Thursday

Recapping my New Years Resolutions

Hi everyone - happy Saturday! So today, as we are now in June (Happy Pride Month by the way - sorry it's so late!), so nearing halfway through 2018, I thought it would be a fun and interesting post, if I looked back on my New Years Resolutions from January and found out I was getting on. By the way, if you'd like to see the original post where I talk about my NYRs and reflect on 2017, you can check that out here: http://www.whatlexieloves.com/2017/12/hello-2018-goodbye-2017-happy-new-year.html

Grow my blog's Instagram more, and potentially reach 1k by the end of this year

Yes! I did this one, and I'm honestly so happy. I was at 350 at the beginning of the year, and I thought reaching 1k was plausible, but would be quite unlikely. However, I put a lot of time and effort into my Instagram, and I hit 1k in April! (Since hitting 1k however, my Instagram hasn't really grown and is stuck on the 1020s, so I'd love if some of you checked it out: @whatlexieloves or https://www.instagram.com/whatlexieloves/

Running

I really wanted to run more, for myself, in 2018, and unfortunately - I haven't run in ages! However, I did sign up to do the 800 metres at sports day, and whilst that isn't long distance (my runs were more like 4k), it will still encourage me to practice a bit more.

Interrupt people less

Hmmm, I feel like a still do interrupt people when they're in the middle of a sentence a lot, but I really want to work on this one.

Count the books I read

Ooopsss.. Goodreads still thinks I've only read 7 books this year - I have not kept to this resolution at all!

Do NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNo again

Obviously, the main NaNo hasn't happened yet, but I definitely still want to do that. I tried doing Camp NaNo in April, but since I was on holiday for the first week of that, I easily fell behind and lost motivation, so was not successful in that. However, I do definitely want to do Camp NaNo this July, and am just about to sign up for that now.

Write blog posts more often

I feel so bad, but I haven't written a blog post in a while. Howeverrrr, I'm definitely planning on changing this very soon, and want to start posting at least every week, if not twice a week!

Continue doing our charity successfully

Yes, my little sister and I are still running our charity (read about that here), and that is still being run successfully.

Start my YouTube channel and keep it going

Hmm.. well I started a YouTube channel, but then a few of my friends found out and I just haven't posted a video since; oops!! I want to, but it just takes so so long, and I don't know if it's worth it to me - I'm struggling to post regularly on here, I don't know if taking on a whole new form of social media is a good idea.

So that's me looking at my New Years Resolutions. This has definitely made me feel more motivated, which is great - and hopefully I'll start focussing on and completing these goals.

Xxx

Things To Do In London... with kids and teenagers

Hi everyone!! A couple of days ago, my mum took my siblings and I up to London for the day, and we had a really lovely time. London is a beautiful, busy city with plenty of things to do, but I had to do quite a bit of research and weeding through articles before I found fun things for us to do (normally my mum plans our day trips to London, but this time I did haha). However, in the end the activities we chose were really fun, and made for a great day trip. So in this blog post, I will be sharing with you what we do and other fun activities to do in London... with kids and teenagers.

Peggy Porschen Cake Shop - https://www.peggyporschen.com/

The first thing we did, was get the tube to Victoria before walking for a few minutes to get to Peggy Porschens, a beautiful cake shop. This is a great thing to stop and do for half an hour or so, and it's great for all the family.. because who doesn't love cake?! I had a brownie, and whilst it's all fairly pricey, it was delicious. And whilst little ones may not appreciate how pretty the shop is, if you have teenagers they'll be taking heaps of photos for Instagram!! Beware: This cake shop is fairly popular and 'tourist-y', so sometimes they'll be a small queue outside the shop, if you want to eat in. The waitress said it would be around half an hour, but we got a table within 5 minutes. Go the website here, for more details.

St James Park and Buckingham Palace

This is definitely not the most unique thing to do whilst in London (!!), but it's still fun and interesting, particularly for younger ones. Firstly, we went to have a little look at Buckingham Palace, and then went for a walk in the lovely St James Park. Also, Hamleys is fairly near Buckingham Palace, so you could get a taxi there (or even walk it if you wanted!).

Museum of London - https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london

I have to admit, I'm not really one for museums haha, but I found the London Nights expedition (info about it on their website is here), and I thought it actually sounded like my cup of tea. Basically, the expedition is full of gorgeous photography of London at night, and whilst littler ones may not be that interested in that expedition (although there are other ones like Fatberg that children may find cool), I found it really inspiring and motivating.

Zip Now (London) - https://zip-now.co/

This isn't an activity my family and I actually tried out (although I definitely want to at some point), and I've seen mixed reviews on it, so maybe do your own research first, but my friend went to Zip Now in London and said it was really fun. Zip Now is basically London's longest zip line at 225 metres. Younger ones may be too scared for this, and I've heard there's quite a bit of queuing, but for teenagers this is an exhilarating and exciting activity many would love. Note: this is around £30pp so obviously a much pricier activity for all the family!

Va Piano for dinner - https://uk.vapiano.com/en/home/

After we'd had our great day out, my family and I where actually heading to Va Piano for dinner.* This is a delicious Italian restaurant which has three branches in London (as well as other branches in the UK and across Europe) and we've been there multiple times before (it's literally my favourite restaurant ever!!). My siblings and I all had the carbonara, and I would recommend it so much... it's honestly the best carbonara ever (and that's saying something, as I've tried a lot!!) The cool thing about Va Piano, is that you can actually go up and watch the chefs making your food, and chat to them as they prepare it (e.g. you can say 'ooh can I have a bit more cheese' or 'could I have chicken as well as bacon' etc etc) - meaning it's just how you like it!

*The meal was complimentary for my family, as a thank you for a previous mention, not to be featured in this post (I'm just including them because their food is amazing haha!!)... all opinions are completely my own.

So there you have it... lots of fun things you can do with kids and teenagers out in London. Have you been to London before? Do you have any other fun things to do in London that you'd add to this list - comment them down below as I'd love to hear them for any future trips. Thanks for reading everyone, and I'll be back soon with a new post <33
tags: London, day out in London, things to do with kids. Things to do with the kids when bored, London for teenagers, activities for all the family teen blogger, blog, family blog, teenagers


Friday

My Favourite MG Books

Hi everyone!! So quickly, before I get into today's post I just thought I'd say that I'm currently planning a Q+A post and I need a couple more questions, so could y'all comment some down below? You can comment as many as you want, and they can be about anything:) Also, just needed to rant about how Brooklyn 99 has been cancelled after just 5 seasons:((( B99 is the most perfect, funny, wholesome show with lots of much-needed minority representation and it doesn't deserve to be cancelled AGH!! Have you watched it? What are your thoughts? #RenewB99!! But anyway hahahah - so recently, I've reread a couple of old MG books back from when I was 11 or so, and it reminded me just how good some MG books are. Nowadays, I primarily read teen/YA fiction, but occasionally I want an easier read, so I lean towards a book aimed at 8-12 year olds. And so, I thought I'd compile a list of my favourite MG books and share them with y'all in today's blog post...

Time Travelling With A Hamster by Ross Welford

TTWAH was a re-read, but for some reason I enjoyed it so much more the second time round. It's not even like I didn't like it the first time - I really did, but the second time I realised that I love this book! It's funny, but also made me shed a couple of tears at points. The MC I really warmed to, and I loved he grandfather so much. Some points, I have to admit, are a little confusing, but that's only because the book touches on things like The Grandfather Paradox but nothing too majorly confusing for an 9-12 year old (which is who I'd recommend this for). I like that this book really isn't aimed at one gender either - TTWAH definitely appeals to boys and girls alike. Also, I know my little sister has also read a couple other books by Ross and she also really likes them so I might need to check out a couple of his others.
credits: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Time-Travelling-Hamster-Ross-Welford/dp/000815631X

Murder Most Unladylike (series) by Robin Stevens

I feel like I've talked about the Murder Most Unladylike stories so many times on this blog haha, and I can't help but mention them again (I couldn't do a post on my favourite MG books and not include these?!!). I love murder mysteries, but haven't found that there are that many good mysteries for kids (that I know of - if you have any recommendations, let me know). However Robin Stevens' books are an exception to that. There are now 6 books in this series and in my opinion they are all as good as each other, - I don't find them predictable, I love the characters and I think the writing style is perfect for kids and teenagers. Definitely recommend!!

Letters From The Lighthouse by Emma Carroll

I read this book after my sister recommended it to me on holiday and I had run out of books to read (THERE'S JUST NOT ENOUGH ROOM IN SUITCASES OK), but I have to admit I was slightly hesitant. It's just it didn't really sound like my kinda thing haha! But I read it anyway, and I'm so glad I did. I've done a full book review on this (which you can read here: http://www.whatlexieloves.com/2017/08/letters-from-lighthouse-by-emma-carroll.html) but I'll summarise the book quickly for those who don't know. LFTL is about Olive, whose older sister Sukie goes missing during an air raid (this book is set during the 1940s) and her journey to try and find where Sukie is. This is actually a very cleverly written plot, with lots of twists and turns. It's a book if you want an easy, but still really interesting, read.

Scarlet Ibis by Gill Lewis (and any other of her books!)

Again, I have already done a whole post on Gill Lewis - focussing on three of her fabulous books - which you can check out here, (by the way if you do go to check it out, I was much younger when I wrote it - that's why it's not the best post hahahah) but for those of you who haven't read that blog post, I thought I'd include one of her books in this roundup. Scarlet Ibis is a beautiful, touching book about Scarlet and Red - an inseparable sister-brother duo. Their mum is a very troubled woman - who often is drunk and too ill to care for them, so a lot of responsibility falls to Scarlet. But when a tragedy occurs, Scarlet and Red have to be separated and it's all about how they struggle to cope without each other. Whilst this touches on some mature themes, it's handled very very well, so I would still recommend it to 9-13 year olds. I would definitely recommend Scarlet Ibis if you haven't read it (or any other Gill Lewis books!).

Wonder by RJ Palacio

And finally, one of my favourite books... Wonder. If you've been following my blog right since the beginning, then you may know that my first ever blog post was a review of Wonder. http://www.whatlexieloves.com/2013/10/wonder-book-ive-read-over-50-times.html The title over the best was 'The Book I've Read Over 50 Times' and I genuinely have read it over 50 times, that's not even an exaggeration (and my copy of the book proves it; it's so battered and dog-eared *although I prefer the adjective 'well-loved'!!). I still read this book again today, and it never fails to impress me. Wonder is beautiful, heart-warming and such a wholesome book - I cannot explain how much everyone should read this!

So those are my Top 5 Favourite MG Books that I would definitely recommend. Whilst writing this, I thought of lots of other great MG books, so I could always do a Part 2 if you wanted (??). These books are mainly for 8-12 year olds, but every now and again teenagers need an easier, more light-hearted read, so I recommend this list for those times. I'll be back soon with another post (and as I said, it's a Q+A - which I know y'all love, so watch out for that!!)