Friday, 4 April 2014

Friday Favourites #22

I won 2048. Finally
And so that is my favourite for this week.
I followed this advice to help me get the hang of it - and then the advice to 'keep the biggest number in the top-right-hand corner.' It doesn't always work, but it sure helps. I ended up with a chain of 32-64-128-256-512-1024 that I collapsed into itself: no frustration about the number I needed being on the other side of the board.

And now, I am free!

Here's the Doctor Who edition, and here's the Doge edition. You're welcome.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Friday Favourites #21

I'm resurrecting my Friday Favourites feature as a way to ease me back into updating my blog. Life's been a bit of a rollercoaster recently, and I'm sure it'll continue in that way. For now, though, it's fairly calm, and I'm going to make the most of that!

So, this week I've been loving... MALTESERS!

When I was finding the picture above, I was reminded of a few delicious recipes you can make with Maltesers.

Firstly, Lorraine Pascale's Let Them Eat Cake, Cake.
Recipe here and also in her Fast, Fresh and Easy cookbook, which I highly recommend. I've actually made this and a few other recipes from that book, and I find her recipes to be really good.
Alternatively, use Kitkats too!

Next, some Malteser Macarons, which are from The Little Loaf (photo from the linked post)
I've never made macarons but I definitely want to try, especially after reading that!

Last, this variation on Rocky Road from Daily Delicious looks scrummy! (again, photo is from the linked post)

Please go and check out the two bloggers' recipes I've linked to - and if you do make them, let them (and me) know how you found them!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Quickfire Reviews #3 | February 2014

It's time for me to give you in-a-nutshell reviews of four more recent reads of mine. I'm really liking this short format for reviews - feel free to tweet me @Lily_Actually for more thoughts, or just for a chat!

March ~ Geraldine Brooks 
Goodreads Amazon
£7.99 | Harper Perennial (UK - Penguin in the USA, I believe) | 2005
This is the story of Mr March, the absent father in Little Women, and what he was doing in the Civil War while away from his family. It won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize (though interestingly the copy I had felt it was more important to tell me that it was a Richard & Judy Book Club pick... okay then) so it is clearly quite a famous book in the USA. I hadn't heard of it until I picked it up off the shelves in my local Oxfam.
I found some of the name-dropping a little tiring, but otherwise the account of the US Civil War was fascinating. I don't know a whole lot about it, and found the part about the Underground Railroad especially enthralling.
The new strapline for this book in the UK is 'A Love Story in the Time of War,' which along with the Richard & Judy stickers may give prospective readers totally the wrong idea. Love is a theme, but the central theme is, I think, integrity.  I would recommend it if you're interested in US history.

The Daring Escape of Beatrice & Peabody ~ Kimberly Newton Fusco
Goodreads Amazon
£6.99 | Faber | 2013
I picked this book up in the children's section of Waterstones on a complete whim, and I'm really glad I did. It's what I would call an old-fashioned children's adventure story, but with the ease of language that comes from it having been published in the 21st century.
The story is about Beatrice, an orphan who lives on a travelling circus in 1930s America. She has a large birthmark on her fact which causes her to get a lot of bullying and teasing (and often physical aggression) from others, as well as a whole host of other difficulties. I won't tell you what happens in the plot - it's enough to say that her character development is really nice to read. The book has a good message without being 'after-school special' about it.
I would highly recommend this book if you like escapist comfort reading or if you have a smallish person to buy for.

This Song Will Save Your Life ~ Leila Sales
Goodreads Amazon
£6.99 | Macmillan | 2013
This is another book I picked up on a whim in Waterstones, and I cannot say enough good things about it. Seriously, I could rave about this book for hours if you let me.
Elise Dembowski is not a happy teenage girl. At the start of the book, after another awful day at school, she tries to kill herself. And yet six months later she's a hot DJ at a secret underground nightclub. This book really connected with me. I've annotated my copy of it (which I almost never do) and I've listened to the playlist printed in the back.
It reminded me of my belief that everyone has a few things they're really good at, and that you might not discover what they are until it's almost too late. For me, it's poetry, which I found out that I was good at almost completely by chance through the Poetry Society's SLAMbassadors programme. Reading this book reminded me of how self-affirming it was to make that discovery, and to have someone else tell me that I was worthy of praise.
It's only £2.99 on Kindle as I write this post. You must try it.

Every Day ~ David Levithan
Goodreads Amazon
£7.99 | Egmont | 2012
I had heard huge amounts about this book, but I wasn't really a fan of it, to be honest. It was a clever concept but I didn't think the ending was good. Bit of a 'meh' from me to be honest.


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