Friday, July 26, 2013

Mini Beauty Haul

I was shopping on Wednesday and picked up a few pieces. I thought it might be fun to share them here!


From the back we have

-Catrice Limited Edition Candy Shock Collection in Vanilla Love (yellow) and Bring Me Peach (peach). There’s pink and blue ones as well which I already had, I just couldn’t get the idea of the ‘full set’ out of my head so I bought these two! Can’t remember the price, but they were under €3 each.

-MUA Nail Polish in Bold Blue. I have several of these polishes but just couldn’t resist add this one! Sure, for €1.39 why wouldn’t you?! (available in Superdrug and online)

-OPI Shatter Collection Polishes in Shatter the Scales (dark forest green) and Super Bass Shatter (rich dark purple). I got these two in Dealz of all places for €1.49 each! They had other colours too but they didn’t interest me that much. All shatter one though. I’m not the biggest fan of shatter but I did like the look of these colours

-NYC Expert Last Nail Polish in Party Time Blue. The base for this looks like a dark royal blue but it’s actually a jelly consistency, which was fun to discover! I’ve only swatched it on one finger so far and it took 3 coats to get the look I wanted. It would have been perfect for 4th July! Again, I can’t remember the price but it was under €2.

Front row

-Nivea Lip Butter in Raspberry Rosé. I’ve been dying to get my hands on this for ages, I love raspberry scented things! They also had the Caramel Cream one, which I might try when this runs out as it did smell yummy! (It was under €3)

-2 Konad stamping plates and the Konad Double Side Stamp Set. I popped into a local chemist to get the 2 Catrice polishes and noticed some discounted Konad items. I had spotted them before and with my recent frustrations when trying stamping, I had been thinking of getting the double stamper, so when I saw it was still there I picked it up! Reduced from €5.60 to €2.99. I picked out the 2 plates as they were further reduced from when I last saw them (from €8.40 to €4.20 to finally €2 each). They are m65 (big full nail patterns, I got it mainly for the cool geometric prints) and m12 (Christmas themed. Yes, I know it’s waaaaay too early for that but sure it’s good to be prepared!).

I also bought an essence Nail Polish Remover. I’ve use them quite a bit, I find they do the job well enough and ‘shit, it was 99 cent!’ from Penneys.

Looking forward to doing some looks with these, I’m thinking of some candy striped nails with the Catrice ones for the weekend! Any idea what base colours you’d suggest for the OPI ones? I’d love to hear suggestions.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

YouTube Pick of the Week

It’s been too hot to really concentrate on writing blog posts (coupled with being so busy that I completely forgot to mark the blog’s 3rd birthday passing!). But now that there’s a bit of rain, there’s a bit of relief so it’s not too bad. Onwards with some video picks!

I’m not sure where I stand when it comes to these Dove videos. They do have great messages behind them but at the end of the day it’s still advertising right? This one did resonate with me though as in the past year I’ve seen my 12 year old sister change from someone who would instantly smile when a camera was produced to someone who shies away and tries to hide. She does love to take selfies now though! I don’t think it’s as simple as ‘When did you stop thinking you were beautiful?’ but it’s still an interesting and cute video.

So cute and incredibly catchy!

Judging from this, I’m more of the 30s mind set and always have been! But it’s funny nonetheless

This video for this is hilarious, I love Macklemore and how he just has fun in his videos.

You could easily put Russian in the video instead of German! Angry sounding languages

Finally I don’t think I could describe this any better than the video title itself ‘Foxes Jumping on my Trampoline’. Very adorable!

Monday, July 22, 2013

BookTube-A-Thon 2013 Results!

So needless to say I am very tired today as I was up most of the night finishing the BookTube-A-Thon! Now I know a lot of people started once it hit midnight on the Sunday, it technically being early Monday morning, but I decided to take my days as waking days. So I started once I woke up Monday and the end of the BookTube-A-Thon was when I went to sleep last night. Which was around 6am! Partly because I couldn’t sleep as it was so hot. And partly because I stayed up late trying to finish as many challenges as possible! I like to pretend I was running Californian time.

I’m not going to review books here, as I will do that in my July Reads post at the end of the month. In this post I’ll be writing about what I read each day and what challenges I completed.


I was trying to finish a book before starting any new ones, so I continued reading that book. Also started the audiobook

-Continued reading Do Not Pass Go by Tim Moore, from page 175-273

-Started The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton audiobook, as read by Kate Winslet


Finished one book and started one of my challenge books, Tess of D’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy. Picked this one as it fell under several challenge categories for me, including one my personal Reading Resolutions!

-Finished Do Not Pass Go, page 274-340

-Listened to some of The Enchanted Wood

-Started Tess of the D’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy, page 1-17


I struggled a bit getting into TotDU, I set out to read about 100 pages a day so I’d have it finished by Sunday. I also started another book to help break it up a bit. This book didn’t fall under any challenges but I needed to read it next from my library pile so I could return it!

-Tess of the D’Urbervilles, page 18-95

-Started Cinder by Marissa Meyer, page 1-30


Not a bad reading day, kept to my TotDU daily goal as well as getting through quite a bit of Cinder

-Tess of the D’Ubervilles, page 96-197

-Cinder, page 31-181


Completely slacked on ol’ Tessy here, mainly because it was so friggin hot that I couldn’t concentrate on it. But also because I got pulled in by Cinder!

-Tess of the D’Ubervilles, page 231-237

-Finished Cinder, page 182-387


Didn’t get a lot of reading done, for a number of reasons, but mainly because my mother’s birthday and then my cousin’s 21st birthday party! I did start another book while travelling to the party though, my last book to cover all the challenges.

-Tess of the D’Urbervilles, page 238-257

-Listened to The Enchanted Wood

- Started Reached by Ally Condie on Kindle app on iPhone, 6%


Sunday was my main marathon day! I was determined to get these books finished! I mainly read Tess of the D’Ubervilles during the day, I had got to 50% completed the day before and the story started to pull me in more, so I managed to read it faster. In between breaks of Tess, I went on the computer but also listened to The Enchanted Wood. Once I had finished both, I read the rest of Reached pretty much non-stop. And after I even started a new book as I couldn’t get to sleep!

-Completed Tess of the D’Ubervilles, page 258-508

-Completed The Enchanted Wood (page count 185)

-Completed Reached (page count 512)

-Started Lost at Sea by Jon Ronson, page 1-22

Total Page Count

Do Not Pass Go- 165 pages

Cinder- 387 pages

The Enchanted Wood- 185 pages

Tess of the D’Urbervilles- 508 pages

Reached- 512 pages

Lost at Sea- 22 pages

Total 1779 pages

Overall, not bad. I didn’t hit 2100, the amount needed to get the 300 page average but not too far off! I finished Reached at 5.20 am, and then read the first chapter of Lost at Sea before finally dropping off. I really enjoyed the whole BookTube-A-Thon, and now for the rest of my challenges!

1. Read a book with over 500 pages- Both TotDU and Reached come under this

2. Finish a series- Reached was the final book in Matched trilogy

3. Read a classic- Tess of the D’Urbervilles

4. Reread a book- The Enchanted Wood

5. Listen to an audiobook- The Enchanted Wood

6. Read a book that’s been on your shelf the longest- Tess of the D’Urbervilles

If I had realised that Reached was over 500 pages, I probably would have picked a different, shorter classic to read other than TotDU. I had toyed with the idea of reading Emma by Jane Austen. But I’m kinda glad I did pick TotDU, as I’m not sure when I might actually ever have picked it up, I don’t think I would have picked it for the classic book in my Reading Resolutions challenge. Overall I’m glad I did this, it pushed me to read a bit more than I usually do and to try a book that probably would have gathered dust on my shelf forever if I hadn’t picked it! I definitely recommend not listening to the audiobook in one go, use it to break up things between reads, as well as listening to it while doing other things as that you are still being productive!

During this challenge, I followed the BookTube-A-Thon Twitter, as well as watching Ariel and Raeleen’s YouTube channels. I watched Katytastic’s YouTube videos too. I also had Nurse Fancy Pants reading along with me, you should totally check out her blog! I’m looking forward to see how she faired with this challenge.

Did you do BookTube-A-Thon? If so, how did you do? Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Triangle Nails

When I got the two China Glaze colours from Cuti-CLUE-les, I knew I wanted to do something geometric with them. I tried two different stamping designs and wasn’t happy with either, so I decided to just make my own design. I painted China Glaze Calypso Blue on some tape (I probably should have used Scotch tape, I think it would have been the best but I couldn’t find mine), waited until it was dry and then applied over the For Audrey base with tweezers. It did take a good bit of time but it was worth it!


Natural Light, no flash


With flash

I really like how the two colours go together, they compliment each other well. And I’m pleased with how the look turned out, now to find a way to achieve this without it taking forever to do!

Base- China Glaze in For Audrey

Triangles- China Glaze in Calypso Blue

Monday, July 15, 2013

Lemonade and Gummy Sweets Ice Lollies

So I haven’t done a proper post in what feels like forever as I’ve been way too busy melting in this weather. Seriously, us Irish are not equipped for this! And let’s just say that if my hair was blonde and I had a love of wearing pink, people would be mistaking me for Mick Wallace due to the abuse my hair has gotten from all the sun and sea water. Poufy doesn’t even begin to describe it.

So like most people on this island I’ve been looking for ways to cool off. And one of them has been making ice lollies. I came across this video from yoyomax12 on YouTube and decided to live it a whirl!

IMG_1719 IMG_1722

It’s pretty easy. Just arrange the gummy sweets up along the sides of the mould (if you just throw them into the bottom they’ll just settle there but stacking them on top of each other spreads them out), pour the lemonade on top, add the sticks and freeze. Simples! It’s an interesting idea, the gummy sweets go a bit…soggy I suppose as they absorb the liquid and become softer. I’m not sure if I’d try it again, but I’m going to experiment more using lemonade for ice pops as I thought it was very refreshing!


Now I’m off to go melt somewhere!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

BookTube-A-Thon 2013

BookTube-A-Thon is a readathon created by BookTubers (YouTubers who do videos around books) Ariel Bissett and Raeleen Lemay. It runs from Monday 15th July to Sunday 21st July, with the aim of reading as much as you can, with some interesting challenges too. They are:

1. Read on average 300 pages a day (pretty self explanatory)

2. Read a book with over 500 pages (be it 501 or 1001)

3. Finish a series (easy if you have only 1 book left, much harder if there’s over 3!)

4. Read a classic

5. Reread a books (damnit and I’ve already reread Gatsby!)

6. Listen to an audiobook (counts towards page count)

7. Read a book that’s been on your shelf the longest

Bonus points if you can do some combos of the above! While I had heard of this a while a back, I’ve only just decided to try it so I must dig through my books and my to be read list and decide what to read. I’ll do a blog post after I’m finish the readathon with what I’ve read and what challenges I hit. What’s great about the read a classic challenge is that I’ll totally knock that off my Read Resolutions list too, wahoo!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Last week was my brother’s birthday, so I asked him what cake he wanted. ‘Chocolate. Chocolate fudge cake!’. I knew the perfect recipe to use, Lilly Higgins’ recipe from her book Make Bake Love. I had made it almost exactly a year ago but never posted it up here! It’s unusual in the sense that it uses yoghurt, it makes it quite a dense cake but it’s very moist. For me though the star is the buttercream icing, very chocolately and delicious!


Chocolate Fudge Cake

Adapted from Lilly Higgins’ Make Bake Love


125g dark chocolate, chopped

200g Demerara sugar

180g butter, softened

3 eggs

180g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

225ml natural yoghurt (I used vanilla flavoured)

1 tsp vanilla essence

Chocolate buttercream

55g butter, softened

230g icing sugar

40g cocoa powder

5 tbsp milk

Half tsp vanilla essence


1. Preheat oven to 180. Butter and flour sandwich tins.

2. Melt the chocolate (either in microwave or over a double boiler) and leave to cool slightly

3. Beat the sugar and butter in a separate bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

4. Sieve the flour and baking powder together. Mix gently. Add the yoghurt, vanilla and melted chocolate. Fold in gently.

5. Divide the batter evenly and make a slight hollow in the centre (this will help the cake raise evenly and make sure there’s no peak in the middle. If there is, once the cake has cooled you can cut the cake with a serrated knife to level it off).

6. Bake 25-30 minutes. Leave to cool on a rack and sandwich together with one half of buttercream. Spread remaining on top.

7. Beat the butter with half the sugar. Add remaining sugar, the cocoa, milk and vanilla and mix.



Wednesday, July 3, 2013

4th of July Nail Ideas

I was inspired the other night to do some 4th July Nails but of course I had too many ideas in my head to stick to one theme. Instead I came up with a few different looks to try, where you can either go for one look or mix and match.



Natural Light



With Flash

Thumb- Red Nails Inc in Charing Cross, Blue China Glaze in Calypso Blue, White Art Club Nail Art Pen in White

Index Finger- Red Rimmel Precious Stones in Ruby Crush, Blue Wet N Wild Wild Shine in Denim Chrome (striping tape used)

Middle Finger- Blue Essence Colour & Go in Miss Universe, Stars Wet N Wild Fergie Collection in Hollywood Walk of Fame (used tweezers to place stars)

Ring Finger- White L.A. Colors in Energy Source, Blue Chit Chat in Ariel, Red Rimmel Precious Stones in Ruby Crush

Little Finger- Blue Catrice in Blue Cara Ciao, White L.A. Colors in Energy Source, Red Nails Inc in Charing Cross

The little finger isn’t perfect, I must have redone it 3 times to try get it perfect and eventually I gave up, I just wasn’t doing it another time! My favourite is probably the ring finger, it’s different thanks to the white background. I also like the middle finger, I think it would be a perfect accent finger if the others were just red and white striped.

Happy 4th July to all my American friends and readers!


I changed my nails today, as I really liked the idea of the accented nail!

stars and bars

Monday, July 1, 2013

June’s Reads

It’s July already?! Seriously, the days and months are just flying by. I hit my 50 mark on GoodReads! So it’s been upped to 75 books. Let’s take a look at the books I read in June.

You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney

you are not so smart

I found this book a fascinating mix of popular science, psychology and humour rolled into one, it's interesting to read common misconceptions you may have and also turn the info on it's head and use that info to better your thinking and your life! The chapters are pretty short though and I wasn’t a huge fan of that, I found that you barely had time immerse yourself in the topic of each chapter, it did seem to bounce all over the place. But I say some people will like the shortness of the chapters, as it does make them easier to read and take in.



Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier


Having watched the film and thoroughly enjoyed it, I decided I'd read the novel too, as I had heard very good things about it.  It’s rare though that I would watch a film and then read the book, I usually read the book first. I found it very slow to get into if I'm honest but once at Manderley, I found the book became gripping and was a page turner. I don’t want to give much away in case you are unaware of the plot. Very interesting and definitely worth the read. I took fully advantage of the sun being out and read the bulk of this outside soaking up some rays!


Divergent by Veronica Roth


Set in a dystopian future where 16 year olds decide which of 5 factions to be part of based on their underlying virtue (honesty, intelligence, selflessness, peace and bravery), Beatrice must decide whether to stick with what she has known all her life (Abnegation, the faction of the selfless) or follow her heart and join another faction.
It goes along the same vibe as The Hunger Games series and Uglies series, both of which I have read and enjoyed. It's an interesting concept and recently I've been enjoying Young Adult dystopian novels and this one did not disappoint. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the 2nd book (as well as the 3rd once it is released!)

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

clockwork angel

Tessa Grey, an orphan, arrives in England after her brother has sent her a ticket and immediately gets delved into the world of warlocks, vampires and angels when she is kidnapped by the Dark Sisters. They train her up with this power she never knew she had, in the hopes of marrying her off to 'The Magister'. Tessa is rescued by the Shadowhunters (warriors with angel blood), who fight demons and other supernatural 'Downworlders' to keep peace between Downworlders and ordinary humans (mundanes). Tessa vows to keep looking for her missing brother, all while falling for a Shadowhunter and trying to get to grips with their world and how she fits in. Set in Victorian London, this has a certain 'steampunk' kind of vibe to it and I found it fascinating. I really enjoyed it and I can't wait to read the next 2 books.

No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog by Margaret Mason

100 ideas for your blog

There was some interesting ideas in the book, I don't think I'd end up using them all myself but sometimes it's good to try and get some motivation and ideas when you have writer's block. Divided into sections depending on how much time you want to spend on writing each post, it’s a book you could dip in and out of for ideas or simply read in it’s entirety if looking for a quick read.




Mammy Walsh’s A-Z of the Walsh Family by Marian Keyes

mammy walsh

Short e-book, in the form of an A-Z, written by Mammy Walsh, of the Walsh family series of books by Marian Keyes. Some funny things and it also helps as an update to what the family members are all up to right now. I laughed out loud at certain parts, Marian is a very humorous writer. Though it really should go without saying, this is only a book that would interest people who have read the entire 5 other Walsh novels, as it might contain spoilers to the books.



Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple

where'd you go bernadette

I really enjoyed this book! But then again, I have a thing for epistolary novels. Bernadette is many things, an opinionated wife, an award winning architect turned recluse, the one mother who doesn't want to get involved with school business, her daughter's best friend, big time Seattle hater. She also appears to be sliding down into a mental breakdown. When her daughter Bee chooses to go on a cruise around Antarctica as her reward for all As in her report card, Bernadette's behaviour seems to get more manic. But before the family can go on this trip, Bernadette disappears. This story follows when Bee decides to gather up all emails, letters and other correspondence and put it together into a book, with the hope of finding her mother.
I thought it was funny in places and there were bits and pieces that left me guessing but were finally solved. Enjoyable read, but then again, coming from a former writer for Arrested Development, you’d expect nothing less.

Get Your Sh!t Together by Ruth Field


Ruth Field’s second book about motivating people, this time instead of running it’s about getting your life in order. It does have some very useful tips in there, some of which I have already put to use. Definitely a book to read if you feel like you need more organization in your life.





Moranthology by Caitlin Moran


This is the second book I’ve read by Caitlin Moran and I loved it. It’s a collection of some of her articles from The Times. It’s very funny and has some interesting celebrity articles, with Keith Richards, Paul McCartney and Lady Gaga being a few of them. I totally laughed out loud during this book and unashamedly so too! I’d love to read a second book like this if it ever comes out (though I suppose I could always get The Times and read it, but you don’t really see The Times here in rural Ireland!)



The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson

the psychopath test

I didn’t really want to read a 3rd non-fiction book in a row, but the book was lying next to be on the couch and I picked it up to read the first few pages while waiting for something to do something (honestly, I can’t remember what I was waiting on, possibly my nails to dry!). The mystery in the first chapter intrigued me so much that I felt compelled to finish the book! Very interesting look into psychopaths and not as heavy as I thought it would be. It’s more interviews with some science explainations here and there rather than heavy with the science behind it all, which is what I expected it to be. I’m looking forward to reading his other books.


June’s Stats

Number of books read- 10

Ratio fiction to non-fiction- 5:5

Number of eBooks- 2 (Mammy Walsh’s A-Z of the Walsh Family, No One Cares What You Had For Lunch)

Number of books borrowed from library- 7 (only physical book I owned was You Are Not So Smart)

Number of books from Reading Resolutions- 1 (Rebecca)

Phew! And that’s June completed! Not doing too bad, I’ve completed only 5 of the Reading Resolutions, I should really have 6 seeing as I picked 12 so I could do one a month, so I need to catch up with that. Otherwise I’m happy with my progress. What have you been reading lately? Let me know!

January’s Reads

February’s Reads

March Reads

April’s Reads

May’s Reads

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