Monday, 21 September 2015

Literary Ladies - Challenge Over

Ladies (and gentleman) I woke up this morning a little groggy and bemoaning my early morning but suddenly, I dare say, things started falling into place. I remembered my dad is still visiting with me, I was starting the squat 30 day challenge (and have subsequently added in the ab challenge) and that I actually completed the literary ladies Summer reading challenge.

I first mentioned it here and I updated you in July and then August. I actually completed it about two days after my last check in but I read a few more books so I decided to change up my reviews and share the most appropriate and/or the books I liked most. I'm so excited about this so let's get into it!

1. A YA book - To All The Boys I've Ever Loved by Jenny Han 

I initially said I would be reading Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell but I didn't have a chance to get a copy and I didn't like the narrator's voice for Audible. 

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm not sure if I'm being a bit generous with the rating of 4 stars but the truth is, I really enjoyed this story, Laura Jean grew on me as well as her sweet family. I'm not exactly taken with the perfection of Margeux but I found the rest of the characters endearing in their own ways. Kitty is definitely the show stealer with her sweet mischievous yet helpful ways... Can't wait to read the next installment

View all my reviews

2. Non- US Author - What Alice Forgot by Alice Moriarty

Initial choice By Any Means by Kurt Ellis same reason as above, I couldn't get a physical copy but there was no audible book option for this one... Oops!

What Alice ForgotWhat Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think this book was/is slightly overrated but at the same time the things I loved about it I really loved. It got me thinking where would I be in 10 years time and how easily things change. I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about this book but I didn't hate it...

The one thing I will say is the first half of the book dragged and I don't understand the huge relationship Alice has with a certain friend it's actually a bit weird

View all my reviews

3. A Book Recommended by a friend or blogger - Where We Belong by Emily Giffin

Recommended by Kate and I loved it.

Where We BelongWhere We Belong by Emily Giffin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I LOVED this book! It was a little slow in the beginning but once we got a quarter of the way in I just wanted to spend all my time reading (which I couldn't) but Kirby is a lovely lead character as well as Marian. To follow the natural progression of their relationship was touching. My only criticism would be that I wish there was an epilogue or something because I just want to know how the characters developed and where they ended up.

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4. A book from my TBR list  for more than a year-  Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

I was supposed to read I am Malala by Christina Lamb and Malala Yousafzai, I don't have a reason why I swapped this one out but I will read it one day, soon!

Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns (The Devil Wears Prada, #2)Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns by Lauren Weisberger
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book was disappointing, I was so excited when I realized I hadn't read the follow up to The Devil Wears Prada but I'm also glad I didn't until now. If I wasn't listening to this book I probably would have stopped or read at an extremely slow pace. I'm not sure why Lauren Weisberger choose to write this book because pretty much anyone who enjoyed the first book (or the movie) wouldn't have really appreciated the complete change in style of this novel. Sad because the revenge of Miranda Priestly had the potential to be best chick lit ever.. Instead it's just ... Blah

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5. A kickass Female Lead  - Seamless by R.L Griffin

Seamless (By a Thread, #3)Seamless by R.L. Griffin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a brilliant way for this series to end. The evolution of the characters was seamless. Although I thought this last installment would be a predictable end but it was anything but. I am so sad that this series is done because Stella, George, Patrick and Millie have become part of my everyday life at times they almost drove me to drink right along with them but for the most part they were just good people. Love Love Love!

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6. A book that will be/ is a movie or show - Paper Towns by John Green

I did in fact, read Diary of Wimpy Kid and included in my previous reviews but I really didn't enjoy it so I am blocking it out from my memory! haha

I recently watched the movie but I'll save that review for another day..

Paper TownsPaper Towns by John Green
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I didn't love this book, to be honest I'm not sure I really liked it either... It's strange because I don't want to be the odd one out not absolutely loving Quentin and Margo and all the extras but I just felt like I've met these characters before in so many other books and movies and I just don't think there was anything particularly special about this story. I of course will watch the movie but this may be one of those rare gems where the movie will exceed the book's expectation... I'm sorry John Green but this just didn't do anything for me.

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7. A book written by a comedian or celebrity - Going off Script by Giuliana Rancic

I was't sure if I would read this one or Kris Jenner and all things Kardashian and being the overachiever (I wish I really was) I read both!

Going Off Script: How I Survived a Crazy Childhood, Cancer, and Clooney's 32 On-Screen RejectionsGoing Off Script: How I Survived a Crazy Childhood, Cancer, and Clooney's 32 On-Screen Rejections by Giuliana Rancic
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To be honest I wasn't sure if reading this would make me hate G, I'm happy to say that isn't the case.
This isn't a book which the celebrity is fluffy and fake about her feelings, G shares personal stories and more insight into her life and her heartaches over lost pregnancies as well as the joy of her husband. I loved her and Bill before reading this but the truth is after this I respect them so much more for sharing their story. Giuliana is beautiful, naughty and an inspiration ...

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8. One Word title -  Grey  by E.L James

Grey (Fifty Shades, #4)Grey by E.L. James
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In some ways EL James achieves her goal by letting the reader understand more of why Christian is the way he is but on the other hand, it's strange because Christian is "50 shades of F*%#ed up" and seeing things from his POV is odd. I found it difficult to remember the story from Ana's POV because I read the first book so long ago but at times it felt like the story didn't link up however I could be wrong about that..

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9. A suspense or thriller - The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

 This book I found by accident and really enjoyed it! I am still reading Big Little Lies but it's taking a while.

The Good GirlThe Good Girl by Mary Kubica
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this story, it had mixed reviews which made me skeptical but I immersed myself in this story and characters and loved it. It's suspenseful, interesting and at times extremely realistic.

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10. A title with the word "Summer" in it - The Boys of Summer by CJ Dugan

The Boys of Summer (Summer, #1)The Boys of Summer by C.J. Duggan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Technically it's a 4.5 stars rating.. I really enjoyed this book, I got it for free from Amazon so I wasn't sure what it would be like but I loved it.

View all my reviews

I just want to take a moment and really appreciate this challenge set by Kay, Kristin and Kari. I loved every second of it and I am super proud of completing it.


So tell me, what have you been reading recently?

Friday, 18 September 2015

Let's Be Real

I can't believe how my laptop not working has really messed around with my blogging schedule and my life in general. Isn't it insane how much we depend on technology? I, of course say this to you via some means of technology - the irony is not lost on me. 

The truth is, and this is what I intend to discuss today, is that our online personas are so far from who we are in real life that at times I think we spend more time worrying about "Will this make a good picture?" "Should I blog about this?" "Will my readers want to know this?" "Will they still like me?". My last question is the biggy. WILL YOU STILL LIKE ME?

The internet has become such a huge part of who we are and how we communicate that it's only fair that we should care about our online image as much as we do our real life image but and here's where I'm going with this thought process... shouldn't the two images be the same, or somewhat aligned?

People in your real life don't get to see the filtered/edited version of who you are and you know what, most of the time they like you anyway. I think it's incredibly important for us to align our online personas with the real person. I think I shared the article about the guy who was flying all around the world to sit down for coffee with all his Facebook friends and of course I think that is an incredible idea but it got me thinking.. do I even want to have coffee with some of my Facebook friends? Sometimes I see photos being posted on my timeline and I honestly have no idea who it is in that photo I am supposed to know. Am I alone in this?

Also, I think when I was younger I used to add everyone on Facebook or accept friend requests if we had a few mutual friends but the truth is now I am so reserved and try to limit new friends because I don't want people in my business AND then it hit me.. then your business probably shouldn't be put out there. So it's not. I have resisted sharing my new work related developments with my online community and resisted sharing details of being an employer as opposed to an employee and I've resisted sharing my frustrations as well as my joys. 

So I think, I need to really work on aligning my online persona with my real life one (which shouldn't be too challenging because I have been so silent online) but also I think I need my real life personality to start shining through a little bit more. 

In upcoming posts, which I have yet to plan, I will share what's on my mind and really get back into blogging or facebooking or instagramming or tweeting because I want too and because I have something to say not because I feel pressured to share the perfectly filtered version of who I think you want to see. 

Whoa! That was a heavy post for a Friday but it is Friday! Tell me what's your weekend looking like?

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Snapchat Update : August Edition

So you know I have been missing blogging but it's been such a challenge to do it from my phone but I really wanted to share some of what's been going on in my life and the easiest way is to share highlights from the month... I could share all the pretty filtered options but that's not necessarily what's been going on in my life so I thought I may as well show the truth! 

A visit with Brielle

Lovely woollies Tea

QT "Me" time 

Loads of good food 

Beach walks

Night Markets

A visit from a fellow joburger and long time friend 

My favorite drink 

Cousins #LongHairDontCare

What an athlete!

Gangs Of Ballet Performance

Deserved huge daiquiri 

Trying to change the windshield wipers!

What my "office" has looked like...

Long days!

Trip to Joburg and girls night out! 

Surprise morning visits 

FriYay drinks!

Feeding the ducks with my person and munchkin ;)

Love that she's walking now ... 

Happy girls!

Family day at the fair!

Coming home (begrudgingly)

 Girls Night Out - Toni Braxton & Babyface! 

Looking back on August, I got to spend a lot of time with my family which is awesome and I seem to be drinking a lot more #ImNotEvenSorry but also in eating healthier #BalanceIsKey and lastly I seem to be catching the best moments of the sunsets... 

What did your August look like?

PS: Again, I'm posting from my phone so I apologize for the crappy set up! 

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Spring Spring Spring!!!!

I love the beginning of new seasons and it's officially that in South Africa today! 

There's just something about spring that makes everything seem like it will be okay!

I'm looking forward to this "S" month Spring, September, Success ... 

What's your plans for this month? 

x Nats x

PS: My laptop is still being sorted out so still posting from my phone.... Sorry for the horrible format !