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I was struggling to come up with a title for this post and I'm pretty pleased with what I ended up with, it's very apt. Exercise and becoming more fit, in general, is something I've struggled with for ages. I've just never felt motivated to do anything other than buying fitness tools which just never end up being used. So as always I went onto 1day for a little browse, saw this and was compelled to buy it.

I've seen a lot of people online talk about their Fitbits and how much they love them and for a while I've been seriously considering getting one. There's a number of different versions of them which confused me so when I saw this watch I decided to just get it. 


On 1day it's called a 'Heart Rate Tracker' but it has other functions as shown in the picture above. It tells the time, shows your heart rate, steps done, kilometres covered as well as calories burned. I haven't yet used it as an alarm or to find my phone but it's cool that it does it.






There were a couple of different colours to choose from but I went with black. If there was pink though you know that would have gone straight to my cart. They're actually on sale at the moment (ends at midday tomorrow). There's black, purple & blue and they're only $40 + shipping.



All the data from the watch can be seen when you download the free app Veryfit 2.0 and you just Bluetooth the watch to your phone. The app just syncs with the watch and all the information is there. You see your steps, the hours you slept as well as being able to adjust step goals, setting the alarm and alerting you when someone calls you which is pretty cool.

So far it's made me slightly more motivated. I'm always very pleased with myself when I achieve my step goal for the day (it doesn't happen often). 

What fitness tools do you use?

Ashley xx

Another Fitness Tool for the Unmotivated

Thursday, 21 September 2017


I was struggling to come up with a title for this post and I'm pretty pleased with what I ended up with, it's very apt. Exercise and becoming more fit, in general, is something I've struggled with for ages. I've just never felt motivated to do anything other than buying fitness tools which just never end up being used. So as always I went onto 1day for a little browse, saw this and was compelled to buy it.

I've seen a lot of people online talk about their Fitbits and how much they love them and for a while I've been seriously considering getting one. There's a number of different versions of them which confused me so when I saw this watch I decided to just get it. 


On 1day it's called a 'Heart Rate Tracker' but it has other functions as shown in the picture above. It tells the time, shows your heart rate, steps done, kilometres covered as well as calories burned. I haven't yet used it as an alarm or to find my phone but it's cool that it does it.






There were a couple of different colours to choose from but I went with black. If there was pink though you know that would have gone straight to my cart. They're actually on sale at the moment (ends at midday tomorrow). There's black, purple & blue and they're only $40 + shipping.



All the data from the watch can be seen when you download the free app Veryfit 2.0 and you just Bluetooth the watch to your phone. The app just syncs with the watch and all the information is there. You see your steps, the hours you slept as well as being able to adjust step goals, setting the alarm and alerting you when someone calls you which is pretty cool.

So far it's made me slightly more motivated. I'm always very pleased with myself when I achieve my step goal for the day (it doesn't happen often). 

What fitness tools do you use?

Ashley xx

The Cows* follow three women who start off unknown to each other but are eventually linked by an unfortunate incident. The story deals with current day issues such as the internet and social media which is now a major aspect of peoples everyday lives. It greatly affects the lives of the three women. Cam, a blogger who writes candidly about her life, is often told online that her stances on issues are wrong. Tara, who was caught on film masturbating, has now become viral online. And Stella who is struggling with the death of her twin sister and with the possibility of her also getting cancer torments herself in going on her sister's Facebook page.

Along with the internet and social media, the book also looks at people, particularly women, and how we judge them for having a different type of life that is not seen as 'normal'. Cam, who chooses not to have children, is critique both online and by her family while Tara, a single mother, feels judged by the other Mums at her daughter's school. This critique is multiplied with Tara's identity being discovered after the video goes viral and seemingly the whole world knows she got pregnant after a one-night stand. This theme really ties into the title 'The Cows' with the women not being part of the herd and conforming to a stereotype.

I've never read any of Dawn O'Porter's other work but was excited for this book after hearing about it when she was interviewed for Ctrl Alt Delete. I enjoyed the story but found some parts a little over exaggerated as well as cheesy. The story is one the reader can relate to but is hyper-realistic in the situations the characters encounter. One thing I did love was the shock twist at the end. I always like when a book surprises me and I was not expecting it.

3 stars

Have you read The Cows? What did you think of it?

Ashley xx
* Review copy from Harper Collins NZ

Review | The Cows by Dawn O'Porter

Tuesday, 19 September 2017


The Cows* follow three women who start off unknown to each other but are eventually linked by an unfortunate incident. The story deals with current day issues such as the internet and social media which is now a major aspect of peoples everyday lives. It greatly affects the lives of the three women. Cam, a blogger who writes candidly about her life, is often told online that her stances on issues are wrong. Tara, who was caught on film masturbating, has now become viral online. And Stella who is struggling with the death of her twin sister and with the possibility of her also getting cancer torments herself in going on her sister's Facebook page.

Along with the internet and social media, the book also looks at people, particularly women, and how we judge them for having a different type of life that is not seen as 'normal'. Cam, who chooses not to have children, is critique both online and by her family while Tara, a single mother, feels judged by the other Mums at her daughter's school. This critique is multiplied with Tara's identity being discovered after the video goes viral and seemingly the whole world knows she got pregnant after a one-night stand. This theme really ties into the title 'The Cows' with the women not being part of the herd and conforming to a stereotype.

I've never read any of Dawn O'Porter's other work but was excited for this book after hearing about it when she was interviewed for Ctrl Alt Delete. I enjoyed the story but found some parts a little over exaggerated as well as cheesy. The story is one the reader can relate to but is hyper-realistic in the situations the characters encounter. One thing I did love was the shock twist at the end. I always like when a book surprises me and I was not expecting it.

3 stars

Have you read The Cows? What did you think of it?

Ashley xx
* Review copy from Harper Collins NZ

Lately, the genre of TV shows I find myself drawn to are those which are historical and more often or not in relation to a monarchy. As you see four out of five of them are centred around the British monarchy with the other concerning the French. I just seem to have this desire for works, whether TV shows or books, about the British monarchy mainly. I just find the history fascinating.

The White Queen (2013)
This was a mini-series and was adapted from Philippa Gregory's historical novels. The show follows the War of the Roses which I think was the inspiration for Game of Thrones. Two sides of the monarchy, the House of York and the House of Lancaster clash over who is the rightful King of England. The show focuses on three women and their quest for power. Elizabeth Woodville, wife of Edward IV, Anne Neville, wife of Richard III & Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII. The show is taken from historical fiction so there are parts which aren't that factual, ie Elizabeth & her mother being witches but it still gives a comprehensible illustration of the history.

The White Princess (2017)
This is the sequel to The White Queen and is once again adapted from Philippa Gregory's novels. This picks up where the story ended. The Houses of York & Lancaster are brought together with the marriage of Elizabeth of York (Lizzie), daughter of Elizabeth Woodville & Edward IV, & Henry VII. Throughout the series, we see Lizzie's stance change. From that of wanting to restore a York King to the throne to wanting to protect her children who now tie her to the Tudors. What I love about this show and The White Queen is that it mostly follows the women and the power that they fight for and wield. 

Versailles (2015-)
Taking a little break from England this show follows Louis XIV and his journey of turning the hunting lodge of Versailles into an impressive palace. The shows focuses on the relationships and drama inside the French court. Louis' relationship with his wife, mistress, brother as well as relationships between other characters. This show has a bit of comedy as well especially with Phillipe, the King's brother, & his lover Chevalier de Lorraine. There are two seasons so far with a third coming probably next year.

Victoria (2016-)
Back in England, this follows Victoria who became Queen of England at 18. The show chronicles her life and includes important events such as her marriage to Albert & the birth of her children. Season 2 is currently on and shows her trying to juggle motherhood and being a Queen. You can definitely see some parallels with today's society with Victoria wanting to keep up with her duties as Queen but the people around her pushing her towards the role of mother.

The Crown (2016-)
I'm sure pretty much everyone has watched or at least heard about this show. Queen Elizabeth II is the focus of this show and follows her accession to the throne and how it affects the relationship between her, her husband and family. Past family scandal hangs over the family and has a great effect on Princess Margaret and how she chooses to live her life. The second season comes out in December and I can't wait.

Have you seen any of these shows?

Ashley xx

Favourite Historical TV Shows

Tuesday, 12 September 2017


Lately, the genre of TV shows I find myself drawn to are those which are historical and more often or not in relation to a monarchy. As you see four out of five of them are centred around the British monarchy with the other concerning the French. I just seem to have this desire for works, whether TV shows or books, about the British monarchy mainly. I just find the history fascinating.

The White Queen (2013)
This was a mini-series and was adapted from Philippa Gregory's historical novels. The show follows the War of the Roses which I think was the inspiration for Game of Thrones. Two sides of the monarchy, the House of York and the House of Lancaster clash over who is the rightful King of England. The show focuses on three women and their quest for power. Elizabeth Woodville, wife of Edward IV, Anne Neville, wife of Richard III & Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII. The show is taken from historical fiction so there are parts which aren't that factual, ie Elizabeth & her mother being witches but it still gives a comprehensible illustration of the history.

The White Princess (2017)
This is the sequel to The White Queen and is once again adapted from Philippa Gregory's novels. This picks up where the story ended. The Houses of York & Lancaster are brought together with the marriage of Elizabeth of York (Lizzie), daughter of Elizabeth Woodville & Edward IV, & Henry VII. Throughout the series, we see Lizzie's stance change. From that of wanting to restore a York King to the throne to wanting to protect her children who now tie her to the Tudors. What I love about this show and The White Queen is that it mostly follows the women and the power that they fight for and wield. 

Versailles (2015-)
Taking a little break from England this show follows Louis XIV and his journey of turning the hunting lodge of Versailles into an impressive palace. The shows focuses on the relationships and drama inside the French court. Louis' relationship with his wife, mistress, brother as well as relationships between other characters. This show has a bit of comedy as well especially with Phillipe, the King's brother, & his lover Chevalier de Lorraine. There are two seasons so far with a third coming probably next year.

Victoria (2016-)
Back in England, this follows Victoria who became Queen of England at 18. The show chronicles her life and includes important events such as her marriage to Albert & the birth of her children. Season 2 is currently on and shows her trying to juggle motherhood and being a Queen. You can definitely see some parallels with today's society with Victoria wanting to keep up with her duties as Queen but the people around her pushing her towards the role of mother.

The Crown (2016-)
I'm sure pretty much everyone has watched or at least heard about this show. Queen Elizabeth II is the focus of this show and follows her accession to the throne and how it affects the relationship between her, her husband and family. Past family scandal hangs over the family and has a great effect on Princess Margaret and how she chooses to live her life. The second season comes out in December and I can't wait.

Have you seen any of these shows?

Ashley xx



After all the progress I made last month my pace has slowed right down. I'm still reading one of the books I mentioned last month. It's quite dense with information, it's based on true events. The other book I'm reading, however, is easier and is fiction. The two balance each other out nicely. I'm currently uploading a video for tomorrow which is just me going through all the books I'm yet to read. There's quite a number & the video is almost 30 mins long... hopefully at least one person watches it all.

The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu by Charlie English*
I wrote about it in last months post so have a look at it for a brief synopsis. Like I said it's very info heavy and I find myself reading more slowly in order to properly understand what's going on.

The Little Breton Bistro by Nina George*
This one is an easier read and follows Marianne who escapes her marriage and travels to a port town in Brittany. When she arrives she is swept up in an enchanting new way of life and meets a variety of people. Marianne discovers a new version of herself and finds herself seeing life in a different light. I'm really enjoying it and just makes me want to escape to a small French Town.




The Alice Network by Kate Quinn*
From what I tell this book is set in both WW1 & WW2 and follows the journey of women in each time period. 'The Alice Network' obviously sounds like a group of spies which sounds very interesting so I'm excited to start it soon.

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel*
I've heard of the story of the Roanoke settlement but I'm not sure if this story is in relation to it. The book follows Lane, a Roanoke girl, who finds out what the title really means and runs far and fast. 11 years later, however, her cousin goes missing which leaves her with no choice but to return. The story sounds very interesting, it sounds sort of like a cult or a secret society. Can't wait to start it.

What books are you planning to read in September?

Ashley xx

*Review copies from Hachette NZ & Harper Collins NZ

Books to Read in September

Thursday, 7 September 2017




After all the progress I made last month my pace has slowed right down. I'm still reading one of the books I mentioned last month. It's quite dense with information, it's based on true events. The other book I'm reading, however, is easier and is fiction. The two balance each other out nicely. I'm currently uploading a video for tomorrow which is just me going through all the books I'm yet to read. There's quite a number & the video is almost 30 mins long... hopefully at least one person watches it all.

The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu by Charlie English*
I wrote about it in last months post so have a look at it for a brief synopsis. Like I said it's very info heavy and I find myself reading more slowly in order to properly understand what's going on.

The Little Breton Bistro by Nina George*
This one is an easier read and follows Marianne who escapes her marriage and travels to a port town in Brittany. When she arrives she is swept up in an enchanting new way of life and meets a variety of people. Marianne discovers a new version of herself and finds herself seeing life in a different light. I'm really enjoying it and just makes me want to escape to a small French Town.




The Alice Network by Kate Quinn*
From what I tell this book is set in both WW1 & WW2 and follows the journey of women in each time period. 'The Alice Network' obviously sounds like a group of spies which sounds very interesting so I'm excited to start it soon.

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel*
I've heard of the story of the Roanoke settlement but I'm not sure if this story is in relation to it. The book follows Lane, a Roanoke girl, who finds out what the title really means and runs far and fast. 11 years later, however, her cousin goes missing which leaves her with no choice but to return. The story sounds very interesting, it sounds sort of like a cult or a secret society. Can't wait to start it.

What books are you planning to read in September?

Ashley xx

*Review copies from Hachette NZ & Harper Collins NZ

And just like that it's Spring. Although today is a bit grey and miserable I have noticed it's lighter in the evenings and am counting down the days till daylight-savings. This month is the blog's 4th birthday which is crazy to think about. I'm planning something special which I've never done before and I'm a bit excited about it. I managed to remember to jot down things that I loved in August which is just three things and I can't think of anything else as I'm writing. Oh well.

Like most things, I cannot remember exactly how I stumbled upon this but I'm glad I did. So far I think there have only been three seasons and alternates between True Crime & Supernatural. They are hosted by Ryan & Shane who are awesome. Shane wasn't in the first season and it was weird as I started watching during the second, it just felt like something was missing. The guys basically investigate unsolved cases. True Crime, which is the current season, looks into unsolved crimes such as Amelia Earhart, JonBenet Ramsey & this family in Australia that just up and left their house. For me, I love Supernatural the most as the guys actually go to the locations rather than just sitting down and talking about it. It's also hilarious as Ryan is a believer in the supernatural and always ends up terrified while Shane thinks it's all fake and is just so chill in these creepy places. They balance each other out.

Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino
I've never been a coffee drinker. This is mostly down to the fact that I just don't like hot or warm drinks. Anything that is not refreshing cold just feels off to me. Thanks to social media I felt a little left out being a non-coffee drinker so decided to try the frappuccinos from Starbucks. Caramel is life so of course, it's my go to. It took a while but now I love them. I got a new volunteer position in the city so before I go in I pick up one to enjoy before working. I haven't had one in a couple of weeks and all I can do is think about them. I am low-key addicted now.

Museo del Prado Instagram
I follow quite a few museums & art galleries on Instagram. It's the kind of content I'm all about. For a while now you could do a live video and the Prado museum in Madrid has taken full advantage of it. The videos are mostly walk-throughs of a room in the museum and you get to see how the art is displayed. Obviously, the person who does it speaks Spanish so I don't understand them at all but it really hasn't been a problem as it is just walking through the galleries. However, they did do a live video in the conservation department which is my absolute dream job so I was a bit disappointed that I couldn't understand anything. I'm hoping other museums/galleries start doing it. The National Gallery did one and I'm hoping they'll do more. 

What were you loving in August?

Ashley xx

August Favourites

Tuesday, 5 September 2017


And just like that it's Spring. Although today is a bit grey and miserable I have noticed it's lighter in the evenings and am counting down the days till daylight-savings. This month is the blog's 4th birthday which is crazy to think about. I'm planning something special which I've never done before and I'm a bit excited about it. I managed to remember to jot down things that I loved in August which is just three things and I can't think of anything else as I'm writing. Oh well.

Like most things, I cannot remember exactly how I stumbled upon this but I'm glad I did. So far I think there have only been three seasons and alternates between True Crime & Supernatural. They are hosted by Ryan & Shane who are awesome. Shane wasn't in the first season and it was weird as I started watching during the second, it just felt like something was missing. The guys basically investigate unsolved cases. True Crime, which is the current season, looks into unsolved crimes such as Amelia Earhart, JonBenet Ramsey & this family in Australia that just up and left their house. For me, I love Supernatural the most as the guys actually go to the locations rather than just sitting down and talking about it. It's also hilarious as Ryan is a believer in the supernatural and always ends up terrified while Shane thinks it's all fake and is just so chill in these creepy places. They balance each other out.

Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino
I've never been a coffee drinker. This is mostly down to the fact that I just don't like hot or warm drinks. Anything that is not refreshing cold just feels off to me. Thanks to social media I felt a little left out being a non-coffee drinker so decided to try the frappuccinos from Starbucks. Caramel is life so of course, it's my go to. It took a while but now I love them. I got a new volunteer position in the city so before I go in I pick up one to enjoy before working. I haven't had one in a couple of weeks and all I can do is think about them. I am low-key addicted now.

Museo del Prado Instagram
I follow quite a few museums & art galleries on Instagram. It's the kind of content I'm all about. For a while now you could do a live video and the Prado museum in Madrid has taken full advantage of it. The videos are mostly walk-throughs of a room in the museum and you get to see how the art is displayed. Obviously, the person who does it speaks Spanish so I don't understand them at all but it really hasn't been a problem as it is just walking through the galleries. However, they did do a live video in the conservation department which is my absolute dream job so I was a bit disappointed that I couldn't understand anything. I'm hoping other museums/galleries start doing it. The National Gallery did one and I'm hoping they'll do more. 

What were you loving in August?

Ashley xx

It seems I really hit my stride with reading this month. This is purely down the books I picked up which were really engaging and just made me want to abandon my reality in favour of theirs. Three of them did that while the fourth made me steer in the opposite direction and look at my own life. It wasn't as enjoyable, let's be honest.  



I went through these two really quickly. The stories are different from one another a part from the fact that the narrative is really compelling.

The Last Debutante by Lesley Lokko*
I had an idea of what the story would be about but once I started reading I discovered my theory was very wrong. The story is more complex than I'd thought it would be. It starts off in the backdrop of WW2 and mostly follows Kit who deals with the consequences of her sister's actions. She leads an extraordinary life and we see how it affects the relationship with her daughter whose journey follows similar paths as her mothers. The story is Libby's journey of discovering who her mother really is.

4.5 stars


The Girl Before by JP Delaney*
This is a real psychological crime story which I think would be great as a film. The narrative goes back and forth between Jane, the current tenant, & Emma, the past resident. We see how they adapt living a very conceptual house which basically monitors everything about you. The architect is the enigmatic Edward who both Jane & Emma feel drawn to. We see parallels with Edward's relationship with the two women and follows Jane's journey in discovering what happened to Emma. I couldn't put this book down, the story was very engaging and you never really made sense of two particular characters until the end which was great.

4 stars




Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight*
I won't lie, I'm very interested in those not very traditional 'self-help' books. Sarah's first book The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k is on the list of books I want. It sounds perfect for me who cares too much about useless things. While not everything applied to me I did find her guide on making lists very helpful. Distinguishing between what really needs to be done amongst all the things we want to do. Overall the thing I took most from reading it is breaking everything into manageable chunks. For me, I tend to get overwhelmed with everything and just not attempt it. This is definitely a book I will go back to for another read.

4 stars


Keep Me Safe by Daniela Sacerdoti*
After being on a roll with the first two books I dove into this one head first. I really found the concept of the story interesting; Anna's daughter Ava starts talking about her other Mum and memories she couldn't possibly have. To get to the bottom of them they travel to the isolated Scottish Island of Seal which ends up being where Mother & Daughter finally feel a sense of belonging. While reading I thought Anna's connection to the island would be a little bit more than it was which was a little disappointing. The story is sweet and gives hope that one day you'll just find a place where you belong.

3 stars

Have you read any of these books?

Ashley xx
*Review copies from Hachette NZ 

Review | The Last Debutante, The Girl Before, Get Your Sh*t Together & Keep Me Safe

Wednesday, 23 August 2017


It seems I really hit my stride with reading this month. This is purely down the books I picked up which were really engaging and just made me want to abandon my reality in favour of theirs. Three of them did that while the fourth made me steer in the opposite direction and look at my own life. It wasn't as enjoyable, let's be honest.  



I went through these two really quickly. The stories are different from one another a part from the fact that the narrative is really compelling.

The Last Debutante by Lesley Lokko*
I had an idea of what the story would be about but once I started reading I discovered my theory was very wrong. The story is more complex than I'd thought it would be. It starts off in the backdrop of WW2 and mostly follows Kit who deals with the consequences of her sister's actions. She leads an extraordinary life and we see how it affects the relationship with her daughter whose journey follows similar paths as her mothers. The story is Libby's journey of discovering who her mother really is.

4.5 stars


The Girl Before by JP Delaney*
This is a real psychological crime story which I think would be great as a film. The narrative goes back and forth between Jane, the current tenant, & Emma, the past resident. We see how they adapt living a very conceptual house which basically monitors everything about you. The architect is the enigmatic Edward who both Jane & Emma feel drawn to. We see parallels with Edward's relationship with the two women and follows Jane's journey in discovering what happened to Emma. I couldn't put this book down, the story was very engaging and you never really made sense of two particular characters until the end which was great.

4 stars




Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight*
I won't lie, I'm very interested in those not very traditional 'self-help' books. Sarah's first book The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k is on the list of books I want. It sounds perfect for me who cares too much about useless things. While not everything applied to me I did find her guide on making lists very helpful. Distinguishing between what really needs to be done amongst all the things we want to do. Overall the thing I took most from reading it is breaking everything into manageable chunks. For me, I tend to get overwhelmed with everything and just not attempt it. This is definitely a book I will go back to for another read.

4 stars


Keep Me Safe by Daniela Sacerdoti*
After being on a roll with the first two books I dove into this one head first. I really found the concept of the story interesting; Anna's daughter Ava starts talking about her other Mum and memories she couldn't possibly have. To get to the bottom of them they travel to the isolated Scottish Island of Seal which ends up being where Mother & Daughter finally feel a sense of belonging. While reading I thought Anna's connection to the island would be a little bit more than it was which was a little disappointing. The story is sweet and gives hope that one day you'll just find a place where you belong.

3 stars

Have you read any of these books?

Ashley xx
*Review copies from Hachette NZ 

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