Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Childhood Books

Hi guys!

Ever since I started my blog, this was one of the ideas I'd pencilled into my notebook since the start! Today I thought I'd go ahead with it, since I don't think I've created any posts about anything to do with childhood so far. Reading has always been a huge part of my life, and I had the most girly taste in reading ever, haha! So I thought I'd select the most prominent books/book series from my primary and secondary school days.

So this is probably one of the most generic favourite books series' ever, haha! But nevertheless, J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series WAS a huge part of my reading life as a child. Like most British people, I'd go to the cinema every time one of the new movies would come out, but I'd also read the books as well. I remember the first time I picked up a Harry Potter book - it was in year 6 - I'd gotten to the 'honour' of free reader (meaning you could read more challenging books now as part of the school year instead of being restricted to the easier school books) and one week I decided to read the first and also shortest novel in the series - 'The Philosopher's Stone'. I remember thoroughly being immersed into the creative ideas of Rowling and couldn't wait to read more. My dad and nan are also avid readers of this series, and the books now take pride as tilted piles in the office in order to inject a bit of colour! 

So Harry Potter was probably the most generic book series I loved, but Jacqueline Wilson's books were the most ESSENTIAL in my life. She is definitely my favourite children's author - I think I own about 30 of her books from over the years! I decided to photograph my absolute top five though - and her book that was aimed slightly more at teens 'Kiss' is my favourite of hers of all time! I found myself SO invested in the characters and the will they/won't they Sylvia and Carl relationship, and the ending was absolutely heartbreaking for more reasons than one! I remember seeing somewhere that at one point she was the most borrowed author in libraries - and I can very much believe that - she was SO popular! Also not photographed but deserve honourable mentions are 'My Sister Jodie', 'Vicky Angel', 'Double Act' and 'Jackie Daydream'. 

My school had a HUGE library, and I used to go in there and borrow stuff so much during my first two years of secondary school in particular. I knew my best friend was into this series at the time (in fact, the two audiobooks pictured above were birthday presents from her way back) so I decided to start reading it myself, as I said previously - most of my taste in books was SO girly it was unreal. Anyway, this 'Mates, Dates' series by Cathy Hopkins was a good read for me as I was just approaching my teens and I enjoyed the anecdotes of the girls' teenage years themselves. I think the coolest part of these books though, is that they focused on three girls but each book saw one of the three girls tell the story from their point of view, before switching each book.

This was another book series that I discovered from the school library! Oh by the way, most of these book series are probably only recognisable to British people because I don't think this series in particular was printed worldwide. Anyway, I adored Karen McCombie's writing style, and the first time I picked up one of these books, I was already hooked and was determined to finish the whole series. I was so interested in the characters of Ally, Sandy, Billy, Rowan and Lynn to a lesser extent, so to have that many great characters was already an achievement. I adored reading about all of Ally's dramas and LOVED the pairing of who she ended up with. Sandy's growth was also really interesting and of course I adored the weird but wonderful Rowan - I saw bits of my younger self in both of them. I even re-read this series on holiday last year, haha!

Okay this one wasn't a series, in fact it was the only book that Harper Lee ever wrote, which is baffling after how acclaimed 'To Kill a Mockingbird's is! Anyway, this is probably the oldest book here (oops at me preferring trashy stuff over classics most of the time!) as it was written in the 1960's, although set in the 1930's. I really enjoyed it despite being confused at the beginning about how the young Scout could tell the story so intellectually (although we found out when it was told at the end, which made far more sense). My favourite character was Atticus, and Gregory Peck's portrayal of him in the movie adaptation was pretty much exactly how I imagined him to be, so brilliant casting there. Just a really gripping and interesting read for me, especially the Boo Radley stuff, although I remember a lot of people in my class NOT feeling the same when it was chosen as one of the books we'd have to study for our GCSE literature exam!

Aw, good old Roald Dahl! I began reading his books at a VERY young age, I think about age six or something. His books are simply absolute classics, though! I've always particularly had a soft spot for 'The BFG', 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' and 'Matilda' - his creativity and storytelling is just second to none. The film adaptations for the latter two are excellent as well (even if embarrassingly as a young girl it used to scare me when Augustus Gloop got sucked up the tube - haha!!). But yeah his books were always ones I'd bring on holiday, I ended up getting the box set as you can see above! 

This one is slightly more embarrassing to say the least, haha! To be fair though, I was about seven years old when I was into this series! But yeah I remember wishing that I was friends with all five of them haha! The stories were very basic but were aimed for young girls and it very much catered to me at that age! I loved following their adventures and wishing me and my own friends could do stuff like them at the time, this one in particular was my favourite though, because they did a radio broadcast which appealed to me as I've always wanted to be a journalist of some sort since as early as I can remember. Very out of date though, I believe the 'cool' singer of the time that they referred to was Gareth Gates, haha! So yeah the Glitter Girls series by Caroline Plaisted was one of the very first books series I ever read and enjoyed! 

And finally, the Diary of a Chav series by Grace Dent! So this is definitely British haha, from the term 'Chav' to all of the other slang in the book! I LOVED this series though, I remember being put off it for ages because of the title - thinking it'd actually be catered for 'chavs'!! But no, this was a great surprise - I loved the unique way that it was set out in diary form, and Shiraz - the main character - is one of my favourite teenage book characters ever, I love how much she grew throughout the series! The 'Diary of a Snob' books were pretty good, too.

So yeah that's it for today! I hope you enjoyed my look back at the books I used to fawn over as a young girl! Did you read any of these books? If not, what were your favourite books when you were younger?

Jade xx

Monday, 18 August 2014

Benefit They're Real Mascara and Eyeliner Review

Hi everyone! 
So, this is my first ever review post. I have decided to review the Benefit 'They're Real' products. I purchased these yesterday. Basically, I went into Boots in the hope of finding a brand new HOPEFULLY cheap mascara that did the job well, and got talking to a lady who was behind the Benefit counter. She hugely recommended it to me and I was a bit apprehensive due to how expensive it seemed - the mascara was around £18 on it's own. However, her eyelashes looked AMAZING and I was finally tempted into purchasing. However, instead of getting the mascara on it's own, I decided to get the 'Real Steal' box instead that also contained the eyeliner and a make-up remover too for just £1.50 more at £19.50! The retail price for both would've been £24. So firstly, here is the package and the eyeliner and mascara it contained inside that this will focus on:

So, what sets the They're Real products apart? Well, firstly there is the pretty impressive stats! Benefit They're Real mascara is the UK's #1 mascara, as the woman behind the counter also expressed - so you can't get much better than that! So I wanted to put it to the test and see if it WAS all that. Well, I can say that it definitely is! It only took me two coats of the mascara to get the results I wanted. The brush itself is wonderful - once applying horizontally, it gave SO much volume and length to my lashes, as well as lifting them. Applying it vertically also separates the lashes and curls them, too so the limits are endless. It made my lashes look SO defined and did all this without leaving any clumps! I would HIGHLY recommend it, definitely the best mascara I've ever used. I wasn't AS impressed with the eyeliner, I mean it did come out really well after you removed the orange plastic part and had a fiddle around with the twisting part at the bottom, but I think it's a more personal thing for me because I personally prefer using a pencil, but it's still of high quality. It is shaped really well I think so you always get a great wing, however one detriment I did notice is that it tends to be a bit fiddly as for me it takes quite a few turns of the bottom before the eyeliner even comes out.

Here was the before and after results on my very own eyes:

Before mascara and eyeliner.

After mascara!

After mascara and eyeliner!

Excuse how bad my skin was looking and the dirty mirror!
But yeah - overall, I'd definitely say that the mascara is ESSENTIAL if you're willing to fork out a bit. It was a bit of a shock at first because I was originally going to buy one that was about £10 less - however - the quality is absolutely undeniable. It gave me dramatic volume and enhanced the length just wonderfully, and it lasts for quite a while as well. So yes I can most definitely see why it is the U.K's number one mascara! If you're into gel eyeliner and want the perfect flick and don't mind putting up with how fiddly it can be then I'd definitely recommend getting the 'The Real steal' package. I wasn't too experienced with it because as I said, I prefer using a pencil - so it wasn't really for me, but it's definitely worth the price at just one pound extra if you like your gel eyeliner, plus you get a make-up remover as well! Exquisite quality, I was extremely impressed. 

Hope you guys enjoyed this review! Have you tried any Benefit products? 

Have a nice week!

Jade xx

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Good Times with Good Friends

Hi guys! 

Hope you're all doing well. Right now I am freaking out SO bad for my A Level results tomorrow that I needed a creative outlet to take my mind off that. So what better than a blogpost, AND one about today - which was actually a really optimistic day for me. So yeah just a quick post that I hope you guys won't mind my rambling on about. This will literally be the most pointless thing ever but oh well. Technically it's a bit of lifestyle, eh! Btw the lighting was awful so apologies for the rather grainy photos. Btw, in that photo above features two of my best friends - Sam on the left, Emma in the middle, and myself on the right. God knows what my hair was doing - literally a mind of it's own. It originally was like the Ariana Grande half/up-do, but it's supposed to be a bit more forward so it's kinda just done a weird thing in that photo. It'll look more NORMAL and how it was supposed to look in the upcoming photos, hopefully.


That's myself and another one of my best friends Kyla above. See, my hair looks a bit more normal here regarding THAT hairstyle, but now it seems like there is a random chunk of hair exposed on the right? Props for having the most unphotogenic hair ever. Can you tell I'm nervous for my results? So anyway onto happy things. The summer holidays are a great thing, ESPECIALLY post first year of A Levels because gosh that was a huge but confusing step up alright. But a lot of watching films and eating pizza can get ever-so-tedious. So instead I chose to swap films for my actual friends, but of course kept the pizza - just instead at a restaurant. Yep, me and my friends went to pizza hut! My plans keep going weird lately, I keep trying to arrange stuff but it keeps not working out - I guess people get busier when they're older, so it was a good thing that all the people I'd wanted to come COULD do so (plus 1 extra, but it was great to see her too). So yeah I'd been getting far too lazy, so it was fantastic to catch-up with the usual lot. Social anxiety usually makes me a bit on edge in public so it's lovely to actually be able to feel feel super comfortable when I'm around my best friends.

Me, Emma and Sam above there! Once again the terrible lighting detracts any sort of good quality. Half of my hair is covered up this time though, so no chance to have any dodgy hair pictures. Yay! But yeah this was the bit after Pizza Hut. I was super boring and had Margherita, with pasta and garlic bread too though. With refillable drink it's pretty decent for £9.95. Help though, my birthday money is going so quickly, at least half now! But yeah, after Pizza Hut we decided to go to the arcades in the bowling alley next door. Above you see my friends and I on one of the cool motorbike rides they have. But yeah I was straight to guitar hero with also best friend Christian, I have definitely lost touch over the years though, what an awful game that was! Meanwhile, they now have a huge doodle jump game so turns out that app isn't totally irrelevant (doesn't stop me still secretly playing it though...). But YEAH don't you just hate those crane machines they have to win cuddly toys when it gives you the SLIGHTEST bit of hope and then constantly drops them. Gah! So addictive, I think my friends ended up having about 10 goes. 

So yeah um that's pretty much it! Don't you just love those catch-up days you have with friends and just have a really nice time? I don't know it just makes me feel more appreciated to know I have a great set of people surrounding me, that's all that really matters. Plus it's always great to have a laugh with said people you care about! Oh yeah, there was ONE decent picture that I actually really liked:

Me, Emma and Kyla there. Gosh her phone camera is SO much better than mine. No hair disasters either - result! So yeah that's about it - writing all this has actually calmed me down a bit recollecting on today's happy times. I am SUCH a worrier though, so of course I'm dead nervous about tomorrow's AS Levels. Hopefully I'm in for a miracle like GCSEs last year. So what about you guys, any impending exam results? Or more to do with this article, any recent fun times you've had with friends? 

Thank you :)

Jade xx

Monday, 11 August 2014

New Look/Superdrug/Carboot Haul!

Hi guys!

So, I went on a huge post-birthday shopping spree on Saturday to the carboot sale and to town as well, and I picked up quite a few vinyls, bits of make-up and pieces of clothing so I thought I'd share what I got with fellow bloggers/casual viewers. I'll talk about the items from the different places grouped, and then take a little individual look at all of them. So here we go:

Carboot Vinyls

So, on Saturday morning I decided to tag along with my mum and brother to the local carboot sale in hope of some bargains. For anyone that doesn't know what they are, it's basically people bring their stuff they want to sell onto a stall, and you go around and look at all this different stuff and buy whatever you want. So like the English equivalent of a yard/jumble sale. So, the first purchase I made was from this man who had about four boxes of vinyls! I sifted through them and firstly found the Grease soundtrack which I had to have as it's my favourite ever movie, especially because of the songs! However, I soon came across ANOTHER Grease vinyl in his collection and swapped it with this one because it was slightly better quality. He had a box full of dance singles as well and I picked out 'Thunder In My Heart Again' by Meck ft. Leo Sayer as I love that song, quite a recent one too, only about 8 years old. These were about £2 each I think. Next, we found another box of vinyls, and my brother actually purchased a couple - Michael Jackson 'Off the Wall' and a Jackson 5 album, he loves them! In this box I managed to find John Lennon & Yoko Ono's 'Double Fantasy' album and he was selling it for just £1! Lastly, I found this guy in a Beatles shirt (loved him already) and found quite a few Beatles records in his collection that I bought: 'A Hard Day's Night', 'Help!', 'Abbey Road' and 'Let It Be' and he charged £20 for them all, which is pretty decent as I found some vinyls in HMV for like £15 EACH! He presumed I was buying them for my dad though and was extremely shocked that I had a record player - I'm such a granny haha. This is definitely the place to come for bargains.

The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night & Help!

The Beatles - Abbey Road & Let It Be

Grease soundtrack and John Lennon & Yoko Ono - Double Fantasy

Meck ft. Leo Sayer - Thunder In My Heart Again

Carboot Make-Up

So, I was most definitely NOT expecting make-up at the carboot sale! But a VERY popular stall there was an Avon lady who had two HUGE boxes of make-up! It was 5 items in a certain box for £2 and any other items were 50p, so I got four nail polishes plus a body butter as my 5 items, and a body spray as an extra item, so all of this costed me just £2.50 and none of the make-up she was selling was used, so what a bargain! The products I got were:

Soap & Glory - The Righteous Butter 50ml body butter

AVON Nailwear Pro - Coral Reef nail polish

Bourjois Paris - Shock Resistant Nail Enamel #30

17 High Gloss - Risky Red nail polish

Star Nails Attitudes - Sea Breeze nail polish

fcuk polished body spray - 75ml

Superdrug Make-up

So, I was actually going into Superdrug with the intention of FINALLY buying Tanya Burr's Little Duck nail polish so was absolutely gutted when I asked a lady in there and she told me that they had just stopped stocking her products! I was desperate for a mint green or turquoise nail polish though, so I had a look around and eventually settled on the Essie Turqoise & Caicos nail lacquer, which was only a couple of pounds more expensive at £7.99. I shall try it out this weekend and hopefully it was worth the purchase! The other intention of wanting to come to Superdrug is that I needed a lipstick, and all I knew is that I wanted it to be dark, so I had a search around and ended up buying the Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick Glam Plum Fulham #470 for £6.49. I would HIGHLY recommend it if you're looking for quite a vampy purple, as it's highly pigmented and comes out just the right shade of purple - in my opinion not too light which is hard to pull off, and not too dark therefore not too dramatic. I'll probably do swatches for these when it comes to August favourites!

Essie Turqoise & Caicos nail lacquer

Rimmel Moisture Renew Glam Plum Fulham #470 lipstick

New Look clothing

So finally, after trailing through the shops, I went to old faithful New Look. I had a look around and spotted two pairs of trousers that I really had my eye on! In the end I decided to get both of them, of course! The trousers pictured on the left of the photo above are the Petite Dogtooth Leggings and they were £14.99. They're SO comfy and as a monochrome lover they are brilliant! On the right are Acid Wash Supersoft Skinny jeans that costed £22.99. I adore them, they fit just right and are SO 80's! Plus they go really well with a pink shirt I have.

So that's all guys! Really hoped you enjoyed this haul! I look forward to using all these things this month. Have you guys bought anything recently? Found any bargains like me? Like any of these products in particular?

Jade xx

P.S. HUGE shoutout to as I recently won a competition on her blog to do advertising with me! So check out her blog also as it's excellent.

PP.S. So this happened. Thank you, to me it's brilliant that this managed to happen in under two months from nowhere, am very grateful for these 1000 views!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Interior - The Office

Hi guys! So, the past few days my dad has spent painting, buying new furniture, putting in a new carpet and basically turning our office upside down to renovate it. I think the new look is wonderful and wanted to do a post to showcase images and tell you guys all about it, as why not - interior is all a part of lifestyle after all! So, here we go...

So that's what it looks like from afar! Nothing on the walls at this present moment as we are looking for something a bit arty to put on there in the future. The walls are looking very crisp after a fresh lick of paint. Now for close-ups...

So this is the brand new carpet below my rather cute (albeit small) heart socks I was just telling you about. Last time we had a carpet fitted, we paid someone to do it. However, this time my dad managed to do it by himself and I'd say he did a very good job indeed! Brand new carpet is the best - ever so soft - my cat has already started lounging about on it a lot! 

So here is the portion on the far length, as well as the filing cabinet. It's pretty great for storage - there is one main cupboard and two filing cabinet sections- the second of which has already been used to it's advantage as you can see! The filing cabinet is the 'Walton 2 Drawer Filing Cabinet - Oak Effect' which was £69.99 from Argos. Next to it is the 'Walton 2 Door Cupboard - Oak Effect' which was a tad pricier at £79.99 from Argos. Oh so you want me to go into detail about the stuff on the desks as well? Alright you nosey lot (nah I'm only kidding, I just thought I might as well anyway!). But yeah anyway, as you can see we have silver blinds on the windowsill which makes for very annoying lighting in some of these photos! As you can see on top of the filing cabinet my parents had a bit of a haul in Staples yesterday (I definitely have my eye on some of their notebooks and Filofaxes!) but nothing really interesting was bought - just the office essentials of paper and ink cartridges! You can also see a Kodak printer (I doubt you can tell it's Kodak - cheers awkward blinds!) and right next to that is a Creative speaker to control the bass of songs that I play on the computer.

So this is the next section! In the first picture is the amazing office chair we currently have. I'd recommend it as it's SO comfortable and currently on sale! It's the 'Scott Deluxe Feather Face Swivel Office Chair - Black' from Argos at the currently reduced price of £49.99 from £99.99! Oh and I decided that my Bijou cuddly toy would make a better model than myself! So anyway, the next portion of the office is a desk that connects to the Cupboard in a curved manner. This desk in question is - you guessed it! - also from Argos, it's the Walton Corner Office Desk - Oak Effect which is available for £69.99. On top of this desk is the HP computer we've had for a good 4 years or so now, accompanied with speakers, mouse and keyboard. If you take a close look on my screen you can see I have iTunes and BlogLovin on there! (If you were wondering, the blogs that my BlogLoving was currently showing were [#465 Summer Favourites post], [Bold Tresses - 13 Ways to Rock Bold Hair Color post] and [Blue and Gold Nail Art - One Minute Manicure Video]). Anyway, there was also a coaster with an empty cup (interesting right!!) and the remainders of the Malteasers box that I received for my birthday - which have since been completely devoured since starting this blogpost - oops! In the final picture you can see my Apple Macbook also, which will bring me onto the final desk now.

So here is the final part of the brand new office! Another piece of furniture from Argos that holds more stuff on and connects to the corner desk - this one is the Walton Office Desk - Oak Effect for £59.99. This part of the office looks VERY show-home/tumblr haha but adds that little extra to spruce it up a bit! Aside from my aforementioned Mac, you can also see two stacks of Harry Potter books that we own (The Prisoner of Askaban, The Order of the Phoenix and The Goblet of Fire on the left pile, and The Deathly Hallows and the Half-Blood Prince on the right pile) and a brand new black lamp - which currently has no bulb, but will be essential for night-time when it HAS got a bulb! It also looks pretty cool too.

So that's it guys! A bit of an Argos furniture haul in a way!! My parents really have made the Office look amazing and will be a great, spacious way to study for my upcoming 2nd year of A Levels. I will probably use it the most also as I'm the one who most uses the computer, but Sparky the cat already likes visiting a lot. Please let me know if you liked this, and maybe I can do more interior posts in the future - like the craziness of my room that pretty much reflects my personality in that respect. Do you like how our office looks? Have you recently had a part of your house renovated/would you like to? Comments are always appreciated!

Thanks guys! 

Jade xx