anna and the french kiss, book nerd problems, books, percy jackson, shatter me, the mortal instruments, vampire academy

5 book series I want to marathon, but haven’t because I’m a bad book nerd

December 18, 2014
5 book series I want to marathon

Once upon a time, far, far away, I would sit and marathon an entire series. Now? That never happens. 

I very, very rarely buy an entire series of books and read them all in one go. I tend to buy the first book and then buy the rest one-by-one as I move through the series. I think the last time I marathoned a series was the Twilight series a couple of years back.

Here’s what normally happens when I read a book that’s part of a series: if I like it I will immediately take to Twitter to proclaim that I ‘must read the sequel, now,’ but I probably won’t have it on my shelf so I’ll pick up another book. If I like it I’ll take to Twitter and say ‘I need to read the sequel, now,’ but I won’t have it, so I’ll pick up another book.

You can see where this is going? I start a lot of series but don’t make much progress with them. I am a bad book nerd.

Here are five series that I would marathon if I wasn’t so easily distracted by other series. Continue Reading…

beauty, beauty haul, nars

NARS haul

December 17, 2014

NARS haul

NARS hauk

Since I started reading beauty blogs a couple of years ago, I’ve heard a lot of good things about NARS and I’ve finally got round to seeing what all the fuss is about. 

Dragon Girl lip pencil 

I’d been eyeing this up for months and decided to treat myself to it for Christmas. Dragon Girl is a beautiful ‘siren red’, which seems to be quite hard to get hold of. NARS’ own website is now out of stock – I hope this doesn’t mean they are discontinuing it because I love it.

Surprisingly this is actually a pencil which means you will have to sharpen it, which is a little annoying as you will lose some product. For the price I would have expected it to be push-up so you don’t lose any product.

Nail polish in Paros

Tom actually picked this shade for me. I was faffing about and couldn’t make a decision and he pointed to this. He knows me better than I know me.

While NARS describe Paros as a ‘red brown’ their swatch of it is very pink. Having tried it myself, I can tell you their swatch is misleading. It’s a nice burgundy colour – there’s nothing pink about it.

Paros is a nice festive colour but also wearable year round.


When I placed my order NARS were running an offer where you got three free mini products if you spent more than £25. Here’s what I got.

Mini lip gloss in Orgasm

I hate lip gloss with a passion, it’s sticky and my hair gets stuck in it. I will not be wearing this, but someone will be getting it in their stocking this Christmas.
As you can see from the picture, it’s a light pink with a definite orange-y shimmer in it.

Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner in Via Veneto

A black creamy eyeliner which NARS say is is ‘budgeproof’. For me, that absolutely is not the case. I don’t usually go for pencils or creamy eyeliners because they smudge and I hoped this might be finally be the non-pen eyeliner for me.

It twists up and has a sharpener built into the end – this application is what I was expecting from Dragon Girl.


Makeup removing water

A tiny sample of makeup remover, which had about four applications in it.


Out if interest; has anyone who has ordered from the NARS website before experienced slow delivery? It took 10 days for my order to arrive and when you’re paying £7.00 for delivery, that does not impress me. Is that normal for NARS?

Have you tried anything from NARS?



Inside my head at a party

December 16, 2014

Inside My Head At A PartyI don’t like parties. They’re noisy and involve two of my least favourite things; buffets and small talk.

Last week I went to a party. I say went but it felt forced because I would happily never got to another party in my life but I always feel like I have to go because it’s the ‘normal’ and ‘right thing to do.’

In the spirit of Christmas party season (of which I’m attending none – score!) I thought I would share a little snippet of what goes on in my head at every party I go to. Continue Reading…

books, Uncategorized

Learn To Speak Cat 2: The Latest Mews – Anthony Smith *

December 15, 2014
Learn To Speak Cat 2: The Latest Mews Book Cover Learn To Speak Cat 2: The Latest Mews
Learn To Speak Cat

Souvenir Press

Still having trouble communicating with your feline friend?

Learn to Speak Cat has been let out again in another compilation of wacky cartoons that will have you purring with delight. Discover how your cat views the world. This is how a cat-centric world would look, from Eskimeows to the cat designed refrigerator.

If you’re struggling to find a gift for a cat lover, this book is exactly what you’re looking for.

The Latest Mews is a collection of cartoons about your cat’s weird ways and cat related puns.

My favourite was the cartoon of a cat sleeping in the basket that it’s bed came in. I can almost hear you cat owners nodding along as you read that line.

The cartoons really are true to cat form and gave me a good chuckle, and I know that other feline owners will feel the same way.

If you know a cat lover, this will put a cheshire cat smile on their face. (See what I did there?…Yeah don’t encourage me.) This is exactly the kind of book I can imagine sitting down and going through after Christmas dinner when I’m too full to move.

* – I received a free copy of this from Souvenir Press (thank you!) in exchange for a review and you folks know that free stuff does not sway my opinion.

If you know of any other books cat lovers might like – share them below!

christmas, cruelty free, hot toddy, LUSH, skincare

Warm up in the shower with LUSH’s Hot Toddy

December 12, 2014
LUSH hot toddy shower gel
Ever wondered what it would be like to rub yourself in Fireballs? If so, LUSH’s Hot Toddy shower gel is the answer to your question.

Sniffing of ginger and cinnamon, Hot Toddy will get you in the festive mood and seems to help clear your sinuses when you’re battling a cold. This stuff was about the only thing I could smell when I had a cold last week and boy does it smell amazing.

To me, Hot Toddy smells exactly like those Fireball sweets that were really popular in the early 2000s or now that we’re older, Fireball Whiskey. I wish LUSH would make a Hot Toddy solid perfume. Let’s start a petition and write them a nice letter.

This has got a golden shimmer to it, as you can just about see in my picture, but it doesn’t stick to your skin and leave you looking like a glitter ball, or like you’re going to a 90s school Christmas disco.

I’m not going to try to convince you that £3.95 for 100ml is cheap, but it would make a nice gift or stocking filler.

In short: A deliciously christmas scented shower gel that will get you in the Christmas spirit.

Is it cruelty free / vegan : Yes, all of LUSH’s products are cruelty free and Hot Toddy is a vegan product.

Price: £3.95 for 100ml / £7.95 for 200ml / £13.75 for 500ml (Price correct on December 7th 2014)

Would I recommend / repurchase: Yes, I think I will probably try to get another bottle in their post-Christmas sale if they have any left.

Have you tried Hot Toddy?
butterbeer, dobbys sock, geeky candles, gryffindor, harry potter, wax melts

Harry Potter scented candles from GeekyCandles Co.

December 11, 2014

Harry Potter wax meltsA few weeks back, while hunting for Christmas presents, I came across an Etsy store selling a combination of my two favourite things: Harry Potter inspired candles. 

GeekyCandles sell candles, wax melts, solid perfume with scents inspired by things like Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings. 

I was drooling like a three-headed dog (nice image) when I found their shopfront and after a lot of deliberation I ordered three boxes of Harry Potter inspired wax melts: Gryffindor, Dobby’s Sock and Butterbeer. 

Sidenote: I actually ordered six boxes as part of their six wax melts for £17, but the other three are gifts so I can’t talk about them on here, but check out that deal seriously. 

Dobby's Sock wax melt

The wax melts come in a plastic container which is kind of like an ice cube tray. There are six melts in each box, which at £3.59 per box is really good value. 

As for the melts themselves, they are made from soy wax and the packaging advises that you should be able to get 8 – 10 hours of sniffy time from each melt. 

This is the only melt I’ve tried so far and it smells of cinnamon, it’s absolutely delicious. The scent is strong without being overpowering. 

Dobby’s Sock
Ah everytime I hear ‘Dobby’s sock’ I think of Harry Potter Puppet Pals does Wizard Swears. Does anyone remember Harry Potter Puppet Pals? My friends and I were obsessed with their videos. 

Thankfully this does not smell like a used sock, it smells like clean, fresh laundry. 

I went to Harry Potter studios in London last year and had Butterbeer so I had a clear memory of what this should smell like and it smells pretty close! 

With Christmas fast approaching, I think these are the perfect gift for fans of cult programs / series like Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones etc. Or you know, something for you because who doesn’t love Harry Potter inspired candles? 

GeekyCandles are currently saying that if your order is placed by 15th December you should get it in time for Christmas if you live in the UK.  

Have you ever tried book or TV show inspired candles? 
a. j. grainger, captive, ya books

Captive – A. J. Grainger – spoiler free book review*

December 10, 2014

Title: Captive
Author: A. J. Grainger
Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK Children’s
Genre: young adult, mystery
Release date: January 29th 2015

Description from Goodreads: I open my eyes. The cell is flooded with sunlight; the window is a slice of pale blue. Dust particles dance in the sparkling light, pirouetting in a golden line from the window to the opposite wall of the cell, where they seem to converge into shapes. It is like looking into a kaleidoscope. 

Dad isn’t here. No one is, but me.
Robyn Knollys-Green is an A-list celebrity, famous for being the daughter of one of the world’s most powerful men. But not even the paparazzi can find her now.

Robyn begins to realise that she is trapped in a complicated web of global corruption and deceit – and that the strange, melancholy boy who has been tasked with guarding her might not be an enemy after all . . .

Feeling a connection to the main character is perhaps one of the most important things I look for in a book. Without it, even the most exciting plots don’t have the impact they would have done if you cared. 

The idea behind Captive is interesting but I didn’t feel it quite delivered because I couldn’t connect to Robyn. I felt like there was a barrier separating us the entire time. 

I had the same problem with the kidnappers, apart from one – he really intrigued me and was the only character I felt a connection to. Another of the kidnappers is supposed to be scary but I wasn’t convinced, which is again probably due to a lack of a connection to Robyn. 

The best part of the book was towards the end when the reasons behind Robyn’s kidnapping were revealed. I thought that part was brilliant and it fascinated me. And part of me thinks that it probably isn’t all that unrealistic either. 

Flashbacks from events that happened in the run-up to the kidnapping were a nice addition and it helped to move the plot along, give us with background information and keep it interesting. 

I want to stress that Captive is not a bad book. It has a lot of potential but I know that I would have enjoyed it a lot more had I felt more of a connection to Robyn. 

* I received a free copy of this on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Simon and Schuster UK Children’s. 

Captive book rating