15 May 2019

A Staycation in St Ives.

The week before Easter we headed down south for a wedding in Plymouth. We thought since we were going all that way, we'd make the most out of it and drive to St Ives the day after. We booked an apartment with Aspects Holidays who have a wide range of properties all over Cornwall.

The apartment was perfect for the two of us (38 Carrack Widden if you're interested!) and was only a ten minute walk to the harbour and main stretch of restaurants. It did imvolve a steep uphill walk everytime we came back though, which I was cursing by the end of the week!

We had a gorgeous view of Portminster beach from the living room window but our go to beach while there was Porthmeor beach. The beach cafe there was amazing and even the takeaway options were great too.

Me being me, I'd obviously researched places to eat before we'd even finished paying for the holiday! Our favourites from the week were Beer & BirdHarbour Fish & ChipsThe Loft Restaurant & Terrace and Peppers Pasta & Pizzeria

We had an amazing week and some beautiful weather to go with it. Neither of us had been to St Ives before but we fell in love with it. We'll definitely be using Aspects Holidays again next year for another visit.

Have you visited St Ives before?


10 May 2019

What I've Been Reading: April 2019.

I've been slacking lately when it comes to posting and even the April edition of What I've Been Reading is late. Anyone else get these slumps when it comes to blogging?! April was a standard month when it came to reading, I finished a total of six which is about my average for a whole month.

Nina Is Not OK
Shappi Khorsandi
Current kindle price: £4.99

"Nina does not have a drinking problem. She likes a drink, sure. But what 17-year-old doesn't?

Nina's mum isn't so sure. But she's busy with her new husband and five year old Katie. And Nina's almost an adult after all.

And if Nina sometimes wakes up with little memory of what happened the night before, then her friends are all too happy to fill in the blanks. Nina's drunken exploits are the stuff of college legend.

But then one dark Sunday morning, even her friends can't help piece together Saturday night. All Nina feels is a deep sense of shame, that something very bad has happened to her..."

Well, this was a brilliant read. I could hardly put it down. It has everything, funny moments and angsty moments plus characters you grow to care about. At times I was horrified by some of Nina's drunken decisions but the book comes full circle to the night in the first chapter, making this an important story not just about addiction, but also consent.

Some Boys
Patty Blount
Current Kindle price: £4.91

"Some girls say no. Some boys don't listen.

When Grace meets Ian, she's afraid. Afraid he'll reject her like the rest of the school, like her own family. After she accuses Zac, the town golden boy, of rape, everyone turns against her. Ian wouldn't be the first to call her a slut and a liar.

Except Ian doesn't reject her. He's the one person who looks past the taunts and the names and the tough-girl act to see the real Grace. He's the one who gives her the courage to fight back.

He's also Zac's best friend."

I'd never read anything by Patty Blount before but after this, the majority of her books have been added to my to read list! It reminded me alot of All The Rage by Courtney Summers that I read the month before and while I did prefer that, this was still great. Ian and Grace's story continues One Girl but I haven't read that yet.

The Impossible Vastness of Us
Samantha Young
Current Kindle price: £2.99

"India Maxwell hasn't just moved across the country- she's plummeted to the bottom rung of the social ladder. It's taken years to cover the mess of her home life with a veneer of popularity. Now she's living in one of Boston's wealthiest neighborhoods with her mom's fiance and his daughter, Eloise. 

Thanks to her soon-to-be stepsister's clique of friends, including Eloise's gorgeous, arrogant boyfriend, Finn, India feels like the one thing she hoped never to be seen as again: trash.

But India's not alone in struggling to control the secrets of her past. Eloise and Finn, the school's golden couple, aren't all they seem to be. In fact, everyone's life is infinitely more complex than it first appears.

And as India grows closer to Finn and befriends Eloise, threatening the facades that hold them together, what's left are truths that are brutal, beautiful and big enough to change them forever."

I loved this! It was amazingly well written and the storyline intertwined the three main characters perfectly. Some parts were a little predictable, I'd guessed what Eloise's secret was before it was revealed but it didn't make me love the story itself any less. A definite recommend.

The Magpies
Mark Edwards
Current Kindle price: £1.99 or free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

"When Jamie and Kirsty move into their first home together, they are full of optimism. The future, in which they plan to get married and start a family, is bright. The other residents of their building seem friendly too, including the Newtons, a married couple who welcome them to the building with open arms.

But then strange things start to happen. Dead rats are left on their doorstep. They hear disturbing noises, and much worse, in the night. After Jamie's best friend is injured in a horrific accident, Jamie and Kirsty find themselves targeted by a campaign of terror.

As they are driven to the edge of despair, Jamie vows to fight back- but he has no idea what he is really up against..."

Well, as someone who is in a couple saving for our first home, I can safely say a flat is crossed off that list! This was a disturbing read, especially when it is partially based off the author's own experiences. This is one of my favourite psychological thrillers I've read so far this year.

Things We Know By Heart
Jessi Kirby
Current Kindle price: £4.49

"After Quinn's boyfriend, Trent, dies in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the fragments of her now-unrecognizable life. But whoever received Trent's heart has chosen to remain silent. The essence of a person, Quinn has always believed, is in the heart, If she finds Trent's, then in a way, she will still have a piece of him.

Risking everything to get closure once and for all, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas, whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into something more, sparking an undeniable attraction. She doesn't want to give in to it- especially since he has no idea how they're connected- but the time Quinn spends with Colton makes her feel alive again. No matter how hard she's falling for Colton though, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she's lost... and all that remains at stake."

This was a sad but cute read. It didn't blow me away or anything but was it was well written. The story is a little predictable but if you're into this sort of thing, you'll probably enjoy it.

Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line
Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham
Current Kindle price: £4.99

"Ten years after graduating from high school in Neptune, California, Veronica Mars is back in the land of sun, sand, crime and corruption. She's traded in her law degree for her old private investigating license, struggling to keep Mars Investigations afloat on the scant cash earned by catching cheating spouses until she can score her first big case.

Now it's spring break, and college students descend on Neptune, transforming the beaches and boardwalks into a frenzied, week-long rave. When a girl disappears from a party, Veronica is called in to investigate. But this is no simple missing person's case; the house the girl vanished from belongs to a man with serious criminal ties, and soon Veronica in plunged into a dangerous underworld of drugs and organized crime. And when a major break in the investigation has a shocking connection to Veronica's past, the case hits closer to home than she ever imagined."

The season 4 revival of Veronica Mars comes out this summer and articles online stated that events in these books, which take place after the film, are canon to the series. So I obviously had to read it! The second book isn't available as an ebook, which is annoying but the first one is. My verdict? It's fab, the dialogue is fitting to all the characters we've grown to know already, especially Veronica's and Dick's. I could practically hear Ryan Hansen saying "Handies only" as I was reading. And if you haven't watched the series yet? Well, I'm biased as it's one of my favourite shows but where have you been?! It has a highly dedicated fanbase for a reason so give it a try, you'll most likely love it!

What were you reading in April? Have you read any of these before?

You can read previous posts of What I've Been Reading here.


3 April 2019

What I've Been Reading: March 2019.

Hello April! A new month means looking back at the books I finished in March and hopefully giving others some good recommendations.

All The Rage
Courtney Summers
Current Kindle price: £4.74

"Romy Grey wears her lipstick like armour, ever since the night she was raped by Kellan Turner, the sheriff's son.

Romy refuses to be a victim, but speaking up has cost her everything. No one wants to believe Kellan is not the golden boy they thought he was, and Romy has given up trying to make herself heard.

But when another girl goes missing after a party, Romy must decide whether the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear."

Courtney Summers is one of my favourite authors so I went into this expecting great things. It certainly didn't disappoint. An anthor I wholeheartedly recommend checking out if you haven't read anything of hers.

Friends Like These
Sarah Alderson
Current Kindle price: 99p

"Lizzie hasn't thought about her colleague Becca in years- not since the accident.

Then Becca's ex-boyfriend turns up on Tinder, and Lizzie's curiosity is sparked.

It looks like Becca hasn't changed. She's still all over social media: #perfectlife, #perfectjob, #blessed. Lizzie can't resist a dig. But she sends her mean comment to Becca by mistake...

She's about to find out you can't always believe what you see online.

And that with friends like Becca, you don't need enemies..."

Well, this was a surprise. I'm picky when it comes to psychological thrillers and usually end up giving up halfway through but I couldn't put this one down! The ending is a shock, the characters are written perfectly and now I want to read more by Sarah Alderson.

Her Defiant Heart
Monica Murphy
Current Kindle price: £2.99

"Life can feel like a cruel joke. I grew up poor and motherless, with a father who never got over his wife's abandonment. But now he's gone too, and I'm dead set on finding the woman who so carelessly tossed me aside when I was a baby.

I want revenge. And I'm going to get back at my mother any way that I can.

I change my name. Start my new life in college, and just happen to cross paths with the gorgeous, ultra-rich Rhett Montgomery. He's immediately interested in me, not that I'm surprised.

You see, I planned it that way. I meant for him to find me. He's the one connection to my mother, and I'm using him, so I can destroy her. But I didn't plan on Rhett being so charming. Sweet. Sexy.

And I definitely didn't plan on falling for him either..."

Meh. I didn't like this. I finished it but I won't be carrying on to read the rest of the books in this series. The whole book I was waiting for the main character to finally meet her mother and it didn't even happen. That was the part of the synopsis that intrigued me the most and the whole book was just about her relationship with Rhett. It was a disappointment for me, which is a shame as I love some of Monica Murphy's other work. The Friends series is one of my favourites.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Becky Albertalli
Current Kindle price: £1.99

"Simon Spier is sixteen and trying to work out who he is- and what he's looking for.

But when one of his emails to the very distracting Blue falls into the wrong hands, things get all kinds of complicated.

Because, for Simon, falling for Blue is a big deal...

It's a holy freaking huge awesome deal."

This has been on my to read list since watching Love Simon. I liked this, it was interesting to see the difference between the book and the film but I did enjoy the film more, probably because I saw that first.

Starry Eyes
Jenn Bennett
Current Kindle price: 99p

"Ever since last year's homecoming dance, best-friends-turned-worst-enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn't hurt that their families are the modern-day version of the Montagues and Capulets. But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to try to make their way to safety. But as the two travel deeper into the rugged Californian countryside, secrets and hidden feelings surface. Soon it's not simply a matter of enduring each other's company, but taming their growing feelings for each other."

This was a cute YA read. I much preferred this over Alex, Approximately by the same author. Aside from the main characters, there was a few unlikable characters sprinkled in here, but they are necessary to have Zorie and Lennon stranded in the first place. A bargain of a read for 99p!

The One Who's Not The One
Keris Stainton
Current Kindle price: £1.99

"Cat's life has hit a brick wall. Since her ex ditched her without ceremony five years ago she's quit stand up comedy, landed in a steady but dull job, and lives in a tiny flat with roommates she knows only as The One Who Eats All My Food and The One Who Has Really Loud Sex.

So when she bumps into old friend Harvey and sparks fly, Cat is surprised- and horrified, because Harvey is her ex's brother, and so absolutely, 100% off limits romantically. Even if his dimples do make her insides fizz...

When she's offered a job abroad, Cat is tempted to accept- and leave her depressing flat and mess of a love life behind her. But will running away from her problems really solve them?"

Another cute read, this just didn't quite live up to my expectations. I like Keris Stainton as an author, everything is written perfectly, some of books just fall a bit flat for me. I know exactly why this is. Because Counting Stars was the first Keris Stainton book I read. And it's one of my favourite books EVER. So here's my recommendation: Read Counting stars!

Have you read any of these authors before? What were you reading in March?


22 March 2019

Glossybox, March 2019

Glossybox are on a roll this year. March marks another sold out month and it's easy to see why. Glossybox offers one of the best value beauty boxes on the market for only £10 a month or £8.50 per month if you opt to go for a year's worth of boxes over 12 payments. Block subscriptions are also available. Postage costs £3.25 per box and you can track your box through each step of the delivery process.

But what's in March's box? Contents can vary but here's what I got in mine...

Bellapierre Kiss Proof Lip Creme in Coral Stone (Full size RRP £20)

"Feel like a goddess with one of Bellapierre's full coverage, high impact liquid lipsticks. Its creamy formula glides on effortlessly and dries instantly for a gorgeous matte finish. Best of all, the colour payoff  lasts for hours without needing a touchup."

That shade! There were various shades available and I'm so pleased with this one! I agree with the claims about the staying power, I've swatched it and it hasn't budged all day. The best item in this month's box!

BYBI Plumper Lip Balm (Full size RRP £9)

"Boasting a thick and creamy formula, this plumping lip balm restores and protects dry lips, leaving them soft, smooth and healthy. It also contains hints of peppermint and capsicum that plump your pout and enhance its natural shape."

I always find lip balms handy to throw in a handbag so I'm glad of any to add to my stash. This one is natural and vegan, even the packaging is biodegradable. 

Essence Glow to Go Illuminating Setting Spray (Full size RRP £3.30)

"This illuminating setting spray not only stops your makep from smudging, but it boasts fine light-reflecting particles that will give you a glowing complexion in seconds. Spray it 30cm from your face for a confidence-boosting shimmer that lasts all day!"

I love a dewy finish  so I'm pleased to get this setting spray over some of the others that were available. The small size will also make it handy for travelling. It's inexpensive too so I won't hesitate to repurchase this.

Laritzy Cosmetics Dew Pot in Utopia (Full size RRP £15.30)

"This smooth and blendable highlighter provides a dewy radiance that lasts all day. It's formulated with ultrafine shimmer that accentuates your features and enhances all skin tones. Apply to your cheekbones, brow bones and cupid's bow for a rosy lit-from-within glow."

I'm going to pass on this. We've been getting a lot of Laritzy products over the last year and I haven't found them to be that great. Plus, all skin tones?! This highlighter isn't going to work for my pale skin, maybe as a cream blush but not for a highlight.

Toni & Guy Radiant Rose Illuminating Hair Perfume (Handbag size RRP £8.25)

"Your hair is the crown you wear everyday, so give it an extra boost with this glittery hair perfume. Mist it over your locks after styling to enhance it's natural fragrance, smoothness, sparkle and shine."

I've never used a hair perfume before but I tried this out and Glenn commented how nice my hair smelt. So, it definitely works! I can't see myself using it a lot but it'll be nice to use for special occasions.

The sneak peak for April's box is the Dr Botanicals Pomegranate Superfood Regenerating Sleeping Mask. I've received this before in a Birchbox but I'm still yet to try it out. Fingers crossed I end up liking it!

What do you think to March's box? Have you tried any of these products before?


6 March 2019

What I've Been Reading: February 2019.

Does anyone else go through phases where you're suddenly really picky with what you'll read? That what it felt like for me in February. I buy lots of kindle books in one go and make me way through them. Usually they'll be a couple I'll give up on and end up removing from my device but wow, February, I gave up on a lot! Here are the ones I actually finished...

Sarah Skilton
Current Kindle price: £4.03

"When Imogen, a sixteen-year-old black belt in Tae Kwon Do, freezes during a holdup at a local diner, the gunman is shot and killed by the police, and she blames herself for his death. Before the shooting, she believed that her black belt made her stronger than everyone else- more responsible, more capable. But now that her sense of self has been challenged, she must rebuild her life, a process that includes redefining her relationship with her family and navigating first love with the boy who was at the diner with her during the shoot-out."

This book falls right in the middle for me; didn't love it, didn't hate it. It was pretty good for a debut novel and I'd read something else by the same author if it sounded like my kind of thing.

K.L. Slater
Current Kindle price: £1.99

"Single dad Ben is doing his best to raise his children, with the help of his devoted mother Judi. And then Ben meets Amber. Everyone thinks this is the perfect match for Ben but Judi isn't so sure...

There's something about Amber that doesn't add up. Ben can't see why his mother dislikes his new girlfriend. And Amber doesn't want Judi anywhere near her new family. Amber just wants Ben and the children.

The further Judi delves into Amber's personal life, the closer she gets to shocking secrets that could change everything. And Judi must make a decision that could lead to the most disastrous consequences."

I really enjoyed this one. I didn't see the twist coming, it turned out I ended up rooting for the opposite person in the end! KL Slater is a great author, I'd previously read The Mistake and while I think I preferred that, this is still a great read.

The Space Between Us
Jessica Martinez
Current Kindle price: £1.99

"Amelia is used to being upstaged by her charismatic younger sister, Charly. She doesn't mind, mostly, that it always falls to her to cover for Charly's crazy, impulsive antics. But one night, Charly's thoughtlessness goes way too far, and she lands both sisters in serious trouble.

Amelia's not sure she can forgive Charly this time, and not sure she wants to... but forgiveness is beside the point. Because Charly is also hiding a terrible secret, and the truth just might tear them apart forever."

Another one that falls down the middle. It took me longer than it should of to finish it, I just wasn't dragged into the story very quickly.

Cat Clarke
Current Kindle price: £1.99

"Jem Halliday is in love with her gay best friend. Not exactly ideal, but she's learning to live with it.

Then the unspeakable happens. Kai is outed online... and he kills himself.

Jem knows nothing she can say or do will bring him back. But she wants to know who was responsible. And she wants to take them down."

My favourite book of February! I love Cat Clarke, which you might have realised if you've read my previous What I've Been Reading posts. This was amazing, I couldn't put it down. Proof that you shouldn't give up reading YA just because you're far, far past your teen years! This is a definite recommend, but We Are Young is still my fave by Cat Clarke.

What I didn't Say
Keary Taylor
Current Kindle price: £3.09 or free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers

"Getting drunk homecoming night your senior year is never a good idea, but Jake Hayes never expected it all to end with a car crash and a t-post embedded in his throat.

His biggest regret about it all? What he never said to Samantha Shay. He's been in love with her for years and never had the guts to tell her. Now it's too late. Because after that night, Jake will never be able to talk again.

When Jake returns to his small island home, population 5,000, he'll have to learn how to deal with being mute. He also finds that his family isn't limited to his six brothers and sisters, that sometimes an entire island is watching out for you. And when he gets the chance to spend more time with Samantha, she'll help him learn that not being able to talk isn't the worst thing that could ever happen to you. Maybe, if she'll let him, Jake will finally tell her what he didn't say before, even if he can't actually say it."

This was a cute read. I loved Jake and Samantha's story. It was a great introduction to Keary Taylor.

What were you reading in February?


23 February 2019

I Don't Understand the BeautyBlender Hype.

Before buying the original Beauty Blender I'd heard so many different versions of "Once you try it, you'll never go back to using a normal beauty sponge." Do I agree with this statement now I actually have tried it? No. Do I think it's worth the extra money? No.

I put off buying a Beauty Blender for so long based on the price. Why would I spend that much on a simple sponge when I could buy a sponge that does a great job for under a fiver?!

But there I was on holiday in the US, ready to buy my Ulta purchases and they had Beauty Blenders right by the tills. I had spending money to spare so I thought 'fuck it, just buy it.'

I honestly hardly reach for it now I have bought it. I find it soaks up more product than other sponges I've tried and I don't think my foundation looks any better using it. My sponge of choice is one I actually bought at the same time, the EcoTools Total Perfecting Blender. I love the fact this is a little less squidgy and has two flat edges, which is something I also like about the Real Techniques sponge and the No 7 one.

My advice here? Don't always believe the hype, what works for someone else might now work for you so don't feel pressured to love a product just because everyone else seems to.

What do you think of the original Beauty Blender? 
What's your favourite brand of makeup sponge?


10 February 2019

Glossybox, February 2019

It's February, which means its that time of year where beauty boxes go all Valentines themed. Last year's February Glossybox was one of my absolute faves but how does this one compare?

Inside we have seven items and it's a pretty good variety, especially for the price. Glossybox costs £10 plus £3.25 P&P per month on a rolling subscription basis. But they've just launched a new way to pay, where you can sign up for a year in advance but still pay monthly and that makes the boxes £8.50 plus £3.25 P&P per month. You can also pay upfront for boxes with 3 month, 6 month or 12 month plans being available to choose from.

Huda Beauty Lip Contour in Venus (Full size RRP £16)

"We just love this flirty Lip Contour from beauty expert Huda Kattan. Waterproof and transfer-free, its glides on effortlessly to give your pout an intense shot of colour. Use it to both contour and colour your lips, or pair it with Huda Beauty's Liquid Matte Lipstick for a beautiful matte finish."

Two shades were available in this, Venus or Flirt. I got Venus which is the same shade I got in the liquid lipstick a few month's back so I'm very happy! I'm really loving the addition of all these Huda Beauty products in Glossybox recently.

Luxie Beauty Medium Fan Face Brush 560 (Full size RRP £15)

"Show yourself some love by adding a little shimmer to your complexion with this perfectly-sized fan brush. Its unique shape makes applying powdered highlighters effortless. Sweep it across your cheekbones, brow bones, cupid's bow and nose for a flawless finish."

This is a cute little brush an definitely better quality than the fan brush I normally use for highlight. Brushes in boxes are always a winner.

Mugler Alien Fusion Perfum and Alien Man Fusion (Samples)

"We're treating you to the new Alien Fusion fragrances by Mugler- one for you and one for your special someone."

Me and Glenn are both picky when it comes to fragrance and neither of us liked these but they were a nice little extra to receive.

Nails Inc Status Ready Nail Varnish (Full size RRP £15)

"Long-lasting and super glossy, this sultry nail polish is a fabulously intense, deep cherry red hue. Better yet, it boasts an expertly designed brush that perfectly fits the shape and width of your nail. Giving yourself an immaculate manicure has never been easier!"

I freaking love this shade! My nails are all broken down right now so wearing this will definitely be an improvement. I never tend to buy nail polishes but I really like Nails Inc as I've had a few in boxes before and really love the formula.

Regenerate Enamel Science Advanced Toothpaste (Deluxe Mini worth £2.50)

"There's nothing more charming than a nice smile. Give your teeth a spruce with this regenerating, strengthening and enamel mineral restoring toothpaste. Boasting unique NR-5 ingredients, it reverse the early enamel erosion process, while also giving you pearly-white teeth and fresh, minty breath."

Well, this is my second tube of this and I haven't even opened the first one yet! I thought I'd got my other one in a Birchbox but when I back through my Instagram feed to check, I actually got it in July's Glossybox. So within 8 boxes, there's a repeat item. Not impressed to be honest!

Vitamasques Multivitamin Mask (Full size RRP £4.99)

"Achieve a breathtaking complexion with this pampering Korean face mask. Formulated with nourishing vitamins, it moisturises and hydrates dry skin for a healthy glow."

I love a good sheet mask and this sounds perfect for my dry skin.

What do you think of the February box?

The sneak peek for March is a plumping peppermint and blood orange lip balm by BYBI.

You can see my previous months Glossybox posts by clicking here.