Monday, 26 September 2011

Update, Illness, and my struggles to read

Finally after almost a week my body has been released from the grips of this awful cold, well almost. I've had three days off from work and have spent all of them feeling very sorry for myself. I hate how a cold has the ability to withdraw your love of things you would normally enjoy. I've had the attention span of a 3 year old and the energy levels of an 80 year old. I've spent three days curled up in my quilt cover trying to watch youtube videos, read blogs, or read in general but have not succeeded. But on a plus note I can finally feel my love for all things fun coming back. 
One thing that has increased throughout my period of illness it my melodramatic-'ness'. It's hilarious to think that only last night I uttered the words, "I can't even remember what it feels like to be healthy." I don't know how Michael has the patience, but thankfully he does. 

On other matters, I've got a book pile probably as tall as my waist to get through. Oooh did you catch that? Yeah, that was my sly way of letting it slip that I failed my 30 book challenge. I reached 17 books before I couldn't resist buying some new ones, which I think is pretty good, but still a failure. Though I'm struggling with the current book I'm reading, The Iron King. I've heard amazing things about this book, but I just don't get it. I feel that if it was a movie I would have turned it off and never looked back, but with it being a book I just cannot do that. Very frustrating. 

Well that's it for now, a little update on my life. Things aren't super interesting at the moment. I'm enjoying how things are going but things just aren't interesting enough to pop on her. I do have quite a few post planed, and hopefully some day in life posts as autumn is creeping up on us fast. I love this time of year, Halloween, Bon Fire Night, Michaels Birthday (and unfortunately the release of call of duty), my Mum's Birthday and last but by no means least... Christmas. So much to look forward to...

And purely because I can't leave a post without a picture, here's a delightful picture of me on my lunch break with a bun. 

Speak Soon,

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Burberry Body Sample KatieWrites Sample Burberry Body

Look what Mr Postman brought me. I never thought of myself to be a fragrance fan, but from looking at my ever growing collection it seems that I am, so to try out the new fragrance from Burberry was a bit of a treat. 

Burberry Body Eau De Perfum 60ml Retails for £55. 

Here's what Burberry say's about their new fragrance:

 An effortlessly sensual, feminine fragrance with an eclectic combination of refined ingredients.
 Top notes of fresh green absinthe, illuminating peach and delicate freesia.
 Floral heart notes of natural rose absolute, iris and warm sandalwood
♥ Base notes of woody cashmeran, creamy vanilla, amber and musk

I've always been slightly put of from Burberry due to their 'Chav' label which I'm not sure if they will ever shake, but I cannot refuse a freebie and I'm impressed. As you'll probably know if you 'liked' Burberry on facebook you got a chance to try out their new fragrace Body, and mine came yesterday. Now I'm useless with describing scents but to me I feel that it's a perfect autumn/winter fragrance. Though I believe that it's quite a mature smell and I can imagine it's something my Mum would wear, or even someone around the late 20's that has a more elegant dress sense than me. (Pretty much Burberry's target market, or what I would assume to be their target market.) Saying that I will give it a go and if it's not me I'll pass it on for someone else to enjoy. 
I like the bottle but that's probably because it's miniature and I love anything travel size. If this is the full size design I'm not sure if I'd be over the moon with it sitting on my dressing table/living room shelves. haha. 

Overal I'm very grateful for the free sample and cannot wait to try it out, maybe tomorrow will be the day. I hope that I don't fall in love with the scent because I'm not sure that I could afford the high price tag, but for a high end fragrance it's pretty average.

What's your favourite Autumn/Winter scent?
Speak Soon,

All product information taken from the burberry website. I'm not being paid for this review (I wish) I was just sent the sample along will many other lucky followers.  

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Monthly Favourites - August

August beauty Favourites

It's September now, which to me is crazy, so I thought what better time than now to post an August favourites post? I know we're already on the 6th of the month but the longer I stay in August (blog wise) the longer I can deny how quickly this year is passing. Next month we celebrate Halloween, November we celebrate many birthdays and Bon Fire Night, and then Christmas quickly approaches. Crazy to think about, but at the same time it's so blooming exciting.  But for now lets stick with August and get on with my monthly favourites...

August Favourites Hair Care

First up are my favourite hair products:
Garnier Fructis Srtength & Shine Shampoo and Conditioner - Oh how I love this stuff. I've probably used this shampoo and conditioner for about a year now, and it always leaves my hair in the best condition. I buy it from Asda for only £1 and it's always on 3 for 2. Cheap and Cheerful. 
Tigi BedHead After-Party - I always use this on dry hair after I've styled it to keep those pesky fly aways in check, and as long as I run it through the ends of my hair first it's perfect on the roots as well.
Aussie Miracle Hair Insurance Leave-in Conditioner- I've been a huge fan of Aussie hair care for years, all starting in my teenage years with one sachet of 3 minute miracle deep conditioner. This spray is one of my holy grail products. I'm actually scared of washing my hair without using this after as I think my hair would end up in one big not. After spaying this I feel my comb glides straight through without any problems. This leave-in conditioner is definitely a wonder product.
Wide Tooth Comb - Why/how have I gone this long without this in my life? With long hair this is a definite must. Previously I used a normal hair brush, tut tut! But with such hair damage I thought it was time for a change.

August Favourites Skin Care

My skin has been awful recently so it's tricky to find anything that has particularly helped this month so my skin favourites are things that I've enjoyed using.
Soap & Glory Clean On Me - I love this shower gel and seriously, a little goes a long way. I've had this bottle for months and I've still got plenty left. (And don't worry I do shower regularly I just only use one pump at a time.) This leave my skin feeling super soft and smells incredible. 
Olay Regenerist Thermal Skin Polish - Now this product is designed for older skin and as I'm 23 it's not  something that I's usually go for, but believe me when I tell you that it's amazing. It's a heat warming exfoliator that leaves my skin feeling soft and pampered. The warming aspect feels luxurious on the skin and with the winter months fast approaching it's a perfect addition to the bathroom cabinet. 
Garnier Fresh Essentials eye make-up remover - Now don't get me wrong this is a fantastic eye make-up remover but with my allergies worse than ever I've been using it to bathe my sore and itchy eyes. Perfect. 

August Favourites Make up

My lovely make-up favourites. I've not been doing anything special this month, just a basic neutral eye and pretty natural face but these products have come in very handy.
Rimmel Clear Complexion Clarifying Powder - After falling out with my Mac Natural Skin Finish (we just don't have a good relationship) I decided to give this one a go and I'm in love. It's rather cheap but sets my foundation perfectly. I've hit pan so I think it's time to buy a new one. 
Mac Studio Finish Concealer NW20 - This concealer is slightly too dark for me, and more fool me for thinking that I'm not as pale as a milk bottle, but I've reestablished the love with it. I used to apply if after my foundation which is probably the most common way to apply, but now I apply it first. It covers my skin flawlessly (well mostly) but this way I don't get a patchy finish. 
No7 Natural Blush in 12 Coral Flush - I've had this blush forever and normal team it with a cream blush, but recently I've been wearing it on it's own. The colour is lovely and really creates a subtle look for work, but is very buildable for a more dramatic look. Plus it suits my pale skin tone - what more could I ask for?
Urban Decay Naked Palette - Well who hasn't heard of this one? It took me forever to get hold of due to it's popular demand, but after initially feeling overwhelmed by the vast selection of pretty colours I've never looked back. As you can tell Sin is my favourite colour from this palette for a all over lid colour  and I love to team it with Smog or Toasted in the crease. I do tend to slick with what I know works well but I may try to break out of my comfort zone to utilise the other lovely colours, but for now that's what I like.

Urban Decay Naked Palette
Favourite Monthly Read

Finally my favourite monthly read: 
Babyvillie by Jane Green - If you've read my monthly reads page you'll know that I gave this book a rather good rating, if not what are you waiting for? Go and take a look. I really enjoyed the story and her writing kept me hooked throughout, so I recommend that you pick it up if you get a chance.

August Hate

I couldn't leave without sharing a monthly hate now could I? 
Oral B Pro-Expert Toothpaste - I had to add this one, though I've heard a few people that like it, so I guess it's one of those marmite products. I received this sample when the product was first release and never got around to trying it, until we ran out of toothpaste one morning that is. Now the factor that put me off was the taste, Michael describes it as cleaning your teeth with cough sweets and he's dead on. I loved the gritty texture though and I felt it gave my teeth a good clean, I just couldn't get over the awful taste... that stayed with me all day might I add. I think Oral B need to re-think the taste and then for me it would have probably made it into the monthly favourites rather than the hates. 

That's it from me for this month, but what have you all been loving in August?
Speak Soon,

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Monthly Reads - August

Well hello there. It's been a while. I've been through a phase of having a complete lack of motivation recently and have just been getting through the weeks a day at a time. Gosh I sound so depressing don't I?! I don't mean to but it's a slightly tough time for me at the moment, nothing I won't get through but is still taking a lot to get used to. But I am ever the optimist. And don't worry it's nothing super serious I just clearly like to make things sound a lot more dramatic than they actually are. 

One thing I have been doing this past month without fail is reading. I managed to flick through the pages of 7 books in August which is insane. I've read some amazing books, some books I'm not too crazy about, and one book that almost drove me crazy. So without wasting any more time here are my monthly reads...

Linger - Maggie Stiefvater
Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone - J.K.Rowling
True Blood Dead and Gone - Charlaine Harris
Babyville - Jane Green 
Forever - Maggie Stiefvater
The Immortals Series Book 3 Shadowland - Alyson Noel
Underworld - Catherine MacPhail

Linger is the second book in the Mercy Falls Wolves Series. Though I didn't really enjoy the writing style of Shiver (the first book) I still needed to know where Maggie Stiefvater was taking the story. I wont go into too much detail about Linger just incase you have not read Shiver but I will say that you have to read this series.
At first I struggled with the writing style due to the story being written from the point of view of all the main characters. I felt that in Shiver I struggled to differentiate between the characters Sam and Grace and found myself flicking back to the beginning of each chapter to find out which character I was reading about. When I realised that in Linger even more characters had been added with the same writing style I wondered how I was going to cope. I'm not sure if I just got used to it or if Maggie's writing improved but I coped a lot better than I expected.
One negative point about this book was the new characters. I found that more emphasis was put upon them and less upon the original characters, Grace and Sam. This I didn't enjoy as much as I loved Sam and Grace's growth in book one and wanted to learn more about them. But once I got my head around the new dynamics I learnt to enjoy these new characters. Phew! It's tricky to review a book that's part of a series without spoilers so I'm hoping that this is ok.

♥  ♥   

I really enjoy the Sookie Stackhouse series. Over the past year or so I've read the whole series from the beginning to end and loved every single book. I must admit that at times they can be a little raunchy but Sookie is a young character but not a teenager so it is to be expected really. I love the world that is created and I really love Sookie's character. I'm not sure if I could read the series one after another as I think that it would be a little overpowering but that doesn't make the series any less enjoyable. 
What I'm trying to say is that I love True Blood and I recommend the books to anyone. I have watched the first season on TV and enjoyed that too but I wanted to finish the books before I watched anymore as I heard that they mix the stories up a lot and I didn't want any spoilers.  
The one thing I'm not too happy with is the front cover. I had to pick up the TV series version which I personally hate doing. Book 1 to book 9 I have in the typically UK edition version which I love, but I couldn't find Dead and Gone in this version anywhere so now I have the collection on my bookcase that doesn't match. I know, I know what a trivial thing to moan about. 

♥  ♥  

What can else I say about Harry Potter that hasn't already been said? Well apart from while I was re-reading this book, after almost 10 years (yes I was slow on the uptake of HP but I got there) I found numerous amounts of people that have never even read a Harry Potter book, and one who had never even seen any of the movies. Seriously, what is this world coming to?
The first time I read Harry Potter many, many years ago I fell in love with the magical world, but as I was so young I just read the books, enjoyed the stories and took everything at face value. This time around I could truly appreciate them. J.K. Rowling's writing is exquisite and it's amazing how within the first few pages you are opened up to this world with such great detail and can see everything purely with the use of her words and your imagination. I remember when I first read this book I had no idea what any of the magical things were or looked like but somehow J.K. Rowling showed me the way.
Slowing over the next year I'm going to re-read all seven books and I'm so excited to re-live the series. I've not yet watched the final movie but I think I'm going to re-read the last book before I do as I don't want to movie to spoil anything for me.
If you've not yet read the books like some of the crazy people I have met recently, please pick it up as I assure you, you will not regret it.

♥  ♥  

Shock horror, a book that is not part of the young adult section. Crazy. I've been on such a young adult (book) frenzy recently but I still love my chick lits. A this one was amazing. I love Jane Greens writing. She can really tell a story. 
Babyville follows the lives of Julia, Maeve and Sam. Julia is desperate for a baby and after months of trying she can think of little else, Maeve is a career girl and babies are the last thing on her mind, and Sam is pregnant with her first child. The book is spilt into three parts and each part is written from the perspective of the three main characters. 
Oh gosh, I loved this book. I could put it down. Now I'm not particularly 'broody' at the moment, one day I will have children but it's a long way off. Though this is the case I could still fully appreciate the story. 
The book starts off with Julia's story and I'm telling you that by the end of her part I was begging for more. I wasn't at all interested in reading about Maeve, I wanted more Julia. At the end of Maeve's part I wanted more Maeve and so on. Jane Green has a talent of making you fall in love with her characters with such ease that by the end of the book you never want to let them go. 
I urge you all to pick up this book. It's been out for quite some time now so I'm sure you'll find it on offer somewhere. 

♥  ♥  

Forever, the third and final (and best in my opinion) instalment in the Mercy Falls series. But first lets start with that front cover  >>>>
How pretty is that?! When it comes to front cover I really do have a bit of magpie in me. Anything shinny and pretty I will pick up, and forever was no exception. Well actually it was, as I got it as a gift from my husband for my birthday. The US version of this book is not as pretty in my opinion but each to their own I guess. 
Now onto the plot. Forever follows the story of some of the characters in Linger (see no spoilers.) There are more twist and turns in this book and though most are predictable I enjoyed going along for the ride. There's not a great deal I can say about this book without spoiling the other two books but I will say I enjoyed it a hell of a lot more that the other two. 
Though saying that I don't believe that the ending was as satisfying as it could have been. Now I've read quite a few of the book reviews on goodreads and though a lot of people agree with me there are a lot who thought it was perfect. I guess I'll leave it up you to see who's side you take, but whatever you do don't let it put you off from reading it. 

♥  ♥  

Now if you've read my other mini reviews about The Immortals series you will know how much I love them. Shadowland is the third book in the series about Ever and Damen. At the end of the second book something unimaginable happened that left me gasping and the plot of Shadowland picks up from there. Now I'm a sucker for Alyson Noel's writing. I love the way the story can be going nowhere but I'm that sucked into her world that I don't really care. Out of all of the books this is probably the slowest in terms of plot. Not a great deal happens and not a lot is learnt. Now I know there are many people out there (thank you Goodreads) that are easily irritated by Ever's constant poor choices but to me it's just the charm of the book. I know that this doesn't sound like a good book review but believe me I really enjoyed it, and I still recommend it to anyone. It's not my favourite but it still is an important instalment which then makes it a necessary read. 

♥  ♥  

And last and most definitely least is Undeworld. Oh how I hated this book. What too harsh? Maybe, but let me explain why it holds such a dramatic impression. Now the idea behind the plot is pretty interesting. A group of teenagers are taken down into a cave on a school trip when the entrance to the cave 'caves' in and they are trapped. They then have to find a way out, without the help of their guide and that's when things really start to go wrong. A legend of a worm is also unnecessarily added the plot which we then have to deal with. But for me the thing that really annoyed me about the book was the over use of the word Zonk! I now hate this word beyond belief. I'd start to enjoy the story then zonk, zonking, zonked or any other version of that word would be mentioned and my ears would ring and my blood would boil. Too extreme? No! Yes I fully understand that teenagers generally overuse words, and yes it is rather irritating but I can be irritated by that on my own, I don't need you, Cathy MacPhail, to remind me every two sentences. Plus what makes it even worse is that the term zonk is very outdated. I've always been a firm believer that certain things should be omitted from books, like the mention of TV shows for example, as they are too time specific, and speech is one of those things. Now I don't mean speech as in old english against 'new' english, I refer to speech as in slang. Slang is so quickly changed that within a year or less it can be outdated. But the word zonk is even worse. According to my Mum (the best source of knowledge) the word zonk was common when she was young and she's 50. Because of this super annoying word I cannot fully review this book as I cannot get past 'zonk' so if you care to brave it I'll leave you to make up your own mind about this book. But don't say that you weren't warned. Now I've only got to find something to do with this book as it's not going anywhere near my book shelf.

♥  ♥  

And that's that, my August monthly reads. I've had a pretty good month book wise and found some  truly amazing books and a truly awful book. These monthly books posts have to be my favourite posts on my blog. They take forever to write but I definitely feel that it's worth it. I love to round up the month and it's nice to relive the stories I've been sucked into each month. Plus it's a nice way to remember what I've actually read. I'm thinking of starting a youtube channel dedication to books but I'm not 100% yet. What do you think?

That's it for now.
I'm sure I'll speak soon.