Beauty · Lifestyle

2017 – July Favourites!

Here I am again, last day of the month – which has gone by so quickly! Can you believe we’re already halfway through the year? …I can’t.

I haven’t really had much time to try anything spectacularly new. I bought most of these very early on in the month (when I had money) and I’ve been using these items so often that it feels like I’ve had them for a long time. So without further ado, here are my July Favourites!

NotebookNotebooks

1. Notebook

I really, really like this notebook. [from Tiger Stationary] I used to buy notebooks all the time (mostly because of university), but then i’d start using one and then abandon it after a week or so, but for some reason, I’ve taken a liking to this particular notebook. I think it has to do with the pages being blank and not lined – I’ve had more freedom to write things out the way I want to, draw and doodle without it looking strange on lined paper and the biggest plus about the notebook is the paper! – Don’t you hate it when you write something on one side and it appears on the next page clear as day? I was also guilty of sometimes skipping those pages and continuing on a fresh page. Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about that with this notebook. In terms of size, it’s not heavy, and fits comfortably inside any bag.

 

Body Lotion2. Black Musk Body Lotion

I randomly picked this up during a, what I thought would be an innocent window-shop browse, at the Body Shop. Well the joke was on me because I ended up buying more than one item (hides face). Anyway, back to the product… This lotion has an incredible perfumery smell to it, it’s not over-bearing but the scent lasts for hours on your skin. It also doesn’t feel heavy which is a bonus, especially considering that we’re in Summer. It also leaves your skin feeling soft and though it feels light, I would say it moisturises rather well and lasts for most of the day. Only criticism is that I wish it came in a smaller size so that I could carry it around in my handbag all day!

 

Coconut Oil3. Coconut Oil

‘I’m in love with the Coco’ – i’m sorry, i’ll stop. Seriously though, I am a new-found lover of coconut oil. I’m actually proud to be hopping on to this band wagon because I really have been missing out. I read a couple of reviews before buying this brand of (Vita Coco) Coconut oil and I am yet to be disappointed! What I love about this product is how versatile it is, I’ve literally been using it for everything:

  • Body moisturiser – Really good for dry skin, leaves skin softer
  • Hair oil  – It doesn’t sit heavy in your hair and it moisturises it well
  • Make up remover – Use with cotton pad
  • Face moisturiser – If you have dry skin
  • Cooking – Good for frying
  • Foods – I like adding it to porridge (it tastes and smells so good)
  • Drinks – Gives a nice taste to coffee, I also like blending it with milk and/or protein based smoothies

I’m sure i’m missing another one of its amazing uses but you can see why I now love Coconut Oil!

 

Planet of the Apes

4. WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

There is so much to say about this movie… I’ll try and keep it short.

My expectations were unusually high for this film but that’s only a testament to how excellent both Rise and Dawn were. With that being said, I can confirm that this film exceeded my expectations to the point where I can’t tell you which of the three is my favourite – they’re all just that good.

I remember thinking this after seeing Dawn but I truly believe that Caesar is one of the best written movie characters of all time. (Koba’s also up there too). Humanity is the films central theme and despite it being derived from the word human, you can feel it in every character, human or ape. It’s Caesar’s story so you’re naturally drawn to the side of the apes but there are also moments where you resonate with the characters you’re not supposed to like which makes the story so much more effective and thought-provoking. The special effects, the acting, the cinematography, the score and especially the tone, which was balanced with just the right amount of humour made this film an even more enthralling experience.

Long story short if you haven’t seen War for the Planet of the Apes I highly recommend that you do. It’s the perfect ending to an incredible trilogy and my favourite film of the Summer.

Book Reviews · books · Uncategorized

Happy Christmas?! – Mystery in White by J. Jefferson Farjeon: Book Review

Mystery in White - J. Jerfferson Farjeon

I’ve had Mystery In White on my shelf for almost two years now. I bought and began reading it a few days before Christmas back in 2015 and just didn’t get round to finishing it, so after having a browse of some of the books I hadn’t yet read, I thought i’d give this story another go.

Mystery in White was first published in 1937 during the Golden Age of Detective Fiction and to my surprise, despite having written over 80 books, author J. Jefferson Farjeon is today, pretty much unknown. Nonetheless, the synopsis caught my attention and similar to other stories of this genre, I became interested in finding out ‘Whodunit’.  

The plot is  fairly straightforward: we’re introduced to a group of several passengers travelling by train during a heavy snow storm, their journey, as a result of the heavy snow comes to a halt and they eventually find themselves seeking refuge in a deserted country house – the fire has been lit and the table laid for tea but nobody is home. Things take an even stranger turn when secrets, lies and murder get thrown into the mix.

This novel covers most of the conventional styles and clichés of the genre, however Farjeon writes in a way that makes you question the motivations of each and every character, even the ‘detective’ of the story elicits an air of ambivalence which is clever because it made me focus more on the characters movements than I did on noticing clues. Some of the crime-solving involves a Sherlockian style debrief, which I, in regards to preference and enjoyment, remain unsure of; particularly as it, in some ways takes away from the reader feeling like they’ve come close to solving the crime.

Farjeon’s writing style was a bit jarring for me at times – it reminded me of James Joyce’s writing (shudders) – whereby you really have to pay attention to the text, particularly the dialogue, he has a tendency to switch from character to character without using pronouns to differentiate between each character; he relies on his characters being distinct enough for the reader to know when a character is speaking or not. And though this isn’t an uncommon way to write dialogue, for a novel which already asks for you to think about the ‘whodunit‘, where and what each of the seven plus characters are doing and how their stories all interconnect, trying to figure who is saying what and when, does become somewhat of a pain. There are also a number of filler chapters throughout this book, which again, adds more to your impression of the characters but does little in furthering the plot in an intriguing way. Whether the payoff is satisfying is debatable – for me, the build up, the suspense and the unexpected revelations make up for what the story lacks.

Overall, is Mystery in White memorable? No. Would I buy another of Farjeon’s detective novels? Yes!

If you’ve read the book, let me know what you thought about the ending in particular!

Mow text

3.7 / 5
Book Reviews · Lifestyle

Introvert and Proud? Quiet Power by Susan Cain – Book Review

Quiet Power - Susan Cain

I don’t really like the word introvert, I often hear it said in relation to the words shy, reserved or timid – words which have plagued my existence since I was a pre-teen. Over time I’ve learned to disguise this part of myself when necessary, so depending on where you meet me I might seem like an extrovert. Don’t get me wrong, I actually like doing things that lean more on that side, it’s just that more often than not, my extroversion has its limits. For example, I can attend parties where I don’t know anyone except the host, but you won’t ever catch me being the ‘life and soul’ of the party. It’s pretty weird to explain (it always has been) which is why when I saw Quiet Power on a list of ‘books you must-read’, I decided to buy it.

Just to give a brief synopsis: This book is about introverts, how they see the world and why being labelled as quiet may not be the most accurate of terms when describing said individuals.

When I began reading this book, I thought I’d be reading the biography of the author (Caine) who herself is an introvert, however after a brief introduction about her beginnings and where she finds herself in the present day, the book along with a few more antidotes about her life includes a combination of many stories and experiences about other introverts and how they manoeuvre their introversion in their day to day lives. While these stories were both interesting and necessary (to an extent), the book, as a result of this felt less personal – I was unable to entirely connect to the narrative because it switched from story to story so frequently. Though I understand the purpose is to make the reader (who is likely to be an introvert) feel like they’re not alone. I would have much preferred the author to elaborate more on her own personal experiences and how she went from a textbook introvert to being able to give speeches and give TED Talks in front of thousands of people, which is as an introvert myself both remarkable and inspiring.

What this book is good at doing is encouraging the reader to embrace being an introvert, it also helps parents and particularly teachers put themselves in the shoes of introverts. It’s no secret that the classroom environment favours the extrovert, i.e. being called upon to answer questions, group work, presentations, reading in class etc. all of which can be terrifying for an introvert. Caine offers great suggestions throughout which adhere to both introverts and extroverts and how the two complement each other, especially in regards to team work. Moreover, as a person who enjoys facts, Caine also includes a number of studies which help put words to the feelings and the actions of the introverted mind.

I enjoyed reading Quiet Power, it was well written and well researched but I would have benefited a lot more from this book if I had read it as a teenager or when I first began university. Nonetheless, whether you’re a parent, sibling, teacher, friend or like me, has accepted and embraced most of their introvert-ness, Quiet Power offers a variety of perspectives, approaches and ideas that anyone who picks up this book will be able to relate to.

3.8 /5