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The Girl on the Train: Review

18 January 2016
Remember back in the post here how I aimed to read 5 books this year? Turns out that things are going pretty well and a couple of weeks ago I finished book number one - 'The Girl on the Train' by Paula Hawkins. You've probably heard of it, it was last years 'Gone Girl' and was subject to a lot of hype; it's now being made into a film as well for those of you who aren't really into books.

I was expecting this book to be on par with 'Gone Girl', a book that I absolutely couldn't put down, however, I found 'The Girl on the Train' to be slightly lacking. Where I was expecting to be completely drawn into the book, barely able to put it down, I was in fact let down. In short, I don't think it lived up to the hype.

The book follows Rachel, an unemployed, alcoholic and her daily commute on the train into London. She sees the same people, the same places, day in, day out, until one particular commute in which something she sees changes the course of the book. Whilst this book is particularly good at drawing you in to begin with, I found myself getting a little bored as the book went on, reading just for the sake of getting to the end.

The concept of the story itself is a good one, however as I mentioned, I found it to be a bit lacking in places. Its major downfall for me was the ending. It seems that the storyline comes to a climax in the last few chapters, in which some of the storyline becomes wildly unbelievable and no longer realistic. I found myself more angry than shocked and upon reading the final line of the book, felt dissatisfied to say the least. However, this is all of course, a question of personal taste. Whilst I usually love thrillers, I found this one to be a little too unrealistic for my liking.

I'll give credit where it is due though - for a debut novel, this is pretty good and is well written. If you enjoyed the likes of 'Gone Girl' I suggest you give it a shot - with an average of 4 stars on amazon, near enough 7000 people can't be wrong.

Until next time,


5 Ways to Switch Off

7 January 2016
Life can be overwhelming, we all have days where everything is just too much and nothing sounds better than going back home and curling up into bed for the rest of the day - armed with a tub of ice cream and Netflix (or whatever takes your fancy). Fortunately for us, it's pretty easy to switch off, even just for a couple of hours.

So here goes, 5 of my favourite ways to switch off for a couple of hours (particularly now with a looming dissertation deadline - SOS).

1. Go for a walk - a no brainer if the weather holds out. It gets you out in the fresh air, even for a little while which can do you the world of good.

2. Bake - anything, from cookies, to a full on Bake-Off worthy cake. The more you bake, the more you'll have to eat, which of course is a bonus.

3. Read a book - a personal favourite.

4. Start a new TV series - Netflix has just added a whole host of new TV series that are just sitting in my list waiting to be watched - the perfect way to switch off.
UPDATE: I have just started watching 'How to Make a Murderer', just like the rest of the world - 2 episodes in and I'm hooked, it's worth a watch.

5. Tidy - boring as hell, I know but I find it strangely therapeutic. Plus, you can get a head start on your spring cleaning and feel 100% better. An added bonus is that your space will look fresh as a daisy, which is equally as great as fresh bedsheets.

I'd love to hear any more of your favourite ways to switch off - let me know in the comments!

Until next time,


Survival Guide: The Gym

4 January 2016
The gym. Those two words alone are enough to fill your average person with dread. Don't get me wrong, the gym can be a scary place, especially if you don't know where to start. You've got all your gym stereotypes coming to life in from of you, all under the one roof, but hey, social media has taught you all about them already, who am I to judge? It's an intimidating place - even after 2 years as a gym regular, there are occasions where I am filled with dread the moment I walk through the doors. But it doesn't have to.

Find a Gym Buddy
Find anybody, and I mean anybody, willing to go with you - your mum, dad, sister, brother, friend, colleague, ANYBODY with a pair of trainers and the desire to get rid of the Christmas chub (me). Not only does having somebody to train with give you the motivation to go to the gym in the first place but it also gives you a distraction from the ongoing sense that you may perhaps be dying in an effort to get fit after eating one to many mince pie (again, me).

Buy Some New Workout Clothes
This step is probably the easiest of the lot. Aside from the big brands, near enough every clothes retailer sells some form of gym gear these days, whose price won't bring a tear to your eye. Plus, there's nothing better than a new outfit; particularly when that new outfit acts not only as gym wear, but the perfect, lazy day attire as well.

Get Yourself a Programme
Sounds fancy huh? It's anything but and it's a super easy way to keep motivated to go back to the gym - when you have a guide to follow, everything becomes 110% easier. If the thought for asking for help from one of the staff makes you feel slightly nauseous (I totally feel you), there are 101 sites out there that will get you up and running with a programme in no time, whatever your needs may be.  As of just now, I along with the rest of the world can't get enough of Australian personal trainer Kayla Itsines, whose BBG workouts are phenomenal for getting yourself into gear, with quick and easy to understand circuits. She has a 7 day free trial of her workout guide, which you can download straight to your phone here.

Lift Weights
Scary? Trust me, I know, but I can say from experience that it is one of the most rewarding aspects of the gym. Not only will you progress quickly and see noticeable differences but the health benefits are enormous. And trust me ladies, you will not become some sort of 'She-man'.

Be safe out there, January is a scary time to be hitting the gym, what with it being permanently busy after the festive period. Stick with it for a few weeks and things will be a whole lot easier and you'll feel 110% better - physically and mentally.

Until next time, 


"New Year, New Me"

2 January 2016

We've all heard it right? In the run up to the final few days of the year, after spending days on end surviving off of chocolate and mince pies, the thought of a new year and all that it might bring spurs on people to better themselves - fair play to them. I've never been one to make new years resolutions, partly because I've learned that it is near impossible for me to keep to them after a few weeks but hey, a girl can try.

However, this year (oh hey there 2016, where did you come from?!) I've decided that it's about time to set myself some realistic goals. We'll see how I get on this time round but no promises - please don't hold it against me.

I want to travel the world. Unfortunately, the reality of being a student with only a part time retail job contributing to the bank account makes this one a wash out. However, I would like to travel, be it anywhere, I just want to see more of the world that we live in this year - so fingers crossed that this one works out.

I'm no self proclaimed gym junkie, but it is likely that you will find me in the gym at some point on any given day. This is pretty much due to the fact that as part of the university cheerleading team, fitness is crucial and gives me a reason to maintain my level of fitness on a daily basis, purely so I don't die of embarrassment as I pass out during the warm up alone. All I ask of myself this year in regards to my fitness is to keep hitting the gym after graduation. Not too much to ask, right? Haha, right...

I love to write, I always have. For some reason though, this girl decided a science degree was the way to go - doh. I want 2016 to be the year that I expand on my writing, writing where and what I can (apart from the 124868285 assignments that hit me during term time). Reading would be nice too, in all honesty, I would be content if I managed to finish 5 books this year (11 year old Caitlin reading her 5 books a month would hate me right now). We'll see how this one goes.

I hope that you've all head a fabulous festive period and that 2016 is kind to you.

Until next time,