Friday, 29 November 2013

Friday Book Review: Inferno by Dan Brown

This week's book is Dan Brown's Inferno. I have read all of Dan Brown's books and they are brilliant. He definitely has an amazing mind and although I do sometimes have to re read a page, I would highly recommend it.

Pick up your copy here

Book description from Amazon:

"'Seek and ye shall find.'
With these words echoing in his head, eminent Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon awakes in a hospital bed with no recollection of where he is or how he got there. Nor can he explain the origin of the macabre object that is found hidden in his belongings.
A threat to his life will propel him and a young doctor, Sienna Brooks, into a breakneck chase across the city of Florence. Only Langdon's knowledge of hidden passageways and ancient secrets that lie behind its historic facade can save them from the clutches of their unknown pursuers.
With only a few lines from Dante's dark and epic masterpiece, The Inferno, to guide them, they must decipher a sequence of codes buried deep within some of the most celebrated artefacts of the Renaissance - sculptures, paintings, buildings - to find the answers to a puzzle which may, or may not, help them save the world from a terrifying threat.
Set against an extraordinary landscape inspired by one of history's most ominous literary classics, Inferno is Dan Brown's most compelling and thought-provoking novel yet, a breathless race-against-time thriller that will grab you from page one and not let you go until you close the book."

I didn't think that Robert Langdon could possibly get into anymore trouble. I like the way this book is set up, with Langdon waking up and not having a memory of what happened and piecing it all back together. It is also not the usual religious type book that he writes in my opinion. I find that Dan Brown has completely modernised the plot. 

Definitely a recommendation and if you haven't read any of the previous books, then I would pick those up while you are at it as well.

Birthday Meal with the in-laws ...

We went out on a night out with my lovely in laws for my husband's birthday. We went to a pub which is just on the outskirts of our town called The Raby Arms. Menu is lovely and was just a nice night.

Top: Florence and Fred
Leather Leggings: Redoute
Biker Jacket: Primark
Wedges: New Look

I backcombed my hair a little and I used some fab new lipstick from Rimmel that I will pop a separate post on here for. This was on the way back in from our night out so do look a little worse for wear. Please excuse the sleepy eyes.

See you soon,
Rachael xox

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Hubby's Birthday Night Out ..

So it was my husband's birthday and we went out for a lovely meal at a local (to us) bar and grill which is called Red's and is mainly italian type food which is my fave. We followed up with a little bit of arcade games fun afterwards throwback style. It was really fun!

Jumper: Papaya @ Matalan
Necklace: Primark
Bag: Zara
Jeans: South @ Littlewoods
Boots: Clarks

Coat: New Look
Snood: Atmosphere @ Primark
Gloves: Atmosphere @ Primark
Bags, Jeans and Shoes As before

Hubby's attempt at movember and some of our delicious food from the night. A lovely night and lovely birthday.

See you soon,
Rachael xox

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Workday wear ...

So, I don't usually do a lot of outfit posts but I thought I would try and do a few more now there is a lot of things coming up. This is just from a day at work. I often wear leggings for work simply because I pay £3.00 a pair from Primark and if they get wrecked (have I mentioned I do not have a glamorous job?!), they are quite easy to replace and also because I have a major love for dresses. I have to dress smart for work but I have a major hate for work trousers. I don't know what it is but I just look terrible in them and I have tried many different alternatives.

Not a great light and it makes my forehead look super shiny!

Dress: Florence and Fred
Leggings: Primark
(Sorry about toes)

I don't often make a supreme effort for work unless I am going somewhere in terms of hair and makeup but I as in the stage between "just washed" and "need to wash" hair so a slick back ponytail it was. I have popped this on here just because I love this dress sooo much!

See you soon,
Rachael xox

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Primark Haul ...

I love shopping in Primark as you find on trend items for such small prices. I hate that you can't buy anything online but I bet it is impossible for them to have a server that would sell that much stock. 

 I got these nails because I do like to get acrylic or gel extensions so I thought I would try out these for the ball I am going to next week to be a bit more purse friendly. My auntie bought these for my hen weekend and they are fab.

 This bag is massive. I don't buy a lot of bags from Primark because they tend to snap on the handles simply because I put that much in them but I loved this one. Its like a dark navy colour and it matches my new navy coat (see an older post). I think it was something like £13.00. I did see that they had the red option in at £5.00 on special offer and I missed that one. I was going to buy it as a stocking filler for someone but you have to be quick in Primark.

 This dress hasn't photographed very well but it is lovely. It is black with silver flecks in and its quite woolly but thin. I plan on wearing it with my black wedge peep toes or my black gladiator heels for New Year's Eve. but we'll see.

This skater style dress was only £5.00. I don't know whether or not I have mentioned it before but I manage a charity shop and that job is not glamorous whatsoever and often I go home dusty and I am a spiller so I often have tea stains or something down me so £5.00 for a dress is brilliant for me. It is quite thin but I often wear a black cami underneath and usually with leggings too. I love it. 

I am off to Primark this weekend in a nearby town and it is huge so I am looking forward to having a good shop around in there.

See you soon,

Rachael xox

Monday, 25 November 2013

Make up Haul ... ELF


I have never purchased anything from ELF (Eyes, Lips, Face) before but I always hear so many good things about their products that I thought I would have to give them a go. When I logged online, I found that they have 50% off when you spend over £35.00 so I took advantage of this offer and had a good look at their different products online and I purchased quite a bit. I'll list the products below.

Studio Stipple Brush
Kabuki Face Brush
Complexion Brush
Daily Brush Cleaner
3 pc nail polish set - Mysterious
Flawless Finish Foundation - Sand
All over colour stick - lilac petal
All over colour stick - spotlight
Eyelid Primer - Golden
Plumping Lip Glaze - Fuschia Fanatic
Plumping Lip Glaze - Ruby Kiss
Tinted Moisturiser SPF 15 - Ivory
Mineral Blush - Joy
Mineral Foundation - Beige
HD Blush - Headliner
Luscious Liquid Lipstick - Nude Pink
48pc festive beauty book - festive everyday
Liquid eyeliner - stardust
Eye widener

I'll try and use the products over the next week to see what I think of them and I'll update you and let you know. The only points I have to say so far on ELF is that they were very very cheap so I don't know what I am going to think about the products. The delivery time took a little long but I wasn't in any rush for them but if you are wanting something specific for a specific time then I suggest you would leave plenty of time. I thought the packaging would have been cheap but it isn't. Everything is individually packaged with its own point of sale already on it. I do read reviews so I am not sure about the make up brushes yet until I use them as they don't come across well on the reviews. The other thing about purchasing online as well is colour choice - it is hard to determine what the colours will look like so I will get back to you on those as well.

What is your favourite ELF product??

See you soon,

Rachael xox

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Rimmel 1000 kisses lip tint ...


Can anybody let me know if they have used this product and found it to be easy to use? I don't know whether its just me but I have a dark red shade (the shade name has rubbed off) and I just don't like this product. The idea with the Rimmel 1000 kisses lip tint is to put the colour on first which is a dry matte shade and then you put the shine part on which is kind of like a dried out Vaseline stick. The shade I have got is not available any longer on but there are many more different shades on there.

Product Information on Boots: Rimmel 1000 Kisses Lip Tint features a non-transfer formula that leaves beautiful, natural tinted lips.The ultra-comfortable, non-transfer formula won’t smudge or rub off, while the caring balm leaves lips moisturised.

You can try different shades here. I might try a different shade in a different colour but I find it goes on the lips and it clumps up at different points and then a lot of colour sticks to the balm part. I also don't think it lasts very long. I have had mine a while so maybe some of this is because of the age of it.

Let me know if you have tried this product ...

See you soon,

Rachael xox

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Saturday Film Review: World War Z

I have seen World War Z recently on dvd but when it came out at the cinema, I didn't really think it was my "cup of tea". I didn't really know what it was about except some that it was some sort of attack on humankind by something.

I bought it on DVD due to the fact my husband loves any action films and I suppose I will watch anything - except from horror. The fact that it stars Brad Pitt didn't deter me because I have seen him in a lot of films and he is genuinely an excellent actor and can portray any role extremely well and this film was not an exception.  

Buy your copy here.

Amazon's description:

"Product Description

United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) traverses the world in a race against time to stop the zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to destroy humanity itself."

Not a very full description but they do have their own review on there if you want to take a look. The film opens on a typical family morning but we learn that Gerry (played by Brad) has left his job to become a house husband and we can sort of tell from his interest in the news and conversation that his role was something to do with the government or military. They travel through New York to take the children to school when there is a lot of police presence in the street and then a massive disruption and complete havoc. In a jaw dropping scene, we are then introduced to the Z, which are humans which have turned into zombies and we see them turning others also. 
They are rescued after a turbulent drive into New Jersey only for Gerry to be dragged back into the UN which we learn he worked for. Enter the military and various different countries and we learn that this is a widespread virus, people are biting others yet we notice that some people are not affected. Hence, the ending of a possible cure via the world health organisation in cardiff and a horrific plane journey. 
I didn't know what to expect from this film before I watched it but I did enjoy it. I don't think its a repeat watch film as I noticed everything I was supposed to the first time round, but I do think that it is worth the watch, at least once. As I previously said, Brad Pitt is excellent in this role and the special effects and big scenes are definitely edge of the seat stuff. There are a lot of jumpy scenes but it is a lot more than your average zombie slasher.
See you soon,
Rachael xox

Friday, 22 November 2013

Friday Book Review: How I live now by Meg Rosoff

Firstly, this book is a children's book. I picked it up in a charity shop when I read the back and I was intrigued as it had won awards and received excellent critical acclaim. Secondly, they have made it in a film this year and it has now been made into a film that was released and will be released on DVD in February. I haven't seen the film which I am glad of because I like to read a book first as I feel there is background you get in a book that you don't get in a film. I also want to add a third thing, and that is although this book is a children's book, I would definitely say it is for an older child on the transition of reading adult books as I find there are some parts of the book that are quite disturbing.

Buy yours here

This is the description of the book taken from Amazon:

"How I Live Now is an original and poignant book by Meg Rosoff, now a film tie-in edition to celebrate the release of the major film starring Saoirse Ronan.
How I Live Now is the powerful and engaging story of Daisy, the precocious New Yorker and her English cousin Edmond, torn apart as war breaks out in London, from the multi award-winning Meg Rosoff. How I Live Now has been adapted for the big screen by Kevin Macdonald.
Fifteen-year-old Daisy thinks she knows all about love. Her mother died giving birth to her, and now her dad has sent her away for the summer, to live in the English countryside with cousins she's never even met.
There she'll discover what real love is: something violent, mysterious and wonderful. There her world will be turned upside down and a perfect summer will explode into a million bewildering pieces.
How will Daisy live then?"

I have always been a reader and at the age of ten and eleven when I would sleep at my grandparents on a weekend I learnt a lot by making my way through Danielle Steel's novels. I have always had a vocabulary that was older than my years but this is just because I read. A LOT.

This is the sort of book that I would have read at this age and could have understood to a degree. I still found myself confused as to what the book was about. I mistakenly at first thought that any reference to war was all about the a genuine world wars but there were too many modern references so I then started the book and realised it was a fictional war about an invasion from an unknown person(s) in Britain. I stupidly imagined the book to be based on real events but it was complete fiction. As a lover of fantasy and sci-fi and basically completely made up fiction, I was quite surprised that I approached this book in that way but I think it was because I approached it as an adult book rather than a children's. Once I read more into it and I took away any factual approach to it, I had a different reaction. It was poetic, sad, violent and absolutely heartbreaking and what I could imagine to be a true story in an occupied Britain and also what I could imagine could happen in occupied countries. Think - Atonement for children.

See you soon,

Rachael xox

P.S. I use Amazon for my reviews simply because this is where I buy most of my books from - usually on a Kindle.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

On Trend with ... Panel Coats

A massive trend that has just come to light is this new take on the coat. Victoria Beckham has designed this leather and wool panel contrast coat but at £3,235 for the privilege, I thought I would have a look elsewhere to see if there are alternatives on my budget and I found quite a few.

Image from Lane Crawford
As you can see the Victoria Beckham coat is fabulous, very eye catching. Here are some alternatives available online and on the high street.

1. Leopard Patch Car Coat - Oasis
2. Check Panel Coat - George at Asda
3. Contrast Coat with Stepped hem - Asos
4. White contrast longline panel coat - River Island
5. Contrast Biker Coat - Warehouse @ Asos

If you are desperate for this trend, and you are wanting a cheap and budget friendly option then the check panel coat from George at Asda is a must have. My personal favourite is the contrast biker coat from Warehouse. This would go with my style definitely and I would definitely get a budget friendly cost per wear option out of it. P.S. I love the white River Island option but I have a tendency to spill.

Which one is your fave?

See you soon,

Rachael xox

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

On Trend with ... Tartan

Tartan is so on trend right now but I have been avoiding it a little as I don't usually like to follow the crowd. However, I always browse the "new in" sections of websites and there are often trendy tartan products and I have taken a shine to them. So here is my better late than never top tartan picks for A/W 2013.

1. Earmuffs - Joy the Store
2. Pencil Skirt - Topshop
3. Peplum Top - Boohoo
4. Bobbles - Boohoo
5. Check Dress - Boohoo
6. Trousers - Missguided
7. Dress - Dorothy Perkins

I have become a new fan of tartan. I love these different pieces because they are so cute. I especially love the bobbles; they are so cute and an instant trend update. The dresses are perfect for me for work as well.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Winter Warmers Wishlist

So today is the first day in a while I have been freezing. This is not an exaggeration - I am actually so cold that I have dug out my massive Nike sweatshirt. I decided that I just do not have enough woolies to keep me going so I thought I would have a little look online. Now, I have been trying to budget myself lately as I have a lot of things coming up that I know I am going to spend money on so I decided that I wanted to have a look at things for less than £20.00 ...

1. Burnt Orange Cardigan £14.99  New Look
2. Isla PU Sleeve Knitted Top £15.00  Boohoo
3. Evie Owl Jumper £15.00 Boohoo
4. Blue Aztec Fluffy Jumper £ 17.99 New Look
5. Spot Jumper £17.99 Missguided
6. Turtle Neck Jumper £15.00 Wallis
7. Ivory Penguin Sweat £18.00 Dorothy Perkins
8. Christmas Santa Stuck Jumper £19.99 Internacionale 

I love these winter woollies but there are so much more available and it is so hard to choose which ones you want but I always think of where I am going to be wearing them and what I have to wear them with and this is how I have narrowed them down to these ones. I especially love the Santa jumper as I am not one for a snowman with a carrot but this one I love. 

Another fabulous find is this home alone inspired jumper from They keep going in and out of stock so if you love it as much as I do, order quick.

See you soon and keep warm!

Rachael xox

Monday, 18 November 2013

Birthday Dinner Party ..

So, on Saturday we had a lovely night in with friends. It was my friend's birthday so we invited him and his girlfriend round for a meal on our lovely new dining table. They brought the main and we supplied the dessert. Homemade lasagne and garlic bread and Flake birthday cake for dessert (if you haven't had this before, buy it! Disclaimer: If you are trying to lose weight, it will not help.) We had a lovely night and we popped open a bottle of Champers that we received as a wedding gift.

Excuse the bare feet, but I had just painted my nails with Rimmel 60 seconds nail polish in Ready, Aim, Paint! My hair is naturally wavy so I enhanced it with v05 mousse and hairspray and pinned some of it up so it wasn't a frizz bomb.

Dress - Dorothy Perkins
Cardigan - Atmosphere @ Primark
Champagne - Piper Heidsieck approx £40

See you soon,

Rachael xox

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Sunday Stocking Fillers: Joy the store

So, I am going to find my best picks from stocking fillers over the next couple of weeks to show for Christmas pressies. I love the little stocking fillers you can pick up and I love even more to receive them. Especially when they are novelty items. 

I received a catalogue through a magazine, and it was for joy the store. I had a little peek through and there were a lot of stocking fillers that inspired me to do this post. Simply because they are amazing!

First I had a little look at the men's gifts..

1. Back to Skool Pen Holder £10.00
2. Egg Terminator £7.00
3. Moustache Money Box £7.50
4. Man Shed Box £15.00
5. Obsessive Chef Cleaning Board £20.00

I love these items and my partner would love them all. I particularly like the idea of the man shed box as I am sick of picking up random man stuff. I am sure there are a lot of you out there who would agree I think?

1. White Owl Cookie Jar £20.00
2. Fif-Tea Shades of Earl Grey Cup £7.50
3. Glass Ring Holder £5.00
4. Receipts Tin £7.00
5. Geisha Money Box £15.00

Hint for my family, I would love any of these. I love in particular the owl cookie jar as I love owls and I think the receipt tin is particularly genius, although I may require two. 

Check out the jewellery too for more inspiration! Gorgeous.

Fans of TV series Revenge will love these infinity earrings 

These Lulu Guinness inspired quirky earrings get my vote too *Hint Hint*

Check out the website, it is fabulous.

See you soon,

Rachael xox

House of Fraser Denim Blogger Challenge ...

Hi ..

So I found out online that House of Fraser were hosting a competition for bloggers to pick the perfect outfit. Still a bit of time to enter, the competition does not finish until tomorrow evening so pop online and chose your favourite denim pick. I've spent a bit of time choosing a look that I think would work well for me but easily changeable for others too - I wouldn't mind winning the £75.00 in House of Fraser vouchers too .. I have my eye on a couple of handbags!

My Denim Look

I have played my look around "weekend casual". We often find ourselves with these spontaneous nights out after a day of shopping with the girls, someone suggests a cocktail or two but what can we wear that we can be comfortable in during the day but will translate to evening wear.

I always usually go for the skinny jeans and blouse look as I find it can easily be casual or evening wear. I love 7 for all mankind jeans as they just fit so well and this pair in particular are fabulous. We're nearly in December and nobody could begrudge you a bit of sparkle during the day at Christmas Time. I love this Mango blouse as it's so plain so it means dressing it up with this cluster bib isn't too much even for shopping. I love an ankle boot with a little heel when shopping. It helps when trying on clothes to have a little heel and I would never wear flats to go for drinks so I find these shoes a happy medium.

The gloves and handbag definitely compliment each other both are black quilted and set off this outfit lovely. The handbag is across body with detachable strap that can be tucked in to use it as a clutch at night and the gloves will easily pop into the bag too. I chose to accessorise with gloves for during the day to warm the outfit a little. You definitely do not want to be dragging a coat out on a night out so this coatigan is perfect. Biba have the most gorgeous prints and this coatigan is no exception. The best thing about the Biba jacket is that it brings out the gold sparkle in the jeans also. 

There are so many looks you can do with denim but as previously mentioned, I have designed my outfit around what I would actually wear - and I have just added this lot to my basket so the £75 vouchers would really come in handy. I can't wait for the next shopping trip with the girls.

What is your favourite denim look?

See you soon,

Rachael xox

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Saturday Film Review: Return to Oz

Hi, I have always loved Return to Oz and to be honest, I like it a lot more than the Wizard of Oz simply because it is darker and I feel like I believe that when Dorothy travels to Oz she actually goes, but I find I can't get my head around whether or not she actually goes in Return to Oz due to the similarities between the characters such as the Goblin King, Princess Mumby and the Wheelers to people she encounters back in Kansas.

This might be me just reading into it a lot more as an adult but give it a go and make your own decision. I have found that I LOVE the film just as much as I did when I was a child. 

You can pick up a copy here

So final notes on this film, is that it is the aftermath of when Dorothy visited Oz for the first time but a lot has changed since she first went to Oz. The only little niggly thing I cannot stand, and this may be because I watch a lot of films and I am quite picky, is that the Dorothy in this film is a lot younger than the one in the first - she looks younger and she is quite a lot smaller also. Furthermore, Toto is a different breed of dog?

If anyone can explain this to me then lovely but that is as far as my negative comments go on the film - I love it!

See you soon,

Rach xox

P.S. The wheelers are a bit scary!

Friday, 15 November 2013

Friday Book Review: Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton

This is a book I read quite a while ago but I have recently re-read it because I really enjoyed it. This is Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton and is only her second novel but it is amazing!

Product Description taken from Amazon:

"There is a fire and they are in There. They are in there . . .

Black smoke stains a summer blue sky. A school is on fire. And one mother, Grace, sees the smoke and runs. She knows her teenage daughter Jenny is inside. She runs into the burning building to rescue her.

Afterwards, Grace must find the identity of the arsonist and protect her family from the person who's still intent on destroying them. Afterwards, she must fight the limits of her physical strength and discover the limitlessness of love."

This book hooks you from the beginning. Afterwards talks about a mother and daughter's relationship as they rebuild their lives after a school fire. I love how Rosamund keeps you 100% gripped until the very end of the book and how her characters develop over a small period of time. I even find myself saying, "that is so Grace" when she does something that I find typical of the character. 

I love the added element of the "whodunnit" to the story. It provides an added dynamic to the book. I must admit that usually when I read a book, I donate them immediately to the charity shop that I manage. However, this one will stay on my shelf until I fancy reading it again. 

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Soap and Glory Scrub Em and Leave Em ...

Hi, I would say I am quite new to Soap and Glory. I have always used the hand maid and I have tried the mist you madly and hand food but other than that, I have always stuck to cheaper brands but lately I find myself branching out and like I said in the mini Boots haul, I have bought a few travel sizes to try. The Soap and Glory Scrub Em and Leave Em is in a lovely pink pot and the travel size is only £2.50.

I love it! It has the most gorgeous scent - sort of like candyfloss and I am a sucker for a sweet scent. It doesn't have the best consistency for me as I like to feel like I am thoroughly scrubbed but the scent stays with you all day, the colour is gorgeous and it does make you feel like you have smoother skin.

I would definitely repurchase this item. Buy yours here.

See you soon,

Rach xox

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Rimmel Scandaleyes ...

I have been a fan of Rimmel for a long time. I have tried and tested nearly all of their make up but I have not always gone for the mascara as they just have not been for me.

However, I was in Boots and they had a special offer on Rimmel - when you spend so much you get a free mascara and this was my free gift. Rimmel Scandaleyes Retroglam Extreme.

 I actually had a little argument with a lady in the post office this morning because she said she didn't realise how anyone could wear false eyelashes all the time and I said that was random and she pointed at my eyelashes and I had to explain it was just mascara. I was very happy. Especially, as I pointed out, that this was a free gift because I purchased two items that I purchase regularly.

The brush is perfect for my eye shape and I blink against it and the result is extreme. I could probably get more shape and longer lashes if I did it a little longer for a night out. My new favourite mascara! (and it is only £6.99)

You can get yours here

See you soon,

Rachael xox

Monday, 11 November 2013

Wilko Haul?

Well, I know it is a bit unusual but I picked up some lovely things from Wilkos. I often forget that they do make up and toiletries.

I work in a shopping centre and so occasionally I will pop into the Wilkinson's to have a little look.

My hubby is off out tonight with his friend so I will be soaking in the bath with this muscle soak as I suffer with a bad back. I'll pop a candle on and read the mags after with the Kitkat chunky (peanut butter is my favourite).

The crisps I buy for my lunches as they taste fab, are shaped like bears and they're low cal.

I must say that these candles are the main reasons I have decided to show this haul. They have launched new winter fragrances such as spiced pomegranate, a sandalwood and honey and chocolate and they all smell amazing/ I think the honey and choc is my favourite. They are only £2.00 at the moment on special promotion so get yours now before they sell like crazy.

I have never used the Radox muscle soak so I am intrigued to know if it makes a difference, but I will let you know.

See you soon,

Rachael xox

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Mini Boots Haul

Very recently I did a large shop at Boots, which I will pop on soon, so I didn't really need many items but whenever I go in, I just get carried away. Plus, my large Boots spend meant I had a lot of points as it was at the spend £50 and get £12 in points on your advantage card event (which they are having again this Thursday, by the way).

Okay, so I picked up the following items:

I always have hand maid on me in my bag and it is 3 for 2 at the moment although I have just stupidly realised I bought 4!! The V05 is also on offer with buy one get one half price. Apart from the hand maid, the rest of the items were an impulse purchase but I had been wanting to try these for a while and especially with the soap and glory, I like to try travel size first. 

I will let you know how I get on with these products.

See you soon,

Rachael xox