Wednesday, 28 February 2018

February Books

It's been a busy month for me book-wise. And I'm currently on a week off from work, so you can bet that I'm spending a large amount of time curled up in a corner with a book. I've read lots of fairly different novels this month, varying in culture/place/time period/style; all of which, though, I have sincerely enjoyed, so I'm very pleased with this month's reading as a whole. Hope you enjoy my mini review of each, and perhaps they'll inspire your own future reading.

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

I completely understand how this book won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2016. The book presents what feels like an incredibly raw experience of the Vietnamese War from the perspective of someone who is somewhat between the eastern and western worlds, having been brought up in Vietnam and being educated in America - something the character describes as being in two minds. It's a very intriguing, essentially confessional, text, about always feeling like a double agent and constantly betraying one part of yourself, as the narrator is, to an extent, a communist sympathizer despite fighting against communism in Vietnam. The novel is primarily about identity, love and friendship, and the way these themes are combined to bring this novel together is truly remarkable. A must-read.

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

I've read quite a few Nigerian novels that I've really enjoyed over the past couple of years, so I thought I'd go for another one this month. Like Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, which I read last year, this novel is set partially during the Biafran War. It follows the life and story of Ijeoma, a girl who grows up knowing that her sexual orientation is different from what her culture allows. Ijeoma's mother essentially tries to brainwash lesbianism out of her daughter, using religion to condemn her child's feelings. It's a very heartfelt novel, exploring primarily identity in an oppressive environment. The hardships Ijeoma faces are constant throughout the text, but the ending falls on something truly beautiful and accepting - I teared up a little, which basically never happens. I loved this book, and I'm sure you could, too.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Can you believe that I, an English graduate, have never read Pride and Prejudice. I've been meaning to get round to reading all the classics that weren't on my compulsory reading list for school or university, so I thought, what better to start with than a classic that everyone knows, like Pride and Prejudice. Now, I have previously seen the Keira Knightley film adaption of this text, which I absolutely loved, so I knew in advance that I would enjoy reading this one. Elizabeth is a great character; she's very strong-willed and opinionated, which, though would have considered her 'difficult' at the time, truly paves the way for women in future literature and life. Whilst Austen obviously conforms to the cultural expectations of women during her time - Elizabeth's youngest sister is considered to ruin the reputation of the whole family at one point in the text as a result of not behaving as required - she equally pushes the boat out in small ways throughout the text. What more can I say? It's a classic for a reason.

White Teeth by Zadie Smith

I don't know what I was expecting White Teeth to be like, but this was not it. In a good way. The novel has a four part structure, giving particular focus to certain central characters in each, building their relation to the other characters through religion, culture, gender, race and history. The book primarily looks at the relationship between culture and identity in late 20th century Britain, focusing, particularly, on being British but also having a heritage that derives from a colonised nation. Through this central idea, comes so many other specifics and struggles, and Smith writes them tremendously. And I love that the novel tackles such big themes and does so in detail, yet, the novel is still so readable and accessible to all audiences. The only thing I wasn't enamoured with was the ending. I liked the pace throughout the majority of the book, but the ending felt slightly rushed to me. I'm personally a fan of open, somewhat 'unended' endings, so that wasn't a problem for me, however this one just left me feeling more unsettled and a bit doubtful. I thought it could've been stronger basically, more realistic maybe, as the rest of the book felt very genuine throughout. The ending kind of lost that for me. That's my only real criticism though - primarily I thought it was compelling, heartfelt and well structured. It's entertaining, it's intriguing, it's downright interesting. Equally, it's very difficult to summarise in a mini review like this, so I can only recommend that you add it to your reading list.

Book recommendations are always welcomed, so if there are any texts you've loved recently, please let me know!

Until next time.

Social media/contacts:
Instagram: abbielour
Twitter: abbielour

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Currently Coveting: ASOS

Spring clothes yay even though it's still cold.

This is a pretty mammoth Currently Coveting, so I hope you've got a cup of tea handy. I have been dying for Spring to join us for pretty much the whole of Winter, and now that it's finally just around the corner, I'm getting very overexcited for Spring fashion. It's only one of the best seasons to dress for. You still need a layer or two, so jackets and jumpers are still in, but you can also start to bare your legs, so dresses and skirts are back. It's probably the most versatile season of all, and that's only another reason to add to my list of why Spring is the season of pure happiness.

Here are my top picks on ASOS at the moment, and the pieces I'm sure to start ordering over the next month or so. *A large amount of these clothes are from Tall ranges, however the majority are definitely available in regular sizing and also petite, so worry not if you're not a giant like me.


I'm sure I've mentioned it many a time (as above), but I'm like nine feet tall, so when it comes to shorter dresses and skirts, it's basically a must that I shop in the tall section. A lot of the time it feels like the tall section gets the cast offs that didn't make the main collection, but I've found a few pieces I really like on ASOS at the moment. Very impressed, which doesn't happen often for me.

The first is this Tall Missguided Red Tea Dress. Red has never been my colour prior to this winter, but I'm trying it out and would like to see if I can take the colour into Spring. Tea dresses are one of my favourite styles to wear; they're really comfortable and flattering, and I think the sleeves on this one are super nice. I'm also a major advocate for the v-neck, so this one's a sure winner.

Next up is this classic Striped Sundress. Again, it's in the Tall range, but this one is a midi length - nonetheless, the extra length is always well needed and appreciated. This is the kind of dress that I'm sure my Mum had when I was little and therefore the timeless classic that can find a places in any wardrobe, regardless of time gone by. I like the button-through style and the pockets are a true blessing. It's also a linen material, so perfect for the summertime.

The next dress is, again, something of a Tea Dress, but this time it's a Black Button-Through design (still Tall, of course). I actually already have something similar to this in my wardrobe, but this one certainly has more structure to it, with a nice collar, and it really cinches in at the waist, which is always my preference. Another timeless style and one that will never go out of fashion.

Lastly, is another black number, though this time a Frilled Wrap Front Midi Dress, which I fell in love with as soon as I saw it. The wrap style is very flattering, as it allows you to tie it up as you need for your waist - meaning this one will look good on pretty much anyone. I'm not usually a frills and bows kind of person, but I think the frills on this add a dimension to the piece that works really nicely. One I've got my eye on for an upcoming trip, for sure.


Moving on to jackets. Now, Spring in England starts off to be pretty nippy still, so jackets are your best friend. I found SO many that I love on ASOS at the moment, so this one's fairly long (hope your tea's still warm).

The first is very much a practical coat (but look how freaking cute it is). This Tall Pale Pink Raincoat may be soon to be by best friend for the Winter/Spring crossover. It rains a fair deal in England, and most raincoats aren't particularly flattering or nice to look at - but LOOK at this, it's adorable! It's also borg lined, so will keep you warm too. It's probably the first thing I'll end up buying from this post (it may already be in my cart and almost on it's way to me).

This one's definitely more of a cool girl piece - something I'll never stop aspiring to be. What a gorgeous jacket, but one I'm questioning whether I could actually pull off. It's a New Look Faux Shearling Aviator Jacket, in a nice, fresh oat shade. Very Spring, very cool, but also nice and warm for the transitional period. This is definitely one I'd at least like to try on and give a go.

Next is a bolder, more tailored jacket that I tend to go for, but that has something super sophisticated about it, which would match the city I work in nicely. This Stradivarius Tailored Check Coat is very Oxford, and would be the perfect way to dress up a ore casual outfit when you feel like being a little fancier but can't really be bothered to try. It a lovely cut and looks like it would suit even my broad shoulders, as the shoulders on the coat are dropped. Check is also very in right now, so I'd quite like to get involved. Kind of a dream; kind of desperate to try this on.

Here are not one, but two cord jackets. I have a borg cord jacket in a lovely stone colour, but I'm on the look out for something a little lighter, without the borg, to wear during the Spring/Summer. The first is a Pieces Pink Cord Jacket. What's not to love? It's a simple, pastel piece, which would look great over a summer dress or a casual Spring outfit. It's beautiful. However, the other contender here is a cute one too. This Pastel Blue Cord Jacket is so incredibly pleasing to look at. It's more or less the same design, but has something a little lighter and airier about it. It might just be my favourite of the two.

Last for the jackets is this Levi's Denim Jacket. I actually don't own a denim jacket - would you believe. I've been on the hunt for one for probably about five years, but, in case you didn't know, I am one of the fussiest people ever when it comes to the fit of clothes. So as much as I love the shape and fit of this one on the model, there's sadly no saying as to whether I'd like it so much on myself. Nevertheless, this is a great jacket in just the right faded shade of blue.


Let's start off with some Long-Sleeved tops. The first is a Nobody's Child Wide-Sleeved Striped Top. If there are two trends in this world that will never go out of fashion, it's stripes and monochrome, and this top has them both. The perfect versatile top, which could be worn either by itself on days when the sun's out, or with a jacket on a chillier day. I love the high neck - something I've been very appreciative of since cutting my hair short, and the wide sleeves such a nice detail. This top is a must buy.

Another long-sleeved, striped top is this one from Monki. I like that it's more on season with the lilac and white striped, adding a pop of colour to a basic top. I'm not completely sure how I would style this to be honest, but it would definitely be tucked into something. It's a nice, casual long layer, and one I'd like to try on and see how it would work for me.

Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking. It's only THE Spring trend, my friends. But how cute is this Floral Ruffled Wrap Top?! Now, the sleeves are a little on the puffy side, so I'm not so sure whether or not I'd like this on me, but I am 100% trying this one out. This is my perfect floral pattern - not too over the top, but fairly subtle and understated. I also love the ruffles and wrap around details. It's kind of a dream and I'm so desperately hoping it'll suit me.

But of course, the florals can't quite stop there. This one's a little louder, but yellow flowers are one of my favourite things in this world, so I'm open to it. It's a Miss Selfridge Cropped Wrap Top. Again, the wrap around and v-neck are big winners with me, though I'm not sure if this would be a little too short on my long torso. The 3/4 length sleeves are a nice in-between choice, and again, great for the S/S.

And here's just about the sweetest top ever. This Honey Punch T-Shirt with Embroidery is so cute, it's also about to be ordered. The embroidery reads 'Sweet Like Honey', and adds a lovely, delicate touch to an otherwise fairly simple t-shirt. The ruffle trims are super sweet and I love that they're yellow, adding another gorgeous detail. It's basically my dream T.

Ending tops on a must-have basic. These Cropped Camis are perfect for the S/S. They're a really nice cut, with the v-neck both front and back, and they look very flattering, being the kind of crop that just leaves a small bit of skin between the top and high-waisted jeans. It's also a two pack, so you get both black and white. The essential you always need more of.

Skirts and Shorts

First up in this department is this Tall Midi Skirt with Box Pleats. It's the perfect skirt that you didn't even know you needed. I've never seen a skirt that I can imagine being worn in so many different ways. I would be so easy to both dress up and down, and I can tell over the Spring and Summer I'll end up wearing this way too much. The midi length is so wearable and flattering, and I appreciate that this is available in a Tall size too, as it'll make it the length it's meant to be on me. I just love this skirt, and I'm sure I'll wear it endlessly.

Denim skirts are something I rocked up until about the age of ten, but as of yet have not got back to. Now might just be the time, as this Tall Black High Waisted Denim Skirt looks like just the fit I'd like. Black denim is usually my preference, especially for my bottom half, so this is pretty perfect to be honest. And there's no way to go but high waisted. Definitely going to be trying this one out.

The only pair of shorts I'm liking thus far - I mean, it'll be quite a while before it's long enough to wear them - are these Tall Black Culotte Shorts. Culotte Shorts are 100% my favourite style of shorts,  as they don't cling to my chunkier thighs in the way a denim alternative might, and are nice and light and comfy. High waisted and flattering af, I'm sure I'll be getting these ready for Summer.


I have been desperately trying to find some trousers that aren't jeans that I like on me. So far whenever I've ordered anything it's ended up going straight back, so please cross your fingers for me that at least one of these pairs will fit me right.

The first is actually more of a legging than trouser, which is already promising. They are Tall Premium Leggings with Ruffle Tipped Hems. They're basic, black, ribbed leggings, but instead of a tight ankled hem, they're looser with cute little ruffled tips, which are white to contrast. I'm really hopeful about these, because not only are they cute, but they also look comfy as heck.

The other pair I liked are these Tall Tailored Linen Culottes. Linen is obviously a great material for warmer weather, and I like that these trousers are also fairly tailored whilst still maintaining the looseness and comfort of most culottes. The tie waist would also be super flattering. Definitely going to try these out and boy oh boy do I hope they work for me.


I'm pretty much obsessed with platform trainers right now, so these shoes won't exactly come as a surprise. In fact I have almost this exact pair already in pink. They are Puma Platform Trainers in Black and they are gorgeous. The black suede looks so nice and I love that they're entirely black, rather than having a different colour rubber sole. There's just something about platform trainers that make you legs look so much nicer but without the discomfort of heels. A dream.

A few years ago I had the nicest pair of loafers ever, but I wore them so much that the sole was literally completely ruined and was sadly made of a material that couldn't be replaced (I checked with my local cobbler, trust me). Since then there's been a major whole in my wardrobe and I've been hunting down another pair - one that can be easily fixed if the sole wears. These Vagabond Loafers may just be the pair. They are probably about four times the price of the previous pair I had, but I'm hoping that means they'll be a hell of a lot more durable. They're kind of completely perfect, so you may be seeing more of them in the months to come.


I am a regular gym-goer and I'm probably going to need to update my activewear at some point in the near future. I found these Reebok Black Metallic Leggings and I love them, but they keep going out of stock as soon as they come back in, so I'm going to have to keep an eye on them. They are high waisted and therefore ultimately very flattering, and the finish of them is really nice, adding an little bit of interest without anything too bold.

I also really like these Nike Grey Leggings, with a white band running through the legs. Again, high rise or go home, but these would be a nice change from my typically black and basic leggings. I would be slightly concerned about sweat coming through them, but if you zoom in fully on the website you can see the little ventilation spots - something I love about Nike leggings over any others.

Lastly is a Blue Adidas Jumper, which is definitely not the kind of thing I'd usually go for. I don't mind small logos, but this screams branded, which isn't something I'd usually like, but I think the way the white stripes look with the blue of the jumper is actually really pleasing to look at. Looks like a big comfy sweatshirt, which is perfect for the post-workout grocery shop I often end up doing.


We have finally reached the final category - I can barely believe it, I've been writing this post for hours.

I've potentially finally found a Tall swimsuit that won't leave my boobs hanging out and I have never been so surprised, because I was starting to think this would literally never happen. This Tall Mono Stripe Swimsuit looks like it could be a winner. The vertical stripes are a flattering design and the swimsuit itself doesn't look at all gapey, which is something of a miracle. Not 100% set on white for a swimsuit, but I'll have to order it and see it in person. Fingers Crossed.

Warehouse Bikini Top and Bottoms

Prior to finding this swimsuit, I had been looking at bikinis, because I might have to finally give up the tall swimsuit dream/nightmare and accept my fate. I have never been someone who feels comfortable in a bikini, but I think I may have reached the point where I'm content enough with my appearance to wear one (which is honestly the nicest feeling ever, I can't begin to tell you). I found this Warehouse Frilled Bikini, which is so cute and equally has the kind of low neckline I like. It is bright red, which I mentioned above has never been my thing, but neither have bikinis, so it might be time to break both of those ruts. I love this and I'm looking forward to seeing how I feel wearing it.

So there we go. All the clothes I'm coveting on ASOS at the moment. Though there are some I'm still undecided on, there are certainly some pieces here that will be making up my Spring/Summer wardrobe, and I can't wait to try them out.

Which were your favourite pieces?

Until next time.

Social media/contacts:
Instagram: abbielour
Twitter: abbielour

Wednesday, 14 February 2018


Hi everyone, hope you all had a great pancake day - I know I did. It was well timed this year, being the day before Valentine's Day, a day that I know a lot of people hate. I wouldn't say I'm among the haters, but I don't like what it tends to represent and what it ends up being about. I think love is something that should be expressed always and it shouldn't be down to one day to make a big gesture. It's a day all about romantic love and it can make you feel a little less for not having that.

Therefore, I honestly don't think there's a better day of the year to think about self-love than Valentine's Day.

Love is love, so if that's what we're celebrating today, then let's celebrate our love for ourselves.

I started thinking about Valentine's Day this way last year in particular. I have no bitterness or anger or sadness on this day anyway - if you're in a relationship and you want to show that off today, then go ahead. But if you're not in a relationship, maybe show off your love for yourself a little today. Last year I treated myself to a perfume I love - ironically a Valentino perfume - and it reminded me that I deserve nice things, even if I'm buying them for myself. This year I've treated myself to this gorgeous Monica Vinader ring (pictured above), which I've been lusting after for months. I've always been a very self-sufficient woman and in recent years I've truly embraced my love for myself, whether that's shown in flowers or a gift or an evening in by myself when I really need one

 So today I'm here to remind you that even if you don't have a significant other, you are worthy and you are loved and you deserve joy, no matter how that joy comes to you or who instigates it.

I love that I don't need a man in my life to feel happy and to feel content with myself. I know a lot of people who value their self-worth based on whether or not they've got a boyfriend or girlfriend and it breaks my heart. Being single isn't a bad thing - not even on Valentine's Day.

Being single has taught me just how great I am by myself; it's shown me that I don't need someone by my side laughing to make me funny; it's shown me that I can progress as an individual; it's shown me I can eat in a restaurant by myself and have a great time; it's shown me that I can bring a smile to my own face. It's shown me that I don't need to depend on anyone, and I am truly grateful for that.

So I just wanted to write this post today, to remind you that you are great all by yourself, and you should love yourself, today, tomorrow, and everyday of your life. My realisation of my self-love completely changed how I see myself and how I feel about myself. I feel strong and powerful and happy, and I know that the people around me see me this way too.

All because, one day, a few years ago, I decided that I loved myself.

And I'm never going back.

Until next time.

Social media/contacts:
Instagram: abbielour
Twitter: abbielour

Monday, 12 February 2018

My 4 favourite records right now

Can't even begin to explain to you how much my Grandad's dog seemed to be loving Born in the USA when I took that pic.

Today I was going to talk about my five current favourite records, but quickly realised that the image would look very uneven, so four it is.

In the past year or so, I've gotten really into vinyl. It's obviously a fairly old music format, but nonetheless one that has made a major comeback in recent years. I bought a record player last Spring and have been enjoying the sounds it makes ever since. I don't have hundreds of records, as of yet, but I have a bunch from various genres and periods. I thought it might be nice to inject a little bit of music conversation back into the blog, so I wanted to talk about the records I'm listening to the most right now.

Vinyl has the nicest, warmest sound to it - something rare when considering the other ways we listen to music these days. It has such a rich, in-the-room sound, that you could only compare to an intimate live performance. And that's why I love it. It's in the room and it fills the room, and when you go back to listening to music on your phone whilst you're out on the go, you notice the slightly more tinny, artificial sounds your earphones have to offer. That's why I prefer vinyl, it's raw and a little scratchy, but it has a warmth I can't describe, and it encourages you to listen to an album from start to finish, something we rarely do anymore.

One of my absolute favourite albums from last year is Silver Eye by Goldfrapp. I love the electronic nature of the music, and yet it's not too deeply into the genre - I find a lot of electronic music can be very overdone, but this is the perfect balance: slightly understated but definitely comfortably within the genre. The breathy vocals really compliment the synthesiser, almost completely combining the sounds, which I love to hear. I also absolutely love the artwork on this album. It's so simple and understated, yet has something very bold about it, which is very fitting with the music. A few of my favourite tracks include Systemagic, Faux Suede Drifter, and Beast That Never Was.

Next up is Aretha Franklin's twelfth studio album, Aretha Arrives. I love Aretha Franklin, I think her voice is just incredible. Soul is pretty much my favourite genre of music, and there's no soul like Aretha. I find her version of Satisfaction an amazing transformation from the original, putting her own twist on the song and making it seem like it's her own. You Are My Sunshine is one of my favourite tracks on the album, starting off by simply showing off her voice and then kicking into the song with the gusto that only Aretha seems capable of. I love listening to this one on vinyl in particular because it feels so authentic of the 60s when it was released - it makes me feel almost as though I was there.

Bon Iver is one of my favourite bands, but one I think you have to be in the right mind frame to listen to. If I want to listen to an album I truly love and I'm in quite a quiet mood, I'll put For Emma, Forever Ago on. It's such a stunning album; it truly gives me chills whenever I hear it. I love the timbre of the music. I think the songs, lyrically, can sound quite cold and disconnected, but the timbre is so rich and warm, and you hear that more than ever on vinyl. The album features one of my all favourite songs, which is re:stacks; I just think it's the most beautiful song in the world. My other favourites on this album are Blindsided and Flume. This is one that I don't listen to enough, but am always ready to play when the time is right.

The last one I'm going to mention today is Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen. As you can see in the image above, my Grandad's dog, Vinnie, is also a big fan; never seen a dog so pleased to be listening to an album. I've actually only gotten into Springsteen in the last few years, but when I bought this album my Mum said she thought my Dad probably had one of the originals somewhere in our loft, so I'll have to have a hunt around for that at some point. A fun fact is that it was actually released two days after my parents got married. This is a classic album and will probably always be considered one; there wasn't tons of rock that survived the 80s, but this one helped the genre through. Some of my favourite tracks are Cover Me, I'm On Fire, Dancing In The Dark, and My Hometown.

What are some of your favourite albums to listen to on vinyl?

Until next time.

Social media/contacts:
Instagram: abbielour
Twitter: abbielour

Thursday, 8 February 2018

More fashion??

I'm thinking of trying something new.

You may have seen that I've been incorporating a little more fashion content into my blog. I try to mention fashion in my favourites posts and have also being doing 'Currently Coveting' posts, which I've really enjoyed composing.

As a result of this, I'm planning on starting putting up a few outfit posts every now and again, to show what I'm wearing, where and when. I've really become a clothes lover and just generally a lot more into fashion over the past few years, but haven't really known how to bring that to the blog, so I thought this would be a good way to incorporate fashion and style and the clothes I like.

I think the reason I've shied away from doing this previously is that I'm quite a reserved person when it comes to putting myself out there. I've never been super comfortable in pictures and always prefer to be beside a friend in an instagram post. However, I'm ready to push the boat a little - I even posted a selfie on insta a few weeks ago, which has always been a rare occurrence for me.

I feel like this blog has always been a representative of me and the things I like. For instance, I love reading, so book posts are something I love - they're a way to confirm what I've read, how much I enjoyed the texts, and whether I would like to read books with similar themes in the future. I share the music I like on here, what I'm listening to and the formats I like listening with. I talk about makeup and skincare, products that work really well for me. And I talk about things I'm going through and things that are on my mind. And I think fashion is just another interest I would like to add to the list.

The blog has never really been about one thing, and I'm always excited to extend the range of topics for conversation. And that's what I hope to do by adding a little more fashion in here and there. It's certainly not going to take over, but it's hopefully going to stand along beside all my other interests.

Until next time.

Social media/contacts:
Instagram: abbielour
Twitter: abbielour

Monday, 5 February 2018

Winter Favourites '18

Oh hello again. Back with another seasonal favourites post. Winter in itself certainly has not been a favourite of mine. I've been so ill for the whole season and am very much looking forward to it being over. Nevertheless, I've got some new favourite products / general things, so I thought I'd share them as always.


In all honesty, I haven't worn all that much makeup this winter, which is surprising, because it's usually the season I like wearing makeup most. It's the time of year where makeup will stay on your face and won't slide off throughout the day like the warmer months. However, as a result of being very unwell for the majority of the season, when I have worn makeup it's tended to be very minimal, just using a few staple products to make me look less sick basically.

The first thing I've loved is the Too Faced Hangover Priming and Setting Spray. I've never been much of a setting/priming spray girl, but I love this stuff. My skin's been a little more dehydrated through the winter, so this has been ideal. My tinted moisturisers / bb creams have stayed well in place through the whole day during a time that they'd normally start to crumble by the afternoon, and I'm pretty sure that's because of this stuff.

Next up is more of a favourite type of product than one particular product. And it's actually blush. Now, I have always been one hundred percent not a fan of blush. I have never liked how it looks on me and always thought it would just make my cheeks look too rosy. But, I think due to my skin looking lifeless and illness ridden (i.e. having absolutely no colour to my skin at all (except maybe a bit of a gross green tint ha)), blush has become a new favourite of mine. In particular I've been loving the Glossier Cloud Paints - I have Dusk and Beam and they both add the nicest flash of colour to my cheeks without being too garish. And also the Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic blush in the shade in First Love, which even just in the pan looks stunning. It adds a really subtle, but very effective rosy glow to my cheeks and may have grown to be one of my all time favourite products ever.

Speaking of Charlotte Tilbury, I've also found the Wonder Glow Face Primer to be amazing for brightening up my dull skin. It brings a beautiful glow to my face, and I also really like using it as a cheekbone highlight. Even though it's very subtle on the cheekbones, I think when the sun shines towards you it looks so beautiful and just like you're glowing from within.

Lastly, is a product that actually came in my advent calendar. I'm still yet to try everything out thoroughly enough to confirm which products are favourites, but this one was an instant winner. The Lancome Kohl Eyeliner in Noir is so impressive. On the few occasions I've done winged liner this season, I have always put this product on my tightline and it has not budged. It has literally lasted perfectly for a full sixteen hours, and I am so impressed.

Nail Varnish

The only nail varnish I've worn for the past three months has been Essie Ladylike. It's this really gorgeous purple-y, mauve-y cool toned colour and I love it. I have always been someone who loves the darker colours through the colder months, but this has the best icy vibe to it and I haven't been able to bring myself to wear anything else. It's also super long lasting. Usually lasts a minimum of two full weeks with next to no chipping.


In the past year I've become a complete Garnier convert. I've always been a huge fan of No7 skincare, and to be fair I do still rate it, but Garnier have been doing wonders for my complexion. Of course, I've been using their micellar water for some time now, but I've recently tried out some newer products; and they're gold.

I have been really liking the Garnier Soothing Botanical Cleansing Milk with Rose Water. It's basically a creamy / milky micellar water. You can use it to remove makeup and cleanse your skin, but it has a much more moisturising outcome than the more basic micellar water. This has been great whilst my skin has been dried out by the horrendous wind and stormy weather we've been having. Makes my skin feel great and it's the easiest stuff to use.

Also, I'm a big fan of the Garnier Pure Active 3 in 1 Clay. Now, I wouldn't say it was a 3 in 1 product, but rather 2 in 1 - basically because I see a wash and scrub as practically the same thing (when I wash my face I use the product to scrub the dirt out of my skin if you get what I mean. However, it's a great product. I really like using it as a mask; you only leave it on for three minutes so it's a very quick and efficient product, so it's great when I haven't got much time but my skin needs an extra something. A great product even if it's a little less than it says on the bottle.


Maybe the last favourites for a while that I'll mention jumpers, yikes. The only reason I'll be sad when the season's over.

The main favourites have included this new Topshop Green Cropped Jumper (Tall). If it wasn't a tall size it would look stupid on me (ha), but this is the perfect length on me and I love the colour - it actually matches my eyes. And a lucky sale find was this New Look Pale Pink Pointelle Jumper (sleeve featured above), which was only £9!! It's so pretty and has a very delicate, feminine look to it. If your local New Look still has a sale rack then I'd definitely have a hunt for this.

I've also been loving these Pale Purple Platform Supergas. I have some suede platform Pumas, which I adore but am basically too scared to wear at the moment, as the weather it very hit and miss, so when I saw these (and in the sale) I had to pick them up as an alternative shoe to wear. I don't mind too much about dirtying these a little and because they aren't suede I'm okay with them seeing a little rain. I really loved how platformed trainers elongate your legs with minimum effort and you can walk really comfortably in them. And these are the sweetest pale shade and I know I'll be wearing them for all of Spring and Summer.


My favourite books of the season have been The Muse by Jessie Burton and The Power by Naomi Alderman. They're both very different in terms of content and setting / time period etc, but they are both superbly written and executed texts. If you want to hear more about why I liked these two in particular, I've got short reviews of them in my December and January book posts.


There have been a few new albums I've loved in the past few months, including one of my all time favourite bands Walk the Moon, who released their third album, What if Nothing, in November. This album reminds me a lot of their debut, being a little less pop than Talking is Hard and going back to the slightly more alternative, generally just different, sound that made me fall for their music initially. A few of my favourite tracks include, Press Restart, Surrender, and Kamikaze.

Secondly is Taylor Swift's Reputation. When I heard the first couple of singles I was pretty sure I wasn't going to like the album to be completely honest, and on the first listen to the whole thing I was very unsure about it. I came back to it a few weeks after it was released and listened to it a couple of times through before realising it was obviously a total bop. I love the album, but it did take a while to get used to the new sound. 1989 was the best and this is a very different move from there, but it is, nevertheless, brilliant. My favourite tracks include Delicate, Getaway Car, Call It What You Want, and New Year's Day.

Finally, I have been loving A Brand New Me: Aretha Franklin (with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra). I'm a big Aretha fan anyway, but this is a truly beautiful album of some of her biggest hits, accompanied by the stunning sounds of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. There's nothing not to like.


The Crown !! Season 2 !! I love The Crown. It's such a wonderful programme and I feel like I'm learning so much when I watch it. My Mum's brought me up to be a major royalist, so I love that the show gives a real insight into monarchy and it's difficulties. It feels really authentic and I think it's an excellent interpretation of our royal family.

A serious shoutout to Netflix for getting Friends!! It honestly couldn't have been added at a better time, as I had a lot of time confined to my bed throughout January, and getting to watch Friends was as much of a silver lining as I needed. I haven't properly watched the show since E4 stopped running the repeats, which was a sad, sad time many years ago. So happy that I can watch the show through again.

Honestly, I cannot wait for the Spring right now. I normally think Winter is fine, but I've well and truly had enough, and am completely ready for the most beautiful season of the year to unfold. Hopefully I'll rediscover a few old favourites for next season through a well needed Spring cleaning session - and maybe have to repurchase them if I can't remember how foolishly long I've had them.

Here's to Spring. The season in which we bloom.

Until next time.

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