Thursday, 29 January 2015

January Favourites | 2015

Hello, and welcome to my new feature! Every month I'll be showing you things I've been loving recently, from beauty products and and books to music and apps. Enjoy!
 Rimmel London Colour Rush Balm in The Redder The Better // £5.99 // Boots

Every once in a while, I go through a phase of loving red lipstick, and ever since I got this for Christmas I've been wearing it all the time. Despite being a balm, it is a bit dry so if that bothers you, I recommend blasting it with a hairdryer for just a couple of seconds. Other than that, it's a beautiful, classic red, and it lasts all day.

 Fujifilm Instax Share SP-1 Printer // £139.99 // Amazon

This is a pocket-sized, battery-powered printer that prints photos from your phone and turns them into polaroids. I was eyeing this up for all of last year and then I got it for Christmas, which I really wasn't expecting, and I am obsessed. In this day and age, we don't tend to keep physical photos as they always end up on Facebook, Instagram, and everywhere else. Being able to keep the actual photo is really special, and I can imagine this would be awesome to take travelling. I decided to peg them all to a piece of string across one of my bedroom walls and it looks so good.

 Divergent soundtrack // £8.99 // hmv

I've been listening to this nearly every day on my iPod since the movie came out last year, and then I was lucky enough to win a physical copy of the soundtrack from HarperCollins so I've been listening to it even more. Seriously, the entire album repeated 7 or 8 times the other day, and another 4 times in the car on the way to hospital. It just doesn't get old and it always brings good memories flooding back. Plus, I think it's a perfect fit for the book and movie.

Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill and The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne // The Book Depository

I'll be writing full reviews of both of these books at some point, so I won't say too much, but what I will say is that you really, really need to read them. The Manifesto on How to be Interesting focuses on a girl who wants to be a published writer but she keeps getting rejected, and so she starts a social experiment where she aims to become an interesting person. Then she'll have lots to write about, right? But it doesn't quite go to plan.

Only Ever Yours is a lot darker and more disturbing - I loved it. Think about how everyone pressures women to be perfect, and then imagine that as a dystopian society. That's what Only Ever Yours is about, and it's so thought-provoking.

Phoenix Rising and Sex Bomb bath bombs // £3.35 each // Lush

At the beginning of this month, lots of bath bombs accidentally fell into my virtual shopping basket, and I accidentally put in my card details, and I accidentally clicked 'order.' I swear, it wasn't my fault. Ahem. Anyway. I've loved Lush products for years - they all smell amazing, they're so unique, and they don't test on animals. What's not to like? These two are my favourites. Sex Bomb smells like jasmine and turns the water a beautiful shade of pink, while Phoenix Rising contains glitter and smells like cinnamon which is my favourite scent. 

What have you been loving this month?

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Love, Tanya by Tanya Burr

Title: Love, Tanya
Author: Tanya Burr
Published by: Michael Joseph
Publication date: 29th January 2015
Pages: 303
Genres: Non-fiction/Beauty/Cooking/Biography
Format: Hardback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Hi everyone and welcome to Love, Tanya! This book is really close to my heart, because it's inspired by my journey to becoming confident and feeling happy about who I am. I wanted to write a book to share the things I've learnt with you - to reveal my top tips on fashion, beauty, love, friendship, YouTube... and loads more! Plus, there is room for you to list your own hopes and dreams alongside mine - so get creative and get involved! I'd love it if this book became a keepsake you can turn to whenever you need some guidance of even a little pick me up. I hope you enjoy it!


Earlier this week I revealed the prologue of Love, Tanya, as well as an exclusive photo from the book. You all went mad for it and, trust me, so did I when it pinged into my inbox. Needless to say, I'm not one of those people who thinks YouTubers shouldn't have books - quite the opposite! The more, the merrier, I say, and I love the diversity, fresh ideas, and new readers they're bringing to the bookish world.

This particular book is by one of the UK's leading lifestyle vloggers, Tanya Burr, and she has nearly 2.6 million subscribers to her name. She also has her own make-up range with Superdrug - how cool? I've been watching her videos for a year or so, now, and she's always seemed so lovely and genuine, as well as having a really interesting life. In short, she's the perfect person to have written a book.

Love, Tanya covers a wide range of topics, from beauty, books and baking, to bigger things like feminism, self-confidence, and mental health. I loved reading about all of these things, and it was also interesting to hear about Tanya's travels (she's been all over the world!) and her childhood. Plus, it is a beauuuuuutiful book!

It's hard to review non-fiction, so I'm going to tell you four of my favourite things about the book, in no particular order. The first is that Tanya happily called herself a feminist numerous times which, having such a big following, is very important. Because she's such a high-profile person, this can definitely make a dent in the stigma surrounding it.

The second thing I loved is that she talked loads about growing up in Norfolk. I don't live far away from where she used to live, and our area is basically fields, fields, tractors, and... did I mention fields? It's barely on the map and it's never mentioned in books, so it was awesome to read about somewhere I know like the back of my hand. Reading about her memories of childhood holidays at places like Holkham Hall and Southwold was even weirder, because I have really similar memories of childhood holidays in the same places.

The gorgeous recipe pages are third on my list. I'm such a fussy eater so recipes in books and magazines hardly ever appeal to me, and I tend to skip them. However, for once in my life, I actually like the look of everything included, and I can guarantee I'll be cooking some of Tanya's creations in the near future. If you're still unsure about this book, there are two cookie recipes, guys. She could have just given us one cookie recipe, but there are TWO. And you can never have too many cookies.

Tanya's chapter on anxiety is my fourth favourite thing because, as you know, I have it and I'm all for ending the stigma and helping other people who have to deal with it. The chapter included her own experiences as well as tips her therapist gave her which I hadn't heard of before, so they might come in useful to me and to many of you.

Filled with stunning photographs and a positive message to boot, Love, Tanya is the perfect companion to Tanya's videos and a gorgeous addition to anyone's bookshelf.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

BLOG TOUR: Author Karen Saunders interviews Suzy P

The first two books in the Suzy P trilogy, Me, Suzy P, and Suzy P and the Trouble With Three, have been out for a while now, but the third in this hilarious series, Suzy P, Forever Me, has just been released.

The books feature 14 year old Suzy Puttock, a girl with an embarrassing name, embarrassing family, and all-together embarrassing life. No matter what she does or says, somehow Suzy just always manages to land herself in trouble!

In this latest book, Suzy’s mouth has run away with her again and she’s somehow ended up promising that she can get the super-famous band The Drifting to play at her school fundraiser. Plus she’s helping Mum plan Dad’s surprise birthday party, a party Suzy’s not entirely sure Dad wants as he seems to be showing many signs of a mid-life crisis… AND to make matters worse, both events are happening on the same day! What’s Suzy going to do this time?

Filled with laughter, fun and friendships, the Suzy P books will always make you smile. Here’s author Karen Saunders interviewing Suzy herself…

Hi, Suzy!

Hiya! Thanks so much for having me here today.

What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?

It would be easier to list the embarrassing things that haven’t happened to me, to be honest. I do ridiculous stuff all the time. You just have to read the books to know what a donkey I make of myself constantly.

If you had to choose, which of your family members would you pick to be stuck in a lift with?

Argh! Do I have to be stuck with any of them? Just the thought of it is giving me the fear. Definitely not Harry - she'd have something revolting hidden about her person and use the confined space to torture me. Amber would be hopeless and would probably hyperventilate. I guess Mum or Dad, but this question is enough to make me want to take the stairs for the rest of my life to avoid the possibility ever happening.

What's your favourite food?

Chocolate cake from Bojangles café. With a side order of hot chocolate and marshmallows. You can never have too much chocolate in one meal, in my opinion.

What's your favourite type of sweet?

Definitely not those horrible jelly babies my BFF Millie is always scarfing. I like Haribo. Or did I mention I like chocolate?

What are you most scared of?

Moths. A world shortage of chocolate. And, after your earlier question, being stuck in a lift with a member of my family.

What's your worst habit?

Embarrassing myself wherever I go, whatever I say, whatever I do. Sigh.

Where's your favourite place to hang out?

Bojangles café with my boyfriend and best mates. Love it! Plus, my family never go there, so, y'know, bonus.

Which is your favourite band?

It's got to be The Drifting. I love their stuff.

What are your top party planning tips?

Get someone else to do it for you! Party planning is soooooo stressful. And don't promise people things that are nearly impossible to pull off. This will send your stress levels through the roof!

If you'd like to hear more from Suzy P, Suzy P, Forever Me; Suzy P and the Trouble With Three and Me, Suzy P by Karen Saunders are all available to buy online and from all good bookshops. If you need a hand planning your party check out this Spotify playlist handpicked by Suzy herself.

If you’d like to find out more about the books or the author, do visit Karen online on her website, 'like' her on Facebook or follow Karen on Twitter @writingkaren. Suzy tweets too, @suzyputtock, so don’t forget to follow her, too!

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