Friday, 29 January 2016

Weekend Vlog: BAKING BROWNIES WITH A THREE YEAR OLD!

Last weekend my sister was in London so I met up with them for lunch before offering to babysit my niece while they went on a little lunch date for a couple of hours. We baked brownies, played in the games room, watched movies and sang songs.

As usual she was super cute and while I definitely didn't film the cutest parts, I finally remembered to record some. Find the video here or embedded below. Be sure to comment that you came from my blog if you do! :)

I always say: 'She stole my heart a long time ago and refuses to give it back...'



Wednesday, 27 January 2016

YouTube Trailer

I finally made a YouTube channel trailer and I kind of love it. I basically included some short clips from every type of event I've done this year...plus lots of cute clips of Hallie (my niece)!

Let me know what you think.


I also made a new banner but can't seem to get it to fit. What do you think?

Monday, 25 January 2016

The 5th Wave (Review)

For once I went into the theatre not knowing exactly how a novel-to-screen adaptation was going to turn out. Usually I read the book first and then see the film but for once I hadn't. I hadn't even really heard about the book series until earlier this year when the London Snapchat story started to play the trailer in the middle of snaps. I'm so glad they did because since the beginning of January, I've been getting more and more excited! I do think that the producers should have advertised it more though. It may be big in America but definitely not here in England, with only 3 cinemas even showing the film on it's opening weekend, in central London. I was shocked when I tried to find locations on where to watch it.

Click here to watch the trailer and here/here/here to go to the books. You'll be glad to know I have now bought the whole trilogy so I will be reading them in the summer when the third comes out.

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

The 5th wave starts with a shooting but then looks back on Cassie's perspective of the events that have been going on recently. Four waves of increasingly deadly alien attacks have left most of humanity destroyed and Cassie is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother.

The story begins with mankind discovering a space ship flying orbiting planet Earth, leaving humans to watch from below and wait. The removal of any electronic device leaves the world in unknown territory, natural disasters kill off even more of the population with earthquakes, floods and the world literally cracking apart, before a deadly influenza virus strain takes out almost everyone left.

With only a few people left on the Earth, everyone bands together and they help each other until they realise that the aliens can inhabit humans now. Now they can no longer trust their friends and everyone must go their separate ways. If they see another human, another lone survivor, they have to run. Run in the opposite direction. Run away as far and fast as they can.

For me, I wasn't expecting massacre suicide shootings or the good guys to become the bad guys but this clever plot has twists and turns a plenty as an action packed film never seeks to surprise me. Thrown in with all the running and shootings and life threatening missions, the main character Cassie still finds time for a little romance. An unexpected love triangle occurs between Cassie, Ben Parish - the high school quarterback and secret object of Cassie’s affection before aliens - and Evan - the handsome hero/isolated farmer/unknown.

The story seems to be split between Cassie's trying to get back to her brother, following a separation due to a teddy bear, and collective children being trained by the army to become soldiers. I felt so sorry for a little girl nicknamed Teacup, who screamed at every bang but was still sent out to be attacked and the attacker. You couldn't help but fall in love with both her and Cassie's younger brother, Zackary Arthur: he is so cute!

I have just seen this film in the cinema and wow what a thrilling experience it was! The 5th Wave provides a fresh new twist on the alien invasion genre. I thought the acting was seriously amazing; Chloe Grace Moretz showed so much emotion, I fell in love with her all over again and can't wait to see what else the up-and-coming star has to show in the future. I always like a little eye candy and girls can get the best of both worlds with pretty boy Nick Robinson or the rugged Alex Roe.

While I loved this film and world highly recommend it for the young adult dystopia fan, I can't help but be worried that a sequel might not happen. I think with the cliché romance rushed through and the pace changeable, critics may be harsh.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Blood, Ink and Fire by Ashley Mansour

I first found out about this book from Alex Pettyfer as I kept seeing him talk about this new book he was publishing. I didn't really know much about it but as soon as I read the first few lines on the blurb I was hooked! 

'Imagine a world without books… 
In the future, books are a distant memory. The written word has been replaced by an ever-present stream of images known as Verity.'

Books are such a huge passion of mine and whenever I have a free moment, I read! I read as much as possible and once I start I usually can't stop. The fact that this book was going to be about a world with no books was devastating. I couldn't imagine not being able to immerse myself in a world that doesn't truly exist. But it did the job; I couldn't stop thinking about what the world could be like and so I pre-ordered it straight away.  

Alex Pettyfer was doing the sweetest promo with it with a card signed by him and personalised. Thank you so much to Alex Pettyfer for bringing this book into my life!

Blood, Ink and Fire is a really fascinating story that is exciting from start to finish. I've never read a book quite like this. It is full of clever ideas, making it unique from other books in this genre and personally, I've never read one quite like it. While I loved the book overall, the novel does have it's downfalls.

I think in a sense it's a little bit copied from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. There is the Fell which have numerous zones and then once the mission begins the story centres around a quest to locate 9 volumes of Shakespeare's plays belonging to each of the founders of a resistance against the Fell. Fell is a central district in what used to be the US and their objective is to achieve domination of the populace with Verity, a computer system, and eradicate literature and the ability to read, appreciate and imagine for themselves. Basically COMPLETE. CONTROL.

Together these books can explain how the Fell can be defeated. The first few volumes and hence districts are nicely written but then it seems the word count was running out and the latter numbers were just casually picked up. I would have personally, have preferred to read about the journey they went on too.

I think that initially the storyline is rather confusing and characters aren't fully explained. By the middle of the book I finally understood all the ins and outs but it would have been nice to have a little more development at the start before embarking on all the action. Plus there were a few inconsistencies. I think the biggest downfall is that Noelle's and John's relationship is never developed so even though we hear about these feelings, it too soon changes direction completely. The characters I really could feel for was Lady Macbeth and Grandma G, older women with history, understandable motivations and strength.

One of my favourite aspects is that Noelle, with the help of Ledger, look at flashbacks of the original 9. It really helps you feel their pain and reasoning behind some of their decisions that you may otherwise thing of as stupid.

Ashley Mansour is clearly a very clever author and intelligent person. Throughout the novel there were a lot of references to Shakespeare’s plays, from character names to plots. While I am not a massive fan of the plays, I am aware of the key most-famous plays and characters so I found it nice to be able to recognise some of the features. Particularly, all the code names for the initial 9 members of the 'rising'. However, it isn't a major plot point so you can still fully enjoy this book without any prior knowledge.

I'm just hoping for a sequel because the story literally can't end like that! I think it will end up being a dream or someone will walk in and stop them. I can't imagine their not being a sequel because all it leaves me with is questions. Questions about what, why and how because it very suddenly and abruptly just jumps ahead and stops.

Having said all this, for some reason I loved it. I finished the book in less than 48 hours and that's with university. I just couldn't put it down. It was very fast paced and I couldn't wait to see what happened next.

Must read if you too wonder what life would be like if free will and rights were taken away.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Teen Mom OG - Season 7 Episode 4

(Screenshots from MTV and opinions my own)

Amber overreacted as usual. She should be happy that Leah had such great people looking after her that makes her feel comfortable. I think Amber is a good mum but I think Gary is a great dad who was forced to step up to the plate. And he did. 

Plus her fiancée is super creepy. He literally pushed the little boy out of the way and just walked off. If I was his mum I would have flipped. I'm looking forward to hearing about all of his children that he has. Sounds like he at least has 2 but in the trailer I heard the mention of 7 so we shall see...

I'm always so torn with Farrah. I love her because I think she's so real and my heart broke when Sophia said she wanted to die in order to  meet Derek but I still can't help but feel it's way over dramatised. I can't help but think that it's her acting to get more attention. I've never really understood the relationship with her and Derek as he didn't even know she was pregnant 6 months in so clearly they weren't talking when he died. I think deep down, although she'll never admit it, she feels guilty for not telling him the truth and forgiving whatever came between them.

Cate and Ty were as supportive of each other as ever. I can't wait for their wedding! Seriously confused by Brandon and Teresa because I don't see how they're going to prevent people from meeting Carly in a group setting. They signed up for family meeting eventually so I'm thinking, to some extent, they should have prepared for it. I feel bad for Bruce because they're using the show against him. Had it not been filmed, they wouldn't have known how Bruce treated them ect. so I don't think it's right to use it against him.

I loved that Tyler opened up this week. His suicide story was surprisingly honest but honest and I think it really hit home with Bruce. I really hope he keeps up all the good work. On a side note, if Carly really did call him dad I love it. Hopefully when Carly is allowed to decide for herself she'll want to be a bigger part of their lives.

I love Maci and always have but the last few episodes she's left the kids a lot which I've found interesting. I think she handles herself with Ryan very well. I found it so funny that Maci was talking about reducing Ryan's custody to that of a normal arrangement - every other weekend throughout school which is completely understandable because during school week you don't spend that much time with your children - last episode and this week Ryan is saying he deserves more. It always seems to be his parents doing the work anyway so not too sure how he thinks that's going to happen.

I love how he blames Maci for Bentley having friends too. Like really?! And after all that he leaves Bentley waiting at school and he looks so sad in the back of the car when he finally does. Bentley is literally the sweetest child and when he says 'No but you can' I was just thinking, that is all Maci parenting. That right there, is all Maci.

Hopefully the next episode will be just as exciting! What did you think?

Monday, 18 January 2016

Official Reviewer!

You probably haven't noticed because who does but I officially have a 'Net Gallery' Account meaning I'll be able to access way more books. Nothing really changed but it just means I have an extra little icon under my stay connected list on the right hand side. 

Let me know if there area any books you would recommend for me or any that you would like to read a review on. 


Shadowhunters - TV Show (Review)

Seriously disappointed about this show and not only that, but I feel deeply sorry for Cassandra Clare. After writing what can only be described as one of the best teen fiction book series, a mediocre film was released and then a terrible and rushed TV show followed.

Don't get me wrong I liked the movie. I thought they stayed very true to the novel and the casting was almost prefect. I can't imagine anyone else playing those roles at all now. However it was somewhat lacklustre and didn't quite make me fall in love with the story. I'm not sure whether it was Jace's character being too aggressive or the fact that it seemed almost predictable, the action just wasn't conveyed as effectively as hoped.

The TV show aired in America on the 12th February and followed on Netflix the following day for the rest of the world. I was initially shocked that the show began with the storyline from City of Bones. Having had this covered in the film, I had anticipated and was under the impression it would be starting from the basis that Clary and Jace were denying their love having just got everyone back, all be it with one in a comatose state.

Initially I thought the show had very similar scenes to film but shorter. I hated that though because it felt rushed. The second episode actually was much better so it is growing on me.

The movie was directed to a young adult genre but I feel like the TV show is directed at more of a child/teen genre. I'm so far not enjoying the fact that they are changing some of the key aspects of the novel. They are trying to make the characters 'hotter'. For example, Clary's best friend is now a singer instead of poet and Hodge is young! Similarly, they've added some characters, like the love interest of Simon, and changed characters to be completely different.

Then there is the whole random Chernobyl add in. The director and screenwriter seemed determined to introduce as many characters, scenes and locations as possible. As a fan I was struggling to keep up so for those who haven't read the books, I think they would have been very confused. Nothing was fully developed or explained clearly.

I think one of the things I'm most disappointed about it is the poor graphics. It just seems like the whole show had been put together really rushed. The monsters and special effects were seriously terrible!

I love the book series so much I'm going to force myself to watch it. Admittedly over the course of the two episodes so far, it has gotten better so fingers crossed it keeps going. I'm hoping it will soon move on to the second book which will be the first screen adaptation so I won't have anything to compare it to. 

Are you watching it? What did you think?

Saturday, 16 January 2016

"All That Glitters" December Birchbox: Unboxing and Review

On Facebook, I've seen a number of posts over the past few months about a subscription box called Birchbox. I love the idea of subscription boxes and for a while I got Graze which was a cheap snack box. I've recently wanted to get into makeup more and so have been looking for a beauty box but they all seem so expensive! When I saw this offer online I had to get it as the box was half price!

I decided to wait to post a what's in my box so that I could also include a review of the products I got. I was super happy when I got the box because I loved the bag and so even without looking at the products I thought it was worth the £6.

I have linked all the products to where you can buy them on the main Birchbox shop page, if you want to buy them :)

Inside there was a notebook with all the products included inside but not only that, there were also discounts for other beauty related products and other information for products. I liked that they included some 'how to's' for the products I received and that they told you the retail price of each product and whether that which I received was a sample size or the full size.
As already mentioned, this month came in a bag inside of the usual box. I think this is so cute and definitely worth the money spent. It has asymmetric shapes of green, black and glittery gold. I've been looking for a new clutch for night's out for a while and so in the meantime, before I find one I LOVE, this will work perfectly. It seems to fit a fair amount of stuff in but it's also compact.

The first product I found was this mini 'Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre' which is apparently an instant hydrator. I thought the sample size was super small and so it only lasts about two uses so I can't really say what sort of long lasting effect. I have very sensitive, oily, acne prone skin and so a lot of products make me break out when I first use them, and this one did too. It was fairly moisturising but I think it's better as a make-up primer used over moisturiser and under make-up.

The next two products came in a joined packaging but then they were in separate boxes inside. 
The first was Benefit's 'They're Real Push-Up Liner Duo'. I literally hated this product! I've never used such a bad eye liner. First of all it took me ages to figure out how to use it and I even had to google it. Once removing the orange stopper, you have to warm it up in your hands and then push it up slowly from the bottom to the tip. While the angle tip seems like it would work perfectly it's actually really uncomfortable. The product comes out lumpy and uneven and in the end it's very flaky and clumpy. Really disappointed with the whole concept of the product.
Similarly to the first part, this Benefit 'Puff Off!' product didn't seem to work for me either. I've never had problem with bags or dark circles under my eyes so I didn't see too much of a change. The product was come out in a porcelain creamy colour that was actually a really good colour match but would easily blend in with most skin tones. Once applied for about 10 minutes it felt very tingly almost like a mint mask. The product applied smoothly and only needed a small amount. I think the product would be better as a moisturiser because it did feel very smooth after but don't think it really got rid of bags.
This moisturising shower lotion is called Rituals 'T'ai Chi Foaming Shower Gel' worked for me but not as expected. I only needed a very small amount of product to use as it was almost like shaving gel. It came out as a smooth liquid and quickly puffed up to a foam. I used it all over by body but didn't really notice a difference. I then used it as a shaving foam and I loved it! It made shaving really smooth and I didn't get a rash at all. Afterwards, my skin definitely felt more moisturised than my usual shaving foam so I will definitely be using it up. The sample size I received was actually pretty big so I think it will last a while!  
I'm not sure if I've mentioned, but I've been looking for lipstick that I love for a long time and this one is amazing! It is 'Model Co Colour Essentials'. The colour is so pretty and is really pigmented. I got this in the shade 'Smitten' and it's gorgeous. Ever since I've got it, I've been wearing it all the time and it makes me feel so confident. The colour lasts well but when I drink it rubs off a little. When eating it also needs re-coating. By the end of the day, the lipstick has all gone but the lip is stained around the edges almost like a lip liner.



I'm obsessed with OPI nail varnishes, or lacquer's as they call them, so this Ciate nail lacquer was never going to be something I purchased. I used both a bottom and top coat and then two layers of the colour as usual. The colour was very faint and had lots of speckles in it. While it went on smoothly, it didn't have great coverage because the base colour was so light and the 'sprinkles' didn't seem to separate evenly. The colour chipped after a day which was disappointing. Overall it isn't a colour I would ever wear and I probably wouldn't repurchase this any time soon. I think the polish itself is good but I don't think the colour works.

 As you can see it's very bumpy due to the sprinkles and although the varnish looks green in the bottle has a lot of underlying blue tints to it. It is also very difficult to remove due to these with normal nail polish remover.

This perfume is called 'Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris Eau de Parfum'. It was a stopper bottle which I actually prefer. The smell was like rich fruit but not sweet. It was extremely long lasting and only needed one drop on each wrist for the whole day. Not really my smell but it is nice but no rash experienced.

Overall, I think this months box had a good selection of a wide range of products and I loved it!

If you would like to get a box for yourself, just simple click on the link below and both you and I will get a discount!

Also, if anyone wants to book a treatment through 'wahanda' you can use the following code to get £10 off until 31st January 2015:
H6WN-7XFA4G-HQYW

Thursday, 14 January 2016

My Most Expensive Haul: Jack Wills, Victoria Secret PINK and The White Company

I know I've had a lot of haul's recently and I'm not quite sure where I'm finding the money myself, but I think this will be my last one for a while...maybe! >.< 

I went to Leeds with my mum and sister before coming back to university and I think it was my most expensive shopping trip ever! I bought some goodies from Jack Wills - my first time ever! -, Victoria Secret, The White Company, Charbonnel Et Walker and also Sweaty Betty (kind of). 

From Sweaty Betty I didn't buy anything for myself but my mum got some leggings. I think I could have bought the whole store if I'd let myself because it was all workout clothes and it was so cute! I seriously had to restrain myself.
 From Charbonnel Et Walker I bought some chocolates for my sister birthday. While I would never spend £1 per chocolate on myself, I do think they have very cute wrapping.
 From The White Company I bought possibly the sweetest book ever, called 'You' by Emma Dodd, for my niece Hallie. I think it's so cute

From Jack Wills I tried on a number of items. I fell in love with one dress here  but unfortunately they just didn't have it in my size. I've looked for it online and it just doesn't seem to be available anywhere :( It was a gorgeous navy blue dress that was so cute, if it's available in your size, get it!

I ended up purchasing this cute black dress which also has pockets and is similar to the blue but has a higher neckline and is black...which I didn't want.
 Then I got two fairly similar and simple t-shirts which you can never have enough off. One is cream with 'Wills' in red and the other is dark grey with another Jack Wills reference.
 From Victoria Secret PINK!, I finally spent the last of the money I got from Christmas last year, as in 2014 and I finally found a comfy sports bra that works! This bra is super cute in grey so it will go with everything and not show sweat marks all that clearly; it goes on like a back back and then in has a normal bra on the inside which clips at the front and then the part that makes it a 'sports' bra is the outer cover which easily zips up. I jumped on the spot the test it out and it worked perfectly! As I'm on the larger side when it comes to my chest (32E) I find it so hard to find bra's that fit. Although this isn't perfect, this specific product seemed to fit in a 34DDD, which I didn't even know existed. I tried on 3 other bra's in the same size and they were way to small on the cup so I'm just glad at least one did!
 I also bought some super cute but simple joggers in black with a white side strip. I thought it was so funny that they were called 'college' joggers because clearly, it's all the lazy student wears. If you do want to buy these I would just say to get a size smaller that usual because they are massive! I ended up getting a size Small and they are still baggy but not hanging off of me. (PS. Sorry I can't find a link for this but all the other products are.)

Hope you enjoyed this little random haul :)