

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Lent ended, and with it, my self-imposed ban on (most) social media (hence the 172 seconds of snapchats) and my group decision to give up swearing! Unfortunately, Google lied about what time sunset was…but on the bright side, across me and my friends we raised about £5o for a local cancer charity! (On the not so bright side, that means we swore quite a lot, given it was 20p per swear word)

 

I read lots of brilliant books, managed to restrain myself from buying even more (BUT THEY’RE SO CHEAP ON AMAZON) and took lots of pretty pictures of books.

I visited Hubbox twice in a week and I don’t even regret it. THE FRIES/ONION RINGS/BURGERS/EVERYTHING ARE SO GOOD!

I went prom dress shopping today! The only thing we physically bought were my shoes (which omg are so beautiful I think I’m in love) but we ordered three dresses online for me to then try on in the right colour/size and then choose which one I want. THEY’RE ALL SO NICE THOUGH I HAVE NO CLUE HOW I’M GOING TO CHOOSE.

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I discovered that I have some of the best friends in the world. I’ve already told them this here, but y’know, just in case they didn’t get the memo the first time round. And blog squad people, you lot are pretty awesome too 🙂 ❤ (DMC = Deep and Meaningful Conversation, by the way…).

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And finally, I had my two year blogoversary! I honestly have no idea where two years have gone, but it’s such a nice milestone to reach 🙂


What’s been going on in your life this month?

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If you liked this post, you may like these…

Ten Things That Made Me Happy {week four}

Some Random Things About Me

Thinking Ahead

10 Things That Made Me Happy {week one}

TEN THINGS THAT MADE ME HAPPY

Hello!

So I’ve decided to start a new series on here…at least, new for me – I doubt I’m the first blogger to do this, but oh well! My plan is to share every Sunday, instead of a weekly wrap-up which I often don’t enjoy writing or forget/can’t be bothered to do, 10 things that made me happy that week.

The more switched-on of you may have noticed that it’s Monday today. Oops. I only thought of doing this about half an hour ago but didn’t want to wait till next Sunday, so I figured I’d start on the wrong day and continue from here!

Anyway, here are ten things that made me happy last week…

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Instagram Accounts You Should Follow Immediately

I was planning on getting a different post up today (and by planning I mean a vague idea came into my head mid afternoon after I had started writing this one) but I was enjoying putting this together, so that’ll wait until tomorrow or possibly never 🙂 For now, here are my top ten (or so) Insta accounts that you should follow right after you finish reading every post I’ve ever published. (except the early ones, they’re just embarrassing. Imagine your 2009 Facebook timeline, but about ten times the length. Yeah. Eugh.)

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Very Blogger Problems

OK, so carrying on from my previous post on trumpeter problems, I thought I’d write about an issue I suspect will be waayyy too relatable for most of you – blogger problems. It’s when you experience moments such as the ones I’m going to list that you know you’re a fully fledged blogger – your WordPress addiction has been cemented, you’re more likely to check your stats than Facebook and you spend ages desperately trying to take passable Instagram photos despite a complete lack of natural light because January + school = only at home in darkness. Yay. Anyway…

  • Getting weird looks when you force your friends to stop for a coffee cup photoshoot. Honestly though, how can you miss the classic three-black-coffee-cups shot? @mixomuseblog
  • Having THE BEST blog post idea, mentally noting it, being sure you’ll remember it and then guess what? You forget it. Wave goodbye to the post that would’ve made you viral, for sure.
  • When you’re filled with inspiration but can’t write a post because either a) used up all your data for that month already or b) your bedroom is the only room in the house where not one of your five wifi networks can be relied upon to be foolproof.
  • Wanting to rave desperately about that awesome book you just read but trying to keep your review spoiler-free so more people will read it.
  • Finding a new blog you’re addicted to but being terrified of copying their writing style.
  • When OMG YOU GOT NEARLY 500 FOLLOWERS but very few of your friends either care or understand.
  • Constantly having to try and stop yourself from writing your inner monologue in a way that reveals your identity. Damn you, anonymity.
  • Telling your friends about something only to be interrupted by them saying, “I know, I read your blog”.
  • Living slightly in fear of having to talk about your blog in public, especially with family. *pleasedon’tbringituppleasedon’tbringituppleasedon’tbringitup* “Oh, you have a blog?”

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    No, I do not want to discuss my fabulous online alter ego with you ~source~//via Giphy

  • Also living in fear of accidentally using someone else’s photo or not crediting something properly and making people angry.
  • Your phone’s camera roll consisting of at least 35% Instagram rejects.
  • Taking photos of anything and everything because they’ll either work for your blog, Instagram or, if you’re a really pro photographer, both.

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    Me @ my cup of tea anywhere and anytime ~source~

  • Having to sacrifice blogging for revision and school work 😦
  • Wanting to participate in multiple events per month, e.g. both NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo and ending up doing neither because you couldn’t decide.

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    I feel like this should be my new life motto ~source~ (via Giphy)

  • WHEN WIDGETS DON’T DO WHAT THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO DO OR AREN’T COMPATIBLE WITH WORDPRESS.COM *ahem* LOOKIN’ AT YOU, BLOGLOVIN’.
  • Never having enough time to read AND blog AND do school stuff AND read other blogs AND comment on people’s posts.

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    ~source~ // via Giphy

  • When a post you don’t expect to be popular is and one that you thought would go down well barely anybody sees.
  • TRYING TO EMBED GIFS AND INSTAGRAM POSTS ETC AFTER WORDPRESS CHANGED. Mr WP, I understood you before, now you “don’t support that file”. THAT’S NOT COOL. I think I’ve finally got my head round it though…
  • Never being able to meet up with your bloggy friends in real life because a) anonymity and b) turns out lots of people live in places like Australia and New Zealand and America. But one day WE WILL ALL MEET UP. (this day may just come sooner for the British)

What are your typical blogger problems?

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PS I know I’ve been doing a lot of listy posts recently…they seem to have gone down well, but I will be changing it up a bit, don’t worry!

Happy New Year: Looking Back At 2015 & Forward To 2016

Happy New Year! I’ve been meaning to write this for the past week or so (especially as I didn’t write a Christmas post…but I will be doing a ‘what I got for Christmas’ post soon, as I’ve now received all but one of my presents) but never really got round to it/prioritised other thing (OMG GUYS I FINISHED CARRY ON IN LIKE 48 HOURS OMG OMG OMG but this isn’t a flailing post (as Eve would say) so I’ll save that for another time)(probs five minutes after I publish this).

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For more, take a look at my insta 🙂 (@mixomuseblog)

ANYWAY.

I finally got my butt in gear because I was asked if I was doing one or not so I stopped searching #Snowbaz on Instagram and taking pretty bookstagram pictures, plugged my laptop in, bought a new phone case and HERE WE ARE. I *may* stop rambling now. (but let’s be honest, which of my posts do not involve excessive rambling?!)

So. 2015 in review. I can’t really remember anything I’ve done, to be honest. Oh dear. I’ll give a list a go anyway.

  • I posted a lot of times – according to the stats helper monkeys, 163, which is about 20 less than last year but still a pretty decent number!
  • Special shoutout to Michelle (TOP COMMENTER WOOO), Elly, Eve, Evi, and Victoria for being my top commenters this year!

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           {source}           GUYSGUYSGUYS SHERLOCK TONIGHT WHO’S EXCITED?!?

  • I’ve already done a roundup of 2015 in popular posts, but according to aforementioned stats helper monkeys my most popular posts (most popular first) were Social Life of a Bookaholic  (I PUBLISHED THIS IN MAY 2014 AND IT’S BEEN MORE POPULAR IN 2015 THAN THEN WHAT IS THE ATTRACTION OF THIS POST?!?), my free chocolate review and giveaway (go figure), the list I did of my Top Ten Reasons I Can’t Wait To Get My Braces Off (woop, I like that post, clearly a relatable subject) (I WAS ALLOWED TO EAT TOFFEE PENNIES AT CHRISTMAS GUYS THIS IS GOOD), the Blog Olympics 2015 announcement which was also my most commented on post of 2015 (not gonna lie, I love the opening bit of this post, though I do appear to have forgotten that paragraphs exist for a reason) and finally my 2nd ever book tag – the Book Lover’s Questionnaire.  (check out the my full 2015 year in blogging report HERE)
  • I had visitors from 85 countries (FIST PUMP), primarily the UK, US and Canada. (The UK won though. Probably because I don’t have any stalkerish friends in the US or Canada.) (That I’m aware of, at least)

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    {source} Hey, stalker friends.

  •  I had a vaguely ridiculous 8247 views, more than double what I had last year, 3668 visitors (again, approximately double), 2080 likes (almost FOUR TIMES what I had in 2014) and 884 comments (271 in 2014). WHOA GUYS. THANKS!
  • I spent the whole of February doing An Overthinking Song Challenge, spent April (I think) doing Camp NaNo (actually wrote a bit, woop), the Blog Olympics in I think July and from June onwards was part of The Feministas (I’ll post on there soon, promise). The Blog Squad was also created at some point, and I AM SO GLAD THAT EXISTS BY THE WAY I LOVE YOU GUYS.

  • I hit 300 Twitter followers, 200 Instagram followers and created a Facebook page.
  • Away from the blog (OMG, you mean you actually have a life outside the internet? *insert emoji where person is screaming in fear and looks blue*) I spent fiveish days in Serbia which was both character building (THE ACCOMMODATION/THE FOOD/THE SHEER QUANTITY OF GROSS BREAD *insert same emoji*) and ridiculously awesome (THE FLIGHT/PLAYING ON THE MAIN STAGE (in a thunderstorm :/)/HAVING AN AUDIENCE OF LIKE 300/LOADS OF STUFF/THE ONE DAY WHEN WE WENT TO THE BEST POOL EVER AND HAD THE BEST FOOD EVER AND SOME PEOPLE DID A GIG IN A MOUNTAINY PLACE FILMED BY THE EQUIVALENT OF THE BBC AND THEN WE HAD A GROUP PHOTO ON  A BRIDGE THAT WAS DISTINCTLY UNSAFE), I spent just under a week on an RAF camp that was…interesting (but good in the end) and probably did some other stuff, but I can’t really remember any of it. *shrug* I guess that’s what the end of the year does to you.

BUT ON TO THE FUTURE  

(back to the future!)

Last year I set out a few goals for my blog in 2015 that can be found here and generally, I think I gave stuff ago but wasn’t overly successful – I wanted to book blog a bit more, which I tried but just didn’t enjoy that much, I wanted to comment more, which I kinda didn’t really improve on, I wanted to use more pictures, which I think I did (woop!) and I wanted to post more regularly and soon after events. Yeah, that didn’t happen. Maybe a post about summer RAF camps and trips to Serbia coming your way in 2016…

Now for my 2016 plans…

  • I want to comment more! I WILL DO IT THIS YEAR!
  • Same for posting sooner after events!
  • I want to post more about my everyday life
  • Maybe more Top Ten Tuesdays
  • I want to try and grow my Instagram account a bit more…I’m getting quite into book photography now! (Follow me @mixomuseblog to give me some motivation ;))

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    Another snap from my insta @mixomuseblog

  • I want to interact more on Twitter…having said how fabulous the Blog Squad are, I need to make more time to talk to them!
  • Review more books! I think I’ve found my style now, kinda…just extreme fangirling! I did this for The Knife of Never Letting Go and really enjoyed it, so am planning on giving it a go for Carry On too 🙂 (HAHAHA I JUST REREAD THAT POST AND IT MAKES ME SMILE SO MUCH)

  • Find more blogs, then share them with you guys. This is kinda a specific post I have in mind but it *WILL* happen, I swear!
  • *maybe* tell more people about this blog. Big maybe. I mean, I’m planning on applying to the journalism academy at college where I’ll have to tell them about my blog and possibly submit some writing from here so…scary. I have an idea of what I’ll send it, but still. SCARY PEOPLE MAY JUDGE, GUYS (except they’re adults so they probably won’t). But there are some other friends I’m becoming increasingly close to that I want to tell as well. Hmm. We’ll see.

And that, my friends (or enemies. you choose. let me know your choice, just so I know where I stand), is all I can think of for now. I shall see you most likely at the end of 2016, when I suddenly remember that yes, I have a blog, and no, I haven’t posted at all for a year, let alone fulfilled these goals!

How many of your goals for 2015 did you fulfil, and what are you hoping to achieve in 2016?

Happy New Year!

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A Few of My Favourite Things (#2)

As I mentioned in my weekly wrap up yesterday, I’ve got a favourites post for you today! Now I’m not gonna lie, this post was fairly heavily influenced by what I could fit into a pretty flat lay for Instagram (hasn’t been posted yet, but you lovely blog readers get a sneak peek), but not to worry, I’ll be adding in a few extra bits and pieces too…

Aforementioned Instagram-ready flatlay

Aforementioned Instagram-ready flat lay

As shown in the photo:

  • Checked shirts. I’ve got two fairly similar ones, one thin and one thick and lately I’ve been wearing a lot of the thicker one (thin one is pictured) – it goes brilliantly with leggings or skinny jeans and a big, cosy woolly snood (NOT scarf! ;)), and depending on the weather, is often enough for a quick trip to the shop without having to bother with a hoodie or coat.
  • Fox notebook. I bought this in Cornwall while on holiday over the summer (from Newquay, to be precise) and I LOVE it. I don’t use notebooks that much (though I’ve certainly got enough of them…) but I just love the yellow, ruled pages of  this one and am using it for noting down a lot of blog-related stuff – post ideas, favourite blogs – and a few Nanowrimo thoughts. I’m even tending to use my fountain pen with it, I love it that much!
  • My Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 camera (though technically it’s the photos shown in the pic). I took a break from using this for a while since the summer holidays, but I picked it up again the other day to snap the product of my procrastination – a fairy light photo string. It came out really well, which has got me back into it. My sister also bought me a photo album specifically for that size photo, which I’m looking forward to starting to fill up!
  • The Fault In Our Stars. I actually reread this a couple of weeks ago and although I’ve already read it, OH THE FEELS. A true masterpiece by John Green. (Check out my film/book review from the first time round here)
  • Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares (David Levithan & Rachel Cohn). I blame this book 100% (and maybe also all the fairy lights currently up in my room) for how Christmassy I’m feeling. And also the fact that I REALLY WANT TO GO TO NYC AND FIND ALL THE PLACES MENTIONED IN THIS BOOK (don’t think I can pin that one on the fairy lights).
  • Paperchase postcards. This isn’t the first one of these, but after they were mentioned in a post by Hannah Gale, I took the opportunity when I was in town later that day and stocked up on a couple more, including this one.
  • Guylian chocolates. This box is actually empty, I’m afraid. My sister brought them back from American duty free, and I love them so a box of six was never going to last long!
  • Finally – this Michael Honnor print. I mentioned his exhibition that I went to in my wrap up yesterday, and this was my favourite print – I liked it so much I bought a card of it! The blues are just so vivid, varied and realistic…I think I’m in love with it.

And not pictured:

  • These H&M boots. Strictly speaking, I got these last Sunday, but whatever. I’m wearing them a lot at the moment (so long as it isn’t raining!) and I can see them working with jeans, skirts, or dresses. Yay! {photo via H&M} 
  • Flat lays, flat lays, flat lays to infinity. I’ve seen tons of these on Instagram and on Hannah Gale’s previously linked blog, but never knew their proper name until this week. Now I know it, I’ve been able to use Google to find some tips – my favourite article was this one from Ling @ Ling Out Loud. Here’s one of my attempts…

    View this post on Instagram

    Giving the ol' flatlay a go. #syblbloggers

    A post shared by Joanna✨ (@mixolydianmusings) on

  • And…that’s all I can think of right now! What have you been liking this week? Have you got any pro tips for flat lays?

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#ABEA: A Double Whammy – Character Chatter & Social Media

#ABEA days 2&3

OK, as I mentioned yesterday, I’m participating in Armchair BEA 2015, but I’m a day late (click here to see yesterday’s Q & A introductory post). Therefore, because I want to get caught up, today I’m doing two days’ worth of posts in one: yesterday’s, on social media and how I use it, and today’s, discussing what makes a good character for me. Well, let’s get started!


Day 2: Social Media & How I Utilise It

As many of you may know (and many of you may not), I have a Twitter account (@booksteaonesie), an Instagram account (@booksteaanda_onesie) and a We Heart It account (_anoverthinkingteenager_).

I mostly use Twitter for chatting with other bloggers (which is really good fun, by the way. You should do it. Especially if it means you come and say hi and make my phone buzz with notifications. That always makes me feel popular!), Instagram just for arty-farty snaps (fairly unrelated to the actual content on here, but a more day-to-day view of my life, so follow me over there if you can bear to see any more of me) and WHI to a) find cool photos and b) use them for blog posts. Only thing is, copyright on WHI is a bit of a grey area, so I tend to err on the safe side and not use many photos from there, pretty as they may be, in my posts.

I find that I have the biggest following on Twitter (142 followers), although Instagram has just broken the 100 follower mark. Twitter is probably the one I would say to go for if you were only going to use one for your blog, as it’s more versatile in that you can post text and images, and it’s great for interacting with other bloggers.

What social media platforms do you use, and how do they work for you and your blog? Do any of you use Facebook for your blog, and if so, what are your thoughts on it? Let me know down in the comments – drop you various social media links down there too, so I can go and follow you all!

Now, onto today’s post…

Day 3: Character Chatter

Right, my favourite characters…well, I really love Cath and Levi in Fangirl, because I feel like I can really relate to Cath and that Rowell presents a very realistic image through her, and Levi just seems really cute and sweet, but also human – he has his failings too. Levi and Cath together are quite possibly my favourite fictional couple. Reagan also makes me laugh, and in a way I like Nick, not as a character but the way Rowell’s written him – he’s so realistic that it makes me hate him! Really, I think Rainbow Rowell is just a brilliant author, because I also love Wren Avery in Fangirl – she seems to be like a normal teenager, going a bit off the rails when she reaches university. Although she’s very different to Cath, personality-wise, I think she’s also relatable, just in a different kind of way.

I’m gonna stick with the obvious ones again, and say that I really love Hermione – she’s a bookworm and believes getting good grades are important, she sticks up for her friends, she can be a real badass when she wants to (exhibit 1: punching Draco (was it Draco?!)) but she’s still believable because she’s not perfect – she isn’t always best friends with Harry and Ron, sometimes she has massive bust-ups with them, and that makes her relatable.

Now, I’m lacking a bit in inspiration, so I’m going to hand the reins over to you guys – who’s your favourite fictional couple? What makes a well written character? What are you favourite or least favourite cliches associated with characters? Which author do you think writes characters most believably – do you agree with me about Rainbow Rowell?

If you’re also participating in ABEA 2015, how’s it going for you? If you’re at the actual BEA, would you like me to murder you so I can steal all your free books  what’s it like? (by the way, I’m mega jealous if you are).

As always, thanks for reading and I’d love it if you contributed your thoughts to the discussion in the comments!

Danke 🙂 (do you ever love saying simple words like hello, goodbye, please and thank-you in foreign languages, or am I just mad? I mean, I’m crazy anyway but am I the only one?)

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P.S. If you haven’t already, I will love you forever if you could fill out my blog survey…it doesn’t require registration and shouldn’t take long, so pretty please with a cherry on top fill it in! Thank you 🙂

End-of-the-Week Wrap-Up vol.#9 & An Exciting Announcement

weekly wrap up

Hello! I’m back! Read on for the ninth installment of my weekly wrap ups, and a bonus exciting announcement…

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The Discussing Teenager: Social Media

Ooh, that title rhymes! (I’m easily pleased). I thought I would take a leaf out of The Writing Hufflepuff’s book, and give a discussion post a go.

Over the last month or so, several things have begun to continuously irritate me about social media. First, lets take Facebook. FB promises to help you stay connected. You build up networks of ‘friends’ and get to follow what your favourite celebrities are up to (or what they want to tell you they’re up to) and can see what your friends like. You can choose to like pages which will give you pictures and posts related to what you like – books, TV, films, music, anything. But I feel that what was origially about staying connected with friends has become a way to show your ‘popularity’. People can have hundreds, even thousands of friends – but how many are they actually friends with? Photos can have hundreds of likes – but is that dependent on your social standing and the number of friends you have, as well as what kind of photo it is? In my experience, more friends = more likes, and a posed duck face selfie gets more likes than the ‘au naturel’ look.

from realitytvgifs.tumblr.com, via giphy.com

Facebook was also originally based around sharing statuses, letting your friends know what you’re up to. However,  I reckon my newsfeed can be broken down like this: 10% statuses from friends, 15% adverts, 50% posts from pages I like and 25% details of what my friends have liked. I don’t know how accurate that is, but I think it gets the general gist across. Before I joined Facebook, I dreamt of the witty statuses I would posts, prompting laughs across the computer screens of my friends. Nope. Most statuses turn out to be either pointless and annoying, ‘like for looks/a line’ etc. or the occasional interesting photo/genuine thought. I don’t know if this is generally a school-based thing or just me, but I rarely post, sometimes because I feel like people aren’t going to like it, meaning I end up looking like a loser talking to the World Wide Web. (I mean, I do that here, but at least I know a few people will read it…hopefully!)

source: failblog.cheezburger.com via giphy.com

I know that many people depict my generation, having grown up with the internet, as entirely web-obsessed. We’re supposedly tweeting all day long, permanently on Facebook, Instagramming everything we eat and obsessively pinning (despite the fact the majority of us can’t sew) – I know some people are like that, but I don’t think all of us are. What are your thoughts about the stereotype? How often do you use social media? How do you think of teenagers?

I would love to hear your opinions in the comments (READ: PLEASE HELP ME DISCUSS MY DISCUSSION POST! I’LL GIVE YOU VIRTUAL HUGS! Haha) (no pressure), so feel free to expound your views and opinions below!

Thanks 🙂

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End of the Week Wrap-Up #4

weekly wrap up

Yay! A post that isn’t about music or poetry!

Just kidding, I’m loving both Blogging Uni: Poetry 201 and An Overthinking Song Challenge. Anyway, onto my first wrap up for a couple of weeks…

On The Blog:

As I mentioned, I’ve been busy participating in a couple of challenges, so they’ve made up the majority of my posts, although I have managed to sneak in a couple of others…

Elsewhere On The Internet:

On Instagram, I posted a picture of my 200 WordPress followers notification…THANK YOU!!! I also shared mine and a friend’s beautifully crafted chocolate and raspberry layer cake…hopefully more about that in a post to come!

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My Twitter account really took off this week, as I found a bunch of other bloggers, which was really nice…lots of the blogs I follow seem to have just got Twitter, so I feel like I’m getting to connect with bloggy people outside of my blog, which is awesome!

Books

Reading-wise, I went a bit crazy last Wednesday in town…I got out about 8 books, as well as buying my new favourite T-shirt from Primark (it says “This is what awesome look like” on it and I LOVE it!) and a beautiful swirly-patterned clock. As I also got a load of books passed down to me from my sister, I’m hoping to do my first ever ‘Stacking the Shelves’ sometime over the next week or so!

Other Bloggy Things

I’ve literally just finished reading a post on Teddy’s New Bear about ‘Things I Wish I’d Been Told At GCSE’. As I’m doing my first year of GCSEs at the moment, I reckon some of these tips will be pretty helpful! Appletaile was lucky enough to meet Malorie Blackman and Patrick Ness in the flesh – even though I don’t know many of their books, I know of them as authors and getting to meet them must have been awesome! Morgan EXACTLY mirrored my feelings about Lauren Aquilina and her music, and over at Blurt there was a brilliant Academy Awards winners prediction post.

Oh, and I got myself a signature!

I’m back to school after a week off for half term tomorrow, so I’m going to leave this here…hope you had a great week!

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