Sunday, 30 July 2017

July Playlist

1. Speakerphone - Rixton
2. Malibu - Miley Cyrus
3. Still Into You - Paramore
4. Don't Look Down - Martin Garrix (feat. Usher)
5. No More Sad Songs - Little Mix
6. Animals - Maroon 5
7. The Greatest - Sia
8. Despacito - Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee (feat. Justin Bieber)
9. Heart Skips a Beat - Olly Murs (feat. Rizzle Kicks)
10. Learn To Love Again - Lawson
11. City of Angels - 30 Seconds ToMars
12. Counting Stars - OneRepublic
13. Stitches - Shawn Mendes
14. Payphone - Maroon 5 (feat. Wiz Khalifa)
15. Disturbia - Rihanna

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Book Review: I See You

As the second novel written by Clare Mackintosh, I feel like there has been either a lot of hype, or a lot of hate surrounding this novel. The danger is, I suppose, to compare two completely different novels. I began reading this novel at the suggestion of my mother, who has excellent taste in books. Having not read her debut, I wasn't sure what to expect from her as a writer; the first thing that struck me was that it was told from such a modern perspective on life. Featuring social media and other forms of 'journey tracking', it was amazing how much it struck me, being a born and bred Londoner reading familiar commuting routes and different London Underground lines. This novel was so gripping as it was such a look into the future; a glimpse of how simple it can be stalk people, to literally affect daily lives through social media, mobile phones and other online activities. One thing that was particularly awful to imagine is the unfortunate truth that we are living in a society where we are not truly in control of ourselves; the government and various others have hidden cameras and surveillance anywhere and everywhere, not only watching, but quite literally analysing day to day life.

As a woman, it was pretty horrific to imagine being in the position of Zoe, one of the main characters. She found a picture of herself in a free newspaper and each day noticed a different woman featured in the same advertisement. You could be forgiven for thinking that she's overreacting, stressing about why it's her photograph and how it got there, particularly when her family insist that it's not her and she shouldn't worry. However PC Kelly takes her claim very seriously, especially as she's based on the tube network. Both Zoe and Kelly have their own issues, but I preferred Kelly as a character overall as I found her input, her perspective and her drive to be not only incredibly interesting, but also a key feature to some of the major issues drawn out throughout the novel. The main plot is about an investigation into a website directing paying clients to rape and kill women using the transport network, which is not a joke if you're a regular on public transport. I definitely found myself looking over my shoulder far more than necessary whilst reading this novel. It had a great pace; super fast all the while staying to the point and fairly detailed, particularly when the narrative voice was through Kelly (in third person), although Zoe's narrative (in first person) was also interesting as she was constantly doubting herself and looking around corners. Out of the two women, Zoe was definitely less focussed on the heart of the mystery; much of her input was about her everyday life, her family and her job.

An unknown narrator (using the first person) is also highlighted throughout; the words of the stalker. Only on the last few pages is this narrator identified; however I found this narrator to be massively creepy and incredibly unnerving. These little snippets into the sociopaths mind were italicised, making it easy to identify where the narrative changed over into the unknown. As many would argue, the worst part of this narration was the lack of knowing who was behind it, as well as getting a glimpse into just how simple it is to manipulate technology to wrongdoing. This novel dealt with feelings of anxiety and isolation well and clearly displayed them through the various characters presented throughout, regardless of whether they were a key or a background character. The investigation shown from an officers point of view was fantastic, easily the most fascinating part of the narration as it was in great contrast to both the regular view and the sociopathic viewpoint. There were parts where it was slower as through the first person narrative of Zoe, there were many deliberately overanalysed tangents and thoughts being played out.

Overall, I literally could not put this novel down. I was hooked; I'm so frustrated that I never successfully worked out 'whodunnit', the twist at the end is completely worth the wait for me and blew my mind! With hindsight, there were many untrustworthy people and characters spread across the novel so it was difficult to assertain who was who and what the purpose of them was within the plot. The last hundred pages or so flew by for me, I wanted to finish it but also read forever as it was so thrilling. I liked the mix of action and adventure alongside the waiting and mind games, the atmospheric description of what it's like to commute, how you feel hugely claustrophobic and nauseous when someone makes too much physical contact with you. Zoe as a character wasn't the most interesting, but she did work well in comparison to Kelly, who I found not only interesting, but also very engaging and dynamic. The inside information from the police investigation fed through Kelly was a great way to see the crimes from all angles and an unusual style. The big reveal was not only a shock, but also a bizarre and fascinating twist that conveyed that quite literally anyone in this novel could be either a victim, suspect or killer. The writing style was gripping, constantly making me think and I loved that.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Favourite Instagrammers #12

Hello again guys; for the past couple of months I haven't been loving instagram as much as I did before, I feel like that's because I decided to have a bit of a break from it. I wanted to have a break because as a blogger, I like using social media as a way to interact with other people (bloggers or not) and gaining inspiration, which I felt instagram was lacking for me. I started using Twitter and Pinterest a lot more, and I found that was the perfect mix; Twitter is fantastic for interacting with other people, making friends and supporting each other. Similarly, Pinterest is great for inspiration, but I love instagram again now too. I feel like after having a break, I've realised why I liked it. I just really enjoy scrolling through and seeing people's lives and loves. So, this month I've decided to have a look at some of the Instagrammers who I've been following for a couple of years as there must be a reason why I've followed them for so long... (hint: the feeds are lovely!)



I've been following Megan on social media since she was more commonly known as TheBriarRoseBlog and I've always loved her girly, whimsical and quirky sense of style. Over the years she has definitely changed, mostly because when I first followed her she had vibrant, waist length red hair and now her hair is (just as stunning) still long, but curly and bronde ombré. However much her hair has changed, her beautiful photography hasn't and nor has her sense of style; whenever I see a floral dress on Megan I instantly think that she looks like a fairy! It's hardly surprising that she has so many followers because of the mix of the lovely coastal Cornwall views and pastel, girly and Disney inspired homeward splashed all over her feed.



I have no clue when it was that I followed Molly, but I'm going to assume it was a while ago, as I found her feed through her YouTube video 'the piercing tag' and she had only one tattoo then. She's definitely a bit of a geeky, girly girl with a love for Harry Potter, Doctor Who and many more. She takes some beautiful photographs of nature, friends, pets and architecture and often dabbles in cosplay and writes interesting little captions to match the images. Recently she's been working in a bullet journal and I'm enjoying seeing the updates of where she's at with that, her drawings and collages.



Rosie has the loveliest instagram feed; full of selfies, various outfit of the day posts, travel and her art. I've followed for a couple of years and she honestly comes across as so mature, much older than she is with her incredible sense of style. I like how she fully embraces her pale skin tone and often posts make up looks that suit pale skin. I tend to prefer feeds that don't have a theme, (at least, not an obvious one) and I like how Rosie posts about food, nature and many other things as you see snippets of her real life that way, rather than a fake reality. 



Lauren's feed is a foodies dream! Honestly I feel like whenever she posts I'm ready for whatever fantastic treats she has laid out; whether it's chocolate, milkshakes, cupcakes, fruit, macaroons or many more she always manages to make me crave the naughtiest things! However alongside her foodie posts there are many just as lovely outfit posts, room displays and photos of her out and about. I like the mix of different interests and you get a snippet of all the parts to her life; I just feel like she's keeping it real whilst being super girly and having the most beautiful decor for photo backgrounds I've ever seen.



Naturally, Emma's instagram feed is an array of her illustrations and I've been following her since before I finished university (which is a few years ago now!) and I love to see her beautifully hand drawn images pop on my homepage. There's some quirky and slightly whimsical about her watercolour painted illustrations; however the main reason that I love her feed so much is that I like getting a glimpse into the different creative steps and stages she passes through before finishing a product. Likewise, recently there's been more selfies and nature appreciation posts and that also nice as it's mixed things up a bit; now I see the person behind the drawings which is really nice, particularly as I've followed her for so long!

Monday, 24 July 2017

Happy Things #30

1. So this weekend I spent some with my best friend and I feel so much better about so many of the things that have been stressing me out recently. It's always good to get out of work and the house, switch up a routine and just allow yourself to relax. Seeing her has really cheered me up and has made me ready to face the week.

2. I've got a long week this week, I'm working six days but I'm feeling quite strong after having quite a bad week last week. I can do this and I'm ready for it; somehow I've rediscovered my positive frame of mind and I'm loving it.

3. Later on this week I'm going out with some work friends for the first time and I'm really looking forward to it; I'm actually proud of how well I've managed to start a new job and keep positive to the point that I've actually forged some good friendships. I'm so excited to get to know them better and actually spend some time with them outside of work.

4. I'm so happy with how my blog is going right now, I feel like I've started to understand what I want to get from blogging and the kind of posts that I love to read from others and create myself. I've started to join a lot more conversations within the blogging community and I'm really loving getting to know other bloggers and getting inspiration from them.

5. Today I reached 1,000 followers and I'm super excited by that; I've also got over 1k on instagram so I feel like I'm starting to see some results for my blogging efforts. I've never blogged for a career or money, I blog for myself so I'm ecstatic to have reached a goal that I made for myself at the very start of my blog around a year ago, much sooner than I expected!

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Awesome Blogger Tag

Hello again guys, I found this tag through the lovely youcancallmecaz - I love finding little posts like these through other bloggers as I enjoy getting to know other bloggers a bit more. I really enjoy doing this tags too, I feel like it's nice to let you know a little more about me too.

1. What is the biggest beauty mistake you’ve ever made?

Definitely the years where I either massively overplucked my eyebrows to the point where I had the biggest forehead ever, or where I had the biggest, bushiest uni brow ever... Both of these looks weren't the best. I also regret the foundation over my eyebrows phase, that was definitely the worst idea ever; the rest of my make up during sixth form was ok, apart from my brows!

2. Have you ever ended a friendship or relationship and regretted it?
 So many times; I hate reminiscing about old memories or people that I was super close to in the past because it always makes me miss them, but ultimately most of my friendships or relationships have ended because people stopped bothering to contact me, for example not replying to my texts or cancelling on plans, so ultimately I know I tried my best... So I think the phrase everything happens for a reason is definitely applicable to this question and life in general, I suppose.

3. How would you describe your style?
To be honest, it really depends on my mood; I'm either a jeans and t-shirt girl, or a full on girly girl with 50s style dresses, lots of jewellery and red lipstick with a bit of vintage and embroidery. I'd say it's a little quirky, with cardigans and cutesy shoes, I guess some people would probably say that my style is a bit twee, haha.

4. A guest is coming round your house for dinner, what would you make?
 I'm not the best cook in the world, but I'd make a chorizo salad with a side of baby roasted potatoes. For desert, an apple and raspberry crumble with vanilla ice cream... Actually that sounds so so inviting right now, I'm hungry ahaha!

5. How would you define success?
Success is one of those things that's in the eye of the beholder. In theory, I've had a lot of successes in my life so far; I've finished my studies at degree level, I'm working in a salaried job now and I think I've finally found what I want to do with my life in terms of work. However, on a serious note, I feel like success should be measured by your personal fulfilment; I have a fantastic boyfriend and good friends so I feel like I'm achieving a lot of good things in my twenties, so I'm looking forward to see where life is going to take me in the next few years. 

6. Where would you like to be in 5 years time?
Ideally I would like to be in the same stable and enjoyable job and still living with my boyfriend, hopefully with enough of a deposit to start the process of buying a house (that's a big dream ahahaha). I'd like to be blogging still and hopefully have kept my mental health in check; it's hard to keep positive but I've got a lot to be happy about, so in 5 years time I should be super happy with how my life is. I'd like to have travelled a bit more, seen some of the world and enjoyed myself a lot more by that time too.

7. Name 3 biggest pieces of advice you could ever give:
- - Never look back on the bad times, focus on the good times; that applies for the past, the present and the future. Looking back doesn't help you move on and stay strong.
- - Don't be afraid to be different, no two people are ever same. 
- - Be true to yourself is so important in every aspect of life; be honest about how you feel because you only live once.

8. Old Hollywood Beauty or modern?
Definitely Old Hollywood... There are so many beautiful looks that are just so classic and timeless at the same time.

9. What makes you follow a blog or social media account?
This will be probably sound strange but a mixture of things; for example, generally I love to follow new or working bloggers, those who have a lot of personality and clearly blog because they love it. I enjoy the interaction that comes from these kinds of bloggers as it's so nice get to know them and what they love. It's a very authentic feel. But that said, I do like to follow people who have thousands of followers too, but obviously there's minimal interaction because of so many followers. I think social media is a very powerful thing right now and overall those who use it are preferrring the authenticity of the people they follow over anything else. (That's true for me, at least). I prefer to follow people who don't have a strict theme, I like to see some reality in the world.

10. If you relive any day from your life, what day would you choose and why?
 A bit cliché, but probably the first time I spent time with my boyfriend; like we weren't even dating really then but it was just a lovely day... Getting to know each other, no pressure, just enjoying wasting time in each other's company. It was the start of me feeling happy again, so I really cherish that day.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Happy Things #29 // Honesty

Hello again, it's already Monday.

I share so much of my life, my opinions with you... Whoever you are, wherever you are in the world. Every Monday I post five happy things that will happen sometime during the week as a way of keeping my mental health on the positive side of life. However, the truth about having high functioning anxiety is that on the surface you look like you're coping when it reality you're breaking down inside.

Over the course of the last weekend I had one of the worst weekends in terms of my mental health for a long time. 

I couldn't sleep, purged on food... Cried constantly and spent hours looking at old friends online, missing them... Struggling to accept change. It's so incredibly difficult sometimes to be positive, regardless of how many lists of positivity you make. It's important to be honest, to be real about how you feel.

After a seriously bad weekend, I've woken up on Monday and survived Monday. I'm feeling much better, I'm ok. The reason behind this post that it's ok to slip up, to have a bad day, or week. But it's important to talk to someone, let anyone know how you feel. Try to move on. Life is hard, the path to happiness is never easy and it's something you have to constantly work at. This week I'm not writing a list, I want to live my life without sticking to a routine. Just for a week.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

A Collective Haul

Hello again guys, I can't believe that we're halfway through July already! I've had a few cheeky bits and pieces ordered this month and so far I'm absolutely in love with all of the items that have arrived for me this month. I've mentioned several times before on my blog that I do stick to a pretty strict budget; money doesn't grow on trees as we all know, so when I do make a purchase it's usually a very considered one. As we've had a fairly hot summer so far (hot for the UK, at any rate) I desperately wanted a fashionable pair of espadrilles as I'm not a fan of my toes. The ones pictured below were from Very and priced at £22. They're super comfy and keep my feet fashionable and ready for summer whilst covered up. The embroidered elements make them look so much more expensive and are super on trend at the moment. I'm loving embroidered accessories right now as these shoes really jazz up any outfit without being too overdone. I'm definitely going to be buying more espadrilles as these are so easy and comfortable to wear.

For the past couple of months I've been obsessed with the NYX liquid lipsticks; London is my absolute love, but I decided to branch out a little after seeing so many good reviews and opinions surrounding their products. From the Lip Lingerie collection I bought the shades Baby Doll and Honeymoon; priced at £6.99 they're a complete bargain and during this year I have started to like nude shades on me so the variety of shades available from NYX means that I can choose a nude shade that suits my skin tone. I also bought a Liquid Suede in the shade Sandstorm for the price of £6.99 and I can confirm that this really does live up to the hype! Of all of the NYX liquid lipstick formulas, I do prefer the Soft Matte Lip Creams, but in terms of pigmentation, the Liquid Suede formula definitely has the strongest colour. That being said, I love all of these formulas and I have no regrets in purchasing such a range of formulas and colours as they're excellent value for money. I'm also really liking the Glam'eyes Professional Liquid Eye Liner by Rimmel; priced at £4.99, it's definitely affordable and not only is it super black, it's also a matte finish. The applicator is very think too, so with some practice you can avoid looking like you're imitating a panda which is a result for me, haha. One of the more premium items in this haul is the Ready, Set, Brow! By Benefit and as much as I adore it, the price does make me cringe a little at £20. I would argue that it's worth the money as it sets my brows in place all day, every day and I love the packaging too, as an added bonus. It's definitely a splurge, but as I use it every day it's an investment purchase.

Unsurprisingly, after all of the hype surrounding the beauty blender (and sponge applicators in general), it was inevitable that I would eventually cave in and get some sponges to test. As I trust the Real Techniques brand and have a lot of their brushes, it made sense to me to try out the sponges by them too. The Miracle Complexion Sponge Duo are excellent value for money priced at £11.99 as that's for two sponges, whereas comparatively, some other brands are in excess of £15 for only one sponge. I've been fairly impressed with them so far, they blend foundation in really well and don't cause any streaks, although I've found they're a bit too bulky to blend in concealer so I'll likely invest in some smaller options for my under eyes, but for my overall face I would definitely recommend. I've also been loving the Eyes Starter Kit by Real Techniques as I've been trying a bit harder to create nice looks with my eyeshadow palettes, so it was time to invest in more brushes. For £19.99 you get five brushes that are for different eye related tasks, such as filling in brows or blending shadows over the lid. The different sizes and thicknesses are great and they feel good quality, with no shedding. For the price you receive a decent amount of brushes, as well as a little carry case, too so I have no regrets. Recently I've been needing to wear a watch more and more and so I decided it was time to buy a new one, the Radley Doodle Dog which is very cute, with little dog illustrations and rose gold detailing. At £69 it was the most expensive thing by far in this haul, but as I've used it every day since I bought it I do feel that it's worth it; for the price it had better last well!

Lastly, I've added two new perfumes to my extensive collection. Both of them were from my boyfriend for our anniversary, which is why I love them so much; they constantly remind of happy times, as well as of him. The largest of the two is Fantasy in Bloom by Britney Spears and it smells divine, with notes of mandarin, red berries, jasmine, vanilla and cherry blossom. It's a sweet and floral scent and very feminine, although even the bottle itself is incredibly feminine with its hot pink overall exterior alongside a gold neck and white and gold cherry blossoms. At £18 for the 100ml it's a bargain and it's the perfect summer scent. The smaller bottle is Princess Revolution by Vera Wang and it's a perfume that I'd been lusting after for months but could never manage to find it within my budget until recently. £19 for the 50ml bottle was great as it was affordable for me and I do love the Princess perfumes. As you can probably tell, I'm a fan of floral scents and this one is no exception with notes of lily of the valley, cherries, watermelon, jasmine, apple blossom and blood orange. The tangyness of the scent makes it feel quite oriental, but the bottle matches really well visually with the other Princess perfumes that I own, with its classic heart shape. The black doodles on the burgundy bottle are hard to picture, but in real life it's a stunning bottle and so hard to find that I thought I'd never manage to find it. This was actually quite a big haul, for the first time in a while; let me know if you like these kind of posts down in the comments. Until next time :)

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Book Review: The Hypnotist's Love Story


The reason behind this book being on my (rather large) reading list was because I had enjoyed reading Big Little Lies so much, which is also written by Liane Moriarty. The title is actually a little misleading; Ellen is actually a professional hypnotherapist who helps her clients lose weight, quit smoking and face their fears, amongst some other things. As a reader we're told fairly early on that she's single, aged thirty five, with a rather unsuccessful dating history; but she's ready to settle down, provided that she can find the right man. Naturally, this is when she meets Patrick; a widow with an eight year old son and hiding a secret. At first glance, Patrick appears to be the perfect man but a little distracted. I suppose you could argue that this is because he's a busy man, working full time and balancing raising a child as a single parent, but in all honestly the book only become interesting for me when Saskia is introduced. It was interesting to see a female stalker at work, as well as seeing the narrative voices switch between the perspectives of both Ellen and Saskia. Although technically there are three 'main' characters, as a reader we only ever see Patrick through the eyes of the two women as he never takes over the narrative at any point.

There are parts of this book that feel fairly unbelievable; for example Ellen is not disturbed by the thought that her boyfriend, Patrick has a stalker, she's intrigued. However, Ellen also doesn't realise that Saskia is just as interested in Ellen; to the extent that she even poses as a client, using a false name to have the oppportunity to get to know Ellen and snoop around her house, as all Ellen works through her home. As a woman myself, I honestly found it all a bit bizarre; the fact that Ellen was actually fine with her new boyfriend having a stalker, that she was interested even, seems impossible to me. The worst part is that with time, you begin to feel sorry for Saskia, sympathise with her almost; she met the right man at the wrong time and she's been punishing him and herself, ever since. However, on the other hand, it is difficult to fathom why she would go to the lengths she does, to stalk Patrick; or even why she stalks him at all, other than the fact she's struggling to move on with her own life. The one thing I really loved about this book is that Saskia was included as a narrative voice; it made her character seem real, less one dimensional. 

The introduction of Saskia was really well done and was a great plot twist, although the apart from that, at times the book could be a little slow. It didn't grip me as much as I wanted it to; I just couldn't understand why Saskia couldn't let go of this man as on the surface she was an ordinary woman. She was successful at work and had her own house, and comfortably so. Obviously there are many layers to a stalker, one of these was that she met him as her mother died so I feel like she replaced her grief with love for Patrick. But even so, I feel like the introduction of Ellen, particularly when she becomes pregnant, clearly affected Saskia; but even more bizarrely, in another world you could imagine the two women being friends as they are fairly similar. The character that I throughly disliked was actually Patrick; in my opinion he was thoughtless and selfish. Using Saskia as a replacement wife and mother when his wife and Jack's mother died and then leaving her when his grieving period was over. I also got the impression that he constantly compares both Ellen and Saskia to his wife, Colleen. Which isn't nice, particularly when you consider that Ellen is pregnant and both him and his son then moved into her home.

Overall, I did find this novel fairly slow paced. However, I didn't dislike it as there were some fantastic parts. Saskia cooking and cleaning in Ellen's house, snooping in her bathroom and seeing what tampons she uses (amongst other things) were both creepy and did turn up the stalking a notch; a the book went on there were times when Saskia definitely became more dangerous, to both herself and those around her. It was a relief to see the stalking reach the point where the law needed to intervene; however I wasn't keen on Ellen's interest in Saskia. It wasn't healthy to be so fascinated by the fact that an ex-girlfriend is stalking your now boyfriend. It was great to see all parties, particularly Saskia, regain a social life and move on from an incident, but on the whole I felt the plot was a bit lacking. All in all, as a reader I was intrigued to see how Ellen shaped a relationship with Jack and her own father, both of which were skimmed over quite a lot. On a positive note, I really liked Ellen's 'three mothers'; the dynamic between them was great and I wanted to see a lot more of them than I did, but they were a fabulous addition to the character sphere. Despite this being a rather critical review, I did enjoy reading this book I would recommend it as the writing is great, but I would say that you need to be prepared to fully commit; it's quite a long book, slow in places but a good read that's worth seeing through to the end as it's worth it.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Happy Things #28

1. My boyfriend has this amazing habit of gifting me with flowers on a regular basis; this flowers pictured above were given to me on our one year anniversary. Two weeks later an they're still going strong, I love it whenever I see flowers around the house as they make me think of him so that always makes me happy at the end of a stressful day.

2. Over the past few months I've learnt that not every day will be the best day of your life and that it's ok to not always feel your best. Blogging has definitely become a huge part of my life, not only because I enjoy it, but also because I feel like the blogging community is super supportive and I love being involved in twitter chats and other social media as it's a great way to get to know other bloggers with similar interests.

3. Last week I got my nose pierced with a friend after wanting it for literally years; I've always loved piercings and I've definitely caught the bug again. It was more painful than I expected and in all honestly it's pretty sore... But even so, I love it and I wouldn't be surprised if I end up goin back for more piercings in the next few months.

4. I'm super excited for you guys to see the blog posts that I have planned for this month; I'm just feeling so inspired and creative at the moment and I really want to improve my content. I'm definitely my own worst critic, but that's ok. I've got so many posts in the pipeline, so stay tuned as I'll be posting regularly this month to make up for the shambles that was the end of June as I was so ill. 

5. I feel really positive about this week and that feels absolutely amazing. Fingers crossed it'll end up being a great week!

Sunday, 9 July 2017

July Moodboard

Hello again; this month I've got two spontaneous piercings... My left tragus and my nose! I actually have so many piercings now (sixteen in total) that I'm bordering on more metal than girl, oops. Which is why I've been loving looking at piercing arrangements online as I've rediscovered my love for piercings. When I was at university I used to get new piercings regularly, but that habit stopped when I worked in the food industry. Luckily I now have a job that allows my piercings to be on full display! All of the images below were found using google image searches and most of them are from Tumblr and Pinterest. Ever since I dyed my hair pink last month I feel quite experimental in terms of my hair, although I want to grow my hair very long again. I'm feeling super inspired by 'mermaid' style hair, long and flowing with crazy hair colours, although I think I'll go back to blonde soon. After spending 24 years with blonde hair, the pink is fun but blonde is just easier to care for. I've refound my love for Cath Kidston through my summer wardrobe; I have so many of her 1950s style dresses... Buses, Clocks, Leaves, Townhouses, etc. However I really want to start buying more styles, I wish I could find the Trains or Books dresses, I'm in love with the whimsical prints and the cut of the dresses really suits my curvy figure. I'm not a huge fan of the heat of summer, but I do wearing girly dresses and just generally going out and making an effort to look nice. Let me know in the comments if you enjoy this kind of post! :)

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Book Review: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower


First of all, I decided to give this novel a read due to all of the hype that surrounded it a couple of years back and the fact is, it's a short read at under 300 pages so it's perfect for breaks at work. The main character and narrative voice, Charlie, is a fifteen year old boy who seems both immature and naive for his age, although that being said, he does suffer quite extensively from mental health, which could be related to his naivety. Seemingly friendless, the narrative voice is given through a series of letters to a stranger. The start of the novel discusses starting High School and naturally, the fears that come with starting over at a new stage in life. Further on, we see Charlie start to socialise with a group of older friends and you get to watch his personality develop; although it seems possible that Charlie has some kind of personality disorder or autism. (As I'm not a medical professional this possibility is purely guesswork). I wasn't keen on the letter style of writing, I found the dates and end of the letters somewhat irritating; the text didn't flow well in this style. Chbosky covers a variety of Young Adult topics in this novel such as mental health, suicide/death, sexuality, sexual abuse/rape,  substance abuse, domestic violence and social anxiety but unfortunately none of these issues are dealt with in any depth.

As a reader, I do enjoy seeing the world from another's perspective and Charlie's mind is unquestionably interesting; intelligent but socially awkward, I can see why this novel was so hyped a few years ago as it describes feelings and the consequences of drugs such as LSD and marijuana, as well as discovering sexuality, having sex and going on dates, alongside homosexuality. Witnessing Charlie forge relationships felt quite intrusive at times; he seemed to struggle a lot with different kinds of relationships, which as a reader suddenly becomes understandable at a point in the book. The title of the novel relates to a situation where Charlie is declared a 'wallflower' by his friend; he seems to settle into that ideal pretty easily, content to be forever on the outskirts of a group. However, I didn't really feel like his naivety was altogether true; Charlie was perceptive, he took part in the usual teenage rebellions of taking drugs and having sex so it was hard for me to believe that he wasn't aware of masterbation or dreaming about sex prior to engaging in any sexual activity. That said, he did hang around with an older group of friends, but at 15 years old it's slightly unbelieveable considering he comes from a non religious family that seem to be open about sex.

The one relationship that I really liked was between Charlie and his English teacher; Bill seemed to not only give Charlie a great deal of time and attention, but he also seemed to see something in Charlie that no one else did, particularly Charlie himself. It's clear throughout the novel that Charlie is a rapidly advanced reader, often spending time reading and Bill often gives Charlie some great advice. He becomes a real support to Charlie and is the most positive model (in my opinion) amongst the range of characters that are brought to the fore in various parts of the book. That said, all of the characters introduced feel realistic, they're described in such a way that they will likely remind you of someone that you know, or used to know. None of the relationships are really described in masses of detail, although for a novel of less than 300 pages it's hardly surprising that there are some details lacking; parts of this novel seem quite lacklustre and vague, but this could be down to Charlie's narrative voice being somewhat hazy during his drug and/or alcohol binges. At times it feels like the writing style doesn't match the personality and hyper intelligence that is expected of Charlie, given the impression that the reader is given through Bill assigning him extra reading and essays (as he essentially a high achieving student, particularly in English).

Overall, I would say don't give into the hype that this book had a couple of years back; the title is massively enticing, especially for someone like me who has a tendency to become a wallflower at times. However, I hated the writing style; I'm not a fan of letters, or diary excerpts as a narrative technique as honestly it irritates me. Although in this case, it's intended to add to Charlie's personality, I felt like we were glimpsing a very one sided, tactically placed narrative voice so that a lot of puzzle pieces are missing. The main issue that I had with his book is that I just couldn't gel with Charlie; possibly because I'm now in my twenties and teenage issues don't bother or affect me anymore, but I found his naivety annoying rather than endearing. I just wanted a little more oomph; for example a better explanation of his mental health problems and the various other topics that are touched upon but never fully explained. It was difficult to judge where the writer was going with this novel and it's definitely one that you either love or hate and I have to say I was disappointed to be closer to the hate catagory; there was so much untapped potential in this book that left me both curious and frustrated. Let me know in the comments if you have read this book; if you have, did you love it or hate it? Or if you are planning to read this book, I'd love to hear another opinion!

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Happy Things #27

1. I've been quite ill the past couple of weeks, so it's nice to finally feel better enough to blog again. I've missed some posts, (like this one which should've been posted yesterday) but that's fine, it's how life is. I really needed to rest.

2. I've got a doctors appointment at last, so fingers crossed I'll be able to find out why I've been feeling so ill, as although I'm feeling better I'm still not feeling great. Hopefully I'll be back to normal by the end of this week and therefore back to blogging more regularly.

3. Honestly, all I've wanted to do is sleep, so I haven't been reading or blogging half as much as I usually do, or would like to; this week I'm planning to blog more than I have been, as it has really become my main hobby and therefore a big part of my life.

4. Today I'm going to a restaurant with Piotr, which will be nice as we're both working a lot this week; it's hard to see each other when you're working in different places with different schedules so it's always nice to spend some time together.

5. I've been taking my dog for lots of walks to get some fresh air and I've been really enjoying watching the sunset in the evenings with her. When we walk I like taking photos of the skies.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Favourite Blogs #11

Hello again; I'm sorry that I've gone a bit downhill with blog posts over the past week, I've been struck down with flu so literally couldn't leave my bed. I'm still not feeling 100% but I'm better, but I really want to get back on top of things, including this blog. As a new month is a upon us, I feel like it makes sense to start off July with a post that I should really have posted in June before I was ill, but as they say: better late than never! I like to write posts relevant to that time, which includes various forms of monthly favourites, which is where this post slots in. As a blogger, I find so much inspiration from other blogs; throughout this month I've been loving revisiting some blogs that I've loved for years now. I can only dream of being as polished as these ladies! I really enjoy reading other blogs and have been reading various blogs for years now. I feel like June disappeared from right under my nose, so I expect that July will likely whizz by. Let me know if you like these kinds of posts in the comments! :)

I've been reading Kristabel's blog for years now and I just love her creative vision; the photography and layout of her blog are just completely stunning, just like she is. Her posts stretch across a variety of topics, including travel, fashion, beauty, lifestyle and food. My favourite posts are a mix of fashion and travel; her outfits alongside beautiful buildings always look stunning, as she always dresses well for her long and lean shape. After blogging for many years and having a degree in fashion, it's no wonder that her posts are so close to perfection; every single one of her posts never fails to capture my attention, regardless of the content.


Olivia's blog is the kind of blog that I can only dream that my little blog will ever be as good as! There's something effortlessly lovely in her personal style; to me, she's the perfect blend of parisienne and london chic. Basically, her photography ticks all of the boxes, wherever she in the world and whatever she's wearing. I've been reading her blog since I was a sixth former (so a very long time) and she's always been flawless. My favourite posts of hers are fashion (the 70s/boho vibe is a winner), travel and baking. That being said, I also really enjoy her book reviews as they're often books that I've been planning to read so inspire me to read them before I get distracted and read other things.


Ever since I found Katy's blog I haven't stopped returning to it; her posts offer a fantastically intimate set of photographs from various travels, such as Singapore or Scotland. I like her positive attitude to life, how she writes lists and has an opinion on many different subjects. Her blog actually influenced my own so much, but honestly I'm just so in awe of her beautiful photography. Many of her posts encapsulate travel, lifestyle, food and personal style; although I'm sure the most popular are her travel guides and reviews of various eateries in different cities. She's one to watch of you want to eat out somewhere in London, she's reviewed so many places.


Elizabeth's blog is a pastel, romantically inclined persons dream (in short, my dream); I really adore how she expresses her love for nature, lifestyle, her child and beauty in her posts. There's something slightly ethereal and magical about her blog in general and I cannot explain how much I love her blog header with its vintage camera and written typeface. My favourite posts are the make up reviews as she often reviews products that suit pale skin, so it's super useful for someone like me, who is also of a ghostly complexion. Her photography is lovely, particularly of the countryside that surrounds her; it looks so peaceful!


Another blog that I've been reading for a few years is Carrie's; her wedding posts were those of dreams, it looked like it was the most beautiful of beautiful days. I would say she's an avid travel blogger, documenting trips all over the world, including Finland, Japan, Morocco and Italy amongst many others. You definitely feel the travel bug when you read her travel posts with their stunningly captured landscapes and reviews of various local restaurants. Alongside travel posts, she's a beauty, fashion and foodie blogger as well as a talented photographer. I love browsing through the archives of her oldest posts, they're fascinating to see how much she's grown in a few years.

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