Monday 30 November 2015


So before you know it, it's the end November and this is only my fifth post of the month. But I'm not going to give any rubbish excuses, because sometimes life happens and that's okay. Even though I love November I'm actually a little happy that it's over because it makes way for the festive season, my favourite time of year!

But before we start decking the halls and hanging our stockings, let's take a look back at November and all the things that made it wonderful with a good old fashioned favourites post!

01. My birthday!
I'm not usually a birthday person, I don't like to make a big deal about it or have a huge party (mainly because I have a deep-rooted fear that no one will show up), but this years birthday was the best one in a long time. Last year my birthday happened to coincide with the first day at a new job so no one in the office knew and it was kind of a scary and underwhelming day. But this year I spent my birthday in my university city, Newcastle, having dinner with friends and going to see Haus of Edwards perform in a drag show. It was absolutely incredible. Haus of Edwards are three drag artists who were on RuPaul's Drag Race, one of my favourite shows ever, and they totally lived up the the hype. They looked sickening and their performances were out of this world. I highly advise you to check them out on YouTube.
I then came home to spend time with my family and as a bonus I got some wonderful presents (mostly books) which I'll be showing you in my November book haul, so keep an eye out for that.

02. 'Warm' - SG Lewis.
My addiction to this song for the last couple of months originated with SunBeamsJess' vlogtober, which featured so much great background music that it inspired the creation of my 'chill vibes' Spotify playlist, check it out for some great tunes.

03. Primark slippers.
When in Primark earlier this month, I couldn't resist a new pair of slippers especially when I saw that they have a memory foam sole! They're insanely comfortable and warm and at only £4, you're crazy if you don't go and get some right now.

04. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell.
This book has no doubt been my favourite book of the month, maybe even my favourite book of the year. I'll be talking more about this in my monthly wrap up, but for now, just go and read it, you won't regret it!

05. How to Get Away with Murder.
I'd seen a few people on Twitter talking about this series that was recently added to Netflix so I decided to give it a go. I watched the entire first season in a few days and now I'm completely caught up and have to wait until FEBRUARY for a new episode, which is devastating. Guys, this show is INSANE. Just trust me, go and watch it now.

06. Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash.
This has to be my favourite cleanser of all time, it's definitely my most repurchased. I hadn't had it in a while due to lack of funds so I was over the moon when mum bought it for me for my birthday. I'm so glad to have it back in my life! I have super sensitive skin and this is perfect, it removes makeup so easily and it just does wonders for my skin. Holy grail product for sure.

07. Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in 'Plum Plum Girl'.
I am so obsessed with this formula. I now have three of these but I think this shade is my favourite, it's a deep red/plum shade depending on the light. It's super easy to apply, not drying at all and doesn't budge an inch, even through a several course meal. If you're looking for a fail-safe bold lip, these are the ones to go for!

08. Jacob's Cracker Crisps.
Aka my new addiction. Asos included a sample pack of the 'thai sweet chilli' flavour in an order last month and I thought 'ooh these are nice'. Flashforward to this month and I don't even want to think about how many large bags of these I've consumed. My favourite are the salt and vinegar ones and if you put a pack in front of me, it'll be gone before the day is up. It's a serious problem, but for now I really don't care. *crunch*

09. Mac 'Heroine'.
I'd been looking for a purple lipstick for a while and although I searched the drugstore high and low I couldn't find ANY true purple lipsticks. They were all pretty much pink or really dark reds, so I ended up in Mac. Now lord knows I can't afford Mac right now so after uhming and ahing for ages, thankfully my wonderful boyfriend swept in and insisted on buying me 'Heroine' for my birthday. I absolutely love it! Although it looks scary in the bullet it's actually really wearable and I think it really suits my colouring. It's a matte formula so it lasts really well and I can see myself wearing it all year round.

So those are the things that have been making me happy this month! I'm so so excited for December 1st as it means I can finally get out the decorations and start playing my Christmas playlist non-stop! Bring on the festive season!

What have you been loving this month?

Tuesday 17 November 2015


As you might have noticed, I've been a little absent around these parts lately. I mentioned in my Goodbye October, Hello November post that doing blogtober completely wiped me out and that I was planning to have a bit of a rest in November. Well that both has and hasn't happened.

I've been dealing with a lot of health issues this month. I've mentioned before that I'm living with ME (or chronic fatigue syndrome) and due to completely overdoing it last month I've been in a bit of a state healthwise ever since. My birthday also happened last week which was amazing and I'm planning to talk more about it in future posts. So after that I was completely exhausted and have basically been bedbound. So as you can imagine, blogging wasn't much of an option.

I'm starting to get back into things now so I thought I'd give you a little update on what's going on in my life in the form of a 'Currently' post:

Reading: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, which I got for my birthday last week and IT'S SO GOOD. After I finish this post I'm getting right back to reading because I just can't put it down.

Watching: How to Get Away With Murder. Spending quite a lot of time in bed this month has reacquainted me with Netflix and after hearing all the hype about this series I decided to give it a go. Guys, I'm addicted.

Planning: blogposts for the rest of the month, I really want to up my blogging game again.

Making: I haven't been well enough to be doing much making but instead of a birthday cake last week my mum made me a huge pile of Nigella's chocolate brownies and they were HEAVENLY.

Stocking up on: Christmas presents! I want to get pretty much all my Christmas shopping finished before December so I can just spend the festive month wrapping and enjoying myself :)

Wishing for: an upsurge in my health. Like quite a lot of chronic illnesses, ME is never the same one day to the next. Some days I feel great but most are kind of terrible. Being so unwell makes it difficult to do even the smallest things so it would be really great to just have a little run of good health, even for a week, just to get things done.

Enjoying: the build-up to the festive season. I don't actively start celebrating Christmastime until December 1st but I'm enjoying seeing all the festive tv adverts come out and watching Christmas lights going up everywhere. I'm getting more excited by the day.

Trying: to get my life together and get back into a routine of productivity.

Eating: I'm currently pretty addicted to Jacob's Cracker Crisps. I don't know what it is about them but I just can't stop.

Goal Setting: I'd like to get to a point healthwise where I'm able to start working again, even part time, because although my family and boyfriend are incredibly supportive, I really need to start earning money again and I generally just want to get my life going in a better direction.

Learning: that it's okay to step back once in a while and put yourself first.

What's been going on with you lately?

Saturday 7 November 2015


I'm out of my reading slump and ready and raring to read as many books as I can this month. I'm finally excited again about getting back into reading and picking up new books - hooray!

November is my birthday month and hopefully I might get some books for my birthday that are definitely going to jump right to the top of my TBR. So with that in mind I've only chosen a few books for this months planned TBR and I'm hoping to get through them before my birthday on the tenth. So let's get into the books I plan to read this month...

Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard
This is a proof e-copy that I was approved for on Netgalley. Beautiful Broken Things is a story about female friendship and all the feels. It follows best friends Caddy and Rosie - who are inseparable despite attending different schools - and what happens when the exciting and mysterious new girl Suzanne comes into their lives. I got this from Netgalley last month and started it on the train one night, before I knew it I was over 100 pages in and couldn't put it down. Unfortunately life got in the way and I didn't managed to finish it last month but I picked it up again at the start of this month and I've already finished it! It was incredible and wonderful and there will be a review up soon.

Horrorstör by Grady Henrix
I started reading this for Halloween week but due to previously mentioned slumpyness, I didn't manage to get it finished before the end of the month. Horrorstör follows a group of employees who have been tasked with an overnight shift in an Ikea-esque furniture store to investigate strange goings-on. If you've ever worked in retail then you'll know how creepy big stores can be after they're closed and I certainly wouldn't want to be locked inside one, not knowing what's lurking in the shadows - this book is that fear manifested and it's pretty terrifying.

Binge by Tyler Oakley
I was so excited to received my signed pre-order of Tyler Oakley's Binge last month. I haven't been interested in any of the recent crop of 'YouTube' books but this one definitely had my attention. I've been watching Tyler for a couple of years and he's just so hilarious, I knew I'd love his book. It's basically a collection of hilarious stories about his life that apparently he hasn't yet shared online. I think it'll be a quick, light read and will definitely provide some laughs.

So I'm excited to get those books read at the beginning of this month and then hopefully pick up some new exciting books if I get any for my birthday! I want to start doing more book reviews so look forward to those!

What are you going to be reading this month?

Thursday 5 November 2015


# of books read: 3.
Genres: 1 MG Paranormal, 1 YA Fantasy, 1 Classic.
Total # pages read: 925

As I mentioned in my How to Deal with Reading Slumps and Goodbye October, Hello November posts, October was a very weird month for me reading-wise. I leapt into the month ready and raring to go with blogtober and got so caught up in it and enjoyed doing it so much that I spent most of every day and night working on blogposts and that didn't leave a lot of time for much else. I ended up in a pretty deep reading slump that was hard to get out of. When I did have the time to pick up a book, I just didn't feel like reading. I started several books in an attempt to get out of the slump and didn't really end up finishing them. Now I've learnt that the thing to do is not to force it, just let it play out and read when you feel like it.

It feels strange that I had such a struggle with reading last month because now November has arrived and I've already finished two of the books I started last month. Oh well, it all floats on okay.

So here's what I thought of the handful of books that I did end up finishing next month...

The Scream by Joan Aiken | ☆☆☆☆
For a middle-grade book, this is pretty damn creepy. It's kind of hard to describe the story without ruining it so I'll just say it involves death, curses and a mysterious island. It was an extremely quick read at only 86 pages and I read it one evening before bed, which maybe wasn't the best idea. Joan Aiken is just ridiculously talented in terms of the scope of her writing and this is truly demonstrated by her ability to create a chilling and compelling narrative in such a short book.

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas | ☆☆☆☆.5
This is the second book in the Throne of Glass series and I read this as part of Dewey's 24 hour readathon, which I really enjoyed. I was so pleased that I read a whole book in a day, especially with how my reading had been going. I can't say much about the plot because of spoilers, but this was a really good pick for the readathon as it was fast-paced and pretty intense so it kept me going. I actually enjoyed this more than the first book and I'm now super excited to carry on with the series.

Dracula by Bram Stoker | ☆☆☆.5
This was my October pick for the 2015 Classics Challenge so I won't say too much about what I thought because you can read my little review here. I read the first half and found myself struggling a little (due to slumpyness) so I finished it up on audiobook. Dracula is now part of the public domain so you can find the audiobook for free in a lot of places, I listened to it on YouTube whilst going about my day and found it a really refreshing way to 'read'. It was a perfect Halloween read and I found the story surprisingly immersive and enjoyable. I would definitely recommend giving this a read (or a listen)!

So those were the few books I finished last month. Considering how slumpy I was feeling and how busy I was, I'm actually pretty pleased that I even finished those! Hopefully November will be a bit of a better reading month though as I'm actually in the mood to have a rest and snuggle up with a book.

What did you read last month?

Sunday 1 November 2015


Goodbye October,

It was so lovely to see you this year. Last year I spent your month in Malawi, which was amazing, but it meant that I missed the beautiful changing of the seasons. October, you have been that wonderful in-between time before the weather turns icy, where the air is slightly crisp but the sun is still sharing it's warmth.

You really brought it this year October. The weather has been surprisingly pleasant and the changing colours of the leaves have been more vibrant than ever. I've been walking my dogs in the early evening just in time to catch the beginnings of the beautiful sunsets you've been gracing us with all month long. I haven't minded that it's getting darker earlier and earlier because it's a wonderful excuse to clock off and snuggle under a blanket.

I absolutely loved doing blogtober but I must admit I am quite relieved that it's over. I worked a little too hard last month to get blogposts up every day. I know from a reader's perspective a small post every day doesn't seem like much but it's so much more than that. It's making sure you get all your photographs taken during the increasingly dwindling daylight hours, then editing those shots and planning and writing every post to make sure they go up on time. As well as every single day there were quite a few nights spent working long after dinnertime and when I did have some downtime I felt guilty about it and felt I should be working on something. As a result I didn't get a lot of reading done, as you'll see in my monthly wrap up, and didn't even really watch any tv programmes either. It's been awesome to feel so productive and get a great response from blogtober but I'm looking forward to a little bit of a rest for November.

So goodbye October, you've been beautiful and busy and fun but it's time for a new month, more changes and a fresh start...

Hello November,

You came bursting onto the scene this morning with blue skies and a low but warm autumn sun. I can't quite believe that it's November 1st and I still haven't worn a coat yet. The weather has been so unseasonably warm that today I went for a morning walk with no layers over my jumper and I was still pretty toasty.

You, November, are the month of excitement, possibility and anticipation. I love your month because it's the month I was born. I'm an autumn baby and I think that's why I feel a special connection to this time of year. I love the timing of my birthday (November tenth) because it's beacon of joy between the dying down of Halloween and the start of the Christmas excitement. I'm not the biggest birthday person but it's always nice to feel a bit special for a day and spend time with my favourite people. This year I'm going up to my old university city, Newcastle, with my boyfriend, to have dinner with a friend and go to see a drag queen show. I'm ridiculously excited. We're going to see Haus of Edwards, and if you haven't watched Ru Paul's Drag Race then you're seriously missing out.

Although I've been enjoying the unexpectedly warm weather, I'm excited for the colder weather that November promises. On my early evening dog walk, I watched the mist creeping in over the fields, a sure sign that frosty days are ahead. I'm excited to wear my new coat and fluffy socks with boots. I'm excited to wave sparklers and watch fireworks, preferably whilst clutching a hot chocolate and a hot dog with extra onions.

Come at me November, I'm ready for you.

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