Tips for A Stress-Free Black Friday

It’s the second most wonderful time of the year (or atleast it is, to me). Black Friday is approaching and with all the deals popping up on my social media feeds, I’m pretty excited. Lots of retailers have extended their specials to week-long or even month-long. But with great promotions come great responsibility and it’s easy to get carried away. Here are a few tips to make your Black Friday shopping a bit easier.

Shopping bags
  1. Make a List- Take note of what you actually DO need/want for Black Friday to avoid accidental splurges on items you do not need. Yes, that big screen TV from Game is a necessity.
  2. Check your budget- Can you actually afford the items on your list? While sales are great, it defeats the purpose if you’re going to be paying off your credit card for months after Black Friday. Even if you did manage to get the new cellphone you were eyeing for months.
  3. Plan your method of attack- Will you be shopping in-store or online? Almost everyone is having online specials as well which means you don’t have to worry about queues or Covid. As someone who hates crowds, this is absolutely perfect. (Also if you ARE going in-store, make sure to wear comfortable shoes and carry a snack just in case you get hungry).
  4. Create accounts for online stores in advance- If you plan on shopping online, make sure that you already signed up for an account on those shopping platforms. Nothing is more annoying than signing up for an account ON Black Friday only to realise afterwards that the items you picked out are now sold. This sounds like a basic tip but sometimes people get excited and forget. It’s me. I am people. And while we are discussing accounts, make sure you are logged in before you start shopping.
  5. Start early- If you know that there is limited stock of the item you’re after or that the offer is for a certain amount of people, be sure to set an alarm so that you’re ready as soon as the sale starts. ‘Ready’ in this case means that you are logged in and ready to start shopping before midnight.

What items are you looking forward to purchasing for Black Friday? Do you have any other tips to make shopping easier? I’d love to know below.

Happy Two Year Work Anniversary

Today marks exactly two years since I started working in Customer Care. Fun fact, I will be moving to a different department soon and I absolutely CANNOT WAIT.

But what I want to talk about is my move to Customer Care two years ago. Basically my manager at the time had me assisting the Inbound Customer Care line and when an opening came up, I immediately asked to apply.

However originally when I started my career, there was nothing more terrifying to me than speaking to customers on the phone.

In fact that was the main reason why I didn’t want a job in the call center. But my manager who knew that I was scared of the phone pushed me and eventually it became one of my favorite things.

It may not be my dream job but when time comes for me to leave, I will definitely cry like a baby.

Moving to Customer Care was one of the best decisions in my life and so I leave you with this quote which should be words to live by:

Book Review: Playing With Fire by L.J Shen

Playing with Fire by L.J. Shen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It took me a while to get into this novel but it was a nice sort of slow burn- sort of like West and Grace’s relationship.
West is running away from his past traumas and his method of escape involves drugs, alcohol and fighting for money.
Grace is trying to hide away from her past where she was involved in a fire that ruined her beauty. Her method of escape involves isolation, baseball caps and hoodies.
When West signs up to work with Grace at her best friend’s food truck, no one expects anything to happen between them. The town’s hottie bad boy and the girl burned so badly she looks like toast? Highly unlikely.
But the two strike up a friendship and the more time they spend together, the more they start to realize that they might not be that different after all.
“Playing with Fire” was a book I looked forward to for a while but was reluctant to approach because it seemed too angsty.
There is a whole lot of angst which is why I couldn’t binge read it the way I wanted to but I enjoyed reading this nonetheless.
This is one of L.J Shen’s finest work and if you want to cry and feel good thereafter, this is the book for you.

View all my reviews

Happy NaNoWriMo

So normally I get really excited for NaNoWriMo. A month dedicated to writing? No pressure? Yes please.

And I was excited way back when I was planning out my study schedule and pushing to finish before November began.

But now that it’s here I have a half-assed story concept, no plot outline and definitely no plan.

I’m still taking part because I feel like I should and at this stage it’s a tradition. If you can’t write a novel after the craziness of 2020 WHEN can you?

Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo? Let me know below.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Finding Audrey” is the story of Audrey who is unable to leave her house or take off her sunglasses- even inside her own house.
Something traumatic happened to her leaving Audrey scarred and unable to trust people.
But then she meets Linus who decides to write Audrey little notes in order to help her get used to him.
The two of them strike up a friendship and eventually with him at her side, Audrey is able to slowly face the world again.
So I had a family member recommend this book to me because I don’t like leaving the house and I was annoyed with them so I never read this book at the time.
Now that I have read it, I wish I had done so sooner (Story of my life).
It is hard not to feel compassion for Audrey and while she never goes into the story of what happened to her, I was rooting for her throughout the book.
Audrey makes me feel seen and reading this book calmed down my anxiety.
100 stars!
(P.S feel free to send more recommendations like this my way)

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I’m BACK!!!

I cannot believe it has been an entire month since I last posted. I’ve been busy with a Project Management module and now I can add Marketing Management and Digital Copywriting to my list of ever-growing certifications.

So while I didn’t really enjoy the studying this time (Covid=increased working hours+ less breaks+ less available study time), I was pretty sad when it ended. In fact it’s been two weeks and all I did was spring clean my room and watch two episodes of “Friends”. I’m pretty disappointed in myself but I figured after the year I had, I deserved a break.

I have scheduled a few book reviews and while I look for my next project, I’m going to focus on tackling that large bookshelf that somehow keeps growing. I swear I’m not buying books. I don’t know how they keep multiplying.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong (Darkest Powers #1)

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So I bought this book for R10 at Readers Warehouse Black Friday sale like three years ago. I didn’t pick it up as I was still missing the remaining books.
I got the remaining books last March and still didn’t start the series because I am a bad reader.
In honor of how much things have changed (and also because my brain keeps thinking we are still in March, thanks Corona) I finally started reading and all I can say is WOW!
Chloe’s first period comes with the startling side effects of her seeing dead people. When she has a very public mental breakdown, screaming at ghosts in her high school, she is moved to a group home with other “ill” students.
However the more time that Chloe spends with her housemates, the more she starts to suspect that something sinister is going on.
It certainly doesn’t help matters that even with her medication, ghosts are STILL trying to talk to her.
I loved the idea of a group home with magically gifted teenagers. It isn’t something that I ever read before so I definitely enjoyed this book immensely.
Kinda sad that it was just sitting there on my shelf for so long and I missed finding this series sooner but that’s the story of my life.
If you like paranormal fantasy, definitely give this a try.

View all my reviews

10 Reasons Why I Prefer Paperbacks to eBooks

  1. They feel comforting- Books bring me joy. Just holding one is comforting to me.
  2. You don’t need to worry about battery life- This is especially important in South Africa with load shedding back. Books can never lose battery life. And if there isn’t enough light, just read by candlelight.
  3. They look great on a shelf- No matter how gorgeous a display of ebook virtual covers, they just cannot compare to a physical bookshelf.
  4. Light enough to hold and read for hours but strong enough to use as a weapon- You never know when someone is going to irritate you and you’re going to want to use you copy of “Kingdom of Ashes” to bash them over the head. No this has never happened to me.
  5. Old paperbacks show signs of being well-read and well-loved- I love when I pick up a secondhand paperback and you can see that whoever owned it before me either kept in pristine condition or read it until it fell apart. My first copy of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” was a tattered R19 copy but I still keep it because I like that someone read it so often, the book eventually lost a few pages.
  6. The smell…allegedly.- I personally cannot vouch for this as I have a very weak sense of smell but apparently books smell good.
  7. Books come in different editions with extras such as maps and fan art- Some of my favorites are “City of Bones” and “A Court of Thorns and Roses”
  8. You can add notes and highlights- You can highlight quotes or make notes in the margins. Yes some ebooks have that function but again, it’s not the same.
  9. Print books go great with cute bookmarks- Magnetic bookmarks, regular bookmarks, character-shaped bookmarks, book art bookmarks…the list goes on.
  10. Print books can be used for research- You know, in case you want to locate a quote or a specific scene. I find it easier if you’re flipping through a print book rather than an ebook, to locate something.

I think both print and ebooks have their own advantages and disadvantages but I definitely don’t think print is dead as yet. Which format do you prefer? I’d love to know below.

Release Blitz: Playing with Fire by L. J. Shen

“Clear off a top spot on your Best of 2020 list. 

Playing with Fire is coming in HOT!”

–Harloe Rae, USA Today bestselling author

Playing With Fire, an all-new intense and all consuming small town standalone romance from USA Today bestselling author L.J. Shen is available now!

A broken boy on the path to destruction.

A scarred girl without direction.

A love story carved in secrets, inked with pain and sealed with a lie.

Grace Shaw and West St. Claire are arctic opposites.

She is the strange girl from the food truck.

He is the mysterious underground fighter who stormed into her sleepy Texan college town on his motorcycle one day, and has been wreaking havoc since.

She is invisible to the world.

He is the town’s beloved bad boy.

She is a reject.

He is trouble.

When West thrusts himself into Grace’s quiet life, she scrambles to figure out if he is her happily-ever-after or tragic ending.

But the harder she pushes him away, the more he pulls her out of her shell.

Grace doesn’t know much about anything beyond her town’s limits, but she does know this:

She is falling in love with the hottest guy in Sheridan U.

And when you play with fire—you ought to get burned.

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!


Amazon Universal:

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About L.J. Shen

L.J. Shen is a USA Today, Washington Post and Amazon #1 best-selling author of contemporary, New Adult and YA romance. Her books have been sold to twenty different countries. 

She lives in California with her husband, son, cat and eccentric fashion choices, and enjoys good wine, bad reality TV shows and catching sun rays with her lazy cat.

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Fiction Friday: Book Review- 10 Things I Hate About Pinky (Dimple and Rishi #3) by Sandhya Menon

10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When rebel Pinky Kumar is accused of burning down the family barn at a holiday (by her mother no less), she decides that she has had enough of her mother looking down at her and her eccentric protest ways.
She comes up with a plan to show everyone that even Pinky Kumar can find a “good boy”. Except Pinky Kumar doesn’t really know any good boys. So she calls in Samir Jha, a friend of a friend who is dull as can possibly be.
Samir has planned every second of his life. When his law internship falls through, he agrees to Pinky’s plan in exchange for the opportunity to work for her lawyer mother.
The two of them hate each other so pretending to be in a relationship might take a bit work. But they both get something out of it so it shouldn’t be that tough, right?
But as Pinky and Samir start to spend more time together to make their fake relationship look authentic, they both start opening up to each other and sparks begin to fly.
This reminded me alot of “When Dimple Met Rishi” but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
The two characters are polar opposites but surprisingly they work.
I strongly recommend this novel if you are looking for a light read.

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