Redhead Rambles #34

Hello everyone and welcome to ‘Redhead Rambles’. The series does what it says on the tin, it is a redhead (me) rambling about her week. I share what I’ve been up to each week, how I’ve been feeling and what I’ve been listening to or watching. Occasionally I will my share favourite blog posts and links I’ve found useful or interesting.

  • I watched a couple of cool YouTube videos: this wardrobe clearout from Jodie Melissa and Too Faced Matte-Tallic lip swatches from Shaaanxo. I personally think the Matte-Tallic colours look really pretty but I’m not sure I’d buy them being matte.
  • Last Friday I didn’t sleep in and started my day by finishing a book in bed.
  • In the afternoon I went out and bought a sleeping bag for an overnight stay I had this week as part of work.
  • In the evening I was watching a movie with mum and fell asleep on the couch. It was a good movie so I’m glad I didn’t miss much.
  • On Saturday I had a big cry and a heart to heart with mum and I don’t know how she does it but she always makes me feel better.
  • After that I did some driving practice and once again I didn’t panic which is good.
  • Work was busier on Sunday than it usually is and I was in a better mood.
  • I had a good makeup day and loved pairing MAC’s Tan pigment with Rimmel’s #12 lipstick (similar to MAC Morange).
  • On Monday after work I packed my bag for the overnight stay. I work for local council and every few months there is a one night stay at a marae (pronounced ma-rye) for staff. It was my turn to go and I spent nearly all of Tuesday and most of Wednesday there. I got home late Wednesday afternoon. The food was nice and you don’t go hungry. I woke up with a headache on Wednesday morning but it was nothing ibuprofen and breakfast didn’t fix. Embarrassingly, I fell asleep during one of the PowerPoint presentations but I wasn’t the only one which was a relief.
  • I had Chicken Kiev and wedges for dinner when I got home and it was delicious!
  • The spring weather is definitely here and we’ve had some warm days already.
  • On Thursday it was nice to have a bit of a lie in and have a chilled, relaxing day. Mum and I went to get the groceries and I sang and read in the afternoon.
  • I also decided to wear my bracelet  on Thursday since getting some links taken out in June. It’s one of the first times I’ve worn it properly since I don’t like to wear jewellery to work as I’m scared I’ll knock it when I’m shelving books.
  • Overall it was quieter this week compared to others but it’s been nice to be slower paced and not manic.
  • I know I keep harping on about it but I’m literally a couple of followers away from 1,000. Follow along and encourage your blogging friends to follow because as soon as I hit 1,000 followers I’ll be running a giveaway! The giveaway features products from MAC, Zoeva, L’Oreal, The Body Shop, NYX + more!

How was your week?

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Sunshine Blogger Award #2

Last week I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by the lovely Hunida – (thank you for the nomination!) Make sure you check out her blog if you haven’t already! Enjoy this post!

Rules:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer the 11 questions asked.
3. Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
4. List the rules and include the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.

Hunida’s Questions:

1. Are you okay with setting your alarm to a time not ending in five or zero?

I think I would be ok with it but I prefer the time to end in a five or a zero, it feels more satisfying.

2. What do you regret spending your money on the most?

I’m quite frugal with money but probably makeup and clothes that I haven’t worn much.

3. How many shots of tequila (or your alcohol of choice) does it take to get you super, super drunk?

I’ve never been drunk and I don’t drink alcohol so I have no idea!

4. Do you like reality shows or do you hate them? If you like them, which one is your all-time favorite?

I’m indifferent, some I like, some I don’t. I used to really love the British version of The X Factor before it became scandalous and over sensationalised. Now I don’t watch very many reality shows but I do enjoy Britain’s Got Talent, The Block NZ (a renovation show), My Kitchen Rules Australia and I watch Strictly Come Dancing if there’s one of my favourite celebrities on it.

5. If any, what superstitions do you believe in?

If you break a mirror you get seven years bad luck.

6. On your birthday, what kind of cake do you usually request?

I don’t have cake every year, there’s probably been more years I haven’t had cake than years I have. I love Victoria Sponge though, the combination of the jam and whipped cream with the soft vanilla sponge is a classic!

7. Do you still blow out candles on your birthday?

I don’t tend to have cake but if I do I like candles.

8. How old did you turn and what did you do for your most favorite birthday celebration?

My 21st birthday was happy and memorable. I went out for dinner with some friends and family and went clubbing afterwards. When I came home from clubbing my mum had decorated the table and living room with balloons and a banner and presents were all over the table. I wrote a blog post about it *HERE*.

9. What is your favourite online store to shop on?

ASOS because they have free returns or Glassons because they have super fast delivery.

10. Do you ever eat raw ramen noodles as a snack?

I’ve never tried ramen noodles before.

11. What is your absolute favorite candle scent?

I like scents that aren’t too strong and I’m not the most adventurous. Can’t go wrong with a simple vanilla!

Nominees:

My Questions:

  1. What is your favourite online store to shop on?
  2. What is your favourite social media platform and why?
  3. What does love mean to you?
  4. What country do you want to visit that you haven’t before?
  5. Tea or coffee? How do you take it?
  6. What camera do you use for blog photos?
  7. Favourite part of your makeup routine?
  8. One style trend you hate?
  9. Hardest part about running a blog?
  10. What topping is usually on your pizza?
  11. What makes you feel better when you’re sad?

There’s no pressure to accept but I’d love to see your answers to my questions! Hope you liked this post and learnt something new about me.

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First Impressions: New MECCA Makeup

In August I shared a post with the items on my MECCA Beauty Wishlist that were currently sitting in my online bag. I culled that down by half and ended up purchasing four of the seven things on my list last week. The items I purchased are all pretty much new brands to me apart from Urban Decay as I won one of their lipsticks through a blog giveaway a few years ago.

The shipping was so quick! I ordered on Monday evening and the order arrived on Wednesday afternoon. I got free shipping and received three samples with my order, one of which I will use and the other two will go in my giveaway pile.

Products listed in order of application:

Products with (N) are new items.

1. Olay Complete UV Lotion Sensitive

2. Too Faced Hangover Primer (N)

3. Rimmel Professional Brow Pencil in 002 Hazel

4. Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation in 010 Light Porcelain

5. Urban Decay Primer Potion (N)

6. MAC StudioFinish Concealer in NW10

7. The Body Shop Honey Bronzer in 01 Light Matte

8. MAC Tan Pigment

9. Rimmel Scandaleyes Lycra Flex Mascara – 003 Extreme Black

10. NARS Mini Orgasm Blush Highlight Duo (N)

11. MAC Syrup

First Impressions:

  • Too Faced Hangover Primer – The coconut scent is faint and fades almost instantly which is good. I’m not a fan of coconut and it’s barely there with this primer. The primer feels very cooling on the skin and is more of a creamy consistency. It doesn’t contain any silicone so it doesn’t feel oily or slippy. The rest of my makeup applied nicely over the top and my skin feels soft. I’ll have to give this a few more tries to see if I like it more than my Makeup Revolution primer.
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion – I was surprised to find out this tube has a doe foot applicator inside it, I thought you squeezed product out! I decided to apply this before my concealer to give it a few minutes to sit on the eyelid before doing my eye makeup. I used my ring finger to apply a light wash of The Body Shop bronzer to my eyelid as a base on top of the primer and the bronzer did stick well. I dabbed MAC’s Tan pigment with the same finger over top and the pigment looks more sparkly than it usually does. The pigment didn’t fade throughout the day or sink into creases on my eyelid. Loving this already!
  • NARS Mini Orgasm Blush Highlight Duo – I finger swatched these the day before applying them and they definitely show up more pigmented on the face – in a good way. I used one side of my Real Techniques Setting Brush for Orgasm and the other side of the brush for the Orgasm highlighter. I don’t often wear blush and highlighter together but these two are so glowy and beautiful and they give a lovely, healthy shine to my cheeks.

The Finished Look:


Have you purchased any new makeup recently? Was it a hit or a miss?

Have you tried any of the products I purchased from MECCA before?

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Redhead Rambles #33

Hello everyone and welcome to ‘Redhead Rambles’. The series does what it says on the tin, it is a redhead (me) rambling about her week. I share what I’ve been up to each week, how I’ve been feeling and what I’ve been listening to or watching. Occasionally I will my share favourite blog posts and links I’ve found useful or interesting.

  • If you know how much I love the number 3 you’ll understand how satisfying it is that this is ramble #33!
  • Last Friday I got called into work. It was so windy outside and sitting at the traffic lights on the way in I could see them shaking in the wind.
  • I saw Sophie Hannah’s new Poirot mystery on the New Release shelf at work and issued it instantly. I finished it over the weekend and absolutely loved it! I’m hoping for more!
  • After work on Friday mum and I went to the mall and I found a brand new book for only $3.00! It’s called Match Me If You Can by Michele Gorman and it sounds like it will be a good laugh with a hint of romance.
  • I applied for Annual Leave at work during the last week of October which is the same week Harry and Meghan are in New Zealand. They will even be visiting my city which is pretty cool!
  • On Monday evening I placed a MECCA Beauty order which arrived less than 48 hours later on Wednesday afternoon. I created a makeup look with the three makeup items on Thursday and absolutely loved it. A blog post will be up sharing which products I used next Monday but I shared an image on Instagram if you want to see in advance how the look turned out. Spoiler: I love the products and I’m super happy with how they looked on my skin!
  • On Tuesday my ASOS order arrived and sadly the dress was a disappointment. It was big around the shoulders as mine are quite narrow but the elasticated waist didn’t fall in the right place on me and it wasn’t flattering. I posted the dress back on Thursday. The scarf is amazing though! The colour and pattern are really pretty and I’ve worn it already!
  • For most of this week I’ve had a sad feeling and I think it’s mostly hormone related but I’ve felt really uneasy. I’ve been missing my ex again as around this time two years ago we met for the first time and everything was new and exciting and I remember being so happy at that point in my life. I don’t know if this is TMI but the idea of physical touching, kissing and hugging makes me feel sick and like it’s dirty/wrong to think of that now. Maybe it’s because I’m associating it with the person who hurt me but I don’t want it to be a hurdle in the future. Let me know if you’d like a post exploring that a bit further, I think it could be interesting and honest, personal stories and experiences are what I do well on this blog. It could even turn into a Hey, It’s Okay…
  • Alongside the uneasy feelings and sadness there have been moments of anger and confusion relating to online dating this week too. I’ve never slammed dating apps in the past as that’s how I met my first boyfriend (so it can work) but this time round I have had a different experience. I didn’t expect it would be the same as before and I was going to get a boyfriend quickly and we’d meet and hit it off and that would be it. I can barely have a conversation, let alone get to the point of actually meeting up with somebody. I’m not afraid to ask what kind of thing they’re looking for or ask questions to try and get to know the person better but 90% of them only seem to want one thing, unmatch me or just stop responding. I see it as an indication that they aren’t worth getting to know but in today’s digital, online world it can be frustrating. Everything is done behind a screen and they would rather message on Facebook than meet for a bite to eat or see a movie. I’m a bit more traditional and prefer to get to know someone in person. I feel like I could write a whole post on this subject too so again, let me know if you’d like one.

What I’ve been listening to:

Silk City and Dua Lipa – Electricity – Dua Lipa is like Ellie Goulding 2.0 for me. Nearly every song she makes I love, her tone is distinctive and she’s British! Dua teams up with Silk City and Mark Ronson for this catchy house offering.

How was your week?

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The End of Blogging?

No, don’t worry I’m not saying goodbye yet… you’re stuck with me a while longer, but have you ever thought about what happens when you decide to stop blogging? Do you remove content? Do you leave your blog up? What would happen if blogs didn’t exist anymore? Over the past wee while I have had these thoughts pop into my head and I wanted to use this post to explore them.

As some of you may know I started this blog in June 2014 and I have stuck with it for over four years! My blog is where I share what’s going on in my life, what I’ve been buying, the makeup I love and some of my most personal thoughts – it’s almost like a diary. During the four years I have been blogging I have seen many bloggers come and go, others segue into more of a YouTube presence and some stop because of something that’s happened in their life.

I have wondered when’s the right time to go and if blogging ever became unenjoyable and felt like a chore that would be a sign it may be time to move on. During my four years I have had a few breaks here and there and they do help me feel refreshed and miss writing again. If something major happened that meant I couldn’t blog anymore I would be sad but it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

One of the biggest things that puzzles me is what happens to all the words and the posts you’ve written? I know there’s an export tool through WordPress but does that keep all the posts in one place or does it export your site and your theme only? It’s sad to think all of the comments and the words each blogger has carefully written and crafted could just disappear with the click of a button. Personally I don’t draft/write my posts in a program like Microsoft Word then copy them over to WordPress. I draft in WordPress and once that is done posts are scheduled and published. Do people keep backups of all their posts?

If you do decide you want to stop blogging, would you delete your site and remove all the content? If you choose not to delete your site, after a certain amount of time does WordPress do it for you if there’s been no activity? I’ve never heard these things talked about in the blogging world before and maybe I’m naive for not looking into them myself but I’d rather have discussions with my readers than read through articles on Google and not have any personal experiences to go off.

With the likes of Snapchat, Instagram stories and IGTV, micro-blogging is becoming more of a trend. I can see the appeal and it’s quick and easy but I believe there is still a place for blogs. You can’t beat hopping on your laptop and scrolling through a bunch of posts from your favourite bloggers! There’s something about Instagram that seems polished and there’s definitely a certain aesthetic that lots of people follow and stick to. I also feel that you couldn’t write as many words as you can for a blog post because let’s face it who wants to sit there and scroll through Instagram if your captions are 1000 words long. With a blog post it’s easier to digest the length because often words are broken up with pictures. If you don’t read the post straight away it’s easier for you to go back to later, there’s no algorithm that puts certain posts above others.

The rise of social media has no doubt been a contributing factor to the popularity of blogs and the number of people creating a blog in the past 5-6 years. People who choose to start a blog have their own reasons for doing so and I started mine when I was unemployed and looking for a job. Over that time I have grown and learnt so much and while I’ve never seen my blog as super popular, I have come to know of so many lovely people and the people that do take time to read and comment make my day. I don’t blog for money, popularity or freebies. I blog because I enjoy it and it’s my own little place on the internet.

I’m not sure what will happen with blogs in the future but for now I think they’re here to stay! Blogging full time has turned into a career for a number of people and I say good on them for being so dedicated and working hard to do a ‘job’ they love. I put job in inverted commas because there’s a quote that goes, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” If you truly love what you do day to day you feel fulfilled and working hard comes easy because it’s fun.

As I said at the beginning of this post, I don’t intend to stop blogging soon. To all of the people who currently blog or those who are thinking of taking the plunge and starting, enjoy it! Once it stops becoming enjoyable it may be time to assess and re-evaluate if it’s still what you want. It’s cliche, but write a blog you’d want to read!


What are your thoughts on how blogging has changed and have you thought about stopping at any point? What would make you stop blogging?

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Nighttime Beauty Routine

I know the importance of skincare and having a good routine but if I’m honest all of the products, oils, serums and acids confuse me! My skin tends to be on the drier side, I don’t get a lot of acne which I am thankful for and ultimately I don’t like to use too many products and keep things simple. Over the past 3-4 months my skin has been pretty good and I put that down to my current combination of products.

In this post I talk you through what I’m loving for my skin and also mention what I use to keep my lips and hands in tip top condition.

Cleanser:

Clinique Take the Day Off Balm – I won this cleansing balm in a giveaway 18 months ago and I’ve barely made a dent in it! Granted I don’t use this every time I remove makeup but I have started using it more regularly lately and I find it gets makeup off my face so easily and doesn’t leave my face feeling greasy afterwards. The texture changes from a balm to an oil when it is applied to the skin and you can use as little or as much as you like. The product is not scented and doesn’t irritate my skin. For all you sensitive skinned beauties out there I urge you to try this.

Masks:

The Body Shop Honey & Oat 3 in 1 Scrub Mask – This mask I use 2-3 times a week and it is very gentle on the skin. It’s also great if you want a quick mask, the tub recommends leaving it on for 5-10 minutes. The mask contains bits of oat but they don’t feel scratchy on the skin when the mask is applied. The scent of this is very natural and a little goes a long way.

Natio Face Mask Purifier – I have used this face mask for a while now and I’m currently on my second tube. A 100g tube will last me a couple of years. I tend to use this 1-2 times a week depending on how oily my skin is and how often I’ve worn makeup. This is a clay mask and contains kaolin but the mask doesn’t feel too drying. This mask is also unscented which is good if you’re sensitive to smell.

Moisturiser:

Palmer’s Moisture Rich Night Cream – I picked this moisturiser up on Feel Unique in late 2017 and started using it in March 2018. It comes in a 75g glass jar (which would be a little heavy for travel) but for the price I paid that’s a generous size – I paid $14 (NZD) from memory. I love the scent of this, it’s a cross between cocoa butter and shea. If you’re sensitive to smell the scent doesn’t linger. It is recommended to only use this at night as Retinol is listed as one of the ingredients and it can make your skin more sensitive to the sun which is why using a day moisturiser with SPF is encouraged.

Facial oil:

Trilogy Sensitive Very Gentle Restoring Oil – A couple of months ago I was trying to decide whether to try a facial oil or a serum. I settled on an oil as the texture is more lightweight and soaks into the skin easier. Ever since I started using this oil I have noticed the biggest difference, my skin feels softer, my skin is less dry and foundation and concealer don’t settle into lines around my nose as much. I use roughly 4 drops of this oil every night and apply it after moisturiser. The oil is unscented and contains maqui berry, apricot, and sea buckthorn. It’s rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants.

Lip Treatments:

Clarins Lip Comfort Oil in Honey –  I am not the biggest fan of honey scents but this lip oil smells good! I tend to use this if my lips feel extra dry or to protect them in the cold weather. The oil feels tacky upon application but soon loses that sticky feeling. The applicator picks up a generous amount and I normally do two lighter coats on each lip rather than one.

Vaseline Cocoa Butter – I try to apply lip balm most nights before bed to keep my lips soft and supple and this lip balm is lovely. The little pot is the cutest and it will last ages! The Cocoa Butter scent smells good enough to eat and this works just as well as normal Vaseline in a jar, plus it’s easier to tote around.

Hand cream:

The Body Shop Frosted Plum – I have finished up numerous tubes of hand cream from The  Body Shop in various scents. Currently I am using Frosted Plum which I picked up last December as it was one of the festive scents. The smell is like a floral plum and whilst it is ok it’s not my favourite. The hand cream is moisturising though and comes in a fetching metallic purple tube! Hand cream is the final step in my evening routine before lights out.


What products are essential to your nighttime routine?

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Redhead Rambles #32

Hello everyone and welcome to ‘Redhead Rambles’. The series does what it says on the tin, it is a redhead (me) rambling about her week. I share what I’ve been up to each week, how I’ve been feeling and what I’ve been listening to or watching. Occasionally I will my share favourite blog posts and links I’ve found useful or interesting.

  • The weather last Friday was absolutely stunning!
  • I tidied my room, rearranged my desk and got rid of some clutter.
  • Saturday marked the first day of spring in the Southern Hemisphere and I created a simple, pretty makeup look which I shared on Instagram.
  • On Saturday afternoon mum and I went into town. I had a craving for Burger King and then we looked in a couple of shops. I bought a pair of pyjama pants, a shirt and some earrings.
  • After being in town I went for a drive in a new spot that enables me to go straight for a decent amount of time and there’s also a couple of roundabouts which is good to start getting used to those. I drove my car and I didn’t panic this time.
  • I was very tired on Saturday night and Sunday night. (Not sure why).
  • My nail split at work on Monday and I had to pull a chunk of it off. Luckily it wasn’t too far down and didn’t hurt.
  • Mum cut my fringe and it always takes a week or so after it’s cut before I like how it looks again.
  • On Monday evening I ordered two things from ASOS – this dress and this scarf. I saw the dress in one of Fleur De Force’s recent videos and I commented on a photo of her wearing it on Instagram saying how pretty it looked. The scarf was a bit of an impulse buy but I really like the red-pink colour of it. A couple of my other scarves are dark so the colour will pop against black clothing. Coincidentally both items are from Miss Selfridge which is a brand I have never purchased from before.
  • On Tuesday I texted a school friend for her birthday and we both agreed to catch up soon.
  • I entered Rachael’s 500K Views Giveaway. Rachael is one of my favourite bloggers, not only is she beautiful and creates stunning makeup looks, she is a machine at finishing up products and is one of the hardest working bloggers.
  • On Wednesday I felt like sparkle so I wore Fuchsia Fusion by NYX from their Cosmic Metals range on my lips. I’m still adamant this is the prettiest lip colour I’ve ever seen!
  • I sang along to some of my favourite Delta Goodrem tracks and caught up with YouTube videos on Wednesday evening.
  • Thursday I spent chilling, and most of the day consisted of reading. I finished an eBook and started my next novel.
  • I joined Goodreads. My challenge to read 50 books in a year ended last Friday (I managed 45 books btw) and I want to try recording what I read on the site so myself and others can see what I enjoy or what I don’t finish. It’ll take a bit of learning to get used to how the site works but it’s an easy way to track things.
  • Thursday’s dinner was Chicken Kiev with boiled potatoes. I don’t have Chicken Kiev very often but I do enjoy garlic and felt like one when I saw them in the supermarket a couple of days earlier.

What I’ve been listening to:

  • My ‘good vibes :)’ playlist on iTunes – This playlist contains songs that I never get tired of listening to and songs that always make me happy.

How was your week?

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What I’ve Been Reading – Winter

I enjoyed this blog series so much and being able to document my reading journey over the past 12 months. I can’t believe how quickly the challenge went! I didn’t achieve my goal of 50 books in one year but I came pretty damn close and I am proud of myself for how well I did. (Scroll down to the bottom of the post to see how close to 50 books I got!)

Let me know your thoughts on this series and if you enjoyed it. I want to do something similar and track what I read in the next year too. I may join and try Goodreads – I know you can set goals and record books you read. Maybe I’ll continue to post the seasonal roundup images on Instagram if you just want a quick glance at what I’ve been reading too.

NB: Items marked with * are ebooks so I wasn’t able to photograph the cover images myself.

#1. The Weekend Wives – Christina Hopkinson

This story follows three women (Emily, Tamsin and Sasha) who all live the weekend wife lifestyle; their husbands work away from home during the week and often the couples only see each other at weekends. The three women are friends so each of their individual stories intertwine and work within the book cohesively. Tamsin is married to a controlling John, Sasha’s husband Ned spends most of his time in LA and a secret from his past threatens to destroy their relationship and Emily feels like Matt is slipping further and further away. Emily suspects Matt is having an affair, he spends all his time on his phone and is very distant. The women need something to do while their husbands are away so Emily and Sasha try to save Tamsin from John and reacquaint her with her first love. The book deals with a few nitty gritty topics and is not a romance novel by any means. I really enjoyed it!

#2. The Little Flower Shop By the Sea – Ali McNamara

This book has been on my to read list for a while. I read Letters From Lighthouse Cottage by this author and loved it so I was looking forward to getting stuck into this book. Poppy Carmichael inherits her grandmother’s flower shop in the town of St Felix. Poppy has been away from St Felix for quite some time and when she comes back she is not only reminded of her past but she meets local florist Jake and their ‘friendship’ isn’t always smooth sailing. Poppy must confront her past and and learn to let the healing powers of St Felix and the flower shop work their magic. This was a really pleasant read!

#3. 4:50 From Paddington* – Agatha Christie

Elspeth McGillicuddy witnesses a murder at Paddington Station but there doesn’t seem to be a victim, a suspect or any other witnesses. The only person who believes Mrs McGillicuddy is her friend Miss Marple. Miss Marple enlists the help of Lucy Eyelesbarrow who takes up a post at Rutherford Hall and a body is soon discovered. No one is sure who the victim is and suspicion falls on the Crackenthorpe family. It’s up to Miss Marple to help Elspeth remember what she saw to solve the case. This was the first Miss Marple mystery I’ve read and I enjoyed it a lot, it really kept me guessing and going back and forth as to who the murderer was.

#4. A Caribbean Mystery* – Agatha Christie

Marple is abroad in this mystery where supposedly nothing ever happens in paradise until Major Palgrave is found dead. Only the day before he is found murdered the Major was telling Miss Marple about a murder that happened a few years ago and tries to show her an incriminating photograph until something, or rather someone in the distance catches his eye. Interrupted, Major Palgrave doesn’t get to finish his story and Miss Marple is determined to solve who he saw that afternoon and piece together why the Major was silenced.

#5. How To Fall In Love – Cecelia Ahern

Cecelia Ahern is one of my favourite authors and I hadn’t read anything from her for quite a while until this book. Christine stops Adam from jumping off Ha’penny Bridge and tries to teach him how to fall back in love with his life in the two weeks leading up to his 35th birthday. Through a series of wild escapades, romantic gestures, and late night outings Christine is determined to change Adam’s mind and if Adam does change his mind will Christine be able to let go of him? This book deals with serious topics (suicide and depression) and credit to the author for handling them with care and in such a beautiful way. I found this book relatable, the characters had recently been through break ups and Christine always wants what’s best for everyone and wants to help.

#6. The Darkest Secret – Alex Marwood

This book is an example of a cleverly written blurb that makes the story sound more intriguing than it is. I finished the book within a week so I didn’t hate it but it wasn’t as gripping as the cover made it seem. The book is set over two weekends 12 years apart, the first weekend in 2004 sees identical twin Coco go missing during a family celebration and the second is the weekend of Coco’s father’s funeral. There are lots of different characters which does keep the reader guessing about what really happened to Coco but the reveal isn’t groundbreaking.

#7. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine* – Gail Honeyman

I have heard mixed reviews about this book but I knew I wanted to read it anyway! Eleanor Oliphant struggles with social skills and says exactly what she’s thinking. Eleanor’s routine lifestyle begins to change when she meets Raymond (the IT guy from her office) and the two of them help an elderly gentleman when he falls on the sidewalk. Raymond helps Eleanor deal with her emotions, repair her heart and come to terms with her eventful past. The book doesn’t explicitly state the two become a couple but by the way the ending is written I like to think it is implied. In some ways I relate to Eleanor. I’m not always good in social situations and don’t have savoir faire, sometimes things can be awkward. I like the fact Eleanor stays true to who she is and doesn’t change and finds Raymond who accepts that. I don’t dislike the book but I think it is over-hyped. That being said I’ll be interested to watch the film when it’s released.

#8. The Summer of Serendipity – Ali McNamara

This is the third book I have read by Ali McNamara and it is my least favourite so far.  Serendipity ‘Ren’ Parker is a property seeker and finds herself on the west coast of Ireland hunting for a home for a client. She finds the perfect house but no one knows who owns it. It’s up to Ren to track down the owner and uncover the legend surrounding the property. In the middle of all of this Ren finds herself distracted by Finn, the manager of the local hotel. I still enjoyed the book but there wasn’t much in the way of plot and I wish there had been more about Ren and Finn’s relationship.

#9. Let Me Lie – Clare Mackintosh

Anna Johnson’s parents supposedly committed suicide seven months apart but on the anniversary of her mother’s death Anna gets a card in the mail which makes her start to question if her parents were murdered and if someone is trying to taunt her. Anna involves Murray McKenzie who is a former police officer and together they figure out what really went on. There are unexpected twists and the ending isn’t what I imagined at all. Someone I follow on Twitter loved a book by this author (not sure if it was this exact one) but when I saw this at work I didn’t hesitate to pick it up. This was much more enjoyable than the previous thriller I read, The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood.

#10. Still Me – Jojo Moyes

I have been waiting to read this since it was released! Still Me follows Louisa Clark’s adventures in New York. Louisa lands herself a job working for Leonard Gopnik and his wife and also has to deal with her long distance relationship with paramedic Sam who is back in The UK. Sam comes to New York to visit Louisa but it doesn’t all quite go to plan and Louisa starts questioning who she really is and what she wants; job wise and relationship wise. During this time Louisa befriends Mrs De Witt who lives in the same building as the Gopniks and she begins to realise what it is she wants. This story has a sweet ending which leaves the possibility open for a fourth book but there seems to be a little bit of Louisa charm missing. It’s my least favourite book out of the three but I’m still a big fan of the series.

#11. A Different Kind of Evil – Andrew Wilson

I read Andrew Wilson’s previous Agatha Christie mystery earlier in the year and loved it. I haven’t read many mysteries this season compared to others and it was good to get stuck into another one. Wilson uses Agatha Christie as a character and creates stories based on factual elements of her life. The story begins with Agatha traveling to the Canary Islands to investigate the death of an agent of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS). Whilst onboard the cruise ship she witnesses a woman fling herself over the side of the ship. Throughout her stay at The Grand Hotel she learns the young woman’s suicide is related to the murder of the SIS agent and it’s up to her to uncover the truth. This book was such a pleasure to read and I’m so happy there’s going to be a third book.

#12. Let’s Meet On Platform 8 – Carole Matthews

Teri is on the hunt for Mr Right. She’s been through Mr Lazy, Mr Greedy and Mr Completely Selfish to name a few and whilst waiting for a train one evening she is literally knocked off her feet by Jamie Duncan. Quickly their relationship begins to blossom but the only question is, is Mr Right Mr Available? I feel like I have to spoil this book to share what I thought of it. Jamie is married with children and initially Jamie and Teri’s relationship is friendly and they catch the train together but it does develop and Jamie and Teri end up sleeping together after much deliberation from Jamie. Pamela finds out about Jamie and Teri and Jamie and Pamela end up staying together – Jamie breaks things off with Teri. As a reader I felt this story was written in a gentle, respectful way. Jamie wasn’t using Teri and Teri truly did care for Jamie, there’s a part of me that almost wanted them to stay together.

#13. Some Kind of Wonderful* – Giovanna Fletcher

Lizzy and Ian have been a couple since university and after being together for decade and a trip to Dubai on the horizon everyone thinks a proposal is imminent. Instead of the proposal Lizzy hopes for Ian reveals he doesn’t want them to be together anymore. Lizzy is heartbroken but she soon realises this is her chance to seize opportunities and figure out who she really is apart from Ian with the help of friends, family and a potential new man. This was an easy book to read with a lighthearted story about finding yourself after a breakup.

Unfinished:

(Any unfinished books will not be included in the total yearly count).

#1. The Loveliest Chocolate Shop In Paris – Jenny Colgan

This book sounds like a girl’s dream, romance, Paris and chocolate but I couldn’t get into it at all. The book is told in two parts. The modern day story follows Anna to Paris where she gets a job with a master chocolatier after an accident which lands her in hospital back in England. Whilst in hospital she reconnects with her former French teacher Claire whose backstory forms the other part of the book. Claire’s story takes place in 1972 when she is an au pair in Paris. Claire and Thierry (the master chocolatier) were a couple and that’s how she gets Anna the job. Anna also possibly finds love with Thierry’s son but I didn’t read on to see if that was the case. Not the girly, chick lit story I was hoping for.


Books finished in winter = 13.

Total number of books read = 45.

Other posts in the series:


Have you read any of the books mentioned in this post?

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Gratitude: August 2018

August felt like a busy month and it was nice to be distracted. I bought some new makeup from MAC and xoBeauty. I picked up my glasses and got them readjusted and they are now sitting comfortably. I’ve been a little naughty and had some fast food but I don’t often buy my lunch, I always take food to work and I tend to prefer takeaways for dinner. I’ve been reading and singing and practicing my driving too.

Here’s what made me smile:

August 1: Didn’t think I was going to make my bus on time but I did.

August 2: MAC goodies arrived!

August 3: Leftover Dominos pizza.

August 4: Days where I can read a lot are some of my favourites.

August 5: Love trying new makeup!

August 6: Three Pepper Chicken is my new favourite from Subway.

August 7: Finished Still Me.

August 8: Brainstormed new page ideas for my Bullet Journal.

August 9: Picked up my new glasses!

August 10: Did all my cleaning jobs.

August 11: Made my second xoBeauty order.

August 12: Good makeup day and nice weather.

August 13: Seems I’m not the only one who likes my bold lip colours, people tend to notice when I don’t wear one.

August 14: Love trying on lipstick for the first time!

August 15: Got my glasses readjusted and they fit so much better now.

August 16: Found new books for my TBR list.

August 17: New Ariana music.

August 18: Garlic bread for lunch.

August 19: Hot chocolate and donuts with a friend.

August 20: Peachy, shimmery makeup look.

August 21: Wore my black glasses to work for the first time and got told they suited me.

August 22: Strangely satisfying removing chipped nail polish.

August 23: Fish and chips for dinner.

August 24: Felt comfortable driving mum’s car today.

August 25: Watched Unforgotten for the first time. Hooked already!

August 26: Toasted sandwich with cheese, spaghetti and potato – yum.

August 27: Halo looked extra cute today.

August 28: Hug Me is such a cute name for a lipstick!

August 29: First evening sing-a-long of the week. My singer dream will never die.

August 30: Binge watched series one of Unforgotten. Only took 4 hours and 20 minutes.

August 31: Tidied my bedroom.


What were you grateful for in August?

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Redhead Rambles #31

Hello everyone and welcome to ‘Redhead Rambles’. The series does what it says on the tin, it is a redhead (me) rambling about her week. I share what I’ve been up to each week, how I’ve been feeling and what I’ve been listening to or watching. Occasionally I will my share favourite blog posts and links I’ve found useful or interesting.

  • It’s been a relatively quiet week compared to some others so this post may not be as long.
  • I drove my mum’s car on Friday and it felt more natural. The steering is heavier as her car is bigger than mine and there’s more resistance when I use the pedals. By more resistance I mean you have to push the pedals harder to make them work which I like. I may have also found a new spot to try driving in.
  • I cleaned the oven – good daughter points!
  • After cleaning the oven my nails were in need of filing from all the scrubbing. The following day I painted them using The I’s Have It by OPI.
  • I had a small YouTube binge watch of fellow blogger, Lora’s channel. *CLICK HERE* to visit her blog.
  • On Saturday afternoon I was reading an ebook on the couch with a blanket and Halo came and sat with me.
  • I created a bookshelf page in my Bullet Journal and added in titles of books I want to read in the future. Currently I have a bulleted list of books to read and the page is full. I thought I’d try a more creative version and see which I like better. I took inspiration from this image on Pinterest:
  • On Tuesday morning I woke up with a horrible headache but thankfully it went away shortly after I got to work.
  • That night my aunt came for a visit.
  • As part of working at the library I go out and visit a few schools with the mobile library (where we take books to children) and the weather wasn’t the best. It could have been worse but it was very grey and windy. I went out with someone I hadn’t gone with before and it was nice to chat to her and get to know her better.
  • I tried the new raspberry lemonade energy drink from V and while it was nice I don’t know that I’d buy it again and it doesn’t taste as good as raspberry lemonade with lemonade and raspberry cordial. I seldom have energy drinks btw.
  • Thursday was dull, grey weather too but not as much rain.
  • Also on Thursday I had a lazy day. I didn’t sleep in (for a change) but I stayed in my pyjamas, read and watched the complete first season of Unforgotten. Series two started in New Zealand last week and I rented series one from work earlier this week in case there were any overlapping storylines. The stories are powerful and expertly interwoven. SO GOOD!

How was your week?

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