Reflecting on May

Renovations

May saw us finally making some headway on our renovations! We officially live in a house with doors, skirting and architraves! Honestly I am so happy with how all this turned out considering how long it took us to find the right team of carpenters to get the job done.We do still need to paint said doors and architraves but that is definitely something that is on the back burner at the moment. 

Its all about getting excited about the small things in life and let me tell you I am in love with my front door lock! 

Reading

May was a busy month for us and I only ended up finishing two books. ‘The Well of Ascension’ by Brandon Sanderson and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ by J.K Rowling. 

The Well of Ascension
by Brandon Sanderson

Mistborn book 2

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter book 2

In all honesty the pace of my reading slowing down is a bit upsetting to see but I do need to take into consideration that a lot has happened in May and give myself a chance to find a new routine that allows for a little bit of time each day to read. 

Family

Hugo James arrived this month and we honestly couldn’t be more in love with him! His birth didn’t quite go to ‘plan’ (I say plan loosely as we didn’t really go in with a plan) He arrived at 7:19pm on May 18th 2021. We spent 6 nights in the hospital before finally bringing Hugo home to meet his new best friend Archie. 

Currently we are all just getting into the routine of life at home. It’s a little Topsy turvy at the moment as Victoria is in another lock down, which is making it difficult, but we will get through. 

Life

So we are now parents! Which is a crazy thing in itself. Currently we are working on how to balance Hugo’s needs with those of Archie as well as what we each need to function day to day. We haven’t been home for too long so I think we are doing pretty well but Its something that is important for me to get the hang of sooner rather than later. 

Currently in terms of hobbies and things I enjoy doing, I am still cooking dinners, which I am really enjoying although they are all very simple meals at the moment. I am also trying to finish my book club book, although lock down may be helping with that as we can’t meet up just yet. I am trying to get a chapter read each day and cutting myself some slack if that all I get done in a day. 

We are currently re watching New Girl which I am absolutely loving! I forget just how much I love that show! 

Overall I think we are at the stage where we are managing life, which is a win but not quite where we are in a great routine. 

reflecting on February

Renovations

February has been a slow month for renovations. We have broken up all the things we want to accomplish with the house into phases – kinda like the MCU but not as cool – We are currently in phase one also known as the Pre Baby phase to kind of put back together the parts of the house that were removed during the beginning of the renovation, namely doors and curtains. 

We have spent the month chasing quotes for the skirting, architraves, door jams, and doors. We are hoping to get the ball rolling in March with finally getting things done, but we will just see how we go.

Reading

I honestly had the most intense reaction when I started A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas. I don’t know what it is about Nesta but man I am not a fan. Even though I love the series and the characters overall I did not enjoy reading from Nesta’s point of view!

baby

We ended February at 27 weeks pregnant. I think i’m feeling pretty good, thankfully. The long days at work are definitely tiring but they are also so rewarding and enjoyable that even though I am exhausted at the end of the day I can’t help but look forward to coming back the next!

I recently got my Glucose Tolerance Test which, for those who don’t know, is the Sugar tolerance test that is done to test for Diabetes and is done during week 26-28 of pregnancy to test for gestational diabetes. It takes 2 hours at the blood draw clinic. The clinicians take your first sample then you drink a very sweet drink, wait an hour, another sample taken, wait an hour and then your last sample. It was actually really nice to be able to go and sit in my car and head back into the clinic for my next draw, I was able to watch some YouTube and play some Animal Crossing. Really just living my best life.

life

Throughout the month I continued my obsession with Stardew Valley on the PC while also diving head first back into Animal Crossing which has been taking up a lot of my time. I’ve been patiently anticipating Taylor Swift’s release of fearless as well as discovering the world of digital bullet journalling. 

January Goal Review

A new year means new goals and in 2020 I definitely set myself some goals that I am setting out to achieve. It may only be the first month in but I want to really focus on these goals and working hard at them.

  1. Becoming more actively vegetarian is something that i have found pretty easy to transition into in 2020. I would say already this month I have definitely eaten majority vegetarian and I hope for the number of days to grow next month.
  2. I am 11 books into my 100 book challenge as of writing this, which I feel is a pretty decent start to the year.
  3. Becoming more consistant with my workouts is something that has been relatively easy thus far in 2020 as I was fortunate enough to be on holidays which lent me the time to really commit to doing some form of exercise most day. My goal for February is to focus more on the intesity now.
  4. I am yet to sign up for a fun run, but there is plenty of time!
  5. As someone who loves to read I am also someone who loves to buy books. I had attempted ‘Book Buying Bans’ before however I found that I’d be great for that month and then over send and over buy the following month. This goal is realistic and I have definitely stuck to this more realistic goal in January of purchasing less books than I read in the previous month. In December I read 9 and in January I purchased 8!
  6. My last three goals are kind of combined, and I am excited to say that my husband and I are currently looking at houses to buy which is a super exciting time for us!

2018 Goals Wrap Up

Taking it all the back to the beginning of 2018, I made some goals for myself that I wanted to achieve throughout the year. These goals were:

  1. To Complete the A to Z reading Challenge
  2. Post a minimum of once a week on Harper-grae
  3. Exercise at least 3 times a week
  4. Read 30 books in 2018
  5. Try at least one new recipe a week
  6. build a night routine with less technology
  7. practice positivity and optimism
  8. Travel to Greece

As you can see there is a pretty even spread across what I achieved, what I didn’t quite achieve every month and what I wasn’t even close to achieving – which honesty should of just given up on!

I am really happy with how much reading I achieved as well as how frequently I began posting here on Harper-grae.

I definitely want to continue to focus on exercising as well as trying to focus on the positive side of things (although I don’t think I’ll be making it a goal in 2019) I do think there is some room for improvement next year but overall 2018 has been a pretty good year.

I definitely learnt a lot about myself as a person and definitely found a passion or two a long the way. I am grateful for the year 2018 has been and am definitely looking forward to what 2019 will bring.

Moving forward I think accountability is key!

How do you think you went with achieving your goals in 2018?

The End of the Year Book Tag: 2018

I love a good tag post and I was this one over on Another Book in the Wall‘s Blog and I really wanted to complete the tag (even though I wasn’t tagged) as a reflection on 2018 and as I keep blogging I feel like it’ll be great to look back on all the years! 

Since I’ve jumped on board without being tagged feel free to do the same! 

Are there any books that you started this year that you need to finish?

I am currently reading ‘The Explorer’ By Katherine Rundell. I will hopefully finish this and pick up another book before the end of the year, but at the moment this is the only book I need to finish.

Do you have an autumnal summer book to transition into the end of the year?

I changed it from autumnal to summer since I live in Australia and the end of the year is usually ROASTING so i figured it was more appropriate. I don’t usually pick up books seasonally but a good autobiography is good for chilling by the pool or at the beach. ‘The Greatest Love Story Ever Told’ By Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman is one that I really want to read.

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

I took this question a little differently. This is a new release that has (I’m pretty sure) been released, or was meant to be released but then there was an issue. I’ve preordered this one on Amazon and are still waiting for it to be sent to Amazon to be shipped. 


What are 3 books you want to read before the end of the year?

I am currently participating in the Christmas at Hogwarts Read-a-thon and ‘Shadow and Bone’ By Leigh Bardugo; ’50 Ways to Yay’ By Alexi Panos and ‘Throne of Glass’ By Sarah J. Maas are three books that I want to read as part of the read-a-thon. 

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite of the year?

I don’t really have one favourite book of the year or in general I just have books I love. I read so many amazing books this year that I really can’t narrow it down but I am hopeful that ‘Throne of Glass’ By Sarah J. Maas will be another one I can add to that list!

Have you already started making reading plans for 2019?

Yes! I’m actually on top of my reading goals and where I want to start with reading after the Christmas at Hogwarts read-a-thon. I need to be prepared and I’m excited to achieve my goals. 

What are your end of year reading plan?

2018 Goal Update: January

As part of keeping myself accountable to my goals this year, I’ve decided to dedicate a post towards the end of each month to go over my goals and kind of check in and see if I’m actually progressing!
Check out my original Goals post!

Progress:
1. Complete the A to Z Reading Challenge
I’ve been working on this one, a bit slower than I anticipated so thats not to good, BUT I’ve still read 2 – currently working on a 3rd.

2. Post at least once a week on harper-grae.com
DEFINITELY making progress here, after making this a goal I also decided to post 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Fridays) Which I’ve so far been able to stick with… Thumbs up for me!

3. Exercise at least 3 times a week. 
I was doing pretty well with this one… Until this week. I’ve given myself this week off as I’ve just started back at work and have come home every night so far absolutely exhausted and reading for bed at 6pm. Next week we will get back on it though!

4. Read 30 Books in 2018
I’ve managed 2 and am working on a 3rd. Slow Progress but still progress.

5. Try at least one new recipe a week
This goal has been expanded to trying new restaurants (in person or on Ubereats)  as now that we are back into the whole work thing and totally exhausted so we tend to order food later in the week. We’ve tried 3 new recipes so far, all a success. I’ve even discovered that I like cauliflower!

6. Build a night routine with less technology
huge fail on this one so far… oops. Will give it a fresh try tomorrow – tonights already technology filled.

7. Practice positivity and optomism
Doing so much better at this than I was last year, although the real test is now that I’m back at work. Check back next month for a better update.

8. Greece 2018
Book more accomodation for Greece so working towards it!

Let me know how you are going on your 2018 goals!

 

Review: “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” By J.K. Rowling

harry potter and the philosophers stone cover

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
By J.K. Rowling
Book #1 (of 7) In the Harry Potter Series

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publish Date: September, 2014
Series: Harry Potter (Book #1)
Pages: 332
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Book Type:
Fiction
Purchase Locations: Book Depository Amazon Audible

Synopsis:
Turning the envelope over, his hand trembling, Harry saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger and a snake surrounding a large letter “H”.
Harry Potter has never heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry’s eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
An incredible adventure is about to begin!

My Thoughts:

I feel like a review for Harry Potter from me is going to be biased, no matter what I say. I love Harry Potter. I didn’t read the books when they first came out. I think my parents started buying them when the 3rd or 4th book was out. I honestly cannot thank them enough for spending their money and purchasing these books for my brother and I.
Harry Potter is one of the most amazing stories ever. I absolutely love every book!

‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ is the first in the series of seven books. It is a fantastic start to the story of Harry Potter. We are introduced to our slew of fantastic characters with great detail as well as being given Harry’s back story. It is a fantastic entry into the magical world of Harry Potter.

Throughout the story we follow Harry’s first adventure at Hogwarts where he learns about magic and begins to build an understanding of this new world he’s be introduced to as well as making new friends. The world building throughout the story is INCREDIBLE. Its one of the things I love so much about the Harry Potter Series and in particular the first book.

‘Harry potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ is a story I would recommend for anyone young or old. Its one you can revisit again and again and continues to be engaging, captivating and can really take you out of the world for a moment.

My Rating:
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Review: “Artemis” By Andy Weir

artemis-andy-weir-cover

‘Artemis’
By Andy Weir

Publisher: Del Rey
Publish Date: 2017
Pages: 305
Genre: Si-Fi Fantasy
Fiction/Nonfiction: Fiction
Purchase Locations: Booktopia Amazon Book Depository Audible

Synopsis: 

Welcome to Artemis.
The first city on the moon. 

Population 2,000. Mostly tourists. 
Some Criminals. 
The #1 New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author of ‘The Martian’ returns with an irresistible near-future adventure. 

Jazz is a small time criminal, subsidising work as a porter on the moon with smuggling a little contraband. But it’s never enough. 
When she’s offered the chance to get rich quick she jumps at it. But planning the perfect crime in 1/6th gravity was never going to be easy, especially as there is a conspiracy at the heart of Artemis. 
At first it was about the money, then it was about control, now it’s about survival…

My Thoughts: 

‘Artemis’ is an intriguing concept. A society on the moon, with different laws to those on earth. I absolutely loved ‘The Martian’ and could not wait to get my copy of ‘Artemis’. By the end of the story I was reading so fast because I just wanted to know what happened next and the ending was incredible. It left me wanting more and wishing there was a sequel just to see how everyones lives panned out.

However the start was a bit slower than I would of liked. I mean it could just be me. For someone who loves to read, I really don’t have the attention span to suggest a ‘bookish’ person. I was struggling. It took me 2 weeks to read, which is uncommon for me. Although I have been a lot busier than I was expecting, its still a long time. I just couldn’t get into the story.

But if you are like me I would highly recommend sticking it out. Once you get past the first couple of chapters you’ll be hooked!

‘Artemis’ was a good second novel from Andy weir and his attention to detail when it comes to science fiction is amazing and makes the story even more real.

My Rating: 

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