Saturday, 16 August 2014

Rainbow bookshelves

Hello lovelies!

Hope you're all keeping well :)

I woke up bright and early this morning (9am is early when you're pregnant.... 😝) and decided that my bookshelf was looking a little, drab?

Ive always loved the look of colour coded bookshelves but figured I had far too many black books (all supernatural themed, weirdly) and not enough colourful ones to make it work... But I was wrong! 

After piling them all up in order of colour I then relegated 75% of the black books to go up into the loft, along with a fair few white/cream books, a really bright red book and my only orange book. I was then left with a slow rainbow of colours, mostly dark but very noticeably showing the gradation of colour.... And I LOVE IT! 

Relegating some of the books was necessary to make sure there was ample free space to complete the "zen" look and to be able to have the both lying horizontal as well as vertical. 

After I shuffled them into just the right position, I put the  Big Bang theory pop funko figures back into the mix along with my owl book ends that were a treasured gift and the result is below!

Of course, I couldn't mess with our solitary "guy shelf" - full of various walking dead graphic novels and the like, wrestling guides and, of course, Star Wars books. 
So I had only the first three shelves to work with on my rainbow quest, the black books that made the cut are underneath "guy shelf". 
I'm pretty darn proud of myself now, looking at my bookshelf is a renewed joy! 

Now, to find a home in the loft for these babies..........

I can never bring myself to give away/sell books, so instead I have a mini-library gathering in the loft too! 


Pregnancy update: week 28

How far along?

I'm currently 28+4 weeks! Can't believe I'm actually in the 3rd trimester!!!

How big is baby?

Baby is about the size of a large Aubergine, still about 2 and a half pounds and about 15 inches from head to heel.

How I'm feeling?

Pretty good, mood-wise. Enjoying our last few months as a couple before little Molly joins us. Still apprehensive about birth and motherhood but as long as we are together I feel confident we can figure it all out.

Body changes?

Monster bladder kicks this week, literally feels like baby is kicking the wee out of me and I have to mad dash to the loo! 
I had my whooping cough vaccination as the start of this week and my 28 week antenatal apt at my gp. The jab was fine, over in seconds but it left me with a dead arm and very sore muscle for 3 days, but luckily I had no other reaction to it - some people report flu like symtpoms so thankfully I just had limited use of my upper arm muscle. The antenatal apt went well, Molly was very active during the physical belly exam, but we managed to get a few seconds of the heartbeat :)


No heartburn still.

I think I may have developed dairy intolerance during pregnancy, whenever I have a bowl of cereal or a yoghurt I feel intensely sick for a couple of hours.
I'm looking into alternatives, if I can't find one that agrees with me then a calcium supplement is prob the way to go!

I'm sleeping better now that I've cut out afternoon naps, keeping busy is the key but sometimes I just can't keep the snoozing at bay!


Chinese at the Oriental Star in Cuffley.

I loved Chinese food before pregnancy but my tastes have changed a little and the oil seems to give me terrible acid reflux so I cut this out - luckily the Oriental star in Cuffley is absolutely amazing and not oily in the slightest, so as a treat my friend drove us up there and we had THE best meal of my pregnancy! 

Home-made mash :)

Food aversions?

Milk/yoghurts are the main culprits.
Acidy fruits.

Stretch marks?

Still none, although my tummy feels so so stretched and right in the evening after dinner I worry that it won't be long - 3 months of super-speed growing to go! 😬


Again, pretty decent sleep as long as I skip my afternoon nap! Still wake up to pee once in the middle of the night but that normally allows me to sleep all the way through after that.

Belly button in/out?


Ring on/off?

On still.

Highlights this week?

Wayne has managed to feel some of Molly's crazy rolling around this week.

Super quick bouts of hiccups this week, she's been having them a while but I wasn't sure what they were as they are much quicker than normal hiccups but google says faster is quite normal in-utero! 

Ann-Marie from the "Ann-Marie Loves" blog has finally had her baby! I've been following her blog for absolutely ages and she announced her pregnancy mere weeks before the start of my own journey and I've been eagerly keeping my eyes open for the announcement since she went overdue! What a beaut little Briar is! <3

The belly shot?

So this is the final trimester I'm into now, it's actually starting to hit me we will have a whole different life in just a couple of months... I feel so ready for this change, we have had nearly 10 years of being us, just two. We are so ready to be a three!

Anyone else just hitting their third trimester? Hope you're all feeling well!



Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Book Review - The King, Book 12 in the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series - J. R. Ward.

Hello darlings!

In all honesty it's taken me quite a while to finish this book, but now that I've finally managed to I wanted to review it whilst it was still fresh! 

This was one of my more expensive kindle purchases as it was new out when I bought it, I believe it was over £5 which is rare to have to spend on a kindle book - but I bought it based on previous purchases and I'm sad to say this one didn't really cut the mustard! 

It was soooooo long, and the many different stories going at once didn't work at all and meant my attention wasn't really reeled in. Its a normal formula fo these books so the only think I can think of is that the longer this series draws out, they start to run out of main characters and it starts to include people I don't have any affection or interest in?! Plus I think the language and pop culture references were really starting to bug me.

Weirdly I found the end picked it up a bit, by the final few chapters I had started to enjoy it again, I assume it was because it picked up pace and focused on wrath and Beth a lot more. 

I feel like possibly these books have now run their course, I no longer have an invested interest in finding out how the remaining "singletons" settle down, my favourites have all now been covered and I think that IF I purchased the next book it wouldn't be at that price range and I would hope that the story doesn't drag as much - nearly 600 pages is an awful lot. 

I would give it a 3 out of 5, because even though it didn't excite me as much like previous books in the series have, they are still good books and the ending really did pick up. 

Has anyone else read this series?
What did you think of this book?

What were your favourite books in the series?? (Mine are Z&Bella, Rehvenge&Elehna and Blay&Quinn) 💕



Monday, 11 August 2014

Crafty challenge #1: making woolly pom-poms!


My first crafty creative challenge is going to be making woolly pom-poms! 

I've seen them on a few blogs and Pinterest, and walking around Ware town centre lots of these bad boys pop up & I've always wanted make my own!

Granted, it's not the most original and intricate craft to undertake, but they are super cute and really fun to make! Since I bought a pom-pom maker from amazon in order to make this process even easier than normal, I wanted to get cracking on whipping some up and maybe making a garland/bunting type pom-pom creation that I can put in the baby nursery.

First, you will need: 

A pair of scissors
Some wool in a cute colour 
A pom-pom maker or a cardboard version that I've seen around the web.
(I bought mine on amazon for under a fiver for 2, in 2 sizes)

Step 1: start winding the wool around the curved part of the "maker"...

Step 2: keep winding and winding, back and forth until it's fully covered both sides and it's looking pretty chunky - the thicker the wrapping the fluffier the pom poms will be!

Step 3: take the scissors and cut along the outer edge of the entire circle, making sure that the pom-maker stays closed for now.

Step 4: tie some wool/yarn around the middle where you have just cut the wool into two parts, making sure to double knot this part so it keeps everything together and stops straying threads wiggling loose.

Step 5: remove the pom-maker by opening the edges (see above), both top and bottom and pulling the maker apart in the middle - it comes as two pieces that can be easily pushed back together afterwards :) trim any long bits and generally neaten your brand new fluffy pom-pom, sit back and adore! 

As far as tutorials go, it's a simple one - but I'm loving the results and I can't wait to make more and have them all attached to hang up somewhere! 

Thinking of mixing up the colours a little too, maybe even trying a multi-coloured pom-pom or the big tissue paper ones I've seen on Pinterest!

Any one attempted making these in a garland or bunting style design? Would love to see how it's come out for you!


Book review - The Pact, Jodi Picoult.

I got this book at a carboot sale for 20p in Ware, and finally got around to reading this last week.

Although I'll try to refrain this may contain some spoilers as I'm useless at being tactful and I'm always spoiling something lol

From the first chapter there was a back and forth between the "now" (the scene I of the incident) and the "then" (their past, and how the adults meet and become friends), it quickly turned into a gripper as you get to the pivotal part of the story that everything revolves around and I then saw the back and forth as necessary to really gauge how intertwined their lives were for so long and as the kids grew how they ended up as close as they did and ultimately in the situation they did.

I really, really enjoyed this and found myself looking forward to picking it up again as soon as I could - it's been a while since I found one I was really into and not just finishing because I hate leaving things unfinished.

I really enjoyed the legal side and the prison scenes, I didn't find it too heavy and followed easily.
I liked the lawyer character, and the small insight into his life. As well as the surprising change of heart I had towards certain characters that I didn't like at first but then started to understand more, and vice versa.

I give this book 4/5. 

It's the first Jodi Picoult I've read and it was a good one, I'll be keeping an eye out for more from her for sure! 

Have any of you read this book? What did you think of it?

Any other Jodi Picoult recommendations? 


Sunday, 10 August 2014

Pregnancy update: week 27.

How far along?

I'm currently 27+5 weeks and counting :)

How big is baby?

Baby is about the size of a butternut squash, 2 and a half pounds and about 15 inches from head to heel.

How I'm feeling?

Feeling pretty normal, officially off work now thanks to 5 weeks of annual leave & early maternity leave. Work was becoming very stressful and exhausting and I was finding it hard to cope. Deciding to leave this early was a joint decision and already I feel a million times better and ready to wind down and really relax before little Molly gets here.

Body changes?

Belly bump still gradually getting bigger. Getting the odd day where I feel huge and think these are growth spurt days for little one. Breasts aren't as tender this week. Baby still likes to use my bladder as a beanbag so I'm constantly running to loo again, more than I was even in the first trimester!


No heartburn as of yet. 
Sickness/Nausea is coming back a little, if I don't eat every 2 hours. 
Tiredness also coming back, early afternoon naps are essential now :)


Poached eggs and beans on toast
Chicken nuggets
Mash with everything
KFC gravy

Food aversions?

Milk still makes me nauseas but I try and have a big bowl of cereal every morning because otherwise my calcium intake is rubbish. 
Fruit like apples and strawberries still make me queasy - something about the acidity maybe? OJ too.

Stretch marks?

None yet! Still using "mum&me bump cream" at night before I sleep. I have old stretch marks on hips/thighs from teenage years, so I do get them but so far so good, nothing on my belly.


Once I'm settled in bed I'm okay and Ive been sleeping pretty well this week as long as I don't have a nap after dinner.
My new pregnancy pillow is working a treat for snuggling between my knees without touching my bump - I hate having any fabric touching the bump at all at the minute!

Belly button in/out?

Out :(

Ring on/off?


Highlights this week?

Molly's been moving a lot lately, less random kicks and more actual full belly rolls! I think as she gets bigger she's running out of room so her fidgeting is much more noticeable now. 
She was actually lying hammock style whilst we was walking around matalan on Saturday which was a little uncomfortable but funny. 

The belly shot?

I have no idea how I'm meant to get any bigger over the next 3 months, the third trimester is essentially the growing trimester and I'm already feeling like a bowling ball!

Pretty exciting stuff still, keep growing little one.


Saturday, 9 August 2014

Welcome to my world

Hello lovelies,

So first of all I wanted to say thanks for stopping by "paperbacksandcraftyhacks" - I'll try not to waffle too much ;)

A little about me?

Well, I'm 4"11, a Taurus, born and raised in London and I turned 30 this year. 
I live with my fiancé and our cat Ruckles in a lovely little maisonette, with a nice little back garden and a gorgeous park just around the corner.

This is Ruckles:

This is me & my other half:

We have been dating for 9 and a half years, engaged for 2 and a half, trying to conceive for the last 3, and thankfully pregnant for the last 6 months. 

Our bout with unexplained infertility wasn't a particularly long one compared to some, but it was still pretty rocky. Thankfully we've been blessed and surprised with a little girl - due nov 4th, and we're going to name her Molly.

Why the blog?

I love being creative and I'm always coming accross things I'd like to try - with 3 months before the little one arrives I've decided to crack on with some of these projects I've been putting off for a rainy day!

Im also going to be doing pregnancy week by week updates, I'm already 27 weeks into this gig so it's mainly just the final trimester and then the early weeks of mama-hood. 

I love love love to read, and so I'm going to be posting book reviews, as well as general life chit chat and sharing both the big moments of my life and the small ones with lots of photos :)

I hope you enjoy reading about it all, feel free to message me, comment and/or hopefully follow my little corner of the web.