Birthday Book Haul

‘I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22.’

Last weekend, I turned 22 and to celebrate my family and I went up to an escape room in Birmingham which was certainly a new and enjoyable experience. Having never been to one I didn’t know what to expect, but nevertheless I felt a great amount of pressure to escape in under an hour. The room was WW2 themed and we had to solve different clues in order to determine our location and escape route. I’m pleased to say that we escaped in under an hour however I will admit that we did with only 26 seconds to spare! 

A couple of weeks ago I was on a serious reading roll, as soon as I’d finish a book I would automatically pick up another one. In this routine I was reading almost two books a week, which for me and my hectic schedule is a lot. But now I’m suffering from a major reading slump and have been reading Muse of Nightmares for a while now. So I thought the cure would be to order some new books and get myself back into the excited mentally of discovering a new favourite series/read. At this moment in time I’ve really been loving all things fantasy and if you know of any good series then please let me know! Anyway, here are the books I hope will finally relive me from this reading slump.

Grave Mercy by Robin Lafevers – French assassins who serve the god of death, yes please! I love the concept of this series and I’m way too excited to dive into this world.

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson – I’m embarrassed to admit that its taken me this long to finally order the rest of this series as I’m always going on about the first book which was nothing short of incredible. I think what’s stopped me was the fact that I love the first book so much and I’m hesitant in that the rest of the series won’t meet my very high expectations. Nevertheless I’m ready to dive straight back into this world and the adventure these characters share.

The Assassins Apprentice by Robin Hobb – Every time I searched for ‘best fantasy series to read’ this came up and that fact that its highly praised by George R.R Martin then I’m sold.

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski – After seeing the teaser trailer for the adaptation starring Henry Cavil as the lead protagonist, I’m eager to jump into this series and read the books before its release.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik – I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews around this book and I think its time that I make my own decision.

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang – This has been floating around the book blogging community for a while now and its only right that I join the hype train and finally read it. It’s fair to say that again I’ve got high expectations but from reading the synopsis I know this is going to be a favourite.

My 21st Birthday Trip to Edinburgh – 12 Days of Blogmas

EDI

I’ve been dying to go to Edinburgh for years now and I promised myself that for my 21st birthday I would go and experience this wonderful city and I did! Edinburgh is probably my favourite city in the entire world, everything about it is wonderful, there are so many hidden places and historical aspects that captured my heart so much so that I am now applying to hopefully complete a masters there next year (fingers crossed!)! It was the first trip I’ve taken with my university housemates so I was a little worried about everything was going to go but all of them helped make it such a special trip and we’re already planning where we’re going next!

We stayed in a gorgeous Airbnb right on Princes Street which is right in the center of Edinburgh and was the perfect base camp as it meant everything was nice and close. It also meant that we could cook a few meals for ourselves as well having a well-sized place where we could all chill and have a giggle! We were also really fortunate with the weather and it only started raining as we left, so I’ve got loads beautiful pictures of the city all with clear blue skies!

We were only staying for three days so as soon as we arrived I turned into a serious tourist with a schedule and list of places I needed to visit before we left. On the top of my list was, of course, Edinburgh Castle which was just absolutely stunning and provided some beautiful views of the entire city. There’s just something about castles that I love, the history behind them and even thinking about life when the castle was inhabited has my imagination running wild.

Another place on the list was the National Museum of Scotland that was home to the one and only Dolly the Sheep who was the first mammal cloned from an adult somatic cell. I didn’t know what to expect from the museum as was worried that some of my friends would find it boring but we all absolutely loved the place especially their animal and fashion exhibits! We could have happily spent hours there, so if you’re going up to Edinburgh soon then definitely add the museum to your list of stops!

Many of you will already know that I’m a huge Harry Potter fan, so Edinburgh was a dream for any Potterhead! There are so many places that have connections not only to the books but also J.K Rowling herself, like the Elephant House Cafe where she wrote the first book! I also dragged my friends around Greyfriars Graveyard to try and find Tom Riddles Grave! One of my favourite spots in Edinburgh has to be Victoria Street which was the inspiration for Diagon Alley and is full of colourful buildings and adorable little shops. Also for Outlander fan,s there’s a lovely cut out of Jamie which is the perfect photo opportunity for any fan!

As for food and drink, I can’t recommend @Pizza enough, its the perfect place for a chilled and hearty meal! Here you’re able to customize your own pizza for a really reasonable price as well as being able to taste some of their delicious craft soda’s. The other place we fell in love with was Tigerlily a stunning cocktail bar that has a beautiful flower wall which was perfect for taking loads of photos!

It was such a wonderful trip and it’s always a good sign when neither you or your friends want to leave!

20 Things I’ve Learned in Twenty Years

You may argue that I haven’t experienced enough to write a post like this and at the young age of twenty, I have nothing important to share however I completely disagree. I’ve experienced and struggled with a few of life’s bad cards like mental illness, bullying, wavering relationships, however, I’m lucky enough to have been dealt some seriously good ones too. I’ve been blessed with a network of support and love from friends and family, and with a solid plan for the present and the future. I’m currently studying one of my passions at university, all whilst living with five flatmates who I adore and who all put up with my bad jokes. Back home, are my family, high school friends and childhood memories all of which welcome me with open arms and a warm hug whenever I decide to visit.

I’ve learned a lot over the years whether its lessons from my parents or things I’ve discovered on my own and I wanted to share a few of them with you. I hope these words of wisdom can inspire you and encourage you to create your own list that you can look back on in years to come as a reminder that we’re always growing and to never stop learning.

  1. Everything happens for a reason and things might not always go to plan but don’t panic.
  2. Be Kind to everyone, sometimes the smallest of acts can brighten someone’s day.
  3. Time alone is time well spent.
  4. It’s okay to cry, we all have our down moments.
  5. Hard work pays off but don’t overwork yourself.
  6. Celebrate and appreciate the little things in life.
  7. Sometimes it’s okay to be selfish and to put yourself first.
  8. Confidence is key.
  9. Loose lips sink ships (that’s one for you dad!).
  10. Don’t ever give up on something that means the world to you.
  11. Love. Love with all your heart. Love yourself, love your family and love your friends.
  12. You’re not going to be the best at everything and that’s okay.
  13. Never be ashamed of the kind of music you listen to.
  14. Be spontaneous, sometimes the things that aren’t planned are the best.
  15. Don’t compare yourself to others.
  16. Say yes to new experiences – adventure awaits you.
  17. Don’t rush love. It’ll happen when it happens.
  18. It’s okay to have high standards, especially when it comes to boys.
  19. Take as many pictures as humanly possible.
  20. Laugh as much as you can because laughter is the best medicine.

Tomorrow I’ll turn 20 and I’ll admit it’s scary how fast time has gone, and as my friends keep reminding me, that twenty is only halfway to forty. However, I can’t wait to see what the next twenty years have in store. I see my twenties as an open book, a blank page, a new chapter and I’m excited and intrigued to see where it leads me, fingers crossed it’s a place where I’m happy.