Sunshine Blogger Award

Hi everyone! Last month the lovely Pamela over at Starring Pamela tagged me to do the Sunshine Blogger Award. Thinking back briefly over my four years of blogging, I don’t think I’ve done this one before which is exciting! Make sure you visit Pamela’s blog if you haven’t already and I hope you enjoy this post!

Rules:

1. Thank blogger(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.

2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.

3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.

4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Pamela’s Questions:

1. What is your main goal of 2018?

To read 50 books in a year. I started in September 2017 and I’ve got until September 2018 to achieve it. I think it will be close but I might not hit 50.

2. Do you believe in any conspiracy theories?

No but I find some of them interesting.

3. What is your favorite organizational style?

Minimalistic.

4. Do you have any hidden talents?

I can sing. I did a talent quest at school and sang in front of strangers so it’s not just my mum who’s told me I’m good.

5. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?

England/The UK; until I have visited this answer won’t change!

6. What is one touristy thing in your hometown that you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t?

Relax in the hot pools. I live in a very geothermic city with geysers and lots of natural hot springs.

7. Do you have any surprising hobbies?

I like to watch ODI cricket when NZ play and it’s on free to air television.

8. Favorite type of socks?

Ankle socks.

9. Do you have one go-to handbag or change them up often?

I tend to stick with the same handbag unless I need a bigger one for a certain day or want my bag to match my outfit.

10. What is something you’re looking forward to this week?

Seeing my boyfriend, I look forward to that every week 😛

11. What is the most recent song you’ve listened to?

Natalie Bassingthwaighte  – Alive (at the time of writing this post).

My Nominees:

My Questions:

  1. What is the most recent song you’ve listened to?
  2. Summer or winter? Why?
  3. Do you have any pets?
  4. What’s your favourite comfort food?
  5. Apple or Samsung?
  6. Why did you start blogging?
  7. Is there something you haven’t done before but would like to?
  8. What are your most visited websites?
  9. Do you believe in soulmates?
  10. Best piece of life advice you’ve received?
  11. What was the last book you read?

If you do participate I can’t wait to read your answers!

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What I’ve Been Reading – Summer

It is time for the second seasonal round up and it means I am halfway through my challenge of trying to read 50 books in 12 months. I started the challenge in September 2017.

At the start of summer I was zooming along, meeting my aim of one book a week. I picked up a few duds along the way and tried to persist with them but they slowed me down. Ideally I would have read 25 books by now but that is not the case. All hits and misses are outlined below.

#1. About Last Night – Catherine Alliott

I had been looking forward to reading this book for a while and sadly I was underwhelmed. I didn’t find it funny or irresistible as the cover suggests. This book took me longer than some of the previous ones I’ve read in this challenge as it wasn’t keeping me interested. The story is kind of dull and there’s not a lot going on. Molly has swapped London for rural Herefordshire and when a relative of her late husband’s leaves a London townhouse in her possession she has to decide whether she will go back to her London lifestyle or make a go of her country life. Along the way the reader meets three potential suitors for Molly and one of the things that kept me reading was to see which one she chooses. The story is long winded but if you’re a fan of this author you’ll probably like it.

#2. After the Funeral – Agatha Christie

I read my first Agatha Christie mystery in the Spring roundup and instantly knew I wanted to read more. As someone who watched the stories on TV before reading them I didn’t realise how quick and easy the books are to read. The stories are well thought out and explained and all loose ends are tied up. I briefly remember this episode of Poirot and was almost certain I knew who the culprit was – I was correct.

#3. The Monogram Murders – Sophie Hannah

I have been on a real Agatha Christie murder mystery kick lately and I discovered Sophie Hannah has written two ‘new’ Hercule Poirot mysteries (I’m hoping for more). The character of Hercule Poirot is captured beautifully and Sophie Hannah does a brilliant job with him. Poirot has a new sidekick, Edward Catchpool who works at Scotland Yard, and the books are told from his point of view. This mystery was exciting, gripping and had plenty of twists and turns. Sophie Hannah’s books are longer than Agatha Christie’s but the story doesn’t feel drawn out. If you’re a Poirot fan, you’ll love them!

#4. The Anxiety Toolkit – Alice Boyes

This book was a quick, easy read but personally I didn’t find it called out to my anxiety. The quizzes at the start of each chapter were useful as it gave you an idea how much each chapter would relate to you and what you might like to take away from that section. I thought the book would include more tips on how to cope with different types of anxiety but it seemed to generalise rather than give specific examples. It didn’t teach me anything about anxiety, for example how many people suffer from it or the common types.

#5. Closed Casket – Sophie Hannah

This is the second ‘new’ Hercule Poirot novel. The story is typical Poirot, the mystery takes place at a grand, upper class house and there is a whole host of suspects. The story is simple and revolves around figuring out whodunnit. Catchpool returns as Poirot’s sidekick and together they find the culprit. I really, really hope Sophie Hannah writes more Poirot mysteries!

#6. How To Find Love In a Bookshop – Veronica Henry

This book was an easy, enjoyable read. The story centres around Emilia who takes over Nightingale Books after her father passes away. Emilia battles trying to keep the shop open with her personal life and we meet some of the bookshop’s customers along the way and learn the books they all cherish. The story felt very real and believable and I will look into other books by Veronica Henry as a result.

#7. Billy & Me – Giovanna Fletcher

I read this book in four days. I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the way the delicate moments and emotional conversations are written. Sophie May is the lead character who works in the local tea shop, lives with her mum and doesn’t have a lot of friends. When actor Billy Buskin comes to town and sweeps Sophie off her feet, her quiet life starts to turn around. Sophie has to cope with media scrutiny, actor life with Billy as well as her own insecurities. Part of the reason I liked this story so much is because I can relate to some of Sophie’s insecurities. As a reader you’re rooting for Sophie and you want her to be happy. I won’t spoil the book for you but the ending doesn’t disappoint.

Unfinished:

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

#1. A Is For Arsenic – Kathryn Harkup

I have been enjoying Agatha Christie’s books lately and I thought this non-fiction offering would be just as interesting. Agatha Christie was famous for using various poisons in her stories and this book talks about how they work and references the Agatha Christie stories the poisons are used in. When I borrowed the book I didn’t realise it would be so science based. I find the asterisks and all the footnotes hard to follow, there are multiple on each page. I got 50 pages in before deciding not to continue. Life’s too short to read books that don’t interest you. If you like science you would find this interesting but I’m more into creative stories.

#2. Highland Fling – Katie Fforde

Katie Fforde is an author whose name I’ve seen pop up a lot but I’d never actually read any of her work. I briefly browsed through a list of her books and what they are about and settled on Highland Fling. The story sounds right up my street but this book doesn’t have any action and I almost felt like as I was reading it I didn’t know what was happening. I made it two thirds of the way through before realising I’ve been reading this book for almost a month, (usually I can finish a book in a week) and I’m not enjoying it so I should move onto something else. How long it takes me to read a book is a sign of whether I like it or not.


Books finished in summer = 7.

Total number of books read = 16.

Other posts in the series:


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

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What I’ve Been Reading – Spring

At the beginning of September I announced a new blog series, What I’ve Been Reading. At the end of each season I will be rounding up the books I have read during that three month period and discussing them. My goal is to read 50 books throughout the duration of the year, which roughly equates to one a week.

Here’s the first roundup:

#1: The Singles Game – Lauren Weisberger

Anyone for tennis? First off, I’m a huge fan of the cover of this book. It’s girly and the camera doesn’t pick it up but the gold bits are reflective. Lauren Weisberger, New York Times bestselling author (The Devil Wears Prada, Revenge Wears Prada) gives us a dishy tell-all about a tennis prodigy who changes coaches and begins making headlines on and off the court. Charlie fires her coach following a devastating loss and injury and becomes Todd Feltner’s first ever female player. He has strict rules and a game plan to turn Charlie into a ruthless competitor. Charlie travels the globe, plays charity matches, models in photo shoots and walks the red carpet, all with sexy Spaniard, Marco Vallejo at her side. Can the illusion last or will Charlie turn her back on Todd and her new lifestyle? The detail and knowledge about the tennis tournaments is well written but the plot didn’t seem realistic. The ending wasn’t predictable though and it was nice to stay hooked until the end. Not a bad read but nothing particularly memorable.

#2: A Walk In the Park – Jill Mansell

Lara Carson returns to Bath after eighteen years. Her best friend Evie is getting married and Lara’s ex-boyfriend, Flynn, turns up at the wedding which doesn’t end up going ahead. It’s not long before Flynn discovers the reason Lara left all those years ago, she was pregnant with his child. Lara has to juggle sharing her daughter with Flynn, looking after Evie and coming to terms with her feelings for Flynn – could there be a spark after all that time? The storyline is well written but I wasn’t a big fan of the ending. It was predictable and left me wanting more, it didn’t feel complete. I did enjoy the book overall and I will consider other books by Jill Mansell.

#3: What I Did On My Holidays – Chrissie Manby

I absolutely loved this book! It was laugh out loud funny and a really easy book to read. The plot wasn’t one I’d read before and the storyline was succinct but still well developed. The book follows Sophie Sturgeon and her upcoming trip to Majorca. The night before she’s set to leave, her boyfriend and meant to be holiday companion, Callum, dumps her. Sophie decides to hide in her London flat with her sister and recreate the ultimate fake break. The results are hilarious and prove things don’t always go as planned, much like real life. Sophie is a lovable character who wants the best for everyone and a character who by the end of the book is not afraid to act in her best interests.

#4: It Started With Paris – Cathy Kelly

This is one of my favourite books on the list! The cover is really cute and you can tell straight away there’s going to be romance running through it. At the beginning you’re introduced to a lot of characters but as the story goes on it makes sense and you see how they tie in together. The book begins with a young man proposing to his girlfriend at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Things don’t only begin to change for the happy couple, but for their friends and family back in Ireland too. The tales of all characters are weaved in together and it gave me a sense of a small town where everyone knows everybody else, in a good way. The core love theme is really sweet and while it’s not always smooth sailing it’s a very real part of life. The ending wasn’t predictable and left me feeling happy. Matters were resolved and I wasn’t left with any questions. I highly recommend this book – it is lengthy but certainly wasn’t boring, there was always something happening to hold my attention.

#5: The Beginner’s Photography Guide – Chris Gatcum

The first non-fiction offering! As you may know I purchased a Canon 700D DSLR camera in July and I try to get my camera out as much as possible. I know the basics and do use manual mode but I thought this book would have some great tips and tricks. I flicked through it in one afternoon and in all honesty didn’t find it that useful. There were sections that only apply if you have multiple lenses and camera accessories and equipment and I thought if you are a true beginner, chances are you’re not going to have those. The book was an easy read and I did learn a few things but it’s not essential if you’re a DSLR user.

#6: Dead Man’s Folly – Agatha Christie

I have watched many an episode of Poirot in my time but this is the first of Agatha Christie’s stories I have read. David Suchet does such a magnificent job playing Hercule Poirot, he plays the part beautifully and he was what I could picture as I read the book. I enjoy mystery stories and I really liked this one because it was short and didn’t get confusing. I can see why a lot of people are fans of Agatha Christie. I would love to read more of her Poirot mysteries, they’re easy to read and it’s nice to throw mystery in amongst what I normally read.

#7: Poirot and Me – David Suchet

This book was so sweet. I read it immediately after Dead Man’s Folly and it tells of such a happy, momentous period of David Suchet’s life. He played Poirot on screen for 25 years and got to fulfill his dream of bringing all 70 stories to television. The book focuses on Suchet’s Poirot years but he also talks of other acting opportunities, funny moments and small snippets of his family life. Throughout the book you can feel the joy he felt playing Poirot and on many occasions describes Poirot as his friend. If you are a fan of David Suchet or Poirot you won’t regret reading this!

#8: Beautiful Messy Love – Tess Woods

I didn’t enjoy this book. The story is broken down into chapters each featuring one of four main characters. The connection between the characters, essentially two couples is established early on. I did like reading the viewpoints/perspectives of each character and that there wasn’t repetitive content and the same story told four times. I didn’t find the humour funny and I found some of the ‘nitty gritty’ immature. The sexual moments were very blatant, I’m no prude but there was nothing left to the imagination. The title gives off this sweet, love story vibe and the plot doesn’t represent that. My least favourite of the finished fiction books.

#9: The Love of a Lifetime – Melissa Hill

I saw this book in a store earlier in 2017 and knew instantly I wanted to read it. It is a classic love story and follows main character Beth and her passion for Hollywood movies. Beth and her boyfriend Danny have been together for seven years but has their initial romance settled into something more predictable? Following an anonymous coffee delivery at work Beth is led on a treasure hunt using clues from rom-com movies. The big question is, is it Danny or new work colleague Ryan? The book did keep me guessing all the way through although I did have an inkling who the mysterious man turned out to be, the ending was not what I expected. The ending plays an important role to a key part of the story and is very clever. Loved this book!

Unfinished:

#1. Better Together – Sheila O’Flanagan

This book will not be included in the count for Spring as I didn’t finish it. I started reading the book but straight away I couldn’t get into it. I did feel sympathy for the main character, Sheridan, unlike a few reviews I read on Good Reads and didn’t find her annoying as some readers did. I got about 200 pages into the book (large print edition) before giving up and deciding not to carry on reading it. The storyline was slow, nothing seemed to happen and the sports journalism element of the story wasn’t appealing to me. I don’t know if the book would have had more romance if I had continued reading but I wanted romance to be prominent from the start. This is one of the first books in a long time I haven’t finished and stopped reading part way through because it didn’t pique my interest. I would be interested to hear whether any of you have read this book and what your thoughts are.


Total number of books read = 9.


I got off to a slow start but was making better progress by the end of September. I am in a routine with my job now and try to make time for reading everyday. At this stage it’s too early to tell if I’ll reach my goal of 50 books but it’ll be fun trying!

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

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September Favourites 2017

September is the first month into my library job and work wise I’ve been less stressed and happier. Health wise I have been sick all month. I have always had trouble with my nose and my sinuses have been giving me grief. I got antibiotics but after I finished them the problem came back so I tried a sinus rinse which has been helping a lot. As a result of being sick I have felt lethargic and haven’t felt like doing much. Fingers crossed I’m better soon!

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Shane Filan – Love Always – I have mentioned Shane Filan a number of times on the blog. He has one of the best voices and is one of my favourites to listen to. He released his third studio album, Love Always, in August and I have had it on repeat the past couple of weeks. My signed copy arrived a fortnight ago and the album is better than I thought it would be. The majority of songs are covers of famous love songs and I was in two minds about buying the album originally as I’m not the biggest fan of cover albums but Shane puts his own spin on each track and the album is cohesive. Standout Tracks: Don’t Dream It’s Over, Beautiful In White, Completely, Unbreakable and I Can’t Make You Love Me.

2. Vaseline Cocoa Butter Lip Butter – Being sick my lips have been cracked and dry and this has been my saviour! I bought this lip butter last year and it is perfect when my lips need extra care. It smells like chocolate and smells very similar to my Cocoa Butter body butter from The Body Shop. The little pot is the cutest!

3. Navy Blue Fluffy Jumper – This is my favourite cosy jumper and I seem to have worn it a lot this month. The jumper is very warm and I love the colour, it goes so well with my hair. I wear this jumper casually and to work and it always gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling when I do.

4. Revlon – Beginner’s Luck – I had a makeup declutter and almost gave this nail polish away. I had a pile of shades I wasn’t sure about and swatched them on paper. I wasn’t convinced enough to give this shade away and couldn’t wait to try it on again. I am glad I kept it. It is a subtle, shimmery shade that is great for everyday and the formula is dreamy.

5. Reading – At the start of the month I mentioned I would be starting a new blogging series: What I’ve Been Reading. Working at the library it only seems appropriate I make an active effort to read more and I’m slowly working through a small pile of books. I have been pretty busy this month and haven’t had much time to read but I have been enjoying the moments I have been able to. I love getting lost in a good story. Sadly, I haven’t been hitting my one book a week quota so far.

September’s Spotify Playlist:


What were your favourite things in September?

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New Series: What I’ve Been Reading

To coincide with starting a job at the city library I wanted to start a new blog series. This new series will be a list of the books I’ve been reading and the books I’ve finished. I have always loved reading and have visited libraries since I was a kid.

There will be a seasonal round up every three months starting with September 2017 – November 2017 i.e. New Zealand springtime. The next will be December 2017 – February 2018 then March 2018 – May 2018  and June 2018 – August 2018. I am encouraging myself to read more now that I will have time to do so and I am committing to these posts for the next year. I’m aiming to read 50 books in that time which is roughly a book a week – let’s see if I meet the target!

Each post will feature a list of books read, the author’s name, any other important information and a short synopsis. I will also include whether I liked the book or not.

Books will only be included in the list if they are finished within the same seasonal three month period. For example, I start a book in August 2017 but don’t finish it until September 2017, therefore it is allowed to be included in the Spring list.

I will happily take book recommendations! I have got a handful of books to get me started and already have others on my ‘To Read’ list.

I hope you’re looking forward to this series as much as I am!

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May Favourites 2017

May, where have you gone?! This month has zoomed past and I’m struggling to comprehend where all the time went. This month has been a bit of a lazy one, I haven’t always felt motivated, I’ve felt tired and I think that’s down to the the colder weather. I’m very much looking forward to my time off in June to take time out and relax.

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Steps – Tears On the Dancefloor – When I heard my favourite band were reuniting for a second time at the beginning of the year I was over the moon! Steps are the ones who made me want to be a singer because their music is so joyous and uplifting and makes you smile when you listen to it. Last month they released their fourth studio album and first album of new material in years. I have been listening on repeat on Spotify as a friend from The UK is sending me a signed physical copy. I haven’t got anything signed of theirs and I can’t wait to hold the album in my hands. Steps have created current pop tracks mixed with their traditional sound. Their music has a deeper meaning and poignant lyrics but always sounds happy. Standout Tracks: Scared of the Dark, You Make Me Whole, Story of a Heart, Firefly and Glitter & Gold.

2. Victim: The Secret Tapes of Marilyn Monroe by Matthew Smith – I know who Marilyn Monroe is but I don’t know a great deal about her. I have been meaning to read this book after seeing it lying around home numerous times and let me tell you, this book was a real page turner. The book speculates a few ways she could have died and presents evidence for each case. The author remains neutral and lets the reader make up their mind. The author does lean towards the stance that Marilyn didn’t commit suicide and discusses how the tapes Marilyn recorded in secret for her psychiatrist support this theory. I don’t know what happened to Marilyn but thinking about it makes me sad. She had a beautiful spirit which lives on. 

3. Beanie – The weather has cooled down significantly over the past couple of weeks and it means I can get my beanie out. I love this beanie because it is so soft and the pom pom on top is ever so fluffy. I like the fact that it’s navy as it makes a change from my usual black accessories and means if I’m wearing black my outfit still has colour.

4. Keep Cup – My brother ordered this for me when he visited in April and I love it! I got to choose the colours myself (it’s a very Chanelle colour scheme) and the fact it’s personalised makes it more cool. I don’t often get takeaway drinks but on the odd occasion I do I will be able to use this from now on.

May’s Spotify Playlist:


What were your favourite things in May?

P.S. Don’t forget to leave any questions in the comments section of *THIS POST* for my upcoming blog Q&A! Alternatively you can tweet any questions to @ChanelleTheSats.

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Sixteen of ’16

sixteen-of-16At the end of 2015 I wrote a post called, Fifteen of ’15, sharing 15 of my personal highlights from the year. This year I have decided to do the same. Looking back over the past twelve months a lot has happened and in this post I’ll be sharing what I’ve loved about 2016, things I’ve achieved and experiences that have changed me.


#1 – 21st birthday

My birthday is in January so my year got off to an exciting start. 21 is one of those special birthdays and that’s exactly how mine felt. I did a Birthday Body Shop Haul, created a 21 Songs In 21 Years playlist and shared 21 Things I’ve Learnt In 21 Years. On my actual birthday itself the house was decorated and the dining table was covered in presents unbeknownst to me. At the end of the month mum and I went on a little break away to celebrate.

#2 – Going to a casino

This relates to #1. On my break away I went to a casino for the first time and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I’m not a gambler but it was fun to have a go on a slot machine. I’m even more pleased to say I won a decent amount of money too! I put in $10 and won $143.

#3 – Dannii For Target clothing

When Dannii partnered with Target I knew I would love her clothing range, which is designed for petites. Petite doesn’t mean size zero, it’s about proportions and the length of a garment. Petites goes up to size 16 so it caters for the curvier market too. Throughout 2016 I have made a few different orders and I am so impressed with the quality – of course the items fit like a glove. I wear my petites items all the time and I always look forward to what Target and Dannii bring out next!

#4 – Zayn – Mind of Mine

One album I have been playing non-stop this year is Mind of Mine by Zayn. I’m not a One Direction fan but I have always loved Zayn’s voice. I was curious as to what his album would sound like and it’s a mixture of sexy pop/R&B. I love this album so much more than I thought I would.

Corresponding post: Album Review: Zayn – Mind of Mine

#5 – Happiness Highlights

At the end of every month since May I have been sharing my Happiness Highlights. On my phone I keep a list and write down one thing that makes me happy each day. I started this after seeing it on Adele’s blog and I feel like it has made a difference to my mood and positivity. I will continue this into the new year so let me know if you’d like me to keep sharing.

#6 – Chanelle Hayley Turns 2!

In June I celebrated my two year blogging anniversary! I ran a giveaway to mark the occasion and it was a lot of fun. I hadn’t done one before so thank you for all the support and entries I received.

Corresponding post: [Closed] EXCITING Blog Giveaway!!!

#7 – Losing my job

This might seem odd to include in this post but let me explain why I have. For those of you who don’t know I used to work in a pharmacy. A month or so prior to losing my job I felt a change in myself that I didn’t like. I started to become shy and would barely talk and I felt like I couldn’t do my ‘job’ properly anymore. I will point out it wasn’t my decision to leave but going through that changed my attitude and I started to feel more confident again. As a result I did things I probably wouldn’t have done before and I’m glad I’ve done them.

#8 – Delta Goodrem – Wings of the Wild

Delta Goodrem is a singer I have listened to since I was 8 or 9 years old. I have always loved her music and writing style and her fifth album, Wings of the Wild is incredible! The album was released in July and like Mind of Mine I have been playing it non-stop. The lyrics are very empowering and it’s what I needed just after losing my job.

#9 – Passed driving test

It was just over a month between losing my job at the pharmacy and finding the job I have now. I decided the time was right for me to sit my Learner’s Licence test. It’s not that I don’t understand road rules but I never felt ready before. I sat the test on July 5th and passed with 33 out of 35. I haven’t quite started driving and sitting behind the wheel of a car yet but that’s next!

#10 – Alan Carr – Yap, Yap, Yap!

The month after I passed my driving test I went up to stay with my brother for a few days and the highlight of that trip was seeing a show by stand up comedian Alan Carr. I have loved Alan for years and used to adore his show Chatty Man (the earlier seasons were better). Alan was very funny and I’m pleased I went to the show. I sat in Row R but I still had a good view.

#11 – Flying solo

This goes hand in hand with #10. I mentioned I went up to stay with my brother and it made sense to fly up. It’s only a 40 minute trip and I didn’t have lots of luggage and I can’t drive so it was the logical option. I had never flown on a plane by myself before and a year ago I don’t know that I could have done it.

#12 – Boyfriend

In September I had the first date with my boyfriend. We have been seeing each other for almost four months now and he’s just so lovely. I don’t share too much about our relationship because that’s for us but I have been very happy over the past few months.

#13 – Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

This book is one of the best I have read in a long time! I purchased it a couple of months before I read it but I really enjoyed it and I can see myself re-reading this over again. I have also seen the film and read the follow up, After You.

#14 – Ellie Goulding Delirium World Tour

Without a doubt one of the best nights of my life! I saw Ellie on her Halcyon Days Tour in NZ in 2014 and that was my first ever concert which was super special! The show this time around was even more spectacular, the lights, dancers, staging and outfits were so well done. Ellie sounds magical live and she is such a natural performer.

#15 – Went shooting

This is less scary than it sounds I promise… my boyfriend and his dad have a keen interest in shooting and one day they took me out to the range they belong to. We were only shooting at targets and I’d never fired a gun before but I really enjoyed it. I didn’t know what to expect and once I got the hang of the different scopes I was fine. I did manage to hit the target a couple of times too. I also bought home a fragment of bullet as a keepsake.

#16 – Instax Camera

I only got this camera a month ago but I’m still in love with it! I’ve taken a couple of pictures now (one of which you may have seen on Instagram) and I still get excited thinking about using it. I bought this camera because while I enjoy and like taking photos I don’t want to invest in a fancy DSLR if I don’t end up using it often. With Instax you have to get the photo right the first time, there’s no editing or touch ups. For Christmas, I got a pink Instax backpack which matches my camera to keep my camera, film and accessories in. I can’t wait to capture memories in 2017!


Thank you for reading as always and I hope 2016 was as beneficial for you as it was for me! Let me know some of your highlights!

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December Favourites 2016

december-favourites-2016

I know it’s not quite the end of December yet but I’ve got my posts all lined up for the end of the month so I figured I would share my monthly favourites a little earlier. I cannot believe how fast this year and this month in particular have gone. I started the month off with my Christmas shopping, the majority of which I smashed out in one day and I’ve been busy wrapping presents and getting the final bits and pieces for my recipients. I’ve also been pretty busy at work with filling in and late night finishes but it’s all worth it!

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Mermaid Blanket – At the end of November I ordered a mermaid blanket from Ali Express. I selected a beautiful purple colour with flecks of light pink thread (which you can see in the image above). The shipping was free and the blanket only took two weeks to arrive from China. Being summer, I didn’t think I’d get the chance to use this for a while but I have got it out on a few occasions already. I’ve been wearing summer pyjamas but find I need something to take the chill off my legs in the evenings before bed. I’ve loved getting cosy on the couch with this and it’s so warm!

2. Dannii Minogue – My Story – I have owned this book for a couple of years now and I’ve read it multiple times. I like to take books to work to read when it’s quiet and I haven’t been to the library in a long time so My Story it was! By now you probably know how much I love Dannii and every time I read this book I learn something new and I’m reminded how amazing she is. Dannii literally tells her story from her childhood, to the breakdown of her marriage to her musical successes. Even if you’re not a fan of Dannii, I think you would enjoy this book because it’s humorous, honest and relatable. Dannii talks about personal struggles but she is able to talk about them with a sense of positivity and explains the growth they have given her. Overall, a great read!

3. Revlon – Sugar Plum – You also probably know about my love for Revlon’s lip butters too! I have picked up eight different shades over the past year and I cannot rave enough about their formula and colour payoff. I paid less than $10 (NZD) for all of these and they are worth it! If you saw Monday’s post, Christmas Makeup, you’ll know I plan on wearing Sugar Plum for Christmas this year. One afternoon I was applying this shade and I thought it would make such a lovely Christmas lip colour.

4. The Body Shop Vanilla Chai Hand Cream – During Project Pan I finished up The Body Shop’s Wild Argan Oil hand cream and a couple of weeks ago I popped into The Body Shop to take a look at the Christmas scents and Vanilla Chai is the one I was most drawn to. I love Vanilla in general and instantly knew I had to buy this hand cream. This hand cream has quite a spicy Vanilla scent to it which isn’t my favourite Vanilla scent but it’s pleasant enough for me to keep using. I probably wouldn’t purchase anything else from the Vanilla Chai range but I’m happy I tried the hand cream. As with all other hand creams I’ve tried from The Body Shop, this one is very moisturising, a little goes a long way and the scent doesn’t instantly disappear.

December’s Spotify Playlist:

This month is a cross between pop tracks and Christmas songs.

WARNING: The playlist is very Minogue heavy!

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October Favourites 2016

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Here we are at the end of another month already! It has been another busy one and again it has been filled with lots of positivity and smiles! I haven’t purchased a lot of makeup and beauty bits over the past few months and there’s no beauty products in this post. I’ve really been enjoying rediscovering products again and coming up with different makeup looks and combinations. I am doing extremely well with my lip product buying ban as well, it’s been almost two months and I haven’t caved!

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Ellie Goulding Delirium World Tour – October got off to an incredible start when I saw Ellie Goulding in concert on the very first day of the month. I had had my ticket for seven months and I was super excited to see Ellie again. I saw her when she was last here in June 2014 and this time was even better! The visuals and the lighting were so well done and Ellie looked absolutely beautiful in her outfits. (At the last concert there were no outfit changes). The atmosphere was electric and I enjoyed every minute! I also bought a t-shirt with tour dates on the back as a keepsake.

2. After You – Jojo Moyes* – After You is the follow up novel to Me Before You which featured in last month’s favourites. I borrowed the book from one of my work colleagues and finished it a lot quicker than the prequel. Like last month I won’t spoil the book and the plot if you haven’t read it yet and you want to but I will say After You seems slightly more action packed than Me Before You and more characters are introduced. I hope this novel is made into a film as well!

Note: I watched Me Before You last week and I really liked it. It moves faster than the book and is a bit different but there is lots of sarcastic, dry humour which made me laugh. I didn’t cry when I read the book and I almost made it through the film without crying. The credits were rolling and I started thinking about the storyline and I ended up having a little cry.

*The book doesn’t feature in the image as I have given it back to my work colleague.

3. ASOS Textured Striped Dial Watch – I haven’t had this watch very long (a matter of days) but I am in love! I have been after a stylish, rose gold watch for a couple of months and I finally decided on this one. My wrists are the size of a child’s, possibly even smaller, and it’s so difficult to find a watch that fits. This one from ASOS is stunning, the face isn’t huge and doesn’t take over my wrist. I don’t even have to wear the watch at it’s tightest – even though I might be able to get away with it.

4. kikki.K Mindful Colouring Book – My mum bought this colouring book for me when we were in Auckland at the beginning of the month but it’s only within the past week that I’ve opened it up and started colouring. I know adult colouring has become popular over the past couple of years and I’ve wanted a colouring book for ages but a lot of the books seem thick and the patterns look so intricate and confusing but this one is a handy size. I bought a pack of fine liner pens to colour with.

October’s Spotify Playlist:

This playlist is all upbeat and has a feel good pop/dance vibe to it. A beat is what draws me in to a song and I enjoy nothing more than music I can sing and dance along to.

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September Favourites 2016

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Is it just me or have the past two months felt like a blur and flown by so quickly?! My September has been just as busy as August, probably busier and as a result I don’t have too many items to share with you. I feel like September has been a really positive month and I’ve been smiling a lot. I’ve really been enjoying myself, living in the moment and experiencing more new things. I know that’s so vague but some things should be kept to yourself and as long as you’re happy that’s what’s most important.

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Revlon Lip Butter – Peach Parfait – September was the month I decided to go on a lip product buying ban. I mentioned this in my New In: Revlon Lip Butters post but I wanted to make one last purchase before committing to the ban. Peach Parfait is one of three lip butters I bought and it has fast become my favourite shade out of the three. It’s a colour suitable for everyday wear and a shade I imagine would suit a range of skin tones. The formula is just as impeccable as my other lip butters and I look forward to wearing Peach Parfait a lot more!

2. kikki.K Notepad Cube – Stationery has always been one of those things that I love! At the start of the school year, stationery shopping was always one of my highlights! Over the past couple of years kikki.K has become one of my favourite places to shop, the themed stationery and the items they sell are beautiful. My brother bought my mum a notepad cube (not this exact one) and it’s such a practical idea because the paper size is ideal and there is a hole cut out for a pen. These are good to keep by the phone or on your desk at home/work. This particular cube has 500 sheets of paper, a flower pattern and a gold trim on each sheet of paper – so pretty.

3. Me Before You – Jojo Moyes – I bought this book back in June and I finally got around to finishing it this month. I started it back in June but everything got busy and hectic and I couldn’t find the time to sit down properly and read it. I took this to work a couple of weeks ago and I motored though it in no time. I’m not going to spoil it for those of you who haven’t read it but it does live up to the hype. It’s a real page turner and you’ll have it read in no time! I plan on watching the movie to see how it compares to the book and reading the follow up novel; After You.

4. Lilly Singh x Smashbox – Bawse – I won Bawse in a giveaway back in July and it arrived this month. Bawse is the perfect fierce, red to wear when you want to exude confidence. This shade is part of Smashbox’s range of matte liquid lipsticks and was created in collaboration with YouTuber Lilly Singh. I don’t know what else to say really apart from I love it! I did a mini review on Bawse so if you’d like to read more about the product and see swatches, CLICK HERE.

September’s Spotify Playlist:

This is one of my favourite monthly playlists I have made in a while. There’s something perfect about the way these songs are ordered and flow into one another.

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