Top 5 Wednesday: Books to Get You Out of a Slump!

Hi Friends!

I’m back! I took a week off from blogging because of some family stuff, but I am back and into my 3rd week of university already, how insane? Anyway. This week’s topic is the books I recommend to get you out of a reading slump. If you know me at all or have been reading this blog for a while, you know what my favourite books are. So you should not be surprised to see them on this list. As usual, you can find all the information you need on the Top 5 Wednesday Goodreads group. Without further ado:

  1. Harry Potter – JK Rowling. You already know how amazing this series is. The best part about re-reading HP is that you already know the story. So it’s not that difficult to actually read. Every time I’m really down (which is usually why I’m in a reading slump) I re-read Harry Potter because it makes me happy and I always manage to get something new and different out of the story. There are also amazing audio-books narrated by Stephen Fry that will get you out of a reading slump very quickly!
  2. The Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis. I really enjoy reading books from my childhood to get me out of a reading slump, because they always take me back to a time when I had all the time in the world to read. And I didn’t have to spend my time reading monster reading packs for university, or readings like “Relational Aesthetics”. So, books from my childhood are the answer!
  3. You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost) – Felicia Day. Funny biographies and funny autobiographies are a very easy way to get back into reading. Especially when you have a wonderful, hilarious person like Felicia to read about. There are so many funny autobiographies to choose from, including Anna Kendrick and Amy Schumer.
  4. Discworld Series – Terry Pratchett. Are you surprised to see this here? No? GOOD. Terry has a very dry, witty sense of humour and his books don’t have chapters so you can read a whole book in a few days because you literally cannot stop. Just pick up any book in the series, give it a go, and thank me later.
  5. Percy Jackson series – Rick Riordan. This is a middle-grade series, but it is so funny and easy to read. I think they may be a little too juvenile if you are in your twenties like I am, but I am a big fan of reading books intended for a younger audience when you are in a reading slump. When it’s easy to read, you feel much better about actually reading. The Magnus Chase series is actually better, but a little more cognitively demanding.

And that concludes this week’s Top 5 Wednesday! If you have any book recommendations for me in terms of reading slumps (because I am currently in one now…) feel free to share with me on my Bookstagram!

See you soon!

-Domz

Why I Failed NaNoWriMo (Again)

Hi, Cupcakes!

Last year I attempted to do NaNoWriMo for the second year in a row. And for the second year in a row – I failed. The point of this post is to tell you why and to remind me that it’s perfectly okay to fail at some stuff. There are many contributing factors. So, I’m going to tell you what they were and how I’m going to try and do better next year.

November SUCKS

November is exams month for me. And since #FeesMustFall was back last yearr – my exams got extended for an extra three weeks. I finished writing on the 28th, instead of the 14th. It was a very long month in terms of exam prep and essay writing. I probably could have written more. But I felt really guilty for writing my story instead of writing my essay. So I just watched Vampire Diaries instead of doing either. Well done, Dom. You smart cookie, you. I don’t doubt that #FeesMustFall will be back this year, but hopefully, I will be better prepared. Maybe I will even write my story about the student struggle in South Africa. You never know.

I Didn’t Plan

I decided on the 28th of October that I was going to try NaNoWriMo again last year. And I actually wrote out a plan. I watched so many hours of writing tip videos as well as novel structure and characterisation. But, I only came up with my main character’s name on the morning of the 1st of November – using a name generator. I can’t even remember what is is now – which means that they weren’t that important to me. Maybe I looked at my plan once or twice after I started writing, if even that. I went by the seat of my pants and it bit me on my bum because I am definitely not that kind of person – I like planning. Planning makes sense to my brain. Hopefully next year I will actually have a novel plan that will help me instead of confusing me.

My Needs Changed

I started writing out of a place of pain and confusion. I needed an outlet to sort through all sorts of inner turmoil. The story that I was writing was an auto-biography of pain and stress and trying to make sense of my world, which had changed irrevocably in the space of 2 months. And then I started to feel okay again. I started sorting my life and my feelings and my brain out. I became strong enough to deal with my struggles. And then I realised that I didn’t want to share this particular story. I didn’t need the world to see this particular story. And it was far too late to start over. There are some themes and ideas that I want to re-visit in the future, but I don’t need to write that story anymore.

BUSY BUSY BUSY

The final reason that I failed NaNoWriMo (again) last year was because I was just so f*cking busy! I worked twice a weekend for most weekends. I tutored for a week and a half – every day. There were exams to write and prepare for. And I was actually having a social life. Looking back on my calendar, I am actually pretty proud of myself for getting enough sleep! Basically – my excuse is that I let life get in the way. And I really don’t regret it. At all.

2017?

Am I going to try all this again this year? You bet. I managed to go from 5000 words in my first NaNoWriMo to 15000 this year. If I keep that rate of increase up, I am pretty sure that I can get it done. I’m also planning to plan a month or two in advance and make sure that I have a good story with well-rounded, diverse characters and an interesting world to put it all in. Maybe I’ll even start writing before hand, or carry on writing afterwards. I have no idea what 2017 will bring, but I’m keen!

Are you going to join me? You can find all you need to know on the NaNoWriMo website. Let me know!

Keep writing!

-Domz

 

Photo Friday

Hi Friends

Just a beautiful image didicated to someone who will be missed.

See you next week.

-Domz

T5W: Book Trends I’m Tired Of!

Hi Friends

Welcome to another Top 5 Wednesday! As usual, all the secret codes and spy members can be found in the Goodreads Group. This week’s theme is the trends in books and writing that we are tired of. And I’ve been looking forward to this topic since the end of January, because there are some bookish trends that need to die ASAP for the sake fo literature and my sanity. I have opinions. If you don’t like those – why are you reading this blog, dude? Anyway. Here are the bookish trends that I am personally quite tired of:

  1. Love triangles. So you have your heroine. And she likes a boy. And then there’s another boy. Oh no, she can’t choose! THIS NEEDS TO STOP. Or get re-mixed a little bit. I wanna see a bi-sexual hero who can’t choose between a boy and a girl love interest. I want to see a pansexual hero who’s sexually attracted to everyone and how they deal with that. OR give me an asexual hero who wants to get a dog but can’t pick between 2 breeds because romantic relationships are overrated. Or just anything else. I’m so sick of love triangles because real life hardly ever works like that.
  2. Supernatural romance. I love a good supernatural romance story. But these things are literally everywhere. I would love to see a werewolf story where the main character is more concerned with becoming the Alpha than seducing everyone they come into contact with. Give me a vampire character who can’t figure out how to fly as a bat – and that’s the main storyline (them mastering their powers). Or, better yet, give me a telepath who just want to have the perfect college application but they want to do it without cheating and using their powers. Or give me a witch who can’t find a job or has to figure out how taxes work. I want to see supernatural characters doing everything apart from falling in love. And it would really help if the characters could teach young readers stuff that they wouldn’t necessarily learn in school.
  3. Misrepresented kink erotica. Like 50 Shades. There are so many rip-offs of this rip-off because everyone wants to cash in on the movement. It needs to stop. Enough.
  4. Dystopian novels. I don’t read that much dystopian because I don’t really enjoy it all that much. The only amazing dystopian that I’ve read is the Hunger Games. But everything else just doesn;t work for me. Maybe it’s because a dystopian future seems MUCH more realistic given the new president of the US. And who runs my country… Anyway. Not everything is the end of the world. I would love to see a story set in a utopian future. Who will take on that challenge?
  5. Series (trilogies). I love reading series’. But there are some stories that could have ended quite happily with the first book. Or even the second book. But everything that is being released in the book world in the last 5 years has been a trilogy. Seriously. It needs to stop. I want stand-alone’s or a long series that I can get invested in.

And there we go. Those are some of the book tropes/trends that I am tired of seeing, and reading. And I think that they should all be stopped. Or re-mixed in a novel and creative way. And I am pretty sure that my list will be very similar to most people. Is there anything in the bookish world that you are tired of seeing? Let me know!

-Domz

My 2017 Planner

Hi, Cupcakes!

It’s a New Year, which means that everyone is in productivity mode and has bought new planners and stuff throughout the month of January. Because I am still at university, my year only really begins in February (today, actually!), which is why this post makes more sense at the start of Feb than it would have at the start of January. That, and photographs of an empty planner would have been quite boring. Every year I have a diary/planner to help keep me super organised. I got my current planner for Christmas, and I have been using it every day since Boxing Day. The planner that I am using this year is another Moleskine.

My favourite format is the Weekly layout, with an entire week on the left-hand page and a lined page on the right-hand page. I like this format because it allows me to see the week as one unit and to see how much time I have to do my tasks and responsibilities.

This is why I chose the specific format of planner that I did. I like seeing my week at a glance. And there is a whole blank page for To-Do lists. I need To-Do lists to keep me on track and to make sure that I don’t forget anything. Because that is one of my biggest fears – forgetting something important. At the beginning of the journal is a section with a month at a glance, which would probably be very useful if I remembered to use it.

I discovered this amazing thing called Bullet Journalling via the amazing force of the internet. I think it might have been through Pinterest and then through YouTube. Bullet Journalling was created by Ryder Carol and is one of the most creative things I’ve ever seen. However, I am a huge fan of Bullet Journalling. It’s absolutely beautiful and so creative. In an ideal world, I would have the time and energy to have an Instagram-worthy “bujo”. However, I find that the lack of structure in a Bullet Journal doesn’t really work for me.

I am the kind of person who has things organised a whole semester in advance – especially for University. I write down my due dates, essays, tests and exams as soon as I get them because I never want to forget anything important. My needs are more future oriented as opposed to a collection of daily to-do lists. With that being said, the format I have chosen for my planners allows for future planning and I can put my daily to-do lists on the right-hand pages, as you can see here:

An important difference between my 2016 planner and my 2017 planner is the size. I had a lovely compact planner in 2016, but I realised that I had much more on my plate and needed more space. Especially because most of my to-do lists ended up on random scraps of paper. Al over the place. Which literally defeats the purpose of having a planner. Sort of. With this extra space, I will be able to put in a comprehensive to-do list for each day into my planner. With the smaller planner – I had random pieces of paper everywhere, which was something I was seriously hoping to avoid. Instead of going up one size at a time like a normal person, I went from tiny to large in one jump. If this planner is too big for me this year, I will try the medium in 2018 if the large size (21x19cm) doesn’ work for me.

I love using stickers and colours in my planner because it helps to alleviate some of the boredom, and to help me differentiate between different events on the same day, or different to do lists. My sticker collection is glorious and it is growing quite quickly. I feel like I’m back in primary school, except that now the stickers are actually being used, instead of sitting in a sticker book.

 

And that is the overview of my planner for 2017! I wish I had more to show you all, but it’s only February so not much has happened yet this year. There are also certain pages that I don’t want to share because they have personal stuff in them. I do share a lot on this blog, but you really don;t need to know everything. Sorry, guys! Feel free to share your planners or organisation systems with me, I would love to know what everyone else is doing! Are you a Moleskine person, or is there another type of planner that you enjoy?

Stay organised!

-Domz

 

 

 

T5W: Favourites That Aren’t Books!

Hi Friends!

Happy February! How quickly did January fly by? Holy cow. Anyway. This week’s Top 5 Wednesday theme is your top 5 favourites that aren’t books! This can include TV shows, games, food, makeup, anything that you do outside of reading. I realised that I don’t actually do much when I’m on holiday (which is the point) so my favourites list seems quite weird. I tried to include as much as I could in the small space of just 5 favourites. Enjoy these weird favourites!

  1. Game: Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4. I saw someone playing this on YouTube and I realised that I needed to get my hands on a PC version of the game. So I set my boyfriend the task of finding it for me – and he did a great job. He did such a good job that we actually spent half a day playing the game together using two keyboards and an HDMI cable. I ended up playing ahead by myself, and I am having so much fun! Year 1 is already completed!
  2. Incense: Vanilla. I can’t believe that it took me so long to find Vanilla incense, but now that I have it is my absolute favourite. It’s burning as I write this, and my bedroom smells like a cupcake.
  3. Food: Nachos. I freaking love nachos. Especially the vegan variety, but the best vegetarian nachos can be found at Salsa (if you love cheese) or Roco Mammas (if you love guacamole). And now I’m craving nachos. Damn.
  4. TV Show: The Simpsons season 27 and 28. I’m trying to find a show to watch until RuPaul’s drag race comes back and I am like 2 seasons behind on the Simpsons. So that’s what I’m watching. And I’m really enjoying it.
  5. Passtime: Duolingo. I’m currently learning French and Italian. My French pronunciation sucks, but I’m having a lot of fun, and I hope that someday I will be able to actually hold a conversation in either language. Someday.

And that concludes the first Top 5 Wednesday on February! As always, you can find all you need to know in the Goodreads Group. I actually really enjoyed making a quick little favourites list, and I might actually do one of these every month. What do you all think?

Happy reading!

-Domz

January Wrap Up

Hi Friends!

Oh my word. So many books in January!

I have been very productive in terms of my reading, and I have definitely started the year off strongly. This month I also participated in the DA Readathon – which intended to get us as readers to read more diverse books under a Harry Potter format. You can find the intro blog post and my Wrap Up also here on the blog. I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to make a distinct impact on my reading challenge this month, but I am actually very proud of myself. I have no idea what my reading will be like once university starts (Next week!!) but I feel like I will be able to handle it because I’ve had such a good start.

I managed to read 10 books this month, and I am already a fifth of the way through my Goodreads Challenge. I am very proud of myself, and I am hoping that I can continue to read at the same rate. Doubting it, especially because I have managed to find the PC version of Lego Harry Potter (the game). So I am gaming and nerding as much as I can before going back to WITS. Anywho. Here are the books that I managed to read this month:

Books Read

  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Screenplay – JK Rowling
  • The Life-Changing Magic of not Giving a F**k – Sarah Knight
  • Queer: A Graphic History – Meg-John Barker & Julia Scheele
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson – John Green & David Levithan
  • The Reason I Jump – Naoki Higashida
  • The Joy of Yoga – Emma Silverman
  • The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
  • Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins
  • Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins
  • Eat Like You Care – Gary L. Francione & Anna E. Charlton

In Progress

  • The Fifth Elephant – Terry Pratchett

I did not read any audio-books, and I am trying to stay away from the ‘To Be Read’ way of doing things, because I always choose a book based on my mood anyway. I hope you all have had a wonderful, productive January and will join me in reading as much as possible for February!

Be kind to each other!

-Domz

 

Photo Friday: Chicken Paintings

Hi Friends!

I originally had another plan for this week’s Photo Friday. I was going to do a summer/holiday photo collection, but it has been raining all week and I realised that I still have another week of holiday. Both of these things have made me very happy, but it did mean that I had to come up with something else to show this week. Especially because I couldn’t think of enough books for this week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic. Oops.

So, I have decided to finally show off some of the paintings that I did last year. I’m not very happy with the two smaller paintings, but I am so tired of looking at these paintings. Therefore, I am going to put them all away, and maybe come back to them at a later stage.

If you’re interested in buying one of the two later paintings, pop me and email and we can chat about it. My email address is in on my  “About” page.

-Domz

Eggplant Pizza Recipe!

Hi, Friends!

One of my goals this year was to post more veggie recipes on my blog. So this is what I’m doing!

I had a random eggplant (brinjal, aubergine, whatever you want to call it) leftover from making ratatouille that I needed to eat, so I went searching on Pinterest. I found a recipe, looked at it once, and then did my own thing. That’s why I’m making my own recipe post. That and I took some really epic food photo’s that I want to share. This is obviously vegetarian but can be made vegan if you use vegan parmesan. I didn’t have any at the time of making this, and I definitely want to make a vegan version in the future!

Serves: 1 (add more eggplants to feed more people).

As you can see I misjudged how big of a pan I needed…

You will need:

  • An eggplant
  • Cheese – Vegan or dairy. (I used mozzarella mixed with gouda)
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Italian herbs
  • Sun-dried tomato pesto (I used the Woolworths one)
  • Olive oil
  • Baby rosa tomatoes
Pesto time!

 

What to do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 150 degrees celsius
  2. Wash your eggplant and slice into circles between 1 and 1.5cm thick
  3. Pour about 1 teaspoon’s worth of olive oil into a pan and place your pieces into the pan
  4. Spread a tiny bit of olive oil on top of the eggplant pieces to help them cook nicely. (I just used a clean finger for this)
  5. Using the utensil of your choice, spread some sun-dried tomato pesto onto your eggplant
  6. Next, spread on some cheese of your choice. If you want to add other products too – feel free. Although you might not have space depending on the size of your eggplant.
  7. Add your seasonings on top of the cheese. I used a sprinkle of salt and black pepper, and some Italian herbs (oregano, basil, etc). You can also add garlic if you want to – but I already had some from the pesto.
  8. If you want to be a little bit “extra”, slice up a teeny-tiny tomato and place a little slice in the centre of each mini-pizza. I did this because it was cute, and I felt like it would add to the images.
  9. Put into your oven and bake at 150 degrees for 20 minutes.
  10. Lastly, turn your oven onto the grill setting, turn up the temperature to 200 degrees celsius, and grill for an extra 10 minutes to make sure that the cheese is nice and crispy.
  11. Don’t forget to use an oven mitt or something simialr when taking your food out of the oven. I have a nasty burn on my arm from not paying attention around super-hot thinsg when cooking.
  12. Serve and enjoy!

 

So cheesy! (You can use vegan cheese if you prefer!)

Final Thoughts

I made all of that food all for myself, but I didn’t manage to finish it. The eggplant was way more filling than I thought it would be, but that is probably a good thing. I;m going to try this again with vegan cheese (once I get my hands on some) and then I will either update this post or make an entirely new one. Let me know if you guys want to see more vegetarian recipes, or if you want me to start my foray into making vegan food. I love food, so I am more than happy to document my process of making it. If you want to see more of what I eat, you can follow my personal Instagram, or follow me on Snapchat – minidomi.

Eat good food!

-Domz

The final product! How yummy does this look?

Photo Friday: Flower Child

Hi, Cupcakes

This week’s photo Friday is a collection of some of the things that I own that I think make me a bit of a flower child, or a hippy. I love burning incense, meditating with crystals, and I have a budding Buddha collection. I don’t eat animals, I do yoga, and I’m studying an art degree. Sometimes I feel like a total walking, talking stereotype. But that’s totally okay. We all have something that makes this life more bearable, or even fun. So here are a few images that I took to get me back into the habit of taking photo’s on a semi-regular basis.

Peace and love!

-Domz