A Discovery of Witches | Book Review

 

Oooooh, another book review! As I said in my last post and book review I am currently obsessed with reading books on my Kindle.On Tuesday I tweeted asking for some book recommendations and Elf Store Cardiff tweeted me with some books which had been recommended on their Facebook page, A Discovery of Witches was one of those books.

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A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness is the first book in the All Souls Trilogy, this book is used to set the scene and develop relationships between characters, along with capturing our attention so that we can’t finish the book without wanting to read more.

Diana Bishop is a witch who doesn’t want to use magic and wishes she was human, however one day when conducting some research she calls upon a book ‘Ashmole 782’ which doesn’t go unnoticed. ‘Ashmole 782’ has been lost for years and no one has known where it was, witches have been after the book, as have daemons, and vampires, now that they know Diana has seen the book they want her to hand it over to them. Witches, daemons, and vampire believe that this book contains information about their existence and all want to get their hands on it.

Diana isn’t aware of the significance of the book and has no idea that she is the reason why Oxford is suddenly becoming full of witches, daemons, and vampires. She develops a friendship with Professor Matthew De Clairmont who helps to protect her as she is trying to work in the library which is becoming increasingly occupied with witches, and daemons who want to see ‘Ashmole 782’, which Diana no longer has. The friendship between Diana and Matthew soon develops into a relationship after she ‘cooks’ him a meal which a vampire can stomach.

Diana is descended from the famous Bridget Bishop of Salem, Massachusetts and comes from a long line of powerful witches. She has grown up living with her Aunt Sarah after her parents were killed in Nigeria when she was 7. Diana is believed to be a very powerful witch due to being a Bishop however she hates to use her magic and prides herself on the fact she has only used magic 6 times this year and of those times was to stop the washing machine from flooding her home.

I really loved this book, and have already downloaded the second in the trilogy Shadow of Night and will be getting stuck into. I just know that the story is going to develop so much more and I can imagine the All Souls Trilogy being worthy of many more books, though the third and final book The Book of Life isn’t released until 15th July but I will be pre-ordering it to be instantly downloaded to my kindle!

I’ve seen a lot of Goodreads reviews compare this to Twilight and it is nothing of the sort! A Discovery of Witches is a well written novel which mixes science, history, romance, and weaves them together in a fantastic novel. Twilight doesn’t have a good romance story but this does, Diana and Matthew make such a lovely couple and they are equalish partners in their relationship, she doesn’t do things to defy him because she doesn’t need to! In the beginning of their relationship he does try to be controlling because as a vampire born in the 500’s that’s how most of his relationships worked until the modern one he has with Diana.

Anyway, I have just one last thing to say which is go and buy it and read it! I am so glad that Elf Store Cardiff recommended it too me, it would have been a long time before I found it without their help.

Tink x

Ps. I am organising a book swap so why don’t you take a look at it here.

Fangirl | Book Review

 

I have recently become a little addicted to reading books on my kindle, now don’t get me wrong I love having a book in my hand, but I’ve just realised how handy a kindle actually is. On Sunday I had a bit of a mad rampage downloading and purchasing books from the kindle store, and one of those books was Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell which was £2.99.

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Fangirl is about twin sisters Cather and Wren who are starting college, and moving away from home for the first time. As twin sisters they have done everything together, however Wren has decided that at college she wants to live without her sister and meet new friends. Cather is the quieter sister who likes to stay in on her laptop and most of her friends are the people she has met online.

Cather is obsessed with the Simon Snow series which is to them what Harry Potter is to us, she writes her own fanfiction, and is the author of the very popular fanfic Carry On Simon. Cather wants to burry herself into writing her fanfic but has to deal with a stranger as her roommate, her roommates boyfriend who never seems to leave their room, the loss of her sister, and worrying about her dad Art who has brought the twins up since their mum left.

I really enjoyed Fangirl, it’s an easy read which is great for a Sunday afternoon. I feel that Rainbow Rowell really managed to capture the true essence of a fangirl, a girl who loves the world of her favourite books so much that she wants to be a part of that world. I will hold my hand up now and say i’ve tried my hand at writing fanfiction, and I’m not great at it, but I still love diving into the world of Harry Potter every now and again to read some Remus/Sirius or Harry/Draco. Cather isn’t the crazy kind of fangirl that is following a musician around, and trying to meet them at every opportunity, instead she is the fangirl that is inside of us all. She’s the one that wants to get inside of that world and she’ll do whatever she can, by reading the books and watching the films so many times she’s lost count, or sitting and spending hours writing her own fanfiction and going against canon with a Simon/Baz relationship. I think lots of us can identify with the fangirl that is Cather.

I also love that throughout the book there are excerpts from the Simon Snow books and Cather’s fanfic Carry On, Simon. Once i’d finished reading I did have to Google to see if the Simon Snow books do exist because they sound so wonderful but unfortunately Rainbow Rowell created them for the purpose of Fangirl.

Also as a side note, there has been fanfiction written about Fangirl!

I would definitely recommend this book, I loved reading it and felt a little sad that I’d finished it so quickly.

Tink x

Ps. Take a look at the book swap I’m organising!

Bloggers Valentine’s Swap | Video

 

I apologise, I’ve been hooked reading this weekend and haven’t written a single blogpost! However I thought I’d share with you the unboxing of my Valentine’s Swap. Now the swap was organised by Kel of Adventures in Tea and Cake.

I sent a box of goodies to Alex from A Yank in Blighty, so if you want to see what I bought for her then head on over there where she did a lovely blog post.

I received a box of lovely goodies from Michelle at Satchels and Pearls, it arrived on Valentine’s Day which made it extra exciting for me. If you want to see what she bought me then take a look at the video below!

Tink x

Bargain Hunt

 

I’m going to share with you a little TK Maxx bargain which I found last Friday while I was out shopping. Now we all know that TK Maxx is the home of bargains, of the luxury type.

I popped into TK Maxx because I was looking for some storage, but they didn’t have what I wanted. I decided that seeing as I was there I should have a good look around and see what I could spot. Unusually for me there wasn’t anything in the Beauty department which wowed me, but when I made my way to the books I fell in love!

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On the shelf amongst all of the cook books I spotted Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual, which I have been lusting after for an age. It has been in my Amazon basket for months fluctuating between £16 and £20, but I just couldn’t bring myself to pay that much for it.

When I found it in TK Maxx there was no price on it so I had a little panic, but there was also a Liz Earle Skin Secrets book for £6.99 so I figured it couldn’t be much more expensive than that and must be under £10. Anyway I trotted off to the tills to have them find the price for me, and it was £7.99! I was gobsmacked and obviously couldn’t leave without it.

Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual has a RRP of £25, so finding it in TK Maxx at £7.99 was almost like a dream come true!

I think you should all make your way to your nearest TK Maxx this weekend, and hopefully they’ll have a copy for you to pick up. I will definitely be taking a closer look at their books in future to see if I spot any more beauty book bargains!

Have you spotted any ace bargains like this in TK Maxx?

Tink x

Valentines Chocolate Fudge Cake Recipe | Gluten Free

 

As I’m sure you’re all aware Valentine’s Day is on Friday! When I was out shopping I picked up ASDA magazine and on the front is a heart shaped chocolate fudge cake, and so I thought I’d share with you a gluten free alternative. 

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If you want to make your cake heart shaped you’ll need to pick up a couple of cake tins, or you can just go for a standard round tin

Ingredients:

225g Rice Flour
300g Caster Sugar
85g Cocoa Powder
2 1/2 tsps Baking Powder
130g Vegetable Oil
4 Large Eggs
300g Water
2 tsps Vanilla Extract.

Basically stick all your dry ingredients in a bowl, gradually add your wet ingredients and mix together. Don’t worry it is a wet batter and looser then your standard cake batter, I did worry the first time I made it but it turned out into a lovely cake. Share your batter equally between two cake tins, and pop in the oven at 180 C/350 F/Gas Mark 4 for about 35 minutes.

Once your cake is cooked, leave it to cool before decorating with Chocolate Fudge Icing. I do cheat and buy mine ready made from the supermarket, but of course you can make your own chocolate ganache to decorate with. The cake in the ASDA magazine was covered in heart shaped decorations which are made from white ready to roll icing with pink food colouring.

When I made this cake it went down very well with my non gluten free family, and they couldn’t tell it was a gluten free cake.

Tink x

*Note I haven’t made this since before Christmas so this in an old photo*

Our Favourite Products | Bloggers Collab

 

Gemma put out a calling on Twitter for people who wanted to share their favourite products, and so today I bring to you the 8 products by the 8 other bloggers. You will be seeing mine very soon in a post of its own, though if you’re desperate to see it just take a look at one of the other blogs and you’ll find it there.

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Lisa from  http://www.lisasbeautystreet.blogspot.com

L'Oreal Paris True Match Foundation has been my latest new-found, favourite make up product. It has a great consistency making it perfectly blendable and buildable to cover those acne scars/blemishes and imperfections for flawless looking skin. It has a pump attached to it so it doesn't get messy on application! This foundation has been a saviour for me when my skin has flared up as it gives really good coverage. What also makes this foundation so appealing for me, is that it is only £9.99 (purchased from Boots) making it easily affordable on anybodies budget and worth every single penny! 


August from http://nailartiste.blogspot.co.uk/

Choosing my favourite drugstore product has got to be one of the hardest decisions to make as a beauty blogger but gun to my head, I’ll have to say MUA’s Undress Me Too Palette. This costs £4 and is a great dupe to Urban Decay’s Naked 2 palette which as a student is great to know as I love to save money where I can. I don’t wear eyeshadow every day but I love this palette as it can be used to create everyday looks for when I feel like making a bit more effort. It can also be used to create elaborate effects for bigger events. It’s also great for the good old smoky eye.

Jenn from http://photo-jenn-ic.blogspot.co.uk/

I love painting my nails, I find it therapeutic to do them myself and I've never even set foot in a nail salon. I change my nail colour a couple of times a week and like to experiment a bit. I have a 1 year old so I don't have time to do too much which is why my favourite product is the Barry M nail art pen. It's so simple to create designs without too much trouble at all. Just the right amount of polish comes out and it feels like a felt tip pen so I find it a breeze to make my nails a bit more interesting with polka dots or stripes. For £4.99 you can't go wrong in my opinion!

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Aimee from http://aimeelovesx.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1

Soap &Glory One Heck of a Blot-£12

As a girl with combination skin, I have to carry a powder around with me for any touch ups. This translucent offering from Soap & Glory has fast become my go to powder. It doesn't add any extra colour or coverage so it is perfect for a natural everyday look. I have tried so many powders, drugstore and high end, but this has been my favourite by far. The price tag is a bit high for a drugstore product, but considering the quality, I am more than happy to pay it. I also use it to set my make up every morning, I couldn't ask for any more! 

Mia from http://miasometimes.blogspot.co.uk/

I love Barry M nail polish, they stay on with no chips for really long and they have the best colours. However, I knew Barry M did other cosmetics too so I decided I wanted to try something different. I ended buying the Barry M Cosmetics shade 53 Lip Paint. It is the best lipstick I have ever used because its really moisturising and fairly small so you can take it around to places. It is a coral colour so it can be worn on any occasion or at any time of the day.

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Alley from http://alleyhope.com/

I'm a bit of an eyeliner addict and for long lasting pencil eyeliners, Urban Decay cannot be beaten. The 24/7 Glide-On Pencils are the stuff dreams are made of. Y'know, if your dreams consist of perfect, tear-proof, sweat-proof, smudge-proof eye looks. Creamy, pigmented and available in a huge range of colours, these pencils be used to create precise, clean lines or smoked out sexiness and yes, they stay put on the waterline. My favourites are 'Perversion' - the blackest of blacks 'Whiskey' and 'Bourbon' - no, I don't have a drinking problem, they are both beautiful rich browns that really make blue eyes pop.

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Gemma from http://creamteaandrosejam.blogspot.co.uk/

When faced with the challenge of choosing my all time favourite drugstore product, I immediately thought of my Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. As soon as I'm nearing my last drop, I rush out and grab another for a bargaineous £4.19. It's cheap, but not so cheap that the quality is compromised and the creamy formula and light reflecting qualities make it a fab undereye colour corrector. I think every girl needs one of these inconspicuous little tubes stashed in her bag and car. And at under a fiver, you can afford to!

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Corinne from http://www.skinnedcartree.com/

I'm sure it's not a surprise to find a Naked palette amongst this post - but I cannot rate this product highly though. I've used this 5-6 times a week for over a year and there is still tonnes of use out of it. You can create so many different looks and I cannot wait to get my hands on the Naked 3. £35 sounds like a lot of money for eye shadow, but for something you're going to be able to use every day for over a year, it's not a lot at all. The quality of the makeup is still as fresh as the day I bought it and I've never felt excited over a product before, but I've recommended this to most of my friends. 

Tink x

Triumphs and Failures | January 2014

 

I thought I'd share with you some of the things that I loved and hated this month, the triumphs and the failures!

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First up is Chasing Clocks by Lucy Zirins, I have fallen completely in love with this album, and can be found killing it in my car (sorry Lucy!). I went to college with Lucy and for some reason I’d never heard her music until January, I don’t know how that happened. I stumbled across Lucy on Spotify when I was looking for something new to listen to. Once I’d been listening for a couple of hours I just new that I had to pick up her album!
You can listen to Lucy on here on Spotify, or visit her website here.

For my hair I've been loving the Charles Worthington Salon at Home Volume & Bounce Texturising spray. Since I've had my hair chopped I've been looking for a great product to add volume and this is it. I tend to straighten my hair and then spritz this through it and then I’ll usually just ruffle my fingers through it.

The TangleTeezer is both a triumph and a failure, I do enjoy using it and the size is perfect to fit in my hand and for brushing my hair. However, I find the bristles too short to get all the way through my thick hair, so it's not as quick and easy to use as I imagined it would be.

My big failure this month is The Fault in our Stars by John Green. I have heard such good things about the book, so I knew it was one I had to read but it just didn't work for me. I couldn't connect with the characters and I don't even know what the point of the book was. I cannot understand why it has been made into a film, and I won't be going to see it.

Would you like to see more Triumphs and Failures posts in the future?

 

Tink x

Ps. I’m planning on hosting a book swap, you can find more info here.

Book Swap

 

I’m sure you may have noticed that with the past few book posts I’ve done I have also asked if anyone would be interested in a book swap. A few people have shown interest so I thought it was time I put together a post sharing my idea, and also to let people sign up to take part.

The idea is that 2 people will be paired up together, and will discuss the books they like to read, and some of their favourites. Each person will then try to pick out a book or two which they think their partner will like to read based on the information they’ve shared.

I also think it would be nice if each person included one of their own personal favourites, this doesn’t need to fit the types of genres that the other person likes to read. It would be more of a recommendation that this book is awesome, and you should give it a try.

I think a budget of £10 is reasonable, so of course all books do not need to be brand new, they could be ones you’ve picked up on eBay, a charity shop, or second hand book shop. You might just be super awesome at finding some of the best deals on Amazon, who knows!

If you find that you have some books in your collection that you’ve been thinking you might get rid of, and they fit the types of books your partner finds then please feel free to pop those in as additional books.

Does that all make sense?

If you do want to take part leave me a comment with your email address below, or you can email me at bethworswick@googlemail.com, I’ll send an email out to everyone wishing to take part on 28th Feb, that should give enough time for people to get involved if they want too.

I think for now we’ll keep it UK only, but if it goes well and I organise another one then if people want to then we’ll branch out to international.

I love getting new books and recommendations, so I think this will be a great way to get some and a way to possibly meet someone new.

Tink x

So White | Clinique Stay-Matte Oil-Free Makeup Foundation

 

I’m going to start off with the foundation which is currently the worst match in my collection.

During the summer I was in Leeds for the day, and decided to take a trip to the Clinique counter in Boots. I’d previously had their Superbalanced Makeup foundation, and wanted to purchase it again, but I figured I should probably get colour matched because it had been a couple of years since I’d last bought a bottle.

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The lady at the Clinique counter said the Superbalanced Makeup foundation wasn’t ideal for my skin type and recommended I try the Stay-Matte Oil-Free Makeup foundation. I do have oily skin so I though it would be worth a try and it sounded as though it would be even better than the foundation I originally planned on buying. I was colour matched to the shade 05 Fair, and like a fool I trusted that the lady had matched me up to the right shade but it was too dark and made me look orange.

I know it was summer when I got colour matched, but even then I don’t have all that much colour, I avoid the sun as much as possible and coat myself in masses of sun cream.

I started wearing it and found that even with lots of blending it just wasn’t matching with my skin tone, I first thought she must have given me the wrong colour by mistake, but no it is in shade 05 Fair and she had told me that the shade Fair was the one that was best suited to my skin tone.

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On to the foundation, although I have the wrong shade it doesn’t mean the foundation is a bad one itself.

It’s a liquid foundation, within a squeezy tube packaging which makes it very easy to control the amount you get out. It’s easy to blend and a little does go a long way which makes it worth the £22 price tag. I do find that it does stay matte, but i’ve never worn it for more than a few hours, so it may not stay as matte if you wear it all day.

I would say it’s a medium coverage foundation and I bought it for the purpose of being the foundation I wore when going out, rather than as an everyday foundation.

I would quite happily repurchase this if I could get the colour right first. It isn’t a bad foundation it’s just too dark for me.

Have any of you had better look being colour matched with this foundation?

Tink x

Love EVERY Body #3

Today is all about our arms.

I've never hated my arms, I've never wanted to hide them. Why should I? My arms are just as good as anyone elses, they might be fatter than some and slimer than others but they are just arms.

We have had a few breakages through the years. The first break came when I was 5, I was running up a little hill so that I could roll back down it but I fell on the way up. I broke both bones in my left wrist, and ended up going in to theatre twice and having them manipulated.

The next break came when I was 10, I fell of a pony and managed to break my right humerus, and let me tell you now it wasn't funny!

The final break came another 5 years later when I was 15, and fell off a skateboard. That was my first and last time on one! I broke my right arm again, but this time it was in my lower arm just before my elbow, so I was pretty lucky.

As they say things come in 3s and I've managed not to break an arm since.

I love my arms, they're great for cuddles, typing up this blogpost. I get to use them for making myself look pretty, and to drive myself on adventures.

Tink x