Saturday, 25 August 2018

Recent Reads Reviewed #8

One Christmas in Paris by Mandy Baggot – 4/5

This book was quite difficult to review because there were elements I thoroughly enjoyed yet there were somethings that frustrated me a little. While the development of romance seemed too quickly paced overall, the spark between Julien, and Ava, felt natural, their narrations were well written and heart-felt.

Photography features quite a lot in the book, some of my favourite moments were when Julien was taking photos of Paris, everything seemed to come together, and the descriptions of what he was photographing worked very well. Ava became Julien’s muse from their first encounter, taking photos of her without her say-so which I didn’t agree with. But as photography is a fond hobby of mine, Julien’s passion for it, kept me interested.

As a Christmas novel, I can see the plot and characters will be a little fluffy and light-hearted. But the story was compelling, and I genuinely couldn’t put it down, I felt gripped. I’ve come away in good spirits from the book, as the story is memorable.

The Hungry Student Easy Baking by Charlotte Pike - 5/5

This has become my favourite and most used baking book I own. Nearly all the recipes I have made from this book have been amazing and very reliable. The recipes are actually fairly simplified, with short descriptions and a minimal feel to the illustrations. I particularly enjoy the cookie section as there are so many interesting variations. Even if you are not a student, but you want to try baking, this is the book for you!

One Minute to Midnight by Amy Silver -  5/5

Going into this I expected it to be a really fluffy chick lit book, but the storyline had a fair amount of grit to it which I liked. The characters were believable, rough around the edges and troubled in a lot of ways. There were a few cultural and political references which is unlike a lot of chit literature. There was quite a bit of travelling to different parts of the world too, which added a unique element.

The chapters jumped about from different time lines, which usually I don’t take too, but the author did this very nicely. I researched the author and book afterwards and I was stunned to see Amy Silver is a pen name for the famous Paula Hawkins, writer of The Girl on The Train. I’ve read this too, and the chapters do the same thing within the more famous book.

The writing style was very entrancing, it was easy to get lost in the book, and I finished it remarkably quickly. I enjoyed the few major plot twists which came out the blue. One Minute to Midnight is actually very well written. I was deceived by the pretty cover, as it was definitely not your typical kind of read. If you like Paula Hawkins writing, I would give this one a go.

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking – 5/5

I was delighted when I saw this book available to buy second hand in one of our local coffee shops. I picked it up immediately and donated some change to charity. This book interested me because of all the hype I’ve seen in the blogging and booktube community, but also I really love the idea of learning more about how to be cosy, relaxed, and appreciate the simple pleasures.

The chapters vary on different themed topics about hygge, my favourites were the ones about how to enjoy hygge for yourself, with really cool tips. The short chapter about introverts really captured my attention too, and I resonated with what had been said. 

The illustrations were excellent, they created a wonderful ambience to this coffee table book. The only small element I disliked was I found there were too many statistics which were less interesting, this wasn’t enough to knock it down a star. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it.

Us by David Nicholls – 5/5

What a marvellous book, after reading One Day, I felt a bit underwhelmed but Us swept me away. I really wanted Douglas to succeed with his holiday plans and for him to reconnect with his wife and son. I enjoyed the family’s both physical and emotional journey. The protagonist Douglas, came across likeable even though he was someone with imperfections. Although Connie irritated me at times, I thought she was written well, and I could imagine her being a real person. It was nice to see characters that were rough around the edges and the dialogue created an unease and tension for the reader as there were many quarrels along the way.

There were some very interesting observations into art, as the family toured famous art exhibitions, both from those who did and did not have an understanding of it. I was surprised to find I liked the structure of the book and the way the narrative jumped from timelines. The journey of the holiday really grounded the way the story was told. The conclusion was unpredictable yet I felt satisfied in the way it ended. I believe this novel could appeal to a wide range of people and I fully recommend it.

Have you read any of these? 
What book are you currently reading? :-) Xx

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Escada Sorbetto Rosso Perfume

Today I’m going to be talking through a perfume I received for my birthday. Escada has been one of my favourite perfume brands for a good while and have tried most of the different scents they have come out with. They tend to bring out a new limited edition summer scent every year I think and the first one I ever tried was the Island Kiss which remains my favourite. I was pleased to see the 2018 edition at on sale so ordered it in mind for my birthday.

I was really pleased with this product, the heart note of melon comes across first and is so fun for the summer months. It does remind me of Island Kiss quite a bit which is nice but all the scents are fairly similar from the brand I would say. The packaging is beautiful, but it’s not one of my favourites from Escada. I paid £20 for a 30ml bottle which for a designer brand is a bit of a bargain. Summer is coming to a close but I plan on wearing this perfume up as it’s so pretty.

General Info and Scent Description:

The new limited edition Summer 2018 Escada Fragrance Sorbetto Rosso is a fresh and fruity fragrance inspired by the spirit and scents of the Italian Amalfi Coast. The scent contains notes of Mediterranean orchards and refreshing sea salt and held together with a heart of Watermelon.

Top Note: Juicy Pear, Aquatic accord 
Heart Note: Mouthwatering Watermelon 
Base Note: Warm amber, Praline accord

What fragrance have you been wearing over the summer? 
Have you ever tried Escada perfumes? :-) Xx

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Birthday Present Haul 2018

Hi to my lovely readers. Today I’m coming to you with what presents I received for my birthday. I got a few surprises but mainly the things here I chose myself and my Mum kindly put them away until my birthday. My brother did particularly well this year with the surprises he got me, such as the Pukka tea, Thornton’s biscuits and Galaxy chocolate spread. I actually ended up making butterfly cakes to share using the galaxy spread which went down well.

What’s a birthday without a few books plus all the ones I asked for were sequels to titles I loved. I’m currently reading Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling and so far it’s very good. Luckily I’m all stocked up on shower gels now, and I’m excited to try the shower milks by Original Source as I’ve seen them on a few other blogs previously. I’m currently using the Superdrug avocado and strawberry shower gel, shown here which smells so incredible, I recommend it!

I haven’t had an Escada perfume in so long so I forgot how good the fragrance is but it’s one of my favs. While visiting a café and gift shop with my parents, I ended up getting this scarf and a few craft bits. The scarf doubles up as a blanket and I’ve already worn it on cool evenings. We had a birthday cake from Aldi and it was really nice too. I was thankful for a lovely birthday and all the things I got.

I hope you enjoyed the blog post. 
Let me know if it sparked any gift ideas. 
Have a great day! :-) Xx

Monday, 6 August 2018

August Used Book Haul

Thanks for joining me for a new blog post, today I’m back with my mid-summer book haul. The theme for this one seems to be beach reads, and so far already I’ve read a few that would fit into this category over the summer months. Also I began a Maeve Binchy book a few weeks back and unfortunately it just didn’t resonate with me, it was not what I was expecting, and I got the impression the authors audience was much older than me. Despite this I was pleased with the other titles I found. How to Walk in High Heels: The Girl’s Guide to Everything has been on radar for years, it’s definitely not a new release but I’m excited to dip into this one, and its non-fiction too which interests me.

So far this year I’ve read two more Jane Costello books, and I only have a couple from the author I haven’t read now including this title The Love Shack so it might be a good one for Valentine’s 2019. The Little Kiosk By The Sea appears to be the ultimate beach read, and hopefully I’ll have time to pick it up this summer. Lastly Always Dakota by Debbie Macomber struck me as an escapist read which looked like it might be fun. Again all these books are secondhand!

Titles I picked up:

How to Walk in High Heels: The Girl's Guide to Everything by Camilla Morton
The Little Kiosk By The Sea by Jennifer Bohnet
The Love Shack by Jane Costello
Always Dakota by Debbie Macomber
Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy
A Few of the Girls by Maeve Binchy

Have you read any beach style reads this summer? If so which one? :-) xx