Latest in Beauty February...

 Latest in Beauty subscription service have had a recent rebrand that allows you to curate your own box each month and as I am so picky I was instantly interested and decided to see what was on offer. It turns out there was tons of great stuff- if you fill out a short survey they show you the products tailored to your tastes too. You can choose from either 3, 6 or 9 products and delivery is free if you subscribe. I went for 6 products and it cost me just £15 which I think is a complete bargain! 

I love the packaging for this subscription box. Last month everything was pink and this month it was all teal. Each month they include a cute postcard as well.

The 6 items I picked this month were...

Amphora Aromatics Citrus Tonic candle... This is a really nice fresh, clean scent.
Native Unearthed Natural Deodorant... I've been having trouble finding a deodorant that isn't an antiperspirant and I love this. I'm pretty certain I will repurchase although it will last a long time.
Optiat Hit the Sheets Vanilla Velvet Coffee Scrub 90g... I love coffee so this intrigued me!
Benefit Roller Lash... I got another one as the I loved this last month and am too stingy to buy a full size!
Burts Bees Watermelon Lip Shimmer... I got a Burts Bees lip product last time and loved it so thought I'd try this. It's great- I'm now a convert to the brand!
Rodial Stem Cell Cleansing Cream 70ml... I'm still on the hunt for a good face cleanser so thought I'd give this a go.

Extra item: Merci Handy Hand cleansing gel. 

Yet again I am extremely happy with the box. There is so much choice on the site it is hard to pick just 6 items but I think I picked a nice varied selection of things that I will use and the majority of them are full size so it works out to be amazing value for money!

New books...(the mainly graphic novel/comics edition)

Here are some recent book purchases...

Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb & Tim Sale
'Taking place during Batman's early days of crime fighting, this classic mystery tells the story of a mysterious killer who murders his prey only on holidays. Working with District Attorney Harvey Dent and Lieutenant James Gordon, Batman races against the calendar as he tries to discover who Holiday is before he claims his next victim each month. A mystery that has the reader continually guessing the identity of the killer, this story also ties into the events that transform Harvey Dent into Batman's deadly enemy, Two-Face.'
I managed to get a beautiful edition of this for an insanely cheap price from Forbidden Planet in the new year sale and am super chuffed as this was the next Batman book on my to read list after Hush (also written by loeb) which I LOVED!

Kill or be Killed Volume 1 by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips & Elizabeth Breitweiser
'The twisted story of a young man forced to kill bad people, and how he struggles to keep his secret from destroying his life. 
Both a thriller and a deconstruction of vigilantism, Kill or Be Killed is unlike anything Brubaker and Phillips have ever done.'
I love Brubakers work- especially his Catwoman stuff so this was a must read. I am always interested in comics within the thriller genre as it doesn't seem to be such a common thing. 

Adventure Time Volume 1 by Ryan North and Braden Lamb
'It's ADVENTURE TIME! Join Finn the Human, Jake the Dog, and Princess Bubblegum for all-new adventures through The Land of Ooo.
The totally algebraic adventures of Finn and Jake have come to the comic book page! The Lich, a super-lame, SUPER-SCARY skeleton dude, has returned to the the Land of Ooo, and he’s bent on total destruction! Luckily, Finn and Jake are on the case...but can they succeed against their most destructive foe yet? Featuring fan-favorite characters Marceline the Vampire Queen, Princess Bubblegum, Lumpy Space Princess and the Ice King!'
What can I say I love Adventure Time and this book is fun and colourful. I've read single issues for this series much later on as well as the Fiona and Cake spin off so I'm sure this will be just as amusing and visually appealing.

Sailor Moon: Pretty Guardian Volume 1 by Naoko Takeuchi
'Usagi Tsukino is a normal girl until she meets up with Luna, a talking cat, who tells her that she is Sailor Moon. As Sailor Moon, Usagi must fight evils and enforce justice, in the name of the Moon and the mysterious Moon Princess. She meets other girls destined to be Sailor Senshi (Sailor Scouts), and together, they fight the forces of evil!'
Confession: I've not read any Sailor Moon manga so decided this was a good place to start as it is supposed to be a direct translation from the Japanese. The book is beautiful and I'm sure this will be a quick and cute read. 

Batman: The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight by Scott Beatty
'Orphan Bruce Wayne swore to strike fear into the hearts of the criminals ruling the streets of Gotham City -- and the mysterious legend of Batman was born. This definitive celebration of one of the world's most popular fictional heroes contains full details of the extraordinary events and bizarre and sinister characters in Batman's thrilling career.'
I collect the DK Marvel and DC Comics books and finally have a new one to add to my collection. I've already had a flip through this and love it. It's packed full of information and artwork- I highly recommend these books if you are interested in the history of comic book characters and like fact packed visually pleasing books.

1001 Movies to See Before You Die by Steven Jay Schneider
'Expert critics in each genre of film, from romance to horror and sci-fi, have once again painstakingly revised this list of essential must see-movies, cut and added films to bring the must-watch list bang up to date for 2016. Illustrated with hundreds of stunning film stills, portraits and poster art 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die offers an incredible visual insight into the world of modern cinema. It puts together the most significant movies from all genres, from animation to Western, through action, comedy, documentary, musical, noir, romance, thriller, short and sci-fi.

Movies from over 30 different countries have been included, offering a truly wide multi-cultural perspective, and the time span includes more than a century of extraordinary cinematography. Packed with vital statistics, and a few facts that might surprise you, this is a collector's must for the bookshelf as well as an entertaining read for all those who love the world of film. Whether your passion lies with The Blue Angel or Blue Velvet, from the films you shouldn't have missed the first time around, to the films you can see again and again, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die is the definitive guide for all movie lovers
I love films and I love reading about them too. This is a nice coffee table type book that will give me some inspiration when looking for something new to watch. I also got this for the bargain price 1p so I'm pretty damn chuffed with that! 

Being honest about mental health...

Today I wanted to get honest about mental health. There are lots of articles and posts out there about being positive (I've probably written a couple...) but sometimes it's makes it sound so easy when really it's not. Today I wanted to get real about my experience with mental illness and how despite all the bad stuff there is some light. Hopefully you can relate. 

1. I have bipolar disorder, social anxiety and generalised anxiety disorder.
2. I have been on three different types of anti-depressants, beta blockers and diazepham.
3. I currently take anti-psychotic mood stabilisers and anti-depressants and probably will for the rest of my life.
4. I have contemplated suicide and made plans a number of times before my diagnosis.
5. I have had counselling and CBT, seen many psychiatrists, been to different hospitals and I've lost count of the amount of assessments I've had. I am currently in regular contact with my GP and awaiting more referrals. 
6. At my worst I couldn't leave the house. I spent around a year of my life only able to go out with close family and even then it often led to panic attacks.
7. I don't have many friends, and have never had a long term relationship. I feel like I lost most of my twenties to my illness.
8. I strongly believe in getting a diagnosis and medication. It has enabled me to start living my life again. I am in my second year of university and have been at my current job for nearly two years all thanks to a diagnosis, the right meds, and being mostly stable for the longest time in my life.

I am slowly rebuilding my life. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and I feel positive about reaching my goals. If you are not quite there yet, then believe me when I say it gets better. It's not easy but it is manageable and with hard work you can do anything you set your mind at. Believe in your own strength and ability. 

(Art by Robin Eisenburg)

Recently Watched...

No Good Deed 
'An unsuspecting Atlanta woman lets in a charming stranger to use her phone and soon believes the adage "no good deed goes unpunished" when he takes over her home and terrorizes her family.'
I love Idris Elba, but this film was just meh at times bordering on silly. 1/5

The Exorcism of Emily Rose
'The Rev. Moore is prosecuted for the wrongful death of a girl thought to be demonically possessed, because he administered the church-sanctioned exorcism that ultimately killed her. Prosecuting attorney Ethan Thomas contends that the young woman, Emily, suffered from schizophrenia and should have been medically diagnosed. Meanwhile, defense lawyer Erin Bruner argues that Emily's condition cannot be explained by science alone.'
I feel like I've seen exorcism films like this a million times before, the only difference with this that made it slightly more entertaining was that it was largely set in the courtroom. Still nothing special. 2/5

'An Irish teacher and a Boston ad exec start a relationship after their lust leads to pregnancy.'
An entertaining Amazon show that despite having mainly unlikable characters in strangely addictive and highly amusing. 3/5

Apple Tree Yard 
'A provocative thriller which sees an eminent scientist caught up in a damaging and compromising lie. Based on the novel by Louise Doughty.'
A four part BBC adaption of the book of the same name this was brilliant. I loved the book when I read it a couple of years ago and this stayed faithful to the story. Everything about this was high quality and despite already knowing the story kept me gripped right until the end. 4.5/5

The Girl With All the Gifts
'In the future, a strange fungus has changed nearly everyone into a thoughtless, flesh-eating monster. When a scientist and a teacher find a girl who seems to be immune to the fungus, they all begin a journey to save humanity.'
I read the book a few years ago and loved it (read it!) so was interested to see how it would be adapted. When the cast were announced I was some what irked by the fact the books protagonist (an older black woman) had been cast as the twenty something and white Arterton. That aside the film was really good and Nenua who played Melanie stole the show. Although the film didn't go as in depth or explore the really interesting themes the book delved into this is a great alternative to the usual zombie/ virus film and offers a new perspective. 4/5 

David Brent: Life on the Road (2016)
'The film catches up with Brent 12 years after the airing of the BBC mockumentary "The Office" to find he is now a traveling salesman. However, he hasn't given up on his dream of rock stardom and is about to embark on a self-financed UK tour with his band, Foregone Conclusion.'
I am a huge fan of the original The Office tv show and have rewatched it many times- it's a classic, that also happened to have a perfect ending which tied everything together nicely. To be honest I wasn't expecting much from this unnecessary cash in and only watched it because it went on Amazon Prime. It was the most pointless film ever. It wasn't funny, it had no story and all the other characters aside from Brent were flat, shallow stereotypes there to serve a purpose to the story line and sappy happy ending. Just don't bother with it! 1/5

New books...

Here are some new books I've bought lately. One of my reading goals for this year was to read more non fiction so I took that as the perfect excuse to add a few to my bookshelf...

Saving Sophie by Sam Carrington
'When Karen Finch’s seventeen-year-old daughter Sophie arrives home after a night out, drunk and accompanied by police officers, no one is smiling the morning after. But Sophie remembers nothing about how she got into such a state.

Twelve hours later, Sophie’s friend Amy has still not returned home. Then the body of a young woman is found.

Karen is sure that Sophie knows more than she is letting on. But Karen has her own demons to fight. She struggles to go beyond her own door without a panic attack.

As she becomes convinced that Sophie is not only involved but also in danger, Karen must confront her own anxieties to stop whoever killed one young girl moving on to another – Sophie.'

This was an impulse supermarket buy when I was doing a food shop. I can't resist a thriller!
Baby Doll by Hollie Overton
'Held captive for eight years, Lily has grown from a teenager to an adult in a small basement prison. Her daughter Sky has been a captive her whole life. But one day their captor leaves the deadbolt unlocked.

This is what happens next...'

This was another impulse supermarket buy that is for fans of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train (aren't all thrillers lately...?!) and looked like an enjoyable quick read.

More Moaning by Karl Pilkington
'Karl is back on the road once again looking for answers to some of life's big questions. In his inimitable style, he tackles the juicy subjects of health, art, values, identity and pollution. Will his travels around the world reveal the meaning of life? Find out in this hilarious new book.'
I love Karl and find everything he does hilarious. I have listened to the old podcasts so many times I know all the words, his TV shows are brilliant and this is his latest book that accompanies series 2 of The Moaning of Life. I've read all his others books and enjoyed them hugely so I'm sure this will be no different.

A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled by Ruby Wax
'500 years ago no-one died of stress: we invented this concept and now we let it rule us. We might have evolved to be able to miraculously balance on seven-inch heels, but as far as our emotional development is concerned we're still swimming with the pond scum. If we don't advance our more human qualities then we're doomed evolution-wise to become cyborgs, with an imprint of an 'Apple' where our hearts used to be. Ruby Wax shows us a scientific solution to these modern problems: mindfulness.'
I watched a documentary a few years ago about mental health by Ruby Wax and really enjoyed it and have heard great things about this book. I am looking forward to this for two reasons: 1. I could do with some advice on how to manage anxiety and 2. there is input from a cognitive therapist which interests the psychology student in me.

Do it Like a Woman by Caroline Criado-Perez
'Every day, all over the world, women are making a positive difference to their lives and the lives of the people in their communities. Most of these women are cut off from the rhetoric and theory of Western feminism; many are active in deeply patriarchal and socially restrictive societies; some may not even describe themselves as feminists. Nevertheless, these women are proving to themselves, and to the world, that a powerful force for change can sometimes start with a single brave action.

In Do It Like A Woman, Caroline Criado-Perez, an outspoken activist and campaigner, uncovers these stories and investigates what they mean for the feminist movement as a whole. She gathers together stories from beatboxers in Malta and prostitutes in Merseyside to fighter pilots in Afghanistan and doctors in Portugal, and shows how women are taking positive, practical steps to challenge injustice or inequality, and change their world. While some of these stories (the Everyday Sexism campaign and the trial of Pussy Riot) are already known, the majority of the stories here have not yet been told, and demand to be heard.'

I have so many feminist non fiction books on my wishlist I decided I wanted to start getting them so I could carry on reading up on a subject I have a big interest in. I think the idea of interviewing woman over the world who achieved amazing things is such an inspiring and positive idea for a book too.

Men Explain Things to Me: and Other Essays by Rebecca Solnit
'Rebecca Solnit's essay 'Men Explain Things to Me' has become a touchstone of the feminist movement, inspired the term 'mansplaining', and established Solnit as one of the leading feminist thinkers of our time - one who has inspired everyone from radical activists to Beyoncé Knowles. Collected here in print for the first time is the essay itself, along with the best of Solnit's feminist writings.

From rape culture to mansplaining, from French sex scandals to marriage and the nuclear family, from Virginia Woolf to colonialism, these essays are a fierce and incisive exploration of the issues that a patriarchal culture will not necessarily acknowledge as 'issues' at all. With grace and energy, and in the most exquisite and inviting of prose, Rebecca Solnit proves herself a vital leading figure of the feminist movement and a radical, humane thinker.'

This book has been on my radar for a long time, I've heard a lot of positive things about it and the blurb sounds brilliant. I've got the audiobook of this one, as it is just a couple of hours long I thought it would be interesting to try a non fiction audiobook compared to my usual thrillers choices.

9 Things to buy YOURSELF for Valentines day...

Single this Valentines Day? Yeah, me too, but instead of moping about why not treat the most important person in your life: YOU.
This Valentines Day practice some all important self care because you deserve it. Here's my picks...

1. Self Care enamel pins from Motivational Tattoo [here]
2. Some nice coffee
3. Self Care stickers from Beau Brannick [here]
4. Some fresh flowers
5. Lush With Love gift box [here]
6. Swear Word Colouring Book [here]
7. Milkshake Bar recipe book [here]
8. Punky Pins 'Single With Cats' enamel pin [here]
9. Some nice chocolates. My choice: Lindt.

I hope your Valentines Day is nice and relaxing whatever you are doing x

An easy way to customise a bag...

I've been in need of a new bag for a while but despite countless searching just can't seem to find one I particularly like. I like my accessories to be a little on the quirky side so decided to decorate my own. I bought a pastel pink bag satchel style or a fiver on Ebay as that was the colour I decided would work best then set to work with my pin and patch collection.



Although It's simple I'm really pleased with how it came out and it was really easy to decorate! You can find all sorts of cute badges, pins and patches to decorate in your own style but here are some links to some of the stuff I used...

Most of the enamel & acrylic pins (and Wednesday Addams patch) are from Punky Pins
Buffy Sunnydale High pin [Ebay]
Mia Wallace acrylic pin [Ebay]
'Cute' acrylic pin [Ebay]
Vote Brody Homeland badge [Ebay]
L.S.P. Adventure Time badge from a set from Forbidden Planet

January reading round up...

Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon
'It's the snake in her brain that has told her ever since she was a teenager that her world is about to come crashing down: that her family might die if she doesn't repeat a phrase 5 times, or that she might have murdered someone and forgotten about it. It's caused alopecia, bulimia, and drug dependency. And Bryony is sick of it. Keeping silent about her illness has given it a cachet it simply does not deserve, so here she shares her story with trademark wit and dazzling honesty.'
I absolutely loved this book. An honest look at mental illness that was hugely relateable and written in a warm and friendly tone. I loved the way Bryony explained her illness whilst insisting that it is possible to lead a normal life and also including some intersting stats and important points about the stigma of mental illness. 4/5

The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent
'Working at a book pulping factory in a job he hates, Guylain Vignolles has but one pleasure in life. Sitting on the 6.27 train each day, Guylain recites aloud from pages he has saved from the jaws of his monstrous pulping machine. Guylain discovers the diary of a lonely young woman: Julie. Julie feels as lost in the world as he does. As he reads from these pages to a rapt audience, Guylain finds himself falling hopelessly in love with their enchanting author. This is a tale bursting with larger-than-life characters, each of whom touches Guylain's life for the better.'
If it wasn't for the fact this was a fairly short book I'd have probably given up on it. Everything about this book was meh for me. The characters were two dimensional and impossible to connect with and the story was predictable and summed up in the blurb. Maybe if the book would have been longer we could have got more insight and depth into the characters but this just left me feeling nothing. 2/5

The Playdate by Louise Millar (Audiobook read by Clare Corbett)
'When Callie moved into her new neighbourhood, she thought it would be easy to fit in. The other parents have been strangely hostile, though, and her frail daughter Rae is finding it impossible to make friends. Suzy, with her rich husband and her three energetic children, has been the only one to reach out, although their friendship has recently felt inexplicably strained. Now the police have suggested that someone dangerous may be living in their neighbourhood, and the atmosphere feels even more toxic. Then there’s the matter of Callie’s ex-husband, and the shocking truth behind their divorce . . . a truth that she would do anything to hide.'
Louise Millar books read by Clare Corbett are the perfect combination. Whilst I enjoyed this it wasn't as good as The Hidden Girl which I listened to in November. This one was still a great suspenseful thriller that left you questioning which characters were trustworthy or not. Millar is really good at slowly building up the tension and creating interestingly flawed female characters. 3.5/5  

Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman
Full review here. 3/5

Exits by Daryl Seitchik
'Claire Kim hates herself and the world she lives in. Working at a mirror store, she shows customers their reflections and daydreams about erasing her own. One night, on her way home, she gets her wish. Follow Claire as she wanders invisibly through the city and her own psyche.'
This was a beautiful graphic novel that mixed humour with a dark look at isolation and loneliness. It looked at the idea of invisibility as an illness and a young woman who is desperate to disappear, but when she does she realises it is not as she'd hoped. 4/5

Snotgirl Vol.1 by Brian Lee O'Malley & Leslie Hung
'Who is Lottie Person? Is she a gorgeous, fun-loving social media star with a perfect life or a gross, allergy-ridden mess? '
The first issue of this started out really strong but then I found it kind of went dowhill, not much happened and the whole thing seemed a little shallow. I LOVE the artwork and colours for this but the story didn't give me enough to want to continue it in a hurry. 3/5

Catwoman Vol.1 The Trial of Cawoman by Ed Brubaker & Darwyn Cooke
'For years, Selina Kyle has prowled the skyline of Gotham City as its most famous thief, Catwoman. But when word spreads of Catwoman's demise, Selina decides to leave the costumed world behind and continue her trade cloaked in the shadows. Unable to enjoy her newfound anonymity for too long though, Selina decides that she must return to her infamous persona. Donning a new costume and attitude, Catwoman returns to the streets and sets her sights on the serial killer that has been preying upon the streetwalkers she calls friends.'
I'm finally getting round to catching up with the older Catwoman series and this one is a huge omnibus edition which includes the graphic novel Selina's Big Score, some Detective Comics stuff and the first few trades of the rebooted Catwoman. I LOVED it and especially enjoyed Cooke's (with Allred) artwork. I think this catwoman suit is possibly my favourite, I really enjoyed the way Brubaker in particular wrote her and the stories were really strong. Selina is a badass and this book really showcased that. 4/5

Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death by Amy Chu
'Instead of battling the Dark Knight, Dr. Pamela Isley, a.k.a. Poison Ivy finds herself as a researcher at the Gotham Botanical Gardens, studying the possibility of creating plant-human hybrids. But when her fellow scientists start turning up dead, she's both the natural leading suspect and the only person (or plant) who can crack the case. To solve the mystery, Poison Ivy must team up or throw down with her oldest friends and closest frenemies, from Harley Quinn to Catwoman to the Swamp Thing. Can she keep things under control, or will she be responsible for a deadly new harvest?'
It was exiting to see Ivy in her first solo series as well as seeing a different side to her character. I especially loved the issues where she teamed up with Catwoman and thought this was a well written story that focused on exploring the characters as well as giving and interesting and fun story. Hopefully we see more of solo Ivy! 4/5

Giant Days Vol.2 by John Allison
'Continuing their first semester at university, fast friends Susan, Esther, and Daisy want to find their footing in life. But in the face of hand-wringing boys, holiday balls, hometown rivals, and the willful, unwanted intrusion of "academia," they may be lucky just to make it to spring alive.'
I really loved the first volume of this series but unfortunately found this one disappointing. Not that much happened and I found it all a little immature considering the characters are at university. 3/5

16 Little things that make me happy...

1. Not having to get up early
2. People watching in a coffee shop
3. A long bath and a book
4. A fresh bed
5. Going to the cinema
6. A rainy day when I don't have to go out
7. Freshly painted nails
8. The smell of fresh coffee
9. Getting parcels in the post
10. New books
11. A tidy room
12. Getting emails
13. Finishing work
14. Freshly coloured hair
15. Fancy chocolate
16. Handing in an essay for uni

New books...

Here are some new books I bought or received that I look forward to reading soon...

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan*

Lime green plastic flower-shaped hair bobbles—Found, on the playing field, Derrywood Park, 2nd September.

Bone china cup and saucer—

Found, on a bench in Riveria Public Gardens, 31st October.Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancĂ©e, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost objects—the things others have dropped, misplaced, or accidently left behind—and writing stories about them. Now, in the twilight of his life, Anthony worries that he has not fully discharged his duty to reconcile all the lost things with their owners. As the end nears, he bequeaths his secret life’s mission to his unsuspecting assistant, Laura, leaving her his house and and all its lost treasures, including an irritable ghost.

Recovering from a bad divorce, Laura, in some ways, is one of Anthony’s lost things. But when the lonely woman moves into his mansion, her life begins to change. She finds a new friend in the neighbor’s quirky daughter, Sunshine, and a welcome distraction in Freddy, the rugged gardener. As the dark cloud engulfing her lifts, Laura, accompanied by her new companions, sets out to realize Anthony’s last wish: reuniting his cherished lost objects with their owners.

Long ago, Eunice found a trinket on the London pavement and kept it through the years. Now, with her own end drawing near, she has lost something precious—a tragic twist of fate that forces her to break a promise she once made.

As the Keeper of Lost Objects, Laura holds the key to Anthony and Eunice’s redemption. But can she unlock the past and make the connections that will lay their spirits to rest?"

As soon as I finish my current read this is next on my list!

 Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman*

"Girls on Fire tells the story of Hannah and Lacey and their obsessive teenage female friendship so passionately violent it bloodies the very sunset its protagonists insist on riding into, together, at any cost. Opening with a suicide whose aftermath brings good girl Hannah together with the town's bad girl, Lacey, the two bring their combined wills to bear on the community in which they live; unconcerned by the mounting discomfort that their lust for chaos and rebellion causes the inhabitants of their parochial small town, they think they are invulnerable.

But Lacey has a secret, about life before her better half, and it's a secret that will change everything... "

I'm currently reading this one and so far am really enjoying it, review to follow! [EDIT: I've now read it and posted my review on Monday!]

Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon

"Bryony Gordon has OCD.

It's the snake in her brain that has told her ever since she was a teenager that her world is about to come crashing down: that her family might die if she doesn't repeat a phrase 5 times, or that she might have murdered someone and forgotten about it. It's caused alopecia, bulimia, and drug dependency. And Bryony is sick of it. Keeping silent about her illness has given it a cachet it simply does not deserve, so here she shares her story with trademark wit and dazzling honesty."

I've read this one and loved it! My review will be included in my January reading round up.

Nobody is Ever Missing by Catherine Lacey

"Without telling her family, Elyria takes a one-way flight to New Zealand, abruptly leaving her stable but unfulfilling life in Manhattan. As her husband scrambles to figure out what happened to her, Elyria hurtles into the unknown, testing fate by hitchhiking, tacitly being swept into the lives of strangers, and sleeping in fields, forests, and public parks.

Her risky and often surreal encounters with the people and wildlife of New Zealand propel Elyria deeper into her deteriorating mind. Haunted by her sister's death and consumed by an inner violence, her growing rage remains so expertly concealed that those who meet her sense nothing unwell. This discord between her inner and outer reality leads her to another obsession: If her truest self is invisible and unknowable to others, is she even alive? "

What books have you bought recently?

(*Books kindly sent for review)

Geeky haul...

I haven't posted a geeky haul for a while so though it was about time, and also I got some amazing bargains I wanted to show off! The other day I went to B'n'M's a bargain shop that I haven't been in in forever. I was very excited to find they had a ton of DC Comics stuff. I got the above two figures for £7.99 each!! They are The New Batman Adventures figures and I chose Poison Ivy (obviousy) and Batman. The only complaint I have is that they didn't have Catwoman,,,, boo! 

 They also had some large kawaii cubes but only in a few characters so I picked up the Wonder Woman for £4.99. I'm starting to build up a little collection of these cuties but again I need Catwoman damn it!

Here's Ivy out of the box. She's very cute and comes with her own stand, some detachable hands and some potions. I love this style of Ivy, she looks badass.

These I got ages ago (last November time) in TK Maxx of all places. They were £3.99 each and I got Catwoman yay!  The bendable figures are good because you can pose them and hang them off shelves and stuff.

Finally I got an Ugly Sweater from Teefury in their sale. There were quite a few designs I had my eye on but I went for the Sailor Moon one in the end. This was around £13 so another good bargain :)

Time to Talk day 2017...

Today is Time to Talk Day 2017. A day that encourages people to talk honestly and openly about mental illness in support of lifting the stigma surrounding it. I had originally planned to post a Q&A answering questions about bipolar/anxiety and general mental health after asking on twitter and instagram for questions. Lots of people showed support and kindly liked/retweeted but I actually only got one question.

I'm not sure of the reason, it could have been people were afraid to ask, or there wasn't anything people wanted to ask. Either way I must admit I felt a little disappointed. I know my blog is only small but I feel so passionately about normalising mental health and doing my bit to support others and help end the stigma I felt deflated. I thought am I really making any difference? I talk about it a lot on here and twitter but is anyone listening? 

I feel so strongly about mental health awareness because of my own experience. I know what it is like to be discriminated against, ignored, treated differently. That's why I am studying psychology and hoping to work in the field. I want to do something. I want to stop other people from having to go through what I and many others have before me. Writing these blog posts is also cathartic. It feels good to get things out there. So I will continue to write them and hope somewhere, someone is reading them and it is helping them in some way. It took nearly ten years to be diagnosed correctly and I am sick of wasting my life getting nowhere.

So now onto the question that was kindly asked by Dannie:

'What is the biggest misconception about bipolar disorder? (in your opinion)'

In my experience the biggest misconception about bipolar disorder is that people dismiss it as just "having mood swings". Everyone just has mood swings. Bipolar is a lot more complex than that, but it is also difficult to explain. It is about waking up one morning and for no reason whatsoever feeling completely empty and loveless, and feeling like you don't want to be alive. You can't explain why because you don't know why. You just want to stay in bed and cry and not see anyone. Then after a week or two the feeling disappears.

It's about all of a sudden feeling like everything is perfect, and you can do anything. it's about not considering consequences because you can only visualise the moment. It's like being high on drugs. But it's also about feeling irritated by everything and everyone because your mind is racing at 100 miles an hour and nothing can keep up. You look at people you love and feel nothing but annoyance and you hate yourself for it. You can't sleep or eat because you have this great idea that you have to work on. You are shaking because you need to keep moving and doing but you can't focus or concentrate because everything is racing.

* * * *

A few years ago when I was going through the (long) diagnosis process I was put on a work programme as at the time I had no job (I was later ruled unfit for work until I got my diagnosis and the right meds and able to get a job). I was not in a good place at the time and during my first appointment with my advisor told her my situation. Her response was to dismissively say "so sometimes you're happy, sometimes you're sad?!" as if it was nothing. I walked out of that appointment in tears and had a panic attack after I got out of the building. My point is that awareness and understanding is so important. You don't know what someone else is going through. Listen to them. Support them. Be kind.

If you read this: thank you. If you are living with a mental illness then I am sending you love and support. I am always available by email if you want to talk x