Monday, 30 December 2013

Book Review - The Fault in our Stars by John Green


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..

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


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


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

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


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'll be back 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 :)


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