My Anxiety Handbook by Sue Knowles, Bridie Gallagher and Phoebe McEwen – book review

Synopsis

For 12 to 18-year-olds with anxiety, this anxiety survival guide will help you learn to recognise and manage symptoms and overcome your biggest worries. This book helps you understand the ins and outs of your own anxiety, and challenge the difficult patterns you may get into.

Co-written with a college student who has experienced anxiety herself, it is a relatable and straightforward guide. As well as providing tried-and-tested advice and exercises that are proven to reduce feelings of anxiety, it includes recovery stories from young people who have managed their symptoms successfully. It includes chapters on sleep, exams and transitions.

Overall Plot

“My Anxiety Handbook” is the first self-help book I’ve read this month. I flicked through the book briefly in the library and it seemed like a straightforward, easy to read self-help book. There was a lot of text throughout the chapters which was thankfully broken up by various illustrations. The first few chapters focused mainly on what anxiety is, how one gets anxiety and ways to tackle anxiety.

These chapters were fairly straight forward and the authors gave a good explanation of anxiety that the reader can easily understand. There were some great tips and tricks throughout the book on how to tackle anxiety (going for a walk, meditation, good night’s sleep etc.) all of which are mentioned quite a lot in many anxiety based books.

Opinion

Maybe it is because I’ve read many anxiety/depression books in the past and I’ve gained a deep understanding of anxiety but I felt as though much information that was mentioned in the book I knew already. Chapters such as school, college and exam stress, discussed tips for exams all of which I have seen in various books such as this one.

However, I quite liked the “Tackling Worries” chapter. I might even give the worry box idea a go as it sounds quite interesting. I also like the addition of personal experiences throughout the book. I felt like I could relate to what some of the students spoke about and how they are managing their anxiety. The personal experience sections covered many different events that caused anxiety for students such as bullying, stress, feeling out of place etc. The students were of different ages, some in their early teens, and some in their early to late 20s.

Conclusion

This was a nice informative self-help book. Unfortunately, to me I felt that I had heard a lot of the information before whether by books, films, guest speakers etc. Only some of the information was new to me. While I could relate to some of the students stories about their struggle with anxiety, in my opinion this book is much more geared at early teens (ages 14-17).

If you haven’t read an anxiety book before or you would like to learn more about it then I would highly recommend this book as it gives great tips on how to reduce feelings of anxiety. I would rate “My anxiety handbook” 3 stars.

Mini beauty haul – Lidl

So for this week’s budget friendly post, I thought I’d try a few cheap makeup products from a local store – Lidl.

About

 According to Wikipedia, Lidl (full name – Lidl Stiftung & Co.KG) is a global discount supermarket chain. It was founded by Josef Schwarz. Lidl’s headquarters are located in Neckarsulm, Germany.

There was a low stock of makeup in my local store but I still bought three products from the selection. I’m assuming that they will have new health and beauty stock in spring or summer so I’ll be sure to test those out when those items are in stock. Lidl’s health and beauty products are branded Cien.

Cien sensitive facial wipes for dry and sensitive skin (fragrance free)

The first item I picked up was this pack of 25 facial wipes specifically for sensitive skin. While I wouldn’t use these all the time (I use a facial wash in the morning), these wipes do come in handy particularly if you are travelling or just to cleanse your face during the day.

About product

Cien fragrance free facial wipes for dry and sensitive skin

  • Specially formulated to effectively cleanse dry and sensitive skin
  • Gently removes oil, impurities and make-up even waterproof mascara
  • Natural aloe vera soothes dry and sensitive skin and leaves it feeling cleansed and refreshed
  • Their fine honeycomb structure gives the wipes a silky-soft feeling
  • With aloe vera, bisabolol and vitamin e, free from perfume, alcohol and colours
  • Dermatologically tested

Price: €0.45

Cien eye make-up remover

The second item I picked up was this eye make-up remover. I used to use Nivea’s eye make-up remover until it started to irritate my eyes and I then discovered that Lidl had a similar product. I always use this to take off my eye make-up, and considering the price I would highly recommend this eye make-up remover.

About product
  • Dermatologically and Ophthalmologically tested
  • Double effect for all skin types. Removes waterproof mascara
  • Cien Double Effect Make-Up Remover with lotus flower gently cleanses the delicate eye area and thoroughly removes even waterproof mascara without leaving a greasy residue. Fragrance free.

Expiry: 12 months after opening

Weight: 100ml

Price: €1.19

Cien lip-gloss

The final product I bought was one of the Cien lip-glosses. There was a red lip-gloss available in store but red doesn’t really suit my skin tone so I bought the pink lip-gloss. The shade is No.13 Rich Magenta. For only €2 this lip-gloss is an absolute bargain! It’s a fairly light lip-gloss and gives a nice glossy shine.

Expiry: 12 months after opening

Weight: 10ml

Price: €1.99

So there’s just a few products from the Lidl beauty range. The products are really nice however, some can be a hit and miss (the lipsticks aren’t that great). Lidl definitely have some great beauty bargains available so why not take a look the next time you’re in a nearby store?💄 Anyway, I’ll definitely have to try out the other lip-glosses, I’m already obsessed with the pink. 😄 I hope you liked this post and thanks for reading x

Where’d you go,Bernadette by Maria Semple – book review

Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.com

Synopsis

Bernadette Fox has vanished.

When her daughter Bee claims a family trip to Antarctica as a reward for perfect grades, Bernadette, a fiercely intelligent shut-in, throws herself into preparations for the trip. But worn down by years of trying to live the Seattle life she never wanted, Ms. Fox is on the brink of a meltdown.

And after a school fundraiser goes disastrously awry at her hands, she disappears, leaving her family to pick up the pieces–which is exactly what Bee does, weaving together an elaborate web of emails, invoices, and school memos that reveals a secret past Bernadette has been hiding for decades. Where’d You Go Bernadette is an ingenious and unabashedly entertaining novel about a family coming to terms with who they are and the power of a daughter’s love for her mother.

Plot summary

When I heard that “Where’d you go Bernadette” was being made into a film (released in March 2019) I knew I had to read it. The book is focused primarily on Bee, a young fifteen-year-old girl who happens to be very intelligent for her age. There is also Bee’s relationship with her mother Bernadette, an agoraphobic who was once a thriving architect.

As mentioned in the synopsis, Bee gets straight A’s in her exams so she suggests that the family take a trip to Antarctica. Bee, dad and Bernadette begin to prepare for the trip as a serious of events occur throwing the whole Branch household upside down.

Opinion

I would first like to mention that the synopsis is a little misleading. You expect Bernadette to disappear fairly early on right? Wrong! She doesn’t disappear until part 5 which is about half way through the book.

The author mentioned an internet security storyline in the beginning which I liked. She emphasised the dangers of the internet, hackers and the types of information hackers can easily get a hold of. It’s scary stuff indeed.

I flew through the first half of the book. It was mostly composed of emails and letters so it was easy to read. After part 5, the book became a bit complicated. I didn’t really feel anything towards the characters and I began to lose interest in the storyline.

Conclusion

I wouldn’t say this was “one of the year’s best books”. It was okay but it wasn’t great. While I enjoyed up until part 5, the book went a bit bland after that. All in all, I would give “Where’d you go Bernadette” 2.5 stars.

How I stay organised as a college student

I’ve always been quite an organised person. I usually get assignments done quickly and handed in a few days before the due date. So I thought I’d share a few tips with you on how I stay organised in college…

Quit Procrastinating

When you get you’re assignment and you understand what you’re being asked to do, brainstorm what to write about first, or if you’re like me, dive straight in. Either way, start the assignment the day you get it so you can keep on track and keep procrastination at bay.

Stationary

Make good use of your notebooks, highlighters, folders etc. For example, I have several envelope folders for different things (1 folder only for assignments). Envelope folders are light and hold plenty of sheets. They’re cheap too. I got these ones for like €1 in a local bookshop.

Use free classes wisely

There is often a day when a teacher is out, there’s a meeting or the class has been cancelled. While some students use their free classes for a lengthy chat about the weekend, free classes could still be put to better use.

Take advantage of free classes by going to the library to study or finish an assignment. If it’s a nice day, you can also go outside and study in the fresh air.

Jot down important dates

Get yourself a notebook/make a bullet journal and jot down all upcoming assignment due dates and exams.

Stay hydrated

Water is really important. I drink 100ml water in college (2 small 500ml water bottles). It helps me stay focused and hydrated throughout the day.

Catch up on those Zzzzs

Sleep is important in staying focused throughout the college day. I’ll admit I’m definitely not a morning person (more of a night owl) but I still need enough sleep because I’m constantly busy in college. If I’m really tired after I get home, I’ll go for a nap. Later on I usually go to bed around 11 but the time I go to bed depends on how tired I am.

So there’s my tips on staying organised as a college student. I hope you guys liked this post and thanks for reading x

Tender is the Night by F.Scott Fitzgerald – book review

Sometimes it is harder to deprive oneself of a pain than of a pleasure.

Set on the French Riviera in the 1920s, Tender is the Night charts the captivating lives of American Dick Diver and his wife Nicole. The pair are the epitome of chic, living a glamorous lifestyle and entertaining friends at their villa.

Young film star Rosemary Hoyt arrives in France and becomes entranced by the couple. It is not long before she is attracted to the enigmatic Dick, but he and his wife hold dark secrets and, as their marriage becomes more fractured, Fitzgerald laments the failure of idealism and the carefully constructed trappings of high society in the Roaring Twenties.

There are three books (parts) within ”Tender is the Night”. Book 1 of “Tender is the Night” was nicely written. In the beginning, we are introduced to young film star Rosemary Hoyt as she arrives in France accompanied by her mother. Rosemary has only been a celebrity the past 6 months but people already recognise her. Rosemary meets Dick Diver for the first time in chapter 2.

Dick’s wife, Nicole Diver, is described later on in chapter 4 just as Rosemary becomes infatuated with Dick Diver.

I enjoyed reading book 1 but sadly, the story went quickly downhill as book 2 began. There were several times where I found myself wanting to skip pages and to try and figure out where the remainder of the book was headed.

The final parts of the book seemed like an attempt by Fitzgerald to finish the 315 + page novel but in doing so, gradually let the plot slip through his fingers. However, I think the ending was a good and well-structured end to the novel.

Conclusion

I was looking forward to reading “Tender is the Night” after reading Fitzgerald’s most successful novel” The Great Gatsby” which I loved. However, if you are looking to compare the two novels, then I am afraid you may be disappointed.

Hello Spring!

“No Winter lasts forever, No Spring skips it’s turn” – Hal Borland

It’s officially the start of Spring 2019! Winter clothes are either thrown out, donated or put out of sight while your wardrobe gets a spring makeover. 

Spring is a wonderful time of year. Not only flowers bloom but trees grow once again. There are several other reasons why we should embrace Spring and here are a few…

·       Spring fashion                         

Colourful clothing replaces big winter coats and winter warmers. For instance, cool colours such as a light blue or dark colours such as black or even grey are no longer used as bold, warm and clothing rich in colour like yellow, green and purple are added to our wardrobe.

·       Longer days

During Winter, it usually gets dark around 5 o’clock but in Spring it’s still bright outside until around 9.

·       Mood changes

According to https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/seasonal-affective-disorder-1-in-3-people-suffer-from-sad-9814164.html , research commissioned by The Weather Channel and YouGov, showed that 29 per cent of adults experience symptoms of SAD in Winter ranging from low energy levels, to low self-esteem and anxiety.

Spring can dramatically change people’s mood. Due to more sunshine, people tend to feel happier.

·       Flowers, flowers, flowers

They bloom and begin to take over dreary landscapes therefore returning them to their pre-winter beauty.

·       Warm weather

I don’t know about you guys but I hate the cold weather. In the Winter, I practically live in leggings, tights and knee high boots so it’s nice to change things up and wear more light, colourful clothing.

I hope you liked this post and thanks for reading x