Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Recent Reads Of Summer

Right, so part of my internet and general happiness hiatus also included a tiny reading hiatus. I haven't been reading at the pace that I normally do, but I've still managed to squeeze in a few reads before bed time!

Here are some of my recent page turners!

1. Winger by Andrew Smith - Probably my favourite book in a long time. It's so normal. And hilarious. It kind of reminds me of the male version of Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld but without the socially awkward main character. I originally saw the book on this list and I'm so glad I bought it! It's about a high schooler at boarding school and his life in a crap dorm, on the rugby team, and being 2 years younger than everyone in his grade. Really easy read, and includes cartoon that the main character draws himself to narrate his life!

2. Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close - Again, a book that is so completely normal. (My taste in books goes one of two ways : the completely normal lives of people or dystopian over the top plots.) I enjoyed it  mainly because I could totally relate to the characters (mostly the 20-something and wtf am I doing at my job aspect of it) and it was such an easy read! I'd definitely recommend it if you want a girly read and you're going through a quarter life crisis! (And even if you're not, you'll still like it!)

3. Gone Series by Michael Grant - Right, so I basically plowed my way through this series. Six books in total. I was completely hooked. Mostly I just wanted to know how the hell it was going to end! There were aspects of it that totally annoyed me; there were so many useless characters that I just wanted to write out of the book! But in all honestly, I liked the concept of it. Basically, everyone over the age of 15 goes 'poof' one day and they can't escape this dome that traps everyone inside. If you like this type of genre, I think you'd like this series. However, be warned that all of the main characters are 14 years or younger. It's an immature read at times, but I think overall I was able to look past it.

Side note, I still have not finished The Host. I cannot get into it. Has anyone read it before? Is it just really slow to get into?

What have you read recently that you enjoyed or would recommend? I have loads more books on my list; I'd love to hear what's on yours!

Monday, August 19, 2013

What's Next?

Lets catch up, shall we?

It has been a while since I typed something that hasn't been oh woe is me, and I'm finally at a place where I don't feel like that either.

Ultimate Birthday Margaritas definitely help.

So what's next? What have I been up to these past few weeks months that justifies my hiatus?

What's next in....

1. Running - This week was the first week I ran. I mean actually ran. Like I used to. And it didn't feel like work. I also got moved up a group in the running club a couple of weeks ago, meaning I'm one step closer to the sub 3:00 marathoner group! Let's be honest, that's not happening. But I can dream, right?

I'm glad running has made me happy again, because I have a hefty (for me) race calendar for the rest of the year. In less than a month I'm doing the Nike Run to the Beat half in London, which I am super excited about! It's going to be the biggest race I have ever participated in!

I also signed up for the Bournemouth Half (inaugural race, and also includes a marathon, 10K, and 5K! I love marathon festivals!) and the Great South Run, which sold out before I was able to sign up for it last year and I'm so excited to take part this year!

What's next in....

2. My career - Sooo... I quit my job.

I quit my job before I had another job to go to. And I wouldn't change anything about that incredibly risky decision.

I remember I was so excited to get a big girl job in England. After months of not being able to work, I finally felt like things were coming into place.

And then it became quite obvious that it was not the role I thought it would be. But I thought I could stick it out for a bit. (Side note, it totally reminded me of Selena quitting her job. So weird that I remember that, but the post really stuck with me!)

And then it just got worse. And don't judge me, but I was actually crying every morning before work just dreading the day that hadn't even started yet.

It didn't just happen over night; I didn't just wake up one morning and say 'I hate my job'. It's definitely been a long time coming.

But after much help from Alex and his family, I put my notice in. I had already passed my probation period, so unfortunately for me I had to give one months notice. Ugh. But my last day is August 30, so I'm nearly there!

And in case the anticipation is killing you, I do have a new job to go to now!

More on this topic later.

What's next in.... 

3. My life - Alex and I bought our own place! Like actually bought! As in, we have a mortgage!

We're moving at the end of the month, and I couldn't be happier!!

More on that later as well; I just wanted to let you guys know!

See, I wasn't lying when I said exciting things are happening on this side of the pond!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Number 23

(I've been starting all of my blog posts with 'sorry for the internet hiatus' or 'I know I'm in a blogging lull', so we'll just skip that and cut to the chase. Exciting things are happening on this side of the pond and you'll find out about it soon enough!)

Today is my 23rd birthday!

I used to hate my birthday; I'd rather celebrate another person's birthday any day. But since turning 20 I've actually come to enjoy it!!

Last year, I wrote 22 things I have learned in 22 years of being on planet Earth.

This year, I'm writing another 23 things!

Here we go!

1. If you don't love what you're doing, don't do it - Job related woes... Seriously, what have I been thinking?! More on that later.

2. It's okay to be a crazy cat lady - I miss my cat. And I'm getting a cat in the near future.

3. It's also okay to be a crazy dog lady - Which I am as well.

Follow @heytayk on Instagram if you love Labradoodles!

4. Run with other people or with a club - I used to be a total solo runner. Now I dread running by myself!

5. Tea is amazing - Enough said.

I love this picture!

6. Scuba diving is possibly even more amazing - Also enough said. I want to be certified NOW.

7. It's okay to sit in bed and read all day long - and finish the book in a day as well....

8. It's also okay to sit in bed and re-read the same books you've already read all day long - See #7. 

9. Good pickles (gherkins?!) are SO HARD to find in England - Seriously, it's okay to sell pickled eggs and pickled onions in this country, but I have not found good PICKLES. (Except by getting a boatload on my Subway sandwich.)

10. Finding out one of your fave stores ships abroad (for free!!!) may not be a good thing - Lululemon... you will be the death of me and my bank account. Side note, if you didn't know Lululemon was sold in the UK, now you do! You're welcome!

But now I have a top to match my Team Sparkle skirt! And that's the most important thing...

11. If you don't like heels, don't wear heels! - Easy enough lesson right? Wrong. I always end up heels in hand in the middle of a night out. I've vowed never to wear heels again. I like flats. Judge me.

12. Don't roll your ankle, fall over, and cry in front of the sub 3:00 marathoners in your running club - Now I'm not saying that I've personally done this (yes I am), but just don't do it. Awkward!

13. Always go 'Ultimate' at TGIFridays - Margaritas the size of your head. It's worth it.

14. Going to a concert by yourself is actually fun - No shame here. Thought I was going to look like a doughnut sitting by myself, but actually had a grand old time.

15. Don't eat olives before you run - I learned the hard way.

16. Germany and Belgium are amazing - Travel there. You won't be sorry.

17. Egypt is also amazing - I'd go back to Sharm El Sheikh in a heartbeat.

Not in Sharm... but still a great experience!

18. Don't feel bad if you don't know what you want to do with your life - Just be happy! Things will fall into place!

19. If you want the polka dot trousers, just buy the polka dot trousers - Don't let thoughts like 'are these weird?' or 'will these make me look stupid?' stop you. Just buy them! Everyone loves polka dots!

20. Just because you don't know how to iron doesn't make you any less of an adult - I refuse to iron. I just do.

21. Salt and Vinegar flavour works for everything - Crisps, chips, peanuts, rice cakes. Who woulda thought?! 

22. Wear sparkles often - See Team Sparkle skirt above for prime example.

23. Sing Taylor Swift songs all day every day - 'I don't know about you but I'm feeling 22' (not anymore, oops!)

See you in a year for 24 more life lessons from an older and wiser Taylor!