30 January 2015

Ru Paul Inspired Pink and Yellow Make Up


About once or twice a month I go to an industrial club night, for me this has become a chance to dress up and experiment with make up.  Over the last couple of years I have started to become more comfortable with what I'm doing, but that is after many years of looking like a car wreck!  I think the important thing is just to enjoy playing, and be brave enough to try something different.  This is one of my more 'normal' club looks but I actually ended up pretty happy with it.  I think one of the main things I have learn't is not to over plan and just go with it.  Make it up as you go, and if something isn't working out for you, just change and own it!

A few months ago in the midst of a Ru Paul's Drag Race marathon a look that really caught my eye, pink and yellow eye make up.  It's such a beautiful combination and I don't know why I hadn't thought of it before ( drag queens are my biggest make up inspiration these days).  So with this in mind (and after months of hunting down the perfect yellow) I put together this look inspired by Ru.

Now, I didn't want to do a step by step process because there are plenty of bloggers who do that kind of thing far better then I ever did.  I'm still learning and I don't think I have anything revolutionary to share just yet, but I thought I''d show what I used.

Base
Simple Clear Skin Oil Balancing Moisturiser ( £4.27) I love Simple for basic skincare and this moisturiser I one of my faves.
Benefit The Porefessional Primer (sample) I've never needed to buy this as I've got  few samples that have lasted me a while.  I own a few different primers, this included, and none of them have blown me away.  
Illamasqua.com Skin Base Foundation (£32.00) I love this foundation, it dragged me away from MAC and it's perfect for us girls that have an olive/yellow skin tone.  This is great for a day or night time look too, I usually add it with a stipple brush.

Concealer
Mac Cosmetics Studio Finish Concealer (£15.50) I recently did a post on my two Mac concealers  so you can see more about my thoughts on these there.  This one I mainly use on my blemishes and occasionally on my under eye if I feel I need it.
Mac Cosmetic Matchmaster Concealer (£17.00) I use for my under eye but I'm still not sure about it.

Contour, Highlight and Blush
Sleek Face Contour Kit (£6.49) I am still learning my way round contouring but the contour part of this kit is really good, the highlight in it isn't so great.
Illamasqua Cream Foundation in 100 (£26.00) I picked this up in a blog sale and honestly, it's probably the thing that's changed my make up he most.  Simply put, it's amazing, it can be used for so many different things.  It's the perfect highlight for me, I use it on my brow bone, and on the top of my cheek bones as a base and it makes a world of difference.  Unfortunately it's now been discontinued so I don't know what I'll do when it runs out!
Benefit High Beam (£17.50) used on my brow bone and on the top of my cheek bones for a light shimmer.
Glitter was also used on my brow bones and cheek bones just because I felt like it, it's the greatest glitter ever and it's just some I got free with a Tinkerbell DVD years ago.
Bourjois Cream Blush in 3 (£7.99) my new favourite blush!  It looks so youthful.

Eyes
Sugarpill Birthday Girl Loose Eyeshadow ($13.00) used for the crease.
Sugarpill Decora Loose Eyeshadow ($13.00) for the lid.
Sugarpill Hi-Viz Neon Pigment ($16.00) for the inner corner.  Then basically just blend and go with it!  I'm a huge fan of Sugarpill, it makes my life so much easier because the pigment is incredible, the right brushes to bend also make all the difference.
Sugarpill Storm False Eyelashes ($7.00) The best eyelashes I've ever tried.
Ardell LashGrip Strip Eyelash Adhesive (£4.99) this has changed the way I feel about false eyelashes!  It makes them so easy to apply and they don't ping off at all!
Billion Dollar Brows Universal Brow Pencil (£17.00) I was given this at a blog meet and it's amazing!  It's changed my eyebrows and it's so much better then the Benefit stuff I was using.

Lips

So there you have it, I topped it of with space buns and lots of glitter.  What do you think?

28 January 2015

What's in My Bag?


Remember way back in 2006 when 'what's in my bag' tags on Youtube and Livejournal were all the rage?  Yeah well don't let anyone say my blog isn't current and bang on trade!  I've never been tagged in one of these, even in all these years, but I'd be dammed if I'm going to let that stop me!

This is the bag I take to work with me everyday, which is why it's so full of junk!  It's a Cath Kidston bag I got for my birthday last year.  To be honest it's much more suitable for the summer but I can't afford to get another, I would really like a polkadot one though.  

I normally fit all this and my lunch in my bag, it's surprising how much this little bag holds!  So, here's what I keep in my bag!

Random junk notes: My memory is awful so I always have random notes floating around.

Panda Notebook Again because of my bad memory,  I mainly use this to store blog ideas, and it's super cute!

Paperback book I always have a paperback with me to read on the bus on the way to and from work, and on my lunch if I get the chance, this is actually how I get most of my reading done these days.  This particular book is Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Alice in Wonderland Diary You might remember this one from my Goals of 2015 post, it's beautiful!  Unfortunately it's so beautiful I haven't dare write in it yet....

Vinnie's Tampon Case I ordered this from the US years ago because I figure of your going to carry tampon's around with you, you may as well carry them in something cool!  This has a retro 1950s style, so obviously I love it.

Allergy Tablets I have recently discovered I am allergic to alcohol, I carry these in my bag so I know where they are if I fancy a tipple.

Polkadot Umbrella It's from New Look and it's got frills and a curled handle and everything.

Panda Coin Purse An old ebay find, I do have a huge Alice in Wonderland purse (which isn't in this photo for some reason) but it's hard to get coins out of it, so I carry both.

Mini Cath Kidston Hand Cream A Christmas gif from my boyfriends parents, smells really refreshing.

Cherry Lipsil This is pretty self explanatory, but this one has polkadot packaging so I need it obviously.

Hair Clips These things get everywhere, unless I actually need one!  

Old Train Tickets Usually in use as a bookmark because I don't clean my bag out enough.

A flashing LED light This is the inside of a toy I won on a 2p machine, flashing colours brighten up everyones day so here it stays.  

Blog Cards 'Just in case', I've never had a reason to carry these to work with me but you never know.

German Plane Ticket I was at the Frankfurt Book Fair a few months ago with work and forgot I still had the ticket with me.

Halo Deodorant and Hand Wipes I was given these at London Pride last year and they are really handy for keeping in my bag, again, just incase.

A Spoon Incase you need to kill someone with a spoon....or for eating Muller light yoghurts.

Ipod Plug I have no idea why this is there to be honest....

Robinson's Juice on the go thingy I can't drink water without some kind of dilute pop in so these things are amazing for me.

Weekly Bus Pass Also known as paying a fortune to be angry twice a day and frustrated that I can't drive yet.

Face Cream The good thing about samples is they are perfect for your bag!

IPod With no charge, I keep forgetting, which is strange considering I didn't used to do anything without it not so long ago.  I'm getting old.

Starbucks Card A present from my parents, there isn't one near me so I'm not sure why I carry this with me.

Book Stickers To help me keep track of book quotes if I've been sent a book to review.

Staff Card Usually at the bottom of my bag, a champion of stealth

So there you have it, what's the strangest thing you have in your bag?

26 January 2015

The Vintage Kilo Sale, Sheffield


A couple of weekends ago I was looking for a reason to have a shopping trip and a catch up with my friend Abi, luckily the guys from The Vintage Kilo Sale told me they were heading into Sheffield soon, so I decided to combine the two.

Now Abi is the best and worst friend to go shopping with!  She is a complete enabler, look interested in something and next thing I know I'm at the counter with my bank card in hand, she can be very persuasive!  So this event was perfect, unlike a normal shopping trip everything here is valued by weight, you pay literally by the kilo, and at only £15 per kilo we had our bargain hunting heads on!


These events are run by the same people who run the popular Judy's Vintage Fair's, so you know they will be quality items for sale.  The Sheffield event was held in A New Shop but they tour all over the country.  We had such good fun, grabbing things, trying things on, trying to get it to the right weight before finally narrowing down our choices and taking out bag to be weighed.  Abi managed to get a gorgeous pair of brand new jeans amongst about 6 scarves!  When I got to the till I weighed in at exactly 1.1 kilos, lucky or what!  So what did I pick up?


First I picked up two military hats, perfect for my gothic nights out.  The first green and red one is more of a fancy dress item (but looks very 40's on) and the second blue one is authentic.  However the star of the show has to be this white faux fur coat!  It fastens with a hook at the top and it's so warm and the length is perfect for evenings out.  I love it even more now I've got it home!  I wore it out that very same night and it ended up looking very 90's!  I can't believe I got suck a beautiful coat for under £20!


Super serious face!  This is my second post in a row containing pictures of me without make up on, not sure how I feel about that, must stop being so dam lazy!  Anyway, what do you think about paying for clothing by the kilo?  Do you think it will catch on elsewhere?

24 January 2015

Standard New Hair Post


Just a quick Saturday post to show off my new hair cut!  If you've been following my blog for a while you'll know 13 years of bleach and dying my hair another luminous colour every other week has left my hair in a pretty bad state.  A year ago I chose to go red and slowly grow out the bleach, I've only used all natural products for years and the healthy(er) part of my is now just about to my ears.

Unfortunately however, after literally years of trying to save it in the hope of getting mermaid hair, my damaged hair hasn't been taking colour properly.  The condition has improved but it was never going to be great and I always get a horrible two tone effect where the colour over the bleached part fades so much faster.

So today I went onto my hairdressers armed with pictured of Taylor Swift in her Shake it Off video and cut off a lot of the dead stuff!  There's still some in there but hopefully over the next year I can grow it all out, honestly my hair feels so much better already!

Sorry about my make up less face by the way, but I'm way too lazy to put make up on just for a quick hair snap!  What do you think about this length?

23 January 2015

OOTD: The Ariel Pin Up Dress


Welcome to the second of my sort of Hot Topic haul, sort of outfit of the day post thingy.  Today seems like a good day to share with you a dress then combines two of my favourite things, Disney and retro Pin Ups!

Just look at that design!  I love it, it's cute and nautical and retro and everything I love!  It's a little tight around my boobs at the moment but with the right bra it's not really an issue.  It's an easy to throw on casual dress and it's going to get a LOT of wear this summer.

The most surprising part of this dress is actually the material, it's soft and really high quality.  It's fairly lightweight cotton but just feels so amazing I can't stop touching it ( I'm strange, I'm aware).

My only minor negative is the v cut neckline is at a bit of a strange level, it seems to be neither nor there and could do with being maybe slightly lower.  I'm not saying it needs to be cleavage central but just moving it an inch or two might help balance my figure a little better.

The dress is currently on sale and you can check it out here and my last post on my Boba Fett dress here.

Do you like this Disney pin up cross over?  

Have a fab weekend everyone!

18 January 2015

Tower of London Poppies






Just a quick Sunday post so I could share these photo's with you.  Back in November, not long after remembrance day, myself and my parents took a trip to The Tower of London to take a look at poppies just before they were taken away for good.  At this point some of them were gone already but it still had a really breath taking effect, it's had to comprehend the sheer amount of lives lost in World War One but this is possibly the closest you can get to visualising it.  It is a very fitting tribute.  You can find out more information about the poppies and the Tower of London here.

Hope your having a great Sunday!

17 January 2015

A quick tip for wet set pin curls


I was just setting my hair with pin curls for tonight when I thought I would share with you something I tried out last time I used this style.  I have very thick hair so pin curling is the only way I can curl my hair that doesn't drop out instantly.  The only problem is that even after leaving my hair to dry for over 12 hours and then blow trying it, my hair is usually still damp inside the curls so they fall straight out and leave my hair feeling heavy and dirty.

So what can I do aside from put aside over 24 hours for my hair to dry?  Adapt a product your Gran probably uses.  Settling lotion is unanimous with blue rinses and hasn't been really popular since the mid fifties but it's a product that is basically designed for pin curls!  Even better you can pick it up from boots or Superdrug for dirt cheap.  The only problem is it leaves your hair very stiff and crunchy, and it's awkward to apply.  Plus the fumes are enough to knock you out.  

So what's my answer?  I simply pour some settling lotion into a spray bottle with water, spray onto dry hair and walla!  Curls that don't take forever to dry and will last past the first gust of wind, without feeling like you've set it in glue! 

As for brushing it out into a vintage style, now that I have not yet mastered!  Do you have any vintage hair tips?


16 January 2015

OOTD: The Boba Fett Dress


Way back in September myself, Amy, and Bel decided to put all our nerdy, disney obsessed minds together and place an order from Hot Topic.  I even created an alternative Hot Topic wish list full of all the things I loved, but that didn't quite make it into my basket.  Now several months later after a large import tax *sobs*, and a long time at Amy's waiting me to pick them up, my order is finally home with me.

At first I just planned to show you guys everything I bought in one haul post, but then I thought that might come out looking like a hot mess!  So, over the next few weeks I will be sharing with you what I picked up in these individual posts.  They are not quite haul, not quite OOTD, because I haven't really styled them up but I just really wanted to share them with you guys.

Now, as you've probably realised I love my nerdy gear, and as much as it is a pain ordering from abroad it means that you end up with something pretty unique.  I fell in love with this dress the moment I saw it!  I am a Star Wars fan and I love a bit of colour, plus Boba Fett is the coolest!

I was worried that getting a medium it would be too small but actually, it's slightly large.  Luckily the waist is elasticated so you can't tell and it also means that this dress is really comfortable and rather flattering.  The dress is cotton, light weight and great quality.  I also love that this is pretty nerdy and quirky without having 'Star Wars' splashed all over it.  This has quickly become one of my favourite casual dresses.

I really hope you like this haul/ OOTD hot topic post, let me know your thoughts as I plan to do the rest soon.  Also, where do you like to get your nerdy threads from?

14 January 2015

Mac Undereye Concealers: Matchmaster Vs Studio Finish


I know I've mentioned before that one of my main skin problems is my under eye area.  I am constantly on the look out for a miracle cream or concealer that will get hide those bad boys for good.  I am yet to find this holy grail, but my current routine did involve a mixture of Benefit's Fake Up (which I have now lost) and Mac's Studio Finish concealer.  That is until I realised my handy little pot had passed it's 3rd birthday (and still has tons left by the way!).  I thought it might be time to scour the Mac counter and find something new.

Although Studio Finish is the closest a product has comes to covering my dreaded eye bags, it's not perfect.  It does sink into the creases under my eye a little and I worry because it was a little thick that I am dragging my delicate under eye skin when I apply it.  I was recommended Studio Finish concealer and colour matched by a Mac staff member at the Kings Road store as the solution to my problem, and its has been a staple in my makeup bag ever since.

So imagine my confusion when last month a staff member at the Meadowhall Mac store said she wouldn't recommend this concealer for the under eye at all!  In fact she seemed pretty horrified, she quickly sat me down and applyed Mac's newest offering on me, Matchmaker.  She explained that Studio Finish was far to matte for the under eye and that Matchmaker would be much more moisturising and should look more natural.   I had actually wanted to try out Mac's Select Cover-Up as I'd heard good things, but I left swinging my bag, happy to have a new concealer in my life.

And how do I l feel a month later?  Well first of all I am confused by the colour match.  Take a look at the picture above, baring in mind these were both matched to me by Mac professionals.  The reason I stopped using Mac foundation was because they didn't have a shade that matched my skin properly, but these two colours are pretty far apart!  The Studio Finish was always a little too light, but I put this down to my eye needing brightening, although my sister did once tell me it look like I had highlighted my under eye!  The Matchmaker however seems way too orange for my skin tone.  Blended under my foundation I can get away with it but I have to say I'm not too happy about this. 

The main difference in these products, comes down to the consistency.  Studio finish is thick but build-able, not drying, but not moisturising either.  Select cover is more moisturising and leaves a more dewy finish, but isn't as easy to build the coverage.

As for the actual concealer, I'm still favouring Studio Finish, but now I almost feel guilty about it!  The  Matchmaker just doesn't cover as much as I would like.  I do however, feel it is better for my skin and would maybe look more natural if I had the right shade, and I am now trying to use it under my eyes and my Studio Finish elsewhere on my face.  Even more confusingly the Mac website states that Studio Finish can be used under the eye, consider me confuddled.

So, my hunt continues.  What's your favourite under eye concealer? 

12 January 2015

Goals of 2015


How beautiful is this diary my friend got my for Christmas?  It looks like a first edition Alice and it has really pretty illustrations inside...I just wanted to address that before I moved on.

Anyway, you know how last week I said I wasn't going to do any kind of New Year post and I had no resolutions etc?  Yeah well that's all changed, being back doing a normal 9 to 5 job got my brain ticking so I thought I'd share with you all the little things I'd like to achieve this year.

  • Listen to music more often, this is something that dwindles more and more as I get older and it is one of the biggest things for effecting my mood, so I really should do it more.  Especially trying out new music.
  • Pass my driving test, I've been on with it long enough!
  • Visit at least one European city, I've seen so little of Europe it's kind of ridiculous.
  • Invest £100 in the stock market.  This is one of the stranger ones but I really want to learn more about how the stock market works and if it's worth while.  I've got a little money saved up and I want to give it a try, this one will be the biggest stretch.
  • Try and close the physical gap between myself and my boyfriend one way or another.  Long distance sucks!
  • Start up an ASMR channel and start posting videos as regularly as possible
Then onto the blog stuff, I know numbers and goals are something of a taboo but it do think it helps keep us all motivated.  It's great writing and knowing that at least someone is going to read it, and interacting with people is my favourite part of blogging.  Here's what I'd like to achieve this year:
  • Use Instagram and Goodreads less lazily.  I want to interact more and just actually writing mini reviews on Goodreads rather then just updating it and using hashtags on Instagram can really help strike up conversations.
  • Take part in more twitter chats.  I love twitter chats but this is the thing that I struggle to take part in most due to lack of time.  I'm going to make a list of the times and try my best to be more involved this year.
  • Hit a certain amount of views per month.  I don't want to say the exact amount because I think people can be rather judgmental saying it's really low etc but you can only compete with yourself.  I know what my monthly goal is and that's what matters.
  • Hit 500 bloglovin followers.  I feel more comfortable talking about this because it's public information.  I just hit 200 followers this last weekend so I hope this goal is realistic.
  • Hit 2000 twitter followers, I'm just over 1200 at the moment so lets see what happens.

My main goal of this year is just to explore, in whatever form that takes.

What do you want to achieve this year?

11 January 2015

Saying Goodbye to the Mickey Hat


I it's important to write about things you are passionate about, and I am a complete Disney World geek!  From time to time I will be giving you bits of news or other things as they come along, so for now, lets talk about a hat!

MGM Studios (or Hollywood Studios as the young folk call it) has gone through many transitions over it's short life.  In some way's it seems like Disney has never been completely sure what to do with this park, especially since the studio part closed down.  In one of it's many changes, this hat was built at the end of the main walkway on Hollywood Boulevard in 2001.

And there it has stayed, until a couple of days ago.  As we speak the famous (and in some circles infamous) hat is being taken down, slowly, piece by piece.  The response has been mixed.  My mum hates if anything at Disney changes at all, if it was up to her we'd still be dealing with rides built in the 60s.  For me, the hat was something I was never really attached to, so I won't be shedding any tears at it leaving.  Even less so when it just basically became a place to push pin trading!  In fact. in all my photos from the 13 + times I've been, this is the only one I managed to dig out

But if you are a hat lover, all my not be lost, there are rummers that it might be making an appearance at the front of the park.  Personally I'm actually quite looking forward to getting the old view up Hollywood Boulevard back!  Maybe I'm just relived because the rumours that The Great Movie ride was closing has proved unfounded (actually it's getting an update).  Plus, the faster this goes, the sooner we will have Star Wars land.  A word of warning, if you are too attached to anything in this park, visit soon.  Over the next 4 years, not much of it is going to be left as it enters it's biggest ever refurb!

Where does Hollywood Studios rate in your list of Disney Parks?

9 January 2015

2014: My Goodreads year in books!


I wanted to take a picture of myself with all the books I'd read this year, which ended up being a little more difficult then I had originally thought.  Pro tip, if you want to keep your self-esteem don't try and take a full length picture of yourself sitting on the floor!  Anyway, after much stress this is what I came up with.  Here are *almost* all the books I read this year (about 10 of them were books I borrowed from family members and are now back safely at their houses).  As I mentioned in my last book post I managed to read 53 books this year, which works out at just over a book a week!  Honestly, I'm not sure how I did it.  I didn't think I'd read that much so I'm really happy, I completely smashed my goal of reading 30 books.  So I thought I'd use Goodreads to help me look further at my reading this year.


I first started using Goodreads half way through 2012, (although it says I read 24 that year I actually read 30, as it classed the Harry Potter series as one book).  I have to say it's the one thing that has really helped me to read more, I love updating and seeing how far I am progressing with a book.  The reading challenge is really helpful but can also be a little stressful if you set the bar too high!  This year I improved on last year by over 10 books, and considering I now work full time, I've got to say I am really pleased.


The first year I read just over 10000 pages without really aiming for anything, so since then this has become my goal every year.  Which is a bit more worth while then a book total because you can read 4 small books in the time it takes you to read one long one, and I don't want to be put off reading longer books.  This year I managed to hit over 15000 pages.  


Lastly I thought I would take a quick comparison between what I've enjoyed this year and last year.  I am pretty disappointed to say I only read two 5 star books this year, both right at the start, and a multitude of 4 star!  I'm not sure if this is because I have been reading worse books or because my reviewing is getting harsher, but either way I hope to improve on this in 2015!

As for this year, I did set my reading goal for 52 but then thought I was putting too much pressure on myself so I've dropped it back down to 40.  If I beat that then great!

So there you have it, what books are you looking forward to reading this year?

7 January 2015

Selfies of 2014


This time last year I was feeling pretty down on myself, I had put on weight, my skin was bad and I was starting to worry about ageing.  A year on and I'm feeling much the same, in order to combat this last year I put together all my selfies of 2013 to try and perk myself up a bit.  So as I am sat on the sofa digesting my last pizza before my diet starts and getting ready to say goodbye to my boyfriend tomorrow, I thought id have another crack at it!

(left to right)
1. I started off the year with washed out pink hair, before finally trying to give up my love of bleach and becoming a red head.  After a year the healthy hair is just passed my ears.
2. For some reason I didn't take any more selfies until April, when Resistanz festival hit and my next four pics are from here.  This first snap was my rave inspired make up from the first day along with my first attempt at a fake mohawk.
2. Day 2 and I was rocking some latex kitty ears I'd picked up at the festival
4. My full outfit from day 2, corset and pvc were donned
5. By day 3 of the festival I was defiantly flagging!  Wearing my glittery crown.  Take a look at my full outfits here.

6. Myself and Harry at Cannon Hall for my birthday weekend.
7. Myself and Matt from Funeral For a Friend after their gig in Leeds, I was an emotional wreck.  I must be the only person to ever cry at a metal gig!
8. On my way to my first ever blog meet in Lincoln, and absolutely one of the best!
9. Crazy make up for a random night out, take two of my fake mohawk.
10. September had rolled around and after dropping my younger sister off at her new university, I began my new hobby of annoying the dog.

11. On my way to visit my boyfriend after he moved to the Lake District
12. Meeting Matt from Funeral for a Friend again at Barrow in Furness
13. Myself and my sister volunteering at London Pride
14. Myself and Harry at the Royal Albert Hall waiting for Distant Worlds to begin.
15. Part of my kawaii ear collection post that you might now recognise from my gif

16. Just a meaningless selfie, sometimes we all need one!
17. Image from my Lime Crime dupes post
18. Myself and my Mum heading to London in first class
19. Myself and my two sisters at a silent disco in the Conservative Party headquarters has to be one of the strangest places I've partied this year!
20. Trying some more extreme make up for a night out in Sheffield

21. Good old selfie with my beautiful doggie Willow
22. Watching Deaf Havana at my old university venue, some real nostalgia
23. Christmas day with my new Olaf teddy
4. New Years Eve make up
5.  Full New Years Eve outfit.

What are you looking back on this year?

5 January 2015

Books of 2014: part 11, the finale!


So here we are, finally at my last instalment of my books of 2014!  I managed to read 53 books in total this year, which I am amazed by considering I only aimed to read 30, I honestly didn't think I had read so many, that's just over a book a week!  So here are my last 3 books of 2015.


The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashums. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir's choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.

The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

I picked up this classic in a charity shop a few months ago and really looked forward to reading it.  I loved this book in parts, especially in Amir's younger years, and I found it genuinely shocking at times.  However unfortunately in some areas I feel like it lacked pace and it felt dragged out at times.
***


Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen
Stuck at the bottom of the social ladder at pretty much the lowest level of people at school who aren’t paid to be here,” Maya Van Wagenen decided to begin a unique social experiment: spend the school year following a 1950s popularity guide, written by former teen model Betty Cornell. Can curlers, girdles, Vaseline, and a strand of pearls help Maya on her quest to be popular? 

The real-life results are painful, funny, and include a wonderful and unexpected surprise—meeting and befriending Betty Cornell herself. Told with humor and grace, Maya’s journey offers readers of all ages a thoroughly contemporary example of kindness and self-confidence.

I've wanted to read this book ever since it came out, it ticked all my boxes and we all know I love the 50's so the concept was great.  It was a really easy read and enjoyable but it felt a little over edited and a little too sugary sweet.  You got the feeling it was all leading to a happy ever after that seemed a bit unbelievable, so I am unsure how much I actually believe this as a memoir.  Still worth a fun quick read.
***


Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral
After her mother died, Glory retreated into herself and her music. Her single father raised her as a piano prodigy, with a rigid schedule and the goal of playing sold-out shows across the globe. Now, as a teenager, Glory has disappeared. As we flash back to the events leading up to her disappearance, we see a girl on the precipice of disaster. Brilliant and lonely, Glory is drawn to an artistic new boy, Frank, who moves in next door. The farther she falls, the deeper she spirals into madness. Before long, Glory is unable to play anything but the song "Chopsticks."

But nothing is what it seems, and Glory's reality is not reality at all. In this stunningly moving novel told in photographs, pictures, and words, it's up to the reader to decide what is real, what is imagined, and what has been madness all along....

This book is really unique in that it is told entirely in photographs.  I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to follow the story without the text but I was actually pretty straight forward.  It's not the most unique story ever told but the imagery is really beautiful and worth it alone.
****

So there you have it, goodbye 2014!  I will be doing a monthly round up instead of the current format so I hope you like it!   If you want to follow my reading journey this year make sure you follow me on Goodreads

2 January 2015

Christmas Gifts 2014


I am going to start this post by saying I never know if I should write them at all!  It's one thing to do a 'haul' post of things I've bought myself but with gifts I aways worry it will come across as ungrateful or bragging.  I promise this isn't the case, I am always grateful and just like to share it with the world!  I got more then usual this year due to a few secret santa's I took part in and my boyfriends family being very generous, so I hope you don't mind me sharing this with you.

I know by now it's the second of January and everyones already got their new years posts in and here I am harping on about Christmas!  I had an unofficial blogging break over Christmas to spend time with my family and boyfriend so I am sort of on catch up, although I don't think I will be doing a new year post this year.  I am just not in a place where I want to do a look back or set goals right now and I don't want to force it. So without further blabbing, here's what I got for crimbo!

Fashion and Beauty

I'm going to apologise right not for the state of these photo's, the lighting is awful and the only place I could find to take pictures was the kitchen !  My sister's boyfriend Dan bought me some Sugarpill lashes and eyeshadow and that was always going to be a winner. If you've been a reader of my blog for a while you will know I am a huge fan! My boyfriends parents got me Vivienne Westwood's Naughty Alive perfume, which is actually one of my favourites but I haven't been able to afford any since my last bottle ran out a while ago, and they also got me this super cute hat!  I got the Tuk Cat shoes from my wish list (this is actually my 4th pair in various colours over the years) from my eldest sister.  My good friend Amy got me this cute Alice in Wonderland mirror from Hot Topic and this cute heart hair clip from Crown and Glory.  I also got a Mac lipstick from my boyfriends sister in the colour Ladybird which is absolutely gorgeous, and a set of Soap and Glory eyeliners from a secret santa!

Books

The only thing I asked for this Christmas was books, and luckily I got almost all of the ones I wanted, and a few surprises!  Going from the top down I got this cute Japanese Alice in Wonderland notebook, I Am Alice manga, The Unfortunates which has a really cool concept, all the chapters of the book are loose and you can read them in any order you like, can't wait to see if this works.  Me Talk Pretty On Day, Oranges are Not the Only Fruit, When I was Five I Killed Myself, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Winger, Alice in the Kingdom of Hearts volume 2 ( you might recall I read the first in this series as part of the booktubeathon).  Popular, Bleak House, Marvel the secret files, Chopsticks, Style Me Vintage Make-Up ( I read the fashion version back in June).  Grimm's Complete Fairy tales in the beautiful Barnes and Nobel leather-bound edition which i have been collecting for a couple of years now (I really must do a post on these) and lastly, Vintage Fashion & Couture as past of an amazing secret santa gift.  I have read a couple of these already so you will find those in my final books of 2014 post which should be coming up in the next week.

Edibles

Or at least what was left by the time I took this photo...Luckily my diet isn't starting again until Tuesday when I go in for my weigh in!  Santa always brings me a selection box and a chocolate orange, my boyfriend got me this really cool storage box that looks like a book and filled it with sweets ( I'm going to use it to store my comic books when I've eaten them all).  My parents got me the spicy sauces because I am known for adding chilli to everything I make, and the chocolate dipping adventure box should be a lot of fun, no doubt I will end up with chocolate dripping off my chin!  Classy!

Everything Else

As you can probably tell at the grand old age of 26 *sobs* I am still getting plenty of Disney and Alice in Wonderland gifts, long may it continue!  I also got lots of cute pin up and vintage inspired items for my desk at work!  I watched Frozen for the first time last month and like everyone else I became hooked!  So my boyfriend got me the dvd and this Olaf teddy that I am a little too attached to as a reasonable adult!  He also got my Epic Mickey 2 which I have been plowing my way though during my time off work!  Amy got my this great Alice in Wonderland phone case which is fab timing because my current Alice case has seen better days and I was actually looking for a new one!  You may also have picked up on my love of board games and we've been playing lots of my newest edition, Pandemic. 

Lastly my parents got me this amazing Alice in Wonderland tea set from Wittards of Chelsea!  It's so cute and another reason I can't wait to have my own place!

So there you have it, normal blogging should resume next week.  I hope you all had a fab Christmas and New Year and let's hope 2015 brings us all great things!

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