Wednesday, May 18, 2016

New Instagram Logo Inspired Nails #BEDM

So last week the new Instagram logo was revealed and the world lost its mind over it. The best meme I saw was how it looks like clip art from Word. Which it kinda does! It’s an ombre and when I saw Simply Nailogical and ohmygoshpolish both post videos I thought I’d give it a go myself!

new instagram logo nails, ombre nail design with instagram logo over

new instagram logo nails, ombre nail design with instagram logo over

For the ombre gradiant I used 5 colours.

Yellow- La Femme Beauty in Ultra Yellow

Orange- Catrice Ultimate Nail Lacquer in MAN GO Tango

Pink- Maybelline Rebel Bouquet in Vivid Rose

Purple- Maybelline Neons in Fuschia Fever

Blue- OPI in My Car Has Navy-gation

I was happy enough with the gradiant, I wish I had put more yellow on and better positioned the blue but it wasn’t too bad. To draw on the Instagram logo (MUCH harder than it looks, which is why they are kinda wonky), I used the Barry M Nail Art Pen in White. Here’s a look at the gradiant without the logo.

new instagram logo nails, ombre nail design

new instagram logo nails, ombre nail design

Are you a fan of the new Instagram logo? Or could you simply not give a toss? Let me know below!

Monday, May 16, 2016

A-Z Book Tag #BEDM

I spotted this tag the other day when Kate from Bibliophile Book Club posted it. She has links to other blog posts who've also done the tag. And since I'm a sucker for talking about books I thought I'd do the post myself!


Author You've Read the Most Books From

So I checked my Goodreads for this. Not counting children's books, my most read author is Alexander McCall Smith with 21 books. Next was Marian Keyes (11) and J.K. Rowling (10, though if you count her Robert Galbraith books it brings it up to 13!). My most read authors including children's books are Enid Blyton (I've 90 on Goodreads, it's probably more though!), Terry Deary (of Horrible Histories fame, 26 books) and Jacqueline Wilson (21).


Best Sequel Ever

If you count A God in Ruins as a sequel to Life After Life then I'd probably pick that. But seeing as it's not really a sequel but more a sister novel, then I'd either go with The Likeness by Tana French (I enjoyed it much more than In the Woods) or A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab (It did a lot of world building and preparing for the epic showdown to come for the final book in the trilogy, like a lot of other 2nd books do, but it was a great story on it's own and didn't feel 'filler' to me, like most 2nd books in series do!)


Currently Reading

Oh, while I managed to finish 19 books last month, I haven't finished one book so far this month and I'm like an epic juggler. I'm currently reading Gut by Giulia Enders (audio), Chicken With Plums by Marjane Satrapi (graphic novel), and Euphoria by Lily King (for a book club), as well as a slew of others ones that I have 'on hold' for various reasons. I can never read just one book at a time, I often have several on the go.



Drink of Choice While Reading

Usually water, I'm not a tea drinker and if I drink coffee while reading, I usually forget about it and it goes cold or else I'm afraid I'll spill it on my book!


E-Reader or Physical Book

I prefer physical books, I just like having it in my hand. I do like reading e-books too though, I read a lot on there as most of my review copies are e-copies and I like the fact that I always have a book (or several) on me on my phone, in case I ever get stuck waiting somewhere and need something to read.


Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated in School

Oh this is a tough one! Possibly Levi from Fangirl. Like Cath, I’m an introvert and Levi seemed sweet.


Glad You Gave This Book a Chance

Watermelon by Marian Keyes, I had always dismissed Marian as 'just' chick lit and reading this book (and the rest in the series) opened up my eyes not to be a snob and introduced me to a family that I loved reading about. Also in terms of reading genres that I don't usually read, I'm super glad I read Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (I picked it up thinking it was to do with the rivers of London, but it introduced me to urban fantasy) and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (made me realise that sci-fi is something I could enjoy too). Lesson learnt, always give something a go as you might be pleasantly surprised!

walsh family marian keyes


Hidden Gem

sweet as caneI never know what to pick for these kind of topics! Anyway, I   decided to go for a book I’ve read that has under 100 ratings on Goodreads and that’s Sweet As Cane, Salty as Tears by Ken Wheaton. It’s about 50 year old Katherine, a Louisiana native living in New York, who has to go back home after leaving 30 years ago after her siser dies. It’s sort of a coming of age story for someone who’s older, trying to come to terms with the past but figure out the future. I wrote a full review which you can find here.


Important Moment in Reading

Getting back into reading during final year of college. While I definitely reading during college (I even signed up for library when on work placement), it wasn’t until beginning of 2010 that I started paying attention to reading and making goals for myself. Another big moment was starting to blog about what I read, which started as a round up of what I read in January 2013. I don’t know why I didn’t blog about reading before then, I just don’t think it occured to me! Even when I started I didn’t think of myself as a book blogger, it was just a way to document what I had read. And probably using Goodreads too! It’s definitely helped me keep track of what I want to read and look for better recommendations.


Just Finished

The Idiot Brain by Dean Burnett. I showed on my A Day in the Life blog post that I was reading it and said I’d hope to finish by the end of the day and I did!


Kind of Books You Won’t Read

I try not to say I won’t try something, as I have been surprised in the past when I’ve tried sci-fi and fantasy. I’m not a big fan of classics but I won’t rule them out. I don’t really read romance like Mills and Boons and there’s always a section in libraries for just Westerns which baffles me. But that’s not to say in the future I wouldn’t give these a go! Never say never.


Longest Book

According to my Goodreads, the longest book I’ve read is The Likeness by Tana French with 698 pages. If I remember correctly The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber was longer but I never finished it fully. The book that felt the longest however was Tess of d’Ubervilles. The book itself was 508 pages but oh boy did it feel like double the length!


Major Book Hangover

I’d probably go with A God in Ruins, which I read last June. The ending just astounded me! Though in terms of having a big fatigue after reading, I’d say the end of 2013, I managed to get 100 books but I was just nearly over it all by the end! So I’ve learnt not to push myself.

a god in ruins


Number of Book Cases You Own

Just the one sadly. And only because my friend bought and decorated one for me! I can’t even fit all my books on it (I could but then I won some and I’ll need to rejig everything to make it all fit). I can’t wait to have a house of my own, purely for all the book cases I’ll own. Wall to wall, ceiling to floor!


One Book You’ve Read Multiple Times

I reread a lot of books as a child, especially my Enid Blyton and Harry Potter books. I reread The Enchanted Wood for BookTube-A-Thon 2013. The only other book I’ve reread as an adult (that I remember anyway) was The Great Gatsby which I reread May 2013.



Preferred Place to Read

I’ll read anywhere; public transport, in waiting rooms, standing in a long queue in a shop, in someone else’s house while waiting for them to get ready, at the beach, at the dinner table. My preferred place though is in my bed, it’s when I’m most comfortable.


Quote That Inspires

A library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life raft and a festival. They are cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination

Caitlin Moran, Moranthology


Reading Regret

Any time I’ve wasted reading a book I hated. Sometimes I will still try power through a book but I’m much more like to just stop. There’s not enough time to read everything I want to read! Also I regret not picking up To Kill a Mockingbird sooner than I did. I only read it last year but I had mentioned in my 2013 Reading Resolutions and it still took me 2 years to get around to it.


Series You Need to Finish

Oh there’s a few! But the big one at the moment is the Lunar Chronicles series. I need to read Winter, it came out in November so hopefully I’ll read it soon. I guess you could say Winter is Coming…!

winter real cover

Three All Time Faves

Only 3?! Not fair! Stiff by Mary Roach, A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson and Harry Potter series (that’s right, I’m cheating!)

                                         Unapologruntgetic Fangirl

I LOVE Mary Roach’s books, they’re really entertaining and great non-fiction books. Even if you don’t ‘do’ non-fiction these are worth a try.

Very Excited For This Release More Than Others

Grunt by Mary Roach (yes, the 3rd answer in a row to mention her!). I mentioned in my 2016 Releases Post that it was the one I was most looking forward to. But since then there’s been other releases announced so I think I need to do another post.


Worst Bookish Habit

Reading too many books at the same time. As well as buying too many books. Both physical and ebooks. I need to try get through the books I own!


X Marks the Spot- Start From Top Left Hand Corner of Book Shelf Until 27th Book

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

the book thief


Your Latest Purchase

A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. It’s for the Rick O’Shea book club this month.


Zzzz Snatcher Book (the book that kept you up way too late)

Last book to keep me reading and reading was The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson. I didn’t put it down!

the art of being normal

And that’s my A-Z! Thanks again to Kate for bringing it to my attention and if you do the tag too, let me know below so I can check it out!

Friday, May 13, 2016

A Day in the Life #BEDM

Unlike some people, I don't have a set day or routine. At the moment, due to a family emergency, I'm back home helping out for this week. I should have really documented yesterday to write up for today but alas, you're going to see my day so far!

This morning I woke up and went to my aunt's house to help mind my cousin for a couple of hours. I played this Elton John CD on my way there and had some epic car-aoke! While at my aunt's I played with my cousin and read for a small bit when she was busy playing in her own world. After, I went to creperie with my aunt, cousins and sister and I ate my crepe before realising I didn't take a picture! I did take a picture of my yummy latte though. 

After my sister and I got home, we played with the cats for a bit. I used her Snapchat picture as it turned out the best, as you can see the cats were loving the weather. As was my sister and I so we decided to go to the beach for a bit! The sky was lovely and blue except for those fluffy white clouds.

While at the beach I read some more of my book, painted my toenails blue (Barry M shade found here in this Pantone Colour of the Year post), squealed a bit when I dipped my feet into the water, got into a splashing contest with my sister despite the fact neither of us had spare clothes with us and then got my sister to do my hair in a French plait. She says she doesn't know how to do it on other people but I think you'll find it looks pretty good!

After spending some time at the beach real life started calling again so I did some food shopping, put out washing on the line (well my sister did for me!) and put on another wash, caught up on some emails and chatted to a friend about how her week was so far. And of course I wrote this post! I was just going to write up half this post and add in what I'll do over next few hours but I have a headache (I just had to take the plait out *sadface*) and the rest of my evening won't be that interesting. Cooking, washing, finish that book, write up a NetGalley review and listening to the newest episode of No Such Thing As a Fish! That is, if I don't fall asleep before then as I'm quite drowsy. Probably due to the heat, sure we're never happy here! 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Scaffolding by Seamus Heaney #BEDM

Hello! It doesn't look like I'll be able to do all the days this year in Blog Every Day in May, though that's ok! I'm still going to try and do as much as possible. Monday's topic was Food Glorious Food, here's a link to my most popular food post, the Pig Cake. Yesterday's topic was museums and for BEDM 2014 I did a post on my favourite museums which you can find here

Today's topic is Poetry. I liked studying English and poetry in school though since then I haven't read much new poetry. If you have any suggestions, please leave them below! I was at a wedding at the weekend and the reflection before the end was Scaffolding by Seamus Heaney. 

“Scaffolding” by Seamus Heaney

Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;
Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.
 And yet all this comes down when the job’s done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.
 So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me
 Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall,
Confident that we have built our wall.

It's a poem Heaney wrote after a disagreement with his wife, about how even if scaffolding breaks, the wall is still solid and made to last (at least that's what I got from it!). It resonated with me though on another level, that it can be applied to friendships too. That even if we sometimes lose touch (So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be/Old bridges breaking between you and me) that it doesn't matter. As long as the love and support is still there, our friendship is still solid (Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall/Confident that we have built our wall). I have a habit of hiding away when I'm not feeling my best, so this (along with the fantastic day and night I had with friends at the wedding) was just perfect for me right now and really brightened my mood. Below is a video of Heaney reciting the poem.

Do you have any favourite poetry? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Where I’ve Been in Europe and Where I Want to Go #BEDM

Today’s Blog Every Day in May topic is Europe, as today is Europe Day. So I thought I’d share some of the places I’ve been and some of the places I’d like to go to one day. This isn’t so much where to go in these places (some were so long ago I wouldn’t know what would be still there) but just sharing some of my experiences.

London, England

I love London. I was born there, lived there for a few of my first years before moving to Ireland. Since 2001, I’ve been to London 19 times! At least, from what I can remember and count. I wasn’t there in 2003, 2007 and 2008 but in 2014 I managed to rack up 4 seperate visits! I’ve shared some of my trips here in posts 2011 London Trip Part 1 and Part 2, BT Art Box 2012, 2014 Day Trip to London, Darkness Into Light 2014, St. Patrick’s Day 2014. Over the years I’ve seen a lot: typical tourist attractions (London Tower, Big Ben, London Eye, Covent Garden, Camden Markets, Leicester Square ), musicals (The Lion King, Chicago, Billy Elliot twice), museums and galleries (Natural History Museum, Science Museum, V&A, British Museum, London Transport Museum, Museum of Brands and Packaging, British Film Museum, Greenwich Royal Observatory, Maritime Museum, Saatchi Galley, Tate Modern), various parks, restuarants, shopping centres, pubs and bars. I’ve stayed with friends, family and in hotels. I’ve gone to so many of my relatives celebrations and parties. Some of my favourite experiences were Harry Potter studios in Watford, ice skating at Natural History museum with family, Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park (2011 and 2014), Jack the Ripper walking tour, afternoon tea in Oxo Tower with my boyfriend for my 24th birthday, speed boat tour of Thames, a masquerade screening of Labyrinth at Prince Charles Cinema and a tour of the closed Underground Station Aldwych/Strand. I’ve seen so much (sometimes going certain places more than once), but it’s barely even scratching the surface of what London has to offer. There’s so much more I want to see!


British Film Museum (2013); Me at Abbey Road (2005); Aldwych Underground Tour (2013), Me at Harry Potter Studio Tour (2012); Big Ben and Houses of Parliament from London Eye (2013)


Prague, Czech Republic

I’ve had the pleasure to go Prague twice. Once in 2004 on school tour and once in 2008 with two of my university housemates. The first time was February and it was snowing. The second time was Easter and it was so warm and sunny. It was lovely to see those two sides of Prague! When over with the school, we stayed in a hotel that served horrible dinners (we used to hoarde items from the breakfast buffet in our mini fridges to eat later after dinner). Prague has a such a fantastic vibe, it’s so accessible by foot. One of the highlights was a free walking tour, it was a local student who was running it to practice their English. Another highlight was making my first snow angel! I would love to go back again some day.


Making my snow angel (2004); Prague (2008); Me at John Lennon Wall (2008)



I went to Spain in the summer of 2005, with a friend and her family. We stayed in Lloret de Mar, a town on the Costa Brava. What sticks out most in my memory of that holiday is sudoku, the extreme heat and not being able to sleep, the pebbly beach, the very laid back vibe and buying this swishy red dress. One of the days we went to Barcelona. My friend and I went exploring on our own while her family went and did their own thing. All I really remember is walking along the Los Ramblas. I have no photos of this trip, except one done in a photobooth with my friend. There might be more around but I don’t think I have any. I feel like I didn’t properly explore Spain and looking back I really should have visited my sister when she was doing work placement there. I must go back!


Rome, Italy

After finishing school in 2006, I went on holiday with a group of friends. We went to London, then Rome and finished in Paris. In one way it was like interrailing but we flew everywhere instead (it was the age of really cheap Ryanair flights, the 4 flights was about 160 Euro if my memory is right!). While staying in Italy, we stayed in a camp site outside the city who had a shuttle bus to the train station. While we did do some tourist attractions (Colosseum, Pantheon, Vatican City, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain), the main things that stick out in my head is all the cats at the Roman Forum, my boyfriend and friend having a bet to see who could haggle the best, drinking absinthe, the electricity going off in the chalet while I was mid shower and my boyfriend and I getting dressed in the morning only to turn around see what we matched (same colour t-shirt, shorts and shoes). It made us look like we’d planned it á la Posh and Becks!


Trying to look cool in my boyfriend’s shorts; the view of St. Peter’s Square and Rome from top of St. Peter’s Basilica; trying to be cool sitting outside a cafe


Paris, France

When we left Rome (and after I threw up in the airport in Rome because it was filthy disgusting), we landed in Paris. We stayed in a not so great hotel (half of us got bedbugs), tried to speak French to the locals to get shut down by them responding in English, went to the Eiffel Tower at night time, went to the Louvre, had a man serenade me by singing a song about the Mona Lisa at me as I walked up the Champs-Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe, walked around Montmarte, went to Le Chat Noir, went to a market and spent a day in Disneyland! And because it was the beginning of September most schools had gone back so Disneyland was quietish. As with Rome, there’s so much more we didn’t see so I’d like to go back again and get a better impression of the place.

Me in front of Palace in Disneyland

The happiest place on earth


Europe Wanderlust List

There’s so many places I still want to visit in in Europe (if I hadn’t gone to London so much over the years I probably would have seen more of Europe). I would love to go to The Netherlands, which I especially want to do after seeing CherrySue’s snaps and Stone Travel’s blog recap of their journey. Germany is another place, Berlin just seems to cool and I want to see Bavaria. And for a long time I’ve loved Scandinavia, when I 11 and was on summer holidays, I gave myself a summer project to find out more about the countries in Scandinavia (I think it was from reading Pippi Longstocking books!). So I would be more than happy to go to one or all of those countries! And there are so many other places in Europe as well, I would only love to do some interrailing!


Of course, all this talk of places in Europe and there’s is so much more I’ve seen. Manchester, Liverpool, Belfast, Oxford as well as many places in Ireland. I did a post 2 years ago talking about where I’ve been in Ireland and then I did a post in November for Blog Every Day in November showing some of my favourite photos I’ve taken of Ireland. I’d love to hear where you’ve been in Europe!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Pantone Colour of the Year Rose Quartz and Serenity Nail Polish Picks #BEDM

I love when Pantone release a new colour of the year, I love the hype of other sites releasing beauty and fashion picks. 2014’s colour was Radiant Orchid and I had a post up with Essence’s polish. Last year was Marsala and I also showed the Essence polish for that too. This year the Pantone Colour of the Year wasn’t just one colour but two. A baby pink called Rose Quartz and a periwinkle blue called Serenity. I waited to see if Essence would bring out special polishes for both but so far they haven’t. So I set about trying to gather some polishes that do match up. I watched JessFace90’s video on this and went by her findings on how Serenity is more periwinkle than baby blue (which I thought it was at first as well). This is what I came up with. Some I bought so they’re still in shops. Others are from what I already had so they might not be in shops anymore. But either way you should find some in the shops now.

Rose Quartz

Pantone Color Colour of the Year Rose Quartz Nail Picks Essence The Gel Nail Polish in Sweet As Candy, NYC Shine in a Minute in New York Spring, Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine in Rose Hip, Wet N Wild in Sugar Coat, PS Gel Effect in Baby Cakes, Nails Inc in Elizabeth Street, Rimmel 60 Seconds Shine in Ring a Ring O’ Roses and Make Up Gallery Time to Shine in Pink Soda

Essence The Gel Nail Polish in Sweet As Candy, NYC Shine in a Minute in New York Spring, Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine in Rose Hip, Wet N Wild in Sugar Coat, PS Gel Effect in Baby Cakes, Nails Inc in Elizabeth Street, Rimmel 60 Seconds Shine in Ring a Ring O’ Roses and Make Up Gallery Time to Shine in Pink Soda

Serenity Picks

Pantone Color Colour of the Year Serenity Nail Polish Pick Catrice Ultimate Nail Lacquer in The Sky So Fly, PS Gel Effect in Bluebell, Nails Inc Instyle 2012 special in Bluebell, Limited Collection Jelly Bean Polish in Spearmint, China Glaze in Boho Blues, Rimmel Rita Ora in Bestival Blues, Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine in Blueberry, Seventeen Gel Colour in Azure Amore, Make Up Gallery Time to Shine in Sky Blue and Essence Gel Nail Polish in Itsy Bitsy Blue Bikini

Catrice Ultimate Nail Lacquer in The Sky So Fly, PS Gel Effect in Bluebell, Nails Inc Instyle 2012 special in Bluebell, Limited Collection Jelly Bean Polish in Spearmint, China Glaze in Boho Blues, Rimmel Rita Ora in Bestival Blues, Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine in Blueberry, Seventeen Gel Colour in Azure Amore, Make Up Gallery Time to Shine in Sky Blue and Essence Gel Nail Polish in Itsy Bitsy Blue Bikini

And because I like matching pairs here’s a picture of the brands that have both of the colours

Pantone Serenity and Rose Quartz Colour Color of the Year Nail Polish Picks Make Up Gallery, Barry M, Essence, PS, Rimmel, Nails Inc

As you can see there’s a mix of shades, not all of them are perfect but a lighter baby blue (like the Essence one) will work just as well as the others. I say my favourites for how close they are to the shade swatches online are the Barry M and Nails Inc polishes.

I plan on doing some posts with different looks (ombre, water marblings, polka dots etc), so if there’s any of the shades above that you’d really like to see or any particular type of design you’d like let me know. Better still, if you have any polish picks that I didn’t mention above leave me a comment!

PS polish in found in Penneys/Primark, Make Up Gallery is Poundland/Dealz make up stand and The Limited polish was from Marks and Spencers.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Favourite Book Covers #BEDM

Every Tuesday at 7pm GMT there’s a book blogger chat, hosted by Becky from Becky Bedbug on her Twitter. There’s always a theme and often after the chat it’s still on my mind and I’ve always half thought of doing a blog post about the topic. This week the topic was book covers so I thought I’d shade my favourite ones!

The Great Gatsby F.Scott Fitzgerald Yellow Cover


This is probably my favourite cover of all time! I don’t own a physical copy of this book but I love the yellow background, the suave relaxing character and especially the Y being used as a martini glass!





The Great Gatsby Art Deco Penguin Series Coralie Bickford-Smith


While we’re on The Great Gatsby, I LOVE this art deco F. Scott Fitzgerald hardback series. It’s designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith and it just screams class and decadence.




alice in wonderland penguin clothbound edition flamingos Coralie Bickford-Smith



The Penguin Clothbound Classics are GORGEOUS, all of them! Of course I’m choosing the flamingo covered Alice in Wonderland as my favourite. The series is also designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith





the fox and the star Coralie Bickford-Smith



While I’m mentioning Coralie Bickford-Smith, I might as well show you her own book, The Fox and the Star, which is just stunning. I could stare at the cover for hours and I’m sure the inside is just as beautiful.






The Kitchen Magpie Book Cover James Steen Mark Ecob


When I reviewed this book I mentioned how much I like this cover and I still love it. I think it’s so smart and the orange colour is beautiful. It’s designed by Mark Ecob and he’s designed loads of other covers I’ve seen recently and enjoyed. He also did the other Magpie series covers which are also fab though this still stays my favourite.





1984 Nineteen Eighty Four George Orwell Redacted Cover Penguin Books




This cover of Ninteen Eighty Four by George Orwell is so so smart. I don’t even need to say anything else!






Look Who's Back Timur Vermes Book Cover



Another clever book cover is Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes. When you look at this book, you know straight away who this book is about. If you want to know more about it, you can check out my book review here.





Love Nina by Nina Stibbe Book Cover



This Love, Nina cover is just so pretty, it is just steeped in nostalgia! I love the colour scheme and how this almost has that look of an old photo. It makes me crave Toffos!





shrill by Lindy West Book Cover



The title of this book is Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman and this cover design is perfect! I want to check it out for a number of reasons and the cover is definitely one of those, the clever design makes me think the book itself will be clever.





vinegar girl by Anne Tyler Book Cover



Finally I’m going to end on another beautiful design. This is for Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler, a retelling of The Taming of the Shrew which is out next month. Ever seen seeing this cover I’ve fallen in love with it!




And that’s it for now. I’m sure ther are many, many, many more covers that I like. I might do another post once I have come across them. Let me know down below which book covers you love.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Recent Beauty Haul #BEDM

Hello! So I missed yesterday’s Blog Every Day in May post, I was just too tired and busy to write a post and I didn’t want to throw something out for the sake of it. But I don’t want to let it put me off!

Yesterday I went out and got some bits and pieces in Boots, Penneys and Dealz. I’m going to a wedding tomorrow and there were several things I needed to pick up for that (and then several things I just wanted!).

Nip and Fab Glycolic scrub, Maybelline Color Show Jelly Tints, Nailene false nails, Essence Get Big Lashes Waterproof Mascara, Maybelline Clor tattoo Creme de Nude, Maybelline color elixir in Signature Scarlet, Natural Collectiom Concealer Green, Maybelline Hyper Glossy Mascara, L'Oreal Infallible Matte in Vanilla

Nailene So Natural False Nails in Short- I don’t usually wear false nails but my left index finger broken really badly and I want to have nice nails for the wedding! I remembered this video from CutePolish where she gives some tips and tricks for this very situation. I picked these ones as they said natural and every day wear so I’m hopng they’re thin and not very fake looking after I put the polish on

L’Oreal Infallible 24H-Matte in Vanilla- I’ve been very unhappy with foundations recently and so I went looking through blogs to pick a replacement. I chose this one because of Karen from LovelyGirlieBits (I read loads of her site and this one stood out to me). I tried it on yesterday and seem happy enough with it so fingers crossed it does the job tomorrow!

Maybelline Color Tattoo Creamy Mattes in Creme De Nude- Everyone and their mother’s seem to use the MAC Painterly Pots and I can’t splash out on that right now so I decided to give this Maybelline one a chance. I want to use it as an eyeshadow base and went with the matte shade as I can use it with matte and shimmy shadows over it

Maybelline Color Show Jelly Tints- If you’ve followed my nail polish posts for a while you’ll know that I love a good Color Show collection! It started with Polka Dot collection in 2013, the Street Artist Top Coats, the Bleached Neon collection, Rebel Bouquet collection and All Access NY Top Coats. I’ve also picked up the Neon collection in Dealz/Poundland. Not every collection appeals to me but when I saw these Jelly Tints I knew I wanted them!! I’ll do a swatch post in the following week.

Maybelline Color Elixir in Signature Scarlet- I picked this up in Dealz, it’s a bright red that usually I shy away from but with the price being 1.50 I decided to give it a go!

Nip & Fab Glycolic Scrub- My skin has been cat the last few months and I don’t have any exfoliators at the moment, so this caught my eye yesterday. I’ve used there pads before and liked them so I’m hoping to like this too

PS Duo Nail Polish- This I picked up for the glitter side of the polish, I want to use it for an upcoming post! But I do like this idea, as the glitter would be nice as an accent nail over the creme polish. It was also only one euro!

Essence Get Big! Lashes Waterproof Mascara- I thought I had a waterproof mascara but I seem to have lost it. I’ve tried the normal one of this so as I’ll be a big emotional mess at the wedding I need a waterproof mascara!!

Maybelline Hyper Glossy Mascara in Brown- Another Dealz find, I’m always intrigued when I find Asian Maybelline products there. I picked up one of the blushers before and like it. I don’t wear brown a lot but I do like it from time to time when I wear makeup during the day

Natural Collection Concealer in Green- I went to pick up one of the concealer palettes from Essence and Catrice and there was none there! So I went looking at every stand in Boots and came across this. My face can be a bit red at times so I want this to put on before I put on foundation

Let me know if you’ve tried any of these things or if you’d like to know how I get with these products

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Imperial Leather Sweets Shower Creams #BEDM

I love love LOVE sweet things! I have a big sweet tooth, I’ve been told my taste in alcoholic drinks is almost childish and I love sweet perfumes and shower gels. So when I saw this new range of shower creams by Imperial Leather based on sweets I HAD to get them!

imperial leather shower creams shower gels foamy bananas fruit salad fruit chews marshmallows sherbet lemon

I snapped by the Sherbet Lemon, Fruit Salad and Marshmallow ones on offer in Boots (the spearmint one wasn’t there and I probably wouldn’t have gotten it anyway as I’m not a big mint fan). Imperial Leather then brought out the Foamy Bananas one later, a Tesco only exclusive, so I had to wait weeks to get it but it was worth it! Here’s what I think of them.

imperial leather marshmallow shower cream


Comforting Marshmallow- Probably my favourite! It’s sweet but I find it so soft and lovely. It isn’t overly cloying in my opinion but I guess it might depend on what you find too sweet for your own liking. I paired it with Lush Rose Jam one day and it was beautiful! There’s also a bath cream for this but I haven’t seen it in the shops yet.


imperial leather fruit salad shower cream


Mouthwatering Fruit Salad- This is now called Fruit Chews, I’m guessing the makers of Fruit Salad bars had something to say about that (though while I’m talking about them, bring back Apple Jacks!! They were sooo good!). Anyway, this is fruity and delicious. The sweets are raspberry and pineapple and this is what the shower gel smells like to me


imperial leather sherbet lemon shower cream


Uplifting Sherbet Lemon-This is my least favourite. I find lemon shower gels can be hit or miss. Sometimes they are lovely, other times they remind me of Cif. This was more of the latter to me but I haven’t given up on it. I’ll try it again and if I still don’t like it, I’m going to try pair it with something else to see if I can get a good mix.


imperial leather foamy banana shower cream



Foamy Banana- Oh I love this! If you don’t like the smell of fake bananas, then you’ll hate this. But if you lovely banana milkshakes and these sweets, then you’ll love this.




All of these foam really well and I’ve been very impressed with the range so far. And if you’re not a fan of sweet smells, Imperial Leather have so many other scents and ranges that there is bound to be something to suit you. And no, I’m not being paid to say that (nor were these products free, I bought them myself), I just really like them! If you’ve tried these too I’d love to hear your thoughts on them!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

April Reads Part 2 #BEDM

The other day I posted part one of what I had read in April, which was all the graphic novels and short stories. You can read that here. Today is all the other books I read!

April Reads

Desolation by Derek Landy

Desolation Derek Landy

Desolation is the follow up to Demon Road, which I read last month. After tricking the Shining Demon, Amber and Milo must go to Desolation Hill in Alaska, where you can hide from the Shining Demon for unknown reasons. I was surprised at how quickly Amber and Milo ended up in Desolation Hill, I thought there would be more travelling and thought it might get boring if they got there early in the book. But there is plenty of action from why the town has a forcefield that keeps out the Hounds of Hell, to the mystery of The Narrow Man, to Amber's parents showing up again. The book is similar to the first one in that there's it constantly feels like problem-solved-new problems etc. but at least it doesn't fall into the boring, which some 2nd books in series tend to do. For a YA book it is pretty full on. There's lots of swearing, gore and sexual references (nothing too graphic though). I will say I'm not sure how I felt about the whole Amber and Kelly situation, purely based on the fact that Amber is 16 and Kelly is an adult (19/20). There's lots of new characters in this and it felt a bit crowded at times to be honest. Overall it's another fast fun read, a bit more disorganised compared to the first one but it'll be interesting to see how the third book progresses. (NetGalley)


Morgue: A Life in Death by Vincent DiMaio and Ron Franscell

morgue vincent dimaio

Morgue is an insight in the life of criminal pathologists. When I first saw this book, I thought it might be about the day to day life as a medical examiner, while talking about some of the big cases mentioned in the blurb. Instead we get the life story of DiMaio, as told through the biggest cases he worked on, while weaving in his personal life, starting as a boy in Brooklyn who follows his father's footsteps into criminal pathology.

The book is separated into chapters which focus on one big story (like the Trayvon Martin case and the exhumation of Lee Harvey Oswald) or a theme which speaks about a few different cases (like how looks can be deceiving, that a suicide can look like a murder). We get the background story of the case and then DiMaio will tell us his involvement with the case in the capacity of an ME and also describes other aspects such as what happens in the courtroom. The book isn't heavy with technical language, so if that's something that can put you off with books surrounding medical or scientific books don't let that put you off! It is quite graphic though, there is a lot of descriptions of these cases and as some of them are about children dying and being murdered, this might not be for you if this kind of thing upsets you easily. The book flows nicely and I found it to be a quick read, I was engrossed every time I picked it up! The sheer amount of big cases just goes to show that DiMaio was clearly someone who was an expert in his field and someone who's opinion is still respected even though he's retired. If you like true crime or if you're a big fan of crime shows on TV and want to know more about what really happens, pick this up and give it a go! (NetGalley)


Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA by Brenda Maddox

rosalind franklin brenda maddox

Rosalind Franklin should be a house hold name. Her X-ray photographs of DNA helped Watson and Crick with their insight into DNA (which won them a Nobel Prize). These photographs were shown to them without Rosalind’s knowledge. To add to the insult, Watson’s book The Double Helix painted Rosalind in a horrible light, an unpleasant, unattractive and unhelpful woman. This book shows a bigger picture of Rosalind, of her childhood to her interest in science, becoming an established scientist in the area of coal before moving onto DNA and viruses, before dying at the age of 37 from cancer. I found this book pretty balanced, it showed that Rosalind could be frank, didn’t suffer fools and probably did come across badly to some people. But to those who knew her, she was generous and a great friend. I loved seeing her interests in travelling and cooking. The science aspect of this book is manageable, it wasn’t too heavy but if it is something you struggle with, just take it slow and you’ll get through it. One gripe I had was any time the author quoted something in a different language, it wasn’t translated. As I had studied French in school, most of the French phrases I understood but it was still a bit frustrating. Overall though I enjoyed it, perfect balance for a biography, detailed but not too long.


The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

the art of being normal

David is an outsider, with few friends and is picked on by school bullies. He hides a big secret, one he wishes to tell his family about. While David was born a boy, for years he has known he’s a girl. Leo is new at school and has one wish: to keep his head down, stay invisible and keep out of trouble. When David is being humiliated in front of the entire school, Leo stands up for David and punches the bully. From then on David persists in being friends with a reluctant Leo and we discover the reason why Leo has changed schools. I loved this book, I devoured it in one sitting. It of course deals with transgender issues but there’s so much there as well. It hits the nail on the head of what it’s like to feel different and dealing with families, friendship, being bullied and struggling to fit in. The story is told from a dual point of view, with David and Leo taking turns at being the narrator. I thought it was a sweet story, enduring book, a must read for lovers of YA.


Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body by Sara Pascoe

Animal Sara Pascoe

This book looks at many different aspects for what it's like to be a woman. Sara looks at evolutionary and physiological reasons for things like monogamy, falling in love and breakups, sex, why our bodies have developed over the years and how our hormones affect us. Sara looks at these issues from a modern and social perspective too and peppers in her own experiences and anecdotes. This book doesn't shy away from issues either, covering things like rape, body image and eating disorders, female genital mutilation and a drawing of female genitals. Of course, seeing as Sara is a comedian, this book is witty and humourous and had me laughing out loud a few times. You can read my full thoughts and review of the book here. (NetGalley)


The Little French Guesthouse by Helen Pollard

the little french guesthouse

Not going to lie, this bright cover was the reason I was first interested in this book! Emmy's relationship with her boyfriend Nathan seems to have lost its shine so Emmy suggests they go on holiday. They go to the beautiful La Cour des Roses, a guesthouse in the Loire valley in France. The book opens with Emmy looking for Gloria, the hostess of the house, because Gloria's husband Rupert has collapsed. Emmy finds Gloria in bed with Nathan! When Gloria and Nathan run off, Emmy is left heartbroken, trying to make sense of the events. To take her mind off things (and plagued with guilt) Emmy helps invalid Rupert run the guest house. This was a sweet book, perfect for getting swept up in the pretty French setting. I liked the mix of characters, it's great to see Emmy regain her confidence and self belief. I flew through this book, I read it in two sittings. If you're a fan of Jenny Colgan or Lindsey Kelk then you'll enjoy this French adventure! I look forward to the 2nd book, I was glad to see this is going to be a series! (NetGalley)


Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik

sofia khan is not obliged

Sofia Khan is Muslim and a hijabi (much to her mother’s dismay, who thinks she’ll never find a husband if she continues to wear a headscarf). Sofia works in publishing and gets asked to writing a book about Muslim dating. Having just got out of an engagement, Sofia is reluctant but agrees. What follows is Sofia joining a Muslim dating site, going on speed dating and dealing with her ex-fiancee. I mentioned this book in a book haul post in January. This book has been described as the ‘Muslim Bridget Jones’ and there are a lot of comparions. The book stands up on its own though. It isn’t just about dating and religion, we see other issues like family, friendships and racism. I found it very entertaining. Sofia is strong but flawed too, which I think makes this book work. I really liked the family and friendship dynamics too. I enjoyed an insight into a culture I don’t know much about and hope there is a second book as I would snap it up straight away!


Death of a Red Heroine by Qiu Xiaolong

death of a red heroine

Set in Shanghai in 1990, a body has been found outside in a canal outside the city. It turns out to be the body of a Model Worker, prominent member of the Communist Party. Chief Inspector Chen is assigned to the case and told to keep party authories informed of this case which could turn very political. This book was interesting and different read for me. Chen is an interesting character, he’s not only a cop but a poet and book translator. He finds himself stuck in an awkward position, of wanting to investigate this case to the very end, regardless of politics (and his own personal future) and also trying to toe the Party line and do what’s best in the interest of the Party. We see how difficult it is at times to operate in this closed system. I liked seeing the relationship between Chen and his work partner blossom, as well as all of Chen’s other relationships (I wish we had seen a bit more of Overseas Chinese!). The book is peppered with a lot of poetry, which at times I found a bit tiresome but it does add to Chen’s poetic personality. The book also mentions bits and pieces of modern Chinese history, a lot I wasn’t fully aware of so it was interesting to find out more of another country and culture. The book is definitely a different take on detective novels but an interesting spin and I’ll probably check out the second book in the series.

April Stats

Number of Books Read- 19
Ratio fiction to non-fiction- 16:3
Number of eBooks- 7 (Paper Girls, Desolation, Morgue, Animal, The Little French Guesthouse, Cruel Crown, Sofia Khan is Not Obliged )
Number of Books Borrowed from Library- 11 (Jane, the Fox and Me, Rosalind Franklin, Anya’s Ghost, The Art of Being Normal, American Born Chinese, Death of a Red Heroine and Saga Volumes 1-5)


Book Riot Challenge Completed

Read a biography (Not autobiography or memoir)- Rosalind Franklin

Read a book by or about a person that identifies as transgender- The Art of Being Normal

Read the first book in a series by a person of colour- Death of a Red Heroine

Read a book about religion (fiction or non-fiction)- Sofia Khan is Not Obliged

And that’s April! It was a busy month but that’s mainly because of the graphic novels and short stories (don’t forget to check out the previous post if you’re interested to see what else I read this month). Please let me know below if you’ve read any of these or if you have any questions!

This post continues digital advanced reading copies from NetGalley. I am under no obligation to post reviews and all opinions are my own.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Catrice Ultimate Nail Lacquer in Go For Gold! #BEDM

As I’ve said before on here, I’m a fan of rose gold. I did a post in November showing some of my recent nail looks which included a lot of rose gold and soft pinks. I did a rose gold stamped nails for Valentine’s Day. So I was excited to see this new rose gold polish from Catrice! There’s a few ‘go to’ rose gold polish, like Orly’s Rage, Essie’s Penny Talk and Model’s Own in Chrome Rose, but it’s great to have a rose gold polish that’s more affordable!

Catrice Ultimate Nail Lacquer Go For Gold (Rose Gold Nail Polish)

Catrice Ultimate Nail Lacquer Go For Gold! (Rose Gold Nail Polish)

I love the tone of this, how it’s more on the pinky side than the bronzey side. You do get brush strokes but that’s expected with a metallic polish. Go For Gold! should be on Catrice stands now.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

April Reads Part 1: Graphic Novels & Short Stories #BEDM

Hello! Day One of Blog Every Day in May has the topic set to Tell Us Something New or Introduce Yourself. I don’t have much time to do that at the moment, but here’s the link to my 1st day of BEDM last year which was a similiar post. Some of it is out of date but it’s still generally the same! I need to do an About Me page for the blog, so maybe this will be the kick I need to do so.

Usually when I list what I’ve read during the past month, I list it in order I read it. But in April I read a lot of graphic novels and short stories, so I thought I’d have a post just for those and the next one for all the longer books I’ve read.

Paper Girls Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang and Matthew Wilson

paper girls volume 1

Four 12 year old newspaper delivery girls team up early in the morning following Halloween when weird things start happening in the neighbourhood. I requested this on NetGalley after I saw Sanne from Books & Quills mention it. I really liked what she showed and it lived up to my expectations. The girls are kick ass, the colour scheme is beautiful and I loved the pace and story. It reminded me a bit of Lumberjanes. I’m looking forward to reading more of this when it comes out.




Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

kindred spirits

It’s no secret I’m a big Rainbow Rowell fan so I was excited to see there was a short story for World Book Day out (which I showed the other week in this book haul post). Kindred Spirits is about Elena, a MASSIVE Star Wars fan who decides to spend the week before the latest release queuing outside with all the other huge fans. But when she gets there she finds out there’s only two other people there. It was a cute story, worth reading if you’re a fan of Rainbow Rowell and YA but as it’s only a short story it’s not a must-read.




Jane, The Fox and Me by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault

jane the fox and me

I picked up this book after seeing Mercy from Mercy’s Bookish Musings talking about it. Shy and lonely Hélène finds herself being bullied by the girls she thought were her friends. They taunt her about her weight and how much of a loser she is. Hélène starts to build these things and is very insecure. Her only comfort is reading Jane Eyre. I loved this, it was heartbreaking at times but it really resonated with me. I loved the art work, how Hélène’s parts are more greyed out and Jane’s parts are done with colour. There are spoilers for Jane Eye so if you haven’t read it and don’t want to be spoiled, don’t read this first! But it’s well worth picking up, it’s one of my fave graphic novels.


Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol

anya's ghost

Anya is a typical teenage, embarassed by her family, self conscious about her body, wanting to fit in at school and has a crush on a guy who just so happens to be dating the most popular girl in school. Just when she thinks life can’t get worse she falls down a well and meets a ghost! After leaving the well, this ghost stays with Anya, which has it’s perks at first but takes a turn for the creepy and weird. I liked this, I liked how there’s a lighter fun side to it but also a dangerous side too. Anya doesn’t experience much growth, which might have been a nice addition to the story. A quick fun read!


Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard

cruel crown

Cruel Crown contains two short story prequels from the Red Queen series. In Queen Song, we see Cal's mother Coriane as a 15 year old and how she met Cal's father, the still to be King Tiberias, and how they fell in love. In Steel Scars we see Captain Farley, her help in the rebellion and how she comes to meet Shade and Mare Barrow. It was fun to see more sides of the story and learn more about some of the characters we don't know much about in Red Queen. These are not essential to the plot but rather helps to round out views more. I preferred Queen Song but I still enjoyed seeing the overlap of Farley's missions with Mare and the Queenstrial. If you loved Red Queen and Glass Sword (I reviewed both here), then you'll enjoy reading these short stories.


American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

American Born Chinese

 American Born Chinese has 3 stories running through it. The first is the centre to this story, Jin Wang, who finds himself the only Chinese-American student in his class when his family moves. He just wants to fit in, though he is bullied constantly. The second is the Monkey King, which is one of the oldest Chinese fable stories. The third is Danny, a popular high school kid who’s life is ruined every time his Chinese cousin Chin-Kee, the epitome of negative Chinese stereotypes, comes to stay. I enjoyed the stories as they were but when they all came together is was amazing! The themes of racism and acceptance are really well portrayed. I’ve heard good things about this author’s Boxer and Saints books too so I’m going to pick them up if I can.


Saga Volumes 1-5 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Saga Volumes 1-5







I had heard of Saga before picking up Paper Girls, so after reading that I decided I should pick up Saga after all, as I have heard some pretty amazing things about it. When I got to the library Volumes 1-5 were in so I just got them all out! Where to start on this?! I can’t describe what this is about properly! The book opens with two characters, a couple, where the woman is giving birth. We quickly discover that these are two people from the opposite sides of war who fell in love and ran off together, eventually having this baby. It becomes pretty clear fast that people want them dead, especially when they hear about this baby. Set in space, it’s got elements of sci-fi and fantasy. It contains sex, bad language and violence, so if you’re not happy with any of those, give this a miss (or make sure you’re happy for younger readers to consume it). I saw someone somewhere describe it as a rock opera set in space and I think it fits! I love the story, the characters, the drawing style and look forward to continuing with the series!

That’s it for now, I’ll have the rest of April’s Reads up soon enough, all with my stats and breakdown of the month. It’s been a fun, interesting new month for me overall! I’m pleased I picked up these graphic novels and have more planned for the future.

This post continues digital advanced reading copies from NetGalley. I am under no obligation to post reviews and all opinions are my own.

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