I’m Taking A Hiatus

I’m taking a short break from college-blogging. For June the content of this blog will be solely book-related. I have exams until the 24th (and that is taking into consideration any possible supplementary exams) so I will be busy focusing on that. I will also be busy attending the Durban International Film Festival (more on that in another blog post).
In the meanwhile, I’ve searched far and wide to find the best books and I’m sharing them here.
Happy Twilight (and other books) Month!

Happy Twilight Month!!!

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Proof that I love my Twilight books- they're covered in plastic

I didn’t even know Twilight had a month until Monique from Urbanised Geek told me. I’m so excited to reread the series. I used to love it until I eventually outgrew it but I’m looking forward to going back to Forks. Twilight was like the book of my youth. I read it atleast five times.
Will you be reading or rereading Twilight this month?

My First Visit to Readers Warehouse

DISCLAIMER: THIS POST HAS BEEN COPIED FROM THE OLD Playground of Randomness SITE. THIS POST ALSO INCLUDES AFFILIATE LINKS

 

I remember my first visit to Readers Warehouse the way some people might remember their first boyfriends. To me, that was the moment that I fell in love. All my life I was told not to buy books because they were expensive and here was a place that sold them for ridiculously cheap prices.
It was December 2011 and I was in Johannesburg with family. Uncle George decided we should go to the lifestyle market which sounded pretty boring. So we looked at some plants and some waterfalls. And then I saw it. Nestled in a corner as if it in hiding, there was a bookstore. I was thrilled when we went in.
I was also thrilled when I found books for R50(at that time it would have been lucky if you found a book for R98. No one sold books for R50).
Eventually I ended up with a stack of books for R400 and the kind saleslady seeing the glee in my eyes (and the heap in my arms) got me a basket. I’ve never seen a basket in a bookstore before so that delighted me even more.
Unfortunately my uncle caught sight of me and made me leave a few books behind.
“You can’t take all of these.”
“Yes I can. They’re cheap,” I replied defensively.
He picked a few out that he thought weren’t age appropriate. Eventually we settled on eight books for R250. Still a great deal so I was okay.
In retrospect it was a good idea he stopped me since I ended up spending the rest of my money throughout that holiday.
Have you ever fallen in love with a bookstore? I’d love to know! You can find out more about Readers Warehouse and their bargains by visiting their site here.

Their stores are only in Cape Town and Johannesburg but you can order online. We all know that book mail is the best mail.

How to Avoid Burnout in College

The stress of college can all too easily lead to burnout. Here are a few tips to help you make it to the end of the semester with your sanity and energy levels intact.

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1) Plan Yourself Well- Failing to plan is planning to fail. Those words were drilled into my high school senior year Accounting class. Those words can also be my life motto. It’s difficult but always ensure that you have enough time to get an assignment done (possibly even extra time in case of any unexpected circumstances).

2) Have fun- I’ve been known to literally just sit around and read for hours or have a TV show marathon when I should be studying. Downtime is very very important to ensure you don’t overstress yourself. Take breaks and take them often.

3) Work smart not hard- Okay so this is going to make me sound so bad but I always work harder for the first assignment of each module. The reasoning behind this is that if I get a good enough mark for the first assignment, I don’t need to worry as much for the second one. If you kick ass at both assignments then you’re pretty much guaranteed a pass for the semester (depending on how your final mark is compiled).

4) Don’t compromise on your sleep- Sleep has health benefits and blah blah blah. Don’t give up on your sleep even if it’s for an all-nighter. Your body needs rest to recover from the day and prepare for the next one.

How do you avoid burnout in college?

5 Items to Help You Survive Winter

I’m sitting in the library right now and I’m freezing. Unfortunately the air-conditioning isn’t even on. Yes, winter is coming and it can even be felt in Durban (which is normally pretty hot). Here are a few things you’d need to help you get through winter:

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1) Hot-water bottle- Heating a hot water bottle is a quick and easy way to get warm. For kids, you can get one of those stuffed toys with the hot-water bottle or sandbags inside. It’s such a treat to be warm and toasty in your bed while the rain falls outside.

2) Winter clothes- I strongly believe that you should always go out with layers of clothing especially when it’s winter. This allows you to be warm when you’re cold and you can simply shed a few items when you’re feeling hot.

3) Socks- my dad once told me that “you can’t be warm unless your feet are warm”. I don’t know what the science behind that is but it’s true.

4) Pack an umbrella- an umbrella is nice to have unless you live in one of those areas with a really strong wind.

5) Cold and flu medication- Pretty much everyone I know and their grandmother has already gotten sick from the cold. Stock up on cold and flu medication- especially med-lemon to help protect against cold and flu.

What are your tips for surviving winter?

Fiction Friday: Recoil by Joanne Macgregor

RecoilRecoil by Joanne Macgregor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I feel this review should start with a warning- this book is part of a series (which will all thankfully release this year).I don’t generally like dystopian fiction but I really enjoyed this book. I feel like with the hundreds of dystopian novels that are already out, you can either go very right or very wrong with the genre. My first impression of Recoil was that it was very strange but in a good way. This is a world where people can die if they go outside without proper protection. A lethal plague poses a danger to everyone and they are forced to remain at home 24/7.Jinxy is a teen who is an eager gamer. (What else would she do with all her free time?) Jinxy is soon recruited to join in the force against the terrorists and meets Quinn. However Quinn seems to suspect that their new job is a part of something bigger and more terrifying. What I loved about this book (besides the hot Irish male- I have a weakness for boys in books AND the Irish so obviously I loved Quinn) was that it was pretty different from the usual dystopian book. Unfortunately I can’t say any more without giving spoilers but trust me, if you like dystopian books you’re going to love Recoil.

View all my reviews

10 Tips for The Instagram Newbie

When I first got an android device, Instagram was the first app I installed. This was about two years ago. I’ve only just started figuring out how to use Instagram and use it well. If you’re a newbie to Instagram, here are my tips:

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1) Always add hashtags: Hashtags increase the visibility of your posts. Don’t know what hashtags to use? I always use “Instaworthy” (if a pic isn’t Instaworthy why would it be on Instagram) and other variations with “Insta” such as “Instatravel” or “Instapets”.

2) Interact with others: Like all social networks, Instagram is a place to be social. I’ve met so many great people through Instagram.

3) Return likes and comments: if someone likes or comments on your pictures, it’s always a good idea to return the favour.

4) Try to take as many shots as possible in the daylight: I don’t know if I’m the only one who didn’t know this but natural light is the best for pictures. Take out as many pics as you can during the day.

5) Photo-editing apps are made for Instagram: okay no they’re not but they make your photos look so much better. My favourite apps are Photo Editor and YouCam.

6) People are less likely to follow you if your profile is on private: With private profiles there’s always the risk you might be rejected and who wants that?

7) If your profile isn’t on private, ensure that there’s nothing that would give a future employer a bad image of you: you don’t want or need your employer seeing your Friday night out on the town.

8) Don’t overload people’s feed: Don’t post so often that your photos are the only ones that appear on your followers’ feed. That’s like Instaspam (which, if it’s not a thing, should totally be one).

9) Post regularly- Don’t post once a month either. Post on a regular basis so your followers know that you’re still around. If your last photo is from ages ago, chances are people are going to unfollow you thinking that you’ve abandoned ship.

10) Find your community- I think this is the most important thing. There is someone out there Instagramming the same shots that you are. This may be someone who Instagrams their German Shepherd (if you’re this person, kindly leave your Instagram link in the comments thanks) or pictures of beautiful sunsets. Find the people who Instagram the same things you do and connect with them. I love seeing pictures of German Shepherd puppies and pretty bookstagrams when I log in to Instagram.

What are your tips for Instagram? What do you post on your account? Feel free to leave a comment below.

How to Balance Your Blog with College

College is hard. Being a college student with a blog is infinitely harder. However with some handy tricks you can learn to balance your blog with college.

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1) Schedule everything- You might have noticed by now that I’m a huge fan of planners and to-do lists. Scheduling your commitments ensures you don’t forget them and are aware of them long before they occur. Write down both your college deadlines and important blog post dates. For me every Friday I write a Fiction Friday post so I write this in my diary.

2) Work in advance- Do things before they’re due. Write a few posts before they’re due to be published and queue them up. I usually write an entire week of post on the first day of the month and then work from there.

3) Delegate work- Ask for guest bloggers to post on your blog or ask a friend to help you study when college gets overwhelming.

4) Combine the two- Blog about your college experience. I especially like this option because anyone who is/has been in college can relate to the stress of it.

What are your tips for balancing college and a blog?

Release Day Review: Summer at Rose Island (White Cliff Bay #3) by Holly Martin

Summer at Rose Island (White Cliff Bay #3)Summer at Rose Island by Holly Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I adore Holly Martin’s books. They’re fun, romantic and light-hearted. The White Cliff Bay novels are an especially treasured read of mine because of the colourful characters in town. Darcy moves to White Cliff Bay to pursue a new job and escape her toxic parents. She is instantly attracted to the hot American, Riley. Riley’s feelings for her though are much harder to read. The first time they meet, he chases her away- literally. This is a cute, fun read not unlike the rest of the White Cliff Bay series. New readers are guaranteed to fall in love with this small town and it’s crazy inhabitants.

View all my reviews

10 Signs You’re Meant to Be an English Major

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1) You enjoy reading
2) You enjoy writing
3) You’re good at both reading and writing
4) Your literary collection consists of more than just the latest bestsellers. You have the classics too.
5) You can write an essay in your sleep

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6)  You’ve written something that wasn’t for school (poems, short stories, fanfiction)
7) The idea of having to read and be rewarded for writing about what you read, excites you. Hello easy A
8) You’ve read a classic novel without it being compulsory for class.
9) You don’t mind putting in work for a module that most believe will only lead to you working at McDonalds or Starbucks.
10) Well you’re reading this so you obviously believe you’re meant to be an English major.

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