January 2018 Favourites

I thought I would take the plunge and do a January favourites because who doesn’t need to reflect on everything they’ve been enjoying at the end of the month? Let’s be honest, at this point in the month I am skint and living my life on the sofa as this is all I can afford, so here’s what I’ve been loving so far this year!


Overshoes – biking bloggers, why has no one told me about the joy that overshoes would bring into my life? My feet stay toasty warm and dry during my winter road rides and they keep my gorgeous new touring shoes clean….why did I wait so long to buy them!? I’ve got SealSkinz ones and I am well and truly in love!

Under Armour Sports Bras – so I got Christmas money from some family and being the biking addict that I am, I decided to purchase some new sports bras with the money. Not only are these cute as, but they’re super comfy and a great fit (not too tight to try and get off but perfectly tight for support!) I’m in love and would highly recommend!


Brooklyn Nine Nine – this is one of my all time favourite shows and the latest series has just gone onto Netflix UK so of course I am hooked. It’s hilarious and there’s some thing lovely about Andy Samberg so what’s not to love?

Homeland – Season six of Homeland has gone onto Netflix UK so boyfriend and I are working our way through the series. It was actually my dad that made me watch it originally and I’m forever greatful.


December & January Book Haul

Okay guys, I don’t know if anyone noticed but until December, I was in a really bad reading slump. I was still reading, don’t get me wrong but it felt like a chore, I had to make myself read before bed or I wouldn’t have read anything. I barely bought any books last year at all, I don’t know what was wrong with me. However, December hit and the reading slump vanished, I was excited to read again, I saw so many books that I wanted to buy and I felt inspired and refreshed. Ready to read so many new books and dabble into some new genre territory. Because of this new passion for reading, I ended up buying a lot of books, which is unusual for me anyway because we’re saving for a house so my money is a bit tight at the moment and every spare penny is getting funnelled into my Save To Buy ISA. Without further ado, here is my very first ever book haul on the blog (I think).

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August – Claire North = I’ve wanted to read this since Regan (Peruse Project) reviewed it on her YouTube Channel. I didn’t want it that much to justify buying it full price, however I found it recently for £2 in my local British Heart Foundation and picked it up. Who doesn’t love a pre-loved book bargain? I am hoping to get around to this book so, but we all know that I suck at sticking to any form of TBR pile.

Tower Of Dawn – Sarah J Maas = Of course I would pick this up almost as soon as it came out. I went to my local independent book store, Main Street Trading Company to order the book in between Christmas and New Year. The staff were so friendly and it felt so good to be supporting my local book shop! I’ve already read this book and loved it, I might even right a book review of it soon, I’m not 100% sure.

And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie = I watched the tv adaptation with my sister last year (or the year before?) and I loved it. When I got a book voucher for my birthday I knew I had to pick this up and I went to Waterstones and got it. I am really looking forward to reading it, it’ll be my first Agatha Christie novel and I’m sure that it won’t be my last one.

Nevernight – Jay Kristoff = This is a book I’ve been meaning to pick up after hearing Catriona (LittleBookOwl) raving about it, multiple times on her YouTube channel. I’ve honestly got very little idea what the book is about, however, I do have very high expectations about it. It was a bargain on Amazon when I got it, £1.99 for the kindle book!

The Raven Boys- Maggie Stievwater = This was my January Audible credit, after hearing so many things about this series again recently. I’ve not listened to it yet, but I think it might be the next book to accompany me on my commutes to and from work.

The Republic of Thieves – Scott Lynch = My December Audible credit, as I have been working my way through the series, I thought I’d use my monthly credit to purchase the next instalment and see what Locke and Jean are getting up to.

Assassin’s Apprentice – Robin Hobb = So many people have recommended this book series to me and I finally decided to see what all the hype is about the books. I’ve no idea what the premise of the book is, so I shall be going in blind but sometimes I think that that is the best way to read fantasy novels anyway.

Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor = This is another book that I’ve heard LittleBookOwl going on about on her YouTube channels recently and it’s got such hype surrounding it on BookTube. I am definitely, definitely getting round to reading this as soon as I have finished my current read.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor = this is another book that I am super late to pick up after the hype surrounding these books years ago. I’ve heard so many good things about it, I just couldn’t justify buying them when I was a student. However, I saw this first instalment in Waterstones and I was transported back to watching everyone rave about the series on youtube and had to get it.

Have you read any of the books included in this haul? Any books you would recommend to pick up soon, included in this haul or not?


Ten Books I want to read in 2018

Guys, I am using this year as the excuse that I need to cut my TBR pile down to a minimum. It’s getting out of hand and it’s ridiculous the amount of books I’ve accumulated across the years. I want to read as many of my books on my TBR list and also buy a very limited amount of books. I reckon that I will try to read three books for every book that I buy this year and hopefully that will be me well on my way to reducing my GINORMOUS TBR pile. Also, watch this space for many book unhauls this year, because I am planning on getting rid of books as I read them if I am not planning of ever picking them up again. I will be doing a few posts on the books that I am getting rid of, and I’ve already got a couple of books saved away for these posts and then they’ll be off to the charity shop to be loved and read by someone else. However, without further ado, here are the books that I most want to read and get off my TBR list!

The Final Empire – Brandon Sanderson:It’s embarrassing how long I’ve had this book on my tbr list and I’ve picked it up a few times, started it, read a couple of chapters and then put it down for a new release. Every time without fail. NOT THIS YEAR!

If You’re Lucky – Yvonne Prinz: I was given this book for review from Netgalley in 2015 and I’ve still never gotten around to reading it, let alone reviewing it! How bad is that? Sorry Netgalley!

Anne of Green Gables – L.M Montgomery: I’ve no idea why on earth I have never read this book, I have it’s sequel too but I’ve never read it. It’s my auntie’s favourite book and she always asks me if I’ve read it yet but it’s never happened yet.

Made In America – Bill Bryson: I seem to read one Bill Bryson book per year for some reason, so seeing as I’ve owned this book for 5 years, I should probably make this one my next read and finally knock it off the TBR list.

Chinese Cinderella – Adeline Yen Mah: One of my most trusted and bookish friends recommended that I read this book whilst we were at Uni and seeing as I graduated almost three years ago, I should probably get round to reading this sooner rather than later.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson – John Green: I’m not a huge John Green fan, so I’ve been putting off reading this book for quite a long time. I should stop putting it off and just read it. I’ve probably made the situation worse in my head, but I just don’t like his writing….maybe I should just unhaul without reading?

Room – Emma Donoghue: Does a reread count? I’ve not reread this book since I got Goodreads back in 2012, so it’s been sitting unread on my to-read shelf for a long time and I want to finally get around to picking it up again. Fingers crossed it’s as good as I remember!

Before I Go To Sleep –  S.J Watson: Again, I’ve picked this book up numerous times and something newer always comes along and I lose interest. 2018 is the year to fix this!

Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein: We all know how much I love WW2 historical fiction so why is this still on my TBR pile? Even I can’t answer this question. I think this might be my next read.

Mischling – Affinity Konar: I purchased this book entire off of Goodreads recommendations and I’ve barely even thought about it since I’ve picked it up. I think it’s because it’s a kindle book and I always look at my physical shelves when picking my next book. Too many books to chose from, so little time to read at the moment.

What are the books you’re aiming to read this year? Have you got a TBR pile as big as mine?




Lucy’s Book Club for the Lost and Found – Emma Davies

*I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

I’m honestly not sure what I think of this book, I’ve been thinking about what to say about this book for a couple of days and I’m still not sure what I would rate it. A 3.5 stars?

Overall, I enjoyed this book, I just found it lacking in something I can’t quite put my finger on. I found it easy to read but not a book that I was eager to read when I put it down. It just lacked a bit of oomph and attraction that just wasn’t there for me. It wasn’t as feel-good and enjoyable as I think the storyline could have been.

The one thing that I can put my finger on that put me off this book was the relationship between Jasper and Lia. He was such an arrogant person as soon as he walked into the story and his character just bugged me the whole time. There is one bit about the relationship that particularly bugged me *spoiler* and that’s when she’s scared he’s going to get mad for wanting to be alone after her mother’s death. She was expecting him to “rage” when she asked him to leave and that’s not a healthy relationship!

Also, Hattie just gives Jasper Lia’s address after Lia has already said she didn’t like his attitude when the first met. Like really? I’d be so annoyed if one of my friends gave out my address to an almost stranger after he’d been rude on the first meeting.

I didn’t hate the book, I think I was expecting more from the book that I should have. I haven’t read an Emma Davies book before and I can’t say that after reading this one that I’ll pick up another one of her books anytime soon.


New Year, New Nicole?

I always do a post at the start of the year telling you about all the new year challenges I’ve set myself so why would 2018 be any different? I’m not going crazy this year, but I am going to set myself a few challenges some of which are bigger and scarier than others. Without further ado, in 2018 I will

  • cycle 1,000 miles
  • take part in an organised cycle event
  • take part in a fitness class or group
  • walk more steps than in 2017
  • buy my first house with Boyfriend
  • have Christmas dinner for all the family in said house
  • read 35 books
  • spend more quality time with family and friends
  • learn to step away from technology more often.

What are your goals for 2018?


Top Five Books I Read in 2017

Instead of doing my usual yearly wrap up, I thought I would share with you the top five books that I read this year. How is 2017 almost over? I’ve still got one book to read before I’ve completed my Goodreads challenge but I’m sure I can get another book in the bag before the year is out.

Talking As Fast As I Can – Lauren Graham

I blooming loved this book so much I cannot explain. I loved the Gilmore Girls growing up and I still watch them from time to time now. Of course when I heard about her bringing out a book telling about her time recording the Gilmore Girls and the revival, I had to get it on Audiobook. Highly, highly recommend this book, especially as an audiobook!

Perfect – Cecelia Ahern

I was so excited when I heard that the second instalment in the Flawed Series was coming out. I jumped at the chance to get this book on Netgalley and I was so glad that I did. It’s such a great concept, and I think it’s so appropriate in the current political climate. Definitely recommend picking up the series!

A Court of Wings and Ruin – Sarah J Maas

Where do I even start with this series? GO AND READ IT FOR YOURSELF! I cannot rate this series highly enough and there is nothing that I can say that will make this series any more interesting to you than if you were to read the blurb! Go! Go! Enjoy!

Salt to the Sea -Ruta Sepetys

Ruta Sepetys is one of the best young adult authors I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Salt to the Sea is one of the most tragic and under-rated young adult historical fiction books I’ve read and I didn’t even realise that it was based on a true story. I spent so much time reading about the unknown (to me) events of WW2 after this book and I was shocked to discover how little I knew. This book was an eye opener and it is a book that will haunt me for a long time to come.

A History of Britain in 21 Women – Jenni Murray

I learned so much in this book that I couldn’t not include it. It taught me so much that I had absolutely no clue about and it taught me how bad-ass British women were/are. If you want to read about how awesome us women are as intellectuals and human beings, check this book out. You might discover a few things along the way that make you realise how ignorant to history you truly are, or then again, that might just be me!

What books have you loved this year? Let me know so I can branch out with my reading in 2018!


Weekend Wanders – Arthur’s Seat and Edinburgh’s Christmas

Hello and welcome to a wintery edition of weekend wanders!

This time was a little bit impromptu as what I had wanted to do was to spend the day wandering around the Edinburgh botanic gardens, however, by the time we actually ended up in Edinburgh it was getting dark. So, instead we decided to head up Arthur’s seat as the sun was setting and it was breath taking. I’ve never seen views like it, that is I’ve been up Arthur’s seat before (it’s a great place to go for Bonfire night and New Year because you get great views of all the fireworks in and around Edinburgh) but there is something so magical about seeing the sunsetting over the city.

Sunset from Arthur’s Seat


The only downside to seeing the beautiful sunset was that it was blooming freezing at the top of Arthur’s seat, even with a big woolly jumper, a thick winter coat, hat, scarf and gloves! I was so freaking cold. And then we had to hike back down Arthur’s Seat in the pitch black, which was not exactly my idea of fun!

We then headed along to the Christmas markets for a wander around all the cute and Christmassy stalls and food. I love the Christmas markets in Edinburgh, they really do get you in the Christmas spirit, but the stalls are always very samey so we don’t normally buy anything. Except food, because you cannot go to the Christmas markets in Edinburgh and not got a waffle or some churros!

As we were heading back to the car, we spotted the castle all lit up blue for St Andrew’s Day! It looked awesome!

Edinburgh Castle – St Andrew’s Day


The One That Got Away – Melissa Pimmentel

I finally got around to picking this book and up and I’m glad that I did. If you’re after a light and fluffy romance, then this is the book for you. I love, LOVE romance novels at this time of the year, there is nothing nicer than curling up on the sofa, with a hot chocolate and good old romance novel to pass away the cold and wintery nights!

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I flew through it once I got into it (about two chapters in before I was fully hooked). I liked the characters and I loved the flashback aspect of the book, as it really added to the depth of the novel and helped to build up not only Ruby and Ethan’s past relationship but also Ruby’s character as a whole.

The only problem that I had with this book is that it ended too abruptly after the much awaited and built up climax. It just ended. You didn’t get a hint of a happily ever after or a disaster after words. It literally ended after being built up from page one, and it felt like as soon as the author had reached her end point, that was it for the book, she just left the readers hanging, not giving even the slightest hint of what happened afterwards.

Overall though, it was a pleasant, fun and easy read!

*this book was given to me for free by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*


Fitness Friday – My Winter Cycling Gear

It’s that time of year again where all of us fitness freaks have to dig out their winter kit, or buy new winter kit because you’ve either lost weight since last winter, or your body shape has changed entirely over the year. Normally, I would just stick to the stuff that I had last year, but I’ve actually gained a bit of weight across the year, and normally I’m not committed enough to take my exercising outside in the winter months. This year, I’ve decided to man up and actually continue to do some exercise and thus ended up buying some winter cycling gear to help me on my merry fitness way (and hopefully, lose that weight I’ve gained this year!)

DHB Softshell Jacket – I bought this with money that I received for my birthday, however, they don’t do the colour that I bought it in any more. I opted for the burgundy one because I love burgundy normally and it goes so beautifully with my bike. This jacket is so warm, it’s unbelievable. It’s a windstopper which is exactly what I wanted, but it’s thermal as well and is insanely fleecy inside. I’m very happy with my purchase. We went out in 2 degree weather and I was still perfectly warm!

Boardman Thermal Tights – what I absolutely love about these thermal tights is the reflective detailing on them which is so important with the dark, wintery nights setting in. Again, the tights are so warm, an excellent fit and the padding in them is superb (my bum was not sore in any way shape or form after a 30 mile test ride). The only downside to the tights is that they’re regular tights, they’re not bib tights. However, having said that, the waist band goes up high enough that you won’t need to worry about flashing your builders bum at any riders behind you or any passing cars!

I am still missing some cosy winter riding gloves, thermal base layers and overshoes (and socks for that matter), so if anyone has any recommendations then let me know!


One Christmas In Paris – Mandy Baggot

After joining Netgalley a few years ago, I discovered Mandy Baggot and I’ve been hooked ever since. Every time one of her books is on for review, I MUST, MUST, MUST get it. As a result of that, I’ve had this book for review for about a year and it’s about that I actually got around to reading it as her new Christmas read is out shortly.

I read quite a variety of books and particularly around Christmas time, I love picking up a good romance novel and Mandy Baggot delivers every time. I would highly recommend her novels if you’re wanting a light, fluffy, easy read that you will not be able to put down from the moment you start reading. One Christmas In Paris follows Ava post-breakup as she goes to Paris with her best friend Debs on a mission to forget about her cheating ex and the fact that she left her job. What Ava isn’t expecting is to bump into dreamy Julien on their first night in Paris, and the sparks start flying. But what is Julien hiding and can he be trusted to mend her broken heart?

One Christmas in Paris will have you dreaming of travelling to Paris, whether you’ve been there before or not. Mandy Baggot paints such a vivid and romantic picture of Paris during winter, you’ll be drooling over all the food Ava is eating and you’ll be dreaming about Monsieur Fitoussi whenever you’re not reading the book.  Baggot’s writing will have you routing for Ava, hating Ava’s pushy mother and wanting to curl up on the sofa with a hot chocolate and a pain au chocolate next to your Christmas tree.

Honestly, if you’re a fan of Lindsay Kelk or Giovanna Fletcher, I would highly recommend that you try Mandy Baggot. There are plenty of books to catch up if you’ve never read any of her books before and her newest Christmas read is out now too!

*I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*