Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Bloggers Book Club June (Twenties Girl – Sophie Kinsella)

First of all a big thanks to Amy who has gone through the trouble of organising the blogger’s book club. I’ve still not posted my review of May’s book (LA Candy) because I’m a bit useless, but as I finished June’s pick at lunchtime I thought I’d get on and give my twopenneth while it was fresh in my mind.


This month’s book is Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella.

The blurb (taken from Amazon):

“Laura has always had an overactive imagination. Now she wonders if she is losing her mind. Normal twenty-something girls just don't get visited by ghosts! But inexplicably, the spirit of Lara's great aunt Sadie - in the form of a bold, demanding Charleston-dancing girl - has appeared to make one last request: Lara must track down a missing necklace Sadie simply can't rest without. Lara's got enough problems of her own. Her start-up company is floundering, her best friend and business partner has run off to Goa, and she's just been dumped by the love of her life. But as Lara spends time with Sadie, life becomes more glamorous and their treasure hunt turns into something intriguing and romantic. Could Sadie's ghost be the answer to Lara's problems and can two girls from different times end up learning something special from each other?”

My thoughts:

I wasn't really looking forward to reading this book to be honest as I generally go for historical / crime books - I've never really been one for 'chick-lit' but here goes....

When I first started the book I struggled with it a bit, I found the ghost idea to be rather silly and the characters to be a bit, well, annoying really (Lara especially grated on me as was very wet and a in my opinion a bit spineless in the beginning). However I persevered and I really warmed to  Sadie (who you would expect to be old fashioned and a bit of a grandmother like character but is actually very funny, vivacious, and much more street-wise than Lara).

I liked how there were a number of twists in the story and how there was a bit of mystery in there to keep me interested (and guessing!) I also liked the character development of both the main characters - how Lara grew into herself after starting out as quite naive and a bit of a mess and how Sadie's story gradually unfolded as the search for the necklace went on.

All in all I was pleasantly surprised by the book, despite having my initial reservations. I wouldn’t say that it was a real page-turner but it was engaging enough to wind down after a busy day in the office.

Thanks Amy!!


Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Summer Days…….

The are many things I love about summer: barbeques, beer gardens, picnics, huge sunglasses to name just a few. My absolute favourite thing about summer though is not wearing foundation. I hate the feeling of foundation when the weather is warm and sticky, as I'm not a fan of feeling like my face is about to melt so I tend to skip it altogether. I thought I'd do a post on my top make-up products for the summer months to share:

Dove Everyday Sun facial moisturiser - a light, easily absorbed moisturiser which is great for topping up your tan (or giving a bit of colour)

Max Factor Lash Extension Effect Mascara - gives lovely natural fluttery lashes - perfect for summer days/evenings in the park or beer  garden

Benefit Moonbeam - I much prefer Moon Beam to High Beam as a highlighter when I have a tan, it gives a perfect golden shimmer just where you need it

Bourjois Lune d'or blush - this is my absolute favourite summer blush, its a pretty peachy hue with a subtle gold shimmer, which again looks fabulous with a tan

Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder – This is the most natural looking bronzer I’ve ever found, I generally find that bronzers either make me look dirty or orange but this one is perfect.

Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Stash - a gorgeous olive green which is perfect when you don’t want to look too ‘done’

MAC Tinted Lip Conditioner - in any colour! I like to make sure that my lips are protected by a balm/gloss which contains SPF. MAC TLC’s are perfect as they give a sheer wash of colour but also protect and condition your lips – I always have at least one in my bag at all times!

Collection 2000 Hot Looks nail polish in Fruit Salad – I can’t sing the praises of these polishes enough, they dry so quickly that they’re perfect a quick touch up between the office and the beer garden! This one is a gorgeous vibrant summery coral colour!


Monday, 28 June 2010


chocolate-brownies-for-saleMost of you by now will know I love to pretend I’m a bit of a Nigella. Though I love cooking and trying new things for dinner, I have a massive soft spot for baking. After a rubbish day at work there’s nothing I love more than shutting myself in the kitchen and whipping up a batch of cupcakes or cookies - and I can’t say I’ve ever heard the Mr complaining either! I thought I’d share with you one of my absolute favourite recipes for the best chocolate brownies I’ve ever tasted – they’re perfect warm with a big scoop of Ben and Jerry’s Vanilla Ice Cream.

  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 200g dark 70% chocolate broken up
  • 80g cocoa powder
  • 65g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 360g caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs

Optional extras: 75g dried sour cherries or 50g chopped nuts or 75g chocolate chunks (dark, milk or white) (or any combination of the above!)

1. Preheat oven to 180 / gas mark 4

2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bain marie (a bowl over a pan of boiling water)

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and sugar, then add to the chocolate/butter mixture

4. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl, then add too the chocolatey goo and add mix well

5. Add any extras you fancy and fold in

6. Pour the mixture into a baking tin lined with greaseproof paper

7. Bake for 25 minutes

8. Cool in the tray, then slice up and eat!



Saturday, 26 June 2010

Bag Love

SAM_0315 I did it, I finally caved in! After months of should I, shouldn't I to-ing and fro-ing  I finally succumbed to the lure of the Bayswater. Recently, due to a sudden surge in my workload I've been taking work home on more occasions than I would like, so I decided I deserved a treat, and what better treat than a shiny new handbag….especially one which can hold a file (or two)?!


Friday, 25 June 2010

I’m back…….and an apology…..

Hello lovelies

First of all, I should say a massive sorry - I know I've been a bad blogger of late *slap on the wrist* mainly because I was on my jollies until last week, and have returned to a massive bout of the post-holiday blues.

Anyways, to start off I thought I'd do a quick post on what I got up to on my holiday. I say a quick post because to be honest it was so hot that I didn't do very much at all, apart from sunbathe and shop!  As some of you might already know, I went away with my mum for a few days in Dubai. I've never been before, but my mum is a bit of a seasoned pro with this being her 6th trip. We stayed in Atlantis The Palm, which is right at the end of the man-made palm island. Closer to the mainland on the fronds there are some beautiful villas, with David Beckham and Freddie Flintoff being some of the owners. As you can imagine, they are slightly out of my price range unfortunately!

SAM_0308SAM_0203The view from our roomSAM_0306Me and the Dubai skyline – its there, honest!!

The hotel was absolutely beautiful and all of the staff were so friendly, you really were treated like royalty. On top of its 12 restaurants, including Nobu, the hotel  itself housed a small shopping centre known as the Avenues - including an in house Tiffany & Co *heaven*. Toni Terry and Joleon Lescott were also staying in the hotel, so for a football geek such as myself that was really exciting - especially when they came to watch the England match in the beach bar on Saturday night (not together, I don’t want to start any rumours!).

SAM_0249 (dodgy paparazzi style shot!)

The temperature was between 42 and 46 degrees so hot, hot, hot which meant that the days were mainly spent lazing around the pool sipping cocktails or zipping round the rapids in a rubber ring at the on-site waterpark Aquaventure.

SAM_0244One of the many cocktails we drank!SAM_0168The Leap of Faith at Aquaventure – yep I survived it!

At night we decided to leave the hotel and head first for the Mall of the Emirates (which houses Ski Dubai, an indoor ski slope not unlike Xscape as Castleford, the only difference being that naturally as it was in Dubai it was three times the size!) and later in the holiday to the Dubai Mall. Out of the two I preferred the Dubai mall - you could easily lose a week just wandering around the 1200 shops which included an amazing sweetshop called Candylicious, a Sanrio shop *eek*, yet another Tiffany & Co, a Bloomingdales and British high street favourites such as Marks and Spencer and Debenhams, which was surreal to say the least!!

SAM_0211 I’m just crazy about Tiffany’s….SAM_0212 …..and Hello Kitty!!

So that was my holiday – relatively short, but very very sweet! Where are you all going on your holidays?


P.S Sorry about the slightly dodgy quality of the photos, I took hundreds but it was so hot that every time I whipped my camera out it steamed up – I have more soft focus shots than a 1980’s issue of Playboy!

Thursday, 3 June 2010

REVIEW: Lovea Moroccan Argan Brilliance Shine Shampoo


This is the third and final product sent to me for review by Mypure.

The first thing that hit me was the smell of this product, I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it reminded me of to begin with, but then I remembered – Refreshers!

I didn’t use this product every wash as I like to use a toning shampoo every other wash to keep any brassiness in check, but overall I was quite impressed by the results I saw. I didn’t hold out too much hope as my hair is generally quite dry as its bleached, however I found that the product left my hair feeling soft and shiny, with the added bonus of extra bounce!

The only teeny tiny grumble I have is that the shampoo didn’t lather quite as well as my usual brand, however this didn’t seem to hinder its cleaning prowess in any way.

All in all I would recommend this if you’re looking for an organic shampoo (at £4.99 its even priced competitively), however I don’t think that I will be re-purchasing as it would take a miracle to tear me away from my beloved Paul Mitchell products!


If you want to try it out for yourself, Lovea's Moroccan Argan Brilliance Shine Shampoo can be bought here

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

REVIEW: A'kin Pure Rose Hydrating Facial Mist

SAM_0160 This is the second of the products sent to me by Mypure to review. Though billed as a facial mist, the blurb states that this product can be used all over the body as a light moisturiser. The product contains hyaluronic acid, which is a natural ingredient which helps skin cells retain moisture. I’ve never used any type of mosturising mist product before so I was very interested to try this out.

Again, this product has a rose-scent, however this is a fresher scent and not as overpowering as I found the Kosmea product. I have been using the product post-gym and also used it on my travels to Bournemouth over the weekend due to a combination of slight sunburn and the drying air conditioning in my car. I found the mist to be moisturising but non-greasy and my skin felt pleasantly fresh after each use. I haven’t tried it out over make-up, but the packaging suggests that it would be fine to use in this way, and I’ve read reviews from other bloggers who have not had a problem with this.

I'd love to try it out during air travel, however as the bottle is 150 ml I won't be able to take it in my hand luggage! I will however, be decanting some of the product into a smaller bottle as I think that it will be a great product for a medium/long haul flight.

So onto the price: the mist is available on the mypure website for £12.99 for 125ml which may seem a bit pricey, however this is by far and away my favourite of the mypure products, and though I’ve been using this constantly for almost 3 weeks I’ve hardly made a dent in the product! Given that Evian’s La Brumisateur costs around £6 for 150ml of glorified water I think that the A’kin product is very reasonably priced


If you want to try it out for yourself, A'kin Pure Rose Hydrating Facial Mist can be bought here

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