Blogging, Lifestyle, Share The Love

My 700th post! 10 of my favourite bloggers.

August 28, 2015

Heat silhouette

Image source: Unsplash

Wow, this is my 700th post! I wanted to do something special for this milestone, so I decided to share with you some of my favourite blogs and ask you to share some of your favourite bloggers. 

This is part of the something old, something new tag which I was tagged in by Rachael at Broomfie. I don’t do tags very often now, but this seemed like the perfect way to celebrate 700 posts.

So, I have to share with you five of my favourite blogs I’ve been following for a long time, and five of my favourite new blogs. I tag anyone who fancies it to join in. 

 

5 blogs I’ve followed for a long time

 

Oddly Lovely 

Cat gives me major blog envy – her posts always inspire me to write better and more interesting blog posts. 

She talks about a huge range of things from trips she’s taken, her adorable pets, shares things she’s enjoying, and dishes out sound advice.

One of my favourite things about Cat and Oddly Lovely is that it comes across as so authentic and honest. You read her posts and feel like you could be sat down talking to her in person, and I especially like that she’s not afraid of talking about controversial or touchy subjects such as birth control or gun laws. 

 

The Lilac Linnet

My favourite blogs are ones where you get a good mix of topics and you feel like you actually get to know that person properly through the posts, and that’s what you get with Llinos at The Lilac Linnet. 

Llinos posts about a wide range of topics, including books, places she’s been, improving your blog, her experiences and more. She also loves a good castle; anyone who likes castles is awesome in my book. 

 

Lemon Freckles 

If I had to choose one word to describe Toni’s blog it would ‘adorable’. Her photography is brilliant, and her Instagram feed is nothing short of a cute overload. 

Not only does Toni have a brilliant blog, but she’s also has a store where you can buy her own brand of adorable. (I’m eyeing up the Puppycat patch. So cute!) 

 

Pyreflies

Like everyone else on this list, Jessica posts about a good range of topics. But she also adds a good dose of ‘geeky’ into the mix. I’m insanely jealous because she lives in Florida near Disney World (and I now know the difference between Disney Land and World thanks to her). 

When she took a blogging break earlier in the year I really missed her posts, and I think that’s a good sign of a blog you enjoy reading. 

 

Paper Fury 

If you like YA books, Paper Fury is where it’s at. Cait has a brilliant sense of humour and posts a mix of book reviews and other book and writing related posts, such as the perils of being a bookworm. 

Her posts never fail to make to laugh and I’ve added so many books to my TBR list because of her. I solely blame her for my inability to stop buying books. 

 

New bloggers

I’m going to count new bloggers as blogs I’ve been following since the start of 2015. 

 

Broomfie 

I discovered Rachael’s blog a few months ago, and it’s quickly become one of my favourites. I really enjoyed reading about her travels across the US.

As well as talking about travel she writes about fashion, beauty, and lifestyle and has some pretty solid advice that is actually useful. 

 

Dear Ms Leigh 

Another Rachael! Dear Ms Leigh is a lifestyle blog covering travel (she’s sharing some brilliant photos of her travels at the moment), her life, gardening, and sewing. She’s a seriously talented cross-sticher (is that the word?) and every time I see one of her posts about a piece she’s working on, it always makes me want to have a go myself. 

 

Geeks In Dresses 

This is Jessica from the Pyreflies second blog; it’s a new blog and it contains one of my favourite series ever: Girls Who Cosplay. 

As you might expect from the name, it’s mostly about geeky jewellery, or character inspired outfit suggestions. I get excited every time I see one of her posts pop up in my Bloglovin’ feed. 

 

Relokate

This is a really recent discovery of mine. I first came across Kate’s blog when Benefit made the mistake of joining in with a fat shaming hashtag and Kate posted a brilliant blog post about it. 

Kate mostly posts about travel and places she’s been, and as a British expat who’s recently returned to Britain (are you still an expat then?) she’s currently sharing posts about what it’s like coming back. 

 

Hello Rigby

Hello Rigby is a nice mix of beauty and fashion, but it also has a good chunk of furry adorableness in the form of Rigby, the Shiba Inu. Rigby pops up on the blog quite often to review things, or appears in Jenn’s posts about having a Shiba Inu. 

 

Other blogs worthy of you checking out are: 

 

Recommend away! I want to hear about your favourite blogs. 

Beauty, Beauty Reviews, Eye Shadow, Lord & Berry

3 ways to wear pink eyeshadow – Lord & Berry Hana

August 27, 2015

3 ways to wear pink eye shadow

It’s funny how we change. I used to hate all things pink, and here I am, about to fangirl over Lord & Berry’s Hana*. 

I was sent this eyeshadow a few weeks back and it did something amazing. I am all about the neutrals, but this made me leave the taupe in the drawer and I’ve been reaching for this instead about 75% of the time. 

Lord & Berry

The formula is really nice and smooth; it glides on, blends well, and lasts all day. There is nothing negative I can find to say about this. It’s everything you need in an eyeshadow. 

I have to admit, when I first saw this I was skeptical about how much use I would get out of it. In the pot it looks a bit too vibrant, but it tones down once it’s on your skin. It’s a buildable formula, so you can make it pretty bright if you want to, but with one swipe it’s certainly not as dark as it is in the pot. The finish is matte, with a little bit of shimmer in it. 

Hana is part of Lord & Berry’s Seta eyeshadow range, which sells for between £6 – £11 per shade depending on which website you use. You can also buy the individual refills. The Seta range is quite big, but I struggled to find anywhere the than the Lord & Berry website that sells a decent chunk of the range. Quite a few big websites only seem to sell one or two shades, so if you want a few shades you’ll probably need to order direct from Lord & Berry. 

Since I was weary about the amount of use I’d get out of it, I figured other people would be too. So I’m going to share my three go-to looks with Hana. 

 

Bright-eyed

My favourite look of the three is to pair Hana with MAC’s Phloof. It’s a lovely frosty white colour which really brightens up your eyes and works perfectly with a pink eye shadow. 

(Phloof isn’t cruelty free, does anyone know of a cruelty free dupe?)

 

Smokey eye

For night time, use a dark brown eye shadow to create a smokey eye look. 

 

 

Winged liner

On it’s own, Hana looks great with winged liner.

It usually takes me a couple of attempts to get it looking fairly even, but it took me even more attempts to get it to a point where I was happy to photograph it. Why is it you can always get it perfect on one eye, but never the other? 

Pink isn’t a shade I see popping up on blogs all that often, and maybe it’s time that changed. 


It is surprisingly hard to take a good photograph of eye makeup. I see stunning photos on blog and on Instagram and I have no idea how these girls do it. I’ve been putting this post off for weeks due to how hard it is to get a decent photo. 

Some bloggers say all they use is their iPhone, I tried that and it just didn’t work. I have no idea how they do it, I’m 99% sure it involves black magic. In the end I had to take loads and loads of photos on my DSLR, hoping that it had focused on the right thing. 

If you have any tips for photography eye makeup, be my guest and share them with me. 

Is it cruelty free: Lord & Berry do not test on animals. 

Would I repurchase: Absolutely. 

 

Is pink eye shadow part of your staple makeup items? 

*I received a free PR sample, but that did not affect my opinion at all. 

 

Harry Potter, Life, Photography, UK

Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour, London + tips

August 26, 2015

Hogwarts model Harry Potter studio

I’m going to interrupt the Stockholm schedule to fangirl about my recent trip to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London.

It was my birthday over the weekend, and a family friend’s son’s birthday, so we decided to combine our birthday outings and visit Harry Potter Studios. I first went a couple of years ago, but the addition of the Hogwarts Express was too much to resist. 

Harry Potter Studios Great Hall

Harry Potter studios Great Hall

Harry Potter Studios Great Hall

You start off in the Great Hall, which is fabulous, though I do always expect it to be bigger. There are things you spot that you never notice in the films, such as murals on the wall. 

The Sweet Treats feature was on when I went, and they’d lined one of the tables with tasty looking food. The feature was fantastic; it was really interesting to learn about how they make the food. 

For the most part, they take real food and freeze it so that they can make a mould. Once they’ve got the mould, they can make as many things as they need to. Of course, that doesn’t extend to the ice cream which is made using polyfiller.

Harry Potter Sweet Treats the Dursley's cake

It looked so realistic that it was really hard to tell the difference between what’s real and fake. 

Harry Potter Butterbeer ice cream

As well as selling Butterbeer, they were selling Butterbeer ice cream which was extortionately priced at £5, but it was delicious and I’d pay it again. 

Harry Potter Studios Platform 9 3/4

I guess this blog post is also a good time to explain why there were so few blog posts on Eat Read Glam last week. Some of us decided to go in cloaks, so I spent every spare minute of last week making cloaks for me and my best friend. I had a red hood lining, she went for yellow. Totally worth it, but do know I did miss blogging and I’m looking forward to catching up with you all. 

Harry Potter Studios the Hogwarts Express

Harry Potter Studios the Hogwarts Express

The train was even better than I thought it would be. 

It’s set up in an area on it’s own, and you walk into it and it’s like you’re stepping out into platform 9 and three quarters. The train looks glorious, and my best friend and I did get seriously excited and fangirl like we were 12 years old. It’s ok though; if there’s anywhere you can fangirl like that, it’s Harry Potter Studios. 

Harry Potter studios inside the Hogwart Express

Harry Potter studios Hogwarts Express

The cabins on the train are set up as they were for each film in chronological order, which was really cool. The Hogwarts Express was the highlight of the trip for me. 

Harry Potter studios Night Bus

In the Backlot is where you find the ridiculously priced Butterbeer ice cream, and the Knight Bus, Privet Drive, the remains of the Potter’s house in Godric’s Hollow, and you can pretend to ride a Ford Anglia and a motorbike. 

Harry Potter Night Bus

Harry Potter Studios Privet Drive

After the Backlot, you go through an area which shows you how they created the masks and creatures, which is fascinating.

Harry Potter Studios

It’s quite scary how realistic they look because that just looks like a shelf with a load of heads on it, which, lets be honest, is pretty sinister.

Harry Potter studios Diagon Alley

Harry Potter studios Flourish & Blotts

You then go through to Diagon Alley, which you can walk down and peer at the shop fronts. Unfortunately they are just that, shop fronts, and you don’t get to go in, which is a shame.

I just really wish I could go into Flourish & Blotts and Fred & George’s joke shop. I loved the way they did the joke shop for the film, it was almost the way I imagined it in my head.

Harry Potter Hogwarts model

Harry Potter Hogwarts model

Harry Potter Studio Hogwarts model

The jewel in the crown, is the Hogwarts model; it’s the perfect way to end the tour. You could spend hours looking at it. It’s so beautiful, detailed, and vast. I really don’t know why someone hasn’t built it. We’ve got plenty of castles in England, but I think it’s about time we had Hogwarts too. 

We had a bit of fun when a member of staff pointed out where the Gryffindor and Hufflepuff towers were and plotted how we would signal each other from so far away. 

If you’ve been a couple of years ago, I do recommend going back because it has improved since I first went. That’s not to say it was bad before, but there are more staff about to tell you more and answer questions, which I thought was really good, and it seems there’s always a seasonal event on. At the moment it’s Sweet Treats, but then there’ll be Back To School, Dark Arts, and Hogwarts In The Snow.

I’m planning on going back at Christmas because I really want to see it. I saw people’s photos last year, and they look stunning. I need to see it for myself. 


Tips:

  • Leave your camera at home – DSLRs struggle in the low light and you can’t take a tripod, but the cameras on our phones handled it perfectly. 
  • Book well in advance – time slots go quickly, especially if you want to go on a weekend or during the winter when they have everything dressed up like Christmas. 
  • You can take lunch – there’s a picnic area and you can eat your own food in the Backlot. 
  • Make a cloak! I used Simplicity’s 1582 pattern. It’s much cheaper than buying one, I think they’re around £70, and you can make it out whatever material you like, and whatever colour you like. The material for my cloak / robe cost £25, which is massively cheaper. 
  • Visit Primark for cheaper Harry Potter t-shirts before you go – they’re licensed and around £8 instead of £20+. 
  • Tell them if it’s your birthday – you get a badge. I like badges. 

Have you been / do you want to go on the Harry Potter Studio Tour? 

Book Reviews, Chick Lit, Giovanna Fletcher, Romance

Dream A Little Dream – Giovanna Fletcher book review

August 24, 2015

Dream A Little Dream by Giovanna Fletcher

I enjoyed You’re The One That I Want so much last year that I didn’t even hesitate about picking up Giovanna Fletcher’s latest novel, Dream A Little Dream. 

We follow Sarah, who is stuck in an unfortunate situation where she still regularly sees her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend as part of her group of friends. She puts on a brave face all the time and pretends she’s ok with it, but she still hasn’t entirely forgiven him. 

On top of that, her career is stagnating and she’s looking for a way to climb the career ladder. 

She begins to have dreams about Brett Last, a guy she met a few times at university, and much to her surprise, he ends up walking back into her life. Yes, it’s a little far-fetched, but don’t we read romances for cute stories? 

Dream A Little Dream is a little more explicit than You’re The One That I Want. Don’t get me wrong, it’s no 50 Shades of Grey. It’s pretty tame, but I wasn’t expecting it after reading her previous book. There are a handful of sex scenes, but they work well with the plot; they’re not dragged out, and there aren’t billions of them just for the sake of it. 

The main focus of the book is on Sarah and Brett, and her attempts to land the job of her dreams. On top of that, there are other situations the characters have to deal with such as family issues, to more touching and sad situations. 

What I like about Giovanna Fletcher’s writing is that it’s so relatable. (Well. apart from a guy you’ve been dreaming about ending back up in your life, maybe.)

The characters are well-developed and there’s a good mix of personalities throughout the book. I really liked Sarah’s group of friends, it felt real and quite natural. It was almost as if I had known them for years and was joining them for their weekly pub quiz. 

At her workplace, there’s also a good mix of personalities, including a couple of infuriating characters. I’m pretty sure that everyone will be able to relate to knowing people like Louisa, for example. I’m sure some people will also be able to relate to the situation Sarah found herself in at work. 

The relationship between Sarah and Brett is sweet. To begin with, she’s quite nervous around him and a little unnerved that he just showed up so soon after she’d begun dreaming about him and she seems to prefer ‘Dream Brett’ as she calls him. 

We don’t actually get a huge amount of Brett and Sarah being in a relationship; Dream A Little Dream is mostly about the buildup, which is always the best part in any romance novel to be fair. Giovanna is releasing a Christmas novella called Dream A Little Christmas Dream, which I’m looking forward to reading. 

If you’re looking for a book to take on your holiday, or a good summer read, this one should definitely be near the top of your list. 

Giovanna Fletcher Dream A Little Dream book rating - really good

What’s the last book you read?

Dream A Little Dream Book Cover Dream A Little Dream
Giovanna Fletcher
Romance, chick lit, contemporary,
Penguin
June 18th, 2015
Paperback
400

Sarah is doing just fine. Sure she's been single for the last five years, and has to spend an uncomfortable amount of time around her ex-boyfriend, his perfect new girlfriend and all their mutual friends. And yes, her job as a PA to one of the most disgusting men in London is mind-numbingly tedious and her career is a constant disappointment to her mother. But it's really okay. She's happy (ish).

But it's not surprising that when Sarah starts dreaming about a handsome stranger, she begins to look forward to falling asleep every night. Reality isn't nearly as exciting. That is until her dream-stranger makes an unexpected real-life appearance, leaving Sarah questioning everything she thought she wanted.

Because no one ever really finds the person of their dreams... do they?

Book Reviews, Contemporary, Rainbow Rowell, Romance

Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell book review

August 20, 2015

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Y’all know that I adore books based in boarding schools / colleges, so there was never a question of me reading Fangirl, it was more a matter of when. 

Twins, Cath and Wren head off to college and are separated for the first time when Wren decides she doesn’t want to share a dorm with Cath because she wants to be seen as an individual, rather than a twin. 

Cath takes it personally and buries herself in Simon Snow fanfiction and tries to ignore the experience of college altogether. 

Once again, Rainbow Rowell has developed fantastic, and realistic characters. I could relate to Cath a lot, in terms of her shyness, and feeling like the internet is a safe haven for her. 

As you might expect from the name, Fangirl explores Cath’s life as a fanfic writer, but it isn’t the main focus of the book.

Simon Snow is basically a Harry Potter rip-off. At the end of each chapter, there’s a snippet either from one of the Simon Snow books written by the author, or a snippet of fanfic from Cath. 

I didn’t really get into the snippets. They aren’t really told in any kind of chronological order, so it was just a bit all over the place, and I found myself skipping over them. If the snippets had been in chronological order, maybe I would have enjoyed them, but they didn’t add anything for me. 

The secondary characters, like Levi, Regan, and Nick were well developed and all had their own stories which made the book much more realistic. 

The plot isn’t incredibly exciting; it’s more about personal development and how Cath deals with her sister “breaking up” with her, and that is gripping enough. There are a couple of dramatic points in the plot, but they’ve been perfectly written so that they don’t takeover the plot. 

On the whole, Fangirl is a book about coming of age and about Cath discovering who she is. 

The book also touches on some other important points such as relationships with family, how people deal with situations, mental illness, and whether or not fanfic is a legitimate form of literature, or is it just copying someone else’s work? 

On top of all of that, there’s also a blossoming romance, which I won’t go into too much detail about. All I will say further on the matter, is that it’s so sweet and adorable it made my Vulcan heart melt. 

There’s a lot going on in Fangirl and it would have been easy for it to all be overwhelming and confusing, but it’s not. Rainbow Rowell has crafted a realistic coming of age story that I think a lot of people will be able to relate to in one way or another. 

This is the perfect book for relaxing with; it’s great for a lazy afternoon at home, or taking on holiday with you. 

I flat out loved Fangirl, and I’d read it all over again right now. 

What books do you think are good lazy afternoon books? 

Fangirl book rating - new favourite

Fangirl Book Cover Fangirl
Rainbow Rowell
Contemporary, young adult, romance,
Paperback
461

Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair any more - she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It's not so easy for Cath. She's horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she's experienced in real life.

Now Cath has to decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she's realizing that there's more to learn about love than she ever thought possible ...

A tale of fanfiction, family, and first love

Sweden, Travel

Drottningholm Palace

August 18, 2015

Drottningholm Palace, Stockholm

The gardens at Drottningholm Palace, Stockholm

You all know I’ve got a thing for castles and palaces, so a visit to Drottningholm Palace, the home of the King and Queen of Sweden, was high on my list of things to do in Stockholm. 

Boat to Drottningholm Palace

We got a boat from by the city hall, which took around 40 minutes. I’ve got to say, arriving at a place by a boat is the coolest way to arrive at a palace. 

Drottningholm Palace is a grand, cream-yellow coloured beast that looks pretty symmetrical to me, which is perfect for photos. 

As a visitor, you can only walk around one half of the palace, which makes sense as the royal family actually live there, but there is still a lot of rooms you can go into.  Continue Reading…

Beauty Haul, Cleanser, Cruelty Free, Exfoliators, Face Masks, LUSH

LUSH face care haul

August 17, 2015

LUSH face care haul

When it comes to face products, it’s all about LUSH as far as I’m concerned. I ran out of all my LUSH face care products in one go, so I had to stock up over the weekend.

 

 

Cup O’ Coffee face mask – vegan 

To be honest, I didn’t really look at this in too much detail. It’s one of LUSH’s newest products, I hadn’t tried it before, and it contains coffee, that was all I needed to know. 

According to their website, LUSH say it will “wake up and invigorate skin”, so I guess it will make your skin look a bit clearer and brighter, which is never a bad thing. The shop assistant also told me it’s really good to use in the morning as it makes you feel a little more alert and awake. We’ll see about that one; I am not a morning person.

 

 

Herbalism cleanser – vegan

I’ve tried pretty much all of LUSH’s cleansers, and Herbalism is one of the few I’ve not got around to yet. I think it’s partially because it’s green, and as a fussy eater I have an aversion to all things green. 

The consistency looks similar to Buche de Noel, which I really like and have repurchased couple of times. 

LUSH say Herbalism will remove “dirt and grease, leaving bright and beautifully clean skin.” Sounds good to me. 

 

Ocean Salt face and body scrub

I had a bit of mix up with this one. There are a few different versions of Ocean Salt, and I picked up the one with parabens in. I meant to pick up the alcohol free, self-preserving one, which is also vegan, the one I picked up is apparently not vegan either. Duh. Ah well, not much I can do now. 

I’ve used Ocean Salt before, and really enjoyed it, so my face will be glad to have it back. 

 

What face products have you picked up recently?