How I Stay Organised & Tips for New Bloggers

Last month I read a lot of posts about blogging tips and I thought I’d share some of my years of wisdom! I started this blog all the way back in 2014, but it’s only recently that I’ve discovered my blogging identity and reignited a creative spark that has changed the way I blog entirely. I can’t fully explain this change and the creative epiphany I experienced but it’s one that I’m hugely grateful for because without it I would have lost something I loved.

I’m someone who likes structure when it comes to getting things done. Every morning I make myself a to-do list and I find it helpful to visualise my goals for the day. Last year, I was really struggling with maintaining a posting schedule, which in turn had an impact on my creativity and writing. I would put so much pressure on myself to write that I’d end up rushing and posting something that I wasn’t 100% invested in. Looking back on my posts I can see that my heart truly wasn’t in it but that all changed last September.

I don’t know what prompted this change or the sudden surge of motivation, but I remember sitting down to write a blog post and just feeling exhausted and heartbroken over the fact that I’d fallen out of love with something I used to be so passionate and enthusiastic about. This blog has been a huge part of my life and I wasn’t about to give up on it, it’s a platform and creative outlet that allows me to be me and without it I’d feel a little lost.

So, surprise surprise, I made a list! A list of all the posts that I enjoying reading, writing and the topics I was passionate about and from there I started planning new ideas and posts that I hoped fellow readers would enjoy. I started back at square one and really let my creativity and imagination free. I stopped seeing this blog as a ‘job’ but rather than opportunity to let loose and to have fun. So when it came to the daunting challenge of ‘blogmas 2020’ I was excited and eager to share more of my posts with the blogging community, a community that has been so loving and supportive and one that I’m proud to be apart of. I learned to love blogging again and I like to think that I’ve become a more active member of the community!

Another element that continues to help me with my motivation and organisation is my magical spreadsheet! I started using this spreadsheet for ‘blogmas 2020’ and it honestly changed my life. You probably think I’m mad gushing over an Excel spreadsheet, but it’s really helped me and I wanted to share it with other bloggers who may be struggling or with those who are interested! The spreadsheet gives me a clear look at all my scheduled post and ideas for the month and helps take the pressure off creating content last minuet.

My spreadsheet is broken down into seven columns; post date, blog post, writing date, to-write, draft, scheduled and finally header image/edited. Each of these columns helps me track my progress and are all beautifully colour coded! I also make sure to take note of any special days or holidays that might inspire me to write a themed post as well as having a dedicated section for posts ideas from when I’m suffering from writers block or when I have wave of creative ideas. At the moment I post every three days but with they way things are going lately, I’m thinking of upping it and posting every other day!

Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve been blogging on-and-off for over six years, so I’d like to think that I’ve learned a thing or two. I’m a totally different blogger to when I first started and I hope some of these tips help!

  1. Find What You Love to Write About – When you’re passionate about something, it shines through in your writing and it makes for wonderful and relatable reading experience. I can tell when I re-read some of my old posts that my heart wasn’t truly in it, and I’m sure that others can sense it too. Experiment with different blogging styles and let your creativity and imagination flow!
  2. Remember Why You Love to Blog – Stats aren’t everything. Yes, they’re great to look at and really good way to track your growth but they don’t determine whether your content is good or not. Celebrate those little things and be confident in your ability to create wonderful and engaging content. I love to blog because it provides with a great creative outlet and platform that embraces my love for reading, I love connecting with so many amazing people and its become a safe space that I’m so thankful for.
  3. Have Fun – Another really important tip! I know I’m contradicting myself here, but blogging isn’t always about structure and there shouldn’t be a pressure around creating content. It’s about having fun, connecting with other likeminded people and sharing your passion with the world.
  4. Take a Break – Your mental health is so important and sometimes we all need a break and a little bit of detox. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with blogging and I think it’s important to focus on different hobbies now and then. There’s nothing wrong with taking a step back, what’s important is that you focus on your health and only return when you’re ready. Take it from someone who’s suffered from a lot of creative burnouts and mental exhaustion, it’s a horrible and slippery spiral that knocks you off your feet. We all have busy schedules and understand how overwhelming things can get, but don’t worry we’ll all be here to welcome you back when you are ready!
  5. Get Involved with the Community – I can’t stress the importance of this tip enough! I don’t know about you but I get so excited when someone comments on my posts or shares it with other bloggers, I just love the fact that someone has taken the time to stop, read and tell me that they’ve enjoyed it! The quality of posts in the blogging community recently have been incredible and I’m constantly discovering new blogs and exciting posts. I say this a lot but I truly mean it, the blogging community is a space filled with so much love and enthusiasm, it always greets me with a warm welcoming hug and continues to support me. I am so grateful to have met so many incredible bloggers and friends and what to thank every single one of you!

May Wrap Up and June TBR

It’s official, she’s back! These past couple of weeks have been chaos and it’s only now that I’m beginning to adjust and understand this new state of normal. When I’m not at work, you’ll find my tucked up in bed with a good book or binge watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (it’s my guilty pleasure). All this time has helped me re-disover what I truly love about reading, it’s sounds cliche but I’ve become so invested in these stories and have created a lifelong bonds with these characters that I’m suffering from some major book hangovers. I’m going to stop now before I get too emotional but it’s hard saying goodbye; some of these series have played a huge part in my life and this entire blogging journey and for that I am endlessly grateful.

Anyway I read over 3,000 pages in May, which is insane so hopefully all this reading motivation continues!

May Wrap Up

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson – It’s taken me two years but I finally decided to finish this series. I was a little bit hesitant to read the second book, because of my undying love and high exceptions from the first book, but Sanderson is a master at crafting intricate and heart stopping adventures that transport you away from reality. You’re all probably fed up of me going on about this series but I can’t praise it enough and if you’re looking for an intense and epic fantasy then this is the series for you.

The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson – I don’t think I’ll ever be emotionally prepared to discuss this book, but let’s just say that it shattered my heart and left me with the worlds greatest book hangover. Brandon Sanderson, you have a gift and it has been a privilege to share this journey with you, so thank you.

Love is a Mixtape by Rob Sheffield – This was our Reading Between the Wines book of the month for May, and it surprised me. Who would have thought a musical memoir would be a instant page turner for me? Everything about it was so raw and real, plus the unique playlists for each chapter were a fabulous addition.

Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas – Another series that I want to finish soon and as I’m fed up of avoiding spoilers and I want to be able to gush about this series with other fans. This is another series that means the world to me and I never want it to end.

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas – Chaol has always been one of my favourites (he was one of my first fictional crushes) so having a book centred around him was everything I needed.

June TBR

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas – I’m already half way through and I’m in love. But again I not ready to say goodbye to these characters. I swear if they don’t get the happy ending they ALL deserve then it’s going to kick off!

Out of Love by Hazel Hayes – I’ve been on this journey with Hazel from the very beginning and now I’m patiently waiting for my copy to arrive, so I can finally dive into this emotionally heartbreaking and wonderfully raw story. Hazel’s Time of the Month series on Youtube and her incredible creativity is what made me fall in love with her and I highly recommend that you check her out on YouTube.

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje – This is our June book of the month for Reading Between the Wines book club and I’m so excited to read it. I’ve heard nothing about good things about Michael Ondaatje’s writing!

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – I started this book way back in April but since then I’ve been distracted by other series, whoops! I loved the first book and I need more from these characters.

Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson – 12 Days of Blogmas


This is my favourite book of the year and it baffles me that it’s taken me so long to write a glistening review about it. I read this whilst I was on holiday and devoured this book in under 48 hours, everything about it is incredible. One of my favourite storylines are ones that involve a good old fashioned heist and/or improbable plan that is cloaked in magic and mystery, a plot that this book captures beautifully.  So if you’re a fan of Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows then this book will be right up your street.

It’s been four months since I read this book and I’m still not over it. Sanderson’s writing style pulls you into the wonderful world he has created and will have you standing side by side with all his characters as they battle through everything that comes their way. You never know what to expect with this book, it’s intense, action-packed and filled with so many twists and turns making it an unpredictable and suspenseful adventure. But brace yourselves as this book will break your heart and try and put it back together as well as bringing you on a journey of that will have you experiencing every emotion under the sun. I recommend you have the tissues ready…

The whole concept of burning metals in order to access special powers is just so clever and intresting. We are given so much detail about this world and it honestly blows my mind just how intricate everything is. Some of my favourtie scenes were those that involved Vin training with the other characters and learning how to master the different elements of her power.

Brandon Sanderson is also a master at creating a cast of in-depth and unique characters that you cannot help but love. The book is told in the third person and focuses mainly on the characters of Vin and Kelsier. Vin is an amazing character and heroine who we are given the pleasure of joining on her realistic journey of discovery and throughout the entire book, I just felt so connected to her. Don’t even get me started on Kelsier, every time he appeared in a scene I got so excited because I just love him so much. He was everything you’d want in a protagonist he was clever, brave, funny, determined and just perfect.

If I had to read one book for the rest of my life then it would probably be this one, and I know that’s a bold statement but I honestly love this book so much. Please make sure this book is on your TBR for the New Year, I promise that you won’t regret it. If you’ve already read it then I’d really love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! I’m desperate to find someone who loves this book as much as me!

Black Panther, Peter Rabbit, ​and Annihilation – March Film Reviews


I am a huge film fan so be prepared to see a lot of film reviews and television recommendations in the upcoming weeks however what I’m really here to rave about is this app I’ve discovered called Letterboxd. Letterboxd is great as it allows you to log all the films you’ve watched and when you watched them as well as giving you the opportunity to post and share your reviews and connect with people around the world. This isn’t a sponsored post I’m just so in love with this app, however, Letterboxd if you want to pay me to promote your app then I happily will because it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for! Anyway, let’s get on with my mini reviews!

15th March: Annihilation – I don’t know what this film was, it was beautiful but at the same time it seriously messed with my mind and I still regret watching it late at night and in a dark room! I absolutely loved Garlands Ex Machina and he once again takes us on a terrifying journey into the unknown.This film is clearly a visual masterpiece and the perfect combination of science fiction and psychological thriller which left me speechless and watching endless videos on YouTube about the film itself and its brilliant ending!

21st March: Peter Rabbit – If you’re looking for an adorable and surprisingly funny film to put you in a good mood then this is the film for you! I wasn’t expecting to laugh as much as a did, but what I love about children films is that you can laugh at the jokes aimed at children and the subtle ones put in there for older audiences! Everything about this film was just so darn cute except for James Corden’s voice which I will admit does get a little irritating at times!

27th March: Black Panther – I know I’m very late in seeing this film and I’m so glad that I went and saw it before it stopped showing in cinema’s as it is a film that deserves to be seen on the big screen. This might even be my favourite Marvel film as everything about it was just perfect. I loved the action, the storyline and most importantly the characters who I need more of asap, especially T’Challa and Shuri. I need a whole film dedicated to their sibling relationship and banter! I can’t wait to see where they take these characters and I look forward to them having a bigger role in Avengers: Infinity War!


Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo

Spoiler Alert

It’s taken me far too long to pick up this book, but I’ve finally got round to reading it and I wasn’t disappointed! I still prefer the first book but that doesn’t mean that this book didn’t lack action as it was a heck of a journey and adventure that saw the highs and lows of emotions, wit, and humor between characters and of course the usual swindling and planning which was cleverly revealed and pieced together at the end.

Crooked Kingdom is the sequel (and final book *sobs*) to the brilliant Six of Crows duologue and picks off right where we left off, in the middle of all the action and plotting. Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives.  As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

Bardugo’s writing style is utterly perfect as it is so compelling and her ability to juggle so many different perspectives amazes me. The world of Grisha she has created is so detailed and beautiful and I need more of it. And her characters are some of my favourites and it’s one of the elements that make this series so unique and loveable. We even get a bit more romance in these books between Kaz and Inej which I loved, everything he did for her including reuniting her with her family, melted my heart! We also saw Wylan and Jesper get together (yasss) which I didn’t expect and loved as they are both completely different but balance each other out! I need more! I’m still however heartbroken over what happened between Nina and Mattias, they were so close to freedom and a happily ever after but that was all stolen from them! Many of you will probably know that I’m also a huge fan of Leigh’s other series ‘Shadow and Bone’ and I got very excited when we were introduced to some of the characters from that series especially Nickoli who I just adore, it was a nice little surprise!

I don’t think this book could have had a better ending, it left me happy and satisfied yet wanting more, more of these characters and their adventures. This book hit me hard in the heart and I truly don’t want it to end, so Leigh if you’re reading this please continue this series because these characters are so of my all time favorites and I need more adventures with them!

Overall I loved this series and Leigh Bardugo is a bloody genius so I don’t think it’s a surprise if I give it 5/5 stars! If you haven’t ventured into the world of Grisha yet and picked up one of Bardugo’s books then I highly recommend you do as they are all action packed fantasy adventures that I can guarantee you will enjoy!

Always and Forever, Lara Jean – Jenny Han

I read the entire book on the plane journey back from my holidays and attempted to hide my tears from everyone else on the plane but failed miserably and ended up going through passport control with puffy red eyes and having to explain to the lovely lady who checked my passport why I was in such a state! Lara Jean is one of my favourite contemporary characters and we’ve been on such a beautiful and emotional journey with her throughout the series but I agree with Jenny Han it’s time her story ended, for now anyway…

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding. But change is looming on the horizon. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

Lara Jean is still the goody-two shoes she always has been but also experiences some great character development, as she becomes a lot more confident, flexible and welcoming to new options. She’s changed so much since the first book and I’m glad we’ve been able to see her become such an incredible young woman. This was very much a coming of age story, and I loved seeing Lara Jean take her first steps on her own exciting journey and a new beginning. As per usual, the relationships in this book are perfect and Han cleverly gives us a balance between Lara Jean’s relationship with Peter (which just melts my heart and is one of my favorite relationships in YA contemporary novels) and her relationship with her family which again is just so darn cute!

The ending was simply beautiful and just had me in streams of tears, a wonderful conclusion to an equally wonderful series. I’m going to miss all the characters and if you haven’t started this trilogy, I highly recommend it. Thank you very much, Jenny Han for creating such incredible characters and for sharing your story that I’ll love forever.

Thank you for everything Lara Jean,

A x

May 2017 Wrap Up and June TBR!

Last month, I was bombarded with essays galore and exams so I didn’t have much time for reading and the books I did read were mainly re-reads for revision. I only read four books last month by two different authors, them being Ian McEwan, whose work I absolutely adore and Francesca Haig, who was a lecturer at the University of Chester and someone I had the pleasure of interviewing a few months ago.

Now that I’ve finished University I can’t wait to read as much as possible and catch up on all the books that I still haven’t read. I finally got my hands on ‘Lord of Shadows’ by Cassandra Clare, ‘A Court of Mist and Fury’ by Sarah J Maas and ‘The Crown’ by Kiera Cass all of which I plan to read this month! Recently I’ve also really got back into the Shannara Chronicles and decided to start reading the books because I need to know what’s going to happen in season 2! If you haven’t yet watched the show yet I did a blog post on all the reasons why you should go and watch it which I will link here!

The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig – I was given the honour of interviewing Francesca a few months ago but we mainly focused on her poetry which is absolutely stunning and I highly recommend you check out. Anyway, she used to be a senior lecturer at the University of Chester until she wrote her first YA dystopian novel ‘The Fire Sermon’! It was from meeting her and the fact that she used to teach at my university which encouraged me to pick up her book but that did mean I went in with high expectations and I wasn’t disappointed! I found the concept of having an Alpha and Omega with the lifeline connection really interesting and made the plot and the relationship between characters more complex.

The Map of Bones by Francesca Haig – I fell in love with the first book in this series but when it came to the sequel, I was sadly disappointed and saw myself at times skim reading a few chapters, nevertheless, there were many parts of the novel that I enjoyed especially the fact that even from the first page we are thrown back into the action. Francesca Haig once again throws you into a world of conflict, betrayal, hope and despair and likes to keeps the reader on their toes as the plot thickens – every time I think I know what is coming she throws me a curveball.

Atonement by Ian McEwan – My all time favourite McEwan novel because it is just so beautiful yet heartbreaking and always leaves me in tears. I didn’t really mind re-read this for my revision and it gave me another excuse to watch the film again too! I did a review on the book a while ago, and if I had to recommend any McEwan book then it would be this one!

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan – I read this book five times for my revision and I know it so well I could probably recite the first page for you. When I first read this book I will admit that I didn’t love it but after studying it and seeing it through different perspectives, I was able to see how brilliant it really is and notice things I didn’t pick up the first time reading it.

The Road – Cormac McCarthy

I had to read this book for my Contemporary Literature module at University and I’m so glad that this was on the reading list because it’s definitely gained a spot on my list of favourite post-apocalyptic novels of all time! The way it’s written is really unique and I was worried that it would stop me from enjoying the novel but instead, it enhanced it.

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is grey. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.

Many call this book beautiful, not because of its twisted post-apocalyptic setting but between the heartbreaking and strong relationship between the man and his son. Even though the dialogue and emotion are limited, we as the reader are able to clearly see how much the father loves his son and how he would do anything for him. To be so desperate, in every way and at all times, and yet to survive and at times thrive, to persevere through terrible events of unbelievable horror will strike feelings of great, sad compassion in even the most tempered soul.

The young son was especially well done and was most certainly the most complicated character in the book. McCarthy presents him as a sort of supernatural being (Christ figure?), of only the best sort, full of goodness, a thing not of the world in which he finds himself. He is effortlessly drawn down the path of the righteous throughout the book as if he is God’s right-hand man. The reward appears, at least superficially, to be key moments of luck. The father, on the other hand, makes the reader constantly decide if he’s a good guy or a bad guy with his decisions as well as making the reader think of what they’d do in that situation.

Overall, this is a brilliant novel which I would recommend that everyone read at least once in their lifetime because it is so dark, and haunting but at the same time beautiful in its writing and characters. Plus it won’t take you long as it only took me a train journey back to University to read!

Miss Mayhem – Rachel Hawkins

I loved loved loved the first book in the series as I found it really funny and enjoyable so when I found out there was a sequel I was excited to see when the story would go. Sadly, however it wasn’t as good as the first and I felt that it was more of a filler book.

Miss Mayhem is the second book in the Rebel Belle series and again follows Harper Price and her friends as they begin to adjust to life again after the events in the previous book but it isn’t long till trouble finds them. The Ephors have decided they’d rather train David than kill him. The catch: Harper has to come along for the ride, but she can’t stay David’s Paladin unless she undergoes an ancient trial that will either kill her . . . or make her more powerful than ever.

As always Harper is a great protagonist and she never fails to make me smile and laugh with her narration and I think without her this book wouldn’t have been as enjoyable. Her relationship with David is also really cute and I love how they are complete opposites and the banter between them. I really enjoyed seeing their relationship develop as well as many other relationships but I won’t give away who! Bee and Ryan were both more involved in this book which I loved as it meant that they could all work together especially Bee and Harper! #GirlPower

The story line was fun and fast paced but in my opinion that was all it was. It didn’t have the excitement and adventure the first book had and like I’ve said before I felt like it was more of a filler book. But aside from that I enjoyed seeing all of our characters interact and work together and I have to admit that some of those fight scenes were pretty badass but also humorous

Overall, I rate this book 3.5/5, as it was an enjoyable read but it just didn’t live up to the first book. I have no idea where the next book will take us and I just hope the third book will be as amazing as the first!


Siege and Storm – Leigh Bardugo

I LOVE THIS SERIES! This is another one of those occasions when I’ve read the first book in the series last year and totally forgotten how much I enjoyed it. Once again the storyline was intense and packed full of action and we were also introduced to some great new characters. I loved the beginning, middle and the end!

After escaping the Darklings clutches, Alina and Mal must must try and uncover the secrets of the amplifiers and how to defeat the Darkling once and for all. With the Darklings new and dangerous abilities, Alina must return to the country she abandoned and fight the forces gathering against Ravka as well as the power she possesses.

Leigh Bardugo doesn’t miss any action, with action and surprises lurking around every corner. The plot was well paced and the world created is just perfect. You can see that a lot of time and effort has gone into creating this world from creating old folk stories and various places each with their own unique environment. The writing is also so imaginative and lyrical yet at the same time funny and witty; it’s perfect.

Alina’s character development is certainly different as she faces the struggles of gaining and asserting power but on the other hand she is certainly beginning to come out of her shell and her actions are now powerful and brave. Alina’s battle isn’t with some external force, it’s with herself. As a female protagonist she is perfect as she is not only brave and badass but kind and protective.

Mal, on the other hand, proves to be a loyal, fierce companion who truly loves Alina but sits in a very difficult position. His relationship with Alina certainly dominates this book although we do have glimpses of scenes between Alina and Darkling alone. Mal, on the other hand, proves to be a loyal, fierce companion who truly loves Alina. Their relationship gets rocky at times but Alina, Mal and Darkling are certainly not in some sort of typical love triangle.

I loved all the new character especially the twins, Tamar and Toya who I thought were brilliant and I can’t wait to learn more about them in the next book as in this book they stayed quite reserved and closed. Their relationship with Alina is genuine and you can tell by their actions they will protect and support her through anything…

I still hold a love for both Mal and The Darkling, there’s now also Sturmhond, a dashing privateer with a careless grin and hidden agenda. I can’t help it, I have a serious weakness for men who have a gift for witty banter. Lets add him to my list of fictional boyfriends (which I know think is well over 50)!

The ending! What a cliff hanger! I currently suffering from a book hangover and I seriously need to my hands on the next book as soon as possible. I’m normally quite good at guessing these things but that totally surprised me and had me screaming at the book itself!

If you like novels such as ‘Red Queen’ or ‘The Throne of Glass’ Series then this series will be right up your street. It’s packed full of surprises and brilliant characters who you’ll instantly fall in love with. Overall, I give this book 5/5 stars and I highly recommend you pick up this series if you have done so already!