Book review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Well hello to you my reader chums! As one of my New Years resolutions, I aimed to rekindle my love of reading and started this book the other day. Nothing can ever compare to the excitement of immersing yourself into a storyline, learning about new characters and what a novel can reveal. When I went on a book shop a while back, I picked up 'Everything, Everything' because of my sheer curiosity for the plot line. I'm not usually one to read a book mainly focused on love, however this was different throwing in surprise elements throughout the tale. I could say loads of incredible things about the story so let's get into this review.
Review of book Everything Everything

Plot - The plot line is one that sparks curiosity and led to me picking up the book. Its about a girl named Maddy who is allergic to the world and unable to leave her house. When a boy named Olly moves next door and they get talking, he's determined to find a way to get to her. The story unfolds, explaining the lengths each other go for love.

Characters - Through this book, you really get to know the characters on a personal level, especially Maddy. The story is told from her view, the first hand experiences of what the illness is like and how each days play out. She's very close to her mum and there's a huge focus on their character bond throughout the book. Her carer Carla is a big feature in the book, whose been with her everyday since she was extremely young. The new and exciting character is Olly, who is introduced when he moves in next door. Described as the typical teenage heartthrob with each intricate detail, the tale goes onto show the blossoming relationship of him and Maddy. Their relationship is the most important novel and the reason why all the life changing moments go on.

Book review of everything everything

Structure - This was one of my favourite parts of the book. Don't get me wrong, I love a classic novel where its laid out chapter after chapter but the break up of this book was unique. You do get chapter after chapter, named a title for instance 'Perspectives', which offers an insight to what the next few pages will be. However, there's the break up of text message chats, images of emails/doodles and random one liner pages. I think with this fast paces structure, it not only gives the book a bit of variation but entices you to want to know more and more. An addictive page turner for sure.

Ending - I wasn't entirely sure what to expect the ending to be. It's only as the book goes on you think 'wow could this, this and that actually happen?! How the last half of the book unwinds is a shocker with lots of twists and a completely unexpected ending! Although, the last few pages do show the heart-warming feel most of the novel conveys and end on a point which brings the entire book together. An eye-opening and touching tale which shows what each character does for love.

Everything Everything book review

Overall, its safe to say I was obsessed with this novel. I could have easily devoured it one sitting and would recommend everyone to pick it up. Filled with heart-wrenching moments, adventure and the crazy risks love brings, it's one of the best books I've read.

I hope you enjoyed this book review of 'Everything Everything'. Have you read this novel?

Thank you for reading <3



A Burlesque night at Privee Knightsbride - London diaries

Well hello to you my reader chums! The weekend just gone, my group of best friends  and I headedup to London for a Burlesque night. For our Christmas present, Danielle (pictured in second image below), gifted us tickets to a Burlesque night at Privee Knightsbridge and we couldn't wait to go along. Neither of us had yet to experience a Burlesque show or a London night out so were unsure what to expect.

Here's a look at my favourite snaps from our London weekend:

London weekend out
Me, Chloe (in the middle) and Molly

We travelled up late morning on the Saturday and chilled in one of my best friends family's house. After a fish & chip lunch, afternoon snacks and a good old natter, we began getting ready with the help of a glass of wine (or two).

Chummy and I
Danielle and I
Girls night out in London

Rose wine is our favourite


Poloroid memories


You can't begin a girls night out without a few snaps when getting ready. We had a good old laugh, put our dresses on and hopped in a taxi, ready for the event.

London taxi ride

Upon arrival, the location was tucked away amongst boutique shops, restaurants and bars, through a special door. Above the event venue was the restaurant and downstairs is where the show took place. You were greeted with champagne cocktails and a welcoming smile from the doorman, who escorted you to a chosen table. The venue was very intimate; a bar setting with a selection of tables and flat stage at the far end. We opted for the table to the left of the stage for the best view. The show began with an absolutely charming host, she brought the whole thing to life. Her charismatic flair and humour made us cry with laughter! We were her little cheerleaders in the corner and even got a shout out. A crowd pleaser and fab singer, she sung along to all the classic cabaret tunes before the main acts began their perfomances.

The show was broken up into 3 bits, 2 sections of Burlesque dancing and one belly dancing act with the hosts sketches in between. There were two main dancers for Burlesque and a belly dancer who came from Dubai. All three performed well and the atmosphere felt cheery, like a cosier, theatre setting.

As part of the ticket, you received a three course meal from the set menu. I chose beef for starter, the vegetarian main of an aubergine style dish with rice and apple pie for dessert. The food was delicious and paired with the cocktails, a fab treat. They had the finest selection of other cocktails on offer which we tried and loved. I have to say for the first experience of a Burlesque night, we all had a truly brilliant time. Privee Knightsbridge put on a show and created a welcoming atmosphere for everyone.

Champagne cocktails

Once the show was over, the bar took over playing party tunes so we stayed until they closed dancing the night away. For the last half an hour it was only us 4 left in the venue which meant we had full control of the song choices, singing along to our favourite tracks.

Overall, a for a first Burlesque experience, Privee Knightsbridge in London had it all. I'd completely recommend for a trip with the girls or even a date with your other half. Filled with humour, a bit of magic and dancing, it's one not to miss.

I hope you enjoyed this day in the life style post. Have you ever been to a Burlesque show?
Thank you for reading <3



Beauty review: Nars 'Cruella' velvet matte lip pencil

Well hello to you my reader chums! A New Year means this new lipstick obsession of mine. Nars has been a brand I've wanted to try for the longest time and finally got the chance when I received the 'Cruella' velvet matte lip pencil for Christmas. After being on my wish list for so long, without a doubt, it certainly lived up to the name.

Nars cruella velvet matte lip pencil

Packaging - Sleek, sophisticated and compact, the packing is to die for. I love the simplicity of the black tube with a pop of colour on the end to show the product's shade.

Formulation - I couldn't fault this in the slightest. As the pencil is matte, you'd expect the consistency to be tough or the wear drying, however this isn't the case. Upon application, the pencil is incredibly creamy on the lips. The soft formulation means it glides on easy without tugging at the lips or staining them.

Nars cruella velvet matte lip pencil

Pigmentation - If you love an intense and truly pigmented red, this is the lipstick for you. The shade's pigmentation is very similar to Mac's Russian Red only slightly darker and with a creamier formulation. With one layer on the lips, the lip pencil gives a bold, vampy red, perfect to match any makeup look. It's the type of colour that suits a whole range of skin tones and can be worn on different occasions, whether it's an autumn day out or summer time ball.

Lasting power - The main quality I look for in lipsticks is the lasting power, as no matter what technique I use, lip products seem to vanish from my lips. However, this Nars pencil is one of the most long-lasting lipsticks I've tried. Since it's a matte formulation, it'll pro-long the lasting power anyway in comparison to a gloss. After application and without the help of a lip liner, I'd say the lips pencil can last the entire evening. Through drinking and eating, there will be wear from the centre of the lips but ultimately the product clings on. It's the perfect red lip staple for any evening out.

best red lipstick


Nars cruella velvet matte lip pencil swatch
Nars 'Cruella' velvet matte lip pencil swatch

Nars cruella velvet matte lip pencil

To sum it up: The intense pigmentation, creamy formulation and long-lasting power is faultless, I couldn't recommend it enough. If you're on the hunt for a new red lipstick and would like to treat yourself, this is for you.

I hope you enjoyed this beauty review. Have you tried any of Nars' lip products?

Thank you for reading <3



Hello 2017 - New Years resolutions

Well hello to you my reader chums and Happy New Year! I cannot believe 2017 has arrived and 2016 passed by so quickly. I did so many things within those 12 months that I hope this year is just as memorable. My last post, I wrote about the highlights of 2016 and today wanted to focus on goals for the upcoming year.

2017 new years resolutions
Bidding goodbye to an epic 2016 in the best possible way possible with my favourite people! 

2016, for me was the year of personal growth, incredible adventures and unforgettable memories with my loved ones. I want to continue this positive energy into the next year and all the years to come.

Here's the resolutions I hope to tackle in 2017:

  1. Putting me first -  I'm one of those people who worry a lot about everyone else's happiness and needs instead of focusing on my own. This year, I want to be that little bit more selfish with my time, pursuing my goals and focusing on me a little bit more.
  2. Travelling more - In 2016, I was lucky enough to go on 5 different holidays, visiting a handful of beautiful destinations. Through flying so much and seeing what the world has in store, this year I'd love to continue travelling, going to places I've never been before. I have an endless list of destinations I'd love to visit, all it takes now is some planning!
  3. Getting back into reading - Ever since I was able to read, my nose has always been in a book. Over the past few years, I've got too obsessed with the world of YouTube and social media, that reading took a back seat. This year, I'd love to rekindle that love of immersing myself into a story, reading every night before I go to bed.
  4. Being more daring - 2016 was a year of growth in many aspects of my life. This upcoming year, I want to further that even more, constantly pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Whether that's wearing a new outfit I wouldn't usually go for, hanging out with a new group of people or conquering one of my fears; I aim to just say yes to many more opportunities.
  5. Do some charity work - I'm a big fan of work many charities to do for others in need. I've never really dabbled into the world of helping others apart from donating when I can and adopting an elephant. However, this year, I want to see if there's any volunteering opportunities in my local area, to offer my time to those who need it.
  6. Pass my driving test - In August just gone, I finally plucked up the courage to begin driving lessons. Surprisingly, I wasn't the anxious driver I'd thought but generally feel quite comfortable behind the wheel. In 2017, I hope this is the year I'll be driving on the roads in my own car - I have my test booked, so fingers crossed all goes well.
  7. Continue pursuing my writing career - Writing has been a big passion of mine since a young age. Whether it was writing my own books or working for a magazine, I knew it was the career I wanted to go into. I'm going to begin focusing on it a lot more, trying to start freelance writing work and continuing the novel I began. 'You get what you work for not what you wish for'
  8. Getting fit and healthy - I set this goal every year, but instead of punishing myself for eating badly, I'm aiming to eat well and having treats when I fancy them. I think as long as you're not eating unhealthy foods all the time and indulge a few times a week on a few glasses of wine or a whole tub of Ben & Jerry's, it's okay. I'd love to however, get back into exercising more, whether that's beginning a gym membership or walking a lot more to places, I want to build up my fitness level to how it was a few years back.
  9. Spending time with my loved ones - With work, my hobbies and general life admin constantly coming up, I don't make nearly enough time to spend with my loved ones, who've been there for me since I was a baby. Family is everything and I sometimes take them for granted. I aim to do more things this year for those supporting me since day 1.
  10. Learning to love my own company  - Even though I'm an introvert, I always like to have either my best friends or family around me as I'm not the biggest fan of being on my own. I think this all comes down to overthinking and how my mind works. If I'm distracted by something when alone, it's okay as I can focus on that instead of my thoughts. I want to aim to love being on my own, whether I'm distracted or not. I'd love to fully enjoy a walk to myself, sitting alone in a coffee shop or even watching a movie, instead of this constant need to talk to someone, filling that lonely void.
I hope you enjoyed my post about 2017 resolutions. What goals have you set for this year?

Thank you for reading <3
2017 new years resolutions

2016 highlights ❤️

Well hello to you my reader chums! 2016, where do I begin? For me, it has been the most incredible year. Both of my best friends have called it 'my year', as over the past 12 months I've had many accomplishments and done things I never thought were possible. It's been a year of growth, through my confidence, overcoming anxiety and saying yes to every new experience; I've truly found myself.

Let's take a look at what made 2016 a year to remember...

Travel

La Rambla, Barcelona
La Rambla, Barcelona

Gran Canaria beach
Gran Canaria beach

St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City
Athens
Athens, the ancient city
Cologne cathedral
View from Cologne Cathedral

It's safe to say, I've done my fair bit or travelling this year. I've been lucky enough to go on 5 different holidays and experience some astounding locations. Not only have I witnessed them, but also created unforgettable memories with the people who made my adventures something else. By constantly planning my next trip in the past year, my love for adventure and embracing new cultures has grown immensely. I no longer fear the unknown in new places abroad but allow excitement to overtake with what the trip shall bring. If you've been following along on my adventures, then you'd have seen I've visited Barcelona, Gran Canaria, Rome, Athens and Cologne this year. Many fb city breaks with an unforgettable girls holiday thrown in between. 'Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer' - I couldn't agree with that statement more. Admiring sights abroad and eating local delicacies will forever fill my heart with warmth. I can't wait to continue these adventures, flying out to destinations even further away and absorbing what the world has to offer. 


Friends

Gran Canaria



I don't even know how to put into words how grateful I am for the circle of friends I have. 2016 has been the year we blossomed even more into our own little squad, doing practically everything together and building each other up. Through the adventures abroad, London days out and endless sleepovers, they are my world. I never thought I'd be apart of a group so solid and feel as cherished as I do. They bring endless amount of happiness to my days, never fail to make me laugh and are there when I need a shoulder to cry on. I couldn't wish for a group of best friends who support every single decision I make, put up with my bad days and are always cheering me on. Thank you girls, you crazy bunch, I love you with all my heart.

Personal growth

Though she be but little she is fierce

I've come out of 2016 feeling 1000 times better than how it began. My confidence has truly come along leaps and bounds. I'm more confident in my looks, where I can go out the house with no makeup on and test out more 'daring outfits'. My belief in who I am has improved massively with a change in mind-set from thinking ' I can't do it' to 'I can and I will'. I just feel more content in myself. Through persevering and saying yes to a lot more things, I was able to turn my perspective on life into something positive. The world isn't out to get you, the world is your oyster and it's what you make it.

Another aspect of my personal growth is tackling anxiety. It's not gone completely and it will still creep up every so often but I've come to grips on how to control it. A year ago, I would never imagine what I've done now because of my anxiety. Visiting London used to be more of a worry than fun because of the crowds and cramped tubes but now the tables have turned. I'm lucky to only live 2 hours away from London by train so have consistently visited this year and by doing so, slowly overcame the panic attacks and dread a day in the big city would bring. By travelling to various locations, I overcame the anxiety flying brought or entering a new place. I've stopped being so worried about everyone around me and what they think. Over the year, I learnt to put myself first more and that it's okay to be selfish with my time sometimes, focusing on me. In order to keep my mental heath on track, I've slowly trained my brain to stop overthinking as much ( even if this still tests me at times). Ultimately, my anxiety has been put on the low shelf, I've rose above it and some how tackled through which I never thought I'd do. I'm a stronger, wiser and more determined individual.


Achievements

Above all the incredible adventures I've experienced and the gratitude I have of those around me, I couldn't be more prouder of the achievements I've accomplished in 2016.

1. Flying alone - My highlight of the entire year and proudest moment has to be getting on the plane and travelling alone to a different country. It took every ounce of courage and mindful games to get me there but I did it and flew all the way back with no trouble. I used to have massive fear of flying and airports, which brought on my anxiety immensely, however I did it. I managed to sit on the plane, fly to Greece and meet my aunt with ease. Anxiety or fear didn't win!

2. Parasailing - When I was in Gran Canaria on our girls holiday, we decided to go parasailing. I wanted to do it to enforce my 'just say yes' mantra and to not be so afraid of new experiences. Before parasailing, we went on a boat cruise ( and I have to  admit, I'm really not a big fan of boats) so it was scary enough before flying in the sky. However, again I did it. I may have cried as I thought I would fall but after a minute or so I got used to it. I tackled my fear or heights, water and boats all in one. It's crazy what you can do when you put your mind to it.

3. Overcoming fear of travel - Travelling and seeing new places was always wishful thinking before I just did it. I was always scared something bad would happen to me, I'd be trapped or the new place wouldn't feel safe. After going ton a few trips, instead of that dreadful worry, I get excited what the new culture and location will bring.

4. Just saying yes - This is something I've tried to implement into my life for years now but really got to grips with it in the past 12 months. Whether it's a party, meal out, meeting up with new people or venture up town, I've always aimed to say yes. I think pushing yourself and just going for it is something everybody should take on. If you don't try, you'll never know.

5. Starting driving lessons - I wanted to start driving ever since my twin did but couldn't pluck up the courage to book in a lesson until August 2016. I finally did it and couldn't be happier. I thoroughly enjoy my lessons and surprisingly I'm very confident behind the wheel, not as anxious as I thought I'd be. I can't wait till the day I'm on the roads in my own car.

I hope you enjoyed my 2016 highlights post. What was your favourite moment of the year?

Thank you for reading <3