Category Archives: Personal

Where I Went and What’s Been Happening

August 28, 2017

Goes without saying that I’ve abandoned this blog. I’ve left literally a year between posts. Bit of a shitty thing to do, I agree, so I’m here to have a chat with everyone, and kind of talk about what has been going on this past year. Grab a cuppa and have a biscuit (ideally bourbon or a custard cream but any will do) and get yourself comfy.

Right. It’s hard to know where to start really. I suppose it properly starts in January 2016. Things weren’t right with me, with work, or with my mental health, but I put it all down to “returning to work blues” and ignored it. I was going to have a good year, I told myself, and that was that.

Things didn’t improve, with work or my mood, so I decided obviously my job was the problem, and looked for a new one. The stars aligned, one fell into my lap pretty quickly, and I headed to Cuba, sure that when I returned, everything would be fine and good. I’d feel better, happier, and life would be great.

It wasn’t.

I love my job, I really do, but it’s probably the most stressful environment I could have dropped myself into. Pharmacy is a hectic, chaotic world, and I’m constantly dealing with people who are ill, some with simple ear infections and skin rashes, but others are dying, or their loved ones are dying and sometimes you’re in the firing line of their emotions. Their anger, their concerns, their fears for the future. I deal with it all, and it’s not always pleasant. It’s hard enough when your mental health is stable, let alone when it’s not.

And in September, my mood plummeted. I was struggling to get out of bed, I had no interest in anything. I couldn’t read, and I certainly couldn’t blog. I had no desire to do anything. I just wanted to sleep and ignore everyone. And that’s not a good place to be. So I finally admitted that I needed help. I don’t think I’ve ever been so shit-scared before a doctor’s appointment. I came so close to talking myself out of the appointment, saying that I didn’t need help, that I was fine and that I would feel better. Thank goodness I didn’t.

My appointment was difficult, I think I cried throughout the entire time I was sat with the doctor, and looking back, there was a lot wrong with the appointment, but I asked for help, and I got it. And it was like the sun bursting through the clouds, and I finally had a glimmer of hope. You don’t realise how far you are into depression until you get some help, and you suddenly realise that hiding from your phone, your friends and your life is not a healthy thing to do. But it was an easy coping mechanism. No one can tell you there’s something wrong with you if you don’t socialise with them regularly. I’m not perfect now, but I’m getting better.

And that’s all I hope for. To quote Glee, I am a work in progress. And you don’t know how good it feels to be able to say that.

The Essence of Blogging

July 8, 2016

Okay, it’s kinda obvious that not a lot has been going on here in recent months. And I could bore you with a shit-ton of excuses like: ‘I’ve started a new job’ or ‘I’m just super busy in the evenings’ but there’s no point.

Blogging just doesn’t have the sparkle it used to. I used to love sitting on my laptop every evening sharing my thoughts and opinions on books with everyone, and I didn’t care if no-one read my posts or if everyone read them. I was blogging because I loved it and because I love books.

And now, it seems like blogging has become more of a numbers game than ever. And I hate that I allow myself to get sucked into the stupid thought that I’m only a “successful” blogger if I have X amount of followers or X amount of interactions on my posts. That’s not who I am and that’s not what blogging was ever about when I first started. So I’m determined to make an effort to ignore the numbers, to ignore what’s supposedly good or bad for SEO (I still don’t know what SEO really is, and at this moment in time, I really don’t care about it either.) and just share my thoughts and opinions on books and whatever else I want to talk about.

I’m taking back blogging for me.

Feeling Chatty

April 4, 2016

Hey! It’s been ages since I’ve properly sat down to write a bunch of posts, and you know what? I’ve really missed it! I’ve missed the blogging community and how friendly everyone is and how enthusiastic over books they are. Not many people around me read a great deal (apart from my mum, more on that later), so to dive back into a world where people understand why I’m so enthused over books is great. My lack of blogging hasn’t stopped me from buying books however, my most recent three physical purchases were Night Owls, Demon Road and The Dark Days Club. I’m super excited to dive back into some paranormal reads, as I haven’t touched the genre in years. Not properly, at least, but I’m planning on easing my way back in soon. I have yet another reason to add to the list of “why my boyfriend’s a keeper”: he bought me a Waterstones voucher for Valentine’s. I don’t do flowers and chocolates, and I told him if he was going to buy me anything for Valentine’s, it had to be practical. And he listened, bless him. Not to be outdone on the practical stakes, I bought him a drill-bit set for his fancy new drill he’s bought for work. What books have you bought recently? 

Okay, so my mum. She has a Kindle, and she reads loads, but mainly urban fantasy/paranormal romance/contemporary romance. We don’t talk books that often, apart from the occasional Nora Roberts recommendation (by mum to me), but I have got her started on a few of her favourite series myself, namely Black Dagger Brotherhood and the Guild Hunter series. I do wave the occasional YA paranormal under her nose if I think she’ll enjoy it, but I’m rarely taken up on the offer, as she’s not a fan of YA. So I was kinda surprised to find her reading The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor and totally raving about it, finishing the book in three days and immediately downloading the second. I mean, I was stoked, but never thought that would be a book my mum would read. And now I’m totally spurred onto reading the series myself!

I also go on holiday to Cuba on the 5th April, and I am so excited. My boyfriend and I went to Mexico last June, and we said that there would be no holiday this year, but made an exception as it’s his grandparents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary in 2016, so there’s 11 of us going to celebrate in Cuba. And I am so looking forward to two weeks in the glorious sunshine, sipping on the occasional cocktail and read to my heart’s content. I can’t swim, but the idea of lazing by a pool or on the beach with my Kindle seems like total heaven. I, of course, have been purchasing plenty of books for my holiday, even though I don’t need to buy anymore! And the lure of the airport bookshop will no doubt be too difficult to ignore as well, so I’ll have plenty of reading material to keep me entertained for the two weeks. What are your favourite beach reads? Are you going on holiday this year? Tell me where!

And finally, although I’ve no doubt bored everyone to tears, I can’t not share this news with you. I said earlier in the year that I was possibly looking for a new job, and now I’ve finally got one! I’m going to be going back to dispensing at the end of April, after my holiday, and I honestly couldn’t be more happy. I’m so excited for what the future holds and I just feel so positive at the moment, which is a really nice feeling to have when you haven’t felt it in a long while! How are you guys doing?



New Year, A Better Me | 2016 Resolutions

January 1, 2016

*insert typical comment over how quick the year has gone*

Yes, 2015 is over and 2016 has just begun, and with a new year comes a new set of resolutions I’m hoping to work on in the next twelve months. I’m not going too specific in these resolutions, I’m aiming for more generalised, but still attainable goals.

New Year, a Better Me 2016 resolutions

Unsurprisingly, my number one resolution for 2016 is to get healthy, and be a lot more active than I currently am. I do have some pretty good motivation in the form of a holiday to Cuba in April, and I’d love to feel healthier and happier with myself by the time we step on the plane. I feel like I’m finally in the right mindset to make these positive changes and actually get behind the idea of healthy living, instead of making yet another half-hearted attempt and giving up after a few days because, chocolate.

I’m going to be monitoring my progress on MyFitnessPal, purely because I’ve had success with it in the past, and I love the app and the website. I know it’s not for everyone, but it’s what works best for you, right?

I’m also looking at self-improvement in 2016, in all areas of my life. I want to better myself as a person. I want to feel totally, 100% happy with the person I am, and finally feel at peace with myself as a person.

I’m also considering a career change soon. Possibly. I’m in two minds about it. I really do enjoy my job, but not as much as I did when I first joined. I think I need to look into how I can be happy in my current role, and if the answer is that I can’t, then it’ll definitely be time to move on.

So those are my personal resolutions for 2016, I’ll be sharing my bookish resolutions with you all on Tuesday.

What’s your number one resolution for 2016? Or do you not bother setting them? 

Dear 16 Year Old Me…

July 25, 2015

Dear Hollie,

You’re 16, you’ve finished taking all your GCSE’s, and you’re so confident about your future. You’re not going to want to listen to what your 22 year-old, slightly thinner and a lot wiser future self has to say to you, but I’m going to tell you anyway.

These next couple of years at sixth form are not going to be amazing like you’re hoping they will. Things won’t change, people won’t miraculously look at you and think that you’ve changed. Because you haven’t. You’re still going to be the same person you already are, and in time, you’ll come to accept that. And trust me, the sooner you accept yourself as a person, the happier you will be.

Allow me to completely rock the apple cart by telling you that you don’t make it to university. But it’s not the end of the world. And deep down, despite all your tears and anger, you’ll know that. Trust me that in five years time, you’ll find a job you absolutely love and all those university woes will seem so trivial. The chip shop will soon be a distant memory for you, but you’ll always be grateful for the working ethic it gave you. You’re going to feel directionless after university, so grab all the opportunities that are given to you. Don’t wallow, allow yourself to live, and really enjoy yourself.

You’re going to make some terrible decisions in life. You’re going to meet a boy on your 20th birthday who will temporarily make you forget who you really are. And although this sounds all whimsical and nice, it’s not. Go in with caution, and get out while you can. It’s not all doom and gloom though, as when you’re 21, you’re going to meet a boy who you’ll fall madly in love with, who loves the exact same music you do, who makes you laugh and tells you that he loves you every single day. He’s worth the wait. He’s worth all the terrible teenage mistakes, all the horrible drunken kisses on nights out in a nightclub that’s overpriced and over-rated. He’s the Prince Charming that you’ve been dreaming about. (And his favourite song from The Black Parade is Disenchanted. If you need any more proof that he’s the guy for you, I don’t know what else to give you.)

2013 will be a terrible year for you, and you’ll have to watch your world fall apart over and over and over until you’re convinced that you’re going to break. You won’t. You’ll come back stronger, even if you don’t want to. Even if you think you can’t. You’re resilient. You bend, but you never break. As I write this, I’m realising that this is one of my favourite things about myself. Self-love is something we’re working on.

Life is full of surprises, and we love a good surprise, so I’m not going to give you anything else to mull over. You’ll have to fill in the gaps yourself.


Your 22 year old, really bloody awesome self.

P.S – DO NOT try and go blonde. It won’t be a good look, I promise!


March Goals

March 4, 2015

March GoalsI like setting myself goals. And I like writing lists (in case Top Ten Tuesday didn’t give it away), so I figured why not combine both those things together and create a blog post about my monthly goals so I can try and make myself a little more accountable.

-Post on Instagram daily.
So I’ve managed to become an ace Instagram lurker, but I don’t post all that regularly, so I’m trying to change that by posting daily for a month. Turns out Instagram is more enjoyable when you actually post your own stuff instead of stalking someone’s recent make-up/book purchases. Or their meals. I like stalking people’s food on Instagram. Not ashamed to admit that.

-Workout for a total of 4 hours this month.
I’m trying to ease myself back into exercising slowly so I’m more encouraged to continue with it, so I’m aiming for at least 4 hours of activity in March, which can vary from hula-hooping to zumba to skipping to 30 Day Shred.

-Drink lots of water.
I do so well and then I start slipping up at the weekend, which I really want to change because I’m terrible at keeping myself hydrated properly.

-Blog more.
I’ve brainstormed a ton of new post ideas, and I’m actually really excited to write them all and share them with everyone. Yay blogging!

-Finish Unit 1 of my NVQ.
This bloody NVQ will be the death of me. Unit 1 is the hardest unit, so everyone gets told to save it until last, which I’ve done, and I have half a question to go, but finding the motivation to complete it is proving tricky.

Do you set yourself monthly goals? What are you aiming to achieve in March? Let me know!

On Not Feeling Yourself

February 24, 2015

Something I’ve noticed quite recently is the fact that I don’t feel like myself anymore.  But I can’t exactly pinpoint what’s wrong with me, I just feel different and not in a good way. I don’t want to read, I’m eating too much and most of it is crap food, and I just feel like I’m stuck in this rut that I can’t get out of. I hate the fact that I’m neglecting my blog, I have all these great ideas for posts that I want to share with you all but when I get home from work, I decide I just can’t be bothered and end up vegging out and wasting time doing bugger all, which isn’t good for my physical or mental health.

I know if I keep on like this, I’m going to go insane.

So I’m going to take things slowly to pull myself out of this self-inflicted bog. I’m going to adjust my diet so I actually feel more human again, the saying “you are what you eat” is incredibly true when all I’ve been eating recently is crap. I’ve never felt this lethargic and just ‘blah’ my entire life. And when I’ve got my diet back on track, it’ll be time to start exercising again, with my trusty toning hula hoop that I’m rubbish at but can at least laugh at myself whilst I do it! So I want to know, what’s your favourite healthy recipes? I love cooking and experimenting in the kitchen, so I’m willing to give anything a go! 🙂

Blogging-wise, I’m going to start sharing more personal posts with you, as well as trying to keep up with posting reviews and playlists and top ten Tuesday lists. I want to post about things other than books, like food-related posts and beauty-related posts because this blog is a reflection of myself, and I need to focus on all these other little things that I do! I do enjoy blogging, and it’s something I do for myself, so I’d best get back to it! Reading-wise…that’s another story for another post. I’ve got a plan. I’m hoping it’ll work.

So, yeah. That’s where I am at the moment, but hopefully not for much longer.