29 September 2014

Rock 'N Roll Bride for Crown and Glory: Collection Favourites



Crown and Glory have been a favourite with bloggers for a while, and now they've joined forces with the fabulous Rock 'N Roll Bride to create a brand new collection.  So I couldn't resist taking a look and seeing what I could pick up!

Now you might see a bit of a theme here, as I've mentioned before, I have a thing for animal ear hair accessories, and basically anything Kawaii.  I have a LOT ( I keep meaning to do a post on them) so quite a few made it into my dream basket here.  These floral kitty (£25) ears are bright, girly and rather unique.

Of course I have included the Liberace Bunny Ears (£30.00) in black and silver, because they are sparkly, pretty, and black and silver go with everything!  I also love the fact the ears are on one side, I think they look rather fun!  For the same reason I've included the Liberace Kitty Ears (£30.00) again in silver and black.

Lastly the Liberace Heart Clip in silver (£15.00) can be worn either in the hair or as a broach and would really jazz up a casual outfit for day and night.  

Have you checked out the new collection yet?

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26 September 2014

Pink Parcel: The subscription box with a difference!


As I've mentioned before, subscription boxes are huge right now, but the down side is that there are so many now in the market that after a while they can all blur together.  So when I received this Pink Parcel at the Northern Blogger Meet it caught my attention because I'd never seen a subscription like it!

Now periods are a fact of life for us women and there not exactly what I would call fun, so anything that can improve that time of the month is a god send.  That's where Pink Parcel come in, it's a subscription box that tries to lighten up those day when we feel most down in the dumps.


No one wants to be caught short on their period, and there's no chance of that with Pink Parcel.  It arrives 5 days before your cycle and contains more then enough tampons to see you through, including a pouch so you can carry them on the go.  As I got mine from a blog meet I had a mixed pack but if you are setting up a regular subscription you can pick your regular brand and absorbency, so it's ready for you each month.


Then the best bit, you get a bunch of stuff to cheer you up.  This changes monthly but mine included a travel deodorant, femfresh, Maybelline bronzer, peppermint tea, Green and Black's chocolate and a W7 Tee-tree concealer.  All the products are things women reach for at that time of the month, which is a really nice touch.

A Pink Parcel subscription box is £9.95 a month, and £5.95 for your first month.

Have you seen any unusual subscription boxes?  Let me know, I'd love to find more!
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24 September 2014

Books of 2014: Part 7


So now I'm onto books 31-35!  My picture looks a bit bare this month as I've made a pact to try and read all the books I've been lent by the end of the year ( some I've had for years!) and two of these books were my sisters, which I've since given back to her.  On with the literature!


Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.
Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.
Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.
Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

This was a great holiday read and just up my street.  I had watched the movie version on Netflix a few months earlier so I already knew the plot but this didn't make me enjoy the book any less.  It was an easy read without being frivolous, it touched on important subjects and attitudes in a past time.  The characters are great, you really care and route for them in some cases, hate and scold in others.  There's a humour throughout that breaks up the serious tones and the connection really brings these characters out of the past.
****


Features a satirical indicement of military madness and stupidity, and the desire of the ordinary man to survive it. This work tells a tale of the dangerously sane Captain Yossarian, who spends his time in Italy plotting to survive.

I know some people love this book but it just wasn't for me, I couldn't really keep track of all the characters and not enough happened for my liking.  I did see the humour within it but I think I just missed the point.
**


Oscar Wilde and the Vampire Murders opens in 1890, at a glamorous party hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Abermarle. All of London's high society- including the Prince of Wales- are in attendance at what promises to be the event of the season. Yet Oscar Wilde is more interested in another party guest, Rex LaSalle, a young actor who claims to be a vampire.
But the entertaining evening ends in tragedy when the duchess is found murdered- with two tiny puncture marks on her throat. Desperate to avoid scandal and panic, the Prince asks Oscar and his friend Arthur Conan Doyle to investigate the crime. What they discover threatens to destroy the very heart of the royal family.
Told through diary entries, newspaper clippings, telegrams, and letters,Oscar Wilde and the Vampire Murders is a richly atmospheric mystery.

This is the third part of a five part series which I actually read the first two of years ago and only just got around to reading the rest.  These are perfect holiday reads for me, quick to read with an element of mystery and full of quotes from Oscar Wilde.  They are smart books without being overly complicated, and the sense of grandeur really helps whisk you away to another place.  This is a great edition to the series, I have to say I much prefer the ones set in London.
****


In 1892 Arthur Conan Doyle, exhausted by his creation Sherlock Holmes, retires to the spa at Bad Homburg. The first person he encounters is Oscar Wilde. When the two friends make a series of macabre discoveries amongst the portmanteau of fan mail Conan Doyle has brought to answer, the game is once more afoot.

This is the 4th book in the same series, again it's a fun easy read but I didn't love this one quite as much, which might be due to the unfamiliar setting, I'm not quiet sure.  I'd still recommend this series throughly.
***


Jack is five. He lives with his Ma. They live in a single, locked room. They don't have the key. Jack and Ma are prisoners.

I got through this book so fast!  I'd wanted to pick it up for a while when I actually received it in a blogger book swap!  It's written from the point of view of Jack which gives it really interesting and a unique view.  You really feel for them and I struggled to put it down, wondering what would happen next.  However near the end it lost it's strength (it's so hard to not give away spoilers!).

What's the last book you read?
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23 September 2014

TUK Shoes Wishlist


I have been a fan of TUK Shoes for a long time, ever since I was a teenager! I lusted over their creepers years before they came fashionable, and TUK were the only company that made them.  They may not be the cheapest shoes in the world but they stand out from the crowed and in my experience they are good quality, so if I had the funds, here's what I'd be throwing in my shopping basket.

I am defiantly a fan of the brogue trend and have been wanting a black and white pair for years, they just remind me of old movies and hollywood glamour!  These Anarchic Brogue Mary-Jane's £60.00 add a more robust twist to this look with their chunky soles and remind me of Doc Martin's.  

I actually have had these cat face Mary-Jane's in black twice and once in red!  I used to wear them to work at my old job, and I wore them to death!  I actually became known for them, so these Navy Polka Mary-Jane Sneaker Kitty Shoes ( RRP £55.00, currently £38.50) are possibly an even cuter version!  I am a sucker for a polkadot and as these are in the sales there's a chance these will end up coming home with me.

As I said, I am a fan of creepers, and along with every other vintage/ kitch lover I am very much behind mint green at the moment, so why not combine the two in these Mondo Hi Brothel Creeper in mint suede (£75.00).  Girly and punk!

These Black and White Polka Anarchic Mary-Janes (£70.00) are similar to the blue ones but black seem a bit more sensible.  Who knows, I might even be able to get away with these at my current office job!  Maybe not...

I've seen a few bloggers around wearing shoes similar to these Red Anarchic Brogue Mary-Janes (£60.00) and really liked them.  There girly yet practical and I defiantly think I could wear them with lots of different things.

Next these Mondo Hi Sole Silver Glitter Brothel Creepers ( RRP £65.00 currently £52.00) are simply here  because there is no reason anyone wouldn't want a glittery version of any shoe they like!

Heels wise I really like these Rocket Polka Dot Heels ( RRP £60.00, current price £48.00), they have a modern vintage heel and again, a way to show off my love of polka dots!

These Knotted Bow Mint Starlet Heels (RRP £50.00, £35.00) would go perfectly with one of my favourite Hell Bunny dresses from this OOTD Wedding Post, which I love to wear and the heel is chunky so despite them being a kind of high, I feel as if I could actually walk in them!  They also come in a variety of other pretty colours.  Beautiful shoes on sale are far too tempting!

Lastly, I am completely head over heels with these Bombshell Wingtip Heel in Navy Cream (£85.00).  They're really retro looking, there's a black and cream version in the sale but I much prefer these!  If only I could afford them!

Which is your favourite pair of TUK shoes?
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19 September 2014

Interview with Sarah Cake, Designer for Hell Bunny & Spin Doctor!


This is an idea I've been toying with for a while.  As most of you will know I am a huge fan of Hell Bunny and I had seen Sarah around facebook, but couldn't pluck up the courage to ask her for an interview.  I don't know why because she is honestly such a sweet person!  I finally took the plunge and was over the moon when she agreed to it!  I love Sarah's work, so without further adu, let's hear from the women herself!


First of all, can you give me a bit of a rundown on yourself and how you got to where you are!

I'm a designer/illustrator from London who has been working in house for Popsoda Ltd who run Hell Bunny & Spin Doctor. I've also been doing freelance artwork since 2012.Before Popsoda I went to uni at DeMonfort University and did a course in Illustration & Graphics . Once I graduated I then emailed lot's of different clothing companies to find a design job and eventually after lot's of disapointing responses Popsoda invited me for an interview & I began work experience at Popsoda Ltd which led to a full time job!
To be honest I've always thought designing clothing would be an amazing job since I was a little
girl, but I never had the confidence to follow through with trying to get into the area, I never did any clothing design or textile courses, I just always focused on illustration/graphics and luckily when I was 22 I just decided that I might as well try alternative clothing design & see what happens!
I'm afraid it's not very exciting ;) A typical work day is I go to the Popsoda studio 9am-6pm and then work my own artwork in the evening ,watch some TV series and snuggle with Toto my pet rabbit :P
but the good thing about working with Popsoda is that each day can be different, some days it's all designing/illustrating, fitting comments, then it's meetings, trade shows, but my favourite days have to be the photoshoots when you see your designs all finished!


When did you first decide you wanted to become a designer?
How did you first get involved with Hell Bunny/ Spin Doctor?
There's so much competition for creative jobs so I sent loads of emails to different alternative clothing companies saying how I'd like to learn how to design clothing and luckily Hell Bunny/Spin Doctor asked me to come in to visit them with my artwork and they gave me some work experience.

What drew you towards working with Hell Bunny?
Hell Bunny was the first clothing brand that I was REALLY interested in back when I was 16 and made me want to wear dresses haha. I loved how their clothing was mixed with lots of illustrations and quirky prints.

You are one of their newest designers, was is it hard to come into a brand that have such a strong established identity?
I have to admit I was in shock when they hired me, I was quite intimated seeing as I was working in a company that I've been a fan of for so long, but they were all really welcoming and I've learnt a stupid amount since I've been there. The head designer Steph has been an amazing "teacher" I guess you could say haha :) They believed in my artwork being suitable for the brand so that helped a lot.

What was the first thing you designed that went on sale to the public?
The first thing I designed for Hell Bunny was the Sugarskull pencil dress, I remember seeing it be released while I was on holiday and was so over the moon with everybody's responses. :)

Who would you say is your favourite designer and do they have any influence on your own work?
I wouldn't say I have any favourite clothing designers in particular but I have loads artists who I love and inspire me with my own work, for example Ella Mobbs who has opened up her own label recently & Kat Von D with all her successful projects and creativity they both motivate me to keep pushing myself, but I wouldn't say they influence my style.


Do you still find time to work on your own projects?
I work on freelance pieces for people at the weekends and have lot's of plans but I'm so busy so it is a bit of a struggle sometimes, but I love seeing projects finished so I try and keep squeezing them in. :)

Which of your own designs is your favourite?
I think my favourite clothing design I've done was the Ophelia dress for Spin Doctor, which I didn't even think I'd design seeing as it has no illustrations in it haha, but another one of my favourites is a collection that’s being released for Summer 2015, but sadly I can't tell you anything about that yet ;)

Have you ever had your work criticised? Do you have any advice for coping with it?
Oh yes! But I think anything creative you do your gong to experience criticism, it comes with the job haha, I just make sure I take in all the feedback, usually the criticism is constructive so I just use it to help me with my future designs!

Whats a typical day for you?
Do you have any tips for any budding designers out there?
The only advice you can really give is to just keep trying to get your artwork seen by companies and lots of people, somebody will see something in you and give you a chance, you just have to keep motivated and not give up.

Do you have any behind the scenes facts most people would be surprised to learn?
I think the only thing is that people don't realise that the prints/designs really are all designed in house by the Popsoda team, which is really nice that we all work closely on them together and the design team is only a few people so we have a lot to get ready for each season between us.

What influences your designs outside of clothing? Photographs, music etc?
I'm a massive fan of music ,all kinds & while I'm designing I'm always listening to music. I would say that music has the biggest influence on my illustrations to anything else & I think that shows in my artwork as I draw a variety of themes from cute & girly to creepy & Ghoulish. 

Don't forget to check out Sarah's facebook page.  You can also find her (and lot's of pretty dresses) in this video I found from Hell Bunny.


So what do you think to these interview posts? It's something I want to do more of so I would love to know your thoughts!  
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17 September 2014

OOTD- Lazy Sunday with Your Dreamcatcher


I've got to admit, I do love a lazy Sunday!  But even I have to admit there's something a little shameful about staying in your PJ's all day (not that it stops me!).  However getting dressed up for a relaxing day just doesn't feel right!  That's where Your Dreamcatcher step in, they make clothing that is not only comfortable but stylish too, so your not going to be embarrassed when you have to make a run to the shop!


I chose this off the shoulder top (£19.99)* because I love the unusual design and it can be worn in so many different ways.  It arrived quickly and I was impressed by how well it was packaged, it not only looked pretty but due to the scent pouch it smelt great too!  I love the little touches you get with small companies.

The top itself is really well made, I walked the dog in this and went a bit off route, even after getting covered in nettles and hit with spiky plants, it didn't get any pulls.  It was also really comfortable, you could wear it to sleep in or for a casual day out, I teamed it with natural make up and loose curls for my wonder around Yorkshire with the dog.

What's your favourite Your Dreamcatcher outfit?  

This item was sent to me for review, all opinions are my own and are completely honest 
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16 September 2014

Hot Topic Alternative Wish List


I first heard of Hot Topic when I was a teenager, it was the butt of many a joke on US TV, films and music, as being the place for mass produced alternative clothes.  If you were an alternative version of a hipster, this is where you would shop.  However when I actually finally visited a store on a trip to the US around 5 years ago I absolutely loved it, not only does it do alternative clothing brands but ton's of unique geeky pop culture clothes and accessories that you can't get elsewhere.  One of my favourite t shirts, a Transformers one, I got from there back and I still where it today.  More recently they have started doing lots of Disney related items so I fell in love with it even more, you can get plenty of stuff you can't get anywhere else, and I've been stalking the website for years.

So this wish list has a bit of a twist, I got the idea after seeing Bel's post, but then myself, Bel and Amy all decided to put together and do one big order between us!  So this is an alternative wish list of all the stuff I liked but didn't buy in the end.  No doubt I will be doing a haul post when it all finally arrives, I can't wait!

First of all these Beauty and the Beast sneakers ($24.50) are based on the famous stain glass windows from the film and are seriously detailed and beautiful.  This Sailor Moon Dress ($34.50) is cute and casual but I thought it might be a bit too costume-y.  Finally the striking image and colour in this Sleeping Beauty Maleficent stained glass dress ($34.50) is beautiful.

Then onto t-shirts, I really like the old school design on this Blink 182 t-shirt ($22.50) and it's so hard to find any Kingdom Hearts t-shirts ($22.50) like this one!  This rockabilly style top (which I now can't find, anyone know who makes it?) I love and would have defiantly bought if it wasn't out on my size.  Lastly, I flitted back and forth over these Alice in Wonderland tights ($14.50) but opted out because as much as I love them, I know they wouldn't suit my dumpy legs!  No one wants a stretched out looking Alice on their legs!

What's your favourite item from Hot Topic?
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13 September 2014

The Three by Sarah Lotz: Review


Black Thursday. The day that will never be forgotten. The day that four passenger planes crash, at almost exactly the same moment, at four different points around the globe.

There are only four survivors. Three are children, who emerge from the wreckage seemingly unhurt. But they are not unchanged.

And the fourth is Pamela May Donald, who lives just long enough to record a voice message on her phone.

A message that will change the world.

The message is a warning.

Wow, what a thriller!  This really did have me on the edge of my seat (or bed as that's my usual reading place!)  This book is both entertaining, believable (despite the premise being routed in the paranormal as well as other things) and most of all, really smart.

What I like the most about this book is the unique format.  It's sort of a book within a book, the chapters are made up of a mixture of articles and interviews, for a book entitles 'Black Thursday: From Crash To Conspiracy' that slowly and cleverly reveals details of the plot.  It's really well done and I would love to read more books like this in the future.  Considering the amount of mysterious elements in this story, this makes it seem real and believable, and leaves you trying to work out what really happened! 

Want to read this book?  Well it's part of my birthday giveaway, but you'll have to act fast, it ends on Monday!

This book was sent to me to review, all opinion are my own and comepletly honest
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12 September 2014

End of Summer Beauty Haul


Over the Summer I've picked up a few different bits and pieces from blog sales, online and the high street shops.  So I thought I'd share with you what I've been buying to cheer me up as the sun starts to go into hibernation.


This cream foundation is by Illamasqua in CF100, basically the whitest shade you can get!  This has actually been discontinued but I managed to pick it up from a blog sale for £10.  Now you might have noticed that my skin colour defiantly does not match this bright pure white, but I plan to test it out for more elaborate make up and as a base/ highlighter.  I've got some experimenting to do but maybe you'll see a post about it in the future.  I have to say I find the texture of this a little odd, and I'm not sure I love it.  It's sort of stiff and feels sort of like face paint.  However for what I want to use this for this should work pretty well, it also smells really sweet and lovely!


Another blog sale find, this is the Illamasqua highlighter in Gleam.  I can't remember exactly what I paid for it but I would guess it would be around the £10 mark.  I absolutly love this, it's become one of my favorite products.  It's perfect to give you a glow, especially during the summer, it's even taken the place of my trusty Benefit High Beam as my favourite highlighter.


I had been eyeing up some of Illamasqua's signature bright lipsticks for a while but I was unsure if it would suit me, plus lets face it, they're not colours can wear too often, so I didn't want to spend too much money.  That's how I discovered Make Up Revolution, I picked this similar shade to what I was looking for, for just £1.  It's takes a bit of building but for the price I really can't complain.


I had been looking for the 'perfect' yellow shadow for months, but couldn't pick between two shades by my favourite brand Sugarpill.  I then discovered Sleek had a colour that looked great, and it was much cheaper at only £2.99!  However, when I tested this, it wasn't for me.  It's doesn't apply well and so it's hard to get a good colour payoff.


While I was on the Sleek website I picked up their contour kit.  I hadn't tried contouring before and I'd heard good things about this set, and I have to say I love it!  It's well worth the £6.49 and great if your just starting out, or an old pro.


Next Illamasqua were having a 20% off sale on their website, so I took the opportunity to get my Skin Base foundation while I could as it's not the cheapest!


I also saw that Cyberdog were having a sale, and as I didn't splash out on any of their clothing I took full advantage of them stocking Sugarpill instead.  First picking up this yellow shadow in Hi-Viz, to make up for my disappointment with Sleek.  The photo's don't do it justice but it's much finer and has silver sparkles throughout, it's a beautiful pot.


This purchase of Tiara was a bit of an accident, as I was taking advantage of the Cyberdog sale for Hi Viz this also made it's way into my shopping basket.  But let's face it, silver goes with everything and i's defiantly going to come out on my cyber goth nights!  It's such a high pigment, I don't think anything can compare!


This Laura Mercier Lipstick in Margarita I actually won in a competition from Lipcot.  I was expecting it to be an orange shade but it's actually a beautiful red, I really like this and it's definitely going to get some use!


While I've been practicing my contouring I was struggling without using an angled brush, I've been looking for one for months when I stumbled upon this in Poundland of all places!  And, it works great!  Who would have thought!


Lastly, something I picked up on Cohorted, this bottle of setting spray from Urban Decay.  I've been wanting to try this out for ages so it will be tested fully next time I go clubbing.

What's your favorite out of the bunch?

Kariss xx
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10 September 2014

What is a blogger?


I write a blog, so by definition that makes me a 'blogger', but this can have some mixed connotations.  Some people love the title, others do anything to avoid it, and everyone seems to have a different definition of what it is.  So I thought why not go the technical route and ask google some questions.  What are the most popular results when we ask google about blogging!


 Apparently, blogging is dead.  Has it passed it's peak?  It's defiantly gone mainstream but I don't think it is any way dead.  In fact I think the wider world is just really starting to tune in!  I would agree that it's fun, and at times it is hard work, but racing?!?


This is actually the funniest!  We are annoying stupid idiots who are defiantly not journalists!  Glad we go that clear!


Bloggers do it better, obviously!  Apparently we need sweatshirts to let everyone know, and who wouldn't want to see bloggers cute dogs?


Well, so far, I haven't made a cent, and I'm not trying to.  Some people are lucky enough to make this their jobs, but that's only a few.  If your starting a blog to make money your probably in it for the wrong reasons.


I think this shows the biggest change in the way blogs can be used.  Most businesses now have blogs and this has become a popular marketing tool, I don't think may people would have predicted this.

So there you have it.  What is blogging to you?  And what makes a blogger?

Kariss xx

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9 September 2014

Books of 2014: Part 6


Another delve into my shelves as I talk about what I have read so far this year, with books 26-30.  My Goodreads reading goal for this year was 30 books so I'm really happy I've passed this fairly easily (as I write this I have actually read 37!)

Equal Rights by Terry Pratchett

"They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance."
The last thing the wizard Drum Billet did, before Death laid a bony hand on his shoulder, was to pass on his staff of power to the eighth son of an eighth son. Unfortunately for his colleagues in the chauvinistic (not to say misogynistic) world of magic, he failed to check that the baby in question was a son. Everybody knows that there's no such thing as a female wizard. But now it's gone and happened, there's nothing much anyone can do about it. Let the battle of the sexes begin..


This was my third delve into the Discworld series, and the first without the familiar characters of Rincewind.  Pratchett is once more completely on point with his characters, I don't know many other authors who can create such unique characters and make them so likeable within so many short pages, and this is why this story is so strong for me.  It approaches modern issues such as sexism in a different and funny way, without being in anyway offensive.  Also I find this setting much more understandable, in some fantasy I can get lost, (my first ever post was about just this) but with this I didn't struggle.  I don't know if this is because it suits me better or because his writing had improved as the series went on.  Either way, this is one of my favourites so far and I am very much looking forward to the next in the series, however none of them has completely blown me a way just yet.
***



Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin

Rosemary Woodhouse and her struggling actor-husband Guy move into the Bramford, an old New York City apartment building with an onimous reputation and only elderly residents. Neighbours Roman and Minnie Castavet soon come nosing around to welcome them and, despite Rosemary's reservations about their eccentricity and the weird noises she keeps hearing, her husband starts spending time with them. Shortly after Guy lands a plum Broadway role, Rosemary becomes pregnant and the Castavets start taking a special interest in her welfare.

As the sickened Rosemary becomes increasingly isolated, she begins to suspect that the Castavet's circle is not what it seems.



I don't own a copy of this because a girl from work was nice enough to lend it me.  This was really nice as I knew nothing about this book before I started it and it was quite refreshing.  The book itself is a fascinating thriller, I guessed some of the things that were going to happen but this didn't spoil it for me at all.  It was really interesting seeing the safety of a home in the delight of having a new born child turn so chillingly.  A real domestic thriller.
***



Kidnapped by a handsome man with rabbit ears, Alice Liddell finds herself abandoned in an odd place called Wonderland and thrust into a "game," the rules of which she has yet to learn. Alice, ever the plucky tomboy, sets off to explore and get the lay of this strange land, intent on finding her rude kidnapper and giving him a piece of her mind (and her fist). But little does she know that she's wandered right into the middle of a dangerous power struggle involving just about all of Wonderland's attractive, weapon-happy denizens. And the only way for Alice to return home is to get acquainted with the lot of them?! How in the world will she manage that and still manage to stay alive?!

This was the first book I read as part of the 2014 Booktubeathon, it was a good choice because it was a fast read and really enjoyable.  I hadn't read any manga in years so I was a little warey but I absolutly loved this.  I thought it was going to be a re telling of the traditional Alice in Wonderland story however it isn't.  It's much darker and creepyer, and the story is really fasinating, an edge of our seat ride.  I'm looking to picking up the rest in the series.
****


Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair any more - she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It's not so easy for Cath. She's horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she's experienced in real life. Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. She's got a surly room-mate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words ...And she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone. Now Cath has to decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she's realizing that there's more to learn about love than she ever thought possible.

Another booktubeathon read,  and Rainbow Rowell has done it again.  This is probably one of my favourite reads so far this year, I related to the main character quite a lot.  I too have been that obsessive fan girl with embarrassing geeky hobbies, and I am a bit of an introvert.  It's YA so it's a light easy read but still interesting and fun!
****



In this, his most famous story, Franz Kafka explores the notions of alienation and human loneliness through extraordinary narrative technique and depth of imagination. Gregor Samsa awakens one morning to find himself transformed into a repulsive bug. Trapped inside this hideous form, his mind remains unchanged—until he sees the shocked reaction of those around him. He begins to question the basis of human love and, indeed, the entire purpose of his existence. But this, it seems, is only the beginning of his ordeal. Franz Kafka is one of the most prominent figures of 20th-century literature; his work, much of which was published posthumously, includes The Trial and The Castle.

I studied the theatrical version of this and university so I expected to like this more then I actually did.  The story itself still had the same essence but it just didn't have the same effect on me.  I did feel really sorry for the main character however.  The main story is super short but the extra stories along side it really dragged it down.  It worked out as an average read and I think I would have disliked it more if it had been a longer story.
***

What have you been reading lately? 
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5 September 2014

#Northernbloggermeetup


 Last weekend I was lucky enough to attend the Northern Blogger Meet Up, it was the biggest blog event I have ever attended with over 50 bloggers attending!  I thought that would be pretty intimidating but luckily I got sat with lots of really friendly people so I instantly felt at ease!


The venue itself, Eten, was lovely, considering I've been to Sheffield regularly since I was a teen I'd never really noticed it.  It's tucked away near the cathedral and although it looks small it's actually pretty big inside.  We had our own private room upstairs and the food I had was pretty good.  It's a great place to grab lunch if your in town.


We had plenty of time to relax and chat throughout the day and soon enough Lush had arrived to give us a demonstration and a talk.  The guys were really friendly and enthusiastic, honestly some of the best brand representatives I've ever met!  Now I already liked Lush but now I LOVE it!  I guess I was always a little sceptical about their ethos, but now I know more and it's great to know how passionately their believes are and how far they run through the company.  We got a lovely goodie bag from them, mine contained the Sex Bomb bath bomb (and old favourite), Zest, their new hair jelly (which smells so fruity!) and a sample of I Love Juicy shampoo (which I am really excited to try).  I am also now desperate to visit their Lush Spa in Leeds, if anyone has a spare £200!

Next it was on to the raffle, all proceeds went to charity and I won a hair product to try and fix my damaged hair! 



After a few technical hiccups the girls from Benefit arrived, it's a little crazy to believe they came to meet with us!  The girls were lovely and down to earth, and very knowledgeable of their products and brand.  They did a make up demonstration ( I was very jealous) and of course the results were fabulous!  They were also nice enough to give us goodie bags, containing a They're Real Mascara (which is my absolute favourite) and the new They're Real Eyeliner (which I'v been dying to try).  I know people had been having some issues with this liner but the girls gave a really comprehensive demonstration on how to use it so I will defiantly be giving it a go soon.


Before I knew it we were heading home with the biggest gift bag I had ever seen.

I want to say a huge thank you for all the girls who organised this, it was such a huge undertaking and I am real grateful, and of course to all the brands involved who were nice enough to give us such amazing products to try out.  And lastly, to all the amazing bloggers I met for being so dam nice!

Kariss xx
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