Sunday, June 29, 2014

Tutti Fruity Nails

I’ve fallen under the pineapple spell this summer, I just love them on clothes and accessories. So I wanted to do some pineapple nails but decided to mix it up with other fruity nails. A fruit salad nail art look!



I think it’s really cute and fun, though I think any of the nails would look great as just an accent nail. Here’s what I used.


Maybelline Bleached Neons in Tropink

Revlon in Sassy

Color Club Nail Art Pen in Green

Barry M Nail Art Pen in Black


Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine in Coconut

Essence Colour & Go in Redvolution

Revlon in Sassy


Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine in Coconut

Essence Colour & Go in Wanna Be Your Sunshine

Color Club Nail Art Pen in Green

Nails Inc in Fenchurch Street in mixed with Wanna Be Your Shine


Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine in Coconut

Revlon in Sassy

Barry M Nail Art Pen in Black


Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine in Coconut

Essence in Wanna Be Your Sunshine

Barry M Nail Art Pen in Black

I mainly used a 2 sided dotting tool for this, as well as a small nail art brush. Not sure which is my favourite, I do like the pineapples but the strawberries are so small and cute!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Essence Colour & Go Purple Sugar

This is one of the nail polish shades I knew I definitely wanted to try before going to Essence Manchester Launch event. Last year they brought out a shade called ‘The Green and the Grunge’, an dark emerald green to coincide with Pantone’s Colour of the Year. I’m so glad they decided to do it again this year, I think it’s a great idea as a lot of people have become more interested over the years with the Colour of the Year. This year’s shade is Radiant Orchid, a beautiful lilac purple shade. Frillseeker did a great article at the beginning of the year with make up products in that shade, check it out here. I mentioned Purple Sugar in my launch event post so I just had to do a post showing it off!



I think it’s such a pretty shade, I’m a sucker for shades I call ‘ice cream shades’ (basically pastels like mint green and candy floss pink), as well as a sucker for purple polishes. I may have got this for free at the event but even if I didn’t, it was on my shopping list for when I’m next back in Ireland!

What’s your favourite shade of purple? Or what colour would you love to see as The Colour of the Year? Comment below!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Essence UK Manchester Launch Event

I had the great pleasure of being invited to the Essence UK Manchester launch in the Northern Quarter. I could tell before even walking through the door of the event that it would be amazing! Essence and Flipside PR put on a pretty amazing event! There were tables laid out with products for you to play with and try. There was a 2m Essence stand fully stocked with all the products, ripe for the taking. There was amazing goody bags, nibbles and drinks and the chance to get your nails done by The Pamper Puff Girls and get your make up done by Nadira MakeUp. I could seriously gush for days about it!


Before and after!

I’ve used Essence while living in Ireland, though mainly the nail polishes and treatments, so I was looking forward to trying other products, especially face products, at the event. We had a small presentation, outlying that all the products cost on average £2 (lowest was 99p and highest was £3.99), that Essence is cosmetic leader in 11 European countries and available all over the world. They like to keep the prices low, to encourage people of all ages to try new looks and have but this doesn’t mean they’re low quality (and this is something I definitely stand by after using Essence for years). To keep things interesting, they change 50% of the products every year, introducing new trends and colours (they are bang on trend with their Colour & Go nail polish in Purple Sugar, which is on trend for the Pantone Colour of the Year in Radiant Orchid).


I’m so excited that Essence has finally arrived in UK. When I moved here from Ireland in November,  I knew it was going to be one of the things I missed the most! I stocked up in March when I was last back but my local stand is tiny and I didn’t get everything I wanted. We got to visit the store in the Manchester Arndale Centre after the event and the stand is 3 times bigger than the one back home! It’s massive and jammed packed with everything and the girls working there are lovely too.


Pictures from Arndale Centre Shop, including Limited Edition Collections

If you haven’t had the pleasure of using Essence products before, what are you waiting for! They’re available in Westfields Shepards Bush and Manchester Arndale Centre and there will be stands in Wilkos stores from July. Thank you once again to Essence UK and Flipside PR for the fantastic event, I had lots of fun meeting new bloggers and trying out the products.


Some of the tables at the event, as well as the yummy treats!


Jam packed goodie bag!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Kitchen Magpie by James Steen Book Review


I read The Science Magpie back in January 2013 and loved it. It was a collection of science related facts, stories, poems, jokes and diagrams. A mixed bag so to speak but very enjoyable, the perfect book to just pick up a read a few pages. I then went and bought The Antiques Magpie and The Nature Magpie for Kindle but as I’m so bad at getting through my to be read pile, they are still waiting to be read. However when I saw this on NetGalley I knew it would be right up my street! I love cooking and baking and as I loved the format of The Science Magpie, I thought I’d also enjoy the format of this book.

First off, I just LOVE the cover! All the Magpie series covers are very clever and this is no exception. I actually frame these covers and put them up as art on my walls, that’s how much I love them! Design was done by Mark Ecob, who I also just discovered from browsing his site, did the cover for Bonk by Mary Roach! Loved that book and cover. Anyway, the book is separated out into different chapters, covering different areas of the kitchen, from the oven to the fridge and freezer to the spice rack and the vegetable rack. Without the chapters there’s stories, recipes, tips and facts related to the chapter, as well as contributions from people like Mary Berry, Ken Hom, Marco Pierre White and James Martin, to name a few. I learnt many things but the one big thing I didn’t know was that Alexis Soyer, a very famous French chef in the 1800s was the person to invent soup kitchens during The Irish Famine. Though what isn’t mentioned in the book is the insult of being called a ‘souper’ or being accused of having ‘taken the soup’. A lot of Protestant soup kitchens were set up, on the condition that the starving Catholic Irish convert to Protestantism. Though it’s worth pointing out that not all soup kitchens were set up in this manner.

At the end of each chapter is a section called What Is the Food of Love?, where a different chef answers the food they most associate with love and why. It was very sweet to see all the different answers and proving that usually the most simple of foods can be the most rewarding.

So if you want to find out why ‘furciver’ was an insult, what to do in a professional kitchen if you are told to ‘nap the fish’, if you’re curious about who once said ‘all Scottish cuisine is a result of a dare’ and why, or if you just want to know how to make the perfect soft boiled egg, then you need to pick up this book! Perfect to read in one go or to enjoy with in bite sized pieces. I’m looking forward to seeing what else will be coming out in the Magpie series.

Copy obtained from Net Galley, for which I was under no obligation to do a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Poppy Floral Nail Art

As it’s summer, I just love the idea of flower nail art. Last year I did this vintage rose look and this year I wanted to try something new. I spotted these poppy nails by Paulina’s Passions and decided they were so pretty that I wanted to give them a go. Here’s the results.



Really annoyed that I didn’t notice that splash of blue on my index finger until after I took the pictures! My technique could be improved but overall I really liked this look! Here’s what I used.

Red- Nails Inc in Charing Cross

White- Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine in Coconut

Green- Colour Club Nail Art Pen

Black- Nails Inc in New York Noir

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My Favourite Personal Frills

Last year when Frillseeker launched, I made this Frills Wishlist post. I thought it would be fun to do another post now with my favourite owned frills, to celebrate Frillseeker being 1 year old! Holy bajoly, can’t believe it’s only been a year, feels like it’s been in my life so much longer! Unfortunately a lot of my stuff is back home in storage in Ireland, including the bulk of my good jewellery. But I’ll do my best to show to best of the rest!


This has been my handbag since December 2011! This is an older photo as mine is even more battered now. I’ve even had to repair the handles! It’s made by Vendula London and I get so many compliments on it. I will sometime soon splash out and get another Vendula bag, their designs are just so much fun.


Ok, I PROMISE YOU, this is a flamingo light post! I only picked one of my many flamingo items. These are by Vans, my only pair of Vans, and I really wish I had the hippo version too!


I’m not a massive scarf wearer, except winter time. I love this robin scarf though, I got it 2 years ago in Penneys (Primark). The pink scarf is probably one of my most precious items, one of my Nanas knitted it for me when I was a kid. It’s a bit short so I can do big wraps and I rarely take it out as I’m petrified of losing it but it always makes me smile. There was a matching hat with a pom pom on top, no idea where that is.

   DSC08660 DSC08662

I don’t wear a lot of jewellery, I have some nice Newbridge pieces that were gifts and that I wear on special occasions. I do like wearing necklaces at times though. The first one was a present from Kenya from my aunt, the middle one I got off eBay and the Pusheen one (In case you didn’t get the memo, I love Pusheen!) was a little charm I got as a birthday present from my friend Krissy and I threaded it onto a necklace.


I love receiving cards and postcards from people. I have stacks of them sent from friends all over the world. Here are some of my favourites.


Finally some mugs!! I have loads that I’ve collected over the years, here are a selection. The Marmite one I got from TK Maxx, Periodic Table of Elements was a Christmas gift, telephone one from Debenhams and the one with my name was another Christmas gift.

That’s it! I know it’s not the flashiest of lists, but I think that’s the beauty of what Frillseeker is all about, small and big things that make your life brighter and more fun. Happy Birthday Frillseeker!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Ciate Ferris Wheel

I was delighted to see that Marie Claire are giving away Ciate polishes this month. I don’t often wear blue nail varnish (except For Audrey by China Claze) so that’s why I picked out Ferris Wheel, which is a nice light baby blue.


I decided to give the Caviar pearls that came with the polish a whirl, and while I’m not a massive fan of the whole caviar trend, I do like the contrast it added. This shade is very sheer, I need 4 thins coats to build it up, which I’m not the biggest fan of, but I do really like the results I got.

Friday, June 13, 2014

A Brief History of Chocolate by Steve Berry & Phil Norman Book Review

a brief history of chocolate

 A Brief History of Chocolate is a short ebook, taken from the larger book The Great British Tuck Shop. I must admit it was the cover that drew me in, I love it, especially the little price tag. The book is just under 100 pages long but it’s still a worthy short but sweet read.

The chapters are divided by different sections, from the beginning of the chocolate industry to the different ways bars were branded over the years to chocolates in bags (à la Buttons), to chocolate biscuit bars (Twix), teatime treats (Kit Kats) and chocolate boxes (like Milk Tray). In each chapter, the authors set about what bars and companies started these different trends and then how other companies tried to hit back, telling us what was successful and what wasn’t. One of my favourite facts upon reading this was that Cadbury’s Dairy Milk bar was originally called Highland Milk, before being changed to Dairy Maid and finally settling on Dairy Milk.

The book is quite witty in places, I liked the sentence ‘Little by little, chocolate revealed its versatility; as a gift for a loved one; a reward for an obedient child; or an amuse-bouche at the ambassador’s receptions’. It is also packed full of pictures of no longer in production bars as well as showing how some brands updated their packaging over the years. I will say that some of what was mentioned went a bit over my head, I just a bit too young to remember Ice Breaker or when Snickers was Marathon. It reminds of a small, chocolate book version of The Museum of Brands and Packaging! I would have liked it to go a bit beyond the late 80s/early 90s. Like when they mention Kit Kat, they could have mentioned Kit Kat Chunky or something.

Overall though I did enjoy it, there was plenty of interesting facts and I managed to read it in less than an hour. If you’re looking for a short fun nostalgic read, you can get this on Amazon for Kindle for only £1.99.

Copy obtained from Net Galley

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

June Nail Polish Haul

Once again I have amassed a new lot of polishes, mainly thanks to Poundland and Poundworld, as well as 3 for 2 offers in Superdrug and magazine freebies.


The lot!

DSC08635  DSC08637

Rimmel Cocktail Colour in Apple Berry Smoothie and Shirley Temple, Rimmel Space Dust in Luna Love, Sinful Colors in Pink and Sugar Rush, Revlon Colorstay in Buttercup and Bare Bones

I got all these for £1 each Poundland and Poundworld. I’d held off getting any of the Cocktail Colours from Rimmel when they were originally out but I’m excited to try them. I also hope that some of the newer ones will end up for bargains in a few months time (like the Sweetie Crush collection, I’m intrigued but don’t want to spend full whack). I wanted a really bright pink neon and had heard that this Sinful Colors one was good, so I was glad to find it! I was most excited about the Revlon Buttercup though. I had seen it in a MissHollyBerries video and really wanted to try a pale yellow. I was thinking of getting Unicorn by Sinful Colors as a cheaper version but luckily I found this!


Claire’s Splatter Effect in Sequins, Nails Inc in Royal Botanical Gardens, L’Oreal Confetti in Splash Peach, Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine in Coconut

I’ve already shown the first two polishes, click here for the Nails Inc one and here for the Claire’s one. I love non-glitter confetti style topcoats so I had to get the L’Oreal one, the colour combination looked interesting! And after unexpectedly falling in love with Rita Ora for Rimmel in White Hot Love, I wanted to try another white shade so I picked up this one from Barry M after seeing it on Painted Nails and Baking Scales. I kinda also want to try the new white one from Model’s Own as well!


Ciate in Ivory Queen, Teardrop Treasure Ivory Pearls, Ferris Wheel and Frost Yourself Caviar Pearls

Finally I got these free with this month’s Marie Claire. Ivory Queen is a lovely peach shade with a subtle gold shimmer going through it. Ferris Wheel is a beautiful blue but it does take a good number of coats to make it opaque. I’m not sure if I’ll use the caviar pearls, I’m not a huge fan of them but you never know!

And that’s it! As well as the Barry M Nail Art Pen in Pink, I forgot to photograph it. Let me know if there’s any here that you’d really like to see swatches of and I’ll get on it!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes Book Review

look who's back

I had come across this book on Goodreads a view times and was intrigued by it. Not something that I would usually gravitate towards but it sounded interesting and different. So when I saw it on Netgalley I decided to give it a whirl and see what the fuss was about.

The book is set in 2011, when Hitler himself wakes up in Berlin, just lying on the ground, alive and well. He soon establishes what year it is and sets about trying to pick himself up and continue with his work of bettering Germany. He soon gets a role on TV playing a Hitler impersonator. Despite trying to convince people that he IS Hitler, everyone just thinks he’s saying so to stay in role all the time. After a YouTube clip goes viral, Hitler is thrust back into the limelight and sees his popularity soaring again.

First off, I’m going to address some of the controversy around this book. Some people are less than impressed that a book about Hitler could be funny, after all that he has done. I don’t think it’s a big problem, the book is clearly satire and making a statement that while we like to think someone like Hitler will never rise to power again because we all know better, in reality it is really easy to get swept up by someone persuasive. It reminded me of the novel The Wave by Todd Strasser in that sense.

But like I said, this book is satire and a pretty funny one at that. It had me laughing out loud at times, some of the lines are very witty. There was a line on morning people ‘What irritates me most of all about these morning people is their horribly good temper, as if they had been up for three hours and already conquered France’. Ya, I know that feeling, chirpy morning people are the worst! I also really liked this line from a scene at rowdy Oktoberfest ‘People were wailing and shouting for someone called Jude’. Hey Jude is one of my favourite Beatles songs.

Another thing I liked about the book was all the question marks put at the end of Hitler’s secretaries sentences, even though she wasn’t asking questions. I thought it was a great way to portray the up-speak a lot young women do these days. Also, I really like the cover!

There were a few downsides. One was all the names of past Nazi party members that Hitler constantly names throughout the book. A few I recognise no problem, but there are quite a few I don’t, which got annoying at times. Also there are some German pop culture references that went a bit over my head. And while I mostly liked the narrative style throughout the book, sometimes it was a bit too much, too heavy. There was one or two times when I struggled to get through some paragraphs, getting frustrated like some of the characters in the book. But overall it’s not too bad.

I would recommend this book if you like satire and want to read something a bit different. I didn’t find it offensive, I don’t think the author tries to paint a positive picture of Hitler, quite the opposite really. A very clever read.

I got a copy of this from NetGalley to review. Readers who are approved for titles from NetGalley are under no obligation to post reviews. I chose this book to review, wasn’t asked to review. All opinions are my own, I think it’s important to be honest about items you review.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

May Recap

I can’t believe May is already over. I know everyone says this kind of thing but it’s true! We’re already in June. Here’s part of what I got up to in May.

Doing- Interviews! Well, only 2 so far (with another one in a few days) but it’s better than none. It just feelings good to be interviewed, it feels like progress in this hunt for a job.


Watching- Numb3rs. I saw Orla mention it in one of her blog posts and decided to give it a whirl. It’s about FBI agent and his mathematician brother who helps him solve crimes. Even if you don’t like maths you might enjoy this! I love the characters, my favourite is Colby. Also went to cinema to see X-Men and really enjoyed it!



Enjoying- Blog Every Day in May! I really enjoyed the challenge, you can read more about it in my wrap up post here.


Walking- Did the Darkness Into Light walk in London, my 3rd time doing it and my 1st abroad. I spoke more about it here in this post.



Listening- To Freakonomics Radio podcasts. Not sure why I never listed to them before seeing as I loved Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics. Looking forward to reading their new book, Think Like a Freak.


Playing- Yoshi’s New Island on DS. I’m a sucker for Mario games so I’m glad I got this one (though it is quite similar to Yoshi’s Island, which I also have). Managed to get the game for free as well by saving up vouchers earned from doing online surveys!



Reading- Not a lot really! Here’s my May Read’s blog post.


Knitting- A cushion! Very slowly really, I need to pick up the slack and get onto my next project, whatever that will be!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

May’s Reads

May was not great in terms of reading. I really wasn’t inspired, probably because I originally had 3 non-fiction books out from the library and just wasn’t in the mood for them. So in the end I decided to just leave them and read some fiction I had lined up. It probably didn’t help that I also got sucked into watching a series on Netflix and spent a lot of time doing that instead of reading!

The Diamond Thief by Sharon Gosling

the diamond thief

 The Diamond Thief is set in Victorian London, where circus performer Remy leads a secret double life as a top class jewel thief. When ordered to steal one of the world’s most famous diamonds, she finds she’s been beaten to it and sets off to track it down. I did a full review here if you’re interested in reading that. If you like YA, Victorian London and steam punk, you’ll probably enjoy this!



Cress by Marissa Meyer


 Cress is the 3rd book in the Cinder series. It continues the story of Cinder, a cyborg, trying to save the world from the evil Luna queen, Levana in a futuristic, steam punk world. This book introduces a new character, Crescent or Cress, who lives in a satellite in orbit around the Moon. She’s the Rapunzel character in this world of retelling fairy tale characters. I won’t mention too much about the plot seeing as it is part of a series but I did really enjoy it and I’m looking forward to the final book.


Attachments by Rainbow Rowell


This is the 3rd Rainbow Rowell book I’ve read this year and it’s safe to say I’m definitely becoming a fan of Rowell! Attachments is set in 1999 in an office at a local newspaper, where Lincoln is the internet security officer who’s job it is to read flagged emails. Beth and Jennifer’s emails are frequently flagged but the more Lincoln reads from them, the less he wants to discipline them. He finds himself looking forward to their emails and slowly falls for one of the women. I thought it was a sweet story (forgetting maybe one or two of the slightly stalkerish parts!) and I loved the idea of reading the emails between the two women. I did find myself rooting for Lincoln and I really enjoyed the fact that this book focuses on adults instead of teenagers. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind books that have teenage characters but it was refreshing to read them from the point of view of people my age.


Who is Tom Ditto? by Danny Wallace

tom ditto

Tom is an ordinary guy, a early morning newsreader for a radio station in London, who leads a pretty ordinary life. Until one day he finds a letter from his girlfriend that says ‘Tom, I have not left you. But I am gone. Please carry on as normal. Love always, Hayley’. Tom’s life is turned upside down by this and while trying to uncover where she is, he discovers things he didn’t know about Hayley, include a mystery club called CC. I wrote a full review here. I enjoyed the book, I thought it was quirky and fun.


Britty Britty Bang Bang by Hugh Dennis

britty britty bang bang

I started this book at the end of April and only just finished it last night. This was partly the reason why I was so uninspired with reading this month. This book is broken down into chapters such as inventions, sport and entertainment, about what make Britain so British. And while I found some chapters interesting (I didn’t like the gardening one at all), I think the book was just so different to what I was expecting. It’s very factual while I thought the book would be a lot more casual and funny. Maybe it’s because I’d built it up in my head for a while and it took ages for me to get it from the library to read that I hyped it up. While this is interesting, it’s not as humorous as I expected.

May Stats

Number of books read-5

Ratio fiction to non-fiction- 4:1

Number of eBooks- 3 (The Diamond Thief, Attachments, Who is Tom Ditto?)

Number of books borrowed from library- 2

Number of books from Reading Resolutions- 0

All in all, not the best month. Though I’m glad I did start reading some other books I was holding off on, as it did help me get back into the swing of things. I have no idea what to read next though!

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