Friday, October 21, 2016

Pumpkin Nails- One Design, Three Ways

Hello! So I’ve done pumpkin nails before but I had it in my head to do pumpkin nails similiar to the strawberry and pineapple nails I did in my Tutti Fruity look. The three ways are with a shiny top coat, with a matte top coat and as an accent nail.


Shiny Top Coat

Shiny pumpkin nails


Matte Top Coat

matte pumpkin nails


Accent Nail

Accent nail

To do the nails, I used a small dotting tool. For each pumpkin I did two dots slightly overlapping to try and make the pumpkin shape. I then used a small brush to paint on the yellow for definition and to add stems in green. After I had done the nails with a shiny top coat I wanted to see what it was like matte, which I liked so much more! My favourite is probably the accent nail though, I loved the shiny orange polish on the other nails.

Polishes Used

White- Model’s Own Hyper Gel in White Light

Orange-Catrice Ultimate Nail Lacquer in MAN, GO Tango

Yellow- NYC Quick Dry Nail Polish in Lexington Yellow

Green- Wet N Wild Spoiled in Permission To Proceed (ES040)

Shiny Orange- Rimmel Cocktail Colour in a Flash in Shirley Temple

Shiny Top Coat- Catrice Quick Dry and High Shine Top Coat

Matte Top Coat- Wet N Wild Matte Top Coat


With still over a week left before Halloween I hope to have one or two more nail looks up before then. I still have loads of ideas rattling around in my head!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Autumnal Dotty Manicure

Hello! I love autumn themed nail looks. Reds, oranges, yellows are so nice together, jewel tones come back in and then there’s Halloween. So many different looks you can do. I did an Autumn Blaze look 2 years ago and I still love it. So I wanted to do something with a similar colour scheme.

Autumn dotty nail manicure SoSu Icing on the Cake, La Femme Beauty, Revlon Frankly Scarlet, Catrice MAN, GO Tango nail polish nail varnish

Autumn dotty manicure SoSu Icing on the Cake, La Femme Beauty, Revlon Frankly Scarlet, Catrice MAN, GO Tango nail polish nail varnish


For the base I used SoSu Nail Polish in Icing on the Cake. The yellow was by La Femme Beauty (I can’t find any name or number for it but it the bottle I’m holding), the orange is Catrice in MAN, GO Tango and the red is Revlon in Frankly Scarlet. The red has a slight shimmer to it which I really liked but couldn’t pick up on the camera.


Autumn dotty manicure SoSu Icing on the Cake, La Femme Beauty, Revlon Frankly Scarlet, Catrice MAN, GO Tango nail polish nail varnish

Monday, October 10, 2016

September Reads 2016

Hello! Another monthly reading roundup for you. I read 8 books in September, which I’m pretty happy with as there were times when I did not want to read. Not quite a reading slump but I did feel a bit meh at times.

September Reads

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

holding up the universe

You might recoognise the name Jennifer Niven. Her last book was All the Bright Places, something I haven’t read yet (it was out of stock when I last ordered it). But I’ve heard nothing but good things about it, which is why I requested Holding Up the Universe on NetGalley. Libby has had a tough few years. After her mother died, Libby gained a lot of weight, which ended with her having to be lifted out of her house with a crane and be dubbed America's Fattest Teen. After being home schooled for years, Libby has lost some weight and is ready to go back to school. Jack has a condition that makes him 'face blind', meaning that he can never recognise people by just their face, not even his family. Jack gets by with tricks he's picked up over the years and is one of the popular guys in school. Jack won't tell anyone of his problem, believing if people know they'll target his weakness, so he keeps quiet (despite it getting him trouble at times). When a big event happens in school, Jack and Libby get thrown together and they must learn to get on.

I did enjoy this book, it was interesting. I found myself rooting for Libby and Jack as they were both on personal journeys. Libby has had a tough time but she's still strong and is determined to get her life back on track. I wasn't overly gone on the romantic element of the book, I felt like the book didn't really need it. I was just pleased that Libby and Jack could help each other. The book tackles important issues like bullying and how social media can play into this and has a strong message of being able to love and accept yourself. [NetGalley]


Changeless by Gail Carriger


 Changeless is book two in the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger. I read Soulless in May as an audiobook and I was going to read this book as a physical copy. But for some reason the library wasn’t shipping it out so I requested the audio CD version instead. And I was glad I listened to it again as I enjoy Emily Gray’s narration. We continue on with the life of Alexia Tarabotti, set in a steampunk supernatural Victorian London. I am loving this series and setting, Carriger is so witty and fun and Alexia is a fantastic character.




The Dark Tourist by Dom Joly

Layout 1

I love the idea of the this book, going on holiday to unusual places. In this book Dom Joly goes to places that are unusual (Chernobyl and North Korea for example) as well as doing things that are unusual or a bit dark (such as skiing in Iran and going to assassination sites in USA). The book is accessible to read and interesting (I tried to read book like this before and it was so heavy and serious). Joly probably spent the most time in North Korea so that chapter is chock full of information and is fascinating and slightly depressing too. I enjoyed the American side of things too. Having read Assassination Vacation in January I got to see all the sites of the US Presidental Assassinations bar JFK (because the author felt it was too close in modern history) so it was interesting to see Joly go to Dallas and round out my experience of Assassination Vacation. This book is six years old though, so it felt ever so slightly out of date (but not by any means outdated).


Blameless by Gail Carriger


Book 3 in the Parasol Protectorate series. I won’t say much about it but if you do plan on reading this series DO NOT look up any synopsis for this book!! It will spoil book 2 for you. You’ve been warned. I also listened to this book which I wish I could do for the rest of the series but alas the library doesn’t have them in audio form. These books were what kept me going reading wise for the month, if I didn’t have them I probably would have got stuck in a slump.






The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

the woman in cabin 10

Lo Blacklock has been given the chance of a lifetime at work. She's been asked to cover the press launch of a new luxury boutique cruise ship of the Arctic and Northern Lights. This could be the thing that helps elevate her career to the next level. A few days before she's due to leave, she's the victim of a traumatic break-in that leaves her a wreck and threatens to ruin her relationship. This cruise is just what she needs to make her feel safe and let her relax. On the first night Lo is convinced a murder has happened in the cabin next door but when she informs cabin staff they tell her no one was in that cabin. But Lo knows there was someone in there, she met her and she gave Lo mascara. Lo feels like she's going mad but she's determined to get to the bottom of this issue.

The book did take a while to pick up, I didn't really get into the story until I was about 20% through. I wasn’t that interested in picking it up. But once I did start again I read it on one go! The story did grip me, it was tense and having an unreliable character like Lo as the narrator added to the mystery. She drinks a lot, is on medication for anxiety and is clearly still suffering for the break in at her flat, so we don't know how much she is imagining and how much is actually true. She reminded me a lot of Rachel in The Girl on the Train, in fact the book has that kind of vibe at times. The end seemed a bit rushed and it ended up being a bit muddled. If you liked The Girl on the Train then I think you'll enjoy this book too. [NetGalley]


Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

today will be different

Eleanor Flood vows today will be better. She's going to be a better version of herself. But today does not start well for her. She's called to her son Timby's school as he's not feeling well and after she's collected him, they go to her husband's workplace. Only to discover that he's not there and his colleagues are surprised to see Eleanor back early. Eleanor must find her husband and all sorts of shenanigans happen. We learn more about Eleanor's past as well with flashback scenes.

I loved Where'd You Go Bernadette so I was looking forward to this book. The fact that it's all set in one day added to my excitement as I enjoy stories like that. The story doesn't really work like that though, there’s a lot of flashbacks to Eleanor's past and when you take all that out, nothing much happens on this 'crazy' day. The madcap element just felt very forced, like craziness for the sake of craziness and I didn't enjoy the humour this time round. The flashbacks also confused me at the beginning, mainly because it goes from Eleanor talking in the present time in the 1st person to the flashback happening in the third person. The book was a fast read but I was just looking forward to getting it finished and over it. There's nothing big wrong with this book, it just wasn't one for me. [NetGalley]


We Were on a Break by Lindsey Kelk

we were on a break

Liv and Adam are on holiday in Mexico and Liv is on the edge of her seat. She knows Adam plans to propose and tonight must be the night as they fly home the next day. But when no ring is produced and Adam causes a big scene on the flight home, Liv is left wondering what has happened to their relationship all the way home. Things take a turn for the worse when Adam drops Liv off at her house and says that he wants to take a break. The book follows the couple over the next few weeks while they try and navigate this new territory and work out what they want from relationship.

The book is told with Liv and Adam both taking turns to be narrators, which I liked. I felt like it gave a fair observation of the relationship and the break. I liked the main characters, though at times I did want to just knock their heads together to stop them from getting their wires crossed!! Liv's friend Cass is married to Adam's brother which I felt added a nice layer of complication to the whole thing, as it can be hard to separate out friends and family when a couple splits and we get to see this a small bit in the story. Add to all this is the usual Kelk humour (I definitely laughed out loud a few times) and you get a light hearted funny romantic comedy. [NetGalley]


The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

the girl with all the gifts

 The Girl with All the Gifts was one of the September picks for the Rick O’Shea Book Club. I had actually bought it last year so it was perfect. I don’t know what to say about this book that doesn’t spoil things. I went into this not knowing that much and I think that’s the best thing for this book. The book starts with Melanie, a 10 year old who sits in her cell on a base waiting to go to class. Before she can leave the cell, she’s strapped into her chair all while Sergeant Parks points a gun at her. Melanie love school, especially when it’s Miss Justineau is teaching. And thinks Dr Caldwell, the scientist, is scary and doesn’t like her, especially because other kids have never come back after seeing Dr Caldwell. An interesting, fast read, I liked Melanie. Dr Caldwell is a good villain. I felt the ending felt a bit flat for me but it didn’t ruin the overall story. It’s not something I’d usually read but I glad I gave it a chance and branched out!


September Stats

Number of Books Read- 8
Ratio fiction to non-fiction- 7:1
Number of eBooks- 4 (Holding Up the Universe, The Woman in Cabin 10, Today Will Be Different and We Were On a Break)
Number of Books Borrowed from Library- 2 (Changeless and Blameless)
Audiobooks- 2 (Changeless and Blameless)


Book Riot Challenge Completed

Read a Horror Book- The Girl with All the Gifts

And that’s September. I need to step up my non-fiction reads, but I’m not going to force it either. I’m just glad I managed to read just one this month! If you’ve read any of these books or if you’re interested in reading any of these then leave a comment below.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Recent Book Accquisitions

Hello! It’s been a while since I showed the books I’ve bought. I had a post in April showing some of the books I had got, including some books I won, and of course there was my LA Bookish post. I’ve managed to accquire a few more books since then and thought I’d do a post showing you those books.


stack of books showing Knit London by Emma King, HHhH by Laurent Binet, Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas, The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Hygge by Charlotte Abrahams, Dear Lupin by Roger Mortimer and Charlie Mortimer

From top to bottom

Knit London by Emma KingKnit London by Emma King

I saw this in TK Maxx reduced to a few quid and couldn’t resist it. Look how cute it is! I don’t have many knitting books so it’s nice to try and build up my collection a small bit.





HHhH by Laurent Binet- This book has been on my TBR for a while and it was 25c in a charity shop! Hopefully having a copy of this book will encourage me to get around to reading it quicker than it would have.


empire of storms

Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas. I preordered my copy and when it arrived it also came with this map and mug! I was so thrilled, it was a fun surprise.






The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave- My sister bought this book and I nabbed it off her. I don’t know much about it but it is beautiful! Just look at the front cover and the inside. So pretty

the girl of ink and stars book




Hygge by Charlotte Abrahams- Hygge (pronounced HUE-gah) is a word that is all over the place at the moment. It’s a Danish word and at it’s most basic it means having a nice warm atmosphere and enjoying life’s simple pleasures with friends and family. I’m currently listening to The Year of Living Danishly and hygge has been mentioned a lot so I requested a review copy of this book from Orion’s new imprint Trapeze Books. I can’t wait to get stuck in and truly learn what hygge is. The book is so pretty too, the cover is rubberised, the triangle are gold foil and the dark triangles are fuzzy!



Dear Lupin by Roger Mortimer and Charlie Mortimer- I’ve seen this book before but don’t know that much about it. I know it’s non-fiction and it’s done in letter, which was the real reason I picked it up (that and the fact it was super cheap!)


Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw- So this isn’t a new buy for me, I bought it a year ago and then misplaced it. I was beginning to think I actually hadn’t bought it in the first place! It then turned up in a random place. This was 99p from The Works.


I’ve also picked up a few e-books as well, all picked up on Kindle for cheap.


kindle books

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers- I got this on offer because it was a pick for the Rick O’Shea Book Club. Around the same time the audiobook was also on offer but I decided on the ebook. I’ve read this one already and loved it! You can check out the review here.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir- I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book and it’s not in the library so I said I’d give it a chance.

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen- I actually have an ARC of the second books so I needed to get a copy of the first one! I think the 3rd one is out now so once I get reading this I can power through them all if I enjoy this.

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie- This is based off her TED talk and everyone should read it. It’s short and I read it one morning while waiting to collect my mother. You can read my review here.

The Vegetarian by Han Kang- This has been a book I’ve heard a lot about all summer long so I’m intrigued to give this a chance. It’s supposed to be a bit odd so I’m not sure what to make of it but there’s only one way to find out and that’s to read it!

And that’s it! Sometimes I wish I could buy more books and if I had the money no doubt I would. But I need to start working my way through the books I already own first. That might be my challenge for next year.

If you’ve read any of the books above I’d love to hear about them. Leave me a comment below

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Autumn Reading Tag

I love watching BookTube videos and enjoy the odd tag video, they are fun and sometimes good for inspiration on what to read. One BookTuber (and author) I’ve mentioned here before is Jen Campbell. Her videos are always smart and well informed. I saw her do this Autumn Reading Tag the other day and decided to give it a go myself.

Autumn Reading Tag

1. Is there any books you plan on reading over the autumn season?

Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas book 5 in the Throne of Glass series, The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch book 6 in the Rivers of London Series, Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson, Precious and Grace by Alexander McCall Smith No.1 Ladies Detective Agency

I try not to do specific TBRs for a month as I’ll never stick to it! But I do have a few books I’m looking forward to in the upcoming weeks. The first is Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas, book 5 in the Throne of Glass series. The there’s The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch, book 6 in the Rivers of London series (which has had loads of different release dates and I didn’t think it would be out until next year but it is this November!). Then there’s Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson, which came out 2 weeks ago. Finally there’s the latest No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency book called Precious and Grace by Alexander McCall Smith. I listed more books in my two 2016 Most Anticipated Reads post (part 1 and part 2) so hopefully I’ll pick those up too.

2. September brings back memories of school: what book did you most enjoy studying? And what was your favourite and least favourite subjects?

school books

The two big texts I liked studing where Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier and As You Like It by William Shakespeare. When I read The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton is reminded me of Girl with a Pearl Earring, set around the same time in the Netherlands. As You Like It is a comedy and I appreciated that we were studying a lighter text during the Leaving Cert! As for my favourite subjects they were English and Home Economics. My least favourite was probably Irish, I love the language and I use Duolingo to try up my skills but the way it’s taught in schools is dire. Needs a big overhaul.

3. October means Halloween: do you enjoy scary books and films? If so what are some of your favourites?

I’m not a big horror fan in books or films. I don’t like zombie things, slasher flicks have never really done it for me either. It’s not because I find it too scary or anything, they just have never appealed. I do want to try some more horror books though, I have a post about All Hallow’s Read which I did a few years ago (I might do an update).

scary books

As for some of the scary books I have read and enjoyed these include The Shining by Stephen King (King is key for any horror books!), Coraline by Neil Gaiman (it’s for a younger audience but it’s still creepy) and Perfume by Patrick Suskind (its been a while since I read this but I do remember the creep factor being high!)

4. For November it’s time for bonfire night and firework displays. What’s the most exciting book you’ve read that’s really kept you gripped?

thrilling books

November does not mean bonfires and fireworks for me, thanks to my Irish upbringing. But November is the perfect time to huddle down with a page turner. The most recent could-not-put-down book I read was The Trespasser by Tana French (which I reviewed here). Though all of French’s books are thrilling! Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel was a great dystopian, set after a big epidemic hits the earth. It was a bit creepy at times too which fits in great with the above question. And this time last year I read Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith. I just remember listening to before work and wishing I had more time to read it!

5. What book is your favourite cosy comfort read?

I do enjoy YA books when I want some comfort reading, they are quick to read, easily relateable and usually feel good. Some of my favourites include Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, When We Collided by Emery Lord and One by Sarah Crossan. At the moment I’m reading the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger, they are great reads full of fun characters.

6. Curled up with a good book, what’s your hot drink of choice?

I don’t drink tea so I’d probably pick hot chocolate, as it’s easy to make at home. And easy to make a bit more decadent by adding marshmallows! I made this delicious gingerbread hot chocolate last year which I must try again. But if I’m out and about reading I’d probably pick a latte or mocha.

7. Any plans you’re looking forward to over next few months?

I have tickets to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! So that’s the biggest thing for me. I’m also looking forward to Christmas, I begin to like Christmas more and more as I get older!

And that’s the tag! The creator of the tag is Amy Jane Smith and you can check out the video here. If you’re looking for more inspiration for autumn reading check out my old All Hallow’s Read post here and my friend Chloe from Nurse Fancy Pants also did a post with her autumn reads which you can check out here. If you want more cosy autumn goodness check out my Autumn Wishlist post. And if you do the post let me know so I can look at your picks.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Trespasser by Tana French Book Review

The Trespasser by Tana French. Dublin Murder Squad Book 6. Detective Antoinette Conway and Detective Stephen Moran. Published by Hodder & Stoughton
I am a HUGE Tana French fan! I started reading her books early 2014 and spaced them out so I'd have something to look forward to every few months. I read her 5th book The Secret Place in March this year and I was devastated that it would be my last French book for a while. Until a few days later I discovered this book, The Trespasser, was coming out! And after finding out that Detective Antoinette Conway, who was partnered up with Detective Stephen Moran in The Secret Place, was the narrator of this book, there was NO way I was waiting to read this book, I had to have it as soon as I could! I read it last month and mentioned it in my reading round up for that month but waited until now to publish my full review on here.

The story starts early one morning, when Antoinette and her partner Stephen Moran are given a case just before they are due to go off shift. Texts on the victim's phone show that she was supposed to have dinner at her house with a man, so the case looks to be a lovers' tiff turned sour; the man lashed out at woman, who fell and smashed her head open. But certain things don't add up. Her best friend alludes to her having another secret boyfriend, the house has been wiped clean and then there's the mysterious phone call that alerted the police to the crime in the first place. Antoinette and Stephen dig deeper and find that this isn't the typical couple’s argument gone wrong. The story kept me hooked right til the end. We start to find out the truth near the end, with 100 pages or so left to go, but there's just so much that could change that I was gripped as I had no idea which way it was going to twist again. French is just so perfect at writing these kind of plots, all these layers that get peeled away until you have the answer in your hand but not the final outcome or consequences.
Antoinette is a tough cookie, she's sarcastic, independent and a little difficult. She usually takes no shit but is finding it hard to fit into the Murder Squad and things keep happening. Not getting information passed on to her, pages in her reports going missing, nasty rumours, silence the second she walks into the squad room. Is it because she's a woman? Is it her race? Is it because she's difficult and awkward to work with? Is her fuck off attitude causing this rift in the squad or is it a result of the squad treating her this way? Either way, Antoinette keeps it to herself, rarely saying anything to her partner Stephen Moran. She's a complex character who has a slight chip on her shoulder, a combination of the fact of never knowing her father or anything about him (except for his ethnicity making her a darker skin tone), growing up poor with a single mother and now being the only woman in the Murder Squad boys club. It was hard to be in her head at times as her issues with not gelling in the Murder Squad has seriously messed with her head and who she trusts. Inside she's a roller coaster of thoughts and emotions. Outside she only ever shows anger, which just adds to her being difficult to work with. But it was also fascinating being in her head and French just nails her voice, I could hear it lifting off the page and into my ear. I really rooted for her and I also loved her relationship with Stephen Moran (which I also enjoyed in The Secret Place). Their partnership is wonderful and I would love to see more of it in other books, which I sadly doubt will ever happen as French has yet to use the same narrator twice. I do hope to see glimpses of them in future books though. I'll be left wondering when the next book will be out and who will be the narrator! If you’re a fan of Tana French and especially Faithful Place and The Likeness then you’ll enjoy this. Pick it up!
I received an e-copy of this book in advance on NetGalley and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Autumn Wishlist 2016

I LOVE Autumn! It’s my favourite time of the year. I love the leaves, the weather, hot drinks, knitted goods and Halloween. Last year I did a Winter Wishlist, it really put me in the mood for the season. So I just had to do an autumn one too!

autumn wishlist fall season

1. Walk in some crunchy leaves. Is there anything better in autumn than some jumping in some beautiful coloured leaves?!

2. Take some pictures of these aformentioned pretty leaves.

3. Make some soup. Autumn is just perfect soup weather. I love French Onion Soup and Butternut Squash soup but I have a soup board on my Pinterest as I want to try some new ones.

ripe blackberries on a bush
4. Pick blackberries. I used to do this a lot with my grandmother and there’s always plenty of blackberries along the roads back home.

5. Make blackberry vodka. I’ve wanted to try this since seeing it on Rosalilium and really I don’t make as much vodka infusions as I’d like to!

6. Knit some pumpkins. I seem to have lost my knitting mojo these days so I’m hoping knitting some pumpkins be a fun way to bring it back!

7. Buy a scented candle. I don’t often buy or use scented candles but I want to buy a seasonal one, something warm and cosy! If you have any suggestions let me know below.

8. Decorate the place. I don’t ever decorate for autumn or Halloween but I might try putting something together, even if it’s just the mantle piece. Plus I need to use my knitted pumpkins somewhere!

9. Do some nail art. I did these nails Autumn Blaze nails two years ago and loved them. I want to recreate them and also do some more fun autumn themed nails. Not to mention Halloween nails! I have some already like my Sugar Skull nails, Pumpkin nails and Multi Design Halloween nails but there’s loads more I want to try out.

10. Make a chai latte. I don’t drink hot drinks all that often but autumn makes me crave them. I speficially want to try make a masala chai latte. I probably have most the ingredients already!

11. Other autumn crafting. So I mentioned knitting above but I might try busting out some paints and trying a watercolour. Failing that I’ve found some colouring pages on Everything Etsy that will be perfect to colour in using oranges, reds and yellows.

12. Make a playlist. Pinterest is awash with Halloween playlists and I’ve probably pinned some in my Halloween board so I might as well go and make one!

13. Update my wardrobe. I need new snuggly jumpers stat! I particularly want a jumper dress or at least an oversized jumper I can wear like that.

14. Watch Hocus Pocus! I love this film, my cousin and I watched it one year and then spent the rest of the Halloween playing in her grandfather’s attic pretending to be witches.

hocus pocus

I might have more to add to this list but for now that’s it. I just need to make sure I tick some of these off! I created a Pinterest board which you can check out if you’re interested. What’s your favourite idea on this list? Is there anything else you’d add? Let me know in a comment below, I’d love to hear.

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