Some of my recent and favourite reads…

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Little Black Book – Otegha Uwagba
The essential career handbook for creative working women
If you need a kick-up the backside – this will give you some inspiration! It’s a tiny book which I read in one day during my commute to work and back. Written by Otegha Ueagba who is a brand manager, this gives lots of tips and advise from; how to build your own brand, gaining success in your career, through to how to negotiate a pay rise. A great read for all those busy working women out there.  

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman
Believe the hype with this book – I thoroughly loved it! I’ve spoken to so many people about this book, three of which just starting to read it. All three gave a really skeptical expression about the book explaining they really weren’t sure if they were going to like it. They all said “I don’t really like the main character so not sure if I’m going to like this book”. And it’s a fair point! To start with you will question who the hell is this character, what is this story all about. I however have begged those three starting to read this book, and you if you decided to give it a read to stick with it because I, along with everyone else I know who has read this book – loved it!  It’s a type of story I’ve never read before and covers some really interesting topics.

Everything I Know About Love – Dolly Alderton
I’ve reviewed this book recently HERE so will let you read the full review over on that post, but what I will say is that I really loved it! If your a twenty something female, there are a lot of things that will resonate. I’ve laughed and I’ve cried with this book and I’ve also recommended it to all my girlfriends.

The F Word – Lily Pebbles
A Personal Exploration of Modern Female Friendship
I’ve followed Lily Pebbles for years now, even when her blog was named – ‘What I Heart Today’. She is one of those bloggers I can really relate to, I think because we are similar ages and going through the same life stages as similar times; moving home, getting married, etc. The F Word is her first book and it’s all about female friendships – the best friends, the sister and even the toxic friend. It’s a book I finished in a couple of days and there is something in there which every female can relate too. It was such a heart-warming book that it really made me feel so grateful for my friends.

Ice Cream for Breakfast – Laura Jane Williams
How Rediscovering Your Inner Child Can Make You Calmer, Happier, and Solve Your Bullsh*t Adult Problems
I can honestly say this book for me was life changing! I read this book at the perfect time of my life. At the time I was going through a royally crap time with my job and near to hitting rock bottom. Laura talks about all different kinds of stressful situations and then describes how a child would react and asks the question on why we don’t do the same? For example – when a child doesn’t want to do something they say no and do not care for other opinions. So why do we as an adult? When looking after a child you want to make sure they get a full night’s sleep so they don’t feel unwell. So why do we as adults put sleep low on our priority list? This book will always be a special book for me and I would recommend it to anyone who is feeling stressed or overwhelmed with life.

Still Me – Jojo Moyes
This is my current read (currently a third of the way through). This book is the final of a trilogy following the main character Louisa Clark through her life. The story first began in the book ‘Me Before You’ which is now a film adaptation. I first read (well listened) to this book on Audible during my train commute to work and it left me in an embarrassing state of tears on my way home one evening. The second book ‘After You’ was my holiday read last year and I could not put it down. Although I can’t say much about the third book just yet, want I can say is that if you like a good book series – this one from Jojo Moyes is well worth checking out.

What are you recent book recommendations?

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Monthly Favourites: February 2018

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Today is the last day in February and it’s snowing – can you believe it! I hope everyone is staying warm. I thought I would share my favourites of of month with all – I have some beauty picks and a couple of non-beauty picks too!

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Kat Von D Studded Kiss lipstick in Cathedral
During the cold winter months, the lipstick I’ve been reaching for the most has been Kat Von D Studded Kiss lipstick in Cathedral. For me it’s the perfect winter berry colour as I find it’s not very bold shade compared to most berry lip colours and suits my skin tone really nicely. The formulation is really nice too as it’s a satin-matte finish and I find it quite long lasting on the lips too. If you are looking for an everyday berry shade, I would recommend checking this out – plus the packaging is beautiful!

Glossier Invisible Shield – Sunscreen (SPF 30)
I’ve mentioned this before in my previous blog (linked here) when I shared my 2nd Glossier haul. And with using more acids in my beauty routine lately (find out more here), finding a good SPF was a must! I’ve used this every day since I brought it and not only do I love that it is protecting my skin, I also really like the texture of this gel formulation under my makeup as it almost works as a primer too.

Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution
When I was younger I suffered with severe acne leading me to do a course of Roaccutane when I was 17 years old. After 6 months my skin was clear from acne but ever since I’ve really struggled with scarring. When I get a dreaded spot on my face I can usually tackle it within a couple of days however the mark will tend to hang around for quite some time afterwards. Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution is the only thing I have found that will reduce these marks overtime. I’m currently on my second bottle and found it really speeds up reducing any marks or discolouration.  This month, my skin has been particularly bad with breakouts and as my skin starts to calm down, I’ve used this religiously AM and PM. Finally my skin is looking clearer again!

Revlon Color Stay Foundation Norm/Dry Nude 200
As a beauty addict, I’ve tested a lot of foundations in my time but when my skin is being problematic and I need my makeup to stay in place all day, I always rely on Revlon Color Stay Foundation for Norm/Dry skin types. It’s an oldie but a goodie and with my skin playing up this month, this has been the only foundation I’ve been reaching for in February.

Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Body Cream
As my love for skincare acids grows, I wanted to see if there was any body-care products I could test. It however seems that the high-street beauty market hasn’t yet jumped on this bandwagon apart from Nip+Fab. I decided to try out their Glycolic Fix Body Cream – it contains, glycolic acid, salicylic and lactic acids to naturally exfoliate and make the skin look brighter and smoother. Throughout February I’ve used this every other day mainly focusing on my arms and legs (which tend to get most dry) and I have noticed my skin feeling soft and brighter. What I also love is that it soaks in really quickly too so I can quickly get dressed after my shower, unlike many other body moisturiser I’ve used previously which tends to leave my skin feeling a little greasy. Downside is it’s £9.99 for a 200ml bottle, and I’ve already nearly finished this bottle.

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Reading
One of my goals in 2018 was to read more books and so far I have read/listened to via Audible 5x books. And I have to say I’ve been loving taking some time for myself over the past couple of months to have some escapism with getting into a good book. My favourite for this month was definitely Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton which I reviewed recently HERE. I’m now reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman which I have been reading on my Kindle, and I cannot put it down. I’ve also really been loving my Kindle too – I know the feel of reading an actual book is way better than reading from a screen but it’s really handy to have when I’m commuting back and forth to London for work. I can honestly say my train journey home (it takes me over an hour every night!) feels like it takes 15mins as I’m so drawn into reading the story.

My Stojo cup
In a bid to try and be more environmentally friendly, I wanted to purchase a reusable coffee cup but I was concerned about how bulky a cup will be in my handbag all the time. It was when I was listening to Emma Gunns podcast and her #26habits (her challenge of trying to break and start a new habit every two weeks) and her first was trying to break the habit of not buying shop-bought coffees, she then mentioned about Stojo Cups. This coffee cup is designed to collapse into a more compact size which you can throw in your bag. It’s also made from recycled materials – so it’s a win, win! I will however warn you that coffee shop baristas haven’t seen many of these cups yet, and on a couple of occasions they have gone to push the lid onto the cup (rather than gently twisting the top on) and the coffee has gone everywhere due to the cup being squishy. My tip if you want to get one of these cups, only hand over the cup and keep the lid back to put on yourself.

What have been your favourites from the month of Feb? Also do you have any good book recommendations for me?

BOOK REVIEW: Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton

Last week I finished listening to Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton on Audible. If you are unaware of who Dolly Alderton is, she is a writer, director and journalist, she also previously had a dating column in The Sunday Times . I first came across Dolly after listening to the podcast ‘The High Low’ hosted by Dolly and Pandora Syke. It’s a weekly pop-culture and news podcast, sharing anything from political news, cultural happenings and water-cooler gossip – if you love a podcast, I would recommend checking it out as it’s a great mix of light-hearted conversation and factual news. When I heard via the podcast that Dolly was releasing a book, I was really interested in checking it out so when my latest Audible credit was available I downloaded it. I prefer to listening to biographies, memoirs and non-fiction via Audible as they are often narrated by the author and I can listen to them more easily on my commute whereas I tend to prefer reading fiction during my evenings at home. Being a fan of the ‘The High Low’ podcast, I thought this audio book would be like listening to one giant episode of the podcast focusing on Dolly’s life experiences, but it was sooo much more.

I have to admit, initially when I first heard the title of the book – Everything I Know About Love I did wonder if I would connect with this book, imagining it would be about living the single life but I couldn’t of been more wrong. It mainly focuses on relationships between females friends via Dolly’s life experiences. She has nicely built the book as a series of stories and anecdotes from her life, along with relatable lists, her love lessons at different ages, recipes for varying moments of life as well as some really funny letters addressing the truthful traits of a hen party, wedding or a baby shower.

A testament to how much I loved this book is that I’ve gone on to purchase a copy of the book – it’s definitely a book I would add to my bookshelf to go back to in the future. First of all, being a similar age to Dolly, I also found it very relatable and often nostalgic when she talks about things such as her days talking to boys via MSN messenger and life at university. I imagine reading this book back when I’m older as a chance to have a trip down my own memory lane or one day if I have a daughter, letting her read this in her late teens/early twenties as Dolly shares some really lovely life lessons. The one thing that kept me hooked throughout the whole book was Dolly’s honesty as she talks frankly through her past experiences, mistakes and events in her life – the highs and sometimes the very low lows. Her openness to her mental health as she was growing up was also so beautifully told, often explaining feelings which I have experienced myself in such a perfect way. Overall it was just really loving hearing how Dolly has grown into the woman she is today and taking her life lessons and applying them to my own. The whole book is very thought-provoking and it’s a one I will be recommending to all of my friends.

Have you read Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton yet?