Sunday, 20 May 2018

Book Haul featuring Jane Green and Lucy Diamond


I caught the book bug recently and went a little crazy hauling some new reads! Generally I'll get through a good book within 1 1/2 weeks, taking it on the train with me and reading it in bed. I have a few favourite authors, which I'll tell you more about, and stick to classic chic lit novels with a few light crime stories too. 


Charity shops are my go-to for finding new and classic books - plus it's supporting a great cause too! A lot of the books I've finished and no longer want to keep go to the charity shop too and gets passed onto the next person.

I picked up Rivers Of London by Ben Aaronovitch because I love London as a city and was curious by the blurb. The novel starts with an officer called Peter Grant, in the Met Police who deals with magic and the supernatural within London. He has a lot going on from figuring out what's causing people to killers to London gangs causing mayhem. I love the magic element of it and it's completely different from the usual books I read, so I'm exciting to get started!

After the amazing BBC programme last year (I think?!) as soon as I spotted Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty, I had to pick it up. It's a thriller and centers around Dr Yvonne Carmichael, her lover and how an affair can end up in court and a murder. I'm hoping the book and TV series are similar because I really enjoyed the programme and can't wait to read the original book.


What also happens a lot is book swapping between my mum and her friends, because we all have similar reading tastes! I haven't read any of Carole Matthews books before but I can tell from the cover and titles that it's a classic and comforting chic lit book. And I know you're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover.

Paper Hearts & Summer Kisses by Carole Matthews is a heartwarming book about a single mother, called Christine, who's struggling to juggle work, her family and her love for craft. And suddenly she has a big decision to make that could change everything... I love reading stories that are realistic and about hard working women, it's so inspiring and great to read.

I'll admit that I started reading Million Love Songs by Carole Matthews yesterday and am absolutely cracking up at the Take That and Gary Barlow references! Ruby Brown is a recent divorcee with a plan to turn her life around, including starting a new job, new place and conquering her biggest fears. Throughout this she meets two men who are the complete opposite of each other, but one could end up her true love. So far it's a fab and easy read that I can quite happily curl up on the sofa with for a few hours.


Another place I shop my books from is Amazon. They always have a great selection of the old and new books from all of my favourite authors. I'm always topping up my cart with books to reach the free delivery option!

Starting with Falling by Jane Green, I absolutely adore her books and writing because it's just like she's talking to me as a best friend. It's a classic love story about a girl called Emma who leaves the UK for a better life in New York (aka my favourite place in the world!) for a high flying career, great apartment and string of boyfriends. Onto a new place and Emma starts falling for a man and soon has to make a big decision that could risk her losing it all...

Lucy Diamond is another favourite author of mine and her books always revolve around a few women who end up being your fab supportive gang! Sweet Temptation is about Maddie who's going through a tough time at work, with her kids and especially her weight. After joining a local weight-loss group, she finds allies in two women each experiencing their own battles.

I hope you enjoyed this post and found a few new authors and books to try! What have you been reading recently?

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x

Find me on: Twitter/Instagram/Bloglovin'/Pinterest

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Baking: Making Mary Berry's Chocolate Brownie Recipe


Fun Fact: I thought for a long while Mary Berry was actually called Merry Berry and that her name sounded so happy all the time! Anyway, my mum found a gluten-free brownie recipe in a magazine and we decided to give it a whirl...

This recipe made a lot of brownies, so if it's too large then you can half the recipe. Otherwise we've frozen the ones that wouldn't keep. The brownies make for a great dessert as they're soft in the middle and crispy on top!

Ingredients
- 350g of dark chocolate, broken into pieces
- 250g of butter
- 300g of dark muscovado sugar (we actually used normal dark brown sugar!)
- 6 eggs
- 75g of ground almonds

How To
 1. Start by preparing a traybake tin that's roughly 23 x 30cm and use a little butter to grease the tin and line with baking paper. Also preheat the oven to 180 degrees/ 160 degrees fan or Gas 4.

2. Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a heatproof bowl, then add the butter and set over a small saucepan of simmering water. Heat through until runny and melted. The tip is to not let the bowl touch the water in the saucepan!

3. Measure the sugar in a bowl, add the eggs and whisk together until the sugar and butter are incorporated. Pour the mixture in the melted chocolate mixture and stir evenly until evenly mixed, then fold in the ground almonds and stir gently to combine.

4. Pour the mixture into the traybake and bake in the oven for between 30-35 minutes or until a light crust forms on top and the mixture is firm around the edges but soft in the middle.

5. Leave to cool in the tin then cut into squares.

I found the recipe really easy and quick to make, plus the brownies are delicious with double cream or ice cream. If you do make this recipe then let me know what you think!

Rhiannon x

Find me on: Twitter/Instagram/Bloglovin'/Pinterest

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Brand Review: Superdrug Vitamin E Skincare


Sometimes own-brand skincare ranges can get a little criticism from people, thinking that because it's at a low price point that it's not great quality. I like to mix in high end and high street products because my skin can be so temperamental that I swap in a lot of products depending on what's happening at the time.

The Superdrug own skincare ranges have been getting a lot of love recently, not only because they're at a great price but because their skincare really does deliver results. I've been trying the Vitamin E range for a while now and thought I would share my thoughts on how well they've been working with my skin!


My skin type verges between combination and dehydrated, which I think is down to working in a busy and polluted city! So I need a face cream that hydrates without clogging my skin and provides SPF protection. I'll admit that on most days I do add an extra SPF on top just because my skin is so sensitive to the sun! The SPF 15 Moisturising Day Cream absorbs into my skin really well and leaves it feeling hydrated. There's nothing overly special about this but it's a fab bargain alternative.


The much hyped cleanser is of course the Vitamin E Hot Cloth Cleanser, which some have compared to the award-winning Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser. I like using this as a morning cleanse because it does dry out my skin or leave it feeling tight, but nicely cleansed and ready for the day. It's super moisturising and I can really tell the difference when using this vs a harsh scrub.


Probably the product that has divided me the moist is the Vitamin E Nourishing Eye Cream. I have a cluster of little white bumps called Mila underneath my eyes that are a real pain, not even concealer can help to cover them! However since using this eye cream twice a day I've noticed a massive difference in the appearance of my eyes, they're a lot smoother and my dark circles are lighter too. The reason why this eye cream divides my opinion is because it is rubbish when you've applied concealer on top. It pills or makes small little balls when I use my fingers or brush to blend my concealer and is so annoying! I'll keep using it and be careful when applying my concealer or switch to something else for the day.


A serum is the best way to boost my dehydrated skin because it deeply absorbs into my skin and works to help improve my skin from the inside out! I love that this has a little pump so I can get just the right amount for my skin and it works perfectly underneath my moisturiser. What I also love about the whole Vitamin E range from Superdrug is that it's 100% vegan and cruelty-free, plus if you're not happy with the product then you can take it back for a refund.

The Superdrug Vitamin E range is currently Buy One Get Second Half Price now too!

Have you tried the Superdrug Vitamin E range? What new skincare have you tried recently? 

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x

Find me on: Twitter/Instagram/Bloglovin'/Pinterest

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Things That Have Made Me Happy Recently


I'd love to do more of these kind of posts, it's the perfect way to round off a week and start the new one! Even if it's not the most exciting blog post to read it's the most enjoyable for me to write.

- Starting a new job and finishing at a old one
Probably my biggest news to come this year! I've waved goodbye to working at Brodie & Stone as part of the digital marketing team for 3 1/2 years and am starting a new job on the 21st May. I'm not sure whether I can say exactly what the job is and with what company, but it's a lot closer to home and it's still within the digital marketing industry with beauty brands!

- Spending more quality time with friends and family
I've been spending a lot more time organising meet ups, lunches and dinner dates with a friends and colleagues to celebrate my new job. And now I have a week off in between my old and new jobs, I've been planning to spend more time with my friends and family! Keep an eye out on my Instagram and Stories for daily updates...

- Getting back into reading more books
When they say reading is food for the soul, they weren't wrong! I go through reading phases when sometimes I can't put a book down and others when I really can't get into a story line. Right now I'm re-reading some of my favourites and added a few new novels from my favourite authors to an Amazon order. Is there really anything better than the smell of a book?!

- Not feeling the pressure to keep up with blogging
I actually took last week off blogging, mainly because I had felt so burnt out from blogging and putting pressure on having an Instagram post ready for each day. It's been a good feeling to take a step back and re-think my whole approach towards blogging. Now if I want to get three blog posts up and scheduling done for one week, I can but I won't necessarily feel like I have to.

- Being more creative
Even though photography may not be my strongest strength, I still enjoy being creative with flatlays and props. I love the whole creative process of blogging, going from the initial concept to seeing it live on your blog and social media. I think once you're past feeling pressurized then you can really start to feel creative and experimental.

What things have made you happy recently?

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x

Find me on: Twitter/Instagram/Bloglovin'/Pinterest

Thursday, 3 May 2018

When Did We All Become So Busy?


Something I've been noticing these past few months is that everyone is so busy. You can ask someone how they are and they'd probably answer with 'fine, busy as usual.' - and that's the common response. The culture we're in now thrives on being busy all the time and having a diary full to the brim, being busy is the new cool.

We talk about building a good work and life balance, but the 9-5 working hours have gradually expanded into our own free time as time has gone on and we've not even noticed it, it's crept up on us. I find if I'm not connected to my work, checking my emails or our social media accounts that I'm missing out on something!

When I think about our busy culture and how it's completely taking over, I wonder if it's because we're not satisfied with what we have. We're taught to always strive for more and keep on going until we're happy. Keeping up with technology, fashion and beauty trends is exhausting in itself, it's no wonder why we're all feeling the stress.

We've seen a rise in digital detoxes, retreats and the hygge trend is something we all took on board when it became popular. I think these indicate a serious need to evaluate our busy-ness and what we can do to turn around our busy culture and not just go for a quick fix. Mental health, having breakdowns over work, school or college and a rise in anxiety is no doubt linked to our busy lives. I'm fed up of saying I'm busy and stressed, it's actually been called the 'busy-bragging' but we don't have to accept this.

By creating a healthy lifestyle and recognising that you don't always have to be 'on' or busy, you can sometimes sit and read a book or just sit if you need that calming head space! If we talk more about the busy culture and it's negative effects on our health, then we can help to make it less normal.

What do you think about our busy culture? Do you thrive on staying busy?

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x

Find me on: Twitter/Instagram/Bloglovin'/Pinterest

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

My Addiction To Cleansing


Now that title was a bit click-bait wasn't it? I will say that I am obsessed with cleansing and simply do not have enough skin to keep my cleansing addiction satisfied! I was asked recently what motivates me in terms of beauty and I say I enjoy taking my makeup off each day and getting to do a full skincare routine each evening. I'm that serious...

I went to a talk with Clarins and Caroline Hirons was the host, talking all about skincare and of course cleansing (here's picture of us on Instagram!). I definitely learnt a lot about skincare and my skin during it and even had a mini skincare consultation by the beauty guru herself! (She said I need to exfoliate more and revisit my acids as I have super dry skin across my cheeks.) 

It got me thinking about my cleansing routine and how I am pretty much addicted to cleansers. I have an extensive collection of cleansers but generally go back to my all-time favourites like the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish and the much more affordable Aldi Lacura version! I've been testing the Pixi + Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse for a while now and it's blooming good. My favourite part is definitely the cleansing balm to remove my makeup, it's simply gorgeous and turns to a oil which really works to remove all my face makeup. 

Even on late nights or those lazy days I'll always cleanse my skin, and would much rather skip exfoliating or an eye cream over cleansing my skin any day. I like to switch up my cleansers during seasons, so I have a nourishing and rich cream during autumn and winter then an oil or balm for the lighter months. By now I know my skin agrees with brands like Liz Earle, Una Brennan Super Facialist, Simple and Superdrug own brand - which by the way are totally underrated! 

What cleansing brands do you recommend? Do you have a favourite cleansing balm?

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x 

Find me on: Twitter/Instagram/Bloglovin'/Pinterest

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Book Review: The Hygge Holiday by Rosie Blake


Does anyone actually pronounce hygge correctly?! I say huggye like you're giving someone a hug, it sounds more cosy than hoo-gah. Anyway the concept of hygge is to feel warm and fuzzy, usually with a good book (ahh see what I did there?!) a few candles and something tasty to drink and eat.

I originally bought The Hygge Holiday by Rosie Blake for my mum at Christmas and she passed it on to me, saying it's something I'd enjoy! It's set in a small sleepy village called Yulethorpe in Suffolk where a Danish traveller called Clara is visiting and stays to find herself a house sitter for an eccentric lady and working at the local toy shop.

What Clara doesn't realise is that the house sitter's son, Joe comes back to find out what's going on with the family toy shop and is anything but hygge. Clara's determined to turn the future of the toy shop and village around and teach Joe the art of hygge, whilst eventually finding herself calling Yulethorpe home.

As expected by the book title, it's a hug in a book and a proper chic-lit story. I really enjoyed reading it and loved turning each page to discover something new! I managed to read through it so quickly and definitely recommend it for anyone who's looking for a lighthearted and joyful book to read.

Have you read this book before? What are you currently reading?

Thanks for reading!

Rhiannon x

Find me on: Twitter/Instagram/Bloglovin'/Pinterest
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