May Reads

Another month has flown past so of course, another bundle of books have been read! Here’s what I’ve been reading this month!

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban / JK Rowling

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Harry Potter, along with his best friends, Ron and Hermione, is about to start his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry can’t wait to get back to school after the summer holidays. (Who wouldn’t if they lived with the horrible Dursleys?) But when Harry gets to Hogwarts, the atmosphere is tense. There’s an escaped mass murderer on the loose, and the sinister prison guards of Azkaban have been called in to guard the school…

Okay, I love this Harry Potter so much. I love how yo get to know so much more about his parents and their friendships. It just makes everything make sense! I love Sirius SO much. Ahhh just read it already if you haven’t.

 

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Good Luck, Fatty?! / Maggie Bloom

Spunky North Carolina teen Bobbi-Jo Cotton is overweight, oversexed, underloved and misunderstood. When Dr. Harvey Lassiter, her former high school principal turned bicycle shop owner—with the help of Lex Arlington, a hometown celebrity—sponsors a charity bike race, Bobbi sees an opportunity to test her Schwinn and her fortitude. And when Tom Cantwell, her best (and only) friend, reveals he’s crushing on her, Bobbi figures it’s time to quit passing out screws like they’re dentists’ office suckers.  What Bobbi is having a harder time letting go of is the resentment she feels toward her missionary parents, who, after abandoning her in the night, have flitted back into her life with a surprise: she’s about to be a big sister. Will Bobbi win the race (and maybe even lose the weight)? Can she overcome her promiscuous past and earn the trust of the boy she just may love? Will her parents care enough about her—or her new baby brother—to stick around (and if they don’t, will she be tough enough to survive another of their betrayals)? The only way to find out is to come along for the ride. The way Bobbi sees it, all of life’s questions can be answered from the seat of a bicycle. And if they can’t, at least your hair will look great fluttering in the breeze.

This was a light hearted easy read. I instantly fell in love with Bobbi, she was such a cute character. The plot isn’t the most riveting or interesting but sometimes it’s just nice to escape into someone elses world.

 

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I Followed the Rules / Joanna Bolouri

Rule 1: Never ask him on a first date. Rule 2: Laugh admiringly at all his jokes. Rule 3: Always leave him wanting more. … wtf?! Have you heard of The Rules of Engagement? It’s a book that promises to teach you to find the man of your dreams in ten easy steps. Unsurprisingly, I don’t own a copy. What is it, 1892? But I’m a journalist, and I’ve promised to follow it to the letter and write about the results. Nevermind that my friends think I’m insane, I’m stalking men all over town and can’t keep my mouth shut at the best of times. My name is Cat Buchanan. I’m thirty-six years old and live with my daughter in Glasgow. I’ve been single for six years, but that’s about to change. After all, I’m on a deadline. I Followed the Rules and this is what happened.

This is the second of Joanna Bolouri’s work I have read and it is just as funny as the last. I instantly fell in love with Cat, and of course with her daughter Grace. I can relate to Cat so much and when I can connect so well with a character, I absolutely hate finishing the book. I love how realistic most of the situation and dates are in this book and I fell in love with this fiction just a few chapters in.

 

18666181We Were Liars / E Lockhart

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

I think this is one of the strangest books I have ever read. I gave it 2 stars on Good Reads because I just didn’t know what to make of it. But I think that might be the point. For me, there were far too many characters to begin with but it was easier to remember them nearer the end. I want to reread it to see if I understand it any better. It is very well written though.

 

Wuthering Heights / Emily Bronte

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Emily Brontë’s only novel, a work of tremendous and far-reaching influence, the Penguin Classics edition of Wuthering Heights is the definitive edition of the text, edited with an introduction by Pauline Nestor. Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange, situated on the bleak Yorkshire moors, is forced to seek shelter one night at Wuthering Heights, the home of his landlord. There he discovers the history of the tempestuous events that took place years before; of the intense relationship between the gypsy foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw; and how Catherine, forced to choose between passionate, tortured Heathcliff and gentle, well-bred Edgar Linton, surrendered to the expectations of her class. As Heathcliff’s bitterness and vengeance at his betrayal is visited upon the next generation, their innocent heirs must struggle to escape the legacy of the past.

I have not read Wuthering Heights since I was 16 and in high school. Analysing a book to the extent you do in Higher English, left me feeling extremely bored of this novel. Fast forward 7 years and I feel completely different. I absolutely loved rereading this and the book meant so much more than it did at 16. I enjoyed the characters so much and my opinion of them is now completely different than it was at 16.

Perfect (Flawed #2) / Cecelia Ahern

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Celestine North lives in a society that demands perfection. After she was branded Flawed by a morality court, Celestine’s life has completely fractured–all her freedoms gone.
Since Judge Crevan has declared her the number-one threat to the public, she has been on the run with the complicated, powerfully attractive Carrick, the only person she can trust. But Celestine has a secret–one that could bring the entire Flawed system crumbling to the ground.
Judge Crevan is gaining the upper hand, and time is running out for Celestine. With tensions building, Celestine must make a choice: save only herself, or risk her life to save all Flawed…

I was SO excited for this to come out. My friend Katie was so so kind and sent this to me. As soon as I opened the cover, I could not put it down. It was so so easy to immerse myself back into Celestine’s world. JESUS IT WAS AMAZING. I really really urge you to go out and buy Flawed and Perfect.

How Not to Fall in Love, Actually / Catherine Bennetto

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Emma has a job in television which is distinctly less glamourous and exciting than it sounds. She’s managed to claw her way up the ranks from Tea-Maker and Rubbish-Collector to 2nd Assistant Director (heavy on the ‘assistant’. Even heavier on the ‘2nd’).
 So when she finds she’s accidentally very pregnant and at the same time accidentally very sacked (well, less accidentally: she did tell her boss to stick his job up his bum), she knows things are going to have to change.
 Luckily she’s also accidentally the heir to a lovely cottage in Wimbledon, with a crazy Rottweiler-owning octogenarian as a neighbour and a rather sexy boy as an accidental tenant. But this baby is coming whether she likes it or not, and she needs to become the sort of person who can look after herself let alone another human being – and quickly.  
I absolutely love the protagonist Emma. And I also absolutely love this story. I love how all the characters are completely different! But all so likeable. I am definitely looking forward to Catherine Bennetto’s creating more wonderfulness in the future. 

What have you been reading recently?

Much love,

louise-x

Paris

So, I said I was going to split my Paris snaps into two posts so I’m going to share with you the rest of my pictures which are mostly of buildings, streets and FOOD. It’s not right how many pictures I take of food but I just can’t help it. I really wanted to soak in the culture so each morning, I would get up at 8am, shower and pop down the road to a cafe where I’d drink coffee, read and watch people bustle around their busy lives. It was amazing.

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The food was incredible. Like, 10 out of 10. The French delicacies were divine and the coffee was delicious. The wine was definitely worth the headache.

 

The weather was dry the whole time we were there so it meant we could do lots of outside exploring too.  The Louvre was also incredible.

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I loved just exploring the little streets. The little cafes and restaurants we ate in were just so perfect. And of course, we had to take a shopping trip on Avenue des Champs Elysees where I was well and truly spoilt!

 

I really have the travel bug now so planning where I want to go next. Any suggestions?

Much love,

louise-x

5 things I love about the blogging community

The blogging community has honestly changed my life. Whilst there are many negative sides to blogging and negativity within the community, there are just as many positive!

  1. You can meet the most amazing people!

I have honestly made a few really good friends through blogging and I know that I will meet them! Whether it’s in the next few months or the next few years, I know that they are friends that I will meet! It’s crazy to think you can have online friends that you haven’t met in real life but some people I’ve befriended online are some of my closest friends. Y’all know who you are.

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2. People actually share interests with you

Its’ inevitable that your closest circle of people in real life aren’t gonna share the same interests as you. Everyone’s different so why would they? Being part of the blogging community allows you to connect with people who share the same interests as you. Whether that’s sharing through Twitter chats or simply searching for posts on a particular subject, there’s always somebody who enjoys the same things as you! I absolutely love this part of the blogging community as it keeps things interesting.

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3. Support network

I never ever thought I would gain such a support network through blogging. #talkMH guys, I’m looking at you. Having people you can go to for advice and chats is an incredible feeling and for me, talking to people who go through the same really helps. I don’t really like opening up to the people around me so having the blogging community really helps me, especially during my lowest points.

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4. Food inspo

Oh my god, the amount of amazing recipes and food ideas I have found through the blogging community is unreal. I get extremely bored of having the same thing for dinner over and over again, so finding out what other people make is great. I absolutely love trying new dishes and honestly, some bloggers shared recipes have made their way into my favourites!

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5. Product reviews

Definitely one of my favourite things about the blogging community. I’m quite reluctant to buy products if I have never tried them before because I hate wasting money on things that don’t go to plan. I find reviews of products, especially beauty ones, really helpful. Because lets be honest, if a blogger doesn’t like a product, they will definitely share that with you. Which is great because it means that no money needs to be wasted on said product. I usually read a couple of reviews on a product before making a purchase decision as it’s good to get more than one opinion.

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What are your favourite things about the blogging community?

Much love,

louise-x

Self Confidence and Me

This post is strange and unstructured and just a bit of a ramble to be honest so bare with me.

Ever since I can remember I have always struggled with body image. I have always been overweight and I know that I have no one to blame but myself. I’m pretty active, especially since the beginning of this year as I am trying to proactively change my lifestyle. Food is my problem. I love it way too much and eat it way too much. My relationship with food absolutely SUCKS.

I’m about to start getting help towards changing my attitude towards food and I’m absolutely delighted because it needs to change so badly. It’s taken a lot for me to do this though,  a lot a lot. Admitting you have a problem is a massive step and by god, it’s the hardest. I know that I’m gonna have to work so hard to change my mind set but I’m always up for a challenge.

There’s no way in hell that I’m going to stop eating things I love because that’s just not who I am and I know that refusing myself certain foods will make me more likely to binge.  But I’m going to really work hard on moderating these foods and cutting a lot out. 16558725_10158236509240512_387954085_n

Anyway, I realised that I can’t sit about hating my body any longer, I’m working on it and as long as I’m being proactive then that’s all that matters. I need to start focusing on the things that I do like about it and hopefully over time, that list will get longer. Instead of sitting around hating every inch of me, I’m trying to do what I can to make me feel good about my appearance.

Experimenting with my make up looks has become a way that has made me start to appreciate some of my features. Everyone has there own opinions on make up and why you should or shouldn’t rely on it. But that’s not what this post is about.

I’ve been branching out with my make up choices and it is honestly doing wonders for my self confidence. Somehow, I’ve managed to add seven eye palettes to my collection in the past four months and there are still so many more I want. I would never have worn eye shadow much at all before, maybe on a night out if I was feeling super adventurous but it would have been nothing more than a light nude shade or little bit of sparkle. Now I find myself watching tutorials on YouTube and I won’t leave the house at the weekend without eye shadow on. I just feel like a bold eye can make you feel so much better about yourself and can really make a lot of your facial features stand out.

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Never in a million years did I think I’d have the balls to wear an almost black shade on my lip. Last weekend for the first time, I did, and man, I felt good! The people I was with were surprised at how dark I’d gone but I absolutely loved it and I felt so much more confident.

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The dark lip was for a night out but it’s not just on special occasions I’m being more adventurous. This time six months ago I probably wouldn’t have even worn lipstick on a day to day basis but now I refuse to leave the house without it. To begin with, I mostly wore nudes but now I’m going for all sorts. Plums, dark browns, you name it.

It’s not just make up that’s helping me embrace myself. It’s my outfits and accepting my natural self too. I’ve completely stopped using heat on my hair on an everyday basis and will only do so on nights out or special occasions. I’m on a mission to look after my body better, whether that’s what going into it, my hair or my skin. I’m trying to maintain and better the things that I myself, have control of.

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I really don’t know what the point of this post was and it most likely won’t bring any benefit to anyone else but I had to write it down for myself. Sure, I didn’t need to share it but I want to look back and being able to reflect on the progress of my self confidence.

If you’re struggling with your body image at the moment, take some time to reflect on why this is. Try and learn to love different parts of yourself, even if it’s only 3 little things. The rest will grow from there.

Much love,

louise-x

Embrace yourself

I have seen so much negativity on social media recently surrounding self esteem and self worth. I’ll put my hands up and confess, I too, used to be extremely guilty of this. A big cause of this is how we think other people perceive us. The thing is, people are not ‘full of themselves’ if they like the way they look or think that they are good at something. Why do we care so much about what others think of us?

Times can be tough, I know. But if you’re having a good day, embrace yourself. No one else on this whole planet is like you. You are the only version of yourself so I think you should celebrate that. You have a lot to offer people and the world so throw yourself at things. Don’t let anyone stop you. If anyone doubts your worth, rid yourself of them. You do not need toxic people in your life.

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Everyday I have to remind at least one person that they are great. I completely understand that you can have down days and feel low about everything, especially your self worth. But I promise, they will pass. It’s equally okay to have high confidence days, no seriously, I really encourage that and recommend it actually. Because why not? Nobody else is gonna do it for you.

You are amazing and do not let anyone tell you otherwise.  You are the only version of you, you are unique and special. Try and stop comparing yourself to others because you are you. You will never be that other person. Embrace yourself, all your own traits and qualities. And your flaws, embrace them too. So what if you’re impatient? So what if you ate a whole share bar of chocolate when you’re meant to be dieting?  Life is honestly way too short to spend time hating yourself.

You do you and ALWAYS be yourself. You’re incredible and you’ve got this.

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Much love,

louise-x

Online friendship: Guest post

Happpy Thursday everyone!

I thought I’d treat you all today to a guest post from my fave Dutch, Marc Lamberts! I was really struggling with content and Marc agreed to help me out by writing a guest post for me, which shows how good a friend he is. Appropriate for the content of this post huh? I’m just gonna hand it over to himself and let him do the talking, or writing, you know what I mean. I’ve left all Marc’s links below!

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“Friends are family you choose”

It’s very cheesy, but it’s so true. Friendships are vital and important to one’s soul, I guess that having real friends is really underestimated, especially online friendship. Today I’m telling you, online friendships are the real deal!

Things you often hear about online friendships is that you have to careful and it’s not like real friendship, apparently making friends online is not subject to any feeling. I think that is utter codswallop if you ask me. Making friends online is the real deal and those friends have the same worth to me as my real life friends.

The thing I’ve experienced and love about making online friends is that the most people are very genuine, have no biased opinion about you and are rather open. I think with online friendships, first and foremost it’s about the quality and connection of the conversations. You focus on what’s inside the person, the character and personality. That makes online friendships so strong and why they can last very long.

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It’s rather funny how you meet online, most of the time it’s via a friend or because of a certain blog. Sometimes it’s via mail swap – that’s how I met my wonderful buddy Louise! – or a little project. Sometimes you don’t remember how, why and when. But you know one thing, you are really glad you have met that particular person.

Online friendship – especially when long distance – can be hard actually. I’m a Dutch blogger and the majority of my friends live in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales or Northern Ireland. Of course you can call each other or Skype or FaceTime, but sometimes you just want to meet up with someone, smash all the food or just give each other massive cuddles. You want to physically be there for someone, when they are in need of a good friend and that makes it kind of hard sometimes. But when you put the effort in – sometimes you don’t speak for days – and the other does that too, the friendship will keep existing and that people, is one of the best feelings in the world.

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There’s so much beauty to have long distance friends though, I’ve learnt so much. I’ve learnt about other cultures, languages, customs, studies, degrees, sports, experiences. I’ve a lot of places to visit, I’ve become more fluent in English speaking and writing. I’ve experienced how it is to feel cared for, appreciated and loved by friend. I know what it’s like to help people in need and see that your advice helps them, I’ve felt how good it is to see that people want to help you.

What I really encourage is making friends with both females and males. There’s this ridiculous idea that we can’t be friends with the opposite sex. I think we all have great qualities and to have friends – both male and female – is only good for your health and your personality. I’m feeling awesome because I’ve met so many females, who are great friends. They always are there for me and I feel like it’s super awesome to have a female best friend. Bloody awesome in fact!

It’s perfectly fine to be friends with someone from the opposite sex without wanting a romance. It’s completely fine to spend your days talking to women/men and enjoying it. You don’t have to feel guilty because you care about a woman/man, without loving her/him romantically. I’ve met some great women on the internet for these past few months and I’m very proud to call them my friends. They are beautiful too yes, but the most important thing that they each are unique, talented, funny, kind, caring, witty and have a great personality. They do add to my life, just like my guy friends. They make my life complete when they touch my heart.

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Sure, there are differences. We both view the world in another perception and we have different struggles at times. But that also gives a unique position. Sometimes talking about problems in another light, can help you so much. I’ve come to that conclusion. I’ve got soulmates, buddies, pals, mates and they are women. You can be soulmates with someone you don’t share a romantic relationship with. I think the society has laid this perception of marrying the other sex and only be friends with your own sex. It’s really ridiculous. I don’t care what people say. I’m friends with women and I bloody love it. I couldn’t honestly survive the way I feel without ALL my friends.

I think it’s awesome to have met so many people online, some of them have become my best friends. Online friendships are so valuable, important, vital and have given me so much joy and strength. I hope you all find these friendships, because it will make your life more complete.

Also, give Louise all the love on here and her twitter and instagram, she my wee best pal and she deserves it!

Marc

Blog:  www.ohbuggerall.com  Twtitter: @lambertsmarc  Instagram: @lambertsmarc

Blogmas Day 22 – Blogging Goals

I thought I’d set myself two different types of goals for 2017 ; ones for my blog and personal goals. So today, I’m going to share with you my blogging goals or the next year.

Blogging Goals

 

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Become louisechatters.com

Okay, I want to buy my own domain name. My lil blog is only 3 months old but people are actually reading the nonsense I have to say. I don’t want to get too ahead of myself because that’s definitely not who I am but I really want to purchase my domain name! I also have new artwork for the new year!

Reach 500 blog followers

This will seem like nothing to most people but if I could reach 500 people following my blog I would be overwhelmed and ecstatic! Anyone who read my posts even just once, makes it all worth while. Love y’all. I’m so scared that I won’t meet my goal but I’m gonna try so hard!

Have a Twitter following of 2,500

Personally, I don’t believe that having a massive Twitter following is overly important, however, the more followers you have on a certain platform, the chances of increasing your blog views are going to be higher. So go figure. I somehow managed to get 1,000 followers in 3 months from lots of persuasion however, I think it’ll all slow down from here. By the end of next year, it would be AMAZING and overwhelming if I managed to get myself 2.5k.

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Grow my Instagram & reach 500 followers

I honestly find it SO hard to use Instagram for blogging purposes. In the new year, I’m gonna try to grow my following on Insta and get to 500 followers. A lot of people focus on just Instgram but I believe it’s best to try and get a range of people from wherever you can to be reading your blog.

Use Pinterest

I also want try to use Pinterest to promote my blog! Pinterest is where I get a lot of my post ideas so I’d love to be able to encourage people to write about particular things.

 

If anybody has any tips that would help me meet any of my goals please let me know! Have you got any blogging goals for the next year?

3 sleeps!

Much love,

Louise