Friday, 30 December 2016

Camel Pose [Yogi Dragoness]

Hi everyone! Eeee, it's almost 2017 D:

Today I am going to be starting a new series of posts which I hope you'll be seeing a lot more in the coming year. This year was when I really started to get a bit more serious about yoga - which is something you've probably seen in my life updates. But I wanted to share some of my yoga progress here on my blog, like I do on my instagram account. 



I thought the best pose to start with would be my favourite pose, the camel pose. I have a love hate relationship with a lot of yoga poses. When I started doing this one for the first time, I didn't hate it... but I found it quite uncomfortable. Not because of the back bend to it - but because when your head is thrown back in that position and your neck is stretched out like that it can be hard to breathe. 


However, over time this quickly became a favourite of mine. I use it to warm up for any deeper back bend poses I want to try. I take the time to pause and really breathe in it. The more breathing I worked on doing, the easier it became, and more comfortable. I don't think there are many yoga sessions where this one isn't included. 


And when my sister and I went to the beach in summer, it was nice to get a quick snap of this as well. How I miss summer :'(

New Video!



Olivia's Question: Have you ever given yoga a try? Would you like to?

Olivia-Savannah x

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

The Tunnel [Book Review]

Hello there!

Title: The Tunnel
Author: Helene Louard
Publisher: DreamBig Publishing
Published Date: 19th August 2016
Rating: 3 Stars

*Thanks to the author for the review copy*


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Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Alexa enters a strange tunnel on a nameless road; and her life changes forever. She is sent to the future, where the earth is ravaged by mutated animals and ruled by the Others: monsters that were once human. 

Before a mutated dog tears her to shreds, she is rescued and taken to Shelter, where the few human survivors remain.

There, she meets two warrior brothers, Micah and Tane. Micah is warm-hearted and flirtatious, while his brother is mysterious and guarded. Despite her better judgment, Alexa is drawn to the dangerous Tane, but she has bigger problems than unrequited emotion.

Soon, she questions how she ended up in the future. Why did the tunnel choose her, and why are the people of Shelter so welcoming? Tane is entrusted with her protection, but even more questions arise as Alexa begins to suspect the Others are out to get her. Alexa could hold the power to save the human race, but first, she must make a devastating choice that will alter the fate of the world.

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Review: The Tunnel was actually a novel I was given to read and review on my channel, but writing written reviews is just something I love doing. So somehow, I’ve ended up writing this as well.

I had my ups and downs when reading this novel. A key element as to why I couldn’t love it further was the writing style. I have to admit that it was pretty juvenile, and it kept the whole novel feeling a little on the “young” side despite the maturity of what was happening at times. So I felt like those two sides of things did not always add up well. And the beginning, the prologue, left me very very confused.


However, we get through that and once the real story started, I actually managed to really enjoy it. When I mention the real story, I mean the part where she is thrown into the future. When she gets to the future, I found the world building to have been done exceptionally well. We get a real feel for the world she is put into, and there are solid explanations which are believable for all the changes that have happened since. Especially for the development of what they call the Others in the novel.

Then we get to the characters. There’s the protagonist, Alexa, who I really liked. I thought she was a very feisty, and jump-in-ask-questions-later kind of person. I thought she handled the transition pretty well (but with drawbacks, so it was still realistic) and I just liked her go-getter kind of attitude. The only thing I didn’t like about her – well, maybe not about her but to do with her – is that she ended up being the damsel in distress a few too many times for me to appreciate how women were being represented. But then again, there are also times where she is saving people, and she has been thrown into this unfamiliar world and doesn’t know how to protect herself. So maybe it’s only fair she ends up in that kind of situation quite a lot. Hmm…



There’s also the two brothers, Micah and Tane. I liked Micah well enough and his kindness, but I practically FELL IN LOVE with Tane. I don’t usually like the indifferent stand-offish kind of characters, but Tane was my exception. I just couldn’t get enough of the scenes which included him. Which thankfully ended up being quite a few. He may have been why I found this book so addicting, and sailed through it.

There was a bit of a love triangle. Only in the beginning of the novel though, because it is a petty kind of one. We all know who she is going to choose, and thankfully the novel doesn’t dwell on it, and the love triangle is gone within the first third of the book. So we can have the super intense, but clean, romance throughout the rest of the novel. Which just so happens to be one of the best parts of the book as well.


The ending was brimming over with suspense and tension! I loved it. There was a key explanation I needed at the ending, which was kind of skipped over and briefly explained later, but I wanted a bit more info!

Also, one plot hole. They have to be in the present to fix the future (this isn’t a spoiler), but the thing is, that some people end up dying in the last fight before they get there. And at the end of the book they mention how they are always thinking about those people who died for the cause… but seeing as they are dying in the future and technically it hasn’t happened yet, if they go back and save the future, aren’t they all alive and well? Shouldn’t they no longer be mourning?

I was a little confused on that aspect of things.

So this review has been the ups and downs of this book. But the short and sweet is that I read it in only a few days and I was so addicted, I wanted to do nothing but read!

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Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Olivia’s Question: If you got sent to the future, what would be the first thing you wanted to check out or do? First thoughts?

Olivia-Savannah x 

Monday, 26 December 2016

Apple & Banana Smoothie [Recipe]

Happy boxing day everyone!



This year I've switched up my lifestyle to pursuing clean eating. So far, I have been loving it. My favourite investment this year has been in getting a blender. When I started out, I wanted a simple smoothie I could make often, and with fruits I usually had in the house, rather than needing to go out and buy specific ones. So I sorta threw together some fruits and things, and tried making a smoothie. Eventually, I got a recipe for a really nice smoothie, and I wanted to share it with you all in case anyone wanted to give it a go. Enjoy!



All you need:
2 apples
1 banana
1 teaspoon of honey 
3/4 a cup of milk



What to do:

Throw all the ingredients together into the blender, and blend until smooth! Easy peasy :3

Olivia's Question: Are you a fellow smoothie lover?

Olivia-Savannah x

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Initiate [Book Review]

 Happy Christmas Eve everyone!

Title: Initiate
Author: Laura L. Fox
Publisher: OfTomes
Rating: 2 Stars


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Review: I really really wanted to be able to love this novel, as I have loved some other novels by this publisher. But for some reason, it just wasn’t really working for me.

At the beginning, I felt like the pace was far too slow. The writing is pretty descriptive, which means it takes time for me to get a grip of the world we are involved in. And even though this world building is very unique and unlike anything I have read before, it took me way too long to get personally immersed in it, which means I never really felt as wrapped up in the wonderful world as I could have been. And because of the slow pace, I felt even more bored in some regards.


I did like the characters well enough. Mynta was bright and bubbly and always energetic. Our main character, Riga, didn’t have the nicest of names (please note: this is a personal opinion and in no way affects my rating of the novel!) She was determined though, and she wouldn’t let anyone stop her curiosity, which is something you really have to admire in the girl. I liked them well enough, and we got to know about Riga’s background and why her mother/daughter relationship isn’t the best one. But for some reason, I always felt pretty distant from the main characters, and could never properly connect with them. Which meant I always felt distant… from the world and the characters too.

Then the story happened to be pretty slow too. By way of suspense, I felt like it was lacking. In the first quarter I have to admit that I was bored out of my mind. About halfway, things start to pick up a bit. But it never got me going enough for me to want to turn the pages and read further.


What I really did like about the book was the slow burn romance. The love interest, Rhys, was such a nice guy. He was thoughtful and caring and always there for Riga. We get to know a little bit about his backstory as well, and I liked what I read. In the end, I was pretty eager to get to the parts where Rhys was included, especially towards the end. It’s an entirely innocent, clean, young adult friendly kind of romance. But still, it’s the good kind with none of the ridiculousness of love triangles and all those shenanigans.
  
There was a conspiracy theory in the novel, and that’s what the book really centered around. When this was mentioned, I was pretty curious and I was finally getting into it! But this was towards the end, and before I knew it the book just – it just stopped! The ending was there and it was sudden and abrupt. I felt kind of cheated by it to be honest… I thought there would be more to it. I know there is going to be a sequel… but I’m not sure about it yet.

Maybe this one wasn’t for me, but it could be for you! If you like:

 Slow burn romances, a detailed and creative world building, a focus on the working of relationships and what they can survive and have a taste for apocalyptic novels, this may work out better for you! So don’t be afraid to still give it a go.

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Gif Summary:

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Olivia’s Question: Do you DNF (Did not finish) a book if it just isn’t working out for you?

Olivia-Savannah x

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Pretending to be a Fashion Blogger

Hey everyone! 

Hope you are all having a brilliant day :3 

Now, I actually follow a lot of fashion and make up blogs. I have to be honest - I have no make up skill whatsover. And I am by no means a fashion blogger at all. But I do love to pretend to be one every now and again, and take pictures. So when I got this shirt from Boohoo that I really love, I did go outside and take a bunch of pictures. I don't really have much more to write here, so enjoy all these photos of me pretending to be a fashion blogger. 

I actually really had fun taking them. So maybe this might happen again sometime in the future ;)













Olivia's Question: If you could pretend to be anyone for a day, who would you want to be?

Olivia-Savannah x



Saturday, 17 December 2016

Alchemists of Loom [Book Review & Giveaway]

Hello there!

Title: The Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga #1)
Author: Elise Kova
Publisher: Keymaster Press
Published Date: 10th January 2017
Rating: 5 Stars

*Thank you to the XpressoBook Tours for the review copy*


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Synopsis: Her vengeance. His vision.

Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon oppressors.

Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His family’s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragons’ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon King’s assassins.

When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go.

He offers her the one thing Ari can’t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the Alchemists of Loom.

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Review: Everyone has been reviewing Elise Kova’s novels and telling me how wonderful they are. And yet, despite having so many people recommend her novels, I never decided to pick on up for myself. When I saw the opportunity to be on this blog tour, I knew I just needed to go for it and see where things ended up. I was not disappointed in the slightest.

First of all, I am going to say that the first thing which hit me was the world building and fantasy elements. Unlike many of the books that I’ve read, the author didn’t need to explain the unique characteristics of the world. Somehow, as I read the story they explained themselves so I completely understood, without Kova deviating from the story to make sure the reader got it. On top of that, I never felt confused at any point. I inferred all the knowledge I needed to know about the two very different worlds we get here, and how they worked and what the Dragons and Fenthri of particular guilds could do. It was amazing, astonishing and as I was reading, I quickly fell in love with both worlds. They were both very detailed and well developed. Kova certainly knows how to build a world of her own.


There are some steampunk elements in this fantasy novel as well. I think steampunk is a pretty small and new genre which needs more love, so I was happy to see it receiving some here.

Then we have the main characters. I really, really loved Cvareh. Sure, he had his own motivations, but he went into a world where everyone hated him for being of the race he was, and then had to humble himself to be able to simply debate with them. Everyone always assumed the worst about him when they first saw him, and I think he had incredible patience. As well as that, he was a Dragon. When I say dragon, don’t imagine dragons like the huge flying beasts in The Lord of the Rings. Kova gives her own meaning to the word. But yes, I loved Cvareh, and how patient, dedicated and yet smart he was. Even with his flaws.

Arianna is a hot-headed kind of character who is very confident and also very stand-offish. She doesn’t want to get too close to anyone because of her past. Her past is slowly revealed to us because memories and situations are being triggered in the novel which remind her of back then. I liked her sarcasm a lot, and her wit. She wasn’t the character I was able to connect most with, but I still liked her a lot.

The last character I’m going to give a detailed mention is Florence. Florence is Arianna’s assistant, and probably the most calm of the trio. She’s dedicated, creative, and like a budding flower that is ready to fly. You get to see her develop a lot in the novel.

There aren’t too many secondary characters, but this novel didn’t really need many? If they were there for a brief period, we get a bit of insight in their lives. Enough to make the reader feel as if they know them. There are also the three main point of views. But we switch to one or two others in the novel as well. It wasn’t too many, but I have to admit I wasn’t amazingly interested in Leona’s point of view.





The plot was great and fast paced. There was always something happening to keep me entertained. I also liked the hints at romance and the intensity between the two love interests. There is a whole lot of it, because they shouldn’t be together when it comes to “class” and so on, so it was really interesting to see them develop from enemies into people who may even like each other. Imbibing (borrowing each other’s magic) also came into play here, and it was such an interesting concept. Almost like vampirism, but then with magic – and a whole lot more intense.

It was SO addicting. I read even in a week where I had a lot of deadlines I needed to meet. Now I am gonna have to be a good little bookworm and wait until April 2017 to get more of this brilliant story ;.;

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Gif Summary: 

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Giveaway: Enter to win: 
  • 1 Signed Hardcover of the Alchemists of Loom
  • 3 Hardcover Preorders of The Alchemists of Loom (Available through TBD)
  • 5 Swag Packs
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Olivia’s Question: What’s your lucky number?

Olivia-Savannah x

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

My Hoarding Catastrophe ~ Book Fair

Helloooo lovelies!

My Hoarding Catastrophe is my version of my monthly book haul here on Olivia's Catastrophe. So let's look at what books I hauled in over November!


Physical books/things: Most of this haul is physical this time, so let's start with taking this one by one?


This is my haul of wonderful new planner stickers from Chantilly & Co! I rep for them on my instagram, and have posted about them on my blog before. I cannot wait to start using these in my planner!


I also happened to win an instagram giveaway, from mybookbath on instagram! I won these two brilliant bookmarks, a curiouser & curiouser necklace, as well as a Reader's Gonna Read tote bag! I love it all ^.^


Next up, we have the books which came to me at the beginning of the month. 

The Last of the Firedraks by Farah Oomberhoy (For Review)
Red Death by Jeff Altabef (For Review)
Land of the Afternoon Sun by Barbara Wood (For Review)
A Star Reckoner's Lot by Darrell Drake (For Review)
Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas (Giveaway Win @ YA Romantics)


And if that wasn't enough... I also received some more books and went to a book fair. Which meant I spent some money on these ones as well... 

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon 
The Selected Works of Virginia Woolf by (... you guessed it!) Virginia Woolf
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens 
The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson (For Review)
The Ugly by Alexander Boldizar (For Review)
The Song for Achilles by Madeline Miller
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell 
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens 
Bull by George Elliot (Giveaway Win @ HMH Books)
Action Men and Silly Putty by Susan J. Clark (For Review)

For Review: I think this ebook section is the smallest it has been... EVER. Does that mean I am finally gaining some control of myself?




The Tunnel - Helene Louard 
Trapped in Silver - Emily Snowden 
Sugar - Kimberly Stuart 
Alchemists of Loom - Elise Kova
Honeymoon at Hilton - Stephen B. Cooper 
The Inexplicable Logic of my Life - Benjamin Alire Saenz
More Than The Madness - John Kaniecki 
Small Admissions - Amy Poeppel

And those are all the books I have recently received!

New Video! A book review of The Tunnel by Helene Louard!


Olivia's Question: What new books have you bought/acquired lately?

Olivia-Savannah x

Sunday, 11 December 2016

The Help [Book Review]

Hello there!

Title: The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books
Published Date: 1st January 2009
Rating: 5 Stars


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Synopsis: Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women--mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends--view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope,The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.

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Review: When I first watched the movie of The Help it was when it just released. Somehow, I was entirely unaware there was a book. Imagine my shock (and I have to admit, horror) when I saw that it was based on a book at the end of the movie? Why don’t they put that at the beginning? Otherwise, I wouldn’t have seen the movie, because I’m one of those people who always like to see the book first. But either way, it was too late. Which was why years after seeing the film, I finally got around to reading the book.

Immediately, I knew I was not going to be rating this book anything less than 5 stars. From the first page, the strong narration hooked me. The writing style is done right in the way as the character at the time speaks. The novel switches between three points of view, and each and every one of them is unique. The uniqueness in their voices glares through the narration and the change of style when it reaches their turn. And one author manages to change personality like that? I marvel. I marvel.


Another thing which left me marveling about this novel is how a non-black author managed to write about the black culture so accurately. I’ve never lived in those times, or worked as help, or known anything about pursuing that sort of life style. But if anything, I would believe this book to be one of the most accurate portrayals of what it must have been like. The suffering is engraved in these words. The way in which she writes about being entirely at the mercy of someone else. Having to say what you know they want you to say, even if you don’t agree. Even if you hate yourself for agreeing. Wanting to speak out but scared of the consequences. Wanting to break free but knowing that if you do, there is nowhere for you to go.

As a member of the modern day black culture, this spoke to me. I know many of my own ancestors suffered an immense amount for me, and people like me, to be where they are in society today. Books like this remind me of that, make me feel incredibly grateful, and makes me want to shove them at every nearby person so that they can remember and they can feel just like I did.


Not only was this about black culture though. There are messages in this novel we can lift from it and apply to life nowadays too. Moral lessons like: fighting against peer pressure and not letting someone with an elevated status than you in society affect your own choices. Being who you are. Not changing to meet someone else’s standards.

This book made me want to laugh. It made me want to cry. It made me want to write.



Most of all, it showed me how far we have come today since those times. It shows me how much more we still have to go. But books like this give me the faith that we can do it.

Please read it.

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Gif Summary: 


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Quotes: “Cause that’s what prayer do. It’s like electricity, it keeps things going.”

“We are just two people. Not that much separates us.”

“You is kind, you is smart, you is important.”

Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Olivia’s Question: If there was one thing you could tell your younger self, what would it be?


Olivia-Savannah x