Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Furiously Happy Book Review

I've heard of Jenny Lawson and her first book 'Let's Pretend This Never Happened', often seen the book listed on Goodreads but never decided to read it for some reason. But when I saw 'Furiously Happy' on NetGalley it grabbed my attention. I don't know if it was the title, the cover or the fact that it's about mental health but I requested it and was accepted. And then kinda forgot about it, because I had so many other books to read. But a few weeks ago I saw this Book Break video by Leena Norms for Pan Macmillan and it brought the book back on my radar.

I started reading the book and sped through it. It had me laughing out loud in places, especially the story of the raccoon and all his shenanigans. The conversations Jenny has with her husband reminds me of the type of conversations I have with my boyfriend. I often wonder what people would think if they overheard us! Mostly though the book had me thinking. Recently I've been wanting to read more about mental health. I read Matt Haig's Reasons to Stay Alive and so much of it resonated with me, it had me nodding and crying along. This book was the same. Recently my mental health has taken a dip and I've started having anxiety attacks again. The depression is creeping in and wrapping it's hands around me and turning things dark. It's not been easy but reading this book has helped. Jenny's Furiously Happy mantra has been bouncing around my head. There will always be bad days around the corner, where I can't get dressed and the idea of having a shower is a monumental effort. Days where I just want to sit in a dark cupboard and hide. Days where I cry over the smallest things and days where I'm the worst person ever and I hate myself. But there will always be good days too. Jenny proposes being furiously happy during those days, to make the most out of the good times but also as a way to shove it in depression's face. That while it can drag us down, we can also enjoy life and live it to the full. The word furiously is quite apt actually. Last night I was thinking about all this and when I've felt good and all fired up in the past, I have already been furious. Furiously happy, wanting to do ALL THE THINGS and packing as much as I can into my life. Furiously determined to have a good time and hit some of my goals, even if  sometimes those goals can be as little as getting dressed and walking to the shop. Furiously accepting, mainly of myself. I think 'Yes, I'm FUCKING AWESOME!' and I scream back at that dark little voice in my head whispering it's lies in my head and tell it to shut up. 

After reading this book, I started looking up Jenny's blog The Blogess and came across a book trailer video for Furiously Happy. Oh how it made me cry. So many of us suffer from poor self esteem and mental health and it can twist and contort our perception on life, especially about ourselves. We need to be kinder to ourselves. I hope I can remember this when I say horrible things to myself.

Do I recommend this book? Yes I do! You should read it if you suffer from mental health problems. If you're someone who wants to know more about mental health because who you want to understand what a friend is going through, you should read this. This book isn't preachy, it's not perfect either and it doesn't pretend it is. This is Jenny's experience, everyone's is different but we can all learn from each other. And it helps that this book is funny. Pick it up if you get the chance!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Recent Beauty Buys

It's been a while since I've done a post like this and since moving back to Ireland I've picked up some bits and pieces. Let's start with the nail polish!

I've picked up the Maybelline Color Show Neons in Dealz (Poundland to you in the UK). From left to right we have: Green Zing, Fuschia Fever, Sweet Clementine and Electric Pink

It's clear I'm going through a bit of a pinkish phase! I've worn quite a lot of pink in the last month which I've shown on Instagram. From left to right: NYC Shine a Minute in New York Spring  , Essence Gel Nail Polish in My Love Diary, Catrice Ultimate Nail Lacquer in It's a Very Berry Bash and L'Oreal Color Riche in Sweet Amethyst

Finally we have the glittery nail polishes. I fell in love with the one of the far right from L'Oreal, it's so pretty! From left to right: Nails Inc Nail Jewellery in Piccadilly Arcade, Claire's in School's Days and L'Oreal Top Coat Sirene in Underwater Kiss

Next up makeup!

So I bought the foundation after seeing Sharon from Behind Green Eyes talking about it, though I probably got it a shade too light. I love these Catrice eye shadows and got this one for half price. I jumped on the Penneys lip liner bandwagon after seeing everyone talking about it! And the berry lipstick was impulse buy as I love this shade for autumn (even though I really need to wear it more out in public!) Clockwise from top left: Catrice Even Skin Tone in Even Ivory, Maybelline Color Show Blush 'em! in 04,  Catrice Velvet Matt Eyeshadow in Pink-Up Girls, PS Matte Long Last Lipstick in Ladies Day, PS Lip Liner in 06

Face products up next

There was a two for one in Boots so I picked up the facial cleanser to go with the face mask. And The Body Shop facial oil was to replace the one I left in England (only a small amount left, there was no point in bringing it over). Left to right: Good Things Avocado and Goji Berry Five Minute Facial Mask, Good Things Mango and Blueberry Purifying Cleanser and The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil

Not much else to go, hair next!

I love when Superdrug have super cheap offers on! I got the shampoo and conditioner for less than half price! Left to right: L'Oreal Elvive Nutri Gloss Luminiser Shampoo and Conditioner, Garnier Ulitmate Blends The Glow Replenisher 1 Minute Treatment and L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil Nourishing Mask Balm

Last but not least the rest of the hair items and body products too. Left to right: Girlz Only Dry Shampoo, Superdrug Limited Edition Lemon Sherbet Dry Shampoo, Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Lotion and Mitchum Pure Fresh Anti-Antiperspirant 

And that's it! It seems like loads but I promise it isn't! A lot of it was needed to replace things in the move (face oil, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, dry shampoo). I threw out a lot of my products before moving, things that were old or almost finished and therefore pointless to pack up. Though saying that I could probably do with going through all my beauty stuff again and purging once more!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Essence Colour of the Year Nail Polish in My Love Diary

So for the past 3 years, Essence has brought out a nail polish shade that corresponds to the Pantone Colour of the Year. I love this idea, there's always a lot of hype about the Colour of the Year in January and I love seeing how fashion and beauty incorporate the colour into what you can wear.

2013's polish The Green & The Grunge, 2014's polish Purple Sugar, 2015's polish My Love Diary

This year's colour is Marsala which is described as a full bodied earthy wine red. When it was announced I wasn't too gone on it but it has grown on me slowly.

 The colour has grown on me even more since swatching! Not going to lie, I mainly picked up the polish as I had the polishes from the past two years and wanted to add to the collection. But I LOVE this shade for autumn, it's beautiful. I've been on a soft pink and neutrals kick recently and wearing this colour is like a step up, still has the softness but it's just richer, deeper. I perfect transition shade from summer into autumn, when I usually like wearing berry and copper shades.

I saw some actual Pantone nail polishes yesterday when in Boots but they were sets for Christmas and none of them seemed to have this shade. It would be a cool idea if Pantone brought out some core colours and added some seasonal trendy ones! Sephora seem to have some Colour of the Year products as well on their website. I have a feeling the Colour of the Year things will become more and more popular, I'm dying to know what it's going to be for 2016!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Late 2015 Book Releases I'm Looking Forward To

So the past 2 years in January I've published a post about the upcoming books releases I'm looking forward to. You can read the post from earlier this year here. But because a lot more books are announced later in the year there are often more releases that I look forward to so I thought I'd do an updated post about the books coming out later this year.

I'm starting with the books mentioned in my original post in January. In it, I hoped that there would be another Robert Galbraith book even though none had been announced. But yay! It was announced a few months ago. Career of Evil is the 3rd Cormoran Strike novel and starts when Robin, Cormoran's assistant, opens a package containing a woman's severed leg. Book is out October 20th.

I listed The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch in my January post but at that time we didn't have a cover. It'll be the 6th book in the Rivers of London series which follows PC Peter Grant. I don't know anything about the plot but I hope it carries on after Broken Homes, book 4, which ended in a massive cliffhanger and wasn't featured much in book 5. Now I originally listed the release date as November 19th and some sites are still listing it as that (including the last update I saw on the publishers website) but Amazon and Waterstones are listing it as June 2016, The last one was pushed back if I remember correctly but I have my fingers crossed for this one!

Winter by Marissa Meyer was another book I mentioned without a book cover. It's book 4 in the Lunar Chronicles and will centre around a retelling of Snow White. I've really enjoyed this series and I'll hopefully be doing a buddy read with a friend once it's released which I'm very excited about. Book is out November 10th.

I enjoy Alexander McCall Smith's No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels. It follows Precious Ramotswe and her agency in Botswana, They are often classified as soft detective novels, they're definitely not hard hitting crimes but more stories centred around the characters. The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine is due out September 17th.

I've read all of Rainbow Rowell's books (except Landline, though it's on my to read list) and this is her first fantasy book. In Fangirl, main character Cath would write fanfiction about the Simon Snow wizard series (not so loosely based off Harry Potter) and Carry On is a Simon Snow book! I'm not sure how I feel about it, it's very different to her other books but I will give it a go. Book is out October 8th (as are SO many other books! Major day for book publications).

I've read two of Mark Mason's books before (Walk the Lines, about walking all the London Underground lines above ground and Move Along, Please, about a journey from Land's End to John O'Groats on local buses) and really enjoyed them. It seems this book is about interesting facts and stories from all of Britain's postcodes. Out October 15th.

And to end I have two amazing coffee table books. The first one is a completely illustrated copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. From what I've seen it looks stunning and is perfect for all Harry Potter fans. Out October 6th

Finally this is make up artist Lisa Eldridge's first book, Face Paint: The Story of Make Up and I say it'll be amazing! I love Lisa's YouTube videos and she's shared some sneak peeks on her Instagram. If you're a makeup lover or know someone who is, this book is a must! Out October 13th

I've probably missed a few more, like I mentioned above October 8th is a massive day in book publications, loads of other books will be released around then in time for Christmas. Will any of these be on your Christmas wishlist? Comment below!

Friday, August 28, 2015

BookTube-A-Thon 2015 Results

This year’s BookTube-a-Thon was a much bigger success than last year for me! I managed to complete all the goals and read some more after too! Here’s a look at what I read.

1. Book by an author who shares the same first letter as your last name
Carrot Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

2. A book with blue on the cover
 Armada by Ernest Cline

3. Read a book without putting it down

 Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour

4. Someone else’s favourite book
 Animal Farm by George Orwell

5. Read 7 Books
 Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas

6. Read last book you acquired

Criminal London by Tom Hollington

7. Read a book you want to read
 Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

Bonus Books
 The Age of Earthquakes by Douglas Coupland

Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger (started but not finished)

I’m so happy I managed to complete all the challenges (especially without doubling up, though I see nothing wrong with that!). I’m even happier I read a small bit more too than needed, I felt like I really needed that to get back into the mood of reading. Reviews to follow once I catch up on previous months!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

BookTube-a-Thon 2015! Challenges and TBR

Hello! Yes, I have an awful lot to catch up on, a lot has happened in my life and not having a properly functioning laptop doesn’t make things easier! However, that’s for another post, this one is all about BookTube-a-Thon!

This is the 3rd year for the readathon, which is run by Ariel Bissett and involves a ton of other booktube hosts. There are reading challenges, Twitter sprints, video challenges. You can try to do them all or you can just pick and choose. I fully completed the readathon year one (links here) and didn’t do so great last year (links here), however I am SUPER excited and ready to go! And I love that Sharon, Roisin, Chloe and Paula are all involved, it makes it so much more interesting and fun having all these friends involved too.

Now for the challenges. There are 7 for the week and after each one I’ll say that I think I’ll read to cover that challenge.

1. A book with blue on the cover


Easy enough challenge! I’m going with a book I’ve actually already started but I don’t want to leave it hanging. It’s Armada by Ernest Cline, I really enjoyed his first book Ready Player One so I’m hoping to enjoy this book too, which has a similar theme where the real world and the world of gaming collide.




2. A book by an author who shares same first letter as your last name

carrot cake

I really wanted to do one with my full initials, as it’s part of the year long Pop Sugar reading challenge I’m doing, but I can’t find the list of names I had come across before so instead I’m going for Carrot Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke, as it’s been ages since I’ve read any of this series and it’ll be a very quick read as well.




3. Someone else’s favourite book

animal farm

I’m going to go with Ariel’s favourite book, Animal Farm by George Orwell, mainly because I was planning on reading it anyway this read as part of that Pop Sugar challenge! I just need to get my hands on a copy.






4. The last book you acquired

criminal london

Had my sister remembered to bring Lena Dunham’s book down, it would be that one. Instead it’s Criminal London by Tom Hollington, a book I picked up in York at the beginning of the week. I barely had room in my suitcase but I read a few pages and it fascinated me. It is set out like a tourist guide book, with walks and stuff, so it’ll be good to plan some things to do in London next time I’m there!




5. Finish a book without letting go

scott pilgrim

The hardest of all the challenges! Read a book from start to finish without letting go of it. You can stop reading it as long as it’s still in your hands! This’ll be interesting anyway, I hope it comes into the library on time for me otherwise I might struggle with this one! Plus I’m dying to finish the Scott Pilgrim series too.




6. A book you really want to read

only ever yours

I’ve been dying to read Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill for a while now, I bought the book a few months ago but haven’t got around to it. I just hope I can find it in one of the boxes!





7. Read 7 books

heir of fire

While you can double or triple up on challenges to complete them, the beauty of having one for each challenge means you’ll complete THIS challenge, read 7 books. I’m going to read the next book in the Throne of Glass series, Heir of Fire, by Sarah J Maas.





And that’s it for now! Of course, these will most likely change about, depending on how my week goes (like the books I’m relying on getting from the library coming in on time) but I hope I can still get the challenges all completed even if the books change around.

The BookTube-a-Thon starts at midnight of whatever time zone you’re in, so not long to go here in Ireland! There’s still time to join too and have fun.

Monday, June 22, 2015

May Reads

Better late than never

May Reads

Scott Pilgrim Vs. the Universe by Bryan Lee O’Malley


Instalment 5 out of 6 in the Scott Pilgrim series. As per usual, Scott is fighting one of Ramona’s Evil Exes. I was all set to read book 6 after this, only to discover my library doesn’t have a copy! Grrr. I then ordered it into my local Irish library when I was home last month and while I had ordered it in enough time for it to arrive, turns out the driver was ill that week and there was no deliveries. I will finish this soon though!




The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan


I kept seeing this on Goodreads last year and it even won the Goodreads Choice Awards in for Non-Fiction last year and I was always intrigued. So when I nabbed a copy at work I set about reading it straightaway. The story of the book itself is sad, as Keegan died in a car crash shortly after graduating at the young age of 22. The book is a mixture of short stories as well as essays, most of which deal with the idea of uncertainty and just embracing life, that everything will just be OK. I think I preferred the essays over the short stories but I did enjoy those too. It’s interesting to read the thoughts of someone on the brink of graduation and the uncertainty you feel then. I know I did when I was finishing university and I still feel like that now actually, with this upcoming move.


The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

girl on the train

THE book of the year so far (though Mr Grey might be challenging that at the moment and Go Set a Watchman has yet to come out). The number one question I get asked at work is ‘Is this out in paperback yet?’ (No, not until January). So I had to pick this up to see what the hype is. It centres around Rachel, an alcoholic who’s life has fallen down around her and the only thing that comforts her is her commute in and out of London each day. The train stops at a certain junction and from her, Rachel sees a couple in a house and has built up a story around this man and woman (who she calls Jess and Jason). One day Rachel sees something that doesn’t fit in with her story and she gets off the train to investigate. However, being an alcoholic, her memory of this is patchy and with her ex-husband and his new wife and baby in the same neighbour, it spells a lot of trouble for Rachel, as she struggles to find out the truth about ‘Jess and Jason’ as well as come to terms with her crappy life. I did enjoy the book, it’s a quick read and not too predictable. A bit frustrating at times and I know a few people who have struggled with not liking the main character but I found myself rooting for her a bit. If you liked Gone Girl you’ll enjoy this, I enjoyed it more than Gone Girl actually.


Always the Bridesmaid by Lindsey Kelk

always the bridesmaid

I enjoy Kelk’s I Heart series so when she was doing an in store signing I decided to pick up a signed copy. Maddie’s life has turned upside down. Her best friend Lauren has just announced she’s getting married, just as her other best friend Sarah announces she’s getting divorced. Maddie’s ex has just had a child and on top of that, her boss is a psychopath. Maddie is struggling to help Lauren plan her wedding (who is taking advantage of Maddie being an events organizer) while also trying to cheer Sarah up. I did find this a bit predictable; best friends falling out being a wedding due to bridezilla affect but making up just before it, the main character being stuck in a love triangle where one of them turns out to be a bastard and main character succeeding finally in the workplace. I was frustrated at times with Maddie for not sticking up for herself. But overall I still enjoyed it and this would be the perfect light hearted read for the beach.


Darkmouth by Shane Hegarty


I picked this up as it was the children’s book of the month last month and another bookseller said she enjoyed it. It centres around Finn, who’s family comes from a long line of Legend Hunters (monster hunters to you and me). It’s Finn’s turn to train to become as good as his legendary father but Finn is a little bit useless and would much rather be a vet. In this book we see Finn get into scrapes with all sorts of Legends, along with his new (and only friend) Emmie. I loved all the drawings in the book, it added so much to the story and the Legends. You really find yourself rooting for Finn and I’ve given this to my 12 year old brother, who hopefully will enjoy it too. I’m looking forward to reading the next instalment!


Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum


I had read a bit of hype around Hausfrau so I decided to request it on NetGalley. It’s the story of Anna, an American living in Switzerland with her Swiss husband Bruno and their Swiss children, living next door to her Swiss mother-in-law. Everything to Anna still seems strange and alien to her, despite living her for years. So she decides to start taking German classes, where she has an affair with another one of the students. This is not Anna’s first affair, which she finds herself falling into due to her emotionally detached husband. Throughout the novel there are parts where Anna is talking to a therapist but I hated these parts, mainly because she was lying and they seemed to slow down the story for me. Essbaum does a good job of adding some tension to the story, there is always this vibe that Bruno is quite threatening but overall I was dissatisfied with this book, especially since I guessed the ending. I would like to read some of Essbaum’s poetry actually as she does have a nice turn of phrase at times.


Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

since you've been gone

Sloane and Emily are the best of friends, with Sloane being the more outgoing one who encourages Emily to break out of her shell. But right before the beginning of what should be an epic summer, Sloane just disappears, leaving only a list of 13 things Emily should do this summer. At first Emily is confused and thinks summer is ruined. However she strikes up an unlikely friendship with Frank Porter, who decides to help her tick off some of this list. Slowly Emily starts to be more adventurous while learning not to live in Sloane’s shadow. I enjoyed this YA novel, I enjoyed seeing Emily grow more as a person as she learned to make new friends and find out who she is without her best friend at her hip. It had an air of Sarah Dessen’s Last Chance (Or Keeping the Moon as I know it as) about it, which was one of my favourite books as a teenager. A very summery read!


When to Rob a Bank by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

when to rob a bank

This is a collection of blog posts from the Freakonomics blog. I didn’t know Levitt and Dubner were even bringing out a book this year until I saw it at work! If you’re looking for another Freaknomics or Superfreaknomics, then this is not it. This is good however if you are not a reader of the blog (like myself) and want someone to dip in and out of. The posts are short, so you can just read a post or just a chapter at a time. I did find it interesting but I do crave something like Freaknomics, something that goes more in depth on subjects. It’s been too long!



Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell


I love watching Jen Campbell’s YouTube videos and seeing as I am now a bookseller myself, I decided to pick this up. It’s a very short read but I found it very funny. I’ve heard some similar things while working, I once found a post-it note on a table that said ‘Do not buy this as I licked it’! This week, thanks to the new Grey book, I heard a husband tell his wife ‘well now that you have you wank bank material in writing, you should be happy’ *shudder* If you’ve ever worked in retail, any kind of retail, you’ll appreciate this!



May Stats

Number of books read- 9
Ratio fiction to non-fiction- 6:3
Male to Female authors- 3:6
Number of eBooks- 3 (The Girl on the Train, Hausfrau, Since You’ve Been Gone)
Number of books borrowed from library- 2 (Scott Pilgrim vs. The Universe, Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops)

Reading Challenge Completed

Funny Book- Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

A mystery or thriller- The Girl on the Train

A book based on its cover- The Opposite of Loneliness (as it was the cover that attracted me in the first place)

While I started the Fem-Tellectual challenge in May, I didn’t finish it until a good few days into June so I’ll add it there instead. I feel like a picked up the pace in terms of the number of books I read though this is because I read quite a bit when I was home for a week.

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