Thursday, December 1, 2016

Sinful Colors Kylie Trends Mattes in Kitty Pink

Hello! I have a few bad habits when it comes to this blog. One is buying nail polish with the intention of putting up swatches or nail art, taking the pictures but not putting tem up. The other is showing nail polish in a haul post and then never showing it in a later post. Today’s post combines both! I bought this in LA and showed it in my US Beauty Haul, got delayed in taking swatch pictures and then when I finally did forgot about posting it up!

Anyway! I wish Sinful Colors was easier to find over this side of the pond. All the Sinful Colors I have were sent to me from America, bought by myself over there or found in discount stores here. The Kylie Trends Mattes range was lovely, I especially liked Kitty Pink as it was so soft and luxurious looking. I wore it a lot recently as it was just so chic.

Sinful Colors Kylie Trends Matte in Kitty Pink Nail Polish Kylie Jenner

Sinful Colors Kylie Trends Matte in Kitty Pink Nail Polish Kylie Jenner

It can look a bit streaky because of the matte effect but with practice you can get it to look right. I’ve also heard of putting a glossy top coat over it to smooth everything out and then a matte top coat over that to get the matte effect again but that can be hard work. You can also just put a glossy top coat to a shiny effect which is also very pretty. This collection reminds me of the Essie Cashmere Matte collection, though having never tried any of the Essie polishes I can’t comment for sure on that. This polish is something I think I’ll be picking up more this winter as it’s matte finish really makes me think of cosy soft jumpers!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2016

Hello! Last week I won the chance to go to the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards and had a fantastic time. The awards were on at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel in Dublin and I was in the green room along with Chloe from Nurse Fancy Pants and the other competition winners. The awards were hosted in one hotel room, with all nominees, agents and industry people and then the winners were interviewed in the green room by Evelyn O’Rourke. We were really well looked after, we got a lovely buffet dinner, free drinks and a goodie bag too.


book awards collage


I have read three of the winning books: Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent which won The Ryan Tubridy Show Listeners’ Choice Award, The Trespasser by Tana French which won the Crime Fiction Book of the Year and Making It Up As I Go Along by Marian Keyes which won Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year (I’ve also read two other nominated books: Flawed by Cecelia Ahern and All We Shall Know by Donal Ryan). Hearing the winning authors talk about their books was fantastic, I’ve added several more to my TBR like Holding by Graham Norton and The Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden (which I actually own a copy of thanks to the Penguin Ireland books I won earlier this year). After all the interviews were done we had a chance to mingle with everyone. Chloe and I managed to get briefly chat to Paul O’Connell and Graham Norton before getting pictures with them (they were probably the most in demand that night and also so lovely and patient!). And I also got to talk to Tana French who was just so nice, The Trespasser has genuinely been one of my favourite books this year and it was great to meet one of my favourite authors.


Graham norton, tana french and paul o'connell


I had a such a lovely evening, it was great to finally meet Chloe and we only stopped talking to each other when we were busy drinking wine! Thanks Bord Gáis Energy for the chance to go, I had a fantastic time!


Friday, November 11, 2016

October Reads 2016

Hello! This post is late because unfortunately I got sick last week and while I tried to get blog posts done I just didn’t have the energy. October was a fantastic month, it’s always been a great month for me because of my birthday and Halloween. And this month was just as wonderful for me.

October Reads

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson


I decided to pick up Nimona because I was enjoying Stevenson’s Lumberjanes series. Nimona is a young shapeshifter who teams up with the villian Lord Blackheart. Even though Lord Blackheart is the villian, he still sticks to strict moral code, something Nimona is not intersted in. She just wants to wreak havoc and have fun doing it! With fun, dragons and science, will Lord Blackheart and Nimona prove that Sir Goldenloin and the Institute of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t all that they’ve been hyped up to be? Or will Nimona’s mysterious past and hot head ruin everything? This was lots of fun to read, Nimona is a flawed but kickass character and I hope to see more of her in the future.



Rat Queens Volume One: Sass and Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch

At the end of last year I got this on NetGalley but for some reason my download wouldn’t work so I couldn’t read it. I eventually got it from the library though. As the back of the book puts it:

They’re a pack of booze guzzling, death dealing battle maidens-for-hire and they’re in the business of killing all the gods’ creatures for profit. Meet Hannah the Rockabilly Elven Mage, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric and Betty the Hippy Smidgen Thief

These ladies kick ass and aren’t afraid to fight, swear or drink. It’s really humorous and we get to see glimpses of some of the queens’ backstories. Violet is probably my favourite but they’re all fun! If you like RPG then I think you’ll like this too.


Heartless by Gail Carriger

heartless gail carriger

Book 4 of the Parasol Protectorate series featuring Alexia Tarrabotti (and the first one I had to physically read as I had the audiobooks for the previous 3). I love this series, I have one book left and I’m half saving it as I don’t want the series to end. But there is the Custard Protocol series to start right after! I won’t say anything about this plot but if you like Victorian ladies, vampires and werewolves and sassy independent ladies then this might be a series for you!






Precious and Grace by Alexander McCall Smith

precious and grace

Book 17 in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, a series I’ve read for years now. It’s set in Botswana and while there are cases to be solved, this is defintely more in the cosy mystery side of things than hard hitting thrillers. While I do enjoy the series and the setting in Botswana, I am tiring a small bit of it. Grace can be quite rude and horrible and times and I wish Precious would tell her to cop on! But she’s too nice and understanding for that. I’m not sure if I will continue with this series, it’s gotten to the point where I get a bit angry at Grace and that I KNOW I’ll be angry with her at some stage in the book, even if she redeems herself. I’ll see in the future if I’ll pick them up.



French Rhapsody by Antoine Laurain

french rhapsody

Alain is a middle aged GP in Paris who lives a pretty mundane life. Until one day he receives a letter that's thirty-three years late being delivered (due to Paris postal system losing it). The letter is from a record company offering The Holograms, Alain's band in the early 80s, a record deal. Alain no longer has a copy of their recording so he tries to contact some of the members of the band in hope that they'll still have a copy. We get to see all the other members of the band and paths their lives took after the band disbanded: an economist, an extreme right-wing politician, an antiques dealer, a sculpture artist and a hotel owner.

I read The President's Hat earlier this year and really enjoyed it. It's why I decided to read this book, which does have a similar wit and whim. I loved how the characters’ lives crossed paths and intertwined in The President's Hat and we get that again in French Rhapsody. We see how the lives of the characters have crossed each other's over the years since the band split. It was interesting to see the changes to all the characters and they were a mixed lot! While the book opens with Alain, he's clearly not the centre of this book. JBM, the economist, is the main focus of this book. I suppose Alain is the catalyst for the story though, gets the whole ball rolling. While I didn't dislike this book, I did find it lacking slightly. The charm and sweetness in The President's Hat isn't to be found here and half way through this book I did start feeling a bit blah about the story. However it picked up again and definitely redeemed itself. It was a quick read too and I think I'll pick up The Red Notebook in the future. [NetGalley]


The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch

the hanging tree

I have been eagerly waiting this book for so long! The Hanging Tree is book 6 in the Rivers of London series. I read books 1-4 November 2013, book 5 (Foxglove Summer) in November 2014 and I’ve wanted this book ever since then.

Rivers of London series is an urban fantasy set in London. It follows PC Peter Grant, who is doing a night shift at the scene of a vicious beheading when he speaks to the only witness to the crime- a ghost. From there Grant is introduced to DCI Nightingale and he discovers there’s a whole magical division to the police force. The series has a whole slew of different characters such as River Goddesses, demigods and jazz vampires. There’s also the mysterious Faceless man, a rogue magician who taunts Peter and Nightingale.

Book 4 left some things unanswered and they remained unanswered in book 5 which made things a bit frustrating! I do think this book answers some, if not most, of the questions but I do think I could have done with rereading some things to refresh my memory. I had forgotten so much and it wasn’t until I read something in this book that my memory was refreshed and I remembered the previous books. I really enjoyed this, I enjoyed returning to Peter and his world. It was fun and full of action and I’m already looking forward to the next one! [NetGalley]


Rat Queens Volume 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’rygoth by Kurtis J. Wiebe, Roc Upchurch, Stjepan Sejic and Ed Brisson

rat queens volume 2

Volume 2 in the Rat Queen series, more drinking, more fighting, more of these ladies kicking ass! This time we find out more about Dee, the cleric, and her past. I’m enjoying this series so far and hope to continue it in the future.









Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood


Hag-Seed is Margaret Atwood’s take on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, as part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series. I did a full review earlier last month which you can check out here. It’s by far my favourite of the Hogarth Shakespeare series (I only just liked Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler and I tried to read Shylock is My Name by Howard Jacobson but really didn’t get into it). I liked this, I found it witty and clever and I really liked the setting. [Blogging For Books]






All We Shall Know by Donal Ryan


This was one of the October Book of the Month for the Rick O’Shea bookclub, which already has a lot of Donal Ryan fans. Despite hearing a lot about him, this is the first book of his that I read. Melody Shee is tutoring 17 year old Martin Toppy, son of a famous Traveller and she falls pregnant with his baby. She tells her husband that she cheated on him with someone from the internet. He takes the news badly and leaves her all alone. She doesn’t want to tell her father as he is a good man and doesn’t want to break his heart. Melody goes to visit Martin Toppy one day, only to find his family has moved on. Instead Melody starts an unlikely friendship with young Traveller Mary Crothery, who has her own problems.

This book was beautifully written, Ryan just nails Melody’s character so well. She’s got a wicked bad temper, in a toxic marriage and isn’t that nice a person most the time. But the way Ryan writes her means at times we do soften towards her and hope that she can work through her demons and things in past. He writes about ordinary things but does it with such poignancy. At one stage he describes Melody’s father and it just brought tears to my eyes! This is probably one of my favourites from this year and look forward to picking up more of Donal Ryan’s work in the future. [NetGalley]


October Stats

Number of Books Read- 9

Ratio fiction to non-fiction- 9:0

Number of eBooks- 5 (Heartless, French Rhapsody, The Hanging Tree, Hag-Seed and All We Shall Know)

Number of Books Borrowed from Library- 4 (Rat Queens Volume 1 and 2, Nimona, Precious and Grace)


Woeful non-fiction result, I have been midreading two non-fiction books that hopefully I’ll finish this month and also with Non-Fiction November I’ll read a few non-fiction books this month! I also need to concentrate on my Book Riot Read Harder challenge. I have three left so I need to get my skates on and get those read!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Quick Knitted Pumpkins Patterns

Hello! So last month I listed my Autumn Wishlist and mentioned that I wanted to knit some pumpkins. I had a look around online and picked a few different patterns to try out.



mini pumpkin knitted



The first pumpkin I tried was this mini one using DK yarn. It’s from Curly Purly and I liked it but I should have maybe stuffed it more as I’d have liked it to look more defined.





yellow pumpkin



Next up I did this yellow pumpkin using some chunky wool (left over from a Gryffindor scarf I made for Sharon from Behind Green Eyes). I used the Autumn Pumpkins pattern from Jan Lewis on Ravelry. I liked this one, especially because I could use my circular needles with the chunky wool.



chunky pumpkin


Next I knit this big chunky pumpkin, which is probably my favourite because it’s such a chunkster! I used some super chunk yarn that Sarah from Cashmere and Clouds gave me (and that I used before to make a pumpkin hat for my baby cousin). I used the Great Pumpkin by Rebecca Fox pattern found on Ravelry.



white pumpkin


Finally I did this small white one using DK yarn, using no particular pattern, incorporating a few of the elements from above. I liked how it gave a bit of brightness and colour!




I meant to knit one or two more but haven’t gotten around to it. Though I might over this weekend, they are pretty fast to knit up, especially if you use chunky yarn. You could definitely get a a few done before Halloween! These are great to bust out for autumn season and if you celebrate Thanksgiving you can keep them around the place after Halloween for that. They’re quite addictive to knit, I’ll have a massive pile of them for next year!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Cupcake and Confetti Birthday Nails

On Wednesday it was my birthday and I couldn’t resist doing some cute birthday nails. I took inspiration for the cupcake from this nail look by 25 Sweetpeas and the confetti from this nail look by With Love Karissa . Here’s my take!

Cupcake and Confetti Birthday Nail Art Essence Hello Marshmallow, that's what I mint, sweet as candy, 17 miami azure amore, no.7 lemon drop, barry m guava, models own hyper gel white light

Cupcake and Confetti Birthday Nail Art Essence Hello Marshmallow, that's what I mint, sweet as candy, 17 miami azure amore, no.7 lemon drop, barry m guava, models own hyper gel white light

Cupcake and Confetti Birthday Nail Art Essence Hello Marshmallow, that's what I mint, sweet as candy, 17 miami azure amore, no.7 lemon drop, barry m guava, models own hyper gel white light


I’m just so in LOVE with these nails! I love the ‘ice cream shades’ used (what I like to call pastel nail colours), it’s something so bright and fun especially for this time of the year. Here’s the cast of characters I used to create this look.

Cupcake and Confetti Birthday Nail Art Essence Hello Marshmallow, that's what I mint, sweet as candy, 17 miami azure amore, no.7 lemon drop, barry m guava, models own hyper gel white light

Background- Essence in Sweet As Candy

Yellow Confetti- No. 7 in Lemon Drop

Purple Confetti and Cupcake Base- Essence in Hello Marshmallow!

Pink Confetti and Cupcake Cherry- 17 in Miami

Mint Confetti- Essence in That’s What I Mint!

Blue Confetti- 17 in Azure Amore

Cupcake Frosting- Models Own Hyper Gel in White Light

Cupcake Base Details- Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine in Guava

I also used Barry M Nail Art Pen in Pink for the sprinkles

I might just have to do this again next year as I love it so much. Could be my go to birthday mani!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood Book Review


Hag-Seed is Margaret Atwood's take on The Tempest for the Hogarth Shakespeare series. You don't need to know anything about The Tempest to read it and enjoy it. It starts off with Felix, renowned art director of the Makeshiweg Festival who is known to put on eccentric shows and focuses solely on the artistic side of things, leaving the day to day running to right-hand man Tony. He's about the put on The Tempest, something that has helped him cope with the grief of losing his wife and his three year old daughter Miranda, when Tony stages a coup and has Felix ousted.

Felix goes off grid, living in a shack along with his daughter Miranda who continues to grow in imaginary form as the years go on. He continues to keep an eye on Tony and those who've betrayed him, keeping track of their successes and how this might help him with his revenge. Wondering if he’s going a bit dotty because he talks to and plays chess with Miranda, he eventually applies to teach a literacy programme at a correctional facility under the name Mr Duke. He finally has a chance to put on his Tempest as well as get his revenge but will he be able to pull it off?

This is my 3rd of the Hogarth Shakespeare series I've read and it's probably my favourite so far! I love that Felix's story mimics The Tempest but with the inmates also putting on The Tempest we have two types of the Tempest happening at the same time, a play within a play. These different layers come together in the end which makes things even more interesting. It a unique idea, something I thought Atwood pulled off well. The inmates were believable and I loved the fact that they could only swear using words that Shakespeare uses in the text! The writing itself was witty and I wished I could also read other novels about the inmates putting on other Shakespeare plays! The only thing I wasn't too gone on was how the revenge came about. I won't spoil it but I just didn't find it very believable. But I suppose with it being a Shakespeare text that has a magical element to it it doesn’t need to be wholly believeable! I didn't connect that well with Felix either. I didn’t dislike him, I just didn’t relate to him much. But I did feel for him, especially when it came to him dealing with his grief. Overall though it was a funny read that's touching and dark in places and a smart take on Shakespeare.

I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions are my mine!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Non-Fiction November TBR

Hello! So I was watching Jen Campbell’s video the other day about her Non-Fiction November Recommendations and TBR and apparently the whole idea of Non-Fiction November skipped by me last year as this year is the 2nd year it’ll be running. It’s run by Olive at A Book Olive and Gemma at Non Fic Books. The idea is to get people reading one more non-fiction book than they usually would in a month. So if you don’t read any, to read one. If you usually pick up one, try for two. And so on. Now I’m usually quite good at reading non-fiction, on average 30% of what I read each year is usually non-fiction. But I have been slacking big time this year and I don’t know why. I just haven’t felt like picking up non-fiction all that much. I don’t want to force myself to read something I’m not feeling but I’m hoping to be inspired!

There’s 4 categories Olive and Gemma have picked and you can pick one, you can try all four, you can double or triple them up to complete them, it’s up to you! I’m going to list each category and a few books I have on my big TBR that I might pick up next month to read.


1. NEW

nonfiction new

So the New category can be interpreted as a brand new release, a newly hauled book or a topic that is new to you that you don’t know much about. Above I have Hygge: A Celebration of Simple Pleasures. Living the Danish Way by Charlotte Abrahams and Dear Lupin: Letters to a Wayward Son by Roger Mortimer and Charlie Mortimer, two books I showed in my recent haul post. I also have H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald, a book I’ve had for a while now but it’s about Helen trying to train a goshawk and I know nothing about that! (it also deals with Helen grieving after her died). But seeing as it’s my birthday this week I might pick up another book too!


2. Controversial

controversial nonfiction

So the Controversial category is anything that has a difficult or controversial topic (something that might spark a big debate or split a room), it can be about a controversial historical figure or it can have a weird eye catching title or cover. I have Julie and Julia by Julie Powell, a book that I’ve seen a lot of bad reviews for and seems to really split people (and I need to read a food memoir for my Book Riot Read Harder Challenge). Severed by Frances Larson is about the ‘history of heads lost and heads found’. If I was reading this in public I can imagine it would turn some heads (yeah I couldn’t resist that pun!). Speaking of eye catching titles Sex on the Moon by Ben Mezrich is definitely ones that makes you wonder what the book is about! It’s about a guy who convinces his girlfriend, an intern at NASA, to steal moon rocks. This also fits this category because I’ve seen mixed reviews for it as well.


3. Important

imporant nonfiction

The Important category is something that you think will help you enhance your life, whether that’s your work, your health or something you’ve wanted to work more on (being more organised/losing weight/being more spiritual etc). It can also be on a topic that you think needs to be discussed more or something that will make you a more educated citizen. I’m currently reading The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley and if I don’t finish it this month I hope I will in November. Reading more about feminism is something that’s really interested me this year and I’ve been enjoying reading about feminism from different viewpoints and intersectionalities. The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer is something I’ve seen discussed on BookTube a lot and I really think it could be helpful to me. Finally another topic I like reading and learning more about is mental health and how other people cope with depression and axiety. Cheer Up Love by Susan Calman is supposed to be funny and interesting and the idea of calling your depression your Crab of Hate has intrigued me!


4. Fascinating

fascinating nonfiction

The final category is Fascinating. Of course all the books above sound interesting to me but this is for any books, authors or topics you find really engaging and interesting. The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell is something I’m currently listening to at the moment so if it’s not finished this month I will finish it next month. I’ve read Stevyn Colgan’s book Joined-Up Thinking before and bought Constable Colgan’s Connect-O-Scope on Kindle ages ago so I might finally get around to it! And The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale is another book I’ve had for ages (October 2013 to be precise!) and it’s about a family who wake up one morning to find one member has been murdered and Mr Whicher from Scotland Yard has been sent to investigate.

Those are my picks! I don’t know how many of them I’ll get around to but going through my big TBR and chosing these books has made me excited again to pick up non-fiction! I have a mix above that are physical books I own, e-books, audiobooks and books from the library too. I know next year I’ll be trying to read more of my own books in an attempt to get through them so this has been helpful at sparking my interest that way too.

If you’re interested in doing the Non-Fiction November in any shape or form let me know what you plan on reading! Or if you’ve read any of the books below tell me, I’d love to know what you thought of them.

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