HOW TO STAY ORGANISED // how I keep my life from going pear-shaped

Hey guys! Today I’m coming to you with a sort of How To instructional kind of blog post for you guys. This is slightly ironic because I did start Uni for the first time this month so naturally life is pretty hectic and everything from my sleep schedule to my blogging schedule is changing. So, I figured I would write this post now to try and motivate myself and keep myself on track and then maybe come back in a year and see how i’m going and if anything has changed. 

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SCHOOL & LIFE

I’m going to be completely honest with you guys, I am currently writing this on June 30th so I haven’t actually started Uni yet and I also haven’t been to school since back in September so I only have my past experiences to go off. Hopefully, I’ll be able to update this in a year with a Uni proof version.

USE A DIARY

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Use a diary! Seriously, it’s not dorky or stupid, it’s smart! This used to be compulsory for us in high school but, it is one of the few things I will be taking with me into my Uni life for sure! I prefer this method because I can write down my notes and plans and cross them off (the best way to feel accomplished) and I also tend to integrate any blog posts I plan to write that week so I can prioritise all assessments and hobies together. But, another easy thing to do (honestly, I’m a planning freak, so I do this too) is to have a Google calender on your device or phone so it is more easily accessible.

 

MY STUDY LIFE

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My main piece of advice for controlaholics is just to use a diary to help formulate your day/week/term etc and to incorporate anything from lunch plans, what you want to wear the next day to the weather forecast for the week & your assessment dates.

Apart from using a diary, my other “big” tip is to prioritise the right things. If you know you have a bunch of exams coming up, or even just one, then try to prioritise those exams. Prepare other things you know you’ll want to do so you won’t get distracted. For example, write a bunch of blog posts in advance, cook a bunch of meals in advance and try not to focus on other things. For example, if you’re a reader, either don’t read at all or just have a small pile of books you want to read, maybe one or two.

BLOGGING

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SCHEDULE POSTS IN ADVANCE! I schedule all my posts. I have a few (maybe 20??) posts in my drafts folder, but for the most part, all of my posts are in my WordPress schedule, roughly all of my posts from now to March 2019 are all planned out and at least my posts up until October are outlined.

I’m serious guys, having my blog posts pre-planned like that has saved my life. It’s really helpful for when I get into an idea slump and for when I’m in school and a bit rushed for time.

I schedule them on my blog, I have them added into my blogging google calendar (my calendars are nuts Y’all) & I also have them in a word document so I can cross them off when I’ve written them which I find really helpful whenever I quickly have to check what I’ve written. I also find it super motivational when I’m having a big writing day when I can see that I’ve crossed 3 or 4 post titles off in a day, it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something.

I also try to have my blog posts written at least 1-2 weeks ahead of time, but the goal is to eventually be a month+ ahead of time. A girl can dream, right?

In terms of finding the time to write blog posts. I’m sure this will change pretty quickly, with assessments + my new school schedule, but when I was in High School (last year) I would try to write mostly on Friday nights and weekends. I would mostly spend Sundays focusing on my blog and use that spare time to chill and get ahead on my blog posts.

READING

In terms of staying organised with my books, this can be pretty hit and miss. I used to mostly just have a Goodreads Goal and that would be how I stayed on top of what I had read for the year. However, this year I have started to use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of everything (author gender, star rating, release date…etc.).

I did mention this before, but the main way I stay organised with my reading is to write down reading goals in my diary. For example, I will write down that I want to read 50 pages of [insert title here] on Saturday. I know this tip is really simple, but I find it really helpful, so hopefully, it will benefit you too!

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HOW DO YOU STAY ORGANISED?

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POPULAR ADULT BOOKS I HAVEN’T READ YET

Hey guys! Today I’m coming at you with the top 5 most popular adult books on my tbr. I don’t usually talk about adult books on my blog but I have recently noticed quite a few of them on my tbr shelf, so I thought I would talk about them.

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The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle A Discovery of Witches (All Souls, #1) The Time Traveler's Wife Sleeping Beauties A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, #4)

THE SEVEN DEATHS OF EVELYN HARDCASTLE

This and the next book on my list is one of the books I am most looking forward to reading! I have a pretty long list of books that I want to read immediately but, I am really excited to get to this one. The premise of this book sounds really really cool. From what I can remember, it’s like a deja vu version of Clue. Basically, Evelyn Hardcastle gets murdered and then I think they go through it deja vu, Charmed style and have to try and figure out who murdered her.

A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES

I am so excited about this book and I don’t know how I still haven’t picked it up. It was barely on my radar and then I stumbled upon the trailer for the new tv show (link here) and thought it looked really interesting so now I am obsessed with the idea of it. I think the whole premise sounds fantastic and now I am really excited to read it and will definitely be getting to it in the next month or two.

THE TIME TRAVELLER’S WIFE

Okay, so technically I have started reading this before and I got roughly 250ish pages into it and hit a boring middle bit and I was also just finishing high school at the time so I put it down and just never ended up picking it back up. I still plan to start it again or keep going with it a few years down the line, because it is really good, but if I’m honest I sometimes had to force myself to pick it up and I don’t see myself reading it any time soon.

SLEEPING BEAUTIES

I  swear, at the start of this year all I want to do was read this book but now it’s July and I still haven’t picked it up. I really wanted to try and get into Stephen King this year but so far I haven’t even finished one of his books but, I am still hoping to at least read this or Misery by the end of the year.

A FEAST FOR CROWS

Of all the books on this list, I do have high hopes that I will be picking this up hopefully this month. I have a pretty big reading month planner already but I would still like to continue this series if I have the time. I can usually get the bulk of these books done within a week so hopefully, I will at least get the first hundred-ish pages read pretty soon!

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HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE BOOKS?

ARE ANY OF THESE ON YOUR TBR?

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2018 RELEASES I’M REALLY EXCITED ABOUT!

Hey guys! Lately, I have been obsessing over all the 2018 releases I have on my tbr! Every season I will write about my most anticipated releases for the newest upcoming season but, today I wanted to talk about the releases I am excited about right now (throughout the whole year).

UPDATE: I had the inspiration for this idea and wrote this post back in May and so there are some books on this list that I have read.

Remember to click on the covers to go to the Goodreads pages!

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@ 2018Space Opera   Runaways, Vol. 1: Find Your Way Home   The Cheerleaders   The Perfect Mother   Giant Days

SPACE OPERA | OCTOBER 2018

Eurovision meets Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy. Does that not sound absolutely amazing? I am so down for reading this book. It sounds like a super fun and easy read and I can’t wait to pick it up. I have really high hopes for this one, I really hope I enjoy it!

RUNAWAYS VOL 1 | MAY 2018

I love comics and somehow I’ve never read about these characters?? Yeah, I don’t know how. I am not a massive fan of Rainbow Rowell’s books but I’ve never read any of her comics works so I really want to give it a try!

THE CHEERLEADERS | JULY 2018

I am in great need of a new YA Mystery/Thriller. I read People Like Us (2018 release) earlier this year and really really loved it. PLU reunited my love for YA mysteries and I really loved it so I am pretty excited for this because I have not read a mystery in FOREVER!

THE PERFECT MOTHER | MAY 2018

SPEAKING OF MYSTERY/THRILLERS… I am so excited to read this book, you guys it sounds absolutely fantastic and I am HYPED! Also, look at that cover??? Also, this book is becoming a movie and did I mention I’m excited?

GIANT DAYS | AUGUST 2018

As of writing this, I am currently 24% of the way through this as I have an arc (#blessmysoul). I have yet to read the comic series yet but I am super excited to finish this and then read the comics so I can review it for you guys!

@ 2018To Kill a Kingdom   Fence Vol. 1   What If It's Us   I Hate Fairyland, Vol. 4   Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3)

TO KILL A KINGDOM | MARCH 2018

I am 99.9% sure this is a Little Mermaid retelling and while I have never actually watched the movie I am still excited about this book because I love the soundtrack. I am also really excited to get into this because it sounds really dark.

Just read this quote: “I’ve made a mistake. It started with a prince, as most stories do. Once I felt the thrum of his heart beneath my fingers, I couldn’t forget it.”

Are you sold yet? I sure as sh*t am.

FENCE VOL 1 | JULY 2018

I have never read anything by C S Pacat but I’ve heard that their books are pretty popular so I am hoping to try out their comics too, especially because the comic is in collaboration with Johanna The Mad who’s art I absolutely adore!

WHAT IF IT’S US | OCTOBER 2018

Two of my contemporary faves? Writing the same book? Hell yeah! I am really excited for this book because More Happy Than Not is one of the only books to ever make me cry and Simon VS The Homo Sapien’s Agenda is one of my favourite contemporary books ever. So, I am slightly excited about this book.

I HATE FAIRYLAND VOL 4 | AUGUST 2018

This is one of my stupidest and best comic series in all existence. It is fully disturbing and so incredibly colourful and full of murder and I love it and need volume 4 immediately!

ESCAPING FROM HOUDINI | SEPTEMBER 2018

Is anyone even surprised? I mean, I had to keep the hype going and include this because I AM SO EXCITED YOU GUYS DON’T EVEN KNOW!

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WHAT 2018 RELEASES ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO READING?
AM I MISSING ANY GREAT BOOKS IN MY LIST?

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IF YOU LIKED THIS YOU’LL LIKE THIS: LET’S GET GOTHIC

Hey guys, today I’m coming at you with some gothic recommendations. I don’t think I’ve ever recommended gothic style books, and even though we’re nowhere near Halloween I figured I’d give it a shot! 

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Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2)

DOWN AMONG THE STICKS AND BONE

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YOU MAY LIKE YOU MAY LIKEFrankenstein    Dracula

FRANKENSTEIN & DRACULA

Just ask anyone who’s read Down Among The Sticks and Bones and they’ll tell you that it felt exactly like a mix of Frankenstein &  Dracula with some social commentary on the side.

I really love DATSAB and every time I read it I get something different out of it. I’ll be honest I’ve never been particularly interested in Frankenstein or Dracula, so unless I had to read them for class, this book would probably be the only reason I picked them up. I thought it was really interesting how the two worlds can co-exist so it would be really interesting how they fair apart too, in their seperate novels.

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Jane Eyre

JANE EYRE

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Northanger Abbey

NORTHANGER ABBEY

If you like Jane Eyre then Northanger Abbey (Jane Austen) is going to be right up your alley! Both these books have a very similar, dark and dramatic vibe to them. They have two very intelligent and forward-thinking MCs (main characters) but, the characters also have quite overactive imaginations.

Also, as a plus, both of these are pretty funny so if you’re looking for something dramatic, gothic and worth a laugh, this is the book for you!

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DO YOU ENJOY GOTHIC NOVELS? HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT CLASSICS?

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BOOKSHELF TOUR RECOMMENDATIONS #2 // We’re making this a regular thing!

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Hey guys! Today I’m coming at you with the second instalment in my Bookshelf Tour series! Today I’ll be recommending some of the contemporaries that I own and in the future, I plan on recommending some of my other favourite books!

Total disclaimer: I don’t actually own too many contemporaries physically on my shelves, but I do have quite a few on my Kindle & Audible account, so I will only be talking about the physical books in this post, but I might include the others in another post in this series later on!

CLICK HERE TO FIND MY “FAVOURITE SERIES BOOKSHELF TOUR RECOMMENDATIONS”

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QUEENS OF GEEK

Queens of Geek

Queens of Geek is a really cute a really short and fun contemporary novel following three teens at a comic con type fan event. Basically, of these three teens, one is a YouTuber, one cosplays and the other is just happy to be there. Two of them have crushes on the each other (totally adorable oml) and the Youtuber has a crush on another Youtuber and EVERYONE IS SO CUTE YOU GUYS I AM STILL SCREAMING.

This book doesn’t take much time at all to get through and it will make you want to scream with joy. All the characters are so much fun and if you have social anxiety (or just anxiety in general) you will RELATE. Also, the fan culture in this book is so much fun because like so much else in this book, it is just so darn relatable.

THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES

The Female of the Species

This is one of the books I have most recently acquired and have read most recently. Originally, I read this at the library and I loved it so much that as soon as I finished it I had to buy my own copy! The main character is kind of nuts but also I loved her. The mc, Alex Craft is lovely but she is also a murderer, so… I don’t know what that says about me?

I love Alex and Peekay (there are 3 povs btw) and I love how questionable and problematic Alex is. ALSO, THERE ARE DOGS (There’s an animal shelter, so trigger warnings for that).

I know I just did a terrible job of describing that but, seriously this book is fantastic and I really really love it and wish more people would pick it up!

SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIEN’S AGENDA

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Creekwood, #1)

I mean this is a given! Simon Vs is one of my favourite contemporaries, I don’t generally read and love this genre and I especially don’t re-read these books, but I re-read Simon all the time. I really enjoy Simon as a character, and if I’m honest I think I enjoy the book just a bit more than the movie. The movie is fantastic and you should definitely go see it once you have the chance, but it does have a few issues that kind of rub me the wrong way (no spoilers, because I know it’s not out everywhere yet). That being said, this is a really fun book about cute boys, one horrible boy who should not have a redemption arc/scene and Oreos. Please read it if you haven’t already.

HENRY HOEY HOBSON

Henry Hoey Hobson

Now, if you know me then you know this is one of my favourite childhood/middle-grade reads and whenever I do a MG centred post this (and The Golden Door) usually stars. HHH is one of my favourite stories, and whether that’s to do with nostalgia, the fact that it’s set across the street from where I live (which never happens) or because it’s just a fun family story, I don’t know, but I love this book either way.

This is a cute book about a boy, coincidentally called Henry Hoey Hobson, and he’s just moved into his new home which means a new school, which means new neighbours and new friends. Except, that his new neighbours kinda act like vampires and the kids at his new school kinda think he’s a vampire (this is not paranormal, kids just have overactive imaginations) and that’s definitely not the best thing for everyone to be thinking. Plus, one of the neighbours is a wonderful cook and one of them is an author and one of them is an artist (& a tortured soul blah blah blah).

And, I just realised I did not describe this book very well but, please take my word when I say that i love it!

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DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVOURITE CONTEMPORARIES ON YOUR SHELVES?

DO YOU LIKE BOOKSHELF TOURS?

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WHAT I’M CURRENTLY LISTENING TO! // ft. My love of audiobooks

Hey guys! Today I’m coming at you with what is sort of like my audiobook tbr but, also like what I’m currently listening to and it’s also like maybe I don’t know what I’m doing and what is this intro at this point??? Anywayyy, AUDIOBOOKS! Enjoy!

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WHAT I’M CURRENTLY LISTENING TO

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I recently watched Merphy Napier talk about the Divergent trilogy on her channel and I thought her views on the trilogy were really interesting. I’ve linked the video (here) so you can watch it if you haven’t already but, I thought her book talk was really interesting. I’ll be honest, I haven’t even thought about the trilogy since I read the first book back in 2014 but the way Merphy talked about the books and Tris as a character really made me want to go back and finish the trilogy, or at least re-read the first book.

I am currently writing this on June 28th, so I might already be finished the book by the time this goes live but, so far I am part way through chapter ten (roughly 125 pages in) and really enjoying it. I wasn’t sure I would even make it through the first chapter because of the way everyone has been trashing the trilogy over the years, but I think that I might even continue the trilogy once I finish this one.

Actually, while I’m on it, I’d love to know if you guys actually finished the trilogy/ read any of the books or if our community trashing the series turned you off reading the books?

WHAT I PLAN ON PICKING UP SOON

Scarlet cover art  The Final Empire cover art  The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle cover art  The Rules of Backyard Croquet cover art  Scythe cover art

So, after I finish listening to Divergent, if I don’t pick up Insurgent straight away, I will probably be picking up some of these (^). I recently read volume 1 of Wires and Nerve and it really made me want to go back and re-read The Lunar Chronicles so hopefully, I’ll be getting to Scarlet soon (Yo, Rebecca, hit me up if you still want to buddy read!).

Throughout this month I also hope to get to the audiobook for The Final Empire, which you should already know if you read my surprise tbr for the month! I have already listened to this before and I loved it so I can’t wait to re-listen to this one!

And then we have The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, The Rules of Backyard Croquet & Scythe which I’m hoping to get to sometime in the next month or two!

Let me know if you’ve read or listened to any of these and what you thought of them!

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WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY LISTENING TO?

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE AUDIOBOOK?

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5 SHOWS I AM ALWAYS HAPPY TO RE-WATCH!

Hey guys! Today I’m taking a mini break from talking about reading, but not to worry I will be coming back in a few days to talk more about my love of audiobooks!

So today, I’ll be talking to you guys about my top 5 tv shows that I am always happy to re-watch. I didn’t add Lucifer because that’s more of a happy show but, these are some of my favourite shows!

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BROOKLYN NINE-NINE

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Yes, the show has a few problems (asexual and fat jokes) but overall, this show is absolutely amazing and the entire cast is a gift! I love this show and I honestly can’t believe that more people don’t watch it. This is a hilarious show with a really diverse cast and really diverse characters. The episodes are pretty short and the characters are all amazing in their own rights and YOU SHOULD ALL WATCH THIS SHOW!

MERLIN

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I mean, come on, it’s Merlin. This show was my childhood. I used to watch this show constantly and I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty obsessed.

I know what you’re thinking. But, Ellyn, you’re such a calm and not at all obsessive person! Well, reader, I have not always been this way (I’m still not), in fact, I used to be so obsessed that I could recite whole episodes from the show and I knew every scene off by heart. I was mega creepy and I pretty much never stopped talking about it for 5ish years. If Merlin was on, we had silence or we had a war on our hands (not to be dramatic or anything).

 

PUSHING DAISIES

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Technically, *whispers* technically this is a cheat because I still haven’t finished season 2 but but but but but, I am always re-watching season 1 and it always makes me so happy!

It’s got Lee Pace (the dude in all the SFF movies) and he plays a Pie Maker who can touch dead things and bring them to life except that he ends up bringing the chick he really likes back to life and oh! Guess what! Once he brings them back he can’t touch them again or they will die and not come back again, whoops!

So, it’s this cute love story between two beautiful and soft people who can’t touch and one of them loves bees and the other loves pies and oh, did I mention they solve crime?

CHARMED

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*Coughs* So, technically I haven’t finished this show either but, I know how it starts (I’ve seen the first couple of seasons), I know what happens in the middle and I know how it ends. And, I know that based on how often I watch the show that I’m going to still love the show when I’m old because I’ve been watching this since I was like, 12 so DUH!

Also, let’s talk about the reboot because it looks like trash and I want to scream and cry and mope about it because WHAT HAVE THEY DONE!

FRIENDS

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I LOVE FRIENDS! I am currently watching the show through fully for the first time ever, but I am somewhere into season 3 and I’m really enjoying it. I feel confident in saying that I love Joey Tribbiani and that Ross Geller can choke.

Much like with Charmed, I have always been semi-watching this show and I’ve always been aware of what was going on plot-wise but I would say that my ideas and judgements on the show have definitely changed over the years. For example, I now hate the relationship between Rachel and Ross and did I mention that Ross can choke? He’s such a wet blanket that I almost want to skip ahead whenever he’s in a scene.

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WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE SHOWS?

DO YOU HAVE ANY MUST-WATCH SHOWS?

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