Mini Library Haul | Sitting In The Clouds

The last time I stepped inside my local library was three years ago in 2014. Why? Because I personally prefer to buy my books brand new. I’m not a fan of secondhand books, the feeling and the smell sometimes aren’t that appealing to me. Also my library doesn’t have the best selection of books that I’m interested in…aka YA. However, as I keep repeating on my blog at the minute, my student budget doesn’t really have much room for buying books brand new so when I found my long lost library card last week I made it a mission to go over the weekend and see what they had.

Although their selection was still limited, I did manage to check out two books that intrigued me, Faceless by Alyssa Sheinmel and Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan.

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I’ve recently heard about Faceless as I redesigned the cover of Faceless for one of my university projects and the synopsis really intrigued me. I’m not going to lie as soon as I saw this book in my library I literally snatched it up. I couldn’t believe they had something that I had recently added to my TBR and a book I wanted to own and read as soon as possible.

I recognised Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore when I saw it, I think I heard Katrina from Little Book Owl on Youtube discuss it quite a while ago. I picked it up and read the first page and it seemed interesting. One thing I do like about the library is that you can pick up books and if they end up not being your cup of tea you haven’t wasted your hard earned cash on them.

I only picked up two books this trip as one disadvantage about libraries are the limited time you have to read them. I have until May 2nd to read them both which isn’t too bad but with the books I want to get read from my own personal library and these, it’s going to be a push for my April reading as on average I tend to only read around four books a month.

Having said all that I’m really excited for Faceless and intrigued by Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore. Do you use your library often? What do you currently have checked out? Have you read either book I’ve mentioned? Let’s chat in the comments.

until next time,

xoxo, rachel
twitter | instagram | goodreads


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Day Trip To Kew Gardens (+OOTD) | Tea Talk #7

Day Trip To Kew Gardens (+OOTD) | Tea Talk #7 | Sitting In The Clouds

It hit 23 degrees today in London…aka flipping boiling for the UK. The sunglasses came out, as well as the suncream. Ice cream vans music played and it truly felt like summer. My mum and I took advantage of this lovely weather as living in the UK you never know when the glorious weather will go into hiding and winter will be upon us once again, by visiting Kew Gardens.

For university I have to create a poster advertising Kew Gardens so the main focus of the trip was to get inspiration for my design. However, I’m also taking a photography class this semester so it was a great location to practice my photography. Even though this trip was primarily for university, it turned into a lovely mother, daughter day. We had a lovely lunch, sitting back and enjoying the sun. We of course stopped off in Starbucks and picked up some refreshing drinks to combat the heat and just had a lovely bonding session.

Please bare in mind I’m still learning the basics of photography and I have a long way to go.

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Out of over 100 photos taken those are my three favourites. I just love doing depth of field photos.

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While having a nice stroll and not following the map we came across this bear that had been carved out of an old tree stump and I think I’m going to be basing my poster off this as it’s so unique.

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WARNING! Today wasn’t the day for skinny jeans but nevertheless I really liked the outfit I chose, it had a very summery vibe. I chose my really comfy shoes, my Ugg Treadlites as I knew today was a day of walking and of course a pair of sunglasses.

Top: Topshop
Jeans: Topshop Joni Jeans
Shoes: Uggs
Sunglasses: Primark

I did bring a leather jacket as we headed out of the house at around 9:30 in the morning but I took it off as soon as we got to the gardens and didn’t wear it once after.

Today was so much fun and the weather was just fantastic. If you enjoyed this type of blog post let me know by liking and commenting so I know whether to do similar in the future. I would also love your opinion on whether you would want me to include more of my graphic design and photography projects on my blog? Let’s chat in the comments.

If you are based in the UK, I hope you had a lovely weekend enjoying the sunshine and making the most of it.

until next time,

xoxo, rachel
twitter | instagram


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2017 Goals | Quarterly Check In | Sitting In The Clouds

Creating goals is one thing, sticking to them is hard enough but when life get’s in the way and the goals you created slip your mind it’s near to impossible to keep on track with them.  That’s why a check in on your progress through-out the year is the secret to success….I hope anyway. I set myself nine goals at the beginning of 2017 and before I even start I know I have a long way to go in completing any of them. Oh dear….let the shaming begin.

blogging-goals

1- Reach 1,000 WordPress followersthanks to you guys each day I’m creeping closer and closer to this goal. At the beginning of the year I was at around 400, I’m now nearing 750. I haven’t been as active lately as I’ve kind of felt a bit meh about my blog, but we all have those times but you guys keep me going. Even with being a little less active, I still get the interaction from you which spurs me on. I would love to reach 1,000 followers by my birthday in June, but I think that’s pushing it a little.
2- 500 Instagram & Twitter followersI find it really hard to gain and keep a following on these two social media platforms. There are a lot of people out there who will just follow you to see if you follow back and if you don’t, it’s an immediate unfollow. I don’t get why but it’s annoying and means it’s really difficult to build a following. Unfortunately I haven’t been promoting my social media that well as I hate to be pushy. Each account currently stands at roughly 250 followers each. Pretty similar to the start of the year. However, if you would like to give my accounts a follow, my links are always at the end of each blog post. 
3- 100 Bloglovin’ followersIf I thought Instagram and Twitter were difficult platforms to gain followers, Bloglovin’ is near to impossible and plus now with the issue of them taking everyones content as their own many people have stopped using it and even deleted their accounts. I’m still unsure and unclear on this whole situation meaning I’m not so sure on this goal anymore.

reading-goals

1- Read 50 books. I’ve currently just finished my 14th book of the year and GoodReads says I’m on track so if I keep at the reading pace I’m currently at…roughly one book a week, this goal will be reachable.
2- Branch Out in Graphic NovelsI didn’t really think this one through, graphic novels are so expensive and I prefer buying my books brand new, therefore being a student I don’t really have the budget to buy graphic novels at this time. Maybe in the summer? Having said that, I did go to library today, first time in 3 years and they had a small graphic novel section. It wasn’t the best though so I didn’t pick any up. 
3- Step Out Of My Comfort ZoneI’m definitely doing this one. Out of the 14 books I’ve read so far this year only two have been romance/contemporary, usually my go to genre. I have actually been reading a TON of fantasy this year.

personal-goals

1- Finish my first year of uni, happy, still loving my course, the people and with a good grade- My first submission in February went well, my grades were good, not as good as I was hoping but I have a second chance to push my overall grades up with my next hand in. I’m still enjoying my course…as much as I can with all the stress and I LOVE the people. When I created this goal I had only been in uni like 2/3 months, as my first year is nearing a close, I can safely say I LOVE everyones company. I only have 8 people on my course and they are all so lovely.
2 – Use my Polaroid camera more – Um…kind of. It’s just hard being on a tight budget as I don’t want to use my polaroid film up too quickly as it’s fairly expensive. But I have been remembering to take it more places with me to capture some amazing memories. I’m using it as much as I would like and want so I’m happy with how this goal is progressing. 
3- Just be happyThis is a hard goal to evaluate but so far 2017 has been treating me well. Being on a student budget I’m surprised by the amount of things I have still be able to do. Tom is still in my life and that makes a whole load of difference to my happiness. My health is steady, memories are being created and life is good. 


Even though no goals are yet complete, it’s been great to refresh my memory of the goals I have set myself so I can get back on track with some of them. Most of my goals, however, are gradual and I am on the right path to get them complete, for example being happy is something I will have to evaluate at the end of the year.

Are you on track with your 2017 goals? Let me know some of your goals in the comments.

until next time,

xoxo, rachel
twitter | instagram


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Spring and Simple | OOTD

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Spring and Simple | OOTD | Sitting In The Clouds

I’m not the most knowledgable person on this planet about fashion, the trends or what’s hot right now. I’d rather spend my money on makeup, books and video games than clothes. Most of the time I throw on a pair of jeans, a graphic tee, my go-to pair of uggs and head out the door. But on occasion I do like the spend some time going through my wardrobe and carefully pick out an outfit for the day.

However, I find it more difficult than usual if we are in those transition months, it’s not warm enough yet to go out without a coat but it is warm enough to wear some lighter pieces. So it’s a struggle for us girls to know exactly what to wear in spring season, especially if you’re like me and based in the UK.

Yesterday the sun was shining, which for me is very deceiving most of the time as you believe it’s going to be warm but most of the time it’s not. However it is spring so I wanted to start pulling some of my more spring/summer pieces out. I adore this jumpsuit but it’s definitely more suited for the summer months. However with some layering I made it more Spring appropriate.

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IMG_4597.jpgBlack Tee – Boohoo.com
Romper – Boohoo.com

Pairing the jumpsuit with some black tights and a simple black tee underneath allows an extra layer for when it’s a little more chilly outside than you expected. Throwing on a leather jacket, which aren’t the warmest coats in the world, also adds a different texture to the outfit…not necessarily a piece of clothing I would choose to keep me warm but it’s an iconic style piece that everyone should own. It in particular makes this outfit more “edgy”.

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IMG_4617.JPGLeather Jacket – TKMaxx (TJMaxx in America)
Necklace – Walt Disney World

I wore this outfit yesterday to see my boyfriend. We ended up having a mini spontaneous day date to Nandos and then to the pub for some drinks to watch Man City V Arsenal. It was the perfect outfit as I didn’t feel too overdressed but also looked like I put in some effort when all I did was put a one piece on and add a few accessories.


I really liked how this outfit came together in the end and I’m excited to try more outfits similar in the future. I just need some spare cash in my purse to buy some new wardrobe pieces…student life.

I hope you enjoyed it and let me know what you think.

until next time,

xoxo, rachel
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p.s thank you to my mum for taking these pictures for me. Also sorry for the contrast in photos, the sun was playing hide and seek behind the clouds. 


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April Plan With Me | My Bujo

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April Plan With Me | My Bujo | Sitting In The Clouds

How are we four months into 2017 already? I remember clear as day setting up my bullet journal for the new year, creating my goals and drinking way too much to welcome in 2017. However, I finally feel grounded and really happy with how my bullet journal is working for me. I think I’ve found the things that do and don’t work for me and I’m so excited to explore April in my bujo.

March: Plan With Me | March In Review

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For April I decided to switch up my monthly overview. I used to do this layout, inspired by Boho Berry, when I first started bullet journalling at the very end of 2015, beginning of 2016. This layout worked for me back then but I wanted to try it out again as I’m now much more confident in what I want my bullet journal to be for me.

I simply have a line per day while each day is spilt into three categories; all day, morning and evening. I’m still using my trusty colour coding system as the seperate colours for the different things (purple: social, pink: uni, green: work, blue: hospital) and they really help me stay organised and see from a glance how my day is going to be occupied. The column on the right hand side just houses some more generic to-do lists; monthly TBR (books I want to read in April), a monthly to-do list (tasks I want to get within the month but doesn’t have a set day), events that are coming up next month and a uni box for me to write any uni tasks or deadlines for the month.

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Flipping the page I have another “One Line A Day” collection as I loved doing this spread in March. However, I wanted another, different way in documenting each day of the month so I opted for a “Doodle A Day” spread as well. Having both on the same double page spread will allow me to see written and visually how my month was.

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Moving onto the next double page spread is where my monthly tracking starts. Here I have my “Monthly Habit Tracker”, I used to do these weekly but at the end of March wanted to switch back to the monthly overview and really enjoyed it so carried it into April.

Opposite is my “Monthly Sleeping Tracker”. March was the first month I tried this out and I actually saw some correlation in the hours I slept and how good I felt when waking up so I’m really excited to continue on in April and see if the same patterns occur. The mini table at the bottom is to track if I read before sleeping, if I snuggled with Tom and if I used my phone before sleeping. I feel like I get a better nights sleep either if I read beforehand or if I slept with Tom so I just like ticking the relevant each day to see if a pattern occurs.

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Next is my trusty “Blog Tracker”. In this bullet journal I have never gone a month without creating one of these spreads, it’s just such a useful way for me to track my blog posts each month. However, I have noticed that I write in the blog posts for certain days and then end up changing my mind. Therefore next month I may use sticky notes to write in the blog posts, enabling me to easily move around the ideas if I want to switch up posts.

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Next is my “Spending Log”. If you saw my “March In Review” post you may notice some differences between my two spending trackers. In March, I did it portrait and I had A LOT more categories. I realised that I barely used many of the different categories I created so in April I shorten the list to only the key ones; Food, Uni, Car, Fun and Me. Also having it landscape and in a more bar chart style will really help me see my spends more clearly.

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My final monthly spread for April is my “Mood Tracker”. April is my first official month of trying a spread like this as in March I kind of did one as a spare of a moment thing as I had some room under my habit tracker, and enjoyed the idea so carried it through to April, expanding it to a whole page and developing the idea.

I got this particular Tetris idea off a fellow blogger, unfortunately I can’t remember who which sucks…I really need to start writing peoples names down that I take inspiration from. I have basically dedicated a mood to each of the classic Tetris pieces. Each day I will pick a overall mood for the day and draw the shape into the “Tetris Playing Area”. Over the course of the month I will have to start actually playing the game, trying to fit each of the pieces together. I think it will be a fun way to track my mood as well as having some fun at the same time.


I really love how April turned out for me in my bullet journal and I can’t wait to use every spread. I’m writing this on April 1st and I have already done my doodle of the day, and I can already tell I’m going to love this spread. Fingers crossed I keep it up.

Do you use a bullet journal? What spreads have you included in April? Let’s chat in the comments.

until next time,

xoxo, rachel
twitter | instagram | goodreads | bloglovin’


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L’Oreal Vs Maybelline | Foundation Wars

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When there are so many different products on the market which are so similar it’s hard to know exactly which one will suit you best and which one you’ll fall head over heels in love with. There are so many factors to consider and without having tried and tested each one in turn, it’s sometimes impossible to make the right choice. But don’t fret, today I’ll be comparing two of the most spoken about drugstore foundations that are currently on the market, the L’Oreal Infallible 24HR Matte and the Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless foundation. Both offer similar things but at the end of the day which one comes out on top?

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The L’Oreal Infallible Matte foundation has been my go to for about a year now. I love L’Oreal foundations, I used to use their highly acclaimed True Match, as they have a wide range of shades allowing anyone to get their exact shade…or near enough, which is something other high-street brands are still struggling to get right. However when my shade, Natural Rose, wasn’t in stock and I couldn’t pick up a new one, I decided to try a similar one that I had my eyes on, the Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless foundation.

The other day I put them both to the test, applying each foundation to half my face to see how they faired through-out the day. I started this experiment at 10:30am, which was when I had applied my makeup. It was a weekend so I was only doing mundane household tasks, uni work, a few chores, blogging and chilling with family.

Both foundations are from the drugstore so both wouldn’t break the bank and leave your purse empty. I’ll start off by saying, both foundations are good for the price you pay. The Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless retails at £5.99 while the L’Oreal Infallible 24HR Matte prices at £7.99.

IMG_1346(LEFT: Maybelline Foundation | RIGHT: L’Oreal Foundation)

The first difference I noticed whilst I was applying both (I applied both foundations with a damp beauty sponge) was the consistency of the foundations. The Maybelline Fit Me foundation was a lot runnier while the L’Oreal one had a thicker consistency.  The consistency of the products could reflect on the coverage as the Maybelline foundation, I personally found, was more between light to medium than a medium to high coverage the L’Oreal one provided.

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However, both foundations stayed true to their name about being matte. As soon as I applied both foundations they were instantly matte, no powder needed, although I did apply my trusty Rimmel Stay Matte powder to my entire face anyway.

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After I had applied a full face of makeup and started to get on with my daily tasks I started to notice that I could feel the Maybelline Fit Me foundation sitting on my skin, which I had’t yet noticed with the L’Oreal Infallible foundation. Because of this I decided to see if there was any transfer with either one of the products. Unfortunately because of how much heavier the Maybelline foundation felt on my face there was quiet bad makeup transfer with the Maybelline Fit Me. This is one factor I have continued to notice with the Fit Me foundation, hugging my boyfriend now I’m conscious of my makeup going on his clothes. So even though the Maybelline one reduces and hides my pores and gives my face a really smooth base for the rest of my makeup to sit it feels a lot heavier on my skin. I did find though because of this, all other makeup applied and blended out a lot better thanks to the matte and poreless base the Maybelline foundation gave.

The L’Oreal Infallible Matte on the other hand is super lightweight, I never felt it as a second layer of skin and there was barely any/no transfer onto clothes when wearing this foundation.

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Through-out the day I started to notice a difference in how each foundation was wearing on my skin. The Maybelline Fit Me foundation says it’s for normal to oily skin, on that spectrum I class myself as having normal skin, yet this foundation was getting shiny around my T-Zone area after a couple of hours of wear. For this reason, I don’t believe the formula is suited for oily skin. To keep this foundation matte you would have to touch up with powder every couple of hours.

At the end of the day when it came to removing my makeup, the L’Oreal foundation was still intact, it was still 100% matte, no shine and no touch ups needed through-out the day which unfortunately I can’t say the same with Maybelline.

To be honest, I can’t fault the L’Oreal foundation. I wore it in Florida heat last summer when I went to Disney and I was walking around the parks all day, sweating, not once did I feel it on my face or it sliding off. It was definitely lightweight and when I got back to the hotel after a sometimes 9 hour day my face still wasn’t shiny. The packaging says 24H Matte, now it may not be 24 HOURS but it’s definitely matte for the entirety of the time you’re wearing it, 9 hours plus.

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So let’s recap….

Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Powerless Foundation:
– £5.99 (£2 cheaper)
– less coverage
– matte without powder to begin with but needs powder top ups through-out the day to stay matte
– feels heavy on the skin causing a lot of makeup transfer
– pore are less visible allowing for smoother makeup application and nicer blending of other powder products

L’Oreal Infallible Matte Foundation:
– £7.99
– higher coverage
– really lightweight, doesn’t feel like a second layer of skin at all, meaning barely any to no makeup transfer
– lasts all day without any touch ups

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Overall, for me the L’Oreal Infallible Matte wins this time around. For me it’s a better match for what I’m looking for in a foundation.  I love how matte it is and how it stays matte for a really long period of time. I don’t need to worry about being shiny through-out the day and carrying powder with me so I can touch up. So although it’s £2 more expensive and that £2 could get me a much needed hot chocolate, I would still choose the L’Oreal Infallible over the Maybelline Fit Me. I am a little upset about not liking the Maybelline Fit Me foundation though as the Maybelline Fit Me concealer I LOVE and adore and it’s a holy grail product of mine.

Having said all that, I’m glad to have tried this comparison, thank you Julie for suggesting for me to do this and I hope it helped you out, as I’m glad I have been able to try a similar product on the market but I’m sorry I just can’t fault the L’Oreal foundation formula.

However these are just my own opinions and everyone and their skin is different so I would love to know your thoughts on either or both of these foundations.

until next time,

xoxo, rachel


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March Wrap Up & April TBR

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March Wrap Up & April TBR | Sitting In The Clouds

As my reading goes, 2017 has been an amazing year for me so far. No books have been rated under 3 stars, my lowest being a 3.75 stars to My Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland and my reading pace, although not fast in the slightest, with uni and other things going on in my life right now, I’ve read a total 13 books so far and GoodReads says I’m one book ahead of schedule, which is awesome for me. With April quickly approaching I’m happy to say I’m pleased with my reading so far this year.

March was my best month for reading so far but it isn’t over yet, with four days left, I’m hoping to complete one final book, bringing my total up six books.

March Wrap Up

  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️) – second five star read of the year and easily the best book I read this month
  • The Pottermore Short Story Collection by JK Rowling
    Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists (⭐️⭐️⭐️)
    Incomplete and Unreliable Guide (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
    Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
  • One Night In Italy by Lucy Diamond (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

I enjoyed all the books I’ve read this month with Caraval taking the lead as my favourite. I just adored this book, having heard a mix of reviews before reading it myself and hearing it be compared to The Night Circus, I was skeptical as I hated that book, but oh my!! Caraval was leaps and bounds better…unpopular opinion I know. I loved how you didn’t know what was real or fake and the whole atmosphere was amazing. I loved all the characters and I just can’t fault it.

I loved reentering the wizarding world and they were all good stories to keep me occupied on my commute to uni everyday. Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies was by far my favourite as we got to know more about Lupin, my favourite character.

I also really enjoyed One Night In Italy, it had been unread on my bookshelf for around two and a half years. I had picked it up once before but soon gave up as I wasn’t feeling it but second time round I devoured it.

DNF’ed

I did unfortunately DNF one book in March, which is my first DNF of the year. I’m not afraid of putting books down if I’m not feeling them and they are pulling me into a slump, which Hold Back The Stars by Katie Khan was doing to me.

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I just didn’t get this book. I’m going to keep hold of it a while longer as Goodreads actually rates it quite well but this time round, I couldn’t get into it. I do truly believe that sometimes it is you and not the book.

Currently Reading

pp

  • Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

April TBR

  • Endless Knight by Kresley Cole (Arcana Chronicles #2)
  • Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole (Arcana Chronicles #3)
  • Day Zero by Kresley Cole (Arcana Chronicles #3.5)
  • Arcana Rising by Kresley Cole (Arcana Chronicles #4)

If you couldn’t tell I want to conquer this series in April. As I’m currently reading Poison Princess, the first book, I want to just dive into each of the books one another another this month. I read the first three books back in 2015, Poison Princess, Endless Knight and Dead of Winter but I want to refresh my mind before reading the novella and book number four. I can remember loving this series and it being one of my favourites, it’s on my favourites shelf on GoodReads anyway, so I’m excited to see if I still feel the same as well as what happens next as Dead of Winter left on the biggest cliffhanger.


If I read those four books and knock that series off my TBR I’ll be happy.

How was March reading wise for you? Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned today? Let’s chat in the comments.

I also have more of my thoughts on all of the books read this month on my GoodReads page, linked below.

until next time,

xoxo, rachel
twitter | instagram | goodreads


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