SLIDER

HOW TO BE HAPPY BY EVA WOODS


Released: October 5th 2017
Publisher: Sphere
Author: Eva Woods
Pages: 376

Annie has been sad for so long that she's forgotten how to be any other way. Until she meets Polly.

Polly is everything that Annie is not. She's colourful, joyful, happy. Because if recent events have taught Polly anything, its that your time is too short to waste a single day. 

Polly has one hundred days to help Annie find happiness. Annie's convinced its impossible, but so is saying no to Polly. And on an unforgettable journey, Annie begins to realise that maybe, just maybe, theres still colour to be found in the world.

But then it becomes clear that Polly's about to need her new friend more than ever.. and Annie will have to decide once and for all whether letting others in is a risk worth taking.

Review

I was gifted this over Christmas by a close friend, under the strict instruction on opening it not to take offence! How to be Happy? No offence taken. This book is a true reminder that sometimes "happy" can be found even in the smallest of things, if only you stop and take the time to bother.

After reading the blurb I could see why she had picked it out for me, it sounded both touching and inspiring at the same time. Woods has lovingly managed to write a story based on a very real life scenario, whilst entwining the 100 Happy days project seen on social media. The project shows how adding the smallest of changes to your everyday life can bring happiness and joy with very little effort. 

The two main characters are complete opposites of each-other, Annie is down and out of luck, her life in tatters and her mother sick in hospital. Polly despite only having months to live is exuberant and full of life and joy and intends on living her final days the best way she can. She entices Annie to see if she can live out 100 Happy Days with her, taking part in random but simple acts to make both of them happier with life. Annie thinks Polly is the last thing she needs in her life, but all to quickly realises she might just be the exact thing she needs. 

Whilst the basis of the book is around a young woman dying of cancer, I don't think its something you constantly think about whilst reading. I like that through out the story you learn more and more about each character by the 100 Happy things they take part in, the reasons why Annie is so down on her luck and why she is so miserable and also about Polly's life before she got diagnosed. You go through so many emotions, happy one minute, sad the next, overwhelmed and excited too. The characters taking up the side lines all have there own little quirks and backstories too which is nice like Annie's room mate Costas and Polly's brother George. 

Woods brings what could have been a depressing story to life with humorous and relatable characters. I thoroughly enjoyed the story from beginning to end, and would recommend it to anyone looking for something a little different to read or a new outlook on life. I believe in the theory "There is someone always worse off than yourself" and that you should be grateful for the life you've been given. Its a shame sometimes that most people won't start living their life until they learn it could be over. I think I'll leave this review with a quote from Annie's Eulogy for Polly...

"We should live as if we're dying at some unspecified but possibly quite soon time. We cant expect everyday to be happy, and there'll always be sickness and heartache and sadness, but we should never put up with a sad or a boring or a depressing day, just for the sake of it. None of us have time for that, whether we have a hundred days left or a hundred thousand."

FITNESS FRIDAY: THE PLAN GOING FORWARD


Originally back in January I wanted to start the year as I meant to go on and get fitter and healthier.. but with all New Years resolutions life got in the way. I could list a thousand excuses about why I didn't go back to the gym, why I kept eating biscuits and chocolate like I'd never see them again, but it all boils down to the fact I simply just wasn't in the right place. My motivation had been lost and my focus was on other things.

But since rebranding KylieHadfield.co.uk and starting up a few other things I said I would at the beginning of the year, I figured now was as good a time as any to get the ball rolling with some personal improvements.

I used to love exercise, going to the gym and way back when in 2015 took on the challenge of running a Half Marathon for Cancer Research. Crossing the line I cant describe the feeling of accomplishment I got from doing something that so many said I was crazy for even attempting. Now, I want to rekindle my love for exercise and running, I want to be able to reignite the fire in me that propelled me to cross the line that day, like I know I can.

THE WORKOUT PLAN

To keep myself accountable, I'll be sharing my journey to a healthier and stronger lifestyle here on KylieHadfield. Ive decided not to stick to a strict regime of certain days due to the fact that I work weird shift patterns, meaning I cant attend the gym on the same day at the same time each week. I didn't want to have to rule out gym classes, so when one is available and I'm not working or have other engagements I'll be attending what I can, where I can. Ill also be throwing some short and long distance running in as well, to hopefully help both my mental and physical health.

Ive always enjoyed different styles of dance, so I purchased the CIZE dvd by Shaun T an absolute age ago but never got around to sticking to it. So yes, you guessed it, thats coming into play too. Ive also been a fan of Kayla Itsines for a VERY long time and have previously completed her 12 week BBG routine and know how good it is, so I'll be trying to fit some of her workouts in too when I feel like I need that extra push in the gym.  I wanted to vary up my workouts in the hope that my body would keep guessing and I wouldn't become bored of the same routines.

THE FOOD PLAN

Now this I'm going to keep short and sweet - I'm going to follow the idea of everything in moderation. I won't be limiting myself to not eating certain foods, just less of the foods that aren't as good for me. Ill be keeping a close eye on calorie intake vs calories burned, to ensure I'm not over indulging. My body at the moment is very good at storing what it doesn't need, its also currently in the Overweight category for my BMI. That doesn't sit well and I need to get back to where I should be, I feel like I now have all the tools and help I need to get where I want to be.

Keep an eye out for posts in the very near future including all my starting out measurements and how I'm getting along with it all. Feel free to join me and keep me up-to date with your own progress in the comments section or via social media! Lets be each others inspiration!

Who else is hitting the fitness bandwagon with me for 2019?



Photo credit | rawpixel

FINDING TIME TO READ AGAIN: 2019 CHALLENGE


If your a serious reader like me you'll be a member of Goodreads, if your not, you should be. Its a great website to store all your TBR's and Read books so you don't forget what you own, have read already or books you want to read in the future. I am an absolute nightmare for walking around bookshops with my Goodreads app open, adding all the books on the shelves I want to read.

Every year they host a challenge, basically its pretty simple, you just need to read. At the start of the year you set yourself a goal of how many books you want to read throughout that year. Id already decided I wanted to read more, so jumped on the bandwagon and set mine at 10. This means its not even one book a month, and if I want to get serious about being lost in my own little fantasy world, it should be pretty simple upkeep.

The main reason I love to read is because it gives me the opportunity to be free. To me, if a book is written in the right way, you should be able to lose yourself and forget about everyday shenanigans and feel like your living the scene your reading. Sounds intense I know, but I imagine avid readers are sitting reading this, nodding their head in agreement. Who hasn't read a book until the early hours of the morning because they are so engrossed they didn't realise the time? If not, your not reading the right kinds of books.

Mainly I enjoy reading Young Adult, Sci Fi and Fantasy Fiction books, I dip my toe in the autobiography world only if it is someone I think is really interesting. My current Goodreads TBR list is out of control, on a near daily basis a new title is being added. Usually because I've read recommendations from another blogger or a Goodreads email has landed in my inbox!

Over the course of the year I'll be sure to review and give my own recommendations on the 10 books I eventually get round to reading, who knows hopefully ill make it to more than 10. What are you reading at the moment? Are you a member of Goodreads? If so, add your link to the comments below so I can follow your reading challenge progress!



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KYLIE HADFIELD: HELLO WORLD


I made this big scary decision to start a blog, finally under my own name.. and your here reading it, exciting times!

For months I'd been deciding, this was meant to go live in January! Did I really want to branch out from behind the curtains of First For Everything (my first blog attempt) and start afresh? Write under my own name as a domain? Who was I kidding, of course I did! Then came the decision of did I move all of my content with it or start from scratch, build it up exactly how I wanted to, whilst obviously remembering everything that FFE taught me? The answer was quiet simply no, I didn't want to bring all the old stuff with me. Kylie Hadfield is to be a blank canvas, exactly like my life was coming into 2019. 

I want to say a huge thank-you to someone who probably isn't expecting a thank-you at all. Rebecca Ellis of SheInTheKnow, a blog I have followed for a long time now and who also recently had a makeover of the radical kind. Starting a fresh with all new content and themes, she's been such an inspiration without even realising it. After seeing SheInTheKnow come back from already being such an amazing read into an even better place for great content and photography, I made the decision to follow suit and start from the beginning, all new, and so, KylieHadfield.co.uk was born. 

From here on in you'll be fed three day-a-week content, mainly Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Covering everything from Travel tips and reviews to Fitness related topics, including my own attempt at starting a healthier & stronger life. Reading is also going to take a massive part in 2019 for me so lookout for book reviews and recommendations.

I hope you stick around and see what Kylie Hadfield can and will turn into, I'm excited to see what the future has to offer not only for me but for KylieHadfield.co.uk and you all too!


Photo by Danielle Macinnes

GETTING STARTED AGAIN - THE KYLIE HADFIELD REBRAND

When you start out as a blogger the first post is always the hardest, do you start out introducing yourself or do you just go all out and start with a post about your niche and jump straight in as if you've been around forever?. Well I decided to do neither.

Instead I thought I'd start by introducing the people who inspired me so much that I decided to start a blog all of my own. Truth be told, this isn't my first attempt. This is in-fact my third, terrible blogger, slaps wrist! However whats new here is, I finally decided to write under my own name, as me, so I guess, as they say..

Just be you, and if people don't like it, well, F**k them!

Here are my top 4 inspirational bloggers, who, after reading their posts for months and enjoying all their content helped me, without realising, make up my mind to start afresh and give it ago. I owe a massive thank you to them all and more that aren't mentioned here too.!

THE ANNA EDIT

Anna is one of my favourite bloggers at the moment, I have religiously followed her blog for quite some time now. Creating varied content including fitness, fashion, lifestyle and beauty, she easily covers it all whilst throwing in helpful tutorials and blog advice too. Whenever she adds in a book post I always end up adding them all to my Goodreads list, including her own newly written book! 

What I love most about Anna though, is that although her blog IS ranked 5th largest in the world in the lifestyle category, she still remains to me, one of the girls. Down to earth, she doesn't try to be perfect and allows her readers to see her troubles and mistakes along the way. One of her previous posts back in May (read it here) really hit home with me and made me feel like although I didn't have my s**t together, that was okay. 
Whilst The Anna Edit is now her full time job, she's also found time to write a book which you can bet ill be getting my hands on. Head over there and subscribe to the "An Edited Life" email series, you won't be disappointed.

Visit her blog here.

SHE IN THE KNOW

Rebecca is my photo guru, her images are to die for! Anyone who didn't know about She In The Know before this post, well your extremely unfortunate. It has recently undertaken a new direction and had a massive overhaul, looks gorgeous as ever and is awaiting the lovely fresh content that Rebecca creates. 

One of her latest posts (read here) about Topshop was a cracking read! I didn't even realise TopShop offered a service that would help me decide what I needed to have in my wardrobe for specific events. Now however I might just get myself booked in and give it a try. Although I think like Rebecca, ill be bricking it!

Rebecca is also a a gift/homeware shop owner with some fantastic products, based in Ireland.

Visit her blog here.

HANNAH GALE

Hannah has been around since 2014 writing some amazing content, covering topics from lifestyle, mental health, fashion and everything in-between. One of my favourite things about the Hannah Gale  site is the writing style, let me give you an idea of what I mean.. her about page reads like this..

Oh hey there sugar pies, and welcome to HannahGale.co.uk

So, whaddya wanna know about me?

Its refreshing to read a blog written like your talking to someone in person. Her posts read the same way and its creative. After recently having a baby, her posts have covered everything she thought the modern twenty something woman might need to know (if you were considering a child that is, sorry Hannah, not for me but I read it all the same!)

Hannah is my go to girl for fashion advice and gave me the confidence to wear whatever I wanted WITH whatever I wanted, no more of this 'things must match and go together blah blah.!' She doesn't just blog about high end fashion either like some blogs (yano, like the magazines where you keep flipping the pages because you cant-afford-a-single-thing!) Oh no, Hannah is a down to earth girl too (theme about my girls here isn't there)..! Her latest post (read here) had me heading for my local Primark to invest in sensible but gorgeous heels!

Visit her blog here.

JOSEPH BURROWS

Lets not forget the men in blogging, I actually stumbled across Joe's blog whilst visiting his girlfriends blog (Rhianna Olivia, another equally brilliant blog BTW!). From the minute I clicked through I was hooked by his content, the 24 hours in.. series is great if your considering a short trip somewhere with tips and advice on places to stay and visit. 
Mens fashion and grooming is also covered on the site and gives great insight into where and what to buy to keep the man in your life content. However all that aside, Joe is my go-to for Food and Drink reviews. 

Visit his blog here

So there you have it, following these blogs for so long, and enjoying their content, I wanted to add my own experiences and love for life to the mix, and so, 'KylieHadfield.co.uk' was born.

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the latest posts covering anything from Travel, Fashion, Fitness and Lifestyle here, and get involved with me over on social media by following the relevant links.

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