Monday, 30 December 2013

Book Review - The Fault in our Stars by John Green

Helloo,

Hope everyone has had a lovely and relaxing Christmas!

On Christmas Day, I have my own little tradition where in the evening I buy a book on my kindle to read over the next couple of days where it's basically a law to chill and eat chocolate(!) and this time I chose 'The Fault in our Stars' by John Green..



What is it about?
Without ruining the whole storyline, it's basically about a girl, Hazel, with terminal cancer, how she lives with it, as well as how the people around her live and cope with it and tells the story of how she falls in love with a boy, Augustus Waters who has beaten cancer. 

Reaction -
This book is one of the most emotional, sad and heartbreaking books I've ever read. I will say that the huge hype around the book doesn't actually do it any favours as I think that people, including myself, expect so much from the it then that it will never make up for it however even so, it's a brilliant read. I feel like the twist towards the end is extremely unexpected, which I like as usually the chick lit novels that I normally read, are ridiculously predictable allll the time. It's a very sad book, that really makes you think about your own life and how we all take little things like running up the stairs, just completely for granted. 

The actual plot of this book is not dramatic or tension building, but the way that John Green writes as the voice of Hazel, with the detailed descriptions of her life and what it's like to live with the fact that she knows she will die sometime soon in the future, is what makes it such a heart rendering story. The relationship she has with the other main character, Augustus, is beautiful and I cried so much at the end, my mum came into my room and thought there was something genuinely wrong with me!

A beautiful book which has made me think about my life in a completely different perspective; fully recommend it to anyone out there who hasn't already!

If you like these kind of posts, please let me know and I will continue writing them; I love reading so it would be great to share my thoughts with you - it could even turn into a mini book club? Let me know!!

Leave comments sharing your thoughts on this book; did you enjoy it or cry as much as me!?

Charlotte xx

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas Tag!

Here's a Christmassy post on a cold Christmas Eve..

1. What time of the year do you start your Christmas shopping?
Literally anytime really - probably mid November as I like to have bought most, if not all of them by the start of December so that I know how much I can spend on myself hahahaah. I don't buy them that early to be organised as I leave wrapping until the last minute and then have a mad panic on Christmas Eve - happens every year, you'd think I'd learn..

2. Do you have any festive recipes that you limit to just Christmas time?
This may sound weird but I only drink hot chocolate at Christmas! I buy the Malteaser hot chocolate, as I don't  like it when its super rich and sickly, and then get marshmallows and squirty cream and oh my god, it's just soo good(and probably a good job I don't have it all year round as I'd be the size of a house!)



3. Tell me how Christmas goes down in your house..
Well my parents are divorced so ever since I can remember I have spent Christmas Eve with my mum's side of the family, and my mum, sister etc go up to my grandparents farmhouse, and all of my aunties, uncles and cousins come and we sit in front of the huge open fire and have a lovely night and are allowed to open 1 present as a treat! Then on Christmas day, my little sister wakes up suppperrr early, I have lunch with my mum and then at 3pm, my dad picks me up and I spend the rest of Christmas day with my dad's side, which is much smaller but my stepmum makes the most incredible food and I love my Christmas day even though to some it may seem slightly bitty and dysfunctional! Hey, who says having seperated parents is all bad, 2 Christmases..

4.
Do you have any Christmas traditions?
Not really apart from going to my grandparents for a family gathering on Christmas Eve!


My grandma sent the half of my advent calendar that I was still at university for up to me :)
5. Do you have a favourite festive coffee?
Absolute all time favourite Christmas drink is the Toffee Nut Latte from Starbucks, oh sweet lord its so good. Also loving White Hot Chocolate from Costa this year, when I'm not in the mood for coffee!

6.What's your favourite Christmas song?
Hands down Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas Is You!!

7. What's your Christmas wrapping strategy? Do you have one?
Up until last year, my wrapping resembled something of a 5yr olds handiwork. I've definitely got better over the past couple of years, I even use ribbon and bows etc now(I know, crazy..)because I think as you get older you begin to appreciate the care someone has taken to wrap your present, and probably actually begin to appreciate that thoughtfulness rather than the actual present itself so I've begun to put a lot more effort into how I present people's gifts.


At the Newcastle Christmas markets
8.What's your dream gift this year?
I don't really have one, I actually haven't even asked for anything this year so whatever I do receive will be a complete surprise!

9. Describe your Christmas Tree - artificial or real? How is it decorated?
At uni, it was a cute small one with gold and red baubles and warm white lights as we didn't have a lot of room but at home, my mum decorates the artificial tree every year in gold and red - it's almost like a symbol of home because it's the same every year. My dad used to get a real one every year but instead we donate the money to charity.

10. Do you decorate just the tree or the whole house?
The whole house, it isn't Christmas without it right?! Apart from I'm not a fan of huge amounts of garish lights on the outside of houses, so we just have warm white icicle ones.
Our Christmas tree in halls at uni
11. What do you wear to Christmas parties and on Christmas day?
I don't particularly have a specific thing I wear to parties? On Christmas day I like to dress up in something nice, its a special day so I love to sit and take ages to do my makeup and hair etc, if you can't do that on Christmas, then when can you!!

Hope you enjoyed this little peek into my Christmas!

Have a lovely Christmas and New Year!!

Charlotte xx

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Lush Haul

Helloo,

Since moving to university in September, Lush has had to take a back seat as uni halls = no baths *boo*. Not being able to have a bath has been one of the things, apart from family etc, that I've missed the most, especially on a cold winter's evening so the day before I came home for the Christmas holidays, I nipped in to Lush and got stocked up on a few bits so I can fully take advantage of baths whilst I'm back - apologies to my family in advance for lack of hot water and sky high water bill...!


I always get a bit overwhelmed when I enter a Lush store and because I'm not a fan of their quite overbearing staff, who constantly are asking you if you need any help, I always feel in a rush so I actually only got 4 bath bombs(lack of money also played a part..student budgets and all that..).



 My absolute favourite bath bomb from Lush is Cinders so I snapped up 2 of them, and have already used 1 up within the first 2 nights I was home! Cinder's scent is a mix of orange, cinnamon and almond therefore is very fruity and fresh however still makes you feel cosy and christmassy, especially with the orange pieces which fizz and crackle in your bath. I'm not a fan of sickly smells so this is literally my perfect scent - fruity without being too overpowering. 1 = £2.45.

L-R - Melting Snowman, Cinders, Creamy Candy 
I had to pick up one of the cute Melting Snowmen as I can remember from last year how moisturised and silky it made my skin after using this, and this is due to the cocoa and shea butter that melts into your bath, leaving a gorgeous soft scent along its way. 1 = £2.25

The final bath product I picked up is the Creamy Candy bubble bar slice and this is literally a tiny piece of heaven. The smell is insanely nice; a mixture of vanilla and candy and it just makes you want to light a candle and snuggle under a blanket with a cuppa and some chocolate. It produces a lot of bubbles to surround yourself with in the bath and turns the water pink, what more could a girl ask for?! 1 = £2.50
I also thought I would do my good deed for the day and pick up one of these £1 cocoa butter charity pots which are not only super handy to throw in your bag for the daytime, but all proceeds are given to charity aswell, win!



What are your favourite Lush products? Be sure to leave them below in the comments!

Thanks for reading,

Charlotte xx

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Trip to Country Living Christmas Fayre

Helloo!

Last Saturday I went to the Country Living Christmas fair in Harrogate with my mum and grandma and it was such a lovely event that I thought I would take you along with me..

After a traumatic journey from Newcastle, in which I realised with 1 minute to go that the train I had settled myself onto...was actually going to Glasgow, I eventually arrived, after a slight heart attack in Harrogate, which is such a cute place to visit, especially at this time of the year as the Christmas lights make everything look so pretty!

The fair was held in the International centre, and was filled with hundreds of stalls, from homeware to skincare, food to furniture – it was the perfect place to buy gifts..for myself..! Ever since I've moved to university, I've become obsessed with buying homeware stuff, like actually obsessed and this has only increased since I put a deposit down on a house for next year with my friends which = even more room to fill with stuff from The White Room and Next!


It was such a hard decision to actually choose what I was going to buy for myself, as there was so much choice and everything was so pretty – I know, first world problems or what. I actually didn't buy a huge amount for myself, as everything I picked out to buy, my mum said she would get as she needed things to put into my stocking(am I the only person over the age of 7 to still get a stocking? please say no) so in other words, I'm ridiculously excited for Christmas day!

The fayre was a brilliant way of finding small boutiques and brands that I would never have known about otherwise, including possibly my new favourite skincare brand...

Usually, small branded skincare can be super expensive, well for my student budget anyway, however when I stumbled across Sweet Cecily's, it was like I'd died and gone to heaven. I have super sensitive skin that is almost never fully clear and I have to be really careful when trying new foundations etc so to find a fairly priced brand, that has some of their products targeted at sensitive skin was perfect! The packaging was gorgeous and for £15, I(my mum) got a moisturiser, toner and clay mask, and I can't wait to start using them as soon as I rip the paper off on Christmas day! If you wanted to take a look, the website link is http://www.sweetcecilys.com/








I will definitely be showing you the bits and pieces that I picked out after Christmas and will put a review up on the skincare in the near future! It was a lovely day with my mum and grandma and I will definitely be going again next year, if not to stock back up on fudge and handmade chocolates!

Have you ever been before? What other homeware fayres are there around?

Where are your favourite places to shop for homeware? Let me know!!

Thanks for reading!


Charlotte x

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Products I Regret Buying

Helloo,

It seems so long ago since I did a post about beauty products but since moving to uni etc, I really have no idea where I'm going to take pictures at all, any tips would be appreciated!!

*apologies for the photos, really not great but wanted to get a beauty post up so quickly took pictures whilst I was home this weekend

I don't buy a huge amount of beauty products anymore, just because I'm trying to have a little bit more self control(!) plus clothes have kind of taken over the makeup addiction at the moment..I go through phases..it'll be back soon..so I don't actually buy that many products that I don't like however over the past few months, these 3 photographed below, have definitely not been my favourite..



Rimmel BB Cream 9-in-1 Skin Perfecting Super Makeup - This is bloody awful. It shouldn't even be called a BB cream, as it gives no coverage whatsoever, not even the slightest bit! I apply BB creams with my fingers however when I did it with this 1, it went all bitty and just ended up making my face look like a dry, patchy mess! Much prefer the Maybelline bb cream and I actually threw this away as it would've been an insult to give to anyone else!

Revlon Baby Stick - Absolutely pointless. No pigmentation at all, it's just a complete waste of money and this has literally been the only product I've ever hated from Revlon. It's also really drying, and is just as pointless on the lips as on the cheeks.




MakeUp Forever Eyeshadow Cream - I picked this up in Sephora about a year ago, and even though it is a gorgeous colour and very pigmented, the Maybelline tattoos are just as good quality, if not better for just a fraction of the price of this product. It's simply a waste of money.


L-R - Revlon baby stick, MUF eyeshadow cream, BB cream

Thanks for reading :)


Charlotte

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Current TV Addictions

Helloo,

 Hi I'm Charlotte and I watch an unhealthy amount of crappy television..

I swear there isn't a reality show, a soap or an american tv program that I haven't watched...I'm that sad..so today I'm going to share my current favourite shows that I can't go a week without missing. I'm going to start and do posts like this a bit more now as due to student life, I can't really afford to buy excessive amounts of products to buy, test and review all the time :(



1. Hollyoaks -

I haven't watched this soap for about 4yrs, however 2 of my flatmates at uni watch it and in literally a week of being there, I was hooked again! The acting is mostly shocking, I mean I really don't know how some of these people actually earn a living out of it, but it's such an easy watch, which is what I like, I really don't want to have to use my brain to follow a program! There's always something dramatic happening, and unlike soaps like Coronation Street etc, the buildup isn't so long that you get bored of watching - plus, I love Dodger(a person in it) so much, when they made out he'd died in that explosion the other week, I actually cried, anyone else..or just me? I do cry at literally every program I watch so it's not really saying anything about the actual show(!) but what is, is the fact that I haven't missed an episode since I started watching again in September!
Where to watch it - Channel 4



2. Gossip Girl -

So I'm about 5yrs behind with this series - I know - but when this first started airing I was slightly too young to be interested in it and after that I could never find anywhere to watch it from series 1 so as soon as I began a Netflix subscription, I immediately started watching and I'm addicted. I'm just about to finish series 3 and I just love it - I want Blair Walforf's life, it upsets me that I'm not her..! If you like 90210, One Tree Hill etc, then you will love this - it's a typical American teen show which is easy to follow and a scandal always round the next corner without being too OTT or unrealistic(I want that life to be my reality please!!)
Where to watch it - Netflix/Lovefilm



3. Home and Away - 
Ok, so whoever I mention it to that I watch this religiously gives me the weirdest looks but I don't even care, I love Home and Away so much, I haven't missed an episode for about 2yrs! The storylines are always really good and even in between climaxes of different stories, it's never boring! At times the acting is dodgy but I love the accent so much that I don't even care.
Where to watch it - Channel 5/Youtube channel - Demand5




4. Made in Chelsea -
I love MIC so so much and after every episode I'm sat in a state of anger most probably because of Spencer or Jamie 99% of the time and I always am so excited for the next show! I actually can't stand most of the characters, apart from Stevie, Andy and sometimes Lucy; don't even get me started on how insane Louise actually is or how much of a dick Spencer is because I will be here all night. It's a crappy reality tv show about rich people who don't live in the real world and all sleep with each other, but it's an addictive program and once you start watching, you're hooked.
Where to watch it - E4



5. Orange is the New Black -
When I first started watching this, I felt abit uncomfortable with the lesbian scenes and stuff, just because I usually stick to 'perfect life' programmes like 90210, Gossip Girl etc but this program is so different from anything else out there at the moment, and so so good. The main cast is pretty much all females, which is unusual in itself for a tv program, however each character has such a good story behind them, and I love Piper, even though she gets herself into complete shit at times! I cannot wait for the 2nd series of this to come out on Netflix and recommend it so so much - the 1 word that this series cannot be described as is boring!

Where to watch it - Netflix

Do you have any tv recommendations? I want some new programs to watch now winter is approaching and I begin to hibernate!

Thanks for reading!

Charlotte xx
UA-45628066-1

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Review - YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick in Peach Passion

Helloo,

So today I wanted to review a lipstick that I actually bought in July however because it's the most expensive lip product I've ever owned(by far) so I don't actually use it that much just because it's basically like gold dust..



I purchased this lipstick in shade #13 'Peach Passion', in duty free at the airport, along with the YSL Touche Eclat which I have reviewed here because I always feel a lot less guilty for splurging due to the slightly cheaper price and had been eyeing this shade up for such a long time!

It's an absolutely gorgeous peach colour which is really opaque and the slightest application onto the lips gives a full on colour so even though it cost around £20ish, it's so pigmented that it will last soo long. As soon as you apply this lipstick, it immediately feels so luxurious - it glides on perfectly as it has a beautiful soft and buttery texture and leaves a gorgeous, sheen on the lips which makes me want to go and buy every single YSL lipstick ever created in the world, and actually shows how average Mac lipsticks are! The smell is also soo good - it's a very summery mango-orange scent and is actually so nice I want to eat it!



The packaging of the YSL lipstick is insanely amazing, with the lipstick wrapped in a golden bullet with colour coordinating panels in the middle, and is one of the products that you are dying to pull out and apply in public just so you can show off how gorgeous it is and I actually think that even when I finish this lipstick(I'm already mourning the loss..) I will keep the packaging just because I don't think I can bring myself to throw it away!






What are your favourite shades? I really want to put a couple on my xmas list!

Thanks for reading!

Charlotte x

Saturday, 26 October 2013

University Room Tour

 Helloo,

Thought I would share my room at university with you today; this is the first time ever I've been able to have all my things in one place, as my parents are seperated so I was really excited to finally have everything together. I was super homesick in the first week especially, so I tried to make it quite cosy and homely, and a place that I enjoy being in..

I'm at Northumbria university, and have an single bedroom with ensuite, however a bathroom 'tour'/post is coming up soon..

p.s sorry for picture quality/lighting, I do possible have the darkest bedroom everrr..




i know my heart is wonky :( cba to change it now tho, it will do..
why do i have a map? i'm studying geography, its not just chilling there for no reason
this picture is ridiculously bad, im sorry(that owl thing is my kindle btw, and the clock is from John Lewis)


HOW COOL ARE THOSE PENS!! - my everyday makeup is in the betsey johnson bag on the left, post coming soon..
another really bad quality picture, my bad. 
i havent actually put any photos in those photo frames yet... the tin has all my nail polish in, post?
jewellery and shiz, post?
the least said about this drawer the better..and i wonder why im not super slim..
ooo cheeky, bathroom tour coming up!!
Hope you enjoyed my little room tour, its not amazing but I quite like it - I need a few finishing touches but to be honest, I'd rather spend money on food.. I realised that I forgot to show you my wardrobe..but its so dark and messy anyway that it's probably a good job I didn't!

Any post requests, please leave them down below :)

Charlotte xx

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Being Homesick..

Helloo - it's an emotional post today on my first week at university - I wrote this article for nu:life magazine and wanted to pop it up on here too..

Moving to university is one of the biggest steps a young person can take in their life, and is also something that many people - including myself - completely underestimate. For months and months, I, along with thousands of other students across the country have redrafted my personal statement more times than I want to remember, anxiously waited for answers from universities and then revised for hours in order to get to the position that I'm in right now, the place I've wanted to be for the last 2yrs. I'm finally at Northumbria University - so why was freshers week one of the hardest, and most testing weeks of my life?

cupcakes from my best friends at home <3
I felt alone. Even with 5 other flatmates, who were absolutely lovely, and thousands of other people that like me, were starting their freshers week, I felt horribly and totally alone. I was putting pressure on myself way too much to go out and get drunk every night even though that doesn't particularly interest me; but what else was I going to do, sit alone in my room all night and be the odd one out? I looked around and saw all these people having an amazing time, laughing and joking, yet I was the opposite - I actually just wanted a hug from my mum and dad! Freshers week is hyped up to be this incredible time where you make all these great friends and have the best nights ever - but in between them are long days to be filled and at times I was just desperate to leave, completely overwhelmed at the entire situation.

Everyone says 'oh you'll be fine once you get there' or 'you are going to absolutely love every minute of university!'..but what if you don't? Does that make you abnormal or weird? My freshers week was a blur of tears, phonecalls home, awkward conversations with strangers(and a hangover or 3) and there were so many times that I wanted to drop out and go home but what good would that do? I couldn't even occupy myself with tasks to stop myself getting upset, because it was almost as if I couldn't let go of the idea of 'home'. The word 'home' for me, comes with connotations of comfort, happiness and familiarity and throughout my first week, I was anything but that in these new surroundings and even with incredible support from my family and friends back at home, I was miserable.

4/5 of my lovely flatmates!

It's not in my character to give up and I was not going to waste weeks of revising for A Levels, plus the sense of achievement of getting good results by dropping out before I'd even given my geography course, and the lovely city of Newcastle a chance. So even though all I wanted to do was sit in my room and cry, I pushed myself to do things that I would usually shy away from, like making conversations with new people and joining societies/groups such as nu:life magazine and with this, not only did I begin to make new friends and build solid relationships with my flatmates, but I feel like I'm beginning to have a sense of purpose in university life, outside of my course.

Freshers week is hard for some people - there's so much time to fill that it becomes overwhelming but surround yourself with people, push yourself to step outside of your comfort zone, phone home lots and from personal experience, I can promise it gets so so much better.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed - I was so excited when I found out it would be published!


Charlotte x

Friday, 13 September 2013

University Homeware Haul #2

Helloo,

So I'm continuing to spend money on different things for university, it's so crazy how much you need - or it's just showing me how much I take for granted in my own house which is actually quite humbling! Yeah anyway, I thought I'd show you more of the things I got, without the boring stuff like a wok..or a toilet brush..

*sorry for the crappy background pictures, I've packed up most of my things now so it's abit bare and ugly!



Due to the teeny tiny wardrobe, I decided to be organised(for once) and buy a storage drawer set, from family bargains for 12.99 and I'll probably be keeping clothes that I can't squeeze into the ridiculously small space we have for clothes!

This modern, white lamp was an absolute steal from Store 21 at 4.99 and I thought it would be perfect for my bedside table, although I did almost forget to buy bulbs so that would have been a slight issue if my mum hadn't come to the rescue, how will I live without her?!



This sleek John Lewis alarm clock was very kindly sent to me and it was such perfect timing as it was next on my list of things to buy! This is the Newgate cubic alarm clock is quite small, so perfectly sized to put on a bedside table and it means I'll never oversleep for a lecture...Yay...








My mum bought me this little box to put..stuff(?) in - I'm thinking hairgrips/bobbles although I don't know why because they constantly go missing anyway! This picture was from 10yrs ago and my navy velvet playsuit is VERY sexy...



This suuuuuper cute storage box is from TKMaxx and I love it - it was a gift from my auntie for my 18th which she filled with Soap and Glory, Nails Inc etc so for the trip up to Newcastle, I carried this on...




Ok, I cannot get over how much I love this storage box - way more than I should when it's literally a box. If you are looking for nice homeware stuff and have a Store 21 near you, GO IN - they have such nice stuff and it's so inexpensive! This atlas themed box was only 7.99 and seeing as I'm about to start studying for a Geography degree, I had  to buy it...



After all that hard work of moving all my crap from the car..up the stairs..to the flat(I'm tired thinking about it!) so a cup of tea and lots and lots of biscuits will be needed..well think about all those calories I'll have burnt walking up the stairs!!


As you're reading this, I'm travelling upto Newcastle to move into halls; I'm so excited but also crapping myself abit aswell, OH GOD WHAT AM I DOING!!

Charlotte xx 

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