The Book Basket | January

 

I’m here today with another new monthly series I’m starting this year. The Book Basket will be a chance to take a look at what I’ve been reading each month. I’ll also bring you mini reviews of each book, and let you know whether the book is staying or off to find a new home.

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This month I read 7 physical books, and then 4 more on my Kindle. I’ve set myself the challenge of reading 52 books this year, so I’m starting off well but I’m sure that I won’t be keeping up this pace all through the year.

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Night School

I’m sure you’ll agree it makes sense to do these as a series rather than as individual books. I purchased the first book as part of #readUKYA and I really enjoyed it, it was nothing like I expected. I assumed with a title like Night School it would have some sort of supernatural or paranormal element which it doesn’t have, and I loved that! It’s almost as though it’s about a school that you could join, we probably couldn’t as it is an elitist school.

Night School kicks off with some action where we join Allie, and because of her actions in this scene we join her in her parents send her off to Cimmeria Academy. A school which she believes is to reform those with bad behaviour, I’ll let you in on a secret, Allie’s wrong!

The books are packed full of action, but there’s some romance, friendship, and those typical elements of life for a teenage girl. There’s the bitchy girl who decided to hate you on sight, but you have your best friend so as long as you have them everything will be okay.

I’m now desperate for book 5, but it won’t be out for a few months yet. I think you can guess that these books will be staying.

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Vendetta

Vendetta is another book I picked up for #readUKYA and again I loved it. I found myself hooked to the story and read it in one sitting. Vendetta is about Sophie who lives in a little town where everyone knows everyone, but then a new family move into town, in a house that has been abandoned for a few years. Sophie finds herself being told to stay away from the new family but of course she doesn’t listen, and so we have a story of star-crossed lovers.

I really enjoyed reading this, however I’m not sure I’ll read it again. I’m going to keep hold of it for now, but it may find itself off to a new home.

Last Voyage of the Valentina

The book is set in the sixties where Alba, a young woman in her early twenties knows very little about her mother, a mother who died while she was young and whom her father won’t talk about. Instead she grew up with her stepmum who she portrays as the evil stepmother who won’t allow her father to think about or talk about Alba’s mother. She lives on a houseboat and discovers a painting of her mother by her father and decides to set herself on the journey to discover more about the woman she never knew and the possible family she may have.

I know that I will pick this book up again to read, possibly during the summer as it’s a quick and easy read perfect for on the beach or in my case the garden!

A Meal in Winter

I picked this up on a whim in Waterstones, it just happened to be on a table and caught my eye. It is a short book of only 138 pages, and the story of is that of just 24 hours. It’s the story of 3 Nazi soldiers during WWII, it is set in early WWII in Poland before the creation of Auschwitz.

I’m finding it very hard to find the words to describe this book to you without giving away much of the story. The 3 Nazi soldiers work in a concentration camp but on this day they are outside of the camp but have to return again in the evening. This is the story of that day, and everything that occurred through the eyes of one of the soldiers.

Mortal Instruments

I’ve read the first 4 in the series on my Kindle this month, I had a free trial of Kindle Unlimited so wanted to make the most of it. I was impressed to see that these books were available, especially as they’re quite expensive to purchase on Kindle. I think most people are aware of the series, and I did read City of Bones last year but struggled to get into City of Ashes so left it. However I wanted to give them another go, as I find some books are easier to read on my Kindle.

I feel as though the series has been hyped up a lot across booktube and I found that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected. On Goodreads I only gave them 3 stars, they’re pretty average books. Clary isn’t a character I can see myself being and so I can’t get lost into her world the way I like to. I’m sure you’re thinking why read 4 books if you weren’t enjoying it, well I hoped it was going to get better and grip me so that I could understand why people love it so much. I have read other supernatural/paranormal books which I prefer and so if I had physical copies of these books I wouldn’t be keeping them.

Have you read any of these books, or is there anything you would recommend I read?

Beth x

Please note this post contains affiliate links to Amazon.

Alice & You Spot Mesh Top | OOTD


A couple of weeks ago I went out for my mums birthday and just had to wear the new top I’d bought when at the #PSbloggers Christmas meet up. When I saw the Alice & You Spot Mesh top I couldn’t resist trying it on, and I fell in love with it. I very rarely go out but I knew I had to have this in my wardrobe.
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It is an oversized fit so I would recommend sizing down, which is what I did and it is still oversized. It doesn’t come with a cami or slip to go underneath so I wore it over my ASOS boyfriend t-shirt. I had originally planned to wear a cami underneath but it was a bit too cold! Even though the t-shirt I wore isn’t part of the top it didn’t look out of place, the sleeves of the t-shirt ended where you would expect a seam to be on the mesh top.
I chose a classic outfit combo and went for all black, however I’m looking forward to dressing it up more throughout the year. I’m thinking it’d look gorgeous with burgundy, possibly with a midi skirt I have.
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Alice & You Spot Mesh Top – Simply Be
Black Boyfriend T-shirt – ASOS Curve
Black Skinny Jeans – New Look Inspire

Beth x

Blog Loving | Health and Fitness

 

Many people will have set a new years resolution with an aim of losing weight or getting fit. I have done it numerous times in the past, believing that it’s something I need to do to achieve love and happiness. It’s a load of codswallop you can find love and be happy just as you are, however I do still have small health and fitness goals for 2015, which are a continuation of goals I set myself part way through 2014. I thought I’d share with you some of the Health and Fitness blogs I have found and enjoyed reading.

I don’t follow loads of Health and Fitness blogs, but obviously I couldn’t include them all so these are just a few stands out of mine, and you never know I might do another Blog Loving with Health and Fitness blogs.

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Chrissy Lilly

Chrissy has started the year off with a move from Blogger to Wordpress. She has added a daily running diary which is where the majority of her health and fitness posts will reside, and the rest of her blog is lifestyle. I’m really looking forward to seeing the changes Chrissy is going to make to her blog for 2015.

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Green & Aquamarine

I’ve only recently discovered Eleanor’s blog as it was recommended through Bloglovin’ when I followed another blog. I managed to get myself lost reading her back catalogue of blog posts, she’s only been blogging for about a year and has created such a wonderful blog.

 

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Jayne Becca

I really enjoy Jayne’s blog for yoga, she’s a yoga instructor so it makes sense to go to a professional. She has also started doing yoga YouTube videos this year, I am looking forward to seeing them every Friday. Earlier this month Jayne wrote a pot breaking down downward dog which I found really interesting as it’s a yoga pose I struggle with, being a beginner and following YouTube tutorials it’s difficult to get the poses right. I hope Jayne continues with breakdowns of poses throughout the year as a guide for beginner yogis.

Do you have any health and fitness blog recommendations?

Beth x

New Year Haul


I didn’t manage to pick anything up that was actually in the sale after Christmas, but I still managed to spend the money I received for Christmas and my birthday.
New Year Haul Books
My first stop is always Waterstones when I go shopping, and I couldn’t resist picking up two new books. Americanah is a book I’ve wanted to read for a little while, I’ve heard lots of very good things about it and can’t wait to start reading. I also picked up A Meal in Winter which is a book I’d never heard of but it was on a display and the blurb just drew me in, so I had to pick it up. The last book I picked up in ASDA while I was stocking up on fruit and veg, I’ve read quite a few books by Santa Montefiore and so when I saw Last Voyage of the Valentina I just had to put it in my basket.
Pandora Bible Charm
I decided to buy a new charm for my Pandora bracelet, as I needed to exchange the one my mum got me for my birthday, and while I was in the store I couldn’t resist having a look at the other charms. I decided to go for the Bible charm to represent my faith.
New Year Haul Makeup
I had a quick trip into Superdrug to pick up some painkillers, and I had to take a look at the Makeup. My local Superdrug now stocks Makeup Revolution and so I picked up the Iconic 3 palette, I’ve wanted it since they released it but I’ve not seen enough things on the website I want to make it worth placing an order. I also stopped by the L’Oreal stand and picked up Julianne’s Pure Red lipstick, I also wanted Blake’s Pure Red lipstick but they didn’t have it in stock.
What did you pick up after Christmas?

Beth x

Please note this post includes affiliate links to Amazon.

Into the Treasure Trove | January

I’m kicking off January with the first in a new series, and it’s not the only new series I’m going to be starting this month.

Shop my Stash January

Now, I have a lot of makeup, and I’m constantly buying more meaning that a lot of products get neglected in my drawers. I’ve decided that each month I’m going to pick at least two products from my Face, Eyes, and Lips drawers to add into my everyday makeup box. At the end of each month they’ll either go back into the drawer or be given away, depending on how much I’ve liked it and used it over the month.

I won’t be changing foundation, eye liner, or mascara, unless the ones I’m currently using run out and I need to repurchase.

Into the Treasure Trove January

Face:

Sue Devitt Silky Blusher - Vanuatu
Rimmel Stay Matte Powder – Translucent 001
Illamasqua Concealer – 115

Eyes:

Barry M Natural Glow Palette
Collection Eyeshadow Pencil – Vanilla Sky 1
Rimmel Quad – Sweet Smoulder 013

Lips:

Revlon Colour Burst Lip Butter – Candy Apple 035
L’Oreal Color Riche Lipstick – Julianne’s Pure Red
Illamasqua Sheer Lipgloss – Opulent
Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick – True Vintage 123

Do you have a big stash of makeup like me that you barely use?

Beth x

What I got for my Birthday 2014

 

Today it’s time for me to share with you a few of the gifts I got for my birthday. If you didn’t yet know, my birthday is Christmas day.

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The Sunrise by Victoria Hislop – Victoria Hislop is one of my favourite authors so when I knew she had released a new book I may have dropped some very big hints for it! My copy is also signed by Victoria, which matches 2 of her other books that I have the only book I don’t have signed by her is The Island.

Pandora Charm – My mum bought me a charm from Pandora, I won’t show it to you as unfortunately the sales lady sold my mum the wrong charm. My mum has said that she told the sales lady it looked nothing like the one I’d seen online. I wanted the Silent Night charm but my mum was sold the Holy Family charm. By the time you read this I will have been and changed it for the charm I wanted. I had planned on buying the charm after Christmas so I was mega surprised to see a Pandora bag. I just feel a little frustrated that the sales lady insisted to my mum that the charm she sold her was the only nativity one they do.

Taylor Swift 1989 – My sister surprised me with this, she wrapped it in a square box so I hadn’t a clue what she’d bought me!

Tinkerbell Movie – If you saw my blog post about what I got for Christmas then you may be able to guess that this dvd also came from Tigger!

Collins Fabric Floral Day to Page 2015 Diary – Every year I get a diary off my little brother, hopefully this year will be the one where I use my diary throughout the whole year and it doesn’t get forgotten about after January.

Paperchase Compact Mirror – I think this may be from the Dark Romance collection as the floral pattern is similar to that on the stationary. I got this from some of my best friends, and it is just so perfect. I feel as though I need a little pouch for it before I pop it into my handbag, I don’t want it to get scratched!

I was well and truly spoilt for my birthday!

Beth x

Please note this post includes affiliate links to Amazon.

2014 Beauty Triumphs | Favourites


Happy New Year!

As we are now in 2015 I thought I’d share with you the beauty products I have been loving in 2014. This is a bit of a long one, so sit tight!
Beauty Favourites 2014
Bioderma Sebium H2O – I love Bioderma, I think I bought my first bottle towards the end of 2013 and fell in love. I use it in an evening to remove my makeup before cleansing properly, though I will admit if it has been a late night then I just use it on it’s own.
Soap & Glory Peaches & Cream – Emily introduced me to this back in March when we went on a shopping trip together. I can’t thank her enough for making me buy it, it is excellent at breaking down makeup. I use a wet flannel to remove this cleanser and rub it in circular motions to have a little gentle exfoliation.
Charles Worthington Volume and Bounce Texturising Spray – Another product I picked up at the beginning of the year and have loved ever since. It’s a great budget texturising spray, there are so many high end ones but you don’t need to spend your money on them when you can pick this up in Boots for £6.99. I generally apply it to the roots of my hair and then massage it in with my fingers to give my hair an extra volume boost.
Beauty Triumphs 2014 Favourites

MAC Quad – My sister bought me this for Christmas last year, you can see a review I did here. I love this so much, and reach for it almost everyday. I always use All That Glitters (top right) even if I don’t use any of the other colours in my quad. I have to say this is probably the best Christmas present I got last year.
Illamasqua Nail Polish (Vice) – This is one of their matt finish nail polishes and is a gorgeous burgundy colour. I wear it almost constantly through autumn and winter, however to maintain the matt finish I can’t wear a top coat and so after a couple of days it does chip.
The Body Shop Honey Bronzer (01) – I discovered this through watching Essie Button on YouTube and then Emily also told me how great it was so I had to pick it up. It is the best bronzer I have found to suit my pale skin, I have found it to be perfect for contouring.
Rimmel London Lasting Finish Nail Polish (Azure) – I’m actually on my second bottle of this nail polish, which I think shows how much I love it. I call this my summer nail polish, it’s the one I reach for most when I’m doing my nails.
Nars Blusher (Seduction) – I bought this last October and wore it no stop until about April, and then picked it back up in September so I’ve worn it for most of the year. It’s a gorgeous plum shade, which just looks so nice, and the pigmentation is great! I did a review of it earlier in the year which you can see here. 
 Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation (51 Light Vanilla) – This is another discovery I made this year, it’s a light coverage foundation which is super easy to blend. I’ll be honest I don’t want to spend ages doing my makeup in a morning so something that blends easily is ideal for me. Light Vanilla is the perfect match for my skin throughout the colder months, during the summer I do get a tiny bit more colour, though I can make Light Vanilla work for me. I find that it doesn’t make me look as though I’m wearing foundation, I don’t apply a lot to begin with and once it’s blended in it looks quite natural.
2014 Beauty Favourites
Covergirl Lipperfection (245) – I got this in a swap I did at the end of last year and I love it, I prefer it to my red Revlon lip stain. It’s really moisturising and the colour is a bold red, ideal for everyday wear as you don’t need a mirror when applying it.
MAC Cremesheen Lipstick (Prepare for Pleasure) – I received this as a birthday gift from my sister last year, and it is the perfect deep red, with a slight berry tone to it. I tend to pull this out for nights out, or when I’m doing something super special as it was a limited edition lipstick so I can’t easily get my hands on it again.
Tanya Burr Lipgloss (Afternoon Tea) – I bought this lipgloss because the name was so cute, and I wanted to see how the Tanya Burr cosmetics range would fare. I love the colour, it’s a nude pink which I like to pull out for days at work when I want more than a balm but not a lot of colour. I love that it smells of strawberries, it reminds me a little of makeup you used to get as a child.
Mac Lustre Lipstick (Dreaming Dahlia) – Another product I bought when shopping with Emily, the day we went shopping the MAC A Fantasy of Flowers collection was launched in stores. I reach for this when I want to wear a red lip through the day but want something that’s not as bold as my Covergirl Lipperfection. I would say this is a coral red, and to me it screams summer but that’s probably just me, I did mostly wear it through summer as in Autumn and winter I go for berry tones.
Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick (Plum Jam) – I am more than happy to hold my hands up and say this is my favourite of lip stain balm crayons that I own. It’s a sheer plum colour that I like to wear most days, it adds a little bit of colour without being too intense and it moisturises the lips too, what more could you want?
That concludes my Triumphs of 2014, and I am thinking I might bring back my Triumphs and Failures posts properly for 2015 not exclusively beauty but let me know what you think.
What are your favourites of 2014?

Beth x