Sunday, 30 June 2013

Book of the Week: Bridget Jones' Diary

"It struck me as pretty ridiculous to be called Mr. Darcy and to stand on your own looking snooty at a party. It's like being called Heathcliff and insisting on spending the entire evening in the garden, shouting "Cathy" and banging your head against a tree."

Keeping my promise of a weekly review, this week is dedicated to the queen of chick lit: Bridget Jones. I have read Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding time and time again (as you can probably tell - my dog-eared copy is starting to look a bit sorry for itself) and it brings me to tears of laughter every time. Although I hold the film in almost equally high esteem, the book is firmly cemented among my favourite reads for oh so many reasons.

For one thing, Bridget is so relatable and so endearing that it's hard not to love her. I don't think any girl could read this book and not have at least one moment where they laugh to themselves and think, 'I've done that!' OK, maybe not frantically shimmying up fireman's pole on national news, but I think we can all shudder at the thought of some hideous dating blunder or shameful work mishap from some occasion or another, am I right?

Secondly, it's such an easy read! I think you'll notice from my previous Perks of Being a Wallflower review that I've got  a bit of a thing for epistolary novels. Letters, diaries, you name it, I probably love it. And Bridget Jones' Diary is exactly what it says on the tin; a series of diary entries that cover a year of her life, only instead of being private, hers has kindly been published for us all to read. I've had nightmares about similar scenarios. It's a good job she's fictional, otherwise she would have probably gone into eternal hiding years ago. And I love the calorie counts and such with mini commentaries that accompany each section. Always good for a giggle.

Also, I know that it sounds weirdly patriotic, I don't mean it to, but I love that it's British! For me, the English humour is what makes it wonderful. I somehow find it a lot more endearing that she misses an interview with a top barrister because she is buying a cigarettes and a Lion Bar, than I would if she missed out on meeting Honey Boo Boo because she'd run out of Junior Mints. Sorry to any Americans reading this, I've got nothing against Honey Boo Boo, but you know it as well as I do, Bridget Jones wouldn't be Bridget Jones without her tiny London flat filled with imaginary Alsatians, poised to eat her face when she dies alone, Mark Darcy's stereotypically British inability to communicate feelings and her mother's busy-bodying ways. All the talk of pubs, Blind Date and tarts and vicars parties is a huge part of the charm for me.

Finally, I love me a bit of Mark Darcy! Admittedly, his dodgy Christmas jumpers, and his bumbling, awkward poshness might not be everyone's cup of tea, but whatever your type may be, I think we'd all love to be told that we are very much liked, just the way we are, no? Ugh, why are all the good ones fictional?

An oldie but a goodie, Bridget has gotten me through some dark times. Whenever I'm having a glum day, I grab myself a good slab of chocolate, pick this up and find myself feeling better in moments. Sure, it's not ground breaking. It doesn't send any life changing messages. It's just about a single girl trying to survive dating in London with her dignity intact (albeit slightly battered). But it is the most feel good book I have ever read, and I guarantee it will put a smile on your face. Sadly, I have never read the second book, although I would like to, and I'm more than a little sceptical about the prospect of a third instalment being in the pipeline (always leave them wanting more Helen, surely someone told you that), but I adore this book. As far as I'm concerned, Bridget Jones will always have a place in my heart, and on my bookshelf.

Have you read this book too? What are your favourite things about it? Let me know.


Thursday, 27 June 2013

Lady Danger by MAC. My new lipstick love.

Yesterday, I decided to treat myself to a cheeky little shopping trip, and amongst my new stash of goodies was this little beauty. The one and only Lady Danger by MAC. I think it has become my new favourite lippy overnight, and here's why.

I've always been a fan of the more orangey toned make up products. I think they suit my skin tone better, and I have plenty in my collection already. I was always a bit sceptical about buying Lady Danger as it is a matte lipstick and, having quite dry skin and lips, matte is not often my friend. At £14 a pop, MAC lipsticks are a bit of an investment, so I didn't want to splurge on something that might not look great. But I adore the colour so much that I decided, what the hell, YOLO and all that, and I'm so glad I did.

The lipstick is a bright, orangey red. It has quite a vintage, 1950s vibe to it, which I love (I often think that I was born in the wrong era. Woe is me). It's very glamorous, and makes me feel like some kind of old school Hollywood starlet when I wear it. And it's always nice to feel gorgeous every once in a while.

Also, I actually really love that it's matte. I think that it really adds to the glamour of it, and it suits the colour perfectly. I often find with matte lipsticks that they feel quite uncomfortable and drying, and end up making my lips quite flaky. Not an attractive look, I can assure you. The only ones I have ever loved are the Revlon matte lipsticks, the rest of them have never seemed to work for me. However, this one feels really comfy to wear. I don't feel that dreaded cracking every time I smile, which is wonderful. I definitely wouldn't put it on without exfoliating my lips beforehand, as I think it would just stick in all the cracks and crevices, but I have to do that with most lipsticks any way, so it's not really that surprising.

It also has a fair bit of staying power, which is great. I wore it out to dinner and drinks last night, and I only had to reapply once! Amazing! I also feel that that is to be expected of any lipstick when you're eating, so bravo MAC, very well done.
With flash. Excuse the less than sleek hair.

Without flash.
I'm absolutely in love with Lady Danger, and I cannot wait to wear it all summer long!

Do you have this lipstick? Do you love it as much as I do? Which lipstick could you not live without? Let me know!


Sunday, 23 June 2013

Book of the Week: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

"We accept the love we think we deserve."

I adore books. I find that there is nothing I enjoy more than getting lost in the intricacies of the imagination, taking time out from my own life to delve into the pages of fictional wonders and live the exciting lives of others, if only for a short while. Being that I am such a book addict, I decided that, once a week, I wanted to pick one of my favourite books to share with you guys. Some of them will be fairly obvious, some obscure, some old and some new, but all of them will be wonderful reads for one reason or another. So without further ado, I share with you the first of many literary masterpieces (in my opinion at least). I hope you enjoy reading about my favourite books, and that you might even pick some of them up. I assure you, you won't be disappointed.

The first book I have chosen to share with you is The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I first read this book a little over a year ago, whilst on holiday in Florida. I had heard about the movie (which I also loved) and was really keen to see it, but I, like a lot of others I know, don't like to see a film until I have read the book. So I bought it and took it with me for some light holiday reading, and loved it so much, I had read it within two days.

The book is written from the point of view of Charlie. He is about to go into his freshman year of high school, about to face the same obstacles that we all remember so fondly - awkward crushes, the prospect of making new friends, and all the fun that comes with puberty. On top of this, he has to deal with his best friend's suicide, and he decides to do so by writing a series of letters to an anonymous pen pal, letters which make up the pages of the book.

I think one of my favourite things about this book is that it is so honest. It isn't your typical high school story where the nerd joins the football team and gets the girl. It is a lot more real than that. Like most of us, Charlie is not popular, but he isn't unpopular either. He just sort of floats in the middle, and the beauty of the story is in his keen observations of the everyday details. I really love how he goes through the same things that every one of us went through (or will go through) when we were at school, but he looks at it all in such an inspiring way. He knows that these are their golden years, and so he treats them as such. I think there's something beautiful in that.

As well as this, my favourite thing about the book is Charlie. In some ways he is innocent and child like, but in others, he is wise beyond his years. He is completely unaware of social cues (creating many a humorous moment). He is just so simple and earnest in his observations, and so profound at the same time. He says what he feels and doesn't care what people think of him and for this reason, I find him one of the most endearing and inspiring characters I have ever read. The things he notices and the way he talks about things really makes you yearn to be a bit more daring. To just muster up the courage to be as heartbreakingly honest as he is, making people accept you for exactly who you are. I mean, there are obviously downsides to wearing your heart on your sleeve, but it's a nice ideal, nonetheless!

The book makes me nostalgic for my time at school, and every time I read it I find myself contemplating my outlook on life. It is one of those wonderful books that makes you realise that we should be appreciating every moment as it happens, as these are the memories that we will one day cherish. There is a lovely bit in the book where Charlie talks about photographs of his parents and how, at one point, they weren't photographs. They were actually happening. And one day, the things that are happening to him now will only be photographs. Everytime I read it, I resolve that I will cherish my life as it is now. And remember to take more photographs. 

This is such an inspiring, touching, memorable story. It is difficult to describe exactly why it is such a good book, but it is definitely up there with my all time favourites. I guess you'll just have to read it to find out.

Have you read the book? Do you love it as much as I do? What are your all time favourite books? I'd love to know.


Saturday, 22 June 2013

Counting my Blessings

These are a few of my favourite things...
Yesterday, I was browsing the internet and I came across the most beautifully put together blog, and I couldn't help but devour it. One post in particular really stuck with me. It discussed all the things that she was thankful for in her life, and it really inspired me. Lately, I must admit I've been rather pessimistic. I miss living with my friends at university, I constantly find myself complaining about the crappy weather (I know! What have I become?!), and overall, I find myself focusing on the bad, forgetting to notice the good. So, upon reading this blog post, I realised that enough is enough. I have so much to be thankful for. To focus on the very small minority of negatives is ridiculous, and it's really high time that I turned my frown upside down. So I thought I'd use this post to list all the things that I am grateful for; all the things in my life that make me smile. So thank you, Coffee Chic, for the inspiration.

I'm thankful for...

♥ My family. The opportunities that my parents have worked so hard to give me, and the support that we show each other.
♥ My friends.
♥ A good cup of tea.
♥ Books. The ones that consume you, and make you lose track of time.
♥ Music. The kind that affects your mood. The type you can get lost in.
♥ My degree, and the fact that I was given the opportunity to get one.
♥ Chocolate.
♥ Wine.
♥ Good conversation.
♥ Spontaneity.
♥ Make up.
♥ Having a warm bed to snuggle up in on rainy nights.
♥ All of the places I have visited.
♥ Movies.
♥ Blogs.
♥ Ryan Gosling ;)
♥ Summer nights.
♥ Laughing until you cry.
♥ Life.

So whenever I am feeling down, I will read this list and remember that, even though things might seem bad, I have so much to be grateful for. So chin up, someone loves you, and remember that life is a blessing. Even the smallest things can bring the biggest smiles.


Friday, 21 June 2013

My First Glossybox...

This morning, I reluctantly peeled myself out of bed to answer the door to the postman. I was all ready to greet him with a few grunts and snarls, when I realised he was delivering my first ever Glossybox! Wohoo! Of course, I then silently forgave him for waking me up at such an ungodly hour (it was 10, judge me if you will), and proceeded to greedily unwrap my new treat as if I were a child on Christmas Day. Oh it was glorious! Here is a peek at what I recieved:

Firstly, I absolutely adore the packaging! It's very sleek and sophisticated, and feels like a real luxury. One might even describe it as glossy. I think I see what they did there.

Sorry for the less than great quality pictures. I'm still learning!
In my box, I recieved:
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse OR
MeMeMe Cosmetics Long Lasting Nail Gloss in Wild
John Frieda Frizz Ease Original Serum
Figs & Rouge Cherry Blossom Lip Balm
Q Body Spray

The first thing that caught my eye was the Figs & Rouge Lip Balm, as I'm finding myself a bit obsessed with lip products at the moment and I love me some pretty packaging. I've also been kind of desperate to try a Figs & Rouge product ever since Emma Watson announced they were here fave (if it's good enough for Hermione, it's good enough for me). Packaging aside, the product itself feels amazing on the lips and has a lovely subtle pink tint to it, which makes it perfect for a natural, everyday look. I think it'll be great for work. I would have quite liked it to have more of a cherry scent to it, but I am aware that not everyone likes scented cosmetics and with it being 100% natural, you can't really complain that they haven't chucked in a load of perfume. Also, the Glossybox description claims that you can use it on 'cuticles, elbows and knees' and to 'tame unruly eyebrows'. Now, I'm not sure how I would feel about pink tinted eyebrows, but hey. Each to their own.

Lookit! Aaah!
Next up, I tried out the Nuxe product, which I'm not going to attempt to type the name of again. I've never really been one for oils. I find that they leave me feeling quite greasy and like I need a good shower. I don't know, maybe I use them wrong... But I've always wanted to try a Nuxe product and I've heard great things about the original, non-shimmery version of this product, so I thought I might as well. Nothing to lose, right? And I was really pleasantly surprised! It didn't leave my skin feeling greasy at all. It is described online as a shimmering dry oil (clearly I only have an issue with those pesky wet oils), which contains plant oils and Vitamin E to nourish and soften skin and hair. Lovely. It also does really leave a beautiful but subtle shimmer. Not at all disco-bally, which is always a plus. I think this will be the perfect product for the summer, when it finally decides to make an appearance. I'm also excited to try it as a hair oil, but I haven't had the chance yet. I'll let you know.

Thirdly, I recieved a MeMeMe Long Lasting Nail Gloss in the colour Wild, which is a deep, blue-toned purple. I haven't tried it yet, but my initial thought is that it is going to be a bit too dark for my pale skin tone, and I definitely prefer brights and pastels for this time of year, and think that this dark colour is more suited for winter. I think I will just tuck it away in my collection for a few months and dig it back out when the frost resurfaces. See how I feel about it then.

I also recieved the John Frieda Frizz Ease Original Serum. I haven't opened it yet, but I used this product a lot when I was younger and have just sort of forgotten about it over time. I loved it then though, so I'm sure I will love it now. I don't have particularly frizzy hair, but I do have baby hair around my face, which infuriates me as it never stays put. I find that putting some of the serum on straight after a shower does a great job of taming those annoying flyaways, and I am excited to start using it again.
Lastly, I have not had a chance to try out the Q Body Spray yet. However, I'm really excited to give it a go as it has a really beautiful, light smell to it. The bottle says floral, but it somehow smells quite citrussy to me. Regardless, it smells good, so who really cares. I am visiting Singapore during the summer, which I've heard gets rather toasty, so this will definitely be going in my case!

Overall, I think my favourite items are the Figs & Rouge and the Nuxe products, although there is nothing in the box that I am disappointed by. I am very impressed with the contents of my first ever Glossybox, and I cannot wait for the next one. Roll on July!
Did you get any of the same products? Do you like them as much as I do? Let me know!


Monday, 17 June 2013

25 Facts About Me.

As I am a complete newbie to the whole blogosphere (is that even how you spell it?! Who knows?), I thought I'd do this fact thingy, so that you can learn a little about me, and I can practice all this blogging malarky a bit more. Win, win really. Enjoy!

1. I have a 1st Class Honours degree in Ancient History from the University of Nottingham. It was the best experience of my life, and I miss it terribly.

2. I have a terrier cross named Rupert. I love him a lot.

3. I am the oldest of 2 kids. My younger brother was born 2 years and a day after me. At least he had the decency to wait and not steal my second birthday thunder! ;)

4. I am an introvert.

5. I have a phobia of papercuts. I don't know, it's weird. I think it's something about the slicing. Eughh. Horrible. It's making me uncomfortable just typing this. Let's stop now, shall we?

6. My favourite colour is green. Teal in particular, but any green will do :).

7. I am a huge fan of old musicals. Singing In The Rain is a particular favourite.

8. My favourite books are the Harry Potter books. Predictable, I know, but everyone loves a bit of Hazza P.

9. I can pretty much recite every Friends episode ever made. Combination of having an amazing memory and watching them all countless times.

10. My favourite place is Athens. I have fond memories of playing hide and seek on the acropolis with about 20 college friends. Probably illegal, at the very least frowned upon, but I loved it.

11.My second favourite place is Rome. I just love that you can be walking down a street, turn a corner and the Pantheon is right in front of you. Such a breathtaking city.

12. I have never been in love. Kind of sad, but I think I'm OK with it.

13. I am now struggling to think of facts about myself. Apparently I'm not that interesting.

14. My biggest celebrity crush is Michael Trevino (Tyler from The Vampire Diaries). I met him once, said something weird in my state of panic and he called me cute. He probably thought nothing of this passing compliment, but I am now planning our wedding.

15. I am awful at keeping in contact with people. I frequently try to work on it, make resolutions every year to change it, but still I am rubbish. So sorry guys, if you want to be friends, you're just going to have to live with my sporadic texting and crap planning skills.

16. I am most definitely not a morning person. Speak to me before 10 at your own risk, but I will not be held accountable for biting your head off. Your chances are slightly more favourable if you come bearing tea.

17. I love being on aeroplanes, especially long haul flights. I think it's the fact that I can sit for hours watching films and reading books without feeling remotely guilty that I should be doing something else. I also quite like the food. Controversial, I know.

18. I am quite pale skinned and I love it. Embrace the pale, ladies.

19. Spring is my favourite month, although England hasn't really had a good Spring in yonks, which saddens me.

20. I barely ever eat breakfast. Naughty I know, but see number 16.

21. I really hate anything with peanut butter, but love peanut butter kit kats. Go figure.

22. I find anything about gangsters and the mafia really fascinating. I'm also kind of obsessed with Jack the Ripper. Who was he?!

23. My favourite words are bubble and serendipity.

24. I wish I was better at taking photographs.

25. I like to wait until TV series' have finished so that I can marathon the whole thing.

My god, that was difficult! Bonus fact: trying to think of 25 things has taken me so long, that I am now late for work.



Allow me to introduce myself...

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/8600349/?claim=2skgbawwxfv">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

My name is Sarah, I'm 22 years old and I live in a quaint little village just outside of Reading. My life has been pretty hectic up until now. So far I have got myself a degree (well done me!), spent time visiting some amazing corners of the world, and worked my butt off to prepare myself for my next big adventure: this so-called 'real world' that I hear so much about, and which I am looking forward to finding my place in. While these were all wonderful experiences that I would not change for anything, I felt like everything was getting a little too overwhelming for my liking, and I just needed to slow down, count to three, and figure out what I really wanted to do with my life. So that is exactly what I am doing.Taking a bit of a time out; a year to just be before I enter the terrifying world of work, which I am both dreading and excitedly anticipating.

So why start a blog, I hear you ask? It's more for myself than anything. I love love LOVE to write. Any excuse and I'm scribbling. At the moment I actually volunteer for a London based arts and culture website for which I write theatre reviews. I do love the theatre. Finding a gem of a play is exhilarating and visiting the theatre with friends is a wonderful way to pass an evening. Being given the opportunity to write about something that you love is a godsend, but I realised that I don't have to do it on a professional platform. If you want to do something, you should just do it. And there are many other things that I love, curling up with a good book and toying around with cosmetics are up there with the best of them, so I thought I would write about these things too, sharing with you my favourite books, products and experiences, whilst I try to formulate a plan about being a proper grown up! I hope you enjoy reading about my favourite things as much as I enjoy writing about them, and here's to the next chapter of my life.What better way to figure out what to do with it than by starting with what you love, right?


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