Beauty · books · Lifestyle

December Favourites & End of 2017 Wrap Up!

First things first…

🎉 Hello 2018! 🎉

I hope you’re all enjoying the start of the new year! I was actually supposed to finish and post this blog a lot earlier but festivities to celebrate the new year along with a friend’s birthday and the second round of that strange period where you’re not sure what day or time it is just completely took over. But now, it’s back to reality, back to life as it was, and i’m pretty much ready to get properly started with 2018!

However, before we get there I want to take a look back on some of my favourites from last month.


D E C E M B E R   F A V O U R I T E S !


KIKO Nail polish – I bought these on sale early on in December. The first is a shimmery gold colour and the second is a dark cherry shimmery colour. KIKO has yet to disappoint me with their nail polish, these dry relatively quickly (around 2 minutes) and they last for around 4 days without chipping, unless you do a lot of things involving your hands. i.e. washing up etc.

KIKO Mascara – In my October favourites, I mentioned that I wanted to branch out with my mascara, turns out KIKO is as far as i’m willing to branch out because I found another keeper from this brand. Although it doesn’t provide a lot of volume, I like that it has a slight shimmer to it which was nice addition to the makeup I wore during the festive season. It barely smudges when it rains and in terms of portability, it’s lighter than the average sized mascara.

KIKO Lip Gloss Liner – The best thing about this Gloss Liner is that it’s not heavy or sticky. I use this mostly to give my lips a little more colour, which I do by blending it with my trusty Vaseline. It also gives a really nice ombre effect when I blend it with a darker lipstick. Only downside is that you have to re-apply it a couple of times as it fades when you eat or drink.

Nivea Soft Lotion Tube – I now carry this cream wherever I go, the cold weather makes my skin drier than normal and this has been such a big help for me. It’s not sticky, it moisturises very well, it doesn’t have a strong perfume smell and is relatively light to carry for a 70ml tube.

Ear Muffs – Another winter essential! My ear lobes hurt when they’re really cold, so these have been a big help for them. They’re warm and comfortable to wear but if you’re like me and like to listen to music with earphones, they’re not the greatest to wear with them underneath.

Maroon Jumper – I absolutely LOVE this jumper, it’s one of the warmest and comfiest that i’ve bought. I’ve also had a lot of comments from people complimenting on how soft it is. Only negative is that because of its style, it can sometimes, hook on to nails and pointy objects. Other than that, it’s pretty much the perfect winter jumper.



E N D   O F  Y E A R  W R A P – U P !


Top 5 Books:
Psycho – Robert Bloch
A Study In Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Lost Symbol
by Dan Brown
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins
Mystery In White by J.Jefferson Farjeon.
Favourite New To Me Author: Stephen King
Let Downs: The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien, Between the Acts by Virginia Woolf (DNF)

Top 5 Films: (I am incredibly behind on watching films this year) 
War for the Planet of the Apes
Get Out
Wonder Woman
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Favourite New To Me Film: District 9 (2009)
Let Downs: The Mummy, John Wick 2, The Justice League

Top 5 TV Shows:
Line of Duty
Stranger Things
Game of Thrones – the best scene i’ve seen on-screen all year, maybe ever.
This Is Us
Favourite New To Me Show: The Good Place
Let Downs: The Walking Dead (stopped watching), Sense 8 (stopped watching)

Top 5 Songs
Dua Lipa – New Rules
Kendrick Lamar – Humble
Giggs ft. Donaeo – Linguo
Matoma & MAGIC! – Girl At Coachella
Camilla Cabello – Havana
Favourite New To Me Song: Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah – Lake Shore Drive





I also want to give a major shout-out to my favourite thing(s) of the year which were tea and coffee but especially to tea for getting me through a particularly stressful year. I thought my final year of university was difficult but this year has been an entirely new, very real adult-life type of difficult. Despite everything, I made it through and my journey toward trying to figure out my place in this crazy world continues – I hope 2018 brings me one step closer!

I’m really glad I started blogging and reading again this year because for while I had really fallen out of love with it all, so I wanted to also say thank-you to all of you who have read my posts, have liked and have so kindly commented and interacted with me over the past seven months – it’s really been fun sharing all my bookish thoughts and my favourite things with you all! I’ve also made a few reading goals for this year which are:

To read books published within the last 3 years

2) To read more non-fiction books
3) To read genres I wouldn’t normally read

Here’s to 2018 and to me hopefully sticking to a few goals for the year!

On that note, I wish you all a happy, healthy and wonderful new year where ever you are! 🙂






Book Reviews · Lifestyle

October Wrap-Up! Hauls, Reviews, What I’ve Been Watching… Life?

October is officially over! 🎃 🍂 (Hello November!) The weather’s increasingly getting colder over here in England, the clocks went back last weekend (yay to extra sleep!) and Halloween was a pretty good night! – I hope you enjoyed this past month as much as I did too!

But now, on to my first monthly wrap-up!


I buy most of my books from charity shops or online, both new and second-hand, I don’t discriminate… unless the spine is falling off or there are questionable stains in or on the book.


Life of Pi by Yann Martel
I’ve wanted to read this book since I saw it in cinemas a few years ago. I usually read/want to read books before I watch a film or television adaptations, but this story seemed like one that I would enjoy even more in its written form.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
This book is a good example of why the back-cover of books with only ☆☆☆☆ reviews should be banned. I wouldn’t have bought it if I hadn’t been intrigued by its blurb!

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Like I’ve mentioned in previous posts, i’m not the biggest Austen fan. I’ve only read two of her novels, one which I didn’t initially enjoy and the other which I (to my surprise) ended up liking. I hope I like this one!

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
I wanted to read a scary story and considering that it’s the month of Halloween, I thought this book would be perfect to read. The idea of Ghosts also scare me, so there’s that too.




This month I read a grand total of 2 books:

1. Psycho by Robert Bloch

Psycho follows the story of  Norman Bates who runs a motel on a deserted highway with his mother, however there is something strange about their relationship. Norman’s world begins to unravel when a woman escaping more than just the dreary storm outside, checks in for the night. We soon begin to learn about what really goes on at Bates Motel.

I really enjoyed this book! I watched the film adaptation years ago, so I pretty much knew how the story went. However even though I liked the film, the book provides more of a psychological look at the characters – particularly in the ways past events can or continue to affect your future/adult self. You really get a sense of why the characters are the way they are. Bloch set’s the tone perfectly from the start, its short length means the story is never dull or full of unnecessary exposition. Moreover, the set up to the big reveal is so well written that it makes me wish that I hadn’t already seen the film! As for the horror? It wasn’t as gruesome in detail but I think that’s what Bloch intended in the sense that he is able to expertly convey and contrast both the thought process of the antagonist as well as his outwardly behaviour which in effect makes this story all the more horrifying. This is definitely my favourite book of the year so far!

“Despite my ghoulish reputation, I really have the heart of a small boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk”.

4.8 / 5

2. The Turn of The Screw by Henry James

The new governess is in charge of two remarkably well-behaved orphans, however she becomes increasingly uneasy after she learns that the man she sees wandering through the grounds is in fact dead like her predecessor. The governess, determined to keep her pupils safe from their evil forces, begins to tether the line between what is real and what she may be imagining.

This book is wild. It’s hard for me to put into words exactly how I feel about it. I was drawn in almost immediately by the opening chapters. The setting, the characters and the tone were all perfect in creating the typical gothic story. However, for some reason, despite the book being only 120 pages long, I found it quite a challenge to get through. James’ writing style is convoluted, a lot of it I think has to do with how he wants to present the psyche of the governess which makes sense especially regarding the ambiguous ending. Unfortunately, this really hindered my enjoyment of the book; I still found the story to be intriguing and creepy but the ending felt a little lack-lustre.
· I think this book really inspired the whole angelic seeming child who ends up being truly sinister movie trope.

It has been easy to live with them, because they’re simply leading a life of their own. They’re not mine—they’re not ours. They’re his and they’re hers!”

3 / 5



I never plan what I read, I just go with the flow and pick something on my TBR list. As of yesterday I started reading Between The Acts by Virginia Woolf – so far so good!




Crimson Peak  – This film was more gothic than horror (which I liked because I love the gothic genre). Overall, I enjoyed the performances, the cinematography was beautiful and the score was really good but the story unfortunately wasn’t as interesting as I thought it would be. The ghosts were creepy AsF though!                                                

 Stranger ThingsI have well and truly been on this hype train since I accidentally started watching it on Netflix last summer (thanks automatic countdown). Season 2 was just as good, if not better! The character development, the acting, the special effects and most of the new additions to the show were just great! The actor who plays Will Byers was phenomenal, as was Bob the Brain and also Team Steve anyone? !:) Bring on Season 3!

I of course also watched Hocus Pocus – it’s my own personal Halloween tradition and I loved it as always!



Nothing interesting or significant has been going on in my life lately. I went to a wedding two weekends ago which was nice and I got some good countryside fresh air. On a more serious note, I’ve been thinking about changing career paths, since graduating work-life has pretty much been almost the opposite of what I expected it to be and recently I think maybe I need a change. Also, my birthday is coming up soon and i’m turning a quarter of a century – the big 25! I don’t usually celebrate my birthday but as it’s a ‘significant number’ I thought i’d make an effort this year.


Until next time : ) 🕸





MINI BOOK REVIEWS:Their more than earthly beauty, their absolutely unnatural goodness. It’s a game,” I went on; “it’s a policy and a fraud!”
Beauty · Lifestyle

2017 – October Favourites!

Before I begin…

🎃 H A P P Y   H A L L O W E E N !!!  🎃


It’s been a while… It’s been a long while since I did a monthly favourites. I’m a creature of habit, if I like something then i’ll continue using and buying it until I eventually feel like trying something new. Fortunately, this month i’m back, with a few interesting things that I’ve loved using this month. So without further ado here are my October Favourites!


1. Notebook

I’ve gotten so used to writing in a line-less (is that a word?) papered notebook, so writing in this took a little getting used to. When I buy a notebook I always, always check for the paper quality – I absolutely hate it when I write in a notebook and the writing appears clear as day on the following page, this then leads to me skipping that page and that’s wasting paper which i’m not an advocate for. Fortunately, I don’t have that problem with this notebook! Another good thing about this notebook is that in the top right hand corner there’s an area which encourages you to write the date which I often forget to do when I take notes and want to remember when I wrote them. In terms of size, it’s light and fits comfortably inside any bag; it’s also from WHSmiths.



2. Garner Ultimate Blends Conditioner

On a trip to the drug store while strolling through the hair aisle I decided to look at a couple of different brands to maybe try out. By now, you might be thinking… Is Grace really going to buy a different brand of conditioner to her shampoo? The answer is yes. And for two reasons: the first I use up my conditioner twice as fast as I use my shampoo – i’m all about that deep conditioning life and second using a different brand of shampoo and conditioner (at least on my hair) doesn’t really make a difference. My hair is clean and smells good either way. How was the conditioner? I really liked it, I keep it in my hair for around 20 minutes after shampooing and then finally after blow-drying it, my hair is soft, easy to brush through, its honey scent also lasts in my hair for several days. Highly recommend!



3. Waterloo, Belgium

I have a really, really big family and I pretty much end up attending a wedding or 3 ever year. A few weekends a go I went to Belgium to celebrate my cousin’s wedding which was incredibly lovely, though a little cold because the venue was outside, I had a really good time catching-up with family members that I hadn’t seen in a while. The only part that I didn’t enjoy was the location of the wedding which was in a small town called Waterloo. There wasn’t much to see or do but what really stuck out to me was how extremely over-priced the cabs were! – as in a 5 minute journey ended up costing 15 euros, it also depended on what time of day you travelled. The entire thing was ludicrous but we had no choice because we were staying in the country side part of the town and walking in heels was not an option! Of course the thing I enjoyed the most was the food – the waffles to be exact which were just delicious! If you are going to buy waffles, i’d suggest buying them from the stands because they’re lovely and warm and you have a choice of toppings! Overall the wedding was fun but it will be my first and last visit to the town of Waterloo!


4. KIKO Waterproof Mascara

Like I mentioned before, i’m a creature of habit and unlike my hair products, i’m almost unwilling to try new makeup almost. I’d run out of mascara and I was in dire need for a replacement, however instead of going to my local Superdrug, I decided to pop into KIKO – initially to pick out a couple of nail polishes when I my eyes fell upon this tube of mascara. So do I like it?… For the most-part, Yes. It stays on very well – rain or shine, it even stays on through the tears which makes it tough to take off with just makeup wipes face wash woks better! The downside? I wish the brush were just a little more firmer, also I would not recommend falling asleep (like I stupidly did) without having washed it off!! When you wake up your eyelashes will feel like they’ve been glued together, a couple of blinks will get them apart. Overall the best part about this mascara has to be that it’s waterproof best to be worn when it’s raining outside.

That’s it for this month, hopefully i’ll have some favourites to write about next month!

Food · Lifestyle · Recipes

This is No Ordinary Plate of Pasta…

I’ve been making pasta for as long as I can remember… all you have to do is cook it for however long it says on the packet. I usually just add a pinch of salt for taste – not much taste but everyone does it so who am I to say otherwise. Recently however, I was looking at pasta recipes and discovered that you can cook pasta in chicken, vegetable or beef stock! I honestly don’t know how I was living life (particularly during my student days) without knowing that this was a thing that people did. So of course I had to give it a go!

Pasta Dish

Serves 2           Prep time: 10 mins       Cooking time: 20 mins



2 cups of dried pasta (I used mini fusilli)
1 chicken stock cube
½ can of tinned chopped tomatoes
900ml of boiled water
1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter
1 clove of garlic

1 tsp b
lack pepper
Salt ½ tsp
Paprika ½ tsp (optional)
Coriander  ½ tsp (optional)


1 handful of Kale
1 large Carrot
Handful of Cherry Tomatoes
¼ can of Sweetcorn


Boil water in a kettle. 
Pour boiled water into a measuring jug (fill to 900ml), add the stock cube and stir until dissolved.
Wash the kale, carrot and cherry tomatoes
Chop the garlic, carrot and cherry tomatoes
Drain water from tinned sweetcorn


1) In a saucepan over a medium-low heat, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter, then add the chopped garlic and fry.

2) After a minute, add the carrot slices, stir for another minute then add half of the kale and all the chopped cherry tomatoes. Continue stirring for a minute or two.

3) Season the veg with black pepper, paprika and coriander (½ tsp each).

4) Add 900ml of stock into the saucepan along with ½ can of chopped tomatoes, stir and bring to boil.

5) Add the sweetcorn and the rest of the kale. [During this step, if you’d like to add more seasoning, please do so].

6) Now add the pasta and ½ a tsp of salt and pepper. Cook until almost all the water has been dissolved or until the pasta is tender (make sure you stir in between).

* If you’re lucky enough, serve with cheese as a topping.*


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!


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

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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 · 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
health · Lifestyle

2017 – June Favourites!

I’ve never gotten round to doing one of these before…. You could say i’m cutting it quite close with it being the last day of the month but hey there’s still time we’re still in June. Here are a selection of some of the things that i’ve enjoyed using/doing this past month!

1. LA Muscle 700ml Shaker

I know it’s a picture of a gym bottle – a very basic one at that but it’s been a really big help to me this past month. I used to buy bottles like this, think I was going to use them all the time and then it’ll end up somewhere abandoned in the kitchen or elsewhere. However this time, in attempt to drink more water, I bought this bottle and I was ready to start drinking more water – knowing how I am, the whole 2L a day was definitely a bit of a stretch but I was keen to at least drink a litre a day which I have, so far been successful at doing. The most handiest thing about the bottle is that it’s marked with the amount of ml it holds (700ml) so I pretty much know whether i’m on or off target. One thing I  do have to mention is if you do want to embark on this water journey, you’ll mostly definitely be making trips to a toilet at least 6 or 7 times a day. Only criticism is the logo smudges after a couple of uses.


Every time I go to France I always leave having picked up a few new words and phrases, even having studied the language at university, my cousins are always armed with a slew of verlans (slang words) or general words that I haven’t learnt to confuse and make me question whether I really know and understand the French language. So I just wanted to share with you some of the phrases I managed to note down whilst I was there. If you’re learning or interested in French you might want to jot these into a memo or into your notebook 😉

  • Reuf slang word for Frère – which means Brother / Bro
    In a sentence: Mon petit reuf – My little brother
  • Ringarde meaning Cheesy / Cheesiest
    In a sentence:
    C’est un film ringarde – It’s a cheesy film
  • Astuce meaning Tip or Hack (but mostly tip)
    In a sentence: 5 astuces pour un joli blog – 5 tips for a pretty blog
  • Merdique meaning Crappy
    In a sentence: Quel temps merdique ! – What crappy weather!


3. Tea Tree Mattifying Lotion

It’s Summer and if you experienced the scorching week long Summer the UK experienced last week then i’m sure you were walking around with a slightly shinier face than normal. Regardless, if your skin like mine gets oilier the warmer the weather gets, I would highly recommend you give this a try. For a 50ml tube it is a little on the pricier side but I will say, for its size it has managed to last me over three, nearly four months so far. I generally only use it on the parts of my face that tend to get most oily throughout the day, so for me that’s my nose, cheekbones and glabella (the space between your eyebrows). I prefer to put some on before I apply a face moisturiser but you can put it on afterwards – whichever works best for you. It’s also very light and you definitely won’t feel it on your skin, the smell is pleasant but pretty much disappears after you apply a moisturiser. Oh and a pea-size amount each time is enough to do job.


4. Resistance Loop Bands – Heavy 

In my last post I mentioned i’d been going to the gym more frequently, as of late because of the way my schedule works out, I’ve found it more useful to do a couple of workouts at home. You can of course take this to the gym with you but when I don’t have heavier weights available at home, this with the addition of lighter weights I do have access to has been a great combination where i’m still able to feel a good burn during and after a workout. I typically use this band for ab and glute exercises, most of which I picked up after watching a few YouTube videos and fitness websites – I recommend you do the same, just so your workouts don’t become repetitive. In terms of durability, I’ve had it for just over three weeks and been using it a couple of times a week and so far so good. I’ll update if anything changes. You can get bands in different sizes: Light, Medium, Heavy or X-Heavy depending on what level you’re at.


I’ll be back with July favourites next month!!