Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Reading Round Up #6

reading list ideas

The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**K - Sarah Knight
I remember seeing this doing the round somewhere between this year and last, though mostly as a blogging photo prop! I've got to say, I didn't get a whole lot from it, except that even the word fuck can lose all meaning when used twice in every sentence. I get what Sarah is saying, you can't go around giving a toss about anything and everything just to please other people, and you can be selfish without being an arse but none of it was new to me giving some of my recent reads. If you find you are a people pleaser and will not so happily spend your weekends at baby showers, fun run sidelines or in other it makes them happy but not me situations then it's worth a read - and if not, it really does make a lovely photo prop!

Hygge - Charlotte Abrahams
Maybe it's the time of year, all dark nights and crunchy leaves, but I have been looking at Hygge more and more lately. Charlottes book starts off with a look at Hygge in design, it's influences on furniture and light fixtures, something that wasn't my cup of tea to begin with. Afterwards though she gets much more in the Hygge lifestyle, talking family time, meal time, Hygge in the workplace and her own journey through two divorces and several of life's curve balls. At times, it was actually a heart warming read, about how she has introduced Hygge into her home and her life, how that's impacted on her and her children, sharing tales of Hygge successes and failures. If you've not picked up a book about Hygge yet, this one is a great place to start!

The Marble Collector - Cecelia Ahern
Just when I think I've read every Ahern book out there, I see this on the shelf in my local library. How  I missed it is anyones guess! I can't get enough of Aherns books and this one was brilliant, and a great improvement on the last I read by her, Lyrebird. Flitting between the past of her father and the present of Sabrina, as well as her fathers current situation in a residential home, this is a beautiful tale of what is lost, be it objects or memories, might not always be found, but that doesn't mean we can't create new ones along the way. 

The Time Machine - H G Wells
I feel like I've been picking up a few classics when it comes to my sci-fi choices this year, and H G Wells' The Time Machine has really got to be one of the top sci-fi classics. Turns out that this book was the first to talk about and use time travelling in fiction. Aged as it is, it took some getting used to the language and the superfluous style but once I got past the first few chapters, I was hooked. The Time Traveller goes eight hundred thousand years into the future, and even Marty and The Doc couldn't predict this future. Lush green lands, the frolicking and simple Eloi, the dark and dangerous Morlocks, I wasn't gripped but I was intrigued. This book wasn't just a work of sci-fi, it was Wells' take on how society would eventually end up if the Victorians kept this distance between the haves and have nots. For me, it was a circle journey, going to the future was almost a step back in time, all our advances, our creations and creativity lost, evolution reversed. It was such an interesting look, after all, how many times does the distant future not revolve around flying cars and space travel? 

The Couple Next Door - Shari Lapena
A recommended read by both Antonia and Hollie, this book was friggin brilliant. I'm not going to lie, it took a predictable turn or two which I found disappointing, until, it took some very unpredictable turns. When a couple go to a dinner party next door and leave their new baby home alone in the crib, what could possible go wrong? I had to laugh, I mean as if your baby going missing wasn't bad enough, what this couple then go through together and separately I couldn't have guessed in a million years. Just when you think you have it all figured out, Lapena doesn't throw a curve ball, she drops a wrecking ball on top of you. I love a good crime novel that focuses on the crime and the people effected over the investigators and this book does that so, so well. A gripping page turner, I found myself getting up early on a Sunday because I couldn't stop thinking about the last chapter I had read before bed the night before - that's how good this book is!

What pages have you been turning recently?

Until next time, 

Monday, 27 November 2017

A Merry Very Christmas - #VeryParty 2017

christmas gifts on very

Are you ready to get festive around here? Because I am! I friggin love this time of year and Christmas really can’t start soon enough for me! I was recently invited along by the lovely people at Very to check out their Christmas showcase, from sequins to skincare, they’re ready to get you ready for the festive season!

christmas gifts on very

When it comes to Very and Christmas, it’s all in the details this party season, and most of those details revolve around sequins. Dresses, jump suits, tops and bottoms, you will sparkle like the Christmas star this party season. I’m not one for the all out sequinned party wear, I can’t pull off that disco ball look to save my life, but I do love me some detail. 

christmas gifts on very

I fell in love with this beautifully soft grey jumper from Very’s petitie line, embellished with various pearls along the collar and sleeves, it’s got such a classic feel about it and packs a pretty, yet subtle, punch. 

christmas gifts on very

Taking the detailing up a notch, embroidery is still topping the trends this winter and just look at the detailing, I mean really, how intricate are those flowers? I struggle with statement necklace but with all that detailing going on, who needs accessories? Let your clothes do all the talking! 

christmas gifts on very

New to me, and an exciting brand to get acquainted with, Skin Doctors were on hand to give us a run down of their beautiful brand. Skin Doctors offer clinical strength products as an alternative to surgery and invasive procedures. Their newest offering are these Vitamin A and C ampules which I got up close and personal with on the day! I love ampules are they dispense out the perfect amount in a clean and controlled manner, minimising any bacteria and nasties being transferred to your skin. 

christmas gifts on very

I’m super excited to try their Beelift cream, a paraben free mixture of bee venom and manuka honey, this claims to reduce and delay the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, sagging skin and ageing overall. Hey, I’m in my 30’s now and these things are going to happen sooner rather than later! I want to be prepared!

christmas gifts on very

When it comes to delicate, dainty and sparkles, my inner magpie was drawn to Lola Rose. Yet another new brand to me and one I instantly fell in love with. Famed for their statement gemstone pieces, they have brought out a divine collection of elegant and understated bracelets. I have pathetic, child sized wrists so when it comes to bangles and bracelets, they are never my jewellery of choice. Lola Rose bracelets come on adjustable chains meaning they are the perfect fit for each and every wrist. I had a little go at styling my own stack, and just, oh, you don’t need me to tell you how friggin gorgeous these look, right? 

Well, I know what I’m going to be looking for under the Christmas tree thanks to Very this year, how about you? It looks like it’s going to be a Very Merry Christmas this year!

What are you most looking forward to this Christmas?

Until next time, 

Monday, 20 November 2017

Argan+ Moroccan Rose Night Time Facial Oil

argan moroccan rose facial oil review

Price: £12.99
Pros: Smells amazing, easily absorbed, great for winter beaten skin
Cons: Greasy residue
Would I buy again? Yes.
Score 3.5/5

I have no idea how the Argan+ Oil Moroccan Rose night time facial oil came into my posession, I want to say it was in an event goodie bag? Maybe? Most likely? But to say I’m glad to have found it rolling around the back of my skincare drawer is an understatement. I’ve really gotten into facial oils this year, some more successful than others. I used to avoid oils like the plague, convinced it would make my oily prone skin worse - oh, what little did I really know! Facial oils have totally changed my skin care routine over the last 12 months and I wouldn’t be without one in my routine now!

The Moroccan Rose facial oil smells like turkish delight which I am far from complaining about - it makes me crave a piece or 3 every time I apply! Made with 100% natural oils, the rose oil is perfect for balancing your skin, and super soothing and nourishing. Since the cold has finally snapped, my skin usually starts to appear lifeless, dull and extremely dry! I’ve been using the facial oil as part of my evening routine  for about 2 months now and have defiantly seen an improvement. 

argan moroccan rose facial oil review

One thing to note, I forgot to pack the facial oil when I went to Disneyland Paris earlier this month and having not used it for 4 nights, the state of my skin was ridiculous. Dry, dull, breakouts everywhere. Granted I hadn’t had the best diet for a few days, but I haven’t had my skin go from zero to oh holy hell in such a short amount of time since I left my teenager years behind. 

The oil is easily absorbed but it does leave a greasy residue behind, however this does eventually get absorbed so if you can, apply it around an hour or so before bed. I hate the feeling of going to bed with product still drying in on my face, I feel like it just gets wasted, rubbed all over the pillow and bedding. 

For the price, I think this is a fantastic facial oil and I would totally re-purchase it. After just over 2 months I’ve not even hit the halfway point on the bottle. My skin feels really soft and supple and after those pesky Paris breakouts, they seemed to reduce in redness and size after two nights of getting back to using it! 

Does a facial oil feature in your skin care routine?

Until next time, 

Friday, 17 November 2017

Clarins - Multi Active Eye Cream

clarins multi active eye cream review

Price: £35
Pros: Applicator, light consistency, easily absorbed.
Cons: Price.
Would I buy again? No.
Score: 3/5

I’d tried so many sample sized tubes of the Clarins Multi Active Eye Cream that it seemed a great investment to go ahead and buy the full sized, 15ml tube with the snazzy applicator attached. At £35 a pop, it’s not exactly budget friendly, but having loved the samples so much, I was happy to hand over my cash. 

clarins multi active eye cream review

The applicator was a major selling point to me after experiencing the eye cream being applied with it during a facial at the Clarins beauty bar. The instant cooling effect is so soothing around the eye area, especially first thing in the morning when you’re still waking up. The applicator not only ensures a smooth, comfortable application, but it helps to reduce puffiness and decongenstion around the eyes. The eye cream itself is very light weight and pearlescent. It has a very wet texture which I don’t mind, as it absorbs so quickly and easily into the skin. 

The pearlescent cream does have a brightening effect which can make tired peepers look much more alert and lively, something that at this time of year, is much appreciated! My eyes always seem to look so grey and tired during the winter months!

clarins multi active eye cream review

I’ve been using this twice a day for about 3 months now and can honestly say, I have seen zero changes around my eye area. I’m lucky as I seem to have somehow, unknowingly, slowed down the ageing process, so my eyes are relatively line free right now. (Watch me wake up as one giant wrinkle tomorrow!). So does it improve fine lines and wrinkles? I have no idea. As delicate as the skin around our eyes is, I always feel like slightly thicker, more heavy duty eye creams have more bang for their buck. 

clarins multi active eye cream review

Because the buck, is the problem. I don’t mind splurging on my skincare if it works. I’m not saying this doesn’t, it really is a lovely eye cream, but it feels no different to my £2.99 Simple eye cream I’ve used for years. The applicator is my favourite part, but I wouldn’t pay £35 for that alone.

Not one of the worst, but not one of the best!

What is your go-to eye cream?

Until next time, 

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Magical Money Saving at Disneyland Paris 2017

money saving at disneyland paris

Oh these Disney blues, they get me every time! Having been home a week already, I can’t stop thinking back to my Disneyland Paris trip! It was fantastic - but friggen hell is Disneyland Paris expensive! Maybe I’m too used to Walt Disney World prices and a better dollar exchange rate, but everything just seemed so pricey! So, just incase you’ve got a trip coming up soon and you’d rather spend your Euros on mouse ears, here’s a few easy and simple ways to save money at Disneyland Paris!

money saving at disneyland paris

Snack Drawer

Pack your suitcase with as many snacks as possible. Breakfast is a bit hit and miss in Disneyland Paris so we took a lot of breakfast foods with us, as well as one too many snacks to take out to the parks during the day. We had no issues taking any food into the parks and not only was it great to whip out the Squishes in the queue, but it saved us a fortune. Most snacks in DLP were coming in at €5+ a go! 

Snacks to pack for Disneyland Paris;
  • Porridge Oats (the ones where you just add hot water)
  • Dried fruit and seed toppers for your porridge
  • Nutella B-Ready
  • Belvitas
  • Squishies
  • Multi-pack chocolate bars
  • Multi-pack crisps
  • Mints

These add barely any weight to your suitcase so don’t worry about them pushing you over your limit!

money saving at disneyland paris

DIY Tea & Coffee

Did you know, any food and drink store in the Disneyland Parks will give you a cup of hot water for free if you just ask? So we packed a bunch of coffee, latte, and tea packets - basically anything you don’t need to add milk to. Some places gave you bigger cups of hot water than others, e.g Cafe Hyperion gave us really tiny cups of hot water, but Fuente del Oro gave us large ones. I found most of the smaller snack stands throughout both parks that sold drinks gave you larger cups too. We also packed thermos flasks/mugs and transferred the hot water into these as they had better lids so we could pop them in our bags when going on a ride and know our drinks weren’t going to spill out! 

You can also ask for free cups of cold/ice water too (bottled water comes in at around €3.50) so why not pack a flavouring shot if plain water isn’t your thing? I kept a water bottle in my bag and filled up at the water fountains whenever I found one - note, they are hard to find! They can usually be found at the bigger, outdoor toilet blocks. 

Free drinks in the hotel

When checking in, a cast member told us that we had €4 worth of drinks on our room keys a day. We stayed at Disney’s Newport Bay so I don’t know if this is a perk at all Disneyland Paris hotels. On every floor near the lifts there was a drinks machine that dispensed a variety of coffees and hot chocolates. Each drink, though small, is only €1 and that includes the espresso shots! They don’t dispense tea or just hot water though - so ask for a kettle when you check in, they’re free too! 

money saving at disneyland paris

Prices based on location

We loved heading to the bar each night for a glass of wine and a chill, perfect after a day in the parks! A standard white wine came in at €6.50 in both Disneys Newport Bay and Disneys Hotel New York but, when drinking in the Disneyland Hotel one night, the same glass of wine was €7.50. You’re paying for the privilege of drinking in their fanciest hotel, and for us, the experience was worth it. It’s well worth keeping in mind if you’re on a really tight budget though! 


If, like me, you’re more experienced with the Walt Disney World photopass, then the Disneyland Paris one will be a bit of a disappointment and at €80, I just don’t think it’s worth it! Hands down, 90% of character meet and greets did not have a photo pass photographer, and all of the cast members who came with the characters were more than happy to take our phones and cameras and take pictures for us. I believe you can get some ride photos put onto your photo pass but honestly, how often do you ever look back on them? We just snapped the ones we liked on our phones, not the best quality but good enough for the rare times we look at them!

 Have you got any magical money saving tips?

Until next time, 

Monday, 13 November 2017

Winter Hand Saviours

winter dry skin hands tips

My hands take a battering year round, working in a laboratory for the day job, I find myself washing my hands about a million times a day (if only you could see some of the things I have to handle!). I constantly seem to be battling dry skin, cracked knuckles and creeping ivy cuticles, not to mention the fight I’ve been having with my nails this year being so brittle and downright pants! But when it comes to winter, all of those problems are hyped up tenfold! There are not enough layers of gloves it seems to protect these delicate digits. After much experimenting and lotion lathering I think I have finally cracked winter hand care problems! So, before your cuticles get you, here’s a run down of my winter hand saviours!

winter dry skin hands tips

Elemis Body Exotics hand & nail cream

These might be a little luxury but I love having them in my bag when I’m on the go. Not only do they smell amazing, but they’re a lovely, lightweight cream that leave my hands feeling like they’ve had a hug! I find they work really well on softening hang nails too. 

winter dry skin hands tips

Perfect Formula Pink Gel Coat

I discovered this in a Tili box and it has replaced my beloved Sally Hansen nail strengthener. A slightly pink tinted formula, not only does it give au natural nails a beautiful shine and hint of colour (think french manicure) but the strength it has put back into them in very noticeable. It recommends one coat, but I tend to do two, around twice a week when I’m not putting a colour on them. 

winter dry skin hands tips

Carex moisture plus hand gel

Doing the job I do plus working in a hospital means I am constantly reaching for the hand gel - it’s like I can see the germs dancing on the hand rails about the place. I find most are super drying but this Carex with added moisture is like slapping a moisturiser on at the same time. It dries in super quick so now wafting my hands about either. 

The Body Shop Almond nail & cuticle oil

I have been using this almond cuticle oil for years! If you’ve been around for a while this won’t be new to you! I swear by this cuticle oil. I usually use it once a day in the evening, just brushing a little on around each nail, give it a minute then rub the oil into the nail beds. When I’m painting my nails, I’ll pop the oil on and use the rubber tipped topper to push back my cuticles which keeps them from ruining the polish!

winter dry skin hands tips

Bee Good Intensive Hand Repair

Every night before bed I pop a pump of this onto my hands and work it in for a few minutes. It’s very thick and very stubborn but it’s worth the effort. This instantly nourishes and repairs any dry patches I have, especially my knuckles! I always notice my hands start to feel that tight, stretched feel when I forget to use it for a few days. 

How do you keep your hands in tip top condition through the winter months?

Until next time, 

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

From Page to Screen - the best and worst adaptations!

books turned into films

When it comes to reading, your imagination takes control. You imagine the characters, their hair, clothes, mannerisms, even the sound of their voice. And no matter how descriptive the author might be, you will always see things your own way. But when books are turned into movies and films, I often find myself really torn. If these page to screen adaptations haven’t come out looking, sounding, musically dancing around like I imagined in-between the pages of a favourite book, I’m always sorely disappointed. In turn, I find it often ruins the book for me too! But sometimes, sometimes they really get it right.

As great as it is to curl up with a good book, sometimes we want to get lost in the imagery on a big bright screen, like the 4K beauty that is the Panasonic Oled TV. I have discovered so many books through seeing the film first and am always amazed when, at times, the films actually turn out better than the books - but that doesn’t happen often! 

books turned into films

Here’s a quick run down of my good, bad and ugly when it comes to books that have been turned into movies!

Angelas Ashes - Frank McCourt

I remember being in my early teens when I picked this book up, I’m pretty sure I found it on the sale table in Wilkos. I was deeply obsessed with reading about poor, unfortunate kids and that sad little face staring out at me from the cover had me hooked. The book was a downright emotional rollercoaster, I’d never read about still births, miscarriages and dying children before and blimey, did it takes it’s toll. I remember shedding a few tears under the covers as I read late into the night. A film version starring Robert Carlyle and a very young, Devon Murray came out in 99’ and I was so excited. It’s was one of the first books I had read first before seeing the film and I had such a clear image in my head, of the kids, the parents, the setting. Everything. This was also my first introduction into the liberties and short cuts film makers take! The film was everything I didn’t want it to be. 

Book vs Film = Book wins!

The Notebook - Nicholas Sparks

Lets be honest, if you don’t cry at The Notebook film, who even are you? I have watched that film so many times and still, I cry my friggin eyes out! Like my emotion can somehow effect the outcome! I saw the film before reading the book, and, already well versed in book to film creations, I was expecting the book to hands down, blow me away. It didn’t. It had nothing to do with me knowing what was coming, the film really does mirror the book quiet well, right up until the end. Those last few pages were about as painful to read as the Harry Potter epilogue (don’t even get me started on that!). The plot naffed off to the pub and the book did it’s best to finish itself but failed miserably.

Book vs Film = Film wins!

The Five People you Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom

Oh this book! I went on a huge Mitch Albom binge for a few years and this was the first, and a tie for first place (Tuesdays with Morrie, you beautiful book you) book of his that I read, multiple times. It was such an interesting, heart warming and beautifully written read. I never actually knew there was a film version made until a few years later. On holiday in Florida, bad weather drove us indoors one night, so we went down to the main house on the complex to rent a DVD to watch that night. As soon as I saw this in the collection I had to watch it, all that love I had for the book came rushing back and I was beyond excited to relive those moments. The films wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. Very much a Lifetime afternoon TV movie, it was sweet, but after reading the book, it missed out on so many little moments and character interactions that I just couldn’t forgive it for.

Book vs Film = Book wins!

Me before You - Jojo Moyes

I was going to watch the film first but so many people told me to read the book first so I did. It got me. Oh it got me good style. I actually finished reading it in work one afternoon and had to hide in the loos for 10 minutes whilst I sobbed over the ending. I could probably count on one hand the books that have had such a heartbreaking effect on me and this was certainly one of them. Thinking I had cried all I could over the book, clever clogs me decided to watch the film on the plane to America last year. A mistake was made. About halfway through a huge lump formed in my throat and that was that. I sobbed away in the middle of the aeroplane cabin, barely able to see the final scene through my tears. 

Book vs Film = Tie!

Where Rainbows End - Cecelia Ahern

This was the first book by Cecelia Ahern I ever read and I have since, read everything she has written. Hands down, one of my all time favourite authors and this book, oh! I picked this up in the airport one year, intrigued by the premise and the style, a book written entirely in notes, emails, letters and text messages. I started it on the plane and couldn’t put it down. I remember being in Florida and actually looking forward to going back to the hotel during the day to carry on reading it. I was so wrapped up in the relationship of Rosie and Alex, if I wasn’t reading about the book, I was thinking about it, I even remember dreaming about it! Then, 10 years after publication, the film version, titled Love, Rosie came out. How do you take texts and emails and turn them into a visual film? Well you do, and you don’t. The film was good, I can’t deny that, I might have whimpered a little but the book, the book was something else. I found the two to be so different that I just can’t consider Love, Rosie an adaptation of such a beloved book. 

Book vs Film = Book wins! (Because the film just isn’t the book!)

books turned into films

Are you more of a book person or a film person? What’s one of your favourite page to screen adaptations?

Until next time, 

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Christmas Shopping at The Metquarter - Liverpool

christmas the metquarter liverpool

Yes. I am going to be that person who get’s all festive the day after Halloween. I see nothing wrong with that, and if you’re sitting down to read this, you don’t care much either! Christmas is fast approaching people, honestly I don’t think November even exists because it goes by so fast that bam it’s suddenly a week before Christmas and you have zero gifts ready to wrap and roll. 

I want to be on top of all the gift buying, wrapping and giving this year so I can fully enjoy the festivities without running around buying last minute gifts, so when the Metquarter wanted to showcase their Christmas goodies, I was eager to get some early gift inspiration!

christmas the metquarter liverpool

We all know how much I love a good notebook, but lately I’ve really been into functional notebooks, and these from Paperchase are right up my street. The 365 Happiness Journal is such a cute way to start a gratitude practice in the new year! It’s a two year diary so it’ll be really fun to look back on as you fill in the second year!

christmas the metquarter liverpool

Carluccios is offering up some extremely tasty treats on their festive menu this year, but hands down, the peppermint macaroons were fantastic! I’m obsessed with macaroons lately, they have become my go-to treat and I swear, anything that’s a Christmas edition just tastes all the more magical!

christmas the metquarter liverpool

I’m really loving the collections coming out from ChloBo over in Mococco, the bangles and bracelets are toeing the line between delicate and statement, designed as stackable, you can really personalise your stack and make it your own. Olivia Divine also has some beautiful pieces coming out for the Christmas season, the beaded bracelets being my favourite! Having tiny wrists, these types of bracelets, the ones on an elastic, always feel more secure but I they never look half as grown up as these beauties. 

christmas the metquarter liverpool

Of course, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a skincare gift set or two. Urban Calm has got you covered there with some fabulous sets on offer from Dermalogica. I tried out their oily skin care system a while back and it’s such brilliant value if, like me, you love trying a whole system from the same brand! Urban Calm also offer some fabulous pamper packages to get you through the holiday season and of course, some brilliant Christmas party prep packages to get you all glammed up under that mistletoe. 

christmas the metquarter liverpool

How early do you start your Christmas shopping?

Until next time,