Eighth Blogiversary

Woah! Without even realising it, another year working on this site has gone by 😱

When I started this blog it was for a university assignment, who knew that it would awaken such a passion and sense of fulfilment in me? I am hoping 2021 will go a lot smoother than 2020 and look forward taking one step closer to a decade of the blog!

Just in case you missed them, check out some of my favourite posts, or ones that I am particularly proud of, from last year.


New Year, New You: Self Care

Self Care

The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.

Taken from Oxford Languages

In a general sense, self-care refers to activities undertaken with the intention of enhancing energy, restoring health and reducing stress. There are many ways to do this and self-care is something that can be personalised for every individual.

Taken from Everymind.org.au

2020 was a difficult year across the globe. On top of your usual every day stresses, the year threw sickness, natural disasters, and the stress of constant change. If you are anything like me, 2020 was exhausting not just physically but emotionally and mentally.

In environments that are out of your control and ones that you must return to each day, it is important to look after yourself. During these times, self care is so important. Looking after yourself, and taking the time to put your needs first is important.

As we head into a new year, one hopefully less stressful and taxing, the below information is designed to quickly inform you about what self care is, self care activities, further reading, and some of my own old self care posts.

Self Care Activities

  • Have a bath – A favourite of mine is the relaxing bath. Often I will use a bath bomb, bubble bath, bath salts, or a bubble bar. Just taking a moment to relax in warm water often gives myself a chance to catch my breath and unwind.
  • Leave your place of work for lunch – Gran your lunch and head outside. In warm weather there is nothing better than sitting on a bench and just getting away from work. I know not everyone can leave during their lunch break so any moment that can get you to refocus from the workplace and truly separate yourself is ideal.
  • Reconnect with or learn a hobby – Do you no longer spend time doing things that make you happy? Not enough hours in the day to draw or play an instrument like you used to? Make the time to reconnect or learn something that makes you happy.
  • Have a cuppa – Another favourite of mine is to take the time to make a nice cup of tea. Steeping the tea, using a nice tea pot, and doing nothing but focus on the treat is a nice way to make time for and spoil myself.
  • Technology Detox – If you work a lot on a screen or if you are constantly glued to your phone, why not take a moment to put the tech down. Take an hour where you read a book, go for a walk, or cook yourself a nice meal. Sometimes getting away from the constant presence of a work inbox or the non stop alerts from social media can help you take a breath and refocus.
  • At the end of the day self care can be anything that you value or makes you feel better about yourself or your situation.

Want to know more? Self care book recs

The Complete Guide to Self Care: Best Practices for a Healthier and Happier You by Kiki Ely

The Complete Guide to Self Care features 100 accessible activities that help you reconnect with your body, mind, spirit, and surroundings, and leave you feeling refreshed and ready to face the world again.

Taken from book blurb

Make Yourself Cozy: A Guide for Practicing Self-Care by Katie Vaz

Embrace the cozy pleasures of life with Katie Vaz’s interactive guide to self-care.

Freshly baked bread. Cloud-like pillows. Lavender tea. Katie Vaz’s book on self-care shows readers how slow, cozy warmth can help them deal with the anxieties and challenges of everyday life. Filled with tips for creating the perfect atmosphere of coziness (super soft blankets, fluffy robes, and something binge-worthy on TV) as well as sweet, gentle prompts that inspire readers to fill in their own content (“Fill these clouds with words that make you feel light and free”), this book encourages all of us to slow down and find joy in the little things.

Taken from book blurb

The Art of Wellbeing by Meredith Gaston

The new illustrated collection of inspirational meditations, inspiring words and plant-based recipes from bestselling author Meredith Gaston.

Building on her uplifting philosophy of thankfulness and gratitude for what we have and enjoy, Meredith shows us how to live well and enjoy a healthy life in her highly anticipated new book, The Art of Wellbeing.

Taken from book blurb


Recap of 2020 and Visions for 2021

I think the whole world would agree that 2020 was a bit of a shit show.

I’m happy to write if off as a garbage fire and failure of a year. Currently my job is in jeopardy and all plans I have for the future have been put on hold until I find out if I will continue to bring in money. But having said that I’m healthy, my partner is healthy, and comparatively to the rest of the world Australia seems to be handling the pandemic. So at least there is that.

So when faced with all this negativity and a very long 12 months, I present to you some of my favourite things from 2020 – with some sneaky hopes and dreams for 2021 thrown in.


Recap of 2020

Reading

  • The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee – The character arch and romantic pairing of this book was amazing and is what made this a standout of the year. If you do read this book, I would 100% recommend the audiobook as the narrator brings Monty to life!
  • The House of the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune – A romantic slow burn set in a urbanesque fantasy that centres around magical children that are classed too dangerous for society. Klune’s story is so deeply emotional and enriching that I would recommend it to anyone, fantasy fan, romance fan, and general fiction fan!
  • Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given – Honestly if you only read one non-fiction book in 2020/2021 then let it be this gem. Given presents us with issues in bite size and personal chapters that challenge you to view the world outside of the toxicity that clouds topics. Honestly do yourself a favour and read this book, it has something for everyone.
Continue reading “Recap of 2020 and Visions for 2021”

BLOGMAS Day 11: Top Historical Romances featuring Ally from Ally’s Appraisals

Hi Everyone, check out this blog post that I guest starred in with the lovely Jess from The Neverending Bookshelf!

The Never Ending Bookshelf

Today I’m teaming up with Ally from Ally’s Appraisal’s to bring you our top historical romance recommendations and what we are looking forward to reading most in 2021.

I’ve been loving historical romances this year once more thanks to Ally’s brilliant recommendations. So make sure you check out Ally’s blog Ally’s Appraisal’s and especially check out her 2021 Historical Romance Bingo Challenge; I for one can’t wait to start marking off books on this bingo board!

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Clarification on my 2021 Historical Romance Book Bingo

If you are interested in learning more about my Historical Romance Book Bingo I am running in 2021, please follow the below link.

If you are interested in taking part and would like more clarification on what each of the bingo tiles mean, please read on.


Beauty & the Beast – A novel that is an adaption or retelling of the Beauty & the Beast fairy-tale. Doesn’t have to be a complete re-telling, elements of the story are completely fine, such as a scarred or reclusive hero. Eg, The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare.

Christmas Time! – Novel that features or is set during Christmas time. Eg, 12 Dukes of Christmas Series by Erica Ridley.

Continue reading “Clarification on my 2021 Historical Romance Book Bingo”

Hiatus Starts Tomorrow

Ally’s Appraisals will be going on a month long hiatus during May.

Just a reminder that from tomorrow I will be going on a hiatus for all of May.

Do not panic though because I will be spending this time not only relaxing, but working on my post schedule as well as working on some extra special content for the entirety of June. That’s right, I’ll be celebrating Pride month with a whole month of content focusing around the LGBTQ+ community.

See you in June!

Hiatus during May

Ally’s Appraisals will be going on a month long hiatus during May.

Just thought I would try and give everyone some advanced notice that I’ll be taking a month off this coming May. I have been consistently posting for the last two years and thought I’d take a little bit of a break. Give myself some room to take a breath 😀

No worries though because I will back back in June for an extra special celebration for Pride month! Expect to see a whole months worth of content celebrating all things LGBTQ+

Seventh Blogiversary

Woah! Has it been another year already?!

When I started this blog it was for a university assignment, who knew that it would awaken such a passion and sense of fulfilment in me? I am excited for 2020 and look forward to next year when I hit my eighth blog-iversary!

Just in case you missed them, check out some of my favourite posts, or ones that I am particularly proud of, from last year.


Changes in 2020

Welcome to 2020!

As some people say – new year, new you. So with that in mind, in 2020 there are going to be some changes 😊

Even though I am still coming to terms with how quickly 2019 went by, I have been planning some of these changes for a while. Starting in January, I will be mixing things up a bit and fiddling with blog formats, posting dates, and the ways in which I do things.

The below are some of the changes:

  • Posting date change: Starting in January, I will be changing up the days that I post. Instead of Tuesday and Thursday with the occasional Saturday post. Moving forward, I will be posting on Tuesday and Friday.
  • Smut Lovers Reading Group is no more: As the book club I was in has died a slow death, I am instead turning my focus to a different format. Instead keep an eye out for smallish romance posts that will in all probability be called: Romance Recommendations.
  • Blog focused content: As I am entering my seventh year of blogging, I thought I would start a new feature where I share tips and tricks that have helped me through my own personal blogging journey. I was thinking of formatting this as 12 posts over the year that focus down on one tip each post.

So keep an eye out and see if you notice any of these changes and let me know what you think!


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Recap of 2019 and Visions for 2020

2019 was a pretty decent year. Everyone I love is healthy, I have a roof over my head, a permanent job, I went on two amazing holidays, I feel closer to my partner, and I’m in enough of a financially stable position to start looking at house loans.

So as fun as it would be to say that 2019 was a garbage fire, it was actually pretty okay. Don’t get me wrong there were some rough and anger inducing times but I made it though the year without any major meltdowns or upheavals.

So below are some of the things I loved in 2019 and some quick hopes and dreams for 2020.


Recap of 2019

Reading

  • Book Love by Debbie Tung – Filled with relatable comics about loving books and reading, this book was just so wholesome, full of gorgeous art, and it just got me. If have a love for all things reading you should 100% read this book!
  • Super Fun Sexy Times by Meredith McClaren – I fell in love with the sex positivity, QUILTBAG inclusion, and effortlessly emotional story telling within this graphic novel. The fact that it is filled with gorgeous art and superheroes made this book one of my favourite reads of the year.
  • Hottie Scotty & Mr. Porter by R. Cooper – 2019 is the year I fell in love with R. Cooper – they are the Queen of bittersweet angst and I absolutely devoured their back catalogue. Hottie Scotty & Mr Porter was one of the stand outs for me as I keep thinking about it and I already really want to give it a re-read in 2020.
Continue reading “Recap of 2019 and Visions for 2020”