"Tina Craig works all the hours she can and volunteers in a charity shop to avoid her unhappy home.  Going through the pockets of a second-hand suit, she comes across an old letter, the envelope firmly sealed and unfranked.  Tina opens the letter and reads it - a decision that will alter the course of her life forever.

Billy Stirling knows he has been a fool, but hopes he can put things right.  On 4th September 1939 he sits down to write the letter he hopes will change his future.  It does....in more ways than he can imagine.

It's time to open The Letter."

Before | I have to admit, I'm not really looking forward to this month's book and I'm finding it hard to get the motivation to sit down and start reading.  It's got good reviews and apparently was a bestselling eBook prior to its publication.  The storyline seems pretty standard and I'm anticipating a gentle read.

During | After actually cracking this book open, I quickly got swept up.  I wouldn't say I was enjoying it necessarily, just that it was simple in its prose and easy to sit and read a chunk at a time.  It's hard to go into the plot without giving too much away.  Expect lovestruck teenagers, forbidden love, unplanned pregnancies, domestic abuse and more.....with a bit of mystery thrown in.  I did find myself questioning some of the vocabulary at times - the book is split between the 1970s and pre-war 1930s and I was unsure if the word 'bloke' and phrase 'hanging round' would have been used back then?  Correct me if I'm wrong!  I also felt that some parts were rushed.  It helped keep the pace, but midway through a pretty epic event in Tina's life is covered with just a few pages.

After |  This isn't a book which is going to stay with me.  I think it's one Mum may like, but I prefer a slightly more challenging read and this all just felt a bit basic and underwhelming.  Especially with Amazon promising that it was "guaranteed to break your heart"....the sadness of the characters' situations resonated with me but didn't strike deep enough to create any real emotion.  It served to give me a bit of light relief in between some of my 'heavier' books, but my general feeling is that this wasn't a unique story and has been done so much better elsewhere.

But don't take my word for it!  Check out Lizzie, Leanne and Charli's thoughts as well.

Next month we'll be reading Techbitch....let me know if you're planning to read along, and don't forget to join our Goodreads group if you'd like to be involved! 

Blogger Bookclub #6: The Letter

26.10.15

"Tina Craig works all the hours she can and volunteers in a charity shop to avoid her unhappy home.  Going through the pockets of a second-hand suit, she comes across an old letter, the envelope firmly sealed and unfranked.  Tina opens the letter and reads it - a decision that will alter the course of her life forever.

Billy Stirling knows he has been a fool, but hopes he can put things right.  On 4th September 1939 he sits down to write the letter he hopes will change his future.  It does....in more ways than he can imagine.

It's time to open The Letter."

Before | I have to admit, I'm not really looking forward to this month's book and I'm finding it hard to get the motivation to sit down and start reading.  It's got good reviews and apparently was a bestselling eBook prior to its publication.  The storyline seems pretty standard and I'm anticipating a gentle read.

During | After actually cracking this book open, I quickly got swept up.  I wouldn't say I was enjoying it necessarily, just that it was simple in its prose and easy to sit and read a chunk at a time.  It's hard to go into the plot without giving too much away.  Expect lovestruck teenagers, forbidden love, unplanned pregnancies, domestic abuse and more.....with a bit of mystery thrown in.  I did find myself questioning some of the vocabulary at times - the book is split between the 1970s and pre-war 1930s and I was unsure if the word 'bloke' and phrase 'hanging round' would have been used back then?  Correct me if I'm wrong!  I also felt that some parts were rushed.  It helped keep the pace, but midway through a pretty epic event in Tina's life is covered with just a few pages.

After |  This isn't a book which is going to stay with me.  I think it's one Mum may like, but I prefer a slightly more challenging read and this all just felt a bit basic and underwhelming.  Especially with Amazon promising that it was "guaranteed to break your heart"....the sadness of the characters' situations resonated with me but didn't strike deep enough to create any real emotion.  It served to give me a bit of light relief in between some of my 'heavier' books, but my general feeling is that this wasn't a unique story and has been done so much better elsewhere.

But don't take my word for it!  Check out Lizzie, Leanne and Charli's thoughts as well.

Next month we'll be reading Techbitch....let me know if you're planning to read along, and don't forget to join our Goodreads group if you'd like to be involved! 
Guys, it's happened.  For the first time in what feels like forever, I'm excited about fashion again.  Ok, ok....so it couldn't have come at a worse time, what with Christmas just around the corner, but it's all I can do to stop myself from buying all of the clothes.  Seriously, I'm talking style overhaul and can't wait for payday to arrive.

Surprisingly, this autumn I'm lusting after a much cleaner colour palette.  Minimalist neutrals, muted cool-tones all without a berry shade in sight.  Delicate blush pinks alongside crisp whites.  With just a hint of khaki thrown in....it wouldn't be autumn without that!

My only question is whether I'm cool (and clean!) enough to rock a pair of white sneakers.  Answers below!


Autumn Inspiration

19.10.15

Guys, it's happened.  For the first time in what feels like forever, I'm excited about fashion again.  Ok, ok....so it couldn't have come at a worse time, what with Christmas just around the corner, but it's all I can do to stop myself from buying all of the clothes.  Seriously, I'm talking style overhaul and can't wait for payday to arrive.

Surprisingly, this autumn I'm lusting after a much cleaner colour palette.  Minimalist neutrals, muted cool-tones all without a berry shade in sight.  Delicate blush pinks alongside crisp whites.  With just a hint of khaki thrown in....it wouldn't be autumn without that!

My only question is whether I'm cool (and clean!) enough to rock a pair of white sneakers.  Answers below!


The weather's not quite caught up yet, but I for one am hurrying in the arrival of autumn with my nail varnish.  I'm currently sporting a muted mink colour, and can't wait to exchange the bright coral shades of summer for a cooler, grey-toned colour palette.  With the obligatory splash of oxblood, of course!

So here are my top picks for autumn.  The shades which will keep me going until I can dig out rich reds and glitzy golds ready for Christmas.....who's with me?

Topshop // Aurora
Barry M // Vanilla
O.P.I // Don't Bossa Nova Me Around
Nails Inc // Hampstead Heath
Maybelline // Burgundy Kiss
Maybelline // Love This Sweater
Maybelline // Cool Touch

Autumnal Nail Varnishes

9.10.15

The weather's not quite caught up yet, but I for one am hurrying in the arrival of autumn with my nail varnish.  I'm currently sporting a muted mink colour, and can't wait to exchange the bright coral shades of summer for a cooler, grey-toned colour palette.  With the obligatory splash of oxblood, of course!

So here are my top picks for autumn.  The shades which will keep me going until I can dig out rich reds and glitzy golds ready for Christmas.....who's with me?

Topshop // Aurora
Barry M // Vanilla
O.P.I // Don't Bossa Nova Me Around
Nails Inc // Hampstead Heath
Maybelline // Burgundy Kiss
Maybelline // Love This Sweater
Maybelline // Cool Touch
It's happened.  My body has succumb to the start of term lurgy - and it hurts!  So it seems even more relevant right now to pop up a post about the ways to slow down, chill out a bit and find a better balance in life.  You know, treat yo'self and all that.

Sleep well | I'll be honest, sleep is never a problem for me.  Did I tell you about that time I slept through an ambulance coming to the house and whisking Nick off to hospital...?  I can sleep through pretty much anything, but the tricky part lately is getting enough of it.  I like to switch off at around 9:30 and start to unwind, yet I've found myself dithering around and not actually settling down to sleep until gone 11.  Not a big deal to some, but I'm a monster if I don't get enough shut eye....it's definitely linked to well-being for me!

Eat right | Clean eating is the eternal struggle for me.  Life's too short to not eat chocolate!  My waistline is much less defined these days and I'm determined to get back on track.  I suffered with terrible bloating a couple of weeks ago and the OpticBac probiotics One Week Flat course of live cultures was a godsend.  Full disclosure, I was sent these to review, but discovered them after asking for help on twitter and was literally days away from investing in a packet myself.  They're for use in cold water, so are the perfect choice for non-hot drink drinkers (tongue twister!) like me.  The only other detox/de-bloating drinks I'd seen were herbal teas so I'm glad to have found an alternative.  They don't flavour the water (yay!) and are only slightly detectable.  A week later and I was fitting back into my jeans again.  Don't expect wonders, but they certainly helped.

Move more |  I exercise for the sake of it, and I don't think I'll ever be the sort of person who enjoys exercise.  That said, there's no denying how good I feel when I drag myself to the gym, surpass my expectations and realise I haven't been thinking about anything for the past half hour or so. As well as my regular Body Balance classes I've started spinning recently and will be upping my game to two classes a week soon. 

Me time | I was speaking to Lizzie about this a couple of days ago - how I feel like reading genuinely enriches my life.  I don't really watch all that much tv and tend to put YouTube videos on for background noise when I'm pottering about the house.  With reading though, I feel like I've accomplished something when I finish a book and love the way it brings people together.  I always make sure I read before I go to bed and credit this to helping me feel much more content generally!

Do you have any tips for feeling more grounded?

Finding a Better Balance

7.10.15

It's happened.  My body has succumb to the start of term lurgy - and it hurts!  So it seems even more relevant right now to pop up a post about the ways to slow down, chill out a bit and find a better balance in life.  You know, treat yo'self and all that.

Sleep well | I'll be honest, sleep is never a problem for me.  Did I tell you about that time I slept through an ambulance coming to the house and whisking Nick off to hospital...?  I can sleep through pretty much anything, but the tricky part lately is getting enough of it.  I like to switch off at around 9:30 and start to unwind, yet I've found myself dithering around and not actually settling down to sleep until gone 11.  Not a big deal to some, but I'm a monster if I don't get enough shut eye....it's definitely linked to well-being for me!

Eat right | Clean eating is the eternal struggle for me.  Life's too short to not eat chocolate!  My waistline is much less defined these days and I'm determined to get back on track.  I suffered with terrible bloating a couple of weeks ago and the OpticBac probiotics One Week Flat course of live cultures was a godsend.  Full disclosure, I was sent these to review, but discovered them after asking for help on twitter and was literally days away from investing in a packet myself.  They're for use in cold water, so are the perfect choice for non-hot drink drinkers (tongue twister!) like me.  The only other detox/de-bloating drinks I'd seen were herbal teas so I'm glad to have found an alternative.  They don't flavour the water (yay!) and are only slightly detectable.  A week later and I was fitting back into my jeans again.  Don't expect wonders, but they certainly helped.

Move more |  I exercise for the sake of it, and I don't think I'll ever be the sort of person who enjoys exercise.  That said, there's no denying how good I feel when I drag myself to the gym, surpass my expectations and realise I haven't been thinking about anything for the past half hour or so. As well as my regular Body Balance classes I've started spinning recently and will be upping my game to two classes a week soon. 

Me time | I was speaking to Lizzie about this a couple of days ago - how I feel like reading genuinely enriches my life.  I don't really watch all that much tv and tend to put YouTube videos on for background noise when I'm pottering about the house.  With reading though, I feel like I've accomplished something when I finish a book and love the way it brings people together.  I always make sure I read before I go to bed and credit this to helping me feel much more content generally!

Do you have any tips for feeling more grounded?

Can we not talk about my cracked screen please?  It's a recent thing and I'm still coming to terms with it!

Goodreads | For: tracking your reading progress, seeing book recommendations, keeping a list of books you want to read.  Generally all things bookish!

Ringo | For: paying for parking on the go.  A lifesaver when you don't have any change or need to park and leg it to catch a train.

Cheerz | For: printing photos from your phone.  There's a wide range of printing styles, from polaroids to magnets, and it's a great way to make use of phone snapshots.

Boots | For: checking out Advantage Card deals.  The instore machines are no more, so the app is essential to keep on top of any offers currently running.

The Trainline | For: checking out train times, fares and buying tickets.  When I'm deciding how to travel and working out timetables I always use The Trainline.

TripAdvisor | For: making the most of your time in a new place.  TripAdvisor is not only full of reviews, there are also handy tips on attractions to visit, as recommended by other users.

6 Apps You Should Probably Download

5.10.15


Can we not talk about my cracked screen please?  It's a recent thing and I'm still coming to terms with it!

Goodreads | For: tracking your reading progress, seeing book recommendations, keeping a list of books you want to read.  Generally all things bookish!

Ringo | For: paying for parking on the go.  A lifesaver when you don't have any change or need to park and leg it to catch a train.

Cheerz | For: printing photos from your phone.  There's a wide range of printing styles, from polaroids to magnets, and it's a great way to make use of phone snapshots.

Boots | For: checking out Advantage Card deals.  The instore machines are no more, so the app is essential to keep on top of any offers currently running.

The Trainline | For: checking out train times, fares and buying tickets.  When I'm deciding how to travel and working out timetables I always use The Trainline.

TripAdvisor | For: making the most of your time in a new place.  TripAdvisor is not only full of reviews, there are also handy tips on attractions to visit, as recommended by other users.

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