Poppy Loves Book Club

Poppy Loves Book Club

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A month before being admitted to hospital I joined a book club.

I’ve always wanted to join one, to broaden my taste in books and have a good discussion about the book after (over a glass of wine or two of course).

I’d suggested creating one with my two closest friends but one of them takes an age to read a short book due to never finding the time to read and the other reads far quicker than me! I thought it would be a great opportunity to get the three of us together at least once a month which is shockingly hard to do with our busy lifestyles. But alas I’ll have to find another way!

Anyway, by chance I found Poppy Loves Book Club:

Poppy Loves Book Club sees women all over the world reading the same book at the same time and then coming online together on Facebook, with the author, to discuss it.

Not only can you get involved in the global online community, but you can also join local branches of the club which are situated all over. There happened to be one local to me in Bethnal Green and I took the leap and signed up.

The first meeting is end of this month and I’m both nervous and excited to meet my fellow East End book lovers.

We are going to discuss both June’s book Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll and July’s book Curtain Call by Anthony Quinn which I’m still reading. My review of Luckiest Girl Alive can be found below:

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

My first Poppy Loves Book Club book and Knoll’s first novel Luckiest Girl Alive became a New York bestseller which in my option is a thoroughly deserved accolade.

The plot kept me guessing all the way through and I was constantly trying to decide if I liked complicated lead protagonist Ani FaNelli, who is a woman with many faces.

Without spoilers, Knoll handles sensitive subject matters with precision and ties a part of her own personal past trauma into the story – an incredibly brave thing to do.

The story takes the reader through unexpected twists and turns and for once, I hadn’t predicted the ending – making it a perfect holiday read.

Some critics have unfairly compared the book to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl which I can only imagine is due both books having a female author and thrilleresque/mystery plot, and though I agree the book isn’t as strong as Gone Girl, it certainly stands alone as a modern entertaining read.

****

(4/5 stars)

 

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A step back.

A step back.

Sometimes life throws a spanner in the works, and two weeks ago that’s exactly what happened.

For reasons still unknown to me, my lower spine has an inflammation and the swelling is sitting on my nerves which is making most of my lower body numb!

I thought I’d done something at the gym (yes I actually joined a gym, that’s how far I was willing to go to become HEALTHIER this year), but when nothing got better, and it started affecting my ability to walk, I went to A&E.

I spent a whole week in hospital! After numerous tests including MRI’s and a lumber puncture (a procedure I NEVER want to experience again!), I am now recovering at home. I have been signed off work for THREE weeks and having physio to strengthen my legs (which hurt after minimal movement) and learn to walk normally again.

This was the year I decided to embrace the second half of my twenties, get stuck into new experiences, focus on my career, health, relationships. It’s amazing how something out of your hands can shake things up!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining – I’m extremely lucky. I don’t have a life threatening illness, I only had to spend one week in hospital while patients on my ward were visiting for their regular treatment, and I should make a full recovery – but the whole thing has really scared me. Something was going on inside my body without any cause of my own and I wouldn’t have known about it without going to hospital. Now I can’t stop thinking about my friends and family – what’s going on inside their bodies?

I’m also still in a period of unknowing, as at this stage they don’t know if this could happen again. And if tests suggest it could, I could have MS.

I’m going to try and take the time out as a gift, try and stop freaking out and reflect on the future. Hey I’ll have more time to update this! And do things like read! But I am worried anxiety is going to steal focus…watch this space.

 

 

5 months…

5 months…

It’s been 5 months. Where has the time gone? Where has my blog gone…?

I started this blog at the beginning of the year with real promise, blinked and it was June. I partly blame my slow laptop which takes about an hour to turn on so I often don’t…and partly blame my work and social life which has been busier than ever recently.

I shall sum up some of the note worthy things that have happened in the last 5 months in bullet points –

  • I GOT A PROMOTION! At the beginning of the year my hope was to speak up at work and find out how I’d go about moving up in the company. Luckily, a position arose and I felt the wise thing to do would be to put myself out there, go for it. Was easier said than done…I soon realised it wasn’t a case of interviewing once more. I had to resubmit my CV then create a 20 minute presentation to present back in a weeks time to two colleagues. I was terrified. Five internal candidates, a few of which were close friends at work…I felt a mixture of emotions. To cut a long story short – I was offered a position as Account Manager! This is the year of doing scary things and even if they don’t work out – I’ve tried. This is an example of it paying off!
  • I saw Brian Wilson perform Pet Sounds at the London Palladium for the final time with my parents. Al Jardine joined him and it was a truly special night. He’s playing only once more in the UK in September at a Brighton festival, trying to persuade my better half to come with…
  • Visited the beautiful city of Sorrento for five days for a romantic getaway. The longest holiday we’ve had together as a couple in nearly seven years! It was perfect in every way. We stayed at Best Western, Hotel La Solara which had ocean views from our room. I’ve left a very complimentary trip advisor review here – it would definitely work as a honeymoon destination!

    There have been plenty of other significant moments which have torn me away from updating this blog but I will no longer let them get in the way! This is something I plan to fully commit to from now on.

    We shall see…

Confidence

Confidence

Day 4 of being back to work and I’ve yet to do the first “brave” thing of the year. I know what it should be – sit down with boss and ask for a promotion, or at least a raise. Why is that always the hardest thing to do?

I work hard; I have been at the job for over a year, and am already undertaking managerial duties. But why can’t I tell the person who needs to hear it? Why can’t I verbally praise my own self?

Personally I’ve always lacked confidence and self-belief and I know I’m not the only one. One thing I have noticed is this problem seems more common in women in the office than men. Women tend to think long before they speak, often deciding in the end not to speak at all. In some circumstances the women are overshadowed by men who ooze confidence, who don’t even take a breath before sharing their opinion.

This has long been a problem for me personally since Primary School. Often if the teacher asked a question, male students in the class would raise their hand immediately unafraid if they had the right answer or not. Personally, I would only put my hand up if I was 110% sure it was correct, constantly in doubt.

Now I’m not saying ALL women are the same as me and lack confidence, and of course not all men think they are Brad Pitt, some men share these issues too. Though I think it’s fair to say a fair portion of the female population have suffered confidence issues, especially in the workplace.

The company I work for has a female CEO who is a talented public speaker and seems to handle situations effortlessly. Though she even admits she wasn’t always confident.

So how do we (male OR female) learn confidence?

I’m going to try and find out in 2016, and see if I can finally tackle my own confidence issues. Let’s get this promotion!

New Year, New You?

New Year, New You?

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2016 is here and so are the TV ads telling everyone to get fit, lose weight and stop drinking…

Though I understand these are all great things for one’s health, I have decided not to set unrealistic resolutions this year. I AM going to drink, (glass of Prosecco in hand as we speak), I AM going to continue to stay in and watch Netflix for hours on end, and I AM going to continue to eat my bodyweight in pasta.

Rather than cut things out, I thought about things I’ve always wanted to do and things to work on during the year instead.

This is where Something Borrowed was born.

Last year, I was in a job I had a love/hate relationship with. I worked in a sales position for a bridal magazine, and though I loved all things bridal, the job made me dread waking up in the morning. My boss was cruel, the wage was insulting and I stuck with it for three and a half long years. One way I’d get through each difficult day was to keep on track with wedding trends, read the latest bridal blogs and keep tabs on the industry and its hardships. I made brilliant relationships with people in the industry, from fabrics manufacturers to gowns designers, and I loved to see new bridal business’ flourish. The job was far more than just sales and targets to me.

Now I am in a sales position in a completely new industry (a job I love to go to every day), but I do miss all things weddings, and I thought, why not write about it in my spare time? Amongst other interests and passions I have. A lifestyle blog, with a wedding twist.

I want to practise writing every day, as I don’t often have the opportunity to in my career, and I envy people like Lena Dunham, who has the self-belief to just go ahead and do it (everyone should sign up to http://www.lennyletter.com/ for a twice weekly email on feminism, style, health, politics, friendship and more).

Even if nobody stumbles upon it, at least I can practise writing and hopefully improve.

I’m definitely no J.K. Rowling or Charlotte Bronte, but I simply enjoy writing and if it’s something you enjoy (like eating, drinking and watching TV), than why the hell not do it. You only live once.

5 things to do in 2016

  1. Something Borrowed, Something Blue
  2. Be brave
  3. Budget!
  4. Focus on relationships
  5. Focus on career