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Books I Read in January 2022

1 Feb 2022

Well well well, It's been a minute since I updated here. I've been taking a break from blogging and forcing myself to post on social media in general to allow myself to fall in love with it again. And I think I'm finally ready to kick things off again. I also fell of the reading wagon a bit for a similar reason. I felt like I was reading in order to post about the books rather than just reading because I wanted to. But I've been reading again which has been great so I thought I should start with what I read last month. I got through four books all of them very different but all of them enjoyable nonetheless.

You'll Be The Death Of Me

Karen M McManus

Gifted by Penguin for TikTok content creation purposes

Ivy, Mateo, and Cal were best friends in middle school and when they all by chance run into each other in the parking lot in the midst of different personal crises they decide to skip school for the day. However while there, they discover another classmate murdered in an abandoned building and are suddenly part of a murder investigation. Not quite the day off they had in mind.

I loved One of Us is Lying and I’m always so keen to read more of Karen M McManus but I’m generally not a mystery thriller reader. It was the character arc that sold me on OOUIL rather than the mystery aspect and I guess it was similar for this one too. I just didn’t love it as much. Still a great read and story though. (also who let me make actual proper TikTok content for actual penguin. MADNESS)

Swimming In The Dark

Tomasz Jedrowski


Growing up in a communist Poland, Ludwig struggles to be himself. In this love letter to his former lover he unpacks his past - an early encounter with a local boy, his blossoming relationship with the elusive Janusz and the ever-escalating political climate in Poland.

This book managed to perfectly encompass my comfort movie genre of chill european social issue dramas in the most beautiful way. If this was an indie film on Netflix I would have ABSORBED it immediately but it's something I've never really read before. The language was so beautiful and ornate that I needed to write down my favourite quotes to come back to again and again. Words are powerful and Tomasz Jedrowski does an absolutely amazing job of stringing them together to make you see and feel and experience everything so vividly. I read it all in one sitting which is something I've struggled to do lately as well. It was heartbreaking yet had so much heart at the same time and just PLEASE READ THIS BOOK OKAY!

Franny and Zooey

J.D. Salinger


Franny and Zooey are the youngest members of the Glass family and in 1950s New York they’re trying to figure out their place in the world. In these two short stories from J.D. Salinger we learn about the Glass family and how growing up has affected each of them differently.

This is a book I’ve been planning to read for years, I’ve looked for it countless times in bookshops and never managed to find it so when I saw it on the shelf of WH Smith at the airport I figured it was destiny. I’m a little mixed on how I feel about it because I loved ‘Franny’ a lot but I really didn’t enjoy ‘Zooey’ all that much so it was very much a story of two halves for me but I’m still very glad to finally have read it after so long.

Pachinko

Min Jin Lee


Sunja is born in a village in Korea as the only surviving child of a crippled fisherman and his wife who run a boarding house. As a teenager, she falls in love with a wealthy yakuza who promises her the world but when she falls pregnant she learns that he is already married. To prevent shame on her family a kind young minister passing through on his way to a church in Japan offers to marry her instead and take on the child as his own. As she journeys with him to a new land where Koreans are not often welcomed she and her family face many trials as we follow them through almost 100 years and four generations.

I picked this one up when I was at John Sandoe in London (one of my all-time favourite book shops and definitely worth a visit next time you’re in the city). I loved this story and it had so much heart. I really felt like I was journeying through life with Sunja. I read it over the course of the whole month which I think helped with the span. I definitely cared for some characters more than others but it was so interesting to learn about a whole piece of history that I’d never read about before. This is definitely a book that I’ll be thinking about for a long time.
That's a wrap on January's reads. I'm really happy to be back to reading again and I have a lot of exciting books lined up for the next few months which I can't wait to get stuck into. Make sure to follow me on Goodreads (and also StoryGraph because I've been trying to use it more) to keep up with all my latest reading ventures. Let me know down below what you've been reading to give me some inspiration!

book recommendations based on red (taylor's version)

28 Nov 2021

It's been a HOT MINUTE since I last did a bookish post, mainly because I've not really been reading that many books. I'm sort of only averaging one or two a month at the minute so I don't feel like it's worth updating. You can see all that on Goodreads if you follow me there! I actually think my last one was book recommendations based on the Eurovision top five so maybe I'm carving myself a niche here.

Something I have been doing a lot of recently is listening to a LOT of Taylor Swift! You Belong With Me was one of the very first songs I ever bought on iTunes so I’ve been a Taylor Swift fan for as long as I’ve been a music fan. I even have my original copy of Red on CD still to this day so Red (Taylor’s Version) was something that I personally was very excited for.

I’ve tried to include a wide variety of genres and vibes here – this was a MAMMOTH task okay, she released thirty songs – that’s almost as many books as I’ve read this year alone. I ended up just opting for all the songs on the original release of the album rather than the vault songs because truly nobody has time to read that, but in case you were wondering, my favourite vault songs are Better Man, Nothing New and obviously the ten minute All Too Well!

For this post I’ve got the song, a line of the song I think is particularly poignant and connects to the book, a summary of the book and a brief thought from me on why I picked it. There’s a lot going on so I guess we’ll just jump right in.

simple ways to get your room holiday ready

22 Nov 2021

*THIS POST IS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH POSTER STORE AND CONTAINS GIFTED ITEMS*


I simply adore the festive season. It’s something that’s fairly obvious about me if you spend any time with me at all during the November/December period. I’m famous in my friendship group for always being the first one to watch and review all the latest Netflix Christmas movies so naturally I’m the first person people come to in order to get into that Christmassy mood. However, while my days are spent filled with my favourite Christmas music and the rest of the house it covered with tinsel, my room always ends up looking the same as always. I think I’ve always put it down to the space being too small to fit anything extra in but there are some really great ways to spruce up your current décor to give it a bit of a festive twist. I have lots of different posters and prints all over my room throughout the year and they usually stay fairly consistent but grabbing some new festive ones, like these ones I got from Poster Store are a really great place to start!
I’ve worked with Poster Store in the past and I’m always so impressed with the quality of the prints. So naturally, when the idea arose to spruce up my room for Christmas, I knew I could rely on them for some cute festive prints. All the posters are printed on sustainable but high-quality paper coming from responsibly managed forests which meet the highest environmental and social standards.

I already had these frames with prints in them so all I had to do was switch them up for the holiday season but if you don’t Poster Store also sell frames to fit whatever posters you choose so you’re guaranteed a perfect fit. I opted for one 21x30 sized print and one 30x40 sized print to add a little bit of intrigue with the different sizes. I mentioned that my room is quite small so I’m often apprehensive about going for massive prints so they don’t overpower the room, but I find that these sizes work perfectly together to fill the space I need.
The prints that I opted for are these two typography prints with the words ‘Let It Snow’ and ‘It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year’. I just really love the simplicity of them, and I think they add such a fun but simple festive touch. A funny coincidence about this is that I’m a massive Il Volo fan, they’re an Italian operatic pop trio if you’re unfamiliar and they actually do a Christmas Medley featuring both of these songs, the only one that’s missing is Jingle Bell Rock!
Some other easy ways to spruce up your décor for the winter season is to add some fairy lights because although they work all year round there’s just something so so festive and joyous about them at this time of year. Also light a festive candle and relax with a cup of hot chocolate in a festive mug and snuggle under some festive bedding. Have I said the word festive enough?
One really great thing about Christmas décor is that, if you do it properly, it’s sustainable. While you only use these things once a year a lot of the joy of Christmas is nostalgia and so you end up using the same things year after year because of the memories associated with them. I still use the same stocking that I got for my first Christmas in 1998. So the memories that you make with your Christmas décor now will be things that you’ll remember every time you go to put them up every year afterwards. It reminds me of the Taylor Swift song New Year’s Day - ‘Hold on to these memories and they will hold on to you”!
If you want to switch up some of your prints for the festive season, there are so many other great ones on Poster Store that you can check out and they’ve even given me a discount code for you so you can get 55% off! Use ALICE/55 at checkout for your discount and make your Christmas magical! This code is valid until 29th November for all posters, not just festive ones (except Selection) and it is not combinable with other discount campaigns and can’t be used for frames. What is your favourite way to decorate for the holidays?

my quiet time essentials

28 Oct 2021

One thing I’m never been great at as a Christian is actively doing my quiet time. I’ve recently started leading a small group with some of our young people and we’re trying to get them excited about the Bible and in order to do that, we need to be excited by the Bible. I must be doing a decent job because I asked a question on Instagram a few days ago about what Alice isn’t Alice without, and one of my young people said her Bible! I thought I’d share some of the things that I’ve found recently have really helped me with putting more focus into reading my Bible and enjoying my quiet time.

Find a Bible That Works For You

Just to start off on a controversial note, I don’t really think it matters what version of the Bible you use! If you’re not up to the old language of the King James Version and prefer to read something easier to understand like The Message, then that’s okay! I personally use an ESV because that’s my personal choice but I’m not here to yell at someone for choosing a different version, we do not gatekeep the Bible friends! I recently purchased some bible tabs to make it easier to locate things (and they’re also super pretty) – my young people are also obsessed with these and can’t believe I actually sat down and stuck them all in! I actually only got this bible reasonably recently because I wanted to switch to a journaling Bible so that I can actually take notes and keep track of things better but again if you want something more compact – you do you!

Study Soundtrack

I have music on constantly in my life and that doesn’t change when I’m doing my bible studies. The only difference is I’m no longer bopping to sad pop hits but tuning into worship music. My favourites at the moment are from Elevation Worship, UPPERROOM and Maverick City Music. There are plenty of chill Christian hits playlists on Spotify to keep it fresh though.

Find a Study

Diving straight into the Bible can be a little intimidating so that’s why I always find it helpful to work through a study you can get plenty of these for free online, The YouVersion Bible app has many great ones. But I really find it’s helpful for me to have a physical book. I’ve recently started using studies from The Daily Grace Co which I’ve been absolutely loving. They often have sales on so you can snap them up for a bargain price. She Read’s Truth is also a great place for studies and you can even sign up to receive a free daily devotional to your email inbox!

Make a Tea/Coffee

I mentioned that reading your Bible should be an enjoyable experience and not something you feel forced to do and what better way to add comfort to an experience than with a cup of tea or coffee. I always find having a hot drink really helps me to slow down and be more present in the moment which is the perfect addition to quiet time. Just be careful not to spill!

Put your phone away

Once I’ve set the ambience I always but my phone away so I’m not distracted. If you’re anything like me I’m so often planning to do something and then I always end up doing something on my phone or laptop instead. Obviously if you’re using your phone for the study or for the Bible this is a little different but that’s why I always try and use physical resources wherever possible to eliminate technology related distractions.

Use a Journal

I’m pretty sure that everyone has extra notebooks sitting on their shelves – I think it’s part of being human. Using one as a quiet time journal is a great way to use them up! You can write down anything that stands out to you from your reading and a lot of the time, bible studies will come with questions for each section. It’s always good to write these things down so you can refer back to them at a later date rather than just relying on your memory so even if you’re using a digital equivalent, it’s still a good idea to take notes.
Those are just a few ways that I've fallen back in love with my quiet time lately and I hope it's inspired you as well. I'm always on the look out for new resources so if anyone has any recommendations let me know down below, but other than that I hope you have a lovely, blessed day!

autumnal this or that

5 Oct 2021

Now that it's October I think we can finally stop clinging to the remnants of summer and finally start embracing autumn in all its wonderful crisp goodness! I think autumn is my favourite season and so I'm very excited to finally be able to wear knitwear and it be socially acceptable - I went to New York during a heatwave once and only brought knitwear with me so I realistically will wear knitwear all year round whether it's socially acceptable or not. Anyway, since I'm so excited about this new season I put together a little autumnal this and that post with a few questions so that I can talk about my favourite autumnal things.

Pumpkin Spice or Flat White

I'm very much a flat white girl. Don't get me wrong PSL season is very exciting and I always end up grabbing at least one before the autumn is up but I've never been one for flavoured drinks. I don't put vanilla syrup in my latte so I also generally don't put pumpkin spice in it either!

Scary Film or Cosy Film

A COSY FILM! I'm really really really not a horror girl - my favourite book of all time is a horror book but that's irrelevant. I just adore the cosy vibes you get from watching a cheesy from com set on a pumpkin patch - what is there not to like!

Apples or Pumpkins

APPLES - if you couldn't tell from the imagery on this post! I love the concept of pumpkins and I think they make really pretty decorations but I don't want to eat them that much whereas I love apples so while I'd probably pick pumpkins for aesthetic reasons, apples are my favourite and definitely remind me of autumn more!

Book or Movie Night

Ooooh a tough one! I genuinely love both especially during autumn when I can curl up with a blanket but I think a good book might just come out on top because reading when it's raining outside and you're all wrapped up inside is just ultimate cosy vibes and if you know me I am always about being as cosy as possible in any given circumstance.

Slippers or Fluffy Socks

This is a tough one because before this year I would have definitely said fluffy socks but I recently purchased my first pair of proper slippers and they've changed my life and I don't know how I was doing without them for so long before!

Go out or stay in

STAY IN! Don't get me wrong I love the leaves changing and going on a nice brisk autumn walk but as we've already established I am very much cosy vibes let's stay in and read person and I think the autumn is perfect for that. Of course, I'll balance it with some fresh air every so often but for the most part you will find me inside all cosied up for a majority of the month of October!
I hope you enjoyed this little post - I also made a template it you want to share your picks on Instagram or you can feel free to recreate this post yourself because I'd love to see your autumnal picks too!

creating the gallery wall of my dreams with poster store

5 Sept 2021

*THIS POST IS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH POSTER STORE AND CONTAINS GIFTED ITEMS*


I firmly believe that you can tell a lot about someone based on their walls. When I was younger, I had posters plastered all over my room – Starting with Scooby Doo when I was little, moving on to High School Musical (my obsession with Gabriella Montez was real) and then to One Direction, my walls have always been able to tell you a story about me. At this stage in my life, I’m very into scandi-style so when Poster Store an exciting upcoming Swedish wall art company reached out to me, I knew that some new prints were just what I needed for my walls to continue to tell my story.
At Poster Store there are a whole host of different prints you can choose from in lots of different styles and sizes so that your new gallery wall is uniquely yours! They’re beautiful and affordable and new designs are released every Tuesday, so you’ll never be out of style! All the posters are also printed on sustainable but high-quality paper with all the wood used for the posters comes from responsibly managed forests which meet the highest environmental and social standards.
Choosing the best prints for you can be a challenge. If you’re planning on creating a gallery wall it’s important that all of the prints you pick look good together and that can sometimes be hard to visualise online. What I found helpful in picking these ones was to select a few that I liked and have them open in different tabs so flit between to gauge what they may look like together. Poster Store also offer a big variety of gallery wall inspiration on their website to give you an idea of what you could create and is such a great tool for visualising the final product. You can also buy your frames direct from Poster Store too so there’s no risk in your frames not matching and ruining your gallery wall effect.
Onto the prints I went for, I guess! For the gallery wall I opted for these three. I mentioned that to pick these I had them all open in different tabs and finally decided that these ones looked good together and would also look good against the walls. Picking posters is such a fun task especially when there are so many great ones to choose from. I really felt like I was an interior designer for a second and I’m so happy with how this section turned out.
Obviously with so many great prints to choose from I couldn’t leave it with just those three because even if you’re not looking to set up a full gallery wall, one individual print can do a lot to elevate a room on its own. So naturally, I also got a few additional prints for other parts of the room. I’m such a big Frida Kahlo fan that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to add a Frida print to my collection. I had some frames lying about the house and since these ones weren’t part of the gallery wall, I just ordered the prints on their own as matching wasn’t too much of a worry.
If you’ve been inspired and want to check out Poster Store you can get 45% off all posters (except the Selection series) with the code 45ALICE until 12th September 2021 and doesn’t apply to any other ongoing discount campaigns that may be taking place. Make sure to let me know what you get up to and which of the prints is your favourite!