Happy Halloween!

Saturday, 31 October 2015

I'm not usually one for Halloween because it was just never the done thing in my house. I have done things for it over the years though. This year however I'm going my best friends Halloween party which also doubles as a launch party for her events business. I'm so excited for all the costumes, decorations and of course, the drinks! 

 I hope you all have a safe and spooktacular evening! 

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My ASOS saved items

Sunday, 25 October 2015

ASOS is my favourite place to shop online and even though I know I need to branch away and shop on other stores I can't help but still add things to my save for later basket. With pay day being a couple of days away I thought I would show some of the things I plan to pick up!

1. Yumi Bird Print Dress with Fluted Sleeves - This is something I think would be lovely for work. I like wearing dresses that have a simple cut and a cute pattern, I feel like it looks like you've put a lot of thought in to your outfit but really you haven't. I love the colour, it's a bit out there for me but I hope it suits me! 

2. YRU Luna Animal Slipper Shoes - This is something that's not very me and I don't really tend to wear a lot of flats, but I thought these were soooo cute and will just spice up my normal outfit of black trousers and a black jumper. 

3. Brave Soul Longline Jumper With Side Zips - I think this is another one that's perfect for work. I could also wear it when I'm not at work for just a casual day. I love the zip detail down the end and the colour. 

4. ASOS Denim Girlfriend Jacket in Black - I haven't bought a denim jacket in years but I love the way this looks on the model, it looks much nicer when it's left open. I really love the colour of this and I'm hoping it suits me as I can see it just topping off a lot of my outfits and making it look like I tried. 

5. b.Young Hills Printed Trousers - This is something I thought I could wear for work and for when I'm out and about. I typically don't tend to wear printed trousers because I feel they bring more attention to my thighs but I think they are a great way of jazzing up an outfit. I love the line that this has running down the sides, it gives it such a lovely casual look. 

6. ASOS Smart Front Bar Detail Backpack - I'm in need of a new bag and I love the colour and the gold bar on this one. I don't really like backpacks because I don't feel like they are very safe, so as much as I like this I'm not sure if I should actually get it. But it is lovely and comes in black too! 

7. ASOS Large Face Sunray Dial Watch - This is just such a gorgeous watch and I love that the background is a rose gold colour. Sadly this watch is sold out :(  That's the only sad thing about putting things in your saved for later bag - you come back and most things are out of stock! 

8. ASOS Coat with Dropped Pephem - This coat is so so lovely! It's not something I'd typically go for as it's pink and has a peplum style but I think it's just so different and really cute. I don't think it will suit me, but I'm definitely willing to try it on. 

9. Influence Elephant Print Sleeveless Skater Dress - I love the print on this dress and I love myself a skater style dress, I think it flatters my body shape. This also has a lovely back, so if I was to wear it to work I'd wear a jumper to cover it up, which is good because it's that time of year! It would also be great for summer. 

So these are some of my bits in my basket - I can't wait to place my order and see what I end up keeping! I'd love to film a haul video, so maybe watch this space! I hope every had a wonderful weekend :) 

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Book Review: Me Before You

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

There's one thing I haven't done in nearly a year and half and this is write a book review. To be honest I made a conscious decision to stop doing them because they take a long time to execute. I think with book reviews you really need to structure your content well and it's just not something I'm great at. I also don't read that many books that make me think 'wow, I really want to write a review on that.'

I did however read Me Before You this month and I just loved it so much. I thought it was beautifully written and I could really relate to Will, although I still have all my limbs functioning it was Will's thoughts about life and his choice to die that I felt I really could relate to. So for that reason I thought I would write a semi review, whilst talking about why I personally found that I had to write something about this book. I want to see if I can bring to light some parallels between his story and my own battle with mental illness and suicide/assisted suicide. Warning: This does contain spoilers. 

Title: Me Before You
Author: Jojo Moyes
Genre: Fiction, Romance,
Length: 481 pages
Publisher: Michael Joseph (UK)
Publish Date: January 5th 2012
Format: Paperback

What's it about?
Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.
from Jojo Moyes' website

My thoughts
I put off reading this book for so long because really I had no idea what it was about, I knew it was hugely popular but I hadn't read anything about the actual storyline. When I did find out what it was about, it didn't really scream out to me as something I should pick up immediately. I ordered this from Amazon at the end of September because I wanted a change from my typical reading genre.

I’ll start off by saying that I love how this is written and that it isn't all clich├ęs or completely unrealistic. This book really sunk its teeth in to me and every time I stopped reading it I still found myself thinking about it. It's been a looooooong time since a book has done that for me. When I was younger this used to happen all the time, I'd carry all the characters with me, and this was what made me love reading. This book hooked me in and I found myself naturally wishing what everyone else probably did – that Will would change his mind. For me it was interesting to see Lou take on the challenge of trying to get Will to change his mind and Will explaining about how life was for him and why he wanted to make this choice. It was at this point that I realised that I knew exactly how Will felt.

Now I won't pretend that Will's condition is anything like mine, but what really touched me throughout the book was Will's decision to die. I think with a lot of terminal illnesses these thoughts prop up, but I've never read anything surrounding the situation in any great detail. Will's reasons stuck a chord with me because in so many ways they are similar to the thoughts that went through my head on a number of occasions.

The thing with life is once you see it in a certain way; people's words and premonitions about how it gets better are just futile. I truly believe that unless you're in a person’s shoes you can't possibly know that it will get better. Oh I know it's cynical for me to say and I wish to god it weren't true, but we all don't live the same life and want the same things and the mind is just such a complicated thing. It was of course possible for Will to change his mind-set and readjust to living in a wheelchair, but would have made him happy? It is of course possible for me to readjust my mind-set and want different things from life, but honestly it doesn't make me happy most of the time. I feel like I'm just going through the motions. The thing is changing your mind-set will probably only work for so long because there is still that other part of you that knows life is and should be better than this. Will was used to being an active person and with his accident he couldn’t do anything that he used to be able to do or wanted to do. I think until you're actually faced with something that limits your ability to live your life to the fullest, you just don't quite get it. There are SO many things that I want to do but can’t.

I know life is not a colourful rainbow for everyone, but with depression it is incredibly bleak. Even in my "recovered" state I still do not possess that enthusiasm for life that everyone else seems to have around me. Whilst I no longer want to die, there are days that I no longer want to be alive, and yes, there is a difference. I will never again make an attempt on my life, but this book struck such a chord with me because I thought finally maybe it's not only depressives that feel this way. That's probably very obvious to some, but I am of the belief that most people around me seem to love living life even faced with horrid illnesses and situations. The book highlighted to me that perhaps this feeling that spans across other illnesses and there is justification for wanting to end your life. It's never a decision that is made lightly and I think everyone should have the right.

I also emphasised with Lou because well duh I have emotions (a hell of a lot of them), we all want the people we care about to be around us and enjoy their life. It was touching to see what lengths she went to do make Will feel like he should change his mind, and in so many ways I'm reminded of how my friends and family encourage me when I'm nearing a very dangerous place. I of course know that none of this is easy for anyone and for most people it's hard to contemplate that someone would make this decision. I thought Lou's character was very well written and she just had all the right emotions for someone who went through what she did.

If you can't tell already I loved this book, not only for the story but the writing, I didn't feel that it lacked anything or over described anything. I think Moyes must have researched the topic very well and you can tell she really thought about her characters as humans. The book takes place over a 6/7 month period and I think the page length of the actual book is perfect. I don't feel that anything went on too long, or that some of the things featured in the book were just there to bulk it up. Every chapter felt well thought out.

So to summarise, I think everyone should read this book. I cannot wait for the film to come out and when I finish some of the books on my list I'll definitely be picking up After You, which Moyes wrote due to people wanting to know what happened to Lou after.


5 out of 5

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Ole Henriksen - 3 Little Wonders Kit Review

Monday, 12 October 2015

Ole Henriksen 3 little wonders mini gift set*
I was fortunate to be sent this little trio to trial by the lovely ladies over at Escentual. I’m already familiar with some of the products from Ole Henriksen and I reviewed some earlier this year on Ole Henriksen ‘The Full Works’ review

 The gift set I received actually contained two products that I had already used and they were both two products I really loved! The whole point of this was to try and transform your skin in 7 days. I started on the 27th of September so I'm well over my 7 days and so I thought I'd share my results. 

As I mentioned when I previously reviewed this, I absolutely love the smell of this serum. It smells like chemical oranges, so so good. This a water based serum and it absorbs into the skin pretty quickly. It's a anti-aging product so I can't really comment about how well it worked sadly! One thing I did like and think it was the combination of this and the moisturiser, but the dry patches of skin starter to disappear from my face when I started using this. For some reason since coming back from holiday my skin has been incredibly tight and dry and this seemed to insert some sort of moisture back in to it. 

I love this moisturiser. It says it can be used for all skin types but I think if you're oily you'll like this especially. It's so light weight, but incredibly hydrating. It's also supposed to combat dark spots, but as it's not something I've trialed for long I can't comment on that. I will say though that it's a fab moisturiser!

I was really excited to try this but I really don't think it did much for my skin. It's hard to judge because I don't feel like 7 days is enough for something like an AHA to take full effect and show you dramatic results. Also with these sorts of things, the minute the pot is opened they start to lose their potency, so really I don't feel like I can give this a proper proper review. I do love the fact that I got this though because after were up I was using this every other day and then my Paula's Choice BHA, I haven't seen much of an improvement to skin texture - but it's a work in progress.

Overall I did see an improvement to my skin and this I think was mainly due to the serum and moisturiser, they both really worked together to hydrate my skin and restore it back to a semi acceptable (hey it didn't give me flawless kin) level of good skin.

*Disclaimer: This was sent to me but I wasn't asked or paid to review it - I just thought I'd share!

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5 recipes I've tried and loved

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

I am a foodie through and through, although I'm the foodie kind that doesn't touch seafood or fish. My favourite thing after eating is cooking. I can't bake to save my life, but cooking, cooking I can do and most of the time it's very therapeutic for me. I love changing up recipes and seeing what the end result is, typically with cooking I always end up feeling like I've achieved something so that's why it's such a good thing for me.

Over the years I've found some good recipes from the net and I can't believe I've never shared them on my blog or just generally talked about my love for food. So I've rounded up my top 5 used recipes and talked about any adaptation I've made and how easy they are to make.

This recipe is divine. I love creamy tomato sauces when it comes to pasta and so when I stumbled across the picture of this I thought I'd found the perfect one. When I found it it was a red pepper sauce I was like "huh?" but I still wanted to give it a go because it had cream and cheese and looked amazing. I actually use soya "cream" or lactofree cream when I make this recipe, because I can't stomach normal cream. This recipe is just so so good, so if you're after an alternative to a creamy tomato sauce this is your best bet. I've made this about 3 years ago (I was in my final year of uni) and it's still a firm favourite. It takes a bit of time with roasting the peppers and then blending it, but it's so worth it.

Oh my goodness, this recipe just made me love making meatballs from scratch. I don't actually make the sandwich part, I just make the meatballs to use with spaghetti. I actually don't include Italian sausage because for some reason I could never find it, and then I gave up trying. These meatballs are so bloody tasty. Every time I've made them my brother has just snapped them up because they just contain the right amount of flavour, they're not dry and the ricotta gives it a lovely taste. I made some of these on the weekend and even ended up adding feta and mozzarella to the recipe just because I had them in my fridge. I make a simple tomato sauce of peeled plum tomato, tomato puree, chilli flakes and seasonings that I have in my cupboard. The only long part of this is making the mixture into balls and then browning them.

I love M&S food, they have such a wide variety of salads and basically everything else. I love their microwave superfoods and the red and white quinoa one. This recipe incorpartes that and you through in some other bits and then you have yourself a nice and fulfilling salad. I don't like avocado so I don't use it, but aside from that I love everything else this includes and sometimes I just add whatever is lying around in my fridge. It's so simple and easy to throw together.

This is a lighter version of the meatballs I posted above. Turkey is leaner than chicken and the mixture doesn't involve as much cheese, and generally basically all the ingredients are halved in this recipe. I love the use of the basil in the tomato sauce, it gives it a really lovely flavour which helps as turkey isn't the most flavourful of meat.

Such a simple dish and I actually stumbled across this when I basically had all the same ingredients and just wanted a recipe for a simple home made sauce. I looked in my Pinterest foooood! board and found this recipe about two months ago. It's so lovely and light and just perfect for when you want to make a stir fry, also if you have curry powder and you add it to this it's jut yummy! I made this to go over rice and even my brother loved it. It's such a simple dish to make, honestly just like making a normal stir fry but taking 3mins extra to make your own sauce - flavourful and healthy! 

Img credit: 1|2|3|4|5


So those are my top 5 that I've tried and tested. I have SO many bookmarked and so many saved in my Pinterest board so make sure you check it out, to get some inspiration. If you have some favourite recipes to share please leave them below - I'd love to see them!

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October Book List

Sunday, 4 October 2015

This month I read two very different books and rekindled my love for reading. Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi was a great read, she's an author that creates real lives right in front of you. All of these chaaracters felt so real, like people you would actually come across in life. The book is about the split of a family after their father leaves, and in the book it brings up an interesting point of black men and their families, it is not in anyway judgmental though. This book was a treat to read and I loved weaving through the pages of this one. I started Shoot the Damn Dog by Sally Brampton and loved it so so much. She's a wonderful writer and I don't think I've ever read a more acute description of what depression is like. I love the way she writes and her story into depression and into recovery was very interesting. I'm still in the process of reading How You Can Talk to Anyone in Every Situation but I am really enjoying it so far. 

So with that out of the way it's time to get on to this months books! This month I've decided to go for a varied genre in my book list. I picked up two books that were in my bookmarks and then one that had a lot of publicity early this year/last year. My amazon book list was looking pretty samey (all depression related), so I thought I would delve into other topics for October. It's that time of year when it gets cold and meh anyway, so what better way than to cheer yourself up with a book!

Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill - I saw this book being advertised on Twitter by Quercus Books and when I read the blurb for it I was intrigued. It’s not the sort of things I would typically read. I’ve read 1964, and Margret Atwoods ‘The Handmaids Tale’ is in my ‘to-read’ list but generally dystopian books don’t really rank highly on my list. This for some reason pulled me in and I suspect because it’s also classed as young adult because it’s about two teenage girls, who are born in a time where women are bred for men. I’m just intrigued to see what this whole thing will be about. Plus the author won the Bookseller YA book prize.

Low Expectations by Elizabeth Aaron - This book was also one I found from following Quercus on Twitter and it sounded right up my street! I love books like this that just talk about drunk single women who have all sort of funny trouble with life and men, because it’s me and my friends in a nutshell. The protagonist in this book is 24 (same age as me, so I wanted to read it even more), lives in London and is working her way up in the fashion world. I think it will be similar to books like The List and Pear Shaped.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes - The final book is one that was advertised quite a bit last year and I thought yeah I should read that, so I’ve just added it to my list. The book is about two very different people who end up in each other’s life due to chance circumstance, it then goes on about how their relationship develops. And yadda yadda they change each other’s lives. It’s even getting made into a film next year, so very popular!

What books are you reading this month? If you have any suggestions for horror/Halloween themed books let me know, even though I won't read it until next month I 'd still like to read some.

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