Saying Hello To Autumn 

While so many people tend to lust for the long, hot days summer can bring (a rare occurance if you’re a Brit like me…), I’m one of those people that can’t wait to pack away the shorts and bring out the tights and scarves.

Nothing brings me more joy than seeing the leaves turning browner, daylight hours becoming shorter, and my layers of clothing getting thicker! So, as you can imagine, I am more than ready to bring out the cable knits and embrace Autumn wholeheartedly.

One thing I love doing in the more Autumnal months is exploring new places, whether that be a quaint village, a picturesque park or (my personal favourite) a good stately home.

I’m a total grandma, I know.

I woke up on the second day of September feeling sufficiently Autumnal, so myself and my parents got in the car and headed off to Chatsworth House – if you can even call it a house – that some of you may recognise if you’ve seen Pride and Prejudice, Death Comes to Pemberlu and The Duchess. A definite place to visit if you’re a period drama lover!

I got a bit snap happy during my time there, but I’m really quite glad with how they came out and thought they would be nice to share here!

Me inwardly fangirling about Pride and Prejudice
The entrance hall of the house – not too shabby
A proper view of just a small part of the garden
A last shot of the house as I was leaving

Those are just a few of my favourites, and looking at them is making me want to go back already!

Here’s to a good Autumn!

What I’ve Been Loving this Month: The Beauty Edition

Although we’re not quite at the end of the month yet, I always find the last week or so to go really quickly, so I’m just going to count this as an early August favourites. Besides, I can’t see any of them changing, so we’ll just roll with it.

Usually I’m quite samey about my beauty products, but I’ve found myself being a lot more adventurous recently, and in turn finding a lot of new stuff to love! Whilst some of these products are ones I’ve used for a while, there are others that I finally decided to have a go at using and ultimately really enjoying.

So, lets get cracking!

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This is a limited edition bottle (which is available here), but you can also buy a cheaper version that really does the exact same thing here!

The first item I’ve been really loving this month is my trusty Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish. I’ve been hooked on this stuff for around 2 years now, receiving my first bottle for Christmas and never looking back. This stuff is just pure magic for the skin, and I personally feel that it gives the best results of all the (many) skin products I have tried over my acne prone years.

For example, for the past week and a half I’ve been really struggling with my hormonal acne, and although it cannot always be helped, I’ve definitely noticed that using my Cleanse and Polish morning and night has a visible impact on the size and redness of the spots, and I even reckon it makes them shift that bit quicker.

I’m a huge advocate for having a good skin care routine, so if you’re like I was 2 years ago and on a desperate hunt for a winner, I’d urge you to give this one a go.

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Available in pretty much any drugstore – although I just picked it up from Boots 

The second item I’ve been enjoying is again skincare, and that’s the Simple Replenishing Rich Moisturiser. Up until very recently I never really put too much thought into what moisturiser I was slapping on my face, and while I never went without, I definitely didn’t do much research into what would work best for me.

As I previously mentioned, my skin can be a bit of a nightmare and can get quite sensitive, so when I saw that Simple catered to that I decided to give it a go. Truly, there’s so much to love about this moisturiser, it’s cheap, a nice size, super accessible from shops, applies really nicely on to the skin, and most of all doesn’t irritate anything after you’ve put it on. It doesn’t take too long to sink in either, which is always good when you’re in a bit of a rush!

I think this is for sure my favourite high street moisturiser, and I will definitely be repurchasing this once mine runs out.

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Don’t mind my crappy photography skills, but buy this item here

Entering my makeup bag, we have my next favourite – the Sleek Brow Kit (mine’s in the medium shade). Now I don’t know about you, but shopping for eyebrow products can be a bit of a nightmare. There’s so many options, and so much pressure these days you have your brows constantly ‘on fleek’ that choosing the right product can be a daunting task.

While shopping for this particular part of my face, I was pretty set on parting ways my money and buying the Benefit Brow Kit after hearing several people tell me it was working pretty well for them. I mean, I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect given the price, but this was  sacrifice I would take for my brows.

Luckily for me (and my purse) I came across the Sleek counter and their much more affordable version of the same thing. Literally, it looks almost exactly the same. There’s two shades in each kit, as well as a tiny tweezer and angled brush for applying, all of which have come in quite handy actually! The product works really well, and I’m so glad I had a wander around Boots before committing to anything.

 

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Check this one out here

Next up is a lip product, and one that I’m super glad I can include on this list! If you’re a British girl like me, you’ll have been thrilled with the recent addition of NYX counters to a load of Boots stores across the UK. Before it was a distant, American dream, and now here I am with my very own NYX lip liner in my makeup bag.

Honestly, I was never a big lover of lip liner. My lips are already a decent size so I never felt the need to emphasise them, but when I saw the Bedrose shade on the NYX stand I was a goner. I was joining the lip liner train. I blame Kylie Jenner.

The liner is such a pretty shade – it applies quite a bit pinker than it looks on the tube, and really makes your lips pop without them looking obviously smeared in lip product. It applies really nicely too given that it’s super creamy in its consistency, so that’s always a winner.

Although I’m pretty smitten with the shade I have, now I’m a lip liner convert I’ll definitely be visiting Boots again to see if there are any others!

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Here you can see the bottle and the shade on my own nails (don’t mind my claw hand or the chipping!). This product is available online here 

With it being summer, I’ve been big on the bright, stand out nail colours – especially bright oranges and hot pinks! However, there has been one polish that has graces my fingers more than any other this summer, and that is the Rimmel Super Gel polish in the shade Blue Babe. It’s the most beautiful blue, reminding me of a nice, clear sky whenever I look at it. It applies fairly well – a couple of coats usually does me nicely – and lasts a reasonably good amount of time depending on how much you use your hands once it’s applied. I’ve had it on my nails for about 5 days now, and only really just starting to noticeably chip, so will probably do a touch up later on today.

It also looks shiny when it’s dried on the nails, giving it a more professional finish. I reckon I’ve had about 10 compliments about it this week, which is always nice!

So there you go, those are all the things I’ve been especially loving so far this month! It’s for the best really, this post was getting quite lengthy.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and can maybe even take some ideas of what to pick up next time you fancy a bit of a shopping spree – but don’t blame me if you spend more than you mean to in Boots!

Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss

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Now I don’t know about you, but sometimes I love to sit down with a nice cup of tea and pick up a book that you just know is going to make you smile from start to finish. Don’t get me wrong, when the mood calls for it I’m a sucker for an epic novel full of twists and turns, but they can get quite exhausting. As an English Lit student it can feel as though I’m reading a constant stream of classics, and while they can be highly rewarding, they’re also downright challenging at times.

I remember after a particularly tough month of tackling Great Expectations, I decided to treat myself and order something light-hearted, that I could just curl up with and get swept away with, and when i read the blurb of Anna and the French Kiss I knew it was exactly what I was looking for.

Without giving too much away, the story follows a teenage girl called Anna, who’s parents decide it would be a good idea for her to swap her American high-school for a French boarding school, leaving behind her best friend and a potential boyfriend. Not ideal.

After some inevitable moaning about how unnecessary the whole thing is, Anna begins to settle into her new life, meeting a rather attractive guy along the way. Don’t get too excited though, he’s a taken man, much to my (and Anna’s) dismay.

This is the type of book that you can read in one sitting. It’s the type of book where you feel as though you’re living it. Although I know it’s Anna who’s walking along the streets of Paris, Stephanie Perkins’s writing style makes me feel as though I could be walking alongside her, taking in all the sights and smells.

There were moments where I had to actually sit and relax my face because I didn’t realise I’d been smiling so much while reading it, and when I reached the final page and closed the book I actually felt slightly heartbroken that I couldn’t exist in that world anymore.

I love books like that.

If you’re like me and craving a book that will put you in a great mood, pick this one up and give it a go. I can almost guarantee you’ll be swooning too much to put it down.

 

 

February Book Haul

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Hello! Recently I’ve been reading a lot of books, and after finishing them I always feel like I need someone to talk to about them, or at least have a place to write down any thoughts and feelings I might have about them. After discovering that not everybody I know wants to hear what I have to say about a book they probably haven’t read, I decided that it might be a good idea to start my own blog dedicated to reading! And so here we are, my very first post!

It seems that this month I’ve gone a little bit crazy with buying/reading books. Me personally cannot complain, but my bank account on the other hand… Despite the cost, I’m really excited about the books I’ve picked up, and cannot wait to start reading them!

  • The first book I got this month is not included on the photo above as I read it as an e-book, and that was Me Before You by JoJo Moyes. I finished this book about a week ago, and I LOVED it. I want to do a full post about how amazing it was, so I won’t go into too much detail here, but oh my, it was great. The general premise of the book is 26 year old Louisa (Lou for short) loses her comfortable job working in her local cafe, so ends up finding herself at the Job Centre looking for a new one. After a string of unsuitable jobs, she eventually gets one working for a young paralysed man named Will Traynor. They don’t exactly like eachother at first, but as the novel progresses so does their relationship. It’s so beautiful, heartwarming and heartwrenching. I found myself waking up in the middle of the night dreaming about this book, and even a week later it still keeps playing on my mind. There’s also a trailer out for the film (it’s due to be released later this year), so be sure to give it a watch!
  • The second book I got this month, and the one I’m currently reading, is The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simmons. I’ve been wanting to read this book for ages but was always put off by the size of it (it’s over 600 pages long with very tiny font!!) and the fact it’s historical fiction. Now don’t get me wrong, I love reading books about the past, but sometimes I find they can take a bit more work than a contemporary. But I suddenly found myself in the mood for an epic love story, which this certainly is! It follows the lives of 17 year old Tatiana and 22 year old soldier Alexander, both living in Soviet Russia during WW2. Since I’m only 100 pages in I don’t know too much about it, but I’m really enjoying it so far and really hope it lives up to the hype!
  • Another book I picked up was Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I got this book for my friend as a christmas present, and I secretly wanted to keep it for myself because I’ve heard so much good stuff about it, and it just sounded really cute. After finishing Me Before You I found myself wanting to read something happy, so I went out to buy this and can’t wait to start it! I seem like the only person who hasn’t read this book, but just in case you’re like me and are behind the times, it’s about a girl who gets send to boarding school in Paris, where she meets a load of new people, including a super attractive boy called Etienne St. Clair. Many people have put Etienne in their lists of top book boyfriends, so hopefully I’ll love it enough to add him to mine!
  • Next book is Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. I have pretty much all of Rainbow’s novels, and everybody seems to love her. What appealed to me about this book is that it sounded more adult than her other books, so I was really eager to add it to my collection. It’s about an IT guy working at a company who finds himself reading an email exchange between two of his colleagues, Beth and Jennifer, and over time he develops feelings for one of them. I’m not sure why, but reading the synopsis I found myself getting some Jim and Pam vibes (if you know, you know), so given they’re one of my favourite fictional couples ever I just had to get this book!
  • After hearing so much hype about this book, I finally decided to pick up Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover. Now I’m fine with admitting that every once in a while I find myself craving some more adult, easy to read fiction, and this seems to fit into that category. It’s about a girl named Tate who meets an airline pilot, Miles, and the two strike up a friends with benefits type situation, except they aren’t really friends. As with most books in this genre, one of them will most likely have a difficult past that effects the way they are, and we all know that friends with benefits type situations rarely work out in fiction!
  • Now the next book is one that I’d heard a lot about but didn’t have much interest in reading until really recently, and that is A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I actually haven’t read any of her other novels, so this book wasn’t really on my radar, but after hearing multiple times how fantastic it was, I decided to go for it. I’ve heard that it’s a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, which is one of my favourite fairytales, so I am actually really looking forward to reading this at some point soon!
  • Finally on my list is actually a book I have to read for uni, because I guess I have to do work related reading at some point. As you might have guessed from the picture, it is of course Jane Austen’s final complete novel Persuasion. Despite it being for uni, I am actually really looking forward to reading this book, as the synopsis sounds really interesting, and I always love Jane’s writing. It’s about a girl called Anne Elliot who broke off an engagement with the handsome, yet poor, naval captain Frederick Wentworth. The two meet again several years later, and I’m presuming there’ll be some romance and angst (my favourite things) to keep me entertained.

And that’s everything I have gotten so far this month. I don’t think I can allow myself to buy any more, because that has certainly given me enough to be getting on with! I’m planning on writing a review for most of them, so do keep an eye out!