Happy Monday guys! I just wanted to give a little shout-out to an article that I've been featured in alongside some other gorgeous bloggers, talking all about my little office space in my new home. You might remember my Updated Office Tour from our last flat, back when I had the luxury of a whole spare bedroom for my work-at-home office! Well, we've moved back into the city now and with being more central comes the condition that your space comes at a high premium - city-dwelling babes, I know you know what I'm sayin'. were kind enough to get in touch and ask me for some office styling and productivity tips for their Blogger Work Spaces feature. Alongside me were the lovely girls Jessica from Ladylike Len and Jilly from JillyJilly - and suffice it to say, their offices are BEAUT. I had such a blast writing this feature and the guys over at Wayfair are absolutely wonderful - go give it a read and let me know what you think!

BACK AT IT AGAIN WITH THE VIDEO CONTENT! I'm so happy to have a YouTube video for you guys today, because I'll be honest - I love filming for you guys! And chatting away isn't ever really a problem for me it seems. I've tried to keep this as short and sweet as possible because there was around 18 minutes of footage and let's be real, nobody has time for that. So it's short (under 10 minutes counts, right?), sweet and snappy - a little trip through the very generous gifts I was given by friends and family for my 28th. I hope you guys enjoy and, as always, none of this is meant to brag - I really like watching these types of videos on YouTube and figured you guys would, too!

I know I always say it but I *really do* hope this is the beginning of a lot more video content for this channel and I'd love if you'd subscribe if you're not already. Happy viewing!

Last week saw a flying trip up to Manchester to see both my best friend and Queen B (squeal), and when one is faced with this kind of momentous outing, a little stock up on some essential beauty bits is usually in order. I strolled into Boots with only a couple of things on my 'must buy' list but, as usual, walked out with a touch more.

The Market Street Manchester Boots has a beauteous three-stand NYX concession which shone out to me like a beacon - I had been wanting to pick up another matte lip creme for a while now - but a couple of other swing-by purchases were made in the interest of sprucing up my post-work, pre-show make up look. Here's what I thought of my mini haul!

NYX Soft Matte Lip Creme in Copenhagen: For some reason, when I picked out my palm print jumpsuit for the concert the night before I had my mind set on a purple lip. I wanted something a little more wearable than my beloved NARS Ingrid though, so when I set my eyes on this beaut of a berry-hued, red and purple melange of a shade I knew it was the one. Just like the other shade I have of this formula it is easy to use, super soft and creamy, and dries down beautifully in around 30 seconds. The pigment is rich and beautiful and it doesn't dry out or crack your lips - it's basically what I imagine the definitive liquid to matte formula to be. You can see it (and the falsies!) in action in this picture.

Fleur Loves Lashes from Eyelure: Ohhhh man. I had held off on buying anything from this range for a while, mainly because I'm not a HUGE wearer of falsies and also they tend to piss me off/go wrong for me more than they actually go right. However, I was feeling a lil' fancy before the concert and picked these up on a whim after hearing Jaye rave about them. Well, my girl ain't often wrong, and she wasn't with these. Application is one of the easiest I've found and the size, shape and length of these lashes was just perfect for my eyes. I loved the soft, fluttery and full effect they gave, and the tapered shape is so flattering with longer lashes flaring out the outer corner of the eye. These are so soft and natural but also pack enough of a punch to really enhance your eye make up - top marks! I'm so happy they're reusable and I'll be able to get even more wear out of them.

L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay Clay-to-Spray Dry Shampoo: I can remember reading mixed reviews about this - from what I understand the shampoo and conditioner from this line went down really well, but the dry shampoo was a bit of a Marmite product. I was in a hurry, needed a bit of a refresh at my roots and couldn't find my tried-and-tested COLAB, so I picked this up. And I have to say - I loved it! The scent is a little strong so make sure you spray the product as far away as it suggests - you really don't want this in your face. The product however feels both lightweight and also really cleansing - unusual to say the least. You don't get any hideous white cast and it also doesn't feel powdery or 'sit' on the hair at all. It feels a lot more like a styling spray with light hold than a dry shampoo, and I really enjoyed that - it definitely gives your hair a little 'oomph' of volume. I imagine not everyone will get along with this, but I was very impressed.

July, you're in a tricky spot. June was a total washout (both literally and figuratively) and we're all looking to you, like we always do, to bring us relief in the form of summer, better weather, long lazy days away from school and work and obligations, something to lift us. I'm sure everyone in England is feeling pretty low at the moment, and I'm not an exception to that, but with each new month, I feel a sense of optimism at the promise of starting again. Perhaps that's why I love writing these so much - each feels like the pushing open of a window, a fresh set of sheets on the bed, a new page in the diary. Let's make this one good. Please, please, please.

SEE: I’m heading to our local cinema on my birthday next Thursday to go and see Romeo and Juliet live from The Garrick with one of my best friends, and I’m SO excited to see how this production takes shape. It has received really great reviews thus far and, let’s be honest, Robb Stark is more than a good enough reason to spend your evening watching some theatre.

LISTEN: I’m allowed to do a little promotion on behalf of my family, right? My cousin Anne Marie has just released her amazing song, Alarm, and it is a BANGER. I’d love if you’d give it a listen and, if you like it, buy it on iTunes.

GO: SLAY. I’m going to Manchester to see my best friend, see Queen B, and dance my little socks off. July is always the best month for concerts, festivals, and heading out dancing – I already have three nights out planned this month! Go be spontaneous and put on your dancing shoes. 

EAT: Cake cake cake cake cake… Birthday cake is the only acceptable answer for this, the month of my birth. Think I’ll be heading to Barefoot Oxford come next Thursday to pick up a special slice!

DRINK: All the cocktails. I’d particularly like to make this one if the weather decides to do anything nice any time this year? No? No danger of summer? 

WEAR: For all the above dancing and concert-going, I’ll need something a bit special to wear. Alas I don’t have the money for a Self Portrait or Needle and Thread number just yet, but until then, this will do.

READ: I've been loving short-long reads lately, like this article on The New Yorker about whether reading can make you happier. Reading about 'bibliotherapy' and thinking back and reflecting on all the times in life that I've 'self prescribed' or been recommended books for something I'm going through by friends, it's amazing how true this rings for me. I especially loved the quote: 'Reading fiction makes me lose all sense of self, but at the same time makes me feel most uniquely myself. As Woolf, the most fervent of readers, wrote, a book “splits us into two parts as we read,” for “the state of reading consists in the complete elimination of the ego,” while promising “perpetual union” with another mind.'

THINK: #MoreInCommon. There's a lot going on here on my little island, and whilst I'm determined to research what I can do to help and do my part to help shape the future of my landscape politically (before it all goes to hell), I'm also not going to let the tone or undercurrent of some stupid, bigoted minorities (read: not all Leave-voters, but the terrible groups of extremists and racists that now feel vindicated to attack people because of last Friday's result) ruin how I feel about where I live and where I'm going. This is my future and you don't get to fuck around with it.

I've been meaning to write this review for some time, but I suppose there's always some reason for holding back and when I search my heart of hearts I know that since putting this book down in Dubai, I haven't really wanted to commit to feeling one way or another about it.

I had high hopes for this book - have you ever come across a plot to a story and thought: 'YES. This is the book I would have wanted to write!' And perhaps my expectations were just the trouble.

The book, as the title would suggest, follows different versions of one love story between Eva and Jim. Both are quite instantly loveable and inevitably their chemistry is charming. The book frames their lives from three different beginnings through the three alternate realities until eventually bringing you three conclusions. Their lives intermingle and weave in and out of one another in different ways, but given the 'devastating conclusion' sold to me on the back cover, I was prepared for this to be a tear-jerker.

To some extent, it was. It was a page-turner, fairly un-put-downable in places, but I wasn't sure if I was following through with the book because I was so dissatisfied with how the stories were panning out. I wanted more from the protagonist, Eva. I wanted to understand her reasoning for making choices that seemed out of character. I wanted to grasp why Jim was downright villainized and often without remorse or consequence. I felt ambivalently about the characters and yet I wanted to see how the three stories ended. Whether it was a knee-jerk reaction, wanting 'my version' of events to come through and win the day, I don't really know.

Taking my feelings about the story itself out of this review, Laura Barnett does have a really easy, personable style of writing. It feels familiar, warm, English. It might be my familiarity with Oxford and university towns, but I felt a strong connection to Cambridge in the early part of the book, and indeed with the south coast of England later in the story. She has a great knack for transporting you instantly between scenes, placing you in the heart of every different 'version' of the story.

Would I recommend it? Yes, if only to have someone to talk to about their take on the novel! It's infuriating how few people have read this. In truth, I'm not sure I would tell you to rush to buy this, but definitely look into Laura's writing - I'll be waiting for her next book, Greatest Hits, eagerly. An author to watch.
Powered by Blogger.