I thought I'd mix things up with this week's video and do one focused on one aspect of my make up routine: contouring.  Who doesn't want that chiselled Kim K look?  I've become quite the connoisseur when it comes to contouring products, so I've decided to share my top picks with you.  There's a mix of new and old, drugstore and high end, so fingers crossed this video caters to everybody.

You can watch it below, or click here to head over to my YouTube channel and have a look there.

What's your favourite thing to use for contour?

Video: What to contour with

30.6.15


I thought I'd mix things up with this week's video and do one focused on one aspect of my make up routine: contouring.  Who doesn't want that chiselled Kim K look?  I've become quite the connoisseur when it comes to contouring products, so I've decided to share my top picks with you.  There's a mix of new and old, drugstore and high end, so fingers crossed this video caters to everybody.

You can watch it below, or click here to head over to my YouTube channel and have a look there.

What's your favourite thing to use for contour?


"Annie has a secret.  But if she's not going to tell, we won't either.  It's a heart-breaking secret she wishes she didn't have - yet Annie isn't broken, not quite yet.  Especially now there's someone out there who seems determined to fix her.

Kate has run away.  But she's not going to tell us why - that would defeat the point of running, wouldn't it?  It's proving difficult to reinvent herself however, with one person always on her mind.

Scratch beneath the surface and nobody is really who they seem.  Even Annie and Kate, two old friends, aren't entirely sure who they are any more.  Perhaps you can work it out, before their pasts catch up with them for good..."

Before | The Day We Disappeared is my choice for book club, and doesn't it sound like a good one?  I stumbled across this book months ago whilst browsing Waterstones: instantly wanted to get my hands on it, only to find it was on pre-order.  So when I found it on the shelves of Tesco for the grand sum of £3.75, it was an instant, guilt-free purchase.  And luckily, Lizzie and Leanne were up for reading it too!  It's got a really eye-catching cover (I know, I know....shouldn't judge!), and I'm hoping it'll be a good mystery.

During | So this book was a lot more chick lit-y than I thought it would be.  It read like a rom-com, but actually that was quite nice.  It was fun to read and a style of book that I haven't gone for in a while.  At times I found some of the characters a little unbelievable and wooden, but it did manage to blend light reading with a little bit of edge really well.  I felt like Annie's secret was revealed fairly early on, and wondered why it was such a big thing on the blurb - how wrong I was!

After | The twist in this book hit me like a slap in the face and made me re-read the preceding paragraphs twice over.  I'd guessed a few aspects of the plot, but would never have figured out the 'big reveal'.....it's so good!  Close to the end I also realised why I'd found some of the characters a bit hard to picture....it wasn't down to cheesy writing, after all!  The combination of being easy to read along with the gripping storyline meant I easily sat and read hundreds of pages at a time; in fact, I managed to finish this book in just over two days.  The ending all ties up nicely, perhaps a little too tidily in my opinion.  After the revelation I felt that the end was a little bit simplistic.  But that's my only gripe!  Definitely one to pick up if you fancy chick lit with a bit more bite.

Next month we're reading The Two of Us by Andy Jones.  Read along if you want to get involved!

// Click the links to check out Lizzie and Leanne's reviews! //

Blogger Book Club #2: The Day We Disappeared

29.6.15


"Annie has a secret.  But if she's not going to tell, we won't either.  It's a heart-breaking secret she wishes she didn't have - yet Annie isn't broken, not quite yet.  Especially now there's someone out there who seems determined to fix her.

Kate has run away.  But she's not going to tell us why - that would defeat the point of running, wouldn't it?  It's proving difficult to reinvent herself however, with one person always on her mind.

Scratch beneath the surface and nobody is really who they seem.  Even Annie and Kate, two old friends, aren't entirely sure who they are any more.  Perhaps you can work it out, before their pasts catch up with them for good..."

Before | The Day We Disappeared is my choice for book club, and doesn't it sound like a good one?  I stumbled across this book months ago whilst browsing Waterstones: instantly wanted to get my hands on it, only to find it was on pre-order.  So when I found it on the shelves of Tesco for the grand sum of £3.75, it was an instant, guilt-free purchase.  And luckily, Lizzie and Leanne were up for reading it too!  It's got a really eye-catching cover (I know, I know....shouldn't judge!), and I'm hoping it'll be a good mystery.

During | So this book was a lot more chick lit-y than I thought it would be.  It read like a rom-com, but actually that was quite nice.  It was fun to read and a style of book that I haven't gone for in a while.  At times I found some of the characters a little unbelievable and wooden, but it did manage to blend light reading with a little bit of edge really well.  I felt like Annie's secret was revealed fairly early on, and wondered why it was such a big thing on the blurb - how wrong I was!

After | The twist in this book hit me like a slap in the face and made me re-read the preceding paragraphs twice over.  I'd guessed a few aspects of the plot, but would never have figured out the 'big reveal'.....it's so good!  Close to the end I also realised why I'd found some of the characters a bit hard to picture....it wasn't down to cheesy writing, after all!  The combination of being easy to read along with the gripping storyline meant I easily sat and read hundreds of pages at a time; in fact, I managed to finish this book in just over two days.  The ending all ties up nicely, perhaps a little too tidily in my opinion.  After the revelation I felt that the end was a little bit simplistic.  But that's my only gripe!  Definitely one to pick up if you fancy chick lit with a bit more bite.

Next month we're reading The Two of Us by Andy Jones.  Read along if you want to get involved!

// Click the links to check out Lizzie and Leanne's reviews! //
Image found via Happy Mail

Stationery | The thought of receiving a little box of stationery goodness fills me with excitement.  After some research (there are a lot of cute, kitschy....naff....boxes out there), I've settled on Happy Mail being the best offering.  Curated by Elsie and Ella from A Beautiful Mess, it's the sweetest box of notes, postcards, cards and stickers.  Prices range from $15-$20 (£9-£14ish) with $2 international postage.  And if stationery isn't your thing, there's always the Messy Box to appeal to any scrapbookers out there.  I'm yet to sign up, but will be doing so ASAP.

Lifestyle | There's been a lot of blogger buzz surrounded My Little Box - they're a French company with themed lifestyle boxes released each month.  It's one of the most aesthetically pleasing boxes I've seen, with gorgeous drawings included each month, alongside a mix of items to fit with the theme.  Past boxes have included a mini stamper set, jewellery, make up and stationary as well as the monthly magazine which always makes an appearance.  And at £14.95 including P&P, this is a relatively cheap box for the quality you receive.

Books |  One thing more exciting than buying a new book has to be receiving a mystery one through the post, right?  They're a little thin on the ground in the UK, but The Willoughby Book Club has to be the most well thought out box.  With boxes for children, fiction lovers, non-fiction fans and even couples, this service can be tailored to most; you fill in a form with your preferences to ensure that the book will hopefully suit your tastes.  With prices starting at £29.99 for a 3-month subscription, it's not the cheapest option out there......buying the books yourself would be cheaper, but definitely not as fun.  And with every book club gift sold, they'll donate a book to Book Aid International so, y'know, you're doing a good deed at the same time!

Food | The first box I ever signed up to, everyone must try a Graze box at some stage.  There are over 100 healthy snacks to choose from (you can tell them what you don't like, to make sure you won't receive it), each individually packaged and perfect for on the go.  You can opt for their standard variety mix, the lighter option where each snack is between 50-150 calories, or the kids selection.  My one gripe?  That you only get 4 snacks per box.  These scream 'coffee break snacks for work', so it's a shame they haven't included one more to get you through the working week.  But with free delivery, the seemingly never-ending offers of free boxes and each one only costing £3.99, it's hard to grumble.


Beauty | Ah, perhaps the most well known use of a subscription service...the beauty box.  The list of companies doing this is endless, but it's the Lookfantastic box which wins it for me.  With big brands such as Korres, NUXE, Tigi and Eyelure included for as low as £11.25 per box (dependent on theb length of subscription), it's good to know that you'll be receiving items from brands you've actually heard of.  Another box of note is the LoveMeBeauty box, which gives you the chance to pick the items going into your box.  Perfect for the control freaks amongst us!


Candles | WaxBox is a UK-based candle and wax tartlet subscription service offering a mix of well known brands alongside smaller candle companies, and is a great way to try out something new.  This box seems to be the safest 'bet' out of the varying types of subscription boxes; as long as you're a candle lover it's probably safe to say you'll find something you'll like (and most importantly, use) in these boxes.


Is there anything I've missed?  Which boxes are you signed up to?

6: subscription boxes worth signing up to

12.6.15

Image found via Happy Mail

Stationery | The thought of receiving a little box of stationery goodness fills me with excitement.  After some research (there are a lot of cute, kitschy....naff....boxes out there), I've settled on Happy Mail being the best offering.  Curated by Elsie and Ella from A Beautiful Mess, it's the sweetest box of notes, postcards, cards and stickers.  Prices range from $15-$20 (£9-£14ish) with $2 international postage.  And if stationery isn't your thing, there's always the Messy Box to appeal to any scrapbookers out there.  I'm yet to sign up, but will be doing so ASAP.

Lifestyle | There's been a lot of blogger buzz surrounded My Little Box - they're a French company with themed lifestyle boxes released each month.  It's one of the most aesthetically pleasing boxes I've seen, with gorgeous drawings included each month, alongside a mix of items to fit with the theme.  Past boxes have included a mini stamper set, jewellery, make up and stationary as well as the monthly magazine which always makes an appearance.  And at £14.95 including P&P, this is a relatively cheap box for the quality you receive.

Books |  One thing more exciting than buying a new book has to be receiving a mystery one through the post, right?  They're a little thin on the ground in the UK, but The Willoughby Book Club has to be the most well thought out box.  With boxes for children, fiction lovers, non-fiction fans and even couples, this service can be tailored to most; you fill in a form with your preferences to ensure that the book will hopefully suit your tastes.  With prices starting at £29.99 for a 3-month subscription, it's not the cheapest option out there......buying the books yourself would be cheaper, but definitely not as fun.  And with every book club gift sold, they'll donate a book to Book Aid International so, y'know, you're doing a good deed at the same time!

Food | The first box I ever signed up to, everyone must try a Graze box at some stage.  There are over 100 healthy snacks to choose from (you can tell them what you don't like, to make sure you won't receive it), each individually packaged and perfect for on the go.  You can opt for their standard variety mix, the lighter option where each snack is between 50-150 calories, or the kids selection.  My one gripe?  That you only get 4 snacks per box.  These scream 'coffee break snacks for work', so it's a shame they haven't included one more to get you through the working week.  But with free delivery, the seemingly never-ending offers of free boxes and each one only costing £3.99, it's hard to grumble.


Beauty | Ah, perhaps the most well known use of a subscription service...the beauty box.  The list of companies doing this is endless, but it's the Lookfantastic box which wins it for me.  With big brands such as Korres, NUXE, Tigi and Eyelure included for as low as £11.25 per box (dependent on theb length of subscription), it's good to know that you'll be receiving items from brands you've actually heard of.  Another box of note is the LoveMeBeauty box, which gives you the chance to pick the items going into your box.  Perfect for the control freaks amongst us!


Candles | WaxBox is a UK-based candle and wax tartlet subscription service offering a mix of well known brands alongside smaller candle companies, and is a great way to try out something new.  This box seems to be the safest 'bet' out of the varying types of subscription boxes; as long as you're a candle lover it's probably safe to say you'll find something you'll like (and most importantly, use) in these boxes.


Is there anything I've missed?  Which boxes are you signed up to?

The Gospel According to Drew Barrymore // Pippa Wright
Classic chick-lit, this book was a light, easy read.  It blended present day narrative with flashback, coming of age-type segments which I really enjoyed.  I've said it before, but I love when a book spans a long timeframe and doesn't feel static....and this book certainly did not.  The premise is simple; when Laura goes missing, it's up to bff Esther to delve back into the secrets of their friendship and piece together what's happened to her.  And where does Drew Barrymore come into it?  Well, it's more of a USP to be fair - since they were younger the girls have been fans of Drew and try to live their lives by asking "What would Drew do?"  It is and isn't an integral part of the story, but I appreciated the way that Wright weaves in Barrymore films to tie in with key parts of the girls' lives.  A nice girlie read, with something a little different added in.
Rating: 3/5

The Moth: This is a True Story // Catherine Burns, Neil Gaiman
I love unique books, and The Moth certainly is that.  It's an American phenomenon - if you have a true story that happened to you, you can pitch it at one of The Moth's live storytelling events and this book gathers together fifty of the best.  At first it felt a little random; the stories are short and random.  Some are forgettable, but the majority are emotional, wide-ranging, inspirational and thought-provoking.  This book is nothing like I'd usually read but I'm so glad I picked it up.  It's one I've recommended to lots of people!
 Rating: 5/5

One Small Act of Kindness // Lucy Dillon
I'd been eager to read another Lucy Dillon book after falling in love with A Hundred Pieces of Me, so when One Small Act of Kindness was released last month I went straight out and bought it.  It's chick-lit at its finest, but I found this one to be lacking the spark of A Hundred Pieces.  There are similar themes in both - re-invention, a fresh start and....dogs.   Dogs are clearly a passion of Dillon's, featuring in most of her books (from what I can gather) but I began to find it a bit gimmicky the more I read.  It's a well-written book which left me with that warm, uplifted feeling, but didn't live up to my expectations.
Rating: 4/5

Ostrich // Matt Greene
I've never before read a book where the blurb didn't seem to match, but that's what happened here.  I was expecting a coming of age novel, with aspects of mental health thrown in, but what I got was a book very similar in style to The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-Time.  Written from 13 year-old Alex's perspective, it was a very disjointed book.  Alex has a brain tumour, and although it's never addressed, from the way the book is written I'd hazard a guess that he also has autistic tendancies, due to his train of thought and use of facts.  It was a touching story, if a little hard to follow at times.  I'm still not sure I fully understood the story, and am reluctant to say too much for fear of giving anything away.  What I will say is that, on reflection, I get the feeling that despite being the main character Alex is just a small part of the bigger story this book conveys.  It's mysterious at times and the ending is just as abrupt, confusing and unexpected.  I'm not sure I'd have picked this book up had I truly realised what I was letting myself in for, but it was interesting nonetheless.
Rating: 3/5

read // 8

10.6.15


The Gospel According to Drew Barrymore // Pippa Wright
Classic chick-lit, this book was a light, easy read.  It blended present day narrative with flashback, coming of age-type segments which I really enjoyed.  I've said it before, but I love when a book spans a long timeframe and doesn't feel static....and this book certainly did not.  The premise is simple; when Laura goes missing, it's up to bff Esther to delve back into the secrets of their friendship and piece together what's happened to her.  And where does Drew Barrymore come into it?  Well, it's more of a USP to be fair - since they were younger the girls have been fans of Drew and try to live their lives by asking "What would Drew do?"  It is and isn't an integral part of the story, but I appreciated the way that Wright weaves in Barrymore films to tie in with key parts of the girls' lives.  A nice girlie read, with something a little different added in.
Rating: 3/5

The Moth: This is a True Story // Catherine Burns, Neil Gaiman
I love unique books, and The Moth certainly is that.  It's an American phenomenon - if you have a true story that happened to you, you can pitch it at one of The Moth's live storytelling events and this book gathers together fifty of the best.  At first it felt a little random; the stories are short and random.  Some are forgettable, but the majority are emotional, wide-ranging, inspirational and thought-provoking.  This book is nothing like I'd usually read but I'm so glad I picked it up.  It's one I've recommended to lots of people!
 Rating: 5/5

One Small Act of Kindness // Lucy Dillon
I'd been eager to read another Lucy Dillon book after falling in love with A Hundred Pieces of Me, so when One Small Act of Kindness was released last month I went straight out and bought it.  It's chick-lit at its finest, but I found this one to be lacking the spark of A Hundred Pieces.  There are similar themes in both - re-invention, a fresh start and....dogs.   Dogs are clearly a passion of Dillon's, featuring in most of her books (from what I can gather) but I began to find it a bit gimmicky the more I read.  It's a well-written book which left me with that warm, uplifted feeling, but didn't live up to my expectations.
Rating: 4/5

Ostrich // Matt Greene
I've never before read a book where the blurb didn't seem to match, but that's what happened here.  I was expecting a coming of age novel, with aspects of mental health thrown in, but what I got was a book very similar in style to The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-Time.  Written from 13 year-old Alex's perspective, it was a very disjointed book.  Alex has a brain tumour, and although it's never addressed, from the way the book is written I'd hazard a guess that he also has autistic tendancies, due to his train of thought and use of facts.  It was a touching story, if a little hard to follow at times.  I'm still not sure I fully understood the story, and am reluctant to say too much for fear of giving anything away.  What I will say is that, on reflection, I get the feeling that despite being the main character Alex is just a small part of the bigger story this book conveys.  It's mysterious at times and the ending is just as abrupt, confusing and unexpected.  I'm not sure I'd have picked this book up had I truly realised what I was letting myself in for, but it was interesting nonetheless.
Rating: 3/5
It's happened.  Somehow, time has crept up with me.  Today is my birthday and I've hit a year that I'm not sure I'm ready to admit to!  On Saturday, however, I celebrated with loved ones and fun props, so if it carries on like this it won't be all bad.


Having a birthday in June means I'm (touch wood!) often blessed with good weather, so there are plenty of possibilities for celebration.  This year I went for a laid-back affair.....a barbecue in Mum's garden with family members and old friends.  Burgers, a chocolate fountain, a bespoke playlist in the background and happy children playing together....I couldn't have asked for a nicer way to mark the event.

I find barbecues can go one way or the other, so to make sure there was something to keep people busy I ordered a box of photo booth props from Amazon for under a tenner and raided any fancy dress supplies I could get my hands on to make my own DIY photo booth.  Left in a more secluded area of the garden with a tripod and camera, it made for both entertainment and memories of the event.  The frame was included in the kit and I think really sets the photos off nicely.

Last year was one of highs and lows for me, and at times I felt tested to the limit but, ultimately, have come out of it with an outlook I'm happy with and more of a sense of inner peace.  So here's to hoping that the coming year will carry on in the same way.  And surrounded by people like this, how could it be anything less than great?

Birthday partying

8.6.15

It's happened.  Somehow, time has crept up with me.  Today is my birthday and I've hit a year that I'm not sure I'm ready to admit to!  On Saturday, however, I celebrated with loved ones and fun props, so if it carries on like this it won't be all bad.


Having a birthday in June means I'm (touch wood!) often blessed with good weather, so there are plenty of possibilities for celebration.  This year I went for a laid-back affair.....a barbecue in Mum's garden with family members and old friends.  Burgers, a chocolate fountain, a bespoke playlist in the background and happy children playing together....I couldn't have asked for a nicer way to mark the event.

I find barbecues can go one way or the other, so to make sure there was something to keep people busy I ordered a box of photo booth props from Amazon for under a tenner and raided any fancy dress supplies I could get my hands on to make my own DIY photo booth.  Left in a more secluded area of the garden with a tripod and camera, it made for both entertainment and memories of the event.  The frame was included in the kit and I think really sets the photos off nicely.

Last year was one of highs and lows for me, and at times I felt tested to the limit but, ultimately, have come out of it with an outlook I'm happy with and more of a sense of inner peace.  So here's to hoping that the coming year will carry on in the same way.  And surrounded by people like this, how could it be anything less than great?
It's been a while since I've filmed a favourites video, so I figured it's about time I got back into it.  Despite my best efforts, it would appear that I've bought a fair few new things and have been enjoying using/wearing/reading them.

Watch below, or click here to head across and watch it on my YouTube channel.

Have you had any favourite things this month?

Video: May Favourites

3.6.15

It's been a while since I've filmed a favourites video, so I figured it's about time I got back into it.  Despite my best efforts, it would appear that I've bought a fair few new things and have been enjoying using/wearing/reading them.

Watch below, or click here to head across and watch it on my YouTube channel.

Have you had any favourite things this month?


So my birthday is a week away and the shopaholic within has gone into a frenzy.  I don't really do surprises well, so I'm the sort of person to ask for specific things from specific people.  That said, there is something fun about creating a wishlist and sitting back to see which bits make their way to me; the ring has already been ordered and I'm hoping for Waterstones vouchers so I can treat myself to that book.

And surely I'm not the only one who believes in treating themselves in the month of their birthday?  It's pretty safe to assume that anything I don't get gifted (and for the record, I'm not a diva.  Whatever anybody chooses to treat me to is most definitely very gratefully received!) I may have to buy for myself.  After all, it wouldn't be a birthday without presents to myself, right?!

birthday wishes

1.6.15


So my birthday is a week away and the shopaholic within has gone into a frenzy.  I don't really do surprises well, so I'm the sort of person to ask for specific things from specific people.  That said, there is something fun about creating a wishlist and sitting back to see which bits make their way to me; the ring has already been ordered and I'm hoping for Waterstones vouchers so I can treat myself to that book.

And surely I'm not the only one who believes in treating themselves in the month of their birthday?  It's pretty safe to assume that anything I don't get gifted (and for the record, I'm not a diva.  Whatever anybody chooses to treat me to is most definitely very gratefully received!) I may have to buy for myself.  After all, it wouldn't be a birthday without presents to myself, right?!

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