Friday, April 7, 2017

Dry Brush Nail Art

I was at a wedding last month and decided to not just paint my nails for the event but to do some ~*nail art*~. It’s been a while since I’ve just done my nails, let alone tried some nail art. It’s something I’ve loved in the past but I’ve found it hard to be inspired recently. I decided to try dry brush nail art for the first time in colours that complimented my dress which had flowers of soft pink and peach with some pops of brighter pink and dark green leaves.

black floral dress from Wallis

I bought the dress in Wallis last year, it’s so pretty! They have a lot of similiar things in this year too, they are really liking their floral prints.


Dry brush Nails using Catirce Hollywood's Fabulous 40ties The Nude Scene, NYC Lincoln Square Lavender, Maybelline Color Show in Peach Bloom and Vivid Rose and Catrice Emerald Bay nail art

Polishes used

Catrice LE Hollywood’s Fabulous 40ties in The Nude Scene

NYC in Lincoln Square Lavender

Maybelline Color Show in Peach Bloom

Maybelline Color Show in Vivid Rose

Catrice in Emerald Bay

I used two coats of Catrice The Nude Scene, a beautiful nude pink (limited edition, I’ll be so upset when it runs out!) as te base colour. For the dry brush technique, you dip your brush in your secondary colour, brush off most the polish onto a piece of scrap paper and then brush the almost dry brush onto your nails. Repeat with other colours! Now you can just use the brush from the nail polish to do this and it probably would be easier to do that. I used a fan brush so my colour pay off wasn’t that intense. In fact I think this might be a way to do marble nails. As it is my nails reminded me of the hallway walls my dad did in the 90s, I think he dabbed the paint on over the base coat! I would like to do this again with a black base, it make it more like the dress I wore but I like the one above. It was pretty subtle because the colours used were similiar to the base colour.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Pink Power Rangers Nail Art

When the Power Rangers first came out, it was instant love. I don’t know why but as a 7 year old I lived for it. I used to get out of bed at 7am to watch it before school. I used to pretend with my cousin we were the Power Rangers and jumped and kicked around the room while acting out scenes. I got banned from watching it for a while because I used to high kick my brother too much!

So with the new movie out today I thought I’d do some nail art. I’m excited and nervous about the movie, I’m not sure if I want to go see it in case it ruins my precious childhood memories! I went through phases of wanting to be the Pink Power Ranger and wanting to be the Yellow Power Ranger. I decided on pink for the nail art though.

Pink Power Ranger Nail Art using 17 Ultimate Shine in Miami and Barry M Nail Art Pen in White

Pink Power Ranger Nail Art using 17 Ultimate Shine in Miami and Barry M Nail Art Pen in White

Polishes Used

Pink- 17 Ultimate Shine in Miami

White- Barry M Nail Art Pen in White

Black- Barry M Hi-Shine Gelly in Black Forest

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Lush Haul!

I used to be a massive Lush fan, one of the biggest fans. Though that was mainly when I was in university and there was actually a Lush close to me. I still do enjoy going to Lush though, I maybe not use it as much as I used to but it’s still fun get stuff from there. When I was going to a wedding that was near Lush, I was really excited and made it a priority to go the day after the wedding and picked up some bits and bobs!

Lush Cosmetics Floral Bag

First off, how pretty is this bag?! I don’t know when it was introduced, if it’s just for this spring or if they’ve had different bags for different seasons for a while. The past few times I’ve bought stuff I haven’t got a bag. I love this bag, I don’t want to throw it away! While in Lush I browsed all the new products, there’s a few new things for Easter and for Mother’s Day. I spent a good half an hour or so in there debating what to get, I wanted to get a few things but didn’t want to go absolutely crazy. In the end I settled for four things.

Lush Cosmetics Brazened Honey Face Mask, The Experimenter Bath Bomb, Floating Island Bath Melt, Scrubee Body Butter

Clockwise from top left

Brazened Honey Face Mask is one of the face masks I use most often. It has kaolin clay to help cleanse the skin and tons of other ingredients to help get my skin back on track. I often use it when I feel my skin needs a pick me up.

The Experimenter Bath Bomb is a five colour bath bomb with lustre and popping candy and is scented with vanilla, vetivert and tonka bean. I’ve seen videos of this on Instagram and it’s so beautiful and bright.

Floating Island Bath Melt is popped in the bath and melts to leave your skin feeling nice and soft. This has cocoa butter and shead butter and is scented with sandalwood oil, lemon oil and almond oil.

Scrubee Body Butter has cocoa butter, shea butter and honey to help soften and moisturise your skin but also ground coconut shell and ground almonds to help exfoliate. His stripes become more pronounced as you use him which I’m really looking forward to seeing!

All these products are new to me except Brazened Honey (well, I might have used Floating Island before but only if it came in a gift as I don’t remember ever buying it). As you can tell I like sweet smells, Scrubee just smells so sweet and delicious! I had debated over getting The Experimenter or a bubble bar. I do like bath bombs but part of me thinks it’s so frivolous for something that’s a one off use compared to a bubble bar that would last you a few gos (yeah, I know I can cut a bath bomb in half but it’s tough work!).

Have you used any of these products? Or do you have a different favourite from Lush? Let me know in the comments below!

Friday, March 17, 2017

St.Patrick’s Day Nails 2017

Happy St.Patrick’s Day everyone! I bought this glitter nail polish about 11 months ago when shopping with a friend and she thought I’d completely forget about it once Paddy’s Day rolled on by. Luckily I remembered!

St.Patrick's Day green nails Catrice Hugo Moss nail polish with Claire's Accessories Sham-Rock My Heart Paddy's Day

St.Patrick's Day green nails Catrice Hugo Moss nail polish with Claire's Accessories Sham-Rock My Heart Paddy's Day

St.Patrick's Day green nails Catrice Hugo Moss nail polish with Claire's Accessories Sham-Rock My Heart Paddy's Day

Green Polish- Catrice in Hugo Moss

Glitter Top Coat- Claire’s Accessories Nail Polish in Sham-Rock My Heart

The glitter top coat is lots of fun, it’s packed with gold flakies, green hex pieces and two different coloured green shamrocks. It was very awkward though to get the shamrocks, it took a lot of fishing to get them on the brush. I do like it though, next year I think I’ll try putting it over white!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

February 2017 Wrap Up

A brief looksie at what I got up to last month. It was a good enough month, a saw a lot of friends looking back and generally enjoyed myself!


Enjoyed- Cocktails! I’m one of my friend’s bridesmaids and I met up with her and the rest of the bridesmaids one weekend. We had a great time trying on our dresses, trialling make up and hair and then going out for nibbles and cocktails. I’m a sucker for cocktails, I love trying new ones. Like this one, which was very creamy and served in a milk bottle!

Relaxed- The following day we went to the spa! We were booked into a mud treatment and then the thermal suites. There was some slight hiccoughs in the day, mainly the fact the water went in the hotel half way through our mud treatment! However everything got sorted and we enjoyed lunch after. It was my 2nd time at a spa, the first time being the Lush Spa back in 2011.

Went- Bowling with a group of friends, the first time in years. I really enjoyed it! I wasn’t that great but I want to go again as it was such fun.


Socialised- Outside of the above, I spent a few evenings with my other half and our friends watching rugby when the 6 Nations started. And also one evening my fiance went to see some rugby live and after I went to dinner with him and his friends.

Cinema- To see the Lego Batman Movie. I liked it, I laughed a lot but I did enjoy The Lego Movie more. It was fun though. I wish I had gone to the cinema more, it being Oscar season, but the cinema closest to me took Hidden Figures out of screening the week I wanted to go (I swear it was only there 2 weeks!

lego batman

Ate- Pancakes. Well, only on the last day of February as it was Pancake Day. My fiance made crepes which were lovely and at some stage I also had these cinnamon swirl pancakes which I posted a few years ago.

Watched- Riverdale. I went to a friend’s house one Friday planning on watching something but when that didn’t work out we scrolled through Netflix and came across Riverdale and decided to give it a shot. The characters are based off the Archie comics and the series starts with the investigation into a murder. Everyone has something to hide and Riverdale is not as idyllic as it seems. I’m still a few episodes behind but really enjoying it so far.


Listened- To RuPaul’s new song Rock It (To the Moon), it as a real Daft Punk vibe and I’m sure I’ll be listening to more RuPaul leading up to the end of March when Drag Race ruturns for Season 9 (Yes, I said ruturns instead of returns, deal with it!)

flamingo mug

Bought- This glorious mug!! I bought it on last day of Febrary so my final purchase for the month. I almost didn’t get it as it was a bit pricey for me but it’s beautiful and I’m glad I did!

Read- All the books I read are in my February Reads post which you can check out here.
And that’s February! And I’m half way through March now, probably should have posted this a bit earlier but better late than never. How was your February? Let me know below!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Book Recommendations for International Women’s Day #IWD2017

Hello! So today is International Women’s Day and I thought I’d share some book recommendations of inspiring books and authors. I’ve read loads of books that I could talk about but I’m picking a few that have stood out to me.


We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

We Should All Be Feminists

I read this last June, you can check out my post here. This is based off Chimamanda’s TEDx talk and there’s several reasons I’m chosing this. It’s short, it’s more an essay than a book and it took me no time to read it. It’s too short to hit everything and that’s fine, it’s a good place to start if you want to know more about feminism (especially why ‘feminism’ and not ‘humanism’ or something similar to that). Chimamanda writes eloquently and sharply and I spent most the time reading this nodding along. It’s shortness means it’s really accessible too for teenagers. Which isn’t to say that teenagers don’t read or aren’t big readers, but sometimes a term like ‘feminism’ can be very daunting or seem boring and serious and the length of this book means that it’s easy for all ages to give it a try.


Asking For It by Louise O’Neill

asking for it louise o neill

Speaking of teenagers, this YA book by Louise O’Neill is such an important book which I read last March. Set in a small town in Ireland, 18 year old Emma goes out drinking one weekend and wakes up the next day outside her house with no recollection about how she got there. It’s then revealed online through videos and pictures that she’s been raped. O’Neill handles the aftermath of this ordeal by showing us how rape culture is rife in our community, the title of the book just shows how easily people dismiss rape and sexual assault. If you’ve ever heard things like ‘well dressed like that she’s just asking for attention’, ‘she sleeps around, she’s such a slut’ or ‘look how much she was drinking, she has no respect for herself, of course that happened’ then that’s part of rape culture. We see all these things in play in the novel, along with how the victim is often blamed and is often thought of as a liar until proven right. Thinking about this book makes me angry about the injustices in the world! And how we should all be more supportive and less judgemental of women overall.


I Call Myself a Feminist edited by Victoria Pepe

i call myself a feminist

There are 25 essays in the book, with various accounts of feminism from women under thirty. As with any collection of stories, there’s going to be things that don’t interest you or you disagree with but I still think a collection of stories is a great introduction to the idea of feminism and intersectionality. As a straight white cis-woman, my experiences with feminism is going to be a lot different to other women. There’s a lot of privileges available to me and it’s something I’m aware of and want to educate myself on more. Reading this made me more aware of feminism when it crosses with things like sexuality, race, gender or a mixture of different things. I was aware of these issues individually but reading this book made me more aware of when these things cross over with each other and to be more open to how other people identify with feminism. This also crops up in Kameron Hurley’s The Geek Feminist Revolution where Hurley speaks about what it’s like to be a woman within geek culture and writing speculative fiction.


Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body by Sara Pascoe

Animal Sara Pascoe

On the subject of intersectionality, Sara addresses the issue of this straight off in her book and continues to say it throughout the book. But she doesn’t set out to be ‘the last word in a conversation’. This book approaches so many different aspects of being a woman: physiological, evolultionary, social. It was interesting to hear things like why our bodies have developed the way they have over the years or how our hormones effect us. We get to hear personal anecdotes from Sarah’s life including when she had an abortion. This is such a big issue Ireland at the moment with the Repeal the 8th movement and something that is still seen as a big taboo to talk about. The books covers a lot of serious issues but done with a humouress touch, I laughed out loud several times while reading this. I have a full review here if you want to read more about this book.


How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran


So I know most lists like this would probably feature Moran’s How to be a Woman and I toyed with adding that but decided on this fiction book instead. HTBAW is non-fiction and we get Moran’s memoirs and experiences with feminism in that and I enjoyed it but didn’t love it. In How to Build a Girl we get a lot of Moran’s early life as it’s a semi-biographical book, so I felt like their was repetition having read How to Build a Woman. I picked this mainly because it’s a YA novel, one with a chubby, slightly awkward and weird protaganist and because the book had a bit of a bite. I liked that this book wasn’t afraid to be frank about things like poverty, masturbation and UTIs w ithout shame or taboo. I’d recommend this to teens who are trying to work out who they are. This book covers reinventing yourself and how it’s ok to try new things to find out who you want to be.


Eat Sweat Play by Anna Kessel

eat sweat play

This book. THIS BOOK! I only read it in January but it’s still on my mind now. Women and sport aren’t really seen as a big part of society. Sure, women and fitness are but not sport. And even women at the top of their game come under fire. Serena Williams comes to mind, I often see something about her online like her appearance on or off court which is insane considering she’s one of the greatest athletes in the world and there’s not a chance there would be articles on how Andy Murray’s court outfit was distracting. This book highlights things sports and pregnancy, periods and the big taboo that still is, sexism in the industry for competitors but also fans and why girls so often love sports when younger but how to diminishes as we get into secondary school. It’s so well researched, empowering and really accessible to read.


If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

If I Was Your Girl

Another book I read in January (and also another YA book! They’re just so accessible and relatable). Women and girls come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. I’ve mentioned a lot of things during this post that apply or could apply to a lot of women like periods and pregnancy but I think it’s worth pointing out that this doesn’t apply to all women. Trans awareness and visability is something that’s so important right now, espcially since there’s big controversies in USA around trans people and bathrooms. If I was Your Girl is not only the story of a trans teenager but is written by a trans woman. We get to see a lot of different issues that a trans woman deals with, I’m sure Russo drew on her own experiences when writing this novel. It’s important to educate ourselves on the different ways people identify as a woman, to embrace these differences and support each other. This novel is a good place to start if you have no previous knowledge or experience with transgender women and it’s something I want to read more about actually.

I could go on and on about books here. There are so many fantastic female authors and illustrators, as well characters in novels and non-fiction books on strong women in all sorts of walks of life. I read mainly women and it’s not a conscious choice for me, I just find I gravitate more towards women. So much can be taken away from a day like International Women’s Day. There’s a lot to be angry about. There’s a lot to be proud about. The positive and the negative emotions are all valid so I’m not going to say ‘concentrate on the positive’. I do however hope that the overwhelming message should be support. Too often women can tear down other women and I just think we should all try to help one another, be kinder to ourselves and to others.

If you have any thoughts on these books or any suggestions for something you love, please leave a comment below and let me know! If I’ve read it, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it. And if I haven’t, I’m always looking forward to new recommendations!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Book Series I Want to Finish

Hello! So obviously I read a lot of books and I do enjoy a good series. But it means I’ve got a few series that are still floating around, waiting for me to finish them. I thoguht I’d make a blog post discussing compleated book series that I want to finish. There’s a few series that aren’t fully finished that I’m still reading but I wanted to concentrate on ones I’m nearly finished so that I remember what they are and hopefully get around to them soon!


His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman


Years ago I started this series, when I was a teenager. I loved the first two books and even started The Amber Spyglass but for some reason didn’t finish it (I have however finished his Sally Lockhart series which I loved and was my introduction to Pullman) At this rate it’s been so long since I read the first two books that I need to reread them and that’s fine with me, I plan on even using that as my Book Riot reread challenge. And with the Book of Dust trilogy starting later this year, the sooner I get cracking with this series the better!




A Darker Shade of Magic series by V.E. Schwab

a conjuring of light

So this series is only just completed, as A Conjurng of Light only came out at the end of February. But I loved book one and two a lot and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on this. One of the disappointing things about my All Irish March is that I have to wait until April before I can read this! But it won’t be much of a wait and it’ll give me time to refresh what happened in book two.





Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger


I read (well mainly listened which was fun) to the first 4 books last year but haven’t gotten around to Timeless yet. Mainly because it’s not in the library, which is a massive pain. It’s so frustrating when your library is missing a book or two in a series! I do want to read this soon though so I can move on and start the Custard Protocol series by Carriger. And some of her other short story series too.






Demon Road series by Derek Landy

american monsters

I read books one and two of the Demon Road series pretty close together last year and had to wait until August for American Monsters to be released. But when it came out it just didn’t feel like the right thing to read. I’m hoping to get around to it this month as part of my Irish Authors reads.






Mary Quinn Mysteries by Y.S. Lee

rivals in the city

Rivals in the City is the final book in Lee’s Mary Quinn Mystery series, about a spy in Victorian times. I think part of the reason I haven’t picked this up is because it’s the last book in the series and I don’t want it to end!






Writing this post I came across other completed series I haven’t finished but I’m not sure where I fall on finishing them. I think I’ll do another post about series I don’t know if I’ll pick up again as there’s enough books for a post like that. Also I think I have enough for book series I want to start as heaven knows there’s plenty out there that I need to begin!

Friday, March 3, 2017

February Reads 2017

So we’re already into March! So I finished 9 books this month, which is great, but it felt like a struggle to be honest. I took me 5 days to start a book, I just wasn’t feeling much. My choices this month then were shorter, easier to read things to try and get me reading. So I was actually surprised it was 9 books as I didn’t think I had read that much last month. Onwards to the reviews!

February Reads

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


The follow up book to Illuminae (which I read in August), this one is set in the same world but we have different characters. Set on a space station, we follow Hanna, the privileged daughter of the station’s captain and Nik, member of a notorious crime family. Life is pretty boring on the space station but this is going to change as the Hypatia (the ship from Illuminae) is heading towards the station. I was afraid that the change of main characters would affect the story for me and that I’d like it less than Illuminae, but that wasn’t the case! It was just as much fun as Illuminae and I gobbled up the story as all the twists and turns occured. I’m really looking forward to book three, I love the setting of these books and the how the books are laid out (it’s told as if it’s a stack of documents like IMs, interviews, written accounts of video files), making it really unique. Even if you think you don’t like sci-fi, these books would be a great place to start it as it has a real action movie vibe to them.


Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

under rose-tainted skies

Norah is 17 and has agoraphobia, OCD and anxiety. This means every day life is a big struggle for her, even leaving the house to step into the garden can cause great distress and anxiety. When something unexpected happens to her, she’s forced to deal with her problems in ways that scares her. Adding to this is Luke, the new boy that’s moved next door who wants to be friends, something Norah wants but is complicated by the fact she doesn’t want to tell him about her problems. This is a great YA novel that really highlights these mental health issues and I liked the balance between the romance side of things and Norah’s personal development. I havea a full review post which you can check out here. [NetGalley]


milk and honey by Rupi Kaur

milk and honey

milk and honey is poetry collection that I’ve heard a lot about over past few months so I wanted to pick it up. It’s split into four sections (the hurting, the loving, the breaking and the healing) and the poems in each section explored these themes. Some of the poems were as short as 2 sentences, others were a page or two. Overall I liked this collection, it’s very raw and powerful and at times intense. A few sentences were sometimes just enough to convey an array of feelings. Not every poem ‘spoke’ to me and that’s fine, when it comes to collections, be it poetry or short stories, it’s often the case that not everything is to your taste and that’s ok with me. There were certain poems which I loved and these make up for the ones I didn’t enjoy. I read a few of these poems while listening to the Audible sample clip on the book’s Goodreads page, which is read my the author and was actually really enjoyable this way. I think when I read this book (as I would like to reread it) I would possible do it this way, reading along while listening to the audiobook.


Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton


Traitor to the Throne is the follow up to Rebel of the Sands, which I read last year and loved. It’s the Middle East desert meets Wild West with a fantasy twist. It was such fun! This book I enjoyed but not as much. I loved the main character Amani, but there was something lacking from this. I think it’s because the setting was slightly different to the first one and it took some getting used to. Plus Amani isn’t around her love interest Jin a lot which was a pity. On the plus side we didn’t get a love triangle, which is something that often happens in book two of a YA series. If you enjoyed the first book you’ll probably enjoy this too as it is still fun and it was interesting to see another side of this world. Just don’t expect it to be exactly the same. [NetGalley]


Ms Marvel Volume 3 Crushed by G Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa and Elmo Bondoc

ms marvel volume 3 crushed

Volume 3 of the Ms Marvel series, 16 year old Kamala Khan, a Muslim teenager from New Jersey. This time around she has a love interest! Something that is complicated by her superpowers, not to mention her strict parents! It was fun, I do like this series but it’s not blowing me away like I thought it would. However I’ll continue on as I do like it and want to see where else it’ll go.






Scarlett Says by Scarlett Moffatt

scarlett says

When this came out last year I thought it might be a fun read. I’d seen Scarlett on Gogglebox a few times and enjoyed her. So when it was a Daily Deal on Audible I decided to give it a go. Scarlett talks about various things through a narrative of a night out. So getting ready (talking about beauty and looks), having drinks with friends (stories around that) and so on. It was an interesting concept and I do think I liked this book more by listening to than I would have reading it. Hearing Scarlett talk made the book come to life. However I will say that even though the book hasn’t been out a year it is quite out of date now since Scarlett won I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! The book is around Scarlett being just a normal girl, who is sometimes recognised as being on the telly, who lives at home and has a regular job. That’s no longer the case, Scarlett is everywhere these days. There was a bit early on in the book where she talks about red carpets

‘I don't go on red carpets. If a photographer ever shouted out "who are you wearing?" I'd be like, "Me mam's top, me mate Sarah's jeans and some shoes from the TopShop sale.”’

Around the time I’d read that part Scarlett was on the red carpet for the NTAs. But refreshingly her outfit actually was from TopShop! I had to laugh out loud when she said she hated Jamie Oliver as she was just on his show the other week! I don’t begrudge Scarlett becoming more famous or successful, if she’s enjoying it then I say go for it! I do think though that if you’re going to read this that bear in mind things have changed a lot for her but if you’re a fan you’ll probably enjoy her musings.


Space Dumplins by Craig Thompson

space dumplins

When Violet’s Dad go missing and no one seems to be able to help her and her mum, Violet decides to go off and try and find him, along with two new friends. This is definitely different from Thompson’s Blankets. As this book is aimed at younger readers, I found the story only ok. But I did like the artwork and colours and I think it would be a fun read for younger readers.





The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter

the bloody chamber

The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories is a mix of short stories all based off classic fairy tales and legends. I wouldn’t say they’re retellings per se, they’re more inspired by these stories, Carter’s take on these tales. As with the poetry collection above, I found this a mixed bag. I loved certain stories and hated others. The Bloody Chamber was probably my favourite tale, it was really atmospheric and gothic, it reminded me of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. The language used in the stories is rich and descriptive though at times it was hard work and felt excessive. Overall this was a bit disappointing but I’m still glad I tried it.




King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

king's cage

King’s Cage is book three in the Red Queen series. I won’t say much about the plot here but I did find the beginning a bit slow. It took me ages to read the first third but after that I flew through the rest of the book. I warmed to Mare a bit more in this book, I wasn’t the biggest fan of her in the first two. The ending fell a bit flat for me but that’s probably because I finally felt like there was some momentum and then it ended. Hoping the final book will wrap up everything nicely. [NetGalley]





February Stats

Number of Books Read- 9

Ratio fiction to non-fiction- 8:1

Number of eBooks- 3 (Under Rose-Tainted Skies, Traitor to the Throne and King’s Cage)

Number of Audio Books- 1 (Scarlett Says)

Number of Books Borrowed from Library- 4 (milk and honey, The Bloody Chamber, Space Dumplins and Ms Marvel)


The Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2017 Checklist

Read a debut novel- Under Rose-Tainted Skies

Read an all-ages comic- Space Dumplins

Read a collection of stories by a woman- The Bloody Chamber

Technically King’s Cage or Traitor to the Throne would have fit around the ‘read a book about war’ but I want to read a book set in a real life past war, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction.

Overall this was an ok month, I’m excited about March because I’ve been holding back reading a few books so I could read them in March for my Irish Authors Month. I have a TBR post which you can check out here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Irish Authors Month TBR 2017

Hello! So once again I’ve decided to read Irish authors only for the month of March, it’s something I’ve done 2 out of the 3 previous years (2014 and 2016). I read Irish authors all through the year but I enjoy dedicating March to just Irish authors (and I chose March due to Paddy’s Day in case you’re wondering). I try to read authors I haven’t read before but there will be more of a mix this year.

Stack of books containing Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden, Miss Emily by Nuala O’Connor, The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir by Lesley Allen, The Hurley Maker’s Son by Patrick Deeley, Holding by Graham Norton, Sisters and Lies by Bernice Barrington, Solar Bones by Mike McCormack and Woman in the Making by Rory O’Neill

These are some of the books I own by Irish authors that I’m hoping to read, From the top down we have Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden, Miss Emily by Nuala O’Connor, The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir by Lesley Allen, The Hurley Maker’s Son by Patrick Deeley, Holding by Graham Norton, Sisters and Lies by Bernice Barrington, Solar Bones by Mike McCormack and Woman in the Making by Rory O’Neill. I’ve shown most of these on here before for one reason or another (like my 2016 TBR post). I’m looking forward to reading through some of my own books as I can be really bad at forgetting to read what I own and being click happy on NetGalley. Or getting stacks of books from the library. Though speaking of NetGalley and the library I do have some books from those places also on my TBR for the month! Most of these are part of a series though.


The Blood Miracles by Lisa McInerney, American Monsters by Derek Landy, The Reckoning by Jane Casey, The Forever Court by Dave Rudden and The Gathering by Anne Enright

The Blood Miracles by Lisa McInerney is the follow up book to The Glorious Heresies. American Monsters by Derek Landy is the final book in the Demon Road trilogy. I’ve requested The Reckoning by Jane Casey from the library, the 2nd book in the Maeve Kerrigan series. I read the first one last March and have really been meaning to pick up book two. The Forever Court by Dave Rudden is the follow up book to Knights of the Borrowed Dark, so I can get stuck straight in if I love that one! And finally The Gathering by Anne Enright is an audiobook I borrowed from library in 2014, the first time I did this all Irish March challenge.

Obviously I can’t get through all these books in the month, it would be too much. The three I’m most looking forward to are Holding, Knights of the Borrowed Dark and The Blood Miracles. There’s only two non-fiction books so I might go to the library if I’m not feeling any of these, but I do want to try to stick to the books I have as much as I can.

If you’ve read any of the above please let me know below! I’d love to hear your thoughts and it could push the book further up the list. And if you decide to read any Irish authors this month let me know who you’re reading.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall Book Review

under rose-tainted skies

Norah is 17 and lives in constant fear. She has agoraphobia, anxiety and OCD. Leaving the house is near impossible for, she only ever leaves to go to counselling and even then it causes her great distress. Norah has learned to cope but when her Mum goes away for what should be a standard business trip and ends up away from the house much longer than anticipated, Norah must learn to tackle some of her problems. Added to this is her new next door neighbour Luke, who keeps trying to talk to Norah. Norah wants to be friends with Luke, but doesn't want to tell him about her conditions in case it scares him away. Can Norah deal with all these new problems while tackling her usual ones or will they be too much for her?

First off, let me just say what a beautiful cover this is! The watercolour is so pretty. Gornall does a great job of explaining Norah's conditions and showing us how they effect her in different ways: physically, mentally, emotionally and the impacts on her life. The story isn't autobiographical but the author also has agoraphobia and the fact that she knows what it like to go through these things means it feels very realistic when we read Norah going through these things. Not only is this book a good way to show what it's like to suffer from mental health problems like this but it's also good at showing how it impacts the lives of other people, like carers and romantic partners. I loved the relationship between Norah and her mother. I liked the character of Luke, he was sweet but not perfect which was good. I did like the character of Norah but at times she annoyed me, it had nothing to do with her mental health though, I think it was just every now and again her turn of phrase just annoyed me. I did find myself rooting for her though, especially towards the end. I was afraid that the story might wrap up all too conveniently but without giving it away, it doesn't end like that. But it IS a satisfactory ending. If you're looking for a contemporary YA book that deals with mental health issues in a realistic, believable way, then this is the book for you.

I received this e-book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I’m not required to post a review on here and all thoughts are my own

Sunday, February 19, 2017

January 2017 Wrap Up

Hello! So I used to do a post every month talking about some of the things I got up to and was enjoying the month before. I stopped after I moved as I wasn’t getting up to much but I think I want to try and start it again, feel excited about things again!

Celebrating- New Year’s Eve in London! While I didn’t get up to much on the night itself, I really enjoyed being the city around that time and all the excitement, as well as spending time with family and friends.

Watching- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! It was amazing, I saw it New Year’s Day and what a way to kick off the year. If you get a chance to go, go see it! I know some people are mixed on the story but the production is incredible. Thanks to my brother for buying the ticket for me!

harry potter

Socialising- Quite a bit actually! I got to see friends and family in London, Manchester and back home too. It’s been great to catch up with friends I haven’t seen a while, everything has been pretty relaxed and nothing too hectic.

Eating- Five Guys! I got to go with my friend Sarah from Cashmere and Clouds when I stayed with her in Manchester. It’s only the second time I’ve ever been but I really wanted to try that soda machine again!

Buying- Books mainly! I bought a big stack of books (and ebooks too) which you can see in my Book Haul post. I also bought some nail polish too (Stuffed by Nine Zero Lacquer, OPI Sunrise..Bedtime! from the OPI Breakfast at Tiffany’s collection and Cirque Polish in Halcyon) and bought some beautiful yarn from Sarah’s Etsy shop Yellow Door Yarn. It’s so pretty and just my favourite shade!


Doing- Ice skating. My family goes every winter when the rinks are up and after missing it last year I’m glad I got to go this year. I’d love to try skating on an empty rink though, I’m always so scared I’ll get knocked over!

Subscribing- To Hannah Witton on YouTube. I’d seen her before in videos with Leena Norms but I had never checked out her own videos before. I love her openess on subjects like sex and I’m really enjoying her Hormone Diaries series about coming off the Pill.

Knitting- I was working on three projects in January. I finished off a purple ribbed scarf for my boyfriend, started a puffin hat for myself and started my 2017 scarf. I plan on knitting a different colour for every day of the year. I’ve fallen behind this month on that but I’ve kept track of the colours for every day and will catch up! I tried going to a local knitting group but after 30 minutes no one had shown up (or at least there was no one knitting when I was there so I didn't think the group was there). It was disappointing but I might try again soon.


Reading- I read a good few books in January, which you can check out in my January Reads wrap up post.
january reads

And that's January! Unusually busy month but that's mainly because I was away at the beginning of the month. I do need to take more pictures though when I'm out and about. How was your January? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, February 6, 2017

January Reads 2017

First reading round up post of the year! I usually get a nice amount of books read in January which is true for this year as well. Except towards the end when I lost my interest in reading. So far in February I haven’t finished anything which is quite rare for me. Hopefully my mojo will pick up and I guess we’ll find out if that happens next month but for now, January!

January Reads

Paper Girls Volume 2 by Brian K Vaughan and Cliff Chiang

Paper Girls volume 2 by Brian K Vaughan graphic novel

So when it came to picking my top 5 graphic novels for last year I debated whether to chose Saga or Paper Girls (both by Brian K Vaughan) and chose Saga but Paper Girls was fantastic, I really liked it. I finally got a chance to read the second volume which I liked but didn’t love. I love the colours used but the plot just didn’t interest me as much as the first. I am looking forward to the next on though as it’s such fun. While I haven’t seen Stranger Things, I’ve heard a lot of people say that if you’re a fan of stranger things then you’ll enjoy this.




A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom

a tragic kind of wonderful Eric Lindstrom YA novel about a bipolar girl

This is a YA novel that centres around teenager Mel, who is trying to cope with numerous things in her life along with trying to manage her bipolar disorder. I enjoyed this book, I have a full review that you can check out here. [NetGalley]







It’s All Absolutely Fine by Ruby Elliot

it's all absolutely fine by rub elliot graphic novel

Ruby Elliot writes and draws about her own experiences with depression, eating disorder, self harm that has a perfect mix of seriousness and humour. Ruby is so open and honest about her experiences. I laughed out loud several times reading this. If you liked Hyperbole and a Half, then you'll enjoy this book [NetGalley]






Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

homegoing by yaa gyasi

Homegoing is a beautiful but heart wrenching debut novel that I just absolutely loved. We are introduced to two half sisters in Ghana, one who marries a slave trader and another who is sold as a slave bound for the South of America. We follow their descendants for several generations and see how their lives unfold. It was a tough read at times as Gyasi doesn’t shy away from terrible issues like rape, slavery and drug addiction but it’s so rich and incredible. I have a full review which you can check out here. [NetGalley]





The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters by Nadiya Hussain

the secret lives of the amir sisters by nadiya hussain winner of the great british bake off gbbo

The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters centres around 4 sisters, the only Muslim family in a small English village. Each one is different and have their own struggles. Fatima is the oldest, almost 30 and still living at home. Working as a hand model, when's she's not trying for the umpteenth time to pass her driving test, she spends her time locked in her room, eating squeezy tube cheese and trying to figure out who she really is. Farah is happily married but desperately wants to be a mother. She barely talks to her twin sister Bubblee, who's living in London determined to make it as an artist. Mae is 16 and the youngest feels like her family don't listen to her. Which is fine, because she has thousands of followers on YouTube and social media who are happy to listen to her. They're all overshadowed by their only brother Jay, who is useless but their parents put him on a pedestal being the only son. When a tragedy strikes the family, we see all the secrets tumble out and everyone's relationships are tested. Will the family fall apart or will the sisters be able to pull together and put their differences aside?

I enjoyed reading this book, coming from a big family myself I like family sagas and seeing all the different dynamics between characters. I felt like it was a bit slow in the beginning but sometimes I don't mind this when it's a family saga as it gives you a chance to find out more about the characters. I do think it was a bit cliched at times but there are plenty of other books and genres I read and enjoy that rely on cliches and tropes. It didn't make me enjoy the book any less. What I particularly liked about the book is that it's giving you an insight to a family structure and culture that doesn’t really get a big spotlight in popular fiction. I was drawn to this book as I read Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik, about a young Muslim woman living in London, and I was interested in reading more books that feature Muslim characters (side note: I was happy to see Ayisha's name crop up at the beginning of this book as it states Nadiya wrote this book with the help of Ayisha). A light and easy read [NetGalley]


The Mystery of the Painted Dragon by Katherine Woodfine

the mystery of the painted dragon by katherine woodfine, book 3 in the sinclair mystery series

Another fun mystery from Sophie and friends in the Sinclair series! I enjoy this middle grade detective mystery series, it reminds me of reading Enid Blyton as a child. I think this is great for boys and girls aged 9-14, but older people will certainly enjoy it too [NetGalley]






Eat Sweat Play by Anna Kessel

eat sweat play how sport can change our lives by anna kessel

So I first heard about this book from Leena Norms. I was intrigued but didn’t put it on my TBR straight away. However when I saw one of the categories for the 2017 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge was to do with sport, this is the first book that came to mind. And I’m so glad I read it! Kessel tackles women and sport from so many different aspects, such as why girls tend to hate sports in school, sports and periods, sports and pregnancy and why watching sports is very much seen as a guy thing. I loved how in the first chapter people such as Serena Williams, the Gladiators from the 90s TV show and Sporty Spice were all mentioned, it helped pique my interest. The chapters on periods and pregnancy just opened my eyes to the sexism in the industry and how taboo it still is to mention these things. It reminded me of the Olympics last year when Chinese diver Fu Yuanhui mentioned how her performance had been hindered a bit as she was so tired because of her period and how shocked some people were that she mentioned it. This made me think about sports in a different way and inspired me to try and have a more genuine interest in women’s sports. I watched the first Women’s Six Nations game with Ireland against Scotland on Friday and loved it so hoping I can watch it more in the future. This book should be read by men and women. It’s a great non-fiction book as it’s so well researched, the author has passion which comes through but it’s not dense and heavy and it’s easy to read.


Goldie Vance Volume One by Hope Larson and Brittany Williams

Goldie Vance Volume One graphic novel

I first saw this when Rincey from Rincey Reads mentiond it in a video. Goldie is a sassy smart 16 year old who lives in a Florida resort hotel with her father. She works part time as a valet but really she wants to be a detective and often sticks her oar in to help the in-hotel detective. This was super fun, it has a great Nancy Drew in the 50s/60s vibe, I loved the characters, drawing style and colour scheme. It’s good clean fun, the volume ends at the end of the story line arc so there’s no cliff hangers which is cool and I’m looking forward to continuing this series! [NetGalley]




Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

three dark crowns by kendare blake

On the island of Fennbirn, every generation a set of triplet girls are born and each one are equal heirs that possess different gifts. They are separated at a young age and raised by different families who possess the same gift as them, hoping to nuture and train them up in their gift so that when they turn 16, they’ll be skilled enough to fight against the other sisters and win the throne. The 3 sisters in this book are Katharine (poisoner who can ingest deadly poisons without harm), Mirabella (an elementalist, who can control the elements) and Arsinoe (naturalist, who can grow beautiful flowers and control animals). The stories starts a few months before they turn 16 and we see the POV of each sister as the chapters alternate between them. This book was a bit slow at the beginning, there’s a lot of characters to get your head around and concentrates on world building. But I quite liked this as sometimes book 2 is all about building up plots and I find it can ruin the momentum. At first I was a fan of Katharine and didn’t want the story to switch to the other sisters but I got hooked into their stories too and loved them all by the end. The action ramps up towards the last 30% of this book and I’m hoping it’ll keep going in book 2. Overall I really liked this and I can’t wait to pick up book two later this year.


If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

I mentioned this book in my book haul post, it’s about a trans girls and is written by a trans woman author. Amanda is 18 and has moved to live with her father and finish off her final year of school. She’s torn between keeping to herself to keep her secret (and self) safe and living her true life and allowing herself to have friends and fall for a boy. I read this book really quickly one weekend and it’s so important to have visibility for trans characters and trans writers. It’s a great contemporary YA read for covering trans issues from different angles.




Captain Marvel Volume One: In Pursuit of Flight by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Dexter Soy, Emma Rios, Richard Elson, Karl Kesel and Al Barrionuevo

captain marvel in pursuit of flight volume one

With the Captain Marvel film due out next year I wanted to read some of her comics and chose this place to start from. I wasn’t bowled away by this, I only found it ok as I wasn’t a massive fan of the artwork and the storyline was confusing at first to me. I would continue the story though and give it a chance but alas it doesn’t seem to be in the library!






January Stats

Number of Books Read- 11

Ratio fiction to non-fiction- 9:2

Number of eBooks- 7 (A Tragic Kind of Wonderful, It’s All Absolutely Fine, Homegoing, The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters, The Mystery of the Painted Dragon, Goldie Vance and If I Was Your Girl )

Number of Books Borrowed from Library- 2 (Captain Marvel and Eat, Sweat, Play)


Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2017 Checklist

Read a book about sport- Eat, Sweat, Play

Read a book that is set more than 5000 miles away from your location- A Tragic Kind of Wonderful

Read a fantasy novel- Three Dark Crowns

Read a YA or middle grade novel by an author who identifies as LGBTQ+ – If I Was Your Girl

Read a superhero comic with a female lead- Captain Marvel

Read a book wherein all point-of-view characters are people of colour- Homegoing

6 out of 24 challenges down. I was going to mark off two more but decided against it. For the debut novel, I was going to have The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters but because it’s written with someone’s help, I decided against it. For the all ages comic I was going to pick Goldie Vance but I felt it might more be YA and when I looked at how other people had labelled it they went more YA than all ages.

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